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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Fighters should have gotten the best armor prof.

As I feared, Paladins are no longer immune to fear(and other immunities I am sure), just resistant.

No mention of mercies.

Don't like lay on hands being a spell.

No mention of charisma having anything to do with the class.

The only thing I like is the reaction ability.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Have to say Seelah's armor is looking pretty special, at least?

Shame that the shield will break eventually because it's kinda spiffy too.


It seems likely fighters CAN get the best armor prof, they just have to spend a feat on it, paladins get it free from class and master level weaponry from class, but can probably feat to legendary, and vice versa for fighter.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Still gated behind alignment and class, though if one is doing it sans Feats.


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Dragon78 wrote:
No mention of mercies.

Yes they did.

Quote:
"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."


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Sara Marie wrote:

We’ve changed the paladin to be less black and white. If this staunch defender of the righteous path can see a middle ground, so can you.

Sara, it does not 'feel' like this is the case, and I'm hoping to be proven wrong in the Playtest (I've got a gobbo paladin in the works!).

However, it currently feels to me like a good portion of the community was flat-out ignored in favor of a few folks who spammed the tar out of the Playtest forums to get what they wanted.

The hope is that an open mind will prevail, but right now the indicators are not being very positive?

Time will tell.


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Only LG Paladins? Very Disappointing. I say poor choice and Boo!


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HWalsh wrote:

There are a lot of players (as evidenced in this thread) who wanted Paladins to be LG only and wouldn't want to play a LG Paladin in a game that allowed non-LG Paladins as a base idea (as opposed to specific Archetypes) in the end?

I saw your proposed version of a CG Paladin-analogue and I don't even think we're too far apart in what we want for it. Honestly, in the light of that, I think a lot of this endless argument boils down to angsting over name (whether CG Paladin gets to be called a Paladin) and "rules status" (quibbling over Paladin variants as archetypes vs. Paladin variants as core choices on a level with Cleric domains) when none of that frankly makes any functional difference.

Quote:

Would you be willing to tell those players to shove off? To go away? They've been here supporting Paizo as long as any other players.

By keeping Paladins LG Only they aren't really going to send away Pathfinder players. If they were playing Pathfinder 1e then LG Paladins were the standard. So its not like they are going to make PF1 Players angry when they find out they can't play their CG Paladin because they never *could* play their CG Paladin outside of a specific archetype or via house rule.

They don't have to go away, and they're not being told to. They tell themselves that the Paladin's been ruined such that the game is unplayable. By RAW I can't play a CG Paladin in PF1, even though I'd like to. But I stick with it because I enjoy other classes, including LG Paladins. Why assume that the whole LG-Only side will consider that an instant deal-breaker just because you do?

Quote:

At the most, they might turn off some 5e players who want to play a 5e Paladin they made in a PF game, but that is probably a very small audience.

So just risk vs reward ya know?

Unknowable without a more rigorous standard of testing than "lots of people innathread". If memory serves, the straw poll from a couple of months ago showed the LG-Only side soundly beaten, but I wouldn't claim that as any sort of serious market research.


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HWalsh wrote:
Would you be willing to tell those players to shove off? To go away? They've been here supporting Paizo as long as any other players.

Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

And yes some more.

Literally the 'other side' of this is saying I must play a very specific alignment in order to have access to a fairly broad, interesting play-style. The reasoning for it, reasoning you presented, was decisions made by someone decades ago ('respect Gygax tradition' or something to that effect).

I'd like to think it's okay for a game to evolve decades later. To at least try and see if we can expand and have a new kind of fun.

A kind of fun that 5E tried and it didn't spontaneously combust in a blaze of anti-high-fantasy.

If someone is saying we shouldn't try something like this, that I should only be allowed access to that playstyle if I tailor it around a fairly specific personality set, then I will in fact take that confrontational option you've offered me re: tell them off.

I don't like people trying to limit my fun because Gygax.


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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?

I have the same doubt.


Aratrok wrote:
Count me in with being disappointed that paladins, like clerics, must be tied to a deity now. It seems like a bizarre restriction to drop in suddenly.

