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Paladin / Anti-Paladin = Fighter, Except Better? (Why play a Fighter then?)


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Fairly simple question and discussion, and here's my two copper pieces on the whole matter.

/rant:
Of course, everybody notes that a Paladin (or a Hellknight/Anti-Paladin) has all of these great features. Their saves are top-notch, their features are first class, their feats are just as plentiful as a Fighter's, they can also cast powerful spells (for their limited spell list, which is much better than many other classes), and the list goes on.

With a couple caveats regarding how a player should interact with his character when made into these classes, what exactly do they compromise in exchange for all of these amazing abilities? The chance that a GM is going to try and screw over the Paladin in an attempt to make him temporarily weaker, which is something that the GM can just as easily fix? That's hardly a fair way to give such power to a class, especially considering it's volatile as to how it is done.

In one scenario, you have "Undead summoning more undead. Smite it to dust and move on. Townspeople are sick. Cast a Cure Light Wounds/Lay On Hands and they're better. Idiots going against the law of the town and I like this town; turn them in, and find more undead to smite. Wait, they were actually in the right, and I've fallen? No big deal, I take this silly sidequest, and I get all my super duper powers back. Now I can get on track with smiting more undead."

In another, you have "Guy wants to survive, and is killing humans to do so? Evil! Smite! Oh, now I've fallen because I played Lawful Stupid! Wait, I need to kill some super nasty lich raising the corpses of fallen homunculi fetuses which slaughter innocents in order to get my powers back? Too bad I can't kill him now that I have nothing!"

You could have another with a compromise/moderation between the two, but quite frankly it still seems volatile even if done in such a manner. It'd have to be tempered in an almost perfect way (which I doubt can even be done) in order for the compromise to even be sensible.

Chances are, It's better being a super-powered divine spellcasting fighter who beats the crap out of a certain alignment a lot better in exchange for being subject to the GM's whims, regardless of which extremity I'm put in, since any other type of fighter would be garbage.

/endrant

GM FIAT aside, Paladins are just outright better than a Fighter, and it questions why I should even play one.

Silver Crusade

Fighters are more versatile versus all enemies and can fit into any party.

While I disagree with being anal about LG, there are certain parties a paladin will not work in.

Characters a Paladin could not work with (All ones I have played)

A wizard who cuts off the fingers of his enemies during interrogation and feeds them to his badger familiar.

An alchemist who enjoys poisoning and setting his victims on fire and experiments on survivors.

A rogue who slits the throats of any captive once they stop being useful

A Rogue that organizes a gang of street urchins into a thieves and assassin's guild

A wizard who traps a bunch of guards behind a stone wall and suffocates them to death with Cloudkill.

A barbarian who slaughtered his way through a regiment of the king's guard to free an imprisoned party member.

A ninja who moonlighted as an assassin.

A nobleman bard who betrayed his entire race to slavery to earn himself a place of power in the new government (Although arguably this was to avoid genocide)

A summoner constantly in the company of demons.

A wizard who used stone shape to wrap a sleeping guard's head in rock with a tiny hole for air, starving him to death.

(Not my character, but a good friend) A Vampire Sorcerer that dominated a guard in a dungeon and used him as our personal monkey boy/trapfinder.

A fighter that bought a goblin slave.

EDIT:...I might be a bad person.


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Now, where did I put my popcorn...


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Its hardly just Paladins. Don't forget Barbarians and Rangers. Sadly Fighters had been a NPC/dip class in 3.5 and they are not much more then that in pathfinder.

Silver Crusade

I actually disagree that fighters are weaker than Paladins, but I don't really feel like getting into an argument. I'm too busy reliving all my sadist characters that would make a paladin cry.


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Elamdri wrote:

Fighters are more versatile versus all enemies and can fit into any party.

While I disagree with being anal about LG, there are certain parties a paladin will not work in.

Characters a Paladin could not work with (All ones I have played)

A wizard who cuts off the fingers of his enemies during interrogation and feeds them to his badger familiar.

An alchemist who enjoys poisoning and setting his victims on fire and experiments on survivors.

A rogue who slits the throats of any captive once they stop being useful

A Rogue that organizes a gang of street urchins into a thieves and assassin's guild

A wizard who traps a bunch of guards behind a stone wall and suffocates them to death with Cloudkill.

A barbarian who slaughtered his way through a regiment of the king's guard to free an imprisoned party member.

A ninja who moonlighted as an assassin.

A nobleman bard who betrayed his entire race to slavery to earn himself a place of power in the new government (Although arguably this was to avoid genocide)

A summoner constantly in the company of demons.

A wizard who used stone shape to wrap a sleeping guard's head in rock with a tiny hole for air, starving him to death.

(Not my character, but a good friend) A Vampire Sorcerer that dominated a guard in a dungeon and used him as our personal monkey boy/trapfinder.

A fighter that bought a goblin slave.

EDIT:...I might be a bad person.

So your argument basically boils down to "I like playing Evil and possibly distruptive characters, thus I render your argument invalid" or something similar? Sorry to break the news to you dude, but that does not make the Paladin any less an option as a class. All you did was prove that a DM should ensure the party can work together instead of being a bunch of jerks to one another. It's also why I usually do not allow Chaotic Stupid of the "I am Chaotic Evil but I'll tell the DM I'm Chaotic Neutral instead" variety that piss me off to no end. I hope PFS games have as few of those as possible, too.


Icyshadow wrote:


So your argument basically boils down to "I like playing Evil and possibly distruptive characters, thus I render your argument invalid"

Him and about 75%+ of the rest of the Hobbyists... that's kind of likely to be an issue.


I'm playing a regular paladin right now and when I'm not smiting the fighter in my party out damages me. Our DM favours long adventuring days so I have to use my spells and smites wisely, I'm not seeing the problem here.


Elemental Quasit wrote:
I'm playing a regular paladin right now and when I'm not smiting the fighter in my party out damages me. Our DM favours long adventuring days so I have to use my spells and smites wisely, I'm not seeing the problem here.

