Paladin Class Preview

Monday, May 07, 2018

All it takes is a cursory browse of the Paizo forums to see that paladins are not just the most contentious class in Pathfinder, they are the most contentious conversation topic. Weeks before we previewed the class, multiple threads with thousands of posts arose in advance, filled with passionate fans with many different opinions and plenty of good ideas. Turns out, the Paizo office isn't too different.

The Quest for the Holy Grail

Early last year, I went on a sacred quest through the office and surveyed all the different opinions out there about paladins. Turns out, almost everyone had slightly different thoughts. But there was one element in common: whether they wanted paladins of all alignments, paladins of the four extreme alignments, lawful good paladins and chaotic evil antipaladins, lawful evil tyrant antipaladins, or even just lawful good paladins alone, everyone was interested in robust support for the idea that paladins should be champions of their deity and alignment. That is to say, whatever alignments paladins have, they should have an array of abilities deeply tied into that alignment.

Since that was the aspect of the paladin that everyone agreed upon, that's what we wanted to make sure we got right in the playtest. But given the limited space for the playtest, we chose to focus on getting that aspect fine-tuned for one alignment, and so in this book we're presenting only lawful good paladins. That doesn't mean antipaladins and tyrants are gone (there's even an antipaladin foe in one of the adventures!) or that the door is closed to other sorts of paladins down the road. We'll have a playtest survey on the matter, we're open to more opinions, and even among the four designers we have different ideas. But we want to focus the playtest on getting lawful good paladins right, first and foremost. If or when we do make more paladins and antipaladins, having constructed a solid foundation for how an alignment-driven champion functions will be a crucial step to making all of them engaging and different in play.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

The Code

Tell me if you've heard this one before: My paladin was brought to a court where she was forced to testify under oath to tell the whole truth, by a legitimate authority, about the whereabouts of certain innocent witnesses, but she knows that if she answers the questions, a villain is going to use that information to track down and harm the innocents. It's the "Inquiring Murderer" quandary from moral philosophy set in a way that manages to pin you between not just two but three different restrictions in the old paladin code. Sure, I can beg and plead with the judge that the information, if released, would harm innocents, but ultimately if the judge persists, I'm in trouble. These sorts of situations are some of the most common paladin threads on the forums, and they're never easy.

With the playtest presenting the opportunity, I wanted to analyze the paladin's code down to basic principles and keep all the important roleplaying aspects that make paladins the trustworthy champions of law and good we've come to expect while drastically reducing, and hopefully eliminating, the no-win situations. Here's what it looks like at the moment.

Code of Conduct

Paladins are divine champions of a deity. You must be lawful good and worship a deity that allows lawful good clerics. Actions fundamentally opposed to your deity's alignment or ideals are anathema to your faith. A few examples of acts that would be considered anathema appear in each deity's entry. You and your GM will determine whether other acts count as anathema.

In addition, you must follow the paladin's code below. Deities often add additional strictures for their own paladins (for instance, Shelyn's paladins never attack first except to protect an innocent, and they choose and perfect an art).

If you stray from lawful good, perform acts anathema to your deity, or violate your code of conduct, you lose your Spell Point pool and righteous ally class feature (which we talk more about below) until you demonstrate your repentance by conducting an atone ritual, but you keep any other paladin abilities that don't require those class features.

The Paladin's Code

The following is the fundamental code all paladins follow. The tenets are listed in order of importance, starting with the most important. If a situation places two tenets in conflict, you aren't in a no-win situation; instead, follow the most important tenet. For instance, if an evil king asked you if innocent lawbreakers were hiding in your church so he could execute them, you could lie to him, since the tenet forbidding you to lie is less important than the tenet prohibiting the harm of an innocent. An attempt to subvert the paladin code by engineering a situation allowing you to use a higher tenet to ignore a lower tenet (telling someone that you won't respect lawful authorities so that the tenet of not lying supersedes the tenet of respecting lawful authorities, for example) is a violation of the paladin code.

  • You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell.
  • You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent to come to immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it. This tenet doesn't force you to take action against possible harm to innocents or to sacrifice your life and future potential in an attempt to protect an innocent.
  • You must act with honor, never cheating, lying, or taking advantage of others.
  • You must respect the lawful authority of the legitimate ruler or leadership in whichever land you may be, following their laws unless they violate a higher tenet.

