Mechanical Design

Alignment: Dungeons & Dragons System Reference Document

A typical creature in the game world has an alignment, which broadly describes its moral and personal attitudes. Alignment is a combination of two factors: one identifies morality (good, evil, or neutral), and the other describes attitudes toward society and order (lawful, chaotic, or neutral). Thus, nine distinct alignments define the possible combinations.


These brief summaries of the nine alignments describe the typical behavior of a creature with that alignment.


Individuals might vary significantly from that typical behavior, and few people are perfectly and consistently faithful to the precepts of their alignment.

Lawful Good

Lawful Good. (LG) creatures can be counted on to do the right thing as expected by society. Gold dragons and paladins are typically lawful good.

Neutral Good

Neutral Good. (NG) folk do the best they can to help others according to their needs. Many celestials are neutral good.

Chaotic Good

Chaotic Good. (CG) creatures act as their conscience directs, with little regard for what others expect. Copper dragons and unicorns are typically chaotic good.

Lawful Neutral

Lawful Neutral. (LN) individuals act in accordance with law, tradition, or personal codes. Modrons and many wizards and monks are lawful neutral.


Neutral. (N) is the alignment of those who prefer to steer clear of moral questions and don’t take sides, doing what seems best at the time. Druids are traditionally neutral, as are typical townsfolk.

Chaotic Neutral

Chaotic Neutral. (CN) creatures follow their whims, holding their personal freedom above all else. Many rogues and bards are chaotic neutral.

Lawful Evil

Lawful Evil. (LE) creatures methodically take what they want, within the limits of a code of tradition, loyalty, or order. Devils and blue dragons are typically lawful evil.

Neutral Evil

Neutral Evil. (NE) is the alignment of those who do whatever they can get away with, without compassion or qualms. Yugoloths are typically neutral evil.

Chaotic Evil

Chaotic Evil. (CE) creatures act with arbitrary violence, spurred by their greed, hatred, or bloodlust. Demons and red dragons are typically chaotic evil.

Alignment in the Multiverse

Free Will Given by the Gods

For many thinking creatures, alignment is a moral choice. Humans, dwarves, elves, and other people can choose whether to follow the paths of good or evil, law or chaos. According to myth, the gods who created these folk gave them free will to choose their moral paths.

Celestial and Fiend Alignment

Alignment is an essential part of the nature of celestials and fiends. Both types of creatures are associated with metaphysical planes of existence—specifically the Outer Planes—that embody certain alignments. For example, most devils hail from the Nine Hells, a plane of lawful evil. A devil does not choose to be lawful evil or tend toward lawful evil, but rather it is lawful evil in its essence. If it somehow ceases to be lawful evil, it changes into something new—a transformation worthy of legend.

Bestial Nature

Most creatures that lack the capacity for rational thought do not have alignments—they are unaligned. Such a creature is incapable of making a moral or ethical choice and acts according to its bestial nature. Sharks are savage predators, for example, but they are not evil; they have no alignment.

Written by
Jayden King

Professional Storyteller - Dungeon Master, Writer, and Actor Black ✊🏾 Queer 🏳️‍🌈

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