Indicators that a culture may be Chaotic or Lawful

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

1. Of course it has laws. All cultures have laws or tabus or
whatever. What it doesn't have is minor offenses. When a Chaotic
makes a law against something, you can bet they consider it to be a
major crime. If a culture takes to making (and enforcing) laws to
chastise people for offenses they consider minor but annoying (or even
actions that only harm the person doing them), then they might be
Lawful.

2. A hallmark of the Chaotic society is social mobility or
egalitarianism. If your society has few or no barriers to advancement
for people of low initial standing but great competence as the society
defines "competence" then it might be Chaotic. This also applies to
societies where "advancement" is largely meaningless because there are
no distinguishable classes. If a society has a status you are born
into and significant advancement is the work of generations of hard
work, then your society might be Lawful.

3. If whoever is vested with the tasks of evaluating guilt and
innocence, deciding upon punishment has considerable latitude to
decide who should be punished and in what way, then their society
might be Chaotic. If they can find themselves imposing a sentence
they do not agree with, because "that's what the law demands" then
their society probably might be lawful. But if they can find
themselves imposing a sentence they do not agree with (and one which
may even be in conflict with what the law actually says) because
"that's what the public demands" then their society might be Chaotic.


4. If in wartime a soldier can disobey orders and whether it is an
offense or not depends on how well what they did turned out, then
their society might be Chaotic. (See: George Armstrong Custer).
If a soldier can save the day from disaster and still be punished for
disobeying orders, their society might be Lawful.

5. If a society requires elaborate and timeconsuming rituals which
must be performed correctly to make petitions to their government
then it might be Lawful. If you can just walk up to where a person
belonging to the government is and say "Do you have a moment?", then
it might be Chaotic.
18 answers Last reply
More about indicators culture chaotic lawful
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Keith Davies wrote:
    > Joseph Michael Bay <jmbay@Stanford.EDU> wrote:
    > > rgorman@telusplanet.net (David Johnston) writes:
    > >
    > >>2. A hallmark of the Chaotic society is social mobility or
    > >>egalitarianism. If your society has few or no barriers to advancement
    > >>for people of low initial standing but great competence as the society
    > >>defines "competence" then it might be Chaotic.
    > >
    > > ...
    > >
    > >>decide who should be punished and in what way, then their society
    > >>might be Chaotic. If they can find themselves imposing a sentence
    > >
    > > I think you're onto something here.
    > >
    > > If, in a fight, you randomly decide who to attack, and sometimes
    > > it's yourself, then you might be Chaotic.
    >
    > Or silly.
    >
    > > If you decide to thwart a plan simply because you like the
    > > word "thwart", then there is a chance that you are Chaotic.
    >
    > Or silly.
    >
    > > If your society decides to appoint to office the *loser* of
    > > the election, just to 'shake things up a bit', then it is
    > > likely that the most frequently used Alignment Languages are
    > > of the Chaotic variety.
    >
    > Or one where being in office is a bad thing. In _The Tamuli_ (Eddings)
    > there is a republic that seems terribly lawful... once nominated for
    > office you are heavily guarded so you don't make a break for it. Your
    > assets are folded into the government treasury; if it profits while
    > you're in office you come out richer, and you're not allowed to change
    > the taxes. People have been known to work themselves to death in office
    > to avoid losing everything they have. They also try very hard to not
    > get elected in the first place.
    >

    There's the one in one fantasy book I read where you get beheaded after
    4 years of being king. The king being chosen by whoever catches the
    head of the last king.

    - Justisaur
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    rgorman@telusplanet.net (David Johnston) writes:

    >2. A hallmark of the Chaotic society is social mobility or
    >egalitarianism. If your society has few or no barriers to advancement
    >for people of low initial standing but great competence as the society
    >defines "competence" then it might be Chaotic.

    ....

    >decide who should be punished and in what way, then their society
    >might be Chaotic. If they can find themselves imposing a sentence

    I think you're onto something here.

    If, in a fight, you randomly decide who to attack, and sometimes
    it's yourself, then you might be Chaotic.

    If you decide to thwart a plan simply because you like the
    word "thwart", then there is a chance that you are Chaotic.

    If your society decides to appoint to office the *loser* of
    the election, just to 'shake things up a bit', then it is
    likely that the most frequently used Alignment Languages are
    of the Chaotic variety.

    If the mayor presents a yearly award for "Most Impressive Escape
    from Prison", you're sure enough living in a Chaotic society.

