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Why all the Paladin Hate?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Lìadan Moriarty wrote:
Newbie's 2cp.

Mew!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

*bombs will save*

Kitty!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Atarlost wrote:


Honor is saying "I am willing to risk evil triumphing because I have hangups about certain kinds of behavior."

That's what a CG character might say to a Paladin, sure.

A paladin would say that the end does not justify the means. It's not ok to torture a prisoner for any reason, not even if it might save innocent lives, because once you start down that road, you risk becoming as bad as the monsters you are fighting. Honor means that you don't murder helpless prisoners of war, partly because you know that if you do that that the enemy will do the same, but mostly just because you understand that it's wrong. It's not at all about appearance; in fact, it's the opposite.

"It's frustrating when you know you still have your honor but you have a poor reputation, but there are worse things. It's a far worse feeling when everyone else believes you are right, but you know deep in your heart that your honor is gone."

I have had a lot of fun playing a paladin. My last character deeply and utterly believed that in a fair, honorable fight, that the gods would protect the righteous and that the outcome of the fight would result in divine justice. Was he right? Well, he rolled pretty well, so it often seemed like it. :) That doesn't mean he wouldn't use stealth and such in the right situation; only a fool would try to fight an entire army by himself, and often stealth lets you avoid unnecessary killing completely. He didn't judge his party members, since he knew that they were honestly trying to do good, but personally, he did not like to attack someone in the back, and would much rather challenge a single enemy to a direct one-on-one fight.

Does that make him "lawful stupid"? Possibly. I don't care, though; he was fun to play, and effective enough that the rest of the party was fine with him occasionally going for a glorious duel with the enemy general instead of slitting his throat in his sleep. I'm enough of a roleplayer that I am willing to be less effective then would be totally optimal by acting in a way consistent with my character's belief system. So long as you aren't a pain to fellow party members and don't try to hog the spotlight all the time, they're usually just fine with letting you get on your own character's personal style of badass every now and then.


I do not hate the paladin. But I do have some things I do not like about it. First one is not really per se the classes fault, I absolutely hate the alingment system, as a descriptive concept on somebody's values is good but it should not have been made a game mechanic ever, white and black morality was fine in kid cartoons, aftert about the time I learned to read, not so much anymore. So the paladin suffers because the concept of holy warrior is tied in the setting to the alingment system.

Of coarse I have had the bad experiences with fellow players and with bad GMs when playing one, but that is out of game problem. Another gripe I have is that these people are shown as the ultimate good apart from outsiders. Well this is opinion based but LG is not the most good allingment, it is NG even CG trumps it. That is more of a peeve that actual problem. But if you decide to allow evil or not do everything in your power to help good just because you have this code on how to act. I am sorry mister but you are not the pinnacle of good.

That being said I like them. I would like to see that they were more like clerics, each god having their own holy/unholy warriors that would have a written code for them that would match their deity's dogma. That would also define what they could smite. And of coarse some nice piece to help GMs make new one's for homebrew worlds and other setting than Golarion.

I think the hate can be traced mostly to either bad experiences or the things that they do not like outweigh the bad ones. Opposite of me, I still like them but if I placed enough weight on the stuff I did not like I would hate them.

Silver Crusade

memorax wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

Remember folks!

If your paladin isn't doing 497.82576035 DPR at 6th level then you are playing it wrong. If this is the case then you need to respect the class and never ever play it again.

Uh what? What does this even have to do with the topic at hand? Not sure what you are even trying to post.

If you didn't get it the first go round then don't worry about it.

Shadow Lodge

In my experience, it is almost universally the other players, (particularly the rogue(-like) players) who go out of their way to screw over the paladin (or othe class with a strict cod of conduct) rather than the paladin who causes most of the issues. Especially in the old days, when playing a paladin was pretty hard to do, it seemed to bring out the hardcore immaturity in those other players, who tend to have very self-serving playstyles already.

