Why all the Paladin hate?


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Ryan Freire wrote:
Six people...half dozen. Thumb back through this thread and others and you'll see its the same crew over and over and over again and the common thread is that the community as a whole looks at their interpretations as oddly beyond the norm.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I might be one of those six people. I've played a few Paladins in my time but never had one fall, let alone on specious grounds. Let me be perfectly clear that I don't have a problem with Paladins' behavior being restricted. Like a Cleric or a Warlock, they are not self-made, their power is given to them by an entity that can rescind that power if the recipient doesn't follow the conditions set out for it. I fully support the idea of a Code of Conduct for such classes, that outlines specifically what is required and what is prohibited. Just as the player decides to play that class, the character made his decision somewhere in his background to abide by such rules in exchange for power.

I just don't like alignment. I didn't like it when the Paladin was mechanically weak (3e), I didn't like it before Desna's Munchkin Meteor existed, and I get the feeling I wouldn't like it in Michael Moorcock's novels. At worst, it starts arguments, unreasonably restricts characters' behavior, and if played perfectly straight leads to a kind of Minority Report-cum-Tippyverse scenario where characters, their personalities, and motivations are slotted into one of nine pigeonholes by a force as real, measurable, and inarguable as gravity. At best it's a shorthand descriptor that everyone agrees not to think too hard about, lest it break, and adds a bunch more fiddly rules to a system full of fiddly rules. And it should certainly not be used as a balancing factor, if for no other reason than because every class should be roughly as strong (or else the mechanical concepts of levels and classes are pointless) and an alignment restriction doesn't make sense for all of them. It's interesting to note that some people apparently hold all of the following opinions at the same time:

- Paladins are an unusually strong class, this is balanced by their alignment restriction.
- Fighters [with no alignment restriction] are every bit as strong as Paladins if you min/max the s~!@ out of them.
- If you don't min/max, don't complain that your character is not mechanically strong.
- Min/maxing is the cancer that is killing RPGs.

By the way, this is yet another good point against the "just play a Warpriest" crowd: Warpriests are tied to a deity and Paladins aren't. I personally don't like the idea of deity-less Paladins in a setting but if the setting's going to allow them, some people will want to play them. Other alignments should have Paladin analogues (with other names if you insist), even if only for consistency's sake.

The question asked by the OP, I think, was well-answered early on: Some players and/or characters will chafe under the Paladin's sense of honor, which limits their actions by locking out the more expedient but morally dubious options. Almost any class can be that inflexible honorable type, but the Paladin has the most to lose from any change in alignment, so their players are therefore the most likely to stick to their guns. And no, the Paladin can't just look the other way: The eyes of God, Iomedae, or the Strong Goodlier Force are always upon him. Such characters (Paladin or not) are just not a good fit for some groups.

Grand Lodge

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Oh. My. God. Are we defending Dwight from The Office now? This thread is now my favorite thread. I need to pop more popcorn.


Warpriest class - "If a warpriest isn't devoted to a particular deity, he selects two blessings to represent his spiritual inclinations and abilities, subject to GM discretion."


Yeah warpriest isn't tied to a deity any more than cleric is. Dependent on your cosmology. Its required in golarion, but so's cleric and paladin and AFAIK every divine caster save oracle and the nature classes (hunter/ranger/druid)

Grand Lodge

Paladin actually doesn't require a deity in Golarion. JJ has mentioned that several times in his Ask thread. You're thinking of the PFS specific restriction.


Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Paladin actually doesn't require a deity in Golarion. JJ has mentioned that several times in his Ask thread. You're thinking of the PFS specific restriction.

I wouldn't know, they're NPC only :P


So noted. However, it seems that even in the Golarion campaign setting specifically, "Paladins often do not worship a single deity, but rather abide by a strict personal code or organizational doctrine."

Grand Lodge

That's weird considering that most published Paladins do worship a specific deity. I always considered Godless Paladins to be sorta rare. Where's that quote from?


Snowblind wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
You trust your GM, you should be entirely happy to sign up for them getting to make that scale of decision. You don't trust your GM, why are you playing with them ?

Trust is a spectrum, not a binary.

In general, definitely. But for the specific question "do I trust this GM not to be a jerk", it seems fairly yes/no to me. And a GM who wants to be a jerk by no means needs a Paladin Code to do so.

