I am playing a paladin!


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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After 5 years of running my own campaigns, I am finally playing in one. And yeah, to throw myself to the proverbial wolves, I have placed my powers at the mercy of my GM and made... *dum dum DUMMMMM* A Paladin!

Now, my take on the paladin is simple. He's LAWFUL Good. Emphasis on Law. Good is pretty subjective.

He started out a rebelious youth who stood to inherit nothing on account of being thr middle child of a merchant family, and also for generally being a douchebag. He has anger management problems and an inferiority complex that make him act superior to everyone he meets.

Not all Paladins have to be paragons of virtue.


"Good is pretty subjective."

To me that would be neutral. I think you'd have to be really careful how you play "pretty subjective".


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Ironicdisaster wrote:

Not all Paladins have to be paragons of virtue.

I'm uh...pretty sure they do.

From alignment, CRB wrote:
A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. She combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. She tells the truth, keeps her word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go unpunished.


Ironicdisaster wrote:
Not all Paladins have to be paragons of virtue.

Yes they do.

Quote:
...paladins seek not just to spread divine justice but to embody the teachings of the virtuous deities they serve.
Quote:
A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features (including the service of the paladin's mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies).


Azwing wrote:

"Good is pretty subjective."

To me that would be neutral. I think you'd have to be really careful how you play "pretty subjective".

Good is highly subjective depending on the time of the day and who you ask.

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a good person who put people out of their misery or an unprosecuted serial murderer.

The DM could easily say, you didn't give gold to that beggar, that'll cost you a good point.

Evil is easy, when in doubt start a fire.


Good may be subjective, but a Paladin needs to have some clarity on how to be good.

If you think that being Good can't be awesome, go watch Thor.
Thor made being a goodguy fun again.

Scarab Sages

On a different theme, but in the same vein, let me ask this:

Why does a Paladin have to be Good?

The Lawful part I get... you have a set of beliefs that you adhere to, a sort of "law" unto itself.

Its the "Good" part that I have problems with per se.

So, Lets say that I want to worship a Neutral God/Goddess, say...Pharasma.

I have to be a Lawful Good paladin of Pharasma, even though my Goddess has a totally Neutral outlook on life?? How does that make sense in any regard?

I propose a "Holy Warrior" class, a takeoff on the Paladin in general then.

James Jacobs had this to say:

James Jacobs wrote:


No, not really.

A paladin has to be lawful, and that means that he really SHOULD not only adhere to the rules of any major organization he joins, but should exemplify those rules as a paragon of what those rules represent.

A worshiper of Calistria who exemplifies her teaching will be doing chaotic neutral acts all the time. Likewise, a worshiper of Pharasma will be doing neutral acts all the time. Those acts will eventually cause an alignment shift toward one of those alignments—they won't necessarily cause a TOTAL shift, but it only needs a single shift from, say, LG to NG or LN to make a paladin not be a paladin.

As a result, a paladin can pretty much only worship LG gods or NG or LN gods, since he can skew toward the good aspect of a NG deity or the lawful aspect of a LN deity without jeopardizing his own LG alignment.

If you want to play a "holy warrior" of a non LG, NG, or LN deity like Calistria or Pharasma, you should probably play a cleric or a cleric/fighter or maybe a cleric/rogue. And that doesn't mean even levels—you can take only a couple of fighter levels and then focus on the cleric levels. Alternatively, an inquisitor might be a good choice.

and while I certainly understand that, limiting the Smite and other powers granted to a Paladin of only a LG alignment certainly limits them quite a bit.

I like the flavor of a Holy Warrior paladin-esque type class, with the same abilities open to any non-evil faith.

Imagine if you will an Elven Paladin of Gozreh, astride a noble Elk/Moose, wielding a lance and bringing down the righteous wrath of a Nature God upon those who trespass in the forest....

To me, thats just badass. But alas, it cannot be done according to current game play. I'd like to see that changed.

JJ's quote is found : here


Bomanz wrote:

On a different theme, but in the same vein, let me ask this:

Why does a Paladin have to be Good?

