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

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Paladins Pathfinder Playtest Seelah Wayne Reynolds
1,101 to 1,150 of 1,735 << first < prev | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | next > last >>

5 people marked this as a favorite.
gwynfrid wrote:
Sure they could have, but I strongly suspect the result would have been much more bland.

I don't understand why. You could have 100% the exact same identity and even the exact same abilities, feats and oaths in either: how does making those an aligned option make what is cool and awesome instead bland and unpalatable?

The only difference in the frameworks in that one enforces LG options while the other makes those options actually optional.

Liberty's Edge

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
We built the Paladin to be the best holy warrior we could make.

You made a divine warrior who is holy, who is empowered by and is characteristic of her deity, as an afterthought.

It's a narrow, party disruptive class that the only released effect of worship is that the deity's anathema adds to the restrictions of the character's disruptive behavior at the penalty of losing the class abilities.

You gave an example of the sin of sloth. Let's not focus on the parallel to real world religions, but instead, can you explain why this is considered a sin for Irori, Iomedae, Sarenae, Torag, Erastil, Abadar, and others that apply? Not individually, but why is, without exception, a vile concept they oppose? Is a paladin of Abadar going to utilize a litany against greed, if one were to exist? (let's assume that it does for sake of argument to give you the greatest freedom to discuss how the deities interact with their paladins.) They may champion wealth of the many over wealth of the one, but that could put them in conflict with the law of the land.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks, Paizo folks. I appreciate the hard work on this. I’m looking forward to checking out the options!

I’m especially interested in seeing the sword and mount options- even more so since you can get both.


9 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Alright everybody,

It's late (for some of us) and the sniping and accusations are wearing a bit thin.

The paladin, as it is currently designed, is a class the leans heavily on its thematic concept, with abilities that exemplify that idea. I am genuinely interested exploring this concept for classes with a different focus. The problem is that it is not as simple as just swapping out the word "good" for the word "evil" or "neutral". Many of the abilities, the features depend on a lot more than those simple tags. In some cases, entire structural components no longer work and would need to be entirely replaced.

I tried this before.. in the APG, and I had to scrap it then because it was not leading to satisfactory results. To create a truly evil unholy warrior, he has to be more than just the opposite of good. Worse still was the slices that were neutral. Its hard to be opposed when you are in the middle of the spectrum. They require a different structure, different choices, and ultimately have different goals in the play space.

So.. where does that leave us?

We built the Paladin to be the best holy warrior we could make. This does not preclude us doing other champions, but they will likely need more than just a few swapped out feats. To do anything less would be a disservice to what could be a great part of the game. We dont want that, and despite all the differences in this thread, I dont think any of you do either.

I know that many of you want it now. You want it to be part of the core. I have to debate with people in the office every day about putting more content out, faster. My job, is to make sure we take the time to do things right. Especially here.. especially with a class like the Paladin.

Take it a little easy everybody.. I've seen enough flagged posts for one thread. Be good to each other.

The Paladin of 3.5 and P1E--and from all we can see here, the Paladin of P2E--has no abilities that are tied to law. They had perhaps a handful of spells that detected or protected or attacked chaos, but those already had obvious and deliberate equivalents already swapped out between, say, Lawful and Chaotic clerics. But they Smite Evil, not Chaos; their ability to banish Evil Outsiders works as well on Devils as Demons, and they gain no advantages over a Protean; they have an Aura of Courage when Golarion's good of bravery is very chaotic; they have condition removal and immunity to mind control, and Chaos generally doesn't care for being tied down or controlled--indeed, the immunity to mind control is directly lifted from a Liberator Paladin from the Dragon magazine days. None of the abilities you've described in this blog have any apparent alignment implications at all. And indeed, the new tiered Code, by explicitly sublimating Lawfulness to Goodness is one any NG character could easily follow. Hell, I could honestly see a Caileanite following it--Chaotic the Lucky Drunk might be, but he's a forthright sort who revels in a fair fight, and he doesn't flout authority for it's own sake, but because that authority is cruel and abusive.

So if P2E is, in fact, going to be tying Lawfulness more fully into the mechanics of the Paladin, I'd rather like to hear more details about that.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

How does the healing for Lay on Hands work/scale? By what metric does it increase the recipient's AC?

Does Divine Grace have to be declared before or after you roll your saving throw? How many times can you use it? Is it linked to Spell Points? How does it boost your saves? Is it CHA based, level based, or just a number that you picked?

