Want to know all about the Chaotic Evil alignment? You’re in the right place! This article explains the Chaotic Evil character alignment, how to play it, and lists character examples.
You’ll discover Chaotic Evil traits, character background ideas, how Chaotic Evil compares to the other alignments, what their favourite quotes might be and more! Get to know the Chaotic Evil alignment!
Chaotic Evil definition
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.Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook, Edition 3.5, Page 106.
‘Chaotic’ and ‘Evil’
There are two main aspects to each character alignment. The first word in the alignment ‘Chaotic’ refers to that alignment’s perspective on order in society and how it affects individuals. The second part of the alignment, ‘Evil’ tells us about that alignment’s morals.
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Chaotic aligned characters aren’t random in their actions. Instead, they are simply the opposite side of the ethics spectrum to Lawful characters. Chaotic aligned characters live by their own rules instead of the rules of society. They believe that is the only way an individual is truly free and can live up to their full potential.
Chaotic characters dislike and distrust authority, don’t like following orders and live life on their own terms. They can be flexible and adaptable and do what fits the situation and their own agenda.
Characters with a Chaotic alignment may rebel against rules to try to bring about change or simply to create anarchy. They may take actions with a complete disregard for the consequences.
Characters aligned with Evil will eliminate others, cause them harm and make them miserable. They do not feel remorse for their actions and will go for anyone, whether those people are innocent or not.
Characters may be aligned with Evil for many different reasons. For example, it could be because they follow an Evil deity, they work for an Evil master, or because they enjoy it.
Chaotic Evil is the most terrifying alignment of them all.
Chaotic Evil characters care only for themselves with a complete disregard for all law and order and for the welfare and freedom of others. They hurt and eliminate others out of anger or for fun.
Given their love of chaos and disorder, Chaotic Evil characters do not respond well to authority. They will only go along with what someone else wants if they also stand to gain from it.
The only way a Chaotic Evil character can be made to follow orders is by force, but even that only works for a short while. As soon as there is an opportunity for the Chaotic Evil character to regain their freedom they will take it. If their controller has a moment of weakness, they’d better watch their back because the Chaotic Evil character will get their own back and it won’t be pretty.
Characters aligned with Chaotic Evil usually operate alone because they do not work well with others. They will manipulate others into doing what they want and then toss them aside as soon as they are no longer useful.
If they have any sense, other people won’t want to work with a Chaotic Evil character either! They don’t keep their promises and will break promises, mislead people, and eliminate anyone. Even their own family.
A Chaotic Evil character may be driven by their desire to spread Chaos and Evil, or just because they enjoy living on their own terms. They are unpredictable and freely express wild and intense emotions because they see no reason to control or suppress them. To them, self-discipline is pointless. All it does is restrict their ability to do whatever they want whenever they want.
That doesn’t mean that Chaotic Evil characters act on impulse all the time. They aren’t stupid. If they just went around hurting everyone without any planning they would be locked up and they want to protect their freedom! Instead, they will scheme, manipulate and control others to create disorder.
They can be fickle though and snap at any time, with no predictable pattern to their behaviour. For example, say a patron in a tavern insults a Chaotic Evil character. On one day they may be satisfied with a witty retort, but on another day they will immediately eliminate that patron. This unpredictability makes them especially dangerous.
For a Chaotic Evil character, they perceive a society built on Law and Order as serving the weak but holding back the strong. They believe that the weak are there to be controlled and manipulated, not protected.
Having the ultimate freedom to whatever they want whenever they want while having power over others is the ultimate dream for a Chaotic Evil character. They may not respect or value the freedom of others, but they sure want it for themselves!
A Chaotic Evil character’s lack of respect for anyone and anything means they will do things that others won’t. They will harm innocents, take down unarmed opponents, use poison – and they’ll do it all for fun, or simply because they feel like it at the time.
Chaotic Evil characters are the most Evil of all because they are out to destroy everything – order, tradition, life, freedom and choice.
Chaotic Evil character examples
In the Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook Edition 3.5, the Chaotic Evil alignment is called the ‘Destroyer’. It’s a perfect title for this alignment! With their lack of regard for order, freedom, goodness and life itself, they really are out to destroy whatever they want whenever they feel like it. It’s easily the most terrifying alignment!
