Paladin Mechanics (Non-Alignment) Wish List


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I see a Paladin as a specific type of character - They are a Knight in Shining Armor devoted to the mythical Knightly virtues.

Religion is one of the classic ones, hence why they are usually depicted as divine champions.

This doesn't mean that all divine champions are Paladins.

For PF2, I think this distinction should be made more clearly.

A Champion of Iori, for example, is not so much a Paladin as it really should be an archetype. It should probably be a monk archetype as well, but that is just me.

Much like a Champion of Iomedae should be an archetype that can be applied to a class, or a Champion of Shelyn, whereas the Paladin isn't an archetype of a specific god and is a bit more broad than that.


HWalsh wrote:

I see a Paladin as a specific type of character - They are a Knight in Shining Armor devoted to the mythical Knightly virtues.

Religion is one of the classic ones, hence why they are usually depicted as divine champions.

This doesn't mean that all divine champions are Paladins.

I think this is a huge part of the issues appearing in the various paladin alignment threads. People want to see what mechanically strong, martially focused, champions of their favorite, or even least favorite, gods could look like, and they are worried that the Paladin is the only design space for that concept. Many are upset that it feels like it is going to take a long time to for the new game to create space for religious champions that don't fit in the paladin mold.


Unicore wrote:
People want to see what mechanically strong, martially focused, champions of their favorite, or even least favorite, gods could look like

More than just that, I'd like to see what mechanically strong, martially focused champions of my favorite ideals could look like. The genre is rife with idealistic champions. I don't feel that it's desirable for exactly one set of ideals to be represented this way.


Remarkably, I feel like I am starting to see clarity on the whole paladin issue finally. It doesn't seem like everyone wants paladin mechanics for every single champion of X (god or ideal), in fact, it seems like most people don't want most of the "iconic" paladin features of the class at all, they want to know that they will be able to build a character that is visually and mechanically accepted as the paragon of the thing that they are championing.

Playing a paladin of Sheylin in a game now, I found myself almost immediately stifled by my own character concept until I took 2 levels of bard to be able to focus more on talking down foes and holding violence out as a last resort. Now he wears light armor and wields a glaive and is probably headed towards sentinel, because paladin didn't really completely fit my idea of a paragon of Sheylin. A sentinel or paragon of X archetype that could fit over the bard would probably have fit my overall character concept better than paladin in the first place, but I didn't really see how to do that easily when I built my character.

Perhaps the "Paragon" Archetype could be an early (or even core rule book (post playtest) addition that helps characters from all different classes become the most dedicated proponents of their faith or ethos without pushing them towards either having to be a caster (cleric) or a holy knight (paladin). The Archetype grants you a code related to a relevant anathema and possibly grants access to some form of the paladin's more "champion" like, and less knightly, abilities.

To be clear and fair: I would still rather see the paladin class be the knight or cavalier class and be centered on the armored and mounted combat roles, with this paragon archetype overlaying the knight class to form the Paladin in its entirety, but at least the paragon archetype, applied to other classes would make most of the different champion ideas playable with rules that make the most sense, Rather than having 50 different versions of the Paladin that are essentially a different class (swashbuckler, monk, cleric, wizard, fighter, rogue or bard) but with a touch of divine grace or smite.


That's an interesting detail on your paladin/bard of Sheylin. What did you need the bard levels for? The paladin should already be pretty good at diplomacy; and you can certainly get a performance skill as a paladin too. If it comes to needing more skill points, then a ranger or rogue might have tied in too, instead of the bard.


LoreKeeper wrote:
That's an interesting detail on your paladin/bard of Sheylin. What did you need the bard levels for? The paladin should already be pretty good at diplomacy; and you can certainly get a performance skill as a paladin too. If it comes to needing more skill points, then a ranger or rogue might have tied in too, instead of the bard.

My paladin of Sheylin is a lover of art and music and a firm believer that they have the power to end all conflicts (he is incredibly naive). He wanders the land to spread these righteous miracles everywhere he goes. The deific observance of Sheylin was conceptually perfect but almost completely unhelpful to a paladin, but rather fitting and useful for a bard. Versatile Performance allowed him to make the act of diplomacy itself into an artistic performance and the skill points instantly rounded out the character into someone who could craft works of art and song. No feature of the ranger or rogue fit with the paragon of artistic virtue nearly as immediately or completely.


If a character type is narrowly defined, then it probably shouldn't be a class of its own.

