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Alignment question. Why is Anomen so ticked off about ...SPOILERS!!

[SPOILERS] ** I just started playing Baldurs gate 2 again after maybe 10 years remembering pretty much nothing except the big dragon that kills you a lot of times and a few annoying bugs that made you replay the entire game, but my question is about alignment..

After you leave Athkathla for the first time, in my case to go help Nalia at the keep you come across some robbers and after killing him you are asked to bring somebody's body to a building in the Docks district. I'm a lawful good paladin, so I guess I would, right? but everytime I do, Anomen complains about it saying "I''m wasting my time on a drunk"

so my question is.. why wouldn't a Neutral Good character help a very sick man and try to save him from dying?



  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    edited January 2014
    Anomen's alignment is a bit nuanced... as u might find out in the future.

    Depending on some decisions you make, his alignment can change to either Lawful Good or Chaotic Neutral. So he is not quite the noble knight in shiny armour he pretends to be or thinks he is.

    A lot of people don't like Anomen, and he can be annoying... But I really like the depth of the character.

  • argent77argent77 Member Posts: 2,787
    Firstly, Anomen starts as a lawful neutral character, but his "difficult" behavior is more based on his personal background than on his alignment. As @Heindrich1988 has already mentioned, he is one of the more interesting characters if you have the patience to babysit him through his trials. You are well advised to do the opposite of everything Anomen is suggesting, especially if you're playing a good-aligned character.

  • ryuken87ryuken87 Member Posts: 563
    When you meet him Anomen is Lawful Neutral not Neutral Good but aside from that he is very arrogant and snobbish. Being from a noble family he looks down on the lower classes and thinks himself very self-important.

  • TigersagTigersag Member Posts: 52
    but does it mean that if I play a Neutral Good character and try to rescue a drunk vagabond in the street, I'm in violation of my alignment? I did the online test and tested out as Neutral Good but I would still try to save a dying man because it's "the right thing to do"

    Having said that, I don't get about the difference between Neutral Good and Lawful Good; Neutral good is said to want to do the right thing and when the online Baldur Gate wiki gives Zorro as an example. So if Zorro is a neutral good character then why wouldn't he save a man from dying? in contrast to the perfect lawful good character that paladins are?

  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    Neutral Good is actually the closest to 'absolute Good', because his/her altruism is not constrained by any loyalties to laws or rules, or the whims of a Chaotic personality. So absolutely a Neutral Good character would rescue the dying man.

    A Lawful Good soldier, on the other hand, might feel extremely sorry for the wounded man, since he is compassionate, but say the injured man was illegally hunting/trespassing on sacred woods, and the penalty was death, the soldier might kill the man, even if he was hunting there out of desperation to feed his family in a famine.

  • OnestepOnestep Member Posts: 225
    Anomen spends the first half of the game as something of a manchild. He gets better after resolving his personal issues a bit.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,409
    @Tigersag, both neutral good and lawful good people would save the poisoned robbery victim. Anomen (in the beginning), is *not* neutral good. He's lawful neutral, as someone else already said.

    There are nuances to "lawful neutral". "Lawful" in D&D doesn't necessarily refer to the actual state legal system, but Anomen is a type who believes in the moral code of the Order of the Radiant Heart, and that it should be enforced on everyone. He's like an overzealous police officer, who would love nothing better than to round up every drunk and beggar off the streets and throw them all in jail. He also is very vain and arrogant.

    He does not represent the opinions of the Order of the Radiant Heart. If you meet Keldorn later, he is a mature, experienced member of the Order who will show you what a true paladin believes and is, and he will try to help Anomen see the error of his ways. Anomen does not understand the ways of the Order, although he thinks he does, and he can be very belligerent about it.

    You as the player will also have a chance to advise Anomen on some things, and will be able to influence him down one path or another.

    So, when you first meet Anomen, he is NEUTRAL. He's not any type of "Good". The behavior you are seeing from him reflects his neutrality, as well as his arrogant personality and lack of empathy.

  • TigersagTigersag Member Posts: 52
    Fardragon, I just realized I misread Anomen's allignment. I was under the impression he was neutral GOOD.. and so I wondered. Yes, now I understand why a LAWFUL person might not help a dying man.

