Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

Class Variants... PLEASE!


Races & Classes


**Paladin** (& Monk): "Remove Alignment Restriction based on Deity."
(Reference: Unearthed Arcana, page 53)

Why must all paladins be Lawful Good? Don't Chaotic, Evil, Neutral gods have paladins? Shouldn't a paladin be whatever alignment his deity is?

MONK NOTE: I would have the same arguements for a Monk. We have many, many Chaotic physical athletes this day and age, biggest example Pro Wrestlers. While Im sure they have a great measure of discipline to get them into condition/shape, that is not how they perform. Kord being my Greyhawk deity example would likely have a few monks, who would most likely call themselves wrestlers or brawlers, not monks or martial artists. Dwarves also fit the bill.

------------------------------

**Druid**: "Shapeshifter"
(Reference: Player's Handbook II, page 39)

No animal companion at 1st level, no wildshape at 5th level, and likely in Pathfinder... no domain. You would instead get the listed 5 different forms similar to that of certain MMO druids. Each form comes with various combat stat increases. (Str, AC & Saves) Not game breaking or class replacing, but gives players yet another type/style of druid to play.

1) Predator Form - Wolf
5) Aerial Form - Eagle/Vulture
8) Ferocious Slayer Form - Lion/Bear
12) Forest Avenger Form - Shambling Mound (Large)
16) Elemental Form - Elemental (Huge)

------------------------------

Thanks for keeping the D&D we've been playing for 20+ years alive!


In game terms, part of the trade-off of getting the 'gnarly powers' that come with a paladin is that you have to be L/G. Now, that was the thinking back in 1st and 2nd Ed, when the Paladin was head-and-shoulders more powerful than the fighter. Whether it still holds now is a different question.

Within the logic of the game, however, only a god who sits at the L/G end of the alignment spectra would ever create something like a paladin. It's specifically a role that a god of justice and war/battle would create. A C/G god wouldn't grant those kinds of powers, and a N/E one surely wouldn't. I think a church dedicated to a god, of any kind, would eventually get around to gathering an 'army of the faithful' in order to kill anyone who doesn't believe in their loving, gentle, message of peace, but in a world where the gods actually do or don't grant powers, a goddess of healing and mercy wouldn't invest warriors with the ability to Smite Evil.

Monks are specifically patterned after the Shao Lin, and anyone who tells you otherwise is talking out their butt. Shao Lin kung fu movies were very popular in HK in the 70s and a lot of them filtered out to the West, which is how a bastardised pseudo-Western version ended up in 1st Ed. D&D. I know this is true because in the introduction to the 1st Ed. book Oriental Adventures, they specifically say that the monk isn't really appropriate for a Western game, and you should probably take it out and use it only for OA.

So the reason that Monks have to be lawful is because they're based on how Shao Lin acted in those movies, and the Shao Lin were almost always lawful. They followed their temple's rules, they upheld the law, and they were disciplined. The Shao Lin who went bad (who usually played the villains) were similarly lawful. They were just evil. So there ya go.


I like alternate class features as much as the next guy, but I think they belong in a separate book like Unearthed Arcana. Maybe it could be called Unfound Paths...?


The Real Orion wrote:
In game terms, part of the trade-off of getting the 'gnarly powers' that come with a paladin is that you have to be L/G.... (snip) ... a goddess of healing and mercy wouldn't invest warriors with the ability to Smite Evil.

Yes, I agree, the powers would most likely have to change dependant on the deity. Sadly that is something that would have to be a side book to itself or at least quite a few pages in a side book dedicated to this variant alone.

What about maybe giving the paladin a domain? He wouldnt be able to use it until 7th level, but it would still give him more of a connection with his deity.

The Real Orion wrote:

Monks are specifically patterned after the Shao Lin, and anyone who tells you otherwise is talking out their butt. Shao Lin kung fu movies were very popular in HK in the 70s and a lot of them filtered out to the West, which is how a bastardised pseudo-Western version ended up in 1st Ed. D&D. I know this is true because in the introduction to the 1st Ed. book Oriental Adventures, they specifically say that the monk isn't really appropriate for a Western game, and you should probably take it out and use it only for OA.

