Chaotic and Neutral Good Paladins


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The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

So, I've thought long and hard on this one as a GM (since DnD3.0). I understand why the great Gary Gygax and team decided Paladins should be bastions of LG (even if it was giving us players and GMs the finger in a sense).

However, a LG Paladin of say Cayden Cailean goes against the very mantras of that God. Or of Desna. Or of Shelyn. They are about freedom, creativity, dreams. Even a LG paladin of a CG Empyreal Lord flies in the very face of their beliefs.

In the Reign of Winter homebrew Golarion respin I am running, I made the decision to allow a Taldoran pc Paladin of Cayden to be CG. I know right now some of you are saying "blasphemy!" At me. That's okay. But, I felt a need as a fellow GM to share my thinking and let the group comment and discuss the merits and demerits. In my thinking, it allowed the player to run a character and holy warrior devoted to upholding his god's tenants. And yet be a paladin of those.

What are your thoughts on this? How about the Paizo team's? Again, I'm not looking to argue. In fact I'm pretty open to hear the various points of view.

RicMTheGM


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To my hideously cynical mind, everyone says they want paladins of Cayden, but in reality they want one of the following:

a) Paladin perks without that pesky code
b) Qualify for Startoss Style so the ultimate mono-charisma abomination can be made

Also unrelated, but you can make a legal paladin of Shelyn. She's NG after all.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Tarik Blackhands wrote:

To my hideously cynical mind, everyone says they want paladins of Cayden, but in reality they want one of the following:

a) Paladin perks without that pesky code
b) Qualify for Startoss Style so the ultimate mono-charisma abomination can be made

Also unrelated, but you can make a legal paladin of Shelyn. She's NG after all.

Some do it for that reason I think. He has done a great job of following his tenants and being a champion for freedom, anti slavery, heroics and drink.


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While it's good news that everything's working out and all, I still feel vaguely compelled to ask the normal question that usually goes with this sort of thread.

Why not a cleric or warpriest?

You can make plenty buff/crush cleric builds and warpriests can even poach smite with the right archtype if that's a desired element. Hell, there's even Zealot vigilantes that can pull similar things too.


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Better question than why not cleric or warpriest: why not paladin? Virtuous heroes of gods should not be limited to one particular alignment.

Grand Lodge

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Sighs, honestly I feel what needs to be done is alternate classes or similar ideas but a better fit for other alignments. I say this because I am very much one of those, both as a player and DM, who believe that part of what makes a Paladin what it is... well, that is in part the strict moral code and a Lawful Good alignment.

You want a hero that isn't Lawful Good, then pick a different class or find something similiar yet more fitting other concepts and call them something else. Paladin are and I feel should stay Lawful Good, no two ways about it. They have the powers they have, the benefits they have, because they are willing to live their life a certain way. To fight for all that is good, as well for the order and structure of a lawful society. To push back madness and chaos, all those who wish to destroy, and do so without betraying their code.

Paladins are holy warriors whom are given more than common gifts and are put under a more than common burden, with the powers they receive comes the responsibility and code of conduct they must follow. They can't be the everyman, they have to become more then they are. They must show themselves unbowed by fear, unyielding in purpose, and willing to put themselves to greater rigors then others. Theirs is not the path many can follow, and their burden is greater.


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

CG "paladins" are fairly easy: either through the chevalier prestige class or the champion of the faith warpriest archetype (or even both).

NG characters can use the two options above or the gray paladin archetype.

Grand Lodge

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Dragonchess Player wrote:
NG characters can use the two options above or the gray paladin archetype.

Actually, even I have to admit the Gray Paladin is generally terrible in how it takes away a lot and doesn't give much of anything in return. I would much rather find a different option for players.

Sure one can play it off that because they are not as strict or devote in there behavior they are not given as much of the power generally available to a paladin but simply not having to be Lawful Good isn't reason enough to give up so much.

