Paladin Code Debugging


Prerelease Discussion

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VOLTRON!!!!


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Fuzzypaws wrote:

Mark, what is the official stance on how "respect the lawful authority of the legitimate ruler or leadership in whichever land you may be" interacts with being in a land with cruel, but lawfully enacted practices and mores?

Say, your paladin finds himself in ancient japan circa any year before the abolishment of slavery in 1590. You are in a land where people are not only routinely oppressed, but as you are traveling and observing this, you see a samurai murder a hapless serf in front of you for merely having irritated him - something fully in his legal authority to do.

What, OFFICIALLY, is the Paladin supposed to do in this case, according to Paizo?

Not go to Japan :D


Mark Seifter wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
R0b0tBadgr wrote:

The one thing I'd really like to point out, just to point out something that may or may not be obvious to some people.

The Paladin's Code seems very 3-Laws (or 3+0th Law if you've read all of the Foundation series). One of the things that Asimov did throughout the series is show how these three simple laws that most people would be like "Yeah, that seems foolproof" are actually *far* from foolproof, and can cause so much trouble all over the place.

I'm not trying to say we should stop trying to get the code as crystal-clear as possible, but there will always be loopholes. Hopefully Mark Seifter has read most of Asimov and realizes this, and thus does not get an aneurysm trying to make it 100% foolproof.

As an AI researcher before being a game designer, I am...shall we say at least somewhat aware. ;)

But as you say, in the case of a player who wants freedom to roleplay a character, having more options is probably better than a theoretical "perfect" code that determines all actions like you might want for intelligent robots.

Now I want to see Robot Paladins. . . .

We built the robot paladins to protect us...and for a while, they did...but then they decided that none of humanity was innocent of sin, and that our mere existence was a threat to the innocent plants and animals of the natural world...thus began the dark times...the robo-paladin wars.
Sir Alex of Merphy was killed in the line of duty. He was taken and rebuilt by Abadar Consumer Products - ACP. He is a fusion of man and divine. He is... Robodin.
In Neoabsalom, the last survivors of the paladin wars built the only champion they could conceive to break the paladin siege, the robot antipaladin Savior To Eliminate Paladin Hordes Enfilading Neoabsalom. With his Paladin Irradiation Grenades (or P.I.G.s), which he kicks into the midst of the paladin hordes, the mighty...

Why did you build the Paladin loss functions so badly, Mark!?

Creator sentient life wellbeing>>>Sentient life wellbeing>>>Nonsentient life wellbeing!!!


Excaliburproxy wrote:

Why did you build the Paladin loss functions so badly, Mark!?

Creator sentient life wellbeing>>>Sentient life wellbeing>>>Nonsentient life wellbeing!!!

If that approach was used, it could result in this scenario as soon as the robot paladins start constructing other robot paladins. To hard-code it out, you would effectivly need the robots to be fully designed as a servitor race, which may chafe with giving them paladin motivations.


The Sideromancer wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:

Why did you build the Paladin loss functions so badly, Mark!?

Creator sentient life wellbeing>>>Sentient life wellbeing>>>Nonsentient life wellbeing!!!

If that approach was used, it could result in this scenario as soon as the robot paladins start constructing other robot paladins. To hard-code it out, you would effectivly need the robots to be fully designed as a servitor race, which may chafe with giving them paladin motivations.

Robots aren't real life. A fair point though! They could always start making organic robot paladins.


a problem with the paladin code..... is that it resembles the lg archon on the heaven's description...

dont think the relaxed code and the anthema stuff is going to do little to stop paladins and other alignment character issues.... and if it does it wont be a whole lor... I could be wrong


Gavmania wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

Mark, what is the official stance on how "respect the lawful authority of the legitimate ruler or leadership in whichever land you may be" interacts with being in a land with cruel, but lawfully enacted practices and mores?

Say, your paladin finds himself in ancient japan circa any year before the abolishment of slavery in 1590. You are in a land where people are not only routinely oppressed, but as you are traveling and observing this, you see a samurai murder a hapless serf in front of you for merely having irritated him - something fully in his legal authority to do.

What, OFFICIALLY, is the Paladin supposed to do in this case, according to Paizo?

Not go to Japan :D

That isn’t enough. Several other places have the same problem, more recently. This would result in Paladins simply not being present in a lot of the world, and give Evil Overlords a reliable (if not always easy) means to avoiding problems that Paladins might cause for them . . . .


