Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Hero - Neutral Good

The Hero - Neutral Good


*Notes from the Present: After writing the entry for Lawful Good, I started working on Neutral Good, but then life happened, and I lost interest in the project. What follows is completely new material, fresh out the oven. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it and doing research for it.

"What do you mean?" he said. "Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?"

Neutral Good, the alignment that most, if not all, of the heroes we know from comic books, tv-shows and mainstream media tend to fall on. What is Neutral Good in a nutshell? Well simply put: whoever chooses to do good deeds, aid those who can’t fend for themselves, and at the same time does not fully associate himself with the law. He does good because it’s the right thing to do.

The man who stole the loaf of bread a couple of posts ago was going through some hard times. A Neutral Good character would have more than likely gone out of his way to buy a loaf of bread and give it to the man before he committed the crime. They do not care who needs help, he or she will help regardless of whether it’s done because it is dictated by society's morals or ethics or even the laws themselves.

Here’s what most player handbooks say about this alignment:

Neutral Good can be the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. Neutral Good characters value freedom and will protect others' freedom as long as it's not used to do harm.

Understandably, this alignment can be confused a lot with Chaotic Good, but a good way to set the two of them apart is remembering that Neutral good is a lot more practical and a lot more moderate than Chaotic Good. Although both are led by a more internal code of morality, rather than an external code or set of morals, Neutral good tends to stick to the safe and practical side of "doing good deeds".

Simply put: If the Neutral Good character lives in a society where the laws allow or help him to do what he believes is good. Then he will abide by the law. However, if the laws impede them to do what they internally find to be good, they will find no problem in breaking those laws. Only… you know… not as extremely as Chaotic Good, who would not only save the children. They would also go and burn the churches, kill the priests, hack the planet, boom.

And here you see one of the problems with Alignments. When you need to define what is good and what is evil. Maybe your morals dictate that something that is good for someone else, is actually very twisted and evil for you. What is good? what is bad? what is love? baby don't hurt me... don't hurt me... no more...

SO! Who would be a good example? One who Serves kings and magistrates but is not beholden to them, right?

Dumroll…


He levels up by killing a Balrog in a 1v1 fight... also kind of a dick move since he shared NONE of the xp...

GANDALF!

He does not stop to think about the laws of men, Hobbits, Elves or Orcs when doing his duty as one of the Istari. He travels middle earth doing good, even though his definition of good clashes with others like Denethor, Théoden or Boromir. Who, let’s face it, were ALL doing what was good by their own set of morals. Here’s Gandalf at his finest: with the most ominous quote from the book and the movies.

“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. I have not much hope that Gollum can be cured before he dies, but there is a chance of it. And he is bound up with the fate of the Ring. My heart tells me that he has some part to play yet, for good or ill, before the end; and when that comes, the pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many - yours not least.” 
Gandalf – The Fellowship of the Ring


If you google "Meaning of foreshadowing", you find that quote.

Thanks for reading! What do you think? Did I get it right? Was I HORRIBLY off-point in this one? leave a comment and tell me what you think!