Paladin Class Preview

Monday, May 7, 2018

All it takes is a cursory browse of the Paizo forums to see that paladins are not just the most contentious class in Pathfinder, they are the most contentious conversation topic. Weeks before we previewed the class, multiple threads with thousands of posts arose in advance, filled with passionate fans with many different opinions and plenty of good ideas. Turns out, the Paizo office isn't too different.

The Quest for the Holy Grail

Early last year, I went on a sacred quest through the office and surveyed all the different opinions out there about paladins. Turns out, almost everyone had slightly different thoughts. But there was one element in common: whether they wanted paladins of all alignments, paladins of the four extreme alignments, lawful good paladins and chaotic evil antipaladins, lawful evil tyrant antipaladins, or even just lawful good paladins alone, everyone was interested in robust support for the idea that paladins should be champions of their deity and alignment. That is to say, whatever alignments paladins have, they should have an array of abilities deeply tied into that alignment.

Since that was the aspect of the paladin that everyone agreed upon, that's what we wanted to make sure we got right in the playtest. But given the limited space for the playtest, we chose to focus on getting that aspect fine-tuned for one alignment, and so in this book we're presenting only lawful good paladins. That doesn't mean antipaladins and tyrants are gone (there's even an antipaladin foe in one of the adventures!) or that the door is closed to other sorts of paladins down the road. We'll have a playtest survey on the matter, we're open to more opinions, and even among the four designers we have different ideas. But we want to focus the playtest on getting lawful good paladins right, first and foremost. If or when we do make more paladins and antipaladins, having constructed a solid foundation for how an alignment-driven champion functions will be a crucial step to making all of them engaging and different in play.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

The Code

Tell me if you've heard this one before: My paladin was brought to a court where she was forced to testify under oath to tell the whole truth, by a legitimate authority, about the whereabouts of certain innocent witnesses, but she knows that if she answers the questions, a villain is going to use that information to track down and harm the innocents. It's the "Inquiring Murderer" quandary from moral philosophy set in a way that manages to pin you between not just two but three different restrictions in the old paladin code. Sure, I can beg and plead with the judge that the information, if released, would harm innocents, but ultimately if the judge persists, I'm in trouble. These sorts of situations are some of the most common paladin threads on the forums, and they're never easy.

With the playtest presenting the opportunity, I wanted to analyze the paladin's code down to basic principles and keep all the important roleplaying aspects that make paladins the trustworthy champions of law and good we've come to expect while drastically reducing, and hopefully eliminating, the no-win situations. Here's what it looks like at the moment.

Code of Conduct

Paladins are divine champions of a deity. You must be lawful good and worship a deity that allows lawful good clerics. Actions fundamentally opposed to your deity's alignment or ideals are anathema to your faith. A few examples of acts that would be considered anathema appear in each deity's entry. You and your GM will determine whether other acts count as anathema.

In addition, you must follow the paladin's code below. Deities often add additional strictures for their own paladins (for instance, Shelyn's paladins never attack first except to protect an innocent, and they choose and perfect an art).

If you stray from lawful good, perform acts anathema to your deity, or violate your code of conduct, you lose your Spell Point pool and righteous ally class feature (which we talk more about below) until you demonstrate your repentance by conducting an atone ritual, but you keep any other paladin abilities that don't require those class features.

The Paladin's Code

The following is the fundamental code all paladins follow. The tenets are listed in order of importance, starting with the most important. If a situation places two tenets in conflict, you aren't in a no-win situation; instead, follow the most important tenet. For instance, if an evil king asked you if innocent lawbreakers were hiding in your church so he could execute them, you could lie to him, since the tenet forbidding you to lie is less important than the tenet prohibiting the harm of an innocent. An attempt to subvert the paladin code by engineering a situation allowing you to use a higher tenet to ignore a lower tenet (telling someone that you won't respect lawful authorities so that the tenet of not lying supersedes the tenet of respecting lawful authorities, for example) is a violation of the paladin code.

  • You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell.
  • 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.
  • You must act with honor, never cheating, lying, or taking advantage of others.
  • 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.

So let's break down what's the same and what's different. We still have all the basic tenets of the paladin from Pathfinder First Edition, with one exception: we've removed poison from the tenet of acting with honor. While there are certainly dishonorable ways to use poison, poisoning a weapon and using it in an honorable combat that allows enhanced weaponry doesn't seem much different than lighting the weapon on fire. However, by ordering the tenets and allowing the paladin to prioritize the most important tenets in the event of a conflict, we've cut down on the no-win situations. And of course, this opens a design space to play around with the tenets themselves, something we've done by incorporating one of the most popular non-core aspects for paladins...

