|Ross Byers Assistant Software Developer|
Sorry about that but this is not my native language and when a write fast I Make a lot of mistakes.
You are forgeting that nobody force the pally to drink. whatever that happens while drunk are his responsability. It is not just a lapse in jugment it would be a action that get repeated over and over again.
Good point. But, I think, you are describing a slightly diferent situation. You are describing a pally that is starting to get troubles with drinking, and that problmes could eventually become in a totally alcoholic behaviour.
i would be indeed a great opportunity from the roleplayng prespective to play how the pally start to losing control, making just a little mistake here, disobeing a small law all act without much importance untile the pally awakes one day to find he have lost everything...and of course the grief, the repentance and the opportunity to redemption.
Someone mentioned upthread that this could be a divine test. Perhaps looking into oracle curses could also help this out as far as mechanics go?
Whether a punishment or a test, a deity has decided that you be cursed with the love of drink to the point where it becomes another absolute facet of your structured life. At first level, the paladin is permanently sickened. At 5th level, she gains +2 to her saves against poison and enchantment effects; this increases to +4 at level 15. At 10th level, she gains immunity to the nauseated condition. This affliction cannot be removed except by intervention from the deity that imposed it, or by a miracle from a cleric of that deity; however, the sickened penalty is suppressed while the paladin uses smite evil (although this suppression lasts a maximum of one minute per level).
Any thoughts? Someone try to cut down the wordiness if you can.
I don't think that anybody wants to forgive the paladin for acts committed under the influence. I think a paladin is expected to conduct himself according to his code regardless of the situation in which he finds himself. Turns out, though, that the code does not normally have a "socially acceptable" clause.*
*There are arguments that would suggest that, as a lawful type, that the social norm is expected. I say that those expectations are the expectations of mortals, not the divine, and thereby only apply if the GM says they must.
I'm not absolving the paladin of sins he commits while drunk. If he commits an evil act while drunk, he's responsible and should fall. However, if because he drinks he's sickened, and it turns out he just wasn't good enough to save someone? That's not an evil action, and it definitely shouldn't force an alignment change.
A drunk paladin doesn't fall unless he does something that would cause a sober paladin to fall.
maybe a pally that have learned to live with his adiction and still be functionally could be posible but I have doubts about it.
where is the flaw if the drunk pally do nothing out of place? if the paladin just respect the law, aid peaople and combat evil no matter if sober or drunk, then I do see anything interesting in the concept.
And it would be rather artificial, I think real alcoholic people have autodestructive behaviors and that sooner or later hould affect the paladin.
And it would be rather artificial, I think real alcoholic people have autodestructive behaviors and that sooner or later hould affect the paladin.
As a possible alcoholic who has learned to self-regulate, I will tell you that that is a real danger for the paladin. That is also what makes him such a roleplaying opportunity - will he skirt by the whole time? Will he finally screw up too bad and fall? Or will he see the error of his ways (on time or too late with atonement)?
there was an alcoholic paladin many moons ago in forgotten realms, he had been hit with a staff of withering and had a 3 strength, eventually over came his disability and used gauntlets of ogre power to get his arms back to swinging swords (back when that item gave an 18/00 str)
I can't recall his name.
IF you can't find a way to trade out his immunity to disease, the player could play him moody and somber like steve rogers (captain america) who also can't get drunk.
The character doesn't need a condition (like a disease) to be in a bar "trying" to drown his sorrows all the time, and frustrated he can't do it, because his "curse" (being a paladin) prevents him from doing it.
Maybe he doesn't want to BE a Paladin, maybe he has a higher calling he has reluctantly answered, and every morning, he drags himself back out to fight for true, honor, justice and the Golarion way, but at night, during is down time, his depression and over whelming guilt of having slain so many in the fight for right, overwhelms him?
Well, my first post in this thread was not about the "evilness" of being drunk , my corcerns are about the "lawful" part.
The paladin is choosing to drink, even knowing that he could be unavailable to help people. For me that is non-lawful behavior from the stand point of his code.
well, it seems equally a flaw if a Paladin is an alcoholic as anybody else being an alcoholic.
