Paladin Alignment Restrictions??


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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

In my homebrew game-design there are no "Cleric: one size fits all" like the offal system that's always been.

Each deity has a Character Class with its own class features -- including different spell lists. And, no, "clerics" of Fharlanghn can't Turn or Rebuke undead.

-W. E. Ray

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
DrowVampyre wrote:
Suddenly I have the image of a cow in platemail.

Don't ask how I know this but they do taste pretty good when cooked this way.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
flash_cxxi wrote:
When you play in an environment that doesn't allow house rules, only "Official" . . .

Why do you want to play a Paladin?

Do you like the class features? Or do you want to play a righteous, defending-of-the-faith, disciplined warrior?

If you checked the first question then you don't want to play a Paladin; you want to play a Fighter with different class features.

I feel for you if your DM is so rigid with what he or she allows in the game. That's unfortunate.

-W. E. Ray


I couldn't help but to notice that there has been alot of talk about paladins and their deities on this thread. While many paladins undoubtably have patron gods they worship, the paladon as a class is not a "holy warrior of x" at all. They are just holy warriors, period. Like the healer class from Minatures Handbook they're "sponsored" by good deities as a whole. Paladins have allies in all good deities and celestials.

For example, take a paladin who happens to worship Sarenrae. Unbeknownist to her, Lamashtu and her minions storm the heavens and manage to inprison Sarenrae. Unlike a cleric of Sarenrae, who might lose access to his powers temporarily, the paladin will find her powers and abilities unhindered.

This is why they are Lawful Good. Because it is their dedication and adherence to a stricture of good that allows them access to their powers, gifted to them by a priciple, not an individual deity.

And because that's the way they been for years. ;)


Being a shining example of goodness is built intrinsically into the class. I would compromise and drop the lawful requirement, but I'm adamant that Paladins must be good.


Phlebas wrote:
tying paladin variants into deity's is treading on the clerics toes a little too much for me to be entirely comfortable with....

If I understood the OP, I thought that's exactly what's being asked about.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
flash_cxxi wrote:


True it is, but when you play in an environment that doesn't allow house rules, only "Official" that makes it alot harder. I literally had to convince my DM that Dragon was in fact fully Offical Authorised Content before I could use anything from it (and even then alot gets shot down). I likewise had to beg to be allowed to play Paragon Classes because he doesn't like UA.

As I said, I think it should be open to all alignments, but at least a Lawful restrictions make sense.

Wow..sounds like Me... I can't stand Unearthed.. Worse book ever made..It is banned from my games. And I also don't allow House rules..

But I have always allowed Dragon Mag material.. so I know I am not your DM..;-)

Liberty's Edge

seekerofshadowlight wrote:
veector wrote:

I have to chime in on this in the sense that the Paladin is a champion of good much like the vision of a Judge from Judge Dredd (sp?) taking the long walk into the cursed earth. He is a light in the darkness kinda thing, trying to bring justice and goodness to those who don't have it. At least, that's my take on the Paladin.

HOWEVER, this concept doesn't work for all deities. I for example, am really trying to think of what a "Holy Warrior" class would be for the god of suffering, Ilmater, in the Forgotten Realms. Their whole point is to take on the suffering of their followers. What would a Paladin do for that religion?

Anyway, I don't agree or disagree on the subject. I just think that it needs some thought about aligning it with specific deities before doing so.

Paladins of the broken god guard the weak and use there healing powers on any that need them.They are not shy about fighting evil, however they would rather pause to heal someone that is dieing then scarific that life in order to pursue evil-doers.

All in all there are 11 gods in the realms with paladins each order has it's own outlook and feel. All LG but a paladin of Iimater,sune, and Kelemvor are all LG But very different in feel, outlook and play.

And then there's the paladins of Jergal...

Liberty's Edge

Dragnmoon wrote:
flash_cxxi wrote:


True it is, but when you play in an environment that doesn't allow house rules, only "Official" that makes it alot harder. I literally had to convince my DM that Dragon was in fact fully Offical Authorised Content before I could use anything from it (and even then alot gets shot down). I likewise had to beg to be allowed to play Paragon Classes because he doesn't like UA.

As I said, I think it should be open to all alignments, but at least a Lawful restrictions make sense.

Wow..sounds like Me... I can't stand Unearthed.. Worse book ever made..It is banned from my games. And I also don't allow House rules..

But I have always allowed Dragon Mag material.. so I know I am not your DM..;-)

Do you also refuse to play in games with house rules? Because how else would you not allow them? I could see not USING them...

