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Monday, February 29, 2016


So, the Mongols were the first to use what is known as topological map in their military operations, but in mapping your Sandbox, what you are doing is beyond topology.

Let me explain. I knew a guy very long time ago. He wrote a novel, based on his experience playing the famous A-series of the AD&D Modules. He freely wrote of the Magic Users and Rangers, and of the events in those modules. You know, what the problem with his novel was? He could never publish it as his own work, make money off it or gain recognition - it was all TSR's copyrighted material. TSR's logo, "Products of your Imagination" took on a new and sinister meaning for me.

Let's say you run a D&D game or an OSR clone. You set it in Forgotten Realms, or in the Dark Sun, or in a dozen other commercially available settings. Let's say you find an adventure you like and a bunch of pre-generated NPC's from a supplement you got off e-bay. None of it is your stuff. Every DM I know, customizes every game product to fit their unique fantasy world. What OSR Renaissance really consists of is a bunch of would be Gygaxes creating their own campaign settings, but using someone else's game mechanics under the open license system.

So, the task before any DM is to separate the wheat from the chaff, their unique world from what they borrow from others, so that ultimately, they can develop and publish their own unique ideas. What follows next is to make the topological map of your sand-box. Take elements and images that make up your own unique setting, fantasy, story, and put them on paper, connect them, as it would make sense in a story or a movie.

I know what is in my Midlands setting - my love of landscapes, man-made and natural, some years of field reconnaissance in the military, my love of the wilderness adventure, mystery, mysticism, indecipherable alien artefacts. This is what my map looked like, a list written on a piece of paper:






My next map was of the Barony, the base for the players:


(Mad Wizard Turf)                                                                                                             (Barony)


BURNED LANDS (Burnt forest) South of the Blacklands Barony






DESERT WASTELAND (Demon Coast North Frontier)

After that I drew a regular topographic map of the Barony and its outlaying areas.

I had thought about the Midlands setting for two years or so, before putting it on paper. To show how to map the Sandbox, I will use the example of a sci-fi story I worked on over 30 years ago, and will use the mapping process to make an RPG setting for it:

CENTRAL CONCEPT: Forest on the edge of the desert with hard wind blowing through mighty trees all the time. Local scavengers (humans) make webs of the steel wire strung across the trees to catch stuff - junk and artefacts blown by the wind.

Desert hides an old battlefield

Spider scavenger forest is in the foothills among the crags and canyons channeling the desert wind.

CONCEPT: Space travel experience is piloting by instruments - combination of the WW2 Submarine and the Flying Fortress experience.

Pirate Spaceship Marooned or Laying Low in the Area

Bearded Captain lives in the bridge area of the ship.

His crew camps in the tent camp outside, sheltered from the wind

A spider scavenger human outcast lives in a hut surrounded by rusting equipment. He checks his webs periodically.

Sparse other Scavenger homesteads in the area

MAD MILLER - NPC - Imperial Biologist, lives alone in the maze of wind blown sand stone canyons.

His wife divorced him because he wouldn't grow up.

You navigate the windblown desert in rusty old tracked tractors covered with sheet metal, called Crawlers

Scavenger NPC has a crawler rusting in his yard.

BEASTIES - sentient native animals living in the canyons on the edge of the desert.  Miller knows they are intelligent and does not report them to his superiors as he should.

BEASTIES friends with and protect Mad Miller.

Hunting intelligent beings is an illegal sport.

Miller was going to guide a hunter of intelligent creatures to make a lot of money to get off the world and start a new life, but changes his mind.

BEASTIES trusted Miller and his friends in their total innocence, Hunter was a degenerate about to murder them with his firepower, but Miller murdered him in the fit of conscience.

Miller dragged the body, as well as all of the gear and evidence onto the hunter's ship, and then programmed the autopilot to accidentally fly into an asteroid belt at high speed, thereby erasing his tracks.

As you can see, this is a brainstormed story with coalescing Traveler adventure/setting elements. There are NPC's, Places that can actually be mapped, and possible story hooks:

Wife wants to get Miller back of wants players to escort her to him.

