Alignment restricted Classes; Are the Restrictions Necessary?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Liberty's Edge

blue_the_wolf wrote:


flavor is flavor and mechanics are mechanics.

but some time the flavor and the mechanics ARE somewhat connected.

I mean... ultimately its a game right... so you can mechanically disconnect anything and still play the game.

all Clerics should be able to cast Fireball, why not? its just an arbitrary restriction right?

I can understand people chafing at the alignment restrictions mostly because there are so many views on alignment. and to be perfectly honest I am not saying dumping alignment is bad. I am just saying if your goint to do it recognize what your doing and compensate for it.

the restrictions are a part of the class just like Red Dragons are basically evil and gold dragons basically good. you CAN break the rule, its not even going to imbalance the game in any way if you do... but there is a certain 'something' inherent to the concept.

Paladins have an alignment restriction because there is a certain 'something' inherent in the idea that paladins represent someone so absolutely driven to an ideal that their activities are restricted or forced by the precepts of that ideal regardless of logic or reason.

to that end if your going to take alignment out of the equation you should probably add some kind of rules (i.e. oaths, laws, precepts ETC) that the character must follow and as an extension of that they should be something that can at times be an obstacle to the player.

A C/G paladin for example may be so married to the idea of freedom that he/she cannot imprison nor forcefully interrogate anyone even in support of a greater goal as taking their freedom in such a way is directly opposed to their very nature, they would also likely never use spells like charm or hold.

of course some would say that this very idea is opposed to the idea of CHAOS. but one again... a paladin with no rules what so ever ... just isnt really a paladin.

The cleric with fireball is a bit of a strawman (and I do hate bringing up fallacies in online arguments as people tend to target that instead of the real argument). Clerics not getting fireballs is not just a flavor thing, it's also a balance thing. This line separates what can be generalized from what cannot. Sure, clerics with the fire domain can get it, but only for a particular spell slot. If they're theologian they could use it for any slot, but they give up having a second domain for that. Balance.

My argument was not the "clerics should get fireball" argument. My argument is that restrictions that can be eased without affecting balance should probably be eased. Alignment restrictions fall under this banner, in my opinion.

PS: I like your idea for a more general paladin. I remember reading an article a while back that claimed Lawful and Chaotic were actually misnomers and that their intended interpretation more closely represented logic and intuition (respectively). By this interpretation, what you describe is perfectly reasonable. I'd try to put Freedom of Movement on that guy's spell list :). Actually, I prefer the Logic/Intuition interpretation as it's easier to figure out what that means at the table.

Sovereign Court

Odraude wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
I think the bard, monk and barbarian alignment restrictions are rather shortsighted, yeah. If you remove them though, I think maybe you should put in a rule that certain monk abilities don't work while Raging. You can't maintain that zenlike calm while screaming and foaming at the mouth. Then you can make an archetype that (at a certain price) actually can, going for a more loose (Taoist?) sort of monk.
...Bard?

Oh, I hadn't noticed they'd gotten rid of alignment restrictions for bards. Good.

Sovereign Court

I had a thought yesterday. The LG paladin seems mostly focused on fighting evil; Lawful, but not all that focused on actually fighting Chaos.

So it might be interesting to make a CG paladin focused on fighting oppressive Law, a CE paladin focused on fighting Good, and a LE paladin focused on fighting Chaos.

The CG paladin would be all about liberation; instead of the "inspire/aid others" powers of the LG paladin, the CG paladin would have powers to prevent compulsion/charm, but also to effectively fight against multiple enemies; breaking the lines of oppressive armies, resistance to flanking, using enemies as cover against ranged attacks by other enemies and such.

The LE paladin would be a "order and stability by any means necessary" type. Willing to tolerate Good allies, but no compromises with Chaos. Powers would be focused around restraining others. The LE paladin might try to convince the LG paladin to team up, because they're both trying to keep Creation from sliding back into the primordial soup; but the LG paladin would be shocked at the heartlessness of the LE paladin's methods.

The CE paladin would be focused around destruction and pillaging; personally Chaotic, but with much more of a grudge against Good than against Law. Powers focused on breaking the "united front" of goodness; charming Good people into killing their friends and such. Making the enemy fight himself.

---

Anyway, that was an example of how I think you shouldn't build other alignment paladins by just inverting a few powers; first make up a definite flavor, then come up with powers to fit it, even if those aren't all that related to the progression of the original LG paladin.

Silver Crusade

Quatar wrote:

Well, Paladins are lawful, because among other things they're pretty strict about following a certain code.

You can't do that with a chaotic character. They're a lot more about doing what the heck they just feel like.
Mind you chaotic does not mean "has to do everything against the law" because that's just following a code too. A code that happens to be opposite of the other code, but still practically a code.

^ This

As Quatar implied earlier, the Paladin is a Champion of Good, not Law or any thing else. The reason for the LG requirement is that anyone who unfailingly holds to a code of conduct is Lawful. Hence, no CG paladins.

I would suggest reading the Complete Paladin's Handbook by Rick Swan (TSR, 1994).

"Anti-Paladins

What better nemesis for a paladin than his direct opposite, an “anti-paladin” that embodies the forces of evil? As the mirror image of a normal paladin, an anti-paladin might be able to detect the presence of good, generate a aura of protection against good creatures, and wield an “unholy” sword.

Though DMs may experiment with any type of character they like, we discourage the use of antipaladins. Good and evil are not merely mirror images of each other. Just as the forces of evil have their unique champions, the paladin is intended as a unique champion of good. The paladin originates from a tradition of dynamic balance, in which the forces of good are few and elite and in which forces of evil are numerous and of lesser quality.

Allowing anti-paladins blurs this basic relationship."

I won't quote any more of the book here, but for anyone interested in flavour for their Paladins, this book is a treasure.

Silver Crusade

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StabbittyDoom wrote:
Morgen wrote:

I disagree with you completely. Those limitations are an important part of what makes those classes interesting and and different.

If you don't keep at least some of the flaws and benefits of the older games then your not really working from them and just tossing everything out into the wild.

I don't see how druid being allowed to wear metal armour in any way makes the game better, only how it makes it a different game. Specifically more boring.

That's one of the reasons why after the Alpha and Beta play tests of the game they still exist.

This makes you one of the traditionalists I talked about.

You view those as necessary parts of their respective classes, without which the game would be mere shadow of its former self. I view them as unnecessary baggage that adds nothing of value. These are entirely subjective things, so I don't think either of us could change the other's mind easily (or even with effort).

