Would not killing the lich cause the paladin to fall?


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Been reading Seeker of Secrets as of late. Interesting stuff.

One of the things it says is that, no matter what, Pathfinders are not allowed to fight amongst themselves while in a society lodge--the lodge is considered neutral ground for all pathfinders, regardless of their stripes.

Now, what happens if a paladin, and a vile lich widely feared for his many despicable deeds--both prominent pathfinders with an interest in history and artifacts--were to end up in the same lodge?

If the paladin were to let the lich go about his own business, per the rules of the society, would he then lose his powers for putting the society's rule above his own code? Has he even broken any of his own code's tenants?

Just some random food for thought. Discuss.


Why would a Lich be a Pathfinder?

Scarab Sages

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I love the way this scene is set up.

Paladin and Lich cross paths, and they stop as they pass each other, turning and glaring in a very over-the-top, anime-esque fashion. The Paladin turns to the lich and says "Why don't we step outside?" in a low, menacing voice.

The lich looks around and busts out laughing at the Pally, and tells him there's no way he's going to do that... At which point the Paladin tells the lich that if he sets even one toe outside the premises, he will smite him so hard he'll feel it when his phylactery gets him back up. He tells the Lich that he's free to go about his business, but if he ever even THINKS about threatening the well-being of the townspeople or society, he will gladly put him down.

Then he walks away, because a Paladin warns first, and smites second.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Why would a Lich be a Pathfinder?

I can think of plenty of legitimate reasons.

Having an interest in ancient artifacts being only one of them.

Silver Crusade

Well depending on the paladin and the framework of law in the area he has several options:

-inform the authorities to deal with him and drag him outside the lodge
-arrest the lich for his crimes (only of the local law allows this)
-lure the lich into attacking the paladin or others (assuming self defense is fair game)
-burn down the lodge

Of course the paladin could stop beeing a pathfinder (turning in his wayfinder) and exit the building. Now enter again and smite the lich.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Pretty sure only way a Lich would be an actual Pathfinder is if it is unknown that he is a Lich.

Shadow Lodge

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:


-inform the authorities to deal with him and drag him outside the lodge
-arrest the lich for his crimes (only of the local law allows this)
-lure the lich into attacking the paladin or others (assuming self defense is fair game)
-burn down the lodge

1. I have to think that except in the most major of cities, the local law enforcement would pretty much piss their pants at the thought of having to confront a known lich.

2. See my answer for #1. Plus, how many prisons are really built to be able to hold a lich (assuming that you can take the lich alive...er...undead)?

3. Luring the lich into attacking others? Sounds like a good way to have the paladin fall.

4. Yeah...you're fallen in this scenario as well.


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Ravingdork wrote:

Been reading Seeker of Secrets as of late. Interesting stuff.

One of the things it says is that, no matter what, Pathfinders are not allowed to fight amongst themselves while in a society lodge--the lodge is considered neutral ground for all pathfinders, regardless of their stripes.

Now, what happens if a paladin, and a vile lich widely feared for his many despicable deeds--both prominent pathfinders with an interest in history and artifacts--were to end up in the same lodge?

If the paladin were to let the lich go about his own business, per the rules of the society, would he then lose his powers for putting the society's rule above his own code? Has he even broken any of his own code's tenants?

Just some random food for thought. Discuss.

No, of course not. Paladin's are upholders of Virtue, not psychotic robots that must initiate the 'kill' program when confronted with some-one with the 'evil' flag set to 'on'.

There is absolutely no reason the Paladin would have to attack the Lich there and than. Indeed, it would violate the paladins Code with regards Honour and respect for law to do so. Likewise, the Lich has to obey the Pathfinder Societies rules as well yes, or loose the protection there-in.

So the Paladin could, and of course would, work against the Lich, but he would be under no obligation to attack him within the Lodge.

Unless there was some really bizarre set of circumstances that limited the place the Lich could be attacked to just that Lodge. Now that's interesting, a Sort of Lethal Weapon 2 sort of scenario where the bad-guy just hangs out in the Lodge 24/7.

