Hopefully not another Paladin alignment discussion. (It totally is)


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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MrSin wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
And of course, how many "Old School" traditionalists will the game lose? I really can't see sales increasing by any meaningful number.

I don't know, how many will you lose or gain? Do I have to be a ravenous "I'll quit if you keep up the alignment restrictions!" to get my way? Do you really want people who say "You can't have fun because my way is the one true way!" to be the ones playing your game and the kid of community you foster? Is that going to help sales or people have fun?

DrDeth wrote:
I think (and I could be wrong) that most of the cries for Paladins of every alignment is NOT by people who really want to play alt paladins, it's by those who don't like the classic alignment system, which they feel is a straightjacket and limiting. However, I am pretty sure that's here to stay.
Similar to "People who complain don't actually play this game", statements like that aren't really helpful. They disregard any merit in the ideas given and just disregard people who might actually want something.

Well, I don;t know either. I can just take a guess based upon past versions for 3.5 that it won;t be popular. Mind you, that *IS* a guess, but at least it's based upon two past attempts.

No, it's not. Claiming you don't like the alignment system is a perfectly valid point*. But are you against the LG Paladin for that reason, or because you really want to play a CG and a CN and a LE and a NN paladin?

However, claiming that Pathfinder sucks or that the Rogue sucks- and you don't even play PF- then your point is not so valid. I can't say Rulemaster sucks- because I have never played it. (I can say my eyes glazed over and my head started to hurt when I tried to read the rules, but... <g>) So, if I stated "Rulemaster sucks" or that "This class in Rulemaster sucks" then my opinion would be invalid. I'd have no experience to base that opinion on. If a poster here doesn't play PF, then his opinion on it is also invalid.

* I can't even disagree with it, but I can say that IMHO it's something which is not likely to change.

Silver Crusade

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Quote:
...getting all of the benefits of the paladin class and none of the restraining bolts.

'In the beginning....', the paladin and ranger classes were sub-classes of fighter, and could do everything a fighter could (this was before weapon specialisation), and got extra abilities on top. Of course they had to 'pay' for it somehow: wasting a 17 on Charisma, max 10 magic items, not only LG but not able to take a single chaotic or evil act, etc.

But this is no longer true. The paladin class gets special abilities, just like every other class. Those abilities are (in theory) balanced against the abilities of those other classes. Why do paladins still have to 'pay' for special abilities that are no longer any more special than any other class?

For the 'Holy Warrior of Good', good makes sense but law doesn't. It's just pro-law bias, thinking that law is somehow 'more good' than chaos. Rubbish.

I want to play CG paladins. I have no problem with the existence of alignment in the game.

Even so, I hated those alternative paladins even more than the author did! They were awful! I wouldn't play them, but I do want to play a CG paladin.

With every other class in the game, you can choose it for the mechanics and fluff it how you like. Why is the paladin class only available to those who are willing to restrict their role-playing to how other people believe they should be played?

In 2nd ed I played a (LG) paladin with the savage kit. 'She's not a real paladin!'

Why? 'Real paladins are knights in shining armour!'

I'll tell you what; you keep your advice to yourself and I'll refrain from beating you about the head with a copy of the PHB.

Does anyone say 'That's not a real fighter!'?


DrDeth wrote:


True, sometimes something has only a few fans, but those fans are TRUE FANS.

ST:TOS is a good example, and there are others.

But sales are sales. No matter how fervent the TRUE FANS are, no matter how much the TRUE FANS crowd makes sure to get to a poll or get excited in a community, in the end sales dollars are just that. Mind you, if a product is marginal but the fans are TRUEFANS, then sure, you have to take that loyalty into consideration.

I think you underestimate how many people would like to have alternate options. I've known few players who would say they want less options. Related to my example, there were hundreds of thousands of fans who'd shown that they were willing to buy a product and Capcom didn't want to put out. It wasn't about true fans or whatever though many were quite dedicated.

DrDeth wrote:


However, still, that Dragon article never had many fans (even tho it was pretty well written, I think) nor did the Andy Collins alt Paladins. I guess it's possible that "Paladins of every alignment " could be popular in PF, but those prior examples do show some trending against it, true?

I imagine less straightjacket Paladins are quite the rage nowadays considering how popular the Inquisitor is(And coincidentally it's one of the best balanced classes in the game). Current superhero trends are going down a more gritty route.

If Paizo put out a book called "Ultimate Divine" that included alternate options for different alignments of Paladins and other divine class options, I'd be willing to bet that it'd be a huge hit.

Divine classes are chock full of flavor and players love flavor and crunch so a book that smooshes them together in a delicious smoore is a sure winner to me.


Wow, I stay away from my computer for a day or so, and BOOM, discussion! :D

I noticed that we had a comment deleted, kinda sad that one had to be deleted, but still, it was only one! On a topic that really get's people going! Please continue to keep it civil. :D

I noticed several people implying that removing the LG requirement, would remove the difficulty in playing a paladin.

Most people here have suggested that it be replaced with someone that gave more flexibility of SOURCE, not just strip it bare.

