Would not killing the lich cause the paladin to fall?


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I've never heard anything about the Pathfinders' restricting membership. I can see a LOT of wizards who simply wanted to be immortal. See the world, continue perfecting their magic...

much like deals with the devil, Lichdom is a TERRIBLE solution... but it has it's advantages too. They may radiate evil... But that doens't mean they are bad GUYS...

As ancient immortal fonts of historical knowledge... I could see PLENTY of reasons for Pathfinder society to embrace them.

However... THIS particular scenario is bit awkward... since you said "and a vile lich widely feared for his many despicable deeds--" Sooo obvioulsy he's EARNED his Evil tag and is worthy of smiting.

REGARDLESS of 'paladins not having free reign to smite anyone he wants...' THIS scenario says Lich has it coming.

On THAT note... The paladin does not HAVE to kill it IMMEDIATELY. If he wishes to honor the rules, he can make a note of the BBEG and Smite him after forming a plan and learning about his enemy.

If he does NOT want to honor the rules... That's his choice too. He may be 'lawful'... but these Laws are harboring a vile and despicable lich. The lodge he's in is associating with Evil... and not necessarily 'temporarilly for the greater good'.. So I can easily see him tossing his wayfinder on the table and drawing his sword.

As a member of the Pathfinders he's honorbound to follow those rules... If he QUITS they don't apply to him anymore. and given the choice between 'pathfinder' and 'paladin' Paladin code ALWAYS comes first.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Likely options in no particular order.

1} Paladin resigns from the Pathfinder Society, nukes lich.
"Sorry guys... this has been fun, but either I hand in my card and follow my god's wishes to destroy a very powerful evil or I fall from grace, become homeless, contract leprosy, and have to start a career as an exotic dancer to afford scraps of food."

2} Paladin realizes lich doesn't have phylactery present, leaves to find it.
"Hey. I know it's a lich, I know it's evil, and I know it's powerful. Maybe I know that it generally stands a zero percent chance of keeping the key to its destruction right here, where it is. Never know. I'm Lawful Stupid, so I must have Int 4 and not understand how to do my job."

3} Paladin petitions Pathfinders to have lich's membership revoked.
"So here's the deal. I've got this huge list of evil deeds Pathfinder Bambi has done. I know, I know... it's hard to believe she's really a powerful undead mage, but rest assured that every time you council members 'put her to the bone', it was more literal than you ever imagined. Amazing what illusions can do, yeah? So anyway, I should mention that your missing family members? Bambi's doing. The mayor who's clearly been victim to mind-control? Bambi again. Oh, and those missing artifacts that pertain to allowing a lich phylactery-less immortality? Yeah... they're in her luggage. So. Who says I go smite her head in?"

4} Paladin asks his patron deity what path he is to take, obeys.
"Greetings father Serenity. Blessings be to you. And an ass-tonne of gold if you can cast a divination for me. I need to know if He wishes for me to renew my Old Stuff Club membership card this year or let it lapse so I can obliterate a horrendous ancient evil. M'kay'thanks."

5} Paladin waits.
"OMFG WTF BBQ I don't have to mindlessly attack evil immediately upon discovering it without regard to law and order? Who'd've thunk. I mean, I never really read that code-of-conduct thing, so I had NO idea or guidance how to deal with the need to balance trivial minor moral quandaries."

Look. This is just another "what does a paladin do when his Lawful requirement is at odds with his Good requirement" situation. It assumes an unrealistic situation, a player who is unimaginative, and a DM who is punitive and spiteful. It's no different from the absurd "if you don't kill this small child - right now - I'm going to kill these two small children... you need to decide if you want to save one life... mruhahahahah.

Please.

Shadow Lodge

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

For the same non-reasons that a lich would.

:P


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"I'm sorry to have to do this, Sir Valoris, but I'm going to have to ask you to turn in your sword and holy symbol..."


Many of those who say that there's no reason why a Lich or Paladin couldn't join the PFS society are looking at the issue from the perspective of "why wouldn't the PFS let them join".

I don't see it as being an issue with the Society. Sure, they're a neutral organization and as long as their members are willing to do their job then they shouldn't have a problem with a Lich or a Paladin. You're correct on those assumptions.

Where I see implausibility rearing its ugly head is the other side of that relationship. What would a Lich or a Paladin possibly gain by becoming a Society member? For me, the issue is that a Lich and (most) Paladins wouldn't want to be part of the PFS.

As a member of the PFS, you're obligated to do research for the Society as well as hand over the bulk of that research. That often includes ancient relics and Artifacts. The kind of personality required to become a Lich (i.e. very unscrupulous) doesn't really seem to jive with a willingness to give up or share power.

Paladins have already chosen to devote their life to a code that encapsulates their entire lifestyle. A proper Paladin practically "breathes" his code. It colors every part of their life. Now, sometimes, a Paladin can find a community or a cause to devote themselves to that is also complimentary to their code (be it a crusade or an organization that espouses a particular way of life). This is often the only time a Paladin can afford to be part of two groups - his code and another community - when they can both be upheld through the same methods. Otherwise, the code just takes up too much of a Paladin's time to allow them to devote themselves to a group or goal that is also time-consuming in it's own right. Working for the Pathfinder Society is a great example of an organization that requires a great deal of dedication, more than most Paladins have time to give.

Upholding a "fanatical" (nothing negative being implied here) code while also maintaining a list of Society responsibilities and being answerable to the Decimverate, is just not doable for most Paladins, IMO. I could maybe see Paladins of Sheyln being able to mesh the two sets of responsibilities together, but even then they'd be hard-pressed to follow every possible order given to them by the Society. It is a True Neutral organization and at some point that culture is going to interfere with the Paladin's personal agenda.

So, IMO, from the point of view of Paladins and Liches, it's just not worth the effort and hassle to join the PFS if you're interested in history and exploration. Join an adventuring party instead (preferably not the same one).


