An argument for why paladins should be banned


Pathfinder Society

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4/5

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Would it help if there were a post from one of the campaign coordinator's saying that the Paladins' Code should encourage role playing and lead to interesting situations but should not lead to a breakdown of the game at large?

Then you could just print that out and show it to any GMs or players who were having issues with the code.

The Exchange

redward wrote:

Would it help if there were a post from one of the campaign coordinator's saying that the Paladins' Code should encourage role playing and lead to interesting situations but should not lead to a breakdown of the game at large?

Then you could just print that out and show it to any GMs or players who were having issues with the code.

that would be very helpful indeed

4/5

Hangman Henry IX wrote:
redward wrote:

Would it help if there were a post from one of the campaign coordinator's saying that the Paladins' Code should encourage role playing and lead to interesting situations but should not lead to a breakdown of the game at large?

Then you could just print that out and show it to any GMs or players who were having issues with the code.

that would be very helpful indeed

Here you go.

Shadow Lodge

Hangman Henry IX wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
Out of curiosity, where exactly is this notion of a paladin swearing an oath to the Society coming from?
it seemed like a good workaround. we already have alternate oaths from ISG, why not a pfs oath?

Just curious. Not sure throwing a 3rd potentual factor that can conflict with their moral requirments is that great an idea, but maybe. Just struck me as odd. :)


To me the fun part of a paladin is balancing law, good, and adventuring.

Now I feel a paladin must be both equally good and lawful, self sacrificing when those conditions can not be met.

Now in PFS if a player has the ability to defend their position for thier choice while being lawful and good I will allow them.

If they are grieviously not good, or lawful I chime in and remind them. So far everytime I said something the player agreed that with me.

PFS is about having fun. It is my fun to share this hobby with people. As a DM I am vicarious and I get the enjoyment my players get when playing. I keep this in mind when I make a ruling that is grey areas. Every grey area ruling is decided on what my players would enjoy most. Some people want to roleplay the uncompromising hero. The paladin is just that.

The Exchange

redward wrote:
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
redward wrote:

Would it help if there were a post from one of the campaign coordinator's saying that the Paladins' Code should encourage role playing and lead to interesting situations but should not lead to a breakdown of the game at large?

Then you could just print that out and show it to any GMs or players who were having issues with the code.

that would be very helpful indeed
Here you go.

woooord

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DM Beckett wrote:
Out of curiosity, where exactly is this notion of a paladin swearing an oath to the Society coming from?

It's assumed that EVERY Pathfinder swore an oath to the Society as one of the conditions for joining it. That includes Paladins and murdering cuthroat Andorans.

The Exchange

LazarX wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
Out of curiosity, where exactly is this notion of a paladin swearing an oath to the Society coming from?
It's assumed that EVERY Pathfinder swore an oath to the Society as one of the conditions for joining it. That includes Paladins and murdering cuthroat Andorans.

is there a pathfinders oath anywhere? for other people as well?

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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LazarX wrote:
That includes Paladins and murdering cuthroat Andorans.

Look, I said I was sorry...

3/5

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Hangman Henry IX wrote:
Acedio wrote:
Because you're just complaining and not making indication of a willingness to try and solve your problems while we're trying to offer a solution.
what was your solution again?

STOP. INTERPRETING. THE. PALADIN. CODE. SO. STRICTLY.

Simple solution is simple.

The Exchange

The Fourth Horseman wrote:
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
Acedio wrote:
Because you're just complaining and not making indication of a willingness to try and solve your problems while we're trying to offer a solution.
what was your solution again?

STOP. INTERPRETING. THE. PALADIN. CODE. SO. STRICTLY.

Simple solution is simple.

you guys are great

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Hangman Henry IX wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
So should I reiterate that most of the solutions are that I should just ignore the paladins code as written
No, most of the solutions are to stop ignoring the paladin's code as written.
I suppose you could see it that way. Can we at least acknowledge that the code can be interpreted in different ways?

Yes.

Quote:
And that depending on how strictly it is interpreted, it can lead to bad games?

