Why all the Paladin hate?


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Shadow Lodge

graystone wrote:
Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
Basic morality is not nearly as complicated as some of these arguments make it.
Couldn't disagree more.

Actual morality is enormously complex. Pathfinder morality is much simpler, to make it manageable for the game. (We all have our opinions of the success of that effort.)


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While at my table, I am OK with people trying different things and pushing the boundaries. I should also point out that I also GM consequences. If you have an interesting idea that will work with the story and with the rest of the party, I will let you go with it. Consequences are still going to be a thing.

This said, we have had posters, here in this retread thread and its predecessors, arguing that there is no reason why Paladins shouldn't be allowed to practice rapine and plunder of innocents because IRL crusaders were known to do this, and therefore the whole idea of the LG bigger than life Paladin is just a bogus concept, and further, the rules MUST support them in this, and that nobody should have the right to tell them, "No, that is not the way we believe it should work."

We all know there are players who want the rules to support some pretty dark stuff. We all know players who want their games to support all their worst impulses, especially when there are actual people present that they can make squirm or worse. They further want to argue that this behavior is not qualitatively different than people playing actual heroes. Paizo isn't going to go this way, because it will hurt the game overall, and, thus, will hurt Paizo, its employees and its customers. Perhaps if at some point, if they are flailing, trying to regain relevance and market share, they might try this.


graystone wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like there's a metacommentary to be made in a story about how a Paladin falling requires the Paladin, on some possibly subconscious level, to realize that what they're doing is unbecoming of a Paladin. If a Paladin truly believes with conviction that what they're doing is true and right and good they're not going to fall. It's less about "the ire of a god" I suspect and more about self-regulating.
It'd be a lot more playable if this was the case. Unfortunately it's DM regulating, not self-regulating, so no matter how much the paladin [or his player] thinks he's doing the right thing, ha can fall.

Maybe we can say that the player is responsible for his character's conscience, but the GM is responsible for the subconscious or pre-rational moral reasoning for the player. That's not really taking away agency, since no one has direct control over that anyway.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

Maybe we can say that the player is responsible for his character's conscience, but the GM is responsible for the subconscious or pre-rational moral reasoning for the player. That's not really taking away agency, since no one has direct control over that anyway.

No,

1) It's still what goes on inside the characters skull, which is absolutely the players choice to decide baring mind altering magic. No one gets to decide on their parents either, players do. (which is slightly worrying considering how many of them are dead...)

2) no way i can say "pre rational moral reasoning" as a thing with a straight face.


TOZ wrote:

]

Actual morality is enormously complex. Pathfinder morality is much simpler, to make it manageable for the game. (We all have our opinions of the success of that effort.)

Pathfinder morality is largely "see real world morality" hence some of the investment in these kinds of arguments.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
2) no way i can say "pre rational moral reasoning" as a thing with a straight face.

Well, "reasoning" is definitely the wrong word there, but for example in Hume's Treatise he talks about how a sort of noncognitive "moral sense" is the epistemological basis of morality. Which is to say when you see someone give food to a hungry person or stab an orphan you don't witness any observable "good" or "evil" but a sense of happiness or revulsion that we later rationalize as "good" or "evil" through examination and reasoning that we use to construct an abstract ethical structure so as to avoid the bad feelings and find the good ones. In effect, we always know whether a thing we observe is "good" or "bad" before we can explain why.

This seems sort of hopelessly subjective, but it also very much appears to be how this sort of thing works in the real world. So since actual humans on earth behave this way, it's likely that people in a fantasy world should too (even if they do have "evil" as a thing that they can observe via magic, putting aside the disconnect between metaphysical morality and naive ethics).

I've been thinking about this lately since the character I'm going to play next, I think, lacks this "moral sense" but is nonetheless a Paladin so I'm trying to work through how she does moral reasoning. May have to break out the Kant for this, since it's pretty clear she can't be an empiricist. This is why I like the Paladin the way it is, since having to walk a narrow ethical path gets me to bust out the Philosophy books I haven't looked at since college. No other class, or even a "less restrictive Paladin", is going to do that I suspect.


Gisher wrote:
Wow, graystone, you even out-grognard me. I started with the original D&D box set back in '77. My friends and I conquered the Caverns of Quasqueton and turned them into our home base. Good times.

Ah, B1! That brings back memories! ;) Zelligar the Unknown always made me laugh: if he's unknown, how do you know his name? Good to know some of us from the 'good old days' are still around.

PS: I still have/use my dice from the old red box, though I've worn off a lot of the corners off the dice.

HWalsh: your whole last post boils down to: You'd rage-quit if someone DARED to allow options you don't like... That IMO isn't 'growth', that's straight up playground rationalization.