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AM NOT LICH MERELY ANOTHER WAY OF SAYING CASTY?

AM NEVER ILLEGAL SMASH CASTY WHO AM GETTING IN WAY BY BEING SMELLY AND DEAD. AT LEAST, SHOULD NOT BE ILLEGAL EVER. AM PROBABLY GOOD ACT TO KEEP PHYSICS RUNNING AT RATE AM SUPPOSED TO RUN AT. CASTYS HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WHOLE CALL THINGS OUT OF NOTHING AM DOING TO LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS. BARBARIAN GIVE HINT: AM NOT GOOD THINGS.

BARBARIAN RECOMMEND LIBERAL USE OF SMASH ON PRINCIPLE. MAYBE USE PHYLACTERY OF FAITHFULNESS IF REALLY UNSURE. SEEMS BEST WAY FOR PALADIN TO COVER ALL GROUNDS AND KNOW IF SMASH AM VIOLATION.


Always good to know that AM BARBARIAN doesn't take a day off. Even on Labor Day. Sound advice as always. :)


I, too, love the idea of the civil chess game between the two while in the lodge, while plotting how best to get the other.

I could even see, from a tactical stance, the paladin keeping the lich in the lodge, as a method of checking his influence. The paladin could have his friends searching for the phylactery and doing other research, all the while limiting the damage the lich can do.

Of course, the lich won't be sitting on his thumbs either...

This also assumes the paladin won't be played lawful stupid, as so often tends to happen.


This AM BARBARIAN guy is awesome. +1. (Would like that he has better nicknames, like FIGHTY, PALLY, etc. but is still pretty hilarious.)

Anyway...why would not killing a Lich who is abiding by the rules of the PFS a reason for the Paladin to fall? Defeating Evil doesn't mean you can't work or cope with it to an end's meet. Ever heard of those instances where the Good guys and the "Bad guys" team up to defeat a common foe? There's thousands of those. This isn't much different.

Sure, big bad Lich guy can be in the same room as Sir Whatshisface, but what does that have to do with either of their plans? They want artifacts, they want the credit. Treat it as a race: they can't exactly sabotage their opponent(s) at the start line before the race even begins. If they did, they'd surely be executed, so if big bad Lich wants to play his little game, he'd be dumb to coach Sir Whatshisface into combat at an instance that strictly prohibits it (and is punishable with a fate even a Lich with no need of a Phylactery or whatever can bypass).

What happens once the race begins and they both head out of the starting line which is the lodge? Looks like PFS says anything goes. Which means Sir Whatshisface can proceed to play Lawful Stupid and "lolsmite" big bad Lich guy if he decides to leave the starting line. If big bad Lich guy doesn't leave the lodge due to fear of Sir Whatshisface, he's a sitting duck and can't really do anything evil, and if Sir Whatshisface gets the artifacts before big bad Lich guy, he essentially combats and defeats evil at acquiring the important artifacts, which is something God Mode would appreciate him doing.


LazarX wrote:
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.

Pretty much sums it up right here.

Shadow Lodge

I make it even more simple for future reference...

Would not killing X cause the paladin to fall?

Short answer: No

Long Answer: Even faced with the most despicable of creatures Killing something shold be the least good thing a Paladin can do.
That doesn't mean a Paladin should be a pacifist... hell no...
But should the Paladin act as one for whatever reason that should never be a reason to strip him from Paladinhood, nor to switch his alignment.
Aside from the fact that Lich = Evil should not be given for granted, and even when it comes to a really infamous Lich a Paladin "should" (again, not that not doing that automatically means you have to strip his powers away) see for himself, he should be sure he is really evil as people claim him to be.
And to me no ... detect evil is not an answer to that.
Detect Evil can Warn you about someone maliciousness but by itself never justifies an execution.
As a matter of fact, to me nothing can make a paladin fall like overzealousness in their quest to rid the world from evil. The moment they start to break the rules or kill without remorse "for the better good" is the very moment they start to become like the very evil they claim to fight.

so...

Lich = Killing not good
Lich kidnaps a bunch of children and tries to eat their souls in front of the paladin eyes = killing is allowed (but still not mandatory, expecially if he is likely to die ... a paladin is not a martyr)
Lich kidnaps a bunch of children tries to eat their souls and offers a bribe to the paladin to stay out of his business = if the paladin accepts the bribe send him to fallenville


Scarletrose wrote:


Lich kidnaps a bunch of children and tries to eat their souls in front of the paladin eyes = killing is allowed (but still not mandatory, expecially if he is likely to die ... a paladin is not a martyr)

if the paladin do not kill the lich in that circunstance then what he is supossed to do?


Paladin thread... oh why not!

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

This

by joining the Pathfinder, the Paladin knew that he might potentially come in association with evil fellow members of the Lodge which may compromise his/her allegiance.

Also, the Paladin is bound to defeat evil; not to kill at sight (although I guess this is one way of battling evil...) Making sure that the plans of the Pathfinder lich never come to fruition (by working withing the Society) would be one way of battling evil.

Otherwise, paladins fall by failing to their code

PRD - paladin's code wrote:
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.

nothing says that the paladin must kill the lich right then and there.

'findel


Scarletrose wrote:

I make it even more simple for future reference...

Would not killing X cause the paladin to fall?

Short answer: No

Long Answer: Even faced with the most despicable of creatures Killing something shold be the least good thing a Paladin can do.
That doesn't mean a Paladin should be a pacifist... hell no...
But should the Paladin act as one for whatever reason that should never be a reason to strip him from Paladinhood, nor to switch his alignment.
Aside from the fact that Lich = Evil should not be given for granted, and even when it comes to a really infamous Lich a Paladin "should" (again, not that not doing that automatically means you have to strip his powers away) see for himself, he should be sure he is really evil as people claim him to be.
And to me no ... detect evil is not an answer to that.
Detect Evil can Warn you about someone maliciousness but by itself never justifies an execution.
As a matter of fact, to me nothing can make a paladin fall like overzealousness in their quest to rid the world from evil. The moment they start to break the rules or kill without remorse "for the better good" is the very moment they start to become like the very evil they claim to fight.

so...

