A Paladin of Iomedae


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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HappyDaze wrote:
I understand you want to throw that word around...

I am a pragmatist sir, and as such endeavor to never throw words around.

HappyDaze wrote:
to feel better about your argument, but this is an inappropriate use.

My feelings on the subject are completely irrelevant.

HappyDaze wrote:
However, on a side note, you could have a LG police state with paladins and inquisitors actively suppressing any action that is outside a codified system intended to bring the greatest benefit to the majority (needs of the many). This would be a 'harsh utopia' in practice. For a less extreme example, consider that Mendev is written as LG, and is run at times as a police state with hunts for demon-worshiping cults (and sometimes the non-compliant native population) conducted by inquisitors and paladins of Iomedae.

That isn't a police state.

Wikipedia wrote:

The term police state describes a state in which the government exercises rigid and repressive controls over the social, economic and political life of the population. A police state typically exhibits elements of totalitarianism and social control, and there is usually little or no distinction between the law and the exercise of political power by the executive.

The inhabitants of a police state experience restrictions on their mobility, and on their freedom to express or communicate political or other views, which are subject to police monitoring or enforcement. Political control may be exerted by means of a secret police force which operates outside the boundaries normally imposed by a constitutional state.

Or if you prefer here is Merriam Websters definition, and also several definitions over at dictionary.com. There is nothing wrong with having a strong and active police force, that in and of itself dose not make a police state, it is the repression, and arbitrary exercise of power, that defines a police state.

HappyDaze wrote:
I'm not sure where you get the idea that a dangerous society that allows a generous interpretation of self-defense is automatically a police state.

Just like cannibalism isn't the generous interpretation of dietary needs, this example wasn't self-defense.

Wikipedia wrote:
Self-defense, self-defence (see spelling differences) or private defence is a countermeasure that involves defending oneself, one's property or the well-being of another from physical harm.[1] The use of the right of self-defense as a legal justification for the use of force in times of danger is available in many jurisdictions, but the interpretation varies widely.[2] To be acquitted of any kind of physical harm-related crime (such as assault and battery and homicide) using the self-defense justification, one must prove legal provocation, meaning that one must prove that he was in a position in which not using self-defense would most likely lead to death or serious injuries. The threat of damage or loss of property alone is not enough.

Notice the last sentence. In any civilized society there would have been a trial. If the paladin was himself civilized, he would have insisted on it. Cutting down pushy bums (for all the paladin knew) isn't lawful good, it is nothing more than an arbitrary over reaction by an authority figure that lead to the death of a man for nothing more than the crime of attempted theft.

Liberty's Edge

Forlarren wrote:
HappyDaze wrote:
idwraith wrote:
The law dictates the AMOUNT of lethal force allowed to be used in a given situation. Unless your Paladin has a REASONABLE reason to assume that every raggedy-ass commoner who approaches him is capable of delivering an incredibly lethal touch attack... then I would say he went beyond reasonable response. Nonlethal attack might have been warranted. But if this guy DID just look like a commoner-shlub... well, then a shield bash or unarmed strike would be about as far as "I" would rule the reasonable response to be.

You are forgetting that Golarion, and most D&D/Pathfinder games, assume a high level of violence - and often very unpredictable violence - as being commonplace. Reasonable force in Golarion most often means deadly force. If your uncle was a cop in a dangerous part of the world where shootings, stabbings and suicide bombings happen around him every day, then I say it might be reasonable to assume that anyone that fails to heed the warning is accepting the consequences of the act (as indicated by the verbal warning). When you throw in the possibilities that magic allows (illusions, shapeshifting, 'bad touches' and such) things get even worse for the "but he's just a poor commoner' defense.

There is also no strict notion of 'reasonable suspicion' in Golarion - failure to heed a warning/threat from a paladin means that the paladin is going to act upon his warning/threat.

What you are describing is a police state. Police states are not Lawful Good. The only way this wouldn't be an evil act would be if it happened on an active battlefield, then it would be an accident, and any paladin that took his oaths seriously would also try to make amends, without probing from the DM. This act was evil, not even justifiably evil, even a Hellknight would arrest you and have you tried in a court. A Hellknight might beat you up, torture you into a confession, or any other number of evil acts, but you would still get a trial. This was a clearly unlawful,...

In my experience, a police state is nothing more than state sanctioned mafia thuggery. You are correct, by definition such a society cannot be lawful good. I would take that a bit further and say that they could not be lawful. Even chaotic societies observe some laws that more or less apply to everyone, even chaotic evil ones. However, in the context of the game, such a society would at best be lawful neutral or lawful evil. This is why the alignment rules are kinda wonky. This isn't a Pathfinder thing but a D&D thing that has persisted throughout the years.

Liberty's Edge

Forlarren wrote:
...In any civilized society there would have been a trial. If the paladin was himself civilized, he would have insisted on it. Cutting down pushy bums (for all the paladin knew) isn't lawful good, it is nothing more than an arbitrary over reaction by an authority figure that lead to the death of a man for nothing more than the crime of attempted theft.

Thank You Forlarren :) Granted, in the lands far removed from civilization justice tends to be more immediate and brutal, but in cities and principalities, there is an expectation of trial for the commission of crimes. Especially in "lawful" communities. Even in Pathfinder and other games.

Scarab Sages

Malagant wrote:
I could not disagree more. Where do our ideas of right and wrong come from when applied in a game? How do we know what is good and what is evil in that context? They come from the world we live in. We apply what we have learned from the real world to the worlds of role-playing fantasy. Role playing games are really nothing more than simulations we run in our imaginations that we share collectively with a group of friends. Simulations based on logic derived from experiences we have in the real...

This is a logical fallacy. There is a huge leap here to be made that we take what we have learned here and apply them to ethical choices in the game. And it begs the question of what sort of ethics does every gamer uses and since roleplaying games are about portraying a identity that is not yourself, players often adopt an ethical code that is not their own.

