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Seriously what's up with the Paladin alignment fixation?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Andoran

Ashiel wrote:
Oh, okay. That seems more reasonable. In that case, I'd point out how Paladins are better to have in the party because they can fight as well as Cavaliers when they're not using their x/day challenges, but can also heal with their spells like lesser restoration and make better tanks due to their better saving throws.

Additional healing isn't needed in all parties, a Cavalier is vastly better as a skill monkey than any Paladin ever, and Cavaliers may have worse saves than Paladins, but (depending on Order) they're much better at at least one other thing.

There are always tradeoffs.

Ashiel wrote:
I'd argue that Rangers fight about as well as them, except they have more skills, are more versatile in their fighting capability (being able to be excellent melee, mounted, and ranged all at once), and have access to useful spells such as entangle, delay poison, and even freedom of movement eventually. Rangers are also very comfortable at being Stealthy, and can eventually wear +5 full plate as light or medium armor thanks to Celestial Plate mail.

Rangers are indeed better skill monkeys, but aren't actually any better at doing ranged/melee/mounted all at once. They get 4 bonius Feats that are relevant, but Cavaliers get 3 and don't need to burn Boon Companion on their mount being awesome.

And they can't do the social skill monkey half as well. And lack party-buffing stuff (or several other Cavalier Order ability equivalents) almost entirely. Tradeoffs again.

Ashiel wrote:
Both can function as party healer in a group lacking a dedicated healer with only a wand of cure light wounds, which is ideal for a martial heavy party, such as Ranger, Paladin, Magus, Bard (what a fun party that would be). Both likewise can take item creation feats with little trouble, without falling into the trap that is Master Craftsman.

This is what I meant by leaving out things a Cavalier simply can't do. Though actually an Order of the Tome Cavalier can use a Wand as easily as either of them. But that exception aside, yes, you've found something Cavaliers can't do. Just as, say, Fighters can't. That says nothing about how good they are at their actual role.

Ashiel wrote:
Both have better saves than the Cavalier. The Paladin exceptionally so. The Paladin also sports lots of cute immunities to things like diseases, fear, compulsions, and so on. The Paladin has more resources than the Cavalier. While having a similar amount of Smites vs Challenges, the Paladin also has quite a few Lay on Hands, which allows him to remove debilitating effects from himself or others; potentially as a swift-action when using them on himself.

Paladins are awesome, and I love them to death, but they're Feat starved and skill starved and verge on uselessness outside combat, healing, and maybe social encounters (assuming Diplomacy is needed and not Bluff or Intimidate). They're never going to equal a Cavalier's out-of-combat utility, his versatility (if he decides he wants some), or his mounted prowess.

Ashiel wrote:

I've never been a huge proponent of fighters. They're usually too specialized, but I do know that it's not difficult at all for them to spec all three of those things with strong capability. By 10th level, a fighter with some gloves of dueling has a +4 to hit and damage with all spears and lances, and a +3 with all bow weapons, from weapon training. All he needs from there is Power Attack (maybe with Furious Focus), Mounted Combat, and Spirited Charges. Deadly Aim brings archery into focus. He also rocks off the horse because he can carry a longspear and get +4 to hit and damage with it, or go +1 hit and +13 damage.

The above doesn't require him to take a penalty to his AC vs other opponents, and isn't limited to a single target. Likewise, unlike the Paladin, the cavalier's challenge doesn't provide bonuses to hit on its own. The dragon order only adds a +1 to hit.

Uh...reread Cavalier Challenges. They improve with level. By 10th level an Order of the Dragon Cavalier's challenge is +3 to hit for him, his murder-horse, and all his allies. It tops at a +6 at 20th level.

While challenging, he'll be -1 behind the Fighter to hit (-2 if you add in the Weapon Focus stuff) but +6 damage ahead (+2 if you include the Fighter's Weapon Specializations)...but horse included his DPR is gonna be vastly higher when doing that, and not half-bad even when not challenging. Especially with Outflank and Precise Strike thrown in.

As for the Feats...a Cavalier can actually afford to take all those, too. If he wanted to, anyway.

Ashiel wrote:
The above doesn't include the possibility for specialization as well. The Fighter can get an additional +2 to hit and +4 to damage with his favorite weapons if desired.

Dealt with above.

Ashiel wrote:
Meanwhile, he's been able to comfortably support having a mount since 1st level. In fact, since he has Handle Animal as a class skill, he may have began the game with a war-trained ox, which the ox only costs 15 gp, and he can train it himself. Since oxes share the stats with aurochs, that means his pet from 1st level makes the cavalier's pet look like a wuss. At higher levels, a magic item allowing him to use mount or phantom steed gives him access to a stylish and quickly regenerating and dismissible mount, should anything bad happen to his pet or he find himself in a place where his pet cannot be effectively used.

Sure, but they aren't an effective melee combatant on par with his own stats. The Cavalier's horse is. Assuming he doesn't switch out for a Tiger, anyway.

Ashiel wrote:
Such as in a dungeon, where your pet will have to squeeze (-4 to hit and AC) to enter, or may not be able to enter at all (anywhere a medium creature may need to squeeze to get into. Any way you slice it, at least 5 of the Cavalier's abilities count for nothing without his mount, whereas virtually all of a Fighter's abilities are merely improved by a mount.

Let's be honest here: How many Dungeons does the fight happen in 5-foot corridors? IME, very very few. You travel through such corridors commonly, but the fight's in a room...one that can almost always fit a horse in.

As for the other, yes, sometimes you're gonna need magical help. A magic item of Reduce Animal is a lot cheaper than a similar one of Phantom Steed.

Ashiel wrote:
Worst yet, many of the cavalier's charging abilities are easily rendered useless. Charging is a fickle mistress. There are countless things that ruin it. Caltrops can screw up your charging days, being fatigued screws up charging, difficult terrain screws up charging, requiring a crooked path screws up charging, having any creature in the way (friend or foe) screws up charging. Being in the dark screws up charging (by in the dark, I mean human in pitch blackness type dark, or anything that makes you blind). I'd recommend investment in horseshoes of the zypher as well, since then airborn targets make your day suck too.

I'm gonna admit something here: I've never bothered to even remember what a Cavalier's Charge abilities do. I remember they're nice, and make charging even cooler...but that's about it. I expect that many (if not most) Cavaliers will use them pretty rarely. Still a cool and worthwhile class, even ignoring them completely, though.

Ashiel wrote:
I'm not actually convinced they do the Knight in Armor archtype better, actually. The only thing they have over anyone else is a horse. As for burst damage, they're not bad at single target burst damage, but they suffer at continual damage severely.

Calling a full-level animal companion (the single greatest DPR enhancer in the game...well, next to an Eidolon) 'a horse' is...more than a bit undervaluing it. Which sorta answers that question about the continual damage, too (at least compared to Fighters).


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Quote:
Calling a full-level animal companion (the single greatest DPR enhancer in the game...well, next to an Eidolon) 'a horse' is...more than a bit undervaluing it. Which sorta answers that question about the continual damage, too (at least compared to Fighters).

That's what it is. A horse. At 20th level, it's an advanced horse. But it's still just a horse. You got bite (1d4) and 2 hooves (1d6). 16 HD, and poopy saves (unless you also pile tons of magical gear on your horsey). Yeah, it's a horse.

Don't get me wrong though. It's nice having a 16 HD horse. That's a whole 2 HD better than Rangers get. That's another +1 BAB, +1 saves, and +2 natural AC. Maybe loading it down with magical items, like an amulet of mighty fists, will keep it in the game, despite its mediocre BAB, HP, and saves. Unfortunately, the class feature gets progressively worse for a Cavalier as he gains levels, because each time your mount snuffs it, you have to wait 1 week to get a new mount, and even then your mount lacks any of the cool bond abilities until you gain another level. Seeing as levels are progressively harder and harder to gain as your levels rise (enemies are stronger, meaner, and nastier, and you need more and more XP to hit the next point), you can get stuck with a sucky mount just 'cause ol' Barley got vaporized last adventure.

Incidentally, the Ranger gets one every 24 hours, and it gets all its abilities right now. So when ol' Barley croaks, then he calls up Young Ben, then Alphonse the Swift, and so forth. That's kind of cool. Also, the ranger doesn't need GM fiat to pick unusual mounts like wolves, snakes, badgers, etc. Some of those are pretty awesome mounts for small creatures (badgers have burrow speeds, snakes have climb and swim speeds). So, amusingly, the Ranger's gimme class feature that gives them a slightly weaker animal companion is better than the Cavalier's. Especially since with saves like animals have, they're a dime a dozen as far as barrel notches go. +5 will save at 20th level. Those animal companions sure are tasty. :P

Phantom Awesomeness
As for the phantom steed bit, there's something a bit cute here. Phantom steed is pretty awesome for anyone who wants a mount, because having an item that lets you spam phantom steed means having a horse at your beck and call. This horse is never attacked by animals, and its hooves never make sounds (no one will hear you charging up on them).

In addition, it takes care of most of the sucky parts about dealing with mounts. For example, depending on the caster level you get it made at, the mount will have the following abilities:

Phantom Steed wrote:

8th Level: The mount can ride over sandy, muddy, or even swampy ground without difficulty or decrease in speed.

10th Level: The mount can use water walk at will (as the spell, no action required to activate this ability).

12th Level: The mount can use air walk at will (as the spell, no action required to activate this ability) for up to 1 round at a time, after which it falls to the ground.

14th Level: The mount can fly at its speed with a bonus on Fly skill checks equal to your caster level.

