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Why would a race be always chaotic evil?

  • I mean, if you take the drow for an example, their population should plummet from all the amount of times they backstabbed each other. How can such psychotic societies be viable? Honestly, if you were bad to outsiders, that might work, but internal fighting...makes you easy prey.
    • Well, for one, I don't think it's all too unfeasible - after all, humans managed to form cohesive (though invariably temporary) societies in spite of all their backstabbery, slavery, and warmongering. Additionally, I would like to note that, in most of these cases in the D&D world (and that's what's being talked about here for the most part), there are pretty good explanations and interesting notifications about this. For example, in the 3.0/3.5 edition of the monster manual, it pretty much acknowledges that these kinds of societies are very difficult, if not impossible, to maintain, especially with races that already have a negative intelligence/wisdom modifier. For instance, the book pretty much explains that most chaotic evil races end up only developing into extremely primitive tribal settlements, and that Orcish leadership basically revolves around the orc with big enough balls to kill his clan leader (and is most likely eventually killed by a fellow orc who wants his place as well). I would argue that a lot of these races adhere to your notion of chaotic evil being unsustainable pretty well - in fact, in a lot of cases it's the only thing preventing them from completely ruling the world considering the oftentimes superior statline (at least physically) that chaotic evil races like Orc and Ogres often possess. Also keep in mind that most of the evil races that actually do manage to form somewhat cohesive and functional societies, such as Drow, Mindflayers, and Hobgoblins, are usually Lawful (Hobgoblins) or at least Neutral (Drow as of third edition) evil, and not chaotic evil. Lawful evil and neutral evil characters are a lot more likely to actually work together and simply attempt to undermine one another covertly as opposed to outright frontal assault.
    • The thing is that 'always' chaotic evil mean that they are going around doing evil things just For the Evulz. Even at worst, people can be Neutral Evil because it is self serving. But ALWAYS killing each other for no real reason? They shouldn't even survive long enough for them to develop any kind of civilization.
    • Societies? No, CE societies don't work. Species? Most definitely. Most species on earth aren't Lawful like humans. Most species have no social groups, even taking care of your own young is in the minority. So a species born CE makes perfect sense, having any form of society for a non-lawful species does not, however.
      • Just to point out, there are, in fact, plenty of social, child-rearing animals. It's actually quite ironic, to my mind, that Gnolls are Always Chaotic Evil, when Hyenas are actually quite social, forming, if memory serves, large packs of 20 or more individuals. Although the point that pretty much only Lawful species could form civilizations is valid.
      • Gnolls get a free pass for being directly created by a crazy demon. It could be that the similarity to hyenas is simply because Yeenoghu thought that they looked cool.
    • Yeah, that sort of thing is totally unrealistic.
    • I think the above editor meant that a sapient Always Chaotic Evil species is unlikely; because a society where everyone was Ax Crazy would be self-destructive, and such a dangerous species would probably not last very long because it would be a neutral threat to all others.
    • Well, if I cared about evolution and real life, I would say that it's because the species evolved in such a way that selfish individualism was evolutionarily advantageous. But D&D species origins tend to be "engineered by a mad wizard/god/primordial", in which case, the answer is "the guy who made them is a selfish individualist and wanted his creations to be too."
      • Except that doesn't explain why such a race would last more than a few generations. Having an artificial origin doesn't exempt you from natural selection now, and it tends to eliminate the extremes of spitefulness as readily as extremes of altruism.
    • Chaotic Evil doesn't necessarily mean Chaotic Stupid. Chaotic Evil races tend to go the route of "rule by the strong". Drow can maintain a semblance of society because their spider-goddess is real and her clerics will do nasty horrible things to you if you disobey. Orcs follow the guy who can bash your head in or the cunning Overlord who promises them endless war and plunder.
      • Most of the time, if they were created by a god, that god is actively enforcing the lifestyle on them and making sure it works.
