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Why all the Paladin Hate?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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yup, haven't seen a thread devoted to this yet.'Love Paladins, don't care for the alignment restriction, but I see alot of people either citing Paladins as jerks at the game table, or mentioning"lawful stupid",debating the code like it's a straight jacket rather than a tool for roleplaying and otherwise degrading this majestic and dignified class, steeped in prestige and history,both in rpg's and in legend. So tell me this, is all this hatred of Paladins simply because people want to be "bad" nowadays and this is a better way than going out and breaking laws for real, or is it that the paladin is broken in one direction(too powerful) or another(too weak)? Point being ultimately, Why all the Paladin hate?

Marathon Voter 2014

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Because now we have all seen that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

PALADIN AM FIND HATE NOT SMITEABLE. VERY INSIDIOUS. MUST FIGHT WITH LOVE AND PEACE.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

If you grew up in the old days (1e-2e), lawful stupid paladins abounded in the gaming community and tended to dominate stuff like Usenet and Dragon magazine letters.

Lawful Stupid was basically used to describe the tendency of certain players to always enforce a rigid code of conduct to every encounter and basically use that code of conduct to restrain the tactical options of the rest of the party.

Want to ambush the orc raiders or use hit and run tactics to reduce their numbers? No it's not chivalrous. Want to interrogate a prisoner in order to find out where the McGuffin is held? Not sporting old chap

Invisibility? Nope
Killing Prisoners? Nope and a definite source of many session derailments.
Looting bodies? Nope
Etc, etc, etc.

Basically it was an excuse to be a lawful jerk to the rest of the party with the secondary effect of making almost every encounter that much harder.

Tons of people got beat down with someone playing a lawful stupid Paladin in their formative gaming experiences and have been reluctant to release that hatred over the years even as most interpretations of the paladin have soften over various generations of the game.

Personally I think the type of people that played jerk paladins could've just as easily played jerk rogues or jerk wizards but there was all this baggage built up around the class that just intensified their negative tendencies and made it very easy to communicate the frustrations with this behavior in online and written communication.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
AM PALADIN wrote:
PALADIN AM FIND HATE NOT SMITEABLE. VERY INSIDIOUS. MUST FIGHT WITH LOVE AND PEACE.

Peace... Love... Life... dreams... hope...

Where'd they come from?
And where are they headed...?

These things...

I'm going to destroy! UWHEEHEEHEEHEEHEEHEE!!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I think you hit the nail.

From my point of view, Paladins are supposed to be the good guys and role models. The lawful stupid comes from people not really getting that paladins aren't really supposed to be the be all end all to laws.

Also, there's the crap about GMs trying to make paladins fall. I think people have it too ingrained in their head that paladins MUST stop evil, even if they are incapable of it.

On a side note, I really despise this one character in our area that is a paladin who thinks "Killing = Honor" so must kill everyone and coup de grace unconscious threats with no regard to anything.

Dedicated Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Honestly, I don't see much paladin hate on the boards or much anywhere else. Yes, in every paladin thread there are a few that cast stones at them, but I've never seen true hatred to paladins on any wide spread level. On the other hand I've seen plenty of anti-lawful good discussions, but this isn't the providence of paladins alone - just a common alignment issue.

Truth is most people in the real world don't fit within a specific alignment, most being more or less neutral-ish with good and lawful tendencies. Lawful good is so stringent, it's difficult for most people to relate to such an extreme, so it tends to chafe at peoples perceptions of what alignment really means.

In our games, finding a paladin in the party is more common than seeing a cleric or wizard (most arcane spellcasters seem to be sorcerers and most healing tends to be done by a CLW wand.) So it probably varies with every group. No paladin hate in our group.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Kefka Palazzo wrote:

Peace... Love... Life... dreams... hope...

Where'd they come from?
And where are they headed...?

These things...

I'm going to destroy! UWHEEHEEHEEHEEHEEHEE!!

Go away before I dualcast Ultima, smack you several times with Excalibur/Ragnarok, and other things I totally annihilated the final boss with.

PS: I am not a fan of "other alignment" paladins. Anti-paladins I'm ok with because they are just supposed to be evil scumbags, but any other alignment is a no go for me (Makes me think of a neutral "paladin." Smite Neutral: MAKE UP YOUR MIND!)

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Genii Glove/Offering combo for the win.