A NG Paladin of Sarenrae would place more emphasis on Redemption, that's certainly not easy, taking the chance on an evil creature? Trying to convince them to let go of their evil ways? Playing a CG Paladin of Cayden Cailean wouldn't necessarily be easy either. If you work to free a bunch of Slaves from Slavery, it would make sense that they would want to get back at those who captured them, and anyone else who stood by and watched. What if those people are the families of the slavers? a Paladin of Cayden Cailean would understand their rage, but would not allow such an atrocity to occur, how do you RP it so that the slaves don't rampage out of control? How do you protect everyone from each other? May have re-read a Honor Harrington book recently. XD

This also implies that being LG is hard. Honestly, it's pretty easy in most groups I play in, mostly because we have enough players who honestly WANT to be Good, and play as such. Hell, our LG paladin has proven again and again to be less Lawful than the CG Ranger, and less Good than the LN Cleric. He was lectured by both Characters (I was the Ranger), and honestly, if he'd kept playing, he would have fallen eventually.

You could take that as "See, it's hard!", except at least 2 players, and the DM, COULD do it. LG is EASY (YMMV, this is my opinion, there are many like it, but this one is mine XD), it just involves you thinking beyond yourself, and acting as a genuine good guy and hero.

Alignments aren't hard, or easy by nature, it's what we're familiar with that makes it hard or easy. I play a LOT of Good characters in games, Good characters are easy to me. I can't play Neutral to save my life, I can't play Evil at all. For me, Neutral is Hard, Evil is impossible.

I don't want to see the Paladin class turned into something without flavor, I want it kept that way. I just want it open to more flavors, flavors that it technically is already open too, but make it MORE open to. Gods that have Paladins, let those Paladins mirror their God's alignment, or be 1 step away ala the Cleric. This doesn't make it easy, now they can champion their God, and God's aren't lightweights. It's just as restrictive, just in a different way. Same for anti-paladins.

No class but the paladin (Haven't looked at Warpriest in a long while, will have to take a peek again) has the features to be a Champion of it's faith, a Knight set forth to protect others in accordance with their God. Cavalier doesn't (More old school knight, code of Honor, honestly, from what I'm seeing THEY should be the LG Holy warrior if anything), Cleric doesn't (They are certainly champions of faith, but their focus is more caster oriented, they just don't have the features, it's not what they were built to do) or Inquisitor (Their name states clearly what they are).

Paladins fill this slot perfectly, and in fact are already generally played as such, most people I know were shocked to find out that Paladins DON'T get their magic/powers from their God.

This may be one of those cases where the change has already happened in part, and the system just hasn't caught up.

Or, it could be a view bias from those around me, and those I've interacted with, and so I only see certain things.

MrSin wrote:
Imo, that's one of the more awkward things about the whole thing. The guys who want less restrictions? They're fine with people playing the old LG ones. They aren't stopping people from playing the way they want. The guys who want it to stay the same? They're arguing that those people shouldn't be allowed to play the way they want, or at least not in core.

I like this, makes a good point.

I'm fine with people playing as LG, Iomedae needs smiters, and Sarenrae, Shelyn and Abadar both are close enough for LG as well. Hell, if you were to open it up, who SAYS you need a god? CLERICS don't! XD

So, this change would mostly change NOTHING for those players who want to remain LG 1ed derivative Paladins.

Except they'd have to interact with those who WEREN'T LG, and players who played different. It wouldn't change them, but it would change what happens around them.

I've seen it said a few times here, that those who want to change it, need to prove that it would be popular enough to justify it.

It's not up to one side only to defend itself, it's up to both sides.

Can you prove that it would be harmful to the system to have this change? :)


MrSin wrote:
Its not like I'm ordering Lasagna at a place that only serves Chinese cuisine.

Made me think of this.

MrSin wrote:
Its less word count if it isn't restricted anyway. The restriction is added.

Now I don't think you are being accurate here. If other alignments are allowed, most of the abilities are going to have to be expanded with other options. Smite evil/good/law/chaos, detect evil/good/law/chaos, etc. Not to mention the entire spell selection is going to have to be gone over and additional spells put in to cover those other types of paladins. Also you'd need to rewrite any paladin specific spell or magic item to be able to cover those other versions. You'll have to take into account mercies and cruelties and ... what ... punishments (for lawfuls) and ... I don't know ... liberations (for chaotics)? Also we'd need additional "codes" to cover those other types of paladins.

Just changing Alignment: Lawful Good to Alignment: Any is pretty ridiculous idea of the only change that would be needed. And that is assuming we keep the alignment system, which some might like to get rid of entirely.

Now I am not actually hung up on having an only LG paladin. I do have a couple of thoughts on it though. First, I dislike people suggesting that LG was an arbitrary choice for the paladin. No, there was a specific reason that alignment was chosen, because it was the best fit to produce the archtype that the creators wanted for the class. That being an Arthurian type knight. That doesn't mean we now have to feel stuck with it, but let's not pretend there wasn't a logical reason it was chosen.

Second, I would rather a new name be used, something like champion, zealot, or maybe exemplar. It isn't that I don't understand that names are ultimately meaningless and we can redefine them, but I just think it is a good move to show the core idea is moving away the previous concept. I would compare it to the change from Thief to Rogue. I will admit I would prefer just about anything over something like "Anti-Paladin", yuck!


pres man wrote:
Second, I would rather a new name be used, something like champion, zealot, or maybe exemplar. It isn't that I don't understand that names are ultimately meaningless and we can redefine them, but I just think it is a good move to show the core idea is moving away the previous concept. I would compare it to the change from...