I think James Jacobs wanted them tied to the deities since the beginning(I believe they are in his home games and they are in PFS).

Now that they have time for a revamp, its not too surprising that this is being baked into core rules.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nox,

How, then, do I build a Legendary 'Tank' fightermans WITHOUT being A. Lawful Good or B. Spending a Feat?

If that can be answered by the rules without another alignment gating, it'll be a good day.


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Nox Aeterna wrote:
If it is so important to you. Make them any alignment when you are Gming the game or just find a GM that agrees with that view. This thread seems to have some.

Problem: Not an option in PFS play. In other words, you're basically telling me to stay away from an entire major play venue.

Quote:
Apparently eventually other classes might come to fill the gaps of the other alignments, which if made right, would actually be a great boon to the system with each concept having its own champion.

Problem: Paizo has a very bad track history with making such variants really, really bad and boring and not fun. They need to be forthcoming with clear, specific, interesting details on such 'champions of alignment' variations if they want me to calm down.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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Igwilly wrote:
Honestly, right now, I'll just wait for a splatbook to bring back the Inquisitor.

I would wholeheartedly, with cash in hand, stand behind demoting paladins from core and replacing them with inquisitors.

Or warpriests, if warpriests were less boring.

On a more particular matter of the paladin playtest now that I've thought of it:
If you want to make 9 types of a class (paladins per alignment) but only have "room" to playtest one (if I'm reading the blog right and I don't know if I am), and it's the best known most familiar one, you are opening up for massive potential for things to go very, very, very awry with the other 8 unseen, unpublicly tested types. I'd say first of all, this means the class is too complicated and frustrating and space-taking-up to really be worth it. And that second of all, even if you're going to go ahead with it, the one type we should see in the playtest should be one of the ones we've never seen before as that will far more likely help us and devs alike recognize kinks in the system.


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RickDias wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
What classes are you willing to sacrifice to make this happen?
None. Here's a better idea: "Alignment: Any" and revise the code/tenet paragraphs some to account for this. Impact on page-count should be fairly small.

Really? Just looking at Antipaladin vs Paladin in 1E, that suggests you're literally making an entire new class. And that's not counting archetypes or anything that'd change features.

A LE Paladin should not have access to anything close to the same array of stuff that a LG Paladin should, and that's just the tip of the iceberg in that.


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DeathQuaker wrote:

Honestly, right now, I'll just wait for a splatbook to bring back the Inquisitor.

I would wholeheartedly, with cash in hand, stand behind demoting paladins from core and replacing them with inquisitors.

Or warpriests, if warpriests were less boring.

And then we could even get a butt-kicking *half-orc* as an Iconic Race in the bargain, too!

Double Bonus.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Sara Marie wrote:

We’ve changed the paladin to be less black and white. If this staunch defender of the righteous path can see a middle ground, so can you.

Sara, it does not 'feel' like this is the case, and I'm hoping to be proven wrong in the Playtest (I've got a gobbo paladin in the works!).

However, it currently feels to me like a good portion of the community was flat-out ignored in favor of a few folks who spammed the tar out of the Playtest forums to get what they wanted.

The hope is that an open mind will prevail, but right now the indicators are not being very positive?

Time will tell.

Gotta love the good old argument of... "We are totally the side with the most folk for sure, those guys? They are for sure just a few."

Even if on the one thread that actually asked for a vote, the votes for LG only and any open paladin were pretty much the same by the end.

Ultimately mate, if you are so right about this, im sure that "good portion", which clearly is so many more than the "few folks", will have their chance to give feedback for an open paladin. Lets see how that goes then.


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RickDias wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Would you be willing to tell those players to shove off? To go away? They've been here supporting Paizo as long as any other players.

Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

And yes some more.

Literally the 'other side' of this is saying I must play a very specific alignment in order to have access to a fairly broad, interesting play-style. The reasoning for it, reasoning you presented, was decisions made by someone decades ago ('respect Gygax tradition' or something to that effect).

I'd like to think it's okay for a game to evolve decades later. To at least try and see if we can expand and have a new kind of fun.