It doesn't seem to explain guilt though. You can feel bad about doing a neutral thing (accidentally running over a deer), or even a good thing (ie, putting down a rabid animal)*

Or.. i don't think philosophers know any more about this than gamers do.

* because there aren't enough the druid falls threads.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
* because there aren't enough the druid falls threads.

I think that's because, for whatever reason, we accept that a druid can explain how "I burned down the forest" is consistent with their philosophy (e.g. "From the ashes new growth will come, nature is a cycle of death and resurgence") and we don't really encourage this sort of thing with Paladins.


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HWalsh wrote:
I have maintained, and I still maintain, that part of the BALANCE of the Paladin class is that they get tremendous powers, but are limited by the rules in how those powers can be used. The alignment restriction is a framework that helps to mechanically...

except they aren't they don't get great power for having alignment restrictions or a code of conduct, if they did they would be a super broken class incapable of being played at any table

Grand Lodge

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graystone wrote:
HWalsh: your whole last post boils down to: You'd rage-quit if someone DARED to allow options you don't like... That IMO isn't 'growth', that's straight up playground rationalization.

Come on man, I don't think that's fair. We all have hangups that we'd walk from a table over. Who cares if his is non LG paladins?


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Jurassic Pratt wrote:
graystone wrote:
HWalsh: your whole last post boils down to: You'd rage-quit if someone DARED to allow options you don't like... That IMO isn't 'growth', that's straight up playground rationalization.
Come on man, I don't think that's fair. We all have hangups that we'd walk from a table over. Who cares if his is non LG paladins?

But we aren't talking about HIS table. He said he'd walk if ANY table was allowed it. So I think it's 100% fair and accurate. He's saying that if people he doesn't even know are allowed to play non-LG paladins, he's taking his toys and going home...


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graystone wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
graystone wrote:
HWalsh: your whole last post boils down to: You'd rage-quit if someone DARED to allow options you don't like... That IMO isn't 'growth', that's straight up playground rationalization.
Come on man, I don't think that's fair. We all have hangups that we'd walk from a table over. Who cares if his is non LG paladins?
But we aren't talking about HIS table. He said he'd walk if ANY table was allowed it. So I think it's 100% fair and accurate. He's saying that if people he doesn't even know are allowed to play non-LG paladins, he's taking his toys and going home...

Nice try, but no. What I said was if Paizo, as in the company, made this a thing in the official universe I'd walk away, and I would. I can proudly say I don't play 4th Edition because of how badly they screwed Paladins up (as well as other things) and although I do play in 1 5e game I don't play Paladins ever.


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HWalsh wrote:
graystone wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
graystone wrote:
HWalsh: your whole last post boils down to: You'd rage-quit if someone DARED to allow options you don't like... That IMO isn't 'growth', that's straight up playground rationalization.
Come on man, I don't think that's fair. We all have hangups that we'd walk from a table over. Who cares if his is non LG paladins?
But we aren't talking about HIS table. He said he'd walk if ANY table was allowed it. So I think it's 100% fair and accurate. He's saying that if people he doesn't even know are allowed to play non-LG paladins, he's taking his toys and going home...
Nice try, but no. What I said was if Paizo, as in the company, made this a thing in the official universe I'd walk away, and I would. I can proudly say I don't play 4th Edition because of how badly they screwed Paladins up (as well as other things) and although I do play in 1 5e game I don't play Paladins ever.

Yes, that's is what I said. If ANY table was allowed to have a non-LG paladin, you'd walk... I don't get the NO... You're literally saying that giving others options is enough to make you stop playing the game even though it'd has no impact on your table. Nothing in this post alters any of my posts in the least IMO.


I think we can really drill down on the "aversion to non-LG Paladins" issue with the following thought experiment:

"In a game that does not use alignment (e.g. there are rules for this in Unchained), but nonetheless has the Paladin class, do you require that Paladins be virtuous and noble? What if there's a metafictional reason why there may be other kinds of Paladins (e.g. 13th Age implies that the reason some Paladins are "merciless bastards" is that the Crusader, the icon most associated with the Paladin class, "came back wrong" in this cycle)?"

Personally I prefer that Paladins be always virtuous and noble, unless there's a good metafictional explanation that explains why that used to be the case but isn't anymore. "Just printing new mechanics" isn't enough for me, I need the "Paladins don't need to be LG anymore" to be backed up with fluff.


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Maybe I should make a Paladin Thread Bingo card. Anyways, to address the usual arguments as they always come:

Alignment As a Balancing Factor (or, The Munchkin Scum Just Want Divine Grace)
The Cleric and Warpriest are arguably more powerful and have a much more relaxed alignment restriction. The Barbarian is a close martial peer with a much looser alignment restriction (which also makes no sense, as it happens). Fighters have no alignment restriction, and people on this board will swear up and down that the Fighter is better than the Paladin now. Wizards famously have none. Furthermore, this is only a recently available excuse, as the 3e Paladin was a very weak class with the same restrictions.