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Fuzzypaws wrote:

Mark, what is the official stance on how "respect the lawful authority of the legitimate ruler or leadership in whichever land you may be" interacts with being in a land with cruel, but lawfully enacted practices and mores?

Say, your paladin finds himself in ancient japan circa any year before the abolishment of slavery in 1590. You are in a land where people are not only routinely oppressed, but as you are traveling and observing this, you see a samurai murder a hapless serf in front of you for merely having irritated him - something fully in his legal authority to do.

What, OFFICIALLY, is the Paladin supposed to do in this case, according to Paizo?

Not an official position, naturally, but it sounds easy enough.

If possible, protect the serf, which satisfies part two of the code. Dead serf or living serf, this probably leads into the second scenario.

Get into an argument with the samurai. Sure it might have been legal, but a paladin of mine (even a paladin of the samurai caste) could very well be affronted by the lack of control and discipline involved here. You might even win a philosophical debate over this. However if you don't win....

Have an honorable duel. Such a duel might not be strictly legal, but clinging to the law is a lower priority and one of the two parties needs to learn some humility. After the duel is over, accept defeat, whether it is the paladin's defeat or the samurai. I'd rule that satisfies the honorable accord portion of the code.

If it all escalates into real violence then the most paladiny thing to do in my opinion would be to incapacitate the samurai and then show mercy and chivalry by tending to his wounds and making sure he lives to have the possibility of repentance.

Maybe that will cause problems in the long run, but I would say such a series of events would be in character and satisfy the code well enough.

Or I could consider it a "Ah HA! Gotcha!" moment of legalistic pedantry and declare some sort of rhetorical victory over the paladin player, but that doesn't sound like fun at all.


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On the subject of murder though, I'd want to steer clear of the modern "unlawful killing" definition and steer towards a more ancient world "unjust killing" definition.

The more your opponents are some combination of willing, active, able, and ready, the less likely I think it is to be an unjust fight and it follows that it is unlikely to be murder. You might still be charged with it and spend some jail time, but the laws of the world and the laws of Heaven don't always line up. A paladin wants to support the laws of the world as an ordered society is more likely to be just and fair (in a LG view), but it is far down on a Paladin's to do list.

As a rough example, take the yakuza fight in Kill Bill 2. Just in case, I better spoiler tag this.

Kill Bill 2:
Most of the Crazy 88s were fair fight kills and in a fantasy adventure sense wouldn't be murders. They were soldiers (of a sort) and knew the score when they drew weapons. That last kid, who was CLEARLY not ready for this kind of horror though? Killing him would more likely be murder under the code.
Chasing any fleeing enemies down for unnecessary killing might also be murder. Better to give the kid a scare and send him home to mother.

It is still going to be a grey area, but like art, you are likely to know it when you see it. If there is a doubt, I'd show off a sign of the god in questions' displeasure ("Hey, Paladin of Sarenrae, you look a little sunburnt" "Yeah, that fight was unworthy of me. I'll atone at the next temple."), but don't strip powers away unless the offense is clear. That way the paladin gets sweet sweet repentance roleplay XP and the GM gets to solidify divine presence in the world.

But this is all just late night thoughts before the melatonin kicks in, so I might not be as clear as I hope I am.


Paladin Code Parsings and potential Work-Arounds:

The first Law of Paladining:

"A (LG) Paladin must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture or casting an evil spell.

The Second Law of Paladining:

"A (LG) Paladin must not take actions that they know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent to come to immediate harm if their action could 'reasonably' prevent it. This does not force the paladin to take actions which sacrifice your life.

The Third Law of Paladining:

"A (LG) Paladin must act with honor, never cheating, lying, or taking advantage of others.

The Fourth Law of Paladining:

"A (LG) Paladin must respect the lawful authority of the legitimate ruler or leadership in whichever land they may be, following their laws unless they violate a higher tenet.

Parsing:
1. Evil act is solidly defined, possible scenarios laid out as equally unacceptable. 'Willingly' is undefined.
2. 'Harm' can take many forms from emotional to literal, and the extent is not defined; a paladin can break laws 3/4 over a papercut, or a minor emotional hiccup. 'Innocent.' HA! try defining that.
3. 'honor' is generally a set of codes; law 3 says obey laws 1-2 (+3-4). This is pretty redundant, and if the other laws were suitably refined, should be unneccessary.
4. Lawful "authorities" might be better; you want them to obey the cops/guard/judicial system, not just the laws themselves. "Legitimate;" what should a paladin take as the legitimate rulership of an area?

