An Impassioned Plea: Paladins - Respect Tradition


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Since we have 2nd Edition...

I am taking the chance to try a plea that I fully expect will fall on deaf ears... I feel that I have to try though regardless...

We have a chance to bring the Paladin back...

Years ago Gary Gygax, the reason we have this game, had a class that he loved more than any other. The Paladin. The idea of a warrior of good that was the epitome of virtue. He was the knight in shining armor who righted wrongs and triumphed over evil.

Paladins were NOT "just" a class...

They were special... And they had special rules...

What were those rules?

1. You had to be Lawful Good

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

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

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.


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1. Okay.

2 & 3: No. Nononononononono.

We're not going back to the days where you couldn't multiclass out of monk and paladin. They got rid of those rules in 3.5 by the end anyway, once you took a feat you could multiclass out of paladin into specific other classes.

The "one chance" thing is a flavor thing; it literally only matters for 1st level characters since there are no multiclassing paladins in your theoretical campaign.

Do all of this in your home games if you like. Don't make it canon.


Dark Midian wrote:

1. Okay.

2 & 3: No. Nononononononono.

We're not going back to the days where you couldn't multiclass out of monk and paladin. They got rid of those rules in 3.5 by the end anyway, once you took a feat you could multiclass out of paladin into specific other classes.

The "one chance" thing is a flavor thing; it literally only matters for 1st level characters since there are no multiclassing paladins in your theoretical campaign.

Do all of this in your home games if you like. Don't make it canon.

I want it canon again, like it was for the longest time, 2nd edition. Remember there was versions of the game before 3rd Edition.


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I’m hoping the Paladin remains similar to what we currently have.
It’s my favourite class. If they can improve it though, then I’d like them to go for it. Staying the same for traditions sake is a bad thing.


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I do not want paladins of any alignment other than Lawful Good, full stop. I would rather see the Paladin class cease to exist than to open it up to all alignments.

In general, I would prefer all multiclassing works like something akin to VMC, so as to do away with "dipping."

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I do not want paladins of any alignment other than Lawful Good, full stop. I would rather see the Paladin class cease to exist than to open it up to all alignments.

I don't know if people are saying "all alignments" so much as "any good."


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The entirety of your argument seems to be "The paladin used to be this way, so it should be this way again." I'm curious: what about your proposed reversions to 2nd Edition is good? How does it improve play? In what way does barring the paladin from multiclassing make it a more fun class?


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Replace the Paladin with a more interesting core class, like Expert.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

The Sesquipedalian Thaumaturge wrote:
The entirety of your argument seems to be "The paladin used to be this way, so it should be this way again." I'm curious: what about your proposed reversions to 2nd Edition is good? How does it improve play? In what way does barring the paladin from multiclassing make it a more fun class?

Actually, I'd be down with going back to AD&D 2nd Edition, but that would mean ALL of it.


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Quote:
1. You had to be Lawful Good

You had to be Lawful Period. The Good/Evil axis wasn't in the game originally.

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

Every Paladin must have become a Paladin at some point in their lives. Why can't that point be during the campaign? Personally I like the approach that the Paladin is one possible Prestige Class for the Fighter (alongside things like the Eldritch Knight) to keep the "melee fighting man" relevant at higher levels of magic and against increasingly powerful and sophisticated, often supernatural opposition.

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

Every divine caster should require a serious approach and strict dedication. But many people have crises of faith, and many make errors in judgement or doctrine. Some of them return to the fold with at least as much seriousness and dedication as they had before. Whether a Paladin deserves a second chance or not is between them and their god (i.e. a judgement call by the DM).

You also forgot a couple of the rules:

4. You had to roll an amazing stat array (using 3d6 in order) to even get to play a Paladin. IIRC players had a less than 1% chance to even qualify for the Paladin's specific stat requirements.

5. Non-Humans need not apply.

Quote:
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.

Gygax also didn't want magic users in the game at all.


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I'm all for taking alignment out of the game altogether. Paladins' lawful goodness has always been such a source of pointless arguments, party conflict, and theoretical games of "let's take away the paladin player's class abilities". Just the other day I saw a thread on these forums that asked if a paladin uses an unholy weapon, will they fall? It spawned multiple pages of people coming to completely different conclusions.

I actually enjoy how 5th edition handles paladins. They still follow a code, but what they're devoted to is different, and allows for more types of paladin. (The ones in the core rulebook are the standard "knight in shining armor," a more neutral-good fey and nature themed paladin, and a sort of vigilante justice not-nice paladin.)


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Thebazilly wrote:

I'm all for taking alignment out of the game altogether. Paladins' lawful goodness has always been such a source of pointless arguments, party conflict, and theoretical games of "let's take away the paladin player's class abilities". Just the other day I saw a thread on these forums that asked if a paladin uses an unholy weapon, will they fall? It spawned multiple pages of people coming to completely different conclusions.

