it’s also okay to be totally terrified at the thought of having sex with a girl- internalized homophobia affects all of us to a certain extent
it’s okay to want to make out with a girl for hours on end (seriously, it’s totally an okay thing to think about)
it’s okay to fantasize about girls, even in a sexual way. you are not dirty for doing this.
you can absolutely wear clothes that are stereotypically lesbian, such as flannels. in the same note, you can totally cut your hair short if you want. you aren’t perpetuating a stereotype, you’re embracing who you are
you can also completely stay away from any clothing that would signify you might be a wlw (especially if you’re in a situation where the suspicion that you’re a wlw could cause you harm)- it’s completely your choice, just don’t shame anybody that does decide to take on that style.
it’s okay to not immediately date a girl once you come out. take some time to figure out your feelings, it’s okay. you’ll find somebody that you want to date in your own time, or you can just decide you don’t want to ever date anybody. that’s also perfectly okay.
it’s okay to dream about a future with a wife
it’s okay to hold your girlfriend’s hand in public and be affectionate in public. it’s not gross or icky, it’s good and cute, i promise.
it’s okay to come out to everybody you speak to (there’s nothing wrong with you, and if people judge you, they’re the ones who are wrong), but it’s also valid to only come out to a small select group of people. both approaches are fine.
it’s okay to masturbate while thinking about girls. it’s okay, you’re not weird for doing this. it’s a common thing.
it’s okay to watch movies or tv shows with wlw, even the ones that are cliche and really cheesy. if they make you feel validated and happy, continue doing so.
alternative title: i am broke and am too afraid to torrent
1. i use canva.com to create my icon art !! it’s free (yay webapps!!) n easy to navigate !! u have to sign up before using it,,, so go do that first
2. figure out a color scheme!! here are some resources for inspiration (xx). (lazy hint: pastels/muted tones generally make pretty foolproof color combinations)
3. find a subject! google images is your best friend. for the banner of this tutorial i chose a kikki k planner (here’s my reference image) and simplified it a bit. note that anything with uncommon shapes will be a bit more difficult to do based on canva’s relatively small shape selection. (ex: things like notebooks are easy to do in canva because they’re rectangular, but,,,,,say,,,, a starbucks cup might be a little harder because it’s a unique shape)
4. go to canva and click “custom dimensions” !! i generally have my icons around 400x400 px but it’s up to you! just make sure the length and width are equal
5. click on “background” > “document colors”. pick a background color from ur color scheme,, note that if you have a darker background you might want to have a lighter subject to create contrast and vice versa
6. click on “elements” > “shapes”. if you chose a rectangular subject like i did, then this should be rly simple – just pick the square and tweak it following the rough proportions of ur reference image. you can change the color of the shape by clicking it and selecting the square top left icon in the little toolbar that pops up !!
if you chose something a bit more complicated, like a pen, then use a combination of the shapes available and layer them on one another to form the shape. (ex: if i chose a basic pencil, then i might use the rectangle shape as the base of the pencil and the triangle as the point.) there’s no polygon tool or anything close to it in canva, so this is rly not a good time,, but alas. feel free to msg me if u need help !!
7. great great u got the base of ur subject down !! add a backshadow behind it! do this by selecting the shape(s) you just made and copying them !! select the copy and change its color. to access the color panel, select the new shape(s) and click on the little colored square in the top left corner.
now,, what color do we make the shadow?
in these icons, i make my shadow hue by copying the background color (go to “document colors” to find the bg color of the doc) and decreasing the original background’s brightness enough to make the subject “pop”. then, select your shadow and click “arrange” > “back”. now, offset the shadow– i generally just move it a tiny bit down and to the left of my subject. you’ll know when it looks right when the subject appears to have some depth.
8. add details to your subject !! here, you want to add anything on the surface of your subject !! some examples of things i have added to various subjects on this step are brand labels on stationery, lines on paper, buttons on a calculator,,, etc. play w it a bit !!
