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    Default Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    From my understanding, being Lawful Evil means you can do whatever you want, so long as the Law allows it. So that means if you could change the laws so you can just on a whim kill people at random, you can?

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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Being Lawful does not mean "obey the law".

    It means being orderly. Having a code you follow. So no a Lawful person isn't likely to just kill people at random even if the law allows it.

    "Doing whatever you want" is Chaotic Evil's thing.
    Last edited by Yuki Akuma; 2010-05-24 at 11:38 AM.
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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki_Akuma View Post
    Being Lawful does not mean "obey the law".

    It means being orderly. Having a code you follow. So no a Lawful person isn't likely to just kill people at random even if the law allows it.

    "Doing whatever you want" is Chaotic Evil's thing.
    so if my code says "In order to save humanity, you must destroy it," That logic isn't LE?

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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Quote Originally Posted by Machiavellian View Post
    so if my code says "In order to save humanity, you must destroy it," That logic isn't LE?
    Why would LE want to save the humanity?
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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenish View Post
    Why would LE want to save the humanity?
    Think Hitler greenish. Think Hitler.

    He wanted to make humanity perfect, so he changed the laws so hecould wipe out almost an entire civilization. That is textbook LE

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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Well as an example of chaos/law in action i have a CN (borderline evil). He follows the law because it is beneficial to him (he is hired by the main power) and thinks in a logical manner. However for him 'logical' has a hint of insanity to it leading to him to often believe that his violent, sometimes erratic actions follow the word of the law exactly. As an example one of his superiors hinted that an expolsion could make a good distraction. His response? He manifested an explosion almost instantaneously directly on top of the people they wanted distracted.

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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Quote Originally Posted by Machiavellian View Post
    Think Hitler greenish. Think Hitler.

    He wanted to make humanity perfect, so he changed the laws so hecould wipe out almost an entire civilization. That is textbook LE
    I call Godwin's law on you!

    When thinking lawful evil I tend to use the follwing media characters as my icons:
    - Darth Vader
    - Megatron
    - Dexter
    - Artemis Entreri

    They pretty much stretch the breadth of the lawful evil pool to me. Rational and pragmatic without many morals in their way (but not completely without them), temperred by a sense of honour and/or a personal code. Then again I've always seen the embodiment of lawful evil as the "black knight" concept, so maybe that doesn't fit with you. Alignment is the subject of many a flame war after all.
    If I had a +1 Pan of Frying I could totally do that!

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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Lawful Evil would be the character that not only (ab)uses the law and order, but actually believe in it. He probably abhors chaos, which he sees as Anarchy, and fights against it. This, of course does not mean he is a nice person.

    A typical low-level Lawful evil person might be almost anyone; shopkeeper, guard captain, Assassin guild member (providing the guild is guided by some sort of strong rules), informant, anyone. High level Lawful Evil might be Chief of Police, Head Assassin, Lawmaker, Lawyer... Or if he is lucky he will be Dictator-for-life... Or Head Wizard in the local guild. Or something.

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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    CE Hitler: Beer Hall Putsch.
    LE Hitler: Gets self elected Chancellor.

    There is a difference. LE tends to use the existing structure to forward its goals. CE tends to ignore the existing structure.
    Last edited by Telonius; 2010-05-24 at 12:31 PM.

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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    CE tends to ignore the existing structure.
    …Or lit it on fire.
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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenish View Post
    …Or lit it on fire.
    That's true of all PC alignments, I think.

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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Yet another alignment debate! Yay!

    I have an issue with the misinterpretation of "follows a code". That phrase gets thrown out and some seem to regard it as "the character has an actual specific code of rules they follow". I find this clunky and unrealistic. "Principles" works better, I think.

    I view Lawful Evil not as "one who respects order", but one that manipulates circumstances favorably for personal gain. A LE character's actions have motives. He isn't wantonly cruel and doesn't go around burning down orphanages and forclosing on nunneries unless he has a good reason. He might be a sadist and enjoy torturing people, but he's not going to grab random people and do it for no good reason. Not only does that tend to be bad for PR, but nothing is furthered by such action.

    A LE ruler might actually be running a city well and keeping the people happy, but it probably isn't out of desire for welfare, but for the end result. The fact that methods used to keep the people in-line and productive also makes them happy is a side-effect that will be ignored if more efficient/practical methods become available.

    Heck, the LE character might even be a nice guy if you know him personally. He might even frequent the local tavern and laugh and drink with the best of them. But he's almost always going to have a selfish streak. The world probably owes him something in his mind, and reciprocity has no place in that sort of mentality.
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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    This site:

    http://easydamus.com/alignment.html

    seems to draw heavily on earlier editions, as well as 3rd ed, in its interpretations.

    I like Savage Species's emphasis on how evil beings tend to compartmentalize- treating those they see as enemies or opponents in the traditional Evil fashion, but exhibiting the typical Good virtues when dealing with friends, allies, family, and so on.

    So it's quite possible for an evil being to be altruistic and self-sacrificing (toward certain sections of the population)- but still Evil.

    That said, having a strong selfish streak- doing nothing that helps others without believing that they will gain as well, does probably prevent a Good alignment. Neutral characters can be that self-centred, but not Good ones.

    In a sense, Evil is more flexible, because an evil character can be selfish or altruistic or a bit of both- whereas a Good character must be basically altruistic- they might show occasional selfish moments- but these would be the exception, not the rule.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2010-05-24 at 12:57 PM.
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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    This site:

    http://easydamus.com/alignment.html

    seems to draw heavily on earlier editions, as well as 3rd ed, in its interpretations.