Shadow Lodge

Kevin Mack wrote:
Pretty sure only way a Lich would be an actual Pathfinder is if it is unknown that he is a Lich.

This a thousand times over.


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Why are people here so fascinated in trying to make a paladin fall and screw over a player?


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This is why I still refuse to play divine characters. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.


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Ravingdork wrote:

WOULD NOT KILLING THE LICH CAUSE THE PALADIN TO FALL?

Concentrate and ask again

Silver Crusade

Kthulhu wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:


-inform the authorities to deal with him and drag him outside the lodge
-arrest the lich for his crimes (only of the local law allows this)
-lure the lich into attacking the paladin or others (assuming self defense is fair game)
-burn down the lodge

1. I have to think that except in the most major of cities, the local law enforcement would pretty much piss their pants at the thought of having to confront a known lich.

2. See my answer for #1. Plus, how many prisons are really built to be able to hold a lich (assuming that you can take the lich alive...er...undead)?

3. Luring the lich into attacking others? Sounds like a good way to have the paladin fall.

4. Yeah...you're fallen in this scenario as well.

^^

1. Well once the authorities try to arrest him and he fights back, the paladin has a pretty clear case of protecting the innocent and upholding the rule of law. Of course law enforecemtn could just tell the pathfinders inside to lodge to kick the lich out. If they refuse they are hiding a known criminal.

2. If you can actually arrest the lich with the intention to bring him to trial, it is your job to make sure that the lich can't escape. If he is a wizard, sorcerer or magus take away his spell components, gag him and bind his hands and fingers. If he fights back...

3. Making him attack the level 1 waiter...bad. Making him attack one of your party members (assuming he wants to help) or even the antipaladin pathfinder that just came in ... not that bad.

4. Actually arson is not prohibited in the paladins code, if you are carefull and ensure that nobody gets hurt and pay for the damages...
Ok it's not 100 % lawfull unless you ask for permission first.

Silver Crusade

Odraude wrote:
This is why I still refuse to play divine characters. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

It's a challenge, mostly for the GM not to let the players fall. Just like you should say no to a player wanting to play a paladin in a certain pirate AP.


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Ravingdork wrote:


If the paladin were to let the lich go about his own business, per the rules of the society, would he then lose his powers for putting the society's rule above his own code? Has he even broken any of his own code's tenants?

I'm pretty sure the paladin would be doing a better deed converting a lich for good rather than just flat out killing him. If paladins fell for letting an evil character live, then no paladin would ever try to teach someone the error of their ways; they would be about killing all the time - and isn't being a serial killer something that would make a paladin fall?


Wise Owl wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Been reading Seeker of Secrets as of late. Interesting stuff.

One of the things it says is that, no matter what, Pathfinders are not allowed to fight amongst themselves while in a society lodge--the lodge is considered neutral ground for all pathfinders, regardless of their stripes.

Now, what happens if a paladin, and a vile lich widely feared for his many despicable deeds--both prominent pathfinders with an interest in history and artifacts--were to end up in the same lodge?

If the paladin were to let the lich go about his own business, per the rules of the society, would he then lose his powers for putting the society's rule above his own code? Has he even broken any of his own code's tenants?

Just some random food for thought. Discuss.

No, of course not. Paladin's are upholders of Virtue, not psychotic robots that must initiate the 'kill' program when confronted with some-one with the 'evil' flag set to 'on'.

There is absolutely no reason the Paladin would have to attack the Lich there and than. Indeed, it would violate the paladins Code with regards Honour and respect for law to do so. Likewise, the Lich has to obey the Pathfinder Societies rules as well yes, or loose the protection there-in.

"a vile lich widely feared for his many despicable deeds" -

The paladin should kill the lich for the same reason they should kill any other evil of that magnitude. It is not a NE farmer, but a being with huge power that have done many despicable deeds.


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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.

Totally not seeing any clause about murdering evil when you find it, or even a requirement that an undead creature must be killed on sight- intelligent or otherwise.

