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Thread: Paladins & Alignment - Oh No!
01-16-1997, 01:57 PM #1Armand SuarezGuest
Paladins & Alignment - Oh No!
Franz Berthiller wrote:
Even more a paladin must be lawful, I just don=B4t believe that a chaotic
character would give his life for his cause, or just for saving that
little young girl from the hands of an ogre, when there is no other
reward than honor and fame (maybe for a dead hero).
Face the thread that should not be... :-)
In my non-BR campaigns I as DM agree with you about paladins being only LG
as a matter of course. However, for my BR-rules/homegrown non-standard
campaign setting I'm working on, I'm considering making/modifying some
classes. An example of a CG character who gave his life for a chaotic good
cause is William Wallace as portrayed in the movie Braveheart. I felt that
he was very honorable and had a personal code, but was clearly CG because he
valued individual freedom.
It all depends on your view of what alignments mean. I don't
*automatically* equate chaotic alignments with random selfishness or
dishonor (even evil characters can be honorable - by always keeping their
word, for example, and good people can be selfish if it hurts no-one). I
think of law vs. chaos more in terms of group vs. individual values. Good
and evil are whether you value helping or hurting others (in the broad sense
of the terms). So I think CG alignment values weal and individuality; LG
weal and collectivism (or the group will, or whatever you want to call it).
Some of the descriptions in the AD&D books mention this kind of dichotomy.
It's too bad the word "chaotic" makes the alignment sound like the worship
of randomness. I find that very difficult to justify/role-play.
Honor and selfishness or the lack thereof are irrelevent to alignment in my
view. If "chaotic" alignments are in true chaos, then CN (and perhaps also
CG and CE) must be played as utter insanity. I see CN as individuality
taken to the extreme, where good/evil are considered irrelevent. LN is the
opposite to me. For example, the typical "lone wolf" type American folk
hero with the individualistic "pioneer spirit" etc. (Davy Crockett, et. al.)
would be CG in my opinion. Are those heroes selfish or dishonorable? Would
they let that young girl in your example die?
If Wallace had had a more religious bent, he could have easily been an
"alternate" paladin (hypothetically). The religion would have to be one
that values individual freedom in order to be chaotic, though. I could
accept a CG (or other alignment) "paladin" (I would rename it) with
alternate but similar powers in my non-standard campaign. Then again, I
like symmetry. However I don't think I could accept a true Neutral paladin,
but maybe I could be convinced.
I have that Dragon issue with the alternate paladins, and frankly I wasn't
impressed. The abilities of the paladins don't seem to reflect their
alignments. Instead they seem very arbitrary to me. Most of them you could
mix the alignments up and there would be no conflict with their powers.
IMHO, it wasn't very logical.
If you liked it, that's fine with me though.
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