Oaths

Oaths allow you to play around with the tenets of your code while also gaining mechanical advantages. For instance, the Fiendsbane Oath allows you to dish out near-constant retribution against fiends and eventually block their dimensional travel with an Anchoring Aura. Unlike in Pathfinder First Edition, oaths are feats, and you don't need an archetype to gain one.

Paladin Features

As many of you guessed when Jason mentioned it, paladin was the mystery class that gains the highest heavy armor proficiency, eventually reaching legendary proficiency in armor and master proficiency in weapons, as opposed to fighters, who gain the reverse. At 1st level, you also gain the Retributive Strike reaction, allowing you to counterattack and enfeeble any foe that hits one of your allies (Shelyn save those who strike your storm druid ally). You also get lay on hands, a single-action healing spell that not only heals the target but also raises their AC for a round to help prevent future damage. Combine that effect used on yourself with a raised shield, and you can make it pretty hard for a foe to hit you, and it helps recovering allies avoid another beating.

Lay on hands is the first of a paladin's champion powers, which include a whole bunch of elective options via feats. One of my favorites, gained automatically at 19th level, is hero's defiance, which makes a paladin incredibly difficult to take down. It lets you keep standing when you fall to 0 HP, gives you a big boost of Hit Points, and doesn't even use up your reaction! Leading up to that, you gain a bunch of fun smite-related boosts, including the righteous ally class feature that you saw mentioned in the code. This is a 3rd-level ability that lets you house a holy spirit in a weapon or a steed, much like before, but also in a shield, like the fan-favorite sacred shield archetype!

Paladin Feats

In addition to the oath feats I mentioned when talking about the code, paladins have feats customized to work with the various righteous ally options, like Second Ally, a level 8 feat that lets you gain a second righteous ally. There are also a variety of auras that you can gain to improve yourself and your allies, from the humble 4th-level Aura of Courage, which reduces the frightened condition for you when you gain it and at the end of your turn for you and your allies, to the mighty 14th-level Aura of Righteousness, which gives you and your allies resistance to evil damage. Feats that improve or alter your lay on hands include mercy feats, which allow you to remove harmful conditions and afflictions with lay on hands, up to and including death itself with Ultimate Mercy. And we can't forget potent additional reactions like Divine Grace, granting you a saving throw boost at 2nd level, and Attack of Opportunity at 6th level.

To close out, I'll tell you about one more popular non-core paladin ability we brought in, a special type of power called...

Litanies

Following their mold from Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat, litanies are single-action Verbal Casting spells that last 1 round and create various effects. For instance, litany of righteousness makes an enemy weak to your allies' attacks, and litany against sloth slows down an enemy, costing it reactions and potentially actions as well. One of the coolest story features of the litanies against sins is that they now explicitly work better against creatures strongly aligned with their sin, so a dretch (a.k.a. a sloth demon) or a sloth sinspawn treats its saving throw outcome for litany against sloth as one degree worse!

Just as a reminder to everyone, please be respectful to each other. Many of us have strong opinions about the paladin, and that's OK, even if we each have different feelings.

Mark Seifter
Designer

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Tags: Paladins Pathfinder Playtest Seelah Wayne Reynolds
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Hmm I think with handle animal (master or legend something like that) I think we are suppose to get an animal companion which might be related to how a paladin might get his mount this time around so just give the paladin something to make that mount more paladiny (pally feat maybe?) and I think that should work right?


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Hmm also I'm gonna hope for the option later for fighters to get legendary armor by some means. (archetype or what have you.)

It's probably as simple as taking the appropriate feat once you meet the level prerequisites.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Eh, I actually do think there should at least be a Paladin OPTION to be like the oracle - chosen and pure without the direct intervention of a deity or the knowing dedication of your character to a church's hierarchy.

It's one of the things I love most about the Chosen One archetype is the ability to be directly chosen by a god without having to necessarily be involved with church politics.


ahhh nice!

I was affraid you were with paladins being of variant aligment.

I loved Oath from 5thE but oaths and lawful good should not be a separate thing

Shadow Lodge

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gustavo iglesias wrote:
Neurophage wrote:
I've never liked the idea of a paladin having to serve a deity. I've always seen paladins as being very devoted to their personal idea of justice.
Then they should not have Divine Grace, Litanies, or divine spells

So I guess those oracles shouldn't have divine powers either.


