Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Working Title: proposal: split Character Alignment: From YKTTW

Meta4: Major rewrite on the article text. Below is the old version:

There are times when a hero will come across an ambiguous character. These characters aren't necessarily enemies, but not really friends to the hero, either. Usually these characters have their own ideals, concerns, goals and needs that are usually different from both sides of the fence, so to speak. Given certain circumstances, such a character can be a friend, a foe or neither. In some cases, said neutral characters can become de facto villains due to conflict of interest with the heroes.

"True Neutral", also known as "Neutral Neutral", sometimes means dedication to Neutrality as a principle, rather than simple uncaring. This is best illustrated using a Druid as an example. The Druid is in a forest. To the South are humans, to the North there are Orcs. Neither like the other. The Druid's point of view is that if either side wins, the result will be bad. A way to see a True Neutral Druid is as a keeper of a park. He doesn't want any of the species to disappear, even if they don't get along with each other. Besides, the continuous warring keeps both sides in check. If one loses the other will get too powerful. That would potentially mean problems for the forest as well. So the Druid's task is to side with the weaker side to try to maintain Balance.
Daibhid C:I really question "most Discworld witches". Most Discworld witches seem to be pretty firmly on the side of (Neutral) Good, even if certain notable ones resent it. The handful of exceptions I can think of are Evil (any variety; Black Aliss seems to have been Chaotic, while Lily was clearly Lawful). Given the focus the witch novels put on making choices, I suspect it's possible they can't be Neutral.

Gattsuru: I dunno. Granny repeatedly points out that she's more about choosing what is Right rather than what's nice or good, and a lot of her actions really aren't nice or good. She literally rules through terror, has few problems intentionally killing people, and is more interested in following the abstract rules of magic or honesty than anything . Granny in particular is probably a type 4, or even type 5. She takes the position of the... [[The Hecate Sisters other one]], after all. She's not good. She's the good sister, but that just means she gives people what they deserve or need, rather than what they want. She'll pay back debts to humans or animals, but that's true whether it involves putting out some sugar for bees or ripping a wagon apart in revenge. You can't look at a Good character and honestly say that anyone throwing themselves on her mercy better deserve to bounce. It's repeatedly pointed out that nothing, no laugh of a torturer, not the cackle of Black Aliss, not a cry of a vampire, nothing is as frightening as Granny Weatherwax doing what's right. Magrat and Agnes are more the soppy sort of Neutral Good, and Nanny Ogg is probably as close to chaotic neutral as it gets while having a face like an old apple, though. It seems more a trait for the 'other one'.

Karasu: You've just described someone who is Lawful Neutral: do what the rules say (what is Right) no matter the consequences or circumstances.

Gattsuru: But she doesn't believe in following general rules or orders. Ordering Granny to do something is the only certain way not to get that result. To specifically quote the Lawful Neutral page, "While a Lawful Good character may justify breaking the law of man by appealing to a cosmic Justice that transcends all things, a Lawful Neutral character rarely will.''" Lawful neutral isn't about just having a strong ethical compass, it's about following rules. Granny doesn't even follow her own rules — she has unspoken "except for when I do it" attached to the end of every "impossible" or "you should never" rule. Likewise, you can't call her chaotic because she does have that strong ethical compass and doesn't break the rules for her own entertainment. She can't even be good since that ethical compass doesn't stop her from nearly killing people over a discourtacy.

Daibhid C: When does she do that? She might make people think she does that. I agree she's not nice, but we have an entire trope called Good Is Not Nice. You could say much the same about Sam Vimes, (except he is Lawful): rules through terror ("Mr Vimes will go spare!"), few problems killing (at least, once he's certain in his own mind someone deserves it). In fact, Carrot will kill without a second thought if someone deserves it. Is there anyone on the Disc short of Brutha you would consider Good?
Eric DVH: Antimony a true neutral? She seems almost mawkishly altruistic to me. Every single thing she's done, whether obeying rules or breaking them, was done to look for people (or, uh… things) with problems, try to understand them, and then offer them a helping hand (often with substantial personal risk and resistence at every at every step.) Aside from a few petty things, I can't think of a meaningfully evil act she's done on purpose, she's neutral good at the very least.
Tanto: The quote in the picture is incorrect. It's actually "All I know is my gut says 'Maybe'."

Meta Four: I'm not sure that Jones from Gunnerkrigg Court really belongs here. She's neutral between the Court and the Woods because it's her job, and she criticizes both sides for their failure to follow etiquette at the parley. She strikes me more as Lawful Neutral than True Neutral. \\Later: No objections after nearly a week. I'm moving Jones to Lawful Neutral.
Bob: Moving the Discworld Auditors to Lawful Neutral. They aren't after Balance, they're after Order. And what is more orderly than lifeless rocks floating through space...?
Shockz: I've put Haruhi Suzumiya back on Chaotic Neutral (for reasons stated in that discussion), but wanted to discuss it before removing her from here. The way I understand it, the main difference between True Neutral and Chaotic Neutral is restraint. True Neutral doesn't take sides (or takes both sides equally), but nonetheless has a mental list of Things That Are Not Okay To Do. Chaotic Neutral just does whatever the hell it wants at any given moment. The latter sounds much more like Haruhi to me, as she rarely if ever shows anything resembling restraint (computer blackmail, anyone?). Feel free to provide counterexamples, of course.

Smoke: See Chaotic Neutral discussion, where I answered.
Gattsuru: I don't want to thread mode the main page about Azura from The Elder Scrolls, but she is canonically Not Good. The dev teams have been quite willing to put Word of God out there on the matter.
SenatorJ: I've seen the argument made (can't remember where) that your everyday man on the street is probably True Neutral, on average. They generally don't have strong convictions about needing to do what's "right," but they also usually don't feel comfortable doing "evil" things—unless they can rationalize it somehow. They'll donate to charity, but they won't die for what they believe. They won't kill, but they'd shoot a man who tried to rob them. The idea is the same with the Law/Chaos axis. They generally follow the law, except when they don't want to and don't think they'll be caught. They'll copy that floppy, litter, and run red lights, but they need and want the kind of structure in their lives that a working system of law provides. This doesn't really fall under any of the 8 categories already on the page. They are sort of a type 2 character: they are primarily dedicated to the comfort and survival of themselves and their families.
Hareoic: Bernkastel from Umineko no Naku Koro ni is NOT a true neutral. I know a lot of people haven't played EP 5 or been spoiled for it, but trust me on this: she's definitely neutral evil (That, and she announced herself as Battler's ally in the first game's hidden tea party, breaking the rule about choosing sides).
I removed Shadow from Final Fantasy VI away from True Neutral. Anyone who is willing to kill anyone (innocent or not), let alone their mother for a nickel (the fact that he doesn't enjoy killing people doesn't make him many less evil), sounds more like Neutral Evil.For that reason I'm adding him to the Neutral Evil page - Sovvil