I guess that being someone who cut his teeth on stories about King Arthur and the round table, has given my playstyle a bent toward playing Knight types. I don't see Paladin as a straight jacket anymore, the whole chivalry thing is debatable, I just like that they are more than just a plain potatoes fighter that can where heavy armor effectively unlike say a Ranger who loses certain abilities for doing so, they have healing potential better than all but clerics and life oracles and can kick ass against anything evil. I feel it can and should be a fun and gratifying class to play and it saddens me that generations of jerks ruined it for the rest of us.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
AM PALADIN wrote:
PALADIN AM FIND HATE NOT SMITEABLE. VERY INSIDIOUS. MUST FIGHT WITH LOVE AND PEACE.

Multi-class as a druid. Then you can shapeshift into a Care Bear.

Marathon Voter 2014

It's not ruined. I love the paladin that I play with in my main group. He has his lawful stupid moments, I have my douchey moments of elven condescension in response. It's beautiful, man.

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

I've never had issue with them save in parties with a deliberate cant towards evil or, to a lesser extent, chaos. (For example, I'd heavily advise against a player joining a Paladin into my current Kingmaker game, as the CE Magus, CN Barbarian and Rogue, and even the LN Oracle would likely drive them to their wits end at best. Might get on well with the TN Samurai, surprisingly enough.) In games where the players knew a Paladin would be with them from the go, or any LG character for that matter, I've had few to no issues.

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Thac20 wrote:
AM PALADIN wrote:
PALADIN AM FIND HATE NOT SMITEABLE. VERY INSIDIOUS. MUST FIGHT WITH LOVE AND PEACE.
Multi-class as a druid. Then you can shapeshift into a Care Bear.

But Druids can't be LG....


Marthian wrote:
Kefka Palazzo wrote:

Peace... Love... Life... dreams... hope...

Where'd they come from?
And where are they headed...?

These things...

I'm going to destroy! UWHEEHEEHEEHEEHEEHEE!!

Go away before I dualcast Ultima, smack you several times with Excalibur/Ragnarok, and other things I totally annihilated the final boss with.

I am going to scorch your hometown to dust and hang your family out as window dressing on my tower.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Actually, as it stands I don't think there is a default code for vanilla paladins at least, the oathbound types are more defined in that respect, but really it comes down to GM interpretation and I think alot of GMs are stained with that taint of negative early paladin experiences..."My thief character in 1st edition started out as an alterboy in the church of saint cuthbert, ooooh the butt hurt that caused, then I was squired to a Paladin of that order who took to beating me everytime I went to pick a pocket. We slew a dragon, together with Grandalph the Beige and Father Timeo and still He informed on me to the authorities when I stole the duchesses jewels to fund the party, which ultimately got me hanged!!! SOOO you want to play a Pally eehh?hehehe..."


I might be biased, but that doesn't sound like any Paladin I know. Just my experience, though.

Star Voter 2013

3 people marked this as a favorite.

It's pretty obvious. I've never hated Paladins before I started PFS, because my friends would play them responsibly. But after seeing the way some people play paladins (pushy, intolerant, s&%! disturbers), I can see why some people hate them.

It's not the class that's the problem, it's the player.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I've had a lot of good luck with the class over the years and tons of bad luck. I think it's definitely dependent on the player as for the most part the restrictions of the class have gotten quite lax over the years (your mileage may very per individual campaigns). As a result I've seen less lawful stupid paladins as I've aged as a gamer but that might be confirmation bias as I generally avoid gaming with jerks anymore (no gaming is better than bad gaming) whereas I was decidedly less picky when I was growing up.

When I DM and someone seems to be starting down the path of Lawful Stupid I try to talk to them as an aside and see if they are willing to tone down some of the stupid. If the player wants to take a paladin from wet behind the ears moral absolutism at 1st level to a more tolerant and experienced paladin character as the PCs level up I think that can be fun but I really don't like someone playing the No Fun Allowed role all the time.

Star Voter 2013

2 people marked this as a favorite.

It's not hate. It's disappointment that the class does not meet our expectations... oh wait wrong thread. ( I hope Toz do not read this thread :p).

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

1 person marked this as a favorite.

*slow clap*

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Unfortunately, I was here the whole time. Like a ninja. ;)

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

You use the wrong alias for that post then.


There are no wrong aliases. Only wrong posters.

Star Voter 2013

TAZ?


The contentious issues all reside in here:

Quote:
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.

Neither TSR, WotC or Paizo have ever explained law vs chaos at all well. TVTropes does a much better job. This is why there's always stories about Chaotic Stupid kender and Lawful Stupid paladins. Also CE "disguised" as CE ... "but I'm only evil today."

Quote:
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.

The act without honor is one of the two biggest points that turn paladins into jerks. Paladins can't lie, and violating the code can cause an immediate fall. (Or not, the rules are unclear.)

A paladin who is captured and questioned isn't allowed to claim to be part of a much larger force, nor can they claim they have no nearby friends, or indeed tell any lie. The paladin must be stoic, or fall.

