What Would A CG Paladin Code Look Like?


Prerelease Discussion

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Liberty's Edge

johnlocke90 wrote:
A LG and CG person would generally lie in the same circumstances(when it protects an innocent person). Meanwhile, LE devils outright lie all the time according to The Book of the Damned. They absolutely love lying.

Lying and breaking promises are actually very different things. A Devil would never violate a signed contract, for example.

johnlocke90 wrote:
It seems like splitting hairs to look at Lawful vs Chaotic when it comes to keeping promises given that Good vs Evil is a far better guide for how likely someone is to tell the truth.

I agree in terms of lying, actually. For the most part anyway. Breaking promises is a bit different, though.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
A LG and CG person would generally lie in the same circumstances(when it protects an innocent person). Meanwhile, LE devils outright lie all the time according to The Book of the Damned. They absolutely love lying.

Lying and breaking promises are actually very different things. A Devil would never violate a signed contract, for example.

johnlocke90 wrote:
It seems like splitting hairs to look at Lawful vs Chaotic when it comes to keeping promises given that Good vs Evil is a far better guide for how likely someone is to tell the truth.
I agree in terms of lying, actually. For the most part anyway. Breaking promises is a bit different, though.

A devil will happily break promises(so long as they aren't magically binding). They are constantly scheming against the lords they swore fealty to and will promise humans all sorts of things that they have no intention of following through on.

Good characters, by contrast, will mostly keep promises unless innocents are in danger. Breaking a promise for personal gain is evil after all.

Good vs Evil is a far better indicator for who will keep a promise than Lawful vs Chaotic.


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Hey Guys,
Just so that we’re clear from the beginning, I’m one of those guys that is not sure that Paladins should be anything but LG. While that is true, I am open to give others creative differences. Hence why I have been following this thread. I have a few questions/thoughts on this thread…
My first thought/question is the validity of giving a replica of the LG Paladinic code of conduct to CG Paladins. Wait! before you write me off, I’m not rehashing the old arguments. I concur that Chaotic gods have tenets and anathemas that their clerics must follow. But at what point does the code become too restrictive? (ie too Lawful) Is it the length? Or the number points to follow? (Which I laughingly note that the CG Code is longer and wordier than LG counterpart at this present moment) I dig the idea that LG get their Code from without while the CG gets it from within. But isn't making a 7 point Code (on top of your god's anathema!) that EVERY CG Paladin must follow by its very nature restrictive from without?

How about a real Golarion-life example. I give you, the CG country of Nirmathas. Nirmathas has been sticking it to the Lawful Stupid (ie LN not LG) country of Molthune for years. Nirmathas does have an elected leader, Weslen Gavirk, but if anything he's a figurehead. He has little say or power over most of the country. In fact, it's mostly up to the INDIVIDUAL community, household, whatever to dispense justice and governance. Now imagine if poor Weslen decided to send out an edict laying out the foundations of what it means to be or not to be a Nirmathan. (a code of conduct shall we say) How do you think the good people of Nirmatha respond? They would ignore him and his rules. (politely of course they are good after all…) Even if the rules were good and something they already knew and lived out (like say have a permanent residence in Nirmathas, come to aid Nirmathas against Molthune invasions, etc) they would still ignore him. Why? He is impinging on their INDIVIDUALITY.

This example illustrates what CG in Pathfinder looks like. I'm not trying to force anyone to play a certain way, I'm just saying that in order for CG to mean anything we have to agree what it looks like. I seem to sense that the general consensus is that CG means: To be free to express yourself individually for the good of all, then empowering others to do likewise. How you go about doing that is completely up to the player.

That brings me back to the Paladin and the Code. If you notice in the Nirmathas example, the country still had law and order. But it was done at an INDIVIDUAL level. Shouldn't that be the same for CG Paladins? I find that if it were to work, they'd need some individual code of conduct. Probably something short and sweet, and not too restrictive. But that in itself opens up a can of worms... Who legislates the Code? Is it up to the GM and player? Does Paizo give some guidelines? Also thematically, who keeps the Paladin accountable? Because this could easily degenerate into a player can now be a murderhobo paladin if he/she wants to be by changing the alignment as they see fit. Which I believe would be a great disservice to the Paladin...

One final thought is actually an answer to the Pirate Code example. I've seen it used a couple of times to prove that Chaotic societies used a Code of Conduct. While yes those are interesting real life examples, all they do is to show that a purely Chaotic society cannot function. In order to function there needs to be some sense of order. Which mind you, the Code differed from ship to ship. Which furthers my point about Chaotic societies work from an individual perspective. Also if there were a universal Pirate Codes, it would be, to quote a famous fictional pirate, “ more of what you'd call guidelines...”


RE: Antipaladins have codes.

A code that basically summarizes as "be chaotic evil" and "dont hang with the goodie two shoes" and has really very few restrictions on your behavior isn't really much of a code.


hello. Casting an evil spell seems bad to put in a code.

A story for you

If paizo releases a spell that heals with the evil tag, you will get dumb situations like with infernal healing. maybe don't do that instead?


CWheezy wrote:

hello. Casting an evil spell seems bad to put in a code.

A story for you

If paizo releases a spell that heals with the evil tag, you will get dumb situations like with infernal healing. maybe don't do that instead?

That was a poorly designed spell that broke their own spell design rules to begin with and will undoubtedly be nowhere near 2e


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Ryan Freire wrote:
CWheezy wrote:

hello. Casting an evil spell seems bad to put in a code.

A story for you

If paizo releases a spell that heals with the evil tag, you will get dumb situations like with infernal healing. maybe don't do that instead?

That was a poorly designed spell that broke their own spell design rules to begin with and will undoubtedly be nowhere near 2e

Hello, if they broke their own rules for PF1, why do you think they wont do that in PF2? It's the same company with the same lead designer.

Paizo's business strategy is to make as much content as possible. You can try your best to avoid crazy stuff but things will slip through (Remember sacred geometry?)


As of yet they havent.

Really watching people point to outliers and howl SEE!! SEE!! gets old. There's such a thing as exceptions that prove the rule and just because one exception to a rule exists doesn't mean others should be applauded.

Also infernal healing was never on the paladin list and good aligned clerics couldn't cast it anyway


maybe i should have said leadership, they couldn't even make it past the core book without printing the most brokenly powerful feat in the game


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Iron_Matt17 wrote:

Hey Guys,

Just so that we’re clear from the beginning, I’m one of those guys that is not sure that Paladins should be anything but LG. While that is true, I am open to give others creative differences. Hence why I have been following this thread. I have a few questions/thoughts on this thread…
My first thought/question is the validity of giving a replica of the LG Paladinic code of conduct to CG Paladins. Wait! before you write me off, I’m not rehashing the old arguments. I concur that Chaotic gods have tenets and anathemas that their clerics must follow. But at what point does the code become too restrictive? (ie too Lawful) Is it the length? Or the number points to follow? (Which I laughingly note that the CG Code is longer and wordier than LG counterpart at this present moment) I dig the idea that LG get their Code from without while the CG gets it from within. But isn't making a 7 point Code (on top of your god's anathema!) that EVERY CG Paladin must follow by its very nature restrictive from without?

To remain Good aligned you can't kill, you can't torture, you can't rob people, you can't even step in someone's cornflakes too aggressively. A Good aligned character is already restricting themselves. This common notion that Chaotic characters can't restrain themselves just makes them all insane.

It may be kind of funny that the Chaotic code has more tenets, but whatever. If a Chaotic character believes those ideals are correct, they'll do it.

When is it too restrictive? When it screws with a player's ability to interact with the world beyond reason. That should be the benchmark, not people dictating that your Chaotic character is following too many rules and has lost their Chaos.

