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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Exactly. "Lawful" was a poor name. Something like "codified" or "proper" or the like would have been better.
    Yeah, but the Elric books were all the rage in the early 70s and the concept of Law vs. Chaos was firmly entrenched in the minds of the Fantasy Fans of the day. Who would have thought that Stormbringer would have a shorter run than the game based on it?

    It is clear that Moorecock was talking about opposed cosmic forces rather than individual ethics. It is also clear that D&D failed to make that distinction.

    Why does a spell affect a good person one way and an evil one another? Because alignment has a universal signature, and a person's alignment discribes what team he's on.

    Lawful alignment does not force one to adhere to a law. It's the other way around. Adhering to a code of conduct, participating in society, being a part of a larger organization are all personal choices that tend to make one Lawful. Daily decisions 'attune' a character to the cosmic team.

    Whether or not a paladin can steal, lie, escape lawful imprisonment, etc. is more dependent on his oaths and code than upon external judgements. A paladin who is in this situation must be his own judge. This is actually a lot harder than it may seem, because as his own judge he cannot simply give himself a slap on the wrist and call it a day. He must judge the deed in exactly the same degree of earnest zeal that he used to take the oath. A slap on the wrist is like saying, "I didn't really mean that when I said it." The other extreme is, "When I took this oath, was I saying I am willing to die for it?"

    'Ordered' may have been a better word, but at the time everyone knew what he meant, and everybody knows Gygax didn't own a thesaurus.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    Yeah, but the Elric books were all the rage in the early 70s and the concept of Law vs. Chaos was firmly entrenched in the minds of the Fantasy Fans of the day. Who would have thought that Stormbringer would have a shorter run than the game based on it?

    It is clear that Moorecock was talking about opposed cosmic forces rather than individual ethics. It is also clear that D&D failed to make that distinction.

    Why does a spell affect a good person one way and an evil one another? Because alignment has a universal signature, and a person's alignment discribes what team he's on.

    Lawful alignment does not force one to adhere to a law. It's the other way around. Adhering to a code of conduct, participating in society, being a part of a larger organization are all personal choices that tend to make one Lawful. Daily decisions 'attune' a character to the cosmic team.

    Whether or not a paladin can steal, lie, escape lawful imprisonment, etc. is more dependent on his oaths and code than upon external judgements. A paladin who is in this situation must be his own judge. This is actually a lot harder than it may seem, because as his own judge he cannot simply give himself a slap on the wrist and call it a day. He must judge the deed in exactly the same degree of earnest zeal that he used to take the oath. A slap on the wrist is like saying, "I didn't really mean that when I said it." The other extreme is, "When I took this oath, was I saying I am willing to die for it?"

    'Ordered' may have been a better word, but at the time everyone knew what he meant, and everybody knows Gygax didn't own a thesaurus.
    It's funny, two paragraphs into that I thought to myself" oh, "Order" would probably have been perfect!". And then you end on that suggestion.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Also, New Zealand sounds even more like the entire land of simply magical, and I am even more displeased at not living there
    Are you trying to be a citizen of as many continents as possible?
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    It's funny, two paragraphs into that I thought to myself" oh, "Order" would probably have been perfect!". And then you end on that suggestion.
    That's often been said of Moorcock's cosmology.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Are you trying to be a citizen of as many continents as possible?
    Can't. Austria is one of the hardest citizenship to get to start with, and forbids dual citizenship with extremely limited exceptions. If I take on any other citizenship, I lose Austrian citizenship. I am forever maxed at two.

    Permanent resident of New Zealand might be nice, though.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Can't. Austria is one of the hardest citizenship to get to start with, and forbids dual citizenship with extremely limited exceptions. If I take on any other citizenship, I lose Austrian citizenship. I am forever maxed at two.

    Permanent resident of New Zealand might be nice, though.
    What little I know about Austria I learned while studying military history. I would very much enjoy learning more, but I am afraid a Viking Cruise down the Danube would leave me underwhelmed and misinformed.

    Back when I was traveling I would live and work in a place and avoid the bars jam-packed with oilfield trash like me. I learned a lot that way.

    Reminds me of the Friday evening that I went to a high school football game in Texas. They take their game seriously there. I enjoyed a good game and was invited to a church BBQ the next day. They take their BBQ seriously there. After learning that I really can't dance no matter how enthusiastic the instructors I was invited to church the next day. They take their church seriously there.