I actually enjoy how 5th edition handles paladins. They still follow a code, but what they're devoted to is different, and allows for more types of paladin. (The ones in the core rulebook are the standard "knight in shining armor," a more neutral-good fey and nature themed paladin, and a sort of vigilante justice not-nice paladin.)

Agree and seconded on the entire post and hope to see this in the core.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Keep the goodness, get rid of the head-up-butt-ness of previous iterations.

Make paladins shining paragons of Light, whether it be from a strictly orderly fashion or from an avatar of Freedom.

Pathfinder has evolved in roughly ten years, why can't a class evolve with it?

Shadow Lodge

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I'm hoping alignment goes the way of Starfinder and has 0 game mechanic effects. I hope they provide numerous paladin codes that differ radically depending on their deity, instead of one generic one that doesn't quite fit any of the Golarion gods.

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gnoams wrote:
I'm hoping alignment goes the way of Starfinder and has 0 game mechanic effects.

Not quite zero. They still impact the Priest Theme.

Shadow Lodge

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6.

Quote:

They may never retain more than ten magic items; these may

never exceed:
armor, 1 (suit)
shield, 1
weapons*, 4
any other magic items, 4

7.

Quote:

They will never retain wealth, keeping only sufficient

treasures to support themselves in a modest manner, pay
henchmen, men-at-arms, and servitors, and to construct or
maintain a small castle. (Your DM will give details of this as
necessary.) Excess is given away, as is the tithe (see 3. below).

8.

Quote:

An immediate tithe (10%) of all income - be it treasure,

wages, or whatever - must be given to whatever charitable
religious institution (not a clerical player character) of lawful
good alignment the paladin selects.

And now...from 1e PHB to 1e Unearthed Arcana when Paladins moved from being a subclass of fighter to cavalier

9.

Quote:
Paladins must initially be of the correct social station, or be sponsored by local nobility. In the latter case, the paladin must advance through Horseman and Lancer “0 levels” before gaining paladin abilities.

10.

Quote:
A paladin, as a sub-class of the cavalier, no longer has a prime requisite ability and does not gain an experience bonus for exceptional ability scores.

Skimming 2e, it looks like human-only, LG, 10 magic items, tithing, and wealth restrictions still applied.

I honestly would be fine if Paladins were simply religious warriors of any alignment, which their abilities would then reflect (Chaotic Good paladins would get Smite Evil/Law, etc). I'd be fine with even "only good alignments" as that would complement the Monk's "only lawful"; the Barbarian's "any non-lawful"; and the Druid's "any neutral".


I know for sure that I would prefer a Paladin that stays the champion of Law and Virtue that I know and love. I know they have a bad reputation, but I think that they are still a good class that just needs some polish and clarification. They should ask Bodhi in my opinion. Their Paladin/Anti-Paladin guide has excellent advice in it, I think.

However, I don't think I'd mind a "Holy Warrior" chassis that can be modulated through archetypes to encompass different alignments. If something like that happened I'd want to steer away from the 3.5 Paladin variants, which I think were too similar to each other. A Paladin should have different things they can do than say, a Chevalier or a Hellknight. They could be built on roughly the same pattern, but not be the same picture with somebody just playing with the tint settings.


The paladin as it exists in PF is one of the things that keeps me in PF. I love what they did with it. The paladin is a defender of what is Good.

If we're going to talk about 1e and 2e...let's not go there. Let's focus on what keeps the PF paladin awesome. :D


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I do not want paladins of any alignment other than Lawful Good, full stop. I would rather see the Paladin class cease to exist than to open it up to all alignments.

Then we need classes that play very, very similarly to the Paladin but are open to the other alignments. They have certain play mechanics that are a lot of fun, but constrain the player by concept.

Someone else (not you, I believe) was saying we 'owe it to Gygax' to keep the Paladin in a classical style.

I fail to see why. Simply because he originated an idea does not mean it cannot evolve without him. It should evolve.

Paladins and Monks really ought to lose their alignment restrictions so their play-styles can be opened up to more character concepts. If 'tradition' requires that we do not (and this is, frankly, ridiculous) then the designers would be well served to offer us extremely close equivalents.


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Its not an absolute requirement but I would like to see Paladins stay LG or with an optional sidebar for LG ones only if they go to any alignment or any alignment ones if LG is the default.


RickDias wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I do not want paladins of any alignment other than Lawful Good, full stop. I would rather see the Paladin class cease to exist than to open it up to all alignments.
Then we need classes that play very, very similarly to the Paladin but are open to the other alignments. They have certain play mechanics that are a lot of fun, but constrain the player by concept.

That word "need."

I do not think it means what you think it means.

There is no such rule that you should be able to get the mechanical benefits of a class without the alignment restriction. They have certain play mechanics, yes, but the class is a special class. Not all classes should be the same.

