A Vampire Paladin??


Advice


Okay, so in our very evil Skulls and Shackles game, one of our characters is a vampire and he drained a paladin, turned her into a vampire, and left her for dead. Later, he explicitly released her from his control.

Obviously she's coming back with a vengeance. The question is - should she still be a lawful good paladin who happens to be a vampire (assume she hasn't fed on human/humanoid blood) or a lawful evil fallen paladin or an evil vampire who takes the time to retrain all her levels and becomes something else?

EDIT: This is an NPC and I'm the GM. The vampire is the PC.


To some degree, it might depend on the deity. Personally, I'd say have them come back as lawful good (or trying to be), then have them slowly fall, perhaps ending up an ally to the evil PCs later. Or perhaps have them THINK they're still a paladin, but in reality their powers are being granted by a different deity who finds the whole thing interesting and they end up falling that way, through corruption.

Alternately, do it the other way around. Have them come back as a blood-crazed fallen paladin out for vengeance, but then have them slowly regain control (perhaps with the help of other NPCs) and seek out redemption. They could then later on become a major foe for the PCs, with a personal grudge.


DethBySquirl wrote:

To some degree, it might depend on the deity. Personally, I'd say have them come back as lawful good (or trying to be), then have them slowly fall, perhaps ending up an ally to the evil PCs later. Or perhaps have them THINK they're still a paladin, but in reality their powers are being granted by a different deity who finds the whole thing interesting and they end up falling that way, through corruption.

Alternately, do it the other way around. Have them come back as a blood-crazed fallen paladin out for vengeance, but then have them slowly regain control (perhaps with the help of other NPCs) and seek out redemption. They could then later on become a major foe for the PCs, with a personal grudge.

She served Sarenrae alive as a paladin.


Technically vampires are evil, but you could easily change it. Vampires can sustain themselves off animal blood if need be, if they don't want to kill the innocent. I think it could work, and in some ways they'd be quite deadly. They're extra empowered to fight the living evil, and charisma boosts help.


MeanMutton wrote:


She served Sarenrae alive as a paladin.

As Sarenrae has healing as part of her portfolio, she could conceivably intervene in some way and "cure" the vampirism or somehow change it, if you wanted to go that direction.

The Exchange

Hrmmm. Interesting situation, I like.

Question:
1) Do you find the vampire template on the paladin gamebreaking?(Whether you want to let the player keep the template)
-My personal answer for this is yes, else everyone will become undead. The immunities are pretty crazy.

If yes, then tell the player out out of game they can't keep the template.

Run the following:

She gets to hunt down the vampire who turned her, then she must ask her allies to destroy her, after, before she can't keep the vampiric side of her nature in check(everyday, she makes a will save with increasing DC, on failure she becomes an NPC vampire under your control - you can murderize the party).

Meanwhile you can come up with a questline to reverse vampirism (maybe involving finding a fountain of youth, some holy ritual that the high priest will perform only if the PCs do something nice for him). Can tie in with the above.

If no:

Well - Time for the pally to beastshape into a bat and pretend to be someone's familiar when the party walks into town ^^

I personally wouldn't corrupt any PCs without their consent. The PC should always know the consequences of their actions.


Fallen paladin turned evil with thoughts of vengeance is a classic trope. So subvert it. Why not have her pretend to be evil to gain the trust of the party, while ultimately remaining loyal to her goddess even beyond the grave.


You mention it being a "very evil" Skull and Shackles game, meaning the vampire PC probably enjoys the template both in and out of character (regardless of mechanical balance). Since it's an evil campaign, it's really up to you whether you want the paladin to be an ally (and thus fall and be evil), or a recurring enemy (and thus somehow remain good).


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Vampires are typically evil, but like all creatures it isn't the only thing they can be. It's just the norm. Usually the rule is only creatures with the Evil subtype HAVE to be evil, so she could rise as a paladin still. She would first need to seek the atonement spell because she rose as an undead if she wished to stay good and then function as a Vampire Paladin.

With Sarenrae as he God it gets tricky. The goddess would offer he redemption and probably even healing, but she could never feed as a follower of sarenrae. Now a more vicious god like Ragathiel or Torag might be ok with her feeding if she only targets evil creatures and prevents them from rising as the undead. Ragathiel is a LG diety of vengeance too so this is all food for thought. If she followed the red winged angel of vengeance and sought to use her undead powers to punish in the name of justice it could 100% be viable.


