The "Paladin in Name Only"


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Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:

I would assume the average person knows the basics of what a Paladin can do.

Since Spellcraft identifies Supernatural Abilities (and spells) on sight (still spell and Silent Spell be darned, that's a 3.5 deal) that means things like Smite Evil have a visual component.

I see nothing allowing a character to identify Su abilities with Spellcraft.


Does Spellcraft even cover Spell-Like abilities?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Only because SLAs tell you they act like spells unless otherwise specified.


In the games I run, we usually use character classes simply as mechanical and perhaps narrative archetypes. Sure, they carry some narrative weight, but they are far from definitive, and characters cannot really recognize individual classes just the same as they cannot know a character possesses a particular Feat or a number of ranks in a Skill.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

I would assume the average person knows the basics of what a Paladin can do.

Since Spellcraft identifies Supernatural Abilities (and spells) on sight (still spell and Silent Spell be darned, that's a 3.5 deal) that means things like Smite Evil have a visual component.

I see nothing allowing a character to identify Su abilities with Spellcraft.

Not only that, how would the average person know? Word of mouth and tales tend to exaggerate in each telling, leaving people with either an over or under-exaggerated idea of what a paladin looks like and what they can do.

Do they all wear shining armor? Glowing swords? Does the aura make a little icon appear above people's heads like a video game? what does smite evil look like? Is it flashy sparks or a glow and heavenly voices? Do different paladins of different abilities manifest these visual components differently?

The books are relatively mum on this. But in a world where a guy has managed to bamboozle the world by posing as a God, I'm not sure that I buy there is a Universal Paladin Detection System.

The Exchange

HWalsh wrote:
There are people, in the forums, who will argue tooth and nail that getting turned evil by a cursed object has no effect on character behavior unless specifically stated.

Yeah, and as far as I can see, by the rules, they are right. As far as I'm concerned, I handle it otherwise, because I don't think that that makes for interesting roleplaying, but's that just my opinion and other people may see that otherwise. Now if those people say that that's the only way to do it because of RULES, I only shrug, because in my game, I still will handle it my way.

And it's exactly the same here with the Paladin. The rules don't say how to integrate rules terms in a setting (be it Golarion or something else), so different interpretations are possible. And I'm sorry to say, but you keep claiming things about the rules, I find no reference for (If you can show me why spellcraft apply to supernatural abilities, I would have learned something new).

Quote:
I would assume the average person knows the basics of what a Paladin can do.

Depends on the setting, the location in the setting and how prevalent Paladins are there. In Varisias Sandpoint, there are two paladins, for example. One is working at a brewery, the other at Sandpoint's merchant league. We don't know much about there behavior, only that one's faith may be shaken by private tragedy, the other one staying devout even if having given up the life of an paladin adventurer.

As I interprete it, there's no reason for either of them to use his paladin powers in daily life. So as far as the inhabitants of Saindpoint even know of their former career, they may know nothing more than what they heard in tavern stories and fairy tales. They still won't immediately recognize the next paladin coming to town.

And that's how I handle it with all classes no matter which setting I use. People don't necessarily know the difference between a Cleric and a Paladin, as they don't know the difference between a wizard and a sorcerer. When they see a Paladin lay on hands on someone, they might say something like: "This man is truly blessed by his god with the power of healing".


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WormysQueue wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
There are people, in the forums, who will argue tooth and nail that getting turned evil by a cursed object has no effect on character behavior unless specifically stated.

Yeah, and as far as I can see, by the rules, they are right. As far as I'm concerned, I handle it otherwise, because I don't think that that makes for interesting roleplaying, but's that just my opinion and other people may see that otherwise. Now if those people say that that's the only way to do it because of RULES, I only shrug, because in my game, I still will handle it my way.

And it's exactly the same here with the Paladin. The rules don't say how to integrate rules terms in a setting (be it Golarion or something else), so different interpretations are possible. And I'm sorry to say, but you keep claiming things about the rules, I find no reference for (If you can show me why spellcraft apply to supernatural abilities, I would have learned something new).

Yea, this one. As I said in the recent thread about alignment changes, most people aren't going to attack you for having house rules, or for presenting your house rules on the forum, and especially if you present your house rules on the house rules forum. What the rules "should" say is entirely a matter of opinion, which is why you are free to use house rules to adjust the system to your taste.

