Would not killing the lich cause the paladin to fall?


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There's a difference between not caring about the natural order, and actively working against it. A man getting drunk in a bar doesn't care about the natural order, but he's still working within it.

A lich, who preserves his own life for eternity is actively working against it.

Lastly, I'm not talking about the way it has to be in all campaigns ever. I'm merely repeating what the Paizo team has said about their published campaign world. This is a fact that they have instituted for their campaign world. The same campaign world where the pathfinder society exists and operates, so I think it's relevant to a discussion about undead existing within the pathfinder society.

These aren't fundamental truths about all campaign worlds ever. This isn't a discussion about all paladins in all games ever. This is about a paladin, on Golarion, in a pathfinder lodge, face to face with a lich.


What if he isn't working against it anymore? One day he realised, he has no druid friends and his knowledge nature is low. Off to make buddies: the adventures of evil lich. I want to learn gardening and conservation around my lair.

If he grows pot plants and bees, does that make him good because he participates in the natural order? :D

People use resources and defy the natural order all the time, shaping it to their wishes. Japanese gardens and mining metals are just acts for a greater purpose--create something peaceful and unearth minerals for other's use.

He exists because of his own power and choices, and doesn't want to die. He just seems like an adept survivor to me. The choices he made doesn't have to make him a bad person forever.


The righteous can fall from grace. There are such tales regarding celestials. Beings who are suffused with righteousness. But still, some of them stray from the path of light. The same way evil can be redeemed. It doesn't say that only evil individuals with a limited life span can be redeemed. The route to lichdom is a dark and vile one. But then, an ogre who has known nothing but murder, rape and pillaging of innocent peasants is no better. On the topic of good and evil, nature has nothing to do with it. There are altruistic rangers and druids who protect the forests but also their communities and innocents in the process. There are also evil rangers and druids who are drunk on their lust for power or obsession with a dark or vile theme. Nature has always been described as an overall neutral entity. In a way, the evil druid/ranger and the good druid/ranger draw their power from the same source but from different ends of the same spectrum.


Nature also cares nothing about morality. It is an impersonal force. Philosophers have lectured upon its lack of character and primordial beyond human "nature".

Nature will kill your harshly and without mercy if you do not take precautions... like making yourself a lich so you can't be diseased, poisoned and easily killed by predators.


Irontruth wrote:
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.

That's a very prideful statement for a Paladin to make. Is destruction of evil undead more important than personal spiritual purity? That's an argument I'd expect from LN characters.

Regardless, destroying the lich wouldn't cause the paladin to fall regardless. Killing a bunch of non-evil people to facilitate that WOULD (attacking the lodge wholesale), and the paladin would fall long before he got to the lich, and how is he going to take out the lich when he's a gimped fighter?

Shadow Lodge

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
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).

The Undead issue is a little bit different than the other ones, and as far as I recall, was also a pretty unanimous Paizo design direction. They want Non-Evil Undead to be extremely rare because those few that are not evil, they want to reserve to be centerpoints of a major event or AP. It also creates a lot of issues with their own world, as a Cleric of Pharasma will not be bound by alignents when it comes to destroying a Lich, good or evil, it's part of their faith, and it's also a mandated part of their faith. Pharasma WILL NOT say, "Oh this one is ok".

It's an abomination of the dead's rightful rest, a twisting of the soul that belongs to Pharasma, and a coruption of Fate. The circumstances of the Lich's feelings and moral code are irrelivant, and in Golarion, such a Cleric would be right for destroying the Lich, because that's how Golarion works. This is essentually what Paizo has said on the subject, paraphrased of course, (and don't look at the Carrion Crown AP, nope, it has nothing at all to say against this, . . ., nothing at all).

:)

Shadow Lodge

Helic wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
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.
That's a very prideful statement for a Paladin to make. Is destruction of evil undead more important than personal spiritual purity? That's an argument I'd expect from LN characters.