Work-Arounds:
1. 'Willingly.' Meta-gamers delight, you can play up the lawful-stupid paladin and commit the most heinous of crimes 'oops.... I didn't realize it was so evil---guess I should have put more points into knowledge: arcana before casting infernal healing all those times.'
2. Paladins can lie at-will; as long as they feel the truth would hurt someone (to any extent). Clearly this is intended to address several classic problems, but it's entirely abusable. Who's completely innocent? How do I know? I can select arbitrarily who falls into this category.
3. If following the paladin code isn't acting with honor, then what is honor? Honestly with poison use and stuff explicitly allowed, I'd say something like 'must act fairly, to the best of their knowledge.' So poison if the other guy uses poison, but not if they don't. Etc. But then you have this never word; you can explicitly break this by following tenets 1&2; you can be deceitful, if you agree not to use poison in a contest, and it can save an innocent, then you can do it. For this to hold any weight it should really be a higher priority.
4. So in Cheliax for example, I'm sure the legal system is suitably airtight, but I'd guess it's not so well defined in say the River Kingdoms where the lawful authorities are basically the biggest bandit gang and the rules might not be explicit so much as an implicit 'don't mess with anyone important.' Furthermore, I can pretty much decide for myself whether I think a rulership in an area is 'legitimate' or not, and therefore ignore this whenever it's convenient.

First impression:

Lots of holes (many intentional)! Still better than what we previously had.

Initial Thoughts:

A paladin is a devout servant of their deity(ies). Nowhere do these rules mention anything about their deity(ies)'s tenets. A paladin is a champion of the flock, defender of the faithful. Not necessarily the 'innocent,' although this could be how their deity(ies) refer(s) to the faithful. This is nowhere in the code. A paladin is a vessel of their deity(ies), and must remain pure (devout) to their teachings. This really goes back to 'tenets/litanies as a part of their code,' but is encapsulated by the idea of falling from grace.

Basically as-is this is a list of transgressions arbitrated by moral relevance; morals which it does not address. A true moral code tells us how we should act, what values we hold to be true, and lists transgressions in counter-example to the way they should live. This gives us a moral keystone to build our world-view around, with which we judge both ourselves, and others. A paladin code should tell us equally what to DO as moral champions of god, and what heinous villanies to abhor and extinguish.

To create a 'more perfect' code, I'd read/skim the American declaration of independence or the constitution, or the consititution/code of ancient knighthoods such as the Knights Hospitaller....and then boil down multi-page documents into 4 sentences. Sounds pretty impossible to me.

Alternate View, using Asimov's Laws:
1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the first law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second law.

In my opinion, what makes Asimov's works interesting are not the formulation of these 3 laws, but the myriad ways in which different robots of different models and purpose interpret them. I'd re-read I, Robot, and realize that the paladin code should be flawed and exploited. Paladins should fall, and struggle, and rise again repeatedly because this is what makes them human; or more precisely makes them interesting. Otherwise why read about them, or play them?

Personally I'd still like to see a more deific theme to the laws of paladining, and I believe that Asimov's ordering is better than the playtest's. I think core/deific-level tenets of what to do should be on top, 'human'-level interpretation should come second to that, and lastly, that when possible the paladin should seek self-preservation. Why? Well they've dedicated their lives to the first two tenets, and if they aren't willing to follow them with every fiber of their being, they should fall (yet live) and they should not be suicidal fanatics. We'll leave that for the zealots.


Stone Dog wrote:

On the subject of murder though, I'd want to steer clear of the modern "unlawful killing" definition and steer towards a more ancient world "unjust killing" definition.

I agree. If you go with the unlawful killing definition, you end up tying yourself in knots when away from a lawful good country, and if you say it would have to be lawful good laws rather than local laws, you would end up having to determine which laws.

Of course, the term 'unjust' is also open to interpretation, but it is a grey enough area that the paladin should be able to justify the killing he undertakes.

Ultimately, it will always be down to the GM and the player to thrash out the details.


Quote:

"The following is the fundamental code all paladins follow. The tenets are listed in order of importance, starting with the most important. If a situation places two tenets in conflict, you aren't in a no-win situation; instead, follow the most important tenet."

