Is there a good way to determine if a Player (including oneself) is "qualified" to play a Paladin?


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RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

With all the discussions about Paladins on these boards, it is very clear to me that it is not easy to play one correctly.

So, what then would be some good ways of determining if a player "has what it takes" to actually play a Paladin "properly"? (i.e., avoid an unintended fall from grace.)

Dark Archive

well my view is as long as they don't take the piss its all good


As far as I can tell, it takes just one thing - a player and DM in agreement about what the paladin's code and alignment mean and willing to discuss it when entering gray areas rather than fight about it.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Bill Dunn wrote:
As far as I can tell, it takes just one thing - a player and DM in agreement about what the paladin's code and alignment mean and willing to discuss it when entering gray areas rather than fight about it.

Then why do we see so many arguments/complaints about Paladins?


Lord Fyre wrote:

With all the discussions about Paladins on these boards, it is very clear to me that it is not easy to play one correctly.

So, what then would be some good ways of determining if a player "has what it takes" to actually play a Paladin "properly"? (i.e., avoid an unintended fall from grace.)

It depends on how your DM thinks pallys should be run, and how clear he is at getting that message to you. I would talk to the DM first, because I have never seen two DM's with the exact same amount of leniency with what a paladin can and can't do.


Lord Fyre wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
As far as I can tell, it takes just one thing - a player and DM in agreement about what the paladin's code and alignment mean and willing to discuss it when entering gray areas rather than fight about it.
Then why do we see so many arguments/complaints about Paladins?

A lot of the times there is no prior discussion, which prompts the player or DM to come here to ask about situations, or the discussion is very limited. I think specific examples be given during the discussion so the issues are avoided, or the player can decide not to run a pally under a certain DM.


Partially it is the fact that the player and the DM often have differing views on what the code is, even discounting things like the following extreme situations. One DM I know told a pally player that "you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, lose paladinhood." On the other hand, one player I used to game with killed town militia because they weren't actively fighting against the campaign villain.

I suggest getting a hold of the old 2nd edition book Complete Paladin. That had plenty of descriptions for how to follow a paladin code, even when it wasn't the easiest thing to do.

The other thing to watch out for is who the other players are. Some players will see a paladin and then go out of their way to do things they know the paladin can't accept.


Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
Partially it is the fact that the player and the DM often have differing views on what the code is, even discounting things like the following extreme situations. One DM I know told a pally player that "you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, lose paladinhood."

He would have been looking for a player to replace my empty chair at that point.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

wraithstrike wrote:
Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
Partially it is the fact that the player and the DM often have differing views on what the code is, even discounting things like the following extreme situations. One DM I know told a pally player that "you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, lose paladinhood."
He would have been looking for a player to replace my empty chair at that point.

Mine also, after using his/her HMO.


wraithstrike wrote:

Jason Ellis 350 wrote:

Partially it is the fact that the player and the DM often have differing views on what the code is, even discounting things like the following extreme situations. One DM I know told a pally player that "you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, lose paladinhood."

He would have been looking for a player to replace my empty chair at that point.

I would have done the same, but I wasn't part of the group at the time. Honestly, I probably would have left merely seeing this done.

However, the people I know who were in this group say that other than an his unreasonable dislike of paladins, this person is the best GM they have ever seen in over 20 to 30 years of gaming.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Jason Ellis 350 wrote:

Partially it is the fact that the player and the DM often have differing views on what the code is, even discounting things like the following extreme situations. One DM I know told a pally player that "you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, lose paladinhood."

He would have been looking for a player to replace my empty chair at that point.

I would have done the same, but I wasn't part of the group at the time. Honestly, I probably would have left merely seeing this done.

However, the people I know who were in this group say that other than an his unreasonable dislike of paladins, this person is the best GM they have ever seen in over 20 to 30 years of gaming.

Then he should have disallowed the class to begin with. [It is his perogative as Game Master.]


