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Neutral Evil

A neutral evil villain does whatever she can get away with. She is out for herself, pure and simple. She sheds no tears for those she kills, whether for profit, sport, or convenience. She has no love of order and holds no illusions that following laws, traditions, or codes would make her any better or more noble. On the other hand, she doesn’t have the restless nature or love of conflict that a chaotic evil villain has.

Some neutral evil villains hold up evil as an ideal, committing evil for its own sake. Most often, such villains are devoted to evil deities or secret societies.

Neutral evil represents pure evil without honor and without variation.

Neutral evil characters care only for themselves, and do whatever they think they can get away with. They place no stock in the ability of laws or codes to protect them, and thus don’t bother to follow them. At the same time, they’re less spontaneous and prone to whimsy than chaotic evil characters. In some ways, neutral evil is the purest form of evil, unburdened by any other tropes or tendencies. Whether a neutral evil character has chosen to practice evil for its own sake or—more often—simply has no empathy for others, the result is the same: cold, unfeeling cruelty.

Those who care nothing for others or the pain they cause, or who strive toward such indifference, are drawn to this alignment.


Neutral evil characters are not necessarily enthusiastic murderers—it’s so messy and causes so much potential trouble—but they rarely have qualms with the deed itself.

They are fundamentally interested only in themselves and their own dark desires and tastes. Other people are insects, tools, toys, or simply objects in their way.


Nothing matters. Entropy and chaos have created a world where nothing lasts, nothing means anything, and even the greatest works or truths will fall to dust and obscurity in the blink of an eye. You know that those who claim otherwise do themselves and everyone else a disservice, and you cannot abide anyone who perpetuates society’s great lies of love and meaning. Instead, you choose to reveal their willful ignorance by furthering the cause of destruction. The world offends you, and thus you will bring it down.

If you are an annihilist, you:

  • Have no feelings or scruples, or aspire to have none.
  • See entropy and death everywhere, and accept (and inflict) them as the true pillars of reality.
  • Despise anything that aspires to permanence, growth, or meaning.

Code: Everything crumbles. Who are you to argue with that?


Narcissists see meaning and beauty in the world—but only when they look in a mirror. For narcissists, the world truly does revolve around them:

whatever makes them unhappy is a tragic injustice, and whatever pleases them is theirs by divine right.

Narcissists can be genuinely bewildered—or homicidally enraged—by suggestions that anyone else’s concerns take precedence over theirs. The narcissist differs from the lawful evil tyrant in that he has no particular need for power or authority, so long as all his whims are catered to without question. It’s only when those whims are denied that the true, uncaring evil of the narcissist rears its bloody head.

If you are a narcissist, you:

  • See everything in terms of its effect on you.
  • Are surprised, shocked, or disgusted when the world or other people don’t cater to your expectations.
  • Are incapable of empathizing with others and can justify just about any horrific actions that serve your greater purpose.

Code: The universe knows what you want, so what does it expect when it doesn’t it give it to you?


Psychopaths are individuals who, for whatever reason, are unable to feel empathy and remorse, leading them to indulge in uninhibitedly antisocial behavior. A psychopath may or may not understand that others have feelings, but either way is unable to relate to other creatures. Other people are objects to them—sometimes amusing and sometimes useful, but always disposable.

If you are a psychopath, you:

  • Never feel remorse or empathy.
  • Indulge your whims in bold, often horrific ways.
  • Know that all living things—even other people—are just objects.

Code: Do anything you want. Anything.

Advantages and Challenges

Neutral evil characters embody pure selfishness. That single-minded dedication to themselves typically makes their inner lives very straightforward. Many strongly neutral evil characters are emotionless and affectless, sometimes to a terrifying degree, which further focuses their mental resources on getting what they want, and can make them experts at whatever interests them. If their lack of inhibition manifests as admirable boldness and fearlessness, they may become master infiltrators and manipulators.

Opportunities and Allies

Almost any adventuring class can be neutral evil—killing people and taking their stuff is central to the job, and fewer scruples mean more opportunities. This is particularly true of rogues and ninjas, with their specialties in lying, sneaking, stealing, and backstabbing, but rangers, with their gift for patient predation and dedicated hate,and alchemists (especially poisoners) also make great choices for neutral evil characters.

Neutral Evil Alliances

Provided neutral evil characters are getting what they want, they have no problem working with anyone else.

They can even be trustworthy for extended periods of time when a larger goal is at stake or their interests or goals overlap with others’. If someone pleases them and seems nonthreatening, they may look after that person, possibly even becoming protective, though with a tendency toward possessiveness.

Neutral evil characters tend to project their own extreme selfishness onto others, which can be corrosive to trust. This selfishness and paranoia, plus the universal mortal tendency to be more conscious of one’s own efforts than other people’s, means that neutral evil characters can come to feel that a perfectly fair deal is in fact weighted against them. More intelligent neutral evil characters may be able to resist this cognitive bias, but it can be a serious impediment to long-term collaboration.

Neutral evil characters often work willingly with lawful evil or chaotic evil types, covertly regarding both the orderly and the wild with a slightly bemused condescension, except when these allies’ behavior interferes with business. When working with neutral or good characters, neutral evil characters are generally careful to keep their vicious sides hidden except when necessary—or when they know they can get away with it.

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