    • Being Always Chaotic Evil can potentially be a stable survival strategy for a species, but only if there are lots of vulnerable non-Evils around to prey upon, sparing them the need to actually grow or build anything cooperatively. A band of orcs who roam around pillaging villages of non-combatants have found themselves a perfectly workable lifestyle, so long as they have the common sense to seek greener pastures when the PC heroes show up. The problem arises when there's nobody around but other badasses, as with the drow in the Underdark: unless there are a lot more deep gnomes down there than most game-products indicate, the dark elves have nothing but aggressive mind flayers, duergar, and kuo-toa as neighbors, so they rightly ought to be wiped out by their Lawful competitors due to lack of defensive teamwork.
    • That is exactly why Drow promote backstabbing but abhor outright fighting in the streets, at least in the D&D setting. It doesn't make you easy prey, it's social darwinism to the extreme. It makes the group stronger if anything. This is also the very reason why races such as the Orcs never get ahead in life. Since they're openly hostile to everything, including each other, they don't advance past barbarian status and are generally nothing more than pawns for the Big Bad, or just a random encounter and nothing to worry about.
    • There's also how, in the latest 3.5 supplement on the drow, it specifically points out that Lolth deliberately orders a stand-down on the usual fratricide in a drow community whenever it gets to the point of weakening things too much, and it's time to sit back and take a rebuilding year until the community's military readiness is restored. And when your Always Chaotic Evil demon goddess says take a time out, you take a time out. In short, the drow system is admitted to be dynamically unstable, but it survives anyway because it has continual maintenance done to it by an external power.
      • The Deus-Ex-Arachnea solution of the latest splatbook seems like the most consistent to me. A good deal of the drow culture doesn't make sense without it or would completely dissolve within mere centuries since they've still got elven lifecycles - when the house matriarch kills one of her children because she has a bad day, it will take about a hundred years to replace them.
        • Drow of the Underdark? Doesn't it state that the race as a whole is Chaotic Evil, but due to the Lawful tendencies of society, they are considered Neutral Evil?
      • Also, more or less any time the drow lose, which they do with quite significant regularity, this is almost always the reason for it. Drow are a terrible threat individually to your average adventuring party and if it weren't for their near-psychosis, they'd be a dangerous political power, but they are almost always roundly outmatched in anything like real war because of their inability to cooperate as a group. Of course, this doesn't change the problems of them having spectacular weapons, magic, and infrastructure, but it is at least a partial subversion!
      • The name "Lolth" bugs me. It sounds like something 4chan came up with: "The LOLth edition"
      • In my MM, Drows are stated as being normally Neutral Evil; they just have a Chaotic Evil Goddess.
        • This troper thinks it's supposed be a twist on Lilith.
    • Most of the Always Chaotic Evil species in D&D are portrayed as being prolific breeders that mature quickly - kobolds, goblins, orcs, and the like have a high fatality rate, but their children can grow up and breed faster than humans, dwarves, and especially elves do.
      • But kobolds are lawful evil. It seems as if the D&D world just happens to hate kobolds.
  • D&D orcs and goblins being treated like their Lotor counterparts just bugs me. How hard is it to differentiate that big toothed guy from the abomination twisted from elves to kill for evil overlords?
    • One of my DMs attempted to justify this (how successfully is open for discussion) by saying orcs were obligate carnivores, unable to get any nutrition from plant-material, and also had a high reproductive rate. As such, orc population had to remain small to not overwhelm local food supply. When the world was "wild", there were enough dangerous monsters to keep them balanced in local ecosystems, but as humanity/elfanity/dwarfanity/what-have-you civilized, the number of really dangerous monsters started to go down as the new civilizations wouldn't stand for them. As a result, orc populations started to skyrocket. Orcs evolved, by necessity, as an always-chaotic-evil civilization because a culture that kills its other members with regularity was better able to keep its own numbers in check. A peaceful, civilized orc civilization would consume its surrounding area in a matter of years and starve. (Or move, but that would lead to its own problems.) And, if they got really overpopulated, war with nearby civilizations would be inevitable.