Quote:


Well written, sane, not-troublesome rules are a nice way to mitigate "Trust the GM to not screw everything up deliberately, but don't trust them to not screw everything up accidentally". The Paladin Code fails on this front.

How exactly are you envisioning a GM accidentally causing a Paladin to fall? Failure to talk through player expectations is not an accident.


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Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Oh. My. God. Are we defending Dwight from The Office now? This thread is now my favorite thread. I need to pop more popcorn.

Should I go watch the Office to learn who this is so I can follow along?


About my earlier post; Shrug.

I could just say I had a Good Dm but I and the rest of the team had trust and faith that he wouldn't screw us over. Like the Rogue didn't want every guard looking at him funny, or the Wizard getting level locked.But I enjoyed my time with him and would play a Paladin in his game again.

Also, have to check the dates, but he might have lifted the idea from Wrath of the Rightous or whatever Splat covers Attonements.

Do I think this could work with every group? No, espically not with randoms. Just as many min max power gamy players as Dms that want to see Pallys fall.Probaly more. I just wanted to share what made me like role playing one.

Grand Lodge

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Oh. My. God. Are we defending Dwight from The Office now? This thread is now my favorite thread. I need to pop more popcorn.
Should I go watch the Office to learn who this is so I can follow along?

You should go watch The Office because the entirety of it is on Netflix and it's an amazing show. But if the Dwight digression continues it would certainly help you have a base understanding there too :)


I guarantee it'll help explain a number of gamer types you've encountered in your life as well.


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Because playing with a "holier-than-thou" judgemental religious asshat can be quite annoying. If you aren't those things when you play a Paladin, then I'm 100% ok with you.


There are evaluations of the rules besides raw and more important than raw. A dm that fails to use them and gets flak for it deserves that flak. They should evaluate their position rather than projecting their problems onto the players


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Rhedyn wrote:
Bad vs Good GMing does not come from a GMs ability to write rules a good way. If the code is ambiguous and expects the GM to fill in the specifics and fall for any violation, your experience with the code and falling mechanics is reflecting of your GM's developer abilities not what they can do as a GM.

Uhm, yeah, it kind of does.

I expect my GM to be the kind of person who is striving to make the game enjoyable for everyone. I don't expect my GM to be a robot who just looks at a rulebook and says "Well, that's what the rules say, so that's what's happening.

I can play a computer game for that.

A GM's ability to analyze rules and decide which ones to use and which ones to throw out and when to do so is absolutely a part of what makes them a good GM or not.


The amount of people who run "good-only" games is a bit saddening to me. "No evil" games I can understand, but "good-only"? Maybe it's because I play a lot of monks, so "good-only" would lock me down into LG just as much as any Paladin, but I really don't like playing characters with strong moral leanings. I'll do ethics all day long, most of my characters are Lawful, but you'll rarely see me outside of that middle row unless it's required by a class feature.

As for stopping Paladin hate, I recommend playing your Paladin outside the stereotypical "pseudo-Christian Crusader" niche. I have a Monk/Paladin (or Monkadin) Champion of Irori who detects if people are lacking in Honor instead of detecting Evil and if they lack Discipline instead of detecting Chaos.

Just by framing the conversation in a different way, you can find yourself playing an entirely different character. She doesn't try to purge those without Honor or Discipline, nor is she adverse to working with them. Rather, she attempts to instruct and guide them. If they can part on peaceful terms, that is a good thing. That means they listened and may heed her words, seeking perfection on their own. After all, no one is born on the Path, they must be shown the way. And if they try to attack, well, she tried...


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AaronUnicorn wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
Bad vs Good GMing does not come from a GMs ability to write rules a good way. If the code is ambiguous and expects the GM to fill in the specifics and fall for any violation, your experience with the code and falling mechanics is reflecting of your GM's developer abilities not what they can do as a GM.

Uhm, yeah, it kind of does.

I expect my GM to be the kind of person who is striving to make the game enjoyable for everyone. I don't expect my GM to be a robot who just looks at a rulebook and says "Well, that's what the rules say, so that's what's happening.

I can play a computer game for that.

A GM's ability to analyze rules and decide which ones to use and which ones to throw out and when to do so is absolutely a part of what makes them a good GM or not.

In a rules light system sure. But this is Pathfinder. We don't have thousands of pages of rules so we can judge them individually and rewrite a game larger than the Bible.


