Paladin PC - I think he just fell.


Advice

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Solidchaos085 wrote:
Davick wrote:

From Shelyn's code

Quote:
I act to prevent conflict before it blossoms.
Quote:
I accept surrender if my opponent can be redeemed—and I never assume that they cannot be.
Quote:
I lead by example, not with my blade. Where my blade passes, a life is cut short, and the world's potential for beauty is lessened.
You won't find a code for a paladin of any good alignment who OKs killing a surrendered enemy. It shouldn't even need to be written out or discussed beforehand.

Unless you're a paladin of Torag, then you slay the enemies of your people, no questions asked, no mercy given.

There's a reason Torag and Sarenrae don't get along.

Technically Torag doesn't really consider surrender a thing, but yeah, I guess you're right.


StrangePackage wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Davick wrote:
StrangePackage wrote:
It's evil to kill monsters that have attacked you?

Yep.

I can't really think of a situation where Paladin + Coup de Grace = OK.

Paladins aren't allowed to kill people now?

Wonder what that full BaB, weapon proficiencies, and Smite Evil is for then.

Only evil outsiders. And then only when he's sure they're not some special snowflake, because Always Evil races are stereotypical and biased.

Don't forget evil dragons and undead :)


Rynjin wrote:
Sub_Zero wrote:

I'd like to point out that all this assumes that the OP is fairly conveying the paladin's side of events.

Actually, I wonder how old the players are? I ask because: ""It attacked me and damaged me and made me angry so it has to die" seems like a really juvenile reason to do anything. I find it hard to believe that an adult would actually say this as his paladins reason.

I dunno, seems like a reasonable turn of events for any thinking creature. Turn it around into a real life scenario.

Some crazy a$~%+!& just stabbed you with a knife.

They are now talking to your friends.

Your first instinct is to let him sit there and talk with your friends, knowing that at any minute said crazy a~&~~*& could pull his knife out and start stabbing them again?

Once someone has attacked you, unprovoked, with lethal force they've pretty much forfeited their right to reasonable doubt.

Which is why police have never negotiated with or arrested someone who killed or attacked a cop.


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Davick wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Sub_Zero wrote:

I'd like to point out that all this assumes that the OP is fairly conveying the paladin's side of events.

Actually, I wonder how old the players are? I ask because: ""It attacked me and damaged me and made me angry so it has to die" seems like a really juvenile reason to do anything. I find it hard to believe that an adult would actually say this as his paladins reason.

I dunno, seems like a reasonable turn of events for any thinking creature. Turn it around into a real life scenario.

Some crazy a$~%+!& just stabbed you with a knife.

They are now talking to your friends.

Your first instinct is to let him sit there and talk with your friends, knowing that at any minute said crazy a~&~~*& could pull his knife out and start stabbing them again?

Once someone has attacked you, unprovoked, with lethal force they've pretty much forfeited their right to reasonable doubt.

Which is why police have never negotiated with or arrested someone who killed or attacked a cop.

Thankfully, not everyone is police, nor is this the present day where killing people is some sort of taboo.

Things were simpler in the sort of time period Golarion takes place in.

You're in the middle of untamed wilderness.

Someone or something has attacked you with intent to kill.

You are perfectly justified in killing it back.


Sub_Zero wrote:

I'd like to point out that all this assumes that the OP is fairly conveying the paladin's side of events.

Actually, I wonder how old the players are? I ask because: ""It attacked me and damaged me and made me angry so it has to die" seems like a really juvenile reason to do anything. I find it hard to believe that an adult would actually say this as his paladins reason.

The player is 40 I'm 50.

While it's possible that I have unintentionally misstated the players views it would seem pointless to do so intentionally. Afterall I'm the GM I can just say he fell. I'm putting the situation here to get a check on what I'm contemplating to make sure I'm not simply flying off the handle.

As for adults acting in juvenile ways. My observation of life has sadly been that been an adult of any age is in no way restricts a person from acting in a way that is commonly described as "juvenile".

Liberty's Edge

Rynjin wrote:
Davick wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Sub_Zero wrote:

I'd like to point out that all this assumes that the OP is fairly conveying the paladin's side of events.

Actually, I wonder how old the players are? I ask because: ""It attacked me and damaged me and made me angry so it has to die" seems like a really juvenile reason to do anything. I find it hard to believe that an adult would actually say this as his paladins reason.

I dunno, seems like a reasonable turn of events for any thinking creature. Turn it around into a real life scenario.

Some crazy a$~%+!& just stabbed you with a knife.

They are now talking to your friends.

Your first instinct is to let him sit there and talk with your friends, knowing that at any minute said crazy a~&~~*& could pull his knife out and start stabbing them again?

Once someone has attacked you, unprovoked, with lethal force they've pretty much forfeited their right to reasonable doubt.

Which is why police have never negotiated with or arrested someone who killed or attacked a cop.

Thankfully, not everyone is police, nor is this the present day where killing people is some sort of taboo.

Things were simpler in the sort of time period Golarion takes place in.

You're in the middle of untamed wilderness.

Someone or something has attacked you with intent to kill.

You are perfectly justified in killing it back.

Unless it's speaking in a language you don't understand to other people, who are responding in a language you don't understand.

Then you have to assume it's surrendering, and not talking smack or vowing revenge against you and your line for all eternity.


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The paladin should not fall unless the player tells you that he wants his paladin to fall. It's a player decision. He should have all the agency in this call.

Contributor

Alignment aside, it doesn't look like your player broke the code.

