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Paladin overpowered


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew

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Another thing people seem to gloss over is that the paladin is a target!

the BBEG generally has a plan when dealing with the thing he fears most. most of the time in 3.5 that was the wizard or cleric, everything else can be dealt with later. Now evil creatures have a new threat, the Paladin. Unlike the wizard or cleric, however, the Paladin does not hide the fact that he is the slayer of all things evil and like a shining beacon in the night he makes his presence known 99% of the time when evil is present.

If your BBEG has no plan to deal with a paladin then I'm sorry to say but he deserves to die in 3 rounds FLAT.


Quijenoth wrote:

Another thing people seem to gloss over is that the paladin is a target!

the BBEG generally has a plan when dealing with the thing he fears most. most of the time in 3.5 that was the wizard or cleric, everything else can be dealt with later. Now evil creatures have a new threat, the Paladin. Unlike the wizard or cleric, however, the Paladin does not hide the fact that he is the slayer of all things evil and like a shining beacon in the night he makes his presence known 99% of the time when evil is present.

If your BBEG has no plan to deal with a paladin then I'm sorry to say but he deserves to die in 3 rounds FLAT.

OTOH after rereading the ability, I think its quite strong. (if not a little bit imba) It would not be strong if other classes have such abilities like "add 2x level to damage for the whole combat" too. If I would play with the pathfinder rules I would reduce this power to 1d6 turns or so or just allowing "1x level to damage". This remembers me a little bit to the imba spell sleep which 1st level mages had in BECM. But of course nothing a good GM could not root out. (in those days 20y ago and also today)


Enpeze wrote:


OTOH after rereading the ability, I think its quite strong. (if not a little bit imba) It would not be strong if other classes have such abilities like "add 2x level to damage for the whole combat" too. If I would play with the pathfinder rules I would reduce this power to 1d6 turns or so or just allowing "1x level to damage". This remembers me a little bit to the imba spell sleep which 1st level mages had in BECM. But of course nothing a good GM could not root out. (in those days 20y ago and also today)

The other classes have different abilities. Most of which are far less restricted in terms of amount of time it can be done and in terms of target. A fighter does not need to worry about his enemies alignment when considering his weapon or armor training, or all his feats for that matter. A barbarian can rage considerably longer then a paladin can smite and also isnt restricted by alignment. They also dont have strict roleplay restrictions that can potentially strip the character of their class abilities at the DM's discretion. Ever have a campaign where the players have to do some less then ideal things to get the job done? I have and half the time the paladin had to abstain from fighting. Ever have a campain against a non-evil opponent? I have, and the paladin is incredibly underwhelming in that event. So is the smite a very powerful ability? Yes, but it is restricted more then any of the combat classes core core abilities, so it should be stronger.


Savant1974, I will not be like others criticize your DM abilities beause I agree with you somewhat.

I tend to like fights that last longer, so that the PCs are forced to use some strategy instead of two whacks and its over. Especially with the Pathfinder rules, the PCs can hang a lot longer with their juiced hitpoints. I find I need to add 30%-100% in additional hitpoints to the baddies. Everyone seems to have more fun this way.

It comes down to knowing what your group can handle. Adding hitpoints is much better than throwing high level baddies at them because at certain levels the baddies will have abilities that only higher level PCs can withstand.

I think a good house rule would be to have the Paladin use Smite Evil a total number of rounds as his Paladin level per day, and they don't have to be consecutive.


Personal Experience:

I'm GMing Rise of the Runelords, an AP with no shortage of evil targets. The party is 7th level and starting in to Hook Mountain Massacre.

The party is a Paladin, Fighter, Wizard (Abjurer), and Anburaid's Ardwright class.

I have not found the Paladin to be overpowered in practice. This doesn't mean the class isn't vastly more powerful, but I think that the Fighter got just as much of a boost if not more (Vital Strike, Power Attack change, Cleave change, Fleet, Armor training). A greatsword fighter with the most iconic fighter feats and vital strike is easily just as scary.

I have had to boost the monsters a bit (except Xanesha lol) in order to keep things exciting, but this is less in response to the paladin than to the fighter.


Last time my group tangled with a black dragon it drowned our fighter. Grappled him and dragged him under with him.

-Weylin

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
A Man In Black wrote:
I seem to have charged off half-cocked, and my previous posts should be disregarded.

What? All 392, or just the last half-dozen?

LOL

Shadow Lodge

Quijenoth wrote:

Another thing people seem to gloss over is that the paladin is a target!

the BBEG generally has a plan when dealing with the thing he fears most. most of the time in 3.5 that was the wizard or cleric, everything else can be dealt with later. Now evil creatures have a new threat, the Paladin.

. . .

If your BBEG has no plan to deal with a paladin then I'm sorry to say but he deserves to die in 3 rounds FLAT.

Just out of curiosity, what sort of plan are you talking about here?


Beckett wrote:
Quijenoth wrote:

Another thing people seem to gloss over is that the paladin is a target!

the BBEG generally has a plan when dealing with the thing he fears most. most of the time in 3.5 that was the wizard or cleric, everything else can be dealt with later. Now evil creatures have a new threat, the Paladin.

. . .

If your BBEG has no plan to deal with a paladin then I'm sorry to say but he deserves to die in 3 rounds FLAT.

Just out of curiosity, what sort of plan are you talking about here?

A few non-evil minions would be a good start. Especially if they are serious threats themselves. If the paladin fires up his Smite Evil without Detecting first and assumes they are evil then he just wasted it.

Traps are another good route.

Hostages are also nice, especially if the villain can use on as a human shield

Reading the Evil Overlord list is always good.