I’m pretty sure that many of the players in the western world would object to the loss of freedom a monarchy imposes and institutional slavery that is indentured servitude, serfdom and actual slavery, if they were actually subjected to it, and yet the Pathfinder game has it.

Roleplaying is not based on logic, it is a safe creative space we put ourselves in to see what it would be like to be someone or something else and often we adapt a ethic/thought process/environment/abilities/ect that is different than are own.


Malagant wrote:
I could not disagree more. Where do our ideas of right and wrong come from when applied in a game? How do we know what is good and what is evil in that context? They come from the world we live in. We apply what we have learned from the real world to the worlds of role-playing fantasy. Role playing games are really nothing more than simulations we run in our imaginations that we share collectively with a group of friends. Simulations based on logic derived from experiences we have in the real world. Our ideas of good and evil, right and wrong directly carry over into the fantasy realm. We simulate scenarios based upon, "what if..." What if things were different...

I included the rest of the quote for completeness.

Michael Griffin-Wade wrote:
This is a logical fallacy.

Really? Ok then which one is it?

Michael Griffin-Wade wrote:
There is a huge leap here to be made that we take what we have learned here and apply them to ethical choices in the game.

This sentence is entirely nonsensical. All logic, reason, and philosophy are comprised of a body of work stretching back thousands of years, built up slowly from the days humanity first discovered language.

Michael Griffin-Wade wrote:
And it begs the question

I don't think that phrase means what you think it means. Hopefully this will clear it up for you.

Michael Griffin-Wade wrote:
of what sort of ethics does every gamer uses and since roleplaying games are about portraying a identity that is not yourself, players often adopt an ethical code that is not their own.

Your argument in no way invalidates Malagant's statement. Whatever imaginary values your character may have, comes from somewhere and that somewhere is something the player encountered, read, heard, or invented in real life. Considering that the paladin class was obviously inspired by the legend of King Arthur and his knights of the round table, your argument is specious.

Michael Griffin-Wade wrote:
I’m pretty sure that many of the players in the western world would object to the loss of freedom a monarchy imposes and institutional slavery that is indentured servitude, serfdom and actual slavery, if they were actually subjected to it, and yet the Pathfinder game has it.

Pathfinder may have it, but my paladin doesn't have to participate, in fact a paladin, by the rules of pathfinder, forbidden from "evil" behavior.

The idea of a Lawful Good monarchy is called Enlightened Absolutism. Great thinkers from Montesquieu, to Voltaire, expounded on it at length. Suspending my disbelief, to accept a moral Monarchy is no great feat.

Michael Griffin-Wade wrote:
Roleplaying is not based on logic, it is a safe creative space we put ourselves in to see what it would be like to be someone or something else and often we adapt a ethic/thought process/environment/abilities/ect that is different than are own.

I started role playing, as an exercise in logic and creative fantasy, your argument is again completely specious.


What is your goal here Forlarren? Simply to argue for the arguments sake? Or have you misread Michael? You shoot down what Michael writes, but I can't seem to understand why?

Michael argues, as far as I can tell, for greater diversity, as different people see things differently. You seem to support that argument, but then write things as;

Quote:
I started role playing, as an exercise in logic and creative fantasy, your argument is again completely specious.

...which is at best a specious argument in itself - at worst irrelevant. What your paladin does and why you have done something, does not have to have any impact on anyone else.

Michael writes that there is no guarantee that the reasoning our characters in a game portray, are the same reasons we support as players. But you call that nonsensical? I think you are misreading him - and that the two of you actually agree a long way. Read his post again, and I think you will see, that he believes that the logical fallacy is the "Appeal to probability: assumes that because something could happen, it is inevitable that it will happen." The first one on the list.

All of us (for a given value of all) base our in-game understanding on our off-game understanding - but that does not mean that you have to portray your in game character as anything like your off-game self. That is what Michael is talking about - as far as I can tell.

I might be misreading you as well, and the reason I even participate in this argument, is because I believe strongly in the right of all of us to play the games we want and to portray all kinds of characters, without getting blamed in real life of actually having the same views as these characters.


Now, what does this thread remind me of again?

Oh yeah, right.

Seriously people...consider the time and energy you pour into these arguments...then think for a second about how that time and energy could be spent more productively. Can't think of anything? Then by all means carry on...*shakes head sadly*

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
JaceDK wrote:


Seriously people...consider the time and energy you pour into these arguments...then think for a second about how that time and energy could be spent more productively.

My job is to sit in an office watching an SNMPc screen all night, in Iraq. I have plenty of time with nothing else to do. :P


I think this still goes back to how a Paladin of Iomedae would act and how his/her divine power is derived.

The Inheritor’s followers are good people. While many members of other faiths have “live and let live” attitudes, a typical Iomedaean really wants justice for everyone, honorable behavior by everyone, and a righteous leader making positive decisions for the welfare of all. Though they look to heroes within the church to deal with the greater
world of swords and magic, they understand that everyday things like cooking food, keeping a clean house, and working in a market all have their places and contribute to the rightness of the world. A typical follower of Iomedae is a right-minded, hard-working person, helpful toward others and accepting help when it is needed. As they believe in
justice, fairness, and honor, they gravitate toward kind and charismatic leaders, whether a benevolent noble landowner, an order-minded sheriff, or a good-natured mayor.

Do the actions of this Paladin sound like one who follows Iomedae? Not to this Paladin. If we get back to the first question as to whether of not this Paladin's actions embody what he chose to portray? I would still say no. Maybe he just needs to not follow Iomedae and I would be okay with it...

Scarab Sages

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Forlarren wrote:
Snip

Wow, touched a nerve didn't I.

