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[THINK TANK] Paladins


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Okay so this is for the Alpha 3 discussion on Paladins.

To start off here, it looks like posters' comments on expanding the paladin's healing abilities were taken into consideration. The lay on hands ability being level-based with a boost from Charisma bonus rather than being solely dependent on Charisma bonus also makes the paladin less Charisma dependent.

Personally, I would have liked to have seen Channel Energy moved to 1st level.

Aura of Good doesn't do much in terms of gameplay, and smite evil is a 1 round, 1 opponent, 1 shot deal that could fail and be wasted. Would moving Channel Energy to 1st level be overpowering? Perhaps not with old turning rules but with the beefed up turning maybe it is.

I posted a custom paladin build in Alpha 2 that replaced detect evil and smite evil with sacred challenge. There was some really good feedback on that. Reworked and re-balanced, I'd like to add the following ability to 1st level of paladin. It's a 3.5 compatible reworked version of the 4.0 preview ability.

Divine Challenge (Su): As a swift action, the paladin can target a single opponent with this ability. The targeted opponent gains a penalty to attack rolls equal to 1 + the paladin's Charisma bonus (if any) when attacking any target other than the paladin.
Only one opponent can be targeted by this ability at any time. The same opponent can't be targeted more than once. This effect lasts until the opponent is defeated, the encounter ends, or the paladin switches to a different target.

Upon adding divine challenge, also add the following to holy champion:
Whenever the paladin uses divine challenge against an evil outsider, the outsider is also subject to a dimensional anchor effect, using her paladin level as the caster level.

NOTE: This especially helps parties where the paladin is the only front-line fighter to defend the weaker hp characters.


Well I know it is not popular, but I will still advocate for Smite Evil to become Smite, and allow the Paladin to inflict Smite damage on any opponent the player feels is deserving. Non-Evil creatures sometimes do evil things and / or things worthy of being smitten.


Just a thought, but with all the different abilities the paladin gets, and all the book-keeping he now needs to do (keeping track of how many channels, laying on of hands and so on), isn't it possible to accrete these into some kine of - ooh - divine points system? Use these points to fund the abilities the paladin gets, making him much more flexible, yet no more powerful? Just a thought.


I would like to humbly request that Paladins be allowed any Good alignment, by default. There would need to be very little change in order for this to work, overall. I don't think any class ability would need to be altered, if memory serves.

It would open the class up to many more variations and interpretations of the 'paladin' or 'holy warrior' archetype, without losing any of its flavour, IMO.

Pretty please? :)


As a longtime Paladin fan, I was generally very pleased with the paladin rewrite. I like the idea of giving them broader healing abilities (neutralize poison/remove curse, etc.) tied to their Lay on Hands, and by increasing the number of times you get that but decreasing the energy channelling I think it works quite well.

I also really, really like the fact that spellcasting is now charisma-based as it helps address the Paladin's mulit-stat dependency without removing their charismatic feel by going with wisdom instead. I always liked the flavour the charisma-association added to the class.

There are, however, two issues I'd like to raise, one small the other, in my opinion, fairly large.

The small issue is that the abilities associated with boosting your holy weapon are now able to be used multiple times a day, but no such revision has occured for the paladin's mount, which remains as only being summonable once a day.

The larger issue is the way Lay on Hands has changed in terms of healing. While I know that the overall effect is that the Paladin can heal more hitpoints per day total, the fact that the number you can heal in a round is limited by your hit dice is worrying to me.

I liked it when you could choose to expend all of your LoH in order to really recover during a fight, but now, because you can only ever heal your hit dice, you will always be healing significantly less than the average damaging hit you receive. In effect, healing yourself in combat will become dangerous as you're likely to heal less damage than you'll take if you get hit.

It's like being stuck with Cure Light Wounds in the Big League Fights.

I know that the difference for some paladins might be small (characters who only ever had a +1 or +2 modifier) but I've always considered Charisma to be a paladin's most important stat (and am very happy to see an increase in its importance - see above). And this now means that my 17th level Paladin, who's managed to slowly up her charisma to 20, has gone from healing a potential 85 hit points a round (albeit only able to do so once a day) to 17. True, she can do so many, many times, and can now heal over 200 HP per day, but to do so requires many rounds. Effectively she can no longer afford to let herself get to low hitpoints, then top up quickly and stay in the fight.

I'm by no means a mechanics obsessed person. In general I absolutely prefer story over dice rolls. But I do feel that removing the ability to top up quickly and in a large amount fundamentally changes the way a paladin will play in a fight.

Perhaps this is more obvious to me as the way I built my character involved skimping on Con and HP and maxing on Cha specifically to make up for that deficit.

Anyway, I was a little disappointed by that change.

I do love the fact that eventually they can use more than one LoH in order to cast Heal. That's a stellar idea. But 18th level is...so high it's not something you can "hold out for" it's a reward for sticking with the class. Perhaps there could be some sort of sliding level-based scale reagarding how many LoH charges you were allowed to expend in a single round?

So at low levels you were limited to healing your HD, but after a while you were allowed to heal 2HD or 3HD?

Anyway, those are my thoughts.

Overall awesome job!


I think Jason has done I wonderful job with the Paladin. I see only one major point for improvement to be addressed. Everyone seems to be overlooking the fact that Smite Evil, a signature ability of the Paladin is only usable 1/day at 1st level. I really feel this needs to be increased by 3, with the rest of the progression remaining the same providing a total of 10/day by 20th. Since Smite is not an automatic success and can be expended with no effect, Aura of Justice allows the expenditure of 2 uses to share the ability with allies, and the Extra Smiting Feat from Complete Warrior requiring a BAB+4, I don't think this is in any way unreasonable.

I would also like to suggest increasing the damage of smite to level*2. The bonus to hit is really good, but I feel the damage bonus should be more in line with being hit by the fist of an angry god. The increase in the number of uses per day is far more important however.

