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
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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Zaister wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

It is my sincere hope that PF2 will allow for Paladins that are less "Champions of a Deity" but are more "Champions of Fundamental Truths" more in line with the Oracle or Shaman rather than the Cleric.

Since I want to be able to play a Paladin who does not know where their powers come from, so they are more committed to ideals than obeisance.

I'd prefer that divine powers come from an actual divine source not from out of nowhere. What is "divine" without a divinity?

Well, from whence do oracles, druids, and shamans get their powers? All of them are divine spellcasters, per PF1, but none of them specifically refer to a deity. All I want is the option to play a Paladin who is more like that, not that "all paladins are like that."

I'm more than willing to wait for whatever book the oracle is in, if that's what it takes.

From what they have posted, deity-focused seems to be the norm in Golarion. In one of my comments, a designer commented about a splatbook dealing with alternative cosmology/pantheons as a possibility. We just may need a splatbook.

Druids, to be fair, usually worship an "Old Faith" in my settings. But I agree with you on these classes ^^


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Quandary wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

It is my sincere hope that PF2 will allow for Paladins that are less "Champions of a Deity" but are more "Champions of Fundamental Truths" more in line with the Oracle or Shaman rather than the Cleric.

Since I want to be able to play a Paladin who does not know where their powers come from, so they are more committed to ideals than obeisance.

Well with Deity Anathema built into Code, what they've revealed so far is MORE Deity centric than P1E, which has fluff assuming worship of Deity but nothing actually connecting Deity with granted class powers (outside of Archetypes doing that). People are often confused about that, so clearing it up is fine... But I don't see why they need to move so far from P1E norm in that regard. Perhaps offer Deity-agnostic Paladin Orders which can be chosen in lieu of Deity powers/Anathema? That allows for Paladin drawing powers from "cosmic Lawful Goodness" more than any one specific Deity. (I personally like the Deity focus, but don't see that as central to P1E Paladin, and think it's very valid to follow non-Deity-specific route)

I think is because the Golarion infused approach

Sovereign Court

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

I'm curious if Anathema have a specified priority or not, but it sounds like Anathema are equal to the highest priority of the code.

Sovereign Court

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Wermut wrote:
Darkorin wrote:
Wermut wrote:
Darkorin wrote:
I'm quite disappointed to learn that the Paladin does not seem to use the anathema mechanic (which seemed perfect to build Paladins of all Alignments), or at least a version of the anathema mechanic.
Blog wrote:
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.
What I meant was that Anathema does not replace the Paladin's code. The Paladin's code and Anathema serves the same purpose, tell you what is accepted or not accepted for your belief/code/god.
They way I read it is that Anathema as well as the Paladin's Code are in effect. A Paladin of Shelyn might have to find a different solution within the code than a paladin of Iomadae might take. Because Anathema as well as Code are to be fulfilled.

Yes they are both in effect, which show how much bloated the thing is. Why do you need the Paladin's code when you have the Anathema? They just want to keep the original flavor too much and they limit their/our creativity by keeping this Paladin's code.

Instead of using a great roleplaying opportunity (define your paladin's code from the Anathema), we get a rigid definition without much sense (Why would ALL deities make their paladin share that same code, I'm pretty sure they shouldn't all agree). It's the same reason I wished it would go "Champion of Faith" instead of "Paladin".

I know you're saying that the paladins of two faith can find two different solution to the same problem within the code, but what I'm saying is that they should not even have the same code to begin with.

Having a LG code means that they will have to come up with codes for all other kind of alignment, making it a hard to create a version for everyone. It would thus be simpler to just forget about it and let players create their "school" of paladinhood.

And Paizo could publish "Paladin codes" for all their deity if they want.


Retributive Strike sounds very much like a defender ability. You don't "mark" enemies by the sounds of it, but Paladins do have a unique defender power/feat that lets them be sticky and tank. Couple this with the fighter's Attack of Opportunity (which is a free power for Fighters and requires a feat from everyone else) and you have two "tanking" abilities on the two classes that were defenders in 4e PHB1.

Paizo has learnt that calling out classes with labels like "Defender"/"Striker"/"Controller"/"Healer" isn't going to go down well, but it sure seems like the ideas are still there.

We'll have to wait and see, but I have concerns my group won't like this class. Being lawful good is one of the big pros of the class, although I'm glad Paizo have committed to exploring other alignments for Paladins in future supplements (pending the desire is there among their fanbase).


