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So why doesn't masterwork give a shield +1 to attack if it's a weapon?
Because it's a defensive item that can also be used as a weapon. It receives the bonuses armor/shields receive, but also acts as a weapon.
Technically, the game doesn't tell you that you need to have hands available to equip a shield: only that you need to use a move action. As far as I can tell, you can use your teeth to pull the straps if you really need to. Getting it off, however... that would be a different matter.
No. If you're going to sit there and argue about magic shield slots, then you have to explain magic weapon slots, too. If your rationale for not allowing dual shields is "There's only one shield slot!", then you have to defend wielding a weapon without a weapon slot. Now, what those slots DO mean is that you can only benefit from a single magic item that fits into those slots. A shield is both a magic shield and a weapon simultaneously, and so while you could only receive the benefits of a single magical shield, you are free to wield another as a weapon as normal, since you can wield weapons regardless of slots.
As to the question of defensive enchantments on a shield you're wielding as a weapon, that's debatable, but not overly.
By your logic, players can't wield weapons, as there is no weapon slot at all.
Shields work differently. They are simultaneously shields and weapons, and proficiency with them works differently. For example: A bard is proficient with shields, but not with martial weapons. Therefore, while he ignores the shield's ACP on attack rolls, he still takes a non-proficiency penalty when attempting to use it as a weapon, since he lacks the appropriate proficiency. Alternatively, a class with Martial Weapon Proficiency that lacks proficiency with a shield takes the ACP when attempting to use a shield as a weapon, but without the Proficiency penalty.
Actually, since shields start off as defensive implements (under Armor/Shields), I'd say they're more like armor with fancy rules that allow you to use them as a weapon, not unlike Spiked Armor. The only thing stopping you from doing the silly thing above (Dual-Wielding Armor) is that you can't actually, physically, wear two suits of armor. Nothing stops you from wielding one shield in each hand, one as a shield, and the other as a weapon. Since the AC bonus is of a similar type, it doesn't stack anyways.
Well, I'm not a parent, but I am a teacher, and I'll tell you something that I've seen work time and time again:
Just play with your kids. The second you start inserting math problems as a purposeful way to force "education" into the game, you've made it a chore, not a game. Pathfinder, and many RPGs and tabletop games, actually do a great job of teaching kids to want to learn.
Let's look at a simple example: Determining your damage on a critical hit. You have addition as well as multiplication, and your kid WANTS to get it right because he knows his critical hit could save the party, so even if he needs help, he is directly engaged with the situation.
Or reading: I have adults that are perplexed when I use words like "fen" and "miasma". Those are kind of specific examples, but it's a great way to introduce your kids to new vocabulary, and you can even see if they'd like to spell it out themselves. If they get it wrong, that's fine. Just fix it with them and keep going.
Once they get older, and they start wanting to more fully understand the system and optimize their characters, DPR formulas go a long way towards teaching mathematical principles. You need PEMDAS, as well as an understanding of decimal multiplication, to calculate simple DPR, not including things like miss chance, rerolls, etc. which all make things MORE complex.
Basically, if you play the game, let your kids discover the inherent mathematics and language skills involved in playing the game, and set a good example for them to follow yourself.
See, I'm not talking about it from a story perspective. I'm talking about it from a game perspective.
From a gaming perspective, it makes NO sense to make a game where you can show up for a several hour session and be robbed of it because... reasons. I'd be TICKED if I got to my Pathfinder game and had my character get paralyzed in one of our combat sessions. It's really far, and combat has gotten so big that it takes our group about an hour to finish one (for more reasons than one). For me to show up and waste an hour - 2 hours because I failed a Will save? C'mon. I'd RATHER my character was instantly killed. Then at least I could spend that time rolling up a new one instead of stacking dice and sitting on my hands.
Oh good grief. Anyone can one-shot things at level 1. I can make a Halfling Fighter that pulls that off (albeit less frequently). A human fighter, or anything with a strength bonus, can pull that off.
It's not that bad. Don't worry about it, and enjoy the ride. Remember, a high base damage at level 1 doesn't do jack against a couple of bear traps.
Oh, and Natural Armor doesn't apply to touch AC.
I actually think save-or-suck/lose/die spells shouldn't even exist, save for the absolute rarest of circumstances (obscenely powerful monsters). While enchantment spells can make for some interesting roleplay scenarios (I actually fully played my character that got charmed by a div), the fact is that anything that puts players out of the game does nothing but waste time.
