Paladin. How would you REACT?!


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Silver Crusade

All I know is that whenever I'm playing any good character, let alone a paladin, being railroaded into having baby murdering be the right thing to do is only going to result in me leaving the game.

What the hell ever happened to "take or MAKE a third option"?

The Exchange

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THIS is how you run Good characters? I cannot possibly respond civily to this. Even simplified, this is completely wrong.

Actually it's a classic ethical dilema used to teach and discuss the principles of ethics, morality, right, wrong, and the shades of grey which develop between them more easily than we'd like to imagine. There's a bunch of them - chosing who to throw out of a hot air balloon to stop it crashing (sacrfice one to save the many), how far would you go in torturing a man to save a shopping mall full of innocents he was about to kill with a bomb, etc... It's not like I'm the one who dreams this stuff up... ;)

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All I know is that whenever I'm playing any good character, let alone a paladin, being railroaded into having baby murdering be the right thing to do is only going to result in me leaving the game.

Which could be a fair comment when related to the OP's situation - is presenting an 'unwinable' ethical choice fair in the context of the game?

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What the hell ever happened to "take or MAKE a third option"?

It doesn't sound like the OP's paladin did that - he just walked away instead, which is no option at all.


ProfPotts wrote:


Yes, in the killing baby Hitler scenario you'll always want to look for 'option 3', but as a simplified example assume that there are only two options - kill the baby or don't kill the baby. Either way you have to live with the consequences.

Any good character doesn't kill the baby. Most neutral character don't kill the baby, but some pragmatists will definitely consider it and some may even go through with it. All evil characters will kill the baby. Some may ask for another.

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If devils will follow though on deals made, then they're more lawful than the paladin, 'cos he bailed on his deal with his god, right? ;)

The paladin was more loyal to his own morality than he was to the lawful neutral (that is what his god is, deal with it) god's morality. When asked, the paladin refused to kill others who were also trying to do their best to protect their concepts of good. The paladin didn't shake his hand and say "I'll do whatever you say, even if it's blatantly evil and this entire situation is out of control." Instead of attempting diplomacy in the middle of combat, he fled the situation to avoid retaliatory bloodshed.

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As the paladin in the OP seems to have elected to do. For that paladin, it's probably time for an alignment change to Neutral or Chaotic Good... which is great for character development, but still means he's now a Fighter with no bonus Feats...

Paladins do not get Only One Chance.


ProfPotts wrote:


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What the hell ever happened to "take or MAKE a third option"?
It doesn't sound like the OP's paladin did that - he just walked away instead, which is no option at all.

Not, really, even walking away is "doing something" taking no action at all, is taking an action.-

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
ProfPotts wrote:
Actually it's a classic ethical dilema used to teach and discuss the principles of ethics, morality, right, wrong, and the shades of grey which develop between them more easily than we'd like to imagine. There's a bunch of them - chosing who to throw out of a hot air balloon to stop it crashing (sacrfice one to save the many), how far would you go in torturing a man to save a shopping mall full of innocents he was about to kill with a bomb, etc... It's not like I'm the one who dreams this stuff up... ;)

Yeah, we've had plenty of people try to argue them on these forums in the past. As an aside, I think you got Lawful and Chaotic backwards in your example.

I place Lawful as the deontological viewpoint, in that the end never justifies the means, and Chaotic as the teleological viewpoint of the ends justifying the means. So the LG character would not kill the child while the CG character might. (Edit: Extremely unlikely 'might', I should say.)

Sovereign Court

ProfPotts wrote:


Yes, in the killing baby Hitler scenario you'll always want to look for 'option 3', but as a simplified example assume that there are only two options - kill the baby or don't kill the baby. Either way you have to live with the consequences.

I have a hard time picturing an LG character saying the ends justify the means. You kill the baby, you committed an evil act. Per the paladin code, you have fallen. It doesn't leave any wiggle room there.

Robin Hood fought to restore order and remove an evil man by doing wrong things to bad people(Greater Good). That is the definition of CG, but you would have him pegged as LG because he had the foresight to take the long-term solution to rid the world of an evil ruler.

<edit>
Baah... TriOmega beat me to it.

Dark Archive

To answer the question, my reaction would be to roll up a newspaper and smack the DM on the nose, while saying, "NO NO NO".

Then I'd rub their face in the DM Screen.

The Exchange

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Any good character doesn't kill the baby. Most neutral character don't kill the baby, but some pragmatists will definitely consider it and some may even go through with it. All evil characters will kill the baby. Some may ask for another.

This is why it's used as an example in ethical debate. Killing babies is something everyone tends to agree is a 'universal evil'. Failing to prevent a terrible war and holocaust is also something everyone tends to agree is a 'universal evil'. When faced with the hyperthetical situation where you have to choose between one or the other, what does a 'good' person do? When first asked, most people try to sidestep the question completely - the whole 'take a third option /Jim Kirk' approach, but that's really avoiding the point of the exercise.

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The paladin was more loyal to his own morality than he was to the lawful neutral (that is what his god is, deal with it) god's morality...

That's not the information we have - we're told that the god is Lawful Good. With that established as fact (as far as what we've been presented with) saying otherwise is just saying 'the DM's doing it wrong'. We don't know the ultimate ramifications of the situation but, given the facts as presented, we have to conclude that the Lawful Good deity, as far as it understands these things, is doing the lawful and good thing. Unless the paladin has more information than his god (in which case, why hasn't he passed it on?), then the paladin's just second-guessing someone in a better position to judge than he is.

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When asked, the paladin refused to kill others who were also trying to do their best to protect their concepts of good. The paladin didn't shake his hand and say "I'll do whatever you say, even if it's blatantly evil and this entire situation is out of control." Instead of attempting diplomacy in the middle of combat, he fled the situation to avoid retaliatory bloodshed.

Why not attempt Diplomacy in the middle of combat? Is the paladin afraid of getting hurt? That shouldn't be a concern for a guy immune to fear, and willing to sacrifice himself to do the right thing.

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Paladins do not get Only One Chance.

They kinda' do... it's generally a gradiated scale. Mistakes are one thing, outright and willful turning away from his faith and his god is something else. The big issue here is that it seems the deity talked directly to the paladin in question - no chance of a middle guy mangling the message, no ifs and or buts... It was as plain as it can be - your Lawful Good deity saying 'this is what you must do, in the name of Law and Good'... and you not doing it. Now, whether that's a fair thing to place on a PC is another relevant question - ethical dilemas are better with more 'wiggle room' (that third option should be in there somewhere if the game's going to stay both heroic and fun).

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Not, really, even walking away is "doing something" taking no action at all, is taking an action.-

'Exercising the right not to walk, sir!' as the Dead Poets put it, right? ;)

But, again, it seems the paladin was told directly by his deity that action X was the Lawful and Good thing to do - walking away and letting the pieces fall as they may, at best, is a Chaotic act.

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I place Lawful as the deontological viewpoint, in that the end never justifies the means, and Chaotic as the teleological viewpoint of the ends justifying the means. So the LG character would not kill the child while the CG character might. (Edit: Extremely unlikely 'might', I should say.)

