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Question on alignment

tglassy

Adventurer
Can a character be considered Lawful Good and follow a master who is Chaotic Neutral?

For example, the character I’m developing grows up an urchin, and is rescued from a very bad life by a “master” who is very much focused on increasing his own wealth, but who recognizes that having loyal servants is to his best interest. So he treats the character well, trains him, and makes rules for him to follow. Not any rules that have to do with society or a nation, but the Master’s own rules, meant to focus on increasing the Master’s profit and wealth, and the rest of the world can go jump in a lake.

If the Character decides to continue following this Master, and adheres strictly to those rules, even though he would routinely break the Laws of any land he may be in while he is following his Master’s Orders, would he be considered Lawful?

As for Good, I would consider that separate from law, as it denotes that the Character cares for life and would willingly sacrifice himself for someone he thought was innocent or deserved it. He is not evil, and does care about being “moral”, but he also believes his Master is owed his loyalty and therefore obeys him rather than some King’s laws.
 

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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
In D&D 5e, lawful good is defined as someone who can be "counted on to do the right thing as expected by society." That's all we have to go by. Reading into it any further or bringing in definitions of that alignment from other games only serves to confuse the issue. So the question is: "Is this the right thing to do as expected by society?"

Whether it is or isn't, it should also be noted that "Individuals might vary significantly from that typical behavior, and few people are perfectly and consistently faithful to the precepts of their alignment."
 



Satyrn

First Post
Every single one of us has a different definition of each alignment (is what I have learned from years of forumimg) and so the only one who can possibly give a useful answer to this question is your DM.



(Most of my posts during my years of foruming have been intentionally humorous. This post, however, is entirely serious)




Tee hee hee.
 

Hardhead

First Post
It's hard to say, people are multi-faceted. It sounds more like a LN character to me, with some good tendencies, but depending on how the character was played I'm sure I could be convinced of him being LG.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
A lawful good may have a code. But he would come very close to cheating on his taxes. And speed limits are just suggestions when Dark Vader is going to first in line for the free showing on Shazam!
 

Brashnir2

First Post
I'd allow it at my table. A person could have natural instincts that lean toward Lawful Good, while their outward behavior and image they want to project is more edgy.

This character would probably have a complex where he tries to justify his unlawful actions internally by adhering to some sort of a criminal code or some other type of orderly system, while also doing his best to do the most "good" thing possible in any given situation. I think it would be a really interesting character concept.
 

Harzel

Adventurer
Can a character be considered Lawful Good and follow a master who is Chaotic Neutral?

For example, the character I’m developing grows up an urchin, and is rescued from a very bad life by a “master” who is very much focused on increasing his own wealth, but who recognizes that having loyal servants is to his best interest. So he treats the character well, trains him, and makes rules for him to follow. Not any rules that have to do with society or a nation, but the Master’s own rules, meant to focus on increasing the Master’s profit and wealth, and the rest of the world can go jump in a lake.

If the Character decides to continue following this Master, and adheres strictly to those rules, even though he would routinely break the Laws of any land he may be in while he is following his Master’s Orders, would he be considered Lawful?

As for Good, I would consider that separate from law, as it denotes that the Character cares for life and would willingly sacrifice himself for someone he thought was innocent or deserved it. He is not evil, and does care about being “moral”, but he also believes his Master is owed his loyalty and therefore obeys him rather than some King’s laws.

Side question: As to the 'master' - based on what you said, I see 'neutral', but in what sense is he chaotic?

As to Lawful - Sure the character can be 'lawful' by dint of consistently following some set of rules.

As to Good - My sense is that 'good' as used in D&D generally has an absolutist take on what is good, especially when it comes to 'lawful' 'goodness'. The bolded part of the quote seems to try to point things in a relativist direction. I don't see how the character is going to be considered 'good' if he does things at the behest of the 'master' that are unjust, inequitable, unfair or otherwise 'ungood'. You made an abstract reference to being 'moral', but I think it is in the specifics of what the 'master' might ask your character to do that you might encounter conflict between 'good' (in the sense of fairness and equity for all) and the 'neutral' self interest of the master.

Put differently, a lawful good character would obey neither the master's dictates nor the King's law unless they embodied (or at least did not conflict with) the principles of equity, justice, fairness, etc. Of course, there might be some wiggle room in how the character's background informed his assessment of situations in which there was some ambiguity.
 

MechaTarrasque

Adventurer
Yes. Find any Jeeves the Butler book. Read. Enjoy. You are welcome. It will be totally clear how you can be lawful and serve a chaotic master. If anyone says you are wrong, repeat this advice. Anyone who reads one Wodehouse's books and still says you are wrong is not worth associating with.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
There is no one definition or use of alignment. So here's how I view it.

