Paladin forced to perform evil under magic, do they loose class abilities?


Rules Questions

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Grand Lodge

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IMO, the part about falling and such is not the issue. A paladin seems themselves as the ultimate embodiment of their deity's dogma and domain. They know the intense struggle it requires to live up to an almost innachievable ideal. Having their mind and body used for evil even if an outside power exercises that control and forces them to perform actions against their will would be the ultimate in personal failure. Kinda of like a drug addict falling off the wagon. The level of self-loathing is overpowering. So, while they may or may not lose their powers for such an event, they would likely spend hours/days/weeks/etc (if ever) atoning for their "crimes" before they would feel cleansed enough to take up the mantle of paladin again.

Too often these arguments seem to be about what a paladin could get away with before they lose their powers. A true paladin simply does not think that way. In most cases, if you could ask a paladin at what amount of failure would they be punished and lose their powers, you would likely find their own level of acceptance for loopholes would be even less than what their code would allow.

Silver Crusade

Paladins are Lawful, as are most of the gods they worship. I don't think a Lawful or Good god would punish their holy warriors for having someone FORCE them to do something. By magical OR mundane means. Because it is "willingly commits" an evil act. Even if there is just mundane corrosion that's not willingly.

Heck I'd go so far to say that temporarily being out of it because of severe head trauma might be iffy.

Though going in for an absolution would likely still be something to do in character, as would the Paladin being mortified at what they were forced to do.


Mystic_Snowfang wrote:

Paladins are Lawful, as are most of the gods they worship. I don't think a Lawful or Good god would punish their holy warriors for having someone FORCE them to do something. By magical OR mundane means. Because it is "willingly commits" an evil act. Even if there is just mundane corrosion that's not willingly.

Heck I'd go so far to say that temporarily being out of it because of severe head trauma might be iffy.

Though going in for an absolution would likely still be something to do in character, as would the Paladin being mortified at what they were forced to do.

Two points that have been pointed out. First, the RAW (which, in this case, is my main concern) states that the paladin only has to commit the act, not that he must be in any way complacent. The shell of a meat puppet that his soul wears merely has to go through the mechanical motions of, say, stabbing a relatively innocent person in such a way that they cease to be.

Second, if they ARE being controlled, and so weak willed that they are easily taken over by magical control (Will is a good save for them, and wisdom is a critical score), why would a god of good want the opposition to have access to that power? That's a good god's power, none of them would want their power falling into the hands of evil.

From both a RAW and a RAI, I think it's fair to say that, while a god might forgive them, a Paladin can be forced to fall against their will.


I feel like one of the reason that "Paladins falling via Mind Control" isn't a big deal, is that while there's assuredly a perverse glee in mind-controlling the e, antagonists who are able to do this sort of thing are likely to realize that paladins are extremely difficult to mind-control, and if they succeed on their save, you're liable to be found out- since one knows when they have had to make a saving throw and the Paladin likely wants to find out "who was that who tried to access my mind."

So unless the Paladin is isolated or the malefactor has a lot of time on their hands, you're going to want to mind control pretty much anybody else in the Paladin's entourage instead, it'll be easier (like any class without a good will save that does not get to add a primary stat to their will save.)

Silver Crusade

Zarius wrote:
Mystic_Snowfang wrote:

Paladins are Lawful, as are most of the gods they worship. I don't think a Lawful or Good god would punish their holy warriors for having someone FORCE them to do something. By magical OR mundane means. Because it is "willingly commits" an evil act. Even if there is just mundane corrosion that's not willingly.

Heck I'd go so far to say that temporarily being out of it because of severe head trauma might be iffy.

Though going in for an absolution would likely still be something to do in character, as would the Paladin being mortified at what they were forced to do.

Two points that have been pointed out. First, the RAW (which, in this case, is my main concern) states that the paladin only has to commit the act, not that he must be in any way complacent. The shell of a meat puppet that his soul wears merely has to go through the mechanical motions of, say, stabbing a relatively innocent person in such a way that they cease to be.

Second, if they ARE being controlled, and so weak willed that they are easily taken over by magical control (Will is a good save for them, and wisdom is a critical score), why would a god of good want the opposition to have access to that power? That's a good god's power, none of them would want their power falling into the hands of evil.

From both a RAW and a RAI, I think it's fair to say that, while a god might forgive them, a Paladin can be forced to fall against their will.