Tradition
Back in the day Paladins could only be Humans, and you had to roll a minimum 17 CHA (with 3d6 in order) to even get the option (giving you a 1.85% chance to even have the option to be a Paladin). Monks had it even worse at 0.32% chance to qualify. There wasn't even a Good/Evil axis, only Law/Chaos, ripped off ported directly from Michael Moorcock. Paladins had only to be Lawful, Assassins were Neutral, and Monks had no alignment resriction. This puts paid to the claim that a Paladin can only be Lawful Good, and that definition cannot be changed, otherwise what you get is no longer a Paladin but a degenerate abomination of The Eternal Munchkin. Is your idea and enjoyment of the Ranger absolutely ruined by the fact they're no longer restricted to Good?

I Want Unambiguous Good And Evil
There is no reason your setting can't have that, without any reference to an alignment system. Most systems don't have alignment (for a good reason) and can run Holy Knights versus Dark Lords without a problem.

Actions Should Have Consequences
There is no reason your players' actions would suddenly stop having consequences—including a loss of divine blessing—just because the alignment system was removed. Again, most systems don't have alignment and they don't run into that problem.

Adherence to a Code Implies Law
Antipaladins, including the Chaotic Evil ones, must still adhere to a code. Clearly, one does not have to be Lawful to adhere to a code in general, nor does such adherence make one Lawful. If that were the case, Chaotic Good would be an impossible alignment to hold, as a commitment to Good requires adherence to a set of principles.

Alignment is Descriptive, not Prescriptive
A Paladin who wants to stay a Paladin must take care that his actions do not cause a change in alignment. Therefore his alignment is prescriptive, full stop. If all you want is a descriptor, just use words. No reference to an alignment system is necessary.

5e is Literally Hitler
While it's true 5e Paladins have no alignment restrictions, it'd be very hard to square any sort of evil behavior with any of the "core" Oaths. If it really bothers you that the strongly Lawful Evil-inclined Oath of Conquest Paladin from the latest splatbook is still called a Paladin, call it something else.

You Can Just Hourserule It
If the rule was changed in some future edition of Pathfinder, you could just as easily houserule it back.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I think we can really drill down on the "aversion to non-LG Paladins" issue with the following thought experiment:

"In a game that does not use alignment (e.g. there are rules for this in Unchained), but nonetheless has the Paladin class, do you require that Paladins be virtuous and noble? What if there's a metafictional reason why there may be other kinds of Paladins (e.g. 13th Age implies that the reason some Paladins are "merciless bastards" is that the Crusader, the icon most associated with the Paladin class, "came back wrong" in this cycle)?"

IMO they are required to follow their code, whatever that is. If "virtuous and noble" is in the code, then yes.


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Atheleon wrote:
ntipaladins, including the Chaotic Evil ones, must still adhere to a code.

I don't know if you've seen those codes , but they're very much loose guidelines that flat out say you can ignore them if you've got something deliciously evil in mind.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Atheleon wrote:
ntipaladins, including the Chaotic Evil ones, must still adhere to a code.
I don't know if you've seen those codes , but they're very much loose guidelines that flat out say you can ignore them if you've got something deliciously evil in mind.

I think the Antipaladin exists primarily as a (diagetic) mockery of the Paladin and thus shouldn't really be taken as indicative of how the Paladin should work.

It's very much Chaotic Evil to say "You know your best thing? We made a perverse version of it, so there!" while missing something important about the original thing since, well, CE.


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At it's core, it really is the same issue as "undead default to evil" and "druids can't wear metal".

It's the default flavor. Enough people like the default flavor for it to come with the base crunch. If you don't like it, extract it and replace it with your own seasoning. Don't be salty.

(Yes, I only dove into that analogy for the pun. I still don't really care about paladins in general, and all alignment restrictions I ran into so far were just sources of inspiration for backstory, but that is how I play, not how you have to play.)


graystone wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
graystone wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
graystone wrote:
HWalsh: your whole last post boils down to: You'd rage-quit if someone DARED to allow options you don't like... That IMO isn't 'growth', that's straight up playground rationalization.
Come on man, I don't think that's fair. We all have hangups that we'd walk from a table over. Who cares if his is non LG paladins?
But we aren't talking about HIS table. He said he'd walk if ANY table was allowed it. So I think it's 100% fair and accurate. He's saying that if people he doesn't even know are allowed to play non-LG paladins, he's taking his toys and going home...
Nice try, but no. What I said was if Paizo, as in the company, made this a thing in the official universe I'd walk away, and I would. I can proudly say I don't play 4th Edition because of how badly they screwed Paladins up (as well as other things) and although I do play in 1 5e game I don't play Paladins ever.
Yes, that's is what I said. If ANY table was allowed to have a non-LG paladin, you'd walk... I don't get the NO... You're literally saying that giving others options is enough to make you stop playing the game even though it'd has no impact on your table. Nothing in this post alters any of my posts in the least IMO.