The moment the paladin reveals what he is, any evil mastermind is going to either quit the field of battle or unload with his worst on the paladin.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have two fighters in my game that pretty much dish out what the Paladin does and they do it all the time evil, good or what ever. A Paladin in my group needs to smite just to keep up. The Paladin though really surpasses the fighters when it's a evil outsider though. The only time the Paladin was better was at low level before the fighters get their Weapon Specialization feats and Weapon training class features. Once the fighter start getting that the Paladin smite become less of an issue and by 12th level it's hardly noticeable unless it outsiders.


Beckett wrote:
Quijenoth wrote:

Another thing people seem to gloss over is that the paladin is a target!

the BBEG generally has a plan when dealing with the thing he fears most. most of the time in 3.5 that was the wizard or cleric, everything else can be dealt with later. Now evil creatures have a new threat, the Paladin.

. . .

If your BBEG has no plan to deal with a paladin then I'm sorry to say but he deserves to die in 3 rounds FLAT.

Just out of curiosity, what sort of plan are you talking about here?

Weylin summed up quite a few :) It all depends on level really but things like sealing the paladin in a force cage while dealing with the rest of the party is often used by high level caster villains

Qadira

Savant I wonder if you felt happy for the pc's taking out the dragon, did they show good teamwork and such.

I would of had the dragon do a grapple on the paly after the first hit followed by a swim or fly action or a pin.

I think you should have the same party get hired to go after the dragons twin brother same CR. This time the dragon attacks while the party is in a boat or 2. Using its breath weapon on the party then swimming underneath waiting for the boat to sink or capsizing the boat. I forgot to mention the crocodiles, alligators in the swamp.

Shadow Lodge

:) So, basically, nothing special at all? :)

Traps, Hostages, and some non-evil minions in case that group of adventures have a PALADIN, if not, I guess I'll just go with plan B with my other traps, hostages, and some non-evil minions. . .

Force Cageing the Paladin vs the traditional any other Tank and Rogue (BEST).


Savant1974 wrote:
Lyingbastard wrote:


And the sorceror engaged the paladin in melee? Without lots and lots of physically powerful backup? Paladins are designed to destroy evil - if they can reach it. Dragons can fly and use magic, can they not?

No the sorc was behind and to the left of the paladin, engaging the dragon. He was in the party (I did mention that if you go back and take a look). The 50ish damage was done to the dragon by the sorc.

The dragon has magic, and a breath weapon, that was easily saved against by the paladin. There was a fighter there as well, he did a little damage but had trouble hitting.

Black dragons are fond of water environments, they happened to be at an underground lake. No room for flying, didn't get time to escape either (was going to do it next round)

Ok let me put this to you, learned sirs: If the paladin and his stalwart companions only ever faced neutral enemies in battle, (or at least non-evil targets), would you consider the paladin to be weak? Is smite evil the entire focus of the character, or does he hold his own with the other classes of the same level?

I say that if the paladin is balanced when fighting neutrals, then removing smite evil altogether would mean he would have the same class balance fighting evil. Therefore, smite evil as it is currently written makes them overpowered, which is my argument. It gives the paladin 5+ levels (conservatively) in power.

Bottom line: If a paladin can take on neutrals just as effectively as any other class, then he can get by with only a few smite evil attacks per day when fighting evil targets.

By the way, enjoying the respectful and thoughtful discussion :D

The dragon's CR is made assuming he can use all of his abilities. If you ground the dragon he is probably closer to a CR 9, and with the paladin being focused against him he should go down. Run the same encounter with a flying dragon and my money is on the dragon.


Savant1974 wrote:

Any other GM's having trouble with paladins mopping the floor with their carefully constructed campaigns?

Nope. I have beat the paladin down 3 times, and killed him once. Teh party would have been TPK'd by a dragon, he was on the way to death again by a devil. It's in the Fiendish Codex 2. I think its a Malbranche(spelling?), and he was done in by an Ice devil. I dont think the paladin is overpowered, you just can't fight him the way you used to.

Edit: My problems with the paladin are his healing abilities(mercies). Everytime I throw a status affect on someone he gets rid of it.


Weylin wrote:

Reading the Evil Overlord list is always good.

The moment the paladin reveals what he is, any evil mastermind is going to either quit the field of battle or unload with his worst on the paladin.

What is the Evil Overlord list?


Beckett wrote:

:) So, basically, nothing special at all? :)

Traps, Hostages, and some non-evil minions in case that group of adventures have a PALADIN, if not, I guess I'll just go with plan B with my other traps, hostages, and some non-evil minions. . .

Force Cageing the Paladin vs the traditional any other Tank and Rogue (BEST).

The Maze spell also works, and I think it has not save(IIRC).


If you just have the Big Bad slug it out with the Paladin, instead of using all those lovely special abilities, using their terrain, and pressing advantages, the Big Bad will lose because the Paladin is DESIGNED to slug it out with Big Bads. It is their very purpose.

A lot of the contributors in the thread have made useful suggestions. There's no reason the dragon should have stayed to fight, when it could easily have submerged and been essentially untouchable compared to the party. Where they on a boat or on the shore? Capsizing a boat would be cake for a water-breathing dragon and would really ruin a bunch of armored adventurers' day.

When you don't use a BBEG's full extent of abilities, the problem isn't with the game design.


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Another good thing to keep the Paladin at bay, the feat 'Large and In Charge' from the Draconomicon. It's a great great feat to keep people away. An adult dragon has 10 inches of reach. Anytime someone moves through that 10 foot space, he can attack of opportunity them, and with this feat, knock them back five feet. The only way to avoid it is to 5-foot adjust and hold defensively on this turn, then 5-foot adjust again next turn to close. If the dragon keeps backing up, the pally can never close to melee with him. And if he keeps charging or approaching, the dragon knocks him back out of his threatened area. Ergo, pally neutralized. I used this to keep someone away from a black dragon during a fight, royally ticked him off, couldn't approach and attack, kept getting knocked back.

