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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Steve Geddes wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

...some of us would like a neat story and character that best Lawful Good just isn't providing with some meaningful mechanics and flavor.

without being attacked for wanting this sort of thing.

Can you explain to me this "Lawful Good = Best Good" argument and why you think it's so implicit?

As far as I can tell, nobody who is arguing that Paladins should be restricted to being LG believes that Lawful Good is better Good than Chaotic Good or Neutral Good (I don't really see a ranking as being meaningful, but Neutral Good seems obviously the "purest" Good, if not better).

In fact, it seems to me that, in a world where Paladins are always Lawful Good, the in-world explanation has to be that what makes Paladins possible is the lawfulness and not 'degree of goodness' (if it were degree of goodness that mattered then a paladin could be of any non-good alignment, surely?)

** spoiler omitted **

I can't speak for Wei Jei, but for me Paladins being LG only feeling like a declaration that Lawful Good is Best Good is because Paladins are distinctly the only class defined by its goodness. Even a good-aligned cleric is not going to have as many mechanical features that say "this is a Good-aligned class" as the Paladin does.

The Paladin mechanically has everything to do with being good... and perhaps more important, has almost nothing to do with being lawful. The Paladin very specifically gets Smite Evil, not Chaos, and the Paladin doesn't even get a Lawful aura! The only class features the PF1 Paladin gets that even remotely reference being lawful are the ability to make her Divine Bond axiomatic and the Aura of Justice (which is itself just as easily defined by its goodness as by its lawfulness).

Maybe I'd have less of a problem with the Paladin being lawful good only if the L mattered at all, but right now it doesn't so the Paladin reads as a class for Good in general, which makes it feel like gods that can't have Paladins are written off as being less potent in their goodness than the LG gods.


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Neo2151 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

...some of us would like a neat story and character that best Lawful Good just isn't providing with some meaningful mechanics and flavor.

without being attacked for wanting this sort of thing.

Can you explain to me this "Lawful Good = Best Good" argument and why you think it's so implicit?

As far as I can tell, nobody who is arguing that Paladins should be restricted to being LG believes that Lawful Good is better Good than Chaotic Good or Neutral Good (I don't really see a ranking as being meaningful, but Neutral Good seems obviously the "purest" Good, if not better).

In fact, it seems to me that, in a world where Paladins are always Lawful Good, the in-world explanation has to be that what makes Paladins possible is the lawfulness and not 'degree of goodness' (if it were degree of goodness that mattered then a paladin could be of any non-good alignment, surely?)

** spoiler omitted **

Sure!

Here's the deal - no one arguing for LG-only Paladins is outright stating that "LG is the best alignment." That just ends up being a consequence of the argument.

If "Alignment Champion" was the class, and Paladin was the LG version, this would not be an argument. However, there are people who are arguing that "alignment champion" should either not exist and it should *only* be LG Paladins, or at the very best a different alignment "Alignment Champion" should be fundamentally different/weaker than the Paladin so the Paladin stays special.

What this results in is a situation where LG is so pure and holy and special that it gets a special holy warrior champion (the Paladin) but other alignments are not pure and holy and special enough to get their own holy warrior champions.
ie: If CG was "as good" as LG, then where is the CG holy champion class? There isn't one. Ipso facto, CG is lesser than LG.

Or, to put it in Golarion-ish terms:
Iomedae can be a Priest/Warpriest/Paladin just fine.
Sarenrae can be a Priest/Warpriest but cannot be a Paladin.
Therefore, even though they are both champions and warriors of Good, Iomedae is more special/powerful/whatever than Sarenrae.

You forget:

Iomedae can be a Cleric/Warpriest/Paladin just fine.
Sarenrae can be a Cleric/Warpriest/Druid just fine.

Does that make Iomedae less magical than Sarenrae?

Iomedae can be a Fighter/Ranger/Monk
Sarenrae can be a Fighter/Barbarian/Barbarian?

Differences do not equal a power imbalance.


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HWalsh wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
you are still saying LG is besy good, you are now calling it a 'unique reaction' but its still 'best good'

I have not called it the best good. I have explicitly said the opposite. I simply stated the facts.

Baking Soda and Vinegar has a dramatic reaction when combined.

Baking Soda and Water does not have this dramatic reaction.

This does not make Vinegar better than water.

Weird analogy.

Are you saying that Law is vinegar and every other alignment is water?
How did you come to such a conclusion?

Also, if the goal is to get a reaction, then yes, vinegar IS better than water.


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Rob Godfrey wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
you are still saying LG is besy good, you are now calling it a 'unique reaction' but its still 'best good'

I have not called it the best good. I have explicitly said the opposite. I simply stated the facts.

Baking Soda and Vinegar has a dramatic reaction when combined.

Baking Soda and Water does not have this dramatic reaction.

This does not make Vinegar better than water.

if vinegar plus baking soda made the only. Divine champion we have, the one you will not let any othe faiths have anything similar to, you would have a point, since it doesn't make the greatest champions, you are directly stating it is best good, and your dishonest attempts to claim you aren't are grating and you have been called on it multiple times by multiple people l.

People have called me on it, and they have been falsely doing so. I am not going to engage in a battle to defend something I never said. Period. I am not going to play that game.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Arachnofiend wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

...some of us would like a neat story and character that best Lawful Good just isn't providing with some meaningful mechanics and flavor.

without being attacked for wanting this sort of thing.

Can you explain to me this "Lawful Good = Best Good" argument and why you think it's so implicit?