I don't know, I kind of read that part as being the ultimate Paladin (or Cleric-type). Sacrificing even more than just their life to do what they know is right, regardless of what anyone else (even their deity?) tells them. I'd expect even the most zealous of LN characters to fall far short of this, and even many LG ones to as well. This, to me, seems to be the best of the best of the best ways that these forced moral quandries/shades of grey can end.


Beckett wrote:
The Undead issue is a little bit different than the other ones, and as far as I recall, was also a pretty unanimous Paizo design direction. They want Non-Evil Undead to be extremely rare because those few that are not evil, they want to reserve to be centerpoints of a major event or AP. It also creates a lot of issues with their own world, as a Cleric of Pharasma will not be bound by alignents when it comes to destroying a Lich, good or evil, it's part of their faith, and it's also a mandated part of their faith. Pharasma WILL NOT say, "Oh this one is ok".

As I recall, there was also a desire to avoid the Undead or other traditionally evil races being plagued by "Drizzt Syndrome." It kinda lessens the menace of an evil race when every random adventuring party includes a chaotic good member of said evil race who's rebelling against the vile ways of their kin.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
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.

PRD wrote:
A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features
PRD wrote:
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.

So, running down the list.

Is allowing the lich to "live" an Evil act? Probably not explicitly. While not what one might call "the highest Good," I doubt one could make the case that violating a clear law is any better when it comes to the Code of Conduct.

Is this a violation of the Code of Conduct? No. The Paladin is respecting legitimate authority (The Society), acting with honor (by not violating the rules of The Society), but not necessarily ignoring the clause about punishment (it might not be "right here," but "right here" is not conducive to the Paladins goals and available means).

Is the Paladin still Lawful Good? Looks like it.

Congratulations! The Paladin didn't fall!


3.5 Loyalist wrote:

What if he isn't working against it anymore? One day he realised, he has no druid friends and his knowledge nature is low. Off to make buddies: the adventures of evil lich. I want to learn gardening and conservation around my lair.

If he grows pot plants and bees, does that make him good because he participates in the natural order? :D

People use resources and defy the natural order all the time, shaping it to their wishes. Japanese gardens and mining metals are just acts for a greater purpose--create something peaceful and unearth minerals for other's use.

He exists because of his own power and choices, and doesn't want to die. He just seems like an adept survivor to me. The choices he made doesn't have to make him a bad person forever.

I'm just repeating what the authors of the campaign world have stated. You can run it differently at your table, but the official campaign world has already been decided.


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The "legitimate authority" argument is rather weak. what happens if the paladins live ins a very laful but at the same time very evil, EVIL country? would be against his code to oposse taht "legitimate" authority?. I think not.


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Beckett wrote:
Helic wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
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.
That's a very prideful statement for a Paladin to make. Is destruction of evil undead more important than personal spiritual purity? That's an argument I'd expect from LN characters.
I don't know, I kind of read that part as being the ultimate Paladin (or Cleric-type). Sacrificing even more than just their life to do what they know is right, regardless of what anyone else (even their deity?) tells them. I'd expect even the most zealous of LN characters to fall far short of this, and even many LG ones to as well. This, to me, seems to be the best of the best of the best ways that these forced moral quandries/shades of grey can end.

There's a samurai riddle that I think is relevant.

Which is the more honorable samurai, the one who faithfully serves an honorable lord, or the one that faithfully serves a dishonorable lord?

In regards to samurai honor, the second is the more honorable samurai. That is also a very LN answer.

Honor is important to a paladin, but human honor cannot get in the way of protecting innocent life.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Nicos wrote:
The "legitimate authority" argument is rather weak. what happens if the paladins live ins a very laful but at the same time very evil, EVIL country? would be against his code to oposse taht "legitimate" authority?. I think not.

Of course, because it's not a legitimate authority. Just an authority.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Nicos wrote:
The "legitimate authority" argument is rather weak. what happens if the paladins live ins a very laful but at the same time very evil, EVIL country? would be against his code to oposse taht "legitimate" authority?. I think not.
Of course, because it's not a legitimate authority. Just an authority.

exactly, not much diferent for the patinder society.


