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 [Aide de jeu] Anglophone - Guide du Loyal Bon

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Nelphalyn
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Date d'inscription : 18/08/2014

MessageSujet: [Aide de jeu] Anglophone - Guide du Loyal Bon   Mer 24 Aoû - 15:18

Justine a écrit:

Inutile de réécrire ce que d'autres décrivent parfaitement. Je joue très souvent l'alignement Loyal Bon ou équivalent selon l'univers et considère globalement ce genre de personnages comme décrit dans la citation suivante.


Nelphalyn.


Nelphalyn a écrit:


Citation :
To March into Hell For a Heavenly Cause - A Guide to Lawful Good
-
“Might does not make right! Right makes right!”  - T. H. White, The Once and Future King

Source




I. Introduction






Lawful Good is almost unquestionably the most maligned and mistrusted of the good alignments; to many, Lawful Good is the alignment of self-righteousness and zealotry, a font of judgmental hypocrisy and the surest source of insufferable intra-party conflict. Ultimately, I think these views — and the characters that cause them — are the result of a fundamental misrecognition of what it means to be Lawful Good. The goal of this guide is to correct that misunderstanding by showing not only the potential breadth and depth of the Lawful Good alignment, but also by illustrating how even the most stereotypical conceptions can be imbued with nuance and pathos. So, following in the proud-but-recent tradition of alignment handbooks, I present a humble and non-binding guide Lawful Good




II. What is Lawful Good



A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. She combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. She tells the truth, keeps her word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go unpunished.

Lawful good is the best alignment you can be because it combines honor and compassion.
In principle, the nature of Lawful Good is as simple as the SRD's definition. Where Lawful Good becomes more complex, and where interpretations often go awry and turn towards the insufferable, is in the intersection of that simple definition with a world that is hardly ever so clear-cut. Principles are challenged by necessity, and the law does not always align with what is good. The essence of being a Lawful Good character is to face these challenges fearlessly, with both the courage of your convictions and the courage to question those convictions.




III. Where Things Go Wrong



There are two primary pitfalls to playing a Lawful Good character. The first arises in when lofty principles crash headfirst into the messy realities of an imperfect world. The failure to navigate these interactions is the origin of the self-righteous, zealotous, fun-ruining "Knight Templar" everybody hates to play with. Essentially, these are characters for whom Law and Good are too inseparable; they believe the code they follow is the only way to do or be good, and moreover that they have not only the right but the responsibility to chastise or punish any deviation from this code. The problem with this is that it isn't what being Lawful means; note the word "self" in self-righteousness. In fact, the sort of "Cowboy Cop" vigilantism this represents is more quintessentially Chaotic behavior, which has become erroneously associated with cosmic Law because of its potential overlap with mortal laws. For a more in-depth analysis of this, see "Good and/as Law".

At the other end of the spectrum lies the other primary pitfall of playing Lawful Good: a failure to imagine the alignment as a coherent whole. Instead of problematic interactions between the character's alignment and the outside world, this produces problems between the character's alignment and itself. Lawful Good is often seen as the only good alignment which must serve two masters; to be Neutral Good is to be good above all else, without explicit regard for law or chaos, and though Chaotic Good represents a mix of good and chaos, chaos is typically seen as less binding than law due to its very nature. It is this understanding — seeing the alignment less as Lawful Good than "Lawful and also Good" — that gives rise to the Lawful Good character as an inconsistent hypocrite. The problem here is imagining a fundamental disconnect between Good and Law that is not present for a Lawful Good character. For a more in-depth analysis of this, see "Law and/as Good."

The essence of avoiding these pitfalls is to consider how good and law will fit together to create a worldview that is at once coherent and not so rigid as to be incompatible with basic existence.