>You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell.
>You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent to come to immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it. This tenet doesn't force you to take action against possible harm to innocents or to sacrifice your life and future potential in an attempt to protect an innocent.
>You must act with honor, never cheating, lying, or taking advantage of others.
>You must respect the lawful authority of the legitimate ruler or leadership in whichever land you may be, following their laws unless they violate a higher tenet.

I know they've devalued tenet 3 slightly, but you can still never lie unless you know that will harm an innocent or lead someone to immediate harm. I really wish they would eliminate that rule. Not being able to lie to an opponent is foolish.

Quote:

1. Always keep word

2. Avoids lies
3. Never kill OR attack unarmed foe
4. Never harm an innocent
5. Never torture
6. Never Kill for pleasure
7. Always help others
8. Works well with others
9. Respects authority, laws, self-discipline and honor
10. Never betray a friend
11. Never break the law UNLESS conditions are desperate.

That's how another gaming system does it. "Avoids" lies, not "never" lies. I also like the longer menu; it makes me feel you can choose nine or ten of them and still follow that code.


Kimera757 wrote:
Quote:

"The following is the fundamental code all paladins follow. The tenets are listed in order of importance, starting with the most important. If a situation places two tenets in conflict, you aren't in a no-win situation; instead, follow the most important tenet."

>You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell.
>You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent to come to immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it. This tenet doesn't force you to take action against possible harm to innocents or to sacrifice your life and future potential in an attempt to protect an innocent.
>You must act with honor, never cheating, lying, or taking advantage of others.
>You must respect the lawful authority of the legitimate ruler or leadership in whichever land you may be, following their laws unless they violate a higher tenet.

I know they've devalued tenet 3 slightly, but you can still never lie unless you know that will harm an innocent or lead someone to immediate harm. I really wish they would eliminate that rule. Not being able to lie to an opponent is foolish.

Quote:

1. Always keep word

2. Avoids lies
3. Never kill OR attack unarmed foe
4. Never harm an innocent
5. Never torture
6. Never Kill for pleasure
7. Always help others
8. Works well with others
9. Respects authority, laws, self-discipline and honor
10. Never betray a friend
11. Never break the law UNLESS conditions are desperate.
That's how another gaming system does it. "Avoids" lies, not "never" lies. I also like the longer menu; it makes me feel you can choose nine or ten of them and still follow that code.

Just a note:

Not all of us like that other system. In fact some of us hate that system specifically for how they handle Paladins.


HWalsh wrote:
Kimera757 wrote:
Quote:

"The following is the fundamental code all paladins follow. The tenets are listed in order of importance, starting with the most important. If a situation places two tenets in conflict, you aren't in a no-win situation; instead, follow the most important tenet."

>You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell.
>You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent to come to immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it. This tenet doesn't force you to take action against possible harm to innocents or to sacrifice your life and future potential in an attempt to protect an innocent.
>You must act with honor, never cheating, lying, or taking advantage of others.
>You must respect the lawful authority of the legitimate ruler or leadership in whichever land you may be, following their laws unless they violate a higher tenet.

I know they've devalued tenet 3 slightly, but you can still never lie unless you know that will harm an innocent or lead someone to immediate harm. I really wish they would eliminate that rule. Not being able to lie to an opponent is foolish.

Quote:

1. Always keep word

2. Avoids lies
3. Never kill OR attack unarmed foe
4. Never harm an innocent
5. Never torture
6. Never Kill for pleasure
7. Always help others
8. Works well with others
9. Respects authority, laws, self-discipline and honor
10. Never betray a friend
11. Never break the law UNLESS conditions are desperate.
That's how another gaming system does it. "Avoids" lies, not "never" lies. I also like the longer menu; it makes me feel you can choose nine or ten of them and still follow that code.

Just a note:

Not all of us like that other system. In fact some of us hate that system specifically for how they handle Paladins.

I don't hate that system, or even hate the way they handle Paladins, but the way they do it is... Lackluster. Don't hate it, necessarily, but not a fan at all.


Kimera757 wrote:
Quote:

"The following is the fundamental code all paladins follow. The tenets are listed in order of importance, starting with the most important. If a situation places two tenets in conflict, you aren't in a no-win situation; instead, follow the most important tenet."

