|Fatespinner RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32|
|Steve Greer Contributor|
Well my weekly game session just turned into a big steaming pile of poo. Yesterday I had a player, a paladin mind you, who was the niminal leader of the party decide to decapitate one of the other party members for not following his orders in war time. He argues that it was the lawful good thing to do. A little background, after a mass combat where the Human Paladin was leading an almost exclusively elven army, a part of his troops asked to go home. The elf member of the party helped them to get to the gate which he opened to allow the elves to be gated home. When the Paladin found out that he had lost some of his troops, he marched over to the elven encampment after gathering the rest of the party. He ordered the elf character to his knees. When the Elf character refused to kneel but also refused to fight back, he simply lopped his head off. The rest of the party was in shock and the paladin couldnt understand why the rest of the army decided to leave. He then pitched a fit when a party member asked him to explain himself, stating that he was the leader and he made HIS decision. Now this player thinks I am out of line for taking away not only his alignment but his paladin status. The other lawful character in the party explained to said paladin that he should have at least let the character explain his actions before passing judgement at all. The paladin's player said that because his character had earned his experience, his new character that he was bringing in was going to have 11000 experience points compared to the rest of the party's 8500. I feel like somewhere along the line I lost control and the group is deciding whether or not they want top even play with this guy anymore, could you please send some advice my way?
I love it when my players edge toward the darkside; I role-play the hell out of it, forcing them to make tough choices that either push them one way or the other; so this sounds like it has the potential for a LOT of unexpected fun.
I would explain to your player that he has acted out of concert with the alignment requirements for the character, then offer him options and suggestions for role-playing the situation. I believe that if he's really into the game, he will probably jump at the opportunity to evolve his character. Real good Joseph Campbell stuff here...then again, if he is adamant that the DM is wrong (what blasphemy) and he can't debate the issue convincingly (that is, argue why his character's actions were, indeed, in keeping with alignment and class), well...it's your game, but I've always thought, if everyone's not having a good time, what's the point?
As far as the 11,000 XP...Personally, I don't allow carry-over of XP, etc. I allow the players to manage multiple PCs (especially useful when a PC dies in the middle and now your player has nothing to do), but I never allow weapons, goods, monies, abilities, XP, etc to change hands or otherwise benefit the new character. If the PC doesn't start out at 1st level, then I carefully manage the particulars to ensure fairness and party balance.
You did the right thing in taking away the alignment and the paladin's powers. The paladin was acting Lawful Neutral at best, and probably more Lawful Evil by administering punishment to someone without waiting for an explaination. I agree with Heath that the elves should've ventilated this guy when he openly executed their leader right in front of them, but it sounds like we're a little too late for that one. I would have the elves abandon his cause since he has clearly demonstrated that he is a cruel and vindictive leader (enforcing obedience and loyalty is still Lawful, at least). The DM should always be in control of his own game and, if the other players are complaining about this guy, boot him.
At the very least, it will be a long road to redemption for this "paladin."
That guy sounds like a whiny bastard - not only would I not have awarded any XP to him (sorry, RP trumps hack n' slash everytime in my world) to the "paladin," he would have been stripped of his paladin abilities for his blatant act of homicide. Atonement for the win.
Have a private discussion with the other players and ask them if they wish to continue playing with Mr "My Way or the Highway" - gaming should be fun, and if 3/4 of your players aren't having fun...
I could see a huge RP encounter after such a departure/defection. I could see an "irreconcilable differences" party disintegration. I could even see the paladin bringing the elf up on charges of treason or disobedience in the face of the enemy. But the paladin's actions weren't any form of LG that I would recognize. (FWIW, I'd put that foolishness somewhere in the LE, NE, CE, CN, CS alignment range, depending on exactly how the encounter played out.) Unless the paladin had a really unusual code of honor, the actions you describe were an entirely reasonable response to the game events you describe.
The paladin's player said that because his character had earned his experience, his new character that he was bringing in was going to have 11000 experience points compared to the rest of the party's 8500. I feel like somewhere along the line I lost control and the group is deciding whether or not they want top even play with this guy anymore, could you please send some advice my way?
A new character enters any game at the level determined by the DM. I can imagine circumstances where a new character could be almost any level, though a level higher than the rest of the party is hard to justify in most circumstances. But killing another PC and making your character into an evil NPC isn't usually worthy of a reward. Frankly, if I were willing to play with that player again, I'd give the now-NPC ex-paladin experience (and his first Blackguard level) for the actions, have the player start his new character at a level below that of the rest of the party, and consider reprising the ex-paladin as a BBEG in a few levels.
