Would this Oathbound paladin fall?


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I don't think it's fair to call a paladin a murderhobo for making a single bad call in an easily misinterpreted sitation, unless you're also OK with calling every single cop who has ever mistakenly shot someone a murderhobo.

For all we know this guy usually makes a habit of bringing bandits in alive to face The Law and spends his downtime helping widows find affordable housing.

Rynjin wrote:
1.) It's not mean. The Paladin has a Code. The player knows he has a Code when he picks the class. Don't break the Code, you won't fall. If you can break the Code and not fall, why have a Code?

The issue is when the player and the GM have different expectations about the code or the situation causing the fall.

You see "killed an innocent person who was not attacking you."

Others see "killed an apparent threat to innocents."

A player who believes that all fiends are evil, designs a character specifically to fight fiends, is currently on a quest to hunt down a fiend who is killing people, and sees a fiend who is capable of mind control standing in the middle of a crowd of villagers has every reason to expect that it is OK to kill that fiend.

And if a GM sees that a player has brought a paladin to the table who has an oath to destroy fiends, the GM should expect that behavior and either ensure that the player knows that he can't smite fiends who haven't attacked first, or give lots of in-character cues that this particular fiend is different (such as describing her laying on hands and reviving villagers).

Rynjin wrote:
2.) I didn't realize "Has to pay for an Atonement" was equivalent to losing your character.

Well, it's not too far off from "Raise Dead." 2500gp vs 5000gp, and in both cases you have to find a 9th level cleric to cast the spell. I expect most people would be upset if a GM set up a situation where if you attack a particular enemy you die instantly with no saving throw.

Bard-Sader wrote:

Yea, but I can now use that +1 which would've been used on Merciful in something else instead, like flaming.

I find that a default "stun" setting makes it much less likely for your mistakes to translate into deaths..

Agreed. My LG Inquisitor put Merciful on his scimitar before adding keen. You get an extra d6 nonlethal with Merciful, too, so as long as you're not fighting something that resists nonlethal it's doing the same damage as flaming.


All Paladins in 3.x/PF should be retrofitted with Phylactery of Faithfulness. Problem solved...


This (and probably most of the other Paladin threads that I don't usually get into) points up a problem in the design of the Paladin and Antipaladin classes: All variants of these classes have to be shoehorned into Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil, respectively, which doesn't leave much room for variation, and doesn't fit well with some of the Paladin Oaths (and might not fit well with some of the Antipaladin Whims either, if we ever get to see any of those). In addition, Paladin and Antipaladin are more likely to run into trouble for being base classes that have strict codes of conduct from the start, rather than being prestige classes that introduce characters to codes of conduct first (as both varieties of Hellknight do), which would give much more chance to set characters' (and players') expectations. Also think about Paladins, Antipaladins, and for that matter Inquisitors from a story perspetive: Any religion that lets any random worshipper become one of their holy warriors or above-the-law behind-the-scenes enforcers is really setting itself up for corruption, as well as setting up characters for falls. This is a problem inherited all the way back from AD&D 1.0 -- I really wish later editions (including but not limited to Pathfinder) had gotten serious about fixing it. D&D 3.5 Unearthed Arcana took a couple of shots at it with the Prestige Paladin and the Paladins of all 4 corner alignments, although strangely they didn't combine these efforts (apart from putting them in the same book), and who says that Holy Warriors can only be of the 4 corner alignments anyway? Anyway, neither one caught on, although Kirthfinder has taken another shot at it.

(And yes, I know from another thread that some people object to making Paladins be tied to deities instead of alignments, but Rules As Written you can have Clerics that are tied to a philosophy instead of a deity, although the Pathfinder Campaign Setting specifically forbids this. A somewhat more fleshed out Hellknight would be an excellent example of such a thing for a Holy Warrior prestige class archetype that isn't tied to a deity, and yes, I did just say prestige class archetype, which by the way would also be useful for Prestige Inquisitor arhetypes. That said, I would also like to see an Ur-Priest Cleric archetype that isn't the same as Razmiran Priest.)


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BackHandOfFate wrote:

Instead of debating an obvious trap scenario, I instead pose this question:

If a paladin falls in the forest and there's no-one around... Then how the hell did he fall in the first place?

He killed the wrong tree.... he knew he should have used a merciful chainsaw!!!!


Blackvial wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:

I've been calling it "hate" because when people say "the paladin should fall", that's the same as saying "that player should lose his/her character". It's a bit mean, because people on these boards only make the argument that a player should have their character taken away from them when that player is playing a paladin.

Let's make it equitable: every time a wizard's player mistakenly includes a party member in the radius of an attack spell, the GM should take their character away. Every time a cleric's player fails to heal a party member in time, the GM should take their character away. Every time a rogue's player forgets to check for traps and sets one off by mistake, the GM should take their character away. Not so fair now is it?

well maybe if the paladin thought before acting like a murderhobo he wouldn't have fallen for killing an innocent and your argument with the wizard, cleric, and rogue is rather childish and it screams of a temper tantrum

It isn't a tantrum because I've never played a paladin and I've never wanted to play one. I'm just sticking up for the poor guys/girls who want to play one and get arbitrarily screwed. Gleefully punishing one player for picking a class that he or she enjoys is rather petty. Wizards are a heck of alot more powerful than a paladin, but I don't see a thousand threads about whether a GM should take a wizard character's magic away.