>You must never willingly commit an evil act, such as murder, torture, or casting an evil spell.
>You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent to come to immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it. This tenet doesn't force you to take action against possible harm to innocents or to sacrifice your life and future potential in an attempt to protect an innocent.
>You must act with honor, never cheating, lying, or taking advantage of others.
>You must respect the lawful authority of the legitimate ruler or leadership in whichever land you may be, following their laws unless they violate a higher tenet.

I know they've devalued tenet 3 slightly, but you can still never lie unless you know that will harm an innocent or lead someone to immediate harm. I really wish they would eliminate that rule. Not being able to lie to an opponent is foolish.

Quote:

1. Always keep word

2. Avoids lies
3. Never kill OR attack unarmed foe
4. Never harm an innocent
5. Never torture
6. Never Kill for pleasure
7. Always help others
8. Works well with others
9. Respects authority, laws, self-discipline and honor
10. Never betray a friend
11. Never break the law UNLESS conditions are desperate.
That's how another gaming system does it. "Avoids" lies, not "never" lies. I also like the longer menu; it makes me feel you can choose nine or ten of them and still follow that code.

If the paladin himself is considered an innocent, then that really opens up when he can lie.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Foolish can be pretty much a description of honorable when viewed from the Efficient point of view

Acting with honor means that you will refuse to take some actions that others, less honor-bound, would use


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Being a Paladin is about winning the right way. It isn't about winning the most effective way, in fact it is often the contrary. Above all the ends shouldn't justify the means.


yeah, but the most effective way could be the way that allows the most of his comrades to go home.....


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HWalsh wrote:
Being a Paladin is about winning the right way. It isn't about winning the most effective way, in fact it is often the contrary. Above all the ends shouldn't justify the means.

The ends: The Paladin is supposed to be the quintessential "good guy".

The means: This is enforced by alignment and code-of-conduct restrictions imposed in the game not just on the individual gaming group level, but as a game wide default no matter where you are or who you're playing with because it's somehow unthinkable that someone else in another group/city/state/country/continent should be able to play their Paladin their way without having to move heaven and earth to do so if their way isn't your way.

Oh, I totally agree that the ends don't justify the means. It doesn't matter what sort of "good guy" archetype the Paladin is supposed to be. That it stems from this kind of exclusivity makes it a hollow mockery of itself, and it shouldn't be. Thank you for so eloquently phrasing exactly why (well, one of the myriad reasons why) the Paladin class needs to be opened up.


Tectorman wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Being a Paladin is about winning the right way. It isn't about winning the most effective way, in fact it is often the contrary. Above all the ends shouldn't justify the means.

The ends: The Paladin is supposed to be the quintessential "good guy".

The means: This is enforced by alignment and code-of-conduct restrictions imposed in the game not just on the individual gaming group level, but as a game wide default no matter where you are or who you're playing with because it's somehow unthinkable that someone else in another group/city/state/country/continent should be able to play their Paladin their way without having to move heaven and earth to do so if their way isn't your way.

Oh, I totally agree that the ends don't justify the means. It doesn't matter what sort of "good guy" archetype the Paladin is supposed to be. That it stems from this kind of exclusivity makes it a hollow mockery of itself, and it shouldn't be. Thank you for so eloquently phrasing exactly why (well, one of the myriad reasons why) the Paladin class needs to be opened up.

An opened Paladin isn't a Paladin. Your statement is incorrect.


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Being a paladin isn't about winning at all, in my opinion.

And an opened paladin isn't a paladin in your opinion. It isn't incorrect, you just don't agree with them.


The only problem I see with the code is that it makes it basically impossible for Paladins to operate openly (in a peaceful manner) in an evil society due to the second tenet.

Take the example of the samurai presented above. Except he hasn't murdered the serf yet, but you can clearly see he's going to. Per the second tenet, the paladin has to act. But if they can't de-escalate the situation without violence, and the Samurai tells them to bog off with their dumb duel...then the paladin has to unlawfully stop the Samurai, or they fall.

And it doesn't have to be that extreme. A paladin spots a Chelish noblewoman about to physically punish one of her halfling slaves because they accidentally splattered the noblewoman's dress with mud. A slave master in Katapesh is whipping an exhausted slave, and will probably kill him. The Uskwood druid is about to forcefully take a child from their family for...well, nothing nice, to be sure.