Most dragons have a low dex, unfortunately, so they can only pull that trick once per round, but then they just keep pulling it on the pally, knock him head over teakettle every round. ;) Smite does no good if you can't hit the darn thing.


wraithstrike wrote:
Weylin wrote:

Reading the Evil Overlord list is always good.

The moment the paladin reveals what he is, any evil mastermind is going to either quit the field of battle or unload with his worst on the paladin.

What is the Evil Overlord list?

The Evil Overlord List (never make a BBEG without it):

http://www.eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html

-Weylin


Weylin wrote:

The Evil Overlord List (never make a BBEG without it):

Linkyfied

-Weylin


One thing I find really odd is that everyone talks about the Smite, but no one says a thing about Sneak Attack, sure you have to flank and all that, but it's VERY usable and does much more damage, am I crazy here?

BTW, glad you liked my "Smite evil is EVIL" thread ;)


Here's what I would say. It varies a great deal from campaign to campaign. I could see how, in a very high point-buy game, the paladin could become a bit overwhelming (the double damage versus selective foes may be a bit much in some games) but, in other games, it works quite fine.

Remember that being a Paladin kinda sucks. It's one of the few classes left with drawbacks (which is something I like). You're traditionally held to a higher standard of conduct than any of the other classes in the game. Now this doesn't mean you need to be a snotty piss-ant lecturing the rogue all the time, but it does mean that you can't lie, cheat, break the law, or steal, something that happens a lot in most RPG games I've played (and, some DMs, myself included, stretch this to mean you can't ambush). In this vein, I've always felt that the paladin deserved to be the most powerful class in the game. Sure, other classes are held to some standard, but the most devout cleric of Sarenrae (who is still more powerful than the paladin) can probably get away with picking the lock of an evil overlord.

In terms of the OP's game, I would ask, does the paladin still have decent combat stats, and if he does, how monstrous are the other, less MAD char's stats? It sounds like rather large point buy. I don't think there's anything wrong with the Paladin dominating the BBEG. That's what they do, it's like complaining that the cleric heals too well. But yes, once you fight two evil foes/encounter or a couple of neutral foes, the paladin should balance out pretty nicely. Then he's a fighter with so/so healing, no bonus feats, and a pet. If you still feel there's too much power, I'd nerf out the double damage and crack down on the paladin code a bit.

In my current game, we play low point buy that's at about level 7-8. We have a buddhist archer-paladin who is focused on charisma with so/so combat stats. We've cracked down on his CoC a bit and added some Buddhist elements. The effect is great. Most of the time, he's a so/so healer who sucks at combat and tries diplomacy against everything. But when he decides to cleanse you from the earth, you're screwed. compared to our rogue and ranger, who are always decent, he feels like a very different chracter(I'm aware most people don't play low point buy, it was just an example).


wraithstrike wrote:
Savant1974 wrote:

Any other GM's having trouble with paladins mopping the floor with their carefully constructed campaigns?

Nope. I have beat the paladin down 3 times, and killed him once. Teh party would have been TPK'd by a dragon, he was on the way to death again by a devil. It's in the Fiendish Codex 2. I think its a Malbranche(spelling?), and he was done in by an Ice devil. I dont think the paladin is overpowered, you just can't fight him the way you used to.

Edit: My problems with the paladin are his healing abilities(mercies). Everytime I throw a status affect on someone he gets rid of it.

That was my point. His smite means he is dangerous, well as dangerous as any melee type is. Throw in his healing abilities and he becomes down right powerful. The mercies are big, no one else can do that, never mind his sheer healing ability. While force cage and maze can stop him just like they would any fighter, he has on average much better saves so less things that will negate the fighter will do the same to the paladin. Simply put if you only get to have one in your party, the paladin seems to me to be the hands down better choice. Take away his healing and to me that makes them about equal. But that is no small thing.


I still dont see the Paladin as overpowered or outmatching other classes broadly.

Of course the Paladin is peerless when fighting Evil. As has been pointed out, that's his role in the game. Throw him in a encounter agains some dire animal and he is worse than the fighter/barbarian/ranger and is sometimes outmatched by the rogue (who only has to flank and opponent to turn him into hamburger).

Not many gripe about other classes excelling at their roles.

If the paladin walks all over the encounter you created you should consider more the abilities of your party when designing encounters in the future. Learn from the mistake. If they keep walking all over your encounters then maybe you should consider a different campaign or switching which side of the screen you are on (have done that myself).

You're the DM. If you dont want a class or race in your game because it throws a major wrench in the campaign and cant work around it then dont allow it. Same with feats, spells, unusual weapons, etc. Have played in various campaigns that excluded the previous things for various reasons...from the setting itself to the campaign style to the origin story for the party to the DM just really hated a given race.

I feel any exclusion of core material should be explained why and offer options (i.e. "I dont want any paladins but how about a Fighter who is a church soldier/crusader. Same flavor but different class.").

-Weylin


Red-Assassin wrote:

Savant I wonder if you felt happy for the pc's taking out the dragon, did they show good teamwork and such.

I would of had the dragon do a grapple on the paly after the first hit followed by a swim or fly action or a pin.

I think you should have the same party get hired to go after the dragons twin brother same CR. This time the dragon attacks while the party is in a boat or 2. Using its breath weapon on the party then swimming underneath waiting for the boat to sink or capsizing the boat. I forgot to mention the crocodiles, alligators in the swamp.

