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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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm not going to lie, I feared this blog post. Paladin is my favorite class in Pathfinder, and so I was worried about changes to the class. I'm not talking about alignment stuff. Honestly, I'm okay with different alignment typed paladins. But I'm liking what I'm reading here. I think I'm going to like 2e paladins.


Captain Morgan wrote:
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.

The way I see it, it doesn't so much come with a code of conduct as it comes from a code of conduct. The way I've always played and ran it, when you swear the oath with all of your heart and soul and the nebulous force of good deems you worthy, you get the powers. The nebulous force of good doesn't abandon you when you break your oath. It's the opposite. You abandon it when you break your oath, because you know you're not worthy. Redemption has more to do with you forgiving yourself than anyone else forgiving you.

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.

Oracles have a Curse, which is not quite a code, but is still a restriction they bear as conduits of divinity.

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

Definitely.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Removed a post and replies. Please remember to be respectful of other community members when posting critiques or questioning someone's role/influence on a product.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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I have removed a number of posts discussing what is and isn't core in other editions of the game. Please make a thread in the appropriate forum for that discussion.

I have also removed some posts containing personal attacks, and replies to them. Remember that we can discuss things without attacking each other. This is a very contentious topic for many folks and stepping away from the keyboard for a moment, and then rereading your post before pushing submit can help keep the discussion where it needs to be.

Liberty's Edge

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Yeah. The mere fact that all Paladins (or at least all Paladins of Alignment X) are empowered by the same Code with only additions from their deity argues that the Code itself is their power source.

In the same way Druids are powered by Nature, Paladins are empowered by Righteousness itself (or Wickedness itself for an Antipaladin).

This is one of the reasons I think the four corner/'extreme' Alignments should all have Paladins. If they're empowered by their extreme Code, then any Alignment of sufficient extremity should have its own version (well, that and LG, LE, and CE all having 'full' versions already in PF1, leaving out CG is just weird and asymmetrical).


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So, I'm of two minds about this, but I want to make my opinion known.

I like having paladins be LG. I think Paizo's reasons for doing them as LG for the playtest, especially to keep continuity with the campaign setting, makes sense. I also like what was done with the code and anathema, though I'll echo the people wondering where on the priority list the deity's anathema stand.

I also want to see a LE 'Tyrant' and a CE 'Anti-Paladin' at the very least, but I'm willing to wait. I want LE more than CE, though, I'll freely admit to liking the 'honorable black knight' style.

My concern is more focused on the armor proficiency. If a Fighter can get Legendary armor proficiency relatively easily, I'm not going to worry about it nearly as much. The focus on healing and such... I can understand that as well. I'm curious on how their spellcasting works. I'd say I'm cautiously optimistic, but there are so many holes in this that I'm going to be cautious.

Thank you for trying to tackle the code. I just wish we'd gotten more details about the class than we did.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Yeah. The mere fact that all Paladins (or at least all Paladins of Alignment X) are empowered by the same Code with only additions from their deity argues that the Code itself is their power source.

In the same way Druids are powered by Nature, Paladins are empowered by Righteousness itself (or Wickedness itself for an Antipaladin).

This is one of the reasons I think the four corner/'extreme' Alignments should all have Paladins. If they're empowered by their extreme Code, then any Alignment of sufficient extremity should have its own version (well, that and LG, LE, and CE all having 'full' versions already in PF1, leaving out CG is just weird and asymmetrical).

The 3rd Ed Incarnum Soulborn class was built on the extreme alignments, it was basically an incarnum paladin, very cool, I think.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:

Yeah. The mere fact that all Paladins (or at least all Paladins of Alignment X) are empowered by the same Code with only additions from their deity argues that the Code itself is their power source.

In the same way Druids are powered by Nature, Paladins are empowered by Righteousness itself (or Wickedness itself for an Antipaladin).

This is one of the reasons I think the four corner/'extreme' Alignments should all have Paladins. If they're empowered by their extreme Code, then any Alignment of sufficient extremity should have its own version (well, that and LG, LE, and CE all having 'full' versions already in PF1, leaving out CG is just weird and asymmetrical).

Or a reason for a holy warrior class that can get it's power directly from a deity, complete with anathema and code dedicated to that deity (Warpriest), as well as the option to replace said deity based power/code/anathema with personal conviction (Alignment based - Paladin, Tyrant, Antipaladin, Liberator). All in one class that cleanly meets all those character types.