OK, I was going to rebut this point for point, but the fact of the matter is that is just a waste of time. There is just no way that every choice a player makes in a game is based on their own personal ethics. It not an argument you can prove. Many people will make choices because it feels right. Many people will make choices because it will be less risky than others. Hell a lot of people will make choices because they think that it might be fun, but not all choices are logical. My argument is not specious.
As to of your Paladin “participating” in slavery or not, I can’t even begin to understand your point. I have no idea if you use Paizo’s setting or not, or one that’s a home brew, but if you exist in a society that has it, welcome aboard you are participating.
Find me anyone who has documented proof that “Lawful Good” is Enlightened Absolutism. I would like to have a look at Voltaire’s’ character sheet, I understand he could be a bit of a munchkin.
But here is the kicker, you can suspend your disbelief to ethically allow the excesses of a monarchy, but you can’t suspend it that someone else might have a different interpretation of a paladin.
And I have to admit, you are the only person I have ever met you started roleplaying as an exercise in Logic and creative fantasy. Hell I was playing it for fun.
Dude just like everything else in the world, everybody brings different things to the table. Very few people will be just like you. Ethics is not one road, but many roads.

Liberty's Edge

Derwalt wrote:
Michael writes that there is no guarantee that the reasoning our characters in a game portray, are the same reasons we support as players.

I don't think anyone is saying this, merely that the reasoning applied to a character is based off what we as players experience in the real world. How could it be otherwise? Generally, evil characters tend to behave in a manner that we understand to be evil, from the knowledge we gained in the real world. Likewise reversed for good characters. The devil is in the details, the gray area of corruption.

For example, let's say I have a Paladin. I think of him as a good fellow, stalwart, and plays by the rules. Let's say there are goblins raiding the town the paladin resides in. When he goes out to slay the goblins, is he committing an evil act? In this context, no, the paladin is charged with dealing justice here. Let's change the situation. The goblins raid the same town the paladin resides in. This time the town crier says he has proof that the goblins were provoked to attack because soldiers from the town went out and killed their women and children, their pigs and sheep. The paladin does not listen, labeling him a kook, and he goes out to slay the goblins. Did he just commit an evil act? YES! He was given reason to suspect the goblins only acted in self preservation and he went out and murdered them in cold blood anyway for a perceived crime. All the while lifting up his god's name in praise. Does it matter that the goblins were viscous little pyromaniacs that would kill you as look at you? No, there was no provocation, no lawful justification in this example.

Kinda sounds like another scenario that occurred 10 years ago...

Another example, is that cop who is smiling and being friendly, really a good guy? Does he go out and conduct a warrant-less search of a vehicle or person? If so, he just violated the 4th Amendment. Does he arrive at a peaceful protest and demand to see a permit to hold such a protest? If so, he just violated the 1st Amendment. Does he hold to the view that rights are privileges that can be taken away? If so, his education has been massively compromised, for in America rights are inalienable, which means they cannot be taken away like privileges can. The fact that he occasionally goes and helps the little gray haired lady change a tire on the side of the freeway, does not negate his disdain for rights he violated in the previous examples.

Now with players and GMs in D&D/Pathfinder you will have folks argue that vigilante justice is OK because they must be guilty of something, right? Who is right? Why would a particular point of view be right or wrong? For classes other than paladins or other behavior restricted classes/races, the fine line need not be drawn. For paladins and the like, such distinctions must be made if you at all care about portraying a paladin in an appropriate fashion. Once upon a time, everyone in this country was taught what was absolute right and wrong. It was a shared experience. Now we have subjective right and wrong, which leads people to see right and wrong differently, thus the attempt to justify the slaying of a suspected thief without evidence or trial.

Those that find slaying the suspected thief in the example of this thread, acceptable, clearly have different ideas of right and wrong than others posting in this thread. My entire line of posting was a challenge to the justification used to validate the action as acceptable.

Quote:
But you call that nonsensical? I think you are misreading him - and that the two of you actually agree a long way.

I'm not sure I'd agree with this statement, but it is conceivable.

Quote:
Read his post again, and I think you will see, that he believes that the logical fallacy is the "Appeal to probability: assumes that because something could happen, it is inevitable that it will happen." The first one on the list.

There is no assumption that because people use what is known in the real world in a particular fashion, it will be used in a particular fashion. So the "appeal to probability fallacy" is non-existent. See what I wrote above for the explanation.

Quote:
All of us (for a given value of all) base our in-game understanding on our off-game understanding - but that does not mean that you have to portray your in game character as anything like your off-game self. That is what Michael is talking about - as far as I can tell.

No one here is saying you must...

Quote:
I might be misreading you as well, and the reason I even participate in this argument, is because I believe strongly in the right of all of us to play the games we want and to portray all kinds of characters, without getting blamed in real life of actually having the same views as these characters.

I think you are misreading his response, but still thank you for lending a comment. :)

Scarab Sages

Malagant wrote:

Quote:

I might be misreading you as well, and the reason I even participate in this argument, is because I believe strongly in the right of all of us to play the games we want and to portray all kinds of characters, without getting blamed in real life of actually having the same views as these characters.

I think you are misreading his response, but still thank you for lending a comment. :)

Nope, he hit it right on the head.

Liberty's Edge

Michael Griffin-Wade wrote:

Wow, touched a nerve didn't I.

OK, I was going to rebut this point for point, but the fact of the matter is that is just a waste of time. There is just no way that every choice a player makes in a game is based on their own personal ethics. It not an argument you can prove. Many people will make choices because it feels right.

Where, pray tell, does this "feeling" come from again?

Quote:
Many people will make choices because it will be less risky than others. Hell a lot of people will make choices because they think that it might be fun, but not all choices are logical. My argument is not specious.

Every choice that has consequences is made using logic. You may not be perceptibly aware of the logic, but it is there nevertheless. Even in the case of a seriously chaotic character that just does whatever he wants on a whim, there is still logic being applied to the decision.

Quote:
And I have to admit, you are the only person I have ever met you started roleplaying as an exercise in Logic and creative fantasy. Hell I was playing it for fun.

