Should this Paladin lose her paladinhood? *possible spoilers for Carrion Crown*


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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SeaBiscuit01 wrote:

Yeah, as I said above I think all the comments fall in the "no fall" camp and I now agree with that.

It's not that I hate paladins, I think the question was important because as a GM I'm supposed to arbitrate and wanted to get feedback or risk doing something overtly arbitrary and ultimately not justified.

I'm guessing this kind of questions come up a lot here?

Ah, you’re using an alias.

They do come up a lot here, and most of the time by trolls.

But my suggestion still stands: Since you are clearly having issues with Paladin, give your Paladin a free slotless Phylactery of Faithfulness. Next time you have a issue, have the device warn him.\

Zhayne, from these and other posts, I think you have had some sort of issue with a Paladin in the past. The paladin no more forces his way of doing things on the party than they force their way on him.

In any case, one of the assumptions of the game is that the PC's are heroes. If you act heroic, and everyone is mature, then there's really no issue having a Paladin in the party.


MrSin wrote:
Gnomezrule wrote:
Letting rules and laws slide for your friends is more a chaotic good thing.
Missed the point entirely. Its a real buzzkill when someone tells you how to play or what to do. Making that a mandate of your class is one of the reasons people don't like paladins. Anti-fun laws is a terrible class feature!

Part of the fun of a role playing game is the interparty interaction. How many thousands of action movies have there been when the more ethically bound character has a run in with the less ethically bound character.

Wolverine and Cyclops.

Every episode of Firefly, Star Trek (any version).

What makes it un-fun is people what to act without any limit. Other players should be a limit on other players when one player acts in a way an other player finds objectionable.

Liberty's Edge

MrSin wrote:
Gnomezrule wrote:
Letting rules and laws slide for your friends is more a chaotic good thing.
Missed the point entirely. Its a real buzzkill when someone tells you how to play or what to do. Making that a mandate of your class is one of the reasons people don't like paladins. Anti-fun laws is a terrible class feature!

It is also a buzzkill when one player tells the rest of the table how to play.

Particularly when the table put someone other than them in charge.


It would have been so much better if they would have added a line like this...

" A paladin can only fall if he has done an act(s) that lead to an alignment shift. Otherwise breaking the Paladin Code should only give a temporary negative level to show the Paladin his deity's displeasure. This negative level usually only last long enough for the Paladin to realize his mistake and attempt to correct it. If its beyond correcting then the level should never last longer then 1 day per paladin level. "


ciretose wrote:

It is also a buzzkill when one player tells the rest of the table how to play.

Particularly when the table put someone other than them in charge.

Why would a player tell others how to play? It's the character who is a paladin. Not the player.

Now I completely buy a paladin character constantly reminding the other characters of their moral failings or at least serving as an example (like Shepard Book in Firefly). That is appropriate RP.


MrSin wrote:
Selgard wrote:
That is the life of a Paladin. It isn't easy. It isn't meant to be. And not all groups or DM's can handle it.
Talk like that is why its hard. "Its supposed to be hard!" infers your supposed to make the paladin's life hard. Its actually pretty easy in my games because I have houserules to create flexibility and be who you want to be. Not so much by RAW where they have an inflexible code that could easily be taken as an absolute and twisted to something not so fun.

The life of a paladin Is. Hard.

its part of the fun.

Not "the DM is out to take away my powers" hard but "What do we do with the prisoner?" hard.

Its "what do we do with the village full of diseased people" hard.
Its "Those people are starving but I need this 500 gold to upgrade my sword or the next dungeon is going to be rather difficult" hard.

Being and playing a paladin is designed aroung tough questions and tough answers that create awesome Rp opportunities for the players and the DM alike.
Does the Paladin get to cram his foot down the Party's throat?
Of course not.
The Paladin *gets to* RP his character and so does everyone else.

Obviously if the group has already decided they are all anti-paladin in attitude then this isn't the right group to bring a paladin into.

