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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HWalsh wrote:
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.

And, being in a specialized splat book, those classes will be ignored like common Shamans by future books. Inferior and left to rot, while Paladin players are showered with adoration and love because they're Core.

Being very dramatic there, but the risk of classes added later being ignored or just sucking in the first place is high. Being in Core is a notable advantage. And higher chance that the Chaotic and Neutral equivalents will be limited to very narrow focuses like "Hates slavery" instead of "Opposes Evil, the most common thing to fight in almost any game."

Besides, point was that its hypocritical to say Non-Lawful Good players need to wait when the Lawful Good players don't want to either.


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Xerres wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
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.

And, being in a specialized splat book, those classes will be ignored like common Shamans by future books. Inferior and left to rot, while Paladin players are showered with adoration and love because they're Core.

Being very dramatic there, but the risk of classes added later being ignored or just sucking in the first place is high. Being in Core is a notable advantage. And higher chance that the Chaotic and Neutral equivalents will be limited to very narrow focuses like "Hates slavery" instead of "Opposes Evil, the most common thing to fight in almost any game."

Besides, point was that its hypocritical to say Non-Lawful Good players need to wait when the Lawful Good players don't want to either.

Xerres - It isn't hypocritical because the situation is this.

I already *have* the Paladin. You want to take it away from me. You don't already *have* your Champion of Freedom or whatever you want to call it and you are demanding that Paizo take the Paladin they have already given me away, because you want it.

You aren't losing anything by having to wait. Why? Because you didn't have it to lose.


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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.

The reason i would defend peladins to be in the core is exactly the reason i would defend to the last any other class that is in the core PF1.

Note my favorite style of play is pet classes, granted i do make exceptions for classes that get pets to, like the paladin :P, and i mostly play to fill things the party needs when everyone else decided what they want to play, so the class i get to pick depends mostly what on others went for first, but ultimately having a class that focus on pet work is what i like the most in current PF... not a single one is core, this wasnt a core concept back then.

Even if there was an option to trade a core class for a summoner, hunter or spiritualist, personally i would never go for that option. The core classes should be in the core book, to not have them is one way to break some expectations from the players who already play and know PF1.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
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.

This is why I suggested that they make the 'Paladin' the sole example of the archetype system in the Playtest/Core Rulebook. This gets everyone the clean slate divine-warrior class, as well as the Paladin specific modifications to it, right there in the first book, as WELL as allowing playtesting of the new archetype system.


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Open question:
As I said back on page 9, the "Paladin Code" as presented is absolutely follow-able by a NG character.

Please tell me why I shouldn't be able to make a NG Paladin when I can follow their code as laid out?
Or does the code just not matter, and all that matters is the Alignment written on the character sheet?


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Icy Turbo wrote:
First, Gygax may have coined the Roleplaying iteration of the Paladin, but he didn't deviate too far from what we understand Paladins to represent from historical mythology. They are knights beyond merely good, but legendary in honor, altruism and goodness. They follow a code of conduct that demands great personal sacrifice and self-control to uphold. Through Charlemagne or King Arthurs Court, these figures are the basis and pinnacle of the class.

The primary inspiration for the *D&D (OD&D/AD&D/D&D) paladin is Holger Carlsen from Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions. Note that a the *D&D nixie and troll were also inspired by this novel.

Pulp fantasy and science fiction (Jack Vance's Dying Earth as the basis behind *D&D, aka "Vancian," spellcasting) were at least as strong influences in the creation of *D&D as Tolkien.


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HWalsh wrote:

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.

You say "something new" as though changing the text next to the word "Alignment" from "Lawful Good" to "Any Good" doesn't take, like, a second. It's as if altering every mention of "Lawful Good" in the class's entry to just "Good" is some kind of monumental task requiring the invention of revolutionary technology before it can even be feasible.


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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.

Do you mind explaining why you feel that way, other than vague analogies to kosher meats? Kosher is a religous thing. If I force someone who is Jewish to eat non-kosher food (and cooking kosher meats on a contaminated grill would most definitely make it non-kosher) then I am impinging upon his religion. Now, if it is my grill, I can do what I want - but that is a different matter.

You, on the other hand, are implying that what you "might have done" contaminates "what you are doing." This implies one of a few things (and the options I list may not cover the entirety of the situation, but this is wahat comes to mind):

Possible Concern 1: That "class" as a metagame concept matters to the character. That, in-setting, your character/the people you interact with "somehow know" that you are "the LG version" of a more generic class, and that fact would taint the shine of the Paladin because when an NPC sees you they are supposed to know you're a Paladin (instead of seeing that you're a warrior with divine powers).

