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Fall or Not - Opinions on the actions of a Paladin


Advice

101 to 150 of 283 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>

Back on for a bit:

seto83 wrote:
How did apl 6 party best a graveknight?

It was a CR 7 Graveknight for one, it is a template after all. They had the means to get past the DR, the Samurai crit on his opening blow. A few rounds later it was all she wrote.

RumpinRufus wrote:

Why not take them prisoner? I simply can't understand how "Burn them all!" was the go-to option. They won't do any harm to anyone if they're tied up.

Even assuming they have no way to break the dominate spell, they'd still only be dominated for about a week, during which time they can be kept safe in a dungeon. Killing them all seems like a ridiculously terrible option.

Is there something we're missing about why it would have been impossible to restrain these people instead of slaughtering them?

The crux of that problem was they were afraid of him comming back(with a graveknight) and they were in the church of a small village, in a nation besieged with undead.

Just arriving in the town involved charging through hordes of skeletons and zombies, and they lost a carriage in the process. They doubted they could do so with 20 some commoners, especially when they were dominated already. Locking them up, still wouldn't have solved the issue of them knowing too much. And ultimately, they were still scared outta their boots and acted poorly.

Also, someone mentioned dispelling a Vampire's Dominate; By RAW you can't. It's a Supernatural ability's effect and thus can't be dispelled.

psychicmachinery wrote:
I just want to add that the deity of the church where the mass murder by immolation took place should definitely be sending divine agents after your PC's to administer justice, retribution, punishment or whatever is appropriate based on its portfolio. If this was a church of Pharasma I would completely strip your cleric off all channeling, spells and domain abilities.

It was a church of Pharasma; but it was really a multi-denominational church, that primarily worshiped Pharasma but also contained several small shrines for several gods worshiped in the small village.

Edited for Ninja or Clarity.


Darth Grall wrote:

The crux of that problem was they were afraid of him comming back(with a graveknight) and they were in the church of a small village, in a nation besieged with undead.

Just arriving in the town involved charging through hordes of skeletons and zombies, and they lost a carriage in the process. They doubted they could do so with 20 some commoners, especially when they were dominated already. Locking them up, still wouldn't have solved the issue of them knowing too much. And ultimately, they were still scared outta their boots and acted poorly.

So the answer is no, there is NO reason why they couldn't have taken them prisoner. If they were afraid the vampire would come back and get some information from them... gag them. If the vampire comes back and tries to remove the gags, fight it.

They murdered 20 innocent civilians purely because they were too cowardly to fight. I've never heard of an action that's more worthy of an alignment change.


Long thread, only read the first page, but my two cents on the OP's problem:

The Paladin gets a pass on the "no better option" clause that alignment should be played with. Between futile suicide by vampire and futile suicide by PVPing with a post-APG spike damage specialist the only productive thing he could do was wait and report his companions' perfidy to the legitimate authorities at a later date. A date that hasn't been reached yet.

The Samurai gets a pass because the player had to leave and shouldn't have his character ruined for not knowing the person he was leaving it in the hands of was a coward.

Everyone else is in trouble. That may mean the Paladin player is rolling up a replacement, but it shouldn't be because he's an ex-paladin but because some of his companions moved into an alignment he's prohibited from adventuring with. Unless you want to run an evil campaign, though, the murderers should be NPCs for falling into a general PC prohibited alignment.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If I was GMing this debacle, at about the time the PCs were murdering the innocents, I would have called a timeout.

Rewind back to the beginning of the encounter, with everyone huddling in the church. The paladin hears a whisper in his ear that he's pretty sure is from his god--

"That was a vision of what happens when good men do nothing..."

...and let the players take a do-over.


Atarlost wrote:

Long thread, only read the first page, but my two cents on the OP's problem:

The Paladin gets a pass on the "no better option" clause that alignment should be played with. Between futile suicide by vampire and futile suicide by PVPing with a post-APG spike damage specialist the only productive thing he could do was wait and report his companions' perfidy to the legitimate authorities at a later date. A date that hasn't been reached yet.

The Samurai gets a pass because the player had to leave and shouldn't have his character ruined for not knowing the person he was leaving it in the hands of was a coward.

Everyone else is in trouble. That may mean the Paladin player is rolling up a replacement, but it shouldn't be because he's an ex-paladin but because some of his companions moved into an alignment he's prohibited from adventuring with. Unless you want to run an evil campaign, though, the murderers should be NPCs for falling into a general PC prohibited alignment.

Really? Its a paladins duty to stay the face of evil and protect the weak and defenseless. If that means you make the ultimate sacriface then so be it. If you rp a paladin properly he would never stand for this, and certainly not cooking villagers. You should punish him ooc ie he isnt ever allowed to play a paladin until he understands them. Theres is no free pass for no better option bs.


seto83 wrote:
You should punish him ooc ie he isnt ever allowed to play a paladin until he understands them. Theres is no free pass for no better option bs.

If you believe in punishing people for failing to solve unsolvable alignment conundrums you have no business GMing a non-evil game.

All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to get killed. That's rather a greater triumph for evil than good men waiting until they can contact enough other good men to actually do something effective about evil.


seto83 wrote:
Really? Its a paladins duty to stay the face of evil and protect the weak and defenseless. If that means you make the ultimate sacriface then so be it. If you rp a paladin properly he would never stand for this, and certainly not cooking villagers. You should punish him ooc ie he isnt ever allowed to play a paladin until he understands them. Theres is no free pass for no better option bs.

Paladins are allowed to retreat in the short term. That happens in Order of the Stick, which I'm pretty sure is considered RAW.


Atarlost wrote:
unsolvable alignment conundrums

There was absolutely nothing unsolvable about this. The characters chose poorly (and evilly), and should have to live up to the consequences of their choices.


Sorry, while I do agree that Paladins aren't required to be Lawful Stupid (with strong Good tendencies) to maintain their class/alignment, in this particular instance, I'd say anyone roleplaying a Paladin of ANY level that's true to his (or her) cause and vows would have thrown themselves against the Vampire regardless of the futility of it all. If nothing else they'd be trying to buy time for the villagers (or their friends/companions) to escape with their lives. There are few Paladin-like virtues higher than the genuinely heroic sacrifice, and in this case it would have been wholly justified.

So yeah...I'd have stripped this Paladin of their powers as soon as they decided "They're too high level, I'd just be committing suicide, so I'm just gonna sit here and seethe." A true Paladin would say "I'm going to die, but I'm going to give my all to make sure I sell my life dearly, and if even one life is saved due to my actions, then it will be worth it." In short, it was time for a "Boromir's Last Stand" moment.