If you choose not to play with the player again, I'd strongly consider retconning the whole event and picking up where you were before the paladin went insane.
Wow... Where to begin...
Off the cuff, I would say drop the player of the former Paladin.
But if that isn't something you feel right doing, try this:
First thing to do is to talk to the player. Instead of lecturing him of the error of his ways, ask him to justify his characters actions as Lawful, AND Good. Stress the Good part.
Unless he has a tongue more silver than the late Johnnie L. Cochran, when he fails to do so you can then explain why his Holiness was revoked.
And if I read your post correctly, the player of the Paladin is trying to claim the dead Elf's share of XP? Or worse, XP for killing the party member? If that is the case, unless you already set a precedent against it, explain to the player that the Elf did not fight back. There was no challenge, therefor there is no XP for the kill.
After all of that, calmly explain to the player if he ever tries that s$*& again, his ass is out and banned.
Right, on…jerk the jerk’s paladin status. He didn’t make an arrest for trial. Instead he appointed himself judge, jury and executioner. He didn’t wait for details. It was an act of ego, anger, and murder pure and simple. The character is lucky he wasn’t killed by the rest of the elves present.
If there’s any intent on keeping this character in play, he’s got a lot of atonement to do. Or he could turn anti-paladin real fast for his troubles. You did right. Don’t sweat it. If the player has problems, it’s something he’s gonna have to live with. You’re in the right all the way.
If you don't want to dump the player, make him earn his position at the table, though. Players like that at my table don't last long, and this guy shouldn't either unless he wants it bad enough to work for it.
Sounds like the stuff of Norse sagas. Beginnings of a huge feud between the paladin's order and the elves. Etc. etc.
Yeah, I would have to concur that this guy clearly turned his back on the paladin's code. If you're into playing with evil party members, you could offer him the opportunity to turn blackguard, but he doesn't sound mature enough to make it a workable solution. Not sure I'd keep playing with this guy, but if I did, I'd definitely let him know who's boss.
hmm; I agree it probably wasnt a good act; I take it no rules of any kind were layed down and he never told anyone what he expected of them or the penalties of dissobedience; certainly I would state as a gm straight out of the Exalted book that a LG person is the embodiement of good meaning mercy; forgiveness, understanding, compassion and having the desire to retrain and redeam those who have failed or are evil by example and charity. I would say that this act was a non good act more befitting the tyranny of LE mixed with the arbitraryness of choas as the rules were never stated beforehand - if that is indeed the case. I would probably have a cleric of that paladins diety tasked with restoring or arbitrating good will back with the elfs and assurance that the paladin will be retrained and made to be penitant and restitution will be made. If the paladin is unwilling to repent; then his paladin status is forfit and the church will make restitution on its own; he would be cast out; this of course would all happen through roleplaying and take several game sessions; the paladin has the choice of being redeemed or becoming cast out.
I dont believe in ever dropping someone for his playing what his he believes his characters actions should be; this could basically be a guy who doesnt know much about his order or his deities which is a common problem I have had from GM's. You cannot blame a player for an action if you never gave him a set of guidelines to work with in the first place. The GM should always let players of religious order know what their religion and diety expect from them. I doubt this person would have made this choice if he had a piece of paper with guidelines for his actions. I do not see this as a player problem alone, but a player gm interaction problem; it is very possible the player was just making it up as he went along due to lack of structure or lack of communication. Players often feel very strongly and rightly so about their characters and their characters actions; I would never want to dampen a players enthusiasium for a game. Perhaps there is no law of due process; perhaps the player is a noble and had the right to be the judge, jury and executor of justice; this is all very much following the genre of monarchy and I could easily make a very good arguement that he followed classic rules for chivalry and valor.
I think the gm should open a dialog where he and the player find a comfortable set of rules between the players chosen religion, the expectations of knights and paladins and together make a set of rules and guidelines on paper; a catechism as it were; then wash away this whole incident. Teach your players; dont argue with them; dont make iron fisted decisions about a problem you as the gm may have inadvertently caused.
well, my four bits anyway
Like many of you posted, if you've got a bad apple in the bunch, you need to cut it loose and cut your losses; else you might find yourself playing with Mr. High and Mighty, and the rest of your better players left your group and formed a new group.
PB sparked my creative side with the idea of using this important (at a local scale) event as the springboard for the basis (or background, at least) for an entire epic campaign. The PCs must fell the fallen blackgaurd that can only be killed by the sword of the elf struck down in cold-blooded murder. Adventures would go something like:
Maybe an adventure arc spanning levels 10-15 (or higher based on needs)...
