[-[[caption-width-right:250:What it ultimately boils down to. In theory. But since it's so much fun to argue...]]-]

Character Alignment is a shorthand for a given character's (or religion's, society's, organization's, etc.) moral/ethical outlook on [[Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy life, the universe and everything]]. Many roleplaying games use some sort of alignment system as a KarmaMeter, an "ideal" for a character to live up to, or just a descriptive shorthand for characters, though some gamers deride them as crutches to "real roleplaying," and some systems accordingly have none at all.

'''Always remember that the vast majority of characters in fiction are not tabletop game characters, and therefore lack a canonical interpretation of alignment by the standards below.''' Characters should only be categorized under them when their alignments are clearly and explicitly stated in canon. As both the standards and especially character personalities are vague, complicated to interpret, and subject to change with CharacterDevelopment, thus leading to endless debate, the assignment of alignments to characters not stated to have them is considered strictly subjective.

The alignment system most roleplayers are familiar with is the one used in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', which has appeared in a couple of different forms:

The original editions of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' drew on the works of Creator/PoulAnderson and Creator/MichaelMoorcock to come up with three alignments: [[OrderVersusChaos Lawful, Neutral, and Chaotic]], with Lawful representing honor and obedience to, well, [[ShapedLikeItself law]]. Chaotic characters may be insane, but could simply lean towards a desire for the freedom to do what they want. Whether they do good or evil because of this freedom is what decides their moral leaning. Neutrality alternatively represents neither one (as was the case with animals and people who simply didn't care) or a desire to see "[[BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil balance]]" between the two. Later editions kept this as the "ethical" axis of the alignment scale and added a second "moral" axis of Good, Neutral, and Evil.

The ethical axis was more one's attitude towards the position of society and rules: Lawful characters think having an ordered society is important and beneficial; Chaotic characters don't necessarily oppose this, but think the freedom of the individual comes first; Neutral characters tend to judge such situations on a case-by-case basis. If a law was unjust, a lawful person might think it needs retooling, or say that it prevents more problems than it causes. A neutral person might see the need for such a law, but would still think it should be scrapped and redone from scratch. A chaotic person would probably just break it.

This is sometimes lumped in with two different attitudes: whether the character in question believes that the universe as a whole is orderly, and how the character conducts his life (with plans or flying by the seat of his pants). This can produce considerable confusion, as the three levels can exist in any combination.

The "moral" axis can be adequately explained by the ''focus'' of those morals: Good people generally focus on ''you'' (they feel that they should help everyone else when possible). Neutrals are usually focused on ''us'', meaning their family and friends (they can be charitable, but their "circle" always comes first), though they can display elements of ''me'' (in that they tend to look out for themselves and are uninterested in the affairs of others (though they'll still balk at outright harming others)). Evil people are generally ''me'' focused (often at the expense of other's misfortune). However, like good, evils can also focus on ''you'' (but instead of aid and kindness, when those who are evil-aligned focus on others, it is with an emphasis on destruction and suffering).

'''Combining the two axes allowed characters to be of nine possible alignments, as follows:'''


* '''[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Lawful Good ]]
:''' Basically, they believe Law is Good, and that you do good by upholding the law. The alignment of TheCape, [[ThePaladin Paladins]], and the KnightInShiningArmor. Believes in Truth, Justice and such, but may potentially believe in them a little [[WideEyedIdealist too much]]. Commonly run into the question of whether ToBeLawfulOrGood. Poorly portrayed, he tends to be LawfulStupid, largely depending on your interpretation of "good". Individuals who believe that RousseauWasRight will tend to view society as tending towards LawfulGood, with most individuals within it as lawful or NeutralGood. In ''D&D'' {{canon}} up to 4.0 edition, archons, celestials who inhabit the Seven Heavens, are Lawful Good. From a non-''D&D'', more realistic perspective, however, [=LGs=] are likely altruists who believe in an orderly lifestyle for the benefit of their species. Lawful good is the best alignment you can be because it combines honor and compassion, but it can be a dangerous alignment when it restricts freedom and criminalizes self-interest.

* '''[[/folder]]

[[folder: Neutral Good ]]
:''' Sweetness and light. Doing good is more important than upholding the law, but law is not a bad thing. Not too caught up in OrderVersusChaos; concerned with moral goodness, but often not willing to enforce it in others. A MessianicArchetype is very likely to be NeutralGood. Just think "basically nice person" and you've probably got it. (For advanced learners, there's GoodIsNotNice.) NeutralGood states may be [[{{Utopia}} really nice places to live]], but depending on how idealistic or cynical the setting is, they may be deluding themselves. The guardinal celestials of ''D&D'', [[FunnyAnimal beastlike creatures]] who inhabit Elysium, are Neutral Good. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order, but it can be a dangerous alignment when it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.

* '''[[/folder]]

[[folder: Chaotic Good ]]
:''' [[RebelliousSpirit Rebels]] and [[WildCard free spirits]] who are stereotypically found opposing tyrants and other oppressive types. They tend to believe that things like order, discipline, and [[HonorBeforeReason honor]] can get in the way of doing good. Thanks to their free-spirited, easily bored nature, if the local government isn't considered sufficiently oppressive, they might just go out and find one that is. Or they may believe too much order is bad for ''everyone''. Whatever their stance is, they act on their ideals before they let laws get in the way, and sometimes they ''dare'' the laws to get in the way. Basically, think RobinHood or Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog -- a guy who lives for freedom and adventure, but consistently lends a helping hand to the downtrodden and oppressed whenever the opportunity arises, even if he has to go well out of his way to do so. Whether ChaoticGood characters are portrayed as BigDamnHeroes, [[WideEyedIdealist too damn idealistic]], [[ManicPixieDreamGirl manic pixie dream people]], or [[NiceJobBreakingItHero just a damn problem]] depends on the views of the author and, ultimately, readers. Represented in pre-4th Edition ''D&D'' by the elf- and fey-like eladrin celestials of Arborea. Chaotic good is the best alignment you can be because it combines a good heart with a free spirit, but it can be a dangerous alignment when it disrupts the order of society and punishes those who do well for themselves.

* '''[[/folder]]

[[folder: Lawful Neutral ]]
:''' The rule-abiding sort. Law and order is more important than whether you're good or evil. Believes in keeping order, though not necessarily in Justice as a universal constant (though they may -- this can get complicated). They'll arrest a robber or rapist, but may also kick a family out of their home for failing to pay rent, even if they were poor. May also believe in a Cosmic Order that transcends laws -- many monks are LawfulNeutral. Just as often the bad guys as the good guys in an OrderVersusChaos situation. People who think HobbesWasRight will argue that all societies tend towards LawfulNeutral, as the Always ChaoticNeutral individuals who make up society surrender their freedom to the law in exchange [[EnemyMine for protection from other Chaotic Neutral individuals]]. Modrons, ''D&D'' beings of geometrically perfect precision and order who inhabit the plane of Mechanus, are Lawful Neutral. Mercenaries who obey their contracts without question, and take either side of the moral spectrum, are LawfulNeutral. TheStoic can make a good LawfulNeutral. Probably the best known example of this alignment is InspectorJavert from ''Literature/LesMiserables'' (who basically sees "lawful" as the same as "good"). Lawful neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you are reliable and honorable without being a zealot, but it can be a dangerous alignment when it seeks to eliminate all freedom, choice, and diversity in society.

* '''[[/folder]]

[[folder: True Neutral ]]
:''' Sometimes known as just ''Neutral'', or even ''[[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment Neutral Neutral]]''. Comes in two flavors: [[BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil Keeping the Balance]] and [[BystanderSyndrome Just Doesn't Care.]] Druids are [[{{Canon}} canonically]] the former sort, on the same side as the animals. The balance-happy sort may sometimes be [[TheDitz characters just too dumb to know the difference]], but may also be a WildCard. It's not uncommon to see TrueNeutral monks, for instance; not to mention [[{{Muggles}} ordinary folks who just want to be left alone]]. Many a PunchClockVillain fits under this alignment. Your average citizen of Libria (in ''Film/{{Equilibrium}}'') is an example of the "Just Doesn't Care" version of neutrality, without necessarily being ''stupid'' -- the government would probably be LawfulEvil. Druids in ''D&D'' were required to be TrueNeutral until the 3rd Edition of the game, and even then had to maintain "some of nature's neutrality". Mordenkainen, from the ''TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}}'' setting, a very powerful wizard who actively tries to keep any major power from getting the upper hand, is an example of the "Balance Keeping" version. Animals, meanwhile, are considered to lack any sort of moral capacity; since moral judgments can't be placed on them, they are [[{{Canon}} canonically]] TrueNeutral in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''. Rilmani, metallic-skinned humanoids from the Outlands, are the True Neutral archetype, maintaining the balance between all the other planes. If True Neutrals include the kind with a head for things, then they most likely typically do not care for idealist virtues and/or politics. Intelligent true neutrals are quite logical in how they go about things, including morals. Employers fire and hire employees in equal measure, etc. Neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you act naturally, without prejudice or compulsion, but it can be a dangerous alignment when it represents apathy, indifference, and a lack of conviction.