So let's break down what's the same and what's different. We still have all the basic tenets of the paladin from Pathfinder First Edition, with one exception: we've removed poison from the tenet of acting with honor. While there are certainly dishonorable ways to use poison, poisoning a weapon and using it in an honorable combat that allows enhanced weaponry doesn't seem much different than lighting the weapon on fire. However, by ordering the tenets and allowing the paladin to prioritize the most important tenets in the event of a conflict, we've cut down on the no-win situations. And of course, this opens a design space to play around with the tenets themselves, something we've done by incorporating one of the most popular non-core aspects for paladins...

Oaths

Oaths allow you to play around with the tenets of your code while also gaining mechanical advantages. For instance, the Fiendsbane Oath allows you to dish out near-constant retribution against fiends and eventually block their dimensional travel with an Anchoring Aura. Unlike in Pathfinder First Edition, oaths are feats, and you don't need an archetype to gain one.

Paladin Features

As many of you guessed when Jason mentioned it, paladin was the mystery class that gains the highest heavy armor proficiency, eventually reaching legendary proficiency in armor and master proficiency in weapons, as opposed to fighters, who gain the reverse. At 1st level, you also gain the Retributive Strike reaction, allowing you to counterattack and enfeeble any foe that hits one of your allies (Shelyn save those who strike your storm druid ally). You also get lay on hands, a single-action healing spell that not only heals the target but also raises their AC for a round to help prevent future damage. Combine that effect used on yourself with a raised shield, and you can make it pretty hard for a foe to hit you, and it helps recovering allies avoid another beating.

Lay on hands is the first of a paladin's champion powers, which include a whole bunch of elective options via feats. One of my favorites, gained automatically at 19th level, is hero's defiance, which makes a paladin incredibly difficult to take down. It lets you keep standing when you fall to 0 HP, gives you a big boost of Hit Points, and doesn't even use up your reaction! Leading up to that, you gain a bunch of fun smite-related boosts, including the righteous ally class feature that you saw mentioned in the code. This is a 3rd-level ability that lets you house a holy spirit in a weapon or a steed, much like before, but also in a shield, like the fan-favorite sacred shield archetype!

Paladin Feats

In addition to the oath feats I mentioned when talking about the code, paladins have feats customized to work with the various righteous ally options, like Second Ally, a level 8 feat that lets you gain a second righteous ally. There are also a variety of auras that you can gain to improve yourself and your allies, from the humble 4th-level Aura of Courage, which reduces the frightened condition for you when you gain it and at the end of your turn for you and your allies, to the mighty 14th-level Aura of Righteousness, which gives you and your allies resistance to evil damage. Feats that improve or alter your lay on hands include mercy feats, which allow you to remove harmful conditions and afflictions with lay on hands, up to and including death itself with Ultimate Mercy. And we can't forget potent additional reactions like Divine Grace, granting you a saving throw boost at 2nd level, and Attack of Opportunity at 6th level.

To close out, I'll tell you about one more popular non-core paladin ability we brought in, a special type of power called...

Litanies

Following their mold from Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat, litanies are single-action Verbal Casting spells that last 1 round and create various effects. For instance, litany of righteousness makes an enemy weak to your allies' attacks, and litany against sloth slows down an enemy, costing it reactions and potentially actions as well. One of the coolest story features of the litanies against sins is that they now explicitly work better against creatures strongly aligned with their sin, so a dretch (a.k.a. a sloth demon) or a sloth sinspawn treats its saving throw outcome for litany against sloth as one degree worse!

Just as a reminder to everyone, please be respectful to each other. Many of us have strong opinions about the paladin, and that's OK, even if we each have different feelings.

Mark Seifter
Designer

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Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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As Mark said in his blog post, the Paladin is a subject that sees a lot of differing opinions. Remember, to keep the discussion productive and engaging, listening to what others have to say. Our community’s strength lies in diverse interpretations and theories on different parts of roleplaying games and learning from one another.

