Chaotic Evil

A chaotic evil character does what his greed, hatred, and lust for destruction drive him to do. He is 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 likely to be poorly organized. Typically, chaotic evil people can be made to work together only by force, and their leader lasts only as long as he can thwart attempts to topple or assassinate him.

Chaotic evil represents the destruction not only of beauty and life, but also of the order on which beauty and life depend.

Chaotic evil characters live at the mercy of their own toxic passions. Their goals and methods may change on a whim, and they often crave novelty and variety in their lives.

While still capable of planning, they may have a hard time with patient, long-term scheming, preferring immediate satisfaction and direct action. For some, spreading chaos and destruction is a deliberate goal, yet more often chaotic evil characters are those who simply don't care whom their desires may hurt. They may see a certain nobility in their refusal to be bound by any conventions or creeds, or they may simply indulge their greed, hatred, and lust with no thought to the consequences. They may be emotionally or mentally unstable, letting their inner turmoil and turbulence spill out uncontrollably into others' lives. Yet, they need not be insane—their savagery can be deliberate and intentional, unleashed in carefully directed and rationed bursts.

Serial killers, demon cultists, arsonists, dangerous hedonists, and others lured to atrocity by passion are drawn to this alignment.


Some chaotic evil characters have coherent philosophies or ideas that guide their actions. However, many—if not most—are driven from within by strong, usually poisonous and unpredictable emotions. Below are some of the more common chaotic evil personality types.


Just as some people find solace in upholding order and justice, some swear allegiance to their opposites—the chaos and entropy that eventually grind everything to dust. Whether these devotees are antipaladins, cultists of demon lords, or those who simply feel that the world deserves to be burned down, devotees seek to foster chaos and evil not just for personal gain, but for chaos and evil's own sake. Some believe that the world must be destroyed in order to be rebuilt into something better, or see themselves as a necessary part of an eternal struggle—for light requires darkness to give it contrast. More often, they devote themselves out of a desire to gain power from an evil and chaotic entity, or to impose revenge on a world they feel has wronged them.

If you are a devotee, you:

  • Deliberately sow chaos and pain for their own sakes, rather than to obtain personal reward.
  • May worship a demon lord or another personification of chaos and evil.
  • Find spiritual satisfaction in destruction.

Code: Chaos is the true nature of existence, and it will eventually reclaim its own, so you help it along.


Furies are driven by a rage so consuming that it can never be satisfied. For some, this rage is birthed from a truly horrific past—perhaps one in which they suffered at the hands of another fury. In other cases, it is caused by disgust or despair ignited after witnessing too much depravity. In still others, the cause is simply a sense of stymied entitlement, or even a natural disposition untempered by reason. Not all furies are immediately identifiable as such—some bank their anger, burning slow but hot, and can conceal their temperaments and their actions, corrupting and undermining rather than rampaging. They may find justifications for their rage in the failings (real or imagined) of others, or they may not feel a need to justify themselves at all. Regardless of their motives, a festering, white-hot fever of rage is at the heart of all they do.

If you are a fury, you:

  • Are prone to outbursts of violence—whether physical, verbal, or psychological.
  • Often redirect anger toward convenient targets, punishing innocents for minor offenses.
  • Feel empowered and invigorated when unleashing your anger, and may see patience and calm as weaknesses.

Code: If you hurt them, they must have deserved it.


To evil hedonists, nothing matters except personal pleasure, and it's only natural and right to grab as much of it as they can. Any consequences are secondary, if they are considered at all. Classic evil hedonists live in the moment and take what they want by force. These are the people who burn down a city because their hands are cold, or kill a family just to steal their horse. While other personality types may have a greater sense of entitlement, hedonists are characterized by their unwillingness to restrict themselves unnecessarily—and to a hedonist, all restrictions seem unnecessary.

If you are a hedonist, you:

  • Follow your whims and passions, regardless of the potential consequences.
  • May get bored easily and seek out ever-greater taboos to break.
  • Have disproportionate responses to irritation.

Code: Because you felt like it, that's why.

Advantages and Challenges

Whether because they act on every whim, or because they take monstrous shortcuts in pursuit of their goals, chaotic evil characters can be hard to upper hand, making it difficult for rivals and enemies to gain the initiative against them. Their vicious passions may or may not be worn on their sleeves, but even when they're working in arrangements that are generally favorable to them, few chaotic evil characters can tolerate structure or self-control for long periods without lashing out or breaking the rules. Those who rule over chaotic evil creatures must usually do so with an iron fist, as many such creatures can be controlled only with violence and threats.

For all that, lack of reflection and an over-reliance on emotions when making decisions can make some chaotic evil characters easy to manipulate for those (usually evil) characters who can get inside their heads. When properly harnessed, their savage destruction can be extremely useful, a tidal wave unleashed on command by their masters.

Opportunities and Allies

Antipaladins, as unholy counterparts to paladins, must be chaotic evil. Barbarians (whose strength is fueled by wrath) are good choices for classic out-of-control, animalistic butchers; inquisitors with the destruction judgment or magi could work well, too. Bards and oracles are well placed to play more insidious, corrupting, or maddening roles, whether as royal advisors or demagogues.

Chaotic Evil Affinities

The process by which a chaotic evil character selects allies is often a mystery to others—and perhaps even to the characters themselves—but often boils down to an instinctive sense of who's likely to provide support and entertainment without overly restricting them. They may choose allies they perceive as weaker and thus unable to effectively challenge their decisions, or they may be temporarily cowed into serving those who pose too great a threat to ignore.

While in working relationships with equals, chaotic evil characters may seem to be ever on the verge of betrayal, or at least ready to abandon their partners to pursue their own interests. However, some of these partnerships prove surprisingly stable, as the chaotic evil character may want to avoid the inconvenience and frustration of finding new partners. These allies need not be evil, either—a chaotic evil character is perhaps the least likely to judge others for their alignment (or indeed, pay attention to their companions' morality at all).

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Chaotic Evil

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