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    Default Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    How do you feel on the subject? Good? Bad? Reasonable? Bogus? Supported by RAW? Supported by tradition? Enforced in practice?

    Discuss.

    TS
    Last edited by Tequila Sunrise; 2008-12-19 at 03:50 PM.

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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    Alignment is junk. Completely. Lawful v Chaotic is never defined. That said, characterizing it as ADD is taking it more than a bit far.
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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    Lawful and Chaotic seem to be associations of related qualities, none of which are necessary by themselves. Only when you accumulate enough of one type of quality over another are you Chaotic or Lawful.

    For example, you can have a standard LG Paladin with severe ADHD (reasonably assumed to be a "Chaotic" quality) so long as he has other strong Lawful qualities to make up for it.

    Of course, what counts as Lawful and Chaotic qualities is the hard part, but do you really expect me to do the hard part?
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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    Alignment is junk. Completely. Lawful v Chaotic is never defined. That said, characterizing it as ADD is taking it more than a bit far.
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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    Worse than ditching alignment, waaaaay better than "lawful = always obeys the law, chaotic = don't care about the law" or "lawful = conformist, chaotic = individualist". If I absolutely had to define lawful and chaotic alignments, I'd use those.

    I assume that the ADD part is an exagerration here.
    Last edited by Tengu_temp; 2008-12-19 at 04:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tequila Sunrise View Post
    How do you feel on the subject? Good? Bad? Reasonable? Bogus? Supported by RAW? Supported by tradition? Enforced in practice?

    Discuss.

    TS
    Lawful: I will use the laws to further my GNE (Good Neutral Evil) Goals.
    Chaotic: I will use whatever I deem necessary to further my GNE goals.

    That's how I try play at least.

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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    I have never understood why so many people have such a deep level of loathing for alignment.

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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeful View Post
    Lawful: I will use the laws to further my GNE (Good Neutral Evil) Goals.
    Chaotic: I will use whatever I deem necessary to further my GNE goals.

    That's how I try play at least.
    This is good, though I don't necessarily relate the law-chaos axis to actual legalities. I view it more as whether you follow a code of conduct that governs your actions above and beyond your intentions, or just do what seems like the best idea at the time. And even that doesn't do it justice...
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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    Personally I think the biggest issue is that TSR never had a thesaurus. I believe this alignment axis would be better understood if it was Order/Chaos, instead of Lawful/Chaotic.

    That being said, I think your comparison is certainly one way to go about it, and possibly a good way to get new players not to just assume
    "lawful = always obeys the law, chaotic = don't care about the law" or "lawful = conformist, chaotic = individualist".
    Last edited by MammonAzrael; 2008-12-19 at 04:18 PM.
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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    How I like to do alignment is this: create the personality First, with all nuances. Good-Evil is usually easy enough to define, but law-chaos, I usually prefer to figure out the fundamental view of the character.

    Does he believe he does or should act in a way that all people should act? If yes, that's a point towards lawful, if no, a point towards chaotic. IE, stealing from the rich to help the poor is good, but if Everyone did that, even chaotic characters realize the problem. A paladin isn't conformist: he's living what he believes to be an example for all others to hopefully follow.

    Do the ends justify the means? If yes, a point towards chaotic, no a point towards lawful.

    And so on. "Accumulation of traits" doesn't seem fitting for a fundamental philosophy. Like me, IRL... I do what I think is right, and to hell with the law or anything that gets in the way. At the same time, I'm bound by oath to never lie. The first line better reflects my fundamental philosophy, so I consider myself, IRL, to fall into the Chaotic Good category.

    Edit: I Like the alignment idea, as to me, it seems mostly a way to force people to really analyze and understand their character's motivations. As a DM, I'm pretty flexible with definitions, so I don't let it hinder my players.
    Last edited by rubycona; 2008-12-19 at 04:24 PM.
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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu_temp
    I assume that the ADD part is an exagerration here.
    You're right. The exaggeration was meant to encompass the whole 'chaotic personalities don't have the discipline to become paladins/monks/whatever' theory.

    Quote Originally Posted by afroakuma
    I have never understood why so many people have such a deep level of loathing for alignment.
    Ya got me! I think it has something to do with painful adolescent gaming experiences, overly controlling DMs, fast-food-heavy diets and shetland ponies.

    TS
    Last edited by Tequila Sunrise; 2008-12-19 at 04:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    I agree it's a little bit messed up, but for any given character I make, it seems intuitively obvious what alignment they should be. It's hard to generalize lawful and chaotic, but is less complicated in practice, most of the time. A few snags come up, but there will always be snags. I don't think it's as bad as people make it out to be.
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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tequila Sunrise View Post
    You're right. The exaggeration was meant to encompass the whole 'chaotic personalities don't have the discipline to become paladins/monks/whatever' theory.