Before you click the post button on your words, give them a reread. Keep your comments and questions to each other and to staff respectful. If you feel you are about to post an angry diatribe about paladins or other people’s feelings or opinions on paladins, please consider the following:

  • Reread the section of words that you are angry about to ensure you did not misread them. Consider why those words elicits an angry reaction.
  • Let people have their space to express their opinions. Being disrespectful, insulting, trolling, aggressive, etc will not help you seek the changes you might wish to advocate for. It could result in being suspended or permanently banned from paizo.com which means you will have no chance to advocate or provide feedback for changes before the playtest finishes.
  • The forums are a team effort. Work together to build understanding, inspire collaboration and be a community.
  • Practice empathy. Think about why someone might believe or feel the way that they do. Start with an assumption that other community members are here because something about Pathfinder provides them with enjoyment.
  • Someone feeling strongly about taking the game in one direction does not invalidate your opinion, even if it contradicts how you feel (and vice versa).
  • Take care of yourself mentally and physically. If you are tired and hungry or extremely upset, step away from contentious threads and avoid situations that create fights. Taking care of yourself first, will help you communicate your feelings and opinions more effectively.
  • Avoid reducing the discussion to binary choices. Us vs them, right way vs wrong way, either this way or that way, all make the conversation more polarizing. Consider where there might be room to compromise and collaborate. We’ve changed the paladin to be less black and white. If this staunch defender of the righteous path can see a middle ground, so can you.

As Jason said when we first announced the Pathfinder Playtest, this is an evolution of the game. We are taking steps together as a community to grow Pathfinder into what we hope will be a better game.

The Playtest provides an opportunity for experimentation. It provides a structure to test elements in roleplaying games that might not be successful if they had to be taken as cannon for a set of rules. Your thoughtful participation in the Playtest helps the Pathfinder Design team to lead the community into an exciting adventure in game design. Being open to this adventure might not always be easy, the answers are not always clear cut, but I know that the Pathfinder community is resourceful, passionate and capable of rising to the challenge.

Liberty's Edge

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Oh yeah...Pally Love....


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sara Marie,

I love the words of positive message encouragement. Thank you! :-)

That said, I’m liking the direction of this. Whereas the Fighter focuses on offense, the Paladin is defense-focused, though the two are very close. I can’t wait to find out more specifics about the class feats that make a Paladin a holy terror on the battlefield.


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Upon seeing the paladin code - both wording and ordering - my first thought was "3 laws compliant"


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Rabble! Rabble rabble!

I'm disappointed in the notion that Lawful Good is the special alignment. Its my favorite alignment, but its no better than any other Good alignment.

And I'll light a match and say that if they do create other alignment Paladins, they'll be intentionally weaker to avoid power creep, furthering my displeasure of of Lawful Good being Best Good.

This will definitely make the people I disagree with happy though. Good day for them. For me, I must continue with:

Rabble! Rabble rabble!


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

The paladin tenets would be greatly improved by numbering them from 1 through 4 to indicate their priority, and then adding rule 0: "Thou shallst not game the tenet system for your benefit".


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My poor heart can't take a paladin thread right after Infinity War.

Shadow Lodge

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Any chance we can get some numbers on LoH, or a quick glimpse at when Smite Evil might make a return?

Also, I really don't like Divine Grace being a reaction--it forces the Paladin to stop defending their allies in order to protect themselves, which is antithetical to the class's fluff. It also looks like it'll lead to reaction choke between Divine Grace, Retributive Strike, Shield Usage, and Attack of Opportunity.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Huh...was expecting wizard. Seems okay although nothing is really all that surprising. I guess smite has been broken up into some of these different oath abilities maybe?


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Well I cannot say that I am surprised at the way this went but I am disappointed. The other play test posts have shown a willingness to stretch the boundaries and try out new and interesting ideas and then scale back as necessary from feedback.

The paladin post just seems to double down on what we have already seen.

With that, I am glad to see the tenet against poison has been removed.


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Quote:


You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell.

Please don't do this again.


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I applaud the new Paladin Code (even if the second tenet is, perhaps, a bit too verbose) and the idea of hierarchy within it (finally, a concise way of saying Good trumps Law when it comes to Paladins).

Of course, the thing about Anathema's still being a bit too broad stands, but it's a good step nonetheless.