Paladins of freedom do not follow a strict code, other than to say that they always seek to uphold the tenets of liberty and goodness wherever they travel. They resist tyranny and oppression, lead others in fighting unjust rulership, and ignore laws which limit the free and fair choices of intelligent beings. A paladin of freedom adheres to the philosophy of "That which is knowingly consented to by all involved, is just." Most leaders, good or otherwise, consider paladins of freedom anarchists to be sought out and either kept away from others by way of imprisonment, or in more evil societies, simply destroyed as soon as they are discovered. In most organized societies paladins of freedom must operate quietly as to not arouse the attention of the most powerful around them.

A paladin of freedom who fails to uphold these tenets, or who causes, by actions or inaction, sentient creatures to lose their liberty or freedom, or who willfully commits evil acts, loses access to all supernatural and spell-like class features, as well as the spell casting ability. Further, she may not gain further levels as a paladin (of freedom, or otherwise). She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she properly atones for her violations as determined by the GM.


Rynjin wrote:
Davick wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Sub_Zero wrote:

I'd like to point out that all this assumes that the OP is fairly conveying the paladin's side of events.

Actually, I wonder how old the players are? I ask because: ""It attacked me and damaged me and made me angry so it has to die" seems like a really juvenile reason to do anything. I find it hard to believe that an adult would actually say this as his paladins reason.

I dunno, seems like a reasonable turn of events for any thinking creature. Turn it around into a real life scenario.

Some crazy a$~%+!& just stabbed you with a knife.

They are now talking to your friends.

Your first instinct is to let him sit there and talk with your friends, knowing that at any minute said crazy a~&~~*& could pull his knife out and start stabbing them again?

Once someone has attacked you, unprovoked, with lethal force they've pretty much forfeited their right to reasonable doubt.

Which is why police have never negotiated with or arrested someone who killed or attacked a cop.

Thankfully, not everyone is police, nor is this the present day where killing people is some sort of taboo.

Things were simpler in the sort of time period Golarion takes place in.

You're in the middle of untamed wilderness.

Someone or something has attacked you with intent to kill.

You are perfectly justified in killing it back.

I'd like to point out that Paladin's are supposed to be held to a MUCH higher standard than your average person.

If any of the other players had killed it I would've shrugged.


Democratus wrote:
The paladin should not fall unless the player tells you that he wants his paladin to fall. It's a player decision. He should have all the agency in this call.

... So he can walk into an orphanage, start the slaughter, and not fall unless he decides he should?


StrangePackage wrote:

Unless it's speaking in a language you don't understand to other people, who are responding in a language you don't understand.

Then you have to assume it's surrendering, and not talking smack or vowing revenge against you and your line for all eternity.

As a paladin, which, if either, of those assumptions is fair to make? Maybe talk to your friends first.


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Being a Paladin of Freedom, for all he knew, the Wyvern was being forced into an unwanted partnership (servitude) by the party by virture of having been defeated. Maybe the paladin felt that the more merciful option was to kill it.

I doubt that's what happened, but I felt like saying something.


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Stephen Ede wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Davick wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Sub_Zero wrote:

I'd like to point out that all this assumes that the OP is fairly conveying the paladin's side of events.

Actually, I wonder how old the players are? I ask because: ""It attacked me and damaged me and made me angry so it has to die" seems like a really juvenile reason to do anything. I find it hard to believe that an adult would actually say this as his paladins reason.

I dunno, seems like a reasonable turn of events for any thinking creature. Turn it around into a real life scenario.

Some crazy a$~%+!& just stabbed you with a knife.

They are now talking to your friends.

Your first instinct is to let him sit there and talk with your friends, knowing that at any minute said crazy a~&~~*& could pull his knife out and start stabbing them again?

Once someone has attacked you, unprovoked, with lethal force they've pretty much forfeited their right to reasonable doubt.

Which is why police have never negotiated with or arrested someone who killed or attacked a cop.

Thankfully, not everyone is police, nor is this the present day where killing people is some sort of taboo.

Things were simpler in the sort of time period Golarion takes place in.

You're in the middle of untamed wilderness.

Someone or something has attacked you with intent to kill.

You are perfectly justified in killing it back.

I'd like to point out that Paladins are supposed to be held to a MUCH higher standard than your average person.

If any of the other players had killed it I would've shrugged.

So basically, you're treating players in your group differently than one another, setting up a double standard.

That never ends well.

If it's evil for one person, it's evil for all people.

If it's not evil for one person, it's not evil for all people.

Simple enough.

I don't think it was evil. It was Neutral. Self preservation (from his PoV) and carrying through with retaliating to a hostile force.

Good Is Not Soft

Shadow Lodge

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Should the Paladin Fall?

No. This game is not about punishing players for making roleplaying decisions. It is about working collaboratively to achieve a fun time and excellent story. Bring it up with your player and work together to achieve the most fun and interesting result.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rynjin wrote:
Stephen Ede wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Davick wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Sub_Zero wrote:

I'd like to point out that all this assumes that the OP is fairly conveying the paladin's side of events.

Actually, I wonder how old the players are? I ask because: ""It attacked me and damaged me and made me angry so it has to die" seems like a really juvenile reason to do anything. I find it hard to believe that an adult would actually say this as his paladins reason.

I dunno, seems like a reasonable turn of events for any thinking creature. Turn it around into a real life scenario.

Some crazy a$~%+!& just stabbed you with a knife.

They are now talking to your friends.