I'm not sure you can understand my position, or if you are intentionally looking at it in a way as to marginalize it. I'll try one final time:

When I come into a game that is listed as "Pathfinder" and is played in the "Pathfinder Setting" or any official "Pathfinder Setting" that follows the traditional view of Paladins (IE the official one) then I know how Paladins are expected to act, what they represent, and more importantly how they can expect to be treated within the universe.

I enjoy those elements specifically and especially.

When/If Paizo ever decides to make Paladin "fluff-wise" "just a class" with nothing special regarding how they are generally expected to act, what they are expected to represent, and how they can expect to be treated within the universe then those things that make the game fun to me go away as a player.

Fortunately, since they made the Grey Paladin that is very (thankfully) unlikely.

So, if they were to change it, and I saw a game listed as "Pathfinder" and in a "Pathfinder Setting" and I know that Paladins are "Just a class" with nothing especially noteworthy about it, then, I would have less fun, and would seek to find a game of one of the many other systems I play where I would have more fun doing it. I would have little motivation to continue to support a product that I could not reasonably expect to have fun with unless I was the GM.

If I were, as you say, the type of person who would insist that they play "my way" I would approach any GM running any game I was interested in (much in the same manner that the anti-LG Paladins do) and ask that the GM change the game, and setting, specifically to suit me.

Since I don't feel that is fair for a player to do to a GM, I would not do that.

Instead your side of the debate is trying to change the game specifically to enhance your fun without thought that it might negatively impact the enjoyment of people already playing who were playing, in part, because of how the game is already structured.


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Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:
It's the default flavor. Enough people like the default flavor for it to come with the base crunch.

With this, it's a copy/paste of 3.5 and enough people liked an alternate flavor that that system made variant paladins...

I have no issue with a default LG: I'd just like to see more options to explore other alignments. It's much like I wouldn't say I'd storm off and never look at pathfinder again is there were options for non-evil undead and metal wearing druids. For instance, there are non-lawful monks and lawful barbarians and the sky didn't fall...

For me, it's easier to exclude rules I don't like than it is to include/invent rules that don't exist. Existing rules, even variant/optional, are available in a common online source that everyone can access. House-rules need some other place to house them and aren't as accessible.

HWalsh: I don't understand how you would be negatively impacted. At all. You'd STILL be able to play as you always have. You seem to see it as a perceived slight that others could have something you don't like. You're saying your "traditional view of Paladins" precludes any other view of paladins or you can't have fun: this is even if nothing stops you from keeping that "traditional view of Paladins".

And it's interesting that you mention the Grey Paladin: I'd think it would be enough for you to burn your books in fury that the name paladin was attached to something than could be non-good... It's the kind of options I'd like to see, except actually good [in quality].


Daw wrote:

While at my table, I am OK with people trying different things and pushing the boundaries. I should also point out that I also GM consequences. If you have an interesting idea that will work with the story and with the rest of the party, I will let you go with it. Consequences are still going to be a thing.

This, very much this.

One of the reasons I'm not sympathetic to the "paladins are just an excuse for GMs to arbitrarily take stuff away from players" argument is that a defined paladin code would seem to make GMs following through on negative consequences for player actions more predictable to the player, rather than less, because there is some specified standard beyond just the GM's judgment. (Not that I personally want to either play or GM in a situation where there is that little mutual trust.)


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graystone wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
"I would like to have a paladin, provided it weren't lawful-good." = "I would like to have a cat, provided it barked!"
"I would like to have a paladin, provided it didn't have an in game alignment debate baked in."

So...what's stopping you?

These guys have been around for seven years now.

...and these dudes for three.

You can call yourself a "paladin" all day long, and probably even get away with it in-game. (At least, until you run into a real one, and offend them.)

Be the cat that barks.


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Slim Jim wrote:
graystone wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
"I would like to have a paladin, provided it weren't lawful-good." = "I would like to have a cat, provided it barked!"
"I would like to have a paladin, provided it didn't have an in game alignment debate baked in."

So...what's stopping you?

These guys have been around for seven years now.

...and these dudes for three.

You can call yourself a "paladin" all day long, and probably even get away with it in-game. (At least, until you run into a real one, and offend them.)

Be the cat that barks.