Regardless, that's honestly too bad. A little drifting to tailor a game to the tastes of the group can result in a lot more enjoyment for everybody. For example, in my current campaign, I've scrapped the official XP system in favor of this and my players and I both LOVE it (I used 40 points as the level-up point). They can get XP for doing things other than killing stuff, and I have less bookkeeping. It wouldn't work for every game, but it works in mine.

Sovereign Court

Come on people, if paladins could be any alignment they wanted then what would spark all the good vs evil, law vs chaos based arguments? Do you really think that bringing the lawful-ness of a Monk into question is going to have the same game ending/stalling shouting matches that our old paladin's ethics could deliver (some would add 'on a fairly regular basis')? Keep the paladin as lawful good. I like it when unresolvable philosophical arguments (usually pertaining to the nature of evil) crop up in my games. Viva the Alignment System! Viva Lawful Stupid paladins!

Spoiler:
I really wish there was a sarcasm emote.

IMO this problem, and many, many others has the poisonous alignment system to blame. Alignments are terrible as a mechanic (but are fine as flavor). Sadly I know alignments are here to stay so I'm thinking that someone needs to rewrite that section of the rulebook and remove any doubt as to how the rules define good and evil actions


One idea I did like that I heard was that the paladin class like the blackguard should be a prestige class that one should earn rather then start with. But as stated previously that would take it to far from its origins though I think it would be one of the best options I have heard.

Another idea which I have posted elseware is to take the paladin away from gods completely and instead tie them to diferent plains. This would mean a lawful good paladin would get his powerd from a place like I think is celestia (always get the good planes mixed up) though a chaotic evil paladin would draw power from the abyss. This would then give all players an idea of the codes and morals that each plane would encourage and thus give people an idea of how there paladin should act in differing situations. Obviously people can argue that this gives no real link to the powers that a palain is granted like spells, but you should remember that no only are the planes home to the gods they are also home to a miriad of different beings of power eg orcus. And you many even work for some greater goal. eg LE paladin going around collecting souls for the blood war. Ill do this if you sogn this contract saying that for 5 yrs after your death you will work for us ect ect. I find the idea interesting and so do the group I run the game for

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Timespike wrote:


Do you also refuse to play in games with house rules? Because how else would you not allow them? I could see not USING them...

Regardless, that's honestly too bad. A little drifting to tailor a game to the tastes of the group can result in a lot more enjoyment for everybody. For example, in my current campaign, I've scrapped the official XP system in favor of this and my players and I both LOVE it (I used 40 points as the level-up point). They can get XP for doing things other than killing stuff, and I have less bookkeeping. It wouldn't work for every game, but it works in mine.

I personally hate house rules.. Every game I have ever played with house rules have turn out bad because of arguments brought on by House rules..

I make a terrible player because of this because I like sticking to the book and some GMs don't..

For me it is a good thing.. since I hate them..House rules drive me crazy!!!!!

Liberty's Edge

Dragnmoon wrote:
Timespike wrote:


Do you also refuse to play in games with house rules? Because how else would you not allow them? I could see not USING them...

Regardless, that's honestly too bad. A little drifting to tailor a game to the tastes of the group can result in a lot more enjoyment for everybody. For example, in my current campaign, I've scrapped the official XP system in favor of this and my players and I both LOVE it (I used 40 points as the level-up point). They can get XP for doing things other than killing stuff, and I have less bookkeeping. It wouldn't work for every game, but it works in mine.

I personally hate house rules.. Every game I have ever played with house rules have turn out bad because of arguments brought on by House rules..

I make a terrible player because of this because I like sticking to the book and some GMs don't..

For me it is a good thing.. since I hate them..House rules drive me crazy!!!!!

If you don't mind me asking... ...what's the test for what is house rules and what isn't? You've also likely played in a game that had house rules and didn't know it. If a GM caps the limit on number of PrCs, limits the books you can use, or hands out XP either after encounters or after each session, house rues are in play. Furthermore, you're welcome to hate them, but know that it's pretty extreme to do so.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

darth_borehd wrote:
Being a shining example of goodness is built intrinsically into the class. I would compromise and drop the lawful requirement, but I'm adamant that Paladins must be good.

Personally, I LOVE the variant paladins in Unearthed Arcana. They maintain the paladin flavor while having paladins of vastly different alignments. And the differences are big enough that it owuld be difficult for a LG paladin wouldn't hang out with a CG paladin (at least not preferably).