However, if you say "the rules say X", when they don't, you are not making an opinion statement, but a factually inaccurate statement. If you make factually incorrect statements on the forum, people will correct you. If you present your house rules as house rules, people will accept it even if they wouldn't want to play with your house rules. You cannot, however, lie and claim your house rules are the actual rules and expect people not to call you out on your lie.


137ben wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
There are people, in the forums, who will argue tooth and nail that getting turned evil by a cursed object has no effect on character behavior unless specifically stated.

Yeah, and as far as I can see, by the rules, they are right. As far as I'm concerned, I handle it otherwise, because I don't think that that makes for interesting roleplaying, but's that just my opinion and other people may see that otherwise. Now if those people say that that's the only way to do it because of RULES, I only shrug, because in my game, I still will handle it my way.

And it's exactly the same here with the Paladin. The rules don't say how to integrate rules terms in a setting (be it Golarion or something else), so different interpretations are possible. And I'm sorry to say, but you keep claiming things about the rules, I find no reference for (If you can show me why spellcraft apply to supernatural abilities, I would have learned something new).

Yea, this one. As I said in the recent thread about alignment changes, most people aren't going to attack you for having house rules, or for presenting your house rules on the forum, and especially if you present your house rules on the house rules forum. What the rules "should" say is entirely a matter of opinion, which is why you are free to use house rules to adjust the system to your taste.

However, if you say "the rules say X", when they don't, you are not making an opinion statement, but a factually inaccurate statement. If you make factually incorrect statements on the forum, people will correct you. If you present your house rules as house rules, people will accept it even if they wouldn't want to play with your house rules. You cannot, however, lie and claim your house rules are the actual rules and expect people not to call you out on your lie.

When one of the Paizo devs, the creative director himself, states that it works when forcibly changed "as that is not a general situation" then its not a house rule. Its actually not a rule AT ALL that you can change alignment whenever you wish.

Its a suggestion in the DMG and not, by any means, a rule. Which is the point. The rules, the actual rules, are completely unclear. The rules state that GENERALLY alignment doesn't affect behavior.

However the arguments are over what "Generally" means. Being cursed, common sense, isn't a "general" situation.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

I would assume the average person knows the basics of what a Paladin can do.

Since Spellcraft identifies Supernatural Abilities (and spells) on sight (still spell and Silent Spell be darned, that's a 3.5 deal) that means things like Smite Evil have a visual component.

I see nothing allowing a character to identify Su abilities with Spellcraft.

Yes, and no.

It gets a little complicated:

First, there is knowledges:

With knowledges you can identify a spell effect that is in place with Arcana 20 + spell level.

Spell Effect... What exactly is a spell effect? Well that is an issue. The books don't really clarify it, and seem to use it interchangably with Magical effect (which SU's are considered)

Their "school" can be determined under Detect magic: Make one check per aura: DC 15 + spell level, or 15 + 1/2 caster level for a nonspell effect... Well they are absolutely non-spell effects. So we have to assume that this, at the very least, can pick it up.

You could also argue for other knowledges:

"Identify auras while using detect magic Arcana 15 + spell level" which gets, again, twitchy when you are looking for specific uses. Do they mean school aura? Or aura aura? As it is, itself, an aura.

These are all tons of things that can help people figure out what is going on and what is, and is not, a Paladin. I mean again, "Do you feel unusually brave around this person?" Is another one.

The fact is being around a true Paladin would feel much different from being around a Warrior who is religious and good.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

That's a wonderful house rule.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

I would assume the average person knows the basics of what a Paladin can do.

Since Spellcraft identifies Supernatural Abilities (and spells) on sight (still spell and Silent Spell be darned, that's a 3.5 deal) that means things like Smite Evil have a visual component.

I see nothing allowing a character to identify Su abilities with Spellcraft.

Moreover, since the average person doesn't have Spellcraft, even if it *could* identify (Su), and even if that absolutely meant a visual component--the average person in Pathfinder doesn't have Spellcraft, and so has no idea what that physical component looks like.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
That's a wonderful house rule.

I quoted from the text Tri - Its not a house rule.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
That's a wonderful house rule.

To clarify a "House Rule"

Ahem:

"If you cast a spell with both silent spell and still spell metamagic feats the spell cannot be identified with Spellcraft and summarily countered and/or this can be used to cast stealth spells without people realizing you are casting a spell."

