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    Default A question of allignment

    hey, I was just thinking today about a paladins and how they have to be lawful good. But I was wondering just what that entailed?? For example, could I play a paladin who does everything for the greater good, but nothing for individual gain? (as in he would ignore the safety of individuals even to the point of not doing anything to save the fabled damsel, but would do anything at all to save a group larger than say... 10)

    just sorta wanted some opinions on that
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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    He'd fall. Hard. Ignoring the suffering of others is Evil, about to the point of killing them yourself. So much as doing it once violates the paladin code.

    Although the type of cold-bloodedness it would take to just ignore a cry for help simply because it wasn't a major enough problem to take up your time or whatever? That doesn't seem Good at all; I wouldn't let an LG fighter do it without dropping to LN or LE.
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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    *The hallway, once bathed in ambient white light, suddenly turns a bloody crimson as red warning lights activate and send rotating beams of crimson across the hall. Loud sirens are heard wailing from all directions. Danger!*

    Really, this is going to open a huge can of worms, be prepared for a lot of debate and some very strong stances.

    The short answer, of course, is talk to your DM and see what he'll let you get away with.

    The long answer will be in the following posts, I am sure.
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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    Gotta agree with the "no". It's the little things that make the biggest differences.
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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    I'd say yes, although being a paladin he still has to feel guilty about it.

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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    We did this before, and decided that math doesn't work well with morality. You fall. Let's see if I can dig up the thread.
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    Last edited by Arbitrarity; 2007-07-15 at 03:28 PM.

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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    Quote Originally Posted by ChomZ View Post
    hey, I was just thinking today about a paladins and how they have to be lawful good. But I was wondering just what that entailed?? For example, could I play a paladin who does everything for the greater good, but nothing for individual gain? (as in he would ignore the safety of individuals even to the point of not doing anything to save the fabled damsel, but would do anything at all to save a group larger than say... 10)

    just sorta wanted some opinions on that
    Sounds more LN to me.
    "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." -Albert Einstein

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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    *Eager intake of breath* Debate!

    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinBoy View Post
    He'd fall. Hard. Ignoring the suffering of others is Evil, about to the point of killing them yourself. So much as doing it once violates the paladin code.
    Actually, that sounds more like neutral to me. Evil people cause suffering, neutral people just allow it to occur. (though he would still fall.)

    Anyway

    Quote Originally Posted by ChomZ View Post
    hey, I was just thinking today about a paladins and how they have to be lawful good. But I was wondering just what that entailed?? For example, could I play a paladin who does everything for the greater good, but nothing for individual gain? (as in he would ignore the safety of individuals even to the point of not doing anything to save the fabled damsel, but would do anything at all to save a group larger than say... 10)

    just sorta wanted some opinions on that
    Would he be willing to sacrifice a damsel if ten others would benefit (Such as letting one die, so that ten don't)? Because, depending on the situation, that could be good. Or would he not care about groups smaller than ten, meaning he would sit back and watch a preventable murder because only one person is dying? Because, again, that would be neutral, or (depending on the situation), evil. Good can make sacrifices, but they can't just abandon an innocent because he's alone.

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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    it's almost impossible to say which way this would go, so many DMs see paladins as so many different things it would really be up to individual cases, no a very useful answer i know but the simple truth is that if you can talk your DM into it then it's good, if you can't its evil. either way it sounds lawful as anything, a complete denial of reality in favour of some random predetermined set of responses that become more and more unreasonable/obscure/ridiculous....... give me Chaos every thing!!!!!
    Give them bread and circusses and the plebs wont rise against you. Give adventurers dungeons and trapped chests and they won't waste time looking to ransack your home and kill your wife.

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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    What if only 9 people were dying?
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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    The character I'm thinking about wouldn't so much as ignore the cries of a damsel, but, rather, would feel his (or her) time is better spent looking for a greater purpose. What I mean is he (or she) would rationalize his (from here on I'm using his as a-sexually as possible) not saving a crying damsel by saying, there may be a more important good deed that way *points* that will benifit a greater good! *heroic stance*
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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    Meh, my old argument was "greatest good applicable", in every degree. If you do something evil, you better be repentant, and atone, 'cause you fall, even if it was for the "greater good".

    If you think there is greater good to be done, i.e. ignoring any "small" problem, that's not really good.
    Last edited by Arbitrarity; 2007-07-15 at 04:22 PM.