What does a Paladin do who finds a Lich in a pathfinder lodge going about the business of the Pathfinders? Wave, and go on about his or her duty. Sure- they'd certainly keep an eye on 'em just in case they *did* go about doing evil.. but BEING evil doesn't give the Paladin the right to kill them. And being a Lich probably isn't against the law.

Furthermore- there's no evidence in RAW that Liches have to do anything evil. They are "evil" beacuse Undead are evil but the creation of one isn't necessarily so.
From the Lich entry:

Quote:
The exact methods for each spellcaster's transformation are left to the GM's discretion, but should involve expenditures of hundreds of thousands of gold pieces, numerous deadly adventures, and a large number of difficult skill checks over the course of months, years, or decades

No mention of puppy kicking, innocent slaying, virgin soul sucking or anything. Just expensive, deadily adventures with a number of difficult skill checks.

Is it evil? By RAW yes. Does it ever have to commit an evil act?
Absolutely not.
The Paladin has no more right or authority to challenge it to a duel to the death or insta-smite it than he does any other creature who's only offense is to detect evil.

-S


The question is should you respect the law which should be your main focus as a paladin but in the case I think it would be up too the player.
Now remember even if he attacks the lich it is not considered an evil act so the player is free too do so without the consequences of losing his ability.
Afterwords the paladin should not pussyfoot around and fess up too the crime he did because too respect the law does not mean too blindly follow the law.


In the same sense a paladin does not have too attack the lich even if the law allowed it

Sovereign Court

I know its hip to be a lich these days but I have trouble imagining one being a pathfinder. Thats mortal crap and a lich has way more important things to attend to. Sure the pathfinders might get artifacts but the lich can send a minion later to retrieve it from them. I mean its not like liches don't have time to waste. I imagine they become quite patient after the transformation.


Namelessone wrote:

The question is should you respect the law which should be your main focus as a paladin but in the case I think it would be up too the player.

Now remember even if he attacks the lich it is not considered an evil act so the player is free too do so without the consequences of losing his ability.
Afterwords the paladin should not pussyfoot around and fess up too the crime he did because too respect the law does not mean too blindly follow the law.

The main focus of paladins is the good/evil axis, law is importat because they believe it is the form of the greater good.


Nicos wrote:
Namelessone wrote:

The question is should you respect the law which should be your main focus as a paladin but in the case I think it would be up too the player.

Now remember even if he attacks the lich it is not considered an evil act so the player is free too do so without the consequences of losing his ability.
Afterwords the paladin should not pussyfoot around and fess up too the crime he did because too respect the law does not mean too blindly follow the law.
The main focus of paladins is the good/evil axis, law is importat because they believe it is the form of the greater good.

If that were the case, wouldn't paladins be NG rather than LG?


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That's the rub. The Paladin has two codes of conduct he must follow, and if they conflict he may need to leave one of them behind. It's like someone trying to be an Eagle Knight and a Hell Knight at the same time, one code of honor must be compromised.
Now, that's not to say he will be lawful stupid about it. If he knows he can't win, then his god won't demand he charge to his imminent death.

Giving the OP another look, that single rule about not attacking each other while in a Pathfinder Lodge is so terribly minor, that it should be inconsequential to a Paladin's Code. The Paladin should also not bother with waiting outside the lodge for the Lich to come out. When it comes to the waiting game, a Lich has a *ever so slight* advantage :P

Sczarni

The paladin definitely wouldn't fall for not killing the lich. There are tons of other options that would be reasonable ways for the Pal to work against the lich.

That said, I would say that the paladin definitely *would* fall if he specifically refrained from opposing the lich at all, merely to not violate the rules of the Pathfinder Society.

You don't get a shot at stopping a "vile lich widely feared for his many despicable deeds" every day. And taking one out is a lot more important than saying on good terms with the PFS.

And if the only good option for taking the lich out is to kill him within the lodge, then that's what the Pal would do. #@%& the Pathfinders.


bookrat wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Namelessone wrote:

The question is should you respect the law which should be your main focus as a paladin but in the case I think it would be up too the player.