* '''[[/folder]]

[[folder: Chaotic Neutral ]]
:''' The ultimate free spirits, or just [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} lunatics]]? It can go either way. Chaotic Neutral characters are all about freedom, and don't care so much about morality. Sometimes they're just amoral nutjobs, and sometimes they're generally good people with a wild streak that sometimes leads them into bad things. Often used by players in TabletopGames to excuse doing anything they feel like (in the case of a GameMaster who disables evil alignments -- see NeutralEvil, below), and often prohibited by the sort of GameMaster who also prohibits outright evil characters. Like Lawful Neutral, however, how "good" they ultimately end up seeming depends on which side of OrderVersusChaos the plot tends toward. The toadlike slaad ("I didn't know what he was talking about, so I ate him."), inhabitants of Limbo, are Chaotic Neutral. Chaotic neutral is the best alignment you can be because it represents true freedom from both society's restrictions and a do-gooder's zeal, but it can be a dangerous alignment when it seeks to eliminate all authority, harmony, and order in society.

* '''[[/folder]]

[[folder: Lawful Evil ]]
:''' The ordered sort of Evil, that often ends up in charge. Can be a lot like Lawful Neutral, but ''nastier''. Well-structured, large-scale and often scarily successful evil. May believe in keeping order ''[[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans at all costs]]'', or may simply believe that a well-ordered system is ''so'' much [[AmoralAttorney easier to exploit]]. Whether an ObstructiveBureaucrat is Lawful Evil or Lawful Neutral is basically a function of whether he ''enjoys'' what he's doing (see above example of kicking the family out of the house). {{Knight Templar}}s are almost always this alignment. If GodIsEvil, he's almost always Lawful Evil. On the "bright" side, the WorthyOpponent and NobleDemon are often Lawful Evil (if they're evil at all), as they tend to develop a "Code of Honor" to guide their actions, and can in fact be dependable allies in an EnemyMine situation where other alignments might fizzle out. In circumstances where you are not a threat to their intentions, Lawful Evil might well be the "lesser of the three evils", but on the other hand, it's the one most likely to win and the one that most frequently causes suffering on a grand scale. [[BigBad BB]][[EvilGenius EGs]] in general tend towards Lawful Evil -- mostly since they plan to construct their very own empire that you'd better fall in line with -- as do many {{Magnificent Bastard}}s. A mercenary who always keeps his contract (good or evil), but enjoys a job where he gets to hurt people, is Lawful Evil and more likely to end up working for the bad guys. The baatezu (devils) of ''D&D'' rule the plane of Baator with a Lawful Evil fist, and some of these were originally KnightTemplar angels. As a good reference point, Big Brother (or [[spoiler:O'Brien]]) from ''1984'' would be Lawful Evil. Lawful evil creatures consider their alignment to be the best because it combines honor with a dedicated self-interest, but it is also the most difficult to fight evil alignment because it represents methodical, intentional, and frequently successful evil.

* '''[[/folder]]

[[folder: Neutral Evil ]]
:''' Sometimes known as the Asshole Alignment. The Neutral Evil Alignment can be even more dangerous than the Chaotic Evil Alignment -- simply because you can't be sure of which way they'll swing in the end. Neutral Evil characters are primarily in it for themselves, because while they are usually villains, they can also swing to the good guy's side, like the MagnificentBastard they really are. They may also just happen to be on the Good Guy's Team [[EnemyMine because it's better for them at the moment]]. Why are they so bad? It could be that EvilTastesGood or maybe EvilFeelsGood. Could be that they've given in to TheDarkSide. They could be part of the ReligionOfEvil. They could just be, you know, [[TheSociopath sociopaths]]. They could take [[ItsAllAboutMe looking out for number one]] way too far. Or it could be for no readily apparent reason whatsoever. They can be the very embodiment of malice, or just petty thugs. In ''Dungeons & Dragons'', characters who are selfish above all else are Neutral Evil by default. Expect any Neutral Evil state to be {{Mordor}}, and a Neutral Evil city the WretchedHive. The double-dealing, backstabbing, gleefully evil and mercenary fiends called yugoloths (daemons), living in the Bleak Eternity of Gehenna, are ''D&D''[='s=] archetypal NeutralEvil beings. Neutral evil beings consider their alignment to be the best because they can advance themselves without regard for others, but it is also the most dangerous alignment because it represents pure evil without honor and without variation, being able to walk on the sides of both order and chaos as necessary.

* '''[[/folder]]

[[folder: Chaotic Evil ]]
:''' If Chaotic Neutral indicates the truly free spirit, Chaotic Evil is the truly ''evil'' free spirit. Whereas the Chaotic Neutral is concerned only with his freedom but isn't a really horrible person, the same can't be said for the Chaotic Evil character. They will do whatever they want to (even if, and sometimes, especially, it hurts other people) and (to them) rules don't matter. Whereas a Neutral Evil character will sometimes follow the law if it is convenient, the Chaotic Evil character occasionally takes pleasure in going out of their way to break the law. So why are they evil? Perhaps they're in it for profit. Maybe they are narcissistic or egotistical. Or maybe they're simply insane; most but not all psychopaths fall under this designation. But contrary to what some believe, Chaotic Evil does not mean the kind of wanton, meaningless slaughter and destruction associated with StupidEvil. Indeed, it is often the more calculating and intelligent villains of this kind that are the most dangerous. Being Chaotic Evil doesn't mean a character HAS to slaughter an entire village just because he's passing through. Of course, if he's having a bad day, or is bored, he might just jam a knife in somebody ForTheEvulz. {{Serial Killer}}s are good examples of Chaotic Evil. It's the canonical alignment of tanar'ri (demons), beings who were created in and by an endless semisentient Abyss that itself is dedicated to entropy, in ''D&D''. For a great example of how Chaotic Evil can be done well and not be ChaoticStupid, see [[ComicBook/TheJoker the Joker]]. Chaotic evil beings believe their alignment is the best because it combines self-interest and pure freedom, but it is also the most terrifying alignment because it represents the destruction not only of beauty and life but also of the order on which beauty and life depend.

It helps to think of it as a 3x3 square with the moral and ethical axes on each side, and all the possible alignments surrounding TrueNeutral, like so:

||align=center border=1 width=75%
|| '''''Alignment Chart''''' || OrderVersusChaos ||||||
|| '''Ethical''' || ''Lawful'' || ''Neutral'' || ''Chaotic'' ||
|| '''Good''' || [[color:blue:Lawful Good]] || [[color:fuchsia:Neutral Good]] || [[color:orange:Chaotic Good]] ||
|| '''Neutral''' || [[color:green:Lawful Neutral]] || [[color:navy:True Neutral]] || [[color:gray:Chaotic Neutral]] ||
|| '''Evil''' || [[color:maroon:Lawful Evil]] || [[color:purple:Neutral Evil]] || [[color:red:Chaotic Evil]] ||

The alignment any particular character falls under is mostly a matter of opinion in works other than TabletopGames, where it's usually spelled out (and even then, fans are likely to spill a lot of words about how [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation the creator got the character's alignment wrong]]). It's also generally only ''important'' in TabletopGames, but that doesn't stop RPG fans from discussing what alignment characters in every other work they like would be -- just for fun, try Googling '[[ThePunisher Punisher]] alignment', or better yet, Google Site Search it on an RPG-oriented forum. This is why most of the above statements about which alignment a character "probably" is are qualified (and, incidentally, why none of the examples is ThePunisher). There will ''always'' be a [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation counter-interpretation.]]

This is the concept that gives LawfulStupidChaoticStupid, StupidGood, StupidEvil, StupidNeutral, AlwaysLawfulGood and AlwaysChaoticEvil their names. Expect a setting that explicitly uses alignment to make frequent use of OrderVersusChaos and BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil type plots. The KarmaMeter is a way for video games to represent this. Working out a specific character's alignment is subject to AlternateCharacterInterpretation, ValuesDissonance, and let's not forget mountains of FanDumb. Arguments about what the alignments ''themselves'' mean often get into the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism.

As the quote for LawfulStupidChaoticStupid shows, the alignment system was and is meant to be a roleplaying tool (every [=DnD=] manual from 2E on mentions this fact). Most players of any TTRPG involving one tend to ignore this, and either ignore their alignment or treat it as a character shackle. This truth in and of itself is the reason so many {{subtrope}}s (and arguments) based on this concept exist.