How does Retributive Strike work? Do I have to be adjacent to the ally that got hit? Does my ally getting hit have to be in line of sight? Do I have to be threatening the enemy in order to use this reaction? Does it cost spell points? What is the enfeeble condition like in the new edition? If I use multiple retributive strikes, does the condition worsen?

How does Smite work? Is it limited per day? Does my target have to be evil? Does it add dice or a flat number?

What are the benefits of having legendary armor/shield proficiency over master? Does this include movement speed?

Litanies are teased as spells, but are they spells proper like with slots or do they take up spell points like other things? Do you even get spell points?

I remain disappoint.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Alright everybody,

It's late (for some of us) and the sniping and accusations are wearing a bit thin.

The paladin, as it is currently designed, is a class the leans heavily on its thematic concept, with abilities that exemplify that idea. I am genuinely interested exploring this concept for classes with a different focus. The problem is that it is not as simple as just swapping out the word "good" for the word "evil" or "neutral". Many of the abilities, the features depend on a lot more than those simple tags. In some cases, entire structural components no longer work and would need to be entirely replaced.

I tried this before.. in the APG, and I had to scrap it then because it was not leading to satisfactory results. To create a truly evil unholy warrior, he has to be more than just the opposite of good. Worse still was the slices that were neutral. Its hard to be opposed when you are in the middle of the spectrum. They require a different structure, different choices, and ultimately have different goals in the play space.

So.. where does that leave us?

We built the Paladin to be the best holy warrior we could make. This does not preclude us doing other champions, but they will likely need more than just a few swapped out feats. To do anything less would be a disservice to what could be a great part of the game. We dont want that, and despite all the differences in this thread, I dont think any of you do either.

I know that many of you want it now. You want it to be part of the core. I have to debate with people in the office every day about putting more content out, faster. My job, is to make sure we take the time to do things right. Especially here.. especially with a class like the Paladin.

Take it a little easy everybody.. I've seen enough flagged posts for one thread. Be good to each other.

Sir, you take on often thankless tasks, for which I applaud you.

But I implore you to realise, a proper ellipsis has three dots.

You're surely driving some colleagues mad.

That aside, thanks for your efforts.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
graystone wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
Sure they could have, but I strongly suspect the result would have been much more bland.
I don't understand why. You could have 100% the exact same identity and even the exact same abilities, feats and oaths in either: how does making those an aligned option make what is cool and awesome instead bland and unpalatable?

I never said such a hypothetical framework would be unpalatable. I said I suspect it would lose flavor relative to the classic archetype. This is because building rules for the traditional version of the paladin-in-shining-armor automatically gives the designers access to decades of gaming lore, literature, and cinema to take inspiration from.

Of course it's also possible to do it without leveraging the existing lore corpus. But it's harder. It's even harder if you have to do it in a way that's generic enough so you can add alignment and deity-based modular elements later.

So I think the approach chosen by Jason is reasonable: Build the best LG version possible, then build each class or sub-class for different alignements at a later point, maybe in time for the Core book, otherwise in a quick follow-up (there would be demand for it, obviously, so I don't think it would linger for years). Some posters seems to think the follow-up version will necessarily be bad, but that mistrust of Paizo's dev team is unwarranted, in my opinion.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

To piggyback on HWalsh's post, and to restate my previous posts, this thread is more of a microcosm of the discussion between two ideological differences in game design and player choice rather than the Paladin itself.

One side wishes to diversify and remove aspects of established ruleset's to make way for these changes. No Alignments, All Alignments for All classes, removal of Paladin in place of Templar/Paragon, Clerics should be caster and martial, Monks should be all martial artists and all alignments, Barbarians all alignments and wear heavy armor, etc. The strengths to this approach is that individuals can feel liberated with the plethora of choices and utilize these templates to create something of their own making, and if the templates that are created are of a depth and nuance that the system can accommodate for someone's imagination, that system would be fantastic.

By comparison, you also have individuals who have a tendency to follow structured gameplay and established archetypes. Paladin's are Paladin's, Alignments are an established mechanic of the games, Barbarians are all chaotic, etc. The primary weakness to this is that you establish what something is, and that is all it is going to be. For players, this can sometimes give the feeling that their isn't enough freedom or player agenda for an individual to work with, and if done improperly can lead to stagnation and a limit on player choice. That can and has been a legitimate concern for games and game design.

But the key weakness for choice-heavy game design is that in an effort to diversify something specific, or to give as many options as possible, you broaden it out so thinly that it has no meaning. I feel that this weakness is far worse then for the latter perspective.

