Fastest Paladin to ex-Paladin ever?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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In a recent PFS game, we had what may be the fastest Paladin fall from grace.

Situation: Evergreen scenario, all first level characters.

In the first battle, our PCs were separated from the hostiles by running water and someone on our side had tripped a trap that shot a poisoned dart at us, but missed. The dart was not destroyed.

Paladin, with no readily apparent way across the water, and without the forethought to pocket a sling or buy some javelins, asks for suggestions.
Cleric of Trickery suggests the Pally pick up that dart and throw it back. Paladin does so and falls from grace, having used poison. On his very first attack roll ever.

Cleric player overjoyed. Pally player briefly bummed until reminded of PFS rebuild rules. Good time ultimately had by all.

Silver Crusade Contributor

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That's pretty funny. Also, I guess I know how my vindictive bastard ex-paladin is going to come to be now. ^_^


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That...

... well, I'm glad a good time was had by all.

May well be the fastest, yes.

Seems more like an ooc character oversight than "acting with dishonor", though. But again, so long as people had fun - okay.


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Indeed. I would rule that you have to be knowingly using poison to fall. (Plus, in PFS, I would consider that to fall under the "warn before player acts" category of actions.)

...still funny, though.


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ZenithTN wrote:

In a recent PFS game, we had what may be the fastest Paladin fall from grace.

Situation: Evergreen scenario, all first level characters.

In the first battle, our PCs were separated from the hostiles by running water and someone on our side had tripped a trap that shot a poisoned dart at us, but missed. The dart was not destroyed.

Paladin, with no readily apparent way across the water, and without the forethought to pocket a sling or buy some javelins, asks for suggestions.
Cleric of Trickery suggests the Pally pick up that dart and throw it back. Paladin does so and falls from grace, having used poison. On his very first attack roll ever.

Cleric player overjoyed. Pally player briefly bummed until reminded of PFS rebuild rules. Good time ultimately had by all.

I'd laugh.

But I know a lot of players would claim badwrongfun on the GM and harrass them until said GM was no longer at the table.

I'd even argue they might do the same to the Cleric as well, but I don't think they would deny the excellent roleplay that was done there, and forgive them for it.


He should have just walked across the water, it's shallow enough to do so.


Chess Pwn wrote:
He should have just walked across the water, it's shallow enough to do so.

In heavy enough armor he'd risk falling in.

So I guess you could say that he was in a Gotcha scenario.


Kalindlara wrote:
That's pretty funny. Also, I guess I know how my vindictive bastard ex-paladin is going to come to be now. ^_^

*contemplates taking up lawn darts as a hobby*


Did the paladin know the dart was poisoned?


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Shady Stranger wrote:
Did the paladin know the dart was poisoned?

Yeah I kind of think there is a difference between "using" poison, implying intent, and poisoning someone on accident.

I mean, if my Paladin bought a round of beers for the party, and during the walk back to the table had a Rogue poison the drinks without the Paladins knowing, did the Paladin poison the party?


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If the Paladin is a terrible cook and gives the party Salmonellosis should he fall?

Shadow Lodge

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Don't let your commanding officer play a paladin in their first game. You may learn some uncomfortable facts.


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Diminuendo wrote:
Shady Stranger wrote:
Did the paladin know the dart was poisoned?

Yeah I kind of think there is a difference between "using" poison, implying intent, and poisoning someone on accident.

I mean, if my Paladin bought a round of beers for the party, and during the walk back to the table had a Rogue poison the drinks without the Paladins knowing, did the Paladin poison the party?

Mhm... I mean, if the paladin had no idea it was poisoned, should he really've fallen from grace? But then again, as long as people were okay with it, I guess it's alright.


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This would be why I wouldn't play PFS with a stranger for a GM.

How did the paladin know the dart was poisoned?

And, what rule did he break below?

PRD wrote:
A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features (including the service of the paladin's mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies).

It seems more like the GM just does't like paladins, especially if the 1st level player wasn't warned first.