All these situations mean the paladin has to act, but if they can't stop them with words, they have to get physical. And when they do that, they're breaking the law. Which means they're now criminals. Unless "doing time in prison" qualifies for the "This tenet doesn't force you to take action against possible harm to innocents or to sacrifice your life and future potential in an attempt to protect an innocent." then any Paladin in one of Golarion's many predominantly evil societies is going to either fall or become a fugitive/prisoner extremely quickly.


Yes, that particular situation of a Paladin in an Evil society could fall into the second sentence of the second tenet. But that's the beauty of it... It could go multiple ways. I myself revel in RP situations like that, where you place that Paladin in a very tight spot. My Paladin would probably stand up and stop Samurai, and might become a fugitive doing it. But then again other Paladins might not and be in the right because of their mission to stop a greater evil. Both situations are legitimate and don't necessarily entail falling. It's all up to the player and the Paladin's motivations. I (personally) don't see anything wrong with becoming a fugitive/prisoner in a predominantly evil society; if I'm standing up for what's right and good. This is what makes my Paladin heart beam with pride: Standing up for what is right in the face of evil. Placing their fellow creatures needs above his own in an honourable manner. That's a Paladin.


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knightnday wrote:

Being a paladin isn't about winning at all, in my opinion.

And an opened paladin isn't a paladin in your opinion. It isn't incorrect, you just don't agree with them.

Maybe you should tell that to him as well since he *also* didn't explicitly state that it was an opinion. If you are going to try that on me. Thank you very much.

Also, it is onlyyour opinion that it is my opinion and that he isn't incorrect.

See how that works?

Forcing people to preface every statement with "in my opinion" is needless and is basically pointless because EVERYTHING we tend to say about anything is our opinion when discussing a fantasy game.

It doesn't even weaken the person you are stating it to's argument because we all already know that. So there is nothing to gain.


... only thing to gain is this thread locked,,, hahahahahaha

but that might not happen.... though it might....


I think that being incarcerated (or executed) prevents the Paladin from doing actual good in the future, so the second tenets safety clauses feel like they give the paladin a decent buffer to choose inaction if necessary.

It sets up a paladin's player with interesting challenges, but one thing should be kept in mind (okay, at least one). A paladin doesn't have to win. A paladin can stay Lawful Good, not commit any Anethema, keep to the Code to the best of their ability and still not succeed in saving innocents from immediate harm.

It isn't a weakness .


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Stone Dog wrote:

I think that being incarcerated (or executed) prevents the Paladin from doing actual good in the future, so the second tenets safety clauses feel like they give the paladin a decent buffer to choose inaction if necessary.

It sets up a paladin's player with interesting challenges, but one thing should be kept in mind (okay, at least one). A paladin doesn't have to win. A paladin can stay Lawful Good, not commit any Anethema, keep to the Code to the best of their ability and still not succeed in saving innocents from immediate harm.

It isn't a weakness .

If the threat of death or incarceration is enough for a paladin to decide not to act....what's the point of the second tenet, except for them to be able to break tenets 3 and 4 with the excuse of "I'm saving an innocent!It's fine!"?

Basically any situation where you'd need to save an innocent would involve going up against something that could "[...]sacrifice their life and future potential in an attempt to protect an innocent", be it a band of marauding orcs, a house being on fire, or a Katapeshi slave-driver mistreating slaves. Which means the Paladin is free to ignore the situation.

If so, then the entire second tenet after "You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent" is essentially pointless.


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HWalsh wrote:
knightnday wrote:

Being a paladin isn't about winning at all, in my opinion.

And an opened paladin isn't a paladin in your opinion. It isn't incorrect, you just don't agree with them.

Maybe you should tell that to him as well since he *also* didn't explicitly state that it was an opinion. If you are going to try that on me. Thank you very much.

Also, it is onlyyour opinion that it is my opinion and that he isn't incorrect.

See how that works?

Forcing people to preface every statement with "in my opinion" is needless and is basically pointless because EVERYTHING we tend to say about anything is our opinion when discussing a fantasy game.

It doesn't even weaken the person you are stating it to's argument because we all already know that. So there is nothing to gain.

I'll go ahead and acknowledge that. Here it is, spelled out and bolded: An opened Paladin IS a Paladin, in my opinion. But the thing is, an opened Paladin let's the person who wants a not-LG Paladin play his not-LG Paladin with the same minimum of fuss that a person who wants a LG Paladin can play his LG Paladin. A closed Paladin closes one of the two off.

