Should this Paladin have fallen?


Advice

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Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

But that is itself a violation of a good alignment. As for the rest, a paladin is required to balance law and good. As you yourself said, if faced with an Evil law, a paladin tries to CHANGE the law, not ignore, change, implicitly by lawful means. What is Good takes precedence, but doesn't ignore the law. As for whether or not the lynching was legit, if it was it would be called a hanging, and mobs wouldn't be involved. If you are in a state of mob justice, you're not exactly going about things legally. Mendev is in a tricky spot, because it's essentially frontier territory, where the Queen's law doesn't really extend beyond her capital. Had the priest actually been going to be lynched for a reason beyond "cleric of Asmodeus, I would agree that the mob was in the right. As is, they aren't.


I can't help but laugh a little. While this conversation continues over (what I feel) a simple question, in the Playtest forum there's a thread with elitists whining about Paladin's needing to remain LG and there's nothing wrong with them, versus pro-choice that their alignment restrictions should be less strict for inclusivity and variety of characters.

I've already stated I feel the Paladin here did nothing innately wrong. However, the fact of this arguement going on as long as it has provides as proof that people have varying interpretations of the PF1 Paladin, and their code, and the fact the Paladin's entire skillset hangs in the balance in a sign I think things need to change.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Perhaps, I'm more arguing because I enjoy a good debate that makes you think, and I think we're doing a good job all around on keeping it civil. As far as alignment changes are concerned, I disagree that it's needed, because the issue is that they adhere to a code, a code that no one seems to agree on.

Dark Archive

Steelfiredragon wrote:
my paladin carries and uses non lethal poisons on bolts for her hand crossbow for those fools who hit on her and continue to do so after she tells them to bug off. Does this make her fall?

Yes.

Assuming your Paladin's code includes a prohibition on the use of poison.


Val'bryn2 wrote:
Perhaps, I'm more arguing because I enjoy a good debate that makes you think, and I think we're doing a good job all around on keeping it civil. As far as alignment changes are concerned, I disagree that it's needed, because the issue is that they adhere to a code, a code that no one seems to agree on.

I agree to that, too. It's good to debate with people who actualy bring senseful and quite logical arguments... I do not truly care about who's right or wrong, in reality.

BTW, if we want a closure to the debate, it's pretty easy. Let me quote the most relevant rule about the topic:

Quote:

Paladins And Moral Quandaries

More than any other character class, paladins face challenges in dealing with moral quandaries and shades of gray because of their alignment and code of honor. Those playing paladins should not be fearful of these ethical dilemmas; instead, such moral issues should be viewed as opportunities to open a dialogue with the Gamemaster to discuss the nature of the paladin’s code and how it would affect her role in the situation at hand. The GM, likewise, should take the time to fully explain what might cause the character to lose her special abilities or force her to seek atonement. The GM and the player should also discuss how and if the GM will warn her in future gaming sessions if her actions warrant repercussions.

Basicaly, we could TL;DR it this way: "It should fall if the DM of the table think it should fall"

Our opinion on this forum is irrelevant because we are not this DM, and no rule gives us the answer.
I only advocate what is the conclusion I've seen the most often applied with success.

I rarely seen a Paladin rp go hairwire because he did what was right, in a situation when the law said otherwise... but I've also seen plenty of times when a Paladin rp goes to ridiculous ends once you've told him he can do shady things as long he respects the law.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think our main disagreement is whether or not it was shady. My own beliefs are that it wasn't, due to the lynching being solely based on his status as a cleric of one of the most prominent Inner Sea gods. Had he done something to warrant it, my answer, well it wouldn't change, but that's because I judge my paladins based on what they are trying to accomplish, and how they go about it. I'll send visions of something really went wrong afterwards, but in a "think things through next time". The problem with the argument about not seeing a paladin to go haywire when he goes against a law is that, in this case, going against the law is going along with murder.

I appreciate this thread, because it's making me think up a set of guidelines for being a paladin I am going to write down and provide as a handout for my players.


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Val'bryn2 wrote:
But that is itself a violation of a good alignment. As for the rest, a paladin is required to balance law and good. As you yourself said, if faced with an Evil law, a paladin tries to CHANGE the law, not ignore, change, implicitly by lawful means. What is Good takes precedence, but doesn't ignore the law. As for whether or not the lynching was legit, if it was it would be called a hanging, and mobs wouldn't be involved. If you are in a state of mob justice, you're not exactly going about things legally. Mendev is in a tricky spot, because it's essentially frontier territory, where the Queen's law doesn't really extend beyond her capital. Had the priest actually been going to be lynched for a reason beyond "cleric of Asmodeus, I would agree that the mob was in the right. As is, they aren't.

Doing something that is not necessarily good is not the same as willfully performing an evil act.

As to the response to an evil law or leader? That's a very personal question to the individual. But revolution is not out of the question. After all, paladins don't fall for committing chaotic acts.

There is no singular "right" way to play a paladin.


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Lady-J wrote:
except it is fact

Sorry, but you have no proof that your view could objectively be valid.

Lady-J wrote:
paladins in 5e can pretty much do what ever they want so long as they stick to the code that they themselves chose out this does in fact give them more freedom.

This neither confirms nor refutes any point made thusfar. It's nice to know, but it's unimportant.

Lady-J wrote:
another fact is that they are more powerful than pathfinder paladins, their aura effect everyone evenly paladin gets immunity to something so does every other party member with in 10 feet(upgraded to 30 feet at higher levels) paladin get charisma to all saves guess what so does every ally within the 10(30)foot radius their smite works vs everything and they get like a dozen different kinds of smite that each do neat effects, they also get spells at level 2 their only downside is lay on hands which works kinda like the 3.5 one.