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

I would like to point out to everyone that Seeker of Secrets heavily implies the leaders of the Pathfinder Society may well be immortal creatures, such as liches.

On a personal level, I agree with those that say the paladin wouldn't do much of anything right away, but would keep a close eye on the lich while at the lodge. If able he would study the lich for intent and vulnerabilities before tracking him down and delivering justice.

I love the idea of the two playing chess as a means of reading one another's intentions. I also enjoy the notion of pitting Pathfinder characters against a lich in a race to a common goal (such as obtaining a powerful artifact for the Society)--might make for a cool reoccurring villain, similar to Dr. René Belloq in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Any paladin who would smite on sight something as powerful as a lich probably doesn't have a terribly long career among the living. Taking on great evil unprepared is simply Lawful Stupid.

dasdagon wrote:
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

If killing ANYTHING is the paladin's FIRST thought, then the paladin has failed as a paladin.


Belloq the lich. Great idea.

Another good option for the pally, hug the lich and offer to hear his confession. We can work through this fellow pathfinder buddy!


Ravingdork wrote:
I love the idea of the two playing chess as a means of reading one another's intentions.

I played 18 hours, straight, of Ultimate Werewolf at GenCon. I'm not quite looking at peoples faces the same any more.


Timothy Hanson wrote:


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.

Honestly, I think it has a lot to do with your personal experiences with the society. My own is limited the Prince of Wolves novel, The master of Devil's novel, and the Serpent Skull AP.

Nothing in there shady or morally awkward. Nothing that a paladin would have issue tagging along to see the world.

As you said the Decemvirirate may not be common knowledge, and there are lots of knowledge/archeological pursuits that have nothing to do with Thieves guilds or Grave robbing.

SOME do... but obviously the Paladin wouldn't associate with that branch. But frankly, judging an entire society, but what some members do is a DANGEROUS road to travel... and travels too closely to real life organizations that have been tarnished by a few evil members.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:

I would like to point out to everyone that Seeker of Secrets heavily implies the leaders of the Pathfinder Society may well be immortal creatures, such as liches.

It should also be pointed out that seeker of secrets has many errors in it which have effectivly been retconed. As has been said by james elsewhere on the boards if that is the impression you are getting then the book has failed it's intended purpose.


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

Aside from that mentioned in this thread, I've not heard of any retcons. Can you give more examples of what you might be referring to, Kevin Mack?

(Besides, that means nil and is wholly unofficial if it hasn't been properly errata'd. A developer's desire for it to have gone one way, when it went another, has no effect on the game.)

Shadow Lodge

In that case...can it be a paladin of Asmodeus?


This whole, oh that stuff has errors in it now, it has been retconed is becoming quite annoying. Moreso when options and difference is crushed by a vision which sees errors in products already made.


I don't think they actively retcon "fluff" material, they just pretend it doesn't exist. Errata is really only necessary for rules, not a few sentences of fluff here and there.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Book is out of print anyway as far as I can tell. I don't even see PDF's for it on this site. Wasn't it replaced by the Field Guide?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Still available.

Shadow Lodge

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I am afraid that a lot of people use and see alignments in the exact opposite way I do.
I see them as: I do act like this with these motivations and so I am "alignment"
and never I am "alignment" and so I act like this.

alignment is the consequence, actions and motivations are the cause.
I would never really see how being of a certain race can make you good or evil.
as said before me, angels do indeed fall, so demons should be able to ascend as well.
personally I can find a thousand reasons to become a lich that shouldn't be considered evil.
don't get me wrong, lichdom should always be considered challenging for the morals of everyone.
It would be more than readonable to develop evil tendencies.but if you are not a mindless drone you can always refrain from evil acts.
unless you consider perverting the natural flow of life and death a evil act by itself. to me is just druidic crap.
nature will survive the creation of one more lich, and pharasma can @*®#!!!
hey, I said i wouldn't be evil, never said I would be LG and respectful didn't I?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Still available.

But I imagine pretty badly out of date considering all the developments since.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Scarletrose wrote:

Ilignment is the consequence, actions and motivations are the cause.