Admittedly, it probably makes a difference that I have had no issues playing paladins or a Lawful Good alignment but the Gray Paladin still comes off as the poor man's version of the class. Like the cheap knock off you pick when you can't afford the high quality, authentic version.


Gray Paladin is thematically correct, even if it is still diluted.

It would be sensible that each alignment corner would have their own special class with unique powers related to that corner.


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Gray Paladin's are just sad.

I don't really care if people play other alignment colors of Paladin, just work out how you and your DM thinks that works, because even the Chaotic gods have rules (with the exception of the outer gods) so just follow your gods rules and be chaotic in every other way.

I think the whole "they have powers because they live a certain way and you just want the powers without the alignment argument" is a cop out because their are plenty of more powerful classes one could play without those limitations. Honestly I'd always rather play an inquisitor.

Frankly I've never been attracted to Paladins or find their powers that interesting but if someone had a genuine idea for some Paladin of Asmodeus I'm not going to stop em in my games.


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Much griefing back-and-forth can be prevented simply by not calling them Paladins. It's a new class, with new abilities and requirements.

Which just happen to mirror those of the Paladin class.


Part of paladin's power is the RP code. The paladin probably wouldn't get as many things going for the class if it didn't have to be LG with obeying the paladin code.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

To me it's simply that I treat most of those class terms differently in setting as I treat them in rule discussions. And as you have barbarians (like the Shoanti) in a setting that don't necessarily are all built as barbarians (the class), someone who is called a paladin in the setting does not necessarily have to be built with the paladin class.

The same goes vice versa, so you could play an actual paladin (class) that would never get adresses as such by the inhabitants of the setting.

Meaning that I allow both, for characters to be called a paladin even when built by another class, and for paladin variant classes that can be used for other alignments. In the end, the player gets to play what he wants to, not what I think is the correct way to do.


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LG has Paladin, CE has Anti-Paladin and LE has Tyrant.

Chaotic Good, despite being the obvious favorite of the devs, is the only one left out in the cold from delicious, Charisma-scaling badassery.

...as it should be. *polishes spiky armor*


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:

While it's good news that everything's working out and all, I still feel vaguely compelled to ask the normal question that usually goes with this sort of thread.

Why not a cleric or warpriest?

You can make plenty buff/crush cleric builds and warpriests can even poach smite with the right archtype if that's a desired element. Hell, there's even Zealot vigilantes that can pull similar things too.

If it's acceptable for a CG Paladin concept to have to settle for being expressed by an alternative class, then it should be just as acceptable to play the LG Paladin concept as one of those other classes, too. And not just to be able to play the LG Paladin concept as one of those other classes, but to be required to do so.

Or to put it another way, if the LG Paladin concept player NEEDS the Paladin class to properly express his character's abilities and gets to do so, then a CG Paladin concept player should have just as much leeway to do so. Why does the Paladin get the monopoly on "Full BAB plus 4/9 divine spellcasting without the Ranger's nature-y theme"?

Silver Crusade

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Personally I'm fine with the idea of a CG Paladin so long as they still have and follow a code of conduct commensurate with their faith. But, if folks want something Paladin flavored that isn't an actual Paladin, might I suggest the Holy Liberator PrC from 3.5

You get the smite, the detect evil, the CHA to saves. You need to swap out "turn undead" for something Pathfinder (personally I'd just give them lay on hands and mercies wholesale). Takes a little tweaking, but it's an option.


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Hellknight #685,340 wrote:
Chaotic Good, despite being the obvious favorite of the devs, is the only one left out in the cold from delicious, Charisma-scaling badassery.

A lot of things become easier when we realize that Desna's Shooting Star is the problem, rather than anything else. Obliterate that feat from orbit (it's the only way to be sure) and there's really no mechanical issue with CG anything.


Flynn Greywalker wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:

To my hideously cynical mind, everyone says they want paladins of Cayden, but in reality they want one of the following:

a) Paladin perks without that pesky code
b) Qualify for Startoss Style so the ultimate mono-charisma abomination can be made

Also unrelated, but you can make a legal paladin of Shelyn. She's NG after all.

