An argument for why paladins should be banned


Pathfinder Society

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I was muddling around with a good way to explain this and I came across TV tropes paladin entry.

Spoiler:
The Order of the Stick has a city teeming with paladins, Azure City. They give us the whole range of paladins, from the Lawful Stupid Knight Templar Miko, to the more balanced Hinjo, who while still a bit of a stickler for the rules is willing to hear both sides and try to be as fair as possible, all the way to resident Memetic Badass O-Chul, who exemplifies "always take the good option."

Conveniently set in the 3.5 universe. Only 1 of the above three fell and it was the lawful stupid knight templer variant.

Silver Crusade

Rushley son of Halum wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Your argument seems to be (and I'm sure you'll correct me) that you don't like good characters, but you're okay with them if they can be browbeaten into giving up their convictions. However the paladins are harder to browbeat because there are actual in game repercussions for them betraying their character concept.
Actually i'd say the problem is that many paladins don't have a character concept. Just some 2 dimensional idea with no depth.

raises eyebrow

Shadow Lodge

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Undone wrote:
I came across TV tropes paladin entry.

And you had time to come back while this topic was still alive? You must have godly will saves.

The Exchange

Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Your argument seems to be (and I'm sure you'll correct me) that you don't like good characters, but you're okay with them if they can be browbeaten into giving up their convictions. However the paladins are harder to browbeat because there are actual in game repercussions for them betraying their character concept.

i'm sorry that that is your takeaway from all this. it seems that if i continue to argue my point i am somehow offending you. i assume that is what you intend by saying "(and I'm sure you'll correct me)". i am trying to have civil discourse and state my position, and in return i have been accused of all sorts of transgressions with very few people arguing against what i am actually saying. i keep trying to restate it to make it clearer, and perhaps i have done so to my own detriment.

The Exchange

Ashak-Kenoth wrote:
Rushley son of Halum wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Your argument seems to be (and I'm sure you'll correct me) that you don't like good characters, but you're okay with them if they can be browbeaten into giving up their convictions. However the paladins are harder to browbeat because there are actual in game repercussions for them betraying their character concept.
Actually i'd say the problem is that many paladins don't have a character concept. Just some 2 dimensional idea with no depth.
raises eyebrow

I'm not saying that Paladins can't have interesting and deep characters and concepts.

I'm saying that plenty of players view them as a "concept in a box" something you don't need to develop or work to. Here's this code you can follow to the extreme, that can be your code right there.


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Dylos wrote:
Undone wrote:
I came across TV tropes paladin entry.
And you had time to come back while this topic was still alive? You must have godly will saves.

That I do. Also I have 10 TV Tropes pages open.


Hangman Henry IX wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Your argument seems to be (and I'm sure you'll correct me) that you don't like good characters, but you're okay with them if they can be browbeaten into giving up their convictions. However the paladins are harder to browbeat because there are actual in game repercussions for them betraying their character concept.
i'm sorry that that is your takeaway from all this. it seems that if i continue to argue my point i am somehow offending you. i assume that is what you intend by saying "(and I'm sure you'll correct me)". i am trying to have civil discourse and state my position, and in return i have been accused of all sorts of transgressions with very few people arguing against what i am actually saying. i keep trying to restate it to make it clearer, and perhaps i have done so to my own detriment.

I am not at all offended by your posts and I apologize if I came across that way. I genuinely wanted you to clarify your position. You said Paladins should be banned because of character conflicts. When I pointed out you could make Good non-paladins, your response was that they did not risk falling. It's my position that some characters would want to be good even if there were no repercussions for being evil (even if just this once.)

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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I personally play Harmonizer-type paladin...but not when I'm just playing a paladin, but any divine class that proselytizes or evangelizes about their faith.

Bodhi's Guide to the Optimized Paladin:

Roles to Play

There are a number of different ways of playing the paladin apart from the traditional “I uphold the law and fight for good, and if you don’t, I’m going to come into conflict with you, and I’m looking at you, Rogue!” attitude. We’ll look into just a few that might help shine some light on alternatives to the standard paladin-at-the-table annoyance that seems to be the popular concept.

The Eternal Optimist: A more benevolent paladin type, you could quite possibly be the most naive person in the party. You’re always cheerful and look on the bright side of everything, and this can either be very soothing to other members of the party, or it can annoy them to no end. You have a tendency to take what people say at face value, at least until they prove you wrong.

This character concept goes along quite well with the idea that Wisdom is a dump-stat for paladins, combined with their high Charisma. You’re quite likable to others most of the time, and people generally find you pleasant to be around, not a burden like some of the other paladin-personalities.