The Lawful part I get... you have a set of beliefs that you adhere to, a sort of "law" unto itself.

Its the "Good" part that I have problems with per se.

So, Lets say that I want to worship a Neutral God/Goddess, say...Pharasma.

I have to be a Lawful Good paladin of Pharasma, even though my Goddess has a totally Neutral outlook on life?? How does that make sense in any regard?

If I remember correctly, in Golarion, paladins don't need to have deities. In fact, a lot of deities also don't have paladins, period.

Consider the "one step" rule in terms of clerics. You can't be a cleric of a god with an alignment of XX if your alignment is more than two steps away from their alignment. So, a cleric of Pharasma couldn't be Lawful Good because LG -> LN -> N-- two steps. A paladin is forced to be LG, so they can never be a paladin of Pharasma, so paladins of Pharasma do not exist.

You can worship Pharasma as a paladin, but you're not getting any kind of back up from her besides a few nods and a shrug, same she gives to all of her worshippers. Worshipping her and being a paladin are disconnected.

So, on that note, gods who do and can have paladins: All LG, LN and NG gods. I also personally think Cayden Cailean should have paladins, but like I said, it breaks the rules.


Gryphon Gold wrote:
Ironicdisaster wrote:
Not all Paladins have to be paragons of virtue.

Yes they do.

Quote:
...paladins seek not just to spread divine justice but to embody the teachings of the virtuous deities they serve.
Quote:
A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features (including the service of the paladin's mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies).

A Paladin can spread the teachings of virtuous deity and still be a jerk about it. Nothing says a Paladin has to be humble. Having forceful personality with high charisma doesn't mean people have to like you.

Scarab Sages

Ice Titan wrote:
Bomanz wrote:

On a different theme, but in the same vein, let me ask this:

Why does a Paladin have to be Good?

The Lawful part I get... you have a set of beliefs that you adhere to, a sort of "law" unto itself.

Its the "Good" part that I have problems with per se.

So, Lets say that I want to worship a Neutral God/Goddess, say...Pharasma.

I have to be a Lawful Good paladin of Pharasma, even though my Goddess has a totally Neutral outlook on life?? How does that make sense in any regard?

If I remember correctly, in Golarion, paladins don't need to have deities. In fact, a lot of deities also don't have paladins, period.

Consider the "one step" rule in terms of clerics. You can't be a cleric of a god with an alignment of XX if your alignment is more than two steps away from their alignment. So, a cleric of Pharasma couldn't be Lawful Good because LG -> LN -> N-- two steps. A paladin is forced to be LG, so they can never be a paladin of Pharasma, so paladins of Pharasma do not exist.

You can worship Pharasma as a paladin, but you're not getting any kind of back up from her besides a few nods and a shrug, same she gives to all of her worshippers. Worshipping her and being a paladin are disconnected.

So, on that note, gods who do and can have paladins: All LG, LN and NG gods. I also personally think Cayden Cailean should have paladins, but like I said, it breaks the rules.

I get that, what I am saying though is that Gods/Goddesses that "can't" have paladins because of the alignment silliness should have an alternative, aside from the Cleric/Fighter option, or the Inquisitor.

Neutral gods should be able to have them, and likewise as players, we should be able to have a Non- LG paladin, or a holy warrior.

Heck, call it a Holy Vindicator, or a Templar, or something. But to me, its silly in a game with warriors and gods and martial deities to not have the ability to play a paladin of a non LG alignment.


Mogart wrote:
Good is highly subjective depending on the time of the day and who you ask.

I'd say so is lawfulness. It implies having a strict code that you follow, but in society, there are often tens or hundreds of competing codes we are all subject to. We have ties of blood, ties of faith, ties of social standing, ties of country, ties of friendship, ties of work, etc. Society may push us to prioritize them in certain way, but even people considered criminals can be lawful by the Pathfinder standards. Judge Dread is lawful - and so is Vito Corleone.