Champion would be good IMO. And yeah, I feel bad for those anti's... who wants to be know as "That guy over there, but the opposite." :/


Teatime42 wrote:
pres man wrote:
Second, I would rather a new name be used, something like champion, zealot, or maybe exemplar. It isn't that I don't understand that names are ultimately meaningless and we can redefine them, but I just think it is a good move to show the core idea is moving away the previous concept. I would compare it to the change from...
Champion would be good IMO. And yeah, I feel bad for those anti's... who wants to be know as "That guy over there, but the opposite." :/

Someone who's afraid of lawyers dogpiling him for calling himself a blackguard?


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Honestly, I'd be happy if Paladins could be Any Good with a snippet on how that changes their code depending on what Good you are.

Theres really no need to change the mechanics of the Paladin as is.


MrSin wrote:
Someone who's afraid of lawyers dogpiling him for calling himself a blackguard?

Unlikely. I think you might be suggesting that blackguard isn't OGL, it is.

Teatime42 wrote:

Paladins fill this slot perfectly, and in fact are already generally played as such, most people I know were shocked to find out that Paladins DON'T get their magic/powers from their God.

This may be one of those cases where the change has already happened in part, and the system just hasn't caught up.

Or, it could be a view bias from those around me, and those I've interacted with, and so I only see certain things.

Yeah, I would hate that. I've got no problem with other alignment having "Paladins", but forcing a deity on them, no thanks. Of course many pick one, but then again most characters follow some deity to one extent or another regardless if they get any class features from said deity.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Removed some more unhelpfully fighty and edition warring posts. This is one of those discussions that people are going to be arguing in circles about--agree to disagree folks!


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

why do LE paladin's get no love? they're no where near as... destructive(?) as normal anti-paladins.


Scavion wrote:

Honestly, I'd be happy if Paladins could be Any Good with a snippet on how that changes their code depending on what Good you are.

Theres really no need to change the mechanics of the Paladin as is.

It would change more than the code.

Chaos doesn't do well with codes. At best guidelines. Loose ones.

Instead of bravery and fear it would be better against compulsion, mind control, and ways of interfering with your movement.

Probably no heavy armor proficiency. Gotta MOVE, be nimble, mobile, and freeeeee

More illusion and trickery based spell list than "SMASH THE EVIL!" spell list.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
More illusion and trickery based spell list than "SMASH THE EVIL!" spell list.

So CG doesn't do evil smashing but does trickery and illusion? What if the CG holy paladin was a guy in heavy armor that smited things and used litanies and braved horrors? Like some guy who's life was about smiting evil?

I think there's a lot of bias about alignment here. Lots of ways to play the several alignments.


Also, paladins already get immunity to charm and compulsion.


MrSin wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
More illusion and trickery based spell list than "SMASH THE EVIL!" spell list.
So CG doesn't do evil smashing but does trickery and illusion?

Its not a matter of DOES chaotic good smash evil in the face, but HOW it smashes evil in the face. Chaotic good prefers to smash evil in the face from behind the skull when its not looking. Instead of charging right in you feint, trick, lie, deceive and outwit evil. You throw mud in its eyes, knock it on its but while its blind grab the macguffin and run. Its a different means to the same end.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
MrSin wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
More illusion and trickery based spell list than "SMASH THE EVIL!" spell list.
So CG doesn't do evil smashing but does trickery and illusion?
Its not a matter of DOES chaotic good smash evil in the face, but HOW it smashes evil in the face. Chaotic good prefers to smash evil in the face from behind the skull when its not looking. Instead of charging right in you feint, trick, lie, deceive and outwit evil. You throw mud in its eyes, knock it on its but while its blind grab the macguffin and run. Its a different means to the same end.

Where's this stuff from? A CG character is more than capable of also being that guy that rushes head first recklessly, or is even a perfectly level headed guy who believes in the personal freedom of others. He doesn't have to be some thug or use trickery.

I think your creating expectations for an alignment that just aren't there.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Its not a matter of DOES chaotic good smash evil in the face, but HOW it smashes evil in the face. Chaotic good prefers to smash evil in the face from behind the skull when its not looking. Instead of charging right in you feint, trick, lie, deceive and outwit evil. You throw mud in its eyes, knock it on its but while its blind grab the macguffin and run. Its a different means to the same end.

Yeah, you can play it that way. Nothing says you have too.

I've seen CG quite literally charge right the hell in, and just start laying into people.

Of course, there's nothing stopping a LG from also feinting, tricking, deceiving or outwitting.

You can deceive without lying afterall. :P

And hell, LG can lie too. Perhaps not a Paladin as is, but aside from them, yeah.

"Are the Orphans we, meaning me and these 10 dragons, are going to sacrifice to the god of death and soul rending in the large chest beneath you?"

"...no?"

It's not just your alignment, it's your class, it's backstory and how you go about things.

Granted, CG WILL go about things with much less of a regard for Law, but don't forget, Cayden Cailean himself didn't go around breaking laws for fun. A CG is perfectly capable of obeying the law, just don't expect them to put up with an unjust one. XD

Liz Courts wrote:
Removed some more unhelpfully fighty and edition warring posts. This is one of those discussions that people are going to be arguing in circles about--agree to disagree folks!

