The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    The trouble with Lawful Good is that it is the alignment of self-righteous fools and dishonest tyrants who seek to impose their will upon others. They reinforce their position by protecting those too weak to support themselves in order to gather those peons into a collective whole that will keep them enthroned in power. They suppress the rights and privileges of those who actually make things happen, and get in the way of solving problems by protecting the guilty from the retribution they deserve. They slow down justice with rules about when and how you can punish wrongdoing, and they enshrine ineptitude and laziness and foolishness by insisting that those who are too incapable of protecting their own for some reason have a right to demand that others let them dictate the disposition of resources rather than the natural law that those who can, do. Worse, they sneer down their noses at you if you don't acceed to their demands that you actively help protect the selfish weaklings who won't bother to protect themselves.

    This alignment is the worst because it imposes rules for no reason other than to tell people who know what they're doing not to do it, and at the same time insists that those who don't have any strength or wit to make anything of themselves have privileges over those who do.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Particle_Man View Post
    It seems like the real problem is often a lack of communication at the character level. It could be solved by a conversation as follows:
    That looks more like an exchange between E and G to me. Chaotic doesn't mean that the character is impulsive or random, and a chaotic character (especially chaotic good) would not be dismissive of potential collateral damage by nature of his alignment. A more likely exchange between C and L:

    C: "The guy we're after has some pretty powerful minions. He might be too strong for use to take out ourselves... I'm going to apply some of the venom from that giant spider we killed two rooms back to our weapons. That ought to give us a bit of an edge."

    L: "I'm not going to let you do that. Using poisons is dishonorable. If we stoop to this villain's level, are we really any better than he is?"

    C: "Do you have any better ideas? We could easily end up dead up ahead, and then he's going after the city next. What's more important to you: Protecting all of those innocent people, or giving the bad guy a fair fight? If you're willing to let your code of honor put thousands of innocent lives at risk for the sake of proving that you're better than he is, are you really any better than he is?"

    L: "Fine, then! Use your damn poison. But don't expect me to resort to such cheap tactics with you. I'm keeping my hands clean. And don't make this a habit, or we'll be looking for a new traveling companion to replace you."

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaern View Post
    That looks more like an exchange between E and G to me. Chaotic doesn't mean that the character is impulsive or random, and a chaotic character (especially chaotic good) would not be dismissive of potential collateral damage by nature of his alignment. A more likely exchange between C and L:

    C: "The guy we're after has some pretty powerful minions. He might be too strong for use to take out ourselves... I'm going to apply some of the venom from that giant spider we killed two rooms back to our weapons. That ought to give us a bit of an edge."

    L: "I'm not going to let you do that. Using poisons is dishonorable. If we stoop to this villain's level, are we really any better than he is?"

    C: "Do you have any better ideas? We could easily end up dead up ahead, and then he's going after the city next. What's more important to you: Protecting all of those innocent people, or giving the bad guy a fair fight? If you're willing to let your code of honor put thousands of innocent lives at risk for the sake of proving that you're better than he is, are you really any better than he is?"

    L: "Fine, then! Use your damn poison. But don't expect me to resort to such cheap tactics with you. I'm keeping my hands clean. And don't make this a habit, or we'll be looking for a new traveling companion to replace you."
    But using poisons (that deal ability damage) is an evil act! BoED says so!

    Snippets of rules and description scattered across core and splatbooks also imply likewise. Same with past editions.

    Now, ravages, on the other hand...
    Last edited by NNescio; 2019-09-16 at 12:39 PM.
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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Nothing wrong with Lawful Good.

    It's no worse than those who play Chaotic Neutral going "I'm not evil, I'm chaotic neutral".

    Some people will always be idiots at the table, no matter the alignment on the character sheet.
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by NNescio View Post
    But using poisons (that deal ability damage) is an evil act! BoED says so!

    Snippets of rules and description scattered across core and splatbooks also imply likewise. Same with past editions.

