Have people become more accepting of torture? Have PCs used force and coercion to extract information from a prisoner??
(IMHO) Torture is an evil act.
I'd keep track of them doing it, and after a couple times say, "Can I see your character sheet?" Erase their current alignment and move them one alignment notch toward evil. Maybe also move them towards chaotic (esp if their rational is "I'm doing a bad thing for a greater good").
For certain classes, those changes will matter a lot.
It's meant to be an absolute scenario that puts emphasis on the paladin's choice: The necromancer knows the cure (fact), there is no other cure available (fact), it is highly unlikely that traditional magical means will rip the info from the vile man's mind as he has prepared for that eventuality though mundane means of information gathering such as torture may work (fact), paladin has to make a choice (fact), will the paladin fall due to his choice of action? (Whatever that may be.)
The Paladin cannot torture. Here's my justification. Torture is an evil act. It simply is. The good that will come out of it does change the nature of the means. It's evil mean to achieve a good end.
The only reason you're tempted to use torture is because you're making the Paladin responsible for the plague. The Paladin isn't responsible for the plague, the necromancer is. If people die, it's on the Necromancers soul (or lack their of).
The Paladin is obligated to fight a good fight to defeat evil. The Paladin is wrong to resort to evil to fight evil. The Paladin is wrong to make themselves responsible for the evil that others do. If the Paladin takes responsibility for the evil that others do, it will lead them to believe the ends justify the means, and then they fall.
Until now. Now, I understand that all I have to do is bring a small child along to watch me attack, and the paladins will be unable to fight back against me.
LOL, yes, human shields have presented a problem for quite some time (in R/L). Strap a baby to your shield and the Paladin may have trouble swinging at you.
But there's also rationality of who's causing the harm. If someone says "answer my questions or I hurt the kid," they're the one responsible for the harm, not the person being questioned. If you place your sniper on top of a day care center, you're turning a civilian site into a military target, and you're responsible for the loss.
In your case, the Paladins have a right (obligation) to defend. They may consider how to fully defend while minimizing the civilian harm, but at the end of the day, they have to defend.
Well, my question is when a PC dies and decides not to raise dead / reincarnate, but create a new character. At what level do you let the new PC join as?
Typically the lowest level in the party. If everyone's the same level, -1.
The party typically gains all the magic items from the fallen character, plus the new character is joining with a bunch of shiny new stuff. We had one campaign where there ended up being really high attrition (some people are on their 4th character), so there was a need to limit the inflow of magic items to the party (new characters started at the level of the lowest with 1/2 starting gold).
Freddy Honeycutt wrote:
If you're in town, fighting someone, and the militia comes along and yells stand down, you stand down, or at least back down. In cities, there is legitimate authority, and you follow their directions unless you believe them or their orders to be evil.
IMHO, if a Paladin believe he only listens to his God, and pays no mind to local authorities, doesn't abide local laws (no weapons in town, etc.) then that doesn't fit my definition of lawful.
Outside of town, in ungoverned areas, the Paladin just falls back on LG and their code.
Freddy Honeycutt wrote:
Part of the deal is, they're LG, not CG or LN. If they were CG, then they could get away with more of "I'm doing a bad thing to achieve a good goal." They can't use poison, for example, because their code says they can't, and *they're lawful*. The Lawful Stupid part is that they do legitimately have to follow laws and rules that they don't entirely agree with, just like any soldier or police officer.
They're no more lawful or good than any other LG character. In addition, they have a code (much of which any LG character would follow anyways.) IMHO:
1. A paladin's code requires that she respect legitimate authority - I'd expect this from any LG
2. act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth) - In general, I'd expect any LG to be truthful and good for their word. An LG would have a high bar to get over to justify the use of poison. For a Paladin, it's simply off the table.
3. help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends) - Again, expected of any LG
4. and punish those who harm or threaten innocents. - A specific obligation for paladins, but I would expect LG adventurers to generally do this.
I modeled it up above, and didn't see a big benefit for the Scimitar at 11th level. Bless weapon helps the scimitar pull slightly ahead. Keen won't stack with bless weapon, so you'd have to take improved critical to get it to stack. At that point you've used a scarce feat, and it seems you'd only want to do that if you're going to go all-in on crit focused feats.