Awww, we had more people not be polite enough... :(


MrSin wrote:


Where's this stuff from?

As fast as you can, name 10 iconic chaotic good characters.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
MrSin wrote:


Where's this stuff from?

As fast as you can, name 10 iconic chaotic good characters.

There are only 18 iconics, friend. CG is one alignment out of 9. When are are 90 iconics, ask again.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

a chaotic good EXEMPLAR I believe would behave more like what BNW is saying.

they like to move, they like to do things unseen, as your actions can get you in trouble with the law.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Where's this stuff from?
As fast as you can, name 10 iconic chaotic good characters.

We're going to get different list because people irl or in literature don't usually have a big thing next to them telling you which DnD alignment they go into. Not the most helpful thing.

Instead, tell me why a CG character has to use things like feign and lurk in the shadows instead of being obvious and charge into battle.

Bandw2 wrote:

a chaotic good EXEMPLAR I believe would behave more like what BNW is saying.

they like to move, they like to do things unseen, as your actions can get you in trouble with the law.

That's your idea of one anyway. Another person's idea of someone personifying Chaotic Behavior might be obvious and show the world who he really is, rather than lurk in the shadows. If you represent an ideal you might not make any change from doing everything unseen, sometimes its very important that you shine in the open and show the world how good you really are and what it really means and what has to be done. Let loose your mighty laugh in the face of evil, Ha ha! Chew the scenery if you have to, but be sure to leave an impression so they know who's out there protecting the weak and making wrongs right.

Just the same, a lawful character who wouldn't want to stir up a ruckus because he does respect the law and order might do his work with subtlety, even if its perfectly lawful in itself. Sometimes an obvious action is the one least respectful for society, and the one most likely to make a mess. Should they learn the truth, should they see the darkness, you may very well create suffering and chaos itself, the thing you want to avoid. Not just hiding dark secrets, but not being obvious as to your escort or travels so to protect.


MrSIn wrote:
Instead, tell me why a CG character has to use things like feign and lurk in the shadows instead of being obvious and charge into battle.

You're seeing a lot, and i mean a LOT, of things that I'm not writing.

I did not say that a chaotic good character has to feign and lurk. I'm saying that guile, trickery, deception, lying, hit and run tactics, and FREEEDOOOOOM! are a big part of the chaotic good modus operendi and a chaotic good paladin substitute should reflect that in the mechanics.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
MrSIn wrote:
Instead, tell me why a CG character has to use things like feign and lurk in the shadows instead of being obvious and charge into battle.

You're seeing a lot, and i mean a LOT, of things that I'm not writing.

I did not say that a chaotic good character has to feign and lurk. I'm saying that guile, trickery, deception, lying, hit and run tactics, and FREEEDOOOOOM! are a big part of the chaotic good modus operendi and a chaotic good paladin substitute should reflect that in the mechanics.

If they don't have to, don't replace anything. Problem solved! You have a class that represents one way to play something.

Its a whole lot easier to create a class or archetype to represent a certain role than it is to try and shatter a class and rebuild it for several based on alignment imo. You could use an avenger for hunting down enemies of the faith or some sort of inquisitor skill monkey, and you could have a cleric who has great spells and moderate combat and a priestly cloistered cleric for pure casting love. You could have a paladin and warpriest to cover two types of front line play, one with more casting and another with more smashing. Say you have all of those guys with no alignments. You just plug them in wherever you see fit and not trying to totally recreate one class over and over. Someone thinks their CG character would better be played rogueishly? They nab the inquisitor. Someone wants a caster? Priest and cleric. Someone wants a facesmasher? They can grab a paladin or warpriest. Variety is the spice of life.


A few points I'd like to add:

The paladin of any alignment was done in 4E (at least to my understanding) and will be done in 5E. It is also my understanding that some Paizo devs and some WotC devs are friends and compare notes. PF does not have to do a test run of the CG or LE paladin (a test run which has been done in 3E), they can see how it works for 5E.

An argument was paraphrased as 'removing the LG restriction will make it less difficult to play a paladin.' I can't comment on the argument being paraphrased, but the original concept of paladin is difficult to play. In a Tolkien style fantasy setting clearly defined good and evil exist. The paladin is one of the few things I've liked about D&D/PF alignment in every edition- the paladin tries to live in a world of clearly defined good and evil when real life (and often the game) has shades of grey. The mechanical consequences for failing to navigate shades of grey is fairly meta, can we (or at least the paladin's player and the GM) make the concept of good and evil concrete in the fantasy setting?

I commented that there are no CG-only acts. There was a response that breaking up an arranged marriage is a CG-only act. This raises two questions in my mind- 1) would a NG, LE, N, NE, or CE character every break up an arranged marriage for personal gain, maintaining balance, or the greater good; and 2) if breaking up an arranged marriage is a CG-only act and the defining CG-only act is that something a holy knight would devote their life and divine power to?