Why do you even need an entire new class to have a heavily armored fighting person with divine abilities? You could just have a fighter with cleric levels, or some sort of archetype.

Unless the paladin has a wide range of builds, styles, and roles in the game, it shouldn't exist as an entire class. The rule books are jammed for space as it is; if we're just making a glorified fighter with an archetype, they might as well use that space for new feats or something.

I'm not arguing that the paladin SHOULDN'T be its own class. I'm just saying that a narrowly defined view of what a paladin is or should be is not the best approach.


Dracomicron wrote:
Why do you even need an entire new class to have a heavily armored fighting person with divine abilities? You could just have a fighter with cleric levels, or some sort of archetype.

Because the fighter isn't the heavily armored character. It can be, but it takes feats to build towards that and, having no idea how multiclassing is going to work, but knowing that it will probably eat up some of your feats, that probably isn't a viable option we are going to see in the play test book for coming anywhere near what the the PF1 Paladin was in terms of destroyer of all things evil, and especially Evil outsiders and undead. Trying to add in mounted combat and you are probably looking at a character concept that is trying to spread itself much to thin.

I appreciate your drive to have base classes as open and unrestricted as possible, but the developers have already made it clear that the base play-test paladin is going to have some restrictions that a lot of folks are struggling with and the more stuff that gets add to that class, that isn't really related to why the class is restricted in the first place, the more divisive the class will become. Making the super monk character, and the super bard character, and the super gunslinger character, and the super swashbuckler characters subsets of this class, when all of them have such radically different needs from class feats, doesn't really make sense if there are specific elements of being a paladin that can be exported to other classes via a Archetype.


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Unicore wrote:
Remarkably, I feel like I am starting to see clarity on the whole paladin issue finally. It doesn't seem like everyone wants paladin mechanics for every single champion of X (god or ideal), in fact, it seems like most people don't want most of the "iconic" paladin features of the class at all, they want to know that they will be able to build a character that is visually and mechanically accepted as the paragon of the thing that they are championing.

I think that's most of it. It's complicated by the feeling some have that the correct abilities to champion their character's ideals exist (the paladin's overwhelming emphasis on good and benevolence) but are being denied them.

I'm planning to make a series of archetypes once the full rules are released that deconstruct the paladin and allow you to pick up parts of its flavor a la carte. Idealism, martial service to deity, protector of allies, hunter of evil/monsters, etc. Because of the lack of support for these concepts that fall outside of the paladin in PF1, I'm not convinced Paizo is all that interested in attempting anything similar.


Unicore wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:
Why do you even need an entire new class to have a heavily armored fighting person with divine abilities? You could just have a fighter with cleric levels, or some sort of archetype.

Because the fighter isn't the heavily armored character. It can be, but it takes feats to build towards that and, having no idea how multiclassing is going to work, but knowing that it will probably eat up some of your feats, that probably isn't a viable option we are going to see in the play test book for coming anywhere near what the the PF1 Paladin was in terms of destroyer of all things evil, and especially Evil outsiders and undead. Trying to add in mounted combat and you are probably looking at a character concept that is trying to spread itself much to thin.

I appreciate your drive to have base classes as open and unrestricted as possible, but the developers have already made it clear that the base play-test paladin is going to have some restrictions that a lot of folks are struggling with and the more stuff that gets add to that class, that isn't really related to why the class is restricted in the first place, the more divisive the class will become. Making the super monk character, and the super bard character, and the super gunslinger character, and the super swashbuckler characters subsets of this class, when all of them have such radically different needs from class feats, doesn't really make sense if there are specific elements of being a paladin that can be exported to other classes via a Archetype.

Well, if not during the playtest, when DO we expose the issues in making the only pure heavy armor tank character a religious paragon with extreme roleplaying and alignment restrictions?

Hearing that the fighter can no longer be assumed to have the best armor capabilities makes me even more adamant that there be a non-restricted heavy armor character. Call it a Bulwark (or Doppelsöldner if we want to get Germanic about it), and give that class a Paladin archetype.

Paizo went away from heavy class restrictions in Starfinder, and it worked swimmingly. My heavy armor soldier is a great primary tank, without any religious gobbledygook. Why regress? Tradition? Tradition is what has crippled RPGs for 30 years now. The entire point of a second edition is to get away from traditions.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Devil's Advocate wrote:

classes.

