Can a Paladin use Bluff


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The Exchange

Ok, I really don't want to re-start "the Paladin flame wars", and I realize there is no other class that can start arguments just by the mention of the class... but I have a PFS character who is planning to take a level (or more) of Paladin. The problem is, he's really good at bluff (for a first level halfling fighter), and likely will continue telling "little white lies" in the future.

is this possible? realizing the "Code of Conduct" states:
Additionally, a paladin’s code requires that she respect
legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth),

If he takes the jump to Paladinhood - will running a bluff on "the forces of evil" require him to get an Atonement?

Normally this is something I would discuss with my GM, but as the character is a PFS character... I need a RAW answer, so I came here.


If he only uses it against evil in the service of his god i don't see a problem with it.

Why fight at every gate and checkpoint if your mission is to slay the BBG?

Sczarni

Yes, you can use bluff, but only if necessary to do good or fight evil. You can't use it gratuitously or for your own selfish reasons. You should try to be truthful and straightforward as much as possible. Lying should be very unusual for you, and you should care about always having a reputation for honesty.

You can absolutely use it to feint in combat. Nothing dishonorable about that whatsoever, in my opinion.

Out of curiosity, if you were worried that this was going to be a problem, why did you take ranks in bluff in the first place?

The Exchange

BltzKrg242 wrote:

If he only uses it against evil in the service of his god i don't see a problem with it.

Why fight at every gate and checkpoint if your mission is to slay the BBG?

Thanks for your prompt reply!

I feel much the same way, and in fact built the character in question without giving it much thought. But now that he is leveled to 2nd and I'm picking up a level in Paladin.... and assigning his skill points, and reviewing Paladin, I started having second thoughts. (Basicly, I fear the odd judge reaction...)

The Exchange

Trinite wrote:

Yes, you can use bluff, but only if necessary to do good or fight evil. You can't use it gratuitously or for your own selfish reasons. You should try to be truthful and straightforward as much as possible. Lying should be very unusual for you, and you should care about always having a reputation for honesty.

You can absolutely use it to feint in combat. Nothing dishonorable about that whatsoever, in my opinion.

Out of curiosity, if you were worried that this was going to be a problem, why did you take ranks in bluff in the first place?

(thanks for the reply!)

His background is as a halfling servant (old family retainer) in Cheliax - and the flavor for that area gives bonuses to slave/servants avoiding problems with overlords by fast talking their way past problems. So it's sort of a RP thing. He talks a lot, kind of like the funny uncle at family gatherings. Good guy, give you the shirt off his back (the first guy into the burning house to save someone) and famous for telling tall tales...


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Of course he could. He (or she) would only need to use it on a case by case need. Emphasis on need. For a paladin, personal honor should not hold sway over the greater good. That would be lawful but not good.


Bluff in combat to feint - no problem.


If you wanted a RAW answer, then you highlighted it in your original post.

The Exchange

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Cheapy wrote:
If you wanted a RAW answer, then you highlighted it in your original post.

so Cheapy, you are saying by RAW, as you see it, a paladin cannot use the skill Bluff. (realizing that we are dealing with the definition of Lying here. Is a Bluff a Lie?)

(Edited to expand my on my question above)
Picture:
Captain Jack Sparrow saying "I'm here to steal this boat"
is he lying? No. Do they think he's there to steal the boat? No.

Bluff roll made, but was a lie told?

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For argument's sake:

When a paladin lies, she loses her class powers. That has nothing to do with being Good, or Lawful, or even honorable. It's part of the paladin's oath.

The Bluff skill can be used for three purposes:

  • To deceive someone
  • To feint in combat
  • To pass along secret messages.

Deceiving someone is lying, "You know how to tell a lie. Bluff is an opposed skill check against your opponent’s Sense Motive skill. If you use Bluff to fool someone, with a successful check you convince your opponent that what you are saying is true. Bluff checks are modified depending upon the believability of the lie."

So, that use would require a paladin to Atone.

Passing along secret messages isn't lying. A paladin should be able to do that just fine.

