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The All-Paladin Challenge!


Skull & Shackles

Sczarni

Now that the Player Guide is out and it officially warns against playing a Paladin, I think it's time for the All-Paladin Skull & Shackles Challenge!

Create FOUR different Paladin character concepts (concepts only, no stats necessary) that you think could be played together as a viable party all the way through Skull & Shackles.

They can be any archetypes and worship any appropriate deity, but they must be all Paladin, no multiclassing. And they should follow the rules as written for their code and their alignment -- let's see some good arguments for rationalizing some Lawful Good piracy! :)


Dunnow, the very assumption that is at the base of piracy, ven the good one ala captain harlock is always being freedom from boundaries, wich is in strong contrast with the legal attitude of by-book paladins. I can't see it working, but people always seems to surprise me so let's see

Andoran

The only way I can see it working is privateers.

Sczarni

2 people marked this as a favorite.

"Lawful" and "legal" are two very different things. On a private ship, the only law is the captain's say-so, or whatever contract the crew has signed. Unless we're positing that Golarion has developed some kind of worldwide Law of the Sea established by treaty among all the various nations. I kinda doubt that.

The idea of a "pirate code" is pretty common, and I don't see how it would be very hard for a lawful good character to develop one that fit his alignment.

I agree that privateer is a legitimate direction you could go with this.

My main idea in posting this is to see if we can't start thinking of ways to imagine paladins as being more diverse than simply attacking evil stuff and obeying rulers. What does a paladin do when there isn't any authority above him? When there isn't any legal structure because nobody has jurisdiction?


I can see a paladin with the Oath of Charity and Ship’s Surgeon trait being a ships' doctor. On a privateer ship holding a writ to legally attack the merchant vessels of <insert name of enemy country>. A couple of the other oaths could be used for other paladins. Acutally being a sailor would lessen the loss of Divine Bond for this character.

Sczarni

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Okay, here's my first shot at it:

The party is a group of paladins of Iomedae. They have dedicated their ship to her service, seeking to use it not only as a weapon against all those who engage in evil commerce -- such as slave trading, smuggling of illegal dangerous goods, unlimited piracy, unjustified warfare, or consorting with evil monsters -- but also as a sanctuary for the oppressed, impoverished, or damaged victims of cruelty in the Shackles.

They fly the flag of Iomedae's holy symbol, not that of any nation. They are their own independent order and have written their own code, which is followed by all the members, though each may take on additional oaths or devotions as they feel appropriate.

All their crew members, who are mostly drawn from prisoners and slaves rescued from other ships, are required to sign and abide by a less stringent version of the code. They may voluntarily resign if they so choose at specified times and places. Specific punishments are enumerated for small offenses, though major violations can be punished by expulsion from the crew and forfeiture of all personal goods gained while a crewmember.

They always offer targeted ships the opportunity to surrender for inspection. They seize goods that they judge to be ill-gotten gains for their possessors, or as penalty for actions they judge to be crimes. They do make good-faith attempts to return identifiable stolen goods to their rightful possessors.

The ship's officers don't collect a personal share of seized treasure, instead contributing it all to a common ship's purse and withdrawing from it only what they need for personal use. Crew members are paid from this purse according to their station and their need.

Captain: Oathbound Paladin, Oath of Chastity & Oath of Charity

First Mate: Divine Hunter Paladin - in charge of siege weaponry and ship-to-ship combat

Second Mate/Crew Master: Holy Tactician Paladin - in charge of boarding actions

Third Mate/Ship's Surgeon: Hospitaler Paladin

At 7th level, they'll all take the Leadership feat and use their cohorts to round out the ship's officer positions.


Trinite, for your thrid mate/ ship's surgeon I agree the hospitalier paladin is a good choice but I would still add Oath of Charity (UM) and Ship's Surgeon traint (Skull & Shackles Player's Guide) to the character. If the race is half elf I would specify Skill Focus (Healing) also. At 7th level, heal should be around a +15 so a pretty good medic/doctor. This is a character I would love to play in S&S for the shear challenge.

I have no problem see both the First and Second Mates but the Captain is a bit confusing. Why an Oathbound Paladin with Oath of Chasity and Charity. I could more see Oath against Savagery or Oath of Loyalty or Oath of Vengence. Can you explain your thoughts on the Captain?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Honestly... a party of all paladins will probably have a MUCH easier time of it than a party consisting of only one or a couple of paladins.

