Does the Paladin fall?


Advice

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Shadow Lodge

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No, he really, really doesn't fall.

Unless the player would enjoy it or it would improve the game in some way, in which case, feel free.

EDIT: Woah, TOZ and I just linked the same post within three seconds of each other. That should say something at least.

Shadow Lodge

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Well, at least one of us got to the top of the page with it. :)


Jarazix wrote:

It was simple on the how. They were all shattered drunk, and saves were rolled. It was a high level illusion spell. Mechanically everything was up and up. The wizard's dc's were 28 vs a heavily impaired paladin.

Also I asked the paladin to roll saves a few times, he knew something was up. She did not touch him, when she reached to do so, he killed her. I gave him an attack of opportunity as if it were an unarmed attack from someone without the feat. I also stated it was not an aggressive motion.

With the he knew something was up. That's out of character, and out of character knowledge and in character knowledge are different things. From my understanding of how illusions work he wouldn't know something was up in character since he failed his saves. He thought that there was a legit bugbear in his room.

He was also apparently drunk, and could have misunderstood 'Reaching out for someone in a non aggressive motion' to be aggressive. I've never been shattered drunk, but I'm going to guess that it could make you misunderstand things like that?

Overall it sounds like he probably shouldn't have fallen. If you want to say that his failure to bring the woman paladin back was her not wanting to come back, or a flicker in his powers that seems fine enough, but it doesn't seem like he made a decision where he was actually in control and had the agency and cogent ability to make choices like that.


Jarazix wrote:
Fast forward some, the Paladin has a romance with a young female paladin in their home city. When far away the Paladin is wakened in his room by a monstrous creature spouting harsh sounding gibberish. It does not attack him, but does approach him, gesturing towards him. It tries to touch him, not attack, touch. He takes an attack of opportunity and slays it in one blow. A few moments later the illusion drops and he see's he killed his love along with a letter on her from the bugbear that "now he see's his bigotry for what it is" and "all that matters to him is appearances". The Paladin assembles the group and tries to say they must put the bugbear down. He then goes to raise her and I have it fail, my thinking was he killed her, and did not put any blame on himself.

I fail to understand a lot here.

First: did the Paladin pick up his sword? Normally I'd assume in this sort of situation (wakened out of bed), he'd be unarmed, which is nonlethal damage, and won't kill her. Did he pick up a sword? Did he warn the 'creature' to stay back? Assuming lethal damage: (1) Smite Evil would not work, since the creature is not evil. (2) A 1st level paladin might have 12+ HP with 14+ Con. Did he really deal 26 damage in one hit without Smite Evil? With a high str, magic weapon, and Power Attack, I could see it. But as he was threatening his lover with his weapon, clearly confused, did she really think it would be a good idea to keep advancing and touch him? How about kneeling down, and writing something on the ground while not advancing? Or was she Dominated in addition to whatever (unnamed) magic caused her to look like a bugbear and not be able to speak normally ...

Also, when did Paladins get access to Raise Dead (or similar magic)? I don't see it anywhere on the Paladin spell list. Did the Paladin take the body to a cleric and then have the spell fail because "He's not remorseful enough?" That's pretty heavy-handed.

If I were in the party, I'd be tempted to turn the offending bugbear to stone, and enclose the statue in the cornerstone of a new temple to <insert deity here>. And I wouldn't have the paladin fall.


Should the Palladin fall?

Only if he forgot to prepare fly.

Silver Crusade

Wind Chime wrote:

Should the Palladian fall?

Only if he forgot to prepare fly.

Abadar, in his wisdom, never lets me out and about without a fly spell prepared.


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Throw another hat on the pile that's arguing for no fall for the paladin, and smacking the GM for really poor rule-understanding.

If the fall hadn't been incorporated, it would have been a great plot hook, but as it stands it's just plain stupidity on the GM's part.


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The Paladin should fall in this case.

The Paladin attacked a being that was not attacking him. The being even though a illusion was offering a their hand. The Paladin had the tools to detect evil, did he not use this? Why not?

