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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Cyouni wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Jack Yang 737 wrote:
It seems that paladins will still have the highest saving throw of all classes with great DPR...I'm just hoping that paladins' saving throw will not be 2 times more than a fighter.And I notice Divine Grace,the benefits this class feat provides equals 2 feats. So does this mean any class feat will equal 2 normal feats? Or is this certain class‘s privilege?Please don't be the latter one...We have seen how powerful the Rage Powers can be and how lame the Rogue Talents can be in the first edition.It will be a great tragedy to see this happens again in the new edition.

Divine Grace alone is worth that alignment baggage.

Look at the number of paladin dips on LG builds in PF1.

If we're shoehorned into this sole alignment, give us unabridged Divine Grace.

You know that PF1 Divine Grace on a 2E Paladin has a good chance of making them nearly immune to anything with a saving throw at later levels, right?

Yes.


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Bodhi (of Bodhi's Guide to the Optimal Paladin/Antipaladin) here...

I haven't had much to say about the playtest, but I'm going to weigh in here.

Paladins are an archetype. They are the shining holy knight that embodies all that is good and righteous in the world. They are the best of the Knights of Charlemagne. They are the best of the Knights of the Round Table. They, more than any other class in the core rulebook, exemplify a very specific type of character. They are, in Pathfinder 1.0 and Pathfinder 2.0 both, very much functioning as intended. They're a literary convention, as it were, and if you want to play that particular literary convention, stripping out all of the idiosyncrasies that make paladins what they are just to keep the mechanical chassis would do the class a disservice.

I totally get that people want to play Chaotic Good paladins, and while I'm not against that type of play, it's not the paladin archetype. Would it be awesome to have a paladin of Milani? Absolutely. From an in-game perspective, does a Chaotic Good champion have the mental and emotional wherewithal to uphold to a code? If you're taking a pretty mean interpretation of alignment, then no. They pretty much do as they will without much regard for any particular sort of code. That's also why neutral good "paladins" don't necessarily work out well; they ditch their "code" when it suits them. That "code" is what paladins must adhere to in exchange for their powers. To be fair, the paladin gets some pretty sweet class abilities.

The problem with "clerics as paladins" is that clerics were far too generic in Pathfinder 1.0, and I'm not entirely certain that they're going to be "not so generic" in Pathfinder 2.0. We shall see how that pans out. Warpriests sort of hit the mark to fill in that gap, but they didn't do it perfectly, and I feel that's because people were expecting "paladin 2.0" from warpriests, and that didn't pan out.

Why does "god" love paladins more than their other children (clerics, inquisitors, and warpriests)? It's because "god" expects more from them, it's that fact (far more so than a specific alignment) that is the driving force behind why paladins are "god's favourite". Does that mean that other gods (that aren't lawful good) couldn't create a "paladin-like being"? Certainly not. It's more likely that they don't really care to and beings that aren't lawful good are probably not as likely to follow the strict guidelines that "god" demands in exchange for these specific powers.

It's really more a narrative issue than a mechanical one.

Having said all of that... I completely get that people may want to play paladins and not be lawful good. I believe that a good portion of that sentiment stems from the number of times they've seen either "lawful stupid" or "lawful @$$hole" played at their table. Those aren't fun to be around. Another chunk of it comes from the concept that "those few people over there shouldn't have the shiniest toys", and I understand that as well. If you really want to play a paladin of Gorum, absolutely nothing stops you... except you. Write up a code, hold some expectations for what you want out of this paladin and go for it. It's not really supported by the literature that supports the concept of paladins, but that's not really important to someone who really wants to play that paladin of Gorum.

Lastly... I'm a huge proponent of the idea that antipaladins, in order to be the dark mirror of paladins, should be lawful evil, not chaotic evil. I don't particularly care much for "chaotic evil" antipaladins, as they wouldn't really be able to hold on to any tenets to oppose those of paladins anyway. They don't want to convert you to their dark purpose and fulfill the desires of their black-souled deities; they just want to watch the world burn. Not that world-burning is a problem for antipaladins, I just feel that they'd be way too disorganized to be a match for the average paladin.

Best wishes, all!


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ryan Freire wrote:
Its a little annoying that all of a sudden warpriest is gonna be viewed as ok for divine champion but only if it also comes with the removal of the paladin class. Given that ive argued that warpriest does the divine champion theme just fine in the past and the very concept was pooh poohed.

wat priest doesn't feel like a divine champion, tge point of divine champion is to be blessed amd gifted, not to be a spell caster who.can fight a bit.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Smite Makes Right wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
That is Jason's position, and as he's said, he's one of the key decision-makers on the playtest's direction for paladins (I don't know how much people are reading into who writes what blog, but I do want to be clear that while I did all the things with "I" statements in the blog, like go on a quest through the Paizo office for opinions and revamp the code, Jason did a huge part of the paladin design as well, particularly the basic structure of the Retributive Strike, lay on hands, and Righteous Ally). But we're going to ask for survey feedback from you guys during the playtest, and if another option is predominant, you can bet that we're going to use that when deciding how to handle it in the final game. Honestly I'm thinking/worried that it's going to be really close to even, in which case we wind up in a situation of displeasing lots of people. I'd imagine even then, there could be a decent way to navigate that situation if we use our creativity.

