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    magicwalker's Avatar

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    Default How would you roleplay a LE?

    I'm kind of curious about other people's suggestions. The only archetype I can think of is a tyrant or a dictator who uses the laws to achieve his own evil agenda.

    What other facets of Lawful Evil exist?

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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    An evil person with a strong code of conduct, like my Tinderhall character in town, he has unwavering loyalty to his friends and has some things he won't do, like rape.

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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    Lawyer, at least a malicious one. Finding all the loopholes in the law to gain power and/or screw other people over, all within the confines in the law (...more or less).
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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    Think Johnnie Cochran

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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    Anyone who works within and respects the laws in order to achieve evil ends would fall under the heading. Say, the head of a corporation who is exceedingly ruthless, uncaring of suffering caused by his actions, but has excellent legal advice.

    For the other approach to Lawful, internal rather than external, someone with a code of conduct which is clearly Lawful but also Evil. For example, someone preoccupied with honour to the point of killing innocents to preserve it. Many Klingons, no doubt, would be Lawful Evil. Many human societies in the past (and some still extant) feature this sort of attitude, too.

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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    Everything of importance that you do has an ulterior motive.

    That noble's daughter you rescued from the gnolls? Yeah, daddy now owes you a big favor. The donation to the orphanage? Makes you look like the good guy and hey, elections for mayor are coming up. The secretary you've spent the last two months seducing? Sure, the sex is nice, but it's really to get into her bosses' tax records.

    People are either a means to an end, or an obstacle to be removed. Society is a system that you learned to take advantage of while staying within its parameters.

    Note: This does not stop you from having real friends, morals, or a cause to believe in. In fact, those things may very well be something that motivates your behavior (which doesn't make it any less "wrong").
    Last edited by Maxymiuk; 2007-02-07 at 09:45 PM.

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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    In a D&D context, a character who exploits loopholes in the law to both advance and protect themselves. Or one who obviously violates the intent of the law while adhering to the letter to attain his own ends. Also one who uses the law to persecute others who stand in his way.
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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    LE covers anyone from Le to lE.

    Le= follower of personal code that has no inhibitions about killing anyone to meet his goals. He's almost LN, but less compassionate.

    lE= one who methodically implements his evil designs. Almost NE but more anal.
    Last edited by Diggorian; 2007-02-07 at 10:31 PM.
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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    LE doesn't have to mean "manipulates the law for own benefit." It can also mean "highly honorable, but willing to perform evil acts."
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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    [Scrubbed]
    Last edited by Roland St. Jude; 2007-02-08 at 12:12 AM.

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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    There's also a character that follows a code that contains many evil actions.

    "Wearing light green during the day. The Blood Ranger Code states that I must kill you if you are gloveless. Let me see your hands. Dirty nails. There goes your son. Hold Person."

    I miss my Blood Rangers of Might.

    And there's devil aligment aka Evil and Order.
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    Last edited by Orzel; 2007-02-07 at 10:18 PM.
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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    Personally I'd play a somebody who isn't arbitrarily opposed to "good" just because he happens to be "evil." Being evil doesn't necessarily mean he crusades against good. Perhaps he doesn't think it's practical, wise or prudent to go foisting his personal values or make war on an abstract concept like "good." Maybe he even views tyrants and dictators as being weak and immature individuals.

    He can admire morality and the spirit in which it is intended. Maybe he does view certain laws as being both practical and just, while adamantly disagreeing with others.

    The evil part can come from any number of personal motivations or philosophies. Maybe he's just cynic who believes that conflict is inevitable, that *somebody* has to stain his hands in order to protect an ideal/society/city/country. Maybe the conflict is inevitable because, as an adventurer, he must simply be ready to kill to simplify the situation. Maybe he just dislikes hypocrites who profess to be good and just. Maybe he's just deluded the way Miko is, but unlike Miko, enjoys killing everything that he considers "evil" as an end in itself. Maybe he's on a mission to take down a corrupt regime that killed his parents/friends/torched his village using any means at his disposal.