If you wanted a 14th level at-will command word item, it'd be 50,400 gp. For that, you get a renewable mount (it's no big deal when he snuffs it) that moves at 100 ft. speed, suffers no penalties for going over difficult terrain, runs on water, runs on air, and flies at a speed of 100 ft with a +14 to its fly check. Said horse basically comes equipped with horseshoes of the zypher, expeditious retreat, continual water walk, and continual air walk (lots of nice freebies, those).

A fighter can swoop in on one of those, plowing stuff down with a lance, or he can fly about raining arrow death while he full attacks from the back of his 100 ft. speed flying mount with his composite longbow that has a +5 to hit and damage 'cause it's a secondary weapon group, plus deadly aim, plus strength bonus, etc.

Incidentally, the difference in price between a reduce animal spell and phantom steed isn't so much, seeing as phantom steed is a 2nd level Summoner spell. Of course, with a higher caster level phantom steed, we also get the benefits of a continuous expeditious retreat built in (which stacks with haste and similar buffs, bringing the mount's potential speed to around 130 ft.), a super overland flight, continuous water walk, wind walking, silent charging, and even the ability to ignore difficult terrain. Personally, I think that's more than fair.

It seems to me that the argument revolves around the Cavalier being kind of awesome when he's preforming his cavalier smite. The dragon order cavalier's abilities are cute but nothing special. Their best ability, "Act As One" is pretty cool, but requires a lot of minions to be useful. Truly, it would be kind of cool if you had a necromancer in the party, since it doesn't specify it as a mind-affecting effect or anything; which means you could have a small legion of skeletons all focus-fire on something once per combat. However, you're taking 1 melee attack, and your allies are allowed to move and make 1 melee attack. That's only really useful if you're swimming in brute minions.

In your typical 4 person party + average minions, that's kind of...umm...well it sounds nice. However, in a party with a Cavalier + 1 skill monkey (say Ranger or Bard) + 1 divine caster (say cleric or maybe druid) + 1 arcane caster (wizard), it's less impressive. Heck, even assuming Cavalier + Ranger + Druid (that's 3 minions), you're getting maybe 5 attacks out of it; if everyone can move up and make a melee attack. Anyone who doesn't want to, is just a waste. If for some reason you can't, then it's a waste.

Best case scenario, everyone in the party has leadership, with all minions sporting reach weapons. Even still, it's just a cute ability 1/combat. So really, all the Cavalier has left is his x/day burst damage vs one enemy. I'm very unimpressed by that. Best case scenario, he has 7/day challenges. Probably his absolute best ability. I'd love to use it with a bow.

Contributor

My opinion as a GM, is that while killing or stealing the cavalier's horse can be fun for a high drama moment in a campaign, it's like destroying or stealing the wizard's spellbooks. It gets very old if it's a weekly event, so you have to have a gentleman's agreement to keep this plot point off the table. Even if the whole party has been captured and stripped naked by the goblin cannibal headhunters, the horse and spellbooks will be completely safe and it's easy enough to come up with handwavium to keep them safe. Yes, the goblins hate horses and spellbooks both. So much, in fact, they've been keeping them safely locked up for the goblin chieftain's wedding feast when they will make a bonfire of the spellbooks and roast the horse over it! But the wedding isn't for three weeks, so they're perfectly safe until then.

Killing the horse or burning the spellbooks is that one "very special episode" you can do once in a campaign. Ditto shattering the fighter's heirloom sword or the loss of any other significant character prop. You get to do it one time and it better be done for an important plot reason. Otherwise it's off the table.


Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

My opinion as a GM, is that while killing or stealing the cavalier's horse can be fun for a high drama moment in a campaign, it's like destroying or stealing the wizard's spellbooks. It gets very old if it's a weekly event, so you have to have a gentleman's agreement to keep this plot point off the table. Even if the whole party has been captured and stripped naked by the goblin cannibal headhunters, the horse and spellbooks will be completely safe and it's easy enough to come up with handwavium to keep them safe. Yes, the goblins hate horses and spellbooks both. So much, in fact, they've been keeping them safely locked up for the goblin chieftain's wedding feast when they will make a bonfire of the spellbooks and roast the horse over it! But the wedding isn't for three weeks, so they're perfectly safe until then.

Killing the horse or burning the spellbooks is that one "very special episode" you can do once in a campaign. Ditto shattering the fighter's heirloom sword or the loss of any other significant character prop. You get to do it one time and it better be done for an important plot reason. Otherwise it's off the table.

Plot point? Are you seriously suggesting that a creature in the heat of battle, with HP, AC, and attacks, should be purposefully ignored? Sorry Kevin, but that just sounds insane. It's one thing to ignore the wizard's familiar when it's just sitting around doing nothing, but it'd be another thing entirely if the familiar is shaking wands around and casting spells alongside the wizard. There comes a point where you're within the line of fire.

As it turns out, most animal companions are combatants. The chances of Mr. Ed snuffing it goes up with the game level and difficulty, because unlike Mr. Spellbook tucked inside somebody's backpack, or Mr. Ferret hiding inside the wizard's left pouch, Mr. Ed is charging the hordes of demons. Mr. Ed has a big sign on his head saying "BBQ horse, come and get it!".

Just as an example. You're 15th level. You da Cavalier! You got your sweet 15th level ability, and an awesome pony. However, you're not in Kansas anymore Toto. Just as an example, Erinyes are CR 8 at this point. You could encounter 10.6 of them as a standard CR 15 encounter (just standard). So here you're ambushed by 5 bearded devils (summoned by the erinyes) and they swoop in and bomb the party with unholy blight. Not a super big deal, but Mr. Ed is in the AoEs! Oh noes, Mr. Ed is Neutral, so he'll take less punch but darnit he's gonna take some punch!

So Mr. Ed makes 10 DC 19 will saves at his 1d20+4, and just for sake of argument, let's say he banks every last one of them, and quarters the incoming damage. Mr. Ed eats an average of 56.5 points of damage, assuming he made every save (which he actually has a statistical expectation to fail about 70% of them). At 12 HD, Mr. Ed has 54 base hit points before Con. Now Mr. Ed is a cool horse yo, so he has 17 Con (15 base, +2 at 4th level), bringing him to 90 HP. So Mr. Ed just ate more than 50% of his HP just by being a moving seat for the Cavalier, and that assumes he made his saves vs every hit.

It was argued that Mr. Ed is the "the single greatest DPR enhancer in the game...well, next to an Eidolon". If you think that isn't going to be something that gets attacked, then I question the consistency of your world. Sorry, but if geeking the horse who is a large quadrupedal target, would make your life easier, then you're going to do it. Especially if doing so requires literally no extra effort on your part (like with the erinyes who devil-bombed the Cavalier).

What about when the party fights a big ol' Gorgon and Mr. Ed gets turned to stone? Or when he's killed by some shadows because the PCs forgot to cast death ward on him when going through "The valley of shadows of death"? What happens when you encounter that Pit Fiend at level 20, and he pops mass hold monster (DC 27) and includes Mr. Ed as a target. He's got a whopping +5 base will save. Good luck Mr. Ed!

What happens when your party wanders through a village that has been struck by a Wightocolypse and you're suddenly overrun by 64 wights who want to eat you and Mr. Ed? What happens when you encounter a mummy and Mr. Ed biffs his pitiful will save again and ends up paralyzed while the enemy beats on you? 32 Wraiths are a CR 15 encounter as well. Guess who's on the Menu for those guys too? They can slink into the floor and slap at Mr. Ed from the ground. What happens when a Kraken uses it's Animals-only dominate monster to force Mr. Ed to feed the Cavalier to the kraken? "Whoa Mr. Ed, don't keep provoking AoOs within its 40 ft. reach! Nuuuuuuuu!"

Let's not forget that animal companions are the go-to target for spells that normally suck vs PCs. Phantasmal killer has to eat through 2 saves (will + fortitude), but against most animal companions, that's not a bad bet. Bam, one less creature benefitting from Haste, Inspire Courage, or providing living cover or increased mobility to the things wielding pointy sticks. Incidentally, turning Mr. Ed into a frog is pretty effective too. A 5th level cleric can curse-bomb Mr. Ed to drive the owner crazy. 50% chance for Mr. Ed to lose his action. No moving or charging for the round for that Cavalier. Sucks to have suck a poor Will save. You get caught in the radius of a fear spell, and Mr. Ed wets himself and runs away at top speed with the Cavalier in tow.

Andoran

Ashiel wrote:


That's what it is. A horse. At 20th level, it's an advanced horse. But it's still just a horse. You got bite (1d4) and 2 hooves (1d6). 16 HD, and poopy saves (unless you also pile tons of magical gear on your horsey). Yeah, it's a horse.

Yeah, because being one behind the Ranger in Will Save (and pretty good otherwise) is a tragedy, save-wise.

Have you looked in on the DPR Olympics threads? All the top contenders have an animal companion of some sort...and there's a reason for that. A horse (or anything else) at 16 HD is really pretty badass.

Ashiel wrote:
Don't get me wrong though. It's nice having a 16 HD horse. That's a whole 2 HD better than Rangers get. That's another +1 BAB, +1 saves, and +2 natural AC. Maybe loading it down with magical items, like an amulet of mighty fists, will keep it in the game, despite its mediocre BAB, HP, and saves. Unfortunately, the class feature gets progressively worse for a Cavalier as he gains levels, because each time your mount snuffs it, you have to wait 1 week to get a new mount, and even then your mount lacks any of the cool bond abilities until you gain another level. Seeing as levels are progressively harder and harder to gain as your levels rise (enemies are stronger, meaner, and nastier, and you need more and more XP to hit the next point), you can get stuck with a sucky mount just 'cause ol' Barley got vaporized last adventure.