If someone is having difficulty depicting a character of a particular alignment ''because'' of the alignment, or in imagining how to do so sensibly, it's probably because they're putting the cart before the horse. Alignment isn't personality and doesn't determine it. Personality determines alignment. You should first come up with the personality and see how the character functions based on it, and ''then'' see which alignment it fits. For example, instead of presenting ChaoticEvil as doing random evil acts for no reason, you might come up with a character who thinks the only way to get by is to dominate everyone else by using physical violence, and is willing to apply this method at the least provocation, lest he seem "weak", not caring that he hurts others -- and then realise his behaviour and attitude amount to a kind of Chaotic Evil, this time with a reason.

A [[MemeticMutation meme]] on [[Website/FourChan a certain imageboard]] is creating motivational posters of various characters from fiction and real life with a caption explaining their alignment. The ultimate example being a 3x3 grid showing every alignment with varying pictures and captions, [[http://writingiseasier.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/batman-alignment-chart.jpg but]] [[DependingOnTheWriter the same subject]]: Franchise/{{Batman}}.

As with all good concepts, it's very ripe for parody -- there are such motivational posters of [[UnconventionalAlignment alignments]] including "Chaotic Awesome" (for [[WesternAnimation/SouthPark Cartman]]) and "Chaotic Gorgeous" (Evanna Lynch's portrayal of [[Film/HarryPotter Luna Lovegood]]).

[[http://easydamus.com/alignment.html This website]] is also quite helpful in explaining the concept of Character Alignment, and has further info on the nine different alignments.

As a general rule, do not add Character Alignment to any work where it is not featured in {{canon}}. Administrivia/TheGreatCharacterAlignmentDebate explains this in more detail.

See also UnconventionalAlignment, LawfulStupidChaoticStupid, StupidGood, StupidEvil, StupidNeutral, AlwaysLawfulGood, AlwaysChaoticEvil, and GoodAndEvilForYourConvenience. The MirrorMoralityMachine will invert any alignment... except for TrueNeutral; the opposite of zero is still zero.

Due to the controversial nature of this trope, and not to mention, it's considered shoe-horning to categorize people with these kind of tropes, '''[[Administrivia/NoRealLifeExamplesPlease there will be no real life examples under these circumstances]], since it invites an Administrivia/EditWar.''' The one exception is outlines of actual RealLife proposed systems (such as the [[FourTemperamentEnsemble four humors]] theory).

'''Examples of Works/Settings With Explicit Character Alignment:'''


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* See the Franchise/{{Batman}} example in the article description.
* In the fifth issue of the ''ComicBook/AdventureTime'' comic, an alignment chart is given for the odd variants of the main characters in Adventure Time's world. Assuming they translate to the main versions, they are: Lawful Good - Princess Bubblegum, Neutral Good - Finn, Chaotic Good - Jake, Lawful Neutral - Lemongrab, True Neutral - Tree Trunks, Chaotic Neutral - Marceline, Neutral Evil - Ice King, and Chaotic Evil - The Lich. The vacant Lawful Evil space is taken by one-shot villain Me-Mow.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''[[Film/TheGamers The Gamers: Dorkness Rising]]'' features a character who claims to be ChaoticNeutral, but [[SociopathicHero whose actions]] lead others to believe that she is evil. The joke is that this is how most people play ChaoticNeutral.

* In ''Literature/IClaudius'', Claudius refers to different character types: virtuous men or scoundrels, stony hearts or golden hearts. He gives example of [[IncorruptiblePurePureness virtuous men with golden hearts]] (his old teacher), [[GoodIsNotNice virtuous men with stony hearts]] (Cato), [[JerkWithAHeartOfJerk scoundrels with stony hearts]] (one of Caligula's henchmen), and [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold scoundrels with golden hearts]] (Herod Agrippa).

* The UsefulNotes/McDonalds [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/mcdonalds-alignment-chart Alignment Chart meme]]. It has only three alignments that are determined by how the character reacts when they are driving a car full of children yelling "MCDONALDS! MCDONALDS! MCDONALDS!"
** [[LawfulNeutral "We have food at home"]]
** [[ChaoticEvil *Pulls into the drive through as children cheer* *Orders a single black coffee and leaves*]]

* Aristotle's philosophy posits that every personal quality is an axis of a person's moral alignment, and the ideal/virtuous path is somewhere on the middle of each axis, called the golden mean or middle way depending on your translation. For instance, if courage is a virtue, it's actually a scale where going to high results in [[FearlessFool recklessness]], and going too low results in [[DirtyCoward cowardice]].
** Some Buddhist religious philosophies express the eight-fold path in much the same way.
* The theory of the four humours is that every person's being is composed of various amounts of four fundamental elements added together, usually with one dominating. Hippocrates actually expanded the theory to medicine and the idea that this applied to the physical body as well as the mind lasted well into the middle ages:
** Sanguine - active, extroverted, energetic
** Choleric - irritable, curt, thoughtless
** Phlegmatic - relaxed, passive, low-energy
** Melancholic - introverted, brooding, thoughtful