But bringing one into an already good group can be some awesome RP, even if a couple of them are just slightly good-to-slightly-morally-ambiguous.

Emmbrace the Paladin and all that it is. it isn't a weapon to use against the group, it is a solid tool to RP the character in a world where he IS supposed to be the shining example. He is the piece of silver sticking in a turd pile trying to clean the place up.

The DM shouldn't be trying to make life hard.
The normal questions that adventurers go through on a daily basis makes the life of the Paladin hard.

We're in an AP right now where we have the legal and moral right to execute every single bandit we come across. None of us are Paladin. With the exception of one man, we've so for formally tried and executed somewhere around 5 individuals according to the rules and laws of our mandate and have executed roughly 2-3 times that many in combat.

Were a Paladin in the group I might expect very very different conversations around the gaming table. The DM being a jerk? No. A character having a specific set of rules to go by *having chosen to go by those rules* and talking to the group IC about those rules and how to live a better life through them.
Harder? Yes.
DM beating him over the head trying to take his powers away?
No.

-S


Gnomezrule wrote:
What makes it un-fun is people what to act without any limit. Other players should be a limit on other players when one player acts in a way an other player finds objectionable.

Okay, but that doesn't have anything to do with the post I made or the one you responded to still.

DrDeth wrote:
In any case, one of the assumptions of the game is that the PC's are heroes. If you act heroic, and everyone is mature, then there's really no issue having a Paladin in the party.

Game allows for more than just heroes, you have anti-heroes and villains and you can play all sorts of things. Imaginations the limits and whatnot! Even in a no evil party you can have room for a CN lovable rogue and a CN barbarian who isn't big on listening to rules but just fine with morality.

That said, not everyone is mature irl, even if your all over 21.


Selgard wrote:

The life of a paladin Is. Hard.

its part of the fun.

Not everyone agrees, force that idea on them in your own game, but not everyone agrees. Your examples are things that should be hard for anyone, it shouldn't be a question of "what would my alignment do?" or "What would make me fall?", but that's what it turns into sometimes. Any character can make a decision, but paladins have a class feature all about getting punished for it, making a lot of decisions non-decisions.

Off-topic at this point though. So how about that polar bear thing in carrion crown? Can someone tell me what it is in a spoiler by chance? I'm curious.


I totally agree its a buzzkill for a player to tell another player how to play.

Its quite another for a character to discuss in character the in-game consequences of their actions and to try to talk them out of it.

Honestly, seriously:
Someone in the group being a Paladin is a group decision to make.

It can be an awesome opportunity for alot of good and fun RP. But not everyone wants that particular kind of RP and it should be their decision- much in the same way that not all groups want to allow someone stealing loot from the pot or evil characters in the group.

Some decisions about the group are made OOC before you ever form up.
Whether or not someone can be a Paladin should be one of them.

Agreeing doesn't mean there won't be any conflict. Conflict can be awesome RP.
But if its just irritating and folks take it as "shoving the paladin down their throat" and "being told how to play" then just exercise the right to not have a Paladin in the group.

-S


MrSin wrote:
Selgard wrote:

The life of a paladin Is. Hard.

its part of the fun.

Not everyone agrees, force that idea on them in your own game, but not everyone agrees. Your examples are things that should be hard for anyone, it shouldn't be a question of "what would my alignment do?" or "What would make me fall?", but that's what it turns into sometimes. Any character can make a decision, but paladins have a class feature all about getting punished for it, making a lot of decisions non-decisions.

Off-topic at this point though. So how about that polar bear thing in carrion crown? Can someone tell me what it is in a spoiler by chance? I'm curious.

Every question should be a powers keep/lose equation though.

Take the Op for example. The majority of people in this thread agree that the Paladin in question shouldn't lose their powers.
Ok.
Should that Paladin lose any sleep? Have nightmares? Regrets?
Roll over in their sleep at night wondering if they really could have done something sooner?