Again, nice to know, but it neither confirms nor refutes any point made thusfar.

Lady-J wrote:
5e paladins get overall better features than pf and wear less of a strait jacket while getting to enjoy those powers.

Good to know. It's a completely different design paradigm based upon a system two editions beyond what Pathfinder was based upon. That doesn't mean that the Pathfinder paladin is "subpar", just different. If you're making the assertion that the Pathfinder paladin is "subpar", not only is that a completely separate argument from paladin morality and fall conditions, but it is, once again, an apples to oranges comparison.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Omnius wrote:

Doing something that is not necessarily good is not the same as willfully performing an evil act.

As to the response to an evil law or leader? That's a very personal question to the individual. But revolution is not out of the question. After all, paladins don't fall for committing chaotic acts.

There is no singular "right" way to play a paladin.

I agree with you about there not being a "right" way. As for the good/evil point you first bring up, if this paladin of Erastil had stood aside, he would have been harming the community by allowing every member of that mob to commit murder. Now, I don't think anyone argues that the premeditated murder by lynching of a cleric who is passing through town is anything but evil. After all, you can't argue self defense, because he apparently didn't do anything except walk through town. He wasn't a direct threat to the community, because he was on his way out of said community. His religion is not banned in the area, he didn't violate any laws. They were religious zealots who sought to kill him for not following their viewpoint. They were on their way out of a good alignment, because they immediately turned to extralegal execution, rather than simply asking him to move on, or see if they can help hurry him along. This isn't just a neutral act, it's straight up evil, or at least would be at my table.

Amusingly enough, I realized that our discussion on this matter actually mirrors some of the arguments between different good gods. Those of us who advocate that the paladin was right to rescue the cleric are using the same sort of logic that Sarerae uses, while the ones who say he should have let the cleric die are more in line with Torag.


amethal wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:
my paladin carries and uses non lethal poisons on bolts for her hand crossbow for those fools who hit on her and continue to do so after she tells them to bug off. Does this make her fall?

Yes.

Assuming your Paladin's code includes a prohibition on the use of poison.

let me rephrase that.

her bolts are moderately to heavily laced with a knock out drug.


Steelfiredragon wrote:
amethal wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:
my paladin carries and uses non lethal poisons on bolts for her hand crossbow for those fools who hit on her and continue to do so after she tells them to bug off. Does this make her fall?

Yes.

Assuming your Paladin's code includes a prohibition on the use of poison.

let me rephrase that.

her bolts are moderately to heavily laced with a knock out drug.

I use a knockout poison Vigilante.

Poisons are not prohibited by paladins because they are deadly, but because they are underhanded. A paladin would not stoop to such tactics as to inhibit an opponent.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

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Removed some insulting/bickering posts and replies.


A paladins "Code" or the sense of alignment in general is something that is oft discussed between me and my friends. Personally i am more in a "grey area" but honestly i feel that alignments are more or less obsolete as a mechanic, and functions more of a descriptor for players to get a general grasp of the targets intent.

However, i think paladins are mostly restricted in that most players have a rather black and white line of thought when it comes to paladins and that paladins *must* enforce their codes not only on themselves, but others aswell. Theres nothing that prevents a paladin to work with a party that uses underhanded tactics, the paladin can be reluctant to work with these people ofcourse, but in the end he will stick to his morals to himself and to guide and lead as a example rather than enforce... thats the inquisitors job.

The point is even more made clear when you look into the aspect of the anti-paladin which in my experience is almost enforced as your "a single minded destructive character", but the supplements and the notes on the antipaladin actually allows for rather large playing room for the antipaladin despite that "doing good of his own will" part there is another section that allows him to do "good" in the process of gaining trust for a later more sinister scheme. (Basically what they are saying is that antipaladins are allowed to be LawfulEvil.... sometimes).

So yeah, a lot of the staples of Paladins i think is mostly from players and their simplification of the paladin class. However i do wish the offical writing would support this aspect of the paladin more and make a class that is less prone to "DM shenanigans".


Dracoknight wrote:
...i do wish the offical writing would support this aspect of the paladin more and make a class that is less prone to "DM shenanigans".

Good idea that is always pointless. Bad DMing comes from bad DMs, and poorly written rules are just the excuse, not the reason.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah. I was reading a post on this forum a while back where a player was sharing that his GM tried to make his character Fall. Thing is, he was playing a fighter, not a paladin. Some people just try and screw over others when they get behind the screen.


So the general consensus is that Sir Paladin should NOT have fallen just because he unwittingly rescued an Evil person. Thank you. Reading through this thread has been entertaining.

To supply a bit of information I saw requested, after healing the cleric and discovering he worships Asmodeus, the group found out he was heading to the Worldwound to spend his last few years fighting demons to help uphold the Law of his God. So Sir Paladin allowed the old fellow to go on his way, after obtaining a promise not to work an ill on the locals or passersby. And yes, I do plan on having them run into that cleric again.


The paladin at a minimum should have done the following
(A) USE DETECT EVIL to determine if there is any credence to what the villagers said.
(B) Follow up - Make sure obviously evil guy doesn't do evil.

(Of course, the best way to ensure this is to let the community impose the law on him, but I guess pinky swearing that you won't summon a bone devil to wipe the town is ok.)
Paladin probably should have gotten him to write it down, as those Asmodeans love their contracts.

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