Paladin hate.


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Silver Crusade

Wiggz wrote:
brewdus wrote:
I would think that would create an interesting role playing challenge, but I guess some people just don't want that in their games anymore!

First of all, I LOVE Paladins, and the role-playing isn't usually a challenge for me at all... but what it can be is a challenge for the rest of my group, one they didn't sign on for. If I have a DM who for whatever reason has a particular or rigid view of what a Paladin can or can't do then it can become a true encumbrance because what he's really doing is either deciding what the party can or can't do (since I'd have to go along with whatever actions they chose) or setting me at odds with the party which takes away the fun for everyone.

.
When the GM and the player are on the same page as to what is required by a Paladin's faith then there is rarely any problem for anyone. For our group, we've removed the alignment requirement, removed the 'detect evil' ability and tweaked the Smite power so that it works against a set group appropriate for whatever deity the Paladin has devoted himself to... its worked out very, very well. The Paladin 'falls' when he fails to uphold the will of his patron deity who granted him his divine power, its as simple as that.

To start with, all you have to do is look at the alignments of the other characters and let them know you are playing a Paladin. If they break out with the evil alignment then either you need to change your class or they need to change their alignment to something the paladin will work with.

A paladin doesn't work with everyone and that's a good thing because I don't want every class to be universal, I like for classes to have a certain schtick and stick to that. If you really want to play a paladin but the rest of the group won't choose alignments that the paladin will work with then so be it. Don't go 4th editions stupid route of making the paladin any alignment so they can work with all classes and all alignments.


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My Top Ten Reasons Some People Hate Paladins:
1. Difficult class to play well. Living by a code as an adventurer isn't easy.
2. Players who insist on playing a paladin when everyone else wants to be chaotic neutral, amoral mercenaries concerned only for themselves, and the inevitable intra-party conflict.
3. Players who want to play a chaotic neutral, amoral mercenary when everyone else wants to be good guy heroes, including a paladin, with the inevitable intra-party conflict.
4. Paladins cramp a lot of people's style.
5. Nobody likes folks who are "better" than they are, and paladins undoubtedly are.
6. DMs who love to make paladins fall, ruining everyone's good time.
7. Paladins get all the girls.
8. Paladins don't know what to do with the girls when they get them.
9. After getting the girls, they feel the need to atone.
10. Feeling the need to atone pisses off the girls.


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Brian Bachman wrote:


7. Paladins get all the girls.
8. Paladins don't know what to do with the girls when they get them.
9. After getting the girls, they feel the need to atone.
10. Feeling the need to atone pisses off the girls.

Sir Lancelot: We were in the nick of time. You were in great peril.

Sir Galahad: I don't think I was.
Sir Lancelot: Yes, you were. You were in terrible peril.
Sir Galahad: Look, let me go back in there and face the peril.
Sir Lancelot: No, it's too perilous.


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Darkwolf117 wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Yeah, I agree, but others on these boards have argued a paladin that isn't pleasant to everyone he meets will fall. Literally they tried the trap of, ugly fat princess you are a bodyguard for wants to know if she is pretty. If you lie, you break your code. If you tell the truth (she is an ugly spoiled brat) you hurt her feelings and have therefore hurt an innocent. You horrible human being, you should be nice to everyone paladin.

Are you... kidding? I really hope so, cuz if not, that's absolutely insane. A Paladin's code is not that temperamental. I'm rather confident that hurting someone's feelings is not quite the same as hurting an innocent, in the context of performing evil, and not even remotely close to causing a fall.

I don't know who thought that 'trap' up, but that's absurd.

Not kidding at all, some are very desperate to hold the paladin to a code even higher than their actual code. You get the hurting clause and how it was used here.


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Brian Bachman wrote:

My Top Ten Reasons Some People Hate Paladins:

5. Nobody likes folks who are "better" than they are, and paladins undoubtedly are.

Half of me wonders if this is a more OOG problem. I once had an experience in a group where another player got seriously offended when we all tried to explain to him his character was more Neutral than Good due to his actions (refusing to help anyone without being paid money), and this wasn't even a class that had alignment restrictions. Later on, he showed all of us that he was actually incredibly insecure with himself, and it was pretty clear he had taken the "non good" alignment thing personally.

I could easily see this happening at other tables where players choose to play the Chaotic Neutral character because they think it will be fun, then become insecure with their choice when someone else decides to play an "epitome of good" character. It's possie that this sort of thing can be solved with some sort of OOG talk with the players involved.


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When perusing the boards, you can find a lot of hate for every class, and little love for any. If you just perused the boards you'd eventually come to the conclusion that Pathfinder is the worst game of it's kind and not worth playing.


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First off, in response to a few people who have questioned my analysis on page one, the key is that particularly here in America, the concept of "public morality" has been dying. We keep our religion/beliefs to ourselves, or are supposed to if we are of X group. Y group can go right ahead and freely discuss Z in public. Anyway, the point is that there are very few people who believe in a prime moral law.

Without a right/wrong guide, it becomes personal interpretation. Are most religions right/wrong guides 100% correct? No. Are they often a fairly decent guide? Yes.

There is nothing wrong with helping the poor, giving shelter to the homeless, providing medical aid to the sick, and comforting the bereaved. Basic tenants of several religions right there.

Stick the Paladin into that, the guy who follows a prime moral law, and he has a tough road to tread. Particularly if his allies do things like slaughter prisoners or kill innocent bystanders.

The Paladin is not a bad class, and is fun to play. The issue is society has rejected the concept of a Paladin.

