What alignment would you label batman in PFs alignment system.


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

Silver Crusade

Note- Please make use of Pathfinders written alignment rules/definitions Located here.

I want to make a distinction here, as with in game characters, we must label them based on actions and intentions, not what they claim their values are. I would say the bats is NG-NN. Let us assume the 80-90/early 2000s portrayal, including the animated series (including the animated justice league).

You may also post thoughts on the newer version of batman (dark knight/arkham games) thought denote which is which.

Your thoughts?


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I think it can vary substantially based on which comic, show, movie or cartoon you are considering. Adam West's TV portrayal and the Dark Knight movies are not the same.


This is going to sound weird, but hear me out -- Lawful Neutral - He doesn't obey government laws, but he operates by his own creed/rule of "Never Kill Anyone". He's also not averse to doing the "occasional evil" if its for the greater good.


Ryze Kuja wrote:
This is going to sound weird, but hear me out -- Lawful Neutral - He doesn't obey government laws, but he operates by his own creed/rule of "Never Kill Anyone". He's also not averse to doing the "occasional evil" if its for the greater good.

i mean, everyone pretty much follows their own rules. Unless the argument is that people who follow government laws are following those instead of their own,

And therefore its people that follow laws that are chaotic. I’d disagree with that view.

Everyone follows rules. If you are the source of your rules, you are chaotic. If it’s external, whether a government, sacred book, liege lord, etc., you are lawful.

Silver Crusade

Java Man wrote:
I think it can vary substantially based on which comic, show, movie or cartoon you are considering. Adam West's TV portrayal and the Dark Knight movies are not the same.

This is true.. I edited the original to make it a little more clear.


Lawful Good - He follows his own code, never deviating from it, and it's always for the good of the people around him.


Ryze Kuja wrote:
This is going to sound weird, but hear me out -- Lawful Neutral - He doesn't obey government laws, but he operates by his own creed/rule of "Never Kill Anyone". He's also not averse to doing the "occasional evil" if its for the greater good.

*sigh*

This idea needs to die.

Having a personal code does not mean you are lawful. Law is how you work in a society. It is whether you put society above the individual. It is whether you consider the whole over the part. It is often external morality. You be be Chaotic as f+*@ and still have a code. Personal codes are personal, they are adhered to regardless of what the law is or what society expects.

To illustrate the point, and to stick with DC characters, let's look at the Main Man - Lobo. At best he is extremely "I'm not evil I'm Chaotic Neutral". Often times he's straight CE. Yet he has one tenet he does not break: 1. He fulfills a contract (sometimes portrayed as he will always keep his word, even beyond contracts).
As an occasional secondary tenet: He tries to get along with people who like dolphins, even if he'd just as soon kill them.
Having a personal code does make you Lawful.


Bats is Chaotic Evil... might SOMETIMES qualify as Chaotic Nuetral. But mostly Evil, and always Chaotic.

He is a psychotic bully, dressed as a rodent, wasting millions, if not billions of dollars just to get his own rocks off beating up "bad guys" in dark allies.


Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Ryze Kuja wrote:
This is going to sound weird, but hear me out -- Lawful Neutral - He doesn't obey government laws, but he operates by his own creed/rule of "Never Kill Anyone". He's also not averse to doing the "occasional evil" if its for the greater good.

*sigh*

This idea needs to die.

Having a personal code does not mean you are lawful. Law is how you work in a society. It is whether you put society above the individual. It is whether you consider the whole over the part. It is often external morality. You be be Chaotic as f+*$ and still have a code. Personal codes are personal, they are adhered to regardless of what the law is or what society expects.

To illustrate the point, and to stick with DC characters, let's look at the Main Man - Lobo. At best he is extremely "I'm not evil I'm Chaotic Neutral". Often times he's straight CE. Yet he has one tenet he does not break: 1. He fulfills a contract (sometimes portrayed as he will always keep his word, even beyond contracts).
As an occasional secondary tenet: He tries to get along with people who like dolphins, even if he'd just as soon kill them.
Having a personal code does make you Lawful.

while i do see the ‘personal code follower’ thing to be silly, within the Pathfinder ruleset, i can see an argument that the fundamental question is “Why you always be killing people?”

