Author Topic: Neutral Evil clerics of the Lawgiver?  (Read 386 times)

aprogressivist

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Neutral Evil clerics of the Lawgiver?
« on: July 10, 2018, 07:38:55 PM »
So here's a question that I've kind of always wondered about the Lawgiver. I guess it might have been answered before, but I couldn't find a related topic elsewhere.

The roleplay resources  say that only Lawful Evil and Lawful Neutral clerics follow the Lawgiver. http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=12803.0

Quote
Alignment: Lawful evil or lawful neutral. Those of authority in the Church’s hierarchy are almost uniformly lawful evil. Lawful neutral worshippers are often seen as “liberal” or “permissive” by their peers and are unlikely to climb high in the ranks of the Church.

NE isn't broached at all, and since it says that the only real exception to the "uniformly" LE Church are the "liberal" LNs, this implies there are no NE clerics of the Lawgiver. Makes sense, he's the LAWgiver, after all. It's nonetheless technically possible by the one step rule for a NE cleric to be a legitimate cleric of the Lawgiver, right? (Or wrong?)

Would a NE Lawgiver cleric be able to cast spells? Would they be a heretic in the eyes of the Lawgiver church? (I'd presume so?)

Anyone care to offer some clear opinions or facts on the question to enlighten me? :)
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MAB77

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Re: Neutral Evil clerics of the Lawgiver?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2018, 08:30:38 PM »
In the books, it is very clear that the priesthood of the Lawgiver is universally lawful. I often see that as not because a NE cleric of the Lawgiver could not be, but because they are ruthlessly hunted down for heresy.

Technically a NE lawgiver priest isn't against the alignment rule. I'll go a step further. We clearly consider oocly that Bane IS the Lawgiver. As a NE faerunian banite would still get spells, I see no reasons for a NE Lawgiver cleric to lose theirs. Not immediately anyway. But clearly, said cleric's actions would be perceived as heretical if he does not hide its unlawful nature and he would be ruthlessly hunted down as such once it is known. I suspect such cleric would likely be more at risk to make a transgression worthy of a fall from grace in the eyes of the Lawgiver faith. But that alone is not just a question of alignment.

Of course was I an Iron Inquisitor knowing your true nature, I'd certainly consider you fell from grace already and Myterri is granting you your spells.
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aprogressivist

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Re: Neutral Evil clerics of the Lawgiver?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2018, 08:35:03 PM »
But there's no easy way to detect a lack of Lawful alignment, right?

You can detect Chaos with "Detect Evil"? But I don't think you can detect Law (and, therefore, the lack of Law)?

Means all Alignment deduction has to be done through IC observation and guess work. Sounds fun :P
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 08:36:53 PM by aprogressivist »
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Re: Neutral Evil clerics of the Lawgiver?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2018, 08:46:05 PM »
There could easily be a NE priest of the Lawgiver. One who mercilessly exploits the hierarchy and will cheerfully violate rules when they think they won't get caught. Yes, they risk a lot by doing so. But like all NE chars, it's a cost/benefit analysis.
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BraveSirRobin

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Re: Neutral Evil clerics of the Lawgiver?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2018, 04:11:15 AM »
But there's no easy way to detect a lack of Lawful alignment, right?

You can detect Chaos with "Detect Evil"? But I don't think you can detect Law (and, therefore, the lack of Law)?

Means all Alignment deduction has to be done through IC observation and guess work. Sounds fun :P

If you were a Blackguard in service to the Church, you can Detect Law, and in turn, you could theoretically sniff it out. I believe there are a few PC's that are Blackguards within the Church, or working closely with it. I wouldn't put it beyond an Inquisitor to keep one near just for the sake of sniffing out that specific detail, as Inquisitors are both politically powerful within and without the Church AFAIK.