"A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class features except proficiencies if she ever [u]willingly[/u] commits an evil act."

Also, Pathfinder Paladins find wisdom useful, but don't really use it for much.

And there are creatures of great power, anyone can fail a will save. Even a Paladin.

Then there is non-magical coercion. As in "do this or I do this even WORSE thing". Why? Because evil people can be jackasses.


The malefactor has had two year to intimate themself into the area, and is a specialist in mind control in general, with access to neutral mind controlled puppets. They've had time and resources.


Zarius wrote:


Two points that have been pointed out. First, the RAW (which, in this case, is my main concern) states that the paladin only has to commit the act, not that he must be in any way complacent. The shell of a meat puppet that his soul wears merely has to go through the mechanical motions of, say, stabbing a relatively innocent person in such a way that they cease to be.

Your second point is debatable. I think it is wrong, but it is a setting and flavor conceit and there is no point fighting about it.

Your first point quoted above is definitely wrong. For a single evil act to cause a fall the paladin has to be willing. The paladin can be coerced, perhaps. Maybe tricked. Possibly even simply incorrect about what it did. But it has to be willing. RAW is quite clear. Willing.


Stone Dog wrote:
Zarius wrote:


Two points that have been pointed out. First, the RAW (which, in this case, is my main concern) states that the paladin only has to commit the act, not that he must be in any way complacent. The shell of a meat puppet that his soul wears merely has to go through the mechanical motions of, say, stabbing a relatively innocent person in such a way that they cease to be.

Your second point is debatable. I think it is wrong, but it is a setting and flavor conceit and there is no point fighting about it.

Your first point quoted above is definitely wrong. For a single evil act to cause a fall the paladin has to be willing. The paladin can be coerced, perhaps. Maybe tricked. Possibly even simply incorrect about what it did. But it has to be willing. RAW is quite clear. Willing.

"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"

Explain to me where the violation of the code of conduct must be willing.


Which spells cause the Paladin to lie, cheat, use poison, disrespect legitimate authority, refuse to help those in need, or refuse to punish those who threaten or harm innocents?


Dominate Person/Monster for the easiest example. Suggestion can also be fenagled as can Charm spells with a passed Cha check (maybe).


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If the paladin is completely unwilling, as in are being driven around like a meat puppet, then they are not doing the violating. The dominator is doing the violating. In this situation, the paladin is literally incapable of violating or indeed, of following the code.

They are incapable of doing anything. You might as well blame a stolen car for drunk driving.

What you CAN supernaturally force on a paladin that can cause a fall is an alignment change. There are a few curses that can manage that trick.


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Dominate Person/Monster for the easiest example. Suggestion can also be fenagled as can Charm spells with a passed Cha check (maybe).

Violating your code is an obviously self-destructive action and "obviously self-destructive actions are not carried out"as per Dominate Person.

Charm Person cannot make a person do something he/she would not ordinarily do.

Edit: Noting that Suggestion has similar verbage to Dominate person as to self-destructive actions.


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Weeble Paladin wrote:
Which spells cause the Paladin to lie, cheat, use poison, disrespect legitimate authority, refuse to help those in need, or refuse to punish those who threaten or harm innocents?

I can list for you, sir, a litany of Enchantment spells, starting with Charm Person (which causes the target to view the caster as a trusted friend, no matter the circumstances, EVEN if you know they're inherently evil).


Depends highly on the definition of self destructive. After all, losing your class features isn't the end of the world (It's literally one spell away from coming back, not even any notable material components), especially compared to proper self destructive orders like "cut your own throat"

And per the definition of Charm Person, having the target do something against their nature means they need to pass a cha check but Charm spells in general are a crazy can of worms to begin with hence my "maybe." Suggestion would just work fine.

That said, I think the losing class features while under compulsion is stupid as hell, but that's Pathfinder rules, particularly Absolution and I believe JJ's personal opinion at work. I will say it doesn't fly at any table I run.


Technically, helping an evil entity violates the paladin code, but a Charmed paladin can be made to feed a person that registers to his Detect Evil sense, thus breaking said code. Since, you know, an inherently evil person is going to use that food to fuel themselves to commit evil.