As a player, paladins have been one of my favorite classes for years, and I'm always disappointed when I encounter a GM who doesn't like them or doesn't allow them. As a GM, I'm pretty strict on paladins, but always give multiple clear warnings about code violations. So, I'd say that, more than any other class, a paladin in a party requires a partnership between the player and GM.

If I had to boil it down to one thing, I'd say that the one thing that playing a paladin "correctly" requires is looking beyond the rules and finding the character's personality. Paladins don't follow their rules simply to the letter; they make their decisions based on their personal moral and ethical principles. If a character's personality doesn't fit with the rules of a paladin, then the GM should encourage the player to consider changing the character to a fighter, cleric, or fighter/cleric. That will let him play the character he wants.


Lord Fyre wrote:

With all the discussions about Paladins on these boards, it is very clear to me that it is not easy to play one correctly.

So, what then would be some good ways of determining if a player "has what it takes" to actually play a Paladin "properly"? (i.e., avoid an unintended fall from grace.)

I would say that there are only a few things needed to play a paladin properly:

1) A clear understanding of the alignment rules particularly what it means to be lawful good
2) A DM with a clear understanding of the alignment rules particularly what it means to be lawful good
3) A player and DM who share that understanding
4) A DM that does not put the paladin in no-win alignment scenarios
5) A party that doesn't conflict with the paladin's code
6) Other players who don't go out of their way to make life difficult for the paladin

That's about it. Honestly, most of the issues that pop up with paladins can be avoided by the player and DM discussing before hand what is expected of a lawful good character. The player also needs to know when playing a paladin is a bad idea, for example if the party is going to be mostly evil characters adventuring in Ravenloft.


The problem isn't that Paladins are difficult to play correctly, it's that they're easy to play poorly. The difference is that you don't need some kind of elite training, you just have to be aware of all the major pitfalls.
1 - Overly draconian law enforcement/vigilante justice/"that beggar detects as evil, I smite him". The primary warning sign for this behavior is players who usually talk in terms of "what would my alignment do?" rather than "what would my character do?" This also happens more with players who have problems with authority.
2 - Pushing the Code of Conduct/"But it's a demon! torture is totally justified". There's a fine line here: some players will justify an evil action in a particular situation and still recognize that it is evil, having their characters feel remorse and seek atonement as needed. Don't worry about them, they're the good ones. What you're on the lookout for is players who assume that because the action is justified it's perfectly fine and they can do it as often as they want. Warning signs for this behavior are players who use a Chaotic alignment to play one step closer to Evil than they should be, rules lawyers, and players that you suspect want to be a Paladin solely for the mechanical benefits.
3 - Party dynamics. Are any of the other players or characters likely to respond antagonistically to a Paladin? You can disregard this if your players have experience with each other and are capable of playing an adversarial game in a healthy fashion.
4 - GM interpretations. Are you and the Paladin's player on the same page when it comes to 1 and 2? If you're not sure, ask, and present a few sample scenarios.


Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Jason Ellis 350 wrote:

Partially it is the fact that the player and the DM often have differing views on what the code is, even discounting things like the following extreme situations. One DM I know told a pally player that "you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, lose paladinhood."

He would have been looking for a player to replace my empty chair at that point.

I would have done the same, but I wasn't part of the group at the time. Honestly, I probably would have left merely seeing this done.

However, the people I know who were in this group say that other than an his unreasonable dislike of paladins, this person is the best GM they have ever seen in over 20 to 30 years of gaming.

I have not met the guy so I can't comment on that, but if I don't like something as a DM I find it better to say no than screw over players.

Now I need some latin phrase that means "to each his own".

Edit:ninja'd by 40 minutes. That is a shame.


General Dorsey wrote:


1) A clear understanding of the alignment rules particularly what it means to be lawful good
2) A DM with a clear understanding of the alignment rules particularly what it means to be lawful good
3) A player and DM who share that understanding

There are many threads that are over a hundred posts on each one of these alone.


far_wanderer wrote:


2 - Pushing the Code of Conduct/"But it's a demon! torture is totally justified". There's a fine line here: some players will justify an evil action in a particular situation and still recognize that it is evil, having their characters feel remorse and seek atonement as needed. Don't worry about them, they're the good ones. What you're on the lookout for is players who assume that because the action is justified it's perfectly fine and they can do it as often as they want. Warning signs for this behavior are players who use a Chaotic alignment to play one step closer to Evil than they should be, rules lawyers, and players that you suspect want to be a Paladin solely for the mechanical benefits.