Sure, spells like Hold Person are nice when the players use them, but when you take one guy out of a fight, that's quite a long time, possibly even hours depending on the encounter, where they literally showed up for no reason, and if you want to establish a reasonable world where the NPCs and PCs are on a fairly even playing field, you need to remove these kinds of spells as a whole from the table.
But then, I'm a bit of an extremist.
Two-weapon fighters eventually gain the ability to ignore twf penalties, so the warhammer thing isn't bad. I'd advise against it, however, until you can get past that horrid -4 penalty. Just stick with your light weapons, or one-handed/light combo until you get to the requisite level.
If you're worried about DR, I'd rather you just pick a single two-handed weapon to help cover those situations. It's cheaper, and makes it so that you aren't carrying multiple copies of the exact same weapon.
I realized this too late, but fun fact:
If you feel good selecting Half-Orc as your Race (or a Human with Racial Heritage), you can pick up the Skulking Slayer archetype. It lets you make dirty tricks in place of attacks so long as you meet sneak attack requirements. Heck, with that bonus you won't even notice the loss in BAB (since the archetype gives you a bonus to the maneuver equal to the number of sneak attack dice you would get).
It's... actually pretty good, and makes it so that a single level rogue dip becomes EXCEEDINGLY good for almost any maneuver-oriented character. It also means that a rogue actually becomes a pretty decent maneuver-themed character (in regards to dirty tricks), gaining a bonus of +5 by 10th level which compensates for the reduced BAB by a fair bit (even if the delayed access to maneuver feats hurts MASSIVELY).
You could go all Monster Hunter with it and turn it into some thematic weapons/armor. People always make a big stink about harvesting things for alchemical components, but I often find that's more wishful thinking than anything else.
Alternatively, you could ask your DM about turning it into an improved version of a Bear Trap. It'd still be useful, and would let the poor croc keep doing his thing from beyond the grave without actually making him undead.
I've always wanted to play a Paladin, but never gotten around to it. I feel like I could do it really well, and enjoy it, but I don't want to deal with the early eye rolls.
I've felt that the key to playing a good paladin (learned from my players) is to make a character, complete with traits, flaws, goals, etc., who also happens to be a Paladin. Once you have a living, breathing character, you can play the game in such a way that you aren't defined by your mechanical choices, and it becomes more interesting for everyone involved.
Actually, it's kinda the opposite. It really is just a sneaky wizard. You get tons of skill points from the rogue part, and good sneak attack progression, but with that really low BAB you'll struggle to really hit much of anything. You'll get lots of cool rogue-ish tricks and abilities, but at the end of the day you're a wizard that's a full spellcasting level behind in exchange for some skillful & damage-dealing goodies.
Not that that's bad, mind you, but you'll likely be better off playing up the magical side than the rogue side. Buff-wise, stick primarily to things that buff the group as well, so that you can support everyone depending on the situation. Summon spells are excellent because they can give you and your allies flanking buddies, and the invisibility spells are of course fantastic for setting up sneak attacks (and with your naturally high stealth, you should be the best scout ever). Spells like Mage Armor/Shield are a must, but typically can be handled by a wand or two for a while until it becomes more economical just to prep them yourself, or they get outmoded by gear. Enlarge Person can be a handy low-level buff to damage and reach (the big one!), spells like Mirror Image and Displacement will keep you alive while your getting into flanks/setting up Sneak Attacks. Debuff spells like Blindness/Deafness, Daze, and Sleep will help for a little while, until you get access the big guns, and remember that you CAN get sneak attack damage with touch spells, so spells like shocking grasp, scorching ray, etc. get a lot more mileage out of them (assuming you take the Magical Knack trait to up your caster level by 2, which you SHOULD).
But really, that's the big thing to remember: One of the nice things about Arcane Trickster is that you can use your own spells to set up sneak attacks and hit with them reliable. A Shocking grasp at your first level of Arcane Trickster (6th level) will hit for 5d6, plus an extra 2d6 if you can meet the sneak attack progression, and 7d6 lightning damage is nothing to sneeze at, especially on a touch attack. Alternatively, Chill touch at the same level will give you 1d6 damage x5, plus an extra 2d6 on each hit if you can get Sneak dice, for a grand total of 15d6 over the course of several rounds, not including the possible strength damage. That all, of course, pales in comparison to your skill prowess, and your ability to buff yourself with tons of spells that will compound your rogue-ish prowess (who needs ranks in Climb with the Spider Climb spell?).
