Burst of Insight—Weird Character Personality Prompts, Part Two Neutral

Two weeks ago, I began an alignment based prompts series. This week we continue with the three neutral alignments. As before these are designed with both players and GMs in mind. Many of the concepts in the series are adapted from characters in popular media while others are a bit more original. I’m trying to give each enough personality detail to help these characters ally with nearly any adventuring group even heroic PCs even though a third of the prompts include evil characters.

 

Neutral Good: You have little respect for authority or rules, you live by a personal—not a code but—a flexible set of guidelines that are more focused on doing what is good and right than it is on doing what is proper.

You are charming and gregarious and exceptionally skilled in your field. Your skills set you apart from many others around you and you’ve earned the respect of many of your superiors enough so that your antics and impropriety are often overlooked.

Neutral: You had a traumatic childhood. Your early experiences left you . . .  hollow, so many of your emotional responses feel muted and distant.  Except anger, anger is always close to hand. You want to be a good person but honestly don’t know how.

On your own you are quick to handle things the way you grew up handling them on the streets, with brutal efficiency. Fortunately for you, you have acquired a new family of allies. You look to them (possibly even one in particular) to be your guiding star. You often ask yourself “what would they do?” before simply resorting to violence and murder. For the most part this works for you.

Neutral Evil: You’re selfish, and generally lazy. You still believe you’re a good person but you lack both conviction and the will to maintain more than a façade of decency. You genuinely like your companions and as long as they’re watching you strive to do the right thing and impress them. As long as their watching, given any leeway you’ll take advantage of your friend’s trust and take the easiest or most profitable way out. What your allies don’t know won’t hurt them.

Deep down you also know you are a coward. Someday, you’ll be forced to make a choice between you and your allies and you know full well you will buckle and sell them out. Hopefully, it never comes to that but your best hope is that when that day comes your allies never find out it was you who betrayed them.

So that wraps the three Neutral alignment prompts. In two weeks we’ll wrap this with three Chaotic prompts. In the meantime, please tell us about a favorite neutral character you’ve played.

Burst of Insight

Andrew Marlowe

placed in the Top 16 of RPG Superstar in 2012 and 2014, one of the few contestants to get that far in the competition twice. Since then, he has contributed to many Paizo and third party Pathfinder products, including one of the network’s favourite releases in the Pathfinder Player Companion line, the Dirty Tactics Toolbox. Every other Tuesday, he will be sharing his Burst of Insight, with design tips for would-be game designers from a decorated freelancer.

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