The wizard in this case committed a evil act by tricking the Paladin but had the Paladin not be corrupt in the first the trick would have failed. The Paladin made assumptions that appearance reveals the heart judged other based on appearance alone. The paladin judged his lover as evil based on the appearance the illusion presented. He may not have known it was his lover but killed her regardless. This is why the Paladin should fall.

The Paladin should lose their power till they atone for their sins. This shouldn't be a hard thing. So quiet reflection and learning the lesson. Taking the route of revenge should make things worse.

The Wizard should shift towards evil for putting an innocent in harms way to teach the paladin a lesson then gloating over it. Both are now in downward spiral of revenge and really the Paladin should atone and redeem the wizard to get his powers back.

As GM I'd through some corruption demons in the background pulling strings making the slippery slope even more slick.

Scarab Sages

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Yeah, he should fall.

He attempted to outright kill a creature he wasn't even sure was a threat, and as far as the story goes he didn't even give it a warning or have any consideration as to whether or not it was even attempting to harm him.

In a world where Lawful Good Succubi can exist, you have to be careful as a Paladin, and you can't let your nerves get the better of you. All he had to do... ALL he had to do was, at the very worst, deal non-lethal damage with his attack and found a way to question his "assailant", which might have been considered a reasonable defense against a perceived threat he was unsure about.

But he took violent action against a creature that could very well have been Good for all he knew, and ignorance doesn't excuse evil.

Also, as Voska said, wanting revenge against the Wizard is a slippery slope for a now former paladin. Taking it out against him might actually start him towards becoming an Anti-Paladin.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Would any other character shift alignment for cutting down a burglar?
If the answer to above is yes, then the paladin might fall.
If the answer to above is no, then the paladin will not fall.

Scarab Sages

Damanta wrote:

Would any other character shift alignment for cutting down a burglar?

If the answer to above is yes, then the paladin might fall.
If the answer to above is no, then the paladin will not fall.

Paladins have special rules regarding when they fall, which are separate from alignment shifting.

Shadow Lodge

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If you see the GM's duty as crafting an enjoyable game for the players, then the paladin shouldn't fall.

If you see the GM's duty as enforcing one of the worst and most vague rules in the game at the expenses of player enjoyment, then you may not be running an enjoyable game.

Again, if the player is on board with the paladin falling, and thinks that it is a fun and interesting plot development, then go for it.

Sovereign Court

Why do people make these threads? The only good it does is for me to know who I would never game with if I played a paladin.


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Cylyria wrote:
Why do people make these threads?

People seek advice and validation. They want to know that what they are doing is the proper way to do things. So they seek the experience of people who have dealt with the same situations.

Dark Archive

The Paladin always has this greatsword on hand, and yes he easily does 30 damage on a hit. It was not a fast moving event....it appeared in the room and slowly approached him. I was careful to say it was not threatening him, but that it was monstrous with horns and red claws.

I basically figured he would either kill her, or use sense evil. From his past of trying to redeem evil elves and humans, and showing no mercy to anyone of humanoid races, I assumed he would kill her.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Davor wrote:
Damanta wrote:

Would any other character shift alignment for cutting down a burglar?

If the answer to above is yes, then the paladin might fall.
If the answer to above is no, then the paladin will not fall.
Paladins have special rules regarding when they fall, which are separate from alignment shifting.

A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features (including the service of the paladin's mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She may not progress any further in levels as a paladin. She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (see the atonement spell description in Spell Lists), as appropriate.

Let's see: Paladin cuts down burglar who's approaching him talking in a harsh strange language and attempts to touch him.

Nothing there spells willfully commiting an evil act.

Now, as for code of conduct, I must have missed that bit in the conversation, but I don't think there is any deity that has paladins that has in their code of conduct that they must be nice to burglars.

That leaves ceasing to be lawful good, which makes me return to my question.

Dark Archive

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voska66 wrote:
The Paladin should fall in this case.

Let's take a look at the paladin code! What conditions cause a paladin to fall?

1. Paladin ceases to be Lawful Good
2. Paladin willingly commits an evil act
3. Violates code of conduct
a) be Lawful Good
b) respect legitimate authority
c) act with honour (no lying, no cheating, no poison)
d) help those in need
e) punish those that harm or threaten innocents

Now let's see what happened using the code as our guide.

voska66 wrote:
The Paladin attacked a being that was not attacking him.