A kind of fun that 5E tried and it didn't spontaneously combust in a blaze of anti-high-fantasy.

If someone is saying we shouldn't try something like this, that I should only be allowed access to that playstyle if I tailor it around a fairly specific personality set, then I will in fact take that confrontational option you've offered me re: tell them off.

I don't like people trying to limit my fun because Gygax.

In the face of this i kind of hope you find another game that fits your requirements, or yknow...you recognize that the core book is going to have a sidebar on how to remove alignment from the game so in your games you won't have to have an alignment restriction on paladins.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

Nox,

How, then, do I build a Legendary 'Tank' fightermans WITHOUT being A. Lawful Good or B. Spending a Feat?

If that can be answered by the rules without another alignment gating, it'll be a good day.

This is one of the many reasons that I'm interested in the barbarian writeup.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nox,

I cannot say for sure, for I have not met you in person, but I do not know if I could in conscience call you 'mate' atm.

Please do not use the term unless you're willing to join me in stopping any further discussion in this thread.

Thank you.

Sovereign Court

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

Nox,

How, then, do I build a Legendary 'Tank' fightermans WITHOUT being A. Lawful Good or B. Spending a Feat?

If that can be answered by the rules without another alignment gating, it'll be a good day.

The fighter uses shield feats to block damage to himself and others. Not much is getting through that vibranium adamantine shield.


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The more I think about this, the more disgusting it is, and the more I want the Paladin stripped out of the CRB and replaced by the Warpriest.

Being best at armor shouldn't be limited to LG.

Being the sacred champion of a deity shouldn't be limited to LG.

And for that matter, being able to follow and exemplify a code of conduct shouldn't be limited to LG.

A class limited to only one out of the nine alignments which will have far fewer options and expansions over the years than other classes, should not be a core class, taking up space in the CRB. The warpriest, on the other hand, DOES have the versatility and space in its flavor for expansion to qualify as a core class.

Move the Paladin to the ACG. Strip the deity thing from it - they CAN serve a deity, but that's not where their powers come from, their powers come from the universe. Possibly even make it a prestige class, if those still exist, but either way, rework it and try again.


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something to keep in mind, and which hasn't been brought up yet:

Getting rid of the alignments for paladins isn't as easy as some say. Take Lay on Hands? Is that really thematically appropriate for a CE Antipaladin or Tyrant? What about class feats? There is only going to be room for so many, and many of these feats may not be relevant for different alignments.

I would rather we focus on the Paladin, and design the class around a LG only body with class feats fitting it, than get a bland, flavorless class that doesn't satisfy anyone.

Dark Archive

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I'm a long time Paladin Stan.

One of my first AD&D characters was a Paladin rolled the hard way. (I was stupid lucky)
I played so many Paladins of Pelor during 3.X that it became a running joke in groups I played with.
I Played a Paladin as my first character in pretty much every MMO where it was an option.

Paladins have always been a thing for me.

And yes, I am guilty of more than a few instances of Lawful Stupid Paladin.

Honestly, while I like most of what they outlined in this blog post, what I really wish they'd done is this:
1 - We have removed the Paladin class entirely
2 - We have added the Warpriest class to Core
3 - We have RENAMED the Warpriest class to "Paladin".

But, oh well.
Here's hoping Warpriest get's an update sooner rather than later in the PF2 life cycle.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

Nox,

How, then, do I build a Legendary 'Tank' fightermans WITHOUT being A. Lawful Good or B. Spending a Feat?

If that can be answered by the rules without another alignment gating, it'll be a good day.

Right now i cant give you an answer on how to build anything in an effective manner. Im sure we will all have fun getting to this down the line, but without the full rules, there are limits.

We dont even know all the perks fighters get or that the paladin get...

Does it have a huge gap by end game if you focus on this? What it looks at high level? Why these fighers get a small shield bonus at 14? Does that make sense?

We need the full rules.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Sara Marie wrote:

We’ve changed the paladin to be less black and white. If this staunch defender of the righteous path can see a middle ground, so can you.