    --
    Chimes peal joy. Bah. Joseph Michael Bay
    Icy colon barge Cancer Biology
    Frosty divine Saturn Stanford University
    By reading this line you agree to mow my lawn. NO GIVEBACKS.
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Joseph Michael Bay <jmbay@Stanford.EDU> wrote:
    > rgorman@telusplanet.net (David Johnston) writes:
    >
    >>2. A hallmark of the Chaotic society is social mobility or
    >>egalitarianism. If your society has few or no barriers to advancement
    >>for people of low initial standing but great competence as the society
    >>defines "competence" then it might be Chaotic.
    >
    > ...
    >
    >>decide who should be punished and in what way, then their society
    >>might be Chaotic. If they can find themselves imposing a sentence
    >
    > I think you're onto something here.
    >
    > If, in a fight, you randomly decide who to attack, and sometimes
    > it's yourself, then you might be Chaotic.

    Or silly.

    > If you decide to thwart a plan simply because you like the
    > word "thwart", then there is a chance that you are Chaotic.

    Or silly.

    > If your society decides to appoint to office the *loser* of
    > the election, just to 'shake things up a bit', then it is
    > likely that the most frequently used Alignment Languages are
    > of the Chaotic variety.

    Or one where being in office is a bad thing. In _The Tamuli_ (Eddings)
    there is a republic that seems terribly lawful... once nominated for
    office you are heavily guarded so you don't make a break for it. Your
    assets are folded into the government treasury; if it profits while
    you're in office you come out richer, and you're not allowed to change
    the taxes. People have been known to work themselves to death in office
    to avoid losing everything they have. They also try very hard to not
    get elected in the first place.

    > If the mayor presents a yearly award for "Most Impressive Escape
    > from Prison", you're sure enough living in a Chaotic society.

    Or at least one with sense of humor. Or a remarkably good grasp on how
    *stupid* many criminals are.

    ISTR a story about police in New York arresting a few truckloads of
    people they warrants out on. They sent the a letter saying "you won a
    prize, come pick it up" and a bunch of them, not realizing it was the
    police, did so and were arrested.

    OTOH, there's a good example of the chaotic society mindset in
    Pratchett's _The Last Continent_, where they were looking forward to a
    clever escape by a prisoner, or at least some good Last Words when they
    hanged him, if he didn't manage to escape.

    That book is a *good* sendup of Australia. Based on stereotype, as such
    things have to be, but well done.


    Keith
    --
    Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
    keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
    keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
    http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Thu, 16 Jun 2005 23:23:18 GMT, Keith Davies wrote:

    >ISTR a story about police in New York arresting a few truckloads of
    >people they warrants out on. They sent the a letter saying "you won a
    >prize, come pick it up" and a bunch of them, not realizing it was the
    >police, did so and were arrested.

    I remember hearing about that. ISTR another one where police [somewhere]
    invited nothing dozens of wanted criminals to - I kid you not - a fake
    wedding, where every single participant, including the bride, groom,
    priest, ushers, bridesmaids, musicians, caterers, the guys running the
    cameras, *everybody* - was an undercover cop. It was shown on one of
    those "ha ha look at the stupid crooks" shows.
    --
    auric underscore underscore at hotmail dot com
    *****
    I may not understand what I'm installing, but that's not my job. I just
    need to click Next, Next, Finish here so I can walk to the next system
    and repeat the process.
    -- Anonymous NT Admin (scary, isn't it?)
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Justisaur wrote on 16 Jun 2005 17:51:19 -0700:
    > Keith Davies wrote:
    > > Joseph Michael Bay <jmbay@Stanford.EDU> wrote:

    > > > If your society decides to appoint to office the *loser* of
    > > > the election, just to 'shake things up a bit', then it is
    > > > likely that the most frequently used Alignment Languages are
    > > > of the Chaotic variety.
    > >
    > > Or one where being in office is a bad thing. In _The Tamuli_ (Eddings)
    > > there is a republic that seems terribly lawful... once nominated for
    > > office you are heavily guarded so you don't make a break for it. Your
    > > assets are folded into the government treasury; if it profits while
    > > you're in office you come out richer, and you're not allowed to change
    > > the taxes. People have been known to work themselves to death in office
    > > to avoid losing everything they have. They also try very hard to not
    > > get elected in the first place.
    > >
    >
    > There's the one in one fantasy book I read where you get beheaded after
    > 4 years of being king. The king being chosen by whoever catches the
    > head of the last king.

    I think the key here is that those examples take place in *fiction*, and
    rather bad fiction at that.


    --
    "Sometimes I stand by the door and look into the darkness. Then I
    am reminded how dearly I cherish my boredom, and what a precious
    commodity is so much misery." -- Jack Vance
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On 16 Jun 2005 17:51:19 -0700, "Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com>
    wrote:

    >There's the one in one fantasy book I read where you get beheaded after
    >4 years of being king. The king being chosen by whoever catches the
    >head of the last king.