    The key thing to go for is an anti-hero or an antagonist without trying to make him into a archetypal villain who sits by himself in a ominous fortress waiting for the good guys to come. This guy has goals, motivations and may even have a job, a family and friends.
    Last edited by LurkerInPlayground; 2007-02-07 at 10:36 PM.

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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    There's a lot of potencial LE characters. A nationalistic necromancer who uses undead to protect his country from foreign threats could easily be LE. An assassin who works for the government taking out targets that oppose the rule of law would likewise be LE in most cases. A Paladin of a god of death who slays all those he deems unworthy would also likely be LE.

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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    An example of a lawful evil character would be in the Jade Empire video game. Sagacious Zu would be defined lawful evil. He's a firm believer in personal strength. The strong *should* rule the weak. It's simply the natural order.

    However he does not approve of the current Emperor's regime. This is partially because the current powers uses a secret police to target every voice of dissent and criticism. He views this as a weakness in itself because it shows an incompetence in administrative strategy and also a personal insecurity and arrogance. Even worse, the Emperor is playing god, which is clearly goes against the mandate of the Heavens.

    Of course, Zu has no compunctions killing people he considers to be "honorless dogs." These include such notables as corrupt lords and bandits. They deserve death simply because their personal incompetence and weak character usually translates into problems for other people. The personal strength of a person redeems itself by the consequences of the actions taken by that individual.
    Last edited by LurkerInPlayground; 2007-02-07 at 10:45 PM.

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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    Double post.
    Last edited by LurkerInPlayground; 2007-02-07 at 10:44 PM.

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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    Hannibal Lecter as portrayed in "Silence of the Lambs" and "Hannibal" is a perfect archetype of Lawful Evil. So is Darth Vader.

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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Daddy View Post
    In a D&D context, a character who exploits loopholes in the law to both advance and protect themselves. Or one who obviously violates the intent of the law while adhering to the letter to attain his own ends. Also one who uses the law to persecute others who stand in his way.
    Or, in simpler terms: Jack Thompson.
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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hallavast View Post
    Hannibal Lecter as portrayed in "Silence of the Lambs" and "Hannibal" is a perfect archetype of Lawful Evil. So is Darth Vader.
    I disagree. Hannibal Lecter is deffinetly CE, but his sophistocated personality sort of blinds that fact that he eats people's faces and doesn't do all that good a job of hiding it...but only because he doesn't care.
    Last edited by Krimm_Blackleaf; 2007-02-07 at 11:39 PM.
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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    The corrupted bureaucrat; the knight who uses his rank and privileges to abuse others; the copper (watchman, whatever) who upholds the law with ruthless and questionable means, possibly while making a personal profit (Vic Mackey!); all various evil overlord -types (and most "grand-vizier" -type villains)...

    "Lawful Evil" is a broad concept, just like any alignment; it just means "group before individual" and "immoral" (or "amoral and really nasty").

    Lurker makes a point that's important for all characters (evil ones especially). While Good alignment pretty much demands that one opposes Evil, being Evil doesn't mean you have to be automatically, fundamentally opposed to Good; in fact, many Evil characters will be "regular people" - they justify the evil they do in various way (Sopranos ahoy!), or amoral (believing that Good and Evil are nonexistent; perhaps holding the conviction that the concepts are just tools used to hold sway over those who are weaker... "There is no good and evil: only power and those too weak to seek it").

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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Krimm_Blackleaf View Post
    I disagree. Hannibal Lecter is deffinetly CE, but his sophistocated personality sort of blinds that fact that he eats people's faces and doesn't do all that good a job of hiding it...but only because he doesn't care.
    I disagree. Remember, Clarice says she doesn't worry that he'll come after her because "he would consider it rude" or something worded like such. To me that implies a strong sense of morals, though a heavily skewed one. Also, most of his actions throughout the film seem cold and calculated. Like you said, he doesn't do a good job of hiding the fact that he eats people because he doesn't care about keeping it secret. Remove that and what you're left with is that sophisticated personality which seems to scream lawful.

    I for one interpret alignment by the Means (lawful, because he behaves civil and with clear intent) to an End (evil, because he kills people and eats parts of them).