Likewise, a character can be involved in many relationships that pull them in different way. Is your duty to your spouse more important than your duty as a guardsman? Is your duty to your faith more important than your duty as a parent? Is your duty to your sibling more important than your duty towards the law of the land? Today, we would give certain answers. A thousand years ago, or half a world away, the answers would likely be different.

Honor, duty, tradition, respect - these are seldom simple. Lawful characters are not automata, given their simple three laws of lawfulness.


What was the intention of this thread again? What are we supposed to be discussing? As far as I can tell some guy just wanted to tell people what class he was playing, dont think he even asked our thoughts on it.

So getting back on topic, ahem "cool sounds like a fun character for your group, hope your DM has the same view of LG as you do, good luck"


Shadow_of_death wrote:

What was the intention of this thread again? What are we supposed to be discussing? As far as I can tell some guy just wanted to tell people what class he was playing, dont think he even asked our thoughts on it.

So getting back on topic, ahem "cool sounds like a fun character for your group, hope your DM has the same view of LG as you do, good luck"

Basically that's all it was. I just wanted to say I was playing a paladin with a crappy personality.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I for one salute your new Paladin Captain Hammer


Good isn't subjective (i mean in PF not in RL) nor is any other alingment, not when there are spells and magical powers that are inherintely of one alingment.

Now to the OP:
If you are playing in Golarion i suggest reading the extra oaths that the deity your paladin has selected impose on his/her paladins, those oaths can be found in the book faiths of purity and faiths of balance (in the case of paladins of Abadar). Now in Golarion only 6 gods (Torag, Erastil, Serenrae, Iomidae, Abadar and Shelyn) have orders of paladins, although it's not 100% certain that other LN gods* can't give paladin powers (i believe that only the above 6 can), the majority of the paladins in Golarion are of those deities.
And yes paladins must pretty much be paragons of virtue, but can be in a very different way depending on the deity they get their powers from.

*Irori is the only deity of LN that doesn't have an order of paladins and i don't think that the *minor* gods can have paladins

Cayden Cailean doesn't have an order of paladins but iirc has an order of *knights* called chandaliers (irrc), it's a prestige class.

PS. I suspect that Aroden had an order of paladins but well he's dead now so.....


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I for one salute your new Paladin Captain Hammer

Well, sort of. Captain Hammer is a pretentious asshat because he is stronger, faster, and tougher than everyone else. He doesn't even feel pain, and the world has basically treated him like he is a living god.

Vhilo, however, has feelings of inadaquacy because his parents always told him to be more like his brother, who was not a violent, entitled little turd. He is also bitter because his parents sent him to a monastery to have the stupid kicked out of him. So he portrays himself as this paragon of virtue, but in reality, he is really just trying to become as important as possible because he wants his parents to look stupid.

Also,

Groupie wrote:
This is his hair.

Edit: Not in Golarion.


I believe the prize here goes to Ironicdisaster.

Stay classy.

Also, Paladins of Asmodeus.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I for one salute your new Paladin Captain Hammer

Superman arguably is a Paladin, or in other words the only reason he's tolerable as Person is that he volountarily constrains himself within Paladin-like behaviors.

Captain Hammer is merely a Thug with super powers.

Silver Crusade

Anyone else seeing Alain trying on Seelah's armor in front a mirror now?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:
Anyone else seeing Alain trying on Seelah's armor in front a mirror now?

No, but I can see Seltyiel doing so. ;-)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ironicdisaster wrote:

Now, my take on the paladin is simple. He's LAWFUL Good. Emphasis on Law. Good is pretty subjective.

...

Not all Paladins have to be paragons of virtue.

They don't have to appear to be, but the code makes it pretty clear that they are lawful GOOD not LAWFUL good:

Quote:
Code of Conduct: A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class features except proficiencies if she ever willingly commits an evil act.

See they don't automatically lose paladinhood if they perform a chaotic act, just an evil one. Hence good is more important than law to a paladin; I can see a paladin of a lawful neutral deity having law be as important as good, but never more important.

As for paragons of virtue, yes and no: Yes, they have to be virtuous to their own standards. I have a paladin of Shelyn who works part-time as a stripper, and is into whips and chains (but in a nice way).