Second Reason for Paladin Hate

Paladins are treated very 2 dimensionally by most people. He is a "cavalier in shining armor who smites the wicked." That is how a lot of people play the class. It shows no imagination. Perhaps the wording or the ethos behind the class leads to this stupidity, but regardless, its there.

Imagine if everyone played Barbarians like a Conan character. Or everyone played Wizards like Gandalf. Or everyone played Rangers like Robin Hood. If you can replace the class name with a fictional character's name, then you've done it wrong. You are not properly role-playing the class. A lot of people who play Paladin could rename it "Sir Gallahad" and be done with it.

Which is stupid. So please. Make a 3-D Paladin next time you go to do so. Come up with 10 or so examples of possible moral conundrums that may come up. Solve them in your head. Use that as a guide. Watch more Dr. Who or what not to see how good should behave.

note
A final consideration is that good should always come before law. If doing the right thing means breaking a law, or thinking creatively, always be creative. If an evil creature seeks mercy, give it to them. Don't slaughter it down because it "deserves to pay for its crimes!" The road of pure LAW leads to many a Paladin's fall. Following good is usually safer. Particularly if you follow a LG or NG deity. You are a servant of a beneficent deity, not an inevitable.

Finally, as a Paladin, you can always ask the DM: "I offer a quick prayer to my deity, what seems to be the proper course of action?"


3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Darkwolf117 wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Yeah, I agree, but others on these boards have argued a paladin that isn't pleasant to everyone he meets will fall. Literally they tried the trap of, ugly fat princess you are a bodyguard for wants to know if she is pretty. If you lie, you break your code. If you tell the truth (she is an ugly spoiled brat) you hurt her feelings and have therefore hurt an innocent. You horrible human being, you should be nice to everyone paladin.

Are you... kidding? I really hope so, cuz if not, that's absolutely insane. A Paladin's code is not that temperamental. I'm rather confident that hurting someone's feelings is not quite the same as hurting an innocent, in the context of performing evil, and not even remotely close to causing a fall.

I don't know who thought that 'trap' up, but that's absurd.

Not kidding at all, some are very desperate to hold the paladin to a code even higher than their actual code. You get the hurting clause and how it was used here.

This is another thing. Too many people stretch it too far. As a Paladin you are still a human being. You don't have to give all your treasure to beggars. The rogue can sneak attack and surprise attack evil creatures with hostile intent. The wizard can use mind control to get information. Paladins DO NOT equal stupidity. The only way they can do that is if the playing group also equals stupidity.


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The reason I dislike paladins is because I prefer my heroes flawed and damaged, capable of making mistakes and doing bad things. I don't like characters who are holy shrine maiden of purity who would not even consider doing a bad things, characters who are nothing more than conceptual ideals rather than people.


Katz wrote:
On a side note, I really hate the Atonement spell, at least for paladin-related stuff. It just seems kinda shallow for a divine caster to regain all their powers...through buying a spell (or getting another party member to do it). I'd prefer if the RAW let you regain your paly powers just by atoning...not by an Atonement spell.

Oh yeah, it irks me a lot as well. Especially the gp cost. Mr. Absolute morality buying indulgences - or his church selling them to him? It only ever makes sense if the paladin's sin is related to greed, so a monetary contribution shows he's learned his lesson.

Atonement should be about the act, not the payment. Which is part of what I found so absurd about the Grey Guard PrC in 3.5 - they essentially get frequent flyer miles discount on it. They never seem to really atone.


Delthyn wrote:

First off, in response to a few people who have questioned my analysis on page one, the key is that particularly here in America, the concept of "public morality" has been dying. We keep our religion/beliefs to ourselves, or are supposed to if we are of X group. Y group can go right ahead and freely discuss Z in public. Anyway, the point is that there are very few people who believe in a prime moral law.

I am willing to bet that most any religious ideal will find places that expression will be unwelcome. I am also willing to bet my ideas about religion are different than yours, but I very much feel the need to keep my ideas to myself in most public settings.

If you look up rates of religiosity among industrial and/or educated countries you will see that the united states is still abnormally high on the religious spectrum. I speculate that a very large portion of the people that rate themselves high on the religiosity scale insulate themselves others that think differently.

Delthyn wrote:


Without a right/wrong guide, it becomes personal interpretation. Are most religions right/wrong guides 100% correct? No. Are they often a fairly decent guide? Yes.

There is nothing wrong with helping the poor, giving shelter to the homeless, providing medical aid to the sick, and comforting the bereaved. Basic tenants of several religions right there.

I don't think these things are what people have problems with. It is more the idea that someone else's prime moral law is thought to be better than another mutually exclusive and equally supported prime moral law, or a prime moral law trumping personal observations and conjecture that does bother people.

Delthyn wrote:


Stick the Paladin into that, the guy who follows a prime moral law, and he has a tough road to tread. Particularly if his allies do things like slaughter prisoners or kill innocent bystanders.
-snip-

...or the allies just believe that the ends justify the means, some things that are called evil really aren't, some things that are called good really aren't, and they shouldn't be held to someone else's dogma.

My quote limit was cutting things off so to speak to the second point about the 3D paladin, I really liked the CG paladin variant from previous editions. In every home game I have ever run I have always made it known I would allow its use in Pathfinder. It allows for a much more 3D and party cohesive character in my opinion. In one long term game I ran I even set up in the starting rules no LG characters because I planned to both put the party in a lot of no win moral situations and force the party to actually interact and accomplish some mutual goals with their enemies on a regular basis before actually advancing the story to the point in which fighting them would be prudent. I think a LG character would be very self destructive in this environment.