Lich = Killing not good
Lich kidnaps a bunch of children and tries to eat their souls in front of the paladin eyes = killing is allowed (but still not mandatory, expecially if he is likely to die ... a paladin is not a martyr)
Lich kidnaps a bunch of children tries to eat their souls and offers a bribe to the paladin to stay out of his business = if the paladin accepts the bribe send him to fallenville

A Lich being evil is given for granted. All Liches are Evil, it is a state of their being, they are infused with energy from the Negative Plane. They are corrosive vile beings, or well on there way to becoming one. I am not saying a Paladin has to smite everything in its path, but make no mistake, a Lich is evil.

Alignment has sort of become a tag as the Dungeons and Dragons has progressed, but at its heart it is suppose to be the way something acts and responds. If something has an evil alignment he is suppose to act evil. He does not need to do it minute of every day, but at his core he is evil. This will drive him to do evil things. A lich is incredibly powerful so the temptation is much greater, and he has already proven to be a self interested opportunist just by becoming a lich.

Paladins are not missionaries either, they are Holy Warriors. Their biggest class feature is Smite Evil, they are there to smite. The are more warrior then diplomat. I do not think most paladins would be trying to convert things. Bandits in the woods, sure maybe, it would be better for them to repent for what they did and turn to a life of good, but a lich is a vassal of evil energy. Even if it was rightous and repented, it is still an abomination and its soul should be put to rest through a good old smiting.

Finally the only reason the Paladin Code would allow him to be a member of the Pathfinders is the OOC reason so the player can play in the PFS games. And the organized play seems like such a family friendly version of the real Pathfinders society they are pretty much two separate groups in my opinion. The real Pathfinders seem more like a ramped up Theive's Guild then anything else. Their leaders are masked men whose orders can not be questioned, they use unlawful means to get what they want, and their goals are suspect. It has good members to be certain, and some of the things it does are very good acts that save the world, but as a whole it is a suspicious organization for certain. Paladins are only allowed to associate with evil characters in the most dire of situations, and stealing artifacts does not seem to qualify.

Scarab Sages

PALADIN AM ON HOLD WITH PALADIN GOD. PALADIN GOD AM BUSY SAVING REALITY. PALADIN AM SAYING NO TO RAVING POSTER.

PALADIN AM FALL FOR EVIL ACT AND CODE VIOLATION. NOT KILLING EVIL AM NOT EVIL ACT OR CODE VIOLATION. NOT SMITING LICH AM NOT GOOD ACT EITHER. PALADIN AM FACED WITH DELICATE SITCHATION AND MUST NOT SMITE BLINDLY.

MANY FELLOW POSTERS AM PROVIDE GOOD GUIDANCE BEFORE PALADIN DOES. AM SUGGEST FOLLOW THEM ADVICE.

Shadow Lodge

Nicos wrote:
Scarletrose wrote:


Lich kidnaps a bunch of children and tries to eat their souls in front of the paladin eyes = killing is allowed (but still not mandatory, expecially if he is likely to die ... a paladin is not a martyr)
if the paladin do not kill the lich in that circunstance then what he is supossed to do?

Live to fight another day?

I mean .. a first level Paladin shouldn't go against a lich because is evil. Nothing good can come from throwing away his life ... one thing is to forfait your life to actually save someone ... piling up on the corpses of the innocents doesn't do anything good to the world.

Timothy Hanson wrote:


A Lich being evil is given for granted. All Liches are Evil, it is a state of their being, they are infused with energy from the Negative Plane. They are corrosive vile beings, or well on there way to becoming one. I am not saying a Paladin has to smite everything in its path, but make no mistake, a Lich is evil.

Alignment has sort of become a tag as the Dungeons and Dragons...

Aside from the fact that good lich are known to exist in various settings (like baelnorns). One thing is player knowledge, another is character knowledge.

It is pretty bad roleplay to me if someone says "hey, that dragon has red scales so he must be evil" I'm not saying that before an undead being maintained into false life by necromantic powers a paladin shouldn't be at least uncomfortable. Killing him on sight and having paladin powers stripped from him if he does not is definitely overreacting.


AM PALADIN wrote:

PALADIN AM ON HOLD WITH PALADIN GOD. PALADIN GOD AM BUSY SAVING REALITY. PALADIN AM SAYING NO TO RAVING POSTER.

PALADIN AM FALL FOR EVIL ACT AND CODE VIOLATION. NOT KILLING EVIL AM NOT EVIL ACT OR CODE VIOLATION. NOT SMITING LICH AM NOT GOOD ACT EITHER. PALADIN AM FACED WITH DELICATE SITCHATION AND MUST NOT SMITE BLINDLY.

MANY FELLOW POSTERS AM PROVIDE GOOD GUIDANCE BEFORE PALADIN DOES. AM SUGGEST FOLLOW THEM ADVICE.

I must say that a Paladin should have a required intelligence score of 10, because a Paladin with Intelligence as a dump stat looks just plain stupid and quite frankly, frowned upon to even be a proper selection for Paladinhood.

I liked it better when AM BARBARIAN posted (even though I know they're the same guy and he does this on purpose), because a Barbarian is more inclined to be stupid and has no reason to act smart or rational. All they see is big axe of cutty-cut-ness, and tiny skull to crack. That, and the post is more funny coming from a character class that is supposed to act that way.

Shadow Lodge

Scarletrose wrote:
Aside from the fact that Lich = Evil should not be given for granted, and even when it comes to a really infamous Lich a Paladin "should" (again, not that not doing that automatically means you have to strip his powers away) see for himself, he should be sure he is really evil as people claim him to be.