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

Am I the only one who still isn't sure what Righteous Ally actually is?

Disk Elemental wrote:


Also, I really don't like Divine Grace being a reaction--it forces the Paladin to stop defending their allies in order to protect themselves, which is antithetical to the class's fluff. It also looks like it'll lead to reaction choke between Divine Grace, Retributive Strike, Shield Usage, and Attack of Opportunity.
Reaction chokes are fine. You have no way of knowing which reaction will get triggered on any given turn, and it seems unlikely that if one is triggered you can count on a second being triggered that same turn. Having a lot of them just ensures they are almost always getting to be reactive. Plus, they will probably gain something like the second shield reaction mentioned in the fighter blog.
What, did you forget how bad Charmed Life was? Because that's what the new Divine Grace is.

Charmed Life was bad because it had Divine Grace as a point of comparison and it used up an action resource that the Swashbuckler really needed to be using offensively. That's not the case anymore.

And Divine Grace was way too good.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Zaister wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

It is my sincere hope that PF2 will allow for Paladins that are less "Champions of a Deity" but are more "Champions of Fundamental Truths" more in line with the Oracle or Shaman rather than the Cleric.

Since I want to be able to play a Paladin who does not know where their powers come from, so they are more committed to ideals than obeisance.

I'd prefer that divine powers come from an actual divine source not from out of nowhere. What is "divine" without a divinity?

Oracles don't have to worship a God to gain divine power, and paladins have been so strongly moved towards charisma after 3.5, a focus on personal power and drive rather than obedience and heeding the word of the divine that is more commonly depicted for wisdom based divine magic. A paladin who picks up a mantle in the fight of good and right after watching their hero fall shouldn't HAVE to follow the exact good and right of a particular deity, whether it's from Sarenrae who was followed by their hero or the 'traditional' Iomedae. Maybe they have a patron in secret, in the manner of oracles or witches, but having them being warpriest for the good gods leaves a sour taste for me.


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Igwilly wrote:


Pretty much. Killing does not necessarily equals murder, despite what many pacifists say :)

Yeah I'm sure a lot of people would take it that way too. I just have a habit of stating things as neutrally as I can. It comes from playing in a game one night a week, and then running a game in which the DM from the first group is a player, a second night.

We both generally agree on rules and meanings and what have you but every so often there is something we interrupt differently. Sometimes we come to a consensus and other times we just do our own thing because we feel our interpretation fits better for the campaign we are running.

Though it also makes things interesting when, if you were to, describe our styles he's a True Neutral DM and I'm very much Lawful Evil.


rather interesting.. so chance to have other alignments
that is good.

loh sounds good.
the code is clearer and not as strict sounding... should see a lot less has my paladin fallen threads..

oh and jakebacon
you forgot:
I AM the law

LG in the playtest.. .well here is hoping that they allow all good aligned in the final rulebook.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Makeitstop wrote:
I'm assuming the lack of a mention of mounts is because there is going to be a blog about companion creatures at some point, and not because the iconic paladin mount has been quietly done away with.

Mounts were mentioned briefly in the blog.


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Makeitstop wrote:
I'm assuming the lack of a mention of mounts is because there is going to be a blog about companion creatures at some point, and not because the iconic paladin mount has been quietly done away with.

It's right there in Paladin features.

Quote:
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!


Xenocrat wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Am I the only one who still isn't sure what Righteous Ally actually is?
It looks like it's just the divine bond of the PF1 Paladin but now at 3rd level. And you get "smite related" boosts (maybe automatically, maybe via class feat) as you advance that are attached to it. I'm guessing that means more damage on your weapons, reactive damage on your shield, and a buff on your mount/summon. Traditional smite seems to be gone.

Ah, yeah, I was misreading that sentence as a 3rd level ability that further empowers Righteous Ally, rather than Righteous Ally being that third level ability.

This sees neat. When it says you infuse a holy spirit into your thing... I read that at first as bestowing a measure of sentience, which would have been dope. I like the idea of a Paladin having a built in side kick. But it looks like they used that same language in the old Divine Bond. :(

Silver Crusade

Looks very interesting, I like playing Paladins right now, and the future looks pretty bright (though I am also hoping for early alignment alternatives just to finally cut down on the discussion threads), just like Solarian became my go to class in Starfinder this kinda calls to me.