    I still have a lot of questions about playing different GOOD alignments right but I will post that in another thread. Thanks

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    It's one of those things that makes us all scratch our heads.

    Alignments are supposed to play a part in our character and how they react to the world, BUT!!!!!

    Alignment isn't the end all and be all of the character. They should still have personalities and moods and attitudes that will also shape a significant part of their character.

    It is, for instance, possible to be arrogant and snobbish and Lawful good (not that Anomen is, but..).

    It's like looking at classic art and saying "What influences were involved in this painting?" There are as many flavors of Good, neutral and Evil as there are snowflakes in a storm.

    So to answer the OP's question, it is the 'good' thing to help the guy get back home, but not doing it (or at least not complaining about it) doesn't make you a not good person. Plus, Anomen has issues.

    I am currently reading the Dresden files books. Here is a really good example of a complex character. Dresden is clearly 'one of the good guys', yet he struggles with a lot of things such as a desire for power and wealth and comfort (and sex). In the current book I am reading, he gets approached by the queen of Winter (who is essentially evil incarnate as described in the book) and she offers him a job as her 'Winter Knight'. they devote an entire page to him describing why he might consider doing it (which ultimately he does, though much later). It is about him trying to be nice, but actually wanting some of what comes with the job.

    Alignments aren't supposed to hammer your character into some black and white tiny little box. they are flavor to add to the depth of your portrayal.

    sorry for the wall of text.

  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,823
    I think my Blade that is coming up next(tm) in BG2EE is going to gleefully corrupt Anomen before she fully takes Dorn. I can't stand him, I've done his romance and he's a great character overall. Any character, good or evil, who brings that much sheer derision to a gaming community due to how he acts etc is a great character. Anomen is a character, who no one I've ever met is indifferent about. His personality leaves a mark on almost everyone and they almost love or hate him. Females in particular tend to hate him because he's also shown to be an arrogant misogynist *****

  • FlashingFlashing Member Posts: 3
    i dont think Anomen's opinion has any problem. the problem is players like to think evil means powerful means worth a fight. weak means not evil means worth a save. that's often right is a game, but in a more realistic case, a man who will never hurt a girl could also be extreme evil: maybe he is too weak to do so.

    Anomen's complains is already answered your question imo: "I''m wasting my time on a drunk"

    he doesnt want to do it because he doesnt JUDGE a DRUNK as a GOOD thing worth to SAVE.

    an evil devil kills innocent ppl would worth a save or kill? a LG probably choose kill.
    a drunk doesnt hurt others, but thats because he is less powerful. imagine a drunk with 20 wizard lvs.

    i'd say Anomen is NG because he is really the true good. he maybe naive, too young too simple. but he looks things to their nature. in his eyes, a drunk is corrupted, saving a drunk is not more worthy despite he is less harmful.

    i dont say this is the good way to look at this world, and the good to behave. but i do think Anomen's behavour is very logic to his characteristic: a simple naive young NG, what else would u expect from a yong noble man with wis 12?

  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,823

    The thing is Anomen is either LN->CN or LN->LG. As someone else pointed out, except in Keldorn's dealings with Viconia, he is one of the best examples of LG in an RPG I've ever played. Keldorn would save the drunk in an attempt to hope that he can be saved.

    In the end, Anomen's theory about drunk is wrong, because the man IS in fact poisoned. There is a reason Anomen starts with only 12 wisdom (the stat used for judgment calls) and that is because his judgment is very much clouded by his childhood with his father.

  • TigersagTigersag Member Posts: 52
    @ flashing .. so you could say that Neutral Good characters or real life people for that matter would maybe WANT to help every beggar in the street but THINK it's not possible or workable where as a Lawful Good person simply doesn't see any choice BUT to help and fork out his last dime to help poorer people?

  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    Tigersag said:

    @ flashing .. so you could say that Neutral Good characters or real life people for that matter would maybe WANT to help every beggar in the street but THINK it's not possible or workable where as a Lawful Good person simply doesn't see any choice BUT to help and fork out his last dime to help poorer people?

    You should detach Lawful ==> Chaotic and Good ==> Evil when you think about these characters. It's two unrelated axis of alignment.