Wow. I mean, do instant death effects happen that often in your games? Targeted at the mount, not the rider? That's...kinda a dick move on the GM's part. I mean, yeah, people are gonna target them, but (as you note) they're probably the least effective opponent on the battlefield, you'd expect them to mostly come in for damaging attacks, not Save or Die stuff, and damaging attacks rarely kill outright.

Reading through your later post you are assuming Mr. Ed lacks Iron Will, lacks a Cloak of Resistance, and (perhaps most importantly) is being attacked by large numbers of low-Will Save DC attacks ie: a very niche attack type designed to slay Animal Companions specifically and very little else.

The Erinyes example is possible (and why some healing on Mr. Ed might be wise...though odds favor his HP being a bit more than that) but the Wights or 'forgetting to cast Death Ward on him' are getting a little silly. Yes, the Pit Fiend might get him with hold Monster...assuming nobody bothered to cast Freeom of Movement on him (a really good idea for a mount in general, actually). Also...almost none of those (except the undead) actually kill him. They take him out of that fight, but barring the Pit Fiend wasting his tuirn coup de graceing a horse, they really aren't death sentences.

Ashiel wrote:
Incidentally, the Ranger gets one every 24 hours, and it gets all its abilities right now. So when ol' Barley croaks, then he calls up Young Ben, then Alphonse the Swift, and so forth. That's kind of cool. Also, the ranger doesn't need GM fiat to pick unusual mounts like wolves, snakes, badgers, etc. Some of those are pretty awesome mounts for small creatures (badgers have burrow speeds, snakes have climb and swim speeds). So, amusingly, the Ranger's gimme class feature that gives them a slightly weaker animal companion is better than the Cavalier's. Especially since with saves like animals have, they're a dime a dozen as far as barrel notches go. +5 will save at 20th level. Those animal companions sure are tasty. :P

Iron Will helps with that. So does a Cloak of Resistance equivalent. Which you can buy out of pocket change by the levels it really matters.

And I will direct you to the Beast Rider Archetype which, at the cost of Heavy Armor Proficiency, gives you access to just about every animal companion ever as a mount. I like tigers, personally. And before you start b~~&&ing about needing Archetypes to make it cool, it changes nothing else about being a Cavalier. Just Armor Proficiency and the mount.

Ashiel wrote:
Phantom Awesomeness

Having a Phantom Steed is great if all you want is something to ride to use your Mounted Combat Feats. A fully leveled Animal Companion can add at least half again to your DPR on top of that.

Hell, you put that 50k into items for your companion, and it's gonna be badass as all hell.

Ashiel wrote:

It seems to me that the argument revolves around the Cavalier being kind of awesome when he's preforming his cavalier smite. The dragon order cavalier's abilities are cute but nothing special. Their best ability, "Act As One" is pretty cool, but requires a lot of minions to be useful. Truly, it would be kind of cool if you had a necromancer in the party, since it doesn't specify it as a mind-affecting effect or anything; which means you could have a small legion of skeletons all focus-fire on something once per combat. However, you're taking 1 melee attack, and your allies are allowed to move and make 1 melee attack. That's only really useful if you're swimming in brute minions.

In your typical 4 person party + average minions, that's kind of...umm...well it sounds nice. However, in a party with a Cavalier + 1 skill monkey (say Ranger or Bard) + 1 divine caster (say cleric or maybe druid) + 1 arcane caster (wizard), it's less impressive. Heck, even assuming Cavalier + Ranger + Druid (that's 3 minions), you're getting maybe 5 attacks out of it; if everyone can move up and make a melee attack. Anyone who doesn't want to, is just a waste. If for some reason you can't, then it's a waste.

Act As One is alright, and ups your DPR in the round it's used almost as much as Haste, as well as setting you up for Full Attacks even in the first round of combat, but it's hardly the primary selling point of the class.

The Challenge is indeed a major selling point, and very effective at single target destruction, but the mount's at least as cool, in all honesty.

Ashiel wrote:
Best case scenario, everyone in the party has leadership, with all minions sporting reach weapons. Even still, it's just a cute ability 1/combat. So really, all the Cavalier has left is his x/day burst damage vs one enemy. I'm very unimpressed by that. Best case scenario, he has 7/day challenges. Probably his absolute best ability. I'd love to use it with a bow.

There's an Archetype for doing precisely that, if you care to.

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Have you ever played a character with a fully leveled animal companion long-term? Because your entire attitude seems very dismissive of how ridiculously effective one of those can be as a combatant. Honestly, while a melee Fighter's DPR is gona be higher than a Cavalier's when he's not using Challenge or charging, I'd expect the Cavalier + Mount's DPR to equal or exceed it. And then he's got those challenges...

Why don't you actually post a build, and I'll then post a similar Cavalier build and we'll have someone do a DPR calculation as to which is more dangerous?

Andoran

Okay, I responded to this a litle above, but I'm gonna go through this in a bit more detail:

Ashiel wrote:

Plot point? Are you seriously suggesting that a creature in the heat of battle, with HP, AC, and attacks, should be purposefully ignored? Sorry Kevin, but that just sounds insane. It's one thing to ignore the wizard's familiar when it's just sitting around doing nothing, but it'd be another thing entirely if the familiar is shaking wands around and casting spells alongside the wizard. There comes a point where you're within the line of fire.

As it turns out, most animal companions are combatants. The chances of Mr. Ed snuffing it goes up with the game level and difficulty, because unlike Mr. Spellbook tucked inside somebody's backpack, or Mr. Ferret hiding inside the wizard's left pouch, Mr. Ed is charging the hordes of demons. Mr. Ed has a big sign on his head saying "BBQ horse, come and get it!".

Well, sure, people the horse attacks are gonna attack back. But, barring some really poor character design on somebody's part (or other minions about), the horse is also going to be the single least effective combatant on the PCs side. He'll certainly be less effective than any of the PCs are individually, and should thus come in for less fire...and frankly, barring targeted spells, he's not a lot less durable thaqn they are.

Targeting the mount to kill it is a debatably effective combat tactic, but it's hardly the ideal one, and should be use sparingly, both for reasons of logic (the rider's more dangerous, and getting rid of him may cause the horse to run, let's do that), and thematics (always targeting the PCs pets to the exclusion of other stuff is a dick move on the GM's part).

Ashiel wrote:

Just as an example. You're 15th level. You da Cavalier! You got your sweet 15th level ability, and an awesome pony. However, you're not in Kansas anymore Toto. Just as an example, Erinyes are CR 8 at this point. You could encounter 10.6 of them as a standard CR 15 encounter (just standard). So here you're ambushed by 5 bearded devils (summoned by the erinyes) and they swoop in and bomb the party with unholy blight. Not a super big deal, but Mr. Ed is in the AoEs! Oh noes, Mr. Ed is Neutral, so he'll take less punch but darnit he's gonna take some punch!

So Mr. Ed makes 10 DC 19 will saves at his 1d20+4, and just for sake of argument, let's say he banks every last one of them, and quarters the incoming damage. Mr. Ed eats an average of 56.5 points of damage, assuming he made every save (which he actually has a statistical expectation to fail about 70% of them). At 12 HD, Mr. Ed has 54 base hit points before Con. Now Mr. Ed is a cool horse yo, so he has 17 Con (15 base, +2 at 4th level), bringing him to 90 HP. So Mr. Ed just ate more than 50% of his HP just by being a moving seat for the Cavalier, and that assumes he made his saves vs every hit.

Okay, let's look at this: First, as a 15th level Cavalier's mount Mr. Ed has 6 Feats and a poor list of those avaqilable, so he's gonna have Iron Will. He's also likely to have Con 18 with one of those ability-ups he's gotten over time. And, out of his spare change, his master can easily afford a +3 Cloak of Resistance for him at least. So that's more like a +9 Will Save...enough to save more than half the time.

And what you've just outlined is close to a worst case scenario (it's 10 area-effects targeting his worst saves that his shiny new Improved Evasion doesn't apply to), Hell, it's likely a large portion of the PCs are dead or dying, if, say, the Wizard (or rogue, or anything else squishy) is Good Aligned and in the area, for example, since they'd take a minimum of 115 from that. Mr. Ed is doing better than the PCs are likely to in this scenario, and very much still on his feet.

Ashiel wrote:
It was argued that Mr. Ed is the "the single greatest DPR enhancer in the game...well, next to an Eidolon". If you think that isn't going to be something that gets attacked, then I question the consistency of your world. Sorry, but if geeking the horse who is a large quadrupedal target, would make your life easier, then you're going to do it. Especially if doing so requires literally no extra effort on your part (like with the erinyes who devil-bombed the Cavalier).

If looked at as a Class Feature, he's fantastic...but compared to a full PC? His DPR is...maybe half theirs. That's great as a supplemental thing, but mediocre as a separate combatant, and unlikely to draw as much fire as any one of the PCs.

And that's the thing, he's not notably (maybe two or three points) more fragile to Save-type stuff than his rider or the Fighter, and while his HP are lower, they aren't astronomically so...so he's durable enough to manage the amount of fire he's likely to actually attract. His AC is also pretty awesome.

Ashiel wrote:
What about when the party fights a big ol' Gorgon and Mr. Ed gets turned to stone? Or when he's killed by some shadows because the PCs forgot to cast death ward on him when going through "The valley of shadows of death"? What happens when you encounter that Pit Fiend at level 20, and he pops mass hold monster (DC 27) and includes Mr. Ed as a target. He's got a whopping +5 base will save. Good luck Mr. Ed!

