Author Topic: Lawful/Chaotic  (Read 6098 times)

Offline Salk

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Lawful/Chaotic
« on: August 05, 2005, 02:07:45 AM »
Hello, people!

I had noticed this topic had been discussed a little some months ago. I decided to start a new topic, hoping to not cause any problem with this, because I'd rather draw your attention (and mostly SimDing0's who is the Mod's author) to a new topic which is more visible.

I had played both Baldur's Gate I & II (with resp. expansions) and I did miss extremely much the absence of any alignment shift on the vertical axis (Lawful - Chaotic) and miss *almost* that much the poor implementation of the horizontal axis (Good - Evil).

I read that coding the vertical axis would mean a lot of work for you, Sim. And I also have read that many, many situation would be ambiguous and open to interpretation. Nonetheless, there are some specific sitations during the game that openly sit on one of the extremes.

I think you guys perceived the possible modifications almost only by the Paladin's point discussing possible results of non lawful actions. I am also interested instead in the other side of the medal. There are classes that play as chaotic (think of bards and rogues) which find themselves often in the game walking the path of lawfulness without suffering any harm.

It would be really nice if Virtue could also help in this aspect. The absence of consequences coming from happily running back and forth on the vertical axis makes the game really unsatifactory (a chaotic only character never shifts to neutral, no matter what his/her actions are...at least in my past experience). Virtue patches beautifully the horizontal axis but miss to cover fully what I personally feel as a big inconsistency in the game.

I am pretty sure people in this Forum would happily come with suggestions and uniformity of opinon about at least few key-situations in which a firm classification is possible. Of course, such clear and unquestionable events are actually pretty few (but enough for sure to justify losing one's class) thus pretty much easy to spot and eventually introduce into the Mod.

Thank you all for patiently reading... :pirate
« Last Edit: August 06, 2005, 02:17:02 AM by Salk »

Offline Borsook

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2005, 09:23:33 AM »
Correct me if I got mix-up but there's no class that have to be chaotic, bards can be neutral, right? So even if they got a shift it's "fine" still.
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Offline Salk

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2005, 12:50:33 PM »
Borsook,

If I remember well, this are the alignment limitations in Baldur's Gate II: druids must keep a True neutral alignment, Paladin and Rangers must keep a Lawful good alignment, Monks must be Lawful, Bards must be partly neutral and thieves can never be Lawful (although I think that in Baldur's Gate I, and it was way better, thieve had to stick to a Chaotic alignment).

Somebody corrects me if I am wrong. It is likely...

Offline Deathsangel

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2005, 01:36:54 PM »
Borsook,

If I remember well, this are the alignment limitations in Baldur's Gate II: druids must keep a True neutral alignment, Paladin and Rangers must keep a Lawful good alignment, Monks must be Lawful, Bards must be partly neutral and thieves can never be Lawful (although I think that in Baldur's Gate I, and it was way better, thieve had to stick to a Chaotic alignment).

Somebody corrects me if I am wrong. It is likely...

correcting: Rangers need to be good not neccessary Lawfull and thieves in BG1 need not be Chaotic only
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Offline Borsook

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2005, 02:07:14 PM »
Ok, but so essentially Chaotic is never required, each class can be also neutral at least, this makes it much less crucial than in case of paladins. Even if your aligment should change it does not have any practical gameplay changes. Virtue/reputation system is more detailed here and I think works better.
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Offline Salk

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2005, 03:08:05 PM »
Also I think Barbarians can never become lawful or else they would lose some of the class's characteristics (rage) and perhaps, if I remember well, can't advance in level...

But losing one's class, should not be seen as the reason to implement what is needed (vertical axis shifts). My character might, let's say, be a Bard with a neutral alignment...Should be consistent to have my character change his alignment if he costantly walks the path of lawfulness at every key decision. And if this will bring him to lose his class, well...That's just the consuquence of his ethical choices which are no longer compatible with his class.

If you think well, it's not so strange to have a person change his own point of view. Even radically...So I confirm the need of extending to the vertical axis, the same rules that Virtue applies to the horizontal one.

It would mean to cover the whole range of the ethical beliefs. And this would be a real, big improvement...
« Last Edit: August 06, 2005, 02:26:15 AM by Salk »

Offline Salk

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2005, 03:28:18 AM »
Ok, but so essentially Chaotic is never required, each class can be also neutral at least, this makes it much less crucial than in case of paladins. Even if your aligment should change it does not have any practical gameplay changes. Virtue/reputation system is more detailed here and I think works better.