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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    Quote Originally Posted by ChomZ View Post
    The character I'm thinking about wouldn't so much as ignore the cries of a damsel, but, rather, would feel his (or her) time is better spent looking for a greater purpose. What I mean is he (or she) would rationalize his (from here on I'm using his as a-sexually as possible) not saving a crying damsel by saying, there may be a more important good deed that way *points* that will benifit a greater good! *heroic stance*
    As always it would be up to your DM, but in my game he'd fall.
    If he knew 10 people were in mortal danger and left the damsel to go help then he'd be fine. Though he should be repentent.
    Ignoring the damsel because there might be something he could do somewhere else is not good. I would call this LN, though he might very well believe himself to be LG.
    If there is an immediate problem that he could help with and he's not pressed for time to to accomplish some greater good then he is bound by his code to help.
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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    Oh. Yeah. Maybe I misread that.

    If he has a choice between saving the damsel and saving 10 people, and chooses the latter, he should feel guilty because he's a pally, but not fall because he is working for the greater good.

    If he has a choice between saving the damsel and not, because potentially he might do something better some place else, he's deliberately ignoring a cry for help for no good reason, which may be acceptable for LG characters depending, but certainly not for paladins.

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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Tallis View Post
    As always it would be up to your DM, but in my game he'd fall.
    If he knew 10 people were in mortal danger and left the damsel to go help then he'd be fine. Though he should be repentent.
    Ignoring the damsel because there might be something he could do somewhere else is not good. I would call this LN, though he might very well believe himself to be LG.
    If there is an immediate problem that he could help with and he's not pressed for time to to accomplish some greater good then he is bound by his code to help.
    lol i love it when characters have one alignment, and believe they are another (LE thinking taking over the world is for the greater good, for example)

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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    Wow, the last thread like this that I was discussing in was only 2 weeks ago. It's deja vu all over again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    The wizard sleeps the fighter, and/or greases him for sneak attack, and/or uses color spray. And/or makes him too weak to use his armour. And does the laundry.

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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    Er, I don't recall an alignment thread about ignoring a clear, immediate problem in favor of the theory that surely there's something better to do with your time.

    In any sane world, a paladin like that would fall. Now, if the world is so messed up that he's actually likely to find something more critical in the time he'd save by ignoring the 'minor' problem that's another thing. All characters, paladin or not, do make choices of that sort. But as a rule, someone crying for help indicates a situation substantially worse than average...

    I don't grant that math doesn't work well with morality. What doesn't work with math, doesn't work. You may have to pick math other than the most obvious though. On a similar note, I don't think you can be repentant about a decision that you recognize as right.

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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
    Er, I don't recall an alignment thread about ignoring a clear, immediate problem in favor of the theory that surely there's something better to do with your time.
    My apologies. I was referring to Paladin/alignment threads in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
    In any sane world, a paladin like that would fall. Now, if the world is so messed up that he's actually likely to find something more critical in the time he'd save by ignoring the 'minor' problem that's another thing. All characters, paladin or not, do make choices of that sort. But as a rule, someone crying for help indicates a situation substantially worse than average...
    And with this I completely agree.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    The wizard sleeps the fighter, and/or greases him for sneak attack, and/or uses color spray. And/or makes him too weak to use his armour. And does the laundry.

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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    Quote Originally Posted by psychoticbarber View Post
    My apologies. I was referring to Paladin/alignment threads in general.
    Oh. Fair enough. They're like weeds. Kind of ugly, sometimes spiny, and spring up everywhere. But fun!

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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
    Oh. Fair enough. They're like weeds. Kind of ugly, sometimes spiny, and spring up everywhere. But fun!
    Hahaha. Fair enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    The wizard sleeps the fighter, and/or greases him for sneak attack, and/or uses color spray. And/or makes him too weak to use his armour. And does the laundry.

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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    believe it or not, usually the group I play with cares very little about alignment, and indeed I have never played with a paladin..

    I guess it's safe to assume that just because a paladin (or more probably fallen paladin) thinks they are acting in a lawful good manor does not mean they will keep (or indeed ever reach) that alignment?
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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    Quote Originally Posted by ChomZ View Post
    I guess it's safe to assume that just because a paladin (or more probably fallen paladin) thinks they are acting in a lawful good manor does not mean they will keep (or indeed ever reach) that alignment?
    I would say, and I think a number of people would agree with me, that in D&D, good and evil is much less relative than it is in the here and now. That being said, most people in both worlds have a hard time figuring out what's good and what's evil. Unfortunately for the Paladin, his Lawful Good code-ness is objective rather than subjective.