Liberty's Edge

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CraziFuzzy wrote:
Or a reason for a holy warrior class that can get it's power directly from a deity, complete with anathema and code dedicated to that deity (Warpriest), as well as the option to replace said deity based power/code/anathema with personal conviction (Alignment based - Paladin, Tyrant, Antipaladin, Liberator). All in one class that cleanly meets all those character types.

I'd be fine with this. I don't think it's super likely, but I'd be totally comfortable with this implementation.


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I think part of the problem is what the class itself is. The paladins have always been Lawful Good as much as Druids have been nature-based. When different basins of them exist, they take on different name's (anti-paladin,tyrant, liberator). So it would've been nice to have a Champion class, with 4 subclasses.

But at the same time, that's not in the spirit of the original creator. And to sone people that's not a big deal, but to many it is. This is why clerics had d8 and 3/4 BAB with full casting while wizards were d6 and 1/2 BAB. So they could still have strong champions for the gods. But when you think of hero of heroes, champ of Champions, brave and chivalrous, the paladin comes to mind.

Not to mention mechanics. Barbarians get Rage bonuses. A paladin barbarian would likely be broken, and really makes little sense. And certain character types can wreck a game. Plenty of parties have murder hobos that could easily deal a campaign. Having a lawful gods hero-type character keeps things on track for a dm,so that player is rewarded with a class built a little stronger makes a degree of sense.

Plus, the other kind of Champions are less common in fiction, and keeping that kind separate from core keeps them rare

Silver Crusade

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Just a quick advocation for all Good alignments being open to Paladin, and all Evil being open to Antipaladin, with mechanical differences based on Law/Chaos spectrum and deity.

I love the Paladin class, and I'm glad it's getting reworked to avoid contentious paradoxes about the code.


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TheGoofyGE3K wrote:


Not to mention mechanics. Barbarians get Rage bonuses. A paladin barbarian would likely be broken, and really makes little sense. And certain character types can wreck a game. Plenty of parties have murder hobos that could easily deal a campaign. Having a lawful gods hero-type character keeps things on track for a dm,so that player is rewarded with a class built a little stronger makes a degree of sense.

You'll get people who argue that paladin isn't stronger than other martials. They're wrong of course but they'll argue it vehemently because other martials can pump out more raw DPR, ignoring the status removal, frankly massive amount of swift action self heal and grip of immunities.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
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. 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.

The only 'holy warrior' of Gorum being a complete murderous psycho would be an issue, imho, War is not just mindless slaughter, and it's Chosen should not be either, Gorum is not Khorne.


Ryan Freire wrote:
TheGoofyGE3K wrote:


Not to mention mechanics. Barbarians get Rage bonuses. A paladin barbarian would likely be broken, and really makes little sense. And certain character types can wreck a game. Plenty of parties have murder hobos that could easily deal a campaign. Having a lawful gods hero-type character keeps things on track for a dm,so that player is rewarded with a class built a little stronger makes a degree of sense.

You'll get people who argue that paladin isn't stronger than other martials. They're wrong of course but they'll argue it vehemently because other martials can pump out more raw DPR, ignoring the status removal, frankly massive amount of swift action self heal and grip of immunities.

Hey, you. I am on board with helping other martial classes get the love they deserve.

Also, I went ahead and posed this, here. I think we can work together, here. :3


MuddyVolcano wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
TheGoofyGE3K wrote:


Not to mention mechanics. Barbarians get Rage bonuses. A paladin barbarian would likely be broken, and really makes little sense. And certain character types can wreck a game. Plenty of parties have murder hobos that could easily deal a campaign. Having a lawful gods hero-type character keeps things on track for a dm,so that player is rewarded with a class built a little stronger makes a degree of sense.

You'll get people who argue that paladin isn't stronger than other martials. They're wrong of course but they'll argue it vehemently because other martials can pump out more raw DPR, ignoring the status removal, frankly massive amount of swift action self heal and grip of immunities.

Hey, you. I am on board with helping other martial classes get the love they deserve.

Also, [http://paizo.com/community/blog/v5748dyo5lkqb&page=18?Cleric-Class-Preview#858]I went ahead and posed this, here[/url]. I think we can work together, here. :3

I'm honestly perfectly content with skills getting more love and non casting classes getting more access to skills and neat feats that let them do cool things with skills.


