An Impassioned Plea: Paladins - Respect Tradition


Prerelease Discussion

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Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey OP, are female Paladins OK?


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As long as they're human. Only humans can be Paladins, right? It's tradition.


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I honestly hope they ditch Alignment system all together and their fore not tie paladins to it. I hope paladin are just knights that follow their deity tents to extreme measures. They can still have a code of conduct, but it is specific to the deity they worship.I also hope Anti-Paladin, Hell Knights, Cavaliers are just archetypes of the Paladin.


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In the long of it: If you do not like something, you do not have to play it. The more restrictive you make something, the less satisfying it is to more people. You can still play a Paladin your way, but making /everyone/ play your way will disappoint more people, and potentially drive them away from something they may love.


I would be fine with ditching alignment entirely, but I would still want Paladins to have to be Lawful Good (just they don't have to write it on a character sheet anywhere).


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If we're using "lore" as a reason for not changing things, why evolve the system at all?

No thank you. The paladin should evolve with the rest of the game.

Shadow Lodge

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I'll just be blunt.

You are among an extremely small minority and I can just about 100% guarantee that you Will not get what you want out of PF2's Paladin class without houseruling.

The Paladin has been moving more and more away from the extremes of restrictions in older editions and the limitations of "lore" those editions and versions placed on the class. Compare the requirements of just creating a 2e Paladin to the class blurb for the PF version; the latter isfar less inhibited, even if the LG requirement and Code if Conduct remain (and that latter has likewise been loosened considerably).

And that's not even getting into archetype options that change or loosen the alignment reqs or code.

Paizo has been consistently moving toward a less limited, less restrictive Paladin class. I seriously doubt your desire to retract all that and then sone is in line with their intents in any shape or form.


Simply put. If they strip out the alignment that's when I walk away.


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If Paizo is ok with losing a customer... Well that's fine. There are plenty of other games for me to play.

Silver Crusade

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Count me in as a vote for someone who wants paladins to have to be lawful good. It's what makes them fun to play, in my book. The class is all about the conflict between doing what is lawful and what is good and trying to find the best compromise.


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HWalsh wrote:
Simply put. If they strip out the alignment that's when I walk away.

Really? I wasn't sure when you said it the first three times, so maybe you should say it a few more times just so that everyone gets the idea.

Shadow Lodge

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HWalsh wrote:
If Paizo is ok with losing a customer... Well that's fine. There are plenty of other games for me to play.

Hahahahahahah...have you been asleep the past 24 hours? They're losing a LOT more than "a" customer over this PF Second Edition thing. They are perfectly fine with it.

Would they prefer each and every one of us stuck around? Sure, no doubt. But they are clearly not willing to compromise their vision and desires for PF2 over those unwilling to move in the company's desired direction,

So yes. They are 100% okay with losing customers. Have been since day one. They certainly would not have pushed so many sociopolitical buttons over the years if they were that afraid of losing people, either.

They just expect, like any company undergoing major changes, that they will gain as many or more new customers as they lose.


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It really doesn't help that your refusal to acknowledge any variation, even variation that keeps echoes of the lore you like, makes this come across as less impassioned plea and more desperate ultimatum.

I get it. I do. Paladins are awesome, and I've always liked that flavor of a bastion of justice and benevolence. But it is not the only way to play a holy warrior - the antipaladin (and the blackguard from which it was clearly made) show this. It only makes logical sense to acknowledge variations. The best case I've ever seen for a CG paladin was from Superstar - the Green Knight archetype that I cannot find the link to right now. Restrict them, certainly, but don't ignore them out of stubborn clinging to tradition.

In the end, if the only reason to keep doing something is "we've always done it this way," it might need re-examining.

Shadow Lodge

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Thanks to an archetype for a different class I've been playing a NG 'paladin' for months. Likewise, I've played the regular paladin.

Both have been immensely fun.

You probably don't want to hear about my third paladin though. He was a Goblin. ^_^


5E Paladin mechanically is really good, the Ranger has lost a bit of its niche and/or feel so a good only Ranger might actually help with class identity.

Whatever way they go with the Plaadin they should make the other thing an option (anoy or LG only Paladins IMHO).


Alignment mechanics are pretty much irrelevant to me. What I want is The Paladin.
That is, the paladin class should have the same psyche, the same ethos and moral, and so on. The Paladin is Not the "Warrior of a specific Deity". These are two very different concepts and need separate classes. Same thing applies to Druid, Monk, Cleric, and so on.
It's not about the words "LG-only". It's about having the same class I loved from the very first days of my hobby, without losing its special shine.


