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How to deal with Paladins


Advice

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Hi tall folks! (EDITED DUE TO J4RH34D EXCELENT ADVICE)

Well, i think this is the most suitable forum to fit my questions in, so here i go.

The thing is, i've never been master for players above level 5, and now i'm facing some issues in the Rise of The Runelords campaing due to one thing.

The paladin.

He can basicaly blow up every hard enemy in the campaing due to the smite evil and the rules around it. Even if i think that smite evil is pretty unbalanced in power compared with other classes features, thats not the thing.

The thing here is: Paladins are pretty strong, because they have to risk their powers pledging their behaviour to a code, and if they fail in that, they become absolutely nothing but a guy with a really hard time in front of them. I'm not saying i want to nerf my player, i'm just saying that in my opinion i'm making it easy to play a paladin.

So...what can i do to make the paladin's experience more brutal? And i'm talking about making this class feature interesting, add a little pressence to the game, not because of his enemys, but because of his philosophy and code rules. A great power comes with a great responsibility, u know...

Thank you all, tall folks!


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Dont be that GM
Please please please dont be that GM.

Yes paladin's do a lot of damage, but they do less than a specialised archer build, unless it is a paladin archer.

The paladin also still has to get up to whomever he is fighting to hit them.
A wizard can end an encounter from across the room.

However we don't go around saying we have to threaten to remove their class features because of it.

Find other ways to make the combat more difficult.
Add in difficult terrain so the paladin can't charge.
Add in mooks who get in the way.
Make the bbg an illusion so the paladin wastes actions.

Do anything else instead of "turning the life of my paladin really hard to life".

There are better ways to fix the issue. If you give more details on what too much damage is, what the rest of the part makeup is, what the other players are doing in combat, etc, then we can help better.


J4RH34D wrote:

Dont be that GM

Please please please dont be that GM.

Yes paladin's do a lot of damage, but they do less than a specialised archer build, unless it is a paladin archer.

The paladin also still has to get up to whomever he is fighting to hit them.
A wizard can end an encounter from across the room.

However we don't go around saying we have to threaten to remove their class features because of it.

Find other ways to make the combat more difficult.
Add in difficult terrain so the paladin can't charge.
Add in mooks who get in the way.
Make the bbg an illusion so the paladin wastes actions.

Do anything else instead of "turning the life of my paladin really hard to life".

There are better ways to fix the issue. If you give more details on what too much damage is, what the rest of the part makeup is, what the other players are doing in combat, etc, then we can help better.

Ok...maybe i expressed myself terribly here.

I wont be that GM, i trust in your advice so lets think this over ok? ^^

When i said "turning the life of my paladin really hard to life" i think i just didnt say what i was really thinking. Lets say it in other way: "i want to give a plus to that class feature" after all, all i want is to make it interesting, a bit hard (a challenge is allways interesting) and...u know, make it have a pressence in the history.

In the other hand, here you have more info about my group.

-Sorcerer with the dragonline blood

-Scout focused in archery (and i think this player have read a bit of the campaing, due to his favoured enemy choices)

-Iomedae tanky cleric focused in healing and undead countermeassures (sun domain)

Their tactics are pretty much the same in every situation. Tank and Paladin in the front, charging vs the enemy while the archer and the sorcerer blow enemys up from a safety distance. Tank will not be affected by terrain since she has the feather step boots.

And that's pretty much all ^^


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

so... hit them from behind. drop area effects on them. slow them down and then bomb them.

lots of things to do.


Ok, you can stop the paladin from charging with difficult terrain.
Another very easy option is to throw a couple of summons or something in between your big bad and the party.
These guys are there to die, and to stop the paladin and cleric from charging.

A scout, as in the rogue archetype?
Or the battle scout ranger archetype?

What level is the party?

Before you go throwing moral dilemmas at the paladin, ask him if it is something he would find fun, or enjoy.
Your main goal here is to make sure everyone is having fun, yourself included. So that is our goal here. We cant go and add moral dilemmas that you will enjoy if the player will hate them.

If moral dilemmas come in there is one important thing to remember, never ever create a no win situation.

The best way to create this kind of tension for your paladin is to give him an option, a real true option, not a trap or anything.
On one side he can gain something but it requires him to infringe his code, and on the other, he can gain something similar but make it much much harder.

An example might be that they have heard someone has a letter that they can use to prove the innocence of a man on trial. It doesn't completely absolve him, but it proves he was not the man who commited the murder during a robbery.
However the holder of the letter refuses to give it to the party as it implicates his son in a gambling and prostitution scandal.

There is also another way that the paladin can prevent the unjust execution of the thief. Make it something that is under a time constraint, or is difficult.

This is a situation where the paladin is in a difficult situation. He can do something easy that might go against his code. Such as advocate the theft of the letter.
Or he can try something more difficult like trying to convince the father to hand over the letter by offering to protect his family name or perhaps taking his son on as an apprentice to absolve him of his errant ways. Or he can investigate the crime and perhaps have to delve into an entire crime ring on the hope he can find evidence to prevent the execution, however it might involve going to war of sorts with the local underworld.

There are many options, some of which are objectively more just than others but require much more effort.
The easiest and simplest solution is simply to steal.

Your goal is not to force him to fall, but to temp him to fall.


