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


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Silver Crusade

The problem with a CG Paladin is they don't fit the mold with what a paladin represents. CG will look out for themselves if need be.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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shallowsoul wrote:
CG will look out for themselves of need be.

That is not how Law-vs-Chaos works.


Where in the chaotic good write-up does it say Chaotic Good characters look out for themselves above others?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think a chaotic character would be upset if obligation was invoked in an attempt to lock them down to a specific action or request, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't do it themselves without being asked/manipulated.

I know people like this IRL.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

as long as no harm is done, CG characters will totally look out for themselves before others. That, again, does not mean they ALL will be that way, but they CAN be that way. And, y'know, being chaotic individualists, it's more likely then not.

==Aelryinth

Silver Crusade

Ross Byers wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
CG will look out for themselves of need be.
That is not how Law-vs-Chaos works.

Actually, it can and it all depends on the situation.


Aelryinth wrote:
And, y'know, being chaotic individualists, it's more likely then not.

Why does being chaotic good infer individualist? A lot of being chaotic good infers they want to make things just and disregard laws doing it, not that they do things for themselves more often than not. That character might be more neutral or evil for his apathy or selfishness.

They aren't just chaotic either, they're chaotic good. Good infers they're going to be benevolent doesn't it?

Silver Crusade

Aelryinth wrote:

as long as no harm is done, CG characters will totally look out for themselves before others. That, again, does not mean they ALL will be that way, but they CAN be that way. And, y'know, being chaotic individualists, it's more likely then not.

==Aelryinth

Which is not the behaviour of a paladin.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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shallowsoul wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
CG will look out for themselves of need be.
That is not how Law-vs-Chaos works.
Actually, it can and it all depends on the situation.

You implied that a Chaotic Good person is somehow less likely to be Good than a Lawful Good person. That is false: they are equally Good. LG is not 'more Good' than CG any more than CE is 'more Evil' than LE or LN is 'more Good' than CN.

I'm in favor of the alignment restriction on Paladins. But is isn't because CG isn't 'Good enough'.


Aelryinth wrote:

as long as no harm is done, CG characters will totally look out for themselves before others. That, again, does not mean they ALL will be that way, but they CAN be that way. And, y'know, being chaotic individualists, it's more likely then not.

==Aelryinth

Looking out for yourself before others is not good of any flavor. "Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others... People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent, but may lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others." (CRB p. 166) What you described is chaotic neutral.

Shadow Lodge

4E discussion is getting a little off topic...

@QuietBrowser:
I've read the alignment descriptions from 4E. I know that they've classified freedom as a universal good value and smushed CG into "good." I do not agree with that decision, because I think that CG does add something distinct to good.

I believe that the reason law vs good dilemmas are more salient than chaos vs good dilemmas is because law vs good is an easy way to morally challenge the LG paladin. Chaos vs good dilemmas are just as possible and interesting. Aelrinth came up with one example - when the arranged marriage that the CG person wants to stop is preventing a war. I've seen one very dramatic example in play - a character left a friend at the mercy of a tribe of werewolves rather than lose his own individuality.

I've also absolutely seen LG characters that bleed into NG territory because the lawfulness isn't emphasized much.

Aelryinth wrote:

Depriving an enemy of a powerful weapon is a fundamental military tactic. Theft is generally stealing from another to enrich yourself. Stealing an artifact from Cheliax falls under the same lines as destroying it in this instance, since destroying it is not possible, you do the next best thing. The objective is not to gain the artifact to sell it, its to get it out of the control of the enemy and weaken them...a very worthy goal.

As for not lying...minor violation at best, and there are SO MANY ways around this its not funny. Being misleading is an artform that is not limited to the practice of rogues and bards.

I agree. However, if you're going to give a LG paladin to commit minor dishonourable acts - lying, and taking something that does not belong to you - in order to achieve a worthy goal, then you also have to give the CG paladin to commit minor lawful acts like showing respect to a monarch in order to negotiate for greater protection of his subjects' personal liberties. In which case the code I posted was not "insanity" but very reasonable - though it could probably have been trimmed down/reworded to more closely parallel the LG paladin code.

shallowsoul wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
CG will look out for themselves of need be.
That is not how Law-vs-Chaos works.
Actually, it can and it all depends on the situation.

In addition to JoeJ's CRB reference, I've already cited the passages in Champions of Purity that demonstrate this is not the case.

Silver Crusade

Ross Byers wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
CG will look out for themselves of need be.
That is not how Law-vs-Chaos works.
Actually, it can and it all depends on the situation.