That's an interesting way to put it. Personally I see the Lawful types as the ones likely to be building and maintaining societies, and looking at the good of the group over the good of the individual, and the Chaotic types focusing on immediate concerns and the good of the individual.

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I have a hard time picturing an LG character saying the ends justify the means. You kill the baby, you committed an evil act. Per the paladin code, you have fallen. It doesn't leave any wiggle room there.

That's kinda' the point - one has to assume that willfully standing by to allow a devastating war and holocaust to occur is also an evil act - insta-fall from grace. If so, if they're both 'instant loss of paladin-hood', if you can't chose the best of bad options and retain your paladin status, then devils must have a really easy time making paladin's fall (as 'no win' situations are pretty easy to set up).

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Robin Hood fought to restore order and remove an evil man by doing wrong things to bad people(Greater Good). That is the definition of CG, but you would have him pegged as LG because he had the foresight to take the long-term solution to rid the world of an evil ruler.

I could probably start a nice new thread rambling about how the Robin Hood legend's been stolen and corrupted over time... but it'd be a little off topic... ;)

Suffice to say, it depends which version of Robin Hood you're talking about (if it's Russel Crow, then woe betide us all!)... :)

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To answer the question, my reaction would be to roll up a newspaper and smack the DM on the nose, while saying, "NO NO NO".

Then I'd rub their face in the DM Screen.

Which sidesteps the ethical question completely... but is probably much more fun! :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
ProfPotts wrote:

That's an interesting way to put it. Personally I see the Lawful types as the ones likely to be building and maintaining societies, and looking at the good of the group over the good of the individual, and the Chaotic types focusing on immediate concerns and the good of the individual.

I chalk it up to the fact that the definitions of Law and Chaos are too similar. Nothing in them is actually opposed to the other. Which is why you can argue that ANYONE is either alignment.


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If devils will follow though on deals made, then they're more lawful than the paladin, 'cos he bailed on his deal with his god, right? ;)

Uhh no on that one actually, paladins agree to follow the ideals of their chosen god (remember they are supposed to be the ultimate version of an alignment) since in this case they can act out of alignment then the there will be cases where he doesn't follow his god because he changed ideals and therefore broke the deal before the paladin did anything.

And for my philosophical take on good and evil. If what you did makes people happy then it was good, if what you did makes people unhappy then it was evil, if you take joy from making others unhappy then you are evil (and vice-versa for good). All actions resulting in no particular feeling in anyone is neutral.

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That's not the information we have - we're told that the god is Lawful Good. With that established as fact (as far as what we've been presented with) saying otherwise is just saying 'the DM's doing it wrong'. We don't know the ultimate ramifications of the situation but, given the facts as presented, we have to conclude that the Lawful Good deity, as far as it understands these things, is doing the lawful and good thing. Unless the paladin has more information than his god (in which case, why hasn't he passed it on?), then the paladin's just second-guessing someone in a better position to judge than he is.

And the god WAS lawful good, the op stated his gods are not embodiments of their alignment so we were told they are fallible. The paladin (living in that world) knows this.

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Why not attempt Diplomacy in the middle of combat? Is the paladin afraid of getting hurt? That shouldn't be a concern for a guy immune to fear, and willing to sacrifice himself to do the right thing.

I don't know, lets see... stay and get your friends hurt or run away and no one at all gets hurt (and he can talk to his god in either instance). Which sounds more good?

The Exchange

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And for my philosophical take on good and evil. If what you did makes people happy then it was good, if what you did makes people unhappy then it was evil, if you take joy from making others unhappy then you are evil (and vice-versa for good). All actions resulting in no particular feeling in anyone is neutral.

Long term or short term happiness? Is this a 'drug dealers are good, the police who stop them are evil' thing? Equating happiness and good is a dangerous path to go down...

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I don't know, lets see... stay and get your friends hurt or run away and no one at all gets hurt (and he can talk to his god in either instance). Which sounds more good?

I don't believe we were told that's what happened, were we? More just 'the paladin bailed on us'.

It'd be interesting to get some more input from the OP on all this...

What were the 'other side's' paladins' reactions? Did their reactions cause them to lose their paladinhood?

Did the Lawful Good deity in question actually change alignment? Did it know more than the paladin did about what was the greater law and good?

Was this a 'no win' scenario (ethically speaking) or was there a 'third option' the paladin just missed?

What would have happened if, say, the paladin had faced his opposite numbers in battle, but stopped short of killing them? Or even, if he'd killed them, then had them Raised afterwards?

What was at risk, besides to the various gods themselves? Their whole planes of existence? All the souls who'd died and joined them over the eons? Or was it just 'gods behaving badly'?

Was the whole thing a cosmic 'us Vs them' (DC Vs Marvel!), or was there room for co-existence (Amalgam comics!)?

For some reason I picture two sets if Lawful Good paladins sent to fight each other, both sets equally in the right, spending a lot of time circling and pulling round after round of full defensive actions whilst they talked it out... but maybe that's just me... ;)


Well drug dealers and cops can act evil but neither selling drugs or arresting drug dealers is the cause. All the really dangerous drugs don't make you happy anyway, they make you true neutral.

And from what I understood it was a bar fight between gods, them just battling for power and because of petty differences. he also stated they are more greek god like so the LG god probably changes alignment on a whim if zeus and others are our examples.

Your first question is a good one though


If the Paladins are attacking and trying to stop a good person from doing good does that not make them evil so shouldn't all of the opposing Paladins be falling?

Alternately; Good can be perceived as relative so the Paladins think they're doing good by trying to kill the PC Paladin and the PC Paladin wishes to stay alive to continue doing good acts so doing what it takes to stay alive is not an inherently non-good act so they shouldn't fall. Can a LG Deity remain LG if they're forcing good people to do bad things for personal reasons? Shouldn't the Deity be the one to fall? Maybe this choice is going to shatter that religion's entire foundation. If a Deity falls, do all worshipers under them who draw energy from them fall? Do they need to change their alignment to match their Deity's not to fall?

I suppose that's what the paladin gets for worshiping such a petty god. I would have said 'YOU CAN'T FALL ME! I QUIT!' then throw down my divine focus, spit on it, kick some dirt over it, moon the god, fart, then stomp away. Then I'd stomp back and make some rude gestures and remarks then stomp away again.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
Dragonslie wrote:

Conundrum... when faced with this the paladin decided to FALL. (i CAN NOT murder other good paladins even if the follow deity x) and of course the deity said.. fine fall.. Deity 2 shows up.. offers her to turn her back on world1 and join world2 she says NOPE.. not killing anyone. ASMODIOUS shows up says.. hey.. ill take u as you are!!!! and player says NO.

What would you have done??? choices choices.

He ascends to godhood immediately, taking the powers of BOTH gods into his own, and the mewling fallen gods become the heads of his Church on both worlds. Still puzzled by this after a month's time, Ao shows up and shake his hand "Welcome to the Overgod Club brotha!"

The Exchange

The lives of Paladins (and Clerics for that matter) get difficult when than leave there home plane and the normal 'balance' of the gods changes. This is particularly true when the machinations of the Powers are revealed and all of a sudden the aims of the god they follow are revealed to be petty and not particularly noble.