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HWalsh wrote:
If Paizo is ok with losing a customer... Well that's fine. There are plenty of other games for me to play.

And Paizo has plenty of people interested in becoming a new customer for them. So. . . .sounds like everyone's happy.


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I like the paladin as much as (nearly) anyone, but I was more than happy to lose the minimum Cha 17 and restricted magic items from 2nd Edition and I liked the idea of multiple paladin orders in 5E.

Having comprehensive codes of conduct is far more useful in actual play than just slapping an alignment label on a character.


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Rename the Paladin to the Paragon, which has the Paladin's "virtually indestructible, divinely inspired martial" thing going on but isn't restricted by alignment.

Gygax had a lot of ideas. Some of them were good, some of them were terrible. Pathfinder should not be restricted by what he wanted D&D to be.


Honestly, I think the idea of a warrior so dedicated to Evil as the paladin is to Good and Law just baffles and annoys me.
Part of the reason why the paladin exists is for the method of asymmetrical balance between good and evil: the forces of good are few and elite, while the forces of evil are numerous and weaker (individually).
With that said I think we need a new approach to “Anti-Paladins” or so, trying to give them more substance.
In addition, Rangers *should* be good. That’s another thing I like from AD&D ^^


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I never liked the LG alignment for Paladins because too many players and DMs really don't know how to play and/ or run the class. They can keep alignment as long as the current one is revamped so that each and every alignment details what can or cannot be done by the player. In point form. Similar to how Palladium Books does it. Say what you want about their rules we never ever had alignment issues with that system. As well as making a official rule that the PB can fall only if he commits a truly evil act. Not player XYZ refuses to attack a overly powerful enemy and falls.

Paladins are heroes. They are also not suicidal champions of justice. Their is no reason for one to fall if he retreats from a impossible battle. Or attacks an enemy by going through a secret passage. It needs to be spelled out unfortunately as too many really don't know how to DM for and play Paladins imo.

As for losing players a new edition inevitable does that so the OP can repeat he is turning his back on the new edition multiple times it won't make the developers stop working on the rpg because of him.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Hey OP, are female Paladins OK?

They'd certainly better be.


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Igwilly wrote:

Honestly, I think the idea of a warrior so dedicated to Evil as the paladin is to Good and Law just baffles and annoys me.

Part of the reason why the paladin exists is for the method of asymmetrical balance between good and evil: the forces of good are few and elite, while the forces of evil are numerous and weaker (individually).

This is an incredibly strange opinion to have; conquering warlords and vile necromancers can stand toe to toe with the entire party in most every narrative I've seen. Those most devoted to darkness are rewarded with untold power, and it's overcoming the impossible odds of defeating such a foe that makes the adventurers noteworthy, not clearing out a horde of CR 1/3 goblins.


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I like paladins as the ultimate warrior of a god or ideal. So codes like 5E or the diety based ones of PF. Because those concepts (and the LG only paladin could fall into the ultimate warrior of the ideal of good/justice) are too fruitful for ideas to be restricted to one interpretation.
If you want to restrict them more, houserule it in your game. And if they keep the LG only rule: I'll be houseruling it out like I have since 3.5. Once I buy the book it's my game, and my friends and I can play how we want. No one is holding a gun telling me I have to follow the RAW if I don't want to. So the idea of limiting the class to a narrow view baffles me, but I'll do it my way no matter what.


Arachnofiend wrote:


This is an incredibly strange opinion to have; conquering warlords and vile necromancers can stand toe to toe with the entire party in most every narrative I've seen. Those most devoted to darkness are rewarded with untold power, and it's overcoming the impossible odds of defeating such a foe that makes the adventurers noteworthy, not clearing out a horde of CR 1/3 goblins.

That's the difference between "For the Evulz"! and "Deal with the Devil" or "serving a dark lord" ;) They have fundamental differences.

Also, about the asymmetry, it has less to do with the party having trouble killing off the Necromancer than the legions of Heaven and Hell, the adherence to their ideals, and the grand scheme of things. But that grand scheme of things would imply having The Chosen Many as a elite fighting force...


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HWalsh wrote:

As the lore explains with the Gray Paladin - The powers get wonky if you mess with that balance.

So Good without law would get a different (and weaker) result (see Gray Paladin).