The paladin did not violate 1 to be certain. Is attacking someone before they attack you an evil act? I'd hardly call it a good act, but I could see many situations where striking first is not evil.

So we're left with a possible code of conduct violation. The paladin is fine for a) and b), and d) and e) aren't going to come up in this situation. Did the paladin act with honour? I would say so, as he was defending himself from what he identified as a threat who had invaded his room.

That said, it's not even a question of him striking first. It's a question of an attack of opportunity!

voska66 wrote:
The being even though a illusion was offering a their hand.

Not exactly. We have a gibbering creature who has invaded the room now approaching and attempting to TOUCH the paladin. The GM insists that it's a touch and not an attack, but I would point out that most debilitating spells require only a touch. We have a gibbering monster trying to touch you, and that's not threatening?

voska66 wrote:
The Paladin had the tools to detect evil, did he not use this? Why not?

Two reasons I can think of. First of all, there was really no time. If something is coming at you with a possible spell, you're not going to avoid taking an attack on them so that you can spend a move action next round.

Secondly, there are so many ways to fool detect evil from level 3 on that I would not ever call not using it a fall. A 20th level lich sorcerer has disguise self and misdirection up, and guess what? Not evil! A level 4 fighter who has just finished murdering his way through an orphanage doesn't detect as evil either. Should the paladin let him go?

Looking again at our code: The paladin is Lawful Good. He defended himself from an identified threat that for all he knew was trying to attack him. If it was this easy to make a paladin fall, then necromancers the world over would just start disguising and dominating puppies and ducklings and sending them into battle.


Cranky Dog wrote:
So the paladin's first reaction is to go for the kill on the unarmed non-aggressive bugbear with poor communication skills?

...go for the kill on the unarmed non-aggressive bugbear...

...unarmed non-aggressive bugbear...

...NON-AGGRESSIVE BUGBEAR...

Grand Lodge

Only you can answer your own question. As the GM you control the world, but make it a good story.

My suggestions:

The Paladin shouldn't fall as no evil act was actually committed, but he should feel remorse and his link to his divine inspiration may suffer.

Paladin internal monologue:

"Why didn't his deity protect the other Paladin?"

"With great power comes great responsibility. Can his sword be this easy to manipulate towards evil purposes?"

The character should feel some guilt and distance from his deity. If he chases the wizard now, it is an act of vengeance against a dangerous foe that will no doubt use similar tricks in the future and innocents may suffer at the Paladins blade. The clergy should let him know this and he must sharpen his mind as he does his sword before he continues. His powers/spells will not return so he should use them cautiously on his quest for an item that would prevent a future trick of this nature (true seeing).

And then, when he has tracked down the mage his deity should fill him with divine rage and he receives all his powers surge back with some additional temporary ones (higher caster level / sr / haste / fast healing) in a climatic battle (you may need to beef up the wizard appropriately).

Then drained of divine energy (-4 to all physical stats as mortals aren't built to contain that much power, no restoration will work), he returns home to find his clergy has meticulously kept the body fresh through spells, and the raise dead is successful as his girlfriend cares for him while he recuperates bed ridden.

It is only through intense flame that a blade may be tempered. Put the Paladin through hell, but make him stronger for it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Kazaan wrote:
Cranky Dog wrote:
So the paladin's first reaction is to go for the kill on the unarmed non-aggressive bugbear with poor communication skills?

...go for the kill on the unarmed non-aggressive bugbear...

...unarmed non-aggressive bugbear...

...NON-AGGRESSIVE BUGBEAR...

When far away the Paladin is wakened in his room by a monstrous creature spouting harsh sounding gibberish.

Let's go with that bit yes?

Someone just broke into your freaking room and it's not aggressive? Yeah right, as if.

Dark Archive

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It didn't look like a bugbear. The GM said that it looked 'demonlike'.

So an unarmed non-aggressive demon speaking a harsh-sounding language and approaching to touch the paladin.

