Is your paladin a good pathfinder?


Pathfinder Society

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Sczarni 1/5

I'm sure the vast majority of you guys who choose to play a Paladin look at what campaign your in. I thought I'd share my experiences with those 'paragons' of Lawful Goodness. What follows is a spoiler mostly spoiler free IC account as was submitted to the fellow who sent us out.

Spoiler:
We were wandering the countryside in [REDACTED] and following the trail of our attackers we encountered a non-humanoid creature. She was a [REDACTED] who lived in the area and agreed to lead us to the lair of a vile [REDACTED] who we were in pursuit of. All was going well until the paladin used his detect evil ability. He then demanded to know why we shouldn't kill her. My suggestion that she was a sentient being who was helping us did not reassure the 'champion of good.' He eventually stormed off in a huff saying that she would betray us. No great loss in my mind but I was wishing that [REDACTED] had sent a fighter of less sure morality that I knew on this mission.

Later a fellow Silver Crusader, by the name of [REDACTED] went back to fetch him after we had found the entrance to the lair of the vile [REDACTED]. Soon we encountered a group of [REDACTED] and one surrendered after I skilfully thwarted his attempt to flee. I was unsure of the wisdom in accepting but another of my companions had an unusual veneration of life itself as she explained it to me. Fair enough. Hope she does as much for me when I need it.

Things got interesting at this point. After interrogating him and declining to rearm and re-armor the fellow I suggested we use some convenient manacles to lock him up and bring him back to town with us. His fate in town was hardly likely to be long.

Instead our paladin started to stab the guy with a dagger! He wasn't even asking questions! When his fellow Crusaders stopped him he explained that he wanted the prisoner at the verge of unconsciousness so that he could proceed our party and die to any traps the prisoner failed to mention. I was shocked. It is my recommendation that venture captions think twice before sending this fellow on any more sensitive missions. Our directives to explore, report, and cooperate seem lost on him.

I hear noble sacrifices are needed in Mendev.

May Desna smile on us all,

Trophel Durst


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Not sure about that Paladin not being a good Pathfinder, I'm not even sure they're a good Paladin ;)

Liberty's Edge 4/5 ** Venture-Agent, California—Los Angeles (South Bay)

Matt Thomason wrote:
Not sure about that Paladin not being a good Pathfinder, I'm not even sure they're a good Paladin ;)

I am going to have to concur. It sounds as if the paladin in question did not want to accept a lawful surrender.

We must remember a few basics -- Don't Be A Jerk as well as explore, cooperate, and report. I think that much is lacking in this character.

Silver Crusade

Matt Thomason wrote:
Not sure about that Paladin not being a good Pathfinder, I'm not even sure they're a good Paladin ;)

Emphasis on the last sentence. Damn.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 ** Venture-Agent, California—Los Angeles (South Bay)

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Mikaze wrote:
Matt Thomason wrote:
Not sure about that Paladin not being a good Pathfinder, I'm not even sure they're a good Paladin ;)
Emphasis on the last sentence. Damn.

I think that it is time for a talk with the player, as this paladin seems to be heading for a fall -- and willing to jeopardize his or her party as well.

1/5

I really have nothing to add here.


My necromancer/bloodmage would NEVER act like that... ;)

Silver Crusade 2/5

The paladin I play the most in PFS worships Abadar, and focuses on the protecting aspect of his portfolio. She fight to keep the pathfinders alive, and they discover secrets that can shape the world. She offers advice, will counsel those in need, and otherwise stay out of their business. (Vati, should you meet her, is one of the nicest paladins you'll ever meet)

Silver Crusade

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Baron Ulfhamr wrote:

My necromancer/bloodmage would NEVER act like that... ;)

I have actually seen full blown evil PCs(and NPCs) with more compassion and conscience.

Liberty's Edge 2/5

I created a Paladin for this season, Roland Whitebane who is a Mendevian Crusader of Iomedae. He is quite a warm, generous type who is a little frustrated that his superiors have placed him with the Society as part of the arrangement they have re the Sky Citadel.

(the backstory i have sorta crafted is that his superiors see his morality and warmth as something that would be picked away at by a post in /around the Worldwound and want to spare him from that as long as they can)

Of course Roland is quite frustrated that he is sent everywhere else BAR the Worldwound.

Ive also decided he wont lie. He wont stop others from lying, but ill never put points into bluff. Sure this might upset some of his fellow pathfinders but I dont see the point of playing a paragon of morality if you arnt going to play on that.

