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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theWasp wrote:

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.

They haven't covered those classes yet. I figure we'll get that info when they do the blogs for them. I don't think it's as big of a hot-button as Paladins, but I'm sure there's going to be some really angry people regardless of what they chose. Alignment is just so polarizing, and this is the internet.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Mark Seifter Paladin Blog wrote:
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.

I appreciate this attitude toward a tricky and contentious topic.

A note regarding implementation: I really hope that different-alignment Paladins won't be positioned as archetypes. If archetype stacking is no longer allowed, then this would make different-alignment Paladins much less customizable than LG Paladins.

(E.g., if there ends up being a general Freedom-Fighter flavored archetype, or a general Ocean/Sailor-themed archetype, it would be nice to be able apply that to CG Paladins, not just LG Paladins.)

EDIT: I recall (perhaps incorrectly) some developer suggesting that archetypes don't stack. Even if they do stack, in the manner of PF1, I hope different-alignment Paladins won't be positioned as archetypes, since similar worries arise given the prohibitions of archetypes that modify the same class features.

(E.g., suppose an Freedom-Fighter archetype modifies a LG Paladin's code a bit, and replaces Lay on Hands (say) with a Break Your Shackles ability. If the CG Paladin is constructed as an archetype that already modifies the Paladin's code, or the Lay on Hands ability, then CG Paladins will be locked out of taking that archetype.)

Liberty's Edge

Porridge wrote:
If archetype stacking is no longer allowed, then this would make different-alignment Paladins much less customizable than LG Paladins.

Huh? All evidence is that Archetypes remain totally stackable.

Dark Archive

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HWalsh wrote:
LuniasM wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

One thing to point out - Some people are saying they don't like the LG Paladin because it makes Lawful Good the best good.

There is no best good.

Neutral Good is not the best good.
Lawful Good is not the best good.
Chaotic Good is not the best good.

No, they don't really need to explain it.

Lawful Good just means someone dedicated to the inherent order and law within the universe.

This isn't less or more good than any other good.

If anything it just how Paladins, as a base, work. The idea that laws, that order, and stability, are the best way for good to flourish is their thing.

Neutral Good means that they think that order and chaos both have their place, and that a balance between the two is the best way for good to flourish.

Chaotic Good means that they think that rules get in the way and that total freedom is the only way for good to ever truly flourish.

They are all just as good as each other, it is just how they think the best way to achieve the most good is different.

Paladins are just Paladins because for some reason those two energies (Elemental Law and Elemental Good) have a strange reaction. Its like saying baking soda and vinegar is the best items in the pantry because they have a unique reaction when combined.

The way I see it, it's not really that LG is the "best Good" alignment, but that without a divine soldier class of a similar style or chassis to the Paladin the LG alignment will be the only one to have both Clerics and divine soldiers. That creates a power imbalance between deities who can have Paladins and those that can't. Personally, I'm not terribly upset about the playtest Paladin being LG only, but without an analogous option for other alignments it will leave a divine-martial-sized gap in the design space of the game for all the other alignments. This is especially egregious when deities like Milani and Gorum can't have divine warriors who can stand toe-to-toe with Paladins without relying on
...

We may disagree that it is an issue, but I think we both can agree that being around for a long time doesn't make something inherently good or negate any downsides it has.

I posit that there is a clear and present issue with the class gap for the full-BAB divine warrior when Gorum, the core setting deity of war and battle who is worshipped by soldiers, can't grant divine power to any full-BAB class. That's just silly.

And you can have Barbarians and Druids who worship LG deities - either one can be NG, and Druids can also be LN. Besides that, if you want a raging LG character the Bloodrager has no alignment restrictions, and a Shaman can be built with the Nature to gain the Animal Companion and the Shapeshift hex to approximate a druid. It's not perfect, but it at least exists. No analogous situation exists for the Paladin - the only base class with access to Smite is the Warpriest, and they're decidedly more hybrid than martial.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

A few thoughts.

The more that can be done to differentiate paladins from each other based on their faith the better IMO. This should impact alignment, code, abilities, etc.

That said, 'faith' can be more than just gods. A paladin might have faith in ideals, nature, humanity, etc.