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If I am the GM I would talk this out with my players before the campaign s to set expectations.


Bard-Sader wrote:
If I am the GM I would talk this out with my players before the campaign s to set expectations.

That's a good idea. When I joined a 3.5 game a LONG time ago the DM was very up-front on how staunch he was in adhering to alignments, especially the Paladin and it's Code. Wanting to play a similar-style character, I decided to go Fighter/Cleric so I didn't get hit with all sorts of similar catch-22 situations. Worked out well considering the Cleric/Fighter combination is just straight-up better than the Paladin mechanics wise (well, in v3.5 anyways).


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HeHateMe wrote:
Blackvial wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:

I've been calling it "hate" because when people say "the paladin should fall", that's the same as saying "that player should lose his/her character". It's a bit mean, because people on these boards only make the argument that a player should have their character taken away from them when that player is playing a paladin.

Let's make it equitable: every time a wizard's player mistakenly includes a party member in the radius of an attack spell, the GM should take their character away. Every time a cleric's player fails to heal a party member in time, the GM should take their character away. Every time a rogue's player forgets to check for traps and sets one off by mistake, the GM should take their character away. Not so fair now is it?

well maybe if the paladin thought before acting like a murderhobo he wouldn't have fallen for killing an innocent and your argument with the wizard, cleric, and rogue is rather childish and it screams of a temper tantrum
It isn't a tantrum because I've never played a paladin and I've never wanted to play one. I'm just sticking up for the poor guys/girls who want to play one and get arbitrarily screwed. Gleefully punishing one player for picking a class that he or she enjoys is rather petty. Wizards are a heck of alot more powerful than a paladin, but I don't see a thousand threads about whether a GM should take a wizard character's magic away.

The thing is, the problem is not that GM's make traps, it's that either the player or GM don't do due diligence beforehand.

Both the player and GM need to understand every aspect of the paladin, including it's theology and god... If you are confused by either, or even if you just have a different views of how they apply, the paladin is screwed, that is what makes the class so screwed up... it isn't just plug and play, despite the possible line of thought that as a martial it is simple... it far exceeds a wizard in complexity unless you know the universe you are playing implicitly, and the GM has that same knowledge.

If you want to play a paladin, you need to talk to your GM, and make sure both they and you are on the same page as to what your god does, and what your paladin believes in, if you are not it will never work. You also need a similar understanding with the party(probably best discussed in world) as your "righteous path" affects what the party can do as a cohesive unit.


HeHateMe wrote:
Blackvial wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:

I've been calling it "hate" because when people say "the paladin should fall", that's the same as saying "that player should lose his/her character". It's a bit mean, because people on these boards only make the argument that a player should have their character taken away from them when that player is playing a paladin.

Let's make it equitable: every time a wizard's player mistakenly includes a party member in the radius of an attack spell, the GM should take their character away. Every time a cleric's player fails to heal a party member in time, the GM should take their character away. Every time a rogue's player forgets to check for traps and sets one off by mistake, the GM should take their character away. Not so fair now is it?

well maybe if the paladin thought before acting like a murderhobo he wouldn't have fallen for killing an innocent and your argument with the wizard, cleric, and rogue is rather childish and it screams of a temper tantrum
It isn't a tantrum because I've never played a paladin and I've never wanted to play one. I'm just sticking up for the poor guys/girls who want to play one and get arbitrarily screwed. Gleefully punishing one player for picking a class that he or she enjoys is rather petty. Wizards are a heck of alot more powerful than a paladin, but I don't see a thousand threads about whether a GM should take a wizard character's magic away.

1) Because wizards do not have such a abritrary method to lose all their powers.

2) It is not always the GM being a dick. Im sorry bit your coming off as a spoiled player who doesnt ever want to be challanged. For instance, in a prior example I mentioned:

The GM makes a game with a very strong undead theme and the BBEG is a powerful Necromancer. Well he lets his players know and they build accordingly. Well one of the guys makes a Paladin with an oath vs undead since detect undead would be super useful vs things like a disguised vampire or something.

Well the GM already made the story and everything well before his players made their characters. Say he missed the code of conduct for oath vs undead. He just sees the specifically undead focused abilities and is like, cool ok. So the party goes along. Eventually they come across a village being protected and watched over by a NG aligned witch lich. The lich is an old and powerful ancestor that became a lich so she could watch over the village since the surrounding area was full of nasty monsters and such. Well the Paladin and crew roll on on amd upon seeing the lich, the Paladin tries to kill it.