A paladin who is caught investigating a thieves' guild can't lie about who they are or why they're there. They can, however, beat senseless the person who discovered them. A paladin would rather beat someone up then tell a lie.

A paladin might cleverly "twist the truth" to avoid lying, meaning no one will trust paladins, and the DM can make them fall anyway.

Paladins must also help those in need, but given the unclarity of the rest of the code, this doesn't help. If a paladin is on a mission, and sees a group of slaves in chains, must they put their mission on hold and rescue the slaves now? Can they wait until later? What if they slaves have been sold and scattered by the time the paladin is done... must they now find and free every single one of them? (Fan codes tend to be even worse than the official codes in this area.)

Paladins must punish those that hurt others... what if the king is that kind of person? Are you expected to immediately form (or join) a rebellion? What if the king is far more powerful than you?

Older codes were even worse. A paladin couldn't use stealth unless there were no other options. Alas, this tended to annoy the other players, who could play more intelligent PCs. This often resulted in passive aggressive behavior, with the goal being to make the DM make the paladin fall. (I've seen DMs do this without player pressure too. Who wants a PC who ruins adventures?)

The code needs rewriting for a game based around adventure, not a novel series.

Here's the rest:

Quote:

Associates: While she may adventure with good or neutral allies, a paladin avoids working with evil characters or with anyone who consistently offends her moral code. Under exceptional circumstances, a paladin can ally with evil associates, but only to defeat what she believes to be a greater evil. A paladin should seek an atonement spell periodically during such an unusual alliance, and should end the alliance immediately should she feel it is doing more harm than good. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are lawful good.

Ex-Paladins

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 (including the service of the paladin's mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She may not progress any further in levels as a paladin. She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (see the atonement spell description in Spell Lists), as appropriate.


So play 'em how you want, nothing can permanently stop you from advancement. Maybe some adversity as a character in the campaign could add depth to the story?


Orthos wrote:
Thac20 wrote:
AM PALADIN wrote:
PALADIN AM FIND HATE NOT SMITEABLE. VERY INSIDIOUS. MUST FIGHT WITH LOVE AND PEACE.
Multi-class as a druid. Then you can shapeshift into a Care Bear.
But Druids can't be LG....

You have to stop progressing as a paladin, giving up your tenants of Lawfulness to become a paragon of good in the form of a cute, cuddly bear-thing that will instantly die when it tries to hug a jabberwock.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

PALADIN AM SEEN CARE BEAR STARE ON JABBERTHINGY. CLEAN-UP AM TAKE THREE DAYS.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Paladins are like alcohol.

If used responsibly, they can be fun and enjoyable.

If abused, they can lead to injury/death of a campaign, and people making a complete ass of themselves.

Some people are "fun" paladins/drunks. Others are mean and obnoxious in both roles.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

uncommitted players or gms cause more campaign deaths than paladins. I have experienced this many, many times.


This one again?

Hey TOZ!

Marathon Voter 2013

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Paladins aren't the problem. People deciding that they know best how to run your character are the problem. And it's a double edged sword. Paladins are both some of the biggest perpetrators and the biggest victims.

Dark Archive

KenderKin wrote:
This one again?

These kinda things get pretty circular after a while.

It's all very zen. Life is a wheel. Time is a river. The door is ajar.


Lol, Kenderkin and Anthony Crowley, I take it you disapprove of the topic for some reason and perhaps wish to derail?

Shadow Lodge

KenderKin wrote:

This one again?

Hey TOZ!

*waves*

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

*surfs*

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Conundrum wrote:
Lol, Kenderkin and Anthony Crowley, I take it you disapprove of the topic for some reason and perhaps wish to derail?

I (Crowley's one of my many aliases, as are Zhaorae [My Paladin PC from Age of Worms] and Kefka) don't mind the discussion in theory, as you can see from my prior posts out-of-character. It's mostly that it's been done. Repeatedly. Over and over. With basically the same results every time.

So those of us who have been around long enough to see the conversations come and go start to recognize when the Wheel of Discussion begins to turn again. =)

That and I really just can't pass up an opportunity for an in-character appropriate response when I see one. It's a weakness of mine =D Probably why I have 60+ aliases.


Wow, I only have one profile. I used to do that for facebook games to add allies for games I liked but 60? holy crap man!Do you have to have a seperate email for all those?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

It wasn't THE beginning, but it was A beginning.

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Conundrum wrote:
Wow, I only have one profile. I used to do that for facebook games to add allies for games I liked but 60? holy crap man!Do you have to have a seperate email for all those?