Not quite sure I like them as masters of Armor, but it's a minor point. I understand the need for niches, and if it isn't the Fighter who's the Armor-Man, it might as well be the Paladin.

So overall, pretty nice.


Sounds cool. I love paladins.


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Like what I am seeing so far.
Question, what are the spell points used for. The litanies or something else


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am glad that we will be getting paladins of other alignments in the future, and completely understand focusing on LG for the playtest. if you don't get the baseline right then nothing you add later will work as well or will completely overshadow the baseline version.

I am exited to see what the playtest version looks like, and it appears the LG Paladin and deity alignment options fit what I had theorized in my thread.

Also, interesting to see the Paladin take on more of a tank/bruiser role with higher emphasis on defense and the fighter taking a more offensive role.


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Someone was reading their Aasimov with the second code bullet...

Liberty's Edge

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I'm fine with this. I want CG Paladins as well (along with CE and LE Antipaladins) and want them to be equally powerful with the LG ones, but I'm fine with LG as the 'default', since it'll make so many people happy.

I quite like the code hierarchy. That should make things quite a bit easier as long as Evil Acts are a bit more clearly defined.

The actual mechanics aside from that are interesting. Divine Grace as a Reaction is workable, depending on how they word it, Lay on Hands sounds cool, and while we lack details on Smiting, it's referenced so it's not gone entirely on at least a conceptual level.


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Xerres wrote:

Rabble! Rabble rabble!

I'm disappointed in the notion that Lawful Good is the special alignment. Its my favorite alignment, but its no better than any other Good alignment.

And I'll light a match and say that if they do create other alignment Paladins, they'll be intentionally weaker to avoid power creep, furthering my displeasure of of Lawful Good being Best Good.

This will definitely make the people I disagree with happy though. Good day for them. For me, I must continue with:

Rabble! Rabble rabble!

Wouldn't be a problem if they'd finally slaughter the alignment sacred cow. If 5e can do it I'm sure Paizo can figure it out.

Shadow Lodge

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Xerres wrote:
And I'll light a match and say that if they do create other alignment Paladins, they'll be intentionally weaker to avoid power creep, furthering my displeasure of of Lawful Good being Best Good.

Lawful good has never been best good in Pathfinder. Lawful deities are constantly diminished in the fluff, their chaotic counterparts get far better domains/spells, far more limelight in adventures, on top of the strict code of conduct which makes being LG more difficult than any other good.

If LG Paladin is truly better than the others (and I see no evidence to suggest it will be, history suggests that, if anything, the Paladin of Freedom will be the strongest by far), let them have it. The LG players get beat up enough.


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Since paladin magic (based around spell slots) was one of the most diverse paladin features and it wasn't even mentioned. One would easily assume that paladins are no longer caster in the traditional sense? Well they keep abilities that work now as a spell I'm aware of that but not actual "spell" spells?

Oh and it makes sense to actually divert champions of other alignments out of the CRB since that saves space (assuming they get a thematically fitting feature list).

Silver Crusade

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Blog wrote:

That is to say, whatever alignments paladins have, they should have an array of abilities deeply tied into that alignment.

Since that was the aspect of the paladin that everyone agreed upon, that's what we wanted to make sure we got right in the playtest. But given the limited space for the playtest, we chose to focus on getting that aspect fine-tuned for one alignment, and so in this book we're presenting only lawful good paladins. That doesn't mean antipaladins and tyrants are gone (there's even an antipaladin foe in one of the adventures!) or that the door is closed to other sorts of paladins down the road. We'll have a playtest survey on the matter, we're open to more opinions, and even among the four designers we have different ideas. But we want to focus the playtest on getting lawful good paladins right, first and foremost. If or when we do make more paladins and antipaladins, having constructed a solid foundation for how an alignment-driven champion functions will be a crucial step to making all of them engaging and different in play.

This all looks quite promising. I'll be especially interested in the Playtest conversation about non-LG Paladins and whether those alternative alignment champions will make it into the PF2 Core. (Personally, I do hope that we get options beyond LG in the PF2 Core.)


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And yet another week without Wizard preview

Anyway, cool preview for the Paladin, although I would have preferred Paladins to be focused on Oaths over Alignments.

