Can a Paladin use Disguise Self?


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My understanding is that a code of conduct is a set of guidelines, not a set of instructions. Part of the roleplaying challenge (and fun) of playing a paladin is weighing up the relative merits of each course of action and making the moral choice.

Superman is an often used as an example of a lawful good hero. Superman lies all the time, he has a secret identity, but that is better choice than exposing others to unnecessary danger.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Boomerang Nebula wrote:

My understanding is that a code of conduct is a set of guidelines, not a set of instructions. Part of the roleplaying challenge (and fun) of playing a paladin is weighing up the relative merits of each course of action and making the moral choice.

Superman is an often used as an example of a lawful good hero. Superman lies all the time, he has a secret identity, but that is better choice than exposing others to unnecessary danger.

I do not see this as lying. Inducing misconceptions and not refuting them is not the same as outright lying

I am not sure Superman ever told an outright lie

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Xexyz wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
I do not understand why so many people want to play a Paladin that gets away with breaking the CRB code
People who want to play a paladin in good-faith just want to be able to avoid being railroaded by dogmatic interpretations of the paladin code. Especially since "evil act" is completely vague and necessarily open to judgment and interpretation - interpretation that's going to be defined by where a GM's ethical framework lies. If a player's sense of ethics is different than the GM's then 'breaking the CRB code' may be more of a disagreement of ethics than the player trying to get away with ignoring the code.

I agree 100% with this

Which is why I always clarify what the GM's take on Alignments is before the game begins

Same for the Paladin code if there is one at the table

If only because the Paladin PC spent years learning what her deity approves of and what makes them frown, while the player did not


Phylactery of Faithfulness should be a freebie for all Paladins or available on the cheap, like Wayfinders, in PFS.

'Congratulations of passing your Confirmation. Here is your Wayfinder and a bonus for our Champion of Good...'


Xexyz wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
I do not understand why so many people want to play a Paladin that gets away with breaking the CRB code
People who want to play a paladin in good-faith just want to be able to avoid being railroaded by dogmatic interpretations of the paladin code. Especially since "evil act" is completely vague and necessarily open to judgment and interpretation - interpretation that's going to be defined by where a GM's ethical framework lies. If a player's sense of ethics is different than the GM's then 'breaking the CRB code' may be more of a disagreement of ethics than the player trying to get away with ignoring the code.

It's also a question of those players considering Paladin the class (Full BAB with divine not-nature-y 4/9 spellcasting) to be distinct and separate from Paladin the concept (specifically the divine warrior empowered exclusively by his righteous oaths) as ALSO playing in good faith. It's not a matter of "don't want that messy roleplaying to get in the way of the murder-hoboing". It's not a matter of "screw oaths and other such bullcrap". It's a matter of those aspects of participating in an RPG existing at a separate level from class choice for practically every other class (though yes, the other times it doesn't are also problematic). It's a matter of being able to voluntarily play according to such oaths even when the character sheet says "Wizard" next to class, and how the reverse should also be true.

But going to what you said about there being a difference between the player's sense of ethics and the GM's, it's also about how forcing anyone's morality to be subjugated to someone else's is by orders of magnitude NOT the role of the game. Any game. And since you cannot be Schrodinger's Paladin who has simultaneously fallen and not fallen, someone has to have their sense of ethics cast to the wayside. The forced marriage of Paladin the class and Paladin the concept requires at least one person be browbeaten into knuckling under. Even trying to get a handle on everyone's concept of right and wrong before the game starts still results in everyone or almost everyone playing in a game dictated by rules of morality that no one was operating by before the game started. It kicks the game off with an adversarial relationship over a subject as fundamental and inviolable to a person as any else. And even if the players can swallow their pride and just go with it, why should they have to?

In comparison with that alternative, keeping Paladin the class (the collection of class features in Core Rulebook Class #6, aka the "Paladin") separate and distinct from Paladin the concept (LG with code of conduct) is the definition of "playing in good faith". No game, not this or any other, nor anything else done as a Saturday afternoon diversion (that is to say, a source of relaxing) should require a person to have to dismiss even slightly their own sense of ethics for any period of time. That's the whole point of playing "a Paladin that gets away with breaking the CRB code". It's acknowledging that the game doesn't get to assume the player's okay with that by default nor is he agreeing to any fine print saying as much just because he wanted "Full BAB with divine not-nature-y 4/9 spellcasting" and the one class that had that had the misfortune of the Paladin's legacy.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I still think it is better for such issues and possibly differing points of view to be calmly debated between GM and player before the game starts than during a tension-filled session :-)


Agreed.

