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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Wermut wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

We knew the Paladin was going to be a bit contentious. The class has provoked strong emotions and discussion since the earliest days of gaming. In designing this class, we really had two routes we could take. Traditional, but very flavorful, or Reimagined, but ultimately more generic. I chose the former.

Now.. I know this is a playtest, and the point is to try out new things, but stripping that Paladin of this core piece of identity felt like changing what it was, making something else. I am fine with doing that through rules alterations and modifications, like archetypes, but it seems like we would lose something special if the class went away from its roots.

I wouldn't even know how to test the paladin by this standard in a playtest? Because the pure mechanical rule part is easy to test, thats not the problem I see.

How can one make a meaningful statement about Paladin/Alignment in the playtest? Testing potential imbalances in the code/anathema are very situational and in the end what should one say? "It would have totally worked out if I could have followed CG standards!" those arent defined, so thats hardly the point. "I didn't test the paladin because I would have rather seen INSERT IDEA HERE." but thats not the point of the playtest.

So how could the playtest provide information that, would make the slot the Paladin fills change to something else?

Making the core paladin chassis robust enough that it can handle the changes that need to be made to it to accommodate your goals seems a worthy aim to me.


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Can I ask what evasions?

They have openly stated (paraphrased) "we considered both sides of this, we decided to go in this direction and not the other at this time, we remain open to the path not travelled, but we will not tie our hands for good reasons" and "we know the alternatives and we don;t think that is the right direction for the playtest"

I'm not seeing anything but open honesty here.


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Wermut wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

We knew the Paladin was going to be a bit contentious. The class has provoked strong emotions and discussion since the earliest days of gaming. In designing this class, we really had two routes we could take. Traditional, but very flavorful, or Reimagined, but ultimately more generic. I chose the former.

Now.. I know this is a playtest, and the point is to try out new things, but stripping that Paladin of this core piece of identity felt like changing what it was, making something else. I am fine with doing that through rules alterations and modifications, like archetypes, but it seems like we would lose something special if the class went away from its roots.

I wouldn't even know how to test the paladin by this standard in a playtest? Because the pure mechanical rule part is easy to test, thats not the problem I see.

How can one make a meaningful statement about Paladin/Alignment in the playtest? Testing potential imbalances in the code/anathema are very situational and in the end what should one say? "It would have totally worked out if I could have followed CG standards!" those arent defined, so thats hardly the point. "I didn't test the paladin because I would have rather seen INSERT IDEA HERE." but thats not the point of the playtest.

So how could the playtest provide information that, would make the slot the Paladin fills change to something else?

You're attacking the problem from the wrong angle.

Do not go into the play test thinking, "How do I make Paizo change the Paladin to CG?"

That's bad testing.

Instead play the class as LG as intended and tell them how it goes following the players adventures.

Paizo wants to nail the LG Paladin. Once that is done, down the road, they may consider making other Champion classes.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Weather Report wrote:
LuniasM wrote:
But also, plain-old CN "Paladins" of Gorum need to be a thing. So cool.
What would their code look like, what ideals would they uphold, what sort of things would they avenge/punish? Would they be beings of pure Chaos, bent on destroying all Law? Hang out with Slaadi on Limbo?

promote skill at arms, offer to train anyone who asks, even potential enemies, their is more glory in defeat to a skilled opponent than in butchering a novice, promote duels and feuds, laws are a shield for the unskilled and weak, true freedom comes from the strength to stand alone, against all if necessary, never forget that, avenge those killed by trickery or stealth, victory and defeat in battle are to be settled via iro n will and skill. I am sure I could come up with more.


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If Divine Grace gets nerfed to the ground, then the alignment should be "any good."
Divine Grace made the alignment restriction worth it.

All I see here is nerfs from PF1, way too much time spent arbitrarily hyping up a code that has changed very little, and a bunch of forum goers arguing over semantics.

I remain disappoint.


Honestly i wouldnt even go that far, none of us knows which questions they will ask.

Maybe there will be some espace where you can list what issues you saw with the paladin that would have been solved if he was CG, if that can even happen.