Does he outdamage you thanks to his feats, or his equipment?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Armor Training and Weapon Training are also great class features. Fighters consistently do better damage against a wider variety of foes than a paladin. Fighters get more feats so they can be either more versatile or better at their specialized fighting style. Fighters can be any alignment and aren't subject to those jerk GMs that like making paladins fall.

You assert that fighters are poor, but you make no arguments to support that. My experience playing fighters in PF is that they are quite effective.

Don't get me wrong, paladins are strong as well, but in different ways.


They wouldn't make a paladin cry, they'd make a paladin smite.

counter-rant:
The first problem I noticed "paladin feats are just as plentiful as fighter feats" By this do you mean there are just as many feats dedicated to the paladin as there are to the fight? Because that's not very important. A fighter gets more than twice as many feats as the paladin does and a paladin is more likely to spend them on things to make their class features better, than to spend them on fighting better.

The fact that many GMs will screw with a paladin, by giving them a fall/fall situation, is frustrating enough that they ought to have a bit more power, don't you think?

CLW and LoH doesn't always fix the problem, if the GM wants it to be something harder, it is, and a quest ensues. A paladin worth his salt won't behave like that, being a paladin requires more than casual dedication otherwise no one will give you a sidequest, because you are unworthy, and until you truly prove you are worthy of a sidequest, you aren't getting one. First step: humility. Second step: showing you are wise enough to handle your powers without falling every time you use them.

It can be incredibly trying to actually play a paladin, even for a guy who is ostensibly lawful good, because sometimes telling the truth is infinitely more damaging than lying. Like telling an incredibly headstrong prince that his girlfriend got kidnapped by trolls, he's going to grab some guards, and get himself (plus the guards) killed by trying to tackle it himself. If you don't say anything about it, you're lying by omission, but if you say something, he gets dead.

Plus, the paladin flat loses to neutral creatures.


Icyshadow wrote:
Elemental Quasit wrote:
I'm playing a regular paladin right now and when I'm not smiting the fighter in my party out damages me. Our DM favours long adventuring days so I have to use my spells and smites wisely, I'm not seeing the problem here.
Does he outdamage you thanks to his feats, or his equipment?

He hits little bit harder than I do due to weapon training and gloves of dueling and he hits a little more often than I do due to Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Focus which I don't have (not that I miss that often, we have a bard).

Granted weapon bond is very useful for me and he doesn't have that.


Between the number of feats, access of fighter only feats, and fighter archetypes they are the number ONE in consistent, and maybe all time damage dealing. The key is Two Weapon Fighting. Yes it does require an unreasonable amount of dex, but the potential is there. You may only want to get the first two TWF feats though. Using two Falcata's with the Two-Weapon Warrior archetype at level 11 with a Improved Balance class ability, combination of critical feats, weapon specialization and improved critical you are a monster that I don't think anyone at that or later levels can do anything but simply come close to rivaling.


I kinda agree. Weapon training is balanced out with bonded weapon. Paladin can focus on strength more thanks to lay on hands as a swift action on himself for defense. Fighters get more feats, but the paladin is going to have way better saves and absurd damage if he fights something evil.

Silver Crusade

Icyshadow wrote:
Elamdri wrote:

Fighters are more versatile versus all enemies and can fit into any party.

While I disagree with being anal about LG, there are certain parties a paladin will not work in.

Characters a Paladin could not work with (All ones I have played)

A wizard who cuts off the fingers of his enemies during interrogation and feeds them to his badger familiar.

An alchemist who enjoys poisoning and setting his victims on fire and experiments on survivors.

A rogue who slits the throats of any captive once they stop being useful

A Rogue that organizes a gang of street urchins into a thieves and assassin's guild

A wizard who traps a bunch of guards behind a stone wall and suffocates them to death with Cloudkill.

A barbarian who slaughtered his way through a regiment of the king's guard to free an imprisoned party member.

A ninja who moonlighted as an assassin.

A nobleman bard who betrayed his entire race to slavery to earn himself a place of power in the new government (Although arguably this was to avoid genocide)

A summoner constantly in the company of demons.

A wizard who used stone shape to wrap a sleeping guard's head in rock with a tiny hole for air, starving him to death.

(Not my character, but a good friend) A Vampire Sorcerer that dominated a guard in a dungeon and used him as our personal monkey boy/trapfinder.

A fighter that bought a goblin slave.

EDIT:...I might be a bad person.

So your argument basically boils down to "I like playing Evil and possibly distruptive characters, thus I render your argument invalid" or something similar? Sorry to break the news to you dude, but that does not make the Paladin any less an option as a class. All you did was prove that a DM should ensure the party can work together instead of being a bunch of jerks to one another. It's also why I usually do not allow Chaotic Stupid of the "I am Chaotic Evil but I'll tell the DM I'm Chaotic Neutral instead" variety that piss me off to no end. I hope PFS games...

No, you didn't listen. The question asked was "Given Paladin, why play fighter"

I then proceeded to give a non-exhaustive list of possible party members (not all of which were evil btw, just people who had done bad things) to show a point: Fighters are not alignment restricted. That doesn't mean they won't act on their alignment, but Paladins do.

And what right does a DM have to tell me what choices my character can and cannot make in the process of playing the game? If that's the case, why don't we just go play a video game.

Mind you I cherry picked some of my favorite personal examples. It could be something as simple as a rogue who wants to pick some pockets. Doesn't matter to the fighter, but it potentially creates an issue for the paladin.

So yes, Party synergy is in fact a reason why Fighter is not in every way inferior to the paladin.

That's without getting into the fact that Fighters are all-around useful in any fight.

Grand Lodge

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

Fighters are also more mobile than Paladins, ultimately developing the ability to move at full speed in the heaviest of armors.

Fighters are the Wizards of combat, they are the most versatile and you can literally control a good part of a battlefield with the right build.

And their effectiveness does not depend on the nature of the enemy they face.


LazarX wrote:

Fighters are also more mobile than Paladins, ultimately developing the ability to move at full speed in the heaviest of armors.

Fighters are the Wizards of combat, they are the most versatile and you can literally control a good part of a battlefield with the right build.

And their effectiveness does not depend on the nature of the enemy they face.