You implied that a Chaotic Good person is somehow less likely to be Good than a Lawful Good person. That is false: they are equally Good. LG is not 'more Good' than CG any more than CE is 'more Evil' than LE or LN is 'more Good' than CN.

I'm in favor of the alignment restriction on Paladins. But is isn't because CG isn't 'Good enough'.

I'm sorry but I am going to disagree. A Lawful Good person would go above and beyond for good, A Chaotic Good person would not. A Lawful Good character would sacrifice himself at a moments notice while a CG would not.

Silver Crusade

Weirdo wrote:

4E discussion is getting a little off topic...

** spoiler omitted **

Aelryinth wrote:

Depriving an enemy of a powerful weapon is a fundamental military tactic. Theft is generally stealing from another to enrich yourself. Stealing an artifact from Cheliax falls under the same lines as destroying it in this instance, since destroying it is not possible, you do the next best thing. The objective is not to gain the artifact to sell it, its to get it out of the control of the enemy and weaken them...a very worthy goal.

As for not lying...minor violation at best, and there are SO MANY ways around this its not funny. Being misleading is an artform that is not limited to the practice of rogues and bards.

I agree. However, if you're going to give a LG paladin to commit minor dishonourable acts - lying, and taking something that does not belong to you - in order to achieve a worthy goal, then you also have to give the CG paladin to commit minor lawful acts like showing respect to a monarch in order to negotiate for greater protection of his subjects' personal liberties. In which case the code I posted was not "insanity" but very reasonable - though it could...

Champions of Purity hasn't rewritten the alignment system.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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shallowsoul wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
CG will look out for themselves of need be.
That is not how Law-vs-Chaos works.
Actually, it can and it all depends on the situation.

You implied that a Chaotic Good person is somehow less likely to be Good than a Lawful Good person. That is false: they are equally Good. LG is not 'more Good' than CG any more than CE is 'more Evil' than LE or LN is 'more Good' than CN.

I'm in favor of the alignment restriction on Paladins. But is isn't because CG isn't 'Good enough'.

I'm sorry but I am going to disagree. A Lawful Good person would go above and beyond for good, A Chaotic Good person would not. A Lawful Good character would sacrifice himself at a moments notice while a CG would not.

Then you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what both 'Good' and 'Chaotic' mean.


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shallowsoul wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
CG will look out for themselves of need be.
That is not how Law-vs-Chaos works.
Actually, it can and it all depends on the situation.

You implied that a Chaotic Good person is somehow less likely to be Good than a Lawful Good person. That is false: they are equally Good. LG is not 'more Good' than CG any more than CE is 'more Evil' than LE or LN is 'more Good' than CN.

I'm in favor of the alignment restriction on Paladins. But is isn't because CG isn't 'Good enough'.

I'm sorry but I am going to disagree. A Lawful Good person would go above and beyond for good, A Chaotic Good person would not. A Lawful Good character would sacrifice himself at a moments notice while a CG would not.

I recommend you carefully read the alignment section again. If anything Neutral Good is the most fitting as it's the alignment that seeks to do the most good without being bound by chaos and order.

As described, neither law or chaos has an effect on how good you are, only how you go about it.

Shadow Lodge

shallowsoul wrote:
Champions of Purity hasn't rewritten the alignment system.

No, but it has explained it in more detail in case you misinterpreted the CRB description. Which, again, says "Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others."

Not "LG character make personal sacrifices to help others."

All good characters.


MrSin wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
MrSin wrote:
ParagonDireRaccoon wrote:
I think the CG paladin advocates should run the CG paladin through and AP or The Emerald Spire and post notes.

What if I can show you proof an inflexible LG paladin can create problems from personal experience or through other forum post?

No more than a CN "kill and steal anything I think is fun" PC can. Alignments don't cause problems- jerk players using those alignments are excuses for jerk behaviours cause problems.

Actually, a game format can create a situation where a problem is more likely to occur, or can have worse consequences. The paladin for instance is a magnet for "you should play this way!" situations, and has a hammer over their head where they lose their class if they don't. A more flexible class could avoid that entirely, see fighter. There's also a thing about how your creating a game for a variety of people to have fun, and having flexibility can really help that. Paladin also appears as a class that can fill multiple roles, but apparently is pigeonholed into one thing, with consequences for leaving that thing and is inflexible as to fill those other roles because... reasons. Creating a sort of trap.

Jerks only make things worse.

