Village protector. What's her alignment?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Bandw2 wrote:

from what i read, he said most of her time is spent defending her village meaning the killing of nobles is by far a side project.

also, she's essentially killing people for ruining her life and others, as disrespecting the locals has been clarified as nobles abusing their status to get freebies on the backs of the commoners, or outright attacking commoners. extreme yes, but she believes the legal aspect of her society is corrupt and untrustworthy, and unable to punish nobles, as she was attacked legally.

I would argue that very few (any?) serial killers spend most of their time killing. Just because they have a day job, and even if they do it well and it is a fine thing to do that doesn't make them not evil. As another example, I don't really care if someone is a doctor who saves lives every day if he molests kids once a year. He is a bad person.

The abuses described are mostly fairly minor. Wrong yes, but not deserving of death. More importantly to me though, is that she is looking for a reason. I don't see any indication that she is killing nobles to help the people, but she is killing them because she really enjoys killing them and wants revenge for actions nobles (other nobles mostly) took against her.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Dave Justus wrote:


I would argue that very few (any?) serial killers spend most of their time killing. Just because they have a day job, and even if they do it well and it is a fine thing to do that doesn't make them not evil. As another example, I don't really care if someone is a doctor who saves lives every day if he molests kids once a year. He is a bad person.

The abuses described are mostly fairly minor. Wrong yes, but not deserving of death. More importantly to me though, is that she is looking for a reason. I don't see any indication that she is killing nobles to help the people, but she is killing them because she really enjoys killing them and wants revenge for actions nobles (other nobles mostly) took against her.

molesting a child and killing someone are two very different things. you can kill someone as a perfectly good action and not have it be an extremely weird circumstance. such as self defense or the defense of others. she isn't murdering them to kill them she's murdering them because they threaten the town and she "knows" nothing short of killing them will make them stop.

the Code that Dragon what ever's need to uphold is respecting those they are charged with defending and other such nonsense. so if they're breaking the code, it means they're doing something very wrong on a normal level not just for breaking the code.


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It almost seems like some people just see Chaotic Neutral as more inherently "evil" than Lawful Neutral. Probably tied to the whole "CN = insane murdering hobo" thing. But this character does not kill indiscriminately, she kills unfairly. The difference is enormous. It's the difference that makes her lawful. A ruleset can be totally unfair and still be lawful as long as it's consistent.

Anybody can have a code; a set of rules to follow. What matters is that this woman keeps to her rules even when they don't suit her. That's the difference between law and chaos/neutrality. Since she clearly despises all nobles and a good chunk of the Dragon Guard, and still only kills them when they mistreat her charges and break her town's rules (otherwise allowing them to live quite well, sometimes even off the townsfolk in the case of the Guards), I'd say it's pretty evident that this is the case.

I suppose one could make the case for True Neutral, but I think just like we assume the worst of Chaotic Neutral, True Neutral has this connotation as being generally pretty chill and workable. Neutral people can't be fanatics, supposedly, so we just exclude them.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

It almost seems like some people just see Chaotic Neutral as more inherently "evil" than Lawful Neutral. Probably tied to the whole "CN = insane murdering hobo" thing. But this character does not kill indiscriminately, she kills unfairly. The difference is enormous. It's the difference that makes her lawful. A ruleset can be totally unfair and still be lawful as long as it's consistent.

Anybody can have a code; a set of rules to follow. What matters is that this woman keeps to her rules even when they don't suit her. That's the difference between law and chaos/neutrality. Since she clearly despises all nobles and a good chunk of the Dragon Guard, and still only kills them when they mistreat her charges and break her town's rules, I'd say it's pretty evident that this is the case.

I suppose one could make the case for True Neutral, but I think just like we assume the worst of Chaotic Neutral, True Neutral has this connotation as being generally pretty chill and workable. Neutral people can't be fanatics, supposedly, so we just exclude them.

I call her chaotic with the specific reason that she kills with the intent to damage the entrenched elite.

otherwise the distinction is extreme lawful = stubborness and extreme chaos = bipolar.


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That's not the impression I get. I more get the impression that she works within the rules with a predisposition towards killing nobles. Which is, like, perfectly fitting with Lawful Evil (or Lawful Neutral with evil tendencies). Basically, she just cuts them way less slack.

Besides, hating the rich doesn't always produce Robin Hood, even though that's our first assumption. She has good, lawful reasons for hating the rich: They're getting away with breaking rules because of their wealth. They're an insult to the codes she upholds.

On a tangential note, was Robin really that chaotic? He was just loyal to the rightful king, wasn't he? I don't know why he's the poster child for Chaotic Good when he was probably really skirting the Chaotic/Neutral Good line. Then again, my source is the Disney version with the furries and the crying infantile lion.

Scarab Sages

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:


On a tangential note, was Robin really that chaotic? He was just loyal to the rightful king, wasn't he? I don't know why he's the poster child for Chaotic Good when he was probably really skirting the Chaotic/Neutral Good line. Then again, my source is the Disney version with the furries and the crying infantile lion.

The Costner version was LG. He was staging a rebellion against the illegitimate & tyrannical government of a usurper.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

That's not the impression I get. I more get the impression that she works within the rules with a predisposition towards killing nobles. Which is, like, perfectly fitting with Lawful Evil (or Lawful Neutral with evil tendencies). Basically, she just cuts them way less slack.

Besides, hating the rich doesn't always produce Robin Hood, even though that's our first assumption. She has good, lawful reasons for hating the rich: They're getting away with breaking rules because of their wealth. They're an insult to the codes she upholds.

