PDA

View Full Version : Roleplaying What is that alignment?



Hyena
2014-08-12, 04:07 PM
So, I've been playing a character in a forum RPG (which is not DnD and is set in the modern times), and I've been playing a character, most widely known (both in and out of universe) by her nickname - the Crow. You know the type - sarcastic, dislikes having people tell her what to do, but with a kind heart.

The Crow lives in a highly lawless country - read as "modern day Wild West" - and is working as a private detective, while occasionally playing the role of deputy sheriff. She is supposed to investigate crime scenes, piece together the evidence, find the most likely suspect and hand them over to the goverment to punish as it sees fit. Though she does receive money for her job, she sees no reason not to put herself in harm's way when her paycheck isn't involved, if it involves protecting innocents, helping the helpless and generally serving criminals a refreshing glass of justice. Currently she leads one-woman crusade against what can be essentially called a terrorist organization - and is tortured for her troubles. She describes her motive as "doing God's will" and "trying to make a change". The reality is a bit more complicated.
The Crow is a former mafia soldier*, a daughter of caporegime, and she lived a life of crime at it's fullest. Robbery, car theft, arson - she did everything short of outright murder, until one of her insurance burnings went wrong, and people died. The blood on her hands was too much for her to simply live with - so she escaped from the country and walked the Earth for a few years, trying to figure out what to do next. When she emerged again, it was in another country, under alias and with a job of private detective - with a grudge against organized crime.
The Crow usually sticks to the letter of the law, not dishing out street justice and instead trying to get the officials, no matter how hopelessly inept they are, do their job themselves. Despite that, she never actually served any punishment for her crimes and sees nothing bad in stealing from criminals (but majority of goods is turned on to the police) to fuel her ambitions. She never actually served any punishment for her crimes - and is currently breaking the law herself, operating under false identity.
Her highest ambition is creating a large organization of like-minded (read as "with anarchistic leanings") individuals, which will combat organized crime worldwide, while serving as a model of her ideal society for the people of the world. This organization is supposed to gather enough funds to bring the "Wild West" safe, modern high-speed railroads that should finally make traveling there safe.

* - Existance of female mafia soldiers is hand waved.

JadedDM
2014-08-12, 04:12 PM
Sounds like Chaotic Good to me. She helps other people, even if it means breaking the law to do it.

aberratio ictus
2014-08-12, 04:55 PM
You know the type - sarcastic, dislikes having people tell her what to do, but with a kind heart.


she sees no reason not to put herself in harm's way when her paycheck isn't involved, if it involves protecting innocents, helping the helpless and generally serving criminals a refreshing glass of justice.



like-minded (read as "with anarchistic leanings") individuals,


Do you even have to ask?

JusticeZero
2014-08-12, 05:30 PM
I'd say LG, but really the only opinion that matters is what the God that created your universe thought was most important. The L/C axis will have some swing based on that, but they clearly trend hard G.

ufo
2014-08-12, 05:41 PM
Seems like a no-brainer Lawful Good to me. Being active in law enforcement and having "anarchistic leanings" is rather oxymoronic, and apart from using that word, you seem to describe a through-and-through lawful character (with a dark and interesting background!), who strives to shape the world according to a predetermined philanthropic set of ideals.

The Oni
2014-08-12, 07:15 PM
I think the fundamental question is, who defines her code? And does she hold everyone to that same code, or just herself? There's the rub.

aberratio ictus
2014-08-13, 07:46 AM
As you can see, Hyena, nobody of the commenters so far puts any value on her past, and probably rightly so. People can change, at least she did change, obviously, so for her alignment, it first and foremost only matters who she is now.

Now, after reading the other people's replies, although I'm still thinking CG, I guess it isn't that clear-cut as I first thought. The problem is more that we don't have enough information, really.

If the country the crow lives in is lawless, are there really that many laws she has to stick to the letter of?
Does she try to get the officials, no matter how hopelessly inept they are, to do their job themselves because she respects their lawful positions (if not their persons) or because she she couldn't/wouldn't want to do all of that stuff herself?

