The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #361
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Haley's act was treacherous and underhanded, lacking any conventional notion of honor. It was Chaotic.

    Haley's act was specifically meant to protect as many innocent lives as possible. It was Good.

    It's almost as if that's her alignment or something.

    Anyway, for the people saying that people don't sink when dropped into lava: There is a very big difference between being able to walk on a thing and being dropped into it at near-terminal velocity. Consider what happens when you drop a cork into water; cork is less dense than water, so it should float, right? It does, eventually.

    What should have happened according to real-world physics is that Crystal should have sunk immediately with a bone-shattering crack and then bobbed to the surface, but that doesn't match readers' expectations one bit.

  2. - Top - End - #362
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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenitor View Post
    Anyway, for the people saying that people don't sink when dropped into lava...
    I love how it never crosses anyone's mind that the author may know less about vulcanology than they do.

    It's a mistake, based on the fact that he doesn't know how lava works (because he went to art school, and they don't teach science in art school).

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  3. - Top - End - #363
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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenitor View Post
    Haley's act was treacherous and underhanded, lacking any conventional notion of honor. It was Chaotic.
    I will politely, but VERY strongly, disagree.

    Declaring that all "nuanced" behavior of this type is Chaotic is the equivalent of declaring that Kubota and everyone not a cardboard 2-dimensional character to be non-Lawful.

    Lawful and Chaotic exists on a wide spectrum. A non-outsider character is allowed to fall short of the standards of an Inevitable, and still qualify as "very Lawful" for all practical and theoretical purposes.

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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Snails View Post
    I will politely, but VERY strongly, disagree.

    Declaring that all "nuanced" behavior of this type is Chaotic is the equivalent of declaring that Kubota and everyone not a cardboard 2-dimensional character to be non-Lawful.

    Lawful and Chaotic exists on a wide spectrum. A non-outsider character is allowed to fall short of the standards of an Inevitable, and still qualify as "very Lawful" for all practical and theoretical purposes.
    I happen to think that distracting an enemy while leading them to a death trap is very definitely a chaotic thing to do. Haley wasn't especially up front about the fact that she was still antagonistic towards Crystal.

    Theres also nothing wrong with being chaotic. Sometimes chaos is fun.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    I happen to think that distracting an enemy while leading them to a death trap is very definitely a chaotic thing to do. Haley wasn't especially up front about the fact that she was still antagonistic towards Crystal.

    Theres also nothing wrong with being chaotic. Sometimes chaos is fun.
    Deceiving an enemy can be a Lawful thing to do, if the customs and traditions of your culture demand that you do so. A Mafiosi abiding by Omerta is behaving Lawfully; it's just that the laws of the clan and Family take precedence over those enforced by the police. The question to ask is, if Haley were to follow laws and customs, what would those be? The Greysky gang? Her father? The church of Thor?

    She's really got nothing to fall back upon. The nearest thing to a moral code in her life is Roy.
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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Miel View Post
    I love how it never crosses anyone's mind that the author may know less about vulcanology than they do.

    It's a mistake, based on the fact that he doesn't know how lava works (because he went to art school, and they don't teach science in art school).

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    How do you know its a mistake? it could be sure or he could know and doesn't cause it fits the scene (or cause that is how it is portrayed sometimes in fiction, most people know that vikings didn't wear horned helmets but i won't care if someone puts them in anyway) or he knows that its probably wrong but just doesn't care as it fits the scene.

  7. - Top - End - #367
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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Yendor View Post
    Spoiler
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    This spell blocks the heat

    I was wondering who'd get that fourth brunch ticket.


    I just got that. Golem = Gollum.
    omg am I the only one who doesn't get the brunch reference? WHY BRUNCH?!?!?! WHY?!?!??!

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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    It's fascinating--and I mean this in a complimentary way--that the comic inspires so much thought in us, the audience, that a roguish protagonist offing her undoubtedly murderous rival can garner such debate.

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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Zonkerbl View Post
    omg am I the only one who doesn't get the brunch reference? WHY BRUNCH?!?!?! WHY?!?!??!
    Because they were on the way to brunch when this all started.
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    No author should have to take the time to say, "This little girl ISN'T evil, folks!" in order for the reader to understand that. It should be assumed that no first graders are irredeemably Evil unless the text tells you they are.