Zealot, you made the right call. I've played with an annoyingly similar minded paladin player before and pretty much did the same thing you did everytime something like this happened.
This sounds like a case of the paladin player's ego being offended by the other player's "audacity" at challenging his authority both in game and at the table. His motivation for killing the other player's PCs was one of anger. There was nothing Lawful or Good with his actions. This goes deeper, though. This wasn't just some NPC. This was a fellow party member, an ally. This was someone who trusted the paladin and fought alongside him, possibly saving his life a time or two. Throwing all of that aside and not even talking about it with him was a purely evil act of murder. Personally, I don't think there's anything that could atone for such a heinous act.
Now as for taking control of your group... You need to frankly talk with ALL of your players about the situation. You need to find out if this player has crossed the line of friendly gaming and created a hostile environment. If so, he has to go. If the group is OK with continuing to game with this guy and there aren't going to be hard feelings, then you need to tell them how you stand on alignment issues and the style of game play you are interested in pursuing. As well as the style of game play you are NOT interested in pursuing. Situations like this make for good breaks in the game to re-evaluate your gaming experience and institute changes that may have needed it.
As far as what level a new character comes in at, I have always gone with the rule that a new character comes in at exactly the same XP as the lowest level PC in the group. It's fair to everyone in the group and doesn't penalize the new PCs (too much). It also makes surviving encounters that much more rewarding if you suddenly find yourself the highest level PC in the group (or you just have the most XP and stand to level before the others).
This guy sounds like a bully. NOt just the Paladin character but the player. Killing other PCs should be taboo, great way to destroy a gaming group. Demanding he recieve experience points for a new character. Are you serious? From what I got from the post, I would have kicked him out of my game? From the moment he started demanding more exp for his new characters than the other PCs, we would have been at odds. I'm the Dm, the other guy can leave the table. Being that my players love my funky DM style, they stay and continue and play with me.
Man I would seriously drop him if he can't change the atitude. I would ask he never play a Paladin again. Maybe a Tyrant, the LE champion. He was a great Tyrant.
Peruhain of Brithondy wrote:
I agree with you there. Many of the great Norse sagas started out much like this.And ended with the "hero" (or antihero) getting slaughtered....
Dude. If I was an elf, in an army, and some "paladin" pulled something like that, I would riddle him with arrows; because he's obviously posessed by ass demons.
I agree with this. Not just the elf himself, but the surrounding army would have a beef with this. Army's work on structure, if the paladin just starts randomly executing people, that structure will be "done away with" pretty quick.
Yeah. S#~# happens when you go a'Vyking.
A great example of how not to roleplay a paladin.
1) It sounds like the player does not understand the paladin's code.
2) It sounds like the player does not understand the Lawful Good alignment.
3) It sounds like the player does not understand leadership.
4) It sounds like the player does not understand that roleplaying is a social activity.
5) It sounds like the player does not understand that "winning," at the expense of the rest of the group, is not the focus of the game.
6) It sounds like the player does not understand that he does not have the right to say "shut up and do things my way" to the rest of the group.
You should definitely discuss this with the group and decide if you want to give him a second chance or not. Be open about it and tell him that his actions are negatively impacting the enjoyment of the rest of the players. If you do decide to give him a second chance, I'd recommend starting from scratch with 1st level characters. It's tough to abandon characters, but it's even harder to move them past this sort of incident without wrecking the campaign, either in the short- or long-run.
I was in a group with a person similar to this, but he decided not to kill me...this is how it went:
We were in the middle of fighting a very powerful vampire with some amulet of protection from spells, you know those amulets that can suck up so many levels of spells, anyway I was stunned from one of his spells and my group member really wanted to become vampire and thought that killing me would let the vampire bite him and what'not...I barely managed to convince him not to kill me.
Ever since that day I cannot stand even thinking about those players who do that! I would kick him right then and there if I was DM, rash? Yes. But I don't care for those who kill their group members when the member has done nothing to them! If your players disagree with kicking(I don't see why they would) then talk to and about him with your group and decide to give him a second chance I suppose...still I wouldn't. When it comes to this stuff I'm not one to give second chances much if at all! This guy is coming back to our group because our DM has a shortage on players and we are starting a new campaign, it has been almost a year since he has played under the DMing of my friend and if he tries anything like that again he is out for good, I am also allowing him to come to my DM sessions because our shortage on players...we really need to get some more people to come, but we have some possible people to come. I will allow this guy to stay even when we get enough people because he had been my friend for a good 5 years or so...when it comes to DnD though he is not always easily controllable.