Paizo Employee Developer

I'm playing a LN character in Rob's Skull & Shackles campaign and it's tough meshing with the mostly Chaotic party and some of the tasks the adventure assumes you're going to be undertaking. Part of it is my specific PC's obsession with people respecting him (which pirates aren't big on), but were he also opposed to doing anything evil, it would be even tougher to live a pirate's life. He'll eventually go LE, I think, but for the time being, he's having a tough time adjusting to the life of a pirate.


obviously the real challenge is that its a party of gnome and halfling paladins on a very tiny boat indeed

seriously, in an AP where the whole party are the same alignment, outlook, religion, nationality, etc would be very nice to play in or run....


They follow the divine will of the captain's law. Their holy symbol, a peg leg that thrusts itself forever forward towards the scrotum of evil.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Trinite wrote:
Paladin Stuff

Obviously without having a chance to read through the AP to see if something like this is even viable, I think your concept sounds like a gloriously fun time!

Sczarni

Saint Bernard wrote:

Trinite, for your thrid mate/ ship's surgeon I agree the hospitalier paladin is a good choice but I would still add Oath of Charity (UM) and Ship's Surgeon traint (Skull & Shackles Player's Guide) to the character. If the race is half elf I would specify Skill Focus (Healing) also. At 7th level, heal should be around a +15 so a pretty good medic/doctor. This is a character I would love to play in S&S for the shear challenge.

I have no problem see both the First and Second Mates but the Captain is a bit confusing. Why an Oathbound Paladin with Oath of Chasity and Charity. I could more see Oath against Savagery or Oath of Loyalty or Oath of Vengence. Can you explain your thoughts on the Captain?

I mostly picked those two for flavor, but the confess spell from Oath of Chastity would be great for keeping order aboard ship and evaluating potential new crew members (I guess Oath of Vengeance grants that, too). And Oath of Charity fits with the idea that the ship and crew itself is a charitable religious organization, plus make whole would help a lot with ship repairs. I thought about maybe going with Sacred Servant Paladin for the captain instead; that would probably work nicely.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules Subscriber

I really like this all-paladin "pirate" ship concept a whole lot.

What I see them becoming quickly is the ONE good ship in a sea of scum and villainy. Whenever their flag is seen, pirates quail in fear, victims would be elated that salvation was at hand, and sketchy merchants would be filled with trepidation when their cargo gets inspected. I can see the paladin ship getting quite the reputation in pirate waters, hated for what they stand for, but respected nonetheless. Everyone would know that they can be harsh, but that you'll be treated fairly, and that their word can be trusted.

Sczarni

Kain Gallant wrote:

I really like this all-paladin "pirate" ship concept a whole lot.

What I see them becoming quickly is the ONE good ship in a sea of scum and villainy. Whenever their flag is seen, pirates quail in fear, victims would be elated that salvation was at hand, and sketchy merchants would be filled with trepidation when their cargo gets inspected. I can see the paladin ship getting quite the reputation in pirate waters, hated for what they stand for, but respected nonetheless. Everyone would know that they can be harsh, but that you'll be treated fairly, and that their word can be trusted.

I can easily see the Inheritor's Sword becoming the most feared ship one could see coming over the horizon.

To the wicked, a scourge.

To the good, an infuriatingly thorough inspection to ensure that there is no contraband aboard. :)


Well, as far as I can tell, for the iconic roles, it's mostly possible... Actually quick thought, probably wouldn't... Unless I count out rogue, replacing with archer.
(what I had in mind)
Paladin (Focuses on fighting and tanking.)
Paladin (Focuses on archery.)
Paladin (Focuses on healing and buffs; IE cleric. Maybe that hospital archtype.)
Paladin (... No clue, could multiclass into magic using spells...)

Or just forget the iconic rolls, the whole thing sounds interesting. Now I'm wondering about a party of inquisitors *ducks and runs for cover*


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules Subscriber
Trinite wrote:


To the good, an infuriatingly thorough inspection to ensure that there is no contraband aboard. :)

Hehe, but they'll tolerate it, because just last month, the Inheritor's Sword saved them in the nick of time when they were being boarded. Or they remember the time the paladins provided food and water after they were set adrift and lost after a fierce storm, and led them safely back to port.


