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Ideals 5e

Ideals 5e

What is better? To be born good, or to overcome your evil nature through great effort?


What are the DnD Ideals 5e?

Ideals are one of 4 characteristics that you can choose when building your character for DnD 5e.

They are personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws.

Ideals are similar to motivations. They are what guides your character ethically and morally, giving reasons as to why they perform the actions they choose.

For example, Captain Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly would probably have at least one honorable ideal.

“Listen, you don’t know me, son, so I’m gonna say this once: if I ever kill you, you’ll be awake, you’ll be facing me, and you’ll be armed.”

—Malcom Reynolds

In this example, Captain Mal is a smuggler and definitely not a good guy, but Malcolm Reynolds is an honorable man at the least.

Ideals are one of the aspects that can help bring your character to life.

Are Ideals Necessary?


All 4 of the characteristics including Ideals are optional. They have no bearing on the game other than helping you as a player gets into character, and for the DM to understand your motivations.

Veteran roleplayers that can get into character at the mere sound of clattering dice probably won’t need to use Ideals, but if you’re new to DnD or roleplaying games in general, they’re an excellent tool.

One of the problems that arises when playing an RPG is that you can get really attached to a character and can sometimes self-insert when playing.

That’s fine, but if you’re trying to branch out and get into a character completely different from yourself, it’s good to have their ideals and personality quirks jotted down to help you react to situations and keep their personality in mind.

What Ideal Should I Pick?

It’s honestly up to you and your DM, but mostly up to you. Ideals are a great way to help guide your play style.

But, they do not have to completely define all of your character’s actions. These are guides and not set in stone. If you start at level 1 with an ideal that believes in the goodness of all creatures, but over the course of your adventuring campaign, come face to face with creatures that shatter that belief, it’s okay to change it.

Again, these are not rules set in stone but are simply guides for players unaccustomed to roleplaying.

When choosing ideals, think first about your character.

  • Where did they grow up?
  • What life experience did they have?
  • What are their motivations in life?

Answering these questions will make it much easier to choose an ideal and help you find what motivates your character.

Below are some ideals that you can choose broken into the traditional alignment scheme as well as some ideals that fit any playstyle.

Lawful Ideals 5e


We have to take care of each other because no one else is going to do it. (Lawful)


I never target people who can’t afford to lose a few coins. (Lawful)
No one should get preferential treatment before the law, and no one is above the law. (Lawful)


I trust that my deity will guide my actions. I have faith that if I work hard, things will go well. (Lawful)


I don’t steal from others in the trade. (Lawful)
If I dishonor myself, I dishonor my whole clan. (Lawful)


Emotions must not cloud our logical thinking. (Lawful)
Emotions must not cloud our sense of what is right and true, or our logical thinking. (Lawful)


I hope to one day rise to the top of my faith’s religious hierarchy. (Lawful)


I do what I must and obey just authority. (Lawful)
It is my duty to respect the authority of those above me, just as those below me must respect mine. (Lawful)


The ancient traditions of worship and sacrifice must be preserved and upheld. (Lawful)
The stories, legends, and songs of the past must never be forgotten. (Lawful)

Good Ideals 5e


When I perform, I make the world better than it was. (Good)
What is beautiful points us beyond itself toward what is true. (Good)


I always try to help those in need, no matter what the personal cost. (Good)
I distribute the money I acquire to the people who really need it. (Good)
I steal from the wealthy so that I can help people in need. (Good)


Material goods come and go. Bonds of friendship last forever. (Good)


My talents were given to me so that I could use them to benefit the world. (Good)

Greater Good

It is each person’s responsibility to make the most happiness for the whole tribe. (Good)
My gifts are meant to be shared with all, not used for my own benefit. (Good)
Our lot is to lay down our lives in defense of others. (Good)

Noble Obligation

It is my duty to protect and care for the people beneath me. (Good)


There’s a spark of good in everyone. (Good)


All people, rich or poor, deserve respect. (Good)
People deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. (Good)
Respect is due to me because of my position, but all people regardless of station deserve to be treated with dignity. (Good)
The thing that keeps a ship together is mutual respect between the captain and crew. (Good)

Evil Ideals 5e


I will do whatever it takes to become wealthy. (Evil)
I’m only in it for the money. (Evil)
I’m only in it for the money and fame. (Evil)


I’m a predator, and the other ships on the sea are my prey. (Evil)


If I become strong, I can take what I want–what I deserve. (Evil)
In life as in war, the stronger force wins. (Evil)
Might. The strongest are meant to rule. (Evil)


If I can attain more power, no one will tell me what to do. (Evil)
Knowledge is the path to power and domination. (Evil)
Solitude and contemplation are paths toward mystical or magical power. (Evil)


The rich need to be shown what life and death are like in the gutters. (Evil)

Chaotic Ideals 5e


Life is like the seasons, in constant change, and we must change with it. (Chaotic)
The low are lifted up, and the high and mighty are brought down. Change is the nature of things. (Chaotic)
We must help bring about the changes the gods are constantly working in the world. (Chaotic)


I never run the same con twice. (Chaotic)
The world is in need of new ideas and bold action. (Chaotic)

Free Thinking

Inquiry and curiosity are the pillars of progress. (Chaotic)


Chains are meant to be broken, as are those who would forge them. (Chaotic)
Everyone should be free to pursue his or her livelihood. (Chaotic)
The sea is freedom–the freedom to go anywhere and do anything. (Chaotic)
Tyrants must not be allowed to oppress the people. (Chaotic)


I am a free spirit–no one tells me what to do. (Chaotic)
I must prove that I can handle myself without the coddling of my family. (Chaotic)
When people follow orders blindly they embrace a kind of tyranny. (Chaotic)

No Limits

Nothing should fetter the infinite possibility inherent in all existence. (Chaotic)

Neutral Ideals 5e


The path to power and self-improvement is through knowledge. (Neutral)

Live and Let Live

Meddling in the affairs of others only causes trouble. (Neutral)


The natural world is more important than all the constructs of civilization. (Neutral)


Ideals aren’t worth killing for or going to war for. (Neutral)
I help people who help me–that’s what keeps us alive. (Neutral)
I like seeing the smiles on people’s faces when I perform. That’s all that matters. (Neutral)
I’m committed to my crewmates, not to ideals. (Neutral)
I’m committed to the people I care about, not to ideals. (Neutral)


There’s no good pretending to be something I’m not. (Neutral)

Universal Ideals 5e


I seek to prove my self worthy of my god’s favor by matching my actions against his or her teachings. (Any)
I work hard to be the best there is at my craft. (Any)
I’m determined to make something of myself. (Any)
I’m going to prove that I’m worthy of a better life. (Any)
Someday I’ll own my own ship and chart my own destiny. (Any)


Nothing and no one can steer me away from my higher calling. (Any)


Blood runs thicker than water. (Any)


I must earn glory in battle, for myself and my clan. (Any)


Art should reflect the soul; it should come from within and reveal who we really are. (Any)


My city, nation, or people are all that matter. (Any)


If you know yourself, there’s nothing left to know. (Any)

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06/05/2023 08:30 pm GMT

Ideals 5e FAQs

What is the difference between ideals and bonds?

Ideals are what drive a character morally and ethically.
Bonds are the relationship between other characters, organizations, or groups.

What are ideals of a character?

Ideals are the motivation and guiding principles of a character. It helps guide their moral and ethical decisions.

Are ideals necessary in 5e?

No. You can create characters and play DnD without ever choosing or assigning ideals. They are used to help create better-developed characters.