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zergtitan wrote:
Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
To be honest once it said LG only I stopped reading.
they said they are starting with LG only for the playtest, and they do plan on releasing other alignment versions later.

No they didn't.

They said LG only in the playtest, then said, "If or when" which doesn't mean that they *are* planning on releasing them. They also said this doesn't close the door on them *at a later time* we don't know how much later or what they will do.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Zaister wrote:
I'd prefer that divine powers come from an actual divine source not from out of nowhere. What is "divine" without a divinity?
Well, from whence do oracles, druids, and shamans get their powers? All of them are divine spellcasters, per PF1, but none of them specifically refer to a deity.

Likewise with Rangers, who don't even have any Alignment requirement or Code, they are just "in tune" with Divine Nature. Druids use Domains just as adeptly as Clerics. What are Domains? Seems sorta like non-specific divine energy just floating there in empty space. Almost like imposing anthropocentric thinking on the cosmos doesn't work.

Some people want concrete "personality" to focus worship on. OK, they can do that. If we say Paladin can draw supernatural powers thru super-human devotion to "cosmic Lawful Goodness", then that is also what "divine" is. Deities offering single concrete personality as access node to Divine does not mean that is only access node, even if Deities are the easiest access node for those not able/willing to fully dedicate themselves to cosmic alignment ideal (Deity worship is less strict re: alignment requirement).


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Oh guy, this is going really fast.
I'm ok with the Paladin as a tank-type class. I actually always saw him that way.

Well, Anathema is Anathema. Serious business.

The thing with LG only comes clear after an analysis about alignments, and why people have the alignments they have. Once you've done that, LG is a little special.
But they talked about other pallys in splatbooks. I think this is an old tactics which functions well among the player base.


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About the Code. If a god adds to the Paladin Code, where do the tenets fit in the order? Are they added at the bottom or elsewhere? Does it vary per tenet/god?


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The Quest for the Holy Grail:"we're presenting only lawful good paladins." Well, I'm out... This is one aspect of the playtest I'll never see or experience. Sigh... dead before it hits the table...

The Code: less catch 22 between code is welcome but...

Code of Conduct: "If you stray from lawful good" the biggest 'catch 22' left in... Plus "You must never willingly commit an evil act"... Yep, not playing one of these. If anything, the code might be MORE difficult to deal with than before.

Oaths: *shrug* After the code I don't have the energy to really care.

Paladin Features:"paladin was the mystery class that gains the highest heavy armor proficiency" Oh goodie! The heavy armor class is the one I've been force out of because of enforced RP restrictions, Great... After that nuget of info, I really just skimmed over the abilities I'll never try.

Paladin Feats/Litanies... Meh...

Falling: "you lose your Spell Point pool and righteous ally class feature". Depending on what all if tied to Spell Points and Righteous ally, this may be the only saving grace to me. If the class is still playable without those features I might try it. If the lose hobles the class though...

Well, I've said my peace and I'll be going. No reason for me to continue with this or any paladin/alignment threads as they seem to be a lost cause as far as the playtest goes as the playtest has already gone to print. I'll go hide those threads and prepare for the worst when the playtest material hits.


Wow didnt expect pally today. Not much to comment on. The cleric blog spilled much of the beans on how the pally was going to go down.

Also folks, the fighter can be an armor nd shield guy too if you want. Pallyisnt the only armor guy in the game. Just sayin.


The code stuff seems fine, I never really saw many issues with paladins, but if spelling it out like this eliminates issues for others than it's a good thing. But I am disappointed that very little is mentioned about the actual class. There is a single off-hand mention of smite, but it doesn't really say anything. Is smite now a lay on hands sub-ability? Is it linked to alignment like the current Smite Evil? What level does it come in at? What does it even do? Do paladins still get spell casting? How many spell levels? Do they have the auras of current paladins? What about charisma to saves? Etc.

The paladin/alignment flame-wars have them so scared that they focus the majority of the article on code and alignment and reassurances that they're just working on the playtest for now and other alignments might follow, that they barely even mention what the class even does. Considering how crazy those arguments get, I don't think I can blame them. But I'm still disappointed that there is so little revealed about the class.