Agreed.

Quote:
And that it is good for the society as a while to remove things that lead to bad games more often than good ones?

Here's the issue: the paladin does not qualify as something that "leads to bad games more often than good ones". Does it sometimes lead to bad games when the GM and/or player(s) are being idiots? Yes. But that's the exception, not the rule. Thus, no ban is necessary.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I believe upon completion of your training a Pathfinder takes an oath to explore report and cooperate. The best place to find such specifics would be the Seeker of Secrets.

I hope this helps

The Exchange

Jiggy wrote:
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
So should I reiterate that most of the solutions are that I should just ignore the paladins code as written
No, most of the solutions are to stop ignoring the paladin's code as written.
I suppose you could see it that way. Can we at least acknowledge that the code can be interpreted in different ways?

Yes.

Quote:
And that depending on how strictly it is interpreted, it can lead to bad games?

Agreed.

Quote:
And that it is good for the society as a while to remove things that lead to bad games more often than good ones?

Here's the issue: the paladin does not qualify as something that "leads to bad games more often than good ones". Does it sometimes lead to bad games when the GM and/or player(s) are being idiots? Yes. But that's the exception, not the rule. Thus, no ban is necessary.

how about removing the code, and not the class? or at least having an alternate code in keeping with the society's goals? or wone in keeping with the silver crusade's goals? we both agree the code can be a problem, is there any reason to not try and fix it?


If Players

Spoiler:
Problem: Some people don't like untarnished good guys Ala Superman.
Reaction: They attempt to tempt him to fall.
Situation: Those intentionally attempting to make the paladin fall are committing evil acts as corrupting others is an evil act.
Solution: Remove those attempting to make the paladin fall by making the character evil because they've committed an intentionally evil act.

If GM's

Spoiler:

Problem: GM dislikes untarnished good guys, or the adventure is written to fall paladins.
Reaction: If it's the scenario instead keep your mouth shut and let others RP. Inaction cannot cause you to fall. You have to DO SOMETHING WRONG not merely not do something right. Let the resident liar convince the NPC you're mute. Unless it's a rare situation where the group has to kill a good aligned outsider (I can think of exactly 1 and he's undergone a shift to CN) there's no combat's I can conceive of which the paladin wouldn't participate.
Situation: No one fell no problem. Or...
Solution: If it's the GM contact your local VC.

Thread Over. Done. Those are the problems and solutions. It's that simple.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think this is one of the bigger problems with PFS play overall. It is very difficult (neigh on impossible in some circumstances) to play a good-aligned character or a character with a sense of morality because of the prevalence of murder-hobos within PFS. It is made even more difficult when trying to play someone whose class features are bound to a certain code of conduct (i.e. Clerics and Paladins) and party members are constantly trying to subvert your character.

An example I have is my Cleric of Sarenrae I played up to nearly level 3. But then I ran in a scenario where our party was attacked while on an investigation to find this woman. We managed to force him to surrender and the inquisitor/gunslinger then proceeded to attempt to torture and maim the attacker in front of my Cleric who objected. Later on in the session they inquisitor pulled away from the combat to conduct the same activity on a fallen foe while my Cleric and half the party were still engaged with another enemy.

Playing a good aligned character (at least in my experience with PFS) is akin to Joanna in The Gamers 2, where it is very difficult to fuse the ideals of the character with the actions of fellow party members. I don't have a solution for this, but banning a class that can and should display (in character) the best ideals of the Pathfinder Society doesn't seem to be a just solution.

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

Acedio wrote:
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
no i cannot work with gms or players i have only met once and for a short time.

You appear to have severe personal issues.

Correcting those is beyond the scope of this forum.

i can't go back in time and tell gms and players how to deal with paladins in a better way and this is a personal issue? maybe i am not understanding what sort of personal issues you think i have?
What he's saying is that an unwillingness to work with the GMs and players at the table when you have these problems is something we cannot help you with.