And, as a reminder: Pathfinder Unchained DOES exist. No group is forced to use alignment if they don't want to.


There are basically three ways to handle it:

(1) A Paladin cannot lie... unless they've got a really good reason.

This makes things pretty easy for the player, while somewhat undermining the concept of a morally pure lawful good hero.

(2) A Paladin must not speak a lie. They can lie by omission, they can disguise themselves, they can tell the truth in a sarcastic tone of voice to make people think the opposite... but never lie.

This makes things harder for the player; they might have to find clever ways to lie without lying. For a skilled player, this is a fun little restriction. On the other hand, it makes the Paladin code something you use cunning to work around, rather than something you do because you believe in it.

(3) A Paladin must not deceive people. No disguising yourself. No sneaking. Go up to the guards and try to convince them that they should let you past because it's the right thing to do. If they refuse, either leave or try to defeat them, perhaps with nonlethal damage.

This is such a harsh interpretation of the Paladin code that it makes them borderline unsuitable for adventuring. Most other PCs would refuse to work with someone as inflexible as that.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
blahpers wrote:
A tip: If you're a GM, treat your player's paladin (and other code of conduct types) as if she had a constant phylactery of faithfulness. It should never be a surprise whether an action would constitute a willful violation of the CoC.

Though I totally endorse that bit of advice, it does beg the question: What then is the point of the phylactery of faithfulness?

blahpers wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Finding this thread has just made me realize what it is that is wrong with paladins...
Yeah! Screw principles! ; )

I was going to say "people." People are what is wrong with paladins.


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Hands up anyone who likes paladins, doesn't have a problem with their code and never heard they were supposed to be horrible until they started hanging out on the internet:

*raises hand*


::raises hand::

maturity and some communication...come on folks, really, its not that tough, folk do it all the time in their daily lives (outside of gaming, or so it seems sometimes)


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The paladin code of conduct is a class feature, same as "don't wear metal" is for druids or "don't piss of your deity" for deity-based divine casters. There is no way to separate them other than actually altering the rules--which is fine, naturally! But that particular class feature spawns proportionately far greater whinging. It's puzzling.


blahpers wrote:
The paladin code of conduct is a class feature, same as "don't wear metal" is for druids or "don't piss of your deity" for deity-based divine casters. There is no way to separate them other than actually altering the rules--which is fine, naturally! But that particular class feature spawns proportionately far greater whinging. It's puzzling.

Not so puzzling.

Many, many players like to differentiate "crunch" from "fluff". While the crunch is actual rules that must be followed (or house ruled away), the fluff can be freely changed around with breaking "da rules".

Role-Playing choices are firmly in the category of fluff, which is why a class like the Paladin, which has RP baked into the crunch, creates such a dissonance with many players.

Silver Crusade 4/5 Venture-Captain, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

A story about an early Catholic saint, often lauded as an example of deceiving while telling the truth. Given the origins of the idea of a paladin, it might be applicable:

Quote:
One time he (Athanasius, the saint) was pursued by his enemies on the Nile. As he rounded a bend of the river, in the dusk, he ordered his rowers to turn back. His pursuers came on with all haste and in the dusk of the late afternoon the two boats met. "Have you seen Athanasius?" the soldiers called across the water. "Yes," replied the bishop, "he is not far away!" Thus he escaped again.

(Copied from this site, but it's not the first time I've heard the story.)

Shadow Lodge

Spacelard wrote:

Phylactery of Faithfulness should be a freebie for all Paladins or available on the cheap, like Wayfinders, in PFS.

'Congratulations of passing your Confirmation. Here is your Wayfinder and a bonus for our Champion of Good...'

They kind of already get the effect, though; the Alignment Infractions section of the Guide clearly states that the GM absolutely has to warn the player if they're about to commit an alignment infraction, including exactly what the infraction is, and give the player a chance to change their actions.

Now, you might say "but that's just alignment infractions, that doesn't include paladin code violations!", to which I would call you a petty hair-splitting rules lawyer. The intent is clearly to avoid unfairly punishing players over subjective judgements without prior warning.

Silver Crusade

A similar question came up for me this past Sunday, when I played my paladin.