Any PC is also susceptible to the Gorgon's ability, and can be recovered with Stone to Flesh. And anyone who forgets to cast things like Death Ward and Freedom of Movement on their mount at those levels is, fankly, deserving of what they get, just like if they forget to use them on their Rnager cohort.

As for that base +5? The Fighter or Ranger's base is only a point higher, their Wisdom isn't any different (okay, maybe a little higher from items) and the horse has a +5 cloak at this point. So he's not much behind the rest of the party.

Ashiel wrote:
What happens when your party wanders through a village that has been struck by a Wightocolypse and you're suddenly overrun by 64 wights who want to eat you and Mr. Ed? What happens when you encounter a mummy and Mr. Ed biffs his pitiful will save again and ends up paralyzed while the enemy beats on you? 32 Wraiths are a CR 15 encounter as well. Guess who's on the Menu for those guys too? They can slink into the floor and slap at Mr. Ed from the ground. What happens when a Kraken uses it's Animals-only dominate monster to force Mr. Ed to feed the Cavalier to the kraken? "Whoa Mr. Ed, don't keep provoking AoOs within its 40 ft. reach! Nuuuuuuuu!"

Uh...Wights have a +4 to hit. Even leaving aside armor, Mr. Ed is only hit by them on a 20, and only fails to hit them on a 1 even when using Power Attack, and kills them in two hits. And can't fail his Enervation Save except on a 1. He can solo 64 Wights stark naked without help from his rider.

And as for the Mummy, the same could happen to anybody. Mr. Ed's Will Save's on par with the Rogue's, maybe better if the Rogue doesn't care to burn a Feat for Iron Will.

As for Wraiths, the Horse is no more screwed by them than anyone else. Indeed, less than many due to high Con. I mean, sure they hurt, but they don't hurt the horse any more than the rest of the party.

With the Kraken you have a point. It's a save that only targets animals, and the horse has a good chance of failing (not being focused on Will Saves). Congrats, you have found a single situation in the entire Bestiary that has a good chance of making an Animal Companion a liability instead of just another party member being screwed. So, can you find another?

Ashiel wrote:
Let's not forget that animal companions are the go-to target for spells that normally suck vs PCs. Phantasmal killer has to eat through 2 saves (will + fortitude), but against most animal companions, that's not a bad bet. Bam, one less creature benefitting from Haste, Inspire Courage, or providing living cover or increased mobility to the things wielding pointy sticks. Incidentally, turning Mr. Ed into a frog is pretty effective too. A 5th level cleric can curse-bomb Mr. Ed to drive the owner crazy. 50% chance for Mr. Ed to lose his action. No moving or charging for the round for that Cavalier. Sucks to have suck a poor Will save. You get caught in the radius of a fear spell, and Mr. Ed wets himself and runs away at top speed with the Cavalier in tow.

I'll repeat, his Will Save is on par with a Fighter or Rogue. Or Ranger. Or anyone else without a Good Will Save. It's no worse than getting a free one of those in your party.

And that assumes such things will target the horse, which is a hell of an assumption, since it's far from the greatest offensive threat on the field.
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I should also note that you seem to assume the Cavalier will always be riding his mount. This is true sometimes, but by no means always. If he needs or wants a flanking buddy, the mount's great for that, too, and I'd expect it to be used for that at least as much.

And I'll reiterate: You wanna actually prove something, make a Fighter of some level between 8 and 16, I'l make a Cavalier at the same level and show you how it's every bit as effective. And I'm not even a particularly focused optimizer, I'm just good at the basics.

Contributor

Quite honestly, I don't give my villains metagame knowledge about the PCs. A group of PCs rides up, all of them on horseback, one of them a cavalier, the rest with the regular 75 GP riding horses. The wicked witch does not suddenly go, "Ho ho ho! A cavalier! Let's see you use all those fancy ridin' feats you've got when Mr. Ed turns into Mr. Hamster! Baleful Polymorph!"

There may be a witch. She may have Baleful Polymorph. But she doesn't know what class people are, she doesn't know what level people are, and she sure as hell doesn't know what their saving throws are either. She'll go with her best guess of whoever looks most dangerous or least reasonable and turn them into a hamster.

If there's an area of effect monster like a gorgon, sure, I'll let the horses save the same as everyone else. But that can be fixed with stone salve.

As for targeting familiars in combat, it may be good tactics but it's bad form, earning you the enmity of witches and wizards everywhere, regardless of alignment. Ditto burning spellbooks. A house rule, certainly, but one that I find both flavorful and good for plotting. Book-burners and familiar-killers are viewed with an almost unspeakable scorn, and even a white witch or wizard would do nothing to save someone who did such a thing from righteous vengeance. At least the way I run magical society. Keeps the familiars and the spellbooks safe, and also explains why the non-magical classes have learned not to do such things.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

"Your class sucks because you're screwed if 10 Erinyes jump you". Straw is cheap this summer, I see.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
"Your class sucks because you're screwed if 10 Erinyes jump you"

but.....erinyes don't have the parts for that....do they?

do I still get xp for overcoming them?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
"Your class sucks because you're screwed if 10 Erinyes jump you"

but.....erinyes don't have the parts for that....do they?

do I still get xp for overcoming them?

Only if use the Seventh Posture feat, I'm afraid.


About alignment fixation, I think people find it compelling because it cuts into our own understanding of right and wrong. More to the point, can something still be "good" when it is clearly the lower road taken because the higher road is too difficult, annoying or dangerous? How we answer that says something about how "good" we are.

Silver Crusade

Gotta agree with Ashiel here. The Cavalier's horse is fair game I'm afraid, just like a ranger and druid's companion.

I may be wrong here but isn't there an ability or feat that allows you to make a ride check negate the damage to your mount?

Andoran RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

I think it's a good way to get people thinking about ethics. Nonetheless, most gamers want the paladin awesomeness without being willing to accept the strictures that go along with it. You see some of the same gripes with assassin players who want murder for hire to be something other than evil, and animate dead casters who want the creation of beings inimical to all life to be something other than evil.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

shallowsoul wrote:

Gotta agree with Ashiel here. The Cavalier's horse is fair game I'm afraid, just like a ranger and druid's companion.

I may be wrong here but isn't there an ability or feat that allows you to make a ride check negate the damage to your mount?

Mounted Combat does that for attacks. Indomitable Mount does it for saving throws.

Silver Crusade

Charlie Bell wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

Gotta agree with Ashiel here. The Cavalier's horse is fair game I'm afraid, just like a ranger and druid's companion.

I may be wrong here but isn't there an ability or feat that allows you to make a ride check negate the damage to your mount?

Mounted Combat does that for attacks. Indomitable Mount does it for saving throws.

There we go!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
Quite honestly, I don't give my villains metagame knowledge about the PCs. A group of PCs rides up, all of them on horseback, one of them a cavalier, the rest with the regular 75 GP riding horses. The wicked witch does not suddenly go, "Ho ho ho! A cavalier! Let's see you use all those fancy ridin' feats you've got when Mr. Ed turns into Mr. Hamster! Baleful Polymorph!"

Ah but that's just it. If you actually believed that killing the typical horse with around 13 HP beneath the PC would hinder them, wouldn't you? Ignoring the fact enemies can just make an easy Knowledge (Nature) check to realize the animal before them is an advanced animal with more hit dice for a moment, and assuming you just thought it a simple mare; exactly why would you ignore it? Seems like meta-gaming to me.

Quote:
There may be a witch. She may have Baleful Polymorph. But she doesn't know what class people are, she doesn't know what level people are, and she sure as hell doesn't know what their saving throws are either. She'll go with her best guess of whoever looks most dangerous or least reasonable and turn them into a hamster.

And again, ignoring the ability to just make a DC 5 + CR knowledge check to estimate a weakness in an opponent, why would it not be common knowledge that minions and pets are generally easier targets? I mean, doesn't that kind of scream out "please use phantasmal killer"? Do you really, as a bad guy, want to let the fool on the horse have the ability to potentially own you with a lance or move while shooting?

Again, you sound very metagamist.

Quote:
As for targeting familiars in combat, it may be good tactics but it's bad form, earning you the enmity of witches and wizards everywhere, regardless of alignment. Ditto burning spellbooks. A house rule, certainly, but one that I find both flavorful and good for plotting. Book-burners and familiar-killers are viewed with an almost unspeakable scorn, and even a white witch or wizard would do nothing to save someone who did such a thing from righteous vengeance. At least the way I run magical society. Keeps the familiars and the spellbooks safe, and also explains why the non-magical classes have learned not to do such things.

And here the metagaming hits the peak like a tidal wave. Screw the "enmity of witches and wizards everywhere". If they are placed in harms way, then they are in harms way. End of story. If a wizard is stupid enough to be waving his spell book around in combat for it to get sundered or shattered, then the wizard needs to figure out where his Int score is coming from, since he's obviously absent a cerebral cortex. Likewise, if he has his familiar perched on his shoulder spamming wands like the predator's shoulder mounted turret, then he better get used to the idea that someone might try to remove that pest from the equation.

For example, one of the PCs in my tabletop game--a 3rd level wizard--has an owl familiar. He actively uses this familiar, and enjoys the +3 Perception bonus the familiar grants in areas of low light, and the familiar's ability to fly and its very impressive bonuses to Perception checks. He uses it as a spy, and occasionally, he uses it offensively. Now in one of our recent games, his familiar attacked some orcs who were badly wounded. However, that resulted in one of the orcs getting a lucky shot on the familiar. Later, said wizard was restoring his familiar during his downtime for a few hundred gold pieces. He has noted that he will be "a little more careful next time"; though he's still looking forward to the familiar delivering touch spells.