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* ProfessionalWrestling has a bit of an implied alignment system, with all wrestlers being divided into {{Face}}, {{Heel}}, or [[WildCard Tweener]], though this generally isn't acknowledged in {{Kayfabe}} -- except in Mexican lucha libre promotions in the vein of [[Wrestling/{{CMLL}} EMLL]], some other Spanish regions such as The Dominican Wrestling Federation and lucha-inspired promotions like Wrestling/{{CHIKARA}}, where wrestlers are openly referred to as either "[[{{Face}} Tecnicos]]" or "[[{{Heel}} Rudos]]". Look for media based on North American wrestling not rooted in lucha culture, such as video games, to use euphemisms to refer to this system (such as "Fan Favorite" for Face and "Rule Breaker" for Heel). When a D20 game was released under [[Videogame/WWEVideogames WWE's licensing]], the alignments were actually Face, Tweener, and Heel. Later games have "Clean" and "Dirty"; apparently no real "tweeners".
* IWRG spells out the difference between tecnicos and rudos [[http://www.iwrg.com.mx/ right on its homepage.]]
* For the first two years of Wrestling/RingOfHonor's existence, the {{code|ofhonor}} was law and almost every wrestler followed it to some extent, unless they were specifically trying to make a statement or [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope had gone off the deep end]]. It was retired when enforcement became impractical but returned as an optional suggestion used to assess members of the locker room more than anything else.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** Not only did they come up with the best-known alignment system, but a number of their settings feature gods of different alignments competing for power. Many spells and items will only function on/for characters of a given alignment (moral, ethical, or both). In most settings, a god will accept clerics only of alignments no more than one "step" removed from its own (for example, a Lawful Neutral god, unless otherwise specified, would accept a Lawful Good or Lawful Evil cleric (to complicate matters, there is normally a rule that states that Clerics can only be True Neutral if their god is), but wouldn't accept a Chaotic Neutral cleric), though their lay worshipers can be of any alignment.
** In earlier editions of the game, only player characters were able to freely choose their alignment; monsters (that is, any non-human or demihuman creature) were born with their specific alignment and could never change. This was due to the influence of the Outer Planes (which were arranged precisely according to the alignment axis) and the gods of the campaign. A goblin, for example, was born evil, and no amount of counseling would ever change it (though magic might). The fact all creatures (including [=PCs=]) had invisible "alignment auras" that could be "read" was proof of this. The reason for this was so that good-aligned characters [[{{WhatMeasureIsAMook}} would be justified in killing or stealing from most monsters]]. There were, however, occasional variations -- you might meet the rare non-evil goblin, for example, but it would be the result of crossbreeding, magic, etc. -- never willing change.
** If the many, many conversations on alignment on various boards (oddly only rarely becoming flame wars) are any indication, the rules for alignment are vague. It really doesn't help that the writers don't seem that constant, one iconic character is lawful because they are devoted to something, but another iconic is chaotic because they are devoted to their art.
** ''Planescape'' introduces intermediate alignments between extremes and classifies them as tendencies. For example, you can have Good-leaning Chaotic Neutral, or a Chaotic-leaning Neutral Good, instead of just Chaotic Good. This seems to make classification of characters who are not exactly in one alignment or another much easier.
*** This far predated Planescape, with various Outer Planes in the 1st Edition Player's Handbook shading into each others' alignments, with, for example, The Nine Hells being described as the plane of "absolute Lawful Evil" while the planes of Acheron and Gehenna on either side being planes of "Lawful Evil Neutrals," the former being essentially "Lawful Lawful Evil" and the latter being "Lawful Evil Evil." Only the Outer Planes along the central axes were of absolute alignment, with the intermediate planes between them having varying degrees of appropriate blending. This even extended into [=NPCs=] being described with alignment "tendencies" such as Chaotic Neutral (Good.)
** Another bit of evidence that suggests that alignment was originally intended to be more "tangible" was the concept of alignment languages. Yes, [[DorkAge alignment languages]]. If you were, say, LawfulGood, then you had the option of learning to speak the official Lawful Good language ''(tm)''. Presumably, you were then issued your LG decoder ring and membership card that gave you access to the Lambda Gamma frat house where there is absolutely no underage drinking and a strict curfew. Hey, if you wanted a party house, you should've pledged [[ChaoticEvil Chi Epsilon]], which has the most [[TotallyRadical bodacious]] keggers, but you'll probably have trouble getting your roommate to pick up his socks!
*** The Alignment Languages weren't quite as silly as they seem, with the Alignments being more akin to belonging to secret societies devoted to particular philosophies/religions (such as the Cynics or Pythagorians in Ancient Greece) that taught you the appropriate code words and phrases than real, living languages. For example, they were described in the 1st Edition Dungeon Master's Guide as being useful for such things as conducting philosophical discussions appropriate to the alignment, or identifying impostors (which was why Assassins were able to learn Alignment Languages other than their own) but being pretty useless for, say, buying a loaf of bread at the local market.
** The ''D&D'' 3rd edition sourcebook ''Complete Scoundrel'' (which includes options and prestige classes for playing a TricksterArchetype or GuileHero) lists several characters as examples of "scoundrels" of different alignments.
*** LawfulGood: Franchise/{{Batman}}, Dick Tracy, and Franchise/IndianaJones.
*** NeutralGood: [[Film/TheLegendOfZorro Zorro]] and ComicBook/SpiderMan.
*** ChaoticGood: Starbuck (from ''Series/BattlestarGalactica''), Malcolm Reynolds (from ''Series/{{Firefly}}''), and RobinHood.
*** LawfulNeutral: Film/JamesBond, [[Literature/TheOdyssey Odysseus]], and Sanjuro.
*** TrueNeutral: [[Franchise/TombRaider Lara Croft]], Lucy Westenra (from ''Literature/{{Dracula}}''), and [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Han Solo]] (in his early ''Franchise/StarWars'' appearance).
*** ChaoticNeutral: [[Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean Captain Jack Sparrow]], Al Swearengen (from the TV series ''Deadwood''), and Snake Plissken (from ''Film/EscapeFromNewYork'').
*** LawfulEvil: Boba Fett (of ''Franchise/StarWars'') and ComicBook/{{Magneto}}.
*** NeutralEvil: Mystique (from ''ComicBook/XMen'') and Sawyer (of the early seasons of ''Series/{{Lost}}'').
*** ChaoticEvil: Carl Denham (from ''Film/KingKong2005'') and Riddick (from ''Film/PitchBlack'').
* 4th Edition ''D&D'':
** Interestingly enough, 4.0 did away with the nine-point axis, and replaced it with an alignment line of five alignments: LawfulGood, Good, Unaligned, Evil, and ChaoticEvil. NeutralGood and (some of) ChaoticGood were changed to just Good; NeutralEvil and LawfulEvil become just Evil; LawfulNeutral, TrueNeutral, ChaoticNeutral, and (some of) ChaoticGood no longer exist and are replaced by the nondescript "Unaligned". This was most likely done to simplify and clarify the alignment system, but, [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks well...]]
** ''D&D''[='s=] original alignment system was [[OrderVersusChaos Lawful, Neutral, and Chaotic]]. Lawful generally got equated to good and Chaotic with evil (though the rules and retroclones such as ''Swords and Wizardry'' make it clear that this does not have to be the case), but good examples of Chaotics like the unicorn and such may have been the impetus for creating the two-axis system we know and love today.
*** ChaoticGood was always something of an odd alignment out; in play, unless you were very serious about OrderVersusChaos distinctions, it either became "NeutralGood but more suspicious of the law" or "Kindhearted/Heroic ChaoticNeutral".
*** ChaoticEvil was always the [[CrushKillDestroy "Kill, Crush, Burn"]] evil alignment, as opposed to "Whatever benefits me" of the other branches of Evil.
*** And LawfulGood was similarly distinct from the other branches of Good. Short version: LG had specific prescriptions for "what is Good" built right into it, unlike the others, and was [[ToBeLawfulOrGood more of a balancing act]].
** LawfulGood and ChaoticEvil are not just Administrivia/TheSameButMore of Good and Evil, respectively; they represent completely different approaches to behavior.
*** ChaoticEvil is [[ForTheEvulz evil for the sake of evil]], and typically found in the kinds of monsters who [[OmnicidalManiac want to destroy the world]] or [[SuicidalCosmicTemperTantrum don't care what happens to anything or everything else if they can't get their way]]. Chaotic Evil is the evil of madness and oblivion, the kind of evil that wants to just destroy everything for no other reason than because it can.
*** Evil is more pragmatic and practical. It is the evil of banality, tyranny, slavery -- in other words, evil for a specific purpose. An Evil creature will destroy a kingdom to claim its territory for itself or to enslave its populace or any other purpose; a Chaotic Evil creature will destroy a kingdom just because it's a convenient target. This means that Evil creatures typically [[EvenEvilHasStandards despise and/or want to get rid of]] Chaotic Evil creatures.
*** Good is, obviously, good; concerned with freedom, liberty, all that other such stuff. They do not specifically associate good with government and are, in fact, very quick to consider toppling corrupt regimes or recognizing when evil is InherentInTheSystem.
*** Lawful Good, meanwhile, considers order and good to go hand in hand; a person must be free, but there must also be law and authority, and without a governing force working for the good of others, there cannot truly be good. As the player's guide explains, a Lawful Good character confronted with a corrupt government would much rather infiltrate it and work to bring about reform from inside than topple it and leave the people it rules "defenseless in anarchy".
*** Unaligned characters simply don't care about Good or Evil; their focus is on getting on with their daily lives, meaning they can be cruel or kind as they choose, but they don't devote themselves specifically to doing evil deeds or championing good. Your average Joe is Unaligned, but so would be a PunchClockVillain or an adventurer whose motive is purely selfish -- a character who only wants to stop the EvilEmpire because their home will be levelled if they succeed and doesn't care about anyone else losing their homes, for example.
* 5th Edition ''D&D'':
** 5E returns to its roots and gives us the original nine-point axis, but adds a tenth one from 4E, Unaligned.
*** Unaligned was narrowed to only include nonsapient entities such as animals and constructs.
* Both ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'' and ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'': Neither have nearly as explicit a system as ''Dungeons & Dragons'', but still has a [[KarmaMeter stat representing how "moral" each character is]]. This is called by a lot of different names, based on which edition and gameline you're playing, but it's generally a scale of "bestial monstrosity" (0) to "saint." (10) New World of Darkness characters also pick one each of seven virtues and seven vices, which add additional depth. A character who chooses, say, Justice and Wrath will be very different from somebody who chooses Faith and Pride.