A paladin is and always has been a knight in shining armor. Unless we abandon that theme, the abilities of the paladin class need to reflect it. Like the worthiest Arthurian knights, paladins tend the wounds of the righteous and smite the wicked in hand-to-hand combat. They ride noble steeds and wield magic swords. They say prayers, uphold ideals, and go on quests to retrieve holy relics.

This basically restricts paladins to (European) humans, or to non (European) humans behaving like a (European) human but with pointy ears.

A gnome paladin do not fit in this Charlemagne/King Arthur /Hospitaler knight theme, for example. Neither does a dwarf paladin, or a wood elf one, for that matter. Neither does a stryx paladin, or kitsune, or sylph genasi. Or a human paladin from the jungles of Garund, or a paladin from Vudra.

Which is why it made sense for Paladins to be human only in 2e.


johnlocke90 wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:


This basically restricts paladins to (European) humans, or to non (European) humans behaving like a (European) human but with pointy ears.

A gnome paladin do not fit in this Charlemagne/King Arthur /Hospitaler knight theme, for example. Neither does a dwarf paladin, or a wood elf one, for that matter. Neither does a stryx paladin, or kitsune, or sylph genasi. Or a human paladin from the jungles of Garund, or a paladin from Vudra.

Which is why it made sense for Paladins to be human only in 2e.

In 1e, you couldn't even play a female dwarf, Halfling, or gnome, because their women "never leave the clan." Clerics could only be humans or half-elves because non-human priests don't go adventuring (and I think elves couldn't be clerics at all). Dwarves couldn't be any sort of arcane spellcaster, and gnomes could only be illusionists (aka the worst spellcasters) if they wanted to cast spells. Humans couldn't multi-class, and non-humans couldn't dual class.

Nothing about the character restrictions of early editions made any sense.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Neurophage wrote:
It's possible that this ability will just exist on its own, but I'd be interested in seeing the paladin have easier access to it, given that they're being tooled as the "durability" class: Mettle. I don't remember if the ability exists in PF1, but in 3.5 it was a feature that maybe four classes in the game got that was evasion but for fortitude and will saves and while wearing medium or heavier armor. I think the rationale behind why Mettle gave you that feature for two saves when Evasion was just one was that there were fewer things in the game that targeted fortitude and will than there were for reflex (at the very least, almost every trap was reflex-based).

Inquisitors have 'Stalwart'

Stalwart (Ex)
At 11th level, an inquisitor can use mental and physical resiliency to avoid certain attacks. If she makes a Fortitude or Will saving throw against an attack that has a reduced effect on a successful save, she instead avoids the effect entirely. This ability can only be used if the inquisitor is wearing light armor, medium armor, or no armor. A helpless inquisitor does not gain the benefit of the stalwart ability.


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johnlocke90 wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Devil's Advocate wrote:

classes.

A paladin is and always has been a knight in shining armor. Unless we abandon that theme, the abilities of the paladin class need to reflect it. Like the worthiest Arthurian knights, paladins tend the wounds of the righteous and smite the wicked in hand-to-hand combat. They ride noble steeds and wield magic swords. They say prayers, uphold ideals, and go on quests to retrieve holy relics.

This basically restricts paladins to (European) humans, or to non (European) humans behaving like a (European) human but with pointy ears.

A gnome paladin do not fit in this Charlemagne/King Arthur /Hospitaler knight theme, for example. Neither does a dwarf paladin, or a wood elf one, for that matter. Neither does a stryx paladin, or kitsune, or sylph genasi. Or a human paladin from the jungles of Garund, or a paladin from Vudra.

Which is why it made sense for Paladins to be human only in 2e.

Fortunately we killed that cow and made some really good sacred burgers with it.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Devil's Advocate wrote:

classes.

A paladin is and always has been a knight in shining armor. Unless we abandon that theme, the abilities of the paladin class need to reflect it. Like the worthiest Arthurian knights, paladins tend the wounds of the righteous and smite the wicked in hand-to-hand combat. They ride noble steeds and wield magic swords. They say prayers, uphold ideals, and go on quests to retrieve holy relics.

This basically restricts paladins to (European) humans, or to non (European) humans behaving like a (European) human but with pointy ears.

A gnome paladin do not fit in this Charlemagne/King Arthur /Hospitaler knight theme, for example. Neither does a dwarf paladin, or a wood elf one, for that matter. Neither does a stryx paladin, or kitsune, or sylph genasi. Or a human paladin from the jungles of Garund, or a paladin from Vudra.

Which is why it made sense for Paladins to be human only in 2e.
Fortunately we killed that cow and made some really good sacred burgers with it.