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Hrodwulf wrote:


As I see discussions on the Lawful aspect I find myself wondering what other's definition of Lawful is. My groups have always taken a semi-fluid definition of this. For some examples, my LG Cleric, there was God's Law and Man's Law, when the two came into conflict God's Law always won was our decision. Another odd one I did was a LN Rogue, had quite a few in my group balk at the idea of a Rogue that had to "follow the law", but the way it was worked out between my DM and I was the rogue was knave for hire, and he always kept the word of his contract, this was the "Law" he followed and bound himself to. Which of course led to some interesting situations when the contract would eventually work against him and put him in hotter water than he wanted. But that was all in the fun of the role.

I seem to recall that way back in AD&D 2nd edition, LN was the classic alignment for thieves who were members of a Thieves Guild. They followed a code, the rules of their organization. Lawful not necessarily referring to the legal code of whatever country you're in.

Your "God's Law" example is the way I always assumed Paladins would normally operate. And my LG Inquisitor of Iomedae operated that way. Because the hypothetical of going to a land full of evil, unjust laws would just be absurd if the paladin now had to honor evil laws. You'd have nonsense like: "Well we passed the border into JerkFaceia, and the law here is you have to kill all paladins when you see them, so I need to commit suicide." This new setup of a hierarchical code does seem to spell out that it's the default.


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Necroceine wrote:
Personally I really love the idea of paladins being of the four extreme alignments. I was never crazy about letting characters of any alignment be a paladin because it felt like cutting out part of what made them special. But this would be a great compromise by allowing for greater diversity in paladins while maintaining the feel of the class and letting it still generally mean something to be one.

In my opinion, any Paladin class design which means SAERENRAE herself cannot qualify for paladin is a full mistake.


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If the other alignments get their own paladin I wonder how they will prioritize the Good-Evil Law-Chaos spectrum. for example the LG paladin seems to prioritize good over law. How would other alignments work?


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Juda de Kerioth wrote:

ahhh nice!

I was affraid you were with paladins being of variant aligment.

I loved Oath from 5thE but oaths and lawful good should not be a separate thing

why? Why is good corrupted by law best good? Why are gods polluted b6 law the best gods?


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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
And Yeah, Paladins shouldn't gain Legendary Armor INSTEAD OF The Fighter. If it was the case where Fighter gained Legendary Weapons AND Armor, I'd be fine with it, but this just feels weird.

I'd like to see the Fighter get:

Best Armor abilities
Best Weapon abilities
Some usefulness in the exploration, problem solving and social combat silos.

I'd like to see the Paladin get:

Second Best Armor abilities, situationally bolstered by divine abilities (heals and protections)
Second Best Weapon abilities, situationally bolstered by divine abilities (smites and and enemy challenge/aggro abilities)
Some usefulness in the exploration, problem solving and social combat silos.


TOZ wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Neurophage wrote:
I've never liked the idea of a paladin having to serve a deity. I've always seen paladins as being very devoted to their personal idea of justice.
Then they should not have Divine Grace, Litanies, or divine spells
So I guess those oracles shouldn't have divine powers either.

I fully expect them being attached to a God and to an Anathema, yes.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Quandary wrote:

Overall, sounds great. About falling though...

I get that maybe Paizo wants to cushion the blow to leave the class with some viable features even after falling, but "keep everything but Spell Points and Righteous Ally" seems a bit too generous. It doesn't seem like Smite was even discussed, so I can't really say whether it is included within those mechanics or not. But even ignoring Smite, it would seem normal spell casting is included in abilities you keep. Whereas a Cleric who falls loses their spellcasting (assuming nothing changed there).

I am almost sure that paladins don't have normal spellcasting in PF2, only the spells based on Spell points.


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TOZ wrote:


So I guess those oracles shouldn't have divine powers either.

Cleric: You believe in something

Oracle: Something believes in you

I think people want more separation of the paladin and deities than some deity believes in you

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Hmm I think with handle animal (master or legend something like that) I think we are suppose to get an animal companion which might be related to how a paladin might get his mount this time around so just give the paladin something to make that mount more paladiny (pally feat maybe?) and I think that should work right?

I will grant this - we do not currently know the rules for Handle Animal this time around, so perhaps mounted combat without the Bond provided by the Animal Companion feature will be more viable this time around.

As of now, mount is still an "option" for Righteous Ally where I sort of feel splitting the level requirements for the weapon and mount might be beneficial because a holy weapon is something that makes sense to come online later while a mounted combat character is pretty much going to want that mount ASAP.


