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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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Looks good. Especially like the focus on the Paladin’s code. I think it might need some greater definition around what “Murder” counts as though. Considering the complexity of the term (Especially some of the modern usage which can be quite emotionally charged) it might be better to remove the term and instead just state what isn’t acceptable, for example (illustrative only): Must not kill solely for personal gain.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Which is odd to me that people feel that way since its pretty well status quo. Its like well you played PF1 with it that way so why is it staying the same the fact that makes you drop pathfinder. I get not being what you wanted but if it was a game breaker shouldn't it of been a game breaker in PF1 too?

Well, for some of my players, it was a dealbreaker, especially after 5E paladins became a breath of fresh air for them. This being "status quo" does not necessarily make preserving the "status quo" satisfactory for me or my players anymore. And alignment restrictions and flavors for classes have persistently been a sore sticking point for my players. It was tolerable in 3.5 and PF, but the moment that 5E dropped it, my players found their personal freedom.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Disapointed that Paladins are once again locked to "Lawful Good" I guess I just have a different definition of what a Paladin is. Im hoping to see some options opening up Paladin like champions of different faiths as I see the ONLY alignment they can be is "Lawful Good" as extremely limiting to the potential of this class. I will love to see what develops however.


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Okay, so I've had the chance to sleep on it and see lots of good replies. Let me get into them.

Quandary wrote:
Seriously, somebody at Paizo just cancel RickDias' order and put him out of his misery (and our's).

If my pointing out a huge design-space flaw is 'your misery', too bad.

CorvusMask: I don't think they're doing it to me on a personal level.

I do think they're making a huge mistake here, locking out a pretty interesting playstyle behind a single alignment and offering no real equivalent to it for the other 8 alignments. Their competitor offers equivalents and did so in a pretty strong, interesting way. I'm deeply surprised Pathfinder has consistently been so cautious about this and now doubled down on it.

Mark: I appreciate the response. Based on what you had to say, and some of Wei Ji's remarks, I went ahead and read the rest of the design article.

Let me start with the good part. You're right that this class as described looks to be more adaptable for future use. I can easily agree to that; the partial details we have here are enough for me to agree with this part of your statement.

That said? I'm even more upset now. This is worse than I thought it was initially, Pathfinder 2E appears to be locking the 'tank' playstyle behind Lawful Good, or at least giving Lawful Good (and only LG at this time) access to the most dedicated form of it. This is even more upsetting from a game design level.

You've indicated there's definitely a 'maybe chance' here for adapting it to other alignments. There are three problems with this.

First, it's a 'maybe.' I understand you can't lock Paizo down to definite promises at this point in the process. It nonetheless sucks from a customer standpoint.

Second, there's no timetable for when this 'maybe' might happen. Would it take years for these adaptations to come out? The Core Rulebook Playtest really was the best possible time to try this out and see if the game collapses in upon itself or not. There's no way you'll get this volume of feedback later on for trying the idea.

Third, Paizo's history with this particular topic is... kind of lacking. It's clearly on your radar. The Martial Artist archetype (PF1E Monk) and Grey Paladin archetype (PF1E Paladin) show you're aware of the desire for this sort of expansion. It's just that those archetypes are really bad, and not fun to play. Without clear details, it's hard to take Paizo at their word that this might be fixed in the future.

Now... I do appreciate the personal reply. I also think that on the whole, PF2E has done a lot of good design choices. I just feel this one is an egregiously bad decision and I don't have much faith in Paizo's ability to fix it later. You're locking down a variety of playstyle elements (the 'martial plus healing plus expressive Charisma' thing I mentioned, plus the tanking aspects others have mentioned) to LG only, and that's overly cautious. Please reconsider this.


I do like how the paladin's code now clarifies what takes precedence in case of a conflict.

I don't like how Shelyn's paladins can't attack first. Hopefully during the playtest that can be changed.


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I would like to express my appreciation and support for the Paizo designers. The brutality, bordering on viciousness, of some of the feedback here is amazing. And here I was, thinking the post was a clever way to try and placate both camps at least temporarily... Should have known better.