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I'm genuinely curious what the Paladin gets which a martially inclined cleric cannot. It feels like a Gorumite cleric who picks up a greatsword, puts on plate mail, and pumps str, con, and cha (for more channels) and chooses to invest their feats in things that help them hurt people real bad would be an effective "divine champion of Gorum."

I guess this doesn't work as well for deities who have weaker favored weapons, but I don't know if Nethys or Pharasma really need heavily armed and armored champions- Inquisitors, being subtle and skillful always seemed a better fit anyway.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm genuinely curious what the Paladin gets which a martially inclined cleric cannot. It feels like a Gorumite cleric who picks up a greatsword, puts on plate mail, and pumps str, con, and cha (for more channels) and chooses to invest their feats in things that help them hurt people real bad would be an effective "divine champion of Gorum."

Same could be said about a LG cleric of Iomedae with Full Plate and pumping STR.

However, Paladin scratches a very different kind of itch than LG clerics of Iomedae. There is less reliance on casting, to begin with.


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eddv wrote:

* The second code concerns itself with individuals. Lawful implies that the group is more important than an individual. This portion should be adjusted so as to preserve the greatest number of innocents rather than 'an innocent'.

Eh, I think this is the sort of judgement call we shouldn't be codifying fully. I mean there are literally centuries of moral philosophy arguing over the ethics in play with the "save one life at all costs or sacrifice one life to save multiple lives" question and I think asking Paizo to come up with a definitive answer to that and other moral quandaries of the sort is a bit much.

Okay, I know this is from about 8 pages ago, but it's about the best argument for why I think alignments shouldn't be in the game.

Alignments are supposedly objective. There are universal forces of good and evil on Golarion, so much so that casting certain spells aligns you with them. There are beings that embody these forces, and these rules reflect onto mortals. Pharasma judges and sorts souls based on these rules with perfect impartiality.

In our universe, there is no objective morality, but in a universe with defined alignments, there is. Presumably, in Golarion, there are in fact right and wrong answers to things like the runaway trolley dilemma. Obviously, Paizo is not going to publish opinions on real world ethical dilemmas, because it is going to inevitably conflict with someone's real-world values. But they do publish other objective moral facts in Golarion, such as "mindless undead are always evil," or "legendary armor proficiency is a trait of lawful good." That's where the confusion comes from.

I would rather see alignment removed, because I don't feel that lengthy discussions on the definition of murder add to the game. I accept that I might be in the minority on that. I have some friends who would happily spend all day debating an idea until everyone else gets utterly sick of it, but I don't find that fun. Maybe Pathfinder isn't for me, then?

Overall, I'm disappointed. I see there was some small effort made to eliminate sources of conflict in the Paladin code (ranked edicts, Paladins can ally with evil, etc.), but it doesn't address the true source of the issue.

Dark Archive

I know what they are trying to do. They want the attack of opportunity to be more for the paladin. The problem is they took away smite evil to do it. Also paladins are already heavy hitters so attacks of opportunity from paladins were always rough. So they took away the paladins best ability and added some weak version of it.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm genuinely curious what the Paladin gets which a martially inclined cleric cannot. It feels like a Gorumite cleric who picks up a greatsword, puts on plate mail, and pumps str, con, and cha (for more channels) and chooses to invest their feats in things that help them hurt people real bad would be an effective "divine champion of Gorum."

Same could be said about a LG cleric of Iomedae with Full Plate and pumping STR.

However, Paladin scratches a very different kind of itch than LG clerics of Iomedae. There is less reliance on casting, to begin with.

In some ways that's how I played my LG Cleric of Iomedae, but I relied on the Guided Hand feat as opposed to my STR otherwise I doubled as the Tank and Healer. And it kind of became a running gag that townsfolk would mistake me for a Paladin.


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?

The fundamental difference between using poison and using a +1 weapon is the nature of those effects on the target. It's the same reason why flame throwers are outlawed in war and bullets are not. Both kill, both can lead to devastating injuries, but, the community of nations decided that weapons designed soley for burning people is crossing the line where as harder/sharper bullets are not.

My point above is that a flaming weapon is obvious, poison is not. Now, if the Paladin declared that he was poisoning his blade, then that would be more honorable than not declaring it.

My more general point that I made is that it's not really about the poison use, per se, but about how and why it's being used. That some of the reasons why poison use was initially forbidden could still be addressed. And yes, some "poisons" used in small doses can actually be useful as medicines, so a blanket ban is probably too broad.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm genuinely curious what the Paladin gets which a martially inclined cleric cannot. It feels like a Gorumite cleric who picks up a greatsword, puts on plate mail, and pumps str, con, and cha (for more channels) and chooses to invest their feats in things that help them hurt people real bad would be an effective "divine champion of Gorum."