Some do it for that reason I think. He has done a great job of following his tenants and being a champion for freedom, anti slavery, heroics and drink.

A paladin of Iomedae, Torag or Erastil can easily be a champion of freedom, anti slavery, heroics and drinking as well. There's nothing in any of those Gods oaths that says that they can't champion of those beliefs and desire. Even drinking booze is fine.

But hey if your player is set on being a paladin of Cayden Cailean I say let them. Lawful Good and Chaotic Good aren't all that different anyway.


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:

To my hideously cynical mind, everyone says they want paladins of Cayden, but in reality they want one of the following:

a) Paladin perks without that pesky code
b) Qualify for Startoss Style so the ultimate mono-charisma abomination can be made

That is pretty cynical, considering the idea has been a thing since before Pathfinder was a gleam in Paizo's eye. Well, actually, IIRC, it's been a thing since before Paizo existed as a corporate entity, if the date of Paizo's founding that I found, 2002, is correct.

Paladin perks haven't outweighed or matched the code since 2E's run ended, though the code has certainly lead to a lot of annoyance and endless hatchet fights across a number of forums for the past, what 17-odd years?

It's hardly looking to exploit something to want to avoid all that ridiculousness.

SorrySleeping wrote:
Part of paladin's power is the RP code. The paladin probably wouldn't get as many things going for the class if it didn't have to be LG with obeying the paladin code.

The paladin's code was never part of their power, and the code ceased to be a meaningful check on their power (because their relative power greatly decreased) back in the year 2000.

Paladins were OP back in AD&D 2E, and that system ended its run long before most current players of pen and paper RPGs began playing any kind of RPG.

VRMH wrote:

Much griefing back-and-forth can be prevented simply by not calling them Paladins. It's a new class, with new abilities and requirements.

Which just happen to mirror those of the Paladin class.

There'd still be a fair amount of grief from the real hardcore people, because most people aren't dumb enough to miss the fact that you're creating variant paladins by another name.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Hellknight #685,340 wrote:
Chaotic Good, despite being the obvious favorite of the devs, is the only one left out in the cold from delicious, Charisma-scaling badassery.
A lot of things become easier when we realize that Desna's Shooting Star is the problem, rather than anything else. Obliterate that feat from orbit (it's the only way to be sure) and there's really no mechanical issue with CG anything.

You have my take on this in your comment, I hold him to the strict code of ethics of Cayden and if he veers from it he loses his abilities.


Why does the Paladin need to be LG?

Let's get rid of that pesky alignment/code problem.

And now that I'm thinking about it...why does a Wizard need a spellbook? I think Wizards should be able to spotaneously cast arcane spells without need for a book.

Silver Crusade

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Brain_in_a_Jar wrote:

Why does the Paladin need to be LG?

Let's get rid of that pesky alignment/code problem.

And now that I'm thinking about it...why does a Wizard need a spellbook? I think Wizards should be able to spotaneously cast arcane spells without need for a book.

They pretty much can at mid to high levels, since they'll have scrolls for days. Kind of a pointless comparison, though. The alignment doesn't limit the Paladin, the code does, and we're not talking about getting rid of the code, just modifying it to suit other gods (kinda like they already did in Inner Sea Gods).


If I remember correctly, there were alternate versions of the Paladin for each of the corner alignments in the 3rd edition unearthed arcana. You could always have your players use the Chaotic Good one (I want to say it was called the Paladin of Freedom, or something like that), if you're GMing, or ask you GM about using it if you're playing.

Grand Lodge

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The problem is players and DMs seeing the alignment as the issue or that Paladins being Lawful Good isn't important.

I mean what is Lawful Good, how does that not permanently intertwined with the very concept of a Paladin and what they represent? You what a Chaotic Good champion and hero, consider a more appropriate class that could fit such a concept.
----------------------------

"Lawful Good characters believe that laws exist to further the public good, and that fairness and equality before the law are necessary for good to truly exist. Order is a vital part of good, not for its own end, but because when people act arbitrarily, they will often harm each other, intentionally or unintentionally. Justice is a very important concept to lawful good characters in every sense of the word - that people are treated justly, be it justly rewarded for their services or justly punished for their ill deeds. To a lawful good character, no one is above the rules, not even themselves."

