Why all the Paladin hate?


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
10-15% of the time no its more like 85-95% of the time ive had more combat encounters with good aligned things then i have with evil aligned things yes the paladin is going to do good in combat if the dm serves evil creatures to them on a silver platter but a majority of the time that's not going to be the case

With all due respect, by my standards your games are really weird. I've been in this hobby since the 80s and I cannot tell you the last time I fought a good aligned creature; I cannot be sure it has *ever* happened to me.

I mean, if something with a good alignment is in your way, why not try to talk to it first and see if you can reach some sort of understanding or mutually beneficial arrangement? At the very least the *good* aligned individual should not want to *kill* you without a good reason you were in position to avoid.

1st i'm going to completely ignore any fights during our way of the wicked campaign as they would just scew things, i've fought probably about a dozen and a half more good creatures then evil ones, most evil i've come across is a fight to kill has been a boss fight of some kind we have also had fights vs good creatures as boss fights, the amount of non boss fights that were evil is maybe in the double digits(we killed a bunch of mindless undead one time in a campaign were all undead are evil) but most things we fight and kill are of neutral alignment as that's what most animals/aberrations are we talk and try and diplomasise with most sentient things we deem reasonable if they are not diplomicyable or don't get out of our and there is no other way to deal with the situation they are either restrained or they die this goes for creatures of any alignment and evil is often more willing to be swayed by diplomacy or intimidate now just cuz you fight something doesn't mean you have to kill it and yes we have killed more evil things then good thing but we have most definitely fought more good things then evil things and fought and killed more neutral things then either good or evil


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@ Ryan Freire: How about we understand why you think that a GM imposing their interpretation of a Paladin's Code of Conduct different from the Player's interpretation is always a case of badwrongfun on the GM's behalf, when that may very well not be the case at all. (It's very possible that the Paladin player is running amok because he thinks the GM won't reign him in with his Code of Conduct; I've seen it happen before, most recently I might add.)

With that goal in mind, let's start with a very simple question: What, in your opinion, is the point of the Paladin Code of Conduct?

Why do you think the Pathfinder developers published the Code of Conduct for a Paladin, if you aren't of the opinion that it's not a tool for the GM to utilize (or even at the very least, for a playstyle that a player is meant to uphold)?


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
10-15% of the time no its more like 85-95% of the time ive had more combat encounters with good aligned things then i have with evil aligned things yes the paladin is going to do good in combat if the dm serves evil creatures to them on a silver platter but a majority of the time that's not going to be the case

That sounds like a problem with you running Evil campaigns all the time.

Almost every time I've fought enemies, they are Evil aligned when I am Good aligned. Unless they're a random animal or vermin on the trail (which is more often than you think), chances are they were Evil when we fought them, and if they weren't, then they were either a type that is physically incapable of being Evil (such as animals or vermin), or were Good and as such, was solved by using Diplomatic measures. A Paladin with high Charisma can certainly attempt an unranked Diplomacy check and at least have a good chance of succeeding that way. I mean, Paladins in your campaigns probably have 80 billion Charisma, which is ~over 30 billion to their modifier, so I think it's possible, assuming you don't have a ~100 billion DC for adjusting attitudes.

Even when I was in an Evil Campaign, there are numerous enemies that are Evil, but at least in an Evil Campaign, I've faced several Good aligned enemies as well, and several of them were noteworthy adversaries to said Campaign.

only one person in our party is evil, there is also one good aligned person the rest are all neutral and the hyperbole is not needed in any way shape or forum


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Ryan Freire wrote:
graystone wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Only if your GM is trash

Or has a different POV: It's quite rare for two people to have the exact same POV on what is or isn't good or evil and the paladin class forces a DM to make them fall at the slightest/smallest evil from the DM's perspective even if it doesn't match what the paladin view it as.

When a class balances out it abilities with a roleplaying limitation, it's disingenuous to to blame the DM for using it. The class actively enables/encourages that kind of 'testing' of the characters morals.

And if your GM kafkatraps you with the kind of interpretations discussed in this thread, or pounces on making your character fall for otherwise reasonable actions with no prior warning they're a bad gm. And you don't even seem to understand what disingenuous means so maybe don't use it in an effort to lend weight to your argument when what you seem to mean is unfair.

there is no warning to falling if you do an evil act you fall right then and there no ands, ifs or buts


Lady-J wrote:
...we have killed more evil things then good thing but we have most definitely fought more good things then evil things...

I'd like to point out that based on your reply, this section right here sounds paradoxical. You state that you've killed more evil than good, but fought more good than evil, which, based on a casual reading, is basically a case of Schrodinger's Cat.

Sure, maybe the possibility is that you've had more Good encounters result in capture or surrender, but that's betrayed by you stating that Evil is more likely to be diplomatically resolved or killed than Good prior to this statement, which means logically speaking, you should have more killing in Good encounters than Evil encounters (and if it's Way of the Wicked, this would be more sensible than the other way around based on certain sections of the campaign), so that doesn't possibly make any sense either.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
...we have killed more evil things then good thing but we have most definitely fought more good things then evil things...

