Am I lawful good or neutral good?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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I am well aware of that fact. But even James Jacobs himself said 99% of all orcs are evil, regardless of age and gender. If even the devs treat races as exp fodder or acceptable targets, then it's kinda hard to prove that it's truly disputed. Not saying you are wrong in that (I myself have been objecting to baby-killing in D&D myself) but I am pretty sure there are a lot of people who would want to say that you and I ARE wrong in this.

Shadow Lodge

ShadowcatX wrote:
Am I the only one that thinks trying to impose 21st century ethics on characters not from the 21st century is a bit foolish?

Depends on if the ethics of the society the characters are from are the same as 21st century ethics.


Icyshadow wrote:
Getting really angry happens in the real world too, and the Paladins are only mortal, after all.

true, but 1) when angry I don't go around mutilating corpses 2) My morality is not that of a paladin, IRL even really good people are a lot closes to neutrality than a paladin is.

Icyshadow wrote:


Also, this is after all the same setting where killing orc/kobold/gnoll/goblin babies is perfectly fine of a Paladin (or any good-aligned character for that matter) "because they'll end up evil anyway". Given this kind of stuff is more or less canon (despite some attempts from me and others to subvert this), alignment arguments tend to cause a lot of disagreements in general.

That's the kind of stuff we, in my group, let slip unnoticed when for example we burn an entire orc village. That's because we like to play paladin and we like to burn orc villages up, but should we stop and question our actions all of us would agree that such an act is evil and should cause serious trouble to the conscience of a good PC.

Killing an orc kid while looking into his eyes because he will become evil it's an evil act in our book. As far as I'm concerned right/effective and good are not the same.

TOZ wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:
Am I the only one that thinks trying to impose 21st century ethics on characters not from the 21st century is a bit foolish?
Depends on if the ethics of the society the characters are from are the same as 21st century ethics.

Yeah, that's the point. We judge good and evil by our standard: there is nothing preventing a whole society to be evil, if it so appears to our eyes (just to make sure, I'm talking about the game). If you play a drow campaign you don't have good character who go around killing mindlessly just because the other drows do.


Crysknife wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
Getting really angry happens in the real world too, and the Paladins are only mortal, after all.
true, but 1) when angry I don't go around mutilating corpses 2) My morality is not that of a paladin, IRL even really good people are a lot closes to neutrality than a paladin is.

one of the toys someone else mentioned earlier is someone who is good to nearly the point of evil. The super overzealous self righteous moralizing character who's enforcement of the law and their personal morals is crazy and super extremist. if you don't believe there is such a way to play good, then we will have a fundamental difference because i find that concept a lot of fun to deal with in RPGs. someone who is trying to alleviate the suffering of the people and is working towards the greater good can be good. someone who punishes violations of the law harshly for the betterment of society can also be good. There are lots of things to fulfill to be lawful, and not fulfilling one of them doesn't make a person chaotic.

again, this is up to the GM how alignment works, but i think lawful good can be expressed in many many different ways, and it allows for more interesting and varied characters if you interpret alignment in my way.

I, right now, have a Lawful Neutral character i'm playing. he has a couple tendencies towards good more towards neutral and a couple towards evil. he has more tendencies towards law than chaos, to the point where i would put him just barely inside the lawful definition. Without a rigid alignment system, this character is allowed to be nuanced and I find more fun to play


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Shifty wrote:

I was thinking NE, but there was at least some adherence to the concept of law and order (although 0 concept of justice).

She doesn't really believe in the cause of Good.

Good says that there are laws and customs in place and the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven. Good believes in the rule of law and fair trials.

Good calls for arrest, restraint, and mercy.

Not found in any of what you put.

That was straight up vigilantism - you can be a toecutting lunatic and still despise rapists etc, thats not a unique to good guys, but the way the character has conducted themselves is flat out evil.

They did what was convenient in order to satisfy their own sense of right and wrong.

Um, no. What you describe is lawful (following an order, holding oaths, working within the system, etc), not good.

Quote:

Law Versus Chaos

Lawful characters tell the truth, keep their word, respect authority, honor tradition, and judge those who fall short of their duties. Chaotic characters follow their consciences, resent being told what to do, favor new ideas over tradition, and do what they promise if they feel like it.

Law implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability. On the downside, lawfulness can include closed-mindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, self-righteousness, 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 some respect for authority and feels neither a compulsion to obey nor a compulsion to rebel. She is generally honest, but can be tempted into lying or deceiving others.

Quote:

Good Versus Evil

Good characters and creatures protect innocent life. Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life, whether for fun or profit.

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 hurting, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some evil deity or master.

People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent, but may lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others.

Now, being both lawful and good, I'd expect the paladin to turn the guards into the local magistrate. Apprehend them and take them. If they resist/fight, THEN defend yourself. But, you should do so with the intent of putting them down rather than killing them with the goal of still turning them in to the proper authorities. What was done is more chaotic good. It was putting down people who did evil acts but it was done so in a very "my way" sort of way rather than letting the system work itself out.