IV. Doing Righteous Right



Whether you're planning a character who balances Good and Law to the best of their ability, or who holds one above the other, if you're making a Lawful Good character, you're necessarily going to have to make Good and Law get along. They don't have to get along always or perfectly, and some of the most interesting characters will be those for whom the two get along most uneasily, but at the end of the day they have to get along somehow for the character to be functional and Lawful Good. One way to make this work is to consider examples of Lawful Good characters from pop culture, and emulate the way they integrate each part of their alignment, which is what the next section is concerned with. Another, more theoretical approach, with which this section is concerned, is to explore how the concepts can relate to each other not just as separate concepts, but also as two intrinsically linked parts of a greater whole. If the Archetypes are examples of how to be Lawful Good, "Doing Righteous Right" is about what it means be Lawful Good.

Good and/as Law

Confucius, Analects 2.3 a écrit:
Lead the people with administrative injunctions and keep them orderly with penal law, and they will avoid punishments but will be without a sense of shame. Lead them with excellence and keep them orderly through observing ritual propriety and they will develop a sense of shame, and moreover, will order themselves


A Lawful Good character should bring out the best in others, not (just?) punish the worst in them. Being Good doesn't mean doing what is right out of fear, or by coercion, but doing right for its own sake. Making others act properly out of fear of reprisal does not contribute to the cause of good; they will revert to their old ways once free from prying eyes and coercing hands. While sometimes, even often, a Lawful Good character will find themselves with no recourse but the use force to protect the weak and innocent, this is not the only path of Lawful Good, or even necessarily the preferred path. For Good to win a lasting victory over evil, Good must be a choice, and the ideal of the Lawful Good is to inspire others to choose to live in their example, to build a world where others won't ever have to rely on force as they have had to, where the innocent will no longer need protecting. For a Lawful Good character, it is worth a lifetime of listening to cynics' taunts and enduring the provocations of the wicked if even one of them can be convinced, when it truly matters, to do the right thing. Rather than latch on to a disagreement over immoral methods, or dishonorable tactics, and drive a wedge between herself and her allies, a paragon of Lawful Good ought to find points of commonality, the smallest seeds of Good trying to sprout in a wicked heart, and patiently nurture the growth of those virtues, for this is the way good will someday truly triumph over evil. This is not to say wickedness can be ignored, or the guilty should not be punished, but that the true, primary goal of Lawful Good is not the destruction of any ephemeral Evil, but the creation of stable, lasting Good. Anyone can save the world once; Lawful Good characters are the only ones who might just be able to save it once and for all.


Law and/as Good

The Code of Hammurabi a écrit:
Then Anu and Bel called by name me, Hammurabi, the exalted prince, who feared God, to bring about the rule of righteousness in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil-doers; so that the strong should not harm the weak.

Because most fantasy societies, by combining medieval infrastructure with omnipresent supernatural threats, are fundamentally extremely dangerous places, most works of fantasy tend to associate Good with certain kinds of stability; in fact, many of modern D&D's gaming and literature precursors were framed around a conflict between Law and Chaos on basically the same terms as much of modern D&D is framed around a conflict between Good and Evil. Law is the lone bulwark not just between the common folk and almost certain death, but between the common folk and all manner of abuse and oppression. To the Lawful Good, Law is grain stored for famine relief, Law is the code that bars a feudal lord from infringing on certain rights of his subjects, Law defends the wrongly accused from the "justice" of the mindless mob. Law, in other words, is less a weapon one wields than a shield that stands between the defenseless and all that would do them harm. Law is the force which curtails the oppression of the weak by the strong, that denies the ability of might to make right; law is the mechanism by which Good can exist in a lasting, functional way. In a number of fantasy societies, this Law will overlap largely or even entirely with the mortal laws of the land, since the trope of Goodly Kingdoms remains common to this day. In many other societies, those whose laws do not uplift but hold down those who most need protection, this Law will clash with both the laws of the society and its prevailing social order. Remember the words of the official definition: Lawful good characters speak out against injustice, and temper their honor with compassion. A society which lacks compassion, or whose laws are not just, is not Lawful in the sense a Lawful Good character would understand the term; the oppressive tyrannies of Lawful Evil societies are merely more organized networks of the fundamentally chaotic selfishness that characterizes "might makes right" societies.