On a tangential note, was Robin really that chaotic? He was just loyal to the rightful king, wasn't he? I don't know why he's the poster child for Chaotic Good when he was probably really skirting the Chaotic/Neutral Good line. Then again, my source is the Disney version with the furries and the crying infantile lion.

no she has good HONORABLE reasons to hate the nobles. she doesn't trust any of the lawful authorities to uphold themselves to their own code and thus takes things into her own hands, she opposes authority for being dishonorable, essentially she's opposing LE people, this has pushed her toward CHAOTIC mindset and behaviors.

on the tangent, chaotic good is doing good without any restrictions usually, which means people get hurt, doesn't matter though because the ends justify the means, the ends ultimately being better for the whole, the means being doing dastardly tactics and stealing and killing people. that's basically CG. though yeah, the illegitimate authority thing does make it a wash on the alignment scale, more neutral good, or lawful depending on his ultimate reasons for supporting the king(because he was good for people: good, because he was the legitimate king: lawful, both lawful good.).

it's why my description for chaotic is usually pirates from the Caribbean, who MOSTLY attacked Spanish galleons because a lot of people hated Spain at the time.


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Opposing law* does not make you chaotic. It really doesn't.

Also, Chaotic Good is just as against "ends justify the means" as Lawful Good or Neutral Good are, as that is more of a a moral stance than an ethical one. Doing evil to reach good is not okay for good people, no matter their ethical alignment.

Like I said. It seems like people tend to just assume chaotic people get away with eviller stuff.

*And whether her enemies truly are lawful is debatable, since they seem to be totally corrupt and thus follow no real codes themselves.


Bandw2:

If a Paladin of Iomedae enters a land run by a LE tyrant, and the Paladin opposes the authorities, does the Paladin fall for becoming chaotic?

"Lawful" doesn't mean "always respect authorities".


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Opposing law does not make you chaotic. Also, Chaotic Good is just as against "ends justify the means" as Lawful Good or Neutral Good are, since it is more of a a moral stance than an ethical one. Doing evil to reach good is not okay for good people, whether they be chaotic or lawful.

Like I said. It seems like people tend to just assume chaotic people get away with eviller stuff.

no specifically what i am saying is opposing the lawful ruler in an area for good is going to involve cracking some eggs if you lie in the extreme section and are rebelling. you can peacefully protest, but this wasn't feasible until nationalism rose and telephones or telegrams could connect people.

if lawful is following the establishment because it's the establishment. chaos is resisting the establishment because it's the establishment.

i prefer this over the rigidity of ones code because this basically changes it to lawful is to honor and chaos is to dishonor.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
kestral287 wrote:

Bandw2:

If a Paladin of Iomedae enters a land run by a LE tyrant, and the Paladin opposes the authorities, does the Paladin fall for becoming chaotic?

"Lawful" doesn't mean "always respect authorities".

he falls for not finding a legal way for a transition of power. if the tyrants try to kill him he has every right to defend himself. supporting or causing a rebellion is not lawful good nor is it generally what a paladin should be trying to do. (such as gathering noble support for the king abdicating his throne to his son)

if there is no legal system then he isn't truely a king, but a warlord(probably old viking style) and thus people are free to resist him(as they are not vassals but cities offering tribute) and establish a more lawful and good government.


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EDIT: Aw, poop. I get ninja'd by 12 posts (due to mine not actually submitting, despite hitting the button several times until I returned just now), and somehow we've turned this into a paladin thread. Nope. Noooooooooooooooope. Not gonna touch it. Not again.

Leaving my original post, though, 'cause it's still solidly on-topic.

There are lots and lots of great answers here, but I'm pretty firmly in the "lawful evil" camp, though she clearly started out as lawful or neutral good - and her slide is entirely understandable, if tragic.

She has people that she cares about above herself - the village - and she has a higher, "noble" (pardon the pun) goal, but she engages in malevolence and evil to get it done. The killings are not justified from what you've said, and when she doesn't murder someone in her "list" groups, she sees it as kindness and generosity on her parts - this is evil megalomania and self-delusion at its finest.

The key, here, is that she doesn't kill the nobles out of any form of actual righteousness, but of hatred: she doesn't care about the noble, for the noble is always innately evil and automatically guilty (in her mind).

This is a deep-seated prejudice, a form of bigotry, that drives murder, per the OPs' various statements.

Her code - her law - the things that permit her to not kill a noble seem to paint a shield by which her unbridled fury is carefully kept in check. She is simmering and has a deep-seated hatred-driven need to kill these "monsters" that took everything - everything! - from her, but she realizes that it would harm those she cares about (and ruin any chance to stop them) to simply kill them all. Thus she hides her hatred and tames her fury and murderous spirit behind a code. She lets it come out when the code is not adhered to.

She has - correctly or not - internalized and translated the fact that at least some (if not all) nobles use the Dragon Guard as a method of engaging in political maneuvering as "all nobles do this" and "all nobles who do this are evil" thereby giving her a blank check to "balance the scales" - but a check she only cashes when it won't harm those she's charged herself with protecting.

Again, all of this comes out of her idealistic mental image of what the Dragon Guard were supposed to be. They have ruined this image, blocked her ability to reform it into its "proper" form, disgraced her name and evicted her out, and then sent assassins. The Dragon Guard will never be what it once was. It's a logical conclusion: that "everyone" is complicit in the situation. It may even be (more or less) true. But neither of those permit that it automatically follows that "everyone" is evil.

Perhaps some nobles, misguided as they were, felt that her eviction would allow them greater political leeway to enact their own reforms to bring it back to standards (believing, rightly or not, that a commoner would never gain the political clout to accomplish their goals). Behind their back, however, others sent assassins for the various "insults" she'd levied at them.

Perhaps some nobles may have had a different view of what the Dragon Guard "used to be" and thus conflicted with her on that track, but not out of malice. She might even have been wrong from the beginning, having believed falsified stories, meaning her attempts to "reform" it as it was were, ultimately, impossible (instead it would be changing it into something it never was).

The thing is, she's now begun issuing blanket statements about people and uses that as justification for murder. This is evil. She has good goals, but has long since abandoned any semblance of balance within the pursuit thereof.

I might have the goal of eliminating sin (good goal!), but murdering everyone just to ensure it happens makes me exceedingly evil (see: qlippoths; also: Serenity).

