An Impassioned Plea: Paladins - Respect Tradition


Prerelease Discussion

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Gary was on Futurama, Gary gets the credit.


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HWalsh wrote:
Con: Continue to annoy players who want the "powers" without the price.

I've run for and played in over 15 groups. Nobody has ever chosen a paladin just for power, and everyone who did play one didn't try to skirt the line between keeping their powers and failing.

If you're experiencing that you need to get better at choosing who you game with. This isn't a problem with Pathfinder players. It's a problem with the people you game with.

Just to be clear I'm not saying there isn't at least one Pathfinder player that thinks like that. I'm saying the numbers are so small that your "con" is negligible.


I really expect there cavalier to show up in the paladin. Probably gonna get some warpriest in there too. All amalgamated into one class that fills all those roles.

Different orders can cover different alignment niches and whatever else, leaving it open ended for future releases.

This can but doesn't necessarily have to include upon release our four diametrically opposed alignments. It ought to only affect minute things like what your detect SLA is, since they can use the cavalier smite and have it be alignment free.

That's my vision at least. I've been sick so my Oracle powers have been damped lately.


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Scintillae wrote:


Option 1: Keep Paladin as-is
Pro: Maladaptive players who refuse to acknowledge the need for class flexibility for streamlining get to lord it over everyone else.
Con: Class withers and dies from a failure to adapt with the rest of the game.

I'm beginning to think that referring to "streamlining" as if it were inherently a benefit is a mark of arguments I'm going to have no sympathy for.

I am fine with ditching alignment (for players and mortal characters generally; alignment as an aspect of the Outer Planes and inhabitants thereof I will keep come Abyss or high water), but some mechanical support for "here are particular benefits to be gained from playing in a particular heroic manner" is a thing worth keeping, to my mind, and precise definitions of that heroic manner are worth considering.

I usually think of Law and Chaos as being about how far your moral event horizon extends, and of Chaotic Good as "of course we solve the problem in front of us and tomorrow worries about itself" and Lawful Good as "if saving these six people now irrevocably dooms this thousand people tomorrow of course the Good thing to do is to let the six people die"; both of these positions being open to spirited debate is what makes them worth roleplaying.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Is it an evil act to post questions about the Paladin class before we have much in the way of game information?


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I saw someone bring up "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", but the problem is it's almost a joke on the forums how difficult and broken paladins are. I can't go a week without an argument erupting over whether action X violates paladin code. Paladins are also the only class that cannot work with every game party, they dictate game direction due to their moral code and the player risking losing everything.

This lack of flexibility is the sign that something is wrong or broken with the class. Even the Vigilante, who needs to keep a social identity, doesn't lose all his abilities if he gets found out. It's fluff eith some bonus versus literally losing your character. This is counter-fun.

Probably gonna be my last post on this, cause it's getting out of hand. No one is going to change anyone's mind. You're either pro LG Paladin, or you're pro choice. Being pro-choice doesn't kill LG Paladins, but LG Paladins kill choice.


Steelfiredragon wrote:
willuwontu wrote:

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.

nah, call it Crusader

Yeah that'd work, just have it be a paladin in most aspects, but not a paladin.


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Isaac Zephyr wrote:
Being pro-choice doesn't kill LG Paladins, but LG Paladins kill choice.

Both are wrong. Taking away the paladin's psyche results in a watered-down "paladin", which kills the classic paladin.

However, if we keep the classic paladin, and add options for people who are not satisfied elsewhere...
No one is forced to play with any one class. Don't like it? Don't use it.


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Igwilly wrote:
Isaac Zephyr wrote:
Being pro-choice doesn't kill LG Paladins, but LG Paladins kill choice.

Both are wrong. Taking away the paladin's psyche results in a watered-down "paladin", which kills the classic paladin.

However, if we keep the classic paladin, and add options for people who are not satisfied elsewhere...
No one is forced to play with any one class. Don't like it? Don't use it.