Personally I clearly favor the traditional righteous hero paladin, but it's no skin off my nose if other styles become possible in Core. If I don't like them, I'm not forced to allow them in my game. And I might like them, who knows.

Of the things revealed by the post, a couple of comments:
- The ranking of the code's tenets is a welcome clarification (obligatory nod to the immortal master, Isaac Asimov, here).
- Litanies: Very nice and flavorful.
- Divine Grace is a reaction: Yes. This was needed. Divine Grace is the most obviously overpowered low-level class feature in PF1.
- Lay on Hands is an action: Obviously logical within the new action system; adds temporary protection: Makes sense and is a needed boost to warrant spending an action.
- Righteous Ally is an extension of Divine Bond allowing more choices (this looks like it subsumes some of the PF1 paladin archetypes): Great. Second Ally: Even better.
- I wish there were at least some details on Smite.
- The single thing I dislike: The idea that the paladin has some exclusivity on the legendary level of armor proficiency. There is no reason such skill should be tied to moral ideals of any kind. So this should be accessible to the fighter in some way. I get that maybe a fighter with legendary proficiency in both armor and weapons could be overpowered. In that case, he should be allowed to choose one of the two.


One thing that confuses me is the Armour angle. I see that Paladin gets Legendary Proficiency with Heavy (which makes sense to me), Fighter is getting Master. And there seems to be concern about Fighter being snubbed in that regard. From what I can tell Fighter can still wear Heavy Armour, and I have not seen anything that states you need Legendary Proficiency to wear Legendary Quality, just that you need it to Craft Legendary Quality. (Which makes sense to me as well). So Paladin may get +2 AC more than Fighter, and possibly access to a few more feats tied to armour? I mean since we don't know the full scope of abilities and how this all balances out, it seems like a small change in AC is minor thing.

I mean for all we know Fighters may get an ability that allows them to use their reaction to deflect an attack and counter attack thus eliminating the need to have the highest AC range. But I admit that is just speculation as is most of the comments are. (And frankly speculating is kind of fun).

Again this is just how I'm reading things, it's very possible I missed something in a post somewhere so if someone can point out how I'm wrong I'd love to learn more. (I'll admit I didn't read super close to the armour post because I normally play Wizards or Monks with the occasional Rogue, so I never go above Light Armour anyways.)


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SilverliteSword wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:
I don't think it's the 'Paladin of any alignment' people are really wanting here - at least that's not what I'm asking for. I'm asking for this 'Paladin' class to be a more general purpose divinely inspired warrior class, on top of which you could very easily build a LG Paladin, but could just as easily build a Asmodean enforcer, or a Pharasman Undead Hunter. Any of these could utilize the basic mechanical building blocks presented in the previewed class - a Code, Litanies, etc - but be far more customizable than what is presented here. The problem is, that as soon as they call the actual class 'Paladin', it sort of bakes in that specific flavor, and makes any other use of those mechanic an exception, instead of the rule. That baked-in flavor seems to be the exact opposite of every other class they've described so far, making the Paladin the outlier as far as game design goes, and likely why so many are so disappointed by this preview in just the first few hours of it's release.
I like this idea. The whole idea of paladins comes from the crusades, right?

Paladins come from the era of Charlemagne, rather than the Crusades. There's a 2e AD&D Historical Sourcebook, Charlemagne's Paladins, as well as a Crusades one. Charlemagne's paladins include a nice fellow who wanted one of his enemies to fight him, and when the enemy in question wouldn't the paladin burnt his wife and children to death to provoke him. LG wasn't in the job description.


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MusicAddict wrote:
I'm actually a little dissapointed but the original matter of the articles, because I want paladins moved AWAY from deities , and I think having them have to stick to a deity when that wasn't a real requirement before detracts from the class imo.

I've never really thought about his before. All of my groups have required Paladins and Clerics to follow a specific deity, and I wonder if this is where most of the paladin problems come from.

We never had a "does the paladin fall" issue because we took each situation and compared it to the paladin's god(dess)' tenets. Does law trump good? Who's your deity? Abadar, yes, law trumps good. Sarenrae, not so much.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
gwynfrid wrote:

I would like to express my appreciation and support for the Paizo designers. The brutality, bordering on viciousness, of some of the feedback here is amazing. And here I was, thinking the post was an clever way to try and placate both camps at least temporarily.