If his owl had been away from the fight and/or doing little to nothing in it, it would have been ignored. If his owl had been nestled in his backpack, it would have been safe and ignored. If his owl was just sitting on his shoulder saying "Don't feed me nasty crackers!", he probably would have been ignored (beyond AoEs and such that hit the space); but the familiar was up in the combat. Right where animal companions are. The familiar got whacked, and so too will Mr. Ed. Especially given DeadManWalking's insistence that Mr. Ed is obviously one of the greatest DPS enhancers around.

========================================================================

Incidentally I love how Deadmanwalking goes back and forth discussing how amazingly great and DPR enhancing Mr. Ed is, only to turn around and try to downplay it and be all like "killing Mr. Ed isn't tactically sound, and is a dick move for the GM". Sorry, both do not fly.

Mr. Ed does not have saving throws equivalent to that of PCs unless Mr. Ed is also sporting impressive +resistance items, and a number of +ability score items and effects as well. Deadmanwalking tries to ignore the fact that WHEN Mr. Ed snuffs it you have to wait a week to get him back and a whole level to get his special bond abilities back (like evasion), while Rangers do not have that problem. He also scoffs at spending 50,000 gp to get a renewable mount with super speed and awesome mount abilities, while demanding that Mr. Ed will have saves equivalent to fighters and the like.

Well look here lads, a +5 cloak of resistance is 25,000 gp. That's half the cost of CL 14 phantom steed at-will. Since apparently it's less about being a mount and more about being a DPR enhancer, we need to go ahead and spring for that amulet of mighty fists as well, since having only a +12 BAB and 24 Str at 20th level kind of sucks. Gonna need to line Mr. Ed in magic items and buffs to keep him relevant, especially since he relies on full-attacking in melee to increase DPR.

Also, my examples were pretty simple. They weren't about saying that the companion sucks. They were examples showing how easy it is that something bad can happen to your animal companion just as course for the game. Those were examples of things that you can actually run into over the course of the game, without stepping outside of the standard encounter rules. I wasn't saying "Oh look, Mr. Ed is weaksauce vs Erinyes", I was saying "Oh look, animal companions can get killed just being in harms way like everything else".

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Quote:
And I'll reiterate: You wanna actually prove something, make a Fighter of some level between 8 and 16, I'l make a Cavalier at the same level and show you how it's every bit as effective. And I'm not even a particularly focused optimizer, I'm just good at the basics.

So what do you want to prove? Is this some sort of DPS penis-size contest, or is this going to be a more meaningful examination of who can actually contribute to the party in a wide variety of adventuring scenarios? Because if it's just DPR calculations, sure, I'm game for that I suppose, but those rarely come out in actual play as being greatly viable.

For example, rogues can get pretty gnarly DPR on paper. In game, they're weaksauce because someone can just drop a smoke stick and then beat the ever loving stuffing out of them and all their rogue friends. Likewise, martial DPR is really awesome when you can full-attack, which is a big if when you're actually playing a game where enemies don't jump on your sword for fun.


Out here in horsecountry..[/joke] Honestly, it is easy for anyone with basic knowledge of horses to tell the difference between a 75gp riding horse and a charger. I do not see it as metagaming whatsoever for an NPC to target the warhorse underneath the knight in shiny armor. If you look throughout military history there were times when warhorses were the targets and not the guys riding them. Why? because they are easier to hit and kill and removing horse from rider was the easiest way to nullify rider.

Unfortunately, in RPGs you are killing the knight in shiny armor's friend. Expect to go through many friends. - Gauss


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Having many Paladin's in the games I GM over the years I play very loose and fast with the Paladin code of honor. You have to do something pretty bad to lose your powers. Personally I don't see the point of it. If you want strict code conduct that's character concept and really shouldn't be tied to class. I think that Paladin's should be just Good alignment and Anti-Paladins just evil. This give a good balance to the classes. You have Barbarians as Chaotic, Monks and Lawful, Paladins and Good, and Anti-Paladins as Evil. So that's I'm house ruling it.


Gauss wrote:

Out here in horsecountry..[/joke] Honestly, it is easy for anyone with basic knowledge of horses to tell the difference between a 75gp riding horse and a charger. I do not see it as metagaming whatsoever for an NPC to target the warhorse underneath the knight in shiny armor. If you look throughout military history there were times when warhorses were the targets and not the guys riding them. Why? because they are easier to hit and kill and removing horse from rider was the easiest way to nullify rider.

Unfortunately, in RPGs you are killing the knight in shiny armor's friend. Expect to go through many friends. - Gauss

Agreed. It's sad. Mr. Ed shall be missed. Mr. Owl was missed by the party in my tabletop game as well; until the Wizard re-summoned him during the party's downtime (they usually take some downtime between adventures).

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Since Fighters don't do a whole lot beyond being excellent strikers (Paladins and arguably Barbarians make better tanks), I wanted to build a Fighter who could competently engage in said striking in the three main mediums (melee, mounted, ranged). He's mainly specialized in archery, simply because it's one of the few ways to reliably full-attack, and combos well with the ability to ride mounted. It's also good for penetrating DR, since you can stock up one some different types of arrows and get an endless quiver via abundant ammunition.

Compared to a dragon cavalier, the cavalier has the Challenge trump card, which adds +4 to hit and +15 to damage vs a chosen enemy, but the Cavalier can only do so 5/day. That would probably bring the Cavalier ahead in the case that the GM falls into the trap of "single enemy combat". If the combats are spread out as suggested by the encounter guidelines, then the Cavalier will quickly find that his DPR is much lower overall, or find that he's running out of challenges very quickly.

I chose Fighter simply because it's the closest thing to the Cavalier. To me, the Cavalier holds no candle to the usefulness of a Paladin or Ranger, who both have far more potential to be useful both in combat and out of it due to their versatility, defenses, spells, item creation potential, party support potential, and both get comparatively strong animal companions.

Hypothetical 15th level Melee, Mounted, Archery Fighter:
Valgrayas the Conqueror, CR 14
N Medium humanoid (human) fighter 15
Init +6; Senses Perception +19
==========================================================================
Str 22 (+2), Dex 22 (+2), Con 18 (+2), Int 16, Wis 18 (+2), Cha 12 (15 starting point buy, +5 inherent to all via planar binding)
==========================================================================
AC 35, touch 19, flat-footed 29 (+13 armor, +3 deflection, +3 natural, +6 dex)
Hp 167.5 (15d10+90)
Fort +19, Ref +17, Will +17; Bravery +4
==========================================================================
Melee +2 lance +24/+19/+14 (1d8+10+2+5+12/x3)
Ranged +2 composite (+7) longbow +24/+24/+19/+14 (1d8+7+2+1+4+8/x3)
==========================================================================
BAB +15, CMB +21 (26 w/ weapon), CMD 30
Feats Power Attack (1), Precise Shot (1), Point Blank Shot (1), Rapid Shot (2), Weapon Focus (Longbow) (3), Weapon Specialization (Longbow) (4), Mounted Combat (5), Mounted Archery (6), Iron Will (7), Improved Initiative (8), Spirited Charge (9), Furious Focus (10), Ride by Attack (11), Manyshot (12), Improved Precise Shot (13), Greater W. Focus (Longbow) (14), Greater W. Specialization (Longbow) (15)
Skills Diplomacy +16, Ride +25, Perception +19, Sense Motive +19,
30 skill points to spend
Equipment ...

25,020 gp (celestial plate + kilt)
18,000 gp (ring of protection +3)
18,000 gp (amulet of natural armor +3)
25,000 gp (cloak of resistance +5)
8,300 gp (+2 lance)
9,200 gp (+2 composite longbow)
10,000 gp (+2 str / dex belt)
10,000 gp (+2 con / wis circlet)
50,400 gp (at-will CL 14 phantom steed item)
25,000 gp (greater bracers of archery)
15,000 gp (gloves of dueling)
12,000 gp (boots of speed)
13,980 gp of additional gear (consumables, bags of holding, endless quivers, ring of feather falling, etc).

=========================================================
Summary: Okay, this is a basic 15th level fighter, assumed as part of the traditional warrior, mage, divine, skillmonkey party. Either on foot or on mount, his martial capabilities are quite strong. He's a mixture of melee and ranged, with emphasis on the ranged. His primary weapon training is in spears (boosting his lance) and his secondary specialization is bows (boosting his bows). He has gloves of dueling, increasing the benefits of each by +2 (bringing him to +5 and +4 respectively).

He can produce phantom steeds that last 14 hours. They have few HP, but they are disposable, so when they die it doesn't matter. They move at a speed of 100 ft, and can fly, walk on water, ignore difficult terrain, and always support him regardless of his size (this part is especially useful because he will drink a potion of enlarge person and then use Ride By Attack + Spirited Charge + Furious Focus + 20 ft. reach to plow enemies for 6d6+93 damage as he zips by).

He mostly plays keep away from enemies, using his bow. A simple DPR calculation, not including critical hits vs CR 15 enemies:

Ride By Attack vs AC 30
+26(85%), 6d6+93 (DPH 114) = 96.9 DPR

On Foot vs AC 30 (hasted via boots of speed)
+25(80%)/+25(80%)/+20(55%)/+15(30%), 2d6+31 (DPH 38) = 93.1

Archery vs AC 30 (foot or mount, hasted)
+25(80%)/+25(80%)/+25(80%)/+20(55%)/+15(30%), 2d8+58 (DPH 67/33.5) = 135.675

The above DPR calculations do not include crits (x3), and are based on average CR 15 AC under Monster Creation rules, using +2 weapons (GMW can bring them to +5 weapons at this level, for those curious). They are sustained DPR, and are not subject to x/day limitations.