Beyond 10th I could imagine the scimitar pulling farther ahead, but in this circumstance, I'm going with a shield bash through greater bull rush feat progression, and I'm feeling that the longsword's a better pick for that build.
I could also see building a paladin focused on criticals and going the scimitar route, but at that point a dual wielding kukri seems better?
Jess Door wrote:
I just think it's very situational. In general, if there's a way to take the person out that's not directly in front of the kids, I'd try to find a way to do so. Only if I thought this was my only or best chance to act would I cut the person down. Even then, if it (as expected) caused massive distress on the part of the women and children, I'd feel it is something I'd have to atone for.
To me, the main penalty you take for all the Paladin benefits is that sometimes you're forced to chose between the lesser of evils, and when that happens, your character may lose Paladin abilities and have to atone. I think if you play a Paladin that will simply be unavoidable at some point.
The damages you've listed are average, right? So for a die roll, it's 1/2 + .5 (1d8 does 4.5 on average). If so, this is what I get:
This assumes a threat for crit of 19-20x2
For #1, I get 235 DPR all the way up to AC25, dropping to 222 at AC30. Adding in another boots of speed attack moves it up to 294 DPR
For #2, I get 221 dpr vs AC20, dropping to 168 vs AC 30. For BoS, add 48 more damage. I didn't calc TWR into this, so it would be 17.5 more when that happens. (crit = 18-20x2)
For #3, I get 154 vs AC20, 122 vs AC 30. With BoS, it's 194 vs AC20 to 162 vs AC 30. Also + 17.5 for TWR
For #4, I get 179 vs AC20 - 108 vs AC 30 + BoS = 228 vs AC20 - 155 vs AC30 (crit 18-20x2)
It's your campaigns. If you imagine paladins backstabbing people with poison dripping daggers, go to town. If you imagine paladins hiding behind cover and firing arrows upon little old ladies, go to town. If you imagine paladins raping and pillaging, because that's how you want paladins to behave and why should someone limit your creativity, man, go to town.
It's a cheap rhetorical trick to come up with the most extreme example and then argue against that, rather than what anyone actually said.
Look, it's just a discussion. I get that you view a Paladin as the proverbial knight in shining armor. IMHO (and it really is just my opinion) that guy wouldn't be traveling with a party (of commoners) crawling through dungeons. You have a valid view, and you can find evidence that medieval knights didn't use bows because it was viewed as dishonorable. You can also find example during times and places in Europe where they did.
I'm not saying your wrong in how you set up your campaign, I'm just explaining why I view it differently in mine. Each campaign is it's own alternate universe, and we're all here mainly to share ideas.
I guess if you have an image in your head of a Paladin as strictly a armored mounted warrior, then your Paladin can't use a bow.
You should also then view your Paladin as mainly working as a component of an army on a battlefield, supported by infantry and bowmen. Your Paladin must also be male, and human. And I don't know of stories of a real plated up English knight doing a dungeon crawl with a smorgasbord of fellow travelers fighting ranged spell casters and undead.
In short, I don't think anyone's taking too muck liberty with the rules by saying that their are other valid views of a Paladin in the D&D/Pathfinder setting.
I think the question is, does the title of the spell convey meaning, or only the description of the spell. If the title is absolutely meaningless, then yes, reading the description of the spell would imply that it counteracts blindness (well, you'd still be blind beyond 60', regardless of the light conditions).
But if the title also conveys information then you would have to conclude that the spell is granting dark vision to the target. This seems to obviously be the case. They could have named it anything, but chose Dark Vision for a reason.
Let's say you have a fighter with 2 attacks, the attack bonus is +10/+5, and the damage bonus is +5. It's a simple longsword (1d8). DPR vs. different ACs for two straight attacks is:
AC15: 12.02 dpr
If you cleave, it's:
AC15: 15.05 dpr
So just on that calculation, cleave is better, unless of course you want to do all that damage to one foe.
Now for the thornier (and more common) scenario...