I'd like to point out that based on your reply, this section right here sounds paradoxical. You state that you've killed more evil than good, but fought more good than evil, which, based on a casual reading, is basically a case of Schrodinger's Cat.

Sure, maybe the possibility is that you've had more Good encounters result in capture or surrender, but that's betrayed by you stating that Evil is more likely to be diplomatically resolved or killed than Good prior to this statement, which means logically speaking, you should have more killing in Good encounters than Evil encounters (and if it's Way of the Wicked, this would be more sensible than the other way around based on certain sections of the campaign), so that doesn't possibly make any sense either.

you don't have to kill something when fighting it, most evil things we killed were mindless and thus could not be diplomasised or were just crazy as all hell and also could not be diplomasised there for more evil kills(for now), most good aligned things fight us because they were ordered to by a master/leader of some kind who just doesn't like us or because they are just dicks, or we fight them because no matter what else we do they wont get out of our way thus more fights vs good, and if you read just a couple posts above you will see that i've said i'm not counting the way of the wicked campaign as that would scew numbers to much

Grand Lodge

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Oh this thread is alive again? Goody.

I'll offer the usual reminder that it's pointless to argue Paladin Code and Alignment with Lady-J due to their atypical view of morality which causes Paladins to fall as soon as they kill someone.

Lady-J wrote:
Faelyn wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
killing people is evil no matter who is doing it however it is necessary in some cases but that's part of human nature every one is capable of great good but they are also capable of great evil
That's your opinion, it is not a universal fact. I would agree that murder is evil, but killing by default is not. These two things are not by any means the same thing.
that's what murder is killing some one


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Jurassic Pratt wrote:

Oh this thread is alive again? Goody.

I'll offer the usual reminder that it's pointless to argue Paladin Code and Alignment with Lady-J due to their atypical view of morality which causes Paladins to fall as soon as they kill someone.

Lady-J wrote:
Faelyn wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
killing people is evil no matter who is doing it however it is necessary in some cases but that's part of human nature every one is capable of great good but they are also capable of great evil
That's your opinion, it is not a universal fact. I would agree that murder is evil, but killing by default is not. These two things are not by any means the same thing.
that's what murder is killing some one

there's also a plethora of other normal adventure things that a paladin would fall for doing or not doing the paladin code as written is unworkable.


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Lady-J wrote:
there's also a plethora of other normal adventure things that a paladin would fall for doing or not doing the paladin code as written is unworkable.

I mean one of the people I play with is literally a moral philosophy professor, and I'm pretty sure she would disagree with you here. In my experience, the Paladin will only fall for doing "normal adventurer things" if:

- Your GM has an atypical view of how alignment works.
- Your group has an atypical view of what constitutes "normal" adventurer things.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


A Paladin's 2nd level class feature outpaces any feature the Fighter gets in that regard. The same goes for several other Paladin features, such as their immunities to Fear, Disease, Charm, Compulsion, Poison...the list goes on. And Lay On Hands, which can basically be an almost At-Will Heal with the proper specialization, means the Paladin can fight for much longer periods of time than a Fighter ever could.

Honestly, the only reason a Fighter would be better than a Paladin would be if the Paladin is facing non-Evil creatures, which is maybe 10-15% of the time. And even then, the Paladin isn't so far behind that he's beyond useless, and the Fighter would only beat the Paladin on the offensive front. Several of the Paladin's defensive options will still apply, and therefore put the Fighter's lack of them to shame.

This.

Of all the characters I've played... Sorcerer included, My paladin was the most powerful of them all. Offensively he was fairly decent, perhaps not the best, but certainly not the worse... but DEFENSIVELY?!? His AC was high, his saves were insane, he could channel and he could lay on hands as a swift action?! Immune to fear, to charm, to disease... Excellent hit points. And this was just a basic build. I have a powergamer in the group who kept getting frustrated with me because I suck at optimizing and I 'Could have been so much MORE...' But as it stands, he did REALLY well right out the gate.

Every thing that came after him just couldn't hurt him. He rarely used his Smites... because I was always afraid there was another bigger badder threat behind the next door... but he was a monster of a character. Anyone who says the Paladin isn't powerful must be doing something wrong. Paladin Spells can be awesome, but I frankly just used Heroes Defiance and the Angelic Aspect spells for a sweet 'protection from death' and DR and wings...

As for fighting 'Good' things?? That only happened once or twice. There were a bunch of neutral things... but GOOD things should be able to be talked down or avoided somehow. But every demon, devil, undead thing we fought are automatically smiteable. Bandits?? They are grey area, but if they're robbing and pillaging, then they should be considered evil too. And yeah, that's usually a huge section of our combats.


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I would venture that perhaps Lady-J is underestimating the power the Paladin brings to bear with legitimately excellent defense because her games are at the very extreme ends of "how powerful characters can be" so that defense is less necessary as death is less likely when everybody has a Constitution, Dex, and Wisdom of like 25.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I would venture that perhaps Lady-J is underestimating the power the Paladin brings to bear with legitimately excellent defense because her games are at the very extreme ends of "how powerful characters can be" so that defense is less necessary as death is less likely when everybody has a Constitution, Dex, and Wisdom of like 25.

