Page 87 - Edge of Morality

25th Feb 2012, 6:00 AM
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Edge of Morality
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 25th Feb 2012, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
There are many ways this COULD be argued (and I have no doubt I'll see many of them in the comments), but the way Rainbow Dash would put it is something like this. "I'm Chaotic Evil, so why should I listen to you about what I can and can't do?"

104 Comments:

Cony 25th Feb 2012, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
I have to say, I'm not sure if I'm a fan of the big open white spaces in this strip
Your Obedient Serpent 25th Feb 2012, 8:46 AM edit delete reply
The white spaces kinda worked for me, since they backed an ENTIRELY OOC conversation about abstract principles, and Dash's rejection of ANY preconceived boundaries.
Technature 26th Feb 2012, 2:50 AM edit delete reply
You find a scene where what they're saying would make sense.
Bronymous 25th Feb 2012, 1:04 PM edit delete reply
Nah, previously OOc conversations were shown with random scenes from other episodes (Characters just standing there talking). Could have done the same thing here.
Kaleopolitus 25th Feb 2012, 2:26 PM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
Therefore, by process of elimination: Newbiespud wanted to try out a new style, for lack of other explanations.
Phonzy 25th Feb 2012, 5:52 PM edit delete reply
The difference being that the white spaces back entirely OOC bits from the GM, as opposed to the OOC bits from the players that get matched up with shots of their characters from other episodes.
Guest 25th Feb 2012, 6:34 AM edit delete reply
The real problem is that Dash is more honest than AJ, and AJ is more loyal than Dash.
Kitsune.Tales 25th Feb 2012, 7:17 AM edit delete reply
Well... AJ's loyalty is up to interpretation. For AJ, blood seems to be thicker than water.

In the swarm of the century (S1E10), she abandoned ponyville and her friends to save her family's farm.

In the Last Roundup, her pride and ego wouldn't allow her to include her friend's on her plan to earn enough money to fix town hall (although working together they could probably have raised that money rather quickly).

In the Super Cider Squeezy 6000, her loyalty was to family tradition, and, probably, capitalistic gain (limit supply for increased demand). She never left RD or any other her friends a set-aside amount of cider. In this regard, AJ may be seen as more even handed than specifically loyal.

--------

In general, I will agree that each of the mane six sometime fail to live up to their respected element--they aren't perfect caricatures of their elements (which would be oppressively boring). However, I don't think the "Let's switch AJ's and RD's elements" arguement is completely accurate or even necessary.
Brony Is Magic 25th Feb 2012, 7:30 AM edit delete reply
I concur. If everpony lived up to their Element perfectly, we'd have Dream Valley all over again. And nopony wants that, do they?
Accursed 25th Feb 2012, 12:21 PM edit delete reply
I believe that this might be relevant:

http://shazzbaa.tumblr.com/post/17644330485/my-little-pony-the-elements-of-harmony

TL/DR: The mane 6 represent the Element that they value most, not necessarily the one they most embody.
Nezumi 26th Feb 2012, 2:08 PM edit delete reply
I have a huge long post in the comments on another strip abotu why I think the idea that Dash is more honest than AJ and AJ is loyal than Dash is just ridiculous, and I'm not sure how you could come to that conclusion by both watching the show and having a working knowledge of the definitions of "honesty" and "loyalty."

To put it briefly, Applejack is honest -- she's fair in her dealings with others, rarely lies, and when she does lie it's almost never solely for her own benefit. However, she's shown herself repeatedly willing to abandon others or her responsibilities to them at the drop of a hat for the sake of her pride. She's dependable in that she doesn't usually do this, but she's not loyal in that she has no real compunctions about doing so. (Applebuck Season and Last Roundup being the biggest examples)

Meanwhile, Rainbow Dash is blunt and truthful, but she's not actually honest -- she's very willing to lie and cheat to get ahead, avoid embarrassment or just to save herself some trouble. Iron Pony competition and "heroically" mowing lawns, anyone? She is loyal, however. She's repeatedly proven unwilling to abandon her friends even when she has every reason to (joining the Shadowbolts and living her dream, or sticking with her cooler "friend" Gilda). In The Last Roundup above, she was the first to actually suggest they go look for Applejack, and was the most dedicated to making sure she got home, no matter what.
Bronymous 25th Feb 2012, 1:06 PM edit delete reply
Whoa, Deja Vu.

Is this conversation really happening again?
Kaleopolitus 25th Feb 2012, 2:29 PM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
NOT THIS AGAIN!!!

Seriously, are you Newbiespud, reveling in our endless debates?