As far as I can tell, nobody who is arguing that Paladins should be restricted to being LG believes that Lawful Good is better Good than Chaotic Good or Neutral Good (I don't really see a ranking as being meaningful, but Neutral Good seems obviously the "purest" Good, if not better).

In fact, it seems to me that, in a world where Paladins are always Lawful Good, the in-world explanation has to be that what makes Paladins possible is the lawfulness and not 'degree of goodness' (if it were degree of goodness that mattered then a paladin could be of any non-good alignment, surely?)

** spoiler omitted **

I can't speak for Wei Jei, but for me Paladins being LG only feeling like a declaration that Lawful Good is Best Good is because Paladins are distinctly the only class defined by its goodness. Even a good-aligned cleric is not going to have as many mechanical features that say "this is a Good-aligned class" as the Paladin does.

The Paladin mechanically has everything to do with being good... and perhaps more important, has almost nothing to do with being lawful. The Paladin very specifically gets Smite Evil, not Chaos, and the Paladin doesn't even get a Lawful aura! The only class features the PF1 Paladin gets that even remotely reference being lawful are the ability to make her Divine Bond axiomatic and the Aura of Justice (which is itself just as easily defined by its goodness as by its lawfulness).

Maybe I'd have less of a problem with the Paladin being lawful good only if the L mattered at all, but right now it doesn't so the Paladin reads as a class for Good in general, which makes it feel like gods that can't have...

Cheers.

I can see that argument (my games are generally still AD&D regardless of the system. Back then doing non-lawful things was bad but not as bad as doing non-good things. I guess I've just carried that belief onwards).

I guess I'd ask people not to impute it into my arguments though. Although I can see where you're coming from, I don't agree that it's implicit in my position - namely that the lawfulness is what creates paladins.

As such, I don't see it as a restriction on a deity's power - each of them does what they do and the restriction (if you want to call it that) is on the mortal - in order to manifest the power of a paladin you have to be totally willing to devote yourself to a code at any personal cost - subsuming your individual desires so much is an inherently lawful act (so a non-lawful deity can grant paladin powers, but only lawful mortals are able to hold that power).

Appreciate the clarification. Thanks.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

...some of us would like a neat story and character that best Lawful Good just isn't providing with some meaningful mechanics and flavor.

without being attacked for wanting this sort of thing.

Can you explain to me this "Lawful Good = Best Good" argument and why you think it's so implicit?

As far as I can tell, nobody who is arguing that Paladins should be restricted to being LG believes that Lawful Good is better Good than Chaotic Good or Neutral Good (I don't really see a ranking as being meaningful, but Neutral Good seems obviously the "purest" Good, if not better).

In fact, it seems to me that, in a world where Paladins are always Lawful Good, the in-world explanation has to be that what makes Paladins possible is the lawfulness and not 'degree of goodness' (if it were degree of goodness that mattered then a paladin could be of any non-good alignment, surely?)

** spoiler omitted **

Sure!

Here's the deal - no one arguing for LG-only Paladins is outright stating that "LG is the best alignment." That just ends up being a consequence of the argument.

If "Alignment Champion" was the class, and Paladin was the LG version, this would not be an argument. However, there are people who are arguing that "alignment champion" should either not exist and it should *only* be LG Paladins, or at the very best a different alignment "Alignment Champion" should be fundamentally different/weaker than the Paladin so the Paladin stays special.

What this results in is a situation where LG is so pure and holy and special that it gets a special holy warrior champion (the Paladin) but other alignments are not pure and holy and special enough to get their own holy warrior champions.
ie: If CG was "as good" as LG, then where is the CG holy champion class? There isn't one. Ipso facto, CG is lesser than LG.

Or, to put it in Golarion-ish terms:
Iomedae can be a Priest/Warpriest/Paladin just

...

yes the do! If barbarian was divinely empowered you would have a point, they aren't, so yoy are making false claims again


Neo2151 wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
you are still saying LG is besy good, you are now calling it a 'unique reaction' but its still 'best good'

I have not called it the best good. I have explicitly said the opposite. I simply stated the facts.

Baking Soda and Vinegar has a dramatic reaction when combined.

Baking Soda and Water does not have this dramatic reaction.

This does not make Vinegar better than water.

Weird analogy.

Are you saying that Law is vinegar and every other alignment is water?
How did you come to such a conclusion?

Also, if the goal is to get a reaction, then yes, vinegar IS better than water.

I am saying a Paladin is a unique reaction from certain things. It has always been so. It is a divine champion, but it is not just a divine champion. I have explained this at length numerous times in this thread. Rather than restating it I will direct you to read one of the many previous explanations.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
you are still saying LG is besy good, you are now calling it a 'unique reaction' but its still 'best good'

I have not called it the best good. I have explicitly said the opposite. I simply stated the facts.

Baking Soda and Vinegar has a dramatic reaction when combined.

Baking Soda and Water does not have this dramatic reaction.

This does not make Vinegar better than water.

if vinegar plus baking soda made the only. Divine champion we have, the one you will not let any othe faiths have anything similar to, you would have a point, since it doesn't make the greatest champions, you are directly stating it is best good, and your dishonest attempts to claim you aren't are grating and you have been called on it multiple times by multiple people l.
People have called me on it, and they have been falsely doing so. I am not going to engage in a battle to defend something I never said. Period. I am not going to play that game.

then stop claiming LG is unique and special.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rob Godfrey wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

...some of us would like a neat story and character that best Lawful Good just isn't providing with some meaningful mechanics and flavor.

without being attacked for wanting this sort of thing.

Can you explain to me this "Lawful Good = Best Good" argument and why you think it's so implicit?

