Principled characters arc upright “boy scout” or “do-gooder” types
who put others before themselves. This is the knight in shining armor,
with the highest regard for the lives and well-being of others, freedom,
truth, honor and justice. Principled characters will always attempt to
work with and within the law. and have a high regard tor (and trust of)
authority. as well as for life and freedom. They are usually compassionate, merciful, cooperative and sincere.
A Principled character will …
I. Always keep his word.
2. Avoid lies.
3. Never kill or attack an unarmed foe.
4. Never harm an innocent.
5. Never torture for any reason.
6. Never kill for pleasure.
7. Always help others.
8. Always work within the law whenever possible.
9. Never break the law unless conditions are desperate. This means no
breaking and entering, theft, torture, unprovoked assaults, etc.
I0. Respect authority, law, self-discipline and honor.
II. Work well in a group.
12. Never take “dirty” money, or ill-gotten valuables or goods. This
means any property that belongs to criminals or villains. It matters
not how the bad guys got that property themselves; the hero will not
touch it even if destitute.
13. Never betray a friend.
Taoist Alignment (Good)
Taoist characters are rather eccentric. They are not selfish, in
that they care nothing for wealth, riches, or any personal gain,
but they are self-centered in that they’d rather have fun than be
bothered by serious obligations. Ultimately, the Taoist is always
torn. On the one hand, the character should work for the good of
others. However, the attainment of wisdom, insight, and even
Immortality are also the goals of the Taoist. Also, since a Taoist
takes the long view, the character is willing to let people suffer if
it’s possible they’ll learn from the experience.
A good example of Taoist behavior is the story of the Taoist
and the young thief:
While drinking in a low dive, a young man was complaining
about his lack of funds. “If only,” said the delinquent, “I knew
the secrets of the thief, I’d never lack for money in this town.”
“Would you like to learn how to be a thief?” asked the Taoist.
“Just come with me tonight. I’ll break into the richest house in
town and you’ll learn everything you need to know to be an excellent
The young man agreed and they met late that night. Everything
went splendidly, as the Taoist showed the young man how
to hide his smell so he wouldn’t alarm the animals, how to move
quietly, how to hide in the shadows, and how to break open the
gate. Finally, once they were inside, the Taoist proceeded to pick
the lock of the family’s treasure chest.
“Quick,” whispered the Taoist, “hop inside.”
Thinking that he was to search the inside of the chest for hidden
riches, the young thief did as he was told.
At which point the Taoist slammed down the lid of the chest,
locked it, and then loudly began singing and rummaging around
among the wine cabinet of the house. Before slipping out the
front door, wine jar in hand, the Taoist even lit a candle in the
room with the chest.
Terrified, the youngster huddled in the chest, which was
locked from the outside, while the inhabitants of the house flew
into an uproar. Seeing only the flickering of the candle, and a
few shapes passing by, the young thief could only wait in horror.
However, after a few minutes, when most of the armed men of
the house seemed to have gone outside, the thief started to
scratch the inside of the chest, making just a small amount of
Then, when one of the ladies opened the lock, he sprang out,
blew out the candle, and ran panic-stricken into the night.
Outside, there was little hope of escape, with family members,
police, and neighbors all in pursuit. So the young thief had no
choice but to dive into a nearby well, hoping that he would be
Sure enough, the ruse worked, and the young thief managed
to stay hidden all the night, and all through the next day, until
the following midnight.
Shivering with cold and fright, the youngster started to climb
out of the well, when suddenly a hand reached out to grab him,
and pull him out.
“Ho, ho,” said the Taoist, laughing at the young thief’s
“Why… why did you trap me there last night?” said the thief.
“Well,” said the Taoist, “you did say you wanted to learn
everything about being a thief…”
Taoist Characters Will…
1. Intend to keep their word of honor, when they give it.
However, if things change, well…
2. Avoid Lies (except in fun).
3. Cheat whenever necessary.
4. Will not kill an unarmed foe (but will take advantage of the situation).
5. Never harm an innocent.
6. Not use torture unless absolutely necessary.
7. Never kill for pleasure.
8. Usually help those in need.
9. Refuse to take any position of leadership or authority, except
in a short-term emergency.
10. Ignore the law and the rules, whenever they feel they can
get away with it. However, they will never violate the law for
11. Usually make fun of authority.
12. Usually, but not always, stick by a friend
Scrupulous characters value life and freedom above all else and despise those who would deprive others of them. This type of hero is typically portrayed in many movies as the cop who plays by his own rules,
forced to work beyond the law tor justice (or retribution) and the
greater good of the people. They are not vicious or vindictive characters, but are individuals driven by their sense of justice to right a wrong
or take a (bloody) stand. These characters will always attempt to work
with or within the law whenever possible.