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baja1000 wrote:
With Sarenrae as he God it gets tricky. The goddess would offer he redemption and probably even healing, but she could never feed as a follower of sarenrae.

I don't see why not. Vampires can feed on animal blood, after all. If that fails, all you need to do is find a willing donor or two from the ranks of Sarenrae's clergy. The blood drain only does 1d4 constitution damage, a perfect time to use lesser restoration.

Liberty's Edge

As far as I can tell, the Vampire PC in question is the one that turned the Paladin into a vampire, but the Paladin is still an NPC. He clearly doesn't have an issue with the Vampire template on PCs, as one is already a PC. This is entirely to do with an NPC, unless I've misread something.


As a rules question I would say no, because a paladin must be lawful good and a vampire must be evil.

In the past I would have stated alignment is nonsense, as it kind of is. However now that I have begun looking at 5th edition, some of the bits about races and alignment really made a lot of sense to me and undead powered by necrotic energy actually does make sense that they would be fundamentally evil. Essentially their alignment is not good because they are powered by the force of evil.

That said, in 5th edition the idea is that the gods who create a thing can restrict the idea of free will for that thing. Hence alignment being built in for many things.

However, alignment is still nonsense amd going against the grain is a thing.

While it MAY depend on the god, recall that many paladins follow gods which are numerous alignment steps away from their own, which is part of the alignment nonsense in these games. So the god may care enough to pull their powers from their paladins, or they may not, or the paladin may now be more in line with the god's will.

It all depends far too much on too many things, and is GM discretion. Honestly, it would all depend on their view. Personally I wouldn't fault the vampire paladin, and would totally allow them to maintain their class, if maintaining alignment.


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Oxylepy wrote:

As a rules question I would say no, because a paladin must be lawful good and a vampire must be evil.

In the past I would have stated alignment is nonsense, as it kind of is. However now that I have begun looking at 5th edition, some of the bits about races and alignment really made a lot of sense to me and undead powered by necrotic energy actually does make sense that they would be fundamentally evil. Essentially their alignment is not good because they are powered by the force of evil.

That said, in 5th edition the idea is that the gods who create a thing can restrict the idea of free will for that thing. Hence alignment being built in for many things.

Golarion doesn't feature binary morality as you're describing. There's a notable NPC in WotR, for instance, who is "absolute evil" by her species, yet is a good-aligned follower of Desna.

I would think the Redeemer would be first in line to help her follower. Consent from sentient races or consuming animal blood would be an easy way to feed (and is there really some moral difference between consuming animal flesh and animal blood? The animal is still being slaughtered and consumed for its nutrients.) The paladin might need an atonement to get back on her feet

Ultimately a GM and a campaign call, but you'd better believe I'd have that pally turn into a major antagonist for the party.


Really though, you're the GM so whatever you want. That simple...

Scarab Sages

If you're asking for the official stance on Undead from Pathfinder... all undead are evil. I only know of one that is not.

But you are the GM. The world is yours to shape. I remember a skeleton Paladin in one of the Forgotten Realms books. He was returned by his God to atone for the misdeed that lead to his death. You could do something similar.

Or you can have the Paladin's mind manipulated by the change into something actually evil. And then lead them to become an Antipaladin.

Also, there is the old thrall mechanic, where a vampire who is made by another is under a dominate like effect and is only freed upon the death of its maker or by purposefully being released.

"A vampire can create spawn out of those it slays with blood drain or energy drain, provided that the slain creature is of the same creature type as the vampire's base creature type. The victim rises from death as a vampire spawn in 1d4 days. This vampire is under the command of the vampire that created it, and remains enslaved until its master's destruction. A vampire may have enslaved spawn totaling no more than twice its own Hit Dice; any spawn it creates that would exceed this limit become free-willed undead. A vampire may free an enslaved spawn in order to enslave a new spawn, but once freed, a vampire or vampire spawn cannot be enslaved again."


It really comes down to the inner righteousness of our paladin, no paladin worthy of the name soul bends so easily to the whims of evil. If she's the "any burden, no matter how great" type of paladin she may look at her new form as a test to prove her worth to Sarenrae.

And speaking of the goddess, I doubt highly she would turn her gaze away from her afflicted child, she's not the time to smite her champions willy nilly for a malady they had no choice in receiving (I still find it odd that she was turned in the first place, I thought all Paladins are immune to diseases, mundane, magical, supernatural or otherwise at 3rd level and beyond, but maybe she was 2nd level or lower? Chalk it up to narrative and leave it at that I suppose).