That is a house rule. It is a legacy hold over from D&D 3.5 that had a rule specifically regarding seeing the spell components. In pathfinder, you simply can.


HWalsh wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

I would assume the average person knows the basics of what a Paladin can do.

Since Spellcraft identifies Supernatural Abilities (and spells) on sight (still spell and Silent Spell be darned, that's a 3.5 deal) that means things like Smite Evil have a visual component.

I see nothing allowing a character to identify Su abilities with Spellcraft.

Yes, and no.

It gets a little complicated:

First, there is knowledges:

With knowledges you can identify a spell effect that is in place with Arcana 20 + spell level.

Ok, all good so far.

Quote:


Spell Effect... What exactly is a spell effect? Well that is an issue. The books don't really clarify it, and seem to use it interchangably with Magical effect (which SU's are considered)

...and now we aren't. Got a couple of examples of the terms being used interchangeably? Bear in mind that spell-like abilities are magical effects, so you need to provide examples of text that doesn't make sense unless magical effects are generally spell-like effects for this to hold water.

Quote:


Their "school" can be determined under Detect magic: Make one check per aura: DC 15 + spell level, or 15 + 1/2 caster level for a nonspell effect... Well they are absolutely non-spell effects. So we have to assume that this, at the very least, can pick it up.

This only works if the nonspell effects have a magical aura. No paladin class features aside from their spell-casting are stated to have magical auras, and since pathfinder is a permissive system this means that they don't have magical auras(unless you can find text that states or strongly implies otherwise).

Quote:


You could also argue for other knowledges:

"Identify auras while using detect magic Arcana 15 + spell level" which gets, again, twitchy when you are looking for specific uses. Do they mean school aura? Or aura aura? As it is, itself, an aura.

The Detect Magic text goes into more detail as to what is entailed with that knowledge. It explicitly refers to magical auras, not any old aura.

Quote:


These are all tons of things that can help people figure out what is going on and what is, and is not, a Paladin. I mean again, "Do you feel unusually brave around this person?" Is another one.

That relies on creatures (mud farmers, no less) being aware of the bonuses being applied to them (which isn't stated by RAW). It also relies on said mud farmers being able to distinguish between feeling brave because of a supernatural aura and feeling brave because there is a big valiant knight in shining armor standing beside you. Not to mention the fact that it relies on the idea that it is literally impossible for non-paladins to make people feel brave supernaturally AND for mud farmers to know this (or at least impossible to do so without obvious manifestations).

Quote:


The fact is being around a true Paladin would feel much different from being around a Warrior who is religious and good.

You keep using that word...


Snowblind wrote:
The Detect Magic text goes into more...

Here is the exact text:

"3rd Round: The strength and location of each aura. If the items or creatures bearing the auras are in line of sight, you can make Knowledge (arcana) skill checks to determine the school of magic involved in each. (Make one check per aura: DC 15 + spell level, or 15 + 1/2 caster level for a nonspell effect.)"

Then, you want to know where them being magical comes from?

"Supernatural Abilities (Su)

These can't be disrupted in combat and generally don't provoke attacks of opportunity. They aren't subject to spell resistance, counterspells, or dispel magic, and don't function in antimagic areas."

So, they don't work in antimagic areas.

So, the argument is:

"Would they be considered magical?"

The response is, "Of course. Otherwise they'd function in an anti-magic area."


So what school of magic is Smite? Additionally where does it say Smite has an aura?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:
That is a house rule.

I know what a house rule is. Yours is lovely.

The Exchange

HWalsh wrote:

"Would they be considered magical?"

The response is, "Of course. Otherwise they'd function in an anti-magic area."

No one argues against them being magical, as they are defined as such:

"Supernatural abilities are magical but not spell-like."

Problem being they are not spell-like. Which, as long as that isn't stated elsewhere, means, that they don't have magical auras to register with detect magic.


The main discussion seems to be this:

One side is:

Paladins are just a class, and as such anyone can claim to be a Paladin as the title, and/or there is no Paladin title so that not even Paladins know they are Paladins. There is no way to ever disprove this because there are archetypes. Thus, the written comments about Paladins being respected never refer to the class but more to a nebulous order because there is no way to tell a Paladin apart from anyone else.

The other side is:

That doesn't seem right, nor does it seem fair, to anyone who actually plays a Paladin because there are restrictions in place and Paladin codes are a thing...