So then lets have the Paladin and then also have the "Totally not a Paladin" that is a complete carbon copy but with alignment being equal to (or possibly within one step of) their deity. Problem solved. Everybody is happy. You get the LG only Paladin AND you get the "Totally not a Paladin" which is exactly the same but not hamstrung.


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Igwilly wrote:
Isaac Zephyr wrote:
Being pro-choice doesn't kill LG Paladins, but LG Paladins kill choice.

Both are wrong. Taking away the paladin's psyche results in a watered-down "paladin", which kills the classic paladin.

However, if we keep the classic paladin, and add options for people who are not satisfied elsewhere...
No one is forced to play with any one class. Don't like it? Don't use it.

It doesnt really water the class down at all. It only opens the class up to represent more types of characters. The lawful good version will still be fully intact if you wish to play it.


HWalsh wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:
get rid of the holy cow
No. Just keep them Lawful Good only.

Agreed, the Paladin is supposed to represent a VERY specific heroic archetype and think that having to build a character around that leads to some cool roleplay opportunities that other classes just don't provide. Sure it means that a lot of Paladins may come across kind of formulaic but it will also give a bit punch to unorthodox character concepts like a wuxia-inspired traveling hero instead of the standard western knight errant. The LG restrictions means that people may have to look beyond the usual fantasy tropes if they want to add in some verity.


Isaac Zephyr wrote:

Devil's Advocate. I like the turns 5e took with the Paladin and Antipaladin. Essentially made them all Oathbound, and tied the Oaths to three alignments. Lawful Neutral, Lawful Good and Neutral Good. They each had different oaths and codes.

My most fun with a Paladin was LN, steering towards LG. Her oath was always about the greater evil, and that she may have to occasionally stain her hands, but that was okay. It led to a moral quandary where she didn't like the party's thief, but the thief and her were working together to stop a greater evil.

Antipaladins were Oathbreakers, and were not resigned to being chaotic evil "murder hobos" as it were. Said same paladin above I'd written was actually a clone, the true her having been lawful good and interpreted her code that she needed to rid the world of evil. She killed three corrupt nobles when she caught them conspiring evil and her herself became a lawful evil executioner. Those that did not fit her standard of good, she slew by her own hand, and her god abandoned her because she had become corrupt.

I've always been of the opinion that 5e Paladins are still kind of restricted to lawful good once they hit level three, I mean it's hard to argue following an internally consistent code of conduct isn't lawful. Even the oath of vengeance should probably be called oath of justice given its wording and comes off as "Lawful Good not Lawful Nice".

Assuming that actions shape alighnment and not the other way around then surely someone following a code that instructs you to fight evil, help the victims of your enemies, protect art, inspire joy and/or speak with honestly would end up LG eventually.


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Quote:
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.

If you want to play 1st edition D&D, play 1st edition D&D. Tradition also dictates ThAC0, Elves as a class, and rolling for Hit Points at first level. I say let the game evolve.

Personally, what I don't like is the Paladin (In this case, I refer to the Lawful Good class of a million arguments) being a base class. Considering how restricted it is compared to other classes, it really should be a prestige class. (Or a specialized Archetype, if Prestige Classes are obsolete.) Along with that, I'd like a class that fills the role of a divinely charged warrior, tied to the deity instead of a particular alingment. That way, everyone gets what they want.


Spyglass Archon wrote:

I've always been of the opinion that 5e Paladins are still kind of restricted to lawful good once they hit level three, I mean it's hard to argue following an internally consistent code of conduct isn't lawful. Even the oath of vengeance should probably be called oath of justice given its wording and comes off as "Lawful Good not Lawful Nice".

Assuming that actions shape alighnment and not the other way around then surely someone following a code that instructs you to fight evil, help the victims of your enemies, protect art, inspire joy and/or speak with honestly would end up LG eventually.

Uh...

Xanathar's Guide to Everything added the "Oath of Conquest," which hews much closer to Hellknights and Lawful Evil Antipaladins than Lawful Good. You could probably still play one as LG if you really wanted (because a lack of restrictions is good!), but their code is based on authoritarianism and inflicting fear.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm in favor or respecting tradition around paladins as long as you can only play that class if you meet the requirements by rolling 3d6, in order.

