Law into Order


Prerelease Discussion


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Just a toss out here. What do folks think of the idea of renaming Law into Order?

It's a trope well-established in fantasy literature (Order v Chaos).

In addition, it solves the debate about if a PC's alignment shifts when they change national borders.

What do, guys?

Dark Archive

Well, description wise yeah when they say "Law" they mean "Order", but "Orderly Good" and "Orderly Evil" sound weird to say.

Grand Lodge

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Please tell me I'm not the only one who heard it when they read the title of this post.

Silver Crusade

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I wouldn’t be opposed to it.


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I feel like the 9 alignments are so iconic as to be memetic (c.f. alignment chart memes) that we shouldn't bother renaming them. If we want to make the law/chaos axis less muddy somehow, that would be a positive change.

Like I, for one, have an extremely difficult time differentiating between an NG PC and a CG PC without looking at their character sheets since in practice both are "do good and ignore the rules when it suits you".


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

No.

Law and Chaos are a core tradition in D&D games, borrowed directly from Mike Moorcock's Eternal Champion novels (Elric, Corum, Erekosé, etc).

I think it's extremely unlikely that PF2.0 will make any meaningful changes to the heritage alignment system with the law-chaos and good-evil axes. They will want to maintain the lineage of the alignment system going back to 1974. And for us grognards, that's a good thing.


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I like Order more than Law, but can see how it wouldn't sound quite as good. So... I'm a fence-sitter on this. I think I prefer Order, though.


Benjamin Medrano wrote:
I like Order more than Law, but can see how it wouldn't sound quite as good. So... I'm a fence-sitter on this. I think I prefer Order, though.

One suggestion I've heard is "Ordered" instead of "Orderly." It sounds a bit better. :3

I want to preserve traditions; this I just see as updating the terminology, but along lines that well-read fantasy authors have already trodden.

Grand Lodge

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I know this is a new edition and a number of people are suggesting putting various golden cows on the proverbial pyre but if they're keeping the alignment system I think the current nomenclature is sufficient. Mainly to discourage any confusion.


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I like ordered better than lawful. It seems more accurate to me as well. Though as hundereds of threads have proven there is no agreed upon definition for the alignments.


My main preference would be to keep with Law/Chaos as it is, but Orderly vs Chaotic isn't a bad option for that axis.

Dark Archive

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I prefer Order to Law, but as previously stated the alignment grid has transcended obscurity and become a well-known meme by this point so changing it could be confusing.

Then again, if we're talking about misconceptions of alignments then Chaotic isn't much better than Lawful. Games and media pit heroes against "the forces of chaos" quite often, and the word itself seems to make people think of randomness and insanity when it's more about the empowerment of individuals. Not sure what I'd rename it to though.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If Paladin is going to remain a niche alignment class, this would be a good way to help fix it on a game scale. Removing the Lawful from the alignment would probably shut down a good third of 'Do they Fall' threads.


Liberty and Tyranny.


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Tyranny is too heavy and weighted of a word, even if there were good Tyrants in ancient times.

Dark Archive

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Ordered and Liberated, perhaps? That way they fit the 2-axis naming convention. Ordered Good, Ordered Neutral, Ordered Evil, Liberated Good, Liberated Neutral, and Liberated Evil? It's certainly a better representation of what they stand for, but that sadly doesn't roll off the tongue as well as Lawful and Chaotic do.


So long as the nine alignments are viewed as a sort of "Jung, Briggs Myers" personality test, things are going to break down no matter what labels you tag them with.

As much as I make good use of the Alignments as they stand, though? I wonder if trading them out for aligning yourself to specific planes of the Great Beyond wouldn't be something worth thinking about.

However, since two of those alignments would actually be Heaven and Hell there would be completely new problems with fundamentalists.


LuniasM wrote:


Then again, if we're talking about misconceptions of alignments then Chaotic isn't much better than Lawful. Games and media pit heroes against "the forces of chaos" quite often, and the word itself seems to make people think of randomness and insanity when it's more about the empowerment of individuals.

Depends how far you take it.

One of the things I most like about the Pathfinder cosmology is replacing slaad with proteans, because slaad just felt like the same Chaotic Evil "hur hur we beat you up and take your stuff" ground that demons already cover, while proteans feel genuinely apart from good and evil.


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LuniasM wrote:
Ordered and Liberated, perhaps? That way they fit the 2-axis naming convention. Ordered Good, Ordered Neutral, Ordered Evil, Liberated Good, Liberated Neutral, and Liberated Evil? It's certainly a better representation of what they stand for, but that sadly doesn't roll off the tongue as well as Lawful and Chaotic do.

Liberated does sound over much like regarding Chaotic as inherently to some degree good.

I'd be fine with calling Chaotic Good "Liberated" but Chaotic Evil? I'd rather put the destructive impulsive selfishness side of it more central.

Likewise, Tyranny works for Lawful Evil, but not for Lawful Good.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

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Would it be too chaotic of us to use Law half the time and Order the other half?