Actuall, in PF and PFS especially, this is very true. Golarion doesn't have "Good" Undead, and even Neutral Undead are extremely, extremely rare. The process of becoming a Lich, in PF, is also specifically and purposefully extremly evil and vile, too, so the nature of a Lich is not at all something that a Paladin needs to question, by nature, according to the Bestiary. "Player Knowledge"/Metagaming aside, and it is going to take a lot of effort for a DM to attemt to get that one by me, I'm hard pressed to think of a feasible reason that anyone adventure or commoner wouldn't know that Undead are obviously if not evil, dangerous, vile, and abominations that really need to be destroyed, even if that where nt a major tent of the (probably) most well know and common faith in Golarion.

:) You are right, it does come off as metagaming, just not from the players. . . :)

Scarletrose wrote:
Lich = Killing not good

I'm interpretting this to mean "Killing a Lich is not Good", so I apologize if tha's not what you mean.

Actually, yes, killing evil is a Good act, just like casting an Evil spell is an Evil Act, even if it is for a "good" reason. Alignment is an absolute system, not a circumstantial one. It may be the lesser of two Goods, or the lesser of two Evils, but it is still Good/Evil.

<Note that I personally don't play this way, but that's the rules>.


Scarletrose wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Scarletrose wrote:


Lich kidnaps a bunch of children and tries to eat their souls in front of the paladin eyes = killing is allowed (but still not mandatory, expecially if he is likely to die ... a paladin is not a martyr)
if the paladin do not kill the lich in that circunstance then what he is supossed to do?

Live to fight another day?

I mean .. a first level Paladin shouldn't go against a lich because is evil. Nothing good can come from throwing away his life ... one thing is to forfait your life to actually save someone ... piling up on the corpses of the innocents doesn't do anything good to the world.

Timothy Hanson wrote:


A Lich being evil is given for granted. All Liches are Evil, it is a state of their being, they are infused with energy from the Negative Plane. They are corrosive vile beings, or well on there way to becoming one. I am not saying a Paladin has to smite everything in its path, but make no mistake, a Lich is evil.

Alignment has sort of become a tag as the Dungeons and Dragons...

Aside from the fact that good lich are known to exist in various settings (like baelnorns). One thing is player knowledge, another is character knowledge.

It is pretty bad roleplay to me if someone says "hey, that dragon has red scales so he must be evil" I'm not saying that before an undead being maintained into false life by necromantic powers a paladin shouldn't be at least uncomfortable. Killing him on sight and having paladin powers stripped from him if he does not is definitely overreacting.

There are no good liches on Golarion. at least in official capacity. Since I do not know of any other Pathfinder societies I assumed we were on Golarion. Also Dragons are not Liches, Dragons have nothing restricting their alignment as far as I know. Also undead are evil is character knowledge. Farmer Brown with no ranks in anything and an 8 int still knows that the zombies shambling towards his fields are bad news. If some hero comes up and puts a few arrows in the zombies, no one in the town is going to say "What did you do that for? Did you even ask them what they wanted?" If the Paladin has heard about liches, I promise you he has not heard good things. So it would be more in character for a Paladin to smite a lich (it will con evil) without question then it would be Player Knowledge. Maybe the Rovagug has learned his lesson, and has repented, but we will never know so long as he is trapped in that prison, maybe some Paladins should break him out to check, obviously you would not want to risk such a potential powerful ally being locked away like that.

I also think that the Paladin would try to save the children. I understand the concept of live to fight another day, but I do not think it applies equally to all situations. Heroes risk their lives under insurmountable odds, it is sort of their schtick. Even if the Paladin could potentially free some of the children in his blaze of glory I think that should be enough to go out swinging. Really any heroes should do that not just paladins. I do not think that is alignment specific either. A CN character could be just as heroic as a LG one, and a LG character could turn and run away and still play their alignment, but alignment and heroics are not connected.


Scarletrose wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Scarletrose wrote:


Lich kidnaps a bunch of children and tries to eat their souls in front of the paladin eyes = killing is allowed (but still not mandatory, expecially if he is likely to die ... a paladin is not a martyr)
if the paladin do not kill the lich in that circunstance then what he is supossed to do?

Live to fight another day?

I mean .. a first level Paladin shouldn't go against a lich because is evil. Nothing good can come from throwing away his life ... one thing is to forfait your life to actually save someone ... piling up on the corpses of the innocents doesn't do anything good to the world.

He would not know if he do not try. I mean you are right, to die in vain help nobody, but in most circumstance (at least in my campaings) the Pcs fights against stronger oponents, if the paladin always fight against enemies he know for certain he can defeat then he is a lousy paladin.

Scarab Sages

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I must say that a Paladin should have a required intelligence score of 10, because a Paladin with Intelligence as a dump stat looks just plain stupid and quite frankly, frowned upon to even be a proper selection for Paladinhood.

PALADIN GOD AM SAY INT NOT REQUIRED, WILL TO SMITE AM REQUIRED.


Nicos wrote:
Scarletrose wrote:


Lich kidnaps a bunch of children and tries to eat their souls in front of the paladin eyes = killing is allowed (but still not mandatory, expecially if he is likely to die ... a paladin is not a martyr)
if the paladin do not kill the lich in that circunstance then what he is supossed to do?

Rescue the children, stop the ceremony.

if there is EVER a situation where you have to choose one or the other... SAVING lives > Taking Lives.

Shadow Lodge

Nicos wrote:
Scarletrose wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Scarletrose wrote:


Lich kidnaps a bunch of children and tries to eat their souls in front of the paladin eyes = killing is allowed (but still not mandatory, expecially if he is likely to die ... a paladin is not a martyr)
if the paladin do not kill the lich in that circunstance then what he is supossed to do?

Live to fight another day?

I mean .. a first level Paladin shouldn't go against a lich because is evil. Nothing good can come from throwing away his life ... one thing is to forfait your life to actually save someone ... piling up on the corpses of the innocents doesn't do anything good to the world.

