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In Dungeons & Dragons, all beings from the Prime Material plane — where most of the Baldur's Gate series takes place — have an alignment that represents and simplifies their morality and inner stance with regard to rules. Their morality is simplified down to being good, neutral or evil, while their stance toward rules boils down to being lawful, neutral or chaotic. Alignment is somewhat helpful for a person playing the tabletop RPG to stay "in character", but it also has a tangible reality that fictional characters themselves can leverage to gain information about others, using spells like Know Alignment or Detect Evil.

Beyond the Prime Material plane, however, exist beings that are the spiritual embodiments of an alignment, and planes that bend people and even physics to fit one alignment. For example in the plane that embodies chaos of the purest kind, Limbo, even beings that embody pure law may become corrupted over time, and the laws of physics themselves are abolished. In the planes, alignment shapes reality, not the other way around — entire cities may shift and change plane if the alignments of its inhabitants start to collectively lean too strongly toward it. Things are not so drastic in the Prime Material plane, where the mind has a much smaller impact on hard rock.

Concretely, alignment represents all combinations of these two axes of three values, meaning a total of nine possible alignments. The law-chaos axis is always expressed before the good-evil axis. A "Neutral good" character has a neutral stance as far as rules are concerned, but seeks to do good. In the Baldur's Gate series, alignment is used in gameplay to disallow equipping certain items, open or close certain dialogue paths, affect companion reaction to the party's reputation, adapt the effects of a few spells, and other minor things.

Note: The (3.5 edition) sourcebook Complete Scoundrel cites out-of-universe characters as examples of aligned individuals. In an attempt to simplify the codes of conduct for characters, non-canon takes on alignment sometimes occur.

Lawful Good[]

Lawful Good is known as the "Saintly" or "Crusader" alignment. A Lawful Good character typically acts with compassion, and always with honor and a sense of duty. A Lawful Good nation would consist of a well-organized government that works for the benefit of its citizens. Lawful Good characters include righteous knights, paladins, and most dwarves. Lawful Good creatures include the noble golden dragons. Lawful Good outsiders are known as Archons.

Lawful Good characters, especially paladins, may sometimes find themselves faced with the dilemma of whether to obey law or good when the two conflict—for example, upholding a sworn oath when it would lead innocents to come to harm—or conflicts between two orders, such as between their religious law and the law of the local ruler.

Examples from the Complete Scoundrel: Batman, Dick Tracy and Indiana Jones are cited as being lawful good characters.

Neutral Good[]

Neutral Good is known as the "Benefactor" alignment. A Neutral Good character is guided by his or her conscience and typically acts altruistically, without regard for or against Lawful precepts such as rules or tradition. A Neutral Good character has no problems with co-operating with lawful officials, but does not feel beholden to them. In the event that doing the right thing requires the bending or breaking of rules, they do not suffer the same inner conflict that a Lawful Good character would.

Examples of Neutral Good characters include Zorro and Spider-Man. The Neutral Good outsiders are known as Guardinals.

Chaotic Good[]

Chaotic Good is known as the "Beatific," "Rebel," or "Cynic" alignment. A Chaotic Good character favors change for a greater good, disdains bureaucratic organizations that get in the way of social improvement, and places a high value on personal freedom, not only for oneself, but for others as well. They always intend to do the right thing, but their methods are generally disorganized and often out of alignment with the rest of society. They may create conflict in a team if they feel they are being pushed around, and often view extensive organization and planning as pointless, preferring to improvise.

Robin Hood and Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly are examples of Chaotic Good individuals. Eladrin are the outsider race representing Chaotic Good.

Lawful Neutral[]

Order and organization are of paramount importance to characters of this alignment. They believe in a strong, well-ordered government, whether that government is a tyranny or benevolent democracy. Laws must be created and obeyed. The benefits of organization and regimentation far outweigh any moral questions raised by their actions. An oath is binding, regardless of consequences. A completely impartial magistrate, or a soldier who never questions his orders are good examples of lawful neutral behavior.

— Game manual

The game manual takes this text from the Player's Handbook of AD&D 2, but adds one sentence and changes one of the two examples given. The differences with the original text are outlined below:

[...] Laws must be created and obeyed. [...] A completely impartial magistrate, An inquisitor determined to ferret out traitors at any cost [or a soldier who never questions his orders...].

