Paladin hate.


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A lawful good person should not willingly travel with an evil society.


Lord Twig wrote:
But the major point of my post was that ALL Good characters would call out another character that performs Evil deeds, not just the paladin.

Depends on the characters. Could, but I wouldn't say would. Some, but I wouldn't say all.


MrSin wrote:
Lord Twig wrote:
But the major point of my post was that ALL Good characters would call out another character that performs Evil deeds, not just the paladin.
Depends on the characters. Could, but I wouldn't say would. Some, but I wouldn't say all.

And those good characters don't get unjustly hosed out of their class abilities if they don't.


Lord Twig wrote:

Sure some of the patrons of the inn might be good-aligned and not do anything to the Evil party member because they can't, but the other characters in the party are not powerless. We are not talking an average Klaus vs. Hitler. We are talking Churchill vs. Hitler, two men that are on a fairly even level.

My Good wizard is not going to meekly accept the murder of innocents because he is afraid of the Evil guy. He is going to drop him in the nearest volcano, shunt him to some inhospitable plane, or just reduce him to dust. Or, being a God Wizard, he will just buff the party paladin and let him get his righteous smite on.

Or the paladin might convince the wizard that there is a chance for redemption. It depends if the player of the Evil character would like to continue playing that character and if he can work with a Good aligned group.

I notice you claim you have a good wizard which, since evil clerics kind of suck, probably means your evil is in the fighter or rogue slot.

Things are rather different when it's the rogue that's good and the wizard who is summoning demons and devils and animating the dead and using infernal healing. The last thing you'd do is call him out, that would leave you the one trapped in the elemental plane of fire.


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I wouldn't adventure with someone if I thought they would trap me in the elemental plane of fire for objecting to their slaughter of innocents, regardless of my class.


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
I wouldn't adventure with someone if I thought they would trap me in the elemental plane of fire for objecting to their slaughter of innocents, regardless of my class.

The guy in the example didn't kill any innocents... And hey, can't be too bad, I hear people from the elemental plane of fire are pretty hot.


Atarlost wrote:
Lord Twig wrote:

Sure some of the patrons of the inn might be good-aligned and not do anything to the Evil party member because they can't, but the other characters in the party are not powerless. We are not talking an average Klaus vs. Hitler. We are talking Churchill vs. Hitler, two men that are on a fairly even level.

My Good wizard is not going to meekly accept the murder of innocents because he is afraid of the Evil guy. He is going to drop him in the nearest volcano, shunt him to some inhospitable plane, or just reduce him to dust. Or, being a God Wizard, he will just buff the party paladin and let him get his righteous smite on.

Or the paladin might convince the wizard that there is a chance for redemption. It depends if the player of the Evil character would like to continue playing that character and if he can work with a Good aligned group.

I notice you claim you have a good wizard which, since evil clerics kind of suck, probably means your evil is in the fighter or rogue slot.

Things are rather different when it's the rogue that's good and the wizard who is summoning demons and devils and animating the dead and using infernal healing. The last thing you'd do is call him out, that would leave you the one trapped in the elemental plane of fire.

The wizard has to sleep sometime, and he is (apparently) trusting the rogue and the rest of the party to keep watch. Coup de grace with Sneak Attack hurts a lot. Or could just backstab in the middle of a battle.

If the rest of the party is Good, then the rogue has backup. If they aren't, then he slips out in the middle of the night. Then one of them makes a new character that can work with the party.

Although I have never personally seen an Evil party "work" at all. It usually ends up in a bloodbath as everyone tries to backstab everybody else before they are backstabbed by them.


MrSin wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
I wouldn't adventure with someone if I thought they would trap me in the elemental plane of fire for objecting to their slaughter of innocents, regardless of my class.
The guy in the example didn't kill any innocents... And hey, can't be too bad, I hear people from the elemental plane of fire are pretty hot.

Sorry, I was referring to the "kill the innkeeper" example.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lord Twig wrote:


Although I have never personally seen an Evil party "work" at all. It usually ends up in a bloodbath as everyone tries to backstab everybody else before they are backstabbed by them.

It works as long as you have one player who can intimidate the rest, preferably with the aid of a partner who can cover his back and sees a benefit in doing so.


LazarX wrote:
Lord Twig wrote:
Although I have never personally seen an Evil party "work" at all. It usually ends up in a bloodbath as everyone tries to backstab everybody else before they are backstabbed by them.
It works as long as you have one player who can intimidate the rest, preferably with the aid of a partner who can cover his back and sees a benefit in doing so.

Also, works well if you have a group that realizes backstabbing each other leads nowhere. Sure, you can be bad guys, doesn't mean you have to be a backstabber or a jerk(at least not to your friends, those guys are more useful alive anyway!)


LazarX wrote:
Lord Twig wrote:


Although I have never personally seen an Evil party "work" at all. It usually ends up in a bloodbath as everyone tries to backstab everybody else before they are backstabbed by them.
It works as long as you have one player who can intimidate the rest, preferably with the aid of a partner who can cover his back and sees a benefit in doing so.

This is a definition of 'works' with which I am completely unfamiliar.


