How to make an antipaladin fall?


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Put him in a scenario where he has to kill someone so Evil it HAS to be a good act.

Let's say there's some arch-villain with a plan to destroy all the Gods, good, bad, and ugly. Pretty villainous, right? Anyone who killed him would automatically be a good guy, or at least neutral.

If the antipaladin doesn't kill him, he stays evil, but loses his powers since his patron is dead. If he does, he ceases being evil.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Tyinyk wrote:

Put him in a scenario where he has to kill someone so Evil it HAS to be a good act.

Let's say there's some arch-villain with a plan to destroy all the Gods, good, bad, and ugly. Pretty villainous, right? Anyone who killed him would automatically be a good guy, or at least neutral.

If the antipaladin doesn't kill him, he stays evil, but loses his powers since his patron is dead. If he does, he ceases being evil.

furthering evil, because he's ensuring there's still a universe to do evil in. killing the villain further's his OWN dark ends.


That's as good a catch-22 as you're gonna get.


^Actually, it probably depends upon the particular Antipaladin whether this would cause a fall, and fortunately recent archetypes allow for better examples than before: A Daemonic Antipaladin would probably fall for saving the universe, whereas a Demonic, Diabolic, Kytonic, Asuric, or Rakshasic Antipaladin would probably do just fine keeping the universe around to kick around; a Qlippothic Antipaladin would probably fall for saving the Universe unless managing to save just the Abyssal part of it. (Not sure where a Demodandic Antipaladin would fit into this scheme -- I'm going to make a rough guess that they would probably be with the Qlippothic Antipaladin in that regard, but maybe with the Demonic Antipaladin.)


Tyinyk wrote:

Put him in a scenario where he has to kill someone so Evil it HAS to be a good act.

Let's say there's some arch-villain with a plan to destroy all the Gods, good, bad, and ugly. Pretty villainous, right? Anyone who killed him would automatically be a good guy, or at least neutral.

If the antipaladin doesn't kill him, he stays evil, but loses his powers since his patron is dead. If he does, he ceases being evil.

Your logic is faulty.

An evil character can seek to stop another evil character for perfectly selfish reasons. "I'm saving the world so that my master will claim it."

Killing the Big Bad to ensure your survival, or at least that of your "stuff, doesn't make you good.


I was thinking something along the lines of a being so Evil, killing it/them automatically bumps your alignment up by one. Similar to Cthulhu's thing, except it makes you good, not evil.

That way, they either kill the guy to save their god, and the resulting alignment bump forces them out of their alignment restrictions, or they let him be, and stay Evil, but lose their powers because their God (And all the other ones) are dead.

Not actually changing their alignment with a "Hah, willful good!" but putting an enemy that forcibly changes their alignment for the better when killed.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Tyinyk wrote:

I was thinking something along the lines of a being so Evil, killing it/them automatically bumps your alignment up by one. Similar to Cthulhu's thing, except it makes you good, not evil.

That way, they either kill the guy to save their god, and the resulting alignment bump forces them out of their alignment restrictions, or they let him be, and stay Evil, but lose their powers because their God (And all the other ones) are dead.

Not actually changing their alignment with a "Hah, willful good!" but putting an enemy that forcibly changes their alignment for the better when killed.

we're looking for something that actually breaks his code of conduct.


As noted already by both you and me, there's nothing that you can't hand-wave away.


How about boredom? Killing orc babies, burning orphanages and sacrificing virgins to Rovagug can get real boring after awhile and I can imagine any antipaladin must get bored and try out being a paladin for a lark.


Tyinyk wrote:

I was thinking something along the lines of a being so Evil, killing it/them automatically bumps your alignment up by one. Similar to Cthulhu's thing, except it makes you good, not evil.

That way, they either kill the guy to save their god, and the resulting alignment bump forces them out of their alignment restrictions, or they let him be, and stay Evil, but lose their powers because their God (And all the other ones) are dead.

Not actually changing their alignment with a "Hah, willful good!" but putting an enemy that forcibly changes their alignment for the better when killed.

Usually defeating evil of that magnitude or better doesn't make someone good. More likely the opposite will happen because of the lengths one has to go to defeat it.

Here's the thing, The Anti-Paladin isnt; the exact mirror of the Paladin. His code is pretty much impossible to fail, because the class was designed to be a foil to players, not an option for them.


Usually, yes. You'd almost certainly have to home-brew such a being to actually trap an antipaladin into a no-win scenario as far as being an antipaladin is concerned.