A Scrupulous character will …
I. Keep his word to any other good person.
2. Lie only to people of selfish or evil alignments.
3. Never attack or kill an unarmed foe.
4. Never harm an innocent.
5. Never torture for pleasure. but may usc muscle to extract information
from criminals or evil characters.
6. Never kill for pleasure, will always attempt to bring the villain to
justice alive, no matter how vile he may find him.
7. Always try to help others.
8. Attempt to work within the law whenever possible.
9. Bend and, occasionally, break the law when deemed necessary. This
means he may use strong-arm techniques, harass, break and enter,
steal, and so on (but only against the bad guys).
I0. Distrust authority; fears the law and government may not be an effective weapon against injustice and crime. However, he will try not
to flagrantly disregard the law.
I I. Work with groups, but dislike confining laws and bureaucracy (red
12. Never take “dirty” money or items.
13. Never betray a friend.
Selfish characters (Unprincipled and Anarchist) are not necessarily
evil, but they always have their own best interests at heart and their
opinions in mind above all others. These are the mercenaries, rogues,
vigilantes and anti-heroes of the world.
This basically good person tends to he selfish, greedy, and holds his
personal freedom and welfare above almost everything else. He dislikes
confining laws and self-discipline and distrusts authority. He views the
law and government as well-intentioned. but clumsy and ineffective.
Keeping his best interests in mind. the character will always look out
This character is also likely to take “dirty” money and items, with
He will not deal in illegal
drugs. or take money from innocent or good people. The Unprincipled character may associate with both good and evil characters,
and often has paid informants. spies and stoolies.
This is the noble scoundrel, the guy who is always looking for the
best deaL associates with good and evil characters, is continually
tempted to lie and cheat, and hates himself for being loyal, helping others and ultimately doing the “right thing.”
An Unprincipled character will …
I Keep his word of honor.
2. Lie and cheat if necessary (especially to those of Anarchist and evil
3. Not kill an unarmed foe (hut will take advantage of one).
4. Never harm an innocent.
5. Not use torture unless absolutely necessary.
6. Never kill for pleasure; will attempt to bring the villain to justice
alive and ruin him rather than simply kill him.
7. Usually help those in need.
S. Rarely attempt to work within the law.
9. Blatantly break the law to achieve his (usually good-intentioned)
I0. Dislike and distrust authority, the law and bureaucracy. Feels they
have been corrupted and abused.
II. Work with groups, especially if it serves his needs, is profitable,
and/or he is in the limelight.
12. Take ”dirty” money.
13. Never betray a friend.
14. Have a high regard for life and freedom.
This type of character likes to indulge himself in everything. He is
the insurgent, con-artist, gambler and uncommitted freebooter who adventures because he enjoys the thrill, fame and fortune it brings, rather
than for any cause (like defending humanity). This character will at
least consider doing anything if the price is right or the challenge is alluring enough.
Laws and rules infringe on personal freedom and were meant to be
broken. lie will not hesitate at using strong-arm techniques, breaking
and entering. theft, harassment, destruction of private property, and so
on. This can also include acting as judge, jury, and executioner. These
characters are usually the daring anti-heroes who feel the end justifies
the means. The Anarchist-aligned person is always looking for the best
deal and self-gratification. He will work with good. selfish and evil
characters to attain his goals. The Anarchist is continually teetering between good and evil, rebelling against and bending the law to fit his
needs. Mercenaries and thieves often fall into this category.
An Anarchist character will . ..
I. Keep his word. but only if it suits or pleases him.
2. Lie and cheat if he feels it necessary.
3. Not be likely to kill an unarmed foe. but certainly will knock out, attack or beat up one.
4. Never kill an innocent, although his rash or self-serving actions may
injure or kill bystanders by accident.
5. Usc torture to extract information. but is not likely to do so for pleasure.
6. Seldom kill for pleasure.
7. Not be likely to help someone without some ulterior motive (even if
it’s only to show oft).
S. Rarely work within the law unless it serves his purpose.
9. Constantly break the law to achieve his goals.
I0. Have little respect for authority, the law, or self-discipline.
I I. Not work well within groups: tends to do as he pleases, despite orders to the contrary.
12. Take “dirty” money without hesitation.
13. Possibly betray a friend. Sorry. pal.
All evil characters (Aberrant, Miscreant and Diabolic) are not necessarily bent on universal genocide or dominating all other living creatures. Nor are all evil characters sadistic, cruel, ugly or untrustworthy.
Many evil characters may actually seem kind or likeable.
Evil alignments are a step beyond the self-gratification of the selfish
alignments. Evil characters are ruthless individuals who are willing to
say or do anything to achieve their goals. Most commonly, evil characters have goals that either entail making people suffer or cause suffering as a side effect (a side effect the evil character knowingly and
callously disregards). Human life has little meaning to them, and
friends tend to be (but not always) people to use and discard when they
are no longer of value. Evil-aligned characters do not automatically
slay any good-aligned person because of different ethics and philosophy. All the better to use good to achieve their own goals, for the end
always justifies the means.