Feel free to revisit the warpriest debate in the 1e forums.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I must admit to a little amusement at everyone who is aghast at Paladins being required to worship a deity who also believe that non-LG paladins are 'against the lore'. I'm reasonably certain Paizo has *never* published a Paladin who didn't worship a deity...


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TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
Not to mention mechanics. Barbarians get Rage bonuses. A paladin barbarian would likely be broken, and really makes little sense. And certain character types can wreck a game. Plenty of parties have murder hobos that could easily deal a campaign. Having a lawful gods hero-type character keeps things on track for a dm,so that player is rewarded with a class built a little stronger makes a degree of sense.

I really don't like the argument that Paladins should be more powerful than other classes because of their code restrictions. It doesn't stop murder hobos from trying to pull off a murder hobo Paladin, it just makes them try to find increasingly contrived justifications for why their Paladin should be allowed to do X despite their alignment/code (& creates more Paladin threads as a result).

Plus, doesn't that reasoning mean that an antipaladin should be mechanically weaker than a paladin since it could combo with barbarian and easily disrupt games? Not only would that be a kick in the teeth for any antipaladins, it would make for less interesting villains to go up against.


Ryan Freire wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm genuinely curious what the Paladin gets which a martially inclined cleric cannot. It feels like a Gorumite cleric who picks up a greatsword, puts on plate mail, and pumps str, con, and cha (for more channels) and chooses to invest their feats in things that help them hurt people real bad would be an effective "divine champion of Gorum."

Feel free to revisit the warpriest debate in the 1e forums.

Well, I for one, would prefer to distance Paladins from being "Champion of a Deity" (which is a thing that other classes can and should do) and instead plant them as "Champions of Righteous Order".

Make the Warpriest good and then it can be the "Divine Champion" class.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm genuinely curious what the Paladin gets which a martially inclined cleric cannot. It feels like a Gorumite cleric who picks up a greatsword, puts on plate mail, and pumps str, con, and cha (for more channels) and chooses to invest their feats in things that help them hurt people real bad would be an effective "divine champion of Gorum."

Feel free to revisit the warpriest debate in the 1e forums.
Well, I for one, would prefer to distance Paladins from being "Champion of a Deity" (which is a thing that other classes can and should do) and instead plant them as "Champions of Righteous Order".

I'm a fan of that too, but I think the goal is more deity centric rather than less. Which I'm ok with but as a result i'd also like to see gods with LE clerics not be able to have paladins. Lookin at you abadar and irori.


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Ryan Freire wrote:

I too love having a massive save bonus and then being required to make saving throws against helpful spells cast by my allies, as well as only having the bonus when i have the presence of mind to be raging, making it useless for anything that happens before i roll initiative in combat.

I'm also a huge fan of having literally no value other than to put out DPR.

I mean, if you want value doing things other than DPR, martial characters are always the wrong play. The wizard runs circles around all of them. Because of the imbalance in narrative power, I could build a code-following wizard that did more good than your beefy tin man ever could.

Anyone else surprised which half of my post he responded to? I'm much more interested in you trying to justify why paladins should be stronger than other classes.


Up thread someone said:
Cleric: You believe in something. In Golarion cleric is actually "you believe in a deity."

Oracle: Something believes in you.

I've always thought paladins should be:

Paladin: You believe in your alignment.

Paladins should be servants of lawful goodness before even their deity, should they have one. I'm clearly not the only one who feels this way. Requiring a deity for paladins is pretty much saying "NO! Badwrong! Paladins serve their deity first and their alignment second!" Which is whatever, I just will likely never play a paladin at that point, I rarely play them anyway, no big deal to anyone I'm sure. Nevertheless I feel like others that it's needlessly restricting character concepts.