Why doesn't the Cavalier have an alignment restriction?


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graystone wrote:

HWalsh: I don't understand how you would be negatively impacted. At all. You'd STILL be able to play as you always have. You seem to see it as a perceived slight that others could have something you don't like. You're saying your "traditional view of Paladins" precludes any other view of paladins or you can't have fun: this is even if nothing stops you from keeping that "traditional view of Paladins".

And it's interesting that you mention the Grey Paladin: I'd think it would be enough for you to burn your books in fury that the name paladin was attached to something than could be non-good... It's the kind of options I'd like to see, except actually good [in quality].

Okay, let me explain it... I guess more directly...

-----

So let us say you like a certain class. We will call this class the Paragon. The Paragon is good, all Paragons are good, anyone who is a Paragon is good. In the game's universe Paragons are accepted by the general population to be good, honest, and trustworthy. As such in roleplaying terms a Paragon has the ability to interact socially in a way other characters generally cannot.

A Paragon is considered an excellent witness, in universe, because everyone knows that not only don't they lie, they cannot lie, and to do so would cause them to lose their powers. Paragons of a specific level or higher are able to generate auras that others can feel. They can be examined by a very low level spell and display a literal aura of good. It is generally easy to find out if someone is, or is not, a Paragon.

While there are other specific kinds of Paragons that may, or may not, have those each of those has a specific name and can mechanically be differentiated.

Generally speaking when a Paragon enters a city that isn't filled with evil they are welcomed with open arms. They are known heroes, champions of good, and generally it is an accepted world fact that they aren't likely to cause many problems.

Or let us call those Paladins, because that is what they are.

Now, there are some off-shoots that do NOT get the same level of respect. Grey Paladins, Antipaladins, and the like are going to be treated differently. Even some Dwarven Paladins are caught in it because they may be seen as Paladins of Torag which are known to not follow the typical rules.

Regardless there is only one Paladin. There are Grey Paladins, Antipaladins, Empyreal Knights, and tons of other things known by the rules as Paladin Archetypes, but they are not the typical Paladin that is known throughout the land.

So, suddenly you get your way... How does the world change?

Paladins suddenly aren't excellent witnesses. They can totally lie. There is no reason to believe that they are actually usually truthful. So that aspect of what a traditional Paladin player can reasonably expect from the world is gone.

Paladins have no reason to be welcomed with open arms. As they aren't good as a rule, and there is no mechanical way to tell non-good Paladins apart, there is no reason why non-good Paladins wouldn't take advantage of the stereotype thus the stereotype would go away. That would be another aspect of what a traditional Paladin player can reasonably expect from the world that would be gone.

At which point there are no longer any universal preconceptions about Paladins. Which, to me, ruins a huge part of the fun of playing a Paladin.

Why?

Paladins are expected to live up to that ideal. Even when hurting, or in pain, they are expected to live up to it. If they aren't, all of a sudden, then that takes a dimension away from the Paladin.

I might as well, at that point, play a Warpriest, I'll get better powers and I'll have the same societal expectations as any other class, I can still be a warrior for whatever god I have chosen. There is no reason for me to play the Paladin simply for the BAB and the spells and the class features, it is largely their place in the setting and the narrative that draws me to them.


Slim Jim wrote:
graystone wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
"I would like to have a paladin, provided it weren't lawful-good." = "I would like to have a cat, provided it barked!"
"I would like to have a paladin, provided it didn't have an in game alignment debate baked in."

So...what's stopping you?

These guys have been around for seven years now.

...and these dudes for three.

You can call yourself a "paladin" all day long, and probably even get away with it in-game. (At least, until you run into a real one, and offend them.)

Be the cat that barks.

that's a cavalier and a warpriest not the same thing in the slightest, it would be like saying some one who wants to play a fighter should play a wizard instead which is just plain dumb


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Slim Jim wrote:
So...what's stopping you?

The game itself, ie the baked in part.

HWalsh wrote:
Okay, let me explain it... I guess more directly...

You really didn't have to. I can't see anything you could say would impact my opinion of your opinion. As paladins don't have nametags, Paladins aren't suddenly aren't excellent witnesses: they never HAVE been. In a world with easy lie detection spells, it's hardly an issue even if they were.

You seem to be under the impression that just being a paladin comes with some kind of ID and a big glowing sign. If paladins are seen as 'they can do no wrong', what's to stop people from pretending to be one? Or starting off as a paladin and then changing class/alignment later? You are reading MUCH more into the class that is presented in the actual books. Nothing instantly makes them 'known' and their reputation is much like any other adventurer: earned.

What exactly do you think allows everyone to KNOW someone is a current/active paladin? Is there a detect paladin spell I don't know about that everyone can cast?