If you're going to let parts of the tradition change, then it's all up for grabs


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Isaac Zephyr wrote:
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 view the paladin class kind of like really spicy food, if the majority of the food at the party is really spicy then most people aren't going to enjoy the party, buuuut that doesn't mean that if you only have one or two spicy dishes you should mellow the flavour so that everyone can eat it because at that point it becomes just like everything else being served. Sure it may SEEM like it's better because more people can experience it but the fact is all it means is that NOBODY is experiencing the flavour it's expected to have.

Increasing something's inclusivity is good but it can be considered objectionable when it changes what made that thing so special in the first place. The video game industry has tons of examples of this type of thing, not necessarily making things worse but definitely more generic or homogeneous.


RickDias wrote:

HWalsh, watching you talk down on people who want to play an entirely reasonable play-style ("Martial heavy emphasis with mild healing and buffing, driven by a strong personality") by acting like they don't want to 'pay prices' for 'powers' is insulting. Combined with your talking down on rap singers earlier (which strikes me as potentially kind of racist), at this point I'm comfortable saying this: You are acting in bad faith. You are debating in bad faith.

Stop it.

No.

It's not about bad faith. We just come from completely different directions.

You come from the idea that a class is just a combination of abilities with no fluff, lore, or legacy. I don't.

A Paladin, to me, is not:

"Martial heavy emphasis with mild healing and buffing, driven by a strong personality"

A Paladin is a Lawful Good Knightly individual possessing of an undefined inherent capacity, when tempered by their virtue and code, to access abilities beyond those of normal men and women.

I will *never* agree to distill a great class like the Paladin down to: "Martial heavy emphasis with mild healing and buffing, driven by a strong personality"


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the more people state to keep with tradition that the paladin must be LGm the more people will not buy into that and state it must change.


Spyglass Archon wrote:
Increasing something's inclusivity is good but it can be considered objectionable when it changes what made that thing so special in the first place. The video game industry has tons of examples of this type of thing, not necessarily making things worse but definitely more generic or homogeneous.

This in spades!

Part of what makes Paladins special is that they ARE exclusive. If you remove that then the class may retain it's mechanics bit not the fluff/lore/flavor.


Thebazilly wrote:
Spyglass Archon wrote:

I've always been of the opinion that 5e Paladins are still kind of restricted to lawful good once they hit level three, I mean it's hard to argue following an internally consistent code of conduct isn't lawful. Even the oath of vengeance should probably be called oath of justice given its wording and comes off as "Lawful Good not Lawful Nice".

Assuming that actions shape alighnment and not the other way around then surely someone following a code that instructs you to fight evil, help the victims of your enemies, protect art, inspire joy and/or speak with honestly would end up LG eventually.

Uh...

Xanathar's Guide to Everything added the "Oath of Conquest," which hews much closer to Hellknights and Lawful Evil Antipaladins than Lawful Good. You could probably still play one as LG if you really wanted (because a lack of restrictions is good!), but their code is based on authoritarianism and inflicting fear.

I forgot to specify in the PHB I would however point out that Conquest and Oathbreaker are almost certainly the 5e equivalent to Pathfinders (and other editions) Anti-Paladin alternate class and would consider them Paladins in the someway an Anti-Paladin is a Paladin, Kind Of, Not Really, Sort Of.


Trigger Loaded wrote:
Along with that, I'd like a class that fills the role of a divinely charged warrior, tied to the deity instead of a particular alingment. That way, everyone gets what they want.

That's what the Cleric is.


Steelfiredragon wrote:

any non lawful goof paladin AKA the good aligned crusader must have:

Smite Evil
divine grace
aura of courage
and divine health

and I don't care if you think it weakens the paladin. I don't want ot play your character or your idea of the paladin.

if the paladin looses its lawful part good, there is nothing but its code that makes it required to be lawful anyway and the code is loosely worded

And this is my issue.