This sounds like 3.5's PrC Gray Guard. They were still LG, but allowed to bend the rules and get atonement more easily for borderline crap like this. I do agree with you, though, that this isn't paladin behavior.

My two copper on it: It must first be agreed upon by GM and player. My personal interpretation, and that of my GM, hasn't been in agreement with Paizo's interpretation. I think Paizo wants to promote the lawful side of the paladin, while I want to focus more on the good side. There should be balance between those, though.


Lord Fyre wrote:
So, what then would be some good ways of determining if a player "has what it takes" to actually play a Paladin "properly"? (i.e., avoid an unintended fall from grace.)

Whether he falls or not is up to him and the DM, either can be good roleplaying, either can be good for the group (as long as the DM is a bit flexible for rebuilding fallen paladins).

The most important thing is how nice a person it is ... he is going to be a dick in game, so he better be nice out of it because otherwise that s@%+ always goes metagame.


Lord Fyre wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
As far as I can tell, it takes just one thing - a player and DM in agreement about what the paladin's code and alignment mean and willing to discuss it when entering gray areas rather than fight about it.
Then why do we see so many arguments/complaints about Paladins?

Because that's one of the hardest elements to find agreement on among gamers.


I have also seen players that see the existence of a restriction as a reason to try and break it, even if it has them doing things they never would have done before.

"Hey, there is a paladin here, now we can't kill enemies we capture, steal from random townspeople, or lie incessantly to authority? That blows!!!"

"Jerry, you never did that stuff with any other character, why is it such a big deal now?"

"Because now I CAN'T do those things!"

It'd be much funnier if I had never actually seen it happen.

Silver Crusade

Glen Taylor wrote:

As a player, paladins have been one of my favorite classes for years, and I'm always disappointed when I encounter a GM who doesn't like them or doesn't allow them. As a GM, I'm pretty strict on paladins, but always give multiple clear warnings about code violations. So, I'd say that, more than any other class, a paladin in a party requires a partnership between the player and GM.

If I had to boil it down to one thing, I'd say that the one thing that playing a paladin "correctly" requires is looking beyond the rules and finding the character's personality. Paladins don't follow their rules simply to the letter; they make their decisions based on their personal moral and ethical principles. If a character's personality doesn't fit with the rules of a paladin, then the GM should encourage the player to consider changing the character to a fighter, cleric, or fighter/cleric. That will let him play the character he wants.

+1

Moral conflict is part and parcel of playing a paladin in any serious game. There will be points in time when what your character will want to do things that will be at odds with others in your group and sometimes even you, and that's what generally tends to make it hard. There will come a time when the GM and the player will need to discuss, probably in private, any repercussions they have for minor transgressions or for "allowing" the party to do things that he disagrees with.

There are a ton of people who feel that alignment is a strict rule and the paladins in turn must have an inhuman capability to follow the law(and they kind of must), even when she disagrees with it and that's difficult to play.

One of the best paladins I've ever played with was actually falling off the wagon occasionally. She had a violent streak in her that she learned while growing up and her temper made her quick to act. And her and the dm had a nice chat about that and the reason she was played this way was because she wanted to progress and become a better person and paladin throughout the game.

When she reached fourth level, she didn't immediately get her horse. It was a seaward campaign at that point so we actually anchored off an island as a major storm pushed us slightly out of our way. On this island we found a great tree with hundreds of beautiful birds who sang this haunting song at dusk. That night, the paladin dreamed. "These are my fallen. Paladins who could not live up to their promises. They are cursed here for a time to sing of their misdeeds every time the sun falls into the sea. This is a warning Rue. One of these fallen paladins will now be your steed. She will be given one last chance to serve me, and through your bond, you will help each other to be better."

