Are positive and negative energy from their respective planes inherently good and evil? I am talking about the positive energy plane and negative energy plane from the great wheel model, which includes them as encircling the cosmology.

In my campaign, due to the wide variety of situations that the players will go through, I am wondering whether they are thought of as good and evil due to an inherent alignment, or the fact that the alignment of the user means they tend to find more uses, such as the fact that evil characters could come up with more uses of negative, while a good character would have fewer uses for negative, but could come up with more for positive. As they are not mentioned commonly, radiant and necrotic damage are part of what I am asking, so feel free to use those in your explanation.


1 Answer 1



Positive and negative energy are not defined as either good or evil, although some of the uses of those energy sources may themselves be good or evil.

The Dungeon Master's Guide p. 43 states only this about the planes of positive and negative energy:

The Positive and Negative Planes. These two planes enfold the rest of the cosmology, providing the raw forces of life and death that underlie the rest of existence in the multiverse.

Player's Handbook p. 300 makes a similar statement:

Like a dome above other planes, the Positive Plane is the source of radiant energy and the raw life force that suffuses all living beings, from the puny to the sublime. Its dark reflection is the Negative Plane, the source of necrotic energy that destroys the living and animates the undead.

Negative energy is the source of energy that gives rise to undead creatures (DMG p. 96). However, casting circle of death (PHB p. 221), which conjures negative energy, is not described as an evil act.

Necromancy itself is not considered evil, as per PHB p. 118:

Most people see necromancers as menacing, or even villainous, due to the close association with death. Not all necromancers are evil, but the forces they manipulate are considered taboo by many societies.

And on p. 203 it is described that raising undead is not good, although this does not make a statement about negative energy itself:

Creating the undead through the use of necromancy spells such as animate dead is not a good act, and only evil creatures use such spells frequently


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