Is Tolerance a Lawful thing ?

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Ugliness and attractiveness are how a society views of actions in the society!

In the real world, folks assign ugliness or attractiveness knowing nothing about actions, but only knowing appearance.

Example: IF I define orcs as evil, it is because they perform acts I have listed as evil in the society my players and playing in.

As above - folks in the real world are called evil for things we say they have done, whether or not those events actually happened.

But what happens if the players meet an orc not doing any of those things? He would have to make a Tolerance check or treat the orc as they would other orcs.

I don't recommend having a roll dictate how the player chooses to have their PC act. Removing player agency should only be done for very good reason, and enforcing prejudice against orcs does not seem all that great a reason, to me.
 

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Hand of Evil

Adventurer
Epic
In the real world, folks assign ugliness or attractiveness knowing nothing about actions, but only knowing appearance.



As above - folks in the real world are called evil for things we say they have done, whether or not those events actually happened.



I don't recommend having a roll dictate how the player chooses to have their PC act. Removing player agency should only be done for very good reason, and enforcing prejudice against orcs does not seem all that great a reason, to me.
That is a problem of role-playing games, people put real world beliefs and thoughts into them.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
That is a problem of role-playing games, people put real world beliefs and thoughts into them.
What would be the point if you're not at least attempting to explore some aspect of reality?
Ugliness and attractiveness are how a society views of actions in the society!
Just because people sometimes use the words to describe actions, does not mean that the words are appropriate. This way leads to the (very wrong) idea that someone who is pretty is somehow morally superior to someone who is not. I find that idea unfathomably wrong-headed.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
That is a problem of role-playing games, people put real world beliefs and thoughts into them.

Whether that is a "problem" depends what you want out of it. Either way, it is unavoidable, because the fiction comes form the players who are, in fact, real-life people, with real life thoughts and beliefs they cannot wholly abandon.
 

Celebrim

Legend
I think Tolerance is relative of assuming the fact that not all people use the same path
Ok, but that still doesn't tell me what you think tolerance is, only that you believe it has a particular attribute - that is of being relative to the person.

And, well, for once I actually agree to a claim of relative norms, since selfhood is baked into the definition I gave you.
 

aglondier

Explorer
Think this needs a bit more discussion and thoughts. Game thoughts.
  • Always define what EVIL & GOOD is. This builds cultural taboos.
  • Lawful is the following of Country, State, Church, Guild, or personal rules or oath or guidelines. It is the players choice to the importance of each in the game.
  • GOOD and EVIL follow the rules of Real Estate; location location, location.
  • Best to very GOOD as what is attractive and EVIL as what is ugly to a society.
I disagree with part of this. Having a personal code or oath has little or nothing to do with Lawful. Lawful is following the laws of the realm, or subset thereof. Having a personal code that you follow regardless of local law would be a chaotic trait...
So, first you'll have to define specifically what you mean by tolerance. By tolerance I mean, "the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with." I would suggest that tolerance is very much associated with patience and stoicism and self-control, and those are very much Lawful Good virtues.
Lawful Good, and Lawful in general, do not lend themselves to tolerance. Lawful societies would regulate what behaviors are appropriate, with the Good/Evil spectrum determining what is okay. But none of them would allow much leeway for divergence or freedom of expression...which are Chaotic traits.

In the realm of Dungeons and Dragons, Lawful Good is best expressed by the paragons of the ethos: Paladins. Between Detect Evil and Smite Evil, I think their level of tolerance is made very clear...
 

AnotherGuy

Adventurer
I think some posters believe that tolerance is or should be a sort of wild abandon of everything else which for me makes the word practically useless. Some only define tolerance as an extreme, perhaps similar to the way one would view freedom of speech. My personal view is one can have limits on what is tolerated and still be tolerant.

To answer the question - I don't think tolerance is a Lawful thing, however it can be. Tolerance is not a quality for any one specific alignment.
 

Celebrim

Legend
Lawful Good, and Lawful in general, do not lend themselves to tolerance. Lawful societies would regulate what behaviors are appropriate, with the Good/Evil spectrum determining what is okay. But none of them would allow much leeway for divergence or freedom of expression...which are Chaotic traits.

In the realm of Dungeons and Dragons, Lawful Good is best expressed by the paragons of the ethos: Paladins. Between Detect Evil and Smite Evil, I think their level of tolerance is made very clear...

I address this argument later on in my post, but once again there is a big difference between tolerance of freedom of expression and tolerance of actual evil. If your neighbor paints his house yellow, and you prefer blue and think yellow is ugly, it's quite likely under a lawful moral code that not only is your neighbor allowed to pick yellow but you are required by that same moral code to be tolerant of your neighbors mysterious love of yellow.