If enough PF players support the CG paladin it might be worth it for them to organize their own playtest. They could create a google doc with agreed on mechanics and fluff for PF paladins of any alignment and playtest them, with notes similar to PFS play or the ACG playtest.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:


I did not say that a chaotic good character has to feign and lurk. I'm saying that guile, trickery, deception, lying, hit and run tactics and FREEEDOOOOOM! are a big part of the chaotic good modus operendi

That sounds a lot more chaotic than good.

And yeah I just went and read the writeup for Chaotic Good and nothing in there suggests that Chaotic Good characters use methods described as "guile, trickery, deception, hit and run tactics."

Are you advocating for a Champion of Chaos or a Champion of Good with that concept?

I ask because guile, trickery, deception, and hit and run tactics are really a function of a character's personal values rather than the overarching alignment. A LN Soldier is certainly willing to employ hit and run tactics(It's a sound military strategy after all). A LG Bureaucrat(A Rare creature indeed) can certainly lie to protect someone.

I think it's more beneficial to simply open up the alignment to any good and maintain the same mechanics the Paladin has. This opens up your freedom fighters and realists conceptual options tremendously. You can already make a solid hit and run Paladin whose a freedom fighter by taking the Sacred Servant(Freedom Domain), being Chaotic Good and using a bow.


Scavion wrote:
That sounds a lot more chaotic than good.

As well it should. Because that's about HOW you fight. WHAT you fight for determines the other half of your alignment.

Liberty's Edge

BigNorseWolf wrote:
MrSin wrote:


Where's this stuff from?

As fast as you can, name 10 iconic chaotic good characters.

Malcolm Reynolds, Robin Hood, Green Arrow, Jack Burton, Spider Man, John McClane, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Dresden, Hagrid, and Thor. Along with most Good aligned versions of the Boisterous Bruiser.

Now, none of those characters are actually much inclined to dirty tricks in a fight. Lying, sneaking, or even stealing, sure (at least potentially...not all would steal) but that's as simple as adding Bluff and maybe Stealth as class skills, and direct confrontation is still their primary skill set.

Are dirty tricks possible for a CG character? Sure. Are they iconic? Not so much.


Let's put some money where some fingers are. I started a thread in the house-rule section. Let's build this generic paladin class.

Let's Build an Exemplar Base Class (Paladin Replacement)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder PF Special Edition, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DrDeth wrote:


However, still, that Dragon article never had many fans (even tho it was pretty well written, I think)

Even it's own author, one James Jacobs, wasn't one of them. To be truthful I considered several of them to be more useful as monster encounters than playable classes.


Maybe it would be helpful if people could post some possible rules of behavior for non-LG paladins, because if the character doesn't have a code that is sometimes hard to follow (i.e. it sometimes rules out the most pragmatic or best tactical option in a situation), then IMO you don't have anything like a paladin.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder PF Special Edition, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ParagonDireRaccoon wrote:

E.

An argument was paraphrased as 'removing the LG restriction will make it less difficult to play a paladin.' I can't comment on the argument being paraphrased, but the original concept of paladin is difficult to play. In a Tolkien style fantasy setting clearly defined good and evil exist. The paladin is one of the few things I've liked about D&D/PF alignment in every edition- the paladin tries to live in a world of clearly defined good and evil when real life (and often the game) has shades of grey. The mechanical consequences for failing to navigate shades of grey is fairly meta, can we (or at least the paladin's player and the GM) make the concept of good and evil concrete in the fantasy setting?

I would say that in a world that's strongly run on a "Grey on Grey" morality theme, or where alignment is deliberately de-emphasized, the Paladin and his Anti-Cousin have no place. War-Priests and Inquisitors would wind up filling that niche.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Harry Dresden is not CG. He has a deep seated abidance and love for the law, and he respects the Laws of Magic even if he doesn't agree with all of them or enforce them all.

His rambunctious emotionalism is definitely a chaotic nod. However, he's also a remarkably organized and disciplined individual, capable of great logical and orderly processing of information, and it shows on many of his actions.

I'd peg him NG, leaning to LG (obeying higher laws then just mortal ones). After all, he's on great terms with an Archangel, AND he holds/held two of the Swords. CG just doesn't cover him. I think what you're terming 'chaotic rebelliousness' is actually 'unwillingness to do Evil.' He fights like mad any attempt to make him do the wrong thing. The fact he'll happily spin a tale makes him not a paladin, however.

If I wanted an iconic CG, I'd peg Elminster. Hate him as you like, he's essentially good-hearted, loves his goddess, and has few to no inhibitions on how to get a job done. Little mortal authorities and laws are things he rarely considers much when he's got a job to do.

Even Robin Hood isn't CG. When his rightful king called for his service, he went without hesitation. His rebellion was only against the local unjust lord and the unrightful ponce sitting on the throne. He organized and kept happy his band of merry men with a firm hand.

Green Arrow got himself elected Mayor. CG?!?

John McClane is a cop. He's like quintessential lawful. Doing the right thing regardless of personal sacrifice is highly LG.

In short, CG is not as common as you might think, and many of what you term to be 'chaotic' actions fit easily into the LG paradigm of resisting the lure of evil actions.

==Aelryinth


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MagusJanus wrote:
Take a look at this thread and the argument that DrDeth is posting, particularly his conclusion on the playing of alt paladins. The idea is to see whether or not that argument is right, using the same alignment system so the results cannot be tossed out.