      • Two things you need to remember, and they require a deeper perspective. First, as much as people complain about What Measure Is a Non-Human?, they forget that these creatures AREN'T human. Human standards don't necessarily apply, and as such, it is not unrealistic for them to be inherently evil. The next thing is that it isn't our world. Good and Evil are not subjective concepts, but literal forces, with planes of existence dedicated to alignments, and hundreds of deities, personifications, and the like run around. With that kind of universe, it's not hard to believe that people might actually be or choose to be evil without trying to convince themselves that they're doing good.
  • It just bugs me that, even though Drow are Always Chaotic Evil, at least 90% of all player character Drow are Chaotic Good. Damn you, Drizzt Do'Urden! To the Nine Hells with you!
    • Yeah, let's blame a perfectly good character instead of the legions of unoriginal slack-jawed fans who are actually responsible for ripping off what was once a nifty idea.
    • Let's also blame the author for taking what was once a perfectly good character and then beating the idea to death with a rock for the next fifteen novels. Driz'zt has been just a tad overexposed by now.
      • Drizzt is the Wolverine of D&D novels. But cut Salvatore a break; the Spooky Wizard doesn't exactly keep him chained to his laptop, cranking out Drizzt books, but there is some truth in the idea.
      • I think it's usually that people want to read about Drizzt, thus people will buy Drizzt books over something else Salvatore writes, and thus it sells better. So, while he could give the character a break (and has done so occasionally in the past, see the Cleric Quintet for example), it makes way more money than anything else he could write about does.
  • I dislike the idea of a species being always chaotic evil. Evil society, I have no problems with (granted, such societies might not work in real life, but I think that could be ignored for storyline reasons), but the idea that every member of a sapient species, regardless of how they are raised, is always irredeemably evil just bugs me. Surely, a sapient being would have free will and thus could choose to not be evil? In an evil culture, this probably wouldn't happen, but if said being was, for example, adopted as a baby by lawful good people, it growing up being evil just doesn't make sense to me.
    • It generally doesn't. More often than not, Chaotic Evil creatures raised by Good creatures will turn out Good themselves. Of course, they may still feel internal turmoil because their nature and nurture are conflicting, and can easily fall from their principles. Besides which, since very few fantasy societies have a reasonable mechanism for adoption of Chaotic Evil creatures, such exceptions are so incredibly rare that they simply don't factor enough to overturn the Always part of Always Chaotic Evil.
    • Let's say there's a 'verse where vampires can only survive by drinking from innocent unwilling humans until they die, and that anything short of death and anything non-human just isn't enough to keep the vampire alive. The vampires have free will, but if they use that free will to decide not to be evil, they will die. Then, any living vampire must logically be an evil one.
      • No, simply doing what you need to survive isn't evil. They would only be evil if they killed humans for some purpose other than survival. Also, they could target humans who are near death anyways.
        • Or, they could still come to some sort of arrangement with the humans, like killing humans who are slated for execution, or the ill/dying, or their enemies, instead of only killing the innocent.
      • The OP's point was that with magic, it can be ridiculously specific so that the victim must be innocent and must be unwilling. You don't see that set up very often, but when it does show up, it makes sense. A guy who can only survive by devouring innocent souls is either evil, or dead.
        • Not quite. If someone puts a gun to your head and tells you to shoot someone else, you are not evil for doing so; you're not even legally culpable for doing it. Mice are unable to formulate moral intent, and hence are innocent; a cat eating a mice in the wild is not evil. A human eating an innocent cow is not evil. The problem here is that with vampires (etc.), we are the mice/cows, but that doesn't mean it is actually evil though. Honestly, we don't generally consider people who eat cows evil and we aren't even forced to eat meat to survive, so if you think vampires are evil, then you should have a massive problem with burger king (sapience of prey is not the prime factor here either, it is the survival aspect). Another point: for such hyperspecific cases, the creator would be at fault for such a stupid design; nature would never cripple a species by requiring it to eat only the unwilling. Finally, making up such an overspecified case is really just a way to dodge the points people made above, I don't think the must kill the unwilling to live idea really applies in general. It's like telling someone who makes $50,000 a year that they don't make enough money to survive since someone could threaten to kill them unless they pay $100,000; sure, it can happen, but that's not really the point at hand.