Ice Titan wrote:


If I remember correctly, in Golarion, paladins don't need to have deities. In fact, a lot of deities also don't have paladins, period.

I don't have time to hunt for the quote, but I know I've read number of posts from James Jacobs where he says that Paladins in Golarion have to have deities. Same with Clerics. Paladins without gods and Clerics of ideals are in the general Pathfinder rules but do not exist in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting.


Dabbler wrote:
See they don't automatically lose paladinhood if they perform a chaotic act, just an evil one. Hence good is more important than law to a paladin; I can see a paladin of a lawful neutral deity having law be as important as good, but never more important.

It's a bit weird in pathfinder. The paladin code is pretty much how most LG warriors (paladins, fighters, cavaliers, etc) would act . Ignoring the code is by definition a chaotic act, but it can get a paladin in trouble, even if it's a very minor thing. I actually preferred how 3.5 made a note that a paladin only falls for a GROSS violation - a minor one may get him/her in trouble with their superiors in the order, but not with their patron. Right now Joe Paladin can get in big trouple for telling Mrs. Paladin that of course, the new dress doesn't make her look fat :) . There may be situations where adhering to the letter of the code actually violates its spirit.

Grand Lodge

The Shaman wrote:
Right now Joe Paladin can get in big trouple for telling Mrs. Paladin that of course, the new dress doesn't make her look fat :) . There may be situations where adhering to the letter of the code actually violates its spirit.

Mr. Paladin, having a (one would hope) high Wisdom will say, "I cannot lie, I don't believe that dress flatters you. Come, let us shoppe with an "e" at ye olde mall and purchase you a truly beautiful garment."

But I like my Paladins to stick to code absolutely. There are always way to be honest without ruining everything, and when there's not . . . well, Lawful Good isn't supposed to be an easy alignment to play.


EntrerisShadow wrote:
But I like my Paladins to stick to code absolutely. There are always way to be honest without ruining everything, and when there's not . . . well, Lawful Good isn't supposed to be an easy alignment to play.

I think no alignment should be easier or harder, it's just a matter of getting into the mindset. LG is just being an old school hero, not like those antihero punks that show up everywhere nowadays and stomp all over a guy's lawn... Anyway, I would prefer a paladin stick to the code, but not fall for minor transgressions, especially where two parts of the code are at odds. Small things should imo not be counted or atoned for by RP measures such as charity, penance etc. You can have atonement without the Atonement spell.


EntrerisShadow wrote:
Lawful Good isn't supposed to be an easy alignment to play.

Since when? Why should I unduly punish my players for choosing an alignment that I arbitrarily set up rules for? And why should players who want particular class features (whether Paladin, Monk, Barbarian, or Hell knight) have mechanically restricting fluff considerations?

And why do Paladins get all the hate on their Alignment? Monks are supposed to be lawful, and that entails a respect for authority and law, and certain amount of inflexibility on that issue, and even a little bit of bad play on that end. However, the non-G/E alignment axis is considered "OK" and very much hand waived.

Why should my Monk and Barbarian Player have an easier time keeping their class features than my Paladin Player?

And what about Cavalier Orders? Those are actually particularly more restrictive than any the paladin code has, and could create wrong-bad-fun, especially if taken too far.


Ho, boy here we go. So I'm just going to get some popcorn and some beer adn watch the sparks fly for about three hundred posts.

Scarab Sages

Ironicdisaster wrote:
Not all Paladins have to be paragons of virtue.

PALADIN AM VIRTUOUS. ALL PRETTY LADIES SAY SO. PALADIN AM NICE GUY. NICE GUY FINISH LAST.


Inherited Will, the Destiny of the Age, and the Dreams of its People. These are things that will not be stopped. As long as people continue to pursue the meaning of freedom, these things will never cease to be!.


Being a paladin is its own reward. Fight honorably, let others know your righteous stance, and do not be afraid to call out evil. The power of law and good is with you. Dispense justice with mercy, destroy any evil you detect, and be unfaltering in the face of fear.