Of course. That is the RP. They did something they had every right to do (leave and get reinforcements). The villagers, presumably, continued to die while he went and did so. Even though his powers aren't up for grabs he *still* will feel terrible about it. I'm not talking about Rules or DM mandates I'm talking about the Paladin Rp'ing their character.

While anyone else may look at it and say "its suicide, lets go get help" and come back knowing they did they best they can the Paladin would very likely remember that day for a long time- and not fondly.
(not that others can't too, of course. but its not built into other classes as strongly).

There are alot of decisions Paladin can make that are Good and Right and not "you lose your powers" that are *also* decisions that keep them up at night wishing there had been some other way to do it. Not every decision has to be that way- or should be that way.
But the striving for that perfection is a large part of being a paladin IMO.

Being a Paladin isn't a crutch. Being a Paladin is an awesome RP opportunity. If everyone is really just playing a game of "lets see if THIS makes him fall. mwahahaa" then the Paladin shouldn't ever be on the table in the first place.

-S

Liberty's Edge

DrDeth wrote:


Ah, you’re using an alias.

They do come up a lot here, and most of the time by trolls.

But my suggestion still stands: Since you are clearly having issues with Paladin, give your Paladin a free slotless Phylactery of Faithfulness. Next time you have a issue, have the device warn him.\

Zhayne, from these and other posts, I think you have had some sort of issue with a Paladin in the past. The paladin no more forces his way of doing things on the party than they force their way on him.

In any case, one of the assumptions of the game is that the PC's are heroes. If you act heroic, and everyone is mature, then there's really no issue having a Paladin in the party.

That was a weird thing, SeaBiscuit is an alias of a friend of mine that sometimes uses my computer, I didn't check and it autologged with his user.

When situations I think go against his code come up (only happened maybe once or twice) I always talk about it with him so you could say we're already doing the slotless Phylactery approach. But I think it has more to do with my pre-existing paladin conceptions, which was my main reason to ask the forums as I thought I needed to calibrate with other people.


ShadowcatX wrote:
No, you are not required to be idiotic to play a paladin.

1 million percent this.

It really gets my blood boiling when GM's think that a player has to play a truly lawful stupid paladin in every situation that they throw at them. The PC should be playing smart and not suicidal, there are these things called "tactics" and sometimes the best tactic whether you are CE or LG is to withdraw and come back another time to fight when you have the manpower and resources to do so.


MrSin wrote:
Gnomezrule wrote:
Letting rules and laws slide for your friends is more a chaotic good thing.
Missed the point entirely. Its a real buzzkill when someone tells you how to play or what to do. Making that a mandate of your class is one of the reasons people don't like paladins. Anti-fun laws is a terrible class feature!

That doesn't require a paladin, or even Lawful Good. ANY good character would interfere if his teammates were out committing mass murder and torture... thereby interfering with their 'fun' and 'telling them what to do.'

Have you been seeing some kind of passive/unconscious players in your games who still call themsleves "good" while the raping and pillage go on behind them? Good characters (not to mention good GMs) should definitely be spoiling that kind of fun at every turn, whether or not there are any paladins present.


Little late to the party, but whatever. Vilrandir, the important thing to keep in mind is that, while the Paladin Code of Conduct is fairly strict, it's ALSO fairly clear:

Code of Conduct wrote:

A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class features except proficiencies if she ever willingly commits an evil act.

Additionally, a paladin's code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.

Associates: While she may adventure with good or neutral allies, a paladin avoids working with evil characters or with anyone who consistently offends her moral code. Under exceptional circumstances, a paladin can ally with evil associates, but only to defeat what she believes to be a greater evil. A paladin should seek an atonement spell periodically during such an unusual alliance, and should end the alliance immediately should she feel it is doing more harm than good. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are lawful good.