That is so much better a way to handle it than to say, "You lose your paladin powers." In essence, I'm just saying that your characters are people while paladins present a specific challenge, they don't need to be so challenging that they are not fun. So play your paladin as a person. Realize that he has faults and the gods, while often petty, are not going to toss aside a good servant completely for a few minor transgressions. Play them knowing that a fallible flawed character is way more fun than a completely straight laced robot paladin that makes has no room for personal judgment.

The last thing I want to point out is that not every paladins code is exactly the same. Strictly by the book paladins are pretty well covered but those with neutral good or lawful neutral patron deities may have a religious code that is a little more lax on one of the axes. Also, losing your paladinhood is hardly the problem that it used to be. It used to be, more or less, forever. Now an atonement is sufficient if it is genuinely sought.


There's a lot of great suggestions in this thread, but one thing I've done in the past that helps is to have the player actually write out the Paladin's Code as he thinks it should be. This could be in the form of a religious edict, an oath to his paladin order, or a personal vow. Once this is done, the GM and player should sit down together and go over it, so that the GM can recommend changes or additions if anything is missed. That way, when play begins, both the GM and the player have a good idea as to what each others' expectations are. Also, this kind of exercise can go a long way towards breathing life into the character, as I've found that sometimes paladins can be a fairly generic lot. Obviously, this doesn't solve every problem (what set of written laws ever does?), but hopefully it will help.

While I read this thread, I couldn't help but think back to this OOTS comic.

For me, this has always been the essence of a paladin. It's not that they're perfectly Lawful Good -- it's that they never give up trying to do the right thing, even when it would be easy, profitable, or life-saving to do so.


If you have to ask, you are not qualified to play a paladin.

But seriously, there is no "test", however the player should be aware that there are dire consequences to acting outside of your alignment, and a GM should cause the character to become a fallen paladin if they deserve it. With great power comes great responsibility.

It is important to sit down with the GM and other players and come to some sort of agreement about what alignment really means. Come up with a few common scenarios, and figure out what the proper LG response should be. Also, determine how deep alignment goes in the campaign setting. Are evil humans redeemable? How about orcs? How about demons? What is the "justice system" in the civilized lands? How are prisoners treated? How important is the "Lawful" side of the alignment?

I also recommend Richard Burlew's Order of the Stick comics. Specifically the "Ain't no cure for the paladin blues" book. The comics and intro pages are the best examination of the games alignment system I have ever read. I just can't recommend it enough.

Silver Crusade

Corrosive Rabbit wrote:
For me, this has always been the essence of a paladin. It's not that they're perfectly Lawful Good -- it's that they never give up trying to do the right thing, even when it would be easy, profitable, or life-saving to do so.

I couldn't agree more with that.


Lord Fyre wrote:

With all the discussions about Paladins on these boards, it is very clear to me that it is not easy to play one correctly.

So, what then would be some good ways of determining if a player "has what it takes" to actually play a Paladin "properly"? (i.e., avoid an unintended fall from grace.)

I think it just requires maturity on the part of the player and the GM. The player has to be mature enough to realize that there will be restrictions on what the character can and will do, and not try to get around that. The GM has to be mature enough to not want to try to screw the player over, or set up impossible moral situations.

I think also the GM should warn the player if she is about to do something that violates her code. And the code needs to be flexible enough to allow the paladin to actually do her job.

Of course, a good way to tell if someone is able to be a paladin is if they act like one in real life. If a person is naturally courteous to others, always seeks to do what she can do to help, and is honest enough to trust her with your life savings, then she's a good candidate to play a paladin. If a guy is naturally rude and obnoxious, especially at the gaming table, causes more trouble than he is worth sometimes, and you wouldn't trust him to hold your wallet for a few seconds, then chances are he won't be able to play a paladin, unless he is a good thespian.


The Paladin Test:

DM: Hey, Player 1?

P1: Yes, DM?

DM: Can we talk about what the Paladin code means to your character?

P1: Sure! I think it means X, Y, and Z.