Actually a paladin can move at full speed in any armor starting at level 7(thanks to Effortless Armor). The same level a fighter can do this. Paladins are about the same on armor check penlty.

I think you underestimate a paladins effectiveness against nonevil creatures. A paladin still has a very powerful bonded weapon(which keeps up with weapon training for hit and damage rolls).

Against a neutral character, a fighter will have more feats while a paladin gets tons of innate tankiness, decent party buffs and healing.

Now, against an evil creature its no contest. Paladin will hit more often and for much more damage.

Scarab Sages

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Slightly disingenuous with the Effortless Armor claim there. A 2nd level spell that lasts minutes/level isn't the same at all as Armor Training.


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PALADIN AM NOT KNOWING WHY FIGHTER NOT AM PALADIN. MAYBE AM LACKING IN CHARISMA DEPARTMENT.


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johnlocke90 wrote:
LazarX wrote:

Fighters are also more mobile than Paladins, ultimately developing the ability to move at full speed in the heaviest of armors.

Fighters are the Wizards of combat, they are the most versatile and you can literally control a good part of a battlefield with the right build.

And their effectiveness does not depend on the nature of the enemy they face.

Actually a paladin can move at full speed in any armor starting at level 7(thanks to Effortless Armor). The same level a fighter can do this. Paladins are about the same on armor check penlty.

I think you underestimate a paladins effectiveness against nonevil creatures. A paladin still has a very powerful bonded weapon(which keeps up with weapon training for hit and damage rolls).

Against a neutral character, a fighter will have more feats while a paladin gets tons of innate tankiness, decent party buffs and healing.

Now, against an evil creature its no contest. Paladin will hit more often and for much more damage.

Effortless Armor is a nice spell, but at 1 minute/level duration it's not something that you can expect to have up all the time.

The other thing to bear in mind is that Paladin abilities have a set number of uses. Only so many spells, smites, and Divine Bond minutes in a day, plus other considerations like Divine Bond weapons needing a standard action to activate. There's a lot to be said for an always-on, always-works bonus.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
LazarX wrote:

Fighters are also more mobile than Paladins, ultimately developing the ability to move at full speed in the heaviest of armors.

Fighters are the Wizards of combat, they are the most versatile and you can literally control a good part of a battlefield with the right build.

And their effectiveness does not depend on the nature of the enemy they face.

Actually a paladin can move at full speed in any armor starting at level 7(thanks to Effortless Armor). The same level a fighter can do this. Paladins are about the same on armor check penlty.

I think you underestimate a paladins effectiveness against nonevil creatures. A paladin still has a very powerful bonded weapon(which keeps up with weapon training for hit and damage rolls).

Against a neutral character, a fighter will have more feats while a paladin gets tons of innate tankiness, decent party buffs and healing.

Now, against an evil creature its no contest. Paladin will hit more often and for much more damage.

Effortless Armor is a nice spell, but at 1 minute/level duration it's not something that you can expect to have up all the time.

The other thing to bear in mind is that Paladin abilities have a set number of uses. Only so many spells, smites, and Divine Bond minutes in a day, plus other considerations like Divine Bond weapons needing a standard action to activate. There's a lot to be said for an always-on, always-works bonus.

True, fighters have less prep time, so it does depend on the DM. If your DM frequently surprise attacks the party, fighters will be well off. The paladin would still be significantly tankier than the fighter to make up for it though.

However, if you have some indication that combat will be happening soon, paladins are going to do roughly the same damage assuming enemies aren't evil while buffing the party, while being much harder to kill.

Liberty's Edge

From what I have learned when it comes to fighters it's best not to allow 3.5 feats. Not because I don't think 3.5. has some decent feats for a PF fighter. It's because of the two feats. Heavy armor optimization and the Greater version of the feat. Both do the same as the PF fighter class feature. The PF fighter imo has nothing unique that the class can do. compared to other melee classes. All melee class can access feats. all can hit (if built properly) to do a decent amount of damage and a decent amount of hit point. Now if they fighter had access to better version of current feats say instead of just dodge. Improved Dodge extraordinary dodge etc. Or something unique to them as a class.


The key difference between a Fighter acting on his alignment and a Paladin acting on his alignment is that a Paladin by RAI (AKA GM FIAT) must rely on his alignment in order to maintain his powers. If a Fighter acting on his alignment becomes no more different than a Paladin's activities, why should you limit yourself to being a Fighter, when a Paladin offers so much more?

Paladins will generally have more skill points, better features, ability to cast unique and powerful spells, better saves, just as much feats to spend, and they even have stuff that they can substitute/do without to make them that much better than a Fighter.

Armor Training is garbage. Paladins don't need much Dex, (that is, outside of a Physical Stat belt via Mithril Armor, and even then their features outright remove the need for Dexterity,) their ACP is quite negligible due to their special bonuses, and their inability to move is not only negated by a spell, but that spell can be easily applied with Permanency (or perhaps even through a Wondrous Item).

Weapon Training is weak. Paladins just use Smite, their damage goes way up compared to Weapon Training, their bonuses to hit, while sub-par, isn't really compromised since they have spells to counteract this.

Don't even get me started on the useless garbage that is Bravery.

Armor Mastery is pretty garbage, since DR 5/- is hardly a worthwhile amount, which means you'll get as much as 35 or so damage reduced, something a Paladin would be laughing at.

Weapon Mastery is probably the only thing a Fighter will have over a Paladin, but considering it's a Capstone and not something they will constantly have access to unlike many of the Paladin's features, this isn't really something I would consider being a part of the Fighter since 95% of games don't reach 20th level.

Bonus feats a Fighter gets is irrelevant considering the class features of the Paladin make any bonus feats a laughable matter. What feats are going to give you access to unique spells, the ability to heal yourself as a swift action, temporary weapon amplification (that synergizes quite well with your spells), and the ability to Smite? None? That's what I thought.

I can get all that, for the cost of: Armor Training (garbage), Weapon Training (weak), Armor Mastery (garbage), Weapon Mastery (good, but unlikely to have in the first place), Bonus Feats (irrelevant), and the fact that I'm subject to GM FIAT (isn't everyone)? Sign me up, because the former is garbage compared to what you get in exchange.