PF1 had a lot of this sort of customization via cleric domains, oracle mysteries, witch patrons, et cetera. Paladins should have similar diversity of belief and focus.

On the code, I like the idea of ranking tenets and allowing a higher tenet to over-ride a lower... but I'd think it would be a good idea to still require some form of atonement for such violations. That is, a LG paladin who constantly needs to ignore orders from and/or lie to lawful authorities to protect innocents seems like they'd be drifting towards neutral good. Thus, occasional atonement or some other means of reaffirming their ideals would seem appropriate.

Liberty's Edge

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LuniasM wrote:
I posit that there is a clear and present issue with the class gap for the full-BAB divine warrior when Gorum, the core setting deity of war and battle who is worshipped by soldiers, can't grant divine power to any full-BAB class. That's just silly.

Uh...two things:

#1: BAB no longer exists. We also have no idea what martial Class Feats Clerics have available. It's quite possible a Cleric of Gorum can wind up very much 'full BAB'.

#2: Antipaladins explicitly exist in-world (one shows up in the playtest), there just aren't PC rules for them yet. So Gorum has a 'paladin' option.

This doesn't mean I don't want CG Paladins of Gorum (I do), but it makes it a bit less of an issue to wait for them.


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Tectorman wrote:

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

** spoiler omitted **...

Off-topic spoilers away!

Spoiler:
Yeah, Thanatos is really blinded by ideology to the fact that his plan is pants-on-head idiotic. He has the Magic Miracle Glove of Magic (tm), he can actually solve issues instead of commit genocide. And it's not even a solution that will last long. So he reduces the population by half, about 30 years later it'll be right back where it is now. So is he going stick around forever pruning half of all sentient life every generation? Wouldn't lowering birthrates, terraforming planets and proliferation of fusion power be a much better use of the MMGM(tm) if the goal is to actually improve quality of life?

I enjoyed the movie, but his plan was pretty short-sighted.


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As someone who likes the Paladin name being tied to LG (but NOT the concept of Ultimate Holy Warrior), I will say that even though that is the case, I hope there is a better compromise when the CRB comes around.

P.S. Because it will never stop being my number one priority for PF2, Halflings should get Wisdom instead of Charisma as a bonus.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
LuniasM wrote:
I posit that there is a clear and present issue with the class gap for the full-BAB divine warrior when Gorum, the core setting deity of war and battle who is worshipped by soldiers, can't grant divine power to any full-BAB class. That's just silly.

Uh...two things:

#1: BAB no longer exists.

Yes, and it looks like most classes get Trained (+0), whereas fighters can get Legendary (+3). As we can see, every +1 is a big deal in this edition, due to the 4 tiers of success action.


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I gave it a thread of its own to separate it somewhat from the mess here, but I wanted to show that "alignment knights" of the four axis (good, evil, law and chaos) can be viable without the Law Chaos and Evil ones just being faint reskins of the Good Paladin. And the Paladin as shown in this Paizo blog is and should be just "Good" - there is literally nothing that ties it to Law. What Paizo printed above, and the flavor of their code, is a NGadin with zero reason to be LG only.

Sacred knights of the other three alignments can each have their own mechanical identity that plays off the same concepts as the Paladin but takes it in a different direction. They can get their own flavor and be strong classes to give deities of almost every alignment viable champions, without being watered down versions of a Paladin. And they can do it while still having a few key shared abilities Smite and heavy armor. They can be good at what they do, and the Good Paladin can also be good at what it does.

Anyway, linking that again ^^


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I like pretty much everything except for the focus on LG ONLY for the playtest. I would rather see paladins degeneralized into good, neutral, or evil (completely ignoring the law [order]/chaos axis) champions of their deity.


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I like what you’re doing with the Paladin code. It makes more sense.

And I hope that people are able to build different types of Paladins in the future, with more options. Hopefully all of these options won’t need feats, since characters gain a very limited number of feats.

However, I notice that alignment is still in the game. I was hoping alignment was removed from the game, but if it stays I hope it is modified so that players stop making cookie cutter characters that “must conform to their alignment”.


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Jason S wrote:
However, I notice that alignment is still in the game.

Not only that, but it looks like it's a tag for spells and damage.


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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.

