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Discussion: Alignments - Lawful Neutral

Tags: #Alignments  #Zonnonn 
  • Member
    September 19

    Sup amigos! Another day another discussion, this one a continuation of the current Alignments series. We've had some great responses to the Lawful Good discussion, but now we're straying in a bit more of a... neutral direction.

    Lawful Neutral

    is the point of discussion this week. Are they blind followers of a government or organisation, almost robots in their unbending loyalty to order? Or could they be a bit shadier, following the law but not their moral compass, if they even have one?

    Oh, and something I forgot to add to the last discussion (I blame lack of tea), but can you kindly try and comment on someone elses comment after you make one. Not a rule, just nice!

  • Member
    September 19

    I don't get in here terribly often, but I'm kicking myself that I wound up missing the Lawful Good discussion last week--there were some insightful things brought up there. At any rate, I'll kick this thing off.

    Personally, I think these characters make fantastic agents for either Aedra or Daedra. There is something kind of cool (in a creepy, makes-for-a-good-story kind of way) about characters who coldly assess the worthiness of the people around them based on a moral code others may or may not follow... and then dispense that justice upon the world.

  • Member
    September 19

    Zonnonn said:

    Sup amigos! Another day another discussion, this one a continuation of the current Alignments series. We've had some great responses to the Lawful Good discussion, but now we're straying in a bit more of a... neutral direction.

    Lawful Neutral

    is the point of discussion this week. Are they blind followers of a government or organisation, almost robots in their unbending loyalty to order? Or could they be a bit shadier, following the law but not their moral compass, if they even have one?

    Oh, and something I forgot to add to the last discussion (I blame lack of tea), but can you kindly try and comment on someone elses comment after you make one. Not a rule, just nice!

    Ran out of Yorkshire Gold? Tsk.

    Wait, what's the definition of LN again? 

  • Member
    September 19

    Alright, so I have the definition:

    A lawful neutral character acts as law, tradition, or a personal code directs her. Order and organization are paramount to her. She may believe in personal order and live by a code or standard, or she may believe in order for all and favor a strong, organized government.

    Lawful neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you are reliable and honorable without being a zealot.

    Which I think fits into Shin's idea that:

    ShinJin said:

    Personally, I think these characters make fantastic agents for either Aedra or Daedra. There is something kind of cool (in a creepy, makes-for-a-good-story kind of way) about characters who coldly assess the worthiness of the people around them based on a moral code others may or may not follow... and then dispense that justice upon the world.

    It's interesting to think how that moral code would change between each coven or whatever. Those camping at a shrine to Azura would be different to those cavorting around a Sanguine shrine, but would representatives from each still be LN?

     

  • Member
    September 19

    Paws said:

    It's interesting to think how that moral code would change between each coven or whatever. Those camping at a shrine to Azura would be different to those cavorting around a Sanguine shrine, but would representatives from each still be LN?

     

    I'm inclined to say yes. In fact, that is perhaps the greatest draw for me regarding this character alignment: imagine two characters wholeheartedly bent on doing what they know is right, and yet they somehow find themselves at odds with the other--that makes for some fantastic writing. Now, imagine a reader who finds himself identifying with both characters for different reasons... that's a recipe for awesome :D

  • Member
    September 20

    Holy crickets, but Lawfun Neutral (typo unintentional, but left intentionally) has to be my favourite alignment of all time. It's... mostly because I'm not good at making hard decisions in DnD RP, and LN takes all that grief out of my hands and replaces it with a boatload of player angst what-have-I-done, in-character this-is-what-is-right, cold methodicality, and fun.

    At their core, Lawful Neutral characters... uphold that law centrally. It's valued over little things like peoples' lives, livelihoods, kings, civilisations, and the existence of the world... until it isn't, and that's a character-defining growth moment. But even if it never has to happen, it's soo good to be Lawful Neutral.

  • September 20

    Lawful Neutral is called the "Judge" or "Disciplined" alignment. A Lawful Neutral character typically believes strongly in Lawful concepts such as honor, order, rules and tradition, and often follows a personal code. A Lawful Neutral society would typically enforce strict laws to maintain social order, and place a high value on traditions and historical precedent. Examples of Lawful Neutral characters might include a soldier who always follows orders, a judge or enforcer that adheres mercilessly to the word of the law, and a disciplined monk.

    Characters of this alignment are neutral with regard to good and evil. This does not mean that Lawful Neutral characters are amoral or immoral, or do not have a moral compass, but simply that their moral considerations come a distant second to what their code, tradition, or law dictates. They typically have a strong ethical code, but it is primarily guided by their system of belief, not by a commitment to good or evil.