Or maybe you can say how you kept getting players at your table who wanted to play a CG paladin, but couldnt because it was locked to LG and thus you had to house rule it.


dragonhunterq wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

Now.. I know this is a playtest, and the point is to try out new things, but stripping that Paladin of this core piece of identity felt like changing what it was, making something else. I am fine with doing that through rules alterations and modifications, like archetypes, but it seems like we would lose something special if the class went away from its roots.

Then I guess we can also expect Barbarians to be non-Lawful, Druids to be any Neutral, Bards to be any non-lawful, Monks to be any-Lawful, Rangers to be any-good, etc?

What about it's roots in being Human only, or tithes, or having specific ability score requirements? Or only having a specific number of magical items?

These are just as significant in their legacy as the Lawful Good requirement or don't these count?

Honest Question.

Those aren't really a part of the paladins identity as a holy warrior dedicated to a cause of good and order. The restrictions of yesteryear are just the adornments surrounding that core identity.

me last year wrote:

..as I understand it...they were based off of a (primarily Victorian) romanticised and idealised version of that, (the blood-drenched crusaders) where chivalry and courtesy was offered to all, even the basest of knaves and unbelievers.

I happen to like that mythology and purity of vision despite the history behind it. Aspiring to an ideal that never really existed appeals to me, I guess.

I respectfully disagree. Tithes to a church or charity make perfect sense to a class all about chivalry.

Being human-centric and having ability score requirements were designed to limit the number of this special class because they were supposed to be rare.

Having a limited amount of magical gear showcased just how the Paladin felt about personal wealth - which isn't a lot - and focused more on using the monetary assessts to help their fellow adventures.


Just out of curiosity, how would a chaotic paladin even function thematically? The entire idea of a 'Paladin' is that he's a warrior who is incredibly devoted to following his 'code' and his god's ideals.

I can see Lawful Evil and Lawful Neutral paladins working since they can follow codes. However, When you make the class chaotic, why would it care about following codes to such an extreme?

It feels like you need to change the entire premise of the class to make it non-lawful, and at that point you may as well just have a generic holy warrior (like the Warpriest) who can be any alignment but doesn't have as many rules to follow.

Edit: After thinking about it a bit more, I guess one way a Chaotic Good paladin could work is if the rules about behaving honorably and following local laws were removed. They'd have rules to follow, but they'd only be *their* rules.


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HWalsh wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

We knew the Paladin was going to be a bit contentious. The class has provoked strong emotions and discussion since the earliest days of gaming. In designing this class, we really had two routes we could take. Traditional, but very flavorful, or Reimagined, but ultimately more generic. I chose the former.

Now.. I know this is a playtest, and the point is to try out new things, but stripping that Paladin of this core piece of identity felt like changing what it was, making something else. I am fine with doing that through rules alterations and modifications, like archetypes, but it seems like we would lose something special if the class went away from its roots.

We knew this would not be popular with some. We knew the opposite would not be popular with others. Once this game is released, I would implore you to give it a closer look. We pushed for a paladin that best expresses its ideal form. If we can get that nailed down, the roadmap to champions of all flavors becomes a lot more clear.

Until then.. be kind to each other folks. We are all hear to tell stories and go on thrilling adventures. Nobody wants to fight their companions along the way.

You're my new favorite Dev. You understand that the Paladin is more than just a power shell.

It is a nice sentiment, but we are here to literally test that "power shell". Whether it were LG, CE, or somewhere in between wouldn't have changed much in the testing of the mechanics.

I would like to echo DeathQuaker in mentioning that the paladin's code might ought be expressed as Do instead of Do Not in order to give newer players an idea of what should be expected of this paragon rather than a sort of Old Testament "do this and get in trouble". Explaining what a paladin is and what they should be doing rather than what they shouldn't might go a long way towards heading off some of the alignment conversations.

Finally, in an appeal to tradition I'd love to see Barbarians go back to destroying magic items.


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Nox Aeterna wrote:

Pathfinder wasnt based on everything ever was, even more the core book. It was based on 3.5.

Which had a lot of roots in previous editions and their traditions. Still, is the Barbarian being saddled with an alignment restriction? The Druid or Monk or Bard? All classes in 3.5 that were alignment restricted.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

We knew the Paladin was going to be a bit contentious. The class has provoked strong emotions and discussion since the earliest days of gaming. In designing this class, we really had two routes we could take. Traditional, but very flavorful, or Reimagined, but ultimately more generic. I chose the former.