And your alignment is defined by your answer:
“Because they were evil”
“To support Law and Order”
“To foment chaos”
“Fun and profit”

And there (where what you do is subordinate to your cause, your why) i could see batman as Lawful.


I label Batman as Neutral, in all aspects. He has his moments where he behaves in more recognizable ways that flag different alignments, but that is well within the scope of what is possible with the Neutral Alignment. Just because he is a 'hero' doesn't make him automatically Good.

Batman isn't above torturing people. He has compunctions against it but will do it, even if he feels bad about it afterwards. GOOD people won't consider it an option at all, and do more than just 'feel bad' afterwards if they happen to engage in it without the ability to resort to something else.

There are some hard lines that you can draw that separate alignments (according to D&D/Pathfinder) that Batman has ran over several times. I chose to place him in a place that allows for such things to exist without contradiction. Batman has some strong convictions, but they stem from his traumatic past.


Let's look at one of the most well known stories: The time Batman's plans to take down the Justice League were stolen.

At the end, everyone was quick to demonize Batman, but Superman silenced them, stating Batman has the right to defend himself. Batman explains, calmly, that his plans were meant to disable, not kill, the League, should they go rogue, then when backlash arose, he, angrily, stated that if they can't see the threat of an out of control League, then he'll make things easy. He quits.

Before he left, Superman confronted Batman. S asked why B didn't make a plan to stop himself, asking if he was really so arrogant, that he saw himself incapable of wrongdoing.

B responded that he did have a plan to stop himself, the League.

Now here is the important part. The definition of LG for DC comics, Superman, found Batman to be in the right, and bloody gave him kryptonite to use against Supes, should the need arise.

From this, we can confirm two things.

1: Batman is not Evil.
2: Batman is not Chaotic.

I'll leave the rest to you.


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Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Ryze Kuja wrote:
This is going to sound weird, but hear me out -- Lawful Neutral - He doesn't obey government laws, but he operates by his own creed/rule of "Never Kill Anyone". He's also not averse to doing the "occasional evil" if its for the greater good.

*sigh*

This idea needs to die.

Having a personal code does not mean you are lawful. Law is how you work in a society. It is whether you put society above the individual. It is whether you consider the whole over the part. It is often external morality. You be be Chaotic as f+@~ and still have a code. Personal codes are personal, they are adhered to regardless of what the law is or what society expects.

To illustrate the point, and to stick with DC characters, let's look at the Main Man - Lobo. At best he is extremely "I'm not evil I'm Chaotic Neutral". Often times he's straight CE. Yet he has one tenet he does not break: 1. He fulfills a contract (sometimes portrayed as he will always keep his word, even beyond contracts).
As an occasional secondary tenet: He tries to get along with people who like dolphins, even if he'd just as soon kill them.
Having a personal code does make you Lawful.

From the CRB itself:

Lawful Neutral: A lawful neutral character acts as law, tradition, or a personal code directs her. Order and organization are paramount. She may believe in personal order and live by a code or standard, or she may believe in order for all and favor a strong, organized government.

Lawful neutral means you are reliable and honorable without being a zealot.

Aside from that, yeah, there's been too many writers to properly paint him as one specific alignment. See this, for example.


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BATMAN'S TRUE ALIGNMENT

/Thread.


MrCharisma wrote:

BATMAN'S TRUE ALIGNMENT

/Thread.

Pretty much.


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Chaotic good. He fights for ‘good’ but has difficulty adhering to the law.


All of them, depending on which version.


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Quentin Coldwater wrote:
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Ryze Kuja wrote:
This is going to sound weird, but hear me out -- Lawful Neutral - He doesn't obey government laws, but he operates by his own creed/rule of "Never Kill Anyone". He's also not averse to doing the "occasional evil" if its for the greater good.

*sigh*

This idea needs to die.

From the CRB itself:

Lawful Neutral: A lawful neutral character acts as law, tradition, or a personal code directs her. Order and organization are paramount. She may believe in personal order and live by a code or standard, or she may believe in order for all and favor a strong, organized government.

Lawful neutral means you are reliable and honorable without being a zealot.

Ok as long as we're actually arguing alignment, this is a problem that comes up a lot.

Lawful =/= follows the law.

