Can a Paladin use Bluff


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Reading the code, you simply cannot lie in a dishonorable manner, while honorable lying is totally fine.

I am with you on this one.

Lying dishonourably is for personal gain or to cause hurt and is right out. Lying honourably is where telling the truth would cause a great deal of suffering and render the paladin unable to fulfil his purpose.

As regards feinting, all is fair in love and war. Feinting, ambushing, flanking and such are legitimate tactics when fighting enemies that would gladly do the same to you.


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Bluffing guards because the party's rogue loaded their wagon with Pesh and hopes to make a big score . . . this the Paladin should not do.

Bluffing guards because in the wagon are freed slaves who without the party's help will continue to be oppressed and exploited . . . this the Paladin should have no unwillingness to do.


Reading this thread, it's suddenly obvious where all the nightmare scenarios of "my paladin fell last night..." come from that I always brushed off as hyperbole or as silly made-up stories.

Forget about Bluff, that skill is rarely used compared to Diplomacy and Intimidate - neither of which you could use if this ridiculously broad definition of lying is used. A diplomat that tells you everything he knows and his every intention and feeling about every situation? Trying to intimidate or demoralize someone who is stronger than you?

Acting would be out of reach too, not that it's used much. How would you guys rule a failed Appraise check to value something? I mean, it's a lie if you tell me a 1000 gold ruby is worth 500 gold. You fall instantly, lose all your powers and your god sends a handful of angels to slay you.


Trick that assumes near allpowerful forces can't differenciate between lying about its worth and mistakenly believing it is worth more. Being wrong is not being dishonest.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Has it been noted that bluffing is not lie, it hiding your emotion and body language to prevent others from gaining to much info.


Tao Dragon wrote:
Has it been noted that bluffing is not lie, it hiding your emotion and body language to prevent others from gaining to much info.

Yes but when PC's start to try and lie what skill always is asked for: bluff. Bluffing involves more than lying but lies involve bluffing.


Honor is the selfish self righteousness or the so called nobility. The moment you put your code above the good of others you have committed an evil act. Honor is for cavaliers. Lawful Neutral or Lawful Evil cavaliers.

RAW Paladins can not exist except as a transient unstable equilibrium. Something powerful enough to force reality to fit its code like an old silver dragon or a powerful outsider can exist in that state for a while, but mortal paladins just don't work.

RAI good is supposed to come before law. Any time the code gets in the way of good it is the code that must give way. Relegate it to RP fluff and be done with it. Lying for selfish gain is already an evil act. You don't need a code to tell you that evil acts make paladins fall.

Just remember the fundamental rule of good alignments: A good or just god does not punish someone for doing the best they can with the abilities and knowledge they have. Any god a Paladin can follow has to fit at least one of those adjectives.


Gnomezrule wrote:
Trick that assumes near allpowerful forces can't differenciate between lying about its worth and mistakenly believing it is worth more. Being wrong is not being dishonest.

If you read through this thread, omnipotent forces can absolutely not differentiate between different kinds of lies.


I'm .... baffled... at the idea a paladin could not use feint in combat (I don't intend to offend, really this idea is just completely foreign to me). Feinting is such an intrinsic part of melee combat that you can't really learn melee combat without learning feinting (game mechanics wise it does not translate well to emulate real life as feint is a specific action and not just part of attacking). Dirty tricks combat maneuver I would probably rule out for a paladin - kicking sand in the guys face would be very un-paladin like IMO, but feinting would never be even questioned at my table.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Atarlost wrote:

RAI good is supposed to come before law. Any time the code gets in the way of good it is the code that must give way. Relegate it to RP fluff and be done with it. Lying for selfish gain is already an evil act. You don't need a code to tell you that evil acts make paladins fall.

Just remember the fundamental rule of good alignments: A good or just god does not punish someone for doing the best they can with the abilities and knowledge they have. Any god a Paladin can follow has to fit at least one of those adjectives.

^This^

I run a paladin of Shellyn in a game, and her code requires she offer her foes a chance of redemption and she does. If they refuse, or threaten the innocent, all bets are off and she goes out to defeat them by any means available. If she doesn't, she has failed in her duty as she sees it.


I think kicking sand in someone's face is ok. I don't see how it is any worse than a paladin buffing himself or debuffing an enemy with a spell.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
wraithstrike wrote:
I think kicking sand in someone's face is ok. I don't see how it is any worse than a paladin buffing himself or debuffing an enemy with a spell.