    But alignment is one of those things that most people can never agree on a single interpretation of until they see an official character sheet or something.

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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arceliar View Post
    I disagree. Remember, Clarice says she doesn't worry that he'll come after her because "he would consider it rude" or something worded like such. To me that implies a strong sense of morals, though a heavily skewed one.
    That sort of behavior is just demented. It's a bizarre quirk - very random ("Oh, he'll murder anyone else savagely and eat parts of them, but he'd think it'd be rude to attack you"). It's quite unrelated to alignment.

    Chaotic doesn't mean you're an unsubtle rampaging monster; I'd class all serial killers as Chaotic Evil, because they are so ultimately selfish; Lawful alignment implies some community-mindedness (whatever the community). Even someone like Charles Manson wouldn't be Lawful Evil, because a person like that has no actual regard for other people - even his "cult" - and sees them as useful objects to be manipulated (into, say, murdering people).

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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hallavast View Post
    Hannibal Lecter as portrayed in "Silence of the Lambs" and "Hannibal" is a perfect archetype of Lawful Evil. So is Darth Vader.
    Darth Vader is definitely LE... but not because he was on the side of the "law and goverment", but because the Jedi Order and the Old Republic were too large, complicated and unwieldy to be ordered and lawful, and he hated that.

    Palpatine sucessfully exploited Anakin's desire for an ordered, heirarchical goverment, where everybody knew who was on top and obeyed without question.

    Obi-Wan, Yoda and Mace Windu were just dumb to see that Anakin had more and more issues with authorities he saw as chaotic and erratic and began to relate more and more with an authority figure he saw as forceful and ordered.

    Of course, Palpatine also exploited Anakin's childish insecurities and his recklessness, and the Jedi were foolish on more ways than can be counted, but that's another story alltogether.

    --

    Oh, and Hannibal is definitely a chaotic evil genius. He had an utter disregard for any sense of community, continuity or order
    Last edited by Amphimir Míriel; 2007-02-08 at 12:29 AM. Reason: added opinion on Hannibal
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    Is it evil, Evil, Evil or EVIL?
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    Playing a Paladin? Don't fall into the traps of casuistry or excessive rigourism!

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    "It's almost like the universe is trying to deliberately force some form of arbitrary equality between those of us who can reshape matter with our thoughts and those who cannot!"

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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    Jafar. All LE people should be more like him.

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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphimir Míriel View Post

    --

    Oh, and Hannibal is definitely a chaotic evil genius. He had an utter disregard for any sense of community, continuity or order
    I dissagree. He had a personal code that he seemed loathe to break. He was also very keen on keeping up a pretense of manners and etiquette. He justifies almost everything he does - at least to himself.

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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hallavast View Post
    I dissagree. He had a personal code that he seemed loathe to break. He was also very keen on keeping up a pretense of manners and etiquette. He justifies almost everything he does - at least to himself.
    The key word here is "himself", and the fact that he is a genius clouds the fact that his nature is to be outside society and it's rules. He believes that rules and morals don't apply to him, and uses his knowledge of other people's rules and morals to his advantage, without them ever constraining his actions at the least.

    No matter what she thinks, the only reason Lecter did not try to kill Clarisse is because he feels attracted to her, not out of any moral or ethical consideration.

    -

    Of course, alignment as it is understood by the D&D rules is a gross oversimplification of the nuances and colors of a character's nature and demeanor.
    Last edited by Amphimir Míriel; 2007-02-08 at 01:26 AM.
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    Is it evil, Evil, Evil or EVIL?
    Expanded Alignment Rules (PEACH)

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    Playing a Paladin? Don't fall into the traps of casuistry or excessive rigourism!

    Instead of that, read Peregrine's lesson

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    "It's almost like the universe is trying to deliberately force some form of arbitrary equality between those of us who can reshape matter with our thoughts and those who cannot!"