9. (optional) add a shine to your icon or object! go to “elements” > “shapes”. i generally have my shape cut across the center of the object/icon at a diagonal, so the triangle or circle are usually the best to use for this !! select whichever u choose and change its color to white. then, change its transparency by clicking on the upper-right checkered button. i usually choose a transparency anywhere between 10% and 30% !!
i hope that was helpful !! feel free to shoot me an ask/msg if u have any questions ♡
when my sister was here last week she bought me my first washi tape rolls!! the other one i used in this spread but i looove matching colors with this one. buuut on the flip side of things, my habits have gotten spotty :\ my motivation dwindled a lot the week after we came back to the US, and i don’t think i’ve gotten it back completely
Hello! I enjoy your art and I have a question. So how do you do Sonic and his gang's anatomy? I have quite a tough time trying to master it.
Glad you enjoy my art!
My tip in regard to Sonic and friend’s anatomy… is it’s not… really ‘anatomy’ so much. It’s super cartoony and you’d be hard pressed to go “ah, here’s the ribcage, here’s the pelvis”, etc. I mean, knowing those things is a very good thing for drawing in general, but when it comes to Sonic characters it’s not really as helpful as thinking of them as a collection of shapes.
So, ‘think of them as a collection of shapes’ is my first bit of advice.
Let’s break down a few characters.
Here’s a small selection of character images I pulled off google. It’s a mix of 2D and 3D because I think it’s important to be able to identify the shapes in either case. Can you see the shapes that make up each character’s head and body?
Sonic heads are easy. With very, very few exceptions, they’re almost always perfect circles. Tails and Marine are the biggest example of Sonic characters who do -not- have circles for heads- their heads are instead a rounded, boxy shape.
As for bodies, it’s all just a collection of beans for guys and peanuts for girls. If you remember this, you can draw any ‘basic’ Sonic character.
I don’t have a lot to say about the limbs of Sonic characters because there isn’t much to them. Sonic and his friends are all based on the old concept of ‘rubber-hose’ cartoon characters, like Mickey Mouse or Felix the cat. That means their limbs are basically thick noodles or 'tubes’. With the exception of Sonic Boom’s art style, Sonic characters do not actually have elbows or knees. Notice on the Amy picture when she bends her arms and legs it’s not actually forming an 'elbow’. The tube is just bending.
There is one thing to mention though- the length of Sonic character’s arms. Compared to the proportion of humans, Sonic characters have arms and legs that are roughly the same length. That means if they’re standing completely straight and casually, the tips of their fingers land somewhere near their ankles, compared to somewhere around the hip on a human.
Whenever I write one of these posts I’m struck by the sheer amount of incredible writing talent in this little fandom of ours. It is quite astonishing, and it’s a privilege to get to read all of this wonderful work. Below there’s a small selection of the fantastic stuff I’ve been reading recently, featuring gods, monsters and feral jungle men - and that’s just for starters!
Storms (series) by @lovecrimevariations (KareliaSweet): This frankly astonishing series starts
out in barnstorming but fairly innocuous style in Where Are The Storms I Was Promised, in which Will Graham, famous
monster hunter, is called to deal with the Wendigo that’s been terrorising an
entire town. And then it proceeds, over the course of a further six
instalments, to document the beautiful, bloody, often painful course of the
relationship between Will and Hannibal, constantly deepening and recontextualising
the ‘verse as it goes. Reading this series is almost like watching a really
good magic trick – every time you think you’ve got its measure, it pulls
something new and surprising out of its hat. And it’s not just flash and
sparkle either, the writing is utterly beautiful, the characters are perfectly
captured and it is both deeply funny and enormously moving (I was genuinely
weepy a number of times throughout). Plus, it also features a majestic, powerful,
do-not-under-any-circumstances-fuck-with incarnation of Bedelia, who is worth
the price of admission all by herself. Seriously, she was my favourite part of
this whole series and I love it beyond any sense or reason. If you have any
love of writing whatsoever, read this series, it is a masterclass.
