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A Paladin and Samuel the Deserter

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Comments

  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,026
    @jesterdesu, I can't help but note you have an extremely restrictive view of alignment. That seems odd to me. I'm pretty sure the game was made to accommodate more than nine possible personalities.

    kcwiseatcDaveelminsterTuth
  • jesterdesujesterdesu Member Posts: 373
    I have a restrictive view of restrictive alignments, that's all. Neutral whatever are the alignments of freedom, lawful alignments are by nature rigid.

    kcwiseJoshBG
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,514
    Alignments in even the most restrictive DnD systems are not an exclusive defining characteristic. Some Good people can be huge jerks, ie @elminster has been known to be decidedly not nice in some stories. Alignments in 2nd Ed ard there to give you a guideline for RPing. DMs were encouraged to reward really good RPing, and to consider assigning a new alignment if a character repeatedly and consistently violates their alignment.

    Remember, you could very easily end up as a LG Fallen Paladin. Not all LG folks are as LG as a Paladin!

    JarrakulatcDavekcwiseTuth
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,607
    edited May 2015
    Elminster is always a gentlemen. He's so nice in fact that he even took time out of his year to visit the residents of hell. How much nicer do you get? :)

    (Needing to enter hell to save all of Faerun from a portal to the Nine Hells was just a cover story)

    At the end of the day to me they are a roleplaying guideline but not absolutes.

    BlackravenkcwiseJuliusBorisov
  • JoshBGJoshBG Member Posts: 87
    edited May 2015
    DreadKhan said:

    Alignments in even the most restrictive DnD systems are not an exclusive defining characteristic. Some Good people can be huge jerks, ie @elminster has been known to be decidedly not nice in some stories. Alignments in 2nd Ed ard there to give you a guideline for RPing. DMs were encouraged to reward really good RPing, and to consider assigning a new alignment if a character repeatedly and consistently violates their alignment.

    Remember, you could very easily end up as a LG Fallen Paladin. Not all LG folks are as LG as a Paladin!

    You are right about "there can be many shades of good". However, this does not apply to Law and Chaos, otherwise this whole DnD alignment system wouldn't make sense.

    If a good-hearted character thinks that a structured, organized society, where laws are being uphold and respected by everyone, is crucial for well-being of people, this character is LG.

    If a good-hearted character thinks that a structured, organized society is important, but laws can be bent here and there, for the Greater Good, this character is NG.

    ---

    If a guard captures and turns in an escaped prisoner, knowing that he was wrongly accused and he will be executed, this guard is LN.

    Etc, etc.

    There can not be Lawful-Neutral-Good in DnD :)

    jesterdesukcwiseJuliusBorisov
  • JoshBGJoshBG Member Posts: 87
    Your alignment is already defined, that's the point. You, usually, don't start with a 1 yer old baby :D, you start with an individual. His/Her world-view is already formed. But it can be changed.

    kcwise
  • JoshBGJoshBG Member Posts: 87
    That's a given, I'm talking more about our specific case, I guess. It's not like the CHARNAME is in alien environment. ;)

    kcwise
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,514
    JoshBG said:

    That's a given, I'm talking more about our specific case, I guess. It's not like the CHARNAME is in alien environment. ;)

    I must disagree, he's lived his entire life in Candlekeep, and the Flamming Fist have no authority in Candlekeep. While I suspect an upstanding Lawful citizen of Beregost would likely turn in Samuel, but Charname is very much in an alien enviroment.

    I can see a LG turning him in, but I'm not convinced everyone would.

    atcDavekcwiseTuth
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,026
    I should also point out that I have some difficulty with the idea that your alignment depends on the culture you're in. Take that human rights lawyer and stick him in the middle east, and he might not be so law-abiding, with no changed to his personality or morals whatsoever. His alignment stays the same, because he's adhering to the same strict moral code. It just doesn't happen to align with his local laws anymore. Importantly, we can now imagine a new person who is born in the middle east and has the exact same moral code as our lawyer friend. Because he has the same morals, he must be the same alignment, and is therefore still lawful even though he's not acting according to the laws of his culture and never has been.

    Feel free to debate some/all of that. I'm not sure I've ever found two people who agree 100% on what alignment means.

    kcwiseTuth
  • jesterdesujesterdesu Member Posts: 373
    A lawful good paladin would still respect the fact that an evil tyrant maintained a sense of law and order, though the good part of them would not agree with the fact that they were using the law for selfish means. Would they break the law of the land to overthrow said tyrant? If the evil outweighed the benefits of said lawful society they probably would, though they'd rather find a solution within the law. A neutral good person would simply see the evil and try to end it, law be dammed.