Sara, it does not 'feel' like this is the case, and I'm hoping to be proven wrong in the Playtest (I've got a gobbo paladin in the works!).

However, it currently feels to me like a good portion of the community was flat-out ignored in favor of a few folks who spammed the tar out of the Playtest forums to get what they wanted.

The hope is that an open mind will prevail, but right now the indicators are not being very positive?

Time will tell.

Wei Ji - To dispel a misconception.

While there was a good portion of the player base who wanted non-LG Paladins, there were just as many (and yes, I counted, I actually went through every single person who supported opening the Pallie up and those who were against it) who were for it, as there were against it.

It *looked* like there were more people that were for it because (as a few of us found out) they were posting under aliases which inadvertently made it seem as though there was more support than there was for opening up the Paladin.

This really is an almost 50/50 split. It was literally impossible for Paizo to make a choice that wouldn't make people angry.

If they had opened them up, just as many people would have felt ignored and hurt.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The reason I can do that is because the game does not try to tell me that just because the common vision of a rogue is a thief that I am disallowed from playing other concepts which use all the same abilities with a different gloss--and because D&D moved away from older iterations where rogues had guild membership and 'Thieves Cant' baked into the class or Barbarians were necessarily illiterate. They may be *notable* for the fact that the class is stereotypically at odds, but while that's why I chose them for illustrative purposes in this conversation, it's not why I'd necessarily be looking to play them. My point is, I might have these concepts in mind, and a class that has all the tools I need to do the things I want to do with that concept--so how is it helpful to roleplaying to be told I should take something else that does not mechanically reinforce the concept because going with my first choice is different from the norm?


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

Nox,

How, then, do I build a Legendary 'Tank' fightermans WITHOUT being A. Lawful Good or B. Spending a Feat?

If that can be answered by the rules without another alignment gating, it'll be a good day.

It's about a feat? That's a small price to pay. Fighters have their features, too.


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Ryan Freire wrote:
In the face of this i kind of hope you find another game that fits your requirements,

Tempting. I hear WotC apparently wants my money now.

I was hoping the developers at Paizo would be bold enough to try some new design space on opening up this play-style to other alignments. I was hoping feedback over the last few weeks would help them mold the product in that direction.

It did not happen.

Quote:

or yknow...you recognize that the core book is going to have a sidebar on how to remove alignment from the game so in your games you won't have to have an alignment restriction on paladins.

Which is thunderingly, completely useless for PFS play! I can't 'sidebar' anything in PFS! It's PFS Rules or nothing in this regard!


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Igwilly wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

Nox,

How, then, do I build a Legendary 'Tank' fightermans WITHOUT being A. Lawful Good or B. Spending a Feat?

If that can be answered by the rules without another alignment gating, it'll be a good day.

It's about a feat? That's a small price to pay. Fighters have their features, too.

It's actually been mentioned in another thread that stuff like weapons, armor, and magic are dang near only advanced past Trained in-class, so it is extremely unlikely anyone but a Paladin will be able to go Legendary in their armor.


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Note: As previewed so far, PF 2e Paladin represents Less possible concepts than PF 1e paladin.


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I can say I am not angry, ignored or hurt. I'm disappointed more than anything, but it isn't a surprise. I expected this result and it gives me another reason to cherry pick the items I want from 2E and continue on my merry.

The idea that maybe, someday, one day we think maybe, something might change is one that has been dangled for too long.

Meanwhile I continue to hear that people aren't *saying* that LG is the best good, they are just saying it is *special*. Special how, exactly?


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DeathQuaker wrote:
Igwilly wrote:
Honestly, right now, I'll just wait for a splatbook to bring back the Inquisitor.

I would wholeheartedly, with cash in hand, stand behind demoting paladins from core and replacing them with inquisitors.

Or warpriests, if warpriests were less boring.

On a more particular matter of the paladin playtest now that I've thought of it:
If you want to make 9 types of a class (paladins per alignment) but only have "room" to playtest one (if I'm reading the blog right and I don't know if I am), and it's the best known most familiar one, you are opening up for massive potential for things to go very, very, very awry with the other 8 unseen, unpublicly tested types. I'd say first of all, this means the class is too complicated and frustrating and space-taking-up to really be worth it. And that second of all, even if you're going to go ahead with it, the one type we should see in the playtest should be one of the ones we've never seen before as that will far more likely help us and devs alike recognize kinks in the system.

