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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    confused What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    I heard so many people complaining that Lawful Good is the worst alignment. A lot worse than Lawful Evil. To me, Lawful Good is a good alignment. Sure Lawful Good character play by the rules of goodness and they're law-abiding by their rules. But I really don't see anything wrong with that. Can somebody please explain to me why Lawful Good is a bad alignment, please?

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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Many people (myself included) feel that Laws and rules themselves are inherently evil serving only to enrich the rule makers at the expense of everyone else. At least Lawful Evil is honest about this.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malroth View Post
    Many people (myself included) feel that Laws and rules themselves are inherently evil serving only to enrich the rule makers at the expense of everyone else. At least Lawful Evil is honest about this.
    {Scrubbed}

    I like Lawful Good myself. Most laws are fair and just, and I like the idea of playing a hero doing good and helping others.
    Last edited by jdizzlean; 2019-09-13 at 08:26 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Lawful Good is the alignment of busybody Paladins who try or are forced, or feel they are forced, to police to rest of the party, encouraged by GMs and bad fluff

    "It says I fall if I associate with Evil, therefore I have to stop the rest of the party doing anything remotely evil lest the GM turn me into a FighterWithoutBonusFeats (TM)"

    It's also strongly associated with Lawful Stupid


    It's like the Chaotic Neutral problem, so many people have used it as an excuse to be obnoxious or simply misunderstood it that it has a bad reputation.

    I think I should blame 2E fluff
    Last edited by wilphe; 2019-09-13 at 08:23 PM.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by pabelfly View Post
    I like Lawful Good myself. Most laws are fair and just, and I like the idea of playing a hero doing good and helping others.
    The thing is, when the Law is not fair and just, "Lawful Good" defends it anyway and demands that Chaotic Good only resist the Law in those ways that Lawful Evil can comfortably ignore.

    The problem with "Lawful Good" is that it is an oxymoron.
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    There was just a discussion about this, please refer to this post

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...9#post24123789
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Lawful Good is rather like the Evil alignments (and CN) in that while there's nothing wrong with the alignment that good role playing can't fix, it tends to attract people who lack that skill. People who will make their Paladin police their party-members, enforce their ideals at sword-point, insist on strictest adherence to laws, and generally behave like a Knight Templar that is inflicting themselves on the party rather than contributing to it (this would be a very extreme case of the root problem, but even lesser cases tend to be rather frustrating for everyone involved).

    The people who create an extreme case like that are pretty rare in the scheme of things (and typically such a person will realize that there's a problem and work to fix it with future characters), but a lot of posters will have had an experience with at least one person like that, and such experiences tend to be unpleasantly memorable. Lawful Good then becomes a warning flag much like writing Chaotic Evil on your character sheet; maybe this new person will play LG well, but maybe they won't.
    Last edited by PoeticallyPsyco; 2019-09-13 at 08:37 PM.
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malroth View Post
    Many people (myself included) feel that Laws and rules themselves are inherently evil serving only to enrich the rule makers at the expense of everyone else. At least Lawful Evil is honest about this.
    And by that you mean that you are chaotic and you refuse to accept that someone may disagree with you and still be good.

    I'm chaotic myself, but I see the need for rules. when you interact with a stranger - who may have totally different customs on what is acceptable behavior and what isn't - you need a framework of rules. and when someone commits a crime, you need to have a law; else you can either pick up a gun and try to dispense vigilante justice, or suck it up and go on.
    Most of all, we need rules because we can't trust people. If my brother asks me to lend him money, no problem, I trust him. If a stranger asks me to lend him money (which is basically what happens when I put money on my back account and the bank gives those on a loan), I need a written contract. Heck, the whole concept of written law was made because the king, or the village elders, or whoever else administered justice before could not be trusted to be fair and not play favorites.

    I'm chaotic because I don't like that we need rules, I don't like having to follow them, and I disregard them whenever the social situation lets me, whenever I can trust the people around me to interact with me in a positive way and not try to take advantage of me. But I do recognize that rules are needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by FaerieGodfather View Post
    The thing is, when the Law is not fair and just, "Lawful Good" defends it anyway and demands that Chaotic Good only resist the Law in those ways that Lawful Evil can comfortably ignore.