Problem is we got "Camp A here is what you want, camp B-E this is pretty close. Camps F-Z you might one day get what you want but no promises."


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Their is no making everyone happy. period. work customer service you will learn that lesson hard.


So to change gears past alignment, what are the chances of paladins and Rangers getting access to 5th level spells? Was this ever discussed?


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gwynfrid: I've been every bit as enthusiastic in praising them when they get things right. And up until this point, they got far more right than wrong.

In this case, it's a mix of elements. Poor initial design choice, poor history of working with this topic in PF1E, and lack of any concrete details for a future fix in PF2E leave me sitting there going "...This is actually bad enough to make me look up your competition and see if they want me."

And the more I read up on 5E, the more I like it. This blog post to promote PF2E literally sent me to the competitor they're trying to respond to.

Paizo can still win me back, but I want more than very vague 'maybe' thoughts about it. I want more than 'potential' (and I agree with Mark's statements that this PF2E Paladin, as described so far, has more potential to be adapted for other alignments than the PF1E one did). I need meaningful details on how they'll fix this gap in design space.


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RickDias wrote:

gwynfrid: I've been every bit as enthusiastic in praising them when they get things right. And up until this point, they got far more right than wrong.

In this case, it's a mix of elements. Poor initial design choice, poor history of working with this topic in PF1E, and lack of any concrete details for a future fix in PF2E leave me sitting there going "...This is actually bad enough to make me look up your competition and see if they want me."

And the more I read up on 5E, the more I like it. This blog post to promote PF2E literally sent me to the competitor they're trying to respond to.

Paizo can still win me back, but I want more than very vague 'maybe' thoughts about it. I want more than 'potential' (and I agree with Mark's statements that this PF2E Paladin, as described so far, has more potential to be adapted for other alignments than the PF1E one did). I need meaningful details on how they'll fix this gap in design space.

Just because you don't like them does not make them poor design choices.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:

Honestly, right now, I'll just wait for a splatbook to bring back the Inquisitor.

I would wholeheartedly, with cash in hand, stand behind demoting paladins from core and replacing them with inquisitors.

Or warpriests, if warpriests were less boring.

And then we could even get a butt-kicking *half-orc* as an Iconic Race in the bargain, too!

Double Bonus.

Imrijka as a core iconic? Petition signed.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:


Just because you don't like them does not make them poor design choices.

I can't think of too many exclusion based mechanics that were ever really well received or didn't cause a slew of issues at the gaming table


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Just because you don't like them does not make them poor design choices.

However, several of us have explained in detail why they're poor design choices.


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RickDias wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Just because you don't like them does not make them poor design choices.
However, several of us have explained in detail why they're poor design choices.

However despite that just because a few of you feel they are bad design choices does not in fact make them bad design choices.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
However despite that just because a few of you feel they are bad design choices does not in fact make them bad design choices.

:Cornette Face:

Seriously?

Come on, man. Explain why locking playstyles behind LG-only is a good design idea. I've done my share of the work in showing why it's a bad idea, you need to offer a counter-argument instead of 'nuh uh!'


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
RickDias wrote:

gwynfrid: I've been every bit as enthusiastic in praising them when they get things right. And up until this point, they got far more right than wrong.

In this case, it's a mix of elements. Poor initial design choice, poor history of working with this topic in PF1E, and lack of any concrete details for a future fix in PF2E leave me sitting there going "...This is actually bad enough to make me look up your competition and see if they want me."

And the more I read up on 5E, the more I like it. This blog post to promote PF2E literally sent me to the competitor they're trying to respond to.

Paizo can still win me back, but I want more than very vague 'maybe' thoughts about it. I want more than 'potential' (and I agree with Mark's statements that this PF2E Paladin, as described so far, has more potential to be adapted for other alignments than the PF1E one did). I need meaningful details on how they'll fix this gap in design space.

They're unlikely to go into that much detail on the playtest though, right?