Running scenarios in a role-playing fashion by definition is an exercise of logic. It is just done in a creative, shared experience that has no real world consequences for the behavior one portrays in the game (unless you get belligerent with the players and GM of course).

Quote:
Dude just like everything else in the world, everybody brings different things to the table. Very few people will be just like you.

This is very true and very welcome.

Quote:
Ethics is not one road, but many roads.

Here I strongly disagree with you. There are absolute right and wrong that transcend culture and nations. If there wasn't we would be living in a very different world.

Scarab Sages

I'd say feeling comes from gut instinct. But that's not logic. You can't mixup instinct and logic. The two different things.

But your last sentence says it all. You're mixing up ethics with morality and basically it would seem that we are living in two different worlds. My world has a whole slew of colors than just black or white.

I have to say you have a very twisted idea of what logic is.


Michael Griffin-Wade wrote:


But your last sentence says it all. You're mixing up ethics with morality and basically it would seem that we are living in two different worlds. My world has a whole slew of colors than just black or white.

+1


TriOmegaZero wrote:
This thread hurts.

OFF TOPIC REPLY

Does this mean the thread is in pain or is it actively hurting others?

waswonderin'

Greg

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yes.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Yes.

OMG TOZ U really do got nuttin better to do!

Greg


Seems to be a really extreme responce to a beggar reaching out to a fellow. And really doesn't seem like a paladin responce to it...even if warned. Seems more like a mademan's responce. "You try ta touch me, you gonna die! Look, yous all sawz it, he done tried to hex me. Lucky for him, all I did waz off him."

Kinda think the player overreacted...and is now trying to rationalize actions after the fact. ooopsies.

But yes, agree with many, besides some warnings and displeasure from Goddess AND the church, there would be some more down to earth 'splainin' to do to the local law.

Greg

Sovereign Court

Malagant wrote:

He was given reason to suspect the goblins only acted in self preservation and he went out and murdered them in cold blood anyway for a perceived crime. All the while lifting up his god's name in praise. Does it matter that the goblins were viscous little pyromaniacs that would kill you as look at you? No, there was no provocation, no lawful justification in this example.

Sorry can't agree with you.

What perceived crime ? Crime alright. They ARE raiding the town.

He did an astounding community service. These goblins murdered citizens, and probably not just the guilty party. The paladin acted nobly, responsibly and saved the town from current and future threats since you admit yourself they are pyromaniac murderers.

He might want to have a talk with the town soldiers afterwards who started this mess though.

Ignoring the threat of these goblins to the town would not have been lawful good.

I guess the real problem with playing a paladin, is the DMs and players who will be trying to ruin your fun because of their own twisted ethics.


Did this Paladin have a history of being attacked by assassins disguised as beggers? If you as the DM constantly are putting the party in situations where danger lies around every corner, then I would say it was probably still evil but far more justified. Otherwise I agree it just seems like the actions of a psychopath. It someone in my party started smiting towns folk for looking at them funny, I think the party would take that person out.


I was playing a Paladin in one game and we were ambushed by a collection of Harpies. The Wizard managed to stun one and it glided towards my character as it was "falling" my Paladin stepped aside and allowed it to land WITHOUT taking his attack of opportunity.

The Harpy landed and climbed to its feet and then attacked the Paladin (who was closest)

At that point the Harpy was smashed into oblivion.

When the Wizard asked my Paladin WHY he let the thing land he replied that there was no Honor in killing the unconscious. Because in his mind if the Harpy was not ABLE to defend itself it was dishonorable to kill it. Even though it was clearly evil and in the process of attacking him.

At the same time I've gamed with a Paladin who, when we invaded a Kobold warren found a hatchery. He proceeded to slit the throats of every baby Kobold in the room, despite their being completely helpless. (This warren was in the middle of the wilds, NOT near enough to threaten a settlement) and when my character, a Fighter/Cleric called him on it as a heinous act he defended himself with the argument that they were "racially evil" and thus had no right to live in a world with good creatures. My Cleric (also Lawful Good) argued that they were helpless children and could have been RAISED to be good people. It was the Nature vs Nurture argument.

The issue never got resolved because the Paladins player started screaming that we were all attacking him and rage/quit the game.


idwraith wrote:

I was playing a Paladin in one game and we were ambushed by a collection of Harpies. The Wizard managed to stun one and it glided towards my character as it was "falling" my Paladin stepped aside and allowed it to land WITHOUT taking his attack of opportunity.

The Harpy landed and climbed to its feet and then attacked the Paladin (who was closest)

At that point the Harpy was smashed into oblivion.

When the Wizard asked my Paladin WHY he let the thing land he replied that there was no Honor in killing the unconscious. Because in his mind if the Harpy was not ABLE to defend itself it was dishonorable to kill it. Even though it was clearly evil and in the process of attacking him.

At the same time I've gamed with a Paladin who, when we invaded a Kobold warren found a hatchery. He proceeded to slit the throats of every baby Kobold in the room, despite their being completely helpless. (This warren was in the middle of the wilds, NOT near enough to threaten a settlement) and when my character, a Fighter/Cleric called him on it as a heinous act he defended himself with the argument that they were "racially evil" and thus had no right to live in a world with good creatures. My Cleric (also Lawful Good) argued that they were helpless children and could have been RAISED to be good people. It was the Nature vs Nurture argument.

The issue never got resolved because the Paladins player started screaming that we were all attacking him and rage/quit the game.

More out of curiosities sake then anything else:

1) Why were you raiding the kobold warren if it was not close enough to be a danger to the town?

2) Did the party intend to raise the kobolds on their own or was their some sort of "wet nurse" available?

I agree Paladins probably should not go around killing babies in any variety, but it also does seem like it started off as a bad situation to begin with. The party did raid a warren after all.


The Kobolds attacked our camp, stole our supplies then ran away. There was a vital item in those packs that we needed to fulfill the quest. We were also only like level 4 so it was still decent encounter.

