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Ideals In DnD 5E [Give Your Character Unique Motivations]

Ideals In DnD 5E
  Written By: Ashish Arya
Updated On: 12/13/2023
Est. Reading: 8 minutes

Welcome to the vast and thrilling world of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition (DnD 5E), where imagination meets strategy and narratives come to life.

In this expansive realm of fantasy role-play, your character is defined by more than just their race, class, or skills; their personal ideals uniquely shape them.

These ideals in DnD 5e not only tailor your character’s outlook and motivation but play a significant role in the plot’s development as you navigate through the eruption of events.

Understanding these ideals is like being introduced to the endoskeleton that helps shape a creature. They provide substance to your character’s motivations, allowing them to be more than just numbers on a sheet.

These deeply ingrained beliefs make the in-game decisions genuinely yours, infusing authentic emotional subtext into your storyline.

Crafting your ideal enhances gameplay by introducing possibilities for moral dilemmas and increasing player engagement.

What is an Ideal in DnD 5E?

Ideals in DnD 5e act essentially as the guiding principles that drive and motivate your character in the game.

What is an Ideal in DnD 5E?

They are among the four fundamental components that flesh out your character’s personality, along with bonds, flaws, and traits.

Think of these ideals as intrinsic beliefs or values that shape how a character judges situations, treats others or chooses one course of action over another.

From a commitment to justice to greed for gold and power – no matter how noble or nefarious they may be, these ideals breathe life into your gameplay by giving you a unique personal narrative to navigate through the unpredictable journey of DnD.

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Character Options for 5E Ideals

With a diverse array of options, DnD 5e ideals are as varied as the players themselves. These ideals shape your character’s moral compass and define the principles by which they live, their goals, and what they believe in.

Character Options for 5E Ideals

Whether it’s driven by faith, honor, knowledge, power, or even the thrill of freedom and adventure, each alignment and backstory presents unique opportunities.

It’s all about embracing complexity, nurturing depth within your character, and making the gaming experience uniquely yours.