    Now, ravages, on the other hand...
    BoED explicitly calls out poisons which cause ability damage as being evil because they cause undue suffering in the process of defeating an opponent. Ravages and afflictions only affect evil creatures, turning their moral corruption into physical corruption and essentially causing their own evil-ness to become harmful to them. One might argue that if a creature would be harmed by a ravage then the suffering is in fact due, and that the use of an equivalent poison in that case is justifiable, but the ravages and afflictions themselves would still be preferred by a good character as they come with a failsafe that prevents a non-evil creature from suffering from them.
    In addition, the entry on the paladin's code of conduct says...
    A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class abilities if she ever willingly commits an evil act. Additionally, a paladinís code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth)"
    Listing these "act with honor" conditions in addition to specifying that a paladin must not commit an evil act seems to imply that, while dishonorable, cheating and using poisons are not covered by the "must not commit an evil act" clause and are therefore not inherently evil according to the core rules.
    It also says that a paladin must not continue association with someone who consistently offends his moral code, so while a paladin may not use poisons himself, he may give the rest of his party a pass every now and again without having to disown them.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Faily View Post
    Nothing wrong with Lawful Good.

    It's no worse than those who play Chaotic Neutral going "I'm not evil, I'm chaotic neutral".

    Some people will always be idiots at the table, no matter the alignment on the character sheet.
    While that is definitely true, some alignments make it easier to be disruptive than others.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    The trouble with Lawful Good is that it is the alignment of self-righteous fools and dishonest tyrants who seek to impose their will upon others. They reinforce their position by protecting those too weak to support themselves in order to gather those peons into a collective whole that will keep them enthroned in power. They suppress the rights and privileges of those who actually make things happen, and get in the way of solving problems by protecting the guilty from the retribution they deserve. They slow down justice with rules about when and how you can punish wrongdoing, and they enshrine ineptitude and laziness and foolishness by insisting that those who are too incapable of protecting their own for some reason have a right to demand that others let them dictate the disposition of resources rather than the natural law that those who can, do. Worse, they sneer down their noses at you if you don't acceed to their demands that you actively help protect the selfish weaklings who won't bother to protect themselves.

    This alignment is the worst because it imposes rules for no reason other than to tell people who know what they're doing not to do it, and at the same time insists that those who don't have any strength or wit to make anything of themselves have privileges over those who do.
    None of what you said is true. Not for a Lawful GOOD person at least. Maybe LN or LE.

    But when Lawful Good people impose laws they are doing it from a place of benefit for all. Why do you think it's illegal to play in the street? It's to keep people from needlessly getting hurt.

    Why do you think public places have Waiting Lists and Lines? Its to maintain Order and Civility not "Get in the way for people to do things." Come on.

    I have my issues with Lawful Good, but don't vilify it this dramatically.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWitch View Post
    None of what you said is true. Not for a Lawful GOOD person at least. Maybe LN or LE.

    But when Lawful Good people impose laws they are doing it from a place of benefit for all. Why do you think it's illegal to play in the street? It's to keep people from needlessly getting hurt.

    Why do you think public places have Waiting Lists and Lines? Its to maintain Order and Civility not "Get in the way for people to do things." Come on.

    I have my issues with Lawful Good, but don't vilify it this dramatically.
    The purple color of his text meant he wasn't being serious. He was being sarcastic.


    Last edited by Gallowglass; 2019-09-16 at 05:21 PM.
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  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    The purple color of his text meant he wasn't being serious. He was being sarcastic.


    And also blue text means sarcastic as well.

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaern View Post
    That looks more like an exchange between E and G to me. Chaotic doesn't mean that the character is impulsive or random, and a chaotic character (especially chaotic good) would not be dismissive of potential collateral damage by nature of his alignment. A more likely exchange between C and L:

    C: "The guy we're after has some pretty powerful minions. He might be too strong for use to take out ourselves... I'm going to apply some of the venom from that giant spider we killed two rooms back to our weapons. That ought to give us a bit of an edge."

    L: "I'm not going to let you do that. Using poisons is dishonorable. If we stoop to this villain's level, are we really any better than he is?"

    C: "Do you have any better ideas? We could easily end up dead up ahead, and then he's going after the city next. What's more important to you: Protecting all of those innocent people, or giving the bad guy a fair fight? If you're willing to let your code of honor put thousands of innocent lives at risk for the sake of proving that you're better than he is, are you really any better than he is?"