    The problem with "Lawful Good" is that it is an oxymoron.
    oh my god no! you are confusing it with lawful stupid.
    that's as nonsensical as saying that chaotic good is an oxymoron because a chaotic person will always break the law, even when it's just. as if lawful = magically compelled to ffollow every minutiae of the law.

    So, to answer the op:
    many people have problems with the LG alignment because they mistake it for lawful stupid.

    Just like many people have problems with evil alignments because they mistake them for "kill plot-critical npcs and backstab the party ffor the lulz!"
    Just like many people have problems with the CN alignment because they associate it with "murderhobo who's really CE but won't admit it", or with straight-out madman.

    or, to put it in a larger context, many people have problems with alignments because they perceive them as a mix between a cage and a magical compulsion.
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Lawful Good isn't the problem. Lawful Stupid is the problem, and is actually more common to a Lawful Neutral character, but due to LG being associated with alignment's favorite whipping boy, the Paladin, it's the one that everyone attacks first rather than LN.

    The problem with LG comes in when people try to defend Law As Good, as defined in To March into Hell for a Heavenly Cause. Personally, I think the version of LG that plays out the best in most groups, and the one that actually fulfills that whole "Knight in Shining Armor" motif that most LG characters go for is when you focus on Good As Law instead.
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    So rethink the alignments not as Good vs Neutral vs Evil but instead Altruistic vs Neutral vs Selfish. [You can keep the Law vs Neutral vs Chaos.]

    The problem with being Lawful + Altruistic is the limits of the individual, and the problems of the Lawful + Altruistic as a society is that it rarely happens in practice yet it creates the image of it being Lawful + Altruistic as some Noble Ideal that it supposedly embodies but in reality it doesn't. How do you roleplay a character that feels the urge to be lawful, while simultaneously feels the urge to be altruistic, but the whole entire society is somehow against both of these things. What happens when society is lawful but it finds the suffering of others to be acceptable, what happens when lawful society does not practice care and goodwill? What does a Lawful plus Altruistic character do in such a world?

    • I am ignorning the Militaristic Lawful Good character who is the Paladin / Knight Templar, who use force to force his will onto the party.



    Lots of people see this dichotomy as a gilded thing, as an absurd thing that is false, like The Catcher in the Rye character calling everyone "Phoneys" for it is the truth even if Holden Caulfield is insufferable. Lots of people see Lawful plus Altruistic to be insufferable [yes this is personal opinion but humans have opinions.]

    ----

    Now a Lawful Good Character can recognize the limits of himself and the limits of society but then the LG character has a dash / flavor enhancer of Neutrality on both axises and he no longer "Feels" LG anymore. My point is a LG character feels like an impossible standard and once realized you only see its flaws in at least one dimension or sometimes multiple dimensions simultaneously.

    While all the other alignments do not have this tension, this tension of the the impossible Quixotic ideal.



    And as you can see by the video and the reference I did, even this form of LG that is "played straight" can be fun to roleplay. Unnatural character who feels foreign to this Jaded world, but D&D is a game that you get to roleplay as if it was theater and you have fun simultaneously being both yourself and someone else simultaneously. So play that LG idealistic altruistic character who is not the LG Paladin who is a pain for the rest of the party.
    Last edited by Ramza00; 2019-09-13 at 09:38 PM.
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    I'm chaotic because I don't like that we need rules, I don't like having to follow them, and I disregard them whenever the social situation lets me, whenever I can trust the people around me to interact with me in a positive way and not try to take advantage of me. But I do recognize that rules are needed.
    I agree with statement 100%. Laws are sadly necessary just as evil is sometimes sadly necessary

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by FaerieGodfather View Post
    The thing is, when the Law is not fair and just, "Lawful Good" defends it anyway and demands that Chaotic Good only resist the Law in those ways that Lawful Evil can comfortably ignore.