Paladins are warriors dedicated to furthering the cause of all that is good. Holy crusaders, they combat the forces of evil wherever they are found, and defend the helpless as much as possible. Above all else, paladins are good. The term "Paladin" comes from a cycle of historical literature which includes The Song of Roland, where the Paladins are Charlemagne's greatest knights and serve as an idealized symbol of courage and purity."

Playing a Lawful Good D&D Character.


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paladins are warriors of ideals weather it be the ideals of the god they worship or their own so any alignment for them should be possiblef

Grand Lodge

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No, paladins are holy warriors of good and order, of justice who follow a strict moral code, the staunchest foes of evil and dark forces. They are honorable, just, and unyielding in their path. Not just any alignment will work, and saying they can be any alignment shows how little you understand Paladins.

You want Non-Lawful Paladins, create an alternate class and call it something else. The Lawful Evil Tyrant, the Chaotic Good Liberator, things like that. A Paladin though is Lawful Good, and changing that makes it something else.


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they were primarily ment as warriors of their gods and brought their gods wrath opp-on their enemies

Grand Lodge

They are holy warriors of good, not so much of gods. Sure, many may align themselves with deities of Good or Law but neither is it require nor expected. Their path far beyond merely following a deity.

What you are thinking of are Clerics, which by default as much warriors are they are priests given how they can go into battle and fight for their ideals. Even Inquisitors are closer to warriors of the deity they worship.


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Ah. We've got the "it's okay in my game side" and the "you're ruining the game" side about 20 posts in. As expected.


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My personal fix is to change the alignment requirements for paladins to: Any Good, and must be within one step of her deity's alignment. Antipaladins get the same treatment, but have to be Evil. And also get named Blackguards. They're held to the tenants of their faith just as much as Clerics are.

Yes, this sometimes means you get Good and Evil followers of the same Neutral diety on opposite sides of a conflict. But that's more a matter for rp.


neither clerics nor inquisitors are warriors, plus you are thinking of the steriotypical knight rather than a paladin


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For reference: tenants are people who rent, tenets are central pieces of faith. They're not usually the same.


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Jonathon Wilder wrote:

They are holy warriors of good, not so much of gods. Sure, many may align themselves with deities of Good or Law but neither is it require nor expected. Their path far beyond merely following a deity.

What you are thinking of are Clerics, which by default as much warriors are they are priests given how they can go into battle and fight for their ideals. Even Inquisitors are closer to warriors of the deity they worship.

the people who want other alignment paladins will see this as a cop out though, there is no reason why any of the other alignments couldn't have a divine warrior class that functions in the same way as the paladin but smite good.

Because lets be honest, inquisitors, war priests and clerics don't do the same thing as paladins or eachother.


Tarik Blackhands wrote:

To my hideously cynical mind, everyone says they want paladins of Cayden, but in reality they want one of the following:

a) Paladin perks without that pesky code
b) Qualify for Startoss Style so the ultimate mono-charisma abomination can be made

Also unrelated, but you can make a legal paladin of Shelyn. She's NG after all.

Not only can you be a paladin of Shelyn, paladins of deities have their own codes (that replace the basic paladin code.) Shelyn's might be more to the OP's liking:

Shelyn paladin code:
Paladin Code
The paladins of Shelyn are peaceable promoters of art and beauty. They see the ugliness in evil, even when cloaked in the form of beauty, and their mission is to defend those who devote their lives to the creation of beauty, bring it forth themselves, and prevent the weak and foolish from being seduced by false promises. Their tenets include the following adages.

* I see beauty in others. As a rough stone hides a diamond, a drab face may hide the heart of a saint.