Lawful = the opposite of chaotic.

The problem comes from the word "Lawful" so it's really Paizo's fault (or Gary Gygax's I guess?). We should rename it - at least in our heads - to AXIOMATIC.

If you think of the 4 alignments as Good, Evil, Chaotic and Axiomatic it becomes a lot easier to put aside some of the arguments. This is NOT changing the definitions that we're given for this alignment, it simply changes the confusing label.

The other thing that often confuses people is that Paladins DO have to uphold the law. This is a part of the Paladin code of honour, so it connects to them being Lawful Good but (and this is important) it is ONLY for Paladins. It has nothing to do with the alignment system in general. Since alignment issues most often crop up in Paladin discussions it's easy to get this confused.

(It's also commonly misused to justify Paladins taking borderline Evil actions because they're "following the law". That's an altogether different argument that has nothing to do with Batman, so we can ignore that for now.)

The next thing to remember is that your alignment on the Good/Evil scale has NOTHING to do with your alignment on the Axiomatic/Chaotic scale. Seriously people have so many preconcieved notions about what specific alignments mean. They go out of their way - breaking the rules of the game - to make their games fot to their ideals.

I've seen GM's correctly change a PC's alignment from Neutral to Evil (which the Player was fine with, let's not start that argument), but then botch the whole thing when they look at what the final alignment would be:

Quote:

GM: After drinking Demon's blood to gain power one too many times I'm going to have to change your alignment one step toward evil. What's your alignment now?

Player: Ok, my character does see this as an "any means necessary" kind of mission. I'm Chaotic Neutral at the moment, so I guess Chaotic Evil?

GM: Hmmm... Chaotic Evil sounds too far gone, perhaps we'll just make you Neutral Evil.

So the GM changes you to Evil, and apparently less concerned with personal freedoms? That might fit, but it's not what the intention was, and it's not why the PC changed alignment. It only happened because the GM thinks that: "CE = Murder Hobo".

So what DO we use as a guide for Batman's alignment if we can't use "following the law"?

Here's a quote that seems to describe Batman almost exactly:

ALIGNMENT wrote:
When thinking of alignments, use a simple test: How would the character treat a stranger in trouble? A chaotic good person who sees a stranger being robbed would rush to his aid—a person in distress needs help. A lawful good character would move to take over the situation and see justice done. A neutral character might stand back and watch developments, acting as she sees fit on this occasion, and perhaps acting differently the next time. A chaotic evil character would join in, and perhaps try to rob both the victim and the robbers. A lawful evil character would hang back, waiting for the fight to end, and then take advantage for his own gain or that of his god or cult.

Does that mean Batman is Lawful Good? I dunno, alignment is stupid. Don't base your Batman's actions on your alignment, base your alignment on your Batman's actions.

Chaotic vs Axiomatic: Is your Batman fighting for Freedom or Justice?

Good vs Evil: How far is your Batman willing to go for his ideals?

(And remember the IS a middle ground in both these scales)


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Kasoh wrote:
MrCharisma wrote:

BATMAN'S TRUE ALIGNMENT

/Thread.

Pretty much.

Just a shout-out because I missed it - Quentin Coldwater linked to the exact same picture in the post directly above mine 13 minutes before I did.

Quentin Coldwater wrote:
Aside from that, yeah, there's been too many writers to properly paint him as one specific alignment. See this, for example.

Was I "Ninja'd"? Or in this case was I "Batman'd"?


Depends on which version of batman.

Depending on incarnation he's been all of the alignments before, including chaotic evil.


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MrCharisma wrote:

BATMAN'S TRUE ALIGNMENT

/Thread.

I think this wins.

Also, @ Bjørn Røyrvik:

Lawful Good/Evil/Neutral doesn't = They have to follow all laws, it can also mean they have an ethos or discipline that they adhere to. Just watch any Jet Li movie from his Chinese Cinema days, he had 10+ movies with 1 plot line and 1 ethos: The government screwed him somehow and now he's fighting back (plot), but he would never attack a defenseless government stooge, or anyone who was defenseless for that matter (ethos). <--- Lawful Neutral.