The party is traveling through the dungeon/ruins/whatever. They come under attack from an evil party. They end up taking a prisoner, question the prisoner and get information, and then decide to kill the prisoner for all the normal reasons - we don't have a way to keep the prisoner with us as we battle on - we're days from town, and what would the town lock him up for anyways? - if we let him go, we'll just end up fighting him again.
I have my own code for this, but what are your opinions on what the Paladin should do?
And FWIF, from the PHB:
This strongly indicates you can slay the druid. You know they will use any mercy for evil, and you have an obligation to punish those who harm or threaten innocents (which this NPC has done at least twice). Time for justice.
Prisoners and Paladins don't mix very well.
That said, (by my Paladin's code) you did the right thing the first time by trying to transport the captive.
At this point, you know the captive isn't truly defenseless (or won't remain defenseless for long). The captive has the ability to escape and has demonstrated that if he escapes it will result in the death of innocents.
The Paladin always faces the possibility that sections of their code are in irreconcilable conflict in certain circumstances. Here the code of not attacking the defenseless, and the requirement to protect innocents. The paladin has to choose between them, and in this one circumstance, I believe the requirement to protect innocents trumps attacking the (briefly) defenseless.
At first opportunity, the Paladin should consult the temple and determine if atonement is required (regardless of the decision he makes).
I am curious as to how you guys and gals would handle a 5th level Paladin who, as a servant of Erastil, would handle a ranged weapon focus. 20 point buy.
20 Point Buy: Str 14, Con 13, Dex 16, Wis 7, Int 7, Cha 16
From Cryptic's guide.
Maybe bump up Wis, and trim down Con so your perception and sense motive aren't so bad. I recommend Cryptic's guide for some good ideas around this build.
Would you condone any of the following...
...ambush enemies from hiding...
Seems dishonorable. I wouldn't think it's dishonorable on a very large scale (diversion attack while main army attacks elsewhere), or the ambush of a very large army by a smaller army. In terms of smaller groups (say <15), hiding in bushes and ambushing a passing group seems dishonorable.
...make a pre-emptive strike against an enemy or enemies prior to their having shown actual hostility...
Are they evil? Are they an already declared enemy? Have they been offered surrender? If no to all the above, then it's probably evil to preemptively strike.
...pelt enemies to death with ranged attacks from afar while said enemies are unable to return fire...
They can be allowed to surrender, and then be pelted if they refuse to surrender.
...bring harm to the enemy WHILE his/her innocent spouse and young children bear witness...
...slay an enemy who has just been disarmed, or otherwise rendered ineffectual...
...kill an enemy who is clearly outnumbered/overpowered by the paladin and/or his allies...
Offer surrender and attack if they refuse. They can choose to die with honor rather than surrender. That doesn't mean you have to let them go free.
Cool. Thanks for chatting this through with me.
I don't think shooting arrows at opponents from a distance is any more dishonorable than trampling your unmounted opponents under the hooves of your armored warhorse while you stab down with your lance (a primary duty of knights on the battlefield).
At least with arrows, they have an even chance of shooting back. Vs. spell casters, it actually seems pretty mano-a-mano.
There's a difference between the rules when you've been challenged to a dual, vs participating in a group that's attempting to win a battle against another group. In the latter, I would expect paladins to use their superior knowledge of battle tactics to arrange foot soldiers, cavalry, and archers (without viewing the archers as dishonorable).
FWIF, Samurai also used bows.
Power attack doesn't seem to help. While it's increasing damage, it's decreasing the hit chance and confirm crit chance.
Running some simulations, I can see where the scimitar starts to pull ahead. You definitely have to be smiting, and have improved critical.
Here are the numbers I get
Attack bonus = BAB 10 + 4 (Str) + 3 (Cha) + 2 (bull str) + 1 (weapon) = 20
Vs AC 15
Vs AC 25
So with a huge amount of damage that multiplies, the longsword is barely better, and that's only if you burn a feat for improved critical, and you're smiting. If you bless weapon so the crits always confirm, it's still not a huge difference:
Vs AC 25 (bless weapon)
And then that's yet another buff you have to count on, so I'm just not sure that trying to maximize the threat range is really better than just taking a more common weapon that does slightly more damage and gives you back a feat slot.
Sweet, so it looks like my basic simulation is right, and that leads to some thoughts.