    It's not that those of us with ADD don't have the discipline to become paladins or monks. If someone with ADD wants to become a monk, they could, it'd just likely take them a bit longer to learn. IIRC, paladins are called by the powers of good into becoming paladins.
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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    I personally feel that Law vs. Chaos has had good explanations and treatments in the past.

    The hard part's finding them in the whole Good vs. Evil mix!


    However, among the more notable examples of Law vs Chaos coming into play is the Bloodwar of Planescape fame. Helps if you ever had the Hellbound kit.

    It presented the fight between the Ta'nari (sp? I don't have my resources on hand) and Baatezu quite well I felt. Heck, it was where I LEARNED about Chaos vs. Law!


    Personally I felt that Chaos is not simply ADD, if that were true Chaotic characters would have a much harder time adventuring overall. It is occasionally ADD, but not the most pressing quality I feel.

    Chaos has a much easier time being mutable in its methods and goals. If a goal is easily obtained, it may immediately switch to another goal that was either on the sideline or made up on-the-fly. If one method of achieving a goal isn't working as quickly as hope, NEW PLAN! NOW!

    Chaotic characters are very much characters of the Present Moment. More so than Lawfully inclined ones, who tend to either be very traditional (past thinking) or thinking ahead. This isn't to say that a Chaotic character can't stick to a code of honor or make plans. However said characters are more likely to have very personalized codes of honor based on their past experiences, and their plans are going to have ______ that might need filling when they get to work (Hmm... should I bribe the guard with a bologna or turkey club sandwhich?)

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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    I follow states and local laws to the letter. I have a personal code of behavior that I follow. When I see a stop sign, I will stop, COMPLETELY. When people behave "randomly" or out of character, it bothers me. When I see people violate traffic laws/have a light out/something else, it bothers me. I like routine and not being a familiar environment or doing familiar things puts me off a little.

    Now of course, I have some Chaotic Tendencies, and my Lawfulness isn't that obsessive, but I am pretty sure I am Lawful.

    Now I have a friend who thinks a number of laws are bunk, doesn't obey traffic laws if nobody is endangered by it, regularly behaves "randomly", seeming weird or odd to other people. He will act out of character once a week or so, and isn't bothered by the things above that bother me.

    Now of course, as above, his Chaotic alignment isn't completely Chaotic, but I am pretty sure he's Chaotic.

    The problem (With Law/Chaos) is that there is no solid definition. To my knowledge, following laws/routines/personal codes is Lawful, and not doing so is Chaotic. But then we have the whole "Teamwork" crap that Wizards added, and so apparently anyone that can work with anyone else is Lawful, and you can only be Chaotic if you are a crazy and stupid loner.
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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    Alignment begone! The power of true roleplaying compels you!

    Alignment is nothing but an obstacle for roleplaying, and the few things depending on the system can easily be removed or rewritten.

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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLogman View Post
    But then we have the whole "Teamwork" crap that Wizards added, and so apparently anyone that can work with anyone else is Lawful, and you can only be Chaotic if you are a crazy and stupid loner.
    Never saw this. To me, the bad one was the 2E PHB, which explained how Chaotic Neutral meant that you were insane. To some extent, they still do that. I've learned to ignore them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Xavius View Post
    Alignment begone! The power of true roleplaying compels you!

    Alignment is nothing but an obstacle for roleplaying, and the few things depending on the system can easily be removed or rewritten.
    ...I don't follow. How does it hinder roleplaying?
    Last edited by afroakuma; 2008-12-19 at 04:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Talya View Post
    This is good, though I don't necessarily relate the law-chaos axis to actual legalities. I view it more as whether you follow a code of conduct that governs your actions above and beyond your intentions, or just do what seems like the best idea at the time. And even that doesn't do it justice...
    It's merely a baseline for the mindset of Lawful or Chaotic I use. It's not perfect, but it allows me to better assign alignments to personalities rather than the other way around, and it gets around certain other issues with alignment. Like my [Chaotic (Neutral] Good) character I played on the forums. He bucked authority at all times but tended to admit that yes helping the people is a good idea.

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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    I usually define Law v. Chaos as this:

    Law: Plays by the rules.
    Chaos: Does not play by the rules.

    And by "the rules", I generally mean "society's rules". It's an ethical choice, rather than a moral one like Good v. Evil is.

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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Xavius View Post
    Alignment begone! The power of true roleplaying compels you!

    Alignment is nothing but an obstacle for roleplaying, and the few things depending on the system can easily be removed or rewritten.
    It depends on the DM, really. If the DM is a stickler for his/her own personal definitions of alignment (like my old DM was... oh, the arguments!) then, it's a MAJOR hindrance. I wanted my character to be a certain way, figured "Chaotic neutral" matched my character best, but my DM refused to allow me to act on any lawful-ish qualities. And heaven forbid you go true neutral!