Iron_Matt17 wrote:
How about a real Golarion-life example. I give you, the CG country of Nirmathas. Nirmathas has been sticking it to the Lawful Stupid (ie LN not LG) country of Molthune for years. Nirmathas does have an elected leader, Weslen Gavirk, but if anything he's a figurehead. He has little say or power over most of the country. In fact, it's mostly up to the INDIVIDUAL community, household, whatever to dispense justice and governance. Now imagine if poor Weslen decided to send out an edict laying out the foundations of what it means to be or not to be a Nirmathan. (a code of conduct shall we say) How do you think the good people of Nirmatha respond? They would ignore him and his rules. (politely of course they are good after all…) Even if the rules were good and something they already knew and lived out (like say have a permanent residence in Nirmathas, come to aid Nirmathas against Molthune invasions, etc) they would still ignore him. Why? He is impinging on their INDIVIDUALITY.

In the Land of the Linnorm Kings, what the Linnorm Kings say goes. They'll put you in chains or on the chopping block if you try to tell them to shove it when they tell you the rules.

In Brevoy its an issue of who rules the nation that's tearing it apart. Those darn Surtovas using their rule of the nation to line their own pockets.

Over yonder in the River Kingdoms... who even knows man. A Kingdom with rules one day doesn't exist the next. Barely any better than Galt, only rules there are determined by the Final Blades.

And yet in Kyonin, they have rules like no humans outside the one town, they have a Queen making laws for them Elves to follow. The laws are loose, and there's occasional plotting, but every kingdom worth salt has illicit plotting.

Chaotics are hard to predict man, which ones follow what rules and when is an individual choice they make. A 'Chaotidin' following their Code is a Chaotic individual who has chosen the rules they feel like following, and breaking those rules is no easier for them than it is for a Paladin. Which is to say: Its really freaking easy, and forth either character its their moral fortitude holding them to it, not their alignment.

Iron_Matt17 wrote:
This example illustrates what CG in Pathfinder looks like.

It is one example, that is countered by Kyonin, and that variability is proven further in how different the Land of the Linnorm Kings are compared to Brevoy. The real lesson? Chaotic nations require strong leaders. Its like herding cats, a bunch of ungrateful monsters that eat all the food and constantly put paper towels in their water bowl. Then they look at you and tell you to fix it.

Iron_Matt17 wrote:
I'm not trying to force anyone to play a certain way, I'm just saying that in order for CG to mean anything we have to agree what it looks like. I seem to sense that the general consensus is that CG means: To be free to express yourself individually for the good of all, then empowering others to do likewise. How you go about doing that is completely up to the player.

I'm not trying to be mean here, but why? Why should the people that want their "Chaotidin" care if Paladin players disapprove?

Lets remember, the push for this idea comes from Paladin players not wanting to share. I'm not accusing anyone of immaturity, that's just what the situation is. Paladin players say it is what it is, opposing viewpoints don't matter, and so far that's working out for them.

Attempts to use the Paladin for anything not Lawful Good are met with variations of 'No.' And then attempts to try and get something else put together are met with "That's not good enough for me, your character must act this way or that way."

So when it comes to people who greatly enjoy the Paladin (I know I do, for apparently different reasons than everyone else.), why is there so much need to say "Chaotic characters can't do this and that. You must obey the rules, or you will be Lawful."

Iron_Matt17 wrote:
That brings me back to the Paladin and the Code. If you notice in the Nirmathas example, the country still had law and order. But it was done at an INDIVIDUAL level. Shouldn't that be the same for CG Paladins? I find that if it were to work, they'd need some individual code of conduct. Probably something short and sweet, and not too restrictive. But that in itself opens up a can of worms... Who legislates the Code? Is it up to the GM and player? Does Paizo give some guidelines? Also thematically, who keeps the Paladin accountable? Because this could easily degenerate into a player can now be a murderhobo paladin if he/she wants to be by changing the alignment as they see fit. Which I believe would be a great disservice to the Paladin...

They can just accept the Code, on an individual level. If they're following it because they want to, then its not some big issue. Its just Chaotic people doing whatever they want. If you give them individual codes, then Paladin players will instead say they aren't restricted enough and therefore shouldn't get to have powers.

I swear its some weird conspiracy to make playing Chaotic characters impossible, so the Lawful Illuminati can take over the game.

Iron_Matt17 wrote:
One final thought is actually an answer to the Pirate Code example. I've seen it used a couple of times to prove that Chaotic societies used a Code of Conduct. While yes those are interesting real life examples, all they do is to show that a purely Chaotic society cannot function. In order to function there needs to be some sense of order. Which mind you, the Code differed from ship to ship. Which furthers my point about Chaotic societies work from an individual perspective. Also if there were a universal Pirate Codes, it would be, to quote a famous fictional pirate, “ more of what you'd call guidelines...”

A purely Lawful society can't function either, because we aren't robots yet. What a Chaotic society does is more easily put forward that Laws only matter when they can be enforced. Though I wouldn't say that its human nature to ignore rules and customs in general. The most evil of Lawful Evil organizations known to our world, the Homer Owners Associations, prove that people will make rules where there are none, and enforce them for no reason other than because they exist.

Frankly I just want to put forward that HOAs prove that Law is inherently an Evil alignment.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Xerres wrote:
Its like herding cats, a bunch of ungrateful monsters that eat all the food and constantly put paper towels in their water bowl. Then they look at you and tell you to fix it.

SO many reasons to favorite this post, but that word picture is gold.


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Iron_Matt17 wrote:


My first thought/question is the validity of giving a replica of the LG Paladinic code of conduct to CG Paladins.

Mostly because the 'Paladinic' code doesn't have really anything at all to do with the "lawful" part of the Paladin alignment - which is what people have been saying for a while. With the 'tier' system it is at best a NG code.

Quote:
(Which I laughingly note that the CG Code is longer and wordier than LG counterpart at this present moment)

That's because it's being defined - the biggest difference between law and chaos on the alignment chart should be the belief that following the law will bring the best outcome.

The chaotic side is a big longer because with the tier system it actually gives you a bit more guidance as to what is more important to the chaotic Paladin - putting laws down at the bottom of the list - but not forgotten - if you really think about it the more stuff on the top - means more times the chaotic Paladin is going to find a reason the law is unhelpful and so ignore it.

Here is a telling thing to ponder - the reason Jason had issues with creating alignment paladins in the past was because of neutral alignments - and that is still true - why? Because all the Paladin abilities, and code, and identity are based on the good or evil side of the alignment - there is no ability they have that actually ties into or uses their 'lawful' side of things.

They don't get 'protection from chaos' - they get 'protection from evil' - they don't get 'smite chaos' - they get 'smite evil' - they don't have 'If they ever willingly commit an unlawful act' - they can't commit an EVIL act.

This is - ultimately - why the chaotic good Paladin code really looks just like the lawful good one. The differences are almost more to just say 'look they are different' than because they are 100% necessary.


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First of all, I want to thank you Xerres for such a long and thoughtful response to my post. I came to this thread to understand your side of the argument and to have my own preconceived notions and thoughts challenged. I was hoping to perhaps even do the same for someone else. If you think my intentions were to sway you to the LG side, then you're sadly mistaken.

Xerres wrote:
To remain Good aligned you can't kill, you can't torture, you can't rob people, you can't even step in someone's cornflakes too aggressively. A Good aligned character is already restricting themselves. This common notion that Chaotic characters can't restrain themselves just makes them all insane.

Did I say that Chaotic characters CAN'T restrain themselves? Well, no I didn't. If I thought that were the case, then I probably wouldn't have mentioned Chaotic Clerics. Because obviously if they can't restrain themselves then they'd fall the second they were tempted to do something against their god/esses wishes. My point was to ask when does the Code hamper their "free spirit"? Their Individuality. Obviously that point for you is...