I should point out that this is a Chosen One archetype paladin, so she was chosen by her goddess to become a paladin, and a familiar showed up to guide her one day. She didn't choose it for herself or train for it. But Shizuru (LG Tien goddess of swordplay, ancestors, and the sun) chose her, because she's the type of person who always acts with goodness and honor, even without having to be told. So the character literally doesn't know about her paladin code. She's a paladin because she follows the code, not the other way around.

We were on the Plane of Air, and the group's ninja, with high bluff and disguise skills, wanted to lie our way past some guards. My character said she doesn't feel comfortable with lying, but since it'll prevent needless bloodshed, she'd keep her mouth shut and let the ninja do the talking. So my PC with +17 diplomacy let someone else do the talking.

Since we had time to prep before going there, the ninja also wanted to disguise us all as sylphs, so we'd fit in better. That's where I drew the line. She didn't feel comfortable pretending to be something she's not. But again, she agreed to keep her mouth shut. She pulled on her full plate, made sure the helmet completely covered her head, and didn't say a word. Nobody can tell what race (or sex) she is under all that armor.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
blahpers wrote:
A tip: If you're a GM, treat your player's paladin (and other code of conduct types) as if she had a constant phylactery of faithfulness. It should never be a surprise whether an action would constitute a willful violation of the CoC.
Though I totally endorse that bit of advice, it does beg the question: What then is the point of the phylactery of faithfulness?

Warning of involuntary acts such as when the bad guy tricks you into smiting his victim or you are about to put on a Helm of Opposite Alignment


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The problem with the Phylactery of Faithfulness is that it is basically a magic item tax on a paladin player who does not see eye to eye with his GM in regard to the paladin code. If he and the GM were on the same page in this regard, the player of a paladin would probably rather have a Headband of Alluring Charisma or a Phylactery of Positive Channeling in the headband slot.

4/5

A fully armed and armored paladin can answer honestly when asked, "What are you doing in (X region)?"

"I am here to keep this merchant and the rest of these fine folks safe." (Gestures at the PC with ranks in profession merchant)

1/5 5/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Avoiding a murderfest of folks who may have beem forced to dip their toes into the River of Evil to get to the Big Bad that is *forcing* them to dip their toes into the River of Evil is not an Evil/Bad thing.

If that means that someone has to wear a bit of sackcloth and ashes and act like they're a beggar, the greater Good is being served.

...and who knows, that may also be an appropriate show of Humility to compensate for any loss of Honor... Seems to work in most literature I've read, at least?

Shadow Lodge

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I think that my Paladin/Ninja of Kelinahat (LG Empyreal Lord of Spies) would fall for *not* having a potion of disguise self on hand. Because that would be dishonorably unprepared.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

In my game a Paladin lying for a worthy cause will fall for breaking her vows. And as soon as she needs her powers to fight the good fight she will regain them instantly because her deity wishes it

But as soon as Evil is squashed, fallen Paladin status applies until atoned for

A Paladin that stays true to Good but breaks the code will be scolded but not punished

A Paladin who tries to game the system or worse the GM will fall hard

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Raven Black wrote:

In my game a Paladin lying for a worthy cause will fall for breaking her vows. And as soon as she needs her powers to fight the good fight she will regain them instantly because her deity wishes it

But as soon as Evil is squashed, fallen Paladin status applies until atoned for

A Paladin that stays true to Good but breaks the code will be scolded but not punished

A Paladin who tries to game the system or worse the GM will fall hard

How does that work mechanically in PFS?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

In my game a Paladin lying for a worthy cause will fall for breaking her vows. And as soon as she needs her powers to fight the good fight she will regain them instantly because her deity wishes it

But as soon as Evil is squashed, fallen Paladin status applies until atoned for

A Paladin that stays true to Good but breaks the code will be scolded but not punished

A Paladin who tries to game the system or worse the GM will fall hard

How does that work mechanically in PFS?

It does not AFAIK

Table variation is the only answer in PFS, with a heavy Fall/No Fall judgement

And the fact that there are ways for a player to appeal to a higher authority


Quantum Steve wrote:
blahpers wrote:
The paladin code of conduct is a class feature, same as "don't wear metal" is for druids or "don't piss of your deity" for deity-based divine casters. There is no way to separate them other than actually altering the rules--which is fine, naturally! But that particular class feature spawns proportionately far greater whinging. It's puzzling.

Not so puzzling.

Many, many players like to differentiate "crunch" from "fluff". While the crunch is actual rules that must be followed (or house ruled away), the fluff can be freely changed around with breaking "da rules".

Role-Playing choices are firmly in the category of fluff, which is why a class like the Paladin, which has RP baked into the crunch, creates such a dissonance with many players.

