Chaotic and Neutral Good Paladins


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:

Alright cool. Let's release some non-LG paladin analogs then. Whatever. Seems like a nice compromise. Just don't make them silly. Antipaladin is already ahead of the paladin proper, as it gets everything from CE to LE, with a CE, any option (insinuatior is super functional in actual parties) but can be NE, and LE (Iron Tyrant). Unless there is something specifically special about Antipaladins, I don't see a reason for something similar to not exist for paladin.

Also, if you look at the context that Gray Paladin was released under, you'll find that it isn't actually meant to be a non-LG paladin. They can still be LG. They have purposely weakened their resolve to get around the whole 'I am a walking beacon of justice and righteousness, and my mere presence can be felt by all, both the innocent and the scoundrel' deal. They were released in Ultimate Intrigue because they're actually Paladin spies that infiltrate and enact justice where other paladins cannot operate without being found out. That's also why they get nondetection powers. Mostly, they work just fine in an intrigue setting since they're better at sleuthing that a paladin ever could be.

Antipaladins are a misnomer. The thing Paizo uses as an Antipaladin isn't an Antipaladin. It is a modified 3.x edition Blackguard. An actual Antipaladin is literally the exact opposite of a Paladin.

Instead of healing, they inflict harm.
Instead of curing disease, they cause it.
Instead of being immune to fear they are gripped by it.
Instead of making others brave they cause fear.

So if I were to re-write the anti-Paladin two of the things I would change:

1. Aura of Cowardice
The Antipaladin automatically fails any save against fear effects. The Antipaladin is a complete and total coward. Their fear is infectious as well, all allies (and enemies) within 20 feet of the Antipaladin suffer -4 to any save vs fear.

(And yes, this was in the ORIGINAL printing of the Antipaladin in Dragon Magazine.)

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For the other types... You need something that is restrictive. Paladins are restricted by not being able to commit evil acts and not breaking their code. The code also has some straight up statements like they cannot lie or use poison. Those are both very useful things for adventurers to be able to do.

So when you construct a customized Paladin you need to really take that into consideration. Namely a CE Paladin should be the 100% exact opposite of an LG Paladin. Reverse all of the Paladin abilities.

The same would be a CG Paladin. The parts of the Paladin that are normally associated with "Lawful" would be reversed.

If I were writing them, with that in mind, I would look at the auras. The first thing to go, for me, would be the ability for auras to effect others. The Chaotic Paladin would be all about freedom, and letting people do things their own way, thus they wouldn't be granting bonuses to others. They would be more self-focused. This would apply to their healing as well.

So Lay on Hands would work as normal, but only be able to target the Paladin.

The Auras would all grant the immunity they normally would, but they wouldn't affect others. They would lose Aura of Justice completely. Instead of Aura of Justice they would probably have something that shuts down powers or stops powers from affecting enemies. Something like, "Enemies within 20 feet of the Paladin lose the benefit of any auras not generated by that person."

So if a C Paladin and a Paladin fought, and one of the Paladin's allies was near the C Paladin, the Paladin's aura wouldn't work on his ally.

On the other hand, this wouldn't cost them 2 uses of smite to use.

For the code, you would have to do something along the lines of freedom as their loss of power rules... Something like... A Chaotic Paladin cannot surrender to anyone for any reason. If a Chaotic Paladin ever agrees to surrender, or allows themselves to be imprisoned or bound, they lose their powers until an atonement is cast and a quest is completed... Or some such... Alternatively a Chaotic Paladin cannot bind an opponent against their will. To arrest or imprison someone is the ultimate act of betraying freedom. Better to let one live with the consequences of their actions.

This means your Chaotic Paladin cannot arrest people. They can let them leave. They can kill them on the spot. They can't take them into custody though. Not against their will anyway.

I'd add a bonus caveat of, a Chaotic Paladin loses their abilities (temporarily) if they are bound or held against their will. So, in combat, if someone manages to get them in a grapple, so long as they are held their powers are turned off. Think of it like the old Wonder Woman bit of losing her powers if she was ever bound.

This bonus caveat is that the Chaotic Paladin doesn't have to fight honorably. Which, when played properly, can be a major weakness to a normal Paladin.

Personally, I'd go a bit further into them to give them additional flavor, such as giving them the ability to use Dexterity for attack and damage like a rogue in exchange for Divine Grace.

I think that would, mechanically, force a different kind of Paladin. They'd tend toward lighter armor (Until they could get Mithril) and would probably favor lighter weapons (since they get to use dex for attack and damage with their version of Grace) and would tend to have higher ACs because of it.

Because this also shifts how their stats would be arrayed you would also see more dual wielders as well as it would be more accessible. Meaning a Paladin and a Chaotic Paladin would likely physically appear differently as well.

Also probably change their lawful element of divine bond to chaotic.
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Neutral Good Paladins are funky.

Neutral Paladins would lose all auras but the aura of good. They'd probably lose their mercies as well. In exchange I'd look into alternative auras. Things that may be broader than the normal Paladin. Instead of immunity to fear, immunity to emotion effects in general. Things like that.

Like with the Chaotic Good Paladin above Neutral Good Paladins would lose Divine Grace. Instead they would get a weaker version of it. They don't have the dedication to their God's will the same way a Lawful Paladin does because, being neutral, they don't really strongly side with order and rules. Because they don't reject rules the way Chaotics do they would still get some of it... So I'd say a half as strong version would be in order.

The same would be with things like Lay on Hands, they would get half as many as LG Paladins do. So 1/4 their Paladin Level (minimum 1) + Charisma. Meaning they would have 1 + Cha at level 4, 2 + Cha at level 8, 3 + Cha at level 12, 4 + Cha at level 16, 5 + Cha at level 20.