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Rhedyn wrote:
In a rules light system sure. But this is Pathfinder. We don't have thousands of pages of rules so we can judge them individually and rewrite a game larger than the Bible.

No, but we do have Rule Zero. For a reason.

If there's a rule that is making something unfun? It shouldn't be used, and I will always argue that following RAI over RAW is vitally important for the enjoyment of the game.

Which, hey, I realize that doesn't work for everyone. That's fine. I won't play with those people. It's a big hobby, and there's room for lots of different playstyles.

But I will also still walk away thinking to myself "That's a lousy GM."


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AaronUnicorn wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
In a rules light system sure. But this is Pathfinder. We don't have thousands of pages of rules so we can judge them individually and rewrite a game larger than the Bible.

No, but we do have Rule Zero. For a reason.

If there's a rule that is making something unfun? It shouldn't be used, and I will always argue that following RAI over RAW is vitally important for the enjoyment of the game.

Which, hey, I realize that doesn't work for everyone. That's fine. I won't play with those people. It's a big hobby, and there's room for lots of different playstyles.

But I will also still walk away thinking to myself "That's a lousy GM."

and I would say that you didn't have to play a class with broken rules.

Expecting houserules or specific interpretations is being a disruptive player. Which is probably why they were playing a paladin in the first place...

Grand Lodge

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AaronUnicorn wrote:

No, but we do have Rule Zero. For a reason.

If there's a rule that is making something unfun? It shouldn't be used, and I will always argue that following RAI over RAW is vitally important for the enjoyment of the game.

Which, hey, I realize that doesn't work for everyone. That's fine. I won't play with those people. It's a big hobby, and there's room for lots of different playstyles.

But I will also still walk away thinking to myself "That's a lousy GM."

RAI over RAW is opening a can of worms when the opposite is supported by the flat fact. Give a hand, and they ask the whole arm. Neither of the two supersedes each other. The GM doesn't have to sacrifice to the player's whims, neither the player has to deal with a dictator GM. No houserule, no RAI unless the RAW does not make sense.


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Rhedyn wrote:
Expecting houserules or specific interpretations is being a disruptive player. Which is probably why they were playing a paladin in the first place...

And with that, you have made it perfectly clear that there's no point in discussing Paladins with you. Got it. Thanks.


dysartes wrote:
Code was an example; I'd probably look to discuss with the GM about how he saw other problematic elements if I was considering a character as well.

For me that's a LONG talk about alignment, the code and paladins in general that would eat up a LOT more time than I'm willing to spend.

dysartes wrote:
Any examples for the 1/3 group, graystone, or the table-flippers? Again, this virtual Pathfinder thing is an arena I've not stepped in.

For perspective, I've been playing the game since the old blackmoor pamphlets so there are a lot of paladin stories. The 'worst' was a literal table flip followed be a brawl between the DM and the player: in that case both DM and player handled the paladin badly [stuck up/lawful stupid paladin telling everyone what to do vs nitpicky dm]. Neither had any problems before or after a paladin coming in but both latch on to the paladin code to make everyone uncomfortable.

As to online, I've had more than a few games devolve and break up after an argument over a paladin: it's often a he said/she said with some thinking the dm was right and the other half thinking the player was right [and me just wishing the paladin wasn't there in the first place].

As to the 1/3rd: there is a certain percentage of players that latch on to the disruptive elements of the class as a reason to play it and an equal amount of DM's that do the reverse. As long as neither is a complete jerk, it can often be talked through enough to keep the game together.

dysartes wrote:
I think the DM issue is because a lot of examples people have given have been DMs setting philosophical "traps" with no way around making the Paladin fall.

Catch 22's are bad but there SHOULD be plenty of moral issues that come up with the general murderhobo antics of the general party. It's often hard to tell which it is and it's often a matter of perspective. It's even worse if the game if a more shades of grey game instead of a black and white good/evil game. Some games are all about taking the lesser of two evils and that's just a bad situation to be a paladin.

dysartes wrote:
I'm not going to argue that a Paladin player in a group couldn't be problematic, but I suspect some of that is Paladins in groups that aren't suitable (which should've been covered in a pre-game discussion), and some is players that shouldn't be playing Paladins ;)

Oh, that is TOTALLY a legitimate issue. Even with pre-game discussion, you'd be surprised how often you get someone that wants to play a character that just doesn't fit the game. The thing with the paladin is that it's generally just 'not suited' for most games and not truly banned and is just a beacon for those wanting to be the 'odd man out' so he can nag the group... :P


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AaronUnicorn wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
Expecting houserules or specific interpretations is being a disruptive player. Which is probably why they were playing a paladin in the first place...
And with that, you have made it perfectly clear that there's no point in discussing Paladins with you. Got it. Thanks.