Xerres wrote:
When it screws with a player's ability to interact with the world beyond reason.

So my question to you Xerres is this: Is the moment the Code screws with a player's ability to interact with the world beyond reason, the very moment you become Lawful?

Before I go further, I would like to get some definition of terms from everybody. Because when you drop a big statement like:

Xerres wrote:
Frankly I just want to put forward that HOAs prove that Law is inherently an Evil alignment.

I need some more explanation... (I'm guessing that HOAs=CHAOS) Because if the belief that Lawful=Evil, then we have a serious differentiation of terms/opinions here. (In fact if you believe that Law=Evil then I can see that interlaced through out your post)

My definition of the Lawful spectrum is more akin to Order, or perhaps Boundaries. We have rules that govern the land (what side of the road to drive on, how to vote for someone to represent me in government, who to call if someone breaks in my house to take my stuff, etc) and rules that govern our own lives. (sharing food with housemates, who does the chores, etc) These rules promote peace and prosperity because within the Boundaries we are free to do whatever we choose. Yet they also grant us protection. Proof can be found by taking away rules and seeing what happens. (people driving on all sides of the road, individuals setting themselves up as leaders through sheer willpower/bloodshed or whatever, people coming into my house to take my stuff as they see fit, someone hogging all the food, no one doing chores, on and on)

Now comes to my definition of Chaos. Yes, that's right. The opposite of Order. Anarchy. Every man/woman doing what he or she sees fit. No structure or safety. Any society that wants to function needs to have a set of rules somewhere. Pirates? Need a code so that the crew is ready to board ships and steal loot. All those "Barbaric" tribes of the present and yesteryears? They function under some type of tribal laws, or else they implode upon themselves... (I can think of an example of a tribe in the jungles of South America that came close) Even those examples of Pathfinder countries have some semblance of order/laws. Which I'd love to get into more, but I'm going to pause that discussion for now...

With all that being said, I did come to this thread to hear your view points. You guys have made some great points as to why Chaos does not necessarily mean anarchy. But I would love to hear a robust definition. On top of that, I do concur that not ALL rules, laws, order, or boundaries are good. People have and still abuse them to their advantage. I just don't believe that they're inherently evil... But then again it seems that I believe that Chaos is inherently evil. C'est la vie!


MuddyVolcano wrote:


If we push it a little further, we can say that to chaos, the ordered is inherently flawed. Order by its nature impinges upon the right of the individual because it is an impersonal thing that cannot respond to or address a person's needs individually.

Order /assumes/ someone else knows what you want or need, rather than walking in their shoes. If we look at it a certain way, it means that the potential for order to provide justice is inherently flawed.

Adding personalization gives us another level of opposition, and a direction for the CG knight to explore: how justice should be individually tailored each time. A system of order, of judges and watchmen, are generally in opposition to this and are something that a CG devotee might say hey man. You've got to forget those restrictions, those tenets and what you've been taught. You gotta do it at their level, you know?

In this way, order, though it provides stability, is corrupting. Individuals who become used to order risk becoming weak and stagnant.

A CG knight might encourage a certain degree of instability for the common good, both to allow personal needs to be met, and to prevent stagnation/weakness.

Is this more in line to what the Law/Chaos spectrum means for you guys?...


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Iron_Matt17 wrote:
First of all, I want to thank you Xerres for such a long and thoughtful response to my post. I came to this thread to understand your side of the argument and to have my own preconceived notions and thoughts challenged. I was hoping to perhaps even do the same for someone else. If you think my intentions were to sway you to the LG side, then you're sadly mistaken.

Yep, I fall into the trap of assuming everyone's arguments are going to be the same. After awhile, there is an alignment (ha!) between people on one side or another of a debate, when they start using the same arguments/logic. Then that becomes what you argue against.

Iron_Matt17 wrote:
Xerres wrote:
To remain Good aligned you can't kill, you can't torture, you can't rob people, you can't even step in someone's cornflakes too aggressively. A Good aligned character is already restricting themselves. This common notion that Chaotic characters can't restrain themselves just makes them all insane.

Did I say that Chaotic characters CAN'T restrain themselves? Well, no I didn't. If I thought that were the case, then I probably wouldn't have mentioned Chaotic Clerics. Because obviously if they can't restrain themselves then they'd fall the second they were tempted to do something against their god/esses wishes. My point was to ask when does the Code hamper their "free spirit"? Their Individuality. Obviously that point for you is...

Xerres wrote:
When it screws with a player's ability to interact with the world beyond reason.
So my question to you Xerres is this: Is the moment the Code screws with a player's ability to interact with the world beyond reason, the very moment you become Lawful?

I think that it interferes with their 'Free Spirit' when they hold that Code above their own beliefs. Not when they weigh their beliefs against their Code, but when they do not question following the Code at all. Its my line of thought that a Chaotidiin will never accept their Code as absolute truth, they will question and debate it, but ultimately follow its precepts because they find time and again that it aligns with their soul.

A Chaotidin, to me, is a rare mix of beliefs and willpower that coincides with whatever their Code is. They don't follow the Code because its the Code, they follow the Code because thats who they are.

What I mean when I say it only matters "When it screws with a player's ability to interact with the world beyond reason." is that we don't need to be policing how Chaotic a character is being. Make a Code, have it be more Chaotic than the Paladin Code, and then just let it be unless it causes issues for the players of the Chaotidin.

Iron_Matt17 wrote:

Before I go further, I would like to get some definition of terms from everybody. Because when you drop a big statement like:

Xerres wrote:
Frankly I just want to put forward that HOAs prove that Law is inherently an Evil alignment.
I need some more explanation... (I'm guessing that HOAs=CHAOS) Because if the belief that Lawful=Evil, then we have a serious differentiation of terms/opinions here. (In fact if you believe that Law=Evil then I can see that interlaced through out your post)

An HOA is a Homeowner's Association, commonly formed in neighborhoods throughout the United States. These "HOAs" set up rules that have to be followed by all homeowners in a given area. Rules like how long your grass can be, what color your house can be, when can you mow your lawn, how many cars can you have in your driveway, when can you open your windows, what kind of air conditioning your house can have, can you have trees in your yard, can you have Garden Gnomes, can you have a swimming pool, etc.

These "HOAs" are meant to be formed to protect property values, so that one bad neighbor can't park a rusted car on the lawn and tank the value of everyone's house. But many HOAs have many rules about lesser issues that people find extremely annoying, and/or are run by Pure Evil incarnated into people with too much time on their hands. Meaning annoying letters, fines, or even threats of being evicted over things like the color of your door and how long you had your curtains open/closed.

Given the horrors unleashed by poorly managed HOAs, it is a scientific fact that if there is a Hell, it is run by a Homeowner's Association.

Iron_Matt17 wrote:

My definition of the Lawful spectrum is more akin to Order, or perhaps Boundaries. We have rules that govern the land (what side of the road to drive on, how to vote for someone to represent me in government, who to call if someone breaks in my house to take my stuff, etc) and rules that govern our own lives. (sharing food with housemates, who does the chores, etc) These rules promote peace and prosperity because within the Boundaries we are free to do whatever we choose. Yet they also grant us protection. Proof can be found by taking away rules and seeing what happens. (people driving on all sides of the road, individuals setting themselves up as leaders through sheer willpower/bloodshed or whatever, people coming into my house to take my stuff as they see fit, someone hogging all the food, no one doing chores, on and on)

Now comes to my definition of Chaos. Yes, that's right. The opposite of Order. Anarchy. Every man/woman doing what he or she sees fit. No structure or safety. Any society that wants to function needs to have a set of rules somewhere. Pirates? Need a code so that the crew is ready to board ships and steal loot. All those "Barbaric" tribes of the present and yesteryears? They function under some type of tribal laws, or else they implode upon themselves... (I can think of an example of a tribe in the jungles of South America that came close) Even those examples of Pathfinder countries have some semblance of order/laws. Which I'd love to get into more, but I'm going to pause that discussion for now...

