Who says work can't be fun? Alignment charts spark lively, constructive team discussions on any topic. Bring an alignment chart to your next team bonding exercise, user person brainstorm, or product roadmapping session to unleash creativity, collaboration, and pure gamer excitement.
An alignment chart is a simple 3x3 grid with opposing forces on two axes—good vs. evil, and lawful vs. chaotic. Challenge your team to use the nine boxes on the grid to categorize anything that comes to mind: comic book characters, K-pop boy bands, different design approaches, project objectives, and more.
For example, try categorizing Captain America and Black Widow. Are they good or evil, lawful or chaotic? And what about those design approaches: Where do futuristic and retro fall? Alignment charts offer plenty of room for discussion.
Start aligning your team with a free template
Bring your whole team together with this free alignment chart template.
First used in the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons, alignment charts were created to help D&D players define different characters according to their moral and ethical values. These charts help guide D&D characters throughout the game, informing their actions and responses. Alignment charts have since exploded in popularity across popular culture, with high-profile examples that include :
To get conversations started, alignment charts typically map items against two different dimensions:
The vertical axis represents the good vs. evil dimension. The top row is good, middle row is neutral, and bottom row is evil.
The horizontal axis is the lawful vs. chaotic dimension. The left-hand column is lawful, middle column is neutral, and right-hand column is chaotic.
Between the two dimensions are nine different alignments, or categories:
Lawful good describes characters or things that are systematic, orderly, and principled. Lawful good characters (e.g., Hermione Granger) promote the greater good, while following established procedures or rules.
Neutral good fits anyone or anything acting with the best intentions for everyone involved. Neutral good characters (e.g., Wonder Woman) do the right thing, even if it sometimes means bending the rules.
Chaotic good represents a willingness to challenge authority and break rules to achieve positive change. Chaotic good characters (e.g., Robin Hood) are rebels with both a conscience and a cause.
Lawful neutral defines any character or approach that follows a strict code to maintain stability and order. Lawful neutral characters (e.g., James Bond) believe in and support the rule of law, no matter whether it’s good or evil.
True neutral applies to items, objectives, or characters that aren’t good or evil, lawful or chaotic. True neutral characters (e.g., The Dude in The Big Lebowski) lack conviction. They don’t follow any moral code and simply do what’s best for them.
Chaotic neutral signifies a quest for absolute freedom and individuality. Chaotic neutral characters (e.g., Cat Woman) buck tradition and authority. They’re often impulsive and unpredictable.
Lawful evil covers anyone or anything that follows a strict code, hierarchy, or system for personal gain at any cost. Lawful evil characters (e.g., Darth Vader) are calculating, organized, and tyrannical.
Neutral evil conveys an utter lack of morals or ethics. Neutral evil characters (e.g., Cruella de Vil) are destructive, corrupt, and out for themselves.
Chaotic evil means malevolent self-interest combined with personal freedom. Chaotic evil characters (e.g., The Joker) are dangerous, unpredictable, and bad to the bone.