Lawful Good in Campaigns

There's no way to create a guide to address how every lawful good character will fit into every campaign, so this section is aimed more at providing more general advice for general issues both players and DMs may have integrating lawful good characters into a campaign. As in all cases of making a character fit a campaign or table, the best advice is probably the broadest; work together to make sure everyone is happy. That said, with a number of preconceived notions and biases floating around, it's not always so easy to do this in practice as it is on paper, so this section can hopefully provide both players and dungeon masters with some ways to make their characters better fits for their tables or their campaigns more open to (constructive) Lawful Good characters.

The most general concern for a player designing a Lawful Good character is making certain they fit the tone and narrative of the campaign and its setting; as we'll come to see in the archetypes section, there are a lot of ways to be Lawful Good, even in the most inhospitable of places, and it's important to focus on finding a way for your character to be the alignment you want that is also a believable way for someone born into the campaign's world to think, feel, and behave. Along the same lines, your character has to have a reason for doing and the willingness to be doing what the party is doing in the campaign; for example, playing a character who absolutely refuses to lie in an espionage-themed campaign is a recipe for disaster. That isn't to say you can't be a Lawful Good character in a spy campaign — or even a crime campaign, with a little creativity — just that you have to keep the party's goals and the basic narrative in mind when you design a character.

Dovetailing with this is creating a character who can get along with the rest of the party on at least a basic, functional level. This isn't to say you have to design a character who likes the rest of the party, or who believes they're good people, or even one who will support everything they do, but you shouldn't design a character opposed to the basic concept of another player's character. Any character of any alignment can and almost certainly does have lines they won't cross, and even lines they won't allow others to cross, and there's nothing wrong with creating such limits for your Lawful Good character; rather, the problem is in setting limits that unreasonably constrain other party members. In general, the more strict your characters' moral requirements will be, the more you need to talk over the idea with the other players beforehand.

The most common stumbling block of a Dungeon Master for a Lawful Good character is the introduction of moral dilemmas, or tests of virtue; this is particularly problematic around characters who have to maintain a certain alignment for mechanical reasons, like Paladins, exalted characters, and even clerics. As common as the stereotype of the “Problem Paladin” whose inflexibility and intolerance create constant intra-party conflict is the “fall-happy” dungeon master, who for whatever reason seems to view every waking moment as a moral test and the slightest transgression as a reason for a Paladin to fall. Even in the vast majority of cases, who fall short of this extreme, “failed” moral tests are a major source of grievances between players and dungeon masters, and Lawful Good characters are the most likely to run afoul of such tests.

There's nothing wrong with presenting a Lawful Good character with a moral dilemma or test of their virtue; the test of virtue is an ancient trope often closely associated with the character types that are, in turn, the basis of what we think of as Lawful Good, and both moral tests and dilemmas are what give us the most meaningful and enjoyable opportunities to play our characters' alignments, whatever those alignments happen to be. However, there are certainly wrong ways to go about implementing and resolving tests of virtue or other moral dilemmas. In general, it's helpful to think of moral tests as puzzles, subject to the same axioms as any other puzzle; for example, creating a moral dilemma with only one “right” answer is at least as, if not more, likely to be a source of ill-will and frustration that creating a puzzle with only one right answer. The same way a good puzzle is one that rewards creativity rather than a “find the pixel” solution, a good moral dilemma is one that rewards a thoughtful, critical engagement with the situation and the character's beliefs, not one that rewards knowing what their dungeon master thinks about any given thought experiment. The purpose of introducing a complex moral situation is to give players an opportunity to play their character and struggle with conflicting moral positions, or to take the right course isn't the most practical or advantageous one, not to punish your players for thinking about the issue, or even merely the implications of a high-fantasy setting on that issue, differently than you do.




VI. World Without End: On the Fringes of Lawful Good



Every alignment borders others, and there are always characters and archetypes who fall close enough to those borders as to be arguably another alignment. In the spirit of this guide, which celebrates Lawful Good as the best alignment you can be in all its myriad manifestations, we present here such edge cases; these archetypes are no less "real" examples of Lawful Good than any other, merely archetypes to which Lawful Good cannot lay exclusive claim.