I think, what he was trying to say was:

"With hindsight, I might now know how to better handle this at the table, but considering, that I had never played with those players/GMs before my ability to influence them at that time was limited.
Working with other players/GMs takes a certain amount goodwill, patience and time from all parties, and that is quite different to establish with someone you just met.

Telling someone "You are doing it wrong" after or worse, while you are playing is complicated at the best of times. Is it the right thing to kick up a fuss, just because the GM just told the paladin player, that his intended action is forbidden by his code?
Especially when the paladin player doesn't seem that bothered by it?

This is a tough area, and I would prefer not having to deal with this situation, since there are no winners with this discussion.

Giving players/GMs an addendum regarding the vanilla paladins code, could alleviate this problem in society play.

Something like " In PFS enforcement the paladin's code of honor is more relaxed, especially when it comes to working (cooperating) with other players. A GM should not penalize a paladin for actions, if the intention is to further his parties scenario goals (within reason). "

So what do you think, would this change make PFS a more pleasurable experiences for GMs and players alike?"

--------------------------------------------------------------------

I will now stop putting words into his mounts, but I think, this is what he is trying to say.

The Exchange

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Acedio wrote:
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
no i cannot work with gms or players i have only met once and for a short time.

You appear to have severe personal issues.

Correcting those is beyond the scope of this forum.

i can't go back in time and tell gms and players how to deal with paladins in a better way and this is a personal issue? maybe i am not understanding what sort of personal issues you think i have?
What he's saying is that an unwillingness to work with the GMs and players at the table when you have these problems is something we cannot help you with.

I think, what he was trying to say was:

"With hindsight, I might now know how to better handle this at the table, but considering, that I had never played with those players/GMs before my ability to influence them at that time was limited.
Working with other players/GMs takes a certain amount goodwill, patience and time from all parties, and that is quite different to establish with someone you just met.

Telling someone "You are doing it wrong" after or worse, while you are playing is complicated at the best of times. Is it the right thing to kick up a fuss, just because the GM just told the paladin player, that his intended action is forbidden by his code?
Especially when the paladin player doesn't seem that bothered by it?

This is a tough area, and I would prefer not having to deal with this situation, since there are no winners with this discussion.

Giving players/GMs an addendum regarding the vanilla paladins code, could alleviate this problem in society play.

Something like " In PFS enforcement the paladin's code of honor is more relaxed, especially when it comes to working (cooperating) with other players. A GM should not penalize a paladin for actions, if the intention is to further his parties scenario goals (within reason). "

So what do you think, would this change make PFS a more pleasurable experiences for GMs and...

yes exactly! thank you. im not so good with the talking all the time. there were instances where i have been playing with all strangers, whom seemed to know each-other, and this issue has come up. i will try to be a voice of reason, but i do not think it is my place to tell strangers how to spend their time. it just sucked that my time was wasted as well. i think the link to the post above, where mike brock states his views on the paladin codes, is something that should be easier to find, and more clearly stated in the guide.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Hangman Henry IX wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
So should I reiterate that most of the solutions are that I should just ignore the paladins code as written
No, most of the solutions are to stop ignoring the paladin's code as written.
I suppose you could see it that way. Can we at least acknowledge that the code can be interpreted in different ways?

Yes.

Quote:
And that depending on how strictly it is interpreted, it can lead to bad games?

Agreed.

Quote:
And that it is good for the society as a while to remove things that lead to bad games more often than good ones?

Here's the issue: the paladin does not qualify as something that "leads to bad games more often than good ones". Does it sometimes lead to bad games when the GM and/or player(s) are being idiots? Yes. But that's the exception, not the rule. Thus, no ban is necessary.

how about removing the code, and not the class? or at least having an alternate code in keeping with the society's goals? or wone in keeping with the silver crusade's goals? we both agree the code can be a problem, is there any reason to not try and fix it?

No, I agreed that someone interpreting it badly can lead to a problem. That's not the same as the code itself being a problem.

Sovereign Court 5/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
i actually agree with you on this, but have been at tables where the gm ruled otherwise. can we at least agree that there isn't a class with as much table variance for whether they actually get to use their class abilities as paladins?