Furthermore, even if your neighbor has some sort of vice, like he's a late riser, he never does his yard work, he doesn't paint his house regularly enough, and you know he's a bit on the slothful and lazy side, it's very likely indeed that the Paladin's moral code even though he recognizes this as a vice requires him not to smite his neighbor (in any way, even a harsh word). Very likely there is some expectation of imperfection in the world which has to be creatively and productively addressed (creation and production being very good things) rather than going around destroying everything because it isn't perfect (most especially you neighbor). Furthermore, very likely the code is likely to see annoyance, anger, and derisive thoughts to be themselves just as evil or even more evil than the neighbor's sloth and untidiness. Self-control, patience, and stoicism are very likely to be lawful virtues you are expected to possess. All that smiting ability is intended only to address things that can't be addressed in any other way,

There are a ton of things you can choose that don't rise to the level of moral choice. Chaotic societies are likely to have a general axiom like, "Everything that is not forbidden is permitted." Lawful societies are very likely to have a lengthy list of all the freedoms you are permitted that aren't considered anti-social or evil, and trespassing against your neighbors freedoms in those areas is likely to be considered anti-social or evil. But if either society is actually good, neither society is going to tolerate evil. The difference is likely to come at what level either society decides to punish evil, but both societies as a practical matter will have some level of evil which is disapproved of but which may not be legally punished - things that are considered bad but not bad enough to legally punish much less smite. The two will probably differ over the details, with the lawful society tending to see minor punishments as being a more effective means of encouraging change and positive habits than chaotic ones, but there will be in both some level where they recognize humans are not in fact perfect and that you have to tolerate that. Likewise, they will both recognize the huge potential flaw of thinking you are more perfect than your neighbor.

Mercy is a lawful good trait, and tolerance is ultimately a form of mercy. It annoys how many portrayals of Paladins are lawful evil. If you can't figure it out, ask "What would Steve Rogers do?"
 
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Celebrim

Legend
I think some posters believe that tolerance is or should be a sort of wild abandon of everything else which for me makes the word practically useless.

Exactly, that's why I started my discussion of a question of what was meant by tolerance. There is a tendency in some modern conversations to define tolerance as a sort amorality where you don't treat anything as evil, and to suggest that anyone that isn't amoral is intolerant. And I don't think that's what the word means.

In most moral codes, like ones a Paladin would follow, there is a pretty darn high standard before you can respond to something in anger. Like leaving aside even that there are ton of things that are just personal preference, there are things which though they are evil, are not so depraved that you would be allowed to respond to them with anger much less legal penalties or smiting. The difference is that a chaotic society will explicitly leave much of this up to personal judgment (the dictates of one's conscious) while the lawful society will tend to encode and enumerate this explicitly because of it's distrust of individual judgment. But because they are both good, they aren't going to disagree on the basic principles.

Because the consequence of treating all imperfection as smitable is indistinguishable from being evil. And both chaotics and lawfuls are going to recognize that.
 

Osgood

Adventurer
This whole thread illustrates why alignment probably needs to be put out to pasture. Many issues are subjective and too difficult to categorise, plus people fall into their tribal camps and get offended if you suggest their beliefs fit a different box than what they feel they should—be it chaotic good, lawful neutral, or whatever.

I actually really like the D20 Modern concept of Alliegences. I wish that has just replaced alignment in D&D. It’s more flexible and allows you to really get to the heart of what a character’s values are in a few words with minimal interpretation.
 

Celebrim

Legend
I actually really like the D20 Modern concept of Allegiances. I wish that has just replaced alignment in D&D. It’s more flexible and allows you to really get to the heart of what a character’s values are in a few words with minimal interpretation.

While I like Allegiances as well and think you could quite profitably replace alignments with allegiances, I am not nearly as sanguine as you that this solves the problems you claim alignments have. In fact, I'm pretty certain the problem will only get worse.

The problem is not likely to be with loyalties to concrete things like a person or a country, although I can see some problems there with it being highly unlikely most characters - even Captain America - actually has loyalty to a person or country as their highest value. Characters that never have a problem with anything someone else does or asks them to do are imaginable, but in most cases aren't the sort of character players want to play. For one thing, that will often mean in practice being absolutely obedient to the game master in as much as the game master is responsible for impersonating those persons.

The real problem is that most people's moral code is not going to in fact be more precisely defined than broad terms like 'Good' or 'Lawful' or whatever. (And I can think of a lot of them but I'm not going to list them for fear of derailing the conversation.) And I very much then think that you are therefore multiplying the problem of ambiguity and interpretation rather than reducing it. If you want to actually avoid this at least to some extent, you have to do the work ahead of time of providing to the players a list of ethical/moral codes available in the campaign world with a detailed list of what each of those codes believes similar to what Pendragon does in the world of King Arthur. That won't fully solve the problem but then at least it will be somewhat clear what exactly a given character has allegiance to.
 