Language is important. Identity is important. People identify with something based upon a word or signifiers because that is how we associate words with the objects they represent. And diversifying something so it can be what you want it to be defeats the purpose of defining it. Establishing rules for a class, what it means in the world and what they do is instrumental to crafting stories and helping players understand what they are playing. If I tell the players that they need to find a Monk, I'm fairly certain that having a defined role and identifiers can help the party track a Monk, as opposed to finding a Martial Artist with the LN Template Monk. I am also fairly certain that Paladin is far easier to track then Templar with the LG template of Paladin.

Finally (since this could go on for eons) I find it odd that people treat alignment restrictions so unfairly in Roleplaying games, but don't really question or have a problem with it when playing a game as the heroes in a video game. Just an observation.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

While I like 5e's and Pillars of Eternity take on paladins as warriors drawing power from an specific oath (Bleak Walkers are awesome!), I'm with Jason in this one: I prefer the Paladin to be a specific kind of Holy Champion, the LG one, and have other classes fill the others. This way, a Paladin, a LN Justiciar, an Antipaladin and a Shifter would all be very different.


12 people marked this as a favorite.
gwynfrid wrote:


So I think the approach chosen by Jason is reasonable: Build the best LG version possible, then build each class or sub-class for different alignements at a later point, maybe in time for the Core book, otherwise in a quick follow-up (there would be demand for it, obviously, so I don't think it would linger for years). Some posters seems to think the follow-up version will necessarily be bad, but that mistrust of Paizo's dev team is unwarranted, in my opinion.

Paizo has done some amazing stuff over the years out of Core.

Paladin variants are not one of them.

Pretty much everything they have ever done with respect to variant or loosened paladins has been completely awful trash. That's why people are so worried and skeptical. If Paladin and alternatives are not done right out the gate, and we don't get to playtest them properly, there is very little faith that they won't end up as watered down, underpowered, flavor-crippled garbage.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
gwynfrid wrote:
Some posters seems to think the follow-up version will necessarily be bad, but that mistrust of Paizo's dev team is unwarranted, in my opinion.

Ordinarily, 100% agreement. On this particular topic, dealing with this particular class? Previous development hasn't quite delivered.

None of that reflects on PF2 or even on the designers themselves, outside of a pattern of disappointing development along this specific line of design.

It is the one class that hasn't really delivered among my group with post-PF1 Core development. I think that's why my own hopes were probably too high, and why some of the decisions and responses bring up more concern than I had with past blogs.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Fuzzypaws wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:


So I think the approach chosen by Jason is reasonable: Build the best LG version possible, then build each class or sub-class for different alignements at a later point, maybe in time for the Core book, otherwise in a quick follow-up (there would be demand for it, obviously, so I don't think it would linger for years). Some posters seems to think the follow-up version will necessarily be bad, but that mistrust of Paizo's dev team is unwarranted, in my opinion.

Paizo has done some amazing stuff over the years out of Core.

Paladin variants are not one of them.

Pretty much everything they have ever done with respect to variant or loosened paladins has been completely awful trash. That's why people are so worried and skeptical. If Paladin and alternatives are not done right out the gate, and we don't get to playtest them properly, there is very little faith that they won't end up as watered down, underpowered, flavor-crippled garbage.

This is why I believe these concepts should be full classes: There's a lot more freedom in design if you're not bound to the class chassis.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
dragonhunterq wrote:


It doesn't matter what the system is or what the class is you can have bad players acting bad. It's a player thing, not a class thing.

There are a multitude of people who happily play with paladins blissfully unaware of the angst on the nets because it is not an issue for them - you don't hear about it, because it's not an issue for them.

I understand the desire to blame the class though, although I hqave never had a problem with paladins themselves - for me it is Kender though. Something about them...

The paladin class is the closest thing to giving a badge of authority to a player this game can give. It's a mark that the Gods of Good (whatever they are) back that character and just like a lot of people who are given authority, they tend to abuse it.

Not all.

Just some.

And those are the ones you remember. And a lot of power gamers are drawn to the paladin on that basis.

So yeah, I agree.

It's not the class but, the players that give it a bad name.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
gwynfrid wrote:
I never said such a hypothetical framework would be unpalatable. I said I suspect it would lose flavor relative to the classic archetype.

None of what you said really alters things: the playtest could have focused on the classic paladin with ALL it's lore and making it the best LG paladin EVER with a modular framework. Nothing about it being modular prevents paladins from keeping lore/flavor and/or powers if the playtest only puts out LG options to start.

