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Discussion: Alignments - Lawful Evil

Tags: #Alignments  #Zonnonn 
  • Member
    September 29

    I don´t know. Everytime I try to play Lawful Evil character it always comes down to selfishness and money. Money money money, but with code of honor. Yeah.

    Assuming Mogrul even has honor. :P

    I always relate Lawful Evil people with Magnificent Bastards. Those types of people always find loopholes within the law and exploit them for their own gains and I love them for it. TV Tropes actually expands this enlignment into four types, which I will quote to an extent.

    Type 1 is those who believe in civic order, and are the villains who believe either in keeping order and control at all costs, or that it's much easier to become ruler of the world by exploiting the existing system than by tearing it down and starting anew. Examples: Dictators. Warlords

    Type 2 is a baddie with a code of honor (personal order) that prevents them from doing truly heinous things, or at least keeps them focused and disciplined, and if nothing else, you can count on them to always keep their promises. Examples: Bandit Orcs. Knight Templars

    Type 3 is the minion of the main antagonist. Perhaps they lack the same pure drive that the Big Bad has, or maybe they're just not quite as smart, but they both do what they are told or do what they say that they are going to do, taking the most straightforward and efficient means of accomplishing the task they set out to do. Examples: The second-in-command to the Big Bad. Soldiers fighting in the wrong side of the war.

    Type 4 is a common case of characters that simply hate freedom and will enslave people out of malice, or those who get their jollies from imposing ridiculously harsh rules with even more ridiculous consequences for breaking them. (Not totally arbitrary rules, though, that goes over to Chaotic Evil.) Examples: Tyrants (of the sociopathic kind). People who just like to make harsh and stupid rules just for the lulz.

     

  • Member
    September 29

    Hello everyone, I have read all your post and think a little bit about this alignment, and I think we are losing one aspect during the discussion, the Lawful part. We could say that a Lawful Evil character is a character that follow the law, a sense of honor or a belief to the extreme end of things.....the end justifice the means kind of thing. Think of it in this way, imaging a King which kingdom has become infected with a great disease, causing chaos and death everywhere, the King in order to safe his kingdom and the people who aren't infected, order the execution of every single sick person. The King did follow his sense of honor and responsability, saving his kingdom from totald estruction.....but by doign a massacre. He was Lawful but Evil at the same time. Some example of this type of LE character will be Arthas of WOW when he put a whole city to the sword, because they will turn to zombies. 

     

    In my experience and perspective I see LE characters in 2 types:

    1-Primary Evil: Which is "evil", selfish, arrogant and all thing one could consider in an evil character....but with an honor code, like don't kill children and women, or has a limit to his/her brutality. For those who knows about Xianxia and Wuxia, the great many of their main character have some tendency to turn this way.

    2-Primary Lawful: Which follow the law to the T, follow his code of honor, follow his belief, for the greater good, or what they belief to be greater good....which cause them to make decisions that others will see as evil. An example of this one could be Stannis Baratheon from Games of Thrones, he was one of the more honor bound characters of the show, but commit great sins like burning people alive. 

     

     

  • Member
    September 29

    Damn everyone, didn't expect you to all bring your essay game! I feel like there's too much to reply to everything, but I've seen some points that I really like and want to highlight.

    KaiserSoSay said:

    I always relate Lawful Evil people with Magnificent Bastards. Those types of people always find loopholes within the law and exploit them for their own gains and I love them for it. TV Tropes actually expands this enlignment into four types, which I will quote to an extent.

    Type 3 is the minion of the main antagonist. Perhaps they lack the same pure drive that the Big Bad has, or maybe they're just not quite as smart, but they both do what they are told or do what they say that they are going to do, taking the most straightforward and efficient means of accomplishing the task they set out to do. Examples: The second-in-command to the Big Bad. Soldiers fighting in the wrong side of the war.

    Type 4 is a common case of characters that simply hate freedom and will enslave people out of malice, or those who get their jollies from imposing ridiculously harsh rules with even more ridiculous consequences for breaking them. (Not totally arbitrary rules, though, that goes over to Chaotic Evil.) Examples: Tyrants (of the sociopathic kind). People who just like to make harsh and stupid rules just for the lulz.

     

    Well I think says it better than I can! That's a really cool website actually, I think I've stumbles onto it before but I've never dived in, might have to now. And you've made some great points as well, especially:

    Type 3. This is really interesting, someone who wants to succeed but has neither the vision nor dreams to see it through? Brilliant, and fits perfectly into LE. They're too thick to break rules and get away with it, too bad to thrive in society, so they join up with an army that'll provide them with the opportunity to excel, and the bonus is if they win then there'll also be a society that they'll fit into. Win win! Well, until the protagonist comes along...