James Bond, Odysseus, and Sanjuro from Yojimbo are considered as Lawful Neutral. Three exemplars of Lawful Neutral outsiders exist: the Formians, the Inevitables and the Modrons.

True Neutral[]

True neutral characters believe in the ultimate balance of forces, and they refuse to see actions as either good or evil. True neutrals do their best to avoid siding with the forces of either good or evil, law or chaos. It is their duty to see that all of these forces remain in balanced contention. True neutral characters sometimes find themselves forced into rather peculiar alliances. To a great extent, they side with the underdog, sometimes even changing sides as the previous loser becomes the winner. A true neutral druid might join the local barony to put down a tribe of evil gnolls, only to drop out or switch sides when the gnolls were brought to the brink of destruction.

— Game manual

The game manual takes this text from the Player's Handbook of AD&D 2, but removes a few sentences and shortens others. See the relevant parts from the original text below:

[...] Since the majority of people in the world make judgments, true neutral characters are extremely rare. [...] [To a great extent, they] are compelled to [side with the underdog] in any given situation [...]. [...] He would seek to prevent either side from becoming too powerful. Clearly, there are very few true neutral characters in the world.

— Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition, Player's Handbook

Animals and constructs such as golems are all true neutral, but only as a way to express an absence of choice regarding concepts such as good and evil or law and chaos.

Examples: Lara Croft, Lucy Westenra from Dracula and Han Solo in his early Star Wars appearances are neutral. The true neutral outsiders are known as the Rilmani.

Chaotic Neutral[]

Chaotic neutral characters believe that there is no order to anything, including their own actions. With this as a guiding principle, they tend to follow whatever whim strikes them at the moment. Good and evil are irrelevant when making a decision. Chaotic neutral characters are extremely difficult to deal with. Such characters have been known to cheerfully and for no apparent purpose gamble away everything they have on the roll of a single die. They are extremely unreliable.

— Game manual

The AD&D 2 Player's Handbook uses this exact description, but extends it with the following:

In fact, the only reliable thing about them is that they cannot be relied upon! This alignment is perhaps the most difficult to play. Lunatics and madmen tend toward chaotic neutral behavior.

— Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition, Player's Handbook

Captain Jack Sparrow, Al Swearengen from the TV series Deadwood and Snake Plissken from Escape from New York are Chaotic Neutral characters, according to the Complete Scoundrel. The chaotic outsiders are known as the Slaadi (other than the Death Slaadi).

Lawful Evil[]

These characters believe structure and organization elevate those who deserve to rule. They prefer a clearly defined hierarchy between master and servant. If someone is hurt or suffers because of a law that benefits lawful evil characters, too bad. Lawful evil characters obey laws out of fear of punishment or pride of power. Because they honor any contract or oath they have made, lawful evil characters are very careful about giving their word. Once given, they break their word only if they can find a way to do it legally, within the laws of the society.

— Game manual

The game manual takes this text from the Player's Handbook of AD&D 2, but removes a few sentences, shortens others, and adds a bit about pride of power. See the relevant parts from the original text below:

[These characters believe in] using society and its laws to benefit themselves. [...] To this end, lawful evil characters support laws and societies that protect their own concerns. [...] [Lawful evil characters obey laws out of fear of punishment or pride of power.] [Because they] may be forced to [honor any] an unfavorable [contract or oath they have made, ...]. [...] An iron-fisted tyrant and a devious, greedy merchant are examples of lawful evil beings.

— Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition, Player's Handbook

Boba Fett of Star Wars and X-Men's Magneto are cited examples of Lawful Evil characters. The Lawful Evil outsiders are known as Baatezu (devils).

Neutral Evil[]

Neutral evil characters are primarily concerned with themselves and their own advancement. Their only interest is in getting ahead. If there is a quick and easy way to gain a profit, whether it be legal, questionable, or obviously illegal, they take advantage of it. Although neutral evil characters do not have the every-man-for-himself attitude of chaotic evil characters, they have no qualms about betraying their friends and companions for personal gain. They typically base their allegiance on power and money, which makes them quite receptive to bribes.

— Game manual

The AD&D 2 Player's Handbook uses this exact description, but contains some additional sentences:

[...] They have no particular objection to working with others or, for that matter, going it on their own. [...] An unscrupulous mercenary, a common thief, and a double-crossing informer who betrays people to the authorities to protect and advance himself are typical examples of neutral evil characters.

— Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition, Player's Handbook

Complete Scoundrel cites X-Men's Mystique and Sawyer of the early seasons of Lost as Neutral Evil characters. Yugoloths (daemons) are the outsiders of Neutral Evil.

Chaotic Evil[]

Chaotic evil characters are motivated by the desire for personal gain and pleasure. The strong have the right to take what they want and the weak are there to be exploited. When chaotic evil characters band together, they are not motivated by a desire to cooperate, but rather to oppose powerful enemies. Such a group can be held together only by a strong leader capable of bullying his underlings into obedience. Since leadership is based on raw power, a leader is likely to be replaced at the first sign of weakness by anyone who can take his position away from him by any method.

— Game manual

The AD&D 2 Player's Handbook uses this exact description, but contains some additional sentences:

These characters are the bane of all that is good and organized. [...] They see absolutely nothing wrong with taking whatever they want by whatever means possible. Laws and governments are the tools of weaklings unable to fend for themselves. [...] Bloodthirsty buccaneers and monsters of low Intelligence are fine examples of chaotic evil personalities.

— Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition, Player's Handbook

Chaotic evil outsiders are known as the Tanar'ri (demons), a race of beings constantly at war with the baatezu.

Alignment and class[]

Alignment is chosen at character generation and restricted by class kit. For humans, this makes it a consideration towards dual-class possibilities. In addition to the ability score requirements, the character must have a compatible alignment to be able to dual into a particular class.

  • Bards' alignment must be neutral on at least one axis.
  • Druids can only be true neutral.
  • Two fighter kits have alignment restrictions, unlike the base class and other kits:
  • Monks must be lawful.
  • Rangers must be good.
  • Shamans must have a neutral ethical alignment (neutral good, true neutral, neutral evil).
  • Thieves can be any alignment except lawful good.
    • Assassins are restricted to chaotic neutral and the evil alignments in the original Baldur's Gate II. The Enhanced Editions loosen this to the same selection as the other thief kits, except:
    • Shadowdancers cannot be lawful.

No wizard kit has any alignment restrictions, though alignment does have a minor effect on their High-level class ability selection. Summon Planetar is for good wizards, while Summon Dark Planetar is for evil wizards. Those of neutral morality can choose one or the other, but not both.

Alignment for clerics and paladins[]

All paladins must be lawful good, with the exception of blackguards, who can have any evil alignment. The base cleric class has no alignment restrictions, but all of its kits do:

  • Priest of Helm has differing alignment restrictions based on game version:
    • In the original Baldur's Gate II, this kit may be any neutral moral alignment (lawful/true/chaotic neutral).
    • In the Enhanced Editions, its alignments are changed to true neutral and any lawful.
  • Priest of Lathander may be any good alignment, plus true neutral in the Enhanced Editions.
  • Priest of Talos may be any evil alignment in the original version. The Enhanced Editions trade lawful evil for chaotic neutral.
  • Priest of Tempus, an Enhanced Edition kit, may be true neutral or any chaotic alignment.
  • Priest of Tyr, another Enhanced Edition kit, may be lawful good, neutral good, or lawful neutral.

For kitless clerics, alignment will determine which holy symbol will be obtained upon reaching level 25. For Gorion's Ward, it also determines the Cleric Stronghold.

The moral alignment of a cleric or paladin will determine the effects of Turn Undead. Evil ones can start taking control of undead monsters with this ability as they level, while those of other alignments will instantly destroy them. Moral alignment will also affect their spell selection: Holy SmiteHoly Word and Summon Deva cannot be cast by evil clerics or blackguards, while Unholy BlightUnholy Word and Summon Fallen Deva are barred from good clerics and paladins. Neutral clerics can cast all the spells.

Alignment for Gorion's Ward[]

In Throne of Bhaal, the alignment of Gorion's Ward will affect the first two Pocket Plane challenges. The following table displays the starting Reputation when beginning a new game in any campaign and after exporting the character file to Baldur's Gate II. It also shows which creature will appear if the protagonist casts Find Familiar.

Alignment Rep Familiar
Lawful Good 12 Pseudo Dragon
Neutral Good 11 Pseudo Dragon
Chaotic Good 11 Fairy Dragon
Lawful Neutral 10 Ferret
True Neutral 10 Rabbit
Chaotic Neutral 10 Cat
Lawful Evil 9 Imp
Neutral Evil 9 Dust Mephit
Chaotic Evil 8 Quasit

Companions' alignment[]

See also: Companions by alignment.