Having the restrictions in core means the house-rule variants get no professional content and DMs must go out of their way to ensure players are aware they exist in their setting. Not having them in core means that you have to house-rule to get the traditional interpretations you're looking for, and do so in spite of players asking to play the newly possibly character types. Either way, someone's getting screwed.

Of course, most people don't care that much either way.

TL;DR - You're a traditionalist. I'm not. Paizo went with your point of view, so I get to be the one to employ extra house-rules. I'd care more if I cared to play PFS.

Go play 4th edition or find a DM who will homebrew a game the way you want it. I play games like Pathfinder for those restrictions because it is one of those things that makes the class special. I don't want a system that allows everyone to take everything. It's not about being a traditionalist, being a traditionalist is wanting things the way they are because they've always been that way. I like the way it is because I find it appealing and exactly what I want out of a game. That's like calling someone a grognard just because they like 1st or 2nd edition D&D better than 3rd or 4th when that's not true, some people just like those systems better because they play differently.

I think people forget that classes and races come with a history and certain restrictions give life to that and can give it to us in a mechanical form. Would you like it if a creature was known to live in lava and yet doesn't have any type of fire resistance or immunity? Same thing with the old bladesinger kit from 2nd edition, it was for elves only and people had a problem with this because all they were thinking about was the mechanical aspect instead of looking at the whole picture. The kit was for elves only because the style of bladesinging was a closely guarded secret that elves only taught to other elves so making it "elves only" makes sense and reflects on the history of the style. Same goes for Paladin's and being lawful good etc...


Make them special IN YOUR OPINION. Remember that clause.

And yes, you are a traditionalist exactly because you want it that way.

Silver Crusade

Icyshadow wrote:

Make them special IN YOUR OPINION. Remember that clause.

And yes, you are a traditionalist exactly because you want it that way.

No. I'm not sure you quite understand what a traditionalist is. Just because something is new doesn't mean it's better. Even if I were brand new to RPGs I would still support restrictions because they make sense. Games such as Pathfinder are more than just mechanics, the Pathfinder universe has its own history and reason for why such things are restricted.

Liberty's Edge

Regardless of whether you do it for the purposes of tradition or because that's what you like, it still sits you on the side of the fence that wants to see those parts of the games stay unchanged no matter what.

In my previous posts I acknowledged that either side of the preference on this issue would have to house-rule if Paizo agreed with the other, and that neither decision would have satisfied everyone. In that light it makes sense to pick "keep it the same" because those that show up to alpha/beta/early-sales are those very people that like the old ways the most and are looking to get it back. Also, I'm sure many in Paizo agree with your assertion that these restrictions somehow make the class what they are (an assertion I find silly, but whatever).

Honestly, I think that if you're of the opinion that removing alignment restrictions for classes like Barbarian, Monk and Druid would destroy the game then you are way out of touch with what those restrictions actually represent. As for Paladin, sure, I could see a generalized form being hard to get right, but not impossible. After all, non-lawful characters can have codes (see Cavalier), which happens to make the "they have a code!" reasoning for restricting Paladins to LG instead of Any G (or at least LG/NG) kind-of silly.

Cavalier is basically what a generalized but non-divine Paladin would look like, with Challenge essentially acting like Smite without the alignment restriction (order of the dragon has the to-hit bonus part). Did Cavalier ruin your game? Either way, the Paladin thing isn't that important to me as I've always disliked that class anyway, and I suppose I can substitute Cavalier.

PS: Don't bring other editions into this. I'm not going to throw out my ice cream and buy seltzer water just because the ice cream didn't come with sprinkles.

Shadow Lodge

Golarion might have reason for alignment restrictions. The "Pathfinder universe" isn't always Golarion. In my homebrew world, LN paladins of the goddess of death hunt down and destroy unauthorized undead creatures and punish those who create them. They have a reason for being, make sense in the universe according to its mythology and history, and are best represented by the paladin class mechanics (with the Oath Against Undeath). StabbityDoom's point is that the CRB, which is not supposed to be specific to the Golarion setting, should not make assumptions about the history of the universe in which the rules will be applied - and PF shouldn't necessarily be restricted by the traditions of past editions of D&D. If there are enough people who want to relax alignment restrictions, maybe those restrictions should be optional setting-specific content rather than the official "best way to play."

Morgen wrote:

If you want to play this game it's pretty necessary as it's part of what this game is.

If you want to play some other game then feel free to throw it away. Nothing is necessary unless you want it to actually be this game.

If you want to play this game the encumbrance rules are pretty necessary as it's part of what this game is.

If you want to play this game rolling ability scores is pretty necessary as it's part of what this game is.

People ignore rules that don't increase their enjoyment of the game. This is true with every tabletop game - it's why "house rules" exist and are very common. In some cases such as ability score generation the system actually supports and recommends alternate options such as point buy for groups that for example feel that it's unfair for one player to roll 18, 18, 16, 15, 13, 10 and another to roll 15, 14, 12, 11, 8, 7, or for groups that prefer different power levels (10-point vs 20-point but, 3d6 vs 4d6 drop lowest). If we can use different methods for generating ability scores, or ignore the gritty mechanisms of encumbrance (or overland travel), then we can get rid of alignment restrictions without changing the game.

Remember, Paladins used to be human-only. Game didn't break when we allowed half-orc paladins.

blue_the_wolf wrote:

flavor is flavor and mechanics are mechanics.

but some time the flavor and the mechanics ARE somewhat connected.

Maybe in the case of the lava-dwelling monster that needs fire resistance. But that's not a balancing factor, it's the fact that the monster would be completely unable to function as a lava-dweller without that mechanic. A CG paladin is perfectly able to function as an ultimate champion of good. The mechanic is not inseparable from the flavor, and in any case should not be used as a balancing factor.

I can see the arguments for a LG-only paladin. I don't agree with them, but I recognize the validity of the opinion. I don't see the merit in the argument that the restriction is necessary for balance.

blue_the_wolf wrote:

I mean... ultimately its a game right... so you can mechanically disconnect anything and still play the game.

all Clerics should be able to cast Fireball, why not? its just an arbitrary restriction right?

Limiting the magical versatility of a character via spell list, and forcing them to expend resources such as Domains in order to mitigate those restrictions, is a part of balance. A cleric that had every spell on their spell list (and could prepare any combination of them every day) would be overly versatile and too powerful. A paladin who is capable of lying? Not so much.

blue_the_wolf wrote:
Paladins have an alignment restriction because there is a certain 'something' inherent in the idea that paladins represent someone so absolutely driven to an ideal that their activities are restricted or forced by the precepts of that ideal regardless of logic or reason.