And frankly the feeling i get from people who contribute to this stuff is that they're constantly playing in games where the gm is an outright antagonist to the players, looking for any underhanded method to screw their characters over. Constantly setting no-win-always-gonna-fall-no-matter-your-choice-unless-you-let-your-characte r-die traps for people who dare to play a paladin in your campaign is s+&$ty gming, you can weasel around about rp hooks baked into the class all you want, or exist in some weird alternate moral universe where the simple act of adventuring is evil but its just s$++ gming to consistently use that as an excuse to negate a class you don't like or screw with a players character just because. And its s##@ gming to put your pc's in no win situations where the stakes are "your character is useless til you shell out gold and do a side quest"


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I would venture that perhaps Lady-J is underestimating the power the Paladin brings to bear with legitimately excellent defense because her games are at the very extreme ends of "how powerful characters can be" so that defense is less necessary as death is less likely when everybody has a Constitution, Dex, and Wisdom of like 25.

And frankly the feeling i get from people who contribute to this stuff is that they're constantly playing in games where the gm is an outright antagonist to the players, looking for any underhanded method to screw their characters over. Constantly setting no-win-always-gonna-fall-no-matter-your-choice-unless-you-let-your-characte r-die traps for people who dare to play a paladin in your campaign is s%+%ty gming, you can weasel around about rp hooks baked into the class all you want, or exist in some weird alternate moral universe where the simple act of adventuring is evil but its just s~*$ gming to consistently use that as an excuse to negate a class you don't like or screw with a players character just because. And its s@!# gming to put your pc's in no win situations where the stakes are "your character is useless til you shell out gold and do a side quest"


Lady-J wrote:
10-15% of the time no its more like 85-95% of the time ive had more combat encounters with good aligned things then i have with evil aligned things yes the paladin is going to do good in combat if the dm serves evil creatures to them on a silver platter but a majority of the time that's not going to be the case fighter also gets 2 times the feats so they can get their build up and running a lot sooner and gets better dpr vs everything vs a neish damage vs evil

Most games are about good aligned, or good leaning, parties. You play evil parties mostly, it seems, so you are an outlier. Heck, in the games I run I don't even allow evil PCs and that isn't an uncommon rule. I don't even think in PFS you can play an evil character.


HWalsh wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
10-15% of the time no its more like 85-95% of the time ive had more combat encounters with good aligned things then i have with evil aligned things yes the paladin is going to do good in combat if the dm serves evil creatures to them on a silver platter but a majority of the time that's not going to be the case fighter also gets 2 times the feats so they can get their build up and running a lot sooner and gets better dpr vs everything vs a neish damage vs evil
Most games are about good aligned, or good leaning, parties. You play evil parties mostly, it seems, so you are an outlier. Heck, in the games I run I don't even allow evil PCs and that isn't an uncommon rule. I don't even think in PFS you can play an evil character.

we play neutral parties


How does a "neutral party" have an evil character in it?

Neutrality is a principled moral stance, not "as much good as there is evil."


"neutral" parties. Where most of the acts that they do on adventures qualify as evil acts.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
there's also a plethora of other normal adventure things that a paladin would fall for doing or not doing the paladin code as written is unworkable.

I mean one of the people I play with is literally a moral philosophy professor, and I'm pretty sure she would disagree with you here. In my experience, the Paladin will only fall for doing "normal adventurer things" if:

- Your GM has an atypical view of how alignment works.
- Your group has an atypical view of what constitutes "normal" adventurer things.

killing is evil, orphaning children is evil, if you want to remedy that evil by killing the children that is evil, ignoring people in need to save the relm is evil, spending time that should be devoted to saving the relm to help those in need is also evil, war is evil, mass eradication of a species is evil the damning of souls to hell is evil, these are all normal adventuring actions done pretty much every day.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

How does a "neutral party" have an evil character in it?

Neutrality is a principled moral stance, not "as much good as there is evil."

there is more to evil then just heinous acts and yes its a neutral party we have 6 people with neutral alignment, 1 with good alignment and one with evil alignment the party is also more neutral on the law and chaos scale too, 2 players with lawful alignment and 2 with a chaotic alignment

Grand Lodge

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Lady-J wrote:
killing is evil, orphaning children is evil, if you want to remedy that evil by killing the children that is evil, ignoring people in need to save the relm is evil, spending time that should be devoted to saving the relm to help those in need is also evil, war is evil, mass eradication of a species is evil the damning of souls to hell is evil, these are all normal adventuring actions done pretty much every day.

The thread that keeps on giving. Thanks for a new quote Lady-J :)


yawn.... this thread is stupid and I feel even more stupid to keep reading it every other day.

butI do have something to add.

back when Neverwinter Nights came out and the home made adventures there was the witches wake one that made the pcs take two cards.

the one that paladins always got was a portal/door card that said something about always looking through the keyhole and not seeing the big picture or having a very narrow outlook.
or somesuch on that line

moving on...

thank you and good night or morning or afternoon


So is a party with consisting of characters who are LN, NG, CN, and NE a "neutral party" since I sure don't think so. Those are all potentially extreme arguments since LN can be "law over everything" and NG can be "good over everything" etc.

