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Fall or Not - Opinions on the actions of a Paladin


Advice

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seto83 wrote:


1. You are 100% right idk how to do that.

Reply to one person, copy their response, reply to the next person, paste their response, repeat.

That way you don't take up three consecutive posts. Glad I could be of help. =)

seto83 wrote:


2. Op asked for opinions I gave mine with detail as to whay I feel that why. I could care less how ya'll decide when a plaldin should or shouldn't be punished in your world. I told you the standards I hold them to in mine, if people choose not to hold them to any what so ever in theirs thats fine as I dont play with them.

I hold them to having a modicum of common sense.

Retreat is not cowardice if it is a no-win situation. She gave it a good shot, and the only thing I see as being vaguely worthy of a fall at this point is allowing her party-mates to burn the villagers. She should have tried to stop them, by force if necessary, because that is something undoubtedly worse than what even the Vampire had done so far.


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@ Darth Grall (OP):

now, having read all your posts, I'm even more convinced of my first assessment:

You are DM'ing wonderfully.

You are adjudicating (the RAW) poorly (obviously not a concern if everyone in the group knows/expects this, thus my comments below reflect only the RAW).

Let's start with the good news: you've got a good, fun, long-term group, who apparently enjoy playing with each other. They know that running away is an option in your game (!) and that monsters/adversaries aren't just XP fountains. This is a great achievement, let me tell you. Congrats.

However: the bad news is that the mass-dominate effect on the townsfolk, the detect evil/outsider errata concerning the Synthesist and the hallowed->unhallowed site including mysteriously murdered priest (which I think is great set-up and flavor, especially as there are ways to achieve the exact effects you've described within the RAW), seem to be overstepping.

Dominate is a single-target spell. As you've described the scene, I'm having trouble figuring out when the Vampire had 2 minutes to dominate all 20 peasants. Also, how did he dominate the initial peasant (who was, by the sounds of it, inside the church and thus not visible to the vamp?) to let him in in the first place? I do agree that your use of him knocking and 'requesting permission' to enter was, again, great set-up. Bravo! Vamps are nasty but sophisticated (well, they can be slavering insane hunger-pangs, too, but not for BBEG's).

Slight digression here, but, it sounds like you play with your group at a table, with dice... here is a wonderful opportunity to add some flavor, suspense, and heroics to the scene without tipping the scales in either direction (changing the APL or CR of either party). There are 20 peasants, all who must make a will save vs. dominate. Chances are the DC for the dominate spell/su ability is beyond that of any 1st level commoner to make. BUT! If any one of them rolls a natural 20, they do, in fact, reject the domination effect (at least for that round: the vamp can try again with no penalty on subsequent rounds). Now, without getting all math-y, there is a chance that at least 1 of those 20 (1 in 20, get it?) will save the will save (ugh, sometimes i have to apologize for myself, apologies!). Roll this save for every peasant on the table, just like a player (not in secret). If even one of them saves, this sets up opportunities for:

heroic actions: "hey, i'm just a peasant, but I resisted a Vampire! Now let my brother GO!" this also helps tip the emotional odds and spur the party into acting like heroes (even though the party are supposed to be the role-models, not the npc peasants!)

future cohorts/followers for the party: "remember when I helped you save my friends and family...well, I want to help you more! I can carry stuff, and cook, and build camp..."

a back-up character for someone in the party who either doesn't fit-in or dies in this or any near-future encounter: "remember me, i'm the fearless peasant who wouldn't be told what to do by that nasty Vamp! What say I join you guys and help rid this land of evil, because I've been practising (class) etc. etc."

Regarding the gear of the characters and the experience of their players: does the NG priest of death have scrolls? perhaps really useful ones like "magic circle vs. evil"? Even though a caster level check would be required to cast the scroll, it would take stupendously bad luck for that roll to fail. barring that, did neither the pally nor the priest have prot. vs. evil memorized? This is the instant and reliable way to counter or immunize 1 character per casting against the dominate effect of vampires. In a land besieged with undead, all casters capable of using protection from evil should have it available in their spell load daily, if not for that specific use, then for the myriad of other excellent effects it grants, especially for a 1st level spell! in a well geared party, potions of the same should be widespread for such endeavours.