He would not know if he do not try. I mean you are right, to die in vain help nobody, but in most circumstance (at least in my campaings) the Pcs fights against stronger oponents, if the paladin always fight against enemies he know for certain he can defeat then he is a lousy paladin.

Of course .. but what I'm saying is the exact opposite.

If the Paladin is certain to die and chooses to run away I would never strip him of his powers for not being a martyr, would you?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

Ravingdork wrote:

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?

In your premise you already invalidated that theory. The undead lodge member is "a vile lich widely feared for his many despicable deeds". Just having him as a member is sullying the Pathfinders' reputation.

Regardless, the paladin would be an idiot to attack on the spot. He's a pathfinder, an expert on finding and recovering ancient artifacts...

Such as a particular lich's phylactery.


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If I'm the paladin and I can't find a good way to "out" the lich, but I know he's doing evil things and killing innocents... I attack in the lodge. Killing an evil undead is more important than my own paladinhood.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I liked it better when AM BARBARIAN posted (even though I know they're the same guy and he does this on purpose), because a Barbarian is more inclined to be stupid and has no reason to act smart or rational. All they see is big axe of cutty-cut-ness, and tiny skull to crack. That, and the post is more funny coming from a character class that is supposed to act that way.

BARBARIAN APPRECIATE DEEP ANALYSIS OF BARBARIAN VS PALADIN DIALECTIC, BUT AM REGRETFUL TO INFORM TALKY PERSON THAT PALADIN AM BROTHER. AM NOT SAME PERSON, AM CLEARLY DIFFERENT. MOM AM ONLY SIMILARITY

HAVE DIFFERENT PORTRAITS, SUBTLY DIFFERENT TALKY PATTERNS AND EVERYTHING. ALSO PALADIN PROBABLY NOT SMASH IF TALKING FOR 50 SECONDS. RELIGION AM LIKE, ALL ABOUT THE TALKING FOR 50 SECONDS.


The Block Knight wrote:

Where I see implausibility rearing its ugly head is the other side of that relationship. What would a Lich or a Paladin possibly gain by becoming a Society member? For me, the issue is that a Lich and (most) Paladins wouldn't want to be part of the PFS.

As a member of the PFS, you're obligated to do research for the Society as well as hand over the bulk of that research. That often includes ancient relics and Artifacts. The kind of personality required to become a Lich (i.e. very unscrupulous) doesn't really seem to jive with a willingness to give up or share power.

Paladins have already chosen to devote their life to a code that encapsulates their entire lifestyle. A proper Paladin practically "breathes" his code. It colors every part of their life. Now, sometimes, a Paladin can find a community or a cause to devote themselves to that is also complimentary to their code (be it a crusade or an organization that espouses a particular way of life). This is often the only time a Paladin can afford to be part of two groups - his code and another community - when they can both be upheld through the same methods. Otherwise, the code just takes up too much of a Paladin's time to allow them to devote themselves to a group or goal that is also time-consuming in it's own right. Working for the Pathfinder Society is a great example of an organization that requires a great deal of dedication, more than most Paladins have time to give.

I really don't see the disparity here... The lich joins up, because he wants to study ancient texts and artifacts...

REALLY... A lich is nothing but an immortal wizard. He USED to be a Regular wizard... and still has the same drives and interests that he had when he was living. Frankly... unlike Vampires and zombies and whatever other kind of undead there are... Liches have the potential to be the LEAST evil of the bunch. They have no driving need to eat brains or suck blood or steal life-force... they're pretty self sufficient.

most of their evil comes from a ceremony performed years ago... and the selfish egocentric need to cheat death. He may very well fit in GREAT in a Pathfinder society. I'm not saying he wouldn't swipe his favorite artifacts... but if he studies them and learns to create them.. or has no use for them... why NOT share??

Paladins?? Paladins... Like all religious people... Are ALLOWED to have hobbies!!! Even the most devout Paladin should not spend ALL his time smiting, training and detecting for NEW things to smite. That's a very 1 dimensional character.

Paladins are ALLOWED to Multiclass. Chosing to be an Archaelogist, Scholar, or librarian... does NOT make him lose his Paladin powers. Also as one of the biggest baddest smiting machines... PFS would LOVE having them go along on their missions.

They had a life and schooling and interests BEFORE they became Paladins... they are allowed to do things they enjoy AFTER they become paladins.

As for 'queationable membership'... ALL societies have the occasional 'Evil' person in it. Everything from the government to the churches, there is SOMEONE trying to work the system for personal power... This does not mean that the Paladin can not be on the charter... It just means he should be wary and try to root out the corruption ;)

Scarab Sages

AM BARBARIAN wrote:
HAVE DIFFERENT PORTRAITS, SUBTLY DIFFERENT TALKY PATTERNS AND EVERYTHING. ALSO PALADIN PROBABLY NOT SMASH IF TALKING FOR 50 SECONDS. RELIGION AM LIKE, ALL ABOUT THE TALKING FOR 50 SECONDS.

PALADIN AM HAVE TROUBLE WITH TALKING FOR 50 MINUTES. 50 SECONDS AM NOT PROBLEM.

CLERGYMAN TALK FOR HOURS, PALADIN AM EXCUSE PALADIN, REMEMBERING SMITING NEEDED ELSEWHERE.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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.

First question: have we made a lich Pathfinder? I don't think we have, and I doubt we would, because liches are pathologically self-centered and while the Pathfinder Society might let evil characters in... a lich wouldn't want to work for such a group where his or her secrets would become open territory to that group's leadership. So in a lot of ways, this question is pure theory.

If the paladin and lich WERE both Pathfinders, though, and if the lich were actually evil and was doing terrible things and the Paladin didn't destroy him... by letting the lich live, he'd be doing a chaotic AND an evil act by essentially allowing this evil to continue. So, yes, in this case, the paladin would lose his paladinhood.

