EverCrest Message Forums
You are not logged in. Login or Register.
Author
Topic: DnD Alignment question: Lawful?
OtakuPenguin
Peels like a tangerine, but is juicy like an orange.
posted 07-10-2004 01:23:00 AM
Can anyone explain in a bit of detail Lawful Good, Neutral and Evil? What actions would they take in a given situation? Any movie/tv/anime characters that would represent them?

Thanks!

..:: This Is The Sound Of Settling ::..
Delphi Aegis
Delphi. That's right. The oracle. Ask me anything. Anything about your underwear.
posted 07-10-2004 01:28:46 AM
Lawful good: Mightion.

Lawful Evil: Will stab you in the back, but will do it within the means of a contract he just signed with you.

Lawful Neutral: Don't see many of these. I couldn't describe them well.

Chaotic Good: Does good, but in a roundabout way. Almost an anti-hero, of sorts.

Chaotic evil: Will stab you in the back the very first chance they get. Most thieves/rogues are this. Worst kind of evil.

Chaotic Neutral: Very very odd, and difficult to play. Usually associated with completely batshit insane people.

True Neutral: Will fight alongside the town's soldiers against the gnolls one day, then with the gnolls the next. EXCEEDINGLY hard to play without going one way or the other. Druids usually fall into this category.

I may have missed some.

Mr. Parcelan
posted 07-10-2004 01:29:28 AM
Lawful is pretty much self-explanatory: a respect for law, order and discipline.

A Lawful Good character is viewed often as the "epitome" of good. They always do the right thing and respect everyone equally.

A Lawful Evil character is evil, cruel and malicious, but he recognizes the need for order. As such, his plans are usually well-thought and methodical.

A Lawful Neutral character respects order and discipline, but has no other opinions. A good example of this would be a judge or a neutral country, like Switzerland.

Taylen
Pancake
posted 07-10-2004 01:29:50 AM
Normally they try to use the law to further their other goals, good evil or neutral.

A tyrant might be lawful evil for example, using the law to opress his people, or a devil making a contract to get someone's soul.

A Judge might be Lawful Neutral, concerned with putting forth the justice of law, and making sure all are punished for their transgressions.

A paladin has always been the main example of Lawful Good, another might be a Benevolent king, trying to use the law to protect the innocent and the weak.

"When correctly viewed, everything is lewd." - Tom Lehrer.
Sadomasochism: It's Fun!
Taylen Ashenbow
Rangers never run we mearly stratigically retreat.
Thats not a train thats a pull, my trains are always much bigger.
Maradon!
posted 07-10-2004 02:15:04 AM
The way I see it is this

The (Good <-> Evil) alignment describes your actions.

Actions like, say, killing a baby. Killing a baby is evil.

The (Lawful <-> Chaotic) alignment describes your motivation.

Those of chaotic alignment do what they do simply because it strikes them as appropriate. There is no reasoning behind their actions. Killing a baby because it might be fun, or because you attributed the mocking voices in your head to it, would be chaotic evil.

Those of lawful alignment do what they do for a reason, there is order and rationality to their actions. Killing a baby because your King ordered you to, or because that baby might one day grow to become a powerful adversary, would be lawful evil.

(Good <-> Evil) is a pretty clean cut slate, but there are a lot of misunderstandings around (Lawful <-> Chaotic) that I really don't agree with.

For instance, it's a common misconception that being chaotic makes you more evil, or unreliably good. This is not true, a chaotic good character can do good deeds non stop all their life and still be chaotic if they lack a rational reason for doing so. Likewise a lawful evil character can kill entire villages, entire countries, or obliterate entire solar systems, and still be lawful.

Also, being lawful does not nesscessarily mean you obey the written law. Rogue clerics practicing an illegal faith can still be paragons of lawfulness. Thieves can be of lawful alignment as well, so long as they have a rational reason for stealing. For instance, a thief who steals to feed his family would be lawful. A thief who stole for personal gain would be lawful evil, or neutral. A klepto who stole compulsively would be chaotic.

But that's just my take on it, I may be wrong.