Andoran

Ashiel wrote:
Incidentally I love how Deadmanwalking goes back and forth discussing how amazingly great and DPR enhancing Mr. Ed is, only to turn around and try to downplay it and be all like "killing Mr. Ed isn't tactically sound, and is a dick move for the GM". Sorry, both do not fly.

I actually addressed this: As a Class Feature Mr Ed's awesome, as a separate combatant (which is what he should be targeted as) he's mediocre at best, and should likely be last on the list (after the PCs) unless the GM is actively targeting him to screw the player.

And, for reference, I think targeting mounts is fine if it's logical...but it's usually not, honestly.

Ashiel wrote:
Mr. Ed does not have saving throws equivalent to that of PCs unless Mr. Ed is also sporting impressive +resistance items, and a number of +ability score items and effects as well. Deadmanwalking tries to ignore the fact that WHEN Mr. Ed snuffs it you have to wait a week to get him back and a whole level to get his special bond abilities back (like evasion), while Rangers do not have that problem. He also scoffs at spending 50,000 gp to get a renewable mount with super speed and awesome mount abilities, while demanding that Mr. Ed will have saves equivalent to fighters and the like.

Eh. Most stat enhancers on a Fighter are gonna add, what, +1-3 to Will Saves? That's 4 less at most, and I'm skeptical about most Fighters investing 48k into a +1 on Will Saves

And I'm not dismissive of the Phantom Steed thing. If you're a Mounted Combat Fighter it's a great investment (and enables those Feats very effectively), my point is pretty much that it doesn't replace the Mount class feature as a DPR enhancer (which is true).

Ashiel wrote:
Well look here lads, a +5 cloak of resistance is 25,000 gp. That's half the cost of CL 14 phantom steed at-will. Since apparently it's less about being a mount and more about being a DPR enhancer, we need to go ahead and spring for that amulet of mighty fists as well, since having only a +12 BAB and 24 Str at 20th level kind of sucks. Gonna need to line Mr. Ed in magic items and buffs to keep him relevant, especially since he relies on full-attacking in melee to increase DPR.

By 15th level a +4 Cloak and a +4 Str Item, along with a +2 Amulet of Mighty Fists and +3 Armor is maybe a quarter of your GP. That'll do you alright at that point, and is pretty effective.

Buffs are good, too, but with 22 base Str, a +9 BAB, he's packing a +16 to hit, more if charging, and +20 if Flanking with Outflank (that's including Power Attack, obviously). And he should be doing one of those two things most turns. That's not bad at all vs. CR 15 or so foes.

Ashiel wrote:
Also, my examples were pretty simple. They weren't about saying that the companion sucks. They were examples showing how easy it is that something bad can happen to your animal companion just as course for the game. Those were examples of things that you can actually run into over the course of the game, without stepping outside of the standard encounter rules. I wasn't saying "Oh look, Mr. Ed is weaksauce vs Erinyes", I was saying "Oh look, animal companions can get killed just being in harms way like everything else".

But those things can happen to anyone indeed, if they kill the horse (with the exception of Save Or Die area effects, which are a bit rare) odds are they'd have killed a PC if they didn't take out Mr. Ed. And, like a Leadership Cohort, you can always burn the cash to Raise Mr. Ed and avoid all those penalties you talk about. I'd expect it to be a not uncommon thing for Cavaliers to do, actually. Indeed, with Raise Animal Companion it's only 3k to do so. Pretty cheap, really.

Ashiel wrote:
So what do you want to prove? Is this some sort of DPS penis-size contest, or is this going to be a more meaningful examination of who can actually contribute to the party in a wide variety of adventuring scenarios? Because if it's just DPR calculations, sure, I'm game for that I suppose, but those rarely come out in actual play as being greatly viable.

Well, I think both seem viable. We make the actual characters, then compare DPR, as well as other stuff. My point isn't that the Cavlier is the best thing that's ever walked the earth...it's that he's a viable character even outside of charging on the back of his mount in an open field.

Ashiel wrote:
For example, rogues can get pretty gnarly DPR on paper. In game, they're weaksauce because someone can just drop a smoke stick and then beat the ever loving stuffing out of them and all their rogue friends. Likewise, martial DPR is really awesome when you can full-attack, which is a big if when you're actually playing a game where enemies don't jump on your sword for fun.

Actually, as per the DPR olympics threads, Rogues have crap DPR compared to, well, most focused melee characters.

And yeah, Full Attacks aren't universal...but they aren't that uncommon either. A lot of stuff engages in melee, and then fights toe-to-toe.

Ashiel wrote:
Since Fighters don't do a whole lot beyond being excellent strikers (Paladins and arguably Barbarians make better tanks), I wanted to build a Fighter who could competently engage in said striking in the three main mediums (melee, mounted, ranged). He's mainly specialized in archery, simply because it's one of the few ways to reliably full-attack, and combos well with the ability to ride mounted. It's also good for penetrating DR, since you can stock up one some different types of arrows and get an endless quiver via abundant ammunition.

That seems reasonable enough, and I'll get a build up sometime later today (maybe technically tomorrow)...but I'll add the proviso that a Cavalier can really only keep up with a Fighter damage-wise as a dedicated melee character (because he does it using his mount to aid DPR), so we're inevitably going to run into the problems of comparing a melee and ranged character.

Let's not focus on those, okay? Unless it's your contention that melee focused Fighters aren't worth playing either, in which case we might need another example...

Ashiel wrote:
Compared to a dragon cavalier, the cavalier has the Challenge trump card, which adds +4 to hit and +15 to damage vs a chosen enemy, but the Cavalier can only do so 5/day. That would probably bring the Cavalier ahead in the case that the GM falls into the trap of "single enemy combat". If the combats are spread out as suggested by the encounter guidelines, then the Cavalier will quickly find that his DPR is much lower overall, or find that he's running out of challenges very quickly.

But he can do that 5/day whenever he wants. It's completely targetable, and thus a smart Cavalier can use it on the five biggest threats each day. That's really nice.

Ashiel wrote:
I chose Fighter simply because it's the closest thing to the Cavalier. To me, the Cavalier holds no candle to the usefulness of a Paladin or Ranger, who both have far more potential to be useful both in combat and out of it due to their versatility, defenses, spells, item creation potential, party support potential, and both get comparatively strong animal companions.

I maintain that Cavalier has significantly more out-of-combat utility than a Paladin does, and is on par with party-buffing. He does lack healing and have a bit less in-combat use vs. Evil things of course.

As for Rangers...one on one they're just better. The Cavalier's group support benefits are really what he has over a Ranger, while the Ranger beats him out in skill points and by having spells, making his out-of-combat utility better. And of course, when and if the Cavalier gets to make that mounted charge...

That said, as the two martial classes without spells or weird powers per se, I tend to agree that Fighter and Cavalier are probably the closest match for each other, all things considered.


Maybe all this contention about Cavalier vs. Fighter could move on to a thread that isn't about Paladinic alignment/code?

It's WAY off-topic.


If the mount is attacked by a dangerous spell that requires a save and the player rolls low enough for the horse to bite it,thats potentially a spell that would have killed the cavalier since he rolled low or even another player...sucks that the mount died but it may have given its life so a party member can live on.....the fact that the dm wants to target a npc with something heinous is almost a boon for the cavalier.


Alitan wrote:

Maybe all this contention about Cavalier vs. Fighter could move on to a thread that isn't about Paladinic alignment/code?

It's WAY off-topic.

My apologies. I shall drop the discussion.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Yeah, drop that boring stuff and come over here! :)

Andoran

Alitan wrote:

Maybe all this contention about Cavalier vs. Fighter could move on to a thread that isn't about Paladinic alignment/code?

It's WAY off-topic.

The original topic seemed to have pretty much died or I wouldn't have indulged.

Still, if people object, topic shelved. Or dropped, or something like that.

One very last thing @ Ashiel on the Cavlier thing (just to think about): If you're giving all the PCs +5 to everything with Wishes, then there's no reason not to do so on the Mount as well (which helps it's offense and defense out significantly), and that gives additional incentive to using magic to bring it back from the dead if it dies (just to avoid the inconvenience of redoing it).

There, I'm completely done.


I think that Umbranus was referring to the chevalier prestige class, not the cavalier base class.

Silver Crusade

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Incidentally I love how Deadmanwalking goes back and forth discussing how amazingly great and DPR enhancing Mr. Ed is, only to turn around and try to downplay it and be all like "killing Mr. Ed isn't tactically sound, and is a dick move for the GM". Sorry, both do not fly.

I actually addressed this: As a Class Feature Mr Ed's awesome, as a separate combatant (which is what he should be targeted as) he's mediocre at best, and should likely be last on the list (after the PCs) unless the GM is actively targeting him to screw the player.

Copout answer. A cavalier's horse is a part of the cavalier. That's like saying the DM is being a dick because an enemy disarmed or sundered the fighter's weapon.

There are risks when playing certain classes. Those risks are known to you before you choose the class. You can't choose the Paladin for instance and then get mad at the DM because he got you on a code violation. You knew beforehand that the Paladin comes with a certain risk. Cavaliers, Wizards, Witches, etc....

Cavaliers hit hard as hell but their dependency is on their horse. Are you going to call a DM a dick because every enemy he sends at you isn't your ranger's favored enemy?

Andoran

shallowsoul wrote:
Copout answer. A cavalier's horse is a part of the cavalier. That's like saying the DM is being a dick because an enemy disarmed or sundered the fighter's weapon.