One theory of how people view the world is that they see the world based on experience and feedback. It's why we look at clouds and see smiley faces or dogs (the technical term is pareidolia). We see patterns because it helps us interpret the world and react to it in an appropriate manner.

Which does not mean that everyone views the world the same way. Two people may see the exact same thing and come to different conclusions. I may see a puppy in the clouds, you may see a clown. One person may see a cruel man beating his innocent wife, another may see a guy being strong and regretfully punishing his wife for her indiscretions. Another may just see the strong exercising their right to enforce their will on others.

So alignment is just a simplified version of that. How does someone view the world and how do they interpret it? A lawful person may see the universe as a clockwork mechanism where everything has it's place. A chaotic person may recognize order, but not see anything natural about it and doesn't think order is inherently better than chaos. A good person has empathy and tries to not harm innocents. An evil person may view others as tools or objects, but put little value in what other people think or feel other than how it will affect them.

Which is all broad brush-strokes and my way of saying: if it makes sense to you and your DM it works. Alignment is only as important as you make it.
 

I

Immortal Sun

Guest
Sure, in the same sense that you can have a corrupt system but still have good cops trying to do the right thing. In fact this probably defines the vast majority of LG paladins.

Unless you're of a specific class. Then you need to adhere to your diety's alignment as closely as the rules allow.

But that's the difference between role-play and game mechanics.

And yes, you can also have a character who obeys their master's rules above the rules of the land and still be considered LG, since that basically defines much of Japanese history.

But at the end of the day, your DM is the arbiter of law and chaos, good and evil in your system. So while theoretically anything is possible, and philosophically there's great ground for debate, the final answer is: Ask your DM.
 

aco175

Legend
Sounds kind of like Star Wars where the Emperor has all the stormtroopers raised to obey orders and act loyal to uphold the law. There is a lot of places to go from there, like would the troopers consider themselves good and lawful. I would think they would, but the rest of society may not. What about when they rebel and kill all the jedi, this is following orders and the law since the republic voted for it, or should they now consider themselves lawful and evil, or does society think they are now LE where 10 minutes before they were LG.

What about the emperor himself and societies attitude about him, same thing.
 


Probably easiest if the LG character is oblivious to the masters selfish tendencies. He could easily deceive the naive LG character (make it your flaw). The master could convince him that the government is actually evil, and his actions are beneficial for the greater good. This also creates an interesting RP situation when the character is confronted by the true of the master's deceit.
 

Bawylie

A very OK person
Sure. Lots of people have all kinds of relationships (working, romantic, familial) with folks who have very different values and ethoi.

It can be a relationship colored by conflict, passion, or even cool, dispassionate consideration.

By way of example I employ a small group of people. We all have varied political, religious, philosophical, romantic, ideas, values, and experiences. But we work together quite well.

Or take this board. I disagree with a LOT of people on how best to play this imaginary game of “elf-time with dice.” Some feel very strongly that it should be “dice-time with elves.” But I still have productive discussions with, and take advice from, some of the very people with whom I most often clash.

So can it work? Sure.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
"Can a character be considered Lawful Good and follow a master who is Chaotic Neutral?"

yes - in a game where the agreed upon aspects of the different alignments fit this notion. otherwise, no.

Even when they referenced the same definition text, i have never once seen two different tables with the same in-play alignment definitions in play.

So, consult your GM, check your setting and tip your waitress.
 

TarionzCousin

Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
I just came here to say "Being 'Chaotic Neutral' does not give you a valid reason to do whatever you want."

Now someone please invent a time machine so I can travel back to the 80's to tell this to 75% of the people I gamed with. :angel:
 

My house rule is adding allegiance (from d20 Modern)(ex: religion, country, family, clan, tribe, guild, code of honor, race) because groups need a common goals to survive. I allow allegiances with opposite alignment (for example a chaotic cop who breaks rules but defend law and order, or a evil zealot who tries to defend good goals), and powers with alignment key can hurt enemies with same alignment but different allegiance (for example a drow cleric vs a orc shaman).

For me chaotic means to be attuned to nature or primal forces.
 

Al2O3

Explorer
Seems to me that Lawful Good or Lawful Neutral might fit your character well. Maybe check if Paladins have some note about lawful Paladins of chaotic gods.

The selfish tendencies of the master sounds like enough for me to categorise him as evil. Maybe neutral evil? It probably doesn't really matter for the personality of the master and just says more about how I view the alignments.
 

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