The powder keg of justice

This gives a good insight into a part of what I mean.
It deals with the 'temptation' to break the code aspect.
The paladin is willing to break his code and resort to torture. He is willing to forego all he has to do what needs to be done.

It is a temptation to break the code. However if you do something like this there must always be another way to get it done.
You mustn't force a paladin to fall.

I feel like I keep repeating that, but it is so important. Do not force the fall, temp it. Make it enticing.
Another example is the creation of Darth Vader. He was tempted to foresake his vows to save his wife. He didn't have to, but he was tempted and he fell.

That is what you can do. Offer power to save people, a solution to a problem, and give him the opportunity to play out the internal conflict.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tell us about how he RP's his paladin? What god does he worship and such


J4RH34D wrote:

Ok, you can stop the paladin from charging with difficult terrain.

Another very easy option is to throw a couple of summons or something in between your big bad and the party.
These guys are there to die, and to stop the paladin and cleric from charging. (etc etc)

Damn, tall folk, u really are a good one!

The party level nowadays is 5, but they are hitting level 6 in one session (we are playing with the fast experience sistem, following the AP instructions)

Also, i really liked your point of view about "tempting" and not "forcing". Ideas come to my mind, things like "your enemy is in front of you, also, you can hear a woman's cry in the room to your left". Things like that can be "hard choices". Of course the easiest one is to take your enemy, but will you be good letting a prissioner suffer? The hard way is to save the prissioner and then run after your objetive.

Also. What can i do if one of the team make the easiest choice? I mean. Lets take the situation you created. Imagine a member of the group just punch the father and take the letter: "done" he say. What should i tell the paladin? I dont want to force him to act against his comrade, but if he dont protect his honor maybe that will affect him?


J4RH34D wrote:


~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tell us about how he RP's his paladin? What god does he worship and such

He worships Iomedae. Untill now he has been acting like a cavalier. Helping people in need, battling vs evil without doubts, taking prissioners instead of killing everyone...he's even trying to redeem Lyrie Akenja (CE wizard) from her life of evil and murdering.

However, he also paid an epic amount of money to a bard (NPC with PC levels) to sing his story up and down Magnimar (big city), because he want followers and also the people to know what they are doing.

He knows that one of his comrades is a kitsune, and that kitsune is making everyone in the town believe he's just human, so he can scape or something if things turn weird.

So, he's acting like a bright cavalier, but when it comes to...dont know, to tell their group to stay calm and act with honor, he may be a little soft. Also he saw how their team just took all the loot, money, even the clothes from a surrendered enemy and did nothing, even when he protected Lyrie against that, so i wonder, why did you protected lyrie and not the rest of the prissioners?

Also he said things like "bad people are not people", and use detect evil with everyone, if someone turns to be evil, for him, that NPC is not still considered a person,so if the group act evil against him "he or her deserved it" and he can do whatever he wants with him, like avoiding him or her, ignoring, or even looking for suspicious behaviour so he can trap them or make them fall.

Lantern Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I played a paladin trough Runelords and was in the middle of the party in terms of damage, except with Dragons, Undead, and Demons. Someone is always going to be the strong one.
If you had a max'ed archer this would be a completely different post entirely.

I also have to add that Runelords is a very paladin friendly AP in that there are not really any quandaries for the paladin already built into the AP, and I enjoyed that. Most everything is some type of monster that is beyond any hope of redemption. Book 2 is really only where it gets a little more interesting while running around Magnimar trying to figure out the mystery of the cult.

First problem: how is the paladin able to smite evil so much it is hurting the campaign? At 4th level a paladin can smite evil 2x/day. Are you letting them rest after every two encounters?

Next: if you are going to make the paladin's life hard, then you also need to work with the player, *and* make sure there is a good story reason for whatever happens, *and* make sure you understand the moral dilemma too. A paladin falling should be rare and a joint decision by the player and GM. The player should *know* that the choice they make will result in something like that, as their PC would certainly know.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There is a spell that is technically a paladin spell called Corruption Resistance. It mitigates some smite damage. Once the BBEG or even just the general leadership of the campaign (Mokmurian) becomes aware of the group and routinely scrying them create an npc Antipaladin (an ogre would be great for this) with enough levels to cast Corruption Resistance and the feat scribe scroll.

Have him sitting in a room somewhere churning out corruption resistance to every major enemy in the campaign up until the end.

You could even have rumors overheard from the enemy about an old ogre madman with some name like Bonegrinder that is a special council to the leadership and then maybe have them fight him late in the campaign... Not before he has created a huge stockpile of scrolls though.

If the paladin uses bows, start in the late game changing spell lists to include at least one casting of wind wall or fickle winds.

Surround him with summons and other mook monsters.


Pride is not against most of the paladins codes. So the minstrel I wouldn't worry about too much.
It is a way to tempt him though.
Put him in a situation where doing the right thing will sully his reputation.

There is nothing you can do if one of the party makes the choice. The only thing you can do is ask the player "Would <Insert name here>really be happy with letting this slide?"