I do hope that other alignments get "paladins" of their own. Focusing on LG during the playtest makes sense to me. I can even understand focusing on LG in the core rulebook, but having a champion class devoted to LG but no champions of other alignments(aside from the hell knight prestige class, which is pretty much a champion of lawful neutrality. But it's specifically cheliax's view on law, so that doesn't completely count.) Has always looked like an imbalance in the rules.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
N N 959 wrote:

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Also, what makes poison use evil is the idea that it is somehow particularly cruel and inhumane. There's a reason why the Geneva Convention bans spiked pits, and flamethrowers (incendiary weapons) on people. You can certainly get your foot blown off by a land mine, or your head blown off by a bullet, but they've decided spiked pits and burning death are considered over the top, despite the goal being to kill the other guy.
It's interesting that you use incendiary weapons as an example of a type of violence considered morally reprehensible by real world standards, since an incendiary weapon by the name of Fireball happens to be one of the most iconic ways to kill a large number of people in the game.

Except that RPGs don't typically make PCs/NPCs suffers 3rd degree burns, skin grafts, and months of hospitalization. Fire doesn't really work like real life fire. We don't get a sense of sentient humanoids running around burning and screaming. In D&D/PF, fire damage is no different or more cruel than any other type of damage. Though I imagine a Paladin setting sentient humanoids on fire and watching them burn would cross the "honorable" line for some.


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N N 959 wrote:
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?
The fundamental difference between using poison and using a +1 weapon is the nature of those effects on the target.

I disagree with the idea that using drow potion to make the enmy sleep (alive) is somewhat more evil than using oil to set your sword on fire and make his flesh burn.


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I'm a bit bemused by the 'paladins better than fighters at using armour' thing. It doesn't really make sense to me.

This is probably because I see the paladin as a martial who is strengthened and shielded by her deity, whereas the fighter is a class who relies on their personal skill and physical equipment. Shouldn't the guy who *can't* heal himself be the one who spends more time and effort getting really skilled at protecting himself with metal?

The Exchange

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

Well for what it's worth, I'm sure not much, I vote for there being Paladins of ALL ALIGNMENTS! I just think that each faith should have their shinning champions of might. I have always thought that was the way things were suppose to be. I have no problem with LG, but I don't think that it has to or should be the only game in town.
Excited for GENCON and to run and play my first Playtest games!


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Neriathale wrote:

I'm a bit bemused by the 'paladins better than fighters at using armour' thing. It doesn't really make sense to me.

This is probably because I see the paladin as a martial who is strengthened and shielded by her deity, whereas the fighter is a class who relies on their personal skill and physical equipment. Shouldn't the guy who *can't* heal himself be the one who spends more time and effort getting really skilled at protecting himself with metal?

I agree, like only the fighter is proficient in tower shields in 3rd Ed.


Might be because I am as blind as a mole, but I found no mention of spells at all, only litanies. Does this mean they don't have spellcasting anymore?


William Werminster wrote:
Might be because I am as blind as a mole, but I found no mention of spells at all, only litanies. Does this mean they don't have spellcasting anymore?

Yeah its a whole new thing, mercies are still in and we still have no idea what kinds of things will be in class feats, or even general feats.

Shadow Lodge

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When I mentioned the implications with anathema for paladins, druids, barbarians and monks, I was hoping that anathema replaced the code, not that it would be added to. Oh well, from what I can understand in this blog, the paladin still isn't getting any lawful abilities, so it should be easy enough to file off the lawful alignment restriction and the tenets to make a perfectly usable any-good holy warrior.

Say goodbye to archer paladins, Erastil: paladins are supposed to be on the front lines. I'm not necessarily opposed to this, but I hope that their innate abilities aren't shield focused, so that people don't feel punished for pursuing two-handed or two-weapon play-styles.

Ryan Freire wrote:
William Werminster wrote:
Might be because I am as blind as a mole, but I found no mention of spells at all, only litanies. Does this mean they don't have spellcasting anymore?
Yeah its a whole new thing, mercies are still in and we still have no idea what kinds of things will be in class feats, or even general feats.

Well, for one, we know that you have to spend class feats to get mercies in the first place. It looks like all of the paladin auras are purchased with class feats as well.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm genuinely curious what the Paladin gets which a martially inclined cleric cannot. It feels like a Gorumite cleric who picks up a greatsword, puts on plate mail, and pumps str, con, and cha (for more channels) and chooses to invest their feats in things that help them hurt people real bad would be an effective "divine champion of Gorum."

I guess this doesn't work as well for deities who have weaker favored weapons, but I don't know if Nethys or Pharasma really need heavily armed and armored champions- Inquisitors, being subtle and skillful always seemed a better fit anyway.

Being blessed and not having spell casting. That's it the flavour of the chosen and imbued mortal sword of a deity, vs being a cleric. the less casting and more backed in blessings Palas have the better (Litanies seem to do this, we shall see.) Paladins are the blessed fist of God(dess) not clerics who went to the gym.