DM: Okay, that's a reasonable interpretation. What about Q & R?

P1: I'm not quite sure about Q, but think that R's okay.

DM: I think it's great that you don't know about Q, but I disagree with you on R. I don't think R is compatible with a Paladin's code.

P1: Okay, I'll keep that in mind, but in return, can you give me a little more leeway about Z?

DM: Sure. I'm glad we had this conversation.
- - -

Personally, I fault DMs as much as players, probably even more so. Players only muck paladins up at the extremes, and that sort of thing is readily transparent. It's DMs who act like capricious gods who really scare off the playing of otherwise sane and interesting paladins.

Dark Archive

Is the player a dick?

If yes: He probably shouldn't play a Paladin. Or a Paladin-Cavalier. Or a CN character. Or an evil character. Or a Kender. Or any game with a social status system where high-ranking characters can boss around lowborn characters. Or any White Wolf game. Or Paranoia. Or any other class / race / alignment / game that gives him a built-in excuse to be a dick and rationalize it as 'role-playing.'

If no: Sure. Go nuts.

Silver Crusade

Set wrote:

Is the player a dick?

If yes: He probably shouldn't play a Paladin. Or a Paladin-Cavalier. Or a CN character. Or an evil character. Or a Kender. Or any game with a social status system where high-ranking characters can boss around lowborn characters. Or any White Wolf game. Or Paranoia. Or any other class / race / alignment / game that gives him a built-in excuse to be a dick and rationalize it as 'role-playing.'

If no: Sure. Go nuts.

So, basically a dick shouldn't be allowed to play an RPG. I can get behind that, but how can we police and enforce it?


Being aware of the problems is a huge "first step" towards being ready to play one.

Talking to the DM is another good step.

Discussing it with the *party* is yet another good step. You DO NEED and REQUIRE their consent. Why? Because keeping Your powers or keeping That PC requires *their* continual cooperation.

You need Them to realize what you and the DM think sthe Paladin code means and you need THEM to agree to it too.

-S


I'm playing a paladin currently and, interestingly, the DM and I have never had any direct discussion of code. I'm sticking with what I feel his code to be and I guess it has satisfied her vision of what it should be. He's paladin-y to a fault, though. Don't think there's much to "get" him on. I fully expect him to die a glorious death soon (oh yes, very soon). I'm not playing him Lawful Stupid but...he's a frikkin' hero and heroes get dead.
M

Liberty's Edge

far_wanderer wrote:

The problem isn't that Paladins are difficult to play correctly, it's that they're easy to play poorly. The difference is that you don't need some kind of elite training, you just have to be aware of all the major pitfalls.

1 - Overly draconian law enforcement/vigilante justice/"that beggar detects as evil, I smite him". The primary warning sign for this behavior is players who usually talk in terms of "what would my alignment do?" rather than "what would my character do?" This also happens more with players who have problems with authority.
2 - Pushing the Code of Conduct/"But it's a demon! torture is totally justified". There's a fine line here: some players will justify an evil action in a particular situation and still recognize that it is evil, having their characters feel remorse and seek atonement as needed. Don't worry about them, they're the good ones. What you're on the lookout for is players who assume that because the action is justified it's perfectly fine and they can do it as often as they want. Warning signs for this behavior are players who use a Chaotic alignment to play one step closer to Evil than they should be, rules lawyers, and players that you suspect want to be a Paladin solely for the mechanical benefits.
3 - Party dynamics. Are any of the other players or characters likely to respond antagonistically to a Paladin? You can disregard this if your players have experience with each other and are capable of playing an adversarial game in a healthy fashion.
4 - GM interpretations. Are you and the Paladin's player on the same page when it comes to 1 and 2? If you're not sure, ask, and present a few sample scenarios.

Perfect answer. Agreed on all points.

To the OP, the unintentional temporary fall form grace is a great thing for a paladin, as it usually means that he is played as a real complex sentient being, and not as a caricature. It is the permanent unintentional fall which is bad.

I must say that I am very impressed with all the answers to this thread and the feeling of oneness I got from reading it.