Now... Lets take this away from even the discussion of should people know what Paladins are and be able to identify them...

Lets say I concede that it is totally logical that the Paladin title is completely divorced from the Paladin class and that there is no litmus and that not even Paladins can identify that they, themselves, are Paladins.

So... Lets say we have three characters with the title of Paladin...

Here is where confusion would hit:

Paladin A is a Warpriest.
Paladin B is a Fighter.
Paladin C is a Paladin.

Paladin C: "I cannot ever break my code, if I do, I lose all of my Holy powers."

Paladin B: "I don't. I've had to break it on occasion."

Paladin A: "So have I. I told a lie the other day, I told a noblewoman that she wasn't bothering me, when she was."

Paladin C: "Well I can't."

Paladin B: "You must be cursed because you are a terrible person!"


HWalsh wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
The Detect Magic text goes into more...

Here is the exact text:

"3rd Round: The strength and location of each aura. If the items or creatures bearing the auras are in line of sight, you can make Knowledge (arcana) skill checks to determine the school of magic involved in each. (Make one check per aura: DC 15 + spell level, or 15 + 1/2 caster level for a nonspell effect.)"

Then, you want to know where them being magical comes from?

"Supernatural Abilities (Su)

These can't be disrupted in combat and generally don't provoke attacks of opportunity. They aren't subject to spell resistance, counterspells, or dispel magic, and don't function in antimagic areas."

So, they don't work in antimagic areas.

So, the argument is:

"Would they be considered magical?"

The response is, "Of course. Otherwise they'd function in an anti-magic area."

Nowhere in the rules does it say that magical effects have magical auras, except in a small number of explicit cases. Items are one. Spells are another. There is no such rules text for Paladin class abilities, so the Paladin's aura doesn't have a magical aura. Detect magic does jack.

And yes, Detect Magic only detects magical auras.

Detect Magic wrote:

1st Round: Presence or absence of magical auras.

2nd Round: Number of different magical auras and the power of the most potent aura.

3rd Round: The strength and location of each aura. ...

The text "each aura" is referring to each aura detected in previous rounds by the spell. Those auras are explicitly magical auras.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

...I guarantee you that no paladin code causes a fall for politely tolerating someone annoying.


HWalsh wrote:


When one of the Paizo devs, the creative director himself, states that it works when forcibly changed "as that is not a general situation" then its not a house rule. Its actually not a rule AT ALL that you can change alignment whenever you wish.

So.. I actually half agree on this one. It is stupid that as written the rules do not conform in the case of the mace of blood like they do for the helm of opposite alignment. Likely this was because whoever wrote the mace of blood for whatever reason hadn't read how free wheelingly written the alignment 'rules' are. Not that the mace of blood was well written either. They should have put a duration on the alignment change... But as written Alignments just don't force action. No rule says if your characters alignment is thus he must do thus. In fact what it seems to say is if his actions don't match his alignment change the alignment not the behavior and that causes RAW to conflict with RAI in a few places. It's dumb but that's the way it is.

Fortunately there are no rules for punishing people for bad roleplaying just like there are no rules for punishing people for being bad at math. I would never use an effect that in any way forces a change in a character concept like an alignment change or permanent insanity without talking it over with the player first so it would never come up at my table
Also I can't fault people for ignoring J.J.'s comment there when on the thread that he stated that he's the story guy and not the rules guy *and* it never sees an FAQ, Errata or change in the newer printings then it is his opinion and how he would run it not a final word on how the game sees it. It is his own house rule. Fact is it will probably never get clarified just so that we can't force out ideas of how it should be on each other.. Funny that.

The Exchange

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HWalsh wrote:


Paladin C: "I cannot ever break my code, if I do, I lose all of my Holy powers."

Paladin B: "I don't. I've had to break it on occasion."

Paladin A: "So have I. I told a lie the other day, I told a noblewoman that she wasn't bothering me, when she was."

No one has argued, that someone who'd aspire to the ideals of a paladin would break his code or lie or do something else unpaladiny. I don't know if you can't imagine, but there are people doing the right thing withhout being forced by the threat to lose some power and probably would deserve to be called paladins even if they don't belong to the game conctruct class. That's actually what the OP already stated.