The only problem i'd see is that, at 1st lvl, they will bite off more than they can chew. They would get in fights with just about everyone, but, 4 smites, self healing, and high saves go along way...

Pal1: TWF shield fighter (heavy and light/armor spikes, bashing eventually)
Pal2: Holy gun/Mysterious stranger
Pal3: Hospitalizer/Oracle of life
Pal4: Pal/Ninja/Tatto Sorc/Dragon Disciple

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

How about this for a concept of paladin pirates, not sure how well it would fit with a group for this AP. But i just thought of this, may be fun to do in game as something the PCs have to deal with.

An all pretty much straight paladin party running a ship, down in the Shackles to try and convert the pirates to there god. Like missionaries or something.

(sorry, don't wish to offend any real world religons. But I just saw Book of Mormon a couple weeks back. The idea of LG missionaries totally out of there element can be amusing.)

Sczarni

I think I'm going to throw the Inheritor's Sword into my S&S campaign as an NPC ship encounter could be fun! :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I could see it working, I am just not sure if it would work in the AP. The first time your Captain tells you to swing over there and kill those merchants so we can take their stuff it sort of breaks down. I guess the Paladin could hide, but that does not seem very heroic. I guess if it was an ALL Paladin Group they could try to help them escape, but then the whole stealing aspect of it sort of gets in the way. Once they get their own ship I could see things being easier.

Sczarni

Timothy Hanson wrote:
I could see it working, I am just not sure if it would work in the AP. The first time your Captain tells you to swing over there and kill those merchants so we can take their stuff it sort of breaks down. I guess the Paladin could hide, but that does not seem very heroic. I guess if it was an ALL Paladin Group they could try to help them escape, but then the whole stealing aspect of it sort of gets in the way. Once they get their own ship I could see things being easier.

Probably the way to deal with that situation is to feign participation in the attack, and to make sure to only take prisoners and go for non-lethal damage.

Or just all intentionally fall into the water and kill the sharks, also saving anyone unlucky enough to fall in after you.


Best that I can come up with - four elven Paladins working as Pirate Hunters. Due to the 'purity' of Paladins you can't even play them as trying to infiltrate the Pirate's Council, everything has to be done out in the open.

The problem really isn't the players, its the GM and how he will have to massively rework every aspect of the campaign... having said that, I'd go:

Four elves, all taking Fey Foundling as their initial feat, all taking the Paladin favored class feature, all take Elemental Resistance (cold), all take Spirit of the Waters racial alternative traits.

Two would be built as combo Ranged/Reach weapon types while two would be built as combo Elven Curve Blade/Reach Weapon types. Three will take the Oath of Vengeance archetypes and one will be a Sacred Shield archetype who takes Unsanctioned Knowledge.

Sczarni

Story Archer wrote:

Best that I can come up with - four elven Paladins working as Pirate Hunters. Due to the 'purity' of Paladins you can't even play them as trying to infiltrate the Pirate's Council, everything has to be done out in the open.

The problem really isn't the players, its the GM and how he will have to massively rework every aspect of the campaign... having said that, I'd go:

Four elves, all taking Fey Foundling as their initial feat, all taking the Paladin favored class feature, all take Elemental Resistance (cold), all take Spirit of the Waters racial alternative traits.

Two would be built as combo Ranged/Reach weapon types while two would be built as combo Elven Curve Blade/Reach Weapon types. Three will take the Oath of Vengeance archetypes and one will be a Sacred Shield archetype who takes Unsanctioned Knowledge.

Nice! you could make them quadruplets. :)


Trinite wrote:
Story Archer wrote:

Best that I can come up with - four elven Paladins working as Pirate Hunters. Due to the 'purity' of Paladins you can't even play them as trying to infiltrate the Pirate's Council, everything has to be done out in the open.

The problem really isn't the players, its the GM and how he will have to massively rework every aspect of the campaign... having said that, I'd go:

Four elves, all taking Fey Foundling as their initial feat, all taking the Paladin favored class feature, all take Elemental Resistance (cold), all take Spirit of the Waters racial alternative traits.

Two would be built as combo Ranged/Reach weapon types while two would be built as combo Elven Curve Blade/Reach Weapon types. Three will take the Oath of Vengeance archetypes and one will be a Sacred Shield archetype who takes Unsanctioned Knowledge.