As to the Aura of Good having no mechanical use outside of being seen by the Detect Good spell, flavor wise I see it as the basis that all the other auras are built upon.

The Paladin's Mount may only be summoned once per day, but as 5th level ability that lasts for level*2 hours that means a minimum of 10 hours. Adequate for most situations.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

I'm a big and avid fan of the paladins. I think the new version is absolutely awesome! I have no major complaints at all.

Changing spells to CHA based is a fabulous improvement - as is the different issues that can now be cured with lay on hands in lieu of a bunch of remove diseases - a change which I have been steadfastly lobbying for quite some time. It is awesome to see our ideas being taken seriously and being implemented.

Thus I have no room to complain and feel grateful that is as awesome as it is.

Minor issues to be looked at: Lay on Hands healing seems to heal far too few hit points now. (Why not Cure Lt Wounds; at 6th level it changes to cure mod - since cure light maxes at 5th, then at 11 cure serious and at 15 cure critical.

The other issue is it still seems their creme de la creme offensive aspect - the Smite Evil is still quite limited. Instead of starting with just one - I think 1 + CHA mod would be a better compromise - since it's still a Hit or lose the ability.

Other than that - great job Jason. Great job indeed

Robert


Robert Brambley wrote:
The other issue is it still seems their creme de la creme offensive aspect - the Smite Evil is still quite limited. Instead of starting with just one - I think 1 + CHA mod would be a better compromise - since it's still a Hit or lose the ability.

Another option would be to apply the smiting effect to all attacks during the round, as part of a full round attack. In other words it becomes a lingering surge of energy for the round.

Dark Archive

In my opinion, smite evil should be usable at will. If that seems too powerful, limit it to once every 5 rounds or make it a standard action. It's already limited to be used against evil opponents, limiting its daily uses seems wrong, especially if clerics can get an at will smite ability. Apart from smiting evil, a paladin has little to do in combat except healing others. The divine bond weapon helps, but it would still be nice to have more uses of smite.
It would also be nice to see revised rules for mounted combat for paladins with special mounts.


ANALYSIS OF 1ST LEVEL PALADIN CLASS FEATURES REGARDING COMBAT:

-Aura of good has no practical use except to alert your detect good-using opponents that you are a paladin or cleric. Low-level magic items that power up with the power of your aura of good could solve this issue but only if they are very low cost.
-Detect Evil will alert you to the presence of evil in the area and whether you might be able to trust the person you're dealing with. It will also tell you if your smite evil will work on your possibly evil opponent at the cost of doing nothing except moving and concentrating for 1 round while your allies are being slaughtered.
-Smite Evil will deal extra damage to a single foe on a single hit, possibly resulting in a KO...unless it misses. Afterwards you're left with no juice to punish that foe's evil allies. Wait, the foe is neutral? His alignment was masked? Uh oh.
-In a combat encounter the 1st level paladin is more often than not reduced to the usefulness of an NPC Warrior. Even less useful if he spent his first round detecting evil and his second round missing with and wasting his smite or if facing neutral foes (giant insects, mercenaries, elementals, lions, tigers, bears, etc.).
-The 1st level of paladin makes him shine with one encounter per day with a small number of opponents that are guaranteed to be evil and the encounter lasting less than 4 rounds.

With tougher characters and increased healing, clearly adventures with multiple encounters are being encouraged even from starting level. What we want is a paladin that feels good for combat under these conditions without overpowering compared to other fighting classes.

So here is a proposed solution to the smite evil issue:

Smite Evil (Su)
A paladin may attempt to smite evil with one normal melee or ranged attack a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma bonus (if any). She adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to her attack roll and deals an extra 1d6 points of damage. If the paladin accidentally smites a creature that is not evil, the smite has no effect, but the ability is still used up for that day.
At 4th level, and every three levels thereafter, the paladin's smite evil ability deals an additional 1d6 points of damage on a successful hit, to a maximum of 7d6 (7-42, avg 24) at 19th level.

-Since smite evil is only typically useful in 50-75% of all encounters, and the extra damage now truly feels like a SMITE even at 1st level, and the number of uses doesn't go up except with Charisma and/or feats, this should be balanced and more satisfying to paladin players.


Freesword wrote:
The Paladin's Mount may only be summoned once per day, but as 5th level ability that lasts for level*2 hours that means a minimum of 10 hours. Adequate for most situations.

But the problem here is that you may need to summon it more than once per day! E.g. Ride to the dungeon, dismiss mount, something evil flees said dungeon, need to chase down fleeing evil thing, can't summon mount again.

Paladins should be able to summon their mount at least as often as they can work their new magic weapon mojo. I think that what's happened here is that the mount has simply been forgotten in favor of the shiny new weapon feature - it can't be over powered to summon a mount more than once per day. Don't mind if the mount healing gets toned down, just want to be able to summon it more than once.

"Help me mount! You're the only one who can save me!"

"I'm sorry, the mount you're calling is unable to be summoned again today. Please leave your name and Paladin level after the tone...."

I'm sure this will be corrected in the Beta and, as it's my major concern with the class, I'll be very happy with the finished result if it looks anything like it does now. :o)

Peace,

tfad


tallforadwarf wrote:
Paladins should be able to summon their mount at least as often as they can work their new magic weapon mojo. I think that what's happened here is that the mount has simply been forgotten in favor of the shiny new weapon feature - it can't be over powered to summon a mount more than once per day. Don't mind if the mount healing gets toned down, just want to be able to summon it more than once.

If multiple summons per day was instituted, I would say that the duration be reduced. Or, allow the paladin to break up his 2 hours/level into smaller chunks/summonings.


It might be better to just replace the duration with a recharge period. Wait one hour before you can summon the mount after you've sent it back and vice versa.

On the other hand...

Combat and travel aren't the only areas where mounts can shine.