There are exceptions, and you need to remember that paladin is one of the few classes that can actually lose everything based soley on DM interpretation and feeling. Not wanting to risk becoming a commoner NPC class can make player's over-play their alignment more than they otherwis would, but in my experience, this tends to be much less common the case and more that some other players use their characters to antagonize and push the issue much further than it otherwise would.

Andoran

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shallowsoul wrote:


If you didn't get it the first go round then don't worry about it.

No worries. Found that it added less than nothing to the thread topic anyway.


Yosarian wrote:
Atarlost wrote:


Honor is saying "I am willing to risk evil triumphing because I have hangups about certain kinds of behavior."

That's what a CG character might say to a Paladin, sure.

A paladin would say that the end does not justify the means. It's not ok to torture a prisoner for any reason, not even if it might save innocent lives, because once you start down that road, you risk becoming as bad as the monsters you are fighting. Honor means that you don't murder helpless prisoners of war, partly because you know that if you do that that the enemy will do the same, but mostly just because you understand that it's wrong. It's not at all about appearance; in fact, it's the opposite.

A lot depends upon your view of the afterlife.

In some settings a Paladin could claim that evil cannot actually triumph because in the afterlife good people are rewarded and evil people are punished or annihilated. Not torturing enemy orcs for information might lose the war in this life, but that does not matter since the righteous slain make it to an eternal and joyous afterlife whereas the orcs really experience only a fleeting sense of false victory.

I am not knowledgeable enough about Golarion's afterlife to know whether or not this is actually relevant to Pathfinder without implementing a GM's homebrew setting.

Perhaps the fundamental question is "Is it evil to maintain my moral purity when this endangers your life?" Atarlost seems to answer Always. Yosarian seems to answer Never.


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davidvs wrote:


Perhaps the fundamental question is "Is it evil to maintain my moral purity when this endangers your life?" Atarlost seems to answer Always. Yosarian seems to answer Never.

If it's evil to endanger your life in order to do what you think is right, then every adventurer is evil.

It's really a "does the end justify the means" type of question. Using dishonorable means to do good means you're a chaotic good type of character. Using evil means to do good probably makes you about true neutral on the alignment scale. Those are fine types of characters to play, but neither one is lawful good behavior.


Lìadan Moriarty wrote:


I don't see the problem with requiring an alignment and a code of honor. I think it's a fun challenge. But then...I *like* it when a good character is clearly good. Moral ambiguity's fun and all, but it's almost refreshing to see paladins what with all these antihereoes around (Lookin' at you, Batman!)

Batman, an antihero?

What have you been smoking?

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
Batman, an antihero?

Under some writers, yes.

Shadow Lodge

Yosarian wrote:
davidvs wrote:


Perhaps the fundamental question is "Is it evil to maintain my moral purity when this endangers your life?" Atarlost seems to answer Always. Yosarian seems to answer Never.

If it's evil to endanger your life in order to do what you think is right, then every adventurer is evil.

It's really a "does the end justify the means" type of question. Using dishonorable means to do good means you're a chaotic good type of character. Using evil means to do good probably makes you about true neutral on the alignment scale. Those are fine types of characters to play, but neither one is lawful good behavior.

This, so very much.

Shadow Lodge

Antihero is a character type that means essentually a hero that does not have the normal heroic/noble qualities. Sort of the typical "noir" detectives. It doesn't mean they are villians, just atypical heroes.

Morally shades of grey, or at least more so than the classic "hero".


I personally have not had much of a problem with them. But I don't really think trying to make them fall is fun.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Batman, an antihero?
Under some writers, yes.

Miller doesn't count.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

You think he's the only one?


TriOmegaZero wrote:
You think he's the only one?

The only one who has made him an out and out antihero I know of. "Dark" hero is not the same as antihero. Most competent writers wouldn't even think of having Batman kill someone, especially without him being wracked with guilt afterwards.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

You don't have to kill to be an antihero.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
You don't have to kill to be an antihero.