Thw GM is now like... wth??? The player tells him his code MANDATES that he kill ALL undead. But he just assault and may have killed a NG character. That, by most people, is (attempted) murder or assault (since technically liches are kinda hard to keep dead). That is most assured an evil act. So what is the GM to do? He followed his code but broke his oath.

Also, the oath SPECIFICALLY SAYS THEY KNOW THERE ARE GOOD UNDEAD BUT DONT CARE. It not as contrived as a redeemed succubus paladin (which is pretty much a 1 time thing almost). Good sentient undead are a thing. There was no GOTCHA! Moment or anything.

Unless ypur saying the GM should rewrite his.whole game just to cater to the Paladin... which shows the class is a broken class...


Pixie, the fluff about the oath say that SOME oath-paladins don't care.

Anyway the scenario has two options:

(try to) kill the good lich: knowingly attacking a non evil sentient being unprovoked: evil -> paladin falls

let the good lich be: might have broken the oath of destroying all the undeads depending on how much you read strictly the oath -> might revert to a standard paladin

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
HeHateMe wrote:
Wizards are a heck of alot more powerful than a paladin, but I don't see a thousand threads about whether a GM should take a wizard character's magic away.

You've missed all the threads about players being paranoid about GM's targeting their spellbooks, to the point where they felt the GM was having their NPCs go to suicidal lengths to steal or destroy them.


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LazarX wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:
Wizards are a heck of alot more powerful than a paladin, but I don't see a thousand threads about whether a GM should take a wizard character's magic away.
You've missed all the threads about players being paranoid about GM's targeting their spellbooks, to the point where they felt the GM was having their NPCs go to suicidal lengths to steal or destroy them.

That is why you have to love sorcerers lol


Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:
Fine, fine, I'll bow out. I will never be able to understand why people seem to want to unfairly punish a fellow player because he or she wants to play a paladin though. I just don't get where all that hate for these players comes from. I never see these threads pop up advocating punishment for wizards or rangers, it's always paladin players that get the hate.

How is it hate?

For instance, in my scenerio thw GM did not go out of his way to punish the Oath vs undead paladin. He already created the story and then had the player go and make characters and a guy made a logical choice of an oath vs undead.

The simple fact of the matter is that many of the oaths are horridly written and require you to play a racist and can EASILY put you into lose/lose situatuons. Is a good aligned undead a contrived circumstances? Aftwr all, it does not have the [evil] subtype....

Did the DM tell the player that his world had good aligned undead (or good aligned fiends as in the op)?


Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
LazarX wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:
Wizards are a heck of alot more powerful than a paladin, but I don't see a thousand threads about whether a GM should take a wizard character's magic away.
You've missed all the threads about players being paranoid about GM's targeting their spellbooks, to the point where they felt the GM was having their NPCs go to suicidal lengths to steal or destroy them.
That is why you have to love sorcerers lol

Nah. If you roll a sorc the thief will just cut your throat instead (like they very well should when they are stealing from a powerful caster who they can kill right now). The wizard gets to live because.....the GM wants to prove a point, but can't do so effectively due to being both a jerk and an idiot? That's the best I got.

OT:I continue to fail to understand why the oaths are written as stupidly as they are. Solving this problem would have been as simple as putting a clause in the rules saying something like "However, when presented with a situation in which following the oath would violate the paladin code, she may disregard the requirements of the oath as much as is necessary to uphold the code, and does not lose the benefits of the oath for doing so". That would solve ALL of the problems...but no,we don't have that, because that would be reasonable.


It's too bad Antipaladins don't have evil oaths to take...


Bard-Sader wrote:
It's too bad Antipaladins don't have evil oaths to take...

I am taking an oath to kick all puppies find and burn all orphanages xD

...its the oath of vileness....

Shadow Lodge

Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:

The GM makes a game with a very strong undead theme and the BBEG is a powerful Necromancer. Well he lets his players know and they build accordingly. Well one of the guys makes a Paladin with an oath vs undead since detect undead would be super useful vs things like a disguised vampire or something.

Well the GM already made the story and everything well before his players made their characters. Say he missed the code of conduct for oath vs undead. He just sees the specifically undead focused abilities and is like, cool ok. So the party goes along. Eventually they come across a village being protected and watched over by a NG aligned witch lich. The lich is an old and powerful ancestor that became a lich so she could watch over the village since the surrounding area was full of nasty monsters and such. Well the Paladin and crew roll on on amd upon seeing the lich, the Paladin tries to kill it.

Thw GM is now like... wth??? The player tells him his code MANDATES that he kill ALL undead. But he just assault and may have killed a NG character. That, by most people, is (attempted) murder or assault (since technically liches are kinda hard to keep dead). That is most assured an evil act. So what is the GM to do? He followed his code but broke his oath.

Also, the oath SPECIFICALLY SAYS THEY KNOW THERE ARE GOOD UNDEAD BUT DONT CARE. It not as contrived as a redeemed succubus paladin (which is pretty much a 1 time thing almost). Good sentient undead are a thing. There was no GOTCHA! Moment or anything.

Unless ypur saying the GM should rewrite his.whole game just to cater to the Paladin... which shows the class is a broken class...