Chaotic Evil female character examples
- Bellatrix Lestrange (Harry Potter)
- Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland)
- Mother Gothel (Tangled)
Chaotic Evil male character examples
- The Joker (DC Comics)
- Alex DeLarge (A Clockwork Orange)
- Loki (Norse mythology)
Chaotic Evil traits
Of course, exact traits vary from character to character, but there are some traits that are likely to be associated with Chaotic Evil characters.
Chaotic Evil personal code
A Chaotic Evil character hates rules and order. They are only out for themselves so the way they live reflects that.
- I will break promises, mislead people, and take the lives of others.
- I will break rules, laws and societal norms when I want to.
- I will betray my friends, family and allies.
- I will always put myself first.
- I will always seek fun.
- I will not help anyone unless it helps me.
- I will pursue my ultimate goal to do what I want whenever I want.
- I will always seek power and control over others.
- I will stand against anyone that tries to restrict my freedom.
- I will not respect the weak or follow orders of authorities.
Chaotic Evil character’s perfect world
The perfect world for a Chaotic Evil character might look like this.
- Everyone can do whatever they want whenever they want.
- Justice is dealt out by individuals however they see fit.
- There are lots of places to pursue fun.
- There is no overseeing government or authority.
- People can hurt each other without consequences from an organized justice system.
- There are no laws.
- People are free to be themselves and pursue their own interests.
- Honour and loyalty between people don’t exist and aren’t expected to.
- Everyone works against any restrictions on their freedom.
- The strongest can gain power over the weak.
Chaotic Evil quotes
If a Chaotic Evil character has some favourite quotes, they might be these, until they change their mind, that is!
Freedom is never given, it is won.A. Philip Randolph
The more laws, the less justice.Marcus Tullius Cicero
All government, of course, is against liberty.H. L. Mencken
I’m doing exactly what I want to do, and I’m having fun doing it.David Johansen
Chaos is a friend of mine.Bob Dylan
Chaotic Evil divergence
One of the key traits of a Chaotic Evil character is their unpredictability. How they respond to a situation on one day, might be entirely different from how they respond to the same situation on another day.
As they go about their Evil schemes, how they react in situations will reveal which aspect of their alignment they identify with the most at that moment. Will it be the Chaotic aspect or the Evil aspect?
For example, say your character comes across some local guards breaking up a street fight between two guilds. What do they do?
Chaos before Evil
If your character aligns with Chaos before Evil they make it harder for the upholders of law and order to do their job. So they might manipulate some of the rival guild members into hitting the guard instead of the rival guild. Or they might set a tavern on fire to distract the guards.
Anything they can do to keep chaos going shows a preference for Chaos over Evil.
Evil before Chaos
A fight you say? In that case, a character with an Evil preference is likely to see this as an opportunity to let their evil side run free. They can dive right into the middle of groups and have fun.
In a guild fight, everyone doesn’t know everyone on the opposing sides, so it’s perfect for causing some harm to others and getting away with it.
If your character takes the opportunity to do as much harm to others as possible, then they are siding with Evil.
How to play a Chaotic Evil character
If your Dungeon Master lets you play an Evil character, then they can be great fun and a really disruptive addition to a campaign! Some DMs won’t allow a mixed group of Good and Evil players because it can lead to the adventuring party splitting up which is really difficult to manage.
Whenever you make a decision in character, it’ll be influenced in some way by your Chaotic Evil alignment. It’s fine to make decisions that don’t align occasionally, but when that happens your character might have a reaction to their unusual behaviour. They might be angry at themselves or reflect on who they are.
If your character takes several decisions in a row that don’t match their alignment, it could show character development and a move towards a different alignment for your character. This can lead to some great stories!
Actions aligned with a Chaotic Evil character
- Manipulating two people in a tavern into throwing blows.
- Charming a high-ranking government official to make them do what you want.
- Burning their childhood home to the ground.
- Eliminating a horde of goblins to get an item, even though the goblins were open to trade talks.
- Flooding an annual festival ruining it for everyone attending.
- Convincing an old market trader to give me all their life savings.
- Eliminating the wife of someone they hate because they don’t want their spouse to be happy.
- Poisoning everyone at a banquet.
- Masterminding a plan to take the royal sceptre because they want it for themselves.
- Hurting a cousin as payback for them being mean to you as a child.
Actions not aligned with a Chaotic Evil character
- Helping the weak.