I'll disagree. Play a caster built around charms and compulsions.

I have a 9th level witch whose preferred strategies include Charm Person, Charm Monster, Suggestion, and Dominate Person. Some GMs empower the whole list and make them better than they should be (although they are a very small minority). A few run it fair or can be argued into running them fairly. The majority though think being disguised as an ally to the NPC/monster doesn't help you, that acting on a Suggestion can wait until the NPC/monster finishes trying to kill you, or that a pretty mundane act is "against the target's nature" causing the spell to fail or giving a big save bonus.

My 8th level paladin has had waaaay less table variation, I'd even go so far as to say I've had none, not even a warning.

Grand Lodge

Traskus wrote:
An example I have is my Cleric of Sarenrae I played up to nearly level 3. But then I ran in a scenario where our party was attacked while on an investigation to find this woman. We managed to force him to surrender and the inquisitor/gunslinger then proceeded to attempt to torture and maim the attacker in front of my Cleric who objected. Later on in the session they inquisitor pulled away from the combat to conduct the same activity on a fallen foe while my Cleric and half the party were still engaged with another enemy.

In that case, the problem wasn't your cleric. It was the inquisitor. Or, more precisely, the player playing the inquisitor. Ze was breaking the "don't be a jerk" rule as well as the "do not commit wantonly or intentionally evil acts" rule. If the GM didn't step in, ze should have.

5/5 5/55/55/5

If you think paladins get table variation, try playing an illusionist.

Scarab Sages

Ban paladins? That is about as likely as banning the cleric.
Its mostly from what I read, a player mentality involving the paladin, where they take the letter but not the spirit of the paladin's code. Though people tend to view paladins as being sticks in the mud who don't want to usually indulge in the party's goals that is mostly composed of murder hobos.

Then again murder hobos tend to be Neutral Evil from my experience in Pathfinder Society, even if their alignment is supposedly neutral. What with black mailing, murder, torture, extortion, breaking and entering, smuggling, assault, and the like being more common than you would normally expect. Then the murder hobos wonder why the Lawful Good character isn't "on-board" with the idea.

To take a quote from Zoolander "I feel like i'm taking crazy pills!"

Silver Crusade

Traskus wrote:

I think this is one of the bigger problems with PFS play overall. It is very difficult (neigh on impossible in some circumstances) to play a good-aligned character or a character with a sense of morality because of the prevalence of murder-hobos within PFS. It is made even more difficult when trying to play someone whose class features are bound to a certain code of conduct (i.e. Clerics and Paladins) and party members are constantly trying to subvert your character.

An example I have is my Cleric of Sarenrae I played up to nearly level 3. But then I ran in a scenario where our party was attacked while on an investigation to find this woman. We managed to force him to surrender and the inquisitor/gunslinger then proceeded to attempt to torture and maim the attacker in front of my Cleric who objected. Later on in the session they inquisitor pulled away from the combat to conduct the same activity on a fallen foe while my Cleric and half the party were still engaged with another enemy.

The head of the Pathfinder Society campaign has already officially ruled that torture is ALWAYS evil and never allowed in PFS play. The inquisitor trying to get away with it despite your cleric's objections could either be a cool role playing moment or an example of the inq player violating the "Don't be a jerk" rule, depending on exactly how he did it. Either way, he shouldn't have been allowed (by the GM) to succeed in torturing a captive without an official alignment infraction.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Slight discursion:

Spoilers about The Cultist's Kiss and 'lying':

You are not required to lie in the Cultist's Kiss. I'm not sure where that's coming from.

The investigation is so sandboxy almost any creative solution works. Also note, the cover identity from the briefing is optional, per Heidemarch's Q&A.

About the ritual:

"Serving Lissa la is not a simple task, and one must be willing
to suffer and sacrifice to attain the benefits of rule. The fire
in your heart must burn brighter than this furnace. In this
place metal is separated from dross and given new form. Who
among you is ready to be remade in the image of the divine?
To join us, to become one of the Feasters of the Heart, you
must walk through the furnace. In that hellish chamber, your
devotion will be your armor. So come and tell me: whom do
you serve above all others? At whose command would you
walk through flame?"