    On the other hand, if your DM is open to personal interpretation, and realizes that people are actually more complex than 9 possible alignments would otherwise suggest, then it actually Helps roleplaying, IMO.

    People don't change their fundamental worldviews on the fly (if it seems they do, they're probably chaotic :P). But they can use the requirement of having an alignment to sit down and really figure out the fundamental philosophy of their character.

    I personally find it makes it easier to make a full, in depth character, since it forces me to figure out how my character views things in regards to the concepts of good/evil and law/chaos.
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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    Chaotic is ADD as much as Lawful is OCD.

    Those are both extreme examples, but less about the mindset, and more about the actions. Often people with ADD are actually more disciplined than others, because they have to be. I have to deal with both of those, but wouldn't call myself Lawful when I'm OCD, or Chaotic when ADD.

    Lawful is more...structured, chaotic is more being able to move with the times. Most martial artists I know are Lawful, while most of the good streetfighters I know are Chaotic.

    I think Alignment is taken from how the character responds to things, thinks, and acts, instead of vice-versa.
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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    Quote Originally Posted by afroakuma View Post
    Never saw this. To me, the bad one was the 2E PHB, which explained how Chaotic Neutral meant that you were insane. To some extent, they still do that. I've learned to ignore them.



    ...I don't follow. How does it hinder roleplaying?
    By telling you (the character) how you should act. Plus, it creates a lot of discussions like this, on how to interprete them. Without alignment, no pointless discussion, but rather free roleplaying, that allows for moral ambiguity.

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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    The alignment system is generally bunk, and it's also needlessly convulted and self-contradictory.

    That said, removing the idea of alignments all-together is a lot of work, given that so much of the D&D cosmological structure (not to mention so many spells, class restrictions, ect, are dependant on it). To simplify things, my group uses a very blunt alignment system.

    Lawful is doing good things, chaotic is doing bad things. Good and evil come in when you examine WHO you do those things to.

    Lawful Good is doing good things for good people.
    Chaotic Good is doing bad things to bad people.
    Lawful Evil is doing good things for bad people.
    Chaotic Evil is doing bad things to good people.

    We STILL don't pay too much attention to the alignment system.

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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Xavius View Post
    By telling you (the character) how you should act. Plus, it creates a lot of discussions like this, on how to interprete them. Without alignment, no pointless discussion, but rather free roleplaying, that allows for moral ambiguity.
    The alignment spot on your character sheet is supposed to be a guideline, not a stopping block. Two characters who are both Chaotic Good may have completely different outlooks on what that actually means.

    Most of the arguments on this topic are because people try to apply the alignment system to an objective viewpoint, when alignment is actually subjective and different for each and every person. As such, for each character, their alignment, while containing each of the nine alignments, will necessarily be different in a fundamental fashion. Because of this, no two characters will ever truly "share alignment", even if they both carry the same two word descriptors: their motivations differ, and as such their alignments will necessarily likewise differ, despite them carrying the same "alignment name."
    Last edited by Fax Celestis; 2008-12-19 at 05:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    Lawful = ordered, Chaotic = disordered. That's how I've always seen it, anyway.

    The Law/Chaos axis gets less attention than the Good/Evil one for obvious reasons, but just like the other, it really does exist. I know plenty of Lawful Neutrals and Chaotic Neutrals in real life. :)

    Just bear in mind that like with the other axis, most humans fall somewhere in the middle . . . and remember to come up with personality first and alignment after.

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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Xavius View Post
    By telling you (the character) how you should act. Plus, it creates a lot of discussions like this, on how to interprete them. Without alignment, no pointless discussion, but rather free roleplaying, that allows for moral ambiguity.
    Which is why you apply Alignment after you know the character's personality, so you have a quick reference to the character's moral lines.

    I've never found Alignment to be a Roleplaying hindrance.

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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    Concurred w/Zeful, Fax, rubycona

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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeful View Post
    Which is why you apply Alignment after you know the character's personality, so you have a quick reference to the character's moral lines.

    I've never found Alignment to be a Roleplaying hindrance.
    Exactly. It's a guideline.

    Forcing alignment into something like, LG = EXACTLY this interpretation, etc, means that you can basically only play 1 of 9 possible people. All LGs will be, personality wise, exactly identical, and that's retarded. I had a DM who seemed to think that way.

    As a rough guideline showing the general world view of the characters, it's very useful. As long as you take care not to turn into a definition-nazi.
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    Default Re: Lawful = Disciplined, Chaotic = ADD?

    I also agree.

    Personality, then Alignment!


    That needs a slogan or some-such...hmmm...

    I agree with PTA? Wait, that might get confusing.

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