Paladin Class Preview

Monday, May 7, 2018

All it takes is a cursory browse of the Paizo forums to see that paladins are not just the most contentious class in Pathfinder, they are the most contentious conversation topic. Weeks before we previewed the class, multiple threads with thousands of posts arose in advance, filled with passionate fans with many different opinions and plenty of good ideas. Turns out, the Paizo office isn't too different.

The Quest for the Holy Grail

Early last year, I went on a sacred quest through the office and surveyed all the different opinions out there about paladins. Turns out, almost everyone had slightly different thoughts. But there was one element in common: whether they wanted paladins of all alignments, paladins of the four extreme alignments, lawful good paladins and chaotic evil antipaladins, lawful evil tyrant antipaladins, or even just lawful good paladins alone, everyone was interested in robust support for the idea that paladins should be champions of their deity and alignment. That is to say, whatever alignments paladins have, they should have an array of abilities deeply tied into that alignment.

Since that was the aspect of the paladin that everyone agreed upon, that's what we wanted to make sure we got right in the playtest. But given the limited space for the playtest, we chose to focus on getting that aspect fine-tuned for one alignment, and so in this book we're presenting only lawful good paladins. That doesn't mean antipaladins and tyrants are gone (there's even an antipaladin foe in one of the adventures!) or that the door is closed to other sorts of paladins down the road. We'll have a playtest survey on the matter, we're open to more opinions, and even among the four designers we have different ideas. But we want to focus the playtest on getting lawful good paladins right, first and foremost. If or when we do make more paladins and antipaladins, having constructed a solid foundation for how an alignment-driven champion functions will be a crucial step to making all of them engaging and different in play.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

The Code

Tell me if you've heard this one before: My paladin was brought to a court where she was forced to testify under oath to tell the whole truth, by a legitimate authority, about the whereabouts of certain innocent witnesses, but she knows that if she answers the questions, a villain is going to use that information to track down and harm the innocents. It's the "Inquiring Murderer" quandary from moral philosophy set in a way that manages to pin you between not just two but three different restrictions in the old paladin code. Sure, I can beg and plead with the judge that the information, if released, would harm innocents, but ultimately if the judge persists, I'm in trouble. These sorts of situations are some of the most common paladin threads on the forums, and they're never easy.

With the playtest presenting the opportunity, I wanted to analyze the paladin's code down to basic principles and keep all the important roleplaying aspects that make paladins the trustworthy champions of law and good we've come to expect while drastically reducing, and hopefully eliminating, the no-win situations. Here's what it looks like at the moment.

Code of Conduct

Paladins are divine champions of a deity. You must be lawful good and worship a deity that allows lawful good clerics. Actions fundamentally opposed to your deity's alignment or ideals are anathema to your faith. A few examples of acts that would be considered anathema appear in each deity's entry. You and your GM will determine whether other acts count as anathema.

In addition, you must follow the paladin's code below. Deities often add additional strictures for their own paladins (for instance, Shelyn's paladins never attack first except to protect an innocent, and they choose and perfect an art).

If you stray from lawful good, perform acts anathema to your deity, or violate your code of conduct, you lose your Spell Point pool and righteous ally class feature (which we talk more about below) until you demonstrate your repentance by conducting an atone ritual, but you keep any other paladin abilities that don't require those class features.

The Paladin's Code

The following is the fundamental code all paladins follow. The tenets are listed in order of importance, starting with the most important. If a situation places two tenets in conflict, you aren't in a no-win situation; instead, follow the most important tenet. For instance, if an evil king asked you if innocent lawbreakers were hiding in your church so he could execute them, you could lie to him, since the tenet forbidding you to lie is less important than the tenet prohibiting the harm of an innocent. An attempt to subvert the paladin code by engineering a situation allowing you to use a higher tenet to ignore a lower tenet (telling someone that you won't respect lawful authorities so that the tenet of not lying supersedes the tenet of respecting lawful authorities, for example) is a violation of the paladin code.

  • You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell.
  • You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent to come to immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it. This tenet doesn't force you to take action against possible harm to innocents or to sacrifice your life and future potential in an attempt to protect an innocent.
  • You must act with honor, never cheating, lying, or taking advantage of others.
  • You must respect the lawful authority of the legitimate ruler or leadership in whichever land you may be, following their laws unless they violate a higher tenet.