You say that you are going to ask for a survey, but Jason is clearly biased a paladin with flexible alignment restrictions (shifting to the cleric's restrictions) and without presenting a flexible class ahead of the voting, the voting will be skewed by the known versus the unknown combined with the Jason's overt negative bias.

As such, the survey is not much of an assurance.

Jason is not the only person who has an opinion, or a bias. Like I said in the blog, not even the four design team members have the same opinion: I guess my cards on the table are useful here since Jason's shown his, I think we should make sure to make paladins of more alignments than just LG, in fact I'm the one who added the tyrant to Ultimate Intrigue during development (it wasn't in the outline) because we had extra space in that section and I wanted a lawful evil antipaladin to be in the game. And the opinions throughout the office are equally varied.

As to the skew of known vs unknown, I think that the skew of people who aren't getting what they want with the status quo being more likely to get involved and make themselves known in larger numbers (just like in elections or other sorts of popular votes) is at least as strong as that, probably much stronger.


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Tectorman wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

Doesn't work that way.

Part of the appeal of the type of hero the Paladin represents is the exclusivity.

If you open it up, you destroy that exclusivity, and you destroy the class.

So yes. You being able to play an CG Paladin of Milani damages the LG Paladin, because for us it isn't about what we can play. It is about the class's place in the world. You have to understand that.

In another thread, you were calling me out for asking Paizo to ask for reasons for our positions regarding the Paladin in the upcoming survey and for my personal view that they should give less weight to reasons coming from a place of selfishness. You said I shouldn't be asking that anyone be discounted.

Okay.

HWalsh, you shouldn't be asking that players be discounted. And yes, when what you emphasize and hold above all else is the Paladin's exclusivity, discounting people is exactly what you're after. The very concept of the Paladin's specialness being reliant on its exclusivity is a fundamentally disrespectful stance (and that's before we get into how this is in the name of, of all things, what's supposed to be the quintessential good guy). You're telling people that they should be and need to be marginalized. You have to understand that.

The difference is I am not saying, "Discount and ignore those who want what they want."

I am stating what will happen for me (and I know of a number of others on these forums who feel the same) if they open it up. I'm only saying that we shouldn't be discounted either.

I'm saying that when people say, "You aren't losing anything you can still play LG Paladins!" they don't understand the situation. That is because the value, or what gives playing a Paladin value, differs for different people.

For some it is the desire to be a Fighter Type with the Paladin Powers and that is all there is to it. As long as they get that they are happy. Thus they assume that anyone else who gets that should also be happy.

For some it is that the class is defined by its exclusion and to remove that exclusion, to those players, removes a key component of the class and one of the thing that makes that class appealing.

I know this... I have played 5e and... I can't stomach 5e Paladins.

5e Paladins don't feel like Paladins, they don't have the LG component, they feel like a generic holy-ish warrior and... I don't care about it... I feel no desire to play it... As it is my favorite class in virtually every fantasy RPG... It disconcerted me enough that I traded my 5e books in at the game store for store credit. I have no desire to play it because of that one class change.


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I, for one enjoy the no-win moral conflicts which playing a paladin often entails. I'm not thrilled with the idea of assuming paladins to be psychologically healthy. My favorite literary paladins are Don Quixote and Milla Jovovich's Jean d'Arc. Paladins ought to be unreasonably committed to unreasonably high ethical and moral standards and should have to face the cognitive dissonance of the world they inhabit.

Liberty's Edge

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HWalsh wrote:
If you can play a CG FULL Paladin of Milani, then it doesn't matter that I can play a LG Paladin of Iomedae because the class isn't the same anymore. Something is different and it doesn't feel like a Paladin anymore. It is just a generic holy warrior at that point and that has little to no draw for me.

You are not after defining a class or character, you are after controlling the playstyle of everyone else.

If they released 9 paladin variants to cover the alignments or if they managed the same thing more efficiently with one class, you would oppose the second, objectively superior option despite their being no meaningful differentiation between the two implementation.

I don’t know how you will handle the potential outcome of paladin variations handled by archetypes after the core release.


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Just go with a knight class and give them 4 codes based on alignment to be selected at 1st level.

Paladin Knight
Hell Knight
Eagle Knight
Dark Knight (or whatever you wanna go with for CE)

If CE gods can grant healing spells, why not let them have knights that can heal themselves too?


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I had a response to all this but in the end it is just a circular argument that isn't going anywhere. People like paladins the way they are and that is why they like paladins the way they are. That's pretty much it.

We'll be play testing the document and seeing what comes of it. Maybe somewhere down the road Paizo will do something a little different with the class or a similar class. I have serious doubts on the matter.

Until then, I'm going to try to restrain myself from repeating things over and over and banging my head on the wall. :)


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Smite Makes Right wrote:
You are not after defining a class or character, you are after controlling the playstyle of everyone else.

No I am not.

The Alignment restriction is part of the class. Defining the class only. I am not touching your playstyle at all, that is completely incorrect. If you define any restrictions on anything as impact your playstyle then we will just never agree.