That's one of the major defining features of one though (or the willingness to do so anyway). That and less compassion.

Batman is definitely compassionate.


Rynjin wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
You don't have to kill to be an antihero.

That's one of the major defining features of one though (or the willingness to do so anyway). That and less compassion.

Batman is definitely compassionate.

Keeping people alive and tourturing them isn't heroic so if someone doesn't kill the bad guys but keeps them alive and tourtures them they are not an antihero?


doctor_wu wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
You don't have to kill to be an antihero.

That's one of the major defining features of one though (or the willingness to do so anyway). That and less compassion.

Batman is definitely compassionate.

Keeping people alive and tourturing them isn't heroic so if someone doesn't kill the bad guys but keeps them alive and tourtures them they are not an antihero?

He doesn't really torture people either. Not physically anyways.

He scares the s%$@ out of people though. I think you're confusing Batman and the Punisher.

Andoran

The paladin is just fine as an rpg class. The problem, as with most things in life, is that that there are human beings involved as the end user.

Silver Crusade

In real life experience the fall of a paladin doesn't really happen except for one gaming session because after that you won't be playing with that DM anymore anyway. Let's face it, if a DM is going to try and screw you over that much with the Paladin then I am sure he/she is going to screw you over on everything else.

Most DM's you normally play with will not trip you up into causing your character to fall.


Beckett wrote:

In my experience, it is almost universally the other players, (particularly the rogue(-like) players) who go out of their way to screw over the paladin (or othe class with a strict cod of conduct) rather than the paladin who causes most of the issues. Especially in the old days, when playing a paladin was pretty hard to do, it seemed to bring out the hardcore immaturity in those other players, who tend to have very self-serving playstyles already.

Get better players.


shallowsoul wrote:

In real life experience the fall of a paladin doesn't really happen except for one gaming session because after that you won't be playing with that DM anymore anyway. Let's face it, if a DM is going to try and screw you over that much with the Paladin then I am sure he/she is going to screw you over on everything else.

Most DM's you normally play with will not trip you up into causing your character to fall.

The fall of a paladin is an epic and beautiful thing. Works best when everyone is away that its happening...

i.e. tricking is for amatuers, for a proper fall the paladin has to choose their own path, and do so willingly...


Rynjin wrote:
Lìadan Moriarty wrote:


I don't see the problem with requiring an alignment and a code of honor. I think it's a fun challenge. But then...I *like* it when a good character is clearly good. Moral ambiguity's fun and all, but it's almost refreshing to see paladins what with all these antihereoes around (Lookin' at you, Batman!)

Batman, an antihero?

What have you been smoking?

Nothing. There are many different stripes of antihero - I'm referring here to a milder one here who, while still clearly a hero, doesn't exactly fit the mold of a boy scout like Superman or Captain America would.

WARNING, TIME SINK: Type II on their list for better clarification

I'm not saying Batman's not heroic. He's clearly one of the good guys, no matter who writes him. He clearly has a code of conduct. But...the last real squeaky clean-cut happy hero Batman I remember was Adam West.


Meh. I've never liked the idea of a Type 2 anti-hero. It even says that it's basically "A straight hero, but grumpy". Which does not an anti-hero make IMO.

By my definition an anti-hero has to have a looser set of morals (and Batman has a more rigid set of morals than anyone except MAYBE Superman, but that's a whole 'nother discussion) or is willing to sacrifice their morals "for the greater good" (which Batman has only once or twice done to my knowledge, and even then he never compromised his morals more than he came to the BRINK OF compromising his morals).

So someone like Green Arrow as portrayed on the Arrow tv series on the CW at the very mildest. Has the greater good in mind, and tries to avoid killing or seriously injuring people, but is willing to do so to carry out his purpose. Which is not bad, but it's not Batman.

Maybe Terry Mcginnis Batman if you watched Batman Beyond. He was a smidge more lax on the "Thou shalt not kill" thing, though he always tried to avoid it.

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