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Guy Humual wrote:
I'm thinking that someone needs to rewrite that section of the rulebook and remove any doubt as to how the rules define good and evil actions

I tried. It is here.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Timespike wrote:


If you don't mind me asking... ...what's the test for what is house rules and what isn't? You've also likely played in a game that had house rules and didn't know it. If a GM caps the limit on number of PrCs, limits the books you can use, or hands out XP either after encounters or after each session, house rues are in play. Furthermore, you're welcome to hate them, but know that it's pretty extreme to do so.

If i am playing in a game that has house rules that I don't know about that is even worse... Nothing I hate more then a GM that pulls a house rule out of a hat after I already built a character based on the rules..

A house rule would be something that is not in a Book...

I can deal with Optional rules.. though some I may not like..

I also Had banned all 3pp stuff from my games and Unearthed Arcana *A book of basically all 'house rules'*, until they went to 4e and I decided that Paizo would be my game of choice.

This is the thing about house rules.. They can be pulled at any time.. If I have a character I planned based on the Official rules and the GM decides later to change those rules..he just invalidated my Character.

I have had GMs Ban flanking, which just made my rogue weaker..

I have had GMs decide they will hand out EXP like MMOs. He hands you a card you do what is on the card and hand in the card and get Exp, that was the whole game..no story, just a bunch of cards.

The game is made to work with all the rules, if you change one you can start a chain reaction that effects a bunch of other rules.

Not only that..hard to point out a GM is wrong when he makes up the rules.. ;-)

Like I said I make a terrible player in D&D *Not so in other games*


Refusing to play with any house rules, regardless of what the rule is, is just silly. The game itself contemplates house rules, so making a house rule is within the "rules" of the game, as it were. Best not to have players who have hangups about that sort of thing (or about 3PPs, etc.).

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Steerpike7 wrote:
Refusing to play with any house rules, regardless of what the rule is, is just silly. The game itself contemplates house rules, so making a house rule is within the "rules" of the game, as it were. Best not to have players who have hangups about that sort of thing (or about 3PPs, etc.).

You guys have to under stand where I am coming from..

I am in the military and constantly changing groups and GMs... it is much easier to remember rules in the book then every GMs House rules..

Not only that In my experience GMs make terrible house rules.. Others peoples experience may vary.. but that is what I have experienced..


Timespike wrote:
If a GM caps the limit on number of PrCs, limits the books you can use, or hands out XP either after encounters or after each session, house rues are in play.

Actually allowing books outside of core is the house rule, and allowing PrCs at all is as well (the DMG specifically requires DM approval for all PrCs).


Dragnmoon wrote:

You guys have to under stand where I am coming from..

I am in the military and constantly changing groups and GMs... it is much easier to remember rules in the book then every GMs House rules..

Not only that In my experience GMs make terrible house rules.. Others peoples experience may vary.. but that is what I have experienced..

I give my players a list of all house rules in effect when we start the game. Usually they're things like class changes, which pretty much always work out.


flash_cxxi wrote:
True it is, but when you play in an environment that doesn't allow house rules, only "Official" that makes it alot harder. I literally had to convince my DM that Dragon was in fact fully Offical Authorised Content before I could use anything from it (and even then alot gets shot down). I likewise had to beg to be allowed to play Paragon Classes because he doesn't like UA.

I certainly don't think it's a good argument that option X from Unearthed Arcana (like paladins of different alignments, armour as DR, etc.) should go into the Pathfinder core rules just because some DMs don't like Unearthed Arcana. You'd end up with a mighty thick core rulebook at that rate!


Timespike wrote:


And then there's the paladins of Jergal...

Ya know he can have em but I don't think he does. Lest not an order he may have one here or there but unless I missed it he just does not care enough to have an order.

And in the realms a paladin has to have a god. that one wasnt at you just a statment


Well, its hardly a throughly-analyzed thing, but game-mechanic part of being a Paladin always seemed to be that they accepted a variety of special duties and restrictions on options that would otherwise be practical and useful - lying, breaking their word, betraying people when convenient, and so on - and, in exchange, were given some special options, such as acquiring a supernaturally-superior steed and other unusual abilities.

In 3.5 this can easily be represented by offering the option of something like the “Dedication” Feat:

Dedication [General]
You draw strength from your dedication to a particular code of behavior.
Benefit: When you take this Feat you must consult with your game master to develop a meaningful set of restrictions on your character’s behavior or a set of duties which you will be obligated to carry out from now on. You may also select two other Feats which you may use from now on as long as you adhere to the specified restrictions or duties.
Special: You may take this Feat more than once. Each time you do so you must either build upon your old restrictions or duties or create new ones. You cannot simply apply the same set.