    Monday came and the crew had the usual assortment of hangovers and black eyes, and I had a high from the fun I had that came from just sitting down to enjoy a ball game.

    Everywhere I went I found people are like that, but you have to get off of the path the tourists tromp down. Unfortunately, I speak only one language, so I would be functionally retarded in Austria. I might get tromped down for getting off the tourist path!

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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    I think it would be interesting if the next couple clips expound on Serini's crotchety and generally negative outlook on things as a side affect of her half-troll transformation?

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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by alceryes View Post
    I think it would be interesting if the next couple clips expound on Serini's crotchety and generally negative outlook on things as a side affect of her half-troll transformation?
    Are you saying that trolls are innately negative?

    I think it is a legitimate trauma-response. What I think is that her issue has more to do with living too long. It's the 'Get off my lawn!' thing. No matter how hard you try, the world changes and you can't go back to the way it was when you were young.

    I think it starts when the songs of teen rebellion engraved indellibly into your psyche become television ads.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    On top of the very real trauma, Serini has been alone without apparent contact with a significant peer/friend. Her world is effectively shrinking while her best friends die off. Serini also implicitly signed off on sitting here and minding her Gate until her dying breath.

    That is not an auspicious scenario for learning to gamely accept changes.

    The Godsmoot and Thor have taught the Order the game has completely changed, regardless of what any of the mortal players may want to believe. Serini is so far out of the loop, she does not even know it is worth seriously considering actually talking to the Order before deciding a strategy for the present crisis. She is basically drifting in nowhere-land.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    It's funny, two paragraphs into that I thought to myself" oh, "Order" would probably have been perfect!". And then you end on that suggestion.
    I believe that it was Poul Anderson who first came up with the Law vs Chaos cosmology in his classic Three Hearts and Three Lions. I've seen a few other iterations - my favorite is from Gordon R. Dickson's The Dragon and the George, where the two sides are called 'Chance' and 'History'. I also really loved that Dickson didn't make one side the bad guys and the other the good guys - he made it very clear that the two needed to stay in balance, and if they get out of balance then the Dark Forces will lean heavily onto that side just to tilt everything out of whack as much as possible, and those who oppose them must push as hard as possible in the other direction.

    Too bad Gygax didn't take his language from that book, just because it would be so awesome to have a character who was Historic Evil.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Oh thank the Dice Deities he didn't! There are already enough puns in D&D.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Yeah. I know people have been complaining about Serini being a total grumpus but it's a part of her character! She's untrusting and grumpy because she's lived holed up in a dungeon for years and all her friends are dead and she's gone through things in her life that have made her a cynic! It's not gonna be an interesting story if everyone just bows to the heroes and gives them what they want right away.

    But also, it shouldn't be like Three's Company where nobody ever talks it out and everyone's going behind each other's backs and WUH-OH KIDS, it's a comical misunderstanding that could only have been prevented if the characters talked to each other!

    ...Does anyone even care about Three's Company anymore, is the question.

    (I think this just turned into me complaining about comical misunderstanding plots at the end.)
    Last edited by Robots; 2022-01-14 at 08:21 PM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    The Giant had a really good quote about this with some strong points - let me find it:

    I've always treated Lawful alignments as a personal code of conduct. This usually, but not always, meshes well with the laws of wherever the Lawful character lives, because it would be a huge pain in the ass to constantly reconcile your strongly-held behaviors with the local laws.

    But it doesn't mean that you inherently base any of your behavior around local laws.
    It absolutely does mean that you respect authority, such as the authority of the laws of the society you live in, although i don't think that this contradicts any of the Giant's points. This isn't really a question of interpretation, the 3.5 rules are explicit"

    Lawful characters tell the truth, keep their word, respect authority, honor tradition, and judge those who fall short of their duties.

    Chaotic characters follow their consciences, resent being told what to do, favor new ideas over tradition, and do what they promise if they feel like it.

    "Law" implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability. On the downside, lawfulness can include close-mindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, judgmentalness, and a lack of adaptability. Those who consciously promote lawfulness say that only lawful behavior creates a society in which people can depend on each other and make the right decisions in full confidence that others will act as they should.

    "Chaos" implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them.