If this Paladin's deity failed to adequately bestow a blessing of enlightenment once the truth had been revealed (ie: explained the grand plan and why it's the 'right' thing to do) then I would give the Paladin a few options:

* Switch sides without penalty. The new deity followed better suits the Paladins beliefs.

* Become of Champion of Good (Believer of the Source). The Paladin rejects the gods infighting and embraces a higher power. He defends the innocent and punishes the evil doers in the name of Good. Divine power is granted from the 'Source': the unknown, benign origin of divine/magic energy that mortals and gods alike tap into. The multiverse is a big testing ground for both gods and mortals alike. He is looking to 'pass the test'!

* Become an Athar (Anti-theist). The powers aren't special, they are like mortals just more powerful. Anyone can ascend to godhood if the secrets can be revealed. The Paladins alignment doesn't change, just his outlook. Divine power is drawn from his own enlightenment. The gods are utterly rejected and the Paladin sets out to be an example of what a mortal can achieve through his own actions and volition.


An interesting thought.

The paladin, at this point, is hewing closer to his stated beliefs than either of the LG gods at this point (both of which seem to be putting their followers in great danger to justify their own existence).

As stated earlier in the thread, core paladins don't necessarily have to have a deity, though most are going to follow the teachings of a god. If you rule this is the case, then the patron god cannot strip a paladin of his powers (the way he could a cleric, for example).

If you rule that the powers are a direct gift from the patron deity, then his powers can be stripped. If this is the case, than the deity is stripping the powers from a paladin who chose to follow his stated code (and likely the stated teachings of his god) over his god's direct orders.

Either way should have repercussions, for both the paladin, and the gods in question.

At this point, both gods have chosen to put their personal wants, and the survival of their respective pantheon over their own ethos. Essentially, both gods have stared death in the face and blinked, while the paladin has not.

As a high level character who warrants direct audiences with the gods, I have to assume that this fall is going to become well known. Naturally, many followers of his own god will consider him a pariah, but I also think this is a good opportunity for other mortals to see what is going on.

If the paladin sticks to his guns, especially if he is shunned, maybe people on both sides will begin to take his side, refusing to support the quarreling pantheons. If enough people begin to believe in him, restore the paladin's powers, regardless of what the deities think.

With the feuding family pantheons (the Olympians and Titans above are great examples), there are plenty of examples of a god losing site of their purpose in favour of their own selfish whims. Sometimes it takes the actions of a mortal to slap them down.

If any of the gods see what the paladin is doing, and come to their senses, perhaps they will regain their senses and be worthy of their portfolios. If not, perhaps the paladin, his allies, and other worthy mortals who understand their responsibilities can form the basis of a third generation of this pantheon.

As far as the stated options go, I would let the Paladin swap out their powers for Paladin or Cavalier pretty much immediately. As you said, while the deity can revoke the paladin's powers, this isn't something for which the paladin's player should be punished.


thank you for all the input from everyone.

couple of notes about the player.

1) He wont play this char and when things get tough he bails. (this char is stripped of power so I wont play her)

as for the Dilemma.. you are ALL MISSING something. this deity NEVER said " I want you to kill paladins" he said " I want to come back to this world, If you have to kill a paladin I wont hold it against you."

AS IN.. THE PLAYER DOES NOT HAVE TO KILL A PALADIN. so yes.. he bailed on his god."--hence the fall part.

the hard part came because he doesn't want a war of the gods and the loss of life that would ensue.. in that he failed to trust his god and he fell. (that is why he fell).

onto the other parts.. this player does frustrate me though... example "If the gods are going to war I wont play a spell casting cleric, inquisitioner, or paladin, because they are going to lose their powers in 6 or 7 levels". IE..

he wont play anything truly hard. I LOVE the idea of him not knowing his powers are not truly gone... problem... HE'd never play the CHAR, and would quit the game " its not fair you don't punish the other players." ... but I have punished each player in the past... (bad things happen even to good people in my games antagonists are a b*&&*)...

this player just takes things wrong... example... the one wizard has a robe of the archmagi but its a LEGACY item ( IE for 16 levels the item sucked and is NOW just starting to get good) he views that as the player having a 76,000 GP item, when in actuality it is only around 20,000 for what it does(you need 3 feats to use it???).. the player also has a ring that while insanity expensive would never be sold and is not even in use ( IE it literally is useless, and the player would never sell it..) So he see's it as an opportunity to hit the DM up for "more starting money" Heck i even told him I'd give him a ring of elemental command fire to get him off my back with the pretense he couldn't sell it... (his response.. why can't i have a plus 10 wp?)....umm.. no one in my group has anything close to that... I honestly thought this story arc could have ended 1 of 3 ways.. according to him "I should have known his choice".... (how im not a precog??)

but in the end i guess even with him "losing his powers" i thought he would stick it out... OR at the very least TRY.

but he doesn't TRY..

as for those of you saying i should be smacked???

you run a game for 3 years starting at level 1 and not have it break down at lvl 16... oh... wait... Do that 4 times....I think I know what im doing if I've ran 3 SUCCESSFUL campaigns all starting from level 1 to above 20th (one ended at lvl 38)... and I have one WELL on the WAY to that. Dming is hard,takes ALOT of TIME, and as players you should be GRATEFUL there are those of us who stay up LATE AT NIGHT during the week to make sure you HAVE A GOOD TIME. and if some week ends are "frustrating" because they didn't "go your way" guess what.. THAT HAPPENS in my game.

at high levels things get "Fuzzy" I agree with that but hey.. trust me the tarrasque isn't that tough.. gotta come up with something bigger than that.


Sounds more complicated then you originally wrote, now I have no idea what really happened. And the player did mention that he was okay with his character retiring on this act so I coulda guessed this.

But importantly he fell from grace for not following his no longer LG (don't all of a sudden throw in that it was part of a bigger plan as the deity could have conveyed that in an instant if it were true) god instead of losing his powers for breaking alignment, when your options are guys that want you dead and someone who betrayed you I would choose retreat too


Shadow_of_death wrote:

Sounds more complicated then you originally wrote, now I have no idea what really happened. And the player did mention that he was okay with his character retiring on this act so I coulda guessed this.

But importantly he fell from grace for not following his no longer LG (don't all of a sudden throw in that it was part of a bigger plan as the deity could have conveyed that in an instant if it were true) god instead of losing his powers for breaking alignment, when your options are guys that want you dead and someone who betrayed you I would choose retreat too

Shadow and I don't often agree, but for this, *points up* What he said.

Greg

Dark Archive

I've been DMing for close to 15 years now.

By my count I'm up to having run 6 long-term campaigns and played in 2.

Never had a sense of entitlement though.

The Exchange

Strictly speaking, the player hasn't broken the code. His non violent stance in the face of a war he doesn't agree with isn't an evil act. Bailing isn't exactly heroic in the paladin mold, but I'd argue he is having a bit of an crisis in faith.
In terms of losing his powers, it sounds like he was damned if he did, damned if he didn't.
If your intention was to present an interesting moral dilemma where 'good' and 'evil' are hard to distinguish, you haven't really given the player an option to solve the problem creatively without penalty. Volaran gave some really interesting plot threads that sound like a lot of fun for all involved. If your aim was to arbitrarily punish the player then I'm not surprised there is conflict. That doesn't sound like fun at all. When players have their LG character lie, cheat, steal, murder or let their fellow party members do these things by ignoring their actions, then repercussions should be presented. Trapping someone whose LG Deity turned out to be a bit of a dick, however, doesn't sound fair.