Nope. Just click your "My Account" button at the top of your screen; in the column on the left (but not the browsing column on the far left with all the PF logos and stuff, just to the right of that) there should be a button saying "Create a new Messageboard Alias". Once you've done so you can post as your alias(es) using a drop-down menu that appears below the post box.

Most of mine were spur-of-the-moment ideas, created for games journals or plots or PbPs, or reactions to the cult threads in OTD. Basically, just for fun.

And if you think I'm bad, Patrick Curtin has over 150.


I already see it in some of the discussions currently raging on the boards,such as the 2 threads about monks being crap with over a thousand posts a piece. What is the appeal? I read some of these threads with 20-130 posts and stop reading after about 6 because it's the same thing I've already heard in 4 other threads already. I know what you mean.

Marathon Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

To be honest, I originally thought this thread was a parody thread. It's been done enough times and the "Why all the Monk Hate?" thread is so recent that it just seemed like one.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Conundrum wrote:
Actually, as it stands I don't think there is a default code for vanilla paladins at least, the oathbound types are more defined in that respect, but really it comes down to GM interpretation and I think alot of GMs are stained with that taint of negative early paladin experiences..."My thief character in 1st edition started out as an alterboy in the church of saint cuthbert, ooooh the butt hurt that caused, then I was squired to a Paladin of that order who took to beating me everytime I went to pick a pocket. We slew a dragon, together with Grandalph the Beige and Father Timeo and still He informed on me to the authorities when I stole the duchesses jewels to fund the party, which ultimately got me hanged!!! SOOO you want to play a Pally eehh?hehehe..."

Society has tainted my mind. When you mentioned a butt-hurt alter boy my brain went in a totally different direction. (O.O)"

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

@Conundrum: Yeah, pretty much =) [EDIT: ASH that was a rather inconvenient ninja'ing!]

No hard feelings. I'm with you on most of the opinions you HAVE posted. But sadly the arguments that will come out both for and against you will be pretty much repeats of similar conversations already occurred.

I've come to accept the fact that on The Internet, no one can change anyone else's mind.


Guess it is and isn't a parody both at the same time. A PARADOX if you will.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I've been wanting to play a paladin, maybe in the next adventure path.

I think the problem is that people taking alignments way too seriously, or at least consider them in isolation (from what I can tell from message board anecdotes and the like). Setting alignment aside for the moment, I like to think that a paladin is like a by-the-book cop or detective. He or she should therefore be able to do pretty much anything a cop could do, or at least a crime drama cop, since that's more interesting. But most of those tend to break the rules, or at least bend them, so let's consider a straight-laced one.

Cops can lie to you. They can go undercover. They can tell you they are not a cop. They can't manipulate you into committing crime, and then arrest you, however. A cop won't assassinate someone. They will kill armed suspects if there's a gunfight. They interrogate using light psychological tactics and intimidation. They won't break their cover for small crimes -- that's noted and taken care of once the operation is complete. Similarly, they won't arrest the mob boss for a crime with a 5 year sentence when they're poised to nail them for a much larger series of connected crimes. That rogue in the party? He's an informant, or a consultant. Just as long as he doesn't cross certain lines, it's an inconvenient, but necessary arrangement.

Lawful? Check - the laws provide for such things. Good? Check - you're doing the world a great service taking these bad guys down for crimes that'll put them behind bars for good, or earn them the death sentence, rather than simply take them off the streets for a couple years. Code of conduct? Maybe, maybe not - if your "code of conduct" fails to adapt for unpredictable real-world conditions, and you get caught, and you have to admit you're a good guy? Then that's a terrible code of conduct. Lying isn't evil any more than telling the truth is good -- usually, yes, one tends to be good, and one tends to be bad, not not always. If telling the truth gets an innocent person killed, for instance, I'd hardly say that's a good thing.

Might not fly in PFS, but it's a good way to approach LG, IMO. Alignments don't have to be pure implementations of a concept. That's what outsiders are for, isn't it?


Conundrum wrote:
Guess it is and isn't a parody both at the same time. A PARADOX if you will.

Awesome. Hail Discord~!


Orthos wrote:
@Conundrum: Yeah, pretty much =) [EDIT: ASH that was a rather inconvenient ninja'ing!]

*sheathes his ninja-to* Sorry, doing what I must when I may. :P

Quote:

No hard feelings. I'm with you on most of the opinions you HAVE posted. But sadly the arguments that will come out both for and against you will be pretty much repeats of similar conversations already occurred.

I've come to accept the fact that on The Internet, no one can change anyone else's mind.

I've had my mind changed on the internet before. Via forum discussions in fact. It happens. :)


Seriously though, what possesses people to go thousands of posts deep about monks? I think that is more annoying than me asking about paladins and getting 50 to a hundred replies.

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