The priorities for Code of Conduct reminds me to the Three Laws of Robotics, definitely it would generate very interesting role opportunities. Overall I like what was previewed.


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Good to see the bit about the Fighter there - Fighters still get Master armor proficiency, and Paladins still get Master weapon Proficiency. Good.

Mechanically, the aspects seem sound overall. I like the single-action Lay on Hands and Litanies.

I'm concerned about how Divine Grace will interact with the math, but I'm assuming it's not "Cha to Saves" like PF1, since that would utterly annihilate the math and make paladins untouchable. If it is just something like "increase Fortitude, Reflex and Will saving throw proficiency by one step" that is probably fine. (EDIT: Now seeing its a reaction. Cha added as a reaction rather than at all times is fine, especially if it costs a spell point.)

Good to see some confirmation of what breaking anathema does. Good to see more guidance on the code, and the priority rule.

I am not happy to see the game's only Legendary Armor class, and the only divine champion class in core at release, tied to Lawful Good. And I know a metric ton of other people will not be happy with that either. I'm the GM, I'll just immediately houserule that out. But you are once again hurting people who play Society, and hurting the flavor potential of your game and setting and its gods who are once again deprived of a meaningful divine champion.

None of the Paladin's class abilities have EVER been based on Law, except in original D&D when it was Law-Chaos before the Good-Evil axis even existed. All its alignment abilities are based solely on Good. Unless you are giving a lot of order themed powers this time, which is not shown in your preview, the Paladin should at least be "Any Good."

Sovereign Court

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I'm quite disappointed to learn that the Paladin does not seem to use the anathema mechanic (which seemed perfect to build Paladins of all Alignments), or at least a version of the anathema mechanic.

It would probably have been a lot more interesting to have different powers depending on your God.
Well... let's hope that all alignment will be supported in the base book.

First blog post on Pathfinder 2nd edition that leaves me truly disappointed. (It's too bad that you wanted to keep the hard paladin concept instead of going "Champion of Faith", with paladins just being the Champion of Faith of LG gods)

Edit: As someone mentionned, The paladin does use the anathema, but what I meant was that they are adding another mechanic (The Paladin's Code) in addition of the anathema, instead of building the code from the Anathema. It could be interesting to have two paladins of the same god but with different codes because they do not worship the same aspect of their God.


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Hopefully with the new setup in place, most future fallen Paladin comments will be about trip maneuvers.

I've never been the most interested in Paladins. I'm doubtful I'll work on one during the playtest, but things look well enough to me.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Interesting, this makes me think that they're being designed to function more similarly to a Paladin in WoW or another tanking MMO class, what with their armor focus, one-action debuffs on enemies, and mild healing/protective buff abilities.

Also, please stop calling them feats. Call them talents, because just in this blog post alone you have mercy feats, oath feats, champion power feats(?), and righteous ally feats(?), and it's impossible to tell which ones are the class-locked talents/feats and which ones are feats that are ability locked and may become generally available if another class gets an archetype that also has oaths or mercies or righteous ally or something.


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Darkorin wrote:
I'm quite disappointed to learn that the Paladin does not seem to use the anathema mechanic (which seemed perfect to build Paladins of all Alignments), or at least a version of the anathema mechanic.
Blog wrote:
Paladins are divine champions of a deity. You must be lawful good and worship a deity that allows lawful good clerics. Actions fundamentally opposed to your deity's alignment or ideals are anathema to your faith. A few examples of acts that would be considered anathema appear in each deity's entry. You and your GM will determine whether other acts count as anathema.


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I think I would have preferred moving completely away from general tenets to deity-specific tenets (like those found in Inner Sea Gods) only. If the eventual direction of the class were to move to one where paladins of any and all alignments were to exist, having a set of general tenets tied with lawful good specifically becomes more restrictive than each deity having their own personal stamp on what it means to be their champion. That being said, since the playtest version is exclusively lawful good, I don't have a problem with what's been laid out as essentially the "baseline code." I like the design choice to make it a hierarchy of importance to protect paladins from being ambushed by a Kobiashi Maru scenario. It seems in theory like it should be able to drastically reduce the ability of anyone (player or GM alike) to abuse the system to ruin it for everybody. I hope it works out in practice like it appears to work on paper!