Sorry for the rant...
It's very hard to play RP games with someone who needs to be in control of every situation, other players not quite as outspoken end up in the background unable to put their ideas forward, and therefore, do not have as enjoyable a time as could be had. I played with someone who was always telling the rest of the party what we were going to do, it was maddening. It is far more fun to work as a team, each person coming to the fore in the different melees or meetings that best suits them. Everyone has fun when all feel they have contributed.
Dragonchess Player wrote:
Agreed. I do not think this has the makings of a great RP event. This guy is just an ass, plain and simple, out of character as much as in character. He's screwing with your table and likely won't change a damn. Trying to run with this in the campaign only seems to vindicate his actions. Ugh, and the audacity to blatantly disregard everyone else at the table, including the DM, in such a game-crashing action, and then to aslo try and dictate the starting terms of his next character?
This is a completely out-of-game problem, and considering it doesn't sound like he was immediately "ventilated," as others have said, it's probably too late to find an in-game solution. Talk with him if you like, but be prepared to boot him, unless he's some friend of yours (sounds questionable to me; it's amazing how much of one's real personality seeps into these games). If you don't, you may find yourself "booted" as DM from the rest of the group.
The Jade wrote:
If I was an elf archer watching that beheading go down, I would have yanked bowstring so far back my tendons would have popped out like stairs, then I'd have filled that dink full o' daylight.
I woulda broke Legolas bad on that cat, and lit him up like a white phosphorus round.Ida made him look like a damn acupuncture example doll.
Agreed. I do not think this has the makings of a great RP event.
I agree that in -this- case, it doesn't have the potential. However, the actual event itself, from a purely IC standpoint, could have that potential. It could start a new war, lead to the fall and corruption of the paladin and have all sorts of shockwaves.
The problem here is less the character and the event, and much more one of the player being high-handed, arbitrary and a huge ass towards other players for not doing it 'his way'. With him at the helm, the potential of the event doesn't manifest, because he won't accept the consequences or admit that he might be wrong.
...Sounds a bit like Miko from OoTS now that I think about it. Huh.
I would have shot him through and through so many times he'd look like a lava rock... so full of holes Swiss people would try to nibble on him... so covered in his own red that traffic would stop.
Um...very few responses seem to address the question of what the OP could have or should have done as a GM in that instance. I'd hazard a guess as to the reason that this event unfolded the way that it did and it is because it was not clear at the outset of the campaign how alignment would be handled by the group in general, nor the consequences of a character's actions going against his/her alignment.
The scinario described above broke down for a number of reasons:
2. The players' role: It is the responsibility of the entire group to bring to the offending player's attention that the actions of his/her character are in conflict with character alignment. The players in the OP's group should have spoken directly to the offending player to point out that that act is, in fact, against his/her alignment.
3. The GM's role: It is the responsibility of the GM to inform any player who is jeapordizing the stat blocks of his/her character of the consequences should he/she choose to have their character act against their alignment. This is important because it CLEARLY spells out to all involved the stat block related changes that will be handed down by the GM. Should the player then choose to go forward with his/her course of action, they will know exactly what the consequences of doing so will be.
Situations described in the OP should never happen without everyone's knowledge of what the consequences of stat block related changes to aligment will be. Does this mean that the GM needs to get involved in being the alignment police? NO. The job of the GM is not to tell how players should be playing their characters...wearing this hat only includes informing when stat block related penalties will be assessed and assessing them should players choose to effectively change alignments!
I agree with most people that posted already... Remove his paladin status. If the player actually learns something from this, then allow him a quest to redeem his paladinhood. If the player persists in this anti-social behaviour, kick him out of the game and turn his ex-paladin into a death knight and ham his (now) NPC become a major villain.
Ta-daa! You win both ways...
At risk of sounding redundant -- I haven't the patience or mental faculties at the moment to read the thread in its entirety -- here's my understanding of the situation and subsequent judgments on it:
Paladin is being, even more than badly played paladins are wont to be, a domineering jackass. Elf refuses to obey a stupid order, Paladin flips out and kills him.
Seems to me, that's a lawful evil act. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is a caricature of the lawful evil alignment -- inflicting almost comically exaggerated punishment for a trivial infraction. I'd even go so far as to offer that paladin a free ticket into the Blackguard prestige class regardless of his skill and feat selection, because for him NOT to have second thoughts about the act reflects a degree of corruption and latent evil that probably has Bel tensed in his seat ready to spring on the new recruit and offer him all sorts of shiny toys for joining team evil.