In combat, against a foe, yes. Not on a beach to people smaller than you, though - definitely un-paladin-like.


Dabbler wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I think kicking sand in someone's face is ok. I don't see how it is any worse than a paladin buffing himself or debuffing an enemy with a spell.
In combat, against a foe, yes. Not on a beach to people smaller than you, though - definitely un-paladin-like.

I agree. :)


in my opinion you cannot tell a lie, but bluff also includes nonverbal communication. So making a step left and running to the right is completly okay, telling someone afterwords that you run to the left is not okay, no matter the service for good it did.

But then again I am not very lenient with paladins. Feel free to make the playable.


Richard Leonhart wrote:
But then again I am not very lenient with paladins.

Should read "with people who decide to play paladins". This has no effect on paladins, which are fictional, but a huge effect on the player at the table trying to participate in telling an interesting story.

Having to lie to your party's paladin, maybe go so far as to leave him behind or even tie him up and gag him so he doesn't tell the enemy that you've disguised yourself to escape the enemy stronghold - that simply is not fun for the majority of players and will cause intraparty conflict.


wraithstrike wrote:
I think kicking sand in someone's face is ok. I don't see how it is any worse than a paladin buffing himself or debuffing an enemy with a spell.

Maybe I'm just over-analyzing, but I always thought a 'Dirty Trick' was somehow... dirty, ya know?

Richard Leonhart wrote:

in my opinion you cannot tell a lie, but bluff also includes nonverbal communication. So making a step left and running to the right is completly okay, telling someone afterwords that you run to the left is not okay, no matter the service for good it did.

But then again I am not very lenient with paladins. Feel free to make the playable.

Paladins are extremely playable, as is, code and all. In fact, I've never met, in person, someone who simply couldn't figure out how to play a Paladin and follow his code.


Hehe, I love pally threads.

Combat is war, war is subterfuge.
Feints, Dirty Tricks, Flanks, Ambushes, Disarms, Trips and any other tactical advantage that can be wrung out of a scenario is perfectly legit. The only difference between a pally and every other class is the pally needs a little more awareness of who he is at war with.

My DM is of the "you will fall" variety. It's tedious and lame but he loves it. I take a simple tactic with him, when confronted with the no win situation I use diplomacy first, after that, invariably, fails I just Smite Slap every intractable sentient being nearby. When confronted with the ,weak, conundrum of my overly violent response I use lay on hands to show whatever stubborn inarticulate goon was in play how merciful my faith has made me. It also helps that my conviction is strong enough that I'm only wrong when a greater power points it out to me; then I atone.

Historically Knights were ruthless bastiches. Samurai were devious tacticians. Even Roland, the source material for the Paladin class, was a hard dude. To place some Arthurian delusion on a class whose purpose is to annihilate evil (not the vague, murky evil of reality but the tangible, personified evil of RPGs) is kinda silly. It's also meta gamey which is double lame.

Yes a pally can bluff.
Otherwise when Kyra throws Seoni a surprise birthday party Alhanxra can help decorate. Iomedae wants her champions to have rich social interactions, so that when the time comes they can lead by example. Not as paragons of virtue but as interesting people with actual personalities.


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zagnabbit wrote:

Hehe, I love pally threads.

Combat is war, war is subterfuge.
Feints, Dirty Tricks, Flanks, Ambushes, Disarms, Trips and any other tactical advantage that can be wrung out of a scenario is perfectly legit. The only difference between a pally and every other class is the pally needs a little more awareness of who he is at war with.

Couldn't disagree more.

Poisoning the water supply of an enemy fortress is a great way to end a siege, but it could not be called honourable by any definition. There do exist lines that shouldn't be crossed by decent men and cannot be crossed by Paladin. The only question is where those lines are.

Unless your argument is that since RL Knights had no honour (debatable) Paladins can ignore their Code of Conduct. Which is ridiculous.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Hmm, death by starvation or death by poisoning. Kind of a wash there...

And the only reason you haven't killed them with a sword is because they are hiding behind castle walls to boot.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Quantum Steve wrote:
zagnabbit wrote:

Hehe, I love pally threads.

Combat is war, war is subterfuge.
Feints, Dirty Tricks, Flanks, Ambushes, Disarms, Trips and any other tactical advantage that can be wrung out of a scenario is perfectly legit. The only difference between a pally and every other class is the pally needs a little more awareness of who he is at war with.

Couldn't disagree more.

Poisoning the water supply of an enemy fortress is a great way to end a siege, but it could not be called honourable by any definition. There do exist lines that shouldn't be crossed by decent men and cannot be crossed by Paladin. The only question is where those lines are.

