Paladin Falling (Just need advice)


Advice

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Remy Balster wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
He still did it. And you can remove any part to make the whole thing not happen. But all parts where there, and it DID happen.
I don't see it as the paladin doing anything. His corpse was a puppet in the moment. The player had no control nor did the character. The character did nothing. Now that corpse did. That make sense? in an awkward fashion at least?
Confusion doesn't kill people, animate their body, control the undead corpse, run out of duration, kill the undead form, and resurrect them.

I don't see what your getting at.


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Scavion wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:

Stop making the 'taking away' argument. It is a bad, bad argument.

Taking away the paladin would have stopped the paladin from killing the kid.

Taking away the kid would have stopped the paladin from killing the kid.

Taking away the sword would have stopped the paladin from cutting the child in half with the sword.

So??

He still did it. And you can remove any part to make the whole thing not happen. But all parts where there, and it DID happen.

Take Away the Paladin and the entire town may have just been destroyed. -_-

Context woo! The Kid isn't take away-able. Neither is the Sword since it's part of the Paladin's gear. Replace the Paladin and the kid still dies. The case is even worse when you consider a scenario with a Sorcerer who can either confuse the Paladin and have him kill the kid, or if the Paladin isn't there, just kills the kid. For the exact same resources.

What madness is this now?

Look, if we accept your logic" Take away the confusion spell, and the paladin doesn't kill the kid, thus it is the confusion spell's fault" Then ALL of the following is TRUE too. (which is clearly not true)

Take away the kid. The kid doesn't die. Therefore it is the kids fault.

Take away the town, the town isn't destroyed. Therefore it is the town's fault.

Take away the paladin, the paladin doesn't kill the kid. Therefore it is the paladin's fault.

Take away the paladin's sword, the paladin doesn't cut the boy in half with his sword, therefore it is the sword's fault.

Etc.

Why can we not take away some stuff in our silly hypotheticals and can't take away other stuff for our silly hypotheticals? Is it because if we take away the wrong things, it shows how silly these hypotheticals are for assigning blame?


MrSin wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
He still did it. And you can remove any part to make the whole thing not happen. But all parts where there, and it DID happen.
I don't see it as the paladin doing anything. His corpse was a puppet in the moment. The player had no control nor did the character. The character did nothing. Now that corpse did. That make sense? in an awkward fashion at least?
Confusion doesn't kill people, animate their body, control the undead corpse, run out of duration, kill the undead form, and resurrect them.
I don't see what your getting at.

Then I don't see what you're talking about either.

You started talking about his corpse like he was an undead or something.


Still isn't a bad argument. Ultimately the Caster is to blame for the death of the child. Not the Paladin, the sword or whatever.

Say someone is able to completely control another's actions. Who should be punished for those actions? The person performing them or the person forcing them to?

The Paladin in this case was an unwilling delivery method.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
MrSin wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
If the paladin manages to be freed from this mental control, he can seek out atonement to get his powers restored.
Why can't he just get his powers back when he stops being controlled? I'd imagine omnipotence would make that a little easy.

The fact that it doesn't proves that it isn't that easy. In D20 worlds gods are gods... not GOD. That's an important distinction.


LazarX wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
If the paladin manages to be freed from this mental control, he can seek out atonement to get his powers restored.
Why can't he just get his powers back when he stops being controlled? I'd imagine omnipotence would make that a little easy.
The fact that it doesn't proves that it isn't that easy. In D20 worlds gods are gods... not GOD. That's an important distinction.

You'd think it'd be as fast as it could be turned off eh?

We also have no idea how powerful actual Gods really are.


Scavion wrote:

Still isn't a bad argument. Ultimately the Caster is to blame for the death of the child. Not the Paladin, the sword or whatever.

Say someone is able to completely control another's actions. Who should be punished for those actions? The person performing them or the person forcing them to?

The Paladin in this case was an unwilling delivery method.

I'm in agreement with you, 100% with who is to blame.

My point was that your argument doesn't really help establish that. Using that argument opens the gate to blaming anything/everything imaginable. The argument for "subtraction equals cause".