Overall, remember that as an Arcane Trickster, your most powerful tool is versatility, not your combat prowess. Sometimes you'll be able to solo encounters with careful planning and tactics, and others you'll need to sit in the back and buff other guys. Most importantly, stay flexible.
Thanks for all the input, guys. I hadn't read this part before, but the rule that a rough percentage of the treasure is assumed to go towards consumables (with the listed value as being the total after selling/consumable use) is actually really cool. I never noticed that before.
Keep in mind, I'm also in the camp of "As long as the group is having fun, whatever works works". I'm just also concerned about not having to drastically change how I challenge the group because of WBL, so I just wanted some input.
I'll keep all this info in mind. Thanks for everything, guys. Don't let me keep you from discussing, though, if you want. :P
My post used an extreme example, but let me put it another way.
Let's say the party... oh, druid, springs for a Wand of Cure Light Wounds. Common item to buy, really useful, and at the same level he's down 750 GP for a good item. Fair enough.
However... does that 750 GP deficit follow him for the rest of his career? Is that wand he used for maybe 2-3 levels (at most) part of his character's total WBL for the remainder of his character's life? Basically, how final would you rule the estimated WBL chart is for characters? Yes, character can eventually save up money, but my main question is, in the long term, do consumables take up a permanent spot in a character's final wealth total? Or should they be assumed to be used and not count towards WBL?
I wanted to get the boards opinions on how this should be handled, as I've always wondered how to do it, and do it well.
So, in a sort of adventuring bubble where the adventure and loot are all predetermined by the DM, factoring consumable items into the group's WBL is a relatively simple task. There's simply a limited amount of treasure in the adventure based on the group estimated level, and consumables are simply part of the total wealth available to the characters.
However, assuming we aren't in a totally perfect wealth situation, how do you, as a DM, deal with wealth by level in regards to consumables?
Let's look at this. Simple example:
At 4th level, each character should have roughly 6k GP worth of items and treasure. However, while one character may be spending his wealth on sustainable items (cloaks of resistance, +1 weapons, etc.), let's say another is buying limited use consumables (lots of wands, potions, minor wondrous items, etc.). By the time the next level rolls around, the first character is likely looking at some minor upgrades, and maybe saving up for bigger items.
The second character, assuming he used all those consumables he bought, is now (compared to the first character) significantly behind his WBL if we take his inventory at its current level. He will have been chugging/handing out potions, burning through wand charges, and milking those wondrous items for all they're worth, but now if we look at both their available items, he's losing steam, and out a good bit of money.
How would you handle this situation? On the one hand, it seems unfair to throw gold at people that buy consumables to keep their current level WBL reasonable, but on the other hand it sucks to be way behind everyone gear-wise just because he decided to buy items that would be useful now rather than later.
First off, level 14 PCs, especially wizards, have a LOT of capabilities. Be ready for this. It's a difficult time to start DMing, so be patient.
Now, here's the bad news: A 20th level ninja can move around completely undetectable by the party, and this won't really work as a challenge. If she wanted to, she could likely kill the party at her leisure, because Hidden Master is just freakishly good. Even if the party is prepared for it, they (literally) won't see it coming, and can't even detect her while she's murdering them.
Now, at 14th level, this IS a nuisance, as by this time they likely have the money to regularly afford resurrections. The problem is, if you took her down to, say, 19th level, she's too easy, as the 20th level ultimate ability is just so darn good. Sorry if I don't have any easy solutions: I rarely run games this high level for precisely this reason.
Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:
You can't take fly with Unsanctioned Knowledge. You can only take spells on the Cleric/Oracle, Inquisitor, and Bard spell lists, none of which have Fly.
I don't know if you're interested, but did you know that there's an AMAZING FAMILIAR-THEMED PALADIN ARCHETYPE? It's... it's just fantastic. One of my favorites to date. It's actually just a better version of the normal Paladin that gets a couple of class features a little later, but doesn't change the scaling. If you're really planning on taking Paladin to level 5, take this archetype. It scales your familiar for basically no downside.
Also, don't forget about the Spirit's Gift feat. Giving your Familiar fast healing 1 or DR 5/Adamantine is HUGE in the early game, and pretty darn good any other time. Oh, and once you hit 9th level, take Boon Companion for your Mount if you can, or retrain into the feat. If you can take Monstrous Mount, even better.
The whole point of invisibility is that you don't need good stealth to be stealthy. As to Timely Inspiration, the benefit is that you can use it off your turn. It doesn't interrupt your normal actions in the same way that Touch of Gracelessness does, even if the later is better from a debuff perspective.
