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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default To Serve In Heaven: A Handbook To Roleplaying Lawful Good [Very much a WIP]

    Spoiler: Disclaimer
    Show
    I'm going to be writing this from the perspective of a lawful good character, so oppinions in here will obviously be biased towards law and good. There is another guide on how to be lawful good (which you can read here). This post isn't meant to imply that Zrak has gotten Lawful Good wrong, but rather my attempt to propose an extra opinion on the topic.

    Furthermore, I'd like to indicate that this guide will be focused on the variety of lawful good that focuses on (and, in character, advocates for) good over law. Some nods to law over good will be made, but that subset of this alignment will not be discussed quite as much. This is not to say those characters aren't lawful good or valid, it's just not what I'm focusing on here.



    To Serve In Heaven

    Behold, the concept of smiling evil was born.

    "Law is order, and good law is good order."-Aristotle, Politics

    Almost everything from here on out will be in LG character. You have been warned.

    Introduction:
    At this point, a plethora of guides have been penned covering the various points of the ideological spectrum. I think it prudent that you give those guide a quick read through -- not to adopt the positions advocated, but to better understand all the forces and misconceptions that lawful good has to strive against.

    The prevailing thought on lawful good these days (other than the ever constant "sticks in the mud" perception) seems to be that individuals with this alignment must constantly be in a balancing act with each half of their alignment. Part of my reason for authoring this guide is to show that, at the very least, the principles of lawfulness and goodness ought not be opposed to each other, but go hand in hand more often than people would believe.

    What is Lawful Good?

    We might as well start off with what the SRD has to say on the matter.

    A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. She combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. She tells the truth, keeps her word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go unpunished.

    Lawful good is the best alignment you can be because it combines honor and compassion.
    First, lets focus on what this definition gets right: mainly, what it omits. Lawful good is not about being a stick in the mud, smiting jaywalkers, making foolish decisions, viewing all that disagree with you as beyond redemption, being arrogant and self righteous, or a way to justify tyranny with good intentions. While a lawful good character can struggle with temptations to become these things, they are not always lawful and certainly never good.

    Secondly, this description does actively get some things right. Lawful good characters are supposed to be disciplined, tell the truth, speak out against injustice, and all of these are commendable qualities.

    However, this description leaves out the core of of Lawful Goodness: Selflessness. This virtue is what ties both the lawful and good aspects of lawful good into a perfect harmony. To put it (very) briefly, lawful good characters are supposed to sacrifice their personal well being both for the benevolence that they wish to foster in society, and for the order they believe makes it possible.

    This is merely the first (and most fundamental) way that lawful good manages to blend it's principles of law and good. More examples will be listed and described in the next section: the basic beliefs that characters advocating for law and good advocate for.

    -----
    All posts reserved! As the just and rightful ruler of this thread, I hereby open it to comments and suggestions for the rest of the forum.
    Last edited by Michael7123; 2015-10-14 at 09:05 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: To Serve In Heaven: A Handbook To Roleplaying Lawful Good [Very much a WIP]

    Values of Lawful Good

    The next logical step is to address the virtues that lawful good characters all have to some extent or another. Without valuing these to some extent or another. If you can't get you're head around these.... well, try harder. After all, LG characters wouldn't be following these codes if they didn't believe they were for the best for everyone to follow.

    Obligation: It is not hard to imagine a nuetral good being sacrificing his life for the well being of others, nor it is hard to imagine a lawful nuetral one sacrificing his well being in order to fulfill an oath he swore. A lawful good character is expected to do both of these. To put it another way, any good character is expected to help others, even at his own expense (while the inverse is true of evil). Lawful characters are expected to do what they are expected to do (fulfilling promises, following law, showing restraint, etc) even at a personal loss, while a chaotic character does.... well, whatever the character wants too in any given moment.

    The combined influences of being expected to do what is expected of you and to do what is in the best interest of others, both at the cost of your own well being, is one of the most important details that defines any lawful good character. A lawful good character ought to hold himself to doing good with the rigidity that a lawful character holds himself to upholding law. While this ought to be true of all good beings, lawful good characters excel at this due to the nature of being lawful while also being good.

    Justice: This virtue closely ties in obligation, but is distinct enough that I feel it's worth mentioning separately. Justice, beyond just a general sense that you ought to help others in need, involves helping those who have been wronged. If a lawful good character accidentally (or, in a moment of moral weakness, deliberately) wrongs someone, they have the obligation to make it up to them. Property should be restored, injuries healed, damage repaired, all as swiftly as possible. Bureaucracy, to a small extent, can be a useful tool, but any lawful good character should make sure that bureaucracy isn't starting to get in the way of helping others (and, unlike chaotic good, go on to get laws passed that curtail the bureaucracy rather than ignoring or overthrowing the entire country). Furthermore, law breakers (most of whom ought to be evil, but no small amount will be chaotic) who have chosen to act in a manner that is detrimental to others (and chaos can sometimes be more detrimental to individuals and society than evil).