The evil badguy and his confusion spell are the reason the paladin killed the kid, no doubts there though.


Scavion wrote:
LazarX wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
If the paladin manages to be freed from this mental control, he can seek out atonement to get his powers restored.
Why can't he just get his powers back when he stops being controlled? I'd imagine omnipotence would make that a little easy.
The fact that it doesn't proves that it isn't that easy. In D20 worlds gods are gods... not GOD. That's an important distinction.

You'd think it'd be as fast as it could be turned off eh?

We also have no idea how powerful actual Gods really are.

The gods need to look into his soul to determine his worthiness again.

The guy who got dominated, did a bunch of evil deeds...and kinda liked it... doesn't get his powers back.


I really don't see why there is so much resistance to the paladin saying sorry. normal people who unwittingly cause the death of a person DO feel bad about things and would apologize.


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Talcrion wrote:
I really don't see why there is so much resistance to the paladin saying sorry. normal people who unwittingly cause the death of a person DO feel bad about things and would apologize.

Its not so much as resistance about saying sorry as there are multiple varied ways a Paladin can be roleplayed in such a situation and that you don't have to stop and perform dramatically over the corpse. There are alternatives.


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Talcrion wrote:
I really don't see why there is so much resistance to the paladin saying sorry. normal people who unwittingly cause the death of a person DO feel bad about things and would apologize.

I suspect it stems from human psychology, internally we all prefer think of ourselves as good people. So we frame our view of 'what good is' based on 'what we think'. And of course that isn't going to mesh well with everyone else's idea of 'what good is' because everyone thinks differently.


Remy Balster wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
He still did it. And you can remove any part to make the whole thing not happen. But all parts where there, and it DID happen.
I don't see it as the paladin doing anything. His corpse was a puppet in the moment. The player had no control nor did the character. The character did nothing. Now that corpse did. That make sense? in an awkward fashion at least?
Confusion doesn't kill people, animate their body, control the undead corpse, run out of duration, kill the undead form, and resurrect them.
I don't see what your getting at.

Then I don't see what you're talking about either.

You started talking about his corpse like he was an undead or something.

My statement was about syntax. The paladin as a character or player did nothing, but his corpse as a possession did. A corpse in dnd is an object. More appropriate for the definition of a tool rather than a person.


MrSin wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
He still did it. And you can remove any part to make the whole thing not happen. But all parts where there, and it DID happen.
I don't see it as the paladin doing anything. His corpse was a puppet in the moment. The player had no control nor did the character. The character did nothing. Now that corpse did. That make sense? in an awkward fashion at least?
Confusion doesn't kill people, animate their body, control the undead corpse, run out of duration, kill the undead form, and resurrect them.
I don't see what your getting at.

Then I don't see what you're talking about either.

You started talking about his corpse like he was an undead or something.

My statement was about syntax. The paladin as a character or player did nothing, but his corpse as a possession did. A corpse in dnd is an object. More appropriate for the definition of a tool rather than a person.

The only corpse present was the corpse of the child cut in half by the paladin swinging his sword.

The paladin didn't die here, he got himself killed later. There wasn't a paladin corpse present to be doing anything.


One could make the argument that the paladin willingly killed the kid, too.

Interestingly, Confusion doesn't give the caster control over the subject, he has no method of determining what the paladin is going to do.

So, what does confusion do, exactly? Well this line "A confused creature cannot tell the difference between ally and foe, treating all creatures as enemies." is of particular interest.

It implied that the paladin believed the kid was an enemy, and because he believed he was an enemy, he attacked and killed him.

The spell screws with the character's perception and understanding.

He simply didn't fully understand what he was doing, he thought the kid was a bad guy, so he killed the bad guy.


If a paladin killed the kid because he was fighting in complete darkness, and thought it was an enemy in the kid's square... but was simply wrong. Would that be willing? If that is, then so is killing a kid because you mistakenly believed him an enemy.


Scavion wrote:
Talcrion wrote:
I really don't see why there is so much resistance to the paladin saying sorry. normal people who unwittingly cause the death of a person DO feel bad about things and would apologize.
Its not so much as resistance about saying sorry as there are multiple varied ways a Paladin can be roleplayed in such a situation and that you don't have to stop and perform dramatically over the corpse. There are alternatives.