Getting it later in life would also stop them from being used for 2 level dip fodder.

In exchange for this... No code. None at all. They don't care about laws and rules. The only way this Paladin can lose their powers is if they commit an evil act. Fighting dishonorably? Go for it. Lying? If ya gotta. Using poison? Sure. Why not?

Broader Auras, Less Healing, Weaker Grace, but none of the baggage. Literally this is Paladin-lite.

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Where it gets funky is when you go into the non-Goods because, well, a lot of the Paladin base abilities are based on being GOOD rather than Law. With the exceptions as the ones I used above which are tied to their adherence to their deity's whims.

Since Good is the major fuel for most Paladin abilities removing that component would cause serious issues with the class. Evils would be more similar to antipaladins. Neutrals would have half-hearted powers that are more broad in scope.


I always thought the whole concept of an anti-paladin/blackguard was silly and an example of how juvenile "EVIL" can be in this sort of game.

Like Paladins are an exemplar of good, first and foremost, not a specific deity (a Paladin doesn't need one) or a specific nation, but the whole concept of a kind of good that looks out for the little guy.

When you invert that and make a class that's all about "EVIL" not a specific deity, nation, or agenda just the greater glory of evil, the kind of evil that oppresses as much as possible, it gets kind of silly.


Anything without any purpose or motivation seems silly, indeed. But I like antipaladins, with a purpose, of course.
I have never roleplayed an antipaladin, but I got to GM for some of them, and they were always convinced defenders of a cause and a deity, with strong beliefs and motivations.
To me a paladin or antipaladin have to have a cause and a force of belief to make interesting concepts.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I don't like Paladins or Anti-Paladins, I think they're both silly and outdated concepts.

Ymmv. :-)


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Possibly my favorite Paladin type is the "Nicest person in the world" who is humble, kind, thoughtful, patient, quick to forgive, and tries to show people a better way just by being awesome, but doesn't have any particular tie to a deity or an organization, they're largely motivated by helping people and will strike back at anything they think stands to do harm to them.

When you invert that to make an anti-paladin, well then it's really silly. If you're just going to have a "holy warrior for an evil deity" why not just make an evil warpriest instead?


I'm not saying that an evil warpriest is not a valid concept, but that doesn't take antipaladins out of the chart or make them uninteresting. Having a variety of concepts or different mechanics to reflect a similar concept is always good.

And anyway, an antipaladin could be also a defender of a cause instead of just a holy warrior. I.e. one of the favorite antipaladins I GMed for had a god, but more than being a holy warrior he was a convinced fighter for the rights of the undead (specially intelligent ones), that he believed to be just different living forms. He fell from being a paladin who fighted for all living beings and ended twisting his faith to include undead on his classification of living beings.

He led an army of undead and outcast monsters. He was so fun to GM for.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I made an evil Warpriest of Urgathoa, he has a coffin he drags around soaking it in the blood of others.


Kileanna wrote:

I'm not saying that an evil warpriest is not a valid concept, but that doesn't take antipaladins out of the chart or make them uninteresting. Having a variety of concepts or different mechanics to reflect a similar concept is always good.

And anyway, an antipaladin could be also a defender of a cause instead of just a holy warrior. I.e. one of the favorite antipaladins I GMed for had a god, but more than being a holy warrior he was a convinced fighter for the rights of the undead (specially intelligent ones), that he believed to be just different living forms. He fell from being a paladin who fighted for all living beings and ended twisting his faith to include undead on his classification of living beings.

He led an army of undead and outcast monsters. He was so fun to GM for.

That doesn't sound like an Antipaladin to me be honest. That sounds like a fighter who is acting in an altruistic manner due to insanity. The second he does something to protect someone else other than for purely selfish reasons, in this case because he sees them as an oppressed minority, he's not performing an evil act. Which means that he falls? (Rises maybe?) from Antipaladin and loses all of his powers.


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I am not mad.


I don't think the perfect inversion of a paladin is what an anti-paladin should be because that is actually quite silly. (Although, do note that antipaladins aren't immune to fear, so there is a bit of what you want already in the game, HWalsh)

I see antipaladins as beings who are quite varied, and probably wholly individualistic (as is their nature), but otherwise stand for the absolute freedom to indulge in the darkest desires and wants that society otherwise would keep them from doing. In fact, they're chaotic for the express purpose of clashing with social norms and a need to see that dissolved to more easily carry out their machinations. If society collapses, their at the top and that's exactly where they intend to stay.

Whether this is be enacting a hierarchy of might and power on which they reign supreme through slaughtering all rivals, or spread misery to ensure their power is absolute (plagues weaken their enemies, not them, after all), or slaughter dozens to achieve these ends, the the antipaladin will. They're not Saturday morning cartoon villains, they're genocidal maniacs and tyrants whose convictions are potent enough to manifest in divine power and are sponsored by even more genocidal, enigmatic beings who are the literal embodiment of evil.

Think less Dick Dastardly and more Immortan Joe. Basically, if the antipaladin makes you chuckle or their motivations seem ridiculous, someone is doing it wrong. If you react with revulsion and their motivations moreso but believable, someone is doing it right.

The idea is dumb. But Pathfinder isn't hard fantasy for a reason. It's supposed to be a bit ridiculous, it's a power fantasy game after all, and your villains should be kind of over the top. Frankly, given how crappy even the antipaladin iconic is, I don't even think Paizo's writers fully understand how to not make antipaladins anything more than cartoon villains.


I don't think he should qualify as insane nor that he should be a fighter.