Now.. I know this is a playtest, and the point is to try out new things, but stripping that Paladin of this core piece of identity felt like changing what it was, making something else. I am fine with doing that through rules alterations and modifications, like archetypes, but it seems like we would lose something special if the class went away from its roots.

We knew this would not be popular with some. We knew the opposite would not be popular with others. Once this game is released, I would implore you to give it a closer look. We pushed for a paladin that best expresses its ideal form. If we can get that nailed down, the roadmap to champions of all flavors becomes a lot more clear.

Until then.. be kind to each other folks. We are all hear to tell stories and go on thrilling adventures. Nobody wants to fight their companions along the way.

Trying to interpret 'generic' as neutrally a possible--isn't that a fundamental design goal of P2E, hence the focus on building classes and races alike to be so heavily modular?

May I inquire as to what exactly would be lost? We still want any individual Paladin to be heavily tied to alignment, to a God, to an ideal. We still want them to be defined by a Code of Conduct, by oaths and taboos. We still want them to stand tall, indomitable, inspirational on the battlefield. We want them to derive power from believing in something larger than themselves *so hard*, and striving to embody that in word, action, and deed. I just honestly cannot understand how all of that, which can be generalized to any alignment, is less iconic than very specifically 'Lawful Good.'


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Diffan wrote:
Nox Aeterna wrote:

Pathfinder wasnt based on everything ever was, even more the core book. It was based on 3.5.

Which had a lot of roots in previous editions and their traditions. Still, is the Barbarian being saddled with an alignment restriction? The Druid or Monk or Bard? All classes in 3.5 that were alignment restricted.

You can take or leave the "Any Neutral," but for the love of Brigh, remove the restriction on metal armour!


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Weather Report wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
I would in every way prefer "holy champions of each god" to be an archetype for classes more fit to that particular god.
That sounds like 2nd Ed AD&D Specialty Priests (which are seriously cool).

its in every way a more thematic way to have divine champions of the gods.

They could even have multiple class options. Norgober could have a rogue archetype and Alchemist archetype, depending on a focus of thievery or poison. Then when the Inner sea gods 2.0 comes out each god could have their writeup, and an archetype or two for their divine champions, and a code those champions have to follow. Way way way more thematic than trying to squeeze everything into one chassis. Especially as they're moving toward more golarion inclusion rather than less.

Why would nethys have an armored warrior type as a champion ever?

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knightnday wrote:
I would like to echo DeathQuaker in mentioning that the paladin's code might ought be expressed as Do instead of Do Not in order to give newer players an idea of what should be expected of this paragon rather than a sort of Old Testament "do this and get in trouble". Explaining what a paladin is and what they should be doing rather than what they shouldn't might go a long way towards heading off some of the alignment conversations.

The deity edicts go a small way toward defining 'Do's for a paladin.

I don't think 'Do's should be codified in the same way that 'Do Not's are. 'Do Not's leave a wide array of possibility for potential action, while explicit 'Do's limit characters to those 'Do's. I do think there is space for less explicit instructions, though.


knightnday wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

We knew the Paladin was going to be a bit contentious. The class has provoked strong emotions and discussion since the earliest days of gaming. In designing this class, we really had two routes we could take. Traditional, but very flavorful, or Reimagined, but ultimately more generic. I chose the former.

Now.. I know this is a playtest, and the point is to try out new things, but stripping that Paladin of this core piece of identity felt like changing what it was, making something else. I am fine with doing that through rules alterations and modifications, like archetypes, but it seems like we would lose something special if the class went away from its roots.

We knew this would not be popular with some. We knew the opposite would not be popular with others. Once this game is released, I would implore you to give it a closer look. We pushed for a paladin that best expresses its ideal form. If we can get that nailed down, the roadmap to champions of all flavors becomes a lot more clear.

Until then.. be kind to each other folks. We are all hear to tell stories and go on thrilling adventures. Nobody wants to fight their companions along the way.

You're my new favorite Dev. You understand that the Paladin is more than just a power shell.

It is a nice sentiment, but we are here to literally test that "power shell". Whether it were LG, CE, or somewhere in between wouldn't have changed much in the testing of the mechanics.