Super evil action to take that attack of opportunity you guys.

Scarab Sages

Damanta wrote:
Davor wrote:
Damanta wrote:

Would any other character shift alignment for cutting down a burglar?

If the answer to above is yes, then the paladin might fall.
If the answer to above is no, then the paladin will not fall.
Paladins have special rules regarding when they fall, which are separate from alignment shifting.

A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features (including the service of the paladin's mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She may not progress any further in levels as a paladin. She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (see the atonement spell description in Spell Lists), as appropriate.

Let's see: Paladin cuts down burglar who's approaching him talking in a harsh strange language and attempts to touch him.

Nothing there spells willfully commiting an evil act.

Now, as for code of conduct, I must have missed that bit in the conversation, but I don't think there is any deity that has paladins that has in their code of conduct that they must be nice to burglars.

That leaves ceasing to be lawful good, which makes me return to my question.

So if someone walks up to you shouting obscenities and tries to put a hand on your shoulder, you should be totally justified, in fact, found in the RIGHT, by MURDERING HIM?!

Shadow Lodge

Mergy wrote:
Super evil action to take that attack of opportunity you guys.

It ain't Good, but it sure ain't Evil either.

Davor wrote:
So if someone walks up to you shouting obscenities and tries to put a hand on your shoulder, you should be totally justified, in fact, found in the RIGHT, by MURDERING HIM?!

What is it that people use? Stand-your-ground? Castle defense?

Dark Archive

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Davor wrote:
Damanta wrote:
Davor wrote:
Damanta wrote:

Would any other character shift alignment for cutting down a burglar?

If the answer to above is yes, then the paladin might fall.
If the answer to above is no, then the paladin will not fall.
Paladins have special rules regarding when they fall, which are separate from alignment shifting.

A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features (including the service of the paladin's mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She may not progress any further in levels as a paladin. She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (see the atonement spell description in Spell Lists), as appropriate.

Let's see: Paladin cuts down burglar who's approaching him talking in a harsh strange language and attempts to touch him.

Nothing there spells willfully commiting an evil act.

Now, as for code of conduct, I must have missed that bit in the conversation, but I don't think there is any deity that has paladins that has in their code of conduct that they must be nice to burglars.

That leaves ceasing to be lawful good, which makes me return to my question.

So if someone walks up to you shouting obscenities and tries to put a hand on your shoulder, you should be totally justified, in fact, found in the RIGHT, by MURDERING HIM?!

So that's not what happened. Let's say that someone wakes you up having broken into your room. That someone looks like a demon, and you typically kill demons on sight because that's sort of your job. The demon approaches you shouting obscenities in a language you don't understand and then tries to put a claw on your shoulder. In Pathfinder, absolutely you are justified in slaying that demon.


Davor wrote:
Damanta wrote:
Davor wrote:
Damanta wrote:

Would any other character shift alignment for cutting down a burglar?

If the answer to above is yes, then the paladin might fall.
If the answer to above is no, then the paladin will not fall.
Paladins have special rules regarding when they fall, which are separate from alignment shifting.

A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features (including the service of the paladin's mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She may not progress any further in levels as a paladin. She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (see the atonement spell description in Spell Lists), as appropriate.

Let's see: Paladin cuts down burglar who's approaching him talking in a harsh strange language and attempts to touch him.

Nothing there spells willfully commiting an evil act.

Now, as for code of conduct, I must have missed that bit in the conversation, but I don't think there is any deity that has paladins that has in their code of conduct that they must be nice to burglars.

That leaves ceasing to be lawful good, which makes me return to my question.

So if someone walks up to you shouting obscenities and tries to put a hand on your shoulder, you should be totally justified, in fact, found in the RIGHT, by MURDERING HIM?!

If the person looks like a demon, is saying a different language that sounds harsh, and is in your room in the middle of the night, then yes.

Scarab Sages

TOZ wrote:
Mergy wrote:
Super evil action to take that attack of opportunity you guys.

It ain't Good, but it sure ain't Evil either.