The Exchange Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

A fighter is given the means to not be a one trick combat character.

I have been surprised about my samurai, it puts out way more damage than it needs to. And is fun to play.

My wife's barbarian was also surprising with how freaking durable and with all the dpr she can do,along with useful combat abilities.

When I get around to a fighter I'm sure it will be just as surprising.


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I love hand-waving rants. They always add so much to a discussion. It's easy to say something is "garbage" and simply ignore it.

Fighters and paladins fill similar but slightly different roles. They can be, but are not necessarily, interchangeable. I have never seen a paladin build better than a fighter nor a fighter built better than a paladin. I have seen both classes built to fill slightly different roles better than the other. For example, I wouldn't build a mounted fighter to compete with a paladin unless I was taking Leadership. I also wouldn't build a paladin meant to be able to handle battling the forces of good better than a fighter.

Everything is campaign, player, and GM dependent and to throw around tired tropes doesn't really do anything other than clutter the boards and confuse new players who are looking to see what each class can do.

If you like a particular class, that's awesome. To pretend that your opinion is fact just because you can state it strongly is not.


And yet their resources are just as limited as any other class. Bonus feats don't offer much compared to other class features. Chances are a Fighter is left being a one trick combatant because being a two or more trick combatant means they're going to be generally weaker, to the point of uselessness.

Other classes have variant features which doesn't compromise their utility. A Fighter doesn't have this, even with the archetypes they have.


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I have spent far too much time in the past proving that wrong. I'm not going to go into builds to prove it again. It doesn't take any strong system mastery to build a competent fighter than is more than a one-trick pony. You can diversify just fine. You can hold your own in combat and be effective out of combat. You just have to know what you want to do and then do it. A paladin comes with plenty of weaknesses as well, besides having his abilities turned off by a slip of alignment, he can have the same troubles with being a one-trick pony if the player focuses too much. He can have trouble focusing on melee and ranged combat in the same build. He doesn't come with a ton of skill points (remember that you probably want Ride and Handle Animal as two of your skills and you only have 2 skill points per level like the fighter).

Paladins are a great class. They are no better or worse than a fighter of equal level.


I love the Pathfinder higher, if the other roles are being filled in a group Ill play a fighter any time I can.


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Ah...the Paladins...to this day, I have to say that the funniest character I ever made was my Lawful Good Paladin in a party full of evil characters.

Wanna know how he worked?

He basically was on a quest to redeem all of the party members and make them see the error of their ways. However, the worst part about this goal was how he went about achieving it.

For example....

A wizard who cuts off the fingers of his enemies during interrogation and feeds them to his badger familiar.

(My Paladin would be like: "Ah, I fear you must suffer for the error of your ways...my allies need your assistance...so do not be afraid...your pain is for a noble cause...now go on...break his thumb...I'm sure he will talk then.")

An alchemist who enjoys poisoning and setting his victims on fire and experiments on survivors.

(My Paladin would be like: "We must all make sacrifices in the name of science...but thankfully they will be in a better place soon.")

A rogue who slits the throats of any captive once they stop being useful

(My Paladin: "His purpose has been fulfilled, for truly the Gods will grant him mercy.")

A Rogue that organizes a gang of street urchins into a thieves and assassin's guild

(My Paladin: "Such a noble deed, giving the orphans and strays a sense of purpose...well done!")

A wizard who traps a bunch of guards behind a stone wall and suffocates them to death with Cloudkill.

(My Paladin: "BREATH DEEPLY!! AND REMEMBER TO FOLLOW THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL...MAY THE GOD'S BLESS YOU!")

A barbarian who slaughtered his way through a regiment of the king's guard to free an imprisoned party member.

(My Paladin: "Tis their own fault really. After all, when an elephant charges at you at full speed, the sensible thing to do is to step out of the way.")

A ninja who moonlighted as an assassin.

(My Paladin: "Everyone needs a hobby.")

A nobleman bard who betrayed his entire race to slavery to earn himself a place of power in the new government (Although arguably this was to avoid genocide)

(My Paladin: "I am certain his guilt must haunt him every night...and I shall pray that he finds the courage to forgive himself.")

A summoner constantly in the company of demons.

(My Paladin: "Sometimes it is important to keep a leash on evil." *as my paladin smiles and looks around at his 'vile' party members* )

A wizard who used stone shape to wrap a sleeping guard's head in rock with a tiny hole for air, starving him to death.

(My Paladin: "Truly that guard has payed for his sins.")

(Not my character, but a good friend) A Vampire Sorcerer that dominated a guard in a dungeon and used him as our personal monkey boy/trapfinder.

(My Paladin: "I am certain that the guard will feel very gratified knowing that he is helping to save the lives of myself and my allies.")

A fighter that bought a goblin slave.

(My Paladin: "Goblins might be nasty, ugly, and stupid creatures...but I'm sure he's happy on the inside.")

;)


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Elamdri wrote:
And what right does a DM have to tell me what choices my character can and cannot make in the process of playing the game? If that's the case, why don't we just go play a video game.

Entitled Player Syndrome?

You aren't playing Pathfinder (or D&D) alone in 99% of the cases, and going for an a-hole character in a party consisting mostly of Good characters (which is assumed to be the norm in most campaigns) is just begging to ruin a game unless everyone is okay with it. And by everyone I mean not only the players but the DM as well. Also, comparing something to a video game in the attempts of creating a clever insult only makes you look silly.

Silver Crusade

Duskblade wrote:
Snip

That was the funniest thing I've read in a long while.


Stome wrote:
Its hardly just Paladins. Don't forget Barbarians and Rangers. Sadly Fighters had been a NPC/dip class in 3.5 and they are not much more then that in pathfinder.

wow i totally disagree, fighters have armor training, which is not nearly as good as weapon training, plus they can build into the feat trees way earlier on at the moment not going into too many details

level 10 dwarf fighter 23 str ,+4 str from belt, inp and greater trip

i can trip giants with a roll of 5 since i have a +26 cmb, than when they fall ddown my 2 melee buddies and myself get free AOO on him/her/it. than they get up we get 3 more or he/she/it takes -4 to attack and we get +4 to hit him/her/it.

also i was able to go into the improved critical feats plus a few defensive feats so with my armor i have 34ac without using a shield. the highest ac in the group atm by +8 armor.