"Now, being both lawful and good, I'd expect the paladin to turn the guards into the local magistrate. Apprehend them and take them. If they resist/fight, THEN defend yourself. But, you should do so with the intent of putting them down rather than killing them with the goal of still turning them in to the proper authorities. What was done is more chaotic good. It was putting down people who did evil acts but it was done so in a very "my way" sort of way rather than letting the system work itself out. " - I think it was said over and over that apprehending them was no longer an option by that part.

Anyway, I guess that doesn't matter anymore. XD


Icyshadow wrote:

"Now, being both lawful and good, I'd expect the paladin to turn the guards into the local magistrate. Apprehend them and take them. If they resist/fight, THEN defend yourself. But, you should do so with the intent of putting them down rather than killing them with the goal of still turning them in to the proper authorities. What was done is more chaotic good. It was putting down people who did evil acts but it was done so in a very "my way" sort of way rather than letting the system work itself out. " - I think it was said over and over that apprehending them was no longer an option by that part.

Anyway, I guess that doesn't matter anymore. XD

Granted, I didn't read the whole thread. I saw 4 pages and went "yeah....". LOL


Having read both threads...

I'll be straight up, your alignment is tough to pin down.

Regarding law/chaos... you are all about the law, yet you don't follow protocol. It's like the law is "something over there, for other people". You have proven yourself enthusiastic about using brutal violence for the sake of a stable and responsible social infrastructure. In other words, you'll do what it takes to make sure that authority does its job, and does not fall to corruption. Intentions are lawful, actions are chaotic.

As for good/evil, you are all about doing the right thing, but you seem to have no issues with playing judge, jury and executioner. Remember that guards have families and friends too, and they are also citizens of the town. Killing a guard may leave a widow and fatherless children in the wake, with no source of income. Through no fault of their own, that family is both emotionally devastated and economically screwed. This sort of thing never comes to mind when slaughtering bad people. But good/evil may be intent or consequence, or both... it's up to your GM, really.

Back when you were a paladin, you should really have deferred to authority, in that yes you defend yourself in the bar, but then immediately clear your name by reporting them to a local magistrate or similar. Get your word in before they do, and let an inquiry sort out the facts. If you find corruption at that level, go higher until you find someone who'll care. If the whole system is corrupt, then it's time to find some angry citizens and begin a revolution, replacing the corrupt government with one that's worthwhile. Or go to some neighboring kingdom that's decent and try to instigate a war against their corrupt neighbors. If the system is corrupt, priority 1 should be to free the innocent people who are under the heel of the corrupt government. If war is what it takes, let it be done!

Choosing to go talk directly to the same guys you kicked the poop out of was probably unwise, and looking for trouble. This wasn't a personal matter - you owe them nothing. The moment violence began among the local police, it was a legal matter. I suggest escalating through appropriate channels if you're all about the law.

Honestly, it sounds like an interesting game. Very real. It's like Law & Order SVU, with swords and spells.

Contributor

Removed some posts and their replies. Post civilly please, or not at all.

Sovereign Court

I think something important to remember is that people with Neutral alignments would rarely if ever refer to themselves as such, even in gamespeak and especially in their own minds.

They'd likely think of themselves as 'Good, but doing what needs to be done.'

Even evil characters can still believe that they are essentially Good. Those villains are my personal favorite.


deusvult wrote:

I think something important to remember is that people with Neutral alignments would rarely if ever refer to themselves as such, even in gamespeak and especially in their own minds.

They'd likely think of themselves as 'Good, but doing what needs to be done.'

Even evil characters can still believe that they are essentially Good. Those villains are my personal favorite.

I don't know about you, but when I play an evil character, they know they don't care about others.... though i don't tend to play just lightly evil when i play evil

Grand Lodge

Icyshadow wrote:

"Now, being both lawful and good, I'd expect the paladin to turn the guards into the local magistrate. Apprehend them and take them. If they resist/fight, THEN defend yourself. But, you should do so with the intent of putting them down rather than killing them with the goal of still turning them in to the proper authorities. What was done is more chaotic good. It was putting down people who did evil acts but it was done so in a very "my way" sort of way rather than letting the system work itself out. " - I think it was said over and over that apprehending them was no longer an option by that part.

Anyway, I guess that doesn't matter anymore. XD

Agreed, also your character must be concerned what it considers corruption. For example, in Pathfinder #1, a CE char Nualia thought of herself as corrupted with celestial blood and wished to purge it by replacing it with demonic aspects.

Not to say that this was right, just to say that the character could say they hate corruption and still be evil.

If your character is truly Lawful Good, and the bad guy is deemed innocent by the local law, your character could find a way to track down the evil doer and stop him from further acts via catching him if he does something evil again, but the CG thing to do is just to slay him the first time.


deusvult wrote:

I think something important to remember is that people with Neutral alignments would rarely if ever refer to themselves as such, even in gamespeak and especially in their own minds.