Quote:
Someone else (not you, I believe) was saying we 'owe it to Gygax' to keep the Paladin in a classical style.

That was me.

Quote:
I fail to see why. Simply because he originated an idea does not mean it cannot evolve without him. It should evolve.

That is your prerogative. I would be against someone taking the book "The Fellowship of the Ring" and remaking it by replacing Aragorn with Ice Cube and making him a mystical rapper sent to the land of Middle Earth through reading of a magical book. Sure it would make it more accessible to casual audiences by having a character with a modern perspective, but it damages the experience for me.

Quote:
Paladins and Monks really ought to lose their alignment restrictions so their play-styles can be opened up to more character concepts. If 'tradition' requires that we do not (and this is, frankly, ridiculous) then the designers would be well served to offer us extremely close equivalents.

That is your opinion, my opinion differs however.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I hope the book has a 100-page chapter detailing each and every instance of the question "if X happens, does Paladin fall?" that has ever appeared on this forum.


Am I the only one that kind of wishes for Lawful good or neutral good alignment paladins? I think chaotic good might not be a bit too undisciplined. If you just want a character that focuses on fighting evilbut not nesecarily for law.

Also the chaotic acts things as neutral good might be a little more leeway but chaotic good could get things and stop some problems.

Having someone stat up robin hood as a paladin does not feel right to me.


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I feel like a better option than "any good" Paladins would be to instead create 2 new classes that fill the "Holy Warrior" role for NG and CG, which are mechanically distinct from the Paladin.

Like there's no reason the CG one can't be a 3/4 BAB 6-level caster with medium armor prof, and the NG one a 1/2 BAB 9-level caster. I mean, other than that those specific categories won't work in PF2 (for one thing there's 10 levels of spells now.)

Dark Archive

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I hope they integrate god specific codes from Inner Sea Gods and other books that replace the generic paladin code in the new corerulebook <_<

Shadow Lodge

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Gorbacz wrote:

I hope the book has a 100-page chapter detailing each and every instance of the question "if X happens, does Paladin fall?" that has ever appeared on this forum.

That is going to be some tiny print.


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gnoams wrote:
I'm hoping alignment goes the way of Starfinder and has 0 game mechanic effects. I hope they provide numerous paladin codes that differ radically depending on their deity, instead of one generic one that doesn't quite fit any of the Golarion gods.

Indeed. Paladins of different alignments with different abilities, please.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Like there's no reason the CG one can't be a 3/4 BAB 6-level caster with medium armor prof, and the NG one a 1/2 BAB 9-level caster. I mean, other than that those specific categories won't work in PF2 (for one thing there's 10 levels of spells now.)

One big reason is the plain incoherence of it. What is it about Neutrality that makes them the best spellcaster of them all? What is it about Chaotics that makes them better casters than Lawfuls but not as good as Neutrals? Is the NG one a better caster than the Cleric to make up for 1/2 BAB? Is the CG one a better warrior than the Cleric to make up for the loss of top-end spells? Why have entirely different classes assigned to each of the pigeonholes with no rhyme or reason to their mechanics? One holy warrior class with alignment-based variants, with different names for those variants if you insist, would make a lot more sense.

Edit: What would make the most sense is to s~#+can alignment entirely.


Athaleon wrote:
What is it about Neutrality that makes them the best spellcaster of them all? What is it about Chaotics that makes them better casters than Lawfuls but not as good as Neutrals? Is the NG one a better caster than the Cleric to make up for 1/2 BAB? Is the CG one a better warrior than the Cleric to make up for the loss of top-end spells?

Lore.

That's the reason. Lore.

The standard Paladin is interaction between a person's spark and the lawful and good energies that saturate their beings.

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.


alt paladins like the 3.5 ones blew chunks9 the 4e ones were no better)

good aligned paladins are the way to go. get rid of the holy cow
and making holy warrior classes is not going to work if only for a word count per page. not to mention that some alt abilities would be what some would say goes good with a chaotic or neutral good paladin powers would not fall on what everyone would think should go for said alignment.

Silver Crusade

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

I'd like Paladins to remain LG*, but I'd be okay with them being any Good, just as long as they kept suitable codes of conduct. Going off of that I wouldn't even be opposed to paladins** having unique codes for each deity so as to open up to other alignments (rather than have paladins be any alignment or no alignment, which is not something I would like to see).

*I'd also like Alignment to still be a thing in 2e, rather than degrading it from mechanics and flavor to barely even fluff in Starfinder, which is to say effectively meaningless.

**The main point I see against is that to a lot of people Paladin doesn't mean "Magic/Divine Warrior" even though that's mechanically what it is. To lots of people, me included, Paladin means "Hero".


Steelfiredragon wrote:
get rid of the holy cow

No. Just keep them Lawful Good only.