Dragonslie wrote:


What would you have done??? choices choices.

I think I would have considered a bit more closely as to whether the original behavior of either side of dieties altered their own alignments, and whether they still held authority to judge the player's paladin. I certainly would have given the entire matter a lot more thought before backing him into a corner and allowing him self-punishment for doing the right thing by his code.

Maybe the OTHER diety, whose paladins he refused to attack for no good reason could have rescued the paladin/raised him up. After all, the paladin's god certainly was no longer Good himself at that point, ordering the deaths of the other paladins.

We could do this all day, but the short of it is, your scenario, though wildly and outrageously creative, does not seem well thought-out. Like a bad time travel movie. No offense. I would recommend a little less ambition next time, and a little more thought about possible consequences before throwing the madness at the players.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

At the risk of (re-)opening a can of worms and de-railing the thread ...

One thing to keep in mind - when arguing about what alignment really means and what a LG Paladin would do in a given situation vis-à-vis Law and Chaos - is that Paladins are given the abilities to Detect Evil and Smite Evil. Not Detect Chaos and Smite Chaos. To me at least, that indicates that Paladins should be more concerned with the Good vs. Evil conflict than the Law vs. Chaos conflict.

IIRC (possibly in an earlier edition?), it is/was easier for a Paladin to atone and return to Paladin-hood after having committed a Chaotic deed than if an Evil deed had been committed.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bellona wrote:


IIRC (possibly in an earlier edition?), it is/was easier for a Paladin to atone and return to Paladin-hood after having committed a Chaotic deed than if an Evil deed had been committed.

That is true. In 1st ed a Paladin commiting a chaotic act could atone...there was no coming back from a evil act.


"I've been DMing for close to 15 years now.

By my count I'm up to having run 6 long-term campaigns and played in 2.

Never had a sense of entitlement though."

no sense of entitlement, just a sense that i work my ass off for a game and to create a story and the only critisim some have given is punch the DM.

as for "punishing the player" I really don't see it as a punishment.. i know plenty of players who wouldn't throw the character away, thats my whole issue with it..

Personally if it was my CHAR I would still be playing that CHAR.

thats my issue with the whole thing. Even if he was "railroaded into it" If the char really was "LG" why would she just walk away completely???

especially since the one char found out a way to keep the gods from being able to war.

"destroy gate keeper become gate keepers, Do not release deities" and the paladin won't even go on this quest......

and i hate the whole... tell the player the story plot so he plays his char right... (IE Go on quest thinking he lost his powers(which i would use hence why i asked for help) if the player HAS to know his char didn't really lose his powers to play the char..

and the char (according to the player) doesn't want to adventure because she she lost her powers...

is that char really a hero?????????


ProfPotts wrote:
Quote:
Any good character doesn't kill the baby. Most neutral character don't kill the baby, but some pragmatists will definitely consider it and some may even go through with it. All evil characters will kill the baby. Some may ask for another.

This is why it's used as an example in ethical debate. Killing babies is something everyone tends to agree is a 'universal evil'. Failing to prevent a terrible war and holocaust is also something everyone tends to agree is a 'universal evil'. When faced with the hyperthetical situation where you have to choose between one or the other, what does a 'good' person do? When first asked, most people try to sidestep the question completely - the whole 'take a third option /Jim Kirk' approach, but that's really avoiding the point of the exercise.

A paladin is a fantasy character living in a fantasy world.

The particular fantasy the paladin embodies that it is possible to live without doing any evil.
For a Paladin there is always the third way.
It it appears that all the options are evil a paladin should know that the appearance must be false.

The point of the exercise and the point of the paladin class are antithetical.


Dragonslie wrote:


no sense of entitlement, just a sense that i work my ass off for a game and to create a story and the only critisim some have given is punch the DM.

Good DM's do not create stories. They can't because they let the player's control their characters and let those characters be the protagonists in the story the group creates.

Dragonslie wrote:


Personally if it was my CHAR I would still be playing that CHAR.

thats my issue with the whole thing. Even if he was "railroaded into it" If the char really was "LG" why would she just walk away completely???

Different people have different tastes and it seems your player's taste differs from yours. It happens.

LG allows for a lot of variation, and does not require that the character be brave or heroic and it could certainly fit with role-playing the loss of a Paladin's immunity to fear

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and the char (according to the player) doesn't want to adventure because she she lost her powers...

is that char really a hero?????????

Maybe, maybe not, but certainly it is the player's decision to make. It could make for a good story. Characters who withdraw from adventuring after a set back and then are persuaded to resume it are not uncommon in fantasy literature.

You are talking to the wrong people. You need to talk to your player.

Something unpleasant has happen to that player's character, and it is reasonable for that player to consider it somewhat unfair, since the paladin has fallen despite keeping the code. Perhaps the player has a different view of where paladin's get their powers from, which is reasonable since since it is not required by the rules (excluding 4e) that paladins get their powers from gods, though some settings do require that. Maybe there was a misunderstanding, maybe not.

Perhaps the player just did not like the situation the character found himself it, and did not consider it one that the game contract allowed.

Perhaps they player accepts what happened and does not think it would be fun to continue to play the character. A fighter without feats does not seem a fun character.

Talk to your player. Find out which it is, and what they player wants. Don't explain your setting, but maybe say that things are not quite what they seem or that you see an interesting role-playing opportunity.
Perhaps let the player play another character whilst keeping the (ex-)paladin around in the background. Depending on how you want to go, perhaps role-play some NPC trying to persuade the paladin to take up adventuring again.


Your problem becomes more apparent.

I would suggest talking to the player (though you have indicated the difficulty in doing so). I would try to stress that they have followed you through a lengthy campaign, and that you would not just leave the paladin hanging.

You may want to stress that quitting now does not seem in character for this paladin. He stood up to 3 gods over his beliefs and code. To suddenly quit because he lost his powers...well, it seems like that would be where he lost his faith and truly fell.

I would certainly suggest seeing if trading in for fighter or cavalier levels would appeal to the player in the short term, while the story plays out.

Failing this, I would probably ask the player for permission to let me use the paladin as an NPC. He can wander for a while, doing good and defending people (a 16th level ex-paladin is still crazy formidable when compared to the average person). That way, he can still have his journey back to redemption or whatnot off screen, and come back later. The player might be willing to see the difference between 'he doesn't want to continue being a hero without his powers' and 'I don't want to play this character if he doesn't have any powers'.

Maybe see if he'd like to play someone from the other world for a while? Get someone from the other side of things into the party and share their perspective.


@ Dragonslie {but of course info is for everyone :)}

Okay, here goes. What is going to happen on this thread now is going to be a bit confusing.

original post(1):
Dragonslie wrote:

So I an my 15-16 level game today. the game started with 3.5 to beta to core from level 1.

home brew world with stolen maps. (makes it easy for me)

anyway, the pc's find out that their material plane is next to another material plane, and the other material plane is sending a big bad monster ( this is the short version)

the players go to other big bad plane, find a big city and the paladin gets attacked by paladins of a different Deity. WTF right?? :P

So they find out that their deities are TRAPPED within their home world BY THE DEITIES of this world who happen to be their children!(they were trapped in a very small world..compared to current world, and their world was originally a PART of the whole... as in .. both worlds are one world.. but the children gods separated a portion and trapped the older gods in it) and the original gods actually sent them to this world to free them.(think greek mythology!)