Well, truthfully we never got to the point of arguing about what could be done with the children before they were dead. The Paladin was using his Detect Evil as a sort of scanner to hunt down and ensure that EVERY Kobold in the warren was truly dead. This led him to the hatchery which was hidden from the rest of us.. and we only knew about what he did when he walked out with the heads as proof that he had ended their menace.

Silver Crusade

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Boy: How did the world end Daddy?
Father: It's a long story. It started with a Paladin allignment thread back in 2011. Normally they would just peter out but this time... this time was different. The arguments didn't stop and soon it had snowballed. 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 posts. It just didn't end...
Boy: Then what happened Daddy?
Father: Well then it began to spread. Other threads got absorbed as the First Geek War erupted. Soon other messageboards started getting involved. At first it was only gaming boards but soon it spread everywhere, sports websites, knitting advice blogs, nowhere was safe. No other topic could get a look in. People stopped going into work, trash was not collected, food was not delivered. People literally starved to death whilst posting about whether killing Goblin babies was an allignment violation. Society was beginning to break down and desperate governments tried to shut down the thread through use of a massive coordinated Godwin strike. But it was too late. In the early morning of July 17th 2012 someone unleashed the nuclear option...
Boy: You don't mean...?
Father: I'm afraid so. Someone mentioned Katanas. The net collapsed in an unprecedented wave of fanboy fury. Deprived of their computers feral geeks turned on anyone within reach, infecting people with the deadly nerd virus. Within months war was everywhere, brother turned upon brother, father turned upon son and the unmourned dead lay rotting in the streets. Civilisation totally collapsed and we now live in this blasted wasteland, devoid of comfort, devoid of hope...
Boy: How did you survive Daddy?
Father: That's a story for another night son. Just eat your cockroach, it's getting cold.


Aretas wrote:

SHUT MALAGANT DOWN PAIZO!!!!!!!

I have political & religious views that I keep AWAY from my role playing life. This guy is provoking me into debating him with his irresponsible statements about the USA. Imagine having this guy as a DM?! What a nightmare! Everyone, just ignore him please.
SHUT MALAGANT DOWN PAIZO!!!!!!!!!

Yo, flag it and move on.

There is no need to post about it. If the mods agree that it crosses a line, they'll delete it.

Remember your participation in this conversation is voluntary. If he's offended you that badly, flag him and leave the thread.

Scarab Sages

Would a smurphing make people feel better?


Yes it smurfing would

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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I removed some posts. Let's try to keep the real-world politics out.


Back onto the original topic.

I am currently playing a paladin of Iomedae (sp maybe) in the Council of Theives path, and I beleive that this paladin's actions are enough cause for him to lose his powers, and here is why.

To start I will use both the given scenario and also make a very similar real world comparison.

Given: Paladin walking down a street in a town/city. Stranger who looks like a beggar approaches reaching out his hand. Paladin warns/intimidates stranger not to get closer. Stranger ignores threat and comes closer. Paladin draws sword, kills stranger.

Real life: A soldier on leave is in city. Stranger who looks homeless approaches with hand out. Soldier warns/intimidates stranger not to get closer. Stranger ignores threat and comes closer. Soldier pulls pistol, shoots stranger in the face, stranger dies.

Why is it that in the real life scenario the paladin is a soldier? Simple, he does NOT have jurisdiction to enforce the laws of this town. He is an adventurer, a vagrant. Now yes, since this is a fantasy setting he has more leeway on his actions, but he not a guard, and therefore is not to be compared to a police officer.

This brings us to the first reason he should lose his powers, he is not the lawful authority of this area. Taking law into your own hands to this extent, chaotic.

Second, striking down a person because you beleive they MAY be a threat, chaotic. Yes in a fantasy situation like pathfinder, that hand MAY be used to deliver an attack spell, BUT when one says you have to consider it being a fantasy setting and therefore different from RL (the spell) the reverse is true. It is a game and therefore that spell will more than likely not kill you. Yes, out of character knowledge but does need to be considered.

Third, Striking with lethal damage on an unarmed POSSIBLE opponent and hoping you are right, chaotic. A paladin's more likely proper course of action would be to either a. grapple this person and take them to the ground or b. use non-lethal damage. With these two options, the paladin is still defending himself, but has not caused undue damage if he is wrong.

Pretty obvious that even if we do not consider the good/evil spectrum of his actions; on the law/chaos spectrum he is grossly in error.

Two things should happen:
1. He loses his powers and class abilities
2. The actual law in the city arrests him for murder, since his reasoning will be hard to explain to the judge.


Before we rely upon the local law to intervene, we have to consider that some places won't really care about the ' tragic' death of a vagrant. The society may not care as much as a paladin should. Considering that the average society in Pathfinder is Neutral, the death of this vagrant might be viewed as pest control. Most people wouldn't have done it themselves, but most won't care too much either. Now, had the dead man been a productive member of the society, things might be quite different in the eyes of the law.

Scarab Sages

I think that you can make the argument that it is enough. I'm not entirely sure of all the circumstances o f the Paliden's actions, so I wouldn't want to go with a hard and fast rule.

In my opinion, a justice with mercy approach would have better suited his actions.

One thing I need clearing up. If you are the player, from the posting that you just made, it rather sounds like you want this to happen, is that right?


Evil Lincoln wrote:
Aretas wrote:

SHUT MALAGANT DOWN PAIZO!!!!!!!

I have political & religious views that I keep AWAY from my role playing life. This guy is provoking me into debating him with his irresponsible statements about the USA. Imagine having this guy as a DM?! What a nightmare! Everyone, just ignore him please.
SHUT MALAGANT DOWN PAIZO!!!!!!!!!

Yo, flag it and move on.

There is no need to post about it. If the mods agree that it crosses a line, they'll delete it.

Remember your participation in this conversation is voluntary. If he's offended you that badly, flag him and leave the thread.

Annoying me, point taken. Thanks!