What about feinting in combat?

Well, if a paladin annouced "I'm going to hit your head" while aiming a blow at the opponent's legs, and expected the opponent to believe her and guard his head, then that would be a lie. And feinting in combat is doing the same thing with body language: looking at an area, or adjusting a weapon grip, to suggest one target, while planning to hit another.

That doesn't strike me as unlawful, or evil, or even dishonorable. But it does strike me as a lie.


Feinting in combat is a normal part of combat. You do not 'tell' someone that you are going to hit their head. You make a motion to hit one part and then redirect the motion to hitting another part. There is no lying involved, just physical misdirection.

- Gauss


I'd say Chris got the RAW of it correct. I don't agree with the RAW, but there it is.


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you can bluff but you have to technically be telling the truth. SOmetimes the literal truth can be misleading.


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The issue with paladins is that the restrictions vary by GM, and unless you are running with the same GM every session you might run into problems. RAW the GM can tag you for any lies, and some would even say RAI, so you may want to talk with your local PFS GM's.

The Exchange

Chris Mortika wrote:

For argument's sake:

When a paladin lies, she loses her class powers. That has nothing to do with being Good, or Lawful, or even honorable. It's part of the paladin's oath.

The Bluff skill can be used for three purposes:

  • To deceive someone
  • To feint in combat
  • To pass along secret messages.

Deceiving someone is lying, "You know how to tell a lie. Bluff is an opposed skill check against your opponent’s Sense Motive skill. If you use Bluff to fool someone, with a successful check you convince your opponent that what you are saying is true. Bluff checks are modified depending upon the believability of the lie."

So, that use would require a paladin to Atone.

Passing along secret messages isn't lying. A paladin should be able to do that just fine.

What about feinting in combat?

Well, if a paladin annouced "I'm going to hit your head" while aiming a blow at the opponent's legs, and expected the opponent to believe her and guard his head, then that would be a lie. And feinting in combat is doing the same thing with body language: looking at an area, or adjusting a weapon grip, to suggest one target, while planning to hit another.

That doesn't strike me as unlawful, or evil, or even dishonorable. But it does strike me as a lie.

Chris:

I am going to have to question your belief that fainting in combat will lose her class powers.

Paladins Code of Conduct:

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.
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.

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'm guessing I may have to ask each of my judges (as I sit at a table with them) about Bluff = Lie, and modify my characters actions on a judge by judge basis. Perhaps bye a Phylactery of Faithfulness to guare agains misunderstandings. (drat - that's the headband slot!). Some will likely treat it much like working with evil companions - requiring periodic Atonement spells.

Or perhaps I'll just keep the PC as a fighter, and not take the Paladin class. Sigh.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
nosig wrote:

(thanks for the reply!)

His background is as a halfling servant (old family retainer) in Cheliax - and the flavor for that area gives bonuses to slave/servants avoiding problems with overlords by fast talking their way past problems. So it's sort of a RP thing. He talks a lot, kind of like the funny uncle at family gatherings. Good guy, give you the shirt off his back (the first guy into the burning house to save someone) and famous for telling tall tales...

I love the idea of a Paladin telling tall tales.

I think the key is for the Paladin to believe the story while he's telling it -- because then its not really lying.


I'm actually rather surprised that so many people in this thread think that "lying for good" is not an inherently dishonest or immoral act. It's classic "ends justify the means" Machiavellian philosophy and it definitely does not jive with being a Paladin.

Bluffing to fool someone is, under my judgement when I DM, definitely against the Paladin code.

Bluffing to pass a secret message is totally legit.

Bluffing to feint is very un-Paladin (fight with honor, face your enemy head on, skill against skill with no tricks, etc), but unless a player was feinting early and often I would probably allow it.

That's me ... and as said above, every DM is different. I would, however, strongly disagree with anyone who states that it's ok to "lie for good".

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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.


mem0ri wrote:


Bluffing to feint is very un-Paladin (fight with honor, face your enemy head on, skill against skill with no tricks, etc), but unless a player was feinting early and often I would probably allow it.