Always pay top dollar for your inn room, tip heavily, spend uncountable hours grooming your horse and taking care of your gear, and only accept adventures with clear goals and superior motives.

Refuse to accept any evil people in your group, always announce yourself to the authorities in every town and city, never hide from a potential fight, and preach constantly to your group members the virtues of your calling and your god.

Be the paladin.

(There. That should get most players playing paladins killed by 2nd Level.)

Scarab Sages

Don't play a lawful jerkwad. That's almost every paladin out there. You can do better.


Sir Whiteblade the Pure wrote:

Being a paladin is its own reward. Fight honorably, let others know your righteous stance, and do not be afraid to call out evil. The power of law and good is with you. Dispense justice with mercy, destroy any evil you detect, and be unfaltering in the face of fear.

Always pay top dollar for your inn room, tip heavily, spend uncountable hours grooming your horse and taking care of your gear, and only accept adventures with clear goals and superior motives.

Refuse to accept any evil people in your group, always announce yourself to the authorities in every town and city, never hide from a potential fight, and preach constantly to your group members the virtues of your calling and your god.

Be the paladin.

(There. That should get most players playing paladins killed by 2nd Level.)

Speaking as a paladin I tend to agree with this statement except where it gets me and my allies killed. Hard to dispense justice with mercy when the local authorities define justice by picking the torture implement of their choice.

Also I don't think destroying all the evil you detect is a aprticularly good idea. I met an orc once who was definitely evil runnign a tavern, Turns out that was mostly because he was price gouging any elves he met and liked puppy sandwhiches.

As far as preaching goes I'm really rather terrible at it.

Also I hate horses.

Scarab Sages

PALADIN AM LIKING PALADIN FRIEND NAME. BLADETWIST REMIND PALADIN OF PALADIN SCHOOL. FUNNY STORY, PALADIN FORGOT ORDER, TWISTED THEN STABBED. PALADIN AM BETTER NOW, STAB THEN TWIST.


AM PALADIN wrote:
PALADIN AM LIKING PALADIN FRIEND NAME. BLADETWIST REMIND PALADIN OF PALADIN SCHOOL. FUNNY STORY, PALADIN FORGOT ORDER, TWISTED THEN STABBED. PALADIN AM BETTER NOW, STAB THEN TWIST.

Wait I've heard of you. Aren't you a barbarian?

Scarab Sages

BARBARIAN AM PALADIN COUSIN. ALIGNMENT DIFFERENCES IN FAMILY TREE. AM NOT ENOUGH FOR SMITING. FAMILY REUNION VERY EXCITING.


AM PALADIN wrote:
BARBARIAN AM PALADIN COUSIN. ALIGNMENT DIFFERENCES IN FAMILY TREE. AM NOT ENOUGH FOR SMITING. FAMILY REUNION VERY EXCITING.

Are you, by any chance, related to AM WIZARD?

Scarab Sages

Sir Whiteblade the Pure wrote:


Refuse to accept any evil people in your group

Even if refusing them would doom your mission to failure, endangering thousands of innocent lives in the process?

A paladin who abandons resources that would benefit the well being of others needs to rethink his code.

Scarab Sages

PALADIN FAMILY AM LACKING IN ABILITY SCORES FOR WIZARDRY. PALADIN AM GOOD FOR SORCERY, BUT ANCESTORS NOT FREAKY, MEANS NO BLOODLINE. PALADIN AM OKAY, USE PERSONALITY AS WEAPON, SMITE EVERYTHING.

Grand Lodge

Jeranimus Rex wrote:
EntrerisShadow wrote:
Lawful Good isn't supposed to be an easy alignment to play.

Since when? Why should I unduly punish my players for choosing an alignment that I arbitrarily set up rules for? And why should players who want particular class features (whether Paladin, Monk, Barbarian, or Hell knight) have mechanically restricting fluff considerations?

And why do Paladins get all the hate on their Alignment? Monks are supposed to be lawful, and that entails a respect for authority and law, and certain amount of inflexibility on that issue, and even a little bit of bad play on that end. However, the non-G/E alignment axis is considered "OK" and very much hand waived.