* I am peaceful. I come first with a rose rather than a weapon, and act to prevent conflict before it blossoms. I never strike first, unless it is the only way to protect the innocent.

* I accept surrender if my opponent can be redeemed—and I never assume that they cannot be. All things that live love beauty, and I will show beauty’s answer to them.

* I live my life as art. I will choose an art and perfect it. When I have mastered it, I will choose another. The works I leave behind make life richer for those who follow.

* I will never destroy a work of art, nor allow one to come to harm, unless greater art arises from its loss. I will only sacrifice art if doing so allows me to save a life, for untold beauty can arise from an awakened soul.

* I lead by example, not with my blade. Where my blade passes, a life is cut short, and the world’s potential for beauty is lessened.


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Why should a champion of chaos (CG / CN / CE) be bound to a very limiting code of conduct, at all? It might help to spread your deity's will, but the permanent restrictions are a burden a chaotic character is very unlikely to endure.

Antipaladin already had a compromise built into their code: They are free to do (appearant) good and to ally with goodies as long as it serves the greater evil. Now it's debatable whether that's really a 'paladin of CE' (with its weaker code) or whether it's still too restrictive for a CE creature. I would have preferred the antipaladin to be LE in the first place.

A 'paladin of CG' would face the same problem, in my opinion.


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I would like to point out that 5e outright eliminated alignment restrictions for all classes, paladins included, and the system hasn't imploded as a direct result nor is anyone complaining (except one guy with a youtube channel, something about forging dawns...)

What stayed the same was the oath, which honestly works better than a code. The oath is everything you uphold, and everything you won't do. So long as you perform within those bounds, you honestly could be any alignment, even CE (well, some of them less so than others, I highly doubt a CE Paladin who took the Oath of the Ancients could possibly work)

The idea that a Chaotic cannot have a strict set of guidelines for their behaviour is about as juvenile as saying that a Paladin cannot function as anything other than LG. If they couldn't, clerics of Chaotic gods could not fall, and we all know that isn't true. You can definitely grossly violate a Chaotic god's ethics to the point of excommunication. The difference is just the interpretations and carrying out those interpretations when it comes to a paladin's code or oath or whatever.

Actually, the fact that the Antipaladin has a code they must follow should tell you that the 'Chaotics can't work with a code' is absolutely hogwash.


Isonaroc wrote:
Brain_in_a_Jar wrote:

Why does the Paladin need to be LG?

Let's get rid of that pesky alignment/code problem.

And now that I'm thinking about it...why does a Wizard need a spellbook? I think Wizards should be able to spotaneously cast arcane spells without need for a book.

They pretty much can at mid to high levels, since they'll have scrolls for days. Kind of a pointless comparison, though. The alignment doesn't limit the Paladin, the code does, and we're not talking about getting rid of the code, just modifying it to suit other gods (kinda like they already did in Inner Sea Gods).

I was just making a point.

I want to play X but don't want to deal with restrictions.

To me at least wanting to play a Paladin that isn't LG is the same as I want to play a spontaneous Wizard.

If I want a spontaneous arcane class I should play a Sorcerer not complain that Wizard isn't.

The same way if I want a Holy Warrior that isn't required to be LG I should probably play a Warpriest.


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

Why back in the day you needed a charisma of 17 and could only be human, in addition to being lawful good and singled out by the DM.


I sort of feel that rather than the 5e approach to "no alignment restrictions for classes" the 4e approach of "there's only really six alignments" might be the more appealing one for me.

Which is to say: there is lawful good, and there is good that is not lawful, there is chaotic evil, and there is evil which is not chaotic, then there is principled neutrality, and a huge swath of people who aren't really one thing or another.

Since honestly NG paladins are legal via an archetype, and when is the last time you saw a significant difference in play in terms of how NG and CG are portrayed? After all, even CG characters care about the rules and established order some of the time, even if it is only for expedience (which is hardly dissimilar to how NG characters evaluate these things.)

Silver Crusade

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I sort of feel that rather than the 5e approach to "no alignment restrictions for classes" the 4e approach of "there's only really six alignments" might be the more appealing one for me.