Your first instinct is to let him sit there and talk with your friends, knowing that at any minute said crazy a~&~~*& could pull his knife out and start stabbing them again?

Once someone has attacked you, unprovoked, with lethal force they've pretty much forfeited their right to reasonable doubt.

Which is why police have never negotiated with or arrested someone who killed or attacked a cop.

Thankfully, not everyone is police, nor is this the present day where killing people is some sort of taboo.

Things were simpler in the sort of time period Golarion takes place in.

You're in the middle of untamed wilderness.

Someone or something has attacked you with intent to kill.

You are perfectly justified in killing it back.

I'd like to point out that Paladins are supposed to be held to a MUCH higher standard than your average person.

If any of the other players had killed it I would've shrugged.

So basically, you're treating players in your group differently than one another, setting up a double standard.

That never ends well.

If it's evil for one person, it's evil for all people.

If it's not evil for one person, it's not evil for all people.

Simple enough.

I don't think it was evil. It was Neutral. Self preservation (from his PoV) and carrying through with...

Holding each player in their group accountable to their character isn't treating them differently. No one made the guy play a paladin. If I played a paladin and didn't have to consider my code I would feel cheated. Self preservation from someone posing no threat is the DND equivalent of that guy who shot three men in the back and is claiming "Stand Your Ground". That guy sure ain't a paladin.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Gregory Connolly wrote:
I could have sworn they were NE not N. Perhaps I am confusing editions, but I remember a book from when I was a kid "The Wyvern's Spur" and they seemed like BBEGs back then.

In "The Wyvern's Spur" Giogioni Wyvernspur transforms into a wyvern to heroically rescue his friends and family. Probably not the best reference in defense of the Paladin's actions.....


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Rynjin wrote:

Thankfully, not everyone is police, nor is this the present day where killing people is some sort of taboo.

Things were simpler in the sort of time period Golarion takes place in.

You're in the middle of untamed wilderness.

Someone or something has attacked you with intent to kill.

You are perfectly justified in killing it back.

And by 'untamed wilderness' you mean the home territory of intelligent (if primitive) beings.

Now let's look at this scenario in a different context. A small group of modern soldiers enter the territory of a primitive tribe. A hunting party from the tribe attacks the soldiers injuring one. The soldiers using their modern weaponry drive the hunting party off then chases them down and intimidates them into a parley. That's when the injured soldier shows up and (seeing two groups talking) decides to gun down the natives.

If this an evil act or not?


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"Posing no threat"?

He already attacked you, without provocation.

He is still armed.

He is a threat.

Darinby wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Thankfully, not everyone is police, nor is this the present day where killing people is some sort of taboo.

Things were simpler in the sort of time period Golarion takes place in.

You're in the middle of untamed wilderness.

Someone or something has attacked you with intent to kill.

You are perfectly justified in killing it back.

And by 'untamed wilderness' you mean the home territory of intelligent (if primitive) beings.

Now let's look at this scenario in a different context. A small group of modern soldiers enter the territory of a primitive tribe. A hunting party from the tribe attacks the soldiers injuring one. The soldiers using their modern weaponry drive the hunting party off then chases them down and intimidates them into a parley. That's when the injured soldier shows up and (seeing two groups talking) decides to gun down the natives.

If this an evil act or not?

It's morally null, in my eyes.

Neither party is in the right, but the people who attacked without provocation were certainly in the wrong FIRST.

Just because they start parleying when they realize they're outmatched doesn't suddenly mean they're the good guy in this situation. They were just trying to kill you a few moments before.

And if you're under no orders to, and cannot feasibly take prisoners, then ending the potential threat may be the more pragmatic option.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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The Paladin of Freedom actually still has a Code which includes this bit "That which is knowingly consented to by all involved, is just." It sounds like a Paladin of Freedom more than even a standard paladin would be bound to acknowledge and respect a parlay, especially if, as the GM of the game has stated, it has been made clear that the group shares the consequences of such decisions unless specifically noted otherwise.

I've seen a lot of BS "the paladin falls because ____" scenarios, but this seems a pretty straightforward breach of code and alignment.

Sovereign Court

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Code of Conduct wrote:

Paladins of freedom do not follow a strict code, other than to say that they always seek to uphold the tenets of liberty and goodness wherever they travel. They resist tyranny and oppression, lead others in fighting unjust rulership, and ignore laws which limit the free and fair choices of intelligent beings. A paladin of freedom adheres to the philosophy of "That which is knowingly consented to by all involved, is just." Most leaders, good or otherwise, consider paladins of freedom anarchists to be sought out and either kept away from others by way of imprisonment, or in more evil societies, simply destroyed as soon as they are discovered. In most organized societies paladins of freedom must operate quietly as to not arouse the attention of the most powerful around them.

A paladin of freedom who fails to uphold these tenets, or who causes, by actions or inaction, sentient creatures to lose their liberty or freedom, or who willfully commits evil acts, loses access to all supernatural and spell-like class features, as well as the spell casting ability. Further, she may not gain further levels as a paladin (of freedom, or otherwise). She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she properly atones for her violations as determined by the GM.

(emphasis mine)

Coming in charging the wyvern to drop it to unconscious is one thing - if you believe wyverns are duplicitous and waiting for a chance to attack, rendering it helpless is a perfectly legitimate route of action. But Coup De Grace after his friends stabilized him? There are ONLY two reasons I could think of that would justify that:

  • He knew beyond a reasonable doubt the wyvern was irredeemably evil.
  • He had a strong reason to believe they were about to be ambushed and the wyvern could be freed to do evil, and there was no time to talk to it.