I do agree with HWalsh here, at least for the most part. And yes, it's certainly possible to imitate being a paladin, but not so easily that it's regarded as a common possibility, at least in my opinion and likely a few others.

And in advance, let me just specify that I do like the idea of there being equivalents or similar classes/archetypes for other alignments, but I do want them to be distinctive enough that standard LG paladins are still what they are in terms of flavor.


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HWalsh wrote:
graystone wrote:

HWalsh: I don't understand how you would be negatively impacted. At all. You'd STILL be able to play as you always have. You seem to see it as a perceived slight that others could have something you don't like. You're saying your "traditional view of Paladins" precludes any other view of paladins or you can't have fun: this is even if nothing stops you from keeping that "traditional view of Paladins".

And it's interesting that you mention the Grey Paladin: I'd think it would be enough for you to burn your books in fury that the name paladin was attached to something than could be non-good... It's the kind of options I'd like to see, except actually good [in quality].

Okay, let me explain it... I guess more directly...

-----

So let us say you like a certain class. We will call this class the Paragon. The Paragon is good, all Paragons are good, anyone who is a Paragon is good. In the game's universe Paragons are accepted by the general population to be good, honest, and trustworthy. As such in roleplaying terms a Paragon has the ability to interact socially in a way other characters generally cannot.

A Paragon is considered an excellent witness, in universe, because everyone knows that not only don't they lie, they cannot lie, and to do so would cause them to lose their powers. Paragons of a specific level or higher are able to generate auras that others can feel. They can be examined by a very low level spell and display a literal aura of good. It is generally easy to find out if someone is, or is not, a Paragon.

While there are other specific kinds of Paragons that may, or may not, have those each of those has a specific name and can mechanically be differentiated.

Generally speaking when a Paragon enters a city that isn't filled with evil they are welcomed with open arms. They are known heroes, champions of good, and generally it is an accepted world fact that they aren't likely to cause many problems.

Or let us call those Paladins, because that is what they are.

Now, there are some off-shoots that do NOT get the same level of respect. Grey Paladins, Antipaladins, and the like are going to be treated differently. Even some Dwarven Paladins are caught in it because they may be seen as Paladins of Torag which are known to not follow the typical rules.

Regardless there is only one Paladin. There are Grey Paladins, Antipaladins, Empyreal Knights, and tons of other things known by the rules as Paladin Archetypes, but they are not the typical Paladin that is known throughout the land.

So, suddenly you get your way... How does the world change?

Paladins suddenly aren't excellent witnesses. They can totally lie. There is no reason to believe that they are actually usually truthful. So that aspect of what a traditional Paladin player can reasonably expect from the world is gone.

Paladins have no reason to be welcomed with open arms. As they aren't good as a rule, and there is no mechanical way to tell non-good Paladins apart, there is no reason why non-good Paladins wouldn't take advantage of the stereotype thus the stereotype would go away. That would be another aspect of what a traditional Paladin player can reasonably expect from the world that would be gone.

At which point there are no longer any universal preconceptions about Paladins. Which, to me, ruins a huge part of the fun of playing a Paladin.

Why?

Paladins are expected to live up to that ideal. Even when hurting, or in pain, they are expected to live up to it. If they aren't, all of a sudden, then that takes a dimension away from the Paladin.

I might as well, at that point, play a Warpriest, I'll get better powers and I'll have the same societal expectations as any other class, I can still be a warrior for whatever god I have chosen. There is no reason for me to play the Paladin simply for the BAB and the spells and the class features, it is largely their place in the setting and the narrative that draws me to them.

Except not all of this is universally true of paladins in every person's game. It is the way you tend to see them, not the way the material presents it.

Unless I am mistaken, I see nothing in the write up of the paladin that gives them some of the benefits that you describe above. The paladin doesn't have a floating sign above them that lets everyone know they are the GREATEST GOOD and should be given situational bonuses and respect.

They are not likely to cause many problems .. unless they find evil, in which case some of them may tear apart your city to root it out.

They may not lie, but that doesn't preclude them not telling the whole truth, not staying silent, or, perhaps more importantly, simply being wrong.

You have a view of the paladins but it is not the only view. Not every GM and player will see them as the greatest good, most devout, most trustworthy and so on. They are A force for good, not THE force.

It's sort of like discussing how Batman (or Wolverine or etc) can beat anyone because they are THE greatest hero, the most prepared, has the most heart, the most courage, and so on.

But GMs, players, and those living the worlds we create may differ. They may see representatives such as paladins as TOO zealot, too quick to judge, to quick to point out anything that goes against their view of Good and Evil as Wrong and something to be Punished.

As far as the Pathfinder game goes, not even different sects of paladins agree on everything.