You don't re-write the game, you tweak the paladin.

~~

Paladin: "I attack the lich."

GM (to himself): WTH?
GM (to player): "Are you sure? She's clearly a goodly protector of the town and attacking her would be evil."

Paladin: "Well, my Oath requires me to destroy all undead even if they're not evil."

GM: "That doesn't make sense in my game. Your oath would only apply to evil undead."

Player: "Ok. Well I still don't like undead so I'll just glower and say I'm keeping an eye on her..."

~~

Note that the GM doesn't have to wait until the paladin has assaulted the lich, he can step in as soon as he sees a decision that doesn't make sense according to how he sees the paladin, in order to make sure everyone is on the same page.


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If the Paladin knows what a succubus is, how charm abilities work, etc, it's reasonable they also know how subtypes work in a nonmechanical sense. AKA, they would know that demons always detect evil regardless of alignment.

Holes in the scenario:

1. Who the hell piles up bodies in front of the person who's going to raise them? Shouldn't they be respectfully separated and covered.

2. People are going back and forth between game mechanics and real world actions in justifying attacking. In real life you do not attack someone with (apparent) hostages, if the Paladin goes "Ahah! I won imitative." they're both metagaming and reckless. (An actually evil fiend might already have an action prepared as there are many ways acquire information like "A paladin is coming to town").

Basically, it's unreasonable to attack a demon with hostages, it puts them in far more danger. It's unlikely the paladin knows they can take the demon out in one hit.

I would go so far as to say a Lawful Good character should always start an encounter by opening negotiations.


Weirdo wrote:
Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:

The GM makes a game with a very strong undead theme and the BBEG is a powerful Necromancer. Well he lets his players know and they build accordingly. Well one of the guys makes a Paladin with an oath vs undead since detect undead would be super useful vs things like a disguised vampire or something.

Well the GM already made the story and everything well before his players made their characters. Say he missed the code of conduct for oath vs undead. He just sees the specifically undead focused abilities and is like, cool ok. So the party goes along. Eventually they come across a village being protected and watched over by a NG aligned witch lich. The lich is an old and powerful ancestor that became a lich so she could watch over the village since the surrounding area was full of nasty monsters and such. Well the Paladin and crew roll on on amd upon seeing the lich, the Paladin tries to kill it.

Thw GM is now like... wth??? The player tells him his code MANDATES that he kill ALL undead. But he just assault and may have killed a NG character. That, by most people, is (attempted) murder or assault (since technically liches are kinda hard to keep dead). That is most assured an evil act. So what is the GM to do? He followed his code but broke his oath.

Also, the oath SPECIFICALLY SAYS THEY KNOW THERE ARE GOOD UNDEAD BUT DONT CARE. It not as contrived as a redeemed succubus paladin (which is pretty much a 1 time thing almost). Good sentient undead are a thing. There was no GOTCHA! Moment or anything.

Unless ypur saying the GM should rewrite his.whole game just to cater to the Paladin... which shows the class is a broken class...

You don't re-write the game, you tweak the paladin.

~~

Paladin: "I attack the lich."

GM (to himself): WTH?
GM (to player): "Are you sure? She's clearly a goodly protector of the town and attacking her would be evil."

Paladin: "Well, my Oath requires me to destroy all undead even if they're not evil."

GM: "That doesn't make sense...

That is more or less how I would rule but I know people (like my GM when im not GM) are very RAW. See, I love the Paladin/Anti-Paladin (i usually rule AP as LE not CE because a CE with rules and code of conduct does not make a lick of sense... at all... that literally breaks the C part of the alignment....) but I usually houserule them since they are brutal RAW and can very easily get caught in crap scenerios.


Knitifine wrote:

If the Paladin knows what a succubus is, how charm abilities work, etc, it's reasonable they also know how subtypes work in a nonmechanical sense. AKA, they would know that demons always detect evil regardless of alignment.

Holes in the scenario:

1. Who the hell piles up bodies in front of the person who's going to raise them? Shouldn't they be respectfully separated and covered.

2. People are going back and forth between game mechanics and real world actions in justifying attacking. In real life you do not attack someone with (apparent) hostages, if the Paladin goes "Ahah! I won imitative." they're both metagaming and reckless. (An actually evil fiend might already have an action prepared as there are many ways acquire information like "A paladin is coming to town").

Basically, it's unreasonable to attack a demon with hostages, it puts them in far more danger. It's unlikely the paladin knows they can take the demon out in one hit.

I would go so far as to say a Lawful Good character should always start an encounter by opening negotiations.

The non-sense of the scenario are legion. I posted several questions to the OP and got no response.


Knitifine wrote:

If the Paladin knows what a succubus is, how charm abilities work, etc, it's reasonable they also know how subtypes work in a nonmechanical sense. AKA, they would know that demons always detect evil regardless of alignment.

Holes in the scenario:

1. Who the hell piles up bodies in front of the person who's going to raise them? Shouldn't they be respectfully separated and covered.