You want the power. You don't want the responsibility that goes with it. Thus the answer should be no.

The Paladin isn't just a collection of "cool powers" as it were.


Igwilly wrote:

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.

I think where a lot of people go wrong is by treating the Paladin as though it's meant to represent the zealous medieval crusader when that's more the cleric/warpriest's thing, the paladin is more in line with romantic cultural heros like knight errands, wuxia, noble swashbucklers, warrior-saints, or that one guy in cowboy movies with the white hat and gleaming six-shooter.


who said anything about not wanting the paladin responsibility of being a holy crusader or a non lawful but still good aligned paladin?

either way you are expected to go out and protect the innocent and kill the evil cultist leader that raped and killed your ancient ancestor . and close the world wound and anything else your order's superiors demand you do.

there is MORE to the responsibilities to a paladin taht being LAWFUL.

lead by example is but one of them. Protection of the innocent and those who can not defend themselves..


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I would respectfully submit that someone who followed the ethos of Cayden Cailean(CG) Freedom for all, do not submit to tyranny, be a good person etc. could be a *better* Paladin than someone who followed the ethos of Abadar "Greed is Good!" (LN)

Make it a Paragon of Good.

Or ditch the class.

There, I've met half-way.

Can we meet in the middle?


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not according to the Gospel of Hwalsh the Angry

and I always considered them to be paragons of good over law and good.


Why go back to the origins of D&D? Why not base them on the original Paladins of Charlemagne's Court. Oh, wait, then they'd just be knights.

Paladins do need a change and there are a few viable suggestions:
1) The Oath model from 5e
2) Holy Champion of any particular deity
3) Good aligned divine warrior

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What Paizo should do is have LG-only Paladins and then state in the description of LG that this is the alignment that grudgingly permits torture, capital punishment, slavery, child marriage, FGM and discrimination, as long as they are legal and grounded in laws enacted by the sovereign, while at the same time stating that NG and CG don't permit said activities. :)


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Texas Snyper wrote:
Igwilly wrote:

Trying to explain one more time (last one for today).

Specific alignment mechanics are irrelevant. What the Paladin has is his ethos and moral standards. These are *essential* to the class. If a "paladin" stops having that, it's not a paladin anymore.
By lifting down this ethos and moral, and turn the class into a "champion of whatever we feel like it" is Not changing the class, or "broadening its reach", or anything like that. It is *destroying* the original class, and building *another* one from the ground up, and stealing the name of the previous class, to add insult upon injury!
I'll never accept that, and I'll always speak against this.

But why do these "ethos and moral standards" that are *essential* to the class have to be tied directly to just alignment? Why can't their ethos and moral standards be tied to their deity? The direct source of their power and reason for action. Why should a paladin of Calistria or Desna be LG?

A paladin should be a paragon of their deity. They should be a mortal representation of these ideals on the material plane and in the battlefield. The best way to do that is to properly represent their deity and alignment should be one of those aspects.

Because a Paladin doesn't necessarily NEED a god, the reason Desna and Calistria never made anyone a paladin is because they couldn't, it would be like making them a monk or a summoner, THEY don't supply people with ki or eidolons they maybe could change how someone uses those powers but that's it. Iomedae isn't what lets you smite but she is the only goddess that knows how litany of righteousness works. A paladin CAN follow a god and that god CAN effect their powers but they probably wouldn't choose someone like Queen B or Space Butterfly.

A paladin isn't just some gods personal ballistic missle that's the warpriest/cleric/inquisitor/oracle/druid(maybe). A paladin may be a virtuous, romantic maybe even holy warrior but if a paladin was a "paragon of their deity" than why did they HAVE the LG restriction in the first place.


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Because Gary Said So.


Texas Snyper wrote:
Or: Unshackling paladins from a stupid restriction doesn't prohibit those who want to play LG paladins from still playing LG paladins.