*sigh* If you'll read the whole post (and my several others), I never say anywhere that targeting the horse is always inappropriate. What I say, is that it's a less effective (and often entirely separate) combatant, so targeting it usually doesn't make sense when the enemy could be targeting the Cavalier himself, or the party's Wizard. Unless he's in melee fighting the horse alone or something, in which case he should go to town.

shallowsoul wrote:
There are risks when playing certain classes. Those risks are known to you before you choose the class. You can't choose the Paladin for instance and then get mad at the DM because he got you on a code violation.

True. But to return to the thread's topic somewhat, if he constantly puts you in Catch .22 situations where you lose your Paladin powers no matter what, he's a dick. Ditto with always targeting the horse regardless of the situation's logic, which is the scenario I'm referring to.

shallowsoul wrote:
You knew beforehand that the Paladin comes with a certain risk. Cavaliers, Wizards, Witches, etc....

Indeed, but there's a difference when enemies who know what they're doing target a Familiar to screw over the Wizard or Witch in the current fight and trying to permanently kill the Cavalier's horse to screw him in his next fight (which you won't even be alive for), as opposed to targeting the Cavalier himself or one of the other, vastly more effective, targets available (like the Rogue or Wizard).

shallowsoul wrote:
Cavaliers hit hard as hell but their dependency is on their horse. Are you going to call a DM a dick because every enemy he sends at you isn't your ranger's favored enemy?

No, of course not. And what you're talking about is the equivalent of there being a fair number of combats in enclosed spaces, where the horse is less useful.

The equivalent of focusing on killing the horse every combat to the exclusion of other, more logical, targets, is the GM actively working on never having any of the Ranger's Favored Enemies appear no matter what (replacing any that show up in published adventures, for example).
.
.
.
Sorry about that little derail, but I don't like being accused of things I didn't say or do.


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Deadmanwalking: A Horse (even as a class feature) is not equivalent to a familiar unless that familiar flies at the enemy with a touch spell.

First, the easiest way to remove a horseman's primary offensive weapon is to REMOVE THE HORSE. No, the horse is not the weapon, but its like shooting the tires out from under a car, its what makes the weapon effective. The horseman is the weapon, the horse makes the weapon effective. As I posted earlier, there are many military examples of armies targeting the horses and not the cavalrymen.

Second, the wizard with a familiar is nearly as effective as one without. BUT, if the wizard is using his familiar to regularly target people with touch spells you better believe I (as the GM) am going to have a smart enemy kill it. Even a dumb enemy may target the familiar if the familiar keeps flying in its face.

- Gauss


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gauss wrote:

Deadmanwalking: A Horse (even as a class feature) is not equivalent to a familiar unless that familiar flies at the enemy with a touch spell.

First, the easiest way to remove a horseman's primary offensive weapon is to REMOVE THE HORSE. No, the horse is not the weapon, but its like shooting the tires out from under a car, its what makes the weapon effective. The horseman is the weapon, the horse makes the weapon effective. As I posted earlier, there are many military examples of armies targeting the horses and not the cavalrymen.

Second, the wizard with a familiar is nearly as effective as one without. BUT, if the wizard is using his familiar to regularly target people with touch spells you better believe I (as the GM) am going to have a smart enemy kill it. Even a dumb enemy may target the familiar if the familiar keeps flying in its face.

- Gauss

Incidentally, by taking out the horse, you immediately remove the rider's ability to move + full attack (ranged), or the ability to move excessive distances and then piledrive some poor full with a x3 or better damaging attack, which is an astounding difference vs move + 1 standard attack.

Incidentally, folks on mounts tend to love stacking static mods. The cavalier's challenge is sexiest on a mount. It's a static mod so it gets multiplied as well. Like Deadmanwalking says, if anything, Cavaliers at least have burst damage. +15 damage at 15th level is an extra +45 damage on a spirited charge. With a +8 strength modifier (doable by 15th level certainly), and a +5 weapon (GMW), and +12 power attack, that's 3d8+132 damage on the charge against the challenge target. That kind of burst damage makes the Cavalier look pretty sexy.

Other classes can do similar or greater (which is why the Cavalier doesn't particularly impress me when compared to Barbarians,Fighters, Rangers, or Paladins), but it's definitely an attack strategy that is worth rendering as useless as possible. It's also why I'm fond of phantom steed for martials; even if it's not at-will (1/day phantom steed makes for a great booster for any martial, and is only 10,080 gp for a CL 14 with all the trimmings).

EDIT: There's also the fact that to patch the companion's weaknesses, you need to gear them up like a PC (+AC, +saves, +abilities, etc); which in turn eats into your WBL something fierce. A +5 cloak of resistance for Mr. Ed is 25,000 gp. Getting Mr. Ed some anklets of protection +5 is another 50,000 gp. Amulet of natural armor is another 50,000 gp. +6 to his saving throw and Hp stats (Con, Dex, and Wis) is another 108,000 gp minimum. Some +5 barding with no special qualities is around 25,000 gp plus the cost of the masterwork large quadrupedal armor.

That being said, I agree with Deadmanwalking. There's no reason not to give Mr. Ed +5 to all his ability scores. I had a barbarian player in one of my games ask the party's wizard for just that. She (the barbarian) pimped her horse like it needed to be on MTV. Her horse was Intelligent (7 Int), had some interesting feats, wore nicer armor than the barbarian did (Barbarian practically road into the battle nekkid atop an astonishingly awesome steed). If you can, why not Pimp Yo' Pony?

==============================

I would be very, very sorry to see anyone who would get upset when their combat cohort dies. If they want to call it a dick move, well I guess I might as well wear a hat to the table saying "+3 Dick DM", since they will more than likely be snuffing it at some point. Their animal companion too. Ho-ho, yes, I did make a joke. It's a good thing that raise dead / restoration isn't super hard, because it's something high level adventurers need to get used to.

When PCs can die at the drop of a hat, you'd best believe Mr. Ed is going to be shakin' in his hooves.


I just came here to see if it was still a Cavalier thread. :)


Maerimydra wrote:
I just came here to see if it was still a Cavalier thread. :)

Not intentionally. In the spirit of Paladin alignment fixation, I present commentary I made in another related post.

Ashiel wrote:
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:


Ashiel wrote:
With some GMs, it's just best to pretend the Paladin doesn't exist. There is no good down that road. Play a cleric instead.
Yeah, because "Don't drink people's blood" is such an odious prohibition :P

You miss my point -- or I wasn't clear enough. The point is that people are holding Paladins to standards beyond what they are supposed to be held to. There are people here that even after admitting "Okay, it's not an evil act", they still turn around and go "but a Paladin shouldn't do it".

Case in point:

Remco Sommeling wrote:
I do feel a good person and especially a paladin should be moved to do the right thing, not just the 'non-evil' thing.

It's not good enough for it to be "not evil". He still says the paladin shouldn't do it unless it's absolutely good. Paladins cannot exist in that world. Paladins are crusaders who kill people. They kill people and justify that those people deserved to die. Want to know a secret? The only difference between a Neutral person and a Good person is the altruistic spirit and willingness to stick your neck out for others.

Additional Rules: Alignment wrote:

Good characters and creatures protect innocent life. Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life, whether for fun or profit.

Nothing about killing evil.

Quote:

Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.

Again, nothing about killing or violence; not even against evil.

Quote:
Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some evil deity or master.

Killing, violence, evil, etc. Eviiiilz.

Quote:
People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent, but may lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others.

And here's the money shot. The only difference between a Neutral character and a Good character is Neutral characters don't have the inclination to stick their necks out for other people. They lack the same compunctions against killing the innocent; and incidentally, a good character has the same sentiments towards killing and violence as a Neutral character.

Paladins are already held to a higher standard than most, because they cannot stumble without losing their powers. Unlike most characters, including every other alignment restricted class (including antipaladin, even), they are not allowed to have an alignment holiday occasionally. That's enough. Good characters are Neutral+. Paladins are Neutral++. But dang it, Paladins are not so bound as to be unable to do things simply because they aren't seen as holy and sacred. Remco Sommeling notes that sure, it's neutral, but the Paladin shouldn't do things that are neutral, only things that are good.

Well screw Paladins in that world. All of them will fall. The only exception is if they are all martyrs who fight with nerf swords; don't use harsh language; cannot use intimidation (not that you'd be intimidated by anyone willing to anything but the purest good); and so forth. Killing non-innocents is a Neutral thing. Good is all about life and love and happiness and kissing babies and helping out your fellow man even if it puts you in harms way. A Paladin is that holy guy who is on the side of good, who goes out and does the dangerous stuff most neutral characters would be fine with but wouldn't risk doing or don't care enough to do. Beyond that, they aren't even allowed to use underhanded methods like lying to draw enemies into a trap.

This blood thing is just another example of how GMs for paladins to not even use non-evil options to do stuff. It could just as well be "throwing venomous snakes at the bad guys". Some GM decides "Uh, snakes are said to be evil in some religion somewhere so your Paladin falls down" and we learn why we should have played a Cleric.

And...

Ashiel wrote:
Moro wrote:
Somewhere along the way, people either forgot or forgot to read the part about the Paladin being a bad-ass, mothafuggin, ass-kicker for their deity's cause, so instead a lot of people seem to have this impression that they have to played as a choirboy who must attempt to be perfect.
Damn right. These guys are the poster boys for Paladins.