It can be a little confusing, since an alignment can only really be attributed on an action-by-action basis, and the overall alignment stat in D&D is an average of your actions. A lawful evil overlord can kill a town one day and feed orphans the next and not be more chaotic because of it, although he would be less evil.

Maradon! fucked around with this message on 07-10-2004 at 02:21 AM.

Falaanla Marr
I AM HOT CHIX
posted 07-10-2004 03:13:12 AM
my take:

Lawful Good: Obeys the laws to the letter Does exactly what they say, no matter what. If he saw his best friend stealing, he'd turn him in.

Chaotic Good: Does good, but does so outside the boundaries of laws. An example would be Maradon's thief who steals to feed his family. He feeds his family (good) but doesn't follow the law to do so (chaotic). another classic example would be Robin Hood.

Lawful Evil respects laws, and does whatever he/she can to twist them to make what he/she does fit within the laws.

Chaotic Evil Doesn't give a shit, and will do whatever strikes them whenever they want.

Neutral types i'm not too clear on. I try to avoid neutrals.

Maradon!
posted 07-10-2004 03:39:15 AM
I really feel the term "Lawful" used in this sense is a misnomer, and that the lawful alignment has nothing to do with law.

If a city passes a new law that none may spit in the street, do all the people who spit in the street instantly become chaotic? Are they somehow different from people who spit in the street in cities that allow it? That just doesn't make any sense to me.

Snugglits
I LIKE TO ABUSE THE ALERT MOD BUTTON AND I ENJOY THE FLAVOR OF SWEET SWEET COCK.
posted 07-10-2004 03:42:57 AM
quote:
Maradon! Model 2000 was programmed to say:
I really feel the term "Lawful" used in this sense is a misnomer, and that the lawful alignment has nothing to do with law.

If a city passes a new law that none may spit in the street, do all the people who spit in the street instantly become chaotic? Are they somehow different from people who spit in the street in cities that allow it? That just doesn't make any sense to me.


I think of it more as the "classic laws" kind of deal. I mean the ones that are pretty common amongst most cultures, like no murder, no stealing, no raping, etc.

And, yeah, my thoughs on all this are pretty much what has been said. Lawful evil are like the law exploiters/rule benders. They follow the written word of the law but not the intent of the law.

Waisz fucked around with this message on 07-10-2004 at 03:46 AM.

[b].sig removed by Mr. Parcelan[/b]
Ferret
Poing! Poing!
posted 07-10-2004 03:43:47 AM
Lawful is the strict adherance to laws. A lawful good character is one who helps every single person, slays every evil foe, all while retaining and protecting the purity of the law.

Lawful neutral would either seek to bring a balance to good and evil or would be the intermediary between the two, trying to see the law from both sides in order to find the essence of it.

Lawful evil is destruction with a plan. No house razed that needs not be, no man murdered when he could server a purpose. While they follow the law, they also tend to find ways around it, so that have a system, but are not as restricted by it as others.

Ferret fucked around with this message on 07-10-2004 at 03:45 AM.

Maradon!
posted 07-10-2004 03:51:30 AM
I still say lawful alignment exist independently of actual laws. It's almost silly to think that. Imagine, if a lawful monk with body piercings travels into a city where piercings are illegal, his alignment suddenly changes to chaotic and he can't be a monk anymore.

It just doesn't make sense.

Maradon!
posted 07-10-2004 03:56:21 AM
quote:
Waiszing:
I think of it more as the "classic laws" kind of deal. I mean the ones that are pretty common amongst most cultures, like no murder, no stealing, no raping, etc.

So anyone who lives in a place where no written laws actually exist is lawful? People who mistreat their inferiors and poison small animals for fun one day, then heal the wounded the next, alternating between activities whimsically, obeying all the written laws of their town the whole time, aren't chaotic?

Ferret
Poing! Poing!
posted 07-10-2004 04:05:02 AM
quote:
Maradon! had this to say about Optimus Prime:
I still say lawful alignment exist independently of actual laws. It's almost silly to think that. Imagine, if a lawful monk with body piercings travels into a city where piercings are illegal, his alignment suddenly changes to chaotic and he can't be a monk anymore.

It just doesn't make sense.