And the premise, last you stated, was that the ends don't justify the means. So your Paladin, being defined as the quintessential "good guy", CANNOT stand on the foundation of something fundamentally unfair. "I can't enjoy my Paladin unless I know that someone somewhere else that I will never meet is having to move heaven and earth to enjoy his Paladin" CANNOT be anything other than unfair. Ergo, a closed off Paladin, not in my opinion but in my basic understanding of right and wrong and logical thought, CANNOT be anything other than self-contradictory.

Now, if you want to say that the ends sometimes do justify the means, then the logical foundation can hold, and your Paladin can be a quintessential "so-called good guy".


TheFinish wrote:
Stone Dog wrote:

I think that being incarcerated (or executed) prevents the Paladin from doing actual good in the future, so the second tenets safety clauses feel like they give the paladin a decent buffer to choose inaction if necessary.

It sets up a paladin's player with interesting challenges, but one thing should be kept in mind (okay, at least one). A paladin doesn't have to win. A paladin can stay Lawful Good, not commit any Anethema, keep to the Code to the best of their ability and still not succeed in saving innocents from immediate harm.

It isn't a weakness .

If the threat of death or incarceration is enough for a paladin to decide not to act....what's the point of the second tenet, except for them to be able to break tenets 3 and 4 with the excuse of "I'm saving an innocent!It's fine!"?

Basically any situation where you'd need to save an innocent would involve going up against something that could "[...]sacrifice their life and future potential in an attempt to protect an innocent", be it a band of marauding orcs, a house being on fire, or a Katapeshi slave-driver mistreating slaves. Which means the Paladin is free to ignore the situation.

If so, then the entire second tenet after "You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent" is essentially pointless.

I don't totally agree, but I can see your point. Since this thread is called "Paladin Code Debugging"... What is your proposed solution?


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Tectorman wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
knightnday wrote:

Being a paladin isn't about winning at all, in my opinion.

And an opened paladin isn't a paladin in your opinion. It isn't incorrect, you just don't agree with them.

Maybe you should tell that to him as well since he *also* didn't explicitly state that it was an opinion. If you are going to try that on me. Thank you very much.

Also, it is onlyyour opinion that it is my opinion and that he isn't incorrect.

See how that works?

Forcing people to preface every statement with "in my opinion" is needless and is basically pointless because EVERYTHING we tend to say about anything is our opinion when discussing a fantasy game.

It doesn't even weaken the person you are stating it to's argument because we all already know that. So there is nothing to gain.

I'll go ahead and acknowledge that. Here it is, spelled out and bolded: An opened Paladin IS a Paladin, in my opinion. But the thing is, an opened Paladin let's the person who wants a not-LG Paladin play his not-LG Paladin with the same minimum of fuss that a person who wants a LG Paladin can play his LG Paladin. A closed Paladin closes one of the two off.

And the premise, last you stated, was that the ends don't justify the means. So your Paladin, being defined as the quintessential "good guy", CANNOT stand on the foundation of something fundamentally unfair. "I can't enjoy my Paladin unless I know that someone somewhere else that I will never meet is having to move heaven and earth to enjoy his Paladin" CANNOT be anything other than unfair. Ergo, a closed off Paladin, not in my opinion but in my basic understanding of right and wrong and logical thought, CANNOT be anything other than self-contradictory.

Now, if you want to say that the ends sometimes do justify the means, then the logical foundation can hold, and your Paladin can be a quintessential "so-called good guy".

This isn't a Paladin alignment thread.

You're also trying to conflate the issue in an illogical manner.

The opening and closing of the Paladin isn't about fair and unfair.

Furthermore my opinions on the closing or opening of the Paladin have nothing to do with my character.

You believe it is unfair.

I believe that it is simply fact.

Baking soda and vinegar react together to cause an energetic reaction. That is lawful good with the Paladin class.

The fact that baking soda and water do not react the same way isn't unfair.

Paladins being Lawful Good is about a number of things. It is about legacy, it is about tradition, it is about class flavor, it is about world flavor. It is about the cosmology of the narrative.

Those things are far more important to me as a player than someone's personal desire to play a non-Lawful Good Paladin.

Editing to add:

Furthermore - We shouldn't try to play the "fair or unfair" game. It never works and if applied to everything in the same way people try to apply it to Paladin alignment arguments we get a bunch of other problems...

Example:
A long sword does 1d8 damage, a short sword does 1d6. It is unfair that I suffer a damage penalty because I want to use a short sword instead of a longsword. Short swords should do 1d8 too.