That is just how the lore works.

First off, your earlier talk about how changing Paladin alignments was akin to putting a rap singer into Lord of the Rings was very out of line. That's a strawman at best, and I could probably make far more harsh comparisons.

That said, to get to what you said here: The lore locked me out of some character concepts that by all rights ought to work. I was looking for a Charisma driven melee character with a bit of healing and buffing. So, I went through all the options I could find. Here's what I found, and the results weren't very good:

Warpriest doesn't do this. It's Wis-driven. Cleric doesn't do this. It's Wis-driven. Gray Paladin doesn't do this. It sucks. It loses most of the fun things a Paladin gets. Nobody wants to play "A Paladin but sucky and bad and boring."

Bard's got the balance wrong for what I wanted to do (it's a fun class, just didn't fit my concept). It's Cha-driven but places too much weight on buffing and not enough on martial stuff. Bloodrager is Cha-driven but doesn't have much buffing or healing. It's more like a melee-heavy derivative of the Magus.

Cavalier is a Cha enabled class but is needlessly convouluted and lacks healing. Inquisitor is Wis-driven. Oracle comes close, but the Curses encourage all sorts of bizarre min-maxing to try to find penalties that aren't too crippling. Shaman's not martial enough for this idea. Skald likewise comes up a bit short for this idea; too supporty and just a bit short of being martial enough as a result.

Paladin offers the exact blend of features I wanted, but is locked behind a specific alignment. The blend is not obscure; it's tweaking the 'martial versus support' formula offered by Clerics and Bards to reduce the support/healing (but still maintain it), make the character driven by strong personality (Cha) aspects, and favors martial aspects more. It's not something extremely niche and narrow in focus that needs to be alignment specific like some lore-based PRCs. It's a broad, highly desired playstyle.

I'm to understand that decisions made decades ago mean I need to just miss out on a pretty broad playstyle because of an Alignment mismatch for the character personalities I'm interested in? And that wanting to change this is like putting a rap singer in Tolkien's works? That's not very fair. In fact, it's insulting.

This is a very real gap in the game's design and something should be done about it.

It's also a lore gap. I'm to somehow believe that only Lawful Good can produce people with feelings strong enough to pursue a path of 'mostly martial, but with some healing and limited buffing mixed in, driven by a strong belief in their ideals'? No. That's absurd. It basically says only Lawful Good really cares about their ideals, in effect. I can't support that.


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I think we could expect to see cavalier and paladin merged into one class, and to have different orders function like different archetypes that will have different alignments attached to them/encouraged.

Also, I believe this marks the very first 2.0 paladin thread.

Rejoice!


Merging Paladin and Cav could be interesting...


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Personally I conceive of the Paladin not as a "Holy Warrior" or a "divinely inspired martial" or a "Sword arm of a Church" but more as "A genuine hero, the best guy/gal around, above reproach, a sincere and devoted champion of what is right". Which is why I'm genuinely perturbed by the idea of "Paladins of various alignments" since I don't see most of those as "Paladins".

Like the 5e Paladin is unrecognizable to me as a Paladin and I definitely do not want that here.


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Will no one think of the bards? Who originally needed 4 stats above 15, with the rest all over 10, and had alignment restrictions? Then were a rogue group sub-type with an need for 15 Cha with 13 Int, 12 Dex? Plus racial restrictions?

What I'm getting at. Things change. Bards were prior rare and almost impossible to be /allowed/ to play. The Paladin suffered similarly in older versions. It eventually grew and the concept was expanded on both classes to be inclusive. This inclusiveness feels good for players. If a player doesn't like something they need never play it.

I for one, have never really played a Ranger. They've never appealed to me. If I wanted to use one of their weapon styles, I found fighters more flexible. If I wanted to do magic and animals, I took druid, and could build the druid my way to do what I wanted.

The suggestion to limit Paladins is the same. If you do not care for something, don't play it. Be it a class or edition. No one can force you.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Personally I conceive of the Paladin (snip by RickDias) more as "A genuine hero, the best guy/gal around, above reproach, a sincere and devoted champion of what is right". Which is why I'm genuinely perturbed by the idea of "Paladins of various alignments" since I don't see most of those as "Paladins".

Cabbage: What you've described is a personality, not a playstyle. The current PF Paladin locks people out of a broad playstyle because they don't have the specific personality.