LazarX wrote:
brewdus wrote:
While perusing the boards, it seems there is much disdain for the paladin class. Why is this? Is it because people perceive them as too powerful or do people think playing a character seen as the pinnacle of good isn't "cool"?

The problem with Paladins is that it's the only class with a built in self-destruct button. (Rangers had that button too in first edition until the "good alignment" requirement was removed.) This and the "holier than thou" attitude that comes as part of the package tends to encourage people to find ways to push that button. That's why almost all of the alignment threads on this board either are about, start with, or finish about Paladins.

Paladins were written in the game by an older generation, that took it's cultural background from the Baby Boomers and the Greatest Generation. The game however is now played by the far more cynical (with good reason) Generation X and their Millennial successors.

? why good reason for us to be cynical.. does not working hard and even then only under 8 hrs a day with good health, pain killers, holidays, protection, technology, leisure, ease of food etc and never having to deal with war and famine entitle us to cynicism?

Would have thought the opposite..

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Requiring LG alignment was the wrong writing choice. It should be dependent on things a person actually does, because this can be observed and judged. It should be something like 'A paladin cannot employ or continue to employ a person who has committed an evil act, unless an atonement has been received by the perpetrator.' or something like that

You forget. D+D was created by folks like Gygax and Anderson, who wanted to add roleplaying elements to their wargaming. They weren't people like Mark Rein*Heigen, or Johnathan Tweet. They weren't looking to create deep angst-driven characters, they were looking for appropriately simplistic roleplaying elements to get people into what they considered the meat of the play, today's 4 hour or more dungeon crawl. They created alignment as the simple extension of the Good Bad Lawful Chaotic flags assigned to wargaming elements and decided that the Paladin needed to carry both the Law and Good flags. While others have taken up an expanded and elaborated on these themes, the original wargaming function of this game still casts a long shadow on Pathfinder, because in it's heart, Pathfinder is a wargame. Only it's had more roleplaying bolted onto it than the original Basic D+D.


Part of why I don't like Paladins is because they're basically glorifying the image of the Crusader. Historically Crusaders were right bastards and undeserving of such idealization.

Also being so tied in with the European tradition is rather limiting. Most every other class concept can be applied to pretty well any culture from Ireland to Japan with a simple name change and some minor tweaks (ie. Druid/Shaman, Cavalier/Samurai, etc). I'm not a fan of Monks and Gunslingers for basically the same reasons.

Silver Crusade

LazarX wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Requiring LG alignment was the wrong writing choice. It should be dependent on things a person actually does, because this can be observed and judged. It should be something like 'A paladin cannot employ or continue to employ a person who has committed an evil act, unless an atonement has been received by the perpetrator.' or something like that
You forget. D+D was created by folks like Gygax and Anderson, who wanted to add roleplaying elements to their wargaming. They weren't people like Mark Rein*Heigen, or Johnathan Tweet. They weren't looking to create deep angst-driven characters, they were looking for appropriately simplistic roleplaying elements to get people into what they considered the meat of the play, today's 4 hour or more dungeon crawl. They created alignment as the simple extension of the Good Bad Lawful Chaotic flags assigned to wargaming elements and decided that the Paladin needed to carry both the Law and Good flags. While others have taken up an expanded and elaborated on these themes, the original wargaming function of this game still casts a long shadow on Pathfinder, because in it's heart, Pathfinder is a wargame. Only it's had more roleplaying bolted onto it than the original Basic D+D.

This class' journey through role-playing history had the origins you describe.

However, in every edition it evolved. Today, the PF paladin has very different game mechanics than that Gygax original. There is absolutely no reason that the section on the alignment of cohorts/henchmen/etc. could not have evolved with the rest of the description.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Requiring LG alignment was the wrong writing choice. It should be dependent on things a person actually does, because this can be observed and judged. It should be something like 'A paladin cannot employ or continue to employ a person who has committed an evil act, unless an atonement has been received by the perpetrator.' or something like that
You forget. D+D was created by folks like Gygax and Anderson, who wanted to add roleplaying elements to their wargaming. They weren't people like Mark Rein*Heigen, or Johnathan Tweet. They weren't looking to create deep angst-driven characters, they were looking for appropriately simplistic roleplaying elements to get people into what they considered the meat of the play, today's 4 hour or more dungeon crawl. They created alignment as the simple extension of the Good Bad Lawful Chaotic flags assigned to wargaming elements and decided that the Paladin needed to carry both the Law and Good flags. While others have taken up an expanded and elaborated on these themes, the original wargaming function of this game still casts a long shadow on Pathfinder, because in it's heart, Pathfinder is a wargame. Only it's had more roleplaying bolted onto it than the original Basic D+D.

This class' journey through role-playing history had the origins you describe.

However, in every edition it evolved. Today, the PF paladin has very different game mechanics than that Gygax original. There is absolutely no reason that the section on the alignment of cohorts/henchmen/etc. could not have evolved with the rest of the description.

It has evolved, but it can never get fully away from it's origins, just like we still have our appendix and our R-Complex. I have no problem with the cohort rule, the Paladin SHOULD be looking for allies that follow his standards when he's looking for a second in command. But then again in my games, I've done away with cohorts and Leadership anyway. :)

But in your case I don't understand, are you saying that a Paladin should continue to employ a cohort who commits evil acts without repentence?

