Author Keith Baker
Series Campaign Style
Publisher Atlas Games
Publish date 2003
The vast majority of warlord states are chaotic in nature. A nation ruled purely by military power is inherently unstable; if a powerful leader manages to establish a successful dynasty, the society will shift towards a lawful alignment. Warlords rarely have any interest in managing the daily affairs of a nation; the common folk are usually left to produce crops and keep the society afloat. Depending on the alignment of the lord, his warriors may be revered or feared as they are either the protectors of the people or a scourge on the land.
Chaotic Evil – In a chaotic evil society, the common folk live in constant fear of the lords who rule the land. Warbands take whatever they want, pillaging and killing those who interfere. A warlord rules through fear, and typically holds power only as long as he can hold a blade.
Chaotic Good – Chaotic good warlords are more likely to have the support of the people; the warlord may not have any sort of traditional claim to the land, but she’s seen as a protector of the realm. The warlord typically has no patience for complex systems of law, but she will try to do what’s best for her people and see that justice is done. In a chaotic good society, a warlord is unlikely to be assassinated by her allies. But the loyalty of her subjects does not extend to her children, and her death may trigger a vicious war of succession.
Neutral – Neutral and chaotic neutral warlords stand between these two extremes. A neutral warlord will expect tribute from the commoners who share his territory. If he doesn’t receive his due, he’ll take it by force, but he will not be as wantonly cruel as his evil counterpart. Chaotic neutral warlords are often driven by impulse and the thirst for glory, and are given to extravagant gestures of generosity or rage.