With all that being said, I did come to this thread to hear your view points. You guys have made some great points as to why Chaos does not necessarily mean anarchy. But I would love to hear a robust definition. On top of that, I do concur that not ALL rules, laws, order, or boundaries are good. People have and still abuse them to their advantage. I just don't believe that they're inherently evil... But then again it seems that I believe that Chaos is inherently evil. C'est la vie!

As far as Law vs Chaos, I personally think its more "Focused on the community." vs "Focused on the individual."

If you think I'm opposed to Law in general that'd be a mistaken impression I gave you, Lawful Good is my favorite alignment, Chaos and Evil are harder for me to pull off. I love playing Samurai following four different Codes, I love Paladins that always think of others before themselves, and when I play Magic the Gathering you know that my color is White. Everything is fair, even when that hurts everyone, and oddly seems to benefit White more than you.

Even my attempt at an unpredictable Pirate ended up as a mastermind carefully crafting plots, or at least carefully crafting the reputation that he's somehow plotting things out far in advance. I have no real idea what I'm doing, but a combination of good dice rolls and better roleplay always has that guy coming out on top. Very fun, but not nearly as Chaotic as I was trying for.

But, I also just think alignments are best used as guidelines to enhance how you play the game. Giving some suggestions for actions, a base to make decisions if you're unsure, inspiration to work with when you're looking for something to spark in your head.

What I absolutely don't think alignment is good for is being used as boxes to keep characters contained in approved spaces. Which is what I feel the 'Chaotidin' supporters are constantly running up against, being told they aren't in their Chaos Box. When letting yourself be stuck inside a box is the opposite of Chaos.

However, getting inside the box and playing race car is properly Chaotic, which is why I support a Chaotidin Code. There's a nice shiny box that says "Code" on it, and there are many Chaotic characters with wild imaginations ready to take it to the moon. Going to get my Paladin and go meet those Space Cowboys in the void., we're going to have an adventure.


I like the ideas posted above for Chaotic Good Paladinoid Codes . . . except that they seem more suited for Neutral Good, or at least something between Neutral Good and Chaotic Good. (I wish the Pathfinder Campaign Setting hadn't done away with the alignments at odd multiples of 22.5°, like D&D 1st/2nd Edition and PlaneScape had.)

Ideally, the really devoted Chaotic Good types wouldn't formulate a rigid code, but in practice, seeing that Humans almost always make a mess of being Chaotic Good, they had to come up with something like the above to get the Hell-spawned Humans to have some chance of getting started the right way.


Again Xerres (and Ckorik), thank you for your thoughtful responses. And thanks for clarifying my misunderstandings!

Xerres wrote:

I think that it interferes with their 'Free Spirit' when they hold that Code above their own beliefs. Not when they weigh their beliefs against their Code, but when they do not question following the Code at all. Its my line of thought that a Chaotidiin will never accept their Code as absolute truth, they will question and debate it, but ultimately follow its precepts because they find time and again that it aligns with their soul.

A Chaotidin, to me, is a rare mix of beliefs and willpower that coincides with whatever their Code is. They don't follow the Code because its the Code, they follow the Code because thats who they are.

So what I am getting from this is that the CG Paladin him/herself is the final authority. While the LG Paladin's Code is the final authority. Those are quite the distinctions... While I don't want to get into philosophy too much... (questions arise such as ''is the Disney trope of 'following your heart/soul and it will NEVER lead you astray" true? or "are people naturally bad that they need an outside source to guide them" true?) This is one of the reasons the LG community is against opening to the CG alignment. (sorry guys, contrary to popular belief, it's not to kill your fun) The Shining Knight of Goodness who follows a Code is suddenly shared between the alignments. But when temptations arise and the Paragon of Goodness' example could be tarnished... What does he turn to? The immovable rock of the Code (which will stay the same regardless) or his own beliefs? (which are subject to the PC or GMs whim) Amplified by the conception that Chaos=Anarchy, (which I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks like that) then we have Shining Knights of Goodness falling here, there, and everywhere... Choas!! ;-) (I'm sure they imagine a Demon snickering somewhere in the distance...) The reason I am writing these things is to foster understanding between both sides. If were using the same terminology but meaning completely different things, then that leads us nowhere. In fact that hinders your shot at getting a CG Paladin!

Iron_Matt17 wrote:

(Which I laughingly note that the CG Code is longer and wordier than LG counterpart at this present moment)

Ckorik wrote:

That's because it's being defined - the biggest difference between law and chaos on the alignment chart should be the belief that following the law will bring the best outcome.

The chaotic side is a big longer because with the tier system it actually gives you a bit more guidance as to what is more important to the chaotic Paladin - putting laws down at the bottom of the list - but not forgotten - if you really think about it the more stuff on the top - means more times the chaotic Paladin is going to find a reason the law is unhelpful and so ignore it.
Here is a telling thing to ponder - the reason Jason had issues with creating alignment paladins in the past was because of neutral alignments - and that is still true - why? Because all the Paladin abilities, and code, and identity are based on the good or evil side of the alignment - there is no ability they have that actually ties into or uses their 'lawful' side of things.
They don't get 'protection from chaos' - they get 'protection from evil' - they don't get 'smite chaos' - they get 'smite evil' - they don't have 'If they ever willingly commit an unlawful act' - they can't commit an EVIL act.
This is - ultimately - why the chaotic good Paladin code really looks just like the lawful good one. The differences are almost more to just say 'look they are different' than because they are 100% necessary.

I have a few guesses as to why it's longer myself...

1. The LG Code has YEARS of background in the various editions.
2. The Paizo staff has been working on this code for a lot longer than we have...
3. Honestly speaking, it's a lot harder to explain what a CG Paladin looks like as opposed to a LG. I'm not saying that be mean or anything, I think it's just the facts. Go onto any street and ask random people what Chaos and Good mean. Then ask them what a CG Paladin looks like... Thats pretty tough pin down. LG? Not so tough...
Actually in regards to the OP, I still think that the CG Code should be as minimalistic as possible. In fact, I'm wondering if the term Code is even needed for the CG Paladin. Could you get away with Beliefs? These are the Universal Beliefs of all CG Paladins, that if he disobeys then he falls. The word Belief could also speak to the INTERNAL origins of the "Code". Different but the same...

I don't feel it's fair to solely blame Jason for the LG exclusivity. Gathering from Mark's post, and also the fact that the community is split 50/50. I can almost guarantee that there are others in that camp at Paizo who make executive decisions...

I give you that the Paladin's abilities are based of the Good/Evil spectrum rather than the Law/Chaos spectrum. (The only thing I can think of is perhaps the Code. But we've already argued that the Code, in and of itself, is not purely Lawful) But those are the mechanics of the game, what about the thematics? I'd hope that the mechanics are subject to the thematics, not the other way around. And I find that thematically, it is much easier to imagine the The Shining Knight of Goodness (still the Good spectrum) who follows a Strict Code as LG rather than CG. I'm sorry, I am having a very difficult time imagining Matt Murdock/DareDevil or Mal from Firefly as Paladins... (those were the best examples of CG characters I could think of) Especially when compared to the likes of Capt. America or Superman. But that's just me.

Xerres wrote:

But, I also just think alignments are best used as guidelines to enhance how you play the game. Giving some suggestions for actions, a base to make decisions if you're unsure, inspiration to work with when you're looking for something to spark in your head.

What I absolutely don't think alignment is good for is being used as boxes to keep characters contained in approved spaces. Which is what I feel the 'Chaotidin' supporters are constantly running up against, being told they aren't in their Chaos Box. When letting yourself be stuck inside a box is the opposite of Chaos.