  • I've often wondered: does being Always Chaotic Evil justify genocide? Let's say, the 'good' races gain the upper hand in some great war. Does that mean they're justified in pressing that advantage to annihilate every man, woman, and child of the enemy race they come across? If 98% of Orcs are Lawful Evil, and either regularly engage in pillage and murder or will inevitably do so when they grow up, it would seem to make perfect sense to wipe them all out; sorry to the 2% or however many, but leaving the rest of civilization open to the periodic rampages of their evil brethren just for their sake hardly seems worth it.
    • Depends on how you define "Good". People have extensively argued whether Genociding an Evil Race is a Good act (ridding the world of Evil), a Neutral Act (it's evil to kill an entire race of beings, but they're evil too, so it's balanced out), or an Evil Act (stooping to their level).
    • If a small minority of a normally Always Chaotic Evil race isn't evil, it would make sense to try to figure out what's different about that minority and how they could become the majority. For example, if I was in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I'd learn witchcraft and give as many vampires souls as I could. Or the few Good ones could be due to a genetic mutation, in which case, if you just kill Evil members of that race and not Good ones, then eventually, they'd become the majority.
    • Essentially, are you Good or Neutral? A Good-aligned character will usually refuse to countenance genocide for any reason. A Neutral character will kill them all. Essentially, in DnD, "willing to do unpleasant things to people for the greater good" is neutral and "I will not cross that line" is good.
    • A note from Wikipedia's DnD alignment page, describing the conduct of a Neutral character: "In an example given in a D&D rulebook, a typical druid might fight against a band of marauding gnolls, only to switch sides to save the gnoll's clan from being exterminated." What the shit? Doesn't that sound more like Good? Norman Spinrad had a point, I guess...
      • That druid is a case of the "dedicated to balance" form of True Neutral, in this case, a balance between humans and gnolls. The one committing genocide would probably be a Lawful Neutral Knight Templar, supporting genocide to protect their city. Neutral isn't a homogeneous lump, it's essentially a way of saying "these people aren't good, but they aren't evil" - which has a lot of potential permutations. (To put it another way, a Good-aligned character refuses to commit genocide because it'd involve killing innocent gnoll children, a druid refuses to commit genocide because that would be fucking about with the natural order, and a Chaotic Neutral character refuses to commit genocide because he doesn't feel like it).
    • The Book of Exalted Deeds handled this one - it's wrong. Genocide implies the deaths of noncombatants, and killing a noncombatant is evil. Yes, the BoED killed the Baby Kobold Dilemma.
      • So, does the Book of Exalted Deeds say whether to let the kobold babies starve or get eaten by wild animals, or keep them with you until you're killed protecting them, or you can hand them off to some villagers who might not kill them? Grey and Gray Morality is a trope for a reason. I would say killing them is very dark grey, taking them to a foster home is pale grey, raising them yourself is a shade of grey varying from very pale to a kind of middling grey depending on the quest and if anyone else can complete it, and letting them starve or be killed by wild animals is the only solidly evil option (since your only reason in doing so is to avoid dirtying your own hands). But the DM might say otherwise, and since the DM is as close to Divine Judgement as you can get (even more than the books, considering house rules and differing interpretations), the DM's final say is the only thing that matters.
    • Depends on the race really, 40ks Orks and Dark Eldar? HELL YEAH (in fact, the orks would be mad at you if you didn't try to kill them all)!