Ashiel wrote:


Incidentally, folks on mounts tend to love stacking static mods. The cavalier's challenge is sexiest on a mount. It's a static mod so it gets multiplied as well. Like Deadmanwalking says, if anything, Cavaliers at least have burst damage. +15 damage at 15th level is an extra +45 damage on a spirited charge. With a +8 strength modifier (doable by 15th level certainly), and a +5 weapon (GMW), and +12 power attack, that's 3d8+132 damage on the charge against the challenge target. That kind of burst damage makes the Cavalier look pretty sexy.

You forgot order of the Sword, it adds mount Str to damage, so at least 10 more in base (most likely 12-15 before charge bouns) so more like 160-180 in charge damage.

But the argument is really about what is the GMs characters NOT doing while they unload everything they got against the mount?

I did write longer reply in the other thread about this, so we should take the debate there.


Korpen wrote:
Ashiel wrote:


Incidentally, folks on mounts tend to love stacking static mods. The cavalier's challenge is sexiest on a mount. It's a static mod so it gets multiplied as well. Like Deadmanwalking says, if anything, Cavaliers at least have burst damage. +15 damage at 15th level is an extra +45 damage on a spirited charge. With a +8 strength modifier (doable by 15th level certainly), and a +5 weapon (GMW), and +12 power attack, that's 3d8+132 damage on the charge against the challenge target. That kind of burst damage makes the Cavalier look pretty sexy.

You forgot order of the Sword, it adds mount Str to damage, so at least 10 more in base (most likely 12-15 before charge bouns) so more like 160-180 in charge damage.

But the argument is really about what is the GMs characters NOT doing while they unload everything they got against the mount?

I did write longer reply in the other thread about this, so we should take the debate there.

Other thread?

Andoran

Ashiel wrote:

I would be very, very sorry to see anyone who would get upset when their combat cohort dies. If they want to call it a dick move, well I guess I might as well wear a hat to the table saying "+3 Dick DM", since they will more than likely be snuffing it at some point. Their animal companion too. Ho-ho, yes, I did make a joke. It's a good thing that raise dead / restoration isn't super hard, because it's something high level adventurers need to get used to.

When PCs can die at the drop of a hat, you'd best believe Mr. Ed is going to be shakin' in his hooves.

For clarity: My entire argument is that they are no more likely to die than Player Characters (and perhaps slightly less likely), not that they'll never die. I just think that (at higher levels) Raising them is a relatively cheap and reasonable thing to do when that occurs (3k to 4k GP).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
"Your class sucks because you're screwed if 10 Erinyes jump you". Straw is cheap this summer, I see.

CR 15 encounter with multiple AOEs is pretty standard.

Ashiel was being merciful. I would use 2 liches (CR 14) - two saves vs Fear, Circle of Death, Waves of the Fatigue.
The mount is dead, fatigued and panicked x2. Indomitable Mount works only once per round.
Ditto for the cavalier, though admittedly he is likely to have survived the round.

Regards,
Ruemere

Andoran

ruemere wrote:


CR 15 encounter with multiple AOEs is pretty standard.

True, but they're far from universal. And them being Will Saves that do damage even on a successful Save? Not quite unique but really rare. And the mount has Improved Evasion and good Reflex and Fortitude compared to it's crappy Will, so that sorta matters.

ruemere wrote:

Ashiel was being merciful. I would use 2 liches (CR 14) - two saves vs Fear, Circle of Death, Waves of the Fatigue.

The mount is dead, fatigued and panicked x2. Indomitable Mount works only once per round.

Uh...Circle of Death only works on things with 8 or less HD. A Cavalier's mount at 15th level (or even 10th) is not such a thing. And even if it were, it's Fortitude save is pretty good.

The Fear's DC 18 (which isn't that high) and the mount's save is what, 2 or 3 behind the Cavlier's? The one I'm thinking of is something like +13 if using Ashiel's strategy of stat-boosting.

And the Waves of Fatigue effect everyone equally.

So this argument really mostly disproves the point it's aiming to make.

ruemere wrote:
Ditto for the cavalier, though admittedly he is likely to have survived the round.

Actually, they're both likely Fatigued but otherwise fine if that's the round. In fact, due to it's Improved Evasion and pretty good Reflex Save (+18 or so by my count), it'll likely do better than the Cavalier vs. a Lich's listed spell list.

Which is true vs. a lot of enemies, actually.


Thing that really saddens me about the cavalier is the degree to which, despite the mount being a defining feature of the class (the word cavalier literally refers to horsemanship), their mount is inferior to the paladin's divine, supernaturally intelligent version.


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Thanks for the threadjack, why don't you start a cavaliers suck thread so I can hijack it with the paladin's code?


I wrote a long piece on my view of the Paladin's Code. You can read it here if you want. It is on the Paizo/Pathfinder boards, so don't be afraid to click.

Let me know what you think!

Master Arminas

Andoran

Nemitri wrote:
Thanks for the threadjack, why don't you start a cavaliers suck thread so I can hijack it with the paladin's code?

Sorry. :(

I at lest tried to stop, but I'm really not one to take accusations (like 'copout answer') laying down. Still, sorry about that.


I terms of Paladins, they're useless. I once had a demon attempting to steal my soul and our Pali turned tail and ran in the opposite direction saying, "Lawful Good doesnt mean Lawful Stupid!". This is true... But it should mean Lawful Moral. His running away should have resulted in his becoming an Ex Paladin at the least. All Paladins I've seen have been COMPLETELY useless. Maybe the players didnt play them right or whatever else may be the reason but I'd never be caught playing one as it appears in the Pathfinder CRB.

But one thing that irks me; only LG diety's can have a divine warrior whom fights for their cause? I believe this was brought up by Ashiel in an earlier post. I plan on just house-ruling it so that a Pali can be of any Alignment as long as it matches his/her deities. This eliminates the need for things such as the Ex Paladin and AntiPaladin rules.

There, a simple fix to a problem which once made Paladins a useless and restricted class :)

Osirion

UlrichVonLichtenstein wrote:
I terms of Paladins, they're useless. I once had a demon attempting to steal my soul and our Pali turned tail and ran in the opposite direction saying, "Lawful Good doesnt mean Lawful Stupid!". This is true... But it should mean Lawful Moral. His running away should have resulted in his becoming an Ex Paladin at the least. All Paladins I've seen have been COMPLETELY useless. Maybe the players didnt play them right or whatever else may be the reason but I'd never be caught playing one as it appears in the Pathfinder CRB...

Uhmm... I don't think that makes paladins useless. It sounds more like useless players to me.


UlrichVonLichtenstein:

I think you have several misconceptions regarding Paladins.

First: The Player that ran in the opposite direction certainly should have had his paladinhood come into jeopardy. That was very out of character for a Paladin. It sounds like the players did not play them right.

Second: Paladins are not required to choose a god within 1 step of their alignment (Lawful Good). However, most gods do not have paladins unless those gods are close to Lawful Good. The paladin code doesn't mesh well with a Chaotic Good god. Abadar (Lawful Neutral) has paladins. So does Sarenrae (Neutral Good). But in both cases the paladins are still Lawful Good.

Third: They are far from useless in general. They are quite powerful (esp in the right campaign) and assuming you have a player that knows how to actually play one they are very valuable to a good aligned group. With that said, they do not fit into the group dynamics for all groups. A group with an evil member is obviously a problem for a paladin. A group that is heavily chaotic is also a problem for a paladin (albeit, less of a problem). Select your friends carefully.

- Gauss


UlrichVonLichtenstein wrote:
I terms of Paladins, they're useless. I once had a demon attempting to steal my soul and our Pali turned tail and ran in the opposite direction saying, "Lawful Good doesnt mean Lawful Stupid!". This is true... But it should mean Lawful Moral. His running away should have resulted in his becoming an Ex Paladin at the least. All Paladins I've seen have been COMPLETELY useless. Maybe the players didnt play them right or whatever else may be the reason but I'd never be caught playing one as it appears in the Pathfinder CRB.

Yeah, I really hate that line in the CRB where it says Paladins are required to run away from everything at the first sign of trouble. Clearly this proves that the Paladin class as written is utterly worthless; its class features are too focused on absconding from combat.

Also, one time a wizard in my party decided to use Dimension Door to flee instead of saving me. Stupid wizards, they're terrible at everything and completely underpowered, anyone who plays one is terrible at Pathfinder and should be punched in the face.

Andoran

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I always feel the need to point out in threads like this, that Paladins fall for one thing and one thing only. Willfully committing an evil act. That's it. I would say that multiple violations of their code over time might add up to expulsion from their order (and perhaps a quiet chat between the player and the GM, the latter of whom might ask why they chose to play a character with a code if they had intent of following it) but a single violation does not result in instantaneous loss of paladin abilities. A crippled paladin can tell a demon that he'll never find the children he's seeking (even if they're in the bathroom right behind him) without suddenly losing all of his abilities.
He can appropriate a mount that doesn't belong to him to chase down a murdering rapist who's in the process of kidnapping a child without the forces of goodness and law suddenly abandoning him. It's okay.

"Code of Conduct: A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class features except proficiencies if she ever willingly commits an evil act.

Additionally, a paladin's code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents."

Note that only of the things listed actually causes him to fall.

Andoran

Ssalarn wrote:

"Code of Conduct: A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class features except proficiencies if she ever willingly commits an evil act.

Additionally, a paladin's code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents."

Note that only of the things listed actually causes him to fall.

Alas, a little further down the road, the CRB also states that "A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features"

Thus acting without honor (ie : lying, cheating, using poison), disrespecting legitimate authority, not helping those in need and letting those who harm or threaten innocents go unpunished will all make a Paladin fall.

With these awesome powers (and DPR) also come awesome responsibilities.

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