I would never really see how being of a certain race can make you good or evil.
as said before me, angels do indeed fall, so demons should be able to ascend as well.

Yes. but keep in mind that falling is far far easier than ascending. For ten thousand angels that may have fallen, perhaps one demon or devil may be redeemed. Also keep in mind that people generally fall in with the regining beliefs of the majority. And how the Drow were created in the first place, if that's the example you're thinking of. Outsiders are even easier. They are formed in part of the essence of the alignments they embody. They are simply not as fully endowed with free will as mortals are. That's why the souls of mortals are so important... they are the deciding factor in which side "wins".

Good and Evil are not mere symmetrical mirrors of each other.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Nicos wrote:
The "legitimate authority" argument is rather weak. what happens if the paladins live ins a very laful but at the same time very evil, EVIL country? would be against his code to oposse taht "legitimate" authority?. I think not.

Depends on what you mean by "oppose". I could see a paladin working within an evil system to bring it down or ameliorate its effects rather than directly attacking it or its representatives.


Bill Dunn wrote:
Nicos wrote:
The "legitimate authority" argument is rather weak. what happens if the paladins live ins a very laful but at the same time very evil, EVIL country? would be against his code to oposse taht "legitimate" authority?. I think not.
Depends on what you mean by "oppose". I could see a paladin working within an evil system to bring it down or ameliorate its effects rather than directly attacking it or its representatives.

That can happens, and would be a great opportunity for roleplay. What can not happens is that the peladin do absolutely nothing because it is a "legitimate authority".

Shadow Lodge

LazarX wrote:
Scarletrose wrote:

Ilignment is the consequence, actions and motivations are the cause.

I would never really see how being of a certain race can make you good or evil.
as said before me, angels do indeed fall, so demons should be able to ascend as well.

Yes. but keep in mind that falling is far far easier than ascending. For ten thousand angels that may have fallen, perhaps one demon or devil may be redeemed. Also keep in mind that people generally fall in with the regining beliefs of the majority. And how the Drow were created in the first place, if that's the example you're thinking of. Outsiders are even easier. They are formed in part of the essence of the alignments they embody. They are simply not as fully endowed with free will as mortals are. That's why the souls of mortals are so important... they are the deciding factor in which side "wins".

Good and Evil are not mere symmetrical mirrors of each other.

of course evil is tempting, good is not and even when it is it acting good for personal gain doesn't make you good, best case scenario it makes you an evil agent working for the greater good. worst case you grow even more corrupt as convenience guides your morals.

nonetheless in a fantasy world the templar guarding the grail in Indiana Jones and the last crusade could pretty much be a lich. Obtaining Lichdom to protect the most holy of the relics for eternity. that would hardly be an evil lich.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Nicos wrote:
The "legitimate authority" argument is rather weak. what happens if the paladins live ins a very laful but at the same time very evil, EVIL country? would be against his code to oposse taht "legitimate" authority?. I think not.

"Legitimate" is a very, very flexible term.


Scarletrose wrote:

I am afraid that a lot of people use and see alignments in the exact opposite way I do.

I see them as: I do act like this with these motivations and so I am "alignment"
and never I am "alignment" and so I act like this.

alignment is the consequence, actions and motivations are the cause.
I would never really see how being of a certain race can make you good or evil.
as said before me, angels do indeed fall, so demons should be able to ascend as well.
personally I can find a thousand reasons to become a lich that shouldn't be considered evil.
don't get me wrong, lichdom should always be considered challenging for the morals of everyone.
It would be more than readonable to develop evil tendencies.but if you are not a mindless drone you can always refrain from evil acts.
unless you consider perverting the natural flow of life and death a evil act by itself. to me is just druidic crap.
nature will survive the creation of one more lich, and pharasma can @*®#!!!
hey, I said i wouldn't be evil, never said I would be LG and respectful didn't I?

That would be true if there were not things that changed your alignment outright. A good person becoming undead is one of those situations. Even the most saintly of people who dies and comes back as a vampire/skeleton/ghoul ect is not evil, and now has to act evil.