Otherwise, that counts pretty clearly as "denying a sentient creature of liberty." His friends clearly thought it could be taught and reasoned with, but before even hearing their arguments he killed the wyvern in a blood rage. That's an act befitting a Barbarian, NOT a Paladin.

Again, the key thing to look at here is not that he attacked while his friends were negotiating, but that he killed a helpless creature that possibly could have been reasoned with. Without an extremely compelling reason otherwise, I would say he falls; "It attacked us" is NOT good enough in this scenario.


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I vote a soft no. There are some odd circumstances here that make me say that he shouldnt fall but a RP laden warning from his diety of sort might be in order.

1) He didnt speak the language, so talking doesnt really = parlay. Maybe a sense motive might have helped here and should have been offered. Certainly could have been an exchange of taunts and threats for all he knew.

2) He isn't a standard pally correct? The focus is far more on the good than the lawful. So this thing attacks with no provocation and is a public menace. assuming I do understand we are negotiating do I think it should be negotiated with? What if we let it be and it wanders off to attack some children?

3) your party seems to be keen on entering into treaties with agressive, violent and often evil creatures the moment this paladin isnt present. It might be time to question if it is actually an act of good to constantly let monsters off the hook for their actions.

4) The timing of it all is happening a lot faster than people are giving credit. He burst into the clearing and attacked this took mere seconds. No actions took place in between for him other than he was running through the woods chasing the thing that hurt him and his friends. Just because the player was subject to all the exposition...the character wasnt. It wasn't like they got out a table and started signing a peace accord here. Situation are misconstrued.

That is my two CP. He gets a talking to in the form of a vivid dream or holy vision to make sure he doesnt stray from the path and understands that hasty agression is not the way of his order....but striping him of his powers is just a bridge to far for something that is merely a misunderstanding.


Rynjin wrote:
Stephen Ede wrote:


I'd like to point out that Paladins are supposed to be held to a MUCH higher standard than your average person.

If any of the other players had killed it I would've shrugged.

So basically, you're treating players in your group differently than one another, setting up a double standard.

That never ends well.

If it's evil for one person, it's evil for all people.

If it's not evil for one person, it's not evil for all people.

Simple enough.

I don't think it was evil. It was Neutral. Self preservation (from his PoV) and carrying through with...

I would consider it evil for any of them to do it in the given circumstances. The rules hold Paladins to higher standards. Players are allowed to do evil acts with out penalty in the rules (as GM I might place a penalty or reward depending on the circumstances) but the rules say a Paladin gets punished if they do evil, or break their code.

I would also make clear that I emphasized to the player when he chose to be a Paladin that he would be held to double standards in that he would have restrictions in behaviour that wouldn't apply to the rest of the party (i.e. they wouldn't have to live by his alignment or code - I stripped out the "don't be around evil people" part of the Paladin's code). Having had this pointed out to him he still wanted to be a Paladin.

PS. The player in no way expressed any belief he was in danger of been killed by the Wyvern. Most of the damage he took was from the Spriggan botching a bow shot into the grappled fight and following the botch having to make an attack roll on the which the Spriggan proceeded to roll a critical threat and confirm it. The other attacks were struggling to get through the DR5/Magic that the Half-Celestial Paladin has.


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You're the GM. You think he willingly committed an Evil act, so he falls. End of discussion.


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Stephen Ede wrote:

I have a player who is using the Paladin of Freedom - CG https://sites.google.com/site/pathfinderogc/extras/community-creations/hous e-rules/classes/paladin-of-freedom

In this session the party was flying above the forest canopy when the Paladin was jumped by a Wyvern. The Wyvern did some damage before attacks from the party caused it to flee closely pursued by the Sphinx Wizard and Gnome Sorcerer riding a Dire Bat. They called on it to parlay in Draconic. Badly wounded and unable to easily outrun the hasted PC's itagreed to parlay landing on a solid part of the forest canopy. The 2 PC casters had started negotiating for 2 rounds when the angry Paladin caught up. The Paladin couldn't speak Draconic but could see that the PC's and Wyvern were communicating and not fighting. He charged in dropping the Wyvern to -1hit points. The Sphinx PC stopped the unconcious Wyvern from falling at which point the Paladin delivered a Coup De Grace decapitating it.

My thought is that the Paladin has just fallen and lost his Paladin abilities until he has atoned.
1st he attacked the creature when it was in some sort of parlay even if he couldn't understand the words.
2nd After knocking it unconcious he proceeded to decapitate it.

Does anyone think this is an unreasonable view by me? And if so can you clarify why you think the Paladin shouldn't fall.

I'm commenting not to disagree but to agree with you. Strip the character of paladinhood...temporarily. Let the player atone for attacking the wyvern after surrender and parley were being established. All paladins, including those of freedom, observe honorable rules of combat. Surrender and parley followed by a paladin attacking and then inflicting a coup de grace action is inexcusable behavior for a paladin. The player should learn from this. Let the player role-play regaining paladinhood and he will appreciate the code of conduct of paladinhood more. And for those out there that believe this is too harsh or not fun, don't play a paladin. By the way. if the player doesn't want to atone, then he can play a fallen paladin crappy fighter equivalent. Trust me, that won't last long.

Thanks


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Stephen Ede wrote:


I would consider it evil for any of them to do it in the given circumstances.

Then you are at least consistent, which is good.

Alignment matters are subjective.