Firstly, that's flavor, and secondly, there's nothing preventing a paladin from being driven to serve a CG ideal.

blue_the_wolf wrote:

to that end if your going to take alignment out of the equation you should probably add some kind of rules (i.e. oaths, laws, precepts ETC) that the character must follow and as an extension of that they should be something that can at times be an obstacle to the player.

A C/G paladin for example may be so married to the idea of freedom that he/she cannot imprison nor forcefully interrogate anyone even in support of a greater goal as taking their freedom in such a way is directly opposed to their very nature, they would also likely never use spells like charm or hold.

of course some would say that this very idea is opposed to the idea of CHAOS. but one again... a paladin with no rules what so ever ... just isnt really a paladin.

I actually have proposed similar precepts for chaotic paladins, detailed below. Remember, this isn't derived from some formal binding oath that the Chaotic paladin has sworn, but rather from the fact that the Chaotic Paladin is absolutely driven to a chaotic ideal, and derives their power from this conviction. To betray the conviction is to lose the power even if no formal oath is involved.

CN Code wrote:

A CN paladin must be of chaotic neutral alignment and loses all class features except proficiencies if she ever willingly commits a lawful act. (Note: elaboration on "lawful act" here.)

Additionally, a CN paladin's code requires that she undermine authority, respect free will (not using compulsions, not giving orders, not entering into binding contracts or requiring them of others, not keeping slaves or prisoners, and so forth), help those who seek to break the law (provided they do not use the help to enact a different set of laws or otherwise enforce their will on others), and punish those who enforce external codes of behavior on others.

Associates: While she may adventure with chaotic or neutral allies, a CN paladin avoids working with lawful characters or with anyone who consistently offends her moral code. Under exceptional circumstances, a paladin can ally with lawful associates, but only to defeat what she believes to be a more restrictive lawful entity. A CN paladin should seek an atonement spell periodically during such an unusual alliance, and should end the alliance immediately should she feel it is supporting lawful society more than undermining it. A CN paladin cannot accept followers or cohorts, as doing so would cause the CN paladin to become an authority figure.


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I came to pathfinder after running/playing 4e for a couple of years.
In 4e, a paladin is a fighter with a Divine power source, and it doesn't matter what god or alignment they play (as long as they matched). While playing 4e, this made sense to me. Every god should have priests and warriors. The 4e roles lock the cleric into a leader role, so the paladin is needed as a defender. Done.

When coming to pathfinder, I saw that a paladin was a Paladin. Their class features aren't 'some divine power' but 'shining holy knight'. The flavour of them is significantly different from 'a divine fighter', and I feel that really should be preserved. Every god can have warriors and priests (through multiclassing and battle clerics, there isn't a huge difference between the two), but only the knightly-order-type-gods get paladins.
It is a huge selling point to me that being a paladin means being one of the *special* orders of knights. The paladins of Bahamut, Iomadae, whatever. If Vecna has paladins, and Desna has paladins, and lamashtu has paladins and the raven queen has paladins, and Tiamat has paladins... Paladin just becomes a byword for divine fighter.

I don't have nostalgia for the restrictions, I came from the other direction, and I think it is abjectly better this way*. My personal opinion/experience is that the class loses any actual identity. I flatly do not consider the alignment a balance matter.
Other people can play however they like, and as long as you don't bring it to my game I won't argue with your right to.

For the books though, I'm glad they kept it for the RAW. It is fundamentally harder to take something away from your players than it is to give it to them. If the book said "any alignment at all, have fun" I would have more trouble putting it back in than one would have taking it out.

* mind you, I'm a fan of versimilitude over player indulgement. Hell, I somewhat approve of racial class restrictions. You cant play a Gnome barbarian, because the idea is ridiculous and you are asking me and the other players to continually ignore the fact that being 2'4" has only minor detriment to your ability with a great axe. For some of us, that dramatic suspension of disbelief is actually a major source of fun.
Again, not balance, just versimilitude.

Sovereign Court

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StabbittyDoom wrote:
You're a traditionalist.

Please refrain from applying labels to me. I find it incredibly rude.

Sovereign Court

Tim Hunt 103 wrote:
For the books though, I'm glad they kept it for the RAW. It is fundamentally harder to take something away from your players than it is to give it to them. If the book said "any alignment at all, have fun" I would have more trouble putting it back in than one would have taking it out.

I agree with this very much.

Liberty's Edge

Morgen wrote:
StabbittyDoom wrote:
You're a traditionalist.
Please refrain from applying labels to me. I find it incredibly rude.

Fine. "You are of the same exact opinion/stance as the traditionalists I was referring to earlier." Is that phrasing better? It doesn't make much of a how I say it, I'm 'labeling' you as having an opinion you yourself claimed.

Maybe this is rude of me, but perhaps next I will label you things like "Person" or "Forum-goer". I might even go so far as to say "opinionated". Of course, all three of these labels apply to me as well, so perhaps I should apologize to myself.

(To be slightly less snarky: I created a label to describe a group of people that held a certain opinion and defined the label as such. When you claimed that opinion, I merely back-referenced that label as a way to say "I have already discussed your point, and here is the name I used to describe people of that opinion in order to clarify the segment in which I discussed your point." The use of "rabid" in the back-referenced comment was meant as a joke, not as a serious adjective. If you took offense to that adjective, that much I will apologize for.)

Tim Hunt wrote:
It is a huge selling point to me that being a paladin means being one of the *special* orders of knights. The paladins of Bahamut, Iomadae, whatever. If Vecna has paladins, and Desna has paladins, and lamashtu has paladins and the raven queen has paladins, and Tiamat has paladins... Paladin just becomes a byword for divine fighter.

I'm essentially okay with paladins being like this. I still wish a corresponding (but perhaps mechanically different) class existed for the LE and CG branches (mostly the latter).

That said, I still believe that the alignment restrictions of Barbarian, Monk and Druid serve no real purpose in that respect. Mostly Druid and Barbarian, actually, but I would've liked to see monks at least be changed to "non-chaotic".

Silver Crusade

StabbittyDoom wrote:
Morgen wrote:
StabbittyDoom wrote:
You're a traditionalist.
Please refrain from applying labels to me. I find it incredibly rude.

Fine. "You are of the same exact opinion/stance as the traditionalists I was referring to earlier." Is that phrasing better? It doesn't make much of a how I say it, I'm 'labeling' you as having an opinion you yourself claimed.