Um, no it wasn't a fun fight really. The rogue hit hit really hard in the surprise round, then tried using a rope of climbing to climb on the back of the dragon (didn't work, I ruled it doesn't work on living, moving creatures) and then just turned invisible. The fighter was rolling badly and didn't do much at all in the fight. The sorc did what he could, using scorching ray a few times, so it was really all up to the paladin and his smiting that saved the day. Hell, I'm pretty sure he could have soloed it, which is what miffed me a bit. I like the party using their strengths to overcome big foes, and that just hasn't been happening lately.

So just to reiterate, I decided to make the smite ability to half paladin level to regular evil, paladin level to evil outsiders and undead (took out dragons, which was the paladin players idea actually, couldn't figure out why it was there since they're mortal and alive and from the material plane) and made the smite do Good damage for the purposes of DR (i.e. not bypassing all DR anymore). I actually haven't had a DR problem yet, but again that was his idea and I'm fine with it. Just means if they encounter a big evil monster that needs adamantium weapons to get through the DR, they won't be able to, but that's going to be very rare. All in all we're happy with this change, it's a nerf but not that big a nerf. Oh, and aura of justice lasts one round per use now - I doubt anything would survive for longer than that, and even if they did, they'd be heavily damaged :)


Xum wrote:

One thing I find really odd is that everyone talks about the Smite, but no one says a thing about Sneak Attack, sure you have to flank and all that, but it's VERY usable and does much more damage, am I crazy here?

BTW, glad you liked my "Smite evil is EVIL" thread ;)

It is epic :D And informative! I was able to get a broad view of opinions from many players and GM's to come to my decision.

Oh and yeah rogue sneak is big, but I don't think it's unbalancing as they don't get the number of attacks, or the AB, or the AC bonus etc. Generally a rogue would have to sneak attack and possibly withdraw if the target focuses on them ;)


Lyingbastard wrote:

If you just have the Big Bad slug it out with the Paladin, instead of using all those lovely special abilities, using their terrain, and pressing advantages, the Big Bad will lose because the Paladin is DESIGNED to slug it out with Big Bads. It is their very purpose.

A lot of the contributors in the thread have made useful suggestions. There's no reason the dragon should have stayed to fight, when it could easily have submerged and been essentially untouchable compared to the party. Where they on a boat or on the shore? Capsizing a boat would be cake for a water-breathing dragon and would really ruin a bunch of armored adventurers' day.

When you don't use a BBEG's full extent of abilities, the problem isn't with the game design.

They were wading through a flooded dwarven city, up to their waists in water, and came near a cave that had turned into a lake. They were not in a boat. Also, the dragon was winning at the start, until the paladin came in and started wailing on him. Chalk this one up to a DM new to pathfinder paladins! Next round the dragon was going to submerge and flee but didn't really get the opportunity hehe. Actually this is the first time the paladin used his double damage smite, so I was a little unprepared for the effectiveness.


Savant1974 wrote:


They were wading through a flooded dwarven city, up to their waists in water, and came near a cave that had turned into a lake. They were not in a boat. Also, the dragon was winning at the start, until the paladin came in and started wailing on him. Chalk this one up to a DM new to pathfinder paladins! Next round the dragon was going to submerge and flee but didn't really get the opportunity hehe. Actually this is the first time the paladin used his double damage smite, so I was a little unprepared for the effectiveness.

That's usually when my GMs lie if they need the villain to escape or the final confrontation is starting to seem kind of flat.

Had a villain who dogged our party from 5th to 10th level. I know for certain our DM lied about some rolls to allow the villain to escape. Was much more satisfying to me to finally get the villain dead to rights and finally kill her. Even though I know she should have died several times over the levels including our first encounter with her.

-Weylin


Weylin wrote:
Savant1974 wrote:


They were wading through a flooded dwarven city, up to their waists in water, and came near a cave that had turned into a lake. They were not in a boat. Also, the dragon was winning at the start, until the paladin came in and started wailing on him. Chalk this one up to a DM new to pathfinder paladins! Next round the dragon was going to submerge and flee but didn't really get the opportunity hehe. Actually this is the first time the paladin used his double damage smite, so I was a little unprepared for the effectiveness.

That's usually when my GMs lie if they need the villain to escape or the final confrontation is starting to seem kind of flat.

Had a villain who dogged our party from 5th to 10th level. I know for certain our DM lied about some rolls to allow the villain to escape. Was much more satisfying to me to finally get the villain dead to rights and finally kill her. Even though I know she should have died several times over the levels including our first encounter with her.

-Weylin

Ok I haven't really mentioned enough of the module in question for people to start assuming things, yet that's what people have been doing - making broad assumptions, like they were in a boat and what have you, even though I never said that. The dragon was not the main final villain, they just happened to stumble across it's lair on their way through to the final section. Maybe I could have fudged some rolls but the paladins dice rolls were so good it would have been rather obvious. If I had the paladin doing half his normal smite damage it would have been a much more balanced fight, 'nuff said.


Weylin wrote:

I still dont see the Paladin as overpowered or outmatching other classes broadly.

Of course the Paladin is peerless when fighting Evil. As has been pointed out, that's his role in the game. Throw him in a encounter agains some dire animal and he is worse than the fighter/barbarian/ranger and is sometimes outmatched by the rogue (who only has to flank and opponent to turn him into hamburger).

Not many gripe about other classes excelling at their roles.

If the paladin walks all over the encounter you created you should consider more the abilities of your party when designing encounters in the future. Learn from the mistake. If they keep walking all over your encounters then maybe you should consider a different campaign or switching which side of the screen you are on (have done that myself).

You're the DM. If you dont want a class or race in your game because it throws a major wrench in the campaign and cant work around it then dont allow it. Same with feats, spells, unusual weapons, etc. Have played in various campaigns that excluded the previous things for various reasons...from the setting itself to the campaign style to the origin story for the party to the DM just really hated a given race.