In the first game, the paladin Ajantis may eventually start fights against any evil companions in the party with him. Across the series, companions' reputation tolerance ranges are determined by their moral alignment.

Name Rep Good Neutral Evil Description
Heroic 20 Happy Annoyed
Break: Will leave the party upon reaching this value. In the first game, this companion cannot be found ever again.
19 Happy Annoyed
18 Happy Neutral Serious Serious: Will threaten to leave the party on any more disagreeable reputation shift, but won't leave now. Some won't join the party again if dismissed. In the first game, this companion cannot be found ever again if removed.
17 Happy Neutral Serious
Popular 16 Happy Neutral Serious
15 Happy Neutral Annoyed Annoyed: Will start making negative comments about the party but stay with it, and rejoin after dismissal.
14 Happy Neutral Annoyed
13 Happy Neutral Annoyed
Average 12 Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral: No particular comment one way or the other about the party and its reputation.
11 Neutral Neutral Neutral
10 Neutral Neutral Neutral
9 Neutral Neutral Neutral
Disliked 8 Annoyed Neutral Neutral
7 Annoyed Neutral Neutral
6 Annoyed Neutral Happy Happy: Will make positive comments about the party.
5 Serious Annoyed Happy
Despised 4 Serious Annoyed Happy
3 Serious Serious Happy
Serious Happy


Some items restrict the alignment of the user by excluding certain alignment combinations. This can result in multiple alignment combinations being restricted as follows:

Term used Alignments restricted
Lawful any Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral, Lawful Evil
Neutral any Neutral Good, True Neutral, Neutral Evil
Chaotic any Chaotic Good, Chaotic Neutral, Chaotic Evil
Any good Lawful Good, Neutral Good, Chaotic Good
Any neutral Lawful Neutral, True Neutral, Chaotic Neutral
Any evil Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil, Chaotic Evil

Rogues with the High-level class ability Use Any Item can ignore these restrictions.

Alignment-restricted items
Name Type Alignment
Astral Crossbow Light crossbow Non-evil
Azuredge Returning throwing axe Good
Blessed Bracers Paladin-exclusive bracers Non-evil
Carsomyr Paladin-exclusive two-handed sword Non-evil
Dark Elven Chain Elven chain mail Evil
Dread Hammer War hammer Non-good
Handmaiden's Mace Cleric-exclusive mace Evil[N. 1]
Holy Long Sword of Tyr Long sword Lawful good
Holy Symbols Cleric-exclusive rings See class page
Human Flesh Leather armor Evil
Ir'revrykal Paladin-exclusive two-handed sword Evil
Locket of Embracing Necklace Non-evil
Malla's Soul Stone Headgear Non-good
Modron Heart Necklace Non-chaotic
Neb's Nasty Cutter Dagger Evil
Paladin's Bracers Paladin-exclusive bracers Non-evil
Purifier Paladin-exclusive bastard sword Non-evil[N. 2]
Rancor Two-handed sword Non-good
Ring of Purity Ring Good
Robe of Goodman Hayes Wizard robe Neutral (moral)
Robe of the Evil Archmagi Wizard robe Evil
Robe of the Good Archmagi Wizard robe Good
Robe of the Neutral Archmagi Wizard robe Neutral (moral)
Silver Dragon Scale Full plate armor Non-good
Soul Reaver Two-handed sword Non-good
The Guardian Devil Helmet Non-good
The Visage Helmet Non-good
Twinkle Scimitar Good
  1. The Handmaiden's Mace has additional restrictions to class and alignment. The cleric must be kitless or a Priest of Talos, and only elves and half-elves, plus half-orcs in the original Baldur's Gate II, can use it.
  2. Purifier requires a lawful good character in the party to even be obtainable.

Alignment changes[]

In the first game, equipping the Helm of Opposite Alignment is the only way to change anybody's alignment. In Baldur's Gate II, certain characters can have alignment changes based on choices made.

  • Gorion's Ward, if not originally evil, can become so from the Tear of Bhaal tests.
  • Anomen Delryn starts as lawful neutral, and can become either lawful good or chaotic neutral from his knighthood test.
  • Viconia DeVir starts as neutral evil, and can become true neutral through her romance.
  • Sarevok Anchev starts as chaotic evil, and can become chaotic good from conversations throughout Throne of Bhaal.