Dont make the character have to deal with the issue, but prompt the player to consider how his character would honestly react.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Looting the enemy. It has only become common in recent time not to plunder and pillage from your defeated enemy. If you have captured someone it is to imprison them, if you are imprisoning them why leave them their stuff?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Below Follows Iomedae's Paladin code

-I will learn the weight of my sword. Without my heart to guide it, it is worthless-my strength is not in my sword, but in my heart. If I lose my sword, I have lost a tool. If I betray my heart, I have died.
-I will have faith in the Inheritor. I will channel her strength through my body. I will shine in her legion, and i will not tarnish her glory through base actions.
-I am the first into battle, and the last to leave it.
-I will not be taken prisoner by my free will.
-I will not surrender those under my command.
-I will never abandon a companion, though I will honor sacrifice freely given.
-I will guard the honor of my fellows, both thought and deed, and I will have faith in them. This one compels him to speak against his comrades should they steal.
-When in doubt, I may force my enemies to surrender, but I am responsible for their lives.
-I will never refuse a challenge from an equal.
-I will give honor to worthy enemies, and contempt to the rest.
-I will suffer death before dishonor.
-I will be temperate in my actions and moderate in my behavior. This may cause issues with his pride actually.
-I will strive to emulate Iomedae's perfection.

"I will give honor to worthy enemies, and contempt to the rest."
Depending on how far he takes the "Evil people are not people" shtick this cause issues. Treating someone has not a person is certainly not honoring them. However he seems to be doing the "treat them with contempt" bit.

When I read "Without my heart to guide it, it is worthless-my strength is not in my sword, but in my heart." I get the feeling that Iomedae is preaching against the wholesale murder of the evil. Do not simply use your swords because it is a sword. Temper your actions with your heart. Beyond just that, saying that 'my strength is ... in my heart' implies that a large part of his should strength should be in the way he treats others, not simply his combat prowess.

What I would potentially do is have a cleric of Iomedae hear the tales he has hired the bard to sing, and question the bard, and find out that the paladin payed him to spread the information.
Have the cleric seek out the paladin as a lost member of the flock and have a full on RP about his actions. "Does he truly believe that his actions reflect the will of the god he serves?" Have the cleric ask for the story, and whenever he mentions something that you feel is counter to something else question him about it.
"Why is it you feel she can be saved, but none of the other evil you have faced?" etc