Realizing you can't change some things on your own doesn't necessarily make one lawful.

Vitruviansquid
2014-08-13, 07:54 AM
Chaotic officials probably wouldn't make a distinction between "street justice" and "official justice."

Looks lawful good to me.

Millennium
2014-08-13, 08:12 AM
Seems like a no-brainer Lawful Good to me. Being active in law enforcement and having "anarchistic leanings" is rather oxymoronic, and apart from using that word, you seem to describe a through-and-through lawful character (with a dark and interesting background!), who strives to shape the world according to a predetermined philanthropic set of ideals.
I could see a CG character getting involved with law enforcement, provided that she more-or-less agrees with the laws of the land anyway. It's an opportunity to go out and help people, and maybe bust a few Evil heads, at reduced risk of getting into trouble for it. Provided that orders from the brass don't go too far against her ideals, nobody loses.

Of course, it also hands the DM plenty of opportunities for plot hooks, including the question of what happens when the laws start turning in directions she disagrees with, or less-palatable orders come down from on high. But delicious plot hooks are what DMs thrive on, so I doubt that most of them would complain.

aberratio ictus
2014-08-13, 08:20 AM
I could see a CG character getting involved with law enforcement, provided that she more-or-less agrees with the laws of the land anyway. It's an opportunity to go out and help people, and maybe bust a few Evil heads, at reduced risk of getting into trouble for it. Provided that orders from the brass don't go too far against her ideals, nobody loses.

This. This also seems to fit the crow very well, as she doesn't like others to tell her what to do, yet still respects the letter of the law in that lawless country.

Seems to me like a case of "Eh, those laws are fine. I guess I'd run with them anyways."

Sebastrd
2014-08-13, 09:55 AM
She's absolutely Lawful Good. While she may seem Chaotic because of her criminal upbringing and current minor law-breaking, those are just distractors. She may not follow the law, but she does follow laws; they just happen to be her own, based on personal values and experience. Strict adherence to a personal code - even with occasional lapses - is Lawful.

veti
2014-08-13, 06:35 PM
She is supposed to investigate crime scenes, piece together the evidence, find the most likely suspect and hand them over to the goverment to punish as it sees fit. Though she does receive money for her job, she sees no reason not to put herself in harm's way when her paycheck isn't involved, if it involves protecting innocents, helping the helpless and generally serving criminals a refreshing glass of justice. Currently she leads one-woman crusade against what can be essentially called a terrorist organization - and is tortured for her troubles. She describes her motive as "doing God's will" and "trying to make a change". The reality is a bit more complicated.

(snip irrelevancies about murky past)

The Crow usually sticks to the letter of the law, not dishing out street justice and instead trying to get the officials, no matter how hopelessly inept they are, do their job themselves. Despite that, she never actually served any punishment for her crimes and sees nothing bad in stealing from criminals (but majority of goods is turned on to the police) to fuel her ambitions. She never actually served any punishment for her crimes - and is currently breaking the law herself, operating under false identity.
Her highest ambition is creating a large organization of like-minded (read as "with anarchistic leanings") individuals, which will combat organized crime worldwide, while serving as a model of her ideal society for the people of the world. This organization is supposed to gather enough funds to bring the "Wild West" safe, modern high-speed railroads that should finally make traveling there safe.

Looks pretty damn' Lawful to me.

Mark Hall
2014-08-14, 12:36 AM
This might be a clear-cut case of Neutral Good... following laws and such as she sees fit, but largely governed by her own moral code. It's not rebellion for rebellion's sake, or because rebellion is good... it's because the system sometimes doesn't work, and she goes around it when she must, using it when she can.

aberratio ictus
2014-08-14, 12:06 PM
Looks pretty damn' Lawful to me.

Well, I could make the same post highlighting the chaotic stuff as well. As long as the OP doesn't respond again and adds some weight in one direction or the other... Mr Hall might very well be right on this one.

DontEatRawHagis
2014-08-14, 12:36 PM
Is say lawful neutral. Mainly die to not going out of her way to help people when off the job.

Melville's Book
2014-08-14, 01:05 PM
Is say lawful neutral. Mainly die to not going out of her way to help people when off the job.