As I said, it's as good a catch-22 as we're going to get, considering the nature of the beast.


Tyinyk wrote:

Usually, yes. You'd almost certainly have to home-brew such a being to actually trap an antipaladin into a no-win scenario as far as being an antipaladin is concerned.

As I said, it's as good a catch-22 as we're going to get, considering the nature of the beast.

Those scenarios don't exist, the absurd lengths you've already gone to in order to provide one already show.

The Anti-Paladin may enthusiastically help the Paladin save the world for reasons already stated, but his long term goal will be to ensure that the Paladin doesn't survive the adventure, by backstabing the heroes, as they're lying exhasusted after the moment of victory. Because deep down the Anti-Paladin became who he was by embracing his inner scummy nature.

As long as his true colors come out SOMETIME... which has no definite time limit, he's in good as far as his class code goes. Being inherently chaotic it's simply not subject to the rigid limits of a lawful code.


At no point have I disagreed with you. That's why the scenario I laid out involves a forcible alignment shift, caused by the paladin acting either out of his own self-interest, or the interests of his god.

And yes, there's no AP or anything that has such a scenario as far as I'm aware, but there's no rules preventing one from being made.

I also never mentioned any good guys, just an Antipaladin killing a BBEG for his own purposes, that turned him good. In my imagined scenario, I hadn't even thought of other party members, I was just picturing the lone antipaladin stopping some evil magical being.

I agree, you can't force him to break his morals, because the chaotic half of his alignment means he can bend as far as he needs to to avoid breaking. That's why the hypothetical no-win scenario I thought of HAS to be what it is.


Tyinyk wrote:

At no point have I disagreed with you. That's why the scenario I laid out involves a forcible alignment shift, caused by the paladin acting either out of his own self-interest, or the interests of his god.

And yes, there's no AP or anything that has such a scenario as far as I'm aware, but there's no rules preventing one from being made.

I also never mentioned any good guys, just an Antipaladin killing a BBEG for his own purposes, that turned him good. In my imagined scenario, I hadn't even thought of other party members, I was just picturing the lone antipaladin stopping some evil magical being.

I agree, you can't force him to break his morals, because the chaotic half of his alignment means he can bend as far as he needs to to avoid breaking. That's why the hypothetical no-win scenario I thought of HAS to be what it is.

I don't approve of such nonsense when DMs try to do this to Paladins. It doesn't become any less of a dick move because the target is more politically acceptable.

Because basically in both cases, you're using your God power as DM to override the player's concept of their character. And I'd walk out of any DM who pulled that kind of garbage.


Oh definitely. I'm not recommending this be done at all, I don't think a DM should ever be trying to put any player in scenario where losing class features is their only reasonable option.

As far as I'm aware, this thread is purely what-if.


Tyinyk wrote:

Oh definitely. I'm not recommending this be done at all, I don't think a DM should ever be trying to put any player in scenario where losing class features is their only reasonable option.

As far as I'm aware, this thread is purely what-if.

I think I've provided the most likely form of "And Then".


I'd assume the thing they'd have to do from there would go get an atonement spell, just like a regular paladin.

I'd say with both classes, without the player wanting their character to change, a catch-22 is just a bump in the road.

Even if the DM doesn't let you do an atonement, it's not hard to go rescue/kick 100 puppies/orphans, to get your alignment back where it needs to be.


My mythic antipaladin villain fell. His goals were to stop being evil (to escape his fate in the abyss) and to weaken his own evil patrons (because he saw the world as an all you can eat buffet and they wanted to kill it). His problem was that his only reasons for wanting to be a better person and oppose evil were purely selfish, so his efforts could never redeem him.

He made the party an offer: They find a way to make him a better person, and he'd abandon his antagonism sabotage the armies of the lower planes. He thought the paladin was his key to salvation, but in the end the true neutral druid was able to caste Atonement on him. I'm not sure he qualified as "repentant" but since he wanted to "set right his misdeeds" and was determined to become as selfless as necessary to assure that he'd have a tolerable afterlife, I let it work.

The party were kind of surprised when he was still relentlessly ambitious and kind of obnoxious. He went from wanting to rule the region because he could to... still wanting to rule the region because he could. The real difference was that now he was theoretically willing to fight a greater evil rather than serve it. He was amazing fun to play.

Dark Archive

The anti-paladin's code is more flexible then a paladin's code. So other then a Highlander style 'light quickening' type event, the only real way to make this work is as a gradual thing. A slow path to redemption which the anti-paladin doesn't even notice until their powers are gone and they suddenly realize "Huh, being good feels good. When did that happen?"