    Type 4. I really like the bit about imposing rules on others (even if they don't stick to them?). I think the bad guy is scarier when they've got a plan, an end goal, rather than just mindless destruction, and this is exactly what I'm talking about. Enforcing a kill or be killed lifestyle onto some innocent cityfolk? Ruling a newly conquered land with an iron fist? Again, it fits like a glove.

    The Lorc of Flowers said:

    But back to Lawful Evil. Hmm. I would describe Mogrul from Raven Rock as Lawful Evil - at least that Mogrul I´m writing in my story. Guy who lends money to Redoran, getting them in his debt and once they are indebted he starts to take advantages of that, collecting exhortion money and stuff like that. Using law to his own advantage, but the fun fact is that once someone pays the exhortion money he´ll keep the end of his bargain. He´ll even save lives so that the people could pay off their debts.

    I don´t know. Everytime I try to play Lawful Evil character it always comes down to selfishness and money. Money money money, but with code of honor. Yeah.

    Ah, money, sometimes I try and put so much depth into things that I forget the classics, and this is the classic. Everyone likes the shiny stuff, and its a brilliant justification for a LE character. Like you said, for me the best way to play one is to work within the law, sometimes bending it, for personal gain, and money is the gain that makes the most sense.

    Dknight0404 said:

    Hello everyone, I have read all your post and think a little bit about this alignment, and I think we are losing one aspect during the discussion, the Lawful part. We could say that a Lawful Evil character is a character that follow the law, a sense of honor or a belief to the extreme end of things.....the end justifice the means kind of thing. Think of it in this way, imaging a King which kingdom has become infected with a great disease, causing chaos and death everywhere, the King in order to safe his kingdom and the people who aren't infected, order the execution of every single sick person. The King did follow his sense of honor and responsability, saving his kingdom from totald estruction.....but by doign a massacre. He was Lawful but Evil at the same time. Some example of this type of LE character will be Arthas of WOW when he put a whole city to the sword, because they will turn to zombies.

    Your hypothetical is a real thinker, Dk, but is it truly Lawful Evil? I think we had a similar discussion in the Lawful Good thread about whether something liek this is even evil, as they're acting for the greater good, eventhough its an evil action. These are blurry lines indeed, but the fun is finding where they lie!

  • October 13

    Chris said:

    The road to Hell is paved with good intentions 

    Dang, where'd you get that from?

  • Member
    October 13

    Loopdiss said:

    Chris said:

    The road to Hell is paved with good intentions 

    Dang, where'd you get that from?

    Its an old proverb, from Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, albeit worded differently and in French 

  • October 13

    Killing for the greater good. Sacrificing a few innocents to save hundreds of others. Doing anything to uphold the peace. To me, this is what it means to be Lawfully Evil. The best Elder Scrolls class I can think of to roleplay this allignment would be the Nightblade, and a close second being a Scorceror. Possibly using evil to fight evil for the sake of good.

  • October 13

    Chris said:

    Loopdiss said:

    Chris said:

    The road to Hell is paved with good intentions 

    Dang, where'd you get that from?

    Its an old proverb, from Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, albeit worded differently and in French 

    Neat.

  • Member
    October 13

    Loopdiss said:

    Killing for the greater good. Sacrificing a few innocents to save hundreds of others. Doing anything to uphold the peace. To me, this is what it means to be Lawfully Evil. The best Elder Scrolls class I can think of to roleplay this allignment would be the Nightblade, and a close second being a Scorceror. Possibly using evil to fight evil for the sake of good.

    To some extent, I disagree. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that your examples are necessarily false - I just fear that you're conflating "Lawful" with "Good". Killing innocents (or sacrificing them) is bad. Saving hundreds of others is good. I could see a TN or an LN sort of character kind of weighing the numbers of lives and making a decision from there to divert the train from the track with five people tied up to the track with one person tied up. But an evil character?

    We've had some small discussion on what makes a character evil in both this thread and the NE thread, and my personal feeling is that, to a large extent, Evil is selfish and egoistic. Not in the way we would normally use those words. But that Evil tends to value life only insofar as it is useful to him. Sacrificing a few innocents to save hundreds? Evil doesn't have a stake in this. The hundreds of innocents aren't doing anything to help Evil. So Evil does not care.

    But wait! The family of Evil's most trusted lieutenant is among those hundreds that would be saved! Suddenly, Evil has a stake in their lives. So Evil saves them - the family, at the very least... if the resources expended to save the family are less than it would take to sacrifice those innocents for the sake of the hundreds.

    Because let's be clear here. Evil does not care about the lives of the hundreds of innocents. Evil cares about how they are useful to Evil. If they aren't useful? Let them die.