So either A und B don't deserve the title or they wouldn't talk this way. And I really hope that fear of losing his power is not the only reason C doesn't break his code, because if, he doesn't deserve the title at all.


WormysQueue wrote:
HWalsh wrote:


Paladin C: "I cannot ever break my code, if I do, I lose all of my Holy powers."

Paladin B: "I don't. I've had to break it on occasion."

Paladin A: "So have I. I told a lie the other day, I told a noblewoman that she wasn't bothering me, when she was."

No one has argued, that someone who'd aspire to the ideals of a paladin would break his code or lie or do something else unpaladiny. I don't know if you can't imagine, but there are people doing the right thing withhout being forced by the threat to lose some power and probably would deserve to be called paladins even if they don't belong to the game conctruct class. That's actually what the OP already stated.

So either A und B don't deserve the title or they wouldn't talk this way. And I really hope that fear of losing his power is not the only reason C doesn't break his code, because if, he doesn't deserve the title at all.

Bolded for emphasis. If the only thing keeping your paladin in check is a few lines in the Core then you probably shouldn't be playing a paladin. What they do shouldn't be something you are FORCED to do, but something you want to do and do out of desire, not out of some nebulous "do this or lose your powers."

A good deal of what is being put forth as a "fact" by HWalsh is still coming from AD&D and 3.5 and not the Pathfinder book. There really is a difference.


The pathfinder Paladin Code

Code of Conduct: A paladin must be of lawful good
alignment and loses all class features except proficiencies
if she ever willingly commits an evil act. Additionally, a paladin’s code requires that she respect
legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not
cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in
need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic
ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.

Associates: While she may adventure with good or
neutral allies, a paladin avoids working with evil characters
or with anyone who consistently offends her moral code.
Under exceptional circumstances, a paladin can ally
with evil associates, but only to defeat what she believes
to be a greater evil. A paladin should seek an atonement
spell periodically during such an unusual alliance, and
should end the alliance immediately should she feel it is
doing more harm than good. A paladin may accept only
henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are lawful good.

Shadow Lodge

HWalsh wrote:
Paladins are just a class, and as such anyone can claim to be a Paladin as the title, and/or there is no Paladin title so that not even Paladins know they are Paladins. There is no way to ever disprove this because there are archetypes. Thus, the written comments about Paladins being respected never refer to the class but more to a nebulous order because there is no way to tell a Paladin apart from anyone else.

Paladins are a class, and as such are a collection of mechanics with a particular theme. In this case, the essential theme of the class is a heroic holy warrior with a particular highly restrictive code of conduct.

Despite the fact that it is ultimately possible to prove whether someone has the class, it is extremely impractical. In the absence of widespread testing for the paladin class, it is likely that any heroic holy warrior who abides by the paladin code of conduct would be considered a paladin and would receive the appropriate level of respect.

Organizations of paladins may have the resources to select for members of the paladin class, thus preventing members of other classes from assuming the title. However, their methods of selection might exclude unusual paladins. There is some debate over whether such selection is ultimately desirable.

EDIT: Since the mechanical benefits of the paladin class are balanced against the mechanics of other classes in absence of the code, it is fair that the roleplaying benefits of adhering to the code be associated with the roleplaying difficulties of abiding by the code, as opposed to being associated with the mechanical class.


Weirdo wrote:
Organizations of paladins may have the resources to select for members of the paladin class, thus preventing members of other classes from assuming the title. However, their methods of selection might exclude unusual paladins. There is some debate over whether such selection is ultimately desirable.

I doubt they would, since we know that you don't have to be a capital C Cleric to be a little c cleric, per Inner Sea Gods (Shelyn, for example, employs about as many bards in her clergy as she does clerics).


WormysQueue wrote:
HWalsh wrote:


Paladin C: "I cannot ever break my code, if I do, I lose all of my Holy powers."

Paladin B: "I don't. I've had to break it on occasion."

Paladin A: "So have I. I told a lie the other day, I told a noblewoman that she wasn't bothering me, when she was."

No one has argued, that someone who'd aspire to the ideals of a paladin would break his code or lie or do something else unpaladiny. I don't know if you can't imagine, but there are people doing the right thing withhout being forced by the threat to lose some power and probably would deserve to be called paladins even if they don't belong to the game conctruct class. That's actually what the OP already stated.