Now, if the anti-paladin went out and preformed a heroic act for the simple fact that it is a heroic fact, they would fall (rise?). Stopping the necromancer who's intent on killing every last man, woman, and child is a heroic act. But if the anti-paladin Thugman the Hateful is doing so because those are HIS newly conquered slaves the necromancer is killing, and only Thugman the Hateful is allowed to kill his slaves...

Or in other words

"I'm afraid I can't let you destroy France. I happen to like France, it's people make such delightful noises when you torture them."


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

See the issue at hand is a misunderstanding of the fall/redemption for both paladin and anti-paladin. Both must WILLINGLY fall, a rejection of their belief's in what is lawful/chaotic and good/evil, the tricking them into falling thing is just not possible. Will the Paladin feel terrible for letting x-evil happen while fixing y-evil instead? of course. Will the anti-paladin have regrets about letting personal emotion getting in the way of an increase in power? yes. But neither will fall, as they still follow and believe those morals. They haven't rejected them, the paladin may have stopped a lesser evil but that was his choice, and not necessarily a promised fall, unless he did so saying "screw good I do what I please" like going to a donut shop when given that choice over saving the burning orphanage or the Anti-paladin saying "I'm going to save this burning orphanage because I want to instead of grabbing a significant amount of power or killing a man who has become a nemesis. Because I don't want to be evil today."


You can make catch-22's for regular Paladins, since the Lawful bit of their alignment means they can't walk on the dark side, even in service of good. They're not even supposed to hang out with Evil people, unless they're actively redeeming them.


There is an Alchemist discovery to change a persons alignment. You could use that to force a fall.

Scarab Sages

Huma4President wrote:

See the issue at hand is a misunderstanding of the fall/redemption for both paladin and anti-paladin. Both must WILLINGLY fall, a rejection of their belief's in what is lawful/chaotic and good/evil, the tricking them into falling thing is just not possible. Will the Paladin feel terrible for letting x-evil happen while fixing y-evil instead? of course. Will the anti-paladin have regrets about letting personal emotion getting in the way of an increase in power? yes. But neither will fall, as they still follow and believe those morals. They haven't rejected them, the paladin may have stopped a lesser evil but that was his choice, and not necessarily a promised fall, unless he did so saying "screw good I do what I please" like going to a donut shop when given that choice over saving the burning orphanage or the Anti-paladin saying "I'm going to save this burning orphanage because I want to instead of grabbing a significant amount of power or killing a man who has become a nemesis. Because I don't want to be evil today."

Yes, they both have to be willing. Thank god pathfinder did away with the ability to mind control a Paladin and make them fall. But lets look at the text here:

Paladin Code Of Conduct wrote:

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.

"Antipaladin Code of Conduct wrote:
An antipaladin must be of chaotic evil alignment and loses all class features except proficiency if he willingly and altruistically commits good acts. This does not mean that an antipaladin cannot take actions someone else might qualify as good, only that such actions must always be in service of his own dark ends. An antipaladin’s code requires that he place his own interests and desires above all else, as well as impose tyranny, take advantage whenever possible, and punish the good and just, provided such actions don’t interfere with his goals.

in context, an evil act, even if performed to complete a task/for the greater good, will cause a paladin to fall. In general, intent doesn't matter. Bad GMs (or sometimes good GMs working with their players) therefore can try to craft scenarios where the paladin falls, the goal often being no matter their choice.

But for an Anti-Paladin, intent matters. They don't just have to willingly perform a good act, they have to altruistically perform a good act. That makes it almost impossible to force an antipaladin into an act that would make them 'fall'.

This leads to the gotcha some people in this thread think they have - forcing the anti paladin to perform an act SO GOOD, that it spontaneously changes their alignment to neutral, and they therefore 'fall'. It doesn't work. No single event can change your alignment. Alignment represents your general attitudes and behaviors. IT can only be changed through establishing a new pattern of behavior and demonstrating a change in attitude (stupid optional rules about aligned spells aside). Any situation in which you commit a good act to further your own evil designs therefore, by definition, will not produce an alignment change because it doesn't represent an effort to change the established pattern of behavior.

Dark Archive

burkoJames wrote:

But for an Anti-Paladin, intent matters. They don't just have to willingly perform a good act, they have to altruistically perform a good act. That makes it almost impossible to force an antipaladin into an act that would make them 'fall'.