This isn't about him not performing dramatically over the corpse, it's simply about feeling remorse that it happened.


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Talcrion wrote:
Scavion wrote:
Talcrion wrote:
I really don't see why there is so much resistance to the paladin saying sorry. normal people who unwittingly cause the death of a person DO feel bad about things and would apologize.
Its not so much as resistance about saying sorry as there are multiple varied ways a Paladin can be roleplayed in such a situation and that you don't have to stop and perform dramatically over the corpse. There are alternatives.
This isn't about him not performing dramatically over the corpse, it's simply about feeling remorse that it happened.

Is remorse part of the paladin code?

You can be stoic and still be LG.


Democratus wrote:
Talcrion wrote:
Scavion wrote:
Talcrion wrote:
I really don't see why there is so much resistance to the paladin saying sorry. normal people who unwittingly cause the death of a person DO feel bad about things and would apologize.
Its not so much as resistance about saying sorry as there are multiple varied ways a Paladin can be roleplayed in such a situation and that you don't have to stop and perform dramatically over the corpse. There are alternatives.
This isn't about him not performing dramatically over the corpse, it's simply about feeling remorse that it happened.

Is remorse part of the paladin code?

You can be stoic and still be LG.

At no point have I ever said he shouldn't be lawful good in this discussion. So yeah ummm tree's are green?


Personally I think the paladin's displays of remorse are irrelevant to this situation.

I don't know what sort of paladin that wouldn't feel bad about accidentally killing a child, but actions cause a paladin to fall not feelings (unless those feelings are so extreme that they are no longer LG which atonement makes a note of that players normally change their own alignment not the GM).


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Democratus wrote:
You can be stoic and still be LG.

Look up the difference between stoic and psychopath.

Hint: A stoic would feel remorse. A psychopath would not.

Moreover, as I actually am a stoic, and am rather familiar with stoic teachings... the overall stoic philosophy tends strongly towards neutral. Being a good stoic means to divorce yourself from the automatic nature of emotional reactions, and mastering your control of self. As an extremely inward based philosophy, concerned with one's own self, one's own nature... it isn't nearly as concerned for the outer. There are exceptions, of course, but as a whole it tends very strongly towards neutrality.

If this paladin was in fact a stoic, he would think he had failed, because he failed to think clearly despite the effects of a spell. He failed in his mastery of self control when it met a real challenge.

It is possible, if your will is strong, to resist this kind of magic. Fact.

He did not resist this magic. Fact.

He would feel personally responsible for failing to resist the effect of the spell. (assuming he is actually a stoic)


I'm just wondering because a paladin cannot fall unless he willingly does an evil act or his alignment changes or breaks his code correct? We can x out the willingness part and ill even x out the code part since nothing in the code says anything about compulsion.
The spell atonement does though. It talks about getting free atonement when doing something evil under compulsion.
Now I'm wondering why there's a mechanic benefit listed in the spell if being under compulsion wouldn't effect said character. If it was just fluff and there's no consequences whatsoever for doing said things under spell effects against ur will, why is there a mechanical benefit listed in the spell for said circumstances?
I wonder if doing evil things under compulsion could warrent an alignment shift? .alignment is used to judge our characters by there actions, I wonder if acts against our will can shift alignments? I can think of many scenarios where this can work and make sense but I can also come up with many scenarios where this wouldnt make sense either.
Can get confusing lol


Redneckdevil wrote:

I'm just wondering because a paladin cannot fall unless he willingly does an evil act or his alignment changes or breaks his code correct? We can x out the willingness part and ill even x out the code part since nothing in the code says anything about compulsion.

