DRMacIver's Notebook

You Can’t Trust Lawful Good

You Can’t Trust Lawful Good

Jack posted a link to this YouGov poll in which people were asked their D&D alignment and somehow almost nobody thought they were evil. I’m as surprised as you are given the last two years of British politics.

The particular thing that was surprising to him:

What the everloving fuck? I love the idea of mapping political positions this way, but you reckon “everyone is a bit racist” and “i like theresa may” are… lawful good? How about lawful evil? I think well-meaning fussy philosophical types vote libdem, not ukip.

My reply:

Paladins are literally cops, Jack.

So, uh, yeah. ALGCAP (All Lawful Good Characters Are Bastards).

I have technically played a lawful good paladin. My interpretation of him probably veered more chaotic good than was strictly accurate.

From an earlier discussion with some other people:

I have played a paladin and it worked pretty well. He was very good at smiting people with sarcasm (and then a sword). I think I just decided that traditional interpretations of lawful good as being humourless were too narrow and decided to have fun with the concept After all, nothing incompatible about a deep burning righteous anger at the injustice of the world and a profound desire to fuck with people.

Shit, maybe I am the lawful good character.

(For the record, I am not the lawful good character. I’m very clearly Chaotic Good. Maybe Neutral Good on days when I’m too lazy to be properly chaotic).

Jack and I later discussed another aspect of the villain versus hero dynamic:

Me: Every time I find myself going “hmm the villain actually has a pretty good point it’s a shame they’re evil” I start to head canon that I’m consuming media from the “plucky ragtag heroes’” well funded propaganda arm.

Jack: What I eventually realised was that villains’ motivations ranged from “bizarre” to “excellent” but if what made them villains was doing unjustifiably bad things in the pursuit of that.

Me: I think that is broadly true, but that it is remarkably convenient how the people with excellent motivations for changing the system always do unjustifiably bad things in the pursuit of that.

“Avatar: The Legend of Korra” is possibly the worst example of this I have ever seen: I broadly enjoyed the show, but every single villain was raising legitimate objections to the system, but fortunately they were evil so you could just punch them and move on without addressing the fundamental systemic inequalities that they were objecting to.

As I put it elsewhere in that thread:

Gotta love them underdogs and their defence of the status quo

Recommended reading/viewing on this subject:

Anyway, that’s why I am SOMEBODY ELSE WHO IS NOT ME IS raising an army of crows.