    Someone who is neutral with respect to law and chaos has a normal respect for authority and feels neither a compulsion to obey nor a compulsion to rebel. She is honest but can be tempted into lying or deceiving others.
    This sentiment is also mentioned in the paladin's code:
    A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class abilities if she ever willingly commits an evil act.

    Additionally, a paladin’s code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.
    Of course this doesn't imply that the paladin must obey the laws of the Orc king's swamp - that is not the legitimate authority to which the paladin submits themself. The paladin would not, in my opinion, be obliged to comply with the rules, or submit to the authority of any kingdom who is at war with the paladin's own liege. But I do think that the paladin would be inclined to abide by the laws of any kingdom that he or she enters in peace.

    The example of performing a duel when that is against the law, but is the traditional and honourable course of action is a dilemma for the lawful character. Respecting tradition is, like respecting lawful authority, part of being lawful, and where those two facets conflict the paladin would have to choose which path to take based on the situation. It is an area where lawful characters may differ.

    To be clear, I am not suggesting that obeying the law or lawful authority is the only part of being lawful, or trumps all other parts. But I don't agree with any suggestion that you can divorce a lawfully aligned character and the laws of their kingdom entirely. I don't think what the Giant said in your quote conflicts with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vikenlugaid View Post
    Then a lawful people should submit to any "goberment" just so. And that's a bit weird.

    We are talking about lawful as an ideal, in real world, and specially in the past with the example of the pirates, law and authority wasn't justice, was "I have the might so I say this is the law", countries have authority beyond its borders because that's convenient, not because that's fair, because not all the countries have the same authority, only the strongest and their allies.

    In this context, blindly submitting to a goberment authority is definetly not more lawful than blindly submitting to a "particular" authority.
    Well any sovereign realm - so moreso kingdoms in setting we are talking about.

    A lot of your post goes to whether it is just that rules are set by nations (and powerful nations in particular), but I think that is more political than the rules allow. Suffice to say that the right to impose or enforce laws that extend beyond your territory (particularly territory that is not part of any other nation, like at sea) is widely recognised to extend to any country, not only the strongest.

    I'm sure opinions will differ whether it is right or good that that a king may impose lawful authority and a random halfling is not. But really the question of whether you or I think that is what is fair is irrelevant. Part of being lawful is accepting that a participant of society should abide by legitimate authority within that society (not without exception mind you). I'm sure other good characters, like Hayley, will not see things that way, but generally the lawful ones will.

    I have no idea what you mean by a '"particular" authority'. I am saying that expect a paladin would submit to the particular authority of Azure City, but not the complete lack of authority of Serini.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Nobody said anything about off-roading, though?

    Also, New Zealand sounds even more like the entire land of simply magical, and I am even more displeased at not living there
    Sorry, rather than off-roading, I should have said driving on dirt roads. Driving on dirt roads may lessen the useful life of a car.

    Not going to lie, NZ is a pretty good country all up. But I think you'd find it more similar to living in US than you think - it's not like poverty doesn't exist here. Admittedly not having lives in the US myself, but seen plenty of it given how often in features in media, I think the differences are quite subtle. Except it doesn't get so ridiculously hot here as it does in most of USA.
    Last edited by Liquor Box; 2022-01-15 at 03:08 AM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    The Giant had a really good quote about this with some strong points - let me find it:
    Another good quote from The Giant on "personal code" lawfulness, as compared to "following the code of a country" or "following the code of an organisation"

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post

    In my personal interpretation of Lawfulness in D&D, I believe that yes, it is possible to be Lawful using a personal code rather than the societal definitions of law and order. However, I believe that the burden of upholding that code has to be much stricter than that of the average person in order to actually qualify as Lawful. You must be willing to suffer personal detriment through adhesion to your code, without wavering, if you want to wear the Lawful hat.

    Because almost everyone has a personal code of some sort; Robin Hood had a personal code, and he's the poster child for Chaotic Good. The reason his code doesn't rise to the level of Lawful is that he would be willing to bend it in a pinch. And since he's already bucking all the societal traditions of his civilization, there are no additional penalties or punishments for him breaking his own code. He's unlikely to beat himself up if he needs to violate his own principles for the Greater Good; he'll justify it to himself as doing what needed to be done, maybe sigh wistfully once, and then get on with his next adventure.

    Conversely, a Lawful character who obeys society's traditions has a ready-made source of punishment should he break those standards. If such a character does stray, she can maintain her Lawfulness by submitting to the proper authorities for judgment. Turning yourself in effectively atones for the breaking of the code, undoing (or at least mitigating) the non-Lawful act.