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I absolutely love the Paladin class, and the idea of a holy and righteous warrior shining as a beacon of light in a darkened world. That said, I do feel that the Paladin occupies a certain conceptual space, in such a way that it pushes out a broader idea of a divine champion or holy warrior, one that would include the paladin as a roleplaying option, but open it up to other forms of divine champion that aren't limited to the paladin or it's dark (or rebellious) reflections. I see that's not the direction that the developers are going, and that's fine, but I do think a broader class with the paladin as a specific roleplaying option (possibly with an archetype or class feats) would benefit the system more.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
MuddyVolcano wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
Igwilly wrote:

HWalsh, I'm glad to see someone who gets this issue so right for me. The paladin archetype actually has a long history with me, and is part of my formation as an adult. With that said:

HWalsh wrote:

That doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to play those characters in a comic book RPG... Why? They are part of the genre. No matter how idiotic I find most of them I wouldn't ever suggest a company not put that kind of character into a comic book rpg because it is part of the genre.

Pretty much it.

I can ban stuff at my table all the time. I more often than not ban Shamans at my table. Not because I hate them, but because it's very hard to put an entire Spirit World in my cosmology, so it usually gets the short end of the stick. This doesn't mean I want them to be expunged from the game. They should be there for people who like it. Just as the Paladin. Just as the Holy Liberator or whatever we call CG special warriors. Just as the Gunslinger...

It's all about options, right? So, don't take that option, that class, away from us. If someone hates them so much, just ban at their table. I have a hard time believing that a feat for armor supremacy is much to pay, and the Cleric already fills the role of a religious warrior . We don't need two classes for the same thing!

If anything, let's ask for the Cleric to have pretty warrior-like options to choose from ^^

why do people keep insisting clerics are religious warriors? They aren't, they are full casters they cast spells, they aren't the chosen and blessed warriors of a faith, they don't feel like it, they don't play like it, full caster who fights isn't tye concept, divinely empowered warrior is. To say all other gods apart from the LG ones are incapable of blessing their champions is to declare them, inferior, weak and not real gods.

Hey, there.

Some folks feel they are, just as others feel the paladin is a certain way or thing. This isn't good or bad, it...

I don't want a war priest I don't want divine champions to vast spells, baked i blessings and divine hate are what I am after, see the difference?


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knightnday wrote:

I had a response to all this but in the end it is just a circular argument that isn't going anywhere. People like paladins the way they are and that is why they like paladins the way they are. That's pretty much it.

We'll be play testing the document and seeing what comes of it. Maybe somewhere down the road Paizo will do something a little different with the class or a similar class. I have serious doubts on the matter.

Until then, I'm going to try to restrain myself from repeating things over and over and banging my head on the wall. :)

If we are going to be realistic, then yeah, that is all we are all doing.

Every single dev said nothing will change before the play test and when the play test comes, if there is change, it will be because of the surveys and other information they collect, not because we are right now showing we clearly have an issue here they knew we already had from all the other threads.


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Well, having a code and an alignment restriction or risk losing your powers is a pretty unique niche.

But why is that the only way to be the armor guy?

Paladin shouldn't get two niches, especially if one of those niches was straight up stolen off the fighter.

Give armor back to the fighter and keep your LG paladins.

And also give us an actual preview of the class with some depth beyond ability name drops, please.

Grand Lodge

master_marshmallow wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Jack Yang 737 wrote:
It seems that paladins will still have the highest saving throw of all classes with great DPR...I'm just hoping that paladins' saving throw will not be 2 times more than a fighter.And I notice Divine Grace,the benefits this class feat provides equals 2 feats. So does this mean any class feat will equal 2 normal feats? Or is this certain class‘s privilege?Please don't be the latter one...We have seen how powerful the Rage Powers can be and how lame the Rogue Talents can be in the first edition.It will be a great tragedy to see this happens again in the new edition.

Divine Grace alone is worth that alignment baggage.

Look at the number of paladin dips on LG builds in PF1.

If we're shoehorned into this sole alignment, give us unabridged Divine Grace.

You know that PF1 Divine Grace on a 2E Paladin has a good chance of making them nearly immune to anything with a saving throw at later levels, right?
Yes.

I think paladins in PF1 are already immune to anything with a saving throw...

It's bored and IMBA,as a DM likes to use a wizard as the campaign boss,it's really unpleasant to see a paladin(and a human barbarin with Superstition of course).There's one thing i can't figure out,since Divine Grace is already a extreme powerful ability, why Designers add additional benefit to it?Does this mean the saving throw boost from Divine Grace will be much weaker than before?


master_marshmallow wrote:

Well, having a code and an alignment restriction or risk losing your powers is a pretty unique niche.

But why is that the only way to be the armor guy?

Paladin shouldn't get two niches, especially if one of those niches was straight up stolen off the fighter.

Give armor back to the fighter and keep your LG paladins.

And also give us an actual preview of the class with some depth beyond ability name drops, please.

It isnt tho...one feat expended and your fighter has legendary weapon shield and armor apparently. Paladin's just the one that gets it baked into class, and has to spend to pull legendary weapon.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I wonder if part of the reason “other aligned paladins” aren’t being included is in part due to the timeframe/resource scarcity during the playtest.