Also, the thing about ethical reasoning is that "context matters a lot". It's convenient to say "killing is evil" but there are certainly instances of killing which are forgivable- for self-defense, as euthanasia, possibly in context of war or carrying out a sentence for a particularly heinous criminal. These are not solved philosophical problems (philosophical problems are rarely solved), but they're at least sticky enough to make arguments on either side and the whole ludic value of having an alignment system is to get people to think about ethical dilemmas and work them out from the perspective of their characters (who may not share the same values of the player.) Remember that working through ethical conundrums in a low-stakes, supportive environment can be very entertaining, particularly when you're playing with whip-smart people. This is specifically why I like playing Paladins- because "how do I remain a good person" is more interesting to me to ponder than "how do I become powerful and wealthy".

So I don't think we can draw bright line standards like "orphaning someone is evil" because, for example if I defend myself against the cut-throat trying to assassinate me in my sleep and this ends up requiring lethal force, I'm not exactly in a position to know while I'm struggling for my life whether or not they have kids and have taken steps to ensure that they're cared for if the whole "assassination business" doesn't go so well. Maybe the newly orphaned waifs were in the clutches of some horrible demon cult and the PCs are in position to improve their lives dramatically. Plus, If people's souls are doomed to some unfortunate afterlife because of their actions in life, that is hardly the responsibility of the person who brought that life to an end since they could have just "been better people" in theory.

But I find it interesting that the default ethical position of most people is naïve utilitarianism- basically maximize happiness while minimizing pain. Lady-J appears to be advocating for a position of *really* naïve utilitarianism- maximize happiness while causing absolutely no pain whatsoever. I just do not think this is workable.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

So is a party with consisting of characters who are LN, NG, CN, and NE a "neutral party" since I sure don't think so. Those are all potentially extreme arguments since LN can be "law over everything" and NG can be "good over everything" etc.

Also, the thing about ethical reasoning is that "context matters a lot". It's convenient to say "killing is evil" but there are certainly instances of killing which are forgivable- for self-defense, as euthanasia, possibly in context of war or carrying out a sentence for a particularly heinous criminal. These are not solved philosophical problems (philosophical problems are rarely solved), but they're at least sticky enough to make arguments on either side and the whole ludic value of having an alignment system is to get people to think about ethical dilemmas and work them out from the perspective of their characters (who may not share the same values of the player.) Remember that working through ethical conundrums in a low-stakes, supportive environment can be very entertaining, particularly when you're playing with whip-smart people. This is specifically why I like playing Paladins- because "how do I remain a good person" is more interesting to me to ponder than "how do I become powerful and wealthy".

So I don't think we can draw bright line standards like "orphaning someone is evil" because, for example if I defend myself against the cut-throat trying to assassinate me in my sleep and this ends up requiring lethal force, I'm not exactly in a position to know while I'm struggling for my life whether or not they have kids and have taken steps to ensure that they're cared for if the whole "assassination business" doesn't go so well. Maybe the newly orphaned waifs were in the clutches of some horrible demon cult and the PCs are in position to improve their lives dramatically. Plus, If people's souls are doomed to some unfortunate afterlife because of their actions in life, that is hardly the responsibility of the person who brought that life to an end since they could have just "been better people" in theory.

But I find it interesting that the default ethical position of most people is naïve utilitarianism- basically maximize happiness while minimizing pain. Lady-J appears to be advocating for a position of *really* naïve utilitarianism- maximize happiness while causing absolutely no pain whatsoever. I just do not think this is workable.

1 you don't need to know that the act you are doing is evil for it to be evil and 2 just because some one gets sent to a bad afterlife doesn't mean they were a bad person while they were alive


So there's no ethical difference between, for example, accidentally killing someone and intentionally killing someone? Or indeed between accidentally killing someone and intentionally killing someone for a petty or trivial reason? Literally the only thing that matters in the ethical calculus is that because you took an action, someone has ended up dead?

Like the person who pushes the plunger to demolish a building who accidentally kills someone who was hiding in the walls of the building having eluded inspectors and ignored postings that the building was to be condemned is every bit as evil as the person who kills someone else because they don't like the color shirt they other person was wearing? Really?


PossibleCabbage wrote:

In my experience, the Paladin will only fall for doing "normal adventurer things" if:

- Your GM has an atypical view of how alignment works.
- Your group has an atypical view of what constitutes "normal" adventurer things.

I'll second that. I played a halfling paladin/rogue multiclass for two years in PFS under many GMs. I bluffed, I sneak-attacked, and I even picked a pocket a few times. But only after flipping the ol' high-beams to see who was nice and who was naughty. I wasn't a chaotic-neutral player trying to pass off BS under the mantle of righteousness.

Quoting verbatim my response in a similar thread:

Quote:

Dont be that GM

Please please please dont be that GM.

...and exactly one post later this same person was suggesting that the OP pepper the campaign with temptations for the paladin to fall (but it'll always be his choice, of course).

In other words, to be precisely "that GM" that grates on the nerves of players of paladins.