Which is to say: there is lawful good, and there is good that is not lawful, there is chaotic evil, and there is evil which is not chaotic, then there is principled neutrality, and a huge swath of people who aren't really one thing or another.

Since honestly NG paladins are legal via an archetype, and when is the last time you saw a significant difference in play in terms of how NG and CG are portrayed? After all, even CG characters care about the rules and established order some of the time, even if it is only for expedience (which is hardly dissimilar to how NG characters evaluate these things.)

Eh, I wasn't a big fan of the 4e alignments. Mostly because, deliberately or not, it implies that LG is the "most good" and CE is the "most evil."


Isonaroc wrote:
Eh, I wasn't a big fan of the 4e alignments. Mostly because, deliberately or not, it implies that LG is the "most good" and CE is the "most evil."

I feel like the "most good" or the "most evil" is always (and should always) be a function of "What the entity is actually doing/attempting to do" rather than "what is on their character sheet."

Which is to say even if we don't distinguish between LE and NE, anyone in either of those alignments can be a hell of a lot more destructive than a CE individual.


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5e did paladins right


Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
Actually, the fact that the Antipaladin has a code they must follow should tell you that the 'Chaotics can't work with a code' is absolutely hogwash.

First, please keep your tone to a reasonable level, even if this is an emotional topic for you. Second, there was no black-and-white statement like 'chaotic characters can't have codes'. The example of a CG cleric works to dismiss the black-and-white statement - if it would have been there. But given that clerics have weaker codes, it doesn't justify a CG paladin on its own.

To rephrase my opinion: I see a conflict between a chaotic alignment and a strict code, not enough to dismiss the combination, but enough to question it.

Grand Lodge

Well perhaps my views in this are colored because of how my first campaign was AD&D 2e, though I was more familiar with D&D 3.5 at the time, and it was explained by the restrictions were important especially when it came to alignments and Paladins. It made sense to me ever since.

Sighs, but whatever. It is a different generation now, though it all honesty I'm not that old compared with my first DM at the time. He was a family man who got his wife and children into D&D and one I respected. A lot of my beliefs in gaming and in D&D/Pathfinder I got from him and others apart of my RPG group.

That, and I guess that I can't push too hard without being a hypocrite. Since I did take issue with elves being restricted from being druids because out of all the races I felt they have generally been shown as the ones closest to nature. Moreso than humans anyway, who were allowed to be druids but elves could not.

I think stepping away will be for the best, I am out numbered and am beginning to doubt there is any hope of convincing others. More, I would need to start turning to the arguments of others since I am running out of my own.

Silver Crusade

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SheepishEidolon wrote:
Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
Actually, the fact that the Antipaladin has a code they must follow should tell you that the 'Chaotics can't work with a code' is absolutely hogwash.

First, please keep your tone to a reasonable level, even if this is an emotional topic for you. Second, there was no black-and-white statement like 'chaotic characters can't have codes'. The example of a CG cleric works to dismiss the black-and-white statement - if it would have been there. But given that clerics have weaker codes, it doesn't justify a CG paladin on its own.

To rephrase my opinion: I see a conflict between a chaotic alignment and a strict code, not enough to dismiss the combination, but enough to question it.

I didn't see a problem with GTW's tone, the idea of C- not having codes is hogwash.

I don't see a conflict between C- and having a strict code at all so long as the code is self-imposed. Sure, a C- would chafe at the idea of being told that they had to follow a code, but identifying a code that they feel strongly about and taking that on as their own is totally in line with the principles of freedom and self-determination.


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I wouldn't allow it in my game, I'm a Paladin purist and if I was a player in your game I'd be miffed.

That said, I'm not in this game, so if you and your players are okay with it, go for it.


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SheepishEidolon wrote:
Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
Actually, the fact that the Antipaladin has a code they must follow should tell you that the 'Chaotics can't work with a code' is absolutely hogwash.