Kind of like the sacred cow that is opened Paladins. I'm going to love eating those steaks.


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Unicore wrote:
Remarkably, I feel like I am starting to see clarity on the whole paladin issue finally. It doesn't seem like everyone wants paladin mechanics for every single champion of X (god or ideal), in fact, it seems like most people don't want most of the "iconic" paladin features of the class at all, they want to know that they will be able to build a character that is visually and mechanically accepted as the paragon of the thing that they are championing.

That's part of it. The other part is the idea that the best, most thematic, or most appropriate mechanical representation for any character or concept should occur at the level of the individual table, and not be censured from on high in another state/country.

For example, your Paladin of Shelyn concept may or may not be best expressed by the Paladin class. You eventually decided "no, I need some Bard in here". You might have decided another way. But in either case, shouldn't that be your call?

With all of his emphasis on small communities, nature, and living simply, one could make the case that Erastil doesn't need Paladins, that the most Erastiliest champion of Erastil should be an LG Ranger. You or I may agree or not, but how is it our.s or anyone else's place to say that another player out there who is fine with what we think is a thematic disconnect between Erastil and Paladins or who doesn't think there is such a disconnect in the first place shouldn't be able to go ahead with a Paladin of Erastil?

Or take Nethys and how he has Clerics in the first place. Personally, I think the most worshipful representative of that deity wouldn't even be using divine magic at all, but would instead be a Wizard or maybe an Arcanist. That's how Dragonlance handled its gods of magic, and Nethys strikes me as the same. I think that a Cleric of Nethys, while it isn't fundamentally self-contradictory, doesn't strike me as particularly thematically appropriate. But I don't and I shouldn't have a say over anyone else's character concept or how they decide to express it. Nor do I believe that anyone else has that say, either.


HWalsh wrote:


Kind of like the sacred cow that is opened Paladins. I'm going to love eating those steaks.

after hearing Mark in twitch, I'm much more confident than in the long run we will have different flavors of burgers to taste, so I'm not worried about the playtest happy meal.


Tectorman wrote:


That's part of it. The other part is the idea that the best, most thematic, or most appropriate mechanical representation for any character or concept should occur at the level of the individual table, and not be censured from on high in another state/country.

1st of all, I agree with you and your position on base classes, especially if this were a thread talking about alignment restrictions of classes and class design, but I have been trying to avoid that, since it was requested in the original post and just look mechanically at what a paladin is and what people are wanting from the class. A lot of the "extra" stuff people are asking for seem to fall outside of what a paladin is mechanically, and instead seem to be about narrative concepts that center on paragon-ness.

The paladin class isn't really that though for the vast majority of faiths or religious orders though and I agree with your ideas that a lot of the paragons of faith should be available to classes that fit more thematically. Champion=/=paladin, but I think that 3.x made a bit of a mess for itself breaking out some character ideas into full base classes and gating others behind prestige classes. Generally, the pathfinder solution has been to create more base classes and archetypes for things, but in the new system, base classes are going to require a large compliment of class feats to be supported, so it is perfectly fair to want your ideal character to be a base class and not an archetype, because archetypes will generally feel less supported than full classes, unless the archetype runs very close to one of the base classes and has plenty of feats available, which is why I don't think the swashbuckler paladin and the gunslinger paladin or the enlightened paladin or many other archetypes are a good fit for a paladin base class, they will require class feats they wont have basic access to, and alignment restrictions or not won't really fix that problem.

It will be difficult to evaluate until the playtest book arrives, but it does seem like PF2 needs to decide hw much design space to give to creating religious champions because right now it looks like 4 or five gods get access to a class that does it well (although really I feel like maybe only Iomedae gets her own special character class because it is hard to even imagine a cleric of Iomedae that isn't essentially a paladin) Sarenrae and Torag get close enough (although I think a champion of Torag might be a fighter and a champion of Sarenrae might be healing and fire cleric), and everybody else is making due with variants of a very narrow character theme being funneled through a base class.


Heh, gunslinger paladin.

Have gun will travel, reads the card of a man
A knight without armor in a savage land
His fast gun hire, heeds the calling wind
A soldier of fortune, is a man called --- Paladin
Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam
Paladin, Paladin, far, far from home
He travels on to where ever he must
A chess knight of silver is his badge of trust
There are campfire legends that the plainsmen sing
Of the man with the gun, of the man called --- Paladin.


Paladin the gunslinger was chaotic good though.


