Richard Bartle所著的Designing Virtual Worlds一书中提出阵营是角色的分类属性之一，与性别、种族、职业（class）或民族一样。阵营的产生是为了帮助对角色扮演中的行为进行定义，角色的阵营可被视为他们的人生观。玩家在设定阵营时就决定了角色的行为准则，也应当按照该准则进行扮演。
同一个团体内，角色的阵营立场应当相互兼容。例如，守序善良的角色和守序邪恶的角色在有共同目标的前提下可以共存，但如果再来一个混乱邪恶的角色的话，团队就可能崩溃。Dungeon Master For Dummies的作者发现，一个全是善良或中立角色的团队效率更高：冒险者的动力更足，团队水平发挥更加平稳，也更能“让DND式英雄形象放出光芒”。
Originally the law/chaos axis was defined as the distinction between "the belief that everything should follow an order, and that obeying rules is the natural way of life", as opposed to "the belief that life is random, and that chance and luck rule the world". According to the early rulebook, lawful characters are driven to protect the interest of the group above the interest of the individual and would strive to be honest and to obey just and fair laws. Chaotic creatures and individuals embraced the individual above the group and viewed laws and honesty as unimportant. At that time, the rulebook specified that "chaotic behavior is usually the same as behavior that could be called 'evil模板:' ". Neutral creatures and characters believe in the importance of both groups and individuals, and felt that law and chaos are both important. They believe in maintaining the balance between law and chaos and were motivated by self-interest.
The third edition D&D rules define "law" and "chaos" as follows:
Law implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability. On the downside, lawfulness can include closed-mindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, judgmentalness, and a lack of adaptability. Those who consciously promote lawfulness say that only lawful behavior creates a society in which people can depend on each other and make the right decisions in full confidence that others will act as they should.
Chaos implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them.
Someone who is neutral with respect to law and chaos has a normal respect for authority and feels neither a compulsion to follow rules nor a compulsion to rebel. They are honest but can be tempted into lying or deceiving others if it suits him/her.
The conflict of good versus evil is a common motif in D&D and other fantasy fiction. Although player characters can adventure for personal gain rather than from altruistic motives, it is generally assumed that the player characters will be opposed to evil and will tend to fight evil creatures.
The third edition D&D rules define "good" and "evil" as follows:
Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.
Evil implies harming, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient or if it can be set up. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some malevolent deity or master.
People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent but lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others. Neutral people are committed to others by personal relationships.
Within the game, Paladins, altruistic heroes, and creatures such as angels are considered good. Villains and violent criminals are considered evil, as are inherently evil creatures such as demons and most undead.Animals are considered neutral even when they attack innocents, because they act on natural instinct and lack the intelligence to make moral decisions;In the fifth edition, this is expressed by labeling such beasts as "unaligned".
A 守序善良 character typically acts with compassion and always with honor and a sense of duty. Such characters include righteous knights, paladins, and most dwarves. 守序善良 creatures include the noble golden dragons. 守序善良的角色通常具有同情心，荣誉和责任感。此类角色包括正义的骑士，圣骑士，和大多数矮人。守序善良的生物包括金龙。
A 中立善良 character typically acts altruistically, without regard for or against lawful precepts such as rules or tradition. A 中立善良 character has no problems with cooperating with lawful officials, but does not feel beholden to them. In the event that doing the right thing requires the bending or breaking of rules, they do not suffer the same inner conflict that a 守序善良 character would. 中立善良的角色通常会做出利他主义的行为，对法律或传统没有特殊立场。中立善良的角色与守序官员合作没什么问题，但不会受制于对方。对于必须破坏规则才能扮成的事，此类角色不会遇到守序善良角色的那种内心冲突。