Note: There is nothing wrong with playing a fictional, evil character, although he may not survive too long if he betrays or harms too
many people, nor is the character likely to be trusted or liked by his
“good” teammates. However, this is role-playing, not reality, so you
can play any type of character you might desire, just continue to play
The cliche that there is “no honor among thieves” is false when
dealing with the Aberrant character. This is an individual who is driven
to attain his goals though force, power, and intimidation. Yet the Aberrant character stands apart from the norm with his own personal (and
twisted) code of ethics. He expects loyalty from his minions, punishing
disloyalty and treachery with a swift, merciful death or banishment. An
Aberrant character will always keep his word of honor and uphold any
bargains. He will define his terms and live by them, whether anyone
else likes them or not.
If an anti-hero, he will completely disregard the law and deal out
justice as he deems tit. He will never be cruel or vindictive, and will always be absolutely positive that the person is guilty before he deals out
his brand of justice. However, once he condemns a character, he will
see to it that he is destroyed.
Whether a villain or a corrupt or extreme anti-hero, the Aberrant
character looks upon people without honor or a sense of loyalty as
worthless and disgusting lowlifes.
Do not think of the Aberrant character as a misguided good guy. He
or she will break all laws with impunity, harass victims, destroy property, assault, blackmail, torture and murder. Only their methods and degree of violence may vary.
An Aberrant character will …
I. Always keep his word of honor (at least to those he deems worthy of
2. Lie and cheat to those not 1\0rthy of his respect; good. selfish or evil.
3. May or may not kill an unarmed foe.
4. Never kill an innocent particularly a child, hut may harm. harass or
5. Never torture for pleasure. hut will usc it to extract information and
6. Never kill for pleasure. will always have a reason.
7 May or may not help someone in need.
8 Rarely attempt to work within the law.
9. Break the law without hesitation.
10. Have no use for the law or bureaucracy, but respects honor. self·
discipline and the ··concept” of laws and order.
II Work with others to attain his goals.
12. Usually take ”dirty” money. although his twisted code of ethics
may prevent him from doing so in some instances.
13. Never betray a friend. Never.
!’his self-serving, unscrupulous character is out only for himself.
Power, glory, wealth, position, and anything that will make his life
more comfortable or pleasurable is his goal. It doesn’t matter who gets
caught in the middle, as long as he comes out smelling like a rose. The
character will lie, cheat, hurt, and kill anyone to attain his personal
If a Miscreant character becomes a vigilante, mercenary, or bounty
hunter. it will be for some personal reason, a vendetta, money, glory or
a love for danger and challenge. This character is a savage misanthrope
out for himself.
A Miscreant character will …
I. Not necessarily keep his word to anyone.
2. Lie and cheat indiscriminately (good, evil, selfish).
3. Kill an unarmed foe as readily as he would a potential threat or competition.
4. Use or harm an innocent.
5. Usc torture for extracting information and pleasure.
6. May kill fur sheer pleasure.
7. Feel no compulsion to help without some sort of tangible reward for
8. Have no deference to the law, but will work within the law if he
9. Blatantly break the law for his own goals and pleasure.
I0. Dislike and distrust authority and the law.
II. Work with others if it will help him attain his personal goals.
12. Take ·’dirty” money, stolen goods, and illegal items (as well as steal
valuables for himself whenever the opportunity arises).
13. Betray a friend if it serves his needs.
14. Ilave no respect or concern fur the lives or welfare of others.
This is the category that most megalomaniacs. psychopaths, and violent and despicable characters fall into. This is the cruel, brutal killer
who trusts no one and has no value for any life other than his own. A
Diabolic character will crush anyone who gets in his way. The lowlife
will lie, cheat, con, abuse and kill anyone less powerful than he is. Aberrant characters find these dishonorable people more revolting than a
A Diabolic character wi!! …
I. Rarely keep his word, and has no honor.
2. Lie to and cheat anyone.
3. Most certainly attack and kill an unarmed foe.
4. Hurt and kill an innocent without a second thought and for pleasure.
5. Usc torture for pleasure and information, regularly.
6. Kill for sheer pleasure.
7. Be likely to help someone only on a whim (or to set them up for
some evil deed later).
8. Rarely attempt to work within the law.
9. Blatantly break the law and mock authority.
I0. Despise honor, authority and self-discipline. Views them as weaknesses.
II. Not work well within a group; constantly disregarding orders and
vying for power/command.
12. Always take “dirty” money, drugs, stolen goods, etc., as well as
steal from others.
13. Betray a friend without hesitation; after all, you can always find
I4. Associate mostly with other evil alignments.