You’ll be in my heart
by @starkaryen: Based on the totally beautiful art (here and here)
by @camilleflyingrotten, here Will is a scientist on an expedition to find and
study gorillas. Instead, he ends up finding Hannibal, a mostly-feral man who
lives in the jungle, has an adopted gorilla family, and takes an immediate
shine to Will. Who, because this is Will and Hannibal, finds himself taking a
shine right back. And all is rosy in Camp Hannigram, until Jack damn Crawford
sticks his nose in (like always) and threatens Hannibal’s way of life. As
befits the utterly gorgeous artwork, this fic is just lovely from start to
finish. It features a particularly adorable version of Hannibal – the scenes in
which he indulges his obsession with Will’s safari hat are nothing short of
precious – and a charmingly earnest Will. It’s a simple, innocent bit of
loveliness, which is rather refreshing in this dark and sophisticated fandom of
(Also, if you’d like a little more Tarzan AU, this time with
an A/B/O flavour, check out Hannizan by @hotsauce418, which is just pure
filth and utterly wonderful with it XD.)
We, the common by @thelongcon23
(thelongcon): A retelling of the show (and beyond) in omegaverse style,
this fic alternates masterfully between Hannibal and Will’s POVs as the omega
becomes fascinated, obsessed, and ultimately falls in love with the alpha. The
result is that while the course of events remains largely the same (Will still gets framed and gutted, and
they still go over the cliff in each other’s arms), others change drastically
(the way Will locates Hannibal in Florence, for instance, gets a very clever
omegaverse twist). And their relationship after the fall? Well, I can pretty
much guarantee you’ve never seen it go down quite like this before. If you’re
looking for fluff, I suggest you go elsewhere, but if you’re after passion,
intensity, and that terribly Hannigram sense that love and cruelty are not
mutually exclusive, this is the fic for you. The writer has a firm grip on the
characters’ voices and motivations and is uncompromising and incisive in their
betrayal of both. This is not necessarily an easy read (particularly towards
the end, when Hannibal gives Will a reckoning of his own) but it is a
compelling and fascinating one.
Cookies by @desperatelyseekingcannibals (TigerPrawn): Now, those of you who are after some fluff, here’s some of the
best around. Tiger’s non-cannibal AU is an absolute treat, full of emotional
idiots, kick-ass women and a totally adorable kid (and I don’t say that lightly
cos kid!fic ain’t my thing!). It all starts when Will accompanies his daughter
Abigail as she goes door-to-door selling cookies for charity and finds himself
face to face with the ever-so-handsome Doctor Lecter. And then somehow, before
he knows it, Will is agreeing to a date in exchange for Hannibal buying all of
Abby’s stock, and soon finding that he might have stumbled into a real
relationship. Not that it’s smooth sailing, of course, this is still Hannigram
we’re talking about! It is my deep and ardent belief that Hannibal dreams of
being a romcom when it grows up and with this utterly charming, romantic,
as-sweet-as-its-name-suggests fic, that dream is made a reality. Anyone who’s
ever wanted to see Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter fall in love the
old-fashioned way (you know, without all those annoying stints in prison and
near-fatal injuries), treat yourself and read this fic. I guarantee it will
melt even the most dark and twisted of hearts.
Picture Imperfect by @shiphitsthefan: Will Graham is a very special alpha – unlike many of his
sex, he can be trusted not to turn into a hormonal animal around omegas. It’s
how he’s made his career as a photographer. That is, right up until he’s in a
room with concert harpsichordist Hannibal Lecter and everything goes to hell
when they scent each other and can barely keep themselves from ripping their
clothes off and bonding right there and then. Seems like they’re true mates and
it’s only a matter of time before they give into their urges – so Will, being a
decent and respectful alpha, has to get this courtship show on the road before
that happens. Well, mostly before that happens. Given the UST inherent to the
plot, this is every bit as intensely, stupidly hot as you’d hope, but it’s also
a really clever, thoughtful exploration of the omegaverse concept, set in a ‘verse
in which omegas are the ruling gender, a nice reversal of the usual a/b/o
setup. Plus it has an almost indecently adorable version of Hannigram, in which
progressive Will and traditionalist Hannibal attempt to conjoin their lives so
that they can get on and shag already! Smart and sexy a/b/o is one of our
fandom’s greatest strengths and this is truly just an exemplary version of it.