That said, I believe she's still able to be "saved" as it were. Since her goals are good, and her heart wants to be righteous, giving her solid enough proof that she's strayed from that may well be enough to convince her that she needs to return to her own roots: that of idealism, though now tempered with wisdom to avoid being blindsided.

There may even come a point at which she feels like she's "finished" her work, and leaves off the murder to become only a protector.

It is far more likely, however, that she's going to draw unwanted attention, and eventually an investigation - or three - that are going to lead either to her death, or the death of the town. Either way, someone is going to use that to "prove" why "common rabble" should never be permitted into the Dragon Guard*, and she'll have forever sabotaged her own goals.

* This may, in fact, even be from "benevolence" instead of malice: "Look, see how she was mistreated and abused? She could not help but fall to evil! But that is simply the truth: we nobles, by virtue of our own nobility, would not have fallen into such a trap, and thus it must be that those without such solidity of purpose and heritage be never again allowed within these sacred ranks - for their own sake! It is up to we, those of glorious blood, to guard them from ourselves and from each other! Her sacrifice shall not be in vain... we will prevent any tragedy like hers from ever occurring again!" *cue thunderous applause and noble-only entry into the Dragon Guard* ... :/


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

A Lawful person who opposes a government that they don't like (whether they are lawful, neutral or evil) would be focused on the end game. They would be interesting in building a society that more closely matched their ethos. If they were good as well as lawful, they would also be looking at the cost to innocents, the likelihood of success and similar things before undertaking such a radical step (google Just War Theory for more info on this, the issue has been around for a long time.) Lawful people subscribe to the pottery barn rule.

A chaotic person on the other hand isn't much concerned with building something up. If they don't like a systems ethos, they simply focus on destroying it. If they are good, they most likely believe that given a chance, people will self organize into a more equitable system once the negative power block is removed (or at least that whatever happens will be better than what is now.) If they are evil they are probably either doing it just for fun, or because they believe the anarchy will suit them. In all cases the replacing of the power vacuum isn't a focus and they certainly don't feel that just because they break something they are responsible for what comes next.

Scarab Sages

Bandw2 wrote:
kestral287 wrote:

Bandw2:

If a Paladin of Iomedae enters a land run by a LE tyrant, and the Paladin opposes the authorities, does the Paladin fall for becoming chaotic?

"Lawful" doesn't mean "always respect authorities".

he falls for not finding a legal way for a transition of power. if the tyrants try to kill him he has every right to defend himself. supporting or causing a rebellion is not lawful good nor is it generally what a paladin should be trying to do. (such as gathering noble support for the king abdicating his throne to his son)

if there is no legal system then he isn't truely a king, but a warlord(probably old viking style) and thus people are free to resist him(as they are not vassals but cities offering tribute) and establish a more lawful and good government.

You really should read the paladin code sometime...

Code of Conduct wrote:

A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class features except proficiencies if she ever willingly commits an evil act.

Additionally, a paladin's code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.

A tyrant is not a legitimate authority.

Shadow Lodge

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Imbicatus wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:


On a tangential note, was Robin really that chaotic? He was just loyal to the rightful king, wasn't he? I don't know why he's the poster child for Chaotic Good when he was probably really skirting the Chaotic/Neutral Good line. Then again, my source is the Disney version with the furries and the crying infantile lion.
The Costner version was LG. He was staging a rebellion against the illegitimate & tyrannical government of a usurper.

My source is the Michael Pread 80s BBC version and that is very much CG vs LE.

It has something in common with the Russell Crowe version in that Robin's ties to King Richard are given a nod that latter Lawful bards overstate to make his memory more respectable.


LN with a bend towards LE.


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Champions of Corruption: Neutral Evil Narcissists:
Narcissists

Narcissists see meaning and beauty in the world—but only when they look in a mirror. For narcissists, the world truly does revolve around them:
whatever makes them unhappy is a tragic injustice, and whatever pleases them is theirs by divine right.

Narcissists can be genuinely bewildered—or homicidally enraged—by suggestions that anyone else's concerns take precedence over theirs. The narcissist differs from the lawful evil tyrant in that he has no particular need for power or authority, so long as all his whims are catered to without question. It's only when those whims are denied that the true, uncaring evil of the narcissist rears its bloody head.

If you are a narcissist, you:

-See everything in terms of its effect on you.
-Are surprised, shocked, or disgusted when the world or other people don't cater to your expectations.
-Are incapable of empathizing with others and can justify just about any horrific actions that serve your greater purpose.

Code: The universe knows what you want, so what does it expect when it doesn't it give it to you?

I'd call Neutral Evil Narcissist on this one. When things fall out of her personal view of how the world should be, she retaliates in an extreme and unjustified manner. She's not killing the Nobles and Dragon Guards for the betterment of the Village. She's doing it for the selfish reason that they failed to live up to her expectations of how they should act. She's not doing anything to actively change the behavior of the Nobility.


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That seems a bit overgeneralized. Everyone has "expectations" of how the world should be, and everyone tries to make the world the way they want it. People who don't are called Commoners.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Dave Justus wrote:

A Lawful person who opposes a government that they don't like (whether they are lawful, neutral or evil) would be focused on the end game. They would be interesting in building a society that more closely matched their ethos. If they were good as well as lawful, they would also be looking at the cost to innocents, the likelihood of success and similar things before undertaking such a radical step (google Just War Theory for more info on this, the issue has been around for a long time.) Lawful people subscribe to the pottery barn rule.