The Shaman wrote:
Katz wrote:
On a side note, I really hate the Atonement spell, at least for paladin-related stuff. It just seems kinda shallow for a divine caster to regain all their powers...through buying a spell (or getting another party member to do it). I'd prefer if the RAW let you regain your paly powers just by atoning...not by an Atonement spell.

Oh yeah, it irks me a lot as well. Especially the gp cost. Mr. Absolute morality buying indulgences - or his church selling them to him? It only ever makes sense if the paladin's sin is related to greed, so a monetary contribution shows he's learned his lesson.

Atonement should be about the act, not the payment. Which is part of what I found so absurd about the Grey Guard PrC in 3.5 - they essentially get frequent flyer miles discount on it. They never seem to really atone.

Which also speaks to my point in my last two posts here. There is a precedence of a moral authority selling indulgences. While subscribing to the one moral authority, there really is no way to argue there is anything wrong with it.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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johnlocke90 wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

Paladins plant themselves by the river of truth, and don't move. People whine and complain that the truth is subjective and interpretive, and the paladin should bend and flex.

And the paladin says "You move."

Paladins make the cynical green with envy, because they can't actually be that good and decent, and they LOOK for ways to bring down something better then themselves, instead of trying to be more like them. Instead of trying to find the better way, they try to justify the worse way.

Alignment and paladins are not hard to play. People who protest are those who seek to justify any action in their own morality, ignoring morality that is larger then they are (alignment).

==Aelryinth

I would love to see two paladins who take this stance in a group while having different ideas of "the truth". Would probably lead to paladin v paladin combat.

And, see, that's where you're wrong.

The other paladin is standing at a different branch of the river, he's still a paladin, and the core of what they believe is the same, they just focus on different aspects of it.

And being LG paladins, they'll find a non-violent way of settling their differences, because it doesn't all come down to combat.
------
The issue of 'paladin hate' is really an issue of 'alignment hate', because paladins don't exist without alignment strictures. Without LG, paladins are just knights of one god or another, ho hum, just another choice.

With LG, paladins are heroes that have to operate within the strict confines of their beliefs, which simply doesn't permit a lot of the stuff other alignments can get away with.

So when you see threads about doing away with alignment, what you're really seeing is people wanting to do away with LG paladins, so they can use the powers of a paladin in the way THEY want to, thinking they are terribly original for having a Neutral Paladin whose code is defined by loyalty to god and kin and nothing else, or CG paladin out to always liberate the slaves, or LN "King and Country" paladins, yada yada yada, not realizing they are stepping over the same tired, worn-out road that has been plowed since EGG put out the Anti-Paladin, and Paladins of the other 7 Alignments made it into Dragon #106 almost thirty years ago.

In short, instead of trying to do something other then lawful stupid or Stupid Good for a paladin, and actually make an interesting LG hero, they want to chuck alignment altogether so they can do what they want.

Yawn.

===Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Sitri wrote:
The Shaman wrote:
Katz wrote:
On a side note, I really hate the Atonement spell, at least for paladin-related stuff. It just seems kinda shallow for a divine caster to regain all their powers...through buying a spell (or getting another party member to do it). I'd prefer if the RAW let you regain your paly powers just by atoning...not by an Atonement spell.

Oh yeah, it irks me a lot as well. Especially the gp cost. Mr. Absolute morality buying indulgences - or his church selling them to him? It only ever makes sense if the paladin's sin is related to greed, so a monetary contribution shows he's learned his lesson.

Atonement should be about the act, not the payment. Which is part of what I found so absurd about the Grey Guard PrC in 3.5 - they essentially get frequent flyer miles discount on it. They never seem to really atone.

Which also speaks to my point in my last two posts here. There is a precedence of a moral authority selling indulgences. While subscribing to the one moral authority, there really is no way to argue there is anything wrong with it.

Sure there is. A little event called the Protestant Reformation started because of selling indulgences. It segued over sweetly into the Hundred Years War, and ended up breaking the power of the Catholic Church in Europe.

Moral authority can easily be contested, and a paladin is not beholden to a Church...he's beholden to his code.

oh, and btw, the original Paladin is not based on King Arthur's knights exclusively. The model for the D&D paladin is Rogar Carlson, the main Character from the novel Three Hearts and Three Lions.

And that character drinks, sleeps with a nymph, doubts himself all the time, and continues soldiering on to do the right thing.

the immunity to disease thing making them immune to drug addiction and alcholism is, like, BING. Can you imagine a better undercover agent then a LG character who CANNOT get addicted to the drugs he takes, or can pretend to be an alcholic and just walk away when the job is done?!

"Oh, Salafi over there? He comes in for his Pesh dose every day, he's a hopeless slob giving us his money, heh heh heh. Don't worry about him. When is my next shipment?"

"That guy? Mobogo, I think he is. Comes in every night to get away from his wife, drinks himself to a stupor. He'll wake up in an hour and stumble home, does it every night. Now, what's this about the new heist?"

Now THOSE are paladins. Sacrificing appearences to get the job done.

==Aelryinth


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I can see an issue of other games we play bleeding in. One common type of paladin I see is the 40k Space Marine wannabe. Unyielding and always ready to kill xenos, only replace Orks and Dark Eldar with orcs and drow and BOOM! Paladin.


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A couple of quick thoughts about paladins while I wait for the gaming group to arrive:

1. I think a lot of the problem is uncertainty involving interpreting the code for certain situations. The actual character has most likely trained for years in their religion and how to be a paladin. You would expect that most established religions would have a significant body of work about how to behave properly according to their religion, including both actual scripture and copious scholarly works interpreting that scripture. In addition, paladins would probably have further training about their particular code, including further scholarship about interpreting the code for various situations as well as plenty of examples of how various paladins handled different situations as lessons in what to do and what NOT to do. The player and the DM have none of that. That creates an uncertainty the character may not have even if the player and DM do have it.