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Serum wrote:
Say goodbye to archer paladins, Erastil. I just hope that their innate abilities don't become shield focused, so that people don't feel punished for pursuing Two-handed or Two-weapon playstyles.

Isn't it Armor Proficiency? So two-handed Paladins should be fine, I guess. The blog didn't say anything about Shield Proficiency, though it did mention they will be able to buff their shields with the holy spirit.

*EDIT* I'm guessing the Retributive Strike can be very potent with a nice two-hander.

But wait... So since it now costs an action to take your hand off a two-handed weapon. And another action to cast lay on hands on yourself. And then another action to fix your grip again. Does that mean a Paladin wielding a two-handed weapon now has to spend all 3 actions to heal himself with LoH...? Am I way off in the wilderness now...?

This seems troublesome...


Marc Waschle wrote:

Well for what it's worth, I'm sure not much, I vote for there being Paladins of ALL ALIGNMENTS! I just think that each faith should have their shinning champions of might. I have always thought that was the way things were suppose to be. I have no problem with LG, but I don't think that it has to or should be the only game in town.

Excited for GENCON and to run and play my first Playtest games!

And I'm fine with that. Except that they should be Warpriests, not Paladins. Maybe they should be in Core instead.

Count me among those that think Paladins prioritize Law/Goodness over service to their respective deities.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
I disagree with the idea that using drow potion to make the enmy sleep (alive) is somewhat more evil than using oil to set your sword on fire and make his flesh burn.

1) You're comparing apples to oranges. In the first, you're talking about taking someone alive and in the second, you're talking about killing them. Is it honorable for a Paladin to use drow poison, put their enemy to sleep, and then kill them?

2) There is no "flesh burn" mechanic other than you take more damage. The PC/NPC is not considered to be suffering some horrible psychological pain that scars them mentally and physically for life. So presenting it as such is disingenuous. It's "set your sword on fire and make them suffer another 1d6."

3) All of this is about the subjective treatment of concepts and it's one of the reasons this class is so problematic. We all draw that bright line in a different spot.


Mbertorch wrote:
Count me among those that think Paladins prioritize Law/Goodness over service to their respective deities.

Yes, I imagine paladins almost like exemplars of their alignment, regardless of god. Being LG is more important than what god they worship, whereas clerics are more about their god/gods.

Liberty's Edge

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Serum wrote:
Say goodbye to archer paladins, Erastil: paladins are supposed to be on the front lines. I'm not necessarily opposed to this, but I hope that their innate abilities aren't shield focused, so that people don't feel punished for pursuing two-handed or two-weapon play-styles.

Huh? They get good armor stuff, but that all works in light armor, and we have absolutely no evidence anything else is restricted to melee. Heck, even Retributive Strike could be usable at range. We just don't know.

Really, their high armor proficiency levels are a bit wasted on archers, but that was true in PF1, and didn't stop archer Paladins, or even really slow them down.

Shadow Lodge

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Shady Stranger wrote:
Serum wrote:
Say goodbye to archer paladins, Erastil. I just hope that their innate abilities don't become shield focused, so that people don't feel punished for pursuing Two-handed or Two-weapon playstyles.
Isn't it Armor Proficiency? So two-handed Paladins should be fine, I guess. The blog didn't say anything about Shield Proficiency, though it did mention they will be able to buff their shields with the holy spirit.

If it's limited to options in the mandatory ability gain, or class feats, that's perfectly fine. Righteous Ally buffing your shield is a choice, not mandatory.

Quote:

*EDIT* I'm guessing the Retributive Strike can be very potent with a nice two-hander.

But wait... So since it now costs an action to take your hand off a two-handed weapon. And another action to cast lay on hands on yourself. And then another action to fix your grip again. Does that mean a Paladin wielding a two-handed weapon now has to spend all 3 actions to heal himself with LoH...? Am I way off in the wilderness now...?

This seems troublesome...

We don't know whether Lay on Hands requires a free hand yet, and we're pretty sure that taking your hand off of your weapon is incorporated into whatever action you are using that hand with. It's just that putting your hand back on your weapon (re-assuming your fighting stance), costs an additional action. I have to believe that Lay on Hands doesn't require a free hand, otherwise sword-and-shield paladins are even worse off than the two-handers. Seelah with her heavy shield in P1E has a great deal of trouble using Lay on Hands.

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