This calls into question the party's motivation for entering the land that is known to be besieged by undead. Were they after fame and glory (or perhaps glorious deaths)? were they hoping to become saviours of the land? Was the party foul-ly duped by the Magus or Wizard (also a dhampir?) into going there so he/they could learn the secrets of becoming a Lich? These motivations can (and should) be taken into account when designing future encounters for them (something i'm confident you are already employing). My point is, they knowingly went to an undead-fest, shacked up with some innocent survivors, and didn't (seemingly) use any of their knowledge or resources to prepare themselves for what they might face. This is before we consider the plethora of holy water and symbols available to them in the bloody church! Perhaps your players aren't as experienced as I once thought...

All the more reason to introduce them to Ravenloft (/evil dm chuckle).

Now, for further ideas regarding the outcome of last game, might i humbly suggest the following:

The Vampire Synthesist has a sister. Her name is Hatty. Hatty the Night Hag. He calls her up on his sending, and cajoles, bribes or trades for a favor from her: haunt this party with her nightmares. She (doesn't matter if it's really his sister or not, just another evil denizen he knows of, and is willing to bargain with) begins doing just that, but it turns out that your entire party is either Lawful or neutral...

Except that pesky Samurai!

There's his come-uppance: he is the only target of her nightmares, and thus is the conduit for some of the haunting other posters have put forth (all good ideas).

Also, in order for this not to be too centered and debilitating for the Samurai (for whom i have the most sympathy, given the circumstances OOC), you could reasonably think about shifting the wizard, magus and/or rogue's alignment(s) one-step to chaotic instead of evil. While they had the good of the whole in mind, their (random? crazy?) impulse and thought-process that lead them to mass immolation is what is really worth playing off of here (from a moralistic and story-telling perspective). This gives that Night Hag a way to visit each chaotic member in the party (spreading out the pain they are receiving and/or having to recuperate), and introduces another, though further-away villain for you to plague them with...

layers upon layers. Good DM'ing (in my books).

This also touches on the redemption of the pally (which is a great story arc). It was suggested that the atonement be the destruction of the Vamp (agreed) and the freeing of the lands from undead (way way too much, unless this Vamp is the cause of the entire land's troubles with undead). You've mentioned that the Vamp is the BBEG, so I would expect a confrontation with him to be a longer-term goal, but I think that freeing the land is too grandiose and difficult to achieve, and would take too long for the pally's redemption. You've also stated that you like the idea of stripping some of the pally's abilities, not just cleaning her out of all her toys. Well, how about this: She loses 1 ability immediately as punishment, and knows/is told by the agents of her god that until she sees to the demise of the Vamp, that her abilities will continue to erode over time. This gives you the option of taking away an ability at a time, as you see fit, if they dawdle or suffer more (moral) setbacks during the pursuit of the Vamp. It also gives you the chance of rewarding her with lost abilities as she gets closer to her goal: scratch another of the Vamp's generals (like the graveknight): get back your (spellcasting, or divine grace, or whatever). I think there's a lot of roleplaying opportunity within this structure without turning your pally into a feat-less fighter.

I don't know enough about Golarion and Pharasma to give much insight here, but surely the N Goddess of Death has a part to play in the town (church of Pharasma), the undead plaguing the lands, and the NG cleric/worshipper involved in this debacle. Perhaps (not knowing specifics) if she was the one to suggest 'passing-on' the townsfolk en-mass, then her alignment would be the one to go a shade... darker =]. she is the one that can most afford it (in the party), becoming a true N cleric who still channels positive energy... She might, however, be without casting/channelling abilities until she fashions a new holy symbol that recognizes her (slight) change in emphasis of faith (and she should be told that this is what would be required, either by her goddess or by agents of such).

As for the monk... hmmm. well, as this post is well long-enough already, i'll leave it for a bit to ponder. The difficulty lies in not turning the monk against character type (LN) and not de-lawfulizing (yikes, oh well, it's on the internet now, must be a word!) him out of the class, but still subjecting him to some unpleasantness for his complicity. Perhaps agents of a (rival/evil) monastery hear about the atrocity and seek to recruit him...