However, I would stress that you need to make stuff like this clear (both to your players and people you're asking for advice from).

If you had mentioned something like "I consider that to be evil, are you sure your Paladin would do this?" and he did it anyway...yeah, fall.

But as-is people's opinions on what is evil differ.

If it was not made absolutely clear that this was an evil act, no fall.

But he knows for the future.

And really, not having his Phylactery should not be grounds to ignore this. That item is there as an attempt to force adversarial DMs to be slightly less adversarial. Non-adversarial GMs should have no need of it.

Your Paladin, the Paragon of Good should know when something is considered evil, regardless of the gold he spends. Much like most reasonable people would not require a Cleric to make a Kn. Religion check to know the rites and tenets of his own religion.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
StrangePackage wrote:


Only evil outsiders. And then only when he's sure they're not some special snowflake, because Always Evil races are stereotypical and biased.

If you see a demon doing it's thing, it's fair to assume that it is evil, unless it shows itself otherwise, because... that's what demons are, the embodiment of chaos and evil.


Broken Zenith wrote:

Should the Paladin Fall?

No. This game is not about punishing players for making roleplaying decisions. It is about working collaboratively to achieve a fun time and excellent story. Bring it up with your player and work together to achieve the most fun and interesting result.

This makes no sense. Using that guideline, no character ever could possibly ever have any kind of negative consequence for RP.

Which is bananas.


Rynjin wrote:

It's morally null, in my eyes.

Neither party is in the right, but the people who attacked without provocation were certainly in the wrong FIRST.

Just because they start parleying when they realize they're outmatched doesn't suddenly mean they're the good guy in this situation. They were just trying to kill you a few moments before.

And if you're under no orders to, and cannot feasibly take prisoners, then ending the potential threat may be the more pragmatic option.

The natives/wyvern don't need to be the 'good guys' for the paladin to fall. Merely being unpleasant people does not justify a death sentence. Killing people merely because they are unlikable or because it is convenient/safer is an evil act.

If an armed group of strangers enters your territory isn't it pragmatic to 'end the potential threat' they represent? If a wyvern flew into a civilized area without attacking anyone would the citizens of that area have any justification to attack it based on it's potential threat?


Rynjin wrote:

"Posing no threat"?

He already attacked you, without provocation.

He is still armed.

He is a threat.

Darinby wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Thankfully, not everyone is police, nor is this the present day where killing people is some sort of taboo.

Things were simpler in the sort of time period Golarion takes place in.

You're in the middle of untamed wilderness.

Someone or something has attacked you with intent to kill.

You are perfectly justified in killing it back.

And by 'untamed wilderness' you mean the home territory of intelligent (if primitive) beings.

Now let's look at this scenario in a different context. A small group of modern soldiers enter the territory of a primitive tribe. A hunting party from the tribe attacks the soldiers injuring one. The soldiers using their modern weaponry drive the hunting party off then chases them down and intimidates them into a parley. That's when the injured soldier shows up and (seeing two groups talking) decides to gun down the natives.

If this an evil act or not?

It's morally null, in my eyes.

Neither party is in the right, but the people who attacked without provocation were certainly in the wrong FIRST.

Just because they start parleying when they realize they're outmatched doesn't suddenly mean they're the good guy in this situation. They were just trying to kill you a few moments before.

And if you're under no orders to, and cannot feasibly take prisoners, then ending the potential threat may be the more pragmatic option.

Wyverns are territorial. It would have been entirely reasonable for it to feel provoked by the PCs invading its land. And possibility threatening its brood. Those are the sort of details you miss when you kill first ask questions never.

You can't justify the paladin's assumptions without giving the same benefit to the wyvern.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Davick wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

"Posing no threat"?

He already attacked you, without provocation.

He is still armed.

He is a threat.

Darinby wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Thankfully, not everyone is police, nor is this the present day where killing people is some sort of taboo.

Things were simpler in the sort of time period Golarion takes place in.

You're in the middle of untamed wilderness.

Someone or something has attacked you with intent to kill.

You are perfectly justified in killing it back.

And by 'untamed wilderness' you mean the home territory of intelligent (if primitive) beings.

Now let's look at this scenario in a different context. A small group of modern soldiers enter the territory of a primitive tribe. A hunting party from the tribe attacks the soldiers injuring one. The soldiers using their modern weaponry drive the hunting party off then chases them down and intimidates them into a parley. That's when the injured soldier shows up and (seeing two groups talking) decides to gun down the natives.

If this an evil act or not?

It's morally null, in my eyes.

Neither party is in the right, but the people who attacked without provocation were certainly in the wrong FIRST.

Just because they start parleying when they realize they're outmatched doesn't suddenly mean they're the good guy in this situation. They were just trying to kill you a few moments before.

And if you're under no orders to, and cannot feasibly take prisoners, then ending the potential threat may be the more pragmatic option.

Wyverns are territorial. It would have been entirely reasonable for it to feel provoked by the PCs invading its land. And possibility threatening its brood. Those are the sort of details you miss when you kill first ask questions never.

You can't justify the paladin's assumptions without giving the same benefit to the wyvern.

You sure can. You're building a settlement. That means clearing out the area of things that are likely to make meals of the settlers who don't have the ability to defend themselves the way you can. Monsters are not accorded the rights of civilized folk. It's part of what makes them monsters.


Lazurin Arborlon wrote:

I vote a soft no. There are some odd circumstances here that make me say that he shouldnt fall but a RP laden warning from his diety of sort might be in order.

