A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he's kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society.
Chaotic good is the best alignment you can be because it combines a good heart with a free spirit.
Chaotic good can be a dangerous alignment when it disrupts the order of society and punishes those who do well for themselves.
While creatures of this alignment view freedom and the randomness of actions as ultimate truths, they likewise place value on life and the welfare of each individual. Respect for individualism is also great. By promoting the philosophy of chaotic good, characters of this alignments seek to spread their values throughout the world. To the chaotic good individual, freedom and independence are as important to life and happiness. The ethos views this freedom as the only means by which each creature can achieve true satisfaction and happiness. Law, order, social forms, and anything else which tends to restrict or abridge individual freedom is wrong, and each individual is capable of achieving self-realization and prosperity through himself, herself, or itself. (1)
Chaotic good characters are strong individualists marked by a streak of kindness and benevolence. They believe in all the virtues of goodness and right, but they have little use for laws and regulations. They have no use for people who "try to push folk around and tell them what to do." Their actions are guided by their own moral compass which, although good, may not always be in perfect agreement with the rest of society. (2)
These characters are basically good, but tend to be selfish and maybe a bit greedy. They tend to hold personal freedom and welfare above anything else. The chaotic good dislikes confining laws, self-discipline, and they distrust authority. (3)
Chaotic goods believe that freedom is the only means by which each creature can achieve true satisfaction and happiness. Law, order, social forms, and anything else which tends to restrict individual freedom is wrong, and each individual is capable of achieving self-realization and prosperity through himself. These characters believe that life has no grand plan, but each creature's spirit is essentially noble and good. Each being must follow his own conscience. By performing good acts the individual can hope to alleviate the suffering and anguish of others, whether caused by random or structured acts. (4)
The chaotic good character has a "beatific" attitude toward existence. In this character's opinion, any laws, social structures, or other such hierarchies that restrict his freedom are abhorrent and to be done away with. The inviolable right of the individual to seek his own pleasures is one of the cornerstones of society; but, being good, the chaotic good being will not tread on others to get his own way, for he feels that every other creature has the right to the pursuit of pleasure as well. Friends of a chaotic good character will find him unreliable in the clutch only if he puts his own well-being ahead of that of his companions. Obviously, almost everyone has this tendency, but it is left up to this individual whether or not he values a friendship enough to risk self sacrifice. The chaotic good being would not, however, take action that could unnecessarily jeopardize the lives of other persons or creatures. Life is valuable, but without sufficient personal freedom it is demeaned. Life and freedom are the foundation of the universe. (5)
A chaotic good character will keep his word to those who are not evil and will lie only to evil-doers. He will never attack an unarmed foe and will never harm an innocent. He will not use torture to extract information or for pleasure, but he may "rough up" someone to get information. He will never kill for pleasure, only in self-defense or in the defense of others. A chaotic good character will never use poison. He will help those in need and he prefers to work alone, as he values his freedom. He does not respond well to higher authority, is distrustful of organizations, and will disregard the law in his fight against evil. He will never betray a family member, comrade, or friend. Chaotic good characters do not respect the concepts of self-discipline and honor, because they believe such concepts limit freedom to act. (6)
Here are some possible adjectives describing chaotic good characters: unpredictable, independent, free spirited, cheerful, optimistic, easy going, carefree, helpful, kind, merciful, respectful of personal liberties, and anarchic.
Well known chaotic good characters from film or literature include: Han Solo (Star Wars), Batman (DC Comics), Fred and George Weasley (Harry Potter), and Robin Hood.
Equivalent alignment in other game systems: Unprincipled (Palladium), Light Side (Star Wars), Good (Warhammer), Gallant (Alternity).
A list of Ten Commandments for a chaotic good religion may look like this:
1. You shall lie in the pursuit of goodness.
2. You shall not harm the innocent.
3. You shall not murder.
4. You shall help the needy.
5. You shall honor those who promote freedom and goodness.
6. You shall break the law in pursuit of goodness.
7. You shall not betray others.
8. You shall avenge the acts of evil-doers and enemies of freedom.
9. You shall not place duty above personal desire to do good.
10. You shall seek unlimited good for others and freedom in society.
Likewise, a chaotic good religion may list the following as sins. This list is given in the order of least severe infraction to most severe.
1. Failing to perform a random act of kindness when appropriate.
2. Failing to pursue a new form of pleasure.
3. Placing duty above personal desire.
4. Failing to assist allies or good beings in need.
5. Causing harm to an essentially good being.
6. Following a law when you feel that it unnecessarily restricts your freedom.
7. Turning down a chance to trick, cheat, or harm an evil being for personal gain.
8. Betraying an ally or friend for evil reason.
9. The murder of an innocent.
10. Aiding the servants of Order and Evil.
The following two lists detail common actions undertaken during "adventuring" that are considered honorable and dishonorable for the chaotic good alignment. An honorable action is one that is in keeping with the spirit of this alignment, while dishonorable actions tend to be those which bring shame to the character in the eyes of his or her alignment peers. Note that an action which is considered honorable by one alignment may be considered dishonorable by another alignment and vice versa.