Star Voter 2013

Paladin is a great class but i fear that there is a lot of schodinger paladin syndrome in htis thread.

Dedicated Voter 2013

If your campaign is an undead focused one, or an evil outsider one, sure paladin probably shines more in combat situations than other martial classes. However, in other possible campaigns the bulk of opposing forces might be neutral or even good with conflicting point of view regarding religion, trade or some other point of conflict. If your opponent is not evil, the paladin loses much of his fighty advantage - he still has access to spells that can benefit his combat stats, however.

I've run campaigns of good versus good, though most are good versus neutral or neutral vs. neutral. Most campaigns I run has some evil monsters, but not all, nor even mostly evil. In such campaigns, paladins usually aren't the preferred martial choice.

This is comparable to a Ranger who never encounters Favored Enemies.

A fighter will shine in places where Favored Enemies aren't present, or against non-evil opponents.


Fighters depending on their feat trees will do just fine against the rangers favored enemies and honestly depending on dice rolls the fighter could look better, theory craft is just that.

A fighter is just as good against a hill giant as the paladin and a giant hunting ranger.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
their feats are just as plentiful as a Fighter's

... What the hell kinda Paladin/Hellknight/Anti-Paladin are YOU looking at?

A full 20th level Fighter, regardless of race, has a grand total of 21 feats to pick from, 11 of those being combat feats, and 22 if they're a Human (not counting any race gets a specific feat as a racial feature). No one class even comes CLOSE to this number of total feats except maybe Ranger, but those feats are from a pre-determined list (rather than getting to pick from the whole Combat feat category).

You wanna know why you play Fighter instead of some other class? Because with that many feats, you can wade into combat however the hell you feel like it. With the right feats, you could charge onto the battlefield dual-wielding picket fences if you wanted to.


Monk also gets a fair number of feats.


hmmm what about flaming picket fences?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Too much focus on offense and fighters against Neutrals.

Weapon Bond takes care of fights against Neutrals just fine.

On defenses, Paladin has it all over Fighter. Come on. two good saves. Cha to all saves. Immunity to fear, not a boost to a weak save. More immunities by level...immunities to stuff the Fighter is WEAK against.

AND, minor spellcasting + excellent ability to self-heal and remove problems. Heck, they have offensive ability against undead built in!

The fighter has nothing to balance out his lack of defenses and condition removal.

As for Armor Training...Mithral Armor takes care of 75% of that problem/comparison until 13th level. If the Fighter got scaling DR instead of a lump sum at 19, yeah, useful. Or if Adamantine stacked with Fighter DR, yeah, useful.

It doesn't, it's not.

The only counterbalance to the uberness of paladins IS the LG alignment. Unfortunately, it's really hard to balance an alignment requirement against mechanical imbalance...yet it's quite plain that there are a bunch of people who won't play paladins because of the LG requirement, which means it IS balancing out. That alignment restriction can be very hard to deal with in certain concepts.

==Aelryinth


You still haven't shown that paladins and anti-paladins are always the better choice compared to fighters. The claim is that fighters are always easily replaced by a superior class such as the paladin and the anti-paladin. That is not a valid claim. For every paladin build that is effective, I can throw out a fighter build that is just as effective. Not in the same ways but that would be a stupid claim to make. That's like saying that the barbarian is better than the summoner because the barbarian can rage and the summoner can't. Comparing different class abilities that are meant to do different things won't ever yield valid results.

Using the criteria given, the paladin is better than every other class simply because no other class has the same abilities. We know that's not true in actual play though so the argument becomes null and void immediately.


Aelryinth wrote:

The only counterbalance to the uberness of paladins IS the LG alignment. Unfortunately, it's really hard to balance an alignment requirement against mechanical imbalance...yet it's quite plain that there are a bunch of people who won't play paladins because of the LG requirement, which means it IS balancing out. That alignment restriction can be very hard to deal with in certain concepts.

==Aelryinth

I agree with everything you've said. Though I don't believe the LG alignment exists as a balancing feature anymore now than it did in 3E when Paladins sucked royally. I think Paladins are very well balanced, and are well balanced with the Ranger and Barbarian, aligned or not.

The Fighter has its problems and has problems when compared vs Ranger, or Barbarian as well. It's just a pretty poorly designed class that has changed very little in the last 12 years. The problem is that throwing bonus feats on an NPC-warrior just makes an NPC warrior with bonus feats. Fighters have little to nothing that is their own (what is their own comes late and is often lackluster) and are very equipment dependent for their benefits (all other classes get similar bonuses with any weapon as a Fighter does with their most extremely specialized weapon).

The Paladin, Ranger, and Barbarian are all classes that are strong and continue to be strong throughout the game. They are fairly simple, have strong defensive options, and many ways of handling problems as they arise and can adapt to situations very well.

I won't say there's no reasons to play a Fighter. I will say I believe they don't bring much to a group, and their lackluster defenses are a liability. Now with the addition of the weaponmaster archtype, Fighter is once again around for dipping.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Fairly simple question and discussion, and here's my two copper pieces on the whole matter.

** spoiler omitted **...

It really depends on what you want from a class. I agree that they are better all around though, but so are rangers IMHO.


Bob_Loblaw wrote:
You still haven't shown that paladins and anti-paladins are always the better choice compared to fighters. The claim is that fighters are always easily replaced by a superior class such as the paladin and the anti-paladin. That is not a valid claim. For every paladin build that is effective, I can throw out a fighter build that is just as effective.

Perhaps the problem is in the word effective. For many of us dealing damage is not the key to being effective, which is what Fighters excel at the most compared to other classes (and yet still manage to be rivaled by other classes). Much the same with combat maneuvers. Meanwhile, others are looking at the good damage that other martials deal, better defenses, better skill pools, and greater party-support functionality and realizing that there's more to life (and staying alive) than having Weapon Specialization.