Indiria poses her last two questions to each initiate
in turn. The answer she expects (and that will protect
the PCs in the furnace) is "Lissala." Regardless of a
character's answer, Indiria sends each initiate into the
furnace after hearing his response.
As a character enters
the furnace, with a successful DC 20 Perception check,
he notices that the triangular doorway is surrounded
by intricate glowing runes. These runes emit a strong
abjuration aura.

Hazard: The temperature in the furnace is hot enough
to melt metal, and thus presents a significant threat to any
creatures that enter it. It has been enchanted to protect
those who declare their devotion to Lissala, however. If
an initiate answers "Lissala" to Indiria's query, the cultist
speaks the furnace's command phrase ("may it please
the goddess") in response. The next creature to pass
through the doorway into the furnace gains the benefit of
protection from energy (fire) at caster level 5th. If the initiate
fails to provide Indiria the answer she wants, the cultist
whispers something else: "so be it," or "the goddess
knows her own."

Of the party I ran through it, 1/2 gave the 'right' answer and 1/2 gave an evasive answer as not to compromise their individual morals.

Regardless of answer, they all get to go into the furnace and continue on with the adventure.

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

Just as an FYI, I picked one character which I decided I would never apply any GM or Pregen credits to and thus would have to play every single mod he got credit for. That one character turned out to be my Paladin/Gunslinger. He is now level 10 and I have encountered only the following problems in PFS.

1) I had to pretend I was an evil cultist to get to the bottom of, and end, the evil cult. I hemmed and hawed a lot about this one, biting both my nails and my tongue, but the GM had no problem with any of my actions.

2) I had to pretend to be a member of an evil organization in order to disrupt their plans and weaken 2 evil groups. The GM saw no problem in me doing this because the greater good was much greater than the little bad of breaking my always tell the truth oath.

3) I was questioned once by a GM as to why my paladin wasn't showing mercy to a group of people begging for it. I explained that Iomedae is a goddess of justice. The people in question were members of an evil group who had followed the party into dangerous territory for the express purpose of assassinating us and causing an entire encampment of people to fall afoul of the local denizens. The fact that they had, themselves now fallen afoul of the local denizens seemed like justice to me. The GM did not have a problem with this.

4) I read a rune that the adventure stated was an evil act to do so. However, the GM neglected to make this clear before I did so, so did not punish me for his oversight.

5) I drew my Dragon Pistol to shoot an NPC. The GM informed me that under the circumstances, attacking for lethal damage would be considered an evil act. I pointed out that I drew my Dragon Pistol instead of my main weapon because I always keep it loaded with rock salt, so no problem.

So I have played 29 adventures with this character and only 5 times have I had anything close to a problem and all of those worked out. Now I have heard plenty of PFS horror stories regarding paladins, but they simply aren't my experience. The closest issue I have ever had was a GM that declared when he sat down at the table, "I am very strict on alignments, so no paladins looting dead bodies or things like that." I was playing my LG cleric rather than paladin at the time and almost left the table at that announcement but we never actually had a problem when he ran the adventure despite his statement suggesting we would.

Oops, forgot one:

6) There is a character I sometimes play with that keeps threatening to heal my paladin with a Wand of Infernal Healing should I ever fall unconcious. However, since I am married to the player there is not a lot I can do about that.


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At least.the title didn't say it was a sound or great argument.....just saying it is an argument is about all you can say about it.

Paizo Glitterati Robot

Locking this one. We have plenty of paladin/alignment threads, and I'm not sure that this thread is going to end in any sort of productive discussion. It seems like the issues presented here aren't specific to this class or to PFS play. It might be a better idea to start off a thread with a less broad premise and provide specific examples of the issues you've come across so others may be able to provide more helpful input. Also, the dismissive tone and personal insults in this thread aren't conducive to anything positive. Be civil to each other, please.

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