Useful Skills: Diplomacy; you have a tendency to try to convince others to play nice and fair just like you do.

The Harmoniser: This type of paladin does not wish to impose their view of the world upon others, but rather, through examples of good living and strength of faith rather than brutally imposing their view of the world upon others. They encourage rather than force, and attempt to gently chide those who may stray from the path of goodness and law. They do not tolerate genuine evil, but they prefer to remediate rather than punish whenever possible; to reform instead of destroy. If the redemption of the paladin’s foes is not possible, they will do what is necessary without hesitation, but with remorse for those who

This type of paladin is best suited to getting the group to gradually change their ways into those that are more lawful and goodly in nature. It can be difficult to justify a plan of gradual change with paladins who have low Wisdom scores, but this is a role that most players will be able to get along with.

Useful Skills: Diplomacy, for obvious reasons, and a splash of Knowledge (Religion) probably couldn’t hurt if you’re attempting to convert others to your faith.

The Holy Pain (i.e. Lawful Stupid): Unfortunately, most players seem to think that this is the way a paladin must be played. This is only one option that is available to players, and while it’s a popular option, it causes a lot of conflict with other members of your group. You essentially see every non-good, non-lawful act that your companions commit as a violation of your ethics and you attempt to force your way of acting and thinking upon them, often to disastrous results.

At their worst, the Holy Pain will issue inconvenient challenges that may spoil the element of surprise, insist upon imprisoning foes who will ultimately break free from simple jails manned by careless non-player characters, or you’ll argue with your companions over minor actions all the time, particularly those of rogues or barbarians. If you really want to play this character concept, there’s nothing that stops you, but just be warned... This is going to make your paladin quite unpopular with the other characters and create disharmony in achieving your goals.

Useful Skills: Diplomacy, ‘cause you’re going to need it a lot to get yourself out of trouble, and Sense Motive, because you’re going to be judging everyone all the time.

The Vindicator: There is a purpose in all that you do, and you will pursueyour goals with intensity that can frighten others, but that’s okay... If they can’t or won’t help you, they can get out of your way. You won’t purpose fully put others into harm’s way, and you’ll allow other members of the party to do what they feel is best, so long as your own goals are achieved.

You’re not Mr. Personality, and you don’t care about playing nice, particularly with your enemies. You ask for no quarter, and you give none. You are judge, jury and executioner when it comes to dealing with the forces of evil.

Your hard tack with your enemies can sometimes make others fearful of crossing you, worrying that you may turn your harsh judgments upon them (think Judge Dredd). You’ll take the law quite literally, but if you genuinely believe someone to be innocent, then they have nothing to fear from you. Your party members will accept you, but they’ll probably believe that you lack compassion.

Useful Skills: Intimidate will probably be your principal skill.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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Rushley son of Halum wrote:

The paladin code says

"respect legitimate authority, 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 or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents."

From that all I'm getting is that a lot of people play it to the absolute extreme. There is a lot of room in there for some really interesting characters.

Its an interesting balancing act. It has to mean something or the paladin loses their flavor entirely. It can't be TOO restrictive or the paladin can't play in a regular game, much less for the second biggest source of smuggled goods in golarion. It tips back and forth between different dms, with every dm thinking the way they're doing it is clearly and expressly written in the rules.

99% of the problem can be solved if the dm is willing to put up a warning sign a few minutes before a possible conflict. Examples:

In one scenario a troll is guarding a bridge. Said troll is collecting taxes from merchants and has a badge. Another has some aspis agents as a rival team heading for a dig site.(actually thats about 12 scenarios...)

To me, those situations take the murderhobo option off the table because one of them IS a legitimate authority, and in the other case the legitimate authorities have pretty clearly stated laws about the whole murdering thing. I'm of the opinion that while normally lawful doesn't have to mean following laws, ignoring the written instructions from the king is no different than telling him to buzz off in person. Some people don't. Letting the paladin know what laws the universe is running under today and possibly ret conning his paladin education by telling the player " They're not doing anything wrong , you can't beat them up" gives them time to come up with another idea. Since the end of the faction missions, it also tends to cause them to earn MORE prestige...

Shadow Lodge

Rushley son of Halum wrote:

I'm not saying that Paladins can't have interesting and deep characters and concepts.

I'm saying that plenty of players view them as a "concept in a box" something you don't need to develop or work to.

Same can be said for each and every class evenly, though.

The Exchange

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Rushley son of Halum wrote:

The paladin code says

"respect legitimate authority, 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 or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents."

From that all I'm getting is that a lot of people play it to the absolute extreme. There is a lot of room in there for some really interesting characters.