Stoneface; or, Justice, not the law
(Good, ambiguously Lawful; from Sayt)

Terry Pratchett a écrit:
You took an oath to uphold the law and defend the citizens without fear or favor," said Vimes. "And to protect the innocent. That's all they put in. Maybe they thought those were the important things. Nothing in there about orders, even from me. You're an officer of the law, not a soldier of the government.

One of the most confusing things about Lawful Good is that there is Law, and then there are laws. Stoneface believes that these are related concepts, laws do not necessarily spring from Law. What does the Lawful Good do when temporal law is twisted into the lash of the dictator? When despite the best and truest effort of the Serpico, rot creeps into the heart of authority, and the shield bludgeons what it was meant to protect? The law of the land must be set aside in appeal to higher laws. Justice, not the law, must prevail. The cells that hold the wrongly imprisoned must be torn down, for when men of good conscience are imprisoned beside killers and thugs, Justice as a concept, is threatened. When an innocent is damned, ought they not be freed? When the State orders that babies must be placed on the altar of a hungry knife, that State must be altered, and the knife, broken.

The values of Stoneface are Clarity, Justness and Abnegation. Clarity discerns laws that are Good from laws that are just laws... or worse. Justness apportions a correct response to injustice. The code of Draco, they say, was so harsh it was written not in ink, but in blood. Not so Stoneface: she believe punishment ought to be moderate, it ought to be proportional. To the downtrodden, Stoneface strives to generous too those who steal from hunger. The bread is returned, or paid for. But if a corrupt magistrate will not release one falsely imprisoned, the cell will be torn open. But this path requires Abnegation: The rejection of the self. She will be called an anarchist (And indeed, shy may stray close to chaos). She will be censured, for Stonefaces arise from the failures of the Serpico, and indeed, may be a sort of 'Fallen Serpico', one who has lost their faith, not in Law, but in these laws, or this system. Stoneface may even be executed for acting against mortal law.

Stonefaces do not occur within Lawful Neutral or Lawful Good societies, they are lawful Good reactionaries against Lawful Evil societies.


The Oathbound; or My duty, come what may
(Lawful, ambiguously Good)

Arnold and Grandpa, Hey Arnold a écrit:
Arnold: Grandpa, I have a problem.
Grandpa: Let me guess — you saved some guy's life, and he's trying to make it up to you by being your slave.

The Oathbound represents a fundamentally good person who may do things which aren't fundamentally good in the name of a vow they have taken and hold as sacred or otherwise unbreakable. The quintessential example would be a guard who enforces a law he (rightly) believes to be wrong, or a soldier who fights in a war she (again, rightly) believes immoral. In other words, the essential feature of an Oathbound is a deeply Good personal morality whose exercise is restrained by an ethical commitment to duty or obedience to another; someone who obeys out of fear, or to buy time until they can rebel, is not Oathbound. While the Oathbound may thus willingly take actions she knows to be wrong, she abhors doing so and, when freed of whatever obligation binds her to doing so, will seek to redress these wrongs as fully as she is able, perhaps even going so far as to avenge them upon the one to whom she was once obliged.

The values of the Oathbound are fidelity, abnegation, and patience. An Oathbound is quite literally loyal to a fault, but their fidelity to even ignoble causes and individuals is based in noble motives. Indeed, she is only able to serve them because she shares the Stoneface's abnegation, or rejection of the self; her guilt and shame at her actions come behind the call of her duty. Of course, if she shows patience, she may hope to someday have the chance to right her wrongs while maintaining her honor. Characters who feel they owe another a Life Debt, such as Ghost Dog in the Jim Jarmusch film of the same name, are perhaps the most common examples of this trope aside from those already mentioned, since they feel they must serve the one who saved their life until that debt is repaid. A more specific, if ambiguous, example of the Oathbound is Fallout 3's Charon, who obeys completely anyone who holds his contract, but expresses disgust at harming innocents and, when his contract is transferred, may even seek vengeance against past masters.


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