So either A und B don't deserve the title or they wouldn't talk this way. And I really hope that fear of losing his power is not the only reason C doesn't break his code, because if, he doesn't deserve the title at all.

The problem isn't about deserving it...

The problem is that if Paladin is ONLY an in-universe title, that those restrictions DO NOT exist for the vast majority. There would be crazy amounts of misinformation going around in-universe.

"I lied to save my friends from certain death and I retained my holy powers, and I am a Paladin." (Paladin is a Warpriest)

Suddenly, word gets around that (insert God/ess here) doesn't care if people tell little white lies, if they are trying to save someone's life. Then 4/5 "Paladins" confirm that, in fact, there are extenuating circumstances to certain parts of the code.

However 1/5 this can lead to disaster and with no way, not even for the character himself, to know who is and isn't a Class Paladin then nobody is going to understand these codes.

The crazy part is that a lot of these codes DO leave wiggle room that are totally open to interpretation.

One of Iomedae's codes prevents a Paladin from refusing a challenge from a worthy enemy.

Define worthy? Heck, define challenge.

Someone in this thread, when I used the example of a Paladin being challenged to a dual using no special abilities, said it was okay for a Paladin to refuse the challenge under those stipulations because those powers are given by their Goddess and so they must always be allowed in any duel.

You also pointed out, yourself, that anyone worthy of the title would never break their code. How do you know? Class Paladins do this occasionally, but how would anyone know if a Paladin deserved the title? I mean, under the established pretenses, there is no way to judge criteria and as such a high enough bluff score and a backstabbing rogue can pass himself off as a titled Paladin.


To kind of continue on from the last post a little:

What happens when Paladin A (a Warpriest) teaches Paladin B that it is okay to refuse the previously mentioned challenge as a Class Warpriest as that is his interpretation of the Code. Paladin B, however, is a Class Paladin and there is no such stipulation that states that refusing that challenge is okay...

Paladin B tries it, and in the dangerous situation, he is suddenly stripped of his powers.

Those are serious logistical issues that need to be considered when you open up the title of Paladin to non-Class Paladins and then remove any way to tell who is, and is not, a Class Paladin.

Sooner or later, at that point, someone is going to figure out that X happens when Y people do Z thing but not when A or B people do it. They are going to want to know why Paladin A can lie and retain his abilities, but Paladin C can't. Through trial and error they are going to figure out what makes C different...

Then there will be a Paladins, and then "Odd" Paladins.


Because it isn't "suddenly" and hasn't been since AD&D. Gods aren't Old Testament anymore with one strike and done. They give warnings of their displeasure and generally make it known that they aren't happy with the paladin's course of action.

This is how a paladin falls -- not in one fell swoop, but small choices they make that lead them downwards.


Regarding a Paladin's code of conduct, I always had the feeling that it came from the person's connection with their patron god and not inherently from an order or any other mortal establishment. So, they would probably know in their heart what is wrong and what is right.

Under the "Paladin A teaches B" logic the whole thing seems to break down to me 'cause Paladin A wouldn't knowingly break the code since they were taught a different code.


All this thread tells me is the D&D Paladin is probably the worst iteration of Holy Warrior that has ever existed.

Gods be praised there are better options for building "Paladins" out there like "Rogues."

The Iomedaen Paladin who refuses the challenge could do so for many reasons. Gods are reasonable nearly omnipotent beings. If the duel doesn't further the God's goals, why in the damn hells would the God strip the Paladin of powers for refusing?


knightnday wrote:

Because it isn't "suddenly" and hasn't been since AD&D. Gods aren't Old Testament anymore with one strike and done. They give warnings of their displeasure and generally make it known that they aren't happy with the paladin's course of action.

This is how a paladin falls -- not in one fell swoop, but small choices they make that lead them downwards.

The Paladin code says

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

While I agree that KnightnDay's house rule of how the code applies to a Paladin, it is still a house rule. There is no "A Paladin may commit evil acts in defense of good" line in the code anywhere in Pathfinder.


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Scavion wrote:

All this thread tells me is the D&D Paladin is probably the worst iteration of Holy Warrior that has ever existed.

Gods be praised there are better options for building "Paladins" out there like "Rogues."

The Iomedaen Paladin who refuses the challenge could do so for many reasons. Gods are reasonable nearly omnipotent beings. If the duel doesn't further the God's goals, why in the damn hells would the God strip the Paladin of powers for refusing?