You mean his "Nobody plays non-LG paladins" claim? If that's your concern, my curiosity is satiated.

As absolutely nothing that Dr Deth has said in this thread lines up with anything I know or have experienced, I'm sure that time will prove your concerns happily unfounded. Until then, happy gaming!


Tequila Sunrise wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:
Take a look at this thread and the argument that DrDeth is posting, particularly his conclusion on the playing of alt paladins. The idea is to see whether or not that argument is right, using the same alignment system so the results cannot be tossed out.

You mean his "Nobody plays non-LG paladins" claim? If that's your concern, my curiosity is satiated.

As absolutely nothing that Dr Deth has said in this thread lines up with anything I know or have experienced, I'm sure that time will prove your concerns happily unfounded. Until then, happy gaming!

It is satiated ^^


DrDeth wrote:
I think (and I could be wrong) that most of the cries for Paladins of every alignment is NOT by people who really want to play alt paladins, it's by those who don't like the classic alignment system, which they feel is a straightjacket and limiting. However, I am pretty sure that's here to stay.

From personal experience, I have not seen this to be true at all. I've actually never met a gamer who had strong opinions about alignment, and even in 4e -- where alignment doesn't even matter -- players I've known have never failed to note their PCs' alignments. Including the guy who went on a rant about how much he detested traditional D&D paladins.

And on a personal note, I actually like alignment despite generally being a 4e fanboy. :) I like the idea of an imaginary world where, unlike the real world, some acts are objectively and undeniably wrong, and where the universe itself recognizes those who fight the good fight. I just happen to think that restricting a base class to a single narrow archetype is a waste of page space and role playing potential.

And I think that history has already shown that gamers are generally in agreement, even if one willfully ignores the 4e experiment. Originally, rangers had to be Good; now they can be anything. Originally, druids had to be TN; now they can be any of five N alignments. Bards couldn't be Lawful until 2008; now they're free to be whatever they want. It's impossible to ignore the pattern here. The paladin class is still married to the very narrow LG+code archetype in the minds of many gamers, which makes it one of the last holdouts, but it's only a matter of time before these gamers either realize that "Gee, I guess paladin players having the freedom to pick their own alignment and tenets isn't so dreadfully offensive" or simply leave the hobby to a younger, more inclusive generation.


Tequila Sunrise wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:
Take a look at this thread and the argument that DrDeth is posting, particularly his conclusion on the playing of alt paladins. The idea is to see whether or not that argument is right, using the same alignment system so the results cannot be tossed out.

You mean his "Nobody plays non-LG paladins" claim? If that's your concern, my curiosity is satiated.

I claimed nothing of the sort. I am sure that somewhere, someone played both the Andy Collins and the Dragon alt-alignment paladins. However, those alt-paladins were never popular and I personally never saw them played. I also have not seen anyone actually play a PF anti-paladin, but I know a few people have by posts here on the boards.

Is anyone going to claim those three alt-alignment-paladins were popular and often played?

Yes, of course a few players do want a CG Paladin. I don't think the demand is high enuf to justify one. Mind you, the alt-paladins didn;t make me upset, and someday they could happen- but I would like distinctive names for each, so "Paladin" can still mean "LG".


Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Originally, rangers had to be Good; now they can be anything. Originally, druids had to be TN; now they can be any of five N alignments. Bards couldn't be Lawful until 2008; now they're free to be whatever they want. It's impossible to ignore the pattern here. The paladin class is still married to the very narrow LG+code archetype in the minds of many gamers, which makes it one of the last holdouts, but it's only a matter of time before these gamers either realize that "Gee, I guess paladin players having the freedom to pick their own alignment and tenets isn't so dreadfully offensive" or simply leave the hobby to a younger, more inclusive generation.

Except that to allow Druid to be any Neutral took a change of one word. Changing Rangers & Bards took the same.

Changing Paladins takes a entire re-write as has been shown in the past and with the Anti-Paladin.

And, those alignments were never part & parcel of what the class *IS* like a LG Paladin.

Liberty's Edge

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Aelryinth wrote:
Harry Dresden is not CG. He has a deep seated abidance and love for the law, and he respects the Laws of Magic even if he doesn't agree with all of them or enforce them all.

The Laws of Magic in his world are laws of reality (check the official RPG if you disbelieve me) people who break them tend to go irrevocably and monstrously insane. Respecting them is not a sign of lawfulness, just good sense.

Aelryinth wrote:
His rambunctious emotionalism is definitely a chaotic nod. However, he's also a remarkably organized and disciplined individual, capable of great logical and orderly processing of information, and it shows on many of his actions.

And none of that contradicts being Chaotic. Chaotic alignment isn't stupidity or even lack of discipline, it's more of an outlook thing.

Aelryinth wrote:
I'd peg him NG, leaning to LG (obeying higher laws then just mortal ones). After all, he's on great terms with an Archangel, AND he holds/held two of the Swords. CG just doesn't cover him. I think what you're terming 'chaotic rebelliousness' is actually 'unwillingness to do Evil.' He fights like mad any attempt to make him do the wrong thing. The fact he'll happily spin a tale makes him not a paladin, however.

