I'm a LG Paladin of Serenrae, would I tolerate a group member summoning Daemons or Devils to fight other evil?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Aplus wrote:
This is why I don't let paladins play in my games. There is way too much of a tendency for them to become the fun police.

THIS is why? Really?

Perhaps instead of assuming that players will play Paladins as a%%&&+%s imposing restrictions onto their allies that nothing in the game rules or setting comes close to implying, perhaps you should just ask these players how they forsee playing the Paladin. There could be alot of Paladins in your game that wouldn't cause the problems you forsee.

Sovereign Court

Louis Lyons wrote:
Indeed, and it would probably behoove a GM to remind those players who simply focus on the mechanics of the game and spells that they are playing an RPG in a Fantasy story setting, and not in a fantasy video game. Just because not every last iota of information is described in the mechanics of the spell does not mean there cannot be more dire consequences within the story's plot for having cast it.

I'd ask for a Knowledge(Planes) check (DC 10 + CR of summoned creature) before I gave this reminder. If they fail they can find out the hard way. Mwah ha ha.


Why would the DC be dependent on the creature summoned, if the relevant consequences might be apply with creatures of lower CR?

Sovereign Court

Quandary wrote:
Why would the DC be dependent on the creature summoned, if the relevant consequences might be apply with creatures of lower CR?

RAW


you're discussing a DC to be reminded of bad actions it might take.
but if those actions (vengeance) aren't unique to the creature, why is the creature's CR invoked?
it's like saying a ferrari supercar is exotic knowledge, so since you are driving one, the DC is higher to know specific traffic laws which apply equally to a ferrari as a hyundai.
the DC is for knowing the creature's specific abilities, and sure, to know that it might use X ability unique to the creature would use the creature-specific DC... but i wasn't under the impression that was what was being discussed, rather the general concept of creatures being out to get you later, or even repercussions not from the creature but from other parts of the game-world (which may not be dependent on the specific creature summoned, but on it's general nature/type, which isn't CR-specific).
maybe i missed something? it was a real question that i thought deserved a real answer.

The Exchange

LazarX wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
Edit: Seelah, a paladin, tolerates Seltyiel, a LE EK, for her ENTIRE career (levels 1-18) during the CoT AP. What evil things does Seltyiel do? It specifically states int he write up Seelah hopes to redeem Seltyiel, meaning she knows dang well what his alignment is. Does she throw her arms and give up if Seltyiel summons evil outsiders to fight for him against to endless number of devils they encounter in this AP? Nope. Does Seltyiel change his alignment by the last AP? Not as far as the Devs have written it.

Seltyiel btw, has been retconned to being the iconic Magus. so his demon summoning antics are going to be mighty limited.

Paizo seems to be expressing alignment more in the form of attitude as opposed to deeds. A good example is the NE Gnome Ranger. She seeks out towns who are being oppressed by giants. She'll come to the aid of a town by killing the giant, but only after levying a fee which beggars the town. Technically she's completely Neutral Evil, but she's not committing an offense that gives a Paladin the right to strike her down.

A Paladin in that situation would be more appropriately offering to take the job herself, in which case she may very well find her self in combat when said Ranger takes her revenge, in which case she can defend herself holding nothing back.

The same is with Seltyiel, aside from his manner and the probable things he'll do to his Fathers if he ever finds them again, there's no reason for Seelah to rebuke him yet. There are quite a few possibilities in how things can turn out.

As it should be. alignment was always about what you are at the core not a cosmic scoreboard for what flavor of smite works. That was a mechanics concept of 3 E that was a terrible idea i think, making good and evil basically just red team and blue team. i miss the old days of holiness meaning something, not just being an easier target to the bad guy

Liberty's Edge

Quandary wrote:

you're discussing a DC to be reminded of bad actions it might take.

but if those actions (vengeance) aren't unique to the creature, why is the creature's CR invoked?
it's like saying a ferrari supercar is exotic knowledge, so since you are driving one, the DC is higher to know specific traffic laws which apply equally to a ferrari as a hyundai.
the DC is for knowing the creature's specific abilities, and sure, to know that it might use X ability unique to the creature would use the creature-specific DC... but i wasn't under the impression that was what was being discussed, rather the general concept of creatures being out to get you later, or even repercussions not from the creature but from other parts of the game-world (which may not be dependent on the specific creature summoned, but on it's general nature/type, which isn't CR-specific).
maybe i missed something? it was a real question that i thought deserved a real answer.