    Although obviously the king in question would only have ceremonial
    duties.
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Auric__ wrote:
    > On Thu, 16 Jun 2005 23:23:18 GMT, Keith Davies wrote:
    >
    > >ISTR a story about police in New York arresting a few truckloads of
    > >people they warrants out on. They sent the a letter saying "you won a
    > >prize, come pick it up" and a bunch of them, not realizing it was the
    > >police, did so and were arrested.
    >
    > I remember hearing about that. ISTR another one where police [somewhere]
    > invited nothing dozens of wanted criminals to - I kid you not - a fake
    > wedding, where every single participant, including the bride, groom,
    > priest, ushers, bridesmaids, musicians, caterers, the guys running the
    > cameras, *everybody* - was an undercover cop. It was shown on one of
    > those "ha ha look at the stupid crooks" shows.

    And then, of course, there's the fake motorboat giveaway in
    Springfield.

    Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Rast wrote:
    > Justisaur wrote on 16 Jun 2005 17:51:19 -0700:
    > > There's the one in one fantasy book I read where you get beheaded after
    > > 4 years of being king. The king being chosen by whoever catches the
    > > head of the last king.
    >
    > I think the key here is that those examples take place in *fiction*, and
    > rather bad fiction at that.

    I don't agree that deCamp's _The Unbeheaded King_ is bad.
    What do you think is better enough that deCamps' work comes
    off as bad by comparison?

    Walt Smith
    Firelock on DALNet
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    David Johnston wrote:
    > On 16 Jun 2005 17:51:19 -0700, "Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com>
    > wrote:
    >
    >
    >>There's the one in one fantasy book I read where you get beheaded after
    >>4 years of being king. The king being chosen by whoever catches the
    >>head of the last king.
    >
    >
    > Although obviously the king in question would only have ceremonial
    > duties.

    *bites*

    You mean he'd be a bit of a figurehead?

    Cheers,
    Grant
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On 16 Jun 2005 17:51:19 -0700, "Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com>
    carved upon a tablet of ether:

    > There's the one in one fantasy book I read where you get beheaded after
    > 4 years of being king. The king being chosen by whoever catches the
    > head of the last king.

    de Camp, _The Goblin Tower_, IIRC. Followed by _The Clocks of Iraz_,
    and _The Unbeheaded King_.


    --
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
    "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
    should be free."
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Fri, 17 Jun 2005 01:51:48 GMT, rgorman@telusplanet.net (David
    Johnston) carved upon a tablet of ether:

    > On 16 Jun 2005 17:51:19 -0700, "Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >There's the one in one fantasy book I read where you get beheaded after
    > >4 years of being king. The king being chosen by whoever catches the
    > >head of the last king.
    >
    > Although obviously the king in question would only have ceremonial
    > duties.

    No, he had a real job, IIRC. Lots of guards, too (strange, that).


    --
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
    "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
    should be free."
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Fri, 17 Jun 2005 15:13:21 +1200, Rupert Boleyn
    <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz> wrote:

    >On Fri, 17 Jun 2005 01:51:48 GMT, rgorman@telusplanet.net (David
    >Johnston) carved upon a tablet of ether:
    >
    >> On 16 Jun 2005 17:51:19 -0700, "Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >> >There's the one in one fantasy book I read where you get beheaded after
    >> >4 years of being king. The king being chosen by whoever catches the
    >> >head of the last king.
    >>
    >> Although obviously the king in question would only have ceremonial
    >> duties.
    >
    >No, he had a real job, IIRC.


    I should have added, "were it not a comedy".
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Joseph Michael Bay wrote:

    > rgorman@telusplanet.net (David Johnston) writes:
    >
    >
    >>2. A hallmark of the Chaotic society is social mobility or
    >>egalitarianism. If your society has few or no barriers to advancement
    >>for people of low initial standing but great competence as the society
    >>defines "competence" then it might be Chaotic.
    >
    >
    > ...
    >
    >
    >>decide who should be punished and in what way, then their society
    >>might be Chaotic. If they can find themselves imposing a sentence
    >
    >
    > I think you're onto something here.
    >
    > If, in a fight, you randomly decide who to attack, and sometimes
    > it's yourself, then you might be Chaotic.
    >
    > If you decide to thwart a plan simply because you like the
    > word "thwart", then there is a chance that you are Chaotic.
    >
    > If your society decides to appoint to office the *loser* of
    > the election, just to 'shake things up a bit', then it is
    > likely that the most frequently used Alignment Languages are
    > of the Chaotic variety.
    >
    > If the mayor presents a yearly award for "Most Impressive Escape
    > from Prison", you're sure enough living in a Chaotic society.

    This is making me think of Jeff Foxworthy. "You MIGHT be Chaotic if..."