Probably not, but my paranoid side is kicking in here.
Newbiespud 25th Feb 2012, 3:55 PM edit delete reply
Newbiespud
Hey, you don't need my help realizing when a debate is starting to run circles around itself. As Bronymous demonstrates.
Midnight Blaze 15th Aug 2013, 10:48 AM edit delete reply
The fact that she's Chaotic Evil and still stays with them is enough for me.
leafia6 25th Feb 2012, 6:49 AM edit delete reply
This is...surprisingly in-character for Rainbow Dash in my opinion.
Derpmind 25th Feb 2012, 7:02 AM edit delete reply
Everypony is surprisingly in-character. I can't love this webcomic enough.
Digo 25th Feb 2012, 8:47 AM edit delete reply
I agree! And I think the faults they have just exemplify their elements moreso when they do come through for the group. :)
Ransom 25th Feb 2012, 7:04 AM edit delete reply
Without starting a huge argument, I actually do think AJ works as honesty and RD for loyalty. People confuse "Blunt to the point of insulting" with honesty and that's not what it is. Honesty involves staying true to your word, i.e. following through on your commitments and promises even when it's difficult. AJ does that to a fault, RD has trouble getting up in the morning to do her job. RD does however, being an athlete, understand the concept of team and never letting your teammates down in a situation.

As for the comic, loving watching the DM have a nervous breakdown, paralleling NMM's breakdown.
Annie Moose 25th Feb 2012, 8:00 AM edit delete reply
I read a really great post someone did once on why "honesty" is really more about honor than telling the truth. If you look at it in that light--that "honesty" is more than just saying true things, it's about being an honorable person and sticking to moral guidelines--then it *perfectly* fits AJ. The cherry episode in particular showed that. AJ was determined to get the money to restore the town hall; when she couldn't get it through competition, she was driven to try to find another way because her honor wouldn't allow her to say "whoops, I couldn't get it, better luck next time."

Which I guess fits with "telling the truth" anyway. She said she'd get the money, so to return without it would be to make her previous statement untrue.
RRC 8th Mar 2014, 2:29 AM edit delete reply
I realize these comments are around a year old now, but this was an itch I needed to scratch.

I would agree, and I'd also like to put forth that "loyalty" is a type of honor as well, but a different kind of honor with a different focus: honoring the relationships and support of your those you are connected to, rather than your word or the integrity of your follow through. This explains why RD and AJ butt heads, but tend to have a complementary nature in their interactions.
RRC 8th Mar 2014, 2:31 AM edit delete reply
Forgive me, these are over 2 years old now, Oi, I'm always late to the party...
Dusk Raven 25th Apr 2014, 9:02 PM edit delete reply
Don't worry, some of us go on archive binges now and then. :)
Beard 25th Feb 2012, 7:11 AM edit delete reply
Not to be a wet blanket but honestly this is where the narrative breaks down for me a bit, if only because as a GM I know I wouldn't be okay with the "I have fingers in my ears going LA LA LA LA LA!" style of argument.

Your comment seems to show that you are pretty inured to the idea so no need to waste time writing an argument someone's not going to read. Its not like I didn't know this moment was coming, but its still kind of disappointing.
Guest 25th Feb 2012, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
Actually I think her argument wasn't that bad (she did explain her actions before refusing to argue further). Being chaotic evil doesn't preclude having friends (though it typically makes it harder). Arguing that a character cannot consistently stick with their allies just because they're CE is silly and is exactly why strictly following D&D alignment is foolish.
Beard 26th Feb 2012, 12:10 AM edit delete reply
My issue is less "D&D alignments" which is something of a clusterfuck I've finally learned to just not talk about after a decade in the hobby and more "characterization".

MLP parodies always seem to pick one character who they go too far with, is all, and the humor goes from being an exaggeration of the character to just being out of character.
Guest 26th Feb 2012, 12:36 PM edit delete reply
These are supposed to be character exaggerations? I've been looking at them as completely different characters who happen to share some of the traits of the originals all along.

That said, I thought the point of this comic was less about Rainbow Dash's Chaotic Evilness and more about how she actually has developed a sense of loyalty toward the others. Similar to Rarity in the last comic it shows the characters are developing, and actually starting to become a little more like the real Mane 6 in spite of themselves.
Volteccer 25th Feb 2012, 7:54 AM edit delete reply
Dash isn't Chaotic Evil, per say. She doesn't always want to do bad, just what she wants, which is usually the right thing. She Chaotic Neutral at worst and Chaotic Good at best. (Or, since this is 4e we are talking about, Unaligned at worst and Good at best.)
Simon o'Sullivan 25th Feb 2012, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
Well, a "free spirit" or "I do whatever I want" is Chaotic Neutral more than Chaotic Evil.

But it's true that being Chaotic Evil doesn't mean that you cannot be trusted or that you have the urge of betraying your group just because of your alignment. If you earn someone's respect, he or she would be loyal to you, no matter if good, evil, lawful or chaotic. Alignments are just a basic moral compass, not something that says "I'm going to be like this and no-one can stop me". Unless we're talking about old school paladins... Damn I hated them.
Quick Study 25th Feb 2012, 1:43 PM edit delete reply
I agree RD is acting more like Chaotic Neutral then Chaotic Evil. Also while she said that she is going to do some evil things in the future, as of now she as yet to have done anything for the purpose of evil and causing chaos.