    I like Savage Species's emphasis on how evil beings tend to compartmentalize- treating those they see as enemies or opponents in the traditional Evil fashion, but exhibiting the typical Good virtues when dealing with friends, allies, family, and so on.

    So it's quite possible for an evil being to be altruistic and self-sacrificing (toward certain sections of the population)- but still Evil.

    That said, having a strong selfish streak- doing nothing that helps others without believing that they will gain as well, does probably prevent a Good alignment. Neutral characters can be that self-centred, but not Good ones.

    In a sense, Evil is more flexible, because an evil character can be selfish or altruistic or a bit of both- whereas a Good character must be basically altruistic- they might show occasional selfish moments- but these would be the exception, not the rule.
    The Pathfinder Core Rulebook seems to quote that page word for word. It's a very in-depth page that I use for my players when they need definitions on alignments.

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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    CE wants it small and wants it now. Little thinking ahead, actions following impulses.
    LE wants it big and wants it when in reach. Thinks stuff ahead, obviously. May have long term goals and plans.
    NE wants it.
    A wise monk trains both mind and body, but a smart monk is actually a swordsage.

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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Quote Originally Posted by Sliver View Post
    CE wants it small and wants it now. Little thinking ahead, actions following impulses.
    LE wants it big and wants it when in reach. Thinks stuff ahead, obviously. May have long term goals and plans.
    NE wants it.
    so a character who's goal to save humanity by annihilating it isn't Evil?

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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Quote Originally Posted by Machiavellian View Post
    so a character who's goal to save humanity by annihilating it isn't Evil?
    Why does he believe that annihilating humanity will save it? Does he just hate humanity?

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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    Why does he believe that annihilating humanity will save it? Does he just hate humanity?
    Like VIKI from I Robot. She believes the only way to protect humanity from itself is to destroy it.

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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Quote Originally Posted by Machiavellian View Post
    so a character who's goal to save humanity by annihilating it isn't Evil?
    I'm not sure how this relates to my post but... Yes, they are evil. They might think they are good, or that it is a necessary evil. But it is Evil.
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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    That sounds more like an Intelligence/Wisdom thing than an alignment thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Quote Originally Posted by Machiavellian View Post
    so a character who's goal to save humanity by annihilating it isn't Evil?
    In Watchmen, Ozymandias's "save humanity by murdering 3 million people" plot might qualify as enough to push him as far as Evil alignment.
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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Quote Originally Posted by Sliver View Post
    I'm not sure how this relates to my post but... Yes, they are evil. They might think they are good, or that it is a necessary evil. But it is Evil.
    I can't tell which spectrum of evil that is...

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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Vicky doesn't want to kill anyone. She just thinks that certain freedoms should be restricted so that humanity can remain as it is. With some minor adjustments for the better.

    She takes lots of care to prevent harm to anyone and tries to minimize casualties as much as she can. So I'm not sure she could even be called evil.
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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    I think it's inappropriate to assume that all LE characters are of the "big plans" type. I play a LE character who literally has no long term goals whatsoever - he just wants to kick ass and take names. The thing that makes him Lawful is that he has a code of honor that he refuses to bend from and will tear your bloody throat out for violating. He's undeniably a psychopath, which is usually assumed to be CE - it's doesn't need to be.

    I would define the Lawful-Chaotic axis as follows:

    Lawful - Has standards that they won't bend from, even if it's inconvienient.
    Neutral - Pragmatic. Does whatever seems the most advantagous.
    Chaotic - Does things on a whim, and will resist being subjugated by someone else's will on general principle.

    Course, this is an oversimplification, but given that textbooks could easily be written exploring this philosophical system designed arbitrarily by a gaming company, that's not saying much.
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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Quote Originally Posted by Machiavellian View Post
    so a character who's goal to save humanity by annihilating it isn't Evil?
    How do yous save something by annihilating it?

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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    By being bat**** crazy, most likely.
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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyuubi View Post
    How do yous save something by annihilating it?
    Save humanity from itself? Kill everyone and send them to their diety's realm before humanity unleashes a horde of devils who will steal their souls and torture them for all eternity?
    "It doesn't matter how much you struggle or strive,
    You'll never get out of life alive,
    So please kill yourself and save this land,
    And your last mission is to spread my command,"

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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Quote Originally Posted by Irreverent Fool View Post
    A LE ruler might actually be running a city well and keeping the people happy, but it probably isn't out of desire for welfare, but for the end result. The fact that methods used to keep the people in-line and productive also makes them happy is a side-effect that will be ignored if more efficient/practical methods become available.
    Someone once said that a sufficiently skilled Evil Overlord would be finding himself a Beloved Ruler, since his country or city would run so perfect.

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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    Short-term vs. long-term has nothing to do with LE vs. CE. Neither, in fact, does killing people.

    The LE approach is to build social structures and institutions to achieve power. To use an example from Vampire, most Camarilla elders are of this sort.

    The CE approach is taking those structures down to achieve power. Most Sabbat are of this sort.

    NE goes both ways.
    Last edited by Kalirren; 2010-05-24 at 03:25 PM.
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    Default Re: Misinterpretation of Alignment? LE #3.5#

    You can't infer how someone is from their alignment. You can only infer someone's alignment from how they are. And if you start off with the alignment, then frankly you are doing it wrong.

    This whole thread is moot.
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