There are plenty of OGL feats out there for improving saving throws, building up a modest spell progression, and gaining various other weird abilities, including duplicating the special abilities of most prestige classes. This way you can dump a lot of those classes. You want to be a dedicated fighter (or mage, or even cleric - although they might have a harder time finding restrictions that meant something) of Lawfulness? Add some appropriately-rigid duties and behavioral restraints, and take some appropriate powers and there you are. Want to be a dedicated warrior of Chaos? I doubt you’ll find many appropriate restrictions, so a heavy dose of special duties is going to be in order if you want much benefit. Of course, there also won’t be too heavy a penalty for wandering from the path of Chaos, which seems suitable.

Scarab Sages

I am all for a "Warrior Priest" class for every alignment, with the Lawful Good version being the "Paladin".

There's no need to re-write the Paladin. However, I would love to see it become one of 9 different options.

(Also, I loved that article in Dragon on all the different Paladin types. Had a player do the Guardian, which I believe was the NG or CG Paladin-type. He had a great time)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
iamtheDMgetovait wrote:
One idea I did like that I heard was that the paladin class like the blackguard should be a prestige class

I always wanted it to be this way, too. When 3E came out and Paladins were a Class -- but the system had invented PrCs -- not kits, mind you but actual PrCs -- I was shocked and appalled and horified and disapointed and angered and a few other things that they made the Paladin a class and not a PrC.

-W. E. Ray

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Dragnmoon,

It's unfortunate you hate house rules so much; they add so much improvement to both the game and the gaming experience.

Though I'm not military I have lived in a handful of cities in the last 10 years or so and have changed groups several times. Many, actuallly, most of my Players have been military. We never had any problems. Perhaps it's because I see (and teach newbies) house rules and book rules the same -- try 'em; keep the ones that work; find an appropriate time to fix the ones that don't.

And, as was so brilliantly mentioned earlier (Kudos, SteerSpike!), house rule allowances are built into the system -- always have been, from Gygax in '74 to today. It's one of the only things that every edition and version of the game has kept.

As far as house rules being sprung on Players in the middle of a session (likely an encounter), this is just a result of poor DMing. Now, I don't think giving the Players a "Grand List Of MY House-Rules" because I think it's dumb (no one wants to read that crap) and self defeating (the point is to see what works, not write things in stone) but even still, I've never had a Player that felt something was "sprung" on him.

And as far as a house rule "invalidating" the PC you made based on the RAW -- come on, that's a little over the top. I sure hope this is exaggeration to illustrate your point. If this actually happens then you've got to be trying real hard to Powergame your PC into existence, searching every little nook-and-cranny of the RAW to design your PC so he's not only the most efficient but also the most powerful PC on paper.

But I guess lots of Players like that.

-W. E. Ray

Contributor

I houseruled that paladins could be of any alignment back in 2nd edition.

It seems to me that if only the gods of good can have holy warriors in the form of paladins, then the gods of good have an advantage over deities of other alignments. This creates an imbalance in the world in favor of good. Yes, evil gets the blackguard, but it always seemed odd to me that evil's version is a prestige class while good gets a core class. The imbalance still seems to exist.

Since Unearthed Arcana introduces the rules for alternate aligned paladins, why not include those rules under the paladin class entry? By doing that, you satisfy those who want to play the traditional paladin, while making those who don't see a point behind the rigid alignment restriction happy. Both groups are satisfied, you make Golarion into a more interesting place, and you add all of about two pages to the book.


Quentyn wrote:

Well, its hardly a throughly-analyzed thing, but game-mechanic part of being a Paladin always seemed to be that they accepted a variety of special duties and restrictions on options that would otherwise be practical and useful - lying, breaking their word, betraying people when convenient, and so on - and, in exchange, were given some special options, such as acquiring a supernaturally-superior steed and other unusual abilities.

In 3.5 this can easily be represented by offering the option of something like the “Dedication” Feat:

Dedication [General]
You draw strength from your dedication to a particular code of behavior.
Benefit: When you take this Feat you must consult with your game master to develop a meaningful set of restrictions on your character’s behavior or a set of duties which you will be obligated to carry out from now on. You may also select two other Feats which you may use from now on as long as you adhere to the specified restrictions or duties.
Special: You may take this Feat more than once. Each time you do so you must either build upon your old restrictions or duties or create new ones. You cannot simply apply the same set.