You're missing his point. The fact he has to houserule or handwave the class is indicative of the fact that it isn't very functional as it stands for the purposes of making the game fun, and it's something he shouldn't have to do just to make a class functionally fun and appropriate for the table.

Yet another reason why I leave Paladins to be an NPC class.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
AaronUnicorn wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
Expecting houserules or specific interpretations is being a disruptive player. Which is probably why they were playing a paladin in the first place...
And with that, you have made it perfectly clear that there's no point in discussing Paladins with you. Got it. Thanks.

You're missing his point. The fact he has to houserule or handwave the class is indicative of the fact that it isn't very functional as it stands for the purposes of making the game fun, and it's something he shouldn't have to do just to make a class functionally fun and appropriate for the table.

Yet another reason why I leave Paladins to be an NPC class.

Oh, no, I see his point. But more importantly I see his statement saying that the likely reason someone would choose to play a Paladin is because thy want to be disruptive. That's starting off from a place of hostility.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
AaronUnicorn wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
Expecting houserules or specific interpretations is being a disruptive player. Which is probably why they were playing a paladin in the first place...
And with that, you have made it perfectly clear that there's no point in discussing Paladins with you. Got it. Thanks.

You're missing his point. The fact he has to houserule or handwave the class is indicative of the fact that it isn't very functional as it stands for the purposes of making the game fun, and it's something he shouldn't have to do just to make a class functionally fun and appropriate for the table.

Yet another reason why I leave Paladins to be an NPC class.

Why? Simply talking with the PCs sounds like it could cause them to fall depending on how murder hobo they are. And you wouldn't want to house rule that now would you?


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Kristal Moonhand wrote:

As for stopping Paladin hate, I recommend playing your Paladin outside the stereotypical "pseudo-Christian Crusader" niche. I have a Monk/Paladin (or Monkadin) Champion of Irori who detects if people are lacking in Honor instead of detecting Evil and if they lack Discipline instead of detecting Chaos.

Just by framing the conversation in a different way, you can find yourself playing an entirely different character.

I think this generally falls under "avoiding cliches", but is good advice. The Paladin I'm currently playing is a literal sociopath, in that she is completely devoid of empathy and her instincts all lean towards cruelty and malice (yay Changelings!) but she understands *intellectually* that you should be a good person and do the right thing (and has read a vast number of books about ethics) and through this redemption is possible for her. She doesn't trust her instincts to the extent that she doesn't even rely on "detect evil" realizing that anybody who pings as evil could be someone just like her who just hasn't just had the opportunity or realization that there's alternatives. So while she *wants* to, for example, piece by piece remove all the skin from a captive who made her angry and feed it to them, she realizes that this is not okay for a great number of reasons and her redemption is contingent on not doing stuff like this.

What's surprising to me is that people seem to avoid things like bookish and fragile wizards, rogues that want to steal everything that's not nailed down too much, barbarians who are deeply disdainful of civilization, bards who react to danger by singing at it, etc. but some people can't get past the "REPENT OR DIE" crusader Paladin.


AaronUnicorn wrote:
Oh, no, I see his point. But more importantly I see his statement saying that the likely reason someone would choose to play a Paladin is because thy want to be disruptive. That's starting off from a place of hostility.

It's more like acknowledging that disruptive players [and dm's] seem drawn to paladins like moths to a flame. :P

MerlinCross wrote:
And you wouldn't want to house rule that now would you?

Which is easier? Removing the class or trying to figure out what to alter to make it palatable to all involved? I know which one I pick. I don't play the class and I cringe every time one shows up. Now I know not every game with a paladin if going to turn sour, but enough do in my experience it's not worth it.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
but some people can't get past the "REPENT OR DIE" crusader Paladin.