Against Demons/devils he will show no mercy however as he reserves that for those with th capability to have redemption.

Having read Trophel's post, I can certainly say that that Paladin acted against alignment.

5/5

Yes.

Grand Lodge 1/5

Was the enemy you captured a "demon?" If yes, then there is no redeeming qualities to it and you should have killed it.

It it was just an Evil NPC with a small 'e' then your GM should have reported the actions of the PC and his alignment should have dropped to True Neutral, as he was neither Lawful nor Good. After all, there are plenty of LE Lawyers all over Golarion and his behavior would have had him executed a long time ago. Can't go around killing Lawyers, no matter the cause for it.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

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Eric Saxon wrote:
your GM should have reported the actions of the PC and his alignment should have dropped to True Neutral

There is no reason to force an actual alignment shift. All the GM need do is record the violation on the chronicle and indicate an atonement is required to recover. Until then, the PC is a paladin with no powers. Simple and you don't have to have any alignment arguments with the player.

Grand Lodge 1/5

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I'd rule that toture/mutilation go beyond the pale of an alignment violation. At that point the player either plays a different kind of alignment, a new PC or seriously rethinks what Lawful Good stands for. Otherwise, no lesson is taught and someone else will have to deal with his anti-social behavior at another game table.

This is not the "Murder Hobo Society."

Scarab Sages 4/5

I would say that the person playing the paladin possibly violated some of his oaths and would need a atonement for his actions or would no longer be a paladin.

Mr Saxon- Once again, you are not allowed as a GM or in your case an "organizer" to force an alignment shift on someone. As a GM you could rule that the paladin in question would need an atonement for his actions. I also completely disagree with your assertion that a demon has no redeeming qualities because it is solely a demon. In fact the current AP Wrath of the Righteous has this exact theme in it and deals with the redemption of a demon, but hey I guess paizo has it wrong that Demons are completely unredeemable.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/55/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Sacramento

There is a process for a GM to request an alignment be changed to evil based on if the Characters has become wantonly evil, and whose actions are are deliberate and without motive or provocation. But Chris you or otherwise correct, a GM can't make the call without going through the process as described on pages 33-34 of the guide.

Grand Lodge 1/5

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Obviously I'd go through the process. The point is, a simple atonement would not have been where I'd stop. I would have reported it and proceeded with the process, so that the player would not continue to exhibit such behavior, without consequences.

As for what you know about this season, Chris. It does not mean I know it, too. I have yet to play any PFS scenario, that deals with the redemption of a Demon, so you'll have to forgive me if I go according to Paizo's previously published products, like "Demons Revisited" which was only released 2 months ago. I've played only in the first 4 scenarios and I have not looked at the last 3 released.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

The paladin who wants to drop the target to low HP and use it as trap-bait loses all his powers, shifts alignment, and gets a swift kick in the pants along with a lecture.

5/5 5/55/55/5

That should be a good "fighter without bonus feats" because they should have fallen often and hard enough to qualify as mining equipment.

3/5 RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

You should send this "Paladin" into the Fortress of the Nail. I'm eager to hear what happens when he has to...

Fortress of the Nail:
get the LE Hellknight official to sign off on the Paracountess's release

Dark Archive

My paladin is a loyal member of his family, the Scarzni... perhaps too loyal for their own comfort. So they shipped him off with the request that he take his family reforming project to the society, a place where he does a lot less damage to their operations. So he is a terrible faction member, but as a sleight-of-handing paladin long accustomed to working the "long game" to redeem his friends and family, he makes a pretty good PFS member. And unlike my other good character, never has serious temptations to leave, as he doesn't want to disappoint the family.

Grand Lodge 2/5

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So, reading this thread makes me more confident that my PFS paladin made the right choice in NOT going after an NPC who detected as evil . . .

Frozen Fingers of Midnight:

Near the end of the mod, we had fought our way through a bunch of undead in the frozen ship and encountered Natalya. Being somewhat suspicious that "normal" people don't just hang out in a frozen ship full of undead, the paladin detected evil - she was. However, she was also not doing anything hostile towards the party, and her main goal seemed to be that she wanted to go home. The paladin decided that this was a woman who needed help instead of smiting, but I was always a little nervous that I had released some big bad back into the world.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 * Venture-Captain, Michigan—Mt. Pleasant

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Its also quite possible (without knowing the scenario) that the GM was mistaken in letting the paladin know the NPC was evil. You have to be either a divine caster, or have 5+ HD to detect as evil. I've caught myself several times saying whether or not the paladin detects evil. Many don't realize that it takes 5+ hd to even detect as faint.