  • Truthfulness. I always uphold honesty, even if it leads to trouble for myself and my companions.
  • Esteem. My standard is to treat individuals with respect, expecting the same in return.
  • Adherence. Laws and regulations define civilization, and they must be followed, with consequences for those who break them.
  • Trustworthiness. I never make commitments I can’t honor or decisions I won’t stand by, for my word is my bond.
  • Reliability. Once trust is earned, it becomes unwavering.
  • Dignity. Access to essential resources for a dignified life should be ensured for all. Stripping someone of their dignity is akin to taking their life. I guard my own dignity zealously.
  • Originality. Creation enriches existence, and I hold originality in the highest regard. Repeating thoughts, actions, or words is a rarity for me.
  • Accountability. Commitments, whether to friends, family, creed, kingdom, or deity, must be honored without fail.
  • Mastery. I aim to attain dominion over others someday.
  • Avarice. Everything I do serves the pursuit of accumulation—be it wealth, knowledge, or rare artifacts, I crave more.
  • Kinship. Family bonds are paramount, surpassing all other duties.
  • Redemption. No sin or mistake is too dark to be cleansed through genuine redemption, no matter how arduous the journey.
  • Code of Honor. I live by a code that must never be violated.
  • Rigidity. I strictly adhere to the letter of the law, whether it be sacred texts or bureaucratic rules, as the foundation of moral conduct.
  • Faithfulness. Divine light alone pierces the darkness of uncertainty, and all else is but the murmurings of false prophets.
  • Aesthetics. Goodness resides in beauty, and true evil manifests as ugliness.
  • Dominance. The powerful have the right to rule and dictate what is right or wrong, imposing their will upon the world.
  • Equity. Fair treatment and ensuring the equal benefit of all parties are the essence of morality.
  • Equality. I treat all individuals alike, regardless of their station or origin.
  • Liberation. Rules, rulers, realms, and deities—each is a form of restraint. I yearn for freedom.
  • Fidelity. Be it friends, family, or comrades, I stand by their side, irrespective of the morality of their actions.
  • Community. Strengthening bonds with those around us benefits all.
  • Humanity. In the end, it’s about the people you cherish, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for those I care about.
  • Ambition. Through hard work and innate talent, I seek to amass wealth, status, and knowledge.
  • Societal Welfare. The needs of the many outweigh those of the few, and decisions should benefit the greater populace, even if they seem ethically challenging.
  • Rationality. Reason and logic should guide decisions devoid of emotion.
  • Emotion. Atrocities, murder, and greed may be rationalized, but intuition always senses when something is amiss. Trust your heart, not your mind.
  • Independence. Organizations, governments, and even friendships hinder my progress.
  • Empowerment. More power enables greater benevolence, making the pursuit of power intrinsically good.
  • Dedication. A vow I made long ago drives all my actions.
  • Glory. I must prove my worth through heroic feats to bring honor to my name and people.
  • Civilization. Expanding the boundaries of civilization is the key to overcoming the barbaric perils of nature.
  • Progression. Advancing our understanding of magic, medicine, science, art, and philosophy incrementally betters us.
  • Heritage. Preserving and respecting the wisdom of our ancestors is essential.
  • Artistry. Storytelling, song, sculpture, painting, and dance are all forms of art that define our identity.
  • Exploration. Beyond the horizon lies strange new worlds and untold knowledge.
  • Hierarchy. Social castes maintain order and prosperity; recognizing one’s place is crucial.
  • Benevolence. I’d sacrifice my own comfort to assist those in need.
  • Ingenuity. New ideas and creations fascinate me, and inventing for the people is my noblest pursuit.
  • Benevolence. I treat all I encounter with the kindness and hospitality I wish to receive, hoping to make the world better.
  • Altruism. Giving is superior to receiving or hoarding; helping others is the noblest calling.
  • Duty. Service to something greater, whether crown, state, deity, or creed, is paramount.
  • Curiosity. There’s so much to discover, and I’m willing to do almost anything to learn.
  • Wisdom. Knowledge holds power, understanding, and wisdom, and its value exceeds all treasures.
  • Asceticism. To truly know oneself, one must cast aside materialism, attachments, power, and status.
  • Excellence. If a task merits effort, it deserves to be done well, and I only undertake worthwhile endeavors.
  • Fortitude. True self-discovery follows confronting fear and death head-on.
  • Dependability. Being reliable to those who matter most is of utmost importance.
  • Friendship. Chosen bonds are as vital as family, and I’d sacrifice myself for my friends without hesitation.
  • Destiny. A higher calling drives me, impervious to obstacles.
  • Indulgence. Life is a single chance to experience everything, from pleasure to pain, and I embrace every aspect of it.
  • Simplicity. A modest life, free from temptation and vice, is the path of purity.
  • Prudence. Moderation and thoughtful decisions are the marks of a wise adventurer.
  • Positivity. Things tend to work out for the best, and even in adversity, a silver lining often shines.
  • Nonviolence. I detest violence and seek peaceful resolutions to conflicts.
  • Self-Centeredness. If it doesn’t benefit me and my goals, I don’t see its worth. Others may go without, but I deserve what I get.
  • Competition. Testing oneself against formidable opponents fosters growth and self-discovery.
  • Pessimism. Expecting the worst prepares me for the inevitable downturns in life.
  • Retribution. Injustice can only be rectified through revenge, and I won’t turn the other cheek.
  • Justice. Wrongs must be made right, the balance must be restored, and the guilty must face the consequences.
  • Order. Stability outweighs concerns of right and wrong; an ordered society must be preserved.
  • Ambition. I aim to climb the ladder of the world by being the best or by any means necessary.
  • Anarchy. All forms of authority are tyrants’ enemies of freedom and must be opposed.
  • Adaptability. Survivors are those who can adapt to new circumstances.
  • Acceptance. As long as you don’t interfere with me and mine, your actions are of little concern.
  • Stoicism. Uncontrolled emotions are unseemly; I value calm composure.
  • Etiquette. Manners and societal norms distinguish us from beasts; adherence to conventions is vital.
  • Tenacity. Persistence is the key to overcoming any obstacle.
  • Sensualism. Passion, emotion, and pleasure drive me in all endeavors.
  • Renown. I aspire for the world to know my name.
  • Stability. I am the pillar of strength when everything else falls apart.
  • Empathy. Kindness is paramount, even at the expense of being right; I read the room adeptly.
  • Patience. Good things come to those who wait for the opportune moment.
  • Sagacity. Wisdom, whether from ancient scrolls or life’s harsh lessons, is my highest pursuit.
  • Popularity. I yearn for everyone’s approval, recognizing the advantages it brings.
  • Patriotism. I owe my life and allegiance to my country, striving to secure a brighter future for all its inhabitants.
  • Wealth. Gold and silver fuel the world’s workings; accumulating them bestows power and prestige.
  • Hospitality. The sacred bonds of host and guest hold immense significance, and I’d sooner die than harm a stranger in my home.
  • Revolution. The world is plagued by cruelty and inequality; the only solution is to tear down the present for a better future.
  • Courage. Facing danger and fear with bravery defines a true hero.
  • Tenacity. Strength and resilience in adversity are paramount virtues in life.
  • Sacrifice. Sometimes, sacrifices are necessary for the greater good or to appease the gods.
  • Fearlessness. I live without fear, acting first and contemplating later; boldness is the path to success.