HappyDaze wrote:
Before we rely upon the local law to intervene, we have to consider that some places won't really care about the ' tragic' death of a vagrant. The society may not care as much as a paladin should. Considering that the average society in Pathfinder is Neutral, the death of this vagrant might be viewed as pest control. Most people wouldn't have done it themselves, but most won't care too much either. Now, had the dead man been a productive member of the society, things might be quite different in the eyes of the law.

But, unbeknownst to the pally, the fellow was a pickpocket that targeted visitors to the town. Maybe he was well liked for sharing the wealth accumulated from those traveling uppity folks.

anyway, guy living in town was killed in town by a visitor and tells people, I did it cuz he looked threatening. Coulda been a spell caster about to whammy me. Whether laws of man are gonna prosecute or not depends on the town, but even in a neutral town, I think there would be a tad more investigation. And not so much of a "thanks for wakin' the beggar, couldjya be threatened by Otis the town drunk next?"

I still think Iomedae and the church are gonna not be so happy about quickslay McPally. Truthfully, I would expect the paladin to feel some sort of remorse himself. But "THAT" depends on players. :)

Greg

Sovereign Court

Andarion wrote:

Back onto the original topic.

Given: Paladin walking down a street in a town/city. Stranger who looks like a beggar approaches reaching out his hand. Paladin warns/intimidates stranger not to get closer. Stranger ignores threat and comes closer. Paladin draws sword, kills stranger.

Why is it that in the real life scenario the paladin is a soldier? Simple, he does NOT have jurisdiction to enforce the laws of this town. He is an adventurer, a vagrant. Now yes, since this is a fantasy setting he has more leeway on his actions, but he not a guard, and therefore is not to be compared to a police officer.

This brings us to the first reason he should lose his powers, he is not the lawful authority of this area. Taking law into your own hands to this extent, chaotic.

The problem is all of you are reasoning in modern terms by the eyes of the civilized 21st century, with educated people knowing the law, and the SAME law applyting all over the nation.

The law in medieval times ? real life ? The law was as far the local noble sword would go. If the local noble was a sick perverted sadist, life sucked for you. One village = one law. Probably not even written. No : make that one village = several laws, as church law was different from laic law. Trials ? Once in while, for the educational show, and mostly only when the wealthy were concerned.

And guilt was often pre determmined. Arbitrary arrests, torture to extract confessions, and executions were routine.

Should a paladin for instance stand still before a mass execution of peasants by lord so and so ? I think not. Lord so and so may be the law, but the paladin would be justified in fighting him.

Starting from this, a Paladin should have regularly plenty of reasons to take the law into his own hands and off undesirables. And that makes for interesting role playing opportunities of conflict between duty and law : which is the right path ?

But that is NOT the same as trying to find every possible loophole to bash the paladin in the party and ruin his character. That is seriously NOT fun, and I would not want to play with that kind of groups.

Say, if you have any doubts, watch again the beginning of Kingdom of Heaven : you have a pretty good conflict between brands of law.

Now of course, killing a homeless guy might seem extreme, but if I reread the original post in this thread (whose author is strangely silent) I do not see where he says the guy was killed. Just Threatened.


Stereofm wrote:

Now of course, killing a homeless guy might seem extreme, but if I reread the original post in this thread (whose author is strangely silent) I do not see where he says the guy was killed. Just Threatened.

You are correct about it not saying the guy was killed, but his follow up post says. "dropped him in one hit" many of us took that to mean killed. But it could have been non-leathal bashing damage. If so, I got no more issues. Darn vagrants need to keep their thievin' spell whammin' hands to themselves and off their betters. :P

Greg


Ok, this Myth that the court system and the Trial is a modern invention has go to stop.

Ancient Greece had Jury trials.

"There existed in Ancient Athens a mechanism through which it was assured that no one could select jurors, called dikastaí, for their own trial. For normal cases, the courts were made up of dikastai of 501 citizens.[1] For capital cases, those which involved death, the loss of liberty, exile, the loss of civil rights, or the seizure of property, the trial was before a jury of 1,001 to 1,501 dikastai. In such large juries the unanimity rule would be unrealistic and verdicts were reached by majority. Juries were appointed by lot. Jurists cast a ceramic disk with an axle in its middle: the axle was either hollow or solid. Thus the way they voted was kept secret because the jurists would hold their disk by the axle by thumb and forefinger, thus hiding whether its axle was hollow or solid. Since Periclean times, jurists were compensated for their sitting in court, with the amount of one day's wages.
The institution of trial by jury was ritually depicted by Aeschylus in the Eumenides, the third and final play of his Oresteia trilogy. In this play the innovation is brought about by the goddess Athena, who summons twelve citizens to sit as jury. The god Apollo takes part in the trial as the advocate for the defendant Orestes, and the Furies as prosecutors for the slain Clytaemnestra. In the event the jury is split six to six, and Athena dicates that in such a case the verdict should henceforth be for acquittal."

Note, that is from BEFORE CONQUERED BY ROME Era Greece, which means Pre AD. So the Jury Trial is in recorded history from over 2,000 years ago.

The concept of "Common Law" in which Judges get to make interpretations upon the Legal Code which the US Court system is based off us can be tracked back to the 12th century and earlier.

"In the late 800s, Alfred the Great assembled the Doom book (not to be confused with the more-famous Domesday Book from 200 years later), which collected the existing laws of Kent, Wessex, and Mercia, and attempted to blend in the Mosaic code, Christian principles, and old Germanic customs.[32]
Before the Norman conquest in 1066, justice was administered primarily by what is today known as the county courts (the modern "counties" were referred to as "Shires" in pre-Norman times), presided by the diocesan bishop and the sheriff, exercising both ecclesiastical and civil jurisdiction.[33] Trial by jury began in these courts.[33][citation needed]
In 1154, Henry II became the first Plantagenet king. Among many achievements, Henry institutionalized common law by creating a unified system of law "common" to the country through incorporating and elevating local custom to the national, ending local control and peculiarities, eliminating arbitrary remedies and reinstating a jury system – citizens sworn on oath to investigate reliable criminal accusations and civil claims. The jury reached its verdict through evaluating common local knowledge, not necessarily through the presentation of evidence, a distinguishing factor from today's civil and criminal court systems."