Now remember even if he attacks the lich it is not considered an evil act so the player is free too do so without the consequences of losing his ability.
Afterwords the paladin should not pussyfoot around and fess up too the crime he did because too respect the law does not mean too blindly follow the law.
The main focus of paladins is the good/evil axis, law is importat because they believe it is the form of the greater good.
If that were the case, wouldn't paladins be NG rather than LG?

why? Law is the way to the greater good (at least in the paladin and archons minds), the greter good is, well, greater than any other good therefore paladins are LG.


Trinite wrote:

The paladin definitely wouldn't fall for not killing the lich. There are tons of other options that would be reasonable ways for the Pal to work against the lich.

That said, I would say that the paladin definitely *would* fall if he specifically refrained from opposing the lich at all, merely to not violate the rules of the Pathfinder Society.

You don't get a shot at stopping a "vile lich widely feared for his many despicable deeds" every day. And taking one out is a lot more important than saying on good terms with the PFS.

And if the only good option for taking the lich out is to kill him within the lodge, then that's what the Pal would do. #@%& the Pathfinders.

I would agree, though the caveat of "it it's the only way" is important. I'd say the Paladin should make a good faith effort to find some way of going after the Lich without breaking PFS rules first, but if that fails then he does he needs to do.

Silver Crusade

@bookrat - I love the RP idea of a Paladin sitting down with a Lich in a 'neutral zone' and trying to get him to repent/redeem themselves.

A Paladin who finds himself in the situation has more to lose by acting rashly then not. Although Trinite makes a good point, not acting for the wrong reasons will get him hot water as well. A smart Paladin may attempt to find out what nefarious reasons a Lich has for using the Pathfinders - thus giving him more knowledge to be applied to stopping the Lich one way or another. Smiting evil isn't the only solution, sometimes putting yourself in a better future smiting posistion is just as good.


Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Why would a Lich be a Pathfinder?

That is odd, the first thing I thought was, why would a Paladin be a Pathfinder. It seems like being a Pathfinder would but the Paladin in way more binds then this. There leadership is shady and suspect at best, not sure if a Paladin would really be on board with the Pathfinder Society.

The major flaw in this scenario is that the Pathfinder Society is harboring a lich to begin with. You think they are going to knowingly host a mass murder among their ranks with no fear of repercussion? They are not going to just ignore that fact. The law of the land is definitely not going to ignore that fact either.

The Paladin would not lose its powers for not smiting it, but it sure would lose them for being associates with a lich. If you are a member of a group that blatantly allows vile murderous liches in as members and does not bat an eye about it, as a Paladin you should probably not be in that group. It is sort of like if you are in the DEA and play poker with a Columbian Drug Cartel every wed, good luck keeping your job.


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Does not killing the Paladin cause the Lich to fall?


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Kthulhu wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
Pretty sure only way a Lich would be an actual Pathfinder is if it is unknown that he is a Lich.
This a thousand times over.

The Pathfinder Society does not impose any alignment or race restrictions upon its members. Why couldn't a lich interested in uncovering artifacts and bringing history to light be a member in good standing with the society?

As long as he doesn't sully their name in some fashion, who really cares?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Lets see An orginisation with Paladins, probably clerics of Phasmera Clerics of several good gods some of which may or may not be on the ruling body. Willingly allowing a Lich also means the majority of countries in Golarion banning the society.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:

The Pathfinder Society does not impose any alignment or race restrictions upon its members. Why couldn't a lich interested in uncovering artifacts and bringing history to light be a member in good standing with the society?

As long as he doesn't sully their name in some fashion, who really cares?

You might as well ask "Why would it be a problem if Oxford university would give tenure to an open and prominent member of Al Quaeda, who self-admittedly has bombed a few orphanages?"