Silver Crusade

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LazarX wrote:
...are you saying that a Paladin should continue to employ a cohort who commits evil acts without repentence?

Er...that's pretty much the opposite of what I wrote!

I wrote:
It should be dependent on things a person actually does, because this can be observed and judged. It should be something like 'A paladin cannot employ or continue to employ a person who has committed an evil act, unless an atonement has been received by the perpetrator.' or something like that

I don't wish to change the principle behind this, but I want to make it feasible for paladins to have cohorts etc. with appropriate alignments, without the metagame 'look at the character sheet to find his alignment' method. The paladin should be able to make these judgements in game.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
LazarX wrote:
...are you saying that a Paladin should continue to employ a cohort who commits evil acts without repentence?

Er...that's pretty much the opposite of what I wrote!

I wrote:
It should be dependent on things a person actually does, because this can be observed and judged. It should be something like 'A paladin cannot employ or continue to employ a person who has committed an evil act, unless an atonement has been received by the perpetrator.' or something like that
I don't wish to change the principle behind this, but I want to make it feasible for paladins to have cohorts etc. with appropriate alignments, without the metagame 'look at the character sheet to find his alignment' method. The paladin should be able to make these judgements in game.

And that's really what it comes down to in play if you're going to use those rules. Since the Paladin can't Detect Good, or Detect Law, and most of his followers wouldn't ping anyway if he could, He'll be making on the spot judgements, first, when he interviews, and second, when he observes his people in action. It's only RAWNazis that would argue anything different.

Silver Crusade

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The biggest thing about alignment is you have to be honest with yourself. I think the biggest problem I've seen through the years is people ignore their alignment when it suits. Im glad thepaladin comes with his own motivator.


shallowsoul wrote:
Im glad thepaladin comes with his own motivator.

Motivator, or Box to live in?


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I have read through the different reactions and meanings on how to play or not to play a paladin and have reached a simple conclusion.

YOU ARE ALL JEALOUS OF MY PALADIN'S POWER. :P


Halfway-Hagan wrote:

The issue I am having in our game with my paladin, is not the moral codes, behaviour or even compatability of the Paladins codes with the party. My DM I think secretly hates paladins. He keeps over time diminishing my abilities so that my damage output is lower and lower and lower.

Our party is comprised of a Druid, Ranger (archer), a non combat spec rogue and a witch and of course my paladin. The ranger has become the only real high damage dealer.
I have had my off hand damage reduced, the ability to offensively enchant my shield banned ( I am a dual wielder with a shield/Sword) my Smite no longer crits, and now I have had my immunity to Lycanthropy removed so werewolves can get me..oh..and my remove disease from my lay on hands wont remove lycanthropy. I have also had my smite reduced to only primary hand as opposed to all attacks, and a trait reduced (Shining Beacon) to again lessen output.
At early levels it was a problem as I could walk up to weak bosses and WHAM dead (they were undead bad guys) but the bad guys are getting tougher and tougher and tougher as we get to the medium levels.
I have been diminished in a few other ways as well over time.

I wonder is this common in a lot of games, are Paladin players seeing the nerf bat thrown at them from DM's for being OP?

I am playing a Paladin in the same DM's campaign and he has been very supportive. I am a new player and my character is in no way optimized. The DM has helped me fit well into our group and play a balanced character that meshes well with the Cleric, Druid, and Witch. He has said several times that he is impressed with my character and how he fits in with the other characters. I also wield both sword and shield and am not immune to such things as Lycanthropy, but my Paladin does just fine (and we don't even have a high damage dealer in our party). I am neither over or under powered, but just right and I've been having a great time.

Shadow Lodge

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Man I can't wait to try out an updated Paladin of Freedom again...


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Arikiel wrote:
Part of why I don't like Paladins is because they're basically glorifying the image of the Crusader. Historically Crusaders were right bastards and undeserving of such idealization.

Historically, most everyone was a t..t. However, the concept of a noble and just warrior acting with the support of God, gods, spirits etc is about as old and common as muck. Noble warriors, in particular, were pretty common, as in most cultures warriors either formed or were part of the nobility, and they would try to propagate codes that justified their elite position. Plus, many cultures attributed supernatural powers to their greatest heroes, who also tended to act as moral guidelines as the society understood it. The paladin might be one of the narrower class archetypes, but is certainly adjustable if you want to play with it.

Arikiel wrote:
Also being so tied in with the European tradition is rather limiting. Most every other class concept can be applied to pretty well any culture from Ireland to Japan with a simple name change and some minor tweaks (ie. Druid/Shaman, Cavalier/Samurai, etc). I'm not a fan of Monks and Gunslingers for basically the same reasons.

I think monks can work reasonably well as a more esoteric kind of fighters. I can agree with you on gunslingers, though the problem with gunslingers is imo that they are tied to a particular weapon that comes with its own requirements more than a specific culture. I think they would work better as an archetype for fighters or alchemists.

Liberty's Edge

I like palladins. What I don't like is having to argue with gm's who have trope-laden hackneyed ideas about how my character can behave. Take the gm who wouldn't let me play a pally/rog because he thought sneak attacking was "dishonerable." Never mind that the character was actually built to be the fantasy equivilant of the bomb squad guy who walks up to a live bomb and purposefully puts himself in harms way to try and defuse an explosive that could kill civilians - which is about as palladin-y as it's possible to get imo.