    The problem with "Lawful Good" is that it is an oxymoron.
    Anyone can play any alignment stupidly. It's not a problem limited to being lawful, being good, or being lawful good.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Lawful Good is the BEST alignment!
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    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    It is easy to play lawful good (there are at least three role models in the comic strip of that - more if you include Durkonís friends and family) and not go lawful stupid. For those just starting the game lawful stupid can be a risk, but have the character play a lawful good rogue (for example) and that goes away.
    Last edited by Particle_Man; 2019-09-13 at 11:17 PM.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Wow. I didn't know the horrible truth that Lawful Good is that bad. But I think that most people who play a Lawful Good character don't know how to roleplay well. I never play a Lawful Good character before but I don't have an issue playing a Lawful Good character at all. I think the player is too blame not the alignment itself.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    To answer the question directly. Nothing. Lawful Good is as fine an alignment as any other.

    However, D&D is -for a lot of people- a power fantasy. You can play the guy who the laws do not apply. You can upturn the established order. Do what you want. The cops can't stop you and you can take what you want. Basically, for a lot of players playing a distinctly chaotic character is where the fun comes from. You know what isn't fun when you want to play this kind of character? A law thumper that orders you to stop having fun. But that is because the player is playing the alignment in specifically the most disagreeable way.

    At its core a lawful good character only really requires two things.

    1) You intentionally do good things, and strive to avoid or prevent evil things.
    2) You believe the best way to create a functioning society is through rules.

    That's it.

    So this brings up the question. What does a Lawful Good character do when faced with a law that is evil? I've always found this a pretty silly question, as it doesn't actually effect the above two tenets of the alignment. So the answer is obvious. You change the laws. If necessary, you become Princess Leia. She is honestly, the perfect answer to the question in my mind. She's good. She's facing against a society run by evil laws. And her stated goal is to bring the return of the Senate which is a stand in for good laws. At least, in the movie.
    Last edited by Dienekes; 2019-09-13 at 11:54 PM.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    alot of peoples main gripes with Lawful good comes from the way that Paladins play lawful good.

    Paladins are Zealots of their Gods, some to the extreme of killing evil in their vicinity like rogues and other characters. this forces other characters to bend to the alignment of others and forces them to play a certain way which makes it less fun for the Chaotic neutral rogue to leave for a few hours and come back with a bag full of items. a lawful good paladin can handle this in one of two ways. 1 Accusatory "Where did you get those? you stole them didn't you?! Well we are going to return them." meaning the rogue just spent all that time and RP and dice rolls for nothing or
    2. Ignorant "Oh i see you picked up some stuff from town, i didnt realize there was a store open this late, lets celebrate with the food that the ranger prepared." which makes the paladin seem like a dumb meathead when paladins should be the leaders and smarter than that and certainly not naive.
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Lawful Good is the wet blanket on fun. Want to do something too harmful to individuals, or to society? Lawful Good is not down with that. This is supposed to be elf games, this is supposed to be a party. We don't want no Lawful Good party pooper.

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    The problem is, even if played right, Lawful Good often puts the character in opposition the party. Even if the party is all Lawful Good characters. Because different individuals can have different interpretations of what is good and just, and Lawful Good characters have the hardest time just accepting going against their values for the sake of party unity.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Mostly because unexperienced Lawful Good players tend to go to the extreams of Lawful Stupid or/and Stupid Good.

    Most people don't want to turn half the session into an arguement of "would the Paladin be cool with doing this" or having to turn on the party because the Lawful Stupid player decides that "looting is theaft/dessacration of the corpses" and starts PvP.

    An experienced Role Player can easyly play Lawful Good or even Chaotic Evil in a way that he's not a hindrance to the party. i'd personally discourage a less experienced player from playin an aligment other than Lawful Neutral or Neutral Good as they are the easyest to play without hearing some absurd cases of "that's what my character would do".

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Of course it's a good alignment. It's right in the name!

    Lawful good and lawful neutral actively inhibits chaotic actions. This is problematic for chaotic characters. Lawful Good also actively inhibits evil actions. This is a problem for evil characters.

    It often interferes with how others want their characters to go.
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Because people on modern western society do not like being told what to do. Lawful alginments put restrictions on people, including themselves. We all want to be free to do what we want to do, but LG says that sometimes we should instead be forced to do what we should do, and that sucks.