    - Ron ^*^
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    In news:slrndb42f5.s23.keith.davies@kjdavies.org,
    Keith Davies <keith.davies@kjdavies.org> typed:
    > ISTR a story about police in New York arresting a few truckloads of
    > people they warrants out on. They sent the a letter saying "you won a
    > prize, come pick it up" and a bunch of them, not realizing it was the
    > police, did so and were arrested.

    That's on the Simpsons.

    --
    T. Koivula
  15. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    T. Koivula <plistat@hotmail.com> wrote:
    > In news:slrndb42f5.s23.keith.davies@kjdavies.org,
    > Keith Davies <keith.davies@kjdavies.org> typed:
    >> ISTR a story about police in New York arresting a few truckloads of
    >> people they warrants out on. They sent the a letter saying "you won a
    >> prize, come pick it up" and a bunch of them, not realizing it was the
    >> police, did so and were arrested.
    >
    > That's on the Simpsons.

    I read about it somewhere else. I don't remember where, though.


    Keith
    --
    Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
    keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
    keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
    http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
  16. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "Repent Keith Davies!" said the Ticktockman. "Get Stuffed!" Keith Davies
    replied. Then he added:

    > T. Koivula <plistat@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >> In news:slrndb42f5.s23.keith.davies@kjdavies.org,
    >> Keith Davies <keith.davies@kjdavies.org> typed:
    >>> ISTR a story about police in New York arresting a few truckloads of
    >>> people they warrants out on. They sent the a letter saying "you won a
    >>> prize, come pick it up" and a bunch of them, not realizing it was the
    >>> police, did so and were arrested.
    >>
    >> That's on the Simpsons.
    >
    > I read about it somewhere else. I don't remember where, though.
    >

    They've done it in dozens of cities. Even with it making the news for the
    past decade or so (and getting parodied on The Simpsons), lots of people
    still fall for it.

    --
    Billy Yank

    Quinn: "I'm saying it's us, or them."
    Murphy: "Well I choose them."
    Q: "That's NOT an option!"
    M: "Then you shouldn't have framed it as one."
    -Sealab 2021

    Billy Yank's Baldur's Gate Photo Portraits
    http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze2xvw6/
  17. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Billy Yank <billyUSCOREyank@verizonDOT.net> wrote:
    > "Repent Keith Davies!" said the Ticktockman. "Get Stuffed!" Keith Davies
    > replied. Then he added:
    >
    >> T. Koivula <plistat@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >>> In news:slrndb42f5.s23.keith.davies@kjdavies.org,
    >>> Keith Davies <keith.davies@kjdavies.org> typed:
    >>>> ISTR a story about police in New York arresting a few truckloads of
    >>>> people they warrants out on. They sent the a letter saying "you won a
    >>>> prize, come pick it up" and a bunch of them, not realizing it was the
    >>>> police, did so and were arrested.
    >>>
    >>> That's on the Simpsons.
    >>
    >> I read about it somewhere else. I don't remember where, though.
    >>
    >
    > They've done it in dozens of cities. Even with it making the news for
    > the past decade or so (and getting parodied on The Simpsons), lots of
    > people still fall for it.

    It doesn't surprise me in the least. Too many criminals are *stupid*.

    Or rather, 'many criminals are too stupid'. Frankly I like that they
    tend to be dumb, it makes things easier for the rest of us.


    Keith
    --
    Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
    keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
    keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
    http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
  18. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    In article <Xns967EE56D4DE67billyyanknetzeronet@199.45.49.11>,
    Billy Yank <billyUSCOREyank@verizonDOT.net> wrote:

    > "Repent Keith Davies!" said the Ticktockman. "Get Stuffed!" Keith Davies
    > replied. Then he added:
    >
    > > T. Koivula <plistat@hotmail.com> wrote:
    > >> In news:slrndb42f5.s23.keith.davies@kjdavies.org,
    > >> Keith Davies <keith.davies@kjdavies.org> typed:
    > >>> ISTR a story about police in New York arresting a few truckloads of
    > >>> people they warrants out on. They sent the a letter saying "you won a
    > >>> prize, come pick it up" and a bunch of them, not realizing it was the
    > >>> police, did so and were arrested.
    > >>
    > >> That's on the Simpsons.
    > >
    > > I read about it somewhere else. I don't remember where, though.
    > >
    >
    > They've done it in dozens of cities. Even with it making the news for the
    > past decade or so (and getting parodied on The Simpsons), lots of people
    > still fall for it.

    Officer: If you don't stop being belligerent I will have to arrest you.

    Guy: But officer I not belligerent, I am Presbyterian.

    From America's Dumbest Criminals.
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