Its an interesting balancing act. It has to mean something or the paladin loses their flavor entirely. It can't be TOO restrictive or the paladin can't play in a regular game, much less for the second biggest source of smuggled goods in golarion. It tips back and forth between different dms, with every dm thinking the way they're doing it is clearly and expressly written in the rules.

99% of the problem can be solved if the dm is willing to put up a warning sign a few minutes before a possible conflict. Examples:

In one scenario a troll is guarding a bridge. Said troll is collecting taxes from merchants and has a badge. Another has some aspis agents as a rival team heading for a dig site.(actually thats about 12 scenarios...)

To me, those situations take the murderhobo option off the table because one of them IS a legitimate authority, and in the other case the legitimate authorities have pretty clearly stated laws about the whole murdering thing. I'm of the opinion that while normally lawful doesn't have to mean following laws, ignoring the written instructions from the king is no different than telling him to buzz off in person. Some people don't. Letting the paladin know what laws the universe is running under today and possibly ret conning his paladin education by telling the player " They're not doing anything wrong , you can't beat them up" gives them time to come up with another idea. Since the end of the faction missions, it also tends to cause them to earn MORE prestige...

i agree with a lot of this, but table variance is very real. i don't think it would be too unrealistic to ask for a slightly altered paladin code that was in keeping with the society's goals. if the guide to organized play included a code for paladins that allowed them to lie/work with evil/ ignore questionable deeds in order to further the society's goals because of the greater good, i think that it would do a lot to end future conflicts.

The Exchange

You don't need an altered Paladin code. There's nothing wrong with the one that exists now. Its about how people play, and they way players treat the Pathfinders as an organisation closer to Neutral and Evil than Neutral and Good. That's the issue here.


as a player that plays mostly pre-written paizo games, paladins fit into almost all of them. most are written for your party to become heros.

The Exchange

Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Your argument seems to be (and I'm sure you'll correct me) that you don't like good characters, but you're okay with them if they can be browbeaten into giving up their convictions. However the paladins are harder to browbeat because there are actual in game repercussions for them betraying their character concept.
i'm sorry that that is your takeaway from all this. it seems that if i continue to argue my point i am somehow offending you. i assume that is what you intend by saying "(and I'm sure you'll correct me)". i am trying to have civil discourse and state my position, and in return i have been accused of all sorts of transgressions with very few people arguing against what i am actually saying. i keep trying to restate it to make it clearer, and perhaps i have done so to my own detriment.
I am not at all offended by your posts and I apologize if I came across that way. I genuinely wanted you to clarify your position. You said Paladins should be banned because of character conflicts. When I pointed out you could make Good non-paladins, your response was that they did not risk falling. It's my position that some characters would want to be good even if there were no repercussions for being evil (even if just this once.)

yeh i guess it just seems to me that there are players who will use the threat of loss of class mechanics in order to browbeat other players. i don't think it is good to put tools like that in players' hands.

Shadow Lodge

Hangman Henry IX wrote:
yes, i feel that technically it would still not be kosher as it is still lying. i have heard other gms use this argument as well, and have seen it discussed in threads on the boards.

Fair enough - look, it's always going to be the GM's call, and they should judge it fairly.

Remember the situation the paladin is in is quite literally "don't tell anyone you're Pathfinders" and being asked by mission-critical NPCs "are you a Pathfinder?".

The only way through this question for the paladin is get creative and skirt that blurry line of truth and lie. It shouldn't be a total lose-lose situation, or it gets to a point where it's not at all fair.

In other words, the GM should consider whether this is an exceptional case.

Outright lying still isn't acceptable, but has the paladin done a good enough job to avoid it and keep to his code given the circumstances? Probably forgivable.

Shadow Lodge

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The way I see it, a lot of people see that the Pathfinder Society as a group is neutral, and take that to mean that it's mostly comprised of neutral characters and npcs, but is bothered to allow those pesky good characters in.

But that's not what a neutral organization means. It means that they do not actively seek to advocate, fight for, or instill good or evil in the world. As an organization, the PFS's goal is simply to study and record, and sometimes "collect", and as a matter of practice is willing to employ all manner of people, holy, secular, political, unaligned, good, evil, religious, arcane, etc. . ., because all of those bring unique abilities and specialties to the task at hand.

Out of game, the entire and singular point of the Pathfinder Society, both in the setting and also in the organized play module is just to have a single, easy jumping in point for all players. Instead of needing a convoluted backstory before jumping into a game, it's literally you are just members of a adventuring guild. One that has no actual authority over you, anyone else, or truly any nation or land in the world. In fact, the vast majority of the world and it's governments and people do not like the Pathfinder Society (mostly for the right reasons) because they think they are above the law, are thieves, trouble-makers, and adventurers. Even the good ones, and even the good ones that have done good things, and even the good ones that have done good things and are actively trying to use the Society's resources to accomplish good and untarnish that deserved reputation, spread freedom, or order.