Same thing with cursed items and things like The Deck of Many things. Granted most of the time the way you act dictated your alignment, but sometimes when things happen to you, your alignment dictates the way you act.

When something redeems itself, that is usually similar to saying you are "saving someones soul" but undead do not have souls as far as I know, and I am pretty sure the lich you are trying to redeem locked his away in a box somewhere completely removed from his body. I am sure there are other ways to seek immortality but the lich chose to go the undead route, and that is not a nice route at all. Being undead is the unnatural part, as you infuse yourself with energies from the Plane of Negative Energy. Unnatural has too much baggage though for me to try to use as an argument piece.

Scarletrose wrote:
nonetheless in a fantasy world the templar guarding the grail in Indiana Jones and the last crusade could pretty much be a lich. Obtaining Lichdom to protect the most holy of the relics for eternity. that would hardly be an evil lich.

I will admit it has been a very long time since I have seen that movie, but I am pretty sure that guy was nothing like a lich. Not dying of old age is not the defining characteristic of a lich. That Templar was just given a boon from Christ or something similar I thought. He did not abandon his soul for personal immortality, he merely excepted a job offer from a higher authority.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:

Aside from that mentioned in this thread, I've not heard of any retcons. Can you give more examples of what you might be referring to, Kevin Mack?

(Besides, that means nil and is wholly unofficial if it hasn't been properly errata'd. A developer's desire for it to have gone one way, when it went another, has no effect on the game.)

Well retconned is the wrong word since several things were just plain wrong some example threads

Shiela Heidmarch.

Manor map and other pathfinder

So Admitadly I am assuming they may have gotten other parts in seeker of secrets wrong as well.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Timothy Hanson wrote:
I will admit it has been a very long time since I have seen that movie, but I am pretty sure that guy was nothing like a lich. Not dying of old age is not the defining characteristic of a lich. That Templar was just given a boon from Christ or something similar I thought. He did not abandon his soul for personal immortality, he merely excepted a job offer from a higher authority

Knowing your average Templar, he might have been working out a penance.


Ravingdork wrote:

I would like to point out to everyone that Seeker of Secrets heavily implies the leaders of the Pathfinder Society may well be immortal creatures, such as liches.

On a personal level, I agree with those that say the paladin wouldn't do much of anything right away, but would keep a close eye on the lich while at the lodge. If able he would study the lich for intent and vulnerabilities before tracking him down and delivering justice.

I love the idea of the two playing chess as a means of reading one another's intentions. I also enjoy the notion of pitting Pathfinder characters against a lich in a race to a common goal (such as obtaining a powerful artifact for the Society)--might make for a cool reoccurring villain, similar to Dr. René Belloq in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Any paladin who would smite on sight something as powerful as a lich probably doesn't have a terribly long career among the living. Taking on great evil unprepared is simply Lawful Stupid.

dasdagon wrote:
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
If killing ANYTHING is the paladin's FIRST thought, then the paladin has failed as a paladin.

1) Do you agree Paladins should not be working for a group who is run by a bunch of possible liches in the first place?

2) I do not see what is so wrong about smiting. I agree that on humans and their kin it might be a bit rash but not so much Outsiders and Undead. Some things are up in the air I guess, some creatures are just vile things.

What should his first response be when he sees zombies if not to smite them with all his holy might. Paladins are battle line fighters. The train in weapons, and armor, have the ability to smite and survive acts both magical and physical at the expense of some of the more nuance types of things.

Look at most of the Oaths in Ultimate Magic, they mostly add code of conducts involved with smiting your chosen enemy type.

Shadow Lodge

Timothy Hanson wrote:


That would be true if there were not things that changed your alignment outright. A good person becoming undead is one of those situations. Even the most saintly of people who dies and comes back as a vampire/skeleton/ghoul ect is not evil, and now has to act evil.

Same thing with cursed items and things like The Deck of Many things. Granted most of the time the way you act dictated your alignment, but sometimes when things happen to you, your alignment dictates the way you act.