So let's break down what's the same and what's different. We still have all the basic tenets of the paladin from Pathfinder First Edition, with one exception: we've removed poison from the tenet of acting with honor. While there are certainly dishonorable ways to use poison, poisoning a weapon and using it in an honorable combat that allows enhanced weaponry doesn't seem much different than lighting the weapon on fire. However, by ordering the tenets and allowing the paladin to prioritize the most important tenets in the event of a conflict, we've cut down on the no-win situations. And of course, this opens a design space to play around with the tenets themselves, something we've done by incorporating one of the most popular non-core aspects for paladins...

Oaths

Oaths allow you to play around with the tenets of your code while also gaining mechanical advantages. For instance, the Fiendsbane Oath allows you to dish out near-constant retribution against fiends and eventually block their dimensional travel with an Anchoring Aura. Unlike in Pathfinder First Edition, oaths are feats, and you don't need an archetype to gain one.

Paladin Features

As many of you guessed when Jason mentioned it, paladin was the mystery class that gains the highest heavy armor proficiency, eventually reaching legendary proficiency in armor and master proficiency in weapons, as opposed to fighters, who gain the reverse. At 1st level, you also gain the Retributive Strike reaction, allowing you to counterattack and enfeeble any foe that hits one of your allies (Shelyn save those who strike your storm druid ally). You also get lay on hands, a single-action healing spell that not only heals the target but also raises their AC for a round to help prevent future damage. Combine that effect used on yourself with a raised shield, and you can make it pretty hard for a foe to hit you, and it helps recovering allies avoid another beating.

Lay on hands is the first of a paladin's champion powers, which include a whole bunch of elective options via feats. One of my favorites, gained automatically at 19th level, is hero's defiance, which makes a paladin incredibly difficult to take down. It lets you keep standing when you fall to 0 HP, gives you a big boost of Hit Points, and doesn't even use up your reaction! Leading up to that, you gain a bunch of fun smite-related boosts, including the righteous ally class feature that you saw mentioned in the code. This is a 3rd-level ability that lets you house a holy spirit in a weapon or a steed, much like before, but also in a shield, like the fan-favorite sacred shield archetype!

Paladin Feats

In addition to the oath feats I mentioned when talking about the code, paladins have feats customized to work with the various righteous ally options, like Second Ally, a level 8 feat that lets you gain a second righteous ally. There are also a variety of auras that you can gain to improve yourself and your allies, from the humble 4th-level Aura of Courage, which reduces the frightened condition for you when you gain it and at the end of your turn for you and your allies, to the mighty 14th-level Aura of Righteousness, which gives you and your allies resistance to evil damage. Feats that improve or alter your lay on hands include mercy feats, which allow you to remove harmful conditions and afflictions with lay on hands, up to and including death itself with Ultimate Mercy. And we can't forget potent additional reactions like Divine Grace, granting you a saving throw boost at 2nd level, and Attack of Opportunity at 6th level.

To close out, I'll tell you about one more popular non-core paladin ability we brought in, a special type of power called...

Litanies

Following their mold from Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat, litanies are single-action Verbal Casting spells that last 1 round and create various effects. For instance, litany of righteousness makes an enemy weak to your allies' attacks, and litany against sloth slows down an enemy, costing it reactions and potentially actions as well. One of the coolest story features of the litanies against sins is that they now explicitly work better against creatures strongly aligned with their sin, so a dretch (a.k.a. a sloth demon) or a sloth sinspawn treats its saving throw outcome for litany against sloth as one degree worse!

Just as a reminder to everyone, please be respectful to each other. Many of us have strong opinions about the paladin, and that's OK, even if we each have different feelings.

Mark Seifter
Designer

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Tags: Paladins Pathfinder Playtest Seelah Wayne Reynolds
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Removed a post. Let's not bring slavery into the paladins and alignment discussion right now. Thanks.


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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.
Blog wrote:
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.

The way I see it Paladins will be allowed to lie when needed, they just can't lie on a whim, at least not LG Paladins. (Yes I fully believe that Paizo will releases tweaks/Archtypes for other alignments down the road). Which makes sense to me, a Paladin shouldn't be allowed to lie because they feel like it, but because lying is actually the only Morally acceptable solution in the current situation.

But that's just my though process on the matter.