There are plenty of OGL feats out there for improving saving throws, building up a modest spell progression, and gaining various other weird abilities, including duplicating the special abilities of most prestige classes. This way you can dump a lot of those classes. You want to be a dedicated fighter (or mage, or even cleric - although they might have a harder time finding restrictions that meant something) of Lawfulness? Add some appropriately-rigid duties and behavioral restraints, and take some appropriate powers and there you are. Want to be a dedicated warrior of Chaos? I doubt you’ll find many appropriate restrictions, so a heavy dose of special duties is going to be in order if you want much benefit. Of course, there also won’t be too heavy a penalty for wandering from the path of Chaos, which seems suitable.

Oh I like this.

On topic: I am all for Lawful (anything) Holy Warriors, with the Paladin being the LG one.

However, I am NOT for smite good or anything that tweeks abilities for inflicts or evil spells.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Molech wrote:

Dragnmoon,

It's unfortunate you hate house rules so much; they add so much improvement to both the game and the gaming experience.

Though I'm not military I have lived in a handful of cities in the last 10 years or so and have changed groups several times. Many, actuallly, most of my Players have been military. We never had any problems. Perhaps it's because I see (and teach newbies) house rules and book rules the same -- try 'em; keep the ones that work; find an appropriate time to fix the ones that don't.

And, as was so brilliantly mentioned earlier (Kudos, SteerSpike!), house rule allowances are built into the system -- always have been, from Gygax in '74 to today. It's one of the only things that every edition and version of the game has kept.

As far as house rules being sprung on Players in the middle of a session (likely an encounter), this is just a result of poor DMing. Now, I don't think giving the Players a "Grand List Of MY House-Rules" because I think it's dumb (no one wants to read that crap) and self defeating (the point is to see what works, not write things in stone) but even still, I've never had a Player that felt something was "sprung" on him.

And as far as a house rule "invalidating" the PC you made based on the RAW -- come on, that's a little over the top. I sure hope this is exaggeration to illustrate your point. If this actually happens then you've got to be trying real hard to Powergame your PC into existence, searching every little nook-and-cranny of the RAW to design your PC so he's not only the most efficient but also the most powerful PC on paper.

But I guess lots of Players like that.

-W. E. Ray

This particular topic in this thread is going way off topic of the thread.. I will start another thread about House rules tomorrow so all of us can talk about it, or if people can't wait they can start one today and I will add my view tomorrow...

Night all


DrowVampyre wrote:
toyrobots wrote:
That's precisely what I was going for, thanks.
Heh, well, you're welcome, though I think a neutral paladin would be just fine as a concept. Especially LN. It'd be...Judge Dredd, basically.

I play in a Rise of the Runelords game with a fellow that has a LG paladin named Judge Dredd. Our party is called Homeland Security and the paladin often threatens to "water-board" bad guys he interrogates. His paladin mount is named "Ashcroft". The rest of the party is taking side bets on what level he will be when he gets "elected" president and totally becomes a blackguard, LOL.

Liberty's Edge

seekerofshadowlight wrote:
Timespike wrote:


And then there's the paladins of Jergal...

Ya know he can have em but I don't think he does. Lest not an order he may have one here or there but unless I missed it he just does not care enough to have an order.

And in the realms a paladin has to have a god. that one wasnt at you just a statment

Look up his entry in Faiths & Pantheons.


ah thats one i could never get ahold of. I really need to find it

Liberty's Edge

seekerofshadowlight wrote:
ah thats one i could never get ahold of. I really need to find it

There's mention of paladins for Jergal in his entry. (Under the worshippers entry it says "Necromancers, Monks, Paladins") It strikes me as kind of an odd faith. They'd certainly be MORBID paladins. There's no details on an order, per se, but there must be a significant enough group of them if that's in the entry. Having one of those in the party would be a hoot:

<Doomshiver the paladin has just slain four orcs and the tanarukk that was commanding them.>
Stickyfingers the rogue: "Whoo! Time to loot!" <loots the bodies.> "Okay, time to go!"
<Doomshiver looks at the rogue blankly.>
Stickyfingers: "You're not going to do it again, are you? We have places to be!"
<Doomshiver wordlessly pulls out a scroll, marks down the orcs and their likely planar destination, then checks them over, realizes these particular orcs were followers of Tempus, not Gruumsh, wordlessly crosses off the list and starts the whole process over.>

Yeah. They'd be fun guys, all right.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I've house-ruled in favor of non-LG paladins for a number of campaigns. So I have no real desire to see paladins remain LG. But if LG paladins are what's on the table, I'd do a couple things to them:

1) Make sure there's information about how to be a paladin with a code without being a disruptive jerk.