Why should my Monk and Barbarian Player have an easier time keeping their class features than my Paladin Player?

And what about Cavalier Orders? Those are actually particularly more restrictive than any the paladin code has, and could create wrong-bad-fun, especially if taken too far.

(A bit of a tangent first: One thing about monks, is they're "Lawful", but in different since. They have to have a strict personal code, however you'd like to play that. They may not have any respect for the authority in a given land, but as long as they remain true to their "code", they're fine. So if an evil monk's code decrees that the strong vanquish the weak, he could slaughter an entire village full of the elderly and sickly children and be okay. For this reason I do think the monk's alignment restrictions are a bit ridiculous. You could justify no chaotics, perhaps, but no neutral? Bah!)

Anyway, it's not about punishment. Why should we 'punish' players who want to play Chaotic Evil? It's simply natural that some alignments---wanton destruction, upholding the law to the benefit of everybody---are more difficult. The Neutral alignments on Law/Chaos axis are what we all gravitate toward: Most good people would probably be NG, most average people TN, and most wicked people NE.

To live by extremes is where things become difficult. To be constantly chaotic, always operating by a whim; or to be rigid in your discipline and always sticking to your 'code' are naturally hard propositions. The people who do usually stand-out to us.

The barbarian is only required to be nonlawful (ie Neutral or Chaotic) so it naturally gets some more leeway, but honestly, since I only play out of the Core Rulebook (Got the APG on order from Amazon-should be here in 2 days! Hooray!) I'm not familiar enough with Cavaliers to speak on them.

But it's not a Paladin-only alignment thing. Clerics are required to maintain alignment, and Druids have their own set of restrictions which are, in ways, much more restrictive than the Paladin's and completely arbitrary.


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I play a somewhat [url=http://paizo.com/people/AgdaHaskell]unorthodox[url] paladin. Her highest skill is Disable Device...and she is highly functional.

She doesn't steal. She has been known to lie by omission. She tries to get people to do the right thing. She tries to be an example...and she's a lot more fun to play.

Nothing in the rules says a Paladin has to follow a deity one step away from their own alignment. That text is there for Oracles, Clerics and Inquisitors, but not Paladins.

I just don't mention that Agda worships Pharasma that often. Nobody asks. It's sort of like the comparison between religions and male genitals: Have fun playing with yours in private if that's your thing. Don't show them in public, and don't shove them down other people's throats without their permission...


Bomanz wrote:
But to me, its silly in a game with warriors and gods and martial deities to not have the ability to play a paladin of a non LG alignment.

I believe the point of the paladin is that you're sacrificing a lot of the freedom of role play in order to get a lot of extra powers.

Paladins are, intrinsically, a strong class. Without even looking at smite and their auras, they can fight like fighters and heal themselves like (lower level) clerics.

In turn they have some restrictions in how they play their game. Sure there's many different ways to portray a paladin, but in the end you're not going to be lying or stealing and killing 1/3rd of alignments is frowned upon. And if you do these things, you lose all your abilities.

Whereas if you decided to be, hey, a chaotic neutral paladin, you are suddenly imbued with all the powers of a strong class, while also able to do anything you want. And sure, most people recognize that CN isn't just a free reign to play crazy or whatnot, but you have literally nothing holding you back. A chaotic character does not have to obey the law, but he does not have to break it, he can fit in anywhere, lie, cheat, steal, tell the truth, give to the poor and massacre orphans and orcs alike.


AM PALADIN wrote:
PALADIN AM OKAY, USE PERSONALITY AS WEAPON

Is "personality" the name of your lucerne hammer?

@ Atavist: I disagree alignment restrictions should be intrinsically tied to how strong/weak the class is. Yes, in 3.5 paladins were a pretty weak class and their hard restrictions were a pain in the neck, but some of the strongest classes still have little or no restriction. The point is not that you sacrifice RP freedom for options, it's that you go for a niche archetype that inherently comes with those restrictions.