Rob Godfrey wrote:
Juda de Kerioth wrote:

ahhh nice!

I was affraid you were with paladins being of variant aligment.

I loved Oath from 5thE but oaths and lawful good should not be a separate thing

why? Why is good corrupted by law best good? Why are gods polluted b6 law the best gods?

Becaus if not aligment restriction on the most powerful class in the game, what is the difference between a mere Cleric, an Inquisitor or a Warpriest from a Paladin?

The mere name should suggest the nature of the class PALADIN the paragon of lawful and loyalty, devotion, zeal, and such, the virtue personified not a mere knight or cleric, a PALADIN.

but i know nowadays, the new wave of players do not want/know/understands why there must (YES A MUST) be some restrictions in some classess..

Then you could tell me that a multiclass on Rogue/Barbarian/Monk stacks


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avatarless wrote:
Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
And Yeah, Paladins shouldn't gain Legendary Armor INSTEAD OF The Fighter. If it was the case where Fighter gained Legendary Weapons AND Armor, I'd be fine with it, but this just feels weird.

I'd like to see the Fighter get:

Best Armor abilities
Best Weapon abilities
Some usefulness in the exploration, problem solving and social combat silos.

I'd like to see the Paladin get:

Second Best Armor abilities, situationally bolstered by divine abilities (heals and protections)
Second Best Weapon abilities, situationally bolstered by divine abilities (smites and and enemy challenge/aggro abilities)
Some usefulness in the exploration, problem solving and social combat silos.

This goes along with some other ideas I have liked, but I do think paladins / warpriests thematically work as being super good at armor. I think ultimately a good setup would be:

  • Fighter gets legendary armor and (multiple) legendary weapon groups. They are good all around at nonmagical combat.
  • Paladin / Warpriest gets legendary armor and (one) master weapon group, bolstered by their abilities. So when "turned on" they can still be better at tanking than a fighter.
  • Ranger gets (one) legendary weapon group and master armor (but not heavy armor), bolstered by their abilities, so when doing "their thing" they can be better at offense. But the fighter is still better all-around at non-magical combat when the ranger isn't "turned on."
  • Berserker (because feh to the increasingly out of place name "barbarian") gets master weapon and their choice of either master armor (Viking) or master unarmored (Conan). These are bolstered by their rage so when "turned on" they are amazingly tough and powerful, but in a way orthogonal to how Fighters operate.
  • Monk gets legendary unarmed and legendary unarmored, so they approach the Fighter but in an orthogonal way more dependent on their unique talents.

And of course, all of them should be decent at skills and the exploration / social side of the game so they aren't left out. Ranger would be better at the exploration side, paladin / warpriest would be better at the social side, and monk and berserker would be more generally skilled.


Yeah now I want barb or monk as next preview. I do wonder what preview were going to get to go along with paladin.


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Juda de Kerioth wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
Juda de Kerioth wrote:

ahhh nice!

I was affraid you were with paladins being of variant aligment.

I loved Oath from 5thE but oaths and lawful good should not be a separate thing

why? Why is good corrupted by law best good? Why are gods polluted b6 law the best gods?

Becaus if not aligment restriction on the most powerful class in the game, what is the difference between a mere Cleric, an Inquisitor or a Warpriest from a Paladin?

Clerics, ibquusitors and warpriest are more powerful than paladins.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

As we discuss this, I keep thinking of the other classes instead. I have never been a player that played a Paladin, the LG alignment being one of the main reasons. I do hope that Monks are not restricted to a Lawful Alignment, as it makes no sense for them when they tend to be neutral to the world's woes as a whole.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Juda de Kerioth wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
Juda de Kerioth wrote:

ahhh nice!

I was affraid you were with paladins being of variant aligment.

I loved Oath from 5thE but oaths and lawful good should not be a separate thing

why? Why is good corrupted by law best good? Why are gods polluted b6 law the best gods?

Becaus if not aligment restriction on the most powerful class in the game, what is the difference between a mere Cleric, an Inquisitor or a Warpriest from a Paladin?

Clerics, ibquusitors and warpriest are more powerful than paladins.

More powerful?

Or had a bigger spell list to pull from?


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Juda de Kerioth wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
Juda de Kerioth wrote:

ahhh nice!

I was affraid you were with paladins being of variant aligment.

I loved Oath from 5thE but oaths and lawful good should not be a separate thing

why? Why is good corrupted by law best good? Why are gods polluted b6 law the best gods?

