Kelarith wrote:...Ashiel wrote:James Jacobs wrote:But ignoring the evil aspects of his church is not following the teachings of his church, don't you see? Ignoring half of Asmodeus's teachings is a chaotic act. By remaining good aligned and trying to worship Asmodeus, you are behaving chaotically. You might still be able to call yourself a worshiper of Asmodeus in this case (and you would likely be consigning yourself to punishment in the afterlife, but that's a different story)... but you would NOT be acting in a lawful manner by doing so, and thus would drift away from lawful good toward neutral good or neutral. And when you did, you wouldn't be a paladin.
By this argument you cannot have chaotic followers of deities, because they either A) aren't actually following them, or B) are lawful. Likewise, you'd not be able to be a member of a church unless you 100% matched up with the deity in question.
Meanwhile, in Wrath of the Righteous pt 4, it mentions Nocticula is often worshiped by heretics who aren't into the whole evil stuff, but worship her more positive aspects such as being a patron of outcasts, artistry, and the glories of midnight; suggesting that they even come into conflict with the more mainstream believers; and they still get spells.
Not everyone is going to have the same outlook on faith, and some people are just strait up blind to certain aspects of it. Asmodeous for example is orderly, assisted in the binding of the god of destruction, and even after his vengeance for what he saw as his brother's betrayal, had sympathy and allowed mortals to remain with free will.
A Paladin could very easily cling to towards the positive aspects of Asmodean faith, such as the strength of order and the consistency that it provides, their activities in caring for orphans, or the fact that for an evil god he certain hands out more healing spells to his clerics than they normally have available. He's a bad guy, but not all of his faith revolves around hurting people.
Actually, the rules don't say that you can fall from associates, only that you should seek atonement occasionally during missions where you are working with them for a prolonged period of time.
Code of Conduct: A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class features except proficiencies if she ever willingly commits an evil act.
Additionally, a paladin's code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.
Associates: While she may adventure with good or neutral allies, a paladin avoids working with evil characters or with anyone who consistently offends her moral code. Under exceptional circumstances, a paladin can ally with evil associates, but only to defeat what she believes to be a greater evil. A paladin should seek an atonement spell periodically during such an unusual alliance, and should end the alliance immediately should she feel it is doing more harm than good. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are lawful good.
And yes, the associate rule specifically talks about people who violate the Paladin's moral code. If they don't do it where he can see it (and he isn't intentionally turning a blind eye), there is nothing that would make him fall from working with evil people.