The paladin in this case SHOULD destroy the lich, and that either means he has to abandon the pathfinders (which at this point would likely be a desired option for the paladin since he wouldn't see the point of continuing an alliance with a group that not only allows liches in their ranks but punishes good folk from stopping evil), or the Pathfinder society has to make an exception for the paladin (also likely a desired option, since having a lich as a member of their group is the type of publicity that the society is unlikely to want) and let him stay in the group, which is a very good argument for why we don't currently have undead members of the Pathfinder Society (again, as far as I know).

If we HAVE allowed undead Pathfinders to remain in the society, that's a mis-step on our part, since that pretty much makes it impossible for paladins and other good characters to justify staying in the society.

AKA: The whole "we let anyone in the group and our members cannot fight" element of the society is a tricky element, and one that likely has CONSTANT minor adjustments and exceptions to the rule happening all the time.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

Nicos wrote:
If the paladin does not kill the lich in that circunstance then what he is supposed to do?

This sort of dilemma is the province of obnoxious GMs. While such incidents occurred in the literature of chivalry, divine intervention was a normal and expected part of such tales. Few RPGs would allow such a "deus ex machina" resolution.

To answer the question:

If the paladin has the power to kill the lich, he does so.

If he lacks the power to kill the lich, but can save the children and mess up the lich long enough for a stronger ally to take it down, he does so.

If he can save the children through negotiation, deception, or even treachery, he does so. Under the circumstances, the preservation of innocents may outweigh the loss of the paladin's life, treasure, and sacred honor.

If he can't save the children, he escapes and evades. He returns when he has enough firepower to accomplish the mission.

Shadow Lodge

James Jacobs wrote:
If the paladin and lich WERE both Pathfinders,

A bit off topic, but I'm still kind of curious why many Paladins or Clerics would want anything to do with the PathFindr Society? (aside from it being a quick catch all out of character "in" for the game).

I've always had a lot of difficulty trying to come up with (realisitc) reasons for this, so just curious on your imput, even taking things like Andoran and the Silver Crusade into account, just just doesn't really add up to me.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Beckett wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
If the paladin and lich WERE both Pathfinders,

A bit off topic, but I'm still kind of curious why many Paladins or Clerics would want anything to do with the PathFindr Society? (aside from it being a quick catch all out of character "in" for the game).

I've always had a lot of difficulty trying to come up with (realisitc) reasons for this, so just curious on your imput, even taking things like Andoran and the Silver Crusade into account, just just doesn't really add up to me.

Paladins and clerics who are adventurers would work well with the Pathfinder Society. The society doesn't say "abandon your faith or other loyalties" when you join them.

That said, the Pathfinder Society is intended to be attractive to the classic adventurer. The Indiana Jones type character. That's obviously not ALL characters, and if a character doesn't fit that type of personality (and paladins certainly self-select out of that personality on the whole) probably wouldn't want to deal with the society. That's a choice each PC gets to make. If your GM is running a game that assumes the PCs are pathfinders, you as the player bear the responsibility of either making a character who WANTS to be in the society, or you and the GM should talk things out on how to make exceptions.

If you're playing in the Pathfinder Society organized play program... you don't have that choice—you're a Pathfinder Society member. If you want to play a PC who doesn't like the society or doesn't want to be part of it... save that character for another game.


phantom1592 wrote:

Paladins?? Paladins... Like all religious people... Are ALLOWED to have hobbies!!! Even the most devout Paladin should not spend ALL his time smiting, training and detecting for NEW things to smite. That's a very 1 dimensional character.

Paladins are ALLOWED to Multiclass. Chosing to be an Archaelogist, Scholar, or librarian... does NOT make him lose his Paladin powers. Also as one of the biggest baddest smiting machines... PFS would LOVE having them go along on their missions.

They had a life and schooling and interests BEFORE they became Paladins... they are allowed to do things they enjoy AFTER they become paladins.

As for 'queationable membership'... ALL societies have the occasional 'Evil' person in it. Everything from the government to the churches, there is SOMEONE trying to work the system for personal power... This does not mean that the Paladin can not be on the charter... It just means he should be wary and try to root out the corruption ;)

Paladins are allowed to have hobbies. If someone in my game had a Paladin and wanted to join a book club or take up pottery then more power too him. If he wanted to join a theives guild or take up scrimshawing with bones he dug up from the cemetery, then we have a problem.

It is not that Paladins have to smite constantly, it is that the Pathfinder Society is shady at best.

"A shadowy inner circle of masked leaders known as the Decemvirate rules the Pathfinder Society..."

"The ultimate goals of the Deceemvirate are inscrutable..."

Both of those are taking from page 6 of the World Guide. A Paladin who was knowingly contributing to some plan that could have the potential to be evil, is a pretty terrible Paladin. That is not to say that might be common knowledge, and there might be a good lodge a Paladin would join and sort of is not part of that whole thing, but as soon as that good lodge let liches in, then all bets are off.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:
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?

Yes, that if of course a central matter. But the question then becomes - why did the Paladin become one of them? Either a paladin would see them as legitimate authority, and thus it needs to respect their rules, or it won't - and in that case, why is it a member of the pathfinders anyway?


James Jacobs wrote:
Beckett wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
If the paladin and lich WERE both Pathfinders,

A bit off topic, but I'm still kind of curious why many Paladins or Clerics would want anything to do with the PathFindr Society? (aside from it being a quick catch all out of character "in" for the game).

I've always had a lot of difficulty trying to come up with (realisitc) reasons for this, so just curious on your imput, even taking things like Andoran and the Silver Crusade into account, just just doesn't really add up to me.

Paladins and clerics who are adventurers would work well with the Pathfinder Society. The society doesn't say "abandon your faith or other loyalties" when you join them.

