Why don't Cavaliers need to be Lawful?


Rules Questions

Shadow Lodge

The APG is next on my to-buy list, but in looking at the PRD, I'm confused. The Cav's alignment requirement is 'any'. How so? 'Sworn to follow a code' absolutely IS Lawful behavior, is it not?

Is it ever addressed anywhere how this works? Or is this simply a meta-game thing of 'we hate alignment restrictions'?

Dark Archive

mcbobbo wrote:

The APG is next on my to-buy list, but in looking at the PRD, I'm confused. The Cav's alignment requirement is 'any'. How so? 'Sworn to follow a code' absolutely IS Lawful behavior, is it not?

Is it ever addressed anywhere how this works? Or is this simply a meta-game thing of 'we hate alignment restrictions'?

I guess they are also including the more "Ronin" types to follow a personal code, though I would still call that LN. It is wierd not to have an alignment restriction.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

I'm not sure it was explicitly expressed anywhere, but Cockatrice cavaliers (IMHO) probably don't have much common ground.

In fact, Goblin Cavaliers often make up their own "knightly orders" with them as the sole member - and probably still count as cockatrice as far as the rules are concerned.


mcbobbo wrote:

The APG is next on my to-buy list, but in looking at the PRD, I'm confused. The Cav's alignment requirement is 'any'. How so? 'Sworn to follow a code' absolutely IS Lawful behavior, is it not?

Is it ever addressed anywhere how this works? Or is this simply a meta-game thing of 'we hate alignment restrictions'?

Why can a chaotic character follow a code or have beliefs? Chaotic clerics exist...

Their beliefs and codes might go outside of the law.

Sovereign Court

Are you saying a neutral or chaotic character can not follow a personal code? Sorry I answered your question with a question. Sure they swear by a code but nothing stops them from breaking it. Part of the fun is trying to stick to it without the worry of being struck impotent if you dont. I think you are reading to much into the oath part of the write up and losing focus on the cause part.


mcbobbo wrote:

The APG is next on my to-buy list, but in looking at the PRD, I'm confused. The Cav's alignment requirement is 'any'. How so? 'Sworn to follow a code' absolutely IS Lawful behavior, is it not?

Is it ever addressed anywhere how this works? Or is this simply a meta-game thing of 'we hate alignment restrictions'?

I'm sure lawful is a very common alignment among cavaliers, but the orders are quite loosely defined. Some are very law-abiding in nature. Some selfish. Etc. People have very different motivations for joining knightly orders: honour, power, prestige, etc. I'm glad the class isn't designed to rule out certain concepts.


Because alignment restrictions are silly, and something that not a lot of people enjoy.

In fact, the only new base class (if you can call it that) that has a restriction on alignment are anti-paladins. A lot of new archetypes that come out either don't impact, or actually aleviate (as is the case for the martial artist monk archetype) alignment restrictions.


mcbobbo wrote:

The APG is next on my to-buy list, but in looking at the PRD, I'm confused. The Cav's alignment requirement is 'any'. How so? 'Sworn to follow a code' absolutely IS Lawful behavior, is it not?

Is it ever addressed anywhere how this works? Or is this simply a meta-game thing of 'we hate alignment restrictions'?

Remember most knights were sworn to serve people like lords kings and such .

Knights as the defender of the people is really a hollywood thing .

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

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Because "lawful" and "chaotic" are poorly-defined trainwrecks and it's wise to avoid pulling them into the rules whenever possible.


Unlike a Paladin order, where your buddies can literally cast a simple spell-like ability to determine your alignment and your powers are given to you by an omniscient being of pure Law and/or Good, a Cavalier Order is a mortal institution that relies on training and skill rather than strict adherence. To err is human, after all, and Cavaliers expect their members to uphold their beliefs; not to be saints.


Unfortunately, "personal code" should have no place in the Lawful description. A person who is erratic, undependable, emotional, and expressive who chafes under authority may gripe about being Lawful just because they have some "personal code" about only eating green eggs or never murdering blondes or traveling during winter.