Unless your argument is that since RL Knights had no honour (debatable) Paladins can ignore their Code of Conduct. Which is ridiculous.

No-one is arguing that. Poison the water? You will kill innocents inside. Use a wooden horse to sneak in and open the gate to the army? No problem.


Mergy wrote:

Here is an example of a case where I believe a paladin could get away with this:

CLICK

This is a bluff check, but he's telling the truth (in a riddle-like fashion, of course). A lawful good character has to balance between his code and his love for his friends.

LOL, "Failed a sense motive check".


The idea that a Paladin can't feint in combat is about as assinine as suggesting that they can't try to hit their opponent where their armor was weakest. People carry the Paladin restrictions WAY too far in what I can only assume is a manifestation of hate for the class.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Meh, I think they're just being overly literal.


Dabbler wrote:
Quantum Steve wrote:
zagnabbit wrote:

Hehe, I love pally threads.

Combat is war, war is subterfuge.
Feints, Dirty Tricks, Flanks, Ambushes, Disarms, Trips and any other tactical advantage that can be wrung out of a scenario is perfectly legit. The only difference between a pally and every other class is the pally needs a little more awareness of who he is at war with.

Couldn't disagree more.

Poisoning the water supply of an enemy fortress is a great way to end a siege, but it could not be called honourable by any definition. There do exist lines that shouldn't be crossed by decent men and cannot be crossed by Paladin. The only question is where those lines are.

Unless your argument is that since RL Knights had no honour (debatable) Paladins can ignore their Code of Conduct. Which is ridiculous.

No-one is arguing that. Poison the water? You will kill innocents inside. Use a wooden horse to sneak in and open the gate to the army? No problem.

That's deception, but it's not dirty pool.

Slinging mud in someone's eye, Dirty. Distracting them while your Rogue buddy sets up the sneak attack (via Greater Feint), Fine.

I guess that's just my opinion what's dirty or not, but the devs seem to agree with me somewhat, in as much they've branded a the combat maneuver for mud slinging "dirty trick"


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Mercurial wrote:

The idea that a Paladin can't feint in combat is about as assinine as suggesting that they can't try to hit their opponent where their armor was weakest. People carry the Paladin restrictions WAY too far in what I can only assume is a manifestation of hate for the class.

James Jacobs mentioned a few times that his problem with Paladins aren't with them by the Rules As Written/Intended, but with the Rules As Interpreted.


Like so many paladin issues, this can't be solved without knowing the GM.

*I* would never fault a paladin for lying to the lich about the location of the orphanage. There are other lies for which I would require atonement. Other GMs may differ.

Using feint is exactly the same: I wouldn't nail the paladin for feinting in a battle against the lich king, or even a troll against which he was overmatched. But feinting against a town guard who is less armored and skilled, oh yes.

No amount of rules referencing or forum querying is going to give you an answer that trumps the GM's sensibilities on this issue. A "Code of Honor" rule is complex and rife with exceptions because honor itself is complex and rife with exceptions. No sooner would you codify it than dissembling jerks would try to stretch the words used into something most dishonorable (as they have done since olden times).


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Quantum Steve wrote:

That's deception, but it's not dirty pool.

Slinging mud in someone's eye, Dirty. Distracting them while your Rogue buddy sets up the sneak attack (via Greater Feint), Fine.

I guess that's just my opinion what's dirty or not, but the devs seem to agree with me somewhat, in as much they've branded a the combat maneuver for mud slinging "dirty trick"

The name of an ability is hardly any reason to assume much about it, unfortunately. Dirty Trick is described not as "a dishonourable fighting tactic" it is "anything that temporarily hinders your opponent" so it needn't actually be 'dirty' as such. For example, 'trip' is not only trip but also throw. End result is mechanically the same, though: you end up on your butt.

Belle Mythix wrote:
Mercurial wrote:
The idea that a Paladin can't feint in combat is about as assinine as suggesting that they can't try to hit their opponent where their armor was weakest. People carry the Paladin restrictions WAY too far in what I can only assume is a manifestation of hate for the class.
James Jacobs mentioned a few times that his problem with Paladins aren't with them by the Rules As Written/Intended, but with the Rules As Interpreted.

I think the real problem is that:

1) Paladins are individuals, they all vary and are different
2) Each situation, even in pre-written modules, is different and has different expectations and requirements.

So exactly what a paladin 'should' do is never going to be quite the same twice. Each situation has to be judged individually.