Borsook,

personally speaking I'd make thieves stick initially to a chaotic alignment. But this is just me and doesn't work as rule.

STILL, it absolutely makes sense to work on the vertical axis nonetheless. If you are playing a neutral Bard character and constantly follow the path of lawfullness (count 0 for chaotic, 50 for neutral and 100 for lawful), you'd have your position move towards lawful in such a way, you'd eventually confirm a personal change in your ethical view, justifying a new position (lawful).

Being we costantly evolving, I find hard to believe that my character won't see his approach to the world dynamically shifting. Nothing is still. Everything becomes...
« Last Edit: August 06, 2005, 03:30:04 AM by Salk »

Offline rreinier

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2005, 10:24:37 AM »
Quote
Also I think Barbarians can never become lawful or else they would lose some of the class's characteristics (rage) and perhaps, if I remember well, can't advance in level...
That's 3e. I'm not sure what 2e has to say on this, and there's no such thing as a Fallen Barbarian, as far as I know...

Offline SimDing0

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2005, 11:28:27 AM »
In Virtue, when a paladin strays from his tenets, his deity no longer grants him his abilities, and he's thrown out the order. So he falls, and this makes perfect sense. The same applies to a speciality priests and rangers. These are, I believe, the only classes which suffer for changing alignment, and it works fine in all cases. (Rangers are the most dubious case.)
With a hypothetical law/chaos axis, I'd be rather concerned by the notion of thieves losing their class because they aren't breaking the law or encoruaging disorder enough. This seems to me to be daft. If a thief can use his lockpicking or trapsetting skills lawfully, then sure, let him.
Because of this, I'd be reluctant to implement class penalties even if a law/chaos axis did come about. However, I still don't see it as very likely. I'd be interested to see if anybody could draw up a list of all the unquestionably lawful actions possible in the game. My instinct is that it'd be far too short to produce any kind of usable system.

Offline Salk

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2005, 12:23:32 AM »
I actually didn't mean to focus on the class drop/penalties. It was more like an ethical choice for implementing a Law/Chaos axis to mirror the presence of the Good/Evil axis. The sphere is now just an half sphere. The chance of shifting along the Law/Chaos axis should reflect the game's evolution and the player's choices.

However, let's concentrate on those classes that require to stick to a precise Law/Chaos alignment: Monks must be Lawful, Paladins must be Lawful, Druids must be Neutral, Bards cant be Lawful.

I think these are enough reasons to believe the introduction of a Law/Chaos axis would be needed. Logically the alignment "hits" should be halved for Neutral characters.

And one more thing: this is just academic because Thieves in BG2 can (strangely enough, according to me) be of any alignment but I disagree with Sim when it comes to his concern about them.

You must work by "subtraction". As reference, do not think about what of chaotic/illegal can a Thief do in the game, but rather, think of what of Legal a Thief is doing. In short: let's keep what is Lawful as reference. What goes openly against this, should be seen as a Chaotic action (subtraction).

There will be situations when a chaotic character would be supposed to act according to his instincts and ethic: if, in such situations, he/she would act "lawfully", then I believe an axis shift would be in order.

Of course we would need to find such situations and examine all the possible implications and I know it might be not so easy. But this shouldn't mean that a Law/Chaos axis isn't needed. I still believe that would improve metagaming a lot...
« Last Edit: August 15, 2005, 03:05:51 AM by Salk »

Offline Borsook

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2005, 02:10:10 AM »
But should the lawful/chaotic shift be implemented the only consequence would be "look my thief is lawful now". It wouldn't change a thing gameplay wise. One might consider adding "falling" to other classes (like druid - they should try to keep the balance, so too much of  chaos/law is not desired) but still I do not see much point to it. I'd say I'd be better use of time and resources to do Virtue for tutu instead.
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Offline Salk

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2005, 02:56:54 AM »
Borsook,

Nope, it's not just a matter of "Look! My thief is now no longer Chaotic...". Leave thieves alone for a moment.

Monks and Paladins should lose their class privileges by abandoning a Lawful alignment and so should Druids (True Neutral) and Bards (partly Neutral) do if they don't comply to their own ethos.

Personally I have always considered the Law/Chaos axis as important as the Good/Evil one. In RPG (around a table) which I joined or mastered (too long) time ago, such aspect was nowhere as undestimated as it is on CRPG and this is a shame.