Allowing a disarmed enemy to pick up his weapon
Gloating over a victory
Perpetrate humiliating prank on enemy
Picking up the funeral expenses of someone you slew in combat
Saving the life of another at great risk to own self
Taking an arrow or hit for someone else
Accused of crime by good or neutral authorities (innocent or not)
Being taken prisoner
Convicted of a crime by good or neutral authorities
Delivering death blow to a helpless opponent
Desecrating an enemy's corpse
Falsely claiming the 'bragging rights' that belong to another or outright lying
Fleeing a battle that's obviously going poorly
Fleeing a fight with an equal opponent
Killing a host who has provided you food or shelter
Neglecting to properly bury a member of one's own race
Reporting the illegal actions of good beings to the authorities
Taunting an enemy into fighting
Unjustly slaying a prisoner or unarmed opponent who has yielded
A chaotic good being...
Is not concerned with the desires of family members.
Values flexible relationships with romantic partners.
Considers himself above the law.
Finds most people to be narrow-minded and inflexible.
Believes those who seek to rule others are, by nature, corrupt.
Seeks to undermine the authority figures of his community or nation.
Finds the legal procedures of his nation corrupt.
Believes luck determines wealth.
Will break any contract when he feels like it.
Will not want to disappoint his family.
Will support their family even if it means personal discomfort.
Will never betray a friend and enjoys having close friends.
Considers the needs of the community in personal life.
Will give his life in defense of his community.
Will take actions to aid others during times of crisis, even if unprofitable to do so.
Believes everyone should be treated fairly and kindly.
Feels guilt when he commits a wrongdoing and will seek to right his wrong.
Uses wealth to help others who are less fortunate.
A chaotic good government influences the community by helping the needy and opposing restrictions on freedom. In a chaotic good society, The people mean well and try to do right, but are hampered by a natural dislike of big government. Although there may be a single ruler, most communities are allowed to manage themselves, so long as their taxes are paid and they obey a few broad edicts. Such areas tend to have weak law enforcement organizations. A local sheriff, baron, or council may hire adventurers to fill the gap. Communities often take the law into their own hands when it seems necessary. Lands on the fringes of vast empires far from the capital tend to have this type of alignment.
Chaotic good characters feel that each person must find their own way and should have total freedom to act in any manner they choose as long as they hurt no one else in the process. Chaotic neutral characters believe that everyone should do what they want, regardless of whether the actions are good or hurt others. Both will lie and cheat. The chaotic good character will cheat and lie to others only when good comes of it or to trick the evil. The chaotic neutral character will lie, cheat, and trick anyone to achieve his goals, whether that goal is amusement, power, or wealth. Chaotic good characters value the individual freedom of all creatures, while the chaotic neutral character values his own freedom, and doesn't care about the freedom of others. Chaotic neutral characters do not necessarily want others to suffer as a result of their actions, but do not care if others do suffer. They tend to behave in a good manner towards friends and allies, unless their friends and allies do not agree with them. Chaotic good characters never want others to suffer because of their actions, except those who are evil or deserve to suffer in their eyes. Chaotic neutral characters don't understand why chaotic goods are so concerned about others, while chaotic good characters feel that chaotic neutral characters are hypocritical in believing in their own freedom, but not necessarily in the right for others to have the same freedom.
Neutral good characters will always attempt to work within the law, but sometimes recognize the need to disobey laws for the greater good. Chaotic good characters will never consider the law in any of their decisions. If they happen to work within the law, it isn't because they made a decision to do so. Chaotic good characters feel that they know what good is, so they don't need laws to force themselves to be good. Chaotic good characters are also individualists. They will find their own way in the world and live the way they want to. Neutral good characters will avoid lies, but the chaotic good character has no aversion. The neutral good character will try to keep his word once given, but the chaotic good character will discard an oath when it no longer is useful to him in doing what is right. The chaotic good character isn't primarily concerned with providing the greatest good for the greatest number of beings. He will always behave in a manner that is considered good, but he may only be interested in a select group of beings, or he may perform acts of goodness when the mood strikes him. You never know when a chaotic good character will take up a cause, but you can be fairly certain of when a neutral good character will.