Basically, as long as the paladin is being pretty much honourable, fair, just, is fighting evil, is not harming the innocent, is acting for the greater good, is not in it for profit, and is following their deity's directions, then I am happy to call them within their code.


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Quantum Steve wrote:
zagnabbit wrote:

Hehe, I love pally threads.

Combat is war, war is subterfuge.
Feints, Dirty Tricks, Flanks, Ambushes, Disarms, Trips and any other tactical advantage that can be wrung out of a scenario is perfectly legit. The only difference between a pally and every other class is the pally needs a little more awareness of who he is at war with.

Couldn't disagree more.

Poisoning the water supply of an enemy fortress is a great way to end a siege, but it could not be called honourable by any definition. There do exist lines that shouldn't be crossed by decent men and cannot be crossed by Paladin. The only question is where those lines are.

Unless your argument is that since RL Knights had no honour (debatable) Paladins can ignore their Code of Conduct. Which is ridiculous.

And see this is why I made that point.

Paladin=DudleyDoRight.
Blech.

Paladins are Just, Honorable and more importantly Fair. Typically they may be the only characters that are fair. BUT they are also the "Right hands of the Divine", they are when required, the ultimate badasses. The Paladin will go out of his way to seek terms with an aggressor, he will give that opponent every opportunity to make peace. He will not however, Lose, at least not while he still draws breath.

Paladin codes aren't a handicap. They are a tool. Everyone knows that a paladin will deal on the up and up, no treachery. When you're cornered having a paladin on the other side is a bright spot, because at the very least you will be assured a fair trial. That's a guarantee that even the least educated members of society take as a universal truth. Heck the Priests of the same Churches that claim paladin orders can't claim that, they are at least partly politicians. Not Paladins, they are the Arbiters of Divine Mandate.

The Code is in place not simply to force the Paladin to adhere to an ideal, but also to firmly root that ideal into the minds of an inconstant world. A paladin is not just a warrior who will fight the Devil, he's a warrior who will take the fight to the Devil's front door.

When you have a Paladin on your side, that's the gold standard. You might just win. Nevermind the odds. When you have one on your back, gunning for you, you're in trouble. Paladins don't quit. They don't get tired. They don't back down. If you put up a pally's hackles you've picked a real fight. One you had better be willing to wage because if you've got a target on you he will hit it eventually or die trying.

Pally threads are full of subjective, modern morality. They almost always miss the point that paladins inhabit ruthless, brutal worlds. Worlds that most of us wouldn't last 15 minutes in if we stuck to our morality. Paladins don't just live there, they inspire awe in those around them. They do that through deeds, a life well spent and adherence to a code of behavior that maybe 1 in 10,000 could hope to abide by.

When that castle is under siege, long before poison or Greek Fire or rotting animals get catapulted in; it's occupants have had to deal with the reality that they are not on the side of the angels. They are the bad guys. Nothing says that more than having the opposing force under the command of a paladin. The regular soldiers are gonna be whispering that among themselves, the clergy will know it, someone is going to want to parley, because paladins don't give up, that's just a universal truth.
So if they stick to their collective guns they do so knowing that they will meet their maker in that place between the anvil of faith and the hammer of conviction. This is what it means to face the personification of an Absolute.
The code of a paladin doesn't just apply to the paladin it applies to every being that must interact with that paladin. Sometimes it's a benefit sometimes it's your undoing.


Man I gotta quit getting off on tangents.

Poisoning the water supply is underhanded, no doubt.

But what if the poison wasn't lethal? I mean if you could take the castle with virtually no bloodshed, disarm the beligerents , disperse the rank and file and try the leaders in a fair and legal fashion. Is that dishonorable? I wouldn't think so, doubt most pally patrons would either. The pally just saved 100's if not 1000's of lives, including his own men.

Nothing in the code of conduct would excuse a wasteful expenditure of life to meet the vagaries of honor.


@ zagnabbit.

Now your on a whole different issue to me. I'm not sure if using poison is still by RAW evil or against the paladin code, but i know most GMs will run it that way. And for poisons that will kill or otherwise i can understand.

But I have never seen why slipping some Oil of Tagget to a guard is evil or anti code but casting a sleep spell or beating him in to unconciousness is all gravy.


Good point Talonhawke.

Poison use was a no no for a long time, ruleswise.
Not just for paladins but for everyone.

I honestly don't know how that works rules wise.

Your example is pretty valid.
Oil of Taggit<Sleep spell<cudgel to the head for some poor schlep earning a wage.