Replacing ghost peppers with chilli peppers doesn't mean more people can stomach ghost peppers it means that their eating chilli peppers.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:


Gary Gygax also created "elf" as the equivalent of a class, making all elfs pretty much the same: a fighter-mage user who cast a few spells but also used a sword.

However, the game has evolved since then, and now we have elves of different classes. Including Paladins. And a paladin of elven ascendancy will probably have very different roots than Charlemagne, King Arthur, and the christian templars. It will also have very different ethos, and ideals, and will fight for a very different kind of greater good.

Elves could also be Thieves. The important thing to know about OD&D is that it wasn't attempting to simulate a fantasy setting but only a particular milieu of dungeon delvers which tended towards the picaresque.

The conception of D&D was originally as more of a specialty wargame, so the suite of abilities characters had was limited so as to be suited to the scope and objectives of the game. This gameplay mode of heroic adventure basically didn't exist and the kinds of characters you could play were restricted to the kinds of characters you might find in an army and the game's objectives were centered around a fantasy version of medieval military foraging operations.

In the game Gygax was creating all of his choices make sense, it's just that most of the actual run of D&D in the early years saw a rapid expansion of the scope of the game and unleashed a lot more imagination from the playerbase than was originally dreamed of by Gygax's earliest efforts.


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Spyglass Archon wrote:
Texas Snyper wrote:
Or: Unshackling paladins from a stupid restriction doesn't prohibit those who want to play LG paladins from still playing LG paladins.
Replacing ghost peppers with chilli peppers doesn't mean more people can stomach ghost peppers it means that their eating chilli peppers.

That makes no sense. Letting "not LG" be an option has no effect on the LG option.


Gorbacz wrote:
What Paizo should do is have LG-only Paladins and then state in the description of LG that this is the alignment that grudgingly permits torture, capital punishment, slavery, child marriage, FGM and discrimination, as long as they are legal and grounded in laws enacted by the sovereign, while at the same time stating that NG and CG don't permit said activities. :)

Lawful doesn't necessarily mean external law, Batman is typically considered LG because he follows an internal and consistent code just Sups or Captain America. LG essentially just means paragon from Mass Effect.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Spyglass Archon wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
What Paizo should do is have LG-only Paladins and then state in the description of LG that this is the alignment that grudgingly permits torture, capital punishment, slavery, child marriage, FGM and discrimination, as long as they are legal and grounded in laws enacted by the sovereign, while at the same time stating that NG and CG don't permit said activities. :)
Lawful doesn't necessarily mean external law, Batman is typically considered LG because he follows an internal and consistent code just Sups or Captain America. LG essentially just means paragon from Mass Effect.

Batman is Lawful Neutral.


Texas Snyper wrote:
Spyglass Archon wrote:
Texas Snyper wrote:
Or: Unshackling paladins from a stupid restriction doesn't prohibit those who want to play LG paladins from still playing LG paladins.
Replacing ghost peppers with chilli peppers doesn't mean more people can stomach ghost peppers it means that their eating chilli peppers.
That makes no sense. Letting "not LG" be an option has no effect on the LG option.

Yes it does, on flavour. If someone asked you if they could play a wizard who drew their power solely from a magical ancestry would you let them? Personally I would direct them to the sorcerer class because if I allowed it it would cheapen the flavour of both classes suddenly a wizard is no longer a guy who gained control over magic after years of study and a sorcerer has no real niche no reason to exist in the world suddenly there's no mechanical differentences between learned and innate magic.

Like wise if the Paladin is a spell casting martial paragon of their deity than what's a warpriest? Image having fighter being "a guy who fights good" alongside a class called champion who is a "paragon of combat and warfare" even if they have completely different class features and are perfectly balanced one will always come off as a diet version of the other. Who in this world would choose be fighter(warpriest) if a champion(paladin) is fluff-wise everything they should desire to be? You can't even say they do the dirty work/are failed Paladins because Grey-Paladins/Inquisitors fill that narrative niche.


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Gorbacz wrote:


Batman is Lawful Neutral.