The spell atonement does though. It talks about getting free atonement when doing something evil under compulsion.
Now I'm wondering why there's a mechanic benefit listed in the spell if being under compulsion wouldn't effect said character. If it was just fluff and there's no consequences whatsoever for doing said things under spell effects against ur will, why is there a mechanical benefit listed in the spell for said circumstances?
I wonder if doing evil things under compulsion could warrent an alignment shift? .alignment is used to judge our characters by there actions, I wonder if acts against our will can shift alignments? I can think of many scenarios where this can work and make sense but I can also come up with many scenarios where this wouldnt make sense either.
Can get confusing lol

Clerics can grossly violate their deity's tenants while under compulsion and lose everything. That is mainly what Atonement is for. Also Druids who are forced to teach someone some Druidic. The interesting bit is that Atonement doesn't restore a Paladin who lost their powers from breaking their code.


You can't ever X out the code part. It's too vague.


Remy Balster wrote:

One could make the argument that the paladin willingly killed the kid, too.

Interestingly, Confusion doesn't give the caster control over the subject, he has no method of determining what the paladin is going to do.

So, what does confusion do, exactly? Well this line "A confused creature cannot tell the difference between ally and foe, treating all creatures as enemies." is of particular interest.

It implied that the paladin believed the kid was an enemy, and because he believed he was an enemy, he attacked and killed him.

The spell screws with the character's perception and understanding.

He simply didn't fully understand what he was doing, he thought the kid was a bad guy, so he killed the bad guy.

However, he still had no control over his actions.

If he were fighting in darkness, he could choose not to act until he was certain where the enemy was, or light was brought.

Confusion does not allow for you to choose not to act. It FORCES you to act, 50% of the time (25% no action, 25% you act normally).


Rynjin wrote:
If he were fighting in darkness, he could choose not to act until he was certain where the enemy was, or light was brought.

Yes, that is true. But in the case of confusion, he was certain where the enemy was, it was right next to him. It was a small little child, that must die.

Think on that for a moment. From the paladin's perspective... not only did he experience killing the kid, not only did the child's blood spill by his hands, but at the time... He thought it was the right thing to do, he saw the kid as the bad guy, and thought that he was supposed to strike him down.

Confusion is a screwed up spell!

But, the paladin has literally experienced what murdering a small child would be like. And somehow, if that doesn't cause any reaction... if he simply doesn't care?? He isn't a good person.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Talcrion wrote:
I really don't see why there is so much resistance to the paladin saying sorry.

Most of the resistance seems to be coming from the Paladin himself who's showing no remorse for his actions, which he should be, even if he was suffering under compulsion at the time.


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Remy Balster wrote:


But, the paladin has literally experienced what murdering a small child would be like. And somehow, if that doesn't cause any reaction... if he simply doesn't care?? He isn't a good person.

Thankfully that isn't what happened, so why are you talking about it so much?


Sounds like a pretty apt summary of what happened to me Lazar


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Marthkus wrote:
Killing an unarmed defenseless child is not dishonorable? OK you are free to believe that.
Remy Balster wrote:

Yes, that is true. But in the case of confusion, he was certain where the enemy was, it was right next to him. It was a small little child, that must die.

Think on that for a moment. From the paladin's perspective... not only did he experience killing the kid, not only did the child's blood spill by his hands, but at the time... He thought it was the right thing to do, he saw the kid as the bad guy, and thought that he was supposed to strike him down.

Confusion is a screwed up spell!

But, the paladin has literally experienced what murdering a small child would be like. And somehow, if that doesn't cause any reaction... if he simply doesn't care?? He isn't a good person.

This is what I was going to comment on.

How do we know WHAT the confusion spell does? or WHAT the paladin saw?? I mean... in a game like this there an infinite number of 'straw men' we could put up...

What if the child had been shapechanged into a threatening appearance?

What if it had been charmed to attack?

At what point does striking it become justified?

The confusion spell says that he attacks the creature closest to him. AT THAT TIME... that creature was an enemy. Did the Paladin SEE an unarmed child? I doubt it... he probablly saw some scaly muck monster coming out of the river to devour him... and acted accordingly.

I'm still 100% in the 'caster killed the kid' camp ;)

As for Remy's second part... That was simply the player tired of playing the character. We've moved beyond the 'should he have apologized' segment ;)

It was multiple times he's had conflict and just didn't want to play anymore ;) That wasn't a character problem.