Davor wrote:
So if someone walks up to you shouting obscenities and tries to put a hand on your shoulder, you should be totally justified, in fact, found in the RIGHT, by MURDERING HIM?!
What is it that people use? Stand-your-ground? Castle defense?

1) I would agree with you if the Paladin in question had made a non-lethal attack.

2) Totally lawful. Not necessarily good. :P

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Davor wrote:
Damanta wrote:
Davor wrote:
Damanta wrote:

Would any other character shift alignment for cutting down a burglar?

If the answer to above is yes, then the paladin might fall.
If the answer to above is no, then the paladin will not fall.
Paladins have special rules regarding when they fall, which are separate from alignment shifting.

A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features (including the service of the paladin's mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She may not progress any further in levels as a paladin. She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (see the atonement spell description in Spell Lists), as appropriate.

Let's see: Paladin cuts down burglar who's approaching him talking in a harsh strange language and attempts to touch him.

Nothing there spells willfully commiting an evil act.

Now, as for code of conduct, I must have missed that bit in the conversation, but I don't think there is any deity that has paladins that has in their code of conduct that they must be nice to burglars.

That leaves ceasing to be lawful good, which makes me return to my question.

So if someone walks up to you shouting obscenities and tries to put a hand on your shoulder, you should be totally justified, in fact, found in the RIGHT, by MURDERING HIM?!

Nope, but I would whack that person away. In fact, I've done so several times, I don't like to be touched by strangers. I might even break some bones and all if they keep coming at me.

However if that person entered my PERSONAL room and I had a sword in my hand/at the ready, yeah you bet I'd try to run him trough with it. Stay out of my property.

Dark Archive

A paladin doesn't fall for not committing a good action. If the action isn't evil, the paladin doesn't fall.

Is killing in self-defence evil? I would say not.

Scarab Sages

Quoting myself higher up the page here:

Davor wrote:
In a world where Lawful Good Succubi can exist, you have to be careful as a Paladin, and you can't let your nerves get the better of you. All he had to do... ALL he had to do was, at the very worst, deal non-lethal damage with his attack and found a way to question his "assailant", which might have been considered a reasonable defense against a perceived threat he was unsure about.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cylyria wrote:
Why do people make these threads? The only good it does is for me to know who I would never game with if I played a paladin.

That's a value in and of itself.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Davor wrote:

1) I would agree with you if the Paladin in question had made a non-lethal attack.

2) Totally lawful. Not necessarily good. :P

It doesn't have to be Good. It just has to be not-Evil. Which it was.

Was dealing non-lethal first a better option? Yes. The paladin doesn't fall for making a single mistake however. He's held to a higher standard, but that standard is not perfection. Unlike an archon, the paladin strives to be Lawful Good. He doesn't become something else by taking an action that isn't Lawful Good.

Scarab Sages

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Davor wrote:

1) I would agree with you if the Paladin in question had made a non-lethal attack.

2) Totally lawful. Not necessarily good. :P

It doesn't have to be Good. It just has to be not-Evil. Which it was.

I could see someone making that argument. I don't agree with it, but I can understand it.


Davor wrote:


So if someone walks up to you shouting obscenities and tries to put a hand on your shoulder, you should be totally justified, in fact, found in the RIGHT, by MURDERING HIM?!

If they've broken into my room, woken me up, and I'm watching them approach shouting obscenities at me and reaching for me? Yes, I feel justified in, at the very least, attacking them and fighting back against what could be them attempting to strangle me. Now, as I am not a trained holy warrior with a Greatsword, I probably won't kill them, but I will at least drive them away from me.


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Kazaan wrote:
Cranky Dog wrote:
So the paladin's first reaction is to go for the kill on the unarmed non-aggressive bugbear with poor communication skills?

...go for the kill on the unarmed non-aggressive bugbear...

...unarmed non-aggressive bugbear...

...NON-AGGRESSIVE BUGBEAR...

Possible spellcasting followed by an attempt to touch you is neither unarmed nor non-aggressive. Especially when it is against an unknown uninvited creature in your bedroom.


Davor wrote:
Damanta wrote:
Davor wrote:
Damanta wrote:

Would any other character shift alignment for cutting down a burglar?