I mean Sarenrae herself advocates giving enemies a chance for redemption, let alone those who are just good, to say nothing of her love for her devoted. Myself I'd say it's well within Sarenrae's power to just snap her fingers and undo the Paladin's curse, restoring her to a living (human?) being.

But she knows her daughter will grow stronger from this test, and it's with a heavy heart she watches her enduring being a vampire. I still think she should retain her alignment and powers as a paladin, alignment comes from the soul, the body is all and all unimportant.

I also agree with the others saying to can the "undead is always evil", that canon is from a bygone era of Fantasy, right along with Orcs and Drows being evil mooks with no shred of redemption to be found with the exception of extreme one off cases.

A true narrative and a good DM look past such stopgap story telling when telling a truly amazing tale for the party to experience.


@Lorewalker - I believe the OP specifically mentioned the character in question had been released by the vampire that created her.

@JakeCWolf - I've taken a look at the Vampire template on d20PFSRD, and the Create Spawn ability isn't due to a disease, so technically a Paladin wouldn't be immune to it. It looks like a side effect of death by blood drain or energy drain.


dysartes wrote:
@JakeCWolf - I've taken a look at the Vampire template on d20PFSRD, and the Create Spawn ability isn't due to a disease, so technically a Paladin wouldn't be immune to it. It looks like a side effect of death by blood drain or energy drain.

Ahhh, see I'm so used to the Elder Scrolls take on Vampirism, where it's a supernatural disease not a physically and mentally altering magical curse.


Do you think it would be fun and fitting with the campaign? If so, then do it.


Vampires can be good eve inf it's incredibly rare


If I'm remembering correctly, a certain adventure path featured a paladin in a similar situation. They played it up as a slow, consuming, corruption. Not an instant alignment shift.

The idea of a recently turned paladin struggling to maintain their faith and morality against the dark hungers of The Beast Within certainly could be fun from a storytelling perspective.


Lost In Limbo wrote:
The idea of a recently turned paladin struggling to maintain their faith and morality against the dark hungers of The Beast Within certainly could be fun from a storytelling perspective.

Yeah, I mean, that angst is about half the reason anyone ever played Vampire the Masquerade/Requiem.

If you have her wear some sort of dark goggles, a long black leather armoured coat, and use a katana, it'll make OWoD players laugh, or possibly cry.


Lorewalker wrote:
If you're asking for the official stance on Undead from Pathfinder... all undead are evil. I only know of one that is not.

Only one? You're probably thinking of ghosts, but they're definitely not alone.

Animus shades are only "usually" chaotic evil.
Ectoplasmic creatures are only "usually" chaotic evil, and Bestiary 4 actually has a neutral ectoplasmic human in it.
Bestiary 3 has neutral deathwebs.
Reign of Winter has lawful neutral trench zombies.

They're few and far between, but they can happen.
James Jacobs predicted that none besides ghosts would be published, but it turned out he was incorrect.

For that matter, just take any undead and plop a Helm of Opposite Alignment on it's head. They're not explicitly immune, interestingly enough.


Well thanks to this thread I have, at the last second, switched my vigilante character in Shattered Star out for a vampire paladin with the GM's consent. Heavily nerfed version of the vampire template, of course. Wish me luck as I try this out.


Thank you everyone! Lots of good stuff here!!


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One thing that comes to mind is that a Vampire Paladin may not be a powerful as one would think, as some of their abilities cancel each other out.

Take for instance, Lay on Hands. It damages undead. If the paladin IS undead, that means the self healing a Paladin normally has is gone. Nor can they heal themselves with channel energy as they can only channel positive. Alternatively, many of the powerful abilities a Vampire has a lawful good paladin would be morally unable to use without falling, so they would need to prevent themselves from using them. A kinda self-nerf if you will.

So a Vampire paladin isn't immediately as Op as one would think, if it's being played as a vampire AND a paladin.


'Sani wrote:

One thing that comes to mind is that a Vampire Paladin may not be a powerful as one would think, as some of their abilities cancel each other out.

Take for instance, Lay on Hands. It damages undead. If the paladin IS undead, that means the self healing a Paladin normally has is gone. Nor can they heal themselves with channel energy as they can only channel positive. Alternatively, many of the powerful abilities a Vampire has a lawful good paladin would be morally unable to use without falling, so they would need to prevent themselves from using them. A kinda self-nerf if you will.

So a Vampire paladin isn't immediately as Op as one would think, if it's being played as a vampire AND a paladin.