What? No, the post says she specifically DOES protect innocents off-the-job. She just accepts payment for doing so when on the job.

DontEatRawHagis
2014-08-14, 02:09 PM
What? No, the post says she specifically DOES protect innocents off-the-job. She just accepts payment for doing so when on the job.

What if they can't pay? Sounds like neutral to me.

Sartharina
2014-08-14, 02:25 PM
What if they can't pay? Sounds like neutral to me.She does it anyway. The pay's not important, but she doesn't spurn it, or avoid requesting it from those who can pay.

I am throwing in my "AWFUL GOO" stamp.

1eGuy
2014-08-15, 06:11 PM
So, I've been playing a character in a forum RPG (which is not DnD and is set in the modern times), and I've been playing a character, most widely known (both in and out of universe) by her nickname - the Crow. You know the type - sarcastic, dislikes having people tell her what to do,Chaotic


but with a kind heart. Good


The Crow lives in a highly lawless country - read as "modern day Wild West" - and is working as a private detectiveChaotic


, while occasionally playing the role of deputy sheriffLawful, assuming she takes the sheriff's orders seriously.

She is supposed to investigate crime scenes, piece together the evidence, find the most likely suspect and hand them over to the goverment to punish as it sees fit. Though she does receive money for her job, she sees no reason not to put herself in harm's way when her paycheck isn't involved, if it involves protecting innocents, helping the helpless and generally serving criminals a refreshing glass of justice. Good.


Currently she leads one-womanChaotic


crusade against what can be essentially called a terrorist organization - and is tortured for her troubles. She describes her motive as "doing God's will" and "trying to make a change".Lawful.


The reality is a bit more complicated.
The Crow is a former mafia soldier*, a daughter of caporegime, and she lived a life of crime at it's fullest. Robbery, car theft, arson - she did everything short of outright murder,Neutral, bordering on Evil.


until one of her insurance burnings went wrong, and people died. The blood on her hands was too much for her to simply live withNon-Evil


- so she escaped from the country and walked the Earth for a few years, trying to figure out what to do next.Chaotic


When she emerged again, it was in another country, under alias and with a job of private detective - with a grudge against organized crime. Chaotic


The Crow usually sticks to the letter of the law, not dishing out street justice and instead trying to get the officials, no matter how hopelessly inept they are, do their job themselves.Lawful, Good


Despite that, she never actually served any punishment for her crimes and sees nothing bad in stealing from criminals (but majority of goods is turned on to the police) to fuel her ambitions. She never actually served any punishment for her crimes - and is currently breaking the law herself, operating under false identity. Chaotic Neutral.


Her highest ambition is creating a large organization of like-minded (read as "with anarchistic leanings") individuals,Lawful (and optimistic).


which will combat organized crime worldwide,Chaotic


while serving as a model of her ideal society for the people of the world.Lawful


This organization is supposed to gather enough funds to bring the "Wild West" safe, modern high-speed railroads that should finally make traveling there safe. Good

----

Overall, I'd go for N(C)G but there is a problem with the idea of a large organization of loners who don't like being told what to do, so if we ignore that as just daydreaming idealism I think we have a straight-up Chaotic Good character living down a Chaotic Neutral (Evil) past.

I agree with Sebastrd that she obeys her own laws, but that is the essence of Chaos - you don't accept anyone else's right to tell you what to do; no reason you can't tell yourself what to do. For many chaotics, the rejection of outside authority makes the inner one that much more important.

Sartharina
2014-08-15, 06:19 PM
You're labeling Lawful aspects (private detective in a lawless area, grudge against Crime) as Chaotic. Turning over seized contraband from criminals is also Lawful.


She's a Lawful Good character in a Chaotic Environment.

Hyena
2014-08-19, 10:43 AM
If the country the crow lives in is lawless, are there really that many laws she has to stick to the letter of?
Does she try to get the officials, no matter how hopelessly inept they are, to do their job themselves because she respects their lawful positions (if not their persons) or because she she couldn't/wouldn't want to do all of that stuff herself?