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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    Another example, if you are, like me, a fan of Avatar: the Last Airbender is Prince Zuko (at least for the first season and arguably the second one as well). He has a deep-rooted sense of honor and loyalty to his father, despite the fact that his father basically wants him out of the way as much as possible. To satisfy that sense of honor, Zuko is trying to capture the Avatar, who would otherwise be the world's hope for peace. Zuko doesn't really care all that much about the war itself, or the tons of people who are affected by it (for good or ill)- he just wants his honor back.

    It's sort of been implied already, but one kind of evil is the view that one's own interests are more important than those of everyone else.

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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphimir Míriel View Post
    The key word here is "himself", and the fact that he is a genius clouds the fact that his nature is to be outside society and it's rules. He believes that rules and morals don't apply to him, and uses his knowledge of other people's rules and morals to his advantage, without them ever constraining his actions at the least.
    Of course, one could argue that society's "laws" have little bearing on the Lawful/Chaotic alignment axis. Being lawful does not require you or your actions to be dictated by one society's rules. But, as you said, alignment is too simple to spell out all possible varieties of character traits. Alignment is, however, whatever you make of it. Suffice it to say that Lawful according to the bare minimum definition of the players handbook (and I will assume this is the context of the original argument) means generally keeping one's word, having a sense of tradition, and being reliable. Lecter exibits both of these traits. Evil, by the same book, means selfishness, disregard for human life, and a willingness to harm others. And btw, to say that Lecter believes himself to be above other people's classifications and rules plays into the arrogance that Lecter uses against such people.
    No matter what she thinks, the only reason Lecter did not try to kill Clarisse is because he feels attracted to her, not out of any moral or ethical consideration.
    This is subject to opinion, I think. It is more complicated than you have just spelled out, surely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AoiRorentsu View Post
    Another example, if you are, like me, a fan of Avatar: the Last Airbender is Prince Zuko (at least for the first season and arguably the second one as well). He has a deep-rooted sense of honor and loyalty to his father, despite the fact that his father basically wants him out of the way as much as possible. To satisfy that sense of honor, Zuko is trying to capture the Avatar, who would otherwise be the world's hope for peace. Zuko doesn't really care all that much about the war itself, or the tons of people who are affected by it (for good or ill)- he just wants his honor back.

    It's sort of been implied already, but one kind of evil is the view that one's own interests are more important than those of everyone else.
    I would say Zuko is Lawful Neutral, which is
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    what makes his choice at the last seasons finale that much more shocking, in a sense
    .

    I play lawful evil as a manipulator. A controlling, heartless puppetmaster who avoids acting outside of authority to get his goals, but has no problem manipulating the authority to further his own goals. Someone who would kill you if he has to, and if he does, he is sincere when he asks for any last requests. But before he'd kill you, he'd of course have to ask you to join him. If you refuse he shoots you with lightning from his fingers before his closest advisor hurls him down a strangely placed bottumless pit

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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    When I roleplay lawful evil, the character/NPC (usually the latter) usually fits one of three general archetypes:

    1.) The evil schemer. Smart, methodical, and utterly ruthless. He can have some form of evil end in mind that he's working towards, or he can just be the vindictive sort that crushes people who get in his way while living his daily life. I usually roleplay him as polite and urbane even while doing his evil deeds, though that's just a personal quirk of mine. He's everything Nale thinks he is, in other words.

    2.) The minion. Utterly loyal, disciplined, and able to follow orders to the letter. Usually earns the position of trusted lieutenant, to use the terminology of the Evil Overlord List.

    3.) The Evil Overlord. Classic BBEG; has a Big and Evil Plan™, usually of the long-term variety, and is quite adept at using other people to accomplish it. May be overconfident or not. If I'm feeling really evil, he'll have read the Evil Overlord List and taken its lessons to heart.
    "Courage is the complement of fear. A fearless man cannot be courageous. He is also a fool." -- Robert Heinlein


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    Default Re: How would you roleplay a LE?

    Yeah, I see your point - I think Zuko undergoes alignment shift (his whole spiritual inner battle thing) towards lawful neutral, but i think definitely in the first season, he's a rather complex lawful evil-type
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    that gives me an idea.....

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