I suspect they'll swap things out. I'm not in favor of a non-Ordered paladin, myself. Like many others, if someone wants to take the chassis and reflavor the abilities for different alignments--don't call it paladin. Many of us are onboard with that, even if one side is pro-Ordered, and the other is anti.

I suspect many folks are concerned with wanting a tanky class, or a divine warrior class.

Some thoughts on that:
1. I'd love to see paladin moved towards Champion of Good, instead of Champion of Faith.
2. Warpriests and Inquisitors are Champions of Faith.
3. Let's bring the barbarian as our other tank class, have some fun, and generally celebrate.

...so I am actually with you on a lot, here. I think if folks really, really want a Champion of Faith, then let's revisit warpriest and make it badass.

If they want more tank options, let's make barbarian more badass.

But, we also have tradition, too. The debates here represent a kind of love, as well. Paladin needs to be what it is.

Paladin is such a specific, awesome concept. It's a traditional one. To me, its Ordered portion represents an ultimate dedication to Good over the Self and everything else. That stability holds the best chance for Good to flourish.

Warpriest could bring Champions of Faith into the very next splatbook. Barbarian provides other tanky options NOW.

Anyway, my hat off to you in general, because I've always had the utmost respect for your thoughtfulness and the way you approach your posts.

Things aren't doom and gloom; far from it and I am hoping folks realize that, too.


RickDias wrote:
Which is thunderingly, completely useless for PFS play! I can't 'sidebar' anything in PFS! It's PFS Rules or nothing in this regard!

Actually - Just to note - We don't know how PFS2 is going to function yet. It is getting re-done too.


Fuzzypaws wrote:

The more I think about this, the more disgusting it is, and the more I want the Paladin stripped out of the CRB and replaced by the Warpriest.

Being best at armor shouldn't be limited to LG.

Being the sacred champion of a deity shouldn't be limited to LG.

And for that matter, being able to follow and exemplify a code of conduct shouldn't be limited to LG.

A class limited to only one out of the nine alignments which will have far fewer options and expansions over the years than other classes, should not be a core class, taking up space in the CRB. The warpriest, on the other hand, DOES have the versatility and space in its flavor for expansion to qualify as a core class.

Move the Paladin to the ACG. Strip the deity thing from it - they CAN serve a deity, but that's not where their powers come from, their powers come from the universe. Possibly even make it a prestige class, if those still exist, but either way, rework it and try again.

The Warpriest doesn't have a fourth of the recognition of a proper Paladin. Also, these features do not sound like something Asmodeus or Lolth or Set would give to their champions. It would be quite a bland class for the game's entry.


Shinigami02 wrote:
Igwilly wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

Nox,

How, then, do I build a Legendary 'Tank' fightermans WITHOUT being A. Lawful Good or B. Spending a Feat?

If that can be answered by the rules without another alignment gating, it'll be a good day.

It's about a feat? That's a small price to pay. Fighters have their features, too.
It's actually been mentioned in another thread that stuff like weapons, armor, and magic are dang near only advanced past Trained in-class, so it is extremely unlikely anyone but a Paladin will be able to go Legendary in their armor.

'

I feel as though ive seen a dev chime in that there are feats that can improve your abilities in those areas.


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I'm hoping for 3 archetypes in core Tyrant (LE), Avenger (CG), and Antipaladin (CE). Each one should be different (zfrom each other and vanilla paladin) and I hope smite works on both of the opposite alignments (chaos/evil for pallies)

Dark Archive

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HWalsh wrote:

One thing to point out - Some people are saying they don't like the LG Paladin because it makes Lawful Good the best good.

There is no best good.

Neutral Good is not the best good.
Lawful Good is not the best good.
Chaotic Good is not the best good.

No, they don't really need to explain it.

Lawful Good just means someone dedicated to the inherent order and law within the universe.