I can agree with that. I often find it hard a lot of the time to tell the difference in paladins despite backgrounds, race and archetype: much harder than other classes. I honestly find it refreshing to hear Kristal and you playing outside the traditional paladin 'box'. ;)


Athaleon wrote:
I just don't like alignment. I didn't like it when the Paladin was mechanically weak (3e), I didn't like it before Desna's Munchkin Meteor existed, and I get the feeling I wouldn't like it in Michael Moorcock's novels.

It makes sense in Moorcock's novels. Unfortunately the DnD alignment system is based on a misunderstanding of Moorcock.

In Moorcock Law and Chaos aren't just opposing moral philosophies, they are opposing cosmic forces in a never-ending war that represents the conflict between opposing natural forces such as structure and entropy, and his deities are incarnations of such natural forces.

Law and Chaos aren't good or evil, but on a cosmic scale too much of one would be a bad thing because it would result in a universe that couldn't support life. Therefore cosmically a balance between the two is desirable.

Read Moorcock and then Stephen Hawking's A Brief History Of Time and you'll see where Moorcock is coming from.

However DnD decided to use Moorcock's ideas as the basis of a system to describe individual character morality. Then AD&D added Good and Evil to the mix and came up with the crazy idea that if a balance between Law and Chaos is desirable so too must be a balance between Good and Evil, even though Good and Evil are nothing more than opposing moral philosophies, and so we had the insanity of the Dragonlance Cataclysm in which the gods destroyed the world because it was too good.

But Dragonlance aside, I don't mind the alignment system. It ain't great but I've always found it works well enough as a rough and ready way of describing character morality. And the Pathfinder descriptions are the clearest yet, especially those in Ultimate Campaign.

PS: I love paladins!


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MerlinCross wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
AaronUnicorn wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
Expecting houserules or specific interpretations is being a disruptive player. Which is probably why they were playing a paladin in the first place...
And with that, you have made it perfectly clear that there's no point in discussing Paladins with you. Got it. Thanks.

You're missing his point. The fact he has to houserule or handwave the class is indicative of the fact that it isn't very functional as it stands for the purposes of making the game fun, and it's something he shouldn't have to do just to make a class functionally fun and appropriate for the table.

Yet another reason why I leave Paladins to be an NPC class.

Why? Simply talking with the PCs sounds like it could cause them to fall depending on how murder hobo they are. And you wouldn't want to house rule that now would you?

If they're super murder hobo, they're probably not Paladin material by most standards. Not saying Paladins can't adventure or fight or kill, all I'm saying is that Lawful Stupid "Smite on Sight" behavior is about as murder hobo as it gets, and if I do come across a player like that, they will either fall for disruptive abuse of the power they were given (if constantly used against non-evil enemies), or come across an evil enemy they can't defeat (i.e. The BBEG) and die for their foolishness.

But to be fair, I technically already did houserule that when I decided Paladins were NPC only, so you're a little late to pose that rhetorical.


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graystone wrote:
Which is easier? Removing the class or trying to figure out what to alter to make it palatable to all involved? I know which one I pick. I don't play the class and I cringe every time one shows up. Now I know not every game with a paladin if going to turn sour, but enough do in my experience it's not worth it.

I've muddled with making the Paladin playable at my table, but removing what makes a Paladin, well, a Paladin, is the only thing I can come up with. Well, besides making them NPC only, but the former isn't something that would make people think they're playing a Paladin.


graystone wrote:


MerlinCross wrote:
And you wouldn't want to house rule that now would you?
Which is easier? Removing the class or trying to figure out what to alter to make it palatable to all involved? I know which one I pick. I don't play the class and I cringe every time one shows up. Now I know not every game with a paladin if going to turn sour, but enough do in my experience it's not worth it.

Hmm hmm. Thats the same reasoning for Spell bans, no Wizards, Summoners gone, etc etc etc. Still what I was getting at was; if Dms hold player Paladins that downright accountable to following the code to the letter, well then it only makes sense that I as a player, would expect NPC Paladins to do the same. Meaning the instant they do something wrong, instant fall no save good bye Paladin.

Now, I wouldn't poke this issue all the time but congrates. You gave your possible problem player another way to mess with the game. And they aren't even playing the class this time.

graystone wrote:


PossibleCabbage wrote:
but some people can't get past the "REPENT OR DIE" crusader Paladin.
I can agree with that. I often find it hard a lot of the time to tell the difference in paladins despite backgrounds, race and archetype: much harder than other classes. I honestly find it refreshing to hear Kristal and you playing outside the traditional paladin 'box'. ;)

While cool, to another DM that's character could sound like they aren't living up to the code, so instant fall.