    A Lawful character who operates strictly by a personal code, on the other hand, is responsible for punishing herself in the event of a breach of that code. If she waves it off as doing what needed to be done, then she is not Lawful, she's Neutral at the least. If she does it enough, she may even become Chaotic. A truly Lawful character operating on a personal code will suffer through deeply unpleasant situations in order to uphold it, and will take steps to punish themselves if they don't (possibly going as far as to commit honorable suicide).

    People think that using the "personal code" option makes life as a Lawful character easier. It shouldn't. It should be harder to maintain an entirely self-directed personal code than it is to subscribe to the code of an existing country or organization. This is one of the reasons that most Lawful characters follow an external code. It is not required, no, but it is much, much easier. Exceptions should be unusual and noteworthy. It should be an exceptional roleplaying challenge to take on the burden of holding yourself to a strict code even when there are no external penalties for failing.
    "Following the code of an organisation" is a good example of how you can get Lawful thieves - they follow their crimelord's rules firmly, and if they're driven to break them, by circumstance, they turn themselves in to the crimelord and accept whatever punishment the crimelord imposes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    I do think that the paladin would be inclined to abide by the laws of any kingdom that he or she enters in peace.
    Only if the laws do not mandate evil acts, or acts extremely antithetical to the paladin's own culture.

    Eberron on the subject:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharn, City of Towers (page 126)
    ALIGNMENT AND JUSTICE

    Can a lawful good character break the law? Yes, she can—if she has good reason. A lawful alignment indicates a belief that order and structure are a valuable part of society. However, if a character is visiting a society whose cultural values are distinctly different from her own, she is not required to adhere to those laws. A tribe of barbarian giants in Xen’drik may have a law stating that whenever newcomers arrive, they must select one of their party, kill him, and eat him. A lawful giant from this culture would be expected to take this seriously—but a lawful character from Sharn would consider this to be abominable.

    Likewise, Cavallah the ogre mage is lawful evil, yet she is in charge of a criminal organization. Her lawful alignment reflects her adherence to the laws and decrees of the hags of Droaam, along with her tendency to maintain strict discipline among the members of Daask. Alignment is only intended to be a general guideline to personality and behavior, especially in Eberron. Alignments are extreme viewpoints, and people often stray from the path.

    So a lawful character can break the law, if she has to. But given the choice she would prefer to respect the structures imposed by society. A chaotic character takes the opposite view. He may decide that a particular law serves a useful purpose, but in general he feels that complex systems of codified laws restrict the freedoms that are a vital part of life. Chaotic good cultures believe that people are capable of governing themselves and making the right decisions; chaotic evil folk just want to do what they want with no consideration for others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    Of course this doesn't imply that the paladin must obey the laws of the Orc king's swamp - that is not the legitimate authority to which the paladin submits themself. The paladin would not, in my opinion, be obliged to comply with the rules, or submit to the authority of any kingdom who is at war with the paladin's own liege. But I do think that the paladin would be inclined to abide by the laws of any kingdom that he or she enters in peace.
    "At peace with your kingdom" is not the sole determinant of legitimacy. Even if they'd "crossed the borders of the Orc king's swamp peacefully" rather than with "intent to battle the Orc king" they still wouldn't have to obey the orc king's laws.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Remember, folks, being Lawful has NEVER meant you obey every law for every nation whose borders you cross. You can choose to have a character that acts like that, but it is NOT part of the alignment description. After all, such a character would be required to obey the mandates of an orc chieftain the moment she entered his swamp. They would be seen as wishy-washy and easily swayed, kowtowing to whatever person could assert themselves the strongest.

    Most lawful characters, though, will pick a certain set of authorities that they respect and ignore all others as illegitimate. An LG cleric of Pelor doesn't obey the authority of the High Priest of Vecna, for example. That doesn't make the cleric not Lawful.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2022-01-15 at 03:24 AM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Eberron does have slightly different criteria for alignment than the “average” setting though - honestly, considering that 5e decoupled almost all mechanics based around alignment, you could probably play in it without referring to alignment whatsoever now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Eberron does have slightly different criteria for alignment than the “average” setting though -
    It puts more emphasis on the "general" part of "general guideline":

    Alignment is only intended to be a general guideline to personality and behavior, especially in Eberron. Alignments are extreme viewpoints, and people often stray from the path.
    but the basic points said in Eberron books are valid elsewhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Another good quote from The Giant on "personal code" lawfulness, as compared to "following the code of a country" or "following the code of an organisation"

    "Following the code of an organisation" is a good example of how you can get Lawful thieves - they follow their crimelord's rules firmly, and if they're driven to break them, by circumstance, they turn themselves in to the crimelord and accept whatever punishment the crimelord imposes.
    You talk about following the code of an organisation, and then quote the Giant - presumably in support of your own point. But I didn't see anything in the Giant's quote that talks about the code of an organisation.