Dark Archive 4/5

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Eric has the right of it as far as low level scenarios go.

As for meeting someone who pings evil because they have more than five hit dice, being evil is not a crime. If someone even has evil intent, they can ping evil. If a paladin is using detect evil as his or her sole justification for murder, give the PFS-standard evil action warning.

Silver Crusade 4/5 5/55/55/5 RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

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My paladin (a Champion of Irori) also knows that there are many reasons that somebody might detect as evil. He doesn't see it as an excuse to open up with guns blazing, but he will broach the topic as best he can. In Vudran accent "Excuse me sir, do you realize that your soul is becoming corrupted? Or perhaps you have been cursed, or worship an evil deity?"

As far as being a good Pathfinder, he is trained in all knowledge skills (while not great, he has a +8 or better with all of them), and is reasonably good at talking to people.

Dark Archive 2/5

... Looks to me like most paladins I've seen in Pathfinder Society. Apparently the use of ridiculous methods of justifying even more ridiculous things will never die.

Silver Crusade 4/5 5/55/5 ***

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"This so called Paladin was not a true follower of the Code. There are many reasons why a person could detect as evil, and not be. I have learned over my short career as an adventurer, that you must not solely rely on your Detect Evil ability to determine true evilness.

"For example, I have learned that fellow adventurers, who happen to be clerics that worship an evil deity, such as Zon Kuthon or Asmodeus will Detect as evil, even though they are Lawful Neutral. I actually got on relatively well with a pair of Kuthites when adventuring in the Accursed Halls underneath Thornkeep. They never performed an evil act, and their concern for Law was almost as strong as my own.

"Additionally, I can recall a situation when I was part of a group investigating a missing Pathfinder in Absalom, where we went to a bar to find the sole contact that might have the information we needed. Evidently the barkeep there was an 'evil' man, but, again, I observed no evil acts on his part.

"Wanton murder is something that no true Paladin should undertake. If we of the Code draw our weapons, it is to right an observed wrong. Murder is, by its very nature, Evil. As such, I believe the so-called Paladin that was spoken of as a Pretender... one who doesn't understand the Code. He probably never really was a Paladin, but just some rogue who was pretending. Was his armor real, or just a disguise? I wonder if he'd detect as evil?"

3/5

This goes to show that paladins can be murderous hobos as well.

Grand Lodge 1/5

Actually if you are unconscious and someone uses a wand of Infernal Healing on you. You'll also detect as evil, even if you are LG.

As for that missing Pathfinder and the bartender, you're probably talking about

Spoiler:
Sniper In the Deep. The bartender is supposed to attack you, I believe. Your GM might have turned it into an optional encounter though, since he's a mighty rough bastard, for most parties to face.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/55/5

Finlanderboy wrote:
This goes to show that paladins can be murderous hobos as well.

That sir, is insulting.

There are laws against Vagrancy you know!

Silver Crusade 4/5 5/55/5 ***

Eric Saxon wrote:

Actually if you are unconscious and someone uses a wand of Infernal Healing on you. You'll also detect as evil, even if you are LG.

As for that missing Pathfinder and the bartender, you're probably talking about ** spoiler omitted **

Nope. The bartender was an innocent bystander in this case.

For Eric Saxon:
Slave Pits of Absalom. I may be misremember the "missing pathfinder", but I know we had to find someone that had been captured, whether he/she was a Pathfinder or not. Trying not to spoil anything here... so keeping the details vague.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Finlanderboy wrote:
This goes to show that paladins can be murderous hobos as well.

That phrase is really starting to grate on me. That term may speak for your own PC's, but it's ill manners to presume it on someone else.

Project Manager

Removed some personal sniping. Please revisit the messageboard rules.

Grand Lodge 1/5

LazarX wrote:
Finlanderboy wrote:
This goes to show that paladins can be murderous hobos as well.
That phrase is really starting to grate on me. That term may speak for your own PC's, but it's ill manners to presume it on someone else.

I don't think he was pointing at everyone, Lazar or attempting to insult anyone personally. I think he was just pointing out that there are players who truly do behave like the afore mentioned term, which I won't repeat.

