So you want to be a Hero?
The “true” neutral looks upon all other alignments as facets of the system of many things. Thus, each aspect—evil and good, chaos and law—of things must be retained in balance to maintain the status quo; for things as they are cannot be improved upon except temporarily, and even then but superficially. Nature will prevail and keep things as they were meant to be, provided the “wheel” surrounding the hub of nature does not become unbalanced due to the work of unnatural forces—such as human and other intelligent creatures interfering with what is meant to be. Absolute, or true, neutral creatures view everything which exists as an integral, necessary part or function of the entire cosmos. Each thing exists as a part of the whole, one as a check or balance to the other, with life necessary for death, happiness for suffering, good for evil, order for chaos, and vice versa. Nothing must ever become predominant or out of balance. Within this naturalistic ethos, humankind serves a role also, just as all other creatures do. The may be more or less important, but the neutral does not concern himself or herself with these considerations except where it is positively determined that the balance is threatened. Absolute neutrality is the central or fulcrum position quite logically, as the neutral sees all other alignments as parts of a necessary whole. This alignment is the narrowest in scope.
True neutral characters are concerned with their own well-being and that of the group or organization which aids them. They may behave in a good manner to those that they consider friends and allies, but will only act maliciously against those who have tried to injure them in some way. For the rest, they do not care. They do not wish ill on those they do not know, but they also do not care when they hear of evil befalling them. Better for others to suffer the evil than the true neutral and his allies. If an ally is in need, the true neutral will aid him, out of genuine love or because he may be able to count on that ally a little more in the future. If someone else is in need, they will weigh the options of the potential rewards and dangers associated with the act. If an enemy is in need, they will ignore him or take advantage of his misfortune.
True neutrals are offended by those who are opinionated or bigoted. A “hell-fire and brimstone” lawful good priest is just as offensive as a neutral evil racial supremacist in their eyes. They do not necessarily strive for philosophical balance. In fact, they may avoid philosophical considerations altogether. A true neutral may take up the cause of his nation, not because he necessarily feels obligated to do so, but because it just makes sense to support the group that protects your way of life. True neutrals tend to believe in lex talionis forms of justice.
However, a true neutral being with a highly philosophical outlook may hold that law, chaos, good, and evil are all necessary forces in the universe. But all are of equal import, and none should be allowed to take precedence over another, unless an imbalance should be perceived—in which case corrective steps must be taken until the balance is righted once again. Hence, the motives of a highly philosophical true neutral character are perhaps the most difficult for any other alignment to fathom, for such a true neutral being will usually act first to preserve the balance, second if he deems it his business, and third if it is in his own best interests. For these reasons, being nature’s mediators, true neutral characters should be diplomatic and tactful, but they may also come across as being strange and enigmatic until one gets to know them and their “world view” better. This is because some true neutral beings look far beyond the immediate situation to the overall balance of the cosmos. Most true neutral characters will, throughout their lives, tend more or less toward one of the other alignments, dependent upon their perception of the state of the world and what force should be balanced. Such a “deviation” will be temporary, until the true neutral being recognizes and modifies his actions in accordance with the new balance. For example, once the strong evil forces in an area have been conquered, and the balance restored, the true neutral character will stop acting “good.” In, addition, this attitude of balance will ordinarily be reflected in a true neutral’s choice of companions and should thus be demonstrated with reasonable consistency. As all things in the cosmos are equally important and necessary, life is as valuable as death to the true neutral being, because life is inevitably followed by death. In this character’s view, one’s time will come when it is supposed to come, and no sooner or later.
True neutral is typically the most misunderstood of all alignments. One common misconception is thinking that true neutral characters seek a balance by deliberately following a certain alignment one day and an entirely different alignment the next. Such behavior makes true neutral characters unpredictable, and the cumulative effect promotes chaos more than anything else. True neutral characters tend to remain nonjudgmental and uncommitted to any moral, legal, or philosophical system beyond the basic tenets of their own society. Despite this fact, true neutral beings do not resent being into struggles involving different viewpoints. True neutral individuals do not lack interest, ambition, or passion—they value their own well-being and that of friends and loved ones. They may struggle passionately on behalf of themselves or others, as well as feel compassion for those they barely know. In fact, since most humans are true neutral, it is the alignment of the majority of people encountered in day-to-day situations.
A true neutral character will keep his word if in his best interest. He may attack an unarmed foe if he feels it necessary. He will not kill, but may harm an innocent. He may use torture to extract information, but never for pleasure. He will never kill for pleasure, only in self-defense or in the defense of others. A true neutral character may use poison as long as there is an overwhelming need. He will help those in need if it is in his best interest and works well alone or in a group. He responds well to higher authority until that authority attempts to use the law to hamper his ability to pursue his own self-interest. He will follow the law unless breaking it is in his best interest and he’s reasonably sure that he will not be caught. He will never betray a family member, comrade, or friend unless the situation is dire. True neutral characters are indifferent to the concepts of self-discipline and honor, finding them useful only if they can be used to advance their own interests.
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