I understand your argument that alcoholics are engaged in a cycle of self-destructive behavior (and totally agree), but that doesn't mean a Fall must prematurely interrupt that cycle, or that said Fall must occur very quickly... I mean, Paizo APs can happen in the course of a year or less (passing 1 thru 15th level or so), and I think many alcoholics can and have managed to 'keep it together' for that long, right?
there was once (in an older edition I havent played it before) an archetype in star wars called "failed Jedi" I played a drunk Jedi for that, very similar, seeing as Had I chose to, I could have used to force to nullify the effects of alcohol.
Maybe a Paladin can choose to lower his immunity in the way some other characters have to lower their defenses to have beneficial spells cast on them etc?
Well i think you are describing a people that is just starting to be an alcoholic in that case you are totally right.
I was talking about a fully alcoholic person in the middle of his adiction, I think that is not compatible with paladinhood.
And Btw, nop not greet, wrong continent :)
@Nicos: oh, just from your name, and since english wasn't your 1st language,
yeah, i mean if you want to specify some specific 'stage' or status of alcoholism, including doing/not doing certain things apart from the alcoholism, i can understand where you're coming from... i just didn't get that from the OP's scenario which we're discussing, they even said 'not even alcoholic, just a drunk'. if they're starting from level 1 (or after the alcoholism has recently begun), i don't see why they wouldn't just treat it at the most basic level, and develop the character's drinking/addiction as the game progresses, seeing where it goes...
overall, think playing a paladin it's a good idea to have some idea of a flaw that could POSSIBLY lead to a fall, even though it MAY not depending how it plays out... so i see this as just another case of that.
I have to agree. A developing conditions is just diferent from a full alcoholism.
While i love a morality debate as much as the next guy, and the everpresent in game and RL arguements about how culpable someone is under the influence (and their choice to become under the influence) the OP originally asked if an alcoholic paladin is going too far...
@OP - Theres nothing in the paladin code that stops a paladin drinking, being drunk or habitually being drunk. While there will be endless debate over what LG means, or the various interpretations of what it 'means' ethically and morally to be a paladin, there appears to be nothing in the rules stopping it.
The real question is what do you and your players want for the game you play? Will having a flawed, drunken paladin add a level of gritty reality and a depth of role playing, or is the player using it as a crutch to misbehave?
Talk to the player - if the concept enhances the game, go for it, regardless of the morality debate. If its going to detract from the game, dont allow it.
I know my players and why they play. If one of them asked to play a drunken paladin i'd let them in a heartbeat
Priam Agrivar is the one you're thinking of. First appeared in the first story arc of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons comic done by DC, then later appeared in the Forgotten Realms series written by Jeff Grubb (with artwork by Rags Morales). Priam was one of my favorite characters because he was an example of not being a Lawful Stupid paladin.
I was thinking "because it's based on a save and no one has better saves than a paladin", even disregarding the outright immunity.
Alcoholism isn't right he wants to play a drunken paladin
Did I read this sentence correctly? I think you mean that the player doesn't want his Paladin to have the disease "alcoholism", but rather, he wants to play a paladin who is frequently drunk.
He feels most paladins are played with a stick up they're bums and feels they should have a flaw to make them more unique.
Awesome! I totally agree. Characters in general needs lives outside of just adventuring, and drinking is an extremely common hobby.
I'd like to address a number of the statements above about the possibility of losing Paladin status. Not every morality is American, Christian, puritanical, and prohibitionist. Various real-world and Golarion deities use alcohol, sex, dance, music, and celebration of all kinds as forms of worship. Just choose a god that's OK with drinking.
I've played my current Paladin of Sarenrae up to level 11 in Kingmaker, and he's a frequent drinker and womanizer. He's exceptionally charismatic, wealthy, powerful, and as of level 3 the Paladin abilities Divine Health (immunity to all disease) and Mercy:Sickened (The negative effects of drunkenness) remove the risk of negative side effects. He spends his evening at taverns and brothels, and is well-loved by the local populous.
He's a bastard and has little bastards running around all over our capitol city, who he happily supports financially. He was treated badly by his family, and feels a moral obligation to treat his children well.
@Oops and other neigh-sayers: I'm not sure
Thank you, Rynjin.
I also agree with what you posted right above this. I won't deny that the Paladin is likely to act more Chaotic aligned simply because of his reduced inhibitions, but in my opinion a Paladin who can overcome that handicap through force of will and still do good is stronger for it.
Quandary, I know a lot of people who really do feel that way about alcoholism. I don't think it needs to be flagged (too late) because you may find the same kind of beliefs where you don't expect it. While you or I may find it perfectly acceptable in a mature setting, some people (possibly even people with whom you game...) may not.
I guess what I'm saying is that Oops' comments, while possibly representing a minority, represent a very real feeling toward alcoholism. I mentioned upthread that you would have to make sure that this character didn't upset any of the other players at the table because even if the alcy paladin and the GM were cool on the concept, it really could take away from the fum of another player.
Just a thought. Remember that an open mind must be open to those minds more closed.
EDIT: I'd also like to make the point that I am making all of these points; strictly adhering to grammar and punctuation, while drunk. This edit is for the neigh-sayers, of course.
Maybe Oops really does feel that strongly, so here's another perspective for him.
I lost my grandfather on my father's side to alcoholism. He may have given up the drink towards the end of his life, but there's no denying that it wrecked his health and shortened his life, or that he lost far too many of his years in a bottle. Watching what he went through and his requests late in his life are the reasons I don't drink anything beyond the half glass of wine on the most special of occasions. At this point I have no taste for the stuff.
So it's extremely insulting to see alcoholics demonized with a comparison as vile as the one Oops used.
I concur with Dudemeister. An alcoholic paladin most certainly can work. He might fall. He might rise above it. He might find himself going through both states and more than once. Whichever way it goes, he's got a struggle ahead of him, and that's where the roleplaying fires get started.
Life is messy. Dismissing those that life messes up leads to a very incomplete and inadequate view of the world and the people that live in it.
I don't drink. My dad is an alcoholic whose busy obliterating his last few liver cells. His typical response to everything was, 'Go to the pub' until they stopped allowing smoking, so now he goes home to drink instead. This was his response to everything from, 'You're going to be a grandfather' to 'your eldest son has a cancer that will involve removing most of his lower intestine.' So colour my view a touch tainted...
If a Paladin wants to drink, cool and shiny. Even to the point of being alcoholic. However, if a Paladin choose to drink (or is unable to muster the will to not drink) and fails, then it should probably counts as choosing to not do his task...and therefore fall.
Take this situation. The Party has rescued Princess Pineapple (Peach is in another bloody castle...again) but strange lizardmen with heavy duty natural armour are still after her. The Paladin is assigned guard duty, but gets sloshed. During the night Winged Lizardmen in shells break through the window, grab Princess Pineapple and flee while Tipsy the Paladin is snoring away or spluttering awake. If he'd been sober and awake and failed, that would be one thing...but he wasn't, and didn't even try to intervene, 'cos of the Demon Drink. So it's time to go looking for some Atonement.
If a Paladin fails purely due to alcoholism, the it's fall worthy. After all, they're meant to dedicate there lives to helping people, not seeing what's at the bottom of a bottle. If they can't help people because they're snoring off a snootful, then they aren't a Paladin.
Essentially, if being drunk cause them to fail the Help Those In Need, Protect the Innocent or Act with Honour clauses in the Paladin's Code, then the drink is not a suitable excuse. It's one thing to try and fail - it's another thing to be too drunk too try, or try and fail because you're drunk.
It's a good concept, and sounds fun to play, but it'll have to be done cautiously...and the other Party Members will likely being giving the de-powered Tipsy the Stinkeye if she was on guard duty before they all woke up in a Ogre cookpot.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, my Ranger at RotRL is going the Paladin's way.
Partying hard was a big character trait of his (even moreso in his youth, as adventuring in RotRL really leaves too little time for parties). He even has a mild houserule penalty when he enjoys himself too much.
He will soon swear his Paladin oath, which will include a specific clause on renouncing mind-altering substances. Which means he WILL fall (and lose all these nice bonuses to saves and immunities) if he ever parties too hard.
I expect some Atonement down the road.
my 2 cents.
Alcoholism is self destructive. its really negitive. i steal to maintain my habit, i lie/hurt my friends and family. i sleep around get stds. i get into bar fight. i stick a hand crossbow to my head and wonder why i dont pull the trigger.
^ if this is your paladen buddy, i dont think he has his powers and i dont think he would care.
In addition to the Priam Agrivar example, there was an NPC from the Monte Cook written Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil named Xaod the Slayer. He was a 4th-level paladin of Heironeous and "a bit of a drunkard." He was also the one character my players remember out of all the other helpful NPCs in the adventure. The idea that a paladin could have a drinking problem was very alien to them and it served to humanize the character. His death was one of the most memorable and heart-wrenching moments in the campaign.
He was killed by Chatrilon Unosh, a rogue 5/assassin 1, who had inserted himself in the party and turned on them at the moathouse just as they learned about the cultists.
I focused on the "good" portion of his alignment more than the "lawful" when running him, playing him as a man with a purpose to do his god's will, but not able to fully recognize what needed to be done.
He became a drinking buddy with the ranger in the party (who really took Xaod's death hard). And through that relationship, he decided that his best chance at doing his duty was to help the PCs accomplish their mission. The PCs liked him because there was some grit to this paladin. He was like the private detective in a noir film: weary, a bit cynical, and close to burnout, but ultimately a good and decent man in a corrupt village.
That may be the best way to handle playing that kind of character.
I don't have much to add to this thread since my previous post, but I think you're wrong here.
First, alcoholics are not "idiots who can't control hw much they drink". Alcoholism is a disease; while it may be preventable, it's pretty insulting to dismiss all alcoholics as "idiots", and I think you should probably learn more about the disease in case someone you love is ever an alcoholic.
Second, even if the gods wouldn't give paladin powers to an alcoholic, why would you think that a paladin couldn't become an alcoholic later on? Paladins, presumably, have to deal with all sorts of terrible things, and many people who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder from seeing people do terrible things to each other look for solace in a bottle.
At any rate, dealing with a flaw like alcoholism could make a really interesting character, and it would probably serve to make the character even more heroic.
I would be sorely tempted to either use some house rules to allow the paladin to be devouted to Cayden Cailean, and alter some paladin powers reflect NG or CG instead of LG, or to try and convince this character to play a Battly Mystery Oracle instead, and just call himself a paladin of Cayden Cailean. The god choice emphasizes the better aspects of the "demon drink", while providing the temptation to over due it and fall from grace.
Not every morality is American, Christian, puritanical, and prohibitionist.
And I'd add "early 21st century" to that list. Even going back to the mid-20th century, a lot of courageous, admired men who did stuff like win WW2 would be regarded as alcoholics today. Winston Churchill for one. And probably a non-negligible number of guys who won the Victoria Cross, Medal of Honor, etc. In many social milieus of that era, daily inebriation was common. And yet, people behaved in ways we would regard as lawful and good.
Is the paladin able to function and fulfill his duties even with his alcoholism?
If the answer is affirmative then the paladin should not have problems, whatever he do with his free time that do not interfere with his duties should not have an impact in his status as a paladin.
As an interesting take on an Drunk Paladin think about what drinking normally does. It releases inhibitions. This does not always mean someone will do evil. An evil person will do evil without thought. a loving person will be hugging everyone. Angry people will take it out in a bar fight. and so on. Alignments give you a clue to a person's true nature. being drunk will just bring it out into the open. amplify it.
Can you imagine a paladin. they are already high strung and have a very hard line on what is right and wrong. with drink it would amplify. he would become judge dredd going after jay walkers or anyone that so much as glanced at the tavern wench wrong. He would get into a lot of fights over people breaking the law.
A paladin will normally hold his tongue and try to keep the piece or deal with situation in a peaceful maner usually. drunk the paladin won't hold back. I can imagine him storming into the kings chamber and telling him exactly how corrupt he is.
Drunk i would allow as a GM but make sure he plays it lawful good. It could be played the opposite of how he normally is. You might want him to come up with 3 things he does sober and how they change when he is drunk.
it doesn't need to be 3 things but it gives you an idea of what he could play different.
I think it could be a lot of fun and change things up. Could make some encounters more interesting when they defeat the guards and there is a cast of ale that he gets his hands on while the rest of the party is trying to sneak in.
Great Flaw. I wouldn't see the gods being angry unless he went outside his alignment.
As for disease i wouldn't classify it as one in game terms. Disease in the game deals with some kind of micro-organism/parasite infestation. So I don't think he would get any more resistance from drink as he went up in level. But in the end as the GM it is up to you if you want to use the immunity to kill the drinking. an option if you later decide it is interfering with the game.
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