Oh, absolutely great points. I'm actually leaning towards having her reworked as a Warpriest instead of a Paladin - Sarenrae giving her a chance to prove herself without taking away ALL of her powers.


For the most part you guys are missing the point. A vampire is someone that has died. They have no soul, Sarenrae might wish to turn a evil vampire back to good ,but so not doubt that when her paladin died her soul was collected by Sarenrae. The corpse that remains is nothing but the physical shell powered by negative energy, the exact opposite of life. So there ia no Sarenrae would help her paladin, blah blah blah, her paladin is sitting by her right hand right now in the elysium fields or wherever Sarenrae makes her home.
The reason why a character becomes an NPC when they are turned into a vampire ia because


I believe that the Golarion idea is that "being turned undead will gradually drag you down to evil because of the new urges and things you need to do now in order to preserve your continued existence". That does not mean, however, that you cannot fight like hell against that, which is something that an envampired Paladin would almost certainly do.

IIRC, there was something pretty much like this in Carrion Crown, wasn't there? A paladin who got turned into a Vampire against his will who desperately wants revenge, and after that goes off to seek an honorable death. The text I believe says that if the PCs turn him back to LG (via atonement or similar) he'll gradually slide back to LE and wants to die before that happens.

So I might run this as the vampaladin has received atonement, is currently LG, but is seeking to slay the PCs before the whole "backsliding alignment" thing starts happening (or will need to run off and atone again once they switch to LN). The time scale on which this happens is up to the GM.


For the most part you guys are missing the point. A vampire is someone that has died. They have no soul, Sarenrae might wish to turn a evil vampire to good ,but do not doubt that when her paladin died her soul was collected by Sarenrae. The corpse that remains is nothing but the physical shell powered by negative energy, the exact opposite of life. So there is no Sarenrae would help her paladin, blah blah blah, her paladin is sitting by her right hand right now in the elysium fields or wherever Sarenrae makes her home.
The reason why a character becomes an NPC when they are turned into a vampire is because they are not the same character. A character that used to be a paladin by default is no longer a paladin but a weak fighter. Maybe they can contact another god and become an anti paladin. I would never allow a paladin to keep their abilities if they turned into an undead, undead are powered by negative energy it doesn't matter if they feed from the innocent or only animals or whatever. It is not their acts that make them evil it is the power that brings them life. On the other hand I do believe that we can fight our natures no matter how intrinsic. I would allow an epic quest by your new character aka your old characters corpse to attempt to recover your soul and become human again. This I have done, it is not always totally successful and usually results in the character acquiring dhampir as their new race. But they often recover their past alignment as well as their soul and it can only be done of their soul is actually willing to come back. Dieties do not lightly allow their followers souls to be messed with while they are feasting at their right hand as a reward for their good works in the mortal realm.

Shadow Lodge

I like the warpriest idea. It allows a chance at redemption while still representing the fact that the character has been in some way corrupted by undeath.

Stats may be a little dicey, depending on how high the NPC's Wis was to start. (Vampires get a +2 racial Wis bonus but it's probably not enough to take proper advantage of Warpriest features.)

Grey Paladin is another option - they get weakened powers and weakened alignment restrictions.

Jackie Campbell wrote:
For the most part you guys are missing the point. A vampire is someone that has died. They have no soul, Sarenrae might wish to turn a evil vampire back to good ,but so not doubt that when her paladin died her soul was collected by Sarenrae. The corpse that remains is nothing but the physical shell powered by negative energy, the exact opposite of life. So there ia no Sarenrae would help her paladin, blah blah blah, her paladin is sitting by her right hand right now in the elysium fields or wherever Sarenrae makes her home.

Not true in standard pathfinder. Check the text for Magic Jar.

Magic Jar wrote:
(Undead creatures are powered by negative energy. Only sentient undead creatures have, or are, souls.)


That is a good note about the magic jar, but not sure one mention in a spell has that far reaching an affect but good point sir . I remember an old story where a Forgotten Realms priest had been turned into a vampire and was transported to Ravenloft. He attempted everything possible to contact his goddess only to be ignored. Then when he happened to be present when another person contacted his goddess he confronted her. She looked upon him with great pity and compassion but told him that he was not her follower because her follower had died and she had allready collected his soul. Then in the story he went on to find another god who could accept him as he was now. Because when he died his old soul went away and a new soul grew in its place. Now that is an AD&D based story but it was really good and I liked the way it gave room for redemption, just not whith his original god, who must follow her portfolio. It turned out that his original goddess had drawn the attention of the other god to one of his possible followers.

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