Here is the problem..

The LG deity of world one(home world) Wants back on homeworld2 to take care of his LG deity son on homeworld2. LG deity of homeworld2 Does not want LG deity of homeworld1 coming in.(think pantheon vs pantheon good vs evil on multiple levels and everything such a seniero would mean) SO

Conundrum... when faced with this the paladin decided to FALL. (i CAN NOT murder other good paladins even if the follow deity x) and of course the deity said.. fine fall.. Deity 2 shows up.. offers her to turn her back on world1 and join world2 she says NOPE.. not killing anyone. ASMODIOUS shows up says.. hey.. ill take u as you are!!!! and player says NO.

What would you have done??? choices choices.

(1)People are going to be responding to this post without even reading further into the thread.

Dragonslie wrote clarification of OP(2):
Dragonslie wrote:

You are correct in assuming it is in a dimension pocket. (also it is just not LG vs LG it is pantheon vs pantheon.the paladins had a problem with ALL the PC's. yes the deities have the same domains. (basically picture greyhawk gods VS pathfinder gods. Greyhawk deities are the father deities in my world which was played for 16 levels using a map out of a dragon magazine. then on Glorian there is a 'whirlpool" on the map. that is actually a "male storm" in my world where the pocket dimension is located. (the dragon magazine world map actually fits PERFECTLY in this location). In my campaign i decided that the local area around the "male-storm" would know a LITTLE about the parent deities and be lead to believe by the children pantheon that they are "demon gods"(not every LG i know but even LG can spread a lie especially when you get evil gods involved in the whole plot... maybe the evil gods spread it.)(and yes I am ruling and running that deities are jealous)

the paladin did not try to negotiate he just flew away. The NPC

paladins know that if he was allowed to persist their diety would

die.

The conversation between deity and paladin happens later in the afternoon. His deity stated he would not punish him if he killed the opposing paladins and that he wanted him to free him. but to free him did not come without a cost to both worlds......... short story..(it started with Tiamat trying to take over their current world.. and strange entity known as the 'dark phoenix"..

the original pantheon made a pact with Tiamat to survive(create the malestorm).. Tiamat now wants to collect.... the deities want out of course because well.. they were on borrowed time.. if they make it to the home world and all the deities end up on the same plane... think time of troubles :P..

oh.. tiamat is sending the 'gate keeper" to "cleanse" her new world... the PC's plan on destroying the gate keeper and never opening the portal and keeping everything as a pocket dimension. what the PC's do NOT know.. is that the 'dark phoenix" Is actually another gate keeper created by the old pantheon to destroy the other home world. They knew the dark phoenix was meant to help destroy gods.. they just always assumed their OWN gods...(spoiler)

Also I do not want to penalize the PC. ( you got me wrong on

that) I just don't see a deity giving the PC paladin abilities in

this situation. Hence why he "falls" IE loses paladin abilities.

NOW.. being that the player played it right.. what is the correct

solution.

1) allow him when he gains a level to trade in paladin levels at

but limit it to 3 to support continual?

2) allow him to trade in half for then the next half at next

level?

3) would caviler be a better solution?

he HAS to not keep his paladin abilities.. i mean... it just makes sense. (everyone agrees on this)

this is just a situation of there is no "right" anwser.

also can a paladin be a Paladin WITHOUT a deity? or is cavalier more of that sort of style???

(2)Here you have clarified some parts of the original post helping us with the back and forth nature of original Dieties/ new dieties confusion. And finished with a new question. If question was rhetorical, as I now suspect. I for one missed it. And thought it was a real question.

original poster changes/gives new information from original post(3):
Dragonslie wrote:

thank you for all the input from everyone.

couple of notes about the player.

1) He wont play this char and when things get tough he bails. (this char is stripped of power so I wont play her)

as for the Dilemma.. you are ALL MISSING something. this deity NEVER said " I want you to kill paladins" he said " I want to come back to this world, If you have to kill a paladin I wont hold it against you."

AS IN.. THE PLAYER DOES NOT HAVE TO KILL A PALADIN. so yes.. he bailed on his god."--hence the fall part.

the hard part came because he doesn't want a war of the gods and the loss of life that would ensue.. in that he failed to trust his god and he fell. (that is why he fell).

onto the other parts.. this player does frustrate me though... example "If the gods are going to war I wont play a spell casting cleric, inquisitioner, or paladin, because they are going to lose their powers in 6 or 7 levels". IE..

he wont play anything truly hard. I LOVE the idea of him not knowing his powers are not truly gone... problem... HE'd never play the CHAR, and would quit the game " its not fair you don't punish the other players." ... but I have punished each player in the past... (bad things happen even to good people in my games antagonists are a b~&!#)...

this player just takes things wrong... example... the one wizard has a robe of the archmagi but its a LEGACY item ( IE for 16 levels the item sucked and is NOW just starting to get good) he views that as the player having a 76,000 GP item, when in actuality it is only around 20,000 for what it does(you need 3 feats to use it???).. the player also has a ring that while insanity expensive would never be sold and is not even in use ( IE it literally is useless, and the player would never sell it..) So he see's it as an opportunity to hit the DM up for "more starting money" Heck i even told him I'd give him a ring of elemental command fire to get him off my back with the pretense he couldn't sell it... (his response.. why can't i have a plus 10 wp?)....umm.. no one in my group has anything close to that... I honestly thought this story arc could have ended 1 of 3 ways.. according to him "I should have known his choice".... (how im not a precog??)

but in the end i guess even with him "losing his powers" i thought he would stick it out... OR at the very least TRY.

but he doesn't TRY..

as for those of you saying i should be smacked???

you run a game for 3 years starting at level 1 and not have it break down at lvl 16... oh... wait... Do that 4 times....I think I know what im doing if I've ran 3 SUCCESSFUL campaigns all starting from level 1 to above 20th (one ended at lvl 38)... and I have one WELL on the WAY to that. Dming is hard,takes ALOT of TIME, and as players you should be GRATEFUL there are those of us who stay up LATE AT NIGHT during the week to make sure you HAVE A GOOD TIME. and if some week ends are "frustrating" because they didn't "go your way" guess what.. THAT HAPPENS in my game.

at high levels things get "Fuzzy" I agree with that but hey.. trust me the tarrasque isn't that tough.. gotta come up with something bigger than that.

(3)Obviously, some of us have offended poster at this point. I am reasonably certain, those that mentioned "smacking DM" were being snarky and were attempting humor. I can see reason for offense, though I often use joke violence as well.

But , this is where alot of NEW info is given that seems to be issues between the poster/DM and player. NONE of this was even referenced in original post, and many will continue posting based on the original post without reading further.

Then we get too...

Crux of problem(4):
Dragonslie wrote:

I've been DMing for close to 15 years now.

By my count I'm up to having run 6 long-term campaigns and played in 2.