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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    Deceiving an enemy can be a Lawful thing to do, if the customs and traditions of your culture demand that you do so. A Mafiosi abiding by Omerta is behaving Lawfully; it's just that the laws of the clan and Family take precedence over those enforced by the police. The question to ask is, if Haley were to follow laws and customs, what would those be? The Greysky gang? Her father? The church of Thor?

    She's really got nothing to fall back upon. The nearest thing to a moral code in her life is Roy.
    If youre going to look at it like that, everything is lawful, because everyone is following their own personal customs.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  11. - Top - End - #371
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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    If youre going to look at it like that, everything is lawful, because everyone is following their own personal customs.
    As has been said before on the subject of Lawfulness and personal customs....

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    ...Almost everyone has a personal code of some sort; Robin Hood had a personal code, and he's the poster child for Chaotic Good. The reason his code doesn't rise to the level of Lawful is that he would be willing to bend it in a pinch. And since he's already bucking all the societal traditions of his civilization, there are no additional penalties or punishments for him breaking his own code. He's unlikely to beat himself up if he needs to violate his own principles for the Greater Good; he'll justify it to himself as doing what needed to be done, maybe sigh wistfully once, and then get on with his next adventure.

    Conversely, a Lawful character who obeys society's traditions has a ready-made source of punishment should he break those standards. If such a character does stray, she can maintain her Lawfulness by submitting to the proper authorities for judgment. Turning yourself in effectively atones for the breaking of the code, undoing (or at least mitigating) the non-Lawful act.

    A Lawful character who operates strictly by a personal code, on the other hand, is responsible for punishing herself in the event of a breach of that code. If she waves it off as doing what needed to be done, then she is not Lawful, she's Neutral at the least. If she does it enough, she may even become Chaotic. A truly Lawful character operating on a personal code will suffer through deeply unpleasant situations in order to uphold it, and will take steps to punish themselves if they don't (possibly going as far as to commit honorable suicide).
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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    If youre going to look at it like that, everything is lawful, because everyone is following their own personal customs.
    And you in turn must explain Lawful Evil people in a society that is not Evil. I think the idea that my laws aren't your laws is the only way to do that. A person who has no loyalty to any group is different than someone who puts the laws of their group over those of larger society.
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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by fwiffo View Post
    I don't mind Haley lying. I mind her lying while talking about how honest she is.
    Was. How honest she was. Past tense, every time she mentions it. And then she talks about how that stage of her life—the stage where she was honest with Crystal because she wasn't honest with anyone else—is completely over. She basically spells out that the complete honesty with Crystal that was the cornerstone of her argument two strips earlier is a relic of the past that she no longer requires going forward. From now on, Haley no longer needs to lie to everyone—or be honest with anyone in particular (except maybe Elan). She can use whichever tool works best for her, like when she lied to protect her father's feelings. Crystal gets put on notice that she no longer warrants special treatment from Haley; she literally says she is going to miss being honest with Crystal. The fact that Crystal is not smart enough to understand that this is what is being said is not Haley's problem.
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  14. - Top - End - #374
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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    If youre going to look at it like that, everything is lawful, because everyone is following their own personal customs.
    To be Lawful, you must merely have a strong coherent personal code with, at the very least, implied consequences for breaking of that code. That is not quite the same thing as "personal customs", although very strongly held and coherent personal customs might rise to that level.

    Are devils allowed to ever lie? Can a very Evil person ever be Lawful in a non-Evil society?

    The definitions of alignment for D&D seem (IMNSHO) to allow plenty of room for this kind of thing. People who suggest deceptions are more or less automatically Chaotic, it is their "row to hoe" here -- they need to explain how LE is even allowed to exist under the rules.

    And OotS offers us another interesting example: Tarquin. It seems to be a consensus that he is Lawful, yet he very clearly practices deception by omission, and seems to be downright proud about it.