My answer to this is that if Paladins can follow any diety, or even any philosophy, then the "character creation ability" of the player needs to make up for the natural shift towards being generic. If people do not see you and think "Oh, that guy's a Paladin [class]." then perhaps your paladin sports a very large artistic rose on your shield and glows with a colorful holy aura. Then people think "Oh, there's a knight who has won Shelyn's favor! I wager he will help us, Shelyn sees the good in everyone!" In this case, the paladin is actually less generic and more recognizable by being the paragon of a deity. I would also add ideals, because I want my Holy Knight of Veganism (TM).

Possible Concern 2: That LG has a specific spot on the alignment chart, and that opening Paladins (or even paladin-like people) to other alignments would invalidate that special place.

Answer: Yeah... it kind of would. However, that "special place" was more than likely borne out of the Satanic Panic back in the 70s. Of course LG is the best Good... because that particular alignment looks the best to the watchful eyes of Uncle Sam or my old, sweet grandma Petunia. If I'm a warlock raising undead then grammy will worry about my soul, but if I'm a holy knight who smites evil she might even encourage my gaming habits.

Of course, I might be wrong about that. But I don't see any reason that LG should be "special" from a design standpoint. It's definitely special from a character standpoint, but then again all the alignments are.

Possible Concern 3: I don't care about the character or the lore on this one, I'm a Paladin Player and that means something to me personally. Many tables ban Paladins as it is, if Paladin is opened up to all alignments then what this really amounts to is a victory by all those paladin-haters. Being a Pally is my community within Pathfinder, and now I won't "have that in common" with other Pally players because we won't be playing the same Paladin. I'll lose my community, my identity!

Whew. I hope that this viewpoint doesn't hold at all, for anyone, and that no one actually feels this isolated from the rest of the community. That said, here is what I would say to someone that has these concerns:

People don't hate Paladins. They hate poorly-done paladins where players gravitate towards being Lawful Stupid or Chaotic Stupid (for antipaladins) for no better reason than "alignment." They hate alignment being used as an excuse for not fleshing out a character so that they have actual desires and motives. They hate it when people crib paladin for the class features but only make a nominal effort at actually roleplaying the character, turning Paladin into a self-righteous murderhobo. Basically, they hate bland characters, and making changes to the class restrictions could help fix what many people see as the "problems" with the class, which are really problems with poor character creation.

Allowing paladins of any alignment doesn't taint the class, rather it removes the taint of having a character whose character sheet says "LG" but is constantly stretching the Paladin Code to its limits to see if he can break it without falling. In other words, when all alignments are allowed it ensures the LG Pallys don't have ulterior motives. I'd say that having ulterior motives creep into the Paladin ranks (much like the clergy of the Medieval Catholic Church) is very toxic to the flavor you are trying to preserve. In addition, having characters sit down with their GM and write their own "Paladin Code" based on their interpretation of their alignment and religion (i.e. the anathemas of their deity, if they have one) or philosophy would cut down on bland, cookie-cutter characters and encourage thought-out characters with real and believable motives. You wouldn't have problems with "Lawful Stupid" because the party and the GM know full well where this particular Pally draws the line. In fact, the theme of conscience and moral dilemma can be more fully explored if the pally actually has the option to embrace another religion, alignment, philosophy, or deity without being mechanically irrelevant.

Rather than diluting the concept of a LG Paladin, these changes would make the LG Paladin shine as a person who has carefully considered his moral code and follows it despite knowing that he has the very real alternative to shift to an "easier" life. Faith is nothing if it is untested, and the existence of competing faiths - even competing paladins - serves to refine and prove that the faith of your paladin is real because it has stood the twin tests of opposition and the opportunity for compromise.

This, the "making better characters" argument, is the biggest reason I want all alignments for paladins. Not because I want to destroy the LG Paladin, but because I want it to mean something more. A choice means nothing if there was no choice. Faith means nothing in the absence of other faiths. A LG Paladin is just a magical knight if there was no choice, no commitment, indeed no cost required to wear the nametag of LG. However, the existence of LN or CG Paladins means that the Paladins who are LG are that way because they CHOSE to be LG even in the face of both trials and easier options. As it currently stands, it is actually easier not to fall, and the "hard road" if you do choose to follow your own beliefs over those of the Code. I don't think that's what it means to be a Paladin.