Excellent point. I distinguish between the two as well: "crunch" is the unimportant mechanical garbage, and "fluff" is the important stuff that represents the indispensable essence of the game.


Calybos1 wrote:
Excellent point. I distinguish between the two as well: "crunch" is the unimportant mechanical garbage,

Which has been used dozens of times over to make new settings new worlds and basicly new fluff. You need your engine.

Calybos1 wrote:
and "fluff" is the important stuff that represents the indispensable essence of the game.

Which might make some good books but you don't have a game off of fluff. You can have co-op storytime, but the best paint job and leather seats in the world won't make your car run with out that unimportant engine.


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blahpers wrote:
The paladin code of conduct is a class feature, same as "don't wear metal" is for druids or "don't piss of your deity" for deity-based divine casters. There is no way to separate them other than actually altering the rules--which is fine, naturally! But that particular class feature spawns proportionately far greater whinging. It's puzzling.

I've never heard of a druid trying to insist that none of the other PCs wear metal armor. But Paladins tend to think that just because they don't want to rob innocent people, the rest of the party aren't allowed to either.

I've never heard of an adventure where the entire party is required to wear metal armor in order to participate. But I've seen lots of adventures where the party is expected to use subterfuge, or form a temporary alliance with evil people, or similar.

(I was going to say that I'd never seen a long debate over what constitutes metal armor, and contrast that with ambiguous rules concerning executing prisoners and various forms of deceit... but then I remembered the studded leather controversy of '14...)


Hello, I'm the guy who complains about druid restrictions on armour.


Ever been in a party with a Pharasmin or Sarenite cleric and tried to bargain with some intelligent undead? If you succeeded, somebody should have required at least an atonement.

Silver Crusade 4/5

Calybos1 wrote:
Ever been in a party with a Pharasmin or Sarenite cleric and tried to bargain with some intelligent undead?

Yes. I still feel dirty.


Matthew Downie wrote:
blahpers wrote:
The paladin code of conduct is a class feature, same as "don't wear metal" is for druids or "don't piss of your deity" for deity-based divine casters. There is no way to separate them other than actually altering the rules--which is fine, naturally! But that particular class feature spawns proportionately far greater whinging. It's puzzling.

I've never heard of a druid trying to insist that none of the other PCs wear metal armor. But Paladins tend to think that just because they don't want to rob innocent people, the rest of the party aren't allowed to either.

I mean, adventuring with an Evil group (the only guys who are likely to rob innocent people) is not only against the code of conduct anyway, but also probably a terrible idea for any Good character.

Scarab Sages 5/5

The big question that should be asked, isn't whether a Paladin can disguise themselves, but rather what is considered honorable and what is not?

First Point: Paladins that worship deities that have a different paladin code still need to follow the base code as well as their deity's code. Sometimes this can put the codes at odds with one another, but that's a sticky wicket the Paladin has to navigate.

Second Point: Honorable. What does that mean? Well the CRB lists some things that are not considered honorable. Poison and lying are two of those things. Therefore, no matter how much equivocation you want to make, those two things are not allowed under the Paladin code, no matter the circumstances. This is part of being a Paladin--measuring your own honor against what's best and right. And sometimes, sure, a Paladin will decide that what's best and right are more important than their code and their honor, and they will sacrifice their own righteousness and purity to save lives or stop an immeasurable evil. And when they do so, they atone for their own sins. That's what being a Paladin is all about. That's the struggle that makes this class so dynamic and romantic.

Third Point: Dishonesty, prevarication, dissembling, etc. are all forms of lying. Disguising oneself in order to deceive someone else to either benefit one's self or to make things easier is dishonest. It is lying. So disguising one's self to sneak into a bandit's lair is against a Paladin's code. This does not mean they won't do it. It just means they have to weigh the cost benefit analysis between following their own code and doing what is good, right and necessary.

EDIT:
Disguise to help show an informant who you are looking for or for acting in a play are not what I'd consider dishonest or grounds for hitting the lying clause in the code.

As always, the circumstances might change the interpretation.


Renata Maclean wrote:
I mean, adventuring with an Evil group (the only guys who are likely to rob innocent people) is not only against the code of conduct anyway, but also probably a terrible idea for any Good character.

Yeah, like those Evil bandits who used to rob innocent merchants in Sherwood Forest despite the best efforts of the brave Sheriff of Nottingham...

Strict moral codes are hard to establish. Personally, I don't think killing people is OK, but for some reason most paladins are allowed to do that all the time.