To be clear, paladin's issues have much more to do with their code than their alignment. LG fighters don't have the same issues, nor do LG members of any other appropriate class. "You should play this way!" is all about the code, which is, yes, telling you how the character should act. If a CG paladin has a "code", then it is going to cause similar issues.


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Look,

Some people are traditionalists, ergo "The Paladin must be Lawful Good"

Some people don't care about alignment, and would prefer looser rules, ergo, "Why do we have to stick with that? Why can't the Paladin be Any Good?"

Some people might say many things.

I don't think there is a right answer. In my games I would prefer a traditional game, i.e. Paladin is Lawful Good.

Though I would allow Holy Warriors of other alignment- with slightly different abilities and different names. Dragon magazine had a good article with this (the CG Avenger, NG- Sentinel ? I think?, and others...)

The Paladin has a special place in my heart as the LG challenge to play.

However, I wouldn't tell someone they are wrong if in their game they allowed a NG Paladin. Though a CG Paladin just feels a bit wrong to me. They should be something else. But, play the way you want! D&D is a legacy game and alignment isn't real! If it was, I would be True Neutral anyway... :)


pres man wrote:


To be clear, paladin's issues have much more to do with their code than their alignment. LG fighters don't have the same issues, nor do LG members of any other appropriate class. "You should play this way!" is all about the code, which is, yes, telling you how the character should act. If a CG paladin has a "code", then it is going to cause similar issues.

Eh, they fall if they become non LG, ever willfully or willingly commit an evil act, or violate their code. Compliance with the code has become more of a trap in PF than in 3e whwere it was falling only for gross violations of the code. Single acts of evil ("Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others") are still a pretty big fall trap though depending on DM interpretation of evil.


Voadam wrote:
pres man wrote:


To be clear, paladin's issues have much more to do with their code than their alignment. LG fighters don't have the same issues, nor do LG members of any other appropriate class. "You should play this way!" is all about the code, which is, yes, telling you how the character should act. If a CG paladin has a "code", then it is going to cause similar issues.
Eh, they fall if they become non LG, ever willfully or willingly commit an evil act, or violate their code. Compliance with the code has become more of a trap in PF than in 3e whwere it was falling only for gross violations of the code. Single acts of evil ("Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others") are still a pretty big fall trap though depending on DM interpretation of evil.

I was actually talking more about them being a douche to the rest of the party than about them falling.

I also agree that removing the "gross violations" from their code was a mistake


pres man wrote:
To be clear, paladin's issues have much more to do with their code than their alignment. LG fighters don't have the same issues, nor do LG members of any other appropriate class. "You should play this way!" is all about the code, which is, yes, telling you how the character should act. If a CG paladin has a "code", then it is going to cause similar issues.

Ish, code might be the most of it, but even having an alignment restriction can lead to people getting hung up or asking people to roleplay a certain way. Like the DM who asys a barbarian loses his powers for acting civilized(or entering a city in one story I heard) or the monk who loses his monkness even though he's incredibly disciplined but thinks out of the box. A LG fighter doesn't have to care as much, though he can choose too, and I have see players and/or DMs throw a fit over having their alignment changed(some cases I agree with more than others mind you), but that might go more into alignment than anything.

The fact the restrictions appear at all can lead people to believe they have to enforce them rather than work with them, if that makes sense. Might be going a bit off topic though.

More on topic and for what its worth, I think you could definitely create a code for any alignment prone to causing issues. I've always been big on being flexible and allowing build your own codes in my games as a houserule because I think that's more likely to build a character the player really wants to play and can definitely foster roleplay. You get anything from a classic paladin, to a paladin of a god, to a paladin of 'true justice' and a paladin of the brew who's all about alcohol. Little harder to fall, but I'm fine with that as long as everyone's having fun. Then again I also put falling into the hands of the player, so that's a bit biased.

Anytime you pre make a code of whatever you might very well be creating it on your idea, and not everyone may agree on that idea. Leaving up to interpretation to others can also lead to issues. I think its a lot easier and less likely to fall into pits or traps if you make it more player centric, but not everyone's into that.


In order to challenge the Law vs Good dynamic all you need is evil laws. That doesn't require the paladin or players cooperation, and can very easily be made into an adventure. Free the lawfully imprisoned slaves, get the wrongfully convicted man out of jail, kill the powerful noble who is above the law etc

In order to challenge the chaos vs good dynamic, you need a situation where the chaotic character would be better participating in a large government organizing things than harrying off and doing it himself. This runs contrary to the spirit of an adventure game unless you're playing kingmaker or something. What do you role play for 5 hours... tps report covers?


