Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What does Lawful Evil look like?

I'm rather new to good old D&D and new to the classic classifications of good/neutral/evil and lawful/neutral/chaotic and I've been impressed from day one. "That makes so much sense!" Because I've always separated in my mind, morality from legality. This may be because of my Christian upbringing and admonitions to be apart from the world as well as out and out statements that not every thing permissible is profitable. Something legal, either in the civil code *or* Christian morality, may still be wrong. The passages about causing your brother to stumble because you've done something you're *allowed* to do (eat meat sacrificed to idols is the example) are probably why I do not conceptually equate legality with right and never have.

So... long story... I was visiting with a nice lady the other day... an interesting lady... it was an enjoyable conversation. But you know what? I think she's lawful evil. I will socialize with her but I'll keep it light. I don't want any sort of entanglement with her at all. Because she doesn't seem to tell the difference between what is legal or what a court will rule, and what is compassionate or *right*. I agree she's not a criminal and never would be... that's where the "lawful" part comes into it. She will *always* follow the law and believes she is a good law abiding person.

Which would be fine if abiding with the law made you good.


Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I don't think that is Lawful Evil so much as Lawful Neutral.

The best descriptor was between Ta'nnari and Baatezu. They had an age old disagreement about what is "true evil", whether it was better to be passionate and impulsive to create massive slaughter and misery or whether it would be better to follow red tape and use legal loopholes to do people in.

Humans are not very one dimensional, especially not in large groups, so you're going to find things like the UN, which are Lawful Evil, vs the Islamic JIhad, which is primarily chaotic evil. To a certain degree, the Jihadists follow their religious laws, but for many adherents it is simply a way to justify their impulsive actions.

It was always interesting to know that in the multiverse, the Devils or Baatezu made deals with mortals because they needed souls to fuel their Blood War against the demon Ta'narri.

A Baatezu contract is hard clad, in that you will never benefit in the long term from the contract. A Baatezu's status might be decided by how many souls he has recruited for the Blood War.

Evil making more people evil simply to decide amongst themselves that is true evil, is pretty much predictable.

The Nazis and the Communists hated each other as much as Baatezu and ta'nnari. Yet they shared more similarities than differences.

The Sunni and Shia divide is also another real life example of how easy it is perpetuate evil simply by disagreeing over a slight doctrinal issue.

2:22 PM  
Blogger blake said...

Ha! The D&D world is reeling from the removal of Lawful Evil from the latest edition!


Just came by wondering if you were blogging lately.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Synova said...

Hi Blake, thanks for stopping by.

I haven't been blogging, but I should. :-)

The D&D game I'm in has been going for a year now. I'm starting to get the hang of it, I think. It's an interesting experience.

12:15 AM  
Blogger blake said... when you say you're rather new, you mean you're actually playing now!

It can be a fun experience; I hope you're enjoying it!

12:47 AM  

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