Oh, one last thing: Temptation! It is in temptation that you can most easily, eerily, and engagingly bring about the 'downfall' of your party. I'm not advocating killing them, or anything near it... By downfall, i simply mean continuing to pose moral problems to the party. Tempt them with power gained through making unwise choices: the magus and wizard can both be tempted by gaining spells (either from the Night Hag or other evil outsiders/casters), the rogue can be told of riches to pursue (not that those riches are cursed!), and so forth. You know your players and their motivations, so play off those and lead them (by the nose!) down the garden path...

just don't point out the assassin vines ;)

@ Orthos: Thanks!

Yours in DM scheming
Grym

edit: @Rynjin: also thanks!

Assistant Software Developer

I removed some unneeded vitriol and the replies to it.


@Grym

You raise some more good points too many for me to all hit up at the moment so I'll as many as I can(and thanks for the input lol)

Yeah I hand waved the individual rolls for the villagers since I DO roll for my NPC's above the table and in my experience it slows down game a ton, especially since I'd be rolling at least 2 times per dominate effect(one for the initial affect, the other to make them do something dangerous). I could be easily looking at 40 some tedious rolls above the table for a marginal affect. A rallying cry would be lost since at that point the party had already left, they would just get torn up against him as commoners of a small village if they fought, and the party's picked up enough NPC's as it was(They had 3 before the Totenmaske killed the Samurai's Ninja) so adding another was somewhat counter intuitive for me. I just think it was easier to hand wave the villager's domination. And him tracking and dominating them than all that, it was subtler than I described: They hid in the pews & in the quaters of the old priest when things went to pot.

However I agree that it's not at all a bad idea for similar situations to have a bad-ass survior come out of a scene like that, one of my players' favorite characters in our Saga campaign was a random Mook who I seemed to only roll 20's for. Just wasn't my intent with this encounter.

As for the cleric: She does not have scrolls, she's invested her money on defensive items and she had been preparing Conscecrate. The player has always bad at playing characters besides "melee monkeys" and this character is meant to be a "tutorial" character for the player for when the party meets their real cleric after this story arc. The pali didn't know it either to my knowledge, since they hadn't encountered Vampires before this session: Mostly masses of zeds, wights, skeletons, a few shadows, and a berbalang. I imagine after this, they'll look for those requisite items.

As for the reason they're entering the nation is sorta complicated, but the short of it is the Magus is visiting the heads of every nation to negotiate for their allegiance. The Paladin came here specifically to fight the undead and banded with the party since their mutual arrival in the nation.

Don't read if your one of my players:

Spoiler:

The long of it is that the Magus is on a quest given by his sword(a black blade) to garner the allegiance of nations across the world using the myth of the return an evil snake god who was killed at the beginning of known history. To his knowledge the myth is false, he's using the myth as an opportunity to bridge the gaps between nations and form a coherent government, with him as the ruler of the unified force supplemented by an army of golems his father is making. While the unification will be based on a lie, that's okay in his opinion since it's for the greater good and once he has the force he can impose order. Traveling to this country filled with undead is just another stop on his journey for the rag-tag team of adventurer's he's gathered together(who don't know of his true intent). Any undead that he kills is a boon in his book to show his own strength for negotiations with whatever remains of the rulership.

The paladin's goals are simpler, she was called to action by her god, Shelyn, to save the innocents in the country an preserve as much of the nations capital Baaj as possible(known through out the world as the jewel of the nation).

However, there actually is is a faction trying to revive the dead god, and the Vamp is a party of this group. The Vamp's introduction in this arc is the first hint at that eventual reveal.

And also somewhat ironically, your comment on the Synthesist having a hag sister is almost dead on; He has Accursed Bloodline, ie he's descended from hags.


seto83 wrote:
You answered your own question with the bolded parts, this paladin did neither of those things and only thought to save herself by not standing up to said...

Not quite - she failed to help the innocent, but she did try. There is a difference. Trying to stop them hurling themselves into a death wall because they're being controlled by a vampire (hate Dominate, HATE) is generally considered a good act. Throwing her life away in a few rounds so the Vampire could then kill everyone anyway with no restraint (not that she was much use, but she did try) is a pointless act, and would have failed by the Paladin's Code if you're reading failure as falling anyway (she neither protected the innocent nor punished the guilty).

If a Paladin could fall simply for not being good enough (read - High enough level) every undead would have a lock that could only be picked by a Paladin, then watch and laugh as they all due to not having put all there ranks into lockpick. And may there God help them if they fail an important diplomacy roll...