    I've noticed many people who play lawful alignments rarely have the stomach to be truly lawful... I certainly don't but I never play lawful characters accordingly. Suggesting lawfulness is a mere guideline is a neutral/ chaotic idea.

    kcwise
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,026
    See, I just don't think lawfulness has much of anything to do with the law. It has everything to do with order and moral codes, but I don't think it has much to do with the law, or rather, with any specific set of laws. Certainly a lawful character is going to be in favor of laws in concept, since they promote order and codify morals, but any given set of laws may promote disorder more than order, or codify morals that the lawful character finds abhorrent. I have trouble imagining a lawful character being willing to promote disorder, or betray their own supposedly-unbending moral code, just because some guy in a castle somewhere wrong a thing down. Note that this is not viewing lawfulness as a "mere guideline," which I agree is neutral/chaotic. This is adhering unfailingly to a set of rules and principles that you're utterly unwilling to compromise. I just don't see why it should only count if those rules and principles are the law of the land.

    Obviously some lawful characters (particularly lawful neutral ones) will have obedience to authority as part of their personal code, and these characters are unlikely to break the law under any circumstances, even if they find it unjust. But that's because the obedience is one of their own rules, not just because they're lawful.

    kcwiseTuth
  • jesterdesujesterdesu Member Posts: 373
    Lawful alignments believe structured society with clear and enforced laws work best.

    Neutral will follow or break laws as they feel is best.

    Chaotic go further still and have natural aversion to laws, preferring anarchy.

    Most of us are very likely neutral.

    kcwise
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,514
    Jarrakul said:

    I should also point out that I have some difficulty with the idea that your alignment depends on the culture you're in. Take that human rights lawyer and stick him in the middle east, and he might not be so law-abiding, with no changed to his personality or morals whatsoever. His alignment stays the same, because he's adhering to the same strict moral code. It just doesn't happen to align with his local laws anymore. Importantly, we can now imagine a new person who is born in the middle east and has the exact same moral code as our lawyer friend. Because he has the same morals, he must be the same alignment, and is therefore still lawful even though he's not acting according to the laws of his culture and never has been.

    Feel free to debate some/all of that. I'm not sure I've ever found two people who agree 100% on what alignment means.

    Well, Lawful characters will tend to uphold an establishment they are a part of, if they see it as legitimate (LN), personally beneficial (LE), or benevolent (LG). I agree a LG character, or LN character would be willing to break the local law in some circumstances. Ghandi was fairly lawful imo, and ignored laws he saw as lacking legitimacy.

    I think alignment gives *a* guideline to an individuals choices and behavior, but not even Paladins will all make identical choices.

    I think a Paladin might tolerate a LE leader, but only if his laws were never evil. Which is unlikely.

    kcwise
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,607
    atcDave said:



    There was a chart in the AD&D core books that showed the alignments as a chart. Every one of them had a range that allowed for more or less in both good/evil axis and law/chaos. None of these things were absolute.

    I'm not certain about a chart but if you want to read about alignments are handled a good source is Chapter 4 of the Dungeon Masters Guide for 2nd edition. In that case it talks about a change of alignment being more something to discuss with a DM during an adventure than a kind of fixed threshold.

    atcDavekcwise
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,514
    @atcDave I see your point, and I completely agree a 2nd Ed Paladin cannot aide or work with a LE ruler, but tolerate I think *could* happen, if as I stated, the LE ruler was not an evil ruler, just a bad person seperately.

    I think neither choice is strictly 'Good' in this connundrum, as @Grum seems to be saying. Helping him is Nice though, not Good.

    Grumkcwise
  • recklessheartrecklessheart Member Posts: 687
    edited May 2015
    Even Lawful Good governments might - although perhaps with a heavy heart - hang deserters regardless of their reason, if it helps to inform a social structure of loyalty and duty to the crown/kingdom: these things can be taken into the wider social context.

    All people err from their principles at time, so while some might consider this an 'evil' thing to do, and some might not, in any case it is unlikely that the Lawful Gods are going to conspire for the ruination of a kingdom based on the treatment of one person who empirically has defied their oath.

    This is the deserter's problem - in this case Samuel. It is not about the PC's responsibility, it is about Samuel's responsibility, which he failed to fulfill, and so he must be punished. At least, this is how a Lawful character would see it. Samuel's reason might appeal to a Sunite Paladin, but generally there is no reason why 'love' need be considered a fundamentally Good thing because it's Deity is good, as it is universal to people of all alignments in the D&D world. Tyr, Helm, or whatever other Lawful/Lawful Good deity doesn't need to accept love as a valid reason for the failure of a person to adhere to their duties or promises.

    kcwise
  • TuthTuth Member Posts: 233
    Arguing about alignments is one of the worst things in D&D. This is matter of an opinion in most cases. I believe that the definitions of law, chaos, good, evil are all open for interpretation and fluid. No one is having it written on their forehead "I'm lawful good".

    The way I see it and explain it to the new players is that it's more about your inner 'moral code', way of thinking, view of the world etc., rather than the outside actions themselves. The alignment does not defy the character, it's a mere compass, besides people act differently in a difficult situation. Stress, danger, emotions, relations to the other people involved - all have a significant influence on the decision that a character will make. So, I can't fully predict how each character would react to a given situation, no matter what their alignment is.

    Example: character's companion has just been killed, I don't think he/she will act rationally and according to his/her alignment for a bit. Later he/she may reflect on his/her past actions and try to atone for, or not. I don't see paladins as a robots that abide law and goodness no matter what.

    Jarrakulkcwise
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