As far as I can tell, nobody who is arguing that Paladins should be restricted to being LG believes that Lawful Good is better Good than Chaotic Good or Neutral Good (I don't really see a ranking as being meaningful, but Neutral Good seems obviously the "purest" Good, if not better).

In fact, it seems to me that, in a world where Paladins are always Lawful Good, the in-world explanation has to be that what makes Paladins possible is the lawfulness and not 'degree of goodness' (if it were degree of goodness that mattered then a paladin could be of any non-good alignment, surely?)

** spoiler omitted **

Sure!

Here's the deal - no one arguing for LG-only Paladins is outright stating that "LG is the best alignment." That just ends up being a consequence of the argument.

If "Alignment Champion" was the class, and Paladin was the LG version, this would not be an argument. However, there are people who are arguing that "alignment champion" should either not exist and it should *only* be LG Paladins, or at the very best a different alignment "Alignment Champion" should be fundamentally different/weaker than the Paladin so the Paladin stays special.

What this results in is a situation where LG is so pure and holy and special that it gets a special holy warrior champion (the Paladin) but other alignments are not pure and holy and special enough to get their own holy warrior champions.
ie: If CG was "as good" as LG, then where is the CG holy champion class? There isn't one. Ipso facto, CG is lesser than LG.

Or, to put it in Golarion-ish terms:
Iomedae can be a

...

Rob, no I am not. However since I feel that you are attacking me I will choose to stop interacting with you further.


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HWalsh wrote:

You forget:

Iomedae can be a Cleric/Warpriest/Paladin just fine.
Sarenrae can be a Cleric/Warpriest/Druid just fine.

Does that make Iomedae less magical than Sarenrae?

Iomedae can be a Fighter/Ranger/Monk
Sarenrae can be a Fighter/Barbarian/Barbarian?

Differences do not equal a power imbalance.

There's a few differences:

1- Druids, Barbarians, and Monks are not defined by their alignments the way Paladins are.
2- There are also lots of arguments made for removing the alignment restrictions for Druids/Monks/Barbarians as being rather tacked-on. There isn't much push-back (if any) against these classes. However, for the Paladin, it has the forums up in arms.

Arachnofiend just above also does a good job of pointing out how Paladin is a champion of Good, judged by their Goodness, but locked behind a requirement of Law.
If Paladins got as many Law-themed powers/abilities as they do Good-themed ones (or any at all, really), I'm sure we'd all be having a very different discussion/argument.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
you are still saying LG is besy good, you are now calling it a 'unique reaction' but its still 'best good'

I have not called it the best good. I have explicitly said the opposite. I simply stated the facts.

Baking Soda and Vinegar has a dramatic reaction when combined.

Baking Soda and Water does not have this dramatic reaction.

This does not make Vinegar better than water.

Weird analogy.

Are you saying that Law is vinegar and every other alignment is water?
How did you come to such a conclusion?

Also, if the goal is to get a reaction, then yes, vinegar IS better than water.

I am saying a Paladin is a unique reaction from certain things. It has always been so. It is a divine champion, but it is not just a divine champion. I have explained this at length numerous times in this thread. Rather than restating it I will direct you to read one of the many previous explanations.

your repeated claims the LG is the unique and special good that deserves champions, (then the disingenuous claim this somehow isn't a claim that it is best) you mean?


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Neo2151 wrote:

Arachnofiend just above also does a good job of pointing out how Paladin is a champion of Good, judged by their Goodness, but locked behind a requirement of Law.

If Paladins got as many Law-themed powers/abilities as they do Good-themed ones (or any at all, really), I'm sure we'd all be having a very different discussion/argument.

This may be the source of the disconnect for me. In my head Lawfulness is nearly as important. I appreciate that's not from the book though (other than the 'follow local laws' thing), just a holdover from AD&D.


Neo2151 wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

You forget:

Iomedae can be a Cleric/Warpriest/Paladin just fine.
Sarenrae can be a Cleric/Warpriest/Druid just fine.

Does that make Iomedae less magical than Sarenrae?

Iomedae can be a Fighter/Ranger/Monk
Sarenrae can be a Fighter/Barbarian/Barbarian?

Differences do not equal a power imbalance.

There's a few differences:

1- Druids, Barbarians, and Monks are not defined by their alignments the way Paladins are.
2- There are also lots of arguments made for removing the alignment restrictions for Druids/Monks/Barbarians as being rather tacked-on. There isn't much push-back (if any) against these classes. However, for the Paladin, it has the forums up in arms.

Arachnofiend just above also does a good job of pointing out how Paladin is a champion of Good, judged by their Goodness, but locked behind a requirement of Law.
If Paladins got as many Law-themed powers/abilities as they do Good-themed ones (or any at all, really), I'm sure we'd all be having a very different discussion/argument.

I would argue that the existence of a code, that has a strict litany requiring adherence to law in some parts, that can only be bypassed under certain conditions, is quite indicative of lawful behavior.

Furthermore - We do not know the full extent of the Paladin's abilities in PF2. We know very little about what powers they have.

Though yes, Druids are neutral, so Iomedae can't be one, Saranrae can be. Does that mean Iomedae isn't in touch with nature and Saranrae is?

That is just a difference between the two. Not everyone has to have the exact same options. It is my firm belief that allowing anyone to be anything would damage my experience in Pathfinder. In fact I would probably leave the game as it would no longer have the flavor I look for in a game.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I'll say this, too. I can see a place where I would really approve of "any good" paladins. Ditch the mandatory-deity angle* and link them to angels instead. Angels are relatively rare among extraplanar outsider races in that they can be any good, rather than a single specific alignment. Tie paladins into that as "angel knights", make their powers more angel-themed (they're already pretty well along there), and I'd be sold. ^_^

*In fact, do this anyway. The non-LG only folks have a point about the disparity of divine representation. And I (and at least one other person I've talked to) like the paladin thing better when separate from specific religions.