I mean, he doesn't see them as oppresed because he is deranged, he has perfectly reasoned reasons because he holds on to his beliefs. And being moved both by his faith on an undead god and on his beliefs about undead, I think he qualifies well for a divine class as an antipaladin is.

Also, performing truly evil acts (like killing a whole tribe, women, men and children whose warriors had assaulted and destroyed a caravan carrying food, with the only purpose of serving those people as food to replace the one they had spoiled), no matter how selfless you THINK you are, you are still performing evil acts. When you have a strong cause and really believe in it, you might seem alruistic, but when the means are evil and you basically harm other people by what you are doing, how can that qualify as altruistic?


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I have only made a few Antipaladin NPCs for a games. One of them stuck out. Some of the horrible things he did literally cannot be mentioned on these forums. He was evil personified.

He hurt people, because he found it fun to do so. He wasn't a sociopath, he knew other people had feelings, he knew he inflicted pain on them and it hurt them, he just liked it anyway. He liked to draw out people's suffering as much as he could, and nothing, at all, made him happier than seeing proud and powerful beings forced to serve him.

He kidnapped a princess, solely to make her his personal servant and to perform menial tasks for him. Cleaning, scrubbing, cooking, serving. Just because he could.

He ransomed her back to her family, only to decide not to. He fed her to his wolves.

He didn't care about anyone, or anything, other than his base desires. If he wanted to recruit someone, he gave them a simple choice, to join him or die. He had no grand plan, no great scheme, he was simply evil.

He could decide to ransack a town, kill everyone in it, take what his horde could carry, then burn it to the ground... Or he might not... It depended on how he felt that day. His favorite thing to do was to attack a village, crush its defenders, then grant them mercy once he had made it clear that they couldn't stop him. He'd promise to leave them in peace and alive if they agreed to send runners to the nearby towns the next day in order spread word of his power... Then a day or two later come back and slaughter everyone for laughs...

He often liked to imagine the looks on the faces of those runners when they returned to the village that he had razed and then salted the Earth behind him.

He was completely untrustworthy. He ruled by might and fear alone. He also would run like a coward the second a force that could actually beat him showed up. He was quite fond of sending his troops into battle telling them that he, and his personal honor guard, would circle the enemy and catch them in a flank... Only to abandon them to their fate...

My players hated that guy.

The best one was what he did to the Paladin.

Paladin rolled up, Lord Rehkon addressed him. Rehkon agreed that fighting force against force would result in too many deaths. He told the Paladin to make his final preparations, that the following morning he would meet him in the village square for a one on one duel to the death. The terms were if he won, then the Paladin's party would leave, if he lost then his horde would be disbanded...

So the party gets all set up... Gonna be an epic fight... Totally going to be sweet... And...

Lord Rehkon fled in the middle of the night. Took a chunk of his horde, told the others to attack the village at dawn, explained that he had a plan to deal with the Paladin... In reality... He took off.

Went somewhere else, built up a new horde, started all over again... The PCs eventually tracked him down (like 6 levels later, near the end of the campaign) but he was absolutely memorable.

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Edit to add:

When he was finally cornered, the Paladin straight up why he did what did, Lord Rehkon's response was both funny, and awesome:

"Why? Because I like hurting people. I enjoy doing what I do. It is fun. I did it one day, when I was a kid, hurt another kid and liked how it felt. So I said to myself, self, you have found your calling. So that is what I did. I hurt people because it feels so good to be so bad... Besides... Even when I'm gone... People will remember the name of Lord Rehkon. I never set out to make a legacy, or to be famous, or to be rich... I, however, very much was. I know that you're itching to put an end to me... You want to kill me, or lock me up... Well... Joke's on you... Because if I can't kill you... I can at least take that pleasure away from you..."

then Lord Rehkon threw himself off of a cavern ledge onto some jagged Stagmites, ending his reign of terror.

Silver Crusade

HWalsh wrote:
Isonaroc wrote:
*snip*

To me it's not about "making their own stories."

Simple fact... Gaming is my primary form of entertainment these days. This constant "freedom!" Craze, that I find is done at the expense of flavor actively harms my enjoyment of the medium.

This is the thing I don't get. There's still flavor baked into the classes, but the larger point is how does imparting your own flavor make things less flavorful? You can still play your Paladin exactly how you want to.

Quote:
It's gotten to the point that I rarely want to purchase new PF books. There are some I really do want, but others... No.

It's gotten to the point where there are some books you like and some you don't? That's pretty standard.

Quote:

I kinda want a PF setting that is heavy on alignment and class lore. Though I doubt they'd do it. Still... I'm going to take my leave before I get more upset over the topic.

Fare thee well.

Again, I don't remember a time where things were particularly differently are now. Sure you had things like Forgotten Realms and what not, but I don't remember a time where Core had more or less lore. I mean, really, having a system you can adapt to different lore an alignment structures seems way more accessible. What is stopping you from having a game completely steeped in lore? The fact that someone isn't dictating it to you? Sure, creating your own setting or lore or whatever is more work, I'll freely admit that, but if gaming is literally your only form of entertainment it seems that it would be right up your alley to do so. Hell, I do stuff like that all the time, and gaming has kind of falling into the background lately simply because my schedule doesn't allow for much of it these days. Make your own setting using the rules, build a lore Bible if you want to familiarize players with it. Hell, just take Golarian and make the bits you don't like into bits you do.


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HWalsh wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:

I've always considered my particular view of paladins to be rather cynical;

A paladin is someone who is proficient with heavy armor & martial weapons, has an aura that buffs their allies, can lay on hands, smite, and cast spells up to fourth level.

That's all a paladin is. And that's a skill set. A skill set partly bestowed on them by the deity they follow.