Clearly, with covering only three options, it's likely I didn't hit your exact reasoning. I hope that these points help us to understand one another - because no real solutions have ever been found in the absence of understanding the other guy's side.


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HWalsh wrote:

Xerres - It isn't hypocritical because the situation is this.

I already *have* the Paladin. You want to take it away from me. You don't already *have* your Champion of Freedom or whatever you want to call it and you are demanding that Paizo take the Paladin they have already given me away, because you want it.

You aren't losing anything by having to wait. Why? Because you didn't have it to lose.

I'm not taking it away, I'm delaying it. There's a big difference.

And I want to delay it so we don't get a Shaman/Swashbuckler/Grey Paladin situation. Where the other alignment players get what they want, technically, but it sucks. And Paizo subsequently ignores it, because screw those guys amirite?

Nox Aeterna wrote:

The reason i would defend peladins to be in the core is exactly the reason i would defend to the last any other class that is in the core PF1.

Note my favorite style of play is pet classes, granted i do make exceptions for classes that get pets to, like the paladin :P, and i mostly play to fill things the party needs when everyone else decided what they want to play, so the class i get to pick depends mostly what on others went for first, but ultimately having a class that focus on pet work is what i like the most in current PF... not a single one is core, this wasnt a core concept back then.

Even if there was an option to trade a core class for a summoner, hunter or spiritualist, personally i would never go for that option. The core classes should be in the core book, to not have them is one way to break some expectations from the players who already play and know PF1.

I'll actually be honest that I really don't need other alignment classes myself. I like Paladin, he's my boy, I love the classic hero archetypes, and even when its not a Paladin I love playing them.

But I love the Paladin because I love the sense of fairness and sacrifice, giving up what you want to do what's right. So I'm totes down to wait to get what I care about, to be sure that other people get a fair shake too.

If waiting for other alignment classes will result in what is essentially a punishment class like Grey Paladin, that's just slapping those guys in the face for wanting something different. I'd rather hold the Paladin hostage to ensure the demands for well crafted and supported alternatives are met.


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My personal opinions:

The GREAT --
prioritizing tenets of the code to greatly reduce "no win" situations -- this invites intelligent play by paladins. There should be clarification about where religious requirements and anathema fall in the list of priorities.
being open to having paladins of multiple alignments (with the understanding that the paladin code presented is for Lawful, Good paladins). I would like paladins of all alignments to be in the core, but it is not a deal breaker.
oaths and the class feats identified also look great.

The HORRIBLE --
why are paladins the best at armor. Certainly if you open this class to all alignments, a paladin of Cayden Cailean would not focus on armor as more important than fighting skill. A character's focus between armor and weapons needs to be a player choice -- if I want to play a "tank" character, I don't want to necessarily play a paladin. On the other hand, I might want to play a socially focused paladin, who would not be an armor specialist. This appears to limit the optimal play styles for each type of character


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Hey shaman was legit! I loved shaman!. swashbuckler if you gave them more free actions a round could work pretty well.

The grey paladin's main problem was that as a rule paizo was making all the archetypes weaker then the base class and that an intentional design decision. I'm hoping that will not be the case for the new PF2. I want equal power for the archetypes.


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Xerres wrote:

I'll actually be honest that I really don't need other alignment classes myself. I like Paladin, he's my boy, I love the classic hero archetypes, and even when its not a Paladin I love playing them.

But I love the Paladin because I love the sense of fairness and sacrifice, giving up what you want to do what's right. So I'm totes down to wait to get what I care about, to be sure that other people get a fair shake too.

If waiting for other alignment classes will result in what is essentially a punishment class like Grey Paladin, that's just slapping those guys in the face for wanting something different. I'd rather hold the Paladin hostage to ensure the demands for well crafted and supported alternatives are met.

Haha honestly speaking too, the one paladin im playing right now cause me such a huge pain, im SO behind the wealth by level right now due to the things i gave way in the drops...

It certanly shows me how much i hate giving away my part of the loot even when it is defensive gear and the bloodrager could use it more, even if he already also got those toys to kill things better and is now a freaking rich man... but god knows i still do it... cause i believe a paladin would put the survival of his team well ahead having even more toys, even when he is clearly poor compared to the others :P.

Personally i would drop the whole gray paladin completely. There is no need for a gray paladin.