Hunters family hired players to solve the mystery of his disappearance.

Players hunting the Pirate Captain.

Players Marooned on the World.

Players are Pirates' prisoners forced to escape.

Players are treasure hunters, need to explore desert, they did not know was inaccessible due to sand storms.

One thing to keep in mind - if your adventure map is your sandbox, and there are no foreign elements, say, from another setting. If the players are not traversing a topographical map, but a topological map of your story, then they can not throw your game by refusing to go into your dungeon, because they are effectively IN your world from the beginning.

I have no problem with topographic maps, and use the other maps for mapping the social terrain, make node maps for social encounter based adventuring. My players can literally go anywhere they like, crossing the geographic map as a tabletop game, while also navigating the topological map of the story that the DM secretly keeps track of.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


You will need a Hundred Aker Forest to run your sandbox. This doesn't have to be a topographical work of art you can find attached to fantasy literature. Actually you are better off starting with a different kind of an adventure map.

In the 12th Century Ghenghiz Khan unleashed a terrifying new adventure upon the unsuspecting world. It was a new kind of a map. Cartography was in its infancy in those days. Ancients were doing geographic surveys, that showed accurate positions of mountains and rivers, Babylonians were doing accurate urban cartography showing the layout of their cities.

All those years later, 12th Century Teutonic Knights were doing real life Hex Crawls. They tried to navigate impenetrable forests by using written narratives describing the topography often 50 years out of date. Maps of the Teutonic Order were as follows: "Follow East for half a day, until you find a grove with three giant Oak Trees. You will find a stream one hundred paces from the Giant Oak Trees. Follow the brook downstream, until you come across the ruins of a woodcutter's cottage. Follow the overgrown path until you reach the clearing that lays beyond the stand of pine trees."

Of course, the Pine trees could have burned down, the stream dried out, another stream might have sprung in the wake of the Spring Thaw, etc, etc, etc, and the brave knights spent weks and months meandering across the wilderness, looking for pagans they could hunt for sport.

But back to the Great Ghenghiz Khan (real name Temujin). Hitler weanted to be a painter, and all Temujin wanted, was to become a civil servant in China. Both were thwarted, one, by lack of talent and acceptance, the other, by machinations of his extended family on the range, and Temujin was thrown in jail after failing the civil service exam (which he really passed, but the corrupt Cinese officials were bought off by his back stabbing relatives), and so, Temujin eventually escaped from Chinese captivity, succeeded beyond anybody's wildest expectations through amazing innovation (one of the most modern thinkers of history), let it go to his head, and the rest,as they say, is history.

One of his great innovations was that he invented what we used to call Rand Mc Nally road maps in the days before GPS. Not to scale, Mongols used schematics of Town A connects to Town B, Town B connects to Towns C and D, C connects to town F, E, and J (a hub), while D leands to village K, town L etc. They were more interested in how long it took from Point A to Point B, rather than in topography or geography.

And so, during German blitzkrieg in WW2, columns of German tank units, 300-400 men each drove east about 4 to 6 miles apart and decimated any, that would oppose them. 600 years previously, columns of Mongols mounted on ponies, about 200 men each advanced into the country they were invading, about 2 to 4 miles apart...

Mongols of the Golden Horde of the Ghenghiz Khan did not use Lord of the Rings style of the fantasy maps, and neither will we.


Saturday, February 20, 2016


Before we can discuss Chaos Theory and sandbox vs story design, we need to build some sandboxes and quick. Method below is actually used in real life by Wall Street analysts, but for evaluating companies for mergers and acquisitions.