This isn't less or more good than any other good.

If anything it just how Paladins, as a base, work. The idea that laws, that order, and stability, are the best way for good to flourish is their thing.

Neutral Good means that they think that order and chaos both have their place, and that a balance between the two is the best way for good to flourish.

Chaotic Good means that they think that rules get in the way and that total freedom is the only way for good to ever truly flourish.

They are all just as good as each other, it is just how they think the best way to achieve the most good is different.

Paladins are just Paladins because for some reason those two energies (Elemental Law and Elemental Good) have a strange reaction. Its like saying baking soda and vinegar is the best items in the pantry because they have a unique reaction when combined.

The way I see it, it's not really that LG is the "best Good" alignment, but that without a divine soldier class of a similar style or chassis to the Paladin the LG alignment will be the only one to have both Clerics and divine soldiers. That creates a power imbalance between deities who can have Paladins and those that can't. Personally, I'm not terribly upset about the playtest Paladin being LG only, but without an analogous option for other alignments it will leave a divine-martial-sized gap in the design space of the game for all the other alignments. This is especially egregious when deities like Milani and Gorum can't have divine warriors who can stand toe-to-toe with Paladins without relying on spells for the heavy-lifting.

Besides, why should only Law and Good react in a way that has the potential to grant such power? Why is someone dedicated to freedom over structure inherently less viable for a martially-focused divine class? I could see arguments for not getting all the same abilities as the LG Paladin, but why should the option for the same chassis with abilities and a code more themed towards Chaos than Law not exist?


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Igwilly wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

The more I think about this, the more disgusting it is, and the more I want the Paladin stripped out of the CRB and replaced by the Warpriest.

Being best at armor shouldn't be limited to LG.

Being the sacred champion of a deity shouldn't be limited to LG.

And for that matter, being able to follow and exemplify a code of conduct shouldn't be limited to LG.

A class limited to only one out of the nine alignments which will have far fewer options and expansions over the years than other classes, should not be a core class, taking up space in the CRB. The warpriest, on the other hand, DOES have the versatility and space in its flavor for expansion to qualify as a core class.

Move the Paladin to the ACG. Strip the deity thing from it - they CAN serve a deity, but that's not where their powers come from, their powers come from the universe. Possibly even make it a prestige class, if those still exist, but either way, rework it and try again.

The Warpriest doesn't have a fourth of the recognition of a proper Paladin. Also, these features do not sound like something Asmodeus or Lolth or Set would give to their champions. It would be quite a bland class for the game's entry.

You know--it strikes me, with the rewrite.

And bear with me here.

The following things we know or suspect:
1. Due to action economy, gish will be possible out of the box. So, less need for classes like magus.
2. BAB is tied to level.
3. Clerics will have fewer spells, but more class options.

...to me, this suggests we can suggest ideas for the cleric to be able to branch into multiple pathways, based on class choice:
A. Casting priest
B. Warpriest

What do you think?


I honestly cannot see why we cannot have both the Paladin and a overhauled Warpriest in the core book, or at least in the first splatbook.
Everyone would be happy.
But I need to say: these abilities really don't sound like something Asmodeus or Set or Cronos or Loki or Lolth or The Great Mother or Tiamat or... would grant their followers. They are perfect for a Lawful Good guy, though.


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MuddyVolcano wrote:
Igwilly wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

The more I think about this, the more disgusting it is, and the more I want the Paladin stripped out of the CRB and replaced by the Warpriest.

Being best at armor shouldn't be limited to LG.

Being the sacred champion of a deity shouldn't be limited to LG.

And for that matter, being able to follow and exemplify a code of conduct shouldn't be limited to LG.

A class limited to only one out of the nine alignments which will have far fewer options and expansions over the years than other classes, should not be a core class, taking up space in the CRB. The warpriest, on the other hand, DOES have the versatility and space in its flavor for expansion to qualify as a core class.

Move the Paladin to the ACG. Strip the deity thing from it - they CAN serve a deity, but that's not where their powers come from, their powers come from the universe. Possibly even make it a prestige class, if those still exist, but either way, rework it and try again.