I believe that implementing Law/Chaos in Virtue would be a greater step ahead than it was with the original Virtue system applied to Good and Evil beause while the latter was (badly) present already in Baldur's Gate, the former had never even been considered...
« Last Edit: August 15, 2005, 03:09:17 AM by Salk »

Offline Borsook

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2005, 03:28:47 AM »
I'm not saying movement along Chaotic/lawful is unimportant in a RPG, but it seems pretty unimportant to me in baldur's gate. OK, we could add losing abilities for a druid, cause like in case of Cleric/paladin they're "granted" by the divine. But the rest... if a bard become lawful he loses the ability to sing? Why? Or a thief to steal?
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Offline Salk

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2005, 05:06:38 AM »
Borsook,

the Thief-thing is a non problem. As I mentioned, in BG2, thieves can be of any alignement. You seem you don't want to understand though that IF Paladins and Monks MUST also be of Lawful alignment, there is a reason.

A Paladin should fall not only for not pursuing Good but also for not atteining to the strict rules of the society he lives in. There is a big difference between a chaotic good and a lawful good. Each of the nine different alignments have their own ethical meaning.

It might be sometimes a little subtle. We can even decide (like most seem to be doing) to ignore it because it wouldn't affect so much a computer game. But I still care for it. The immediate effects on some classes are direct and undeniable. A Bard that shifts to a Lawful alignment should be penalized by not being able to use his/her characteristics: he can sing...But there would not be any positive effects (everybody can sing). Same thing for the Monks...Losing their alignment should not make them "fallen" but should not let them retain the characteristics of a Monk (no longer movement speed bonus, no longer AC bonus, and so on...)...They would still be Bards and Monks technically speaking but they should lose the privilages of their unique classes.

How to implement these "modified" classes should be object of discussion when and if some such project could ever even start but not now. Enough to say that I personally miss the presence of the Law/Chaos axis as much as I would miss the presence of the Good/Evil axis.

Perhaps it's just me and few others...But knowing a little SimDing0, I'd think such thought crossed his mind as well...

Cheers!

Offline Borsook

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2005, 06:01:51 AM »
We got a misunderstanding here, as far as I know Paladin falling is tied to Virtue loss, which can happen if he does something evil but also un-lawful. The same can be done with monks. I just don't see why changing his aligment is that important, especially because paladin can fall after disgracing himself by commitment of a unlawful action, it doesn't mean he ceased to believe in law altogether. If he continues on that path his aligment might change to chaotic, but it doesn't change a thing, he was fallen long before that change occurs.
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Offline SixOfSpades

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2005, 02:07:09 PM »
A Thief that becomes Lawful should take a major penalty to his Pick Pockets score, and smaller one to his Open Locks score. Bards that become Lawful should have their Pick Pockets similarly penalized. Berserkers and especially Barbarians should have a couple of their daily Rages subtracted while they are Lawful.

Monks that become Chaotic could temporarily lose their Stunning Blow and Quivering Palm abilities due to their lack of discipline, and/or take a Magic Resistance penalty.

Personally, I feel Druids should be allowed to roam the Good/Evil axis: Compare Jaheira with Faldorn, with Cernd in the middle. There should be changes, but not really penalties, associated with this shift: A Druid that becomes good could have her spell selections altered so that she loses a few offensive spells, but gains some protective spells from the Cleric and/or Wizard spheres to compensate. A Druid that turns Evil would experience the opposite effect. BUT. A Druid that shifts to Lawful or Chaotic is actually paying more attention to civil laws than nature's laws, and should take a WIS penalty as a result.

Offline Borsook

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2005, 02:19:37 PM »
A Thief that becomes Lawful should take a major penalty to his Pick Pockets score, and smaller one to his Open Locks score. Bards that become Lawful should have their Pick Pockets similarly penalized.
Why? If they're lawful that should mean they're less likely to steal, not that they're less skillful at it. If I suddenly deceide that driving is bad I'll still know how to drive, I may lose some skill at it cause of the lack of practise but on the other hand I'll lose it cause of the lack of practise even when I think that driving is the very essence of my existence.
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Offline SixOfSpades

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2005, 02:06:57 AM »
Why? If they're lawful that should mean they're less likely to steal, not that they're less skillful at it.
Because simply greying out the Thieving button would render them totally unable to open doors, which is of course one of the major reasons to keep a Thief in the party. True, a Lawful Thief would simply choose not to rob people, but that's impossible to enforce, whereas a penalty is quite feasible.
I once designed a recruitable Lawful Good Bounty Hunter; he works for the city guard in tracking down & apprehending people, and he wears an undroppable Amulet that (among other things) sets his Pick Pockets score to 0 and renders him immune to all changes to Pick Pockets score.