So, can we abandon this Mythology that Pre-Industrial Revolution settings are lawless places that have never heard of the Rule of Law or civilized court systems? Because There were PLENTY of court systems in place throughout the developing history of human society. Pretty much as soon as we started developing into something bigger than generic hunter-gatherer societies we started trying to figure out ways to determine if someone is innocent or guilty. The Trial by Jury concept is over 2,000 years old.

Not to mention when you actually examine the Golarion World in which Iomedae is set you'll see that there are NUMEROUS "civilized" countries. Galt is based on the French Revolution for instance. So this carte blanche' declaration that there's no such thing as the rule of legal systems because it's "Dark Ages" is BS.

Scarab Sages

Stereofm wrote:
Andarion wrote:

Back onto the original topic.

Given: Paladin walking down a street in a town/city. Stranger who looks like a beggar approaches reaching out his hand. Paladin warns/intimidates stranger not to get closer. Stranger ignores threat and comes closer. Paladin draws sword, kills stranger.

Why is it that in the real life scenario the paladin is a soldier? Simple, he does NOT have jurisdiction to enforce the laws of this town. He is an adventurer, a vagrant. Now yes, since this is a fantasy setting he has more leeway on his actions, but he not a guard, and therefore is not to be compared to a police officer.

This brings us to the first reason he should lose his powers, he is not the lawful authority of this area. Taking law into your own hands to this extent, chaotic.

Not that this really has anything to do with the ethics of the situation, Cheliax is far beyond medieval, closer to age of reason IMHO. Your own campaign may vary. I'm judging my thoughts on this from the Inner Sea Guide. Cheliax, Andoran, Taldor, Ustalav, and Galt (perhaps more) all sort of fall into this sort of time frame. Many of these countries have printing presses, have philosophers that more inline with age of reason. I could go on, but you get my point. Lets just say that were beyond your typical medieval mindset.

There is some information that ties into the Council of Thieves

Spoiler:
Not everyone who lives in Cheliax is a devil worshiper, and still venerate good deities, and as Iomedae was born in Cheliax, I think many people would be shocked by this event. The government frowns on murder and enforces it much like other nations. Murder breaks the order of society and a paladin breaking that order is an opportunity for the authorities to prove that they are the legitimate authority. Lastly popular entertainments in Cheliax such as operas and plays like to portray paladins as well meaning fools and buffoons.

So it may be possible that the GM might have had the "pickpocket" think that the "buffoon" wouldn't actually pull his weapon as he was just full of bluster, only to learn that he shouldn't believe everything he sees.

Most of what I'm drawing on is from Council of Thieves.


Did I just see Galt referred to as an example of a a civilized land used to lend strength to the argument that legal systems in Golarion are healthy?


HappyDaze wrote:
Did I just see Galt referred to as an example of a a civilized land used to lend strength to the argument that legal systems in Golarion are healthy?

No, you saw Galt used as a temporal reference. Galt is based on the French Revolution, which is 18th century.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
steve steve 983 wrote:

So i have a friend saying Palidans can threaten commoners or even people who pass a sense motive check and he has no idea they are lying.

Im pretty sure that it means he falls or is look down upon but im just making sure.

Generally a Paladin of Iomedae should not go around threatening anyone without very good cause.

Iomedae is the goddess of righteous valor, justice, and honor (according to my Google search). Since Paladins as a class have a code of honor AND, in this case, the Paladin serves a GODDESS of honor, it is extremely reasonable that her Paladins should be the utmost example of her values at all times. Paladins are held to higher moral standards than normal fighters.

If this is a common practice of the Paladin, I would not say he falls immediately but he is definatley not acting within most accepted/common tenets of 'honorable action' in a Golarion.

Regularly threatening or bullying (which is what a threat is, either verbal or physical) is the act of a thug, not a noble and righteous knight who lives for honor.

Can he EVER threaten? Yes. But it should be against used in spareingly, and against a known evil or absolute threat to the innocent.

"Stand down, bandit, and unhand that child or you will feel the wrath of my blade!" Is an example of an appropriate threat.

"You there! Peasant! Tell me what I want to know or I'll start busting your skull open!" is an example of a non honorable action.

Will it cause him to fall immediately? No. But repeated action like that WILL since he serves the goddess of honor. Other Paladins gods might let it go a little longer before acting but the goddess of honor would act sooner than a god who does not have honor as a domain.


idwraith wrote:
HappyDaze wrote:
Did I just see Galt referred to as an example of a a civilized land used to lend strength to the argument that legal systems in Golarion are healthy?
No, you saw Galt used as a temporal reference. Galt is based on the French Revolution, which is 18th century.

I don't really see the temporal reference as being too useful. Golarion is a fantasy world and doesn't really compare with a RL timeline of societal development. The various lands of Golarion swing all over regarding where they might fit in with a real world counterpart, and that's just based upon a few themes that fail to account for the more fantastic elements.


I'd like to propose that killing someone isn't necessarily a big deal. Use some divination spells to determine if the paladin made a mistake (Speak with Dead for starters), and if he did, the Raise Dead can rectify the situation along with an Atonement for the paladin. This might cause the paladin a financial burden (spellcasting-for-hire can be costly), but it's hardly a world-shaking issue.

Sovereign Court

idwraith wrote:


Note, that is from BEFORE CONQUERED BY ROME Era Greece, which means Pre AD. So the Jury Trial is in recorded history from over 2,000 years ago.

The concept of "Common Law" in which Judges get to make interpretations upon the Legal Code which the US Court system is based off us can be tracked back to the 12th century and earlier.

"In the late 800s, Alfred the Great assembled the Doom book (not to be confused with the more-famous Domesday Book from 200 years later), which...