So just to check in your games Paladins could fall for which of the following?

Attacking during a surprise round or agains a flat-footed opponent.
Flanking.
Using any combat manuever.
Casting any spell that makes them better than their opponent.
Smiting against a foe not superior to them.

As an aside to all this where does the line get drawn? Can a paladin use disguise to sneak past a guard? Can he lie by ommision? Can he let someone else lie and simply no correct them?

And at what point does evil just win by getting to put the paladin into situations where if they tell the truth horrible things happen but not doing so even by speaking means something just as bad will happen?


Talonhawke wrote:


So just to check in your games Paladins could fall for which of the following?

Attacking during a surprise round or agains a flat-footed opponent.

A proper Paladin would face their enemy head on without undue advantage. A Paladin is the epitome of the honorable knight and is not afraid of a fair fight.

Again, however, please note that I stated already that so long as a Paladin did not make a habit of it, I would let feints occur. The same would go with surprise attacks.

Talonhawke wrote:
Flanking.

A proper Paladin prefers to face his or her foe head on, but should they be involved in a flanking situation I would think nothing of it -- as long as they were not the individual running all over the mat just to create flanking situations.

Talonhawke wrote:
Using any combat manuever.

Combat maneuvers are not dishonest, deceitful, or dishonorable by themselves. I don't see anything wrong with them at all.

Talonhawke wrote:
Casting any spell that makes them better than their opponent.

Just as someone trains to be better than others or buys better armor or gets a better weapon, they may also use magic. Nothing even remotely dishonorable here.

Talonhawke wrote:
Smiting against a foe not superior to them.

Smiting a child who is punching a Paladin would indeed be evil, but there are very few other cases when an IC Paladin would actually know whether or not the foe was inferior or superior. Even then, smite is meant as an attack against evil ... so why would a Paladin not smite evil whenever fighting against it?

Talonhawke wrote:
where does the line get drawn?

Paladins are not stuffy, no-fun-having, zealots ... but they have a code of honor and it is very serious to them. Think of it in the sense of a mythical knight or samauri. The Paladin does not think about what is most likely to give them advantage over an opponent, they think about what will most likely enhance their position of honor.

Talonhawke wrote:
Can a paladin use disguise to sneak past a guard?

I would say that a Paladin would hate doing such a thing and consider it a stain upon their honor. Playing it out that way I would not make a Paladin lose their abilities, but they sure as hell wouldn't do it willingly without good argument for why they must be deceitful or look forward to doing it again. They may even regret doing it for some time afterward and wonder if there was a more honest way.

Talonhawke wrote:
Can he lie by ommision?

The answer to that one is all in the situation. Sometimes omitting all of the facts is an act of compassion, "Your mommy had to go away so I need to take you to your uncle's house" (really mommy was killed by goblins ... so did 'go away' ... but the child doesn't need to know the whole store)

Talonhawke wrote:
Can he let someone else lie and simply no correct them?

The Paladin may defer to the person telling the lie during the moment, but then confront them after. If the Paladin is particularly offended by the lie, they might speak up during the telling.

Talonhawke wrote:
And at what point does evil just win by getting to put the paladin into situations where if they tell the truth horrible things happen but not doing so even by speaking means something just as bad will happen?

A Paladin does not fear facing evil or the consequences evil threatens to bring on them. They do, however, fear staining their honor or abandoning their code and/or their god.


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mem0ri wrote:

I'm actually rather surprised that so many people in this thread think that "lying for good" is not an inherently dishonest or immoral act. It's classic "ends justify the means" Machiavellian philosophy and it definitely does not jive with being a Paladin.

That's me ... and as said above, every DM is different. I would, however, strongly disagree with anyone who states that it's ok to "lie for good".

I don't think you realize just how wrong that is, and how much even you disagree with it, so here's a simple scenario to illustrate.