So the reason that Monks have to be lawful is because they're based on how Shao Lin acted in those movies, and the Shao Lin were almost always lawful. They followed their temple's rules, they upheld the law, and they were disciplined. The Shao Lin who went bad (who usually played the villains) were similarly lawful. They were just evil. So there ya go.

I dont doubt or disagree with any of the above statement. I was just kinda hoping to play an angry brawler type without always worrying about whether he was being Lawful. You could always just make a barbarian and soak a feat into "improved unarmed strike", but it never improves over time like a monk would. *shrug*


As for Paladin variants, try D20srd.com. It has all the Open SRD content from every 3.5 D&D book. that includes Unearthed arcana content. The one i would point out is the alternate alignment classes. All 3 still require an extreme axis (i.e. Lawful evil, Chaotic good, Chaotic evil) and are basicly the same as a normal paladin (smite good become smite evil, Lay on hands become inflict desease, etc). There are a bunch of other class switch type too.

Also, i had an alternate ranger but its obsolete in the pathfinder setting.


I don't mind chaotic monks - or lawful barbarians, for that matter, or pretty much any other class doing without the existing alignment restrictions on the law/chaos axis- since lawful vs chaotic is IMO a really wavy line to draw. It's perfectly feasible to be lawful in many respects and chaotic in many others. With such a blurry line, all these restrictions really do is prevent certain multiclassing combos. Everything else can easily be sidestepped with some well-chosen character traits.

That's not so much true for evil/good though, I feel, although it's not hard to come up with examples to the contrary either.

When it comes to the paladin though, I don't really look at the alignment so much as at the concept: noble, self-sacrificing, fights for truth and justice, protects the weak and puts the wicked in their place. The paladin is not a champion of L, G or LG IMO, and not even necessarily a champion of his deity. He's just the ideal of the noble knight. As such, other alignments don't need a counterpart for the paladin.


Pangur Bàn wrote:
I don't mind chaotic monks - or lawful barbarians, for that matter, or pretty much any other class doing without the existing alignment restrictions on the law/chaos axis- since lawful vs chaotic is IMO a really wavy line to draw.

I never really thought of a lawful barbarian... it brings images of a Highlander to mind. Obeys the laws, provides for his family, works his land and occassionally fights like a berserker using a large sword when he has too. Sorry, rambling... I needed to type the imagery I was thinking. :)

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Daniel Moyer wrote:
Pangur Bàn wrote:
I don't mind chaotic monks - or lawful barbarians, for that matter, or pretty much any other class doing without the existing alignment restrictions on the law/chaos axis- since lawful vs chaotic is IMO a really wavy line to draw.
I never really thought of a lawful barbarian... it brings images of a Highlander to mind. Obeys the laws, provides for his family, works his land and occassionally fights like a berserker using a large sword when he has too. Sorry, rambling... I needed to type the imagery I was thinking. :)

Highlander was more of a fighter to be honest (dont really see many barbarians running around with samurai swords.) The Kurgan on the other hand pure barbarian all the way.


I'm just saying that 'lawful' covers a lot of ground is all. I mean, it goes from law-abiding over disciplined to ordered, sociable and traditionalist even. That's a whole spectrum of characteristics fitted (if not straightjacketed) in one label.

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

"Monks are specifically patterned after the Shao Lin, and anyone who tells you otherwise is talking out their butt."

Actually it's my understanding that the Monk class is based, at least in part, on the Masters of Sinanju from the Destroyer series of novels.

E. Gary Gygax, "Preface", Oriental Adventures (1st edition, 1986): "In its early development, the D&D game was supplemented by various booklets, and in one of these the monk, inspired by Brian Blume and the book series called The Destroyer, was appended to the characters playable. So too was this cobbled-together martial arts specialist placed into the AD&D game system, even as it was being removed from the D&D game."

Of course, this alters virtually nothing of what you have to say about where the ideals of discipline and the like come from, just that it's once-removed. :) As a big fan of the Destroyer series, felt like I should point that out.

Osirion

Pangur Bàn wrote:
I don't mind chaotic monks - or lawful barbarians, for that matter, or pretty much any other class doing without the existing alignment restrictions on the law/chaos axis- since lawful vs chaotic is IMO a really wavy line to draw. It's perfectly feasible to be lawful in many respects and chaotic in many others.