And on a different topic, I'm a bit undecided on the change from the one-step rule to allowable alignments based on the deity. There is risk of arbitrary restrictions, but also closes some odd cases like having a Good cleric of Yog Sothoth (who wants to be summoned so it can consume all lifeforms and corrupt space and time). On balance it seems like a good change, just need to be careful not to cut off valid choices.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I like the direction. Might actually have to play a Paladin again. :)


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Cool little bit about demons that I just noticed - they're being classed by sin association. So dretches are sloth demons, succubi would presumably be Lust demons, I imagine marilith would be Wrath demons, and so on. I like that.

I wonder what flavor shift they'll be giving to devils to match that!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Looks like Paladins are getting interesting options at every level. I would have liked to see Paladins of other alignments but the class looks modular enough that I can easily see how future expansions could create champions of other alignments.

I really like how the new code works, making it clear what the priorities are is massively helpful to help players feel like they aren’t falling into a GM alignment trap, and give GMs clear ideas of how their players are going to react.

I’m curious how Paladin spell progression will work, or if all their spells will be intrinsically ties to their spellpoints.

Either way I’m looking forward to the tank/guardian Paladin in the playtest.


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Xenocrat wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

Am I the only one who still isn't sure what Righteous Ally actually is?

Disk Elemental wrote:


Also, I really don't like Divine Grace being a reaction--it forces the Paladin to stop defending their allies in order to protect themselves, which is antithetical to the class's fluff. It also looks like it'll lead to reaction choke between Divine Grace, Retributive Strike, Shield Usage, and Attack of Opportunity.
Reaction chokes are fine. You have no way of knowing which reaction will get triggered on any given turn, and it seems unlikely that if one is triggered you can count on a second being triggered that same turn. Having a lot of them just ensures they are almost always getting to be reactive. Plus, they will probably gain something like the second shield reaction mentioned in the fighter blog.
What, did you forget how bad Charmed Life was? Because that's what the new Divine Grace is.

Charmed Life was bad because it had Divine Grace as a point of comparison and it used up an action resource that the Swashbuckler really needed to be using offensively. That's not the case anymore.

And Divine Grace was way too good.

Also, I wasn't actually saying Divine Grace would itself be good. Just that it was unlikely to be a problem with other reactions because they all get triggered by different events.

Enemy hits Paladin = Shield Block
Enemy hits ally = Retributive Strike
Enemy moves away from Paladin = AoO
Enemy hits Paladin with saving throw spell = Divine Grace

I think the odds of more than one of those happening in a round is low enough to where I can't see a Paladin agonizing over the decision too often.

Also, I think calling it Charmed Life is a little premature given the blog didn't say we added CHA to saves with it. But if that is the case, 2e characters will be able to raise their charisma with much lower investment than 1e martials. Finally, I'll note that Charmed Life also suffered from being limited uses per day. No mention of that on Divine Grace one way or another.


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Cuàn wrote:
About the Code. If a god adds to the Paladin Code, where do the tenets fit in the order? Are they added at the bottom or elsewhere? Does it vary per tenet/god?

This could be wrong, but from the wording in the blog (“In addition...”) it sounds like the deities’ tenets come at the top of the list.


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You have officially made good > law..... Paladins are now Asimov robots free of making moral decisions. Great....

I would like the option to choose law > good. Otherwise we are just Good kinda lawful not Lawful Good.

Glad to know other paladin alignments will be considered. Asmodean Paladins ftw(a great example of law>evil).

Scarab Sages

Yaaay, Paladins! :) Good stuff. Being a paragon of defense and having verbal-only spells at one's disposal sounds great. I suppose we don't have to worry about having a hand free, then. Wait, does Lay On Hands require a free hand...? The name sure suggests it...

As for that defensive reaction... I like it a lot, but did they change the PF1 fact that you are your own ally? It sounds a bit like that.

The new Seelah art is more attractive, which is a mixed blessing. With that wasp waist, she looks a bit less no-nonsense badass than she used to. Too bad they kept the winged boots in which you can't walk straight without clanging your knees together, I didn't like them the first time around either... and the sword is a bit pudgy.

So, when do we get Smite?


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Arachnofiend wrote:
I'd rather they just outright say that the Paladin is locked to Lawful Good than make false half-promises about alternatives. They're not going to make a CG Paladin, and if they do it's going to suck like the Grey Paladin did as a way to wag their fingers at people who want variety.

That's my expectation. Sadness reigns in the Land of Me.