Liberty's Edge

I gotta say, I'm disappointed with this one.
Paladin is my favorite class and this preview was the one I was expecting the most, but it is just too vague.
Only a quick mention to Smite, nothing about spellcasting. I'd really like more mechanical details about the class.
But then again, it's my favorite class. Perhaps nothing short of the full class write up would satisfy me.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like it, glad they kept the LG alignment, for now at least.


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So... Two questions :

1) Can Paladins still cast spells ?
2) Will non-Lawful Good Paladins be core once the playtest is over ?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

*dots*


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
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 really hope they are not, Clerics and War Priests fill the role of beat stick caster, Paladins should be the blessed warriors of their deity, the (un) hallowed iron fist of a god, far more directly gifted than the rote prayers of a caster. Just feels more flavourful if they don't cast spells but instead beseech aid directly, and get a reaponse, plus opens up the distance between them and War Priests, so that WPs aren't just 'sucky paladins that gods not allowed to have actual paladins get' speaking of all faiths should have them choosing a mortal sword of the deity never made sense as a 'sorry Cayden no divinely blessed duelist for you... Because reasons'


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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!

Demons are generally the embodiment of some sin.

Devils are generally associated with some sort of job in the bureaucracy of hell.

Daemons are generally the embodiment of a horrible way to die.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I was actually expecting Paizo to remove the lawful good only restriction on paladins, so I'm a bit surprised by the decision to keep it.

Personally, I'd prefer that the paladin stays lawful good only. However, I won't have minded if it changes. That's not the hill I'd be willing to die on, as they say. Come to think of it, there don't seem to be any of these hills at all for me, actually.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
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.

I dunno that still sounds weird(And possibly Feat tree based, what feeds into Ultimate Mercy? Nothing maybe but it feels like something should, could.). Could have said "Class Feats that effect your Lay on Hands".

I'd rather keep Rage Powers and Discoveries myself. I don't see a reason to tac "Feat" onto everything. Or Name every group of Feats something.

Probably just a nitpick but it seems weird to blend Feat onto everything.


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Blog wrote:
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

I think this focuses on only one aspect of why poison use feels dishonorable, that being the intended target doesn't not know you are using poison. The flaming blade is a bit of a disanalogy because it's obvious to the target that the Paladin is wielding a flaming blade, that would not be true for poison. Perhaps you might reexamine the tenets to address the use of deceit or deception in combat.

Also, what makes poison use evil is the idea that it is somehow particularly cruel and inhumane. There's a reason why the Geneva Convention bans spiked pits, and flamethrowers (incendiary weapons) on people. You can certainly get your foot blown off by a land mine, or your head blown off by a bullet, but they've decided spiked pits and burning death are considered over the top, despite the goal being to kill the other guy.

Another reason to ban poison use from Paladins is that it essentially allows the Paladin to hit and run and wait for the poison to debilitate their opponent. I think there's a strong argument that this is not an honorable way to defeat your enemy.

Is it honorable for a Paladin to lure an average enemy into a spiked pit?


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AWESOME!!!

Thanks a lot for keeping it up guys. Paladins are delivering what i hoped and even more. Cant wait to see them in the play test.

I will be honest, im impressed how you are managing to deliver on these blogs. Every time i think there will an issue based on the part of the forums ideas, you come around for the deliver when the blog hits.

Now about the game itself, im trully interested to see how these 2 attacks turns are shaping out to be, cause pretty much everyone i saw speak about it seems to think the third atk is bad and now even the paladins are getting lay on hands to cover that last low hitting atk too.

Well, cant wait to read those rules.

Sovereign Court

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Almarane wrote:


2) Will non-Lawful Good Paladins be core once the playtest is over ?

My money is on no. It's a lot harder to design a generic solution from a specific one than to design a generic one and branch it out to solve specific issues. And that's why I'm disappointed, hope they'll show me how wrong I am, and that they are only showing us the LG branch in the playtest with a generic version of the class in their secret core book design case.

But even in that case, it means that the other paladins won't be playtested. Which makes me wonder how viable they will be...

Scarab Sages

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Lots of good stuff here. I really appreciate laying out the tennets in order of severity. AlsoThe one pinprick I see so far is the return of ‘Evil’ Spells. Was really hoping that was getting tossed but ugggggh alright.


Just commenting on here saying I like what I see about the Paladin so far.

Excited to see that there might be some non-LG paladins in the future. Also, I really like the new Code.