Also, while I'm busy being angry: HWalsh, earlier you mentioned Paizo losing a customer (presumably you) if they don't Respect Tradition. Let me respond to this: For every book you don't buy, I'll buy two and encourage friends to pick up a copy too. I'm provoked enough at this point to be a very spiteful customer.


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Isaac Zephyr wrote:


The suggestion to limit Paladins is the same. If you do not care for something, don't play it. Be it a class or edition. No one can force you.

Exactly. That's why no one needs to jeopardize the class and it's concept: don't like it? Play another. If you want a Holy Warrior, the cleric (and the warpriest) already fits the bill just right ^^


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Igwilly wrote:


Exactly. That's why no one needs to jeopardize the class and it's concept: don't like it? Play another. If you want a Holy Warrior, the cleric (and the warpriest) already fits the bill just right ^^

Except it doesn't. Not always.

If you want a Wis-based Holy Warrior, sure. Cleric probably works. Warpriest offers tweaks on it too. Works if you're after Wis-driven holy warrior. What if you want a slightly more martial, less buff/heal (but they're still present) Holy Warrior driven more by expressive personality (Cha, not Wis)? You're out of luck unless you want a very specific personality tied to just one alignment.


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RickDias wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Personally I conceive of the Paladin (snip by RickDias) more as "A genuine hero, the best guy/gal around, above reproach, a sincere and devoted champion of what is right". Which is why I'm genuinely perturbed by the idea of "Paladins of various alignments" since I don't see most of those as "Paladins".
Cabbage: What you've described is a personality, not a playstyle. The current PF Paladin locks people out of a broad playstyle because they don't have the specific personality.

I disagree that you can't have current Paladins or a range of personalities, I am currently playing a Paladin who is a literal sociopath (who has convinced herself, intellectually, to always do the thing she knows is right, not the thing she feels is right). She's a grubby Paladin, whose instincts are wrong 100% of the time, but she's nonetheless resolved to do things the right way even if deep down she doesn't want to. 100% LG, 100% Paladin, not a stereotype (Changelings are so great, I hope they get more attention in 2e).

In addition to "literal sociopaths", I've played Paladins as "aw shucks" good-natured yokels, as tragic figures obsessed with their own failings, as ardent skeptical atheists, as unassuming and quiet bookish folks, etc. I have never (and will never) play one who is not, fundamentally good to the end.

Shadow Lodge

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Well, not that personality has to be as tied to alignment as people think.


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Those all sound pretty cool. I'm nonetheless noting that this is a huge limitation on the range of concepts and it should go.


RickDias wrote:


Except it doesn't. Not always.

If you want a Wis-based Holy Warrior, sure. Cleric probably works. Warpriest offers tweaks on it too. Works if you're after Wis-driven holy warrior. What if you want a slightly more martial, less buff/heal (but they're still present) Holy Warrior driven more by expressive personality (Cha, not Wis)? You're out of luck unless you want a very specific personality tied to just one alignment.

We could have a new archetype for clerics and/or warpriest. Perhaps even an entirely new class.

But, alas, classes aren't about bringing exact mechanical concepts to the play. They're more like tropes-based.


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Igwilly wrote:
RickDias wrote:


Except it doesn't. Not always.

If you want a Wis-based Holy Warrior, sure. Cleric probably works. Warpriest offers tweaks on it too. Works if you're after Wis-driven holy warrior. What if you want a slightly more martial, less buff/heal (but they're still present) Holy Warrior driven more by expressive personality (Cha, not Wis)? You're out of luck unless you want a very specific personality tied to just one alignment.

We could have a new archetype for clerics and/or warpriest. Perhaps even an entirely new class.

But, alas, classes aren't about bringing exact mechanical concepts to the play. They're more like tropes-based.

But we have a class that fits this already. It's called a Paladin. Making it more inclusive at base, and then having the "classic" LG Paladin as an archtype option for it would be more logical and/or effective.

Original Paladins according to my old AD&D Players Handbook was a sub-category of Warrior. It would actually be closer to original form having the old paladin as an archtype.

I think the arguement at this point is more about the name of Paladin more than anything... A horse by any other name I feel none of the arguers here would be fine with.


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Paladin_Knight_marshmallow wrote:
Also, I believe this marks the very first 2.0 paladin thread.

I'm confused. Do we do the mandatory shots now or when the playtest launches? - it's a bit of a grey area in the "paladin on the PF boards drinking game".