This I wholeheartedly agree with!!

One last thing I want to remark on is the word "Chaotidin" vs. "Paladin". If your goal is for CG Paladins to be on the same playing field as the LG Paladins, I would recommend that you stop using the word "Chaotidin" (or anything similar). That fosters the idea of a pseudo-class that has similarities to the Paladin, but isn't a Paladin. (Unless of course I am mistaken and a different class is your goal...) No one refers to LG Paladins as Lawtidins (or whatever), because being Lawful is not the main focus of LG Paladins. Nor is Chaos the main focus of the CG Paladins.

Grand Lodge

I always just thought of the Warpriest as the Paladin for non-LG characters.


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Slyme wrote:
I always just thought of the Warpriest as the Paladin for non-LG characters.

Unless you want to say the a LG warpriest is interchangable with a paladin, then no, it's not.


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Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
Slyme wrote:
I always just thought of the Warpriest as the Paladin for non-LG characters.
Unless you want to say the a LG warpriest is interchangable with a paladin, then no, it's not.

This.


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willuwontu wrote:
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
Slyme wrote:
I always just thought of the Warpriest as the Paladin for non-LG characters.
Unless you want to say the a LG warpriest is interchangable with a paladin, then no, it's not.
This.

tell it like it is


Overall, it would look pretty much the same as a LG one, with the new code. It would generally follow the law(unless innocents are in danger),and serve the innocent.

It probably isn't part of a church with a rigid hierarchy, but then neither are most LG paladin PCs.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Dekalinder wrote:
Well, since said paladin is Chaotic, he doesn't give two hoots about any rule or oath and can simply ignore any point he believe to be interfering with his cause of a greater good. So we can skip bothering with the code altogether.
That's not how Chaos inherently works, man. Heck, look at the PF2 Cleric rules, I mean Chaotic Clerics still have Anathema.

Man, I need to check into the forums more often. I know I'm replying to an earlier post, but I've been following the thread and this post is just a generic reply beyond this upcoming paragraph.

So... Sure, chaotic clerics are still going to have anathema, because anathema are more linked to the idea of, "If you do this, you piss God off" more so than "you're a goody-two-shoes all the time" or "you do what you feel like". Anathema are more about what you have to do in exchange for your power because God will take it away if you don't follow his/her commandments, even if those commandments are whimsical by nature. "Don't step in a turd on the third Tuesday of the month when the purple moon is in its waxing phase" might be oddly specific, and never happen... Except when it does, and that whimsical god might just say, "Whoa, buddy... You broke the one rule I had. Get ready for a whoopin'!" Might seem like something very "lawful" because of its specificity, but really just be that, "Even God didn't expect that to happen. Imagine that. He might just laugh it off... But he's probably going to kick your kiester."

And now... For the in-general...

The problem with the "chaotic" portion of a "code" is that chaos inherently conflicts with code. The neutral character would violate their "code" whenever it suits them. The chaotic character would be ten shades of, "F**k naw! You ain't restrictin' me with no code! Ain't no 'venturer got time fo' dat! I do what I wanna do!" It's not that chaotic characters can't follow a code, it's that they wouldn't ever want their own freedom of choice to be restricted in such a fashion, and would therefore never agree to it in the first place. It's why I think that Chaotic Evil doesn't work for Antipaladins. As Xerres wrote earlier...

Xerres wrote:
Which is what I feel the 'Chaotidin' supporters are constantly running up against, being told they aren't in their Chaos Box. When letting yourself be stuck inside a box is the opposite of Chaos.

The chaotic "paladin" would never let themselves be stuck in the box of "You're going to tell me what I can and cannot do." Having a code that says, "Be wild and free! Do what you want to do!" is actually functionally the same as not having a code.

I see a lot of people conflating what a neutral character would do when it comes to following a code of behavior versus a chaotic character would do. If your chaotic character would follow a code (when it suits them) and violate that code (when it suits them), there is no functional difference from the neutral character who follows a code (when it suits them) and violates that code (when it suits them). That's neutral (on the law-chaos axis) in a nutshell. They do what is most convenient for themselves at the time. The chaotic character should be ten shades of, "I could follow the code if I wanna 'cause that's my choice, but I ain't gonna follow no code 'cause I don't wanna. Butterflies are free, man! Butterflies are free!"

Here's where the chaotic-good paladin fails, though... The chaotic-good paladin of Cayden Cailean, when confronted with Cayden Cailean's cardinal rule of "do good deeds" (if that's his cardinal rule) might say, "Y'know what? Screw that! Imma get (more) drunk. Those villagers can save themselves." Cayden Cailean as the functional god of a chaotic good paladin has to say, "Y'know, you just broke my rule. Bad boy. Go atone before I give you your powers back." Shoot. Boss is on my case, and I didn't do nothin'. F**k the man! I might go atone today, but if this jackass keeps on harshin' on my drink, Imma gonna go find myself another church, yo!

Unless, y'know... They're not actually chaotic good paladins... They're another class entirely (like warpriests) that allow for that sort of thing without triggering a fall.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I see Lawfuldins as having the code externally applied (I do this because it is the law and the rules), and Chaotidins as applying their code from within(I do this because this is where my seat of goodness is telling me to go).

And Neutradins as being a combination of the two.

I don't think any of them would go to the bar and get drunk if there was goodness to be done. Afterwards? Probably.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

I see Lawfuldins as having the code externally applied (I do this because it is the law and the rules), and Chaotidins as applying their code from within(I do this because this is where my seat of goodness is telling me to go).

And Neutradins as being a combination of the two.

I don't think any of them would go to the bar and get drunk if there was goodness to be done. Afterwards? Probably.

While it's an interesting position to take, I'm not sure that I agree with you, good sir. A character doesn't have to look for external reward to follow a personal (internal) code. Following an internal code would make the character lawful regardless of external factors.


See a code is inherently lawful.

There is no lawfuldin, or neutraldin, or chaodin.

There is a Paladin. A Lawful Good champion of justice.

Chaotic characters would have fast and loose personal codes, which is antithetical to Paladin codes


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Bodhizen wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

I see Lawfuldins as having the code externally applied (I do this because it is the law and the rules), and Chaotidins as applying their code from within(I do this because this is where my seat of goodness is telling me to go).

And Neutradins as being a combination of the two.

I don't think any of them would go to the bar and get drunk if there was goodness to be done. Afterwards? Probably.

While it's an interesting position to take, I'm not sure that I agree with you, good sir. A character doesn't have to look for external reward to follow a personal (internal) code. Following an internal code would make the character lawful regardless of external factors.

Internal codes are virtually indistinguishable from a chaotic character though. Cayden Cailean arguably has internal code after all.

The only thing distinguishing him from LG is his dislike of external codes.


johnlocke90 wrote:

Internal codes are virtually indistinguishable from a chaotic character though. Cayden Cailean arguably has internal code after all.

The only thing distinguishing him from LG is his dislike of external codes.

Code is indistinguishable, in this context (the law-chaos axis), from law. Chaos inherently struggles against any code, as codes dictate predictable patterns of behaviour.

Codes are intrinsically opposed to chaos, be they internal or external. If my code states, "Always be free", then it dictates a pattern of behaviour that prevents my character from accepting bondage in any form, be that physical, mental, or social. When presented with the choice to wear shackles or run from the character attempting to shackle me, I must (if I'm following a "code") choose the latter. It has dictated my pattern of behaviour, and patterns of behaviour are diametrically opposed to chaos. If my "code" states, "Always do whatever I want to do", that's mechanically indistinguishable from "I have no code", and therefore, as a code, it fails to function. The fact that this code is one that I internally accept rather than accepting as a condition of access to other powers is irrelevant. I have accepted this code which has limited my behaviour pattern, therefore, limiting the infinite possibilities that could result from my own chaotic behavior. This is a purposeful acceptance of laws that may not completely define me, but do so in part. Ergo, this is law (once again, in this context).