Story Time:
I once played a paladin who worshipped Iomedae, but wasn't very good at it. In her heart, she was unknowingly a servant of Shelyn instead. Having paladins explicitly be priests tangles up fun storylines like this, in addition to limiting concepts.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Okay.

The reason I use best Lawful Good in specific is because it clearly isn't the BEST Good -- if it were, it'd have the Humility to not lord it over the other Good.

But that Humility keeps getting lost in these discussions.

Vanity and Pride are enemies of rational thought and forward-thinking development.

That all aside, several other posters here have somewhat hit the nail on the head, in that for a Bastion of Goodness there sure the heck isn't a lot of Lawful going on with Paladins.

In fact, the tenets we were given the Lawfulness part is ranked *fourth*.

So if the Lawful component is so dear to the class, why isn't it ranked Number One?

Why doesn't the Paladin exude a Lawful and Good aroma aura?

Why must Chaotic Good deities go without a paladin analogue that can do the work of Good (remember, Bastion of Goodness!)?

Why must Neutral Good deities shoehorn their faithful into a more restrictive mindset of Good (remember, Bastion of Goodness!)?

I asked this question last night, and the response was 'Well, because paladins are Lawful Good, and because that's what the rules say, and the Gods can't argue with the rules', more or less.

But that side-steps the question without answering it, and it does evoke really disgusting thoughts of 'All religions on Golarion are equal, but some are more equal than others' and 'Good is Great, Lawful Good is Better!', to put an Animal Farm spin on it.

For a game and a company that has prized its inclusive nature from pretty much the get-go, this smacks of favoritism, elitism, and it also hearkens to a very disturbing trend of 'This religion is better than the other religions because they can have paladins'.

It's disturbing because it starts to sound like RL religious disputes and less like a game we're all deeply passionate about, and it's unfair to the developers who have poured their development time into it to see it taken that way.


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HWalsh wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

...some of us would like a neat story and character that best Lawful Good just isn't providing with some meaningful mechanics and flavor.

without being attacked for wanting this sort of thing.

Can you explain to me this "Lawful Good = Best Good" argument and why you think it's so implicit?

As far as I can tell, nobody who is arguing that Paladins should be restricted to being LG believes that Lawful Good is better Good than Chaotic Good or Neutral Good (I don't really see a ranking as being meaningful, but Neutral Good seems obviously the "purest" Good, if not better).

In fact, it seems to me that, in a world where Paladins are always Lawful Good, the in-world explanation has to be that what makes Paladins possible is the lawfulness and not 'degree of goodness' (if it were degree of goodness that mattered then a paladin could be of any non-good alignment, surely?)

** spoiler omitted **

Sure!

Here's the deal - no one arguing for LG-only Paladins is outright stating that "LG is the best alignment." That just ends up being a consequence of the argument.

If "Alignment Champion" was the class, and Paladin was the LG version, this would not be an argument. However, there are people who are arguing that "alignment champion" should either not exist and it should *only* be LG Paladins, or at the very best a different alignment "Alignment Champion" should be fundamentally different/weaker than the Paladin so the Paladin stays special.

What this results in is a situation where LG is so pure and holy and special that it gets a special holy warrior champion (the Paladin) but other alignments are not pure and holy and special enough to get their own holy warrior champions.
ie: If CG was "as good" as LG, then where is the CG holy champion class? There isn't one. Ipso facto, CG is lesser than LG.

Or, to put it in Golarion-ish

...

the hill you are fighting on is LG is unique and special and should be the only alignment to get paladins, then you use wordier versions of unique and special and claim you aren't it is dishonest at best.


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HWalsh wrote:
I am saying a Paladin is a unique reaction from certain things. It has always been so. It is a divine champion, but it is not just a divine champion. I have explained this at length numerous times in this thread. Rather than restating it I will direct you to read one of the many previous explanations.

I've been following many Paladin threads for quite a long time (I enjoy them, what can I say?) and I will absolutely concede that you have, many many many times made the above claim.

I'm here to tell you, however, that I have never seen you show your work.

In other words, you've said many times that "Paladin is a divine champion but it's not just a divine champion," but I promise I haven't ever seen you explain how or elaborate in any way.

So, if you would be so kind, would you do so here?


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Kalindlara wrote:

I'll say this, too. I can see a place where I would really approve of "any good" paladins. Ditch the mandatory-deity angle* and link them to angels instead. Angels are relatively rare among extraplanar outsider races in that they can be any good, rather than a single specific alignment. Tie paladins into that as "angel knights", make their powers more angel-themed (they're already pretty well along there), and I'd be 100% sold. ^_^

*In fact, do this anyway. The non-LG only folks have a point about the disparity of divine representation. And I (and at least one other person I've talked to) like the paladin thing better when separate from specific religions.

** spoiler omitted **

Paladins requiring deities is something I'd rather not have as well. In my head the lawfulness is essential to the concept, but a specific patron deity less so.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

...some of us would like a neat story and character that best Lawful Good just isn't providing with some meaningful mechanics and flavor.

without being attacked for wanting this sort of thing.

Can you explain to me this "Lawful Good = Best Good" argument and why you think it's so implicit?

As far as I can tell, nobody who is arguing that Paladins should be restricted to being LG believes that Lawful Good is better Good than Chaotic Good or Neutral Good (I don't really see a ranking as being meaningful, but Neutral Good seems obviously the "purest" Good, if not better).

