Selfish Good Selfish Evil


(permanent link) added: 2009-11-24 16:09:24 sponsor: fishsicles (last reply: 2009-11-24 16:09:24)

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Some characters are righteous and upstanding human beings who always look out for others. Others are so insane that their very existence distorts the universe around them. And still others just want to watch the world burn. But, there are those select few who don't think that being a moral crusader or a schizophrenic elf who wears potato sacks are good ideas. They only burn the world if it helps them achieve some ulterior objective.

A Selfish Good character appears just as self-righteous and moral as a Lawful Good, Neutral Good, or Chaotic Good character. But their reasons are different: They are one of the good guys, or maybe even The Hero, because of the reputation and prestige it gives them. If everyone thinks you're the infallible hero (or at least one of his friends), will they ever suspect that YOU are the one who plundered all of their worldly possessions? Of course not. This alignment is more closely related to Lawful Neutral than anything Good-based, and with a few Face Heel Turns a Lawful Evil version can be pulled off as well.

Contrast the Knight Templar, where the character does not know that what they are doing is not necessarily 'good'.

A Lawful Selfish character abides by society's rules and regulations, often rising to a position of power, but does so in order to accumulate enough power to make himself the supreme ruler of everything. Can be The Chessmaster.

A Neutral Selfish character has no friends and no enemies. After all, a friend is someone who asks for a discount and an enemy is someone you aren't paid to fight. They're generally Private Military Contractors or plain old Hired Guns, frequently overlapping with Heroic Sociopath.

A Chaotic Selfish character is the one who seems to be totally unpredictable, maybe even insane, but in the end there is a method to his madness. He helps and hinders the protagonists and the villains to help his own agenda, and doesn't even bother with the Face Heel Revolving Door: he just sits on top and leans a bit to either side. Most non-evil Chessmasters and Magnificent Bastards are of this alignment.

A Selfish Evil character may well say "in the land of the blinded, the one-eyed man is king". They push everyone around them, possibly the whole world, down just to lift themselves up.

This overlaps with Mr. Vice Guy, especially in the non-Evil cases. It's All About Me and Pragmatic Villainy can apply to Selfish Evil. The ‹bermensch can run the spectrum of Selfish alignments depending on the position of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism.

Selfish Good

  • Robert Hawkins from Jericho. He's partially responsible for the nuclear weapons, but despite his manipulations he is only trying to rise in the community for his family's sake. Could also be Lawful Selfish.
  • Simon Tam from Firefly is a twist on this subtrope: He's not acting for his own interest, but to protect River. Although, she doesn't really need that much protection... at least not from Reavers!
    • Most of Firefly's characters except Jayne (see below) and maybe Book.
  • Good Cole from In FAMOUS. It's implied that the only reason he's good is so that the entire city isn't trying to kill him.
  • Link of The Legend of Zelda is frequently played as Selfish Good with a chaotic bent.
  • Ciaphas Cain switches between this and Lawful Selfish.
  • Captain Amazing of Mystery Men is responsible for Casanova Frankenstein's release to keep his backers happy, despite being the city's only Big Good.

Lawful Selfish

Neutral Selfish:

  • Lyranna from Beastmaster II might count
    Jackie: "Aren't you on Arklon's side?"
    Lyranna: "I'm on my own side"

Neutral Selfish

  • Firefly's Jayne Cobb, most assuredly.
  • The player in Fable... only NS because there's no accurate prediction of player behavior. Can be many Selfishs.

Chaotic Selfish

Selfish Evil

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