Teatime42 wrote:

Well, it seems like a CG Paladin has gained some traction. XD

Suggestion on that front, have someone who doesn't like the idea of CG Paladins ALSO play through something like that, to reduce any possibility of accusations, and to also compensate for the additional variable of beliefs/intentions of the person playing it.

Does anyone have anything to say about NG, or even LN as Paladin alignments?

Or even alignment-less? All this focusing on a CG variant of the Paladin has made a few other questions fade into the background.

While part of the question was indeed "Why can't Paladins be other Alignments?", the other part of the question is, "Why aren't Paladins the same alignment as their Deities?"

It was explained that Paladins get their powers from some third party dependent on them and their Code, who's to say that those same Deities couldn't MAKE Paladins, and have them use their own Code based off their Diety. Iomedae, Sarenrae, Shelyn and Abadar all have specific Paladin codes in Inner Sea Gods, which means, that for those Gods, and those alignments (LN, LG (Variant of Main Paladin), and two versions of NG), there are pre-built Codes as applied to those Gods.

I understand, "That's not how it works", but, aside from that, any issues with this?

Ever so slight tangent (Or not so Tangent possibly), anyone remember the Knights of Tahkisis? :)

In addition to homebrews there have been a number of options from core to obscure sources throughout D&D.

1e had the Dragon article with anti-paladins. And the one with a variant for every alignment. I remember these always being praised as awesome when I heard people talk of these but looking it over recently I found them only OK in execution. I had one guy play an antipaladin in a 1e game of mine in the 80s for the few sessions he was there and it went fine. 1e also had the Knights of Takhisis published in the back of the novel Dragons of Summer Flames in the 90s as you pointed out though those came late in the game, I think in the 2e era but using 1e mechanics.

2e had the CG paladins of Horus in Legends and Lore I believe. Its been years since I've read through the three 2e FR god books but they had tons of specialty priests and exception based rules for their divine champions (cleric, specialty priests, even skills and powers monks) and I expect some variant paladins are in there. I can't really remember if there were some arcane paladin variant in the late 2e Tower of Wizardry book, possibly in the late mages vs barbarians three part island setting they did. I also have vague memories of the Diablo 2e supplement but I don't remember if they had paladins in there.

I thought the 3e Unearthed Arcana paladin variants were neat conceptually for filling out concepts but eh mechanically. There were d20 paladin books with variants on the paladin base class, I remember one with a ton of LG variants and a NG and LN variant that I considered decent at the time. I forget the name now though. D20 Diablo paladins I don't remember whether they had a code and alignment restrictions but they had neat aura powers. Everquest RPG had good paladins and something knights which were evil and they seemed decent mechanically. Green Ronin came out with Unholy Warriors handbook for 3e and Book of the Righteous which had divine champion classes for each of its pantheon of gods. These were neat ideas, even if the mechanics were not always that great. (I played an unholy warrior once and it was mechanically subpar). I think Paradigm Concepts did this for their Arcanis world as well which I've read good things about.

4e allowed paladins to be any alignment which I saw a lot of people cheer, but their initial mechanics were subpar and required the later released Divine Power and some system mastery to bring up to par or the even later released excellent version in 4e Essentials.


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This is why a lot of characters are chaotic

1) Your default Adventuring parties are a small, non governmental agency without any connections to the outside world or sanction of any of the governments where they operate. Loose cannons doesn't begin to describe it.

2) Adventuring parties can do whatever they hell they want. Your typical 5th level fighter can take on the entire town even IF the wizard doesn't turn the entire village into a smouldering ruin with a fireball. While your typical neutral to lawful person might feel compelled to go along with the flow for fear of being beat up by the police , the police can feel compelled to go along with the party for fear of being beaten up by the party.

3) Adventurers only get called in when governments fail. This gives the impression that governments always fail because that's what the party always sees.

4) Referring back to 3, Many times the government IS the problem. The evil chancellor needs to be taken out, or legally possessed slaves need to be rescued. If the government isn't doing anything wrong then you don't need adventurers to fix the problem... giving adventurers the impression that the government is always doing something wrong.

5) The adventuring party is a small, mobile, efficient , self sustained and self sustaining social unit. The kind of good that law can bring: pooling resources from thousands of people into a project that will help everyone, laying down rules that are generally a good idea but not always, are generally irrelevant to an adventuring party. they don't see the benefits of government or large organized groups.

6) Its not very fun when the red dragon can defeat you by posting a copy of the deed to her lair and a no trespassing sign.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

BigNorseWolf: Law is not 'legal'. Law is 'order'. It doesn't have anything to do with the government (except insofar as the government is usually, but not always, an organized system itself.)