LazarX wrote:
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
A human LG paladin encountering a very alien LG culture can also be a challenge to cherished notions and what LG is normally considered by a player or the dm. Local superstitions and religions that differ to the norm, there is a lot of potential scope as to what LG is.

The default game assumption that what makes Law, Lawful, Good, Good, Evil, evil, and Chaos chaotic, is universal, not tied down to one race.

Alignment is a game mechanic which comes under the assumption of standards which are absolute.

GMs and Players looking to make a game of relative or subjective morality, should reconsider alignment mechanics to the point of ditching the Paladin classes altogether and making some revamps to the cleric/oracle set. There's a good reason why White Wolf did not include an alignment system in it's game. (closest thing they ever did was a Humanity rating for Vampire which served a far different purpose.)

Lazar, the lawful good isolationist lizardmen can be quite different to the lawful good cosmopolitan humans. The laws, superstitions, hierarchies can all lead to a conflict between lawfuls. I say this because it happened in one of my games, the lawful good brash adventurer monk did not get on well with the lawful good ancestor worshipping and traditionalist opposing the dark forces of the Mwangi expanse lizardmen. The alignments can be the same, and so much can be different.


Ictoo wrote:

Just to clarify a few things, i never railroad it's always open to the party were they go. When he wanted to chase after the monster it was the group that told him not too(over riding quest to save a town that he could have left it get flooded, he could always look for the monster later.)

I called him out on the vampire kid after the fact because i just wanted to know what his plan was, he spent time killing it while it was chained up(Being no threat at that time, i had no problem with him killing it, it's evil at the end of the day and that's his job) and it ended in two of the party being killed.

I enjoyed his paladin he kicked ass and took a lot of names, I enjoyed RP with him he was played very well in places BUT he did have a few questionable decisions that I as the DM wouldn't say were within his LG alignment (When alignment comes up it's always debated and i see this being the only real time it would come up) And again he's a paladin they have to be LG as a rule i never want to tell my players how to play but am i meant to let a paladin play as CG? It comes down to fact he was confused that didn't put in my mind that he would fall it was after the fact.(i'd also warned him a few times about his potential fall)

I do feel bad that he felt this way, wish he would have spoken to me out of game and we would have worked it out - i did have a plan for his fall and potential rise. But he has decided to start anew and i can't wait to see what he makes.

I'd also like to thank everyone for the information and debates that have gone on I've read everyone.

How did the paladin killing a chained vampire child end up with two party members dead?


Remy Balster wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
If he were fighting in darkness, he could choose not to act until he was certain where the enemy was, or light was brought.

Yes, that is true. But in the case of confusion, he was certain where the enemy was, it was right next to him. It was a small little child, that must die.

Think on that for a moment. From the paladin's perspective... not only did he experience killing the kid, not only did the child's blood spill by his hands, but at the time... He thought it was the right thing to do, he saw the kid as the bad guy, and thought that he was supposed to strike him down.

Confusion is a screwed up spell!

But, the paladin has literally experienced what murdering a small child would be like. And somehow, if that doesn't cause any reaction... if he simply doesn't care?? He isn't a good person.

You use the word certain, I am not sure it means what you think it means.

Confusion (the spell he was under) is an antonym for certain. If you are confused you are not certain, in fact you are the opposite.


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dm under the bridge said wrote:
How did the paladin killing a chained vampire child end up with two party members dead?

This has kind of been made out to be my fault, but it was not.

The party was attacking an npc boss. Can't remember what it was exactly or the npc name, it was above us and out of my reach to attack.
I noticed movement in the corner if the room and investigated and found the vampire child which I killed. (It was really the only thing I could do except stand around and watch the others fight the boss)
Our Mage got dominated early on and specialises in battlefield control. The other players were already damaged from previous attacks, I think one was down already when they were subjected to a stinking cloud I believe, which they failed their saves for. Followed by black tentacles and possibly something else I forget now.
So they were helpless and taking automatic damage plus I couldn't see any of them and so they died.
I fought the remaining npc's and my own team mate which I dealt non lethal damage to so I could incapacitate him and save him.


Tormast wrote:
dm under the bridge said wrote:
How did the paladin killing a chained vampire child end up with two party members dead?