    Chatoic Good is seen as a better alignment by many because it says "You can choose how much candy you eat because I know you will make the right decision and I will make sure no one steals anyone elses candy." Lawful Good doesn't really trust people and so says "First off I want to make sure everyone gets candy. And then we are going to talk about dental hygene and dietary moderation."

    Also people who play Lawful Good often forget the Good part and insist on sticking to the rule that says that Frank gets extra candy because, when they are supposed to be the people saying "These candy rules are broken, we need better candy rules, but we still need candy rules because people don't make good decisions about candy."
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    The problem with Lawful Good in my experience is that it's the most restrictive alignment. Both law and good place restrictions on behaviour in a way that evil and chaos don't (unless you have a religious devotion to those alignments as ends in themselves) which means that quite often, if a player wants to maintain their alignment, they have little choice as to how to behave, especially considering the objective nature of good and evil in the D&D game.

    This means that Lawful Good is in danger of being a boring alignment to play. A friend of mine who identifies as LG himself still ended up calling it "awful good" after playing a LG Cleric for 19 levels.

    I think OGDojo has the right of it though, that when people think of LG, they think of Paladins or other similar religious zealots. Any alignment (even True Neutral) can be restrictive if you're a fanatic (not to mention annoying to other players). The majority of people who are LG are not paragons of law and good, they are normal human beings who are mean or selfish or break rules occasionally, but whose behaviour tends consistently towards lawfulness and goodness. Playing that kind of character is still more restrictive than other alignments, but not dramatically so, and certainly need not be boring or annoying.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by OGDojo View Post
    alot of peoples main gripes with Lawful good comes from the way that Paladins play lawful good.

    Paladins are Zealots of their Gods, some to the extreme of killing evil in their vicinity like rogues and other characters. this forces other characters to bend to the alignment of others and forces them to play a certain way which makes it less fun for the Chaotic neutral rogue to leave for a few hours and come back with a bag full of items. a lawful good paladin can handle this in one of two ways. 1 Accusatory "Where did you get those? you stole them didn't you?! Well we are going to return them." meaning the rogue just spent all that time and RP and dice rolls for nothing or
    2. Ignorant "Oh i see you picked up some stuff from town, i didnt realize there was a store open this late, lets celebrate with the food that the ranger prepared." which makes the paladin seem like a dumb meathead when paladins should be the leaders and smarter than that and certainly not naive.
    To be fair, the player of the Chaotic Neutral rogue could at least meet the requirements of party unity half-way by not ostentatiously showing off suddenly acquired bling ("Oh, look, I have a gold ring with three rubies in it that looks exactly like the ring the lord mayor just lost!"), and investing in the bluff skill so that they can come up with a very convincing story of how they legally got this stuff (or always had it) that would be convincing to all who don't have a similarly jacked up sense motive skill. Think of Haley using her bluff skill against Roy (who is no meathead) here, for example, but more subtle, since it is not for comedic effect.

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    I mean, I don't mind being obtuse if I play a character that is obtuse, but if I am playing an LG character and a fellow PC is picking pockets in broad daylight on the steps of the temple of Pelor and I see it, yes I will call for the town guard to have them arrested. I mean, the twin of Lawful Stupid is Chaotic Stupid. It is the Stupid part that is the problem, not the other part.
    Last edited by Particle_Man; 2019-09-14 at 10:17 AM.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    What's wrong with Lawful Good? Paladins mainly.

    The way the paladin code of conduct in the PHB is written makes some people think they are entitled to tell every other party member what they can and can't do.

    I'm not saying all paladins have to be played that way, just that paladin is one of the things in the game with the greatest potential to be disruptive out of the box, which has made many (myself included) have unpleasant experiences with paladins in the party.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Personally:

    True Good is Neutral Good. I think Laws sometimes get in the way of doing what's truly right.

    Lawful Good puts you in a smaller and smaller box. It's not as fun and it's stupidly strict. It makes you predictable and easy for people to pick on you.

    I RESPECT Lawful Good people, but I don't have the patience or the will power to act that way all the time.

    It's why I think Neutral Good should have a Paladin Variation. They're not THAT bad and losing ALL of your class skills because you made a mistake or bad call is full of bs in my opinion.