Mounts are useful for storing gear (they take stuff with them and back) so maybe the balance is in the fact that the party can stuff all kinds of various equipment and gear into the saddlebags so that if they run into an obstacle that requires a solution they're not carrying on them, the paladin can summon the mount to bring their goodies back from the celestial bank.

At higher levels this could cause problems for the DM trying to challenge the party if the paladin can summon it multiple times per day.

"Uh oh. It's a Wall of Force." said the wizard. "I didn't memorize dispel magic today."
"That's okay." said the paladin. "I'll just summon Fido and whip that wand of dispel magic out of the left bag. Here Fido! Here boy! While we're at it, we can switch out our frost weapons for some of that undead bane silver goodness since we just found out our opponent up ahead is a vampire."

On the other hand...

This would free up the DM to put whatever he wants into an adventure without the players running into a dead end because they don't have the right equipment or the right spells. After all, there are places where a mount might have trouble being summoned in and if the mount is used for storage it won't be used for combat and with at least an hour recharge, the party might just not have enough time to wait anyway. If the party has the foresight or ingenuity to figure out what items to have the mount carry, perhaps they should be rewarded for their ingenuity.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
quest-master wrote:

ANALYSIS OF 1ST LEVEL PALADIN CLASS FEATURES REGARDING COMBAT:

So here is a proposed solution to the smite evil issue:

Smite Evil (Su)
A paladin may attempt to smite evil with one normal melee or ranged attack a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma bonus (if any). She adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to her attack roll and deals an extra 1d6 points of damage. If the paladin accidentally smites a creature that is...

I believe your analysis (though a bit negative and cynical) is pretty accurate.

As for smite evil - I do agee that it's underpowered if it is to be the "cat's meow" offesive ability of the evil-combating paladin.

I don't know if d6's is the way to go - though it does seem to fit the trend when you think of sneak attack, skirmish, weapon abilities, etc.

But I do believe that increased frequency is the way to go - if we consider that a rogue can sneak attack virtually every round - against more targets than just evil - it makes sense that a paladin should be able to smite a few more times per day. 3+CHA mod sounds like a good number. I suggested 1 + CHA at first level becasue IMO 3+CHA may be too many times at 1st level - and then simply increase that number as the character advances.

Robert

Liberty's Edge

I too think that smite evil should be 1+Cha times per day. Either that or increase the damage output significantly so that one smite really counts for something. Level time two would be spot on IMO.

Other than that, looks like a fun class. Yay!


quest-master - regarding your concerns about using the mount as a storage beast, I don't think that that's a problem, honestly.

Anything that's as useful as a wand of dispelling wouldn't be something I'd be storing in a time-sensitive "locker" while out adventuring, and if it were, I fail to see how using the mount this way is any different to investing in a Bag of Holding. Probably less challenging to a DM since a mount has far less carrying capacity than even a small Bag of Holding.

As to using the amount of time the mount can be summoned for as a total daily limit, I'm fine with that, as long as it can be broken up into smaller chunks, though honestly after twelfth level the distinction is meaningless since it can be summoned for the whole day anyway.

And also I don't think the issue here is how long it can be summoned for, more that you may need/want to summon it multiple times a day. For instance to use for transport, then dismiss it while travelling through small passageways or a dungeon, or because you don't want to pay for stabling, then it needs to be summoned again later to either help in a fight or provide further transport.

Sovereign Court Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BabbageUK wrote:
Just a thought, but with all the different abilities the paladin gets, and all the book-keeping he now needs to do (keeping track of how many channels, laying on of hands and so on), isn't it possible to accrete these into some kine of - ooh - divine points system? Use these points to fund the abilities the paladin gets, making him much more flexible, yet no more powerful? Just a thought.

I was going to post this idead myself. If they have "Rage Points" for Barbarians and "Ki Points" for Monks, why not "Divine Points" for Paladins? Or even "Performance Points" for Bards?

Sovereign Court Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Robert Brambley wrote:


Minor issues to be looked at: Lay on Hands healing seems to heal far too few hit points now. (Why not Cure Lt Wounds; at 6th level it changes to cure mod - since cure light maxes at 5th, then at 11 cure serious and at 15 cure critical.

I noticed that under the new pathfinder rules, the Paladin is no longer the guy that drops 1 hp of LoH to stop bleeding effects and stabilize dying characters ("corpse-tag"). I wonder if this was intentional.....??

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Twowlves wrote:
Robert Brambley wrote:


Minor issues to be looked at: Lay on Hands healing seems to heal far too few hit points now. (Why not Cure Lt Wounds; at 6th level it changes to cure mod - since cure light maxes at 5th, then at 11 cure serious and at 15 cure critical.

I noticed that under the new pathfinder rules, the Paladin is no longer the guy that drops 1 hp of LoH to stop bleeding effects and stabilize dying characters ("corpse-tag"). I wonder if this was intentional.....??

probably. And with the clerics having the ability to cast "Stabilize" at will at a range of 30 ft or so, it isnt' even that necessary for our paladin to be doing that.

Also with my original post that you quoted, I see I made a typo - that should be Cure Critical at 16th level - not 15th.

Robert


toaster wrote:

quest-master - regarding your concerns about using the mount as a storage beast, I don't think that that's a problem, honestly.

Anything that's as useful as a wand of dispelling wouldn't be something I'd be storing in a time-sensitive "locker" while out adventuring, and if it were, I fail to see how using the mount this way is any different to investing in a Bag of Holding. Probably less challenging to a DM since a mount has far less carrying capacity than even a small Bag of Holding.

The advantage the mount has over a bag of holding is that you have to carry the bag of holding while the mount is safe and sound on another plane of existence. Said bag could be stolen, eaten, sundered, subject to antimagic field, etc. during the course of an adventure.

"If the bag is overloaded, or if sharp objects pierce it (from inside or outside), the bag ruptures and is ruined. All contents are lost forever."