So, with all that in mind, the PFS does not favor non-good characters. They do not expect that the non-good, shady, not-quite-legal way of getting it done is the right, best, or accepted way. They expect a team to work together, and that goes for everyone, not just the guys and gals that don't have a moral or political issue with doing something. They are a dime-a-dozen anyway. What they do need are characters that either have a code of ethics that will not dig the society down even further in the world's eyes, or for those that don't hold to such ethics, to be able to at least pretend and play nice until it's not required to do so.

I don't know, maybe that's just how I see it. But the key point is that it goes both ways, and that neutral (with evil tendencies) is not the default assumption. Not being good doesn't make a character more right, or more in line with the precepts of the game, or excuse them from playing friendly, having fun, or working with other players any more than it does for a paladin, or a cleric, or a good character.

The Exchange

Avatar-1 wrote:
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
yes, i feel that technically it would still not be kosher as it is still lying. i have heard other gms use this argument as well, and have seen it discussed in threads on the boards.

Fair enough - look, it's always going to be the GM's call, and they should judge it fairly.

Remember the situation the paladin is in is quite literally "don't tell anyone you're Pathfinders" and being asked by mission-critical NPCs "are you a Pathfinder?".

The only way through this question for the paladin is get creative and skirt that blurry line of truth and lie. It shouldn't be a total lose-lose situation, or it gets to a point where it's not at all fair.

In other words, the GM should consider whether this is an exceptional case.

Outright lying still isn't acceptable, but has the paladin done a good enough job to avoid it and keep to his code given the circumstances? Probably forgivable.

i don't see why the universe should change because someone is playing a character with a weakness that has arisen. i think it cheapens the class to allow them to do whatever they want. of course, they shouldn't be on said mission in the first place, but that is a weakness of the current system of table marshaling.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Thats not an exceptional circumstance. Thats an inconvinience. Its not the axe murderer at your door asking if anyone is home.

There are a lot of answers that would be the truth without telling them a thing

Not answering at all.

I'm as much a pathfinder as he is *point to the rogue disguised as a local peasant"

I don't answer to you.

"Pathfinders? Those murderhobos?"

Pathfinders make me sick (I'm going to assume this one is the truth by level 3 if not sooner)

Have the foresight to tender your resignation at the start of the scenario

"Yes. I am.

Being inconvinienced on a mission is not the end of the world. Life will move on.

Grand Lodge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

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Hangman Henry IX wrote:
i think it cheapens the class to allow them to do whatever they want.

And it makes it unplayable if you don't give it some leeway. Paladins have always been intended to be a playable class. Ergo, if you GM them or play them in a way that effectively makes them unplayable then you are, by definition, doing it wrong. All the morale justifications in the world won't change that.

5/5 5/55/55/5

As to the bigger picture, you're asking the wrong question.

Its not "are they disruptive yes/no" but "are they SO disruptive that removing them would make the game more fun"

The first is maybe. The second is a resounding no. The reason for the random assortment of nuts to all be thrown into the same whacky adventure being slightly incongruous with the knight in shining armor pales in comparison to how badly other people want to play that night in shining armor. These people have characters deeply rooted in that tradition and for the vast majority of them eliminating the class would do nothing to eliminate the problems.

Dms are supposed to warn people of impending alignment violations: you come with a built in phylactery of faithfulness. Rules lawyering that to not include the players ethics is a twit move just to play "gotcha" on an unsuspecting player. With that warning in place, The DM tells the player they can't do what they're about to do without the violation, and the player changes their characters action. Problem solved.

Shadow Lodge

I guess, I don't understand why a Paladin would join the Society. Pledging themselves to a completely amoral entity, especially one which regularly condones murder, robbery, and other crimes, seems... off.

I also find the fact that (for example) a Paladin of Sarenrae is expected to put up with a Necromancer creating undead, a little odd.

That being said, if a Paladin is causing PvP, then the fault is with the player, not the class.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Hangman Henry IX wrote:
Thomas Graham wrote:
Hangman Henry IX wrote:


as a VL, are you sure its best that your official stance is to ignore possible solutions to a problem because you have not observed the problem personally? if you have a problem GM do you wait for them to GM for you and tell players that their personal experience isn't as valid as your own?

i'm not saying your experiences aren't valid. if you have problems with those other classes i hope you try to find productive solutions on how to deal with them.

as far as my experiences being concrete fact, it is a concrete fact that i experienced them. most of the things i have talked about are the potential conflicts that are possible.