(Edit: This is actually nothing to do with the point I was originally making. The paladin code carry the implication that the entire group has to be somewhat good, while the druid 'no metal armor' code is only for the druid. This is one reason why the paladin code is always going to cause more conflict and controversy.)


Tallow wrote:
disguising one's self to sneak into a bandit's lair is against a Paladin's code. This does not mean they won't do it.

You're saying that if they do this to rescue a hostage, they'll fall, and they have to decide if this is a price worth paying?

Scarab Sages 5/5

Matthew Downie wrote:
Tallow wrote:
disguising one's self to sneak into a bandit's lair is against a Paladin's code. This does not mean they won't do it.
You're saying that if they do this to rescue a hostage, they'll fall, and they have to decide if this is a price worth paying?

That's exactly what I'm saying.

But note:

  • A Paladin will likely make that choice if there are no other options. Because that's what Paladins do.
  • They will exhaust all other potential options (at least during the discussion and planning stage) first, most likely.

Silver Crusade

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Matthew Downie wrote:
(Edit: This is actually nothing to do with the point I was originally making. The paladin code carry the implication that the entire group has to be somewhat good, while the druid 'no metal armor' code is only for the druid. This is one reason why the paladin code is always going to cause more conflict and controversy.)

No, the paladin code doesn't say the group has to lean towards good. Only that they can't be blatantly evil. And it even specifically says that a paladin can work with evil in the short term, if it's for the greater good.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Look at Ray (Atom) from originally Arrow and now Legends of Tomorrow or Duncan McCleod from Highlander: The Series for how honor should work. They literally work against their own best interests to do what they feel is the honorable thing. The internal struggle on whether to do the right thing vs. the honorable thing is very tangible and real.

Honor Codes do not allow for modification because a greater good might be realized by breaking it.


Fromper wrote:
No, the paladin code doesn't say the group has to lean towards good.

The group doesn't have to be Good-aligned, but once you've got a Paladin in a non-Good party you've got a recipe for conflict. "Stop executing those helpless prisoners!"

Scarab Sages 5/5

Matthew Downie wrote:
Fromper wrote:
No, the paladin code doesn't say the group has to lean towards good.
The group doesn't have to be Good-aligned, but once you've got a Paladin in a non-Good party you've got a recipe for conflict. "Stop executing those helpless prisoners!"

Paladins might be ok with executing prisoners. Because Paladins are often seen as a higher moral authority, many countries and jurisdictions might allow a Paladin to play judge, jury and executioner. If the Paladin deems they deserve a death sentence (especially if they aren't redeemable) they would be ok with executing them (execution implies helpless.) They might, however, determine that they should do the execution themselves though.

Silver Crusade 4/5 Venture-Captain, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

Tallow wrote:

[...]

Third Point: Dishonesty, prevarication, dissembling, etc. are all forms of lying. Disguising oneself in order to deceive someone else to either benefit one's self or to make things easier is dishonest. It is lying. So disguising one's self to sneak into a bandit's lair is against a Paladin's code. This does not mean they won't do it. It just means they have to weigh the cost benefit analysis between following their own code and doing what is good, right and necessary.

[...]

(Just responding to you, Tallow, since your response was clearest and easy to respond to.)

Lying and misleading, in the real world, are often treated as very different things. In the field of ethics, the question of whether the two are equivalent is actively debated. Some of you may have strong feelings about it, but your opinions are not universally held.

See my example of the Catholic saint from above; he is treated as being morally in the clear even though he is being misleading. Consider that one of the sources of the basis of the paladin code does not consider misleading statements to be lying, let alone disguising yourself without making misleading statements.

There's obviously arguments both ways. I just think that being certain of how all this works is... an unfounded position, at best?


Tallow wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Fromper wrote:
No, the paladin code doesn't say the group has to lean towards good.
The group doesn't have to be Good-aligned, but once you've got a Paladin in a non-Good party you've got a recipe for conflict. "Stop executing those helpless prisoners!"
Paladins might be ok with executing prisoners. Because Paladins are often seen as a higher moral authority, many countries and jurisdictions might allow a Paladin to play judge, jury and executioner. If the Paladin deems they deserve a death sentence (especially if they aren't redeemable) they would be ok with executing them (execution implies helpless.) They might, however, determine that they should do the execution themselves though.