I would like to echo DeathQuaker in mentioning that the paladin's code might ought be expressed as Do instead of Do Not in order to give newer players an idea of what should be expected of this paragon rather than a sort of Old Testament "do this and get in trouble". Explaining what a paladin is and what they should be doing rather than what they shouldn't might go a long way towards heading off some of the alignment conversations.

Finally, in...

We're here to test more than a shell. This isn't a video game. Were here to test how the setting and themes work as well.


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The Sideromancer wrote:


Diffan wrote:


Which had a lot of roots in previous editions and their traditions. Still, is the Barbarian being saddled with an alignment restriction? The Druid or Monk or Bard? All classes in 3.5 that were alignment restricted.
You can take or leave the "Any Neutral," but for the love of Brigh, remove the restriction on metal armour!

It seems as the designers really want to maintain a consistent image of what thematic elements a class exhibits and for the Druid, a fur-clad savage with primitive weapons and armor is the clear definition here. Im sure some waxing poetic about metal and wild-shape will crop up as the reason.

Remember, "its tradition"


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HWalsh wrote:
We're here to test more than a shell. This isn't a video game. Were here to test how the setting and themes work as well.

I strongly disagree. We know how the settings and themes work -- we've been working with them for the last 10 years or so. This is how well the updated mechanics and ideas work.


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Matrix Dragon wrote:
Just out of curiosity, how would a chaotic paladin even function thematically? The entire idea of a 'Paladin' is that he's a warrior who is incredibly devoted to following his 'code' and his god's ideals.

The same way a Chaotic Good Cavalier or Samurai works who have very specific codes associated with their Orders to follow, but lack any kind of alignment restrictions? The same way a Cleric to Gorum or Desna or Cayden Cailean or Milani, or any number of other Chaotic Gods who still expect you to follow specific strictures, especially in P2 with the introduction of anathemas mechanically codifying Cleric codes of conduct? The same way the Vow feats from 3.5's Book of Exalted Deeds were not hardlocked to Lawful Good alignment?


Diffan wrote:
Nox Aeterna wrote:

Pathfinder wasnt based on everything ever was, even more the core book. It was based on 3.5.

Which had a lot of roots in previous editions and their traditions. Still, is the Barbarian being saddled with an alignment restriction? The Druid or Monk or Bard? All classes in 3.5 that were alignment restricted.

And so they are in PF1? As far as im aware we dont know if they also wont be in PF2.

Or did they already list this for said classes?

Ultimately it doesnt matter what other editions are rooted on what, PF literally thrived over 4th edt, which is also D&D. The idea wasnt to make a game about everything D&D ever made, it was made to be made out of 3.5, again even more in core.

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knightnday wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
We're here to test more than a shell. This isn't a video game. Were here to test how the setting and themes work as well.
I strongly disagree. We know how the settings and themes work -- we've been working with them for the last 10 years or so. This is how well the updated mechanics and ideas work.

And I say it's both!

My criteria are going to be how well the paladin class mechanics help me to realize my paladin character concepts. If the paladin isn't both fun to play and evocative of LG, there isn't much point in porting in other aligned champions.


knightnday wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
We're here to test more than a shell. This isn't a video game. Were here to test how the setting and themes work as well.
I strongly disagree. We know how the settings and themes work -- we've been working with them for the last 10 years or so. This is how well the updated mechanics and ideas work.

The mechanics interact with the themes.

The play test adventures will have choices. See how they work. See how the Paladin codes interact with them.

Have a Paladin fall during an adventure and see how they do post fall.

Test out multiclassing, things like that.


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Seems to me you could just delete the 4th tenet of the code and allow any good alignment. Done.


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Nox Aeterna wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Nox Aeterna wrote:

Pathfinder wasnt based on everything ever was, even more the core book. It was based on 3.5.

Which had a lot of roots in previous editions and their traditions. Still, is the Barbarian being saddled with an alignment restriction? The Druid or Monk or Bard? All classes in 3.5 that were alignment restricted.

And so they are in PF1? As far as im aware we dont know if they also wont be in PF2.

Or did they already list this for said classes?

Ultimately it doesnt matter what other editions are rooted on what, PF literally thrived over 4th edt, which is also D&D. The idea wasnt to make a game about everything D&D ever made, it was made to be made out of 3.5, again even more in core.