A Man In Black wrote:
Because "lawful" and "chaotic" are poorly-defined trainwrecks and it's wise to avoid pulling them into the rules whenever possible.

I think that the "law" part of lawful is a bit of a misnomer, and the source of a lot of pointless debates. I prefer to think of a lawful alignment indicating a partiality towards "order" rather than a commitment to "law," and encourage my players to do the same.

Sovereign Court

A Man In Black wrote:
Because "lawful" and "chaotic" are poorly-defined trainwrecks and it's wise to avoid pulling them into the rules whenever possible.

Win. You ask 10 gamers to define the axis of alignments, and you'll get more than 10 answers.

But with regards to Cavaliers, there's no particular reason to put alignment restrictions on them.. even without going into arguments about what is and what isn't 'lawful', the (base) classes that have restrictions are all because of divine or mystical class features.

Dark Archive

Ok if talking about alignments we need to define the terms, going by the core book definitions here, a personal code would be LN. Going on your own whims is not the same as having a personal code. Knights inforce the laws of thier lords, or thier own, either way traditionally since AD@D 1st ED in Unearthed Arcana Caviliers have been lawful, and paladins were a sub-class of Caviliers.


Nimon wrote:
Ok if talking about alignments we need to define the terms, going by the core book definitions here, a personal code would be LN. Going on your own whims is not the same as having a personal code.

Not to be terribly snarky, but every person has their own personal code.. giving into your whims could be one of them.

Description: Giving into your whims
Code: Live your life to the fullest and explore all opportunities as they arise.

Many people characterize Batman as Chaotic Good, would you say he has a personal code?


Stynkk wrote:

Not to be terribly snarky, but every person has their own personal code.. giving into your whims could be one of them.

Description: Giving into your whims
Code: Live your life to the fullest and explore all opportunities as they arise.

Many people characterize Batman as Chaotic Good, would you say he has a personal code?

No, he has one rule (which in certain cannon he eventually breaks)


martinaj wrote:
A Man In Black wrote:
Because "lawful" and "chaotic" are poorly-defined trainwrecks and it's wise to avoid pulling them into the rules whenever possible.
I think that the "law" part of lawful is a bit of a misnomer, and the source of a lot of pointless debates. I prefer to think of a lawful alignment indicating a partiality towards "order" rather than a commitment to "law," and encourage my players to do the same.

Yes i agree with you.

i think that people should read some of Moorkok's work before debating DnD law and chaos because from what i have seen that's where DnD take the idea of law vs chaos.

Shadow Lodge

I was going to argue about only divine classes having restrictions, and went to go find an 'any Neutral' class as an example - but they're gone. Rogues and Bards are now alignment 'any'.

So, that seals it. It's metagaming. LG rogues? Seriously? Talk about a dodge...


mcbobbo wrote:

I was going to argue about only divine classes having restrictions, and went to go find an 'any Neutral' class as an example - but they're gone. Rogues and Bards are now alignment 'any'.

So, that seals it. It's metagaming. LG rogues? Seriously? Talk about a dodge...

I don't have an issue with it, if the player can give a solid enough reason. Why not have a former criminal-turned-cop who uses his skills to support the law of the land, or a professional trapmaker whose work is entirely legal? Depends on the build and the player.

Shadow Lodge

Ackattack wrote:
mcbobbo wrote:

I was going to argue about only divine classes having restrictions, and went to go find an 'any Neutral' class as an example - but they're gone. Rogues and Bards are now alignment 'any'.

So, that seals it. It's metagaming. LG rogues? Seriously? Talk about a dodge...

I don't have an issue with it, if the player can give a solid enough reason. Why not have a former criminal-turned-cop who uses his skills to support the law of the land, or a professional trapmaker whose work is entirely legal? Depends on the build and the player.

BARD, I should have said, I guess. I'm looking at the 3.5 SRD and Rogue is unlimited on that one as well. Only Bard is 'any nonlawful'.


mcbobbo wrote:

I was going to argue about only divine classes having restrictions, and went to go find an 'any Neutral' class as an example - but they're gone. Rogues and Bards are now alignment 'any'.