They'd likely think of themselves as 'Good, but doing what needs to be done.'

Even evil characters can still believe that they are essentially Good. Those villains are my personal favorite.

Holy/Unholy weapons and alignment-based spells would provide plenty of proof to the contrary. When you die from the effects of "Holy Word", it's pretty cut & dry.

Sovereign Court

Malignor wrote:


Even evil characters can still believe that they are essentially Good. Those villains are my personal favorite.
Holy/Unholy weapons and alignment-based spells would provide plenty of proof to the contrary. When you die from the effects of "Holy Word", it's pretty cut & dry.

You underestimate the powers of self-delusion. The fallen paladin/LG cleric who lost powers knows they lost powers, but it's 'not their fault'. They're still LG in their own mind, but are a victim of circumstances they're not responsible for, and by gum they're going to make those people pay for making me lose my powers, etc.

Oh, I'm detecting as evil? I'm burning from Holy Word? It's never "OOOOH I get it, I became evil!" It's "WHAT IS THIS TRICKERY! That spell isn't 'Detect Evil', its some deception! The holy word burned me? You put some sort of curse on me to make it affect one as goodly as myself!"

Sure sure there's the evil that just enjoys eating babies and raping horses, but that's such a BORING evil.

Getting a bit off topic. If a character finds the need to do Evil acts in the name of Good, that's pretty much as definitively Neutral as you can get.

Liberty's Edge

deusvult wrote:
You underestimate the powers of self-delusion. The fallen paladin/LG cleric who lost powers knows they lost powers, but it's 'not their fault'. They're still LG in their own mind, but are a victim of circumstances they're not responsible for, and by gum they're going to make those people pay for making me lose my powers, etc. Or, oh, I'm detecting as evil? I'm burning from Holy Word? It's never "OOOOH I get it, I became evil!" It's "WHAT IS THIS TRICKERY! That spell isn't 'Detect Evil', its some deception! The holy word burned me? You put some sort of curse on me to make it affect one as goodly as myself!"

This. So much this.

Quote:
Getting a bit off topic. If a character finds the need to do Evil acts in the name of Good, that's pretty much as definitively Neutral as you can get.

Or chaotic acts in the name of law...


Oh, trust me, I know that mindset. When DMing, I wrote a passage from a book, written by a necromancer. He used necromancy to help people, but turned evil from casting too many spells with evil descriptors (Animate Dead for one). He referred to two kinds of evil/good - cosmic consequential. But nevertheless, he was fully aware that he was cosmically evil... for the sake of others. The whole "I'm damning myself to make the world a better place" kind of martyr mindset.

The OP here is definitely operating with LG goals, but using ... questionable means. The tough part about alignment is that it doesn't specify whether alignment is intent-based or consequentialist, or a mix.

I prefer consequential myself. It gives value to the Atonement spell, and lets honest mistakes, guilt and so on all fall into place - the rabbi is indeed tainted if he's forcefed a porkchop.


Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:

Original thread.

This character hates corruption, and believes that for the law to be effective it needs to be purged of such elements as the guards in the thread linked to above. Somebody needs to keep the guards in line, and it may as well be her. That said, she believes that the rule of law is essential for any civilization in order for it's people to have good lives, and for the law to be upheld. She isn't chaotic by any means, she just feels it necessary to purge those elements of the law that are corrupting it so that it can function for the good of all. Her favored method is to show up in the middle of the night when her prey is sleeping and give them one chance to justify their actions, knowing full well they can't do it. They she administers justice.

So, should I put her alignment as lawful good or neutral good? She's an inquisitor now, so she can be either alignment.

I’m going to go against the general consensus and go with either LG or NG. Trying to work within the system (by the barmaid being dead at the hands of the guards) has been shown not to work so someone has to see to it justice is served. What really matters is the motivation of the character though, and it sounds like the motivations could be either NG or LG.

I wonder though, would those go say Evil change if the guards in question were Orc or Goblin guards?


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The Paladin's Code of Conduct only pertains to just authority. Authority which tolerates this kind of abuse is fundamentally unjust, and the Paladin has a moral obligation to oppose it. If Paladins weren't intended to kill evil people, they wouldn't have Full BAB, Martial Weapon Proficiency, and a whole slate of class features relating to their ability to kill evil people better.

You are easily still within the bounds of Lawful Good and you have not fallen. But, after having mutilated the corpses, you should probably seek atonement. Paladins smite evil; they don't humiliate it.

You gave the corrupt system a chance to work. You gave the corrupt individuals a chance to repent. You did everything you could. Letting rapists and murderers walk free because the law is on their side is Lawful Neutral, not Lawful Good.

Shadow Lodge

Liz Courts wrote:
Removed some posts and their replies. Post civilly please, or not at all.

Wow, for once it wasn't me being uncivil.