I’d hazard a guess that no topic requires more moderator presence/action (barring perhaps edition warring). I daresay Paizo are in the position of wanting to review everything as it stands in Pathfinder but recognising that having just four months and only handful of moderators and designers means they can’t.

Faced with the need to excise some of the more drastic rules changes they are contemplating, I can see some logic in excluding the emotive-and-contentious changes as opposed to the just radical.

They're the ones who set an artificially short timeline. If the time to playtest needs to be longer and the date of final publish needs to get pushed out in order to actually properly test things, that is the decision they should make. 5E was in playtest a hell of a lot longer than what they're proposing.

I don't know that there's any kind of timeline other than 'artificial'.

I'm sure the designers would have loved it to be longer. As ever in life, differing constraints act to mean we can't always have a perfect world. For whatever reason - the designers have four months (ish) to playtest the game. That imposes limitations on what they can achieve.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Jack Yang 737 wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Jack Yang 737 wrote:
It seems that paladins will still have the highest saving throw of all classes with great DPR...I'm just hoping that paladins' saving throw will not be 2 times more than a fighter.And I notice Divine Grace,the benefits this class feat provides equals 2 feats. So does this mean any class feat will equal 2 normal feats? Or is this certain class‘s privilege?Please don't be the latter one...We have seen how powerful the Rage Powers can be and how lame the Rogue Talents can be in the first edition.It will be a great tragedy to see this happens again in the new edition.

Divine Grace alone is worth that alignment baggage.

Look at the number of paladin dips on LG builds in PF1.

If we're shoehorned into this sole alignment, give us unabridged Divine Grace.

You know that PF1 Divine Grace on a 2E Paladin has a good chance of making them nearly immune to anything with a saving throw at later levels, right?
Yes.

I think paladins in PF1 are already immune to anything with a saving throw...

It's bored and IMBA,as a DM likes to use a wizard as the campaign boss,it's really unpleasant to see a paladin(and a human barbarin with Superstition of course).There's one thing i can't figure out,since Divine Grace is already a extreme powerful ability, why Designers add additional benefit to it?Does this mean the saving throw boost from Divine Grace will be much weaker than before?

Where did we say we're adding additional benefits to Divine Grace?


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I am rather disappointed in ram roding paladin into lawful good again, as I felt 5e's any alignment system lead to some highly enjoyable play styles, that being said the paladin otherwise feels quite nice


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knightnday wrote:
I had a response to all this but in the end it is just a circular argument that isn't going anywhere. People like paladins the way they are and that is why they like paladins the way they are. That's pretty much it.

More or less. Yes. That is all that is going on.

Some people (like myself and others) like them as they are and don't want them to change.

We aren't trying to control others. We aren't trying to ruin other people's fun. We are trying to keep the thing we enjoy.

Sometimes the things one person enjoys and the thing another person thinks they would enjoy are simply opposites. It doesn't necessarily make either side wrong.

Its like...

Okay, we only have one grill at a party. I am only supposed to eat kosher. If kosher meat is cooked on the same grill as non-kosher meat I am not supposed to eat it. Eating it won't kill me, and its unlikely that anyone will judge me, but I don't feel comfortable because it doesn't feel right. You, on the other hand, want very non-kosher sausage dogs.

So, you have your non kosher meat.
I have my kosher meat.

That is the "We aren't taking anything away from you" argument.

The thing is, I no longer feel comfortable eating my kosher meat because in order to get it, I had to cook it on a grill that had non-kosher meat cooked on it.

The Open Alignment Paladin is the grill.
The Kosher meat is the LG Paladin.
The non-Kosher is the non-LG Paladins.


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Ryan Freire wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

Well, having a code and an alignment restriction or risk losing your powers is a pretty unique niche.

But why is that the only way to be the armor guy?

Paladin shouldn't get two niches, especially if one of those niches was straight up stolen off the fighter.

Give armor back to the fighter and keep your LG paladins.

And also give us an actual preview of the class with some depth beyond ability name drops, please.

It isnt tho...one feat expended and your fighter has legendary weapon shield and armor apparently. Paladin's just the one that gets it baked into class, and has to spend to pull legendary weapon.

Do you have the links?


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HWalsh wrote:


I'm sorry... For *you* if you were me, that would be good enough. I'm not you though and that *isn't* good enough.
I'm telling you... I *feel* like, if the Paladin isn't LG as a setting rule, that the Paladin is lesser. It damages my enjoyment of the class to the point that *I will no longer enjoy the class* because part of it, to me, will feel gone.
You're focused on what you can personally do, and that is all you care about. I'm not I don't draw my enjoyment of the class from what I can personally do with it.
If you can play a CG FULL Paladin of Milani, then it doesn't matter that I can play a LG Paladin of Iomedae because the class isn't the same anymore. Something is different and it doesn't feel like a Paladin anymore. It is just a generic holy warrior at that point and that has little to no draw for me.

So... you are saying that if an any-alignment deity-optional class called "Paragon" existed, where one Archetype of the "Paragon" was a LG-only "Paladin" with all the traits this current Paladin has, you would have no fun.

However, if LG-only "Paladin" and any-alignment "Paragon" were different classes that both draw off of the "champion of their belief system" idea, you'd be ok with that?

