SRD Talk:Alignment

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Animals and other creatures incapable of moral action are neutral rather than good or evil. Even deadly vipers and tigers that eat people are neutral because they lack the capacity for morally right or wrong behavior.

I think that children should be included in this category as well: any being that hasn't yet or is incapable of achieving "The Lovers" level of personal development isn't able to make moral choices. They have not yet left the Garden of Eden. Arohanui (talkcontribs)

They probably are, but as this is SRD, it cannot be changed by us. If you wan't this changed, then you should email Wizards of the Coast about it. --Sam Kay 10:15, 4 January 2008 (MST)
I realize that it was SRD, I just didn't know what to do about it. You've just told me. I'll sign now that you've shown me how! (Oh, but is there a template or tool for it so that I don't have to hack it all from scratch every time? Thanks for the swift response, --Arohanui 10:17, 4 January 2008 (MST)
four tildas (~~~~), and there's an image just above the text area (second from the right that looks like a signature). You can change your signature by going to Special:Preferences. —Sledged (talk) 10:27, 4 January 2008 (MST)
Duh, sorry, figured it out. Thanks for that. --Arohanui 10:44, 4 January 2008 (MST)

Another way of thinking[edit]

I remember reading in the old ADnD books that Lawful ideals represent community and partnership; that groups are something to build, while chaos represents free lancing or what not; groups are something to avoid be it group tradition, stratagy or whatever.

Just another way to think about it (It seems easier to me this way)--T G Geko 11:43, 9 February 2008 (MST)

More Than Neutral[edit]

Just a general thing I noticed. There is no alignment for someone who wants balance or who wants everyone to be neutral. The person who wants balance wouldn't really be "neutral" because they want both good and evil to be equal, or something along that line. And the person who wants only neutral (someone who would kill anyone good or evil but not neutral) wouldn't be chaotic evil, neutral evil, or lawful evil because they aren't out to gain wealth or power, they aren't cold hearted people looking to do what ever they want, and they aren't lawful. --Online222222 19:22, 24 May 2011 (MDT)

"So and so is the best alignment you can be because..."[edit]

Just wondering if anyone else to repulsed by the overuse of the phrase "this alignment is the best alignment you can be because..." seems to me a better phrase would be "this alignment is the best if your character..." --Online222222 19:51, 24 May 2011 (MDT)

I agree, specially because the first six alignments are all listed as "this is the best alignment" and the last three are all listed as "This is the worst alignment"

Honesty & Trustworthiness - Lawful? Good?[edit]

I know the SRD describes honesty and trustworthiness as Lawful, but I've never particularly felt that this is really the case. I often play characters who are honest because of their own conscience, but chaotic because they are free spirits. I understand that a devotion to ideals of truth might seem lawful, but it's always seemed to me that a Chaotic character (especially Chaotic Good) could just as easily believe in the importance of truth as a Lawful (particularly Lawful Evil) character could believe that upholding law and order are more important than personal scruples over honesty and deceit. How do other people feel about this? Would a LG character be able to justify occasionally lying if doing so serves the greater good of his ideals? Could a Chaotic Evil character still hold his own word above everything else, such that when he makes a promise, he keeps it even if it is not to his best interest?

I've always had difficulty dealing with some of the attitudes I roleplay in the strict sense of alignment, perhaps because I like to ply characters who go against type or who ren't exactly suited to any alignment but I pick the one that feels most right to them.-- 10:32, 6 July 2011 (MDT)