Yes. An Archangel. Who he regularly cusses out for being too law-abiding and letting the rules get in the way of doing what's right. That doesn't scream Lawful to me, quite the opposite. Harry Dresden ignore tradition, the orders of his legally appointed superiors, and even skirts the edges of the aforementioned laws of magic (remember Sue?) all purely in the course of doing what he personally believes is right. He doesn't take orders from pretty much anyone, ever. He's impulsive, chivalrous, and a big believer in personal revenge rather than legal punishment for those who cross him. He's been involved in so many hideously illegal things I've lost count of them, and does so, in some cases, for no better reason than it's easier to do it that way. He's textbook CG.

Now, in more recent books he's gotten a tad bit more Lawful (maybe all the way to NG...but then again maybe not), but Harry Dresden for the first twelve or so books? CG all the way.

Aelryinth wrote:
If I wanted an iconic CG, I'd peg Elminster. Hate him as you like, he's essentially good-hearted, loves his goddess, and has few to no inhibitions on how to get a job done. Little mortal authorities and laws are things he rarely considers much when he's got a job to do.

Haven't read much about Elminster, to be honest. I'm willing to take your word for it, though.

Aelryinth wrote:
Even Robin Hood isn't CG. When his rightful king called for his service, he went without hesitation. His rebellion was only against the local unjust lord and the unrightful ponce sitting on the throne. He organized and kept happy his band of merry men with a firm hand.

This really depends on which version of Robin Hood you go with. There've been quite a few. My favorites probably mostly don't qualify as Lawful.

Aelryinth wrote:
Green Arrow got himself elected Mayor. CG?!?

Politicians can be Chaotic. And I'm thinking more classic Green Arrow for the most part (Green Arrow and Green Lantern's team-up thing is a great CG and LG pairing, for example).

Aelryinth wrote:
John McClane is a cop. He's like quintessential lawful. Doing the right thing regardless of personal sacrifice is highly LG.

Uh...in the first movie alone, he's ordered, repeatedly, by the lawful authorities to stop what he's doing and does not comply in the least. He has no legal authority to do so (being out of his jurisdiction), but kills a large number of people anyway (and punches out a reporter). The rest of the movies continue to make it clear that when you get right down to it, John gives precisely zero f~$*s about the law as such when it gets in the way of what he believes is right.

Just working for the government doesn't make one Lawful.

Aelryinth wrote:

In short, CG is not as common as you might think, and many of what you term to be 'chaotic' actions fit easily into the LG paradigm of resisting the lure of evil actions.

==Aelryinth

That's not the LG paradigm though, that's a general Good paradigm ('not doing Evil' being something all Good people can get behind). The Lawful paradigm is, and I quote:

"Lawful characters tell the truth, keep their word, respect authority, honor tradition, and judge those who fall short of their duties."

While the Chaotic one is:

"Chaotic characters follow their consciences, resent being told what to do, favor new ideas over tradition, and do what they promise if they feel like it."

Both John McClane and Harry Dresden resemble the second description far more than the first. With neither respecting authority or honoring tradition in the least, and Harry Dresden being very willing to lie and break his word, as well as being a lot more forgiving of people who fall short than is common in his setting. Joh McClane's also wiling to lie, but gets into fewer situations where the other two are likely to come up.

Both follow their consciences, resist practically every order they're given, and, in Harry's case, he favors new ideas over tradition rather strongly.


DrDeth wrote:
Except that to allow Druid to be any Neutral took a change of one word. Changing Rangers & Bards took the same.

Actually it does only change one word. Even if you took the paladin as written just remove the alignment restriction section and you still have a guy with a code. If it works for someone playing a CG, LN, or NG character then good for them right?

DrDeth wrote:
Changing Paladins takes a entire re-write as has been shown in the past and with the Anti-Paladin.

To be fair, the anti-paladin was written with the idea that they had to make a rewrite and it only exist as one alignment. You could easily swap the code out and swap the good aligned things with evil aligned things in the paladin write up and you'd have a guy who's a champion of evil. You could replace them with the option between what alignment/creatures you smite and have that determine what DR you get. Boom, flexible paladin. Does a champion of evil have to hurt his allies? Nope. Does a champion of evil have to have a fiend instead of a horse? Why not horse, of course?


MrSin wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Except that to allow Druid to be any Neutral took a change of one word. Changing Rangers & Bards took the same.

Actually it does only change one word. Even if you took the paladin as written just remove the alignment restriction section and you still have a guy with a code. If it works for someone playing a CG, LN, or NG character then good for them right?

Why would a CN Paladin smite Evil? Few Evil alignments have healing. Not too sure why LN would have "mercies". Why would a NE Paladin be able to make his weapon Good aligned? Many class features only fit for either Good or Lawful.


DrDeth wrote:
MrSin wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Except that to allow Druid to be any Neutral took a change of one word. Changing Rangers & Bards took the same.
Actually it does only change one word. Even if you took the paladin as written just remove the alignment restriction section and you still have a guy with a code. If it works for someone playing a CG, LN, or NG character then good for them right?
Why would a CN Paladin smite Evil? Few Evil alignments have healing. Not too sure why LN would have "mercies". Why would a NE Paladin be able to make his weapon Good aligned? Many class features only fit for either Good or Lawful.