Paladins... Probably the most interesting class to play and yet because no one can agree on any one archetype being the most correct. People are often viewed as playing them wrong.

1st point of contention: Lawful Good; that's Lawful Good, not lawful stupid. I've seen far more of the latter than the former. Just because you play someone who has faith in an ideal or in a God's superiority, doesn't mean you ignore the other gods or the fact that those with differing ideals can't be useful to you or your goals. (Baring working with the 'Evil' that falls more under the purview of Chaotic Good - At any cost let the result that leans most towards benevolence win etc.

2nd point of contention: "It's easy to lose your class abilities." Yes it is, but rather than look at that from a directly mechanic's point of view, let's look at it from a role playing point of view. How awesome would it be to start a game (or join one,) with a character who's a Paladin who's working towards atonement. The amount of Story lines and adventure arc's. Hell it could very well drive the party through some things that most wouldn't consider otherwise.

Also side note: Superman's OK, but the true paladin in my eyes is totally Steve Rogers


I played a fairly successful paladin for a while, though
it's hard when one is seen as being a goody two shoes, or
others feel guilty for being amoral and accuse the paladin
of being TOO moral. Like another post said, "lawful good doesn't
mean lawful stupid." Paladins are not perfect, not adverse to
killing when they have to, and certainly not above reproach.
That paladins serve a higher purpose can be interpreted in
many ways. The way one is played is as much up to the player
as the class, IMO.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Jeranimus Rex wrote:
Why should my Monk and Barbarian Player have an easier time keeping their class features than my Paladin Player?

A smiting paladin out-damages and is better protected than the barbarian raging, the fighter with his best tricks and the ranger against his favoured enemy. A paladin has more effective hit points than the barbarian when he can heal himself with lay on hands as a swift action. He has better saves than any of them.

Basically, the paladin has the best class features - and they come with a price: use them wisely, or they get taken away.

Sir Whiteblade the Pure wrote:

Being a paladin is its own reward. Fight honorably, let others know your righteous stance, and do not be afraid to call out evil. The power of law and good is with you. Dispense justice with mercy, destroy any evil you detect, and be unfaltering in the face of fear.

Always pay top dollar for your inn room, tip heavily, spend uncountable hours grooming your horse and taking care of your gear, and only accept adventures with clear goals and superior motives.

Refuse to accept any evil people in your group, always announce yourself to the authorities in every town and city, never hide from a potential fight, and preach constantly to your group members the virtues of your calling and your god.

Be the paladin.

... by level 20. At the start you are just the humble guy with a rusty sword, a gut feeling for what is 'the right thing' to do and a heart full of courage.

A first level paladin does not come with a free suit of plate armour and a holy avenger, so there is no need to play him as if he does - think about the knights who started in the kitchens or the forests long before they donned the armour and stood next to Sir Lancelot.


Dabbler wrote:


A smiting paladin out-damages and is better protected than the barbarian raging, the fighter with his best tricks and the ranger against his favoured enemy. A paladin has more effective hit points than the barbarian when he can heal himself with lay on hands as a swift action. He has better saves than any of them.

Basically, the paladin has the best class features - and they come with a price: use them wisely, or they get taken away.

Against one enemy, and only if they're evil. Smite isn't some magical christmass land buff that puts that class above other martial characters in terms of damage.

In fact, fighters deal more damage than Paladins, and against more creatures. Barbarians could probably tear things up as well, especially with bloodlines. Rangers have favored enemy, and that pumps out comparable damage to smite, but doesn't use resources.

And lets flip the example, Barbarians get rage powers that can grant them increased natural attacks (which are better than more iterative attacks because they're at full BAB), sweet DR, energy damage, increased HP, and all sorts of other zany stuff that allows them to tear things up w/o needing to specialize against an enemy. Further, they get a bonus to will saves while raging, so they have about 1 fantastic, and 1 decent save. They also get massive STR and CON boosts and are able to pump those stats higher than any other character. Even if they don't have inate healing, d12 HD + Collosal Con mod + DR/- makes it a wash.