Personally I'd rather get drugged, at least I have an excuse for when the Overlord of the Gate decides to flog me for dereliction of duty.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Oh yeah, sleep inducing poisons that do not do ability damage should be available for Paladins to use. It is right on track with subduing someone with nonlethal damage.


I'd agree with that argument.


Trikk wrote:
Gnomezrule wrote:
Trick that assumes near allpowerful forces can't differenciate between lying about its worth and mistakenly believing it is worth more. Being wrong is not being dishonest.
If you read through this thread, omnipotent forces can absolutely not differentiate between different kinds of lies.

Well I am not sure you should call them Omnipotent if they do not have the power to know the difference between a mistake or an actual lie. I figure divine forces can easily manage detecting thoughts considering mortals can with just a spell. But my point was not so much about the divine forces as much as it was your understanding of dishonesty. If I know the ruby to be worth 500 gp and I tell you it is 1000gp I am lying. If I mistake the value of the ruby for one worth 1000gp and tell you it is worth 1000 gp I am not lying I am telling you what I know to be true about the ruby. Small difference to the person out 500 gp they feel cheated either way. But the seller only lied (actively decieved) in one instance in the second instance the seller was deicived himself because of his mistaking the value of the ruby.

The Exchange

sigh...
Hi, I'm the OP on this thread.

84 posts and I am no closer to my answer.

This character is for use in PFS, so the judge at the table will not be the DM, and may even be a different person each time I play him.

I started the PC as a Fighter, in order to gain tower shield. I had the concept I wanted to explore. He is a servant/retainer for an old noble family (in Cheliax) and the family has always had a son/daughter in the Pathfinder Society. This generation, there is only the "young master" left, so my PC (a halfling, and an old family retainer) has taken up the family shield (a human sized shield) and is carrying it on society missions. In time, when the "young master" is older and can take up his obligations, the PC hopes to be his man servant/guard, perhaps even a butler. At least that was my view of him.

As a Halfling from Cheliax, he is adept at using Bluff. Or at least he has been until now. He has leveled to 2nd and I had intended to have him add the level of Paladin - but I can see from the reactions on this tread that perhaps the class is too subject to table/judge veriations - too much YMMV.

I have to give it a lot of thought. Perhaps I'll just put the character aside, and run something else less contraversial.

Thank you all for your views and posts!


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nosig Don't simply put the character you want to play aside over this.

If you were one of the many guys trying to cheese the rules and that was the controversy sure. But shelving a character(especially one you want to play) simply because of this seems like a waste. I would just be upfront and double check with each GM prior to play on how he plans on handling it.


Quantum Steve wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I think kicking sand in someone's face is ok. I don't see how it is any worse than a paladin buffing himself or debuffing an enemy with a spell.

Maybe I'm just over-analyzing, but I always thought a 'Dirty Trick' was somehow... dirty, ya know?

Richard Leonhart wrote:

in my opinion you cannot tell a lie, but bluff also includes nonverbal communication. So making a step left and running to the right is completly okay, telling someone afterwords that you run to the left is not okay, no matter the service for good it did.

But then again I am not very lenient with paladins. Feel free to make the playable.

Paladins are extremely playable, as is, code and all. In fact, I've never met, in person, someone who simply couldn't figure out how to play a Paladin and follow his code.

Dirty tricks are just ways to use other status affects mechanically. Don't let the name get in the way, and even if it was "dirty" that still does not make it any less honorable than buffing yourself of debuffing the bad guy. If the paladin had used magic to get the same effect I don't see how it makes it any better. If magic existed in our word and I used it to blind you for a round instead of throwing dirt in your face I don't think you would really feel better about it, just because I used magic.


Quantum Steve wrote:
zagnabbit wrote:

Hehe, I love pally threads.

Combat is war, war is subterfuge.
Feints, Dirty Tricks, Flanks, Ambushes, Disarms, Trips and any other tactical advantage that can be wrung out of a scenario is perfectly legit. The only difference between a pally and every other class is the pally needs a little more awareness of who he is at war with.

Couldn't disagree more.

Poisoning the water supply of an enemy fortress is a great way to end a siege, but it could not be called honourable by any definition. There do exist lines that shouldn't be crossed by decent men and cannot be crossed by Paladin. The only question is where those lines are.

Unless your argument is that since RL Knights had no honour (debatable) Paladins can ignore their Code of Conduct. Which is ridiculous.