This is how I would treat it as a DM:
1. If the paladin willingly breaks the Pathfinders laws on their own ground, having aknowledged the Pathfinders as a legitimate hierarchy in this situation (by joining them), that would grant the paladin a HARSH warning from the god and potentially loss of some of it's power until repenting.
2. If the paladin does not oppose the lich at all, and not atone, it'd get a mild warning.
3. If the paladin tried to oppose the lich without breaking (major) Pathfinder laws, for example by trying to lure the lich out, by following the lich, by trying politically to get the lich excluded from the Pathfinders, by sending the rogue to try to find out where the Lich has it's lair through going through the lich's stuff, or anything else that would be opposing the lich but still not breaking any major laws by those he considers legitimate authority, that would be fine.

Of course, this is just my initial reaction, and depending on the circumstances, I might allow the paladin to attack the lich without falling/being warned by their god (for example if the lich has compromised the legitimacy of the Pathfinders authority).


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Davor wrote:

I love the way this scene is set up.

Paladin and Lich cross paths, and they stop as they pass each other, turning and glaring in a very over-the-top, anime-esque fashion. The Paladin turns to the lich and says "Why don't we step outside?" in a low, menacing voice.

The lich looks around and busts out laughing at the Pally, and tells him there's no way he's going to do that... At which point the Paladin tells the lich that if he sets even one toe outside the premises, he will smite him so hard he'll feel it when his phylactery gets him back up. He tells the Lich that he's free to go about his business, but if he ever even THINKS about threatening the well-being of the townspeople or society, he will gladly put him down.

Then he walks away, because a Paladin warns first, and smites second.

A lich and a paladin walk into the pathfinder guild bar....

That being said, after anime esque over the top scene, I could totally see the other actually keeping close company with each other, perhaps even seeming civil with each other, eating meals at the same time, reading books, charts, and maps, all in the same room. Hell maybe even play a game of chess!

However this would all be a guise, as they are just doing their best to keep an eye on the other, while still getting down with what they need to.


I really appreciate your fine example Cpt Ineptus, for thats exactly how I'd see the whole thing playing out.

Idle banter over a game of chess, double meanings laced throughout, and an air of civility.


it seems to me the only way killing the lich would cause the pally to fall would be if for some reason the lich was not evil, since destroying evil is one of the big things for a lawful good pally, killing the lich to protect the innocent would be the pally's first thought, and if the risk is great enough to make the pally ignore the laws of the area, then i would think it to be well justified, or he could just hire someone else to kill it


from what I have read in Seeker of Secrets I'm more worried about why a Paladin has joined the Society rather than the Lich...


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Odraude wrote:
This is why I still refuse to play divine characters. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

This is why I'm building a Diabolist. Damned is a class feature!


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I think the lich would step outside, after buffing himself for almost ten rounds.

Stringburka, not sure a good pally god would care about the pathfinders, which are tomb robbers, thrill-seekers and not all followers of the god. It seems they even have an evil lich amongst their number in this example. How good are they? And where do their priorities lie?

Agree with ravingdork that a lich pathfinder is possible. If I was an inquisitive lich, I'd keep close ties to the society, and host the best parties with ogre skeleton drummers.


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StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Why are people here so fascinated in trying to make a paladin fall and screw over a player?

Sometimes, the paladin player wants that.


magnuskn wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

The Pathfinder Society does not impose any alignment or race restrictions upon its members. Why couldn't a lich interested in uncovering artifacts and bringing history to light be a member in good standing with the society?

As long as he doesn't sully their name in some fashion, who really cares?

You might as well ask "Why would it be a problem if Oxford university would give tenure to an open and prominent member of Al Quaeda, who self-admittedly has bombed a few orphanages?"

Considering one of the Pathfinder lodges was run by evil devil worshiping bastards (that most likely killed the pathfinders that where original members of said lodge to start with) I find this moot. The Pathfinder society doesn't have a well liked reputation to start with for one part BECAUSE they have a open door policy.

Also who said the lich begun his membership as a lich?


If you think this situation is bad for the paladin consider this:
A paladin of Abadar is forbiden to fight againts other members of the clergy of Abadar, what the paladn have to do with EVIl high rank clerc of abadar who uses his power to promote slavery?