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Zarius wrote:

So, yeah, I want to know if a paladin that's forced to commit murder under the influence of mind-control magic looses their class features as if they performed the deed willingly. SPECIFICALLY, I suspect Suggestion, but I still want to know about things like Dominate and other spells, class features, etc, that can force someone to act directly against their will or nature.

My main reason for asking is because if the mere existence of the spell Absolution, which wouldn't need to exist if they didn't.

They don't. A Paladin has to willingly perform an evil act. Mind control is not willing.

There are cases where you can break your Paladin Oath (see Oathbound Paladin) which is not the Paladin Code.


Tarik Blackhands wrote:

Depends highly on the definition of self destructive. After all, losing your class features isn't the end of the world (It's literally one spell away from coming back, not even any notable material components), especially compared to proper self destructive orders like "cut your own throat"

And per the definition of Charm Person, having the target do something against their nature means they need to pass a cha check but Charm spells in general are a crazy can of worms to begin with hence my "maybe." Suggestion would just work fine.

That said, I think the losing class features while under compulsion is stupid as hell, but that's Pathfinder rules, particularly Absolution and I believe JJ's personal opinion at work. I will say it doesn't fly at any table I run.

Destroying everything that you've worked your whole life to accomplish is what I'd consider self destructive. I'd like to note that slitting your own throat can also be undone by a single spell.

And Charm Person has this written in the text: "A subject never obeys... obviously harmful orders."

Basically, the way to do it is to convince/compel a Paladin to use poison without knowing he's using poison.


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Personally I think it's much sillier for a Paladin to fall for unwittingly poisoning someone ("Oh, sorry I didn't know you were allergic to shellfish. Boy is my face red... not as red as yours mind you.") than it is for them to fall from getting mind-controlled by an evil thing.


Zarius wrote:
Technically, helping an evil entity violates the paladin code, but a Charmed paladin can be made to feed a person that registers to his Detect Evil sense, thus breaking said code. Since, you know, an inherently evil person is going to use that food to fuel themselves to commit evil.

You're reading that backward. The "except if evil" clause is an out for the "help those in need" requirement. That is to say, Paladins aren't prevented by code from helping evil people. However, "a Paladin avoids" working with evil people (and seeks Atonement if he does, but does not explicitly fall).

You could infer that it is against the Paladin's nature to work with or aid evil people, granting him a +2 save every round he is under effect of Dominate Person. Alternately, if it would cause him to fall (an obviously self-destructive act), he simply would follow no orders from the evil caster and receive a new save at +2 each round.


If he's *aware* that it would cause him to fall. You're assuming things here. We aren't trying to prevent a paladin from falling, I'm trying to determine if my logic for why a specific paladin ALREADY fell holds. It does, based off of what I've seen in this thread so far.


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If he didn't know about it and fell it was because:

1. He used poison
2. The DM houseruled or misruled him to fall.


Just to be sure I'm on the same page, are people posing that a paladin can fall if somebody sneaks poison onto his gear without him knowing?

Silver Crusade

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Does a Paladin fall for serving someone a stiff drink?
Since booze is techincally poison.

Okay that was so dumb it HURT me to type it

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

By a strict reading of the rules, yes.


Stone Dog wrote:
Just to be sure I'm on the same page, are people posing that a paladin can fall if somebody sneaks poison onto his gear without him knowing?

People are posing that a Paladin can fall for doing something unwillingly. According to the text on how a Paladin can fall, the only thing that makes sense for him to do unwillingly and suffer a fall from is to use poison. Taken to its (il)logical extreme, a paladin can fall if someone sneaks poison onto his gear (or if he serves/consumes (i.e. uses) alcohol).


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Actually, in some settings the *water* could be considered poison.

Good luck, edgelords!


TriOmegaZero wrote:
By a strict reading of the rules, yes.

Actually no.

It's a drug. Not a poison.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I was replying to Stone Dog, apologies for not adding the quote.


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Zarius wrote:
Mystic_Snowfang wrote:

Paladins are Lawful, as are most of the gods they worship. I don't think a Lawful or Good god would punish their holy warriors for having someone FORCE them to do something. By magical OR mundane means. Because it is "willingly commits" an evil act. Even if there is just mundane corrosion that's not willingly.

Heck I'd go so far to say that temporarily being out of it because of severe head trauma might be iffy.

Though going in for an absolution would likely still be something to do in character, as would the Paladin being mortified at what they were forced to do.