The only one of these conditions your paladin may have violated would be the "help those in need" bit. And really, when an entire village is massacred by a bunch of crazy monsters so thoroughly that the bodies are arranged outside in some kind of buffet line, it's extremely unlikely that anyone in that little hamlet survived the slaughter. To expect the paladin to take on the entire retinue of evil beasties when the whole party's tired from a long day fighting on the off chance that one little kid managed to squirrel themselves away in a hidey-hole that will be uncovered in the next 5 minutes unless she does something IS reading just a little bit too much into the code as written. Heck, her suggestion isn't even necessarily dishonorable, if you subscribe to the "Discretion is the better part of valor" mentality, which Sarenrae kind of does.

Long story short: If your paladin fully intended to return later to kill the monsters and no innocent villagers were nearby who could obviously be saved by her intervention, by her code of conduct she should be okay. Embarrassed, certainly, also angry at the monsters for their wickedness, but no class-specific penalties should result.


Count me in with the group that says she shouldn't fall, but she should definitely feel guilty about it. I also have to question why she didn't object to the party members routing the monsters towards the town (unless it wasn't apparent at the time.)


To the OP. I suppose the question I would ask is if the Paladin had a reasonable expectation to win a fight if she and her companions attacked. You mentioned that they were resource drained and going back to rest, but if they set up an ambush, all attacked at once, planned ahead even for a minute, could they have won? Going first with a well readied set of actions can end a fight very quickly.

I've seen several posts in the thread that seem to put words in your mouth regarding what a hopeless situation it was, or that it was suicidal, and such. But I would like your opinion, looking at it objectively.

Now if the fight would have been suicide, and I had been playing the Paladin, I would have tried to scout the town as best I could before leaving any survivors to their deaths. If that was impossible without being killed, than I would have retreated.

However, I agree with a poster above. I think essentially funneling the monsters to the town should have caused at least a divine warning. Not a Fall, but a black mark on her spiritual scoresheet. Indirectly the group is responsible for the town's destruction and the dead townsfolk. If I were the GM, I would not have caused a Fall for this, but would have imposed a penance of some sort. Something to roleplay out.

People who choose to play paladins are not 'tricked' into it. they look at the class and say "I like that", they look are the role they play and say "groovy", they look at the structured rules they have to live by, and say "sounds fun". A lot of people do not like the rules, do not like the structure, do not like the Code, and they would never choose to play Paladins. And that is fine. But we are not talking about those people here, we are talking about a Player who made a decision to play the class. Who knows, since your player chose to play a Paladin, they are fully aware of the Paladin's limitations. They might actually enjoy being given a divine penance or rebuke, as they can roleplay that out with the character.

So, in short, in my opinion anyways, the Paladin's actions did not warrent a Fall, but short-sightedly funneling the monsters to the town would cause a 'twinge' or 'warning' to be more careful in the future.

In your next session I'd return her powers and have her know that her losing them temporarily was the warning to be more careful, and she now owes a debt to the town she helped put in dangers way.

Liberty's Edge

Democratus wrote:
ciretose wrote:

It is also a buzzkill when one player tells the rest of the table how to play.

Particularly when the table put someone other than them in charge.

Why would a player tell others how to play? It's the character who is a paladin. Not the player.

Now I completely buy a paladin character constantly reminding the other characters of their moral failings or at least serving as an example (like Shepard Book in Firefly). That is appropriate RP.

I'm arguing for your point.


Democratus wrote:
ciretose wrote:

It is also a buzzkill when one player tells the rest of the table how to play.

Particularly when the table put someone other than them in charge.

Why would a player tell others how to play? It's the character who is a paladin. Not the player.

Now I completely buy a paladin character constantly reminding the other characters of their moral failings or at least serving as an example (like Shepard Book in Firefly). That is appropriate RP.

And I can completely buy the rest of the party telling such a character to get lost because he's really freaking annoying. :)

Liberty's Edge

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And I can totally buy the rest of the party telling the unique snowflake that makes no sense in the setting to get lost as well...


ciretose wrote:
And I can totally buy the rest of the party telling the unique snowflake that makes no sense in the setting to get lost as well...

Yeah, Paladins are unique little pain-in-the-butt snowflakes, aren't they?