In fact, it seems to me that, in a world where Paladins are always Lawful Good, the in-world explanation has to be that what makes Paladins possible is the lawfulness and not 'degree of goodness' (if it were degree of goodness that mattered then a paladin could be of any non-good alignment, surely?)

** spoiler omitted **

1) Paladins have abilities which make them excel at fighting evil and defending others.

2) None of these abilities have any degree of specificity to being Lawful. Every one would be thematically appropriate for any flavor of Good, and some might even be *more* appropriate for Chaotic rather than Lawful.
3) We have largely been denied any opportunities to use any significant degree of these features on a character who is not Lawful Good.

Thus, we are left with a situation where Lawful Good is given more ability to effect Good in the world, because non-Lawful tools for Good are denied to Neutral and Chaotic Good people.

Throw in the tendency to to harp on how Super Special paladins are, and suggestions of how they are universally trusted and such like, and whether intentional or not, it is very easy to perceive a suggestion that other Good alignments are not allowed to be as awesome as Lawful Good.


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HWalsh wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

So Lay on Hands works off Spell points derived from Charisma, no? How does it scale? What dice does it use, if any? How does it add to AC, is it something like we had in PF1 where you add a deflection bonus, but replace deflection with whatever, and understand that it might not stack with something?

Does it add CHA to AC? Are there feats that extend the duration of the AC buff? Is there a way to do Lay on Hands at a distance to provide this buff to allies far away?

We do not know.

Actually we do know some answers to those questions... I've just finished listening to the Glass Cannon Playtest Podcast. Joe O'Brien played the Paladin during the adventure and he asked some very poignant questions that revealed a few things about Paladins. I was taking notes...

Lay on Hands does indeed work off Spell Points, point for LoH. His Cha mod was 2, so he could do it twice a day. He was only at level 1 so there was no scaling. The healing was 1d4+spell casting modifier (level+cha) which can be increased to d6's by a feat called Hospice Knight. This feat he took at 1st level (which incidentally Martials gain a class feat at level 1 while spell casters gain spells[?]) and improves as you level. I remember during the podcast that Jason Buhlman (the GM) talked about how they removed most bonus types and simplified it. Namely, if you get AC from a skill or spell, those probably wouldn't stack. But the AC (from the ability I'm assuming) would probably stack with gear AC and the like. Those quotes are from memory, so I am not certain if that is exact. But namely, I got that there is no more deflection bonus. The last few questions they did not talk about, I don't even think they talked about LoHs giving an AC buff. And ranged LoHs? Your guess is as good as mine...

But no seriously guys, listen to this podcast. It is excellent with lots of info and very entertaining. My wife and I had a blast listening to these guys. Here's the link:
https://glasscannonpodcast.com/the-pathfinder-playtest-parts-1-and-2/
It's a 4 part series, that's 1+2. They will finish the adventure at PaizoCon which I'm really stoked for and am hoping to be able to see them do it live.


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Neo2151 wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
I am saying a Paladin is a unique reaction from certain things. It has always been so. It is a divine champion, but it is not just a divine champion. I have explained this at length numerous times in this thread. Rather than restating it I will direct you to read one of the many previous explanations.

I've been following many Paladin threads for quite a long time (I enjoy them, what can I say?) and I will absolutely concede that you have, many many many times made the above claim.

I'm here to tell you, however, that I have never seen you show your work.

In other words, you've said many times that "Paladin is a divine champion but it's not just a divine champion," but I promise I haven't ever seen you explain how or elaborate in any way.

So, if you would be so kind, would you do so here?

You have asked politely and I will acquiesce, I am just starting to suffer a bit from board fatigue.

This is a long explanation though, so I am replying to you here first, so that you know I am writing it, it may take me a few minutes to write.


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HWalsh wrote:

I would argue that the existence of a code, that has a strict litany requiring adherence to law in some parts, that can only be bypassed under certain conditions, is quite indicative of lawful behavior.

Furthermore - We do not know the full extent of the Paladin's abilities in PF2. We know very little about what powers they have.

The code is fluff. Mechanics should represent the fluff, and right now the Paladin's mechanics do a great job of representing the Good aspect of the fluff and give at best token representation to the Law aspect. The end result is a class defined heavily by being Good, that gives some minor respect to law; from what we've seen this is even more minor in PF2 because the code has been ordered and respecting local authority is now the Paladin's lowest priority behind various ways of being Good.

HWalsh wrote:

Though yes, Druids are neutral, so Iomedae can't be one, Saranrae can be. Does that mean Iomedae isn't in touch with nature and Saranrae is?

That is just a difference between the two. Not everyone has to have the exact same options. It is my firm belief that allowing anyone to be anything would damage my experience in Pathfinder. In fact I would probably leave the game as it would no longer have the flavor I look for in a game.

Sarenrae is a sun goddess, so yes she is more in tune with nature than Iomedae.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Okay.

The reason I use best Lawful Good in specific is because it clearly isn't the BEST Good -- if it were, it'd have the Humility to not lord it over the other Good.

But that Humility keeps getting lost in these discussions.

Vanity and Pride are enemies of rational thought and forward-thinking development.

That all aside, several other posters here have somewhat hit the nail on the head, in that for a Bastion of Goodness there sure the heck isn't a lot of Lawful going on with Paladins.

In fact, the tenets we were given the Lawfulness part is ranked *fourth*.

So if the Lawful component is so dear to the class, why isn't it ranked Number One?

Why doesn't the Paladin exude a Lawful and Good aroma aura?