Apart from alignment and codes, everything else looks great to me. I can't wait to get into the details, find the devils there, and smite them!


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YES! Allowing poison is a reasonable adjustment, love the clarifications (thank you for further confirming that yes, torture is evil...), happy about the tease of maybe alignment variations with significant gameplay differences but that won't change the paladin's identity as primarily LG.

Mechanics-wise I think a lot of this sounds cool but I do hope it doesn't remove too much versatility, I like playing tanky paladins but I like having the option for more offensive builds too.


Alchemaic wrote:
Also, please stop calling them feats. Call them talents, because just in this blog post alone you have mercy feats, oath feats, champion power feats(?), and righteous ally feats(?), and it's impossible to tell which ones are the class-locked talents/feats and which ones are feats that are ability locked and may become generally available if another class gets an archetype that also has oaths or mercies or righteous ally or something.

Seriously yes, the wording is quite unclear on those.


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Wermut wrote:
Darkorin wrote:
I'm quite disappointed to learn that the Paladin does not seem to use the anathema mechanic (which seemed perfect to build Paladins of all Alignments), or at least a version of the anathema mechanic.
Blog wrote:
Paladins are divine champions of a deity. You must be lawful good and worship a deity that allows lawful good clerics. Actions fundamentally opposed to your deity's alignment or ideals are anathema to your faith. A few examples of acts that would be considered anathema appear in each deity's entry. You and your GM will determine whether other acts count as anathema.

Anathema by deity rather than by class does make way more sense.

Silver Crusade

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Darkorin wrote:
I'm quite disappointed to learn that the Paladin does not seem to use the anathema mechanic (which seemed perfect to build Paladins of all Alignments), or at least a version of the anathema mechanic.

The Blog does mention that Anathema are integrated into the Paladin's code of conduct. Were you getting at a different point?

Blog wrote:

A few examples of acts that would be considered anathema appear in each deity's entry. You and your GM will determine whether other acts count as anathema.

. . .

If you stray from lawful good, perform acts anathema to your deity, or violate your code of conduct, you lose your Spell Point pool and righteous ally class feature (which we talk more about below) until you demonstrate your repentance by conducting an atone ritual


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Disk Elemental wrote:
Xerres wrote:
And I'll light a match and say that if they do create other alignment Paladins, they'll be intentionally weaker to avoid power creep, furthering my displeasure of of Lawful Good being Best Good.

Lawful good has never been best good in Pathfinder. Lawful deities are constantly diminished in the fluff, their chaotic counterparts get far better domains/spells, far more limelight in adventures, on top of the strict code of conduct which makes being LG more difficult than any other good.

If LG Paladin is truly better than the others (and I see no evidence to suggest it will be, history suggests that, if anything, the Paladin of Freedom will be the strongest by far), let them have it. The LG players get beat up enough.

Only Lawful Good can be this shining champion against Evil, so... kinda means "Best Good" there. Given that other Good alignments are just unable to really channel the righteousness. Or use their armor, apparently.

As to Gods, Iomedae is the one that closed the Worldwound, Asmodeus is the mastermind destined to control all creation, Zon-Kuthon gets to wear the leather chaps, and Irori became a God by throwing up the horns and daring reality to stop him. And Abadar has a pretty good beard, I like it.

Contrasting that, Cayden is a drunk that no one cares about, Calistria's only notable feat was messing with the Abyss, and Desna is the one who riled the Abyss enough to make it a problem to begin with. Gorum is God of Warriors, so he's inferior to the Neutral God of Magic on principle. Rovagug got slapped down by Sarenrae, and Lamashtu is stupid and junk.

Also, my Samurai who is totally cool and junk is Lawful Good. That's a major boost for the alignment right there. I'm frankly insulted that Paizo didn't take that into account.

