What Would A CG Paladin Code Look Like?


Playtest

251 to 300 of 437 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>

2 people marked this as a favorite.
HWalsh wrote:

See, here is one question...

If Chaotic is the alignment of honor, dedication, honesty, and all about following codes... Which is what it seems like the argument here is...

Then what does Lawful mean?

All ravens are black does not means Michael Jordan is a raven.

Nobody said that Chaotic is THE alignment about honor, dedication, honesty and codes. We said that they are not forbidden to have honor, codes, dedication or honesty.

Just because Galadriel is chaotic good does not mean she has to cheat her husband because cosmic forces of chaos ban her to keep her marriage vows. "it is a vow, Celeborn. I must break it"


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Elegos wrote:
Telling the truth exactly with the intent to mislead is textbook lawful behaviour. Telling a lie with the intent to lead someone to a truth, that seems perfectly chaotic. (Like lying that you witnessed something inorder to convince someone to go investigate a site, perhaps protecting a source)

I can sell you this used car. It only has been used for 4.000 miles! " without mentioning you know it has not been used because the brakes don't work is exactly what a Devil of car dealers would do.


Elegos wrote:
Telling the truth exactly with the intent to mislead is textbook lawful (evil or neutral) behaviour. Telling a lie with the intent to lead someone to a truth, that seems perfectly chaotic but not chaotic good (generally). (Like lying that you witnessed something inorder to convince someone to go investigate a site, perhaps protecting a source)

Bold text is mine.

I think we need to be clear in terms between being truthful and being honest. For me, both being untruthful and being dishonest are forms of lying. And I'd say both are evil (or sometimes neutral) acts. I'd agree that CG can bend those rules, but I also think they are sacrificing the value of their word to do so, and I think they will look for ways to do otherwise.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Malachandra wrote:
Elegos wrote:
Telling the truth exactly with the intent to mislead is textbook lawful (evil or neutral) behaviour. Telling a lie with the intent to lead someone to a truth, that seems perfectly chaotic but not chaotic good (generally). (Like lying that you witnessed something inorder to convince someone to go investigate a site, perhaps protecting a source)

Bold text is mine.

I think we need to be clear in terms between being truthful and being honest. For me, both being untruthful and being dishonest are forms of lying. And I'd say both are evil (or sometimes neutral) acts. I'd agree that CG can bend those rules, but I also think they are sacrificing the value of their word to do so, and I think they will look for ways to do otherwise.

I strenuously disagree with your edits! With examples!

Telling the truth to mislead as a lawful good act:

In order of the stick: no cure for the paladin blues, Durkon tells the absolute truth in order to decieve Miko Miyazaki. In doing so he protects people from an overzealous enforcement of the law by a person known for overaggresive action and a refusal to listen to extenuating circumstances.

Telling a lie in order to uncover a truth as a chaotic good action: In a recent episode of Brooklyn 99, Jake Peralta lies about what he thinks the murder weapon is to a perp he is interrogating. In doing so he is able to talk the perp into admitting his culpability and as such brings a murderer to justice.

Deceit is not evil. It is a tool. A hard tool to wield without committing evil...just like a sword.

Actions fitting my descriptions can be found up and down the good-evil axis. However, i feel that the definitions I have given them on the law-chaos axis are accurate. Do wish to quibble them on that axis?


Deadmanwalking wrote:

It would include an externally imposed Code. But who says that Paladin Codes are externally imposed? I've always gotten the distinct impression they were something that the Paladin sought out or possibly even came up with themselves.

One obvious version is for anyone who abides by a certain Code perfectly develops Paladin powers. That's always been my impression of one way Paladins happen: Someone is just so Good and Righteous that they start channeling the power of Goodness itself and becomes a Paladin.

It's interesting how paladin codes work, and how they're developed. Your interpretation is certainly a valid one, but mechanically, there's nothing that immediately springs to mind as to "spontaneous" (for lack of a better word at the moment) paladinhood. They're pretty much all tied to gods, if memory serves. Sure, you could do all the things that would allow you to become a paladin of Abadar, and then Abadar smiles down upon you and you're a paladin. But, that god-tie still exists.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Believing in one's own Code of behavior is totally a valid way to be a Paladin in PF1. And if Chaos were really as against following anyone else's dictates as you imply here, Chaotic Clerics couldn't exist.

That's not necessarily true. Clerics aren't held to the same standards that paladins are (for some inexplicable reason). Plus, there isn't a strict set of behavioural guidelines for clerics either (again, for some inexplicable reason). For some reason, if you want to be a priest and spread the gospel of Bob, Bob doesn't care overmuch about how you act when you're wearing his robes, but if you want to smite that demon, Bob's all up in your business about what you did with that prisoner you were holding last week. It's one of the reasons that I'm glad that they're introducing the anathema mechanic in PF2. However, Bob cares (again, for some inexplicable reason) more about the power he grants to smite evil than he does about the power he gives away to cast goodberry.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Chaos is not inherently against every possible restriction anyone could ever impose, not on a human scale anyway. A CG person, for example, is pretty okay with laws against torture and slavery existing. Someone Chaotic will want as few rules as possible in order to achieve the end of disallowing torture or slavery, but they aren't inherently against the idea of such rules existing.

You're right. Chaos isn't inherently against every possible restriction anyone could ever impose (on a human scale). They're still against those restrictions applying to "me" (the chaotic character). I apologize for getting political for a moment (and I'm not trying to bring politics into it, but just to use a convenient example), it's a very "libertarian" point of view. I don't like those rules, so they shouldn't apply to me, and you can't make me follow them. There's a bit of conflation of "good" spreading over into chaos. Sure, the chaotic good person would be against laws allowing torture and slavery, but the chaotic neutral person wouldn't necessarily be, and the chaotic evil person would be glad that torture and slavery happen without regard to the legality of it. It's more a concern for good over chaos.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
There's a reason that tenet only applies to defending innocents from oppression rather than everyone. Nazi punching is totally fine by it.

Maybe? Is it in the context of defending an innocent (or innocents), or is it just going up to a nazi (because they're bad people in general) and punching them on general principle? The tenet seems to apply in one case, but not the other.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

I actually went into that in my previous post responding to you. It comes down to someone philosophically devoted to the ideal of freedom being willing to give up a small amount of personal freedom to safeguard the freedom of others. Good is partially about a willingness to engage in self sacrifice, after all, irrespective of its ties to Law or Chaos.

For someone truly CG, rather than simply CN, the freedom of others is more important to them than their own freedom (or at the very least the freedom of others is more important than the small amount of freedom the Paladin Code causes them to give up).

That would certainly hold true... If the law-chaos axis was more suggestion than ethos. I see the "lawful" or "chaotic" part of the axis as bearing equal weight to the "good" or "evil" part of the axis. Your interpretation seems to prioritize good over chaos. In an equivalent manner, the chaotic character might not be willing to give up any freedoms and seek alternative means of achieving a "good" outcome. It's a valid form of play. I see no issue with "good" working within the context of a code; that part we seem to agree upon. So, let's leave the good/evil out of the discussion, because it's not the salient factor. The chaotic character is all about personal freedom (full stop). Personal freedom is not congruent with the concept that one must follow a code of behavior at all times.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
This assumes, once again, that Chaotic characters object to all rules (which I still think is an exaggeration), and that the code is externally imposed (which I wouldn't assume).

I also think it's an exaggeration (and a misrepresentation of my position on this issue). Chaotic characters object to having to follow rules because rules exist, not because the intended outcome of the rule is something they wouldn't choose to do anyway. As to your other point, when "god" says, "thou shalt" or "thou shalt not" in exchange for power, it's an externally imposed ruleset. If the power comes from within, and has nothing to do with any deity or their rules, that's something different than a paladin (holy warrior devoted to a deity). That's a design space that has a lot of potential that doesn't really work well if you try to shoehorn it into the design space of "paladin".

Best wishes!


Elegos wrote:
Malachandra wrote:
Elegos wrote:
Telling the truth exactly with the intent to mislead is textbook lawful (evil or neutral) behaviour. Telling a lie with the intent to lead someone to a truth, that seems perfectly chaotic but not chaotic good (generally). (Like lying that you witnessed something inorder to convince someone to go investigate a site, perhaps protecting a source)

Bold text is mine.

I think we need to be clear in terms between being truthful and being honest. For me, both being untruthful and being dishonest are forms of lying. And I'd say both are evil (or sometimes neutral) acts. I'd agree that CG can bend those rules, but I also think they are sacrificing the value of their word to do so, and I think they will look for ways to do otherwise.

I strenuously disagree with your edits! With examples!

Telling the truth to mislead as a lawful good act:

In order of the stick: no cure for the paladin blues, Durkon tells the absolute truth in order to decieve Miko Miyazaki. In doing so he protects people from an overzealous enforcement of the law by a person known for overaggresive action and a refusal to listen to extenuating circumstances.

Telling a lie in order to uncover a truth as a chaotic good action: In a recent episode of Brooklyn 99, Jake Peralta lies about what he thinks the murder weapon is to a perp he is interrogating. In doing so he is able to talk the perp into admitting his culpability and as such brings a murderer to justice.

Deceit is not evil. It is a tool. A hard tool to wield without committing evil...just like a sword.

Actions fitting my descriptions can be found up and down the good-evil axis. However, i feel that the definitions I have given them on the law-chaos axis are accurate. Do wish to quibble them on that axis?

Hmm, gonna have to disagree with your interpretation of alignment ;) That said, I do think that there is much wiggle room for interpretation here.

If I had a paladin lie for the greater good, I wouldn't do anything about it. Until they started doing it regularly. Even then, I would give them some kind of in-game warning, but eventually they would absolutely fall. Good people can do bad things, but that doesn't make the action good or the person bad. And the heart of it is that I absolutely think deceit is wrong (and therefore Evil mechanically). I see where you are going with the sword analogy, and I even agree to a certain extent. I guess I would say that deceit is almost impossible to wield without committing evil, and even if you manage it it's because you failed to either avoid the situation or find a better alternative.


I think we can respectfully disagree on this. I appreciate that youre willing to consider my point and examples, even if you dont agree. I would be curious to hear what makes you think that deceit in the absence of harm is still evil.


HWalsh wrote:

I find it really hard to believe, for example, a Chaotic Good character who falls for following the local authority and respecting it would actually think that they did something deserving of punishment.

There is no version of Chaotic good that would justify falling for following the local authority.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Elegos wrote:
I think we can respectfully disagree on this. I appreciate that youre willing to consider my point and examples, even if you dont agree. I would be curious to hear what makes you think that deceit in the absence of harm is still evil.

I think so too, which is something the internet needs more of :)

I guess it's primarily due to my worldview. I believe Truth is inherently good and that being deceitful is in opposition to truth. And the thing is, whenever I see real life examples of cases where people think the best thing is to not be truthful, to me it always feels like they could have handled the situation better to avoid the need to be deceitful. I can't really point things like that out in a 2 sentence internet example though, because we would need more context and depth, if that makes sense.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bodhizen wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

It would include an externally imposed Code. But who says that Paladin Codes are externally imposed? I've always gotten the distinct impression they were something that the Paladin sought out or possibly even came up with themselves.

One obvious version is for anyone who abides by a certain Code perfectly develops Paladin powers. That's always been my impression of one way Paladins happen: Someone is just so Good and Righteous that they start channeling the power of Goodness itself and becomes a Paladin.

It's interesting how paladin codes work, and how they're developed. Your interpretation is certainly a valid one, but mechanically, there's nothing that immediately springs to mind as to "spontaneous" (for lack of a better word at the moment) paladinhood. They're pretty much all tied to gods, if memory serves. Sure, you could do all the things that would allow you to become a paladin of Abadar, and then Abadar smiles down upon you and you're a paladin. But, that god-tie still exists.

Outside of examples entirely specific to Golarion, there also isn't anything mechanical that contradicts it. It's certainly always been my interpretation that paladin codes are internally-enforced, and I've never encountered any resistance to the notion until extremely recently.

Bodhizen wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Believing in one's own Code of behavior is totally a valid way to be a Paladin in PF1. And if Chaos were really as against following anyone else's dictates as you imply here, Chaotic Clerics couldn't exist.
That's not necessarily true. Clerics aren't held to the same standards that paladins are (for some inexplicable reason). Plus, there isn't a strict set of behavioural guidelines for clerics either (again, for some inexplicable reason). For some reason, if you want to be a priest and spread the gospel of Bob, Bob doesn't care overmuch about how you act when you're wearing his robes, but if you want to smite that demon, Bob's all up in your business about what you did with that prisoner you were holding last week. It's one of the reasons that I'm glad that they're introducing the anathema mechanic in PF2. However, Bob cares (again, for some inexplicable reason) more about the power he grants to smite evil than he does about the power he gives away to cast goodberry.

Discussion of clerics is kind of out of the wheelhouse, so I'm not going to touch that one.

Bodhizen wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Chaos is not inherently against every possible restriction anyone could ever impose, not on a human scale anyway. A CG person, for example, is pretty okay with laws against torture and slavery existing. Someone Chaotic will want as few rules as possible in order to achieve the end of disallowing torture or slavery, but they aren't inherently against the idea of such rules existing.
You're right. Chaos isn't inherently against every possible restriction anyone could ever impose (on a human scale). They're still against those restrictions applying to "me" (the chaotic character). I apologize for getting political for a moment (and I'm not trying to bring politics into it, but just to use a convenient example), it's a very "libertarian" point of view. I don't like those rules, so they shouldn't apply to me, and you can't make me follow them. There's a bit of conflation of "good" spreading over into chaos. Sure, the chaotic good person would be against laws allowing torture and slavery, but the chaotic neutral person wouldn't necessarily be, and the chaotic evil person would be glad that torture and slavery happen without regard to the legality of it. It's more a concern for good over chaos.

Chaotic characters are not children. They understand the nature of personal responsibility. In fact, it's part of their thing. Owning yourself means owning your actions. If what you (a Chaotic character) does makes someone mad, it's their right to be mad at you. If it makes the police mad, then it's similarly their right to be mad at you. When people break laws, the consequence is that those people get arrested (so long as they're caught). Chaotic characters might not let rules and restrictions get in their way, but they understand that what they do has fallout, and some of that fallout might be related to rules and restrictions.

Different Chaotic characters interpret this differently. One Chaotic Good character might peacefully surrender to arrest in a Good-aligned society because they understand that it's just the consequence of breaking laws. Even if what you did was Good, it wasn't permitted. Getting busted is just the cost of doing business. Another might decide that if you manage to catch him, then getting thrown in the slammer is fair game. Until they catch you, you're a free man. But once they do catch you, then you have to accept the consequences of your actions. Another still might accept long-term cosmic-level consequences, but not short-term ones. Evade the cops, break out of prison and skip town. You'll get yours when the time comes and they balance the scales, but until then, nothing ties you down except your own sense of morality.

Bodhizen wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

I actually went into that in my previous post responding to you. It comes down to someone philosophically devoted to the ideal of freedom being willing to give up a small amount of personal freedom to safeguard the freedom of others. Good is partially about a willingness to engage in self sacrifice, after all, irrespective of its ties to Law or Chaos.

For someone truly CG, rather than simply CN, the freedom of others is more important to them than their own freedom (or at the very least the freedom of others is more important than the small amount of freedom the Paladin Code causes them to give up).

That would certainly hold true... If the law-chaos axis was more suggestion than ethos. I see the "lawful" or "chaotic" part of the axis as bearing equal weight to the "good" or "evil" part of the axis. Your interpretation seems to prioritize good over chaos. In an equivalent manner, the chaotic character might not be willing to give up any freedoms and seek alternative means of achieving a "good" outcome. It's a valid form of play. I see no issue with "good" working within the context of a code; that part we seem to agree upon. So, let's leave the good/evil out of the discussion, because it's not the salient factor. The chaotic character is all about personal freedom (full stop). Personal freedom is not congruent with the concept that one must follow a code of behavior at all times.

Bolding for emphasis by me.

The extent to which a given character prioritizes the ethical portion of their alignment with respect to the moral portion is entirely up to the player. But I want to focus on the portion I bolded there. As I've expressed previously, I don't see Chaotic as being all about personal freedom. I see them as being all about agency, self-ownership, self-determination. It's easy to conflate that with full-stop personal freedom, but like I said, Chaotic characters understand that actions have consequences. They're not children. They know that being without external control also means being without external protection, and they accept it and everything that comes with it. So, they instead have internal control. Their best qualities are theirs to express, however they see fit. So, to that end, a Chaotic character could certainly follow a code of behavior, but only because see the tenets of that code as part of who they are. They're never going to use that code as an excuse for doing or not doing something, because that isn't Chaotic. If they do something, and someone asks why, they'll say that it's because that's who they are. If they don't do something and someone asks why, they'll say it's because they wouldn't have been able to live with themselves if they did. The reason they'll live by their code and resist breaking it isn't because they need order and stability in their life. It's because they looked inside of themselves and realized the code was what was written in their heart, and breaking it would send them into an identity crisis of self-loathing and existential angst. Their oath is part of who they are. If they break their oath, when they betray themselves, their heart breaks too.

Bodhizen wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
This assumes, once again, that Chaotic characters object to all rules (which I still think is an exaggeration), and that the code is externally imposed (which I wouldn't assume).
I also think it's an exaggeration (and a misrepresentation of my position on this issue). Chaotic characters object to having to follow rules because rules exist, not because the intended outcome of the rule is something they wouldn't choose to do anyway. As to your other point, when "god" says, "thou shalt" or "thou shalt not" in exchange for power, it's an externally imposed ruleset. If the power comes from within, and has nothing to do with any deity or their rules, that's something different than a paladin (holy warrior devoted to a deity). That's a design space that has a lot of potential that doesn't really work well if you try to shoehorn it into the design space of "paladin".

I'm going to paraphrase the only intelligent thing any Assassin's Creed game has ever said, from Revelations and with respect to the latter half of the code "Nothing is true. Everything is permitted." To say that "everything is permitted" means that we must be the shepherds of our own societies and fates, and accept whatever consequences come of our actions, be they glorious or tragic. We can't hold out our laws and orders and use them as excuses for action or inaction, because the choice or whether or not to act ultimately comes down to us. Chaos doesn't object to rules (at least, not inherently). They just don't see the value in using rules as an excuse or justification for anything, because people themselves are ultimately the arbiters of what they do. A law doesn't stop you from acting. You stop you from acting. A law doesn't compel you to act. You compel you to act. That is Chaos.

If a Chaotic character's god said "Thou shalt" and they wanted to do it anyway, then they'd still do it. If the god said "Thou shalt not" and they already weren't going to do it, they'd wonder why the god's wasting their breath. You see the paladin as "holy warrior devoted to a deity," and I think it's a shame that Paizo seems to see it that way as well, because I've never seen it that way. I've always seen paladins as oathsworn heroes empowered by their devotion to a cause bigger than themselves. They draw their power from a light within, a light that exists inside of every good heart (if only they knew it themselves), a cosmic force of good that is divine in equal measure to the gods, but is simultaneously part of them and separate from them. The light cannot abandon a paladin. When a paladin falls, it's the paladin losing sight of the light, and only atonement allows them the perspective to forgive themselves. I've never gotten any pushback for that interpretation before. It's always been a valid interpretation of the paladin. It's totally the paladin's design space. It's just that the design space has recently become artificially limited, and I don't think I stand alone in hoping that fake restriction gets removed.

Bodhizen wrote:
Best wishes!

You as well.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Malachandra wrote:
Elegos wrote:
I think we can respectfully disagree on this. I appreciate that youre willing to consider my point and examples, even if you dont agree. I would be curious to hear what makes you think that deceit in the absence of harm is still evil.

I think so too, which is something the internet needs more of :)

I guess it's primarily due to my worldview. I believe Truth is inherently good and that being deceitful is in opposition to truth. And the thing is, whenever I see real life examples of cases where people think the best thing is to not be truthful, to me it always feels like they could have handled the situation better to avoid the need to be deceitful. I can't really point things like that out in a 2 sentence internet example though, because we would need more context and depth, if that makes sense.

telling your little kid Santa Claus give him gifts is not inherently evil. Or chaotic, for that matter. A Paladin does not fall if he says that Santa brings Christmas presents


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Ckorik wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

I find it really hard to believe, for example, a Chaotic Good character who falls for following the local authority and respecting it would actually think that they did something deserving of punishment.

There is no version of Chaotic good that would justify falling for following the local authority.

Exactly.

"I have to park in double yellow lane because I follow Desna", said no one, ever.


Malachandra wrote:
Elegos wrote:
I think we can respectfully disagree on this. I appreciate that youre willing to consider my point and examples, even if you dont agree. I would be curious to hear what makes you think that deceit in the absence of harm is still evil.

I think so too, which is something the internet needs more of :)

I guess it's primarily due to my worldview. I believe Truth is inherently good and that being deceitful is in opposition to truth. And the thing is, whenever I see real life examples of cases where people think the best thing is to not be truthful, to me it always feels like they could have handled the situation better to avoid the need to be deceitful. I can't really point things like that out in a 2 sentence internet example though, because we would need more context and depth, if that makes sense.

Thats fair. I still disagree, but I can take your point. This feels more like a fundamental difference in personal philosophy, so Im happy to leave it as is.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Malachandra wrote:
Elegos wrote:
I think we can respectfully disagree on this. I appreciate that youre willing to consider my point and examples, even if you dont agree. I would be curious to hear what makes you think that deceit in the absence of harm is still evil.

I think so too, which is something the internet needs more of :)

I guess it's primarily due to my worldview. I believe Truth is inherently good and that being deceitful is in opposition to truth. And the thing is, whenever I see real life examples of cases where people think the best thing is to not be truthful, to me it always feels like they could have handled the situation better to avoid the need to be deceitful. I can't really point things like that out in a 2 sentence internet example though, because we would need more context and depth, if that makes sense.

telling your little kid Santa Claus give him gifts is not inherently evil. Or chaotic, for that matter. A Paladin does not fall if he says that Santa brings Christmas presents

OK, that's a really good point. Maybe I'm off to say that all deceit is evil. But it also still feels like deceit is wrong, but this doesn't qualify. Maybe because they are kids? I mean, if you told an adult a lie in order to make them happy, a lie that was harmless, is that wrong? Or is it maybe that it's OK to have imagination, and telling your kid that Santa Clause is real falls under that category?

Geez, now you have me questioning whether or not I should let my son believe in Santa Clause when he's a few years older! That said, I do think this is firmly in the realm of personal philosophies. But more importantly (for this thread), I think a CG paladin could have a code and that the code could leave wiggle room for things like this.


I mean, in fairness, a being equivalent to santa clause might actually exist in Golarion. Id have to check...

Also, isnt moral particularism fun everyone?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Telling your old grandma who is in a hospital with a terminal ill that his little cat is OK, when truth is his cat died of sadness should not be an evil act. Or a chaotic one, for that matter. Should a paladin fall for this?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

(BTW, I told my son the truth because once I told him that we were donating toys for poor children, and he questioned why. If poor children were good, Santa would give them their gifts. So I told him the truth: poor children don't get toys, because Santa is imaginary)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Scene:
Heroes are in a El Alamo situation.
A civilian trapped with them ask if they are doomed. One of the heroes step forward and says "we are not", to sooth the morale. He knows they are screwed. It is a lie. Is it evil? Should a Paladin fall?


7 people marked this as a favorite.

Telling children to believe in Santa is evil because it perpetuates the attitude that poverty is a result of moral failure and that wealth is a result of virtue!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

So first, I don't think a paladin should fall for telling a lie. For lying consistently yes, but not one lie. That said, I think in both of those situations the truth should be told in a constructive manner (or maybe nothing should be said), and it should be assumed that the other person is mature enough to handle it. That is how I would like to be treated in either of those cases. I don't necessarily think lying is always evil, but I do think there is almost always a better way to handle it. Either way, for me truth is more about right vs wrong then law vs chaos.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Scene:

Heroes are in a El Alamo situation.
A civilian trapped with them ask if they are doomed. One of the heroes step forward and says "we are not", to sooth the morale. He knows they are screwed. It is a lie. Is it evil? Should a Paladin fall?

If the Paladin believes it to be true, that they are doomed, then it is a lie.

A smart Paladin would answer in a way that isn't a lie, but that raises morale none the less.

"Though things indeed look grim, we still stand. There is never a day without hope, and today we become that hope. We will stand today against the darkness and we will stand as one, our heads held high, and we shall give no quarter. Whatever happens here this day, we shall make our mark, and our names will live onward forever as the tale of the Alamo will be known to all as the day when the forces of darkness learned that, no matter how great their number, they could not snuff out the light of hope! So, I ask thee... Will you be the light in the darkness? If so then let us stand together as one with our heads held high!"

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Not lying is 3rd tenet IIRC. If 1st and 2nd tenets are not in question and the Paladin lies, she falls


If I were a CG paladin, I would say: "Doomed? HA! Not in MY watch!"

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Bodhizen wrote:
It's interesting how paladin codes work, and how they're developed. Your interpretation is certainly a valid one, but mechanically, there's nothing that immediately springs to mind as to "spontaneous" (for lack of a better word at the moment) paladinhood. They're pretty much all tied to gods, if memory serves. Sure, you could do all the things that would allow you to become a paladin of Abadar, and then Abadar smiles down upon you and you're a paladin. But, that god-tie still exists.

This is actually not universally true in PF1. It's mechanically possible (and allowed in Golarion world lore) to have an atheist Paladin. I don't think we have a published NPC without a God, but they theoretically exist.

Now, at the moment PF2 seems to be changing that, which muddies the waters a bit, but I'd actually prefer them to not change it.

Bodhizen wrote:
That's not necessarily true. Clerics aren't held to the same standards that paladins are (for some inexplicable reason). Plus, there isn't a strict set of behavioural guidelines for clerics either (again, for some inexplicable reason). For some reason, if you want to be a priest and spread the gospel of Bob, Bob doesn't care overmuch about how you act when you're wearing his robes, but if you want to smite that demon, Bob's all up in your business about what you did with that prisoner you were holding last week. It's one of the reasons that I'm glad that they're introducing the anathema mechanic in PF2. However, Bob cares (again, for some inexplicable reason) more about the power he grants to smite evil than he does about the power he gives away to cast goodberry.

There are apparently gonna be some 'Dos' along with the 'Don'ts' of Anathema in PF2 (followers of Shelyn have to perfect an art, apparently, just for example). I agree that Paladin restrictions are a bit more, well, restrictive, and even that Chaotic Paladins might be rarer than Lawful ones for that very reason, but not that they're so much more restrictive nobody Chaotic would ever follow them.

Bodhizen wrote:
You're right. Chaos isn't inherently against every possible restriction anyone could ever impose (on a human scale). They're still against those restrictions applying to "me" (the chaotic character).

I think that's only true absolutely of CN and CE people. CG people, being Good and willing to make personal sacrifices, are more willing to have a very few rules imposed on them for the good of others.

Bodhizen wrote:
I apologize for getting political for a moment (and I'm not trying to bring politics into it, but just to use a convenient example), it's a very "libertarian" point of view. I don't like those rules, so they shouldn't apply to me, and you can't make me follow them.

Speaking as someone who generally identifies as libertarian (though my political positions on some stuff can surprise people who have certain expectations of libertarians...I tend to get along better with liberals than conservatives on average), I'd say that a fair number of libertarians not only don't think those rules shouldn't apply to them, but as a matter of principle think those rules shouldn't apply to anybody. Which is a slightly different thing.

Or to put it another way:

Libertarianism is an excellent example of a Chaotic Philosophy, making really hardcore believers in it Chaotic (more moderate believers might be Neutral...nobody involved would qualify as Lawful). Some of those hardcore people who espouse it do so not caring much about others (making them CN or in a few cases CE), while others absolutely care about other people and legitimately believe it would result in the best good (which in their minds is largely 'most freedom') for most people, and are CG.

Only that last category would get to be Paladins.

Bodhizen wrote:
There's a bit of conflation of "good" spreading over into chaos. Sure, the chaotic good person would be against laws allowing torture and slavery, but the chaotic neutral person wouldn't necessarily be, and the chaotic evil person would be glad that torture and slavery happen without regard to the legality of it. It's more a concern for good over chaos.

Oh, I'm not conflating anything. You're absolutely right about a CN or CE person's attitude, which is precisely why I used a CG person in my example. Being willing to put up with a few laws (and only a few laws) to protect others is a very specifically CG attitude to have, of the Chaotic Alignments, because it's a self-sacrificing one, and Good is the Alignment for that.

Bodhizen wrote:
Maybe? Is it in the context of defending an innocent (or innocents), or is it just going up to a nazi (because they're bad people in general) and punching them on general principle? The tenet seems to apply in one case, but not the other.

That's correct. I don't think assaulting people for having a belief or for existing is a very Paladin appropriate act, even for a Chaotic one. Now, if the person in question has actually committed any crimes that hurt innocents or violated their autonomy and looks likely to do so again in the future, then assaulting them, having them arrested, or even killing them to prevent such a ting are all back on the table.

Bodhizen wrote:
That would certainly hold true... If the law-chaos axis was more suggestion than ethos. I see the "lawful" or "chaotic" part of the axis as bearing equal weight to the "good" or "evil" part of the axis. Your interpretation seems to prioritize good over chaos. In an equivalent manner, the chaotic character might not be willing to give up any freedoms and seek alternative means of achieving a "good" outcome. It's a valid form of play. I see no issue with "good" working within the context of a code; that part we seem to agree upon. So, let's leave the good/evil out of the discussion, because it's not the salient factor. The chaotic character is all about personal freedom (full stop). Personal freedom is not congruent with the concept that one must follow a code of behavior at all times.

Well, the issue with dropping Good and Evil out of the discussion is that the LG Paladin prioritizes Good over Law at pretty much all times (due to Code hierarchy). I'd expect that CG Paladin to do the same regarding Good and Chaos.

You're not wrong that what I'm suggesting prioritizes Good over Chaos. It absolutely does. And a CG character can absolutely exist who wouldn't go for it for that reason...just as a LG character can exist who prioritizes obeying the law over avoiding a specific Evil act. But neither of those people get to be Paladins.

Bodhizen wrote:
I also think it's an exaggeration (and a misrepresentation of my position on this issue).

I'm sorry to have apparently somewhat misunderstood what you were going for.

Bodhizen wrote:
Chaotic characters object to having to follow rules because rules exist, not because the intended outcome of the rule is something they wouldn't choose to do anyway. As to your other point, when "god" says, "thou shalt" or "thou shalt not" in exchange for power, it's an externally imposed ruleset. If the power comes from within, and has nothing to do with any deity or their rules, that's something different than a paladin (holy warrior devoted to a deity). That's a design space that has a lot of potential that doesn't really work well if you try to shoehorn it into the design space of "paladin".

Except that in PF1, as I mentioned above, Paladins were not required to have a deity. Most did, but it wasn't a requirement. They were, at heart, powered pretty much by their own righteousness.

And even if they are required to follow a Deity in PF2, I cite Anathemas for Clerics and how they work again to show that some Chaotic people are willing to obey the instructions of their God.

Bodhizen wrote:
Best wishes!

The same to you!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Scene:

Heroes are in a El Alamo situation.
A civilian trapped with them ask if they are doomed. One of the heroes step forward and says "we are not", to sooth the morale. He knows they are screwed. It is a lie. Is it evil? Should a Paladin fall?

A LG Paladin?

Yes.

A CG Paladin?

Possibly.

Because they just outright lied to someone and that lie may cause that person's death by horrible means when they might have had some chance of avoiding such a fate (surrendering, saying they were held prisoner, etc, etc).

Now, if on the other hand they say "Gonna be rough" they are saying that it is going to be rough and possibly fatal, but it lays the cards on the table without saying "We're ALL GONNA DIE!!! *runaroundarmflailing*

However, it merits noting that the CG individual may say something more along the lines of "It'll be a good fight, but it's gonna be rough. Won't fault you if you sit this one out, and we'll lock you in a cell or whatever you want, if you don't want to fight. That way they might believe you've been captured for not wanting to fight and you might live through this."


8 people marked this as a favorite.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Telling your old grandma who is in a hospital with a terminal ill that his little cat is OK, when truth is his cat died of sadness should not be an evil act. Or a chaotic one, for that matter. Should a paladin fall for this?

I've lived that. In her later years my grandmother had severe dementia, to the point where she could barely recognize her husband or her own daughter. Every visit was heartbreaking but I like to think that I could just brighten up her day just a little bit it was worth it. Every 5 to 10 minutes I'd have to gently reintroduce myself as her grandson so she wouldn't be alarmed that there was a stranger in her room.

Every visit, without fail, she'd ask me something that presented me with this exact dilemma.

Have you seen my terrier? He was around here a minute ago. (her dog died fifteen years ago)
How is my brother Tom doing? (Tom was the youngest in a sibling pack of 8. He died in a fire at age 5 more than 80 years ago)
Where is my Henry? I miss him so (Her husband, who had always been an outdoorsy man and worked at a lumber mill for well over forty years, had developed COPD in his later years. He needed an oxygen tank to breathe and was confined to a wheelchair. Because of his medical issues he couldn't stay with my grandmother at the secure unit in their nursing home, but he visited her every day)

At first I tried to gently remind her of the truth: "I'm terribly sorry grandma, but Tom isn't with us anymore - he died a long time ago, remember?" and then I'd watch her relive the sorrow and los and anguish all over again - until she forgot. Every time I'd just put her through lots of pain that was, essentially, meaningless. I got to tell the truth, but I put her through five minutes of pure hell.

Then I'd try to evade or dance around the truth: "I don't know where your dog is right now but I'm sure he's doing just fine. Now who's that in this wedding photo?". This would occasionally work, sometimes she'd be distracted or content with whatever I could come up with, other times this would just make her agitated. "You don't know where my dog is? We have to go find him! Why is this door locked? We have to get outside, my dog is missing!"

Finally I learned to embrace the gentle lie. "I just talked to Henry on the phone, he's doing just fine and he said to remind you that he loves you. He's out fishing today but should be home any minute now". I'm not gonna say it felt great to lie to her but it meant I could make her next five minutes a little happier and a little more comfortable and I'd do it again everty single time. If anyone wants to say to my face that by telling her that lie I was acting dishonorably or doing the wrong thing I'll happily punch them in the nose.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In PF2, you would be following the 2nd tenet (Do no harm) which takes precedence over the 3rd tenet (Do not lie)

But I greatly dislike trying to put RPG systems on RL situations, especially those that are as heartbreaking as the one you describe

Punching them in the face does not seem quite Paladin-like though


Kudaku wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Kudaku wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Kudaku wrote:

For what it's worth I agree with other posters in that I don't really see honesty as a "Good" alignment trait but rather a Lawful one. Truth and lies are tools that can easily be wielded for both Good and Evil. Obfuscation is needed to bring Milani's rose into Cheliax, and brutal honesty is easily used to goad the rash into eternal damnation.

who would you trust as honest, an Azata or a Devil?
With zero context (including who I am) and no idea what they're even saying? I have no idea. I'd probably trust both the devil and the azata to be advancing their own agenda?

Fine. I'll roll with that for now.

So both can lie then?
If a creature made of [law] can be dishonest, then honesty is not a lawful trait.

A cop that cheat and plant false proof to jail someone is a LE cop. A bank that tries to deceive you adding dishonest small print clauses in your mortgage is LE. A corrupt judge that always favor the rich is LE. Being L does not preclude you from being dishonest. I'd trust Desna over Zon Kuthon if both tell me different things.

Looks like we cross posted, but I'm pleased that I kinda answered your post anyway. What's been my experience is that devils can happily spin the truth like a US congressman on the election trail, but they rarely outright lie to your face. Half-truths, truths blanketed in conditionals and motivated by hidden agendas, sure. But outright lie? No, not really. The contract system shows that they rely on at least some level of straight play to function. I'd say the Evil in LE means they may try to corrupt and twist the truth, but the Law in LE but they rarely outright break it.

Contrast that with Azata who (as far as I know) just don't have any particular affiliation with the truth at all. They can tell the truth or lie any which way they please. They seem much more closely aligned with fey than angels or archons. While I'd generally trust an azata...

Devils outright lie constantly.check out the original book of the damned by JJ sometime. It repeatedly talks about how much devil's love to lie. Not just distort truth.

We even get evangelist devil's who go around telling everyone gods don't exist.

Edit for example look at the apostate devil's description

"Their ever-shifting masks speak envenomed words and give their hollow lies the ring of truth. "

Outright stared. They lie.


ummm thought richard the lionhearted was richard the first.
not richard the 3rd who was a bad man


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:

See, here is one question...

If Chaotic is the alignment of honor, dedication, honesty, and all about following codes... Which is what it seems like the argument here is...

Then what does Lawful mean?

in the case of Lawful Good vs Chaotic Good: Lawful Good is the belief that enforcing absolute rules, on ones self and others, is the best way to serve good (An ordered society is thr best route to salvation) vs the Chaotic belief in following a code that you chose, for yourself, that frees others to follow their conscience (free individuals given an example to inspire them, will find their own route to salvation). It's a fundamental philosophical split.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Steelfiredragon wrote:

ummm thought richard the lionhearted was richard the first.

not richard the 3rd who was a bad man

Lionheart still bankrupted the country going on crusade and racked up an impressive list of atrocities, then after he got back (after having to be ransomed, another fortune) wemt tearing off to another series of wars, and died to a random crossbow bolt to the neck in a siege (his men skinned the boy who loosed the bolt alive after Richards death, to give you an idea of the kind of army he ran)


HWalsh wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Scene:

Heroes are in a El Alamo situation.
A civilian trapped with them ask if they are doomed. One of the heroes step forward and says "we are not", to sooth the morale. He knows they are screwed. It is a lie. Is it evil? Should a Paladin fall?

If the Paladin believes it to be true, that they are doomed, then it is a lie.

A smart Paladin would answer in a way that isn't a lie, but that raises morale none the less.

What if he is not a smart paladin? Does he fall if he says they are not doomed?

What about the other examples? Does he fall if he says Santa exists to children? Does he fall if he says "your cat is OK" to dying grandma?

More important maybe, regardless of paladins. Is it evil to say Santa exist? Is it chaotic?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Scene:

Heroes are in a El Alamo situation.
A civilian trapped with them ask if they are doomed. One of the heroes step forward and says "we are not", to sooth the morale. He knows they are screwed. It is a lie. Is it evil? Should a Paladin fall?

If the Paladin believes it to be true, that they are doomed, then it is a lie.

A smart Paladin would answer in a way that isn't a lie, but that raises morale none the less.

What if he is not a smart paladin? Does he fall if he says they are not doomed?

What about the other examples? Does he fall if he says Santa exists to children? Does he fall if he says "your cat is OK" to dying grandma?

More important maybe, regardless of paladins. Is it evil to say Santa exist? Is it chaotic?

Paladins do not lie unless there is extenuating circumstances.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Steelfiredragon wrote:

ummm thought richard the lionhearted was richard the first.

not richard the 3rd who was a bad man

Richard III the actual reigning monarch is a *very* different figure from the character in Shakespeare's play. Not to say he was a saint--you probably couldn't really maintain a good alignment as a feudal monarch--but the Shakespearean play is basically Tudor propaganda. Still an amazing play, but a considerable distortion of the real man.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
CG people, being Good and willing to make personal sacrifices, are more willing to have a very few rules imposed on them for the good of others.

This suggests that chaotic is only chaotic when it's not busy being lawful, and bears no mechanical distinction from neutrality. "I don't do rules, except when I do some rules..." as opposed to "I don't do rules. I just do what I do. The rules don't matter." It appears as a distinction of degree (i.e. <3 rules, you can be chaotic; 3-6 rules, you can be neutral; 6+ rules, you've got to be lawful). The good portion of the alignment spectrum isn't what's in question here; it's the chaotic portion that's the salient point, but the conversation keeps on revolving back to good as if that completely negates the chaotic factor.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Oh, I'm not conflating anything. You're absolutely right about a CN or CE person's attitude, which is precisely why I used a CG person in my example. Being willing to put up with a few laws (and only a few laws) to protect others is a very specifically CG attitude to have, of the Chaotic Alignments, because it's a self-sacrificing one, and Good is the Alignment for that.

I hear what you're saying about how the LG character won't follow all laws because tyrannical laws would conflict with goodness, and I understand that the CG character wouldn't be against all laws because doing so might conflict with goodness. The problem lies with, "I accept all these laws (or behavioural rules in the case of a chaotic good paladin) consistently, each and every day." In so doing, they edge away from CG toward NG (and possibly toward LG), as they follow a consistent behaviour pattern (not chaotic in any sense of the word) that is codified into a set of rules or laws. If you hold these 5 tenets to be true at all times, you're acting in a purely lawful fashion with regard to those tenets, not a chaotic one.

It goes back to the earlier point about "how many rules do you accept before you're no longer chaotic anymore?" The lawful good character can refuse to follow tyrannical laws because those laws conflict with good. The chaotic character, by the same token, would have to refuse tyrannical laws because they conflict with good (still okay in this context), but would have to reject most (if not all) laws that do not conflict with good in order to remain consistent to their alignment, and the same would hold true of a paladin code.

The rub is that even if you manage to put together a set of tenets that don't conflict with good, there's no distinction between the law or chaos side of the law-chaos axis if the CG "paladin" universally follows that code. They can follow that code short-term, but would constantly find themselves violating it and having to perform whatever the mechanical equivalent of atonement would be for chaotic paladin characters (if it's not just straight-up atonement).

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Except that in PF1, as I mentioned above, Paladins were not required to have a deity. Most did, but it wasn't a requirement. They were, at heart, powered pretty much by their own righteousness.

And even if they are required to follow a Deity in PF2, I cite Anathemas for Clerics and how they work again to show that some Chaotic people are willing to obey the instructions of their God.

A couple of paladin abilities (divine bond and holy champion) directly reference the need for a god. One might claim that it's vestigial text, but it's there, hasn't been removed, and lends support to the necessity of a god-interaction for paladins; there's an absence of support against the necessity in the text for paladins themselves. The enrichment text directly references their service to a deity as well. I don't consider it a far stretch to default to, "God is necessary for paladinhood", though I do accept that other interpretations exist and can (and have been) fun to play. They're just not straight-up paladins.

As for godly instructions and chaotic clerics... Which instructions are these? What are, say, Desna's instructions for clerics? I'm not sure I've ever actually seen them spelled out like a paladin code. (I can only assume that anathema will address this in PF2).

Once again, best wishes, good sir!


Rob Godfrey wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:

ummm thought richard the lionhearted was richard the first.

not richard the 3rd who was a bad man
Lionheart still bankrupted the country going on crusade and racked up an impressive list of atrocities, then after he got back (after having to be ransomed, another fortune) wemt tearing off to another series of wars, and died to a random crossbow bolt to the neck in a siege (his men skinned the boy who loosed the bolt alive after Richards death, to give you an idea of the kind of army he ran)

.

well there were always special sniper rules. those days, you pick upa weapon and use it in a war, it doesnt matter your age and all...

but yeah, in medieval england and france , no king was of good alignment..

and as for his army....


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Bodhizen wrote:
This suggests that chaotic is only chaotic when it's not busy being lawful, and bears no mechanical distinction from neutrality. "I don't do rules, except when I do some rules..." as opposed to "I don't do rules. I just do what I do. The rules don't matter." It appears as a distinction of degree (i.e. <3 rules, you can be chaotic; 3-6 rules, you can be neutral; 6+ rules, you've got to be lawful). The good portion of the alignment spectrum isn't what's in question here; it's the chaotic portion that's the salient point, but the conversation keeps on revolving back to good as if that completely negates the chaotic factor.

That is the big issue here, because if we say that chaos doesn't ever follow codes (or just strongly dislikes following them and thus won't maintain over long periods of time) it causes an issue. This is shown with the question "What is good?", I'd say (and I'm probably not alone) that it's a code of how to act and behave with (and to) others. Which means that if chaos won't follow codes (or just dislikes them), they can't ever really be good. They might not necessarily be evil, but they wouldn't be good, and that causes an issue.

Bodhizen wrote:

I hear what you're saying about how the LG character won't follow all laws because tyrannical laws would conflict with goodness, and I understand that the CG character wouldn't be against all laws because doing so might conflict with goodness. The problem lies with, "I accept all these laws (or behavioural rules in the case of a chaotic good paladin) consistently, each and every day." In so doing, they edge away from CG toward NG (and possibly toward LG), as they follow a consistent behaviour pattern (not chaotic in any sense of the word) that is codified into a set of rules or laws. If you hold these 5 tenets to be true at all times, you're acting in a purely lawful fashion with regard to those tenets, not a chaotic one.

It goes back to the earlier point about "how many rules do you accept before you're no longer chaotic anymore?" The lawful good character can refuse to follow tyrannical laws because those laws conflict with good. The chaotic character, by the same token, would have to refuse tyrannical laws because they conflict with good (still okay in this context), but would have to reject most (if not all) laws that do not conflict with good in order to remain consistent to their alignment, and the same would hold true of a paladin code.

The rub is that even if you manage to put together a set of tenets that don't conflict with good, there's no distinction between the law or chaos side of the law-chaos axis if the CG "paladin" universally follows that code. They can follow that code short-term, but would constantly find themselves violating it and having to perform whatever the mechanical equivalent of atonement would be for chaotic paladin characters (if it's not just straight-up atonement).

I see what you're saying, and while I don't fully disagree, I have to reference my statement above, if chaotic cannot maintain a code (or follow a set of rules) how can they maintain being good, when good is held to a higher (not higher, all alignments are equal, but I feel you'll understand what I mean) standard (and code/rules). Also note that social interactions tend to follow rules as well, the chaotic character is not required to just always ignore them.

Also, while a chaotic character might reject laws that don't conflict with good, they don't necessarily fight them all the time, instead ignoring them when inconvenienced by them. Some might choose to champion against them, while others might accept their existence and instead choose to educate others on the downsides of them.

Similarly, I think that the alignment square is a bad representation of how alignment looks and how the axes influence each other. Instead I'd consider it akin to the color circle, with an extra source color and G,E,L,C as the source colors (I really enjoyed how unchained did alignment, and this is like a more granular version of that), With the corner alignments being somewhere in-between. This means that each corner alignment, can be various shades of their sources. So we end up with some CG's whom have a little more C than G in them, whom like you said can't follow a code really, and other CG's whom would be able to (Maybe they've got a splash on lawful in their color ;D ).

Bodhizen wrote:

A couple of paladin abilities (divine bond and holy champion) directly reference the need for a god. One might claim that it's vestigial text, but it's there, hasn't been removed, and lends support to the necessity of a god-interaction for paladins; there's an absence of support against the necessity in the text for paladins themselves. The enrichment text directly references their service to a deity as well. I don't consider it a far stretch to default to, "God is necessary for paladinhood", though I do accept that other interpretations exist and can (and have been) fun to play. They're just not straight-up paladins.

As for godly instructions and chaotic clerics... Which instructions are these? What are, say, Desna's instructions for clerics? I'm not sure I've ever actually seen them spelled out like a paladin code. (I can only assume that anathema will address this in PF2).

I agree with you on this part, it's pretty much been implied that all paladins follow gods in PF1, just not stated nor required (technically you could worship Asmodeus as well). And I, too, am looking forward to seeing how chaotic deities anathemas are handled.

Bodhizen wrote:
Once again, best wishes, good sir!

I know it's not meant for me, but, You too, kind sir! Your posts are growing on me, and it is somewhat enjoyable to see them, despite my disagreement.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Bodhizen wrote:
This suggests that chaotic is only chaotic when it's not busy being lawful, and bears no mechanical distinction from neutrality. "I don't do rules, except when I do some rules..." as opposed to "I don't do rules. I just do what I do. The rules don't matter." It appears as a distinction of degree (i.e. <3 rules, you can be chaotic; 3-6 rules, you can be neutral; 6+ rules, you've got to be lawful). The good portion of the alignment spectrum isn't what's in question here; it's the chaotic portion that's the salient point, but the conversation keeps on revolving back to good as if that completely negates the chaotic factor.

I'll repeat that I keep bringing up Good because a LG Paladin prioritizes Good over Law, and I thus consider a CG one prioritizing Good over Chaos to be very much the way a CG Paladin should work.

Bodhizen wrote:
I hear what you're saying about how the LG character won't follow all laws because tyrannical laws would conflict with goodness, and I understand that the CG character wouldn't be against all laws because doing so might conflict with goodness. The problem lies with, "I accept all these laws (or behavioural rules in the case of a chaotic good paladin) consistently, each and every day." In so doing, they edge away from CG toward NG (and possibly toward LG), as they follow a consistent behaviour pattern (not chaotic in any sense of the word) that is codified into a set of rules or laws. If you hold these 5 tenets to be true at all times, you're acting in a purely lawful fashion with regard to those tenets, not a chaotic one.

I disagree that prioritizing the freedom of others over your own is in any way non-Chaotic. It's explicitly Good and thus not typical of CN or CE, but it's a very Chaotic act to prioritize freedom in general regardless of whose. And that's what most of the Code I'd give a CG Paladin is: prioritizing freedom.

Bodhizen wrote:
It goes back to the earlier point about "how many rules do you accept before you're no longer chaotic anymore?" The lawful good character can refuse to follow tyrannical laws because those laws conflict with good. The chaotic character, by the same token, would have to refuse tyrannical laws because they conflict with good (still okay in this context), but would have to reject most (if not all) laws that do not conflict with good in order to remain consistent to their alignment, and the same would hold true of a paladin code.

Absolutely! Unfortunately, having a Code that actually necessitates lawbreaking is not feasible and does not actually covey the lack of respect for laws a Chaotic character should have, since it binds them to them every bit as closely as requiring them to obey them.

Which is why my CG Paladin Code is focused pretty exclusively on protecting the freedom of others rather than anything else.

Bodhizen wrote:
The rub is that even if you manage to put together a set of tenets that don't conflict with good, there's no distinction between the law or chaos side of the law-chaos axis if the CG "paladin" universally follows that code. They can follow that code short-term, but would constantly find themselves violating it and having to perform whatever the mechanical equivalent of atonement would be for chaotic paladin characters (if it's not just straight-up atonement).

There absolutely is a conflict with the Lawful side of the axis if a Paladin obeys the code I instituted. It absolutely and factually requires you to break the law and even violate other codes if necessary to protect a deeply Chaotic principle.

Bodhizen wrote:
A couple of paladin abilities (divine bond and holy champion) directly reference the need for a god. One might claim that it's vestigial text, but it's there, hasn't been removed, and lends support to the necessity of a god-interaction for paladins; there's an absence of support against the necessity in the text for paladins themselves. The enrichment text directly references their service to a deity as well. I don't consider it a far stretch to default to, "God is necessary for paladinhood", though I do accept that other interpretations exist and can (and have been) fun to play. They're just not straight-up paladins.

There's quite a bit of evidence against this in Golarion specifically, including James Jacobs explicit statement that Paladins don't need a God in Golarion.

That does seem to be explicitly changing in PF2, however, with Gods becoming much more explicitly necessary for Paladinhood.

Bodhizen wrote:
As for godly instructions and chaotic clerics... Which instructions are these? What are, say, Desna's instructions for clerics? I'm not sure I've ever actually seen them spelled out like a paladin code. (I can only assume that anathema will address this in PF2).

Yeah, the details are likely gonna be new to PF2. I could come up with a set of requirements for most Chaotic Gods pretty easily, though, they just might differ from the official ones. Heck, Cayden Cailean even has a few quick ones listed already.

Bodhizen wrote:
Once again, best wishes, good sir!

And once again, the same to you. :)


Bodhizen wrote:

{. . .}

It goes back to the earlier point about "how many rules do you accept before you're no longer chaotic anymore?" The lawful good character can refuse to follow tyrannical laws because those laws conflict with good. The chaotic character, by the same token, would have to refuse tyrannical laws because they conflict with good (still okay in this context), but would have to reject most (if not all) laws that do not conflict with good in order to remain consistent to their alignment, and the same would hold true of a paladin code. {. . .}

The Lawful Good character can refuse to obey tyrannical laws because they conflict with Good, but must follow all other laws. The Chaotic Good character must refuse to obey tyrannical laws because they conflict with Good, but is free to disobey all other laws(*).

(*)Not a requirement to disobey all other laws, because that would lead to a vulnerability in which a clever tyrant could craft laws to exploit the Chaotic Good character by way of the legal equivalent of reverse psychology . . . hmmm, AP plot hook, anyone?


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:

See, here is one question...

If Chaotic is the alignment of honor, dedication, honesty, and all about following codes... Which is what it seems like the argument here is...

Then what does Lawful mean?

Lawful is about enforcing structure on society, so lawful good believes that an ordered society, policed by the righteous, is the best path to salvation, hence the code including respect for lawful authority. Chaotic is personnel autonomy and responsibility, so a free people, given examples, will find salvation on their own. In is a fundamental philosophical difference, yet both paths demand the individual take on a code of conduct, its what that code is and how it expresses itself that changes.


Elegos wrote:
I mean, in fairness, a being equivalent to santa clause might actually exist in Golarion. Id have to check...

There are official 3rd Ed stats for Santa, might still be somewhere on the WotC site. I remember he has Druid and Rogue (for B&E) levels.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Maybe we should discard the words "Lawful" and "Chaotic" and replace them with "obedient to external rules" and "obedient to internal rules".


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Bardess wrote:
Maybe we should discard the words "Lawful" and "Chaotic" and replace them with "obedient to external rules" and "obedient to internal rules".

Yet, it's more than that, and saying it is "only" that does a disservice to both ends of the axis.

We can't say that Order (Law) is only obedience to outside rules with no internal inspiration, just as we can't say that Chaos is only inside rules. It ignores other important elements, such as group well being versus individual, change versus consistency, and so on.

I'm concerned that this is the direction that these "Codes" are pushing. I enjoy your thoughtfulness, and yet--this is a very, very real concern.

The Chaos Codes submitted by and large? Strike me as very, very NG because things appear to be blurring into one another. That is:

* Focusing on one element of L & C, rather than multiples
* Focusing on preferred traits, ...as though this concept of mercy or humility is only a Chaotic trait.

This overall just furthers the idea tha perhaps the L-C axis shouldn't be part of PF in the future, as "things I identify with or prefer over the other" seem more closely ascribed to it, and in that vein things become overly squishy. This isn't meant as an insult--it's a respectful concern that has been buzzing about for some time, and I hope it will be seen in that vein.


Addendum: I've seen some push towards a focus on Personal Liberty/Freedom, and wanted to address that, to make sure it gets...I guess broadened? Other elements of Chaos be given more focus?
* The Cause for Freedom is both problematic and hard to argue against; I've seen it take over entire games. It's too hard to disagree with, most of the time.
* It too quickly becomes an All-Defining Feature, and quickly overshadows other important traits
* It too quickly becomes defined as an /exclusive/ feature

...those are a lot of concerns, and I apologize for spamming, here. See, I used to allow chaotic paladins for some years, and those issues were definite problems. I haven't brought this up, and don't want to get into it. I'd rather focus on concerns and present them as solvable issues.

Freedom if it's explored as a part of Code, I'd suggest have a mention in terms of Personal Liberty, but to focus more heavily on Chaos in other ways. I'd also suggest placing it into the Lawful Code as well to help prevent unintended sandboxing, yet using a different cause. That is, they would support it for different reasons. LG for example, stands against Tyranny--which suggests leading by example, rather than force/removal of choice. The moment they dip into that, they become Tyranny, and the traditional Enemy of LG was LE.

Without some care, there is a strong chance that anyone following the Chaotic Code would turn into a "Freedom Liberator" and it would become the primary, exclusive, and overshadowing definition of said class.

...this is, as an aside, why I'd love to see a CG good warrior class built from the ground up, with mobility, teleport, and so on to leap them across the battlefield. In that way, its mechanics from the ground up have the opportunity to explore multiple definitions. It also avoids the "carbon copy of the paladin, but different" than the antipaladin kinda was. The anti had some neat abilities, but always felt a little cheap bc of that association (even though other elements were awesome), and I don't want that, here.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bodhizen wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
CG people, being Good and willing to make personal sacrifices, are more willing to have a very few rules imposed on them for the good of others.

This suggests that chaotic is only chaotic when it's not busy being lawful, and bears no mechanical distinction from neutrality. "I don't do rules, except when I do some rules..." as opposed to "I don't do rules. I just do what I do. The rules don't matter." It appears as a distinction of degree (i.e. <3 rules, you can be chaotic; 3-6 rules, you can be neutral; 6+ rules, you've got to be lawful). The good portion of the alignment spectrum isn't what's in question here; it's the chaotic portion that's the salient point, but the conversation keeps on revolving back to good as if that completely negates the chaotic factor.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Oh, I'm not conflating anything. You're absolutely right about a CN or CE person's attitude, which is precisely why I used a CG person in my example. Being willing to put up with a few laws (and only a few laws) to protect others is a very specifically CG attitude to have, of the Chaotic Alignments, because it's a self-sacrificing one, and Good is the Alignment for that.

I hear what you're saying about how the LG character won't follow all laws because tyrannical laws would conflict with goodness, and I understand that the CG character wouldn't be against all laws because doing so might conflict with goodness. The problem lies with, "I accept all these laws (or behavioural rules in the case of a chaotic good paladin) consistently, each and every day." In so doing, they edge away from CG toward NG (and possibly toward LG), as they follow a consistent behaviour pattern (not chaotic in any sense of the word) that is codified into a set of rules or laws. If you hold these 5 tenets to be true at all times, you're acting in a purely lawful fashion with regard to those tenets, not a chaotic one.

It goes back to the earlier point about "how many rules do you accept before you're no longer...

Your definition of Chaos makes Chaotic Good impossible.

In Pathfinder, some acts are intrinsically evil(like torture, killing innocents or using Evil spells). If a CG character can't obey these rules , then they are at best neutral.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
MuddyVolcano wrote:

Addendum: I've seen some push towards a focus on Personal Liberty/Freedom, and wanted to address that, to make sure it gets...I guess broadened? Other elements of Chaos be given more focus?

* The Cause for Freedom is both problematic and hard to argue against; I've seen it take over entire games. It's too hard to disagree with, most of the time.
* It too quickly becomes an All-Defining Feature, and quickly overshadows other important traits
* It too quickly becomes defined as an /exclusive/ feature

The issue with this is that no other feature of Chaos is as, well, Good as the emphasis on freedom. LG Paladins are focused almost entirely on Good rather than on Law, with their only truly Lawful focus their emphasis on Honor (a trait not exclusive to Good but strongly associated with it). CG Paladins, if they are to be equally Good, should thus be equally Good and focused on an aspect of Chaos strongly affiliated with Good and that's freedom. It overshadowing other Chaotic traits in the same way that Honor overshadows other Lawful traits for a LG Paladin is a feature, not a bug.

And yes, a certain degree of emphasis on freedom is common among most Good societies and people (nobody Good is okay with slavery, for example), but LG societies often prioritize other things over it. It's a goal but not the most important one. For a CG society? Freedom is the highest goal, with all else secondary.

And that's an important and valid distinction.


Here is generally how I break down law/chaos and good/evil:

Good/Evil:
Good: A character with a fundamental will to better the lives of others (even strangers)
Neutral: No real will to better the lives of others save for themselves and the people closest to them, but also generally dislike causing undue harm.
Evil: Seeks out their own goals regardless of the harm they cause

Chaotic/Lawful:
Lawful: These are people generally hold themselves to a reasonably strict code of ethics; this often comes with the belief that all people should be held to certain rules. This may be due to having a strong belief in the social contract (the benefits of an organized society for themselves and/or for all) or a belief in divine right of rule (or a belief that some people are naturally meant to rule).
Neutral: These characters hold a few rules to be true but may also willing to go against those rules in the right situation. Often such characters find following the rules of society to be generally a matter of convenience or worthy of little thought.
Chaotic: This sort of character chaffs against hard-and-fast rules. The "Ethics" of such a character tend to arise from intuition rather than reason if at all. Tends to resist societies with strict rules, especially those run by "systems" rather than "people".


1 person marked this as a favorite.
MuddyVolcano wrote:
...this is, as an aside, why I'd love to see a CG good warrior class built from the ground up, with mobility, teleport, and so on to leap them across the battlefield. In that way, its mechanics from the ground up have the opportunity to explore multiple definitions. It also avoids the "carbon copy of the paladin, but different" than the antipaladin kinda was. The anti had some neat abilities, but always felt a little cheap bc of that association (even though other elements were awesome), and I don't want that, here.

Not saying that's bad to want, or not something interesting to shoot for, but I do actually like the idea that a Chaotic class wouldn't be pushed away from Heavy Armor and Tanking.

Monks are Lawful, but they are the 'No Armor, Moving Free' masters (when magic isn't overshadowing everything, so they get a good three levels of it). So I don't think it follows that Chaotic is to be more focused on the moving and slippity bippities. I'd be happy with the Paladin focus on protecting others not changing between Good alignments.

Teleporting light armor stick em up being an archetype for Paladin would be great though. And I wouldn't be torn up if Chaotic was light armor by default, I just prefer they be as capable of tanking in heavy armor as the Lawfuls.

Liberty's Edge

Excaliburproxy wrote:
Chaotic: This sort of character chaffs against hard-and-fast rules. The "Ethics" of such a character tend to arise from intuition rather than reason if at all. Tends to resist societies with strict rules, especially those run by "systems" rather than "people".

The thing is, I don't even really disagree with this...except the 'intuition rather than reason' bit. That's not part of the Lawful/Chaotic dichotomy and shouldn't be. Both Lawful and Chaotic people can either be intuitively so or rationally so.

Anyone, regardless of Alignment, can have a logically thought out and consistent moral code. A Chaotic moral code is just a very different beast with very different emphases than a Lawful one (and quite possibly more inclined to situational exceptions).

And anyone, regardless of Alignment, can have not thought through why their moral code is as it is and simply be going with their own personal moral intuition plus the things they were taught growing up, all without thinking much about why.

In the real world, both of those types of moral code exist (the second is vastly more common than the first) and are both found among philosophies of all types, both those focused on things like the social contract or a particular religious doctrine, and those focused on personal freedom as the ultimate good. Dividing them up on Alignment lines is weird, inaccurate to reality, and not borne out anywhere in the Alignment rules.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
MuddyVolcano wrote:

Addendum: I've seen some push towards a focus on Personal Liberty/Freedom, and wanted to address that, to make sure it gets...I guess broadened? Other elements of Chaos be given more focus?

* The Cause for Freedom is both problematic and hard to argue against; I've seen it take over entire games. It's too hard to disagree with, most of the time.
* It too quickly becomes an All-Defining Feature, and quickly overshadows other important traits
* It too quickly becomes defined as an /exclusive/ feature

The issue with this is that no other feature of Chaos is as, well, Good as the emphasis on freedom. LG Paladins are focused almost entirely on Good rather than on Law, with their only truly Lawful focus their emphasis on Honor (a trait not exclusive to Good but strongly associated with it). CG Paladins, if they are to be equally Good, should thus be equally Good and focused on an aspect of Chaos strongly affiliated with Good and that's freedom. It overshadowing other Chaotic traits in the same way that Honor overshadows other Lawful traits for a LG Paladin is a feature, not a bug.

And yes, a certain degree of emphasis on freedom is common among most Good societies and people (nobody Good is okay with slavery, for example), but LG societies often prioritize other things over it. It's a goal but not the most important one. For a CG society? Freedom is the highest goal, with all else secondary.

And that's an important and valid distinction.

Hrm. You know, that can't be the only distinction and nor should it be the "only good" that Chaos has to offer. Creativity, thinking outside the box, finding alternate solutions to impossible problems can also be good.

We also have instinct, personal flexibility, and keeping your own promises but not feeling bound what others promised on your behalf can be an asset as well. The ability too, of rethinking rules to where they become instead, strong guidelines. Shackled vs unshackled.

If we say that "Personal Freedom" is the only Good trait about Chaos, then we risk doing a disservice to that axis and also pigeonholing the chaotic holy warrior concept to one thing. So...let's address this early on, to make sure it doesn't become about the one thing? And that that one thing doesn't end up inserting itself as THE difference between the axis?

See, it'd be very easy to point to two different flavors of holy warrior and say: there, THAT is the single difference between the two alignments.

251 to 300 of 437 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Playtest / What Would A CG Paladin Code Look Like? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.