Why must Chaotic Good deities go without a paladin analogue that can do the work of Good (remember, Bastion of Goodness!)?

Why must Neutral Good deities shoehorn their faithful into a more restrictive mindset of Good (remember, Bastion of Goodness!)?

I asked this question last night, and the response was 'Well, because paladins are Lawful Good, and because that's what the rules say, and the Gods can't argue with the rules', more or less.

But that side-steps the question without answering it, and it does evoke really disgusting thoughts of 'All religions on Golarion are equal, but some are more equal than others' and 'Good is Great, Lawful Good is Better!', to put an Animal Farm spin on it.

For a game and a company that has prized its inclusive nature from pretty much the get-go, this smacks of favoritism, elitism, and it also hearkens to a very disturbing trend of 'This religion is better than the other religions because they can have paladins'.

It's disturbing because it starts to sound like RL religious disputes and less like a game we're all deeply passionate about, and it's unfair to the developers who have poured their development time into it to see it taken that way.

I appreciate the answer (and the pm last night on the subject). Let me be clear that I fully understand this perspective, I just don't share it.

My reading of the "best lawful good" claim was a misunderstanding really - I thought people were claiming it somehow followed on necessarily from LG-only paladins. It seems to me that it's actually a difference in head canon as to the mechanism/requirements for paladinhood and I'm fine with that. I frequently depart from the book in those respects anyhow.

One thing to bear in mind, unsatisfying as the answer may be, is that "legacy" is going to be a genuine answer. Ideally they would have built PF2 from scratch, but that just isn't feasible. It has to stick closely to PF1 in some respects and how closely and which bits it chooses to keep which bits are up for shifting is going to be an arbitrary choice to some degree - no doubt constrained by a whole bunch of things the non-staff are clueless about.

I consider my curiosity satisfied, though. At least I understand what's going on now. Thanks!


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Revan wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

...some of us would like a neat story and character that best Lawful Good just isn't providing with some meaningful mechanics and flavor.

without being attacked for wanting this sort of thing.

Can you explain to me this "Lawful Good = Best Good" argument and why you think it's so implicit?

As far as I can tell, nobody who is arguing that Paladins should be restricted to being LG believes that Lawful Good is better Good than Chaotic Good or Neutral Good (I don't really see a ranking as being meaningful, but Neutral Good seems obviously the "purest" Good, if not better).

In fact, it seems to me that, in a world where Paladins are always Lawful Good, the in-world explanation has to be that what makes Paladins possible is the lawfulness and not 'degree of goodness' (if it were degree of goodness that mattered then a paladin could be of any non-good alignment, surely?)

** spoiler omitted **

1) Paladins have abilities which make them excel at fighting evil and defending others.

2) None of these abilities have any degree of specificity to being Lawful. Every one would be thematically appropriate for any flavor of Good, and some might even be *more* appropriate for Chaotic rather than Lawful.
3) We have largely been denied any opportunities to use any significant degree of these features on a character who is not Lawful Good.

Thus, we are left with a situation where Lawful Good is given more ability to effect Good in the world, because non-Lawful tools for Good are denied to Neutral and Chaotic Good people.

Throw in the tendency to to harp on how Super Special paladins are, and suggestions of how they are universally trusted and such like, and whether intentional or not, it is very easy to perceive a suggestion that other Good alignments are not allowed to be as awesome as Lawful Good.

I guess my takeaway would be that it's lawful that's being given the privileged status.

I appreciate the answer though. It's been bugging me for a few days..


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Again, Lawful good is the most behaviorally restricted alignment.


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If you added an incredibly specific code of conduct to any other class in addition to Anathema, with failing it instantly wiping out a massive portion of your class powers, then I'd say it has to be lawful. But no other class has to do that.

That's what the Paladin has to abide by.

That is why it's Lawful.


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Years from now, I will reference these paladin wars, where we saw good turn on good over who deserved to call themselves the true paladins. Whatever happens to whichever side gets their way in the final book, I shall never forget thee and they valiant effort to earn your rights to exist in this crazy world in the manner that best fit your honor. S&~$ got crazy, yo.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

But that side-steps the question without answering it, and it does evoke really disgusting thoughts of 'All religions on Golarion are equal, but some are more equal than others' and 'Good is Great, Lawful Good is Better!', to put an Animal Farm spin on it.

For a game and a company that has prized its inclusive nature from pretty much the get-go, this smacks of favoritism, elitism, and it also hearkens to a very disturbing trend of 'This religion is better than the other religions because they can have paladins'.

I have to be honest. Using Paizo's inclusive nature, which is deeply important to some of us for very real reasons, as a means to attack them because you disagree with the game mechanics they've inherited and chosen to continue using, is... extremely unpleasant and disturbing. Please, carefully consider the impact of your arguments on marginalized members of the community.

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
It's disturbing because it starts to sound like RL religious disputes and less like a game we're all deeply passionate about, and it's unfair to the developers who have poured their development time into it to see it taken that way.

I agree that it's unfair. However... I can't think of any other poster who's really been expressing this specific viewpoint. As such, and I say this with all sincerity and goodwill, perhaps you should consider whether you've interpreted their decision unfairly.

Thank you for listening. Or, I suppose, for reading. ^_^


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Steve Geddes wrote:


I appreciate the answer (and the pm last night on the subject). Let me be clear that I fully understand this perspective, I just don't share it.

My reading of the "best lawful good" claim was a misunderstanding really - I thought people were claiming it somehow followed on necessarily from LG-only paladins. It seems to me that it's actually a difference in head canon as to the mechanism/requirements for paladinhood and I'm fine with that. I frequently depart from the book in those respects anyhow.