First, please keep your tone to a reasonable level, even if this is an emotional topic for you. Second, there was no black-and-white statement like 'chaotic characters can't have codes'. The example of a CG cleric works to dismiss the black-and-white statement - if it would have been there. But given that clerics have weaker codes, it doesn't justify a CG paladin on its own.

To rephrase my opinion: I see a conflict between a chaotic alignment and a strict code, not enough to dismiss the combination, but enough to question it.

I'm not emotionally invested in another paladin alignment thread. Please dont tell me to watch my tone. I'm not even sure there is anything to justify even saying that even if my choice of words are strong, but that's just how I convey my meaning.

I'm just pointing out that peoples expectations about LG paladins is quite dated and a struggles to really hold up to scrutiny, even if the head creative director happens to agree with their stance. Of course that their perogative Sure, we can put it down to a generational gap, as Wilder put it, but maybe it's simply an evolving expectation for storylines outside the norm, and recognition that, really, alignment restrictions are kind of a weird archaic relic from the past. Even the alignment system in of itself is kind of old school but is adhered mostly out of tradition if anything and is relatively harmless save for the endless arguments surrounding it.


Jonathon Wilder wrote:
I think stepping away will be for the best, I am out numbered and am beginning to doubt there is any hope of convincing others. More, I would need to start turning to the arguments of others since I am running out of my own.

It's okay man. I feel the same often. Old guys (in age or spirit) like us aren't really very welcome here.

Just, dunno, somewhere alignment became a non-item and classes became chassis with no flavor or story value to them.

In our day alignment was important. Classes were bound and married to lore and story. The new gen isn't big on it.

Best way to put it is that eventually the old need to step away and cede the world to the young. The way PF is going the next edition won't have alignment, at all, and classes won't exist. It'll just be a collection of abilities that players mix and match to make whatever they want.


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I think our generation emphasizes the roleplay over the mechanics sometimes—at least when it comes to the weird, arbitrary mechanics alignment often comes with. Once you got past Law vs. Chaos, most of the older ideas about alignment...stopped making sense. Druids have to be neutral because "nature demands balance", monks have to be lawful because "chaotics can't learn kung fu", and there is no way to play a cleric of an evil god*. That said, I'm a fan of LG-only paladins, and I often defend alignment as a roleplaying aide—not a hard-and-fast limitation all must adhere to. Who cares if a fighter is Lawful Neutral or Lawful Good? What matters is the character, the story, and the gameplay. Why force the three to interlock when they don't need to?

What I find happens, when you do, is a bending of the alignment mechanics. A druid who acts Chaotic Evil is classified as Chaotic Neutral or Neutral Evil, because he has to be to get his powers. To save any sort of story, the rules end up getting warped anyways. Because the old alignment rules just didn't make sense. So why not make the rules flexible to begin with?

SheepishEidolon wrote:
Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
Actually, the fact that the Antipaladin has a code they must follow should tell you that the 'Chaotics can't work with a code' is absolutely hogwash.
First, please keep your tone to a reasonable level, even if this is an emotional topic for you.

Yikes. This, itself, sets a patronizing and ill-mannered tone. Nothing GTW said was particularly hostile. Mildly dismissive, maybe, but that's how disagreements tend to work.

*People often forget that this was often implied by early sourcebooks. Hell, it's more-or-less stated in Swords and Wizardry, which is an absolutely delightful system, by the way. Clerics had to be "Lawful". Hell, they pretty much just served "the gods" in Gygax's early games. Changing this was a very early example of alignment becoming more fluid. Designers realized that there was no good reason to link the cleric mechanics solely to good-aligned roleplay.


Starfinder has no alignment restrictions and plans not to as far as I know, so it seems like your guess is entirely correct.

More to the point, maybe we're looking to reinterpret old concepts in different ways using tools already available. I mean, this thread is about Chaotic Good paladins-types which seems inherently married to the idea that alignment can be used as a descriptor tool as much as class, and their blending just gives something different. I don't know how that's exactly lacking in flavour.

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