This leads to the gotcha some people in this thread think they have - forcing the anti paladin to perform an act SO GOOD, that it spontaneously changes their alignment to neutral, and they therefore 'fall'. It doesn't work. No single event can change your alignment. Alignment represents your general attitudes and behaviors. IT can only be changed through establishing a new pattern of behavior and demonstrating a change in attitude (stupid optional rules about aligned spells aside). Any situation in which you commit a good act to further your own evil designs therefore, by definition, will not produce an alignment change because it doesn't represent an effort to change the established pattern of behavior.

Thus why I mentioned the only real way for an anti-paladin to become redeemed is for it to be a gradual thing where they don't even notice it until too late. And by the time you do notice, it probably doesn't matter as much to you anymore because you're only slightly different then you were the day before. Or in other words, the "when did I start enjoying rescuing kittens instead of kicking puppies" syndrome.

By comparison it's easy for a paladin to fall. To be honest, I've never actually seen a person who could maintain paladinhood past level 5. Usually they fell before they even got to level 3.


You must have had some vicious DMs.

Dark Archive

Nope, just that the quality of players in my area overall can't seem to handle playing a true hero. I mean, I've had a character die once because the rest of the party refused to rescue children from a people eating supernatural creature. Why? Because the bounty offered was too low. And these were suppose to be morally upstanding heroes. By the time they managed to browbeat the town into paying a high enough bounty for their time and effort... they showed up just as my character was getting killed. Mind you, while they were trying to extort a higher bounty from the town my character was investigating the disappearing children, researching what was causing it, then tracking the monster's lair down. Before I went in I called for backup, they refused because they still didn't have the payment they wanted lined up.

Once in a 2nd edition AD&D campaign the guy who rolled high enough stats to make a paladin (so naturally did) fell because he refused to rescue the mayor's daughter unless said mayor paid us more then what the village sent to the local ruler for yearly tithe.

I can play a pretty effective lawful good, and have gotten a paladin to level 5 before there was a TPK once or twice. But in my area playing a hero who isn't a mercenary in it for the money seems rare.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

paladin's can fall due to not knowing what they're doing though.

Atonement wrote:
This spell removes the burden of misdeeds from the subject. The creature seeking atonement must be truly repentant and desirous of setting right its misdeeds. If the atoning creature committed the evil act unwittingly or under some form of compulsion, atonement operates normally at no cost to you. However, in the case of a creature atoning for deliberate misdeeds, you must intercede with your deity (requiring you to expend 2,500 gp in rare incense and offerings). Atonement may be cast for one of several purposes, depending on the version selected.

or else this line means nothing.

so a paladin can definitely fall if they did something evil on accident or compelled.


Bandw2 wrote:

paladin's can fall due to not knowing what they're doing though.

Atonement wrote:
This spell removes the burden of misdeeds from the subject. The creature seeking atonement must be truly repentant and desirous of setting right its misdeeds. If the atoning creature committed the evil act unwittingly or under some form of compulsion, atonement operates normally at no cost to you. However, in the case of a creature atoning for deliberate misdeeds, you must intercede with your deity (requiring you to expend 2,500 gp in rare incense and offerings). Atonement may be cast for one of several purposes, depending on the version selected.

or else this line means nothing.

so a paladin can definitely fall if they did something evil on accident or compelled.

IIRC, the designers have also gone on record as saying that this is intentional and it has been their understanding of the rules the entire time. Paladins should fall if they are mind controlled into doing Bad Things(TM).


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You don't have to make the character fall, you have to make the player want to change his character. As you all know, loot is the most efficient way to tempt a player. So, this anti-paladin keeps killing good monsters, whose hoard often has highly desirable GOOD-ALIGNED magic items that come with a penalty for users of the wrong alignment.

THEN, you introduce the love interest, innocent child, or adorable kitten. Motive and opportunity: If you want to catch a fish, you have to use bait.


roguerouge wrote:

You don't have to make the character fall, you have to make the player want to change his character. As you all know, loot is the most efficient way to tempt a player. So, this anti-paladin keeps killing good monsters, whose hoard often has highly desirable GOOD-ALIGNED magic items that come with a penalty for users of the wrong alignment.

THEN, you introduce the love interest, innocent child, or adorable kitten. Motive and opportunity: If you want to catch a fish, you have to use bait.

Gotta do it at low level though. Otherwise he just starts emulating good alignment for the loot.