- Just, for once, I'd like to klonk something bad on the head and feel good about doing a good job just like that other guy with twice as many feats, and then go to town and enjoy a good brew without 90% of my OOC roleplaying hooks involving how I have to choose between maintaining my honor but risk some sod going to the gallows, or save his ass with certainty but risk falling. (Imagine being a cavalier in which 90% of your OOC roleplaying involves having to deal with a colicky, incontinent horse when you'd rather be romancing the ladies.)

Has any GM, ever, tempted the barbarian to "fall" lawful? I wonder. (Speaking of other classes that routinely out-damage paladins...)

In an "evil-heavy" AP, does a paladin rock? Sure, until he's out of smites, which isn't very long, because, in one of those great twists of irony, in an evil-heavy campaign, you tend to use them all, and then discover that the last guy you just put down wasn't the Boss Bad after all, but instead just another lieutenant.

Liberty's Edge

I agree that the paladin shouldn't be balanced by rp stipulations, but I don't really understand the feeling of inadequacy here. It's a good class, better than core fighter and usually better than core barbarian, and it's still good even in those corner cases where it's out of smites for the day.

E: Aha, I missed your link at first. I assumed you were referring to fighters with the "twice as many feats" dig, but it seems like you meant archer rangers. Which I agree with; a paladin is going to have a really hard time eclipsing an archer ranger's damage output (and possibly also flexibility).


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Slim Jim wrote:


[
- Just, for once, I'd like to klonk something bad on the head and feel good about doing a good job just like that other guy with twice as many feats, and then go to town and enjoy a good brew without 90% of my OOC roleplaying hooks involving how I have to choose between maintaining my honor but risk some sod going to the gallows, or save his ass with certainty but risk falling.

In all seriousness, this a thousand times. I never got the premise that every roleplaying hook involving a paladin has to revolve around the g@$~$+n code. Why can't the paladin get some personal hooks around gathering the perfect ingredients for the ultimate ale (for dwarves), or finding the six fingered man who could prove that his disgraced family was framed, or suddenly inherit a forgotten village in the hinterlands from an unknown relative? Why does everything need to be the GM trying to force fall situations? I don't recall people encouraging setting up potential catch 22s to tempt the Cayden Cailen Cleric into making a halfling slave ring or trying to get the druid to strip mine the sacred mountain for the greater good. Why do they get freedom of plot hooks but not the paladin?


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:


[
- Just, for once, I'd like to klonk something bad on the head and feel good about doing a good job just like that other guy with twice as many feats, and then go to town and enjoy a good brew without 90% of my OOC roleplaying hooks involving how I have to choose between maintaining my honor but risk some sod going to the gallows, or save his ass with certainty but risk falling.

In all seriousness, this a thousand times. I never got the premise that every roleplaying hook involving a paladin has to revolve around the g+#!%@n code. Why can't the paladin get some personal hooks around gathering the perfect ingredients for the ultimate ale (for dwarves), or finding the six fingered man who could prove that his disgraced family was framed, or suddenly inherit a forgotten village in the hinterlands from an unknown relative? Why does everything need to be the GM trying to force fall situations? I don't recall people encouraging setting up potential catch 22s to tempt the Cayden Cailen Cleric into making a halfling slave ring or trying to get the druid to strip mine the sacred mountain for the greater good. Why do they get freedom of plot hooks but not the paladin?

This is my point, the "Does the paladin fall" plot hook needs to be used sparingly to begin with. It loses impact if every session is the paladins player wrestling with a moral dilemma And for the OOC sake of everyone at the table having a good time the GM has to have a certain level of good faith offered to the paladins player, or be willing to offer warnings that the behavior is approaching a line. By far most of the games with paladins in them i've been in have handled it like this and it works juts fine.


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The only times I've ever been at a table where "does the Paladin fall and then what?" was a major narrative issue is when the player playing the Paladin decided that was what she or he wanted to have in the story of their character.

Scarab Sages

PossibleCabbage wrote:

How does a "neutral party" have an evil character in it?

Neutrality is a principled moral stance, not "as much good as there is evil."

Depends on the person looking at it I think. Laying aside the whole 1 LG, 1 LE and 3 N characters would make the party neutral on average issue not everyone treats neutral as a balance point. I'm not saying it can't be one but in real life a lot of neutral people aren't neutral because they want to maintain a great balance of good and evil but simply because they aren't commited enough to anything to be an alignment. They'll do various good acts without thinking about it then when its easy and convenient they'll do evil ones. Lend a hand to someone in trouble, complain if a store clerk gives them wrong change in the stores favor but pocket the extra if the error's in theirs. Lie to get ahead at a job then chuck a few coins at a begger as they'd had a good day with the promotion.

Also I agree the whole killing/adventurer acts is not that black and white. I mean what if while adventuring you came across Rapunzel from tangled. Kidnaped, kept from her parents and used so her magic hair can keep someone young and alive for well until she dies of old age since she's growing up. If you rescue her you essetially kill the kidnapper because they'll grow old and die in day's, if you don't she remains locked up in a tower hidden from the world?