The point is that the Paladin's Code is the PALADIN'S Code. Nobody else's. He's not the party den mother. He has no business shoving his beliefs on anybody else. That's just being a self-righteous jerk.


Zhayne wrote:
And I can completely buy the rest of the party telling such a character to get lost because he's really freaking annoying. :)

What kind of jerk tells lovable Bender to stop stealing and smoking and being a general jerk! I thought that's why we love him!

Really thought, when the player crosses the line varies. Just weird to have a class feature that can be taken as though its telling you to be that guy. That's not at all the case going on in this thread though, so probably don't need to talk about it.

Liberty's Edge

The good guy? A class feature that has you be good?

Madness...

Everyone should be something special. Like Jar Jar Binks...


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how come you can roleplay a crazy rapist, pillager, but I'm not allowed to roleplay a guy who tells you that your crazy rapist pillaging is wrong?


ciretose wrote:

The good guy? A class feature that has you be good?

Madness...

Everyone should be something special. Like Jar Jar Binks...

I don't know who your responding to or what that's about, but its probably not important to the discussion is it? I don't know how a discussion about the decision to not fight a zombie starts talking about Jar Jar Binks, but it probably went a little far from the subject.

Liberty's Edge

Then maybe you should take your opinions about Paladin's code to a thread where they would be welcome, as clearly the OP doesn't agree that the whole thing is being "that guy"...


I'm letting the Paladin off with this one, certainly no problem - especially when the motives are to regroup and return.

Paladins are not arbitrarily stupid.

Neither are their Gods.


Sloanzilla wrote:
how come you can roleplay a crazy rapist, pillager, but I'm not allowed to roleplay a guy who tells you that your crazy rapist pillaging is wrong?

No one said that!

ciretose wrote:
Then maybe you should take your opinions about Paladin's code to a thread where they would be welcome, as clearly the OP doesn't agree that the whole thing is being "that guy"...

The OP hasn't commented on what I said. I said that the that guy thing didn't have anything to do with the thread and that it was probably best to move on. Your not the only one who's allowed to post and comment, no reason to try and chase people away.


Zhayne wrote:

[

Yeah, Paladins are unique little pain-in-the-butt snowflakes, aren't they?

The point is that the Paladin's Code is the PALADIN'S Code. Nobody else's. He's not the party den mother. He has no business shoving his beliefs on anybody else. That's just being a self-righteous jerk.

No, they are not, at least when played by adults.

And, assuming the same game with adults, rarely are the paladin's beliefs a issue. Oh, once in a great while when goblin babies or something comes around, but in general, no.

Do you not play with adults or did you have a Problem Paladin player happen?

My thoughts are that the CN PC is ten times more problematic than the Paladin.


DrDeth wrote:
Do you not play with adults or did you have a Problem Paladin player happen?

I played with adults! They were just immature adults! I've met plenty of both kinds of adults while playing PFS and just living life.

The situations vary, sometimes its a guy playing CN and thinks its an excuse to be crazy and intolerable, and sometimes its a paladin who thinks its okay to tell the lovable rogue and every other party member how to live their life. I don't think Zhayne was denying that those guys exist, but complaining bout a particular type of guy that shows up now and then.

The Exchange

MrSin wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Some people should never be allowed to play a paladin. this forum has taught me that most GMs cannot handle having them in the game.

You want the paladin? You can't handle the paladin!

That said, there's probably a way to phrase that without looking like the player is to blame.

In no way am i blaming this player. i am saying that some players and many DMs cannot handle them well enough to even have them in the game

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If the player IS a roleplayer than the shame of failure and it's consequences should be punishment enough.

DM's need to get it in their head that stripping a Paladin's powers is not the only way to let them know when they screw up.

A Paladin should generally fall from malice, not from error. Error should have it's own consequences, no matter what the class.


Vilrandir wrote:

So, this situation eventually didn't matter but I thought I'd calibrate my GM judgement with you folks.