You need a germ of an idea of what you campaign setting will be. It could be a map of the wilderness, it could be a city or a dungeon or a world or an idea for a story in which you players will be taking place. I had an idea for Midlands, and the nature of the world dovetailed neatly into the arch quest for the campaign. Beyond that I started with a Barony, that will be the initial base of operations for players for a while, after that I figured out roughly what lay the North, East, South and West of the Blacklands Barony. I did the geography for the Barony, and figured out various travel times between different locales for future play. Finally I came to the point where I needed to flesh out a lot in an instant. There were warrior houses, thieves guilds, churches, trade guilds and a few other players in the Barony, with the Baron skillfully maintaining harmony among the diverse interests. I needed to flesh those out and stumbled upon the concept Excel Spreadsheet for design.

Across the top of the spreadsheet I put the names of the warrior houses, which train and lead the various little armies of the Barony. These were Sele Baar, Sele Klawu, Sele Heeglah, Domo Nattricks, and Sippe Kottah.

In the left most column I put the criteria along which the different houses will be compared - type of livery, how their warriors are armed, what kinds of troops and how many each, how each warrior develops, for instance, the traditional houses Baar, Klawu and Heeglah are more or less traditional Anglo-Saxon style warriors, but the Snakes (House Nattricks), their knights can fight in pitch dark and are fighter-thieves, while Sippe Kottah are fencing masters who fight with a main and a companion sword, that is their school. Other conceptual criteria would be each house's main source of revenue, some collect rents, others run women and prostitutes, one loots dungeons and trades in magic items, etc; where their men hang out, and what if any, have ties with the underworld. Couple of Houses themselves run their thieves' guilds, as was historic, while some are corrupted by their thieves, while still others are at odds with them.

This Spreadsheet keeps expanding with time like a sponge, and you can have others, contrasting and comparing various features of your setting. One of the most important things is to be able to produce a combat encounter on the spot, because the minute the players want to take violent action and the DM is not ready to roll the D20's, the game either stops or turns into a bullshit session. To avoid that, flesh out the details for armor, weapons, ability and HP for the men at arms, various guards and henchmen which fight and protect various interests in your sandbox. Once you have those in place, it will become much easier to pull out hostile encounters on the spot, as the situation calls for them.  

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


Chaos theory was a flavor of the day in physics about 20 years ago. It dovetailed into Complexity and was later replaced with the interdimensional strings as the flavor of the day and the music of the spheres will likely be next to appear to us yet again.

Chaos theory is very beautiful in its conceptualization, almost mystical, that's why Michael Crichton used it in his novel about the dinosaurs. It is definitely mind-blowing, but not mystical, if you understand the basic components of the Chaos Theory. Initially, Chaos theory grew out of hard sciences, Physics, Hydrodynamics, Meteorology, but eventually found its way to softer sciences, such as psychology and sociology. It hasn't been as effective in social sciences, but that is because we don't have the Mathematics or computational power to describe human or social behavior. I have a historic example of Chaos Theory in action, it has nothing to do with the D&D, and I might put it here, based on the feedback that I get from the readers. Chaos Theory has also come in handy when it comes to analysis of disasters and major accidents - airplane crashes, nuclear meltdowns, etc. We are going to see how the Chaos Theory can spice the D&D adventure writing. First, some definitions.

Order is the sand castle you build, entropy is the wave, that smashes it. This is similar to LAW vs CHAOS in D&D, which are defined in the context of the social order, and have moral connotations, Chaos being equivalent to Evil in some D&D games.

A complex system is assumed, a population of a single specie in ecology, a storm system, a commercial jet plane enroute to a destination, a weather system. Also a mind of a single individual, a classroom, a platoon can also be assumed. In D&D, we can assume a Dungeon (which has ecological balance, which the players can disrupt, a Kingdom, a Thieves' Guild, King's Court, warring sides in conflict, and political factions can all be considered systems.

An Attractor is a value, a number or a set of numbers, which the system is striving to reach. In human terms, a river flows to the sea, a hurricane is traveling in a certain direction out to sea or away from it. A human being can be on a self-destructive oath with drugs, a thief - bound for gallows, a knight - bound for glory. These are all attractors and in a sandbox campaign, this is the PULL, that to which the players can strive - treasure, power, victory, experience levels, etc.