    But I agree with you that a paladin (and lawful characters generally) can indeed (and usually will) follow the code of an organisation. The paladins in OotS of course do follow the code of the Saphire Guard in addition to the laws of Azure City. I think the paladin's duty to follow the codes of their organisation, of their kingdom and any personal code they may have will be in addition to one another. Joining an organisation will not usually alleviate a lawful character's obligation to follow the law. There may be cases where the code of the country, the code of the organisation and personal codes contradict one another, and that is a dilemma where the paladin must choose which code trumps the other.

    I don't think anything the Giant wrote suggest that paladins or other lawful character are free to ignore legitimate authority, do you?

    Only if the laws do not mandate evil acts, or acts extremely antithetical to the paladin's own culture.

    Eberron on the subject:
    Indeed, there will be times where lawful and good clash, and on those occasions a paladin or lawful good character may choose good over law. That raises a dilemma where the character must choose between their values - excellent rolelplaying fodder.

    More relevantly than the Eberron campaign setting (which is just a campaign setting), the Book of Exalted Deeds addresses the subject of conflict between law and good:

    Book of Exalted Deeds
    In an evil culture or one that tolerates evil, lawful good characters are in a difficult situation. On the one hand they abhor evil and cannot stand to see it institutionalised. On the other hand, they believe in legitimate authority and will not overthrow a kingdom because of evil practices within it.
    But that is all a little bit of an aside from the present discussion. The question of whether a paladin in the position of the Order when they were arrested and imprisoned by Azure City, was not a conflict between good and law.

    "At peace with your kingdom" is not the sole determinant of legitimacy. Even if they'd "crossed the borders of the Orc king's swamp peacefully" rather than with "intent to battle the Orc king" they still wouldn't have to obey the orc king's laws.
    It's not the sole determinant, but I think it is an important consideration. I think it is implicit in the whole Orc Kingdom example, that the Orc Kingdom is the enemy of the lawful character's own realm. I still think the lawful character would tend to obey local laws if the were an emissary, but perhaps not if they went undercover as a spy (although I have my doubts that a paladin would go as a spy). If not on some sort of official business for their own real, I think most lawful characters would avoid the Orc Kingdom. if the did go there for some non-official business I do think they would tend to obey local laws unless they contradicted their own kingdom's laws, good (if they are a good character) or some other important aspect of their values. For example, i don't think a lawful character would seek to avoid a law that provided for curfew by sundown in the Orc Kingdom, unless they had a good reason to do so. Whereas a chaotic character might only comply with such a rule if it was convenient to do so.
    Last edited by Liquor Box; 2022-01-15 at 08:40 AM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    You talk about following the code of an organisation, and then quote the Giant - presumably in support of your own point. But I didn't see anything in the Giant's quote that talks about the code of an organisation.
    It focuses mostly on "country" but organization does get a mention:
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    People think that using the "personal code" option makes life as a Lawful character easier. It shouldn't. It should be harder to maintain an entirely self-directed personal code than it is to subscribe to the code of an existing country or organization. This is one of the reasons that most Lawful characters follow an external code. It is not required, no, but it is much, much easier. Exceptions should be unusual and noteworthy. It should be an exceptional roleplaying challenge to take on the burden of holding yourself to a strict code even when there are no external penalties for failing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    I don't think anything the Giant wrote suggest that paladins or other lawful character are free to ignore legitimate authority, do you?
    But who picks "what counts as "legitimate"? To some extent, the characters themselves do:
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Most lawful characters, though, will pick a certain set of authorities that they respect and ignore all others as illegitimate. An LG cleric of Pelor doesn't obey the authority of the High Priest of Vecna, for example. That doesn't make the cleric not Lawful.
    Which exactly fits with the way Roy defends himself regarding resisting arrest by Miko:

    "Resisting arrest?" "It was an illegitimate authority"
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    IBut who picks "what counts as "legitimate"? To some extent, the character themselves do:
    Which exactly fits with the way Roy defends himself regarding resisting arrest by Miko:

    "Resisting arrest?" "It was an illegitimate authority"
    As previously noted, it's fine for you to quote the Giant for his points. But it is not at all persuasive to simply quote an assertion he makes as if that settles the matter.