Another interesting classic power of the literary Chivalrous Divine Knight, was the power to pierce illusions and see a creature's true form. That could be a useful Paladin power, a feat that allows them to pierce such things.


johnlocke90 wrote:
Paladin the gunslinger was chaotic good though.

Oh well, a decades-old TV show is not in line with the game; better scrap the alignment restriction, then!

(I kid, I kid...)


If there's divine grace, I'd want it to be level scaled and entirely divorced from Charisma. Frontloaded divine grace as it exists right now makes the best way to be a paladin to not be a paladin.


Saffron Marvelous wrote:
If there's divine grace, I'd want it to be level scaled and entirely divorced from Charisma. Frontloaded divine grace as it exists right now makes the best way to be a paladin to not be a paladin.

I don't want it divorced from Charisma.

I do want it level capped though.

Something like:
A Paladin gains a bonus to saves equal to his Charisma modifier up to his Paladin Class Level.

So, at level 1, +1
At level 2, +2
At level 3, +3
etc...

Sure, for many characters they will never hit the cap, but it will stop people from dipping 2 and then focusing on getting a +8 Charisma for use with Oracle/Bard magic.


1 for every 4 levels perhaps. 1 for 1 is still essentially frontloaded, and you're back to the best paladin only really needing ~4 paladin levels to extract most of the benefit.

I think the system is better off having Divine Grace abandoned. It's been a crutch that the class has leaned on in place of more effective mechanics.


Saffron Marvelous wrote:

1 for every 4 levels perhaps. 1 for 1 is still essentially frontloaded, and you're back to the best paladin only really needing ~4 paladin levels to extract most of the benefit.

I think the system is better off having Divine Grace abandoned. It's been a crutch that the class has leaned on in place of more effective mechanics.

1 for every 4 wouldn't cover baseline Paladins though.

I mean, heck, my level 10 in PFS has +5.

By your math he'd be only able to have +2, and at that point... Meh... Its not that great of a power.


HWalsh wrote:
Saffron Marvelous wrote:

1 for every 4 levels perhaps. 1 for 1 is still essentially frontloaded, and you're back to the best paladin only really needing ~4 paladin levels to extract most of the benefit.

I think the system is better off having Divine Grace abandoned. It's been a crutch that the class has leaned on in place of more effective mechanics.

1 for every 4 wouldn't cover baseline Paladins though.

I mean, heck, my level 10 in PFS has +5.

By your math he'd be only able to have +2, and at that point... Meh... Its not that great of a power.

I mean, this is the system where fighters get +2 to reflex while using a shield. At level 11. Math's changing, as the edition is. +2 to all saves at L5 is more than likely a damn good deal.


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Saffron Marvelous wrote:

1 for every 4 levels perhaps. 1 for 1 is still essentially frontloaded, and you're back to the best paladin only really needing ~4 paladin levels to extract most of the benefit.

I think the system is better off having Divine Grace abandoned. It's been a crutch that the class has leaned on in place of more effective mechanics.

1 for every 4 wouldn't cover baseline Paladins though.

I mean, heck, my level 10 in PFS has +5.

By your math he'd be only able to have +2, and at that point... Meh... Its not that great of a power.

I mean, this is the system where fighters get +2 to reflex while using a shield. At level 11. Math's changing, as the edition is. +2 to all saves at L5 is more than likely a damn good deal.

There is no evidence of that.

Shields only usually give +1 to +2 to AC in PF1 as well.

In this case I would never accept +1 every 4 levels. H-E-Double hockey sticks no. That would be neutering Divine Grace.


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HWalsh wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Saffron Marvelous wrote:

1 for every 4 levels perhaps. 1 for 1 is still essentially frontloaded, and you're back to the best paladin only really needing ~4 paladin levels to extract most of the benefit.

I think the system is better off having Divine Grace abandoned. It's been a crutch that the class has leaned on in place of more effective mechanics.

1 for every 4 wouldn't cover baseline Paladins though.

I mean, heck, my level 10 in PFS has +5.

By your math he'd be only able to have +2, and at that point... Meh... Its not that great of a power.

I mean, this is the system where fighters get +2 to reflex while using a shield. At level 11. Math's changing, as the edition is. +2 to all saves at L5 is more than likely a damn good deal.

There is no evidence of that.

Shields only usually give +1 to +2 to AC in PF1 as well.

In this case I would never accept +1 every 4 levels. H-E-Double hockey sticks no. That would be neutering Divine Grace.