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How do You Use Ideals in Dnd 5E?

Ideals in Dungeons & Dragons aren’t just an afterthought – they are a robust tool to enrich your character’s depth and add layers of complexity to the game.

How do You Use Ideals in Dnd 5E?
  • Let your Ideals encompass life goals: This surefire method is one way to provide hints about where your character might want their path in the game to lead.
  • They should relate to core beliefs: Whether deeply philosophical or straightforward, these ideals can act as your character’s guiding principles.
  • Craft ideas to answer pivotal questions about loyalty, sacrifice, and ambition: For example, would your character lay down their life for a stranger out of the goodness of their heart?
  • The alignment spectrum: Ideals can end up anywhere on this spectrum, from good, evil, neutral, lawful, or chaotic it’s all fair game.
  • Multi-faceted characters can have multiple ideals. While this might make your gameplay more challenging, it undoubtedly makes it more exciting.

And here’s another cool bit: your character’s alignment and background can immensely help inform these ideals. For instance:

  • A lawful good character may have an ideal focused on upholding justice no matter what.
  • Whereas if your character happens to be a soldier by background, they may vehemently believe in the fact that nothing is more important than teamwork.

As you weave through narratives with other players and non-playing characters (NPCs), internal conflicts might arise that force you into a tough corner.

When there are conflicting ideals within the party, tension could spark some highly compelling gameplay moments.

Communication and adaptation must be at the forefront. If one person’s ideal consistently causes issues within the group and threatens everyone’s fun, finding ways to adapt or maybe even change, that specific ideal would be best. After all, we’re playing Dungeons and Dragons for fun.

A final word of advice – avoid spawning excessive character conflict in your DnD campaign. Yes, it’s a game, but character ideals should never be used to oppress or control other players. Respect between players is what makes the game enjoyable for everyone.

Also Read: Standard Array In D&D 5E [Allocate Ability Scores With Ease]

FAQs About Ideals In Dnd 5E

What role do ideals play in Dnd 5e?

Ideals in DnD 5e act as the moral compass guiding your character’s actions and beliefs. They play a crucial role in defining personality, providing motivation, and influencing decision-making during gameplay.

Can my character have multiple ideals in DnD 5e?

Indeed, a character can have multiple ideals, which can add depth and complexity to their personality. The caveat is that managing conflicting ideals can pose unique challenges during gameplay.

How do I choose an ideal for my character?

Ideally, it would be best if you based your character’s ideal on their background story, alignment (moral compass), and goals. It should resonate with your character’s beliefs and values.

Can I change my character’s ideal during the game?

Yes! As narratives unfold and characters experience different events, their ideals may evolve or change altogether, a testament to well-crafted storytelling.

Why are there conflicts due to differing ideals in a party?

Different characters may have different or even opposing ideals, much like real-life individuals within a group, a setting ripe for conflict and dramatic tension that pays off with rich storytelling possibilities.


  • Ashish Arya

    I'm a tech enthusiast and lifelong gamer, hailing from the beautiful city of Chandigarh. My passions range from immersing myself in worlds like GTA V, COD, SIMS, Roblox and Minecraft to exploring the latest innovations in laptops and technology. Armed with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Application, I love sharing my insights through writing and engaging with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on my journey through the ever-evolving realms of gaming and tech!