I like Displacement more, but that's just me. Anything that risks losing my actions isn't worth it, imo.
Here's the thing: If your group has regular access to haste, then Divine Power isn't that necessary, unless your group has limited access to it. If your group DOESN'T have access to Haste... you could pick it up as a 3rd level spell off the bard spell list, which could be a great choice instead of Displacement, depending on your party makeup.
The spells I mentioned are spells that will be generally useful. Freedom of Movement is a great spell... when you need it. The problem is that it's situational. Something like Timely Inspiration won't miss, and is always there when you need it, and doesn't interrupt your normal turn, but it's really up to you. Invisibility is nice because even if you fail your stealth, you still have total concealment, so it functions like Displacement with added benefits.
Mirror Image. Hands down as your 2nd level spell. It's awesome.
Vanish is good as a 1st level, but I'm not sure. Compel Hostility is a solid choice if you plan on using that defensiveness to "tank" for your group. Timely Inspiration is also a solid choice for when you REALLY need that attack/skill/check/whatever to land.
Improved Invisibility is also a solid choice of a 4th level spell. Otherwise, they're all good choices.
I made a new character for a game that is a reach fighter specializing in trip and dirty tricks. Trip is one of the best combat maneuvers because of the action economy: Substituting an attack means you can use AoOs to prevent enemy movement via knocking their butts prone. Dirty trick is just a BEAST, because with the right combos you can turn them into save or sucks pretty quickly. For example, a character with Dirty Trick Master and a single level (maybe even 2 levels) in Maneuver Master monk can potentially daze or nauseate an opponent in a single turn, with no means by which the effect can be removed other than waiting out the duration (which can be increased as necessary with further dirty tricks). This means that you've taken one guy and completely locked him out of the fight, which is the kind of crap typically reserved for spellcasters, and you can do it all day (much like some kind of martial Witch).
Quark Blast wrote:
lol. No, it's not what I'm saying. The entire point of the teaching is that retributive "justice" is not good. Claiming the life of a murderer is equal, but not righteous. A Paladin, someone whose powers have been granted to him as a Paragon of Goodness, in the event that he needed to stop them, or protect others, could use non-lethal damage to subdue his attackers, or combat maneuvers to prevent them from harming innocents. Against humanoid enemies, nonlethal damage is just as good (and sometimes better) than lethal damage, assuming you have a means to deal it effectively.
I say that, however, because this is a fantasy world, and there are aspects of the world that are different than that of the real world. It's clear, in this world, that one can be good, and take good action, by defending others with physical force. However, as a Paragon of Goodness, the Paladin must always strive to uphold the inherent value of life.
Also... why couldn't the Paladin just run from his assailants? Or use one of his many spells to temporarily blind or subdue them while he makes his getaway. There's no reason he should just needlessly fall on his own sword, as it were.
You seem to be under the impression that wielding a weapon and killing are the same thing. Not only are there plenty of ways in which a Paladin can use his martial proficiencies to subdue his enemies (Merciful is a GREAT weapon enhancement, btw), but there are still plenty of creatures that are pure evil that can be the target of his righteous fury. You're acting like a Paladin can't harm undead, but considering they're predominantly mindless abominations (as are a lot of the creatures adventurers face), there is PLENTY of reason for a Paladin to be trained in combat. Undead, aberrations, evil outsiders, evil dragons, and other evil fantastic creatures might all feel the sting of justice (though even then, the Paladin should exercise caution with sentient creatures). As I've mentioned before, these kinds of creatures serve a distinct purpose: not only as clear enemies, but as literary fodder for our heroic cannons.
Quark Blast wrote:
Also, yup. That's part of being good. We can call ourselves whatever we want, but that doesn't make it so.
But now I'm getting off-topic. Religious debate /ended.
Quark Blast wrote:
Jesus statement is a clarification of the law of Moses, not an alteration. Also, the whole point is that being good is hard. Being good means looking your aggressor in the eye, and showing him love and compassion. ISIS has already decided to ignore the teachings of Jesus (despite his presence in their holy texts), but that doesn't mean I need to respond in kind.
Fortunately, when we play Pathfinder, the IDEA of the Paladin is that he smites evil, and against a large number of foes (Undead, Constructs, Evil Outsiders, and other fantastical creatures) he does pretty darn well, and I have no qualms about them doing their Paladin schtick. That's part of the fun of fantasy: you get to live out the combative hero fantasy. You get to slay dragons, confront demons, and obliterate undead hordes, and still feel good about yourself. They're literary devices which allow you to revel in combat. However, when it comes to people, you have to be better than a murderhobo.