You're a paladin who's protecting a family of innocents from a tyrannous lord. You've stopped and holed up in a house for a bit while you think about what to do next. Stopping here seems fairly safe because nobody in the village looks like they're going to give you up to the authorities, and you've got the family well hidden so that even if the house was given a once over they wouldn't be found. Then a bunch of heavily armed, shady looking characters that are part of a very large military division that's searching the town knock on your door and ask if you've seen the family (the one you're hiding). Fighting isn't going to work, you're quite outnumbered and outgunned, and they would probably guess that something's up if you attacked them. So what do you do: lie, or tell the truth?

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Thunderbird8804 wrote:
mem0ri wrote:

I'm actually rather surprised that so many people in this thread think that "lying for good" is not an inherently dishonest or immoral act. It's classic "ends justify the means" Machiavellian philosophy and it definitely does not jive with being a Paladin.

That's me ... and as said above, every DM is different. I would, however, strongly disagree with anyone who states that it's ok to "lie for good".

I don't think you realize just how wrong that is, and how much even you disagree with it, so here's a simple scenario to illustrate.

You're a paladin who's protecting a family of innocents from a tyrannous lord. You've stopped and holed up in a house for a bit while you think about what to do next. Stopping here seems fairly safe because nobody in the village looks like they're going to give you up to the authorities, and you've got the family well hidden so that even if the house was given a once over they wouldn't be found. Then a bunch of heavily armed, shady looking characters that are part of a very large military division that's searching the town knock on your door and ask if you've seen the family (the one you're hiding). Fighting isn't going to work, you're quite outnumbered and outgunned, and they would probably guess that something's up if you attacked them. So what do you do: lie, or tell the truth?

"I do not recognize your authority, and I will not speak to you on this subject. Be off with you, lest you find something you're not looking for in this house." Intimidate should be a class skill for paladins.


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Mergy wrote:
Thunderbird8804 wrote:
mem0ri wrote:

I'm actually rather surprised that so many people in this thread think that "lying for good" is not an inherently dishonest or immoral act. It's classic "ends justify the means" Machiavellian philosophy and it definitely does not jive with being a Paladin.

That's me ... and as said above, every DM is different. I would, however, strongly disagree with anyone who states that it's ok to "lie for good".

I don't think you realize just how wrong that is, and how much even you disagree with it, so here's a simple scenario to illustrate.

You're a paladin who's protecting a family of innocents from a tyrannous lord. You've stopped and holed up in a house for a bit while you think about what to do next. Stopping here seems fairly safe because nobody in the village looks like they're going to give you up to the authorities, and you've got the family well hidden so that even if the house was given a once over they wouldn't be found. Then a bunch of heavily armed, shady looking characters that are part of a very large military division that's searching the town knock on your door and ask if you've seen the family (the one you're hiding). Fighting isn't going to work, you're quite outnumbered and outgunned, and they would probably guess that something's up if you attacked them. So what do you do: lie, or tell the truth?

"I do not recognize your authority, and I will not speak to you on this subject. Be off with you, lest you find something you're not looking for in this house." Intimidate should be a class skill for paladins.

Keep in mind that the gang of goons on your doorstep, in addition to being pretty tough customers themselves, have a horde of soldiers in and around the town, and I really doubt an entire army is going to be put off by a couple tough words (and there's nothing quite so suspicious as as a guy delivering threats when asked if he's seen someone).


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wraithstrike wrote:
The issue with paladins is that the restrictions vary by GM, and unless you are running with the same GM every session you might run into problems. RAW the GM can tag you for any lies, and some would even say RAI, so you may want to talk with your local PFS GM's.

Worse, in my games the restrictions vary by the god the paladin follows. The paladin in my current game serves Iomedae, goddess of valor, rulership, justice, and honor. She is strict about honor, especially military honor. On the other hand, a paladin of Erastil, god of farming, hunting, trade, and family, would have more relaxed standards. Building strong community would be more important than honor.

mem0ri wrote:

I'm actually rather surprised that so many people in this thread think that "lying for good" is not an inherently dishonest or immoral act. It's classic "ends justify the means" Machiavellian philosophy and it definitely does not jive with being a Paladin.