A Repeller is the opposite of the Attractor, it is something that people a running from. A population of animals might be avoiding famine, a person can be running from poverty, a group of survivors can be running from the old life, that they lost. A Wizard might be running from the experiences that he or she had as an apprentice.

This is the key and the best known part of the Chaos Theory. These are the non linear outcomes, to which the system is striving. Mathematically, the system goals can be at two places at the same time, that is because the mathematical function describing Strange Attractors are Fractals, which are the equations of the Chaos Theory, which describe patters in the random and the destructive events. What are strange attractors in human terms? It is the result of an explosive event or an incident, which utterly destroys the system, and brings about total chaos. An Outcome of a bombing or a disaster. In human terms, Strange attractor is the action of an individual assigning meaning and acting upon it. You see a picture or a situation, and you might make nothing of it. Another person might see the same situation, and because of their totality of training, ability, and experience might see something profound in it, or they might be insane and the same meaningless situation can trigger a breakdown in them. In terms of planes, trains, and historic events, a Strange attractor is the result of a catastrophic failure. In terms of D&D, either the player characters or their nemeses are Strange Attractors, depending whether players are trying to destroy Ancient Evil or protect a community from Ancient Evil being unleashed.

The classic definition is that the flutter of the butterfly's wins in China will cause a hurricane in New England down the road. This is NOT Synchronicity, or the acausal connection, Jung's bridge to the mystical, this is an obscure cause of huge outcomes. A horse getting the stone in its shoe, that cause it to throw the general, who then dies and the battle is lost. In terms of D&D, these are the actions of he players, who beat the huge big guys. The Ring Bearer destroying Mordor. This is highly uncommon in real life, an airplane cleaner leaved the Peto Tube (an opening for the altimeter sensor) covered with scotch tape, and the plane crashes into the mountain side, but is the norm in literature and in story-telling.

In order for the Buttlerfly Effect to do its magic, the system has to be vulnerable. Water is safe to swim in, but from the height of 10000 feet, it seems like a solid mass, and if you fall into water from 10000 feet, it will kill you just as surely as the ground will. Space Shuttle Columbia gains a chink in its ceramic armor, and it is vulnerable to hot gases destroying it during the re-entry. In psychical environment, there has to be potential for explosive decompression, starvation, disease, flood or other such calamity that will destroy the system. In social and in literary, and in gaming terms, there has to be danger and tension, where things going wrong can have catastrophic consequences. One mistake, and thieves are caught, if the enemy attacks, the outpost will surely be destroyed, if the King dies, the Queen's loyal guards will be decimated by their enemies.

This is the single most useful analytical tool that came out of the Chaos Theory. Bifurcation is the splitting of the pathways in the development of events. After irreversible incident X, things are going A, and if the incident did not happen, things would have went B, but now, B can never happen and things will never be the same again. Plane was flying to A, but was hijacked to B, and now the passengers' lives will never be the same again. You go into a room, kill the monster, take the treasure. This is not a bifurcation, because this can happen again and again and again. You have a fight with your significant other. You fight every day, week, full moon, the relationship continues. No bifurcation. You say the magic words and this turns into a relationship ending fight. It's over. Things will never be the same again. BIFURCATION. In D&D terms, you kill a bunch of goblins rolled from a random encounter table, No Bifurcation, they can appear again, and gain or loss of 1d6 Goblins armed with spears will not change the course of the adventure. Players capture the Goblin King, when the DM was not planning for it, and they do it early in the game. Now the Goblin defenses are bereft of leadership. They are weaker. Players get the added recognition from the much higher level NPC's as a result of their distinguished captive. Game changer. BIFURCATION. In the real world, the more bifurcations the system has, the greater the chances of a collapse or catastrophic failure. Picture bifurcation as pieces of fuselage getting ripped off the plane expanding the initially tiny puncture during the explosive decompression. A complex system will have a whole bunch of non-irreversible events, modulated through various positive and negative feedback loops, which grants the system stability and capacity for complex systemic behavior, but the BIFURCATION DIAGRAM will be a single line. Presence of many bifurcations trumpets an unstable system on the brink of collapse, but in the game world, many bifurcations mean a fast developing story. A BIFURCATION SYSTEM is especially  useful tool for injecting story development into a genuine sandbox.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


What makes a D&D session different from a story-telling session, where the story-teller actually engages and interacts with the audience? The answer is - Game Mechanics - a series of algorithms that allow the DM and players to simulate real world events and interpret outcomes. A procedure by which you figure out which dice to use, roll the dice, add or subtract modifiers, and plug in the results into a table for interpretation is called an algorithm.