The rabble must continue forth, if only to make victory annoying. But it does seem likely that Chaotic Good Champions of Good and Armor is dead on arrival.

It really does sink much of my interest. Its just so annoying to me that Lawful Good has to be put on a pedestal.


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Dastis wrote:

You have officially made good > law..... Paladins are now Asimov robots free of making moral decisions. Great....

I would like the option to choose law > good. Otherwise we are just Good kinda lawful not Lawful Good.

Glad to know other paladin alignments will be considered. Asmodean Paladins ftw(a great example of law>evil).

That is a good point about the tenets leaning more towards Good vs. Law. Now that I think about it, when I run the playtest I may give any possible Pally's the option of re-ordering the priorities at creation (once set it's set) to give them the choice of Law > Good. But with some of my players it may be best to just leave them with the RAW. Might be something I do based on the specific player. (House Rules FTW!)


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They talked about Righteous Ally without actually talking about it. What?

Also and this is just a word complaint from me;

Quote:
Feats that improve or alter your lay on hands include mercy feats

So it's a class Feat. Mercy system removed, repackaged and sold back to us. Now I'm not going to get into complaining about that system again, no the complaint is will this be how some Class Feats be named now?

Rage Feats
Talent Feats
Discovery Feats
Ki Feats
Shift Feats
Mercy Feats
Etc Feats

That are all Class Feats? Like Class [Mercy] Feats or something? System and community aside, this is just a tad confusing at worst and just annoying at least.

Scarab Sages

I wouldn't mind eventually getting Liberators, Tyrants, and Disruptors, but the Paladin is the ur-archetype: It's the dream of being rewarded by the universe for Doing Things Right, even though it's the hardest way to go.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:

Cool little bit about demons that I just noticed - they're being classed by sin association. So dretches are sloth demons, succubi would presumably be Lust demons, I imagine marilith would be Wrath demons, and so on. I like that.

I wonder what flavor shift they'll be giving to devils to match that!

Marilith are pride, Vrock are wrath. Most of the original demons explicitly tied them to sins in their bestiary entries, it just didn't have mechanical effects before. And the later explosion of demons couldn't carry it that far along traditional lines, veering into specific expressions/actions of sins (torture, slavery, etc.) rather than base sins.


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My thoughts on most of this is… complex, but…

I would like the idea of non-full casting classes to have spell points instead of spell slots.


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Humm, interesting take on the Palalin. With the exception of a few details (I'll get on that), I like what I see.

So, LG only. Being fond of AD&D 2e Paladin, I like that Pallys are extremely restricted in alignment. Also, I think it's a good choice to focus e nail the LG aspect of it, then maybe expand to other alignments (ie: CE Blackguards...).

Also, The code. I like how restrictive the code is, but is more aligned to real game-play. I also liked how details in the code change depending on the deity (much like I really liked how Clerics now have specific sets of conducts to follow).

The focus on defense vs. offense (i.e. armor prof. vs weapon prof.), seems like a natural evolution of the class. Also, it helps to set them apart from fighters, the alter being the ultimate weaponmasters.

As far as class abilities go, seems like Pallys are not Vancian casters anymore, and generaly I like it. The litanies are apparently a spellcasting method unique to them, and seems to grasp my imagination, world-building wise.

As far as the only thing I'm not keen on, is the reaction ability. I wouldn't be too much bothered if it only meant as a counter-attack to protect allies. But the fact that it weakens them.... Firstly, it FEELS gamish as hell. Secondly, if a pally can debilitate an opponent with a weapon attack, why can he only do that on a counter? It makes absolutely no sense.

IMOI think they should get Attack of Oppornity and that's it.


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Catharsis wrote:
I wouldn't mind eventually getting Liberators, Tyrants, and Disruptors, but the Paladin is the ur-archetype: It's the dream of being rewarded by the universe for Doing Things Right, even though it's the hardest way to go.

Lawful Good is the alignment of accepting evil because there are worse evils out there. There are Hellknight Paladins because it's possible to be Lawful Good and just turn the other cheek at slavery and other forms of repression.

Lawful Good is not the most good.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I like the approach on alignment.

LG for the playtest- get the basics right, and make sure the traditional Pathfinder Paladin is playable. But, still leave the other possibilities open, and (if they’re done) give them the space to be developed without drawing everyone’s focus during playtest.