If the answer to above is yes, then the paladin might fall.
If the answer to above is no, then the paladin will not fall.
Paladins have special rules regarding when they fall, which are separate from alignment shifting.

A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features (including the service of the paladin's mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She may not progress any further in levels as a paladin. She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (see the atonement spell description in Spell Lists), as appropriate.

Let's see: Paladin cuts down burglar who's approaching him talking in a harsh strange language and attempts to touch him.

Nothing there spells willfully commiting an evil act.

Now, as for code of conduct, I must have missed that bit in the conversation, but I don't think there is any deity that has paladins that has in their code of conduct that they must be nice to burglars.

That leaves ceasing to be lawful good, which makes me return to my question.

So if someone walks up to you shouting obscenities and tries to put a hand on your shoulder, you should be totally justified, in fact, found in the RIGHT, by MURDERING HIM?!

If they are in my bedroom, absolutely. Especially when evil, magic, and evil magic are real.

Sovereign Court

Davor wrote:
Damanta wrote:
Davor wrote:
Damanta wrote:

Would any other character shift alignment for cutting down a burglar?

If the answer to above is yes, then the paladin might fall.
If the answer to above is no, then the paladin will not fall.
Paladins have special rules regarding when they fall, which are separate from alignment shifting.

A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features (including the service of the paladin's mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She may not progress any further in levels as a paladin. She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (see the atonement spell description in Spell Lists), as appropriate.

Let's see: Paladin cuts down burglar who's approaching him talking in a harsh strange language and attempts to touch him.

Nothing there spells willfully commiting an evil act.

Now, as for code of conduct, I must have missed that bit in the conversation, but I don't think there is any deity that has paladins that has in their code of conduct that they must be nice to burglars.

That leaves ceasing to be lawful good, which makes me return to my question.

So if someone walks up to you shouting obscenities and tries to put a hand on your shoulder, you should be totally justified, in fact, found in the RIGHT, by MURDERING HIM?!

In the modern day - if someone broke into my house and did this - yes. Yes I am. It's called the castle doctrine. The idea is that your home is your castle and that you can legally assume that anyone breaking in means you lethal harm and you're free to blow them away - no questions asked.

And that's in the modern day where we don't have all sorts of gibbering monstrous creatures of the night who might eat your soul.

Scarab Sages

I already know about the Castle Doctrine and all that malarky.

I never said it wasn't lawful.

That doesn't make it not evil.

Dark Archive

Doesn't change the point much...but it wasn't shouting. Its was saying gibberish in a harsh voice...not shouting. Also the person was not a bugbear.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Our disagreement lies in the view of the creature. Those who say it was evil say the creature was non-threatening. Those who say it was not evil say the creature was threatening. We will not convince each other of our positions unless we can change each others view of that fact.

The GM said it looked non-threatening. The player said it was threatening.


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I would also like to point out the other side of this equation-- The Lover.

So, after a bender, I somehow end up being the victim of an illusion. No idea how, of course, because reasons. I also have a letter somewhere on my personage that I haven't noticed either, because reasons. Now, I walk into my lover's bedroom. Maybe I'm ready to sleep off a hangover, maybe it's time to contemplate the mysteries of the universe, whatever. I see my man in bed, and I call out to him, and he wakes up. He immediately looks panicked upon seeing me.

Now, I apparently have no idea that I look different (Is there a spell that actually puts an illusion on a person without them being aware? I suppose that's a DM call, but I'd rule that looking down at my terrifying red claws might tip me off that something's wrong). I call out to him gently, teasingly, but he's not reacting the way I would assume. Instead of teasing me back, he reaches for the sword he tends to sleep with. He takes what looks to be a defensive posture, and again, does not react to my words with anything but suspicion.

Do I:

A) Approach my lover and try to touch him?

B) Stay in the corner of the room, trying to make placating gestures?

C) Leave the room altogether and wait for him to sober up?

My vote is B or C, depending on how he's behaving. The point of this post is not to try to make excuses for the Paladin, but to point out that the lover was behaving idiotically. Unless the lover was blond (I'm kidding, of course), there is little to no reason the lover should have behaved that way.

