Gamemaster Alignments

Posted by Labyrinthian in , , , , , , ,

Characters are given alignments as a way of summarizing their personality and world view into one of nine easily understood categories.  As I mentioned before, this is sometimes done with players as well, sometimes for humor and sometimes to help classify them as well.  Yet few attempt to categorize the person who has the greatest impact on the game, The Gamemaster.  Well, that is just what I mean to do today with the help of a handy aid I made.

You'll notice that the diagram represents slight upgrade over the previous version, but that's just window dressing, it's more of less the same. 

I will go through the alignments one at a time.  I will list who has been chosen to represent the alignment, what they are from, a summary of the alignment, and why that character was linked to that one specifically.  All of these are people from TV Shows, Movies, or some other video who are running D&D, or an equivalent.  If you want to take a shot at guessing who is who better do so now for spoilers lurk below.  Make sure to check out their quotes found underneith their alignment.  If you are stumped they might offer a clue as to who they are and where they came from.

Lawful Good (Daniel from Mazes & Monsters)

The Lawful Good Gamemaster believes in adhering sternly to the rules, believing that to be the best path to everyone having fun.  He believes in running a game that is fair, and in doing so believes that fun will be derived from such a game.  Daniel was chosen to represent Lawful Good because he cares very much about the game and wants everyone to have a great time, but at the same time refuses to bend the rules to save Freelic, a much beloved character of Jay-Jay's.

Lawful Neutral (The Gamemaster from The Gamers)

The Lawful Neutral Gamemaster believes in adhering to the rules, regardless of whether anyone is having fun or not.  The Neutral Good GM is no more likely to bend the rules to save a character than he is to kill one.  He favors very strict and often literal interpretations of the rules.  He will not bend the rules no matter how it might benefit the story in the game, to him the rules are the game.  The Gamemaster from the first Gamers movie is chosen to represent the Lawful Neutral GM because of the famous scene where the Thief states his intent to backstab an opponent with a Ballista.  This may sound ludicrous, and of course it is, but the GM looked it up and there was no rule to prevent it so it was allowed.  This kind of decision, playing strictly with the rules even when it flies in the face of logic and the game's story, is a classic example of a LN GM

Lawful Evil (Harris Trinsky from Freaks & Geeks)

The Lawful Evil GM believes that anything is allowed so long as he is playing within the confines of the rules.  The LE GM is more likely to take on an adversarial role, not caring much about whether his "opponents" (the players) are having fun.  Though he might be "out to get" the Players and their characters the LE GM only sees this as acceptable behavior because he is staying within the parameters of the rules.  The LE GM sees it not only his right to attempt to "beat" the players, but his duty as GM.  Harris from Freaks and Geeks was chosen for this role because in the D&D episode when he was called out by his players for exhibiting the above behaviors he doesn't shy away from it, rather says, "Oh I'm sorry perhaps I should let you encounter kittens and Grandmothers so as not to upset you."  Harris, like all LE GM's does not see anything wrong with going after his players, he sees it as his job to challenge them, push them to the bring, and if he is able, over a cliff. 

Neutral Good (Martin from Night of the Zombie King)

Striking a balance between rules and story the Neutral Good Gamemaster wants everyone to have fun and enjoy the game.  That is his first and primary goal when behind the screen and he is often willing bend, break, or fudge whatever he has to make that happen.  Martin from Night of the Zombie King is a great example of a Neutral Good Gamemaster because when the group is about to wiped out against their foul Dragon nemesis, Darkmoon, Martin fudged a die that would have ended all for his valiant players.  He turned a 20 into a 1 and gave the party a chance for victory.  A chance the part seized, creating in each of them perhaps their greatest gaming memory.  This sacrificing of the rules in the game of everyone's good time is a classic Neutral Good move. 

True Neutral (Abed from Community)

The True Neutral Gamemaster is the Switzerland of the Gaming world.  He is impartial in everything, preferring to look at himself as, "having no horse in the race."  He is a judge and arbiter, but has in a way, no active interest in the game save to mediate and run it.  Abed was chosen to represent True Neutral because he exuded the ideals of a TN GM during the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons episode of Community.  When the players went at each other Abed refused to help the, "good guys" instead stating that he needed to stay impartial or the game would have no meaning.  He stuck to those beliefs, those of a True Neutral Gamemaster, through the entire episode.  

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 01, 2011 at Tuesday, March 01, 2011 and is filed under , , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .



This was awsome. Good work. :) There are a couple of films I'll have to look up. Thanks :) Doctor Doom

February 10, 2012 at 5:08 AM

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