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Gary Gygax (if you don't know who he is, look at the covers of your first edition rules books) wondered how well this worked for experienced players; I said I had no information on that.  He suggested that we ask you to let us know; the links are at the end of the page--please check them--especially the last one, for the form through which you can let us know how it worked for you.  You will also find links to self-scoring versions of this quiz which others who found the work useful have created.

Alignment Quiz


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    This brief ten-question quiz concerns your character's alignment.  The referee has spent a great deal of time considering the various alignments, just exactly how they think, and since your adherence to your alignment can affect your adventure grade, which in turn can cost you training money, it behooves you to consider carefully what your character's alignment is, what he believes, and how that will at times affect his conduct.

    The method is simple.  Each of the questions is followed by four answers.  You must read the answers, and rank them from the one which is most like your character (4) to the one which is least like your character (1).  You must so rank each answer for each question; there can be no answers not ranked, and no tied answers.  One answer to each question must be ranked 4 (the most), another 3, another 2, and the remaining answer, the one least like your character, 1.  The first five questions have the beginning of a sentence, followed by four possible completions.  The last five questions have four statements related to an issue.  In each case, rank the choices from most to least like your character, with 4 being most.

    Scoring and explanations follow.  Please do not look at them until you have answered all ten questions and are satisfied with your answers.

    As far as how to answer, remember two things.  First, this is to be answered from the perspective of your character, and not from your own view.  You may disagree strongly with your character, or believe he is a little one-sided on some issues; but it is the character's answer to the question which matters.  Second, alignment is not a character trait or a byword or a club.  Alignment is a belief system, a core value in a theological philosophy of life.  This is, at the heart, what your character believes the world is or should be like.  It affects his life, because he will try to be what he thinks the world should be.  But you must remember that the character's alignment is something he believes in, and that it therefore has an articulable content which distinguishes it from any other alignment at the theoretical level.  Even when your character agrees with a character of a different alignment as to the correct course of action, it is usually for a different reason.  These questions attempt to get to those reasons.

Character Name:____________________________



 1) By adventuring, I am primarily. . .
   a___ doing my part to put things right.
   b___ rescuing the weak and helping the helpless.
   c___ enjoying the thrill of the dangers faced.
   d___ acquiring wealth and power through this experience.


 2) Were I not fit for an adventuring class, I would most likely be. . .
   a___ a man-at-arms in a nearby castle.
   b___ a bandit raiding the countryside.
   c___ an herbalist treating the sick.
   d___ a hermit living alone in the wilderness.


 3) My hero is. . .
   a___ Robin Hood.
   b___ King Arthur.
   c___ Attilla the Hun.
   d___ Darth Vader.


 4) I see myself more as. . .
   a___ a soldier.
   b___ a hero.
   c___ an adventurer.
   d___ a rogue.


 5) At the end of a successful venture. . .
   a___ I kill everyone and take the loot.
   b___ the party leaders begin planning another venture.
   c___ I look for ways to help others.
   d___ We say goodbye to each other, and I go relax my way.


 6)
   a___ Careful planning is the surest way to assure success.
   b___ Opportunities come to those flexible enough to grasp them.
   c___ One should always be ready to help others.
   d___ Look out for number one.


 7)
   a___ If people were free, crime would disappear.
   b___ Prosperity for all is only possible where crime is controlled.
   c___ Government makes it possible for the best people to rise to the top.
   d___ The function of the police is to oppress those who are just trying to survive.


 8)
   a___ No creature can ever claim ownership of any other creature.
   b___ Stronger creatures use slavery to take advantage of the weak.
   c___ Slavery is a reasonable solution to certain economic problems.
   d___ Some people deserve to be served by others.


 9)
   a___ The government which governs least governs best.
   b___ The one who always does good need not fear the law.
   c___ Without law, society would collapse.
   d___ Any situation can be made to work to one's own advantage.


10)
   a___ Each of us has a duty to all of us.
   b___ Each of us has a duty to our country and its government.
   c___ Each of us has a duty to himself.
   d___ There is no duty common to all.



 Scoring

    As you have probably guessed, each of the questions approaches a different issue, and each of the answers relates to a different alignment.  Eight of the ten questions distinguish law, chaos, good, and evil; the remaining two questions force the character to choose between corner alignments, making him prefer one thing over another.  It is not expected that any character will always choose the anwer for his own alignment first; however, overall there should be more answers under your chosen alignment than under the others.  For neutrals, there should be a visible balance, in which answers cross all alignment choices fairly easily.

    For quick and easy scoring, this chart has been set up with the question numbers, and the answers, by letter, under appropriate columns.  Compare your answers to the chart, copying the number you wrote next to the same letter here as there.  For questions 3 and 7, there are two lines, and your answer should appear once in each.  Once you have copied your answers into the appropriate column, sum the columns.