No.

Batman is ALL of the alignments.

Which only goes to prove the point that some view him as a Paladin, so all the alignments should be valid for Paladin, because Batman.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Spyglass Archon wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
What Paizo should do is have LG-only Paladins and then state in the description of LG that this is the alignment that grudgingly permits torture, capital punishment, slavery, child marriage, FGM and discrimination, as long as they are legal and grounded in laws enacted by the sovereign, while at the same time stating that NG and CG don't permit said activities. :)
Lawful doesn't necessarily mean external law, Batman is typically considered LG because he follows an internal and consistent code just Sups or Captain America. LG essentially just means paragon from Mass Effect.
Batman is Lawful Neutral.

Comic book characters are always bad examples because of author change ups and alt-timelines/realities. The point is not every heck not most LG characters are going to bow to a LE authority just for the sake of order, they just wouldn't want to throw the country into chaos by immediately starting a violent revolution they would likely consider that a last resort to be pressured after other options have tried and failed.


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Spyglass Archon wrote:


Comic book characters are always bad examples because of author change ups and alt-timelines/realities. The point is not every heck not most LG characters are going to bow to a LE authority just for the sake of order, they just wouldn't want to throw the country into chaos by immediately starting a violent revolution they would likely consider that a last resort to be pressured after other options have tried and failed.

Yet we see so many threads that come up on these very forums that hit on this very point -- the GM does the 'Damned if you Do, Damned if you Don't' passive-aggressive approach to not allowing Paladins in their game.

Better for the community to just grow up and move beyond this. Goodness need not know law, nor chaos, nor the undetermined, it's just Goodness.

EDIT: "Slavish adherence to formal ritual is a sign that one has nothing better to think about." -- Natasha Kerensky, Clan Wolf


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Gorbacz wrote:
Spyglass Archon wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
What Paizo should do is have LG-only Paladins and then state in the description of LG that this is the alignment that grudgingly permits torture, capital punishment, slavery, child marriage, FGM and discrimination, as long as they are legal and grounded in laws enacted by the sovereign, while at the same time stating that NG and CG don't permit said activities. :)
Lawful doesn't necessarily mean external law, Batman is typically considered LG because he follows an internal and consistent code just Sups or Captain America. LG essentially just means paragon from Mass Effect.
Batman is Lawful Neutral.

Batman is everything. Alignment, ladies and gentlemen.

I think by now we've addressed every point that's come up. It's all the same tired talking points that have already been addressed, but keep being repeated by someone who is quite vocal that he will never change his mind.

Quote:
For metaphysical lore reasons, only Law and Good together can produce something like a Paladin.

Not true. The Antipaladin is evidence that neither Law nor Good are necessary to produce a close Paladin analogue. And "it is this way because the lore says it is this way" is one stop short of a tautology.

Quote:
Allowing non-LG Paladin analogues dilutes the concept to an unacceptable level and makes Paladins stop being special.

Aside from this being purely a matter of opinion, the existence of close Paladin analogues on two of the other three corners (LE and CE) means this has essentially happened already. The sky did not fall.

Quote:
You just want the power of a Paladin without the restrictions.

Not only is this kind of moralizing an insulting accusation, it betrays ignorance of both the principle and reality of the game's design. In principle, no class should be (much) more powerful than another class of the same level, regardless of any other factors: Not because of realism, or lore, or an alignment restriction. Otherwise levels are pointless. And it seems not to be applied universally: Should Monks be more powerful than Barbarians, because their alignment is harder to maintain? I suppose Monks would still be less powerful than Paladins though.

In the reality of PF1 it's an excuse available only in retrospect. Pathfinder Paladins are powerful (as martials go), but there are other, much more powerful classes, that do not have the same restrictions. The 3.5 Paladin had the same restrictions but was one of the weakest classes in the game, and the arguments against LG-exclusivity of the Paladin 'chassis' were just as sound then as they are now.

Quote:
The Paladin should be kept the way it always has been, because of tradition.