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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Was. How honest she was. Past tense, every time she mentions it. And then she talks about how that stage of her life—the stage where she was honest with Crystal because she wasn't honest with anyone else—is completely over. She basically spells out that the complete honesty with Crystal that was the cornerstone of her argument two strips earlier is a relic of the past that she no longer requires going forward. From now on, Haley no longer needs to lie to everyone—or be honest with anyone in particular (except maybe Elan). She can use whichever tool works best for her, like when she lied to protect her father's feelings. Crystal gets put on notice that she no longer warrants special treatment from Haley; she literally says she is going to miss being honest with Crystal. The fact that Crystal is not smart enough to understand that this is what is being said is not Haley's problem.
    So, alignment wise, is it Good to take advantage of the fact that someone is as dumb as a box of rocks, given that killing them is a practical and moral necessity? Does Haley have any moral obligation to communicate clearly?
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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by saintridley View Post
    because they were on the way to brunch when this all started.
    thank you!!!!

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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    So, alignment wise, is it Good to take advantage of the fact that someone is as dumb as a box of rocks, given that killing them is a practical and moral necessity? Does Haley have any moral obligation to communicate clearly?
    It is Good to be willing to take risks and/or pay a personal price to protect the innocent, independent of narrow personal self interest, which clearly applies here.

    Some Lawfuls surely would believe they have an obligation to communicate clearly. Durkon, probably yes. Would Roy? I would guess not.

    IMO, the closest thing to a bright red line for deciding whether an act is Lawful vs. Not Lawful would be "Did the person break a promise?" Even then, there are promises and there are promises. A devil might say "there are promises and there are contracts -- those who cannot tell the difference should count on neither".

    Is deception by omission a breaking of a promise? I think there is room for Lawfuls to disagree with each other on this topic. Maybe deception is breaking an implied promise? Durkon would probably think that way. Tarquin would completely disagree. I do not think Durkon is necessarily more Lawful than Tarquin -- they are different kinds of Very Lawful.

  18. - Top - End - #378
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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    To what extent do you believe you should adhere to the rule of law? That's all that lawful means. Some people are much more likely to ignore rules, and they are considered chaotic.

    To what extent do you love people? Do you only love yourself? Do you love a few people very intensely? Do you love a lot of people superficially? Do you love all people unconditionally? Do you hate anybody? Do you hate everybody? That's all that "good" means in D&D.

    Haley is neutral good and it shows. She loves a few people, she hates a few people, but her love outweighs her hate. She also pretty emphatically chaotic.

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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    So, alignment wise, is it Good to take advantage of the fact that someone is as dumb as a box of rocks, given that killing them is a practical and moral necessity? Does Haley have any moral obligation to communicate clearly?
    Taking advantage of someone is neither Good nor Evil, inherently. What matters is what you take advantage of them for. Communicating clearly enough for Crystal to be 100% aware that Haley was about to trick her into walking into a pit of lava would have resulted in an immediate resumption of hostilities and, probably, more gnomish deaths. Haley is not under a moral obligation to sacrifice lives so that she can be sure Crystal understands the Terms and Conditions. Therefore, taking advantage of Crystal's tendency to follow and her inability to grasp complex rhetorical points in order to save lives is a Good action. If Haley pulled the same exact stunt in order to kill an innocent person and steal their gold, it would be an Evil action.

    Maybe you can argue that it was a Chaotic action rather than a Lawful one, due to the aforementioned advantage-taking. Although the fact that she was willing to spell out her reasoning for no longer being truthful to Crystal sort of places this in the Neutral category. Because frankly, a Chaotic Good character is not under a moral obligation to tell Crystal the truth at all in this scenario. Haley never agreed to a truce, she simply delayed her attack when told that Crystal would try to kill her "later." It would have been entirely within her alignment to say, "Hey, check it out, the gnomish wizards came up with a way that you won't hurt anymore. Just follow me and I'll bring you to their workshop." And then dumped her in the lava. That she did tell her the truth (even while nonverbally tricking her) is more a testament to Haley's state of mind than any responsibility to Crystal. Haley went above and beyond the requirements of her own alignment here.

    Unless people are arguing that being Chaotic Good is morally wrong, in which case that is treading on the forum's rules.
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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Taking advantage of someone is neither Good nor Evil, inherently. What matters is what you take advantage of them for. Communicating clearly enough for Crystal to be 100% aware that Haley was about to trick her into walking into a pit of lava would have resulted in an immediate resumption of hostilities and, probably, more gnomish deaths. Haley is not under a moral obligation to sacrifice lives so that she can be sure Crystal understands the Terms and Conditions. Therefore, taking advantage of Crystal's tendency to follow and her inability to grasp complex rhetorical points in order to save lives is a Good action. If Haley pulled the same exact stunt in order to kill an innocent person and steal their gold, it would be an Evil action.