Bluffing to fool someone is, under my judgement when I DM, definitely against the Paladin code.

Bluffing to pass a secret message is totally legit.

Bluffing to feint is very un-Paladin (fight with honor, face your enemy head on, skill against skill with no tricks, etc), but unless a player was feinting early and often I would probably allow it.

That's me ... and as said above, every DM is different. I would, however, strongly disagree with anyone who states that it's ok to "lie for good".

Iomedae would not tolerate lying for good. However, a bluff check is not necessarily for lying.

A story as an example. The paladin, who helped spirit away the rightful heir to the throne, has been captured by the usurper's forces:

INTERROGATOR: Where is the prince?
PALADIN: I shall never tell you.
INTERROGATOR: Did you send him north? To Castle Haven?
PALADIN: I shall not say.
GM to PALADIN PLAYER: Roll a bluff check.
PALADIN PLAYER: Why? I'm not lying.
GM: The interrogator is trying to read the paladin's reaction to his statement with Sense Motive. He has terrible penalties, but you need to roll a bluff check to oppose.
PALADIN PLAYER: I rolled a 9. With untrained bluff, I get to add my Charisma bonus. That makes 13.
GM: The interrogator frowns in frustration. He cannot read the paladin's reaction.

Furthermore, to Iomedae using superior battle tactics is perfectly honorable, even if the battle tactics rely on fooling someone. An ambush from hidng is good use of terrain in preparation for battle. A feint in combat is fancy swordplay so that the opponent has no idea where the sword will strike and thus has no idea where to dodge. Stabbing the BBEG in the back by sneaking into his lair would be dishonorable, but stabbing the BBEG in the back because he turned his back on the paladin to attack the burly fighter would be honorable, even when the paladin and fighter deliberately charged the BBEG from opposite directions.

The classic use of bluff in the real world is in Poker. A paladin playing Poker would lose no honor by bluffing in the game. He would not be lying, he would merely be betting on his hand despite the odds not being good because he expects the other players to fold in face of his courage.

The paladin of Iomedae in my campaign benefits from his code. Everyone knows that they can trust his word. Likewise, Mergy's answer to Thunderbird8804's scenario is the reaction that the thugs would expect from a paladin of Iomedae, even if the house were empty. Even if the thugs were not intimidated, the paladin's answer would give them no clues. In fact, the paladin might have been clever enough to conduct his lookout from the empty house nextdoor.


It really depends on the bluff.

Also when it comes to smiting and adventagous tactics (like flanking) I think that there is a real difference between a fair fight and the realities of war in which surprize and stratagy might call for a bit of sneakiness.


I'm a Little late I suppose.

but bluff doesnt mean lie.
you can use bluff to confuse as well.....

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I do find the notion of a character who has become a paladin, and, by dint of his origin story / previous life experiences, is particularly good at something that he really shouldn't be doing any longer.

"It's a shame, really, I was a brilliant liar."

"On the other hand, the vow of chastity is probably for the best. I already had seven illegitimate children that I knew of. Apparently, I was good at that, too..."

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I'm of the opinion that a paladin may dislike ambush tactics, but he will certainly not put his or his charge's life in jeopardy by not using good tactics. If he dies because of a foolish manoeuvre, he can no longer carry on his fight against evil.


Mathmuse wrote:
The paladin of Iomedae in my campaign benefits from his code. Everyone knows that they can trust his word. Likewise, Mergy's answer to Thunderbird8804's scenario is the reaction that the thugs would expect from a paladin of Iomedae, even if the house were empty.

Assuming they're familiar enough with paladins to know that this one is a paladin of Iomedae, it seems like a really bad idea to give the bad guys a tip off that you're a paladin if you're supposed to be in hiding.

Quote:
Even if the thugs were not intimidated, the paladin's answer would give them no clues.