    The answer to your question is that it depends on context. The paladin will of course choose the organisation he or she joins, or the church he or she worships at, so in that regard the paladin chooses. So in the case of the Giant's example, he's right, the paladin will choose which church to associate with and thereby which churchish authority to submit to.

    But we are talking about legitimate authority in the context of a kingdom. In that case I don't think the paladin get's to simply pick and choose. He or she may exercise their judgment as to whether they are subject to the king's authority - so the paladin may decide that the Orc King is the enemy of their rightful liege and therefore they are not subject to the Orc King's authority. So it's a matter of judgment, but not of picking and choosing - the passage from the Book of Exalted Deeds I quoted earlier makes it clear that the lawful good character will still try to work within the laws of the country that is evil.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    In the Eberron example, Droam is a "monster kingdom" that is not recognised by the neighbouring kingdoms. So in that sense, the "criminal organization" can definitely be thought of as owing loyalty to its own kingdom, and regarding the kingdom that it is within, as an enemy kingdom.

    But this kind of "foreign-based crime organization" is not the only one in D&D that has Lawful-aligned leadership.

    In the Forgotten Realms book Lords of Darkness, the Night Masks, based in Westgate and owing no loyalty to kingdoms outside Westgate, still includes several LE senior power figures within the organization.

    So you can be LE and still be a lawbreaker on a massive scale, and not just be doing it "on your foreign kingdom's behalf" - the Lawfulness doesn't require turning yourself in for the crimes you're committing, in this case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    the passage from the Book of Exalted Deeds I quoted earlier makes it clear that the lawful good character will still try to work within the laws of the country that is evil.
    All it says is that the Lawful character will not overthrow the kingdom - not that they will go to some lengths to obey its laws as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    As previously noted, it's fine for you to quote the Giant for his points. But it is not at all persuasive to simply quote an assertion he makes as if that settles the matter.
    It does settle the matter within the OOTS setting itself - even if it doesn't for other settings.

    Every DM is going to handle Law and Chaos slightly differently, within the guidelines laid down by the PHB - since judgement calls are always going to be a factor. The quote tells us how The Giant regards Law and Chaos.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    In the Eberron example, Droam is a "monster kingdom" that is not recognised by the neighbouring kingdoms. So in that sense, the "criminal organization" can definitely be thought of as owing loyalty to its own kingdom, and regarding the kingdom that it is within, as an enemy kingdom.

    But this kind of "foreign-based crime organization" is not the only one in D&D that has Lawful-aligned leadership.

    In the Forgotten Realms book Lords of Darkness, the Night Masks, based in Westgate and owing no loyalty to kingdoms outside Westgate, still includes several LE senior power figures within the organization.

    So you can be LE and still be a lawbreaker on a massive scale, and not just be doing it "on your foreign kingdom's behalf" - the Lawfulness doesn't require turning yourself in for the crimes you're committing, in this case.
    At the outset, I think you are reaching a bit when you are looking to campaign settings. But I don't think any of what you said contradicts my point that lawful characters will be respect lawful authority and as such will be inclined to follow the laws of their kingdom.

    In you monster kingdom example, then that is the kingdom in question. The lawful characters within will presumably follow whatever rules prevail. You don't tell me enough about the Nightmasks for me to be able to reply to that example - so there's an organisation and some people in it are lawful.....

    I've pointed to several passages in the actual core rules that suggest that lawful characters will usually (but not always when it conflicts with their other values) follow the laws of their Kingdom. Can you point to anything in the actual rules that suggests otherwise?

    All it says is that the Lawful character will not overthrow the kingdom - not that they will go to some lengths to obey its laws as well.
    No, it also says that they believe in its legitimate authority in a reference to the evil kingdom, which undermines any suggestion that they simply pick and choose what laws they want to obey.

    It does settle the matter within the OOTS setting itself - even if it doesn't for other settings.