One thing to bear in mind, unsatisfying as the answer may be, is that "legacy" is going to be a genuine answer. Ideally they would have built PF2 from scratch, but that just isn't feasible. It has to stick closely to PF1 in some respects and how closely and which bits it chooses to keep which bits are up for shifting is going to be an arbitrary choice to some degree - no doubt constrained by a whole bunch of things the non-staff are clueless about.

I consider my curiosity satisfied, though. At least I understand what's going on now. Thanks!

If it was simply "We're doing this class Legacy because we have burnt ourselves out bringing in a new race (Goblin) a new class (Alchemist) and we just don't have the energy or bandwidth to explore this in depth but we want to honor those who have played PF1" I suspect despite a bit of outcry, folks would go "Oh, Okay, that's somewhat understandable. "

But if the development team takes this route, then they should probably come forward and level with the prospective playtest pool and say "Hey, this is a FREAKING HUGE PROJECT, and we just can't get it all done yet. Please work with us and understand that."

However, by dangling the hook out there of 'Maybe, just maybe perhaps possibly we might consider something different' it leaves a rotten feeling in the gut after seeing some of the rather lackluster efforts to 'jailbreak' or 'unchain' the Paladin class over the past few years.

And there's still little explanation beyond 'because the rules say so'. If someone could give us the story of WHY the rules say so, I suspect another section of the concerned would evaporate -- as long as it doesn't turn into bestLawful Good uber alles.


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My first character in the PF2 playtest is going to be a CG paladin.

Not a house-ruled, variant paladin. Not an alignment-removed, optional-rule paladin. A rules-as-written paladin who is LG at the time of character creation and immediately thereafter converts to CG. It's possible, if not likely, that his character sheet will list “CG” as his alignment and “paladin” as his class (not “ex-paladin” or “fallen paladin” or “paladin 1/fighter X”; just plain “paladin”).

His in-character motivation is to prove by example that being righteous is about more than following strictures and keeping company with celestial beings. He eschews the alignment restriction in the paladin’s code and parts ways with his righteous companion so he can walk a more humble path: demonstrating to the common folk that even those who fall short of a traditional paladin’s exacting standards can triumph over evil.

My goal with this character will be to test how viable it is to play a rules-as-written playtest paladin who strays from the LG alignment and never atones. Per the paladin preview blog, this paladin will lose his spell point pool and his righteous companion, so I will choose every class option I can that makes no reference to these abilities. I will then attempt to play this suboptimal paladin in level-appropriate adventures to see how well (or how poorly) he is able to meaningfully participate.


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Kalindlara wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

But that side-steps the question without answering it, and it does evoke really disgusting thoughts of 'All religions on Golarion are equal, but some are more equal than others' and 'Good is Great, Lawful Good is Better!', to put an Animal Farm spin on it.

For a game and a company that has prized its inclusive nature from pretty much the get-go, this smacks of favoritism, elitism, and it also hearkens to a very disturbing trend of 'This religion is better than the other religions because they can have paladins'.

I have to be honest. Using Paizo's inclusive nature, which is deeply important to some of us for very real reasons, as a means to attack them because you disagree with the game mechanics they've inherited and chosen to continue using, is... extremely unpleasant and disturbing. Please, carefully consider the impact of your arguments on marginalized members of the community.

It's important to *me*, too, Kalindlara. It's NOT an attack on the development team. It's the observation based on the information that is currently available, and I hope to whatever divine is watching that it's the wrong conclusion to draw from that observation.

It was a gut-punch to me, and I was hesitant to bring it up, but if I didn't then the circle would keep looping around itself without addressing the elephant that's stomping on my love of Paizo and the things they bring to the table.

If the concerns can be laid to rest, then maybe someone can get the elephant off my guts? Please? I do not like this feeling.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

But that side-steps the question without answering it, and it does evoke really disgusting thoughts of 'All religions on Golarion are equal, but some are more equal than others' and 'Good is Great, Lawful Good is Better!', to put an Animal Farm spin on it.

For a game and a company that has prized its inclusive nature from pretty much the get-go, this smacks of favoritism, elitism, and it also hearkens to a very disturbing trend of 'This religion is better than the other religions because they can have paladins'.

I have to be honest. Using Paizo's inclusive nature, which is deeply important to some of us for very real reasons, as a means to attack them because you disagree with the game mechanics they've inherited and chosen to continue using, is... extremely unpleasant and disturbing. Please, carefully consider the impact of your arguments on marginalized members of the community.

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
It's disturbing because it starts to sound like RL religious disputes and less like a game we're all deeply passionate about, and it's unfair to the developers who have poured their development time into it to see it taken that way.

I agree that it's unfair. However... I can't think of any other poster who's really been expressing this specific viewpoint. As such, and I say this with all sincerity and goodwill, perhaps you should consider whether you've interpreted their decision unfairly.

Thank you for listening. Or, I suppose, for reading. ^_^

I have been very explicitly avoiding mentioning RL religions, but Wei Ji is correct, this does smack of faiths inspired by Christian propaganda are best.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


I appreciate the answer (and the pm last night on the subject). Let me be clear that I fully understand this perspective, I just don't share it.

My reading of the "best lawful good" claim was a misunderstanding really - I thought people were claiming it somehow followed on necessarily from LG-only paladins. It seems to me that it's actually a difference in head canon as to the mechanism/requirements for paladinhood and I'm fine with that. I frequently depart from the book in those respects anyhow.