This is why I said "You could have 100% the exact same identity and even the exact same abilities" since it's true. The framework is ALREADY modular enough to have deity based modular options so it doesn't seem a bridge too far to apply that same idea to aligned abilities.

gwynfrid wrote:
Some posters seems to think the follow-up version will necessarily be bad, but that mistrust of Paizo's dev team is unwarranted, in my opinion.

There are several issues.

#1 non-modular makes it harder for them to make and takes more page count. New options are easier for everyone compared to whole new classes.
#2 different alignment options in pathfinder have a VERY bad track record. Most are JUST awful...
#3 pushing them until later books means less support.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Icy Turbo wrote:
Finally (since this could go on for eons) I find it odd that people treat alignment restrictions so unfairly in Roleplaying games, but don't really question or have a problem with it when playing a game as the heroes in a video game. Just an observation.

I'll admit a little confusion on that part. A programmed video game with limited adaptability versus an RPG being run by adaptable humans able to make changes and freeform decisions on the fly. Why would there be an expectation of treating alignment style systems the same among wildly different mediums?


Dread Moores wrote:
Icy Turbo wrote:
Finally (since this could go on for eons) I find it odd that people treat alignment restrictions so unfairly in Roleplaying games, but don't really question or have a problem with it when playing a game as the heroes in a video game. Just an observation.
I'll admit a little confusion on that part. A programmed video game with limited adaptability versus an RPG being run by adaptable humans able to make changes and freeform decisions on the fly. Why would there be an expectation of treating alignment style systems the same among wildly different mediums?

Because Paizo designs their products around the paradigm of organized play which runs itself like the former instead of the latter, and often alienates the players who want to have the playstyle of the latter respected within the product itself.

Scarab Sages

5 people marked this as a favorite.
master_marshmallow wrote:
Dread Moores wrote:
Icy Turbo wrote:
Finally (since this could go on for eons) I find it odd that people treat alignment restrictions so unfairly in Roleplaying games, but don't really question or have a problem with it when playing a game as the heroes in a video game. Just an observation.
I'll admit a little confusion on that part. A programmed video game with limited adaptability versus an RPG being run by adaptable humans able to make changes and freeform decisions on the fly. Why would there be an expectation of treating alignment style systems the same among wildly different mediums?
Because Paizo designs their products around the paradigm of organized play which runs itself like the former instead of the latter, and often alienates the players who want to have the playstyle of the latter respected within the product itself.

This is not true. If it were true, then the game would look very different.

Shadow Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

What Tallow said.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
graystone wrote:
This is why I said "You could have 100% the exact same identity and even the exact same abilities" since it's true. The framework is ALREADY modular enough to have deity based modular options so it doesn't seem a bridge too far to apply that same idea to aligned abilities.

This is true: You could. It would be harder to achieve, though. At the very least, it's more work since you need to design specific game elements for each alignment.

graystone wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
Some posters seems to think the follow-up version will necessarily be bad, but that mistrust of Paizo's dev team is unwarranted, in my opinion.

There are several issues.

#1 non-modular makes it harder for them to make and takes more page count. New options are easier for everyone compared to whole new classes.
#2 different alignment options in pathfinder have a VERY bad track record. Most are JUST awful...
#3 pushing them until later books means less support.

So you're suspecting that Paizo can't do this right, based on track record (I have no opinion on that, not having tried those subclasses myself). OK, fair enough. But then, you're asking them to still do this thing they don't know to do very well, only this time they should do it faster, in the playtest, while there are still many moving parts and a million other things that need ironing out. It doesn't look like the best recipe for success.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Icy Turbo wrote:

To piggyback on HWalsh's post, and to restate my previous posts, this thread is more of a microcosm of the discussion between two ideological differences in game design and player choice rather than the Paladin itself.

One side wishes to diversify and remove aspects of established ruleset's to make way for these changes. No Alignments, All Alignments for All classes, removal of Paladin in place of Templar/Paragon, Clerics should be caster and martial, Monks should be all martial artists and all alignments, Barbarians all alignments and wear heavy armor, etc. The strengths to this approach is that individuals can feel liberated with the plethora of choices and utilize these templates to create something of their own making, and if the templates that are created are of a depth and nuance that the system can accommodate for someone's imagination, that system would be fantastic.

By comparison, you also have individuals who have a tendency to follow structured gameplay and established archetypes. Paladin's are Paladin's, Alignments are an established mechanic of the games, Barbarians are all chaotic, etc. The primary weakness to this is that you establish what something is, and that is all it is going to be. For players, this can sometimes give the feeling that their isn't enough freedom or player agenda for an individual to work with, and if done improperly can lead to stagnation and a limit on player choice. That can and has been a legitimate concern for games and game design.