Now instead of making an archetype, make a full class that is what the paladin is for LG, for the CG/LN/NG...

Yes, this is a lot of design space, but people clearly want this, so just give it to them. Dont make it carbon copy, make it something new, something that has a reason to being there that isnt being another paladin, but now with another alignment.


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So lets stop with the argueing and see what the issue is and see if it is resolveable

So here Is why I think the paladin is generally lawful. It is because of the code. Its been very traditional that anyone with a code in D&D and PF is lawful. Monks for example usually (and more so in the past) had a code or some rules they would follow so they would be lawful. Now i"m not opposed to CG paladins however chaotic would imply your getting rid of the code so it would be a substantial change to the fluff and even the mechanics since the code is built in to the mechanics.

Frankly I could see a LN paladin easier then a NG paladin because of the adherence to the codes. So creating NG and CG paladins would require a major change igther droping the code entirely or changing it and making it be less enforced for those alignments.
So at that point however now the CG and NG alignments are stronger because they don't have as difficult a time adhering to the code so do you make them a tad bit weaker to make up for this? whats the solution their? I'm open to suggestions. Do you make a chaotic class have to adhere to a code as well? (which doesn't make as much sense really. )

I know some people will say just to get rid of the code but I think that is the wrong code and your going to get a lot of negative response from people that like the traditional paladin.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

At this point, I’ve expressed the view that Chaotics can have a code and moral dilemmas every bit as intense and the Lawful Good folks. For me, the code is the most fascinating aspect of the paladin. I don’t want to ditch it. I wouldn’t want chaotic holy warriors to be without a code, either.

I think I might even come to accept that Paladins would stay an LG-only class if there were a way in this game that an LG-Paladin could be the holy Warrior of Pharasma, Desna, Gozreh or Cayden.

BRAINSTORM

@ Mark — Have you folks ever considered adding a NG deity (let’s call it Jemti the Intermediary) who accepts worshippers on behalf of other deities? They’re modest enough to be willing to share their followers, and so they ask that all their followers not only follow their rules, but also take another god whose tenets and codes they fully follow. So you can worship the Intermediary, but serve Cayden, or some other non-evil deity.

If this sounds far-fetched to you, consider the case of Ganesh (a deity that you could never do in Pathfinder, because he’s actively worshipped here in the real world.) One of the aspects of Ganesh that I loved was that although he had his own followers, he also interceded between other deities and their followers. He was willing to speak for others, and clear obstacles between them. So if you got in trouble with your own god, you would talk to Ganesh, and he would help you find your way back.

The Paladins of Jemti all serve Jemti’s rules, but also have a bridge in order to serve as a holy warrior of another deity who calls to their hearts. If we did this, I’d want Jemti to be fully fleshed out, and have some pretty hefty service requirements. I would not want it to be merely a mechanical loophole... I’d want Jemti to be truly interesting in their own right.

(It’s late, so I don’t know how dumb an idea this is... But I’d be curious to see what you think of it.)

Hmm


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Vidmaster7 wrote:

So lets stop with the argueing and see what the issue is and see if it is resolveable

So here Is why I think the paladin is generally lawful. It is because of the code. Its been very traditional that anyone with a code in D&D and PF is lawful. Monks for example usually (and more so in the past) had a code or some rules they would follow so they would be lawful. Now i"m not opposed to CG paladins however chaotic would imply your getting rid of the code so it would be a substantial change to the fluff and even the mechanics since the code is built in to the mechanics.

I dont want to discredit you logic there, but if it was only possible to follow a code by PF standard if you were lawful, then there wouldnt be one in the antipaladin class that is pretty much paladin one? But to the "dark side".


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Hmm wrote:

At this point, I’ve expressed the view that Chaotics can have a code and moral dilemmas every bit as intense and the Lawful Good folks. For me, the code is the most fascinating aspect of the paladin. I don’t want to ditch it. I wouldn’t want chaotic holy warriors to be without a code, either.

I think I might even come to accept that Paladins would stay an LG-only class if there were a way in this game that an LG-Paladin could be the holy Warrior of Pharasma, Desna, Gozreh or Cayden.

BRAINSTORM

@ Mark — Have you folks ever considered adding a NG deity (let’s call it Jemti the Intermediary) who accepts worshippers on behalf of other deities? They’re modest enough to be willing to share their followers, and so they ask that all their followers not only follow their rules, but also take another god whose tenets and codes they fully follow. So you can worship the Intermediary, but serve Cayden, or some other non-evil deity.

