LG Stigma


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

51 to 98 of 98 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ckorik wrote:


People fight wars over these things. This is a game - perhaps a mechanic that is seen so differently by so many people (as evident in every alignment thread) is a bad mechanic. BTW your definition fits neutral good and chaotic good also, as some societies have no formal law.

Formal law is not necessary for lawful. Paladins have some ties to formal law ( by virtue of needing to respect legitimate authorities), and lawful good CAN mean following the law, but doesn't have to. Erastil isn't much for writin the rules down on paper but his adherence to an orderly structured society where everyone does their part and no one makes waves is a good example.

Arch-typical LE characters include Assassin guild members following orders from the guild/their master and lone Assassins that ALWAYS adhere to their contract for example. You can also get people that are lawful good with respect to their own culture that don't care for the laws of other countries (An Andoran in cheliax for example)

You said:

Quote:
That's describing a good person, not a lawful one. When the responsibility comes from society, then it's lawful good.

I'm saying responsibility that comes from society can be LE, CG, NE or any alignment - nothing about society means lawful or good - it totally depends on the host culture - and most cultures are at best neutral with slight bents one way or another.

Robin Hood wasn't LG - but he got his morals and code from society (who wanted a hero to save them) - totally anti-law.

Heck here in the U.S. we'd be calling George Washington a traitor and a lawless scoundrel had the British won the war - victors write the history - and they never paint themselves in a villan role. I do understand what you are saying - but (like almost every alignment thread) you make bold generalizations that don't hold up to someone elses viewpoint.

*That* is *my* point - that at any given table you will run into differences of opinion if you try to get too gritty about alignment - it's a tricky and touchy area of the rules that causes issues at the game table - and that's at it's best behavior.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ckorik wrote:
you make bold generalizations that don't hold up to someone elses viewpoint.

I really can't stop someone from being wrong if they want to mix up morals and ethics.


Discrimination against the Elf should be encouraged. Flaming pointy-ears, always trying to make out they're better than anyone else...

Actually, in the campaign world, Elves ARE better than the other races, effectively a +2 race. All have at least some spells, woodsman skills, a long list of lesser benefits and start with MW mithril weapons. The best way to become one is when you hit level 4, trade in your character and restart as an Elf. It's almost worth it, but I'd be a wizard 7 now instead of 9.


Set wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Formal law is not necessary for lawful.

Indeed. One thing that strikes me about a lot of fantasy assumptions is that 'barbarians' were non-lawful, while city-dwellers were more lawful. Historically, many 'barbarian' cultures were ruthless in enforcing their codes of behavior and taboos, while 'city folk' had sayings like 'caveat emptor' which just flat-out assumed that everybody around you was a lying thief.

The 'laws' may not have been written down, but the enforcement was often far less spotty and selective (and far more likely to include penalties ranging from shaming to exile to death) than it was for somebody living in Rome, who might commit a far greater offense, and pay a fine and walk away.

The 'savages' might well consider the 'civilized' people to be without honor, or, effectively, lawless, despite many fantasy settings seeming to embrace the opposite assumption, that gods of cities are lawful, and 'barbarians' have to be non-lawful.

This, at least in part, is because the original game had no Good/Evil. It was all Lawful/Chaotic. And they were also defined very differently. According to Wikipedia (I don't have the book handy):
Wikipedia wrote:
According to the early rulebook, lawful characters are driven to protect the interest of the group above the interest of the individual and would strive to be honest and to obey just and fair laws. Chaotic creatures and individuals embraced the individual above the group and viewed laws and honesty as unimportant. At that time, the rulebook specified that "chaotic behavior is usually the same as behavior that could be called 'evil'"

So cities were basically automatically Lawful (and therefore "good"). And I'll be quite frank, Barbarian tribes were probably made "Chaotic" just so there'd be available NPC opponents. Way too much of D&D's origins rely on "it looks different than you, kill it and take its stuff" being not only the expected behavior, but encouraged.

So there you go, barbarians are Chaotic because players needed humans to murder without consequences! Player characters are the real monsters, clearly.


Kaelan Ashenveil wrote:
I love playing lawful characters. Do what you do because it's your responsibility, and it's the right thing to do. People actively disliking that blows my mind.

Painting doing something because it's the right thing to do as solely the domain of lawful characters would be one of those things that is disliked about the people who espouse the idea that LG is best G.

Bwang wrote:
Discrimination against the Elf should be encouraged. Flaming pointy-ears, always trying to make out they're better than anyone else... Actually, in the campaign world, Elves ARE better than the other races, effectively a +2 race. All have at least some spells, woodsman skills, a long list of lesser benefits and start with MW mithril weapons. The best way to become one is when you hit level 4, trade in your character and restart as an Elf. It's almost worth it, but I'd be a wizard 7 now instead of 9.

Huh. Well, I'm glad that system is working out for your group, because that just screams red flags and potential for all kinds of things going wrong to me.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
KingGramJohnson wrote:

{. . .}

I, personally, have no problems with LG, I love playing LG characters. But when I do I don't like to play them like a stick in the mud. When I play a Paladin (which is often as it's my favorite class), I like to play a Paladin with a brain, I try to make him more complex, actually struggle with issues.
{. . .}

But . . . but . . . but . . . all those Paladin guides say Paladins should dump Intelligence . . . .

Dark Archive

UnArcaneElection wrote:
But . . . but . . . but . . . all those Paladin guides say Paladins should dump Intelligence . . . .

Eh, my last Paladin was a Paladin of Rao, the Greyhawk god of peace, reason and serenity, and he was a diplomat who spoke a bunch of languages, and had a decent Int (and a crap Dex). Not particularly optimized for combat, but that wasn't his thing.

I think I picked Rao because he was Superman's god, so I wasn't really going for sane, let alone optimized. :)


I feel like an inquisitor with the conversion inquisition makes a much better diplomat than a Paladin.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
I feel like an inquisitor with the conversion inquisition makes a much better diplomat than a Paladin.

the paladin diplomat is tankyer tho so your more likely to survive to get a chance to diplomasize over an inquisitor


1 person marked this as a favorite.
UnArcaneElection wrote:
KingGramJohnson wrote:

{. . .}

I, personally, have no problems with LG, I love playing LG characters. But when I do I don't like to play them like a stick in the mud. When I play a Paladin (which is often as it's my favorite class), I like to play a Paladin with a brain, I try to make him more complex, actually struggle with issues.
{. . .}

But . . . but . . . but . . . all those Paladin guides say Paladins should dump Intelligence . . . .

+1 for humor.

Though touching on the topic more seriously; in any game that involves activity beyond dungeon crawling, a paladin is usually well served by having a modicum of intelligence to boost their meagre 2 skill points per level. The class abilities are generally sufficiently (or excessively, some argue) powerful as to be able to whether a bit of broadening of the stats without hurting too much.

=============================

And in regard to the topic of alignment... I would argue its biggest problem is post-modernism.

Alignment is a very modern concept; That there is an objective system of evaluating values and behaviour that can be described based on two simple axis, Order-vs-Freedom and Altruism-vs-Selfishness. The Law vs Chaos argument translates fairly easily into a Conservative vs Liberal one, because much of the concepts behind the alignment map across pretty easily.

The issue is that the modernist era ("The Enlightenment") believed firmly that there was a single, logical truth and ultimate understanding that could be attained and that we were working towards. So the concept of a kind of universal alignment system that everyone could be mapped on is appealing and makes sense to people.

The post-modern thinking (starting around the 60's and increasingly in prevalence from there) is that there is no "one truth" and everything is subjective, and simply different narratives. So to those exposed or coached in post-modernist thinking, the concept of an "objective alignment system" is utterly bizarre and alien.

As someone who's very much a proponent of modernist thinking, I would argue that, although the alignment system is highly oversimplified, it does have value and isn't a bad idea to use as a guideline. But as with all rules that require some interpretation, when gaming with a new group it is always worth sitting down and gaining agreement on what alignment means to that group, and adjust accordingly... or find another group/GM if the opinions are irreconcilable. This goes triple if playing a class with an alignment restriction.

Also: There is no penalty in 3.X for changing alignments unless you have a class that specifically says so. Fighters can migrate all over the alignment chart without penalty, so if the GM insists on doing so, there is little harm in it really.


Honestly, I don't even think Conservative v Liberal really represents Lawful v Chaotic given that both those ideologies change over time and mean different things to different depending on where their from. For me Lawful is Authoritative which by no means has to mean fascist or totalitarianism but instead is believing that powerful authorities should exist to regulate people's lives. Pretty much every IRL nation on Earth would be some variation of Lawful.

Chaotic on the other hand is Libertarian in the sense that you think people should be able live without any powerful external authority or organization interfering in their lives and voluntary free association and collaboration should "run" society. Something like contract law, which RL Libertarians hold sacred, would probably be to Lawful for Chaotic alignments.

Yeah, postmodernists probably won't like the alignment system all that much but most them fold the moment someone asks them if that means they don't think rape or slavery is objectively evil, so I guess they may tolerate to some extent.


Its a weird alignment.... a bit like CN some people use it as an excuse to be a giant pain in the ass!!!


Nah, it just has a negative stigma that has strangely dominated our entire understanding of it now.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
you make bold generalizations that don't hold up to someone elses viewpoint.
I really can't stop someone from being wrong if they want to mix up morals and ethics.

Odd, morals and ethics are intertwined. Neither has anything to do with being lawful or not.

People can be ethically bankrupt and morally corrupt and still be a law abiding member of society.

Someone can be an ethically pure and morally golden person and still be a lawless cad.

Almost like those things have nothing to do with what we were talking about.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Ckorik wrote:

[

Odd, morals and ethics are intertwined.

No. They are not. The entire point of a 2 axis alignment grid , one for morals and one for ethics, shows that they can be seperated. Lawful evil is ethics without morals, chaotic good is morals without ethics.

Quote:
People can be ethically bankrupt and morally corrupt and still be a law abiding member of society.

You keep equating following the laws with lawful. That isn't a point of view, that's simply wrong. There is nothing in the description of the lawful alignment that requires you follow the encoded laws, and the existence of lawful evil types that wantonly break "the law" further demonstrates that it's not the case.

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.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ckorik wrote:

[

Odd, morals and ethics are intertwined.

No. They are not. The entire point of a 2 axis alignment grid , one for morals and one for ethics, shows that they can be seperated. Lawful evil is ethics without morals, chaotic good is morals without ethics.

Quote:
People can be ethically bankrupt and morally corrupt and still be a law abiding member of society.

You keep equating following the laws with lawful. That isn't a point of view, that's simply wrong. There is nothing in the description of the lawful alignment that requires you follow the encoded laws, and the existence of lawful evil types that wantonly break "the law" further demonstrates that it's not the case.

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.

No.

Ethics is not the law/chaos order of the spectrum. And I'm not the one that is equating lawful with laws - You did that here:

Quote:
That's describing a good person, not a lawful one. When the responsibility comes from society, then it's lawful good.

I've only pointed out that you are wrong. My examples were of society because your statement was about society. Your counter of stuff that had nothing to do with my point doesn't change that fact. I have no idea how you keep brushing that aside acting like I'm the one that is suggesting it - when in fact I've been arguing against that the entire time. That and the fact that lawful good has nothing to do with society. What does the CRB say about it?

Quote:

A lawful good character believes in honor. A code or faith that she has unshakable belief in likely guides her. She would rather die than betray that faith, and the most extreme followers of this alignment are willing (sometimes even happy) to become martyrs.

Looks like you can be lawful good without having any law - or society to answer to. Looks like lawful good can in fact follow their own code and still qualify.

Back to Ethics however, I'll say it again - Ethics isn't the law/chaos aspect of the alignment axis and they are morals. But don't trust me... let's look at the CRB - what does it say?

Quote:

Alignment is a curious creature; it summarizes the philosophy and morality of a person, and yet no two characters with the same alignment are exactly alike. Still, alignment says much about a character's soul and the way she interacts with others.

Are Ethics philosophy? Lets see what defines ethics.... EL GOOGLE - what is ethics?

Quote:


Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct.

Well.... ok perhaps I'm correct after all - I mean the definition of ethics is a branch of morals... I guess they might have to be... intertwined? I'm going to stick with what ethics are. Right and Wrong - not "lawful or not" - ethics (if anything) are much more about good vs evil than law and chaos - they are literally about doing the correct thing even if it might be against the law because it's a good thing to do.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ckorik wrote:

[

Odd, morals and ethics are intertwined.

No. They are not. The entire point of a 2 axis alignment grid , one for morals and one for ethics, shows that they can be seperated. Lawful evil is ethics without morals, chaotic good is morals without ethics.

Then what is Neutral?


Ckorik wrote:

No.

Ethics is not the law/chaos order of the spectrum.

Its most certainly is. Look at your own citation

Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct.[1]

Systematizing. Having a set of rules that everyone is supposed to follow. A opposed to just doing what you think is right (chaotic good) or just whatever the heck you want (chaotic evil)

Quote:
And I'm not the one that is equating lawful with laws - You did that here:

I did no such thing. Society has more norms and mores than it encodes in laws.

Quote:
That and the fact that lawful good has nothing to do with society. What does the CRB say about it?

Lawful characters tell the truth, keep their word, respect authority, honor tradition, and judge those who fall short of their duties

Authority and tradition come from society.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


Authority and tradition come from society.

They can - it isn't the only place they come from. CE society exists - in real life and in game - by definition your statement (being absolute as it is) is wrong.

This seems to be where you and I aren't communicating - but I want to be clear - I don't have a problem with that idea, I have a problem with how you state it - because that is hardly the only place you can draw from to get to 'lawful good'.

As to ethics - they define right and wrong, being a set of rules doesn't make them lawful or chaotic. Ethics do not exist without the concept of good and evil - they can exist completely without the construct of law and chaos, I don't agree with you at all on this point.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I hated Lawful Good in the 90s, when I was a teenager and comic books/action movies told me that the badass rebel was better than the straight-laced Boy Scout. It never occurred to me at the time that you could have a Lawful Good character who was also a badass rebel.

Overall, I think people probably see Lawful Good as restrictive or lacking the nuance that a neutral or chaotic alignment has. I don't really agree with that take, but I think it's a tough stigma to eliminate.


Ckorik wrote:


As to ethics - they define right and wrong, being a set of rules doesn't make them lawful or chaotic. Ethics do not exist without the concept of good and evil - they can exist completely without the construct of law and chaos, I don't agree with you at all on this point.

Ethics do not define right and wrong. Lawyers and doctors for example have sets of ethics that have nothing to do with morality. A lawyers ethical responsibility is to do what's in their clients best interests. Which may be vastly opposed to morality if their client is a mass murderer or something.

Thats what ethics is. You're trying to redefine the word, and even your own source shows the difference.


Charlie Brooks wrote:

I hated Lawful Good in the 90s, when I was a teenager and comic books/action movies told me that the badass rebel was better than the straight-laced Boy Scout. It never occurred to me at the time that you could have a Lawful Good character who was also a badass rebel.

Overall, I think people probably see Lawful Good as restrictive or lacking the nuance that a neutral or chaotic alignment has. I don't really agree with that take, but I think it's a tough stigma to eliminate.

The Glorious Reclamation in Hell's Vengeance is a great example of LG paladins being badass rebels against the establishment.


Huh. Well, I'm glad that system is working out for your group, because that just screams red flags and potential for all kinds of things going wrong to me.

The step back means the Elf players start at 2 levels behind everyone else, or less HP than my Wizard. The players are good on the RP front and neither is a real dynamic party pusher.

Just wondering, what issues do you see 'going wrong'?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I created a homebrew system, d20, but vastly different in a lot of the rules. Players all play paladin-like characters, with classes inside of that. So all players need to act according to a code, you can't play an evil character and you can't play someone outside of the order. It's quite a fun game, and thus far I've got nothing but praise for most elements of the game (my magic system being one of the exceptions, that needs some work).

Anyway, in that game I wanted a way for players to keep to the moral character the order held without introducing a D&D/Pathfinder style alignment system. So I added what could be described as a morality scale/ranking system/leveling system. Each member of the order had a rank, and in each rank there are flags, how many flags you have determines your rank in the order (and thus your level, I don't have overall level in the game). You could not achieve a higher rank without first gaining a certain number of flags. These flags are earned when a player does something over and beyond their call of duty, or as a reward for completing certain missions. However, they can lose flags for doing stupid things or things that go directly against the order's creeds.

I found this to function quite well, if players took things too far, they were demoted, and thus lost clout, respect, and a few other perks.
If they stepped out of line too much, they would be kicked out of the order, which means rolling up a new character. So it helped keep them in line. I was surprised it worked, honestly, I didn't expect it to.

Obviously, this is not something that can be adapted to Pathfinder, but it does show that a game can function without the standard alignment system.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yikes, character development depending on whether the GM thinks its good or not sounds awful. I'd prefer no alignment to something so binding. I mean 90 out of 100 alignment problems are at the paladins code in 3.x/PF.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


Ethics do not define right and wrong. Lawyers and doctors for example have sets of ethics that have nothing to do with morality.

You are slightly mistaken.

In layman's terms you have 'Risk' and 'Ethics'

Risk = Could something be done?

Ethics = Should something be done?

Yes right and wrong are arbitrary concepts. But then because of this they can still be applied within a given context.

Science and medicine is filled with ethical issues and these are loosely based around the idea of what is 'right' and what is 'wrong'.

Each industry has its own specific take on the nature of ethics within itself, and in each case this always comes down to the question 'Should this be done?' This is a follow on from that industry's own take on the nature of 'right' and 'wrong'. So in fact within a given industry, ethics do in essence define right and wrong.

That different industries have different ethical procedures doesn't change this fact.


doc roc wrote:


You are slightly mistaken.

You have done nothing to demonstrate that.

Quote:
That different industries have different ethical procedures doesn't change this fact.

Its not just that different industries have different procedures. Its that different industries have incredibly immoral ethics (as demonstrated with the example of a lawyers ethical obligation to get a mass murderer lose on the streets)


BigNorseWolf wrote:


You have done nothing to demonstrate that.

I have but you need personal objectivity to appreciate it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
doc roc wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


You have done nothing to demonstrate that.

I have but you need personal objectivity to appreciate it.

You've made no argument, cited no definitions, cited no authority, pointed out no problems either factual or logical with what I said, and risk is an entirely irrelevant tangent, provided no examples, and your only response is an ad hom citing me as a problem for your non argument.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ethics and morals relate to “right” and “wrong” conduct. While they are sometimes used interchangeably, they are different: ethics refer to rules provided by an external source, e.g., codes of conduct in workplaces or principles in religions. Morals refer to an individual’s own principles regarding right and wrong. Linky


Planpanther wrote:
Yikes, character development depending on whether the GM thinks its good or not sounds awful. I'd prefer no alignment to something so binding. I mean 90 out of 100 alignment problems are at the paladins code in 3.x/PF.

While a bit of hyperbole is fairly normal, that's taking things a bit too far.

In my experience, I'd say that the majority of alignment problems in D&D (all editions) comes from there being a difference between how people want to behave, and how they want other people to see them.

A significant minority then come from differences in opinion about what alignments constitute, which is heavily influenced by personal values.

If I had to throw numbers at the above, I'd say 70/25, with 5% for other idiosyncrasies.


Meh I think a lot of it comes from people wanting to use alignment to control other peoples characters.

and I'd say that people disagreeing on what the alignments mean is another big source, particularly the lawful doesn't mean always follow the law debate and the chaotic doesn't mean random debate.


Raynulf wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
Yikes, character development depending on whether the GM thinks its good or not sounds awful. I'd prefer no alignment to something so binding. I mean 90 out of 100 alignment problems are at the paladins code in 3.x/PF.

While a bit of hyperbole is fairly normal, that's taking things a bit too far.

In my experience, I'd say that the majority of alignment problems in D&D (all editions) comes from there being a difference between how people want to behave, and how they want other people to see them.

A significant minority then come from differences in opinion about what alignments constitute, which is heavily influenced by personal values.

If I had to throw numbers at the above, I'd say 70/25, with 5% for other idiosyncrasies.

I have to agree with Planpanther. The VAST majority of alignment issues I've seen have been paladins and DM's trying to make them fall. I find his numbers FAR closer to my experiences, so I don't see it as hyperbole in the slightest. In my experience, it's an issue of one person playing how they think is the alignment while another character/DM thinks it's a different alignment.

I have to say I can't remember an argument over "a difference between how people want to behave, and how they want other people to see them" and have always seen arguments over what alignment an action is. A person's perception of your actions don't make you fall: it's classifying an action evil that does that.


That's the thing: I've seen paladins fall, but usually as a result of magical alignment change (1st ed), or situations where the player themselves agreed they had gone too far. And that is inclusive of a number of extremely adversarial GMs.

My most common experience is that a player will want to bring something to the table they claim is one alignment, and continue to claim such regardless of how they act. Often this takes the form of trying to rationalise their actions. Such as why killing (human) children is actually in keeping with a LG alignment, because they're *foreign* children. Or why dissolving an entire settlement into gray goo is in keeping with a LG alignment because their crazy cult beliefs suggest that they are "saving them".

A lot of it comes in the form of a conflict between: Wanting to be seen and revered as a hero, wanting to maximise chances of victory at all costs and wanting to act without regard for consequences. Or to use fewer words: Prestige vs Victory vs Freedom/Power.

And the thing is... Charismatic players (not characters) often get away with it.

Edit: I should add; the GM is the arbiter of the rules. Including the alignment system. If their judgment/ruling is something you frequently cannot abide by,I'd suggest finding a different gm.


Raynulf wrote:
That's the thing: I've seen paladins fall, but usually as a result of magical alignment change (1st ed), or situations where the player themselves agreed they had gone too far. And that is inclusive of a number of extremely adversarial GMs.

I have NEVER seen a player agree they had gone to far and it's 20+ years since I've seen magic make one fall. It's almost 100% disagreements over what alignment an action is.

Raynulf wrote:
My most common experience is that a player will want to bring something to the table they claim is one alignment, and continue to claim such regardless of how they act. Often this takes the form of trying to rationalise their actions. Such as why killing (human) children is actually in keeping with a LG alignment, because they're *foreign* children. Or why dissolving an entire settlement into gray goo is in keeping with a LG alignment because their crazy cult beliefs suggest that they are "saving them".

It's rarely so clear cut as you try to make it. It's one evil act and you fall, with NO "continues". It's a player doing what he thinks is within their alignment and falling for not seeing things the same way as the DM.

Raynulf wrote:
A lot of it comes in the form of a conflict between: Wanting to be seen and revered as a hero, wanting to maximise chances of victory at all costs and wanting to act without regard for consequences. Or to use fewer words: Prestige vs Victory vs Freedom/Power.

I've NEVER see any of this. No conflict over a hero's pride but giving a catch 22 where no matter what's done, it's a fall. Does the paladin strike down the 8 year old serial killer that gave up or spare them even though they know the court will let them off because they are connected and they'll just start killing again.

Let the evil continue to kill!!! fall
Strike down someone that's given up!!! fall
This was an actual game situation I witnessed...

Raynulf wrote:
Edit: I should add; the GM is the arbiter of the rules. Including the alignment system. If their judgment/ruling is something you frequently cannot abide by,I'd suggest finding a different gm.

It's MUCH, MUCH easier to avoid games with paladin players than having to interview every new DM and find the ins and out of thier views on the LG alignment and trying to divine how they'd rule if a paladin is in the game... :P

PS: I play online and normally don't have the same DM twice. Getting to know the DM and how they rule alignment isn't an option normally.


graystone wrote:
It's rarely so clear cut as you try to make it. It's one evil act and you fall, with NO "continues". It's a player doing what he thinks is within their alignment and falling for not seeing things the same way as the DM.

I should point out: Those instances I mentioned weren't involving paladins, but did occur in games. Paladins don't create these issues, they just apply mechanical effects in the most dramatic fashion.

graystone wrote:
Raynulf wrote:
A lot of it comes in the form of a conflict between: Wanting to be seen and revered as a hero, wanting to maximise chances of victory at all costs and wanting to act without regard for consequences. Or to use fewer words: Prestige vs Victory vs Freedom/Power.
I've NEVER see any of this. No conflict over a hero's pride but giving a catch 22 where no matter what's done, it's a fall. <snip>

I think you missed my point. It's not the heroes pride that usually causes this, in my experience, but the player's. When a player does things like torturing people, advocating slavery or various other activities while claiming to be NG, it is not because they believe torture and slavery are good (or perhaps this is not a player you should associate with), but because they want their character be treat as if NG, but don't want to actually moderate their character's behaviour.

graystone wrote:


Does the paladin strike down the 8 year old serial killer that gave up or spare them even though they know the court will let them off because they are connected and they'll just start killing again.

Let the evil continue to kill!!! fall
Strike down someone that's given up!!! fall
This was an actual game situation I witnessed...

And this highlights the importance of talking. Not just for the paladin player and GM, but everyone else sharing the social activity with them. If something strikes as being BS - speak.

That kind of scenario simply would not fly with pretty much everyone I know, simply because no one would put up with it. As I've mentioned before; the GM is the final arbiter of the rules, but that does not make them some kind of tyrannical dictator; They still need to keep their players happy, or they will should find a new GM.

graystone wrote:
Raynulf wrote:
Edit: I should add; the GM is the arbiter of the rules....

It's MUCH, MUCH easier to avoid games with paladin players than having to interview every new DM and find the ins and out of thier views on the LG alignment and trying to divine how they'd rule if a paladin is in the game... :P

PS: I play online and normally don't have the same DM twice. Getting to know the DM and how they rule alignment isn't an option normally.

And therein lies a key difference.

I find text-based communication... limited and prone to imagined slights and outbursts that fade in the stark light of facing another human being in reality. It's why I maintain the principle at work of always talking in person by first preference, by skype or phone as a fallback, and by email as a last resort.

Additionally, learning who the members of the group are is... rather important. Both as a player and a GM. Playing blind with different GMs each time is a radically different hobby to playing at a table with friends who know each other reasonably well. Which may explain our radically different experiences.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

So I've seen basically all sides of this.

I have absolutely seen a player who knew they were going too far and accepted their fall. Two actually. One was intentional and planned well in advance (they wanted to go villain and switched to Antipaladin). The other (as far as I can tell) thought the party was getting out of hand and decided to join in, lose their powers, and slowly work their way back up to Good to set an example for the rest.

I have also seen a GM who tried to make the Paladin, Cleric, and Druid fall. He felt that unless their codes were tested constantly than they were just getting power for free. It was... an experience. Not one I'd care to repeat. The alignment issues were 100% secondary though. Any excuse to make them fall would be used. He was also responsible for the only attempt at magical alignment change I've ever seen, with the Helm of Opposite Alignment and the most transparent attempt to force it on the Paladin ever.

Every alignment issue I've ever seen boils down to one of two things: two people had different ideas of what that alignment means (look at literally any alignment thread) or someone wanted to do something that was locked behind some alignment they didn't want to be. The first one is either fixable (if they can come to an agreement or just don't care) or not (if they can't). The real issue with it tends to be players trying to enforce their view of alignment on other players, which is where the GM should be stepping in. If the GM is one of the people involved, well, then they're basically going to be right (unless the rest of the group disagrees and the GM acquiesces). It's just a matter of actually talking about it and reaching a conclusion though. The second one is... complicated. There's an easy fix to most of it, ditch alignment. But you have to scrub really hard to get it out and it still doesn't change people who want to be the hero while still being racist misogynistic mass murderers. Personally, I've generally found I just don't want to game with those people. That's my recommendation to "fix" that problem.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bob Bob Bob wrote:
I have also seen a GM who tried to make the Paladin, Cleric, and Druid fall. He felt that unless their codes were tested constantly than they were just getting power for free. It was... an experience. Not one I'd care to repeat. The alignment issues were 100% secondary though. Any excuse to make them fall would be used. He was also responsible for the only attempt at magical alignment change I've ever seen, with the Helm of Opposite Alignment and the most transparent attempt to force it on the Paladin ever.

Ah, the other side of the 'bad disruptive antagonistic player is bad' coin, the 'bad disruptive antagonistic GM is bad' scenario.

I've literally heard a GM say, 'I don't bother to come up with an adventure, I just wait for the party to turn on each other.' Ugh.


Bob Bob Bob wrote:

So I've seen basically all sides of this.

...

Every alignment issue I've ever seen boils down to one of two things: two people had different ideas of what that alignment means (look at literally any alignment thread) or someone wanted to do something that was locked behind some alignment they didn't want to be...

Isn't that 3 issues right there in your post?;

Bob Bob Bob wrote:


I have also seen a GM who tried to make the Paladin, Cleric, and Druid fall. He felt that unless their codes were tested constantly than they were just getting power for free...

^Is still an alignment issue, as terrible a conclusion as "test or it's free" is... it's a logical conclusion for someone to get to... however if you then think about it further it isn't a great one.


I think alot of why people are against LG is because it's the noob go to as well cos it's THE Hero archetype, they end up playing it as Lawful Stupid not knowing any better and that stigma has stuck to the alignment.


What I don't get is that while there is the general "stick up the butt, bossy and controlling" stereotype with Lawful Good, it somehow fails to be applied to Lawful Evil characters as well.

It's always puzzled me that LE is often presented on messageboards as "reasonable, teamwork-capable person" when a LE character is exactly as lawful as the LG individual people think will be unreasonable and bossy with the added "bonus" of having few to no redeeming features as a person.

Dark Archive

Here is an example about why that comes about.

Here is timmy. He is eager to learn the game and is only 12. Timmy likes superman and wants to be just like him.

Timmy plays as LG. If someone is doing something timmy thinks is bad they are the bad guy since timmy is the hero. They are bad.

LG generalizes conflict to the good evil side of the spectrum. They assume those who oppose them are doing something wrong. It is the classic goody two shoes alignment and younger players gravitate towards it.

LE is a driven power hungry and selfish individual who strives for success in ordered systems. Whether this is tribal customs or corporate etiquette doesn't matter. While LG assumes it is right and if you coflict you can't compormise, LE can compromise. They will be reasonable and persuading. They don't have conviction in their beliefs so they are a whole lot easier to sway.

Ultimately the difference is between a preacher and a politician. The politician is easier to work with then the preacher.


Planpanther wrote:
Yikes, character development depending on whether the GM thinks its good or not sounds awful. I'd prefer no alignment to something so binding. I mean 90 out of 100 alignment problems are at the paladins code in 3.x/PF.

Yeah, it's always annoying when a part of the game boils down or devolves into "Your GM's personal beliefs and what you can persuade or browbeat them into."

Set wrote:

Eh, my last Paladin was a Paladin of Rao, the Greyhawk god of peace, reason and serenity, and he was a diplomat who spoke a bunch of languages, and had a decent Int (and a crap Dex). Not particularly optimized for combat, but that wasn't his thing.

I think I picked Rao because he was Superman's god, so I wasn't really going for sane, let alone optimized. :)

Wait, Superman's god?


You dont lose your class abilities when LE and do something good. Paladin rears its ugly head again. LG characters of any other class aint no big deal in comparison.


Halek wrote:

Here is an example about why that comes about.

Here is timmy. He is eager to learn the game and is only 12. Timmy likes superman and wants to be just like him.

Timmy plays as LG. If someone is doing something timmy thinks is bad they are the bad guy since timmy is the hero. They are bad.

LG generalizes conflict to the good evil side of the spectrum. They assume those who oppose them are doing something wrong. It is the classic goody two shoes alignment and younger players gravitate towards it.

LE is a driven power hungry and selfish individual who strives for success in ordered systems. Whether this is tribal customs or corporate etiquette doesn't matter. While LG assumes it is right and if you coflict you can't compormise, LE can compromise. They will be reasonable and persuading. They don't have conviction in their beliefs so they are a whole lot easier to sway.

Ultimately the difference is between a preacher and a politician. The politician is easier to work with then the preacher.

This is, once again an extremely reductive reading of LG and an incredibly generous reading of LE.

No, LE can't compromise on whatever gets it more success. If it did, it would be NEUTRAL evil because rigidity of thinking is a function of Law, not Good. LE is lawful and is just as disinclined to compromise if not more so than LG; if it is against the rules LE enforces or benefits from, LE will not only refuse to do it but see anyone doing it as a threat that needs to be eliminated. A LG character would be inclined to try and convince someone of doing things their way because they know good people do not resort to violence to get their views across. LE has no such moral qualms; do things my way OR ELSE is very much its modus operandi.


Its reductive of LG but not particularly generous of LE and he's reductive of LG because he is talking about the particular version of LG thats problematic, not LG as a whole. He is not saying LG is exclusively problematic.

Rigidity of thinking is not a function of law, working out ways to win within the law is called being a spin doctor and it requires creative thinking.
Its not the L bit of LG that is uncompromising in the example he posted its the G bit. LE can do good things if they're convenient to do, LG cannot do Evil things if they're the most convenient that is what it boils down to.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

Its reductive of LG but not particularly generous of LE and he's reductive of LG because he is talking about the particular version of LG thats problematic, not LG as a whole. He is not saying LG is exclusively problematic.

Rigidity of thinking is not a function of law, working out ways to win within the law is called being a spin doctor and it requires creative thinking.
Its not the L bit of LG that is uncompromising in the example he posted its the G bit. LE can do good things if they're convenient to do, LG cannot do Evil things if they're the most convenient that is what it boils down to.

On the flipside, however, LG characters can do Chaotic things if it serves the greater good, since many valid versions of LG will place morality over the law of the land. LE characters will not do Chaotic things to achieve their ends because their way of life depends on everyone else following the rules so they can exploit them.

Being non-neutral specifically means that there are things you are not open to doing even in the name of expedience. Lawful Good is disinclined to do things that are against the law and dead set against doing things that are morally wrong. Lawful Evil is disinclined to do anything that does not benefit the LE character first and foremost and dead set against doing things that jeopardize the rules they exploit for power.

And while LG does have that particular version people know about people tend to forget about that particular kind of LE player who thinks he's soooooooo clever when he sells the entire party up the river because they're so focused on the evil characters that just try to attack the party outright.


M1k31 wrote:

{. . .}

Bob Bob Bob wrote:


I have also seen a GM who tried to make the Paladin, Cleric, and Druid fall. He felt that unless their codes were tested constantly than they were just getting power for free...
^Is still an alignment issue, as terrible a conclusion as "test or it's free" is... it's a logical conclusion for someone to get to... however if you then think about it further it isn't a great one.

It gets worse. Here is a thread about a GM who tried to have a Fighter fall.

51 to 98 of 98 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / LG Stigma All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.