Nothing about that skill set strikes me as particularly inherent to order. Laying on hands to heal may be seen as inherently good but then I wouldn't exactly characterize the modern day health care industry as inherently good. But that's a political discussion that isn't for here or now. Suffice to say I can imagine various self centered, non-good uses and motivations for a healing power.

Point being, there's no legitimate reason I've ever seen or heard as to why a chaotic good god or a lawful evil one wouldn't empower one of their divine warriors to be able to do the things a paladin can do. And I've heard them all. Thematic, mechanic, philosophic. I'm just not convinced by those arguments verses the simple practicality of wanting a servant on the mortal plane that can do the things a paladin can do.

*Twitch*

That's just it. The Paladin isn't just a collection of powers and NEVER has been. If that is all you think of it then you're missing the entire point of the class.

They are THE most lore-heavy class in the game.

They aren't even EVER depicted as "just servants of the Gods" and in fact is specifically one of the things they absolutely are not.

One of the MOST important parts of Paladin lore is that you can't just *choose* to be one and the gods can't just *make* one.

The reason why they are alignment locked *and* the reason why Grey Paladins are so weakened is because they don't have the ingredients to make a Paladin.

A Paladin is literally a unique entity.

Lore is that it takes 3 things:

1. A spark.

A nebulous thing that CANNOT be created by a god. A spark is random and there is...

Again, I'm going to be horrifically cynical here; none of that matters. That is lore constructed to put constraints on who can be a paladin so that they will be of an alignment. If I'm being generously cynical I'd say they did it for mechanical balance reasons; a paladin's abilities are powerful and as a balancing act they need to be restrained to a particular alignment to keep them in check. If I'm being less than generous, I'd call it entirely arbitrary.

None of that makes paladins better or more interesting than simply being dedicated divine warriors of their god. It's just hoops to jump through, baggage to justify a restriction. There's no legitimate reason why only someone of LG alignment could have this "spark" nonsense. It's fiction, fictional rules to justify the dev's idea of what the class should be.

Frankly this is just one of a plethora of ideas that the game has clung to because that's the way it's always been that I consider to be bad ideas. Some of the game's bad ideas, we've grown passed - racial restrictions on classes(for the most part), elves and dwarves originally being classes, but there are a lot that we still cling to.

And I'm sorry, but I don't respect a bad idea just because it's been around longer than I've been alive. If I had been around and playing back in the day, I'd have said it was a bad idea then, too.

On a note regarding the original anti-paladins and their inherent cowardice, I'd like to point out an inherent double standard/catch 22 I've noticed in regards to good & evil;

If a good character stands up to an evil character that the good character can't hope to defeat then and there, then the good character is brave and heroic. If the good character chooses to flee from the evil character, so long as the good character's fleeing doesn't leave innocents at the mercy of the evil character, then the good character is seen as wise.

If an evil character flees from a good character that they can't hope to defeat at that moment, then they're seen as cowardly. If an evil character stands up and fights a good character that they can't hope to defeat at that moment, then they're seen as stupid.

We construct a system that casts those we like in a good light regardless of their actions and condemns our enemies regardless of theirs. There's of course a lot of nuance I'm glossing over here, but suffice to say that I do not consider courage to be an inherently good trait - it's an admirable one, but it can be possessed by heroes and villains alike.


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That's a great villain HWalsh. I feel it works with both our interpretations in a way.


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@Former fiend
I basically have the exact same opinion, and the less generous interpretation of those restrictions.

I almost posted earlier basically that exact same thing but I wasn't decided not to reply on your behalf.


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FormerFiend wrote:
It's just hoops to jump through, baggage to justify a restriction. There's no legitimate reason why only someone of LG alignment could have this "spark" nonsense. It's fiction, fictional rules to justify the dev's idea of what the class should be.

The same could be said for any restrictions on a class. No class has a "legitimate reason" why they have those restrictions.

Why can't my Wizard use Heavy Armor and cast spells?

Why can't my Druid wear a Chainshirt?

Why can't my Good Cleric cast [Evil] spells? etc.

Every class has a set of restrictions placed on them by "fictional rules" used to "justify the dev's idea of what the class should be".

The Paladin is supposed to be Lawful Good and follow a code. That's kinda what the class is all about. Removing the Alignment and or the Code changes the entire idea behind the class. The same way changing other restrictions on classes changes them as well.

People wanted a "holy warrior" for any alignment and got the Warpriest but still aren't happy it seems. A Champion of the Faith Warpriest does exactly that. Want a CG Champion of Cayden? That totally covers it.

In my own opinion people who want the Alignment portion of Paladin removed seemingly want it gone to just use the Paladin abilities without the limitation.

To me that's the same as wanting Druids wearing Metal Armor, Wizards being spontaneous, Clerics casting arcane spells...


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Those are mechanical changes that make the class stronger, this wouldn't make the class stronger just available to more types of character.

People aren't saying do away with codes, they're just saying let their be codes for all alignments.

I don't even think the class is even mechanically interesting or particularly want to play it, I just don't think it would hurt the game balance at all to allow it and would enable a lot of character concepts and make a lot of people happy.

Also don't think the sparks being exclusively lawful good makes any sense. At all.


There really aren't any hard rules except house rules that prevent you from playing a Paladin who worships a CG deity anyway. If scour all the rulebooks, you will never find a codified rule of "must be within one alignment step of your deity" for Paladins, that rule exists for clerics and warpriests but not Paladins.

"What it means for someone to worship a deity" is not something there are rules about.

If I had a player who wanted to play an LG Paladin worshipper of a CG deity who seemed up for the roleplaying challenge of balancing the internal struggle between their belief in the potential positive values of systems and order and the practical (and metaphysical) observation that these systems often simply reinforce inequality and create injustice, I would 100% endorse that and let them.