Now, if you don't want to run that sort of game, fine. The easy solution is to say that the paladin was turned into a pincushion on the spot, roll up a new character. As I saw pointed out as I scrolled down, new characters come in at whatever level you as the DM say they do. He can either take it or walk, and from the sounds of it your other players and you might be happier if he walked. He can argue all he wants that he was acting within the tenets of a lawful good alignment, but you as the DM are the final arbiter of what is and is not lawful and/or good. It's also up to you, as the DM, to keep characters with alignment restrictions informed on what your judgments are, but I'm going to assume that you gave him a warning and he went ahead and took the action anyway.
I'll grant that, had the scene been roleplayed well with mature players who knew what was going on and were ok with it, there could be a lot of roleplaying potential in it, but it sounds like it wasn't. If the player whose character died is particularly upset over it I might even roll back the session and keep the Paladin around as a DMPC just long enough to remove him from the picture... or if you keep the player around, don't let him bring in a new character. Make him play through either the continuance of his fall from grace or his return. And give him a firm talking to out of character and explain that if he does something stupid, inconsiderate, and internally inconsistent like this again, he'll be on the curb before he even realizes that his ass hurts.
The Jade wrote:
I would have shot him so full of arrows, the feathers from the fletching would make him look like a giant, fat chicken with arms and legs stickin' out...yeah....
I agree with most people that posted already... Remove his paladin status.
Actually, i oppose this idea. It's totally not the player's fault if the GM hasn't outlined stat block related consequences prior to the offense. I think it's lesson learned for the GM and it shouldn't ever happen again. (pluck my feather once shame on you...pluck it again, shame on me)
Ultradan, you da man. You can find a way to win in any situation.I wanna be on your team.
I'd'a put so many holes in that boy, you could use breastplate to pan for gold, and his helmet to strain vermicelli!!!
Ok the player in question did know the mechanics of playing a paladin and after talking to him today, he still thinks he did the "right thing". So I do believe that the aforementioned ass demon has him mind and soul. We have decided to give him some time off, and we will put it to a vote before the start of the following campaign as to whether Mr Ass Demon Fallen Paladin will be let in. My campaign is very role playing intensive with alot of the experience point awards coming from good role playing. Let it also be known that this particular player has done this to various DM's since his first adventure, he revels in throwing what he calls "Monkey Wrenches", arguing that a good DM should be able to handle anything that he throws at them.
One of me fellow posters, Fyraxis was the elf in question and after talking to him, he will be posting his half of the story on here. He actually role played well and he can explain his actions alot better than I can.
P.S. He cut off the elf's head because he wasnt fighting back and decided to stand perfectly still, I ruled it was like a coup de grace.
Heathensson, what are Ass Demons?
My wonderful story of an evil player/character gone array ended up in pure mayhem and hillarity. I was a player in Turin the Mad's (subscriber/friend for 25+ years) Hackmaster Game in 2003/2004, and another one of my pals in the group decides to play an evil cleric. I had a Chaotic Good aligned Fighter, and at first I figured, okay, live and let live. Before long, evil cleric is toting an undead minion around and 'acquires' a 15-year-old girl, who he informs the other players he is going to 'sacrifice' to Nerull for some reason I can't recall. At that point I figured, if I didn't do anything, I was headed for an evil alignment myself. I tried unsuccessfully to reason the player out of his intent. And thus I had to pull a fast one on him...
I ended up dueling with the evil Cavalier, beating him, and when the player of the miserable backstabbing Cavalier pleaded for his rotten character's life, I WASTED his ass and laughed gleefully:D (just like I do when I kill PC's in my Age of Worms campaign:) My Battle Mage ally was killed by an evil Lizard Man Fighter, my other friend was able to overcome an evil Monk PC, and we ended up with only three or four out of seven or eight characters by the end of the afternoon. Half of the group was about to quit, and we didn't even get to fight one monster the whole time...
I will confess to at times (particularly in my younger days) being a bit of an ass in the game. There was one time when I was playing a Half-Ogre Fighter (loosely based on the James Bond villain character "Jaws") and I killed a fellow player's character THREE separate times, and stole multiple magic items and treasures from the other player's characters--because I had a very high Strength score and they couldn't stop me... I did it fairly and according to the rules, and the GM (and additionally Turin the Mad who was a fellow player, and was helping me to be rotten) seemed to like it. I recognized that my antics were a detriment to the group's enjoyment and I eventually dropped the character (still got him though, waiting for a good time for a come back).
