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Would you accept a Paladin using the fact that they haven't fallen as circumstantial proof they are in the right?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Paladin:
Code of Conduct
A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class features except proficiencies if she ever willingly commits an evil act.

Additionally, a paladin’s code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.

Ex-Paladins
A paladin... who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features (including the service of the paladin’s mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies).

So a paladin that still has their mount and the ability to cast divine spells when attempting to overthrow a non-legitimate authority should be able to use this as proof that they are in the right and get any good people and possibly lawful people who believe the ruling authorities haven't done anything wrong, who are trying to stop the paladin to instead join them.

But that's assuming everyone knows this information about paladins.

Would you allow this in your games? It'd be very circumstantial if it were to work. What do y'all think?


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I think people in the setting should be aware that Paladins run the risk of losing the endorsement of their deity if they transgress; there are probably several noteworthy "fallen Paladins" in history.

So I think people can take "that guy is all paladin-ey" as an indication that this person is generally a good guy and likely trustworthy.

Should "I am a Paladin and thus my testimony should be considered 100% factual" hold up in a court of law in an adversarial legal system? Absolutely not.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I would expect it not to be proof that the paladin is right. But it could be proof that the paladin believes that they are right.


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"Proof"? No. "Evidence"? Probably.

Partly it depends on the GM and the game world -- how far from The True Path does a paladin have to stray before they fall? Almost everyone on this forum agrees that it's a mark of a very bad game master to have a paladin fall for any transgression, no matter how minor ("YOU RETURNED YOUR LIBRARY BOOK TWO DAYS LATE! NO MOUNT FOR YOU!") but this should also apply to NPC paladins in a consistent and believable world.

In particular, I believe that paladins should not fall because of bad luck, because they were placed in a lose/lose situation, because they committed a minor transgression, or because they committed an act that is "evil" in a way that only someone with a doctorate in theology understands. But as a direct consequence of that, not every action that any specific paladin takes is necessarily a good, admirable, or morally pure one. It may just mean that the paladin hasn't crossed THAT line yet.

The paladin might even be planning some sort of evil act that hasn't come to fruition yet. Sir Righteous of Bright _might_ have finally snapped and he's looking to buy some insect-killer that he will use to poison his entire chapter house. "Sure, you can sell me that bottle of arsenic-flavored Kool-Ade. I'm a paladin, so you can feel confident that I'm not going to do anything morally wrong with it. You know that it's a great insecticide and it's one of the best ways to kill ants." --- actually, there's not a single incorrect statement in that quotation. Sir Righteous didn't even "lie" about his intentions; he just mentioned ants and how to kill them.

That said, most people would trust a mount-riding, certified lawful good paladin with industrial quantities of insecticide much more than they'd trust a mad alchemist who raves about "I'll show them who's insane. They want to see insane, do they? They don't know what insane looks like, bwahahahahaha!!!!11!eleven!!" And most of the time, they'd probably be right to do so.

Or, to put it another way,.... the fact that the guy is wearing a waiter's uniform in a fancy restaurant is pretty good evidence he's a waiter. But it's not proof, as Agatha Christie's collected works will illustrate.

Silver Crusade

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Going to depend a WHOLE lot on how paladins work under that particular GM and in that particular world.

In some worlds/GMs paladins of different Gods have significantly different "fall" conditions. So the fact that a Paladin of <Some Weird Unknown God> hasn't fallen would be a LOT less interesting than for a Paladin of <The God the local Empire claims to worship>

But, in most worlds, it would be at least an interesting data point that might give pause. In most worlds, at a minimum it would count as a circumstance bonus on diplomacy checks when the Paladin tries to convince people that he is doing the right thing.


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I would accept it as proof that their deity thinks they are right. Different deities have different rules so he might flourish under one deity, and fall under another.


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The big stricture is that they can't do anything evil. So, not having fallen isn't proof they're right, but it limits how wrong they can be.
Oddly, this might mean the worse the actions appear, the more likely the paladin is actually right.

Seen murdering a child in cold blood in broad daylight? Obviously the paladin is in the right - something has to be seriously wrong for that not to be pure evil.

Trying to persuade the populace to overthrow their apparently legitimate government? There's a lot more leeway there. It's not necessarily "evil" in and of itself, even if the government is legitimate.


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The fact that the paladin hasn't fallen doesn't mean they are right, it just means they aren't wrong enough for their deity to intervene directly.


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The other difficulty could be convincing everybody that you are a paladin. I'm sure there are a number of evil deities that would be happy to have a follower masquerade as a paladin to overthrow an otherwise good ruler. Spells can be cast by a number of different sources, ways to hide alignment exist, and mounts can be disguised. The others in question would need to know you as well or you would have to be willing to submit to a battery of magical testing.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Being Lawful Good does not equal infallibility. So No.


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I would say it depends also on the local governing system as well as chosen deity. Qadira will listen to a paladin of Sarenrae before a paladin of Iomedae and Rahadoum will sick its Pure Legion on them if they dare use divinity as proof of righteousness. Cheliax cares a lot more about the letter of the law than the spirit, so they'd easily dismiss a paladin trying to use their status as a convincing argument unless that paladin also holds powerful political connections to grease the wheels of the bureaucracy in his or her favor. It's a very interesting dynamic because so many variables are left to be considered.


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Most of y'all seem to agree that it wouldn't work 100% of the time as a catch all, but under the right circumstances, would provide a benefit to convince them to give your words and actions the benefit of the doubt, so I guess I will use that.

Thank you all for your input. I have Asperger's Syndrome, and thought up of this situation when trying to consider how my players could break my game, and was worried because I wasn't sure how to respond appropriately. You have been very helpful.


just because they currently have paladin abilities doesn't mean they have sideways been in the right. they could habe even messed up so much they have fallen, but have since had atonement cast upon them.

also, you can be incorrect in your testimony without actually lying.


Also, depending on the deity, it might not be a case of going from 100% right to 100% fallen. The fact that he hasn't fallen yet doesn't mean that he won't.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just because people believe he is a paladin does not mean he is. There is no guarentee or absolute proof that he has some infallible god on his side.

For the PC it is a little different. He knows he has not broken his code or he would have fallen but not why. Was that palace guard not a legitimate authority because of a legal loop hole? The PC does not gain omniscience.


How does a paladin prove he's a paladin? He could just be a cavalier/cleric. Even worse, he could actually be a paladin but have an archetype that makes him difficult to identify as such.


Melkiador wrote:
How does a paladin prove he's a paladin? He could just be a cavalier/cleric. Even worse, he could actually be a paladin but have an archetype that makes him difficult to identify as such.

Ask the person in question to tell a lie. If you immediately feel less courageous around him and his overwhelming good aura drops several degrees, odds are that was a paladin.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
How does a paladin prove he's a paladin? He could just be a cavalier/cleric. Even worse, he could actually be a paladin but have an archetype that makes him difficult to identify as such.
Ask the person in question to tell a lie. If you immediately feel less courageous around him and his overwhelming good aura drops several degrees, odds are that was a paladin.

If a paladin says he will tell a lie and does is it a lie? Telling the truth would be a lie...

How do you know if you feel courageous and how do you measure it? Even with no danger around?
How does detect good apply to multiclass characters? it might make this even more ambiguous.
What about misdirection?

With so many options how is there even a general idea of a paladin beyond a goal to live up to? hundreds of people in a large city probably claim to be one. Each different and most probably telling the truth (even if they don't have the character class). Or are paladins and do not claim to be one.

to the OP question, What does the PC believe about his abilities? If the PC believes he cannot do any wrong and keep his powers than it is a reasonable assumption. A paladin should be able to see the shades of gray in his career and how circumstances matter. People should be able to do lots of things...


A Paladin with proven reputation and ability would be an excellent character witness and in certain legal systems ( no jury, just testimony to a local lord or some such ) could make all the difference in a trial situation.

Proof? No. Simply very persuasive testimony.


Story idea. Druid with horse mount. Does unspeakable things and says "but look I can heal wounds and have a mount so I must be a paladin and in the right"


dragonhunterq wrote:
The fact that the paladin hasn't fallen doesn't mean they are right, it just means they aren't wrong enough for their deity to intervene directly.

Yet

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

No. A non-fallen paladin just means they haven't screwed up enough to provoke their deity into withdrawing divine power from them. However, commoners might believe such an argument.


And what about Atonement? The Paladin could commit the evil act, fall, be genuinely remorseful, seek atonement and regain his powers before the authorities arrest him.

The commoner gossip mill would skip over the important details and reduce it to the paladin was right all along.

Silver Crusade

No, just because a Paladin hasn't fallen doesn't make them right. It just means they aren't intentionally doing wrong. A Paladin can still be wrong. Lying requires intent. A Paladin can believe something earnestly and still be wrong about it.


Order of the Stick comics 406-408 will be my reference here. Assuming that a Paladin strikes down a lawful ruler and still retains their powers would be a pretty good sign that they did the right thing.


I feel like "lying" and "making statements that have a truth value other than True or True-ish" are different sorts of things.

Paladins are prohibited from lying and lying, to me, connotes more "a deliberate attempt to deceive" or "an intentional falsehood" than "saying a thing that is not true."

If a Paladin could get dinged for "saying a thing that isn't true" saying things like:

"This sentence is false."
or
"The current King of Andoran is bald."
or
"The only thing I know is that I know nothing."
or
"The set of all sets that are not members of themselves is a member of itself."

Could potentially get people in trouble. I think a fantasy world where Paladins get in trouble for that sort of thing is a bit too silly for me. It probably makes more sense for Paladins to get dinged only for deliberately stating falsehood for malicious or ignoble reasons. I certainly wouldn't make a Paladin fall for "no, inspector, there are absolutely no refugees hiding in my attic."

Shadow Lodge

Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
How does a paladin prove he's a paladin? He could just be a cavalier/cleric. Even worse, he could actually be a paladin but have an archetype that makes him difficult to identify as such.
Ask the person in question to tell a lie. If you immediately feel less courageous around him and his overwhelming good aura drops several degrees, odds are that was a paladin.

Emphasis on "was" a paladin.


Character classes and game mechanics are things the player is always aware of but the character may not be. Just because I am a paladin does not mean I have the letter P tattooed on my forehead for all to see. With all the classes, archetypes and feats there is no way for a character to know for sure what class a character is. How does a commoner know that my champion of the faith warpriest of Milani is not a paladin?

Even if you are a paladin that does not mean your character goes around calling himself a paladin. My paladin could consider himself a holly knight, or a warrior of god or any number of titles besides the French title given to the followers of Charlemagne .


A paladin's status as 'fallen' or 'not fallen' has evidentiary value, but any Cheliaxian lawyer worth his salt has memorized the book on the loopholes for that.

A basic example- the restriction on working with evil creatures. What if an enemy was hiding his alignment and using his disguise to pretend to be a helpful ally. Does the paladin turn the instant he shakes hands with the guy, even though the villain is disguised? NO- no GM I know of would give it away with that- the fall could only happen if the paladin continues to wok with the villains after the truth is revealed.

Thus, that restriction is has the implied caveat of 'KNOWINGLY'- 'a paladin cannot KNOWINGLY work with an evil creature.'

A paladin's powers are more based on following the creed of his order as well- you can easily see this through the fact that the major LG gods have their own codes that vary wildly. Torag's in particular seems to imply "yes, kill the goblin babies, since we all know they will probably murder a child when they are older" (Torag is fairly hardcore, which likely stems from trying to keep the dwarves alive in the hellhole that is the underdark). But that is very, very different to Sarenrae's "redeem them if you can" code.

And heck- Cheliax specifically has a version of paladins that have been tricked into doing its bidding (tricked into thinking that fighting chaos is fighting evil- that godclaw archetype switches everything to chaotic so that the paladins 'conveniently'cannot tell that their bosses are evil, or that the 'evil criminals' they catch might be CG).

Overall- you can only tell some very basic principles just from the fact that a paladin has not fallen. Typically, the only main one you can see is that they are not telling a lie. Since their powers are largely oath and devotion based, lies are one of the more consistent things you can find with them.

I see a greater value as evidence if the paladin did fall, rather than if he didn't. If he killed a guy, and then fell, then there is a big likelihood that he killed an innocent. That tends to be one of the more obvious signs when it comes to paladins.


It greatly depends on the GM.

In my world? Most likely yes. I don't allow non-Lawful Good Paladins. Paladins cannot lie and retain their powers. That breaks the core rule book code. This is a well known fact.

In fact, in my world pretending to be a Paladin is, in many places, a high crime if the lie is told in an attempt to commit a crime.

This is, of course, providing the government is good aligned.

Let me explain:

The fact is the Paladin can be determined to be truthful as far as they know. So if a Paladin says, "Baron Vol attacked me. He was slain during battle as I defended myself."

Then that is what happened as far as the Paladin knows. It is taken as fact. At the worst the Paladin was mistaken and the battle came from it.

If the Paladin said, "I saw Baron Vol attack and kill Farmer John." Then the fact is that is what the Paladin thinks he saw. He could be mistaken.

The more detailed the better.

"My companions and I confronted Baron Vol. We accused him of selling his soul to a demon. He laughed and attacked us with a spell to inflict wounds while calling on the demon Lord Evul Gai. I used my powers to determine he was aligned with evil and drew my blade. Calling on Iomedae I asked her to smite him, she did by granting me divine power. I struck him with my holy blade and with the power of Iomedae I killed him."

Anyone would assume that was true as far as the Paladin knew. In this case, yes. Unless the government is evil he'd be cleared.

Lantern Lodge

In absence of absolute truth, "in the right" may be subject to perspective. If the Paladin has done the right thing in his eyes and his deity's, and hasn't broken his code, he still may not be "right" according to other people's perspectives.

Maybe the other people are content with this new authority, even if it isn't legitimate, because they just want peace for a time.

Silver Crusade

HWalsh wrote:

It greatly depends on the GM.

In my world? Most likely yes. I don't allow non-Lawful Good Paladins. Paladins cannot lie and retain their powers. That breaks the core rule book code. This is a well known fact.

In fact, in my world pretending to be a Paladin is, in many places, a high crime if the lie is told in an attempt to commit a crime.

This is, of course, providing the government is good aligned.

Let me explain:

The fact is the Paladin can be determined to be truthful as far as they know. So if a Paladin says, "Baron Vol attacked me. He was slain during battle as I defended myself."

Then that is what happened as far as the Paladin knows. It is taken as fact. At the worst the Paladin was mistaken and the battle came from it.

If the Paladin said, "I saw Baron Vol attack and kill Farmer John." Then the fact is that is what the Paladin thinks he saw. He could be mistaken.

The more detailed the better.

"My companions and I confronted Baron Vol. We accused him of selling his soul to a demon. He laughed and attacked us with a spell to inflict wounds while calling on the demon Lord Evul Gai. I used my powers to determine he was aligned with evil and drew my blade. Calling on Iomedae I asked her to smite him, she did by granting me divine power. I struck him with my holy blade and with the power of Iomedae I killed him."

Anyone would assume that was true as far as the Paladin knew. In this case, yes. Unless the government is evil he'd be cleared.

While their testimony would be more valuable than someone else's, because they can still be mistaken their testimony shouldn't be taken as gospel. Additionally, "in the right" is an incredibly subjective concept. For example, a LN society that had very strict rules about vigilantism or who can mete out justice might view you as being in the wrong confronting Baron Vol yourself rather than going through the correct authorities. The Paladin would be on the right from their own perspective, they would be in the wrong from the perspective of this hypothetical society.


Isonaroc wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

It greatly depends on the GM.

In my world? Most likely yes. I don't allow non-Lawful Good Paladins. Paladins cannot lie and retain their powers. That breaks the core rule book code. This is a well known fact.

In fact, in my world pretending to be a Paladin is, in many places, a high crime if the lie is told in an attempt to commit a crime.

This is, of course, providing the government is good aligned.

Let me explain:

The fact is the Paladin can be determined to be truthful as far as they know. So if a Paladin says, "Baron Vol attacked me. He was slain during battle as I defended myself."

Then that is what happened as far as the Paladin knows. It is taken as fact. At the worst the Paladin was mistaken and the battle came from it.

If the Paladin said, "I saw Baron Vol attack and kill Farmer John." Then the fact is that is what the Paladin thinks he saw. He could be mistaken.

The more detailed the better.

"My companions and I confronted Baron Vol. We accused him of selling his soul to a demon. He laughed and attacked us with a spell to inflict wounds while calling on the demon Lord Evul Gai. I used my powers to determine he was aligned with evil and drew my blade. Calling on Iomedae I asked her to smite him, she did by granting me divine power. I struck him with my holy blade and with the power of Iomedae I killed him."

Anyone would assume that was true as far as the Paladin knew. In this case, yes. Unless the government is evil he'd be cleared.

While their testimony would be more valuable than someone else's, because they can still be mistaken their testimony shouldn't be taken as gospel. Additionally, "in the right" is an incredibly subjective concept. For example, a LN society that had very strict rules about vigilantism or who can mete out justice might view you as being in the wrong confronting Baron Vol yourself rather than going through the correct authorities. The Paladin would be on the right from their own perspective, they would be in the wrong...

No realistic city in a world of fantasy would have such laws. It is a world of heroes and villains not LA 2017.

Even then I prefaced, "If the government is good aligned."

Honestly I think people just like to knock Paladins a peg or two for no reason.


It is fun to ponder the finer points of what's essentially a modern understanding of law as it might be in a world with paladins, but most of it likely doesn't apply to most PF settings or campaigns.

Beyond that, the original question wasn't a matter of law or of convincing authorities or of even how authorities might respond, but of the paladin persuading the population to join in overthrowing what she claimed was an illegitimate authority. All the haggling about exactly what the paladin could get away with and how she might be wrong or whether people could be sure she was really a paladin is kind of irrelevant.
If paladins are enough of a known thing in the world that the question even makes sense at all, then it will certainly help the paladin. She'll be more likely trusted especially in the kind of extreme situations paladins tend to get involved in.


Isonaroc wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

It greatly depends on the GM.

In my world? Most likely yes. I don't allow non-Lawful Good Paladins. Paladins cannot lie and retain their powers. That breaks the core rule book code. This is a well known fact.

In fact, in my world pretending to be a Paladin is, in many places, a high crime if the lie is told in an attempt to commit a crime.

This is, of course, providing the government is good aligned.

Let me explain:

The fact is the Paladin can be determined to be truthful as far as they know. So if a Paladin says, "Baron Vol attacked me. He was slain during battle as I defended myself."

Then that is what happened as far as the Paladin knows. It is taken as fact. At the worst the Paladin was mistaken and the battle came from it.

If the Paladin said, "I saw Baron Vol attack and kill Farmer John." Then the fact is that is what the Paladin thinks he saw. He could be mistaken.

The more detailed the better.

"My companions and I confronted Baron Vol. We accused him of selling his soul to a demon. He laughed and attacked us with a spell to inflict wounds while calling on the demon Lord Evul Gai. I used my powers to determine he was aligned with evil and drew my blade. Calling on Iomedae I asked her to smite him, she did by granting me divine power. I struck him with my holy blade and with the power of Iomedae I killed him."

Anyone would assume that was true as far as the Paladin knew. In this case, yes. Unless the government is evil he'd be cleared.

While their testimony would be more valuable than someone else's, because they can still be mistaken their testimony shouldn't be taken as gospel. Additionally, "in the right" is an incredibly subjective concept. For example, a LN society that had very strict rules about vigilantism or who can mete out justice might view you as being in the wrong confronting Baron Vol yourself rather than going through the correct authorities. The Paladin would be on the right from their own perspective, they would be in the wrong from the perspective of this hypothetical society.

Certainly possible that an evil government would happily punish the paladin or the LN not care about anything except that the laws were technically broken, even in a good cause.

The paladin not falling would still often be useful even in establishing the facts: If the thing the paladin is accused of is an Evil act on the face of it, then we know the paladin didn't do it or there were extenuating circumstances. The paladin didn't murder the innocent little girl, no matter who accuses her of it or what evidence they claim, because she's still a paladin.

Silver Crusade

HWalsh wrote:
No realistic city in a world of fantasy would have such laws. It is a world of heroes and villains not LA 2017.

Emphasis mine. There can be any number of societies with any number of laws, it's fantasy. And, in fact, I'd be surprised if a world of heroes and villains didn't have several societies that explicitly reject the idea that a few powerful individuals should be law unto themselves.

Quote:
Even then I prefaced, "If the government is good aligned."

You ended with "unless the government is evil," I provided a scenario where a non-evil government would still take issue.

Quote:
Honestly I think people just like to knock Paladins a peg or two for no reason.

Paladins are my favorite class. I just think it's silly to claim that Paladins are always in the right. Paladins are just as fallible as everyone else.


Isonaroc wrote:


Paladins are my favorite class. I just think it's silly to claim that Paladins are always in the right. Paladins are just as fallible as everyone else.

No, they aren't, they can't be. A Paladin must be better than non-Paladins because one moral slip takes it all away. Nobody else has that problem.


HWalsh wrote:
Isonaroc wrote:


Paladins are my favorite class. I just think it's silly to claim that Paladins are always in the right. Paladins are just as fallible as everyone else.
No, they aren't, they can't be. A Paladin must be better than non-Paladins because one moral slip takes it all away. Nobody else has that problem.

Doesn't change the fact a paladin can be mistaken, act rashly, speak out of turn, or similarly mess up. Just because a paladin didn't have his divine powers stripped from him for some particular act doesn't make him right. It just means he didn't knowingly commit an evil act or violate some other minutae of his code (use poison, lie, etc).


HWalsh wrote:
No realistic city in a world of fantasy...

Did you really just write that phrase? Seriously?


Isonaroc wrote:
HWalsh wrote:


"My companions and I confronted Baron Vol. We accused him of selling his soul to a demon. He laughed and attacked us with a spell to inflict wounds while calling on the demon Lord Evul Gai. "

Anyone would assume that was true as far as the Paladin knew. In this case, yes. Unless the government is evil he'd be cleared.

Cleared of what? Just because the Paladin acted according to the truth as he knew that doesn't mean he'd be cleared.... it's hardly a novel idea that the lawmakers are different from the police, who are different from judges who, in turn, are different from executioners. Given the fact that disguise self is a thing, confronting Baron Vol doesn't mean much until and unless you can establish that it was actually Baron Vol you were confronting -- and even then, he is entitled to justify himself. And that's not a 20th century, or even 17th century, innovation.

While their testimony would be more valuable than someone else's, because they can still be mistaken their testimony shouldn't be taken as gospel.

Yes. Precisely.

Quote:
For example, a LN society that had very strict rules about vigilantism or who can mete out justice might view you as being in the wrong confronting Baron Vol yourself rather than going through the correct authorities.

Or even a LG society that recognizes that justice should not only be done, but also should be seen to be done.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
No realistic city in a world of fantasy...

Did you really just write that phrase? Seriously?

Certainly, and while it may seem odd, everyone who games knows exactly what I mean.

We are talking about cities in worlds where evil demons take human form to lead mankind to ruin. Where a sorcerer can place a person under mind control to do their bidding. Where cloning, illusions, and human sacrifice are actual concerns.

This is not a world like ours where such things aren't really concerns. You don't worry about the business man on Wall Street turning into a 7 foot tall monster with curled ram horns and stealing your soul... I mean they might be evil and steal your money, but they aren't stealing your soul.

So then, these same people aren't going to run modern-style legal systems with loopholes. That would be insane. If a local sheriff kicks in a door and finds a human sacrifice table laid out in the basement, during the trial the defense isn't going to win by claiming, "Well your honor, the equipment found was located by the law enforcement official entering the home without a warrant or clear probable cause, thus it is only just that the evidence, in this case, be thrown out."

Nor is the defense going to claim, "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. I know that the esteemed Paladin here claims to have seen Lord Camden disembowel that scullery maid, but let me ask you, is he being honest? I mean, seriously, this man is a zealot, he's seeing evil around every corner. I mean, certainly, Lord Camden may indeed be a ruthless and strict man, but did he kill that young woman? What proof does the Paladin have? It is only his word against that of my client's after all. Where is the body? Well the Paladin would have you believe that Lord Camden used magic to summon forth monsters that devoured the corpse... I ask you, do we have proof of that? How do we know the scullery maid didn't run off with some man? How do we know this isn't the Paladin just persecuting my client for having religious beliefs that differ from those of his own? How do we even know that this man is a Paladin? We have heard tales of Paladins falling before, how do we know that this Paladin is a Paladin? There are a number of ways they could be faking this. Just because he claims to be a Paladin, a defender of justice, a slayer of monsters doesn't mean he's not lying. How do we know he's not a demon?"


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
No realistic city in a world of fantasy...
Did you really just write that phrase? Seriously?

To expand upon this, in order to be amenable to a modern audience, a fantasy world has to reflect modern sensibilities in some ways. Telling a player that they're character is being discriminated against because of their race, sex, gender, or religion is a pretty awful thing to do to that player (particularly if they were just playing someone who reminded them of themselves) so we find Golarion to be generally be a more tolerant place than the real world is sometimes. This is great.

Plus, people's notions of "historical accuracy" are pretty inconsistently applied to fantasy worlds, and people's notions of what "historically accurate" can be pretty distorted. To wit, there are people who complain that including non-white people to a fantasy setting would be "unrealistic" despite the copious evidence to the contrary.

Even so I figure "A city has pretty strict rules against murdering that person you saw do a crime instead of alerting the authorities" is not that unrealistic for any society that wants to have a justice system. Like "don't just kill people even if think you have a good reason" is basically step one when you want to have a system of laws.

Shadow Lodge

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No.

Lawful good is not the best good

Lawful good is not the right good

Lawful good is not double plus good.

The paladin is not always right. The other goods are just as good, and equally valid. (Neutral good even more so)


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
No realistic city in a world of fantasy...
Did you really just write that phrase? Seriously?

To expand upon this, in order to be amenable to a modern audience, a fantasy world has to reflect modern sensibilities in some ways. Telling a player that they're character is being discriminated against because of their race, sex, gender, or religion is a pretty awful thing to do to that player (particularly if they were just playing someone who reminded them of themselves) so we find Golarion to be generally be a more tolerant place than the real world is sometimes. This is great.

Plus, people's notions of "historical accuracy" are pretty inconsistently applied to fantasy worlds, and people's notions of what "historically accurate" can be pretty distorted. To wit, there are people who complain that including non-white people to a fantasy setting would be "unrealistic" despite the copious evidence to the contrary.

Even so I figure "A city has pretty strict rules against murdering that person you saw do a crime instead of alerting the authorities" is not that unrealistic for any society that wants to have a justice system. Like "don't just kill people even if think you have a good reason" is basically step one when you want to have a system of laws.

I call shenanigans.

First off... There is plenty of discrimination in fantasy worlds, look at Half-Orcs. That is just one example. Look at Tieflings. Look at Aasimar. Those are all book examples of racism that are part of the core of Golarion.

Secondly... Go look at the Paizo APs. Almost all of the Paizo APs have stuff, by those rules, where the law would get involved... Yet they don't... From Rise of the Rune Lords to Shattered Star the law lets adventurers mete out justice where it needs to be done without batting an eyelash and not once worrying about nitty gritty specifics of legal nuance.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

No.

Lawful good is not the best good

Lawful good is not the right good

Lawful good is not double plus good.

The paladin is not always right. The other goods are just as good, and equally valid. (Neutral good even more so)

Wrong.

Lawful Good Fighter tells a lie knowingly? They are still a Fighter, there is no way to normally tell.

Lawful Good Paladin tells a lie knowingly? They lose their powers. There is a tangible and immediate effect in most cases. From their auras suddenly going down, to loss of powers.

If you think that the other goods are just as good then you're simply wrong. You may not like it, you may rail against it, but when it comes to "Most Good" the Lawful Good non-Paladin may be a 10, but the Paladin turns that up to 11.

It has always been that way, it will always be that way, and to not at least nod to that fact, as it has always been, is disrespectful to the original creator of the D&D, and by extension Pathfinder, Gary Gygax.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
No realistic city in a world of fantasy...
Did you really just write that phrase? Seriously?

To expand upon this, in order to be amenable to a modern audience, a fantasy world has to reflect modern sensibilities in some ways. Telling a player that they're character is being discriminated against because of their race, sex, gender, or religion is a pretty awful thing to do to that player (particularly if they were just playing someone who reminded them of themselves) so we find Golarion to be generally be a more tolerant place than the real world is sometimes. This is great.

Plus, people's notions of "historical accuracy" are pretty inconsistently applied to fantasy worlds, and people's notions of what "historically accurate" can be pretty distorted. To wit, there are people who complain that including non-white people to a fantasy setting would be "unrealistic" despite the copious evidence to the contrary.

Even so I figure "A city has pretty strict rules against murdering that person you saw do a crime instead of alerting the authorities" is not that unrealistic for any society that wants to have a justice system. Like "don't just kill people even if think you have a good reason" is basically step one when you want to have a system of laws.

Except that we're playing a game of heroic adventure. In most cases, "report to the authorities" isn't how we want the game to work.

It might work that way in a "real" fantasy setting, but this is a game and it's designed for gaming.


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HWalsh wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

No.

Lawful good is not the best good

Lawful good is not the right good

Lawful good is not double plus good.

The paladin is not always right. The other goods are just as good, and equally valid. (Neutral good even more so)

Wrong.

Lawful Good Fighter tells a lie knowingly? They are still a Fighter, there is no way to normally tell.

Lawful Good Paladin tells a lie knowingly? They lose their powers. There is a tangible and immediate effect in most cases. From their auras suddenly going down, to loss of powers.

If you think that the other goods are just as good then you're simply wrong. You may not like it, you may rail against it, but when it comes to "Most Good" the Lawful Good non-Paladin may be a 10, but the Paladin turns that up to 11.

It has always been that way, it will always be that way, and to not at least nod to that fact, as it has always been, is disrespectful to the original creator of the D&D, and by extension Pathfinder, Gary Gygax.

Nah, most good is Neutral Good.

Lawful Good characters have to care about laws all the time.

Chaotic Good characters have to care about breaking laws all the time.

Neutral Good characters? If following the law is the best way to do good, do it! If breaking the law is the best way to do good, do it! Why do people have to get hung up so much on method? At the end of the day, if the world is safe and the people you love are happy, who cares if you broke some arbitrary "honor code" that gets the nobility all in a huff or get called "stuffy and uptight" by those cool kids down the street?

Shadow Lodge

Ventor wrote:
Chaotic Good characters have to care about breaking laws all the time.

Well no, they have to worry about preserving freedom all the time. They don't just start murdering people because you passed a law against murder.

A "chaotic or good" situation would be you have an undead army coming towards you. Do you conscript people to fight it for a better chance of success, or only rely on those willing to fight?

Shadow Lodge

HWalsh wrote:


Lawful Good Paladin tells a lie knowingly? They lose their powers. There is a tangible and immediate effect in most cases. From their auras suddenly going down, to loss of powers.

Lies aren't evil.

Chelaxians are at the door with a search warrant looking for escaped halfling slaves

Chaotic good: Lies through their teeth

Neutral good: Lies through their teeth

Lawful good: erm... ahh uhm... faces a quandary here. (non paladins still wind up lying)


thejeff wrote:

Except that we're playing a game of heroic adventure. In most cases, "report to the authorities" isn't how we want the game to work.

It might work that way in a "real" fantasy setting, but this is a game and it's designed for gaming.

I mean, I don't know about you, but in the game I want to play when the PCs commit some sort of crime within the jurisdiction of legitimate authority, I expect them to have to either answer to or avoid legal repercussions. If nothing else, this is a fun roleplaying scenario and lets people put their social skills to work (since everybody is going to need to testify, you can't just nominate the high charisma guy as the spokesperson.)

I mean "why did you break into the Duke's manor and murder him? If you had evidence that he was summoning demons, was there anything that made this so pressing that you couldn't let us know first?" is something the Sherrif (to say nothing of the Duke's relatives" would like to know. A lot of the time in official Paizo stuff the PCs either already have the official sanction of the Sherrif/Prince/Queen/whomever to deal with the problem, or you're talking about situations that lack legitimate authority (because you're in the middle of nowhere, the city is run by monsters, or the city has suffered a disaster, say.)

It feels like we've shifted the goalposts between "A sheriff who doesn't want the PCs just up and murdering people is unrealistic" to "it's not as much fun to do it that way" which is a different argument entirely, plus fun is subjective.

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