If this sounds far-fetched to you, consider the case of Ganesh (a deity that you could never do in Pathfinder, because he’s actively worshipped here in the real world.) One of the aspects of Ganesh that I loved was that although he had his own followers, he also interceded between other deities and their followers. He was willing to speak for others, and clear obstacles between them. So if you got in trouble with your own god, you would talk to Ganesh, and he would help you find your way back.

The Paladins of Jemti all serve Jemti’s rules, but also have a bridge in order to serve as a holy warrior of another deity who calls to their hearts. If we did this, I’d want Jemti to be fully fleshed out, and have some pretty hefty service requirements. I would not want it to be merely a mechanical loophole... I’d want Jemti to be truly interesting in their own right.

(It’s late, so I don’t know how dumb an idea this is... But I’d be curious to see what you think of it.)

Hmm

Your name is so on point. After Reading your post I couldn't stop going HMMMMM.

Liberty's Edge

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HWalsh wrote:
The fact that you are having to clarify, "LG Paladin" is the issue in and of itself.

The fact that I have to clarify "human paladin" is as much the issue as "LG Paladin" is. Which is to say that it is not an issue.

The class can be expanded without damaging the existing concept(s) it covers.


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HWalsh wrote:
knightnday wrote:

This is where things fall apart, I believe. There cannot be any compromise or middle ground with "if you change this in most any way, it loses all meaning and I'll leave forever."

I mean .. how do you have a discussion with that? You've already said there cannot be a middle ground and in effect told everyone else to pound sand and get over it.

Well, first, lets be honest.

Saying, "If you change this in most any way..."

Isn't legitimate. They changed the code, I am fine with the changes they made. They changed the abilities, especially Divine Grace, and I am fine with that. So to say, "If you change this in most any way" because that isn't true.

Now, that having been said... There are things that can be done. I don't think that they can, or should, be done in the CRB though. I think the Paladin should remain special, completely special, and singularly unique in its way.

However, there are other options.

A splat book, for example, with a special holy warrior (non-Paladin) with its own mechanics, for each Deity.

This is a win-win... It gives you a holy warrior, and it gives you ones of various alignments, and it doesn't infringe on the Paladin.

We have seen Paizo do this already... They did it in the BEST of the Prestige Class books... I am referring to Paths of the Righteous which had such great special Prestige Classes as the Ashavic Dancer and my personal favorite the Devoted Muse.

I think, instead of opening the Paladin, going that route in a splat book would be the best win-win. You get your special unique Holy Warrior, and the Paladin gets to be what it is, and everyone can go home happy.

Let me ask you this--would you be OK with 'Paths of the Righteous 2.0' presenting these special Holy Warriors as base classes available from level 1, rather than Prestige Classes that can only start giving us the flavor we want well into our adventuring career?


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Nox Aeterna wrote:
Xerres wrote:

I'll actually be honest that I really don't need other alignment classes myself. I like Paladin, he's my boy, I love the classic hero archetypes, and even when its not a Paladin I love playing them.

But I love the Paladin because I love the sense of fairness and sacrifice, giving up what you want to do what's right. So I'm totes down to wait to get what I care about, to be sure that other people get a fair shake too.

If waiting for other alignment classes will result in what is essentially a punishment class like Grey Paladin, that's just slapping those guys in the face for wanting something different. I'd rather hold the Paladin hostage to ensure the demands for well crafted and supported alternatives are met.

Haha honestly speaking too, the one paladin im playing right now cause me such a huge pain, im SO behind the wealth by level right now due to the things i gave way in the drops...

It certanly shows me how much i hate giving away my part of the loot even when it is defensive gear and the bloodrager could use it more, even if he already also got those toys to kill things better and is now a freaking rich man... but god knows i still do it... cause i believe a paladin would put the survival of his team well ahead having even more toys, even when he is clearly poor compared to the others :P.

Personally i would drop the whole gray paladin completely. There is no need for a gray paladin.

Now instead of making an archetype, make a full class that is what the paladin is for LG, for the CG/LN/NG...

Yes, this is a lot of design space, but people clearly want this, so just give it to them. Dont make it carbon copy, make it something new, something that has a reason to being there that isnt being another paladin, but now with another alignment.

If I got my way, and I never will because its unreasonable, there'd be a specific class for each alignment. I'd be fine with Paladin being Lawful Good's special Champion, if the other alignments had special classes that no other alignment got to have. Just having the four corners would be my compromise there.