Nice! you could make them quadruplets. :)

Well, with insanely high AC's, insanely high saves all the smites they could want and the ability to self-heal a TON of damage as swift actions, they'd be a b!+@h to deal with I'd think. High Charisma's across the board too for those social encounters.

Just don't see how the AP could be done though with LG characters, especially ones bound by the restrictions Paladins are.

Andoran

For some variety, don't enforce the "No multi-classing" after level 5 or so.

That way the paladins will have established their righteous reputation, but they can expand a bit. A little magic, some rogue skills (because sometimes slaves are behind a trapped/rigged door, a trap not meant to harm those coming in, but those trying to get out), a flood of righteous allies (Summoner), etc.

Great concept, and can be easily executed with a GM willing to tweak a few things. Overall though, it can work. Like the Silver Crusade PFS faction, these paladins are working within the system (in this case the Free Captain 'union') to do the most good. When they ascend the Free Captain ladder and one of them becomes Hurricane King, what a force for good and freedom they will have!

And plenty of intrigue, etc, as evil pirates try to throw off these new 'goody-goody' shackles.

Hmm, it comes full circle.


Well the first thing that jumps out at me is that since the fall of the Chelaxian empire they have turned to devils. That means that at one point they followed other gods. I could easily see second generation former chelish colonists who want to see the current devilish regime destroyed, what better way than take up with the enemies of my enemy. Also with the pirate lords being the dominant force of law in the region I good see missionary types hoping to subdue, tame and remold the region, stop the slave trade, open shipping lanes to whom they chose and harass and eliminate the forces of Cheliax.


I'm totally introducing this as an NPC ship in my campaign.. >:D


As someone who has done the first book, i dont see how a paladin will live through the first 5 days. Too much trouble....
"cook em in the box"


The paladin would have to be intelligent - he would have to do as much good as he can, while not bringing down the ire of those who watch him. The paladin wouldn't necessarily be 'lawful-stupid', and get himself keelhauled or put into the sweatbox.

He would just simply need to lay low without breaking his oath. If all paladins attacked the biggest evil they could, their life expectancy would be even worse than it already is.


I think the hardest part of playing the paladin in S&S is not the LG alignment, but the Code. Not being able to associate with evil characters is going to be...rough... in the Shackles.

That said, they CAN ally for the purpose of defeating a greater evil. The paladin who rallies the pirates of the Shackles to deliver a deadly blow to the Devil-sworn nation of Cheliax would be a sight to see.

"A young woman born to a fallen noble house of Cheliax which still clung to the old words of Aroden. She leaves her homeland to study the path of the Inheritor in Absolom. While there, Thrune roots out her family and brands them dissidents, putting them to the stake. The young woman is brought to realize that Thrune's diabolic rule of Cheliax must be brought to an end.

Having studied military theory in the temple, she realizes that Andoran's navy, while formidable, is not enough in its own to take on the giant nation's armada, and that the Chelish marines would quickly be able to launch a devastating counter attack by land. He eyes then turn towards the nation's second greatest enemy: the Shackles.

Hoping that her gilded tongue can sway the Hurricane King towards an alliance against Thrune, she sails to Port Peril, only to find that she lacks the status to even gain audience with him. She goes to a bar to figure out her next course of action, wen fate decides it for her.

Shortly after her abduction, she comes to realize one particular truth about the Shackles: they don't respect you unless you prove your worth. She sets out to win the respect of the Hurricane King, to force him to listen to her, to oppose Cheliax with her. Only time would tell if, Goddess willing, she can."

Sczarni

Nice backstory, Lord Twitchiopolis!


I'd run the Paladins as a group dedicated to the destruction of the Chelish Empire or, failing that, to disrupting their growing influence... fortunately, this fits right in with the overall story arc of the campaign.

Still, it seems like you'd have to skip everything with the Wormwood for the most part and do a fair bit of sandboxing it... but this would be my group:

Tiefling Paladin (Oath of Vengeance, Oath against Fiends) - Captain

Human Paladin (Divine Hunter)
Human Paladin (Oath of Loyalty) - These two are a husband and wife team.

Human Paladin (Holy Tsctician) - Battlefield Presence gets VERY effective when employed for the benefit of an entire crew.

Of course, ideally I'd try to fit an Inquisitor or something in there as well...

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