I mean, like it or not, paladins are LG in the playtest (it's gone to the printers now). Who knows how they'll end up after the playtest. It's a bit early to be saying "In future splatbooks, here's how we see the paladin evolving..." when they're only just launching into seeing if the LG-paladin remains as they initially laid it out.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're asking for here. I just think it's worth remembering that the playtest is an opportunity for you to help mould how paladins will be once PF2 is nailed down. Okay - they're LG in this. You can playtest one and provide feedback that you felt the alignment restriction did more harm than good. You can raise that you think it constrains player creativity (or whatever your personal beef is - I'm speaking generally).

It seems odd to me that people are declaring PF2 unsatisfactory based on the playtest - given that whatever PF2 ends up as it's definitely not going to be the playtest version.

EDIT: That's not an attack by the way. I fully respect your right to be disappointed and to disagree with various choices. I just struggle sometimes to understand the various decisions that "PF2 isn't for me" when PF2 hasn't been written yet. If you care passionately about the mechanics of a game then if ever there was a time to stay engaged - it seems to me that the playtest is it.


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RickDias wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
However despite that just because a few of you feel they are bad design choices does not in fact make them bad design choices.

:Cornette Face:

Seriously?

Come on, man. Explain why locking playstyles behind LG-only is a good design idea. I've done my share of the work in showing why it's a bad idea, you need to offer a counter-argument instead of 'nuh uh!'

Your missing the point I actually don't care what they do with the alignment I'm not arguing that. I'm against your statement that says because you and a few others don't like the design choices they are bad design choices. you might view them as bad personally but that does not proof in and of itself that they are bad design choices.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:


I would think people who want Paladins of other alignments would like the time and page space used to really differentiate each kind of alignment in a meaningful way. Which there just wouldn’t be space enough to do while also providing options for 11 other classes.

On the contrary, Tyrant is a good "alternate alignment" class, and it is very short and simple. Meanwhile, Grey Paladin, Vindictive Bastard took considerably more work, but are much weaker versions of the default Paladin.

I hope they dedicate as little time and page space to alternate alignments as possible, because that leaves less room to weaken the alternatives.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
It seems odd to me that people are declaring PF2 unsatisfactory based on the playtest - given that whatever PF2 ends up as it's definitely not going to be the playtest version....

Very poignant, I mean, look at the 5th Ed Playtest, some loved the first packet, but by the last, were done, and vice versa, so, many, many things could, and most likely will, change.

I am very interested to see how they go about getting feedback.


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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.

Deities being mandatory is new. That eliminates some Paladin concepts.

Grand Lodge

Remember there are good arguments on both sides of this discussion, and no matter which way Paizo go on the paladin alignment issue, people will be upset. This is, after all the internet.

Do we know if the alignment restrictions on Barbarians and Monks have been dropped? I don't remember seeing any mention of it.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
RickDias wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
However despite that just because a few of you feel they are bad design choices does not in fact make them bad design choices.

:Cornette Face:

Seriously?

Come on, man. Explain why locking playstyles behind LG-only is a good design idea. I've done my share of the work in showing why it's a bad idea, you need to offer a counter-argument instead of 'nuh uh!'

Your missing the point I actually don't care what they do with the alignment I'm not arguing that. I'm against your statement that says because you and a few others don't like the design choices they are bad design choices. you might view them as bad personally but that does not proof in and of itself that they are bad design choices.

*nods*

I like power (power as in abilities granted to you) constrained by your morality and ethos and those of your Deity, it makes the Divine Classes infinitely more interesting to me.


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I'm just going to say this: I really don't like the emphasis on Paladins of each extreme alignment WITHOUT an emphasis on an NG Paladin. To me personally, a Paladin needs to be represented by all Good alignments before we need an LE or CE one. Just my opinion.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DeathQuaker wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:

Honestly, right now, I'll just wait for a splatbook to bring back the Inquisitor.

I would wholeheartedly, with cash in hand, stand behind demoting paladins from core and replacing them with inquisitors.

Or warpriests, if warpriests were less boring.

And then we could even get a butt-kicking *half-orc* as an Iconic Race in the bargain, too!

Double Bonus.

Imrijka as a core iconic? Petition signed.

Imrijka OR Oloch

Yes, it could cover either one and the statement would be accurate.

And yes, preference would be for Imrijka (but with Seelah-style armor rather than Corset Of DEWM!)