Maybe this is rude of me, but perhaps next I will label you things like "Person" or "Forum-goer". I might even go so far as to say "opinionated". Of course, all three of these labels apply to me as well, so perhaps I should apologize to myself.

(To be slightly less snarky: I created a label to describe a group of people that held a certain opinion and defined the label as such. When you claimed that opinion, I merely back-referenced that label as a way to say "I have already discussed your point, and here is the name I used to describe people of that opinion in order to clarify the segment in which I discussed your point." The use of "rabid" in the back-referenced comment was meant as a joke, not as a serious adjective. If you took offense to that adjective, that much I will apologize for.)

Tim Hunt wrote:
It is a huge selling point to me that being a paladin means being one of the *special* orders of knights. The paladins of Bahamut, Iomadae, whatever. If Vecna has paladins, and Desna has paladins, and lamashtu has paladins and the raven queen has paladins, and Tiamat has paladins... Paladin just becomes a byword for divine fighter.

I'm essentially okay with paladins being like this. I still wish a corresponding (but perhaps mechanically different) class existed for the LE and CG branches (mostly the latter).

That said, I still believe that the alignment restrictions of Barbarian, Monk and Druid serve no real purpose in that respect. Mostly Druid and Barbarian, actually, but I would've liked to see monks at least be changed to "non-chaotic".

Please stop using words you obviously don't know the meaning of.

A traditionalist is someone who wants something to remain because it's always been there. Nobody has once mentioned that it needs to remain just because it's always been there. We are talking about it remaining because it's a good thing. Not all of us want change just for the hell of it which is actually worse than keeping something around just because it's always been there.


In around 30 years of play, and across the many editions that entailed, I have only ever encountered a problem with a Paladin once, and that was with a guy trying to be a LStupid, which he was doing just to be petty and annoying.

That wasn't a class or alignment issue, that was a player issue.

I just don't see why people find Paladins are such a hard thing to deal with.

A Paladin is the LG guy, thats just how it is.
If you want to play the paragon of some other mindset or discipline, then that is a different class with different rules, or play a Cleric, or any number of other options you have available.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I honestly didn't read this whole thread...

...but my own personal solution for the whole paladin alignment mess is just to have every paladin be Oathbound, the archetype from Ultimate Magic. Every paladin must have sworn an oath against some evil: corruption, devils, dragons, etc. By adhering to their oath, they're kind of being lawful anyway, without the restrictive all-encompassing alignment selection. And by swearing an oath against some evil, they're at least fighting evil, even if they happen to be neutral.

Perhaps it's not perfect, but in my head it's less restrictive than the LG alignment requirement while still maintaining the flavor that I love about paladins.

So, that's my 2 cents.

Silver Crusade

Wildebob wrote:

I honestly didn't read this whole thread...

...but my own personal solution for the whole paladin alignment mess is just to have every paladin be Oathbound, the archetype from Ultimate Magic. Every paladin must have sworn an oath against some evil: corruption, devils, dragons, etc. By adhering to their oath, they're kind of being lawful anyway, without the restrictive all-encompassing alignment selection. And by swearing an oath against some evil, they're at least fighting evil, even if they happen to be neutral.

Perhaps it's not perfect, but in my head it's less restrictive than the LG alignment requirement while still maintaining the flavor that I love about paladins.

So, that's my 2 cents.

Being highly restrictive is part of what makes the paladin a paladin. If you don't want the restrictions then you don't truly want to play a paladin, you want to play a warrior with magical powers.


Holy semantics, Batman!

Liberty's Edge

ascalaphus wrote:
I think it's really simple: if you use divine magic, someone else gave you that power, and if you disappoint them, they take the power away.

I think that pretty much sums up the flavor and fluff of divine classes. If you want to homebrew it up, there's no force on earth that can stop you. Keep in mind, however, if you want to hold true to the established rules of the cosmos, the above statement is a fairly universal constant.

Alignment notwithstanding, it does make sense that paladins are sworn to some kind of code, and epitomize some particular set of virtues/sins. that alone does not make them lawful, though by loose definition it is a lawful behavior. They can be quite footloose and free in their methods and lifestyle, but still hold to one very particular edict that is of religious and personal importance to them. One should strive to remember always that alignment is a roleplaying tool, first and foremost; it is a rule and balancing factor second. Breaking one rule does not utterly remove you from the ranks of the lawful in mind and body; sometimes we do things not because we want to, but because we need to. Likewise, having a mean streak once in awhile does not make you evil; it just means you are a creature of varied behaviors. It is what we STRIVE for that most closely defines our alignment, not what we do on accident or occasion.

So go ahead; flavor the paladin differently to open up alignments. Just give him some kind of constant motivator in his code of behavior, and make that his "alignment test." Nothing stopping you from doing it, and hey, if it turns into something interesting, feel free to share so we can refine it.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

shallowsoul wrote:
of what makes the paladin a paladin. If you don't want the restrictions then you don't truly want to play a paladin, you want to play a warrior with magical powers.

This.

In D@D, 'paladin' means "LG make you green with envy holy warrior".

In 4e, 'paladin' means "Fighter for God X."

It is the restrictions upon paladins that make them classic. The alignment is a reflection of those restrictions.

A CG paladin can do ANYTHING a LG paladin can do, in terms of role-playing. He can also do a whole lot of chaotic stuff a LG paladin cannot.

They are not equal. A Chaotic code CANNOT be as restrictive as a Lawful one, because the whole of lawful behavior exists as a possibility for a Chaotic Good paladin. The reverse is simply not true.

This applies even moreso when you move away from Good. Neutrals can do good and evil actions, as long as they don't go over the weekend. Nothing prevents an Evil person acting heroic if it suits their purposes...just watch Dexter.

Being a paladin in D@D is acknowledging that you are going to play a specific archetype, you are going to be held to that standard, and you are going to gain exceptional abilities because you are holding to that standard.

As soon as you move away from LG, you aren't being held to a high standard, it's just getting lower and lower. As soon as you are TN, CN, or evil, you basically have NO restrictions. Why do you deserve ANYTHING?

A LG paladin must act like a hero, or cease to be a paladin. That's a heavy weight. There is no other alignment with that kind of weight. And that's why the paladin gets what he does.

You want a divine warrior? Play a fighter/cleric. Be CN. Use poison. Lie, cheat, steal, start wars for your own glory, build a kingdom over the bones of anyone, good or evil, who gets in your way.

Yeah, that's acting with restrictions deserving rewards, it is.