I agree with your sentiment, Quandary. I do not think every aspect of a character's in-game knowledge need necessarily be tied to the Knowledge Skills.

For example, in the Crusader Kingdom of Mendev, it is doubtful that too many of the commoners have Knowledge: Planes, but almost every man, woman and child darn well knows what Demons are, and of the dangers that Demons pose. However, they may know nothing about Divs, Oni or Daemons, or anything of the outer planes in general. They may even confuse such creatures with Demons if ever they encountered them.

The only time I would ever bring something like Knowledge: Planes into the picture is (1) the players know absolutely nothing about Demons, because they may be from a land where such malevolent outsiders have never frequented and they thus have to turn to their academic knowledge to glean any information about them, or (2) they are trying to determine that specific outsider's powers and vulnerabilities.

Andrew R wrote:
As it should be. alignment was always about what you are at the core not a cosmic scoreboard for what flavor of smite works. That was a mechanics concept of 3 E that was a terrible idea i think, making good and evil basically just red team and blue team. i miss the old days of holiness meaning something, not just being an easier target to the bad guy

Agreed. Therein lies the problem when you marry an abstract and metaphysical concept like moral/ethical alignment to hard game mechanics. It is then up to the Game Master to find ways to have these things make sense in the context of the story. That is why I personally make evil outsiders truly repellent monsters bent on destroying and warping the world around them and I make out Paladins and most Good Characters to be, well...truly decent, kind-hearted people who want to make the world a better place for those around them. Still, I do love Smite Evil.

But alignment should not be treated merely as opposing teams. The players should be made to see the consequences of allowing supernatural evil to be unleashed within the game world.


IT occurred to me the higher CR an outsider is, the more outsidery he looks. It's it harder for me to recognize a Balor as a Demon not to trifle with than it is to recognize a much lower CR demon like... a babu?

I mean the both look pretty demonic to me... I got know sumthin is up!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Andrew R wrote:
As it should be. alignment was always about what you are at the core not a cosmic scoreboard for what flavor of smite works.

Actually if you go by the posts on these boards, alignment is mainly about ways on either how to make Paladins fall, or create friction between Paladins and their parties.

It's gone to the point where I won't play a Paladin with DMs I don't know, nor will I allow them in my game unless I know the player well.

The Exchange

LazarX wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
As it should be. alignment was always about what you are at the core not a cosmic scoreboard for what flavor of smite works.

Actually if you go by the posts on these boards, alignment is mainly about ways on either how to make Paladins fall, or create friction between Paladins and their parties.

It's gone to the point where I won't play a Paladin with DMs I don't know, nor will I allow them in my game unless I know the player well.

Same here, and i rarely play good in a organised play game, alignment threats and easier target for the bad guys sucks.

Sovereign Court

Quandary wrote:
you're discussing a DC to be reminded of bad actions it might take. but if those actions (vengeance) aren't unique to the creature, why is the creature's CR invoked?

Because while the GM might know that such actions aren't unique to the creature but might be a property of all fiends, it can't be assumed that the player/character doesn't. If the player failed the roll for the particular creature but would have passed the roll for a different fiend of the same type, and you're feeling nice, you could say "you know that if you'd been summoning a Lemure he'd be pretty pissed off with you and seek vengence. You don't know enough about this Pit Fiend to know what his reaction might be."

But the fact is, if the very first time they summon a devil they decide to summon a Pit Fiend, they probably deserve whatever consequences they get.


I haven't read the whole thread (sorry), but I expect the answer to the OP's question is "it depends."

Could a non-evil creature be summoned instead? Was there another way to fight the other evil? Etc.

Sovereign Court

Pendagast wrote:
IT occurred to me the higher CR an outsider is, the more outsidery he looks. It's it harder for me to recognize a Balor as a Demon not to trifle with than it is to recognize a much lower CR demon like... a babu? I mean the both look pretty demonic to me... I got know sumthin is up!