Becaus if not aligment restriction on the most powerful class in the game, what is the difference between a mere Cleric, an Inquisitor or a Warpriest from a Paladin?

Clerics, ibquusitors and warpriest are more powerful than paladins.

sure if you made a cookie recipe for them from builds and guides, but as they are in the book paladins are the most powerful class of those mentioned above.

And that´s not the case, the flavor of being the embodiness of righteoughness and the vivification of a good deity is a big deal at the time for roleplay a shining knight


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Juda de Kerioth wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Juda de Kerioth wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
Juda de Kerioth wrote:

ahhh nice!

I was affraid you were with paladins being of variant aligment.

I loved Oath from 5thE but oaths and lawful good should not be a separate thing

why? Why is good corrupted by law best good? Why are gods polluted b6 law the best gods?

Becaus if not aligment restriction on the most powerful class in the game, what is the difference between a mere Cleric, an Inquisitor or a Warpriest from a Paladin?

Clerics, ibquusitors and warpriest are more powerful than paladins.

sure if you made a cookie recipe for them from builds and guides, but as they are in the book paladins are the most powerful class of those mentioned above.

And that´s not the case, the flavor of being the embodiness of righteoughness and the vivification of a good deity is a big deal at the time for roleplay a shining knight

I don't know cleric got 9th level spells 9th level spells are pretty legit. even the divine ones.


TOZ wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Neurophage wrote:
I've never liked the idea of a paladin having to serve a deity. I've always seen paladins as being very devoted to their personal idea of justice.
Then they should not have Divine Grace, Litanies, or divine spells
So I guess those oracles shouldn't have divine powers either.

But you forgot: That's different.

Personally, I like the Deity tie-in, I liked the Domain granting Paladin archetype, I like idea of if you follow Deity's ethos closely you could gain appropriate powers to that Deity. I don't see need to make that Deity tie-in strictly required, I think P1E handled it well in not making core Paladin powers tied into Deity. So if somebody wants to be Deity-less Paladin (which doesn't mean you don't believe in Deities, or doesn't even mean you can't choose to venerate a Deity in same way a Fighter does), they should be able to, even if they don't get extra benefits like more options for powers. And of course, although we don't know the priority/sequence of Deity Anathema vis-a-vis Paladin Code, it has potential to be less restrictive in ways while simultaneously being more restrictive in ways, so different play style in that aspect, possibly.


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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Fuzzypaws wrote:
avatarless wrote:
Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
And Yeah, Paladins shouldn't gain Legendary Armor INSTEAD OF The Fighter. If it was the case where Fighter gained Legendary Weapons AND Armor, I'd be fine with it, but this just feels weird.

I'd like to see the Fighter get:

Best Armor abilities
Best Weapon abilities
Some usefulness in the exploration, problem solving and social combat silos.

I'd like to see the Paladin get:

Second Best Armor abilities, situationally bolstered by divine abilities (heals and protections)
Second Best Weapon abilities, situationally bolstered by divine abilities (smites and and enemy challenge/aggro abilities)
Some usefulness in the exploration, problem solving and social combat silos.

This goes along with some other ideas I have liked, but I do think paladins / warpriests thematically work as being super good at armor. I think ultimately a good setup would be:

  • Fighter gets legendary armor and (multiple) legendary weapon groups. They are good all around at nonmagical combat.
  • Paladin / Warpriest gets legendary armor and (one) master weapon group, bolstered by their abilities. So when "turned on" they can still be better at tanking than a fighter.
  • Ranger gets (one) legendary weapon group and master armor (but not heavy armor), bolstered by their abilities, so when doing "their thing" they can be better at offense. But the fighter is still better all-around at non-magical combat when the ranger isn't "turned on."
  • Berserker (because feh to the increasingly out of place name "barbarian") gets master weapon and their choice of either master armor (Viking) or master unarmored (Conan). These are bolstered by their rage so when "turned on" they are amazingly tough and powerful, but in a way orthogonal to how Fighters operate.
  • Monk gets legendary unarmed and legendary unarmored, so they approach the Fighter but in an orthogonal way more dependent on their unique talents.

And of course, all of them should be decent...

You said it much better than I did, kudos! Also, renaming Barbarian to Berserker is long overdue.

Perhaps the Paladin/Warpriest of varying, but Deity respecting, alignments could be renamed to Paragon (as someone suggested earlier in the thread). If we get this suggested Paragon class into the playtest soonish, maybe it can make the PF2 GA release.