Viktyr Korimir wrote:

The Paladin's Code of Conduct only pertains to just authority. Authority which tolerates this kind of abuse is fundamentally unjust, and the Paladin has a moral obligation to oppose it. If Paladins weren't intended to kill evil people, they wouldn't have Full BAB, Martial Weapon Proficiency, and a whole slate of class features relating to their ability to kill evil people better.

You are easily still within the bounds of Lawful Good and you have not fallen. But, after having mutilated the corpses, you should probably seek atonement. Paladins smite evil; they don't humiliate it.

You gave the corrupt system a chance to work. You gave the corrupt individuals a chance to repent. You did everything you could. Letting rapists and murderers walk free because the law is on their side is Lawful Neutral, not Lawful Good.

I'm an inquisitor, not a paladin, but thanks.


I would peg your actions as NE honestly. You might think they are good and lawful, but they really are not. You are leaning toward LE but from what we have been shown I have to put you at NE.


TOZ wrote:
Wow, for once it wasn't me being uncivil.

Was probably still your fault though.

Shadow Lodge

I will have to say Lawful Neutral, with a whole 'pay Evil unto Evil' vibe, but with many Good tendencies to balance that out. Remember, just because you are Lawful does not mean you follow ALL laws, as long as you follow your own personal code, which your Inquisitor obviously has.

Liberty's Edge

Lawful Neutral.

The lawful part really depends how strictly you stick to your code of conduct but from what i have read i would say Lawful for now.

Neutral because although you are trying to punish evil and do the right thing your actions are away from the conventional ideal of good. That being said you aren't doing this with malice so probably not evil.

Sounds very much like an inquisitor to me. Using evil/neutral ways to punish the evil.

Shadow Lodge

Shifty wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Wow, for once it wasn't me being uncivil.
Was probably still your fault though.

Is always my fault.


Ninjaxenomorph wrote:
I will have to say Lawful Neutral, with a whole 'pay Evil unto Evil' vibe, but with many Good tendencies to balance that out. Remember, just because you are Lawful does not mean you follow ALL laws, as long as you follow your own personal code, which your Inquisitor obviously has.

This is where I think it gets a little grey. Where I do not disagree with you completely, I think that there are some problems with this argument. The biggest one is that in real life (which in a lot of ways is projected into peoples characters) no one really comes close to being that chaotic. I would say in the real world an overwhelming majority of people would be lawful or neutral, but mostly lawful, by this standard. Drug Dealers, Serial Killers, Gang Bangers, Rapist, ect ect all live by their own personal codes. Very few people do things at random, almost everyone has a system for living the way they do.

I think at some point it has to be about the bigger picture. It can not be about the individual, but it has to be about their views of the law. If they are willing to work within the system and create order instead of chaos. I think it would have been better if at some point they changed the alignment to Order and Chaos over Lawful. Making shopping lists for example has nothing to do with the Law, but in my opinion is a very Lawful act.

The character in question does not seem to be acting with any regard for the law. She is anti-corruption, but that seems to be driven for her desire to see evil punished then place any order back into the system. She seemed to merely want to make an example of the guards to deter people from acting in a less favorable manner then she would like, and did not seem to care about establishing a better rule to the land. Nor does she seem to care about freedom. This suggests to me a more neutral act. Her intentions seemed Good but her actions were sort of Evil.

Silver Crusade

TOZ wrote:
Is always my fault.

Phew! Takes the heat off me then...


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Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
I'm an inquisitor, not a paladin, but thanks.

Same difference, ain't it? You're still a Lawful Good holy warrior; only difference now is that you're the knife in the darkness instead of the banner at dawn.

I don't buy this nonsense that a Paladin is a "special kind of Good"; they're the same Good as any other Good character, except that they have to be Good all the time. The difference isn't in what they're allowed to do, it's in how often they're allowed to do it-- a LG Fighter can do the easy thing, the expedient thing, the evil thing "just this once" and he's still a hero. A Paladin has to do the right thing every time or he falls.

Really, I think the rules should be just as strict for Clerics and Inquisitors.

Killing those men was the right thing to do, whether you're a Paladin or an Inquisitor, or even just some girl with a piece of sharpened metal and a conscience. Only difference between you and "just some girl" is that you had to do the right thing.

Timothy Hanson wrote:
The biggest one is that in real life (which in a lot of ways is projected into peoples characters) no one really comes close to being that chaotic. I would say in the real world an overwhelming majority of people would be lawful or neutral, but mostly lawful, by this standard.

I think the biggest part of the problem is that most people are Neutral, but almost everyone thinks they're Good, regardless of whether they're really Good, Neutral... or worse. They confuse their own lack of moral convictions-- and the courage of those convictions-- with moral virtues like tolerance and mercy. They're essentially cowards and weaklings who confuse courage and fortitude with evil.

Timothy Hanson wrote:
Drug Dealers, Serial Killers, Gang Bangers, Rapist, ect ect all live by their own personal codes. Very few people do things at random, almost everyone has a system for living the way they do.