But the key weakness for choice-heavy game design is that in an effort to diversify something specific, or to give as many options as possible, you broaden it out so thinly that it has no meaning. I feel that this weakness is far worse then for the latter perspective.

Language is important. Identity is important. People identify with something based upon a word or signifiers because that is how we associate words with the objects they represent. And diversifying something so it can be what you want it to be defeats the purpose...

Well, in the first place, I'm not sure why they need to find a generic person with the Monk class to begin with? If they're looking for a particular person, they presumably have some particular signifiers for that person. If they need some particular ability, than they're asking after that. Do they need some lore that's to be found in a monastery library? Again, you're probably looking for a *particular* monastery which has its own signifiers in-world--and it might make more sense for it to be a monastery in a more European sense, or one that trains, say, wizards or bards in a cloistered style.

And class names run into all kinds of more broad signifiers. Can a rapier wielding fighter not call themselves a Swashbuckler? Can no martial class call themselves a Warrior lest they be taken for an NPC class? Must a tribal Shaman have that class rather than cleric or oracle or sorcerer or witch or druid? If we 'consult the Oracle' for advice and visions of the future, wouldn't a Diviner wizard be a better fit than a spontaneous divine caster with no particular divination boosts?

And so far as video games go...most of them don't really have particularly notable alignment mechanics or restrictions. Karma was an afterthought in Fallout: New Vegas and entirely phased out by Fallout 4, with the focus being on companion and faction opinions. Mass Effect's Paragon and Renegade points weren't really 'good' and 'evil' to begin with, most people mixed them up fairly freely, and to the extent that they gated off a handful of choices in 2 and 3, that was a design decision not especially well-regarded to my memory. The Elder Scrolls makes no moral judgements on your behavior whatsoever. And in most other games that do measure such things, the choices that affect the meter are just cartoonishly black and white.


Dread Moores wrote:
Icy Turbo wrote:
Finally (since this could go on for eons) I find it odd that people treat alignment restrictions so unfairly in Roleplaying games, but don't really question or have a problem with it when playing a game as the heroes in a video game. Just an observation.
I'll admit a little confusion on that part. A programmed video game with limited adaptability versus an RPG being run by adaptable humans able to make changes and freeform decisions on the fly. Why would there be an expectation of treating alignment style systems the same among wildly different mediums?

More of the lack of expectation. It's true that this was not clarified very well. It's less to do with a one-to-one comparison of video games and tabletop RPG's and instead an observation that players tend to have no issue with how the character they play in the game acts towards others or the world, so long as they go in knowing they have no say in the alignment or role of the character in the game. When given choice, however, that dynamic changes. Again, less of a in-depth discussion point and more of a humorous observation of how we approach gaming as a community.


11 people marked this as a favorite.
Dethand wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:


It doesn't matter what the system is or what the class is you can have bad players acting bad. It's a player thing, not a class thing.

There are a multitude of people who happily play with paladins blissfully unaware of the angst on the nets because it is not an issue for them - you don't hear about it, because it's not an issue for them.

I understand the desire to blame the class though, although I hqave never had a problem with paladins themselves - for me it is Kender though. Something about them...

The paladin class is the closest thing to giving a badge of authority to a player this game can give. It's a mark that the Gods of Good (whatever they are) back that character and just like a lot of people who are given authority, they tend to abuse it.

Not all.

Just some.

And those are the ones you remember. And a lot of power gamers are drawn to the paladin on that basis.

So yeah, I agree.

It's not the class but, the players that give it a bad name.

The Paladin class is not a badge of authority, and the fact that some people think it is is part of the problem. Lawful Good is not the Best Good, and in some situations it can even be the worst good.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Arachnofiend wrote:
Dethand wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:


It doesn't matter what the system is or what the class is you can have bad players acting bad. It's a player thing, not a class thing.

There are a multitude of people who happily play with paladins blissfully unaware of the angst on the nets because it is not an issue for them - you don't hear about it, because it's not an issue for them.

I understand the desire to blame the class though, although I hqave never had a problem with paladins themselves - for me it is Kender though. Something about them...

The paladin class is the closest thing to giving a badge of authority to a player this game can give. It's a mark that the Gods of Good (whatever they are) back that character and just like a lot of people who are given authority, they tend to abuse it.

Not all.

Just some.

And those are the ones you remember. And a lot of power gamers are drawn to the paladin on that basis.

So yeah, I agree.

It's not the class but, the players that give it a bad name.

The Paladin class is not a badge of authority, and the fact that some people think it is is part of the problem. Lawful Good is not the Best Good, and in some situations it can even be the worst good.