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Depends what you're tolerating. Religious practices that involve human sacrifice? Intolerance of those might easily be considered 'good'.

All other things equal, I'd say it leans chaotic (not evil!) as laws are rules that you can't (or must) do something. Given that most modern gamers value tolerance highly, this might be a nice way to do the Lawful is Not Always Good thing for DMs with a taste for moral dilemmas.
 

Hand of Evil

Adventurer
Epic
I disagree with part of this. Having a personal code or oath has little or nothing to do with Lawful. Lawful is following the laws of the realm, or subset thereof. Having a personal code that you follow regardless of local law would be a chaotic trait...

Lawful Good, and Lawful in general, do not lend themselves to tolerance. Lawful societies would regulate what behaviors are appropriate, with the Good/Evil spectrum determining what is okay. But none of them would allow much leeway for divergence or freedom of expression...which are Chaotic traits.

In the realm of Dungeons and Dragons, Lawful Good is best expressed by the paragons of the ethos: Paladins. Between Detect Evil and Smite Evil, I think their level of tolerance is made very clear...
Trying using the boy scout oath for a paladin.

Been trying to find a post by @Piratecat that was very well done, that would add a good bit to this thread but have not yet.
 

Andvari

Explorer
To me, Lawful implies a tendency of mistrust towards that which does not conform, while Chaotic embraces non-conformity and individuality. Thus, I see Tolerance as a Chaotic trait.
 

delericho

Legend
I actually really like the D20 Modern concept of Alliegences. I wish that has just replaced alignment in D&D. It’s more flexible and allows you to really get to the heart of what a character’s values are in a few words with minimal interpretation.
Don't 5e's Bond and Ideal do much the same thing?
 

Ixal

Adventurer
I disagree with part of this. Having a personal code or oath has little or nothing to do with Lawful. Lawful is following the laws of the realm, or subset thereof. Having a personal code that you follow regardless of local law would be a chaotic trait...
I think its the opposite.
Lawful people are the ones making plans for everything. Adhere to a code, make private business plans, discuss strategy and so on.
Chaotic people do things decided by intuition on the spot. If they see a opportunity they grab it, don't put much value on strategy because it won't survive contact with "the enemy" anyway and so on.

Tolerance has nothing to do with law a chaos.
 

aglondier

Explorer
I think its the opposite.
Lawful people are the ones making plans for everything. Adhere to a code, make private business plans, discuss strategy and so on.
Chaotic people do things decided by intuition on the spot. If they see a opportunity they grab it, don't put much value on strategy because it won't survive contact with "the enemy" anyway and so on.

Tolerance has nothing to do with law a chaos.
I think you are equating Chaotic with Random. If the axis was Order/Chaos, that might work as the definition. But we are working on a Law/Chaos axis that has been defined as law-abiding vs freedom-loving.

I do agree that Tolerance does not lie on this axis.
 

Committed Hero

Explorer
If the definition of tolerance is "a permissive attitude towards opinions/beliefs/ethnicities/practices that differ from one's own" then it probably hinges on whether those differences arise from personal distinctions or societal. For the former, I would consider tolerance a Good trait; for the latter, a chaotic one.

I can envision a society that enshrines tolerance in its laws (the US tries, bless its heart), but to me that tacitly acknowledges an orthodoxy of some sort, and a (probable) minority of individuals that deviates from it - which still sounds like a matter of Good over Law. An Evil society would force the minority to comply with the orthodoxy.
 

le Redoutable

I mean you no harm
so, is there a link in between Tolerance and Jack of All Trades ?
" you must not hate anything from what the world gives you as spiritual food "
or
" check every path that exists ( until you find your Path ? ) "
" don't put aside unfriendly ( or unpopular ) matters because, in reality you should bear skill in every known field ( or discipline, or chakra, or even in the professional/amateur/lucky how can them get defined ? )

and Jack of All Trades lets you embrace new skills with a bargain ...
 

Staffan

Legend
I address this argument later on in my post, but once again there is a big difference between tolerance of freedom of expression and tolerance of actual evil. If your neighbor paints his house yellow, and you prefer blue and think yellow is ugly, it's quite likely under a lawful moral code that not only is your neighbor allowed to pick yellow but you are required by that same moral code to be tolerant of your neighbors mysterious love of yellow.
It's not exactly uncommon to have local regulations stipulating that houses need to adhere to some form of conformity, such as all the houses on a particular street being painted in a particular shade, or need to have lawns where the grass isn't taller than a specified height. Some people also think that people should dress in particular ways, enforcing dress codes at schools or work places. These kinds of regulations are made by people who clearly believe conformity in itself has value, and that variety is inherently bad – or in D&D terms, an excessive dedication to Law/Order.
 

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