So, that seals it. It's metagaming. LG rogues? Seriously? Talk about a dodge...

LG rogues are totally legit. Street urchin becomes apprentice under local mechanic / handyman as punishment after getting caught once, after apprenticeship, he is now searching for wealth and glory.


mcbobbo wrote:
BARD, I should have said, I guess. I'm looking at the 3.5 SRD and Rogue is unlimited on that one as well. Only Bard is 'any nonlawful'.

You got me on that one. Again, I'd have to see a solid player justification. I'm not saying it can't be done, but I would definitely find that one much harder to pull off.


Alignment restrictions for most classes have been gone for a while. I have just checked the 3.0 SRD and the alignment for the Rogue is any. I have played a LG Rogue (No pick-pocket skill) - a team player that worked on the edges of combat providing support and flanking. As Ackattack has just said its down to character concept and a solid reason for the unusual.

Dark Archive

Stynkk wrote:
Nimon wrote:
Ok if talking about alignments we need to define the terms, going by the core book definitions here, a personal code would be LN. Going on your own whims is not the same as having a personal code.

Not to be terribly snarky, but every person has their own personal code.. giving into your whims could be one of them.

Description: Giving into your whims
Code: Live your life to the fullest and explore all opportunities as they arise.

Many people characterize Batman as Chaotic Good, would you say he has a personal code?

I am not trying to say the Pathfinder, or DnD system is right on it's laws of morality, but by thier definitions on pg 167 of the core book a knight would be lawful.

Batman is not even the discussion it is about caviliers, he is not even a figure from fantasy.

I do not accept that definition of a Code, that is a whim. A code is something that you apply to situations as they arrive.
So you could have a code like - I will not rape, tortue or abuse the powers given to me. This is what you live by, you do not meet someone and decide then and there if you are going to torture them or not, it is already decided by your code.


Nimon wrote:


I am not trying to say the Pathfinder, or DnD system is right on it's laws of morality, but by thier definitions on pg 167 of the core book a knight would be lawful.

Surely you've heard of knights that are selfish and seek to perpetuate their own glory/legacy and are unscrupulous and observe laws only when it is to their own benefits.

Nimon wrote:
Batman is not even the discussion it is about caviliers, he is not even a figure from fantasy.

I'm sorry, I thought we were talking about codes and their relation to a character, not codes purely derived from fantasy.

Nimon wrote:
I do not accept that definition of a Code, that is a whim. A code is something that you apply to situations as they arrive.

That is the beautiful thing about codes, they can be as stringent or lax as the person/organization/society makes it.

Nimon wrote:
So you could have a code like - I will not rape, tortue or abuse the powers given to me. This is what you live by, you do not meet someone and decide then and there if you are going to torture them or not, it is already decided by your code.

Not all codes are so exacting, however, in your example murder is not out of the question. You would probably not accept the Order of the Cockatrice's code:

A cavalier who belongs to this order serves only himself, working to further his own aims and increase his own prestige. Cavaliers of this order tend to be selfish and concerned only with personal goals and objectives.

Edicts: The cavalier must keep his own interests and aims above those of all others. He must always accept payment when it is due, rewards when earned, and an even (or greater) share of loot. The cavalier must take every opportunity to increase his own stature, prestige, and power.


mcbobbo wrote:

I was going to argue about only divine classes having restrictions, and went to go find an 'any Neutral' class as an example - but they're gone. Rogues and Bards are now alignment 'any'.

So, that seals it. It's metagaming. LG rogues? Seriously? Talk about a dodge...

Lawful Good Rogue. Congratulations, you're just described Samuel Vimes after a couple books of character development. No magic, no rage, more skill than a fighter or warrior, more combat ability than an expert, wore armor unlike a monk, and known to be proficient in sap, (probably short)sword, and crossbow. The only odd thing is the breastplate, but it's pretty clear that in Diskworld breastplates aren't medium armors based on some of the chases in which one party is wearing them and the other not and neither is a fighter.

In a setting with more magic bard is probably a better class for a Sammy. They were also barred from the appropriate alignment in D&D.

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