Chaotic Evil

From Joe's Dungeons and Dragons Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Chaotic Evil is one of the nine alignments in Dungeons and Dragons


System Reference Document

Chaotic Evil, "Destroyer"

A chaotic evil character does whatever his greed, hatred, and lust for destruction drive him to do. He is hot-tempered, vicious, arbitrarily violent, and unpredictable. If he is simply out for whatever he can get, he is ruthless and brutal. If he is committed to the spread of evil and chaos, he is even worse. Thankfully, his plans are haphazard, and any groups he joins or forms are poorly organized. Typically, chaotic evil people can be made to work together only by force, and their leader lasts only as long as he can thwart attempts to topple or assassinate him.

Chaotic evil is sometimes called "demonic" because demons are the epitome of chaotic evil.

Chaotic evil beings believe their alignment is the best because it combines self-interest and pure freedom.

Chaotic evil can be the most dangerous alignment because it represents the destruction not only of beauty and life but also of the order on which beauty and life depend.

First Edition

Chaotic Evil: The major precepts of this alignment are freedom, randomness, and woe. Laws and order, kindness, and good deeds are disdained. life has no value. By promoting chaos and evil, those of this alignment hope to bring themselves to positions of power, glory, and prestige in a system ruled by individual caprice and their own whims.


Chaotic Evil is referred to as the "Destroyer" or "Demonic" alignment. Characters of this alignment tend to have no respect for rules, other people's lives, or anything but their own desires, which are typically selfish and cruel. They set a high value on personal freedom, but do not have any regard for the lives or freedom of other people. They do not work well in groups, as they resent being given orders, and usually behave themselves only out of fear of punishment.

It is not compulsory for a Chaotic Evil character to be constantly performing sadistic acts just for the sake of being evil, or constantly disobeying orders just for the sake of causing chaos. They do however enjoy the suffering of others, and view honor and self-discipline as weaknesses. Serial killers and monsters of limited intelligence are typically Chaotic Evil.

In the Complete Scoundrel sourcebook Carl Denham from King Kong and Riddick from Pitch Black are cited as examples of chaotic evil characters.

The exemplars of chaotic evil are the Tanar'ri (Demons).

Old TV Tropes

If Chaotic Neutral indicates the truly free spirit, Chaotic Evil is the truly evil free spirit. Whereas the Chaotic Neutral is concerned only with his freedom but isn't a really horrible person, the same can't be said for the Chaotic Evil character. They will do whatever they want to (even if, and sometimes, especially, it hurts other people) and (to them) rules don't matter. Whereas a Neutral Evil character will sometimes follow the law if it is convenient, the same can't really be said for the Chaotic Evil character. So why are they evil? Perhaps they're in it for profit. Maybe they are narcisstic or egotistical. Or maybe they're simply insane; most but not all psychopaths and sociopaths fall under this designation. But contrary to what some believe, Chaotic Evil does not always mean the kind of wanton, meaningless slaughter and destruction associated with Stupid Evil. Indeed, it is often the more calculating and intelligent villains of this kind that are the most dangerous. Being Chaotic Evil doesn't mean a character HAS to slaughter an entire village just because he's passing through. But being Chaotic, he does whatever he feels like regardless of the rules, and being Evil, he doesn't mind if it hurts other people or is otherwise wrong, either. Serial Killers are good examples of Chaotic Evil. It's the canonical alignment of tanar'ri (demons), beings who were created in and by an endless semisentient Abyss that itself is dedicated to entropy, in Dungeons and Dragons. A great example of how Chaotic Evil can be done well and not be Chaotic Stupid, see the Joker.

TV Tropes Full Chaotic Evil Page.

TV Tropes (Extended Version)

One of the nine alignments from the best-known Character Alignment system. If Chaotic Neutral is the truly free spirit, Chaotic Evil is the truly free evil spirit. Whereas the Chaotic Neutral character is concerned mainly with his own freedom but doesn't seek to hurt others, the same cannot be said for a Chaotic Evil character. They will do whatever they want whenever they want to do it, which, seeing as they are evil, usually entails lots and lots of death and destruction. These characters are usually the most aggressive of the Evil alignments, more often than not being possessed of an impulsively violent nature and a total disregard for people, laws, or even the world around them. In short, Chaotic Evil represents the destruction of not only life and goodness, but also the order upon which they depend. Chaotic Evil characters come in several deliciously evil flavors:

  • Type 1 places more emphasis on Chaotic than Evil, believing that their own freedom is the most important thing. They're far from being a noble person (they're still Evil after all), but they value the ability to commit acts of evil over actually committing them. As a result, this type of character can actually side with the forces of Good in the fight for freedom. Don't turn your back though, because this also means that two seconds from now their idea of freedom may change and they'll become your worst enemy. Given a lot of patience, a crapload of love, a sprinkling of luck, and a great big stick, a Type 1 may gradually reform into Chaotic Neutral or even Chaotic Good, but don't hold your breath.
  • Type 2 is the exact opposite. They are so Evil that they would rather side with the bad guys just because they're the ones in charge. They place more value in unleashing fiery death and mayhem over the ability to do it at any time, so they take orders grudgingly but take them nonetheless. This type of Chaotic Evil makes for a particularly unpleasant brand of Mook, given that they don't care about collateral damage (in fact they deliberately seek it) or killing any fellow Mooks unfortunate enough to get in their way (which makes it even more fun for them). If the Big Bad handles his great big stick skillfully enough, a Type 2 may become Neutral Evil or even Lawful Evil simply out of habit. If, on the other hand, they are the Big Bad, expect them to go out of their way to violate any sense of honour, traditon, loyalty, or responsibility normally associated with the leadership position, such as betraying their own Mooks purely For the sake of evil itself.
  • Type 3 is very much feral in nature. They typically have an above average degree of intelligence, but luckily for everyone else they tend to be more about freedom than evil. They believe that you're either a predator or prey for another predator, so to them the only thing that matters is having the strength to take what you want. God help anyone who comes across a Type 3 and are viewed as prey, since to them weakness is unforgivable. Similar to Type 2, a clever enough Big Bad will be able to manipulate this character to their own benefit, providing they completely dominate the Chaotic Evil character in both power and intelligence. Their guard must be kept up constantly though, as the moment the Type 3 sees an opportunity to take down the Big Bad they will take it.
  • Type 4 is a fair balance between Types 1 and 2. They love doing evil as much as they love their freedom, and they have just enough self-control to construct a plan that involves doing both at once. They are traditionally batshit insane with a complete Lack of Empathy (think The Joker). This type is arguably the most dangerous of them all, as they don't care who they destroy or how they destroy them; the fact that they can be destroyed is enough. As a result, this character is usually the one that opposing sides in a conflict will work together to defeat, as a Type 4 is undoubtedly a much worse foe than the one(s) they currently have. This type is often where you'll find the resident Omnicidal Maniac, and if they also happen to be The Chessmaster then you're screwed.
  • Type 5 is a Well-Intentioned Extremist] who saw (or a Knight Templar who sees) himself as Chaotic Good (Just Like Robin Hood) but slowly passed over the Moral Event Horizon, often without being consciously aware of it. You know what they say about slippery slopes...

Chaotic Evil is probably the hardest alignment to depict sensibly. Far too many people assume that Chaotic Evil means a babbling lunatic incapable of walking through a village without inducing wanton, meaningless slaughter and destruction. Chaotic Evil does not mean the most evil or stupid, in it For the Evulz (which can be a motivation to any villain of any Evil alignment), nor even psychotic. A character does not fall under Chaotic Evil solely because they're really evil, stupid, or crazy.

The least dangerous (well, the bottom-rung at least) character of this alignment is the unwilling Mook —they hate their master, they hate taking orders, and they enjoy their job but not the fact that it is a job; they'd have a lot more fun causing all that terror and discord for free, and they only behave mainly out of the fear of punishment. The most dangerous character of this alignment, on the other hand, is undoubtedly The Chessmaster, with his cruel calculation and intelligence and the will to use it in the most horrible ways.


Chaotic Evil is considered a Dishonorable Alignment. This means that Chaotic Evil characters are harmed by Honorable spells and effects. Honor is generally relevant in Eastern campaigns.

Other Notes

Chaotic Evil is an alignment in 4th Edition D&D as well.

The closest alignment in the Palladium system would be Diabolic

Intensely detailed description on Chaotic Evil, in case this wasn't enough. It also has a 36 question alignment quiz.

Lawful Good Neutral Good Chaotic Good
Lawful Neutral True Neutral Chaotic Neutral
Lawful Evil Neutral Evil Chaotic Evil