I feel any exclusion of core material should be explained why and offer options (i.e. "I dont want any paladins but how about a Fighter who is a church soldier/crusader. Same flavor but different class.").

-Weylin

If you stop focusing only on DPS you will see why the paladin is overpowered. Even in encounters against dire animals can the fighter/ranger/barbarian remove "effects" like a paladin can? can they heal the party like the paladin can? And then against those foes the paladin's DPS is mighty, guess what, he can still heal and remove "effects" and yet the others still can not.

DPS wise the paladin is on par at least with the other melee, but going beyond that the others can't out heal a druid or bard, can't remove effects anywhere near as well, and don't have his amazing saves on top of it all.


Dont see the paladin as overpowered and I am unlikely to.

If you want to make it more difficult, then dont choose creatures that commonly use powers based on effects that the paladin's mercies can counter. The paladin only gets a limited selection of one out of three at the appropriate levels. And limited uses of the ability and using them just to remove an effect eats up healing (since it is linked to his lay on hands). Choose creatures who use the other two effects that the paladin did not select.

I dont see any of the paladin's class features as outstripping those of other classes...spells, rage powers, ki powers, bardic songs, combat feats, domain/school/bloodline powers, wildshape, favored enemy/terrain, sneak attack, rogue talents, flurry of blows, etc etc.

-Weylin


I wonder if the OP makes a habit of using just one or two encounters per game day?

If you're shooting for the typical 4 encounters per day, the paladin will do one of two things:

1. Smite something relatively non-threatening in many encounters, spreading them out through the day. Who cares if he smites a troll or a wraith or whatever when there's 6 more trolls or 8 more wraiths in the fight? Big deal, he gets a few smites on ordinary mooks and looks pretty cool doing it, but he has to face many more mooks as a puny paladin who is not smiting, and most of those times he'll wish he could do the damage a fighter would be doing.

2. Save his smites for those occasional encounters with just one or two really bad evil nasty things. Which means he'll perform well against those, when you're willing to give them to him, but all the rest of his encounters he'll the the wimpy underpowererd paladin dealing mediocre damage at best to a bunch of ordinary encounters, and for all those encounters, the fighter will be showing him up over and over and over. Heck, some days the paladin will save all this smites hoping the next fight will be perfect, and that perfect fight never comes, and Mr. Paladin might go to bed at the end of the day with all his smites still unused.

No, I'm not advocating never giving him good opportunities to shine. He can shine killing a troll or wraith. He can shine killing the occasional BBEG (etc.). But lots of the time he'll just not shine at all because he'll be fighting things that he is not smiting.

But if you're not giving 4 (or something like 4) encounters per day, you're playing into the paladin's hands; you're letting him smite all the good stuff and wreck your plans. It's the same problem with wizards, sorcerers, clerics, etc. If they have good reason to expect that they'll only fight this one encounter per day, then they can cast all their most powerful spells and blow the BBEG to smithereens - no need to save those spells for a 2nd encounter that will never come.

So hit the PCs over and over and over with 4-ish encounters almost every adventuring day, and your paladin will only shine occasionally, and will be weaker than other melee classes the rest of the time - which seems fairly balanced to me.


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have a similar problem because of the scope of my game. My players are often traipsing back and forth across large territories. Having four encounters a day would turn the game into one long slug fest (since they routinely spend a week or more traveling).

What I usually do is up the CR on the encounters so that one per week taxes all their resources. To do this takes a very careful balance though. The big thing is, a single bad guy is a mistake unless you have a really really really hard to take down bad guy. My preference is for numbers. If I have 5 party members (my usual number), then at 8th level I go for say, 3 billy bad*ss minotaurs each with 2-3 levels of barbarian, and give each BBA minotaur 2-3 normal minotaurs and have the mino's working as a team. Or, I'll have 4-5 bugbears, each with 2-3 levels of fighter and give them each four goblins with 2-3 levels of warrior.

There is no one creature anyone can go nova on that way. Will they go nova in the fight? Possibly, but there's always the chance they'll have a second encounter (that happens about every 3-4 times, they'll have one big encounter by day and another medium or small encounter by night). That keeps them honest enough they don't go nova very often.

Another one I really like for major campaign enders is 'The Creature That Will Not Die'. I had a dracolich they had to fight at the end of the last major story arc. You couldn't kill it, not easily. It had 500 hps and if you took it down, the stone it was chained to shattered one of the chains binding it, which restored it to full health. To utterly destroy it you had to do one of two things, kill the dragon 6 times (3000hps) or use the extra special Sword of Bahamut on the stone (they had been dragging this Buster Blade sword around for 6 months trying to figure out what it was destined for). The big problem with just killing the dracolich with 3000hps of damage was the stone then ported in the next biggest baddest undead and chained it up just like the dracolich (A minotaur skeleton with 350hps).

This gives everyone a chance to shine (taking down the 500hps baddie) and then one person destroying the stone. Worked out very nicely, even if the Duskblade had to save the Paladin's butt because he got frustrated and decided to use the sword on the dragon instead of the stone (the duskblade cast dimension hop on the paladin as he brought the sword down on the dragon, popped him right in front of the altar so the sword shattered the stone instead of the dracolich). Blast nearly killed the paladin, damaged everyone (including the dracolich). After they beat the dracolich back down again, they put the gold orb in it's eye and restored it back to life as a gold dragon. :)


The problem I see with the new paladin is how I need to treat BBEGs. As the OP posted, he threw an end creature with a much higher CR than usual for the party's level. I was sort of hoping PF would help to alleviate the need of GM to prepare around the abilities of a single character. Maybe it has, as we haven't had a player play a paladin yet. (But they almost made an entire party of paladins… their initial reaction was similar to mine which is they seem overpowered on paper. But they decided against it as the to make an entire party of rogues [well mostly rogues] instead… they've been wanting to do that for a while now).