Alternatively a powerful and beloved wizard is powering his magic by killing the orphaned children he rescues? You have found this out, what do you do? No one will believer you if you speak ill of him because he's a war hero and a beloved charitable noble.


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I've only played Paladin a few times, and for the most part I wasn't treated differently outside of one time. And I'll share that as I feel it's a good way to do it.

After running the session and after packing up, the GM would talk with me about some key points and ask me to defend my actions, usually over food. Rather than stopping the game to go "why" and halt game for others. So I'd defend my actions in character or how I perceived things. If the GM agreed no problem. If he didn't accept it he'd explain his view and give me a mark. Granted he let me remove marks by helping the weak and defenseless, praying at temples, usual Paladin stuff or going beyond normal adventuring stuff.

It lead to me thinking more as the character and grew to see him as an actual person than just a sheet.


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MerlinCross wrote:

I've only played Paladin a few times, and for the most part I wasn't treated differently outside of one time. And I'll share that as I feel it's a good way to do it.

After running the session and after packing up, the GM would talk with me about some key points and ask me to defend my actions, usually over food. Rather than stopping the game to go "why" and halt game for others. So I'd defend my actions in character or how I perceived things. If the GM agreed no problem. If he didn't accept it he'd explain his view and give me a mark. Granted he let me remove marks by helping the weak and defenseless, praying at temples, usual Paladin stuff or going beyond normal adventuring stuff.

It lead to me thinking more as the character and grew to see him as an actual person than just a sheet.

This is good GMing.


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I disagree. The idea behind that isn't very well thought out and gives players a means to cheese it if they know what it takes to get a mark, and how much of Paladin Stuff they need to do to get rid of them, making them able to do bad without any consequence as long as it's done in moderation.

It's the same argument behind why most everyone thinks the "Cast PFG enough times and You're Evil" rule is stupid and arbitrary.

You also can't have a GM explain his side of a moral argument and expect the player to adhere or even care to understand the GMs perspective, much less expect him to follow it if his vision is different than the GMs.


Ryan Freire wrote:
And frankly the feeling i get from people who contribute to this stuff is that they're constantly playing in games where the gm is an outright antagonist to the players, looking for any underhanded method to screw their characters over.

It's not that it happens all the time or even most of the time but often enough that it's not worth the gamble. When it's an issue, it's usually the 'table flipping'/game ending type of issue...

For perspective, I play online and most times with a new DM each time. I don't have the luxury of knowing the ins and outs of their gameplay or their thought on good and evil. If I want a good time, I don't pick options that are tempting fate line a paladin's code does... :P


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We've already established that most of the regular "paladin" and "alignment" thread posters have antagonistic gm relationships and/or gms who deliberately torpedo paladins based on a dislike for the alignment system

Just because it doesn't mesh with the bad gming y'all are used to doesn't make it bad.

1. It doesn't derail game time
2. It works for their table
3. It doesn't form an antagonistic relationship between gm and player
4. It allows a base book class to be played by OOC players who may not be paragons of law and good, much like you can play a bard with high diplomacy without being the most charming speaker.

The fact that you're concerned most about pc's "gaming the system" says a lot about the kind of tables you play at.


Ryan Freire wrote:
bad gming

It doesn't take "bad gming" to disagree with what's evil and enforce the paladin code as written in the book. Nothing in the book suggests/warns the DM to give the player a heads up that an action is a code violation.


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graystone wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
bad gming
It doesn't take "bad gming" to disagree with what's evil and enforce the paladin code as written in the book. Nothing in the book suggests/warns the DM to give the player a heads up that an action is a code violation.

And yet this thread is full of nothing but people complaining about how it makes for a less fun experience as a paladin and derails game sessions.

Evidence doesn't really support it being good gming as far as this thread is concerned at least.


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No the GM doesn't have to give a warning, to paladins or clerics or anyone else in danger of violating a code.

That said, the player often doesn't have the character's in game knowledge of the degree of a violation or ways to correct their actions. One would assume that clergy would have had some training, classes, seminars, prayers and so on that instruct them. The player didn't go through all that, so some gentle guidance would be appreciated rather than springing "YOU FALL!"


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graystone wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
bad gming
It doesn't take "bad gming" to disagree with what's evil and enforce the paladin code as written in the book. Nothing in the book suggests/warns the DM to give the player a heads up that an action is a code violation.

Oh it does.

If a GM says, "Killing anything is automatically evil!"

Is bad GMing.

A GM who goes against what the game defines as evil is bad GMing.

If we want to play the "subjective morality" card, the Paladin player can shut any such GM down by saying, "Willingly commits an evil act" is the book statement. So if I don't think it's evil, I can't willingly do it. Simple as that.


HWalsh wrote:
graystone wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
bad gming
It doesn't take "bad gming" to disagree with what's evil and enforce the paladin code as written in the book. Nothing in the book suggests/warns the DM to give the player a heads up that an action is a code violation.

Oh it does.

If a GM says, "Killing anything is automatically evil!"

Is bad GMing.

A GM who goes against what the game defines as evil is bad GMing.

If we want to play the "subjective morality" card, the Paladin player can shut any such GM down by saying, "Willingly commits an evil act" is the book statement. So if I don't think it's evil, I can't willingly do it. Simple as that.