    L: "Fine, then! Use your damn poison. But don't expect me to resort to such cheap tactics with you. I'm keeping my hands clean. And don't make this a habit, or we'll be looking for a new traveling companion to replace you."
    C: "Fine then! Keep your hands clean *this time*, but you'd better get your priorities straight, or we'll be looking for a new traveling companion to replace *you*."
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-09-16 at 07:27 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    I think inexperience players are to blame for not playing an unpopular alignment right.

  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Rather than seeing too many people say that Lawful Good is worst because they're too stubborn, I've seen more people regard lawful good as just weak. (Even with Paladin being a class in 3.5! I know!)

    IME, Lawful Good gives too many people the impression of a:

    - milquetoast
    - follower
    - "nice guy"

    I'm not sure if it's lack of exposure to cooler/stronger law-abiding "good" people, but it's just the impression I got from how other people regard lawful goodies.

    This is in contrast to Lawful Evil, which gives people more of the impression of "leadership". It might be because so many people tend to think politicians and leaders have some edge/ruthlessness to them.
    Last edited by John05; 2019-09-16 at 07:48 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    There's also groups and players for whom Lawful Good (Stupid) gets so hung up on being good *and* Lawful and making everyone else do the same, they become impractical.
    Where Lawful Evil can make the trains run on time. (And will work with others to make that happen if that's something they want to see happen).

    So depending on the culture at your table and the personalities involved (both player and character), LG can be harder to work with than LE, especially if your goals are not unequivocally good.
    On a related note LE deals with shades of gray more easily than most LG archetypes
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  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    The purple color of his text meant he wasn't being serious. He was being sarcastic.


    I was under the belief purple meant "from an evil viewpoint." Though I guess the two are interchangeable here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    So, your roleplaying guide is pretty much "Live Fast, Die Young, Leave a confusing corpse"?

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    I think the goalposts are moving a bit. It is possible to be LG without being lawful stupid just as it is possible to be LE without being lawful star-scream and it is unfair to compare the extreme version of lawful good to the moderate version of lawful evil.

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  16. - Top - End - #76
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Yeah, I think there's a bit of memory bias here - when someone plays a cool, well thought out character that happens to be LG, people remember the former over the latter. But when someone decides to go "stick-up-the-ass Paladin with extra Lawful Stupid", people remember the alignment, because it's the "reason" for being so obnoxious.

    But inherently, there's not any reason LG would have to be more extreme than other alignments. There's plenty of likable characters that fit it.

  17. - Top - End - #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Particle_Man View Post
    I think the goalposts are moving a bit. It is possible to be LG without being lawful stupid just as it is possible to be LE without being lawful star-scream and it is unfair to compare the extreme version of lawful good to the moderate version of lawful evil.
    This 100%. Just as it is unfair--in the "strawman argument" sense--to compare O'Chul or Michael Carpenter to Starscream or Cersei Lannister, and act like that demonstrates LE is unplayable.

    It is entirely possible to have Roy Greenhilt-types and O'Chul-types adventuring in the same party as Noble Demon LE types, and have a really good time doing so, but it requires a lot of maturity and discernment from the players--something that the often-teenage (or "might as well be teenage") D&D player usually lacks.

  18. - Top - End - #78
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    This 100%. Just as it is unfair--in the "strawman argument" sense--to compare O'Chul or Michael Carpenter to Starscream or Cersei Lannister, and act like that demonstrates LE is unplayable.

    It is entirely possible to have Roy Greenhilt-types and O'Chul-types adventuring in the same party as Noble Demon LE types, and have a really good time doing so, but it requires a lot of maturity and discernment from the players--something that the often-teenage (or "might as well be teenage") D&D player usually lacks.
    To add to this, we have Roy Greenhilt adventuring in the same party as Belkar the classical Chaotic Evil Stupid murderhobo and Haley the "I-steal-from-everyone-including-the-party" Chaotic Good thief rogue. It works.

    (Granted they became more developed as characters over time and are no longer as dysfunctional as before, but the party was mostly cohesive even in its early days.

    Though, yeah Roy isn't exactly the straight-laced LG type. He makes an effort but he can be very flexible in his worldview.)

    Edit:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    The purple color of his text meant he wasn't being serious. He was being sarcastic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bartmanhomer View Post
    And also blue text means sarcastic as well.
    Purple is (roleplaying as an) "Evil" (character), a convention set by Red Fel.

