Lawful Good

From Joe's Dungeons and Dragons Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Lawful Good is one of the nine alignments in Dungeons and Dragons


System Reference Document

Lawful Good, "Crusader"

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

Lawful good can be the best alignment you can be because it combines honor and compassion.

Lawful good can be a dangerous alignment because it restricts freedom and criminalizes self-interest.

First Edition

Lawful Good: While as strict in their prosecution of law and order, characters of lawful good alignment follow these precepts to improve the common weal. Certain freedoms must, of course, be sacrificed in order to bring order; but truth is of highest value, and life and beauty of great importance. The benefits of this society are to be brought to all.


Lawful Good is known as the "Saintly" or "Crusader" alignment. A Lawful Good character typically acts with compassion, and always with honor and a sense of duty. A Lawful Good nation would consist of a well-organized government that works for the benefit of its citizens. Lawful Good characters include righteous knights, paladins, and most dwarves. Lawful Good creatures include the noble golden dragons.

Lawful Good characters, especially paladins, may sometimes find themselves faced with the dilemma of whether to obey law or good when the two conflict—for example, upholding a sworn oath when it would lead innocents to come to harm—or conflicts between two orders, such as between their religious law and the law of the local ruler.

In the Complete Scoundrel sourcebook Batman, Dick Tracy and Indiana Jones are cited as examples of lawful good characters. (Though Batman has been argued for pretty much every alignment and is among the most difficult to place.)

Lawful Good outsiders are known as Archons.

Old TV Tropes

Basically, they believe Law is Good, and that you do good by upholding the law. The alignment of The Cape, and Paladins. Believes in Truth, Justice and such, but may potentially believe in them a little too much. Poorly portrayed, he tends to be Lawful Stupid, largely depending on your interpretation of "good". Individuals who believe that Rousseau Was Right will tend to view society as tending towards Lawful Good, with most individuals within it as lawful or Neutral Good. In D&D canon up to the most recent edition, archons, celestials who inhabit the Seven Heavens, are Lawful Good. From a non-D&D more realistic perspective however, Lawful Goods are likely altruists who believe in an orderly lifestyle for the benefit of their species.

TV Tropes Full Lawful Good Page.

TV Tropes (Extended Version)

The Lawful Good alignment is often thought of as the most blatantly good of the good guys, and is commonly stereotyped as such. Utopias tend to be composed entirely of good, honest Lawful Good citizens. This rarely is the case, however...

A Lawful Good character believes in the goodness inherent in all beings (unless they're a Knight in Sour Armor), in a code of conduct — be it a personal one or a set of laws —, and that an ideal world comes from promoting this dualism of structure and benevolence. Differing interpretations of 'good' may lead a Lawful Good character to become Lawful Stupid. In most RPGs, it is compulsory for The Paladin to be Lawful Good. If they stop being Lawful Good, they run the risk of losing their powers (depending on how far they stray). Likely to take a theoretical approach to The Golden Rule, with lots of complex rules built around it to clarify how it is to be applied.

Lawful Good characters tend to come in three deliciously nice flavours:

  • Law before Good. Like all Lawful Good characters, they face the dilemma of doing the good thing or doing the lawful thing, and they will almost always go for the lawful option. They obey the law, and they are essentially good people who will never, ever side with the forces of evil. But when it comes to the crunch, they'll topple the evil empire today and hope somebody else can save the civilians. They have a tendency to clash with Chaotic Good characters and have Good Is Not Nice attitudes to life.
  • Good before Law. The inverse of Type 1. They face the same dilemmas as Type 1, but they are much more likely to choose the good option when it comes down to it. They give and take lawful and good orders, and they'll never side with the criminal. But when it comes to the crunch, they'll let the Big Bad get away today, as long as it ensures the safety of the civilians.
  • Finding The Balance. They face the dilemmas of Type 1 and Type 2, but when it comes to the crunch, they have some problems - how many civilians are there? What are the consequences of the Big Bad escaping? Can they find a happy balance? What kind of sacrifice must they make to do both? Is it better to do one or the other? When it comes to the crunch, the Big Bad may get away, but he's lost The Dragon, who can lead us back to him. And not every civilian was saved, but all the women and children made it.

Characters who are Lawful Good but avoid becoming Lawful Stupid often end up being deliberately contrasted with one or more Lawful Stupid characters to show precisely what Lawful Good ought to mean (in the eyes of the authors).

Alternatively, too much weight on the "Law" side and too little on the "Good" can easily inspire a Knight Templar, though those tend to be Lawful Evil. This leads to unceasing debates over whether these people are playing the alignment "right", or whether they should belong to one of the other lawful alignments. Seriously, just check out any given Dungeons and Dragons forum. We're not kidding about "unceasing". While the key difference between Lawful Good and Neutral Good is the belief that upholding law/honor/social mores/etc. is required to set a proper example for others or to prevent a philosophical Moral Dissonance, the key difference between Lawful Good and Lawful Neutral is the recognition that laws/honor/social mores/etc. exist only to protect the Greater Good, and will actually consider whether those strict guidelines really accomplish their tasks, rather than simply enforcing the rule for the rule's own sake.


Lawful Good is considered an Honorable Alignment. This means that Lawful Good characters are harmed by Dishonorable spells and effects. Honor is generally relevant in Eastern campaigns.

Other Notes

Lawful Good is an alignment in 4th Edition D&D as well.

The closest alignment in the Palladium system would be Principled

Intensely detailed description on Lawful Good, in case this wasn't enough. It also has a 36 question alignment quiz.

Lawful Good Neutral Good Chaotic Good
Lawful Neutral True Neutral Chaotic Neutral
Lawful Evil Neutral Evil Chaotic Evil