Neither the 3.PF Paladin nor the AD&D Paladin is exactly like the original Paladin, for a number of reasons: Paladins were Lawful, because Good/Evil wasn't a game mechanic originally. The removal of the "Human Only" requirement by itself shows that lore is mutable, especially when there's no reason that only a Human could be a Paladin in the first place. Rangers could only be Good. Dwarves could only take up to six levels of Fighter, and so on. It's a highly selective version of tradition.

I won't even dignify the sleazy "Do it for Gary" appeals in the OP.


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A strange one for me, I actually like paladin being only LG (agreeing with HWalsh doesn't come easy), and in my campaign setting they will stay that way. But I have never played a paladin because me and my DM have some radically different views about things in game (and thats the main problem, it's not that I cant handle restriction and responsibility , it's that people have radically different views what is good or lawful), and I have ni intention of giving him that kind of power over my character. Hence, I don't play a paladin. So for the general health if the game and opening more character concepts, I say it's time for opening up the paladin class concept.

Dark Archive

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Here is what I don't get. I play monks and barbarians. Most of my time playing this game has been split between those two classes. If you want to make a lawful evil barbarian I think you should be able to. That in no way affects me or my character. If you want to play a CE monk, go for it, again this doesn't change my character. Why do people think that letting others play a paladin, those that wouldn't otherwise play the class, deprives them of something? If I have an apple and someone says hey man I don't really like apples can I have an orange, I don't take your apple. Bluntly, those of you who claim you are "losing" something by broadening the paladin's restrictions are being elitist, childish, and overly stubborn.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Spyglass Archon wrote:


Comic book characters are always bad examples because of author change ups and alt-timelines/realities. The point is not every heck not most LG characters are going to bow to a LE authority just for the sake of order, they just wouldn't want to throw the country into chaos by immediately starting a violent revolution they would likely consider that a last resort to be pressured after other options have tried and failed.

Yet we see so many threads that come up on these very forums that hit on this very point -- the GM does the 'Damned if you Do, Damned if you Don't' passive-aggressive approach to not allowing Paladins in their game.

Better for the community to just grow up and move beyond this. Goodness need not know law, nor chaos, nor the undetermined, it's just Goodness.

EDIT: "Slavish adherence to formal ritual is a sign that one has nothing better to think about." -- Natasha Kerensky, Clan Wolf

We also have stories of players playing paladins disproportionate to other classes, how many tales within D&D communities are about paladins. Paladins carry a narrative WEIGHT with their restrictions this is their true power. Here's an example(Not Mine):

https://www.reddit.com/r/DnDGreentext/comments/21ohis/dnd_paladins_force_of _will/

https://goo.gl/images/VWi3Qw

https://goo.gl/images/SeSbZK

https://goo.gl/images/KMhp1A

https://goo.gl/images/6douxU

And I could find a lot more if I tried, BUT I can't say the same of many other classes.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Then perhaps it's time that some of that narrative weight be shifted to other heroes and a true and proper evolution of Pathfinder happens?


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Then perhaps it's time that some of that narrative weight be shifted to other heroes and a true and proper evolution of Pathfinder happens?

The narrative power a paladin possess's only exists because of the restrictions placed on the class and disappear with it. If 2e added a class feature saying that wizards could speak only truths, that use of sorcery slowly warps your physical appearance, or that clerics who switched deities had to earn back his spells one level at a time THEN they would add to their narrative power.


necromental wrote:
A strange one for me, I actually like paladin being only LG (agreeing with HWalsh doesn't come easy), and in my campaign setting they will stay that way. But I have never played a paladin because me and my DM have some radically different views about things in game (and thats the main problem, it's not that I cant handle restriction and responsibility , it's that people have radically different views what is good or lawful), and I have ni intention of giving him that kind of power over my character. Hence, I don't play a paladin. So for the general health if the game and opening more character concepts, I say it's time for opening up the paladin class concept.

Like I said... If they open the class... For me?

Deal Breaker.