When something redeems itself, that is usually similar to saying you are "saving someones soul" but undead do not have souls as far as I know, and I am pretty sure the lich you are trying to redeem locked his away in a box somewhere completely removed from his body. I am sure there are other ways to seek immortality but the lich chose to go the undead route, and that is not a nice route at all. Being undead is the unnatural part, as you infuse yourself with energies from the Plane of Negative Energy. Unnatural has too much baggage though for me to try to use as an argument piece.

You kinda have a point.

Deck of many things making you evil is basically brainwashing you. It makes you evil but the way I see it it comes with a complete personality change, almost an evil possession.
Playing as "and now you are evil, deal with it" to me is just bad roleplay.
It should be a distorted multiple personality like a dr. Jekyll & mr. Hide sort of thing (actually that's clearily the inspiration behind that effect) or some dark impulses arising.

should the lichdom have that kind of effect (basically erasing your personality and put your (now dead) body in the hands of a completely different personality, possibly with different goals I can't see how any spellcaster in the world would even consider the Idea of becoming one of them.

And of course the templar in Indiana Jones was immortal via the holy grail itself.
What I meant is ... in a different setting than christian folklore, a holy man with the holy, centuries long quest to protect a holy relic that DOESN'T give him eternal life in return and acces to a way to become immortal via lichdom would probably turn lich and basically by doing that, consacrate his entire undeath on a sacred mission.
And even in this case I don't say that he would never turn neutral in the process, or even truly evil... but should he endure all his dark urges as an undead, discipline his mind and endure in his holy quest shouldn't his alignment slowly and steadily return back to good? or at the very least a middleground neutral.
Detect evil should still read evil like it would to an outsider with the evil subtype. So smite good should still see him as evil, there is no escape from the dark powers of the undeath that animate your body.
But still .. you are not evil.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Scarletrose wrote:

I am afraid that a lot of people use and see alignments in the exact opposite way I do.

I see them as: I do act like this with these motivations and so I am "alignment"
and never I am "alignment" and so I act like this.

alignment is the consequence, actions and motivations are the cause.

Ideally, I think it should elements of both. Your actions determine your alignment but you should use that as a reminder of how you traditionally behave and as a legacy to live up to. That last part is, of course, voluntary but should be considered when trying to act in character consistently.

Shadow Lodge

Timothy Hanson wrote:

1) Do you agree Paladins should not be working for a group who is run by a bunch of possible liches in the first place?

2) I do not see what is so wrong about smiting. I agree that on humans and their kin it might be a bit rash but not so much Outsiders and Undead. Some things are up in the air I guess, some creatures are just vile things.

What should his first response be when he sees zombies if not to smite them with all his holy might. Paladins are battle line fighters. The train in weapons, and armor, have the ability to smite and survive acts both magical and physical at the expense of some of the more nuance types of things.

Look at most of the Oaths in Ultimate Magic, they mostly add code of conducts involved with smiting your chosen enemy type.

I know it wasn't directed to me but still I want to give my answers.

1) Probably not. on the other hand he could pretty well work for them when he doesn't know they are liches. and afret working with them if he discover they are indeed liches... I'm not saying he is not allowed to smite the hell out of them. But if the organization was actually doing good things in his eyes before a good paladin should at least have a little moment of doubt when it comes to these liches.

2) Smiting is exactly as every other weapon. It doesn't have morality, not even the smite evil... It all goes down on how you use it. If you smite an evil dragon to save the village is a good act. If you smite the dragon to take all his hoard it's not a good act.
in the same way for every situation, if the paladin motivation is to save innocents his actions are always good (sometimes are chaotic, but that's an entirely different point) if the paladin motivation is to accumulate riches or indulge in violence by picking social acceptable targets, that's evil in my book.

Zombies are mindless savage creatures with a hunger that never stops. that's a threat, and they are not sentient. even in the case of zombies controlled by a non-evil wizard that means destroying a weapon, a weapon likely to backfire. that's hardly an evil act.


Quote:

And of course the templar in Indiana Jones was immortal via the holy grail itself.

