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Quandary wrote:
But for standard Code Paladins, I think 'no lying' is pretty clear. If they see the questioners as an illegitimate authority, they should try to confront them more directly, not lie to them, which is basically accomodating to illegitimate power instead of confronting it. Direct confrontation with Evil is the raison d'etre for all those honking huge bonuses you get from Smite, after all.

And what about situations where whacking the big bad with a sword not only won't work, but will get innocent people killed? There really has to be room for pragmatism with the paladin, otherwise it comes off as lawful stupid by design.


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Mergy wrote:
Woohoo, we're at the stage where people come up with no-win scenarios and then say "SEE? I TOLD YOU SO!"

It's not a no-win scenario, unless the paladin as a class is so messed up that lying is absolutely verboten. In that case, it's a scenario where the paladin can lose their powers by doing something more good than giving candy to orphans, or they can keep their powers (maybe) by doing something more evil than giving poisoned candy to orphans, and the class actually is lawful stupid. In a sane universe where paladins can lie if it would do more good than harm, you just lie your butt off and everything comes out rainbows and lollipops.


Mathmuse wrote:
The paladin of Iomedae in my campaign benefits from his code. Everyone knows that they can trust his word. Likewise, Mergy's answer to Thunderbird8804's scenario is the reaction that the thugs would expect from a paladin of Iomedae, even if the house were empty.

Assuming they're familiar enough with paladins to know that this one is a paladin of Iomedae, it seems like a really bad idea to give the bad guys a tip off that you're a paladin if you're supposed to be in hiding.

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Even if the thugs were not intimidated, the paladin's answer would give them no clues.

Yeah it would, a guy you're pretty sure is a paladin threatening you after you've only asked him if he's seen a group of people is going to be suspicious to say the least. Keep in mind that this is an entire division of military men on a search and kill mission from their not even close to benevolent lord, so unless they're rock stupid or the village is more like a city, they're going to be doing house by house searches, but they're also not going to waste days on end tearing every single house apart...unless you put a big neon "I'm really suspicious" sign over your head, then they're probably going to kick in the door, kill you for mouthing off to them, tear the house apart down to the foundation, find the family, and kill them too.

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In fact, the paladin might have been clever enough to conduct his lookout from the empty house next door.

And that would change the scenario, which misses the point. This situation sets up a dilemma (a problem with only two choices, neither of which are particularly desirable) in order to test this principle:

mem0ri wrote:

I'm actually rather surprised that so many people in this thread think that "lying for good" is not an inherently dishonest or immoral act. It's classic "ends justify the means" Machiavellian philosophy and it definitely does not jive with being a Paladin.

That's me ... and as said above, every DM is different. I would, however, strongly disagree with anyone who states that it's ok to "lie for good".

This can apply to paladins, it can apply to the other classes, it can apply to real life, it's all the same for the purposes of this dilemma.


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Mergy wrote:
Thunderbird8804 wrote:
mem0ri wrote:

I'm actually rather surprised that so many people in this thread think that "lying for good" is not an inherently dishonest or immoral act. It's classic "ends justify the means" Machiavellian philosophy and it definitely does not jive with being a Paladin.

That's me ... and as said above, every DM is different. I would, however, strongly disagree with anyone who states that it's ok to "lie for good".

I don't think you realize just how wrong that is, and how much even you disagree with it, so here's a simple scenario to illustrate.

You're a paladin who's protecting a family of innocents from a tyrannous lord. You've stopped and holed up in a house for a bit while you think about what to do next. Stopping here seems fairly safe because nobody in the village looks like they're going to give you up to the authorities, and you've got the family well hidden so that even if the house was given a once over they wouldn't be found. Then a bunch of heavily armed, shady looking characters that are part of a very large military division that's searching the town knock on your door and ask if you've seen the family (the one you're hiding). Fighting isn't going to work, you're quite outnumbered and outgunned, and they would probably guess that something's up if you attacked them. So what do you do: lie, or tell the truth?

"I do not recognize your authority, and I will not speak to you on this subject. Be off with you, lest you find something you're not looking for in this house." Intimidate should be a class skill for paladins.

Keep in mind that the gang of goons on your doorstep, in addition to being pretty tough customers themselves, have a horde of soldiers in and around the town, and I really doubt an entire army is going to be put off by a couple tough words (and there's nothing quite so suspicious as as a guy delivering threats when asked if he's seen someone).


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mem0ri wrote:

I'm actually rather surprised that so many people in this thread think that "lying for good" is not an inherently dishonest or immoral act. It's classic "ends justify the means" Machiavellian philosophy and it definitely does not jive with being a Paladin.

That's me ... and as said above, every DM is different. I would, however, strongly disagree with anyone who states that it's ok to "lie for good".

I don't think you realize just how wrong that is, and how much even you disagree with it, so here's a simple scenario to illustrate.

You're a paladin who's protecting a family of innocents from a tyrannous lord. You've stopped and holed up in a house for a bit while you think about what to do next. Stopping here seems fairly safe because nobody in the village looks like they're going to give you up to the authorities, and you've got the family well hidden so that even if the house was given a once over they wouldn't be found. Then a bunch of heavily armed, shady looking characters that are part of a very large military division that's searching the town knock on your door and ask if you've seen the family (the one you're hiding). Fighting isn't going to work, you're quite outnumbered and outgunned, and they would probably guess that something's up if you attacked them. So what do you do: lie, or tell the truth?