1) He didnt speak the language, so talking doesnt really = parlay. Maybe a sense motive might have helped here and should have been offered. Certainly could have been an exchange of taunts and threats for all he knew.

2) He isn't a standard pally correct? The focus is far more on the good than the lawful. So this thing attacks with no provocation and is a public menace. assuming I do understand we are negotiating do I think it should be negotiated with? What if we let it be and it wanders off to attack some children?

3) your party seems to be keen on entering into treaties with agressive, violent and often evil creatures the moment this paladin isnt present. It might be time to question if it is actually an act of good to constantly let monsters off the hook for their actions.

4) The timing of it all is happening a lot faster than people are giving credit. He burst into the clearing and attacked this took mere seconds. No actions took place in between for him other than he was running through the woods chasing the thing that hurt him and his friends. Just because the player was subject to all the exposition...the character wasnt. It wasn't like they got out a table and started signing a peace accord here. Situation are misconstrued.

That is my two CP. He gets a talking to in the form of a vivid dream or holy vision to make sure he doesnt stray from the path and understands that hasty agression is not the way of his order....but striping him of his powers is just a bridge to far for something that is merely a misunderstanding.

Good points. Just a couple of clarifications.

1) They were in the air so he did see the his party members call out to the Wyvern as it ran away (they were faster but while they did close distance slightly they didn't pass it before they called for it to stop) and it then landed on the canopy in sight and the 2 other party members also landed and started talking with it in 1 of the many languages they knew that the Paladin didn't.

The previous agreement with the Troll was from the players POV "it would have certainly killed several party members and maybe everyone if the fight had continued".


LazarX wrote:

You sure can. You're building a settlement. That means clearing out the area of things that are likely to make meals of the settlers who don't have the ability to defend themselves the way you can. Monsters are not accorded the rights of civilized folk. It's part of what makes them monsters.

Which is why it's also ok when the paladin goes through town killing all the half orcs.


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Darinby wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

It's morally null, in my eyes.

Neither party is in the right, but the people who attacked without provocation were certainly in the wrong FIRST.

Just because they start parleying when they realize they're outmatched doesn't suddenly mean they're the good guy in this situation. They were just trying to kill you a few moments before.

And if you're under no orders to, and cannot feasibly take prisoners, then ending the potential threat may be the more pragmatic option.

The natives/wyvern don't need to be the 'good guys' for the paladin to fall. Merely being unpleasant people does not justify a death sentence. Killing people merely because they are unlikable or because it is convenient/safer is an evil act.

If an armed group of strangers enters your territory isn't it pragmatic to 'end the potential threat' they represent? If a wyvern flew into a civilized area without attacking anyone would the citizens of that area have any justification to attack it based on it's potential threat?

I'd say someone whose first act upon seeing a new person is "Stab it and see if it bleeds" is more than merely "unpleasant".

That guy at the DMV who gives you the stinkeye is unpleasant.

That guy who stabs people for being in his territory is a psychopath.

Davick wrote:


Wyverns are territorial. It would have been entirely reasonable for it to feel provoked by the PCs invading its land. And possibility threatening its brood. Those are the sort of details you miss when you kill first ask questions never.

You can't justify the paladin's assumptions without giving the same benefit to the wyvern.

Wyverns are not mindless beats, or this would be a valid argument.

But I'll make sure to side with the gangstaz next time they cap some whitey that steps up in their hood. After all, it's within their right because they're territorial, after all.


Rynjin wrote:
Darinby wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

It's morally null, in my eyes.

Neither party is in the right, but the people who attacked without provocation were certainly in the wrong FIRST.

Just because they start parleying when they realize they're outmatched doesn't suddenly mean they're the good guy in this situation. They were just trying to kill you a few moments before.

And if you're under no orders to, and cannot feasibly take prisoners, then ending the potential threat may be the more pragmatic option.

The natives/wyvern don't need to be the 'good guys' for the paladin to fall. Merely being unpleasant people does not justify a death sentence. Killing people merely because they are unlikable or because it is convenient/safer is an evil act.

If an armed group of strangers enters your territory isn't it pragmatic to 'end the potential threat' they represent? If a wyvern flew into a civilized area without attacking anyone would the citizens of that area have any justification to attack it based on it's potential threat?

I'd say someone whose first act upon seeing a new person is "Stab it and see if it bleeds" is more than merely "unpleasant".

That guy at the DMV who gives you the stinkeye is unpleasant.

That guy who stabs people for being in his territory is a psychopath.

Davick wrote:


Wyverns are territorial. It would have been entirely reasonable for it to feel provoked by the PCs invading its land. And possibility threatening its brood. Those are the sort of details you miss when you kill first ask questions never.

You can't justify the paladin's assumptions without giving the same benefit to the wyvern.

Wyverns are not mindless beats, or this would be a valid argument.

But I'll make sure to side with the gangstaz next time they cap some whitey that steps up in their hood. After all, it's within their right because they're territorial, after all.

Replace gangstaz with the people in Ukraine worried about they're homes and land and yourself with Russian soldiers trying to annex them, and sure thing bud.

Sovereign Court

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StrangePackage wrote:

Yep.

I can't really think of a situation where Paladin + Coup de Grace = OK.

I agree with OP that this Paladin was oppressing an obviously intelligent creature for no apparent reason (unless there's more to the story). This post however bothers me.