==Aelryinth


Weirdo wrote:


Golarion might have reason for alignment restrictions. The "Pathfinder universe" isn't always Golarion. In my homebrew world, LN paladins of the goddess of death hunt down and destroy unauthorized undead creatures and punish those who create them. They have a reason for being, make sense in the universe according to its mythology and history, and are best represented by the paladin class mechanics (with the Oath Against Undeath). StabbityDoom's point is that the CRB, which is not supposed to be specific to the Golarion setting, should not make assumptions about the history of the universe in which the rules will be applied - and PF shouldn't necessarily be restricted by the traditions of past editions of D&D. If there are enough people who want to relax alignment restrictions, maybe those restrictions should be optional setting-specific content rather than the official "best way to play."

The key words you said were "in my homebrew world". I have one myself, with a dozen different flavors of Templars (and not a "Paladin" in sight). A Paladin reflecting what a Paladin has always been in the PFCRB doesn't bother me, nor do I expect it to change. Backwards compatibility was a key feature of Pathfinder. It has a strong connection with the past editions of D&D as a result. So, no, it's not just Golarion, it's the game as it has been. In short, you're wrong. You can still house rule it, as we both do, but there are reasons it is that way in the CRB and Golarion.


Just get a high level cleric or oracle of your diety to cast miracle on you...
Attonement is 'i wish my God din't mind so much that i've been a naughty faun."
The miracle is 'i wish my God wouldn't mind so much that i'll be naughtier faun tomorrow."
Since that wish could only be granted by your own god, its basically your god giving you the green light to be a f[cencored]d so no worries!

To be honest I think this is a horrble idea and support the fact that a paladin by any other alignment is no paladin at all.


StabbittyDoom wrote:


Tim Hunt wrote:
It is a huge selling point to me that being a paladin means being one of the *special* orders of knights. The paladins of Bahamut, Iomadae, whatever. If Vecna has paladins, and Desna has paladins, and lamashtu has paladins and the raven queen has paladins, and Tiamat has paladins... Paladin just becomes a byword for divine fighter.

I'm essentially okay with paladins being like this. I still wish a corresponding (but perhaps mechanically different) class existed for the LE and CG branches (mostly the latter).

That said, I still believe that the alignment restrictions of Barbarian, Monk and Druid serve no real purpose in that respect. Mostly Druid and Barbarian, actually, but I would've liked to see monks at least be changed to "non-chaotic".

I'm definitely all for a blackguard or antipaladin, some kind of paragon of evil. Maybe there shouldn't be an order of them (in response to the book mentioned earlier), but we can allow a single Vader.

I really haven't paid much attention to the APG, other than looking at the oracle and witch. Is the Inquistor sort of what you're after for the CG one? Or do they drift too far from good?

For the other three, its a bit tougher, but I'm much more open to changing them. I find that some classes describe careers (wizard, cleric), and some skill sets (rogue, fighter), and a few could describe either, depending on Gm and player. The alignment discussions falls down to working out where they are on that divide,
The paladin is, to me, specifically means a holy knight with a code and the backing of their god. The alignment stays.
Does the barbarian mean Conan (following a personal code/conscience rather than the kings law), or does it mean a combatatent who relies on anger frenzy and strength over tactics and duelling? There's an npc in Stolen Lands that is exactly that, a former paladin with anger issues. If the later works, I'm fine with no restrictions.
Does being a monk in your game strictly mean coming from a shaolin temple, following a vegan diet and abstinence? Kinda needs to be lawful. If it means you know Kung Fu (entirely legitimate alternative), you can have whatever alignment you like, including chaotic. There's enough fictional precedent for a martial artist who doesn't follow rules.

Druids, honestly I barely get what restricting them from the extreme alignments does. They've already got access to 5 of the alignments. If they are allowed to be lawful, and allowed to be evil, then I don't see what is gained from preventing them form being lawful evil. If the player wants to play them as lawful good (always holds to law and good) but can only select neutral good (always holds to good, tries to hold to law) then nothing stops them from playing a NG who tries very well. Likewise, while they can't play CG, they can play NG with sufficiently weak convictions. I really don't see what the restriction achieves.

In my home game, I have a single TN nature spirit, so I suppose 'any Nuetral' is the same as the cleric's 'within one step'. Honestly I'd rather work out a Code of the Wilds than have an alignment restriction.


Hmm.... I think I'm noticing a pattern here.

Some people want the alignment-restricted classes to either not be alignment-restricted, or for there to be alternative versions that allow any alignment. These people accept that these restrictions exist, and either play the game as it is in spite of them, or house-rule around them.

Some people, on the other hand, enjoy the alignment restrictions, and would prefer that they not be removed. They are not opposed to the existence of alternative rules, but would prefer to play without allowing them.

So, basically... Paizo is passing up a HUGE chance for profit by not catering to the first group in some manner.

With this in mind, I propose a new book for future release;

The Pathfinder Book of Alternative Rules.

Want rules for a non-lawful Monk? This book has a section for that!

Want rules for a lawful Barbarian? This book has a section for that!

Want rules for an extremist-aligned druid? Yep, this book has a section for that, too!

Want rules to play any flavor of Paladin? This book has a whole chapter for that!

And, best of all, it spends three whole chapters explaining alternative alignment-systems!
Rules to play with the current system perfectly defined, rules to play with a completely different alignment system, and rules for playing without an alignment system at all!

Anyone else think they'd spend money on something like this? Because, I know I would.


Why do we need rules for it?


Umbral Reaver wrote:
Why do we need rules for it?

Why did we need rules for playing the game in the first place? (via the core rulebook)

Why did we need more rules for playing the game after it came out? (via the advanced players guide)

Why did we need even more, though optional, rules after that? (via... pretty much every other book that has come out)

The answer to all these questions? We don't, it's just easier than making them up ourselves, and usually gives us better results.

Shadow Lodge

Geno wrote:
The answer to all these questions? We don't, it's just easier than making them up ourselves, and usually gives us better results.

YMMV.


I'm sure if it weren't already printed in the rulebook I'd have looked at the Drunken Master and thought, "Yeah, this guy had better be Lawful or the game is ruined."


Roberta Yang wrote:
I'm sure if it weren't already printed in the rulebook I'd have looked at the Drunken Master and thought, "Yeah, this guy had better be Lawful or the game is ruined."

And if there had never been a drunken-master class? Or a monk-class? Or any version of pathfinder at all?