I'm saying as a VL, GM, Player and someone who games and chats with folks all over the world that I don't see an issue with the Paladin as a class period.

Have I had problem players who played Paladins. yes. Some of that was a clash of play styles. Some of them were mistakes that had to be hashed out.

But I've had issues with folks who play summoner a, barbarians, inquisitors and darn near every class in any book. Sometimes the player is wrong sometimes the GM/me is wrong.

Is the Paladin intrinsically 'bad' for PFS play. I don't think so. I think entire last season's storyline validates their membership in the society and offered players who enjoy them an awesome outlet to role play in

I'm sorry you've had so many bad players using the class. For me it's been Ninja. I don't hold players actions against the class though.

were people playing the classes you had problems with using their class as an excuse to do what they were doing? or just using roleplay excuses? saying a character does an action because "thats what the character would do" is different for paladins and non-paladins. paladins are potentially punished for not roleplaying correctly, whereas other classes rarely have such restrictions. i have played with plenty of characters whose actions would seem bizarre for an average member...

Not to be captain obvious here, but I think the rule " Don't be a jerk applies here". Paladins just happen to have the text in their, class descriptions, that allows them to be used like this.

Other classes could potentially do the same, an elven ranger with favored enemy: human could use this to justify being an ass, a character could use a trait like heretic, to be a jerk to divine casters ....

Silver Crusade

Disk Elemental wrote:
I guess, I don't understand why a Paladin would join the Society. Pledging themselves to a completely amoral entity, seems... off.

Perhaps to be a good influence on them? Perhaps because as a field agent you would often be faced with difficult situations and could be an example of a better way of handling those situations? Because you'll encounter lots of different people and can use that exposure to show them the path of goodness?

Shadow Lodge

Thomas, the Tiefling Hero! wrote:
Perhaps to be a good influence on them? Perhaps because as a field agent you would often be faced with difficult situations and could be an example of a better way of handling those situations? Because you'll encounter lots of different people and can use that exposure to show them the path of goodness?

I understand, and can respect that, however I don't recall Paladins bein' allowed to do evil, on the off-chance they can cause some good to come out of it.

There's a difference between attempting to uphold the Law and do what's Right, and bein' a Paladin.

The Exchange

trollbill wrote:
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
i think it cheapens the class to allow them to do whatever they want.
And it makes it unplayable if you don't give it some leeway. Paladins have always been intended to be a playable class. Ergo, if you GM them or play them in a way that effectively makes them unplayable then you are, by definition, doing it wrong. All the morale justifications in the world won't change that.

then why does society send them on missions to commit morally questionable acts?


Paladins of Lymnieris are cool.

4/5

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I think every scenario should start with instructions for each player must introduce their character and explain why they're part of the Pathfinder Society. If people are asked enough times, they may eventually come around to finding an answer.

That would go a long way towards having characters that are actually able and willing to cooperate.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Hangman Henry IX wrote:
trollbill wrote:
Hangman Henry IX wrote:

i think it cheapens the class to allow them to do whatever they want.

then why does society send them on missions to commit morally questionable acts?

You've met drendle drang right?

Silver Crusade

xavier c wrote:
Paladins of Lymnieris are cool.

bows

Shadow Lodge

Heck, some of my PFS Organized Play characters are not Pathfinders. One is a sort of civilian consultant, expert in his field the Society often hires for jobs. Another is crazy and was sent on a divine quest by his mother Sarenrae to experience the human world, and a vision he misinterpreted led him to work with Pathfinders to the point others think he is after so long. He does fully understand mortals, so doesn't correct the mistake, or understand it is even one most of the time.

One, joined the Society in order to track down a heretic hiding in it, and to him is using the Society to gain what he seeks just as much as it uses him.

I don't know, being a Pathfinder should probably be one of the least important aspects of most characters, I think.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rushley son of Halum wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Your argument seems to be (and I'm sure you'll correct me) that you don't like good characters, but you're okay with them if they can be browbeaten into giving up their convictions. However the paladins are harder to browbeat because there are actual in game repercussions for them betraying their character concept.
Actually i'd say the problem is that many paladins don't have a character concept. Just some 2 dimensional idea with no depth.

That's not a problem unique to Paladins. Or do you think that there's some special onus for players of Paladins or good characters to have a "concept" that others are excused from?

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

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One of the recurring arguments on this thread is that paladins are the "only class" that loses benefits from an alignment shift. I'm somewhat surprised that no one else had mentioned that this statement is blatantly untrue.