In some of the more civilized societies, a Paladin of a primary deity of that city or country certainly would carry a certain authority. And the lawful good that isn't the "most good" isn't really good, is Lawful Neutral with good tendencies.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Arachnofiend wrote:
Dethand wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:


It doesn't matter what the system is or what the class is you can have bad players acting bad. It's a player thing, not a class thing.

There are a multitude of people who happily play with paladins blissfully unaware of the angst on the nets because it is not an issue for them - you don't hear about it, because it's not an issue for them.

I understand the desire to blame the class though, although I hqave never had a problem with paladins themselves - for me it is Kender though. Something about them...

The paladin class is the closest thing to giving a badge of authority to a player this game can give. It's a mark that the Gods of Good (whatever they are) back that character and just like a lot of people who are given authority, they tend to abuse it.

Not all.

Just some.

And those are the ones you remember. And a lot of power gamers are drawn to the paladin on that basis.

So yeah, I agree.

It's not the class but, the players that give it a bad name.

The Paladin class is not a badge of authority, and the fact that some people think it is is part of the problem. Lawful Good is not the Best Good, and in some situations it can even be the worst good.

That's not my issue, my issue is LG being held up as the only alignment and group of deities that get a holy warrior, and no War Priests are not holy warriors, neither are Inquisitors.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

A Paladin wouldn't carry any more authority than a Cleric of the same deity (or hell, in the type of society where Paladins would be venerated as such a Lawful Good Investigator would be just as praised unless you're talking specifically of a theocracy which... has its own problems). Meanwhile a Paladin of Torag or Ragathiel could even be considered untrustworthy in communities that follow more temperate gods like Shelyn.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rob Godfrey wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Dethand wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:


It doesn't matter what the system is or what the class is you can have bad players acting bad. It's a player thing, not a class thing.

There are a multitude of people who happily play with paladins blissfully unaware of the angst on the nets because it is not an issue for them - you don't hear about it, because it's not an issue for them.

I understand the desire to blame the class though, although I hqave never had a problem with paladins themselves - for me it is Kender though. Something about them...

The paladin class is the closest thing to giving a badge of authority to a player this game can give. It's a mark that the Gods of Good (whatever they are) back that character and just like a lot of people who are given authority, they tend to abuse it.

Not all.

Just some.

And those are the ones you remember. And a lot of power gamers are drawn to the paladin on that basis.

So yeah, I agree.

It's not the class but, the players that give it a bad name.

The Paladin class is not a badge of authority, and the fact that some people think it is is part of the problem. Lawful Good is not the Best Good, and in some situations it can even be the worst good.
That's not my issue, my issue is LG being held up as the only alignment and group of deities that get a holy warrior, and no War Priests are not holy warriors, neither are Inquisitors.

Why not? And why not Cleric? Heck, if we want to remove flavor from the game and generalize the classes, why can't a religious Cavalier or Fighter be a holy warrior?

Scarab Sages

Arachnofiend wrote:
A Paladin wouldn't carry any more authority than a Cleric of the same deity (or hell, in the type of society where Paladins would be venerated as such a Lawful Good Investigator would be just as praised unless you're talking specifically of a theocracy which... has its own problems). Meanwhile a Paladin of Torag or Ragathiel could even be considered untrustworthy in communities that follow more temperate gods like Shelyn.

Did you really read what I wrote? It sounds by like what you just said, that you did not.

Scarab Sages

Rob Godfrey wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Dethand wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:


It doesn't matter what the system is or what the class is you can have bad players acting bad. It's a player thing, not a class thing.

There are a multitude of people who happily play with paladins blissfully unaware of the angst on the nets because it is not an issue for them - you don't hear about it, because it's not an issue for them.

I understand the desire to blame the class though, although I hqave never had a problem with paladins themselves - for me it is Kender though. Something about them...

The paladin class is the closest thing to giving a badge of authority to a player this game can give. It's a mark that the Gods of Good (whatever they are) back that character and just like a lot of people who are given authority, they tend to abuse it.

Not all.

Just some.

And those are the ones you remember. And a lot of power gamers are drawn to the paladin on that basis.

So yeah, I agree.

It's not the class but, the players that give it a bad name.

The Paladin class is not a badge of authority, and the fact that some people think it is is part of the problem. Lawful Good is not the Best Good, and in some situations it can even be the worst good.
That's not my issue, my issue is LG being held up as the only alignment and group of deities that get a holy warrior, and no War Priests are not holy warriors, neither are Inquisitors.