Character Name:_______________________________________

Question:LawChaosGoodEvil
1acbd
2adcb
3baac
dcbd
4acbd
5bdca
6abcd
7baac
cdbd
8cabd
9cabd
10bdac
Total


    At this point, you should compare your Law and Chaos scores, and subtract the smaller from the larger; then do the same with your Good and Evil Scores.  This gives your tendency toward whichever of the scores is larger.  For example, if your scores are Law 44, Chaos 21, Good 35, and Evil 20, then you are 44-21=23 points toward Lawful, and 35-20=15 points toward good.  The maximum possible score in any column is 46, and the minimum is 14; therefore the greatest possible difference is 32.  The greatest possible difference in both dimensions at once is 24.  Differences of up to about 8 are considered nearly neutral, with slight or strong tendencies in one direction.  Differences above 10 are clearly in the alignment specified.  Side alignment characters should obviously be stronger in the chosen alignment, but may have a little more leeway on what constitutes neutral, perhaps as high as 10 representing strong tendencies toward one side.  True neutrals should have at least one dimension clearly under 8, and neither over ten.  The same maximum scores which could represent a side alignment with a strong tendency from the neutral can also be viewed as a corner alignment with a strong tendency to favor one axis.  However, the player will be more comfortable with a character whose alignment scores are clearly within the parameters of the chosen alignment.

    Enter the differences here, and indicate which is the greater number if the difference is not zero:


____________ Law/Chaos ____________ Good/Evil





    Of course, by now you are arguing with my answers.  Here, then, question by question, is the logic of each answer.

    Question 1 gets to the motive of the character.  Good characters are always looking to make the world a better place; therefore, answer B, rescuing the weak and helping the helpless, is the good answer.  Lawfuls see the world as necessarily being structured, and the unstructured elements as breaking that down.  A quest into the unknown has the primary purpose of taming it; therefore, answer A, putting things right, is a lawful response.  Answer D, acquiring wealth and power, is definitive of the evil alignment; evils believe that such is theirs by right.  As to the chaotic, there can be little reason for such an adventure except the adventure itself, and so answer C, enjoying the thrill of the dangers, is the best choice.

    Question 2 looks at character, belief, and personality by considering an alternative career path.  The good character will want to do something to help others, especially the poor, so an herbalist, answer C, is the best choice.  Evil characters will still want to claim what is theirs, and so answer B, bandit, comes closest.  A man-at-arms is clearly involved in a defined position in an authority structure; he knows whence his orders come, what is expected of him, and who he commands.  All this, answer A, will appeal to the lawful character.  As to the chaotic character, he has no need of any of those things, but wants to live his own life.  Being a hermit, answer D, is the easiest way to escape from the structures of society.

    Question 3 is the first of the corner alignment questions.  Each of the four heroes defines (at least in the popular conception) one of the four combinations.  Robin Hood is definitively the chaotic good hero, opposing all that is law and structure because it oppresses the people, and taking the profit he gains for his opposition and giving it to them.  Answer A thus credits chaos and good.  King Arthur, on the other hand, built one of the finest orderly systems, complete with law and enforcement, command and authority, to bring down the notion that might makes right and establish a good society.  He, answer B, combines good with law.  Attilla the Hun is most noted for tearing down structures in Europe and Asia.  Although he maintained a highly disciplined army for the purpose, he is seen as a raider who destroys entire countries to line his own pocket.  This is very close to the heart of chaotic evil, and falls as answer C.  When it comes to moving within the dark side, Darth Vader shows us clearly how one can be entirely out for one's self while being completely obedient to a master and strictly part of a chain of command.  His entire aspect combines the disciplines of law with the values of evil, and so answer D is the lawful evil choice.

    Question 4 restates question one, using names instead of descriptions, to reach the motive of the character in a more poetic way.  The soldier, answer A, is the one in the authority structure, the lawful.  Heroes are those who rescue others for the sake of the rescued; answer B thus is the good answer.  Answer D, the rogue, describes those trying to better themselves at the expense of others, frequently by deception, and is the evil selection.  The adventurer is the one who does this because it is there to be done; he is the chaotic, having no better reason to explore than that he may.

    Question 5 asks what should happen when the adventure is over.  The first answer, wipe out the party and abscond with the money, is clearly the evil answer; many an evil party has passed out of existence because one of them understood answer A as the correct choice.  Answer B places the planning of another venture in the hands of those in charge, the lawful decision.  Answer C points up that good characters are always seeking to do good; adventuring is generally a way of gaining the means to do so, and the doing good continues between the adventures.  Answer D breaks the party up.  To the chaotic, the party is a necessary evil which exists for the purpose of the adventure; when the adventure is over, the party no longer really exists except as a group of friends who might adventure again someday.  While the lawful thinks of the party as ongoing, an authority structure which continues, the chaotic rejects this notion, and opposes any idea that party rules apply to party members when the necessity of a present danger does not exist.