And then there's the debate about what "lawful" means. If I'm playing a Palladin and have a chance to free slaves and kill the slavers I'm going to do it and don't give a damn if slavery is legal according to some corrupt government. Think John Brown. The palladin is sworn to uphold the laws of his/her god - not the laws of men. But it's tedious to have that argument with a gm, especially if they have ability to strip my powers because they have a different concept of morality.


Corragh Bearson wrote:

I like palladins. What I don't like is having to argue with gm's who have trope-laden hackneyed ideas about how my character can behave. Take the gm who wouldn't let me play a pally/rog because he thought sneak attacking was "dishonerable." Never mind that the character was actually built to be the fantasy equivilant of the bomb squad guy who walks up to a live bomb and purposefully puts himself in harms way to try and defuse an explosive that could kill civilians - which is about as palladin-y as it's possible to get imo.

And then there's the debate about what "lawful" means. If I'm playing a Palladin and have a chance to free slaves and kill the slavers I'm going to do it and don't give a damn if slavery is legal according to some corrupt government. Think John Brown. The palladin is sworn to uphold the laws of his/her god - not the laws of men. But it's tedious to have that argument with a gm, especially if they have ability to strip my powers because they have a different concept of morality.

John Brown was not a paladin, he was a murdering zealot. And if you think him fighting slavery gave him the right to murder people then some people could apply that same idea to killing abortion doctors, or anyone else they think is doing wrong. The slavery issue could have ended peacefully in the long run but guys like Brown wanted violence. Not to turn this into an argument but comparing John Brown to a paladin got my goat.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Also keep in mind the model of the paladin is the Knights of the Round Table, not crusaders, Templars or Hospitalars. The Peers of Charlemagne are sometimes swept in, but in actuality the original code of the Paladin was lifted from the character of Rogar Carlson in the book Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson.

If you want Crusaders? Use the Low Templar PrC. It represents the morally ambivalent Crusader wonderfully.

==Aelryinth


Goes from person to person , i have been forbidden to play a paladin before because to me they would sacrifice their lives to save others without a problem.

The GM and the party did not want him to do that , they thought that if the paladin was going to die , he could skip this , he should save all he could , but avoid such sacrifices.

To me , that makes no sense at all. The paladin should be willing to trade his life for the life of another, simple.

I dont care much , paladin is not one of my fav classes anyway , was using it because we needed a tank , now we got none and i got my mage back , see if i care others die now :P.

Liberty's Edge

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Backfromthedeadguy wrote:
Corragh Bearson wrote:

I like palladins. What I don't like is having to argue with gm's who have trope-laden hackneyed ideas about how my character can behave. Take the gm who wouldn't let me play a pally/rog because he thought sneak attacking was "dishonerable." Never mind that the character was actually built to be the fantasy equivilant of the bomb squad guy who walks up to a live bomb and purposefully puts himself in harms way to try and defuse an explosive that could kill civilians - which is about as palladin-y as it's possible to get imo.

And then there's the debate about what "lawful" means. If I'm playing a Palladin and have a chance to free slaves and kill the slavers I'm going to do it and don't give a damn if slavery is legal according to some corrupt government. Think John Brown. The palladin is sworn to uphold the laws of his/her god - not the laws of men. But it's tedious to have that argument with a gm, especially if they have ability to strip my powers because they have a different concept of morality.

John Brown was not a paladin, he was a murdering zealot. And if you think him fighting slavery gave him the right to murder people then some people could apply that same idea to killing abortion doctors, or anyone else they think is doing wrong. The slavery issue could have ended peacefully in the long run but guys like Brown wanted violence. Not to turn this into an argument but comparing John Brown to a paladin got my goat.

The slave owners John Brown killed (and the government that protected them whose soldiers he killed) used torture and murder to brutalize and enslave people. That's about as evil as it's possible to get. Brown saw that evil, faced it, recognized it, and killed and was killed trying to stop it. That's about as Palladin as you can get in my book.

Says the guy with the Andoran icon next to his name.

In any case, our difference of opinion is exactly what makes playing a Palladin so difficult. Morality may well be universal, but different people perceive it differently. To me, Brown is an icon and a hero who I've looked up to for most of my life. To you he's a monster.

And that's why playing a class where a disagreement between the player and gm on what "good" means can result in your charcter getting nerfed sucks.


Or you could join the Apathy side.

Good? Bad? I'm the girl with the pointy part of the sword pointing towards peephole who are not me.


I think that paladins actually make great antagonists.

They can be full of contrasts; they live up to the best ideals of Good and Law within the conceit of a universe with scientifically quantifiable morality. At the same time though there is the tension that to us today being a heavily armed religious fanatic running around enforcing your god's will with a pointy metal weapon makes you a villain.


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Saint Caleth wrote:
I think that paladins actually make great antagonists.

Its a trope actually, Knight Templar.


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Corragh Bearson wrote:
The slave owners John Brown killed (and the government that protected them whose soldiers he killed) used torture and murder to brutalize and enslave people. That's about as evil as it's possible to get. Brown saw that evil, faced it, recognized it, and killed and was killed trying to stop it. That's about as Palladin as you can get in my book.