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It's not faster, and they didn't actually fall, but I remember playing with someone who was making their first PF character, a paladin. They where told that a paladin was a shinning example of honor and good. After one battle with a medium sized evil fey (I'm not sure what kind starting level 3), he claimed his character would skin the fey and wear it as a skin suit. I wasn't the GM, but I was kind of shocked, that he thought it'd be ok to wear the skin of a sentient being, just for fun more or less. He said it'd be OK, since it was evil. After a short conversation he just skinned it and sold the skin in the nearest town.

We all just cut him some slack for being new and not really knowing his preferred play style I guess. His next character was not a paladin, and I suggested from his natural role playing leaning, that he not be lawful or good, which I believe he took, I think rolling with a CN barbarian.


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justaworm wrote:

This would be why I wouldn't play PFS with a stranger for a GM.

How did the paladin know the dart was poisoned?

And, what rule did he break below?

PRD wrote:
A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features (including the service of the paladin's mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies).
It seems more like the GM just does't like paladins, especially if the 1st level player wasn't warned first.

He violated the "don't violate the code of conduct" rule you just quoted.

Paladin Code of Conduct wrote:
Additionally, a paladin's code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.

Now, it can be argued that the code is not written in adamantine and a paladin can actually lie, use poison, etc when there is a clear need, or a clear and present danger, or whatever criterion one likes. But there clearly wasn't a need here, just a desire to contribute to the fight.

I've been assuming everyone knew the dart was poisoned. Otherwise why would the tricksy cleric try that trick? If they didn't know, obviously there are a couple of problems here.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
He should have just walked across the water, it's shallow enough to do so.

In heavy enough armor he'd risk falling in.

So I guess you could say that he was in a Gotcha scenario.

How? The water is like 1 feet deep and says you can walk across no problem (well sure reduced movespeed but that's not a problem to crossing)

"The river through this part of the cavern ranges from 10 to 15 feet wide but is only 1 foot deep, and it flows languidly at an almost imperceptibly slow speed; treat squares with water as if they were a
shallow bog"

How is the paladin at risk of falling into 1 ft basically standing water?


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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
I've been assuming everyone knew the dart was poisoned. Otherwise why would the tricksy cleric try that trick? If they didn't know, obviously there are a couple of problems here.

In game they most likely didn't know. But as an evergreen the cleric player has probably played/run this before and meta-gaming knew it was poisoned.

So the paladin and the cleric didn't know, but the player of the cleric knew.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
I've been assuming everyone knew the dart was poisoned. Otherwise why would the tricksy cleric try that trick? If they didn't know, obviously there are a couple of problems here.

In game they most likely didn't know. But as an evergreen the cleric player has probably played/run this before and meta-gaming knew it was poisoned.

So the paladin and the cleric didn't know, but the player of the cleric knew.

Really? Then I'd have to say the paladin doesn't fall but the player of the cleric does. Not the cleric, the player, for serious metagaming.

ZenithTN, can you clear up who knew what for us, players & characters?


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
I've been assuming everyone knew the dart was poisoned. Otherwise why would the tricksy cleric try that trick? If they didn't know, obviously there are a couple of problems here.

In game they most likely didn't know. But as an evergreen the cleric player has probably played/run this before and meta-gaming knew it was poisoned.

So the paladin and the cleric didn't know, but the player of the cleric knew.

Really? Then I'd have to say the paladin doesn't fall but the player of the cleric does. Not the cleric, the player, for serious metagaming.

ZenithTN, can you clear up who knew what for us, players & characters?

While I'm not The OP; it wouldn't surprise me if the cleric had run this before. PFS seems to have that as a somewhat common(though unsure how wide spread) problem.


ZenithTN, can you clear up who knew what for us, players & characters?

Nope.


MerlinCross wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
I've been assuming everyone knew the dart was poisoned. Otherwise why would the tricksy cleric try that trick? If they didn't know, obviously there are a couple of problems here.

In game they most likely didn't know. But as an evergreen the cleric player has probably played/run this before and meta-gaming knew it was poisoned.

So the paladin and the cleric didn't know, but the player of the cleric knew.