2. I think it is also problematic that the class really only allows one punishment -- "falling" for everything from the most trivial violation of the code to the most grievous offense. One would think that there might be more minor punishments for more minor breaches of a code (like, say, failing to perform a ritual properly) with falling being reserved for more heinous offenses (like slaughtering innocents).


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I feel that people who want to play Paladins should watch the director's cut of Kingdom of Heaven. It has a lot of great examples of what it is to be a good (and bad) paladin.


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@Sitri:

What makes a CG paladin so much better than a LG paladin? What is it about LG that you despise so much? The only point that I will give you is that CG fits much better with hack-n-slash dungeon crawling and more "Pirates of the Carribean" style adventure than a standard, straightforward LG knight would. In fact, I have always thought that paladin should be a chassis for each alignment, with "re-named" or "re-fluffed" powers based upon alignment.

Now then, question time. Is every CE character a knife-wielding psychopath who appears in the world, hacks down everything in his path, burns everything, screams, rages, and then gets slain himself? Is destruction and entropy all that CE stands for? Mindless rage and devastation?

The answer is no. Extreme cases, like demons, maybe, but your standard orc tribe still values certain things, and likes certain traditions and customs to be upheld. Sounds lawful, right? Yet orcs are still CE. So can't a Paladin act different from the ethos? The answer to that is yes. He can.

Not every Paladin needs to be a knight in shining armor smiting every evil in his path. They are human/demi-human/non-humans too. The Paladin code is blown way out of proportion, as is the entire concept of LG. Just being LG does not make you a crusader, just as being CE does not make you a psychopath. Unless you are in a campaign world where alignments are taken to extreme absolutes.

As a Paladin you are obliged to fight evil, do the right thing, and not let your fellows commit evil acts, but that doesn't constrict you. And if your party consists of assassins, blackguards and vile warlocks who need to be constantly told not to slaughter prisoners...then maybe that is not a Paladin-friendly campaign.

Being a Paladin does not mean that you HAVE to be a 2-d knight.


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Final note:

Paladins are a good class for roleplaying as well. Particularly if you behave like say, Dr. Who or another similar character from fiction, who prefers to talk first if possible, rather than just slay. Lawful simply defines order and tradition. Good is the key. A Good creature, particularly a truly good creature, will have mercy on the weak, fight in self-defense, aid the poor, treat prisoners fairly, etc.

This may not be optimal in a hack and slash campaign, but then again, issues of alignment rarely come up in hack and slash. Everyone's too busy sacking chests and slaying monsters to worry about morals and RP fluff.

In the end, I would say that the Paladin has a place firmly in D&D/PF. It is a solid class mechanically, can be fun to play, and if the group decides that they don't want it, well, that is their decision. No different than banning psionics. The Paladin does not deserve hate.


Dr Who is not a paladin he is chaotic good he is/was a renegade time lord always interfering where he had no right too (according to the time lord codes) against the wishes of his superior on Galafrey, he got thrown out of the time lords for a time because of his unwillingness to tow the party line. Not to mention the fact that according to the current cannon he made the necessary evil choice of mass murdering the time lords and Daleks that's trillions of lives not a choice a paladin could make, no a paladin would just let time be destroyed because evil acts are wrong.


Wind Chime wrote:
Dr Who is not a paladin. He is chaotic good. He is/was a renegade time lord, always interfering where he had no right to (according to the time lord codes). Against the wishes of his superior on Galafrey, he got thrown out of the time lords for a time because of his unwillingness to tow the party line. Not to mention the fact that according to the current canon, he made the necessary evil choice of mass murdering the time lords and Daleks. That's trillions of lives, a choice a paladin could make. No a paladin would just let time be destroyed because evil acts are wrong.

Went ahead and fixed that literary abomination of a paragraph for you ;)

And I think he was just using the Doctor as an example of someone that does talking first instead of action. Maybe not the best example of course, but still, no reason to get your sonic screwdriver in a wibbly wobbly bunch :)


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Odraude wrote:
Wind Chime wrote:
Dr Who is not a paladin. He is chaotic good. He is/was a renegade time lord, always interfering where he had no right to (according to the time lord codes). Against the wishes of his superior on Galafrey, he got thrown out of the time lords for a time because of his unwillingness to tow the party line. Not to mention the fact that according to the current canon, he made the necessary evil choice of mass murdering the time lords and Daleks. That's trillions of lives, a choice a paladin could make. No a paladin would just let time be destroyed because evil acts are wrong.

Went ahead and fixed that literary abomination of a paragraph for you ;)

And I think he was just using the Doctor as an example of someone that does talking first instead of action. Maybe not the best example of course, but still, no reason to get your sonic screwdriver in a wibbly wobbly bunch :)

Danka I am Dyslexic so I miss these thing. I hate the paladin class but am a big fan of the doctor so the comparisons draw my ire. I actually am a great fan of the romantic literature but find that Gawain and some of the more worldly of the knights to be far more interesting than Sir Gallahad and his perfection. Though if we are being honest the inspiration for Paladins is the Paladin Roland from the Song of Roland who wielded a holy swords and died fighting the Muslims. Which means traditionally paladins were down with cutting down people for religious and political reasons. So it is only modern day fantasy Paladins that have to be better than the kings they follow.


Odraude wrote:
I can see an issue of other games we play bleeding in. One common type of paladin I see is the 40k Space Marine wannabe. Unyielding and always ready to kill xenos, only replace Orks and Dark Eldar with orcs and drow and BOOM! Paladin.

I was going to say 40k may be an influence.