After exploring an underground facility, the PC's decided they could take all the time in the world to go through the dungeon as the Monsters wouldn't dare come to town while they rested. After setting up some traps, the monsters waited patiently and then tried to lure them back to the caverns, with the PC's valiantly following. After a short battle, they were able to isolate the monsters via Wall of Forces, so that the monsters still had access to the cavern exits. The monsters literally went to town while the PC's decided to keep exploring. After a very challenging encounter, with resources drained the party decided to go back to town and rest. By the time they arrived back, the small fishing village was massacred and yet they were able to hear the monsters outside, chewing through the corpses. One party member is a paladin of Sarenrae and she decided it was time to flee and return later to "finish them through". They had no way of knowing if everyone was dead or not, all they saw was a pile of corpses and a huge polar bear-like thing chewing carcasses. In the end they defeated them, but my question to you is:
In your opinion, had the paladin fled (via teleport), would this action have been enough to lose her paladinhood?
The code of Sarenrae says to abide no evil and when words don't suffice, to bring swift justice, but the player insisted that since the code also says that "if you die you don't get to keep fighting evil " (in summary) she was entitled to possible abandon the remaining villagers and flee.
In the end I ruled she would and it don't matter cause the polar-bear-things spotted them and the PCs barely made it out alive.
Anyway, I'd appreciate your opinion, I wouldn't want to be making overtly "unbalanced" calls but I also think the paladin code should not give her such an easy out.

Sorry, you made a bad call.

Paladins are Lawful Good, not Lawful stupid. Nothing in the Paladin Code demands fighting battles that are clearly (or seemingly based on information known) suicidal.

DMs like you are why a) Paladins get so much flack for being morons and b) why good players won't usually play Paladins.

Sorry to be harsh, but you had to get as good as you gave, and you were overly harsh.

I mean, geez, Paladins are already a low-tier class, why hammer them harder? A Paladin should be a warrior for good and justice, not the bonehead running into a lair of dragons shouting "LEEROOOYYY JEEENKINNNS!"


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LazarX wrote:


A Paladin should generally fall from malice, not from error. Error should have it's own consequences, no matter what the class.

This really is a perfect summation.


Vilrandir wrote:
In your opinion, had the paladin fled (via teleport), would this action have been enough to lose her paladinhood?

No.

Knowingly allowing the monster to flee the dungeon and destroy the town? Yes. But I'm guessing they didn't know that.

Getting your party members killed by killing yourself on some monsters while weak would be the act to make you fall, not retreating to recover, come back and purging the evil.


Think more on the motives behind your Palies action withdrawing because its seems prudent is kind withdrawing because of apathy well ya that's a no no. The question I ask is WHY didn't the Paly check for survivors or did it see that hopeless. When Paly make "Grey" mistakes turn into a story point A what if example: what player later meets a survivor form village reveling to him their where people still their he cold have helped. A good Paladin might feel some guilt even if they where in the right Game effect could be a temp lost of a ability till he makes amends or asks for forgives done right it can be both rewarding and at same time get players thinking about their actions and its effects.


I think it is important to note that making a STUPID decision with Good motives should never make a Paladin fall.

Taking on a big evil and getting wiped out, because you are too stupid to realize you'll die without purpose? No fall.

Running from a big evil because you're sure facing it would end in a meaningless death? No fall, even if you are wrong.

Being a Paladin should NEVER require making the BEST decision from the information available. It should only require making decisions that you believe are best to promote Good whilst not taking or promoting any evil acts.

Mistakes in judging a situation should not result in a Paladin falling as long as no evil act is KNOWINGLY taken.

Scarab Sages

Paladin charges in to look for survivors...
A) Gets ambushed and slaughtered and finds no one.
B) Finds someone alive, but gets slaughtered by the enemy.
C) Slays the enemy but finds out their were no survivors anyway.
D) Slays the enemy and finds a survivor.
E) The enemy runs away and the paladin finds no survivors.
F) The enemy runs away and the paladin finds a survivor.

