I am going to hop on the bandwagon and throw my two cents worth at the alignment question asked over at Tenkar’s Tavern. It should be obvious to anyone who has read this blog over the years that alignment is an important part of the game to me, since I have spilt so much digital ink on the subject; however, I am not going to re-tread over that ground. Rather, I’d like to spend some time with the phrases, “Lawful Stupid” and “Chaotic Selfish.”
As a player and as a GM/Referee/DM/whatever I love “Lawful Stupid” characters and I find “Chaotic Selfish” characters to be utterly boring. It is much more challenging as a player to bring a Lawful Stupid character to life in a meaningful way. The choices they make and the reasons they make them are often alien to even to my own predilections. As such, they push me as a player — especially if I want this Lawful Stupid character to find a way to survive holding the bridge from a small army of goblins as the party gets away with the prisoners we’ve just rescued. That is fun to me — finding that creative balance between fulfilling the Lawful Stupid role and finding a way to accomplish some of the primary goals of the typical player — survive, get enough treasure to level up, etc.
Just going around a world being chaotically selfish is neither challenging nor particularly very fun. From a player POV, it is so easy to do and I’ve done it so many times that I am not really interested anymore.
From the perspective of a GM/Referee/DM/whatever, my favorite aspect of the game is seeing how my worlds interact with player action. Lawful Stupid characters are the ones most likely to have the greatest impact — even in death. Think about how many Lawful Stupid people the world lionizes verses the billions of Chaotic Selfish people that we bump into every day. My worlds evolve and become living things when Lawful Stupid characters do their thing — most especially when they are creative about it. All Chaotic Selfish characters do is allow the status quo to be the status quo.
1 day ago