They didn't really have honor, not in the sense that it is attributed to them. Their rules were mostly there to keep peasants in check.


Quantum Steve wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
Quantum Steve wrote:
zagnabbit wrote:

Hehe, I love pally threads.

Combat is war, war is subterfuge.
Feints, Dirty Tricks, Flanks, Ambushes, Disarms, Trips and any other tactical advantage that can be wrung out of a scenario is perfectly legit. The only difference between a pally and every other class is the pally needs a little more awareness of who he is at war with.

Couldn't disagree more.

Poisoning the water supply of an enemy fortress is a great way to end a siege, but it could not be called honourable by any definition. There do exist lines that shouldn't be crossed by decent men and cannot be crossed by Paladin. The only question is where those lines are.

Unless your argument is that since RL Knights had no honour (debatable) Paladins can ignore their Code of Conduct. Which is ridiculous.

No-one is arguing that. Poison the water? You will kill innocents inside. Use a wooden horse to sneak in and open the gate to the army? No problem.

That's deception, but it's not dirty pool.

Slinging mud in someone's eye, Dirty. Distracting them while your Rogue buddy sets up the sneak attack (via Greater Feint), Fine.

I guess that's just my opinion what's dirty or not, but the devs seem to agree with me somewhat, in as much they've branded a the combat maneuver for mud slinging "dirty trick"

You are assuming they agree with you. You have no fluff to back it up and neither does the combat maneuver.

Quote:

Dirty Trick

You can attempt to hinder a foe in melee as a standard action. This maneuver covers any sort of situational attack that imposes a penalty on a foe for a short period of time. Examples include kicking sand into an opponent's face to blind him for 1 round, pulling down an enemy's pants to halve his speed, or hitting a foe in a sensitive spot to make him sickened for a round. The GM is the arbiter of what can be accomplished with this maneuver, but it cannot be used to impose a permanent penalty, and the results can be undone if the target spends a move action. If you do not have the Improved Dirty Trick feat or a similar ability, attempting a dirty trick provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of your maneuver.

If your attack is successful, the target takes a penalty. The penalty is limited to one of the following conditions: blinded, dazzled, deafened, entangled, shaken, or sickened. This condition lasts for 1 round. For every 5 by which your attack exceeds your opponent's CMD, the penalty lasts 1 additional round. This penalty can usually be removed if the target spends a move action. If you possess the Greater Dirty Trick feat, the penalty lasts for 1d4 rounds, plus 1 round for every 5 by which your attack exceeds your opponent's CMD. In addition, removing the condition requires the target to spend a standard action.

As I said before it is just a way to give an enemy a condition such as sickened, stunned, blinded, and so on. I am sure hitting someone in a sensitive spot is not illegal. Otherwise crits and sneak attacks by paladins multiclassed with rogues would not be legal.


nosig wrote:

sigh...

Hi, I'm the OP on this thread.

84 posts and I am no closer to my answer.

This character is for use in PFS, so the judge at the table will not be the DM, and may even be a different person each time I play him.

I started the PC as a Fighter, in order to gain tower shield. I had the concept I wanted to explore. He is a servant/retainer for an old noble family (in Cheliax) and the family has always had a son/daughter in the Pathfinder Society. This generation, there is only the "young master" left, so my PC (a halfling, and an old family retainer) has taken up the family shield (a human sized shield) and is carrying it on society missions. In time, when the "young master" is older and can take up his obligations, the PC hopes to be his man servant/guard, perhaps even a butler. At least that was my view of him.

As a Halfling from Cheliax, he is adept at using Bluff. Or at least he has been until now. He has leveled to 2nd and I had intended to have him add the level of Paladin - but I can see from the reactions on this tread that perhaps the class is too subject to table/judge veriations - too much YMMV.

I have to give it a lot of thought. Perhaps I'll just put the character aside, and run something else less contraversial.

Thank you all for your views and posts!

Rules wise the GM can tag you for bluffing, which was pointed out on page 1. Will he do it, is up to him which is why I said talk to the GM. The paladin has and always will be a GM dependent class.


Dabbler wrote:
Quantum Steve wrote:

That's deception, but it's not dirty pool.

Slinging mud in someone's eye, Dirty. Distracting them while your Rogue buddy sets up the sneak attack (via Greater Feint), Fine.

I guess that's just my opinion what's dirty or not, but the devs seem to agree with me somewhat, in as much they've branded a the combat maneuver for mud slinging "dirty trick"

The name of an ability is hardly any reason to assume much about it, unfortunately. Dirty Trick is described not as "a dishonourable fighting tactic" it is "anything that temporarily hinders your opponent" so it needn't actually be 'dirty' as such. For example, 'trip' is not only trip but also throw. End result is mechanically the same, though: you end up on your butt.