Offline Borsook

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2005, 03:02:11 AM »
What about a thief being a "patriotic spy"? I can envision such a character being lawful, wouldn't steal a brass button, but he steals stuff from people whom he considers enemies of his country. Anyway it may be personal preference but I believe RPG shouldn't be so much about forcing, if a player has a lawful thief (or bard) he should "get into character" and refrain from stealing. If the player doesn't want to roleplay properly that's his business, why force him with penalties? This IMO undermines the very purpose of RPG.
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guest

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2005, 12:59:09 PM »
The point of Law vs. Chaos is not about following society's laws. It's about willingly following any rules.

The mafia is a "lawful" organisation because it's members follow their own rules of honor. Even if their daily work is breaking society's laws. So a thief CAN be lawful. In fact, a chaotic thief WILL have problems with the rules of a thieves guild.

A Paladin needs to be Lawful Good, because only lawful good gods feel such a responsibility to mortal beings of the same alignment that they are willing to share their power. Each paladin is a "chosen" of a Lawful Good diety, and when he no longer is lawful good, his link to the diety breaks.

A monk needs to be lawful, because their exampels are budhistic warrior-monks like the shao-lin, the dedication, discipline and willpower necessary to train body and mind are the virtues of Order.

Virtues of Chaos on the other hand are curiousity, tolerance, creativity, freedom, characters that feel strongly aligned to these virtues don't feel good in a lawful organisation and never will have the self-discipline to train body and mind like a monk or following society's rules.


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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2005, 08:22:25 PM »
Disclaimer: The following post contains some ramblings and musings that may not be entirely focused or relevant.

While I generally agree with "guest's" assessment of the Lawful-Chaotic alignment axis, I disagree on one note. While *most* chaotic characters may lack the self-discipline or willpower, I don't think it's a "chaotic implies unfocused willy-nilly mentality." While cases like the Xaoisects (sp?) in PST certainly fall under that category, the way you're defining "Chaotic" doesn't necessitate a lack of discipline.

While it's generally agreed that a disciplined, law-abiding character is more lawful than an undisciplined, individualistic opportunist, being generally "lawful" essentially means the character displays significantly more lawful characteristics than chaotic ones, and vice versa. That being the case, it makes some sense that a generally chaotic character can possess the mental discipline necessary to follow the monk's path. However, since the traits of a monk favor law to chaos, you're likely to see few neutral monks and fewer chaotic ones. To simplify things and cover perhaps 95% of all monks, you could penalize unlawful ones.

Paladins, on the other hand, relying on the favor of a deity, are likely more restricted than monks (or barbarians, or whatever) in terms of alignment. Lawful Good gods are likely to look for a very strict set of traits in their chosen warriors, so paladins as a class will be made up of "the lawful of the lawful," so to speak.

Ultimately, I can definitely see the possibility for an argument in favor of a neutral (or *possibly* chaotic) monk. Neutral (*maybe* lawful) barbarians may also be justified. On the other hand, I think you'd be awfully hard-pressed (i.e. it's nigh-impossible) to come up with an explanation for a neutral (or worse, chaotic) paladin. That I can't come up with good examples simply means I'm not sufficiently creative.

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2005, 03:31:21 PM »
Something to note: in one of the other BG mods there's a Paladin kit called the Holy Liberator. I believe it's based off a Paladin of Freedom from Unearthed Arcana; it's a Chaotic Good Paladin dedicated to the causes of liberty and free thought and whatnot. Bonuses and immunities against compulsion instead of fear, and his code involves respecting personal liberty as well as upholding the cause of good.

So yes, it can happen.

Offline Andyr

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2005, 05:45:11 PM »
It's Kish's Oversight mod from G3, yeah.
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Offline Drew

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Re: Lawful/Chaotic
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2005, 08:31:00 PM »
The holy liberator is based on a 3e prestige class.  It is not a Paladin, technically speaking, though fallen paladins can become Holy Liberators if they meet the other requirements.  They even get their Paladin goodies back after aquiring the prestige class.
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