Do not have the cleric tell the paladin he is acting out, but have him ask. Force the player to reach the conclusion through his character.

~~~~~~EDIT~~~~~~~~
As JustAWorm said, do not use these situations to force a fall. Use them to make the player consider his character's actions.
To go back to the previous example we used with the letter, even if he punches the guy out and takes the letter, don't just make him fall. Tell him at the time that his god wont be happy out of character. And then in character something tell him that his god is displeased with his actions, perhaps have one of her servants visit him in a dream. It's cliche but it works.

Before all of this i strongly strongly suggest printing out the paladin code of Iomadae and sitting down with the player and make sure you understand all the tenets the same way. I cannot stress this enough. Without this step the player may be blinsided when you tell him his character's god is displeased with an action.


As to combat stuff...
I think 4th ed did this, and it is a good system...
Have "Mooks". These are 1 hp minions that do minimal damage.
It makes it cinematic. The party has to fight through the enemies minions before closing to rend their head from their shoulders.
They can be whatever you want.

But imagine the scene:
The party kicks open the 15ft tall double doors into the throne room.
A red carbet runs from the doors, up the stepped dias and finally to the throne.
On the throne sits a malicious looking man with slicked back black hair and a sneer.
He stands as the party steps into his realm, "Thank you for finaly joining us." He says as he makes a sarcastic bow to the party, "We were beginning to worry you wouldn't make it." He says as he steps to the side of the throne and lounges against the peaked back, "Now that you are here I can'y have you running off." and with a wave of his hand the statues of former rulers that lined the alcoves crack as they step of their pedestals and close on the party.

This is where you roll initiative. The statues are literally there to let the party kill them. And to get in the way, and to stop the big bad from getting one shot.

At this point the party probably starts swinging, have the BBG act very nocnhalant until he see's his soldiers being destroyed, and then have him start acting from behind the screen of bodies.

When you do this stress that the statues are brittle, perhaps have ones leg shatter as it steps onto the hard marble floor.

Grand Lodge

When I open applications for campaigns, I make it clear that I want to know first how the player thinks to play a paladin if it's the case. I have a little prejudice against them as I had bad experiences with them. That pushed me to play the class differently while not suffering any risk of alignment switch.

But if there is an effort to not dictate the group's conduct in any way but letting the group to decide (that's worst possible no-no), I give some leeway. Minor infractions shouldn't warrant immediate fine, but that should not be repeated too often.

Now the " Kill immediatly for the greater good " : chaotic evil orcs in numbers but who are simply noncombattant citizens of Belkzen, and the goal is to cull the number of those who may attack Vigil. What to do or not do.


justaworm wrote:


First problem: how is the paladin able to smite evil so much it is hurting the campaign? At 4th level a paladin can smite evil 2x/day. Are you letting them rest after every two encounters?

I have never talked to a worm...this is a new experience for a goblin like me...awsome!!!

I cut your message not because i dont care about, but because i want to focus in this, ok? ^^ i really liked all you wrote.

That said, yes, my players are resting every 2 or 3 encounters. As soon as the cleric and the sorcerer loose like, the half or the 3/4 of the spells, they retreat and rest.

This actually have caused the Nualia easiest scape ever, and also the death of Kendra Deverin's brother by the hand of Aldren Foxglove


rkotitan wrote:

There is a spell that is technically a paladin spell called Corruption Resistance. It mitigates some smite damage. Once the BBEG or even just the general leadership of the campaign (Mokmurian) becomes aware of the group and routinely scrying them create an npc Antipaladin (an ogre would be great for this) with enough levels to cast Corruption Resistance and the feat scribe scroll.

Have him sitting in a room somewhere churning out corruption resistance to every major enemy in the campaign up until the end.

You could even have rumors overheard from the enemy about an old ogre madman with some name like Bonegrinder that is a special council to the leadership and then maybe have them fight him late in the campaign... Not before he has created a huge stockpile of scrolls though.

If the paladin uses bows, start in the late game changing spell lists to include at least one casting of wind wall or fickle winds.

Surround him with summons and other mook monsters.

I liked the idea about spells, i will look for the one you talk about, but i dont think i will apply it sistematicaly, my players would be so pissed and i'm sure they will believe i did it just to nerf them


Graelsis wrote:
justaworm wrote:


First problem: how is the paladin able to smite evil so much it is hurting the campaign? At 4th level a paladin can smite evil 2x/day. Are you letting them rest after every two encounters?

I have never talked to a worm...this is a new experience for a goblin like me...awsome!!!

I cut your message not because i dont care about, but because i want to focus in this, ok? ^^ i really liked all you wrote.

That said, yes, my players are resting every 2 or 3 encounters. As soon as the cleric and the sorcerer loose like, the half or the 3/4 of the spells, they retreat and rest.

This actually have caused the Nualia easiest scape ever, and also the death of Kendra Deverin's brother by the hand of Aldren Foxglove

Make them aware that taking their time is causing the death of innocents.

Something to do is if they retreat, have whatever is sentient further in find their dead comrades. These are actual things and they dont live only in their one room. They travel and move. A beast will be drawn to the smell of death so you may have cleared a room yesterday and think it is safe today only to find a bunch of giant rats eating the corpses or some other ghastly creature.

Dungeons are not satic, they are alive.


J4RH34D wrote:


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Looting the enemy. It has only become common in recent time not to plunder and pillage from your defeated enemy. If you have captured someone it is to imprison them, if you are imprisoning them why leave them their stuff?

I will print the Iomedae's code and give it to him, so he can have it close and remember things when he needs.

Talking about looting, i'm disturbed with this not because they loot, but because they are stealing.

Ok, here's the difference.

-When you kill an enemy that not surrender, and you loot, what you are doing is taking the results of the battle.

-When you capture an enemy, and you take everything from him, you are not better than a burglar.

Should they kill every enemy to take their things and avoid law dilemas then? If they say yes, its because they are not good aligned.

Then how do we get some gold? This is a question related to the game sistem, and not to the adventure itself. A paladin ingame will never think "yeah, i should took everything from him because that sword +1 is the one ive to get until level 3".

I would like to see how players focus in roleplaying and forget about gear, i'm the DM and i'm not letting them face strong enemy's without it...

I'm ok with teams that just take everything from their enemys and then let them starve in prission when their alignements or background allows them to do so...but why would a cavalier let an evil woman stay in prision with her gear and then make a necromancer stay in that same prission naked? There's something here that i dont understand.


Yeah, always keep an eye on the map and see how encounters could easily string together. The APs won't normally call this out.

(The most grievous example of this I can think of is in Book 5 of Carrion Crown, where the boss and her bad-ass bodyguard are detailed as two entirely separate encounters with no mention of each other - but when you look at the map you can see they're just in separate halves of a big room, and the party *should* be fighting both at the same time.)

And yeah, there should definitely be tactical consequences if your players are only fighting 2 to 3 fights and then running away constantly. Like, say, the enemy organizing a pursuit against them.

It sounds like they've been repeatedly kicking a hornet's nest and walking off again.


J4RH34D wrote:
Graelsis wrote:
justaworm wrote:


First problem: how is the paladin able to smite evil so much it is hurting the campaign? At 4th level a paladin can smite evil 2x/day. Are you letting them rest after every two encounters?

I have never talked to a worm...this is a new experience for a goblin like me...awsome!!!

I cut your message not because i dont care about, but because i want to focus in this, ok? ^^ i really liked all you wrote.

That said, yes, my players are resting every 2 or 3 encounters. As soon as the cleric and the sorcerer loose like, the half or the 3/4 of the spells, they retreat and rest.

This actually have caused the Nualia easiest scape ever, and also the death of Kendra Deverin's brother by the hand of Aldren Foxglove

Make them aware that taking their time is causing the death of innocents.

Something to do is if they retreat, have whatever is sentient further in find their dead comrades. These are actual things and they dont live only in their one room. They travel and move. A beast will be drawn to the smell of death so you may have cleared a room yesterday and think it is safe today only to find a bunch of giant rats eating the corpses or some other ghastly creature.

Dungeons are not satic, they are alive.

Yeah this is something i really use.

Nualia scaped, but her servants moved into twistletop just to ambush the PC'S twice, also they went discouraged when they realiced Nualia left them. Ameiko was in the dungeon too, so their wait made Nualia impregnate her with a monster baby of Lamasthu.

Also Aldren had the time to kill Gaven Deverin, and now her sister is going to left due to the emotional impact, and that will be the signal to Titus to take action over SandPoint Goverment


Your thinking is very weird.

He attacks me: I kill him and take his stuff.
Or, He attacks me: I take him prisoner and take his stuff.

Which one of those is better?
If someone is going to rot in a gulag you take their stuff. That is just common sense.
As to why he let the evil wizard keep her stuff, I can't answer for him. In my games we would strip her, bind her and gag her.

"-When you kill an enemy that not surrender, and you loot, what you are doing is taking the results of the battle.

-When you capture an enemy, and you take everything from him, you are not better than a burglar."

I am sorry, but when I beat an enemy unconscious and take their stuff, I am not a burglar (If they attacked me first). I really fail to see how you are saying that murder and then looting is better than beating them unconscious, getting them imprisoned, and then looting.

Now if you have proven the guilt of a corrupt politician and are having him arrested you dont take the ill-gotten gains. You give them back to the people.
Now if a man approaches me in a field and tries to split me in two.
I beat him and take his stuff if it is better than mine. Note I say beat, beat meaning kill or take prisoner. There is no difference except in that not killing him you allow him to live.


J4RH34D wrote:

Your thinking is very weird.

He attacks me: I kill him and take his stuff.
Or, He attacks me: I take him prisoner and take his stuff.

Which one of those is better?
If someone is going to rot in a gulag you take their stuff. That is just common sense.
As to why he let the evil wizard keep her stuff, I can't answer for him. In my games we would strip her, bind her and gag her.

"-When you kill an enemy that not surrender, and you loot, what you are doing is taking the results of the battle.

-When you capture an enemy, and you take everything from him, you are not better than a burglar."

I am sorry, but when I beat an enemy unconscious and take their stuff, I am not a burglar (If they attacked me first). I really fail to see how you are saying that murder and then looting is better than beating them unconscious, getting them imprisoned, and then looting.

Now if you have proven the guilt of a corrupt politician and are having him arrested you dont take the ill-gotten gains. You give them back to the people.
Now if a man approaches me in a field and tries to split me in two.
I beat him and take his stuff if it is better than mine. Note I say beat, beat meaning kill or take prisoner. There is no difference except in that not killing him you allow him to live.

I didnt say its better! It's different.

If you and your guys like to rape people then u like to play evil characters who are playing the good just by lucky chances of fate...

Also, that kind of question "if someone is going to rot in gulag i take his stuff" Well, if you call the police because someone is stealing a bank, but before that you took the money from him, you are stealing too...the law is equal to everyone, thats the setting i use to show in my campaings.

Im not saying its an EVIL act, im just saying its stealing, and killing is murdering. "i did it in self defense" Of course you did, but you DID it.

My point here is...you dont HAVE to let your enemys keep their loot, but dont pretend you are the good one all the time if you sistematicaly took everything from the people you defeat, because thats exactly what your enemy's do, and you say they are the bad ones.


At what point did I suggest rape? I said strip, bind and gag.
This is to prevent hidden weapons, and casting spells.

I have a question, what do you do with the persons gear when you stick them in prison if you don't take it away?
Do you lock them in a cell with their greatsword?

Ok, the answer is you probably take it and give it to them when they get out.
What happens if they are imprisoned for life and will never be released?
Do you lock it in a cupboard to collect dust?
What if that gear can be used to save lives? Do you take it and use it then?

That is the situation we have here. I am either imprisoning someone, probably forever because they are an evil cultist/murderer and I am using their gear to save lives as I adventure.

You are applying modern rule of law onto a medievil setting and it really does not work.

Even as recently as world war 2 people were re-purposing gear from the defeated.

I agree that killing someone is killing someone, however it isn't an evil act in and of itself in pathfinder. Killing indiscriminately and without cause is far far removed from removing the big bad from the realm of the living. You can't compare the two.

If I was fighting in a warzone and I run out of bullets for my gun, I have absolutely zero qualms about taking the gun and ammo off the corpse next to me to keep myself alive.
That is the situation here.

You cannot compare civilian life to the life of the adventurer's in pathfinder


J4RH34D wrote:

At what point did I suggest rape? I said strip, bind and gag.

This is to prevent hidden weapons, and casting spells.

I have a question, what do you do with the persons gear when you stick them in prison if you don't take it away?
Do you lock them in a cell with their greatsword?

Ok, the answer is you probably take it and give it to them when they get out.
What happens if they are imprisoned for life and will never be released?
Do you lock it in a cupboard to collect dust?
What if that gear can be used to save lives? Do you take it and use it then?

That is the situation we have here. I am either imprisoning someone, probably forever because they are an evil cultist/murderer and I am using their gear to save lives as I adventure.

You are applying modern rule of law onto a medievil setting and it really does not work.

Even as recently as world war 2 people were re-purposing gear from the defeated.

I agree that killing someone is killing someone, however it isn't an evil act in and of itself in pathfinder. Killing indiscriminately and without cause is far far removed from removing the big bad from the realm of the living. You can't compare the two.

If I was fighting in a warzone and I run out of bullets for my gun, I have absolutely zero qualms about taking the gun and ammo off the corpse next to me to keep myself alive.
That is the situation here.

You cannot compare civilian life to the life of the adventurer's in pathfinder

So sorry! i read gang and not gag...also i'm from spain and i have confused the termns...hehe...sorry.

What i do if they are going to be imprissoned forever, is make the guard of the city give the gear to the players, so then they can keep on going, and they also have a strong feeling about "good doing".

I know Pathfinder is a world supposed to allow looting, and as i said before, i dont look at this as an evil act, or even a bad act, i just see that this sistem forces players to take everything they see instead of calm down and think..would my character be ok with this?

The problem is that your character in most situations NEED TO BE ok with this, there are no many choices.

Going back, my paladin say that he allows the girl to take her gear because of the redemption path she was about to take. And also, that necromancers and evildoers are not really people hahahahaha


I honestly do not know anybody that would not take a weapon off a corpse to defend themselves.

I think the language barrier and text is missing tone of voice which makes it difficult.

Anybody that is going to out there life on the line is going to want to do what they can to protect themselves. Back when armies were not properly equipped this meant taking the sword from the guy who just tried to kill you. If you were going to survive the war you made do.

The same concept applies here. The only adventurers that survive are those that do what needs to be done. These are people who are literally walking into caves to fight mythical beasts and old ruins to fight beings that are revered as the most powerful beings of their time.

Grand Lodge

I am currently playing a paladin in another adventure path and the moral dilemma has been a compelling RPG hook. Although I do not advocate a GM targeting a specific player/character, there are times that a GM must respond to a character who is running amuck, so to speak.

That said, one of my frustrations as a player in this campaign is the number of foes (demons, summoned fiendish monsters, etc.) with 'smite good' has really hobbled my character's effectiveness in many fights. Almost any full round 'smite good' attack is enough to drop my character to single digit HP, rendering the character far, FAR more cautious in the remainder of the battle. A little humility and reminder of character mortality is a good way to inspire a more calculated play style. And before I get any critiques on the character build, we are using standard PFS rules for stats and HP.

Paladins radiate an aura of divine grace that makes them easy to identify by their alignment. Unless the player has specifically built their paladin to mask their alignment it is fairly difficult for them to avoid spells like Detect Good.

As for the looting vs. robbing argument, if a foe surrenders, the paladin is honor bound to accept their surrender, and they are also honor bound to protect their new prisoner's life and wellbeing. No turning them over to a torturer for interrogation, no execution before a trial, no releasing them unarmed into a wild and savage environment, no tossing them off a ship at sea, etc. Taking their equipment serves to protect the party and bystanders from potential harm during an escape attempt, but engaging a foe with the intent of taking their stuff is very in-paladin like. Taking equipment from prisoners that the party cannot use to sell and distribute the coin back to the party is little more than robbery and fencing the goods; the paladin should be shocked and appalled by the dirty money. If the paladin of the group is engaging in these activities, or ignoring/condoning these activities, they are straying into the deep end of the alignment tool.


Randy Williams 47387 wrote:


As for the looting vs. robbing argument, if a foe surrenders, the paladin is honor bound to accept their surrender, and they are also honor bound to protect their new prisoner's life and wellbeing. No turning them over to a torturer for interrogation, no execution before a trial, no releasing them unarmed into a wild and savage environment, no tossing them off a ship at sea, etc. ...

To quote FTL, "We will not accept surrender!"

I personally find the whole premise of "well the lich surrendered after murdering the town, I gotta accept it," ludicrous and treads well into the Lawful Stupid paradigm. A paladin should only be honorbound to protect a surrendered foe if he actually accepts his surrender. If it is decided that the crime is unforgivable or the person too dangerous/powerful to capture you should have the right to say "no" to his call to surrender. And for actual Pathfinder backing of this, I motion toward Torag paladins who are told not to accept surrendering foes unless it is tactically/strategicly expedient.


Randy L. Williams wrote:


As for the looting vs. robbing argument, if a foe surrenders, the paladin is honor bound to accept their surrender, and they are also honor bound to protect their new prisoner's life and wellbeing. No turning them over to a torturer for interrogation, no execution before a trial, no releasing them unarmed into a wild and savage environment, no tossing them off a ship at sea, etc. Taking their equipment serves to protect the party and bystanders from potential harm during an escape attempt, but engaging a foe with the intent of taking their stuff is very in-paladin like. Taking equipment from prisoners that the party cannot use to sell and distribute the coin back to the party is little more than robbery and fencing the goods; the paladin should be shocked and appalled by the dirty money. If the paladin of the group is engaging in these activities, or ignoring/condoning these activities, they are straying...

Lol, i LOVED your distinction between "taking something we can find VERY usefull" and "taking EVERYTHING to sell it and gain more and more gold". I think i will apply your sistem, but i will talk to my player before that.

Thanks a lot, you really are a paladin


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Randy Williams 47387 wrote:


As for the looting vs. robbing argument, if a foe surrenders, the paladin is honor bound to accept their surrender, and they are also honor bound to protect their new prisoner's life and wellbeing. No turning them over to a torturer for interrogation, no execution before a trial, no releasing them unarmed into a wild and savage environment, no tossing them off a ship at sea, etc. ...

To quote FTL, "We will not accept surrender!"

I personally find the whole premise of "well the lich surrendered after murdering the town, I gotta accept it," ludicrous and treads well into the Lawful Stupid paradigm. A paladin should only be honorbound to protect a surrendered foe if he actually accepts his surrender. If it is decided that the crime is unforgivable or the person too dangerous/powerful to capture you should have the right to say "no" to his call to surrender. And for actual Pathfinder backing of this, I motion toward Torag paladins who are told not to accept surrendering foes unless it is tactically/strategicly expedient.

I agree with you, everyone should calculate the truth before the easy "i surrender" scream. Is it just to save his life and then run? Is it real? Can we really risk to forgive what he have done?

However, taking someone to justice and let the city kill that besterd could also produce a massive feeling of trust from the NPC'S into the group


I differ slightly. Or am slightly misunderstanding. To me taking the guys sword to use It, or taking his sword to sell it so I can buy better armor both equate to the same thing.

Now I don't advocate going and finding his home and taking all of that.

Hope that makes sense


Graelsis wrote:


-Scout focused in archery (and I think this player have read a bit of the campaign, due to his favoured enemy choices)

I wouldn't accuse them of reading the campaign, necessarily. The Player's Guides for the Pathfinder Adventure Paths usually give recommendations of what would be useful for a member of a given class to take, such as "Rangers will find these favored enemy/terrain options more beneficial" or "These Alchemist archetypes fit well into the campaign"


J4RH34D wrote:

I differ slightly. Or am slightly misunderstanding. To me taking the guys sword to use It, or taking his sword to sell it so I can buy better armor both equate to the same thing.

Now I don't advocate going and finding his home and taking all of that.

Hope that makes sense

It makes all the sense man, as i've said before, your point of view and advices are simply awsome.

We are just not agree in ONE thing, i think thats pretty much for 2 guys that dont even know each other.

Well, i dont know if you are a man, but i think you understand what i'm saying.


Diachronos wrote:
Graelsis wrote:


-Scout focused in archery (and I think this player have read a bit of the campaign, due to his favoured enemy choices)
I wouldn't accuse them of reading the campaign, necessarily. The Player's Guides for the Pathfinder Adventure Paths usually give recommendations of what would be useful for a member of a given class to take, such as "Rangers will find these favored enemy/terrain options more beneficial" or "These Alchemist archetypes fit well into the campaign"

True, completely true, but its not the first time this player do this. He's very fond in reading every role book that fell in his hands, and Rise of The Runelords is not an exception. We played this campaing in the past, but we are reaching the point where they should not know what is coming next.


Zhangar wrote:


It sounds like they've been repeatedly kicking a hornet's nest and walking off again.

what does this mean? i cant find it in the translator ^^

Also, yeah, i think i will push a little bit more the consecuences of "runing away to regain spells".

Dont you think that making 2 encounters at the same time can get off control too quick? I'm really worried about that...


Quote:

He can basicaly blow up every hard enemy in the campaing due to the smite evil and the rules around it. Even if i think that smite evil is pretty unbalanced in power compared with other classes features, thats not the thing.

The thing here is: Paladins are pretty strong, because they have to risk their powers pledging their behaviour to a code, and if they fail in that, they become absolutely nothing but a guy with a really hard time in front of them. I'm not saying i want to nerf my player, i'm just saying that in my opinion i'm making it easy to play a paladin.

In the other hand, here you have more info about my group.

-Sorcerer with the dragonline blood

-Scout focused in archery (and i think this player have read a bit of the campaing, due to his favoured enemy choices)

-Iomedae tanky cleric focused in healing and undead countermeassures (sun domain)

Their tactics are pretty much the same in every situation. Tank and Paladin in the front, charging vs the enemy while the archer and the sorcerer blow enemys up from a safety distance. Tank will not be affected by terrain since she has the feather step boots.

The italics while slightly true, really isn't that true. Paladin's normally don't risk losing their powers in campaigns any more than this one. And they only seem to be doing a lot cause the rest of the party aren't melee nor built to do a lot.

At lv5 the paladin can smite twice a day and get probably a +4 to attack and AC and +5 damage, taking a +10 for 2d6+7 to a +15 for 2d6+12

A barb level 5 can rage a lot and can take the +10 for 2d6+7 and make it +14 for 2d6+10 with the code of not becoming lawful.

A fighter level 5 with a mutagen that lasts almost an hour takes the +10 for 2d6+7 and can make it +14 for 2d6+13 No code needed

So we can see that the paladin isn't really any better here than other martials, so there's no reason to think that they normally are supposed to be balanced by having it be hard to keep their powers.


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paladins are meh none of their abilities even justify needing to be locked to a single alignment and there are several other classes that are way more powerful then a paladin and not as gibed by restrictions


Graelis, what he means by kicking the hornets nest means they are provoking, starting fights, making noise, making it obvious they are there and what they intend to do... and then they leave and come back tomorrow.

Any party will be strong if you let them get away with it.

In terms of two encounters together getting very scary, it can. You have to be careful how you GM it. An option is instead of having them at exactly the same time you have a timer in place. Say 1d4+2 rounds after the first encounter is triggered the Arco d encounter enters the room


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How I deal with Paladins?

*Looks to left and right, before mentioning for the Goblin to approach closer*

Now, this isn't a foolproof method, but it usually does the trick for me.

First you go raid the local orphanage for cute looking orphans.

Then you put lay out the orphans as a breadcrumb-like trail, leading to a remote ally, where you lie in wait.

Once the paladin enters the ally, you ambush him, club him over the head with a lead pipe and drag him back to your lair for some misery-style fun.

Silver Crusade

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As a Paladin of Serenae, I would under no circumstances accept the surrender of something beyond punishment or redemption, such as a lich, demon, dragon, monstrosity of Lamashtu, nor certainly any worshipper or spawn of the rough beast.

My Story includes Minor RoRTL name dropping:

While working to rid the world of the Skinsaw cult, Mokmurian's fools, the minions of runeforge, and Karzoug's slaves, very few of those I offered surrender actually accepted. When they did, I can't recall what happened to all of them, it was so long ago really, but I am pretty sure I tried to ensure they were turned over to the nearest authority. In all cases our group kept their stuff, as it is the law of the land and expected from a defeated foe turned over for punishment. What do you think this is, modern day earth?

Had someone surrendered to us in the wilderness, I am not really sure what I would have suggested we do, but I am pretty sure my other allies would have overruled me and taken the items that would be most dangerous, or in some cases what they wanted.

As a paladin of Sarenrae I am honor bound to work my the allies the Dawnflower has put before me, especially given the seriousness of the threat we face. While I can disagree with them, not participate in loot splits, donate my share, I cannot cause mistrust and further strife among my allies. My allies are my life; together we rise or fall. Sarenrae has brought us together to destroy a runelord and together we will do that even if I disagree with some of their unsavory methods. Hopefully, I will earn their respect and lead them to embrace goodness, or at least defer to my wishes occasionally.

I am confident I would have passed any test put before me because I know that it is never wrong to do the right thing. I know that any situation begot by someone vile that presents a hopeless choice is hopeless, and whatever the best I can do is all the Dawnflower wants of me.

---
There are very specific acts that are clear cut evil. There is otherwise a lot of variation in what a Paladin would or wouldn't do based on code, justification of the situation, deity, interpretation of Golarion or regional law, etc.


Jarhead, great approach. I like where you're going with this.

Absolutely challenge the paladin on their choices! Roleplayers love that part of being the paladin and will appreciate the challenge. If they're just a power player, this will teach them about the other aspects of the game.

Come up with some cool moral challenges and let them make decisions. Sounds fun!


Low and early mid levels are the sweet spot for martial characters, when they can dominate the game a bit.

As you reach higher levels, you will see your cleric and sorceror increase in power greatly and the paladin will probably not 'hog the limelight' quite as much.


I think the printing out the Paladin’s code and going over it with your player is a great idea, and make sure you both agree on it and what will be fun.
You definitely should push your players to go longer with out resting. Your Paladin can smite in every combat and spell casters are full spells and everyone has full hp. You can up the consequences of their actions, or make the 2 encounters harder like maybe combining a future encounter. Also reward them for pushing on, and don’t be afraid to ease off if you have to. It’s not fun if the game is too easy and characters have no danger of dying.
If they have full resources for every encounter it really lowers the cr.


The DM of wrote:

Jarhead, great approach. I like where you're going with this.

Absolutely challenge the paladin on their choices! Roleplayers love that part of being the paladin and will appreciate the challenge. If they're just a power player, this will teach them about the other aspects of the game.

Come up with some cool moral challenges and let them make decisions. Sounds fun!

Oops, I meant Graelsis the original poster. Don't listen to the haters and RAWsers.


Chess Pwn wrote:


So we can see that the paladin isn't really any better here than other martials, so there's no reason to think that they normally are supposed to be balanced by having it be hard to keep their powers.

I see... Maybe y got blinded by the fact that my player is using a greatsword (two handed) and have powerfull atack as a feat. So actually he did this.

2D6 + 12 + 5

thats a normal smite, if he smites something like an undead, we go to

2D6 +12 + 10

That was pretty surprising for me, he blew up a ghast in one swing. However, i see the point here, basically melee or martial classes are better in low levels ^^. I will have to deal with it


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Lady-J wrote:
paladins are meh none of their abilities even justify needing to be locked to a single alignment and there are several other classes that are way more powerful then a paladin and not as gibed by restrictions

Meh?...OH¡¡¡ Most Epic Hero!!!

damn tall folk!!, you really are a tricky one, i like you¡


J4RH34D wrote:

Graelis, what he means by kicking the hornets nest means they are provoking, starting fights, making noise, making it obvious they are there and what they intend to do... and then they leave and come back tomorrow.

Any party will be strong if you let them get away with it.

In terms of two encounters together getting very scary, it can. You have to be careful how you GM it. An option is instead of having them at exactly the same time you have a timer in place. Say 1d4+2 rounds after the first encounter is triggered the Arco d encounter enters the room

I think i'm starting to really like you, tall folk...like, REALLY, like you (staring at you with a weird looking face)

So basically i have to make them see that kicking the hornets nest have conosecuences because their enemys are alive and they dont act like robots.

Also thanks for the advice of the...Arco d encounter?, didnt know about that expression, i liked it.


"Arco d encounter enters the room" was a typo. I was on my phone last night.
I think I was trying to say the "next encounter enters the room"


Evil Kjeldorn wrote:

How I deal with Paladins?

*Looks to left and right, before mentioning for the Goblin to approach closer*

Now, this isn't a foolproof method, but it usually does the trick for me.

First you go raid the local orphanage for cute looking orphans.

Then you put lay out the orphans as a breadcrumb-like trail, leading to a remote ally, where you lie in wait.

Once the paladin enters the ally, you ambush him, club him over the head with a lead pipe and drag him back to your lair for some misery-style fun.

We all should learn from you, master


skulky wrote:
You can up the consequences of their actions, or make the 2 encounters harder like maybe combining a future encounter. Also reward them for pushing on, and don’t be afraid to ease off if you have to. It’s not fun if the game is too easy

I think i will go harder if they keep doing this, yeah, definetively

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