2. People are going back and forth between game mechanics and real world actions in justifying attacking. In real life you do not attack someone with (apparent) hostages, if the Paladin goes "Ahah! I won imitative." they're both metagaming and reckless. (An actually evil fiend might already have an action prepared as there are many ways acquire information like "A paladin is coming to town").

Basically, it's unreasonable to attack a demon with hostages, it puts them in far more danger. It's unlikely the paladin knows they can take the demon out in one hit.

I would go so far as to say a Lawful Good character should always start an encounter by opening negotiations.

Not sure I agree with that. The full court press is a pretty solid offense. Action economy alone says that the Demon can choose to either kill a helpless hostage out of spite... or try to defend himself against the paladin with full on smite happening.

If I charge a demon fully smiting... her best options are 'fight back' or 'run like heck!!' wasting a round on killing a hostage is stupid and pointless... and just gives another round for holy sword stabbing.

I've had a few characters (not just Paladins) who think that 'giving them a better target' is a pretty good way to protect innocents.


I never said that the bodies were piled up in the healing house. Bothers just made that assumption.

Regarding hostages, a Paladin should probably think twice if the demon already has a claw to the hostage's neck, ready to draw and kill.


Bard-Sader wrote:
coyote6 wrote:
Note there appears to be precedent that says you won't have a chaotic evil good lawful aura on one entity. The only canonical redeemed succubus that I know of loses the evil subtype as soon as she stops being evil.
Quote:

Spoiler: 

Yes but Desna is kinda directly intervening in Arushulae's case.

Problem solved.. Desna made this mess, Desna can fix it. Paladin stands.

This is a succubus. She could hide her appearance at any time. She didn't, knowing that ANY good aligned adventurer would attack first ask later.

You ask me, she's the one that dumped wisdom. He dd his job. And fulfilled 3 oaths.

Lastly I want to point out if she's backed by desna, why is she even lawful good? You're telling me this Paladin never heard of a demon that is twice blessed by good gods?

Never? Never came up? All of this.... Paladin failed his reflex save against traps, not failed his god.

That being said, charmed people aren't charmed when the charmer is dead. He shouldn't have run. That makes him purposefully ignorant, but not a fallen Paladin.


KenderKin wrote:

Yes but the whole "scenario" has so many logical inconsistencies to be nearly null and void all on it's own. Let's take the PC paladin out of the situation entirely.

We have a town where people are being killed out of town and their bodies brought back to town for resurrection by the friendly neighborhood redeemed succubus paladin.

What's killing these people? Why isn't this paladin fighting it?
What level are those who are going out and getting killed?
.....
Why risk the entire town in order to bring back all the people on the same day? In the weakened state (again contrived in the scenario) what keeps the thing killing all the people from coming in and wiping out the entire town?

Now here comes the PC paladin......
This beseiged town also has an entire adventuring party come by and they just waltz in (no sign of whatever is killing people on a daily basis, somewhere out of town). No one tells them the enemy is "that a way".....

No logical consistency whatsoever.

These questions.....The NPC paladin left the whole population in danger by taking on maximum negative levels. It is nonsensical, plus she would lose the ability to bring back more people before that point!

Lay on hands is a formula based on half paladin level...so as the negative levels stack up you lose loh's....


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Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
Bard-Sader wrote:
It's too bad Antipaladins don't have evil oaths to take...

I am taking an oath to kick all puppies find and burn all orphanages xD

...its the oath of vileness....

The local orphanage takes in children and sell them to the local vampire cult?

The pet store infects their puppies with a horrible wasting disease before selling them to customers, and your kicking habits would harm the owner's attempts to spread the message of their god of disease and death?

NOPE, OBEY THE OATH. DOESN'T MATTER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, YOU HAVE TO DO IT. YES, IT'S A GOOD ACT - DO IT ANYWAY. OH YEAH, AND SINCE YOU DID A GOOD ACT AND IT WASN'T IN SERVICE OF YOUR OWN DARK ENDS, YOU FALL...AGAIN.

Are you sure you don't want to take the "promise of general propensity towards vileness when it suits you" instead? Seems like a safer bet.


I guess the Antipaladin counterpart to Paladin Oaths would be Urges. Since Antipaladins are NOT supposed to obey rules other than those of their superiors (including their deity), the penalty for violating an Urge would usually be no worse than a momentary interruption of power. and not need an Atonement.


Cavall wrote:
Bard-Sader wrote:
coyote6 wrote:
Note there appears to be precedent that says you won't have a chaotic evil good lawful aura on one entity. The only canonical redeemed succubus that I know of loses the evil subtype as soon as she stops being evil.
Quote:

Spoiler: 

Yes but Desna is kinda directly intervening in Arushulae's case.

Problem solved.. Desna made this mess, Desna can fix it. Paladin stands.

This is a succubus. She could hide her appearance at any time. She didn't, knowing that ANY good aligned adventurer would attack first ask later.

You ask me, she's the one that dumped wisdom. He dd his job. And fulfilled 3 oaths.