The only difference between these two things is the amount of space they would take up in the rulebook. The characters built off of these chassis would play the exact same under scenarios 1 and 2.

Anyone who would have a problem with scenario 1, does not have motives that stem from the story or the character at all. It stems from the metagame. You seem (to me) to want a metagame reason to feel superior. I think you believe that it "takes something" for a character to "stick to" the Paladin Code, as if the game was a contest between GMs to "get the player to fall" and the players to "stay a Paladin player." In that paradigm (I'll call it the "metagame war") I can 100% see how having non-LG paladins would weaken the challenge. The ribbon of having not only beaten Pathfinder, but beaten it with additional restrictions, would lose its luster. It's like having an official "nuzlock challenge" for pokemon, and then having the phrase "nuzlock challenge" change culturally to mean that you beat the game using any old lame restrictions. I get it, real-life achievements mean something.

However, most of us don't view Pathfinder that way. Pathfinder may be a game, but it's primarily about a good story. I want to tell a story about a TN warrior who venerates all sentient (conscious, feeling pain) life equally - to the point that she would kill a man to keep him from eating a chicken. That's a strict code, too, and while I'm not adverse to houseruling things, I really don't want Paizo telling me (or anyone else) that a TN Holy Knight of Veganism is badwrongfun.

I'm not going to say that you making a LG Paladin and "warring" against the universe (GM) to keep your lawful goodness is an incorrect way to play (if that is indeed what is happening). What I am going to say is that I'm houseruling this whether Paizo makes it core or not, and I'm going to post my house rules in a conspicuous place so that others can tweak them and make them 100% playable for anyone who wants other Holy Knights of Various Philosophies. Even if Paizo keeps the Paladin as 100% LG, there will always be people playing non-LG Paladins at tables across the world. If this sacred cow of "official vs. homebrew" is really that sacred to you, I won't kill it. I'll just ask that someone - Paizo or not - works with me to create rules that work just as smoothly as the base rules.

Cuz here's the thing. I don't give a flip about the difference between official material vs. homebrew material so long as whatever version of the rules I'm using is fun to play. I hail from the chaotic realm of the FATE rpg system where literally anything the GM cares to think up goes. I can play a Chaotic-Blue-Lawful Space Admiral Wizard-Druid of Sarenrae if I want, and no one can stop me! :P So yeah, I think I'll just homebrew it - but before you decide that a CE Paladin is an awful idea, why don't you try playing one? I mean a real one, with a genuine belief system and actual character motivations. I think you'll find there's something freeing (pun intended) about playing a character who genuinely and unquestioningly believes that selfish actions are actually the better moral choice than so-called "selfless" ones (c.f. Ayn Rand).

Dark Archive

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You know what really grinds my gears? People implying that anyone who wants to make non-LG paladins available just hate the class and want to ruin it. But also, accusations that people who want the Paladin to remain LG only are anti-fun and want to force everyone else to play their way.

These attitudes just create conflict and anger where there really doesn't need to be. We can talk to each other without tossing around accusations.

Now, that said, I personally think the Paladin is a pretty cool class, and the abilities previewed here are interesting enough to make me want to test them out in games. However, I always thought it was a strange choice in PF1 to limit the Full-BAB divine warrior to a single class and specific alignments (which got even more confusing when the Tyrant, Grey Paladin, and Insinuator archetypes further expanded the possible alignments but not all of them). If there had been a different class that covered the same full-BAB divine warrior niche and was available to all alignments then I personally would've been fine with leaving the Paladin as LG-only. As of now we don't know if their plans include a change to the base class, archetypes, alternate classes, or entirely new classes, but whatever it is I hope we don't have to wait long to see it. And I hope that whatever form they may take will be one that everyone (or at least a solid majority) can agree enriches the game.


SilverliteSword wrote:
HWalsh wrote:


I'm sorry... For *you* if you were me, that would be good enough. I'm not you though and that *isn't* good enough.
I'm telling you... I *feel* like, if the Paladin isn't LG as a setting rule, that the Paladin is lesser. It damages my enjoyment of the class to the point that *I will no longer enjoy the class* because part of it, to me, will feel gone.
You're focused on what you can personally do, and that is all you care about. I'm not I don't draw my enjoyment of the class from what I can personally do with it.
If you can play a CG FULL Paladin of Milani, then it doesn't matter that I can play a LG Paladin of Iomedae because the class isn't the same anymore. Something is different and it doesn't feel like a Paladin anymore. It is just a generic holy warrior at that point and that has little to no draw for me.
So... you are saying that if an any-alignment deity-optional class called "Paragon" existed, where one Archetype of the "Paragon" was a LG-only "Paladin" with all the traits this current Paladin has, you would have no fun.

Yes. I would not be able to play a Paladin if there was another class that was a complete copy and paste of it with only a different name but the Alignment restriction removed.

1. I know exactly what is going on.
2. Again it damages what I like about the Paladin.

I would no longer feel an attachment to the Paladin. It would frustrate me every time I went to play the game. I would leave the game for something that frustrated me less.

I have played 5e, this is what happened in 5e, so I know it would happen here.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
MuddyVolcano wrote:
Hmm wrote:

There are several bakeries that deliver. I can get you the name of the one that I used to send treats to the tech team.