** The second edition of the ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'' introduced an updated system with ''The God-Machine Chronicle''. "Integrity" replaces Morality and the only thing that's universal are modifiers, like when protecting a loved one or acting against a vice. These are then applied to character specific "Breaking Points" that resemble a psychological TraumaCongaLine, rather than medieval ethics.
** The karma meters are sometimes [[BlueAndOrangeMorality intentionally incompatible]] or variant across different splats, and may in various cases either be added to the human morality meter as an additional list of requirements (''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening''[='=]s wisdom), displace the old morality with a new, strange morality with entirely different requirements (''Werewolf''[='=]as system notably is fine with murder and theft but heavily penalizes disrespect and hunting sentients for food specifically), or in the hands of a particularly cruel storyteller added to the character as a second, orthogonal meter similar to D and D's order-law grid, requiring the player to track both how good a monster he is and how good a human he is to determine the balance between the two.
* ''TabletopGame/D20Modern'', which is built on the same system that ''Dungeons & Dragons'' uses, has allegiances. These can be to Ethical (law or chaos) or moral (good or evil) systems, but can also be to other things such as religious beliefs, political views, or organizations. The ''Urban Arcana'' campaign setting converts alignment to allegiances for AlwaysChaoticEvil creatures from ''D&D''... and in the process enforced it to Always Evil levels even for one race that ''weren't''[[labelnote:Explanation]]The fiend-descended tieflings in D&D at the time were ''usually'' evil, so an adventuring tiefling of non-evil alignment would be nothing really strange, but Urban Arcana instead demanded that tieflings ''had'' to begin play with an allegiance to Evil -- several other usually evil races got off lighter by only having it demanded they begin play with an allegiance to Evil, Chaos, or both.[[/labelnote]].
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} Powers'' allows for "Moral" powers of the types Lawful, Chaotic, Good, and Evil. For the most part, however, TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} as a rule tends to avoid "alignments" as such, and instead represents character traits through the use of Disadvantages.
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} Thaumatology'' also explores the concept of "ethical magic", and offers spells related to such "ethics" such as Good, Evil, Law, Chaos, or even any other concept a GM might add to a campaign setting.
* ''TabletopGame/TheWitcherGameOfImagination'' completely ignores traditional alignments and the way how they are organised. Instead, there is an Honor[=/=]Reputation[=/=]Adventure triangle in which players must put their characters, giving each element different level of emphasis (so they have always gradual importance for the character, never equal). They are treated more as a compass for the players and a way to judge their actions by the story-teller than any actual mechanics.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} Fantasy Roleplay'' had five alignments: Lawful, Good, Neutral, Evil and Chaotic.
** Chaotic is essentially ''inhuman'' evil. A human who has slid all the way down here has looked at their humanity and said "Nah, I'd rather have X (strength, power, glory, immortality, evil ForTheEvulz) instead". This may or may not involve [[DealWithTheDevil selling your soul to the Ruinous Powers of Chaos]], who are the prime antagonist in this game and looking to cause TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt.
** Evil is human evil. Evil characters are usually willing to lie, cheat, and steal with abandon, and think empathy [[IsItSomethingYouEat is something you eat]], [[EvenEvilHasStandards but still have lines they will not cross]], and retain some semblance of humanity.
** Neutral is most people. Neutral characters are mostly interested in keeping their heads down, going about their business, and trying to survive. While they may not be willing to pick someone's pocket, they'll keep a wallet they find in the street. They might drop a few coins into a beggar's bowl, but won't go out of their way to do more.
** Good is upstanding, moral and willing to take risks to [[WeHelpTheHelpless protect the innocent]] and do the right thing (albeit with a measure of DeliberateValuesDissonance; when the old woman in the forest actually ''is'' a [[EatsBabies baby-eating witch]], BurnTheWitch is the moral option).
** Lawful is what happens when you crank WeHelpTheHelpless UpToEleven and add in a dose of GoodIsNotNice. Lawful characters value stability, order and permanence above all else, and are more likely than not to denounce TheEvilsOfFreeWill. {{Totalitarian Utilitarian}}s are common as well. At its worst, Lawful is just as alien to conventional morality as Chaotic.
* The standard Creator/PalladiumBooks system used in ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}'', ''TabletopGame/{{Palladium}}'', ''Heroes Unlimited'', and ''TabletopGame/RoboTech'', among others has a variation on the alignment system from ''Dungeons & Dragons''. In this system, there are seven different alignments broken down into Good, Selfish, and Evil categories. Palladium rulebooks state that there is no such thing as Neutral, and dismiss the term as misleading (though that doesn't stop them from including a "Taoist" alignment in the Ninjas and Superspies system). '''Good''' alignments include Principled, which is roughly equivalent to LawfulGood, and Scrupulous, which is similar to ChaoticGood. The '''Selfish''' category includes Unprincipled, which is sort of like LawfulNeutral; and Anarchist, which is the ChaoticNeutral equivelent. The '''Evil''' alignments include Miscreant, the selfish but not demonic -- roughly NeutralEvil; Aberrant, who is the NobleDemon and textbook LawfulEvil; and Diabolic, a "cruel, brutal killer who trusts no one and has no value for anyone or anything that gets in his way," equivalent to ChaoticEvil. One thing of note is that the guidelines for what each alignment would or would not do is more rigidly spelled out in Palladium Games than most other systems, with each alignment containing a bulleted list. For instance, a Good character would never betray a friend, and neither would an Aberrant Evil character.
* ''TabletopGame/{{FATAL}}'' has virtually the same system, only instead of Lawful it's Ethical, and instead of Good it's Moral. So Ethical Moral to Unethical Immoral. Essentially, this being ''FATAL'', it probably comes down to whether you will say "please" and "thank you" when raping someone or not.
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'':
** The game has an elaborate alignment system embodied by its Color Pie that fits poorly into good/evil and order/chaos system (as it defines them by a general philosophy). Order and chaos can be included with some stretching: White is devoted to order and Red is devoted to chaos, Blue prefers the control offered by order, Black prefers the unrestricted ambition that chaos promises, and Green is strictly neutral, either rising above both concepts or thinking too simply to understand either. [[note]]It could be argued that green is mildly chaotic (because green is the color associated with "survival of the fittest", which can be interpreted as a free-for-all), and black is neutral (because it's all about ambition and self-interest -- it may not be respectful of the law, but it's not interested in mayhem for mayhem's sake either). However, the above interpretation [[FridgeBrilliance makes more sense]] when you consider ''Magic'''s color wheel. Essentially, the colors are arranged in a circle -- white-blue-black-red-green -- and each color is allied with the two colors adjacent to it and opposed to the two colors not adjacent to it (and since it's a circle, green is adjacent to white). So green, the color that's neutral on the order-chaos axis, is allied with both white (order) ''and'' red (chaos); white is allied with blue (mild order), and black (mild chaos) is allied with red. Meanwhile, white is enemies with both black and red, and red is enemies with both white and blue. The relationships between the colors are ''far'' more complex than an [[OrderVersusChaos order-versus-chaos]] dichotomy, but the antagonism between order and chaos is explicitly described as one of the reasons (if not the ''primary'' reason) why white and red are enemies.[[/note]] There is deliberately no color specifically aligned with good or evil[[note]]white ''tries'' to be aligned with good, but [[KnightTemplar doesn't always succeed]][[/note]]. A [[EvilOverlord self-centered tyrant]] would be black, a [[DayOfTheJackboot fascist state]] is white, a [[TerroristsWithoutACause terroristic zealot]] is red, an uncaring scientist is blue, and a SocialDarwinist is green.
** Once the colors start mixing, things become even more complex, combining the parts of each philosophy that mesh. For example, Red-White characters combine white's love of order with red's frantic energy to create anything from a vicious KnightTemplar to a passionate defender of the innocent. Green-Blue characters can do things as insanely impulsive as creating a deadly plague and as coldly rational as exposing it to a statistically representative sample of the population without ever seeing considering morality.
** The colors were mapped onto the character alignment axes only once in Magic's history; when the creative team was trying to discern the relative personalities of the Ravnican guilds. White was mapped to "Good", Blue to "Lawful" ("a stretch" even to them), Black to "Evil", Red to "Chaotic", and Green to "Neutral." This led to such implausibilities as the [[MadScientist Izzet]] [[StuffBlowingUp League]] being dubbed "lawful chaotic" and the [[TheNecrocracy Orzhov]] [[CorruptChurch Syndicate]] dubbed "good evil."
* The Agendas from ''TabletopGame/{{Monsterpocalypse}}'', which roughly describe why the faction in question is turning up to the giant robot vs. kaiju fights. Essentially, there are six of these, with the forces of each Agenda capable of allying with the ones on either side.
** Protectors (GUARD, Elemental Champions): [[DestructiveSaviour Good guys, at least insofar as that's compatible with the game mechanics]]. These factions defend humanity, albeit at the expense of a lot of lives and no small number of buildings destroyed.
** Radicals (Terrorsaurs, Empire of the Apes): Evil-leaning neutral. KnightTemplar [[WellIntentionedExtremist Well-Intentioned Extremists]] who don't necessarily want to destroy humanity, but who have a goal they care about a lot more than, for example, [[TheTokyoFireball Tokyo still being there]]. So far the game's Radical factions have been ecoterrorists, but the agenda isn't necessarily restricted to that.
** Fiends (Lords of Cthul, Subterran Uprising): [[AlwaysChaoticEvil Bad guys]]. Very, very bad guys. Fiends want people to die, preferably painfully. They tend not to have much in the way of motive beyond ForTheEvulz.
** Destroyers (Planet Eaters, Savage Swarm): Giving these creatures a moral alignment would assume they were capable of caring about morality. [[NeutralHungry They're mostly just hungry.]] It's not clear how many of them are even sapient.
** Invaders (Martian Menace, Tritons): Bad guys, but ones with a motivation beyond "being the bad guys". These factions want something humanity has -- land, resources, people -- and are here in force to take it.
** Collaborators (Shadow Sun Syndicate, Ubercorp International): Bad guys, kind of, but [[PragmaticVillainy pragmatic]] ones, something of a TokenEvilTeammate. They're mostly interested in profiting from what's going on (even if that requires selling out to the Invaders), but can work with the Protectors because mostly what the Collaborators want requires that the human species still be here next week.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the expansion to ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' called Going Rogue, a morality system is implemented which allows a player to move up and down the good/evil spectrum. As well as having Heroes fall from hero to vigilante to villain, a villain can redeem themselves and become a rogue, and then a fully-fledged hero. There is also a "grey area" of content for new characters set in a ''Lawful Evil'' empire in "AnotherDimension'' where being Lawful makes you Evil and being Chaotic bends you to Good.
* Every character in the ''VideoGame/OgreBattle'' series has an alignment, ranging from Lawful to Chaotic, which changes based on their actions during battles. (Characters which attack enemies stronger than themselves, for example, grow more lawful, while characters who hunt down and destroy weaker units [or single-handedly defend liberated cities against hordes of weak enemies which the Empire will mercilessly send to their doom] will grow chaotic.) Alignment affects what classes are available to a particular character. Lawful characters tend to have "light" classses (cleric, knight, angel), while chaotic ones tend to have "dark" classes (wizard, dark knight). Just remember DarkIsNotEvil and LightIsNotGood. In addition, there is another measure available only to the main character which goes by multiple names but is generally known as Reputation. The two are completely separate -- you can be utterly evil but still be famous and respected for your strength. Many special characters will only join you if your Reputation is high or low enough to suit their tastes, and [[AlignmentBasedEndings it affects your]] [[MultipleEndings ending]].