Who says it wasn't the Paladin doing the executing in my example, much to the horror of the party of more forgiving neutrals? :)

(While a Paladin might reasonably deem themselves judge, jury and executioner - someone who can detect evil is more qualified to pass judgement than pretty much anyone else - they often find their GM disagrees.)


Part of being Good is opposing Evil, even from a teammate. My good characters, both paladins and non-paladins alike, regularly intervene if a party member tries to commit an evil act.

Where is the notion coming from that evil acts should somehow get a pass if they're by someone you know? "I don't care if we've been adventuring together since we were kids--you're not torturing anybody while I'm alive" is something ANY good character can say.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Terminalmancer wrote:
Tallow wrote:

[...]

Third Point: Dishonesty, prevarication, dissembling, etc. are all forms of lying. Disguising oneself in order to deceive someone else to either benefit one's self or to make things easier is dishonest. It is lying. So disguising one's self to sneak into a bandit's lair is against a Paladin's code. This does not mean they won't do it. It just means they have to weigh the cost benefit analysis between following their own code and doing what is good, right and necessary.

[...]

(Just responding to you, Tallow, since your response was clearest and easy to respond to.)

Lying and misleading, in the real world, are often treated as very different things. In the field of ethics, the question of whether the two are equivalent is actively debated. Some of you may have strong feelings about it, but your opinions are not universally held.

See my example of the Catholic saint from above; he is treated as being morally in the clear even though he is being misleading. Consider that one of the sources of the basis of the paladin code does not consider misleading statements to be lying, let alone disguising yourself without making misleading statements.

There's obviously arguments both ways. I just think that being certain of how all this works is... an unfounded position, at best?

Fair point. As always, my comments on these sorts of things are my opinion.

But I look at guys like Duncan McCleod and Ned Stark to be my examples of holding to honor.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Matthew Downie wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Fromper wrote:
No, the paladin code doesn't say the group has to lean towards good.
The group doesn't have to be Good-aligned, but once you've got a Paladin in a non-Good party you've got a recipe for conflict. "Stop executing those helpless prisoners!"
Paladins might be ok with executing prisoners. Because Paladins are often seen as a higher moral authority, many countries and jurisdictions might allow a Paladin to play judge, jury and executioner. If the Paladin deems they deserve a death sentence (especially if they aren't redeemable) they would be ok with executing them (execution implies helpless.) They might, however, determine that they should do the execution themselves though.

Who says it wasn't the Paladin doing the executing in my example, much to the horror of the party of more forgiving neutrals? :)

(While a Paladin might reasonably deem themselves judge, jury and executioner - someone who can detect evil is more qualified to pass judgement than pretty much anyone else - they often find their GM disagrees.)

I would choose not to play my Paladin at tables where I know the GM's views do not match my own (or at least closely enough that we can come to a reasonable compromise.)

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Tallow wrote:
First Point: Paladins that worship deities that have a different paladin code still need to follow the base code as well as their deity's code. Sometimes this can put the codes at odds with one another, but that's a sticky wicket the Paladin has to navigate.

Hey, can you point me towards the source for this. I have done a lot of looking to see whether the specific codes replace or supplement the CRB code, and I haven't been able to find anything definitive either way.

It hasn't come up for me yet in PFS, but in my home games I lean towards replace -- if that's wrong I'm happy to change, but like I said I haven't been able to find a clear ruling either way.

Scarab Sages 5/5

I don't have the link, but John Compton had weighed in a few years back and an example he used was essentially needing to match both codes. Sorry I can't supply a link so take my memory for whatever it's worth.

Shadow Lodge

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pH unbalanced wrote:
I think that my Paladin/Ninja of Kelinahat (LG Empyreal Lord of Spies) would fall for *not* having a potion of disguise self on hand. Because that would be dishonorably unprepared.

Get ready to fall, then, because you can't have potions of personal range spells. :P

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Thanks, I'll take a look -- that's enough context to be helpful.

I totally trust your memory -- this is just one of those areas where I have seen certainty expressed for both interpretations, so I've been keeping an eye out for anything official and haven't seen it.

3/5

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Calybos1 wrote:
Ever been in a party with a Pharasmin or Sarenite cleric and tried to bargain with some intelligent undead? If you succeeded, somebody should have required at least an atonement.

Well, no.

If my 3rd level Pharasman character runs into a lich, there's no point in becoming undead myself just to try to force the lich into creating another body from the phylactery its smart enough to not have on its person anyway...

At some point "Banzai! - crap, now I'm a ghoul" has to be contraindicated for those who are trying to stem the spread of undeath...

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