Monks get bonus feats, flurry of blows, Ki-powers, 3 good saves, enhanced movement, immunities and more. And depending on the archetype, you could even have AC comparable to that of a fighter. Boosting your sustainability.

In fact, neither of those two classes get particularly out-shone, or moded by the Paladin, but only the Paladin is ever really at a risk of losing class features.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

O-Chul is the best.


Jeranimus Rex wrote:
Dabbler wrote:


A smiting paladin out-damages and is better protected than the barbarian raging, the fighter with his best tricks and the ranger against his favoured enemy. A paladin has more effective hit points than the barbarian when he can heal himself with lay on hands as a swift action. He has better saves than any of them.

Basically, the paladin has the best class features - and they come with a price: use them wisely, or they get taken away.

Against one enemy, and only if they're evil. Smite isn't some magical christmass land buff that puts that class above other martial characters in terms of damage.

In fact, fighters deal more damage than Paladins, and against more creatures. Barbarians could probably tear things up as well, especially with bloodlines. Rangers have favored enemy, and that pumps out comparable damage to smite, but doesn't use resources.

And lets flip the example, Barbarians get rage powers that can grant them increased natural attacks (which are better than more iterative attacks because they're at full BAB), sweet DR, energy damage, increased HP, and all sorts of other zany stuff that allows them to tear things up w/o needing to specialize against an enemy. Further, they get a bonus to will saves while raging, so they have about 1 fantastic, and 1 decent save. They also get massive STR and CON boosts and are able to pump those stats higher than any other character. Even if they don't have inate healing, d12 HD + Collosal Con mod + DR/- makes it a wash.

Monks get bonus feats, flurry of blows, Ki-powers, 3 good saves, enhanced movement, immunities and more. And depending on the archetype, you could even have AC comparable to that of a fighter. Boosting your sustainability.

In fact, neither of those two classes get particularly out-shone, or moded by the Paladin, but only the Paladin is ever really at a risk of losing class features.

+/-1 On the grounds that he's more or less right. Paladins are powerful, but only in so much as the campaign caters to their specialization. Lots of undead and evil outsiders? Game over, we have a paladin. Lots of neutral elementals? Animals? Good humanoids with opposing goals?

And you don't always have to skirt around the paladin's abilities by throwing non-evil things at them. Throw evil things at them, and let them smite all day. Then, when they can't smite, throw something evil at them! Or have the paladin fight something with smite good. A fiendish orc fighter will work.

Many things paladins will fight will be evil. No way around it, but that doesn't mean the DM can't deal with it and still challenge the group as a whole.

Liberty's Edge

magnuskn wrote:
O-Chul is the best.

One saving throw at a time.

Scarab Sages

I still don't think many of you get what I am saying.

I agree that the Paladin's abilities are tied to the LG, and I understand why. You don't need to keep prating on about "using abilities wisely, its the sacrifice that grants him his powers, its that he is so powerful because he has to be LG" and all that. I get it, I really do.

What I am saying is, that there seems to be a missing component then for Neutral aligned gods, or for Chaotic aligned gods.

Don't call it a Paladin because its not "LG enough" or whatever.

Call it a Holy Warrior, or make it a PRC or something...an archetype of Paladin because thats the thing that Paizo is all horny to do (and rightly so, because its better than PrC).

I'm saying it seems awfully contrived that the only option to be a holy warrior of some sort is to be a LG kind of guy...

or to be a multi-class, or to be a completely different type of 3/4 BAB kind of thing all together.

To me, its silly.

Its a fantasy trope, and one that should be filled.

Gozreh's hand of justice, riding a magnificent steed (elk, say) through the forest, in green enameled armor, horns on his helm, the very image of Holy Justice done unto the perpetrator of damage to the forest/swamp/mountain whatever.

Pharasma's Vindicator, on a pale horse, in ghastly armor riding down the grave robbers who plundered the honored dead...

Nethys' Whatever, on a floating whatever, riding in to smite down the destroyers of magic lore....

any of that stuff. Thats what is missing.

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