I think making them Lawful Good only is a big mistake. Its a pointless limitation and its only purpose is elitism as far as I'm concerned. Making it so Lawful Good is Best Good. I find the notion very disappointing.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm actually a little dissapointed but the original matter of the articles, because I want paladins moved AWAY from deities , and I think having them have to stick to a deity when that wasn't a real requirement before detracts from the class imo. The rest of the class looks like what I want, but the tying of of any paladin variants going forward to deities detracts from the difference between a paladin and (maybe eventually as a full class) a warpriest for me and my group

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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I really hoped paladins would be last - the just and righteous paladin fans could easily have shown humility and waited until other classes were previewed. :)

I'm not a fan that paladins are automatically the best at armor while fighters are with weapons. I hope both at least have options to gain legendary proficiency with both, to allow fighters just as defensively skilled as paladins and paladins just as offensively skilled as fighters.

As for the paladin's code, while I like some of the language revisions, I don't like the prioritization, to reduce lose-lose situations. For me, that's a strong feature of paladins, that they do have to make the hard moral and ethical decisions where there's no clear right answer.

As for paladin features, are paladins now staves of the magi? Why do they default to Retributive Strike instead of smite evil? I hope too many wizards don't try to break them in half. More seriously, why retribution? Not only does that suggest revenge which isn't very LG, but paladins shouldn't have to wait for an ally to be hit to have their core class ability kick in. Let Paladins take the fight to EVIL and not wait for evil to strike first (except for paladins of Shelyn of course).

It seems weird that litany against sloth actually causes sloth by reducing actions in the target.


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Everyone talks about alignment, no one talks about the STUFF that seems gone?


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I see the Paladin does get Attack of Opportunity: at 6th level, right when a martial in PF1 would get their second attack per turn. I bet that's not an accident. I imagine that will be the pattern followed by all the non-Fighter martials.

Liberty's Edge

This is as close to ideal as I could hope.

Like Kaladin, I'm hoping for some archetypes and packages that encourage other specialisations than armour - and I'm sure you've seen the popularity of the Virtuous Bravo.

But for what we're getting in the playtest, I like what I see, even if I'm going to miss Hero's Defiance.

I love the flavour effect for Litanies, by the way. Stuff that specifically targets the sins of evil outsiders is really awesome.


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They seem weak. Like almost all classes except Cleric since the beginning of the previews. I am afraid that it is going to be like in 5E, magic is going to be so much fun with actions cost, overcasting and underczsting, and strong spells, that any classes without a huge access to magic will feel meh. I hop I am wrong.

This is even worse for the Paladin because they got a code, and an anathema to respect. The bonuses of the class should be more powerful to balance that.

I like the open dialogue about other alignments though. I hope for more options;s. Options are always good, gameplay and roleplay wise.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I just hope that smite can be used on any enemy regardless of alignment, Paladins are a God's champion they should be trusted to make the right calls. A giant beast with Neutral alignment about to descend on a village can do as much harm as an intelligent and evil creature and a Paladin should have all the weapons at her disposal to beat it.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Also Seelah's new artwork is fantastic


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JoelF847 wrote:

I really hoped paladins would be last - the just and righteous paladin fans could easily have shown humility and waited until other classes were previewed. :)

I'm not a fan that paladins are automatically the best at armor while fighters are with weapons. I hope both at least have options to gain legendary proficiency with both, to allow fighters just as defensively skilled as paladins and paladins just as offensively skilled as fighters.

Wait, proficiency levels are class gated? Where is that from?


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Aratrok wrote:
Quote:


You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell.
Please don't do this again.

Is there a problem with things being marked evil... Being evil?


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I'd be lying if I said this doesn't make me very happy.

It is promising that if and when they get around to the other alignments they will be more finely tuned than simply inverting the LG paladin abilities. My big issue with anti paladins wasn't their existence, but the lazy design (with apologies to whomever designed it, but it really was).
I always preferred the Blackguard prestige class to any other anti-paladin.


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One thing to add, maybe it makes sense to already (even if other alignments won't be part of the playtest) divide abilities by alignment: Retributive Strike is a lawful ability, while Lay on Hands is a good ability.

So if other alignments become part of the core the ability grid is already clear and more even. Still I hope for fully developed tyrants and anti-paladins.


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What's the line between Commiting Murder (the highest restricted tenant) and smiting evil foes?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Meh, pass. Oh well, no Paladins at my table again :)

Contributor

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Sounds cool to me. I especially like the sound of the 19th Level defiance ability.

Question: this makes it sound like litanies are special abilities rather than spells. Are Paladins not spellcasters in 2E?

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