Hmm

Haha, yes please.

I used to help mod communities, some time ago. It isn't easy. The gifts would be primarily for folks like Sara Marie.

The other devs are great, but I really respect what she and others go through in the trenches.

Let me know when you might place the order. I’d like to contribute. The last time I used Kringles Bakery but Laura’s Gourmet Bakery in Redmond is excellent too they just no longer have workday delivery hours. :/

Hmm


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master_marshmallow wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

Well, having a code and an alignment restriction or risk losing your powers is a pretty unique niche.

But why is that the only way to be the armor guy?

Paladin shouldn't get two niches, especially if one of those niches was straight up stolen off the fighter.

Give armor back to the fighter and keep your LG paladins.

And also give us an actual preview of the class with some depth beyond ability name drops, please.

It isnt tho...one feat expended and your fighter has legendary weapon shield and armor apparently. Paladin's just the one that gets it baked into class, and has to spend to pull legendary weapon.
Do you have the links?

This thread, actually: Here you go.


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Benjamin Medrano wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

Well, having a code and an alignment restriction or risk losing your powers is a pretty unique niche.

But why is that the only way to be the armor guy?

Paladin shouldn't get two niches, especially if one of those niches was straight up stolen off the fighter.

Give armor back to the fighter and keep your LG paladins.

And also give us an actual preview of the class with some depth beyond ability name drops, please.

It isnt tho...one feat expended and your fighter has legendary weapon shield and armor apparently. Paladin's just the one that gets it baked into class, and has to spend to pull legendary weapon.
Do you have the links?
This thread, actually: Here you go.

Thank you, i very rarely have the patience to sift through the eight or so paladin threads to find the one designer post extinguishing a misconception.

Grand Lodge

Where did we say we're adding additional benefits to Divine Grace?

Oops, i thought the Attack of Opportunity is provided by Divine Grace,so Attack of Opportunity is another class feat right? That makes sense.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

Well, having a code and an alignment restriction or risk losing your powers is a pretty unique niche.

But why is that the only way to be the armor guy?

Paladin shouldn't get two niches, especially if one of those niches was straight up stolen off the fighter.

Give armor back to the fighter and keep your LG paladins.

And also give us an actual preview of the class with some depth beyond ability name drops, please.

It isnt tho...one feat expended and your fighter has legendary weapon shield and armor apparently. Paladin's just the one that gets it baked into class, and has to spend to pull legendary weapon.
Do you have the links?
This thread, actually: Here you go.
Thank you, i very rarely have the patience to sift through the eight or so paladin threads to find the one designer post extinguishing a misconception.

I credit HMM. Instead of digging through threads, I bookmarked the profiles of Mark, Jason, and Logan. Makes it much easier to dig through their posts.

Silver Crusade

Ryan Freire wrote:
Thank you, i very rarely have the patience to sift through the eight or so paladin threads to find the one designer post extinguishing a misconception.

I recommend setting up an RSS reader to collect posts from Paizo staff. It's worked very well for me. I describe how to set it up in this post.

(Best part: lets you hide all the threads you don't want to bother with without feeling you'll miss anything important. I immediately hide Paladin or alignment threads—this one excepted for the moment—and still see all the Paizo posts while avoiding all the sound-&-fury-signifying-nothing.)


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
knightnday wrote:

I had a response to all this but in the end it is just a circular argument that isn't going anywhere. People like paladins the way they are and that is why they like paladins the way they are. That's pretty much it.

We'll be play testing the document and seeing what comes of it. Maybe somewhere down the road Paizo will do something a little different with the class or a similar class. I have serious doubts on the matter.

Until then, I'm going to try to restrain myself from repeating things over and over and banging my head on the wall. :)

FWIW, you altered my view on this issue. (An inconsequential change in regards to the playtest, but not to me. So thanks!)


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
That is Jason's position, and as he's said, he's one of the key decision-makers on the playtest's direction for paladins (I don't know how much people are reading into who writes what blog, but I do want to be clear that while I did all the things with "I" statements in the blog, like go on a quest through the Paizo office for opinions and revamp the code, Jason did a huge part of the paladin design as well, particularly the basic structure of the Retributive Strike, lay on hands, and Righteous Ally). But we're going to ask for survey feedback from you guys during the playtest, and if another option is predominant, you can bet that we're going to use that when deciding how to handle it in the final game. Honestly I'm thinking/worried that it's going to be really close to even, in which case we wind up in a situation of displeasing lots of people. I'd imagine even then, there could be a decent way to navigate that situation if we use our creativity.

I think the bigger concern here, is that the playtest will not be effective if just the 'Paladin' as written is tested, and then the community position is that a broader option is more appealing - that broader option will lack proper playtesting. Alternatively, if the playtest starts with the broader stroke, it is much easier to dial that back, as at least the specific parts were tested as a part of the whole.

I thought you (maybe it was someone else) even brought this problem up in one of the blogs talking about the playtest would be the bold new ideas, and likely dialed back for release - this specific class entry seems to be against that idea.


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Benjamin Medrano wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

Well, having a code and an alignment restriction or risk losing your powers is a pretty unique niche.