The Warpriest doesn't have a fourth of the recognition of a proper Paladin. Also, these features do not sound like something Asmodeus or Lolth or Set would give to their champions. It would be quite a bland class for the game's entry.

You know--it strikes me, with the rewrite.

And bear with me here.

The following things we know or suspect:
1. Due to action economy, gish will be possible out of the box. So, less need for classes like magus.
2. BAB is tied to level.
3. Clerics will have fewer spells, but more class options.

...to me, this suggests we can suggest ideas for the cleric to be able to branch into multiple pathways, based on class choice:
A. Casting priest
B. Warpriest

What do you think?

It's a good idea. Those two concepts really compete, face to face, for the name "Cleric".


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Revan wrote:
The reason I can do that is because the game does not try to tell me that just because the common vision of a rogue is a thief that I am disallowed from playing other concepts which use all the same abilities with a different gloss--and because D&D moved away from older iterations where rogues had guild membership and 'Thieves Cant' baked into the class or Barbarians were necessarily illiterate. They may be *notable* for the fact that the class is stereotypically at odds, but while that's why I chose them for illustrative purposes in this conversation, it's not why I'd necessarily be looking to play them. My point is, I might have these concepts in mind, and a class that has all the tools I need to do the things I want to do with that concept--so how is it helpful to roleplaying to be told I should take something else that does not mechanically reinforce the concept because going with my first choice is different from the norm?

Once more, yes, by making the classes hold more meaning you are indeed also making what you can create with them more restrictive.

If being a rogue had extra rules and constraints, had much more lore involved with your abilities how you get them, how the world reacts to them...

This would directly inflict on it being a generic class with generic powers that you make up for the lore behind everything. I dont disagree here, it is only logical, but at the same time, you are adding flavor to the class and making it further appart from others in the game world.

Again, this is already in pathfinder and an easy way to see it are races.

A goblin isnt an elf. They hold diferent cultures... If you pick a goblin and behave exactly like an elf, the world wont react to you like you are an elf, cause you arent, you are still a goblin behaving like an elf. Does this limit your opinions cause you wanted to play an elf with goblin stats? Yes, but it also means playing a goblin isnt playing an elf, which i find quite better than to have them all be the same.


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LuniasM wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

One thing to point out - Some people are saying they don't like the LG Paladin because it makes Lawful Good the best good.

There is no best good.

Neutral Good is not the best good.
Lawful Good is not the best good.
Chaotic Good is not the best good.

No, they don't really need to explain it.

Lawful Good just means someone dedicated to the inherent order and law within the universe.

This isn't less or more good than any other good.

If anything it just how Paladins, as a base, work. The idea that laws, that order, and stability, are the best way for good to flourish is their thing.

Neutral Good means that they think that order and chaos both have their place, and that a balance between the two is the best way for good to flourish.

Chaotic Good means that they think that rules get in the way and that total freedom is the only way for good to ever truly flourish.

They are all just as good as each other, it is just how they think the best way to achieve the most good is different.

Paladins are just Paladins because for some reason those two energies (Elemental Law and Elemental Good) have a strange reaction. Its like saying baking soda and vinegar is the best items in the pantry because they have a unique reaction when combined.

The way I see it, it's not really that LG is the "best Good" alignment, but that without a divine soldier class of a similar style or chassis to the Paladin the LG alignment will be the only one to have both Clerics and divine soldiers. That creates a power imbalance between deities who can have Paladins and those that can't. Personally, I'm not terribly upset about the playtest Paladin being LG only, but without an analogous option for other alignments it will leave a divine-martial-sized gap in the design space of the game for all the other alignments. This is especially egregious when deities like Milani and Gorum can't have divine warriors who can stand toe-to-toe with Paladins without relying on spells for the heavy-lifting....

This "imbalance" has been around since the 70's. It is 2018. I believe this has been around since 1974.

That's 44 years.

I don't think the imbalance has done any damage.

Also, not everything has to have 1:1 parity. Life isn't always completely fair.

Lawful Good deities probably don't have Barbarians, or Druids either.

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