Sorry, still can't agrre with that either.

Oh yeah, trials, and courts, they did exist ... on the paper. How much were they enforced ?
truly ?

10 % of cases ? No maybe 40 %. And that's generous.

And how much of them were fair ? Were they equally applicable to peasants, burghers, clergy and nobles ? And WHO could afford a lawyer ?

Plus the whole "trial by combat". hey mr commoner, you have a claim against your lord, the 5th level fighter ? take a sword in which you are not proficient and fight it out.

No fight ? well the problem is still that your lord knows the law. Or, has friends who do. And you don't. Sucks for you.

In short NO. The mighty won, the others were sentenced.

And were the investigations carried out before trial ?
In most cases, no.

And even when that happened, remember that "modern" police methods were only discovered something like the late XIX century. So you could have trials, based on ... arbitrary findings.

And lastly ... the French revolution ? Seriously ?
Being french, my opinion of the French revolution is one of a senseless bloodbath and many many arbitrary executions. Of whole villages and families often. But definitely not justice.

Actual justice under the french revolution :
- Well this guy looks suspicious.
- okay, let's put him and his whole family bound and gagged on a lifeboat, and when we are a few miles from the coast, let's sink it. These poor fishies are hungry.

Nothing against you, but while your examples existed, they were isolated, limited in time, and much less efficient than you believe.

Liberty's Edge

Michael Griffin-Wade wrote:
I'd say feeling comes from gut instinct. But that's not logic. You can't mixup instinct and logic. The two different things.

I fear you missed the context of what was written to make a statement like this.

Quote:
But your last sentence says it all. You're mixing up ethics with morality and basically it would seem that we are living in two different worlds. My world has a whole slew of colors than just black or white.

Which last sentence would that be; to which post?

Allow me to clear it up a little, since there seems to be some confusion...

...from dictionary.com

Spoiler:
mor·al [mawr-uhl, mor-]
adjective
1. of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical: moral attitudes.
2. expressing or conveying truths or counsel as to right conduct, as a speaker or a literary work; moralizing: a moral novel.
3. founded on the fundamental principles of right conduct rather than on legalities, enactment, or custom: moral obligations.

or

mo·ral·i·ty [muh-ral-i-tee, maw-]
noun, plural -ties for 4–6.
1. conformity to the rules of right conduct; moral or virtuous conduct.
2. moral quality or character.
3. virtue in sexual matters; chastity.

This is how the two terms tie together...

eth·ics [eth-iks]
plural noun
1. (used with a singular or plural verb) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture.
2. the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics.
3. moral principles, as of an individual: His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence.

As you can see they are co-dependent terms while ethics can comprise a different system of morally accepted behavior, for the most part they are principles that transcend culture and nations. For instance, the moral behavior of a devil worshiping politician will be much different than a God-fearing layman. Which is more prevalent in society? Which do the vast majority of folks accept as correct?

By the way, my world consists the full spectrum of color. It just seems I can tell the difference between them more clearly. So, like you say, we appear to be living in two different worlds...

Quote:
I have to say you have a very twisted idea of what logic is.

Twisted idea of logic? I simply see the situation for what it is. What is the brain? A complex bio-computer, right? How does it know what to do? It has programs pre-installed (there is your instinct) to translate stimuli into usable information the brain can process. Computers are programmed using logic, just as the brain is. Do we fully understand the logic? Not likely (although I suspect some are very close). Just like computers, the brain can get a "virus" (some cultures or religions see this as sin) that messes up the correct processing of information. Ever wonder where we get psychopaths or other deviants? The logic has become corrupted. For some, the corruption comes earlier based upon experiences. Thus, we come back to my points. It all boils down to what I have said in previous posts.

What is a role-playing game if not an exercise in logic? It is a game of choices that the player makes, the GM interprets, and the group accepts as plausible. Need it be a formal exercise? Isn't this just an application in simulated morality but using a different set of parameters? If you read any studies on the brain you will inevitably find more than a few that delve into the brains potential for simulation. It puts supercomputers to shame in the scope of complexity and flexibility to on the spot changes that are possible. Supercomputers are fast, yes, but they cannot adapt on the fly, like the human brain can.

In the end, however, the ideas of right and wrong come from the players in the real world, a new set of morals doesn't just spring up out of nowhere as some would imply in this thread.

Sovereign Court

And let's take an example from Golarion : Andoran.

The most modern country, and the one where justice is probably the fairest.

Now, read the module "Into the Haunted Forest" and basically the whole Darkmoon Vale series.

Justice ?

Sovereign Court

idwraith wrote:

I was playing a Paladin in one game and we were ambushed by a collection of Harpies. The Wizard managed to stun one and it glided towards my character as it was "falling" my Paladin stepped aside and allowed it to land WITHOUT taking his attack of opportunity.

The Harpy landed and climbed to its feet and then attacked the Paladin (who was closest)

My Cleric (also Lawful Good) argued that they were helpless children and could have been RAISED to be good people. It was the Nature vs Nurture argument.

The issue never got resolved because the Paladins player started screaming that we were all attacking him and rage/quit the game.

Yeah, that is a good issue, except ... who in his right mind would want to raise kobolds ?

OTOH, your handling of the harpy is spot on, from my point of view.

Sovereign Court

Gilfalas wrote:


Can he EVER threaten? Yes. But it should be against used in spareingly, and against a known evil or absolute threat to the innocent.

"Stand down, bandit, and unhand that child or you will feel the wrath of my blade!" Is an example of an appropriate threat.

"You there! Peasant! Tell me what I want to know or I'll start busting your skull open!" is an example of a non honorable action.

Will it cause him to fall immediately? No. But repeated action like that WILL since he serves the goddess of honor. Other Paladins gods might let it go a little longer before acting but the goddess of honor would act sooner than a god who does not have honor as a domain.

That looks like an appropriate middleground.

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