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N N 959 wrote:
Blog wrote:
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

I think this focuses on only one aspect of why poison use feels dishonorable, that being the intended target doesn't not know you are using poison. The flaming blade is a bit of a disanalogy because it's obvious to the target that the Paladin is wielding a flaming blade, that would not be true for poison. Perhaps you might reexamine the tenets to address the use of deceit or deception in combat.

Also, what makes poison use evil is the idea that it is somehow particularly cruel and inhumane. There's a reason why the Geneva Convention bans spiked pits, and flamethrowers (incendiary weapons) on people. You can certainly get your foot blown off by a land mine, or your head blown off by a bullet, but they've decided spiked pits and burning death are considered over the top, despite the goal being to kill the other guy.

Another reason to ban poison use from Paladins is that it essentially allows the Paladin to hit and run and wait for the poison to debilitate their opponent. I think there's a strong argument that this is not an honorable way to defeat your enemy.

Is it honorable for a Paladin to lure an average enemy into a spiked pit?

It's interesting that you use incendiary weapons as an example of a type of violence considered morally reprehensible by real world standards, since an incendiary weapon by the name of Fireball happens to be one of the most iconic ways to kill a large number of people in the game.


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N N 959 wrote:
Another reason to ban poison use from Paladins is that it essentially allows the Paladin to hit and run and wait for the poison to debilitate their opponent. I think there's a strong argument that this is not an honorable way to defeat your enemy.

I agree, the only possible thing I could think of that would be "ok" for a Paladin (and this is going to be a super bad example), is if they used something like Drow Poison (see bad example but was the first Sleep poison that came to mind without pulling up a chart), to incapacitate a foe with minimal violence and injury to the target.

Or perhaps to prevent the young prince from leading the armies against the demons, that he will surely die in, so that he may remain safe to lead his people while you take his place on the battlefield.

These seem like very far reaching stretches of the idea "Honorable Uses for Poisons", but about the only things I think of that I would even consider possibly allowing at my table.


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Darkorin wrote:
But even in that case, it means that the other paladins won't be playtested. Which makes me wonder how viable they will be...

That is an excellent and very worrying point.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As someone who has played since the early beginning when Paladins were just lawful counterparts to avengers, count me as one who is extremely disappointed. I am either now going to rework or ban paladins again or just move to 5 edition. I am really tired of paladin arguments. I wish Paizo the best but may be time for me to move on.


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Well, unless the Paladin'a/Ranger's spellcasting is going to be buffed up in the new edition, the Paladin's/Ranger's spells don't matter much. I won't shed tears if they drop that for both classes, in the end.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Darkorin wrote:
But even in that case, it means that the other paladins won't be playtested. Which makes me wonder how viable they will be...
That is an excellent and very worrying point.

Contrary to popular beliefs, non-core content can be as much balanced or not as the core book. It just carries a lot less of weight, since the material is explicitly optional.

Now, I'll be fair to you all...
I'm not surprised that the post's focus was on the code and alignment and such. That is the main subject of nearly all paladin threads and arguments. It's something that needs to be clear.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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2 part question.

1) if paladins can cast spells, can they cast the spells tied to deities as described under the cleric class preview?
2) if paladins can not cast spells, can they use spell points to cast spells tied to deities as described under the cleric class preview?

Either way, I hope that paladins, as a class strongly tied to a deity, can access the deity specific spells which give that deity some flavor to distinguish them from any other deity.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Darkorin wrote:
But even in that case, it means that the other paladins won't be playtested. Which makes me wonder how viable they will be...
That is an excellent and very worrying point.

We have no reason to believe they're seriously considering the idea of a Chaotic Good Paladin, so we might as well give up on that front. If the mechanics end up interesting me I'll probably still end up playing a Paladin since despite what some people seem to believe Lawful Good is not some special snowflake alignment that is extremely difficult to roleplay.


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Hmm. I've just recently gotten into paladins in a major way, so I'm really mixed on this.

Positive:
-Laws of Robotics-esque code. (And for those complaining that it eliminates moral decisions, remember that all the interesting stuff in I, Robot came from the interaction of those laws.)
-Righteous Ally changes are nice. Is there still an action involved or is it a passive effect now? I'm hoping for the latter.
-Lay on Hands as a 1-action ability regardless of target is nice. I always felt the paladin should be quicker to heal others than themselves, not the other way round.
-Oaths are core! And since they're feats, they should be less punishing to take in terms of feature cost.
-No spellcasting proper, if I'm reading this right! Prepared spells were my least favorite thing about paladins, and I'm happy to see them replaced with powers.
-Seelah's new art looks great (especially the toning down of the boobplate).