But why is that the only way to be the armor guy?

Paladin shouldn't get two niches, especially if one of those niches was straight up stolen off the fighter.

Give armor back to the fighter and keep your LG paladins.

And also give us an actual preview of the class with some depth beyond ability name drops, please.

It isnt tho...one feat expended and your fighter has legendary weapon shield and armor apparently. Paladin's just the one that gets it baked into class, and has to spend to pull legendary weapon.
Do you have the links?
This thread, actually: Here you go.
Thank you, i very rarely have the patience to sift through the eight or so paladin threads to find the one designer post extinguishing a misconception.
I credit HMM. Instead of digging through threads, I bookmarked the profiles of Mark, Jason, and Logan. Makes it much easier to dig through their posts.

Stephen's posts is probably another link to bookmark.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
MuddyVolcano wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

Me want generic knight class for armour niche.

Psst, pass it on.

If you want to advocate for that, I and others would be your ally.

From what's been said in these pages, we need cleric, we need paladin. ...we could also use cavalier, warpriest. I think we'll get all those.

I mean, one of the worst things for us all to get upset about is that we will get those options. We just might have to wait a little longer and in the meantime, we'll be learning an entirely new system.

It's going to be so busy with the new spells that I don't even.

The APG classes like inquisitor and alchemist blew the socks off of Core options. Paizo tended to get better as we all did. 3pps, too.

So, allies. You'll have them.

My concern is that we just gotta respect one another. I don't appreciate the "elitism" comments because I happen to like LG paladins, probably any more than others like having assumptions made about them, either. Or names called.

But, warpriest is a good idea. So is cavalier.

Why not both?

My greatest hope for pf is that it's modular class design might lend itself to less actual classes when all is said and done, because more concepts and tropes can be illustrated on fewer chassis. The 'we'll just add more classes later', especially when they could mechanically work in the modular system of the core, goes against that and already we are jumping into the bloat pool. And NO ONE wants bloat mages in the pool...


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Nox Aeterna wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:
that said, each time Hwalsh you and everyone who supports it remaining LG, you are taking something away from another player. it isn't just the playstyle though it is how they see the character in their mind. even more so when you or another go and state go play a cleric or a war priest as that is what you want. No it is not.

The issue being, mostly, there is no middle ground to be had when this class is on the table. Since the class isnt leaving the table, yes, as even the devs themselves already said, one way or the other, people will be pissed at the result due to losing things in the game.

It may be hard to understand, but i can say exactly the same to you:

each time you and everyone who supports it not remaining LG, you are taking something away from another player.

As far as im corned the ideal solution would be for other classes to later come up to cover the niches, but apparently waiting is impossible, thus the tug of war will continue until one side loses.

I don't even see why they'd want the paladin chassis for a divine warrior of gods like caiden or norgorber. I will continue to advocate for archetypes to classes that fit those deity's role more closely than heavily armored defense fighter. Paladin works as a base chassis for the gods who can have them now. A swashbuckler with divine powers works for caiden.

Liberty's Edge

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HWalsh wrote:
Smite Makes Right wrote:
You are not after defining a class or character, you are after controlling the playstyle of everyone else.

No I am not.

The Alignment restriction is part of the class. Defining the class only. I am not touching your playstyle at all, that is completely incorrect. If you define any restrictions on anything as impact your playstyle then we will just never agree.

I am not sure that we can proceed without devolving into yes you are, no I'm not.

An alignment restriction is part of the class as is the role amongst the deity's followers. Opening it up to to other alignments, along the same veins as the cleric, fills the hole for other deities while still allowing LG paladins to exist as normal. Nothing about that diminishes LG paladins.


HWalsh wrote:
SilverliteSword wrote:
HWalsh wrote:


I'm sorry... For *you* if you were me, that would be good enough. I'm not you though and that *isn't* good enough.
I'm telling you... I *feel* like, if the Paladin isn't LG as a setting rule, that the Paladin is lesser. It damages my enjoyment of the class to the point that *I will no longer enjoy the class* because part of it, to me, will feel gone.
You're focused on what you can personally do, and that is all you care about. I'm not I don't draw my enjoyment of the class from what I can personally do with it.
If you can play a CG FULL Paladin of Milani, then it doesn't matter that I can play a LG Paladin of Iomedae because the class isn't the same anymore. Something is different and it doesn't feel like a Paladin anymore. It is just a generic holy warrior at that point and that has little to no draw for me.
So... you are saying that if an any-alignment deity-optional class called "Paragon" existed, where one Archetype of the "Paragon" was a LG-only "Paladin" with all the traits this current Paladin has, you would have no fun.

Yes. I would not be able to play a Paladin if there was another class that was a complete copy and paste of it with only a different name but the Alignment restriction removed.

1. I know exactly what is going on.
2. Again it damages what I like about the Paladin.

I would no longer feel an attachment to the Paladin. It would frustrate me every time I went to play the game. I would leave the game for something that frustrated me less.

I have played 5e, this is what happened in 5e, so I know it would happen here.

What if the other options also had restrictions and codes, and abilities thematic to their alignment/ god/ code? Even different names. I don't think most people want other divine warrior options to simply be alignment-less Paladins.