I will also admit that is one of the things I like most about Chaotic Neutral is that it is a very gray alignment. Most of the characters I've made has been Chaotic Neutral. It's nice to have the complete freedom to do what every you want how ever you want.
sjosten 27th Feb 2012, 7:36 PM edit delete reply
While this is true, people would also be irritated if Newbiespud decided RD was CN instead of CE and changed her right after changing Rarity from Evil to Neutral.
Rokas 25th Feb 2012, 8:59 AM edit delete reply
I think we're forgetting that this is a D&D 4th ed kind of game, where the alignment is along one axis instead of two from earlier editions. From what I understand that means that what is now "chaotic evil" used to be called "chaotic neutral" or something like that. If that's so, then I'd say the comic's Dash is definitely chaotic neutral and certainly can have loyalty, since "chaotic" means that they have no concern for law or authority, not that they behave irrationally.

Also, IMHO, canon Dash is Chaotic Good.
Aegis Steadfast 25th Feb 2012, 9:43 AM edit delete reply
Oh poor GM, what have you gotten yourself into with this group and having allignments?
zarhon 25th Feb 2012, 9:46 AM edit delete reply
As far as alignments go, I consider chaotic evil to be "unpredictable, self-centered, without empathy or regard for others and their laws".

That means they put their own benefit first, don't care about others or their rules (That doesn't mean they won't save your life if they find it benefiting them, or just plain like you enough), and are willing to do anything to get to their goal without much qualms regarding morality or the opinions of others.

This alignment doesn't make much sense in later episodes however...

- In super cider squeezy 6000, having Fluttershy go in front of her and losing her chance of getting cider. She also exhibits a liking for the Flim Flam brother's machine at first, but ultimately helps fight against them for no apparent benefit (unless it somehow involves AJ's endless source of funding).

- Saving Rarity in "Sonic Rainboom" who almost made her lose the contest. Unless she intended to save the Wonderbolts and let Rarity fall, or meta-gamed what the GM might reward her with if she did save her.

- "Mysterious Mare-Do-Well" has her start by doing an selfless act for no apparent benefit. Later on she abuses it for reputation increases though.

Long story short, chaotic evil does fit dash to a degree, but some of her other actions are a bit selfless and don't exactly qualify the "evil" aspect.







modulusshift 25th Feb 2012, 1:34 PM edit delete reply
Yeh, but you're missing one part. You start off with "unpredictable" and then proceed to try and predict her actions. It doesn't work. She falls within the lines of predictability often enough, but as long as she isn't consistently against her alignment, it can all be hand waved.
Beard 26th Feb 2012, 12:13 AM edit delete reply
But that IS consistent. You can't just say "Chaos is free spirited so it doesn't apply!". Honestly canon Dash ISN'T all that unpredictable; she can be selfish and a poor sport but has consistently been shown to heed the better angels of her nature when its a matter of importance to her.

Its why Discord was able to play her so well.
terrycloth 25th Feb 2012, 9:52 AM edit delete reply
And here I was sure Twilight was going to get loyalty this time, and they'd have to come up with some reason that 'the evil one that nobody trusts' was necessary for a good party.
Marconius 25th Feb 2012, 10:20 AM edit delete reply
She's so Chaotic she's Lawful!
KFDirector 25th Feb 2012, 10:59 AM edit delete reply
Chaos rejects external enforcements on personal freedom. Chaos would reject Duty and Authority. But Loyalty - aka Sense of Duty - is internal. A Chaotic character may or may not feel that Loyalty would "cramp their style", but nothing about Chaos requires you to reject your own internal feelings, and if you feel Loyalty...

Evil characters may or may not have a moral code. There are many different nuanced ways to play Evil characters. The only unifying factor is that for some reason they don't meet the standards of Good. While I won't go so far as to say "Good characters are all alike, each Evil character is evil in its own way", because the Good half of that isn't at all true, it's still a useful thought.

An Evil character can donate regularly to the poor, be honest in word, share their food with strangers, be chaste and honorable in love, and still be Evil because of, say, their little habit of racially-motivated axe-murder. You can point to them and truthfully say "you're evil", but you can't point to them and truthfully say "therefore you have no measurable good qualities and cannot even desire to have any".