Negative:
-Reaction cramp. Unless paladins have some unmentioned feat or feature that lets them get extra reactions, they're gonna be frustrating to play - especially given that some of those reactions are things that were passive effects in 1E.
-Retributive Strike. Paladins feel like they should be about intercepting an attack against an ally, not letting the ally be struck and then taking revenge.
-Hero's Defiance. Why is a 1st level (IE paladin level 4) 1E spell now a 19th level ability? It's powerful, but not THAT powerful.
-Lawful Good. This is the big one for me. I would really have preferred either making paladins be the Ultimate Goodness and requiring any Good (or even restricting to Neutral Good) or stripping alignment out entirely and just tying it to deities through the anathema system (perhaps by having clerics pick one anathema, similar to the medium's spirit taboo, and use the rest as guidelines, while requiring paladins adhere to all of them). I know there are more options potentially coming, but how long until we see those? On the (very slight) bright side, maybe some CG deities will allow LG clerics, and by extension paladins, now.

Mixed:
-Feat cramp. Paladin is the first 2E class that I'm actually worried about losing class features in the mix here, due to how many core things from 1E have become feats - mercies, auras, divine grace. I'll have to see the full playtest to know, though.
-What's going on with smite? It's been mentioned but there's no explanation.

Anyway, this is one I'll definitely be making early in the playtest to see if it's still as fun as the Warrior of the Holy Light I play in PFS.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Darkorin wrote:
But even in that case, it means that the other paladins won't be playtested. Which makes me wonder how viable they will be...
That is an excellent and very worrying point.

I’m guessing more viable than if they tried to playtest, say, four at once.o


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Damn. I had really been hoping that Anathema and deity-based Alignment requirements would be replacing LG-only and the code of conduct. I suppose, if they are going with the Paladin as a champion of their alignment instead of a champion of their god, sticking to LG for the playtest and potentially expanding to others further down the line makes sense. Putting a hierarchy to the code is a smart move, though the tenants themselves are a bit vague for my taste. I’m glad that the consequences of falling and requirements for redemption are codified and not too harsh.

Liberty's Edge

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To those worried about the LG Paladin not in the playtest, they mentioned doing surveys and fine-tuning is what the playtest is about. We also have... what, 10 months? 10 months or so of playtesting before the core book comes out. I can imagine during that time iterations and changes coming out to help us tweak and change things, and I can see other Paladin alignments being one of those things.

I could also be wrong entirely and it could just be LG Pallies, but in my experience Paizo has been pretty good about updating playtest documents in the past, and for much shorter length playtests than this will be.

That aside, I'm really excited for what I see for Paladin here. I am a little concerned that we don't really see mention of spellcasting beyond the litanies and lay on hands (which is tied to Spell Points), but apart from that I like the code of conduct, the focus on defense, the way divine bond has been changed to righteous ally, and most of what i see.

Aside aside; my group usually had people playing as Paladins who were devoted to a God anyway, so that's not a huge change to me and my group, but I totally understand that locking in a deity might throw some folks off.

Sovereign Court

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Arachnofiend wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Darkorin wrote:
But even in that case, it means that the other paladins won't be playtested. Which makes me wonder how viable they will be...
That is an excellent and very worrying point.
We have no reason to believe they're seriously considering the idea of a Chaotic Good Paladin, so we might as well give up on that front. If the mechanics end up interesting me I'll probably still end up playing a Paladin since despite what some people seem to believe Lawful Good is not some special snowflake alignment that is extremely difficult to roleplay.

In fact I think you have the main problem here.

Lawful Good Paladin with their code is considered a mechanic, which it should NOT be. Other roleplaying games have moved away from such restrictive mechanics in order to separate mechanics from roleplaying. Here paizo is currently choosing how we should roleplay instead of giving us a system to play with.

And before someone says that we can ignore that part of the class, I'm afraid it can't, because right now it's treated as a mechanic which means the paladins ability balance will take the code into consideration. And if it's truly not taken into consideration, then Paizo should take it out of the main class trait and put it as a side note with examples for all alignment.


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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).

I noticed the Laws of Robotics too. Not to worry, I think; Asimov's robots had great opportunities to apply the laws, creatively without breaking them, to help mankind. This move sets a framework for playing paladins and capturing their singular feature - morality.