See, this is why we 'need' a book of alternative rules; We really don't, but there are a lot of people who play Pathfinder who would like to see different, non-fluff restricted rules, and I'm just a big enough fan of Paizo that I'd like to see them profit by giving those people what they want.

Shadow Lodge

Yeah, the Lawful-Only Drunken Master feels particularly weird to me, especially since the Martial Artist archetype gets a break on the alignment restriction.

Geno wrote:

The Pathfinder Book of Alternative Rules.

...
Anyone else think they'd spend money on something like this? Because, I know I would.

I would have to see the product, but I would probably buy that. I loved 3E Unearthed Arcana.

Aelryinth wrote:

It is the restrictions upon paladins that make them classic. The alignment is a reflection of those restrictions.

A CG paladin can do ANYTHING a LG paladin can do, in terms of role-playing. He can also do a whole lot of chaotic stuff a LG paladin cannot.

They are not equal. A Chaotic code CANNOT be as restrictive as a Lawful one, because the whole of lawful behavior exists as a possibility for a Chaotic Good paladin. The reverse is simply not true.

As soon as you move away from LG, you aren't being held to a high standard, it's just getting lower and lower. As soon as you are TN, CN, or evil, you basically have NO restrictions. Why do you deserve ANYTHING?

A LG paladin must act like a hero, or cease to be a paladin. That's a heavy weight. There is no other alignment with that kind of weight. And that's why the paladin gets what he does. (etc)

Clearly you are not reading my chaotic code. A chaotic person isn't someone who follows the law when it is convenient and breaks it if doing so is to their benefit; that is a person neutral with respect to law and chaos. A chaotic person prefers to break the law and thinks that laws are bad. Strictly following a CG alignment is just as restrictive as strictly following a LG alignment.

EDIT: I'm also really confused trying to square this with your statement in another alignment thread:

Aelryinth wrote:
Chaotics can also be extremely honorable. But their code of honor is defined personally, not by some external force, and face and reputation, being individual measures, often reflect strongly in it.

So a strong personally-defined chaotic code of honour is OK? So what's the problem with the CG paladin?

Second, this idea that LG is more of a hero than CG is defining LG as "Good-Plus." That feels to me more like the 4E system, where Law and Chaos are irrelevant unless you are LG (Good-Plus) or CE (Evil-Plus). PF Alignment is a two-axis system, not a line from Good-Plus to Good to Unaligned to Evil to Evil-Plus. If you're going to devalue the Law-Chaos axis in that way, just get rid of it.

Ascalaphus wrote:
Tim Hunt 103 wrote:
For the books though, I'm glad they kept it for the RAW. It is fundamentally harder to take something away from your players than it is to give it to them. If the book said "any alignment at all, have fun" I would have more trouble putting it back in than one would have taking it out.
I agree with this very much.

This is a decent point. However, some GMs ban classes such as gunslingers or ninja due to flavor concerns, and this doesn't seem to be too much of a problem. I've also seen players who feel they have to beg to play an alternate paladin, just because it's not RAW. Without any official support whatsoever for the alternate paladins, a player must make a new individual case to each GM, sometimes in detail, and must convince that GM that an alternate paladin would not be unbalanced or otherwise cause problems in a campaign aside from altering the flavor of the class. I don't necessarily want Paizo to take away the restriction entirely, and it might be inconvenient at this point in the game. However, if there were some official nod to the concept - a sidebar saying "alternate alignments are possible and not unbalanced, talk to your GM" or providing a CG paladin or LE paladin as an "optional variant" in a new book - there would be some reassurance for reluctant GMs without making GMs or groups who really prefer the classic LG paladin give up on that concept. 3E published variant Paladins in Unearthed Arcana (and Dragon Magazine) and it provided an official resource for groups that wanted such things without making it hard on GMs who wanted to stick with LG (since they could just ban the variant).

shallowsoul wrote:
A traditionalist is someone who wants something to remain because it's always been there. Nobody has once mentioned that it needs to remain just because it's always been there. We are talking about it remaining because it's a good thing. Not all of us want change just for the hell of it which is actually worse than keeping something around just because it's always been there.

We don't want to change it just for the hell of it. We want to change it because we think it's a good thing to change it, and we are making the case for it being a good change. This is not a conflict between "tradition/change for the sake of tradition/change," it's a discussion of the best way to handle paladins.

Shifty wrote:
If you want to play the paragon of some other mindset or discipline, then that is a different class with different rules, or play a Cleric, or any number of other options you have available.
shallowsoul wrote:
If you don't want the restrictions then you don't truly want to play a paladin, you want to play a warrior with magical powers.

We want to play someone who is totally and absolutely devoted to a moral cause with a strict associated standard of behavior, possibly but not necessarily with a deity attached, who gains from that devotion special protections and powers to defeat their enemies, and who because of that devotion inspires others. We believe that is best represented by a paladin, and not by a cleric, oracle, inquisitor, or multiclassed version of these.

Tim Hunt 103 wrote:
I really haven't paid much attention to the APG, other than looking at the oracle and witch. Is the Inquistor sort of what you're after for the CG one? Or do they drift too far from good?

The Inquisitor is a guile class. It could fill the melee role of the Paladin but notably runs off of Wisdom and often dumps Cha. It's a different kind of character, even played strict LG.

Tim Hunt 103 wrote:

Does the barbarian mean Conan (following a personal code/conscience rather than the kings law), or does it mean a combatatent who relies on anger frenzy and strength over tactics and duelling? There's an npc in Stolen Lands that is exactly that, a former paladin with anger issues. If the later works, I'm fine with no restrictions.

Does being a monk in your game strictly mean coming from a shaolin temple, following a vegan diet and abstinence? Kinda needs to be lawful. If it means you know Kung Fu (entirely legitimate alternative), you can have whatever alignment you like, including chaotic. There's enough fictional precedent for a martial artist who doesn't follow rules.

Those are campaign-specific flavor restrictions. That's fine, doesn't necessarily need to be in the CRB.

R_Chance wrote:
The key words you said were "in my homebrew world". I have one myself, with a dozen different flavors of Templars (and not a "Paladin" in sight). A Paladin reflecting what a Paladin has always been in the PFCRB doesn't bother me, nor do I expect it to change. Backwards compatibility was a key feature of Pathfinder. It has a strong connection with the past editions of D&D as a result. So, no, it's not just Golarion, it's the game as it has been. In short, you're wrong. You can still house rule it, as we both do, but there are reasons it is that way in the CRB and Golarion.

If it's just the game as it has been, it doesn't have to be the way the game is now.