A standard mount for a Medium paladin is a Heavy Warhorse. The normal carrying capacity for a warhorse is 301-900 lb. (Less than 301 is light load)
The carrying capacity for a special mount warhorse at paladin 5th-7th is 349-1,050 lb.
Paladin 8th-10th is 400-1,200 lb.
Paladin 11th-14th is 460-1,380 lb.
Paladin 15th-20th is 520-1,560 lb.
The carrying capacity increases as the special mount's Strength score increases.
The special mount eventually exceeds even a Type IV Bag of Holding

How is this far less carrying capacity?


quest-master wrote:
The advantage the mount has over a bag of holding is that you have to carry the bag of holding while the mount is safe and sound on another plane of existence. Said bag could be stolen, eaten, sundered, subject to antimagic field, etc. during the course of an adventure.

All of these apply to the mount also, well perhaps not technically sundered, but any number of nasty things could happen to a mount. Also, I don't think you could summon it inside an anti-magic field.

I think the key point here is that, as a champion of the don't forget the trusty mount cause, I'm not looking to abuse the calling power. I would not mind if it doesn't get healed in between summons and if it can't take anything with it when it vanishes. What I want is to be able to summon it more than once per day!

quest-master wrote:
The special mount eventually exceeds even a Type IV Bag of Holding. How is this far less carrying capacity?

But all of that stuff has to actually physically fit onto the horse (or whatever type of beast the mount is). That's not going to be possible without saddlebags of holding.

Peace,

tfad

Dark Archive

Freesword wrote:

I think Jason has done I wonderful job with the Paladin. I see only one major point for improvement to be addressed. Everyone seems to be overlooking the fact that Smite Evil, a signature ability of the Paladin is only usable 1/day at 1st level. I really feel this needs to be increased by 3, with the rest of the progression remaining the same providing a total of 10/day by 20th. Since Smite is not an automatic success and can be expended with no effect, Aura of Justice allows the expenditure of 2 uses to share the ability with allies, and the Extra Smiting Feat from Complete Warrior requiring a BAB+4, I don't think this is in any way unreasonable.

I would also like to suggest increasing the damage of smite to level*2. The bonus to hit is really good, but I feel the damage bonus should be more in line with being hit by the fist of an angry god. The increase in the number of uses per day is far more important however.

As to the Aura of Good having no mechanical use outside of being seen by the Detect Good spell, flavor wise I see it as the basis that all the other auras are built upon.

I agree, and I'd like to playtest the class properly before adding any new "brainstorming" comments. I definitely think Jason made the paladin much more interesting from how it appeared in Alpha 2.

I also agree with your suggestion about giving more smites/day to 1st level paladins -- could it even be 1 + 1/LVL? I don't mind if it made the paladin seem more "powerful" in comparison to the other classes...

EDIT: I think there was an Epic Feat in 3E, which "upgraded" your smite damage to X2, so I'd like to see it as a Divine Feat -- especially if the paladin gets more smites/day.


I do not care for the charisma based casting, and it is not something I'll implement. Wisdom has always been important to paladins, and rightfully so. Of course, Jason can't please everyone, and I am willing to take the bad with the good.

Liberty's Edge

Just something I've been wondering.. Would it possible to include an alternate "Blackguard" build for Paladins, instead of making Blackguard a prestige class?

Dark Archive

lonewolf23k wrote:
Just something I've been wondering.. Would it possible to include an alternate "Blackguard" build for Paladins, instead of making Blackguard a prestige class?

Um, I don't know... I like how Prestige Classes work, and I wouldn't want to see Assassins, for example, as an alternate "build" for the rogue or Kensai, for the fighter. It would complicate things too much and most likely end up messing up the core mechanics in PF.

Dark Archive

Asgetrion wrote:
lonewolf23k wrote:
Just something I've been wondering.. Would it possible to include an alternate "Blackguard" build for Paladins, instead of making Blackguard a prestige class?
Um, I don't know... I like how Prestige Classes work, and I wouldn't want to see Assassins, for example, as an alternate "build" for the rogue or Kensai, for the fighter. It would complicate things too much and most likely end up messing up the core mechanics in PF.

I would like to see an option for evil paladins though. Every god should have access to their own holy warriors, and Hellknights should be built as paladins. There is no way that you would have an order of devil worshiping LG paladins.

Liberty's Edge

David Fryer wrote:
I would like to see an option for evil paladins though. Every god should have access to their own holy warriors, and Hellknights should be built as paladins. There is no way that you would have an order of devil worshiping LG paladins.

Yeah, because the fastest way to do it with current rules would be to let the Hellknight candidate gain one level of Paladin, and immediately "Fall" into the Blackguard Prestige Class...

Dark Archive

lonewolf23k wrote:
David Fryer wrote:
I would like to see an option for evil paladins though. Every god should have access to their own holy warriors, and Hellknights should be built as paladins. There is no way that you would have an order of devil worshiping LG paladins.
Yeah, because the fastest way to do it with current rules would be to let the Hellknight candidate gain one level of Paladin, and immediately "Fall" into the Blackguard Prestige Class...

But to qualify for the Blackguard prestige class you need to be at least 7th level 6 levels in paladin to meet the prereqs and then one to get into the blackguard class. This makes it difficult for a group of first level characters to have an encounter with a hellknight or two.


David Fryer wrote:
Every god should have access to their own holy warriors

Yes. This is part of what bugs me about only having LG Paladins. CG deities should be able to have CG, or at least NG, Paladins, as well as Clerics of those alignments (or possibly CN of course, in their case.) It just doesn't make sense for say, a deity who is strongly Good and strongly Chaotic, to a) have no holy warriors, just because; or b) have LG Paladins, in direct opposition to their ethical nature.


David Fryer wrote:
Every god should have access to their own holy warriors

I agree with this. But I disagree with the idea that Paladins are simply holy warriors. The Paladin is a Lawful Good holy warrior. A holy warrior of any other alignment is not a Paladin, but a holy warrior of another alignment.