Ryze Kuja wrote:
Lawful Good/Evil/Neutral doesn't = They have to follow all laws, it can also mean they have an ethos or discipline that they adhere to. Just watch any Jet Li movie from his Chinese Cinema days, he had 10+ movies with 1 plot line and 1 ethos: The government screwed him somehow and now he's fighting back (plot), but he would never attack a defenseless government stooge, or anyone who was defenseless for that matter (ethos). <--- Lawful Neutral.

I'd argue that this is a Lawful Neutral tendency and, when compared with other aspects of the character, might indicate a Lawful Neutral alignment. Alignment is not a straight jacket and one personal line that they won't cross over (or a handful of them) does not a Lawful alignment make. Characters often act outside of their alignment in small ways.

Lawful alignments are approaches to actions, thoughts, and behavior in an ordered and structured manner. Every situation has a 'best' action to take, and a lot of 'not best' actions to take. A character that does the 'best' thing in response, instead of any of the numerous other actions that might resolve the issue easier but are still 'not right' to that character, is showing heavy indicators of a Lawful alignment. Note that I am not bringing in 'good or evil' to the topic.

Chaotic characters tend to act in an opposite manner. They respond fluidly and dynamically to situations based on how they feel is the best (sometimes it can be easiest) solution to resolve matters. They have few, if any, hard set (predetermined) responses to situations. They might react to exactly the same situation in vastly different ways depending on just as many vastly different circumstances.

Neutral characters between Lawful and Chaotic can display all of these tendencies, having some predetermined behaviors and beliefs about what is the 'best' actions to take, and yet still choose to act against those if they feel the end justifies it. Most people are like this. Laws and order are good (to a point) and then you have to do something outside of that because sometimes they are not.

That's just my two cents on the matter. I just felt compelled to respond because I am often irked by characters (and players) claiming to have a personal code that they follow that makes them Lawful, when they only display a single (or sometime two) specific tendency to act in orderly ways.


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Now I want to rewatch Jet Li's "The One". It was terrible and yet somehow awesome at the same time.


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Claxon wrote:
Now I want to rewatch Jet Li's "The One". It was terrible and yet somehow awesome at the same time.

A very odd thing has occurred. Someone has said something in the internet that I 100% agree with.


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Can we please f~&@ off with the "Batman every alignment chart" bs? The first Batman on it is Adam West, whose portrayal of Batman is so far from the norm, that that Batman can be argued NOT to have any mental illnesses. When people ask what alignment Batman should be, things like Adam West's or Frank Miller's versions should never be considered unless specifically asked for. There are trends generic Batmen follow. Please use those trends for figuring out his alignment.


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Generic Batty is set up specifically to mess with the "law-abiding is good, law-breakers are bad" type of morality. He breaks the law to enforce something like law. The local police like him to the point of having a bat-signal, outside police really don't. On law vs. chaos his answer is "I am created to defy your categorisation".

He's generally doing good though. If any adventurers are good, he's good.


At this point I believe we probably do actually have at least one Batman of every alignment, just like the meme image.


Reksew_Trebla wrote:
Can we please f~@& off with the "Batman every alignment chart" bs? The first Batman on it is Adam West, whose portrayal of Batman is so far from the norm, that that Batman can be argued NOT to have any mental illnesses. When people ask what alignment Batman should be, things like Adam West's or Frank Miller's versions should never be considered unless specifically asked for. There are trends generic Batmen follow. Please use those trends for figuring out his alignment.

The point is that Batman is a character who does not exist in a world with an objective morality, so typifying his actions to the alignment chart is difficult because he is a character with 80+ years of publishing to him, written by different writers who have no demand to tell any kind of consistent story with the character.

What is the quintessential Batman?

The Bob Kane & Bill Finger Batman?
Adam West's Batman?
The Dennis O'Neil Batman?
Chuck Dixon's Batman?
Frank Miller's?
Ed Brubaker?
Tim Burton?
Joel Schumacher?
Bruce Timm?
Scott Snyder?
Zack Snyder?
Tom King?

And I'm sure I'm missing some other seminal creatives who made Batman what he is. Of course you need to consider the Adam West--if it wasn't for Batman 66, he probably wouldn't be as popular as he is. All of this adds up into being the cultural juggernaut that Batman is.

Anyway, Batman's alignment is "Make WB money." Whatever it takes.

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