5/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

It's good to see that there are some good paladins within the great sea of men and women who took the oaths to their gods. I was beginning to think I was one of the few.

The preservation and respect for life should rank first when paladins live out their calls. Not all evil is Evil, and it should never be a fallible mortal's place to decide whether something is beyond redemption. Yes, good and evil people die every day, intentionally or otherwise, but causing deliberate or excessive harm to life is egregious. We should only fight in a defensive manner, never instigating the skirmish or attacking helpless or surrendered people. Smite, even, is a terrible thing as it singles out one creature and allows someone capable of falling to act as judge, jury, and executioner.

Stabbing someone repeatedly with a dagger may as well be torture, considering that as a paladin, he should have weapons more efficient at ending life than a dagger. He acted as if he wanted to induce suffering, a state unacceptable for all forms of life.

-So says the L 6.67 gnome paladin of Torag who has yet to use smite-

Liberty's Edge 3/5

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Finlanderboy wrote:
This goes to show that paladins can be murderous hobos as well.

But not vice versa or for long! :-D

3/5

LazarX wrote:
Finlanderboy wrote:
This goes to show that paladins can be murderous hobos as well.
That phrase is really starting to grate on me. That term may speak for your own PC's, but it's ill manners to presume it on someone else.

Dude you should reread my post. If you feel that there is not a single player that plays a pladin and kill everything. Then feel free to make that arguement.

I did not point to anyone specific. But if you are insulted I pointed a generality then you need to be less sophomoric.

Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I find it interesting that, when it comes to telling stories of PCs committing acts of torture or other evil, threads only get made when the perpetrator is a paladin (or sometimes a good-aligned cleric).

5/5 5/55/55/5

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Jiggy wrote:
I find it interesting that, when it comes to telling stories of PCs committing acts of torture or other evil, threads only get made when the perpetrator is a paladin (or sometimes a good-aligned cleric).

1) its kind of expected of everyone else. (A neutral being can be a VERY not nice person)

2) I'd swear i see it more for paladins than other characters, even being aware of trying to compensate for 1

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Eric Saxon wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Finlanderboy wrote:
This goes to show that paladins can be murderous hobos as well.
That phrase is really starting to grate on me. That term may speak for your own PC's, but it's ill manners to presume it on someone else.
I don't think he was pointing at everyone, Lazar or attempting to insult anyone personally. I think he was just pointing out that there are players who truly do behave like the afore mentioned term, which I won't repeat.

What grates on me are the people who assume the term is the correct appelation to put on player characters as reflecting a style of play.

5/5 5/55/55/5

LazarX wrote:
Eric Saxon wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Finlanderboy wrote:
This goes to show that paladins can be murderous hobos as well.
That phrase is really starting to grate on me. That term may speak for your own PC's, but it's ill manners to presume it on someone else.
I don't think he was pointing at everyone, Lazar or attempting to insult anyone personally. I think he was just pointing out that there are players who truly do behave like the afore mentioned term, which I won't repeat.
What grates on me are the people who assume the term is the correct appelation to put on player characters as reflecting a style of play.

If you treat things you find like actual people then you're not a murder hobo.

if your style of play is murder hobo and that bothers you then the problem isn't the appellation.

The Exchange 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Kentucky—Lexington

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I had an interesting event happen last night.

A Paladin has a faction mission in PFS. It was convince this person to help the society.

He tried Diplomacy and rolled a 2 on the die, failing the mission. It meant a lost of 1 prestige (in secondary success conditions.)

So instead the Paladin knocks him out and is going to drag him to where he is needed to help. When I (as GM) tell him he won't succeed at the mission by doing so, he then heals the unconscious person then while still helpless Coup De Grace him. I confirmed this is what he wanted to do by asking the exact actions (heal him to consciousness and murder him.) He said yes. I stripped him of Paladin powers (Su etc) and was in the process of telling him how to get an Atonement (simple matter of paying for a spell casting.) He then told me the paladin commits suicide and left the game.

I'm not sure where I went wrong, but I just can't think a Paladin's god would allow someone to kill a Neutral or Good NPC just because he couldn't be convinced to help.


This Paladin from the original poster.....there's an "anti" in front of that term correct?

Quote:

Large Water Elemental

I had an interesting event happen last night.

A Paladin has a faction mission in PFS. It was convince this person to help the society.

He tried Diplomacy and rolled a 2 on the die, failing the mission. It meant a lost of 1 prestige (in secondary success conditions.)