One thing to bear in mind, unsatisfying as the answer may be, is that "legacy" is going to be a genuine answer. Ideally they would have built PF2 from scratch, but that just isn't feasible. It has to stick closely to PF1 in some respects and how closely and which bits it chooses to keep which bits are up for shifting is going to be an arbitrary choice to some degree - no doubt constrained by a whole bunch of things the non-staff are clueless about.

I consider my curiosity satisfied, though. At least I understand what's going on now. Thanks!

If it was simply "We're doing this class Legacy because we have burnt ourselves out bringing in a new race (Goblin) a new class (Alchemist) and we just don't have the energy or bandwidth to explore this in depth but we want to honor those who have played PF1" I suspect despite a bit of outcry, folks would go "Oh, Okay, that's somewhat understandable. "

But if the development team takes this route, then they should probably come forward and level with the prospective playtest pool and say "Hey, this is a FREAKING HUGE PROJECT, and we just can't get it all done yet. Please work with us and understand that."

However, by dangling the hook out there of 'Maybe, just maybe perhaps possibly we might consider something different' it leaves a rotten feeling in the gut after seeing some of the rather lackluster efforts to 'jailbreak' or 'unchain' the Paladin class over the past few years.

And there's still little explanation beyond...

I don't know, it seemed to me that Jason gave a pretty good peek behind the curtain in this post.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Alright everybody,

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

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

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

So.. where does that leave us?

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

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

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

Isn't that essentially what you were looking for? They'd like to review the holy warrior idea more broadly but there just isn't the design-team resources to do it right in the available time?

I don't really like the 'previous archetypes have been poor, therefore it has to happen now' argument. Partly I find it disrespectful, given the extremely wide market Paizo are designing for. I can guarantee that some of my favorite rules elements have been declared poor/lacklustre/unbalanced or whatever by other users. Personally, I never label a game element I don't like poor, I think it's best to restrict it to "something I don't like". But also, if you genuinely don't think they're going to do a good job down the track, I can't see how you think it'll be better under enormous time pressure of coming up with a whole new game.


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HWalsh wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
I am saying a Paladin is a unique reaction from certain things. It has always been so. It is a divine champion, but it is not just a divine champion. I have explained this at length numerous times in this thread. Rather than restating it I will direct you to read one of the many previous explanations.

I've been following many Paladin threads for quite a long time (I enjoy them, what can I say?) and I will absolutely concede that you have, many many many times made the above claim.

I'm here to tell you, however, that I have never seen you show your work.

In other words, you've said many times that "Paladin is a divine champion but it's not just a divine champion," but I promise I haven't ever seen you explain how or elaborate in any way.

So, if you would be so kind, would you do so here?

You have asked politely and I will acquiesce, I am just starting to suffer a bit from board fatigue.

This is a long explanation though, so I am replying to you here first, so that you know I am writing it, it may take me a few minutes to write.

So the assertion is that Paladins have nothing but divine champions.

I with to refute that claim.

The most damning evidence to that claim is the Paladin Code.

Paladins must live by both a Paladin Code as well as by their Deity's Anathema. This Paladin Code is universal and exists for all Paladins regardless of which deity they choose to serve. If Paladins were just Divine Champions then this would not be the case, in fact this doesn't make any sense if they were just Divine Champions because, in some cases, the Paladin Code can actually conflict with the best interests of a Deity!

-----

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.

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Let us take a moment to look at deities. Note that we must use PF1 deities here as we don't have enough information on PF2 deities at this time.

Paladins, as far as we know, would be restricted to serving Deities that can accept Lawful Good followers. For this we will use the PF1 benchmark of allowing LG, NG, and LN deities.

(For ease I am using just the core pantheon)

Abadar, Erastil, Iomedae, Iori, Sarenrae, Shelyn, and Torag

Torag is the easiest one here. Torag wishes his Paladins to strike against the enemies of his people accepting no surrender and granting no mercy.

It is easily possible for Human settlements to become enemies of Torag's people (especially in Ulfen lands). If that were to happen then a Paladin of Torag would in theory have to fight humans, accepting no surrender and showing no mercy. This includes, but is not limited to, non-combatants or helpless enemies.

Such could easily directly conflict with the Paladin code. A Paladin could fall while simultaneously strictly following the will of Torag.

Another such conflict can arise with Shelyn. If a Paladin finds himself in a situation where a legitimate government is burning works of art. Such as is possible in a dictatorship situation. There is no immanent loss of life, but at the same time...

Shelyn's Anathema: destroy works of art or allow one to be destroyed except to save a life or in pursuit of greater art, refuse to accept surrender, strike first.

It is at this point that a Paladin of Shelyn can be caught in a no-win situation. She either allows the works of art to be destroyed and violates the anathema, or she breaks the 4th tenet of the Paladin code.

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.

As per the Paladin's situation she must respect the Paladin code as much as she respects her deity's wishes.

Were the Paladin just a Holy Warrior then the Deity's Wishes should supersede the Paladin code. However since all Paladins share the same code, regardless of deity, then this code must logically exist outside of the wishes of the Deity.

So much so, in fact that breaking the Paladin Code can cause the Deity to be unable to empower the Paladin directly anymore.

This indicates that something else is at work.

Not only that, but the Shelyn example directly runs counter to the core idea that nothing in the Paladin class is lawful and it is only good.

The destruction of artwork in the above example is not an act of evil. This is purely the Paladin falling because of a conflict with law. IE breaking Anathema or conflicting with local authorities.

I can go more in depth, but this post is already taking a long time to write and it is very late. I trust I have satisfied you however, at least in some small way, that there is more to the Paladin than just their connection to the divine.

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