In other words, I totally accept that Chaotic Evil alignment is not INHERENTLY incompatible with internally-sourced Loyalty.
Lyntermas 25th Feb 2012, 11:08 AM edit delete reply
DM: No, no, NO! You can't be loyalty, you guys can't be the Bearers! You were supposed to travel the land and find ponies who actually DO represent the Elements.
RD: Wait, we'd have to go and find NPC party members? But they'd steal my XP!
DM: Well, they wouldn't be fighting. Not everypony is willing to fight at the drop of a hat. Your job would be to find and protect them so they could wield the Elements.
Twilight: Okay, so we'd have to get a list or something?
DM: No, anypony who exemplifies the Element can be a Bearer. That way NMM can't just lock up the "prophesied six".
PP: Don't worry, guys. I'm sure that the other six ponies we find will be totally fine with stopping NMM, and not, you know, chicken out or force us to do mundane sidequests before they help.
DM: Um, well...
Fluttershy: But what if they get kidnapped, or betray us to NMM for their own benefit? Would we still have to save them because they are bearers?
DM: Look, a pony doesn't have to exemplify all the Elements, just one each.
Rarity:...So, to sum up, to defeat NMM, we need six "matching" ponies. Combat ability, general competence, and even morality are essentially non-factors.
DM: Exactly!
AJ:...So the only reason our group doesn't work is because you want us to go along your little railroad?
RD: Man, now I'm just willing to be steadfastly loyal out of spite.
Bronymous 25th Feb 2012, 1:10 PM edit delete reply
That is eerily similar to sessions I've played in the past. Details are different of course, but arguing with the DM went exactly like that.
Rentok 25th Feb 2012, 11:39 AM edit delete reply
Evil characters can be heroes, chaotic evil characters especially. Rainbow Dash is chaotic evil because she does whatever she wants and doesn't care about what anyone else thinks. If she wants to murder the puppy, she will. That's evil. If she wants to destroy the building, she will. That's chaotic. If she wants to stick by her friends and defend them and the world from Nightmare Moon? She will, because she's chaotic evil and she does what she wants.

The allignment system is about motivations. What motivates your character to do what they do. It doesn't affect what actions you can take. Heck, even a paladin's actions aren't nearly as locked-in as some people play them. Is it evil to sacrifice the innocent as part of a ritual to give yourself enough power to rule the world with an iron fist, and thereby make the world a better place because under your rule there would be no crime, and everyone would be happy? Some of my favourite villain concepts are lawful good. Some of my favourite heroes are chaotic and/or evil.

That being said, if you perform too many good acts for evil motivations, you run the risk of character development, where you find you've just performed a good act for no reason whatsoever, you were just used to it. That's the point at which allignments start changing. The paladin sacrificing the innocents for the greater good is still lawful good, until she starts to enjoy their screams a little too much, and her motivations change.
Guest 25th Feb 2012, 1:41 PM edit delete reply
Rentok, I don't know if it's changed in 4th edition, but in 3rd edition that's completely wrong. Good characters are good because they respect life and the dignity of other sentient beings. Evil characters hurt, oppress, or kill others.

Destroying buildings is not inherently chaotic. The game explicitly warns players against being Chaotic Stupid

"A chaotic neutral character may be unpredictable, but his behavior is not totally random. He is not as likely to jump off a bridge as to cross it."

But yes, being evil does not preclude a character from protecting others or having loved ones.
Guest 25th Feb 2012, 7:14 PM edit delete reply
You seem to forget that a Well-Intentioned Extremist is technically good. It's the whole 'sacrifice a few for the good of many' thing.
Derpmind 25th Feb 2012, 12:38 PM edit delete reply
Guys, I've figured it out: Rainbow Dash is a pirate! She does what she wants because a pirate is free!
Siosilvar 25th Feb 2012, 6:26 PM edit delete reply
You are a pirate! Yar har fiddle dee dee?
Flubflub 26th Feb 2012, 8:52 AM edit delete reply
If she was a pirate, that's all right with me.
Chris 25th Feb 2012, 1:10 PM edit delete reply
Okay, I'm just going to say this and brace for shitstorm:

There are many different ways to interpret alignments in the D&D system. This was oh-so-very true of the old 9-point system, but remains the case with 4th edition's setup. The fact that two perfectly reasonable individuals can disagree over whether an action falls under the category "good" or "chaotic evil" is a testament to this nebulousness.

This is as it should be. The system is meant to be freeform enough that it can be adapted to any group.

HOWEVER...

The DM is the final arbiter on alignment-based decisions. That's part of his/her job: to create the universe in which the players exist, and running that universe includes deciding what moral categories different actions (and individuals) fall into.

As with all things Dungeon Master-y, the best DMs will tailor their alignment definitions and universal attitudes to match the PC's expectations and desires. However, if there's ever a disagreement between a PC and the DM over whether something is or isn't "Chaotic Evil," the DM wins. Every time, no exceptions.

Really, arguing about alignment is no different than arguing about NPC reactions. A player can say "The bartender should trust me, I've got a 20 charisma and am friends with his sister" all he wants, but if the DM decides that the bartender is suspicious of him anyway, that's just how it is. Likewise, DMs are the final arbiter on what meets the criteria for different alignments.