You mentioned your Templars in another thread, and I'm considering calling my alternate alignment holy knights "Champions" because the title "Paladin" does have some strong LG associations for many people (my usual group is open to alternatives, but we've had some turnover). I don't even really mind the LG Paladin being the default or the only PFS-legal Paladin. But I would like some supplement somewhere to devote a paragraph to the idea that a paladin of an alternate alignment is not unbalanced and that while the LG paladin is classic and most peoples' preferred flavor of Paladin, it will not break your game to introduce a character of the Paladin class, using Paladin mechanics, who is not LG. Because your house rule and mine isn't wrong and it's not inherently less valid than Paladin Classic, but for some reason a large portion of the forums seems to think otherwise.


Just one thing. I play with the four extreme alignment paladins (LG, LE, CG, CE) and have no problems with them. But I can understand why many people prefer the LG-only Paladin.
The case is, that is not only a Paladin problem. Paladin I can understand the restriction. Barbarian the same; I don't like it, but I can understand the reasons. What I can't understand the reasons are for Druid and monk. When I think of the True Neutral "balance in all things" character, monk seems the most natural option. But for some reasons, that is not a legal character. Monk needs to have strong discipline, but that have nothing to do with being lawful.
With Druid, I find OK the restriction on armor, but the alignment restriction seems completely off.
I would like to amplify the options to Barbarian and Paladin, but can understand the reasons to not do so. But Druid and Monk restrictions? That ones should go the way of the Dodo, as have done the restrictions on other classes.


Bard used to be any non-lawful. How many of you want that restriction put back in?

Silver Crusade

Alaryth wrote:

Just one thing. I play with the four extreme alignment paladins (LG, LE, CG, CE) and have no problems with them. But I can understand why many people prefer the LG-only Paladin.

The case is, that is not only a Paladin problem. Paladin I can understand the restriction. Barbarian the same; I don't like it, but I can understand the reasons. What I can't understand the reasons are for Druid and monk. When I think of the True Neutral "balance in all things" character, monk seems the most natural option. But for some reasons, that is not a legal character. Monk needs to have strong discipline, but that have nothing to do with being lawful.
With Druid, I find OK the restriction on armor, but the alignment restriction seems completely off.
I would like to amplify the options to Barbarian and Paladin, but can understand the reasons to not do so. But Druid and Monk restrictions? That ones should go the way of the Dodo, as have done the restrictions on other classes.

Monks are supposed to embody the very essence of balance and discipline through strict order which is lawful so it makes perfect sense.


Essence of BALANCE. That seems pretty True Neutral to me. So no, it not makes perfect sense.


Again, this gets into the problem that law and chaos, by PF definitions, are not mutually exclusive.

What alignment is the strictly disciplined and honourable, government-hating freedom fighter (or terrorist, depending on your point of view)?

Silver Crusade

Alaryth wrote:
Essence of BALANCE. That seems pretty True Neutral to me. So no, it not makes perfect sense.

You are thinking about the druid.

The monk is about balance with in himself rather than a balance of the universe.


As Umbral Reaver has said, now Lawful bard seems normal. Possibly on the future a True Neutral monk would seem completaly normal. That proves that some restrictions are not fundamental to the game.
Of course a lawful monk makes sense. But neutral have the same sense. To me, at least.
For the balance thing, for me that is more central to the monk that for the druid. The druid is based around the natural world, not balance.


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If the CRB said "All Druids must be chaotic because they cannot allow any system of laws to infringe upon freedom of nature" then people in this thread would be adamantly defending Chaotic Good Druids and scoffing at the very notion of a Lawful Neutral Druid.

And if the CRB didn't already say Monks had to be Lawful nobody would be arguing against True Neutral Drunken Masters.


There are vast piles of media about fantasy martial artists (which is all the monk is, really) that could hardly be called lawful.


A note on what people are mistakenly calling "extremist alignments."

The Neutral-component alignments (N/E, L/N, N/G, C/N) are FAR MORE "extremist" than the two-axis-element alignments (L/G, L/E, C/G. C/E).

Disposing of a second-axis component means that a part-neutral alignment has, by comparison, much more dedication to their non-neutral component than does someone with a second-axis position taken.

Chaotic/Good and Chaotic/Evil (for example) are not dedicated to pure chaos; that is the purview of the Chaotic/Neutral character.

Similarly, Lawful/Evil and Chaotic/Evil are tangled up in ethical stances which subtract from their moral directive: the Neutral/Evil character is by far more a paragon of Evil than either of the L/E, C/E characters.

A Neutral-Component alignment means one is more-centered on the non-Neutral component than anyone "splitting" their alignment can be.

Shadow Lodge

I can maybe see "non-chaotic" for monks, but Lawful-only seems too extreme, especially with the Drunken Master.

Self-discipline isn't actually lawful, at least by the description of law vs chaos in the alignment section (which is all about authority, tradition, and honour).

Umbral Reaver wrote:
What alignment is the strictly disciplined and honourable, government-hating freedom fighter (or terrorist, depending on your point of view)?

Likely neutral, since he has tendencies towards both alignments. My NG druid balanced out a strong dislike of hierarchy with respect for tradition and personal reliability. It's also entirely possible for a mostly chaotic person to have one lawful trait such as a sense of honour, which is another reason why it doesn't make sense to create alignment restrictions based on the idea that the class should have one trait of a particular alignment.

Alitan wrote:

A note on what people are mistakenly calling "extremist alignments."

The Neutral-component alignments (N/E, L/N, N/G, C/N) are FAR MORE "extremist" than the two-axis-element alignments (L/G, L/E, C/G. C/E).

...

A Neutral-Component alignment means one is more-centered on the non-Neutral component than anyone "splitting" their alignment can be

This is a good point and one that I largely agree with. A NG person can be more committed to doing good no matter what because they choose the best way to do good rather than the methods that are more lawful or more chaotic but may be less effective at doing good. This is another reason why defining LG as "Good-Plus" is a little silly.

However, I don't think a NG character is necessarily more strongly Good than a LG or CG character because both alignment axes represent continua and someone can be slightly good with no law/chaos bias compared to a LG who is strongly good and more lawful than chaotic.


As of the Blood of Angels book, anyone who doesn't already have a social trait or a race trait can be a Neutral Good or True Neutral Monk for the cost of a trait by taking Adopted --> Enlightened Warrior. Obviously "all monks must be lawful always always yes even your drunken master" isn't so absolutely vital to the identity of the monk class if a mere trait can buy it off.