Knowledge checks aren't about how something looks, they're about how much the character knows about that thing without necessarily having encountered it previously. The fact is, more planar research has probably been done with babus than with balors, therefore the character is more likely to have heard something about babus from expert fiend summoners than about balors. Information about balors is going to be scarce, particularly since the experts that summon them to ask questions are likely to vanish before they can pass on their knowledge ...

Sovereign Court

Louis Lyons wrote:

I agree with your sentiment, Quandary. I do not think every aspect of a character's in-game knowledge need necessarily be tied to the Knowledge Skills.

For example, in the Crusader Kingdom of Mendev, it is doubtful that too many of the commoners have Knowledge: Planes, but almost every man, woman and child darn well knows what Demons are, and of the dangers that Demons pose. However, they may know nothing about Divs, Oni or Daemons, or anything of the outer planes in general. They may even confuse such creatures with Demons if ever they encountered them.

The only time I would ever bring something like Knowledge: Planes into the picture is (1) the players know absolutely nothing about Demons, because they may be from a land where such malevolent outsiders have never frequented and they thus have to turn to their academic knowledge to glean any information about them, or (2) they are trying to determine that specific outsider's powers and vulnerabilities.

If you're playing RAW, for a "common monster" the DC is 5+CR. This would be the applicable knowledge check for a Mendev local about demons, although why you'd need to make a knowledge check for a random NPC I don't know.

If the PC character was born in Mendev, sure, I'd allow a Knowledge (Planes) check DC5+CR.


Mikaze wrote:

Daemons though...

If there's one unforgivable sin in fantasyland, it's destroying a soul. Dabbling with daemons means rolling around with the worst of the worst of the multiverse

I hate to step into this collective beatdown on daemons, but they really do get a harsh double standard. They weren't even original in the grand scheme of things. They had to wait till the other lower planes rather well boiled over with larvae for the First of them to spawn. They're the red headed step-children of creation, without anyone to tell them what they are, what they should be doing, and why they should be doing. They just showed up, ticked off the proteans that their plane was suddenly there and not going away, and damn but they were HUNGRY right from the get-go.

Maybe the rest of creation despises them for their table manners and being perpetually hungry for the tender, delicious stuff of mortal souls snuffed out bite by juicy, wriggling, screaming bite. Or maybe the system is rigged against them.

They're hardly as bad as Rovagug surely? They don't care about the cosmos as a whole, they just want mortals to cease to exist, not all of the current physical paradigm.

Or perhaps I'm vaguely sympathetic to them? Hmm. I could say that it takes one to know one. But that's not exactly right... nevermind. That's a history lesson I'm not keen to expand upon, and the classification of transcendent anathamas or unknowable blights upon creation compared to simple fiends or one another is almost akin to the geometries of pin dancing angels.

Back to your double standards. >:)


People seem to be having two very different arguments here. The original question posed was:

KemmenTheGnome wrote:

Not sure how to approach the situation.

Would I be way out of character by NOT attacking on site a summoned daemon by a group member?

The question is not "Should the paladin be perfectly cool with this?" I'm pretty sure everyone agrees he should, at the very least, lecture the summoner about the morality and/or risks of doing so.

The question is not "Should a paladin allow a daemon to live?" It's summoned, therefore reducing it to 0 HP accomplishes nothing beyond returning it to its home plane unharmed.

The question is, essentially "Is it required of all paladins to be so single-mindedly opposed to daemons (and/or devils, presumably also demons) that just the sight of one should be enough to send one into a blind fury?"

The answer being, absolutely not. The only class you can make a case for being obligated to immediately attack something on sight is Barbarian, with the whole berserker rage concept built in.

Could you play a paladin who would react in that fashion? Sure. You are not at all obligated to do so however, and I would argue that the majority of paladins would not act that way. To me at least, the archetypical paladin makes it a point to always be calm and level-headed, consider all the details of a given situation, ask questions if they are unsure about something.

Also, there is a weird bit of confusion in some of these posts speculating about worshipping a deity that is particularly intolerant of evil outsiders, and would require paladins to take a harder stance against them. We know who the paladin in question here worships- Sarenrae. It's right there in the thread title. Worshipping Sarenrae is very much specifically about attempting to talk issues out before resorting to violence, and a belief that no one/no thing is beyond redemption, unless they have specific ties to Rovagug. Not at all a goddess who advocates a smite first, ask questions later approach.