It's also worth remembering that a holy warrior does not need to have a specific class attached to it, i.e. a barbarian can be a holy warrior, a bard can be a holy warrior etc. etc. (I won't type out a list of every class here.)

There was a great feat, something along the lines of 'Ordained' in Monte's Arcana Unearthed. Basically, it meant you held a title and position within your religion, as well as offering a small mechanical bonus. It's this kind of feat, with attached fluff, that I love most.

Peace,

tfad


I discussed the issue at length here, but basically I think that the paladin has to stay Lawful Good.

Because a paladin has a code of behaviour and adhering to that code makes them lawful.

Holy warriors of other alignments are fine, but they aren't paladins because a CG character, for instance, would never define themselves by a code of behaviour. And this can apply to even seemingly chaotic characters.

I think the example I gave in the linked thread is Robin Hood. Easy to say, oh, CG, for sure. But actually I think LG is more accurate. He doesn't abide by the law of the land, but he does abide by a very stringent code of moral behaviour.

I like the alignment restriction because it helps define the paladin, and its never made me feel I couldn't play a holy warrior of another alignment. Just...not a paladin.

Dark Archive

toaster wrote:

I discussed the issue at length here, but basically I think that the paladin has to stay Lawful Good.

Because a paladin has a code of behaviour and adhering to that code makes them lawful.

Holy warriors of other alignments are fine, but they aren't paladins because a CG character, for instance, would never define themselves by a code of behaviour. And this can apply to even seemingly chaotic characters.

I think the example I gave in the linked thread is Robin Hood. Easy to say, oh, CG, for sure. But actually I think LG is more accurate. He doesn't abide by the law of the land, but he does abide by a very stringent code of moral behaviour.

I like the alignment restriction because it helps define the paladin, and its never made me feel I couldn't play a holy warrior of another alignment. Just...not a paladin.

But the definition of someone who is Chaotic Good is someone who follows their own code of honor over the laws of the land. I quote from the SRD: "A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he’s kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society."

Therefore Robin Hood is by definition a CG character because he abides by HIS stringent code of moral behaviour, rather than society's. Maybe instead of opening paladin up to all alignments it should be open to all lawful or good alignments. This would still fit into the "code of honor" qualification that you are putting on paladins while still allowing a little more flexibility with the class.


A code of conduct is not the same a following one's conscience. A code of conduct requires adherence to an external set of values even when those values might conflict with the character's immediate instincts. This is one of the differences between Lawful Good and Chaotic Good.

A CG character will do what they feel is right at that moment. An LG character will do what an external and structured value system tells him is right. This value system need not come from society. It can come from...well, anywhere, including the character's own mind, as long as it ends up as a structured set of behaviours that do not change simply because the situation has changed.

To be honest, we can characterise Robin Hood either way because I don't know if he jumped into each situation and handled it as he thought best at the time, or if he had a very strong set of ethics and morals he rigorously applied in order to justify his behaviour. But I think the character works both ways, and all I was really trying to do was give examples of lawful characters working outside what we might traditionally associate with that alignment.

CG is all about following your own moral compass and allowing for "true north" to change according to the circumstances you're in. LG is all about setting "true north" as unchangeable and sticking to it. Both are honourable because both are good, but it's how you go about it - structured and methodical or however feels right today - that makes that difference and that's a matter of personal character outlook. I really don't think it has anything to do with whether you follow your own views or society's as that basically means it would be impossible to be a lawful good character if you were raised in Hell for instance. Plus there are some very chaotic and neutral societies. So being a lawful good character in an anarchist society...how would you manage that if lawfulness is determined by "society"?

And I think that having an inviolable code of conduct means that you need to have a structured and disciplined personal outlook, or your instinct will be to abandon that code every time your personal compass points north-north-west.

(Note, I'm not trying to suggest one method is better or more honourable or more ethically correct, just trying to suggest that the difference is whether you think that you should tailor your response to the situation or stick to absolutes.)


tallforadwarf wrote:

All of these apply to the mount also, well perhaps not technically sundered, but any number of nasty things could happen to a mount. Also, I don't think you could summon it inside an anti-magic field.

I think the key point here is that, as a champion of the don't forget the trusty mount cause, I'm not looking to abuse the calling power. I would not mind if it doesn't get healed in between summons and if it can't take anything with it when it vanishes. What I want is to be able to summon it more than once per day!

But all of that stuff has to actually physically fit onto the horse (or whatever type of beast the mount is). That's not going to be possible without saddlebags of holding.

Peace,

tfad

The point with the nasty things is that you can wait until after you've bypassed the mount/bag-endangering situation to summon your mount before the next mount/bag-endangering situation but your bag of holding is with you during one or both situations. Summoning storage is more convenient for securing your stuff than carrying storage.

The fact that you can make saddlebags of holding should speak more to the extreme convenience of the mount if it can be summoned more often.

Even without saddlebags of holding, 20 wands (remember they're small and light), 100 potion vials (remember they're tiny), and 10 weapons as well as 2 saddlebags full of convenient miscellaneous items can easily be fitted onto or hung from a warhorse mount with custom straps and belts.
I'm not talking about strapping on a grand piano here, just enough equipment for 4 to 7 PCs, including the paladin, to face an exhorbitant number of challenges with much greater ease than a party without a paladin.


To quote myself, in an effort to make my position clear:

tallforadwarf wrote:
I'm not looking to abuse the calling power. I would not mind if it doesn't get healed in between summons and if it can't take anything with it when it vanishes. What I want is to be able to summon it more than once per day!

My request for a greater amount of summons of the mount per day, relates solely to its use as a mount and has nothing to do with using it as cheap storage. I want to be able to use my mount, which I see as a mount and not some sort of 4-legged Leomund's Chest.

quest-master wrote:
The point with the nasty things is that you can wait until after you've bypassed the mount/bag-endangering situation to summon your mount before the next mount/bag-endangering situation but your bag of holding is with you during one or both situations. Summoning storage is more convenient for securing your stuff than carrying storage.

