The last of the alignments, Chaotic Evil stands as polar opposite to Lawful Good. Where that Lawful Good is seen as the epitome of noble and good, this is seen as the epitome of heartless and evil. That’s not to say that Chaotic Evil characters necessarily have to be raving lunatics, it just means that they have nothing restricting their behavior. They adhere to no laws and will hurt others just because they enjoy it.
This alignment can be played in a lot of ways depending on which half you choose to focus on. You could just be another “free spirit” who values the ability to choose to do evil acts or you could be the type who does what they do simply because it is evil. Of course, you can mix these two elements to create a horrifying hybrid. Others are more feral in nature, placing more value in strength than anything else.
When talking about this alignment, the poster boy is clearly Batman’s nemesis, The Joker. Whether it’s his comic book incarnation or either of the cinematic interpretations of the Clown Prince of Crime, he fits the mold rather perfectly. He has no respect for laws whatsoever and loves doing bad things because he finds them funny. While not every Chaotic Evil needs to be played in this vein, it does give you an archetype to start from.
Speaking of arch-nemeses, The Doctor’s foe, The Master from BBC’s Doctor Who might also qualify. The most recent iteration seems to have no loyalty to anyone and has no qualms about literally decimating the human race or even consuming their flesh.
The Reavers from Joss Whedon’s cult classic Firefly also fit this bill, as they are sadistic monsters that have no respect for anything but their own violent desires.
On a grander scale, you have a villain like the Crimson King from Stephen King’s popular Dark Tower saga. He seeks to destroy all of reality itself simply so that he can revel in the chaos that would ensue after the tower falls.
While this seems like an easy role to play, it apparently is not. Much like with the other “evil” classes, it’s hard to justify their presence in a band of heroic adventurers. More than that, it’s hard to sensibly portray such a character, as they are generally insane. This becomes problematic as role players might go too far to make the character do evil for evil’s sake or make them sadistic monsters when that doesn’t necessarily need to be the case.
So there you have it. While the alignment arguments will no doubt continue, hopefully this series gives potential new players a frame of reference should they decide to try their hand at sitting down at a table for a gaming session.