That said, the Pathfinder Society is intended to be attractive to the classic adventurer. The Indiana Jones type character. That's obviously not ALL characters, and if a character doesn't fit that type of personality (and paladins certainly self-select out of that personality on the whole) probably wouldn't want to deal with the society. That's a choice each PC gets to make. If your GM is running a game that assumes the PCs are pathfinders, you as the player bear the responsibility of either making a character who WANTS to be in the society, or you and the GM should talk things out on how to make exceptions.

If you're playing in the Pathfinder Society organized play program... you don't have that choice—you're a Pathfinder Society member. If you want to play a PC who doesn't like the society or doesn't want to be part of it... save that character for another game.

I am curious if you feel the PFS Organized play and the Pathfinder Society written out in books are accurate depictions of each other. I have pretty limited experience with either, but the PFS Organized Play really seems to be a much more hollow version. I see no problem with this as the whole point is to get as many people involved with as many choices as they can get and I think the true Pathfinder Society would limit that a good deal. I guess my question is more in line with, in your home games if you use the Pathfinder Society how much does it actually look like what we see in Organized Play?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Timothy Hanson wrote:
I am curious if you feel the PFS Organized play and the Pathfinder Society written out in books are accurate depictions of each other. I have pretty limited experience with either, but the PFS Organized Play really seems to be a much more hollow version. I see no problem with this as the whole point is to get as many people involved with as many choices as they can get and I think the true Pathfinder Society would limit that a good deal. I guess my question is more in line with, in your home games if you use the Pathfinder Society how much does it actually look like what we see in Organized Play?

The Pathfinder Society as it exists in the org play program and as it exists in the world DO have some differences. The version of the society as described in the Inner Sea World Guide is the "baseline" version, and that's how we treat the society in all of our published products save for those that directly support the Org play program. The version of the society that exists in any one home game, along with the version that's evolving with each season in the org play program, are their own "instances" of that. We do try to keep the org play version pretty close to the baseline assumption, but since there are real-world requirements on how a massively multiplayer offline game is run, there are some necessary differences. In the org play program, the #1 purpose of the society above all else is to provide a shared foundation on which the rest of the program can be built, and since it has to allow the widest variety of player characters possible, and since players are so often fond of building the most unique characters possible... the unfortunate result IS that the society in the org play program isn't as tightly "scripted" as it is in the non-society products.

A shorter version is that they're two different entities. They're very close, but they're not identical. They simply can't be.

Shadow Lodge

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...Wow. That one wizard who just wanted to catalogue all the reports in the entire Grand Lodge, even though it would take him longer than his entire life, will have to put up with a lot of prejudice...

(EDIT)The hypothetical paladin could always ask the hypothetical lich why one would chose to do such a thing to oneself, wouldn't it be better to die completely, and about the "arch-lich" phenomenon, i.e. "Are you as evil as my class ability says you are?"

If said lich has been doing evil deeds, it's possible to just alert your local venture-captain to have an evil member thrown out of the Society for abusing it. Even worse, that formerly-fully-alive being will now have multiple teams who specialize in the recovery of hidden objects searching for its own personal hidden object. If that arch-lich wants to show willing, the safest way to prove its lack of evil would be to ask if one of the Decemvirate would hide its phylactery under their helmet for safekeeping.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Shifty Mongoose wrote:

...Wow. That one wizard who just wanted to catalogue all the reports in the entire Grand Lodge, even though it would take him longer than his entire life, will have to put up with a lot of prejudice...

I don't think the Pathfinder Society will fall from the lack of an immortal chronicler. In fact such a being would probably be the last thing the Ten would want.

Lichdom is something you have to do while you're still alive. To willingly trade away a large chunk of your humanity, puts you somewhere outside the "harmless old grandpa" range. Especially the deeds you'd probably have to do to fulfll such a goal.


Perhaps the paladin should talk to this interesting walking dead spellcaster fellow. Get to know them, share tales and travels, determine if they can work together or to mutual goals, and who he actually is.

One dm I know, ran a game where there was a neutral lich. Yeah, he had been a dark mountain-top wizards, errr, centuries ago. He had done the evil thing, baby-skulls, fighting good, but grew bored of it. His non-evil interests still remained and he got tired of killing paladins and other holy warriors. He only defended himself now, and participated in no sacrifices/rape/evil jobbiness. Maybe stepping outside of the natural order was important for this pathfinder, so much so that he polluted himself with an evil ritual, but who he was and who he is doesn't have to be the same person. The lich has had plenty of time to change and grow bored with evil.

So to answer, the paladin doesn't have to kill the lich, he could also have a nice long chat and check who he is, maybe even try a bit of conversion or get him to help the church for his own protection.


The Shifty Mongoose wrote:

...Wow. That one wizard who just wanted to catalogue all the reports in the entire Grand Lodge, even though it would take him longer than his entire life, will have to put up with a lot of prejudice...

(EDIT)The hypothetical paladin could always ask the hypothetical lich why one would chose to do such a thing to oneself, wouldn't it be better to die completely, and about the "arch-lich" phenomenon, i.e. "Are you as evil as my class ability says you are?"

If said lich has been doing evil deeds, it's possible to just alert your local venture-captain to have an evil member thrown out of the Society for abusing it. Even worse, that formerly-fully-alive being will now have multiple teams who specialize in the recovery of hidden objects searching for its own personal hidden object. If that arch-lich wants to show willing, the safest way to prove its lack of evil would be to ask if one of the Decemvirate would hide its phylactery under their helmet for safekeeping.

Lich: hmm, this all reminds me of a saying, centuries back now, in a past age. It went "haters gonna hate".

And another:

Lich: yes yes, you want to smite me, just like every other paladin I have ever met. Excuse me junior, I'm on pathfinder business. Biscuits are over there.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Waruko wrote:

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?

Alright, how about "What would happen if Oxford would have a professor on its staff who then becomes a known terrorist"?

My point was that having openly evil and vile members is not great PR. Those devil worshipping bastards are probably not helping the Pathfinder society get a good reputation in the city they are in and probably not in the surroundings of it either.