Dragonborn3 wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

I hope the book has a 100-page chapter detailing each and every instance of the question "if X happens, does Paladin fall?" that has ever appeared on this forum.

That is going to be some tiny print.

Agreed. I felt they made things a lot less hassle to play a Paladin while still giving the feeling of following a strict code. They also gave flavour.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

My personal wish for the Paladin is to get rid of it even being a class, and make a more general Warpriest as a class, with Paladin being a particular archetype of warpriest.


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CraziFuzzy wrote:
My personal wish for the Paladin is to get rid of it even being a class, and make a more general Warpriest as a class, with Paladin being a particular archetype of warpriest.

Holy Champion, with Paladin as the name for the LG variant, Blackguard for the LE one, maybe Green Knight for the one associated with deities of nature.


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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.


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HWalsh wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
What is it about Neutrality that makes them the best spellcaster of them all? What is it about Chaotics that makes them better casters than Lawfuls but not as good as Neutrals? Is the NG one a better caster than the Cleric to make up for 1/2 BAB? Is the CG one a better warrior than the Cleric to make up for the loss of top-end spells?

Lore.

That's the reason. Lore.

The standard Paladin is interaction between a person's spark and the lawful and good energies that saturate their beings.

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.

"That's how it works because that's how it works." It's not how it has to work. And it doesn't explain how PossibleCabbage's frankly weird setup would begin to make any sense.

And we've been down this road several times before. Being lawful and/or good is not a requirement for Paladin-analog abilities, as evidenced by the various Antipaladins.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Bluenose wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:
My personal wish for the Paladin is to get rid of it even being a class, and make a more general Warpriest as a class, with Paladin being a particular archetype of warpriest.
Holy Champion, with Paladin as the name for the LG variant, Blackguard for the LE one, maybe Green Knight for the one associated with deities of nature.

Personally, it shouldn't really even require much of individual archetypes, and instead should be a warpriest based on a code of whatever god they worship, and as long as they adhere to that code, they're good. 'Paladin' would be more a specific archetype that is NOT necessarily tied to a god's code, but to a specific, and potentially deity agnostic, lawful good code (altering the warpriest's 'code of conduct' ability).


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I'll say it every time, 5e has the best paladins of any edition. Moving alignment restrictions to an Oath restriction is much more fun, varied, and flavorful.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

in this way, you could have any variety of warpriest you can imagine, and be a proper representation of all holy warriors, not just those of certain alignments.


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hiiamtom wrote:
I'll say it every time, 5e has the best paladins of any edition. Moving alignment restrictions to an Oath restriction is much more fun, varied, and flavorful.

That is your opinion.

I've played Paladins in every edition so far but 5th... And I never will.

There is no Paladin in 5th.


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HWalsh wrote:
hiiamtom wrote:
I'll say it every time, 5e has the best paladins of any edition. Moving alignment restrictions to an Oath restriction is much more fun, varied, and flavorful.

That is your opinion.

I've played Paladins in every edition so far but 5th... And I never will.

There is no Paladin in 5th.

There clearly is: Be LG and pick Oath of Devotion. Why are you this flustered that other people might get to have badwrongfun playing badwrongPallies?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:
hiiamtom wrote:
I'll say it every time, 5e has the best paladins of any edition. Moving alignment restrictions to an Oath restriction is much more fun, varied, and flavorful.

That is your opinion.

I've played Paladins in every edition so far but 5th... And I never will.

There is no Paladin in 5th.

I believe there is a dedicated 'get off my lawn' thread you can go to.


Athaleon wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
hiiamtom wrote:
I'll say it every time, 5e has the best paladins of any edition. Moving alignment restrictions to an Oath restriction is much more fun, varied, and flavorful.

That is your opinion.

I've played Paladins in every edition so far but 5th... And I never will.

There is no Paladin in 5th.

There clearly is: Be LG and pick Oath of Devotion. Why are you this flustered that other people might get to have badwrongfun playing badwrongPallies?

It weakens the lore behind Paladins and the legacy of the class.

If I wanted to play 5th edition, I'd play 5th edition.


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HWalsh wrote:
That is your opinion.

Yep, it is my opinion.

My opinion is also that basing paladins so strongly on alignment alone makes them a metagame disaster that actively discourages character complexity in NPCs and PCs alike.


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What if the new paladin drew more from the Book of Nine Swords Crusader? Any corner alignment, so LG/CG/LE/CE. Roll your paladin/antipaladin into one, still have a defined code for each, and gives you some variety for different champions of Good/Evil.


Scintillae wrote:
What if the new paladin drew more from the Book of Nine Swords Crusader? Any corner alignment, so LG/CG/LE/CE. Roll your paladin/antipaladin into one, still have a defined code for each, and gives you some variety for different champions of Good/Evil.

That, again, severs the legacy of the class. I am not ok with that.

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