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Friday, June 16th, 2006
12:47p - D&D
What is Chaos? Sure, I know enough about the abstract, but when it comes to characters ideals like Law and Chaos become very direct sources of morality. How do they affect character creation and development? Can a character be said to have a specific source of chaos or law in the structure of their essence? I'd like to believe that in some cases, they can. Yet I also believe that the most interesting characters aren't the ones who have had a brush with a god of chaos and thusly converted to their cause. That's a fairly straightforward path to alignment that just seems a bit lacking to me. I like it when the road to abstracts is just that. It's one thing to have a character who falls into the camp of chaotic thought, but it's quite another to have one who thinks just like you or I and yet his actions always lead to chaos in the world around him. This is my most recent plunge into the chaotic. Those characters make me positively giddy; they're the kinds that in fiction will always be the unknown, the x-factor of the story, taking the plot and throwing it into disarray while amping up the reactions of everyone around them to a factor of thirteen. This applies to the lawful types as well, but I'd rather see that typhoon of reactions than the orderly resolution that the lawful character brings to any story. Most often I see chaos and law used as a manner of polarizing a character on the good and evil scale, but where are the truly inspired scions of pure chaos and how do they manifest?

So tell me, friends, what creative devices do you use to channel chaos into a character? What are the most interesting chaotic characters you've seen or played? What is the best-developed character you've encountered of that alignment which did not lose its functional element in-game? Where do you turn to for inspiration in these matters?

For good measure, here's my most off-the-wall lawful concept.

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