(N.B. a LG Desna Worshipper is ineligible for that shooting star feat, which is good.)


Why not actually use warpriests and enforce that rule about breaking their code of conduct that everybody ignores?

Quote:


A warpriest who grossly violates the code of conduct required by his god loses all spells and class features, except for his armor, shield, weapon proficiencies, and bonus feats. He cannot thereafter gain levels as a warpriest of that god until he atones for his deeds (see the atonement spell).


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Why not use paladin or create paladin-like classes for each alignment instead of telling non-LG characters too bad so sad go play warpriest?


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Those are mechanical changes that make the class stronger, this wouldn't make the class stronger just available to more types of character.

I was just making a point about what FormerFiend said about "It's fiction, fictional rules to justify the dev's idea of what the class should be." Since most of the classes have some kind of limitation built in.

Thats literally how all the classes are made.

Chromatic Durgon <3 wrote:

People aren't saying do away with codes, they're just saying let their be codes for all alignments.

I don't even think the class is even mechanically interesting or particularly want to play it, I just don't think it would hurt the game balance at all to allow it and would enable a lot of character concepts and make a lot of people happy.

I mean game balance will immediately suffer from a Desna Paladin. But otherwise its not a game balance issue to me.

It's more to do with that in Pathfinder a Paladin is a LG holy warrior. Full stop.

Should there be a non-lawful good Paladin? No I don't think there should be.

I'd be fine with an archetype similar to how Anti-Paladins can use different alignments. Drop the Lawful Good but also change the abilities granted that way it's not really "The Paladin" anymore it's something new with it's own identify.

You know kinda like the Warpriest. The literally definition of what people wanted for a not LG holy warrior.


Warpreist has a totally different chassis.

Would calling them different things help? Like tyrant for LE?


Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
Why not use paladin or create paladin-like classes for each alignment instead of telling non-LG characters too bad so sad go play warpriest?

"Paladin-like classes for each alignment" you mean the Warpriest? or a step further "The Champion of the Faith" archetype?

It's been done already.

But its not good enough since people just want the Paladins abilities minus the Paladin part.

Seriously...wanting to change the Paladin to remove restrictions is the same as wanting to remove the restrictions of other classes.

I want a Wizard who casts spells spontaneously and doesn't need a spellbook, but i also want to keep the same progression of Wizard spells.

Why not use Wizard and make it that way instead of telling them too bad make a Sorcerer?


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I would be totally fine with an archetype for CG paladins that swaps Charisma for Wisdom or Intelligence for class features like spellcasting, smite, divine grace, etc. possibly making these abilities slightly weaker because of the more universal utility of INT/WIS.

Somehow I suspect that wouldn't satisfy everyone.

You can explain it by how a chaotic paladin does not need to do as much in the way of organizing and leading people, since that's not a very chaotic thing to do, and instead they need to rely on their internal capacity to make correct decisions and act decisively.


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Brain_in_a_Jar wrote:
Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
Why not use paladin or create paladin-like classes for each alignment instead of telling non-LG characters too bad so sad go play warpriest?

"Paladin-like classes for each alignment" you mean the Warpriest? or a step further "The Champion of the Faith" archetype?

It's been done already.

But its not good enough since people just want the Paladins abilities minus the Paladin part.

Seriously...wanting to change the Paladin to remove restrictions is the same as wanting to remove the restrictions of other classes.

I want a Wizard who casts spells spontaneously and doesn't need a spellbook, but i also want to keep the same progression of Wizard spells.

Why not use Wizard and make it that way instead of telling them too bad make a Sorcerer?

I think it is a matter of different restrictions, not of no restrictions. Why should all alignments and deities have clerics, but only LGs have full holy warriors? Is there a reason NG deities cannot sponsor NG champions?

The warpriest archetype is a band-aid, but it is fundamentally a different chassis.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

Warpreist has a totally different chassis.

Would calling them different things help? Like tyrant for LE?

Should people also be upset that a Wizard can't cast spells well in Armor? I want a Wizard who can cast in Armor with no detriment.

People would tell me "hey Magus can do that." But Magus is a different chassis. I want a Wizard and casting in Armor.

To me that's what I see when people want Paladin with out the Paladin.

I'm not saying its a bad thing to want, others play different than me, which is fine.

But expecting this in Pathfinder to actually be done is probably not going to happen based on the "Gray Paladin" and the "Warpriest: Champion of the Faith".


The Shaman wrote:

I think it is a matter of different restrictions, not of no restrictions. Why should all alignments and deities have clerics, but only LGs have full holy warriors? Is there a reason NG deities cannot sponsor NG champions?

The warpriest archetype is a band-aid, but it is fundamentally a different chassis.

All alignments/deities get holy warriors. They are called Warpriest.

Not all alignments/deities get "Paladins" and they shouldn't.

You may not like that but that's how it is.

Grand Lodge

Divine Liberator (Apath).
Tyrant (Apath).
How about this, would these work?

This works for Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil variants to the paladin. Now much by way of fluff, but it appears not a lot of members here care about such. Sighs, at least a couple anyway.

The only thing this doesn't provide is a Neutral Good or Neutral Evil variant, but in all honesty I will at least argue that a Paladin or any alternate variant should always be on an alignment extreme given their focus and dedication to a code.

Whatever that code may be, I guess it doesn't matter so much but the character who follows such a path should not do so by half measures. Any form of neutrality would be completely out of place I feel.


Sorry that people that want to keep paladins "pure" do not control the lexicon.