Delthyn wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Darkwolf117 wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Yeah, I agree, but others on these boards have argued a paladin that isn't pleasant to everyone he meets will fall. Literally they tried the trap of, ugly fat princess you are a bodyguard for wants to know if she is pretty. If you lie, you break your code. If you tell the truth (she is an ugly spoiled brat) you hurt her feelings and have therefore hurt an innocent. You horrible human being, you should be nice to everyone paladin.

Are you... kidding? I really hope so, cuz if not, that's absolutely insane. A Paladin's code is not that temperamental. I'm rather confident that hurting someone's feelings is not quite the same as hurting an innocent, in the context of performing evil, and not even remotely close to causing a fall.

I don't know who thought that 'trap' up, but that's absurd.

Not kidding at all, some are very desperate to hold the paladin to a code even higher than their actual code. You get the hurting clause and how it was used here.
This is another thing. Too many people stretch it too far. As a Paladin you are still a human being. You don't have to give all your treasure to beggars. The rogue can sneak attack and surprise attack evil creatures with hostile intent. The wizard can use mind control to get information. Paladins DO NOT equal stupidity. The only way they can do that is if the playing group also equals stupidity.

I actually had a good knight, not a pally, that discussed with the party and allies how to fight with honour and not use dishonourable tactics. This was in second darkness, very few elves (but some) were receptive, most of the old drow hating skirmisher elves laughed and continued to stain themselves with dishonour.

Course, honourable was facing foes head on, clearly challenging them and breaking them apart with a mace.


Wind Chime wrote:
Odraude wrote:
Wind Chime wrote:
Dr Who is not a paladin. He is chaotic good. He is/was a renegade time lord, always interfering where he had no right to (according to the time lord codes). Against the wishes of his superior on Galafrey, he got thrown out of the time lords for a time because of his unwillingness to tow the party line. Not to mention the fact that according to the current canon, he made the necessary evil choice of mass murdering the time lords and Daleks. That's trillions of lives, a choice a paladin could make. No a paladin would just let time be destroyed because evil acts are wrong.

Went ahead and fixed that literary abomination of a paragraph for you ;)

And I think he was just using the Doctor as an example of someone that does talking first instead of action. Maybe not the best example of course, but still, no reason to get your sonic screwdriver in a wibbly wobbly bunch :)

Danka I am Dyslexic so I miss these thing. I hate the paladin class but am a big fan of the doctor so the comparisons draw my ire. I actually am a great fan of the romantic literature but find that Gawain and some of the more worldly of the knights to be far more interesting than Sir Gallahad and his perfection. Though if we are being honest the inspiration for Paladins is the Paladin Roland from the Song of Roland who wielded a holy swords and died fighting the Muslims. Which means traditionally paladins were down with cutting down people for religious and political reasons. So it is only modern day fantasy Paladins that have to be better than the kings they follow.

Yes, the old racist days of smite darkie. The paladin can never get away from this, which is why I think the sympathy with their victims/the monsters is so strong.


If you had read my post properly, you would see that I held the good Doctor as being a fine example of talking before smiting. In addition, he is a fine example of "good," which is what I was driving at.

The concepts of law and chaos are nowhere near as important to me as good and evil. However, you, Mr./Ms. Wind Chime, are certainly correct regarding the Doctor's alignment. I should have made the intent of my post more clear.

So back to the point here. Reading through 3.5 Loyalist/Wind Chime, we need to clear something up. War is FOUGHT for religious and political reasons. There is NO other reason. Carl Von Clausewitz, writer of the book, "On War," stated that war is essentially a political mechanism. If we look at the cause of war throughout history, it is always a political or religious reason.

To say that the Paladin is bad because he fights for X reason is idiotic. If you fight for no cause then you are essentially a mercenary. Which is fine in a hack-n-slash dungeon crawling game, or a war-based game.

But in a game where the majority of quests involve smiting evil, and ridding the world of foul threats brought on by evil entities...then the Paladin fits in quite nicely, as long as he is played 3-Dimensionally.

The Paladin does not deserve the hate it gets. And in any event, what is so bad about bring mass murderers, demon-summoning cultists, necromancers, etc., to justice? Is that horrible in any way? Should we just let the bad guys keep on killing people and trying to end the world, and oppressing people?

Silver Crusade

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The biggest problem I've seen is people trying to compare a paladin's morals to what modern morals in American society are supposed to be.


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modern morals are daft to begin with.


shallowsoul wrote:
The biggest problem I've seen is people trying to compare a paladin's morals to what modern morals in American society are supposed to be.

Well most of us don't play with medieval history majors who have a thorough understanding of morality in the middle ages adjusted for a world with magic. Heck, there is disagreement even among people who intensely study the subject about morality of the time period.


If we are actually going with the morality of those times killing any arcane caster would be a good act 'thou shalt not permit a witch to live' and all.


shallowsoul wrote:
The biggest problem I've seen is people trying to compare a paladin's morals to what modern morals in American society are supposed to be.

This is why I love using paladins as antagonists. Just to remind people that paladins are by definition uncompromising religious fanatics.

That said, I do have fun playing paladins from time to time when religion is played straight as a topic in a game.


shallowsoul wrote:
The biggest problem I've seen is people trying to compare a paladin's morals to what modern morals in American society are supposed to be.

Biggest problem with this is that the GMs running the game as well as the publishers making the game do put more modern morals in it because it's generally what people are more comfortable with. It we really stuck with more medieval morals, I'd bet that we'd have less people playing that setting.

Pendagast wrote:
modern morals are daft to begin with.

Most morals of any era can be daft if you sit down and look at them. But that's a conversation for Off Topic Discussion.