On paper, there are laws that need to be abided, but the country largely consists of different loosely connected cities with dangerous, desert bandit-inhabited desert in between them, not to mention a terrorist group with world domination plans, eco-terrorists and pirates. Govermental structures are pratically bullied by those guys - the only reason it's not controlled by criminals utterly is, those gangs war between one another.
She thinks that in order for her and her organization to be respected in the future, she, as its face, needs to be as flawless as it gets, which means doing things by the book, no matter how painful and hard it is.


I think the fundamental question is, who defines her code? And does she hold everyone to that same code, or just herself?
Her code is largely "live and let live" and she expects everyone to hold the same idea.

1eGuy
2014-08-19, 02:25 PM
You're labeling Lawful aspects (private detective in a lawless area, grudge against Crime) as Chaotic.Private detective and a loner, not a member of a well-oiled crime-fighting team with a clear hierarchy. Presumably as a private detective she's investigating crimes not because it's some social duty but for pay, and not even salary at that. That's chaotic, I think. Or at least, it's non-lawful.

Sartharina
2014-08-19, 03:12 PM
The very reasons she's concerned with being a Detective of any type indicates "Lawful!" to me. Especially because she defers to the legal authorities. She's a law enforcer where established law enforcement fails.

SaintRidley
2014-08-19, 04:09 PM
Being a private detective is very much chaotic. There's a word for lawful private detectives - plain ol' detectives (the ones who work for the police and not independently).

Sartharina
2014-08-20, 06:16 PM
Being a private detective is very much chaotic. There's a word for lawful private detectives - plain ol' detectives (the ones who work for the police and not independently).No. Non-private detectives require there to be an already-established power system interested in hiring and paying the person for a service. This is a lawless area, so there may not be any formal governments with a law-enforcement system that hires detectives, and so people taking the law into their own hand to establish the law is the Lawful way to go.

Lord Raziere
2014-08-20, 07:26 PM
No. Non-private detectives require there to be an already-established power system interested in hiring and paying the person for a service. This is a lawless area, so there may not be any formal governments with a law-enforcement system that hires detectives, and so people taking the law into their own hand to establish the law is the Lawful way to go.

then what do they become when they are still independent detectives and the area is full of lawful people? do they suddenly change to chaotic just because their surroundings change?

and what would you consider a Chaotic Good hero in this instance if not a private detective? your post confuses me.

Sartharina
2014-08-20, 09:23 PM
then what do they become when they are still independent detectives and the area is full of lawful people? do they suddenly change to chaotic just because their surroundings change?Still an augment to the law, especially if the government (if one exists) isn't hiring detectives.


and what would you consider a Chaotic Good hero in this instance if not a private detective? your post confuses me.A chaotic good hero doesn't give a **** about trying to quell the lawlessness of the land or supporting law enforcement. A chaotic good hero is most likely going to be a Handyman that occasionally dabbles in face-punching and firefighting.

Lord Raziere
2014-08-20, 09:27 PM
Still an augment to the law, especially if the government (if one exists) isn't hiring detectives.

A chaotic good hero doesn't give a **** about trying to quell the lawlessness of the land or supporting law enforcement. A chaotic good hero is most likely going to be a Handyman that occasionally dabbles in face-punching and firefighting.

? so your saying that a chaotic good hero wouldn't be a superhero who fights crime, despite all the suffering it causes?

Sartharina
2014-08-20, 09:37 PM
? so your saying that a chaotic good hero wouldn't be a superhero who fights crime, despite all the suffering it causes?He'll fight injustice and atrocity, not crime. Batman's a Lawful Good 'scoundrel' (At least the DCAU and Christopher Nolan versions), shoring up rule of law in a city rife with corruption.

A chaotic Good hero would be more like Peter Quill, or Thor (I need to see the Avengers movies, though).

Lord Raziere
2014-08-20, 09:55 PM
He'll fight injustice and atrocity, not crime.

And in what areas do those three things not overlap? just out of curiosity you understand.

hamishspence
2014-08-21, 02:18 AM
And in what areas do those three things not overlap? just out of curiosity you understand.

