How welcome would a wordy and somewhat philosophical treatment of alignment be here? [Thread resolved, thank you.]

Eltab

Explorer
OP:
When you post your paper (or papers), you can expect the thread(s) to contain even more of what you have read to this point.

An editor's-point-of-view advice ...
  • The suggestion to have a summary paragraph - at the beginning or the end of the essay - is a good one. Then develop your case at the length you need. Make the summary pithy, because many slothful readers will read it and a few nearby lines and but little else !
  • I think that one thread per alignment might create a more-manageable conversation, making it easier to pull out the intended feedback, than putting all 9 alignments into one thread.
 

Celebrim

Legend
Not necessarily. In my campaigns, at least, "Lawful" has taken the meaning "has a strict personal code which is followed", rather than what Chaotic beings have, which is more "no plan other than instinctual moral judgements on an irregular basis".
Does this render the conflict between law and chaos, Reason vs. Emotion?

For example, a crusader may be Lawful Good, because of an inherent religious doctrine which is adhered to, but Robin Hood may only be Chaotic Good, given that Robin Hood does not live a life based on strict systems, such as chastity, faith, and personal doctrine.
I think the problem with this is we'd first have to define strictly which "Robin Hood". Characters that have been used many times in fiction tend not to have entirely consistent portrayals. I suspect however that regardless of which "Robin Hood" you picked, you'd find he had a strict personal code. If we pushed on that hard enough, I suspect you end up with just two alignments - people with codes whatever they were, and the utterly amoral.
 

Big J Money

Explorer
Update.

First of all, sorry if waiting 24 hours is ill-advised here. I'm not someone who is quick to respond because I have so many work responsibilities. I'm also a more pensive person and take my time thinking on things rather than jumping into discussion.

Second of all, I will not be posting the essay in THIS thread because it shouldn't be buried 4 pages deep. If a mod wants to lock or delete this thread, I understand. It's clear this discussion has served its purpose and convinced me that I should go ahead and make my post (a new post). If most folks don't read or enjoy reading what I write, it's fine as long as at least one person besides me gains some entertainment or useful perspective from it. I may post and remain silent if I don't feel there is any productive conversation in it, but will be glad to have shared regardless. Thanks for your input!
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Indeed, can someone be lawful in that they believe that they are lawful, but be unable to be recognized as lawful, even though they define themselves as lawful?
Or think they are so chaotic while following stringent codes ahem I am sure they can... oh and yup. Religo (to bind fast, regulate or control)
 

Aebir-Toril

std::cout << "Hi" << '\n';
Does this render the conflict between law and chaos, Reason vs. Emotion?



I think the problem with this is we'd first have to define strictly which "Robin Hood". Characters that have been used many times in fiction tend not to have entirely consistent portrayals. I suspect however that regardless of which "Robin Hood" you picked, you'd find he had a strict personal code. If we pushed on that hard enough, I suspect you end up with just two alignments - people with codes whatever they were, and the utterly amoral.
Perhaps. This is something which I will continue to ponder.
 
@Celebrim Yeah that's a good guess, I came in in 1988-1989, so the dawn of 2E. I was incredibly fortunate to have an older cousin come over shortly after we got the books, and she was a proper non-adversarial DM who taught me all the basics like Obi-Wan teaching Luke. She also told me not to listen to anyone saying 1E was "better", before anyone actually did, which was helpful, and particularly relevant here, not to take the alignment stuff too literally.

I played with people like me but some people just took alignment stuff incredibly literally in a very boneheaded way, and I could see from letters and articles in Dragon that it wasn't an uncommon issue at all, indeed some of the stuff in Dragon was equally boneheaded, especially that you had a couple of articles promoting the idea that NN made you some sort of balance-obsessed loon who literally had to switch sides if Good or Chaos or whatever was "winning", rather than y'know, neutral. And tons of 2E sourcebooks stuck their oar in too, often in contradictory ways.

I do feel like over the course of 2E, things chilled out on this a lot, and got more sane. Then 3E managed to cause a bit of trouble but nowhere near as much, and 4E and 5E finally kicked the silly business to the curb.

Re. Reason vs emotion I think that's actually one of the more productive takes on law vs chaos in terms of RP and making it real to players. I don't know if you've read Wuthering Heights by Bronte but you may recall that in many ways the whole Linton vs Heathcliff is both reason vs emotion and law/order vs chaos, and particularly interestingly the actual imagery associated with the houses and characters is somewhat mirrored by Moorcock's much later imagery for those forces. There's also the whole nomos vs physics thing in ancient Greek drama and thought which is sometimes nurture vs nature but also order vs chaos and rationality vs emotion.
 
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