    The issue in question 6 is structure and planning.  This is a law/chaos issue, of no real interest to good and evil.  The lawful character will choose answer A, because he believes in planning as the best means to achieve goals.  The chaotic character will reject answer A, preferring answer B, maintaining flexibility as a way to seize opportunities.  The good character would be less interested in these aspects, but would tend toward a balance in which there is enough flexibility to help others, however strictly the plan is formed, thus choosing answer C.  Finally, when it comes to planning, the evil character will always keep in mind his maxim, look out for yourself first, answer D.

    In question 7, the other corner alignment question, the issue is the nature of government.  Answer A describes a belief in which government is ultimately minimized, making it possible for people to be freed from the oppressions of law to just be good to each other the way they would be were it not for the pressures on them to conform.  This is a chaotic good belief, and so credits both chaos and good.  The lawful good opposes this view, maintaining answer B, that crime must be controlled (by law) in order for everyone to prosper.  The lawful evil character does not care about the rest of society, but recognizes in a strong government the opportunity for him to move into the position he deserves, and so chooses answer C, expecting that he is one of those best people.  Answer D is the song of the chaotic evil, that the government is trying to keep us in our place, refusing to allow us to do what we want.

    Question 8 is the slavery issue.  This is difficult to understand in our society.  Slavery itself is not a good/evil issue, but a law/chaos issue.  It is possible to perceive slavery as a force for good, providing a home for those who would not otherwise have it by employing their services to produce for society at large.  In a society in which slavery is legal, lawfuls will not oppose it on lawful grounds, because on lawful grounds it is, as answer C suggests, a reasonable solution to certain economic problems.  Conversely, chaotic characters will always oppose enslavement of any creature in principle, whether or not it's legal, and will thus choose answer A.  To the good character, the issue is not slavery itself but the treatment of slaves by masters; if slaves are generally well treated, there is not much about which to complain.  However, answer B suggests that to the good the inherent flaw in slavery is its openness to abuse by the strong against the weak.  As to the evil character, he believes that society should permit him to have what he wants.  Although slavery is not a good/evil issue, he sees himself as worthy of being a master if slavery is to exist, and to be treated with deference even where it does not, answer D.

    The relationship of the individual to the civil law is the next issue, in question 9.  Of course, the lawful believes that law is essential to society, answer C.  The chaotic follows that great American maxim that less is more, answer A, rejecting the need for law.  To the good character, it is a non-issue.  If you are good, says answer B, the law will ignore you.  As to answer D, the evil character also sees it as a non-issue.  Law or no law, you can make whatever is there work for you.  It is your advantage that counts.

    Finally question 10 asks us about our unwritten duty.  The good character sees, with answer A, that we are all connected, and have a duty to help everyone else.  The lawful character, taking answer B, thinks of duty more in terms of the authority which must be obeyed.  A duty to himself, answer C, is the evil character's way of thinking:  put yourself first.  As to the chaotic, perhaps there are some duties to freedom and liberty, or perhaps some have duties to masters they have chosen to obey, or duties to philanthropies and charities to which they are pledged, but in the final analysis you cannot tell anyone that everyone has any specific single duty.  It depends on who you are.  Thus answer D expresses the chaotic view.

    I hope this quiz has helped you understand who your character is and what his alignment really means to him.  If you don't like the answer you got, perhaps you should either reconsider your character's motivations and actions, or talk to the DM about a non-penalized alignment change based on a misunderstanding of what your selected alignment really meant.

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Gary Gygax liked the idea of an alignment quiz to help clarify the ideas involved, and thought this was a pretty good effort.  He wanted to know whether experienced gamers generally came close to the alignment they expected.  To this end, we agreed to ask you for your results.

If you'd like to take the quiz on-line, there are two possibilities:
Wei-Hwa Huang created an interactive CGI version; although his original is no longer posted, Lorenz translated it into German.  When you're done, use your back button to come back here.
And thanks to Charles Ford for creating a JavaScript version for us to use.

If you'd like to see Gary Gygax' more recent work visit him at:
http://www.lejendary.com/,
The Creative World of Gary Gygax.
Mr. Gygax also recommends the materials on alignment, which you will find on the Character Creation web site, now at:
http://www.mjyoung.net/dungeon/char/step004.html,
a useful site overall for those of you who play first edition AD&D.
And if you would be so kind as to let us know how it came out with this quick and easy MailTo form, I'll see that he gets the information.

You are also invited to return to M. J. Young's Dungeons & Dragons Materials or to discover Multiverser:  The Game, and to visit M. J. Young Net for D&D, Multiverser, Time Travel, Theology, Law, Music, and more.

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