The laws of the region does not equate to a lawful alignment. Lawful indicates some form of personal code to me. One paladin can believe that to draw a weapon before an opponent is an evil act, and another could believe to strike first is a holy act. Both believe in their own code, and as such both are lawful.

Maradon!
posted 07-10-2004 04:16:37 AM
quote:
Ferreting:
The laws of the region does not equate to a lawful alignment. Lawful indicates some form of personal code to me. One paladin can believe that to draw a weapon before an opponent is an evil act, and another could believe to strike first is a holy act. Both believe in their own code, and as such both are lawful.

What you're describing is just another version of what I'm saying, except your version is limited to certain situations. A personal code is nothing more than a rationalization for one's past actions and a mandate for one's future actions, as in my explaination of lawfulness. One need not nesscessarily view this rationalization as a "Code of Honor" to be lawful, however.

Ferret
Poing! Poing!
posted 07-10-2004 04:30:49 AM
Yeah, I realized that after I posted it. Blame sleepiness and Stephen Lynch me not completly comprehending your post.
Alek
Rapist
posted 07-10-2004 04:50:19 AM
Lawful good = Superman
Lawful Neutral = ?
Lawful Evil = Dr. Doom
"Love wisdom, and she will make you great. Embrace her, and she will bring you honour. She will be your crowning glory."
-Proverbs 4:8-9
Azizza
VANDERSHANKED
posted 07-10-2004 09:42:12 AM
Seems to me that lawful is indeed a misnomer. It should be Chaos <-> Order.
A good example in DnD background of Chaotic good is Drizzt. He is without question one of the good guys. However he shows a blatant disregard for the law and the normal order of things. He does what he does because he feels it is right not because some law or social order tells him it is. And he will do it in his own way.
"Pacifism is a privilege of the protected"
Pair and Rena
Pancake
posted 07-10-2004 11:07:32 AM
Lawfull Good:
many version of a LG
- Last samurai: THe Leader
- THere's the "Law" Judge Dreed, So good thats evil.
- THe dumm ass all white all perfect knight in a golden armor that only see good in people.
- there can be also the Paladin that follow dont follow the law, but only acts in the good interest of the people. That can be very hard to play, because you try not to break any laws as you try to make things right.
-Samurai Jack

Choatic Good
- The Usal Good rogue, Greedy, but wont kill anyone for the loot.
- Indianajones is CG
- CG is mosty "I'm a good person, but I'm doing this for my self So don't push your luck"
- Ready to break the Law to gain something, but wont do it if evil is to come out of it.
-Inuyasha

Neutral Good
- THis a Odd and very used Allignement, It's for the good person, but that do good because it's in there nature.
- They usaly ready to follow all the local laws as long as it make cense.
- There the one that respect people and things, that still have some principles, but are ready to over think them.
- Most X-man's are NG

Neutral Neutral
-Balance, the good and evil must always be even.
-It's maybe the most manipulative of them all, not carring about anything but the balance of the Yin-n-Yang.

Choatic Neutral
- THe insane
- THe Realy insane
- The Totaly insane
- There's also a othere kind that can be in this category: The follower, the kind of person that becomes the Alingment of who hefollows. The more he stays with someone, the more he becomes and act like him, So if he his with a LG paladin, he becomes good and nice ... But keep him with evil ...

Lawful Neutral
-They are the one that wont change there minds, They belive in one thing, never changing idea ever! If it's a druid that protecthing the forest, he will kick you out, kill you, pull you appart! Even if you where trying to deliver his new DvD that HE ordered!

Neutral Evil
-The manibulative for evil, the ones that thinks, that can move into the crowd of good.
-He don't feel the NEED to be evil, he just dose it because he's good at it.

choatic Evil
-Hurting people is his fun, he takes pleasure out making hell for peoples lives.
-He will kill, burn, destroy anything and everything, for him self, for gain, for someone else or just because he had 5 minutes free!

Lawfull Evil
-He follows the Law ...no matter how Evil and twisted it is, he will follow it.
-Good at turning a blind eye, He will face you in front, but is very willing to get a edge.
-no pety, they usaly serve a master and will do there beding, even if it's againts what they stand for.

hope this helps

Ja'Deth Issar Ka'bael
I posted in a title changing thread.
posted 07-10-2004 01:23:26 PM
Could also view it by the planar alignments...