With respect to tradition and those who believe Paladins must be Lawful Good, we should exclusively refer to Lawful Good Paragons as Paladins. Hopefully everyone can live with that idea.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


As the codes are re-written, my tengu grandmother could not be a paladin in PF2, paradoxically enough.
The paladin code above doesn't really add any tenets to the ones in the PF1 paladin code, though; it loosens up the interactions between them so you don't get caught in a no-win situation.

I think some of us in PF1 (I personally have as a GM) allowed most of the tenets to be ignored thanks to the clause "for the greater good". Anytime a player genuinely wanted to do a course of action because it was for the greater good (and that wasn't just a loophole but instead a genuine principle they were following) that might conflict with the other tenets, I weighed up their actions and what effect it would likely have from their perspective and consider the character's sincerity and then I'd typically allow it. I am a GM who despite not liking alignment had a deity threaten a paladin with the loss of all class features*. So I did do my best to apply the exact code of conduct.

*Player was a member of a long lost order of Paladins of Pharasma (because technically speaking there was no restriction in PF1 on what alignment your deity could be and it was Carrion Crown so I preferred a Paladin of Pharasma vs a Paladin of any other deity). Player had died, been reincarnated as a gnome. Committed suicide so they could be reincarnated as something else. I wasn't playing the paladin it wasn't my position as GM to stop the player from doing this course of action. I asked them a couple of times "are you sure?". I then handed them a piece of paper and said as they were reborn they heard a voice say what was written on the paper (which was "Never do this again. Ever.") Funnily enough the person rolled a gnome again so I got to decree such was Pharasma's will (always nice when dice work out like that by mostly chance).

Funnily enough my Paladin of Pharasma had to follow a code of conduct that made sense for a Paladin of Pharasma. It's funny because that's the route Paizo have gone AND YET under the playtest rules a Paladin of Pharasma is not possible.


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A bit on topic: I dislike the fact that Paladins have been shoehorned into the defender role and fighters are left straddling the defender/striker roles (with leanings towards striker).

Full fledged armor master fighters should be possible. Likewise full fledged "I shall smite thee!" Paladins should be possible. They were soldiers of the Crusades for crying out loud. Let's get some good old fashioned smiting of demons and devils going here with them focusing on their sword rather than their shield. In PF1e either role was possible for Fighter and Paladin. Shoehorning each of the classes into one role or another makes things awkward and makes very few people happy.

The worst thing 4e did was make roles a class decision instead of a character build decision. Give both classes options to fulfill both roles and then let them decide which one they fulfill.


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eddv wrote:
Diffan wrote:
'Meh' 5th Edition did a better job.

First and only time I have had this thought regarding a class too.

This just feels significantly watered down with only mastery of armor replacing a lot of iconic paladin things.

And the threat to bring rainbow alignment paladins in the game only reinforces that notion that we are getting the, as Wei Ji so elegantly put it, American Pilsner of Paladins.

We haven't see all of the changes but I liked how Smites were tied to spells and burning spells for smites is cool and not a separate thing.

As for rainbow of Paladins, 5e has zero "fail" policies and doesn't strictly enforce a specific alignment. Its all tied to the oath and if you start to "fall", you basically transition to an Oath Breaker.

Also there have been Paladins of different alignments since 1e so..yeah. Not to mention that originally the alignment was design to curb some of their power since they were Fighter+ extra stuff. Now though, its outdated and archaic with no significant purpose but nostalgia.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Hmm also I'm gonna hope for the option later for fighters to get legendary armor by some means. (archetype or what have you.)

Seems like a really simple one to me. Have an Armor Master archetype that swaps the legendary weapon proficiency to armor.

Liberty's Edge

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This is largely a disappointment.

Again, gods who disallow lawful good clerics have no holy warriors. The lawful good paladin wasn't the one you needed to get right, it was the one that you needed to step back from and start from the concept it is filling.

If I recall correctly, the original paladin worshipped one specific diety and no one else had paladins. 3.0 addressed this hole with a few prestige classes and 5e has incorporated variations into the core class. The 5e incarnation or the 3.0 Templar (expanded to 20 level class) are more indicative of how the paladin should be treated. Other deities deserve a divine champion and we should not have to wait for a supplement to play divine champions of core deities.

Again, the shield tax needs to go. If paladins are iconic shield users, they can't be down an action every turn for it. Especially, if they need to juggle actions for attacking, positioning, using lay on hands, and spell casting.

I like the AC bonus with lay on hands. (I would actually prefer that the bonus did not apply to the paladin, perhaps +x to AC, up to the paladin's own value.)