I remember it was mentioned in a stream or interview that paladins would be allowed to lie if needed, but their tenets seem to shut that down.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Gregg Reece wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:

Sounds cool to me. I especially like the sound of the 19th Level defiance ability.

Question: this makes it sound like litanies are special abilities rather than spells. Are Paladins not spellcasters in 2E?

I'm guessing that they can cast some SLAs (litanies, lay on hands, etc) via spell points, but don't have an actual spell list.

Here's hoping! Also hoping that rangers aren't spellcasters in PF2.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Honestly, I'm just super disappointed about the "LG Only in the Playtest" thing.

I feel like it's a cop-out and it'll lead to LG specific details getting hard coded into the base class in a way that you naturally avoid when you actually think about other alignments from the beginning. It's especially weird to do it while simultaneously tying the class to a specific deity. Doing that but not handling the fact that deities of other alignments would also grant similar powers to their champions feels like a missed opportunity.

I'm not saying I don't like LG Paladins (my favorite Paladin from fiction is CLEARLY Lawful Good), I'm just upset because I feel like not taking multiple alignments into account from the beginning will result in a class that doesn't work as well when you eventually try to make it support multiple alignments.


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willuwontu wrote:
I remember it was mentioned in a stream or interview that paladins would be allowed to lie if needed, but their tenets seem to shut that down.

The tenets are in order so you can lie (tenet 3) to protect an innocent or prevent immediate harm (tenet 2).

I like that you expressly can't be expected to throw your life away as some GMs expected you to.


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QuidEst wrote:

I like the approach on alignment.

LG for the playtest- get the basics right, and make sure the traditional Pathfinder Paladin is playable. But, still leave the other possibilities open, and (if they’re done) give them the space to be developed without drawing everyone’s focus during playtest.

Wonder if they'll continue this with Monk, Druid, and Barbarian. Wait who wants to be Lawful Barbarian?


willuwontu wrote:
I remember it was mentioned in a stream or interview that paladins would be allowed to lie if needed, but their tenets seem to shut that down.

The hierarchy of the oath makes it explicit that they can to serve a higher tenet. Lying is in the 3rd tenet, which makes it less important than avoiding active evil and protecting the innocent. So they can very much lie to protect the innocent.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Arachnofiend wrote:

Lawful Good is the alignment of accepting evil because there are worse evils out there. There are Hellknight Paladins because it's possible to be Lawful Good and just turn the other cheek at slavery and other forms of repression.

Lawful Good is not the most good.

That makes... no sense at all.


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MerlinCross wrote:
QuidEst wrote:

I like the approach on alignment.

LG for the playtest- get the basics right, and make sure the traditional Pathfinder Paladin is playable. But, still leave the other possibilities open, and (if they’re done) give them the space to be developed without drawing everyone’s focus during playtest.

Wonder if they'll continue this with Monk, Druid, and Barbarian. Wait who wants to be Lawful Barbarian?

Me. It's never made sense they were non-lawful only. Given a reliance on tribal laws, superstitions, and taboos, it's never made a whole lot of sense. It's a hold over from back when Chaos and Law were the only alignments and the Barbarians were basically savage berserkers.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:

They talked about Righteous Ally without actually talking about it. What?

Also and this is just a word complaint from me;

Quote:
Feats that improve or alter your lay on hands include mercy feats

So it's a class Feat. Mercy system removed, repackaged and sold back to us. Now I'm not going to get into complaining about that system again, no the complaint is will this be how some Class Feats be named now?

Rage Feats
Talent Feats
Discovery Feats
Ki Feats
Shift Feats
Mercy Feats
Etc Feats

That are all Class Feats? Like Class [Mercy] Feats or something? System and community aside, this is just a tad confusing at worst and just annoying at least.

I don't think Mercy Feats are the same as Skill, Class or Ancestry feats. Sounds like a short hand to refer to a line of class feats, such as the one named in the blog, Ultimate Mercy. Maybe they have a designation tag "mercy", or more likely they all have the word mercy in their name.

Similarly, rage feats will likely be what we call the Class Feats a Barbarian can only use while raging, and bomb feats are the Class Feats an alchemist can choose to enhance their alchemist's fires.

The words we use to describe categories of feats just make it easier to refer to those categories. If those categories are in the published work (which I find doubtful), it only makes it easier to determine which class feats apply to what class abilities.

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