Yeah it would, a guy you're pretty sure is a paladin threatening you after you've only asked him if he's seen a group of people is going to be suspicious to say the least. Keep in mind that this is an entire division of military men on a search and kill mission from their not even close to benevolent lord, so unless they're rock stupid or the village is more like a city, they're going to be doing house by house searches, but they're also not going to waste days on end tearing every single house apart...unless you put a big neon "I'm really suspicious" sign over your head, then they're probably going to kick in the door, kill you for mouthing off to them, tear the house apart down to the foundation, find the family, and kill them too.

Quote:
In fact, the paladin might have been clever enough to conduct his lookout from the empty house next door.

And that would change the scenario, which misses the point. This situation sets up a dilemma (a problem with only two choices, neither of which are particularly desirable) in order to test this principle:

mem0ri wrote:

I'm actually rather surprised that so many people in this thread think that "lying for good" is not an inherently dishonest or immoral act. It's classic "ends justify the means" Machiavellian philosophy and it definitely does not jive with being a Paladin.

That's me ... and as said above, every DM is different. I would, however, strongly disagree with anyone who states that it's ok to "lie for good".

This can apply to paladins, it can apply to the other classes, it can apply to real life, it's all the same for the purposes of this dilemma.

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Woohoo, we're at the stage where people come up with no-win scenarios and then say "SEE? I TOLD YOU SO!"

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, when commanded to lie, by a righteous authority, for a good cause, is the Paladin screwed?

Give the Paladin some wiggle room.

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blackbloodtroll wrote:

So, when commanded to lie, by a righteous authority, for a good cause, is the Paladin screwed?

Give the Paladin some wiggle room.

There is no wiggle room in the land of paladin code threads.


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Mergy wrote:
Woohoo, we're at the stage where people come up with no-win scenarios and then say "SEE? I TOLD YOU SO!"

It's not a no-win scenario, unless the paladin as a class is so messed up that lying is absolutely verboten. In that case, it's a scenario where the paladin can lose their powers by doing something more good than giving candy to orphans, or they can keep their powers (maybe) by doing something more evil than giving poisoned candy to orphans, and the class actually is lawful stupid. In a sane universe where paladins can lie if it would do more good than harm, you just lie your butt off and everything comes out rainbows and lollipops.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Reading the code, you simply cannot lie in a dishonorable manner, while honorable lying is totally fine.


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Klingon quote: There is nothing more honorable than victory. (Worf on DS9 when commenting on klingons lying in wait to ambush rescuers.)

- Gauss


Seem like the live of a paladin is a tough one, Full of dificult choises and moral complications and evil DMs.

I wonder how the poeple in this forum who dump wisdom play their paladins?.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Lie with Honor, or Lie in a grave.

Shadow Lodge

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Quote:
Can a Paladin use Bluff

Yes.


The pleasure of playing a Paladin is inversely proportional the the Douche-level of your GM. If your GM is one of those all-too-common 'riding the Paladin and trying to make him fall is a guilty pleasure' then sure, expect completely unreasonable treatment and a pedantic and knee-jerky response to even the slightest possible error on your behalf.

It's like playing a game of 'Gotcha' where they get to make up all the finer rules and subtle nuances and are the perpetually offended who are looking for something to be offended by.

On the other hand, a reasonable GM will let you use your Bluff skill in a variety of ways, once again, may I recommend using the great 2nd Ed Paladins Handbook as it goes right into vows and codes in detail. By having such detail ready to hand and clearly laid out you will fair much better than having the really vague and subjective paragraph and a half you are working with that tries to cover a massive range of potentialities.

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Nicos wrote:

Seem like the live of a paladin is a tough one, Full of dificult choises and moral complications and evil DMs.

I wonder how the poeple in this forum who dump wisdom play their paladins?.

Mine has charged through fire to get to his enemy multiple times. He's also accepted his enemy's surrender. While on fire.


I don't dumpstat Wisdom on Paladins, just can't bring myself to do it.

My only current Paladin has Wis as his primary stat.