The other classes have better saving throws. More effective hit points (barbarians actually have more hit points, but Paladin trumps all at effective HP pool unless they are just strait-out one-shot by something). More skill points (barbarian and ranger both trump Paladin). More options in combat (barbarians have great rage powers, rangers and paladins have a variety of combat-effective spells and special abilities).

Quote:
Not in the same ways but that would be a stupid claim to make. That's like saying that the barbarian is better than the summoner because the barbarian can rage and the summoner can't. Comparing different class abilities that are meant to do different things won't ever yield valid results.

The problem I see with this is that it's not a matter of having the same abilities but what one class can actually do compared to the other. If a summoner can fill in for a barbarian, then comparing barbarian to summoner is not unfair. Likewise, if a wizard feels like he can step up to the plate and try batting for team-martials then it's not unfair to compare his capability to martials like the Barbarian either.

Now in the case of Barbarian vs Wizard, it would come down to this: "Can the wizard do at least near as good as the barbarian most of the time?" And if he can, then we might consider Wizard a better martial character for the group than a barbarian (because not only could our hypothetical wizard fight almost as good as the barbarian, but he can also cast a variety of spells that can aid the party, allowing him to bring more to the group in terms of resources). Please note I'm not saying wizard actually compares this way, but if it did, then it wouldn't be an unfair comparison.

Quote:
Using the criteria given, the paladin is better than every other class simply because no other class has the same abilities. We know that's not true in actual play though so the argument becomes null and void immediately.

The problem is that the criteria you present is not the criteria that these things are typically judged by. Instead, the criteria tends to look more like this.

1) It fights really well?
2) It has good defenses?
3) It has good out of combat utility?
4) It has good problem solving capability?

Well when they see that Ranger, Barbarian, and Paladin are only behind on #1 a bit (and arguably not at all at higher levels) and utterly crush on the latter criteria, then we understand. At the end of the day it really doesn't matter how you do it as long as you do it.


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Ashiel wrote:
Perhaps the problem is in the word effective. For many of us dealing damage is not the key to being effective, which is what Fighters excel at the most compared to other classes (and yet still manage to be rivaled by other classes). Much the same with combat maneuvers. Meanwhile, others are looking at the good damage that other martials deal, better defenses, better skill pools, and greater party-support functionality and realizing that there's more to life (and staying alive) than having Weapon Specialization.

The problem has nothing to do with the word "effective." It has everything to do with the OP using hyperbole, pure opinion, virtually no facts, and generally not really wanting to even consider what the fighter might be able to accomplish. Instead, he just hand waves everything the fighter has and declares victory. That's not how an argument is made.

The paladin brings the same hit points, the same skill points (but probably wants to spend them differently), and the same Fortitude save (which I admit doesn't get nearly as much attention as Will saves even when we discount spells).

The difference is that the paladin comes with a set of predetermined abilities and the fighter doesn't (for the most part). Because of this, the paladin is designed to play differently than a fighter. They can fill similar roles but not identical ones. No paladin can be as good as a pure fighter can at both melee and ranged combat, for example. Defeating the enemy faster can mean less use of support abilities which can help save on resources for the bigger fights.

Quote:
The other classes have better saving throws. More effective hit points (barbarians actually have more hit points, but Paladin trumps all at effective HP pool unless they are just strait-out one-shot by something). More skill points (barbarian and ranger both trump Paladin). More options in combat (barbarians have great rage powers, rangers and paladins have a variety of combat-effective spells and special abilities).

The spells are limited use compared to a fighter's more consistent abilities. Yes, the spells are better, but that's because they are used less often. Note that a fighter has zero supernatural or spell-like abilities which can be a boon against creatures that want to dispel magic. The fighter can easily get a consistent boost to his attacks and damage (and a human fighter can use some of those feats with a variety of weapons). This is not a bug. It's a feature. Barbarians and rangers are meaningless in this discussion simply because the topic is about paladins, anti-paladins, and fighters.

Quote:
The problem I see with this is that it's not a matter of having the same abilities but what one class can actually do compared to the other. If a summoner can fill in for a barbarian, then comparing barbarian to summoner is not unfair. Likewise, if a wizard feels like he can step up to the plate and try batting for team-martials then it's not unfair to compare his capability to martials like the Barbarian either.

You can only compare like to like. You can't compare a paladin's lay on hands to a fighter's bravery because they don't even do similar things and that's what the OP is trying to do. You can compare smite with the weapon focus tree because they are similar enough and are meant to do similar things (increase attack and damage).

Quote:
The problem is that the criteria you present is not the criteria that these things are typically judged by. Instead, the criteria tends to look more like this.

The criteria you are using is not the same that the OP is using. There is a significant difference between them.

Quote:

1) It fights really well?

2) It has good defenses?
3) It has good out of combat utility?
4) It has good problem solving capability?

I can answer "yes" to each of those with any class. The problem comes down to how you and I want to define terms. Where I can say that the fighter is able to reduce the need for the wizard to use levitate because he can use Climb out of combat (or even in combat if needed), the definition of "out of combat" then becomes "Diplomacy and Knowledge skills." Every single conversation about the fighter's usefulness out of combat goes like this. You know it and I know it.

Quote:
Well when they see that Ranger, Barbarian, and Paladin are only behind on #1 a bit (and arguably not at all at higher levels) and utterly crush on the latter criteria, then we understand. At the end of the day it really doesn't matter how you do it as long as you do it.

They don't "utterly crush" on any criteria you've laid out. Never have. You've seen enough of my fighter builds to know that is simply a false statement.


Okay, this reminds me of the "Can Fighter Be More Than Just Fighters?" thread, so I'll just quote my post from back then:

Lemmy wrote:

I agree that a fighter can have some versatility in combat. Out of combat too, but he needs to invest a lot more than any other class if he wants to be competent at it.

But I also agree that he is probably the most boring class to play. Unfortunately there are few good feats that give him different stuff to do in combat. Hell, even his class skills are boring.

The PF nerf to combat maneuvers coupled with the stupid Int requirement for Combat Expertise (a rather useless feat) limits maneuvers for no good reason. These restrictions punish you for wanting to do something different in combat.