Two points that have been pointed out. First, the RAW (which, in this case, is my main concern) states that the paladin only has to commit the act, not that he must be in any way complacent. The shell of a meat puppet that his soul wears merely has to go through the mechanical motions of, say, stabbing a relatively innocent person in such a way that they cease to be.

I take issue with this. If you are being mind controlled, you the player aren't doing jack. The person controlling you is committing the act, using your hands. A fighter who is possessed by a shadow demon and used to commit evil acts is not himself evil or committing evil acts; the shadow demon is. By the same token, the paladin ISN'T violating his code of conduct because he isn't doing anything except fighting against his tormentor's commands. This is not grounds for falling.

Quote:

Second, if they ARE being controlled, and so weak willed that they are easily taken over by magical control (Will is a good save for them, and wisdom is a critical score), why would a god of good want the opposition to have access to that power? That's a good god's power, none of them would want their power falling into the hands of evil.

From both a RAW and a RAI, I think it's fair to say that, while a god might forgive them, a Paladin can be forced to fall against their will.

By this basis gods will always strip any divine class of their powers the instant things start going bad for them. Evil gods will immediately revoke their priests' powers as punishment for failing them if the priest starts to lose, while good gods will, by this logic, abandon their most dedicated servants when they go up against something powerful with mind-control.

This is obviously stupid. Shelyn would not say "tough cookies, kid, enjoy being a sock puppet. I've got ten more kids just like you I'll give your powers to instead," because the paladin sworn to her service was overpowered by an Aboleth, who is ancient and very good at bending even the most resilient minds to its will. Good doesn't abandon its own. It's one of the reasons it's good. If a god immediately withdraws any help they were giving you because you were put in a bad spot they are an evil god, and therefore wouldn't have paladins in the first place. You could almost make a point for evil gods being vindictive and abandoning their faithful at the drop of a hat to punish them for failure, but that's one of the reasons evil gods are different from good ones and somehow I never see people questioning if their clerics of Asmodeus should suddenly lose their spells because the antagonist beat them and Asmodeus does not forgive failure, or a PC antipaladin getting depowered out of the blue because his demonic masters are capricious jerks (even though demons ARE capricious jerks who enjoy screwing over their own side, unlike the forces of good).

People are way too eager to yank away a paladin's powers because the notion that it could happen somehow means it should happen, often in ways that imply the god pulling the plug was LOOKING for an excuse to yank this paladin's chain and seized on the first one that presented itself. That's really not how gods of good and law roll.


Weeble, I think we understand your stance already. You DO realize that, even with RAW, there's multiple possible interpretations of JUST the literal meaning of something, without even trying to get into RAI? You're taking a one-line hard stance on this because, clearly, you're a heavy paladin player. Where as I've played practically every class type available since I started playing AD&D when I was 6.


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Zarius,

I'm glad that you've been enjoying the hobby for a while. I, and many other posters, have been enjoying the hobby since 1st Edition AD&D (and some even before that). In that time, I've seen a lot of DMs try to screw over players, either through technicalities or "hands are tied" literal rulings. I want to get across the point that technicalities swing both ways, and that rulings don't occur in a vacuum (consider a Kitsune Paladin sing Dominate Person to cause a king's chef to poison him because he isn't technically murdering or poisoning anyone).

I also understand that I am basing my opinion on this from the one line stating that a Paladin must "willingly" perform an evil act. But you should understand that you're basing your opinion on exactly zero lines that say that a Paladin should fall from unwillingly performing an evil act.

In short, surprise rules that run contrary of written rules that completely trash your character aren't fun and tend to cause havoc in a game.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have one Paladin character (recently started in PFS), and have only been gaming since the early '80's.

I play the character legitimately. I use understanding and fairmess. I don't ram-rod the morality over a given party (save for one instance, where it was questionable but it'd been a long day for the player).

If they were pushed into this BS situation, I suspect the reaction would be something along the lines of:

"Is this a scenario story element that the GM is attempting to enforce, or is this vindictive GM style?"

If it's the former, it's one thing, and there better gosh darn well be some resolution that my character shouldn't have to pay for being plot-hammered like that.

If it's the latter, I'd know a table I'd be steering clear of, and I'd advise my fellow players likewise.


The easy solution? Flush the Paladin, get Rogue Genius Games' Templar instead.