If the local PFS having a lich on its staff became common knowledge, I'd expect the local government to react quite negatively.


Tariq Ramadan has lectured at western universities even though he is an Islamist.

He resides at Oxford.

http://www.theology.ox.ac.uk/people/staff-list/dr-tariq-ramadan.html

Shadow Lodge

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Tariq Ramadan has lectured at western universities even though he is an Islamist.

But is he a terrorist?


The Shifty Mongoose wrote:

...Wow. That one wizard who just wanted to catalogue all the reports in the entire Grand Lodge, even though it would take him longer than his entire life, will have to put up with a lot of prejudice...

(EDIT)The hypothetical paladin could always ask the hypothetical lich why one would chose to do such a thing to oneself, wouldn't it be better to die completely, and about the "arch-lich" phenomenon, i.e. "Are you as evil as my class ability says you are?"

If said lich has been doing evil deeds, it's possible to just alert your local venture-captain to have an evil member thrown out of the Society for abusing it. Even worse, that formerly-fully-alive being will now have multiple teams who specialize in the recovery of hidden objects searching for its own personal hidden object. If that arch-lich wants to show willing, the safest way to prove its lack of evil would be to ask if one of the Decemvirate would hide its phylactery under their helmet for safekeeping.

Evil isn't something you just check off on your driver's license application. If someone detects as Evil, they are either a being who's very essence is infused with evil (like a demon), or you've done something to make yourself evil. Since a lich is someone who CHOSE to be undead, they've clearly made a choice that made them evil.


He also has family connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, which have been changing over the years, but have been terrorists for decades.

Ramadan is more of a soft Islamist, in the sense he isn't an active terrorist but supports the terrorist cause of Islamism. When he is talking to Muslim audiences, he has let a more radical, populist anti-western side show. This caused quite a stir a few years ago, but that has mostly settled down now.

As for universities and terrorists, consider communists, anarchists and the like have a long connection to these institutions. Pol Pot for instance studied here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EFREI#Notable_alumni
and there is also the long history of Russian university terrorists to consider. The Russian nobility had quite a problem with those.


Irontruth wrote:
The Shifty Mongoose wrote:

...Wow. That one wizard who just wanted to catalogue all the reports in the entire Grand Lodge, even though it would take him longer than his entire life, will have to put up with a lot of prejudice...

(EDIT)The hypothetical paladin could always ask the hypothetical lich why one would chose to do such a thing to oneself, wouldn't it be better to die completely, and about the "arch-lich" phenomenon, i.e. "Are you as evil as my class ability says you are?"

If said lich has been doing evil deeds, it's possible to just alert your local venture-captain to have an evil member thrown out of the Society for abusing it. Even worse, that formerly-fully-alive being will now have multiple teams who specialize in the recovery of hidden objects searching for its own personal hidden object. If that arch-lich wants to show willing, the safest way to prove its lack of evil would be to ask if one of the Decemvirate would hide its phylactery under their helmet for safekeeping.

Evil isn't something you just check off on your driver's license application. If someone detects as Evil, they are either a being who's very essence is infused with evil (like a demon), or you've done something to make yourself evil. Since a lich is someone who CHOSE to be undead, they've clearly made a choice that made them evil.

After becoming evil and undead, could they not over centuries, choose to abandon this and become good or neutral? They have free will.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
The Shifty Mongoose wrote:

...Wow. That one wizard who just wanted to catalogue all the reports in the entire Grand Lodge, even though it would take him longer than his entire life, will have to put up with a lot of prejudice...

(EDIT)The hypothetical paladin could always ask the hypothetical lich why one would chose to do such a thing to oneself, wouldn't it be better to die completely, and about the "arch-lich" phenomenon, i.e. "Are you as evil as my class ability says you are?"

If said lich has been doing evil deeds, it's possible to just alert your local venture-captain to have an evil member thrown out of the Society for abusing it. Even worse, that formerly-fully-alive being will now have multiple teams who specialize in the recovery of hidden objects searching for its own personal hidden object. If that arch-lich wants to show willing, the safest way to prove its lack of evil would be to ask if one of the Decemvirate would hide its phylactery under their helmet for safekeeping.

Evil isn't something you just check off on your driver's license application. If someone detects as Evil, they are either a being who's very essence is infused with evil (like a demon), or you've done something to make yourself evil. Since a lich is someone who CHOSE to be undead, they've clearly made a choice that made them evil.
After becoming evil and undead, could they not over centuries, choose to abandon this and become good or neutral? They have free will.

What they don't have is a hell of a lot of empathy. Lack of empathy tends to lead one to sociopathy, not goodness. A lich who wasn't good at the time his breathing career ended is less likely t0o become good later.


James Jacobs along with others have stated that undead in Golarion are evil and will always be evil.

If the lich wanted to abandon his evilness, he'd let himself be destroyed and stop being an abomination to the natural order. Which to me, sounds like accepting the paladin's smite.

And I think that a smite that happens between two consenting adult beings shouldn't be considered unlawful.


Meh. I was a selfish brat without empathy and at times sociopathic. I grew out of it after I experienced more and stopped being so self obsessed.

Like I said, the char got tired of evil after living the same old life for a very long time. He had a meta epiphany at it were. And realised he didn't have to be Sauron.


You can be a good adventurer though, and not care about the natural order, and what the druids or clerics preach about what is natural. A sellsword or wizard for hire for good deeds for instance, who doesn't care even the slightest about nature or natural orders.

Being an offence against nature is seen as evil in pop culture, but it doesn't have to be so simple.

As for Jacobs, well, that man has pushed his weight around before. Taking out domain cleric and poly cleric options from already published pathfinder material. If he wants to make undead simple he can, but if they can think, consider and direct their own actions, they can do whatever they want, including neutral or good acts (they have got to have some reasons though, e.g. a vamp that helps and looks out for his family line and their allies, so he can keep this form of immortality going and have a reason for being).

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