There is no one way to play a paladin, and no one way to represent good .. or in the case of a theoretical class like the Paragon, to represent the tenets of one's creed or God.


most commoners probably wont give a rats ass about some one being a paladin instead of say a fighter in terms of how much they trust them, the only way to earn the trust of people in threw actions there is no way in hell a town will just auto trust a paladin who has little to no feats/deeds behind them, once they have built up a resume of things they've done sure but that's the same with literally any other class


If you guys believe that the strong morality implied on the paladin class is hard to deal with just try to make a heavy moral decissions (Mass Effect like) run and let me know how far your players can last without entering pvp mode.

Two sessions and I had to cancel the project because everyone wanted to be "Sheppard". Boy that was a really bad idea...


Lady-J wrote:
most commoners probably wont give a rats ass about some one being a paladin instead of say a fighter in terms of how much they trust them, the only way to earn the trust of people in threw actions there is no way in hell a town will just auto trust a paladin who has little to no feats/deeds behind them, once they have built up a resume of things they've done sure but that's the same with literally any other class

The rules and setting fluff specifically say otherwise Lady-J. Read the Paladin again. Don't just look at the stat block, read the Paladin class.


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Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
I do agree with HWalsh here, at least for the most part. And yes, it's certainly possible to imitate being a paladin, but not so easily that it's regarded as a common possibility, at least in my opinion and likely a few others.

How is it hard? What is there that's identifiable that JUST paladins have? Please, let me know, what tangible way is there to tell a paladin from a non-paladin?

HWalsh: Nothing under the paladin class states anything like you posted.

"Through a select, worthy few shines the power of the divine. Called paladins, these noble souls dedicate their swords and lives to the battle against evil. Knights, crusaders, and law-bringers, paladins seek not just to spread divine justice but to embody the teachings of the virtuous deities they serve. In pursuit of their lofty goals, they adhere to ironclad laws of morality and discipline. As reward for their righteousness, these holy champions are blessed with boons to aid them in their quests: powers to banish evil, heal the innocent, and inspire the faithful. Although their convictions might lead them into conflict with the very souls they would save, paladins weather endless challenges of faith and dark temptations, risking their lives to do right and fighting to bring about a brighter future."

Nothing there about how the populace sees them or how they are peerless witnesses: that's all you. Do you have a quote to back up what you're saying? I don't see anything about 'everyone trusts them without reserve'...


HWalsh wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
most commoners probably wont give a rats ass about some one being a paladin instead of say a fighter in terms of how much they trust them, the only way to earn the trust of people in threw actions there is no way in hell a town will just auto trust a paladin who has little to no feats/deeds behind them, once they have built up a resume of things they've done sure but that's the same with literally any other class
The rules and setting fluff specifically say otherwise Lady-J. Read the Paladin again. Don't just look at the stat block, read the Paladin class.

built in fluff means dick all all that matters is the way the player themselves interacts with the world if your going to rely on pre made fluff you may as well just play a pre made character or even just let your gm play your character for you


Lady-J wrote:
that's a cavalier and a warpriest not the same thing in the slightest, it would be like saying some one who wants to play a fighter should play a wizard instead which is just plain dumb

What is it that you want from a paladin that you can't get from those two classes?

The only thing I can think of would be 4th grade casting, in which case there's probably a ranger archetype for it.
Lady-J wrote:
built in fluff means dick all all that matters is the way the player themselves interacts with the world if your going to rely on pre made fluff you may as well just play a pre made character or even just let your gm play your character for you

Yeah, it's not like anyone ever cared for the setting material.

(This is sarcasm)


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It is fine to have that sort of thing as the default of your home brew setting. However, it is giving the paladins a lot of social power that isn't baked into the class.

What you are describing is something akin to how, say, the Heralds of Valdemar are seen by the population in large part. Which, again, is fine if that is what you want to do. But the default setting doesn't grant them any sort of situational bonuses or any special recognition that others wouldn't get.


Can anybody reference the recall intruiges table from Spymaster's Handbook? It's supposed to have the DC for recognizing class features, but the table itself is absent on the SRD.


Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
that's a cavalier and a warpriest not the same thing in the slightest, it would be like saying some one who wants to play a fighter should play a wizard instead which is just plain dumb

What is it that you want from a paladin that you can't get from those two classes?

The only thing I can think of would be 4th grade casting, in which case there's probably a ranger archetype for it.

that entirely depends on what type of character i'm making, for some characters i desire base paladin abilities plus what tempered champion gives, some characters i want touch of corruption so i pick anti paladin, other times i want lay on hands so i pick paladin, some times i want the enlightened paladin for its immunity to making me roll 2 times and take the lower result, for some character i do it for divine grace some i do it for immunity to diseases and fear some i do it for the weapon bond and full bab that i cant get with magus the reasons for going paladin are plenty and diverse depending on the character while other times i just forgo paladin for other options that are far better


Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:
]What is it that you want from a paladin that you can't get from those two classes?