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I genuinely feel like the Paladin code should be viewed as a player taking on a roleplaying challenge, not as a hammer for the GM to wield against Paladins. I guess you could make a case for a GM using the code as a hammer if a player completely fails to take the code seriously, but any honest effort of playing a Paladin as "a genuinely good person, above reproach" should basically make you immune to falling (unless this is a story you want to tell about your character, in which case- talk to the GM!)


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I genuinely feel like the Paladin code should be viewed as a player taking on a roleplaying challenge, not as a hammer for the GM to wield against Paladins. I guess you could make a case for a GM using the code as a hammer if a player completely fails to take the code seriously, but any honest effort of playing a Paladin as "a genuinely good person, above reproach" should basically make you immune to falling (unless this is a story you want to tell about your character, in which case- talk to the GM!)

I feel like this is it exactly. The Paladin has some strong abilities (although not so strong that it's out of whack with the other strong martials in similarly capable hands) but comes with a double alignment lock compared to the Barbarian and Monk's one...and a roleplaying challenge.

The code of conduct wasn't built into the class to give the GM a handy "off switch" to take away the player's powers the second they put a toe out of line, even in situations like this where they're not putting a toe out of line so much as a third party appears and shoves them off the line. It's designed to give the player a certain set of rules that guide their roleplaying. Sometimes it gets in the way of doing the most expedient thing, but it's to help convince the player to get into the mindset of a real dyed-in-the-wool good guy. It's meant to be a tool the player uses to remind themselves of what beliefs their character would have been taught to uphold as part of their training, and a tool the GM can use to remind the player of something their honor would demand they do something about.

It's NOT there to play "gotcha" with the paladin player any more than the cleric losing their spells and domains if their god turns away from them is something that's SUPPOSED to happen to Clerics any time they get in trouble. Just because a class can lose its powers doesn't mean that it should unless the player is intentionally going way out of bounds.


Paladins get quite a few bonuses because they have a code of conduct they have to adhere to. Any violation, even under the influence of a spell, should be punished.

These are rules, breaking the black and white (even on a technicality) should get the punishment. This is like saying a Barbarian who loses his extra hp from a rage shouldn't die because it isn't the barbarian's fault. Sure, the monster/GM did this to them. Its part of the game. The GM should't be playing favorites here.

Where the wiggle room comes in is when the Paladin seeks atonement. If the paladin only committed evil acts under the influence of a mind control/illusions/ or even a fantastically successful Bluff check but came to regret those actions and fully upheld his oaths after the fact, the actual atonement itself should be painless. On the other hand, if the player committed an evil act because they know they can get atonement cast on them by another player or a NPC, it should be harsh or even impossible to complete the quest. The actual atonement is where the GM gets to be "fair".


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

But the GM shouldn't be stacking the deck against the paladin in the first place, unless they are a complete a-hat.

There's going to be enough tests in a given story to do that. Specifically targeting one character with this one thing doesn't help build a conducive play environment.

It's the effective equivalent of telling someone they can play Superman and then forcing them to carry around a chunk of kryptonite 'to make it fair'.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


It's the effective equivalent of telling someone they can play Superman and then forcing them to carry around a chunk of kryptonite 'to make it fair'.

To sort of build on that, you can also add to that that other members of your party include Dr Fate and the Spectre and are free to run around as they will while Supes is stuck with his Kryptonite.


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Meirril wrote:

Paladins get quite a few bonuses because they have a code of conduct they have to adhere to. Any violation, even under the influence of a spell, should be punished.

These are rules, breaking the black and white (even on a technicality) should get the punishment. This is like saying a Barbarian who loses his extra hp from a rage shouldn't die because it isn't the barbarian's fault. Sure, the monster/GM did this to them. Its part of the game. The GM should't be playing favorites here.

Where the wiggle room comes in is when the Paladin seeks atonement. If the paladin only committed evil acts under the influence of a mind control/illusions/ or even a fantastically successful Bluff check but came to regret those actions and fully upheld his oaths after the fact, the actual atonement itself should be painless. On the other hand, if the player committed an evil act because they know they can get atonement cast on them by another player or a NPC, it should be harsh or even impossible to complete the quest. The actual atonement is where the GM gets to be "fair".

Neither should the GM be actively looking to **** over one of the players when you know as well as I do he will do no such thing if a barbarian does something lawful or a monk does something chaotic, especially if it is not willfully done.

