A lawful evil villain methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his code of conduct. He cares about tradition, loyalty, and order, but not about freedom, dignity, or life. He is loath to break laws or promises, partly because he depends on order to protect himself. Some lawful evil villains have particular taboos, such as not killing in cold blood, and imagine that these compunctions put them above unprincipled thugs. The scheming baron who exploits his people is lawful evil. Lawful evil represents methodical, intentional evil.
This alignment is seen by some to be the most insidious, as it combines harming individuals (evil) with supporting the structure of society (law). Some lawful evil characters make harming others a goal, while some regard it as an acceptable course of action. They play by "the rules" to maintain a relatively stable environment for themselves, with the most clever able to twist the letter of the law to their own ends.
The extreme of the lawful evil alignment is represented in Neverwinter Nights as a rating of "100" in law-chaos and "0" in good-evil. The alignment title is "dominator". The outsiders who represent this alignment are the devils.
- Has no qualms about hurting or killing anyone, but may prefer to do so indirectly.
- Values consistency and reliability, particularly when they can be used.
- Prefers to not outright lie; deceit comes when others draw inferences beyond what is explicitly said.
- Accepts another's authority until it can be usurped.
- Is outwardly loyal to teammates unless (or until) betrayal can be justified.