I mean, the Figher blog was pretty clear on the benefit and when it happened. Whether it's any good or not at its level is anyone's guess and won't be known till the playtest hits, but considering the emphasis on tuning the math and the general +/- 10 success/fail paradigm I'm going to go on a limb and say Grace is getting "neutered" in comparison to PF1. While I'm at it, so will the auras that typically granted full immunity.


Saffron Marvelous wrote:
If there's divine grace, I'd want it to be level scaled and entirely divorced from Charisma. Frontloaded divine grace as it exists right now makes the best way to be a paladin to not be a paladin.

Smite Evil heavily discourages dipping into other classes. A full Paladin will be very good at being a Paladin. Plus, they get good spells at later levels, scaling heals and weapon buffs.

He might not be as good at fighting neutral enemies, but thats not the focus of the class.


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HWalsh wrote:

I see a Paladin as a specific type of character - They are a Knight in Shining Armor devoted to the mythical Knightly virtues.

Religion is one of the classic ones, hence why they are usually depicted as divine champions.

This doesn't mean that all divine champions are Paladins.

For PF2, I think this distinction should be made more clearly.

A Champion of Iori, for example, is not so much a Paladin as it really should be an archetype. It should probably be a monk archetype as well, but that is just me.

Much like a Champion of Iomedae should be an archetype that can be applied to a class, or a Champion of Shelyn, whereas the Paladin isn't an archetype of a specific god and is a bit more broad than that.

I see your Paladin as a specific type of Paladin - which is fine, I have played a Paladin who was a questing-knight type and had a lot of fun; thankfully the campaign in question wasn't a dungeon-crawl.

I see the Paladin as being a holy-warrior type, devoted to the struggle against evil. The exact weapons they employ in that struggle are much less relevant, and depend on the overall theme of the campaign. (One of the archetypes I really liked for urban campaigns was the Virtuous Bravo, who is more like a swashbuckler than an armoured tank.)

More significantly, I think Paizo sees the PF2 as a chance to offer greater flexibility in your class design, so your Fighter has more choices, your Cleric has more choices, your Wizard has more choices, usw.

I therefore hope that the focus on making the paladin the armour-expert is carefully looked at during the playtest to ensure that it doesn't restrict the design of the character to being only the Knight in Shining Armour type.


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Wandering Wastrel wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

I see a Paladin as a specific type of character - They are a Knight in Shining Armor devoted to the mythical Knightly virtues.

Religion is one of the classic ones, hence why they are usually depicted as divine champions.

This doesn't mean that all divine champions are Paladins.

For PF2, I think this distinction should be made more clearly.

A Champion of Iori, for example, is not so much a Paladin as it really should be an archetype. It should probably be a monk archetype as well, but that is just me.

Much like a Champion of Iomedae should be an archetype that can be applied to a class, or a Champion of Shelyn, whereas the Paladin isn't an archetype of a specific god and is a bit more broad than that.

I see your Paladin as a specific type of Paladin - which is fine, I have played a Paladin who was a questing-knight type and had a lot of fun; thankfully the campaign in question wasn't a dungeon-crawl.

I see the Paladin as being a holy-warrior type, devoted to the struggle against evil. The exact weapons they employ in that struggle are much less relevant, and depend on the overall theme of the campaign. (One of the archetypes I really liked for urban campaigns was the Virtuous Bravo, who is more like a swashbuckler than an armoured tank.)

More significantly, I think Paizo sees the PF2 as a chance to offer greater flexibility in your class design, so your Fighter has more choices, your Cleric has more choices, your Wizard has more choices, usw.

I therefore hope that the focus on making the paladin the armour-expert is carefully looked at during the playtest to ensure that it doesn't restrict the design of the character to being only the Knight in Shining Armour type.

Exactly. The Paladin need only be a proverbial, not literal, Knight in Shining Armor. Ultimately their fighting style is mere detail: They may be martial artists, lithe fencers, righteous gunslingers, or hunters keeping vigil in the wilderness.


Athaleon wrote:


Exactly. The Paladin need only be a proverbial, not literal, Knight in Shining Armor. Ultimately their fighting style is mere detail: They may be martial artists, lithe fencers, righteous gunslingers, or hunters keeping vigil in the wilderness.

Conceptually I see why you would want this to be the case and I am all for freedom and flexibility, but how do you provide enough class feats for each of these options to be more than a 2 dimensional build (i.e. only have one feat option at every level you get one)? especially when there are other classes designed to be these things mechanically, and what you are asking for is for those mechanical options to use the flavor of Holy Warrior? Doesn't that seem exactly like what an archetype should be for?