I have an issue calling a champion of a deity that is evil a "holy warrior."


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Tallow wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
A Paladin wouldn't carry any more authority than a Cleric of the same deity (or hell, in the type of society where Paladins would be venerated as such a Lawful Good Investigator would be just as praised unless you're talking specifically of a theocracy which... has its own problems). Meanwhile a Paladin of Torag or Ragathiel could even be considered untrustworthy in communities that follow more temperate gods like Shelyn.
Did you really read what I wrote? It sounds by like what you just said, that you did not.

Your post amounted to:

1) "Real" societies value Paladins

2) The only way you can criticize Lawful Good is by misinterpreting it and talking about something that isn't "actually" Lawful Good

Both of which are ridiculous assertions.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Arachnofiend wrote:
A Paladin wouldn't carry any more authority than a Cleric of the same deity (or hell, in the type of society where Paladins would be venerated as such a Lawful Good Investigator would be just as praised unless you're talking specifically of a theocracy which... has its own problems). Meanwhile a Paladin of Torag or Ragathiel could even be considered untrustworthy in communities that follow more temperate gods like Shelyn.

I don't know about the whole "badge of authority" thing (HWalsh's opinion, not mine), but this whole "LG-only Paladins make Lawful Good the Best Good" argument really misses the point for me. No one is saying that (not even HWalsh). Because Paladins are more than just a divine champion. Not alignment-wise (I'm not saying they are more righteous than a divine champion), but flavor wise. There's more to them than that.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
gwynfrid wrote:
At the very least, it's more work since you need to design specific game elements for each alignment.

But that's the thing: they don't have to right off the bad. They can focus JUST on LG elements to start for the playtest. Add to that that it makes it EASIER to explore alternate alignments in the future as the groundwork is already done. IMO, it's win/win for not much more work.

I'll take their word that they want to focus on the traditional LG paladin first but I don't see that as a reason not to 'future proof' it by making it modular from the start.

gwynfrid wrote:
OK, fair enough. But then, you're asking them to still do this thing they don't know to do very well, only this time they should do it faster, in the playtest, while there are still many moving parts and a million other things that need ironing out. It doesn't look like the best recipe for success.

Not, I don't think they can't do it. I think that it wasn't a priority to 'get it right' as it was in a non-core book. That and the general thing they to do is replace every ability and make it worse or different in those attempts. A modular framework ensures the basics stay the same [something not seen in the previous attempts] while allowing the option to spread out into the alignment abilities with options.

So I'm not saying they are incapable of making variant aligned paladins, just that there is a good chance #1 they will not see the playtesting we're seeing here, #2 they will have less rigorous oversight and #3 will not get the support the base class will get.

It being modular means that #1 non-aligned options become resources for every type and #2 the framework gets playtested so it'll be stress tested so it just aligned options that need checked later.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

12 people marked this as a favorite.

We have removed a number of posts and replies to them.

The gloating about 'winning' needs to stop. This is not a competition. Discussion about the pros and cons of a decision is fine, but gloating is not discussion, nor does it foster discussion. Trying to cloak gloating with sympathetic words likewise contributes nothing of value to a discussion. Stop doing it.

All the bickering and personal attacks need to stop. If forming a post that does not rely on name calling, cursing, or attacks, is becoming difficult, step away from the thread and cool off. "I" statements instead of "You" statements go a long way in keeping a discussion civil. "You" statements can often come off as accusatory or aggressive. Instead of "You aren't understanding." try "I don't think I am making my point clearly."

The accusations of malicious intent against the designers needs to stop. They are not out to get anyone. They put a lot of time and energy into making the best game they can. Accusations that they are intentionally trying to sabotage the game or making choices designed to be spiteful are unacceptable.

Comparisons of game design decisions to real world social issues are unacceptable. Don't do it.

The spam posts repeating the same things over and over again need to stop. Put down your thoughts, but don't repeat the same posts several times.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
graystone wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
At the very least, it's more work since you need to design specific game elements for each alignment.

But that's the thing: they don't have to right off the bad. They can focus JUST on LG elements to start for the playtest. Add to that that it makes it EASIER to explore alternate alignments in the future as the groundwork is already done. IMO, it's win/win for not much more work.

I'll take their word that they want to focus on the traditional LG paladin first but I don't see that as a reason not to 'future proof' it by making it modular from the start.

gwynfrid wrote:
OK, fair enough. But then, you're asking them to still do this thing they don't know to do very well, only this time they should do it faster, in the playtest, while there are still many moving parts and a million other things that need ironing out. It doesn't look like the best recipe for success.

