Let's Start An Argument About Alignment! We'll start with Lawful Good.


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm pretty sure a Paladin should never fall from a "tough call, incomplete information, multiple defensible actions" perspective (assuming they don't do anything especially unexpected).

Your deity (or whoever is granting you these powers) isn't going to expect omniscience or perfect forethought for you, so if it's a "Why did you do X and not Y" then "I thought Y was the right thing to do in the moment" is probably fine. There is, after all, no reason a Paladin cannot feel bad about any number of things that do not cause him or her to fall.

Agreed, but in this case there was enough information to know that what he was doing was wrong, or at least he should have seen that.

Keep in mind there are actually multiple levels of falling. This fall would be what I would call a "soft fall". The Paladin made a choice that could be justified as good, but wasnt Paladin level good. He needs the free version of atonement and to understand where he made the mistake and feel sorry for doing it.

Contrast with a "hard fall" where a Paladin knowingly does something evil and requires the paid version of atonement or a quest to prove hes truly remorseful of what he did.

The Book of Exalted Deeds makes this same distinction, although it is 3.5, giving an example of a Paladin who climbs a rock cliff and accidently triggers a rockslide while escaping some owlbears, crushing a peasants cottage.

If he was not aware of the cottage or the rockslide danger, no fall.

If he was aware and realized the cliff could present a rockslide danger, but was confident he wouldnt, soft fall.

If he intentionally triggered the rockslide to kill the owlbears at the expense of the peasants, hard fall.

In this case the Paladin was clearly aware that if he did not heal his ally, that ally would die. I call that soft fall.


Baval wrote:

No, he did not have an obligation to stop the loss of life at the hands of evil. He had the obligation to try.

He could easily have healed his ally and then given chase. That would maximise the chances to save the most amount of people. Hes guarenteed one life save, and has a nearly as good a chance of saving the rest.

He chose to let his ally die. This guarantees one life lost and doesnt significantly increase his chances of saving the others.

The Paladin decided the one persons life was not worth the 6 seconds. Thats evil. Thats why he should and did fall.

In your opinion.


Spastic Puma wrote:
Baval wrote:

No, he did not have an obligation to stop the loss of life at the hands of evil. He had the obligation to try.

He could easily have healed his ally and then given chase. That would maximise the chances to save the most amount of people. Hes guarenteed one life save, and has a nearly as good a chance of saving the rest.

He chose to let his ally die. This guarantees one life lost and doesnt significantly increase his chances of saving the others.

The Paladin decided the one persons life was not worth the 6 seconds. Thats evil. Thats why he should and did fall.

In your opinion.

If your opinion is that a persons life isnt worth 6 seconds of your time, then youre evil.

And yes, thats in my opinion.


Baval wrote:
Spastic Puma wrote:
Baval wrote:

No, he did not have an obligation to stop the loss of life at the hands of evil. He had the obligation to try.

He could easily have healed his ally and then given chase. That would maximise the chances to save the most amount of people. Hes guarenteed one life save, and has a nearly as good a chance of saving the rest.

He chose to let his ally die. This guarantees one life lost and doesnt significantly increase his chances of saving the others.

The Paladin decided the one persons life was not worth the 6 seconds. Thats evil. Thats why he should and did fall.

In your opinion.

If your opinion is that a persons life isnt worth 6 seconds of your time, then youre evil.

And yes, thats in my opinion.

And saving a greater amount of lives instead is not evil in my opinion. Unless you can provide an example from the text that supports your opinion as canon, its just an opinion. However, you have claimed that your views are supported by the canon morality in Golarion. Until you provide proof, that was just a boldfaced lie.


Spastic Puma wrote:
Baval wrote:
Spastic Puma wrote:
Baval wrote:

No, he did not have an obligation to stop the loss of life at the hands of evil. He had the obligation to try.

He could easily have healed his ally and then given chase. That would maximise the chances to save the most amount of people. Hes guarenteed one life save, and has a nearly as good a chance of saving the rest.

He chose to let his ally die. This guarantees one life lost and doesnt significantly increase his chances of saving the others.

The Paladin decided the one persons life was not worth the 6 seconds. Thats evil. Thats why he should and did fall.

In your opinion.

If your opinion is that a persons life isnt worth 6 seconds of your time, then youre evil.

And yes, thats in my opinion.

And saving a greater amount of lives instead is not evil in my opinion. Unless you can provided an example from the text that supports your opinion as canon, its just an opinion. However, you have claimed that your views are supported by the morality in Golarion. Until you provide proof, that was just a lie.

W/e helps you sleep at night


Baval wrote:
Spastic Puma wrote:
Baval wrote:
Spastic Puma wrote:
Baval wrote:

No, he did not have an obligation to stop the loss of life at the hands of evil. He had the obligation to try.

He could easily have healed his ally and then given chase. That would maximise the chances to save the most amount of people. Hes guarenteed one life save, and has a nearly as good a chance of saving the rest.