Iomedae is not a reasonable or omnipotent being. Additionally she is very capable of committing evil acts despite her alignment and the fact that she was once a Paladin.


knightnday wrote:

Because it isn't "suddenly" and hasn't been since AD&D. Gods aren't Old Testament anymore with one strike and done. They give warnings of their displeasure and generally make it known that they aren't happy with the paladin's course of action.

This is how a paladin falls -- not in one fell swoop, but small choices they make that lead them downwards.

Uh.. No.

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 atonement), as appropriate.

There are no warnings.

Commit an evil act? Done. No takebacksies.
Violate the code? Done. No takebacksies.
Stop being Lawful Good? Same.

You do any of those and your powers go bye bye until you atone.

So if a worthy enemy challenges you, and Iomedae is your God, if you say no? Done.

Now, the DM should warn you... But the rules don't say he or she has to.


Scavion wrote:

All this thread tells me is the D&D Paladin is probably the worst iteration of Holy Warrior that has ever existed.

Gods be praised there are better options for building "Paladins" out there like "Rogues."

The Iomedaen Paladin who refuses the challenge could do so for many reasons. Gods are reasonable nearly omnipotent beings. If the duel doesn't further the God's goals, why in the damn hells would the God strip the Paladin of powers for refusing?

The Warcraft Paladin is pretty fun; while generally good people in reality the Light is powered by fanaticism rather than a commitment to goodness. As long as you believe your cause to be just then you can be a Paladin. Thus the Scarlet Crusade getting to keep their Paladin powers while they're murdering everyone in anti-Scourge witch hunts.


Unless you have a Phylactery of Faithfulness. Then the GM has to warn you.


RussianAlly wrote:


Under the "Paladin A teaches B" logic the whole thing seems to break down to me 'cause Paladin A wouldn't knowingly break the code since they were taught a different code.

That's just it, under the logic being put forth (which I'm against) nobody, not even the Paladin, knows they're a Paladin.

Even here we have someone argue that the Gods are reasonable and understand breaches are necessary.

In this world, where Paladin's just a title, there would be "Paladins" who aren't Class Paladins, who claim things like that AND since its known Paladins lose their powers, and he hasn't, then in most people's minds they will think it's okay.

Thus you'll have conflicting in-universe info.


Insain Dragoon wrote:
Unless you have a Phylactery of Faithfulness. Then the GM has to warn you.

Nuh uh, that item totally doesn't do what it says it does. PLAYER ENTITLEMENT! PLAYER ENTITLEMENT!


Insain Dragoon wrote:
Unless you have a Phylactery of Faithfulness. Then the GM has to warn you.

Indeed.


Insain Dragoon wrote:
knightnday wrote:

Because it isn't "suddenly" and hasn't been since AD&D. Gods aren't Old Testament anymore with one strike and done. They give warnings of their displeasure and generally make it known that they aren't happy with the paladin's course of action.

This is how a paladin falls -- not in one fell swoop, but small choices they make that lead them downwards.

The Paladin code says

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

While I agree that KnightnDay's house rule of how the code applies to a Paladin, it is still a house rule. There is no "A Paladin may commit evil acts in defense of good" line in the code anywhere in Pathfinder.

House rule or interpretation, the rather nebulous nature of the code all but requires the GM to make a call or else we get thousands of "does this make my paladin fall?" threads -- oh wait.

Is telling a grieving child that their parent is in a better place a lie? What defines cheating? Should I punish my party members who are threatening the innocent innkeeper over our bill?

How many atonements can you burn through before the code is meaningless?

At a certain point, and yeah you can call it a house rule if it makes you feel better (it does me!), the player(s) and the GM should work out what the code does and what the paladin is allowed to do, what if any warnings they get and so on. A strict reading of the code leaves the paladin running back and forth for atonements after interactions or fights, worried that taking advantage of a team mate flanking is cheating (or is it tactics?)


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Hey man I agree with you, but it's still a house rule. Paizo wrote a really bad Paladin code. Fact is that sometimes they write bad material and we need to houserule it.


HWalsh wrote:
RussianAlly wrote:


Under the "Paladin A teaches B" logic the whole thing seems to break down to me 'cause Paladin A wouldn't knowingly break the code since they were taught a different code.

That's just it, under the logic being put forth (which I'm against) nobody, not even the Paladin, knows they're a Paladin.