Lastly I want to point out if she's backed by desna, why is she even lawful good? You're telling me this Paladin never heard of a demon that is twice blessed by good gods?

Never? Never came up? All of this.... Paladin failed his reflex save against traps, not failed his god.

That being said, charmed people aren't charmed when the charmer is dead. He shouldn't have run. That makes him purposefully ignorant, but not a fallen Paladin.

That's an assumption I would never make.

She could have easily have been not in disguise so as to show she is being honest with everyone about what she is. If a succubus was in disguise then was found out not many would believe her when she says she isn't evil, and she may personally find the idea of a disguise deceitful and not worthy of her status as a paladin.

That said:

With the situation as it was described by the OP:

I would say the paladin needs a lesson (not a player lesson, or even a YOU FALL lesson, but definitely a lesson). In my opinion the best role playing way to handle this would be for a herald of Sarenrae and of Abadar give the paladin a quest to restore the redeemed succubus to life.

Seeing as the body is there, this isn't going to be unduly difficult, he needs a true resurrection spell and it's done. Maybe a bit of a speech about listening to what others say and not jumping the gun too fast, but not take his powers away.

In regards to the oathbound paladins part:

Nothing states they must act immediately, and the oath in particular here states evil outsiders. Since this is a good outsider too there is definitely room for him to take a step back and ask for guidance before charging in.

Beyond that not acting on an oath just means loss of the class features related to the oath, not to being a paladin as a whole:

Quote:
If a paladin violates the code of her oath, she loses the class abilities associated with that oath until she atones. If she violates her paladin’s code, she loses her oath abilities as well as her other paladin abilities.

Personally if I was the GM this is one of those situations I would set up just to see how the paladin responses. Immediate attack is not grounds for falling as he is intending good even if he doesn't know he's really not helping. Premediated attacks should make him drop though (in the same vein the Paladin from Order of the Stick fell).

Final note: Desna has nothing to do with this, you have your deities mixed up.


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Back to the original post:
No...the Paladin should not Fall or need an atonement...he acted as a Paladin should to the best of his knowledge at the time.
He should however be told of what happened and the extenuating circumstance and be strongly urged by his superiors to undertake a quest on behalf of the Church of Saranrae to mend relations.
It was an unfortunate friendly fire incident.


Something else I just thought of:

When did the paladin succeed on a knowledge(the planes) check to know what he was facing?

I mean detect evil is useful and all but it's rather limited and, lets face it, often not anywhere near 100% on accuracy.

If I was a devil/demon/evil outsider I would be interested in using some of those many low level magics to get this guy to smite the wrong target because "They detected evil!"

Scarab Sages

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions."


KenderKin wrote:

These questions.....The NPC paladin left the whole population in danger by taking on maximum negative levels.

It is true that it is not the most optimal of decisions, but in this case the succubus acted with her heart instead of with her logic. She really wanted to help as quickly as possible.

And yes you are right she would lose some uses of LoH as she took negative levels. Luckily Succubi have GINORMOUS charisma to help.


I'm sure the townsfolk are very thankful for her GINORMOUS "Charisma".


BackHandOfFate wrote:
I'm sure the townsfolk are very thankful for her GINORMOUS "Charisma".

Actually they are. It means more LoH for more resurrections!


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Unklbuck wrote:

Back to the original post:

No...the Paladin should not Fall or need an atonement...he acted as a Paladin should to the best of his knowledge at the time.
He should however be told of what happened and the extenuating circumstance and be strongly urged by his superiors to undertake a quest on behalf of the Church of Saranrae to mend relations.
It was an unfortunate friendly fire incident.

Yeah, this. Mistakes happen. The Paladin code doesn't require perfection.


phantom1592 wrote:
Knitifine wrote:

If the Paladin knows what a succubus is, how charm abilities work, etc, it's reasonable they also know how subtypes work in a nonmechanical sense. AKA, they would know that demons always detect evil regardless of alignment.

Holes in the scenario:

1. Who the hell piles up bodies in front of the person who's going to raise them? Shouldn't they be respectfully separated and covered.

2. People are going back and forth between game mechanics and real world actions in justifying attacking. In real life you do not attack someone with (apparent) hostages, if the Paladin goes "Ahah! I won imitative." they're both metagaming and reckless. (An actually evil fiend might already have an action prepared as there are many ways acquire information like "A paladin is coming to town").

Basically, it's unreasonable to attack a demon with hostages, it puts them in far more danger. It's unlikely the paladin knows they can take the demon out in one hit.

I would go so far as to say a Lawful Good character should always start an encounter by opening negotiations.

Not sure I agree with that. The full court press is a pretty solid offense. Action economy alone says that the Demon can choose to either kill a helpless hostage out of spite... or try to defend himself against the paladin with full on smite happening.

If I charge a demon fully smiting... her best options are 'fight back' or 'run like heck!!' wasting a round on killing a hostage is stupid and pointless... and just gives another round for holy sword stabbing.

