A lot of people on here argue about what is and what isn't an appropriate action for a paladin to take. I have many of my own views, and as paladin is actually my favorite class, for both RP and mechanic reasons, I am one of those people who is very opinionated about the topic.
However, lately, I've been wondering something; Is Paladin really such a strong class that it needs what literally seems like a built-in self-destruct button?
Originally, in the earlier versions of D&D a Paladin was an incredibly potent class. If I'm not mistaken, the stat requirements to be a paladin in AD&D 2nd ed. were so strict that meeting them through standard methods was next to impossible. The abilities they gained, however, were equally potent by contrast.
But now? Is the paladin class really so powerful in Pathfinder, as compared to every other class, that an alignment restriction is necessary? Would a CN paladin really be some kind of game-breaker, or is the alignment restriction simply a leftover from previous version of the game?
And what about other classes? Would a Monk be any more powerful if it wasn't restricted to lawful alignments? Or would the Barbarian class become more powerful if they could be lawful? How about druids and their neutral restriction?
Yes, the alignment restrictions make a certain sense from a role playing aspect, but are they necessary? Has anyone every tried running a non-alignment restricted campaign? If so, how did it go? If not, why?
I'm not leaning towards one side or the other on this one. From the role play perspective, the alignment restrictions make a lot of sense to me, and I'd prefer that they stay there. But, from a mechanical standpoint, I don't really see a necessity for them.
I'd really prefer it if alignment wasn't tied to the game mechanics, as it is now you would need a lot of tweaks to house rule it out but it seems to be something a lot of fans get mad about if you take it out.