Not, I don't think they can't do it. I think that it wasn't a priority to 'get it right' as it was in a non-core book. That and the general thing they to do is replace every ability and make it worse or different in those attempts. A modular framework ensures the basics stay the same [something not seen in the previous attempts] while allowing the option to spread out into the alignment abilities with options.

So I'm not saying they are incapable of making variant aligned paladins, just that there is a good chance #1 they will not see the playtesting we're seeing here, #2 they will have less rigorous oversight and #3 will not get the support the base class will get.

It being modular means that #1 non-aligned options become resources for every type and #2 the framework gets playtested so it'll be stress tested so it just aligned options that need checked later.

What I find weird with you arguments is that the comments of the devs (most notably Mark) make me believe that they are actually future proofing them to make it easier to create the alternatives later. Mark said that even just the Paladin in the Playtest is more flexible already than PF1. It make me believe they identified what they would need to make the other champions, but can't really talk about it, in case there some of these points that need to be fixed as found in the playtest, which would make it harder to make the other champions, and knowing these pressure point and their importance could make some people not point them out to "save" the other champions or something, which would ends up giving us a "lamer" overall design.

Liberty's Edge

David knott 242 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
LuniasM wrote:
Also, with regards to Gorum and Antipaladins, I haven't seen any support for antipaladins of specific deities - I even went and looked just to be sure.

Uh...Inner Sea Gods has Antipaladin Codes for both Gorum and Calistria. They are in fact a very explicit thing.

That doesn't mean there shouldn't be non-CE options for a Champion of Gorum (there should), but Antipaladins of Gorum explicitly exist.

There is no antipaladin code for Gorum in Inner Sea Gods. I just checked.

Oh, did that one get left out? My bad.

It's still an existent thing and can be found in Faiths of Corruption. My main point was that it existed and thus Antipaladins of Gorum existed in the setting.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Malachandra wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Dethand wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:


It doesn't matter what the system is or what the class is you can have bad players acting bad. It's a player thing, not a class thing.

There are a multitude of people who happily play with paladins blissfully unaware of the angst on the nets because it is not an issue for them - you don't hear about it, because it's not an issue for them.

I understand the desire to blame the class though, although I hqave never had a problem with paladins themselves - for me it is Kender though. Something about them...

The paladin class is the closest thing to giving a badge of authority to a player this game can give. It's a mark that the Gods of Good (whatever they are) back that character and just like a lot of people who are given authority, they tend to abuse it.

Not all.

Just some.

And those are the ones you remember. And a lot of power gamers are drawn to the paladin on that basis.

So yeah, I agree.

It's not the class but, the players that give it a bad name.

The Paladin class is not a badge of authority, and the fact that some people think it is is part of the problem. Lawful Good is not the Best Good, and in some situations it can even be the worst good.
That's not my issue, my issue is LG being held up as the only alignment and group of deities that get a holy warrior, and no War Priests are not holy warriors, neither are Inquisitors.
Why not? And why not Cleric? Heck, if we want to remove flavor from the game and generalize the classes, why can't a religious Cavalier or Fighter be a holy warrior?

Because a Cleric learns his spells, a Holy Warrior is granted his powers, it's the difference between being Blessed and being Ordained, cavaliers with certain divine powers baked in (so the grace type effect, the smite type effect, the 'aura' effect) would be a good fit, I prefer paladins litanies to spells for this reason, they 'feel' more like a blessing granted the paladin than a spell calling down power by rote prayer and ritual.. I don't know how else to explain it.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Malachandra wrote:
I don't know about the whole "badge of authority" thing (HWalsh's opinion, not mine), but this whole "LG-only Paladins make Lawful Good the Best Good" argument really misses the point for me. No one is saying that (not even HWalsh). Because Paladins are more than just a divine champion. Not alignment-wise (I'm not saying they are more righteous than a divine champion), but flavor wise. There's more to them than that.

For the me, "lawful good is the best good," whether I agree with the statement or not, means that you have divine powers and the LG powers have clerics, paladins, and other miscellaneous servants. Other powers, good or not, will only have clerics and the miscellany. Chaotic evil being the exception with the antipaladin.

Sure, some of the deities of other alignments will allow LG followers, but they will be fewer and less in line with the deity. This results in a power imbalance and makes LG the best deity alignment (unless CE has an equal number of antipaladins).

For me, this has no direct effect on player alignment, but if the party alignment conflicts with the LG Paladin code, then it becomes disruptive.

1,101 to 1,150 of 1,735 << first < prev | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion / Paizo Blog: Paladin Class Preview All Messageboards