Presuming his own methods were not themselves brutal enough not to push him into non-good territory (not everyone killing people for a noble cause is good), wouldn´t his armed rebellion against an established and legal tradition leave him as chaotic instead?

Anyhow, I agree, paladins can make interesting foils for a chaotic or neutral party. However, by the current code a knight templar (as the trope) paladin will have a seious problem - a paladin who puts order over good might have a hard time staying a paladin for long.


Rynjin wrote:
Seranov wrote:

I love the Paladin I'm playing right now, though my group may start disliking him to a greater or lesser degree as we go on.

He's a Half-orc Redeemer of Sarenrae with the Blade of Mercy trait. All he does is nonlethal damage, and tries to talk down enemies before he attempts to attack him. The rest of the group appears to be murderhobos, though, and it's likely that poor Tomag is going to get coup de grace'd in his sleep because of his ways.

I told them all this was the character I wanted to play weeks before we started, and no one said a single thing about it until I tried to convince the Lizardman that he should just let us go peacefully. ;_;

Think that's bad?

Try being the Lawful Evil Monk who tries to leave people alive if they pose no threat and/or fulfill their end of a bargain when everyone else wants to killripmaimdestroy at all times.

At least you have the excuse of being a good guy, the rest of my (mostly Chaotic Neutral or True Neutral) party including the GM likes to look at me and go "Shouldn't you be more killdeathkill as an evil guy?"

Oh god, gag me with a +2 spoon of nausea. I firmly believe diplomacy should be the first resort for everyone and folks should treat killing NPCs with at least some amount of gravity. If you ever get to the point where you can murder someone (even if they have a different skin color. Especially if they have a different skin color!) without the least amount of self-doubt you've hit the deep end of the alignment pool without even realizing you were slipping.


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I agree with 'The Shaman', because a paladin who respect order, on the basis of order alone, forgets that the order itself can be (and will be) misused and must always be measured along the lines of the good intentions a lawmaker intended.
A paladin is first and formost a Champion of justice, goodness and rights. And not specifically in that order, Paladins should offer guidance and help if these principles should clash with one another.
Paladins are willing to risk/sacrifice their own lives if that's the only option for the greater good. I think it's an extreme example of how far they will go, because i'd rather have paladin's at my side fighting another day then sacrificing them.

My Aasimar paladin in the kingmaker campaign I play in, withdrew from combat with a will 'o whisp taking his two unconscious friends along without even being injured. The will o' whisp either avoided me and made minced meat out of half the party while we were barely able to hit it (we were first level at the time and an 18 was a miss), I managed to distract it temporarily and the cleric and me loaded our stabilised bard and fighter on our horses and retreated carefully.
Had the distraction not worked I would have ordered our cleric to load our partymembers on the horses and retreat, while I attempted to make myself the distraction for the will 'o whisp in order to allow the rest of the party to retreat.
It would have been easy to die a glorious death in that encounter fighting a force of evil. But my fellow adventurers were down and unless the cleric and I got them out of there, they would have been dead partymembers instead of unconscious partymembers. We were not running away, but carefully retreating taking our wounded with us. The enemy creature hadn't missed a single time during the combat (about 7 rounds of it) and we failed to hit it rolling 17 and 18. That's my definition of an unwinnable situation and so we retreated.
Something similar happened the last time we fought some undead creature. Although noone was uncousious our frontline fighter was reduced to 30% of his hitpoints within 2 rounds and failed saves hampered his combat abilities. We retreated (I retreated last) and got countered by a succesfull charge. Then the party ran full speed taking the AoO for granted. I did not ran last because I wanted the AoO that was coming to be targeted on me instead of the party bard, The only thing I was hoping for was that this undead did not have combat reflexes and make my drawing the AoO pointless. I did explain this to the party and the GM and decided I would run before the bard whom I knew had his turn next before the undead monster's turn. And we got away.
These are (in my eyes) perfect examples of not fighting to the death honourably and reatreating without breaking the paladin's oaths. Retreat is allowed when faced by superior force(s), as it's good to survive and fight evil another day.
An example of an honourable death is easy too: You are faced by a superior force but in order for the superior force to get to you they have to traverse a narrow pass or gate. A few or even one man can hold out and delay the attacking forces untill the rest has fled or get's reinforcements. That's a good example where a paladin would volunteer to plug the pass untill the rest is safe or reinforcements arrive. fighting to the death if neccasary in order to give others the time to either arrive or warn and rally forces to counter the attack.


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FrankManic wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Seranov wrote:

I love the Paladin I'm playing right now, though my group may start disliking him to a greater or lesser degree as we go on.

He's a Half-orc Redeemer of Sarenrae with the Blade of Mercy trait. All he does is nonlethal damage, and tries to talk down enemies before he attempts to attack him. The rest of the group appears to be murderhobos, though, and it's likely that poor Tomag is going to get coup de grace'd in his sleep because of his ways.

I told them all this was the character I wanted to play weeks before we started, and no one said a single thing about it until I tried to convince the Lizardman that he should just let us go peacefully. ;_;

Think that's bad?