He chose to let his ally die. This guarantees one life lost and doesnt significantly increase his chances of saving the others.

The Paladin decided the one persons life was not worth the 6 seconds. Thats evil. Thats why he should and did fall.

In your opinion.

If your opinion is that a persons life isnt worth 6 seconds of your time, then youre evil.

And yes, thats in my opinion.

And saving a greater amount of lives instead is not evil in my opinion. Unless you can provided an example from the text that supports your opinion as canon, its just an opinion. However, you have claimed that your views are supported by the morality in Golarion. Until you provide proof, that was just a lie.
W/e helps you sleep at night

Seems like your go-to response when asked to provide proof for your claims. I wish I could write that in the references section of my papers for class.


It is. Im done talking with you seriously at this point. Youve argued yourself into a corner and are just flailing for something to latch on to to still have an argument.


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Lawful good is the alignment that desires happiness for everyone, through routine, laws, societal rules and responsibility beyond the personal, consequences, punishment, and so on, in short, structure and predictability. The group is more important than the individual, and what is on offer is an identity in the group. If it brings happiness to the many, it is okay to limit, even sharply, the freedom of the individual to act. A LG community sets up a fence across a beautiful beach because someone drowned there. Security is given to you as a citizen, because you are one. Principles rule the day.

Chaotic good wants happiness too, but can't separate this from freedom. They trust in people, not systems. Groups only form when the people involved want to be there. The responsibility held by someone is a personal one, not one that comes from having a certain title. Traditions are important, just as for lawfuls, but they are not a straightjacket. Families, tribes and smaller units than the whole society are the norm. Security is given by people you know. Chaotic societies let people learn for themselves what is dangerous, and accept that it comes with a price. They allow themselves to feel and often act on their feelings.

Neutral good are interested in happiness for all, whichever method is needed to get there. On balance, there needs to be enough freedom, but centralized decision-making is also important. This gives access to the power of hierarchies while letting the individual matter and live as they choose. They are peacemakers and caretakers, but if the situation requires it, they will just as readily be freedom fighters as organizers. Dealing with a Lawful good, they will see too much focus on the group and too much rigidity which hamper them in letting people grow, while a Chaotic good doesn't have enough focus and sense of community to do the good they want to do.


Baval wrote:
Agreed, but in this case there was enough information to know that what he was doing was wrong, or at least he should have seen that.

I would observe a situation where character knows, in advance, the outcomes and moral implications of a set of actions is almost certainly artificial and unrealistic. After all, the gods should have figured out that Paladins are generally not blessed with great INT or WIS scores; they're chosen to be do-ers not thinkers. Specifically they're do-ers whose gut feelings are generally morally correct or at least in line with what the power investing in the paladin believes.

After all, it's always possible for the GM to surprise the player with information the character had no way of knowing in advance, and have this information cause the outcome to diverge from what was expected. So you have to judge the Paladin on what they choose to do, and why, not on what ends up happening (which is something more people than just the Paladin likely have a say in.)


Baval wrote:
It is. Im done talking with you seriously at this point. Youve argued yourself into a corner and are just flailing for something to latch on to to still have an argument.

"It is" your go-to response when asked to provide proof? Shouldn't your go-to response be to... I don't know... provide proof? Not some variation of "I know you are but what am I"? You did, after all, say that pathfinder uses the morality system where the greater good dilemma has a clear answer and that backs up your claim but I'm just curious as where it says that in the printed material. I know it can be inconvenient when your speculation gets bogged down by reality, but eventually you have to back up your position. If that upsets you I don't know what to tell you.


W/e helps you sleep at night


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Baval wrote:
Agreed, but in this case there was enough information to know that what he was doing was wrong, or at least he should have seen that.

I would observe a situation where character knows, in advance, the outcomes and moral implications of a set of actions is almost certainly artificial and unrealistic. After all, the gods should have figured out that Paladins are generally not blessed with great INT or WIS scores; they're chosen to be do-ers not thinkers. Specifically they're do-ers whose gut feelings are generally morally correct or at least in line with what the power investing in the paladin believes.

After all, it's always possible for the GM to surprise the player with information the character had no way of knowing in advance, and have this information cause the outcome to diverge from what was expected. So you have to judge the Paladin on what they choose to do, and why, not on what ends up happening (which is something more people than just the Paladin likely have a say in.)

partially agreed again. I do think the DM should give some form of warning. But in this case as the DM mentioned the player did it mostly because they didnt like the person. That is fall worthy intent.


Baval wrote:
W/e helps you sleep at night

That's the third time you've used this comeback. Get some new material!

Community & Digital Content Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Temp locking for sifting through.

EDIT: Upon review, there doesn't seem to be a particularly great reason to unlock this. Folks, we've had plenty of alignment related threads, and this one does not seemed poised to be productive or civil.

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