    Maybe you can argue that it was a Chaotic action rather than a Lawful one, due to the aforementioned advantage-taking. Although the fact that she was willing to spell out her reasoning for no longer being truthful to Crystal sort of places this in the Neutral category. Because frankly, a Chaotic Good character is not under a moral obligation to tell Crystal the truth at all in this scenario. Haley never agreed to a truce, she simply delayed her attack when told that Crystal would try to kill her "later." It would have been entirely within her alignment to say, "Hey, check it out, the gnomish wizards came up with a way that you won't hurt anymore. Just follow me and I'll bring you to their workshop." And then dumped her in the lava. That she did tell her the truth (even while nonverbally tricking her) is more a testament to Haley's state of mind than any responsibility to Crystal. Haley went above and beyond the requirements of her own alignment here.

    Unless people are arguing that being Chaotic Good is morally wrong, in which case that is treading on the forum's rules.
    Well, I'm sort-of Neutral Good myself, so clearly the other 8 possibilities are Bad Wrongness and deserve a thorough chastening..

    In this particular case, Haley killing Crystal by the most effective method necessary was clearly Good, given the lack of alternatives. "Lots of Gnomes with tiny heads. Fun to crush. Won't run out." You didn't leave much doubt as to the need to remove Crystal from Tinkertown.

    The moral question I was touching upon was whether or not a smart man tricking a stupid man is akin to a big man overpowering a small man. Early D&D author Dante Aligheri condemned the former to a worse plane of the Nine Hells than the latter, but often you see the clever trickster admired while the strongarm robber is scorned.
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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    The moral question I was touching upon was whether or not a smart man tricking a stupid man is akin to a big man overpowering a small man. Early D&D author Dante Aligheri condemned the former to a worse plane of the Nine Hells than the latter, but often you see the clever trickster admired while the strongarm robber is scorned.
    Again, what matters is what they are trying to accomplish. If the big man is saving an even smaller man's life from the small man, then that does not deserve scorn. Arguably, it's the entire basis of D&D—adventurers are almost always more powerful than the monsters they fight, considering that in some editions a "fair" encounter is one in which only 20% of your expendable resources are consumed. A paladin who fights kobold raiders to save the villager is the big man overpowering the small man—literally, even. It just usually doesn't get thought of in those terms.

    Which is not to say that might makes right; it's to say that might and right can be on the same side. Might isn't always wrong.
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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    The moral question I was touching upon was whether or not a smart man tricking a stupid man is akin to a big man overpowering a small man. Early D&D author Dante Aligheri condemned the former to a worse plane of the Nine Hells than the latter, but often you see the clever trickster admired while the strongarm robber is scorned.
    It is implied that a Big Man has the option to simply walk away from a Small Man, and that preying on the Weak as a matter of choice for personal gain is thus Evil. Note that is entirely different from the Big Man who applies his power to the betterment of his tribe/city/nation by stomping weaker foes.

    Haley, because she is Good, does not have the option of walking away here.

    It is an unanswerable question what a perfectly "fair" and level playing field would even look like. But, in this case, it does not matter. That kind of obligation can only exist as a two way street. Crystal has the physical advantage and has not offered to negotiate over giving that up, even after Haley implicitly opens up that topic; so Haley has a zero obligation to throw away what advantages she happens to possess.

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    confused Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Zonkerbl View Post
    Haley is neutral good and it shows. She loves a few people, she hates a few people, but her love outweighs her hate. She also pretty emphatically chaotic.
    Either I'm misunderstanding what you're saying, or you're misunderstanding how alignment works.

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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    I can picture Haley in panel 7 thinking "Dammit Crystal, I gave you a chance. Now I have no choice but to kill you."
    Thank you Ceika for the avatar

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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    I think it was Good to kll Crystal. She's a brutal serial murder who shows no sings of ever planning to stop.

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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    Nothing in falling states that an alignment change is needed - it is but one of three independent conditions.
    So, yes, you're correct. I was referring to only the law-chaos axis. Sorry for the confusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Again, what matters is what they are trying to accomplish.
    The latin term for this is mens rea. It is considered to be different from motive, however, which may be what you actually mean.