I think by definition lawful good characters don't lie to get the job done. An LG character who occasionally lies is simply not 100% LG. Though just because lawful characters are truthful, it does not mean that chaotic characters are deceitful. Lawful characters honor truth for it's own sake, whereas chaotic characters tell lies or truths based on what suits them best. JazzMan 12:46, 7 July 2011 (MDT)
I think the same as the above IP (In fact i came to the talk page to say something like him/her). IRL i’m completely honest on a personal basis, but have an aversion against authorities of any kind. that makes me never ever (no, not even once and in good intention) lie to people who talk to me as people, but makes me lie as much as i want to people who talk to me representing an autority (e.g. if someone asks me if it was weed that my friend just chucked into this bush, i’ll immediately lie “no” if i suspect the asker of being a cop, but say the truth otherwise). further, i’m pretty far up on the “good” scale. i think this makes me >90% chaotic good, while anybody who doesn’t represent an authority can trust me completely.
Furthermore, law is by definition inconsistent, as the infinite amount of special cases and exceptions which is necessary for a perfectly ethical law system is impossible to create in a finite amount of time (and more special cases mean a more difficult to understand ruleset). Thus you can’t be 100% lawfull without ignoring contradicting parts of law, i.e. lying. this not only decouples lawfulness from honesty, it makes honesty more achievable by not completely lawful moral systems.
That means that honesty is a mostly separate axis: Lying to enforce the law? Lawful. Lying to circumvent the law? Chaotic. Lying to help people? Good. Lying to cause harm? Evil. Stick to your oaths? Lawful. Stick to your homebrew moral code (which e.g. involves no lying)? Chaotic. Promise your help? Good. Promise to kill people (because you don’t need to lie about your bad intentions with enough power)? Evil. ‒ 09:14, 18 September 2011 (MDT)
I disagree with a few of those. The ambiguity in legal systems is what makes playing a lawful character so difficult, but I don't think I can see anyone justifying lying in order to stick to their lawful alignment. Something can be contradictory without requiring you to lie about it. Lying to help people is good, but more specifically it's chaotic good. I don't believe you can be LG and lie to help people. Also, sticking to your homemade moral code is definitely lawful, the only thing that might change is whether you are lawful good/neutral/chaotic. Basically, I'll say what I said before: lawful people must be honest, even if it hurts their cause (the BBEG allowing the PC's to get away because his code of honor won't allow him to defeat a foe in an unfair fight) but chaotic people are not barred from honesty, so long as it always helps their cause (they might agree to assist the sheriff that they despise in order to rid the town of the gang that has a price on the CGPC's head). JazzMan 12:40, 18 September 2011 (MDT)
All good arguments that you can bring up to your DM to instigate a different interpretation of the alignment system via Rule Zero. However, if you go by the books - then you've taken a very liberal definition of the system.   Hooper   talk    contribs    email   15:07, 18 September 2011 (MDT)
i have almost no experience with the d&d system, but want to learn. i interpret it like this: lawfulness means “his moral code tells him to always respect authorities”, chaotic means “puts his own moral code above authorities”. i don’t think honesty is part of any of those definitions. where am i wrong (if i’m wrong at all)? ‒ 19:28, 18 September 2011 (MDT)
Hooper: Who do you think has taken the liberal interpretation?
IP: it's not really so much about authorities, because then you could never really have lawful evil. It's more about following a code period. Imagine, say, a character who places his own honor above all else, and must always duel anyone who slights him. I would call him a lawful character, even if dueling were illegal. He may be breaking the law, but only because he's so strictly holding to his own moral code. (He could also be lawful if he *doesn't* duel people... he's breaking his own moral code, but only because he's so strictly holding to the law). As for honesty, it doesn't say it explicitly, but it does say "Lawful characters tell the truth, keep their word, respect authority, honor tradition, and judge those who fall short of their duties."
Anyways, welcome to the joys of alignment! It's one of the things I really like about D&D, and also one of the most contentious things about this edition. If you ask 3 people what they think, you will usually average 4 answers! JazzMan 19:42, 18 September 2011 (MDT)
Ah, should of clarified. Original IP.   Hooper   talk    contribs    email   06:13, 19 September 2011 (MDT)
First of all: sorry about not making an account, but i think the amount of hundreds of accounts i already have all over the internet should not grow further. i only make accounts where i really must or where openid is used.
then: i don’t want to argue or offend, just discuss how to interpret it. i also won’t do this for every aspect of this game, only alignment, because it’s the base of so much. just for clarification :)
now for the real thing: if “lawful good” only means “sticks to a moral code that is interpreted as ‘good’”, which, according to Jazz’s statement, doesn’t necessarily include respect for authorities, this can be taken to the extreme, e.g. a paladin that fights the local Generic Zealoty Order Of The Lawful Good Paladins, because his specific moral code says that guilty criminals should not be punished before an attempt to reintegrate them into society is made (while members of said order kill every creature that proved to be guilty for a capital crime). So lawful good paladin rebel fights established lawful good paladins. – 08:38, 20 September 2011 (MDT)
I think it gets tricky when you are talking about paladins, because I personally believe they are held to a stricter definition of LG. That being said, I can certainly see different factions of LG paladins fighting against each other because they both (rightfully) have different definitions of what is lawful (less so on the definitions of good). This is likely due to outside factors, however -- paladins under the same governmental laws worshiping the same deity at the same temple should pretty much always agree on their overall mission.
The situation you describe, though, is on a bit shakier ground, and I admit it tests the extremities of "sticking to your own moral code is lawful". I think any extreme example breaks the system; take an LG paladin to the extreme and you instead get an LE dictator! But that's the problem when you have a system that is both simultaneously defined by external societal standards and internal personal standards. In general we must follow the the external standards or everyone would be LG, but there has to be some leeway as well, or anytime an LG creature entered a territory governed by an evil government he would instantly become LE. Back to your specific example, I'm not sure if rehabilitation could ever really qualify as "justice" (it's more atonement), therefore strictly adhering to a regimen of rehabilitation would line up more with the chaotic alignment, or at best, neutral. Strictly adhering to a chaotic code would itself be chaotic.
I admit that this is wishy-washy, but like the Supreme Court judge said, "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it". Robin Hood is definitely CG, but he does follow his own moral code very strictly. Perhaps the difference is that he does it in defiance of the law, whereas an LG character would only break the law because it happens to not align with his views? JazzMan 13:25, 20 September 2011 (MDT)
sounds good, now it just needs to be worked into the article. thank you two :D – 16:31, 20 September 2011 (MDT)
Well we don't actually have a choice in the matter; this is SRD content and as such we can only post it as is. There's probably room for a variant or "other" page that describes the finer points of alignment, though. JazzMan 19:08, 21 September 2011 (MDT)

I have better definition for Law vs Chaos[edit]

Lawful charcters live by strong personal code/laws. They dislike to exceed from this lifestyle.

Chaotic characters live by desire, passion or wild will. They dislike to be loyal to some personal code/laws.

Lawful Characters tend to be more loyal to their promises and less easy to sophistication.

Chaotic Characters tend to be less loyal to their promises and more easy to sophistication.

Neutral(Ethics Axis) Characters first, don't care about strong personal code or desire, passion or wild will. Second, Neutral Characters have some personal code but they don't feel that they must follow it. It more common to be clearly Neutral on ethics axis than moral axis.

Sometimes Neutrality on the ethics axis is usually simply a middle state, a state of not feeling compelled toward one side or the other.

Some few such neutrals, however, espouse neutrality as superior to law or chaos, regarding each as an extreme with its own blind spots and drawbacks.

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