What I meant is ... in a different setting than christian folklore, a holy man with the holy, centuries long quest to protect a holy relic that DOESN'T give him eternal life in return and acces to a way to become immortal via lichdom would probably turn lich and basically by doing that, consacrate his entire undeath on a sacred mission.
And even in this case I don't say that he would never turn neutral in the process, or even truly evil... but should he endure all his dark urges as an undead, discipline his mind and endure in his holy quest shouldn't his alignment slowly and steadily return back to good? or at the very least a middleground neutral.
Detect evil should still read evil like it would to an outsider with the evil subtype. So smite good should still see him as evil, there is no escape from the dark powers of the undeath that animate your body.
But still .. you are not evil.

My point is that guy was not undead, he was just very old. You can eliminate the aging process without having to sacrifice your soul and your humanity. That Templar chose to devote himself to a mission of his God, and for that he never got old. You can not become a lich without sacrificing those things. You infuse yourself with the power of undead, you are now connected to the Plane of Negative Energy, that will effect you.


In Golarion that may be so... In other settings the requirements are fairly lax.

I know that in Myth Drannor there were SEVERAL 'Good' Liches. Baelnorns who sacrificed heaven to eternally stay behind to protect their ancestor's crypts from defilers...

When people brought up Last crusade's Templar, THAT was the first thing that came to mind.

I think a LOT of it depends on how you play... Personally, I think the 'Evil by nature and not deeds' is pretty boring.

Vampires, ghouls, skeletons... they all NEED to kill to survive. Smite away.

Liches have no needs. They may be CE by NATURE... But they can make the DECISION to 'not do evil things'. Whether because they don't WANT to be evil... or because it's self preservation against Paladins... I think it's legit.

Paladin's should have a REASON for smiting... THIS Lich is reknowned as evil.. so yeah.. But a random undead wizard working a library?? I hope there is a REASON you choose to smite him...


Paldins: 99 problems, but Liches ain't one.

Liberty's Edge

AS phantom has pointed out in FR there were some good liches. Normally about 99% of the time liches are evil. So imo no the Paladin should no fall from grace because he attacked a eil lich. Thr very rare 1% good lich than imo yes espcially if he attacked him on sight without making sure he was evil and assumed he was. Then yes I would make him lose his paladin status and seek atonement. I tend to play and encourage my playrs to do good things not run Lawful good as lawful stupid.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Honestly, which lich who knows that a Paladin is in the same lodge as himself would not get some alignment-confusing spell/item for himself? Even a very arrogant one would probably respect the power a Paladin can wield.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I removed a post. If you don't like a thread, click the hide button.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kryzbyn wrote:
Paldins: 99 problems, but Liches ain't one.

See, was was going more in the direction of "What up, liches?"


phantom1592 wrote:
In Golarion that may be so... In other settings the requirements are fairly lax.

How could a non-Golarian lich find itself in a Pathfinder Society Lodge?


Roberta Yang wrote:
phantom1592 wrote:
In Golarion that may be so... In other settings the requirements are fairly lax.
How could a non-Golarian lich find itself in a Pathfinder Society Lodge?

Gate.


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

Well of Many Worlds?


Beckett wrote:
Helic wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
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.
That's a very prideful statement for a Paladin to make. Is destruction of evil undead more important than personal spiritual purity? That's an argument I'd expect from LN characters.
I don't know, I kind of read that part as being the ultimate Paladin (or Cleric-type). Sacrificing even more than just their life to do what they know is right, regardless of what anyone else (even their deity?) tells them. I'd expect even the most zealous of LN characters to fall far short of this, and even many LG ones to as well. This, to me, seems to be the best of the best of the best ways that these forced moral quandries/shades of grey can end.

To fall the Paladin has to choose to do Evil. How does 'doing Evil' fall in line with 'what they know is right?'.

The notion that a Paladin finding a 'worthy' way to fall is 'self-sacrifice' is only a self-deception. Falling is a FAILURE on the Paladin's part to eschew Evil. Being good means the end will not justify the means. A Paladin's self-sacrifice is to suffer the difficulties of remaining pure, and if necessary, die upholding his virtue.

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