Nobody does anything at random. There is always a reason, and that reason always makes sense in their own heads. Law and Chaos aren't about reasons, they're not about rules-- they're about structure. Law believes in a society that has a place for everybody, and everyone should be in their place; when Law rebels against authority, it is to change the social order, to establish a new order. Chaos believes everyone should find their own way, an island unto their own; when Chaos upholds a code of conduct, it's because that code of conduct preserves their freedom.

Timothy Hanson wrote:
I think at some point it has to be about the bigger picture. It can not be about the individual, but it has to be about their views of the law. If they are willing to work within the system and create order instead of chaos.

Law is dedicated to a system, not the system. Sometimes a Lawful character has to tear down the old order to establish a new one-- especially a Lawful Good character tearing down an Evil system to make room for a Good one. Dedication to the system, right or wrong, is the hallmark of Lawful Neutral; Lawful Evil can corrupt any system and thrive under it.

Timothy Hanson wrote:
The character in question does not seem to be acting with any regard for the law. She is anti-corruption, but that seems to be driven for her desire to see evil punished then place any order back into the system. She seemed to merely want to make an example of the guards to deter people from acting in a less favorable manner then she would like, and did not seem to care about establishing a better rule to the land. Nor does she seem to care about freedom. This suggests to me a more neutral act. Her intentions seemed Good but her actions were sort of Evil.

Yeah. I don't think killing the guards was a Lawful act by any means; I'm only arguing that it wasn't incompatible with a Lawful alignment. It was also, in my opinion, a wholly Good act-- something any Good character with the power to do would consider morally obligatory, regardless of their position on Law or Chaos. "Working within the system" may be the more Lawful option here, but in this case it would be a clear example of choosing Law over Good-- something that a Paladin, no matter how Lawful, is allowed to do.


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One thing I do with atonement -- you can't intentionally commit evil deeds by saying to yourself, "well, it's fine, I'll just go get an atonement." In those cases, I'd probably make it fail, unless you really have turned over a new leaf.

Saying "sorry" means jack-all if you turn around and do the same thing again. As Andrew Vachss puts it, "Words are just words. Behavior is the truth."

Silver Crusade

I always liked the Blackguard PrC in 3ed. If I was running a campaign, I'd probably convert that class to Pathfinder as well. It would be an option for a LE paladin-type.

In saying that, paladin=LG and antipaladin=CE!


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Viktyr Korimir wrote:
Stuff and some general insults against people for not being murderers.

So murder has suddenly become a good act nowadays? Golly gee I must have been spending too much time actually dealing with sane people instead of drawing my moral compass from the options offered in Skyrim to have picked up that bit of moral wisdom.

But seriously doing evil to preserve good doesn't make you good, the ends do not justify the means. As Gandhi said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Sometimes that means you have to put in a lot of extra work to get justice done but at the end of the day the fact that you did what was right to get the right result is more important than just the ends.


see the real thing is that good and evil are just opinions same with villians and heros. Example when i might think robin hood is a good guy you might think since he stole he is a bad guy so i would say neutral and lawfull


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gnomersy wrote:
So murder has suddenly become a good act nowadays?

Please do explain to me the moral difference between her killing those guards in honorable combat and those guards being lawfully executed after a fair trial. Then, do please continue to explain to me what the Inquisitor should have done about this rampant corruption that the lawful authorities were apparently quite willing to tolerate.

"Working within the system" is only a valid option when the system works, when there is a sufficiently powerful and sufficiently just authority to appeal to. In the absence of such an authority, it is the obligation of any person who is capable to dispense justice.

The only alternative is to allow men like the ones she killed to go on raping and murdering as they please. That is the "Good" that you are supposedly upholding. You should be thankful that better men than you have done all of the hard work-- and made all of the hard decisions-- that keep you from having to live with the consequences of your moral values.

gnomersy wrote:
But seriously doing evil to preserve good doesn't make you good, the ends do not justify the means. As Gandhi said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

Gandhi also said "Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest." Yes, you must first be the change you wish to see-- but you must also work in the world to bring that change about. And if you do not have the power to force people to change for the better, sometimes you have to settle for having the power just to force them to stop.

Killing murderers and rapists is not evil. Deposing an unjust government is not evil. Those are not the Evil methods to accomplish Good goals-- they are Good ends in and of themselves.


Is killing people bad? Yes. Does it make it okay if they're evil? No. Why? Because evil is in the eye of the beholder.

The moral difference between combat(also hah honorable combat) and a fair trial is that there is an amount of impartiality in a trial there is evidence brought to bear and that people who aren't involved judge on the case. Justice is blind otherwise it's just vengeance with a coat of paint slapped on it.

And you have to be s@%+ting me if you think that the solution to a corrupt system is anarchy. The solution to corruption is to fix the system not to go around declaring summary executions of people based on the word of one woman.