I wouldn't say the situation was inherently a bad one from the DM perspective, but the player's actions compounded with how the DM played it out to make it...a bad situation all around. I would agree that a "do over" would be warranted -if- the players are amenable. If they like how things stand, make it clear that there will likely be IC consequences for it, up to and including alignment change and loss of powers.

As a DM, if I had a Pally player attack said vampire solo, there are a multitude of ways to handle the situation. If the player is mature enough to accept that these actions will likely result in him having to make a new character for the next session, then so be it, but let him or her have their moment of heroic glory and make the sacrifice worth something. This could even become a major plot point for the rest of the party (particularly good-aligned members) as they are struck with their failure to support their (presumably) friend and comrade when they immediately resorted to a cowardly retreat.

If you want to keep the Pally around (or they're NOT mature enough to handle losing their character...which seems like it may well be the case here), then a little (stat-boosting) divine intervention would likely not be out of place to make it a suddenly-even (or at least more even) fight, and give the players a fun gaming memory of the time that Vampire suddenly got a serious case of the "Oh Crap!" when someone they thought they could steamroll was suddenly kicking their arse. Or you could have the Vampire steamroll them, but spare their lives for not being "worth their time." Not necessarily as much fun for the players, but it successfully avoids punishing them for being true to their character.


No I just feel if someone choose to take upon the mantal of paladinhood they should understand what that means, and this player clearly does not. Therefore until he shows this he would no longer have that option in my world.


> "I don't believe paladins are required to be Lawful Stupid"
> "I believe paladins are required to make futile heroic sacrifices"

K.

Shadow Lodge

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A paladin doesn't need to sacrifice herself if the only result is her being dead. That's the epitome of the Stupid alignment.


YES. YES, the Paladin should fall. There were SEVERAL situations where he, by his actions, could have prevented the death of innocents.

My mind boggles that this is even a question.


Roberta Yang wrote:

> "I don't believe paladins are required to be Lawful Stupid"

> "I believe paladins are required to make futile heroic sacrifices"

K.

Perhaps context is a difficult concept for you to grasp, so let me explain for you again:

If it were a situation of "Vampire shows up in a room that only contains the Paladin's companions and the companions immediately flee," There's no reason the Paladin shouldn't flee as well.

In this situation of "Vampire shows up in a room filled with innocent people + the Pally's companions, and the companions flee," then yes...a potential heroic sacrifice is very well called-for. In this instance, it is a genuine heroic sacrifice. THe presence of a few dozen innocent villagers makes all the difference. Not to mention the "DM Fiat" aspect that the situation immediately takes on. If you're a strictly RAW, Dice-rule-all kind of player, then yeah, it's probably futile. Most DMs and players aren't, though.

I mean, maybe trying to stay in character and save lives is "stupid" and "futile" for you, but in that case, I doubt you'd ever properly play a Paladin anyway. The alignment and code of behavior are the balancing aspect of the character class. If you don't like it? Don't play 'em.

Serum wrote:
A paladin doesn't need to sacrifice herself if the only result is her being dead. That's the epitome of the Stupid alignment.

And what if the potential result is that several innocent lives are spared?

Shadow Lodge

Jmacq1 wrote:
Roberta Yang wrote:

> "I don't believe paladins are required to be Lawful Stupid"

> "I believe paladins are required to make futile heroic sacrifices"

K.

Perhaps context is a difficult concept for you to grasp, so let me explain for you again:

If it were a situation of "Vampire shows up in a room that only contains the Paladin's companions and the companions immediately flee," There's no reason the Paladin shouldn't flee as well.

In this situation of "Vampire shows up in a room filled with innocent people + the Pally's companions, and the companions flee," then yes...a potential heroic sacrifice is very well called-for. In this instance, it is a genuine heroic sacrifice. THe presence of a few dozen innocent villagers makes all the difference. Not to mention the "DM Fiat" aspect that the situation immediately takes on. If you're a strictly RAW, Dice-rule-all kind of player, then yeah, it's probably futile. Most DMs and players aren't, though.

I mean, maybe trying to stay in character and save lives is "stupid" and "futile" for you, but in that case, I doubt you'd ever properly play a Paladin anyway. The alignment and code of behavior are the balancing aspect of the character class. If you don't like it? Don't play 'em.

Attacking the villain in a heroic sacrificial effort would just have resulted in the paladin's death, and followed quickly by dead villagers. You aren't "protecting innocents" by dying.

Just because one paladin would sacrifice himself futilely with no gain doesn't mean all paladins should. The largest problem I see with the people in these threads who state "what a paladin must do" is that they seem to desire that every paladin is a carbon-copy of what their theoretical paladin would do. No other viewpoints are acceptable.


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I... kind of want to know the story from the player's POV.

Because this could be a matter of, "I felt my character behaved appropriately, because [reasons]..." OR it could be a matter of, "You know, everyone ran and I had no idea what to do and my brain kind of froze, and by the time the party was setting children on fire I just gave up, because I just couldn't even."

(Did the people resist?)

Not saying the character shouldn't face consequences but I just wonder if a little benefit of the doubt ought to be given before a final verdict is determined.

In fact, I wonder if a tete a tete with the party OOC is called for -- it sounds like things spiralled into crazyland fast, and maybe the GM and players need to discuss what THEY think happened and what THEY think the consequences should be. After all, they probably have a much better idea of what went down and why what happened did than we do.

But if the GM decides to make the paladin fall for her inaction, then the rest of the party ALSO needs to face the consequences of their mass murder of innocents. They may not have as many mechanical consequences, although the cleric and monk may well do, there should also be in game consequences to EVERYONE's actions, not just the paladin's. Indeed, the paladin staying to try and figure out how to stop the vampire--even if she utterly had no clue what to do in the end--gives her some points.

Another thing is if things got this crazy in one of my games, and I realized a character's inaction was out of player brain freeze, I might have their PC make an Intelligence check, which upon success, could clue them in to some alternatives. I.e., "I got a 10." "You recall you have a massive amount of holy water. Perhaps there's something you can do with that...?"


Serum wrote:
Jmacq1 wrote:
Roberta Yang wrote:

> "I don't believe paladins are required to be Lawful Stupid"

> "I believe paladins are required to make futile heroic sacrifices"

K.

Perhaps context is a difficult concept for you to grasp, so let me explain for you again:

If it were a situation of "Vampire shows up in a room that only contains the Paladin's companions and the companions immediately flee," There's no reason the Paladin shouldn't flee as well.

In this situation of "Vampire shows up in a room filled with innocent people + the Pally's companions, and the companions flee," then yes...a potential heroic sacrifice is very well called-for. In this instance, it is a genuine heroic sacrifice. THe presence of a few dozen innocent villagers makes all the difference. Not to mention the "DM Fiat" aspect that the situation immediately takes on. If you're a strictly RAW, Dice-rule-all kind of player, then yeah, it's probably futile. Most DMs and players aren't, though.