What makes a D&D session different from a DM running a bullshit session, where s/he interacts with the players a-la story teller, which typically happens before and after actual adventure? The answer is - DM's Preparation. Arguably, there are places outside game mechanics in fantasy role-playing. For instance, the strategy of the Orc Chieftan opposing the players with his band of 60 Orcs. One the simplest level, it is easy to use up 60 Orcs in Random and Room encounters, but if you decide that the Chieftan leads his warriors intelligently, you will have to outline the Chieftan's strategy and general reactions in most predictable contingencies. You have to commit this to writing, much like the layout of ships in a game of Battleship. Why must you do that? You must do this to give the players a chance to actually defeat their intelligent opponent. You see, without this written down plan, the conflict will be between the players and the DM, in which case the DM is the Omnipotent adversary. If you have a contingency play for the Chieftan written on paper, you can actually show it to the players after the game in a moment of discovery for the players.

How is the D&D game different from a modern day Node-Scematic adventure game? Node based adventure design, as developed by Justin Alexander of the The Alexandrian fame, is very useful for modeling complex event based adventures. Dungeon Crawl adventure is a stylized form of story presentation in the game. Wilderness Hex crawl is another related story-telling form. But beyond that, there are complex non-site and not geography based adventures. For instance, a quest, that requires players to solve a mystery, find a missing sage, influence a King, deal with treacherous competition while planning for an expedition, that, as last will be a wilderness and a site-based dungeon adventure. You can't map this kind of an adventure geographically. You have to map out social networks of individuals, locations, where social encounters take place, and clues, red herrings, ets. Think of it as a dungeon map, except that each "room" is an encounter with a specific event that moves the story forward. These events may be separated by walls and miles. To go from Event A to Event B may be a simple walk across town or a three week journey with a wagon train.

What separates D&D from those other, later, games, is that later games concern themselves with specific events, and assume that you will get safely from Event A to Event B, where you will be risking your neck. D&D assumes a tactical navigation between the Event A and Event B. If the players walk across the city, you will roll for encounters and unusual events, as the players walk across the city. If played correctly, these encounters add the sense of place to your campaign, butg they have nothing to do with the story, through which your players are playing, which will only move forward when they reach Event B.

Why is this important? Because in a Sandbox campaign, and all OSR's aim at Sandboxes as opposed to meta-plot gaming, players can literally go anywhere and do anything. Ideally, all of the geographic and social directions, in which players might go, have been already considered and mapped by the DM. The problems begin, when the players cross into the uncharted territory, for which the DM has no encounter table or conceptualization. At which point, unless the DM stops the session, s/he starts improvising and the bullshit session will begin. A closely related situation, is where the players are lost in a Sandbox and are deciding, where to go next. So far as the DM has the mental framework of what lays to the north of Kingdom A, DM can improvise with rumors and tales of the faraway places. If the DM is worth his salt, that information will be passed via the loose tongues of the NPC's whom the players engage in conversation. Once the players decide to move out or they focus their attention on a place for which the DM hadn't dreamt up anything yet, DM should stop improvising and end the session.

Another example of it are players wanting to build a fort, dam up the river to flood the dungeon or some other such scheme that will take them outside the DM's box. Typically DM shows limitation of his or her spirit, by telling them why such an action can not be done. A cool DM would stop the session, and research the plan of action that the players want to take. Whether timber palisade construction or earthmoving, DM should figure out if an how it can be done, what will it take, who has the knowledge, how much it will cost, etc. And then, during the next session, he can let the players try to figure it out how to do it and try to pull it off.