OK. I'll buy that. Dirty Trick, though, is pretty open ended. It's not just one 'trick', but many, limited only in the effects it can have. So if one were to describe a 'tirck' that wasn't 'dirty' I guess it wouldn't be dishonourale.

Dabbler wrote:

I think the real problem is that:
1) Paladins are individuals, they all vary and are different
2) Each situation, even in pre-written modules, is different and has different expectations and requirements.

So exactly what a paladin 'should' do is never going to be quite the same twice. Each situation has to be judged individually.

Basically, as long as the paladin is being pretty much honourable, fair, just, is fighting evil, is not harming the innocent, is acting for the greater good, is not in it for profit, and is following their deity's directions, then I am happy to call them within their code.

A couple of misleadif you only do them to ing this here.

1. You mention honourable, which is good, a Paladin has to act with honour. But certain things, like lying, cheating, and using poison, are dishonourable. It doesn't matter if you do them with good intentions, good intentions do not define honour, it doesn't matter if you only employ these things against evil creatures, they're still dishonourable.

Paladins do have to skirt the line between honour and dishonour, good and evil, fairly regularly when dealing with dishonourable and evil creatures. But they should still hold themselves to the highest standards, and so should their Players and GMs.

2. You mention "Greater Good." I really dislike reading this word in Pally threads, because it implys doing something not so good for the greater good.

Paladin's don't break their code for the "greater good". They can't do evil for the "greater good." The "greater good" comes from doing the greatest good. That's why Paladins have codes.


zagnabbit wrote:

[

And see this is why I made that point.

Paladin=DudleyDoRight.
Blech.

If by this you mean Paladins aren't bumbling, incompetent, naive oafs, then you are correct.

But Paladins still have to do what is right, always, otherwise they're called Lawful Good Fighters.

Quote:

Paladins are Just, Honorable and more importantly Fair. Typically they may be the only characters that are fair. BUT He will not however, Lose, at least not while he still draws breath.

Paladin codes aren't a handicap. They are a tool. Everyone knows that a paladin will deal on the up and up, no treachery.

Except if everyone knows that a Paladin will lie, cheat, murder, and steal rather than lose, they won't trust him a bit.

Quote:
When you have a Paladin on your side, that's the gold standard. You might just win. Nevermind the odds. When you have one on your back, gunning for you, you're in trouble. Paladins don't quit. They don't get tired. They don't back down. If you put up a pally's hackles you've picked a real fight. One you had better be willing to wage because if you've got a target on you he will hit it eventually or die trying.

You're describing a zealot, which many Paladins are, but it's not all they are. They are also, as you say "Just, Honorable and more importantly Fair." They are these this ALL THE TIME, just as they strive against evil ALL THE TIME. If you think Paladin's are Conquer All Evil By Any Means Necessary, then you need to review 40 years of the history of the class.

Quote:

Pally threads are full of subjective, modern morality. They almost always miss the point that paladins inhabit ruthless, brutal worlds. Worlds that most of us wouldn't last 15 minutes in if we stuck to our morality. Paladins don't just live there, they inspire awe in those around them. They do that through deeds, a life well spent and adherence to a code of behavior that maybe 1 in 10,000 could hope to abide by.

When that castle is under siege, long before poison or Greek Fire or rotting animals get catapulted in; it's occupants have had to deal with the reality that they are not on the side of the angels. They are the bad guys. Nothing says that more than having the opposing force under the command of a paladin. The regular soldiers are gonna be whispering that among themselves, the clergy will know it, someone is going to want to parley, because paladins don't give up, that's just a universal truth.
So if they stick to their collective guns they do so knowing that they will meet their maker in that place between the anvil of faith and the hammer of conviction. This is what it means to face the personification of an Absolute.
The code of a paladin doesn't just apply to the paladin it applies to every being that must interact with that paladin. Sometimes it's a benefit sometimes it's your undoing.

You seem to have a good understanding of the class after all, but you also seem to be arguing that a Paladin can disregard his code whenever it suits him (false, of course, a Paladin can NEVER disregard his code.)

Am I misunderstanding you somewhere?


nosig wrote:


the part about lieing falls in the second paragraph, while "...and loses all class features except proficiencies if she ever willingly commits an evil act" appears in the first. Otherwise there would have only been one paragraph that said something like "ever willingly does any action against her code."