- Giving money to the poor.
- Risking their life to save someone else.
- Following orders.
- Listening to the advice of family and friends.
- Keeping a promise.
- Giving mercy to an opponent if they ask for it.
- Sharing out loot equally amongst allies.
- Playing a game by the rules.
- Travelling the world playing music to make other people happy.
Chaotic Evil insults
Chaotic Evil characters do not care about people’s feelings, so they will dish out insults freely.
- “You can’t insult me, I don’t care about your opinion.”
- “You’re as charming as an eel.”
- “Who left the cage open?”
- “There’s no need to repeat yourself. I ignored you just fine the first time.”
- “Let’s play horse. I’ll be the front end and you be yourself.”
- “I was going to give you a nasty look, but I see you already have one.”
- “Keep rolling your eyes. You might find a brain back there.”
- “If only closed minds came with closed mouths.”
- “My alone time is sometimes for your safety.”
- “I have multiple personalities and none of them like you.”
Chaotic Evil background ideas
Your background can be whatever you want it to be so long as it makes sense for who your character is today.
Here are a few backgrounds from the Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook 5th Edition that I think are perfect for a Chaotic Evil character.
You are an experienced criminal with a history of breaking the law. You have spent a lot of time among other criminals and still have contacts within the criminal underworld. You’re far closer than most people in the world of murder, theft, and violence that pervades the underbelly of civilization, and you have survived up to this point by flouting the rules and regulations of society.Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook, Edition 5, page 129.
You spent your youth under the sway of a dread pirate, a ruthless cutthroat who taught you how to survive in a world of sharks and savages. You’ve indulged in larceny on the high seas and sent more than one deserving soul to a briny grave. Fear and bloodshed are no strangers to you, and you’ve garnered a somewhat unsavoury reputation in many a port town.Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook, Edition 5, page 139.
You grew up on the streets alone, orphaned, and poor. You had no one to watch over you or to provide for you, so you learned to provide for yourself. You fought fiercely over food and kept a constant watch out for other desperate souls who might steal from you. You slept on rooftops and in alleyways, exposed to the elements, and endured sickness without the advantage of medicine or a place to recuperate. You’ve survived despite all odds, and did so through cunning, strength, speed or some combination of each.Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook, Edition 5, page 141.
Chaotic Evil vs the other alignments
Chaotic Evil vs Lawful Good
Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil are as opposite as you can get in the alignment system!
Lawful Good characters believe in upholding order and achieving good. Chaotic Evil despises order, hierarchy and traditions and does whatever they want to do, no matter the cost to other people.
At their best Chaotic Evil characters are unpredictable, selfish and heartless. At their worst, Chaotic Evil characters seek to spread Evil and Chaos for their own sake and cause pain wherever they go. A Lawful Good character, on the other hand, always plays by the rules and lives to spread Good in the world.
For a closer look at Lawful Good, check out my article.
Chaotic Evil vs Neutral Good
A Neutral Good character and Chaotic Evil character sometimes agree that chaos is better for individuals than law and order. But that is where the similarities end.
For a Chaotic Evil character, when society is run chaotically they have more freedom to spread Evil. For a Neutral Good character, they will side with Chaos only when societal law isn’t the best option for the greater good in a particular situation.
Chaotic Evil characters are out for themselves above all else and they may be motivated to spread Evil for Evil’s sake. A Neutral Good character, however, wants to do good in the world above all else, even if it means putting the needs of others before their own.
To delve deeper into the Neutral Good alignment, see my article.
Chaotic Evil vs Chaotic Good
While they are morally opposite, ethically, both Chaotic Good and Chaotic Evil characters agree that order in society does not protect the freedom of individuals. However, they want freedom for different reasons.
For a Chaotic Good character, it’s because they believe that when people are free they will do more Good in society. For a Chaotic Evil character, it’s because when society is run Chaotically they have more freedom to spread Evil.
A Chaotic Good character might be rebelling against the system of order to actively change it, or because they just want to do as much good as possible and will do whatever it takes to do Good.
A Chaotic Evil character, however, is unlikely to rebel against a system of order to change it. Instead, they will simply revel in the disorder they cause and committing Evil acts.
Take a closer look at the Chaotic Good alignment in my article.