It's perfectly legitimate for a Paladin to deliver a coupe de grace to an evil outsider, evil dragon or undead. Why? These creatures are inherently evil and Paladins are sworn to destroy them. It might intimidate their enemies into surrendering, or set an example. Sometimes a coupe de grace is the most efficient way to destroy evil.

What's the Paladin supposed to do, let the evil outsiders escape? Agreed slaughtering a negotiating wyvern is pretty bad of any Paladin to do. If this were an evil-aligned dragon I'd totally agree with the Paladins decision to kill it.


LazarX wrote:


You sure can. You're building a settlement. That means clearing out the area of things that...

If I may say so, that sounds more the territory of rangers/barbarians, and paladins of Abadar, who wish to see civilization grow at the expense of the wild, we're talking a chaotic good paladin of freedom here.

So that argument seems kinda inappropriate to the situation.


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Rynjin wrote:
Darinby wrote:


The natives/wyvern don't need to be the 'good guys' for the paladin to fall. Merely being unpleasant people does not justify a death sentence. Killing people merely because they are unlikable or because it is convenient/safer is an evil act.

If an armed group of strangers enters your territory isn't it pragmatic to 'end the potential threat' they represent? If a wyvern flew into a civilized area without attacking anyone would the citizens of that area have any justification to attack it based on it's potential threat?

I'd say someone whose first act upon seeing a new person is "Stab it and see if it bleeds" is more than merely "unpleasant".

That guy at the DMV who gives you the stinkeye is unpleasant.

That guy who stabs people for being in his territory is a psychopath.

So if a wyvern flew into a city but didn't attack anyone, any city guard or adventurer who attacked it would be a psychopath?

A group adventurers represent just as much a potential danger to the inhabitants of an 'untamed' territory as the wyvern does to the inhabitants of a civilized territory.

How many adventuring parties actively go hunting 'monsters' for treasury/spell components without being attacked first?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Davick wrote:
Replace gangstaz with the people in Ukraine worried about they're homes and land and yourself with Russian soldiers trying to annex them, and sure thing bud.

Good job on making light of a complicated issue to prove a spurious point.

For your information, a good deal of the population of the Ukraine, especially in Crimea, ARE ethnic Russians. That's been a thing that many Westerners don't realize about the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and a few other places. these former Communist nations did pack a fair number of ethnics that have problems playing nice with each other.

But then again this isn't a surprise when asked where the Ukraine was actually located, a fair number of Americans answered... Iowa.


LazarX wrote:
Davick wrote:
Replace gangstaz with the people in Ukraine worried about they're homes and land and yourself with Russian soldiers trying to annex them, and sure thing bud.

Good job on making light of a complicated issue to prove a spurious point.

For your information, a good deal of the population of the Ukraine, especially in Crimea, ARE ethnic Russians. That's been a thing that many Westerners don't realize about the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and a few other places. these former Communist nations did pack a fair number of ethnics that have problems playing nice with each other.

But then again this isn't a surprise when asked where the Ukraine was actually located, a fair number of Americans answered... Iowa.

I'm well aware of the realities of the Ukraine situation. I could have used a less contemporary example to make the same point, but I didn't.

Ethnicities do not make an annexation ok, by the way, but let's not derail a paladin alignment thread for a politically charged one.


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It has just occurred to me that part of the problem may have been that the player considers death in Pathfinder to be a non-career ending injury. When the other players tried to convince him not to kill it he did respond "you can raise dead it afterwards if you like but I'm killing it".

I had mentioned to them that the other party I'm running through the campaign has as part of there health care system a Speak with dead and free Reincarnation offer to any citizen that is murdered. So this may've contributed to a feeling that death isn't serious. Although I have stressed that I have house ruled that there is a finite limit to the amount of times you can be brought back based on your Con score.


So his motive was entirely revenge then, the need to tit for tat the beast? Now I'm sure he should fall.


RDM42 wrote:
Democratus wrote:
The paladin should not fall unless the player tells you that he wants his paladin to fall. It's a player decision. He should have all the agency in this call.
... So he can walk into an orphanage, start the slaughter, and not fall unless he decides he should?

The DM and the player are not enemies. They are collaborating in creating a story. If either of them doesn't want to have the same story as the other - class features are the least of their worries.

Liberty's Edge

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Honestly, yeah, I'd say he fell. His Alignment probably wouldn't change...but killing people who aren't posing an active threat at the moment (which he did even if you consider the first attack okay, coup de grace, remember?) especially when people you know and trust try to save them (the Sphinx caught the falling wyvern) is an Evil act. Murder, to be precise, though not First Degree Murder since it was in the heat of combat.

To return to the cop example, the cops get into a firefight and shoot a criminal, he's dropped his gun and is lying there bleeding and unconscious, one cop goes over to perform first aid. Another walks over and shoots him in the head.

Is that second cop Paladin material? I'm gonna go with 'No.' And that's exactly what this guy did.

Trolls are not similar to other monsters, and the fact that he'd faced them before does not excuse deciding 'better safe than sorry' on all injured enemies in the future. That's not a reasonable point of view.

EDIT:

And on Raise Dead: This doesn't always work. It's great that it's possible, but a large (though unstated) proportion of the people it's tried on it simply fails to function, either because they've already received Pharasma's judgment (and become Petitioners) or because they don't want to come back. Treating killing as 'not serious' is like treating beating someone so badly they only have a 50% survival chance as 'not serious'. It's not acceptable behavior.