The powers of the paladin are granted either by gods of good or the very idea of goodness itself.

In the case of the paladin having a god, why on earth would a being next door to all-knowing take away one of their most devoted followers' powers when they know damn well the paladin is not willingly acting in violation of their principles? If someone looking to make the paladin look bad poisons the paladin's sword without their knowledge, there is no grounds for the god, who would KNOW this because the gods have access to knowledge mortals do not, to punish the PALADIN for someone else's actions.

In the case of the ideal of good, there isn't a sentient force that grants the paladin their powers, which means the only thing that would extinguish them is if the paladin no longer holds the ideal of good in her heart, possibly because of feeling unworthy or something else. But it's certainly not going to disappear on the paladin while they're being mind-controlled and trying to fight off their tormentor's will.

The paladin's abilities are not so strong that it's notably better than the barbarian or the ranger. It's absolute nonsense for GMs to feel like they're obligated to take a fall, which is meant to be a punishment for bad roleplaying as a paladin, and jump through however many flimsy hoops they need to in order to FORCE a paladin to fall even if the player has done nothing wrong.

There is also a BIG ****ing difference between "you are reduced to 0 hp because you were hit by attacks" and "because you rolled a natural 1 on your will save you no longer get to play your class until I feel like giving it back to you."

Silver Crusade

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


But the GM shouldn't be stacking the deck against the paladin in the first place, unless they are a complete a-hat.

Its pretty clear that, when it comes to paladins, there are LOTS of GM's who are complete a-hats. At least here on the discussion boards.

In real life and in on-line games I've never actually seen ANY significant problems with ANY paladins except for the one case where the 12 year old was told he could NOT have his paladin murder the orphans in First Steps :-). I've seen paladins do things that I personally felt were right at the line (or slightly over it) but the GM, at worst, asked the player to justify his action and accepted the vaguely reasonable justification.


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Blackwaltzomega wrote:
[Falling is supposed to be because of a failing of the player,...

No. Falling is a failure of the CHARACTER. It is an in setting story mechanic, not a way to dictate player action or a tool to punish them.


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Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Good doesn't abandon its own. It's one of the reasons it's good.

I am sure Tabris thought the same.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Want to know about paladins? Read The Deed of Paksennarion and the series beginning with Oath of Swords. Then go read The Hero With a Thousand Faces (non-fiction). For a different take, try Paladin of Shadows, in which Mike Jenkins, aka "Ghost" is a former Navy Seal, a self-described "bad man who tries to do good", of whom Barb Everette, a soccer mom and Warrior For God known as the Queen of Swords said (to an FBI agent) "You do know he's possessed by a demon, right?"

:-)

Silver Crusade

You know, it is amusing.
Assuming that falling paladin = ahat gm.
Some of these are great fodder for NPC encounters.
Like, say a badass in distress paladin who is being mind controlled by something bigger than them. Some great role play options there and such.Esp if there ends up being a kerfuffle with the Paladin's order later.
Or the paladin is convinced they were at fault and abandons being a paladin altogether.
Or for a great story for a vindictive bastard.


Mystic_Snowfang wrote:

You know, it is amusing.

Assuming that falling paladin = ahat gm.
Some of these are great fodder for NPC encounters.
Like, say a badass in distress paladin who is being mind controlled by something bigger than them. Some great role play options there and such.Esp if there ends up being a kerfuffle with the Paladin's order later.

That's actually exactly what my charcter things happened, though the paladin is technically 'retired'. The paladin seems entirely convinced that he fell due to his own action, but I'm sorry, a paladin makes it to old age and doesn't fall, suddenly falling years after retirement seems really hinky to me.


I feel like everybody understands that a GM is entitled to do all sorts of awful things to NPC Paladins (and any other NPCs you feel like doing bad stuff to). I also believe that doing most of these sorts of things to a PC, unless it was the player's idea to begin with, is poor form.

"Mind controlling the PCs" is potentially an issue with some tables, or it's potentially a lot of fun for everybody. If I was planning on having a villain dominate the Party's Paladin, I'd probably have the villain plan on not forcing the Paladin to do anything that would cause them to fall- since "announcing that you're going to attack your erstwhile allies, and doing so while apologizing profusely and/or pointing out the times the Party has, in fact, harmed the innocent" should not run the risk of the Paladin falling.

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