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Personally I conceive of the Paladin not as a "Holy Warrior" or a "divinely inspired martial" or a "Sword arm of a Church" but more as "A genuine hero, the best guy/gal around, above reproach, a sincere and devoted champion of what is right". Which is why I'm genuinely perturbed by the idea of "Paladins of various alignments" since I don't see most of those as "Paladins".

You just described NG.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
TimD wrote:
Paladin_Knight_marshmallow wrote:
Also, I believe this marks the very first 2.0 paladin thread.
I'm confused. Do we do the mandatory shots now or when the playtest launches? - it's a bit of a grey area in the "paladin on the PF boards drinking game".

GM discretion for now. Hopefully the playtest book will contain the thread shot rules, but it’s still a ways away.


Scintillae wrote:
Merging Paladin and Cav could be interesting...

And very traditional. there was some tie between Caviler and Paladin in 1st edition. I don't remember what it was, but it was mention in the original unearth arcane. but I believe they changed the Paladin from sub class of fighter to Subclass of Caviler. I can't remember if Anti Paladin was created at that point but I believe it was. My memory little fuzzy on 1st edition D&D stuff. But I do know 2nd edition. Anti-Paladin existed then, as well as paladins Demi human Paladins. There was also Kits which where basically archetype. That you added to your class that swapped features for other features. The Caviler was a kit to Paladin. So these are not new Ideas. This why I question the creation of Caviler and War Priest, as full classes instead of just making them Paladin Archtypes.


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Alignment needs to go. It's dumb.
If this take Paladins with it, I'm fine with that. The Paladin as-is (or as-was) was too narrow to be its own class. As a Prestige Class or archetype, though, it's fine.

If there is a paladin, and there is alignment, then paladins should be of any alignment. Why? Because it's easier for the GM to remove things than add them. If old-school GM wants LG only, he can put that in his house rules.


TimD wrote:
Paladin_Knight_marshmallow wrote:
Also, I believe this marks the very first 2.0 paladin thread.
I'm confused. Do we do the mandatory shots now or when the playtest launches? - it's a bit of a grey area in the "paladin on the PF boards drinking game".

Both, obviously.


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HWalsh wrote:
1. You had to be Lawful Good

I hope they ditch alignment altogether or at least have it be meaningless mechanically. If we can't have that, at least 100% drop ALL alignment restrictions from classes [at best offer suggestions for 'classic play'].

HWalsh wrote:
2. You couldn't become a Paladin you had one chance to answer the call and if you didn't, that was it.

That makes little sense.

HWalsh wrote:
3. The Paladin required a serious mind and strict dedication, you couldn't leave the Paladin and come back.

That's most adventurers isn't it?

HWalsh wrote:
I, personally want these things again. I don't want it to be watered down. Gygax intended it to be special, I think that, since we owe pretty much this entire past time to him, it is the least we can do.

Not me. I'm here with a 10 ton barrel to add more water to the class to wash away all the old cobweb. Time to make some 'sacred cow' burgers and enjoy playing the characters WE want to play, not the ones imagined for us.


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I like Paladins, or a paladin variation, representing the extreme alignments: LG; LE; CG; CE.

Neutral alignments are associated with the Druid.

I maybe alone in this.

Shadow Lodge

You're not, scintillae suggested the exact same thing upthread.


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I actually like the Corner Paladin argument. We're already 3/4 of the way there. Lets just bite the bullet and make a Chaotic Good paladin

Shadow Lodge

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I think a big part of he opposition to an exclusively LG Paladin these days comes down to a larger segment of the player base... Well, to be blunt... Hating Lawful alignments.

More than once I have seen people on this forum rant that Lawful is as bad as Evil in their sight, and/or that they cannot reconcile the restrictive mentality of a Lawful alignment with their own understanding of what Goodness is. NG and CG are more and more becoming the popular way of playing a Heroic Character, and many people reject the goodness of an LG one as being too restricted by their codes and philosophy to truly be the hero the players desire.

It's by far not the only reason, but I dare say it's certainly a contributing factor in the overall culture of the gamer populace.


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Honestly they should remove paladin as a core class and make it a Prestige Class instead.

If they keep it as a core class they should change it's requirement to be within one step of LG.

Also, honestly in my opinion, they should remove paladin and antipaladin altogether and make a new class, let's say champion. The new class should be the Martial Paragon of it's alignment (similar to how cleric is the Spellcasting Paragon of it's alignment) and gain features based on it's alignment.

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