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johnlocke90 wrote:
Well most of us don't play with medieval history majors who have a thorough understanding of morality in the middle ages adjusted for a world with magic. Heck, there is disagreement even among people who intensely study the subject about morality of the time period.

Nevertheless, there is a vocal contingent who believe that when a paladin finds the evil ogre who has been attacking nearby farms, the only correct course of action is to clap him in irons, read him his Miranda rights, drag him on a several-day journey to the nearest city, hold a trial for him, and ultimately send him to the local prison where he can hopefully eventually be rehabilitated. And anything else deserves a fall.

You don't need to be a history major with a minor in magical adjustment to notice a few obvious differences between paladins and modern cops.


Roberta Yang wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
Well most of us don't play with medieval history majors who have a thorough understanding of morality in the middle ages adjusted for a world with magic. Heck, there is disagreement even among people who intensely study the subject about morality of the time period.

Nevertheless, there is a vocal contingent who believe that when a paladin finds the evil ogre who has been attacking nearby farms, the only correct course of action is to clap him in irons, read him his Miranda rights, drag him on a several-day journey to the nearest city, hold a trial for him, and ultimately send him to the local prison where he can hopefully eventually be rehabilitated. And anything else deserves a fall.

You don't need to be a history major with a minor in magical adjustment to notice a few obvious differences between paladins and modern cops.

And if we went based on history then Paladins should kill every arcane magic user he finds as historically thats what happened.

Historically, Paladins were primarily devoted to killing people of different religions.

Pathfinder morality is very different from medieval law. I would put it much closer to modern morality(with the emphasis on freedom of worship and equality).


Aelryinth wrote:
Sitri wrote:


Which also speaks to my point in my last two posts here. There is a precedence of a moral authority selling indulgences. While subscribing to the one moral authority, there really is no way to argue there is anything wrong with it.

Sure there is. A little event called the Protestant Reformation started because of selling indulgences. It segued over sweetly into the Hundred Years War, and ended up breaking the power of the Catholic Church in Europe.

Moral authority can easily be contested, and a paladin is not beholden to a Church...he's beholden to his code.

oh, and btw, the original Paladin is not based on King Arthur's knights exclusively. The model for the D&D paladin is Rogar Carlson, the main Character from the novel Three Hearts and Three Lions.

As far as I am concerned Martin Luther could not be classified as a Lawful character. I am not saying his thoughts or actions were wrong, quite the contrary, but if I were going to stat him :) he wouldn't meet the requirements for a paladin, at least not maybe until many years down the road.

I am not sure who Rogar Carlson is, but I don't see a problem with the drinking and oversexed paladin you mention so long as those aren't vises of the deity either. Whatever the tenets of the the deity is, a strict adherence to it and pushing those tenets on others is annoying. It leaves too little room for compromise and character development.


Delthyn wrote:

@Sitri:

What makes a CG paladin so much better than a LG paladin? What is it about LG that you despise so much? The only point that I will give you is that CG fits much better with hack-n-slash dungeon crawling and more "Pirates of the Carribean" style adventure than a standard, straightforward LG knight would. In fact, I have always thought that paladin should be a chassis for each alignment, with "re-named" or "re-fluffed" powers based upon alignment.

Mental Flexibility over Dogmatism. I really have more of an issue with the Lawful part than the Good part, but put them together is it seems like a side step of thought. Your common code becomes and IF A THEN B formula that really doesn't require or allow thought on the part of the player.

The only time I have personally played a Lawful character was when I was also playing an evil character and I wanted a way to reign in his evil nature. If my character is already good or at least neutral, I trust them to make decisions based on context and not on authoritative text.

Delthyn wrote:


Now then, question time. Is every CE character a knife-wielding psychopath who appears in the world, hacks down everything in his path, burns everything, screams, rages, and then gets slain himself? Is destruction and entropy all that CE stands for? Mindless rage and devastation?

The answer is no. Extreme cases, like demons, maybe, but your standard orc tribe still values certain things, and likes certain traditions and customs to be upheld. Sounds lawful, right? Yet orcs are still CE. So can't a Paladin act different from the ethos? The answer to that is yes. He can.

It isn't the strict adherence to a position that worries me about CE, it is their unpredictability and volatility. While they may not be a constant knife waver, I am always open to the possibility of that knife finding my back.

Delthyn wrote:


Not every Paladin needs to be a knight in shining armor smiting every evil in his path. They are human/demi-human/non-humans too. The Paladin code is blown way out of proportion, as is the entire concept of LG. Just being LG does not make you a crusader, just as being CE does not make you a psychopath. Unless you are in a campaign world where alignments are taken to extreme absolutes.

As a Paladin you are obliged to fight evil, do the right thing, and not let your fellows commit evil acts, but that doesn't constrict you. And if your party consists of assassins, blackguards and vile warlocks who need to be constantly told not to slaughter prisoners...then maybe that is not a Paladin-friendly campaign.

Being a Paladin does not mean that you HAVE to be a 2-d knight.

I think the line I put in italics contradicts itself. I think it does both constrict you and your party, even if they are not evil to the bone.


johnlocke90 wrote:
And if we went based on history then Paladins should kill every arcane magic user he finds as historically thats what happened.

You've been reading some far more interesting history than I have if there are actual arcane spellcasters in your history. Seriously though, that parallel would not necessarily hold up in a world where arcane magic is a real force with a verifiable source and not just a b~@&$&!$ charge to level at people for various political and social reasons.

Quote:
Historically, Paladins were primarily devoted to killing people of different religions.

I do agree with this though, holy warriors always seem to be great at that.