Monks have to be lawful, too, and monks who have taken various oaths have very specific rules to follow (but I guess most GMs don't have those on their radar). Clerics, inquisitors, and warpriests have to be within one step of their deity or else they lose their powers. And no character can cast any alignment-based spell unless their alignment exactly matches that of the spell.

The only rationale I see for paladins getting picked on more that these other cases is that the paladin code is more specific than just "must be lawful good". But there are multiple versions of the paladin's code, from the different "Oath against..." options to the deity-specific codes in various books.

So why do paladins get the brunt of the hate? History, maybe (everybody has hated paladins since AD&D)? The lawful-good-stupid stereotype (countless old stories of a paladin who wouldn't let the rogue pick a lock in the ancient, centuries-abandoned dungeon)? GM resentment (because that damn aura of courage ruins my mummy's fear aura)?

This is a serious question: with lawful good clerics and inquisitors of Iomedae and monks with the Oath of Peace and Oath of Truth running around, why are paladins the only ones in trouble for not being sneaky, lying murder-hobos?

I strongly suspect that we are just letting other classes get away with ignoring their restrictions. But why can't we ignore those restrictions with paladins? Because they are such an integral feature of the class? Maybe...but I see a lot of examples of oracles who "forget" that they can't see/hear/speak/whatever, despite the fact that the oracle's curse is a defining feature of the class.

On some level, I think it's probably the same issue in "Gamers 2": some players (and GMs) seem to think the only purpose of a paladin is to police the party and ruin their fun.

4/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, Minnesota—St. Louis Park aka BretI

Disk Elemental wrote:

I guess, I don't understand why a Paladin would join the Society. Pledging themselves to a completely amoral entity, especially one which regularly condones murder, robbery, and other crimes, seems... off.

I also find the fact that (for example) a Paladin of Sarenrae is expected to put up with a Necromancer creating undead, a little odd.

That being said, if a Paladin is causing PvP, then the fault is with the player, not the class.

Pathfinder Society isn't amoral. They have morals, it is just those morals are about discovering and recording information rather than judging people. It would be against the morals of the Pathfinder Society to forge or destroy reports, falsify maps sent to the society, claim to the society that they have gone someplace that they didn't, refuse to work with other society members.

Explore, Report, Cooperate are the PFS morals.

They aren't the same morals that Paladins have to follow, but they also don't have to be in direct opposition.

Shadow Lodge

BretI wrote:


Pathfinder Society isn't amoral. They have morals, it is just those morals are about discovering and recording information rather than judging people.
Explore, Report, Cooperate are the PFS morals.

They aren't the same morals that Paladins have to follow, but they also don't have to be in direct opposition.

But when the two sets of morals come in conflict, which one is the Paladin going to chose?

Either they break their word to the organization, or they break their oath to the god.

I don't really understand why a Paladin would put themselves in that situation.

Shadow Lodge

They are not. The good Cleric vs Necromancer goes way back too. Some of the argument there that doesnt apply to the Paladin is that a Cleric can choose to have followed a different deity (its your fault for picking one that doesnt like undead, and thus doesnt fit into the PFS). But for the Paladin, who must maintain 2 full Alignments, Lawful and Good, and whose deity doesnt matter as much as their universal code, (specific codes do not override the basic paladin code, they add to it), that also doesnt work.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5

Thomas, the Tiefling Hero! wrote:
Disk Elemental wrote:
I guess, I don't understand why a Paladin would join the Society. Pledging themselves to a completely amoral entity, seems... off.
Perhaps to be a good influence on them? Perhaps because as a field agent you would often be faced with difficult situations and could be an example of a better way of handling those situations? Because you'll encounter lots of different people and can use that exposure to show them the path of goodness?

Well spoken, Thomas. Would that my example, my sacrifices should teach a ne'er-do-well a better way. While I cannot speak for all cases, I have helped a troubled hero find himself, by taking the straight and narrow path. Abadar teaches that we should root out corruption, something I have found on many a mission I have been sent upon.

In my career, I have been teamed with many that follow a path that I would dare not, though I have found them to be loyal companions. Why, once, I was teamed with a pair of Kuthite half-orcs, and found their teamwork to be far more agreeable than the xenophobic elf that went by the name of Eben Timothy, not that was his real name, mind you. He even told us that.

I have escorted goblins to safety, more than on e dealt with the slave pits in Absalom, investigated a traitor, and led an army. I have done this in the name of Aroden... I mean Abadar, and of Taldor, the Silver Crusade, and the Society, though I am reminded not necessarily in that order.