It feels good to have a Paladin thread where people agree on most everything


A lot of good advice so far:

One big set of problems seems to be that player and GM have different expectations. Since this can be easily remedied by having a talk, it would seem that this is a non-issue, but don't underestimate the human ability to not talk first and then have hurt feelings if misunderstandings occur because of this.

The "I want to because I may not" mentality also plays into things: People who can spend whole campaigns without ever laying or killing random passers-by or torturing sentient beings suddenly get the craving to do so when they start playing a paladin, because now they have been told that they can't do those things. It's like being told not to think of elephants - nobody thinks about them much, but once someone brings them to the forefront of your mind and tells you to disregard them, you can't help it.

One of the biggest problem I see with it (as it has come up most often in my personal experience) is "The Temptation". The Temptation is that lure to use the paladin class as an excuse to be an insufferable prick. Hiding behind the paladin's code, they go out of their way to be as draconian and over-zealous as they can imagine, disrupting play whenever they can. I don't know why that happens, but it does.

Finally, one of the symptoms of A+#~$+& GM seems to be that they're allergic to happy paladin players. For some reason, they have to crank up the number of situations where a paladin is put into a tight spot, or device situations where a paladin has virtually no chance to prevent his fall from grace.

Remedies for all these things exist: Communication problems can be solved by communicating, making things clear beforehand, people wanting to break the rules because they may not need it pointed out (respectfully, without name-calling or accusatory tones of voice, and so on) and worked with to resolve this, The Temptation is averted by strapping the person to a chair and force him to read the whole Dresden Files series, over and over, until Michael rubs off on them, and A!+*@&& GMs will be set straight by a good, old-fashioned Code Red (which can also work for Tempted players in extreme cases) ;-)


You could allow the player to test drive a lawful good character of another class first. If they can’t manage that without alignment slippage, that is a bad sign.

However, the thing that really makes the paladin so problematic is that the paladin player’s ability to play LG ‘correctly’ is just the first hurdle. In order for the paladin to stay within the code per RAW… The other PCs and every NPC the group allys with must also play LG ‘correctly’, at least in the paladin’s presence. Adventure plots/strategies cannot include, at least as far as the paladin knows, the group disrespecting authority, lying, sneaking, trickery, ignoring those in need, harming or threatening innocents, and probably some other stuff I’m forgetting.

If everyone and everything in the campaign is not specifically designed to cater a paladin’s strict code, the paladin will have no choice but to either break the code, martyr themselves, or turn on the party.

Sovereign Court

I say the correct question should be : is there a good way to determine if a DM is sane enough to DM a player playing a paladin.

Most of the problems I have seen arising in the previous threads are about DMs trying to screw the paladin player in every way possible.

It looks some sort of perverse game to put the paladin against impossible moral obstacles with no way out just to have them fail.


GoldenOpal wrote:
However, the thing that really makes the paladin so problematic is that the paladin player’s ability to play LG ‘correctly’ is just the first hurdle. In order for the paladin to stay within the code per RAW… The other PCs and every NPC the group allys with must also play LG ‘correctly’, at least in the paladin’s presence. Adventure plots/strategies cannot include, at least as far as the paladin knows, the group disrespecting authority, lying, sneaking, trickery, ignoring those in need, harming or threatening innocents, and probably some other stuff I’m forgetting.

This is a good example of disagreements right here. Paladins aren't (In My Opinion) required to respect authority if it will cause greater harm. Sneaking is perfectly OK depending on the use, such as scouting, or bypassing non-evil hired hands to get to the main guy. (It will save us from killing people who have a chance to do better.) Trickery is a huge part of warfare, especially among the winners.


Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
......Sneaking is perfectly OK depending on the use, such as scouting, or bypassing non-evil hired hands to get to the main guy.....

----

Lies! It's common knowledge that trying to make little to no noise is a sign of raw, unadulterated evil. There is never a time where a paladin should use stealth.

Ever.

Ever ever ever.. ever.