    For instance, if Haley breaks into a laboratory used for the testing of animals, guilt has two factors:
    - actus reus, i.e. entry without consent and damage to property;
    - mens rea, i.e. intention to enter and cause the damage.

    Her motive - that she has a political or moral ideal she's doing it as a result of - is different.

    I'm so confused why people think what she did is chaotic. It isn't chaotic solely based on the fact that she acted in conjunction with law enforcement. Nothing else matters for that determination. Unless we later learn that said law enforcement officer was acting outside of their own legal authority, that is, then it would change the equation.

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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Gusion View Post
    So, yes, you're correct. I was referring to only the law-chaos axis. Sorry for the confusion.



    The latin term for this is mens rea. It is considered to be different from motive, however, which may be what you actually mean.

    For instance, if Haley breaks into a laboratory used for the testing of animals, guilt has two factors:
    - actus reus, i.e. entry without consent and damage to property;
    - mens rea, i.e. intention to enter and cause the damage.

    Her motive - that she has a political or moral ideal she's doing it as a result of - is different.

    I'm so confused why people think what she did is chaotic. It isn't chaotic solely based on the fact that she acted in conjunction with law enforcement. Nothing else matters for that determination. Unless we later learn that said law enforcement officer was acting outside of their own legal authority, that is, then it would change the equation.
    The actual laws in place are at best tangential to whether an action is lawful or chaotic. If Hinjo, for example, were to decree that paladins are allowed to take whatever they want from the AC refugees, actually doing so would still be a chaotic act, even if it were technically legal.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  28. - Top - End - #388
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    The actual laws in place are at best tangential to whether an action is lawful or chaotic. If Hinjo, for example, were to decree that paladins are allowed to take whatever they want from the AC refugees, actually doing so would still be a chaotic act, even if it were technically legal.
    No, it wouldn't be chaotic. It'd be evil. Lawful evil.

    And all the Paladins would fall, but it still wouldn't be a chaotic act.

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    Giant in the Playground Administrator
     
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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Gusion View Post
    I'm so confused why people think what she did is chaotic. It isn't chaotic solely based on the fact that she acted in conjunction with law enforcement. Nothing else matters for that determination. Unless we later learn that said law enforcement officer was acting outside of their own legal authority, that is, then it would change the equation.
    They think that because the D&D definition of Lawful has little to nothing to do with law enforcement. To think that Lawful always means "obeying the written law" is a gross misunderstanding of the D&D definition of the term.

    For example, think of formal duels—the "pistols at dawn" kind. Such events are undoubtedly Lawful affairs—they have strict codes, elaborate rules, and concern themselves mostly with symbolic honor. All hallmarks of Lawful behavior when contrasted with, say, a drunken brawl. However, at the time Aaron Burr shot Hamilton, they were illegal in the United States. People who participated in such duels were abiding by a formal code of ethics and behavior that was in opposition to democratically passed law. Lawful behavior can be made illegal in a given jurisdiction, but that doesn't spontaneously change the nature of the act in a cosmological sense.

    I've used this example before, but if a paladin walks into the orc's swamp to do battle, he is not suddenly bound to obey the Orc King's laws or lose his paladinhood. It is entirely possible to have a code that you believe supersedes the written law wherever you are and still be considered Lawful.

    I've often said that a lot of confusion would have been avoided if they had simply called it Ordered instead of Lawful. "Ordered Good" leaves a lot less room for misinterpretation.

    EDITED to add:
    Quote Originally Posted by Gusion View Post
    No, it wouldn't be chaotic. It'd be evil. Lawful evil.

    And all the Paladins would fall, but it still wouldn't be a chaotic act.
    It would be Chaotic, because all those paladins have separately sworn oaths to the gods to protect the innocent. They would be breaking a Lawful vow because a mortal law said it was OK. That's Chaotic, or at least not Lawful. Hinjo cannot absolve the paladins of their word given freely with the stroke of a pen.
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: OOTS #981 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    The actual laws in place are at best tangential to whether an action is lawful or chaotic. If Hinjo, for example, were to decree that paladins are allowed to take whatever they want from the AC refugees, actually doing so would still be a chaotic act, even if it were technically legal.
    That doesn't seem like the best example, just like following the laws is not necessarily lawful stealing is not Necessarily chaotic.

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