2) Sidebar some info on paladins of alternate alignments. And the best thing about this is you can harvest the Unearthed Arcana stuff because it's OGL.

I think that would put the idea of non-LG paladins out there in a way that you don't mess with players who think paladins should and must be LG but you still give players who want to open it up some guidance.


Ross Byers wrote:
Paladins are Lawful Good. They always have been. They always should be. That's what Paladin means.

There is a lot of power behind this argument. The paladin is a hallmark of this game. A CG or even LN paladin simply is not a paladin. Call it something else, fine, but it's not a paladin. (As for relieving a CG paladinesque class of its warhorse, I'd go so far as to strip it of smite and ask for some new flavor/mechanic.) Just imagine a beholder with TWO big eyes on its body. Iconoclasm isn't as cool as you might think, especially in a core book.


Paladins are LG simply because that have -what- lawful good charatcers would get.

The forces of evil are different from good, it isn't going to grant powers to any tom dick or harry. It will only grant powers to any who prove worthy.

As it stands, simply being of noble mind (I.E LG) is enough for -anyone- to be a paladin. In fact, if you read the Forgotten realms book, it jhas a whole section under the paladin to explain that Tyr even has Orcs and other typically evil creatures under him. Simply desriing to do good is enough for LG, and it would be different for others.

CE for instance...lets be honest, if you're CE, you're a madman. How would you develop an order, let alone work together (which it even says in the PHB, would need to be forced for CE).

CG...how can someone who values freedom over justice work as a paladin? Don't forget, the forces of good can see what it's followers are doing, it will -know- if someone has a more radical appraoch to it's dogma.

*note, by forces of good, I am referring to either "Good" as a cause, or the general cast of Good gods in any setting, it can apply to both.


Bill Dunn wrote:
1) Make sure there's information about how to be a paladin with a code without being a disruptive jerk.

I think the real fear is the LG Paladin itself. In the hands of a capable roleplayer who understands the limitations of having one world view in a campaign where different characters are bound to have different motives, a paladin can be a HUGE benefit.

One of the aspects of a paladin's high wisdom (hopefully) is that he understands his role in the world, and what his limitations are. He should understand that he can't always change the world through fighting and that judgment is not always his to mete out.

Liberty's Edge

veector wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
1) Make sure there's information about how to be a paladin with a code without being a disruptive jerk.

I think the real fear is the LG Paladin itself. In the hands of a capable roleplayer who understands the limitations of having one world view in a campaign where different characters are bound to have different motives, a paladin can be a HUGE benefit.

One of the aspects of a paladin's high wisdom (hopefully) is that he understands his role in the world, and what his limitations are. He should understand that he can't always change the world through fighting and that judgment is not always his to mete out.

And by the same token, he'll also know when a foe must be fought, and when it's better to mete out justice than let a threat walk away. I think at least some of the problem with paladins being disruptive is that there's invariably that other player who makes a CN dread necromancer/rogue/whatever that is just this side of evil and pushes as hard as they can on the paladin.


flash_cxxi wrote:

I started talking with James about how a Paladin shouldn't have an alignment restriction other than that they should be the same alignment as their God in another Thread (reposted here, so I don't have to retype my arguments).

What does everyone else think? I for one would really like to see Pathfinder address this issue.

I may be the odd duck on this one, but I view Paladins as a special class with benefits tied to their order (read vows and oaths here). I would have even gone so far as to suggest, like someone in the thread has, that they should have been made into a PrC. I don't consider them just holy warriors, because that is the role of clerics! Clerics have long been stripped of their warrior heritage for some reason! I believe that they have much more versatility than they seem to be given credit for by the majority of players.

I played a cleric in a Kalamar campaign a few years back. He was a cleric of the three strengths (body, mind and spirit). His primary role in the party was as a holy warrior, demonstrating the values of his faith as depicted in the description of that deity! He smashed foes in the name of his god, and preached about the value of the three strengths to those who witnessed his personal prowess. The fighter and the ranger in the party converted to his faith along the way!