But isn't danger ever present? You never know what's around the next corner and unless you're speeding through some down time, nothing should be certain in an exciting fantasy RPG.

Also, going with your example, you'd have to summon the mount then retrieve the equipment. If you have a magic bag of sorts, you only need to retrieve it. That's quite the inconvenience. And anything that you might need in a hurry (e.g. wand of healing) would probably not be kept on the mount or in the mount's saddlebags.

quest-master wrote:
The fact that you can make saddlebags of holding should speak more to the extreme convenience of the mount if it can be summoned more often.

Once again, you're homing in on the abusive possibilities of being able to summon the mount more than once per day. This isn't what the mount is designed for - it's there to be ridden into danger by our fearless Paladin.

The rules need to support the assumed use of the ability before we can look at the abusive possibilities. It doesn't seem balanced that the mount, which will likely have less practical uses in a standard game, is less usable than the magic sword ability. The mount requires separate skills and feats to be able to use effectively, not counting the fact that your average dungeon is too small to accommodate them.

quest-master wrote:
Even without saddlebags of holding, 20 wands (remember they're small and light), 100 potion vials (remember they're tiny), and 10 weapons as well as 2 saddlebags full of convenient miscellaneous items can easily be fitted onto or hung from a warhorse mount with custom straps and belts.

That's a lot of money spent on consumables! :o) Again, all of that stuff can fit into a bag of holding or a portable hole or some such. Each of those is much more convenient than the poke-mount ability in terms of retrieval and access.

I have to disagree with your basic assumption that the Paladin will be using their summon mount ability as a free bag of holding. Most mounts are intelligent and would refuse to serve a Paladin who treated them such and for ease of use, most players would prefer another magical means of carrying their stuff. A wand of Leomund's Chest for example would at least be usable by more than one PC and if the Paladin goes down, then the mount will be stuck wherever it comes from.

I can't see your point as something that my group would abuse. If it is a real concern then, get rid of it, that's honestly fine. But the mount still needs to be able to be summoned more than once per day. :o)

Peace,

tfad

Dark Archive

One of our three playtesters will be putting a Paladin/Bard through the paces. We'll be posting here once we've seen the class in action at our game table.

In the meantime--seems a few who've posted here and elsewhere are looking for non-LG Paladins. There are the two variants in "Unearthed Arcana", but I have greatly enjoyed the Holy Warrior class first presented in Green Ronin's superb "Book of the Righteous." I also have "The Unholy Warrior's Handbook." There's a PDF update to the Holy Warrior that's unfortunately unavailable from Paizo, but can be snagged from Green Ronin.

All that said... please keep the Pathfinder Paladin Lawful Good.


tallforadwarf wrote:


My request for a greater amount of summons of the mount per day, relates solely to its use as a mount and has nothing to do with using it as cheap storage. I want to be able to use my mount, which I see as a mount and not some sort of 4-legged Leomund's Chest.

First off, an intelligent Lawful Good mount would most certainly serve as a paladin's equipment bearer if it meant bringing the means to victory against the forces of evil.

Especially if the mount is a mule.

Second, though indeed there remains danger to the mount, there are levels of danger and the mount presents a more acceptable level of danger to one's valuables. Though it is indeed easier to pull stuff out of a bag of holding, the risk to losing a bag of holding comes much more often than the risk of losing a mount used as a pack mule. There is considerably less danger on a celestial plane because good deities place the protection of their worshippers' souls at a higher priority than evil gods do with their worshippers. More guards to watch over the paladin's mount.

After Leomund's Secret Chest becomes available this may become a non-issue but still it remains during a stint of 3 to 4 levels. Wands of Leomund's Secret Chest are rather expensive too with it being a 5th level spell and wands can be broken or lost. In addition, the ethereal plane is not as well-protected as a celestial plane. A good deity supporting paladins is also likely to compensate you in some way for the loss of your mount under his or her own protection. Nobody will compensate you for losing your chest except your DM, which he or she probably will, in which case the deciding factor would be the cheapness of using the mount.

Anyway, I'm only arguing the possible abusiveness of the mount.

I myself would prefer it to be summonable any number of times for an unlimited duration at the mount's decision (it is intelligent after all).
For use in actual combat situations, the mount should be summonable as a swift action to let the paladin mount it and attack the same turn it comes in. A full round means that the enemy can close the distance and attack the paladin to interrupt him/her (wasting the action) before the mount pops in. The paladin's role is on the front-line as a primary defense. The cleric and druid and wizard have reliable summoning opportunities because they usually have someone to give them the round they need.
Also, calling a creature divinely bonded to you should take less time than summoning one that's not (you shouldn't need a feat for a quick summon). It is basically teleporting in and it should already know where you are.


quest-master wrote:
First off, an intelligent Lawful Good mount would most certainly serve as a paladin's equipment bearer if it meant bringing the means to victory against the forces of evil.

That's not very Paladin-y though is it? It's difficult to be an heroic crusader against evil if both you and your trusted mount have chosen to play Dungeons & Accounting instead. As a truly holy creature, a pillar to which the Paladin likely aspires (as you're concerned more with the low level abuse and the Paladin is still a 'mere mortal' until 20th level), I can't see them agreeing to this. The Paladin should have too much respect for his mount and the mount should not put up with being treated as a bag of holding equivalent.

quest-master wrote:
Especially if the mount is a mule.

Surely a Paladin is not going to be picking a mule as their mount. Again, it's not very Paladin-y.

quest-master wrote:
(STUFF)

The more I read your posts, the more I realize that we play in very different games. :oD The PCs don't live in constant fear of losing their valuable items, instead they live in constant anticipation of action and adventure. I can't believe that any of my group would do something like you're suggesting. We never have any trouble with rules abuse etc.