Silver Crusade

What I find interesting in these discussions of Paladins is that apparently it takes rules and rules and rules to make one. What I want to know (that still hasn't been answered by the OP despite several attempts) is more about the situation and the other people involved. As a player sitting behind a Paladin, I need to know a whole heckuva lot about my Paladin's past. What events in his life brought him to the point where he is devoted enough to go Crusading for a deity that he has never seen. Most normal people don't do that. Usually it involves some kind of painful past, because really, the plated freaks rolling out of Paladin University are just thugs looking for power and glory. Lots of these get played and they use the RULES to enforce their place at the gaming table. All rules lawyers should be shot, stabbed, and forked in their peeled eyeballs. Not that I have any feelings about this or anything.

The original poster should be asking questions about the depths of his Paladin's soul. The rules (obviously) can go several different directions. When he sees the daemon, does he feel anger toward the other player for summoning it or is he filled with sadness that a trusted comrade could stoop to the point of bringing evil beings into the world? Instead of stopping at the limits of the law (which most do), how are you going around being proactive in the world? If you take on the aura of Paladin, others should be able to see your good deeds. Not just sometimes, all the time. Basically I think we live in a world that has no concept how to portray a real paladin, so they use rules to try to compensate (I'm thinking of Lord Farquaad and his compensations, though he was no paladin, but I'm sure he thought he was).

I am extremely grateful that I play at a table filled with very mature gamers where we can have our characters disagree with one another and at the end of the night we are still really good friends. Your paladin should have a reaction to this in one way or another. Your past, your explicitly written code of honor (please tell me you took the time to write one down) and the redemption of your goddess should all come to play in the words you use to discuss this after the situation. Feel your way into the discussion, don't use your metagaming to state it baldly. Put it into words filled with emotion. The other character and player will have a lot more respect for you as a paladin and as a player.

Something like: later at the fire that night, "So... Billy, I'm not sure what was going on this afternoon. I appreciate you calling for help for us and it worked all worked out, but when I was out helping a small village near Smithjonesville, I ran across a summoner that was trying to save the town from an orc horde. He had been using animals at first but then tried to increase his power and began seeking names of darker and darker beings. The town was able to fight back the horde and he was called a hero. He was proud of himself and his newfound power. Over time when he needed additional help, he figured that he had learned to control the demons and continued to summon them. The mayor's daughter Marika went over to take some repaired laundry to him one afternoon, only to be confronted by a an evil from the darkest depths. The summoner had not specifically excluded the girl as he had no way to know that she would be there and in an instant the town was filled with mourning. What you did today certainly helped us out, but please, please be careful. My niece never had the chance to see what lay beyond the crook in the road."

Or you can use the primary mode of operandi lately: "You wretch! How could you summon up a daemon?!?! I hate you, you're going to die... mostly because the rules say I have to either hate you or something, I don't really remember. Anyway, my character is a paladin so you can't do that!"

This is a great roleplaying game. Strive to be a great roleplayer. Do it for the children...


Has NOBODY read David Weber's War God's own series? You want a noble paladin with a common sense approach- Bahzel is IT. IMHO.


I would discuss this with the summoner - there are alternatives. If they wish to use demons and daemons from a power perspective point out that this is unacceptable to your reputation (note - reputation).

Likewise the relationship between the summoner and the summoned creature is imprtant also - if the demon benefits from the summons in any way that can be interpreted as evil benefiting from the relationship. You obviously cannot condone this either.

Otherwise there is an argument that you are using your enemies weapons to further your own ends. But I would stay clear of such arguments as the taint of association would be bad for your position.


Going all the way back to the original question....

It would be silly from both a tactical and RP position to turn from the known threat to attack the non-threat, no matter how evil it detects. It's the evil it commits and not the evil it emits that should sway you.

Again, does the paladin understand that the evil creature is temporary and under the control of the summoner?

If this is in an OP event, then you finish the event and then decide if your pally will ever adventure with that character again. If this is in a home compaign, then you have a more serious problem in that your group should have been designed to work together long term.

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