    Objectively speaking, there is no better or worse, more good or less good, in the Lawful ==> Chaotic axis, even though as I said before, I personally think there is inherent 'value' in Law and Order.

    Thus NG and LG are both Good. Their their level of altruism is the same, and as I said, NG is the closest to pure Good, because his morality is his primary motivation, and not his preference for Order (Lawful) or Individualism (Chaos).

    All things equal, LG and NG people would both try equally hard to help the helpless. They would regard it to be their moral duty. The LG guy might not if it conflicted with his Lawful attitudes, for example offering supplies to a starving rebel soldier fighting against his state.

  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,471

    Anomen's father is a drunk. I assume that it has more to do with Anomen's backstory; he despises his father and probably objects to some guy being drunk on the streets. He doesn't see an injured man, he sees a man like his father passed out on the street from drinking too much.

    Dang, I never made that connection before! So it was basically foreshadowing.

  • BigfishBigfish Member Posts: 368
    Alignment is a load of hogwash that adds little to the game aside from making some characters irrationally leave because you got too popular, or the occasional item or spell nuance.

    Really wish it would have just been characters being jerks and occasionally doing something that would hurt your rep, like a their randomly pick pocketing someone and getting caught or giving the hostile response to what is normally a choice the player makes.

  • karnagekarnage Member Posts: 92
    Tigersag said:

    but does it mean that if I play a Neutral Good character and try to rescue a drunk vagabond in the street, I'm in violation of my alignment? I did the online test and tested out as Neutral Good but I would still try to save a dying man because it's "the right thing to do"

    Having said that, I don't get about the difference between Neutral Good and Lawful Good; Neutral good is said to want to do the right thing and when the online Baldur Gate wiki gives Zorro as an example. So if Zorro is a neutral good character then why wouldn't he save a man from dying? in contrast to the perfect lawful good character that paladins are?

    The difference, as explained (and I'll try to extraupalte) is the attitude towards rules and traditions.

    "Lawfuls" hold that rules must exist, unyielding, to maintain society and order. Without rules, society crumbles and chaos ensues. If a rule is a bad rule, it must be changed, but it must be changed within the rules.

    "Neutrals" hold that there is a time for laws and rules, but there is a time when they are to be discarded. Bad rules are to be ignored or challenged.

    So, both Lawful Goods and Neutral Goods would try to save a poisoned man from dying, give aid to the needy, get the cat out of the tree, etc. Where the real differences come would be in relation to rules.

    If it's against the rules to beg for coin in the Government District, then there must be just consequences for this rule-breaking behavior. So, the Lawful Good would wish to help this destitute man, but only after the law is satisfied. The Neutral Good would most likely see this rule as unreasonable and oppressive, thus ignore it entirely and lie on this beggar's behalf to keep him out of trouble.

  • TigersagTigersag Member Posts: 52
    @karnage so a lawful Good character would find a loophole in the governing law to ensure he can still help the beggar and then make the city guard, council member or judge see it that way? (aka the executive, the ruling and legislative powers)

    I mean the law is not a fixed thing, is it? even if it's in writing?

  • abacusabacus Member Posts: 1,308
    I think Lawful Good would arrest the beggar (duty first), but then bring hot chocolate & sandwiches to his (warm) cell...

  • TigersagTigersag Member Posts: 52
    @abacus isn't that dependent on the promises made by the character? If I never joined the police force of that particular city, I might not feel compelled to do so, right? or do you mean that even if I wasn't on the police force I would get a police officer and have him arrested just because I'm a lawful Good paladin?

  • abacusabacus Member Posts: 1,308
    Sorry, I wasn't being specific to your previous example... I was just using the concept of the "ideal" police officer as a template for (my notion of) lawful goodness

    I approximate the lawful-chaotic spectrum to old notions of "duty"... So as I see it, a Lawful character feels obligated to put the law ahead of his/her personal feelings or impulses.
    The good-evil spectrum I approximate to an individual's level of compassion/altruism.

    In relation to your Paladin, his notion of law would relate to whatever oaths he swore when being knighted (as you said above)... He would certainly want to help, but would also feel obligated to obey the law if it prohibited him from doing so... Maybe he'd feel that helping one vagrant might encourage others to lead a similar lifestyle and ultimately bring down society! (Apologies for the melodrama)

    It's an interesting inner conflict, and one reason why I have no truck with the Lawful Good = Lawful Stupid argument.