Space Invader II: A
Very Darko Sequel by @devereauxsdisease: A sequel to the utterly wonderful Space Invader (and if you haven’t read
it, I’m begging you, go remedy that this instant), this return to Dev’s
Spacedogs ‘verse sees Adam and Nigel still ensconced in blissful coupledom. So
blissful, in fact, that it’s making Darko wonder if he might want some of that
relationship stuff for himself. Cue the appearance of a certain sassy lab tech
last seen working for the FBI. That’s right, Beverly Katz is alive, in town and
about to rock Darko’s world XD. This is just an utter joy to read, stuffed with
Dev’s trademark mix of fantastic dialogue, heartfelt emotion and wickedly dirty
jokes. And best of all is her way with the characters, all of whom are
wonderfully loveable and who work beautifully together. I spent the whole fic
marvelling at the way in which these disparate characters come together and
feel like they were always meant to be that way – they make a lovely,
entertainingly weird family and are never less than an utter delight to spend
Forgemaster by @llewcie: Valhalla Enchanted by way of the Greek gods now, in this peerless
piece of sweetness by the lovely Llew. Char and Ella are the new Dionysus and
Aphrodite (in this ‘verse, the gods can retire and be replaced) and live like
brother and sister, i.e. bickering, winding each other up, pushing each other’s
buttons… They particularly like making bets, which winds up with Ella making
Char agree to three dates with Hephaestus, being played in this fic by One Eye.
Given that One Eye is unsociable, ragged, and constantly dirty from his forge, Char
is less than impressed with his companion and says so… somewhat unfortunately
within One Eye’s earshot. So when, despite himself, Char finds himself falling
for the blacksmith god’s charms, he’s got a lot of work to do to convince One
Eye that he’s worth the trouble! Llew has the charm turned up all the way to
eleven in this gorgeously frothy, funny little comedy of errors, with a sweetly
vain version of Char melting under the steadily growing appeal of One Eye’s
gentle strength. If you need cheering up for any reason, this fic should be
your first port of call.
Pure Imagination by @constructfairytales
(beforethedawn and Destinyawakened): Stranger Things was one of my
favourite shows last year (admittedly it’s no Hannibal, but what is?). It was
smart and weird, and as an 80s baby it pressed every last one of my nostalgia
buttons, from soundtrack to costume design. So, of course, it was with nothing
but delight that I started this crossover AU, in which Will is police chief of
the town where young Will Byers goes missing and Hannibal is the psychiatrist
he brings in to counsel the traumatised community. And I wasn’t disappointed –
this is a fantastic blend of Hannibal’s surreal romanticism with the full-on
monstery weirdness of the ST ‘verse, with plenty of unexpectedly but pleasingly
fluffy Hannigram at the centre of it. Though it follows the basic plot of ST,
having Will and Hannibal involved inevitably shakes things up (Will’s empathy
is given a brilliant twist) and predictable this certainly ain’t. Instead it’s
fun, thrilling and playful, with at least one story development that genuinely
had me on the edge of my seat. And did I mention the Hannigram? Cos, yeah,
there’s no slow burn here. Our boys are goners from the second they meet and
the intensity of their connection is all kinds of wonderful.
The Estate by @bokuno-jinsei: Amusingly, the tags on this fantastic fic eventually turn
into a short plea for Will Graham to stop thinking so much (a plea which anyone
who’s written the over-analytical little shit will know is hopeless).
Fortunately, Will clearly paid no attention, and so we readers are treated to
this charmingly introspective piece of canon divergence. So, Hannibal gets as
far as sitting Will at the dinner table in Florence. But, before he can get out
his bonesaw, he seemingly has second thoughts and so Will wakes some time later
to find himself ensconced in the last place he expected to revisit – Lecter Castle.