I support opening Paladin because I don't expect to get my unreasonable demand of Chaotic Good having a class that makes other alignments go "Oh, man... I want that..."

In a different timeline, Inquisitor was renamed and only Chaotic Good. The Oracle could only be Neutral-Something. And the Shaman got some support, so the guy playing his Orc Witch Doctor thing in my Pirate game wouldn't have gone nuts with how often he found "Cleric and Druid get this spell... and I don't, gosh darn it."

And that different timeline really sucks for people that like Lawful Inquisitors. Destroying Paizo's Skynet prototype had some weird ripples.

--- --- ---

Addendum about intellectual dishonesty:
I disagree with Walsh about nearly everything, but that's because he's really honest about what he wants, and its everything I oppose (normally). For the most part, I can't really think of the Pro-Lawful Good Only posters hiding anything about their reasoning.

I don't like their reasoning, there are some occasional insulting posts about 'entitlement' that get me steamed like clams, but its not dishonest or deceptive because I don't like it.

By that same token though, things like "Why aren't Warpriests good enough for them..." fall into the same camp. You know why Cleric/Inquisitor/Warpriest aren't enough. The same reason that you wouldn't accept Paladins being replaced with them. That's not what they want, its not what you want. Not liking someone's reasoning doesn't make it bad.

Sovereign Court

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HWalsh wrote:

I offered half a dozen compromises.

The big one:

Paizo release the Paladin we have here in the CRB. Then, they release a splat book with Non-Paladins (different abilities) called Champions that fill a similar role.

You get your holy warrior, we get our traditional Paladin, everyone wins.

I'm not being dishonest.

Your side, constantly insisting we're NOT losing...

I agree with you that paladins lose something if they become non-Lawful. I think that alternate alignment holy warriors should get some design attention to distinguish themselves from the paladin. I've even spit-balled some ideas in the axis thread.

I also agree that we already have paladins and there is value in keeping what we already have for now.

I'm glad that paladins are LG in the playtest. But it is not a compromise. People hoping for more alignments didn't actually lose anything, but hearing "wait for more" is not easy.

The decision has been made. Let's make the paladin the best class it can be by playtesting well. While we are at it, let's identify the abilities that can or should change to accommodate those who prefer an alternative lifestyle.


Nox Aeterna wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:

So lets stop with the argueing and see what the issue is and see if it is resolveable

So here Is why I think the paladin is generally lawful. It is because of the code. Its been very traditional that anyone with a code in D&D and PF is lawful. Monks for example usually (and more so in the past) had a code or some rules they would follow so they would be lawful. Now i"m not opposed to CG paladins however chaotic would imply your getting rid of the code so it would be a substantial change to the fluff and even the mechanics since the code is built in to the mechanics.

I dont want to discredit you logic there, but if it was only possible to follow a code by PF standard if you were lawful, then there wouldnt be one in the antipaladin class that is pretty much paladin one? But to the "dark side".

Are we talking CE or LE paladin? Back when we used the AP in 1st edition he had to be LE and he was still similar to the cavalier class in a lot of ways including having a messed up sense of honor. He would still break the rules a modest amount but somehow he was slightly more trustworthy then a CE character.

Now if we are talking CE paladins I feel like for them it should be more I do what I want to help me out. And I've never felt they should have to follow a code.


Xerres wrote:
Nox Aeterna wrote:
Xerres wrote:

I'll actually be honest that I really don't need other alignment classes myself. I like Paladin, he's my boy, I love the classic hero archetypes, and even when its not a Paladin I love playing them.

But I love the Paladin because I love the sense of fairness and sacrifice, giving up what you want to do what's right. So I'm totes down to wait to get what I care about, to be sure that other people get a fair shake too.

If waiting for other alignment classes will result in what is essentially a punishment class like Grey Paladin, that's just slapping those guys in the face for wanting something different. I'd rather hold the Paladin hostage to ensure the demands for well crafted and supported alternatives are met.

Haha honestly speaking too, the one paladin im playing right now cause me such a huge pain, im SO behind the wealth by level right now due to the things i gave way in the drops...

It certanly shows me how much i hate giving away my part of the loot even when it is defensive gear and the bloodrager could use it more, even if he already also got those toys to kill things better and is now a freaking rich man... but god knows i still do it... cause i believe a paladin would put the survival of his team well ahead having even more toys, even when he is clearly poor compared to the others :P.