    • Not to mention that a true Always Chaotic Evil race would have no good individuals whatsoever, in the sense that it would be impossible for any member of such a race to ever be good, even if it was exposed to nothing but kindness and love and told from birth that killing, rape, and other things generally associated with marauding Orcs, for instance, are wrong. If there is a Defector From Decadence, then the race isn't truly this trope and can, at least in theory, be reformed so as not to be a threat to others. For a true Always Chaotic Evil race, even the children would grow up evil no matter what. In that case, the good guys really wouldn't have a choice when it comes to comitting genocide against them.
  • What bugs me about this whole trope is the name. I mean, if it involves all evil alignments, like Lawful Evil and Neutral Evil, isn't it odd that it is called Always "Chaotic" Evil. I mean, it might make sense in retrospective, since in early editions, Chaotic Evil was described as the worst alignment by the creators, but that's changed. Besides, if this trope involves Lawful Evil and Neutral Evil races, shouldn't the trope name just be called Always Evil? After all, if it doesn't refer only to chaotic evil races, it gets confusing when the trope itself is called Always Chaotic Evil, right?
    • Repeat to yourself: "it's just a trope name, I should really just relax".
    • This troper dislikes the "chaotic" part of it because she self-identifies with chaotic, and it's not inherently more harmful to others than lawful. (Well sure, people around me have a difficult time, but it's limited to those in my immediate vicinity; Lawful people can annoy a lot more.)
    • I think it's to make the Dungeons and Dragons reference more obvious.
    • That, and "Always Evil" sounds more like the trope refers to actions that are invariably Evil, in the Moral Event Horizon sense.
    • Since Always Lawful Good was changed not long ago to Noble Profession, I think a name switch here would do fine too. The title is still confusing considering that it is not referring to the alignment Chaotic Evil OR the D&D alignment system per se, just races that are thoroughly evil. Dungeons and dragons referencing title aside, some will assume it has something to do with the alignment system when they open the article, in regards to the title. That's why the title should be more descriptive towards the subject, rather than focusing on some character alignment that can only loosely be associated with this trope. So, it speaks more for itself if it is called something like Evil Race or Villainous Race or something like that.
      • C'mon, there's plenty of complaints about losing the quirkiness of this wiki already, and those suggested names are terrible. Besides, Noble Profession's name change reflected the use of the trope which tended to apply to professions rather than races, while Always Chaotic Evil still perfectly fits its purpose. Besides, maybe it counts as Product Placement.
      • True, the quirkiness of this wiki is a pretty good example of why I like it here. However, I still stand by my opinion that putting Chaotic Evil in the name really biases the title, like claiming that if a race is really truly evil, it is a lot more likely to be Chaotic Evil than Lawful Evil or Neutral Evil. And I, for one, find that far from true, even if it may be slightly more common. However, I cannot seem to come up with anything more relevant that doesn't sound stupid for now, so it will have to suffice. Just want to elaborate that since it has nothing to do with the D&D alignment system AT ALL, I really feel it is a bad idea to let that be the trope namer. D&D examples arguably exist, but I don't find that enough to justify its alignment system being used as the trope namer. (And if we necessarily do need to reference the D&D alignment system in the title, I'd prefer Always Neutral Evil instead, because it is not so blatantly biased towards chaos.)
        • There's a long-standing tradition of people viewing "Chaotic Evil" as being more evil than Neutral Evil, and Neutral Evil as being more evil than Lawful Evil. The same is also true for the good side, with most people viewing Lawful Good as being more good than Neutral Good, which is then more good than Chaotic Good. It's one of those misconceptions that's way too common to really fight -- i.e. you'll just drive yourself crazy if you try.
  • Perhaps instead, a racial alignment should be interpreted as their general attitude towards other races. So a race that is Always Chaotic Evil sees people of other races as being sub-human (so to speak), and thus whatever you do to or take from them is of no consequence.