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'':
** The summoned champions each have their own [[TabletopGame/DungeonsandDragons D&D]]-esque alignment, though the Berserker class is outside it due to lacking rationality[[note]]It has been explained that the Berserker-class Servants who are fully affected by Mad Enhancement still have an alignment. ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''[='=]s Berserker would be Chaotic Good, and ''LightNovel/FateZero''[='=]s Berserker would be Lawful Good[[/note]]. For example, Saber is LawfulGood, Archer is TrueNeutral, Caster is NeutralEvil, while Gilgamesh and Rider are ChaoticGood. However, how accurately each Servant matches their alignment tends to vary wildly: Saber and Caster match their alignments well, while Rider and especially Gilgamesh have baffled fans since their release, leading to many competing theories that try to give a consistent explanation. Most suggestions will only explain one character, though the theory that alignments are carryovers from a prototype that had vastly different characters using the same identities has gained some support after more information about it was revealed.
*** Another suggestion is that the alignments reflect how the Servants see ''themselves'' rather than how an objective assessment would classify them. For example, the theory is that Assassin is classified as NeutralEvil because he sees himself as a villain, but he's actually more like TrueNeutral. And Gilgamesh thinks of himself as a hero, but he's actually ChaoticNeutral '''at best'''.
** Gilgamesh's alignment also falls into how he's characterized in [[Literature/TheEpicOfGilgamesh his original legend]], so the alignments of Servants might also take the Heroic Spirit's legend into account as well. And Rider's history (which is very different from how Myth/ClassicalMythology describes her in real life) could also support a ChaoticGood alignment. Assessment of her during the actual game has to be weighed against the fact that she has a rather vile Master ordering her around, and one of the routes involves her joining the heroes' side.
** ''LightNovel/FateZero'' continues this. Saber is still LawfulGood (obviously), Rider is NeutralGood, Archer (Gilgamesh) is still ChaoticGood, Lancer is LawfulNeutral, Caster is ChaoticEvil, Berserker is Lawful Mad[[note]]LawfulGood in actuality[[/note]], and Assassin is LawfulEvil.
* Alignment plays a huge role in the ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' series of games:
** Each monster is classed on the [[OrderVersusChaos Law-Neutral-Chaos]] axis and the Light-Neutral-Dark axis. The former is the important one: monsters that are Chaotic will refuse to join you if the main character is Lawful and vice-versa. The alignment of the main character is determined by the type of monsters he summons (eg: Lawful creatures will move your alignment towards Law), by his responses to philosophical questions asked at key points of the game, and by whose dirty work (The Messians or the Gaians) he carries out. The ending of the game is determined by the final alignment of the main character. Interestingly, Neutrality is presented neither as the uncaring or balancing alignment, but rather one that focuses on individual choice and inner strength, as opposed to relying on outside power.
** ''Megami Tensei I'' & ''VideoGame/MegamiTenseiII'' feature alignments along the axis of Good-Neutral-Evil.
** ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiI'' features an alignment system along the axis of Law-Neutral-Chaos -- Light-Neutral-Dark is ''not'' actually a Good-Neutral-Evil axis in the traditional sense, instead representing the mythological reputation of the entity in question as something to be revered or reviled; the original manual describes Light as "closer to a god" and Dark as "closer to a demon." It is the earliest known videogame to have an alignment system that directly affects the direction of the storyline and which of the MultipleEndings the player is given, through the choices and actions the player makes that alter the player character's alignment. ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiII'' uses the same kind of alignment system. In both cases, the main character's actions on the OrderVersusChaos axis determine the ending, and the game does not take a stand on which path is best.
** In ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'', the previous system of alignment is discarded in favour of three specific philosophies: Shijima (which is closest to Law, except that the KnightTemplar tendencies take a different form), Musabi (Neutral, focusing on individuality and freedom of choice), and Yosuga (Chaos with a heavy dose of the elitism that Law was previously known for). Also, there's [[spoiler:screwing them all and either returning the world to the way it used to be, or leaving the Vortex World the way it is]], and in the Maniax edition, [[spoiler:True Demon, in which you say "fuck that noise," give up your leftover humanity and join Lucifer's army in order to [[RageAgainstTheHeavens take out]] {{God}} and keep this stuff from [[EternalRecurrence happening over and over again]]]].
** Games outside the main continuity tend to ditch the alignment system completely. ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor'', despite having MultipleEndings, bases your ending on who you ally with to gain control of Babel and end the lockdown. These six endings are still somewhat analogous to the classic Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei alignments; Law -- Aname (UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans) / Atsuro (MyCountryRightOrWrong), Neutral -- Yuzu (BystanderSyndrome) / Gin (ResetButton), Chaos -- Naoya (RageAgainstTheHeavens) / Kaido (TheSocialDarwinist).
** ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiStrangeJourney'' incorportaes Law/Neutral/Chaos into battle gameplay: When you or one of your demons hits an enemy with an element they're weak to, other allies of the same alignment will execute a Demon Co-Op attack. Enemies cannot do the same, however, although it's still a good idea to prevent yourself from being pounded with too many weakness attacks.
** ''VideoGame/MajinTenseiIISpiralNemesis'' lets your character also move along the Light/Dark axis. This is interesting, as according to the usual representation of the system, although a human can lean toward Light or Dark within the Neutral category, they can't ''leave'' it without ceasing to be human.
** In short, there are four major characters in the series that represent each of the four ends of the axis. Lucifer (Chaos), YHVH (Law), [[Franchise/ShinMegamiTenseiPersona Philemon (Good), and Nyarlathotep (Evil)]].
* A rare action game example, ''VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog'' works off this system quite well. Using branching story-lines, the player would choose multiple endings using a system of levels made up of three outcomes: hero, [[BystanderSyndrome neutral]], and [[TheBadGuyWins dark]]. The final levels would involve only two outcomes (neither could be neutral), which would decide the boss fought and ultimately the ending. The "path" names are non-canonical; instead, there are 326 (!!!) combinations you could possibly take through the levels, each with their own name. However, each combination must end with one of these endings. [[spoiler:[[SubvertedTrope It's subverted in the end;]] Shadow fights the [[OneWingedAngel gargoyle-like Black Doom]] and just saves the world.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Fable}}'':
** ''VideoGame/FableI'' had a Good V Evil system, based on your actions in albion. In ''VideoGame/FableII'', it was extended to something similar to this trope, with Good/Evil being your morality and Corrupt/Pure being how nice you were to others and your own body. (I.E Pure characters treat their own body as a temple, while corrupt characters would drink a gallon of ale every morning).
** Even with the improvements in ''VideoGame/FableII'', the system is still quite simplistic with the only two discernible options being either LawfulGood or ChaoticEvil. While the game's BigBad is LawfulEvil, the game does not provide many options to exercise an influence over the story or quests based on one's alignment other than not taking the good or evil quests. The citizens of Albion will still hail you as the greatest hero of all time if you save enough slaves, even if you are also the kingdom's biggest slum lord and adulterer.
* One ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' character has been given a canonical alignment: according to the ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin'' manual, Death is LawfulEvil. This is common for incarnations of Death -- in most settings, Death follows strict rules (e.g. ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', ''Literature/ForgottenRealms'', ''Literature/IncarnationsOfImmortality''). It also works for this particular Death, who's a servant to Count Dracula, and follows rules.
* ''VideoGame/{{Wizardry}}'' uses the good/evil axis, though it leaves out order and chaos. The manual states that a good man helps an old lady across the street, a neutral man crosses the street and helps an old lady across, an evil male PC helps a young lady across the street, and [[EvenEvilHasStandards the level of evil they all oppose]] helps an old lady [[BlackComedy halfway across the street]]. A note adds that since the game uses PurelyAestheticGender, a good woman helps an old man across the street.
* ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' rates regions of land on a "benign-neutral-savage" and a "good-neutral-evil" axis. So, benign good is "serene", while savage evil is "terrifying". (It's... not very good for your dwarves to start in an evil area. Really. [[VideogameCrueltyPotential For them, at least.]]) The main difference between savage-evil biomes and savage-good biomes often comes down to little more than whether your dwarves get massacred by rampaging zombies, or by rampaging unicorns.
* In ''VideoGame/AgeOfWonders'', the races are aligned on the Good-Evil spectrum, with Pure Evil (TheUndead), Evil (Dark Elves, Orcs and Goblins), Neutral (Human, Azracs, Lizardmen, Frostlings), Good (Elves, Dwarfs, Halflings), and Pure Good (Highmen).
* ''VideoGame/BattleForWesnoth'' has the alignments of "Lawful", "Neutral", and "Chaotic". Alignment is decided by class and cannot be changed. It also only affects one thing: how well units fight during certain times of day. "Lawful" characters fight well at day and badly at night, while "Chaotic" characters are the exact opposite. "Neutral" characters are never affected by the time of day. Caves function as a permanent night, and characters with the ''Illumination'' skill cause the day/night cycle to act one stage closer to day (night is like dawn/dusk and dawn/dusk are like day).
