How to Spot a Chaotic Neutral Player

July 8, 2017

Let’s get a discussion going.

Moral alignments help define the moral motives behind a character’s actions. If you know what kind of moral alignments you are playing against, it’s easier to predict your opponent’s next moves.

Everyone who is familiar with the moral alignments has an opinion of what each alignment looks like in action.

These alignments are often used in characters for role playing games like Dungeons & Dragons. Having a defined moral compass adds dynamic to the role playing adventure and helps you decide what decisions to make as your character.

What about outside a RPG? Have you ever spotted a real-life chaotic neutral after a friendly tabletop game. Turns out, you can tell a lot about a person after spending two hours locked in an intense game of Risk or Catan.

Here is what to look for if you think you are playing against a chaotic neutral game player.

1. They aren’t crazy.

Many people think of jokesters when they think of chaotic neutrals. Someone who will go to extreme lengths to make a simple joke just for the sake of making a joke. This might be true for the character outside the gaming environment. When a chaotic neutral character has a goal to accomplish—for example: a game to win—all their actions have a purpose.

To spot a chaotic neutral, look for unpredictability not insanity. They are just as likely to fight the good fight as they are to put the rest of the players in danger to get ahead.

2. They strategically go after their own goals.

If you want help from a chaotic neutral character, you must prove to them that they will benefit from helping you. But be careful! Reliability is never a chaotic neutral strength. The only thing reliable about them is that they are unreliable.

You might spot them strategically taking very big risks or going about their victory in a non-traditional way. These are the players that you see playing like a maniac, only to come out on top at the end of the game. Leaving you with an I’m-not-even-mad-that-was-awesome type of feeling.

3. You won’t see them going on about the rules unless it benefits them.

What makes a chaotic neutral character “chaotic” neutral instead of just “neutral” is their willingness to take aggressive action to achieve their goal. They don’t have any problem with bending the rules, as long as it lets them win.

Just don’t let them catch you bending the rules. These players can go from insisting that relaxed rules are more fun for everyone to pulling an excessively dog-eared rulebook out of their back pocket, real quick.

How do your RPG characters usually align?