Personally i would drop the whole gray paladin completely. There is no need for a gray paladin.

Now instead of making an archetype, make a full class that is what the paladin is for LG, for the CG/LN/NG...

Yes, this is a lot of design space, but people clearly want this, so just give it to them. Dont make it carbon copy, make it something new, something that has a reason to being there that isnt being another paladin, but now with another alignment.

If I got my way, and I never will because its unreasonable, there'd be a specific class for each alignment. I'd be fine with Paladin being Lawful Good's special Champion, if the other alignments...

Now I actually kind of like your idea about a class for each alignment Druid already has true neutral dibs! Barbarian as always seemed like the CN one. or maybe chaotic any. Ranger used to have to be CG but they let up on that. Monks have Lawful. AP have LE/CE?? Maybe make warlocks and give them NE? or maybe a whole set of classes that are one alignment focused.

For me I feel like a chaotic paladin might not even wear armor. Armor seems so structured and rigid very lawful feeling. to me anyways.


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Revan wrote:


Let me ask you this--would you be OK with 'Paths of the Righteous 2.0' presenting these special Holy Warriors as base classes available from level 1, rather than Prestige Classes that can only start giving us the flavor we want well into our adventuring career?

Certainly.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
Nox Aeterna wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:

So lets stop with the argueing and see what the issue is and see if it is resolveable

So here Is why I think the paladin is generally lawful. It is because of the code. Its been very traditional that anyone with a code in D&D and PF is lawful. Monks for example usually (and more so in the past) had a code or some rules they would follow so they would be lawful. Now i"m not opposed to CG paladins however chaotic would imply your getting rid of the code so it would be a substantial change to the fluff and even the mechanics since the code is built in to the mechanics.

I dont want to discredit you logic there, but if it was only possible to follow a code by PF standard if you were lawful, then there wouldnt be one in the antipaladin class that is pretty much paladin one? But to the "dark side".

Are we talking CE or LE paladin? Back when we used the AP in 1st edition he had to be LE and he was still similar to the cavalier class in a lot of ways including having a messed up sense of honor. He would still break the rules a modest amount but somehow he was slightly more trustworthy then a CE character.

Now if we are talking CE paladins I feel like for them it should be more I do what I want to help me out. And I've never felt they should have to follow a code.

Talking the current base anti paladin, it is CE and it has a code in PF1. So clearly, C guys can have codes.

Personally, i too think they shouldnt and should have some other horrible thing that actually have to do to keep their powers, like sacrifcing kids or something, yes, they are very evil people, it should be something horrible, instead of following one, but alas, they are the oposite of a paladin and the paladin got one, so they got one too.


Xerres wrote:

If I got my way, and I never will because its unreasonable, there'd be a specific class for each alignment. I'd be fine with Paladin being Lawful Good's special Champion, if the other alignments had special classes that no other alignment got to have. Just having the four corners would be my compromise there.

I support opening Paladin because I don't expect to get my unreasonable demand of Chaotic Good having a class that makes other alignments go "Oh, man... I want that..."

In a different timeline, Inquisitor was renamed and only Chaotic Good. The Oracle could only be Neutral-Something. And the Shaman got some support, so the guy playing his Orc Witch Doctor thing in my Pirate game wouldn't have gone nuts with how often he found "Cleric and Druid get this spell... and I don't, gosh darn it."

And that different timeline really sucks for people that like Lawful Inquisitors. Destroying Paizo's Skynet prototype had some weird ripples.

Heh are we here for another 10 years or what?

Never say never, it might just take a while.


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Nox Aeterna wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Nox Aeterna wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:

So lets stop with the argueing and see what the issue is and see if it is resolveable

So here Is why I think the paladin is generally lawful. It is because of the code. Its been very traditional that anyone with a code in D&D and PF is lawful. Monks for example usually (and more so in the past) had a code or some rules they would follow so they would be lawful. Now i"m not opposed to CG paladins however chaotic would imply your getting rid of the code so it would be a substantial change to the fluff and even the mechanics since the code is built in to the mechanics.

I dont want to discredit you logic there, but if it was only possible to follow a code by PF standard if you were lawful, then there wouldnt be one in the antipaladin class that is pretty much paladin one? But to the "dark side".

Are we talking CE or LE paladin? Back when we used the AP in 1st edition he had to be LE and he was still similar to the cavalier class in a lot of ways including having a messed up sense of honor. He would still break the rules a modest amount but somehow he was slightly more trustworthy then a CE character.