A DM is like a river. If he tells the players NO! they have touched the river bottom. This is where railroading and linear adventure, and the players dissatisfaction with these elements, begin. On the other hand, if the DM is prepared, and he knows the material better than the players, and is one step ahead of them, players go in over their heads and are immersed in the DM's game world. This is where magic happens.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Nobody seems to like story telling. Show not tell is the truism among writers everywhere. Linear adventures, or Railroading, a style of D&D where a story takes precedence over players wishes, is considered bad in D&D. Narrator is bad, says literary theory and most modern writing takes place via a stream of consciousness. There is always a narrator, of course, the Author, but nowadays he o she is hidden like the Wizard of Oz in his Emerald City. And so is the Dungeon Master, hiding in his sandbox under the pile.

Hidden narrator is one thing, but the problems begin, when the DM and the would be author in their ignorance take this advice literally, and fail accordingly. Dungeon adventure turns into a boring dungeon crawl driven by random event generation tables. Would be authors fail miserably, writing paper and pencil movies to imutate their diet of tv and popular fiction. The first one to set everything straight was Umberto Eco, a brilliant scholar from Italy. In his small book, Six Walks in the Fictional Forest, he tells us that the most realistic storytelling exists in pornography - those long shots between the sex scenes, where the characters arrive in a car, get out, and walk to the motel room. Those are continuous and unedited single pamn shots, that omit and edit nothing, but do you want to write a story like that - without a narrator? A totally randomly generated dungeon using Gygax original tables and any of the room stocking and random encounter tables out of the D&D books will be the equivalent. Here is the thing - the minute you select special monsters and events into your encounter table, you have started to edit and to tell the story of your world.

Stories can be written about different things. There is an event driven story, about the plot and actions of its protagonists, there are stories about people, which end, when the characters move on. There are stories about places, which end when the favorite hangout closes. Any Sandbox is a story of a place and the DM can assign where the story begins and when the story ends. Videogames start at the beginning and end whe the biggest boss monster is defeated. A sandbox can start when a continent is discovered and the first settlers set foot on the continent, and end when the continent is settled, or they can start with the beginning of a war and end when the war ends.

Just as graphic artists work with different types of media, pastels, oils, watercolors, ets, story-tellers too, have a variety of different media with which to tell their story. Various forms of writing, poetry, short story, and the novel, are some of the obvious ones. Choose your own adventure books, CRPG's, PC Adventure Games, D&D, and other role playing games are alternative forms of story-telling. The bottom line is that you can tell your story through your sandbox.

This doesn't mean that you have to write volumes of the setting description, before yiu start gaming. You fill out the details as you go along, but you choose carefully what goes into your room keys, on your maps and on your encounter tables. You decice on what story takes place in your campaign, the major events in your campaign and adventure hooks of how your players will have a chance to interact with these hooks - The simplest examples - Country is being invaded by a nomadic horde, and the players are in the path of that invasion. Will they run for their lives? Will they stand and fight? What will they do the next day? 

You will have to flesh out some fundamental and important details. Let's say you have a Grinning Orc Forest? How does that forest differ from every other forest in the real world and in fantasy? What makes that forest unique in YOUR world? Jot down those details and put them into potential encounter tables and places to explore in that forest. What about the weather? And the Orcs of the Grinning tribe? How do they fit in your world? Figure out loot items of varying degrees of magical and intelligence value to player. Through largely worthless loot, that players can discover (if they loot them) the story of this tribe? If these orcs farm, there will be dirt under their fingernails. They live near a lake - they will have fishing line and hooks. They live in a cave? how about tallow candles? What else? Torches and spelunking rope? Meals of pieces of giant mushrooms and cave crickets? Don't tell the players its a spelunking rope! Describe the knotted rope for climbing and various anchor hooks. This is how you tell a story through your sandbox. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


I think that there are some major misconceptions about what AD&D alignments are and how they are expressed. D&D was a war game in the beginning, and the alignments were Law, Chaos, and Neutrality. In battlefield terms, Law were us, the good guys, Chaos were THEM, the enemy, and Neutral were non-combatants. OSR invented a lot of mythology about Law vs Chaos and it's all rather shallow, flies in the face of the human behavior in the real world, and doe not interest me. In brief, humans are hard-wired to connect the dots and impose order over everything they perceive. Humanity longs for order and stability to the extent of tuning out and repressing information that makes them feel uncomfortable (Cognitive dissonance).