Even here we have someone argue that the Gods are reasonable and understand breaches are necessary.

In this world, where Paladin's just a title, there would be "Paladins" who aren't Class Paladins, who claim things like that AND since its known Paladins lose their powers, and he hasn't, then in most people's minds they will think it's okay.

Thus you'll have conflicting in-universe info.

Again with "most people". How? How do they know? Is the local parish telling everyone the strict rules on paladins? Are there posters? Does the local bard lay it all out?

Under the logic being put forth I'm confused how the local farmer and merchant know the intricate code that all paladins -- no matter what code or location on the planet -- must follow.


HWalsh wrote:

That's just it, under the logic being put forth (which I'm against) nobody, not even the Paladin, knows they're a Paladin.

Even here we have someone argue that the Gods are reasonable and understand breaches are necessary.

In this world, where Paladin's just a title, there would be "Paladins" who aren't Class Paladins, who claim things like that AND since its known Paladins lose their powers, and he hasn't, then in most people's minds they will think it's okay.

Thus you'll have conflicting in-universe info.

What I really meant though, is that a character of the Paladin class doesn't have to conceptualize him or herself as a Paladin. They might have their powers coming from a god. Maybe it is because they were raised in a temple and taught to adhere to that god's teachings. Maybe they were marked at birth and visited by celestial beings throughout their lives. Maybe they had a vision at a moment of personal crisis. Maybe they found a burning bush atop a hill. But be it as it may be, I'd be far more ready to accept that their code of conduct comes from a personal connection to said deity. They know in their heart that they've been given their gifts to fight the good fight and to work in their patron's name. They shouldn't have to identify themselves as a "class" to know that.


One would think that at the very least, knowing all the rules of Paladins would require some sort of Knowledge (Religion) check. A bit tricky since the average commoner has plenty of much-higher priority skills to invest in (like whatever craft, profession, and knowledge skills they need to make a living).


knightnday wrote:


Under the logic being put forth I'm confused how the local farmer and merchant know the intricate code that all paladins -- no matter what code or location on the planet -- must follow.

Because public knowledge the code is the single best tool Paladins have in their toolbox.

Also it's a great tale for Bards to tell.

So... Let's say you're a peasant and Paladins have spread the word. You've heard it. Paladins never lie... For example...

Your average guy's not going to blindly buy it. He's going to ask why.

"A Paladin." They say. "Is blessed by the Gods! They can heal wounds with their touch. They can cut through the thickest Dragon's hide. They feel no fear and they cannot be confounded by the charms of their enemies! If, however, they ever commit an act of wickedness, or breach their code, they shall fall and have their powers stripped from them!"

That is a much more compelling argument than, "They are too noble!"

Because, also, the first thing a conman is going to tell you is how honest and noble they are.


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HWalsh wrote:
knightnday wrote:


Under the logic being put forth I'm confused how the local farmer and merchant know the intricate code that all paladins -- no matter what code or location on the planet -- must follow.

Because public knowledge the code is the single best tool Paladins have in their toolbox.

Also it's a great tale for Bards to tell.

So... Let's say you're a peasant and Paladins have spread the word. You've heard it. Paladins never lie... For example...

Your average guy's not going to blindly buy it. He's going to ask why.

"A Paladin." They say. "Is blessed by the Gods! They can heal wounds with their touch. They can cut through the thickest Dragon's hide. They feel no fear and they cannot be confounded by the charms of their enemies! If, however, they ever commit an act of wickedness, or breach their code, they shall fall and have their powers stripped from them!"

That is a much more compelling argument than, "They are too noble!"

Because, also, the first thing a conman is going to tell you is how honest and noble they are.

A paladin has to have some experience to be immune to fear. Immunity to charms comes at a much higher level, so it's going to be very, very rare for paladins to have it. Healing with a touch can be done by so many classes that it's not funny. Dragon Hide is DR/Magic, which can be penetrated by frigging Arcane Strike, as well as numerous class features. A level 5 inquisitor with a high will save matches your description pretty closely.

And the best thing of all is that you have the metagame information about the Paladin at your fingertips, and your description still managed to warp the abilities of paladins to the point where it would be fairly easy to impersonate one. Imagine how hard it will be for someone who doesn't know the inner workings of the (game) universe. Especially someone who has no education and has spent their entire life farming mud.

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