All are legitimate possibilities that are always the correct answer until it happens. Like a coin that is flipped, 50% its heads or 50% its tails. Until the side of the coin is on both are true. Am I talking somewhat about hypertime? Well yes, because we are talking about a decision with possibilities from the Paladin's perspective if they had charged in.

However the paladin did not choose to charge in. So is the paladin right or wrong about their decision? Yes and No. To the paladin its a lost cause or perhaps a tactical retreat. The paladin came in what can only assume is the aftermath of the slaughter and now the monsters feast. The only possible reason the paladin could know otherwise is:

A) Stupidity (or hope as others call it)
B) Metagame knowledge

Liberty's Edge

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:


DMs like you are why....

Paladins are Lawful Good, not Lawful...

Excuse me? Don't you think you're over-reacting a bit? I had the unforgivable error of mis-interpreting something and I guess I'm guilty for making the whole world hate paladins or something?

I came here for feedback, precisely because I talked to the player about the situation and we disagreed. I wouldn't have enforced anything without mutual consent with him.
I've been nothing if not receptive of the feedback, but there's a clear distinction between being "harsh" and just plain judgmental.

Silver Crusade

More Paladin Traps.

Leave the class alone.

Silver Crusade

Just read over this thread, I found it a bit amusing that people debating over the interpretations of a fictitious doctrine intentionally left vague parallels our own history very well.

And we killed each other for that too.

No God/Goddess can fault a Paladin for what they do not know, nor can they fault them for doing their best with truly good intentions.

Personally, I think becoming a fallen paladin and taking the path of redemption or complete corruption would be sweet for the story.

I can't imagine a high level paladin making it through the stuff they got to deal with without having gone through atonement a few times.


Vilrandir wrote:
DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:


DMs like you are why....

Paladins are Lawful Good, not Lawful...

Excuse me? Don't you think you're over-reacting a bit? I had the unforgivable error of mis-interpreting something and I guess I'm guilty for making the whole world hate paladins or something?

I came here for feedback, precisely because I talked to the player about the situation and we disagreed. I wouldn't have enforced anything without mutual consent with him.
I've been nothing if not receptive of the feedback, but there's a clear distinction between being "harsh" and just plain judgmental.

Try not to take it personally. The paladin is one of the hardest classes to play because of their restrictive code and there's a lot of history out there of people arguing for 'lawful stupid holy warriors' as a result. All you did is misinterpreted a bit of detail from the game, it's fine, happens to the best of us. Just try to learn from it and move on while ignoring any who might accuse you of ruining the whole gaming system.


Vilrandir wrote:

Excuse me? Don't you think you're over-reacting a bit? I had the unforgivable error of mis-interpreting something and I guess I'm guilty for making the whole world hate paladins or something?
I came here for feedback, precisely because I talked to the player about the situation and we disagreed. I wouldn't have enforced anything without mutual consent with him.
I've been nothing if not receptive of the feedback, but there's a clear distinction between being "harsh" and just plain judgmental.

I noticed that many of the replies to your question were rather slanted/insulting to what I thought was a reasoned question. I'm surprised you have responded at all to be honest.

You stepped into a fairly touchy subject unfortunately. And many will take any opportunity to once again expound upon how much they dislike the class and its built in restrictions.

If I were you, I'd ignore any replies that insult you or using slanted wording to insult you. Tone of voice is hard to portray via text, but word choice is usually clear.

Liberty's Edge

I thought some answers were a bit rude too but as you said I didn't take them personally, but that specific answer I quoted was in my opinion a direct insult. It's hard to not take something personally when they say "it's because if people like you".
Thanks to everyone who took the time to give constructive feedback


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When the time comes to retreat--and even for the best of us that time occasionally comes--the paladin should be the last off the field of battle, ensuring that his stalwart companions are away before making his own escape.

But unless he's got the brain of a fruitfly, fighting a hopeless battle is usually pointless. A paladin who secretly yearns to be a martyr is displaying unseemly pride.

The paladin should be Evil's most serious threat. Not just because he can Smite Evil, but because his thoughts are focused on the eradication of Evil even at the cost of his own glory and/or honor.