I've had a few characters (not just Paladins) who think that 'giving them a better target' is a pretty good way to protect innocents.

Which is exactly my point. The only way you can justify is is through metagaming. "Aha! I have initiative and unless you have a prepared action my actions will have no consequences!"

That's not how things work in real life hostage situations, and a DM who doesn't account for that is being foolish.


Abraham spalding wrote:

Something else I just thought of:

When did the paladin succeed on a knowledge(the planes) check to know what he was facing?

I mean detect evil is useful and all but it's rather limited and, lets face it, often not anywhere near 100% on accuracy.

If I was a devil/demon/evil outsider I would be interested in using some of those many low level magics to get this guy to smite the wrong target because "They detected evil!"

Opening post says the target had been known to have chaotic subtype.


Knitifine wrote:
phantom1592 wrote:
Knitifine wrote:


I've had a few characters (not just Paladins) who think that 'giving them a better target' is a pretty good way to protect innocents.

Which is exactly my point. The only way you can justify is is through metagaming. "Aha! I have initiative and unless you have a prepared action my actions will have no consequences!"

That's not how things work in real life hostage situations, and a DM who doesn't account for that is being foolish.

From reading the description of the scenario, it didn't seem at all like a hostage situation. It seemed like the paladin walked into the room and a succubus appeared in front of him. Striking first to protect the innocents seems reasonable there. If it looked like she had hostages, maybe the paladin would've responded differently.

Grand Lodge

I have no problem with what the Paladin did. He is sworn to oppose Chaos. The succubus was Chaotic. Therefore smite. The same could be said for a chaotic neutral rogue. He was not sworn to oppose evil, he was sworn to oppose chaos. No matter what Abbadar would have been pleased with the disposal of anther chaotic creature, succubus or rogue.


Krome wrote:
I have no problem with what the Paladin did. He is sworn to oppose Chaos. The succubus was Chaotic. Therefore smite. The same could be said for a chaotic neutral rogue. He was not sworn to oppose evil, he was sworn to oppose chaos. No matter what Abbadar would have been pleased with the disposal of anther chaotic creature, succubus or rogue.

All Paladins are swom to oppose evil and any Paladin who commits an evil act will fall. Oaths do not override the code of conduct, they are placed on top of it.

Read the oathbound description. The paladin would fall for smiting a chaotic neutral rogue, since such an action would almost certainly be evil and unprovoked, much like this contrived situation.


Knitifine wrote:

Which is exactly my point. The only way you can justify is is through metagaming. "Aha! I have initiative and unless you have a prepared action my actions will have no consequences!"

That's not how things work in real life hostage situations, and a DM who doesn't account for that is being foolish.

Not really, in a situation where a demon can charm people the longer it lives the more human shields it can throw at you. in universe "kill it first" is a truly valid strategy... you have healing for collateral damage IRL doesn't have, so the important part is the slaying.

That said, this Paladin has this really odd habit of dropping then picking back up the idiot ball... as I've stated before, killing the Succubus is the only action it makes sense for him to have done, if she charmed townspeople, she's dead and they are no longer affected... making his argument for evading justice stupid... even if he didn't realize that he should have attempted to enforce his own law further and stop those "charmed". If he heard rumors of the fiend, why did he hear nothing of other paladins/fiends in the area?... she was a walking miracle, even if she was a fiend, he should have heard there was a "fiend/paladin impostor/?" in the area... and if there was another fiend/paladin, he should be looking for them or helping/ceding himself to the citizens, not abandoning an entire village to potential anarchy for however long it takes him to get back to base for backup and allowing the fiends madness/influence to grow.


Krome wrote:
I have no problem with what the Paladin did. He is sworn to oppose Chaos. The succubus was Chaotic. Therefore smite. The same could be said for a chaotic neutral rogue. He was not sworn to oppose evil, he was sworn to oppose chaos. No matter what Abbadar would have been pleased with the disposal of anther chaotic creature, succubus or rogue.

Paladins, no matter the Oath, are never sanctioned to murder innocent people.

That's what ANTI-Paladins are for.

The Oath Against Chaos doesn't even say anything about "Kill everything Chaotic".

Quote:
Code of Conduct: Spread the order of law wherever you go, so long as the law is just; do not serve as a tool of tyranny. Fight vigilantly the servants of chaos.

Only "servants of chaos" are to be fought (you'll also not FOUGHT, not "Mercilessly slaughtered without a thought at any opportunity"). CN Rogues need not apply unless you think they're working for Proteans, and you better be damn sure you're right.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
Unklbuck wrote:

Back to the original post:

No...the Paladin should not Fall or need an atonement...he acted as a Paladin should to the best of his knowledge at the time.
He should however be told of what happened and the extenuating circumstance and be strongly urged by his superiors to undertake a quest on behalf of the Church of Saranrae to mend relations.
It was an unfortunate friendly fire incident.
Yeah, this. Mistakes happen. The Paladin code doesn't require perfection.

I'd think that one of them probably does. Then again, he doesn't have a code written as of right now, so this is just speculation.