And it can be entirely cultural. A Paladin who storms through a slave-taking caste-system oppressive LE regime freeing slaves and killing the warlords in charge and wreaking havoc on their countries social structures and chain of command is going to be seen as a force for chaos.

One man's order is another man's madness.

Plus, I love the idea of chaotic monks going all whirling dervish / drunken master on people. (The Githzerai are pretty much the epitome of chaotic monks, and then there are the Battle Dancers, from the Dragon Compendium.) Even moreso, the idea of lawful Berserkers, who stand in eerie formation, seething as they work themselves up into terrible states of cold focused fury, where the completion of their mission of violence transcends any fear for their own safety, until they charge into the fray, focused so tightly on inflicting damage on their assigned target(s) that the rest of the world seems to fade away into a bloody haze around them...


Personally I can't see the Pro Wrestlers as monks for starters, big hulking fighters, skilled( I do use that word with a tongue in my cheek!!) at wrestling.
As for Paladins, in the Forgotten Realms Campaign there are many types of Paladin, not every god has Paladins but Helm(LN),Sune(CG) and others did exist in the Campaign.Trouble I've always found with the variation Paladin characters is that they need an ethic that they should follow. LE Anti-Paladin would be he should be the agent of a dark god or demon and be at his bidding, it's from this being he gains his Powers and being extreemly evil, the deity\demon would most likely test the agents faith( kill his first born, whole family) in the name of the god. Anti-Paladins are easy though it's generally the CG Paladins who are tricky to adjudicate requirements.
As for the alignment issue, personally I'm probably going to use the new 4th edition alignment\personality system- I know that 4th edition is the devil and I agree but the alignment system makes a lot more sense than the present D&D 3.5 system. The only characters needing an alignment is Paladins as all other characters should be personality based( unaligned by 4th ed).
If you've not seen it, get hold of it, it is worth reading through from the start of the chapter to the end( I may tear it out of the book and throw the rest away).


Granted, I'm talking about a different book and all, but Tome of Battle: Book of 9 Swords introduced a feat called Superior Unarmed Strike that gave an unarmed damage progression, albeit it was inferior to a Monk's. A Barbarian or Fighter with Improved Unarmed Strike and that feat could be a perfectly viable brawler.

As for a "lawful" berzerker, I'd call that more of a neutral character (NG, TN, or NE). Their battle fury prevents them from being truly lawful, even if they have a personal code. IMHO.


Law and chaos may as well be red and blue. As pointed out by a group named "K" some time ago on the WotC boards, the definitions of law and chaos in the 3.5 SRD did not conflict with each other in the slightest. This means you could logically have a character that is BOTH lawful and chaotic. Unfortunately, Pathfinder has kept the same text for alignments.

For example, why can't a Paladin be "flexible" or "adaptable"? Why can't a Barbarian be "trustworthy" or "reliable"? In fact, depending on how you read rules, Barbarians aren't even allowed mechanically to be trustworthy! Now how silly is that? Go read the Beta, pg. 8. Just for the record, I really do like what Pathfinder is doing overall, so I'm not a naysayer, but I am disappointed that they kept the same murky definitions of law, chaos, good, and evil as the 3.5 SRD did.

Honestly, the only reason I want my players writing down their alignments is purely for mechanical reasons (who takes damage from chaos hammer).

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ProsSteve wrote:
Personally I can't see the Pro Wrestlers as monks for starters, big hulking fighters, skilled( I do use that word with a tongue in my cheek!!) at wrestling.

Okay...as a long time watcher of the wrestling genre, I feel the need to dispel the notion that Professional Wrestling is not monk worthy. Now granted, the whole thing is extremely rehearsed (with some moves being done on the fly with the cooperation of their fellow showmen), but really, how is this any different from Chinese Opera? Remember, Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung got their start in that before going on to become the legendary action stars they are now. And yes I understand that there really isn't a lot of common ground between Chinese Opera and Professional Wrestling entertainment-wise, but they do have one very important feature: both feature performers with a high degree of athleticism engaging in feats that truly leave you gasping in awe (ask anyone who has seen Rey Mysterio in action and you'll get the same reaction: WOW!)