    Every DM is going to handle Law and Chaos slightly differently, within the guidelines laid down by the PHB - since judgement calls are always going to be a factor. The quote tells us how The Giant regards Law and Chaos.
    Indeed it does within his own setting. I'd thought we were discussing more generally. Of course if it's in his specific setting then other Campaign Settings are even less relevant.

    In any case, his quote is completely consistent with what I am saying. Both his example of the Orc King, and his example of only following the rules of the church you choose to belong to.
    Last edited by Liquor Box; 2022-01-15 at 09:14 AM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    it also says that they believe in its legitimate authority in a reference to the evil kingdom, which undermines any suggestion that they simply pick and choose what laws they want to obey.
    The same BOED makes it clear that "evil but posing as good" and "legitimate authority" don't mix.

    Divided Loyalties

    For better of for worse, a paladin is not just good: she is lawful good, sworn not just to uphold the principles of good but also bound by a code of conduct, and subject to local law as well. Many paladins are also members of a specific deity's church, a knightly order of some sort, or both. At the best of times, these various loyalties - her code of conduct, her church's laws, her order's demands, the laws of her nation, and the abstraction of her alignment - are all in harmony, and her path is clear before her. When circumstances are not so ideal, she finds herself torn between conflicting demands: her superior in her knightly order commands her to kill a brutal murderer who has escaped punishment in court on a legal technicality, for example. Her personal code requires that she punish those that harm innocents, and this killer certainly falls in that category. However, her personal code also instructs her to respect legitimate authority, which includes both her knightly superior and the local law that has let the killer go free. The demands of her good alignment suggest she should punish the wrongdoer, but the demands of her lawful alignment insist that she obey the judgement of the court. It is entirely possible that either her superior or the magistrate in the case is corrupt or even possessed. Whom does she obey? How does she sort out the conflicting demands of her loyalties?

    Paladins are by no means alone in this situation. Any character who tries consistently to do good eventually finds himself in a situation where different loyalties are in conflict. Chaotic Good characters might care far less about a potentially corrupt or at least ineffectual court system, but they might have other personal standards or obligations that cause conflict in similar or different situations. In the end, however, many such conflicts boil down to a question of priorities, and for a character who aspires to exalted deeds, good is the highest priority. In the example above, the murderer must at least be captured, if not killed, before he can kill again. If she has reason to suspect corruption, either in the court or in her own order, the paladin must attempt to uncover it, though it might mean being cast out of her order, punished under local law, or both. Her paladinhood and her exalted status remain intact, since she acted in the cause of good even when that required questioning the legitimacy of authority. Magistrates or knightly superiors who serve the cause of evil while posing as agents of good are not legitimate authority, and the paladin is right for exposing their corruption.
    A case could be made that "openly evil authority" is even less legitimate".
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    The same BOED makes it clear that "evil but posing as good" and "legitimate authority" don't mix.

    A case could be made that "openly evil authority" is even less legitimate".
    Thanks for that. It again states the point that lawful characters are subject to local law. It also codifies that it is an additional requirement to be a member of an organisation with a code (a deity or knightly organisation). It reiterates that "the demands of her lawful alignment insist that she obey the judgement of the court." So hopefully we have at least put that issue to bed, aside from the question of whether the Giant has houseruled a different meaning in his setting. It also codifies my earlier point that where there's a clash between the paladin's duty to uphold the law and his or her duty to do good or obey some other code "she is torn", which reinforces her desire to uphold the law.

    I think you quote it for the point it makes that the paladin's paladinhood remains intact if she chooses to break the law to uphold good. That is entirely consistent with what I said earlier as well. You might recall me saying:
    "Indeed, there will be times where lawful and good clash, and on those occasions a paladin or lawful good character may choose good over law. That raises a dilemma where the character must choose between their values - excellent rolelplaying fodder."

    Also, the passage refers to people serving the cause of evil while posing as agents of good. It is talking about infiltrators who serve some evil cause, not picking and choosing whether to comply with laws. I don't quite know how that equates to anything we've been discussing?
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    There's 3 main versions of Lawfulness - "obey your nation" "obey your organization" and "obey your personal code". The third is the hardest to role-play - but it's still an option.