Interesting character that breaks the mold, or someone that came up with a way to cheese what is apparently RAW? Up to you.

Personally that sounds like a good character.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
AaronUnicorn wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
Expecting houserules or specific interpretations is being a disruptive player. Which is probably why they were playing a paladin in the first place...
And with that, you have made it perfectly clear that there's no point in discussing Paladins with you. Got it. Thanks.

You're missing his point. The fact he has to houserule or handwave the class is indicative of the fact that it isn't very functional as it stands for the purposes of making the game fun, and it's something he shouldn't have to do just to make a class functionally fun and appropriate for the table.

Yet another reason why I leave Paladins to be an NPC class.

Why? Simply talking with the PCs sounds like it could cause them to fall depending on how murder hobo they are. And you wouldn't want to house rule that now would you?

If they're super murder hobo, they're probably not Paladin material by most standards. Not saying Paladins can't adventure or fight or kill, all I'm saying is that Lawful Stupid "Smite on Sight" behavior is about as murder hobo as it gets, and if I do come across a player like that, they will either fall for disruptive abuse of the power they were given (if constantly used against non-evil enemies), or come across an evil enemy they can't defeat (i.e. The BBEG) and die for their foolishness.

But to be fair, I technically already did houserule that when I decided Paladins were NPC only, so you're a little late to pose that rhetorical.

Yes Lawful Stupid is terrible and needs a good kicking much like Evil Pyscho does.

But what I was getting at was; I would expect the same rules for your NPCs. If an NPC Paladin helps them into a manor and the team causes a death or two of not evil people(Say a maid or two, maybe a cook) even by accident, does NPC Paladin fall? I mean they set up a cause of death for an innocent person.

Heck that's a basic set up. What happens if you get an ex Dm that thinks Paladins should act this way, or a player that wouldn't let it go. I can easily see problem players using this to slow down games if they wanted to.


I would treat the NPC Paladins the same way I'd treat a PC Paladin, so if they do or condone an Evil or Unlawful act, then yes, they would be at risk for falling.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I would treat the NPC Paladins the same way I'd treat a PC Paladin, so if they do or condone an Evil or Unlawful act, then yes, they would be at risk for falling.

Then what problems I myself had are settled. I could lean into problem player thinking some more, but myself I'd have little issue with this.


MerlinCross wrote:

While cool, to another DM that's character could sound like they aren't living up to the code, so instant fall.

Interesting character that breaks the mold, or someone that came up with a way to cheese what is apparently RAW? Up to you.

Personally that sounds like a good character.

I feel like I could sell that character to most decent GMs though. The basic pitch would be that while every religion advertises that heaven, enlightenment, sainthood, etc. is an end goal available to everyone (as a means to encourage people to try their best) it is also apparent that due to circumstances beyond any person's control, some people have a much harder time "being good" than other people but we still must believe that this is possible. Things like mental illness, toxic enculturation, extreme poverty, abuse, being born with the soul of an evil outsider, etc. can make it really very difficult to be a "good person" by external standards, but we still want to believe that it is possible for *anybody* who has the ability to think and make choices.

So the character I'm interested in playing is exploring that phenomenon, and that in fiction we tend to frame "doing good" as the hard thing and "being evil" as the easy way out. But at the same time in these sorts of games we often frame it so that nominally good heroics are the default and expected outcome- if the dread necromancer is threatening your home town, all you really have to do is stab him until he stops and you're a hero. So I'm interested in playing a character who finds the easy and default "good" to be unnatural or difficult, but someone who doesn't just give up there and instead tries to think things through.

I mean, it's certainly not inclined to work with any game, but I always try to pre-clear characters with GMs in order to ensure sure I'm compatible with the themes, setting, etc.


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MerlinCross wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I would treat the NPC Paladins the same way I'd treat a PC Paladin, so if they do or condone an Evil or Unlawful act, then yes, they would be at risk for falling.
Then what problems I myself had are settled. I could lean into problem player thinking some more, but myself I'd have little issue with this.

