A chaotic neutral character follows his whims. He is an individualist first and last. He values his own liberty but doesn’t strive to protect others’ freedom. He avoids authority, resents restrictions, and challenges traditions. A chaotic neutral character does not intentionally disrupt organizations as part of a campaign of anarchy. To do so, he would have to be motivated either by good (and a desire to liberate others) or evil (and a desire to make those different from himself suffer). A chaotic neutral character may be unpredictable, but his behavior is not totally random. He is not as likely to jump off a bridge as to cross it.
Chaotic neutral is the best alignment you can be because it represents true freedom from both society’s restrictions and a do-gooder’s zeal.
Chaotic neutral can be a dangerous alignment when it seeks to eliminate all authority, harmony, and order in society.
Chaotic Neutral and Society
A chaotic neutral being...
- Is not concerned with the desires of family members.
- Values flexible relationships with romantic partners.
- Considers himself above the law.
- Finds most people to be narrow-minded and inflexible.
- Believes those who seek to rule others are, by nature, corrupt.
- Seeks to undermine the authority figures of his community or nation.
- Finds the legal procedures of his nation corrupt.
- Believes luck determines wealth.
- Will break any contract when he feels like it.
- Will not betray a family member, unless the circumstances are dire.
- Has few close friends and would never betray those he has, unless circumstances are dire.
- Is generally well liked by his community, but normally will not seek to improve the community.
- Will support his nation when profitable to do so, but will not act against his nation if profitable.
- Believes people deserve the treatment they are willing to endure.
- Is not concerned with those less fortunate.
- Will not harm others for profit.
A chaotic neutral government is unpredictable, influencing the community in difference ways at different times. In a truly chaotic neutral society there is no government. Anarchy is the rule. A stranger to such a town may feel as if he has ridden into a town of total lawlessness.
Chaotic Neutral and Other Alignments
Chaotic Neutral vs. Chaotic Good
Chaotic good characters feel that each person must find their own way and should have total freedom to act in any manner they choose as long as they hurt no one else in the process. Chaotic neutral characters believe that everyone should do what they want, regardless of whether the actions are good or hurt others. Both will lie and cheat. The chaotic good character will cheat and lie to others only when good comes of it or to trick the evil. The chaotic neutral character will lie, cheat, and trick anyone to achieve his goals, whether that goal is amusement, power, or wealth. Chaotic good characters value the individual freedom of all creatures, while the chaotic neutral character values his own freedom, and doesn’t care about the freedom of others. Chaotic neutral characters do not necessarily want others to suffer as a result of their actions, but do not care if others do suffer. They tend to behave in a good manner towards friends and allies, unless their friends and allies do not agree with them. Chaotic good characters never want others to suffer because of their actions, except those who are evil or deserve to suffer in their eyes. Chaotic neutral characters don’t understand why chaotic goods are so concerned about others, while chaotic good characters feel that chaotic neutral characters are hypocritical in believing in their own freedom, but not necessarily in the right for others to have the same freedom.
Chaotic Neutral vs. Chaotic Evil
Chaotic neutral and the chaotic evil characters will disagree on the nature of freedom. Both value their own freedom above that of other beings, but the chaotic neutral character feels all creatures should be free to pursue their goals, for good or ill. They do not feel that others have the right to restrict them of their freedom, but the chaotic neutral character may restrict others. The chaotic neutral character may not be malicious in the liberties he takes. He will generally leave others alone, any evil they suffer because of his actions is incidental. Chaotic evil characters believe that freedom should only exist for those creatures strong enough to keep it. They will go out of their way to corrupt the good and destroy their works. They see no value in any individual’s life, other than whatever value it has to gratify that particular chaotic evil character. Chaotic neutral characters are not concerned with life, but do not feel that others exist for their exploitation, necessarily.
Chaotic Neutral vs. True Neutral
Chaotic neutral and true neutral characters have a similar moral outlook. They tend to follow a morality of reciprocity, behaving altruistically toward benefactors and egoistically toward malefactors. Their difference involves their outlook on laws and society. The true neutral character wants to work within the law and will observe most customs and mores because it it in their best interest to do so. True neutral characters don’t want to “rock the boat” but will on occasion if their self-interest is overwhelmingly served by breaking the law or flouting custom. The chaotic neutral character sees no value in laws, customs, or mores. A chaotic neutral character may appear to follow many laws, but does not do so because they believe in any inherent value to such systems. The chaotic neutral character believes in the pure freedom to pursue their own self-interest (and for others to pursue their own interests in the same manner). Although the true neutral character does not believe that the law should be followed all of the time, neither do they believe that laws are completely useless. They believe that chaotic neutral characters actually limit themselves by refusing to consider that sometimes self-interest can best be served by order in society. Chaotic neutral characters feel that true neutral characters limit themselves by paying lip service to laws and customs that they do not necessarily support.
Chaotic Neutral, Chaotic Good, and Chaotic Evil
Freedom means a different thing to characters of these three alignments. For the chaotic neutral character, freedom means the freedom for all beings to pursue their own self-interest without interference from authority. The chaotic neutral character realizes that there will be chances for both conflict and cooperation, but they will always seek to advance their own self-interest. They believe in the right of all beings to do what they themselves are doing (namely, pursuing self-interest). If others are advanced while the chaotic neutral character is advancing himself, this is fine. If others are diminished when he is pursuing his own interest, so be it. He will help people that help him and harm people that harm him. The chaotic good character believes that freedom means the freedom for each individual to find his own way to promote happiness and prosperity in the world. He feels that the best way to promote goodness and weal for all is to provide the most freedom. The chaotic good character wants everyone to enjoy the same right to pursue happiness as freely as possible. Chaotic evil characters believe that freedom means the freedom to take whatever action is necessary to advance the self. In the eyes of the chaotic evil character, an important way of maximizing personal freedom is to minimize the opportunity for others to pursue their own self-interest. Thus, the chaotic evil character wants maximum freedom for himself, but minimum freedom and power for everyone else. The chaotic neutral character wants maximum freedom for everyone to pursue their own ends (for good or ill). The chaotic good character wants maximum freedom for everyone to find happiness and prosperity.
The Philosophy of Chaotic Neutral
Chaotic neutral is the philosophy that the pursuit of liberty and freedom is a desirable end in and of itself. It is a philosophy of pure equitistic individualism. This philosophy holds that the best way for all beings to pursue a rational self-interest is in a society devoid of social order. By putting the needs of the individual ahead of the needs of the state or social order, each being can advance its own self-interest with a minimum of interference from others. Chaotic neutral can also be associated with ethical equitism, ethical hedonism, and various forms of existentialism. As the philosophical “average” of altruism and egoism, equitism holds that harm to others should be minimized when advancing the self and that harm to the self should be minimized when advancing others.
Chaotic neutral philosophers generally maintain that there is metaphysical chaos in the multiverse and thus may support doctrines of indeterminism, casualism, tychism, and/or accidentalism. They may believe that fortune or chance determine all outcomes. They tend to be moral subjectivists, holding that values are expressions of emotions, attitudes, reactions, feelings, thoughts, wishes, and desires, and have no independent objective or external reality or reference in the real world.
The ideal government for this alignment is an minimalist state or anarchy supporting a social order in which they are allowed maximum freedom. Whether the social order supports altruistic actions or egoistic actions is of no concern to the followers of this alignment. Chaotic neutral beings want the power of the state to be as weak as possible, or preferably, non-existent. Chaotic neutrals generally support justice systems that allow maximum freedom for individuals to pursue their own personal agendas.