I really think you have it right here. Lets look at the quote again.

Quote:
A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class features except proficiencies if she ever willingly commits an evil act. Additionally, a paladin’s code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.

There are two parts here.

Part 1: If you do evil, you fall. The definition of evil is no different for you than for every other character in your campaign world (although it may vary from world to world).

Part 2: You need to behave in a lawful good manner. Specifics are provided. Nothing says you fall if you violate your code. Violating your code is a chaotic act, but not an evil one (although the manner in which you violate it may itself be evil). Paladins don't fall for behaving chaotically, until their alignment shifts because of it (and their alignment should shift no more readily than any other character's).

In addition to that, the "no lying" bit is an example of acting with honor. Hence the "and so forth". Sometimes the honorable thing is to tell a lie. See the example about hiding the family earlier in the thread. Or telling a grieving widow that her husband died heroically in battle, even if he actually tripped over a rock and got trampled by his own side during a charge. (Telling her he died heroically when he was actually deserting at the time probably wouldn't be honorable, though.)

----------

TL;DR: A paladin can occasionally violate their code without falling, provided they don't violate it with an evil act. A paladin's code calls on them to be honorable, one example of which is not lying. Therefore, a paladin who tells an honorable lie is probably adhering to their code (or at least in a gray area), and one who tells a dishonorable lie still only falls if it's also an evil lie or it becomes habitual.


wraithstrike wrote:


They didn't really have honor, not in the sense that it is attributed to them. Their rules were mostly there to keep peasants in check.

Well, then Paladins aren't anything like Medieval knights. They're simply inspired by false impressions of their code of chivalry perpetuated by medieval literature.

Still doesn't change 40 years of gaming.


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Quantum Steve wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:


They didn't really have honor, not in the sense that it is attributed to them. Their rules were mostly there to keep peasants in check.

Well, then Paladins aren't anything like Medieval knights. They're simply inspired by false impressions of their code of chivalry perpetuated by medieval literature.

Still doesn't change 40 years of gaming.

Paladins were inspired by the legend of King Arthur and are specifically the embodiment of Lancelot and his son Galahad. Probably even more Galahad than Lancelot.

Knights in general did not inspire the paladin class. If anything they inspired the fighter class.


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Whether GM'ing games with a Paladin or playing a Paladin myself, My take on them has always been the same - I've always been a lot more concerned with their honoring their God's rules and expectations and working towards their God's agendas than I have been with their being strictly lawful or with some generic code universally applied. In fact, I've allowed Paladins for ANY good deity, provided their alignment exactly matched their deity's and they followed that alignment conscientiously. Atonement has only ever been necessary when they failed to put the wishes or the needs of their faith first.

The way I see it, the deities are the source of a Paladin's power, so its the deity the Paladin needs to worry about pissing off. To accomplish the deity's ends, its all on the table if the God in question says so.


Mercurial wrote:

Whether GM'ing games with a Paladin or playing a Paladin myself, My take on them has always been the same - I've always been a lot more concerned with their honoring their God's rules and expectations and working towards their God's agendas than I have been with their being strictly lawful or with some generic code universally applied. In fact, I've allowed Paladins for ANY good deity, provided their alignment exactly matched their deity's and they followed that alignment conscientiously. Atonement has only ever been necessary when they failed to put the wishes or the needs of their faith first.

The way I see it, the deities are the source of a Paladin's power, so its the deity the Paladin needs to worry about pissing off. To accomplish the deity's ends, its all on the table if the God in question says so.

Yeah, those are called Clerics, what you're describing.


Or Holy Vindicators.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

A Paladin cannot lie dishonorably. All other uses of bluff are game.


Quantum Steve wrote:
Mercurial wrote:

Whether GM'ing games with a Paladin or playing a Paladin myself, My take on them has always been the same - I've always been a lot more concerned with their honoring their God's rules and expectations and working towards their God's agendas than I have been with their being strictly lawful or with some generic code universally applied. In fact, I've allowed Paladins for ANY good deity, provided their alignment exactly matched their deity's and they followed that alignment conscientiously. Atonement has only ever been necessary when they failed to put the wishes or the needs of their faith first.

The way I see it, the deities are the source of a Paladin's power, so its the deity the Paladin needs to worry about pissing off. To accomplish the deity's ends, its all on the table if the God in question says so.

Yeah, those are called Clerics, what you're describing.

So Paladins don't get their divine powers from their deities?

Heh - who knew?

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