The point behind my decision is to cut down or remove subjects that have a good chance of hurting players' feelings, especially if I make a potentially bad ruling. I'm not a perfect GM; nobody is, in fact.

It's just much easier and more palatable to not stick the aspect of losing powers with people who would be upset in the event that it happens. And if I don't have the option or permission to deny a player their powers, as the rules state that I see fit, then why would people ever play a class that professes such a risk if that risk is, in fact, falsified in fear of being labeled a badwrongfun GM?

Leaving it to NPCs means I don't risk hurting my players, whereas if an NPC runs into that problem, the players aren't directly affected by it. In fact, it could lead to a great plot hook, or create the next BBEG, circumstances presenting of course, which only promotes the fun of the table, instead of creating a risk that, from what most people can gather and police for themselves, doesn't grant much of a reward in return.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
So while she *wants* to, for example, piece by piece remove all the skin from a captive who made her angry and feed it to them

that is still an evil act and she would fall


Lady-J wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
So while she *wants* to, for example, piece by piece remove all the skin from a captive who made her angry and feed it to them
that is still an evil act and she would fall

There's a pretty big difference ethically between "I want to do a thing, so I do it" and "I want to do a thing, but I stop myself because I realize that it's wrong and I do not do the thing" though.

Like if you get really angry, and you want to hurt someone really badly, but you choose not to, you're not evil because of what you felt. One's actions are judged moral or otherwise, less so their private thoughts.


But in Golarion, people can read your thoughts. I feel like you could make a case that planning a heist or thinking horrible things might qualify as "evil" and Paladins kind of bleach their minds during training to protect themselves.

Silver Crusade

Lady-J wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
So while she *wants* to, for example, piece by piece remove all the skin from a captive who made her angry and feed it to them
that is still an evil act and she would fall

Maybe if their god subscribes to the whole "sin is in the thought" thing that certain real world religions employ, but I can't think of a single PF deity offhand that punishes thoughts rather than actions (not saying there isn't one, but they're not big enough to be remembered). So, no, having an impulse to do something evil is not an evil act. In fact, I'd argue that some who has the drive to commit evil but doesn't is a better person than someone who has no such drive, because they are actively choosing to be good rather than just acting according to their nature.

Crosses fingers for warlock wrote:
But in Golarion, people can read your thoughts. I feel like you could make a case that planning a heist or thinking horrible things might qualify as "evil" and Paladins kind of bleach their minds during training to protect themselves.

I don't think so. If they're reading your mind they also know whether or not you intend to do those things. The Paladin code specifies evil acts, which are generally grouped separately from evil thoughts.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
So while she *wants* to, for example, piece by piece remove all the skin from a captive who made her angry and feed it to them
that is still an evil act and she would fall

There's a pretty big difference ethically between "I want to do a thing, so I do it" and "I want to do a thing, but I stop myself because I realize that it's wrong and I do not do the thing" though.

Like if you get really angry, and you want to hurt someone really badly, but you choose not to, you're not evil because of what you felt. One's actions are judged moral or otherwise, less so their private thoughts.

Again Wrath of the Rightous brings this up as a plot point. "I feel drawn to evil but I want to do good". Fighting back against the impulses brought on by teaching or even race in order to do good is indeed a trope/idea. Heck that's built into Teiflings and Changlings. Half Orcs at times too.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
So while she *wants* to, for example, piece by piece remove all the skin from a captive who made her angry and feed it to them
that is still an evil act and she would fall

There's a pretty big difference ethically between "I want to do a thing, so I do it" and "I want to do a thing, but I stop myself because I realize that it's wrong and I do not do the thing" though.

Like if you get really angry, and you want to hurt someone really badly, but you choose not to, you're not evil because of what you felt. One's actions are judged moral or otherwise, less so their private thoughts.

that's not how it works in pathfinder if you even so much of think of an evil thought if your not evil you temporarily change to evil(ie you detect as evil) then return to your normal alignment after you stop thinking of such things


I mean, if sinfulness was not by its very nature attractive on some gut level, we wouldn't really need to tell people not to do it, would we?

It's not itself evil to feel wrath, lust, pride, envy, etc. It's evil to act on those feelings in a way that harms others (for example.)

Grand Lodge

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Lady-J wrote:
that's not how it works in pathfinder if you even so much of think of an evil thought if your not evil you temporarily change to evil(ie you detect as evil) then return to your normal alignment after you stop thinking of such things

Completely false. The relevant rules say evil intent, not evil thoughts. Intent means you intend to actually do it. You can think about something evil without having any intentions of actually doing it.