If I were the paladin, and I knew about the lich but it would somehow break other laws, I would probably kill the lich (after examining the situation for nuance, like good liches or whatever), take the demotion, and seek atonement.

And I would consider myself a decent roleplayer while I did this.


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StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Why are people here so fascinated in trying to make a paladin fall and screw over a player?

Mostly because they forget that Paladins are working for the forces of GOOD and said forces are actually forgiving, understanding and generally benevolent, and don't sit around waiting for an opportunity to strip them of their Paladin powers.

Also, they insist Paladins be proactively GOOD, while ignoring that falling from grace should involve being proactively EVIL, as opposed to just being practical (or just not being suicidal).

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Why are people here so fascinated in trying to make a paladin fall and screw over a player?

Many players use the game to exercise anti-social urges that they'll never do in real life. The existence of Paladin characters start a particular itch in those whose mission in life is to topple over anything that's put on a pedestal. So whenever they see a Paladin their first thought is to look for the chink in their armor which leads to a fall.

For many, Paladins represent the establishment that they rebel against in their hearts even if they are forever forestalled from action. By upending them, they exercise the desire they have to mock society's virtues or virtuous.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Helic wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Why are people here so fascinated in trying to make a paladin fall and screw over a player?

Mostly because they forget that Paladins are working for the forces of GOOD and said forces are actually forgiving, understanding and generally benevolent, and don't sit around waiting for an opportunity to strip them of their Paladin powers.

Actually, many of those type are actually cynics that don't believe in Good at all, that anything that seems good is a lie that's just waiting for the right moment to be exposed. You can spot them by those who have an inherent suspicion of the innocent.

Shadow Lodge

To be honest, I've never really seen a reason that most Paladins, Druids, Clerics, or Oracles (with the exception of those devoted to knowledge) would ever join or want anything to do with the Pathfinder Society. It's an organization that, at best has no common ground or appeal, and at worst exists as a group often counter to the devouts beliefs (theft, dishonorable behavior, notoriousy bending/breaking the laws, stealing country's artifacts and items of personal pride and history, and generally unscrupulous behavior).

It's such an arbitrary <forced> group for the game world. I understand it's function, especially for new gamers in PFS, but it's still far to unrealistic and forced, an unlimited resources, world-wide adventurer's guild that dabbles massively in politics, but mandats that higher callings be left at the door, and assumes that people view them as heroes (which many do not and certainly would not).


Ravingdork wrote:

Been reading Seeker of Secrets as of late. Interesting stuff.

One of the things it says is that, no matter what, Pathfinders are not allowed to fight amongst themselves while in a society lodge--the lodge is considered neutral ground for all pathfinders, regardless of their stripes.

Now, what happens if a paladin, and a vile lich widely feared for his many despicable deeds--both prominent pathfinders with an interest in history and artifacts--were to end up in the same lodge?

If the paladin were to let the lich go about his own business, per the rules of the society, would he then lose his powers for putting the society's rule above his own code? Has he even broken any of his own code's tenants?

Just some random food for thought. Discuss.

This would be a perfect description of a DM being a douch-bag (not calling you one... you just posed a question for debate... I got that). But if this every really did pop up in a game I imagine it going something like this....

DM: "And suddenly you realize that Bane the Lich, vile and widely feared for his many despicable deeds, is a member of your lodge! What do you do?"

Paladin: Really Jeff(DM)... Im 10th level. I have been playing my Paladin since level 1. Which means that you have had 10 levels worth of game time to plan this little surprise up... cause I know its not part of the AP (as far as I know there is no Lich/PFS scenario in a AP). Not once did you not think this might be a BAD idea. That it might cause me to fall? I have played by the rules. I haven't been an annoying prick. My party even likes me.... and now you throw me a moral pit trap like this?"

DM: "Hey dude. You picked a Paladin. Stuff like this happens! There are totally crazy evil and feared Undead monsters in PFS cause it says no alignment or race restriction!"

Paladin: "Screw you dude."


Which brings me back to the question "Why would a Paladin join the Pathfinders in the first instance?"

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