LG: Seven Heavens of Mount Celestia, protected by the Archons, the celestial embodiment of Lawful Good. The Archons believe in the idea of the righteous rule of a just law. The traditional "You MUST obey the laws, but the laws MUST be written for the benefit of all" mentality

LN: Clockwork Nirvana of Mechanus, run by Primus and his assorted biomechanical modrons and clockwork Inevitables. Imagine your car engine; everything orderly, everything with a set motion, a set track in life, everything working in harmony. If something breaks down, you replace it with something virtually identical and the machine goes on. Neither good nor evil are supported, nor are either necessarily castigated.

LE: Baator, the Nine Hells. There are Nine of them. Imagine being crushed under the bootheel of a purely evil system run by brilliantly, coldly analytical devils for all eternity. Imagine every evil lawyer, every evil samurai, every dark king who has bent the rules of chivalry to his own twisted ends, and you have a good idea of Baator. Oh the Devils won't break their contracts...but boy you had BETTER know they're smarter than you and there WILL be a clause that screws you over.



Of course, what you have to keep in mind is that the planar representations of alignments are extreme. No alignment is meant to be a rigid definition of a character, merely their default "morality". A Lawful person, be it evil, good or neutral, lives a very regimented, orderly existence. Practicing your katas happens when you wake up and before you sleep, for instance, or you pray at a certain time in a proscribed way. You attempt to ascertain local laws and once you know them, you try to not cause unnecessary chaos (though in the case of, say, paladins, if the local laws violate the paladin's personal code, the Code is more important; the order and goodness of the paladin is what's important, not the variable local laws of the land the paladin might ride through).

The OTHER thing to keep in mind is that D&D's alignment system, by and large, is Euro-American in scope. It has a hard time encompassing concepts like Asian honor. You can be a scheming, largely chaos-bringing, evil-spirited bastard who wages war on all the surrounding lords in China or in Japan and still follow the Confucianism or Bushido. D&D gets around that by saying things like monks and samurai and so forth are Lawful, and that's easiest for game terms if you're running an Asian-flavor character in the Euro-style world of most Fantasy settings, but if your GM has it, have them look at the "Law vs Honor" argument in the Oriental Adventures book.

Lyinar's sweetie and don't you forget it!*
"All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die. -Roy Batty
*Also Lyinar's attack panda

sigpic courtesy of This Guy, original modified by me

Peter
Pancake
posted 07-10-2004 03:25:53 PM
Lawfull Evil-- While the person is evil, he follows the low, or set of laws, Example: An evil Black Knight will pillage the contry side and lock up all the nubile young maids in a castle tower, but will nor rape then persay, or when challnged to a duel by a questing good knight, the black night will follow all the laws of chiverly. The knight is still and evil SOB, but he holds himself to some set of laws or honor. Likely to hold hisself to some ideal of being a gentleman.

Lawfull good--Obsenly good. lwfull good will not deviat from the law, there is no "grey" but only black and white, good and evil. Any devation from the law would be unacceptable. Example, A good questing knights come upon a damsels in distress form the above example, while trying to free them he is aided by a dasterly theif that was captured by the evil knight, upon freeing the damsels he promptly sets upon the theif, binds him and turns him in to pay for his crimes.

Gunslinger Moogle
No longer a gimmick
posted 07-10-2004 05:14:11 PM
I think viewing the flavor of the alignments (if not the intensity to which said flavor must be followed) through the planes is the best way to do it. Similarly, the other alignments:

CG - Arborea. Chaos and fun, but never hurting anyone - you've got the Greek pantheon, fae, and so on.

CE - The Abyss. Nine-hundred ninety-nine ways to be tortured, for no reason, for all eternity.

CN - Limbo. Ever-changing, no direction or pattern to any of it.

NG - Elysium. Pure altruism.

NE - Mmm, I don't rememberupo. But really evil.