And, should the healing touch that The Lord of the First Vault save a teammate from paying to much to return from Pharasma's Boneyard, then perhaps he will "pay it forward", and become a better man, help another when her time comes, save an orphan.

We are not all called to perform the same task, and our patrons focus our oaths in different ways. Allowing a necromancer to animate the dead might, at some time, be required. But it would weigh heavily upon my heart, for I would be unable to return him to life. Such would be a horrible end, so I would try to prevent this from being needed. Gladly would I lay down my own life to prevent it, and I would measure that the cost were just.


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Hangman Henry IX wrote:
Based on the two premises above, I believe it follows logically that Paladins should be banned.

Or, as we have done with great success, simply waive the 'LG' requirement which is no more than an orthodox hold-over from an earlier, simpler version of the game.

Grand Lodge

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Disk Elemental wrote:


But when the two sets of morals come in conflict, which one is the Paladin going to chose?

Either they break their word to the organization, or they break their oath to the god.

I don't really understand why a Paladin would put themselves in that situation.

I'm having trouble imagining a situation in which a lawful good entity will have an unresolvable problem with the principles of Explore, Report, Cooperate. But maybe I missed something.


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Woe be the scenario that forces a paladin to think in order to advance the Society's goals whilst staying true to their beliefs.

Shadow Lodge

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May Contain Meerkats wrote:
Disk Elemental wrote:


But when the two sets of morals come in conflict, which one is the Paladin going to chose?

Either they break their word to the organization, or they break their oath to the god.

I don't really understand why a Paladin would put themselves in that situation.

I'm having trouble imagining a situation in which a lawful good deity will have an unresolvable problem with the principles of Explore, Report, Cooperate. But maybe I missed something.

Iomedae is not on good terms with the Society after they stole her crown and refuse to return it, moving it from lodge to lodge to keep it from her and her faithful, but its kind of hand waved in PFS.

Shadow Lodge

May Contain Meerkats wrote:


I'm having trouble imagining a situation in which a lawful good deity will have an unresolvable problem with the principles of Explore, Report, Cooperate. But maybe I missed something.

That's just the motto, it's hardly the only code Pathfinders are expected to follow.

4/5

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DM Beckett wrote:
I don't know, being a Pathfinder should probably be one of the least important aspects of most characters, I think.

I respectfully disagree. Here's the first sentence of the Guide to Organized Play:

Quote:
Pathfinder Society Organized Play is a worldwide fantasy roleplaying campaign that puts you in the role of an agent of the Pathfinder Society, a legendary league of explorers, archaeologists, and adventurers dedicated to discovering and chronicling the greatest mysteries and wonders of an ancient world beset by magic and evil.

(emphasis mine)

The Exchange

Dorothy Lindman wrote:

One of the recurring arguments on this thread is that paladins are the "only class" that loses benefits from an alignment shift. I'm somewhat surprised that no one else had mentioned that this statement is blatantly untrue.

Monks have to be lawful, too, and monks who have taken various oaths have very specific rules to follow (but I guess most GMs don't have those on their radar). Clerics, inquisitors, and warpriests have to be within one step of their deity or else they lose their powers. And no character can cast any alignment-based spell unless their alignment exactly matches that of the spell.

The only rationale I see for paladins getting picked on more that these other cases is that the paladin code is more specific than just "must be lawful good". But there are multiple versions of the paladin's code, from the different "Oath against..." options to the deity-specific codes in various books.

So why do paladins get the brunt of the hate? History, maybe (everybody has hated paladins since AD&D)? The lawful-good-stupid stereotype (countless old stories of a paladin who wouldn't let the rogue pick a lock in the ancient, centuries-abandoned dungeon)? GM resentment (because that damn aura of courage ruins my mummy's fear aura)?

This is a serious question: with lawful good clerics and inquisitors of Iomedae and monks with the Oath of Peace and Oath of Truth running around, why are paladins the only ones in trouble for not being sneaky, lying murder-hobos?

I strongly suspect that we are just letting other classes get away with ignoring their restrictions. But why can't we ignore those restrictions with paladins? Because they are such an integral feature of the class? Maybe...but I see a lot of examples of oracles who "forget" that they can't see/hear/speak/whatever, despite the fact that the oracle's curse is a defining feature of the class.

On some level, I think it's probably the same issue in "Gamers 2": some players (and GMs) seem to think the only purpose of a paladin is to...

My issue with the standard paladin code is that it is the one that most frequently comes into conflict with the missions given to pathfinder agents. They are sent in missions where if they do what they are told they break their code (by lying) or they refuse to do the mission, which should also break their code of obeying legitimate authority. People following the vanilla code of conduct are much more likely to be put into a catch 22 situation than any other class. Most people seem to say it is the players responsibility to find a way to RP the situation, and the gms responsibility to change the mod to allow them to do so. Unless I am mistaken gms do not currently have the leeway to make judgement calls like this in society play.