It's not just Smite Evil that's bothersome for some GMs. It's Smite Evil plus:

- Divine Grace (Cha bonus to all saves)
- Lay on Hands (heal self as a swift action)
- Divine Health (immune to disease)
- Divine Bond (customizable magic weapon)
- Aura of Resolve (immune to charms)
- Aura of Justice (grant smite evil to allies)
- Spells (Divine Favor, Bull's Strength, Shield Other, Dispel Magic, & Prayer, being useful when stacked with their other powers)

All this by 11th level, with no magic items thrown into the mix yet.


Were you running the Forge of Fury?


anthony Valente wrote:

The problem I see with the new paladin is how I need to treat BBEGs. As the OP posted, he threw an end creature with a much higher CR than usual for the party's level. I was sort of hoping PF would help to alleviate the need of GM to prepare around the abilities of a single character. Maybe it has, as we haven't had a player play a paladin yet. (But they almost made an entire party of paladins… their initial reaction was similar to mine which is they seem overpowered on paper. But they decided against it as the to make an entire party of rogues [well mostly rogues] instead… they've been wanting to do that for a while now).

It's not just Smite Evil that's bothersome for some GMs. It's Smite Evil plus:

- Divine Grace (Cha bonus to all saves)
- Lay on Hands (heal self as a swift action)
- Divine Health (immune to disease)
- Divine Bond (customizable magic weapon)
- Aura of Resolve (immune to charms)
- Aura of Justice (grant smite evil to allies)
- Spells (Divine Favor, Bull's Strength, Shield Other, Dispel Magic, & Prayer, being useful when stacked with their other powers)

All this by 11th level, with no magic items thrown into the mix yet.

I dont think any game system will ever be able to really help alleviate the need for a DM to prepare around the abilities of one or two characters. That is just the nature of the games.

There will also be characters who really excel at something. Have seen DMs have to work around a class as basic as the fighter purely because fo the feats selected. A rogue focused on stealth-aspect can wreck an encounter as surely as the paladin can in one that plays to his strengths. A fighter with a bastard sword and vital strike will bypass the lower DRs regularly and inflict his full weapon damage.

At least the paladin's abilities are straightforward. Compare that to the wizard who can change out his 'powers' daily from a rather large list of spells known. Or even worse, the cleric who can literally change out his for any "power" in his spell list from any books the DM allowed into the campaign.

-Weylin


Weylin wrote:

I dont think any game system will ever be able to really help alleviate the need for a DM to prepare around the abilities of one or two characters. That is just the nature of the games.

There will also be characters who really excel at something. Have seen DMs have to work around a class as basic as the fighter purely because fo the feats selected. A rogue focused on stealth-aspect can wreck an encounter as surely as the paladin can in one that plays to his strengths. A fighter with a bastard sword and vital strike will bypass the lower DRs regularly and inflict his full weapon damage.

At least the paladin's abilities are straightforward. Compare that to the wizard who can change out his 'powers' daily from a rather large list of spells known. Or even worse, the cleric who can literally change out his for any "power" in his spell list from any books the DM allowed into the campaign.

-Weylin

I have to agree. A dm should always taylor encounters to their party. Even with just the core classes there are so many ways to take a character, each party will behave differently. Add in splat material and you really have a large range of character abilities. You cant expect a module or other printed material to account for what your party is like.

For instance, as we have been saying, a paladin is very strong against a single big bad, but much weaker against multiple opponents. However, a trip/standstill fighter with a reach weapon who is often enlarged by the party mage is likely to be much stronger against the multiple weak opponents. In a typical 4 pc party you will have one or the other. Just those two examples will make a HUGE difference in how hard a specific encounter is to overcome. With combat reflexes and a good dex the fighter will keep all the mooks on their back for most of the fight. But he's not likely to trip that dragon. The paladin is a glorified warrior against the mooks, but will as the OP saw cut the single dragon to peices if he can get a hold of him.

In the end it is all about what your party has created and how to best challenge them while giving them a chance to shine.


Kolokotroni wrote:

I have to agree. A dm should always taylor encounters to their party. Even with just the core classes there are so many ways to take a character, each party will behave differently. Add in splat material and you really have a large range of character abilities. You cant expect a module or other printed material to account for what your party is like.

For instance, as we have been saying, a paladin is very strong against a single big bad, but much weaker against multiple opponents. However, a trip/standstill fighter with a reach weapon who is often enlarged by the party mage is likely to be much stronger against the multiple weak opponents. In a typical 4 pc party you will have one or the other. Just those two examples will make a HUGE difference in how hard a specific encounter is to overcome. With combat reflexes and a good dex the fighter will keep all the mooks on their back for most of the fight. But he's not likely to trip that dragon. The paladin is a glorified warrior against the mooks, but will as the OP saw cut the single dragon to peices if he can get a hold of...

That is pretty much why my group has not run a module in the time I have known them. I dont think I have played in an actual module since the Master Box Set. Aside from one shots just for fun...usually using pre-generated characters.

Not saying modules/adventure paths are not great, but they lack an inherent insight into a given group's characters and playing style. And that makes them largely useless for my group.

-Weylin

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

DMs have had to take into account the possible abilities of certain classes for over 30 years.

Fire Giant King Snurre: vulnerable to Cone of Cold? Better trade your buddy, the Frost Giant Jarl, for a white dragon skin, for your armour.

Necromancer: Got an army of undead? Better always have Desecrate prepared, in case a cleric comes by to blow your skeletons to bits.

Better have some warding against animals, if you've upset the local druids. Or Creeping Doom. Or Treants.

Better have a scroll of Protection from Good, in case a wizard tries to Dominate you.

Or if a cleric tries to geas you.

Or if a bard tries to charm you.