Hopefully the DM will take player opinions and attitudes into account when deciding these things. Hopefully the DM will also be clear and consistent in his rulings, so that the players aren't likely to be put in a position where they don't know how a given action will be judged on the alignment scale. Without both of those, what you've got is a mediocre DM. But that doesn't change the fact that the DM has not just the right, but the RESPONSIBILITY, to determine what actions do and don't represent a given alignment.
Bronymous 25th Feb 2012, 1:15 PM edit delete reply
HOOOOW did the topic of discussion for this page end up being "What do you think it means to be Chotic Evil, and how well do each of the Bearers portray their Elements?"

Seriously, we have had this discussion before. SEVERAL times. I am now going to do my best to bring us back to the comic.
*ahem*
I like how when Twilight started her lecture the DM was perfectly willing to hear her out and go with it, but as we progressed to this point he starts to realize how much of a bad idea that was.
Raxon 15th Jun 2012, 8:29 PM edit delete reply
I have the idea for an evil character who is a friend to all living things, but goes about it all wrong. For example, let's say he's telling children a story. He doesn't tell them a story of happy unicorns frolicking in a sunny meadow. He tells them a story that sounds exciting, up until, the first character is brutally murdered, and the others are murdered and oppressed with an iron hand by the powerful and illustrious black mage.

In another instance, he could be comforting a small child, and say, "There there, you're going to be fine. You won't die here. It will still be a while before the dark lord rises from his crypt and lays waste to the world."

In another instance, I could have a paladin with Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. But he only has a problem with it in his sleep, so he sleeps with a rubber dagger. Technically LG, but having a compulsion to stab his friends in the back would be pretty hard to maintain LG with. So he has the rubber knife to keep himself from hurting them. It won't stop the rest of the party from being pretty freaked out about it, though.

I love messing with preconceived ideas.
Wynni 25th Feb 2012, 1:52 PM edit delete reply
I don't feel that sorry for Pony DM, he rather set himself up to be hoisted so elegantly on his own poitard.

A Good DM also recognizes when this has happened, and abides by the rules and procedures he instigated. A GM who keeps shifting the rules (or doesn't explain WHY the bartender is still suspicious) will quickly find himself without players.

I am curious, though. In 4th, if Chaotic Evil now covers the pervue of the Old Chaotic Neutral, what do the other alignments now mean?
Stairc 25th Feb 2012, 3:37 PM edit delete reply
In 4e the alignments are Lawful Good, Good, Unaligned, Evil and Chaotic Evil.

The thinking behind it is that if you aren't Lawful Good, but are still good, you are simply Good. It doesn't matter whether you characterize yourself as 'neutral' or 'chaotic' - you are Good and not Lawful.

The same goes for Evil. If you're Evil but have a sense of either honor, code, or are just self-serving and aren't out to destroy everything in your sight for the save of it... You're Evil. You're evil, but not Chaotic Evil. There wasn't much point differentiating between Lawful Evil and Neutral Evil at that point. There's enough gray area to leave it up to roleplaying.

As for Chaotic Neutral... Unaligned covers all Neutral. Lawful, Chaotic or True Neutral... Unaligned means you simply don't hold with any Good or Evil alignment. What that means is up to you.

The Alignments are just supposed to be a snapshot of your character's general, overall 'team they play for', and as they're no longer much of a mechanical issue. It's more about roleplaying, so leaving more gray area helps.
Shikome Kido Mi 25th Feb 2012, 7:51 PM edit delete reply
That logic fails pretty badly when you consider that whether or not you're lawful is a consideration for good and whether or not you're chaotic a consideration for evil but not vice versa.

In fact, putting it on a scale like this associates Law with goodness and chaos with evil to an extent that 'chaotic good' sounds more like a misnomer than a valid option.
Shikome Kido Mi 25th Feb 2012, 7:53 PM edit delete reply
And I know that may not be the intent, but setting up that kind of scale definitely creates the implication.
See any number of studies about how the phrasing of questions affects the answers received, if you really want to try and debate that.
Stairc 27th Feb 2012, 8:33 AM edit delete reply
Well, that argument is kind of what's written in the DnD source books so I'm not just making it up. ;)

I know it seems odd that the naming scheme applies chaos to one side and lawful to the other... But think about it. Thers's really two types of evil - principled evil and chaotic, devouring evil. lots of people had a hard time finding a clear difference between "chaotic good" and "neutral good" and "lawful evil" and "neutral evil".

The idea of Good stereotypes usually encapsulates Order, Justice Etc. the rogue good cop who doesn't play by the rules is the interesting exception - and those fellas aren't focused on spreading chaos. They're just focused on doing good without as much worry about the law. On the other hand, the Idea of Evil stereotypes is to "destroy the world!!!" For no real reason. Burn villages because they're EVIL Shoots his own henchmen when they forget to out sugar in his tea. The villain with a code he lives by is the notable exception to this and covers a lot kore gray area.