JonGarrett wrote:
seto83 wrote:
You answered your own question with the bolded parts, this paladin did neither of those things and only thought to save herself by not standing up to said...

Not quite - she failed to help the innocent, but she did try. There is a difference. Trying to stop them hurling themselves into a death wall because they're being controlled by a vampire (hate Dominate, HATE) is generally considered a good act. Throwing her life away in a few rounds so the Vampire could then kill everyone anyway with no restraint (not that she was much use, but she did try) is a pointless act, and would have failed by the Paladin's Code if you're reading failure as falling anyway (she neither protected the innocent nor punished the guilty).

If a Paladin could fall simply for not being good enough (read - High enough level) every undead would have a lock that could only be picked by a Paladin, then watch and laugh as they all due to not having put all there ranks into lockpick. And may there God help them if they fail an important diplomacy roll...

I would consider it a neutral act. She didn't put herself in any danger or lose anything herself for trying to stop them.

I would argue her real failing was when she ran into the church when the vampire first showed up. She didn't have a strong reason to believe that this vampire was unbeatable. She just saw her allies running and ran with them.


The Paladin didn't run into the church - the Vampire entered it after some effect broke the Consecrate spell on it, and the rest of the party bolted out the back of the Church (although a Magus and Dhampir tried to hang around, they got terrified into running too). Because she couldn't win and didn't want to throw her life away pointlessly, giving the vampire the satisfaction of murdering a Paladin, she refused to fight and instead tried to stop him make the villagers kill themselves.


JonGarrett wrote:
The Paladin didn't run into the church - the Vampire entered it after some effect broke the Consecrate spell on it, and the rest of the party bolted out the back of the Church (although a Magus and Dhampir tried to hang around, they got terrified into running too). Because she couldn't win and didn't want to throw her life away pointlessly, giving the vampire the satisfaction of murdering a Paladin, she refused to fight and instead tried to stop him make the villagers kill themselves.

How did she know she couldn't win? There is no indication that she or anyone else ever tried to fight the vampire.


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On a side note, I don't agree with all the people that said that the GM needs to make the challenge easier because the party did something stupid. There are situations where you might need to adjust stuff, but I don't believe you should make the situation easier just because half the party ran away and the other half didn't. The player's decisions should decide the outcome; if the players make bad decisions, then they should get a bad outcome, the DM shouldn't feel he has to meddle so things turn out ok anyway.


In answer to the op ( don't have time to read the whole thread sorry) yes the paladin should fall for allowing innocents to be burnt alive
If she was so worried about there fate she should of convinced the others help her slay the vampire and so free the villagers
Not just stand there as there as they are put to death in a horrific way
Sorry on excuses and the rest of the party should have an alignment change because that's just wrong


The vampire needs to use twenty rounds of standard actions to dominate those twenty villagers. The paladin had twenty rounds to kill vampire servants and help most of the villagers flee. If he managed to get enouh peasants free, they could've started throwing holy water at everything.
Instead, the paladin wasted twenty rounds watching while the vampire dominate the peasants. He should fall so hard it would open a crater all the way to hell, where the demons can torture him for being as usless as monk.


How active in the "no we can't do that!!!" was the paladin's player? Could this partly be the fault of stage fright when it came to RP?


VM mercenario wrote:

The vampire needs to use twenty rounds of standard actions to dominate those twenty villagers. The paladin had twenty rounds to kill vampire servants and help most of the villagers flee. If he managed to get enouh peasants free, they could've started throwing holy water at everything.

Instead, the paladin wasted twenty rounds watching while the vampire dominate the peasants. He should fall so hard it would open a crater all the way to hell, where the demons can torture him for being as usless as monk.

If I recall correctly, he only dominated 12, which means the others were burned just because they heard the information.


johnlocke90 wrote:
How did she know she couldn't win? There is no indication that she or anyone else ever tried to fight the vampire.

Because paladins have detect evil and it would have given off a strong aura.


Thomas Long 175 wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
How did she know she couldn't win? There is no indication that she or anyone else ever tried to fight the vampire.
Because paladins have detect evil and it would have given off a strong aura.

Which was faked due to it have Outsider type due to Summoner's synthegist. But PCS don't know why it was so high only that it was.


Starbuck_II wrote:
Which was faked due to it have Outsider type due to Summoner's synthegist. But PCS don't know why it was so high only that it was.

Agreed, they didn't know why the rating what it was, but they shouldn't have known the rating either on the Evil detection. While they did know it was undead(the dhampir is a Kinslayer with Detect Undead at will and announced it), the pali never announced the rating of the aura.

Part of why the Paladin stayed initially was because she figured that with a strong evil aura and knowing it was undead, they could actually take it knowing all the different combinations of aura's. She never told the other party members what evil aura it had IC.

Re-Edited for clarity. I cannot type today.


JonGarrett wrote:
seto83 wrote:
You answered your own question with the bolded parts, this paladin did neither of those things and only thought to save herself by not standing up to said...

Not quite - she failed to help the innocent, but she did try. There is a difference. Trying to stop them hurling themselves into a death wall because they're being controlled by a vampire (hate Dominate, HATE) is generally considered a good act. Throwing her life away in a few rounds so the Vampire could then kill everyone anyway with no restraint (not that she was much use, but she did try) is a pointless act, and would have failed by the Paladin's Code if you're reading failure as falling anyway (she neither protected the innocent nor punished the guilty).

If a Paladin could fall simply for not being good enough (read - High enough level) every undead would have a lock that could only be picked by a Paladin, then watch and laugh as they all due to not having put all there ranks into lockpick. And may there God help them if they fail an important diplomacy roll...

So she shouldn't fall because she put forth the most minamal effort possible instead of actually trying?


seto83 wrote:
So she shouldn't fall because she put forth the most minamal effort possible instead of actually trying?

It was either that or death. So yeah. She shouldn't fall for putting in as much effort as possible short of committing suicide.


seto83 wrote:
So she shouldn't fall because she put forth the most minamal effort possible instead of actually trying?

Remind me, your policy was "I'd never have put the paladin in that situation in the first place" (read: I would never present a 7-man party with an opponent that any single one of them couldn't solo) and "If the paladin attacked I would use a deus ex machina to make the paladin win", right?

Being Lawful Good is pretty easy when you change the rules of the world so that the most straightforward path is also safe and effective.


You all make it sound like the villagers were burned at the stake slowly. The OP said it was the quickest most merciful way they had. The wizard could have used burning hands and that would have been enough to kill any level one villager en mass. In one casting and in less than a turn.

And it should be pointed out the PCs didn't want to go that route. If the DM had treated these NPCs as people instead of brainless cattle to be dominated by the BBEG, and had them actually fight back as a mob, because hey mobs happen and are pretty effective at getting their point across.

There are caveats about paladin codes saying don't throw your life away against a foe you can't win against. And that is up to the PC within reason. With the aura strength given the pally stood no chance, even if the BBEG was beatable in reality. Bad structuring, bad DMing.

Also about being in a group of evil characters as long as the pally thinks its justifiable for a greater good. Good guy fools the stupid evil into doing good thinking its evil. Viable tactic and good use of resources.

One secrets don't stay secrets long, if you want to punish them for burning cattle have a village form a mob and chase them down and murder them like mobs are want to do.

Two don't punish them for making the hard choices to fulfill a goal the DM gave them. Brutal yes. Effective yes. Not good yes. Evil no. This is still neutral. The cattle ( I will keep emphasizing this, if you want the PCs to respect the NPCs then they need to act and react like people and not just be there for flavor) were a threat to the PCs goals. Threat eliminated. Evil is walking up to a random NPC that has nothing to do with anything going on and then killing them. At that point bathing in the spilt blood is redundant. Although I hear its good for keeping a youthful appearance.

Time frames must be considered, dominated for 12 days. Can the PCs hold these people in a safe spot that the BBEG can't just command them to break out of? Or command them to start killing each other in that safe spot? Or yell for help so other villagers fight the PCs?

Punish them for running away not for decisions that are forced of them by bad DM plotting that they don't want to have to do. Which should be the deciding factor, evil would have enjoyed killing the cattle just for the hell of it.

It wasn't a good action by any stretch, but it also want evil by that same stretch. Good thing there's a path between the two that can encompass both those and more that is neutral.


I decided not to read all 270 posts (just the first page) so if what I write here has been said....apologies.

From the amount of innocent killing by the party and the Paladin just standing around through out the entire situation, it seems to me that everyone WANTED to turn evil. The player with the Paladin wanted an Anti-Paladin and he got the chance to do nothing. The whole sale slaughter by the party makes no sense unless they also wanted to "turn to the dark side".

I have seen several threads around here about groups filled with evil players and I have played in a couple of groups with evil players. People just have this thing for playing on that side of the fence.

That's my 2 coppers on what is really going on.

As for what to do, keep the game going and turn everyone over to the dark side and they all play evil characters but they are all dominated by some demon or such. Force the Paladin into killing and burning and the like and if he doesn't like it, have him try to get the party to see the light as it were. Or as someone here once said, Embrace the Evil.


If anyone has not read thru the thread then at the very least just skim for the OP's comments as he gives more pertinent info on the session than was mentioned in the OP.

Otherwise whatever you say will just be bringing up the same misinformed comments that people that have read the thread will have to respond to again and again to inform you.

@johnlocke
She didnt run into the church, she didnt run out with everyone else. Again, read the OP's posts and you will appropriately informed so we dont have to keep repeating.


I think the gm set up a pretty cool encounter and the party botched it epicly, as for consequences well I honestly don't see them being chased by bounty etc as the town was under siege from un-dead I doubt many people go there and any that did would likely jump to the conclusion un-dead did it. The Paladin should fall for that degree of epic fail and the cleric should be severely reprimanded unless he had a good excuse (such as I let it play out to give the vamp a false sense of security so that he might lead us to the true source of the evil affecting the land). As for the non-alignment defined characters I don't really see why they need to be punished at all beyond the standard actions have consequences and killing a bunch of nobodies in an already doomed town probably isn't going to lead to the sorts of game breaking consequences people are talking about here.

Shadow Lodge

ThunderMan wrote:
And it should be pointed out the PCs didn't want to go that route. If the DM had treated these NPCs as people instead of brainless cattle to be dominated by the BBEG, and had them actually fight back as a mob, because hey mobs happen and are pretty effective at getting their point across.

Of course, it's just as likely, if not more, that they'd panic and be useless at fighting. Especially since the 'heros' panicked and ran.


Roberta Yang wrote:
seto83 wrote:
So she shouldn't fall because she put forth the most minamal effort possible instead of actually trying?

Remind me, your policy was "I'd never have put the paladin in that situation in the first place" (read: I would never present a 7-man party with an opponent that any single one of them couldn't solo) and "If the paladin attacked I would use a deus ex machina to make the paladin win", right?

Being Lawful Good is pretty easy when you change the rules of the world so that the most straightforward path is also safe and effective.

Cute way to take a small piece of a conversation and adjust it just enough to attempt to make your self sound right. Thats some good ole politics 101 stuff there.

Orthos wrote: Quote:
Why don't some of ya'll give examples of the standards you make them up hold in your world.
For starters, I don't force them into situations where their choices are "die or fall".

I repiled:I try my best to avoid those situations as well, but i didnt create this situation the op did. So whats paladin to do up hold her code and ethics or cower like a field mouse in front of a cobra. This paladin apparently likes option 2.

Clearly I was stating that I don't force paladins into fall or die situations. This became one of those sitauations after the rest of the party bailed, and if that happen I would expect a paladin in my world to put forth maxium effort to protect the villagers. Yes he might die, but theres always some dm fait to keep that from happening if you so choose. Theres could be so divine help form his god like a super buff that cause a stale mate in power and the vampire flee, or the vamp defeats paladin but lets him live with his failure huanting him. This are just examples. Plus that makes for some story.


seto83 wrote:


Clearly I was stating that I don't force paladins into fall or die situations. This became one of those sitauations after the rest of the party bailed, and if that happen I would expect a paladin in my world to put forth maxium effort to protect the villagers. Yes he might die, but theres always some dm fait to keep that from happening if you so choose. Theres could be so divine help form his god like a super buff that cause a stale mate in power and the vampire flee, or the vamp defeats paladin but lets him live with his failure huanting him. This are just examples. Plus that makes for some story.

That would be pretty cheap though right? I mean that would be completely and absolutely unexpected behavior, and especially would be something that couldn't and shouldn't be relied on?

Is it reasonable to assume that praying on the hope that a god might interfere is the right action? Because if so, the cleric most certainly took the right choice.

There's a ton of different possibilities that would show cowardice. The paladin could have run out with the group. The paladin could have tried to negotiate with the Vampire both before and/or after the folks became dominated. The paladin could have hidden behind one of the civilians. The paladin could have begun massacring the civilians instead of letting them watch as the walk to their own death.

If you're facing something you perceive to be a severe threat, something that by its self is NOT afraid of 7(!) people attacking it, your mind is going to race and think on it for at least a second. The paladin, is toe to toe with .. god knows what, and something else that also looks like god knows what. It's time to think, is sacraficing myself going to do any good? Will I save more lives by living (evil still?)? What can I do (we don't know how many powers or actions they have/haven't spent) with what abilities I have left? In that time, she begins to Dominate. Stakes are higher now, need to do something, so we continue to try and tell the vampire to stop. Attacking is outright endful (and also simply not fun). Dominated people start walking towards the wall. Well poop, I don't even have time to think anymore, the paladin runs and starts trying to stop people from running into the wall

I mean, as far as I can tell every single action the paladin made was both logical and thoughtful for nearly everyone around. Except the party, which might still be the best action because the paladin is at least acknowledging that "gee, thanks guys".

Most people would not attempt to put the paladin in this situation. The OP didn't, the party did. That's all well and good, but regardless of WHO put him in this position, he IS in it. What is the logical choice of action to be made here.

A personal Martyr request and death?
Cowering like a lamb to evil?
At least.. speaking?

Either way, great story and interesting developments. I could only imagine what this would have been like if the BBEG was -actually- agressive and attacked rather than scoffing.


I much prefer most of the time being able to converse with the enemy vs always just jumping into a fight. A lot of the time that is what happens anyway but being able to talk to them gives the social game some face time, and you can sometimes find information out that you wouldn't normally been able to.

The fact that this is a gnome pally, makes it even better in regards to she approached the situation intelligently and logically instead of all fervor and emotion. Gnomes are known for their intelligence, and i thought this played out well, for the most part until villagers started spontaneously combusting.

OP, any chance of a update soon?


Nether wrote:
OP, any chance of a update soon?

Game got delayed till the 30th on account of the Holidays messing with everyone's schedules & a player's band practice. Afterwards though, I'll be sure to post a recap of the session. Should be an interesting one, given the fallout.


You know, a far cooler method than merely having various characters fall would be to rule that the brutal burning triggered a supernatural event resulting in everyone concerned becoming cursed in some way.

* Revenants, burning skeletons, and other undead versions of burnt villagers start appearing to plague the PCs at inopportune times.

* The church or whatever the actual site of burning was becomes twisted and profane.

* NPCs and NPC organizations may learn of the massacre and react accordingly.

* Individual characters suffer some sort of interesting, plot-based penalty. For example, the Samurai becomes a were-rat (involuntary and uncontrolled during periods of change). A piece of the cleric's soul has inadvertently been claimed by an evil deity such as Asmodeus or Urgathoa. Most of the cleric's powers still function, but whenever domain abilities are used and maybe 20% of the time when casting other spells, the evil deity seizes control. Thus an attempt at using a domain-based buff ability might trigger a random fire bolt. Or a Bless spell might spontaneously transmute into Bane. Perhaps the wizard loses control of his school and starts manifesting uncontrolled Necromantic or Fire Elementalist Wizard specialty abilities instead. The paladin might not fall, but may unknowingly have lost her immunity to fear and now be radiating an aura of unease. Try to run things so that the challenge rises a bit but characters aren't completely gimped. Let them eventually, after suitable and significant effort, choose either to atone (in which case their abilities return to normal) or to embrace their new, evil-stained selves (in which case they gain control of their new abilities and said abilities become permanent).


How did it go darth?


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yes, curious for updates!


I'm appalled at all the calls for a do over. why? the players acted out in a natural way, and the GM let them follow through.

The players do need to the punish. they ran because for them at some level the game is real. to keep that immersion, you do have to punish the paladin and the cleric, otherwise in my opinion your not playing a RPG of any consequence.

The cleric should be stripped of all powers until she atones.

the paladin should also be stripped until he atones.


Unfortunately one of my players had to cancel game since he got called in for overtime so game's been put on hold since everyone's busy till the new year.

But don't worry though I'll definitely update you all when it happens.

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