Where, he finds, Hannibal has decided to change the game between them: if Will
agrees to see if they can live together, Hannibal will cease any attempts to
change or influence Will. So the pair find themselves as the unlikeliest of
roommates as Will wrestles with his demons, his desires and, inevitably, his
feelings for Hannibal. Anybody who enjoys intense conversations, brewing sexual
tension and Hannibal in waders (yes, really), step this way, you’re in for a
Inevitable by Vulcanmi: I do adore canon divergence. And I have a weakness for
prison fics (love Hannigram falling in love while incarcerated). So this fic is
entirely my jam. It picks up in the second half of s3: Hannibal is in jail, Will
is “happily” married to Molly, and Jack is still desperate to have his pet
empath back on board to deal with the Tooth Fairy. Except in this ‘verse, Will
decides not to give into Jack and remains with his family, far away from
Baltimore. In order to make it up to his former boss, though, Will writes a
letter to a certain inmate, suggesting that he offer his services where Will
cannot. Of course, it’s not the last letter Will ends up sending to Hannibal.
Not by a long shot. And we all know what happens once Will gives Hannibal an
inch… (hey, I didn’t mean that kind of inch, you filthy perverts!). Though it
starts out as an angsty exploration of Will’s determination to separate himself
from Hannibal, somewhere along the way this fantastic fic transforms into a
twisted yet adorable romcom, as our murder muffins confront their feelings and
try to figure out whether there’s any version of the world in which they might
be together. And, frankly, it’s an utter delight to read. One for those (*raises
hand*) who like their hurt/comfort 20% hurt and 80% comfort.
Inside the Imitation
by @belladonnaq (Belladonna_Q) with artwork by @reapersun: A confession. I’ve
never seen The Thing (because I’m a scaredy-cat who doesn’t watch anything that
could remotely be described as scary. “But
Vic, isn’t Hannibal scary?” Yeah, yeah, I contain multitudes, now hush mango, I’m
working). However, I’ve never let ignorance get between me and my Hannigram
and so I jumped headfirst into the The Thing/Hannibal crossover which,
fortunately, works utterly brilliantly with absolutely zero knowledge of the
film. So, once again Jack Crawford finds reason to call upon the services of
Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter. Except this time, it’s not in order to
investigate the Minnesota Shrike, but a strange case with its roots in a
decades-old tragedy in Alaska. Soon things turn weird and monstery and Will and
Hannibal find themselves reluctantly (well, as ever, Will’s reluctant, Hannibal’s thrilled) investigating a burned-out
government building with something truly frightening at its core. This is
thrilling, clever and wonderfully creepy, a fantastic reframing of canon
(especially the Hannigram) and tons of fun throughout. I have to admit, I did
not see the twist coming in this fic (though that’s possibly because I’m a dim
bulb when it comes to plot) and it was delivered brilliantly, turning
everything on its head and upping the stakes for our beloved murder muffins.
Oh, and make sure to check out @reapersun’s fabulous artwork that accompanies
the fic, it’s staggeringly gorgeous.
The Marriage of
Heaven and Hell: Volume 2 by @fragile-teacup: A continuation of the
marvellous The Spaces Between series,
this picks up a little after volume one, with our boys enjoying Argentinian
high society. Unfortunately, while the end of the previous instalment hinted at
full-blown murder husbandry, it quickly turns out that Will and Hannibal haven’t
quite sorted out their feelings to
anyone’s satisfaction (you’re shocked, I can tell). Fortunately, we’re pretty much out of slow burn territory here and
the idiots manage to get their act (mostly) together just in time for some
ghosts to rear their perfectly-coiffed, millionairess heads and throw a spanner
in the works. This sequel continues the achingly lovely tone of its predecessor,
with romance a-plenty amongst bouts of emotional idiocy and bloodlust. It’s
sweet and tender without compromising on the intensity and darkness of our
beloved boys and builds their relationship with care and patience, allowing for
a believable building of trust and love between them. It is, in other words, a
treat to read in every way, so get yourself to ao3 and have at it!