Now if we are talking CE paladins I feel like for them it should be more I do what I want to help me out. And I've never felt they should have to follow a code.

Talking the current base anti paladin, it is CE and it has a code in PF1. So clearly, C guys can have codes.

Personally, i too think they shouldnt and should have some other horrible thing that actually have to do to keep their powers, like sacrifcing kids or something, yes, they are very evil people, it should be something horrible, instead of following one, but alas, they are the oposite of a paladin and the paladin got one, so they got one too.

So I guess my answer would be if it were up to me they wouldn't have a code. I like the idea of them having a different sort of ingrain cost like sacrifice. I feel like making them do sacrifices to keep their power seems very Anti-paladin to me. Paladin keep their power by following a code while AP keeps theirs by sacrificing to their patron I actually REALLY like that idea.


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I am on board with removing the l and c axis from the game /system/, because it tends to cause the most arguments overall.

Yet...

Some of the removed threads have referred to slavery, sexual assault, accusations of things I don't care to get into. Material that I couldn't, without this post itself getting removed.

Sometimes it's good to let arguments run their course.

... But sometimes I'd like to see more address of unique concerns and a third option that respects the community and its facets, by admins. Or, more guidance towards developing solutions. Without that, we fall into the same pattern, again and again. Nothing new has happened in this thread since page one.

... I know this is one voice in thousands.

... But can I say that at least a little bit, that if Jason likes one thing and Mark may like another, that it feels to some degree that we are having this battle for them?

I may be just that tired. I mean, maybe that isn't fair because no one wants to wade into this who has brain cells, and they are two smart guys ... But the maybe this/that doesn't help either and guidance on hey, we'll be making cavalier next, would help.

I don't know. It just makes me immensely sad to see what folks have done to eachother.


So since i went off work tomorrow: 500 new posts.... anyone have a TL;DR to what happend the last 500 posts? At least until page 13 the thread was suprisingly civil for a paladin thread.


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Hmm wrote:

@ Mark — Have you folks ever considered adding a NG deity (let’s call it Jemti the Intermediary) who accepts worshippers on behalf of other deities? They’re modest enough to be willing to share their followers, and so they ask that all their followers not only follow their rules, but also take another god whose tenets and codes they fully follow. So you can worship the Intermediary, but serve Cayden, or some other non-evil deity.

If this sounds far-fetched to you, consider the case of Ganesh (a deity that you could never do in Pathfinder, because he’s actively worshipped here in the real world.) One of the aspects of Ganesh that I loved was that although he had his own followers, he also interceded between other deities and their followers. He was willing to speak for others, and clear obstacles between them. So if you got in trouble with your own god, you would talk to Ganesh, and he would help you find your way back.

The Paladins of Jemti all serve Jemti’s rules, but also have a bridge in order to serve as a holy warrior of another deity who calls to their hearts. If we did this, I’d want Jemti to be fully fleshed out, and have some pretty hefty service requirements. I would not want it to be merely a mechanical loophole... I’d want Jemti to be truly interesting in their own right.

(It’s late, so I don’t know how dumb an idea this is... But I’d be curious to see what you think of it.)

Great idea. Probably not for the playtest, but it offers really interesting possibilities for PCs in PF2 down the road.


Dracoknight wrote:
So since i went off work tomorrow: 500 new posts.... anyone have a TL;DR to what happend the last 500 posts? At least until page 13 the thread was suprisingly civil for a paladin thread.

Nah nothing new, some devs came up, said some neat things, but overall all stays the same until the feedback comes from the play test, which all things will be considered, including the LG part.

On a side note, this is a paladin thread, it clearly wasnt all civil and nice, posts got removed.


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Nox Aeterna wrote:
Dracoknight wrote:
So since i went off work tomorrow: 500 new posts.... anyone have a TL;DR to what happend the last 500 posts? At least until page 13 the thread was suprisingly civil for a paladin thread.

Nah nothing new, some devs came up, said some neat things, but overall all stays the same until the feedback comes from the play test, which all things will be considered, including the LG part.

On a side note, this is a paladin thread, it clearly wasnt all civil and nice, posts got removed.

I really have tried to teach people that their is a correct way to present your opinion that is more likely to get people to listen as opposed to block you out and argue just for the sake of arguing. I think I haven't spread it to enough listening ears yet.

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