I mean, maybe trying to stay in character and save lives is "stupid" and "futile" for you, but in that case, I doubt you'd ever properly play a Paladin anyway. The alignment and code of behavior are the balancing aspect of the character class. If you don't like it? Don't play 'em.

Attacking the villain in a heroic sacrificial effort would just have resulted in the paladin's death, and followed quickly by dead villagers. You aren't "protecting innocents" by dying.

Unless they get away while you're fighting. Unless the Dungeon Master chooses to play the situation out differently. Unless the Paladin gets some lucky dice rolls.

I mean, it's not like selflessness is a big tenet of the Paladin codes or anything right? Oh wait....

Have you only roleplayed with ironclad "RAW" Dungeon Masters? If so, I feel very sorry for you. If I wanted to play a game where the only thing that matters are dice rolls, I'd play Yahtzee.

Then again, if you DID play with a RAW-only DM, you'd be forced to agree that I'm right, since y'know, that whole selflessness bit is right there in the rulebooks.

Shadow Lodge

Jmacq1 wrote:

Unless they get away while you're fighting. Unless the Dungeon Master chooses to play the situation out differently. Unless the Paladin gets some lucky dice rolls.

Have you only roleplayed with ironclad "RAW" Dungeon Masters? If so, I feel very sorry for you. If I wanted to play a game where the only thing that matters is dice rolls, I'd play Yahtzee.

The villagers were dominated. They weren't going anywhere except into the prismatic wall.


Serum wrote:
Jmacq1 wrote:

Unless they get away while you're fighting. Unless the Dungeon Master chooses to play the situation out differently. Unless the Paladin gets some lucky dice rolls.

Have you only roleplayed with ironclad "RAW" Dungeon Masters? If so, I feel very sorry for you. If I wanted to play a game where the only thing that matters is dice rolls, I'd play Yahtzee.

The villagers were dominated. They weren't going anywhere. In fact, it's possible the Vampire could even have used a couple as meat shields while still sending others into the prismatic wall.

Sure. He "could have." But I guess in your games the DM doesn't have any control over how situations play out? Doesn't reward players staying true to what their characters should be?

If you don't like the standards Paladins are flat-out described as being held to, then don't play them, and don't allow them in your campaigns (or tailor them so their codes are not so strict if that's your preference).

At a bare minimum, just standing around and seething in this particular situation sure as heck isn't remotely close to "Paladin-like" behavior. Especially when it seems to stem more from a player's concern over his character than a character's concern for themselves. I would even accept "fleeing" as acceptable in this instance if it were in an attempt to rally his companions to get back in there and fight it out, but just standing there being angry? Nope, not gonna keep all your fancy powers and bonuses when IIRC it flat-out states that "allowing evil through inaction" can "ding" a Paladin too.


A paladin must respect the sanctity of life. If a paladin gets themselves killed needlessly at my table, they've failed to do that and lose all paladin powers. Plus, by making futile gestures instead of acting intelligently to actually achieve results, they have squandered the gift of their gods.

This isn't a matter of die rolls, it's a matter of "welp, it's the big villain and all eight of my comrades have suddenly ceased to be useful combatants, clearly this is not a smart time to force a showdown".

And no, "you should trust the GM to change the rules of the universe and have all the NPCs act as stupid as you so that you don't get yourself killed when you make your futile gesture" is not a good argument on any level.

Shadow Lodge

Jmacq1 wrote:
Roberta Yang wrote:

> "I don't believe paladins are required to be Lawful Stupid"

> "I believe paladins are required to make futile heroic sacrifices"

K.

Perhaps context is a difficult concept for you to grasp, so let me explain for you again:

If it were a situation of "Vampire shows up in a room that only contains the Paladin's companions and the companions immediately flee," There's no reason the Paladin shouldn't flee as well.

In this situation of "Vampire shows up in a room filled with innocent people + the Pally's companions, and the companions flee," then yes...a potential heroic sacrifice is very well called-for. In this instance, it is a genuine heroic sacrifice. THe presence of a few dozen innocent villagers makes all the difference. Not to mention the "DM Fiat" aspect that the situation immediately takes on. If you're a strictly RAW, Dice-rule-all kind of player, then yeah, it's probably futile. Most DMs and players aren't, though.

I mean, maybe trying to stay in character and save lives is "stupid" and "futile" for you, but in that case, I doubt you'd ever properly play a Paladin anyway. The alignment and code of behavior are the balancing aspect of the character class. If you don't like it? Don't play 'em.

First of all, there's no call for rude personal attacks. It does nothing but demean you and argument.

Second of all, I really don't think you could ever get a group of, say, three people to agree on how a character should "properly" be played, even if that character were a paladin. Just because they have alignment restrictions and a code of conduct doesn't mean they can't have personalities. (I believe someone mentioned Order of the Stick? Plenty of paladins with personality there.) I would think it perfectly in character for the paladin to grit their teeth and wait for something to happen so that the valiant, reckless, suicidal charge can mean something more than a few seconds of life for the villagers. The party returning, or the vamp getting distracted, or something.

Making a heroic sacrifice when nothing will change as a result trends into Lawful Stupid territory for me. Personally, I think it's pretty damn heroic that he stayed there at all when the vamp could kill him no problem.


Serum wrote:
Jmacq1 wrote:
Roberta Yang wrote:

> "I don't believe paladins are required to be Lawful Stupid"

> "I believe paladins are required to make futile heroic sacrifices"

K.

Perhaps context is a difficult concept for you to grasp, so let me explain for you again:

If it were a situation of "Vampire shows up in a room that only contains the Paladin's companions and the companions immediately flee," There's no reason the Paladin shouldn't flee as well.

In this situation of "Vampire shows up in a room filled with innocent people + the Pally's companions, and the companions flee," then yes...a potential heroic sacrifice is very well called-for. In this instance, it is a genuine heroic sacrifice. THe presence of a few dozen innocent villagers makes all the difference. Not to mention the "DM Fiat" aspect that the situation immediately takes on. If you're a strictly RAW, Dice-rule-all kind of player, then yeah, it's probably futile. Most DMs and players aren't, though.

I mean, maybe trying to stay in character and save lives is "stupid" and "futile" for you, but in that case, I doubt you'd ever properly play a Paladin anyway. The alignment and code of behavior are the balancing aspect of the character class. If you don't like it? Don't play 'em.

Attacking the villain in a heroic sacrificial effort would just have resulted in the paladin's death, and followed quickly by dead villagers. You aren't "protecting innocents" by dying.