Try being the Lawful Evil Monk who tries to leave people alive if they pose no threat and/or fulfill their end of a bargain when everyone else wants to killripmaimdestroy at all times.

At least you have the excuse of being a good guy, the rest of my (mostly Chaotic Neutral or True Neutral) party including the GM likes to look at me and go "Shouldn't you be more killdeathkill as an evil guy?"

Oh god, gag me with a +2 spoon of nausea. I firmly believe diplomacy should be the first resort for everyone and folks should treat killing NPCs with at least some amount of gravity. If you ever get to the point where you can murder someone (even if they have a different skin color. Especially if they have a different skin color!) without the least amount of self-doubt you've hit the deep end of the alignment pool without even realizing you were slipping.

You are right. Why kill everyone when you can enslave them and make them work for you in the years to come?

Off course you first need something of a powerbase before the grand scheme will roll out, but leave it to a couple of stupid neutrals/good idiots to think that sparing their lives was done out of the goodness of your heart. That way they will never see the enslaving attack coming :)


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Aelryinth wrote:
...the original code of the Paladin was lifted from the character of Rogar Carlson in the book Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson.

That's "Holger Carlsen."

Many forget, or fail to realize, that the reasons most players and game masters hate paladins are precisely those that make them an irresistible delight for others. (I happen to love 'em, and of the, say, 75 characters I've played going back to AD&D First Edition, I wager about 55 have been paladins.)

I've seen paladins played in games where the referee took gleeful delight in mocking both character and player for his/her idealism and play style to the point where if the fellow had stood up and kicked the DM's ass it'd have been in some measure justified.

Don't play a paladin with a group that can't handle that kind of portrayal, for whatever reason. You're just setting yourself up for aggravation.


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Okay, so something that hasn't been brought up much - There's a lot of angst about alignment and RAW and paladins and anti paladins.

Forget all the RAW. Forget alignment.

You are a Paladin (or Antipaladin). That means that you, personally, have been chosen by a God as an individual who is an exceptional representative of that god's beliefs and ideals. Iomedae personally looked down from Heaven and said "I like you. If you ever go fight a dragon or something I have your back and will provide you with a portion of my divine power." You are a mortal custodian of the power of the divinity you worship. You are fully committed to living as an exemplar of that divinity's philosophy through a lawful and good lens. You're not a cleric - Clerics are functionaries. They're office workers. They're clerks. You're the select special forces front line commandos of your deity. Clerics minister to the faithful. You go out into the world to set a living example of the best possible aspects of your deity in a very kick the door in and slay the dragon sort of way.

That really, really, really needs to be emphasized strongly. Doesn't matter what the player thinks is lawful good or what the Paladin thinks is lawful good or what the GM thinks is lawful good. It matters what GOD thinks is lawful good. If Iomedae thinks you're not living up to HER ideals then she's going to shut off the tap. And she's watching you. You, personally. She has a lot invested in you. And if you, her chosen, her actual chosen divine warrior on Golarion, do anything that would make her feel embarrassed or ashamed? She will kick you out into the cold. You didn't betray some abstract code. You betrayed your real and living goddess. The goddess who invested you with extraordinary trust and power. The goddess who thought you were good enough to act as her representative in the mortal world. The goddess who believed that you, you personally, could make a difference in the balance between good and evil. She was pulling for you and you let her down. You cad!

For all this emphasis on Rules As Written and differing interpretations of what Lawful Good means this argument has forgotten what Paladins actually are. What they represent. Who they represent.

Anti-Paladins, by the way, are the same thing. No less a creature than ploughing Rovagug itself looked out through a crack in its prison, saw you, and said "I like that guy. He's my kind of guy. I'm going to give him power because he fully represents my ideals!"

Rovagug's ideals are the omnicidal destruction of everything that exists up to and including the Gods and itself. And you're the living exemplar of that destruction.

Orcus is the demon lord of Undeath. You are so good at killing things and turning them into twisted mockeries of unlife that he personally decided to make you his poster boy.

Lamasthu's entire shtick is having kinky sex with monsters in order to create more monsters. And she thought you would make a great champion. And that's really, really gross.

Urgathoa is all about disease and gluttony. All about it. And you are the cursed, self indulgent pustule that he chose to make his champion.

Anti-paladins aren't forced to be twisted monstrosities by the RAW. They're forced to be twisted monstrosities by the fluff. The first thing you have to do when you create any kind of Paladin, anti or otherwise, is create a character who can believably have attracted the attention and patronage of a god. You have to walk the walk before you can lay on the hands. That's relatively easy for a Paladin - Be a really good person who believes in the law and you're half way there. It's a bit harder for an anti-Paladin. You might end up having to do the bad thing with an Avatar of Lamashtu, or something equally horrifying. Paladins are almost alien in their genuine devotion to ideals to which most people only pay lip service. Anti-paladins are alien. Full stop. There is nothing comprehensible about the mind of someone who could attract that kind of attention from an evil god. If you are sane enough to be playing Role Playing Games then you're probably too sane to fully appreciate the mind of an Antipaladin.