    Though, yeah, it can also be used in a facetious manner, like blue text (which tends to be more often used for facetious/flippant/"Not so serious" posts instead of true sarcasm). Albeit with an 'evil' undertone.
    Last edited by NNescio; 2019-09-17 at 01:38 AM.
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  19. - Top - End - #79
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Particle_Man View Post
    I think the goalposts are moving a bit. It is possible to be LG without being lawful stupid just as it is possible to be LE without being lawful star-scream and it is unfair to compare the extreme version of lawful good to the moderate version of lawful evil.
    Sure. But I will continue to hold that Lawful Good has the least flexibility to work with a party. That Lawful Good has the most difficult time promoting party unity of any "reasonable" alignment depiction.

  20. - Top - End - #80
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Sure. But I will continue to hold that Lawful Good has the least flexibility to work with a party. That Lawful Good has the most difficult time promoting party unity of any "reasonable" alignment depiction.
    For me a Chaotic Evil character have the least flexibility especially if they are played in a stupid manner , an LG character not paladin have more flexibility because he will not punish the other characters maybe (he will try to talk to them to doesn't do these thing and he will control, but is easier than a CE) but we want to compare an LG paladin with an CE paladin? The paladin of massacre have less flexibility than the normal paladin
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  21. - Top - End - #81
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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Which alignment, on the Good/Evil axis, is more compatible with each of the following?
    Forgiveness and overlooking past mistakes
    Empathy and actively seeking to understand others' views
    Putting collective benefit ahead of personal benefit
    Desiring mutually-satisfactory outcomes

    In every case, I argue Good is more compatible with these things. That doesn't mean Evil is always and constantly incompatible, but every single one of these things is, both by the descriptions of alignment and by the general meanings of the words, more in Good's wheelhouse than Evil's. Evil plots revenge, keeps record of wrongs, dismisses empathy as an impediment (note the difference between empathy and sympathy here), prefers calculated self-benefit over the group (only getting to "helping the group helps me indirectly in the long run" by more advanced calculation, not because the group is valuable in itself), and absolutely does not desire mutually-satisfactory outcomes but instead prefers maximum benefit for minimum investment and exploiting others as much as possible.

    I'm leery of Evil alignments in general, but a very well-played Chaotic Evil character can adventure alongside a straightlaced Lawful Good character, if both players are mature about it. It's the maturity that matters. Unless someone can actually trot out some data on the subject, we have zero reason beyond personal experience to argue that either LE or LG (or any other alignment) is at all more likely to be immature. There is no logical necessity, only anecdotes and analogies, both of which easily betray us. As others have already noted, personal experience can be extremely biased and poisoned by merely a single bad actor out of hundreds of good ones.

    So. What behaviors--at least as specific as the above, not just handwaving--does any form of Evil provide that encourage willing attachment, and resistance to forces that might break apart a party?
    Last edited by ezekielraiden; 2019-09-17 at 07:16 AM.

  22. - Top - End - #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by NNescio View Post
    Purple is (roleplaying as an) "Evil" (character), a convention set by Red Fel.

    Though, yeah, it can also be used in a facetious manner, like blue text (which tends to be more often used for facetious/flippant/"Not so serious" posts instead of true sarcasm). Albeit with an 'evil' undertone.
    The two are hardly mutually exclusive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    The two are hardly mutually exclusive.
    His mistake is enough that we should probably take a couple fingers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    So, your roleplaying guide is pretty much "Live Fast, Die Young, Leave a confusing corpse"?

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Sure. But I will continue to hold that Lawful Good has the least flexibility to work with a party. That Lawful Good has the most difficult time promoting party unity of any "reasonable" alignment depiction.
    Yet in the OOTS it is LG Roy and LG Durkon that are front and centre, and CE(CE/N now?) Belkar that almost got booted off the team by CG Haley.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    Which alignment, on the Good/Evil axis, is more compatible with each of the following?
    Forgiveness and overlooking past mistakes
    Empathy and actively seeking to understand others' views
    Putting collective benefit ahead of personal benefit
    Desiring mutually-satisfactory outcomes

    In every case, I argue Good is more compatible with these things. That doesn't mean Evil is always and constantly incompatible, but every single one of these things is, both by the descriptions of alignment and by the general meanings of the words, more in Good's wheelhouse than Evil's. Evil plots revenge, keeps record of wrongs, dismisses empathy as an impediment (note the difference between empathy and sympathy here), prefers calculated self-benefit over the group (only getting to "helping the group helps me indirectly in the long run" by more advanced calculation, not because the group is valuable in itself), and absolutely does not desire mutually-satisfactory outcomes but instead prefers maximum benefit for minimum investment and exploiting others as much as possible.

