Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Paladin - Lawful Good

“He could have tried. He could have died. Old or young, a true knight is sworn to protect those who are weaker than himself, or die in the attempt.”

Again… remember that quote for me ok? ;)
 Lawful good… I took my sweet time to write this because of several reasons. One: I wasn’t sure which side of the chart I was going to cover after “Neutral”. Two: I don’t like to play LG. Three: since I don’t like to play it… research was needed for this one. Four: I wanted a true example of LG to fill the chart, but I also wanted to have a woman as the example. Let’s face it, out of the whole hero population; Lawful good female heroes are about 15% of it. But I found her, and it’s funny because she was right under my nose. And thanks to that we don’t have a sausage-fest in the chart anymore (I know… Treebeard is a tree, but his voice is manly, so there) (Notes from the future: A wood joke... there was a wood joke here, and I missed it... DAMN IT me from the past... DAMN IT)
A Lawful good character lives by a code, a strong set of rules that define his actions. He or she also believes that these rules exist to help those in need. To protect the weak and uphold justice, honor and morality, while also being humane and kind to those who need it, and ruthless to those who would violate the law and do evil upon his fellow man/woman.
 Now, how do we avoid becoming “that paladin” who instead of Lawful Good just seems to be “Lawful Stupid”?
The one that will throw the party’s rogue into the hands of the authorities because he picked some noble’s pocket to get the key they needed to save the slaves.
The one that will throw a sermon every single time anyone breaks the law, ANY LAW, at anytime, anywhere, and even go as far to act as Judge, Jury, and Executioner on the spot (Sound familiar? This is how Lawful Neutral USED to be played in the old days… thankfully it’s been rewritten)
The one that decides he needs to convince every single NPC of how good his deity is, to the point where it’s impossible to start an adventure without some kind of conflict of ideas between him and the quest giver.
Ugh… yeah… that one
Basically we need to keep this in mind: Characters of this alignment believe that an orderly, strong society with a well-organized government can work to make life better for the majority of the people. To ensure the quality of life, laws must be created and obeyed. When people respect the laws and try to help one another, society as a whole prospers. These characters strive for those things that will bring the greatest benefit to the most people and cause the least harm.
 Keywords for Lawful Good:  Honor, Tradition, Justice, Fairness, and the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few.
 So… who’s going up on the Lawful Good bracket on our chart? The same person who said those words at the beginning of this post…
Coming very soon to a theater near you wearing Chrome Plated armor and an assault rifle...
Brienne of Tarth!
Simply put: Brienne is a Knight in Shining Armor who is willing to risk life and limb to fulfill an oath she has taken or to protect innocent people, despite the fact that she lives in a Crapsack World dominated by dishonorable or even outright evil men and gets little respect or glory for it.
Remember that scene in the Game of Thrones tv-series where she faces a road bandit who has just threatened to rape her just as he did rape a woman he left hanging from a noose on a tree… and after beating him in a sword fight she shoves her sword straight up his rectum?
That… my friends… means Lawful good does not necessarily mean “Lawful Nice”.


*Notes from the future: 

As I mentioned before, this article is a bit dated, since Lawful goodness is no longer directly related to Paladinhood. Personally I like it a lot more the way it is now. An alignment should not be a straightjacket for character development. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!