If Law versus Chaos was as easily defined as "intrinsic reward pattern" versus "extrinsic reward pattern", alignment would be a much simpler concept to grok, but would require different identifying conventional handles (read: not "law" and "chaos", but more "altruism" and "self-interest"). One can intrinsically believe in a code of behaviour (such as the "code" of the lone gunslinger who rides off into the sunset) without it requiring external stimuli or interaction. Therefore, the lone gunslinger can follow a code that only he knows, but remains internally consistent with his ethos pattern.

Therefore, following an internal code remains an expression of lawful behaviour regardless of external factors.

Best wishes!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
johnlocke90 wrote:
Bodhizen wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

I see Lawfuldins as having the code externally applied (I do this because it is the law and the rules), and Chaotidins as applying their code from within(I do this because this is where my seat of goodness is telling me to go).

And Neutradins as being a combination of the two.

I don't think any of them would go to the bar and get drunk if there was goodness to be done. Afterwards? Probably.

While it's an interesting position to take, I'm not sure that I agree with you, good sir. A character doesn't have to look for external reward to follow a personal (internal) code. Following an internal code would make the character lawful regardless of external factors.

Internal codes are virtually indistinguishable from a chaotic character though. Cayden Cailean arguably has internal code after all.

The only thing distinguishing him from LG is his dislike of external codes.

In fact, Cayden Cailean is in no small part *defined* by his personal code of honor and unshakeable integrity. Even before the drunken dare that turned him into a God, the first thing mentioned in his write-up is how in his mortal life, he was famous for refusing and walking away from jobs that offended his ethics. As is Mal Reynolds for that matter. Of course, he didn't do it nearly as consistently as Cayden--see the dark place he's in at the outset of the movie, for example--but it's ver much a part of his reputation, and a defining moment of the series was his choice to return the loot from the Train Job when he discovered it was essential medicine--making an enemy of an utterly psychotic crime lord in the process.

As to Daredevil--I can't speak as much to the comics version, but in the MCU goes, he's arguably one of the *most* Paladinic characters there--deeply religious, insanely dedicated to his crusade, and most of all, he's just about the only one in the MCU who has *explicitly* set out boundaries for himself, particularly as regards killing. The only other MCU hero who has any particular compunction against it is Jessica Jones, but that's borne out of her own trauma more than an explicitly moral consideration. Matt Murdock set out to dedicate his life to beating up criminals, and at the outset made a conscious decision that he wouldn't kill anyone because that would be *wrong*, and his dedication to that moral stance informs a *lot* of his arc and his relatonships with Stick, Elektra, and Frank Castle.

(Now whether that means Matt is actually Lawful rather than Chaotic is up to your interpretation, of course.)


I feel some people don't understand the lawful/neutral/chaotic alignments.

So, to that end, I'm bringing in the definition of lawful, chaotic, and neutral as it was intended:

Quote:

"Law" implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability. On the downside, lawfulness can include close-mindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, judgmentalness, and a lack of adaptability. Those who consciously promote lawfulness say that only lawful behavior creates a society in which people can depend on each other and make the right decisions in full confidence that others will act as they should.

"Chaos" implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them.

Someone who is neutral with respect to law and chaos has a normal respect for authority and feels neither a compulsion to obey nor a compulsion to rebel. She is honest but can be tempted into lying or deceiving others.


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So the way I view it, the Chaotic Good paladin(heck even my lawful good paladins) tend to live or embody the code without ever agreeing to one. They Embody the code and are thus rewarded it. Whatever is the ideal they are striving for, the deity or essence of goodness sees this person, and they are rewarded with this power. So I guess for me, the code and the mythos of paladins have always been about values(and actions) but not like necessarily a known pledge to the code or anything like that. But I could be the only one who sees it as such.


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1) Be excellent to each other.
2) Party on, dudes!


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Bodhizen wrote:
So... Sure, chaotic clerics are still going to have anathema, because anathema are more linked to the idea of, "If you do this, you piss God off" more so than "you're a goody-two-shoes all the time" or "you do what you feel like". Anathema are more about what you have to do in exchange for your power because God will take it away if you don't follow his/her commandments, even if those commandments are whimsical by nature. "Don't step in a turd on the third Tuesday of the month when the purple moon is in its waxing phase" might be oddly specific, and never happen... Except when it does, and that whimsical god might just say, "Whoa, buddy... You broke the one rule I had. Get ready for a whoopin'!" Might seem like something very "lawful" because of its specificity, but really just be that, "Even God didn't expect that to happen. Imagine that. He might just laugh it off... But he's probably going to kick your kiester."

Going by the many arguments of "Codes are hard, they must be rewarded." then the trading obedience for power is why Paladins follow their Codes in the first place.

Unlike noble Samurai, who follow their Codes of service without expectation of gain, Paladins are only in it for the power. Shiftless thieves, the lot of them, they'd steal a baby's lollipop if it gave them another use of Smite Evil.

And less jokey, Paladins still only follow the Code because something happens when they do. Or, if we accept that Chaotic Cleric submit themselves to the will of their Gods out of belief and devotion, accepting the 'rule' or 'guidance' of a higher power... then saying they can't follow a Code they believe in is absurd.

Bodhizen wrote:
The neutral character would violate their "code" whenever it suits them.

No they wouldn't what are you even talking about? I am sorry, but this is absurd. A follower of Sarenrae does not turn away others seeking redemption on a whim, or whenever it suits them! A follower of Shelyn doesn't stand in the way of love when they can make a few bucks!

I apologize in advance for being rude, but this line of logic is upsetting to me, because its putting Lawful on a pedestal, and using alignment as an instrument to bludgeon other characters into their boxes. "You have [Blah] Alignment. You can't follow a Code. If you choose the same breakfast two days in a row you're Lawful."

A Paladin can break their Code whenever they feel like, its how you get Fallen Paladins. They can decide the wind blew against their cheek too hard, and now the Code is out the window. There is nothing that stops them from breaking it, or a Chaotic character from keeping it. If we followed this extreme interpretation of what's Lawful and what's Chaotic then Chaotic Good wouldn't exist because not murdering the innocent is far too stable a position for a Chaotic character to have.

Bodhizen wrote:
Here's where the chaotic-good paladin fails, though... The chaotic-good paladin of Cayden Cailean, when confronted with Cayden Cailean's cardinal rule of "do good deeds" (if that's his cardinal rule) might say, "Y'know what? Screw that! Imma get (more) drunk. Those villagers can save themselves."

WHAT!?!

This is exactly what I'm talking about when I say people just want Lawful Good to be Best Good, or True Good. A Chaotic Good character, especially a Chaotic Good follower OF THE GOD OF BRAVERY AND HEROISM! Does not abandon the innocent TO GET DRUNK!

I am very sorry, but this is the most absurd argument against Chaotic Codes I have ever seen. This is insulting a personal level to anyone who follows the Chaotic Good ideals. If Chaotic Good doesn't exist in your personal games then that is fine, but that is not the default of Pathfinder.


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The utter lack of respect for Chaotic Good as an alignment is staggering to me. And absolutely why I think it needs to get representation in the Paladin or otherwise, as a Champion of Good, a Champion against Evil, for the innocent, for the helpless.

Not a Champion of "Screw them, I got mine." like I so often see suggested.


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within extreme law there is chaos
within extreme chaos there is law.

\\that is so true Xerres.
NG and CG would not abandon the innocent.
a cg paladin of cayden cailean would get drunk afterwards.