So instead the Paladin knocks him out and is going to drag him to where he is needed to help. When I (as GM) tell him he won't succeed at the mission by doing so, he then heals the unconscious person then while still helpless Coup De Grace him. I confirmed this is what he wanted to do by asking the exact actions (heal him to consciousness and murder him.) He said yes. I stripped him of Paladin powers (Su etc) and was in the process of telling him how to get an Atonement (simple matter of paying for a spell casting.) He then told me the paladin commits suicide and left the game.

I'm not sure where I went wrong, but I just can't think a Paladin's god would allow someone to kill a Neutral or Good NPC just because he couldn't be convinced to help.

You didn't go wrong anywhere...some people just don't have a clue about Paladins.

5/5 5/55/55/5

James Risner wrote:
I'm not sure where I went wrong, but I just can't think a Paladin's god would allow someone to kill a Neutral or Good NPC just because he couldn't be convinced to help.

You're supposed to tell them,before hand "This is an evil act, you're going to fall as a paladin and frankly, get drummed out of the society as evil"

Scarab Sages 1/5

GeoffA wrote:
So, reading this thread makes me more confident that my PFS paladin made the right choice in NOT going after an NPC who detected as evil . . .

Generally being evil isn't a crime...

Jiggy wrote:
I find it interesting that, when it comes to telling stories of PCs committing acts of torture or other evil, threads only get made when the perpetrator is a paladin (or sometimes a good-aligned cleric).

Hard to say if its selection bias or just what happens. Personally I kinda suspect the later. Most of the players I know who enjoy playing things a bit dark are also great people who are fun to play with no matter what they bring. Random level one paladins on the other hand...

For what its worth the DM in the OP gave him the 'That is an evil act...' spiel and he said he declined to perform the action of torture. The player the sulked and stalled the game for about an hour whining about how paladins are the only ones held to an alignment.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
You're supposed to tell them,before hand "This is an evil act, you're going to fall as a paladin and frankly, get drummed out of the society as evil"

Be aware that there is a difference in this case between The Society in game and Pathfinder Society as organized play. In setting The Socity doesn't care if your evil as long as you can follow the three rules of explore, report, and cooperate. As a group out of game we don't allow evil.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Risner wrote:

I had an interesting event happen last night.

A Paladin has a faction mission in PFS. It was convince this person to help the society.

He tried Diplomacy and rolled a 2 on the die, failing the mission. It meant a lost of 1 prestige (in secondary success conditions.)

So instead the Paladin knocks him out and is going to drag him to where he is needed to help. When I (as GM) tell him he won't succeed at the mission by doing so, he then heals the unconscious person then while still helpless Coup De Grace him. I confirmed this is what he wanted to do by asking the exact actions (heal him to consciousness and murder him.) He said yes. I stripped him of Paladin powers (Su etc) and was in the process of telling him how to get an Atonement (simple matter of paying for a spell casting.) He then told me the paladin commits suicide and left the game.

I'm not sure where I went wrong, but I just can't think a Paladin's god would allow someone to kill a Neutral or Good NPC just because he couldn't be convinced to help.

From what I've been told recently, I'm not allowed to do that as a PFS judge. (the one time I did do that (on a druid) was apparantly a mistake on my part, although at the time, the player accepted the ruling.) We're not allowed to change a person's alignment for one act. I'm now supposed to note the player's number and send the details of the incident to campaign leadership. And they would make what changes they deem fit.

3/5 RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

LazarX wrote:
From what I've been told recently, I'm not allowed to do that as a PFS judge. (the one time I did do that (on a druid) was apparantly a mistake on my part, although at the time, the player accepted the ruling.) We're not allowed to change a person's alignment for one act. I'm now supposed to note the player's number and send the details of the incident to campaign leadership. And they would make what changes they deem fit.

Paladins are a special case. They lose their powers from a single evil act, and need an atonement. But alignments can shift from a single act if it's egregious enough (such as burning down an orphanage).

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Florida—Melbourne

Matthew Trent wrote:

For what its worth the DM in the OP gave him the 'That is an evil act...' spiel and he said he declined to perform the action of torture. The player the sulked and stalled the game for about an hour whining about how paladins are the only ones held to an alignment.

To be sure, the issue with Paladins isn't alignment so much as their code, which pretty much forces them to be Lawful Good. But in that regard, they are not the only PF class to have a code they have to follow.

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