Chaotic Evil vs Lawful Neutral
Lawful Neutral and Chaotic Evil characters have nothing to agree on. They disagree on the nature of law and order. For Lawful Neutral, law and order help society to function, for Chaotic Evil order is something to be ignored completely with reckless abandon, or it’s a tool to be used to manipulate others.
A Chaotic Evil character is completely out for themselves. They will mislead people, break promises and harm others out of anger or just for fun. They don’t even work well with others because they don’t keep promises and are disloyal. They can only be controlled with force.
For a Lawful Neutral character, their word is their bond and they will follow their order to the letter. Their personal needs are secondary to adhering to their code.
Check out my Lawful Neutral article for more on this alignment.
Chaotic Evil vs True Neutral
There’s not a huge amount for these two alignments to agree on! True Neutral characters see Law and Order and Good and Evil as extreme positions which can all lead to negative consequences for individuals and society.
A True Neutral character takes the most pragmatic decision in each situation. This is usually the decision which most benefits them, but in the case of druids, this could be a decision that continues the balance between the forces in the world.
Generally, a True Neutral will follow the rules and favour Good over Evil, but only because it makes their life easier and they may be rewarded for it, not because they are obliged to by their morals or ethics.
In contrast, a Chaotic Evil character vehemently believes that chaos is better for their own freedom and they get pleasure from Evil acts. They don’t care about the freedoms of others though, they want to control them. Seeing as laws often protect the weakest in society, Chaotic Evil characters dislike law and order.
Discover more about True Neutral in my article.
Chaotic Evil vs Chaotic Neutral
Chaotic Neutral and Chaotic Evil both dislike the establishment and order in society.
Where they differ though, is that a Chaotic Neutral character will not rebel against law and order to further the cause of Good or Evil. They will do it if their own personal freedom is restricted because of laws.
A Chaotic Evil character, however, will rebel against societal order to spread Evil or just for fun.
Find out more about the Chaotic Neutral alignment in my article.
Chaotic Evil vs Lawful Evil
A Chaotic Evil character dislikes law and order as much as a Lawful Evil character loves it.
Chaotic Evil characters are out for themselves and don’t care what laws they break or who is affected as a result. Some Chaotic Evil characters cause chaos because they dislike order, others do it just for fun or because they are on a plight to spread Evil in society. They will eliminate others out of anger or just for fun.
A Lawful Evil character, in contrast, follows the codes of their order for personal gain. They can use the law to manipulate others and gain power. They commit Evil acts but in the name of their order, not themselves. Their behaviour is less emotion and passion-fuelled than a Chaotic Evil character as abiding by their laws applies more restraint to their actions.
Check out my Lawful Evil article for more about this alignment.
Chaotic Evil vs Neutral Evil
These two alignments have one thing in common – Evil! They are both selfish, cruel and completely out for themselves.
Where they differ is that a Neutral Evil character will do whatever they can to get what they want. They will play along with the rules, make friends and act like a law-abiding citizen to further their own Evil agenda. Just as easily, Neutral Evil characters will mislead, break promises, and harm innocents to get what they want.
Neutral Evil characters don’t break law and order because they have an agenda to change the system. They don’t care how society is structured, they are simply doing it to spread Evil in the world. However, they are more likely to commit Evil acts when there is very little chance of them getting caught! They aren’t stupid.
A Chaotic Evil character, on the other hand, despises law in all its forms. They will take pleasure in disrupting law and order for the sake of spreading chaos. They also don’t go on constant rampages, that would get them locked up pretty quickly. But they are more likely to act on impulse and do what they want because self-control restricts their freedom.
Delve into the details of Neutral Evil in my article.
How Chaotic Evil character views the other alignments
For a Chaotic Evil character, the most important things are being free and pursuing what they want in the world.
They’ll judge others based on what they value. For each person they meet, they may ask themselves, “Is this person freethinking and do they go after what they want?”
Brainwashed and distracted
Compliant and distracted
Freethinking but distracted
Brainwashed and aimless
Compliant and aimless
Freethinking but aimless
Brainwashed but ambitious
Compliant but ambitious
Freethinking and ambitious
Conclusion – Chaotic Evil alignment
Chaotic Evil is a fun alignment to play because you are the freest of all the alignments and you also pursue your own interests.
It is the perfect alignment for a criminal mastermind, a short-tempered barbarian who uses their strength to get what they want, and a vampire who wants to spread vampirism.
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