    Willing commission of an evil action (regardless of whether or not the Paladin realizes it's an evil action), and you're in fallsville.

    There are some tricky interpretations, including the wonderful one that says "If you don't know it's an evil action, you can't willingly commit an evil action." I would say this in reply: "A Paladin is always able to pray for guidance if unsure about her course of action."

    I've probably sparked a 10-page debate, but hey, what's life without a little bit of fun argument?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    The wizard sleeps the fighter, and/or greases him for sneak attack, and/or uses color spray. And/or makes him too weak to use his armour. And does the laundry.

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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    I think that you could make a case for saving the 10 people instead of the one if it was a choice between one or the other. But saving 10 peoples' lives while not trying the save the one person's life, well it seems kinda pointless to just save 10 people when you could save 11 people.
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    Default Re: A question of alignment

    Yeah, this falls under the "Mary Jane vs the bus load of people" situation. Who do you save? Everybody.
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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    What I never understood about paladins is why everyone seems to favor the "good" over the "lawful". For instance, if a paladin knew an innocent person was being tortured, but it was done by the government, would they (illegally) intervene? Logic says no, since breaking the law is very clearly chaotic, whereas allowing an action to occur is neutral, or less evil than direct action, either way the chaos is worse. But I don't know of a single paladin I have ever seen played who wouldn't try to stop the government.

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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    Quote Originally Posted by bugsysservant View Post
    What I never understood about paladins is why everyone seems to favor the "good" over the "lawful".
    Because they fall for a single Evil act, but not for a single Chaotic act.
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    Quote Originally Posted by M0rt View Post
    It's better to have an option you can ignore rather than not have an option at all.

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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    Well, of course. There isn't a coherent meaning of lawful in which it forbids acting against the government.

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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Thexare Blademoon View Post
    Because they fall for a single Evil act, but not for a single Chaotic act.
    After rereading the paladin entry off the Srd, I see your point, but that still doesn't make much sense. While it says a paladin will fall if they willingly commit an evil act, it is directly preceded by the statement that a paladin will fall if they cease to be lawful good. How is committing a questionably evil act somehow more detrimental to a lawful good alignment than perpetrating an undeniably chaotic one.

    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
    Well, of course. There isn't a coherent meaning of lawful in which it forbids acting against the government.
    Ummm...what part of lawful am I missing here? Could it be someone who, oh I don't know, follows the laws? You know, those pesky suggestions enforced by big brother? And even if you believe lawful is more of an internal code, if that code consists of "always act good regardless of consequences," you're neutral at best, and probably chaotic.
    Last edited by bugsysservant; 2007-07-15 at 11:08 PM.

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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    Quote Originally Posted by bugsysservant View Post
    What I never understood about paladins is why everyone seems to favor the "good" over the "lawful". For instance, if a paladin knew an innocent person was being tortured, but it was done by the government, would they (illegally) intervene? Logic says no, since breaking the law is very clearly chaotic, whereas allowing an action to occur is neutral, or less evil than direct action, either way the chaos is worse. But I don't know of a single paladin I have ever seen played who wouldn't try to stop the government.
    There's a line in the paladin's code that people tend to over look: "Legitimate Authority". For a paladin "legitimate authority" would be one that held justice as a central tenant. IF the government in question was "illegitimate" then yah, by all means summon up your magic high horse and bust him out. If it's a legit government then he'd have to utilize the legal system to either see to his better treatment or release. How he would do that would vary, either by defending him himself or by hiring him a really good mouth piece.
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    Default Re: A question of allignment

    Quote Originally Posted by horseboy View Post
    There's a line in the paladin's code that people tend to over look: "Legitimate Authority". For a paladin "legitimate authority" would be one that held justice as a central tenant. IF the government in question was "illegitimate" then yah, by all means summon up your magic high horse and bust him out. If it's a legit government then he'd have to utilize the legal system to either see to his better treatment or release. How he would do that would vary, either by defending him himself or by hiring him a really good mouth piece.
    If this were the case, I would have very little objections, but as it is not, and most paladins would be mobilizing before the first scream died away, I do. If the government was legitimate, but bureaucratic, and the person would be held in captivity for months, even years, few paladins would allow regulatory processes to run their course with minimum intervention. I acknowledge that my scenario was poorly conceived (I'm tired, and spent a grand total of half a second on it), but the point holds nonetheless. Virtually all paladins value good over law, despite the fact that both violate a lawful good alignment, the first tenant in the paladin code.

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