That's kind of like asking 'why can't you play a warrior instead of a fighter'. Sure, you could but it doesn't have the abilities you want or and takes longer to achieve what you want.


The Sideromancer wrote:
Can anybody reference the recall intruiges table from Spymaster's Handbook? It's supposed to have the DC for recognizing class features, but the table itself is absent on the SRD.

10+level the class gets the ability. However, that doesn't help much as the paladin doesn't have any unique visible abilities.

Aura of good: divine caster have it.
Smite Evil: Vigilante Zealot can do that.
Lay On Hands: Oracle [Pei Zin Practitioner] can do that.
Mercy: Kinetic Chirurgeon can do that.
Channel Positive Energy: cleric
Divine bond: Antipaladin [Insinuator]
Aura's [not visible and only affects allies]

Is there a detect class ability?


graystone wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:
Can anybody reference the recall intruiges table from Spymaster's Handbook? It's supposed to have the DC for recognizing class features, but the table itself is absent on the SRD.

10+level the class gets the ability. However, that doesn't help much as the paladin doesn't have any unique visible abilities.

Aura of good: divine caster have it.
Smite Evil: Vigilante Zealot can do that.
Lay On Hands: Oracle [Pei Zin Practitioner] can do that.
Mercy: Kinetic Chirurgeon can do that.
Channel Positive Energy: cleric
Divine bond: Antipaladin [Insinuator]
Aura's [not visible and only affects allies]

Is there a detect class ability?

Yes, technically other classes can mimic all these things. It would take a bizarre multiclass abomination to not just get one or two. And STILL take class levels at the minimum, and dedicating those class levels to being a fake paladin. And in many of those cases, it takes your deity being chill with their blessings being used to deceive people.

No, I don't think people feigning being paladins would be a routine occurrence. For a comparison, maybe consider that anyone could put on a blue shirt and a badge, but many people still commonly respect or at least listen to policemen. Why aren't we more concerned about fake police?


10+lvl, in other words, at least 11. Cutoff for untrained knowledge check is 10. The implications are clear.


knightnday wrote:

It is fine to have that sort of thing as the default of your home brew setting. However, it is giving the paladins a lot of social power that isn't baked into the class.

What you are describing is something akin to how, say, the Heralds of Valdemar are seen by the population in large part. Which, again, is fine if that is what you want to do. But the default setting doesn't grant them any sort of situational bonuses or any special recognition that others wouldn't get.

No. I am describing the game setting for Pathfinder. That is the default. When you deviate from that it is called homebrewing.

Thus in your homebrew setting it is fine to have that sort of thing not be the default. In the non-homebrew setting that is the default.


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HWalsh wrote:
knightnday wrote:

It is fine to have that sort of thing as the default of your home brew setting. However, it is giving the paladins a lot of social power that isn't baked into the class.

What you are describing is something akin to how, say, the Heralds of Valdemar are seen by the population in large part. Which, again, is fine if that is what you want to do. But the default setting doesn't grant them any sort of situational bonuses or any special recognition that others wouldn't get.

No. I am describing the game setting for Pathfinder. That is the default. When you deviate from that it is called homebrewing.

Thus in your homebrew setting it is fine to have that sort of thing not be the default. In the non-homebrew setting that is the default.

When, with no houseruling, commoners won't even know what a paladin does?


If you know exactly what you want from the paladin, then what's stopping you from just filling off the serial number/unwanted parts?

Primarily, you'd need a new code, fitting whatever new alignment you want. The alignment spells and abilities (Detect x, Smite y...) need to be replaced, but they usually come in sets of four anyway, one for each alignment.

If you don’t care for the flavor, why not replace it?

It's exactly the kind of "find and replace" reskining that "Paladin = LG" people dislike, but it's fine for houserules.


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HWalsh wrote:
knightnday wrote:

It is fine to have that sort of thing as the default of your home brew setting. However, it is giving the paladins a lot of social power that isn't baked into the class.

What you are describing is something akin to how, say, the Heralds of Valdemar are seen by the population in large part. Which, again, is fine if that is what you want to do. But the default setting doesn't grant them any sort of situational bonuses or any special recognition that others wouldn't get.

No. I am describing the game setting for Pathfinder. That is the default. When you deviate from that it is called homebrewing.

Thus in your homebrew setting it is fine to have that sort of thing not be the default. In the non-homebrew setting that is the default.

Page numbers? Where is the bits on all of this? I've poured over the various editions of D&D and Pathfinder and I seem to be missing these pieces of information.

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