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@Unicore: those are good questions and exactly the reason why we need the playtest so that we can see what works and what doesn't.

The original poster on this thread asked what mechanics we want to see for the PF2 Paladin. My answer is "the option to be something other than a heavily armoured tank."

Exactly what or how that works is something I look forward to playtesting.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Unicore wrote:
Athaleon wrote:


Exactly. The Paladin need only be a proverbial, not literal, Knight in Shining Armor. Ultimately their fighting style is mere detail: They may be martial artists, lithe fencers, righteous gunslingers, or hunters keeping vigil in the wilderness.

Conceptually I see why you would want this to be the case and I am all for freedom and flexibility, but how do you provide enough class feats for each of these options to be more than a 2 dimensional build (i.e. only have one feat option at every level you get one)? especially when there are other classes designed to be these things mechanically, and what you are asking for is for those mechanical options to use the flavor of Holy Warrior? Doesn't that seem exactly like what an archetype should be for?

lithe duelist is fairly easy to do with weapon finesse dex builds, paladin gunslinger is an Archetype so may exist in some form, the wilderness paladin would almost certainly come from skills and deity abilities.


Ive played archer paladin, it was a lot of fun. Id be disappointed to pigeonholed into walking tank. A paladin of erastil should be able to be a lightly armored, bow wielding agent, hunting down evil where they find it. A paladin of sarenrae should be able to serve as a dervish, wielding a scimitar as a dance of blades. Iomedaen paladins should be able to stomp around in big burly plate, gleaming like the walking targets they are. ( no disparagement on iomedaen paladins there. I assume they choose to look like walking targets so that they're friends and allies take less heat)


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I'm OK with the base assumption of paladin being a shining knight, as long as you can opt out with proper archetypes or alternate traits. I think people in the Jungle of Garund should be able to be paladins too, even if they do not wear full plate and ride a horse and fight with a Lance because those things are not practical in a jungle


gustavo iglesias wrote:
I'm OK with the base assumption of paladin being a shining knight, as long as you can opt out with proper archetypes or alternate traits. I think people in the Jungle of Garund should be able to be paladins too, even if they do not wear full plate and ride a horse and fight with a Lance because those things are not practical in a jungle

Do you (and Elegos above) feel like those options existed in PF1? I ask because the options that existed to open up the paladin weren't always great options and I agree that these options, both to play the paladin in atypical ways and to play paladins of other alignments, should exist.


All three of the options I described were 100% playable with an unarchetyped paladin. Ive built and played 2 of them, and been in a party with the third.

I am a proponent of opening up the paladin to other alignments, but this thread is very specifically not about that. So from a mechanical perspective, I want the paladin to remain at least as flexible as it was in Pf1. (I can wait a supplement or two for stuff like dervish dance if I have to, theres only so much room in the core book after all)


Ok, so I don't fully get the proficiency system, but maybe there should be a way to swap out the legendary armor proficiency? Armor is certainly iconic to paladins, but being built around the armored knight can hold back a lot of builds.


Thats what I would hope for. I hope the system doesnt penalise non fullplate paladins, basically.


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Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Malachandra wrote:
Ok, so I don't fully get the proficiency system, but maybe there should be a way to swap out the legendary armor proficiency? Armor is certainly iconic to paladins, but being built around the armored knight can hold back a lot of builds.

Armor proficiency adds to your AC in light armor too, though, so it's almost always useful. I think it even adds to bracers of armor if you want an unarmored Paladin?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Elegos wrote:
Thats what I would hope for. I hope the system doesnt penalise non fullplate paladins, basically.

Do we know what legendary armour prof does? Because it could, if done right, work with light or medium armours...


Rob Godfrey wrote:
Elegos wrote:
Thats what I would hope for. I hope the system doesnt penalise non fullplate paladins, basically.
Do we know what legendary armour prof does? Because it could, if done right, work with light or medium armours...

Untrained: Level -2

Trained: Level
Expert: Level +1
Master: Level +2
Legendary: Level +3


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
Elegos wrote:
Thats what I would hope for. I hope the system doesnt penalise non fullplate paladins, basically.
Do we know what legendary armour prof does? Because it could, if done right, work with light or medium armours...