3.5e Paladin code in action.


Come to think about it some more, it is possible to replicate this situation with a PC-class friendly fire victim in place of the exceedingly rare redeemed fiend.

Pitborn Tiefling Chaotic Good Oracle of Life with Clouded Vision and/or Deafness Curse (impairs identification of Paladin) and/or Wasting Curse (looks worse from Paladin's point of view). Townspeople being brought in aren't dead yet, but are bleeding out, so Oracle has to act fast. Use Life Link on as many as possible at a time. and cast Greater Infernal Healing on self to keep from going under -- still going to be cutting it close. Paladin arrives on scene and rolls just high enough on Knowledge (Planes) to be dangerous, and Detects Chaos (a Chaotic Good Oracle of high enought level to cast Greater Infernal Healing has enough hit dice to be detected as Chaotic). Paladin probably dumped Intelligence too, but has just enough sense to UMD out Detect Evil while the fiendish-looking Oracle fails to respond to the Paladin's challenge due to sensory impairment. Detect Evil pings RED ALERT on the Greater Infernal Healing. It's Smiting Time! . . . and the Greater Infernal Healing would conveniently enable Smite Evil vulnerability even if the Paladin hadn't traded it out for Smite Chaos (which would actually be relevant if the Paladin had another Paladin ally who didn't have this Oath).


Cavall wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:

Something else I just thought of:

When did the paladin succeed on a knowledge(the planes) check to know what he was facing?

I mean detect evil is useful and all but it's rather limited and, lets face it, often not anywhere near 100% on accuracy.

If I was a devil/demon/evil outsider I would be interested in using some of those many low level magics to get this guy to smite the wrong target because "They detected evil!"

Opening post says the target had been known to have chaotic subtype.

That helps but there are still plenty of things it could have been.


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Someone accused me of being spoiled and not liking a challenge, but that's very wrong. I very much enjoy challenging combats, and when my character dies I never make a fuss about it. What I DON'T like are "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenarios designed to screw over certain PCs, the paladin in this case. I'm not calling out the OP in particular, but there are way too many GMs out there who create totally unfeasible, contrived scenarios specifically to make paladin PCs fall. I'll give an example:

In a 3E game years ago, our GM had the BBEG kidnap a bunch of innocent people and demand our paladin's head in exchange for their safe return. We tried everything we could think of to figure out where the people were being kept so we could mount a rescue mission. Nothing worked, and we ended up finding the heads of those hostages, and the paladin falls for not saving the hostages. Session over. After the session, that GM ranted at us about not being heroic enough, and the paladin PC asked what else we could have done? The GM'S answer: "Your character was supposed to kill himself!!".

I've seen plenty of other examples of GM's unfairly going after paladin characters like that. That's not challenging or fun.


Bard-Sader wrote:
KenderKin wrote:

These questions.....The NPC paladin left the whole population in danger by taking on maximum negative levels.

It is true that it is not the most optimal of decisions, but in this case the succubus acted with her heart instead of with her logic. She really wanted to help as quickly as possible.

And yes you are right she would lose some uses of LoH as she took negative levels. Luckily Succubi have GINORMOUS charisma to help.

No she didn't it is non-sense. Why all of them in one day? This was not the first day of it either!

Now the questions I had bumped into that post...

The townsfolk are they commoners or heroes?

Why are the townsfolk going out to confront the danger rather than the succubus?

If the townsfolk have class levels, why didn't they roll initiative to stop the PC?

If the townsfolk are commoners they are now all defenseless!

This scenario is non-sensical. I am calling you out on contriving a poor scenario! Which should never impact a player's character!


KenderKin wrote:
Bard-Sader wrote:
KenderKin wrote:

These questions.....The NPC paladin left the whole population in danger by taking on maximum negative levels.

It is true that it is not the most optimal of decisions, but in this case the succubus acted with her heart instead of with her logic. She really wanted to help as quickly as possible.

And yes you are right she would lose some uses of LoH as she took negative levels. Luckily Succubi have GINORMOUS charisma to help.

No she didn't it is non-sense. Why all of them in one day? This was not the first day of it either!

Now the questions I had bumped into that post...

The townsfolk are they commoners or heroes?

Why are the townsfolk going out to confront the danger rather than the succubus?

If the townsfolk have class levels, why didn't they roll initiative to stop the PC?

If the townsfolk are commoners they are now all defenseless!

This scenario is non-sensical. I am calling you out on contriving a poor scenario! Which should never impact a player's character!

maybe the succubus thought she could the most good by healing the townsfolk instead of letting the die before she went to go hunt the monster

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

No, the paladin does not fall.

For any questions, refer to this thread.


TriOmegaZero wrote:

No, the paladin does not fall.

For any questions, refer to this thread.

but the paladin killed an innocent and there was clearly other options available to him than just run in and act like a murderhobo

edit: you guys know what, the more i read this thread the more i believe that there wasn't any paladin with the oath against chaos or a succubus paladin and all this is was a sick game play on us by the OP to make us argue

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