Once you look at the alignments from this angle, it makes a lot more sense what wizards was trying to do. Frankly, just by reading them writing about it I get the idea that they wanted to ditch alignments altogether and focus on roleplaying, but they ciuldn't bring themselves to do it all at once.
Shikome Kido Mi 27th Feb 2012, 10:30 PM edit delete reply
So the argument that makes no sense comes out of the D&D source book.

I already knew that. It still doesn't make sense. There's a gap between declared intent and effect.
kriss1989 27th Feb 2012, 6:35 AM edit delete reply
My problem with that is the idea that Law is the epitome of Good and Chaos is the epitome of Evil. BUY SOME APPLES that!
Guest 27th Feb 2012, 8:06 PM edit delete reply
I wonder if there are dystopian settings where the alignment chart runs Lawful Evil - Evil - Unaligned - Good - Chaotic Good.

Or perhaps Lawful Evil - Lawful - Unaligned - Chaotic - Chaotic Good.
Vulpis 23rd Jul 2012, 2:50 AM edit delete reply
I think part of the idea is that to a degree the Law/Chaos axis has pretty much been dropped, folded into the regular Good/Evil alignments. LG and CE in this aren't so much meant to represent the combo of Order/Chaos with G/E, but an *extremist* view--LG being extremist Good, and CE being extremist evil.
Anonymous 25th Feb 2012, 2:42 PM edit delete reply
As I see it, RD is loyal because she's chaotic evil, not chaotic stupid or stupid evil. She recognizes the value of having allies and mutual trust. She knows that she needs a healer, a face, backup for taking down things like bosses, etc. As a chaotic evil character, she respects strength, and is therefore loyal to the huge godlike monarch.
Gden 25th Feb 2012, 3:02 PM edit delete reply
I found this on the mylittlepony reddit, it covers an in depth study of the mane 6, and actually makes the elements chosen for each of them make a lot more sense, to me at least. (the one I'm linking is pinkie's but the bottom part contains links to the other 5)
http://nimaru.deviantart.com/art/Luna-s-Studies-Pinkie-Pie-263752695
Kaleopolitus 25th Feb 2012, 3:36 PM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
Brilliant... BRILLIANT!!!
Gden 25th Feb 2012, 3:55 PM edit delete reply
That it is, that it is
Derpmind 25th Feb 2012, 5:41 PM edit delete reply
It's fun and creative, but there's so much headcannon it's painful.
Veya 25th Feb 2012, 9:52 PM edit delete reply
Headcannons are dangerous stuff... headcanons are fine, tough.
Bronymous 26th Feb 2012, 3:49 PM edit delete reply
Ooh, those. I read those before. The thing about Headcanons and this show is that every time they bring up a topic like family or the past, they literally shatter most people's ideas about what is going on.

Case in point, Sisterhooves Social. I nearly cracked when I found out that not only are Rarity's parents alive and present, but Sweetie Belle lives with them full time, and just visits her sister.
Winged Kitsune 25th Feb 2012, 4:29 PM edit delete reply
Seems to me Rainbow Dash's alignment would probably shift to Chaotic Neutral at this point. She can still do whatever she wants, good or evil.
kriss1989 27th Feb 2012, 6:37 AM edit delete reply
Unless the DM took the Alignment system over from older editions, Chaotic Neutral does not exist.
On behalf of the scouts. 25th Feb 2012, 4:46 PM edit delete reply
Chaotic evil can just sometimes mean having fun, well evil fun. And what better way to have fun without the authorities locking you up for rampant murder than having a very legitimate state ordained party to back you up. Like Belkar from OOTS.

And besides, speaking as a rogue player, the first person I want to see rounding the corner when I'm in trouble is the very large, very angry barbarian. I don't care what the alignment is, I know that they can be loyally counted on at the first sign of trouble to do what they do best.

Rainbow smash
mage wolf 25th Feb 2012, 8:16 PM edit delete reply
first: bravo chris! you must have been takin notes watchin the show cause ah had twi's voice in mah head fer yer WHOLE post. and yes ah am givin you a complement on your lecture.

second: inreal life ah was raised by mah lawful(and ah mean that in the strictest damned paladin sense)good druid mother and now work with/for mah neutral good dad.

that makes me neutral evil. if ah have tah kill a group the size of the population of cleavland tah save the life of someone ah love, or an inocent person, ah will without hesitation.