N - The Outlands. Balancing the entire thing out, with a giant hovering donut in the middle. That's neutrality all right.




moogle is the 3241727861th binary digit of pi

Disclaimer: I'm just kidding, I love all living things.
The fastest draw in the Crest.
"The Internet is MY critical thinking course." -Maradon
"Gambling for the husband, an abortion for the wife and fireworks for the kids they chose to keep? Fuck you, Disneyland. The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is the happiest place on Earth." -JooJooFlop

OtakuPenguin
Peels like a tangerine, but is juicy like an orange.
posted 07-10-2004 10:46:01 PM
What're your guys's opinions when dealing with Asian characters in standard DnD?
..:: This Is The Sound Of Settling ::..
Anklebiter
Pancake
posted 07-10-2004 11:03:29 PM
quote:
The logic train ran off the tracks when OtakuPenguin said:
What're your guys's opinions when dealing with Asian characters in standard DnD?

They're asian.

EVE Online:
Asha Vahishta, Minmatar Pilot.
Palador ChibiDragon
Dismembered
posted 07-10-2004 11:29:16 PM
Having read alot of the DnD 3.0 and 3.5 rule books, here's what I've seen:

First, it helps to consider Lawful/Chaotic seperate from Good/Evil. Only add them together at the end.

Now, Lawful/Chaotic is not so much about law as about society vs. personal importance. A Lawful person will consider the effect on society first and foremost, a Chaotic person will concern themselves with individual people.

As for Good/Evil, those are usually pretty easy to figure out. Still, think about them carefully. Some people won't agree on what some things are.

Ok, now to bring them together.

Lawful Good vs Chaotic Good: An evil Red Dragon has been attacking a town. The Lawful Good character fights the Dragon to save the town, the Chaotic Good fights the Dragon to save the people.

Lawful Neutral vs Chaotic Neutral: The character's father tells them they are to take over the family farmland. The Lawful character will do so, the Chaotic one runs off to see the world.

Lawful Evil vs Chaotic Evil: The evil King tells his trusted minions that a village hasn't been paying his taxes. The Lawful Evil minion puts the village to the sword to make an example of them, and takes whatever money they had back to the king. The Chaotic Evil one puts the village to the sword because he knows the king won't get pissed if this village goes up in flames, and brings the king enough of the money to keep him from realizing that the minion skimmed some off the top.

Lawful Good vs Chaotic Evil: Paladin says "Foul beast, return the Princess at once!" Red Dragon says "Burp! Sure, come back in a day, and you can catch what's left of her as she comes out of my ass. Hah hah hah!"

Lawful Evil vs Chaotic Good: Black Knight says "You will join the army, and take your place in the ranks as we invade a nearby kingdom." Swashbuckler says "Bite me, monkey boy. I'm not gonna attack a peaceful kingdom, no matter who tells me to."

I believe in the existance of magic, not because I have seen proof of its existance, but because I refuse to live in a world where it does not exist.
Palador ChibiDragon
Dismembered
posted 07-10-2004 11:36:21 PM
quote:
A sleep deprived OtakuPenguin stammered:
What're your guys's opinions when dealing with Asian characters in standard DnD?

Different society, and some different ideas on what is Lawful/Chaotic or Good/Evil, but it's mostly the same. Honor is more important too.

I believe in the existance of magic, not because I have seen proof of its existance, but because I refuse to live in a world where it does not exist.
Azymyth
Not gay; just weird
posted 07-10-2004 11:57:04 PM
quote:
There was much rejoicing when OtakuPenguin said this:
What're your guys's opinions when dealing with Asian characters in standard DnD?

Well, it all depends on how much of the culture this Asian person is bringing with them. Oriental Adventures gives you the option of playing 'Asian' people and it can provide a backdrop for a fuedal culture is some previously unexplored second of the world. It gets tricky when/if you want to bring OA specific classes into a standard D&D game. OA classes are rather 'overpowered' in some respects in comparison to regular D&D classes.

I suffer from CRS: Can't Remember Shit.

Sig pic done by the very talented SJen!