There is nothing but your sheer desire for a pure LG paragon to keep paladin, but suggest everyone else should be a warpriest. There's a reason people prefer the paladin-chassis. That shoud exist in every alignment so long as you're keeping the limited alignment system

Also antipaladins should not be the exact opposite of paladins (as in huge cowards). A champion is a champion. Let players find the flavor and mechanics they want. Don't force the game into your narrative preconceptions.


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The ideas and "lore" often change and mutate as the years go by. As one of those "old people" referred to above, I remember when the Barbarian was so anti-magic that they routinely destroyed magic items -- much to the ire of the party, as I recall.

The idea of the paladin or a divine warrior does not have to be held to the same old Lawful Good Only standard from years gone by. The codes have changed and altered by deities, the restrictions have become much more lax and so on.

And, as always, the books are guidelines. Go wild in your games. Various publications have had alternate "paladins" and have worked out well. Nothing broke and people played along happily.

Grand Lodge

Even then though, for me personally who regularly plays Paladins because I enjoy the class you will see me roleplay the character as always having a Lawful Good even if it may not be required... such as in D&D 5, where they took away such a restriction.

For myself, a Paladin is a Paladin in large part because of their strict code and Lawful Good alignment. Without such, you are not playing a paladin but something else. That is simply how I view the class and how entrenched it is for past concepts. They are the champions of righteousness, warriors of Good, the Light, and of Order.

Heck, I have so firmly come to believe this that I even purchased a book called Rules of a Knight by Ethan Hawke to better get in character and present such a character. Which go over such things as Solitude, Humility, Gratitude, Pride, Cooperation, Friendship, Forgiveness, Honesty, Courage, Grace, Patience, Justice, Generosity, Discipline, Dedication, Speech, Faith, Equality, Love, and Death.


Jonathon Wilder wrote:

Even then though, for me personally who regularly plays Paladins because I enjoy the class you will see me roleplay the character as always having a Lawful Good even if it may not be required... such as in D&D 5, where they took away such a restriction.

For myself, a Paladin is a Paladin in large part because of their strict code and Lawful Good alignment. Without such, you are not playing a paladin but something else. That is simply how I view the class and how entrenched it is for past concepts. They are the champions of righteousness, warriors of good, light, and order.

And this is great! For my money however, I tend towards a more complex approach -- each deity has a divine warrior that upholds their beliefs and needs. One such warrior is the paladin, while others would have their own unique name and abilities. A bit more complicated than is usually desired by some people but I've found it works for home games.

Given that people argue about just who would be good enough to be a LG paladin on the forums, I decided to allow each god their own champions. It worked out better and seemed to satisfy many of the questions and problems my players had. Some still enjoy the LG idea of the paladin while others enjoy delving into the differences between the god's servants.


Brain_in_a_Jar wrote:


Should people also be upset that a Wizard can't cast spells well in Armor? I want a Wizard who can cast in Armor with no detriment.

People would tell me "hey Magus can do that." But Magus is a different chassis. I want a Wizard and casting in Armor.

To me that's what I see when people want Paladin with out the Paladin.

I'm not saying its a bad thing to want, others play different than me, which is fine.

But expecting this in Pathfinder to actually be done is probably not going to happen based on the "Gray Paladin" and the "Warpriest: Champion of the Faith".

Your wizard in armour argument is not in anyway comparable you can keep saying it, it will never be relevant, move on.

No-one would say that because they are fundamentally different classes with different chassis.

The thread isn't about expecting paizo to produce something it's about people's opinion on the subject inspired by the OPs homebrew of a campaign I can no longer remember.

@Jonathon Wilder I mean no-one is trying to take LG Paladins away from you, just give CG and other variations to others.

Grand Lodge

knightnday wrote:

And this is great! For my money however, I tend towards a more complex approach -- each deity has a divine warrior that upholds their beliefs and needs. One such warrior is the paladin, while others would have their own unique name and abilities. A bit more complicated than is usually desired by some people but I've found it works for home games.

Given that people argue about just who would be good enough to be a LG paladin on the forums, I decided to allow each god their own champions. It worked out better and seemed to satisfy many of the questions and problems my players had. Some still enjoy the LG idea of the paladin while others enjoy delving into the differences between the god's servants.

So essentially a variant or addition on the idea of speciality priests from AD&D 2e?

If so, I am all for that, it is just I don't think most people want to go through all the work in creating such and trying to balance everything out.


Go play a warpriest is the most stupid argument there is. Just turn the argument around paladin is erased from the game, why are you complaining you can just play LG warpriest?

While it does not hold interest to me, the fact is that paladin does have unique mechanical set of abilities, and those mechanics are tools to create characters. And claiming that only good characters created from them are LG, is about as solidly based opinion as flat earth 'theory'.


Jonathon Wilder wrote:
knightnday wrote:

And this is great! For my money however, I tend towards a more complex approach -- each deity has a divine warrior that upholds their beliefs and needs. One such warrior is the paladin, while others would have their own unique name and abilities. A bit more complicated than is usually desired by some people but I've found it works for home games.

Given that people argue about just who would be good enough to be a LG paladin on the forums, I decided to allow each god their own champions. It worked out better and seemed to satisfy many of the questions and problems my players had. Some still enjoy the LG idea of the paladin while others enjoy delving into the differences between the god's servants.

So essentially a variant or addition on the idea of speciality priests from AD&D 2e?

More of less, yes, along with some ideas pulled from various sources along the way. In the end I consider the rule books a guideline to work with and expand on rather than a constraint.

With that in mind, I usually play a LGish paladin on those rare occasions I get to play AND can get away with being a paladin.

Grand Lodge

knightnday wrote:

More of less, yes, along with some ideas pulled from various sources along the way. In the end I consider the rule books a guideline to work with and expand on rather than a constraint.