Quote:
Pathfinder morality is very different from medieval law. I would put it much closer to modern morality(with the emphasis on freedom of worship and equality).

The problem is that most campaign settings try to be mainly pseudo 1600's quasi-enlightenment worlds yet all have anachronistic medieval minded paladins slapped right in the middle of all of it.


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Roberta Yang wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
Well most of us don't play with medieval history majors who have a thorough understanding of morality in the middle ages adjusted for a world with magic. Heck, there is disagreement even among people who intensely study the subject about morality of the time period.

Nevertheless, there is a vocal contingent who believe that when a paladin finds the evil ogre who has been attacking nearby farms, the only correct course of action is to clap him in irons, read him his Miranda rights, drag him on a several-day journey to the nearest city, hold a trial for him, and ultimately send him to the local prison where he can hopefully eventually be rehabilitated. And anything else deserves a fall.

You don't need to be a history major with a minor in magical adjustment to notice a few obvious differences between paladins and modern cops.

Here is the key point. the difference is system of law. The right to mete out justice makes the paladin judge, jury and executioner. We have a different system these days because one person in three roles is too much power, too much ability for someone to become corrupt. In the case of the paladin he CAN mete out justice, because if he does become corrupt, he falls and has no power. The ACT of meting justice in and of itself ISNT corruption. Detect Evil IS the measure by which the subjects of his summary executions are judged.

Those evil people who make selfish decisions are below the power curve of being detected by the spell/ability. Those detected by it, are corrupted enough to be judged and executed by the paladin. Does the paladin have choices? do circumstances mitigate? Sure but in the end, the choice belongs to the paladin.
IF the paladin kills the evil archduke, because he lusts after his wife and wants to take her as his own. He would require attonement. NOT because he killed the evil archduke, but because his motivations in doing so were unpure, and hence an evil act.

Bad guys crying out for mercy? situations could mitigate, but it is the Paladins choice to give that mercy, NOT a requirement. IF the paladin was this inflexible, every evil guy would be able to easily subvert and manipulate the paladin and avoid his deadly blow.

This constant nonsense of DMs screwing around with "well in my world I have some ogres who COULD be good" is garbage. Great, that ogre would detect evil.

OH my a succubus that is actually lawful good? Garbage. Succubus's are the result of wholy evil mortals who were lustful and seductive in life, the demon is a version of that EVIL mortal on steroids. Playing games with the eraser and writing in a new alignment for the succubus to create twisted realties and blur the lines for your homebrew world is fine if thats what floats your boat. But don't drag it to the boards as an example of why Detect Evil doesn't work and Paladins become corrupt by killing evil monsters, like demons, ogres and wererats.


All of my games from now on will involve a literal demon of a type known for their subtle tempting corrupting manipulations who glows bright evil and just wants to "talk" to the paladin and maybe "come to an understanding". Secretly she's Good so if the paladin attacks he falls.

I am the world's greatest GM.


Roberta Yang wrote:

I am the world's greatest GM.

this is what i suspect the motivation for this whole debauchery in the first place is.

Silver Crusade

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johnlocke90 wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
The biggest problem I've seen is people trying to compare a paladin's morals to what modern morals in American society are supposed to be.
Well most of us don't play with medieval history majors who have a thorough understanding of morality in the middle ages adjusted for a world with magic. Heck, there is disagreement even among people who intensely study the subject about morality of the time period.

We might not be certain what medieval morality actually was, but we do know that it wasn't the same as modern western morality!

Another thing; our middle ages was dominated by monotheistic religions, which foster an attitude of 'if you're not with us then you're against us, against the One True God, and if you're against God then it's our holy duty to kill you!'

The fantasy worlds in which we play are pantheistic to a huge degree. For people in that kind of world, different people worshipping different gods of the same pantheon is perfectly okay; it's not a cause for holy war in and of itself, but good gods versus evil gods can create that kind of jihad mentality. In this context, morality would have evolved differently. The presence of widespread, working, predictable magic would also have caused morality to evolve in a different way.

So, while we can safely say that the game world morality would not be the same as ours, we can also safely say that it would not be the same as ours was in our middle ages, even if we can't be certain what that morality actually was.

We have to work it out for ourselves. There will be a plethora of moralities with all the different gods and cultures and alignments. If you consider only the different sects of Christianity that grew up in a mere 2000 years, how much more would there be with so many gods, alignments, creatures and cultures, all with tens of thousands of years in which to develop.

We can't work them all out, but we don't need to! We just have to work out one for each character empowered by a god; the more directly a character is associated with his god, the more important this is and the more work goes into it.

Given this, I find the behaviour of those who think that they have a right to tell other people how to play their paladins absurd and offensive. We don't accept being told how to play our other characters, even by DMs. All we need to do is make sure that we work out a morality for our paladin that is consistent with the paladin's code, god, and the LG alignment. There is a lot of room for individual interpretation within that, so to be told that our way of playing is wrong is insulting.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Actually, Charlemagne and his Peers were models for the original Cavalier class, not the paladin. KNights of the Round table, possibly. Roland himself is a particularly apt member of the cavalier class...so proud and arrogant he wouldn't call for help until it literally killed him to do so. NOT a paladin.

Also, there is absolutely NO support for a paladin being engaged in 'years of training'. They are divinely inspired class. if they answer the Call, they become paladins and pick up all the benefits thereby. It doesn't matter WHAT they were before...they get it all. No years of trianing needed. Which, to me, is actually the perfect way to play them. They are paladins...they don't need devoted teachers. Their training is as granted to them as all their other class abilities, which makes them all the more awesome.