And there are actual grappling techniques used in professional wrestling; most wrestlings are skilled in the classic Greco-Roman style, though with the rise of Mixed Martial Art Fighting, a lot of that is slowly being implemented into it as well (for example, one of the Undertaker's newest moves is a modified Gogoplata, a Brazilian Ju-jitsu hold).

It takes skill to be able to fall without injuring one's self. It takes skill to properly hit those ring ropes so that you don't get hurt too much. To be able to move around the ring at all requires skill. All while trying to sell what ever is happening to you.

Now, I'm not trying in any way to seem like I'm a jerk or come off as one. I just felt the need to explain that because as a long time viewer of things violent, I constantly have to remind people that wrestling is not at all fake, just choreographed like any movie or television action scene, with the added factor that what they're doing is being done live before an audience without the benefit of trick photography or CG. In the end, its entertainment and that's the most important thing.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Is anyone else besides me at all interested in a variant for Druids that Doesn't turn in to animals?

I've just never like wild shape. Ever. It just isn't fun for me. I don't know if I'm lazy and just don't want to keep track of turning in to different things (although I love animal companions, who can create their own level of book keeping), or if I just have some unconscious aversion to the archetype(yet I have no problem with Lycanthropes?).

The best Druid Variant I've ever seen, for me anyways, was the one from Dragon Magazine that dropped Wild Shape and a couple other things, and then treated your animal companion as if you were two levels higher for the purposes of its bonus stuff.

Also, I've always thought a Druidesque class based on Intelligence would be fun. And not the Sidhe scholar cause Fey are creepy. I mean something like a Naturalist.


The Real Orion wrote:
Within the logic of the game, however, only a god who sits at the L/G end of the alignment spectra would ever create something like a paladin. It's specifically a role that a god of justice and war/battle would create. A C/G god wouldn't grant those kinds of powers, and a N/E one surely wouldn't. I think a church dedicated to a god, of any kind, would eventually get around to gathering an 'army of the faithful' in order to kill anyone who doesn't believe in their loving, gentle, message of peace, but in a world where the gods actually do or don't grant powers, a goddess of healing and mercy wouldn't invest warriors with the ability to Smite Evil.

I can see only a L/G god giving his followers smite evil, aura of courage, etc., but I see no reason why the evil gods wouldn't do the same thing, except with aura of terror, smite good, etc. And maybe it's use of the name.

I see Paladins as being the L/G Holy Warrior, as in one (of many) aspect of a larger, more encompassing class. Should we have C/G, L/E, C/E Holy (well, unholy) Warriors? Sure. Should they still be called Paladins, with the tradition and history that name implies? No.

The Real Orion wrote:

Monks are specifically patterned after the Shao Lin, and anyone who tells you otherwise is talking out their butt. Shao Lin kung fu movies were very popular in HK in the 70s and a lot of them filtered out to the West, which is how a bastardised pseudo-Western version ended up in 1st Ed. D&D. I know this is true because in the introduction to the 1st Ed. book Oriental Adventures, they specifically say that the monk isn't really appropriate for a Western game, and you should probably take it out and use it only for OA.

So the reason that Monks have to be lawful is because they're based on how Shao Lin acted in those movies, and the Shao Lin were almost always lawful. They followed their temple's rules, they upheld the law, and they were disciplined. The Shao Lin who went bad (who usually played the villains) were similarly lawful. They were just evil. So there ya go.

Take the Dragonlance campaign setting. Wizards in that setting (through a combination of fluff and crunch) either eventually become members of the Wizards of High Sorcery or they're considered renegades. Is that view of a specific class appropriate within its own setting? Sure. Should every Wizard in every world, every setting, every DM (in other words, the default Wizard described in a neutral core setting) be restricted thus? No. Likewise, creating/maintaining the view that the Monk class must be Lawful in every setting/campaign/world/etc. because they're modeled after a specific society is inappropriate for a setting neutral core rulebook.


this is necessarily the same thread thought, but here is an alternative ranger that does not stray far from the pf ranger but still gives the player choices [like he does with the rogue].

http://www.mediafire.com/?yjy1imngsmk

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Older Products / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder RPG Prerelease Discussion / Alpha Playtest Feedback / Alpha Release 3 / Races & Classes / Class Variants... PLEASE! All Messageboards
Recent threads in Races & Classes

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.