I see nothing wrong with being enthusiastic about certain things and completely disappointed about others. In fact, I guess this describes the majority of posters on this forum: There's always this or that thing that some folks want changed and it isn't, and this other thing some wanted to remain the same but it was ditched. I don't see anything wrong with being vocal about your disappointment, either. I won't comment further on tone, because that's the mods' job and not mine.

That said, putting an ultimatum in front of the designers, demanding a detailed layout of upcoming changes and a timetable for things you personally want is taking this too far. Let's imagine for a second that Paizo did exactly what you've been asking here :

RickDias wrote:
I want a specific, clear commitment to a real take on this idea before I'll be satisfied. I want details and timelines.

If they did that, then it would become a model for any individual poster with a grudge about whatever item in the playtest. It's clearly unreasonable to expect anything like this to happen.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Porridge wrote:
If archetype stacking is no longer allowed, then this would make different-alignment Paladins much less customizable than LG Paladins.
Huh? All evidence is that Archetypes remain totally stackable.

I have the recollection that one of the developers suggested that archetypes don't stack. But I could be mistaken (my quick search wasn't able to find it).

In any case, if they do stack, in the way they stack in PF1, the same worry arises. Namely, if different-alignment Paladins are positioned as archetypes, then the PF1-style prohibitions against stacking archetypes that modify the same class features (a prohibition it would be unwise to remove!) will make different-alignment Paladins significantly less customizable.

(To use the example from above: suppose there's a Freedom-Fighter archetype that modifies the LG Paladin's code a bit, and replaces Lay on Hands (say) with the Break Your Shackles ability. If the CG Paladin is constructed as an archetype that already modifies the Paladin's code, or already modifies the Lay on Hands ability, then CG Paladins will be locked out of taking that archetype.)

So, if you like, you can see this as a conditional request: if there are any limitations on archetype stacking, then I hope different-alignment Paladins aren't positioned as archetypes.

(And my degree of belief in the antecedent of that conditional is pretty close to 1, since it's hard to see how to balance archetypes without such prohibitions.)


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Three things I would add to the code:

* As a second example of an exception, you have to have known something would cause you to fall. As an example, if the evil wizard polymorphed all the villagers to look like monsters, you won't fall for unknowingly slaughtering a bunch of innocents.

* As a third example of an exception, if you were magically compelled to break your oath, such as under the effects of Dominate Person, you don't fall. But at the same time, just like you can't orchestrate a lose-lose situation to give yourself an excuse to break your oath, using magic to force someone to do something that would break your oath counts as you doing it, and you would still fall.

* This one gets more into the debate of what each alignment means, but to me, having a stick up your butt is what makes you lawful neutral. The key feature that distinguishes lawful good is that you care more about the spirit of the law than the letter of the law.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

From what we’ve heard of archetypes, they just add feat options. Non-LG alignment Paladins wouldn’t be something that could be readily represented by such archetypes. As a result, I don’t think you need to worry about them conflicting with archetypes.


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Personally I wish this was the last class previewed. Haven't played this class since 3.0 and have been long sick of people complaining about it. Though on an interesting note now that Goblins are core we don't have to worry about paladin and goblin baby threads.


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Dragon78 wrote:
Personally I wish this was the last class previewed. Haven't played this class since 3.0 and have been long sick of people complaining about it. Though on an interesting note now that Goblins are core we don't have to worry about paladin and goblin baby threads.

Plus, I think the Goblin gains a Cha bonus, so you should see some Gobadins.


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I have waited until today to comment on the Paladin. Overall I am pleased at the direction Paizo is going on the play test. Still need a lot more detail before I can understand the changes.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Weather Report wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
LuniasM wrote:
I posit that there is a clear and present issue with the class gap for the full-BAB divine warrior when Gorum, the core setting deity of war and battle who is worshipped by soldiers, can't grant divine power to any full-BAB class. That's just silly.

Uh...two things:

#1: BAB no longer exists.

Yes, and it looks like most classes get Trained (+0), whereas fighters can get Legendary (+3). As we can see, every +1 is a big deal in this edition, due to the 4 tiers of success action.

Fighters go up to Legendary by level 13 it, was implied that they get it earlier than any other class and so I'm quite sure that other classes will be able to get it at higher levels either through feat investment or as a class feature


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Alright, trying to convey my thoughts again after having slept a night.