I didn't see anything about actions or hands available required for paladin lay on hands or spellcasting.

Edit: Also, did anyone finally teach paladins the mend orison?


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Only reading the blog.

Disappointed by LG only, but makes sense for playtest and not making different sets of mechanics. Really hoping that other alignment paladins will exist AND NOT BE WEAKER.

Really, really annoyed by paladin being the armor class. That should be fighters shtick. Defending of allies should be universal feats. Not really digging the niche here.

Seemingly removing the spells, I'm kinda ok. I mean I really don't like the restraining of magic in PF2 in general, but if you already are, this decision makes sense. I'm really interested in rangers now.

Code is clearer now, that's nice, and falling is seemingly not total losing of the class abilities, that's even better. Adding anathema to restrictions I'm not fond of, because we got one clearer code and a ton of less clear ones.

Divine grace a reaction? Well that really solidifies my opinion that every little thing is gonna be an action. Not fond of that.

One thing we haven't seen is how much are abilities fueled by Charisma.

I think the paladin has possibility to be more good than bad in playtest, for me at least.


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I really appreciate this blog - not just for the preview of (some of) the mechanics of this class, but also for the clear understanding that people have strong opinions on the paladin and that the class means different things to different people.

Speaking purely for myself (as someone who has played a LOT of paladins), the paladin is above all a holy warrior - so Smite Evil is the key feature, rather than Lay on Hands (in my view, the cleric is the healbot). I would much rather have smite available at first level rather than LoH. But it is very much a class where YMMV, so I may be in a minority here.

Silver Crusade

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If what Paizo said is accurate, they plan on re-releasing every class from PF1E, so Anti-Paladin will exist again.

I'm hoping that the CG/LE versions of paladin/anti-paladins aren't archetypes. That will only reduce their complexity.

The differences between two classes and two archetypes are leagues apart. A paladin archetype would be too similar to the base class than a whole different class.

Paladins should be allowed to be extremes of the alignment scale or there should be classes to emobdy each extreme alignment.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
That doesn't mean antipaladins and tyrants are gone (there's even an antipaladin foe in one of the adventures!) or that the door is closed to other sorts of paladins down the road.

The mere possibility for a paladin of Cayden Cailean some time in the future already has me pretty excited over the 2nd Ed.

"I am *urp* the Hound of Justice, hero of the...*hick* downtrodden...prepare for my heavenly *hiccup* smite!"


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Mark Seifter wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

Thats the part why I don't get getting hurt personally(with emphasis put on that) about this. I don't get behaving as if Paizo is personally ignoring you or personally trying to hurt you, why would they do that?

World doesn't revolve around individual people, paizo(which itself is composed of multiple individuals with different opinions) can't as company show favoritism to individual customers <_< Even if Pathfinder isn't big as wizards, there are thousands of customers, its not reasonable to assume they will support your opinion personally.

Even when we do make decisions that are nearly perfect for an individual person, that doesn't mean all of them will be. It's unrealistic for anyone to expect to definitely like absolutely everything in the entire playtest. I don't think that's true for anyone, not even the designers! So, for instance, there's a Sarenite sorcerer concept that RickDias was talking about early in the playtest blogs, as an example of something that can only be executed with recent splatbooks, and that we just so happen to be able to cover brilliantly in the playtest book alone (and I think two designers managed to respond to that in quick succession). A game this big is bound to be full of some things you really like and some things you don't, especially since sometimes there are groups of people who want mutually exclusive things to be in the game.

One thing is for certain: we're working hard to make things more effective for fans of all sorts. For instance, we're trying to both use alignment in interesting ways and to make it easy to remove alignment from your game if you want. Or for the paladin, we're working on perfecting the chassis for the lawful good paladin, but the paladin class chassis in the playtest book is much more flexible in terms of creating non-lawful-good versions than the one in the PF1 CRB (for instance, the antipaladin in the adventure has delightfully selfish versions of several of the abilities). I can't say one way or the other...

Mark - Also note for as many who asked you to open them just as many of us DO NOT WANT them opened. Don't water down the flavor of the Paladin. That would be bad.


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thecursor wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
That doesn't mean antipaladins and tyrants are gone (there's even an antipaladin foe in one of the adventures!) or that the door is closed to other sorts of paladins down the road.

The mere possibility for a paladin of Cayden Cailean some time in the future already has me pretty excited over the 2nd Ed.

"I am *urp* the Hound of Justice, hero of the...*hick* downtrodden...prepare for my heavenly *hiccup* smite!"