Really? Then I'd have to say the paladin doesn't fall but the player of the cleric does. Not the cleric, the player, for serious metagaming.

ZenithTN, can you clear up who knew what for us, players & characters?

While I'm not The OP; it wouldn't surprise me if the cleric had run this before. PFS seems to have that as a somewhat common(though unsure how wide spread) problem.

Well being an evergreen scenario you can play it with each character you have. Have 10 PFS characters? You could have played this scenario 10 times without even needing to GM it.


ZenithTN wrote:

ZenithTN, can you clear up who knew what for us, players & characters?

Nope.

Well, okay then! It shall remain a mystery for eternity.


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Does a Paladin who unknowingly serves someone a foodstuff they're allergic to fall from grace? I think the "you know that what you're doing is against your code" is pretty important here.

But it is funny.


At least he survived. I've seen characters die in their first encounter.

Shadow Lodge

I've seen characters die in the surprise round of their first encounter. At the opening of the adventure.


TOZ wrote:
I've seen characters die in the surprise round of their first encounter. At the opening of the adventure.

What happened? Just curious.


Shady Stranger wrote:
TOZ wrote:
I've seen characters die in the surprise round of their first encounter. At the opening of the adventure.
What happened? Just curious.

I don't remember the details, it was about 25 years ago. But I do remember that he was a new character joining an existing party, and that he lasted 7 minutes. The campaign was so lethal that someone thought to time it! There were about 10 players in the group and the GM was trying to encourage a few to leave to make the group size more manageable. Consequently it was the most lethal AD&D game I've ever played.

EDIT: I misread your post, Shady Stranger. I thought you were replying to me, not TOZ.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
He should have just walked across the water, it's shallow enough to do so.

In heavy enough armor he'd risk falling in.

So I guess you could say that he was in a Gotcha scenario.

How? The water is like 1 feet deep and says you can walk across no problem (well sure reduced movespeed but that's not a problem to crossing)

"The river through this part of the cavern ranges from 10 to 15 feet wide but is only 1 foot deep, and it flows languidly at an almost imperceptibly slow speed; treat squares with water as if they were a
shallow bog"

How is the paladin at risk of falling into 1 ft basically standing water?

I didn't know those details, I just made a general possibility into a crude joke about gotcha moments, where no matter what he does, he falls. One is literal, the other is figurative (and what happened).

Grand Lodge

Shady Stranger wrote:
TOZ wrote:
I've seen characters die in the surprise round of their first encounter. At the opening of the adventure.
What happened? Just curious.

Pouncing kitty took him from full to 1 point above neg Con. And he had won initiative on the cleric. :P

Liberty's Edge

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Obviously the player of the Cleric and the GM would never qualify for Paladinhood because they miserably failed the "Act with honor" test :-p

Shadow Lodge

Full disclosure, I looked at the cleric and said "if your first action is to heal, I won't count him as dead".


TOZ wrote:
Full disclosure, I looked at the cleric and said "if your first action is to heal, I won't count him as dead".

A just GM, indeed!

Silver Crusade

Yeah, I'm firmly in the camp that if you don't know about the poison, you can't be said to have acted dishonorably.


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Isonaroc wrote:
Yeah, I'm firmly in the camp that if you don't know about the poison, you can't be said to have acted dishonorably.

Seconded. Unless you take an action fully informed and entirely of your own will, you can't really be held responsible for it. He may well feel bad and do some Hail Maries (or Iomedaes or whoever) after, of course.


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except we have official clarification that if a dominated paladin is forced to do something evil that he falls even though it isn't his free will and choice.


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Chess Pwn wrote:
except we have official clarification that if a dominated paladin is forced to do something evil that he falls even though it isn't his free will and choice.

Frankly that's just absurd, and makes me glad I don't put any stock in "official clarification."


I'm with cabbage that is silly.

If you wanted to be just with that he should loss all paladin powers while he is being mind controlled to do evil and then when he regains control get his powers back.


Chess Pwn wrote:
except we have official clarification that if a dominated paladin is forced to do something evil that he falls even though it isn't his free will and choice.

Where?