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HWalsh wrote:

I feel some people don't understand the lawful/neutral/chaotic alignments.

So, to that end, I'm bringing in the definition of lawful, chaotic, and neutral as it was intended:

Quote:

"Law" implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability. On the downside, lawfulness can include close-mindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, judgmentalness, and a lack of adaptability. Those who consciously promote lawfulness say that only lawful behavior creates a society in which people can depend on each other and make the right decisions in full confidence that others will act as they should.

"Chaos" implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them.

Someone who is neutral with respect to law and chaos has a normal respect for authority and feels neither a compulsion to obey nor a compulsion to rebel. She is honest but can be tempted into lying or deceiving others.

But lawful good characters can be flexible, adaptable and support freedom. They can even ignore authority if they view it as illegitimate. Meanwhile chaotic good characters can have honor(like Cayden) and will generally be trustworthy.

The only sticking point in printed characters and deities is whether they are part of a strict hierarchy.


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Steelfiredragon wrote:

\\that is so true Xerres.

NG and CG would not abandon the innocent.
a cg paladin of cayden cailean would get drunk afterwards.

Preach! We need Chaotic Good Champion so they can defeat Evil and then throw rocking parties.

And I'll just throw out my stance on Chaotidins following Codes again:

Chaotic characters follow what they believe in. If they believe in the Code they'll follow it, and if they don't believe in it they won't follow it.

Lawful characters are the same, they'll follow a Code until they don't.

And that's it.

johnlocke90 wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

I feel some people don't understand the lawful/neutral/chaotic alignments.

So, to that end, I'm bringing in the definition of lawful, chaotic, and neutral as it was intended:

Quote:

"Law" implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability. On the downside, lawfulness can include close-mindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, judgmentalness, and a lack of adaptability. Those who consciously promote lawfulness say that only lawful behavior creates a society in which people can depend on each other and make the right decisions in full confidence that others will act as they should.

"Chaos" implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them.

Someone who is neutral with respect to law and chaos has a normal respect for authority and feels neither a compulsion to obey nor a compulsion to rebel. She is honest but can be tempted into lying or deceiving others.

But lawful characters can be flexible, adaptable and support freedom. They can even ignore authority if they view it as illegitimate. I And chaotic characters can have honor and trustworthiness.

Exactly, because alignment is worthless as a straight jacket or a box to keep other players playing the 'Right' way. They're useful as guidelines, I find, and I frankly like the spells and mechanics that use them. But when its just "This is your Box. Stay inside this box." then there's no value to it all anymore.


Nobody is saying that the NG and CG would abandon innocents.

They would abandon a code though. If they had to.

-----

Examples:

Your party is enlisted to be part of the defensive line against an invasion. There are five villages, you have been assigned to the southern most village. Your orders are clear, you are to defend this village and you aren't to divert forces to the others.

The invasion is happening, the village to the north of you is going to fall without help. You are told, do not abandon the village under any circumstances. Your scouts are reporting that there are no enemies in range. You could help to protect that northern village and reasonably leave your village undefended and they would be okay. Any enemies attacking the northern village would have to head south, through your forces, to reach you.

What do you do?

-----

Chaotic Good:
"Forget those orders. I have no reason to believe this village is in danger right now, the one to the north is going to fall and innocent people will die. I don't care about the consequences, I'm taking my guys and we are going to save lives!"

Neutral Good:
"I can't leave this town undefended, but I can't also stand by and watch them get overrun. I'm going to try to divide my forces to help the northern village. I can't send everyone, but maybe I can help."

Lawful Good:
"I have my orders. We aren't to send aid to them. I know this is harsh, but just because it looks like we are safe from attack doesn't mean we are. We need to hold the line."

-----

Now, this can have good and bad outcomes:

Chaotic Good

Good Outcome:
The forces travel north and help route the enemy, saving the allied village. The reports were right, your village was safe. You saved lives, even if you defied orders to do it.

Bad Outcome:
The forces travel north and help route the enemy, saving the allied village. The reports were wrong, your village came under attack. You saved the lives of the people in the allied village, but yours fell. You traded one village for another and disobeyed orders.

-----

Neutral Good:

Good Outcome:
You send half of your forces north and help route the enemy, saving the allied village. The reports were right, your village was safe. You saved lives, even if you defied orders to do it, but you manage to avoid too much censure as your village was never undefended.

Bad Outcome:
You send half of your forces north and help route the enemy, saving the allied village. The reports were wrong, your village came under attack, unfortunately while the reduced forces you had were able to hold them off for a time the village fell. You saved the lives of the people in the allied village, but yours fell. You traded one village for another and disobeyed orders, worse still you lost half of your own forces at the same time.

-----
Lawful Good

Good Outcome:
You do not send your forces north, following instructions. The reports were wrong, your village was not safe. The north village was a feint, designed to draw you out, and you didn't fall for it. You are able to protect your village, and the feint was never designed to sack the northern village anyway. You are praised for defending the town and following orders, getting a promotion.

Bad Outcome:
You do not send your forces north, following instructions. The reports were right, your village was safe. The north village fell. The loss is devastating, but you are praised for defending the town and following orders, getting a promotion in the end.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's VERY convenient that the best favored alignement has positive outcomes for good and bad, but neither of the other examples does.

How far into the Atlantic are the goalposts by now?

EDIT:

Historically, General Patton had this option during the Battle of the Bulge, and relieved the defenders of Bastogne.

Arguably, it was a Chaotic Good 'because they are our guys and we need to bail them out' sort of move... but that was a positive outcome!

Wait... what?

A Chaotic maneuver having a positive outcome? Stop the presses!


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Hwalsh, that just goes back to what I said about strict hierarchies being the only consistent defining feature.

A LG lone ranger who uses a personal code was never given orders. He travels north and is indistinguishable from a CG character.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


It's VERY convenient that the best favored alignement has positive outcomes for good and bad, but neither of the other examples does.

How far into the Atlantic are the goalposts by now?

Those are the realistic outcomes for the situation. Hate it all you want, but the scenario called for a military style organization. Following orders is rewarded, disobeying orders isn't.

I'd also consider getting a promotion (the "good" part of the Lawful Good section) to not be a good thing for the poor person who accepts it as it would be a reminder that they are being rewarded for not helping people, and for no reason.

My Paladin would not be happy about that.


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HWalsh wrote:
Nobody is saying that the NG and CG would abandon innocents.
Bodhizen wrote:
Here's where the chaotic-good paladin fails, though... The chaotic-good paladin of Cayden Cailean, when confronted with Cayden Cailean's cardinal rule of "do good deeds" (if that's his cardinal rule) might say, "Y'know what? Screw that! Imma get (more) drunk. Those villagers can save themselves."

--- --- ---

Your example is about orders, not a Code. About fitting into an overall organization, not a guiding set of principles your follow.

So yes, I agree that Chaotic characters do have difficulty fitting into an overall structured organization. And are going to be prone to creative interpretations at the best of times. Their ideal scenarios would be along the lines of Hannibal at Cannae, using creative and unexpected tactics to surprise a staid enemy. Their worst scenarios would be like Rommel in North Africa, wasting resources on pointless campaigns because they're too full of themselves to listen when their superiors tell them they're too incompetent for the Eastern Front and are being put in a back theater to be out of the way.

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

It's VERY convenient that the best favored alignement has positive outcomes for good and bad, but neither of the other examples does.

How far into the Atlantic are the goalposts by now?

EDIT:

Historically, General Patton had this option during the Battle of the Bulge, and relieved the defenders of Bastogne.

Arguably, it was a Chaotic Good 'because they are our guys and we need to bail them out' sort of move... but that was a positive outcome!

Wait... what?

A Chaotic maneuver having a positive outcome? Stop the presses!

hahaha! I swear I mentioned Rommel before I saw this post! Honest I did!