The more I think about it, the more I wish Warpriest replaced Paladin for the Core rules of 2E. I always wondered what the Warpriest in 1E would have been if they didn't have to worry about respecting the Paladin's mechanical niche, and a new edition seems like a great time to blend the classes together. Having a marital-focused-holy-warrior class (as opposed to the more magic-focused cleric) is a great concept, and it is a crying shame that a core rulebook would restrict that niche to a single alignment out of nine.

Some have posted that we should just wait for other alignments to (maybe) get represented later, but that means a lot of missing content for non LG deities at the start, especially the war-focused ones. Wouldn't it be more fair to have a general martial-focused-holy-warrior in Core and move the more specialized Paladin to a splatbook? While I do like the concept of paladins being held to a specific alignment and higher standard, that sounds like something more appropriate for expanded material rather than the limited space of the core rulebook. Plus, being in a splatbook would allow paizo room to really expand into other alignment versions like Antipaladins, Hellknights, Tyrants, etc. without worrying as much about pagecount interfering with other classes.

Plus, design-wise having an alignment limited Paladin in core also means that future martial-holy classes will have to design around it again, which feels backwards. Paladins are a specialized holy warrior tied to LG, they should be the ones designed around what distinguishes them from more general holy warriors instead of the other way around.

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

Also, I really hope this isn't that case. Nothing says blindly following tradition like treating the classes of 1E as a checklist that must be followed. While there are certainly non-core classes I hope to see expressed again in 2E (Witch), others may become redundant with the new mechanics of the game or the expanded versatility of core classes and should be allowed to disappear in favor of new concepts.


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A lot of options I was hoping would be baked in to core seem like they'll once more end up as splat material. Hello Bugbear my old friend, I've come to play with you again.


N N 959 wrote:
Blog wrote:
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
I think this focuses on only one aspect of why poison use feels dishonorable, that being the intended target doesn't not know you are using poison.

That's already covered by "cannot lie, cheat or take advantage of". Also, in this case, what's the difference between using poison or using a sword with an enchantment you didn't reveal to your opponent?

N N 959 wrote:
Another reason to ban poison use from Paladins is that it essentially allows the Paladin to hit and run and wait for the poison to debilitate their opponent. I think there's a strong argument that this is not an honorable way to defeat your enemy

That's already covered by "must act honorably".

A Paladin can now use a poison to incapacitate without killing in cases that it may be necessary, for example. And that's a good thing. In this case it's the intent and not the act itself.


One thing I would like to see is releasing the PDFs right after the order is sent to the printers. That would give us more time to look over the actual play test rules. The blogs are just too short to give us enough detail.


Biztak wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
LuniasM wrote:
I posit that there is a clear and present issue with the class gap for the full-BAB divine warrior when Gorum, the core setting deity of war and battle who is worshipped by soldiers, can't grant divine power to any full-BAB class. That's just silly.

Uh...two things:

#1: BAB no longer exists.

Yes, and it looks like most classes get Trained (+0), whereas fighters can get Legendary (+3). As we can see, every +1 is a big deal in this edition, due to the 4 tiers of success action.
Fighters go up to Legendary by level 13 it, was implied that they get it earlier than any other class and so I'm quite sure that other classes will be able to get it at higher levels either through feat investment or as a class feature

Ah, yes, like Fighters able to get Legendary armour proficiency with a feat, did they say?


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Isn't it a little restrictive to make paladins HAVE to worship a deity? Why not paladins of personal ideals, or those who follow the code?

Wouldn't this also make it harder for there to be Hellknight paladins?


Saint Bernard wrote:
One thing I would like to see is releasing the PDFs right after the order is sent to the printers. That would give us more time to look over the actual play test rules. The blogs are just too short to give us enough detail.

Are they not going to let everyone play the Playtest for X months, then do a survey/surveys? Will be interesting to see what changes from the playtest rules to the final PF2 product.


Tradition is a very important factor if you want to keep your current players. Afterall, they are playing your current material, but they might not be playing something new that you decided to make.

The more you are willing to change, the more you are willing to bleed current players in a bet that you will land more new ones.