    I'm leery of Evil alignments in general, but a very well-played Chaotic Evil character can adventure alongside a straightlaced Lawful Good character, if both players are mature about it. It's the maturity that matters. Unless someone can actually trot out some data on the subject, we have zero reason beyond personal experience to argue that either LE or LG (or any other alignment) is at all more likely to be immature. There is no logical necessity, only anecdotes and analogies, both of which easily betray us. As others have already noted, personal experience can be extremely biased and poisoned by merely a single bad actor out of hundreds of good ones.

    So. What behaviors--at least as specific as the above, not just handwaving--does any form of Evil provide that encourage willing attachment, and resistance to forces that might break apart a party?
    "What does evil encourage?" You have asked the wrong question. There question is, what does Good encourage that makes it less resistant to forces that break the party apart. And the answer to that question is "caring".

    See, Good cares about things - things other than party unity. It has to. Evil doesn't.

    See, Good may be more about "Forgiveness and overlooking past mistakes", but Evil is more about overlooking current mistakes. The party wants to spare creatures that might well turn and slaughter the innocent villagers? Evil can live with that, for the sake of party unity. Can good?

    As to your other characteristics, I'd say that Evil wins Empathy, Law wins the Collective, and the last one *would* be Chaos, except Evil wins Empathy, and thus is more successful at it.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    My major problem with the alignment, other than people playing as Lawful Stupid and/or Stupid Good (which is its own unrelated mess), is the fact that many see the alignment as the most moral; that by somehow having LG on your character sheet, you are automatically the better person. I've seen both GMs and players see someone's character sheet and use alignment as the sole factor on how trustworthy/moral someone is. As in "The LG cop who hates halflings and relishes whenever he can arrest them is the more moral character than the NG halfling Druid that runs the food co-op".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    As to your other characteristics, I'd say that Evil wins Empathy, Law wins the Collective, and the last one *would* be Chaos, except Evil wins Empathy, and thus is more successful at it.
    I'm a bit at a loss as to how Evil wins out on empathy. Can you elaborate?

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    The purple color of his text meant he wasn't being serious. He was being sarcastic.


    Quote Originally Posted by Calthropstu View Post
    I was under the belief purple meant "from an evil viewpoint." Though I guess the two are interchangeable here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    The two are hardly mutually exclusive.
    In this case, I meant it as "from an evil perspective," not as "sarcasm." I'd have used a different color, since I actually meant it from a CE perspective and purple really means LE, usually, thanks to our good friend Red Fel, but I didn't think anything but Mr. Fel's iconic villainous and stylish color would be recognizable as "evil" just from color alone.

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Particle_Man View Post
    Yet in the OOTS it is LG Roy and LG Durkon that are front and centre, and CE(CE/N now?) Belkar that almost got booted off the team by CG Haley.
    Belkar is/was a poor party member not because he's CE, but because he is/was an impulsive idiot. Admittedly, that's often a part of CE, but it's not at all necessary to the alignment (and is just as frustrating no matter the alignment it's attached to).

    Nobody bats an eye when he goes sociopathic on the party's enemies (beyond noting that he is and remains Evil) because, well, it's typically the same thing the rest of the party would have done, he's just doing it for all the wrong reasons. E.g. slaughtering the invading hobgoblins or rejecting Tsukiko's offer to join team evil.
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  30. - Top - End - #90
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: What's Wrong With Lawful Good?

    And yet Roy and Durkon are both LG and are not seen as "kickoutable" by the rest of the party. CG Elan and Haley are absolutely loyal to them, and (presumably) N Varsuvius is too (V left the group during an "Evil" phase). And while anecdotes are not data, I have yet to have a problem with LG characters in the party in my 37 years of gaming. I *have* had problems with Chaotic and Evil characters.

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

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