As ever and always, if I’ve miscredited anyone or if there are bad links, please let me know and I’ll correct it ASAP. Happy reading, lovely fannibals!
Louise Brealey as Jude McDermid (Clique) picture in a slightly better quality. Description from the BBC site:
Jude is a hot-shot economics lecturer and philosopher at University in Edinburgh. Her motivational books are airport bestsellers. Jude’s feminist philosophy is a hard kind of pragmatism – do what it takes to get ahead, stop complaining and use what’s in your arsenal. Whilst flawed, it seems a refreshing and appealing alternative to debates over gender-neutral children’s toys and pure semantics. To put her philosophy into action, Jude began the Solasta Women’s Initiative alongside her brother, Alistair McDermid, CEO of Solasta Finance. The initiative selects a small group of girls each year and places them in elite bespoke internships at Solasta. The girls live in a beautiful house in New Town where they are mentored by Jude, so they can bypass the time-wasting dross of the usual undergraduate experience and be taught how to live and work as young women. [Source]
In 2011, a small selection of letters that Fred Astaire and Hermes Pan had written to Ginger Rogers over several decades were published by Roberta Olden in an exhibition entitled, The Ginger Rogers Collection. Here are some excerpts:
January 1936 telegram from Fred to Ginger: “Hope you have a nice vacation. Grab a few steps here and there. We will be needing them. Fred”
Early-1950 handwritten letter from Fred to Ginger: “If you like, I’ll get a hold of the great Hermes one of these days pretty soon and we’ll all have dinner someplace. Best love, Fred”
October 1958 handwritten letter from Fred to Ginger: “Isn’t T.V. cute? Reminds me of a space operation or something. Love, Fred”
May 1959 handwritten letter from Fred to Ginger: “So long sweetie, and have a wonderful trip, As ever, Fred”
December 1974 handwritten letter from Fred to Ginger: “I didn’t know where you might be… Best love, always, Fred”
December 1979 handwritten letter from Hermes Pan to Ginger: “I loved seeing you, and you look fantastic. We will definitely get together real soon, and I’ll whip up a little spaghetti or something. I’ll call you and we’ll set a time. I love you, Hermes”
For: @durinsgirl Characters: Barba/Reader Warnings: None Word Count: 1,281
You had been trying to get Rafael to abandon his desk for
days. He’d gotten home after you were already curled up in bed the night
before, gently awoken by his arms wrapping around you in the dead of night and
warm lips pressed to your neck as he murmured a gentle I love you in his native tongue.
Yet, you’d woken up to a cold pillow and empty half of the
bed that morning, his presence slipping away from your grasp before the sun had
even thought about rising and gracing you all with its warmth and presence
So you’d texted him, insisting on a quick breakfast at the
café across the street from One Hogan Place. You’d thought the temptation of
blueberry pancakes and his favorite coffee with an extra shot of espresso might
lure him from the perch in his desk. When he’d responded with one word – meeting – you had reluctantly let the
topic go, making sure to hand deliver a banana, almonds, and Americano to his
office, trusting Carmen to pass on the snacks.
Her sad smile told you that she understood why you were so
So there was a lady who was frustrated by our small selection of car seats because she wanted to use the trade-in event. She was polite and asked if we had anymore in the back. When I recommended she go to our sister store, a baby store, (same event) across the street, she said she couldnt. I feel bad because I thought she was gonna throw some BS at me but she explained she just lost a child... so I helped check the back and elsewhere to find her a good car seat. She was so nice and thankful too
I love the nice and polite customers. They make me want to go out of my way to help them.
Okay, so everyone’s done their take on this at least once, and you know what, it’s fun to do, so I’m gonna throw out my own version of this. Here is my take on the classic 3x3 DnD Alignment Grid!
First, let’s get some key terms defined.
Lawful - To me, lawful just means that the character follows a clear and codified set of objective standards. A list of things they ideally will or won’t do, and a standard for behavior. This code can be broken, but it will feel wrong to that character, and they will be upset when they are put into a situation where they must violate one of their standards. Lawful may give too strong a sense of “Law” being the driving force. I think “Principled” would be the better choice.