Just because one paladin would sacrifice himself futilely with no gain doesn't mean all paladins should. The largest problem I see with the people in these threads who state "what a paladin must do" is that they seem to desire that every paladin is a carbon-copy of what their theoretical paladin would do. No other viewpoints are acceptable.

How would the paladin know this?

Did he pull out his book of Vampires stats, read over it, and conclude that as a level 4 paladin he wasn't capable of taking on this CR 8 vampire?


Eight people out of a party of nine either fled or were left incapacitated by fear.

You tell me whether that sounds like something you can totally solo.


Dominated villagers does not excuse everyone BUT the paladin for their actions in your scenario.

The samurai chose a wholly dishonorable path; the cleric murdered innocents in her own church to cover a crime; the monk similarly murdered innocent people which is likely against the law of the land. Each of these characters deserve to be stripped of their abilities, not just the paladin.

That said, and as this is the advice forum...

Now, I don't know your group, but I fear you may be unintentionally bullying both the paladin character and the player.

The situation you placed the character in could easily be construed as hopeless and you should never assume what you think is obvious will also be readily apparent to the player. The situation was made invariably worse when their companions abandoned them and you continued the encounter even though it had already left your intended goal of "thinning their NPCs."

As for the player, you may have positioned them against their peers at the table. I'm not surprised the player shut down if this were the case. There are few, even among experienced gamers, who have the robust diplomatic and debating personal skills to talk a group out of a mob action such as the one that took place in your game.

Shadow Lodge

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Besides, it's not as if the paladin was "seething mad" and doing nothing at all. For one, he actively tried to stop people from walking into the prismatic wall and failed.

Are paladins supposed to immediately fall when they feel overwhelmed?


Sesharan wrote:
Jmacq1 wrote:
Roberta Yang wrote:

> "I don't believe paladins are required to be Lawful Stupid"

> "I believe paladins are required to make futile heroic sacrifices"

K.

Perhaps context is a difficult concept for you to grasp, so let me explain for you again:

If it were a situation of "Vampire shows up in a room that only contains the Paladin's companions and the companions immediately flee," There's no reason the Paladin shouldn't flee as well.

In this situation of "Vampire shows up in a room filled with innocent people + the Pally's companions, and the companions flee," then yes...a potential heroic sacrifice is very well called-for. In this instance, it is a genuine heroic sacrifice. THe presence of a few dozen innocent villagers makes all the difference. Not to mention the "DM Fiat" aspect that the situation immediately takes on. If you're a strictly RAW, Dice-rule-all kind of player, then yeah, it's probably futile. Most DMs and players aren't, though.

I mean, maybe trying to stay in character and save lives is "stupid" and "futile" for you, but in that case, I doubt you'd ever properly play a Paladin anyway. The alignment and code of behavior are the balancing aspect of the character class. If you don't like it? Don't play 'em.

First of all, there's no call for rude personal attacks. It does nothing but demean you and argument.

Second of all, I really don't think you could ever get a group of, say, three people to agree on how a character should "properly" be played, even if that character were a paladin. Just because they have alignment restrictions and a code of conduct doesn't mean they can't have personalities. (I believe someone mentioned Order of the Stick? Plenty of paladins with personality there.) I would think it perfectly in character for the paladin to grit their teeth and wait for something to happen so that the valiant, reckless, suicidal charge can mean something more than a few seconds of life for the villagers. The...

Sorry, I replied to snark with snark. I'll try to keep a better rein on that. My apologies in particular to Roberta and Serum.

I think the fundamental difference here is that some folks are taking it for granted that it was guaranteed, 100 percent, no-matter-what that the Paladin would have died to no effect in the scenario if they attacked the Vampire. It seems some have decided that there's absolutely no way that such an action could have made any difference whatsoever. I take issue with that notion, and admittedly it's from my own perspective as both a player and Dungeon Master, and from having a tendency (and having had players with a tendency) to get some amazing "clutch" die rolls on a frighteningly frequent basis. That, and the OP already noted that they had made adjustments to weaken the opponent after the other characters fled and/or got some lousy dice rolls, implying that they DO in fact exercise DM fiat in situations like this.

From a mechanical perspective, the code of behavior is the only balancing factor that the Paladin really has as a class. If that code is so lax as to allow the Paladin to run away anytime anything bigger and badder shows up because it's the intelligent thing to do, what's the point? To my mind, the Paladin is the one that stands on the bridge while the others get away. They're the one that takes that last shot even if it probably won't do anything, because -not- trying is surrendering to despair when you're supposed to be a beacon of hope.

To me, these are moments for excellent roleplaying of an archetype that is supposed to be the epitome of heroism. That doesn't mean they're devoid of personality or "all alike" but yes, they absolutely share many fundamental similarities, and selflessness is a huge part of that.

These are my opinions, and I stand by them. If you believe they force the character to be "stupid" then you are entitled to that opinion, and I will not argue it further. What you (and your DMs) do with your characters and your campaigns is entirely up to you, and as long as everyone's having fun, it's all good.

Shadow Lodge

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Vampires are well-known for being powerful evil creatures and the paladin got a strong Detect Evil reading, indicating its rough power. So yes, it's reasonable for her to guess that attacking it one-on-one would be suicidal.

The paladin was in a room full of Dominated people. She might have been able to "buy time" with a heroic sacrifice, but if the Dominated people were unable to flee during that time it would take a Deux ex Machina to make it actually worth it. And if the situation had changed (such as the cleric realizing she'd better help out) the paladin would have done more good alive than dead. And she wasn't just stewing - she did try to restrain the villagers.

RumpinRufus wrote:
Darth Grall wrote:

The crux of that problem was they were afraid of him comming back(with a graveknight) and they were in the church of a small village, in a nation besieged with undead.

Just arriving in the town involved charging through hordes of skeletons and zombies, and they lost a carriage in the process. They doubted they could do so with 20 some commoners, especially when they were dominated already. Locking them up, still wouldn't have solved the issue of them knowing too much. And ultimately, they were still scared outta their boots and acted poorly.

So the answer is no, there is NO reason why they couldn't have taken them prisoner. If they were afraid the vampire would come back and get some information from them... gag them. If the vampire comes back and tries to remove the gags, fight it.

Except from what I gather, in order to foil the vampire's long-term evil plan the party needed to leave the village and go someplace else. So if the vampire came back, there would be no opportunity to fight him. They would be leaving the dominated villagers at his mercy. I still don't think that burning them alive was the right call, but I can see how a freaked-out person could decide that it was better to kill them all than to have them turned into undead under the vampire's control.

Never underestimate the power of panic. I've seen a party of 12th level characters unload everything they had - consumable items, high-level spells, limited-use abilities - onto a CR 4 attic whisperer because they were scared and thought it was nastier than it actually was. If the DM set the right tone, they could easily have panicked at the vampire. This is why a DM plan B is important. Players are unpredictable. You never know when they might do something unexpectedly stupid, smart, heroic, or unheroic, and throw everything into disarray. That said, the party had fun so you must have handled it just fine. As for the aftermath...

The party done messed up. They did cowardly, stupid, and ultimately evil things. If they want to be heroes they need to shape up, and that needs to be made clear to all of them. There's lots of good ideas for that in this thread. The goal is to address the character implications in a realistic way without being overly punitive. OP, it sounds like you have a good handle on that. OOC discussion might not be a bad idea, either, if you think the players might have a different perspective on events than you did.

Everyone should be held responsible for their actions, but the paladin and cleric especially so because they have clear moral and religious codes that hold them to an additional standard of behavior. The ronin normally ought to be shamed for cowardice, even if it's not a specific part of his code, but the player wasn't in control at that point so that's grounds for leniency.

Again, hearing more of the situation I'm inclined to trust the OP/DM to handle this, especially given the range of advice and suggestions offered here.


Lol and lvl four paladin with a little luck can take a cr eight vamp that's what the are built to do, and if the samurai has a + 2 keen katana I could only imagine what the pally has.


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Darth Grall wrote:

Okay, back up and awake after doing my morning rounds. A few things:

-I really like the non-mechanical ideas you've guys thrown out there as to how to make the consequences of their actions stick. Between the Vampire spreading word of their failure, PTSD for their actions, the literal ghosts of their villagers selves haunting them, and relieving the events to given a chance at redemption... I think I will definitely be able to sort out something cool for all the players.
-As for the Cleric, yeah hammers gonna come down hard on her. I was annoyed by the player's actions and given their god's disposition I think that they will likely be stripped of their powers worse than the Paladin will.
-On that point, you guys have convinced me to punish the Pali, but again I don't know if a complete fall is appropriate. She at least tried to fight. She DID try to stop them from jumping into the prismatic wall but she's a Gnome & couldn't even grapple them well. She also did NOT approve of them burning everyone to death, she was just outvoted and frankly overwhelmed at this point. I'm thinking, in addition to the above ideas, I will partially strip her of her powers upon meeting with her an agent of their deity, who will express their disaproval but offer a means of redemption(ie, killing the Vamp & freeing this nation attacked by undead).
-As of the negative levels thing, there were 2 dhampir's in the party, the NPC & the Wizard. They wouldn't have been too penalized by fighting the vamp, sine they're essentially immune to negative levels till they get killed by them.

And lastly thanks to those who defended me in my absence, it's appreciated.

Wow, ok. This is a great opportunity as well as a wtf were you thinking moment.

No where in this thread have i seen anyone mention this; subdual damage. The pally could have tried to subdual shield bash the dominated villagers. Even as a small fry, she would prolly be knocking them out in a hit.

Does the pally have a good Cha? Diplomacy? She could have called on the villagers, "People of Orletemburnya, rise up and fight for your souls, gather holy water and cleanse this vile taint, brandish flame and burn him from your sacred domicile. Fight with me and your soul will find peace." There, 20+ villagers minus dominated ones to assist. Sure they might not equate to much, but it gives you some cannon fodder to use your attacks on while the pally fights the vamp with every fiber of her being.

Based on the bold info above, DO NOT punish the Pally with fallen, at best give her a slap on the hand for not stopping the players from burning the people, but at least she verbally spoke up against it. Now depending on if you have any in party pvp rules, that will determine if she even gets a slap. The only real thing she did wrong is let the villagers burn, but if no pvp is allowed, then there is nothing she could do, and therefore really didnt do anything wrong in her inactivity.

The cleric of Pharsma though, to me she was the worst by far. Based on what her god stands for, she should have been in there with the pally. Then she just runs and hides and starts 'praying' for intervention? What is she, a wet noodle with no spine? Out of all character classes, anyone playing a divine character should automatically accept that they are devoted and dedicated, they didnt get chosen by a god to represent their faith if they are spineless, and part of the reason they are the gods agents is to be their hand or arm, because the god is not everywhere. I just find the BEGGING for help soo pathetic in a divine char like a cleric. She is there to enforce her gods will, and her gods will in this case is destroy undead.

As for the rest of the party, this isnt just one incident of murder, this is MASS MURDER, this is on a whole new scale evil. This to me is an alignment shift right there to evil for most of the party. Just make sure you let the players know it is for the slaughter of the innocent, and that it isnt permanent.

Which brings me to my next point, was there a time limit to this? Was it more important for the party to get to the next location then say save the lives of the villagers?

The party after the church finds a scroll of greater dispel. Did they not have any curiosity to know why the vamp wanted that letter soo badly? Use the scroll on the wall, get letter and read it to find out what the dillio is.

Could the players not wait 10 days for the domination to wear off before moving on? They could easily set up defenses to protect the people, the dominated will need to be locked in a cellar for the time.
The party also now has the letter, which they could easily let the dominated know after they have set up defenses/ambush for the vamps return. He really would prolly make haste to come back for it instead of possibly going on to the next location the party had decided.

Or the players could have just you know, told the villagers to keep the dominated locked up as they either fortified and defended town, or evacuate. There was absolutely no benefit in burning the people alive, woman and childen ext, except to prevent anyone from relaying this incidents info which would greatly tarnish the characters reps.

The pally is the only one that should come out of this scott free. The Cleric should have it worse than even the other party members as she is dedicated to fighting the undead by her religious ferver and failed horribly.

As mentioned, the Ravenloft Mists style is a great chance for further character depth.

I would have the party cursed by this event until redemption or complete embracing of the vampires evil diety.

The vampire must be estatic with this outcome, sure he lost a general but just gained soo much more in a party of badasses. I would have him approach each character solo via agents, dominated npc's, dreams or even his dark god offering bidding of power and to join him and his dark god. Now that many of the groups alignments are evil, freely give them a 'evil' magic item as an offer of temptation. The items only work for evil alignment. Do this softly at first, in only requiring alliegance to him and his god (pact of sort) and next session they want a single good person killed that they will encounter, sell the 'it is only one person, and they are a greater bane to the people than for them'. Make it sound like they are fighting evil, but if they investigate or dig, it becomes clear that the action they are asked to do is very evil.

If the vamp is rebuffed, i would have him 'show' the players the error of their way. Now he dominates innocent people all along the way of the players and have them spy, try to kill players (not really, but the vamp will be amused to watch the players slaughter everyone he dominates, making their fall into darkness that much more concrete), have npc diplomats / mayors rally the town/city militia against the party, which happens to be good honest people, now the players are killing good people :)

Also, inquisitors ext should be dispatched to investigate and resolve the issue of a town massacre. They will prolly think it was the vamp at first but unless the players bluff it up to convince them it was, they will "Speak with Dead" and find out the truth.

All of the above as well as the redemption Ravenloft Mist style quests for each character as well.

Maybe such a sacrifice desecrated the area as well as brought the lands into a darker realm, merged like, and now undead / shadow creatures inhabbit the area naturally. The vamp could be given a huge elevation boost by the undead god, and now has new generals (lichs, necromancers, evil clergy ext at his whim). You just created a longer lasting and major villian for the players, and even more so because the players are 'responsible' for his elevation as well as the lands 'cursed transition'.

So much you can do with this, hope this wall of text helps. :)

Ps., i have been complimented many times from players that i have given/shown consequences in game and they might not have liked been 'happy' about it in character, the players absolutely loved it as it showed them drama, action and character growth/depth.

So i would say keep on doing what your doing, as fun is not just never never land stories, just like the cinema, drama, dark action, quality stories are just as fun if not more so than showing up and knowing they hit the I win button, sored, more along stories.


This whole situation was horribly handled.

The GM threw an impossible encounter at the party and the players made some really terrible decisions based on thins impossible encounter.

As a GM, were it me, I'd have immediately regretted the situation, gone back to the party and told them the session sucked ass and told them they were gonna redo it and hopefully it wouldn't have gone to s$&$ like it did.


Jmacq1 wrote:
Serum wrote:
Jmacq1 wrote:

Unless they get away while you're fighting. Unless the Dungeon Master chooses to play the situation out differently. Unless the Paladin gets some lucky dice rolls.

Have you only roleplayed with ironclad "RAW" Dungeon Masters? If so, I feel very sorry for you. If I wanted to play a game where the only thing that matters is dice rolls, I'd play Yahtzee.

The villagers were dominated. They weren't going anywhere. In fact, it's possible the Vampire could even have used a couple as meat shields while still sending others into the prismatic wall.

Sure. He "could have." But I guess in your games the DM doesn't have any control over how situations play out? Doesn't reward players staying true to what their characters should be?

If you don't like the standards Paladins are flat-out described as being held to, then don't play them, and don't allow them in your campaigns (or tailor them so their codes are not so strict if that's your preference).

At a bare minimum, just standing around and seething in this particular situation sure as heck isn't remotely close to "Paladin-like" behavior. Especially when it seems to stem more from a player's concern over his character than a character's concern for themselves. I would even accept "fleeing" as acceptable in this instance if it were in an attempt to rally his companions to get back in there and fight it out, but just standing there being angry? Nope, not gonna keep all your fancy powers and bonuses when IIRC it flat-out states that "allowing evil through inaction" can "ding" a Paladin too.

I completely agree with the "DM rewarding players for staying true to their characters, and paladins fit this bill alot because they much more frequently will find themselves in this situation. A pally should be spared death in this case because the party has abondoned him, making it a futile encounter. I also love the 'diety boost pally with divine power' idea above, that levels the playing field as a gm fiat which also now puts the pally on even footing or closer to it with teh vamp. It would make for a great story, very memorable for the player and the party is 'shown' that cowardice is not rewarded, and actually everyone would in town would be kissing the pally's boots while spitting on the other party members.

But i do Disagree with your last paragraph, as this pally could show variation in how to fight this issue by being smart. Even more so to theme as the pally is a gnome. By attacking it forces the vamps hand into combat which the pally can see she is at a major dissadvantage. So how to save lives, fight the evil ext. while not pointlessly getting yourself/villagers killed. She could have called upon the villagers to brandish holy water and torches, while assisting the pally. The pally could have also used her cha/diplomacy to give a great rallying speech to the villagers. The pally could have also in talking / not commiting to combat yet delayed the vamp, hoping for her allies to rally or rethink things and come back. The temple / town doesnt sound to big, so talking very loudly in hopes that party members nearby hear and come back to fight.

Intelligent / wise solutions can be very rewarding while not being a cooky cutter pally. It is akin to setting an ambush, you draw an enemy in, as they attack your allies sucking them back, but if you don't wait for the enemy to pass you / get into the kill zone, more people are likely to die than the 'bait' because of it. It takes convinction to hold your sword for that right moment where it will be of far more value/effect.


Harrison wrote:

This whole situation was horribly handled.

The GM threw an impossible encounter at the party and the players made some really terrible decisions based on thins impossible encounter.

As a GM, were it me, I'd have immediately regretted the situation, gone back to the party and told them the session sucked ass and told them they were gonna redo it and hopefully it wouldn't have gone to s%@& like it did.

The encounter was far from impossible, not sure what you have been reading but it was a huge overgeared party. The vamp was also given very little gear as well considering.

As mentioned prior, the party took on a Graveknight cr 7 and the Samurai alone just about aced him. Sounds like the encounter was fine.

The party is what failed. The pally saw the aura strength of the vamp, but the party didnt. So why did they run? They dont know how powerful he is, just like more of them would not know how powerful most of the things they fight are without detections appropriate.

Why should the encounter be changed just because the party failed? If anything the gm could give the pally some fiat of assistance or survivability even if dropped.

It doesnt matter what the CR was, if the party just runs leaving a player or two to handle it, they will always fail. This one is no different, it was well within the parties ability to deal with it if they fought it as a you know, party.


Yeah with 7 overgeared pcs lvls tween 4-5 plus two npcs dear lord they should have just smacked that vamp lol.

Osirion

Paladin should be falling still...should never have hit the ground until he wound up in Hell.

Re-roll group, start over.


And the possibility of pc death was very limited as the gm already said he wanted to thin the npc heard a bit. Not that players know this, but even still, they could have handled this fairly well, and especially the pally and cleric could have really hammed up the rp against the vamp.


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Yeah, I hate how the GM made the other six party members and the two NPCs turn and flee, leaving the paladin alone, and then had the villain wander off instead of killing the paladin. Clearly the GM was deliberately trying to kill the paladin, and nobody should play with this GM again.


Harrison wrote:

This whole situation was horribly handled.

The GM threw an impossible encounter at the party and the players made some really terrible decisions based on thins impossible encounter.

As a GM, were it me, I'd have immediately regretted the situation, gone back to the party and told them the session sucked ass and told them they were gonna redo it and hopefully it wouldn't have gone to s@#% like it did.

For one, from the later posts it seems like the party had fun, so I wouldn't consider the session a failure. For another, CR+2 is not an impossibly encounter, in fact with the gear they had (+2 keen katana for a level 4 samurai and who knows what everyone else had) a CR+2 encounter could be ridiculously easy. What made the encounter too hard was the entire party (minus the paladin) deciding to flee, including a cleric of Pharasma who went to basically sit in a corner and wait for her god to take care of the problem, pretty much the opposite of the way a cleric/deity relationship works.

For my opinion, to throw this into the pot with all the many others, the cleric needs to fall hard. She loses her domains, her channeling, and probably most of her spellcasting until she atones. The samurai gets a pass, the player wasn't there so it's not in the player's hands what the character did, and the paladin gets some falling-ish problems as well without actually falling. Maybe the paladin loses auras and the 4th level channel positive energy ability or something, or has the abilities work badly or intermittently and the paladin gets signs of displeasure for his actions. The whole party starts to slide towards evil and chaos for the "burn them all" solution, and I would talk with the PCs to see if they're game for nightmares, mental issues, or hauntings for their characters.

In the end, if the party all had fun use this encounter as a development tool for the characters and the campaign. The characters all made mistakes and should suffer some consequences for them, but should also find themselves given an opportunity to move on from there and if not make up for, at least atone for their mistakes and certainly to face the vampire again (maybe with some of the badly burned villagers as undead allies of some kind) to hopefully defeat the thing this time around and not flee from it.


Nether wrote:

It doesnt matter what the CR was, if the party just runs leaving a player or two to handle it, they will always fail. This one is no different, it was well within the parties ability to deal with it if they fought it as a you know, party.

That's exactly my point.

At some point, the whole encounter went downhill and both the players and the GM made bad decisions about how to resolve it. The PCs were geared enough that they could have taken ONE GUY without an issue, but they didn't. Maybe they couldn't. Where the PCs hit with some kind of Fear effect that made them run? I dunno. But the GM should have done SOMETHING to fix the situation so the "best" solution at the end of the day wasn't burning innocent villagers.

Everybody failed hard and, where I able to dictate what happened next, I'd have them do the whole damned thing over again so maybe they didn't make such terrible decisions again.


Methulock wrote:

Dominated villagers does not excuse everyone BUT the paladin for their actions in your scenario.

The samurai chose a wholly dishonorable path; the cleric murdered innocents in her own church to cover a crime; the monk similarly murdered innocent people which is likely against the law of the land. Each of these characters deserve to be stripped of their abilities, not just the paladin.

That said, and as this is the advice forum...

Now, I don't know your group, but I fear you may be unintentionally bullying both the paladin character and the player.

The situation you placed the character in could easily be construed as hopeless and you should never assume what you think is obvious will also be readily apparent to the player. The situation was made invariably worse when their companions abandoned them and you continued the encounter even though it had already left your intended goal of "thinning their NPCs."

As for the player, you may have positioned them against their peers at the table. I'm not surprised the player shut down if this were the case. There are few, even among experienced gamers, who have the robust diplomatic and debating personal skills to talk a group out of a mob action such as the one that took place in your game.

What APs have you played that you could solo an bbeg encounter designed for 4+ players?

Because it doesnt matter what adventure you play, if your party bails on you, the encounter is still the same.

The GM showed that he wasnt going to penalize the Pally for sticking around, hence the vamp did not attack him. And vamps to me have always been intelligent enemies, not just mindless killing machines.


Harrison wrote:

That's exactly my point.

At some point, the whole encounter went downhill and both the players and the GM made bad decisions about how to resolve it. The PCs were geared enough that they could have taken ONE GUY without an issue, but they didn't. Maybe they couldn't. Where the PCs hit with some kind of Fear effect that made them run? I dunno. But the GM should have done SOMETHING to fix the situation so the "best" solution at the end of the day wasn't burning innocent villagers.

The GM had the big bad wander away instead of killing the remaining party members, and the civilian deaths were purely in the players' hands. I'm not sure what you expect the GM to do here.

Harrison wrote:
Everybody failed hard and, where I able to dictate what happened next, I'd have them do the whole damned thing over again so maybe they didn't make such terrible decisions again.

Oh, I see, you expect the GM to keep rewinding time and pouting until everyone plays exactly the way the GM wants them to. I'm sure that would have been much more fun for everyone involved.


Nether wrote:
Harrison wrote:

This whole situation was horribly handled.

The GM threw an impossible encounter at the party and the players made some really terrible decisions based on thins impossible encounter.

As a GM, were it me, I'd have immediately regretted the situation, gone back to the party and told them the session sucked ass and told them they were gonna redo it and hopefully it wouldn't have gone to s%@& like it did.

The encounter was far from impossible, not sure what you have been reading but it was a huge overgeared party. The vamp was also given very little gear as well considering.

As mentioned prior, the party took on a Graveknight cr 7 and the Samurai alone just about aced him. Sounds like the encounter was fine.

The party is what failed. The pally saw the aura strength of the vamp, but the party didnt. So why did they run? They dont know how powerful he is, just like more of them would not know how powerful most of the things they fight are without detections appropriate.

Why should the encounter be changed just because the party failed? If anything the gm could give the pally some fiat of assistance or survivability even if dropped.

It doesnt matter what the CR was, if the party just runs leaving a player or two to handle it, they will always fail. This one is no different, it was well within the parties ability to deal with it if they fought it as a you know, party.

I didn't mean to imply that a Paladin's ONLY option should be "See Evil: CHARGE! No matter the odds!" I also didn't see the OP's mention that the Paladin did attempt to restrain the villagers going into the wall, and also didn't realize we were speaking of a Gnomish Paladin until later, for that matter.

Given that information, I would not have "dinged" the Paladin for the Vampire encounter, as at least they tried SOMETHING. Part of my earlier issue with the Paladin in the scenario was the mistaken belief that they had essentially given up and just stood there while this all went on. However, there'd be a serious ding for standing by while the villagers were burned. Pardon the Marvel Comics reference, but it would've been time for a "Captain America Speech" at that point (The "It doesn't matter if you take a vote if what you vote for is wrong" speech).

Shadow Lodge

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Yes, things did all rapidly go downhill when half the party opted to flee. Honestly, it sounds like it snowballed. The rogue and wizard chicken out, the Samurai auto-leaves with the Wizard, and the Monk sees the odds drop into "heck no" territory and bails. Not sure when the cleric left the picture, but once they were down to three defenders it's easy to see failed Will saves (can't remember whether that one was Fear or Dominate) sinking the entire deal.

I assume that the reason the party panicked was because the DM set the stage for a desperate battle against a powerful and very evil enemy, and he succeeded a little too well. I highly doubt that burning the villagers alive actually was the best solution, but when stuff starts going wrong it can do weird things to your judgment. I can see why at the end of a high-stress/high-stakes session it looked like it was the best solution. The Paladin probably could have done more to stop that, but not everyone takes well to PvP situations and I'm not going to fault the player for not being Captain America.

As for the Paladin attempting to solo the vampire - at low HD you're still very vulnerable. With good gear he might have made it with some lucky rolls, especially if the DM decided to give him a power-up. But in the last campaign I played in no such power-up would have been forthcoming and in fact I lost my LG character at level 2 when he objected to a NE NPC executing a child. Different groups have different expectations about whether taking heroic risks should be rewarded.

Qadira

If a paladin won't stop the murder of innocents.. then whats a paladin .. for.


cp wrote:

If a paladin won't stop the murder of innocents.. then whats a paladin .. for.

If your group doesnt allow pvp, then what?

How would you solve this problem?

The palladin did speak up against it, but was over ruled. And yes she should have been a little more insistant.

For a gnome pally, it would have been even better if she could have come up with a different intelligent option that they would be willing to accept that didnt involve a human bbq.


Just got back and wanted to quickly comment before I go grab dinner.

I don't want to redo the session by handwaving the session as a dream/whatever. I feel that would shoot the game's verisimilitude in the foot, plus I'd rather save that card for a time when they legitimately could TPK.

Plus, aside from the various consequences reflecting their fault, they'll likely blame the Vamp for putting them in this position in the first place and by the time they man up and actually fight the guy it'll be more satisfying to bring him down. That sounds pretty good to me.

And thanks as always for all you guys input, I don't neccasarily agree with all of it but I appreciate you guys taking the time.


Nether wrote:
cp wrote:

If a paladin won't stop the murder of innocents.. then whats a paladin .. for.

If your group doesnt allow pvp, then what?

How would you solve this problem?

The palladin did speak up against it, but was over ruled. And yes she should have been a little more insistant.

For a gnome pally, it would have been even better if she could have come up with a different intelligent option that they would be willing to accept that didnt involve a human bbq.

My group would have allowed PVP or I would have walked...any pally who would stand their without drawing steel needs to fall...this isn't a situation of being out voted on strategy or a questionable act this was mass murder...It sounds like the player either doesn't understand pallies or got cowed by their group out of game...If they still won't give then the pally's only option is to seek powerful help to kill the party because they are doing evils work...If she doesn't fall I don't know what a pally has to do...

On another note the group seems to have metagamed the hell out of this encounter and that's the problem. Oh its a vampire and vampires are often powerful so run without trying. Vampires can be as low as challenge rating 3. This one clearly had very little equipment so in game their is no indication that it was supremely powerful. By this logic any monster that can vary in power lvl(any thing with class lvls) should send this group fleeing from the hills. We know how powerful the vamp was but the shouldn't have...and this encounter was very winnable with all of them ganging up on him(if their optimized at all it should be a cake walk minus some horrible rolls)...


Darth Grall wrote:

Okay, back up and awake after doing my morning rounds. A few things:

-I really like the non-mechanical ideas you've guys thrown out there as to how to make the consequences of their actions stick. Between the Vampire spreading word of their failure, PTSD for their actions, the literal ghosts of their villagers selves haunting them, and relieving the events to given a chance at redemption... I think I will definitely be able to sort out something cool for all the players.
-As for the Cleric, yeah hammers gonna come down hard on her. I was annoyed by the player's actions and given their god's disposition I think that they will likely be stripped of their powers worse than the Paladin will.
-On that point, you guys have convinced me to punish the Pali, but again I don't know if a complete fall is appropriate. She at least tried to fight. She DID try to stop them from jumping into the prismatic wall but she's a Gnome & couldn't even grapple them well. She also did NOT approve of them burning everyone to death, she was just outvoted and frankly overwhelmed at this point. I'm thinking, in addition to the above ideas, I will partially strip her of her powers upon meeting with her an agent of their deity, who will express their disaproval but offer a means of redemption(ie, killing the Vamp & freeing this nation attacked by undead).
-As of the negative levels thing, there were 2 dhampir's in the party, the NPC & the Wizard. They wouldn't have been too penalized by fighting the vamp, sine they're essentially immune to negative levels till they get killed by them.

And lastly thanks to those who defended me in my absence, it's appreciated.

I am still reading through the thread, but really wanted to toss in a response to the last bit here... hopefully im not just stomping all over an already beaten down point. The vamp was a synth. The party was 4th level... that means the vamp is pretty much garaunteed to hit every round with it, and every other round, kills a party member outright due to negative levels if they arent already dead from damage. I have to assume he is using multiple natural attacks in synth form, as any natural attack can trigger the energy drain, not just a slam... and even at 1st level synth that gives him a potential 3 natural attacks plus his slam, all that can trigger energy drain, but also that does damage... 4th level character down 10 hps from an energy drain + the damage from at least 3 attacks (again that was assuming a first level synth, not a 6th? i think you said). The carnage could have been unbelievable unless they killed him in just a couple rounds... do you even risk that as a 4th level party not knowing enemy stats/levels? I would run like a b****, no matter the character. This guy potentially has HPs out the arse, regeneration, the ability to dominate party members, and can tear apart any one of them in 1 round. Screeeeewwwww that :P

Now, them burning villagers? Evil. Issue i have here is the paladin at that point has 2 options, allow it to happen, or try to stop it by any means necessary. The first really calls for him/her to fall, even by my very loose standards of what causes a paladin to fall, and the latter forces PVP... something that pretty much everyone on the boards knows is a horrible idea for 99% of parties. No win situations suck, it doesnt matter if the GM or the players cause it to happen, end of they day they suck. I would allow the paladin to atone simply because it is was a no win scenario by that point, that was not caused by the paladin.


Stubs McKenzie wrote:


I am still reading through the thread, but really wanted to toss in a response to the last bit here... hopefully im not just stomping all over an already beaten down point. The vamp was a synth. The party was 4th level... that means the vamp is pretty much garaunteed to hit every round with it, and every other round, kills a party member...

4th level character down 10 hps from an energy drain + the damage from at least 3 attacks (again that was assuming a first level synth, not a 6th? i think you said). The carnage could have been unbelievable unless they killed him in just a couple rounds... do you even risk that as a 4th level party not knowing enemy stats/levels? I would run like a b****, no matter the character. This guy potentially has HPs out the arse, regeneration, the ability to dominate party members, and can tear apart any one of them in 1 round. Screeeeewwwww that :P

The wizard is immune to negative levels as a Dhampir. So he only has to worry about natural attack damage.

Qadira

Just give the paladin a divine quest for his soul. If he brings the vampire to justice, guides the party toward making good descions in the future and atones for the murdered villagers individually through helping their families/resurrection/self sacrifice he can keep his powers and find a place in the afterlife.

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