* Every other Creator/BioWare RPG has an alignment meter of some sort; ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' and ''Franchise/BaldursGate'' use the ''D&D'' system, ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' and ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'' have a linear Light Side/Dark Side axis, while ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'' and ''Franchise/MassEffect'' have a similar Open Palm/Closed Fist and Paragon/Renegade axes, respectively. So far, the only [=BioWare=] games to abandon this are the ''Franchise/DragonAge'' series, which instead measures each party member's approval or disapproval of your actions.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' series goes with a Karma system. It really is only one scale, and doesn't involve the lawful-chaotic scale, only ranging from good to evil. The main relation to the [[TabletopGame/DungeonsandDragons D&D]] alignment system comes from '''how''' the player chooses to gain points in either direction. It is generally easier to become good than evil by killing lots and lots of people for the hell of it, ironically, since many of the karma-inducing characters you can kill easily in the games are evil-aligned. While it is possible to be [[KicktheDog dog-kicking]] ChaoticEvil by going into a town and killing guards and civilians, you will most likely alert several higher-leveled guards while doing it, while doing the LawfulEvil approach and subtly plan genocide by detonating live atomic bombs and unleashing mass-killing viruses in the water will comfortably put you on the evil side of the scale without having to shoot a single guard doing it. The good side of the scale tends to be a little more flexible, however, allowing you to both be a trigger-happy nutjob and an agent of various good organizations around while doing it.
** In ''Fallout 3'', once you do become sufficiently good or evil, agents from the opposite site will start hunting you. Killing the Rangers hunting you because you're evil makes you more evil; killing the Talon Co. mercenaries hunting you because you're good makes you more good. So there's a tipping point at which it becomes easier to keep going the direction you were heading. That said, unless you're deliberately TRYING for evil (or you undertake a particular quest that has a ''massive'' karma penalty), it's slightly easier to become "Good" than it is to become "Evil", and staying neutral is hardest of all, since it involves a kind of a balancing act of randomly being an a-hole just enough to keep you from accidentally becoming "too good".
* ''[[VideoGame/AncientDomainsOfMystery ADOM]]'':
** The game has the old-D&D-style "OrderVersusChaos (psst, it's really GoodVsEvil)" system. There's a scale of symbols representing the different steps from completely Chaotic to completely Lawful: C- C C+ CN NC N- N= N+ NL LN L L+
** Whether you're primarily Chaotic, Neutral, or Lawful (as indicated by the first letter of your alignment) determines which of your three racial deities you serve. You can pray to become a champion of your alignment after having the most extreme version (which for Neutral, could also be called the least extreme) and getting extremely favoured by your deity.
** The sequel, ''JADE'', is supposed to add the Good/Evil axis to this.
* ''VideoGame/NetHack'' has D&D-inspired OrderVersusChaos alignment system which decides what artifacts you can use, what deities you worship, and if you get punished for things like stealing from shops or attacking peaceful creatures. TheUnfought BigBad evil god Moloch is [[BlueAndOrangeMorality unaligned]].
* There is [[http://i.imgur.com/XERul.jpg this]] depicting the different [[VideoGame/{{Portal}} personality cores]] and their respective character alignments.
* ''VideoGame/MortalKombat'':
** The game tended to keep to a dichotomy of good vs evil for the most part, but the OrderVersusChaos element is also heavily played and hard to ignore. For one thing, the first game made reference to Shang Tsung corrupting the shaolin tournament and the furies, shifting the side of the tournament's order alignment to the chaos alignment. Later on, we see Shang Tsung's boss, the Emperor of Outworld, Shao Kahn, who uses his extermination squads to invade and merge other realms using brute, compassionate-free, aggressive force, all while completely ignoring and defying the rules and regulations the Elder Gods commanded to stop this happening. Later on, in the 6th installment ''VideoGame/MortalKombatDeception'', we are presented with the former ruler of Outworld, Onaga the Dragon King. Who still wants to merge the realms much like Shao Kahn, but do so by merging the special kamidogu instead, which would combine the realms automatically, creating complete stability, without the need for violent conquest.
** This is the game where the OrderVersusChaos dichotomy comes into play. With only a handful of 'good' characters left, either killed, or brainwashed to serve as Onaga's pawns, we're left with previously (and new) 'evil' or grey characters teaming up and binding together to fight on the side of chaos to fight for freedom that's threatened by the side of order. Suddenly it's no longer about good vs evil. New realms introduced in the series include Chaosrealm and Orderrealm. Introduced characters that maintain morally grey and/or take no stances on good and evil include a guardsman from the Orderrealm outright stated to want to preserve law and order at all costs, a cleric from the Chaosrealm with a desire to see the world descend into turmoil with militant obsession to oppose any control (good or bad), a resistance revolutionary from Orderrealm taking a leaf out of the chaos book to fight for freedom in Orderrealm and oppose all regulations and laws, and your standard WildCard mercenary that takes no sides in the whole ordeal (good, evil, order, or chaos). If order wins, the universe will be destroyed. If chaos wins, you can celebrate for about a minute before you realize you helped your former evil return. You're screwed either way.
* The ''VideoGame/ClassOfHeroes'' series utilizes the moral axis of (Good, Neutral, and Evil) to influence whichever class is available to a character. All ten playable races can cover the entire axis -- including the [[OurDemonsAreDifferent demonic]] Diaboloses or the [[OurAngelsAreDifferent angelic]] Celestians -- thus it's not impossible to create a good Diabolos or an evil Celestian.
* ''VideoGame/RuneScape''
** During the quest The World Wakes, the player is given a test to become a guardian of Guthix. To pass, you much give one LawfulGood, one LawfulEvil, one ChaoticGood, and one ChaoticEvil answer to any of the four questions you are asked, thereby proving that you are [[TrueNeutral in balance.]]
** The various gods and factions of ''Runescape'' represent various alignments, although many characters claim to be one alignment but act like another. A recurring theme is how all of the gods and their factions are NotSoDifferent.
*** Although Guthix is known as the God of [[TrueNeutral Balance]] and his followers claim to follow a philosophy of BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil and order and chaos, Guthix's true alignment turns out to be closer to ChaoticGood when it is revealed that he hates war and wants mortals to live free of the tyranny of gods, including himself. His followers have been shown to have a wide variety of alignments due to misinterpreting his teaching in various ways.
*** Saradomin is the god of [[LawfulNeutral Order]]. Many of his followers are LawfulGood, but it has been shown that Saradomin is far from this due to his character flaws, but he is self-aware of this, engaging in "Do as I say, not as I do". In the distant past, he was an [[LawfulEvil evil tyrant]] before he went though a HeelRealization.
*** Saradomin's rival, Zamorak, is the god of [[ChaoticNeutral Chaos]]. Many of his followers are ChaoticEvil, but he believes that chaos leads to the betterment of society, so he claims to be ChaoticGood, but is a little bit too [[WellIntentionedExtremist extreme]]. He gets upset about his followers misinterpreting his teaching and committing atrocities for the sake of chaos or for selfish reasons.
*** Armadyl is the god of [[LawfulGood Justice and Law]]. Unlike Saradomin, he actually does a good job of following the ideals he expects his followers to follow, but like Saradomin, isn't without his flaws. He wants to achieve peace, but he went about this by starting a war with his rival Bandos.
*** The only major god who is unambiguously and completely evil is Bandos, the ChaoticEvil god of war. His only sympathetic trait is that unlike most of the other major gods, he isn't a hypocrite at all, being completely honest about what he wants and what he believes, and actually does it always.
*** An aversion, Zaros, the god of control, can't really be placed in any alignment because WordOfGod has stated that he runs on BlueAndOrangeMorality and has very little emotion. He has little interest in achieving any ideals and sees the fighting between the other gods as petty. During the time he ruled over a vast empire, he ruled with a style that could be interpreted as LawfulGood, LawfulNeutral, or LawfulEvil, and his followers (even his most loyal ones) were spread across just about every alignment. He has now given up on ruling over mortals and wants to manipulate events from the shadows. Ultimately, he just wants to accomplish his goal of stopping the Elder Gods, which is a noble cause, and will do whatever it takes to accomplish this.
*** The other major factions in the game support the NeutralGood god of peace Seren, the ChaoticGood god of hedonism Marimbo, the ChaoticEvil Trickster Sliske (who is ambiguously a god), and the CloudCuckooLander god of deliciousness Brassica Prime. The exception is the Godless Faction, which, like Guthix, wants the world to be free of gods, and although their philosophy claims to be ChaoticGood, has also shown some extremism that shows they are NotSoDifferent.
* ''VideoGame/RakenzarnTales'' lets you swing between Lawful, Neutral, and Chaotic Good, depending on your choices. This has a big factor in determining who will join your party and how various people will react to you over the course of the game.
* The five tidal affinities of ''VideoGame/TormentTidesOfNumenera'' serve as an alignment system, with the Last Castoff having one or two dominant:
** The Gold Tide represents charity, compassion, empathy, sacrifice, and other selfless traits.
** The Indigo Tide encompasses justice, compromise, the greater good, and other communally-oriented traits.
** The Silver Tide involves admiration, power, fame, and other ambition-related traits.
** The Red Tide includes passion, emotion, action, pathos, zeal, and other emotional traits.
** The Blue Tide maps to reason, insight, wisdom, and other intellectual or mystical traits.
* Though you'd miss it if you didn't look specifically for it, one character in ''Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters'' refers to characters this way by tacking the initials of their alignment onto their name. Mifune, the Lawful Neutral student, is called LN-Mifine. The yakuza member with a good heart is given the prefix CG, or Chaotic Good. So on and so forth. The player character, however, is given the prefix LG, or Lawful Good, despite being capable of being anywhere on the alignment list. Though True Neutral has them be TheDitz by making them space out or lick everything, and Chaotic Evil is more along the lines of ChaoticStupid because you're antagonizing paying clients and needlessly destroying things that you have to pay for.
* In ''Videogame/SouthParkTheFracturedButWhole'', the in-universe character sheet uses the Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic alignment combined with your religion, meaning that you can choose to be Lawful Christian or a Chaotic Rastafarian (though Jesus specifically prevents you from becoming Lawful Scientologist). The other party members' alignments are also listed on their character sheets, with the religion part is either played straight (Clyde is Neutral Catholic while Tweek is Lawful Buddhist) or part of their in-universe character (Cartman is listed as Neutral Coonism and Kyle is a Lawful Kite Theologist).