Each change, this one for example shows this well, as some people literally from both sides said they would give up the playtest book over it, hell some gave up the book over the fighter blog...

Sometimes you profit from it, aka 5th edt, sometimes you literally bleed so hard you create competitors, 4th edt.


Mavrickindigo wrote:

Isn't it a little restrictive to make paladins HAVE to worship a deity? Why not paladins of personal ideals, or those who follow the code?

Wouldn't this also make it harder for there to be Hellknight paladins?

Being forced to worship a deity does seem to anger some, but it's coming from a Golarian angle. You can easily houserule a god to be an ideal or philosophy or what-have-you.

Liberty's Edge

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Weather Report wrote:
Being forced to worship a deity does seem to anger some, but it's coming from a Golarian angle. You can easily houserule a god to be an ideal or philosophy or what-have-you.

The thing about that is that's never been true in Golarion previously. It was true of Clerics, and was true of Paladins in PFS, but was not actually a Golarion world rule for Paladins.


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2Zak wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Blog wrote:
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
I think this focuses on only one aspect of why poison use feels dishonorable, that being the intended target doesn't not know you are using poison.

That's already covered by "cannot lie, cheat or take advantage of". Also, in this case, what's the difference between using poison or using a sword with an enchantment you didn't reveal to your opponent?

N N 959 wrote:
Another reason to ban poison use from Paladins is that it essentially allows the Paladin to hit and run and wait for the poison to debilitate their opponent. I think there's a strong argument that this is not an honorable way to defeat your enemy

That's already covered by "must act honorably".

A Paladin can now use a poison to incapacitate without killing in cases that it may be necessary, for example. And that's a good thing. In this case it's the intent and not the act itself.

The other thing is that the conventions N N 959 mentions seem to lump fire and poison in together. Which is exactly the point the blog made. If your sword is also setting the target on fire, they are going to suffer plenty. Poison isn't inherently worse than that in this context.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Being forced to worship a deity does seem to anger some, but it's coming from a Golarian angle. You can easily houserule a god to be an ideal or philosophy or what-have-you.
The thing about that is that's never been true in Golarion previously. It was true of Clerics, and was true of Paladins in PFS, but was not actually a Golarion world rule for Paladins.

Ah, I did not know that, I wonder why there are now making it mandatory.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Hrodwulf wrote:
Micheal Smith wrote:


I liked lets give the Paladin all the extreme alignments. I hate the fact that I have to be LAWFUL GOOD just to play a Paladin.

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.

Now granted that's not something that would fly in every group and is always up for interpretation, but just something I thought I'd float out there.

at its core law just equals order or a strict code of conduct

the details are fluid
bot batman and suerpman fpr example could be argued to be paladins .
the good of course means benevolent
with paladins the good should take precedent over the order thus the hierarchy paizo has chosen to go with


Personally, I don't mind Paladin powers coming from a deity. They gotta come from somewhere. A nebulous force of good they tap into would work, except it seems weird that such a nebulous force would also come with a code of conduct.

People sometimes point to the Oracle as a counterpoint, but the Oracle doesn't have a code. The powers were just bestowed on them, without their permission and perhaps not even intended by whatever force bestowed them.

If you run the sort of world where clerics don't need dieties though, then Paladin probably shouldn't either.


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Meh


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Mavrickindigo wrote:

Isn't it a little restrictive to make paladins HAVE to worship a deity? Why not paladins of personal ideals, or those who follow the code?

Wouldn't this also make it harder for there to be Hellknight paladins?

Abadar, Iomedae, Irori, and Torag are all patron/component gods of the Order of the Godclaw in PF1 who can have Paladins. Even if Irori and Abadar drop LG as allowed cleric alignments (which I doubt) there's really no issue.


Captain Morgan wrote:
People sometimes point to the Oracle as a counterpoint, but the Oracle doesn't have a code. The powers were just bestowed on them, without their permission and perhaps not even intended by whatever force bestowed them.

Not only that, but oracle has a Curse to go with the powers, because these powers are too much for the oracle's mortal body to handle and they wreck it.

Still, the source of the powers is stated as divine, it just doesn't come from fervent worship, like Paladin's and Cleric's powers. They just fell on them and broke a couple ribs.