Which, in turn, raises the question of why a trait needs to be spent in the first place. Are Neutral Good monks so amazingly powerful that the only way they can be made fair is by imposing a trait tax? Is there some True Neutral Monk + [some other race trait] combo that breaks the game?

Liberty's Edge

Geno wrote:

A lot of people on here argue about what is and what isn't an appropriate action for a paladin to take. I have many of my own views, and as paladin is actually my favorite class, for both RP and mechanic reasons, I am one of those people who is very opinionated about the topic.

However, lately, I've been wondering something; Is Paladin really such a strong class that it needs what literally seems like a built-in self-destruct button?

Originally, in the earlier versions of D&D a Paladin was an incredibly potent class. If I'm not mistaken, the stat requirements to be a paladin in AD&D 2nd ed. were so strict that meeting them through standard methods was next to impossible. The abilities they gained, however, were equally potent by contrast.

But now? Is the paladin class really so powerful in Pathfinder, as compared to every other class, that an alignment restriction is necessary? Would a CN paladin really be some kind of game-breaker, or is the alignment restriction simply a leftover from previous version of the game?

And what about other classes? Would a Monk be any more powerful if it wasn't restricted to lawful alignments? Or would the Barbarian class become more powerful if they could be lawful? How about druids and their neutral restriction?

Yes, the alignment restrictions make a certain sense from a role playing aspect, but are they necessary? Has anyone every tried running a non-alignment restricted campaign? If so, how did it go? If not, why?

I'm not leaning towards one side or the other on this one. From the role play perspective, the alignment restrictions make a lot of sense to me, and I'd prefer that they stay there. But, from a mechanical standpoint, I don't really see a necessity for them.

I'd really prefer it if alignment wasn't tied to the game mechanics, as it is now you would need a lot of tweaks to house rule it out but it seems to be something a lot of fans get mad about if you take it out.

Shadow Lodge

The only tweak you need to make to remove the restriction for druids and barbarians is to remove the restriction. The alignment restrictions do not actually have any mechanical effect on these classes. There's a barbarian chaos totem, but a lawful barbarian could just not take that totem.

For monk, when they normally get Ki Strike (Lawful) you instead allow them to choose an alignment matching theirs for their unarmed strikes to act as (TN monks do not gain this benefit).

For paladins you can change it to "good-only" and offer alternate options to the lawful "don't lie or cheat and respect legitimate authority" restrictions in the code of conduct. Any alignment paladins take a bit more work, but it's still just replacing their Good/Evil abilities with Alignment/Opposed Alignment and coming up with a plausible alternate code.

If you prefer to make archetypes with different abilities to distinguish them from the classic restricted versions it takes a bit more work, but that's not mandated by the mechanics. The restrictions aren't really closely tied to mechanics, at least not in a way that takes more than 5 minutes to alter.


See what happens when you let wizards wear armor... Suddenly everyone wants an ability that some other class has... ;P


I dont see why a paladin should be lg, they should be allowed to be any good.

traditionally a knight? well most of the knightly orders iirc from past versions of dnd were attatched to a deity before any king.

sure' they'd lend a sword in defense of whatever city tthey called home and all..... but its still deity first.

and sure bring in the templars, but if you recall they ahd bases all over europe and didnt answer to the king but to the pope and god as did any muslim warrior did in answering to allah( sorry if I mispelled it) or to whatever sultan or king if either man was a common foot soldier or a hired mercenary..

the knighs of chalegnm... cant spell it, Id call them cavaliers in pathfinder's terms before paladins......

paladins are holy warriors, they answer to the high priest of their faith as do anti paladins.....

the strict hedeance to tehir code is the only real issue on making the paladin lawful, and by itself is weak

Shadow Lodge

Jhidurievdrioshka wrote:
See what happens when you let wizards wear armor... Suddenly everyone wants an ability that some other class has... ;P

Alignment isn't an ability, it's a descriptive character trait.

See what happens when you let fighters be well-educated.
See what happens when you let rogues be honourable.
See what happens when you let clerics be old with long white beards.

Silver Crusade

Steelfiredragon wrote:

I dont see why a paladin should be lg, they should be allowed to be any good.

traditionally a knight? well most of the knightly orders iirc from past versions of dnd were attatched to a deity before any king.

sure' they'd lend a sword in defense of whatever city tthey called home and all..... but its still deity first.

and sure bring in the templars, but if you recall they ahd bases all over europe and didnt answer to the king but to the pope and god as did any muslim warrior did in answering to allah( sorry if I mispelled it) or to whatever sultan or king if either man was a common foot soldier or a hired mercenary..

the knighs of chalegnm... cant spell it, Id call them cavaliers in pathfinder's terms before paladins......

paladins are holy warriors, they answer to the high priest of their faith as do anti paladins.....

the strict hedeance to tehir code is the only real issue on making the paladin lawful, and by itself is weak

Because it's not a Paladin anymore when you take away the restriction. That restriction is what makes the Paladin a Paladin.


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Not to broach an odd subject but this thread sort of boils down to a particular version of the argument certain religious/political groups have about gay marriage...

They say 'let 'em have a civil union... just don't call it marriage.'

One side says why do you have to make up a different name for it.
The other side says why do you have to name it after something we hold sacred to mean expressly something else.

While my opinions on the specific above argument is irrelevent, my opinion on what constitutes a paladin falls solidly on the second side. [imho] Doing good doesnt make you a paladin. Robin hood is not a paladin. Riddick is not a paladin. Superman and Batman are not paladins. Iron man is not a paladin. Qui Gon Jin is not a paladin.

I may be able to imagine what a succubus draining a bear looks like, but talking myself into the idea that Ironman is a paladin is a stretch too far for me.

Doesn't mean they're not all cool and badass, but paladins they are not. Doing what you think is best isnt paladinhood. Paladinhood and Cavaliers and Samurai and all of that are all about doing the best you can while maintaining a restrictive framework. Without that framework, you're not a paladin, you're something else...


I'm in favor of specific limitations based on the class as opposed to broad alignment restrictions that could be really strict in one game and a non-issue in another.

Paladins pick a set of things they can never do (steal, attack an unarmed foe, etc.) and if they break it, they fall. Clerics falls if they disobey the tenets of their deity. A Monk should be able to maintain a strict, ascetic discipline while still acting in all other ways like a NG character.

I believe certain behavioral restrictions for classes is necessary because it makes them distinct and easy to role-play. But if you're going to have them, define specifically what behavior is restricted so the player knows what he or she's getting into.

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