But now, demons, devils, liches and dragons finally (FINALLY!) have reason to be afraid of a paladin, and people act as if the sky is falling.


Thurgon wrote:


If you stop focusing only on DPS you will see why the paladin is overpowered. Even in encounters against dire animals can the fighter/ranger/barbarian remove "effects" like a paladin can? can they heal the party like the paladin can? And then against those foes the paladin's DPS is mighty, guess what, he can still heal and remove "effects" and yet the others still can not.

DPS wise the paladin is on par at least with the other melee, but going beyond that the others can't out heal a druid or bard, can't remove effects anywhere near as well, and don't have...

I call shenanigans. First of all, outealing the druid and bard requires several feat expenditures that further suckify the paladin compared to the other melee classes. Even then, you're talking about outhealing classes that aren't meant to be awesome healers. If you're going to compare healing, compare it to the cleric, who is still far more powerful than the paladin. The free effect removal is cool, but, really, doesn't get good until higher levels (Unless you're investing yet more feats for yet more mercies).

Second of all, comparing that healing to the nonhealing classes is a bit silly. Can a barbarian and a ranger heal? No. Does a paladin get the plethora of abilities those two classes get? No. Remember, a barbarian using his rage or a ranger using favored enemy actually gets to use those powers with their full attacks. In order to heal somebody else, a paladin has to choose not to get to use his attack. As the 3.5 bard showed us, having a lot of options doesn't make you decent if you can't use them simultaneously (though I will admit, getting to heal himself as a swift is a nice boon).

Is the paladin more powerful than a lot of classes in most campaigns? Yes (though I'd argue that they should be). Is the paladin overpowered? That's a big word to be using in a game where 4 of the 11 classes are rewriting reality according to their whims.


Velderan wrote:
Thurgon wrote:


If you stop focusing only on DPS you will see why the paladin is overpowered. Even in encounters against dire animals can the fighter/ranger/barbarian remove "effects" like a paladin can? can they heal the party like the paladin can? And then against those foes the paladin's DPS is mighty, guess what, he can still heal and remove "effects" and yet the others still can not.

DPS wise the paladin is on par at least with the other melee, but going beyond that the others can't out heal a druid or bard, can't remove effects anywhere near as well, and don't have...

I call shenanigans. First of all, outealing the druid and bard requires several feat expenditures that further suckify the paladin compared to the other melee classes. Even then, you're talking about outhealing classes that aren't meant to be awesome healers. If you're going to compare healing, compare it to the cleric, who is still far more powerful than the paladin. The free effect removal is cool, but, really, doesn't get good until higher levels (Unless you're investing yet more feats for yet more mercies).

Second of all, comparing that healing to the nonhealing classes is a bit silly. Can a barbarian and a ranger heal? No. Does a paladin get the plethora of abilities those two classes get? No. Remember, a barbarian using his rage or a ranger using favored enemy actually gets to use those powers with their full attacks. In order to heal somebody else, a paladin has to choose not to get to use his attack. As the 3.5 bard showed us, having a lot of options doesn't make you decent if you can't use them simultaneously (though I will admit, getting to heal himself as a swift is a nice boon).

Is the paladin more powerful than a lot of classes in most campaigns? Yes (though I'd argue that they should be). Is the paladin overpowered? That's a big word to be using in a game where 4 of the 11 classes are rewriting reality according to their whims.

I call smoke screen on your shenanigans.

If the paladin has the equal of their DPS and yet brings so much more that only the best healer in the game can out heal him, he is far more powerful then the classes he equals in DPS.

If it is agreed that the DPS between the fighter and paladin is really close, as nearly everyone who claims the paladin is balanced claims, then if the fighter isn't any tougher, and he isn't he's actually less tough, if he has no more skills, and he doesn't, and if he doesn't bring anything else but the paladin still brings a rather big thing along then the paladin is more powerful as even you agreed then the fighter.

Rewriting reality is shenanigans, it's a smoke screen to avoid the real debate. It's doesn't make the paladin balanced because you think you can point to other classes that you don't think are balanced, it has nothing to do with whether the paladin is balanced compared to the other melee classes at all. Please cut back smokescreen if you want to debate the balance between melee and casters that's fine, but it doesn't make the paladin balanced or not and should be in it's own thread.


Thurgon wrote:
If it is agreed that the DPS between the fighter and paladin is really close, as nearly everyone who claims the paladin is balanced claims, then if the fighter isn't any tougher, and he isn't he's actually less tough, if he has no more skills, and he doesn't, and if he doesn't bring anything else but the paladin still brings a rather big thing along then the paladin is more powerful as even you agreed then the fighter.

I think the Paladin is just fine, and I also think the Fighter WILL kick far more butt than the Paladin on any opponent not currently being smited. Hands down, there is no comparison. Las Vegas odds of 20-1 against a Paladin winning vs a non-evil Fighter.

Same with Barb. Probably on par with Ranger only if he is not using favored enemy either.

So the Pally is NOT as good as the dedicated meelers, on PAR with a class with other specialized abilities, CANNOT heal better than the Cleric, cast more or better utility spells than even the Bard, and his most powerful (very powerful, IMO) ability is limited to a # of uses per day.

Oh, and, since the re-work of Smite, our group disallowed the "Extra Smiting" feat. Not enough pre-req's to justify the power boost.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

The fighter gets twice as many feats, and full mobility in heavy armor by level 7. When able to stand in one place and full-attack, the paladin can match the fighter's damage output on average (behind the curve most of the time, but making up for it against a few key enemies).

When not able to stand in one place and full-attack (i.e. any real fight), the fighter kicks the paladin's ass all over the field.


Thurgon wrote:

I call smoke screen on your shenanigans.