    "Obey foreign nations" is not, and never has been, a major version.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    There's 3 main versions of Lawfulness - "obey your nation" "obey your organization" and "obey your personal code". The third is the hardest to role-play - but it's still an option.
    That's one way of looking it I suppose. But these are not mutually exclusive. A lawful character would tend to do all three if they were applicable. More than all three if they were a member of multiple organisations.

    "Obey foreign nations" is not, and never has been, a major version.
    Is this the point you have been trying to make throughout. Not that a paladin isn't subject to his or her own kingdom's laws, but they are not subject to others?

    You state your opinion that obeying foreign nations is not a major version of lawfulness. But I suggest the rules themselves disagree so long as that foreign kingdom is a legitimate authority. Whether or not it is a legitimate authority turns on the paladin's judgment (not them simply choosing mind you, but their judgment). That judgment will depend on the circumstance. If they are simply peacefully visiting that other kingdom then I think that kingdom's laws are legitimate authority over them at least for the duration of their stay. But as we have already covered, if they are going into the Orc King's lands to liberate some captured people, then the Orc King's laws will probably not be legitimate authority.

    In our case the two lawful members of the Order, once the knew what was going on, both chose to submit themselves to the courts in Azure City. They pretty clearly recognised it's legitimate authority (although that might have been undermined later). A paladin in that circumstance should not try to escape
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    cool Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Incidentally, the earlier high priest of Vecna example may not necessarily be a factor anyways since Vecna is NE and therefore there's actually no guarantee that it'll be a lawful authority anyways.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    I could write a lengthy explanation, but honestly just what danielxcutter said.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post

    You state your opinion that obeying foreign nations is not a major version of lawfulness. But I suggest the rules themselves disagree so long as that foreign kingdom is a legitimate authority.
    Even obeying your own kingdom's rules is something that "personal code" can override:



    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    the D&D definition of Lawful has little to nothing to do with law enforcement. To think that Lawful always means "obeying the written law" is a gross misunderstanding of the D&D definition of the term.

    For example, think of formal duels—the "pistols at dawn" kind. Such events are undoubtedly Lawful affairs—they have strict codes, elaborate rules, and concern themselves mostly with symbolic honor. All hallmarks of Lawful behavior when contrasted with, say, a drunken brawl. However, at the time Aaron Burr shot Hamilton, they were illegal in the United States. People who participated in such duels were abiding by a formal code of ethics and behavior that was in opposition to democratically passed law. Lawful behavior can be made illegal in a given jurisdiction, but that doesn't spontaneously change the nature of the act in a cosmological sense.

    ...

    I've often said that a lot of confusion would have been avoided if they had simply called it Ordered instead of Lawful. "Ordered Good" leaves a lot less room for misinterpretation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Incidentally, the earlier high priest of Vecna example may not necessarily be a factor anyways since Vecna is NE and therefore there's actually no guarantee that it'll be a lawful authority anyways.
    I think lawful authority in this context means the authority is recognised by law, rather than lawfully aligned.

    The words used in the rules are actually "legitimate authority", which allows for the respect for authority which is not imposed by law but by other means. To use your example, the high priest of Vecna would be a legitimate authority within that religion but may not be recognised by law, and may not be lawfully aligned.

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Even obeying your own kingdom's rules is something that "personal code" can override:
    I was very clearly referring to the rules there. Are you referring to the rules, or to the Giant's own campaign setting.

    Anyway, I agree. I said several posts ago that "There may be cases where the code of the country, the code of the organisation and personal codes contradict one another, and that is a dilemma where the paladin must choose which code trumps the other."

    I also addressed the Giant's specific example where I said "The example of performing a duel when that is against the law, but is the traditional and honourable course of action is a dilemma for the lawful character. Respecting tradition is, like respecting lawful authority, part of being lawful, and where those two facets conflict the paladin would have to choose which path to take based on the situation. It is an area where lawful characters may differ."
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    I think lawful authority in this context means the authority is recognised by law, rather than lawfully aligned.

    The words used in the rules are actually "legitimate authority", which allows for the respect for authority which is not imposed by law but by other means. To use your example, the high priest of Vecna would be a legitimate authority within that religion but may not be recognised by law, and may not be lawfully aligned.
    That was a joke, LB.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Shojo is "recognised by law" - but not Lawfully aligned - in fact he's Chaotic-aligned.

    Conversely, from the point of view of a LE goon in a LE criminal organisation, their LE boss is "legitimate authority" but this is not "recognised by law".
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    That was a joke, LB.
    Sorry mate

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