All evil alignments have healing because its not a good aligned spell, and because you need to heal people, including minions, subjects and tools to further your cause. Oh, and yourself. Tiefling paladins are all about healing themselves you know. Its not like a LN paladin of abadar or Irori following the code to the word wouldn't want mercies to improve his lay on hands and bring order to the world and other peoples minds. A NE paladin wants a good aligned weapon to slay evil things with dr/good, because its not like he just gets along with those guys and they aren't a threat to the mortal realms or even each other.

Neutral can fight evil, and evil can fight evil. Its not like they're prohibited from strengthening their allies or fighting their own alignment. Even a paladin has enough leeway they can have strife with another paladin in the party.


MrSin wrote:
Tiefling paladins are all about healing themselves you know.

Racist.


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Ipslore the Red wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Tiefling paladins are all about healing themselves you know.
Racist.

Don't hate the player, hate the game.

Shadow Lodge

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ParagonDireRacoon wrote:
I commented that there are no CG-only acts. There was a response that breaking up an arranged marriage is a CG-only act. This raises two questions in my mind- 1) would a NG, LE, N, NE, or CE character every break up an arranged marriage for personal gain, maintaining balance, or the greater good; and 2) if breaking up an arranged marriage is a CG-only act and the defining CG-only act is that something a holy knight would devote their life and divine power to?

1) They can, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a typically CG act, especially if motivated by a desire to help a person be true to their own heart. Just like helping an assault victim and then reporting it to authorities is a typically LG act which characters of other alignments can also perform. Characters can perform actions that are typical of other alignments, their alignment just reflects the actions they perform most often.

2) A CG knight could dedicate themselves exclusively to fighting against arranged marriages, but I find it more likely that they would consider it to be a key part of their more general crusade for the liberation and self-actualization of all persons. Just like a LG knight could specifically dedicate themselves to combating fraud, but is more likely to see it as a part of their general crusade for justice.

JoeJ wrote:
Maybe it would be helpful if people could post some possible rules of behavior for non-LG paladins, because if the character doesn't have a code that is sometimes hard to follow (i.e. it sometimes rules out the most pragmatic or best tactical option in a situation), then IMO you don't have anything like a paladin.

CG codes, from a previous post of mine. The first two have very obvious consequences in dealing with authority figures, and the rest can be otherwise situationally inconvenient.

  • Cannot assume titles of authority or use them in addressing others (ex: Your Highness, Your Honour)
  • Cannot participate in rituals of obedience (ex: bowing, doffing hats)
  • Cannot use or condone the use of magic interfering with free will, including Charm, Dominate, Suggestion, or Mark of Justice
  • Cannot keep a prisoner who prefers death to imprisonment
  • Cannot tolerate punishment of persons for crimes that are not evil in nature (ex: adultery)
  • Cannot enter into or encourage others to enter into a binding contract (one that has penalties for breaking the contract beyond the loss of its benefits)
  • Cannot make promises, as this gives the impression of having entered into a verbal binding agreement. Instead of saying "I promise to save your brother" the CG paladin says "I intend to save your brother."

Scavion wrote:
A LG Bureaucrat(A Rare creature indeed) can certainly lie to protect someone.

I played one of those! He was an inquisitor, and when he went to purgatory and there wasn't any paperwork there he invented some. Got a reputation among the locals for really neat handwriting.

Aelryinth wrote:
Doing the right thing regardless of personal sacrifice is highly LG.

No, it's highly good. No wonder you have a hard time visualizing CG heroes.


DrDeth wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
You mean his "Nobody plays non-LG paladins" claim? If that's your concern, my curiosity is satiated.
I claimed nothing of the sort...However, those alt-paladins were never popular and I personally never saw them played. I also have not seen anyone actually play a PF anti-paladin, but I know a few people have by posts here on the boards.

I exaggerated your claim, but you very much did say something of the sort. Repeatedly.

DrDeth wrote:
Is anyone going to claim those three alt-alignment-paladins were popular and often played?

IME, non-LG paladins are just as popular as the traditional kind in games where the Code and the LG restriction is simply dropped, and in 4e. I can't fathom how this is difficult for some to imagine, as I've never heard anyone claim that LG clerics are more popular than non-LG clerics.

DrDeth wrote:
Yes, of course a few players do want a CG Paladin. I don't think the demand is high enuf to justify one. Mind you, the alt-paladins didn;t make me upset, and someday they could happen- but I would like distinctive names for each, so "Paladin" can still mean "LG".

You know, in an ideal world of unlimited page count and flat printing costs, I think that special snowflake classes for each alignment could be super nifty. But in the real world, nine narrowly-defined classes result in eight of them being relegated to the obscurity of splats and Dragon mags. If not outright ignored. Thus, the one special-snowflake class that makes it into the basic game has the lowest play rate because its appeal is limited to such a narrow subset of players.

Maybe someday in the future, there will be an all-digital ttrpg with devs who care enough about nine special-snowflake paladin-alike classes to do a real quality job of it in the basic rules. But until then, the simple solution is to have one flexible paladin class. Thanks to classes like the cleric, we know that this is a tried and true compromise between flexible generic classes and special-snowflake classes.

Or alternatively, include the flexible paladin-alike class in the basic game, and relegate the LG-only paladin to some splat or Dragon mag. That should make everyone relatively happy.

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