If the paladin has the equal of their DPS and yet brings so much more that only the best healer in the game can out heal him, he is far more powerful then the classes he equals in DPS.

Rewriting reality is shenanigans, it's a smoke screen to avoid the real debate. It's doesn't make the paladin balanced because you think you can point to other classes that you don't think are balanced, it has nothing to do with whether the paladin is balanced compared to the other melee classes at all. Please cut back smokescreen if you want to debate the balance between melee and casters that's fine, but it doesn't make the paladin balanced or not and should be in it's own thread.

LOL. I don't think you know what that is. You see, a smokescreen is when somebody tries to cover faulty logic by distracting people with some minutia. For example, if somebody pointed to the fact that clerics lost heavy armor proficiency and spammed that "pathfinder is the kick around the cleric edition" while ignoring the fact that clerics are still the most powerful class in the game or that, in many ways, the PF cleric is BETTER than the 3.5 cleric, that would be a smokescreen.

You claimed that paladins are overpowered. No matter how you meant it, this sounds like a general statement about the game, which implies that it includes all 11 core classes. The discussion wasn't neccessarily limited to melees, and, in fact, the OP mentioned having a sorcerer in his group. (one might call THAT a smokescreen)

Who ever agreed that the paladin's DPS is on par with the figher? This varies by campaign (though will generally favor the fighter). Even if it were, pointing to the fighter as the basis for comparison is weak. The fighter is long considered the weakest class in the came, barring the monk. You may as well be arguing that the barbarian and ranger are OP.

Now, if you absolutely insist on limiting this discussion to melee, that's fine. I want to compare it to the Gish, shifting druid and buffed cleric. Suddenly, the Paladin is a mid-power class. At best.


mdt wrote:
Another good thing to keep the Paladin at bay, the feat 'Large and In Charge' from the Draconomicon.

Great idea, I will have to borrow it now. Thanks.


Xum wrote:

One thing I find really odd is that everyone talks about the Smite, but no one says a thing about Sneak Attack, sure you have to flank and all that, but it's VERY usable and does much more damage, am I crazy here?

BTW, glad you liked my "Smite evil is EVIL" thread ;)

Sneak attack has been around long enough that most DM's know how to deal with it. This new smite thing has them/us having to come up with new ways to stop players and many DM's dont like that.


Thurgon wrote:

I call smoke screen on your shenanigans.

If the paladin has the equal of their DPS and yet brings so much more that only the best healer in the game can out heal him, he is far more powerful then the classes he equals in DPS.

If it is agreed that the DPS between the fighter and paladin is really close, as nearly everyone who claims the paladin is balanced claims, then if the fighter isn't any tougher, and he isn't he's actually less tough, if he has no more skills, and he doesn't, and if he doesn't bring anything else but the paladin still brings a rather big thing along then the paladin is more powerful as even you agreed then the fighter.

Rewriting reality is shenanigans, it's a smoke screen to avoid the real debate. It's doesn't make the paladin balanced because you think you can point to other classes that you don't think are balanced, it has nothing to do with whether the paladin is balanced compared to the other melee classes at all. Please cut back smokescreen if you want to debate the balance between melee and casters that's fine, but it doesn't make the paladin balanced or not and should be in it's own thread.

So the fighter has nothing else to bring to a fight besides dps? How about the dozen or so feats that WONT be tied to dps? In fact, with just the core, a pathfinder fighter CANT devote all his feats to dps, there arent enough. So at low levels the fighter can provide battle field control, or mobility, or tanking, or at higher levels some very solid status effects as a crit specialist that the paladin cant match. So really you are the one throwing up the smoke screen. You wanna know what else the fighter brings to the table i'll show you a fighter a friend of mine used that specialized in triping/standstill with a reach weapon and was normally enlarged by the wizard. He normally out dpsed the paladin in the party AND kept most enemies on the floor/at bay the entire fight. There is more potential in the fighter then just hiting things with a sharp piece of metal, you just have to actually try.

That said, how exactly does this thread only pertain to melee classes? Its title is the Paladin is over powered not the paladin is stronger then the fighter. In addition the OP uses a Fighter, rogue, and sorceror in his example. This means the thread is comparing the paladin to a melee type, a skill monkey, and a primary caster.


Weylin wrote:

Dont see the paladin as overpowered and I am unlikely to.

If you want to make it more difficult, then dont choose creatures that commonly use powers based on effects that the paladin's mercies can counter. The paladin only gets a limited selection of one out of three at the appropriate levels. And limited uses of the ability and using them just to remove an effect eats up healing (since it is linked to his lay on hands). Choose creatures who use the other two effects that the paladin did not select.

I dont see any of the paladin's class features as outstripping those of other classes...spells, rage powers, ki powers, bardic songs, combat feats, domain/school/bloodline powers, wildshape, favored enemy/terrain, sneak attack, rogue talents, flurry of blows, etc etc.

-Weylin

I don't see it as overpowered either, I was just caught off guard by the mercies, and healing during the dragon fight. He did not ruin any encounters, he just caught me off guard. For those of us that are not great at tactics(no the fly) we may have to start preplanning for certain events. I do it for all my boss fights anyway.


Weylin wrote:


Not saying modules/adventure paths are not great, but they lack an inherent insight into a given group's characters and playing style. And that makes them largely useless for my group.

-Weylin

The module issue was brought up in the other thread, and some DM's insist on running them as written. I am not advocating changing every fight, or there would be no point in buying the module, but adjusting encounters, by changing tactics or swapping creatures out is a valid idea.

As an example, when I was running the tourney in Age of Worms I got rid of the dwarves, and dropped in my own NPC's because I knew they would not last two rounds against my group.

PS:I just used your post because the fact that certain modules don't account for the paladin's new power was an excuse to argue against them in the Smite Evil is Evil thread.

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