Again, it's why I run lots of abominations, demons, and undead in my games. Nobody has any qualms about them.
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Fair enough. Thanks for keeping things civil. :D
There is a difference between punishment and "justice". Punishment serves as a means to correct behavior. We don't punish children because they deserve to be punished; we do so to teach them not to engage in the actions that brought about punishment. It's the reasons I'm totally behind something like life imprisonment.
Death isn't a punishment; at least, not one by human standards. A death sentence is brought about by an attempt to bring about balance. I could TOTALLY see a vengeful warrior who slaughters the person that murdered his family. It seems reasonable, it makes for dramatic storytelling, but it's still evil. It's simply justifiable.
Now, you COULD make the argument that, IF the afterlife of the slain is known to the Paladin, and IF the Paladin has a way to ensure the soul of the slain is cared for mercifully and justly, THEN he could reasonably keep his powers when doling out deathly judgment. If those conditions are not met, however, then the Paladin is performing an evil act.
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Yes, yes. I've heard all of those things. I wouldn't be so self-righteous to think I could reference scripture without understanding the context of it.
However, the Word of God himself says: "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." There's no middle ground there. There's no working around that fundamental statement. Plus, the verse you quoted specifically pertains to authority figures, and it does not dictate the actions authority figures should take, but those UNDER such authority.
Quark Blast wrote:
"You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
ROFL. That's AMAZING. By RAW, you can, though I think most reasonable DM's would house rule it to be a creature other than the target of the spell.
Also, @ Wraithstrike:
The spell specifically mentions that the secondary save only occurs if traveling beyond 60' of the target would put the creature in physical danger. The requirement for Stand Still would be 5 feet, and therefore would not apply.
B. A. Robards-Debardot wrote:
First, I'd be pretty darn impressed if Gygax was referring to Hammurabi's Code, and not the Biblical reference.
Second, that doesn't mean he got it right, even if he did.
Again, I never said being good was easy. You are not responsible for the actions of others, but you are responsible for what you do about them. Whatever hatred or loathing may be had is an impediment to righteousness, not an aid. All men deserve death: No man has the right to impose the sentence.
Now, as to what that means for my games, it means that, generally speaking, if you're going to play a good character and really hold that alignment, you need show mercy to the defeated, and help those in need. When I DM, I frequently use Undead, Evil Outsiders, and Aberrations because, for fantasy purposes, my group typically has no moral problems with defeating these kinds of foes, and it puts all kinds of issues behind us to have fun in the game. But once you bring in characters that serve as more than literary fodder for our heroic cannons, you change the game.
Yes. The Paladin falls. No one ever said being good was easy, or fun. Sometimes being good means letting a murderer/rapist live. Sometimes it even means helping them overcome the urge to do evil. That's what good is. Murdering someone due to their actions is still murder. It's just socially acceptable.
Also, Gygax kinda got the "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" thing wrong. Not bashing him, a lot of us do, but it doesn't mean what you think it means.
Per raw, the druid divides her effective druid level between the animal companions, not HD or anything, and companions receive their advancement based on effective druid level. Therefore, your animal companions only advance when your determined abilities for them match the required effective level.
A 7th level druid with a wolf and a dog split 3/4 would have an unadvanced wolf and an advanced dog (though he could take Boon Companion to boost his wolf up to effective 7th, which would advance it).
Bran Towerfall wrote:
I'm doing the exact same thing, though I'm getting Lore Warden 6 first, then going Maneuver Master (those bonus feats/BAB are NICE... plus Weapon Mastery).
I actually just built the EXACT same kind of character (reach trip/dirty trick fighter), and it looks just BRUTAL on paper.
Fun fact: Did you know you can keep an opponent almost permanently dazed with the Dirty Trick Master feat, with no save? Basically, if you dazzle them with the first one (lol, the weakest debuff), if they don't spend a standard action to remove it, you can follow it up by upgrading it to daze... which not ONLY lasts for several rounds, but they can't remove it, as per the daze condition entry, a dazed target can't take actions. Sure, it requires a follow up... but you've still wasted a standard action on their part, at the very worst, or totally crippled them at best.
Or, if you dip into a Maneuver Master and have the Quick Dirty trick feat, you could get lucky and pull it off in one round.
1st: Take one of the Campaign Traits.