thats the logic ah bring 2 roleplayin games, evil dont meen bad or rong persay and good dont meen right.
Joe England 25th Feb 2012, 10:01 PM edit delete reply
Personally, I'm kind of disappointed in the GM at this point. You don't just interrupt a player because you think they're being stupid!
If I was in a game playing a good guy and I called out for a bad guy to save me from a dangerous situation, I wouldn't expect the guy running the game to go "Come on! I'm drawing the line, you should know better! That doesn't work!!" No, I'd expect him to help me see what would actually happen in the scenario. The players deserve the chance to make their gambles and see them play out in the context of the world they're in, that's sort of the point of playing!
So... yeah, GM's getting a bit childish here. Dude should just buckle down and run his campaign. Y'don't say "no" to the players! Not like this, anyhow.
At least, that's my take on the artform.
HopeFox 26th Feb 2012, 12:11 AM edit delete reply
I think the very fact that Rainbow Dash's player has stuck with the game for this long - despite thinking ponies are "lame" and being frustrated at the lack of worthwhile combat - is as good a demonstration of loyalty as anything else.
Bronymous 26th Feb 2012, 12:47 AM edit delete reply
An excellent point, but the player doesn't need to be loyal, the character does. I, as a player, would never kill some parents and kidnap their child to be a servant, but My characters wind up doing it on a surprising basis.
Kaleopolitus 26th Feb 2012, 2:32 AM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
That... Is a disturbing trend.
Bronymous 27th Feb 2012, 8:31 AM edit delete reply
You ASSUME that just because I have a child slave I don't treat them well. They are always well taken care of, taught, raised, etc... up til the point where they just sort of end up... disappearing. Blame the DM.

As for conquering the world... we came close. Took down one kingdom by ourselves, tricked the next into joining us, used the combined forces to take a third. We were all set to move on a Dwarven kingdom that had shared control of the only major waterway/trade route in the region, but the campaign fell apart. Mostly due to the mind-numbing socio-economic and political ideas and actions were forcing on the DM.
Kaleopolitus 26th Feb 2012, 8:56 AM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
Oh yes, worlds burning is fine.

But setting up a child slave to later on desire revenge and amass a powerfull group of heroes to take you down..? Not so much.
Brony Is Magic 26th Feb 2012, 9:03 AM edit delete reply
Watch the world burn? Pfft. That would be over too quickly. I would prefer to conquer the world and oppress the fudge out everyone, working them into the ground after releasing a plague that is like ebola, but incredibly slow. I'm the kind of guy who rejects regular torture because of the risk of death, and instead just tie them down and inject stonefish venom into their limbs. Because stonefish venom can't kill. It just puts you into unbearable pain.
Archaeopteryx 26th Feb 2012, 9:50 AM edit delete reply
Fortunately for this type of discussion, this game is using 4th Edition, where alignments DON'T MEAN ANYTHING.

One could put down "Purple Kumquat" as one's alignment and it would not interact with the actual game once.
Brony Is Magic 26th Feb 2012, 9:56 AM edit delete reply
"Purple Kumquat." Hm... I like this decision.
Kaleopolitus 26th Feb 2012, 10:31 AM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
*Two weeks later*

Did you see the headlines today? They say some guy running a D&D campaign went on a killing spree after one of his players declared that his character had a Purple Kumquat alignment.
Crazy sh*t...
Katarani 26th Feb 2012, 12:55 PM edit delete reply
And suddenly, kumquats are banned from all stores and silly words are seen as "ruining our youth".

Bulbous Bouffant becomes the epitome of edgy, anti-establishment music.
Gden 27th Feb 2012, 12:01 AM edit delete reply
GM: what's your alignment?
Me: Pickle barrel kumquat!
kriss1989 27th Feb 2012, 6:43 AM edit delete reply
That's true. In all previous editions, alignment mattered. In 4th, the Lawful Good character can use Demonskin armor and a Demonbound blade without any problem. Nor is there a problem with an evil villain using a Holy Avenger.
Bronymous 27th Feb 2012, 8:32 AM edit delete reply
I suppose the antithesis to this alignment would be Chimicherrychonga?
Brony Is Magic 27th Feb 2012, 3:07 PM edit delete reply
Yes. And the special alignment power that comes with Chimi-cherry-chonga is "Smite Dill"
David Foxfire 26th Feb 2012, 4:06 PM edit delete reply
Well, like what she said, there's 'Chaotic Evil,' and then there's 'Chaotic Stupid.'
Brony Is Magic 27th Feb 2012, 5:04 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, I'm the most experienced player in my group, and we had some new guys join. One of them asked me "What alignment would I be if I did a quest, looted the monsters, got the reward, and killed and looted the quest-giver?" To which I replied "Chaotic Stupid." He took my advice. We have a Chaotic Stupid wizard Controller. Oh, joy.
terrycloth 27th Feb 2012, 11:49 AM edit delete reply
The stated alignment of one of my characters is 'chaotic stupid'.

I'm not sure it's accurate, though -- he's determined to be a legendary hero and latches onto any little thing as DESTINY.