    Truth: Your word is your bond. A chaotic good character might not think twice about breaking an oath or telling a "white lie" in order to get out of a situation where they might suffer otherwise. A lawful good character knows that once you break your trust, it is very, very difficult to get back. What creature looking for redemption will try to surrender to you if you have a reputation for stabbing people in the back once they've disbarment themselves? What individual will listen to you when you inform them of a real threat to the well being of others if you've been known to use such claims as diversions? This is not to say a lawful good character will never tell a falsehood, just that they will not do so lightly. Please note that valuing the truth does not give you the licence to be an inconsiderate jerk. You value honesty, not bluntness.

    Piety: Before anyone asks: no, the fact that I'm including piety on this list does not mandate that a lawful good character be religious (although I would also argue that lawful good, possibly more so than any other alignment, has a strong tendency to be religious). Piety, in addition to meaning reverence and respect for the gods, also means having respect for things like family, elders, your country, or even the moral code of lawful good. An irreverent lawful good character, while still capable of being lawful good, is about as common as lawful good beguiler. A lawful good character is going to be very, very cautious of going against traditions, their family, or their homeland in most cases.

    Compassion: A lawful good character is both lawful and good so that others may benefit from it. You aren't fighting the goblin hordes because you like the sounds the goblins make as your greatsword plunges through them, you're fighting to save the men, women, and children who are unable to lift up a sword and defend themselves. It's entirely possible that this compassion, combined with your sense of obligation, is the only reason you fight while your foes ridicule you for being a fool and claim your talents would by betraying every value you hold dear.

    Additionally, a lawful good character ought to be willing to take prisoners, especially those that are looking to obtain redemption for their ill deeds. Your end goal as a LG individual is not to go around smiting evil out of existence. Rather, it's to prove both evil and chaos as being inadequate metaphysical concepts when compared to law and good. An enemy redeemed is much, much better than an enemy slain.

    Sacrifice:I would say that a lawful good character believes that the needs of many outweigh the needs of the few, but that's somewhat off for several reasons. I present a somewhat revised ethical guideline that should be kept in mind when playing a lawful good character: "The needs and rights of the many outweigh the needs of the you." You, as a lawful good individual, view that you, and every other being has the moral obligation to sacrifice their comfort, wealth, health, or if need be, life, for the safety and well-being of others. However, you cannot force another individual to sacrifice anything for the well being of others. You can, and ought, to tell them that they are wrong for doing this, but you can't force them to take action. To put it slightly more clearly, you can (and ought) to put a stop to an individual dong things detrimental to society (evil and chaotic actions). You cannot, however, force someone to be lawful or good. Those must be choices that an individual makes with their own free will.
    Last edited by Michael7123; 2015-10-18 at 01:29 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: To Serve In Heaven: A Handbook To Roleplaying Lawful Good [Very much a WIP]

    [RESERVED]

    Interactions and thoughts on the other alignments will go here.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: To Serve In Heaven: A Handbook To Roleplaying Lawful Good [Very much a WIP]

    [RESERVED]

    Archtypes for Lawful Good characters will go here.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: To Serve In Heaven: A Handbook To Roleplaying Lawful Good [Very much a WIP]

    [Reserved]

    Motivations for lawful good characters will go here.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: To Serve In Heaven: A Handbook To Roleplaying Lawful Good [Very much a WIP]

    [Reserved]

    Methods of lawful good characters will go here.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: To Serve In Heaven: A Handbook To Roleplaying Lawful Good [Very much a WIP]

    [Reserved]

    Flaws lawful good characters can have without being pains to the rest of the party, and how to play a character trying to deal with these flaws.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: To Serve In Heaven: A Handbook To Roleplaying Lawful Good [Very much a WIP]

    [Reserved]

    Final notes, acknowledgements, and anything else goes here.

    Feel free to post after this! Any advice, criticisms, or suggestions you can offer me are welcome!

    At this stage, I'm mainly looking for examples for possible archetypes and some various points of lawful good beliefs. I have some ideas of my own on these matters, but suggestions are certainly helpful.
    Last edited by Michael7123; 2015-10-13 at 11:27 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: To Serve In Heaven: A Handbook To Roleplaying Lawful Good [Very much a WIP]

    Guide's starting to fill out, I see. Very nice

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