If that commoner answers the call and can suddenly fight with a sword, wear heavy armor, and has a deeper knowledge of religion for never having swung a weapon or cracked a book in his whole life, it's because a paladin was meant to know those things, and they do.

===Aelryinth


charlemange was called out as a paladin example in the original 1e players handbook....

Silver Crusade

Ex-Paladins 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 (including the service of the paladin's mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies).

This indicates that training in weapons, shields and armour is mundane, not divinely granted, showing years of training.


Saint Caleth wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
And if we went based on history then Paladins should kill every arcane magic user he finds as historically thats what happened.

You've been reading some far more interesting history than I have if there are actual arcane spellcasters in your history. Seriously though, that parallel would not necessarily hold up in a world where arcane magic is a real force with a verifiable source and not just a b%%#!!!@ charge to level at people for various political and social reasons.

Quote:
Historically, Paladins were primarily devoted to killing people of different religions.

I do agree with this though, holy warriors always seem to be great at that.

Quote:
Pathfinder morality is very different from medieval law. I would put it much closer to modern morality(with the emphasis on freedom of worship and equality).
The problem is that most campaign settings try to be mainly pseudo 1600's quasi-enlightenment worlds yet all have anachronistic medieval minded paladins slapped right in the middle of all of it.

1600s was the age of witch burnings and religious prejudice was still very strong. Jews lived in segregated ghettos and muslims were generally viewed as primitive and barbaric. Slavery was also widely accepted.

I think that most nations in the 1600s would be lawful evil in the Pathfinder universe.


Aelryinth wrote:

Actually, Charlemagne and his Peers were models for the original Cavalier class, not the paladin. KNights of the Round table, possibly. Roland himself is a particularly apt member of the cavalier class...so proud and arrogant he wouldn't call for help until it literally killed him to do so. NOT a paladin.

Also, there is absolutely NO support for a paladin being engaged in 'years of training'. They are divinely inspired class. if they answer the Call, they become paladins and pick up all the benefits thereby. It doesn't matter WHAT they were before...they get it all. No years of trianing needed. Which, to me, is actually the perfect way to play them. They are paladins...they don't need devoted teachers. Their training is as granted to them as all their other class abilities, which makes them all the more awesome.

If that commoner answers the call and can suddenly fight with a sword, wear heavy armor, and has a deeper knowledge of religion for never having swung a weapon or cracked a book in his whole life, it's because a paladin was meant to know those things, and they do.

===Aelryinth

Knights Templar are probably closer to paladins.

Or at least should have been.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

He also keeps his BAB, his hit dice, his skill points, and his saves. All of those are ALSO class features he gets to hold onto. He doesn't devolve back to being a commoner.

Base ability he gets to keep. There's nothing in the rules anywhere to force him to take ANY amount of training. If a commoner/3 takes the Call, he gets the benefit...no years of training needed, and that applies at level 1 as much as level 3.

It's magic, roll with it.

==Aelryinth


Sitri wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:
Sitri wrote:


Which also speaks to my point in my last two posts here. There is a precedence of a moral authority selling indulgences. While subscribing to the one moral authority, there really is no way to argue there is anything wrong with it.

Sure there is. A little event called the Protestant Reformation started because of selling indulgences. It segued over sweetly into the Hundred Years War, and ended up breaking the power of the Catholic Church in Europe.

Moral authority can easily be contested, and a paladin is not beholden to a Church...he's beholden to his code.

oh, and btw, the original Paladin is not based on King Arthur's knights exclusively. The model for the D&D paladin is Rogar Carlson, the main Character from the novel Three Hearts and Three Lions.

As far as I am concerned Martin Luther could not be classified as a Lawful character. I am not saying his thoughts or actions were wrong, quite the contrary, but if I were going to stat him :) he wouldn't meet the requirements for a paladin until many years down the road.

I am not sure who Rogar Carlson is, but I don't see a problem with the drinking and oversexed paladin you mention so long as those aren't vises of the deity either. Whatever the tenets of the the deity is, a strict adherence to it and pushing those tenets on others is annoying. It leaves too little room for compromise and character development.

I would disagree. Martin Luther sided with the nobility. He sided against Rome, but he wasn't in favor of getting power to the lower classes. He believed in a strongly centralized economy and took a strong stance against the peasant revolts.


johnlocke90 wrote:
Sitri wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:
Sitri wrote:


Which also speaks to my point in my last two posts here. There is a precedence of a moral authority selling indulgences. While subscribing to the one moral authority, there really is no way to argue there is anything wrong with it.

Sure there is. A little event called the Protestant Reformation started because of selling indulgences. It segued over sweetly into the Hundred Years War, and ended up breaking the power of the Catholic Church in Europe.

Moral authority can easily be contested, and a paladin is not beholden to a Church...he's beholden to his code.

oh, and btw, the original Paladin is not based on King Arthur's knights exclusively. The model for the D&D paladin is Rogar Carlson, the main Character from the novel Three Hearts and Three Lions.

As far as I am concerned Martin Luther could not be classified as a Lawful character. I am not saying his thoughts or actions were wrong, quite the contrary, but if I were going to stat him :) he wouldn't meet the requirements for a paladin until many years down the road.

I am not sure who Rogar Carlson is, but I don't see a problem with the drinking and oversexed paladin you mention so long as those aren't vises of the deity either. Whatever the tenets of the the deity is, a strict adherence to it and pushing those tenets on others is annoying. It leaves too little room for compromise and character development.

I would disagree. Martin Luther sided with the nobility. He sided against Rome, but he wasn't in favor of getting power to the lower classes. He believed in a strongly centralized economy and took a strong stance against the peasant revolts.

One could dispute whether or not either the Catholic Church or Luther were "good" to start with.

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