Dark Archive

As mentioned, "I wanna use that loot" isn't really a good incentive for the player to change. How often do Good aligned characters decide to become evil just so they can use a magic item without penalty? Not often, I'd imagine.


The only things I can think of are to kill all gods that can have antipaladins that have aims compatible with the antipaladin in a setting where antipaladins require patrons or to change his patron's alignment or to get him with a helm of opposite alignment.

Zon Kuthon's the best candidate in Golarion for the second. His own evil alignment seems to have been artificially imposed on him by the horrorterrors and removing their influence may return him to his previous alignment, which probably matches his sister Shelyn.

Dark Archive

Course, a helm of alignment reversal would only work if the GM remembers that cursed items don't actually identify as the cursed item. Nobody would put on an amulet of arrow attraction if they knew just what it is. Nor would many put on a ring of cannibalism if it was easy to tell it's that, and not a ring of sustenance.


Kahel Stormbender wrote:
Course, a helm of alignment reversal would only work if the GM remembers that cursed items don't actually identify as the cursed item. Nobody would put on an amulet of arrow attraction if they knew just what it is. Nor would many put on a ring of cannibalism if it was easy to tell it's that, and not a ring of sustenance.

You could force him to put it on. Or your alchemist could force him to drink an alignment changing extract.

Dark Archive

Would you really want to be the one trying to force anything onto Mr(or Ms) Evil McStaby Facemelter?

Then again, I wish so many GMs didn't overlook the fact that cursed items do not identify as a cursed item.


johnlocke90 wrote:
Kahel Stormbender wrote:
Course, a helm of alignment reversal would only work if the GM remembers that cursed items don't actually identify as the cursed item. Nobody would put on an amulet of arrow attraction if they knew just what it is. Nor would many put on a ring of cannibalism if it was easy to tell it's that, and not a ring of sustenance.
You could force him to put it on. Or your alchemist could force him to drink an alignment changing extract.

That could be an interesting "trap". When you walk through the door a Helm of Alignment Reversal falls on your head. lol

Dark Archive

Couldn't have too high of an attack bonus for the trap. Reflex save to negate?

That said, I did once set up a well guarded full plate mail of vulnerability -5 as a trap in a level one adventure. Party barely survived the necromantic construct guarding the chest. So they assumed whatever in the chest was really important. Fighter put on the cursed armor right away. Party was really careful to Identify anything they found after that. Not that it helped avoid using cursed items all the time.

So yeah, I can see using a magic item as a trap.


You can identify cursed items for what they are if you beat the normal DC by 10 (CL+25 instead of CL+15), unless you already know it's cursed (then you only have to meet the normal DC). If you meet the normal DC without beating it by 10, you only identify the original properties.


I suppose you could Beguiling Gift a Helm of Opposite Alignment. Granted, the save DCs will be awful (DC 15 on the helm, and a 1st-level Witch/Bard spell DC for Beguiling Gift.) By midlevels, the Antipaladin could have a save of +15 or so, meaning you'd need to start stacking on debuffs and meting out Ill Omens like candy. Though I suppose you could also Lesser Wish to Geas/Quest or use the Judgement subdomain of the Law domain into Geas/Quest. Once you tag them with the Geas/Quest, you can just force them to repeatedly don a Helm of Opposite Alignment until they become Good.

Dark Archive

Bandw2 wrote:
LuniasM wrote:

Antipaladin Aaron befriends a child named Timmy with the intent of getting Timmy to reveal where his parent's gold is hidden, but in the time they spend together Aaron finds himself chuckling at Timmy's crude jokes and thinking Timmy would make a good sidekick in a few years. One day Timmy tells him his parents' secret and Aaron decides to act on it. He breaks in that night and sneaks into their basement, breaks their safe code, and is about to leave when Timmy finds him in the act. As Timmy opens his mouth to yell Aaron stabs him and covers his mouth to muffle the screams. He sees fear and pain in Timmy's eyes and as the kid slumps to the floor Aaron grabs his bloodstained treasure and runs.

A few days later he's travelling through another town, but something strange is happening - he's having nightmares about Timmy's horrified expression. He wakes up in a cold sweat every night hearing that silent scream. The next day he sees a building going up in flames and hears a child yell, and before he even thinks about what he's doing Aaron has jumped through an open window and starts searching the house. When he finds the boy he drags him outside to his parents and as he does so he starts to feel something for the first time in years.