I'm hoping I get to heroically mow some lawns at some point. n.n
DeadManSleeping 26th Feb 2012, 7:39 PM edit delete reply
I like how they're all basically learning that they really DO get along and they are totally friends, despite some appearances to the contrary. Friendship really is dragons!
kriss1989 27th Feb 2012, 6:44 AM edit delete reply
We already HAD this discussion, just like two comics ago. We discussed the BUY SOME APPLES out of ways to justify RD as Loyalty.
Dfield 27th Feb 2012, 11:13 AM edit delete reply
How the "AAAAAAAAAAAAA-" should continue:-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAlright then... who's next? Derpy being the element of randomness?
JR Klein 27th Feb 2012, 2:57 PM edit delete reply
The DM must be an Uncyclopedia reader. http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/AAAAAAAAA!
Brony Is Magic 27th Feb 2012, 3:03 PM edit delete reply
What the holy nacho?!?!
Brony Is Magic 27th Feb 2012, 3:10 PM edit delete reply
It really is Chaotic Evil. No sane, goodly person would ever use Pinkie Pie as a torture device. It's the only torture that's too effective.
xuincherguixe 27th Feb 2012, 10:49 PM edit delete reply
By standards of setting Rainbow Dash as a character is Chaotic Evil.

... what with that it's pretty idealic.

Think about what sorts of villains we've seen so far. Most of them have been pretty tame. (With the possible exception of the windigos. Freeze the world and feeding on peoples hate? That's hardcore man)

Were this 3rd edition she'd probably be Chaotic Neutral.

She's impulsive, but not strictly malicious. Mostly just after the experience and the loot.

Now if she found out that the cutie mark crusaders had some kind of treasure and proceeded to beat the crap out of them and take it (extra lulz if it's just a regular horse shoe they burried in a box), that would be chaotic evil.

There's initial destructive impulses, but they can generally be discouraged.

This is also why I have such a hard time playing evil characters, I have a pretty good idea about what they *should* do, but that would result in the other players getting upset. It's a bit different with NPCs. They're supposed to hate, and overcome them. Evil PCs? they're supposed to hate you and are forced to deal with you, even if it doesn't even make sense for you to be together in the first place.
Suburbanbanshee 27th Feb 2012, 11:09 PM edit delete reply
Part of the difference is self-esteem. Applejack is sure that she's only valuable if she pulls her own weight and more; otherwise she's a drain on the team, her family, the town, etc. She retreats for this reason.

Rainbow Dash is always sure that she's an asset, even to people who don't have the sense to realize that yet. She could never be a drain on the team, and without her, they'll never be able to get along. So her impulse of good is to stick around her friends or even go look for people.
xuincherguixe 27th Feb 2012, 11:29 PM edit delete reply
Rainbow Dash would be much more effective if there wasn't a huge communication gap between her and the rest of the mane six.

This comes from failures on both sides.


But if these did not exist the show wouldn't be very interesting. Or at least it'd be ridicolously hard to write.
xuincherguixe 27th Feb 2012, 11:38 PM edit delete reply
Also, it's interesting that you bring up the self esteem issue. I've always thought of Rainbow Dash as having a low one. Hence the need to prove herself.

Did you notice how in the episode with the Sonic Rainboom Rainbow dash was bragging... but suddenly became paralyzed with fear when she was asked to perform again? It wasn't until Rarities life was in danger that she was able to repeat it.

She's constantly showing off, but if she felt good about herself why would she feel the need? Seems to be seeking a lot of attention. And as you seem to have noticed, she's kind of been largely ignored.


... And there's why all the people who spend a lot of time on the computer end up identifying with the jock of the show. At least that's how I understand it.
Suburbanbanshee 29th Feb 2012, 9:18 PM edit delete reply
Now that you mention it, RD is sort of the manic depressive of self esteem. Most of the time she's very up on herself and doesn't even appear to consider anything else as possible; but every so often, the bottom drops out, and she just pretends as hard as she can.

I suppose it's possible that it's all facade, but I don't think so. When things are good for her, they're great. It's just when they're not great that she has problems.
xuincherguixe 27th Feb 2012, 11:25 PM edit delete reply
Alignment can get complicated. In one game I'm in right now I'm playing a Scoundrel Wizard (Prestige Classes makes me essentially a rogue/wizard). He fights dirty as hell. But he's still Lawful Good. He has a definite pacifist bent. Turns out that hitting someone with pepper spray and throwing some manacles on them, or casting sleep and tying people up results in less people dying than doing the socially acceptable thing and hacking at anything that detects as evil with a sword until the blood stops coming out.

Who knew?
Kaleopolitus 28th Feb 2012, 1:56 AM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
Not the Lawful Stupid Paladins, that's for sure.
Carvin 12th Jan 2013, 2:24 PM edit delete reply
What purpose and meaning alignments had was lost entirely with 4th ed.
Guest 22nd May 2013, 1:58 AM edit delete reply
RD should be CN but noooo 4E fucked up the alignment system that is why I play Pathfinder
Kadoken 26th Dec 2015, 2:15 AM edit delete reply
Chaotic Neutral is more the alignment you would want if you didn't want to care about alignment getting in the way of stuff. "Why did you power that orphanage by throwing that box of puppies in a furnace?'" "Eh." That or true neutral, but that's only if you want to be closer to the gray morality of a real human (or a GoT character [except the Boltons])being rather than a good hero or an evil villain