  • ReadingRamboReadingRambo Member Posts: 598
    edited January 2014
    It reminds me of the de'arnise stronghold interaction with the guard that steals for his sick wife. The lawful good type might offer to pay for treatment for his ill wife, but then removing him from the garrison as punishment. The neutral good guy might do the same except allow him to remain.

    Not sure if its relevant, but I just did that quest and was reminded if it :)

    I really like kid carnivals take on the situation, makes total sense. Anomen isn't strictly following his alignment but actually acting like a real person struggling with family difficulties.

  • AristilliusAristillius Member Posts: 873
    I disagree, as I see it lawful good doesnt entail following the law to every letter. Keldorn himself would probably disregard laws that are unfavorable against those in need - there are few absolutes when it comes to well rounded characters and alignment - although that would make it easier for us to understand them. The way I interpret it, lawful good is more *focused* on law and to building robust institutions that convey solidarity and simmilar sentiments, but they are not bound irrevocabily to this. The *origin* of their morals tend to originate from somewhere outside themselves tho (i.e. a god, philosophy or laws).

  • abacusabacus Member Posts: 1,308
    That's definitely valid. (Although I doubt Keldorn would be overly happy doing so... He would do it... But i can imagine him soul-searching and agonising over it first.)
    In lieu of hijacking this thread any further, I'll make the slightly wishy-washy statement that this "conflicted" style is just how I like to play my LGs.

  • moody_magemoody_mage Member Posts: 2,052
    In short, Anomen is a dick.

    Regardless of alignment it doesn't mean people can't be dicks just because they are good aligned (don't get me wrong, I actually like him, he's still a dick though).

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,409
    edited January 2014
    I don't think it's off-topic to discuss Keldorn as a lawful good paladin, because the OP said he was seeking insights about how to properly roleplay his lawful good paladin.

    One of the best examples of Keldorn's personal conflicts that arise from his being lawful good and a paladin,

    is his relationship with his wife, after he finds out she has been cheating on him. The law says the adulterous man is to be killed, and Keldorn's wife is to be imprisoned, and that it is Keldorn's duty to make sure that this happens, for justice to be done. That's what his head tells him to do.

    His good heart says otherwise, that there are reasons why Maria did what she did, as well as her lover, and that he should forgive her.

    He is so conflicted about this, that he doesn't know what to do. He turns to Charname to tell him what's right, and will actually do whatever Charname says at this point.

    Also, his rigid refusal to see Viconia as a person in her own right, but only as an evil drow who must be killed on sight, is worth discussing. Most people think that in this one thing, he is a racist, untrue to his ideals, and that this shows a huge character flaw in the man.

    But, he can be defended - perhaps he has had many comrades from the Order killed and tortured by drow in the past. Perhaps both the Athkatlan government and the Order have legally decreed that drow are to be "killed on sight".

    My neutral good characters usually respond with something like "she's done nothing to deserve execution by burning, Keldorn," and we save her, but I send her away to hide out in the graveyard district, knowing that Keldorn will never accept her as a comrade.

  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,823
    According to the book of exalted deeds, a Lawful Good paladin, when forced to choose between a decision that follows the law/duty whatever or the good/right decision SHOULD choose the good decision.

    A lawful neutral character, would simply follow their duty to the letter. In the end it is left up to the player (and DM irl) to interpret these, but I feel it is an important distinction.

    Lawful good characters follow the "spirit" of the law when possible, if not always following it to the direct letter.

    A great example of this as said above, is the De'narise hold quest and the guard. The letter of the law states the guard should be executed.

    A LG character, as mentioned above though, would likely ensure the wife is taken care of and relieve the guard of his duty. a LN Character might look out for the wife but still execute the guard. This is because a LN character is much more likely to follow the letter of the law.

    If I was smart, and I'm not, my Dwarven Wizard Slayer would:

    [Spoiler]Have tried to find a way to not have Keldorn have his wife's partner killed and her imprisoned while still staying with me. Unfortunately I don't think that's an option in game.[/Spoiler]

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