Monks, Barbarians, and Druids retained their alignment restrictions in P1E, but Bards very specifically lost theirs. Meanwhile, a handful of Monk archetypes have been released for Monks which lack the alignment tag (and another which has every thematic indication that it should be Chaotic, but isn't), and two other Rage-centered classes, the Skald and the Bloodrager, have been released who lack alignment restrictions of any kind.

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Magog wrote:
Seems to me you could just delete the 4th tenet of the code and allow any good alignment. Done.

The third tenet is pretty lawful, as well. Best to just lop off the whole second half of the list.


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I had an idea for two things to post... and at the end, they both became irrelevant .
one Hwalsh, that is true they are not saying that, however they are not exactly saying they will leave it as LG at the end either.

someone said that the paladin would not work with the eladrin. what eladrin, you mean the azatas of elsyium? yes they would work with them, and with no problems either. Azatas are a gainst evil just as much as the LG archons from the heavens and the angels from all the of three celestial planes.

to point out this, each branch of the celestials just have different priorities on hwo to do things.

something else to consider, many different people, players and playstyles.
many different characters as well.

you say a paladin should favor law over good? I disagree.

law does not always mean justice, and neither does good. though you could come closer to it favoring good over law.
but a hospitaler paladin would favor good over law and focus on compassion more over law as well.

many different playstyles and characters. Play your way, jsut dont knock on someone elses jsut because you dont agree with it


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Nox Aeterna wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Nox Aeterna wrote:

Pathfinder wasnt based on everything ever was, even more the core book. It was based on 3.5.

Which had a lot of roots in previous editions and their traditions. Still, is the Barbarian being saddled with an alignment restriction? The Druid or Monk or Bard? All classes in 3.5 that were alignment restricted.

And so they are in PF1? As far as im aware we dont know if they also wont be in PF2.

Or did they already list this for said classes?

If were going to be toted the "tradition" line then they absolutely should be. Barbarian, Cleric, Druid, Monk, Paladin all had alignment restrictions in PF1. It would make sense to maintain consistency

Nox Aeterna wrote:


Ultimately it doesnt matter what other editions are rooted on what, PF literally thrived over 4th edt, which is also D&D. The idea wasnt to make a game about everything D&D ever made, it was made to be made out of 3.5, again even more in core.

The idea is tradition. PF1 is simply a houseruled 3.5 system. 3.5 grabbed ideas from previous editions. The traditions of the Paladin are deep and very setting thematic. A LOT of that was lost in 3e (mainly because the class lost a lot of steam mechanically compared to the Fighter).

So if were keeping tradition, why are we also throwing away very strong thematic aspects that made the Paladin special?


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HWalsh wrote:
knightnday wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
We're here to test more than a shell. This isn't a video game. Were here to test how the setting and themes work as well.
I strongly disagree. We know how the settings and themes work -- we've been working with them for the last 10 years or so. This is how well the updated mechanics and ideas work.

The mechanics interact with the themes.

The play test adventures will have choices. See how they work. See how the Paladin codes interact with them.

Have a Paladin fall during an adventure and see how they do post fall.

Test out multiclassing, things like that.

So .. mechanics.

In any case while I have hopes for what Jason is pitching, but in truth I'd rather have seen the paladin put on ice until it could be looked at better to address all sides of the equation rather than staying with what we already know and getting a maybe for something down the line.

Shadow Lodge

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Ryan Freire wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
I would in every way prefer "holy champions of each god" to be an archetype for classes more fit to that particular god.
That sounds like 2nd Ed AD&D Specialty Priests (which are seriously cool).

its in every way a more thematic way to have divine champions of the gods.

They could even have multiple class options. Norgober could have a rogue archetype and Alchemist archetype, depending on a focus of thievery or poison. Then when the Inner sea gods 2.0 comes out each god could have their writeup, and an archetype or two for their divine champions, and a code those champions have to follow. Way way way more thematic than trying to squeeze everything into one chassis. Especially as they're moving toward more golarion inclusion rather than less.

Why would nethys have an armored warrior type as a champion ever?

At risk of repeating myself in two different threads, what is the paladin the archetype of, and for who?