Chaotic - To me, Chaotic is not ‘lol so randumb’. It’s the antithesis of Lawful. Where a lawful character has an ideal standard they strive to conform to, a chaotic character has no such high standard for themselves. They only have their goals and philosophy. In fact, a chaotic character sees standards, rules, and other strictures as impediments. Chaotics won’t break rules for the sake of breaking them, necessarily. They just don’t care for such things and aren’t going to even consider them while making their choices. They act more on primal sensation than logic, making “Instinctive” a good alternate term.
Good - I find this and its counterparts, Neutral and Evil, to be misnomers. Good isn’t always ‘goody 2-shoes’ or ‘FOR THE GREATER GOOD’. Let’s be honest, a kingdom ruled by a caste of Lawful Good Paladins isn’t going to be a very happy place for long. Additionally, a Good Paladin may not think twice about cutting down a tree, but a Good Druid might very strongly object to that, and consider it Evil… or at least worthy of a good lecture. So I think Good would better be called Selfless. A Selfless character will always make decisions with the consequences to other people or things in mind. What those other things are will vary by the character, but they all want to avoid collateral consequences that would hurt others.
Evil - Now, you might be expecting me to ask what the opposite of Selfless is and then apply it to evil, but I don’t think that fits. When I look at classic examples of Evil characters, they share basically one thing in common: they aren’t necessarily the antagonists and villains of the story, but they all strive for domination and control. Of others, of their environment, of their kingdom, of other people: They want to be in control. So I feel Dominant is the better descriptor. Their driving motive is to gain power and control for its own sake.
Neutral - Ah yes. Nestled between Selfless (Good) and Dominant (Evil) is this little slice of ambiguity that often has a horrible reputation for being mind-numbingly bland or pure off-the-wall bonkers. Both of these misrepresent what I find to be one of the more compelling alignment sets. Neutral is, again, a poor choice of word, in my opinion; especially juxtaposed against Selfless and Dominant. What are Neutral characters after? If they’re not looking out for other people (Good/Selfless) or trying to take control (Evil/Dominant), what are they doing? Well.. they’re looking after themselves, and/or after a very select and small group of people. They are Selfish. Not necessarily in the negative sense, just that their frame of reference is their own well-being. They don’t necessarily care about collateral, and they really don’t want to impose on other people either. They will act for their own satisfaction, whether that be financial, emotional, spiritual, whatever.
So, with those terms out of the way, let’s ACTUALLY do the 9 alignments and give you a taste of how I see them.
PRINCIPLED SELFLESS - (Lawful Good) This is the home of the Noble Knight, the Holy Paladin, the benevolent King, the beleaguered Town Mayor, the Hunter watching over the sleepy village during the night, the Girl who puts herself between the victim and the bully’s fist, the young patriotic Soldier on the front lines. These men and women hold themselves to a standard of action and behavior, and are always thinking about the well-being of others, even to the point of putting themselves in harms way to secure it. Whatever their source of values, it puts a high priority on defending others and they are uncomfortable with, if not downright hostile to, the idea of acting outside of their principles, as they feel that doing so may actually hurt others around them, or make them no better than the ones they’re trying to stop.
PRAGMATIC SELFLESS - (Neutral Good) This is the Town Medic, doing all they can within the limits of their knowledge, but knowing that some injuries just aren’t worth treating when supplies are limited. It hurts, but it’s necessary, and they are comfortable with shouldering that burden. It’s the Upstanding Citizen, who knows they can’t face the threat themselves, but will scramble to make sure the authorities know what’s happening. This class of character will do everything they can reasonably be expected to do to protect those around them, even bend some rules or take a blow to their principles if it means getting results. But they’re not going to overextend themselves when all that’s going to do is hurt them.