That said, your list there is a fairly good summary of why adventurers might skew chaotic.


Teatime42 wrote:

Does anyone have anything to say about NG, or even LN as Paladin alignments?

Or even alignment-less? All this focusing on a CG variant of the Paladin has made a few other questions fade into the background.

NG ones work conceptually: Paladin is good above all else, a shining beacon of virtue.

LN works conceptually: Completely dedicated to their honor and (good)code, liege and faith. They are the steadfast knight you can rely upon and use as a model of honor and chivalry.

The mechanics of the paladin work great for most every alignment if you change the alignment and code and perhaps the aura.

True Neutral: The Green Knight, Champion of Nature. Crusades against those unnatural corruptors of the natural world - fiends and undead. He detects them at will, he channels living life energy to heal or overwhelm undead. He channels the power of the natural world which strikes extra hard at things not of this world (fiends and undead). His living life force is so strong he resists all effects better (grace) and is untouched by diseases. He can even summon an animal companion to bear him into combat (steed).

Chaotic Evil: The Chaos Warrior, blessed by a demon lord. Demons fight each other in constant chaotic war along with the rest of the cosmos. He detects evil to know his rivals are near, he smites evil to strike down his rivals and keep his minions in line. He is supernaturally resistant to powers and disease, he is self sufficient and heals himself. He even has turning powers to stomp on Orcus' minions.

Lawful Evil: The Hellknight, soldier of the Blood War. Hell fights the Abyss in the great Blood War to consolidate the power of Evil under one ruler. Hellknights sense their foes the demons, and smite them with supernatural force. Unnaturally tough they even have magic designed to fight evil.

I've long modified alignment in my games with everybody neutral at base and only supernatural descriptors, alignment auras and undead showing up as cosmic alignments.

Players have played paladins and antipaladins with no problems in my game with those modifications, smite=smite most anyone with super boosts for descriptor evil (which I apply to undead).

Silver Crusade

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Paladins are all about being exemplars of good, with powers for fighting evil. Law and chaos are, or should be, irrelevant.

The published variant paladins failed because they ignored that. I was really looking forward to seeing the CG paladin, but when it arrived it was all about Smiting Law! WTF?

Paladins should be 'any good'. Their code shouldn't mention either law or chaos.

Quote:

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

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

As for powers, simply add the chaotic-descriptor equivalents of their lawful-descriptor spells, and remind us that they can't cast spells with an alignment descriptor opposite their own.

Add Anarchic to the list of Divine Bond weapon powers, and state that you cannot use it unless you are chaotic, and add that you can't use Axiomatic unless you are lawful.

Job done.

The reason JJ didn't write this is because he was paid to write a multi-page article for Dtagon magazine, so felt the need to write variant classes. That would always be the wrong approach and that it why it failed, even for him.


You get a lot different ideas on what a variant paladin is in this thread. You get:

  • An any good paladin who's exactly like the one we have.
  • A paladin who's all about his deity and may have a different code because of it.(I think this was the one in the OP)
  • A variant paladin/paladin archetype with totally different class features to try and represent another alignment
  • That paladin who's all about an ideal and flexible to work with any ideal.
  • Nilla' Paladin as the one true paladin.
  • Paladin but has a different name so he can be other things and possibly has paladin as an archetype of his own.

Did I miss any? Probably plenty of leeway in between those things.


Regarding the Dresden Files reference upthread, also spoilers from Changes:
Aelryinth wrote:
As for the Laws of Magic - sorry, killing mortals with magic doesn't mess with your mind, or Harry's Grandfather would be batcrap wacko, as in one book...

Word of Jim states the Blackstaff itself protects Ebenezar from the nasty stuff caused by using magic to kill people. I can PM you the forum thread where he mentions that, if you want.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Paladins are all about being exemplars of good, with powers for fighting evil. Law and chaos are, or should be, irrelevant.

The published variant paladins failed because they ignored that. I was really looking forward to seeing the CG paladin, but when it arrived it was all about Smiting Law! WTF?

Paladins should be 'any good'. Their code shouldn't mention either law or chaos.

Quote:

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

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

If you want to down play the Lawful aspect, why keep some of the Lawful part of the code?

PRD wrote:
Law implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability.

Webstore Gninja Minion

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Removed posts and replies, locking thread. We've been round and round this carousel before—you're not going to convince anybody that there is only One True Way to play a paladin. Change it in your own game if you want to. Don't try and force your play style into somebody else's game.

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