EDIT: Also, Paladins need to be Batman, as per the alignment. That way everyone gets what they want/need, and everyone can point to it and say...

Spoiler:
I'm BATMAN!

Grand Lodge

I'm interested to see if Paladins really no longer have spells. Traditional spells that is. While I'm a bit disappointed to see Alchemists (and Investigators) lose spells, I understand why it was done.

PF1 Paladin spells, on the other hand, seem quite lacklustre, what with them only getting 1st level spells at 4, it generally being siginificanly better for them to spend their turn on class abilities and hitting things with big weapons than on spells. Am hopeful that they will be more interesting with this 'spell points' system.


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avatarless wrote:
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.

Just as long as you can be a lawful good Paragon without being saddled with the rest of the Paladin's restrictions. That was the greatest strength of the Vindictive Bastard archetype, that it 100% eliminated all of the Paladin's behavioral restrictions and didn't add new ones. So you could start as a Paladin, "fall", go VB, and then turn right around and continue behaving as a code-abiding, LG Paladin like before. With the only difference being that now the player doesn't have anything hanging over his head to do so. He's completely on his own recognizance and his LG behavior is only driven by his own sense of integrity. If anything, it allows the player to play a more genuine Paladin than any other archetype in the game.

Just as long as it becomes more difficult to bully people. That doesn't need to be enabled.


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Mbertorch wrote:
I'm just going to say this: I really don't like the emphasis on Paladins of each extreme alignment WITHOUT an emphasis on an NG Paladin. To me personally, a Paladin needs to be represented by all Good alignments before we need an LE or CE one. Just my opinion.

5th Ed, seems to sort of approach it this way, you got your Oath of Devotion (very LG feeling), your Oath of Vengeance (feels LN to me), your Oath of the Ancients (NG?), and Oath of Redemption (CG, NG?).

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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On a completely different subject, I really like Seelah's design. While I'm looking forward to a great deal in the new edition (even with the reservations I've expressed at times)... from what I've seen so far Wayne Reynolds' art will alone be worth the price of the core book!


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Gorbacz wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Meh, pass. Oh well, no Paladins at my table again :)

Oh, c'mon, Bagsy! Why so grumpy again? Do the dwarven nekkid beard dance and enjoy the previews! ;P

(Although nice to see some old...er, faces (?) still around here! :))

I'm enjoying the previews and nekkid beard dwarven dances (wait wait what?) but I was kind of looking forward to a cheeky blog that features a Paladin of Ragathiel torching an orphanage so that none of those kids grows up to be evil.

I mean, Thanos is basically a Paladin. Show me a man of more noble intent and readiness to sacrifice what he loves in order to get done what everybody else is afraid to even think about. That's dedication. That's altruism. That's casting aside your ego, your ambition and your gluttony for power in order to pursue a higher goal. This is what Paladins are all about.

Spoilered because there probably are some unfortunate souls that haven't seen Avengers Infinity War.

Spoiler:
No, what Thanos was was incredibly short-sighted. His stated goal is to improve the quality of life for everyone still alive by allowing the universe's resources to have less people competing for them. Let's examine whether that could even work.

The Earth's population is 7-ish billion. Halve that and we're at 3.5-ish billion. Halve it again and again and again. The Earth is at less than 500 million people. You know what folks were doing when the Earth only had 500 million people?

Starving. It's not just a matter of there being too many people for a finite set of resources, it's also about how those resources are distributed. Thanos's solution cannot solve what he wanted to solve.

Of course, he had all the power he needed to solve it right. With the Reality Stone, he can create food wherever it's needed. With the Space Stone, he can eliminate "uneven resource distribution" as a problem. With the Mind Stone, he can influence the people of the entire universe to practice responsible population control. All of this to the point that people would be able to survive happily fed right up until the end of the universe. Except with the Time Stone, that's not an obstacle, either.

He had so many methods at his disposal to solve the problems he foresaw AND in such a way as to avoid unnecessary strife and suffering. Instead, he causes the maximum amount of strife and suffering and his solution doesn't solve a thing.

If anything, Thanos isn't a Paladin. Thanos is Gygax.