Regarding your comments about the mount's safety, again I have to say it's all about the action. Once the mount is in danger then yes, it could just be dismissed, but what if the Paladin needs the mount? That is what they were given to the Paladin for in the first place, to fight alongside the Paladin. We've had some great moments in our games with the Paladin's mounts, fantastic airborne battles, racing through collapsing dungeons etc.
Action! Adventure! Excitement! :o)
I don't think anyone ever stopped and said, "Hold on! This situation presents an unacceptable level of danger to the party's valuables!"

The characters were too busy saving the world and the players were too busy having fun. :oD

quest-master wrote:
Anyway, I'm only arguing the possible abusiveness of the mount. I myself would prefer it to be summonable any number of times for an unlimited duration (SNIP)

Great! Now we're on the same page, what sort of storage ability should it have? :o) Any at all? I'm not worried about the abuse of the power, but would be happy to see it go if it means the mount is able to be summoned more than once per day. The minimum amount should be equal to the number of times the shiny new sword ability can be used. It is, after all, described as the same thing - a divine bond.

Peace,

tfad


Golbez57 wrote:
One of our three playtesters will be putting a Paladin/Bard through the paces. We'll be posting here once we've seen the class in action at our game table.

Cool! I've started to recognize your handle from the posts you make and you've got some solid ideas. I look forward to reading this. :oD

Golbez57 wrote:

In the meantime--seems a few who've posted here and elsewhere are looking for non-LG Paladins. There are the two variants in "Unearthed Arcana", but I have greatly enjoyed the Holy Warrior class first presented in Green Ronin's superb "Book of the Righteous." I also have "The Unholy Warrior's Handbook." There's a PDF update to the Holy Warrior that's unfortunately unavailable from Paizo, but can be snagged from Green Ronin.

All that said... please keep the Pathfinder Paladin Lawful Good.

These are quite good and anyone interested in champions of X would be well advised to get their grubby mitts on these books. Although, you are correct and an Paladin is LG, once it's not LG anymore, it's not a Paladin.

Peace,

tfad


tallforadwarf wrote:


These are quite good and anyone interested in champions of X would be well advised to get their grubby mitts on these books. Although, you are correct and an Paladin is LG, once it's not LG anymore, it's not a Paladin.

Peace,

tfad

Agree totally. If there was a separate class somewhere, perhaps called Dark Champion or something that allowed non LG paladin-esque characters for those players that want them, that would be fine by me. The paladin base class for me is LG and always will be LG.

I'm really happy with the way that the paladin is looking in Alpha 3. I like the way that Lay on Hands works now. Giving something other than repeated uses of Remove Disease is definitely the right move, and worth staying in the paladin base class. Nice to see the multiclassing restriction gone as well, which means that other sub-types like wandering knight-errant style paladins (with a level of Ranger or two) are now really feasible.

About the only thing I might want to see a little bit differently is Smite Evil. It works ok, but needs... something extra. Maybe ignoring DR, the attack being good-aligned, the use of Smite Evil possibly being regained if it results in an opponent being reduced to negative hit points, I don't know, just something.

Chobbly


I posted a similar argument earlier but the wording of my suggestion didn't quite fit the argument.

Indeed a "paladin" should be lawful good because of the history and reference behind the name.
HOWEVER, what if the paladin class became a sub-class of another class of a different, more generic name?

The Champion. A warrior that uses divine power to fight on behalf of his deity or for a particular cause.

There would be alternate class features at certain levels based on alignment.

Only lawful champions would have a strict code of conduct. Champions of other alignments can still have their abilities revoked if their conduct is grossly divergent from the tenets of their faith.
For example, a neutral champion of a nature deity purposely sets fire to and burns down the forest he is supposed to be protecting. The nature deity is incensed and revokes the champion's divine blessing, leaving the former champion powerless.

Lawful good champions would be referred to as paladins.
Neutral good champions would be referred to as watchers.
Chaotic good champions would be referred to as freedomshields.
Lawful neutral champions would be referred to as justiciars.
Neutral champions would be referred to as sentinels.
Chaotic neutral champions would be referred to as libertines.
Lawful evil champions would be referred to as blackguards.
Neutral evil champions would be referred to as darkbearers.
Chaotic evil champions would be referred to as slaughterlords.

(some names subject to change if anyone can come up with something more appropriate)

The name "paladin" and the class features and flavor associated with it would more or less remain unchanged but champions of a different nature and slightly different class features would be available for play.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There is actually a precedent for this. I think it was the issue of Dragon with the DM Screen by WAR had "paladins" for every alignment.

The Neutral Good one was called "The Sentinel" and had powers that involved nature and countering unnatural forces trying to intrude upon nature (the NG example had Sentinels opposing fiends, but abberations and undead would have also worked).

http://paizo.com/store/magazines/dragon/issues/2003/310

There was a smiliar article about anti-paladins in this issue:
http://paizo.com/store/magazines/dragon/issues/2003/312

I think Unearthed Arcana might have also had paladins of different alignments (though the issues of Dragon predate UA by a good bit).


Laithoron wrote:

There is actually a precedent for this. I think it was the issue of Dragon with the DM Screen by WAR had "paladins" for every alignment.

The Neutral Good one was called "The Sentinel" and had powers that involved nature and countering unnatural forces trying to intrude upon nature (the NG example had Sentinels opposing fiends, but abberations and undead would have also worked).

http://paizo.com/store/magazines/dragon/issues/2003/310

There was a smiliar article about anti-paladins in this issue:
http://paizo.com/store/magazines/dragon/issues/2003/312

I think Unearthed Arcana might have also had paladins of different alignments (though the issues of Dragon predate UA by a good bit).

You're absolutely right about Unearthed Arcana - Freedom (CG), Slaughter (CE) and Tyranny (LE).

There is also something else that may be of interest in Unearthed Arcana - an alternate version of the cleric, who prefers 'standing at the forefront of the battle against the enemy'.