Pathfinder isn't a game for subjective morality. Its a game of absolute morality.


Ryan Freire wrote:
And yet this thread is full of nothing but people complaining about how it makes for a less fun experience as a paladin and derails game sessions.

A class with a bad feature doesn't make the DM bad: the CLASS forces a DM to monitor the paladins actions with a fine tooth comb for ANY evil action, no matter how minor that evil action might be. That's not to say some DM's don't take a perverse glee in orchestrating a fall, but it's not all that.

Ryan Freire wrote:
Evidence doesn't really support it being good gming as far as this thread is concerned at least.

It's not an indicator of universal bad GMing either. The class encourages micromanaging the paladins actions for errors. Nothing in the class has the DM warn the player of evil actions they are thinking of doing after all. If you have a excellent DM, you might forget good, average and other DM exist out there and they have a wide variety of DMing styles.

HWalsh wrote:
If we want to play the "subjective morality" card, the Paladin player can shut any such GM down by saying, "Willingly commits an evil act" is the book statement. So if I don't think it's evil, I can't willingly do it. Simple as that.

Yeah... Like THAT has ever changed any DM's mind... *flip table*

knightnday wrote:
The player didn't go through all that, so some gentle guidance would be appreciated rather than springing "YOU FALL!"

It'd be nice, but it shouldn't be taken as a given is my point. It might be a difference in style, POV or anything else.


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knightnday wrote:

No the GM doesn't have to give a warning, to paladins or clerics or anyone else in danger of violating a code.

That said, the player often doesn't have the character's in game knowledge of the degree of a violation or ways to correct their actions. One would assume that clergy would have had some training, classes, seminars, prayers and so on that instruct them. The player didn't go through all that, so some gentle guidance would be appreciated rather than springing "YOU FALL!"

I find it hard not to see not providing gentle guidance, or at least querying an action, from a player of any class doing something wildly at variance with their character's in game knowledge, as bad DMing. The difference between a paladin doing something that makes them fall and someone from another class doing something with similarly bad consequences seems somewhat beside the point.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Pathfinder isn't a game for subjective morality. Its a game of absolute morality.

I mean, it *can* be, assuming that people's disagreements on alignment and ethics can be discussed constructively, respectfully, and in a way that everybody finds enjoyable.

Like I was in a 3.0 "everybody's Paladin from a different cultural, religious, or philosophical background as everybody else here" game with some extremely literate and thoughtful RPers and that was a blast (we were trying to do "Dungeons and Discourse" before we knew that was a thing). I was an agnostic Dwarf Paladin based on Hume's empiricist moral philosophy.

I mean, that's not everybody's cup of tea, but that doesn't mean it's not anybody's cup of tea.


Greystone, the literal only job of a gm is to make sure people are having fun at the table.

You have a 16 page thread about how the behavior in question and hardlining paladin codes with no warning "make the class unplayable and cause problems with the class"

Well people who's gms dont take that tack dont have that problem. The universal constant in those situations are the gm. ERGO bad gming.

And before anyone gets into "he's just claiming badwrongfun" You have to actually be having fun before i can tell you you're having fun wrong. None of the people describing these situations with paladin play seem to be doing that. In fact their tables seem to be going out of the way to make it less fun.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I disagree. The idea behind that isn't very well thought out

Well, the idea behind is that GM and player have a relationship of mutual trust.

If that's not the base of your games, playing a Paladin (and a whole lot of other stuff) might cause problems, but that's not the problem of the idea but the problem of the people involved.

Quote:
A GM who goes against what the game defines as evil is bad GMing.

That is nonsense. Changing game definitions is not bad GMing. Doing that and not telling the players is.

[edit] And as far as micromanaging paladin goes: I've never felt the way to do that, but I've also never had to put up with players who just wanted to play the paladin chassis without also wanting to play a paladin archetype hero.

Lucky me.


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Ryan Freire wrote:

We've already established that most of the regular "paladin" and "alignment" thread posters have antagonistic gm relationships and/or gms who deliberately torpedo paladins based on a dislike for the alignment system

Just because it doesn't mesh with the bad gming y'all are used to doesn't make it bad.

1. It doesn't derail game time
2. It works for their table
3. It doesn't form an antagonistic relationship between gm and player
4. It allows a base book class to be played by OOC players who may not be paragons of law and good, much like you can play a bard with high diplomacy without being the most charming speaker.

The fact that you're concerned most about pc's "gaming the system" says a lot about the kind of tables you play at.

You are missing the point of the post entirely if you keep circling back to Bad GMs being the end-all of every single problem in a Paladin thread. Don't we ever stop to think that the player can be the problem, even if just once in a blue moon?

A bad GM has nothing to do with pointing out the flaws of a system that A PLAYER can exploit, WITHOUT the GM (who may be a perfectly reasonable person), being a factor of the situation, or even being aware of said exploitation existing. By that logic, a GM denying players their Sword of Constant True Strike for ~4,000 gold is a case of Bad GMing because he doesn't want his players to be able to make that kind of weapon, even though it's universally stated on these boards to be one of the dumbest things a GM can do for his table. (It's up there with permitting Wishes going outside of the listed exceptions without drawbacks, a random Deck of Many Things thrown into the loot, the list goes on.)