I kind of need to see that now...


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I think to 'justify' why Paladin (the most armor focused class) should be lawful good only, a dev should describe how to build a proper Gorumite Iron Knight in PF2.

The LG Paladin should just be one flavor of Holy Warrior/Warpriest/Paragon. Devoting an entire class to what amounts to a specific archetype is a waste.


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CraziFuzzy wrote:

I think to 'justify' why Paladin (the most armor focused class) should be lawful good only, a dev should describe how to build a proper Gorumite Iron Knight in PF2.

The LG Paladin should just be one flavor of Holy Warrior/Warpriest/Paragon. Devoting an entire class to what amounts to a specific archetype is a waste.

that would make sense if it wasn't for the fact its been its own class almost sense conception (granted at one point it was almost like a archetype for cavalier but I digress)


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Juda de Kerioth wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
Juda de Kerioth wrote:

ahhh nice!

I was affraid you were with paladins being of variant aligment.

I loved Oath from 5thE but oaths and lawful good should not be a separate thing

why? Why is good corrupted by law best good? Why are gods polluted b6 law the best gods?

Becaus if not aligment restriction on the most powerful class in the game, what is the difference between a mere Cleric, an Inquisitor or a Warpriest from a Paladin?

The mere name should suggest the nature of the class PALADIN the paragon of lawful and loyalty, devotion, zeal, and such, the virtue personified not a mere knight or cleric, a PALADIN.

but i know nowadays, the new wave of players do not want/know/understands why there must (YES A MUST) be some restrictions in some classess..

Then you could tell me that a multiclass on Rogue/Barbarian/Monk stacks

the Oaths are the restrictions, the rules and Anathema are the restrictions, not being a sugar coated tyrant as LG implies. Thats the point LG is LESS good than NG, and the same as CG, it has the desire and does dominate and control, unlike CG, and unlike, NG is caught between two masters, so, why it is held up as special escapes me.


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Vidmaster 1st edition wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:

I think to 'justify' why Paladin (the most armor focused class) should be lawful good only, a dev should describe how to build a proper Gorumite Iron Knight in PF2.

The LG Paladin should just be one flavor of Holy Warrior/Warpriest/Paragon. Devoting an entire class to what amounts to a specific archetype is a waste.

that would make sense if it wasn't for the fact its been its own class almost sense conception (granted at one point it was almost like a archetype for cavalier but I digress)

Legacy is not good game design. If we were trying to do things 'the same as before', why make PF2?


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Original Blog Post wrote:
{. . .}
  • You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell.
  • 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.
  • You must act with honor, never cheating, lying, or taking advantage of others.
  • 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.
{. . .}
jakebacon wrote:

1. SERVE THE PUBLIC TRUST

2. PROTECT THE INNOCENT
3. UPHOLD THE LAW
4. (CLASSIFIED)

Okay, we MUST get Robot Paladins . . . like in this dream that I had coincidentally while Iron Gods was coming out. RIP my liege lord PAL-A-GON, almost certainly killed by the combination of a Blue Screen of Death and a bunch of Lawful Stupid murderhobo Paladins very shortly after I got booted out of the DreamLands . . . .

* * * * * * * *

I've got mixed thoughts on the trial version of Paladin being Lawful Good only. On the upside, I do remember that Kirthfinder sort of started this way (but with what I think is better, a Paladin Prestige Class instead of Base Class) and then actually followed through with other types, and in actual experience with Paizo, the initially extremely buggy Advanced Class Guide did eventually get mostly debugged. On the downside, I remember not only the awful Gray Paladin archetype, but also the Harrowed Medium that we were given a teasingly promising alignment fraction of in the Occult Adventures Playtest document, which then just disappeared, and the replacement, while not as bad as the Gray Paladin archetype, was certainly not inspiring.

Edit: Fix broken quotes.


I agree with you on the class feats being called talents. I won't be broken up about it igther way but it does seem better somehow.


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I was under the impression that one of the design goals of PF2 was to allow the class chassis to be well suited to a number of different flavors, adjusted by the feat selections.

How much variation is there when the base chassis is already focused on LG alignment, being tied to a specific (singular) set of tenets, and being focused on armored defense.

There simply isn't room for variation here. And once this is 'locked' into the core class, it's impossible to make compelling alterations to it later (as evidences by the lackluster 'broadening' Paladin archetypes in PF1e). The design needs to have the more open slate as the basis, and archetypes narrow the focus, NOT the other way around.

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