Never had a sense of entitlement though."

no sense of entitlement, just a sense that i work my ass off for a game and to create a story and the only critisim some have given is punch the DM.

as for "punishing the player" I really don't see it as a punishment.. i know plenty of players who wouldn't throw the character away, thats my whole issue with it..

Personally if it was my CHAR I would still be playing that CHAR.

thats my issue with the whole thing. Even if he was "railroaded into it" If the char really was "LG" why would she just walk away completely???

especially since the one char found out a way to keep the gods from being able to war.

"destroy gate keeper become gate keepers, Do not release deities" and the paladin won't even go on this quest......

and i hate the whole... tell the player the story plot so he plays his char right... (IE Go on quest thinking he lost his powers(which i would use hence why i asked for help) if the player HAS to know his char didn't really lose his powers to play the char..

and the char (according to the player) doesn't want to adventure because she she lost her powers...

is that char really a hero?????????

(4)Now, it seems the problem isn't so much should paladin lose powers.. can there be paladin's without a god, how can we make player happy?

The problem now seems to be frustration between player and DM over the course of a campaign. Player has no trust for DM and feels singled out and will not play religious character at all now. DM feels player is being unreasonable and won't stick out campaign even with gimped character.

Gonna give this some thought now. And this is entirely different from original post... so there will be confusion for responces to early into the thread.

Greg

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Dragonslie wrote:

"I've been DMing for close to 15 years now.

By my count I'm up to having run 6 long-term campaigns and played in 2.

Never had a sense of entitlement though."

no sense of entitlement, just a sense that i work my ass off for a game and to create a story and the only critisim some have given is punch the DM.

as for "punishing the player" I really don't see it as a punishment.. i know plenty of players who wouldn't throw the character away, thats my whole issue with it..

Personally if it was my CHAR I would still be playing that CHAR.

thats my issue with the whole thing. Even if he was "railroaded into it" If the char really was "LG" why would she just walk away completely???

especially since the one char found out a way to keep the gods from being able to war.

"destroy gate keeper become gate keepers, Do not release deities" and the paladin won't even go on this quest......

and i hate the whole... tell the player the story plot so he plays his char right... (IE Go on quest thinking he lost his powers(which i would use hence why i asked for help) if the player HAS to know his char didn't really lose his powers to play the char..

and the char (according to the player) doesn't want to adventure because she she lost her powers...

is that char really a hero?????????

There was a section in the D20 Star Wars syndrome that referred to a player phenomenon called "Lightsaber syndrome". It's about players who might otherwise be good players but really get hooked up on the powers over the role of the class. It included the bonus question for the player to ask himself. If your Jedi had to operate without his lightsaber and even lost his connection to the Force, would you play the character? The player in this case isn't probably looking at his role, he's seeing himself as a defanged paladin or has a certain hafling put it.. "A fighter without bonus feats."

Male players in particular may see it as an effective emasculation of the character and may seek to wash thier hands of it in such a situation.

Shadow Lodge

Two Deities of extreme morality are having a war for the greater good this is cool. One Deity wants its freedom for the greater good and the other wants to keep his daddy whom he kicked out and imprisoned for the greater good. Both Deities are Lawful and Good. Both Deities are correct and taking the correct course of action in thier eyes and changing thier minds will be a heroic and nigh impossible task. They are both acting within thier alignment.

The player had three choices when confronted by this test of his faith.
1. Do what his Deity commands and kill in the name of his god.
2. Walk up to his Deity and slap some sense into him
3. Run away like a whiny Job and avoid his resposibility proving he lacks any real faith in his Deity falling from grace and no longer being a Paladin.

Option 1 and 2 won't do that he will remain a Paladin he may not be getting his powers from his Deity for awhile if he chooses number 2, but I'm sure some other God will step in to make sure he treads the course to a better outcome.

This is entirely a communication problem between the Player and the GM...


pjackson wrote:
Dragonslie wrote:


no sense of entitlement, just a sense that i work my ass off for a game and to create a story and the only critisim some have given is punch the DM.

Good DM's do not create stories. They can't because they let the player's control their characters and let those characters be the protagonists in the story the group creates.

+1

As a DM the games I've run often don't turn out the way I'd originally planned them My first campaign introduced the main villain because I pulled it from a character backstory. The campaign I'm currently running just took a major shift when the players got really lucky and killed the BBEG. I didn't give the BBEG special protection from this because the players earned the kill in a situation where I expected them to run. Either way sometimes I never know what to expect my players to do and it personally makes the experience so much more fun in building the story with the characters.

Building a moment or moral dilemma to put a character into can be interesting, but punishing a character for taking the action they felt was right and proper isn't. This gets more into your moral view on the character and the player's.

If he'd went out of his way to kill all the paladins and then return to his own world that would have been evil. Killing some paladins for "necessity" to get back to his own world with the information we have now would be borderline. I'm not against paladin vs paladin fighting, but the situation as a whole makes it not the best solution. Running away seems like the best option. By running he allows himself to reapproach the situation to getting back to his own world and avoid needless bloodshed.

Also the 3.5 paladin code of conduct doesn't say you have to follow a deity. They're granted powers from their divine righteousness. So unless you've homebrewed paladins to following gods, the paladin ignoring the order of a god should not cause them to fall.

Dark Archive

Decorus wrote:

This is entirely a communication problem between the Player and the GM...

I agree. And it's not only the player's fault this happened - the DM should cowboy up and take their share of the responsibility.

Dark Archive

MaxBarton wrote:
pjackson wrote:
Dragonslie wrote:


no sense of entitlement, just a sense that i work my ass off for a game and to create a story and the only critisim some have given is punch the DM.

Good DM's do not create stories. They can't because they let the player's control their characters and let those characters be the protagonists in the story the group creates.

+1

As a DM the games I've run often don't turn out the way I'd originally planned them My first campaign introduced the main villain because I pulled it from a character backstory. The campaign I'm currently running just took a major shift when the players got really lucky and killed the BBEG. I didn't give the BBEG special protection from this because the players earned the kill in a situation where I expected them to run. Either way sometimes I never know what to expect my players to do and it personally makes the experience so much more fun in building the story with the characters.

Sadly failed novelists behind the DM screen are not a new phenomena.

I'm with Max - it's a lot of fun as a DM when the players try something unexpected and pull it off! It's rewarding on so many levels...players are the true authors of a game story, IMO.

(Mind you, the DM still needs to rap their knuckles with a ruler from time to time)


Honestly I'd probably do the same thing as the player. Some times refusing to fight is the more heroic then sacrificing your ideals because your boss says so. What you see as the player running away could very well be a concious sacrifice the player was making.