A chaotic person on the other hand isn't much concerned with building something up. If they don't like a systems ethos, they simply focus on destroying it. If they are good, they most likely believe that given a chance, people will self organize into a more equitable system once the negative power block is removed (or at least that whatever happens will be better than what is now.) If they are evil they are probably either doing it just for fun, or because they believe the anarchy will suit them. In all cases the replacing of the power vacuum isn't a focus and they certainly don't feel that just because they break something they are responsible for what comes next.

you're mixing chaos and chaos+evil

a chaotic person is focused on a governing body that reacts to the people and is willing to change and adapt to serve it's goal. chaotic people favor true democracies or at least a change to something closer to a democracy. Lawful people want the current government to not change.

once again chaos isn't chaotic stupid, they're capable of understanding that governments have reasons to exist and stop needless violence. they just think they need to change if needed, and support the whole of it's constituents not single individuals.

this is what gripes me, if that chaos while described this way, none of the actual people in-APs and through all the iterations of DND have this mindset. what's the difference between neutral evil and chaotic evil in most APs? nothing, except the CE guy is usually portrayed as more insane or simply more evil. likewise what's the difference between a CN character and a CE character?

in essence I haven't seen a single CE character actually show any aspects of chaos, and I feel this changes a lot of peoples views on what chaos is.

basically, chaos is more prone to rash action, but only because more lawful actions are less rash than chaotic ones.

so moving forward, let's answer these questions:
what is the difference between a CE extremist and a CN extremist ?
what is the difference between a NE extremist and a CE extremist ?


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Imbicatus wrote:
A tyrant is not a legitimate authority.

only to someone who values freedom (chaos) above order (Lawful). if he inherited the throne from his father being the first born son with a primogeniture inheritance, he is legitimate in all eyes of the law. All lawful citizens and/or vassals are honor bound to follow his orders in exchange for protection from bandits and marauders from neighboring kingdoms.

(this system pre-dates nationalism, people didn't call themselves french and think it made them friends with other french people, people swore fealty to lieges, and that was how the pecking order was decided, they had no concept of democracy or someone leading them to a better tomorrow/for the servants. the idea was people would do better if they helped their liege because the liege would pay for improving his own land. there also wasn't a very distinct caste system until late medieval and thus knights could be on the same grounds as commoners or only chosen from the highest nobility)


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
That seems a bit overgeneralized. Everyone has "expectations" of how the world should be, and everyone tries to make the world the way they want it. People who don't are called Commoners.

I agree, but i'd just call them apathetic, or possibly they just have to deal with their own problems before other people's.

but for instance I don't think people should kill each other for honor, does that mean I am evil for trying to stop a fight when two people are trying to prove themselves against each other? (how do i "justify" getting involved in a fight between two individuals?)

likewise, the OP's character seems justified in that most of her retaliations are against nobles abusing power, it might be an extreme punishment, but the character feels justified in their counter.

people like to put their modern notions of good and evil onto pathfinder when for the most part several of these notions are actually just favoring law versus freedom (a better name than chaos i think, which has negative connotations, while freedom at least has the slippery slope connotation)


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So we're back to "If the evil king orders all paladins to commit suicide, they will fall if they do not comply."

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
kestral287 wrote:
LazarX wrote:
kestral287 wrote:
LazarX wrote:

She thinks she's lawful and good in the same way that Victor Von Doom sees himself as a lawful hero to his people.

Both however, are strongly Chaotic Evil. Both apply a self-centered view of things, and neither even hesitates to kill for even minor infractions

In the Vampire scale though, the character you describe is even lower in Humanity rating than Doom himself.

I'd call Doom LE, not CE.
Why? Doom rules his country by HIS own standards. His plan for succession was to have his mind imprinted on and overwrite that of a young boy, his ward Kristoff. (didn't work out too well) The only laws he follows are the ones he writes. The only authority he respects, is his own, and he's pathological about having his authority rule unquestioned. And while he does operate under a code of behavior, it's a self-generated code. He's also pretty big on simply not listening to anyone else, including what was once a close friend. (that's the character flaw that literally blew up in his face.)

Because of that.

I mean, Iomedae also operates under a code, and it's self-generated. Is she LG or CG?

And yes, it is entirely in Doom's character to be compared to a god, for he is Doom.

But seriously... you mean to contend that the first Texas Ranger must be Chaotic because he follows a self-generated code, but the second Texas Ranger, following the exact same code, doing the exact same things for the exact same reasons, must be Lawful? That's silly.

You argue again from false premises.

1. Gods don't follow alignment out of choice because they have none, they can't be compared to free willed beings like mortals. Iomedae is not a lawful good amplified human, she's a diety who embodies the concept of Crusade, which in her case, is defined along lawful good lines. Presumably because of all that time she spent as a mortal member of the Knights of Ozem.

2. The Texas Rangers were started as a group, there is no "first Ranger", rather a group who formed along agreed hieararchal lines. So again, your argument has no validity here.

3. A person who goes totally by the standards of self description is indeed Chaotic, and by the means he employs, Doom is solidly in the Evil side of the table.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Chengar Qordath wrote:
So we're back to "If the evil king orders all paladins to commit suicide, they will fall if they do not comply."

no, the code is respect, not follow everything he says.

so yeah, starting a rebellion because you don't like his kingly practices isn't respecting, however, trying to move the throne to a legitimate heir is easily acceptable, and has happened before in history.

i really dislike it when people don't actually read my posts. I've made several distinctions of what is and is not legitimate authority and what is and is not respecting him/it/them.


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I have ignored, am ignoring, and intend to continue to ignore, anything about paladins.

Tacticslion wrote:

There are lots and lots of great answers here, but I'm pretty firmly in the "lawful evil" camp, though she clearly started out as lawful or neutral good - and her slide is entirely understandable, if tragic.

She has people that she cares about above herself - the village - and she has a higher, "noble" (pardon the pun) goal, but she engages in malevolence and evil to get it done. The killings are not justified from what you've said, and when she doesn't murder someone in her "list" groups, she sees it as kindness and generosity on her parts - this is evil megalomania and self-delusion at its finest.

Yeah. While I could see a maybe, stretch, to LN - as per my last post - I do still think LE is the best fit overall.

Also, I was waiting for you to appear. Good post :)

I also would repeat Kain's point. LE can definitely include understandable acts of evil. You can have sympathetic LE that has reasons for the bad things it does - maybe the most readily of all the evil alignments, since LE is so closely allied to the concepts of rationalization and justification.