I think that the Paladin in the orignial post provides some interesting angles, and I'm somewhat surprised that all the "Role-playing Lovers" are down on this guy. I think an occasional PC to fellow PC beheading is good to keep the typical group on their toes and might 'enhance the role-playing experience'. Sure did when I did it:)
Wow, you sure miss a lot when you don't go online for a few weeks (Wizards, Paizo, Pathfinder, etc)
Let it also be known that this particular player has done this to various DM's since his first adventure, he revels in throwing what he calls "Monkey Wrenches", arguing that a good DM should be able to handle anything that he throws at them.
That's all I'd need to throw him out of the group, permanent-like.
There's a huge difference between playing a character who can be challenging for the group and DM, and being a player who "challenges" everyone else by being difficult and disruptive. This player obviously doesn't know the difference.
It takes almost no effort to destroy a gaming session or an entire campaign if you're trying.
An awesome story about a ridiculously cool character.
Hmm... not to sound pushy, but perhaps you could consider (if you play with the Book of Exalted Deads) talking to your DM about posthumously retraining into an exalted feat and playing him as a Risen Martyr? It sounds like, in this circumstance at least, you were playing the definition of an exalted character. Personal sacrifice for the greater good, and all that.
One way or another, kudos to you for roleplaying through the situation so well!
Because I took no action, the DM (Zealot) ruled it a coup-de-grace.
Personally, I would say that is a bad call. If you were not held or helpless in some fashion, you are probably going to flinch when someone swings a sword at you. Did you get your saving throw for the damage? Flat-footed, sure. Helpless, nah.
It is also a bad call in that no player should ever have their character killed out of hand in such a fashion. And it did not allow the other players a chance to intervene after the paladin attacked.
If you guys were all ok with it, well to each his own I guess. Yet in the future, unless you are helpless, a coup-de-grace isn't really appropriate.
I had the option of saving throws or skill checks, but I chose not to do anything in favour of not "starting a war" in the game.As for the other PC's, oh, there WAS hell to pay afterwards.
And me, while I can't understand why the paladin's player did what he did, I don't hold anything against him personally. He thought he was doing the "right" thing (even if no-one else did) and I always try (harder with some than others) to keep in-game events and personal feelings seperate.
The White Toymaker wrote:
Thanks! And yes, we do have the Exalted book (I was just starting to look at the Sacred Stike feat) so I'll definitely look up the Risen Martyr, and maybe talk to the DM about it.And thanks to Heath for raising the frosty!
Again, I agree. The point isn't to try and sabotage the game; that's immature and stupid. I approve of the mandatory suspension this player is now facing and suggest a careful evaluation of whether he has historitcally added anything to the group, or if he is simply a drag on everyone. If the later, he can find another group.
When the Elf character refused to kneel but also refused to fight back, he simply lopped his head off.
Sorry, Zealot, but you screwed up. Under no circumstances should you allow one character to simply kill another without resort to the RAW. A coup-de-grace requires the victim be helpless, and it does so for a damn good reason. So, the Paladin can attack the elf, he can try to kill the elf, but he can't simply declare "I kill the elf" and have it be done... he's got to roll for that one.
Whereupon the player of the elf gets to respond, the rest of the PCs get to respond, and the rest of the army get to respond.
Now, for the rest of it... the behaviour described for the Paladin is actually entirely sensible. Armies cannot be democratic and function, and there has to be A leader. As such, the elf cannot simply let people desert like that... there must be discipline. So, what the Paladin did (although not the way he did it) is appropriate.
However, it is also absolutely NOT Lawful Good behaviour, and you were right to revoke the Paladin's status, and at least move him towards a LE alignment. That Paladins make poor military commanders (or rulers, or politicians) in anything with passing resemblance to a realistically gritty world should come as no surprise.
Now, the other PCs get to deal with the Paladin as they deem appropriate, just as the Paladin did the elf. And the players are now entitled to evict the player of the Paladin if they didn't want a PvP game.
The last thing I should address is the 11,000 XP issue you raised. As mentioned earlier, this is nonsense. PCs join the game with an XP total determined by the DM. No more, and no less. I recommend starting the new PC at either the mid-point of the level below the lowest level PC, or at the same XP total as the surviving PC with the lowest total. Under no circumstances should the new PC be more powerful than that lowest level PC!