Now, by the sounds, this war was a major part of your plot and would likely continue to be part of the game no matter what the players choice was. If I decided my character wouldn't go for the god's plan and why would I have the character stay around and continue to do things that I believe the character is willing to oppose a god on? I'd have the character walk and make a new one that would be more willing to follow the campaign direction. The fact that I lost my Paladin powers for following what I believed was the best option for my Paladin to follow might lead to an arguement with my GM but probably wouldn't change my choice.


ok so you all know this is how i Dm

world is there players are there..

this is what is going on in the world "behind the scenes"

players react to world.

what happends happends.

without a story there is no story..

what do you do at level one?? "players have char's" .. dm askes " what do you do"

players ask 'what is there to do"

Dm says " anything you want"

Players say " what is my motivation???"

dm says 'whatever you want"....

much more exiciting for the players for this to happen

"player: im going to the bar"

Dm "on your way there you notice a woman being taking into a back alley by thugs" ( big story behind why they are taking there.. motivations for the rogue guild to kidnap the princess of another nation... (and think of everything that would happen in the world because of that)... and now perhaps the pcs are in the thick of it..

maybe the player does nothing.. but the rogues noticed him there witnessing it...

maybe the player steps in...

both offer possibilities...

oh i guess this is leading a player by the nose and is "forming a story".... shouldnt play it that way huh?


Skaorn wrote:

Honestly I'd probably do the same thing as the player. Some times refusing to fight is the more heroic then sacrificing your ideals because your boss says so. What you see as the player running away could very well be a concious sacrifice the player was making.

Now, by the sounds, this war was a major part of your plot and would likely continue to be part of the game no matter what the players choice was. If I decided my character wouldn't go for the god's plan and why would I have the character stay around and continue to do things that I believe the character is willing to oppose a god on? I'd have the character walk and make a new one that would be more willing to follow the campaign direction. The fact that I lost my Paladin powers for following what I believed was the best option for my Paladin to follow might lead to an arguement with my GM but probably wouldn't change my choice.

The problem I have with this is it assumes that the Paladin has no control over the dirrection of the campaign. Campaigns evolve and change based off of what the players do and how they respond. They now know what is going on in the background. Rather than deal with it, this player is running. There is no reason that cannot be the new dirrection for the campaign. What are everyone else's attitudes towards what is going on? Are they willing to follow the Paladin and say screw you to the gods? Why isn't the Paldin working to stop the war from happening, or end it? If he was truly sticking to his ideals, he would try to find a solution to this conflict, rather than running. Instead, he is just letting what he sees as evil run amok.


Caineach wrote:
The problem I have with this is it assumes that the Paladin has no control over the dirrection of the campaign. Campaigns evolve and change based off of what the players do and how they respond. They now know what is going on in the background. Rather than deal with it, this player is running. There is no reason that cannot be the new dirrection for the campaign. What are everyone else's attitudes towards what is going on? Are they willing to follow the Paladin and say screw you to the gods? Why isn't the Paldin working to stop the war from happening, or end it? If he was truly sticking to his ideals, he would try to find a solution to this conflict, rather than running. Instead, he is just letting what he sees as evil run amok.

I'm just going by what I'm reading off the OP. It seems like the OP wants this war in the game and, as only the Paladin player is in question here, the other PCs are fine with the campaign direction. So it would seem that the options are:

1) Continue to play a character who wants nothing to do with this war and can seem to change when I stand against it.
2) Make a new character that has no problem with the war.
3) Stop playing.

As I generally play with friends, I'll likely just change characters to keep having fun if I'm in the same situation.

Dark Archive

Dragonslie wrote:
oh i guess this is leading a player by the nose and is "forming a story".... shouldnt play it that way huh?

Let me ask you a straight-up, simple question.

Was there a scenario where the paladin stayed true to their ideals and retained their paladinhood, and if so, what was it?


Caineach wrote:
Skaorn wrote:

Honestly I'd probably do the same thing as the player. Some times refusing to fight is the more heroic then sacrificing your ideals because your boss says so. What you see as the player running away could very well be a concious sacrifice the player was making.

Now, by the sounds, this war was a major part of your plot and would likely continue to be part of the game no matter what the players choice was. If I decided my character wouldn't go for the god's plan and why would I have the character stay around and continue to do things that I believe the character is willing to oppose a god on? I'd have the character walk and make a new one that would be more willing to follow the campaign direction. The fact that I lost my Paladin powers for following what I believed was the best option for my Paladin to follow might lead to an arguement with my GM but probably wouldn't change my choice.

The problem I have with this is it assumes that the Paladin has no control over the dirrection of the campaign. Campaigns evolve and change based off of what the players do and how they respond. They now know what is going on in the background. Rather than deal with it, this player is running. There is no reason that cannot be the new dirrection for the campaign. What are everyone else's attitudes towards what is going on? Are they willing to follow the Paladin and say screw you to the gods? Why isn't the Paldin working to stop the war from happening, or end it? If he was truly sticking to his ideals, he would try to find a solution to this conflict, rather than running. Instead, he is just letting what he sees as evil run amok.

this is exactly what happened. The PC's FOUND a way to stop the war from happening. (the very reason the paladin lost his paladinhood.) and the player is basically saying.. well she doesn't care about the war anymore... and is walking away.

and I had a plan for that char in the end anyway.. regarding the whole boned part... honestly I don't care that i boned the char as the player is basically in it to be "the best" which in D&D really isnt the point of the game... the point is to have fun.. its not really enjoyable when all the player wants is.. (ooh make me level 1000000 and give me the most baddest stuff in the game)... and thats my issue with the whole thing..

had the player had "stuck" with it.. honestly.. I would have taken the advice of this board and said.. ok lets just play with him for half a session so he realizes his power comes from himself or something....(Which is WHY i came here)

but TBH, If the player isn't willing to work through the hard times as a LG paladin of ultimate good.. why would he deserve paladin-hood at all?

Its like saying..

"Im a cleric who worships a deity and the deity grants me power but the second the deity is in trouble im bailing to another deity"

and everyone in my group has always played paladins as gaining their power from the divine so that was never a question.

'Was there a scenario where the paladin stayed true to their ideals and retained their paladinhood, and if so, what was it?"

Yes, three actually.

1) he could have continued the adventure with his current deity and chosen not to KILL other paladins but realized the current situation would put him in direct confrontation with them

2) he could have changed sides and retained his paladin-hood

3) he could have became an anti paladin with asmodeus and i would have allowed the player to continue under the guise as one of the other two deities to follow.

and if your looking into the past yes.. quite few...

told a higher ranking cleric of the same deity he wasn't going to follow an order.. to name one...
He choose walk away and forget about everyone

and 4th option I did NOT put in front of him.. continue as a NON - paladin and gain the 'smite GOD" ability. later in the game.

Dark Archive

Dragonslie wrote:
and I had a plan for that char in the end anyway.. regarding the whole boned part... honestly I don't care that i boned the char as the player is basically in it to be "the best" which in D&D really isnt the point of the game... the point is to have fun.. its not really enjoyable when all the player wants is.. (ooh make me level 1000000 and give me the most baddest stuff in the game)... and thats my issue with the whole thing..

Finally, we're getting somewhere.

You and this player, at least, are adversaries. That needs to change, regardless of method, it needs to change.

And I've been there. As DM and as player. Best to get it taken care of for all concerned.

Quote:

had the player had "stuck" with it.. honestly.. I would have taken the advice of this board and said.. ok lets just play with him for half a session so he realizes his power comes from himself or something....(Which is WHY i came here)

but TBH, If the player isn't willing to work through the hard times as a LG paladin of ultimate good.. why would he deserve paladin-hood at all?

...snip...