A 混乱善良 character does what is necessary to bring about change for the better, disdains bureaucratic organizations that get in the way of social improvement, and places a high value on personal freedom, not only for oneself, but for others as well.混乱善良 characters usually intend to do the right thing, but their methods are generally disorganized and often out of sync with the rest of society. 混乱善良的角色会不计代价做出好的改变。他们蔑视妨碍社会运动的权威，认为个人自由高于一切——对于个人和他人都是如此。 混乱善良的角色通常倾向于正确的事，但行事方法无组织，且与整个社会相悖。
A 守序中立 character typically believes strongly in lawful concepts such as honor, order, rules, and tradition, and often follows a personal code.Examples of 守序中立 characters include a soldier who always follows orders, a judge or enforcer that adheres mercilessly to the word of the law, and a disciplined monk. 守序中立的角色强烈认同有序概念——例如荣誉，秩序，传统，遵从法规等。守序中立的角色可以是遵守命令的士兵，铁面无私的法官或执法者，或者自律的武僧。
A neutral character (a.k.a. true neutral) is neutral on both axes and tends not to feel strongly towards any alignment, or actively seeks their balance.Druids frequently follow this dedication to balance, and under Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules, were required to be this alignment. In an example given in the 2nd Edition Player's Handbook, a typical druid might fight against a band of marauding gnolls, only to switch sides to save the gnolls' clan from being totally exterminated. 绝对中立的角色在两个坐标轴上都处于中间位置，他们不倾向于任何一个阵营，或主观上寻求其中的平衡。德鲁伊通常会寻求这种平衡。而在AD&D规则中，德鲁伊必须处于这一阵营。在第二版玩家手册中，一个典型的德鲁伊会攻击豺狼人盗匪，也会在豺狼人全灭前跳反。 Most animals, lacking the capacity for moral judgment, are of this alignment, since they are guided by instinct rather than conscious decision (although in 5th edition animals are "unaligned", not sapient enough to actively make a decision based on alignment, even that of neutrality). 大多数动物都是按照自然本能行事，缺乏做出道德选择的能力，所以属于这一阵营。在第五版规则中，此类动物的阵营将描述为“无阵营”，他们无法做出包括中立在内的任何选择。
A 混乱中立 character is an individualist who follows their own heart and generally shirks rules and traditions. Although 混乱中立 characters promote the ideals of freedom, it is their own freedom that comes first; good and evil come second to their need to be free. 混乱中立的角色是个人主义者，他们倾向于追随自己的内心，通常会逃避规则和传统。尽管混乱中立的角色向往自由，那也是因为他们希望自己先得到自由。善恶对它们来说是次要的。
A 守序邪恶 character sees a well-ordered system as being easier to exploit and shows a combination of desirable and undesirable traits. Examples of this alignment include tyrants, devils, and undiscriminating mercenary types who have a strict code of conduct. 守序邪恶的角色追求的是易于剥削完美的秩序系统，shows a combination of desirable and undesirable traits.。此类阵营的代表性角色可以是暴君、魔鬼（译者：在DND中魔鬼devil和恶魔demon是两种生物）和管理严格的佣兵等。
A 中立邪恶 character is typically selfish and has no qualms about turning on allies-of-the-moment, and usually makes allies primarily to further their own goals.A 中立邪恶 character has no compunctions about harming others to get what they want, but neither will they go out of their way to cause carnage or mayhem when they see no direct benefit for themselves. Another valid interpretation of 中立邪恶 holds up evil as an ideal, doing evil for evil's sake and trying to spread its influence.Examples of the first type are an assassin who has little regard for formal laws but does not needlessly kill, a henchman who plots behind their superior's back, or a mercenary who switches sides if made a better offer. An example of the second type would be a masked killer who strikes only for the sake of causing fear and distrust in the community. 中立邪恶的角色通常自私，并且对建立或抛弃“临时的盟友”一事上毫不自责，交友时会首选对自己的目标有益的人。中立邪恶的人对损人利己一事也毫无羞耻感，但损人也只发生在利己的情况下。对中立邪恶的另一个解释是，他们认为恶是一种理念，他们会为了恶而作恶，并且继续散播这种理念的影响。
A 混乱邪恶 character tends to have no respect for rules, other people's lives, or anything but their own desires, which are typically selfish and cruel. They set a high value on personal freedom, but do not have much regard for the lives or freedom of other people. 混乱邪恶 characters do not work well in groups because they resent being given orders and do not usually behave themselves unless there is no alternative. 混乱邪恶的角色毫不遵守规则，也不尊重他人的生命，可以说他们只尊重自己的自私而残忍的欲望。他崇尚个人自由，但不尊重他人的生命和自由。混乱邪恶很难团队合作，因为他们讨厌被命令，也不守规矩——除非没有任何其他选择。