This has kind of been made out to be my fault, but it was not.

The party was attacking an npc boss. Can't remember what it was exactly or the npc name, it was above us and out of my reach to attack.
I noticed movement in the corner if the room and investigated and found the vampire child which I killed. (It was really the only thing I could do except stand around and watch the others fight the boss)
Our Mage got dominated early on and specialises in battlefield control. The other players were already damaged from previous attacks, I think one was down already when they were subjected to a stinking cloud I believe, which they failed their saves for. Followed by black tentacles and possibly something else I forget now.
So they were helpless and taking automatic damage plus I couldn't see any of them and so they died.
I fought the remaining npc's and my own team mate which I dealt non lethal damage to so I could incapacitate him and save him.

Thanks for taking the time to keep the thread informed. A few questions for you:

- Have you talked to your GM to sort out the differences between his expectations for paladinhood and yours?

- How important are the roleplaying aspects of the paladin to you? If there were a similar Holy Warrior class that didn't have a chivalrous code beyond the requirements of serving a deity would you prefer that instead?


Good suggestions Boggard.

Silver Crusade

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Democratus wrote:
Talcrion wrote:
Scavion wrote:
Talcrion wrote:
I really don't see why there is so much resistance to the paladin saying sorry. normal people who unwittingly cause the death of a person DO feel bad about things and would apologize.
Its not so much as resistance about saying sorry as there are multiple varied ways a Paladin can be roleplayed in such a situation and that you don't have to stop and perform dramatically over the corpse. There are alternatives.
This isn't about him not performing dramatically over the corpse, it's simply about feeling remorse that it happened.

Is remorse part of the paladin code?

You can be stoic and still be LG.

Being able to feel remorse is part of being Good.

One can be stoic and feel remorse. One can be stoic and not be a sociopath.

But then some will always insist that expressing any human(oid) emotion beyond teeth-gritted determination is "emo" or "histrionics"...


Golariopedia

Lawful good

Lawful good characters act as a good person is expected or required to act, combining a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. Telling the truth, keeping one's word, helping those in need, and speaking out against injustice are all paramount behaviors of the lawful good, and a character of this alignment hates to see the guilty go unpunished.

Characters
Lawful good characters are the crusaders of Golarion. Typically driven by religious zeal or a fervent sense of justice, these characters are often willing to take extreme personal risk to do what is right. Not only do these characters go out of their way to help those in need and expunge the world of evil, they make it their way, setting all other goals aside in light of what they see as their duty. While members of many classes can be lawful good, the ideal class for this alignment is paladin, whose divine connection and devotion to their strict code of honor bind them to both the good and lawful ends of the spectrum.

Zip on remorse. It more focuses on the crusader nature of lawful good.

If a dm wants to emphasise remorse, that isn't what the text says what lawful good is and involves.


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Just because someone doesn't display remorse doesn't mean they don't feel remorse. A person is perfectly capable of keeping displays of such feelings from reaching their face.

Alignment does not depend on facial expressions or dramatic speeches.

Shadow Lodge

Does everyone realize we've gone off into theoretical territory, or has the player-in-question's post of his point of view completely fallen under the radar?


Serum wrote:
Does everyone realize we've gone off into theoretical territory, or has the player-in-question's post of his point of view completely fallen under the radar?

Well the situation was already resolved kinda'. What else are we supposed to post about?(my vote is cats btw. I hear the internets love them!)


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This is why most groups shouldn't play, or DM Paladins. Zero creativity comes to mind after reading this debacle of a thread. It seems most people believe that the box players willingly put around their character concept (Paladin rules) is in fact the entirety of the character. After reading 390 posts the overwhelming feeling I've gotten is that if you're playing a Paladin, you're stuck roleplaying the box, not the character.


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Cubic Prism wrote:
you're stuck roleplaying the box, not the character.

Ehhh. I think paladins can be as different as popes. They have to follow the doctrine but they can focus on which parts to emphasize.


Box Remorse, my next paladin.


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Marthkus wrote:
Cubic Prism wrote:
you're stuck roleplaying the box, not the character.
Ehhh. I think paladins can be as different as popes. They have to follow the doctrine but they can focus on which parts to emphasize.