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Observation: Despite the attempt, it is quite clear Paizo has made no head way on making the class less contentious.

To those saying these abilities don't make sense for *insert deity*, you are absolutely right. Which is the very reason the class should not be built from the ground up as one alignment. Build it with all alignments so that the feat choices, or even one given, vary based on your alignment. Like how the new cleric's channel is based of deity entry not alignment. By building for one, you automatically make the others more difficult to pursue later. They are removing options this way.

"Would you tell LG only fans to go away", yes because they are telling me to. My version of the paladin includes yours, so we can both be happy, your version shuts out options I want to use, thus shutting me out. One way is all inclusive except for those who are super fanatical about their way only, while another is very exclusive. Guess which is better for newer players, a stated goal of this edition.


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I am esceptical with paladins, since I think Paladin should be an Archetype or even a Prestige Class at all for Clerics, Monks (also a Samurai for monks and fighters)and Fighters (wich would result in a better approach to the meanings of the entire concept of the class, not just being a hole to fill in a book with to hit prob and divine powers.

Doing that, you should fulfill some prerreqs and accept some rules before attempting to become a paladin (Being lawful, being good, being the representation of right and justice, and the enbodyment of their deities needs). And with this as an option, every deity could have their own paladin´s oaths, codes, flavor, and even aligtmens

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I wouldn't mind if the "must worship a deity" was changed to "must have a patron deity". Someone mentioned the Chosen One archetype upthread, and I agree that the concept is compelling.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
jedi8187 wrote:

Observation: Despite the attempt, it is quite clear Paizo has made no head way on making the class less contentious.

To those saying these abilities don't make sense for *insert deity*, you are absolutely right. Which is the very reason the class should not be built from the ground up as one alignment. Build it with all alignments so that the feat choices, or even one given, vary based on your alignment. Like how the new cleric's channel is based of deity entry not alignment. By building for one, you automatically make the others more difficult to pursue later. They are removing options this way.

"Would you tell LG only fans to go away", yes because they are telling me to. My version of the paladin includes yours, so we can both be happy, your version shuts out options I want to use, thus shutting me out. One way is all inclusive except for those who are super fanatical about their way only, while another is very exclusive. Guess which is better for newer players, a stated goal of this edition.

I think making the the paladin less contentious is only somewhat more feasible at this point than Paizo curing world hunger.

You essentially have two options:

Loosen alignment/codes to allow other sorts of "paladins": All the LG only proponents than get mad, many of them promising to give up on the playtest or PF entirely

Keep the LG alignment and codes. Folks convinced that Paizo was going to change this or angry that they didn't get mad, many of them promising to give up on the playtest or PF entirely.


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The problem with the traditional paladin is that it's a jumble of vaguely related concepts that then limits the design space for more dedicated attempts at those concepts. The paladin in this blog is

  • An idealist/paragon of an alignment
  • Champion of a diety
  • Guardian/savior/benefactor to allies
  • Destroyer of evil/hunter of monsters
  • Most defense-focused class in the playtest

    Those are all fine ideas, but throwing them all together in one "take it all or leave it" package causes problems.

    Out of all of those concepts, the lawful good restriction is only required for the paragon of an alignment and only of one specific alignment. You can have non-lawful idealists (militant anarchists, by definition) and non-good idealists who are just as attached to their diametrically opposed principles. Deities come in all alignments. A protector and healer of allies could easily be many alignments, even evil with the right ideology. A true neutral Pharasman undead hunter makes even more sense than a lawful good undead hunter.

    The code aspect is only required for the idealist/alignment and arguably dietic champion concepts.

    Anathema is only required by the deitic champion concept.

    None of the role-playing restrictions have anything to do with being the only armor specialist in the core book.

    I wish the paladin didn't exist, despite having a lot of fun with the class, because its poor respect of the design space has blocked or delayed many concepts in the previous edition. I'd love to see a series of stackable archetypes or some similar solution that would let you combine whichever aspects of the class fit your character's concept. You could still make the full traditional package, just as it exists here, but would be free to play all of these other concepts without a very narrow ideology forced on you.


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    They wil aso be able to rock the most magic items, due to Charisma/Resonance, right?

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