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Nox Aeterna wrote:
As far as im concerned the ideal solution would be for other classes to later come up to cover the niches, but apparently waiting is impossible, thus the tug of war will continue until one side loses.

You willing to wait for Paladin then? Because I'd be tickled pink with an Alignment splat book that brings Lawful Good only Paladins, and introduces classes geared for the other alignments. That'd be great.

But I imagine that many Paladin players aren't willing to wait to have what they want.

Arachnofiend wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
I don't even see why they'd want the paladin chassis for a divine warrior of gods like caiden or norgorber. I will continue to advocate for archetypes to classes that fit those deity's role more closely than heavily armored defense fighter. Paladin works as a base chassis for the gods who can have them now. A swashbuckler with divine powers works for caiden.

You're right, a Swashbuckler with divine powers would be perfect for Cayden! It's too bad we've never had one of those, because if so Paizo would have surely made it viable for this concept rather than locking it to the same ol' restrictions they always have.

Oh, wait.

Monks should be Chaotic only. Lawful Classes are meant for heavy armor, only Chaotic characters know how to utilize light armor.


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Xerres wrote:
Nox Aeterna wrote:
As far as im concerned the ideal solution would be for other classes to later come up to cover the niches, but apparently waiting is impossible, thus the tug of war will continue until one side loses.

You willing to wait for Paladin then? Because I'd be tickled pink with an Alignment splat book that brings Lawful Good only Paladins, and introduces classes geared for the other alignments. That'd be great.

But I imagine that many Paladin players aren't willing to wait to have what they want.

Or... Here is a radical idea...

Hear me out...

The CRB gets released with Paladins (who are LG by default with no other options) then later on a splat book comes out that introduces other champion classes with their own effects and their own lore. Your side has to wait, because you are asking for something new, and our side gets to keep what we already have.

That seems like a decent compromise.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Bodhizen wrote:

Bodhi (of Bodhi's Guide to the Optimal Paladin/Antipaladin) here...

I haven't had much to say about the playtest, but I'm going to weigh in here.

Paladins are an archetype. They are the shining holy knight that embodies all that is good and righteous in the world. They are the best of the Knights of Charlemagne. They are the best of the Knights of the Round Table. They, more than any other class in the core rulebook, exemplify a very specific type of character. They are, in Pathfinder 1.0 and Pathfinder 2.0 both, very much functioning as intended. They're a literary convention, as it were, and if you want to play that particular literary convention, stripping out all of the idiosyncrasies that make paladins what they are just to keep the mechanical chassis would do the class a disservice.

I totally get that people want to play Chaotic Good paladins, and while I'm not against that type of play, it's not the paladin archetype. Would it be awesome to have a paladin of Milani? Absolutely. From an in-game perspective, does a Chaotic Good champion have the mental and emotional wherewithal to uphold to a code? If you're taking a pretty mean interpretation of alignment, then no. They pretty much do as they will without much regard for any particular sort of code. That's also why neutral good "paladins" don't necessarily work out well; they ditch their "code" when it suits them. That "code" is what paladins must adhere to in exchange for their powers. To be fair, the paladin gets some pretty sweet class abilities.

The problem with "clerics as paladins" is that clerics were far too generic in Pathfinder 1.0, and I'm not entirely certain that they're going to be "not so generic" in Pathfinder 2.0. We shall see how that pans out. Warpriests sort of hit the mark to fill in that gap, but they didn't do it perfectly, and I feel that's because people were expecting "paladin 2.0" from warpriests, and that didn't pan out.

Why does "god" love paladins more than their other children (clerics, inquisitors,...

please stop assuming everyone gets t houserule, a lot of people don't so RAW matters, and making none LG deities to weak to empower champions has always grated.


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Bodhizen wrote:

Bodhi (of Bodhi's Guide to the Optimal Paladin/Antipaladin) here...

I haven't had much to say about the playtest, but I'm going to weigh in here.

Paladins are an archetype. They are the shining holy knight that embodies all that is good and righteous in the world. They are the best of the Knights of Charlemagne. They are the best of the Knights of the Round Table. They, more than any other class in the core rulebook, exemplify a very specific type of character. They are, in Pathfinder 1.0 and Pathfinder 2.0 both, very much functioning as intended. They're a literary convention, as it were, and if you want to play that particular literary convention, stripping out all of the idiosyncrasies that make paladins what they are just to keep the mechanical chassis would do the class a disservice.

I totally get that people want to play Chaotic Good paladins, and while I'm not against that type of play, it's not the paladin archetype. Would it be awesome to have a paladin of Milani? Absolutely. From an in-game perspective, does a Chaotic Good champion have the mental and emotional wherewithal to uphold to a code?

Yes. Yes they do. A Chaotic Good Cleric of Shelyn is forbidden to strike first or refuse a surrender. A Chaotic Evil Antipaladin of Gorum is forbidden to use poison or ambush, and Antipaladins of Rovagug--of all Gods--are expected to refrain from torture and instead bring swift death. A Samurai of the Order of the Warrior swears to defend the lands of his lord with his life, to comport himself with honor and dignity, and be respectful, honest, and loyal. Nothing forbids him from being Chaotic Neutral.

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