    Again, I reiterate: Lawful Good (often time) makes you predictable and limits your options. (And specifically for Paladins) The rewards aren't as good.
    Last edited by BlueWitch; 2019-09-14 at 11:46 AM.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by OGDojo View Post
    alot of peoples main gripes with Lawful good comes from the way that Paladins play lawful good.
    I would refine that a little, and say that the problem comes from the way that bad rules forced Paladins to play Lawful Good from 1980 through 2007. The way that bad players played Lawful Stupid because bad DMs forced them to because bad designers told them to.

    For as RAW-obsessed as a lot of folks here are, they sure are quick to overlook that what we dismiss as "Lawful Stupid" today was very much RAW and the subject of countless, ever more horrific, attempts at Sage Advice for the majority of the game's history.

    Lawful Good just gets the worst of it, because it's the alignment most people consider the aspirational moral code-- the superhero alignment-- and it's the only alignment that got its own special, elite PC class to represent it.
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bartmanhomer View Post
    I heard so many people complaining that Lawful Good is the worst alignment. A lot worse than Lawful Evil. To me, Lawful Good is a good alignment. Sure Lawful Good character play by the rules of goodness and they're law-abiding by their rules. But I really don't see anything wrong with that. Can somebody please explain to me why Lawful Good is a bad alignment, please?
    40 years on and alignment is still a quagmire of misunderstanding, abuses and sillyness. In short, people complain that LG is the worst alignment because they have a PERSONAL interpretation of what they think LG is, or what they want it to be even if that ISN'T what it is, and they revel in flogging that horse to death. People can't even agree what alignment is for. Ask 10 different players you'll get 12 different answers and 13 of them will be wrong.

    Alignment is what the DM says it is. Interpretations of what each alignment believes and strives for is what the DM says it is. NOT THE BOOKS - the DM. This is because enforcement of alignment related matters, whether that is by-the-book, what the DM simply THINKS is by-the-book, or what the DM makes up themselves, is still up to the DM. One DM may allow a character to do something alignment-related that another DM will have a conniption over. These are arguments that have gone on for decades and there is no solution - save that which each individual DM says is the solution.

    I personally believe people despise LG because they have simply seen too many abuses and excuses that attempt to distort what alignment was intended to do and to use LG alignment in particular in a wildly incorrect and inappropriate manner. Alignment was not introduced to create the problems that people say alignment brings. It was introduced first and foremost in OD&D just because ol' Gary Gygax thought it was a cool idea from the books he'd read (Moorcock's Elric books and Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions). At that time it had no in-game mechanical purpose other than for making a setting seem more like the settings of those books where events revolve around the conflicts between these groups of cosmological forces. By the time of 1E it was given a mechanical purpose which was guiding players to keep their characters behavior more consistent and believable - and if they didn't it also gave the DM a big, fat hammer to smack them over the head with to get them back in line. Lawful Good characters were otherwise supposed to generally want righteous, beneficial, and positive things to be promoted in the world, and to beat down the vile, degrading and destructive things of the world. Not a hard act to put on. But today it's been hopelessly munged up and corrupted by a thousand different individual real-world notions of philosophy, religion, morality and ethics - and to prove to others how bad it is people will distort and abuse the livin' **** out of it.

    It isn't really bad. Certainly it didn't start out that way. People MADE it that way.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    California
    Gender
    Male

    d6 Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    In my case I have a hard time thinking and acting lawful.

    I also attempt good but ride the neutral line closely.

    Just thinking choices and serious lack of doing the correct thing when an expedient choice is presented.

    In other words the flaws are mine I own them.
    9 wisdom true neutral cleric you know you want me in your adventuring party


  29. - Top - End - #29
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    It can be annoying when you have a bad DM that's constantly shouting "Oh, your alignment shifted to this!" when you've done something petty.

    I don't think a Paladin stopping a man from abusing his slave is worth an alignment shift. But some DMs do. I think its the DM more than the player if I had to be honest.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    The most gygaxian thing: alignment languages.

    Light the lamp not the rat LIGHT THE LAMP NOT THE RAT!!!

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