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
except we have official clarification that if a dominated paladin is forced to do something evil that he falls even though it isn't his free will and choice.
Frankly that's just absurd, and makes me glad I don't put any stock in "official clarification."

Not particularly absurd; his will was lacking, he fell under the control of evil, then knowingly (if not voluntarily) did something evil.

I'm not sure if falling represents the withdrawal of divine aid by a disappointed god, or a loss of self-belief, but either seems plausible.

Also, if he's under someone else's control, losing his powers might not be a bad thing, since he's only using them for evil.


where is this "official clarification"?


There is no Plausible Deniability clause in the Paladin code.

To repurpose a popular billboard here in the South...

What part of Thou Shalt Not didn't you understand? --God.


My most recent Paladin liked Brothels (even after they got changed to Dancehalls) and built one in every town. Immunity to disease and the ability to remove it can really come in handy. He also had a bunch of necromatic spells and powers. I guess none of that really breaks the Code though I did worry about his monkey familiar's potential interaction with the line "A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are lawful good" since I'm not sure if being a familiar changes an animal's alignment. On the other hand, familiars aren't explicitly mentioned there.

It kind of amuses me that using poison should make a Paladin fall since I wonder if Paladins can use insecticide and rat poison or if they must shrink down and go confront all their household pests in honorable combat. I'm not sure if the quick-fall Paladin's decision to toss back something an enemy tossed at him really seems that dishonorable in the same sense as lying or cheating. It certainly isn't a planned act of subterfuge at least.

I'm also not sure if a single violation of the latter tenets of the Code should lead directly to a fall or if that should be reserved for the top section's "ever willingly commits an evil act". Tossing a poison dart (which you might or might not know is poisoned) back at somebody who just tossed it at you would rarely qualify as Evil IMO. I guess there could be corner cases like you mind controlled the person and forced them to throw the dart...


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ZenithTN wrote:

There is no Plausible Deniability clause in the Paladin code.

To repurpose a popular billboard here in the South...

What part of Thou Shalt Not didn't you understand? --God.

Actually there is;

"A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features"

A gods knows if there was intention behind a Paladins actions, there is no trial, the god simply knows if the Paladin screwed up, or if they were a victim of circumstance.


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Going by that wording, committing an evil act unintentionally doesn't make you fall, but violating your code of conduct unintentionally does make you fall. (Though maybe I'm taking the commas too seriously...)

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Devilkiller wrote:
It kind of amuses me that using poison should make a Paladin fall since I wonder if Paladins can use insecticide and rat poison or if they must shrink down and go confront all their household pests in honorable combat. I'm not sure if the quick-fall Paladin's decision to toss back something an enemy tossed at him really seems that dishonorable in the same sense as lying or cheating. It certainly isn't a planned act of subterfuge at least.

The thing I dislike about the restriction against poison is that it essentially removes the option of using tranquilizer darts (ie sleep poison) to non-lethally take down enemies -- which seems like it would be a preferred paladin option otherwise. But it is what it is. No one said being a paladin was easy.


Granted this was in a different game system, but I've seen characters die in character creation.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Going by that wording, committing an evil act unintentionally doesn't make you fall, but violating your code of conduct unintentionally does make you fall. (Though maybe I'm taking the commas too seriously...)

If you didn’t want your every action scrutinized and a code of conduct which requires a legal degree to understand, then you shouldn’t have played a lawful character.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
except we have official clarification that if a dominated paladin is forced to do something evil that he falls even though it isn't his free will and choice.
Frankly that's just absurd, and makes me glad I don't put any stock in "official clarification."

That's in the running for the absolute DUMBEST thing I have EVER heard get farted out of the backside of a game developer.


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Zhayne wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
except we have official clarification that if a dominated paladin is forced to do something evil that he falls even though it isn't his free will and choice.
Frankly that's just absurd, and makes me glad I don't put any stock in "official clarification."
That's in the running for the absolute DUMBEST thing I have EVER heard get farted out of the backside of a game developer.

I still prefer "Cast Protection from Evil 5 times, become Good" and it's derivatives from the pure dumb perspective.

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