    Ok, so that´s sort of what I´m following most of the times. But there´s one thing I always do when it comes to Lawful Good and Lawful Neutral. I can´t help myself but to see them as religious characters, and if I had to draw a line between them I would say that Lawful Good is that kind of nice priest comforting people and shit, while Lawful Neutral is more of the doomsday priest shouting on the streets, forcing his belief on other people.

    So, maybe we could say that the main difference between Lawful Good and Lawful Neutral is tolerance. Hm?

  • Member
    September 20

    I think the perfect example of a lawful neutral character is Eddard Stark. Someone who aligns their morals with law and tradition over what is really right. An example is his criticism of Jaime Lannister betraying and killing the Mad King, despite him plotting to burn King's Landing to ash. Eddard didn't listen if it wasn't in accordance with the law and traditions.

  • Member
    September 20

    ShinJin said:

    I don't get in here terribly often, but I'm kicking myself that I wound up missing the Lawful Good discussion last week--there were some insightful things brought up there. At any rate, I'll kick this thing off.

    No worries pal, and if you really want you can reply to the previous anyway. I know I'll read it at the very least!

    Personally, I think these characters make fantastic agents for either Aedra or Daedra. There is something kind of cool (in a creepy, makes-for-a-good-story kind of way) about characters who coldly assess the worthiness of the people around them based on a moral code others may or may not follow... and then dispense that justice upon the world.

    Well when you put it that way, they sound bloody awesome. Kinda reminds me of Sherlock Holmes (from the modern series if you've seen it) or a robot, judging in the most unbiased way possible purely based on stone cold facts. In fact a person like that would probably scare me more than a Chaotic Evil person, there's something about unflinching compliance that gets to me.

     

    Paws said:

    It's interesting to think how that moral code would change between each coven or whatever. Those camping at a shrine to Azura would be different to those cavorting around a Sanguine shrine, but would representatives from each still be LN?

    I think I agree with Shin here. The law doesn't necesarilly mean the law of the land. It could be a set of morals personal to a character, a code of honour amongst thieves, the Dark Brotherhood Tenets (I think that's what they're called). To me its more of a commitment to a cause that anything else, for good or bad. Loyalty at its finest basically.

    soly said:

    Holy crickets, but Lawfun Neutral (typo unintentional, but left intentionally) has to be my favourite alignment of all time. It's... mostly because I'm not good at making hard decisions in DnD RP, and LN takes all that grief out of my hands and replaces it with a boatload of player angst what-have-I-done, in-character this-is-what-is-right, cold methodicality, and fun.

    At their core, Lawful Neutral characters... uphold that law centrally. It's valued over little things like peoples' lives, livelihoods, kings, civilisations, and the existence of the world... until it isn't, and that's a character-defining growth moment. But even if it never has to happen, it's soo good to be Lawful Neutral.

    Cold is the word that stands out to me here. Although its a lot easier to roleplay as a calculating character, weighing up facts instead of feelings, I don't think this has to always be the case. A LN person could be fully capable of being effected by emotion, empathy, sympathy etc, its just that on a large scale (personal to them) it doesn't sway their opinion. So a Guard might let a homeless child scamper away with a stolen piece of bread (or more likely buy it for the kid), but when the safety of the town is threatened they'll kill whoever is in their way to protect it.

    The Lorc of Flowers said:

    So, maybe we could say that the main difference between Lawful Good and Lawful Neutral is tolerance. Hm?

    That seems like the most eloquent way to put it, Karv! Although I definitely think there's some overlap (or should there be?) depending on the scale the character works at, ala my above comment, but it seems like a fair distinction to me.

  • Member
    September 20

    Zonnonn said:

    Cold is the word that stands out to me here. Although its a lot easier to roleplay as a calculating character, weighing up facts instead of feelings, I don't think this has to always be the case. A LN person could be fully capable of being effected by emotion, empathy, sympathy etc, its just that on a large scale (personal to them) it doesn't sway their opinion. So a Guard might let a homeless child scamper away with a stolen piece of bread (or more likely buy it for the kid), but when the safety of the town is threatened they'll kill whoever is in their way to protect it.

    Well, perhaps cold isn't the right word here. Going back to that town guard, if I were behind a simple LN Guard, would I feel unhappy at arresting that homeless kid? Well, maybe, depending on the guard.

    Would I do it anyway? Hell yes. Remember. This child is not innocent. The child is a thief. I do not care if he is homeless and starving. He is a thief.

    It's about adherence to the law (whichever law), in the end. If the punishment for stealing is to cut a person's hands off, you better believe that the LN guard will believe it's justified and will do it to a homeless orphan. Even if he thinks it's cruel, he'll do it. Even if he thinks it's needlessly cruel, he'll do it as long as he believes it is somehow justified according to the law. Is it edging into Lawful Evil territory? Arguably not. It's delicious how close it gets (and some examples do cross the line), but I'd put this guard firmly on the LN side of the Moral Line.