Anti-Paladin Alignment in your game


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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"Foul Necromancy!" Smites Wraithstrike "Bad flaming skull! You know better!"

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

No he doesn't. He's a frickin' flaming skull!

Dark Archive

Wow, old discussion. I just want to point out that
1: There is the Tyrant archetype which changes the Antipaladin’s alignment to LE
2: The Grey Paladin archetype also loosens the alignment restrictions on Paladins by letting you be any alignment within one step of LG. It also drops the Paladin’s immunities (they still get the +4 from their aura) in exchange for turning (most of) the code from a requirement into an ideal
3: A fallen Paladin is just as if not more likely to become a Vindictive Bastard as an Antipaladin

Anyway I think we can all agree that a Paladin of Abadar and a Tyrant of Abadar would make for the best buddy cop movie ever! “Of course I secretly manipulated you into saving the smaller village from orcs. It’s lord has a reputation for giving generous rewards for spontaneous heroics while the ruler of the larger one stiffed me on a job.”


It's worth pointing out that there is an antipaladin archetype that allows you to select any evil nowadays, the Insinuator.


Dragorine wrote:
Evil Genius Prime wrote:

Are you using the Anti-Paladin in your game, or letting players play it?

If so, are you keep the alignment RAW or letting players play NE and LE as well?
I would let any evil alignment be an anti-paladin. Same as I would alowe any good alignment for a paladin. What I found funny when reading through the anti-paladin was that they have a code of conduct but are CE. The big arguement I heard about why paladins are lawful was because of their code of conduct but it seems anti-paladins can have a code and still be chaotic.

when your code of conduct is "behave in a chaotic evil fashion" it makes perfect sense


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It's less that CE Antipaladins have a code as much as if they stop being jerk, their jerk powers stop working.

The code is pretty just to remind you to be a jerk.

In the same way that the paladin code was more of a reminder to be a Good Guy Greg, and that if you stopped the universe would stop supporting your Good Guy Greg Super Powers.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Antipaladin code of conduct actually has a nice out: "An antipaladin’s code requires that he place his own interests and desires above all else" Antipaladins are allowed to do nice things, so long as it's for a selfish reason.


Evil Genius Prime wrote:

Are you using the Anti-Paladin in your game, or letting players play it?

If so, are you keep the alignment RAW or letting players play NE and LE as well?

For me personally, I'd make sure they knew they had to act chaotic evil overall unless they took some archetype that would change it, such as Tyrant. Or maybe if they had a terrific character backstory that would justify it. But if an anti-paladin started acting consistently with neutral or good qualities, I'd let him know he's in danger of losing his abilities. Would a single good act do it? Depends on the act. It's the same standard I'd apply to evil acts for a paladin.

The problem with antipaladins generally is they don't work well in groups (possible exception is Tyrants). Sure they can come together for some single common goal--as in a single adventure--but anybody that's thoroughly chaotic evil is going to screw over all his companions as soon as they see some opportunity for gain from it. Remember, antipaladins are as completely evil as paladins are completely good. They're also as selfish as paladins are selfless. So having an antipaladin in an evil campaign is generally not going to last for the whole campaign without alienating his/her entire party.

J


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JDawg, I disagree.

With antipaladins you can always meta and say "Yeah I'm doing good right now, but only so I can use this group of people to get ahead and get what I want. Later on I'll crush them under my heel like the rest of the world."

But that day never comes. Chaotic evil doesn't mean stupid evil.

Though it's often played that way.


Claxon, I can agree generally, the problem I have is 'that day never comes.' This sounds like license for your antipaladin to do whatever he wants, with no consequences. I'm not opposed to 'smart evil', but he *must* try to bring about evil, not just think about it! He has to actually commit evil deeds. There must be a standard of behavior to keep, without which he will lose his abilities. The code of conduct must be as strict in their way as a paladin does in his, otherwise you're cheating at Pathfinder. We are told straight out that antipaladins don't work with good characters, for example: "An antipaladin avoids working with good characters or with anyone who consistently attempts to do good deeds. Under exceptional circumstances, an antipaladin can ally with good associates, but *only* to defeat them from within and bring ruin to their ranks."

"An antipaladin's code requires that he place his own interests and desires above all else, as well as impose tyranny, take advantage whenever possible, and punish the good and just, provided such actions don't interfere with his [other evil] goals."

If you're in an evil campaign or adventure, playing an antipaladin isn't that hard. If we're in Wrath of the Righteous, or any other AP where the PC's will be of good alignment, I will make it very hard to continue playing an antipaladin without losing your abilities.


From a player perspective, yes it absolutely is and I personally think it should be that way.

Because otherwise it's destructive to the gaming group.

Either you don't allow antipaladins in the (non-evil) group to start with or you basically have to accept that while they're evil in name and "intention" that as far as their behavior in game goes they're not going to do anything evil enough for other characters to get bothered by it. Why? Because the antipaladins plan is to destroy them later, we just don't see later on screen. And that's okay, IMO.

It makes the game work.

The whole alignment behavior restriction thing is just taken to far in my opinion.

The best way to handle this is to not have someone play an antipaladin in a group where it wouldn't be appropriate (same for a paladin too). The next best way is to not make it problem by having the actions that would offend occur off screen.

Just my opinion.


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+1 on "antipaladins can do good things for evil reasons", within reason.

Antipaladin behavior isn't a mirror image of paladin behavior, and that's fine. Evil has always been the easier path, and there's nothing to be gained by relentlessly pursuing symmetry.


"Within reason" is fair to me as well. Every GM needs to balance the need to be flexible and have fun, with still needing to have some coherence to the game, and not throw out the books entirely. We don't have to live and die by the books, but paladins/APs get so many abilities and advantages, that's why they have their code restrictions. Gygax was a smart guy.

IMO, though, antipaladins are clearly the opposite of paladins. The name alone is a clue--they are 'anti paladins.' I like that they can be playable--I have an antipaladin PC myself. But clearly, straight from the APG: "Antipaladins become the antithesis of their former selves."

Just my opinion, I could be wrong.


JDawg75 wrote:

We don't have to live and die by the books, but paladins/APs get so many abilities and advantages, that's why they have their code restrictions. Gygax was a smart guy.

Without speaking to Gygax intelligence, Gygax version of the paladin in it's original D&D appearance was a very different kind of character (in mechanical comparison ) to others. The paladin was objectively better in many ways, requiring better stats to become one and had role play restrictions.

Since that time however, paladins stopped being better than other classes. Paladins in PF1 were worse than many characters unless you are fighting something that was evil.

There is no need to have such heavy role play restrictions on a class that is definitely less powerful than any 9th level progression spell caster. Your argument to me just doesn't hold water.

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