With that in mind, I usually play a LGish paladin on those rare occasions I get to play AND can get away with being a paladin.

Smiles, so something like this perhaps?

Divine Exemplar.
Somewhere between the clergyman and the crusader lies the divine exemplar. He rarely operates in concert with a church, as the cleric does; neither does he devote himself to holy combat as the paladin does. He foregoes much of both clerical and paladinic lifestyles in order to pursue something closer to his god. He casts spells, but only those granted by his deity's domains. He smites whatever his god frowns upon with the same vigor as a paladin, but he lacks the paladin's combat training. His channeling is weaker than a cleric's, but the good divine exemplar can heal as mercifully as the best paladin and the evil divine exemplar can harm as cruelly as the worst antipaladin, while neutral divine exemplars are gifted by their gods with the power to maintain balance. Divine exemplars are far more closely-linked to their patron deities than clerics or paladins, and it is in this link that they specialize.

So a few details to note, is that this class is essentially a mix of your idea above as well that of speciality priests but the Divine Exemplar's spell list is made solely of Domain spells and by 20th level they are equivalently full casters with a very limited spell list as well with full BAB.

Yet how they play and what they are capable of is very much influenced by the deity they worship. The spells they cast, the powers they have access to, what Paladin abilities they can choose from and in many other small details. Where by 20th level a Divine Exemplar's BAB is equal to his class level so long as he remains in good standing with his deity.


Jonathon Wilder wrote:
knightnday wrote:

More of less, yes, along with some ideas pulled from various sources along the way. In the end I consider the rule books a guideline to work with and expand on rather than a constraint.

With that in mind, I usually play a LGish paladin on those rare occasions I get to play AND can get away with being a paladin.

Smiles, so something like this perhaps?

Divine Exemplar.
Somewhere between the clergyman and the crusader lies the divine exemplar. He rarely operates in concert with a church, as the cleric does; neither does he devote himself to holy combat as the paladin does. He foregoes much of both clerical and paladinic lifestyles in order to pursue something closer to his god. He casts spells, but only those granted by his deity's domains. He smites whatever his god frowns upon with the same vigor as a paladin, but he lacks the paladin's combat training. His channeling is weaker than a cleric's, but the good divine exemplar can heal as mercifully as the best paladin and the evil divine exemplar can harm as cruelly as the worst antipaladin, while neutral divine exemplars are gifted by their gods with the power to maintain balance. Divine exemplars are far more closely-linked to their patron deities than clerics or paladins, and it is in this link that they specialize.

So a few details to note, is that this class is essentially a mix of your idea above as well that of speciality priests but the Divine Exemplar's spell list is made solely of Domain spells and by 20th level they are equivalently full casters with a very limited spell list as well with full BAB.

Yet how they play and what they are capable of is very much influenced by the deity they worship. The spells they cast, the powers they have access to, what Paladin abilities they can choose from and in many other small details. Where by 20th level a Divine Exemplar's BAB is equal to his class...

They do share some similarity, yes, although we try to personalize each of the various classes (or subclass if one prefers) to each deity. So some may not have any form of healing/harming lay on hands ability and so on, replacing those abilities with those that make more sense for each divine being and what they look for in their representative.


Warpriests are just worse clerics. Why should I want to play one to be a holy warrior?

Grand Lodge

knightnday wrote:
They do share some similarity, yes, although we try to personalize each of the various classes (or subclass if one prefers) to each deity. So some may not have any form of healing/harming lay on hands ability and so on, replacing those abilities with those that make more sense for each divine being and what they look for in their representative.

Hmm, fair enough but one has to keep in mind both Clerics and Paladins are classes with healing abilities or spells generally in large part because that is part of the role they are made for. If one wishes to be that much a sticker when it comes to the character being a champion or worshiper of their deity perhaps they should look to another class.

At least with the Divine Exemplar one doesn't have to worry about having healing spells if their deity doesn't have the Healing domain. Class abilities one may just have to deal with, and honestly when it comes to a divine classes and non-evil characters... I would rather have some healing then none at all, but that is just my feelings on such.

Also, based on their deity, Divine Exemplars will already been pretty personalized. Particularly when consider access to domain powers, which very much help to personalize the class as each deity has their own domains and thus access to different powers. A Divine Exemplar of Asmodeus will be very different from a Divine Exemplar of Desna, and also play very differently.


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Brain_in_a_Jar wrote:

All alignments/deities get holy warriors. They are called Warpriest.

Not all alignments/deities get "Paladins" and they shouldn't.

You may not like that but that's how it is.

For now, yes, but that something is a certain way does not mean it has to ever stay that way. Also, a paladin is a holy warrior. A warpriest is a militant priest. It could be a difference of degrees, but I think the archetype is significantly different.


True. We're just coming at it from different directions, and both ideas can co-exist -- or one or the other -- and people have more options.

Regardless, it opens the door to ideas other than those passed down from the stone tablets of Gygax and broaden the scope of what a "paladin" might be.


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Brain_in_a_Jar wrote:
The Shaman wrote:

I think it is a matter of different restrictions, not of no restrictions. Why should all alignments and deities have clerics, but only LGs have full holy warriors? Is there a reason NG deities cannot sponsor NG champions?

The warpriest archetype is a band-aid, but it is fundamentally a different chassis.

All alignments/deities get holy warriors. They are called Warpriest.

Not all alignments/deities get "Paladins" and they shouldn't.

You may not like that but that's how it is.

Why don't they? Why shouldn't they? Is there a reason besides that is the way it has been? There are a lot of things that used to be different -- should we go back to them? I mentioned the anti-magic barbarian above; there are many classes that are different than they used to be. Demi-humans used to have level limits. Races and sexes used to have different ability maximums.

