Always Chaotic Evil
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Basic Information

Always Chaotic Evil denotes an entire race or species of beings (usually in a fantasy or science fiction setting) which is irredeemably evil - no matter how one treats them, they cannot help but reward kindness with treachery and violence.


Related Tropes



Game and Story Use

  • While these aren't really realistic, they are great for action-oriented campaigns since the PCs can kill them on sight without worrying about the morality of it.
    • Assuming that the PCs worry about morality in the first place, of course.
  • Note that enemy races or species are frequently portrayed as Always Chaotic Evil, even if that's not truly the case. However, in such a case the GM should attempt to portray them as such for a while so that the PCs will kill lots of them before he reveals that they are redeemable (or not even really evil) so that the impact of the reveal is much greater and the PCs have a harder time overcoming their prejudices.
  • Try to justify it. Are the orcs brainwashed by an ancient evil? Does the setting spawn pointlessly aggressive monsters for no adequately explained reason like a game of Gauntlet?
  • A significant problem is that, as all too often in fantasy, this trope fails to distinguish between the values of a culture and the values of the individuals within - whilst it is entirely congruent to have a culture which matches the mores of its members, it is also normal for the reverse to be true - observation of real life will often show that cultures with minimal government control ("chaotic" in the terms of "that RPG"), are often home to people with strong internal moral codes whilst authoritarian ("lawful") societies often spawn individuals who, when removed from the immediate control of their own nation's enforcement mechanism, proceed to violate the vast majority of them.
    • So are orcs chaotic evil because they live in a society where all authority, morality and responsibility is devolved to an undead witch-king, or because they are a culture of social-darwinists for whom strict hierarchy and constant competition are considered virtuous. (The original Tolkien answer varied over time as he wrestled with this question himself - at least part of the answer might have been that Morgoth had deliberately emotionally crippled his creations, stripping them of "unnecessary" traits like empathy).
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