  • What bugs me about Always Chaotic Evil is how overused it is in its literal sense. Why not write about a species that has no concept of charity outside its immediate genepool, but has no sadism either, working with and against others for its own benefit (True Neutral)? Or a species that's naturally benevolent but near-incapable of setting standards and conventions like exchange rates (Chaotic Good)? Such beings have potential for a variety of roles in-story, whereas Chaotic Evil creatures aren't good for much more than Mooks.
    • Completely seconded.
  • While I dislike the idea of Always Chaotic Evil races in general, I have several specific problems with it.
    • Being pre-disposed to nasty behavior seems like a very odd, very specific, and very convenient way for a species having evolved different social behaviors to manifest. Seems like "did not evolve from a social animal" would be more likely to make your race autistic, not nasty.
    • There are a lot of Always Chaotic Evil races. If there were only a few, it'd be one thing, but, in most fantasy media, and DnD specifically, Always Chaotic Evil Acceptable Target races abound. It just seems like kind of a cop-out that there are so many races that are conveniently strongly pre-disposed to mindless evil, so the best thing to do is kill them on sight, before they kill you.
    • As a general rule, a race being Always Chaotic Evil and being visually dissimilar to humans are strongly correlated. In DnD, while most of the core races have a black-skinned Always Chaotic Evil version (that's right, there are also evil Deep Dwarbes and Deep Gnomes, believe it or not!), many of the monstrous-looking races -- eg. Gnolls -- don't have civilized, good-guy, not-always-evil counterparts. Too often, "Always Chaotic Evil" is the cop-out reason why monstrous-looking races are never good-guys. It's a cover from people with limited imaginations, who cannot picture or comprehend being friends with something that doesn't look human.
  • What bugs me about this trope is that people always seem to complain about the trope itself, rather than specific badly-used examples of it. There are plenty of examples of it being used in an interesting, even thought-provoking manner, or it being justified in a relevant way, or both. It's almost ironic: people assume the trope 'Always Chaotic Evil' is Always Badly Used.
    • That's because there's no such thing as a good example of Always Chaotic Evil.
    • I agree. Moral relativism is a great subject to explore, but isn't it nice to sometimes have things be simple? Isn't it satisfying when characters can be unquestionable heroes?
      • Yeah! Unquestionable heroes who can kill without any qualms...wait.
    • At least the trope is good as a guilty pleasure.
  • What really bugs me is how it is okay to differentiate all you want when you write elves, humans, or other "pretty" races, but a lot of people get up in arms if you even suggest writing an orc (or any member of another dark/ugly/strange looking race) as anything but Always Chaotic Evil. I would just attribute this to canon, except for the fact that said races in canon works are often portrayed as having their own individual thoughts and sentience regardless of their alliance. What, is it just so that the pretty races can have an excuse to sit on their moral high horse while they slaughter groups of sentient beings? I know this reads like an Epic Rage but it does get really agitating.
    • Those sentient beings are hardly innocent. It's worth pointing out that, most of the time, the orcs, goblins, and other Always Chaotic Evil races are usually the ones that start the fight and are cheerfully willing to commit genocide on the elves and humans if the latter races don't defend themselves. The reason the "pretty" races can sit on their moral high horse is because the Always Chaotic Evil races are usually the ones who carry out most of the murder, robbery, and destruction to begin with. And even if individual members of those races have their own individual thoughts and sentience, 99.9999999% of the time, such thoughts and sentience are devoted how they're going to rob and murder their next victims. Each one just tends to have a different set of priorities. In short - it's a Crapsack World, and it's worth noting that the orcs and goblins will almost certainly kill you if you don't do something about it.
    • He's complaining about people making orcs always chaotic evil, not that they aren't in most fantasies. Read more carefully next time and save yourself the paragraph.
    • It is harder for human beings to empathize with creatures that don't look like them. They look at something ugly and immediately think "monster". They look at something pretty but non-humanoid and think "cute" or "pet". Most never think "equal" unless the creature in question could pass for a human with minor cosmetic surgery. That's the sad truth.