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Bandw2 wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
So we're back to "If the evil king orders all monks to commit suicide, they will fall if they do not comply."

no, the code is respect, not follow everything he says.

so yeah, starting a rebellion because you don't like his kingly practices isn't respecting, however, trying to move the throne to a legitimate heir is easily acceptable, and has happened before in history.

So wait, disobeying his orders doesn't make you fall, but starting a revolution does? Uh-huh. Okay. It must be hard to play a monk in your campaign.

JOIN ME, MY FRIENDS. LET US PALADINIFY THE OVERPOWERED MONK. IT IS THE ONLY WAY TO RESTORE BALANCE.


CG or NG with a giood chunk of evil, but she has enough control over her anger to keep her from losing the good alignment. I'd choose between CG or NG based on how she supports herself, if she relies on the villagers for food and such she is NG while if she supports herself through the practice of a trade then she is CG.

If she killed nobles just for being nobles or dragon guards just for being dragon guards she would be evil, but as long as she is truthfully killing them for their behavior and not who they are, she hasn't gone so far over to evil that her alignment changes from good. If she gets to the point where there is no reasonable way for nobles and/or dragon guards to meet her standards of respectful behavior then she becomes evil. With this set-up I see no way for her to be neutral on the good-evil scale.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
So we're back to "If the evil king orders all monks to commit suicide, they will fall if they do not comply."

no, the code is respect, not follow everything he says.

so yeah, starting a rebellion because you don't like his kingly practices isn't respecting, however, trying to move the throne to a legitimate heir is easily acceptable, and has happened before in history.

So wait, disobeying his orders doesn't make you fall, but starting a revolution does? Uh-huh. Okay. It must be hard to play a monk in your campaign.

JOIN ME, MY FRIENDS. LET US PALADINIFY THE OVERPOWERED MONK. IT IS THE ONLY WAY TO RESTORE BALANCE.

1.) i use loyalty from unchained now, so much funner. (someone's thinking of making a paladin with first loyalty to something other than good)

2.) I used relative alignments, meaning paladins were almost always "good" unless they started doing freaky obvious s@&@.
3.) prior to that monks didn't have to be lawful, they're the only thing tying lawfulness to a code.
4.) no one actually ever wanted to be a paladin in my campaign but once, and he took the oath of vengeance, which cleared up most issues.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

back on point:

i've yet to actually have anyone actually explain to me what she did and why she is evil. murder in and of itself is not evil. killing a demon is a good act, killing a soldier in an opposing nation is a lawful act, killing a soldier as part of a rebellion is a chaotic act and killing random people for fun is an evil act(just examples not saying she falls under any i listed, just pointing out the premise "killing is evil" is flawed).


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
cnetarian wrote:


If she killed nobles just for being nobles or dragon guards just for being dragon guards she would be evil, but as long as she is truthfully killing them for their behavior and not who they are, she hasn't gone so far over to evil that her alignment changes from good.

basically this


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Bandw2 wrote:

you're mixing chaos and chaos+evil

a chaotic person is focused on a governing body that reacts to the people and is willing to change and adapt to serve it's goal. chaotic people favor true democracies or at least a change to something closer to a democracy. Lawful people want the current government to not change.

First off, you missed that I was talking the chaotic person didn't like the government's ethos. For chaotic good, this would most likely be an evil government.

Secondly, a democracy can be lawful or chaotic, just like any other government form. Indeed I suggest that a stable democracy must be at least neutral on the law-chaos access because without basic rights guarantees and trust that those guarantees will be stable, a democracy will fail.

Thirdly, Lawful isn't reactionary. While stability is a positive thing, that doesn't mean support for an unfair or capricious society, no matter how long it had been around would be a lawful trait.

Lastly, Chaos doesn't want a changing government. It wants a weak/limited government, where most things are left to the individual. A series of different governments that all had massive dictatorial powers and a police state would not make a chaotic person happy.


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Dave Justus wrote:
Indeed I suggest that a stable democracy must be at least neutral on the law-chaos access because without basic rights guarantees and trust that those guarantees will be stable, a democracy will fail.

that's chaotic, making a Bill of rights is not the same as making a Law.

Dave Justus wrote:


Thirdly, Lawful isn't reactionary. While stability is a positive thing, that doesn't mean support for an unfair or capricious society, no matter how long it had been around would be a lawful trait.

I specifically said earlier that lawful people in general support the current government, and don't want it to change. they don't want to remove democracy, they just don't want new laws created(well really different laws).

Dave Justus wrote:


Lastly, Chaos doesn't want a changing government. It wants a weak/limited government, where most things are left to the individual. A series of different governments that all had massive dictatorial powers and a police state would not make a chaotic person happy.

not necessarily but definitely more likely than not, i'm saying they want a government more towards democracy(in assuming if they were to try to create a government or change an existing one), but that doesn't mean they want to instantly flip from a autocratic Kingdom to pure anarchy.

basically in general lawful people don't want change in a government/strong/stable, chaotic people want a free-er government/to destroy a government/hamper a government.

Shadow Lodge

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The descriptions of law and chaos are hopelessly muddled so I don't think it's possible to reach a firm agreement, but my take:

The character kills nobles because she believes they have abandoned their traditional duties and social responsibilities and become corrupt. She spares those who honour their sworn duties. A chaotic character can have a code, but they will not have a code that is centered around duty, tradition, and social obligation. I could believe neutral on that axis if she's largely paying lip service to tradition or is chaotic in other ways, but this character doesn't look like an anarchist, she looks like a frustrated reformer.

Bandw2 wrote:

what is the difference between a CE extremist and a CN extremist ?

what is the difference between a NE extremist and a CE extremist?

The CN extremist avoids hurting people if there's other options. The CE person likes hurting others - it makes them feel powerful.

The NE extremist feels more comfortable with rules and hierarchies, can use them to their advantage, and is not motivated to challenge them for no gain. The CE extremist finds such structures uncomfortable and limiting and considers dismantling them to be an end in itself - though they don't have to do so mindlessly.

Bandw2 wrote:
likewise, the OP's character seems justified in that most of her retaliations are against nobles abusing power, it might be an extreme punishment, but the character feels justified in their counter.

Feeling justified and being justified are not the same thing. If you're playing with relative alignment that's peachy, but most of us aren't.

Gaberlunzie wrote:
Basically, if it wouldnt be evil to kill an orc for it it shouldnt be evil to kill a noble for it. If anything, the orc is more liely to act out of necessity and not arrogance than the noble.

That's where table variation comes in. At some tables, killing an orc for verbally threatening a peasant would be perfectly OK. At others killing a captured bandit is evil, even if the bandit has killed innocents and just tried to kill you. Determining the exact circumstances in which killing is justified is a very complex debate. The alignment of this character should suit the table's general position on this issue.


I have to say, having seen the various arguments put forth, without knowing the character I have to shift my vote from LN to LE.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
The Indescribable wrote:
I have to say, having seen the various arguments put forth, without knowing the character I have to shift my vote from LN to LE.

i'm still confused on this, what exactly about the character is "evil"

Evil wrote:
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.

when the character spends a large amount of time helping and protecting people... from oppression(and probably more normal threats).


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

for posterity, i'm quoting the entire alignment section.

Spoiler:
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 Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.

Evil 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.

Neutral 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.

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 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 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.

Neutral 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.


While I hold that she's neutral*, your quote includes this Bandw2:

Quote:
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.

Going further into the "neutral" section implies that the 'others' here are actually 'innocents'. It's very easy to see at least some of the nobles in question as, while certainly not saints, innocents. Sure, the noble shouldn't slap anyone around... but it's pretty hard to argue that doing that once merits an immediate death sentence.

Personally, I hold that she's neutral because she's effectively acting as LG for fifty-odd weeks of the year. It's the other two weeks, when a Guard or noble comes into town, that she shifts to acting LE. Hence, LN.

Grand Lodge

Lawful Neutral or Lawful Good. The lawful part is pretty easy. She is obviously following a code of conduct and places importance on tradition. She also attempted to change things in the system before getting screwed over.

I dont think she has slipped down far enough for evil. Her punishments are extream, but restrained and narrow. She limits her killing to dragonguard and nobles, and doesn't go after them until they have done something they should not. A strong case for neutral. however, I could see her as good, but teetering on the edge.

A lot of this comes down to the details. How does she act when nobles and knights aren't involved? How big or small an infraction does it take to get a death sentence. I would weigh those and decide on LN or LG.


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Disclaimer: Haven't read every response.

I'm leaning Lawful Neutral.

This person hasn't given up on the ideals that the Dragon Guard had, just realized that they could not live up to the hype so to speak. She continues the work that she once admired them for and as such keeps faith the the oaths she swore.

As to the murdertizing of nobles and Dragon Guard richards, precisely what else can she do? She is a criminal under the sentence of death, not like she can waltz up to the local magistrate or their superior officer (who may be just as corrupt as the people mistreating the locals) and lodge a formal complaint against their behavior. Further more she knows just how quickly things done by these guys can snowball out of control. Now if she shanks a noble for spitting on a peasant she probably is sliding towards evil quite quickly. But if they are using physical violence against the locals, I think she is justified in killing them having no real other options or avenues open to her other than maybe knocking em out and carrying them to the edge of the village with a note please don't do that again. Of course I argue that she has given these twits enough chances considering they know precisely where she is and haven't come for her ostensibly because she is badarse enough to hand them their rears. If she was truly EVIL with a capital E, she would realize hey I can and have clowned these guys on a regular basis why don't I just go end these fools once and for all and be done with it. Instead she hangs out in her village and says "On my home turf behave or lose a foot of height". Given the organization thats remarkably lenient.

Regards,
DRS


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
kestral287 wrote:

While I hold that she's neutral*, your quote includes this Bandw2:

Quote:
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.

Going further into the "neutral" section implies that the 'others' here are actually 'innocents'. It's very easy to see at least some of the nobles in question as, while certainly not saints, innocents. Sure, the noble shouldn't slap anyone around... but it's pretty hard to argue that doing that once merits an immediate death sentence.

Personally, I hold that she's neutral because she's effectively acting as LG for fifty-odd weeks of the year. It's the other two weeks, when a Guard or noble comes into town, that she shifts to acting LE. Hence, LN.

but she clearly has compassion for others, as she defend the town, and is killing people who have no "concern for the dignity of sentient beings"(from good). also, she kills targets that are specifically inconvenient.

I've yet to see evidence that she has other options, if they live, they'll just try to assassinate her again, or press more legal charges, the character literally has no other options when it comes with dealing with nobles. hence she is trying to uphold her town in the only way that won't endanger her or the town.

basically it's either this, or she has to completely give up on stopping the nobles.


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Ah. I see the difference in where we're coming from.

You're assuming she's only targeting the nobles who came after her-- and thus she's defending herself in the only real way she can. Under that assumption, yes, your position makes some sense.

My understanding is that this woman sees everyone with a title as a target. She might not kill them, if they hold up to her (rather arbitrary, it seems) standards, but she's instantly suspicious and seems to be waiting for them to slip up. Never mind if it's a guy who's having a bad day and slaps someone who insults him, he's getting killed. And sure-- a great many of her victims are a#~$%%*s, and it wouldn't be surprising to learn that many of them deserve it. But she strikes me as awfully quick to judge.

And yes, she does have compassion for the villagers-- which is what makes her LN in my mind.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
kestral287 wrote:

Ah. I see the difference in where we're coming from.

You're assuming she's only targeting the nobles who came after her-- and thus she's defending herself in the only real way she can. Under that assumption, yes, your position makes some sense.

My understanding is that this woman sees everyone with a title as a target. She might not kill them, if they hold up to her (rather arbitrary, it seems) standards, but she's instantly suspicious and seems to be waiting for them to slip up. Never mind if it's a guy who's having a bad day and slaps someone who insults him, he's getting killed. And sure-- a great many of her victims are a~+*~#@s, and it wouldn't be surprising to learn that many of them deserve it. But she strikes me as awfully quick to judge.

And yes, she does have compassion for the villagers-- which is what makes her LN in my mind.

no what you fail to realize is she WOULD be taking them down in less extreme methods, however, it's either kill them, get the town in trouble(by merely assaulting or threatening nobles, or trying to take legal routes) or surrender to the nobles. she won't do the second and the third option is apathetic.

I also say she's neutral, but not because she makes up for the bad with the good, I see her "good" as her upholding her chaotic motivations, basically belief that the civilians shouldn't be oppressed or under the heel of the nobles, and the Bad as her extreme methods of fulfilling that.

she obviously at this point prioritizes freedom and hates the inability to change the Dragon order. sure she has a code but the code has largely chaotic ideals(equality, respecting your charges) that. The original code got corrupted by seemingly Lawful evil individuals who believe in the stability of the Nobles and upper class often on the backs of peasants as it might seem.

seeing how ethically/morally opposed they are I find it hard pressed to think she could share evil or lawful with them. I could understand someone arguing TN as she has a wish for a LG Dragon whatsits, but currently she opposes them, due to their oppression they create and thus her behavior is that of a chaotic, trying to hamper the authorities.


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Bandw2 wrote:
Dave Justus wrote:
Indeed I suggest that a stable democracy must be at least neutral on the law-chaos access because without basic rights guarantees and trust that those guarantees will be stable, a democracy will fail.
that's chaotic, making a Bill of rights is not the same as making a Law.

Actually, the Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, the supreme law of the land, so yes, making a bill of rights is exactly the same as making a law.


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Bandw2 wrote:


no what you fail to realize is she WOULD be taking them down in less extreme methods, however, it's either kill them, get the town in trouble(by merely assaulting or threatening nobles, or trying to take legal routes) or surrender to the nobles. she won't do the second and the third option is apathetic.

Your argument seems to hinge on this claim, that it is basically either murder, failure, or surrender. Can you explain why there are no other possible options other than those three?

For instance, it seems to me that - just for a quite random example - one could react to a passing knight mouthing off to a shopkeeper by sneaking into his camp, two nights on down the road, and leaving fire ants in his bedroll.

Or by following him and knocking him out in his sleep once he's in a different area, then stealing his sword and knightly accoutrements, forcing him to return home in skivvies and disgrace.

Or... you get the picture. There's frankly tons of ways to mete out secretive vigilante justice that don't involve murdering people for being disrespectful.

I don't quite see why she actually CAN'T use less extreme punishments for such minor violations, and why they all have to result in someone getting stabbed in the eyes.

Well, other than, as the OP explained it, her immense hatred. I would suspect that's probably the real reason she isn't using any of a number of less extreme responses that she could be using.

Liberty's Edge

The black raven wrote:

She does not even try to reform the system and rejects the way things are in her own culture while actively upholding her personal vision of justice = Chaotic.

She seems intent on killing people for very small things (i.e., nobles "disrespecting" commoners) with no consideration of whether these people are actually guilty or innocent, or even if they actually intended any disrespect = Evil.

So, Chaotic Evil in my book :-)

Of course, if we were given more info about her usual behavior and some actual situations and how she dealt with them, my assessment could change.

Hmm, come to think of it, this could be a delicious background for an ex-Hellknight Paladin turning Anti-Paladin actually :-)

According to the situations described by the OP in his later posts, I can put her in the True Neutral corner : not Evil, as she does not really kill on a whim, but still too willing to kill nobles to be Good. Not as rebellious as I first thought, so Neutral there should fit. Definitely not Lawful though, as we are given zero example of her following orders. That could change if she was shown as obeying ranking members of the Dragon Guard who proved still faithful to the code.

BTW, trying to enter an organized military unit, being unhappy at how they treat you (and being disillusioned about their not-so-ideal behavior), being stubborn and quitting while considering them to be the true culprits is NOT a hallmark of a Lawful mind ;-)


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Bandw2 wrote:
no what you fail to realize is she WOULD be taking them down in less extreme methods, however, it's either kill them, get the town in trouble(by merely assaulting or threatening nobles, or trying to take legal routes) or surrender to the nobles. she won't do the second and the third option is apathetic.

There are so many more options than that, as Coriat expounds upon. But let's break it down by actual results:

1. If anyone actually cares about what's going on in the town, they're going to note that it's the hometown of that badass woman that was framed and disgraced, then beat off an assassination attempt, then was considered too difficult to apprehend to make a real trial worthwhile. The woman who now has a massive chip on her shoulder. And it's the town that seems to kill the majority of Dragon Guards and nobles who arrive there. Those dots are not hard to connect.

Killing someone of importance is really, really obvious. "I kill them so I don't endanger the town" really doesn't work in this situation.

2. Assaulting or threatening nobles is most definitely an option if killing them is. What are they going to do about it? Let's be honest, she's already got a death warrant on her head. So she gets another one. What's she care? They know she's alive, they know where she is (or where she's likely to be), they just explicitly don't care. And if they don't care about her stabbing people, they probably wouldn't care if she just grabbed the noble's wrist before he slapped somebody.

The only way that murder becomes easier to conceal than assault is if you can feasibly pass the whole thing off as "it didn't happen here". That requires a massive conspiracy on the part of the town (nobody is willing to say that yes, Scrooge McDuck was here three months back, but no, they didn't see him leave town), a feasible threat to blame it on (somewhat possible, but unlikely given that nobles tend to travel with armed retinues and there's an entire town thriving out here), and her having the proper state of mind to conceal things as such. That's a lot of assumptions that we don't have any justification for.

3. Legal routes depend entirely on the system. Clearly she's not hated in the town, or they would execute her (murder conviction and all of that). And since she's keeping these people alive, they probably like her. There's nothing stopping her from hauling a thief to the local sheriff.

Now-- he might not do anything. He might be more willing to let her stab the guy in secret than execute him openly. Or he might not do enough for her liking (probable, in all honesty, given her state of mind). But the idea that she can't use the law because she has a death warrant doesn't fly, because in this town at least, nobody cares about her warrant enough to do anything. Can she use it in the broader world? Probably not. Does that matter to a woman who has no reason to leave her town? Not in the least.


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The black raven wrote:
BTW, trying to enter an organized military unit, being unhappy at how they treat you (and being disillusioned about their not-so-ideal behavior), being stubborn and quitting while considering them to be the true culprits is NOT a hallmark of a Lawful mind ;-)

She didn't quit.

She lawfully joined, lawfully stayed and attempted to lawfully alter the system from within via 'proper means' until she was forced out under false accusations by others, and then returned to protect her village. And then she had assassins sent after her.

Hence, she never quit due to disillusionment, but was drummed out by unlawful means against her will (and then had some people attempt murder).

kestral287 wrote:
Let's be honest, she's already got a death warrant on her head. So she gets another one. What's she care?

This is one thing I'm curious about. I may have missed it in the OP's posts somewhere, but does she have an "official" death-warrant on her head, yet, or merely the (presumably illegal?) assassination attempts? It was my understanding that she was thrown out but not condemned to death... except by a few acting illegally.

That's the side that I see as less-than-super-lawful, and where I find her actions most questionable: if she is currently not already a wanted criminal with a death-penalty, than her actions are likely going to get her there, and cause many others to be hurt.

If, on the other hand, she was condemned to death "legally" (though unlawfully) by trumped up charges prior to her monstrous and murderous actions, than, yeah, I'd likely bump her a half-step or so up the alignment chart. She's not good, but she miiiiiiiiiiiiight squeak by with lawful neutral (maybe) if she truly feels she has no choice but to kill to live (and thus targets those she believes responsible for that state)... though I'd still tend to classify her as lawful evil.

Though if she's condemned after her actions, she's up the creek. She's certainly earned every bit of her death sentence since she was drummed out, though (even if she wants to be doing the "right" thing).


LN but more likely LE. It can be interesting for character developement if a Paladin smites on her head and she has a Heel Realization


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Lawful is driven by Discipline, Chaotic is driven by Pride. Both have both, but which one takes driver and which is riding shotgun? A Paladin or a Monk is driven by Discipline. They have their pride, but they will suppress that Pride when it conflicts with their sense of Discipline. A Chaotic type is driven by Pride. They have Discipline, but they will answer to their Pride first. Neutral means you aren't driven by one over the other; you'll follow either driving mentality equally. For the record, Discipline means "doing what should be done, even if you'd rather not," while Pride means "doing what you want to do, even if you shouldn't."

That's what drives your actions. The road you follow is Good vs Evil. Evil means the ends justify the means. Good means the means must justify the ends. Good ends by bad means are still Evil, in the mind of a Good person. Likewise, bad ends by good means aren't Evil. For the Neutral, means and ends are largely non-issues; they'll go for the readily available solution, agnostic to the morality of the means and ends.

So, in our Village Protector's mind, we need to think about the interaction of means and ends, as well as whether Discipline or Pride is primary. She clearly thinks that the ends justify the means; she isn't agnostic about the need for good morality at all. She is driven (by whichever driver) to achieve Good, even if it means being Bad to do so. Then, is the matter of what is driving; Pride or Discipline. She doesn't want to go against the Dragon Knights, but she feels it is her obligation and duty to oppose their actions on moral grounds. Discipline compels her to action, whether she wants to or not. By contrast, if she wanted to oppose the Knights primarily, that would be Chaotic, driven by Pride. That would be the character who thinks themselves the only remaining "True Dragon Knight". She doesn't think herself as the embodiment of the entire organization and the rest are just pretenders; she recognizes that the organization has become corrupt. She and the corrupted members are both just as much members of the same organization and she wants to purge and purify it.

The general concept could probably fit into any alignment, but how they go about doing it determines which alignment they can slot into.

LG: Driven by discipline over pride, and the means must justify the ends. Ideal Hero
NG: The means must justify the ends, but no predominant drive. Classical Anti-Hero
CG: Driven by pride over discipline, and the means must justify the ends. Byronic Hero

LN: Driven by discipline over pride, but means/ends agnostic. Unscupulous Hero
TN: Means/ends agnostic, and no predominant drive. Nominal Hero
CN: Driven by pride over discipline, but means/ends agnostic. Blood Knight

LE: Driven by discipline over pride, and the ends justify the means. Pragmatic Hero
NE: The ends justify the means, but no predominant drive. Nineties Anti-Hero
CE: Driven by pride over discipline, and the means justify the ends. Sociopathic Hero


Tacticslion wrote:
kestral287 wrote:
Let's be honest, she's already got a death warrant on her head. So she gets another one. What's she care?
This is one thing I'm curious about. I may have missed it in the OP's posts somewhere, but does she have an "official" death-warrant on her head, yet, or merely the (presumably illegal?) assassination attempts? It was my understanding that she was thrown out but not condemned to death... except by a few acting illegally.

Based on the OP, the process of getting rid of her went like this:

1. Frame her for Bad Things. Get her drummed out.
2. Sic the assassins on her.
3. She killed the assassins? Try her for their murder. This was in absentia, presumably because nobody wanted to join those assassins by trying to arrest her. So she's been legally convicted of murder, presumably with a death sentence attached.

Now, either #3 was a kangaroo court (probable) or this country has a seriously screwed up legal system, but either way the nobles decided to "let the matter rest". Going out on a bit of a limb, but there's probably a couple reasons for that:

1. She's proven capable and willing of killing people who attack her.
2. The base goal of "get rid of her" has been accomplished. She's no longer a political threat.
3. Bringing more attention to the above kangaroo court is probably politically unwise. Especially if she has any friends or allies in high places, though that seems... unlikely.

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