Should they stay with those "just because"? Why is the paladin a sacred cow but nothing else is?


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Brain_in_a_Jar wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

Warpreist has a totally different chassis.

Would calling them different things help? Like tyrant for LE?

Should people also be upset that a Wizard can't cast spells well in Armor? I want a Wizard who can cast in Armor with no detriment.

People would tell me "hey Magus can do that." But Magus is a different chassis. I want a Wizard and casting in Armor.

To me that's what I see when people want Paladin with out the Paladin.

I'm not saying its a bad thing to want, others play different than me, which is fine.

But expecting this in Pathfinder to actually be done is probably not going to happen based on the "Gray Paladin" and the "Warpriest: Champion of the Faith".

a wizzard can cast in full plate just takes a few feats and their swift action every round and for the armor to be either mythril or celestial plate


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Old school precedent - in 2nd edition D&D a paladin of Horus is chaotic good. By experience, this did throw off numerous GMs that were too used to trapping paladins into a moral dilemma corner.

paladin of Horus - It's an evil mummy, I attack it.
GM - It didn't attack first, you're in danger of breaking your code.
paladin of Horus - You mean that chaotic good code that means I do what feels right? Right now smacking evil undead before they do harm feels right.
GM - Oh yeah.......chaotic good.....I forgot.


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Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

Those are mechanical changes that make the class stronger, this wouldn't make the class stronger just available to more types of character.

People aren't saying do away with codes, they're just saying let their be codes for all alignments.

I don't even think the class is even mechanically interesting or particularly want to play it, I just don't think it would hurt the game balance at all to allow it and would enable a lot of character concepts and make a lot of people happy.

Also don't think the sparks being exclusively lawful good makes any sense. At all.

Sure it would make the class stronger.

Mechanically, if you remove the Paladin restrictions on behavior... I will show you a Paladin that is WAY more effective than a proper Paladin. It'll backstab, ambush, fight dirty, toss honor right out the window, it will lie, cheat, steal... Do whatever it takes to win...

That will make the class stronger.

-----

Normal Paladin approaches a sleeping enemy, "Blaggard! Wake up I would have words with thee!"

Non-restricted Paladin approaches a sleeping enemy, "I coup de grace it."

-----

Normal Paladin wants an evil lord to step down, he storms his keep and demands it.

Non-restricted Paladin wants an evil lord to step down, let's see if he has any family we can kidnap and leverage...

-----

Normal Paladin wants to go after bandits that he knows are in a building where there are innocents? He kicks the door in and goes looking for some bandits.

Non-restricted Paladin wants to go after bandits that he knows are in a building where there are innocents? He burns the place to the ground in the middle of the night, there may be innocents but for the greater good right?

-----

The point of the Paladin's powers are so they can win when they fight fairly. You take that stuff away? Suddenly you have a supernaturally endowed warrior that has the power to win if they fight fair but *absolutely no reason* to actually do that.

Grand Lodge

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KestrelZ wrote:

Old school precedent - in 2nd edition D&D a paladin of Horus is chaotic good. By experience, this did throw off numerous GMs that were too used to trapping paladins into a moral dilemma corner.

paladin of Horus - It's an evil mummy, I attack it.
GM - It didn't attack first, you're in danger of breaking your code.
paladin of Horus - You mean that chaotic good code that means I do what feels right? Right now smacking evil undead before they do harm feels right.
GM - Oh yeah.......chaotic good.....I forgot.

Wait, way was the DM even thinking that could make the Paladin fall? It is an undead, paladin uses Smite on undead because it is evil/abomination? Especially if Paladin detected it was evil first.

Yah, situations like that are baffling to me and I can understand why it annoys players.

Liberty's Edge

Paladins kind of are a 20-level prestige class by design. They're very much baked into a specific theme, a much stronger one than others. It's a class where alignment and mechanics are so heavily baked together, I don't like just taping another alignment on it and saying 'go'. This is the one class where alignment restriction actually makes sense.

That said, for a general 'Paragon of an ideal' theme, I love the class, and think it could be expanded to other alignments. People can keep their much-desired charisma-to-saves and smite bonuses, as they represent the character's impeccable devotion - but some things (Mercies, auras, divine bonds, channel energy) should be switched out to better represent the alignment they represent. I did see a Paladin of Freedom homebrew that switched out mercies for short term freedom of movement spell-likes. That was a good touch.

I will say, I love the Insinuator antipaladin archetype. That archetype is the paragon of ambition, and it was executed brilliantly.


The Dandy Lion wrote:

Paladins kind of are a 20-level prestige class by design. They're very much baked into a specific theme, a much stronger one than others. It's a class where alignment and mechanics are so heavily baked together, I don't like just taping another alignment on it and saying 'go'. This is the one class where alignment restriction actually makes sense.

That said, as a general 'Paragon of this ideal' theme, I love the class, and think it could be expanded to other alignments. People can keep their much-desired charisma-to-saves and smite bonuses, as they represent the character's impeccable devotion - but some things (Mercies, auras, divine bonds, channel energy) should be switched out to better represent the alignment they represent. I did see a Paladin of Freedom homebrew that switched out mercies for short term freedom of movement spell-likes. That was a good touch.

I will say, I love the Insinuator archetype. That archetype is the paragon of ambition, and it was executed brilliantly.

Actually Charisma to Saves is the one I would *not* let people have. That is the main reason people dip Paladin and the main reason people want non-LG Paladins. That is why almost every Paladin dip is only 2 levels.

Move Charisma to Saves to like 5th level, and watch how many people don't like the class so much anymore.

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