2nd: The Necropolis in Wati isn't like a graveyard or ancient burial ground. (I'm currently playing through book 2 atm, no spoilers for you, though). It's part of the city that just... died, and nobody really remembers why. So it's not a tomb, or crypt, or anything like that. It's just a dead part of the city. Your dwarf could be a Pahmet, the ancient ones that at one point served the great Pharaohs of old. He might have come to Wati for the sole purpose of slaying the undead abominations in the Necropolis. Maybe he's a "forgemaster" of Torag, and sees the preservation and restoration of ancient arms and armor as a means of glorifying Torag, so a huge city full of ancient stuff is just ripe for his magic touch.
3rd: Also, maybe it's just me, but the Pharasmans seem to be fine with the whole thing. They have a very strict set of rules for you to follow regarding "desecration", so as long as you play up the Lawful aspect of your character (like I did my neutral good character), you should be fine.
On building a balanced group: working out just what works and why you may have been doing it all along.
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
For a majority of a healer's career (everything before the heal spell), a single cure cast will probably not prevent an ally from being defeated, at least not moreso than increasing his defenses against the target of his likely demise, or debilitating it, or helping your allies kill it. Heals just generally don't heal for very much compared to the amount of damage equal CR enemies put out, let alone higher CR enemies. That's not to say healing is bad, but the other choices mentioned are probably about equally as viable. Plus, if the PC JUST got to death's door, it sounds like a perfect time for a tactical retreat (withdraw action). Let the rest of the healthy party mop up the fight while he pulls out a ranged weapon once within a safe-ish distance.
On building a balanced group: working out just what works and why you may have been doing it all along.
Your "shield" is just a hammer that either A) Doesn't suck at his job (minimizing party resource expenditure), or B) Gets supported by the Arm(s) to the point that he can take relatively little damage, or survive the damage he takes.
I think the main problem is finding a good balance between offense and defense, and the benefits those provide.
If you look at combat as a means by which your group's resources are expended, you seek to minimize the expenditure of those resources. The surest way to do so is to ensure that your opponent cannot reduce them, and this typically involves killing them. There are other ways (Enchantment spells & Sleep spells/effects come to mind) to do so, but typically you want your opponents dead, which means you must possess the means by which to kill them.
However, again looking at combat through resource expenditure, your secondary objective should be to ensure your relative safety while you engage your foes. After all, a dead PC deals no damage, drops no debuffs, and casts no spells. To that end, you should endeavor to increase your defenses to a reasonable level whilst still allowing yourself to accomplish your role in the party. A fighter might very well be nigh untouchable, but if he has devoted too many of his resources to this end, he won't be able to contribute to victory conditions. In that same vein, a barbarian may be able to put out a lot of damage, but if he finds himself in an unfavorable situation without a means of changing his tactics, he can suddenly become utterly useless.
The game rewards offense, yes, but in order to remain a viable offensive force, your group must find a balance between defeating enemies and weathering their assault, at least for long enough to accomplish the former goal. In most situations, a high-damage character will be useful for the task at hand. One cannot say the same about a defense-focused character... at least, not always.
TLDR: Too much offense is more forgiving in a group setting than too much defense, but to be an effective character you need to find a reasonable balance given your role in the group.
On building a balanced group: working out just what works and why you may have been doing it all along.
I agree. In the above mentioned group, they have plenty of Anvil (spells and grappling), a bit of Arm (Spells from both), but no Hammer. A paladin would work really well because the group lacks a means of killing their foes without expending excessive resources. The healing is nice, but something like a Slayer or Warpriest could work just as well as the Paladin.
Tanking is typically used to refer to being difficult to kill as an Hammer, but it is often exceedingly difficult to maintain viable Hammer status while remaining difficult to kill. This is what the Anvil and Arm are there for: A blinded, misfortune'd opponent is far less likely to hit your powerhouse Paladin than your paladin taking 3 more rounds to kill it because he picked up a bunch of survival options instead of opting to do more damage. It's not bad to make sure your character has some element of self sufficiency, which is why your Paladin can fill the Arm role in a pinch (especially if you take the right Paladin options), but every option he takes spreads his abilities too thin, and eventually he fails to adequately fulfill a single role with good consistency.
Yes, it can work. Talk to the Paladin player OOC, and work with the DM to allow the group to function as a whole. There have been PLENTY of situations where my character completely disagreed with, and in fact opposed, the moral actions of the group, but I set it aside because I wanted the group to be happy, and to have fun. You and the paladin player need to do the same thing: You can disagree all you want in-game, and his character may even despise you, but fundamentally the game is about playing nice with each other, so you two need to make it work.