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I think the reality of Lawful/Chaotic is a lot less black and white than some words on a piece of paper would indicate, and it is folly to insist that one is more right than the other.

In fact, I feel like it is insulting to those who fight for the freedom of this and other countries on a daily basis because they *chose* to do this, not because they were going to get 'nifty special powers' and in most cases, their freedom and liberty (while curtailed) was respected as much as the military environment would allow, and even encouraged in areas of creative application of rulesets that would hardly be considered 'Lawful'.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

It's VERY convenient that the best favored alignement has positive outcomes for good and bad, but neither of the other examples does.

How far into the Atlantic are the goalposts by now?

EDIT:

Historically, General Patton had this option during the Battle of the Bulge, and relieved the defenders of Bastogne.

Arguably, it was a Chaotic Good 'because they are our guys and we need to bail them out' sort of move... but that was a positive outcome!

Wait... what?

A Chaotic maneuver having a positive outcome? Stop the presses!

Wei Ji, I know that you really, really, like Chaotic Good, but be reasonable.

The battle of the Bulge didn't go as you claimed. General Eisenhower told Patton to turn and counter attack. He did not defy orders. Almost any military commander who took his forces, directly against orders, would be in deep trouble even if the maneuver worked. In fact there is a term for when you do that, specifically.


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HWalsh wrote:


Wei Ji, I know that you really, really, like Chaotic Good, but be reasonable.

The battle of the Bulge didn't go as you claimed. General Eisenhower told Patton to turn and counter attack. He did not defy orders. Almost any military commander who took his forces, directly against orders, would be in deep trouble even if the maneuver worked. In fact there is a term for when you do that, specifically.

Actually, no.

I do not particularly care for Chaotic Good.

I do not particularly care for Lawful Good.

I DO care when one is repeatedly given uneven scales of just how *amazingly beautiful* one Good is over the other, and it's not fair to load these examples with skewed examples and arbitrary barriers.

The continued defense of 'best' Lawful Good is steadfastly refusing to accept Humility as part of their package, and until that is done, I will side more with the Neutral/Chaos side of the spectrum, because above all, Humility in all things is important.


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So...I've been one of the participants in this thread and while I've liked a lot of the ideas, something comes up every time. I'd like to bring up the Antipaladin's Code as an example of that concern.

Antipaladin wrote:


An antipaladin must be of chaotic evil alignment and loses all class features except proficiencies if he willingly and altruistically commits good acts.

Okay, so they can't be altruistic. Good so far.

Antipaladin wrote:


This does not mean that an antipaladin cannot take actions someone else might qualify as good, only that such actions must always be in service of his own dark ends.

This is the first stumbling block. When we read, "his own dark ends," it emphasizes from the start that the interpretation of their code is up to THEM, and not a greater purpose. This is Chaotic in its nature and the exact opposite of a certain class seeped in tradition.

Antipaladin wrote:


An antipaladin’s code requires that he place his own interests and desires above all else,

This is also highly personal, and personally interpretative.

Antipaladin wrote:


...as well as impose tyranny,

This is often a thing Chaotic does. On the other hand, a LG will try to topple or change Tyrranical systems, because they're beholden to a Greater Good. Opposing Tyranny can be done for a lot of reasons, and isn't beholden to one alignment.

Antipaladin wrote:


...take advantage whenever possible, and punish the good and just, provided such actions don’t interfere with his goals.

This part of the code specifically mentions "his goals," and the rest brings us back to personal interpretation and lack of a higher power. The chaotic code then, is mutable and changable.

That makes sense, as chaos is most often associated with change.

The antipaladin code is opposed to the paladin's on every axis. It doesn't answer to a higher concept; it answers ultimately, to the self and such a code is squishy at best: is interpretable by the individual.

This creates a big, big issue when it comes to the Lawful paladin, which is a concept seeped in tradition, in the immutable concept of adhering to a Higher Good. Not that LG in itself is the Higher Good--it is more like a woman who has taken an oath /to/ that good, and follows it no matter what.

...

I know me saying that isn't going to make folks happy. I'm concerned too, on another front that us trying to make the paladin Chaotic also weakens the concept of Chaos.

Chaos needs love, though. I absolutely support a Chaos Warrior, Chaos Knight, Incinerator, etc. class for the alignment. I really do. However, by taking two opposites of an axis and declaring, "you're both round pegs!" it doesn't make sense.

By giving Chaos its own chassis, as it deserves, it not only preserves what Chaos is, it gives us a better chance to explore it...

...and bring in, in full, Chaos' own approach to heroism. Otherwise, we're trying to force two cats into the same bag, and ignoring the unique traits of both.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
HWalsh wrote:


Wei Ji, I know that you really, really, like Chaotic Good, but be reasonable.

The battle of the Bulge didn't go as you claimed. General Eisenhower told Patton to turn and counter attack. He did not defy orders. Almost any military commander who took his forces, directly against orders, would be in deep trouble even if the maneuver worked. In fact there is a term for when you do that, specifically.

Actually, no.

I do not particularly care for Chaotic Good.

I do not particularly care for Lawful Good.

I DO care when one is repeatedly given uneven scales of just how *amazingly beautiful* one Good is over the other, and it's not fair to load these examples with skewed examples and arbitrary barriers.

The continued defense of 'best' Lawful Good is steadfastly refusing to accept Humility as part of their package, and until that is done, I will side more with the Neutral/Chaos side of the spectrum, because above all, Humility in all things is important.

I will not disagree that you feel that way, but I don't think that you are seeing things reasonably.

For example, again, you brought up the comment saying Patton had that choice. He did not. He was granted permission to do so, which is completely different from the scenario I outlined.

Furthermore, I will ask you to politely stop this "Best Good" stuff. I have never said that, in fact NOBODY on the LG side has said that. You are saying that we have been making an argument that none of us have made. It isn't very honest to do such a thing.


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I really feel that the "Champion of Chaotic Good" wouldn't be at all like the Paladin, as someone who is the walking embodiment of "Good-aligned chaos" should be more like "someone who has awesome powers which they cannot control" than "someone who has to follow a code,, else they lose their powers."

A Paladin is hampered by the weakness of law: inflexibility - that they have to follow the rules even when it's probably not a good idea. A champion of chaos should be hampered by the weakness of Chaos - that chaos is difficult to channel in a particular direction.

I would want a Chaotic Champion to be something like 13th Age's "Chaos Mage" (but more martially inclined) where you get to roll on tables to see what your stuff does.


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ummm, just so you know. I hate posting on my laptop.....

but, some things dont have to be said.

if someone is giving the opinion via way his or her way of posting that LG is the best good. without even saying it then said person implied it. even if it was not meant as such.

I would alsolike ot point out, this thread as of this page is going down the road of all the other paladin threads


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1.) How do they know the village north of them is going to fall?

Evidently it's far enough away that they can't split the group and manage to come back fast enough if needed. If it's a wizard with sending telling them it's under attack and they need help, that's also the same level that wizards get teleport.

Also if they're able to call for help, they'd have consulted with the higher ups in the command as well, before doing so, and you'd be able to legitimately go help them. If the commander is legitimately telling the defenders of that village to throw away their lives, that's a definite sign of illegitimate authority and all the more reason for a LG character to ignore their orders and go help.

2.) The paladin wouldn't get promoted from this battle for not having a fight and just sitting there. The only way he'd get that is if he was already going to get promoted anyways due to time in service.

3.) Why/how were we enlisted?

If we were conscripted, pending the circumstances, that's some grounds for illegitimate authority and something that LG characters would be allowed to ignore (again pending circumstances).

If we signed up for it, well that's our own damned fault. But then why's our whole party staying with us instead of going off to assist the other village and just leaving us here.

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