Also stop using personal attacks. And there were a plethora of alternatives brought up over the course of this discussion I brought up at least 3 or 4 myself. Stop acting like murder is the only solution, it isn't.

I never said don't work to make change in the world but doing so within the system or by replacing the system with a just one is acceptable doing so by wandering around executing people isn't.


gnomersy wrote:
Viktyr Korimir wrote:
Stuff and some general insults against people for not being murderers.

So murder has suddenly become a good act nowadays? Golly gee I must have been spending too much time actually dealing with sane people instead of drawing my moral compass from the options offered in Skyrim to have picked up that bit of moral wisdom.

But seriously doing evil to preserve good doesn't make you good, the ends do not justify the means. As Gandhi said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Sometimes that means you have to put in a lot of extra work to get justice done but at the end of the day the fact that you did what was right to get the right result is more important than just the ends.

It depends on the circumstances really. Specifically for this entire thread (which I will clarify with my own post), I will say no. HOWEVER (as I love to play devil's advocate), there are numerous occasions in history and human behavior where murder was deemed as a necessary and sometimes the only act for the benefit of the greater good. Bear in mind that the definition of murder is: "the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human being".

Using your Skyrim example: The previous High King was murdered for his banning the worship of Talos. This was deemed as necessary because the current High King believes that the banning of religion was only one step to take away the freedoms of his countrymen, who knows how much of his countrymen's freedoms and choices would be taken away by the Empire just to keep a faction of elves happy? Ulfric decided that his people's way of life was more important than submitting to a foreign power that sought to tell them how to live their lives under pain of death.

This has held true in actual history as well. French resistance fighters murdered German officers occupying their country. The druids of Britain killed Roman soldiers in their beds for trying to bend them to the will of Rome. King Louis XVI was executed by his countrymen as he seemed to put the well-being of others before his own people. Vikings traditionally settled matters that became rather heated by the sword, especially challenges to other's power. Even in America, we hanged, shot, stabbed and killed British soldiers and sympathizers because we did not want to live in a world where we were ignored by a king who would not allow America a voice in the government it was to be supporting (taxation without representation).

A lot of these were murders, as the killers held malice towards their victims, as per the definition. But are you going to say that allowing these victims to live while they are crushing the basic human rights of these oppressed people was right, that it did not lead to the benefit of the greater good? I cite examples from other times in history, as the Geneva Conventions more clearly defined murder and held the nations (as well as their peoples) morally responsible to do things peacefully and "morally correct".

The other reason? Pathfinder is a game based in these earlier times, where all one could do sometimes is take up arms for a cause. So Gnomersy, some things in Pathfinder cannot and should not be held to the same moral standards as today. Also, IT'S A GAME!!! People are going to ask these questions to try and figure out the deeper meanings and motives behind their character(s). If you cannot understand how this roleplaying experience is a way to safely be someone other than yourself and not necessarily their true beliefs, I think it would behoove you to find another hobby more suited to your mindset.


Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
Perhaps the mutilation and display could be an uncharacteristic action brought on by immense rage, and she went to a priest to repent? I really don't want to play a neutral character here.

You don't need to worry about that.


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gnomersy wrote:
Is killing people bad? Yes. Does it make it okay if they're evil? No. Why? Because evil is in the eye of the beholder.

Do you even realize how little sense this statement makes? If you're saying that "evil is in the eye of the beholder", then you don't get to say that killing people is bad; that is logically inconsistent and it doesn't make any sense.

If the guards' rapes and murders only made them Evil "in the eye of the beholder", then her subsequent murder of them can't make her Evil, either.

gnomersy wrote:
Justice is blind otherwise it's just vengeance with a coat of paint slapped on it.

You seem to think there's a difference. There isn't. What would make the servant of a corrupt government a more just and impartial judge than the servant of a deity of justice? Who decides that one person has the moral authority to judge matters of life and death, and another person does not?

The only difference between a judge and the PC is that the judge has to rely on other people to do his dirty work.

gnomersy wrote:
And you have to be s$@&ting me if you think that the solution to a corrupt system is anarchy. The solution to corruption is to fix the system not to go around declaring summary executions of people based on the word of one woman.

Who said anything about anarchy? I only said that Kelsey should overthrow the corrupt government; that is only the first necessary step in establishing a just government in its place. In a democracy, you can possibly remove a corrupt government without bloodshed, but that is not the case in any feudal system.

gnomersy wrote:
Also stop using personal attacks.

I might apologize for that if you hadn't condescendingly dismissed my entire argument, called me insane, and then implied that I derived my entire system of moral values from a video game released last month. This whole thread is full of shrill, self-righteous moralizing; if it offends you so much, maybe you should remove the plank in your eye before helping me with the speck in mine.


Aramus29 wrote:


Pretty good stuff.

I agree it depends on circumstances, however in reality we never had the same power that our characters have. I'm saying that it isn't unrealistic to have solved these problems without killing anyone and that when that option is available choosing otherwise is generally not a good act.