Or are you suggesting that paladins should not exist, and Abadar, Sarenrae, Erastil etc. should get archetypes of classes that better represent them specifically?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

We knew the Paladin was going to be a bit contentious. The class has provoked strong emotions and discussion since the earliest days of gaming. In designing this class, we really had two routes we could take. Traditional, but very flavorful, or Reimagined, but ultimately more generic. I chose the former.

Now.. I know this is a playtest, and the point is to try out new things, but stripping that Paladin of this core piece of identity felt like changing what it was, making something else. I am fine with doing that through rules alterations and modifications, like archetypes, but it seems like we would lose something special if the class went away from its roots.

We knew this would not be popular with some. We knew the opposite would not be popular with others. Once this game is released, I would implore you to give it a closer look. We pushed for a paladin that best expresses its ideal form. If we can get that nailed down, the roadmap to champions of all flavors becomes a lot more clear.

Until then.. be kind to each other folks. We are all hear to tell stories and go on thrilling adventures. Nobody wants to fight their companions along the way.

Respectfully, Jason - That seems near-sighted. How would a general purpose deity-specific 'warpriest' with an alignment-specific 'paladin' variant not satisfy both camps, and make the game stronger?


Serum wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
I would in every way prefer "holy champions of each god" to be an archetype for classes more fit to that particular god.
That sounds like 2nd Ed AD&D Specialty Priests (which are seriously cool).

its in every way a more thematic way to have divine champions of the gods.

They could even have multiple class options. Norgober could have a rogue archetype and Alchemist archetype, depending on a focus of thievery or poison. Then when the Inner sea gods 2.0 comes out each god could have their writeup, and an archetype or two for their divine champions, and a code those champions have to follow. Way way way more thematic than trying to squeeze everything into one chassis. Especially as they're moving toward more golarion inclusion rather than less.

Why would nethys have an armored warrior type as a champion ever?

At risk of repeating myself in two different threads, what is the paladin the archetype of, and for who?

Or are you suggesting that paladins should not exist, and Abadar, Sarenrae, Erastil etc. should get archetypes of classes that better represent them specifically?

Why does it have to be one? It works for the gods who can currently have a paladin. Its been a full class on its own since 1st edition.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

So, if the decision with Paladin was to go specific, with the possibility of broadening that out later, why was that NOT the decision for other classes? Why is the 'Fighter' class not limited to sword and board with medium armor, and the ability to use a two-handed sword or dual wield promised in a later book? The reason? Because classes SHOULD be versatile in their base form. That is the case for all classes presented so far, EXCEPT the Paladin. The stated reason for this difference is 'tradition' and fear of upsetting a vocal minority.

I genuinely can't see how this is even close to a wise GAME DESIGN decision.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
As I suspected, Jason's the one behind the decision to keep Paladins Lawful Good. That basically confirms that we're never going to get a CG Paladin. At best we'll get another slap in the face with Gray Paladin Part Two.

This seems like a really premature conclusion. From what he actually said, it seems to me much more likely that we'll get something just as good mechanically and based on the same chassis, but no longer called a Paladin.

I'm fine with that.

I'm all for this. The champions of other alignments shouldn't be called Paladin or have the same abilities. I want them to be unique on their own, not just a pale shadow of the Paladin ^^


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CraziFuzzy wrote:

So, if the decision with Paladin was to go specific, with the possibility of broadening that out later, why was that NOT the decision for other classes? Why is the 'Fighter' class not limited to sword and board with medium armor, and the ability to use a two-handed sword or dual wield promised in a later book? The reason? Because classes SHOULD be versatile in their base form. That is the case for all classes presented so far, EXCEPT the Paladin. The stated reason for this difference is 'tradition' and fear of upsetting a vocal minority.

I genuinely can't see how this is even close to a wise GAME DESIGN decision.

Due respect but Paizo has a better track record of successful game design than random posters on their forum.


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CraziFuzzy wrote:

So, if the decision with Paladin was to go specific, with the possibility of broadening that out later, why was that NOT the decision for other classes? Why is the 'Fighter' class not limited to sword and board with medium armor, and the ability to use a two-handed sword or dual wield promised in a later book? The reason? Because classes SHOULD be versatile in their base form. That is the case for all classes presented so far, EXCEPT the Paladin. The stated reason for this difference is 'tradition' and fear of upsetting a vocal minority.