  • This African-American troper was once told that he was demeaning his own race and promoting Unfortunate Implications because he was portraying Drow as Always Chaotic Evil. This is ignoring that, canonically speaking, they are evil. And even then, he has never seen the racism there. Beyond the dark skin, I can think of no stereotype or trait that is applied to blacks that is ever applied to Drow.
    • Drow also typically have silvery-white hair. Some depictions also show them with purplish or dark blue skin, no doubt in part to at least try and avert the assocations with Afro-Americans.
    • Well, that's why the trope's called Unfortunate Implications: they're not intended. It would take some weird leaps of logic to deduce that the Drow of Orkneyjar and Shetlandic folklore were originally based on Sub-Saharan Africans (though they might have been loosely based on the Picts), but Unfortunate Implications are still there because the equation of "dark" skin with evil has a long, ugly history.
  • The Whole concept of good and evil, chaotic and lawful bothers me because it appears to be a redressed version of the liberal/conservative, libertarian/authoritarian concept. Consider the implications of the profit for all/profit for one, the idea that xenophobia is inherently bad, being warlike is bad, and several other things, it seems as if the creators had a political agenda when designing the race. I am personally a liberal, but if I were a conservative, I'd hate the game system that says that my core beliefs were, you know, evil. I might be missing something or might be looking to far into it. Made worse by fourth ed. which implies that all chaos is evil (parallels to Conservative libertarianism) and that all law is good (parallels to Liberal authoritarianism).
    • But you're missing the point of having an Always Chaotic Evil opponent. It makes the protagonists' actions seem more "right" or "honorable". If real-life humans were destroyed the way orcs were in High Fantasy, then we'd call their killers murderers and genocidal. But having a race that is pure evil means that none of their deaths cause a crisis of conscience for those who kill them. After all, you're only ridding the world of evil...
    • Chaos is not inherently more evil than Law in the alignment system. For instance, a Libertarian with a strong moral code would be Chaotic Good, the thing that matters on the Good/Evil scale is whether or not you are a bastard, and Lawful/Chaotic is more about what your character believes in. In the case of fourth edition, it may be implied that chaos is bad, but since when have any real life, not evil Libertarians wanted chaos? From what I've heard, most just want no government intervention in business, which I don't think means absolute chaos. I mean, there, in general, have to be things stopping people from slaughtering each other in the streets, other than naive trust. On the issue of xenophobia and being warlike, I'm sorry to go on a tirade but, yes, those things are inherently evil. There is no way I will ever accept any argument stating that being incredibly warlike and paranoid of those not like you is not evil or stupid.
  • What gets me about always chaotic evil races is more to do with the exceptions; while I accept that good individuals could be born among these societies, it's more that when they pop up, they don't make a hell of a lot of sense. They're good in that they possess ideals and values that make no logical sense for them to possess if they weren't taught those behaviors. Case in point, Drizzt having the concept that a fight would involve rules of engagement, or that sex should be related to love. Someone getting a sinking feeling about watching other creatures suffer or being murdered needlessly is one thing, but in some cases, it's odd that someone even has a moral compass, when they've never been exposed to something that would make them see it as right or wrong.
    • It's not unrealistic for someone to be a strong deviant from the society they live in. Not to mention, in Drizzt's 10 years in the Underdark as a loner, he spent a good deal of time with the Sverfneblin.
    • The lawful/chaotic side of the scale never made sense realistically anyways. And the good/evil axis probably doesn't make sense either.
  • It's worth remembering that according to the SRD and, presumably, the sourcebooks they're based on, nearly all of the normal "evil" races are not listed as "always" anything. Orcs, Drow, Duergar, Goblins and other goblinoids, Ogres, Trolls, and such all have "usually" or "often" evil as the alignment in their statistics block. The only creatures that are reliably listed as always evil are chromatic true dragons and evil outsiders, neither of which has much use for a society of any kind. It turns out that always evil creatures are less common in D&D than in other media.
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