Right on LP.

In this case the Paladin did just that in my opinion, what would have been foolish would to have been to engage - for no clear advantage or outcome, and only to the detriment of putting the 'alive and well' fellow party members in harms way for some misplaced sense of... whatever that would be.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Having GM'ed that particular module, my fist question rather is "why did those monster go to the village and massacre it?"

As far as the Paladin's reaction goes, it was pretty reasonable, depending on how many monsters were visible at the time of the decision.


One thing you should consider is that you're in a much better position to evaluate the chances of the paladin than the paladin's player, since you have the exact stats of "corpse-muncher" in front of you - all the paladin's player is seeing is a monster strong enough to take out a village.

What you would consider a fair to difficult fight could easily be seen as unwinnable by the player.

I'm going to have to agree with the majority of other posters here in that the paladin should not fall for not immediately charging - lawful good does not always translate to lawful stupid, and that's a good thing.

Silver Crusade

Now, I want to make clear I am not personally coming down on Vilrandir here. Most of my remarks below are in a general context rather than this specific one, since the situation at hand has already been well answered. Nonetheless, I wanted to speak up because this is a general topic that is important to me.

Kudaku, Lord Pendragon, Lazar, and many others are right. This is also worth quoting:

Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
I can see why people don't like playing Paladins.

Pretty much this. It still amazes me that Paladins are held to stricter standards than actual Good-aligned Outsiders, who are literally 'holier than thou' up until the Paladin gains several levels, are held. If Archons, Angels, and Agathions can get away with certain things then so should their juniors in the 'hierarchy of good', the Paladins.

I've had some bad experiences with this, doing my best to not play 'That Paladin.' You know them; the stupid one that at best gets themselves killed stupidly because of Honor... but is just as likely to cause a TPK on that same basis. It almost seems like a no-win situation though; if you're not playing That Paladin, you're not playing them 'right' and a Fall is imminent. So it's a matter of losing class abilities or losing characters outright. That's no fun.

The idea that Atonements should be expected as a matter of course for a class, as some others have proposed in the past, is ridiculous. No other class has to pay a regular tax like that just to keep their features, and it's not like the extra gold is going to make the Paladin overpowered. The notion that you should expect a certain number of "You FAIL!" kicks in the spiritual gut for playing a mortal (endowed with certain holy power, but still mortal) put in no-win situations strikes me as terrible game design, and I hope that any future revisions to Pathfinder or D&D explicitly start coming out against it.

Liberty's Edge

magnuskn wrote:

Having GM'ed that particular module, my fist question rather is "why did those monster go to the village and massacre it?"

As far as the Paladin's reaction goes, it was pretty reasonable, depending on how many monsters were visible at the time of the decision.

Because villagers are delicious.


@Celestial Pegasus

4th edition D&D has already "come out against it" - paladins have to pick a deity similar to their alignment at level 1, but doesn't actually have to maintain that alignment afterwards. From my sharply limited experience of 4th there's no "falling" mechanics at all for paladins.

I personally disagree with 4th on a number of issues and wound up playing Pathfinder because I was unhappy with how it played. However, removing the RAW paladin's code is one change I agree wholeheartedly with.

4th edition PHB wrote:
Once initiated, the paladin is a paladin forevermore. How justly, honorably or compassionately the paladin wields those powers from that day forward is up to him, and paladins who stray too far from the tenets of their faith are punished by other members of the faithful.

Personally I ask paladins to maintain a Lawful Good alignment and optionally a custom code which the player and the GM both work out together. That way both the player and I know what the code does and does not provide for, and what kind of range of actions the player feels comfortable acting within. It can be (very) vague: "Try to do good", or it can be specific: "Slaying creatures of the Earth is a sin in the eyes of Torag, and I should take such an action only in the direst of circumstances".

A useful link for future questions about paladins and custom codes is found here, Broken Zenith's aptly named "should the paladin fall? A guide".

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