I genuinely can't see how this is even close to a wise GAME DESIGN decision.

Heavily disagree with that.

Classes aren't about being as generic and broad as possible. They should present to us concepts, archetypes, and good mechanics.
The Fighter is generic at its core, but not the Paladin, who is specific in its very core.

I take a fun, flavorful and descriptive class over a bland, generic, boring one all the time.

Shadow Lodge

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Igwilly wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:

So, if the decision with Paladin was to go specific, with the possibility of broadening that out later, why was that NOT the decision for other classes? Why is the 'Fighter' class not limited to sword and board with medium armor, and the ability to use a two-handed sword or dual wield promised in a later book? The reason? Because classes SHOULD be versatile in their base form. That is the case for all classes presented so far, EXCEPT the Paladin. The stated reason for this difference is 'tradition' and fear of upsetting a vocal minority.

I genuinely can't see how this is even close to a wise GAME DESIGN decision.

Heavily disagree with that.

Classes aren't about being as generic and broad as possible. They should present to us concepts, archetypes, and good mechanics.
The Fighter is generic at its core, but not the Paladin, who is specific in its very core.

I take a fun, flavorful and descriptive class over a bland, generic, boring one all the time.

Your options are pretty limited in core, then.


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CraziFuzzy wrote:

So, if the decision with Paladin was to go specific, with the possibility of broadening that out later, why was that NOT the decision for other classes? Why is the 'Fighter' class not limited to sword and board with medium armor, and the ability to use a two-handed sword or dual wield promised in a later book? The reason? Because classes SHOULD be versatile in their base form. That is the case for all classes presented so far, EXCEPT the Paladin. The stated reason for this difference is 'tradition' and fear of upsetting a vocal minority.

I genuinely can't see how this is even close to a wise GAME DESIGN decision.

The Paladin is unique. It isn't "just a class" like many others. It is special. Singular. Unique.

Shadow Lodge

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HWalsh wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:

So, if the decision with Paladin was to go specific, with the possibility of broadening that out later, why was that NOT the decision for other classes? Why is the 'Fighter' class not limited to sword and board with medium armor, and the ability to use a two-handed sword or dual wield promised in a later book? The reason? Because classes SHOULD be versatile in their base form. That is the case for all classes presented so far, EXCEPT the Paladin. The stated reason for this difference is 'tradition' and fear of upsetting a vocal minority.

I genuinely can't see how this is even close to a wise GAME DESIGN decision.

The Paladin is unique. It isn't "just a class" like many others. It is special. Singular. Unique.

Then it probably doesn't belong with the other classes.


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HWalsh wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:

So, if the decision with Paladin was to go specific, with the possibility of broadening that out later, why was that NOT the decision for other classes? Why is the 'Fighter' class not limited to sword and board with medium armor, and the ability to use a two-handed sword or dual wield promised in a later book? The reason? Because classes SHOULD be versatile in their base form. That is the case for all classes presented so far, EXCEPT the Paladin. The stated reason for this difference is 'tradition' and fear of upsetting a vocal minority.

I genuinely can't see how this is even close to a wise GAME DESIGN decision.

The Paladin is unique. It isn't "just a class" like many others. It is special. Singular. Unique.

If it's "special", it shouldn't be a core class, and it definitely shouldn't be the only way to play a very common mechanical playstyle.


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I keep hearing that and I wonder .. why? I've been around for a while and I still haven't heard what makes it so special, singular and unique.

What makes it more than a class, what puts it on a pedestal that keeps it from ever being changed?


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Serum wrote:
HWalsh wrote:


The Paladin is unique. It isn't "just a class" like many others. It is special. Singular. Unique.

Then it probably doesn't belong with the other classes.

I'd say anything that wasn't Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, and Wizard is actually unique. The big 4 is the primary basis for all others and they need niché specialities to make them viable concepts.


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knightnday wrote:

I keep hearing that and I wonder .. why? I've been around for a while and I still haven't heard what makes it so special, singular and unique.

What makes it more than a class, what puts it on a pedestal that keeps it from ever being changed?

Literally nothing. It's an appeal to tradition and holds no more water than any other appeal to tradition.

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