Having said that, and the fact that we live in a rigid social order, in an extremely Lawful society. As late as 200-300 years ago, there were people, who lived OUTSIDE society, and their mindset was not Lawful, you'd would type them as Chaotic, but here is the cruxt of it, their culture is largely extinct and you would not know what they were like. Some of it was readily predictable - meet a stranger, kill them, bury the body, take their loot. If you did this to a passing stranger, nobody will ever known. Creepy woodsmen now knows as Economic Serial Killers. Another side - War in Crimea, 1840's, Officer sends his scout to get re-enforcements. In the heat of the battle to his horror he sees the Scout and his men helping out on his flank. It's all over now - they are encircled and doomed. "We saw your boys in trouble and decided to help them!" Yells the Scout when he sees the flabbergasted commander. Historic example of Chaotic Good behavior.

So, here are some character stereotypes displaying real world examples of the nine alignments:

LAWFUL GOOD - Paladin or a Crusader or a Knight Errant, who believes in the system.

LAWFUL NEUTRAL - Samurai Warrior, a Military Professional. These people abdicate from moral judgement and stick to a professional code of ethics when they realize that the system they uphold is corrupt. Alternative is to evolve into Chaotic Good.

LAWFUL EVIL - Weak-side - a member of the gang, a mass movement, or another crowd exercising its will over the others. Strong side - a socially successful sociopath manipulating the system to his or her advantage.

CHAOTIC GOOD - A champion knight living according to Chivalry. Lone Ranger, Davey Crocket, other frontiersmen and vigilantes, who will bend the rules and look the other way for the common good.

CHAOTIC EVIL - A Champion with the biggest fists looking out for number one. A bully. An egotist.

CHAOTIC NEUTRAL - A person dealing with psychosis in out world trying to live a normal life. In fantasy world - a shaman or a witch, who lives partly in the invisible world and has to keep the invisible shadows at bay, lest they swallow her.

NEUTRAL GOOD - An activist or a rebel fighter, who will give up his or her life for the common struggle and greater good. A hero, a fanatic, an individual wholly absorbed by the struggle.

NEUTRAL EVIL - Snowball in Hell, a Blood in a cell full of Crips, a Cop in Prison. Same as Chaotic Evil, but physical survival is an issue in the real world and the person is overwhelmed and sinks morally to stay alive. Any kind of behavior is excused by the necessity, powerlessness, and the need to stay alive. Gold-diggers and prostitutes feathering their nests will fall into this category.

TRUE NEUTRAL - A Monk, an Olympic champion in training, a dedicated artist, anyone so consumed with what they are doing, that they are not part of the world in which the players are adventuring. There is a common interpretation  of this alignment - that of Cosmic Balance, and Neutrality and Non-Involvement, but that is typically a position of weakness, of someone, who accepts a bad situation and escape into objectivity to avoid taking a stand and dealing with it. Druids are True Neutrals, as a animals, that's because Druids are too absorbed with the maintenance of their garden and the surrounding nature, the sheer business and amount of work that is required to truly live off the land, that their devotions do not leave them any time to be involved with the world of adventurers.

GOOD vs EVIL. Good is about Altruism and Empathy, which in real world come with age and experience. Good is about love, which means putting The Other above Self. Good can sacrifice itself so that its progeny can live on and thereby it defeats the evil, which can't see past itself and sees its death as the ultimate end, whereas Good dies in the struggle and is reborn. It takes strength and willpower and costs popularity to do good and not go along with the others. Evil grows out of weakness, which often masquarades as preservation of self.