Personally, I don't enjoy playing fighters anymore, although I still like building them. I try and make them more diversified, getting things like Cornugon Smash and Improved Sunder to add new stuff to do in combat. I also usually try weapons like whips or nets (but not Falcatas), as they add more options rather than simply raise DPR.

I never take feats like weapon focus/specialization or EWP:Falcata unless I need them as a prerequisite. They are extremely boring feats. I want a character that has something else to do other than screaming "I FULL ATTACK" every round.

So, can you build a fighter with cool stuff to do in and out of combat? Yes. Do the rules encourage you to do that? Not really. But they do make it possible.

Paladins, Rangers and Barbarians have in-built out-of-combat versatility and problem-solving capacity; while the fighter has to spend the one resource he has (feats) to be effective and still runs the risk of spreading himself thin. Each feat he spends improving his poor out-of-obat utility is a feat he didn't spend increasing his combat effectiveness, which means the already small difference between a fighter and a Paladin/Ranger/Barbarian's DPR/AC/whatever becomes even smaller and may even completely disappear.

I like the concept behind the Fighter class. I like what it's supposed to do and I love building them, but you won't see me playing one unless they publish a really creative and kickass archetype.

Star Voter 2013

Lemmy wrote:

Paladins, Rangers and Barbarians have in-built out-of-combat versatility and problem-solving capacity; while the fighter has to spend the one resource he has (feats) to be effective and still runs the risk of spreading himself thin. Each feat he spends improving his poor out-of-obat utility is a feat he didn't spend increasing his combat effectiveness, which means the already small difference between a fighter and a Paladin/Ranger/Barbarian's DPR/AC/whatever becomes even smaller and may even completely disappear.

I like the concept behind the...

Barbarian just have 2 skill points more than fighters it is not like they are the kings of versality.

Paladins have the same skill points, they are clearly better at social skills but not much better in other regards (like knowledge skills for example)

Ranger are just better, the is nothing to argue here.


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I just find Fighters to be plain boring to play from level 1. If I can start playing a Fighter at 10+ it's not as bad, but that's never an option for me. There are quite a few reasons for that, but they all go back to the idea of feats just not being good enough to be your primary feature.

1. The overwhelming majority of feats don't grant you any new ability. So many are "get +X to this", "use that Y more times per day," or "take less penalties for doing Z." Those are pretty boring imo. A +2 to Wil is pretty much necessary for a Fighter, when do I take that boring level for instance? However, this has gotten a little better with things like the ARG race feats and things like Eldrich Heritage.

2. There are too many feats that shouldn't be a feat. Unseat and Strike Back are two big examples of this. Along the same vein, there are too many feats that are limited in what they can be combined with. Things like not being able to Vital Strike and charge or not being able to use Stand Still with a reach weapon is frustrating, and limiting.

3. Feats don't scale well. Diminishing returns from feats like TWF, feats that require reinvestment to stay relevant (Vital Strike), or abilities that require lots of feats, but become worthless later on (Trip) are issues.

4. Stupid prerequisites and annoying feat chains. This is probably the biggest reason why I hate having feats as the major class feature. I mean, Whirlwind is a really cool option, but its got all that garbage in front of it. Now they aren't all terrible feats, but a lot of times those prerequisites aren't anything that I want or even need. If I am playing a Fighter, it may take me 6 months to get all the way to the end of the Whirlwind chain. And what other interesting things am I getting from the Fighter while I am leveling towards my goal? Boring static bonuses and abilities that run counter to how I am trying to build.

Yes, Fighters get a ton of Feats, but when I have to pay taxes to get stuff I want, it doesn't feel any different than having 8 "dead levels". Magic users add insult to injury. Not only can they cherry pick their spells, but they can cherry pick their feats. Can anyone deny that Metamagic and Crafting Feats are extremely powerful? Yet, almost all of those just have caster level prereqs, if that. That's pretty much the case for all of their feats...


Nicos wrote:
Barbarian just have 2 skill points more than fighters it is not like they are the kings of versality.

I never claimed they are. Barbarians may be the most straight-foward combat class in the game. But thanks to having more skill points, better class skills, trap sense (admittedly not that useful, but still adds something to the equation), rage powers and fast movement, they can do a lot more than fighters out of combat.

Nicos wrote:
Paladins have the same skill points, they are clearly better at social skills but not much better in other regards (like knowledge skills for example)

I know commenting on social and knowledge skills is repetitive when comparing fighters, but we have to admit some skills are simply more useful (or at least used more often) than others. Paladins are also capable of buffing, healing, removing debuffs, finding hidden evil creatures, etc. Paladins may be just as limited as Fighters when it comes to skills, but their usefulness is amazingly higher.

Nicos wrote:
Ranger are just better, the is nothing to argue here.

Agreed.

Merkatz wrote:

1.I just find Fighters to be plain boring to play from level if I can start playing a Fighter at 10+ it's not as bad, but that's never an option for me. There are quite a few reasons for that, but they all go back to the idea of feats just not being good enough to be your primary feature.

1. The overwhelming majority of feats don't grant you any new ability. So many are "get +X to this", "use that Y more times per day," or "take less penalties for doing Z." Those are pretty boring imo. A +2 to Wil is pretty much necessary for a Fighter, when do I take that boring level for instance? However, this has gotten a little better with things like the ARG race feats and things like Eldrich Heritage.

2. There are too many feats that shouldn't be a feat. Unseat and Strike Back are two big examples of this. Along the same vein, there are too many feats that are limited in what they can be combined with. Things like not being able to Vital Strike and charge or not being able to use Stand Still with a reach weapon is frustrating, and limiting.

3. Feats don't scale well. Diminishing returns from feats like TWF, feats that require reinvestment to stay relevant (Vital Strike), or abilities that require lots of feats, but become worthless later on (Trip) are issues.

4. Stupid prerequisites and annoying feat chains. This is probably the biggest reason why I hate having feats as the major class feature. I mean, Whirlwind is a really cool option, but its got all that garbage in front of it. Now they aren't all terrible feats, but a lot of times those prerequisites aren't anything that I want or even need. If I am playing a Fighter, it may take me 6 months to get all the way to the end of the Whirlwind chain. And what other interesting things am I getting from the Fighter while I am leveling towards my goal? Boring static bonuses and abilities that run counter to how I am trying to build.

Yes, Fighters get a ton of Feats, but when I have to pay taxes to get stuff I want, it doesn't feel any different than having 8 "dead levels". Magic users add insult to injury. Not only can they cherry pick their spells, but they can cherry pick their feats. Can anyone deny that Metamagic and Crafting Feats are extremely powerful? Yet, almost all of those just have caster level prereqs, if that. That's pretty much the case for all of their feats...

Pretty much this.


@ Bob_Loblaw: Excuse me? To what am I spouting Hyperbole to? The Bonus feats? Because if so, you're probably right. After all, a Paladin doesn't need Bonus Feats because their class features are so much more than what any Bonus Feat (even Bonus Feat Chain) could possibly offer.

And how am I being purely opinionated, when I make such statements in regards to the RAW presented for each class? And how am I providing no facts to the whole thing? Is it required to post RAW in order to state facts now, regardless of if a subject isn't a Rules Question? I don't see a reason to quote the RAW if I don't have to, but if you really say I need to in order to prove my side (which obviously seems to be the case), then fine. I'd rather not make a chore out of something if I don't have to, but it seems you would rather I do it just to provide "acceptable" proof, since it appears you find my viewpoint of "proof" a bunch of garbage.

The Breakdown:
Weapon Training grants +1 to hit and damage with a weapon group, cumulative every so often. Big deal. Smite gives insane damage amounts that scales more cumulatively as you level. It also gives a hit bonus that rivals that of Weapon Training, and becomes surpassed with other features that synergize much better. I'm not even going to go over the whole "Bypass DR" thing, since that makes it better regardless of the other stuff.

Armor Training increases the Maximum Dexterity Bonus and reduces the Armor Check Penalty of any given armor by 1. It also allows Fighters to move their normal speed in armor once they reach certain ranks. One of the few things that a Paladin wouldn't have, but is also negligible to them since they have ways to get around it, as well as don't even really need it anyway.

Bravery grants +1 to Saves V.S. Fear. Paladins gain a bonus to all of their Saves that scales via their Primary Stat that is Charisma. Need I even say why the latter is better in this situation?

Armor Mastery gets crapped on like no tomorrow, since Paladins get just as good a form of DR, and at an earlier level.

Weapon Mastery is probably the only thing that has one up over a Paladin in both its utility as well as its unique effect. But guess what? It's Level 20 only, and how often do people reach that level to utilize its effects? Jup, pretty much nobody.

Bonus feats? Not a bad thing to get. But it's also quite weak compared to the fact that Paladins get Lay on Hands, Mercy Amplifications, a Divine Bond (for a Weapon or a Superpowered Mount that scales as you level), Immunities (in conjunction with Utility Auras), Channel Energy feature, Spells, the list goes on to a point where it makes those extra feats garbage.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

@ Bob_Loblaw: Excuse me? To what am I spouting Hyperbole to? The Bonus feats? Because if so, you're probably right. After all, a Paladin doesn't need Bonus Feats because their class features are so much more than what any Bonus Feat (even Bonus Feat Chain) could possibly offer.

And how am I being purely opinionated, when I make such statements in regards to the RAW presented for each class? And how am I providing no facts to the whole thing? Is it required to post RAW in order to state facts now, regardless of if a subject isn't a Rules Question? I don't see a reason to quote the RAW if I don't have to, but if you really say I need to in order to prove my side (which obviously seems to be the case), then fine. I'd rather not make a chore out of something if I don't have to, but it seems you would rather I do it just to provide "acceptable" proof, since it appears you find my viewpoint of "proof" a bunch of garbage.

** spoiler omitted **...

When you use words like "garbage," you are spouting hyperbole. You are making a statement of opinion, not fact, when you use that word. While you may not think it's all that great that fighters get bonus feats, I personally am not a fan of the paladin's spell list. I find a few to be good and most to be rather lack luster. That's my opinion because in the games I have played and run, most paladin spells really don't amount to being...how did you put it..." powerful spells." Some are very useful but most are mediocre at best. When was the last time you saw a paladin prepare: Bless, Bless Water, Create Water, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Poison, Detect Undead, Endure Elements, Magic Weapon, Read Magic, Resistance, or Virtue? From the Core book, there are 5 spells out of 16 that would be cast regularly for 1st level spells. Sure, the higher level spells are better but let's not pretend that paladin spells are "powerful spells" when we have full casters to look at for powerful spells.

Smite evil, while a great ability, isn't useful all the time and since you are discounting high levels, that means we can do the same for the paladin. So you aren't smiting all day long and you don't have that many spells to play with. A simple sunder on your divine bond weapon and you aren't just without the weapon, you are at a penalty to hit and damage for 30 days. If your mount dies, you suffer the same problem. The fighter has no drawback like that. He can just get another weapon or mount and call it good.

If you are mounted, your skills are pretty much going to be Ride and Handle Animal so your usefulness out of combat is about the same as the fighter's who also goes with a mount (maybe he takes Leadership or he buys an expensive and powerful mount depending on his level). If you are going to be using your divine bond for a weapon, then you can invest your 2 precious skill points a bit more diversely than before and can probably put some points in Diplomacy and something else. Of course, so can the fighter and he won't necessarily be all that far behind you if he spends his stats the same way as you.

Where you are doing better is in saves and healing. There is no doubt about that. However I would say that is just fine because the fighter can find ways to take out the enemy in different ways at different ranges and not have to worry about that as much as you may want to claim. Of course this will all depend on the enemies and the campaign but the fighter has a much better chance of taking on the enemy at 100 feet than the paladin and being a threat all the way up to melee.

I'm not going to act like the fighter doesn't have flaws. I'm well aware of what it can and can't do. I'm also not going to pretend that the paladin is a perfect class simply to placate someone who wants to rant instead of actually have a discussion on capabilities.

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