A paladin is also a soldier, and while lying is strictly prohibited by RAW, and I beleive RAI, feinting which is a combat based manuever should not be. Neither is fighting with an advantage.
If that is the case paladins can't accept buffs or fight debuffed enemies. There is also the issue of not knowing how strong an enemy is.

Other issues are that the pally is supposed to protect people, and if his honor(which is a very subjective thing) gets in the way people will die.

Let's say the paladin is in charge of an army. Does he forego the use of any tactics that give him an advantage?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

No, lying dishonorably is disallowed. Lying honorably is totally cool.


All of which get down to why you need a reasonable GM, and not one who is looking to trip the Paladin up for 'teh lulz'.

At the same time, there is also an obligation on the player to also make a serious attempt at doing the right thing. Whilst I have seen some GM's that really went to town trying to fault paladins, I have equally seen enough players tring their level best to twist and wiggle as hard as they can to maintain the LETTER of the law whilst doing very little to keep within the spirit of it.


Mergy wrote:


There is no wiggle room in the land of paladin code threads.

Which is to say that there is but one way to play a paladin? I know you're not saying that. Even outsiders without choice of alignment have personality. It is a strict code, but the high road is paved with difficult choices, not simple ones with one choice.


I think he is inferring that in Paladin Code Threads there is no wiggle room because all the troglodytes come flooding forward to 'Hurr durr' Paladins as hard as they can.

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Shifty wrote:
I think he is inferring that in Paladin Code Threads there is no wiggle room because all the troglodytes come flooding forward to 'Hurr durr' Paladins as hard as they can.

Yup.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Chris Mortika wrote:

What about feinting in combat?

Well, if a paladin annouced "I'm going to hit your head" while aiming a blow at the opponent's legs, and expected the opponent to believe her and guard his head, then that would be a lie. And feinting in combat is doing the same thing with body language: looking at an area, or adjusting a weapon grip, to suggest one target, while planning to hit another.

That doesn't strike me as unlawful, or evil, or even dishonorable. But it does strike me as a lie.

Feinting in combat isn't necessarily doing that, though. Sometimes it's about getting your opponent to over-extend, or to aim where you have no intention being. By this use of not being where you lead the enemy to think you will be, using Dodge or your Dex bonus to AC is also lying.

Personally, I think that's a load of old hogwash. It's not a lie, it's just fighting intelligently. Applying 'lying' to feinting is hyperbolic and, as you say, it is not 'unlawful, or evil, or even dishonourable' and therefore the paladin has not violated his code.

Even if he did, it wouldn't result in a loss of powers, just need the odd confession now and again.


Shifty wrote:
I think he is inferring that in Paladin Code Threads there is no wiggle room because all the troglodytes come flooding forward to 'Hurr durr' Paladins as hard as they can.

Even more interesting to me than troglodytes coming forward and flooding Paladin threads with a hardcore case of 'hurr durr' is the belief by those of the opposite persuasion that there is a whole bunch of 'hurr durr' where it's not.

So far in this thread I have seen a bunch of people talking about how Paladins are honorable and honest and then discussing the finer points of when honor and honesty potentially get in the way of doing good and how one might react to that.

I think everyone -- even the one person who stated that feinting was lying -- admitted that Paladins should be allowed to feint.

I think everyone agrees that Paladins can use bluff actions that are not specifically lying.

I think everyone agrees that Paladins do not have to randomly spout off every detail of everything they know to the enemy.

In the end, it's all about the player working to ensure his character acts with as much honor as possible. When doing so, 99.999999% of DMs are going to let a Paladin engage in many activities that are not purely straightforward. The other minute quantity of DMs just want to see Paladins burn and there's nothing you can do about that.

In the end ... the biggest difficulty with Paladins -- at least in my experience -- has been with players trying to treat them as fighters with some additional cool abilities instead of as 'knights' with a strict code of honor that is of extreme importance to their character to hold to.


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Mergy wrote:
Mine has charged through fire to get to his enemy multiple times. He's also accepted his enemy's surrender. While on fire.

And that ... is what being a Paladin is all about. I love it.

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