When the injustice and atrocity has been legalized, it no longer overlaps with "crime".

Of course - WoTC makes the point that LG aren't that bothered about "local law".

http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/sg/20050325a


First of all, let's be clear about one important concept: Lawful does not necessarily mean "adheres to the letter of the law." A law (or body of laws) is merely a rule that a government imposes on those who are subject to its power. A lawful alignment, on the other hand, represents an orderly approach to matters of ethics and personal conduct. Most lawful characters do respect the order that the laws of the realm represent, but adherence to local ordinances is only one way of demonstrating a lawful alignment.

To be lawful is to be in favor of conformity and consistency, to act in a systematic and uniform fashion, and to take responsibility. As a lawful person, you establish patterns and precedents and stick to them unless you can see a good reason to do otherwise. Methodical efficiency is your byword, and you believe in the concept of duty. You plan and organize your activities to achieve particular goals, not just to satisfy impulsive desires. You believe a proper way exists to accomplish any goal, though it may not always be the traditional, tried-and-true way. Likewise, you cultivate long-term relationships and endeavor to build trust between your associates and yourself. As a lawful person, you recognize that most laws have valid purposes that promote social order, but you are not necessarily bound to obey them to the letter. In particular, if you are both good and lawful, you have no respect for a law (that) is unfair or capricious.

Being chaotic, on the other hand, doesn't necessarily mean you are incapable of adhering to the law. Though chaotic societies may seem disorderly, they exist in abundance. As a chaotic character, you are dedicated to personal and societal freedom. You pursue your dreams and don't try to put limits on your nature. You don't value consistency for its own sake; rather, you respond to every situation as you see fit without worrying about what you did before. The past is the past and the future is uncertain, so you prefer to live in the present. Each situation is new, so planning and procedures are pointless -- in fact, they restrain people from reacting quickly and decisively. You don't get tied up in exclusive relationships because they could hold you back from your destiny -- which might be right around the corner. You are always ready to try new techniques because you believe that experience is the best teacher, and you are always open to discovery.

In short, good and evil describe a character's ideals, and law and chaos describe the means she uses to work toward her goals. The law of the land in any given place is most likely designed to promote social order, so in general terms, lawful characters are more likely to respect it than chaotic characters are. However, the content of the law matters much more than its mere existence.

Solution 1: Laws and the PC

Any character might fear the consequences of breaking a local law, especially when the authorities rule with an iron hand. Very few characters, however, should make important decisions based solely on the legality of the choices. For a lawful good character such as a paladin, achieving goals in the right way -- that is, in a way that promotes the general welfare and doesn't unnecessarily imperil others -- is the most important consideration. For a chaotic character, the most expedient action is generally the most appropriate one, whether or not it is legal. A chaotic good character takes pains to ensure that others are not harmed by his actions, but a chaotic neutral or chaotic evil one cares about little besides personal convenience.

Sartharina
2014-08-21, 11:24 AM
When the injustice and atrocity has been legalized, it no longer overlaps with "crime".

Of course - WoTC makes the point that LG aren't that bothered about "local law".And there are two ways injustice and atrocity can be legalized: One would be having the the law overlook atrocity/injustice, the other would be through institutionalizing it. The white-collar criminal who embezzles millions of dollars and drives hundreds of lives to ruination and is hit with a slap-on-the-wrist fine for being found guilty, and the guy who faces life in prison for robbing $100 from a bank (Covered by the bank's insurance) to pay for critical healthcare find completely different reactions from a Chaotic or Neutral Good hero, while the Lawful Good hero is more likely to stand by and say "Justice has been served!" after sentencing, (Though he may testify more strongly against the white-collar crook, and testify for leniency in the case of the bum, and use the lawful bureaucracy assist the victims of both).

Chaotic Good heroes generally don't care about Due Process or your fictional Alibi. Except Elan. The White-Collar criminal might find a bullet-shaped hole in the red tape protecting him (Remember - he's driven hundreds of lives to ruination), while many of his victims end up with reimbursment from legally-grey sources, while the bum might find himself rescued by said CG hero.