Paladins are restricted to their alignment, because that is the key mechanic used to dictate his strict code of ethics! There are many warrior variants in the game, but only one is based on a code of behavior. Taking the code of behavior away from the paladin, takes away his paladinhood. I always make players, who wish to play paladins, write up their specific code of ethics and submit it to me for approval. By doing this, the player uderstands that he is not simply playing a restrictive holy warrior, but a warrior with a cause to fight for throughout the campaign. In my Rise of the Runelords campaign, the paladin is a member of a group who have sought the aid of Apsu in defending Varisia from the demon worshipping hellknights. He developed a strict code of ethics, and also a levelling process by which he attains titles and authority in the region. He is accompanying the bard-priest of Desna with the expressed goal of defending the realm from those who would destroy it...this is not merely a holy warrior of Saerenrae fighting the good fight, but a noble warrior defending the values and freedoms of his home and people!

I don't know that this will help in any way, but I thought a different perspective might be valuable!

Contributor

modus0 wrote:
People shouldn't look at the class so much a being a "Paladin, restricted to LG" so much as they should a "The LG version of a Holy Warrior class, this LG version is called the Paladin."

This sums up my opinion on this matter.

One problem of the "make paladins of any alignment" is that the core paladin class has restrictions on its behavior, and if it violates those restrictions the character is punished. If a paladin sees a man beating a peasant on the street, she should intervene because it's the Good thing to do. She doesn't associate with evil people. She can not commit evil acts.

What's the equivalent for an "evil paladin"? If he seems a man beating a peasant, is he violating his "oaths to evil" if he walks on by? Or should he help beat the peasant? Or should he beat the man and the peasant? If he fails to kick a nearby puppy as he crosses the street, is he failing to live up to the "standards" of evil? Are EP's restricted from associating with good characters, lets they redeem him, or is he expected to hang out with goodies in the hope of corrupting them? If he stays at an inn, should he not tip? Not pay? Burn the place down when he's done?

Evil doesn't have standards; it doesn't reward you for maintaining them or punish you for failing them. And that's why you can't simply invert the paladin class to make an "evil paladin" ... the class is described, framed, and balanced around an idea that has no evil equivalent.

Now if you wanted to create alternate classes for other sorts of champions, sure. But they wouldn't be paladins. And if you made it so paladins could be evil, that's really an oxymoron because the word paladin meons "a knight renowned for heroism and chivalry." Unless you think it's okay to make a variant wizard class that has no magic, or a druid that doesn't interact with nature.


Molech wrote:

In my homebrew game-design there are no "Cleric: one size fits all" like the offal system that's always been.

Each deity has a Character Class with its own class features -- including different spell lists. And, no, "clerics" of Fharlanghn can't Turn or Rebuke undead.

-W. E. Ray

WOW, you have more time and energy than I do.

In general, I find this whole thread rather entertaining. Here a few thoughts on the matter.

1) In General, I find Paladins a rather silly class.
2) I do agree that if you have to have some sort of religious Champion for LG deities, then there should be some for the other non-LG deities. How you could do this without creating a class for each is an interesting Question.
3) In some ways, the "original" clerics were based on concept of religious Knights from the Crusades. In AD&D, that's where their non-edged weapon restrictions came from. [Some Crusading Knights fought this way as to not defile the "Holy" land with infidel blood ] In some ways the clerics are the "Fighting" Warriors of their religion and there should likely be a non-fighting version as an NPC class.
4) Paladins somewhat assume "Knightly" virtues, which is why they are LG. As others have pointed out, I'm not sure what the virtues of the other alignments would be.
5) Because of the "Knightly" virtues, there needs to society that aspires to those virtues even if most people can not obtain it. It has been my experience, few settings really allow for that and therefore the Paladin class is not just a fish out of water but a fish from another planet out of water.


nblade wrote:
5) Because of the "Knightly" virtues, there needs to society that aspires to those virtues even if most people can not obtain it. It has been my experience, few settings really allow for that and therefore the Paladin class is not just a fish out of water but a fish from another planet out of water.

The existence of unequivocal alignments and LG planes substitutes for any such society nicely, as well as the churches of the various LG deities, though given that most D&D campaign settings are set in a Medeival-esque society, those aspirations are at least ostensibly there.


The only problem with paladins is, that it's not a prestige-class.

Scarab Sages

Neithan wrote:
The only problem with paladins is, that it's not a prestige-class.

I don't see why it would be...knight of the church seems like a valid starting path...unless you meant that you wanted to create a sort of squire (i'm not entirely sure what the word for knight in training would be) type class that only had to be lawful that would lead into either paladin or blackguard. I could see that working maybe.