First, thanks for answering my question and providing some examples. I do disagre that they satisfy the requirements of the question, but to be very clear - it doesn't matter.

Given the issue above (you two are adversaries) then likely no situation would be mutually acceptable, because neither of you trust one another.

He doesn't trust you to be fair and you don't trust him to play the style of game you want.

It's ok, it happens. Doesn't even mean one person's at fault.

Does mean it needs to be resolved if he is going to be a player in your campaign.

You already know what happens if it doesn't.

In my opinion.


I'd like you to know OP that in my campaign I wouldn't DM fiat my way into letting the paladin live for 4-5 encounters while he slowly gains his power back.

If you were this fallen paladin the monsters don't decide to attack everyone else just to save your sorry ass, you will be targeted and without your powers you will die.

Not to mention in order to stop the war the paladin has to continue ignoring his deity, it is waaaaay more realistic for him to never want to adventure again because he just learned the very top tier irrefutable avatar of his ideals can fall into darkness, what hope is there for the paladin? I'm surprised he didn't commit suicide just to stay in character.

The Exchange

Personally, I think the Paladin that rejects the gods and fights for his own idea of good is the most interesting and appropriate direction for this character in this campaign....and he shouldn't lose his powers in making this choice. It should be up to the player of course.


This is most amusing, I gotta say. Most concepts of good and evil here are so absolute, that it becomes even unplayable at some point. My opnion about good and evil is very extensive so, I won't even go deep into it, I'll just say this, the OP never said the Gods in question were the gods OF LAW and GOOD, they were lawful/good Gods, but that's not their domain (at least as I understand it) and so he didn't do anything wrong (the God I mean).
War does exist and conflict between good guys happen all the time. (Time of troubles, Dawn Cataclism, Several Birthright stories, etc, etc...) this does not mean they are more or less good. There is even conflict inside L/G churches, so I don't see why the paladin felt he shouldn't act against the enemies of his God, but that's the players head, not mine.

Now, about what to do now with a player that doesn't want to play their char anymore, 2 things, he is being a baby and I wouldn't let him enter at this level with another Character. I can elaborate if u want, but to sum up this is a chalenge, and a good one, this kind of things is what makes the game fun, if everything always goes the way u want, it sucks, major.

The Exchange

Xum wrote:

This is most amusing, I gotta say. Most concepts of good and evil here are so absolute, that it becomes even unplayable at some point. My opnion about good and evil is very extensive so, I won't even go deep into it, I'll just say this, the OP never said the Gods in question were the gods OF LAW and GOOD, they were lawful/good Gods, but that's not their domain (at least as I understand it) and so he didn't do anything wrong (the God I mean).

War does exist and conflict between good guys happen all the time. (Time of troubles, Dawn Cataclism, Several Birthright stories, etc, etc...) this does not mean they are more or less good. There is even conflict inside L/G churches, so I don't see why the paladin felt he shouldn't act against the enemies of his God, but that's the players head, not mine.

Now, about what to do now with a player that doesn't want to play their char anymore, 2 things, he is being a baby and I wouldn't let him enter at this level with another Character. I can elaborate if u want, but to sum up this is a chalenge, and a good one, this kind of things is what makes the game fun, if everything always goes the way u want, it sucks, major.

Yeah, fair call. I think the player is reacting against the 'paladin code trap'. A bit of maturity from both sides could sort this problem.

Shadow Lodge

Some people here really need to read White Plume Mountain and its sequels by Paul Kidd. It more of a study on a Hell Knight Lawful Neutral character then anything else.

Just because someone is lawful good does not mean thier actions that are completely within thier alignment can not be considered an evil act by another equally lawful good person. People tend to think of things as absolute.

For example I have a Hellknight he would never kill a child, doesn't matter who or what the child will become. Its a violation of his ethics, just like murder, forgery, stealing, bribery and a whole list of other things. He is Lawful Evil, but his strict code of ethics prevents him from allowing such things. He gives his word and lives up to the exact wording of his statements.

I give you my word my allies will not harm you during the parley.
Umm bro you just totally killed that guy.
I never said I wouldn't kill him myself.

The problem with alignments is they are based entirely upon perception and nothing tangible. What one society considers good another considers evil. Just look at the Spanish Exploration period. I'm pretty sure the Natives felt the Spanish Conquistadors were an evil invading army and I'm pretty sure the Spanish Priests felt the natives were evil barbarians.

I could make a cannibal, pedophile who is a lawful good Paladin.
You can even make a Baby Sacrificing Oracle who is lawful good if you really wanted to.

The DM and the Player have to sit down at the begining and set forth concrete codes of conduct when playing a strict alignment based class of what is considered proper behavior for thier alignment for that particular player. Thats one of the reason's I'm looking forward to the Paladin codes in the forthcoming Good Deities book.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

And this is why I drop alignment completely. Because no one can agree on what they mean out the gate. You have to sit down and hash it out.

No, I do not believe that you can make a LG baby-killer. The same way I believe that a LG character would never kill an innocent to save the world, because the ends do not justify the means.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Decorus wrote:


The problem with alignments is they are based entirely upon perception and nothing tangible. What one society considers good another considers evil. Just look at the Spanish Exploration period. I'm pretty sure the Natives felt the Spanish Conquistadors were an evil invading army and I'm pretty sure the Spanish Priests felt the natives were evil barbarians.

Interesting but irrelvant. The Alignment system's basic assumption is that no matter what countries, mortals, or players may think there is ONE universal standard for Good, Law, Neutality, Evil, Chaos. enforced by the Dungeon Master. That a given act is good, evil, lawful, chaotic etc.. no matter what the local interpretation may be.

Now this still leave a lot of room for varation. Are the Gods the ulitmate enforcers of alignment.. Are they aligned in essence the way celestials and infernals are? (in which case their free will is doubly constrained by both alignment and portfolio) Do they even HAVE alignments? (The Gods of Arcanis for example had no alignment and had followers of all alignments (who would revere different aspects of said diety).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Shadow_of_death wrote:

I'd like you to know OP that in my campaign I wouldn't DM fiat my way into letting the paladin live for 4-5 encounters while he slowly gains his power back.

If you were this fallen paladin the monsters don't decide to attack everyone else just to save your sorry ass, you will be targeted and without your powers you will die.

Not to mention in order to stop the war the paladin has to continue ignoring his deity, it is waaaaay more realistic for him to never want to adventure again because he just learned the very top tier irrefutable avatar of his ideals can fall into darkness, what hope is there for the paladin? I'm surprised he didn't commit suicide just to stay in character.

A defrocked Paladin still has his melee capabilities. yes the character has been majorly weakened in his abilities but in this particular situation the Paladin in question is still more effective than one who's been killed or turned to stone. Or do your parties just abandon anyone who gets into a condition like that?


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^to both above^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Me and a friend were just talking about that. How he just wants to "leave" the group and 'retire'. this is what we came up with.

Paladins are suppose to be a "cut above" the rest when it comes to morality. They are supposed to be the ones who STRIVE AHEAD against all odds.

She told a god "Im not doing this unless i can save both worlds." now an opportunity presents itself to save both worlds and the player wont play the char and wants her retired or to just be an NPC.

NOT VERY PALADIN LIKE.

thats my major problem with this...

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