----

''Colin the Paladin'' wrote:

'' *sound of heavy footsteps* ''

''COLIN! I AM TRYING TO SLEEP!''

''!!!! ...SORRY MUM!''

''CONSIDER YOURSELF GROUNDED YOUNG MAN! NO SMITING FOR YOU TOMORROW!''

''...but muuuuuum...''

''DON'T YOU 'BUT MUUUUM' ME! YOU'RE LAWFUL AND YOU'll LIKE IT!''

''..*sigh*.. yes mum..''

*shakes fist*

Sovereign Court

Well in my experience you should come prepared each week with a second character you have rolled up. Paladins tend to have their throats slit by level 2 or 3 in their sleep.

In all seriousness though I would consider all the other players characters before choosing a Paladin. The "code" tends to make it less than ideal to group up with some character types. However I have had a blast in a few campaigns with the "outlaw forced to work with the law man" type scenario.

Make sure your group has an understanding pact that you are not going to make life hell for one another. Players should have a genuine interest in working together, even if that means going against your characters personality once in awhile. For me my gaming group is solid I dont have any problems with someone playing a Paladin. Has not always been this way. In fact it took many, many groups to achieve what we have together.


BenignFacist wrote:

Lies! It's common knowledge that trying to make little to no noise is a sign of raw, unadulterated evil. There is never a time where a paladin should use stealth.

Ever.

Ever ever ever.. ever.

Paladin: *Brapththththththth*

Fighter: Hey! Who farted?
Paladin: Sorry, I would have let it slip out silently, but that would have violated my paladin code.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Shadewest wrote:
Set wrote:

Is the player a dick?

If yes: He probably shouldn't play a Paladin. Or a Paladin-Cavalier. Or a CN character. Or an evil character. Or a Kender. Or any game with a social status system where high-ranking characters can boss around lowborn characters. Or any White Wolf game. Or Paranoia. Or any other class / race / alignment / game that gives him a built-in excuse to be a dick and rationalize it as 'role-playing.'

If no: Sure. Go nuts.

So, basically a dick shouldn't be allowed to play an RPG. I can get behind that, but how can we police and enforce it?

when you find a dick player? remove him from your table. After enough people have removed the dick from their table, hopefully he will feel the need to change.

Liberty's Edge

Shanwolf wrote:


when you find a dick player? remove him from your table. After enough people have removed the dick from their table, hopefully he will feel the need to change.

And if 'he' is a 'she'? Oh, what am I saying - ANY member of the fairer sex are to be keep at the table no matter how annoying...

Not forgetting a female dick player wouldn't overly be a bad thing.

:)


Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
This is a good example of disagreements right here.

Yeah, :).

Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
Paladins aren't (In My Opinion) required to respect authority if it will cause greater harm.

I think I may see what you are saying here. Paladins can oppose an authority, but he/she must do so in a ‘respectful’ and ‘honorable’ manner. Otherwise he/she must get an atonement spell.

Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
Sneaking is perfectly OK depending on the use, such as scouting...

You’ve got me there, unless of course this scouting involves trespassing or ambushing.

Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
...or bypassing non-evil hired hands to get to the main guy. (It will save us from killing people who have a chance to do better.) Trickery is a huge part of warfare, especially among the winners.

I agree if a proper war is on, otherwise you better find yourself a Cleric.

The Exchange

Lord Fyre wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
As far as I can tell, it takes just one thing - a player and DM in agreement about what the paladin's code and alignment mean and willing to discuss it when entering gray areas rather than fight about it.
Then why do we see so many arguments/complaints about Paladins?

If you discuss this up front you will not have issues. I would however make sure that the other players also know how the PC will be playing the Paladin. They may have differing opinions as well.


GoldenOpal wrote:
Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
This is a good example of disagreements right here.

Yeah, :).

Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
Paladins aren't (In My Opinion) required to respect authority if it will cause greater harm.

I think I may see what you are saying here. Paladins can oppose an authority, but he/she must do so in a ‘respectful’ and ‘honorable’ manner. Otherwise he/she must get an atonement spell.