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', naturally, as it is loosely based on the ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' world. However, the comic [[GenreDeconstruction proceeds to completely deconstruct the concept in a realistic manner]] to create believable characters with interesting motivations.
** One of the best examples is the juxtaposition of Roy and Miko during [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0199.html "No Cure for the Paladin Blues."]] They're both Lawful Good, but take completely different approaches to their alignment.
** A non-good example of this is Redcloak, high priest of an evil god who has a plan which will either end with world domination or world destruction. He is a well-developed character with deep personal motivations for his cause, a complex relationship with the lich who [[spoiler:killed his brother]], and his primary motivation is to change the [[FantasticRacism quality of living for his species]] (at the expense of any other race).
** However, several strips give an excellent illustration of alignments coming into conflict: The Lawful Good Celia, Chaotic Good Haley, and Chaotic Evil Belkar encounter a couple of Lawful Evil Hobgoblins. Belkar stabs the Hobgoblin because he just likes killing. Celia is horrified at his random unlawful murder, but Haley justifies it by saying that as they are fighting a war against evil, the unjust killing was, if not necessary, then at least acceptable. However, then they come into contact with a friendly gnome merchant, who Belkar then also stabs. Haley is horrified, but Belkar points out that the gnome's cart and donkey are of great use to the group, and likely to benefit the resistance more than his hobgoblin slaying. Celia then starts commenting on how NotSoDifferent the situation is, and sarcastically suggests that Haley should paint the corpse to look like a Hobgoblin so that Haley can more easily rationalize this second unlawful killing.
** The endless alignment debates over Vaarsuvius's [[spoiler:DealWithTheDevil in "Don't Split the Party"]], and whether it was True Neutral as WordOfGod insists it was. It's gotten to the point where people jokingly start arguing about alignments every time a character moves a muscle.
** Some fans jokingly argue that Belkar could fall within the bounds of Chaotic Good. In this case, it's more a bad case of DracoInLeatherPants than ambiguity because not only has Rich Burlew gone on record multiple times stating that Belkar is canonically Chaotic Evil, Belkar actively ''[[EvilFeelsGood revels]]'' in it.
*** Although it has been hinted that he may be shifting to ChaoticNeutral or at the very least is going through CharacterDevelopment to no longer be a total bad guy, but instead a monster with a few hidden good traits and a bit more restraint if it benefits him. One comic showed that his deepest wish is to [[spoiler:to die and end up in the same afterlife as Lord Shojo and pampering Mr. Scruffy together, which will never happen due to their different alignments]]. His relationship with [[MoralityPet Mr. Scruffy]] led him to commit what is possibly his only act of true empathy (not including the times he was magically influenced to feel empathy).
* ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'':
** The comic has remained deliberately vague about the rules and game mechanics of the RPG that the characters are playing. There does appear to be some sort of alignment system: in [[http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0192.html strip 192]], Pete, the resident {{Munchkin}}, identifies his DoAnythingRobot character as Chaotic Neutral.
** [[http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0610.html And later:]]
--->'''Pete:''' For crying out loud, Ben. [[LawfulEvil The rest of us are okay with ruling the Galaxy.]] What part of that don't ''you'' like?\\
'''Ben:''' I wrote "Good" on my character sheet and I jolly well meant it!
* ''Webcomic/GoblinHollow'': Ben [[http://rhjunior.com/Goblin_Hollow/GH0000.html#Comic=58 explains alignments.]]
* ''Webcomic/BittersweetCandyBowl'': The characters run the [[http://www.bittersweetcandybowl.com/candybooru/post/view/1569?search=Chart gamut.]]
* Larisa Korolev from ''Webcomic/SandraAndWoo'' is said by Oliver Knörzer to be a prime example of the ChaoticNeutral alignment.
* ''Webcomic/RustyAndCo'' uses character alignment to humorous means.
** The Princess, a Monk, is quite LawfulNeutral. After Calamitus, an EvilSorcerer, charms an innocent audience to attack her, she does not hesitate to knock them all out, contrary to the bad guy's mistaken belief in her being Good.
** Madeline the Paladin is quite LawfulGood and veers quickly into LawfulStupid if she's not intercepted into planning before an encounter.
** Calamitus is a LargeHam, served ChaoticEvil.
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'': In TheRant of [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2011-12-06 this comic,]] Dan [[WordOfGod provisionally agrees]] with the claims that Grace would be Neutral Good, Ellen would be Chaotic Good, and Elliot would be Lawful Good.
* ''Webcomic/{{Precocious}}'' has a character alignment page [[http://www.precociouscomic.com/archive/comic/2013/03/14 here]] (made by a character InUniverse). Though, given the cast makeup, it's likely that several of those who weren't listed are to the south end of the axis.
** Notably, the AltText reads: 'This thing needs more evil and/or chaotic rows.' As far as the InUniverse artist? 'You can't classify me!'
* ''Webcomic/KevinAndKell'' has an alignment chart of the characters [[http://www.kevinandkell.com/2016/kk0821.html now.]]
* ''Webcomic/TrueVillains'' has bonus material revealing many of the characters' alignments, although several of the {{Villain Protagonist}}s cheerfully self-identify as Evil as well. In an odd twist, the Gods are all canonically AboveGoodAndEvil.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* For gamers, [[http://cheezburger.com/5242754560 a Meta example.]]
* In ''Roleplay/DeptHeavenApocrypha'', an early meme allowed players to discover what alignments their characters had. Many of the "hero" types like Milanor, Kylier, and Yggdra are LawfulGood, Nessiah is ChaoticGood, Malice is LawfulNeutral, and Meria is ChaoticNeutral.
* The sci-fi author Creator/JohnCWright has come up with [[http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/05/alignments-in-amber/ a setting]] which uses a rather complex and confusing concept for alignments. "Alignment" essentially boils down to being loyal to one faction or another. In [[http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/05/alignment-and-realism/ another post,]] he posited the idea of alignments based on the real-life worldviews (from his conservative Christian point of view), with Classical (corresponding to Pagan philosophy), Principled (corresponding to theology), and Conventional (corresponding to modern ideology).
* The Pantheon/TropePantheons project in TV Tropes. As it was based on the ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' system, designating CharacterAlignment to a character from a series that doesn't normally use them gets a free pass.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' has mentioned the idea of Character Alignment on occasion, such as the [[TrueNeutral unaligned ant]] from "The Enchiridion!" and the in-universe-identified ChaoticEvil Hunson Abadeer from "It Came From the Nightosphere" and "Return to the Nightosphere". Near the end of "Ignition Point", Finn and the Flame King even use ''D&D'' terminology to discuss the alignment of the flame people and Flame Princess.