As for your other examples, oracles might not roleplay their curses often enough, but I don't see how that affects the rest of the party. I don't know of many missions where having one player forget they are deaf can derail things. Forgetting you are deaf and roleplaying that wrong is definitely a thing, but it is a different thing.

A monk of peace should be fine, it is very rare that a mission requires the party to kill anyone. Monks of truth prolly have the same problems as paladins. Sending a character who cannot lie on a disguise/subterfuge mission stretches the bounds too far.

I don't have a particular problems with these classes or options as they are, I have a problem with the situations that arise when they are sent on at least ten percent of society missions.

Shadow Lodge

BigNorseWolf wrote:

Thats not an exceptional circumstance. Thats an inconvinience. Its not the axe murderer at your door asking if anyone is home.

There are a lot of answers that would be the truth without telling them a thing

Not answering at all.

I'm as much a pathfinder as he is *point to the rogue disguised as a local peasant"

I don't answer to you.

"Pathfinders? Those murderhobos?"

Pathfinders make me sick (I'm going to assume this one is the truth by level 3 if not sooner)

Have the foresight to tender your resignation at the start of the scenario

"Yes. I am.

Being inconvinienced on a mission is not the end of the world. Life will move on.

Really?

So the paladin should say to the VC "sorry, but if there's a good chance I'm going to be asked if I'm a Pathfinder, I won't lie under any circumstances. That's my code. If that means I can't be a Pathfinder today, so be it."

C'mon, that's not reasonable.


DM Beckett wrote:
(specific codes do not override the basic paladin code, they add to it)

Specific trumps general. There's literally a listed rule called specific trumps general.

The Exchange

Avatar-1 wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Thats not an exceptional circumstance. Thats an inconvinience. Its not the axe murderer at your door asking if anyone is home.

There are a lot of answers that would be the truth without telling them a thing

Not answering at all.

I'm as much a pathfinder as he is *point to the rogue disguised as a local peasant"

I don't answer to you.

"Pathfinders? Those murderhobos?"

Pathfinders make me sick (I'm going to assume this one is the truth by level 3 if not sooner)

Have the foresight to tender your resignation at the start of the scenario

"Yes. I am.

Being inconvinienced on a mission is not the end of the world. Life will move on.

Really?

So the paladin should say to the VC "sorry, but if there's a good chance I'm going to be asked if I'm a Pathfinder, I won't lie under any circumstances. That's my code. If that means I can't be a Pathfinder today, so be it."

C'mon, that's not reasonable.

It's more reasonable than sending said paladin on the mission. They have a code. I don't see in the rules where it says they get to be flexible on it because their boss wants them to make the apsis consortium look bad.


Wouldn't it make more sense to say to the VC, "Why?" instead of a flat no? and wait for the explanation? After that, whatever reason you get, the trick is just to find a way to make it ok for your character to do it, or don't play. Switch to a different character or something I guess.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

DM Beckett wrote:
Heck, some of my PFS Organized Play characters are not Pathfinders.

I'm fairly certain that all PFS characters are actually members of the Pathfinder Society...

Guide to Organized Play: Chapter 1: Pathfinder Society Basics: Line 1:

Pathfinder Society Organized Play is a worldwide fantasy roleplaying campaign that puts you in the role of an agent of the Pathfinder Society, a legendary league of explorers, archaeologists, and adventurers dedicated to discovering and chronicling the greatest mysteries and wonders of an ancient world beset by magic and evil.

The Exchange

Undone wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
(specific codes do not override the basic paladin code, they add to it)
Specific trumps general. There's literally a listed rule called specific trumps general.

I think you are misunderstanding what Beckett is saying here. A paladin has a code. The society has a code. They are both specific codes, neither is overriding the other .they must obey both. If a paladin later becomes a monk, and takes a vow of peace, that is another code they must follow, restricting their character in more and more ways.


Hangman Henry IX wrote:
Undone wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
(specific codes do not override the basic paladin code, they add to it)
Specific trumps general. There's literally a listed rule called specific trumps general.
I think you are misunderstanding what Beckett is saying here. A paladin has a code. The society has a code. They are both specific codes, neither is overriding the other .they must obey both. If a paladin later becomes a monk, and takes a vow of peace, that is another code they must follow, restricting their character in more and more ways.

No he's claiming the DEITY code doesn't trump the PALADIN code. It definitively does because the DEITY code is the specific code and the PALADIN code is the general code.

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