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how about

control and chaos.....

GEt Smart


LuniasM wrote:

I prefer Order to Law, but as previously stated the alignment grid has transcended obscurity and become a well-known meme by this point so changing it could be confusing.

Then again, if we're talking about misconceptions of alignments then Chaotic isn't much better than Lawful. Games and media pit heroes against "the forces of chaos" quite often, and the word itself seems to make people think of randomness and insanity when it's more about the empowerment of individuals. Not sure what I'd rename it to though.

That's because in the books (Leiber, Moorcock, etc) that deal with the 'forces of chaos' that randomness and insanity is what chaos represents. Never personal empowerment (barring the selfish murderous sacrifice of innocents for arcane power type of thing). And that book tradition predates D&D by several decades.

D&D alignments are gibberish won't ever not be gibberish.


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Stuffy and Weird


I like order as it is a better description than law for the alignment. Ordered would probably be the word before Good/netural/evil.


Mark Moreland wrote:
Would it be too chaotic of us to use Law half the time and Order the other half?

Hey there! Since I can't hear your voice over text, how should I interpret this question?

I suppose a person could do that? I mean, it is up to you. :3 Perhaps the alignment section mentions both as viable, and up to the table?

No part of this suggestion was meant to be disrespectful. It's merely a nod to how language can sometimes evolve from where we'd intended it to be.

I love my players.

I like to be respectful of tradition.

A small nod towards updating terminology can, in that light, help preserve a tradition as well as bring it forward to a younger audience. The intent is bringing more of us to the table, together.

That is the intent. :3


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Voss wrote:
That's because in the books (Leiber, Moorcock, etc) that deal with the 'forces of chaos' that randomness and insanity is what chaos represents.

I disagree. In Mike Moorcock's novels, the Lords of Chaos do not represent *only* randomness and insanity. They also represent individual free will and freedom from the oppressive order of the Lords of Law.

In any event, I suspect the many threads on alignment and alignment-restricted classes like paladins are pointless at this stage. It's about 99.9% certain that PF2.0 will include the same law-chaos and evil-good alignment axes that we all have come to know and love (or hate). It's too fundamentally a part of what makes PF the heir of the D&D flame.


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In Moorcock's books, extreme Law and extreme Chaos are both incompatible with life as we know it. All people work to find a balance between the two, with most people who are dedicated to "Law" or "Chaos" favoring their preferred side just enough to make their preferred side dominant but not enough to end their world.


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I'd still love to see this. Much of the confusion over "Law" seems to be whether it:
* Means your alignment changes when you cross borders (no)
* Law meaning Legal and only Legal


How can we always assume a 9 alignment system?

Do people forget that Lawful Stupid, Chaotic Stupid, and Stupid Good/Evil exist too?


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like the 9 alignments are so iconic as to be memetic (c.f. alignment chart memes) that we shouldn't bother renaming them. If we want to make the law/chaos axis less muddy somehow, that would be a positive change.

Like I, for one, have an extremely difficult time differentiating between an NG PC and a CG PC without looking at their character sheets since in practice both are "do good and ignore the rules when it suits you".

I have the same issue distinguishing a LG character who relies on a personal code vs a CG PC.


/not signed


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johnlocke90 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like the 9 alignments are so iconic as to be memetic (c.f. alignment chart memes) that we shouldn't bother renaming them. If we want to make the law/chaos axis less muddy somehow, that would be a positive change.

Like I, for one, have an extremely difficult time differentiating between an NG PC and a CG PC without looking at their character sheets since in practice both are "do good and ignore the rules when it suits you".

I have the same issue distinguishing a LG character who relies on a personal code vs a CG PC.

Updating Law into Order would update the game terminology in a way that aligns with tradition, and removes misunderstandings. It brings Pathfinder up to date with current literary and fantasy tradition, and brings us more into the realm of Order versus Chaos. Or Stability versus Instability, or Static versus Creative.

Modern literature is more likely to reference Order/Chaos rather than Law/Chaos. The latter is by now, an outdated term for newer audiences. It is one more thing that needs sat down and explained.

Law as-phrased seems as though it focuses exclusively on the realms of LAWyers and legal realms, which isn't the case. A player shouldn't need to change their character based on arbitrary rules. That was never intended, but LAWyer, you know?

As one poster wrote above, this nod to current literary tradition would address at least a third of concerns, which is just overall, worthwhile as heck. I'd argue at least half.

Anyhow...

Ross Byers made a great post on it which inspired a lot of this.


Stone Dog wrote:

So long as the nine alignments are viewed as a sort of "Jung, Briggs Myers" personality test, things are going to break down no matter what labels you tag them with.

As much as I make good use of the Alignments as they stand, though? I wonder if trading them out for aligning yourself to specific planes of the Great Beyond wouldn't be something worth thinking about.

However, since two of those alignments would actually be Heaven and Hell there would be completely new problems with fundamentalists.

There is the 2e solution to that problem.....


Ice T suggests we call it Law and order.

*Dun Dun*

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