First, I've seen people talk about having high crit range weapons, but I'm having trouble finding a scenario where a scimitar is better than a longsword, so I wonder if the high crit approach is bunk? (or my maths are off)
Also, it seems like using divine bond to keen a weapon is a waste compared to adding flaming.
Interesting, so LoH is (probably) allowed with a shield hand, but when a Paladin goes to cast a spell, he'd have to drop and pickup his weapon, or do the - pass it to the shield hand, cast, pass it back - routine.
I'm working on a DPR calculator (I'm sure many already exist, and if you have a link to one, that would be great) that takes into account crits and damage resistance. Just for a simple calculation, I have:
1st level paladin using a scimitar
Attack bonus: +4
For DPR vs. various ACs, I get:
AC 15: 3.74 dpr
Does that look right?
James Jacobs wrote:
Thanks for the clarifications everyone. Is there a page in the players guide that says you can cast with a shield hand, and hold an object? It seems like it's common knowledge, but I'd like to be able to pull out the PHB if it comes up as an issue.
You definitely want the high crit range when possible. You multiply Smite damage on a crit so doubling your damage becomes even sweeter.
I know flaming doesn't multiply with crit, but does holy?
Also, you can only divind bond disruption on a bludgeoning weapon, correct? Since the difference between a shield vs. spiked shield is 1d3 vs 1d4, I wonder if it's better to carry a regular light shield for the option to divind bond disruption on it when fighting undead?
Is there a character story or RP reason for using a shield? You can get pretty good DPR out of two-handed weapons and not needing more than a 12 in Dex will get you better Strength. Plus, you're not shoveling feats into two-weapon fighting feats and shield feats. With swift action self healing, Paladins don't really need much AC. You get ouchies, you get bandaids.
The thinking on using the shield was to get an extra attack when smiting, and I'm just interested in trying the shield-as-weapon route for something interesting.
The scimitar at 11th level doesn't look too impressive, but with power attack + divine bond + 15-20 threat for crit, I think it'll do OK. Again, not as good as a straight fighter, but a paladin's never going to keep up with a straight fighter.
And for undead that you can't crit, the smite damage is pretty huge.
I think the bastard sword build posted above is pretty good too. I'll load it in the spreadsheet and see how it compares.
Here's the full character up to level 11, and like I said, I'll compare with the bastard sword build above.
(assumes no magic weapons, armor, or buffs, so this is a worst-case)
Daniel Moyer wrote:
Yeah, just noticed that. I could go with:
Str 16, Con 13, Dex 16, Wis 7, Int 7, Cha 18
At 4th I could bump up the Con, and at 8th I could bump up Dex to qualify for improved two weapon fighting, but I'm not sure I want to play Lawful Retarded.
Any thoughts on the feat progression?
Tried posting this before, but the post won't open. Strange.
Anyways, I'm thinking about playing a Paladin based on Cryptic's Guide to Paladins Sword and Board, and some other advice I've read in the forums. I don't know yet if my DM's doing 20 or 25 pts for point-buy, but here are my thoughts for stats and feat progression:
Point Buy (20)
Point Buy (25)
H Improved Shield Bash
Scimitar as main weapon and shield (light or heavy??) as off-hand.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd have to drop the shield to do Lay on Hands or cast spells? Anything anyone would like to point out or give suggestions on for this build?
Ok, I've read Cryptic's guide to Paladins, and lots of other posts about Paladins and I'm thinking of going with the Sword and Board approach (It's more in keeping with my Paladin as Knight roleplay thinking vs. the Smite Arrow Machinegun).
I'm not sure if we'll be using 20 or 25 points for point-buy, but I'm thinking of the following stats:
Point Buy (20)
Point Buy (25)
And the following feat progression (suggested in another post)
H Improved Shield Bash
Main weapon will be a Scimitar for improved threat range. I'll be going the Divine Bond w/weapon route (probably putting Keen on the weapon)
First, and issues with this so far in terms of stats and feats?
Second, what are the thoughts about light vs heavy shield (I'm thinking light at low levels to minimize the penalties). Also, to use lay on hands, I'd have to drop the shield, correct? Same for spell casting?
Any other thoughts on ways to optimize?