Aaron finds that he can't use his powers anymore, but oddly enough he realizes he doesn't care.

still not a catch 22, antipaladin Mr. Dommmachine, still has to want to be good. you can't take antipaladin Murderbro and force him to fall. To point this out, if he wanted to keep his powers more than be good, he'd probably start killing children so that they stop haunting his dreams or some dark ritual to lock away nightmares. Or maybe his nightmares are more fuel for the fire for his Dark powers, and he "levels up".

This is a short story to describe what could cause an Antipaladin to "fall", not an example of a Catch 22. Antipaladin Aaron has committed an altruistic act without any selfish motivations, and thus loses his powers in accordance with the Antipaladin Code of Conduct.

PFSRD - Antipaladin Code of Conduct wrote:
An antipaladin must be of chaotic evil alignment and loses all class features except proficiencies if he willingly and altruistically commits good acts. This does not mean that an antipaladin cannot take actions someone else might qualify as good, only that such actions must always be in service of his own dark ends. An antipaladin’s code requires that he place his own interests and desires above all else, as well as impose tyranny, take advantage whenever possible, and punish the good and just, provided such actions don’t interfere with his goals.

You seem to have misunderstood the goal of my post, which was simply to give an example of how an Antipaladin "falling" might look from a story perspective.

Dark Archive

Yeaaaah, there is no way to cheat antipaladin to do a good deed accidentally since you can became evil with good intentions but not good with evil intentions xP

Closest thing is guilt tripping player until they give in and do something good in character :D

Dark Archive

Reminds me of an old 2nd edition campaign. At one point the party had been hired to find and kill a red dragon which was terrorizing the kingdom. We rescued a bard from some bandits, not realizing the bard was actually our target. The dragon had decided to infiltrate our group and destroy us from within... Only to discover over time that he actually liked helping people more then wanton destruction.

LuniasM's little yarn of an anti-paladin finding redemption is exactly what I had mentioned: the anti-paladin slowly finding changing day by day until they are a good (or at least not an evil) person. By the time the anti-paladin 'falls' they wouldn't actually care about the loss of their unholy powers.

There is no 'catch 22' possible that would make an anti-paladin lose their powers. It's their intent which determines if they lose their powers. An evil man who does a good deed for evil reasons is still an evil man. It's only when they renounce that evil in both deed and motive that they become a better person.


Snowblind wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:

paladin's can fall due to not knowing what they're doing though.

Atonement wrote:
This spell removes the burden of misdeeds from the subject. The creature seeking atonement must be truly repentant and desirous of setting right its misdeeds. If the atoning creature committed the evil act unwittingly or under some form of compulsion, atonement operates normally at no cost to you. However, in the case of a creature atoning for deliberate misdeeds, you must intercede with your deity (requiring you to expend 2,500 gp in rare incense and offerings). Atonement may be cast for one of several purposes, depending on the version selected.

or else this line means nothing.

so a paladin can definitely fall if they did something evil on accident or compelled.

IIRC, the designers have also gone on record as saying that this is intentional and it has been their understanding of the rules the entire time. Paladins should fall if they are mind controlled into doing Bad Things(TM).

And they should, because the onus of what they did, willingly or not, still stains their soul. But because it was an unwilling act, they can be redeemed by an Atonement spell. DM's who pull this repeatedly, satisfy the pre-req for the Jerk DM PrC.

Dark Archive

Personally, I don't believe in the "Catch 22" concept with regards to Pathfinder's morality and the Paladin/Antipaladin Codes of Conduct. A lot of people seem to think that there isn't always a "Good" option in every situation, which is appealing in a sense as a plot device or a trope but sucks as a challenge for Paladins and Antipaladins due to the removal of the player's agency. A GM using this in a game ought to have built up to it and discussed it with the player first.

The typical Catch 22 falls under the moral dilemna of "Greater Good vs Immediate Good", wherein the Greater Good option requires committing an Evil act to accomplish an ultimately Good result (killing one innocent to save thousands, taxing people to poverty to pay for an army to protect them with, allowing an unrepentant serial killer to be pardoned in exchange for information about a politician plotting to overthrow the crown, etc), while the other is a Good act which has drastic consequences. The Immediate Good act tends to result from inaction and is seen as a selfish choice, but this is simply not the case."For the greater good" is a mantra for those who want to reassure themselves that they are still good people in spite of their contradictory actions.

Sometimes the Good option is to not intervene, to say to one's self "I'm not a judge - it isn't my place to make this decision." Sometimes it is "I refuse to compromise my morality here - the consequences of my fall would be too great." Other times it is "I will not commit this Evil act, but I will work to ensure that the consequences are minimized as much as possible." Good is not often the easiest solution or the most obvious, and often it is not the "best" from a purely objective standpoint, but it is always an option. Whether you choose to take it or not is always up to you.