I think they should respect legitimate authority. Sometimes people have to be removed from power by force, and I if the paladin has to choose between upholding Good or Law. I think Good wins.

Silver Crusade

wraithstrike wrote:
I think they should respect legitimate authority. Sometimes people have to be removed from power by force, and I if the paladin has to choose between upholding Good or Law. I think Good wins.

Generally, I agree, but if they, for instance, are heavy followers of Abadar, it might fall in their code to respect the laws of the city above a perception of a greater good as the laws are there to protect all of the citizens and dropping them for convenience is the first step in the destruction of proper civilization. The proper way to go about it, would be through whatever legal channels are available. etc, etc.


SunshineGrrrl wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I think they should respect legitimate authority. Sometimes people have to be removed from power by force, and I if the paladin has to choose between upholding Good or Law. I think Good wins.
Generally, I agree, but if they, for instance, are heavy followers of Abadar, it might fall in their code to respect the laws of the city above a perception of a greater good as the laws are there to protect all of the citizens and dropping them for convenience is the first step in the destruction of proper civilization. The proper way to go about it, would be through whatever legal channels are available. etc, etc.

The general paladin code promotes good. They are just supposed to be lawful while doing it. I don't think any paladin can let evil do what it wants and retain his paladinship*. He may however break a law while making sure good prevails, and not wake up a warrior the next day.

*Additionally, a paladin's code requires that she espect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.

When I say remove corrupt(not legitimate) officials I mean evil ones to be clear. I don't mean the occasional bad law should be a reason to remove the head of a government.
Paladins don't break laws for convenience. It would have to be for a very good reason, and if you draw the attention of the paladin the civilization was probably not all that proper. Not all order is good, by the way, and if the legal channels worked the paladin would probably not need to get involved. He may work to try to get the laws changed, but there are times when everyone knows that won't work so the evil guy just has to be removed. The key is that if the government is dependent on having a figure head then they(the party) has to make sure a replacement is waiting to step up.
Killing/removing the leader, and moving on, while leaving the government in chaos is a jerk move. I am not saying the paladin is responsible to fix the government**, but he should have at least have something planned out.

**Some people just can't be helped.

Silver Crusade

All I'm saying is that a paladins codes, in my eyes, can be a little different depending on the organization. I can see a paladin who values laws higher than "good". I'm not saying they disregard the good for the law, but that they hold the law a little higher than the standard paladin. There is a little room either way for wiggle room.


SunshineGrrrl wrote:
All I'm saying is that a paladins codes, in my eyes, can be a little different depending on the organization. I can see a paladin who values laws higher than "good". I'm not saying they disregard the good for the law, but that they hold the law a little higher than the standard paladin. There is a little room either way for wiggle room.

I totally agree with this belief. I am playing a paladin and my DM and I have different beliefs on what a paladin and their code means. He puts Law above good and is more likely to punish over acting outside of Law then outside of good.

I on the other hand feel that its possible to put Good over Law. I think of it like playing Steve Rogers: Captain America... he is what I base my Paladin off of. If Law and Good come into conflict.. he takes Good side. He will fight against a legitimate authority if its evil (Norman Osborn) .


Lawful Good means different things to different people. Me: I always try and take the honorable and just outcome to a given situation. In roleplaying a Paladin, I try to channel the Batman. Here's a guy who wants to clean up Gotham and make it safe, but he battles his own darker side in doing so. He comes close to killing the bad guys but ends up giving them over to the authorities. I know that most games don't work like that, so I try to channel Darth Vader from Empire Strikes Back when I defeat the bad guys "You are beaten! It is useless to resist. Don't let yourself be destroyed as (Obi-Wan) your comrades did!"

Of course, the latter action might go against the sensibilities of the greater RPG community, but it works enough for me.


This is the old Pally debate or the LS/LG debate.....

I personally like the paladin as judge/jury/executioner
judge Roy Bean was a paladin......

I agree 1000% that the player and DM agree on the paladin before the game starts......

Channel your PC anyway you like
Judge Dredd
Batman
etc...........

Jus make sure the DM gets it!

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