It also only changes what you detect as, not your actual alignment. So to say that "you temporarily change to evil" is also wrong.


Yeah, no, an Evil thought and an Evil act are different. We know this because we can differentiate between the two subjects.

Paladins are stated to fall because of acts, not thoughts, so even on basic reading comprehension, your ideal fails.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I would treat the NPC Paladins the same way I'd treat a PC Paladin, so if they do or condone an Evil or Unlawful act, then yes, they would be at risk for falling.
Then what problems I myself had are settled. I could lean into problem player thinking some more, but myself I'd have little issue with this.

The point behind my decision is to cut down or remove subjects that have a good chance of hurting players' feelings, especially if I make a potentially bad ruling. I'm not a perfect GM; nobody is, in fact.

It's just much easier and more palatable to not stick the aspect of losing powers with people who would be upset in the event that it happens. And if I don't have the option or permission to deny a player their powers, as the rules state that I see fit, then why would people ever play a class that professes such a risk if that risk is, in fact, falsified in fear of being labeled a badwrongfun GM?

Leaving it to NPCs means I don't risk hurting my players, whereas if an NPC runs into that problem, the players aren't directly affected by it. In fact, it could lead to a great plot hook, or create the next BBEG, circumstances presenting of course, which only promotes the fun of the table, instead of creating a risk that, from what most people can gather and police for themselves, doesn't grant much of a reward in return.

Yes no one is perfect. Would we be here if we were? But I feel one could work with the player in question to see how to handle it. Otherwise just put Paladin on the self of "can't be bothered or breaks". Right next to Wizard, Summons, Leadership, etc.

And while the threat of losing powers is a thing; 1, they aren't alone. I would assume any Divine based class could lose their powers even if it's home ruled. Hell, you lose something if Animal Companion or Familiar dies. And 2, It shouldn't be lost forever.

I don't have the bagge or history with bad players, GMs, or just misunderstanding between the two. So I admit I'm biased towards the topic. One well done, one okay, one meh. And the meh was less about my Paladin getting stiffed and more most the party being NPCs.

I just dislike that Paladin instantly gets eye rolls or tossed in the bin from the moment "I want to play Paladin" gets said. If not before.


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By the rules, a Cleric can't become an Ex Cleric because there is no such thing as a Code of Conduct for them to follow (or grossly violate), either in their class writeup, or even simply in the Core Rulebook. House rules may exist, but now we're back in the predicament of "I have to houserule to make the class function properly at my table," which is what we're trying to avoid.

Druids and other similar classes have a much better quantified code of conduct that has much more leeway and malleability in how it can be handled. If the Paladin took more notes from how this class' code was written, it'd be much more palatable to the masses.

As to Wizards, Leadership, and some summoners, they can still be played in a way that doesn't break or derail the game. With a Paladin, we very rarely have that option.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

By the rules, a Cleric can't become an Ex Cleric because there is no such thing as a Code of Conduct for them to follow (or grossly violate), either in their class writeup, or even simply in the Core Rulebook. House rules may exist, but now we're back in the predicament of "I have to houserule to make the class function properly at my table," which is what we're trying to avoid.

Druids and other similar classes have a much better quantified code of conduct that has much more leeway and malleability in how it can be handled. If the Paladin took more notes from how this class' code was written, it'd be much more palatable to the masses.

As to Wizards, Leadership, and some summoners, they can still be played in a way that doesn't break or derail the game. With a Paladin, we very rarely have that option.

Your right they can be played that way. Weird how many times I see bans or house rules against them then.


Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
that's not how it works in pathfinder if you even so much of think of an evil thought if your not evil you temporarily change to evil(ie you detect as evil) then return to your normal alignment after you stop thinking of such things

Completely false. The relevant rules say evil intent, not evil thoughts. Intent means you intend to actually do it. You can think about something evil without having any intentions of actually doing it.

It also only changes what you detect as, not your actual alignment. So to say that "you temporarily change to evil" is also wrong.

intent does not always mean acting oppon it can be the want to act oppon such things but just because you don't doesn't mean you didn't intent and detecting as evil from your own volition is the same as actually being evil even if temporarily

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