It is a great move.

Scarab Sages

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I do notice that Detect Evil isnt mentioned in the Blog. If Smite Evil remains, I really hope Detect Evil does too.

Grand Lodge

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I like most of what I see but so far its just tidbits about the class over all. I can't wait for my Playtest book to come so I can check it out more in depth. The one thing I don't like is paladins now being able to use poison. To me that just seems dishonorable. Putting poison on their sword is fine but putting the same poison in someone's cup would probably be murder. I don't really see the difference.


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Hmm don't like divine grace as a reaction


The Frog wrote:
I like most of what I see but so far its just tidbits about the class over all. I can't wait for my Playtest book to come so I can check it out more in depth. The one thing I don't like is paladins now being able to use poison. To me that just seems dishonorable. Putting poison on their sword is fine but putting the same poison in someone's cup would probably be murder. I don't really see the difference.

Sneaking poison into someone's drink would probably be considered "taking advantage of others", though that's unfortunately a table variation thing.


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Darkorin wrote:


In fact I think you have the main problem here.

Lawful Good Paladin with their code is considered a mechanic, which it should NOT be. Other roleplaying games have moved away from such restrictive mechanics in order to separate mechanics from roleplaying. Here paizo is currently choosing how we should roleplay instead of giving us a system to play with.

And before someone says that we can ignore that part of the class, I'm afraid it can't, because right now it's treated as a mechanic which means the paladins ability balance will take the code into consideration. And if it's truly not taken into consideration, then Paizo should take it out of the main class trait and put it as a side note with examples for all alignment.

Actually, this is pretty much the opposite. Each new RPG system is baking in more and more roleplaying into the system. Especially indie games. The main feature of them usually are how well the mechanics incorporate the fluff, and they usually end up tied to the setting is a much bigger way than D&D or Pathfinder.

Unless, of course, it's a generic system. Then we can expect that separation, but perhaps not even then...


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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! Rage works just as well flavored as intense battle focus as frothing at the mouth.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
If the mechanics end up interesting me I'll probably still end up playing a Paladin since despite what some people seem to believe Lawful Good is not some special snowflake alignment that is extremely difficult to roleplay.

I agree Lawful Good is no harder to play than any other alignment, but depending on the rest of your party's makeup it can lead to some interesting roleplaying. In a campaign I played in as a LG Cleric filled CG characters we ran into some interesting conflicts of personality.

My favourite was the when we had to give aid to a group of Vampires that were being framed for a series of murders. For the greater good I understood the need for the alliance, but the idea of working with undead made him bristle. As such we saw this shift in the group dynamic from him being the Diplomat to the Rogue filling that role as he was just a provocation away from declaring, "I shall not suffer thy Undeath!"

My DM had a lot of fun pushing that boundary between his devotion to the greater good and his party, and the tenets of his faith. (For the record I had a lot of fun with this dichotomy as well.)


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"You must respect the lawful authority of the legitimate ruler or leadership in whichever land you may be, even if those laws are ludicrous, unjust, unfair."

Sovereign Court

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QuidEst wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Darkorin wrote:
But even in that case, it means that the other paladins won't be playtested. Which makes me wonder how viable they will be...
That is an excellent and very worrying point.
I’m guessing more viable than if they tried to playtest, say, four at once.o

You mean that the LG Paladin will be more viable than all of the other Paladin. It's cool if it's the only thing you care about, it's not in the other cases.


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Likin the Code overhaul appealing to Good over Law, and liking Retributive Strike hehe.


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The Poison discussion seems to a priori accept the Poison tag as blanket determinant. I mean, that includes things like Pseudo-dragon Sleep Poison stinger which is natural ability that can be used to AVOID killing somebody. Poison includes Stinking Cloud, which doesn't do anything normal smoke from a fire doesn't do, and actually is weaker in effect. The simple tag "Poison" doesn't really tell us anything about what the poison does. "Poison" could just do straight up HP damage. Or debuffs which non-Poison effects are just as capable as inflicting. If people don't like certain things they associate with poison, better to focus on banning those specific things (whether implemented by Poison or not) than focus on the arbitrary classification of "Poison".

The 'they don't know you're using Poison' argument seems silly.
I mean, what if you tell them you are? I don't see a rule against Invisible Greatswords.


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Xenocrat wrote:
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!

Completely missed that one word. Even ctrl F'ed for mount, animal, and companions before I said anything.