Paladins and Clerics do not wield their own power. Their power is on loan. They're borrowing it. It can be taken away if they do not use it responsibly and appropriately. They're both really freaking powerful, able to strike down monsters and raise the dead to life. But that power comes at the cost of living up to someone else's ideals. Clerics have it pretty easy - They're expected to stay more or less on a straightish path. Paladins must maintain a much stricter unity of vision with their deity.

So yeah. There's my piece. Arguing about the specific grammar of the Code or what the RAW does or doesn't say is totally missing the point of the entire concept of a Divinely Empowered Warrior. The important part is "Divinely Empowered".


What a paladin is depends a lot on your setting if your willing to drop RAW. Paladins of many different ideals and lots of awesomeness. With RAW they're really only about a select few.


FrankManic wrote:
So yeah. There's my piece. Arguing about the specific grammar of the Code or what the RAW does or doesn't say is totally missing the point of the entire concept of a Divinely Empowered Warrior. The important part is "Divinely Empowered".

FrankManic, I like your style, and I like what you said.

But I'm going to disagree with you, despite agreeing with you. Funny, that.

Were it up to me, Paladins would effectively be exactly what you describe (although there'd be a lot of questions about specifics and why LG/CE dichotomy, but whatever), and, in fact, in my homebrew world I just made, I specifically created a reason for paladins to be that way.

But in any game other than mine? I've got to presume the Core book comes into play (unless, as you noted, it's otherwise explained before hand).

In the Core, Paladins don't need a god.

In Golarion canon, Paladins don't need a god. (James Jacobs weighed in himself on this.)

They're like druids who worship nature, rangers who just "have magic", and oracles who... just "have magic".

Antipaladins are similar.

This is the core the debate here. If they were chosen imbued champions of a specific god, then, yeah, definitely, I'd totally be all about what you're talking about.

As it stands, we have the code and the alignment, which are much more flexible* than what a given divinity feels about their specified champion.

Instead, oddly, what you've described actually fits better with... clerics, as written.

I still love your post, though! :)

EDIT: Oh, and Urgathoa is female. Just in case you weren't aware.

* In some ways. In the debatable ways.

Liberty's Edge

Tacticslion wrote:
In Golarion canon, Paladins don't need a god. (James Jacobs weighed in himself on this.)

Actually, they do ;-)

Quote:
This is the core the debate here. If they were chosen imbued champions of a specific god, then, yeah, definitely, I'd totally be all about what you're talking about.

Except that the GM's take on LG is pretty much the God's take on LG. Which is even more reason for the player and the GM to get together and clarify how alignment and the code will work BEFORE play.

Quote:
As it stands, we have the code and the alignment, which are much more flexible* than what a given divinity feels about their specified champion.

As exemplified by the fact that the deity-specific codes in Faiths of Purity are in addition to the code in the CRB.


Personally, a Paladin that looks closer to the character of the knight from the "Dragonheart" movie is awesome in my books.
I couldn't help to get all emotional the first time I heard the scene of "the Old Code":

A knight is sworn to valour
His heart knows only virtue
His blade defends the helpless
His might upholds the weak
His word speaks only truth
His wrath undoes the wicked.

And this comes from a guy who thinks that an open interpretation of Neutral Evil is the best and coolest alignment.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Agreed, that entire description of 'favored of the God' describes the Priest to a T. Functionaries are Adepts.

Paladins are the exemplars of the LG alignment. In core rules, they don't need a god. In PF, yes, they do, but they are still LG exemplars.

The represent the power of purity, NOT the power of a deity. By restricting their moral and ethical choices, they gain a strength above and beyond that of other men.

Which, you know, has been the ideal of purity for ages.

Evil people don't believe in purity. They believe in lying, cheating, murder, rape, looting, pillaging, tyranny, slavery - they believe in whatever is easiest and most expeditious to do. Efficiency is everything.

The idea of sacrificing for some lame ideal? Evil sacrifices others, they don't sacrifice of themselves. The fact that Good people, and LG people, won't resort to these methods is the power of Evil.

Evil's greatest strength is that it has no inhibitions and precious few limitations. It can do anything it wants to, for any reason it wants to.

Good, and particularly Lawful Good, can't do that. Because their actions are restricted, those who hear the Paladin's Call and abide by their code are empowered beyond other men.

That's what a Paladin means to many, many people, at the heart of it. They aren't holy warriors of God X. They are representatives of what it means to be a LG Hero. The idea of cheapening them by making them clones for any alignment immediately sours many, many people. They simply don't share your 'warrior of deity X' view, that's what the cleric is for.

Liberty's Edge

Aelryinth wrote:

They simply don't share your 'warrior of deity X' view, that's what the cleric is for.

Except of course, that the Cleric is not a martial, while the Paladin is.

Add the fact that you can have LG Clerics in addition to LG Paladins.

And the existence of CE Antipaladins in addition to CE Clerics.

There is an actual lack of (Un)Holy Warriors for the other 7 alignments.

Other than that, I agree 100% with all you said on the Paladin :-)


The black raven wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
In Golarion canon, Paladins don't need a god. (James Jacobs weighed in himself on this.)
Actually, they do ;-)

I'd appreciate a rule quote and/or a James Jacobs quote on that. I'm not trying to challenge - I'm actually really trying to learn. At least in Golarion, though, James has gone on record as saying that Clerics are the only divine class - and he included Paladins in "divine classes" - that need a patron.

