Figuring out if you want to play a lawful neutral character really comes down to understanding how this particular alignment decides to react to situations.
The alignment can seem complex but it’s actually really simple to understand. Let’s dive into what makes a good lawful neutral character.
Simplifying Lawful Neutral
Breaking the alignment down can help make sense of how the character will react to situations. In this case, we have both the “lawful” and “neutral” alignments smashed together. Let’s look at these alignments separately.
How to be Lawful
In this case, we start with how being “lawful” affects our judgment.
Being lawful means conforming to a few different traits:
- Being dependable
- Having integrity
- Showing discipline
These traits paint a pretty clear picture of how our character will act. For instance, a lawful character would tell the truth about a murder, keep their word when an opportunity arises to steal something, and obey any authority.
However, if you play it right, a lawful character will have a few negative Along with those character traits, there a few negative traits that a lawful character will struggle with. Here are some negative traits lawful characters have:
- Blind devotion
So, a lawful character will often be at odds with other characters because of this. For example, the character will go by the rules even when morality is questionable. They could also hold actions that bend rules against other characters, even if it seems insignificant.
What is Neutrality?
Unlike lawful characters, a character that is neutral doesn’t necessarily care what the laws are. They also don’t actively try to break them. Here are a couple of words that describe a neutral character:
Neutral characters can be seen in a couple of different lights. For one, they could be seen as doing what is in their best interest, be it good, evil, lawful, or chaotic. However, this skews them slightly toward good. In general, being good is the path of least resistance most of the time.
On the other hand, they can also be seen as committed to neutrality. So much so that they will actively push for the middle of the road option. This puts them more as a balancer of good and evil (or law and chaos).
Just like with any character alignment, there can be some negatives to neutrality. Some characteristics can put the players in a very tight spot:
- Lack of concern
These traits of a neutral character can cause some serious problems. For example, when helping a wounded player isn’t necessarily the best or easiest path to take or when it’s easy for them to escape a situation and leave others behind.
Putting Lawful Neutral Together
Putting those two alignments together isn’t terribly difficult. Nothing in particular clashes between the two. However, there are a few things that change when you put the two together.
A lawful neutral character doesn’t necessarily care about good and evil. So they have a personal code they abide by, which doesn’t necessarily pertain to good and evil.
With that said, playing a lawful neutral character can mean representing the characteristics of both of the alignments:
- Follows laws and tradition
- Represents order
- They have a strong moral compass
How To Roleplay Lawful Neutral
This particular alignment is actually one of the easiest to adhere to. Since the character has a strong moral code but tends to abide by the law, it is a very natural character to play.
Here are the top 2 things to keep in mind while playing a lawful neutral character:
- Abide by an internal code which is based around law and order
- Don’t skew either towards good or evil
If you do that, then you have made a decent lawful neutral character. Here are some examples of some lawful neutral characters that are good to either consider when making yours or base yours off of:
- Judge Dredd
- Captain Picard (from Star Trek)
- Iron Man
- Clone Troopers (from Star Wars)
- The Flash
If you’re still unsure of how you want to make your lawful neutral character, here are some other great resources: