What Would A CG Paladin Code Look Like?


Pathfinder Playtest

1 to 50 of 473 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

(Before I begin, I just want to say that this is a thread for speculation. I have no interest in hashing out the argument. I'm using the term CG Paladin for clarity's sake. We have Antipaladin for the CE alternate class and Tyrant for the LE anti-pally archetype, but no specific term for a CG variant)

One place of general agreement in the Great Paladin Debate is that the Code is important to a paladin. We have the 1e Pally Code, and we have the Anti-Pally and Tyrant Codes, but we don't have a CG Code. So... what would it look like?

First, let's look at the 2e Paladin Code. I've chosen this one because it's unlikely that we'll get a CG archetype at this point, so if we do get a CG paladin, it will be in 2e. For the purposes of this thread, I'm assuming that deity specific tenets are less important than the general tenets. In descending order of importance, the four general tenets are:

1) You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell.

2) You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent to come to immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it. This tenet doesn't force you to take action against possible harm to innocents or to sacrifice your life and future potential in an attempt to protect an innocent.

3) You must act with honor, never cheating, lying, or taking advantage of others.

4) You must respect the lawful authority of the legitimate ruler or leadership in whichever land you may be, following their laws unless they violate a higher tenet.

Tenet #1 is perfectly in accordance with a CG outlook. "Don't do evil." One can be of a good alignment and still do some evil things without repercussions, but exemplars of good do not have that option. They should not. Tenet #1 can stay as is, and where it is.

Tenet #2 is also perfectly in accordance with a CG outlook, and for the same reason. Any exemplar of a good alignment puts others ahead of themselves, especially innocent people. Tenet #2 can stay as is and where it is.

Tenet #3 seems more dicey for a CG character. The benevolent trickster archetype is very CG. However, it's relatively low down on the list, and that gives room to lie or cheat if it is to protect an innocent. Besides, just as a LG Paladin thinks that good is more important than law, a CG Paladin should think good more important than chaos. Lying and cheating aren't good if they are for oneself, but they can be good if they are used to help others. Tenet #3 can stay as is and where it is.

Tenet #4 is where we come into problems. Chaos doesn't care about external laws, and a CG person isn't likely to take them into consideration when deciding to do the right thing. A CG Paladin would only really consider external laws insofar as they affect the innocent or their companions (or perhaps themselves, in the "don't throw your life away for nothing" tenet). So, let's ditch this one. The question becomes, what should replace it?

Chaos seems more individualistic than order, so that is where I would start. The fourth LG tenet is focused on society. The fourth CG tenet should be focused on the individual. I posit something like:

4) You must inspire people to find their purpose in the face of adversity, and help them to do so to the best of your ability, unless it violates a higher tenet.

How would this play out practically? If you find someone who wants to be an artist in the face of parental disapproval, then you should persuade them to stand their ground, and help them as best you can. Try and talk to their parents. However, if it's a choice between talking to their parents and saving a life, save the life first then have the talk. If you find someone who wants to be a serial killer, then stop them. Get them psychiatric help, have them sent to jail, stick to them like glue if that prevents them from killing someone. However, if you have to choose between tailing the person or helping put out a fire in an orphanage, put out the fire first, then get back to it.

So, those are my thoughts. A CG Paladin's code should be:

1) You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell.

2) You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent to come to immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it. This tenet doesn't force you to take action against possible harm to innocents or to sacrifice your life and future potential in an attempt to protect an innocent.

3) You must act with honor, never cheating, lying, or taking advantage of others.

4) You must inspire people to find their purpose in the face of adversity, and help them to do so to the best of your ability, unless it violates a higher tenet.

What is your opinion?


For comparison, you can look at the 3.5 Paladin of Freedom (https://www.d20pfsrd.com/extras/community-creations/house-rules/classes/pa ladin-of-freedom/).

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I would flip the order of 3 and 4. Using the example above, let's say the parents of the aspiring artist are hardcore against it no matter what. You might be tempted to lie to those parents about the whereabouts of their daughter so that she can go take lessons from a master, or something like that. I'd say a CG exemplar should be able to do that.

I would also be tempted to reword 3 a bit to remove the "Nevers"... So instead of "3) You must act with honor, never cheating, lying, or taking advantage of others." Maybe "4) You must act accordance to your own sense of honor, never cheating, lying, or taking advantage of others unless the results would clearly lead to The greater good." Something like that.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

I feel like for a Paladin, since you're an exemplar of Lawfulness, tenet 4 is basically "you always follow the rules, unless you have a darn good reason not to".

So for a CG-adin it would have to be equally strong, but in a chaotic direction, something roughly equivalent to "you must oppose or undermine unjust authority, or power used to perpetrate injustice, unless it violates a higher tenet."

I don't think "be inspiring" is chaotic enough.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:

So for a CG-adin it would have to be equally strong, but in a chaotic direction, something roughly equivalent to "you must oppose or undermine unjust authority, or power used to perpetrate injustice, unless it violates a higher tenet."

Yeah, fight the Man, stand up for the little guy!


16 people marked this as a favorite.

1) You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell.

2) You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent to come to immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it.

3) You must act with honor, never cheating or taking advantage of others. Lying can be necessary to save lives or protect people; in this case, it is not dishonorable.

4) You must not violate another's free will, neither allow others to violate your own free will.

5) You must stand against tyranny, unjust impositions and privation of liberty, unless this violates a higher tenet.

6) The greater good and the lesser good are not mutually exclusive. You must strive to find a solution that benefits both the community and the individual. "We don't trade lives".

Liberty's Edge

12 people marked this as a favorite.

My advised list would be something like this:

1) You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell.

2) You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent to come to immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it. This tenet doesn't force you to take action against possible harm to innocents or to sacrifice your life and future potential in an attempt to protect an innocent.

3) You must always defend the autonomy of innocents from those who would violate it. If one person is forcing an innocent to do anything against their will, you must attempt to stop this act, using words if possible and force if necessary.

4) You must personally respect the autonomy of others, never forcing them to engage in any particular course of behavior. You may advise and admonish, but never actually force them to do as you wish them to. Except as necessary to fulfill the higher tenets, of course (ie: jailing a criminal who harmed or violated the autonomy of innocents is acceptable in order to prevent such behavior).
.
.
.
This is actually super restrictive if examined, but not in an overly onerous way, IMO.


Well, since said paladin is Chaotic, he doesn't give two hoots about any rule or oath and can simply ignore any point he believe to be interfering with his cause of a greater good. So we can skip bothering with the code altogether.

Liberty's Edge

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Dekalinder wrote:
Well, since said paladin is Chaotic, he doesn't give two hoots about any rule or oath and can simply ignore any point he believe to be interfering with his cause of a greater good. So we can skip bothering with the code altogether.

That's not how Chaos inherently works, man. Heck, look at the PF2 Cleric rules, I mean Chaotic Clerics still have Anathema.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think the "CG" paladin is really just a LG one who serves a chaotic good god, kind of like how Jeeves serves Bertie. Therefore, the code is:

1) Conduct yourself with the dignity the office of paladin requires.
2) If possible (without publically embarrassing your god), help direct your flaky CG god to the dignity of LG-ness.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Dekalinder wrote:
Well, since said paladin is Chaotic, he doesn't give two hoots about any rule or oath and can simply ignore any point he believe to be interfering with his cause of a greater good. So we can skip bothering with the code altogether.

Lets suppose, for the sake of the debate, this is true (it is not)

It does not matter what he believes. It matters what the God believes. If a paladin of Gorum believes he can flee from combat because he is Chaotic, he will soon learn the source of his spells disagree.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Bardess, I love your CG Holy Warrior Code!

Hmm

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bardess wrote:

1) You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell.

2) You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent to come to immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it.

3) You must act with honor, never cheating or taking advantage of others. Lying can be necessary to save lives or protect people; in this case, it is not dishonorable.

4) You must not violate another's free will, neither allow others to violate your own free will.

5) You must stand against tyranny, unjust impositions and privation of liberty, unless this violates a higher tenet.

6) The greater good and the lesser good are not mutually exclusive. You must strive to find a solution that benefits both the community and the individual. "We don't trade lives".

I think tweaking it a bit would help here. As always, MMV.

1) You shouldn't commit an evil act, such as torture or casting an evil spell. If you do, seek atonement as soon as you're able to.

2) You must not take actions that will harm the freedom of others to make their own choices, or through inaction cause such freedom to come to immediate harm if you knew your action could immediately prevent it.

3) You should treat others with courtesy, dignity, and respect. Do not cheat, steal, or lie to others unless they have made it clear they are not worthy of the above.

4) You must not violate another's free will, nor allow others to violate your own free will.

5) You should continue to do Good at all times, because at the end of the day, being excellent to one another makes the world a better place.

6) The Greater Good and the Lesser Good are not mutually exclusive. You must always strive to find a solution that benefits both the community and the individual. No single life has more weight or importance than any other.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Dekalinder wrote:
Well, since said paladin is Chaotic, he doesn't give two hoots about any rule or oath and can simply ignore any point he believe to be interfering with his cause of a greater good. So we can skip bothering with the code altogether.

Antipaladins have codes too. And most of them keep their powers, so chaotic characters can follow one.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The laws of man are not what "Law" means, to the forces of "Chaos".
Obeying the law, following a code, these are all minor things.

"My soul is good, but free. Laws have no conscience. Blind order promotes disorder. Goodness cannot be learned just from a book of prayer. Compassion does not wear a uniform. The smallest act of kindness is never wasted. Repay kindness with kindness. Be kind to someone in trouble—it may be you who needs kindness the next day.

Core Concepts: Benevolence, charity, freedom, joy, kindness, mercy, warmth"

CG Code:


  • 1) You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell.

  • 2) You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent to come to immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it. This tenet doesn't force you to take action against possible harm to innocents or to sacrifice your life and future potential in an attempt to protect an innocent.

  • 3) You must act with honor, showing mercy, being compassionate, sowing joy, how these are done are less important than leaving the world a better place that you were in it

  • 4) You must respect the lawful authority of the legitimate ruler or leadership in whichever land you may be, following their laws unless they violate a higher tenet.

That - I think - is the biggest change needed.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm sorry, I was under the impression that a God is completely optional to being a Paladin. And apperently now also the Chaos has Rules. I'm ok with chaotic gods having rules. I'm not ok with Chaos itself having rules. I'll show myself out now.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dekalinder wrote:
I'm sorry, I was under the impression that a God is completely optional to being a Paladin. And apperently now also the Chaos has Rules. I'm ok with chaotic gods having rules. I'm not ok with Chaos itself having rules. I'll show myself out now.

Chaos in D&D goes back to the Dukes of Law and the Lords of Chaos - from the Michael Moorcock books. They most certainly did, and always have, had laws and rules that both sides followed.

The rules weren't important - the end state of the entire universe was. You can apply that however you want but the fact that Demons have 'lords' and 'rulers' shows for a fact that even the most chaotic beings can have a structure they obey.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I feel like a lot of the "respect other people's autonomy" is fine, but it doesn't really capture how, like how a Paladin is the most Lawful of Lawful Good, the CG-adin should be the most Chaotic of Chaotic Good.

I'd prefer the CG-adin was impelled to be an out and out revolutionary. A CG-adin code should not be less inconvenient than the Paladin code; it should be a genuine RP challenge to play one of these things in a place like Cheliax.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Dekalinder wrote:
I'm sorry, I was under the impression that a God is completely optional to being a Paladin. And apperently now also the Chaos has Rules. I'm ok with chaotic gods having rules. I'm not ok with Chaos itself having rules. I'll show myself out now.

It is OK if you think chaotic good characters have no rules, chaotic good characters do not mind you having your own opinion. It is a rule for them. ;)


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Dekalinder wrote:
Well, since said paladin is Chaotic, he doesn't give two hoots about any rule or oath and can simply ignore any point he believe to be interfering with his cause of a greater good. So we can skip bothering with the code altogether.

Chaotic Good cavaliers of the Order of the Sword disagree with you.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There is no Law on New Hong Kong.... but there ARE Rules.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

code of conduct for pirates:
I. Every man has a vote in affairs of moment; has equal title to the fresh provisions, or strong liquors, at any time seized, and may use them at pleasure, unless a scarcity (not an uncommon thing among them) makes it necessary, for the good of all, to vote a retrenchment.

II. Every man to be called fairly in turn, by list, on board of prizes because, (over and above their proper share) they were on these occasions allowed a shift of clothes: but if they defrauded the company to the value of a dollar in plate, jewels, or money, marooning was their punishment. If the robbery was only betwixt one another, they contented themselves with slitting the ears and nose of him that was guilty, and set him on shore, not in an uninhabited place, but somewhere, where he was sure to encounter hardships.

III. No person to game at cards or dice for money.

IV. The lights and candles to be put out at eight o'clock at night: if any of the crew, after that hour still remained inclined for drinking, they were to do it on the open deck.

V. To keep their piece, pistols, and cutlass clean and fit for service.

VI. No boy or woman to be allowed amongst them. If any man were to be found seducing any of the latter sex, and carried her to sea, disguised, he was to suffer death; (so that when any fell into their hands, as it chanced in the Onslow, they put a sentinel immediately over her to prevent ill consequences from so dangerous an instrument of division and quarrel; but then here lies the roguery; they contend who shall be sentinel, which happens generally to one of the greatest bullies, who, to secure the lady's virtue, will let none lie with her but himself.)

VII. To desert the ship or their quarters in battle, was punished with death or marooning.

VIII. No striking one another on board, but every man's quarrels to be ended on shore, at sword and pistol. (The quarter-master of the ship, when the parties will not come to any reconciliation, accompanies them on shore with what assistance he thinks proper, and turns the disputant back to back, at so many paces distance; at the word of command, they turn and fire immediately (or else the piece is knocked out of their hands). If both miss, they come to their cutlasses, and then he is declared the victor who draws the first blood.)

IX. No man to talk of breaking up their way of living, till each had shared one thousand pounds. If in order to this, any man should lose a limb, or become a cripple in their service, he was to have eight hundred dollars, out of the public stock, and for lesser hurts, proportionately.

X. The Captain and Quartermaster to receive two shares of a prize: the master, boatswain, and gunner, one share and a half, and other officers one and quarter.

XI. The musicians to have rest on the Sabbath Day, but the other six days and nights, none without special favour.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

There is some great stuff, here. Bardess, I have always enjoyed your posts and the thoughts you've shared. To me, the code written is a great baseline--though it also reminds me of a NG devotee. While I enjoy the rest, my first response is more, it straddles the line towards Neutral.

If we push it a little further, we can say that to chaos, the ordered is inherently flawed. Order by its nature impinges upon the right of the individual because it is an impersonal thing that cannot respond to or address a person's needs individually.

Order /assumes/ someone else knows what you want or need, rather than walking in their shoes. If we look at it a certain way, it means that the potential for order to provide justice is inherently flawed.

Adding personalization gives us another level of opposition, and a direction for the CG knight to explore: how justice should be individually tailored each time. A system of order, of judges and watchmen, are generally in opposition to this and are something that a CG devotee might say hey man. You've got to forget those restrictions, those tenets and what you've been taught. You gotta do it at their level, you know?

In this way, order, though it provides stability, is corrupting. Individuals who become used to order risk becoming weak and stagnant.

A CG knight might encourage a certain degree of instability for the common good, both to allow personal needs to be met, and to prevent stagnation/weakness.

Chaotic Knight Code wrote:

1) You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell.

2) You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent to come to immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it.

3) Lying can become necessary to protect an individual's rights or freedoms. In these cases, lying may benefit the good.

4) You must not violate another's free will, neither allow others to violate your own free will.

5) You must stand against tyranny, unjust impositions and privation of liberty. This may extend to the minutae of an ordered society, where it becomes impersonal or appears to infringe upon the will and needs of the individual.

6) Encourage ordered societies towards more forgiving and personalized interpretations of the law. When possible, encourage the challenge of laws which may interfere with or oppress of personal liberty. The individual knows his or her own needs better than society. In this way, order is opposed to what is good, because although it provides stability, it is impersonal and promotes stagnation.

7) These tenets may be adjusted to achieve the greater good and preserve free will, so long as an evil act is not committed. The CG knight is encouraged to personalize these tenets in their pursuit of the good. The tenets as laid down here exist only through the ancients of tradition, which is inherently flawed. The knight knows his own soul.

Something like this puts them more outside the realm of that ordered society. Working more within it "except when needed" strikes me as much more NG, you know?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Would a CG Paladin think it better to die than to lose one's freedom?

I like the idea of the violating another's free will, but question if it might come before protecting life.

Lying is best handled in the anathema. Cayden Cailean is likely to look at it differently than Picoperi.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

A few parts of the Pirate Code exemplify the kind of conducts a Chaotic society would follow. For example, it does not ban duels altogether. But it regulates duels, making them to happen only on shore, and always with sword and pistols. A chaotic society like Tortuga will not try to establish a law upon itself that will force people to act out of their own personality (and pirates DO duel). But that doesn't mean they are stupid. They know allowing duels while in the ship is bad for everybody. So instead of banning duels (Something that a more Lawful society would do, like France in D'artagnan), they basically tell "if you have to do, do it where you don't disturb the rest of us". That's still a law. You still have to follow it. And if someone duels while on board of the ship, rest asured he'll be punished. Hard.

Chaotic societies DO have rules, and punishment.

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like a lot of the "respect other people's autonomy" is fine, but it doesn't really capture how, like how a Paladin is the most Lawful of Lawful Good, the CG-adin should be the most Chaotic of Chaotic Good.

I'd prefer the CG-adin was impelled to be an out and out revolutionary. A CG-adin code should not be less inconvenient than the Paladin code; it should be a genuine RP challenge to play one of these things in a place like Cheliax.

You may be underestimating how extreme a blanket demand to protect people's autonomy is.

I mean, it's not precisely revolutionary if you're already in a place where people have basic human rights, but if you see a slave? Yeah, you need to free them right now. If you see a parent forcing their child to work to support their farm over the child's objections? You have to stop that (unless they'll starve without the kid's help, anyway). If you see someone being arrested for loitering, or seditious speech, or taking a drink somewhere alcohol is illegal? You have to stop that arrest by any means necessary. You see someone 'innocent' (generally a rather broad term) being arrested for, say, smuggling food to feed the hungry? The above Code I wrote means you actively have to fight the cops to free them. Right now.

You can skirt around this enough to function due to the 'Evil Act' clause and the 'Prevent Harm' clause being higher priorities, and due to it only protecting innocents for the most part, but only to a certain degree.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I generally feel like a choatically themed class would not have any specific oaths. Oaths and hard rules in general aren’t chaotic. I know other people here have given examples of fictional “chaotic” societies, but I think those are exceptions to those group’s chaotic ethos rather than anything exemplifying it.

Would it not be sufficient just that the “chaotic/good” “Paladin” just follow their heart or whatever so long as that “heart” has the desire to do good?

Put another way: I think the alignment restriction would be sufficient rather than trying to adapt the necessarily lawful “oaths” of the core Paladin.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:


You may be underestimating how extreme a blanket demand to protect people's autonomy is.

I mean, it's not precisely revolutionary if you're already in a place where people have basic human rights, but if you see a slave? Yeah, you need to free them right now. If you see a parent forcing their child to work to support their farm over the child's objections? You have to stop that (unless they'll starve without the kid's help, anyway). If you see someone being arrested for loitering, or seditious speech, or taking a drink somewhere alcohol is illegal? You have to stop that arrest by any means necessary. You see someone 'innocent' (generally a rather broad term) being arrested for, say, smuggling food to feed the hungry? The above Code I wrote means you actively have to fight the cops to free them. Right now.

You can skirt around this enough to function due to the 'Evil Act' clause and the 'Prevent Harm' clause being higher priorities, and due to it only protecting innocents for the most part, but only to a certain degree.

Yet with a Lawful bent, these same bludgeons are and have been used against Paladins (as currently and historically written).

Perhaps it's not quite as extreme as the above makes out, just as *some* of the discussion on current Paladin is not quite as extreme?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
BretI wrote:

Would a CG Paladin think it better to die than to lose one's freedom?

I like the idea of the violating another's free will, but question if it might come before protecting life.

Lying is best handled in the anathema. Cayden Cailean is likely to look at it differently than Picoperi.

Tying personal liberty with personalization may address that. For example: order is inherently unjust because it assumes, and doesn't walk in someone's shoes.

That comes down to personalization. Punishing a crime takes away personal liberty, though personal liberty is still on the list. A CG knight should probably say: liberty is important, but what is also important is having things addressed on an individual basis.

They tie together. Personal liberty (and lack of personalization) is why an ordered society is inherently unjust or at least, will always corrupt and stagnate.

The other side of this coin means that it puts them against systems of judges and watchmen. They would be less likely to trust or rely on these systems at all. In this way, they become challengers of stagnation and advocates of personalized justice.

They would be big promoters of personal responsibility and liberty, and question tradition. If their Code is based in tradition, then it must be constantly questioned, challenged by themselves, and updated consistently to be the best that it can be.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ckorik wrote:


CG Code:

  • 1) You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell.

  • 2) You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent to come to immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it. This tenet doesn't force you to take action against possible harm to innocents or to sacrifice your life and future potential in an attempt to protect an innocent.

  • 3) You must act with honor, showing mercy, being compassionate, sowing joy, how these are done are less important than leaving the world a better place that you were in it

  • 4) You must respect the lawful authority of the legitimate ruler or leadership in whichever land you may be, following their laws unless they violate a higher tenet.

Totally agree with your change. I would alter the fourth though. "Respect" is a loaded word, and can refer to "Respect me as a person" or "Respect me as an authority." The LG would focus on the latter; I think CG would focus on the former. A CGadin (I like "Unfettered") would be absolute in their respect for everyone as persons. Including trying to tell people they don't have to follow their orders, they have free will. "I have orders" wouldn't be enough of an excuse for an Unfettered. "You had orders. You chose to follow them. You have chosen the consequences."


3 people marked this as a favorite.

My take for Chaotic Good Paladins tenets:

1- You must never willingly commit an evil act
2-You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent to come to immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it.
3- stand against unfairness, even if you are the only one who does.
4- be a beacon. Let others become good by your inspiration, not by your command.

Number 1 and 2 are self-explanatory. They are the same than a LG paladin, because those deal with the "G" side of it. A true Champion of Desna will fight to defend inocent people and stand against the evil demons as much as a true Champion of Iomedae.

Number 3, I choose the word "unfairness" instead of "tyranny", because "tyranny" is closer to the Good vs Evil axis. If you have to oppose Tyranny, well, that's something a LG paladin would do too. LG paladins do not tolerate dictatorships, slave states, and LE tyrants. The new, priorization code makes this much more evident than it was, in case it was needed. However, CG paladins will often oppose rules made by Neutral, or even Lawful Good rulers, if they find it to be "unfair", not necesarely "tyrannical". For example, from the top of my head, a LG ruler might ask every witch to be in a list. The LG ruler has good intentions about it, he is not planning to kill every witch. Just want to have things under control, a kind of Big Brother Watches You, just in case some of those witches start haggling with Hags or dabbling into dark magic. A LG paladin WILL agree with such a list. Maybe it's not his ideal plan, but certainly can tolerate it, assuming the ruler is not evil, or his plans do not look like evil. HOWEVER, a Chaotic Good character would think this is unfair. Why witches, but not wizards? Why is Nelly, my neighbour witch, an "usual suspect" who has to be in a list, even if she hasn't done anything wrong yet?

Number 4, it's the main difference, imho, between a CG hero, and a LG hero. The CG character would try to inspire you into becoming good. A Desnan follower might try to bring you to a walk under the stars, in the hope you hear Desna's call. But he will probably not lecture you about the things you do wrongly, in the way a LG of Iomedae will. Let's suppose you have a CN thieving rogue in the group. A CG paladin will hope his acts inspire the thief, so he changes. A LG paladin will tell the thief "look, stealing is bad. That's something you should not do anymore".


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
AnimatedPaper wrote:


Totally agree with your change. I would alter the fourth though. "Respect" is a loaded word, and can refer to "Respect me as a person" or "Respect me as an authority." The LG would focus on the latter; I think CG would focus on the former. A CGadin (I like "Unfettered") would be absolute in their respect for everyone as persons. Including trying to tell people they don't have to follow their orders, they have free will. "I have orders" wouldn't be enough of an excuse for an Unfettered. "You had orders. You chose to follow them. You have chosen the consequences."

I like it - I'm unsure how to add it in.

I view the changes I made - mostly on how honor is perceived. LG paladins have these prohibitions on lying, cheating, etc. To them actions (no matter the results) can spoil their character. To a CG Paladin - it's the reverse - the consequences of the actions matter, and if you do something purely to follow a rule then the consequences of that action can spoil your honor.

Given the 'each point of the code is more important than the previous' - I think that single change to how they view their honor takes care of all the 'law' part of the code below - but I'd expect any champion of good to respect law as they move about - at least until it violates the rest of the code ;)


6 people marked this as a favorite.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Let's suppose you have a CN thieving rogue in the group. A CG paladin will hope his acts inspire the thief, so he changes. A LG paladin will tell the thief "look, stealing is bad. That's something you should not do anymore".

I feel like we in carving out space for a CG-adin, we should be careful not to deny space to the traditional Paladin. I have played a lot of LG Paladins over the years, and their reaction to the above situation has always been much closer to how you describe the CG approach than how you describe the LG one.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Possible, I suspect that's part of the reason why the 'open it up' camp is getting frustrated... because both sides could see the Chaotic option as either Chaotic or Lawful when in reality it's just Good -- just like 'Stealing bad, k' is more Neutral than anything else... and it all gets wrapped into this ball of conflicting thoughts and perspectives.

I think a Chaotic force of good would go "The change is what YOU do for YOURSELF" (without caps but with the emphasis on the words) where as the Lawful force would go "You do this because it is the Just thing to do For Everyone"?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

There is always going to be some overlap. Both are going to save innocents, for example.

The fact that one of the kinds of paladins have a certain tennet, does not mean the rest of the paladins cannot follow it, just that it is not required.

For example, you can build a CG paladin of Gorum that never lies. A LG paladin of Iomedae CANNOT lie, but that not excludes other CG paladins CHOSING not to, even if they won't fall if they lie.

In the same vein, a CG paladin with my example tennet, CANNOT tell other people what to do, and HAVE to lead by inspiration. If he start to lecture others, he'll fall. That does not mean a LG paladin cannot lead by example and inspiration if he choses to (a LG paladin of Sarenrae probably does, for example). It only means a LG paladin does not fall if he lectures someone, while a CG paladin does.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would say lecture would be bad if it was "DO THIS THING" versus "You may want to consider these options"


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't know how to explain it in a single English term, so I'm sorry if lecturing is the wrong word.

I'm not saying a paladin will put a sword in the neck of the thieving rogue, or act as a judge and tell the rogue to leave the group. I'm saying he'll give him a sermon. It might be a benevolent sermon, the kind of sermon a father gives to his teenager child about not having "bad companies" because he knows certain other teenagers in his class are doing drugs and that's a dangerous road to follow. The kind of speech you'll get in a church when your priests explain you the dangers of being sinful, and suggest you to repent and embrace God's gospel. That's not the kind of thing I expect a CG paladin to do.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Lecture is the word you meant. It has a broader meaning, as Wei Ji points out, but most people use it in the same way you meant.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Excaliburproxy wrote:

I generally feel like a choatically themed class would not have any specific oaths. Oaths and hard rules in general aren’t chaotic. I know other people here have given examples of fictional “chaotic” societies, but I think those are exceptions to those group’s chaotic ethos rather than anything exemplifying it.

Would it not be sufficient just that the “chaotic/good” “Paladin” just follow their heart or whatever so long as that “heart” has the desire to do good?

Put another way: I think the alignment restriction would be sufficient rather than trying to adapt the necessarily lawful “oaths” of the core Paladin.

I ended up with something similar, just with more words... And a caveat. Mind, many of the oath options sound more ng to me. ... I'd really just prefer to get rid of l and c. Once you see them as means by which to get or assign desired favorite traits along one side of a philosophy (this alignment also does this, and this one does this) instead of as a game system, it's hard to /unsee/. Our rl influences us.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

How about instead of each oath having an alignment, there are multiple oaths that allow any alignment, but some are more compatible with different alignments than others? 5E did something vaguely similar, but mostly by accident.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I challenge the idea that a paladin of any alignment needs a specific code. Let the players come up with their own codes, and the GMs can administrate as they see fit.

Lashing roleplaying requirements onto the ability to use class traits is a mistake. Preventing a player from using their abilities (without their consent) is a recipe for hard feelings, and it isn't fun.

Now if a player feels like they violated their own oaths, and willingly forgoes the use of some of their powers because they don't feel worthy, that could be interesting. Build an "Oathbreaker" class state that the PC can go into where they gain DIFFERENT abilities until the player and the GM decide that they have atoned.

Like, if the paladin decides to go into an Oathbreaker state, she might lose access to Smite ("I am not worthy of judging others!"), but her Lay on Hands ability is enhanced ("I must mend what I have broken!").

Just a thought. Punishing players on an arguable judgment call is a risky proposition in general.


They shouldn't have one. Chaotic characters don't believe in concepts like rights or duties that serve to limit their actions.

Chaotic Good is still Good so they do have scruples, but even the most saintly would probably be reluctant to swear an oath not to, let's say, randomly punch old ladies in the face - either because they feel it might be justified or simply because they don't like the idea of being judged by others.

Furthermore, if such a character did wind up making such an Oath - perhaps they personally respect the person administering the Oath, they wouldn't take it as seriously as a Lawful or Neutral one. At best, they don't generally see such Codes as having any inherent value and at worst find such things anathema (if we can divorce that useful term from its game usage )


10 people marked this as a favorite.

And again, Antipaladins have Codes, and a follower of Gorum who flees from battle isn't going to get a free pass because "I'm Chaotic man!"

Chaotic characters believe in things, they just refuse to be told to believe in those things. A Chaotic 'Paladin' follows a Code because they believe in the 'Code'. And if they stop following the Code, its because they no longer believe in it, and whoopsie doodle, their power fades because they can't sustain it anymore.

Chaotic characters are capable of sustaining consistent behavior. They are not insane. If following a Code they agree with and believe in grants them what they want, they'll do it.


11 people marked this as a favorite.

I would like to add something, about Codes and alignment. Namely, why Lawful characters and Chaotic characters follow them. Crazy enough, its the exact same reason: They believe in them.

A Lawful character is not a robot. She does not do what the Code says because "Well, that's the Code. Input received, directives modified. Sure hope I get a software upgrade soon." A Lawful character will follow the Code because they believe its the right one. Thousands of Codes and creeds, and Paladins follow the one they do because its the one that resonates with them, the one they believe in. In the depths of their soul, the Code rings of truth.

By the same token, Chaotic characters are not criminally insane and incapable of following any thought that is not their own. They just don't want to be forced into it, they want to choose which one is right. Discover it, interact with it, see what it sparks in them. Does this Code inspire them? Does it fill them with purpose? Is this the path they've been searching for?

Is it going to be rare for a Chaotic character, even a Chaotic Good character, to not only coincidentally believe in the ideals of the Chaosadin Code, but align with them so closely that they can't be tempted to break them even for a VHS copy of Hudson Hawk and some corn in a frisbee? Yes, very rare.

But so are Paladins. Lawful doesn't automatically mean enough willpower and dedication to follow the Paladin's path. And Good doesn't mean you'll decide the Paladin Code is the right one. A Samurai can follow even stricter ideals, and think Paladins lack honor because they do not serve a proper Lord. A Hellknight can think they're too weak to actually follow the letter of the Law, finding pathetic loopholes to suit their 'Morals'.

Paladins, and theoretical Chaosidins, only follow their Codes because they want to. They are not robots doing it automatically, or lunatics who can't follow any guideline at all. It is a choice, it is always a choice, and the choice to follow that Code is up to the player not the alignment.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

All right, I tried to put in all your best suggestions. It’s becoming beautiful!

1) You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell.

2) You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent to come to immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it.

3) You should treat others with courtesy, dignity, and respect. Do not cheat, steal, or lie to others unless it is necessary to protect the life and freedom of innocents.

4) You must not violate another's free will, neither allow others to violate your own free will.

5) You must stand against tyranny, unjust impositions and privation of liberty, unless this violates a higher tenet.

6) You must be a beacon of hope, show mercy, be compassionate and sow joy in this world. How these are done is less important than leaving the world a better place than it was during your lifetime.

7) The greater good and the lesser good are not mutually exclusive. You must strive to find a solution that benefits both the community and the individual. No single life has more weight or importance than any other, and a single individual has the same importance on the cosmic balance as the destiny of a world.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Crayon wrote:
They shouldn't have one. Chaotic characters don't believe in concepts like rights or duties that serve to limit their actions.

This is brought here to no end. That's not true. It has been proven not true one hundred times.

Chaotic Gods still have Celestial Obedience feats, and tenets, and clerics of those gods that do not follow their tenets will lose their powers.

The only difference is a chaotic character could break an oath without losing his aligment. But still face the rest of consequences.

Liberty's Edge

10 people marked this as a favorite.

The difference between Lawful and Chaotic in terms of promises has always seemed to be the following:

If someone Lawful makes a promise, they will generally keep it regardless of context, because it's a promise. The concept of a promise itself is important to them on a fundamental level.

If someone Chaotic makes a promise, whether they keep it depends on who they made it to and the circumstances they made it under. The concepts of promises as some platonic ideal are generally less important to a Chaotic person. However, they may well still be fanatical about keeping promises to people who are important to them, as those people are important to them and violating their word would be a betrayal of that person, even if the abstract concept of a promise is not.

I can think of few people more important to keep a promise to, even for the most Chaotic, than themselves and, if devout, their God. And those are the people a Paladin's Code is a promise to. Even someone CE is probably gonna care about keeping their word to themselves, and certainly to their God if they're devout.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Bardess wrote:

All right, I tried to put in all your best suggestions. It’s becoming beautiful!

1) You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell.

2) You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent to come to immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it.

3) You should treat others with courtesy, dignity, and respect. Do not cheat, steal, or lie to others unless it is necessary to protect the life and freedom of innocents.

4) You must not violate another's free will, neither allow others to violate your own free will.

5) You must stand against tyranny, unjust impositions and privation of liberty, unless this violates a higher tenet.

6) You must be a beacon of hope, show mercy, be compassionate and sow joy in this world. How these are done is less important than leaving the world a better place than it was during your lifetime.

7) The greater good and the lesser good are not mutually exclusive. You must strive to find a solution that benefits both the community and the individual. No single life has more weight or importance than any other, and a single individual has the same importance on the cosmic balance as the destiny of a world.

I am liking how that Code is shaping up.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

The difference between Lawful and Chaotic in terms of promises has always seemed to be the following:

If someone Lawful makes a promise, they will generally keep it regardless of context, because it's a promise. The concept of a promise itself is important to them on a fundamental level.

If someone Chaotic makes a promise, whether they keep it depends on who they made it to and the circumstances they made it under. The concepts of promises as some platonic ideal are generally less important to a Chaotic person. However, they may well still be fanatical about keeping promises to people who are important to them, as those people are important to them and violating their word would be a betrayal of that person, even if the abstract concept of a promise is not.

I can think of few people more important to keep a promise to, even for the most Chaotic, than themselves and, if devout, their God. And those are the people a Paladin's Code is a promise to. Even someone CE is probably gonna care about keeping their word to themselves, and certainly to their God if they're devout.

I like the view that following the Code is essentially a promise to yourself.

All this about "Chaotics can't follow a Code!" is crazy to me because:

1) Yes they can, you can't tell them what to do, that's why they're Chaotic. If anything, not following a Code because other people say you can't is a Lawful thing to do.

2) "A Paladin is a Paladin because they can't break their Code!" Yes they can. That's where Fallen Paladins come from. If they couldn't break their Code, then they'd be programmed robots, and Lawful Neutral.

3) "Chaotic characters can break their Codes whenever they want." So can Paladins. A Paladin player can break the Code for any silly reason in her head. "Its Tuesday and I don't like three out of five colors I've seen today, time to break the Code." is something a Paladin player is fully capable of deciding. Whether Lawful or Chaotic, if you break the Code then you lose your powers, because the Code doesn't care why you broke it. Maybe you were angry, or maybe it was Tuesday, Code don't care.

The "Chaotic Characters can't follow Codes" argument just seems to me like telling other people how to play. Which is a major reason there is such a large number of people who want Paladin to not be Lawful Good. Which makes it less surprising that its the Lawful Good Paladin side that is telling people what their Chaotic characters are allowed to do. And surprise surprise, players who want to play Chaotic don't respond well to being told how to play.

The whole debate is actually a very nice microcosm of why Law and Chaos are opposed to each other the in the multiverse. It is really funny, and kind of cool, that the two sides seem to have even numbers, and the arguments run together forever in eternal balance.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Deadmanwalking wrote:

The difference between Lawful and Chaotic in terms of promises has always seemed to be the following:

If someone Lawful makes a promise, they will generally keep it regardless of context, because it's a promise. The concept of a promise itself is important to them on a fundamental level.

If someone Chaotic makes a promise, whether they keep it depends on who they made it to and the circumstances they made it under. The concepts of promises as some platonic ideal are generally less important to a Chaotic person. However, they may well still be fanatical about keeping promises to people who are important to them, as those people are important to them and violating their word would be a betrayal of that person, even if the abstract concept of a promise is not.

I can think of few people more important to keep a promise to, even for the most Chaotic, than themselves and, if devout, their God. And those are the people a Paladin's Code is a promise to. Even someone CE is probably gonna care about keeping their word to themselves, and certainly to their God if they're devout.

A LG and CG person would generally lie in the same circumstances(when it protects an innocent person). Meanwhile, LE devils outright lie all the time according to The Book of the Damned. They absolutely love lying.

It seems like splitting hairs to look at Lawful vs Chaotic when it comes to keeping promises given that Good vs Evil is a far better guide for how likely someone is to tell the truth.

1 to 50 of 473 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Paizo / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / What Would A CG Paladin Code Look Like? All Messageboards