The Thinking Mans Lawful Neutral

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It took me a bit longer to get started on this than I would have liked, but I'm sure all of you know how  easy it is to get bogged down in the minutae of daily-living.  If you have been waiting since The Thinking Mans Chaotic Evil, I appreciate both your patience and your excellent comments there!  If you haven't read that or the first Thinking Man, Chaotic Neutral, worry not.  There is not continuity to speak of.

I would think that of the nine alignments, Lawful Neutral is the least played, and yet it is perhaps the easiest to understand and implement.  Film and literature are replete with Lawful Neutral characters, from U.S. Deputy Marshal Sam Gerrard of The Fugitive, to Inspector Javert of Les Miserables, Odo from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and James Bond of the various Ian Flemming 007 stories and films.  What I find most interesting about these characters is that, while most are considered law-enforcement professionals, all of them have a deeper stake in maintaining the status quo.  I tried to challenge that preconception, that LN is the defacto alignment of the man terrified of change.  Instead, I use background and personal achievment as motivating factors in a LN character who seeks to effect change.  What's more, I toned down the logic and rationality a bit and made this profile slightly more passionate and emotional than I have with the others (to a certain extent).  I think this helps humanize an otherwise cold alignment.

As always, comments and criticisms are happily recieved, and thank you for reading.

Please enjoy The Thinking Mans Lawful Neutral.

The Thinking Mans Lawful Neutral


I know I’m not well-liked.  When I was young, it was a source of great consternation for me that I wasn’t as popular as my peers.  I wanted to fit in, have friends, and be as charming and beloved as anyone else.  There was a lot of prestige to be had from social standing, obviously, and I tried so hard to make everyone see why I was so great.  As you have probably already figured out, I failed.  The harder I tried, the easier it became for others to notice that I was trying too hard.  I wasn’t overly handsome.  Plain, I think, was the word my brothers would use.  I was always lacking for confidence, also.  I remember struggling to get my words out, missing out on many opportunities with the girls in my town.  I was always smart, though, but a fertile mind isn’t as attractive as other physical endowments women tend to appreciate. 


Eventually, I realized that I wasn’t the sort who was going to win affection easily, so I just stopped trying.  Best day of my life when I figured that out.  I had to find a way to exist, and make myself as important as I wanted, without relying on my accursed social skills.  I found a school that would take me on scholarship, and I learned as much as I could.  I dove into literature, art, history, economics, and the law.  I wanted to know something about everything, especially legality.  I loved my legal studies.  I did well in my classes, I pleased my instructors, and I gained self-esteem.  I refused to recognize the envy and disdain other students had for me; their opinions no longer mattered.  All that mattered was that I finally mattered to me, and I had found a way to do it in a way that made sense to me. 


One might assume from this account that I went on to become a successful barrister, or perhaps a career-academic, perhaps even a local marshal.  All fine ideas, and I admit to having considered all of them when I left university.  There are reasons I chose to free-boot across the Truth Marches that I won’t speak of.  They are much more personal, and I don’t know you very well.  You understand, of course.  However, I will say that in the law, I found equality among men.  My intellect did not make me any more important than the next man in they eyes of the law, and his silver tongue did not make him any more important than me.  Every man is the same where I come from.  We are not distinguished by birthright or title.  My people earn our station by merit.  Our children may be rotten little punks, but by the time they become men and women they know that no one is going to hand them anything, and they work to help themselves. 


Other lands are not so fortunate.  There are places in the world wracked with disorder and inequity.  Realms of poverty and corruption, where might makes right and the common man has no option but to step aside or be crushed underfoot.  I don’t care who a man is.  I don’t care what he does, or why he does it.  Saints and sinners abound everywhere, but without so much as a choice, an opportunity to be treated as a man and not as a commodity, the concepts of good and evil may as well not exist.  In the absence of egalitarianism, how can we judge the actions of another?  In the absence of law and order, how can we say what is right and what is wrong? 


All men deserve the right to be treated fairly, as equals.  All men need an advocate, and all men can exist as they are meant to when their advocate is the rule of law.  How many little boys like me are out there, who will never have the chance to be as important or meaningless as they choose to be? 


I fear the answer to that question is:  too many.

I'm actually looking forward to D&D Next. I think that every edition had some really awesome qualities, and every edition has truly awful design flaws. I don't expect Next to be any different, but if WotC is actively trying to incorporate the good bits into one unified whole, then I do expect it to be worth playing.


I'm officially a fanboi now.



Excellent, most excellent. You pinned the Lawful down perfectly. There is nothing beyond the law; morality makes no difference. There's nothing that says 'good' or 'evil' here, and that's nice. And still being able to make him feel more human than a calculator, to give him an emotional purpose -- that, my friend, takes skill!

Thanks!

(Lawful Evil! Lawful Evil next! )

Your friendly neighborhood Revenant Minotaur Half-Blooded Dragonborn Fighter Hybrid Barbarian Multiclassing into Warlord

IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1223957875/Scorecards/Landscape.png)

I think these are pretty amazing.



Just wsihed to add. Now back to work :P

-C
That which does not kill me, makes me stranger.
Thank you so much!  It's a great feeling knowing there are at least a few people who are following and enjoying these.  The support is very much appreciated.

Having said that, I hate to disappoint you Buzz!  My next Thinking Man profile is going to be Lawful Good, but Lawful Evil is something I have a few thoughts on and I will definitely be working on that before too long. 
I'm actually looking forward to D&D Next. I think that every edition had some really awesome qualities, and every edition has truly awful design flaws. I don't expect Next to be any different, but if WotC is actively trying to incorporate the good bits into one unified whole, then I do expect it to be worth playing.
Instead, I use background and personal achievment as motivating factors in a LN character who seeks to affect change.

Word-choice note: if he takes the attitude that change is going to happen no matter what, but he's going to alter it in some way - faster, slower, or a somewhat different direction - then "affect" is the correct word. But if his attitude is that he is going to cause a change to happen, then the word is "effect".

(Yeah, I'm fussy about words.)

"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
Noted and corrected.  Thank you for pointing that out!  I strive for precision with my words, but I definitely forgot the correct usage over the years.
I'm actually looking forward to D&D Next. I think that every edition had some really awesome qualities, and every edition has truly awful design flaws. I don't expect Next to be any different, but if WotC is actively trying to incorporate the good bits into one unified whole, then I do expect it to be worth playing.
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