I was kind of hoping the paladin (or a more generic class name like champion) would be more "channel outsider" (of the Outer Planes variety), and if you channeled angels or archons (or any good outsider, since they tend to be one big happy family in PF*), you were a paladin; devils, a hellknight, demons a blackguard, etc.

And obviously, the better you synched to the outsider, the easier the channel would be, so paladins would have a strong incentive to be good.

* and letting the paladin channel any of the gooders would make it the best champion, which makes all right with the world.


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Very disappointed that Paladins still have LG as a alignment requirement yet not even remotely surprised. I almost expected no less from Paizo. All the talk about wanting to shake things up for the playtest was simply that imo and not much else. I could be wrong and hope to really be wrong. If one the design goals was to try and recapture market share from 5E doing what they plan to do with the PF2 Paladin will not really accomplish that imo.

Now if they keep the LG alignment requirement yet overhaul alignment in such a way as to no longer allow Paladins to fall at the whim of the DM. While also making it harder for problematic players to ruin others gaming experience while playing Paladins it would be a bonus for me at least. Or codify alignments in such a way as to what one can or cannot do.

The preview has not ruined my interest in PF2 yet my interest is also lessened to a degree. Yes I know it's early in the playtest yet knowing how Paizo says they will take fans feedback under advisement then doing their own thing. A good example is the gun rules. So until they tell us otherwise what we see is what we will probably get.

Liberty's Edge

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On Alignment:

My personal preference is the 'four extreme Alignments' model. That said, as I noted in my first post here, I'm fine with Paizo putting off some of those until after the playtest.

This is particularly true because of a simple fact: If they allowed, say, CG Paladins in the playtest, but with different mechanics (which is what they want from their Different Alignment Paladins)...any discussions of the mechanics would fall apart entirely into an Alignment argument like this one rather than providing useful mechanical feedback.

With only LG Paladins on offer fewer people may play one (I know I have a player in my playtest group who will go with something else), but at least the feedback on them (particularly on the surveys) will be actual mechanical feedback, not an Alignment War.

On Gods:

I'd actually really strongly agree that non-Deity worshiping Paladins should be allowed. Paladins are clearly empowered by their specific Code and the forces behind Alignment more than their God, and some cutting out the God as middle man makes good sense.

This doesn't seem hugely difficult to throw in mechanically, either.


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Hey, guys. So--I don't think y'all get enough credit for your skills in mathematics, and ability to play the long game. There are so many features packed into 2e that I can see them enabling many of the concepts and ideas brought forward here already. I'm just not sure that is realized yet. Or maybe I'm completely off base.

But, I really do think we've got smart folks here, and there are definite suggestions of those options throughout.

So, onto the paladin:

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.

* I love this. Fiendbane sounds great, and will make a lot of my players happy.

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.

* Sounds great for defenders! I know some folks are wanting heavy armor options--but that could easily be a fighter cavalier archetype. Mounted options, heavy armor, and so on, traded for other things. Nature allows that, now. I'm seeing more possibilities in the new system.

More Paladin Features:

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!


* I'm a little concerned for LoH, but I think I flailed enough in previous posts. >.>

* Level 19? Noooooo... D:

Holy Smiting, Batman!:

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!

* This is pretty cool. Level 3 sounds great for this to come online. Waiting until 5th for defining features ended up effectively dividing the game in two: pre 5th level, and post. Hooray! :D

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.


* This will make a lot of folks happy. :D

Paladin Auras:

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.

* Auras!

Paladin Mercies, Divine Grace:

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.


* I am a little concerned that this might resemble Charmed Life, but I'mma trust you guys. >.> Tbh, I'd always waned DG to scale with level, to a max of Charisma in some senses. Maybe a flat +2 though, would be pretty cool under the new ruleset?

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

Paladin 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!


* I am not quite sure what to think about these. They sound cool? Maybe? Can't wait to see them in play!

Tl;dr: This sounds like a great defender of good and awesome. I know there are concerns and want for another "tank" class, but I don't think you could do that here without stripping out a lot of the good/righteousness ability and theme from the class. You'd be better served expanding options for other classes; the paladin's theme is already there.

And is pretty awesome.

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