Untrained: Level -2

Trained: Level
Expert: Level +1
Master: Level +2
Legendary: Level +3

so with medium (or light I guess) you end up being 'different flavour of tanky'..which can work, divine providence, rather than using skill to angle your armour, yea I can see that (Like Wyatt Earp feeling the shots go past him and coming back from the gunfight at the gulch with a shredded longcoat and not a scratch on him). Thanks.


I feel like there might be a lot of different ideas about what defines a paladin mechanically, and I think knowing what some of those ideas are, might help make more of people's character concepts viable and fun, without attempting to force one class to cary the burden of trying to do all of those things while retaining the sense that it is a class defined more by its narrative elements than its mechanical ones.

People see paladins as: (some see only one of these, some see multiple, some certainly see something else entirely and should feel free to add it)

Holy knights of virtuousness
Divine Paragons (some wanting that to be able to cover all faiths and some wanting the paladin to be a divine paragon with a code that pushes them towards a righteousness that rises above even the expectations of their deity.)
Masters of fighting evil.
A mechanically stronger fighting character than most martial characters, balanced (or not balanced depending on one's opinion of the class) by narrative elements.
A stick in the mud that looks cooler in theory than it plays on the table and encourages player self-righteousness.
A trope of fantasy literature that feels missing from the fighter class or the cavalier.

This feels like a challenging group of ideas to balance and not all of them play very well together.

So the next question becomes how important is it to tie these character concepts to one class and how do you do that?

I think we will need to wait to see what the playtest paladin looks like in greater detail as far as how much flexibility can be tweaked out of its class feats, as well as what archetypes really allow for, before any of these debates about the paladin are going to be resolvable.


Unicore wrote:

I feel like there might be a lot of different ideas about what defines a paladin mechanically, and I think knowing what some of those ideas are, might help make more of people's character concepts viable and fun, without attempting to force one class to cary the burden of trying to do all of those things while retaining the sense that it is a class defined more by its narrative elements than its mechanical ones.

People see paladins as: (some see only one of these, some see multiple, some certainly see something else entirely and should feel free to add it)

Holy knights of virtuousness
Divine Paragons (some wanting that to be able to cover all faiths and some wanting the paladin to be a divine paragon with a code that pushes them towards a righteousness that rises above even the expectations of their deity.)
Masters of fighting evil.
A mechanically stronger fighting character than most martial characters, balanced (or not balanced depending on one's opinion of the class) by narrative elements.
A stick in the mud that looks cooler in theory than it plays on the table and encourages player self-righteousness.
A trope of fantasy literature that feels missing from the fighter class or the cavalier.

This feels like a challenging group of ideas to balance and not all of them play very well together.

So the next question becomes how important is it to tie these character concepts to one class and how do you do that?

I think we will need to wait to see what the playtest paladin looks like in greater detail as far as how much flexibility can be tweaked out of its class feats, as well as what archetypes really allow for, before any of these debates about the paladin are going to be resolvable.

Right now we know the PF2 Paladin has:

1. Smite Evil
2. Detect Evil
3. A much weakened Divine Grace
4. No immunities (I are sad)
5. Spells
6. Lay on Hands
7. Can get Legendary Armor Proficiency
8. A Feat that grants it Wings and a Halo.


HWalsh wrote:


Right now we know the PF2 Paladin has:

1. Smite Evil
2. Detect Evil
3. A much weakened Divine Grace
4. No immunities (I are sad)
5. Spells
6. Lay on Hands
7. Can get Legendary Armor Proficiency
8. A Feat that grants it Wings and a Halo.

Do we know they get spells? or powers usable with spell points? Because that is what I thought the litanies were moving to.


Unicore wrote:
HWalsh wrote:


Right now we know the PF2 Paladin has:

1. Smite Evil
2. Detect Evil
3. A much weakened Divine Grace
4. No immunities (I are sad)
5. Spells
6. Lay on Hands
7. Can get Legendary Armor Proficiency
8. A Feat that grants it Wings and a Halo.

Do we know they get spells? or powers usable with spell points? Because that is what I thought the litanies were moving to.

Yes, we are getting powers using spell points.


Unicore wrote:
HWalsh wrote:


Right now we know the PF2 Paladin has:

1. Smite Evil
2. Detect Evil
3. A much weakened Divine Grace
4. No immunities (I are sad)
5. Spells
6. Lay on Hands
7. Can get Legendary Armor Proficiency
8. A Feat that grants it Wings and a Halo.

Do we know they get spells? or powers usable with spell points? Because that is what I thought the litanies were moving to.

It was confirmed that we are getting charisma based spellcasting.

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