If you're going with a homebrew setting where it always works, then he's still a dick for effectively torturing the wyvern (ie: causing pain with no tactical reason...death hurts) and either costing the other PCs over 5k in gold or actually killing the wyvern permanently (what amounts to either extortion or negligent homicide), both out of personal pique, and should fall for that.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Stephen Ede wrote:

It has just occurred to me that part of the problem may have been that the player considers death in Pathfinder to be a non-career ending injury. When the other players tried to convince him not to kill it he did respond "you can raise dead it afterwards if you like but I'm killing it".

I had mentioned to them that the other party I'm running through the campaign has as part of there health care system a Speak with dead and free Reincarnation offer to any citizen that is murdered. So this may've contributed to a feeling that death isn't serious. Although I have stressed that I have house ruled that there is a finite limit to the amount of times you can be brought back based on your Con score.

It's starting to sound to me that you have a player who has a serious case of "lightsaber syndrome". This is a quote from one of the Jedi sourcebooks for Star Wars D20.

Lightsaber Syndrome

"Lightsaber syndrome" is a legitimate problem and disconnect that many players have. The lightsaber is the most awesome weapon ever but players (as opposed to Jedi) have a tendancy to look at their sabers as the solution to just about every problem...because using them is awesome. The prequel films are to blame for promoting this mentality as well. Classically, a Jedi considered use of their saber a last resort. The saber was only drawn if the Jedi was prepared to take a life. The Jedi were permitted to kill in self-defense, sure, but any taking of life was shameful in the eyes of a Jedi.


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Stephen Ede wrote:

It has just occurred to me that part of the problem may have been that the player considers death in Pathfinder to be a non-career ending injury. When the other players tried to convince him not to kill it he did respond "you can raise dead it afterwards if you like but I'm killing it".

I had mentioned to them that the other party I'm running through the campaign has as part of there health care system a Speak with dead and free Reincarnation offer to any citizen that is murdered. So this may've contributed to a feeling that death isn't serious. Although I have stressed that I have house ruled that there is a finite limit to the amount of times you can be brought back based on your Con score.

Okay, based on that quote alone, it sounds like this paladin has a callous disregard for the lives of others (sure, he's not slaughtering villagers, but it essentially makes him think he has free reign to kill all enemies with little regard for moral consequences, that kind of thinking makes me wonder if he should have been a paladin at all, since the act of killing still HURTS, it essentially amounts to torture to bring them back and threaten to kill them again 'because you can be ressurected later')


Davick wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Davick wrote:
Replace gangstaz with the people in Ukraine worried about they're homes and land and yourself with Russian soldiers trying to annex them, and sure thing bud.

Good job on making light of a complicated issue to prove a spurious point.

For your information, a good deal of the population of the Ukraine, especially in Crimea, ARE ethnic Russians. That's been a thing that many Westerners don't realize about the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and a few other places. these former Communist nations did pack a fair number of ethnics that have problems playing nice with each other.

But then again this isn't a surprise when asked where the Ukraine was actually located, a fair number of Americans answered... Iowa.

I'm well aware of the realities of the Ukraine situation. I could have used a less contemporary example to make the same point, but I didn't.

Ethnicities do not make an annexation ok, by the way, but let's not derail a paladin alignment thread for a politically charged one.

Off topic but: It is actually just Ukraine. 'The Ukraine' is something Ukrainians tend to find offensive since 'the Ukraine' was how the Russians refered to the country while it was in the USSR. Now that it is an independent nation, it is simply, Ukraine.


He's a Paladin of Freedom, not a Paladin of Slaughter.

He is Fallen. Can atone if he wants to.


Majuba wrote:

He's a Paladin of Freedom, not a Paladin of Slaughter.

He is Fallen. Can atone if he wants to.

To be fair, a paladin of slaughter in 3.5 is an antipaladin now, but your point is no less valid.


Stephen Ede wrote:

If after discussion I decide that he has fallen I'll probably let him atone by raising the Wyvern and doing his best to civilise the Wyvern and covert it by speech and deed into a good member of society. No Atonement spell as such required (the Raise dead is costly enough)

Do people think this sounds reasonable?

I wouldn't have him trying to civilize the Wyvern as atonement. It gives the paladin too much credit, the person who interrupts a peaceful parley to murder someone is not 'civilized'.

For atonement I would have the paladin be forced to spend all his next level's skill points on languages to remind him that other types of people are also people.


Verteidiger wrote:
Davick wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Davick wrote:
Replace gangstaz with the people in Ukraine worried about they're homes and land and yourself with Russian soldiers trying to annex them, and sure thing bud.

Good job on making light of a complicated issue to prove a spurious point.

For your information, a good deal of the population of the Ukraine, especially in Crimea, ARE ethnic Russians. That's been a thing that many Westerners don't realize about the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and a few other places. these former Communist nations did pack a fair number of ethnics that have problems playing nice with each other.

But then again this isn't a surprise when asked where the Ukraine was actually located, a fair number of Americans answered... Iowa.

I'm well aware of the realities of the Ukraine situation. I could have used a less contemporary example to make the same point, but I didn't.

Ethnicities do not make an annexation ok, by the way, but let's not derail a paladin alignment thread for a politically charged one.

Off topic but: It is actually just Ukraine. 'The Ukraine' is something Ukrainians tend to find offensive since 'the Ukraine' was how the Russians refered to the country while it was in the USSR. Now that it is an independent nation, it is simply, Ukraine.

But it would still be "The Ukraine Situation" as opposed to "ukraine situation". You'll notice no "the" in my first post. Unless you're talking to LazarX. And the Ukrainian language has no word for "the".

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