MAB77

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Re: Neutral Evil clerics of the Lawgiver?
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2018, 09:48:16 AM »
That is the funny part though. Blackguards must enter a deal with a fiend to get their powers. In the eyes of the native Lawgiver church they'd become heretics themselves for doing so. Any power not coming from the Lawgiver directly (and he never appears to do blackguard deals) is by definition unholy. They risk the same fate as NE clerics if found out.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 09:54:47 AM by MAB77 »
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aprogressivist

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Re: Neutral Evil clerics of the Lawgiver?
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2018, 10:04:29 AM »
Definitely sounds more Ravenloft if the only magical way you have to root out heretics is to resort to heresy yourself. :D
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BraveSirRobin

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Re: Neutral Evil clerics of the Lawgiver?
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2018, 12:55:17 PM »
Definitely sounds more Ravenloft if the only magical way you have to root out heretics is to resort to heresy yourself. :D

Actually, if anyone's read The Eisenhorn Trilogy for Warhammer 40,000? That's perhaps some of my favorite Sci-Fi Literature. It was a series of books basically explicitly written for the sole purpose of enriching the background fluff of the God-Emperor of Mankind's Holy Inquisition so that it would be paletteable for their (then) new spin-off tabletop game Inquisitor. Within there, they specify that while the Inquisition is universally rooting out Heresy from all corners, within the Inquisition there are factions, and more broadly, there were a couple kinds of Inquisitors. Since the Inquisition themselves defines what Heresy is, and only another Inquisitor could theoretically persecute another Inquisitor; There is no higher authority than the God-Emperor himself... That some Inquisitors would consider themselves 'Puritans' and others, 'Radicals,' in a broad sense without dipping into fluff-specific lore. Radicals would go so far as to try to control Daemonhosts and use forbidden knowledge, secrets, pacts, etc in order to do what cannot be done normally, in order to ultimately serve the God-Emperor more thoroughly in their eyes. However, they are rather vehemently opposed in various Inquisitorial Conclaves by other more .. 'Puritan,' Inquisitors, thus creating the inner-conflict of the Inquisition and thus a premise for the game.

One might presume Hazlan is following a similar gist, considering the fact that it's extremely easy to superimpose a Warhammer 40,000 Gothic Horror mindset on Hazlan, and you can morph just about any Warhammer 40,000 quote into a fitting quote for Hazlan. God-Emperor just becomes Divine Emperor, the Machine Cult of Mars just becomes The Red Academy, and bam.  :roll:

aprogressivist

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Re: Neutral Evil clerics of the Lawgiver?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2018, 01:31:47 PM »
Well I don't think the mapping should be exaggerated, both the Neutral Evil Lawgiver or his secret Blackguard-hiring Inquisitor foe are exceptional cases that might be visited as PCs or DM-created NPCs rather than as setting set pieces, like the Radical/Puritan split in WH40K.

There's also a nuance that is important to consider; Warhammer 40K has more in keeping with modern horror, which is morally subjective or even nihilistic. Ravenloft by contrast assumes a level of moral objectivity (at least insofar as the Dark Powers judge Good to be different from Evil, and Law to be different from Chaos). The WH40K Inquisitor's moral and ethical hypocrisy is ultimately just on him and whomever might catch him out; the Ravenloft Inquisitor's moral and ethical hypocrisy goes to the central test of gothic horror.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 01:40:11 PM by aprogressivist »
“Moral wounds have this peculiarity - they may be hidden, but they never close; always painful, always ready to bleed when touched, they remain fresh and open in the heart.”
― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

BraveSirRobin

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Re: Neutral Evil clerics of the Lawgiver?
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2018, 01:51:54 PM »
Well, more or less. As far as an objective moral scale, that only really matters for Clerics of the faith in a sense of a prohibitive force. Normally this is where I would attribute psykers from Warhammer 40,000 and Sorcerers together, but it just occurred to me that a Sorcerer Inquisitor would be the antithesis of the faith and practically impossible to exist. Mytteri incarnate, and his ability to continue performing his arcane nonsense despite his alignment would not matter.


You are entirely correct, assuming the Inquisitor is aware that the individual is a Blackguard. They may just believe they have a, 'Gift,' from the Divine Emperor himself. An Inquisitor willingly hiding a demon-worshiper in his ranks and covering it up would eventually fall out of his alignment I imagine. Evil? Sure, but Chaotic is what'll get him or her.

Pav

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Re: Neutral Evil clerics of the Lawgiver?
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2018, 05:47:54 PM »
Calling any Warhammer setting Gothic Horror is wrong and borderline criminal. There is very thick nuance between what Warhammer is, that being the grimdark genre, and what Ravenloft aspires to be in Gothic Horror. The Psyker example is moot to aprog's statement, which I feel is accurate.
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