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CorvusMask wrote:

Yeaaaah, there is no way to cheat antipaladin to do a good deed accidentally since you can became evil with good intentions but not good with evil intentions xP

Closest thing is guilt tripping player until they give in and do something good in character :D

As the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

On the other hand, the road to redemption is perilous and filled with pitfalls. Or in another phrasing of it "It is easier to walk a camel through the eye of a needle then for a rich man to enter heaven."

Dark Archive

LuniasM wrote:

Personally, I don't believe in the "Catch 22" concept with regards to Pathfinder's morality and the Paladin/Antipaladin Codes of Conduct. A lot of people seem to think that there isn't always a "Good" option in every situation, which is appealing in a sense as a plot device or a trope but sucks as a challenge for Paladins and Antipaladins due to the removal of the player's agency. A GM using this in a game ought to have built up to it and discussed it with the player first.

The typical Catch 22 falls under the moral dilemna of "Greater Good vs Immediate Good", wherein the Greater Good option requires committing an Evil act to accomplish an ultimately Good result (killing one innocent to save thousands, taxing people to poverty to pay for an army to protect them with, allowing an unrepentant serial killer to be pardoned in exchange for information about a politician plotting to overthrow the crown, etc), while the other is a Good act which has drastic consequences. The Immediate Good act tends to result from inaction and is seen as a selfish choice, but this is simply not the case."For the greater good" is a mantra for those who want to reassure themselves that they are still good people in spite of their contradictory actions.

Sometimes the Good option is to not intervene, to say to one's self "I'm not a judge - it isn't my place to make this decision." Sometimes it is "I refuse to compromise my morality here - the consequences of my fall would be too great." Other times it is "I will not commit this Evil act, but I will work to ensure that the consequences are minimized as much as possible." Good is not often the easiest solution or the most obvious, and often it is not the "best" from a purely objective standpoint, but it is always an option. Whether you choose to take it or not is always up to you.

Which is why it can be hard to level a paladin and stay a paladin. Even the description of the class in the CRB mentions that the life of a paladin is one rife with temptations and pitfalls. A paladin must be unrelenting in their devotion to Law and Good. They have to be honorable at all times. For the paladin, there can be no such thing as "sacrifice one to save a thousand". Instead they must try to save all 1001. Try and fail, and they don't fall. But to not try at all or to chose to sacrifice that innocent to save thousands, and they fall.

Which is why often paladins are called "lawful stupid". The good and honorable path is not the easy path. Nor is it always the 'smart' path. Similarly the lawful path isn't always the smart path. Finding evidence about Lord Traitor's plans to overthrow the king would be easy if you break into his private residence. But this is something which a paladin wouldn't do because breaking and entering is against the law. Thus the paladin needs to find lawful ways to obtain the evidence required.


LuniasM wrote:

Personally, I don't believe in the "Catch 22" concept with regards to Pathfinder's morality and the Paladin/Antipaladin Codes of Conduct. A lot of people seem to think that there isn't always a "Good" option in every situation, which is appealing in a sense as a plot device or a trope but sucks as a challenge for Paladins and Antipaladins due to the removal of the player's agency. A GM using this in a game ought to have built up to it and discussed it with the player first.

The typical Catch 22 falls under the moral dilemna of "Greater Good vs Immediate Good", wherein the Greater Good option requires committing an Evil act to accomplish an ultimately Good result (killing one innocent to save thousands, taxing people to poverty to pay for an army to protect them with, allowing an unrepentant serial killer to be pardoned in exchange for information about a politician plotting to overthrow the crown, etc), while the other is a Good act which has drastic consequences. The Immediate Good act tends to result from inaction and is seen as a selfish choice, but this is simply not the case."For the greater good" is a mantra for those who want to reassure themselves that they are still good people in spite of their contradictory actions.

Sometimes the Good option is to not intervene, to say to one's self "I'm not a judge - it isn't my place to make this decision." Sometimes it is "I refuse to compromise my morality here - the consequences of my fall would be too great." Other times it is "I will not commit this Evil act, but I will work to ensure that the consequences are minimized as much as possible." Good is not often the easiest solution or the most obvious, and often it is not the "best" from a purely objective standpoint, but it is always an option. Whether you choose to take it or not is always up to you.

At some level a Paladin has to take a "for the greater good" stance.