Also the French resistance and British druids were under personal threat by the people they were killing. At the very least both groups had been attacked first by their enemies, and I support the idea of defending oneself taking precedence. But in this situation I hope you'll agree that this wasn't really a case of the OP fearing for her life, given that she took out like 5 of these guys on her own?

This is why I strongly feel that classifying her character as Lawful or even Neutral Good is pretty far out there particularly if this is the way she intends to solve similar problems in the future. Chaotic Neutral just makes the most sense to me although when combined with other acts it could be either Chaotic Good or Lawful Neutral or if she keeps mutilating people's corpses even as far down as Chaotic or Neutral Evil.


This character could be an inquisitor at heart, but I am sorry to say that she is not Lawful Good or Neutral Good. A Lawful Good character is "acts as a good person is expected or required to act. She combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. She tells the truth, keeps her word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice." So while she opposed evil, she did not act as a good person normally would, going into that barracks completely unwilling to hear their case, killed defenseless officers of that realm's law in cold blood and then mutilated their bodies. Also, a Neutral Good character "does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them." Again, your character went in, not willing to help the situation at all except to deliver death to a lord's guard who were either minimally equipped or not equipped at all, and then desecrated their corpses, all of which is not something a character claiming your two alignments would do. To further illustrate why this character does not fit the mold of either alignment, did she cast discern lies, zone of truth, detect evil, detect thoughts or any similar spells to determine their guilt, or on the victim to ensure her story checked out? Obviously, the answer is no, as she broke the door down, gave them a false chance to tell their story while not listening at all, cut them all down indiscriminately in cold blood, and then defiled all of their corpses to set an "example".

Now let's focus on the alignments that could apply to your character:

CHAOTIC NEUTRAL: You follow only one set of rules: yours. You are free to do as you please without worrying if you are doing the right thing or not. As she was avenging a woman who was wronged, yet stepped outside the bounds of not only the law, but made it into a personal vendetta with mutilation, forgoing the tenets of honor and compassion in the process and then calling it "justice", your character best represents the freedom of Chaotic Neutral.

CHAOTIC GOOD: By taking up arms to avenge a wronged woman against the system that failed to protect her by becoming the problem, you might be able to claim Chaotic Good. You showed the traits of having a kind heart with a free spirit that is willing to fight the law. The biggest downfall to this claim is similar to the point of the Chaotic Neutral claim. However, the points of killing all of the guards indiscriminately like animals and then mutilating their corpses kind of defeats the "Good" portion, especially if your character continuously decides to continue crossing the line with indiscriminate killings in the name of "justice". However, if it is truly an isolated incident as you claim, maybe you can return to the light and truly save those who need it and punish only those who have truly earned it.

LAWFUL NEUTRAL: Your character has a near-infallible code of conduct that she holds dear. This is because law and order are what you hold dear and all are accountable to it, even yourself. Nothing is more important to you than your code, and you are willing to set aside all other ideals to see yours come to light. However, your code usually means that you are willing to cooperate with the law of the land as you wish to live in a world where all lives are governed in a way to promote order and stability. As your character has demonstrated that she is not only willing to step outside of the laws of the land by taking it into your own hands and defiling the offenders' corpses, but also slay those who are responsible for its guard instead of utilizing the law to get true justice, even if you have to go to the lord of the land themselves strongly suggests that her will is greater than any law, able to thumb her nose at it on a whim.

LAWFUL EVIL: Like Lawful Neutral, you have ideals and goals, but as Lawful Evil, it is very unlikely that heaven, hell or any other plane for that matter will be able to stop those who would see your plans ruined! You will do anything, hurt anyone, and cross any line to see your dream of a corruption free utopia...except become a part of that corruption. You will hold yourself above the fray, becoming an example to all of a pure life and use everything at your disposal to force others to see the errors of all ways except your own, as evidenced by your slaughter and mutilation of those guards who went against your will, unswayed by their feeble attempts to justify their wrongs to you. The only issue with you following this path is that the reason for you ridding the world of the corruption you see is to be the instrument that helps the innocent, not to rule them and tell them how to live their lives, you would be better suited for the flexibility of Chaotic Neutral or Chaotic Good.

I hope this helps you make your Inquisitor into the best one you can make her without holding her back with the wrong alignment and possibly deity now.


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This wasn't a Lawful Good act, but I still say she's in reasonable LG territory-- this is an atonement offense, not a falling offense, and that's mostly an issue of her treatment of their corpses.


Viktyr Korimir wrote:
This wasn't a Lawful Good act, but I still say she's in reasonable LG territory-- this is an atonement offense, not a falling offense, and that's mostly an issue of her treatment of their corpses.