I'll try to find that quote, but in the meantime if you find a counter-ruling, I'd be happy to know about it.

EDIT: here's one

EDIT 2: Even better one

James Jacobs wrote:
Paladins don't have to worship deities... but since they cast divine spells, they can't be atheists.
The black raven wrote:
Quote:
This is the core the debate here. If they were chosen imbued champions of a specific god, then, yeah, definitely, I'd totally be all about what you're talking about.
Except that the GM's take on LG is pretty much the God's take on LG. Which is even more reason for the player and the GM to get together and clarify how alignment and the code will work BEFORE play.

I entirely agree. Always have.

The black raven wrote:
Quote:
As it stands, we have the code and the alignment, which are much more flexible* than what a given divinity feels about their specified champion.
As exemplified by the fact that the deity-specific codes in Faiths of Purity are in addition to the code in the CRB.

That is a specific example that trumps general, though. It can't be utilized as a general principal.

In those cases, the paladins adhere to codes as clarified by their specific gods.

The black raven wrote:
[Except of course, that the Cleric is not a martial, while the Paladin is.

The cleric may not be "a martial", but they are really, really good at it.

Liberty's Edge

Tacticslion wrote:
The black raven wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
In Golarion canon, Paladins don't need a god. (James Jacobs weighed in himself on this.)
Actually, they do ;-)

I'd appreciate a rule quote and/or a James Jacobs quote on that. I'm not trying to challenge - I'm actually really trying to learn. At least in Golarion, though, James has gone on record as saying that Clerics are the only divine class - and he included Paladins in "divine classes" - that need a patron.

I'll try to find that quote, but in the meantime if you find a counter-ruling, I'd be happy to know about it.

EDIT: here's one

EDIT 2: Even better one

James Jacobs wrote:
Paladins don't have to worship deities... but since they cast divine spells, they can't be atheists.

You are quite right. My most sincere apologies. I do not know why I thought so. Probably mixed it up with the Clerics


The black raven wrote:
You are quite right. My most sincere apologies. I do not know why I thought so. Probably mixed it up with the Clerics

Hey, no problem: no apologies needed. I was mostly curious if this had been overturned or changed somehow.

Heaven knows I've been wrong often enough! :)


Aelryinth wrote:

Agreed, that entire description of 'favored of the God' describes the Priest to a T. Functionaries are Adepts.

Paladins are the exemplars of the LG alignment. In core rules, they don't need a god. In PF, yes, they do, but they are still LG exemplars.

The represent the power of purity, NOT the power of a deity. By restricting their moral and ethical choices, they gain a strength above and beyond that of other men.

Which, you know, has been the ideal of purity for ages.

Evil people don't believe in purity. They believe in lying, cheating, murder, rape, looting, pillaging, tyranny, slavery - they believe in whatever is easiest and most expeditious to do. Efficiency is everything.

The idea of sacrificing for some lame ideal? Evil sacrifices others, they don't sacrifice of themselves. The fact that Good people, and LG people, won't resort to these methods is the power of Evil.

Evil's greatest strength is that it has no inhibitions and precious few limitations. It can do anything it wants to, for any reason it wants to.

Good, and particularly Lawful Good, can't do that. Because their actions are restricted, those who hear the Paladin's Call and abide by their code are empowered beyond other men.

That's what a Paladin means to many, many people, at the heart of it. They aren't holy warriors of God X. They are representatives of what it means to be a LG Hero. The idea of cheapening them by making them clones for any alignment immediately sours many, many people. They simply don't share your 'warrior of deity X' view, that's what the cleric is for.

Yeap , i pretty much agree with this.

There is a difference to me even between a paladin and a normal LG PC.

The paladin must go beyond , he is good , and hell he will die upholding that good.

While a normal LG might just run if their life is in danger cause hell , they are nice , but they are not going down to save others.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Rogues aren't martial, but aren't magical, and are a combat class.
Magi are not martial, but are a combat class.
Inquisitors are not martial, but are a combat class.
Bard archetypes are not martial, but are a combat class.

Clerics have the advantage of being just as good in martial combat as all of these, AND being primary spellcasters.
Win-win for them for ALL alignments. SOldiers of the gods, indeed!

As for anti-paladins...only there because people were clamoring for them, and since they came out in 1E, that's fine. They are totally optional and not core.

And a lot of extremely good optimizers will tell you that an anti-paladin is actually better in a party then a paladin. That Aura that lowers enemy saves is incredibly powerful in alliance with other casters.

And the fact he can lie, cheat, betray, use poison, burn down villages, etc, is just extra icing on the cake.

==Aelryinth


The anti-paladin is not better in a party unless you make an arbitrary rule prohibiting PVP combat. As anyone who has ever played Diplomacy can tell you, it is not a question of if they will betray you, but when. The trick is to betray the other person just before they are about to betray you.

This is why Good so often wins. Sure Evil has no limitations, but Evil can not be trusted either. Not even Lawful Evil. The forces of Good can send out individuals on extremely dangerous, even suicidal, tasks and trust that they will do it to the best of their ability. Evil minions can only be trusted to do it if it is in their own self interest. This gives Good forces options that are not available to Evil forces.

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