Killing people(even bad people) is not Good, but Paladins kill people for the greater good all the time(self defense, stopping bandits, etc). Heck most published adventures would break down if you couldn't kill anyone.


johnlocke90 wrote:
LuniasM wrote:

Personally, I don't believe in the "Catch 22" concept with regards to Pathfinder's morality and the Paladin/Antipaladin Codes of Conduct. A lot of people seem to think that there isn't always a "Good" option in every situation, which is appealing in a sense as a plot device or a trope but sucks as a challenge for Paladins and Antipaladins due to the removal of the player's agency. A GM using this in a game ought to have built up to it and discussed it with the player first.

The typical Catch 22 falls under the moral dilemna of "Greater Good vs Immediate Good", wherein the Greater Good option requires committing an Evil act to accomplish an ultimately Good result (killing one innocent to save thousands, taxing people to poverty to pay for an army to protect them with, allowing an unrepentant serial killer to be pardoned in exchange for information about a politician plotting to overthrow the crown, etc), while the other is a Good act which has drastic consequences. The Immediate Good act tends to result from inaction and is seen as a selfish choice, but this is simply not the case."For the greater good" is a mantra for those who want to reassure themselves that they are still good people in spite of their contradictory actions.

Sometimes the Good option is to not intervene, to say to one's self "I'm not a judge - it isn't my place to make this decision." Sometimes it is "I refuse to compromise my morality here - the consequences of my fall would be too great." Other times it is "I will not commit this Evil act, but I will work to ensure that the consequences are minimized as much as possible." Good is not often the easiest solution or the most obvious, and often it is not the "best" from a purely objective standpoint, but it is always an option. Whether you choose to take it or not is always up to you.

At some level a Paladin has to take a "for the greater good" stance.

Killing people(even bad people) is not Good, but Paladins kill people for the greater good all the...

Subjective.

Lawful Good doesn't mean Lawful Nice.

Dark Archive

johnlocke90 wrote:
LuniasM wrote:

Personally, I don't believe in the "Catch 22" concept with regards to Pathfinder's morality and the Paladin/Antipaladin Codes of Conduct. A lot of people seem to think that there isn't always a "Good" option in every situation, which is appealing in a sense as a plot device or a trope but sucks as a challenge for Paladins and Antipaladins due to the removal of the player's agency. A GM using this in a game ought to have built up to it and discussed it with the player first.

The typical Catch 22 falls under the moral dilemna of "Greater Good vs Immediate Good", wherein the Greater Good option requires committing an Evil act to accomplish an ultimately Good result (killing one innocent to save thousands, taxing people to poverty to pay for an army to protect them with, allowing an unrepentant serial killer to be pardoned in exchange for information about a politician plotting to overthrow the crown, etc), while the other is a Good act which has drastic consequences. The Immediate Good act tends to result from inaction and is seen as a selfish choice, but this is simply not the case."For the greater good" is a mantra for those who want to reassure themselves that they are still good people in spite of their contradictory actions.

Sometimes the Good option is to not intervene, to say to one's self "I'm not a judge - it isn't my place to make this decision." Sometimes it is "I refuse to compromise my morality here - the consequences of my fall would be too great." Other times it is "I will not commit this Evil act, but I will work to ensure that the consequences are minimized as much as possible." Good is not often the easiest solution or the most obvious, and often it is not the "best" from a purely objective standpoint, but it is always an option. Whether you choose to take it or not is always up to you.

At some level a Paladin has to take a "for the greater good" stance.

Killing people(even bad people) is not Good, but Paladins kill people for the greater good all the...

There's a world of difference between killing in self-defense and killing a bandit (both situations where killing might be the best way to stop a presently-occurring Evil act from transpiring) and killing an innocent person, and Pathfinder's morality takes this into account. This isn't even remotely a "greater good" situation or a moral dilemma.


Kahel Stormbender wrote:
Which is why often paladins are called "lawful stupid". The good and honorable path is not the easy path. Nor is it always the 'smart' path. Similarly the lawful path isn't always the smart path. Finding evidence about Lord Traitor's plans to overthrow the king would be easy if you break into his private residence. But this is something which a paladin wouldn't do because breaking and entering is against the law. Thus the paladin needs to find lawful ways to obtain the evidence required.

Or this is where the pragmatic Paladin, who realizes that he doesn't have the talents to pull off a break-in makes a redeemable thief or group of adventurers an offer to do the dirty work he does not have the skills for.

Don't confuse "lawful" with "the law".

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