Ja'Deth Issar Ka'bael
I posted in a title changing thread.
posted 07-11-2004 01:19:06 AM
Already answered the asian culture thing
Lyinar's sweetie and don't you forget it!*
"All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die. -Roy Batty
*Also Lyinar's attack panda

sigpic courtesy of This Guy, original modified by me

OtakuPenguin
Peels like a tangerine, but is juicy like an orange.
posted 07-11-2004 01:22:35 AM
Well, in Sword and Fist, I want to pick up the Master Samurai prestige class when I get down the line. Is this "innapropriate"?
..:: This Is The Sound Of Settling ::..
Byrnie
Pancake
posted 07-11-2004 08:30:26 PM
quote:
Azymyth probably says this to all the girls:
Well, it all depends on how much of the culture this Asian person is bringing with them. Oriental Adventures gives you the option of playing 'Asian' people and it can provide a backdrop for a fuedal culture is some previously unexplored second of the world. It gets tricky when/if you want to bring OA specific classes into a standard D&D game. OA classes are rather 'overpowered' in some respects in comparison to regular D&D classes.

OA classes are not overpowered. It's normal for a low level (insert naginata wielding monk-like class name here) to be able to kill four minions of an Oni, battle her for a few rounds, grab her chest (hey she was in the for of an attractive female), steal an important quest related amulet, run away from her, and have the rest of his group poison her, knock her down, then coup de gras (sp?) her...right?

Zaza
I don't give a damn.
posted 07-11-2004 09:14:41 PM
Lawful Good characters will not compromise with evil. They will not break the law to do good. Lawfuls essentially play by the rules, just different rules. A lawful good character can be a bigot.

A lawful neutral character acts based on a set of rules, regardless what the rules are. A soldier that never questions orders, wheter they involve giving food to the poor or killing everyone in a village.

A lawful evil character plays by the rules, but only looks out for himself. A very good example of a lawful evil character is a local baron that pays his tithes but lets his people starve.

Ja'Deth Issar Ka'bael
I posted in a title changing thread.
posted 07-12-2004 11:14:29 AM
quote:
How.... Byrnie.... uughhhhhh:
OA classes are not overpowered. It's normal for a low level (insert naginata wielding monk-like class name here) to be able to kill four minions of an Oni, battle her for a few rounds, grab her chest (hey she was in the for of an attractive female), steal an important quest related amulet, run away from her, and have the rest of his group poison her, knock her down, then coup de gras (sp?) her...right?

Anyone can make knockdown attempts, and if successful, attempt a coup de gras. Sounds like your player was going for the gusto. I hate people that say a class is unbalanced because they had a phenomenal combat session. If I throw a bunch of team-tactics tank characters against one bear, they're going to spank the bear. Does that make them overpowered? One on one, PC vs a pack of goblins, PC wins. Is he or she overpowered? Negative.

OA classes are overpowered in the sense that, say, a Shaman has THREE CLERICAL DOMAINS plus their quasi-monk tastiness. Clerics only get two domains and have to multiclass into a prestige class of a specific (usually very restrictive) god to ever even hope to get access to a third domain. Sohei (the class you mentioned) are overpowered compared to Paladins (the class they're meant to overwrite in OA). It's like psionics; a psionicist is more powerful, and far more versatile than the PHB classes. For a Psionics-native campaign setting (say Dark Sun/Athas) that's fine because there are limiting elements (extremely weak armors; virtually nothing with metal, crappy weapons, etc). Put a psionicist in Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms, however, and it fucks things up. Same thing with OA. Use OA monsters against OA PC's and if you're still having trouble, then the trouble's with the GM, not the PC.

Lyinar's sweetie and don't you forget it!*
"All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die. -Roy Batty
*Also Lyinar's attack panda

sigpic courtesy of This Guy, original modified by me

tFUCKING RETARD
Pancake
posted 07-12-2004 12:00:56 PM
I gave my characters a CR/level they started at on a campaign setting, not thinking about how abusive they could be with various class combos and templates since I allowed them access to anything in a book...I have a Half-dragon(Gold) Werebear Pugilist/Fighter/Tattooed Monk in the campaign as well as an Illithid Lich Necromancer and a Rakshasa Vampire Pugilist/Life Drinker/Soul Eater...never again will I tell my players they can use any books they want to make characters. Oh, they didn't start off with all the class levels and such, just templates and a level or two. They, at levels 1-3, are fightingCR 10-15's mostly.
There's nothing like a funeral to make you feel alive.
All times are US/Eastern
Hop To: