LG Stigma


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Can someone please explain to me why everyone seems so against Lawful Good as an alignment?? I genuinely don't understand it, unless you're playing an evil campaign. Lawful Good is the "traditional hero" alignment, and- case in point- these heroes have HAD CG/ CN allies in video games and narratives and it wasn't alliance breaking.

Alex Noa was able to operate just fine with a chauvinistic bandit (Kyle) in Lunar.

Ratchet and Clank don't want to kill each other.

The Gaang from Avatar have wildly different alignments, and they work fine together, minus a few spats.


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I blame the 80s.

Making it the default hero alignment, in that if you diverted from it you were doing something wrong, set it up to be lampooned and shown by circumstance to be wrong, the exact same way that doing anything chaotic was shown to be wrong for 20 years.

Do the right thing even though it's illegal? NO! You should have done it the legal way and now that bum you stole bread for will get sick and die from bread poisoning.

The complainer is always wrong. Not going along with the group? You're wrong. Even when you and the group switch positions. Still wrong.


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Kaelan Ashenveil wrote:
Can someone please explain to me why everyone seems so against Lawful Good as an alignment??

I blame paladins. Some Dm take a perverse joy in putting that class into catch 22 situations to make them fall. This also bleeds over into any other class that needs a LG alignment. Other alignments are usually given more leeway in their actions so people have naturally gravitated towards them. It's easier to write N on your sheet and act LG than it is to write LG on your sheet and stay that alignment...


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i blame the alignment system as a whole i also blame classes that have built in codes of conducts.


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I think it's because Paladins have the most restrictive code of conduct, so anybody looking to be the biggest stick in the mud possible (this may be subconscious) gravitates to that class and hence LG.

But I have never personally found LG to be problematic in practice. It's definitely a lot less of a problem than CN, NE, or CE.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
But I have never personally found LG to be problematic in practice. It's definitely a lot less of a problem than CN, NE, or CE.

This.

Seriously, when I clicked on this thread, I was like "wait, what?" I've never heard anyone say that LG is a problem alignment.

Now, for me, I can't stand CG and especially CN players. I will take LE any day of the week over CN or CG. Lawful Evil can play ball with a party - I have had more gods damned Chaotic Neutral characters derail games, wreck social encounters, or just be straight up stupid for the sake of it than any other alignment.

And CG can be just as bad, particularly the players who think that "Kender" means "talk and act like a cartoon character and steal from the party like an a&#*@@$".

Of course, that's more a problem with the player than the alignment itself. However, I have known players who refuse to play anything but Chaotic because they want to "be wacky".

I could tell some examples of CG played well, but that's kinda sliding off topic. I mean moreso.

Anyway, yeah, LG is a great alignment - one of my favorites. The main thing is to not over do it.

EDITED
You know what, never mind the story. I'll just get to the point.

To me, LG is just being really nice and protecting people.

Steve Rogers aka Captain America in the Marvel movies is LG.

Super Girl in the TV show of the same name is LG.

I think a lot of the ant-LG stuff comes from characters like Sturm from Dragonlance, but Sturm was supposed to be a flawed Paladin, not the archetype to look up to. I think a lot of people tried to play Sturm without realizing that he was a critique of LG played badly.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I think it's because Paladins have the most restrictive code of conduct, so anybody looking to be the biggest stick in the mud possible (this may be subconscious) gravitates to that class and hence LG.

But I have never personally found LG to be problematic in practice. It's definitely a lot less of a problem than CN, NE, or CE.

It's a problem because players end up playing the alignment rather than the character... because of the tied in mechanics. This then makes the character generated less of a unique character and more of a LG stick in the mud the same as the last...


Zelgadas Greyward wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
But I have never personally found LG to be problematic in practice. It's definitely a lot less of a problem than CN, NE, or CE.

This.

Seriously, when I clicked on this thread, I was like "wait, what?" I've never heard anyone say that LG is a problem alignment.

Now, for me, I can't stand CG and especially CN players. I will take LE any day of the week over CN or CG. Lawful Evil can play ball with a party - I have had more gods damned Chaotic Neutral characters derail games, wreck social encounters, or just be straight up stupid for the sake of it than any other alignment.

And CG can be just as bad, particularly the players who think that "Kender" means "talk and act like a cartoon character and steal from the party like an a$!~+&$".

Of course, that's more a problem with the player than the alignment itself. However, I have known players who refuse to play anything but Chaotic because they want to "be wacky".

I could tell some examples of CG played well, but that's kinda sliding off topic. I mean moreso.

Anyway, yeah, LG is a great alignment - one of my favorites. The main thing is to not over do it.

EDITED
You know what, never mind the story. I'll just get to the point.

To me, LG is just being really nice and protecting people.

Steve Rogers aka Captain America in the Marvel movies is LG.

Super Girl in the TV show of the same name is LG.

I think a lot of the ant-LG stuff comes from characters like Sturm from Dragonlance, but Sturm was supposed to be a flawed Paladin, not the archetype to look up to. I think a lot of people tried to play Sturm without realizing that he was a critique of LG played badly.

steve rogers is more neutral good than lawful good in the movies and in the comics hes been between lawful good and neutral evil so hes not really the best character to base anything on and although i haven't seen the super girl show her character in comics (at least in the beginning) was more of a chaotic good


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Lady-J wrote:
steve rogers is more neutral good than lawful good in the movies

I think you will find that any time people discuss the D&D alignment of a well known fictional character, you are unlikely to achieve consensus because people conceive of these alignments very differently.

(I would say Steve is very much an LG hero, but what this sort of discussion showcases is how simplistic the 3x3 alignment system is, anyway.)


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PossibleCabbage wrote:


(I would say Steve is very much an LG hero, but what this sort of discussion showcases is how simplistic the 3x3 alignment system is, anyway.)

It doesn't help that the character is breaking their character "just this one time because its serious" every other issue


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
steve rogers is more neutral good than lawful good in the movies

I think you will find that any time people discuss the D&D alignment of a well known fictional character, you are unlikely to achieve consensus because people conceive of these alignments very differently.

(I would say Steve is very much an LG hero, but what this sort of discussion showcases is how simplistic the 3x3 alignment system is, anyway.)

spoiler for steve rogers click only if you don't mind spoilers:
he is the leader of hydra now and is very much neutral evil leaning in some degrees to lawful evil

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BigNorseWolf wrote:

It doesn't help that the character is breaking their character "just this one time because its serious" every other issue

But also the whole "taking down a tyrant because you believe that the law (as a means to achieve justice) is too important to be allowed to be abused" is a classic Paladin story.

(And I'm ignoring the current arc in the comics because the person writing it is himself a horrible person who has no business writing that book.)


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I think you will find that any time people discuss the D&D alignment of a well known fictional character, you are unlikely to achieve consensus because people conceive of these alignments very differently.

This is the main issue I have alignment based powers. One person plays what they think is LG and another disagrees. it's normally fine except when it's the difference between having class abilities or not...

With LG/CE at the extremes, it's easier to have a disagreement on how it should be played: It's a reason I avoid them.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I think it's because Paladins have the most restrictive code of conduct, so anybody looking to be the biggest stick in the mud possible (this may be subconscious) gravitates to that class and hence LG.

I see it the other way. 'stick in the mud' is the result of trying to avoid losing your abilities, as you're NEVER sure when someone is going to disagree on what alignment your actions are. 'stick in the mud' is the safest way to play.

In my own experience, other than LG/CE, most alignments are fine. If there is an issue, it's most likely with the player, not what alignment is on the sheet. Chaotic doesn't mean wacky, crazy or 'kender' so anyone playing them that way is the problem. Someone lawful could be wacjy, crazy, insane, ect...


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graystone wrote:
Someone lawful could be wacjy, crazy, insane, ect...

I mean, I generally play Paladins as lighthearted bordering on comedy characters. My current non D&D models for the class are more or less Carrot Ironfoundersson, (post-"52") Booster Gold, and Cactoid Jim...


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I blame people. People want attention, like a puppy who pees on the carpet.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
But I have never personally found LG to be problematic in practice.

Obviously you haven't seen our refrigerator.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think it's the fact that so many people have either direct experience with or knowledge of unjust laws- it's the same reason marching in a protest feels better than calling your congressman's office day after day after day. The person sticking it to "the man" appears more heroic, while the guy who tries to work within the system for the greater good is perceived as being less so.

Never mind that a lawful good character's lawful alignment can simply mean they honor their word when given, prefer an orderly society (psst- most people do), and distrust those who seek instability for its own sake.

Dark Archive

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All of the things said here, and also a decent helping of "My character is Lawful Good and therefore we have to do things THIS WAY ONLY" players railroading the rest of the group.

I.E. people playing LG badly.

I think the adage on the old WotC board was something like '90% of Paladins aren't Lawful Good, they're Lawful Stupid.' and often responded with 'And the other 10% are worse'.

Mostly it's bad Paladin fallout, both player and DM.
As mentioned, all the bad pseudo Catch 22's.
Oh, you're in the evil kingdom and they're gonna blood sacrifice an innocent child, but it's the LAW. So if you interfere, you stop being lawful and fall, but if you DON'T interfere, you stop being GOOD and you fall, because really bad interpretations of what Lawful means.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm more the neutral/chaotic good guy but I have never found any problems with Lawful Good as alignment. Pesonally I've much more problems with CN, because that tend to be the alignment for those people who try to sneak a character by me that is actually more evil than neutral.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
(And I'm ignoring the current arc in the comics because the person writing it is himself a horrible person who has no business writing that book.)

Well, apart from some thinly veiled attempts of a smear campaign against him for saying the truth no one wants to hear, I have yet to see anything that might lend credence to this claim. Though I have seen a lot of people outing themselves as horrible persons they are just because they don't like what he does with Cap America.

Dark Archive

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Well there is also a big helping of people playing LG as lawful stupid that give rise to the stigma.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Though I have much more often seen this claim made than experienced it at the game table. What I have seen more often than not, is that people wanted to play a Paladin (class) without actually to behave like one (character). Which is why I allow for Non-LG paladin variants (And as I really like to play non-evil assassins, I understand the sentiment behind it)


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I blame the Kender. The game designers were thinking "The Paladin is great and all, but it just doesn't ruin enough games," so voila, Kender. And then the Paladins were all "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED."


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For CN-ish players who want to be able to just do whatever they feel like ("This NPC is boring, let's rob him!") LG is the top alignment for restricting their brand of fun.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The main issue with the alignment argument is that fact that no person in real life is purely one alignment. They're more of an array of alignments that they fluctuate between throughout their life; people are more complex than that. But in a game, though our characters (or at least well thought out characters), are just as complex, but the system only allows for one alignment (unless you're a Vigilante, then you can be two).

So, here we have complex people, playing complex character but need to confine it to a single note alignment, and often it can cause issues, especially if you have a stickler GM.

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. Not the "orcs are inherently evil, so they must all be destroyed" vain, but the "orcs tend towards evil, but what about this one who hasn't hurt anyone at all. Sure, he pings as evil, but he hasn't done anything evil that I've seen, why kill him?" area of things.

I feel alignments should be treated like guides rather than strict letter of the law. Not everyone is lawful good (or whatever alignment you're playing) ALL THE TIME, it's impossible. Playing characters with a range, but generally hanging out in your alignment is best. Sure, if you do something drastic that would alter your alignment, play that out; how does that affect your character? What does that do to his way of thinking, or how others view him or treat him?

That's the beauty of RPGs, bringing a character though a journey of adventure. But some people are better at role play than others, and that's fine.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
For CN-ish players who want to be able to just do whatever they feel like ("This NPC is boring, let's rob him!") LG is the top alignment for restricting their brand of fun.

And those are the kind of folks who are responsible for the "CN stigma" problem. It's not the alignment, it's almost always the player that's creating difficulties.


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Every alignment can be played badly but not every alignment has a class with a rather strict code of conduct attached to it which many people have experienced being played badly.

I see more people complaining about Chaotic/X which annoys me because those alignments can be played perfectly well, I played a C/N character that was really the only one who kept that campaign on the tracks as long as it did. Not to blow my own trumpet, but seriously Chaotic can mean have a problem with authority figures, this doesn't mean they're some ADD ass hat that burns everything down after 5 minutes of conversation.

If your suggest that people complaining about LG have simply had a bad experience yet you have a problem with CL as an alignment then I think your probably need to listen to the advice you give to others.

Now on a broader level I don't particularly think the alignment system is helpful people don't have alignments in the real world, everything depends on context.


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I'd have to agree with those pointing at the paladin. To me, it's not the entire reason there may be a stigma, but it could be the biggest chunk.

My reasoning is that the paladins code largely spells out what LG is to the paladin and that people, having seen the association of that code with a strictly LG class would assume that that is how the makers define LG in less uncertain terms. Seeing that and perhaps not wanting to be so restricted in possible future choices, a player might decide that NG, CG, or any of the neutrals will work just as well.

I'm not the biggest fan of the alignment system personally. Thus, I tend to usually jot N into the box and play each scenario as I feel fitting to the character (unless the character is always and forever a single alignment. Like CE). Honestly, while the character I play right now has N on his sheet, he's likely more NG or CG.


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As many have pointed out no alignment (even CN and CE) is inherently a problem; the problem is in the player who chooses to behave in a manner that is disruptive to the group as a whole. That type of player will behave in this manner even if alignments are done away with in a given campaign or game system.

Edit: I need to expand a bit. By "player," I should also include the GM. It's quite often that GM's make the mistake of projecting their attitude of how a character should behave onto his/her players, rather than allowing the player to fully control the character. Again, even if alignments didn't exist, the type of GM that does this will still find reasons to try to direct PC's actions.

Scarab Sages

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The stigma associated with Paladins (especially from 1st edition and 2nd edition) seems to be a large part of it. Though many players fail to see that the alignments have some wiggle room.

I find that, for the most part, Paizo has deviated somewhat from the traditional (ie: old) way of viewing alignments. This was really driven home when U started reading theTales novels. Hellknight is a great example, it includes a discussions on alignment between characters who are Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral and Lawful Evil who must work together bound by their "lawfulness". I recommend reading this book for this reason alone.


Following the rules is for squares, that's why. For personally though being Lawful Good requires a level of emotional maturity and reverence for realistic consequences that I'm just incapable of maintaining. I don't play RPGs to be a forthright, law-abiding citizen, I play them so I can goof off and throw fireballs at Lady's of Pain and uptight Lawful Good goddesses.


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Honestly I think people don't understand the alignments...

Lawful doesn't mean you follow every single law. You don't follow laws that are bad. You wouldn't follow a law, for example, that says that any peasant who looks a noble in the eye should be whipped in the village square. It just means that you believe that laws are important and that order is very important for society.

Neutral means that you don't care about any law. Meaning it is kind of selfish. If the law helps them, they like it. If the law doesn't, they don't.

Chaotic means that you actively dislike laws and find them constraining. That doesn't mean that you break every law, it just means that you don't like them at all, especially if they get in your way.

-----

The Lawful Good isn't a stick in the mud. They just aren't Han Solo.

Here is an example:

A noble, in a land where they are above the peasants and can harm them, is beating a peasant. The LG steps in, tells the person to stop, then challenges them to a duel. If that fails, he might goad them into attacking him.

The neutral or chaotic might jump in and beat the noble up, because the law isn't a factor for them.

-----

That isn't being a stick in the mud.

There is nothing stopping (most) LG's from drinking in the pub. There is nothing stopping (most) LG's from opposing corrupt officials. There is nothing stopping (most) LG's from having fun.


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For my local meta, its GMs misapplying the Paladin Code. They assume most LG characters follow it, so when the LG fighter lies they are about to change alignment.

Also GMs carrying the code of conduct to places it should never go. I've heard GMs say a paladin should fall for flanking as it allows an unfair advantage and opens a friend up for dishonorable attacks (sneak attack), and that they cannot use combat maneuvers for any reason because its never honorable to do anything unconventional in a fight to get the upper hand. Which they them try to apply to every LG character.

The end result, people tend to write NG/LN on their sheet and then act LG because GMs always want to make characters more evil, but never care about making them more good.


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HWalsh wrote:

Honestly I think people don't understand the alignments...

People understand them - they come from different backgrounds and cultures that mean the alignments are different for them than yourself.

PossibleCabbage wrote:

I think you will find that any time people discuss the D&D alignment of a well known fictional character, you are unlikely to achieve consensus because people conceive of these alignments very differently.

This.

The alignment system should start with this:

Alignment
Sit down at your table and think of a popular movie or tv character that you believe comes closest to your idea of how your character is going to act - now ask your GM what alignment that is - that is your alignment.

If you plan to use a class that has alignment complications and you disagree with the GM at this point - please change your mind because you are in for a non-fun experience.


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HWalsh wrote:

Honestly I think people don't understand the alignments...

And that leads to another problem, "modern" as opposed to "medieval" morality... modern morality makes it increasingly less necessary to carry a weapon, there's no threats out there where you will need to kill something to defend yourself in most cases, fewer predators, more instances killing will get you in trouble rather than be considered "helpful", etc. But Pathfinder doesn't assume that morality, the world is dangerous and you'd at most want to check that weapon at the door rather than not own one at all... and you are expected to kill with it(at least 99% of the time) without worrying too much about your god taking your fancy powers away.

The Exchange

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Kick the Alignment System!

It's not worth the trouble!


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I blame bad parenting!

Silver Crusade

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There are no problem alignments, only problem players (grouping DMs in there too).


PossibleCabbage wrote:


But also the whole "taking down a tyrant because you believe that the law (as a means to achieve justice) is too important to be allowed to be abused" is a classic Paladin story.

A lawful character should do that through an organization: a country taking it over, an international body, etc.

It's also there to put some constraints on overly powerful heroes so that they have to think and be clever rather than just "i smash through the earth come up under the embassy grab doctor doom and toss him into the sun"


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Bearserk wrote:

Kick the Alignment System!

It's not worth the trouble!

With or without an alignment system, difficult players will still cause problems with their behavior.

I guess that without an alignment system, they would have a hard time arguing, "Hey, I'm just playing my character."

Dark Archive

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Saldiven wrote:

With or without an alignment system, difficult players will still cause problems with their behavior.

I guess that without an alignment system, they would have a hard time arguing, "Hey, I'm just playing my character."

And that's true. I've seen some really bad problem players in Vampire: the Masquerade, where playing a character who behaves monstrously can surprisingly quickly turn your PC into an NPC (assuming that said behavior hasn't already gotten the local authorities to hunt the PC down and kill them...).

Badly played Paladins, or Cavaliers, from D&D's Unearthed Arcana, way, way back in the day, are the primary problem here, and LG has been tainted by association. At least some players seem to gravitate to the Paladin class because they want to be in charge, and the Paladin is like a free vote for party leader (since everybody travelling with them has to follow their code of conduct, and if they don't, it's time for player vs. player!).

But confrontational or disruptive players are as likely, or even more likely, to (badly) play alignments like CN or NE of CE, if given the chance. They just are less likely to be smug and act wounded when called on their shenanigans, than the (bad) Paladin player.

A well-played LG (or LE, for that matter) character is a joy to GM for, or group with.


Kaelan Ashenveil wrote:
Can someone please explain to me why everyone seems so against Lawful Good as an alignment?? I genuinely don't understand it, unless you're playing an evil campaign. Lawful Good is the "traditional hero" alignment, and- case in point- these heroes have HAD CG/ CN allies in video games and narratives and it wasn't alliance breaking.

A legacy of over-bearing party cops having a lasting impact on the collective consciousness of players of RPGs.

IIRC, varying degrees of disillusionment with those who claim to be good or on the side of righteousness in the real world have also seeped into our media at various points in the past 40-odd years.

Some of it being based upon real world events and public personalities falling.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
steve rogers is more neutral good than lawful good in the movies

I think you will find that any time people discuss the D&D alignment of a well known fictional character, you are unlikely to achieve consensus because people conceive of these alignments very differently.

(I would say Steve is very much an LG hero, but what this sort of discussion showcases is how simplistic the 3x3 alignment system is, anyway.)

See also: Batman Alignment, where there's an argument made for Batman being of every single alignment.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
It doesn't help that the character is breaking their character "just this one time because its serious" every other issue

Well, you know what they say, you tell the story of your characters at the most interesting point in their lives.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

A few years back, I bought a 'make your own Paladin Code' 3pp that based the 'code' on the deity's Domains. This led to group discussions on how LG actual works. Look at those presented for the Paladins of the Inner Sea gods, there are interesting differences worthy of thought.

LG's biggest drawback is a heavy prejudice as to how they MUST act. The game I play in has several orders with restrictions that offended a new player as not-LG. She was arguing from a 2010 point of morality, not one reflective of what the GM was using in the game. Orders had limits by sex, race, nationality, etc. The one she most objected to was based loosely on the Janissary/Mameluke model with all members being slaves of X, in this case, their deity. Being a recognized religious elite meant high social standing at least partially due to the rigid code, one I wouldn't necessarily call LG (heavy prejudice to any not of the Faith and anti-Elf 'racism' were the big two). They followed the LG model (I reluctantly agree) but not the 'LG prejudice' of the 'stick-in-the-mud' players at the table, but she was trying to break us out of the set piece RP the group had fallen into and how better than making barbecue out of a sacred cow.

The GM needs to sit down and figure out each deity's Paladin Code in his/her own words as a guide for players. Our GM did and I might have played LG, but I'm a Eberron Changeling and in her world, they are never lawful. I deceive people too much to rate as lawful.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Now on a broader level I don't particularly think the alignment system is helpful people don't have alignments in the real world, everything depends on context.

The real world also doesn't feature an objective morality, as far as we are aware...

Bwang wrote:
Being a recognized religious elite meant high social standing at least partially due to the rigid code, one I wouldn't necessarily call LG (heavy prejudice to any not of the Faith and anti-Elf 'racism' were the big two).

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


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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.


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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.

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


dysartes wrote:


The real world also doesn't feature an objective morality, as far as we are aware...

Their are loads of outsiders made up of like raw spirit dimensional energy stuff that still don't operate the same way as each other Kyton meet devils, Qlippoth meet demons.

Even gods don't really agree

Erastil and Iomadea don't exactly have the same moral code or MO yet still lawful good gods.

My point being even the stuff made of like evil/good soul energy have different MOs

Not to mention removing alignment from the game does almost nothing to the actual mechanical working of it Paladins can still have codes the only thing that really changes is some nasty spells good clerics couldn't cast and some nice spells nasty clerics couldn't cast come online.


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

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.


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)

Dark Archive

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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.


Also, the advantages that law has over chaos don't come up a whole lot in a role playing game based around a small party of hero adventurers. The advantage to law is that you are better at tackling large problems and can organize a literal army to bear down on your problem.

A large part of the fantasy/wish fullfilment is one person (ie, you) having the power to change the world, either through magic, guile, or being a one man army. With a super human amount of power you don't NEED a government to fix the problem. Sick person? Cure disease. Plague sweeping the land? You launch an adventure to find the caddeus of the first healer. The world is literally and figuratively revolving around you being able to do this. It exists for the express purpose of you being able to do that. The government's involvement is usually as an obstacle or antagonist, which makes a weird amount of sense.

Areas where government sponsored armies of monster hunters have already killed everything don't need adventurers. Governments dealing with powerful roaving bands of itinerant mercenaries don't look kindly on fueling their potential replacements.

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