I'll not continue playing Pathfinder or supporting Paizo. I'll go look for a game that is more in-line with what I enjoy. I feel a lot of people will. Whereas I don't feel people were leave if the status quo is maintained.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Evolving the game to a better experience for the player base as a whole versus catering to one narrowly defined niche that's ten years past it's shelf expiration date would do more to build a positive future for the game, and if done well, can respect the tradition of paladins without hamstringing them as has been done in previous editions.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah...Paladins should be good-aligned, period. That's the fundamental flavor of the class. But don't have a real problem with NG or CG Paladins. Maybe work those in as archetype options.

A general "holy warrior" class: that's what the Warpriest is for, right? Or even a cleric, depending on build.

Dark Archive

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Beavois wrote:

Yeah...Paladins should be good-aligned, period. That's the fundamental flavor of the class. But don't have a real problem with NG or CG Paladins. Maybe work those in as archetype options.

A general "holy warrior" class: that's what the Warpriest is for, right? Or even a cleric, depending on build.

I think there should be good paladins and (evil) anti paladins. So a LG paladin of serenrae is a good example of typical lawful goodery. I don't see how having a chaotic good paladin of erastil, who is a knight and champion of the forest that will protect it no matter what for the sake of their deity is affects your lawful goodness. I don't see how a LN paladin of abadar that protects all law and order, for the true enemy of the world is chaos makes you have less fun. I dont see how a CE anti paladin of Lamashtu who will protect the brood by any and all means for she is the progenitor of the true great breed of monsters means that you can't stop your party from killing that goblin you knocked out.


Beavois wrote:

Yeah...Paladins should be good-aligned, period. That's the fundamental flavor of the class. But don't have a real problem with NG or CG Paladins. Maybe work those in as archetype options.

A general "holy warrior" class: that's what the Warpriest is for, right? Or even a cleric, depending on build.

The issue is that the Paladin is NOT supposed to be just a "Holy Warrior" that people keep fighting for.

Clerics are "Holy Warriors"
Inquisitors are "Holy Warriors"
Warpriests are "Holy Warriors"
Fighters who worship a deity are "Holy Warriors"

Paladins are NOT just Holy Warriors.

I don't want to have to explain the lore again, I have had to do so three times in this thread, but here goes... One last time...

Paladins are people who have a nebulous potential to become Paladins. This potential must be combined with a very specific balance of energy, that energy being a combination of elemental lawful and neutral energies. When this happens, which occurs by a combination of base alignment (Lawful Good) and a code (see Paladin Code) while remaining absolutely pure (not even 1 evil act) the person becomes a Paladin.

Gods do NOT make Paladins. There are no Paladins of many gods because Gods cannot make Paladins. Paladins can serve gods, but the gods themselves don't have anything to do with who becomes a Paladin or not.

Now the next issue is that someone is going to argue:

"Well the idea of the Gray Paladin, Vindictive Bastard, and Antipaladin means..."

Yes... It does mean that there are indeed a few exceptions to the rule... These characters have different powers though at the core.

Gray Paladins are MUCH weaker than Paladins in terms of raw ability.

Anti-Paladins lack the ability to Lay on Hands and aren't immune to Fear.

The Gray Paladin, specifically, we are told is weaker BECAUSE OF THE ALIGNMENT AND CODE SHENANIGANS.

So... If Paizo wants to make a "Neutral Good" Paladin... They already did... Gray Paladin. Chaotic Good? Nope. Won't work. They can't follow a code inherently.

If they want to make special classes for other alignments with completely different mechanics that aren't called Paladins? GREAT. DO THAT. However do NOT open the Paladin up, because they second you do, all of that lore and flavor gets cut to ribbons.

Sure... I can then play a Lawful Good character with the same powers I have always had when playing a Paladin, but it isn't a Paladin anymore. It is something with completely different flavor and lore that simply has the same name. That isn't a Paladin.

If you want non-alignment locked Paladins they already have a game for that. Go play 5e. Don't take my lore and my flavor away.

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