This version gains some things from the paladin base class - aura of courage and the ability to smite. The smite is good or evil aligned, depending on if the cleric would channel positive or negative. In return, the cleric loses turn undead.

I think this could really work. The paladin base class would not have to change, and I think this is good for several reasons. It's one of the most iconic classes, was underpowered and unloved (IMHO) in 3.0/3.5 and rendering it down to a sub-class option would be a real shame when the Pathfinder Alpha 3 has (more or less) fixed it.

The cleric is a great class, is already deity/alignment generic, has really good saves and with the above options gets Smite too. (It wouldn't be a major rules stretch to allow this Smite to be Smite Evil / Smite Non-Neutral / Smite Good if you wanted).

On the downside, the cleric would lose channel energy, and I know it has a lower BAB, but is more than capable of buffing itself up. The Pathfinder cleric has all the extra domain stuff too.

It's just an idea, but this could fit the 'champion' idea much better. No big long lists of replacement class features or codes of conduct, just nice and simple.

What do you think?

Chobbly

Scarab Sages

I have always loved paladins. Here are my 2cp for my playtests so far.

Regarding the discussion of "non lawful good paladins": Being lawful good is like creating a race specific for the class. I have no problem with it. If you want evil "paladins" or something, use the blackguard and make it a full 1-20 class or something. But i see nothing wrong with LG being required for paladins. Its part of the fluff, and part of the history of the class.

Aura of good: I guess its never come into play with our gaming groups... It doesn't seem to affect anything that happens in our games other than fighting clerics with prot from good. and then, just makes us roll more dice. So seems like little more than fluff, and has no real game effect. (no issue with that, just saying.)

Detect Evil: Standard class ability, extreamly useful, no problems. Does lead to "detect smiting" but thats a fall back of something thats always been =) Leads to nice moral delemas.

Smite Evil: Classic ability. Fantastic piece of mechanic and fluff combination. However it is EXTREAMLY limited. I feel it should be increased to AT LEAST 1+Cha modifier times per day at lvl 1. As primary offensive capability, needs to be done more often. Other option would be to make "Extra Smiting" feat available at 1st lvl, rather than 4th. Aside from increasing the number of times per day for SE, this ability is great.

LoH: great ability. Love how you can heal more overall with it. Hurts a little at lower levels being able to only heal your HD. heal 1 point as a standard action at 1st lvl? Not very functional as an in-combat ability. My group fell to using it as an out of combat heal only. Or to stabalize fallen PCs. It works well out of combat, but if it is going to be used in combat, needs a bit of a boost.


Seeing as how everyone will have to house rule at least one thing, the paladin alignment issue seems fairly negligible. My games will continue to allow CG and NG paladins to represent the other paragons of virtue in the world, regardless of the rulebook. I'd call it a win if this were the only thing I had to amend in a new RPG.


I always saw the Aura of Good as a side effect of being a paladin not so much a Power, they are just implicitly calling out that a paladin has the aura for detection and such.

One more change I would like to see is the Mount being usable more than once per day. I preferred the 3.0 mount (though I can totally understand why i got changed). Make it so the mount can be summoned a number of times per day 1/2 the paladins level or something like that, for a minimum of 1 hour (should help keep it from abuse).


One of the nifty ideas for smite evil that came out of the various think tanks was to make Smite Evil a kind of "debuff" that could be placed on an evil opponent, enhancing all the paladin's attacks against that target for a duration. The best part of the idea was that you could stack the bonuses you got, building momentum so long as you were willing to expend your somewhat scarce supply of smites per day.

Another idea that came up was to make fewer smites, but make them /encounter rather than /day. A paladin in this system might only get 4-5 smites by level 20, but they could be used repeatedly throughout the day.

Just some ideas that I thought I would pass on.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've never particularly cared for the paladin's mount — the utility of a mount is too greatly limited by the location of the adventure — urban and indoors in particular. I was glad to see that the "bond" class feature allows a different option.

Regarding the alternate-alignment holy warriors I mentioned in the Dragon 310 article, the Neutral Good "Sentinel" had a mount replacement that could also be viable for purposes of the "bond": Celestial Minion.

Basically, the mount is replaced by a small or medium-sized animal that gains the celestial template. It also gains the benefits listed on the paladin mount table such as improved HD, Int, Natural AC, share spells/saves, etc. The catch is that the companion can only remain summoned for up to 1 hour per class level each day. (The act of summoning it is a Standard action usable once a day.)

I thought that was a cool reprise on the classic paladin feature and one that allows for more versatility. In the game I'm playing, my character (a Viking shield maiden who is a multi-classed Cleric of Odin/ Sentinel) uses the Celestial Minion to summon one of Odin's two wolves to aid her. Gotta love it when You get Your crunch and keep the flavor too. :)


Just thinking about Smite Evil. I can appreciate why the effect Smite Evil could have to remain the same, for backward compatibility reasons. I know there are feats in x numbers of books, as well as classes, that refer to Smite Evil, so perhaps a major change to the way it works isn't possible without breaking backward compatibility.

In that case, why not give the effect of Smite Evil a little tweak? Not enough to upset any of the references to it, but just a little extra? Say, if the attack hits and deals damage it also causes the target to gain the Shaken condition for 1d6 rounds, or something. A foe hit by a divine blow should feel like he's been hit with divine-inspired force, rather than just a heavy attack.

It also means that other allies can benefit from the paladin Smiting Evil, encouraging the paladin to lead the charge, as he should be.

Just an idea, that's all.

Chobbly


Doombunny wrote:
Seeing as how everyone will have to house rule at least one thing, the paladin alignment issue seems fairly negligible. My games will continue to allow CG and NG paladins to represent the other paragons of virtue in the world, regardless of the rulebook. I'd call it a win if this were the only thing I had to amend in a new RPG.

Quoted for extreme truthiness. Never mind the quibble I had before, and still have, with the LG only thing. Otherwise, the class is looking very good indeed.

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