Freedom means a different thing to characters of these three alignments. For the chaotic neutral character, freedom means the freedom for all beings to pursue their own self-interest without interference from authority. The chaotic neutral character realizes that there will be chances for both conflict and cooperation, but they will always seek to advance their own self-interest. They believe in the right of all beings to do what they themselves are doing (namely, pursuing self-interest). If others are advanced while the chaotic neutral character is advancing himself, this is fine. If others are diminished when he is pursuing his own interest, so be it. He will help people that help him and harm people that harm him. The chaotic good character believes that freedom means the freedom for each individual to find his own way to promote happiness and prosperity in the world. He feels that the best way to promote goodness and weal for all is to provide the most freedom. The chaotic good character wants everyone to enjoy the same right to pursue happiness as freely as possible. Chaotic evil characters believe that freedom means the freedom to take whatever action is necessary to advance the self. In the eyes of the chaotic evil character, an important way of maximizing personal freedom is to minimize the opportunity for others to pursue their own self-interest. Thus, the chaotic evil character wants maximum freedom for himself, but minimum freedom and power for everyone else. The chaotic neutral character wants maximum freedom for everyone to pursue their own ends (for good or ill). The chaotic good character wants maximum freedom for everyone to find happiness and prosperity.
In situations where goodness must be advanced in society, this is how characters of these different alignments may respond. The lawful good character will promote weal throughout society through increased legislation or a more powerful government. They will work to provide laws and procedures to protect the population against every foreseeable ill in society. They will protect citizens against abuse from unscrupulous individuals. They will advocate and construct power structures and economic systems that provide the most benefit for the population as a whole. Lawful good characters will provide equality of result. The chaotic good character will promote happiness in society by increasing freedom and allowing its citizens to decide the best way to increase prosperity for all. They will promote systems which give maximum freedom and opportunity for citizens to increase their own happiness and the happiness of others. They will ensure that the population is protected against every possible abuse by the governing system. Chaotic good characters will provide equality of opportunity. Neutral good character will build a system that promotes both harmony and freedom. They will attempt to balance opportunity and results. They will use only enough laws and order to protect the freedom of its citizens to promote prosperity and happiness for all. They will guard the population against abuses from within the power structure, but also against abuses from individuals. Neutral good characters will build a flexible social order that allows both public and private action to increase goodness in society.
The chart below shows how Chaotic Good views itself and the other eight alignments.
Humane but Dogmatic
Humane but Conformist
Independent and Humane
Dogmatic and Apathetic
Conformist and Apathetic
Independent but Apathetic
Dogmatic and Ruthless
Conformist and Ruthless
Independent but Ruthless
Chaotics tend to see actions as motivated by independence or dogma. They see themselves as independent of any rigid code while lawfuls are seen as the originators and enforcers of unyielding dogmatism. Ethical neutrals are seen as too influenced by the philosophies of the lawfuls, and are seen as conformists for the most part.
Characters of good alignment wish to advance altruism, compassion, and mercy. They view themselves as humane. At the opposite end of this spectrum is ruthlessness, while moral neutrals are seen as indifferent and apathetic.
Chaotic good is the philosophy that goodness is best achieved through the freedom of individuals to act independently. It is a philosophy of altruistic individualism. This philosophy holds that people should behave altruistically and that society exists for the sake of its individual members. Chaotic good can also be associated with preference utilitarianism, ethical altruism, altruistic hedonism, and various forms of existentialism.
Chaotic good philosophers generally maintain that there is metaphysical chaos in the multiverse and thus may support doctrines of indeterminism, casualism, tychism, and/or accidentalism. They may believe that fortune or chance determine all outcomes. They tend to be moral subjectivists, holding that values are expressions of emotions, attitudes, reactions, feelings, thoughts, wishes, and desires, and have no independent objective or external reality or reference in the real world.
The ideal government for this alignment is an minimalist state supporting a social order in which altruism is rewarded and radical egoism is punished. Chaotic good beings believe that the best way to advance benefit for all is by allowing the most freedom possible. Rehabilitative justice is used to reform criminals and evil-doers.
(1) Gygax, Gary. Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Master's Guide. TSR:1979. and Gygax, Gary. Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook. TSR:1978.
(2) Cook, David "Zeb," et al. Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, 2nd Edition Player's Handbook. TSR: 1989.
(3) Wujcik, Erick. Ninjas and Superspies. Palladium Books: 1994.
(4) Gygax, Gary, et al. Oriental Adventures. TSR:1985.
(5) Renaud, J.R. "Making law out of chaos." Dragon (#163). November 1990: 74-78.
(6) Parlagreco, Carl. "Another View of the Nine-Point Alignment Scheme." The Dragon (#26). June 1979: 23. and Wujcik, Erick. Ninjas and Superspies. Palladium Books: 1994.