INSTINCTIVE SELFLESS - (Chaotic Good) This is woodland Ranger who poaches to feed the orphanage; the grizzled Bounty Hunter who kills his targets in cold blood to stop them from repeating their crimes; the Royal Assassin who kills the enemy general before his invasion plans come to fruition. These characters just want to help. Screw the rules, screw anything that stands between them and helping, they’re going to make sure other people are secure by any means necessary, and they will fight to correct anything they see as threatening other people, even if that threat comes from seemingly noble sources.
PRINCIPLED SELFISH - (Lawful Neutral) This is the Merchant plying his trade in the capitol; the Blacksmith who refuses to do business with cutthroats because it would spoil his reputation; the Mercenary who keeps a blacklist of persons or organizations he won’t work for. Characters in this bracket are in it for themselves, but they have standards. There’s a list of things they most definitely will not do, and are very reliable and trustworthy because of it. While this might put them in a bind, where their well-being may suffer due to their principles, they will staunchly adhere to them, or grimace bitterly if forced to cross those lines.
Like all Selfish types, it’s not that they won’t protect others or try to gain control, but they won’t do it to their own detriment.
PRAGMATIC SELFISH - (True Neutral) This classification is often misrepresented as being boring. However, characters in this bracket are purely self-driven and that means this is a very unstable alignment. Keeping a character purely Pragmatic Selfish is hard. They have to frame everything in terms of how it will benefit or hurt them. They’ll do whatever they reasonably can to promote their own well-being, and willingly swallow some bitter pills to do it, but they’re not going to stick their neck out too far. This means they’re easily pulled along into other alignments based events around them, but this also gives characters starting in this classification the largest room for growth and the coolest potential stories. Like all Selfish types, it’s not that they won’t protect others or try to gain control, but they won’t do it to their own detriment.
INSTINCTIVE SELFISH - (Chaotic Neutral) These people will do anything in service to their own well being. They don’t want control, and they don’t care about collateral, all they want is their own security and happiness. The Sellsword who will fight for whoever is the highest bidder, the citizen who refuses to share his food with his starving neighbors out of fear of starving himself, the streetrat who steals to survive, the Deserter who flees the battlefield when he realizes the battle is lost. These people have a finely honed sense of self-preservation, making them great allies if you can convince them that working with you is in their best interest. But if you haven’t fully convinced them, they will just as easily abandon you.
Like all Selfish types, it’s not that they won’t protect others or try to gain control, but they won’t do it to their own detriment.
PRINCIPLED DOMINANT - (Lawful Evil) These are your Moguls, who play by the rules as they consolidate control of a market. The Paladin who’s stopped caring about others and is only in it for the authority it brings. The mediocre King who manages to keep his people content, but really is only in it for the privileges of the Monarchy. Characters in this category relish the sense of power they have and thirst for more. But they’ve got principles, and there are lines they won’t cross. Sure, they can be controlling assholes, but they stay in line and play by the book. At least, by whatever book they’ve elected to use as their rules.
PRAGMATIC DOMINANT - (Neutral Evil) You could also call these guys ‘Lazy Dominant’. They want power, and they want to keep accumulating it for themselves more and more, but they’re not going to get over-excited about it. It’s the corrupt Sheriff who just enjoys skimming the coffers every so often, the Commander who waits for a superior to make a mistake before trying to take his seat. They’ll slowly, patiently accumulate power and influence for its own sake, using some dubious methods, but nothing so radical as to be called ‘grasping’. They’re more… opportunists than anything else.
INSTINCTIVE DOMINANT - (Chaotic Evil) These guys just like flaunting the fact they’re in control. They will get up in your face with that, and they will definitely have the power to back them up. They like seeing other people bow or kowtow to their whims, and will take ample opportunities to demonstrate their power. In short, these guys are assholes, and they love being assholes. The problem is that if they’ve been doing it for any decent length of time, it usually means they have the power to justify their power plays. And they’re always on the lookout for ways to get more power, by any means they can devise.
So, there we go, my own personal take on the old RPG meme. Is this useful, probably not. Was it fun to write? Hell yeah! And being of Principled Selfish nature, that’s all that matters to me :P