But also think about what the proposed system is for; a Paladin. The last sort of thing that I, as a designer, want to have happen for a Paladin, is to create a system that can endorse bad player behavior (for a class that already has enough problems as it is) by skirting the lines to accomplish something when they've specifically chosen a class who is meant to be above doing just that.

And considering that "gaming the system" is something a Paladin who is Lawful Good shouldn't be doing, not only is it a legitimate concern on both sides of the spectrum (a fellow Paladin player seeing another Paladin player getting overzealous would step in to keep his friend on the proper path), but is also a key flaw in the system that was proposed for numerous reasons, which is why I wouldn't use it at my table, because it (can) promote(s) players attempting to skirt their codified duties as long as what they do in exchange is worth more than what they skirt across in relation to their code, especially if they start at a value of 0.

This is even further supported by an identically created system (i.e. the Alignment Point system) that can be equally abused (intentionally, I might add), and numerous players being antagonistic about its implementation (of which it basically never is implemented due to how badly designed it really is).

@ WormysQueue: Paladins are strictly NPCs at my table. I have no need to endorse a class to a player that may result in a potential problem at the table, intentionally or unintentionally. The last thing I need at my table is something that causes problems, and Paladin Players (whether they are the one doing something or not) are perhaps the #1 source of problems at a given table.

I understand that players have a different view of morality than myself in relation to numerous topics, and as such I'd rather not force my ideals of what a Paladin should do or exemplify, and have a player with a different set of ideals try to understand my view of morality, and accept it as their own for their character. It's honestly not much different than playing their character for them, and that's just as horrible of a GM tactic as it is to allow Paladins just to make them fall. I won't do it.

Antipaladins are cool enough to keep though, as long as it's for an Evil campaign. At least they don't have a mountain of threads questioning if XYZ makes them fall. They actually have more threads as to how they can fall than threads of them actually falling. (Or would it be "rising" in this case?)


Ryan Freire wrote:
Greystone, the literal only job of a gm is to make sure people are having fun at the table.

You missed a part. He's running a consistent game with prearranged rules hopefully agreed to by all involved and to impartially follow those rules.

Ryan Freire wrote:
You have a 16 page thread about how the behavior in question and hardlining paladin codes with no warning "make the class unplayable and cause problems with the class"

Yep... That's how the class is written. The class gives 0% leeway on evil actions and NO guidance on what's evil and/or how it's to be adjudicated at the table. ERGO chaos ensues.

Ryan Freire wrote:
Well people who's gms dont take that tack dont have that problem. The universal constant in those situations are the gm. ERGO bad gming.

LOL Not really when you are taking the players involved and ONLY using their POV. Players are as often the issue as is a genuine failure to see eye to eye about alignment. You seem to be of the impression that the ONLY possible explanation for an issue with the paladin is the result of a DM alone: I disagree.

Ryan Freire wrote:
And before anyone gets into "he's just claiming badwrongfun" You have to actually be having fun before i can tell you you're having fun wrong. None of the people describing these situations with paladin play seem to be doing that. In fact their tables seem to be going out of the way to make it less fun.

And... Have we heard from the DM? The other players? How do we know everyone else wasn't having fun? What if the paladin's fun revolves around being evil and pretending it's good? What if the paladin enjoys being a buzz-kill? What if he acts as THE law and tells everyone else what to do without taking the others into consideration?

You're going to have to expand your tunnel vision a little.


I feel like paladins should be ideal Christians, Muslims, or any other proselytizing faith. They represent what followers should be and say "we do this and not that, but that is the standard we hold for ourselves, not to others."

I like the paladin but I understand its not everyone's cup of tea.

Right now I have a pfs character who is a reluctant paladin. She worships Sarenrae and has lived a good moral and lawful life, so a celestial came to her and told her she was going to be a paladin, not because she told others what they were doing was wrong but because of the way she represented Sarenrae to those around her. In one adventure a macguffin is stolen and the criminals who stole it were basically flaunting it about in a tavern. She went up to them and asked where they had gotten it from and if she could have it back, in a completely nonthreatening way. They attacked her straight away and she responded in kind but the point is she wants to avoid coming across as "holier that thou" towards people. I feel that is the way paladins should be. If people are receptive towards her faith, she'll share it too but she's not gonna shove it down their throats.


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I think the fact that you admit you turned the class into NPC only because you couldn't gm for it kind of backs up what i'm saying. Looks like we have a series of people who aren't capable of GMing for a base book class that's been around for decades.

Like i said...bad gming.


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Ryan Freire wrote:

I think the fact that you admit you turned the class into NPC only because you couldn't gm for it kind of backs up what i'm saying. Looks like we have a series of people who aren't capable of GMing for a base book class that's been around for decades.

Like i said...bad gming.

Bad gming is letting a player play a Paladin without re-writing that tosh code.

Claiming it's bad GMing to find the Paladin's code unworkable is a failure in literacy.

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