Sovereign Court

Reynolds wrote:
Evil doesn't have standards; it doesn't reward you for maintaining them or punish you for failing them. And that's why you can't simply invert the paladin class to make an "evil paladin" ... the class is described, framed, and balanced around an idea that has no evil equivalent.

I really like this statement. I think it makes a very clear distinction for the people who don't understand why the Paladin is so restricted. Certainly there is a place in the game for holy warriors of any alignment, no one disagrees there. I often discuss with my fellow players about the aspects of alignment in the game and the paladin code.

In 3.5, the alignment system does not only describe behavior patterns, morals, and ideals. They are tangible and magical forces that shape gods, planes, spells and creatures. Some DMs and some other gaming systems do away with alignment as part of the "rules" system and world structure, and leave it as merely colorful descriptive text, with no more impact on your character than his hair color. How important alignment can be to a game, in my experience, can vary widely.


flash_cxxi wrote:

I started talking with James about how a Paladin shouldn't have an alignment restriction other than that they should be the same alignment as their God in another Thread (reposted here, so I don't have to retype my arguments).

What does everyone else think? I for one would really like to see Pathfinder address this issue.

I agree completely. To me, all the arguments that Paladins must be lawful good are based on a cultural bias. We see the lawful good Galahad-type as some sort of pinnacle because that image is part of European culture. It's a pinnacle of a particular ethos - a Christian ethos. Since there is no Christianity in most D&D worlds, maintaining the lawful good paladin is kind of an anachronism. To me, there's no comelling reason to keep it this way other than "that's how it's always been."

But I think alignment restrictions are silly anyway. There's no reason why a bard or barbarian shouldn't be able to be lawful or a monk, chaotic. I think there are examples in both history and fiction that support this.


PurinaDragonChow wrote:
I agree completely. To me, all the arguments that Paladins must be lawful good are based on a cultural bias. We see the lawful good Galahad-type as some sort of pinnacle because that image is part of European culture. It's a pinnacle of a particular ethos - a Christian ethos. Since there is no Christianity in most D&D worlds, maintaining the lawful good paladin is kind of an anachronism. To me, there's no comelling reason to keep it this way other than "that's how it's always been."

Perhaps you missed the part where Good and Law are tangible forces which shape everything in some small way? Which can be detected? Which interact with certain magical spells and effects?

But regardless, the point remains that the point of playing a paladin is to play a warrior who is impeccably good and impeccably honorable and gains power therefrom to help him on his way, power which is revocable if he crosses his ideals. To anyone who actually wants to play a paladin and not just a warrior with divine magic (in which case, he really should just play a cleric), they want the restrictions, since the restrictions are what make the class fun. Removing them, then, is incredibly short-sighted and wrong.

PurinaDragonChow wrote:
But I think alignment restrictions are silly anyway. There's no reason why a bard or barbarian shouldn't be able to be lawful or a monk, chaotic. I think there are examples in both history and fiction that support this.

Most alignment restrictions are pointless and silly, but just because there's no good reason for Bards to have an alignment restriction doesn't mean alignment restrictions are never called for, even for base classes.

Dark Archive

Crimson Jester wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Why not then replace the Paladin (yes, that would harm backwards compatability) with a "Holy Champions" class, of which the the Paladin and the Blackguard are simply the most widely known?
And (no I am not trying to be a troll) I would counter with why do we need to do this?

More options is good. Just because the *rules* allow for options, such as the Paladins of Tyranny, Freedom and Slaughter in the Unearthed Arcana, doesn't mean that the *setting* has to have them.

Ideally, the rules should allow for one to play a game that isn't 100% restricted to stuff that was published and paid for. There should be room for someone who has bought the setting to say, 'Yanno, I want there to be Asmodeus-worshipping Paladins of Tyranny in Cheliax.' and for the rules of the game to support and encourage that sort of creativity.

That being said, 'the rules' already do support this sort of thing. Unearthed Arcana already has OGL Paladins for CG, LE and CE extremes, and they can be fairly easily adjusted upwards to meet any changes to the standard LG Paladin class in the Pathfinderverse. And for those who prefer the idea of a Prestige Paladin, like the Prestige Blackguard, that option also exists in the SRD.

I wouldn't mind seeing options 'Pathfinderized' for that sort of thing, since holy warriors of all faiths make sense in the setting (Hellknights, anyone?), but it's really low on my list of priorities, since the SRD already has some options I can play with.

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