Heck, in her shoes, I would have become suspicious of the Paladin in all honesty.

Edit: In essence, not only was the wizard setting up the paladin, the DM was setting him up as well, albeit to a lesser extent.


Not even close to falling. Paladin's don't fall for not taking the absolute perfect action when being tricked. They fall for willfully committing an evil act, which this most certainly was not.

Everyone who is saying "would you kill a burglar..." is completely missing the fact that said burglar is huge, inhuman, with horns and red claws. The Paladin is woken up by a most likely demon, who approaches while talking in gibberish - quite possibly casting a spell - and tries to touch.

In terms of the "burglar in the house" scenario, this is like waking up to someone in a ski mask coming at you with a cleaver. Worse, even.

Now, its ok with me for the raise to not work: the lover probably has no idea about the illusion and doesn't want to come back to the 'murderous' player. A 'Speak with Dead' however would probably clear up the confusion.

Shadow Lodge

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Seriously what would have been the "correct way" to not to fall in this situation?

Start preaching the gibberish thing? completely ignoring the fact there is a demon in your room on the middle of the night?!

Let me ask you one thing. As a DM if you play an npc paladin what would have been the natural reaction in this situation?

like this?:

"Howdy demon wazzup have you seen my gf? Hey you are touching me that tickles! Ow demon you are so fun i love you"


No I would not have the paladin fall

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Jarazix wrote:
Doesn't change the point much...but it wasn't shouting. Its was saying gibberish in a harsh voice...not shouting. Also the person was not a bugbear.

If my tiefling PC approaches your NPC guard, greeting him in Abyssal and waving his claw at him, how would you have the guard react?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Arrest the tiefling! Or at the very least warn the rest of the guards and try to do it.

Edit: that actually would depend on where this guard is stationed.
Cheliax: kill on sight, bloody demonspawn. If you would greet in Infernal however, I'd have them greet you back.

Random city in Mendev: Kill on sight, no matter what.

Any other place, try to find someone who can translate if you appear to be non-threatening.


Jarazix wrote:
From his past of trying to redeem evil elves and humans, and showing no mercy to anyone of humanoid races, I assumed he would kill her.

Congratulations, your clever trap succeeded.

The bottom line here is you seem to believe that not judging along species lines is a core component of being good. It is your world, and you can indeed make that determination.

However, it is incumbent that you make that clear to the player and character of a Paladin. How many times have senior members of the Paladins church counseled him on the importance of not judging those who look different? How have you represented this diety (and perhaps all other good deities if this is indeed a fundamental requirement of goodness) interacting with ugly demonic looking things and not treating them different than any other?

If a Paladin is straying from what you believe there alignment and code require than they should be clearly warned. This is best done in character, but talking about it outside of game with the player, or all the players is appropriate too. A paladin should never fall by accident.

Scarab Sages

Thaago wrote:
Not even close to falling. Paladin's don't fall for not taking the absolute perfect action when being tricked. They fall for willfully committing an evil act, which this most certainly was not.

Whether or not this was an evil act is kind of why there's so much contention over this point. :P

Dark Archive

ElementalXX wrote:

Seriously what would have been the "correct way" to not to fall in this situation?

Start preaching the gibberish thing? completely ignoring the fact there is a demon in your room on the middle of the night?!

Let me ask you one thing. As a DM if you play an npc paladin what would have been the natural reaction in this situation?

like this?:

"Howdy demon wazzup have you seen my gf? Hey you are touching me that tickles! Ow demon you are so fun i love you"

Perfect? a few things would have worked. Since she just stood there for a bit before approaching he could have used detect evil, called for help, left the room, subdued her. He had some options. It was a tough situation, but he DID have a lot of ways out of it.


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As a very entertaining side note, at least to me, the Paladin was right about the wizard. This isn't exactly a good 'lesson'.

Wizard: Stop judging me to be evil now that I'm a bugbear! Commits heinously evil act to 'teach' a lesson about judging others

Paladin: Hoo boy, now that the wizard who I thought might be evil because they turned into an evil species turned out to be evil and tricked me, I'm certainly never going to judge someone by their species again.

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