Sure, that's definitely how they're supposed to work. The problem is that, like Cubic pointed out in the part of his post you cut out, way too many groups/GMs will throw down the hammer at any player who doesn't line up with their idea of the "right" way to play a paladin. Thus, we get a massive thread about whether a Paladin should fall for wanting to focus on avenging a murdered child rather than wailing and moaning over the kid's body.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
Cubic Prism wrote:
you're stuck roleplaying the box, not the character.
Ehhh. I think paladins can be as different as popes. They have to follow the doctrine but they can focus on which parts to emphasize.
Sure, that's definitely how they're supposed to work. The problem is that, like Cubic pointed out in the part of his post you cut out, way too many groups/GMs will throw down the hammer at any player who doesn't line up with their idea of the "right" way to play a paladin. Thus, we get a massive thread about whether a Paladin should fall for wanting to focus on avenging a murdered child rather than wailing and moaning over the kid's body.

I've posted a lot in this thread and haven't talked about that at all.


There were a number of people who posted at great length on the topic. Rereading the GM's and player's posts I think we've superimposed layers upon layers of meaning that wasn't present at their table in the first place. On the bright they came up with their own more or less satisfactory solution (player conspired to kill off his paladin and reroll as something else) irrespective of the hundreds of posts of back and forth in the thread.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm pretty sure that a number of my posts on this topic were predicated on the basis that the paladin should do something - whether wailing and moaning over the kid's body or getting right down to business and avenging the death, or finding some way to make the situation better - my whole argument was that, as presented in the OP (later debunked by the paladin's player, but not before my part in the discussion was pretty much done), the paladin chose to do nothing.

And, though I think it got lost in the words I used, I argued that provided that the player can articulate to the GM that while his character might superficially be avoiding dealing with the situation, he was actually doing something about it (such as hunting down the individual responsible), he is acting completely in line with the paladin's code and restrictions.

If the OP had been immediately responded to by the paladin's player's side of things, I think this discussion wouldn't have happened at all, beyond many, many people saying "not grounds for a fall".

The discussion has also broken up into several discrete conversations regarding the minutiae of the paladin's code and the restrictions he is actually under.

I'm pretty much a subscriber to the idea that the fall of a paladin should be a choice made by the player, not a trap set by the GM, but as a GM (and therefore in charge of adjudicating alignment at my table), I reserve the right to question the player on their character's actions and motives - I'm not a hard man to please on being LG, honourable, and just, but if I don't immediately see where the player is coming from, I need to understand, and to do that I need to ask questions.

Count me as one of those who had their mind changed in the course of this thread - I initially came into it with the idea that the paladin had broken code by killing the kid, and should fall, but I stopped arguing that case (not for any one reason, but just because my thoughts morphed in the course of dicussing it), and moved onto "fall because not bringing justice to someone who harmed an innocent", and even that changed.

I do still believe that the atonement spell is designed to restore class abilities to paladins who lose them, regardless of the reason (I dislike the "alignment violation" text in the spell), and that it should be possible to fall for "unwittingly or under some form of compulsion" breaking the paladin's code, but I do not think any GM should go out of their way to make situations crop up where it happens.

My general thinking is "if you (GM or paladin player) have to argue for or against a fall, it probably shouldn't be a fall", considered case-by-case.


The paladin's fall is most definitely about player choice. Should a paladin make some deliberate choices, then that puts the paladin in a position where they could fall. Should they be the victim of circumstances beyond their control, there is some wiggle-room. The paladin could put themselves in a place where they could risk a fall condition if something were to create circumstances that are beyond the paladin's control, the paladin does something that they would not otherwise do and they feel perfectly justified in their actions because they weren't in control or they feel no remorse for their actions.

If it's a story of, "I was under the influence of a spell, so I did nothing wrong. Let's move on," then they certainly put themselves at risk of a fall condition. The player is actively choosing to not care that they did something that they would not otherwise do, and therefore, they are demonstrating an explicit admission of their actions and attitudes as acceptable.


Choice would be nice.

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