Did she verify that either the guards or the victim were telling the truth with stuff like discern lies, detect evil, zone of truth or even a Sense Motive check (which is a paladin skill if i'm not mistaken)? No, she went in, weapon and extremist zeal at the ready and slaughtered them, then desecrated their corpses. Very few deities allow for the defilement of the dead, least of all the good ones that grant paladins OR lawful good/neutral good inquisitors their supernatural powers. So yeah, without knowing for sure, she is nothing more than a subpar fighter without her supernatural abilities for either class, but if she would have stuck with paladin, she would be powerless due to her putting a vendetta over the paladin's code of conduct as well as the deity or source of divine power that granted her the paladin's powers in the first place.


Aramus29 wrote:
The other reason? Pathfinder is a game based in these earlier times, where all one could do sometimes is take up arms for a cause. So Gnomersy, some things in Pathfinder cannot and should not be held to the same moral standards as today. Also, IT'S A GAME!!! People are going to ask these questions to try and figure out the deeper meanings and motives behind their character(s). If you cannot understand how this roleplaying experience is a way to safely be someone other than yourself and not necessarily their true beliefs, I think it would behoove you to find another hobby more suited to your mindset.

I sort of agree with and disagree with this as well. People keep talking about Pathfinder as being in "earlier times". This is not really true, there are some characteristics that reflect what parts of history were like, but over-all Pathfinder is completely within it is own fictional time frame. Magic, tangible divinity, dragons, there are WAY to many things that impact the setting that make "historic".

This leads into the part I agree with. It is a game. The whole point is to have fun, and enjoy yourself. There is not the need to micromanage everything so much, unless you are a GM and think there is a problem it really does not matter so much. It is nice to have a place to go and discuss these things and sort of find a lot of different views. In the end though, do what you think is right, and talk it over with your group and make sure everyone is happy.


Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
Geistlinger wrote:
Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:


That last action, where I kicked down the guards' door in the middle of the night, challenged them to explain themselves, killed them, and dumped the castrated bodies on the steps of the guard station as a warning, is beginning to make me think that the character I want to play is absolutely not a paladin.
If you are serious about this, I'd rule you Lawful Evil at best, more likely Neutral Evil.
See above post. They committed a brutal rape, then attempted to murder the victim to get away with it, and got away with it because of their status as guards. They deserved to be punished.

Where you strayed from LN to NE is when you mutilated the people you accused.


I love it how one act will instantly turn you from a mortal Archon wanna-be into a mortal Daemon wanna-be. These guys deserved it, there were no other options left and she did challenge them to explain themselves which leads me to assume that if they had tried to plead mercy, they might have received it. Then again, I personally wouldn't have shown mercy to those bastards, so I guess that makes me Lawful Evil.


After reading the first page, I'd have to say Lawful Neutral, with more leaning towards True Neutral.

Remember. Inquisitors are the shadowy enforcer branches of a church, where as Paladins are typically the militant arm. Inquisitors tend to be able to get away with things such as this, as by their faith they are given authority to be Judge, Jury, and if necessary, Executioner. In essence, they are Judge Dredd. But usually only against those that oppose her faith.

What deity/church does she serve?

Edit: Also, I completely understand the whole situation. I honestly cannot say I wouldn't have done the same thing myself IRL were I presented with such an event (and I had sufficient power/authority to do something about it). If they have violated something pertaining to your faith or church, it would be 'good', in that you are upholding your faith's tenets. If it was just pure vigilante-ism, then that would be more True Neutral, given the circumstances beforehand.

These people are forgetting that the ones killed were vile, evil excuses for meat sacs, it seems like. Usually that does not factor into alignment, but if it's an intelligent sentient then I'd say it does.

The Exchange

Just be LN judge Dredd style.


You mean a Hellknight? :D

Silver Crusade

Chubbs McGee wrote:

I always liked the Blackguard PrC in 3ed. If I was running a campaign, I'd probably convert that class to Pathfinder as well. It would be an option for a LE paladin-type.

In saying that, paladin=LG and antipaladin=CE!

Whoops! Posted this in the wrong thread! :(


Icyshadow wrote:
I love it how one act will instantly turn you from a mortal Archon wanna-be into a mortal Daemon wanna-be. These guys deserved it, there were no other options left and she did challenge them to explain themselves which leads me to assume that if they had tried to plead mercy, they might have received it. Then again, I personally wouldn't have shown mercy to those bastards, so I guess that makes me Lawful Evil.

Killing out of moral outrage I can see, but mutilating the bodies takes it a little more over the top.

One can be good and still kill when they have to. Mutilating, and or torture however falls into the evil category regardless of how much they deserve it.


Icyshadow wrote:
Tell that to the paladins of Sarenrae. They are still Lawful Good, even though they don't show mercy to villains who refuse to repent in an honest manner. They give them one or two chances. If the villains choose to ignore these chances, then they only got what they deserved. And judging from how these guards behaved, they wouldn't have gotten very far either way.

A Paladin of Sarenrae would not castrate or mutilate those they deem worthy of being killed either. When they exact a death penalty it would be quick and painless.

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