I may be blind, but at least I know I'll be able to get a seeing eye horse.


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I don't get into the whole debate about paladin alignment because everyone has their vision of how they see them and that's fine. But I'd like to ask the designers is there actually anything in the paladin toolbox mechanically that backs up the lawful alignment (aside from tenants)? I was easily able to house rule PF1 paladins as being any good alignment because mechanically there was little the core paladin got that even hinted at the lawful/chaotic axis.
They got Detect Evil (not Detect Chaos, like a Hellknight), Smite Evil, treat their weapons as good and gained DR/evil. The only ability that I remember that makes use of the lawful aspect of the class is being able to make your weapon axiomatic, which is in addition to a lot of other properties it could have. Do correct me if I am wrong.

Is this changing in PF2 with just as many lawful class feats as good? And if not, then it would seem the main "complications" of non-lawful good paladins is from a lore/legacy perspective (which again, many people have different visions of) and not necessarily a mechanical one. If that is the case, giving the option for it in the final game (not the playtest) wouldn't seem to be a huge step.

Obviously I don't know about all the moving pieces that are at play here as there might be some other mechanical reasons this isn't immediately viable since we don't know the full rules. And if there are no changes towards the law spectrum, it's easy enough for me to house rule in the future just as I did for PF1, but I would be interested in the thoughts behind the decision.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
QuidEst wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Darkorin wrote:
But even in that case, it means that the other paladins won't be playtested. Which makes me wonder how viable they will be...
That is an excellent and very worrying point.
I’m guessing more viable than if they tried to playtest, say, four at once.o

To be clear, it could just as easily be unbalanced in the other direction (edit: and that would be bad). The law of unintended consequences comes for us all.


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Divine Grace is a Reaction instead of a Constant +Charisma to Saves? That's... hmm... not sure I like that.


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Focusing on paladins using poison seems odd when the real gem in the Code change is the removal of the "you WILL cause party conflict" clause about cooperation with evil from the 1E Paladin code.

I'm also hoping the "casting an evil spell" is removed as I can see the "will you use the wand of infernal healing on the dying infant?" conundrum for the next round of "paladin falls" drinking games.


Sara Marie wrote:
[ooc]As Mark said in his blog post, the Paladin is a subject that sees a lot of differing opinions.
Blog wrote:
or that the door is closed to other sorts of paladins down the road.

Apologies to Sara Marie in advance....

I don't get it. I thought one of the main reasons Paladins were given such great frontline durability was because the designers felt the alignment/code of conduct balanced this. That code of conduct was a meant to be a legitimate constraint. I see lot of people clamoring for the non-LG Paladin, but I don't get why this is really justifiable outside of the "I want what I want" mentality.

Why isn't the Cavalier the non-LG Paladin or rather what you get without the devotion to law and good?

Before anyone answers, I don't want to deriail this thread into what must be typical a Paladin debate (i actually never read them, which may explain my naive question). So if someone wants to PM me and explain it to me, I would appreciate it. Or, if there is a particular thread that already lays it out, I would appreciate that too, but I am hoping to avoid reading through pages and pages of bickering.

To repeat, I would greatly appreciate a PM to enlighten me and not have anyone post in response to this question. I sincerely do not wish to spark a forum debate on this.

@Moderator - if this question is going to pollute the discussion, please remove it.


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Revan wrote:
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! Rage works just as well flavored as intense battle focus as frothing at the mouth.

The barbarian lawyer that shouts objection all the time.


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TimD wrote:
I'm also hoping the "casting an evil spell" is removed as I can see the "will you use the wand of infernal healing on the dying infant?" conundrum for the next round of "paladin falls" drinking games.

Only if the infant pays you for your Resonance to use the wand.

No free lunches in life, sorry kid. /s


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I'm disappointed this is being built from the ground up as the same old same old. It will make it harder to expand if you decide to open it up (which I very much hope you do)

Why can only LN, LG, and NG deities have champion warriors of their faith? If you are going to have paladins as champions of the faith they need to be open to all or most deities. If you want them to be the knight in shining armor archetype drop the champion of faith aspect. This is why the War Priest was created in first edition.

Second edition is a chance to look back and make new decisions where they are needed. This is a case where I think you should go a different direction, because nothing has changed and Paladins will continue to be a divisive topic for the next decade. Which is a shame cause I like the mechanics, but might want to push more neutral or even chaotic good.

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