If a short sword does 1d8, then my dagger should do 1d8, because I want to play an awesome dagger master and 1d8 shouldn't be locked behind an arbitrary damage wall. It is impacting my freedom of choice and everyone who thinks daggers shouldn't do 1d8 damage is advocating "badwrongfun."

The "unfair" argument can be virtually applied to anything in the game. From Paladin alignments, to weapon damage, to Rogues getting more skill advances.

Just... Stop.


TheFinish,
I believe the problem here is the "Rules as Written" vs "Rules as Intended". If a Paladin is *consistently* using that sentence to excuse him from acting out and putting himself in danger, THEN HE SHOULD FALL. He kept the literal words of the 2nd tenet, yet lost the meaning of what it is to be a Paladin. In fact, I would say he broke the 1st tenet. Words like cowardice, selfishness, and ultimately EVIL could describe him.
I know that there are many fringe cases that can prove me wrong... But that's not the point. The point is: It's not about the loop holes that one can make with the tenets, (the letter of the law) it's about the tenets freeing you to be the exemplary of Goodness. (the spirit of the law) I believe that any document, no matter how perfect, can be exploited if one tries hard enough.

All that being said, this document is not perfect. And if you have a better way of stating what the end goal of the second tenet is, I'm all ears!!


TheFinish wrote:

If the threat of death or incarceration is enough for a paladin to decide not to act....what's the point of the second tenet, except for them to be able to break tenets 3 and 4 with the excuse of "I'm saving an innocent!It's fine!"?

Basically any situation where you'd need to save an innocent would involve going up against something that could "[...]sacrifice their life and future potential in an attempt to protect an innocent", be it a band of marauding orcs, a house being on fire, or a Katapeshi slave-driver mistreating slaves. Which means the Paladin is free to ignore the situation.

If so, then the entire second tenet after "You must not take actions that you know will harm an innocent" is essentially pointless.

I'm not talking about the threat of death or incarceration, but the degree of certainty. Paladins need to be able to take risks, but shouldn't be required to sacrifice themselves recklessly.

Lets assume that a band of marauding orcs is the 30-100 level. For discussion sake let's say 65 or so. Does the Code require a paladin to take on the whole force solo? Not necessarily. For a level 1 paladin that is unreasonable and actively suicidal, but that doesn't mean that a paladin should just sit back and watch a whole village burn and die. You do what you can with the powers you have.

A house on fire may be more of a certain suicide situation depending on the fire or the level of the paladin, but is a similar situation. Is a paladin required to rush blindly into a burning building knowing there are people in there, but not knowing where? I could see making a case for going in and trying, but a paladin shouldn't fall for realizing that it is a blaze that can't be survived long enough to find people.

A Katapeshi slave driver? Again, it is going to have to be a question of what is actually happening, not just "cruelty in progress, must smite." Odds are a paladin should do SOMEthing, but in a Katapeshi city with guards and a society that thinks this is normal there is only so much one can do without doing more harm than you are doing good. Do you want to start a slave riot? Get the guards summoned for more suffering? Are there more than one slavers who can hold other slaves under the sword to complicate the situation? A paladin will have to adjust to the situation because despite the Asimovian structure of the Code, a paladin isn't a Celestine Systems Model P-101 robot.

Also, I am not saying that paladins should be free to ignore the situation. That doesn't sound like it is in character for the class at all. It is completely appropriate to provide consequences for actions or inaction's that a character takes whether that is penance, church or social sanctions, a blow to self or public esteem or other things. I'm just saying that there isn't a particularly driving reason to hang the threat of losing your powers for every failure to Do Right™ that a paladin has to face.

Although, acting rashly in any of these situations sounds like the sort of thing that a level one Paladin [i]would[i/] try to do. Fresh faced and green without experience, thinking that divine powers means you can take on the whole world. I'm picturing three old Paladins talking about their first adventures; one with burn scars, one with manacle marks still visible after all these years, one with particularly savage war wounds and orcish brands. All of them reminiscing about what they did, what they didn't do and what they could have done better with a fourth, newly minted paladin hanging on every word.


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HWalsh wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
knightnday wrote:

Being a paladin isn't about winning at all, in my opinion.

And an opened paladin isn't a paladin in your opinion. It isn't incorrect, you just don't agree with them.

Maybe you should tell that to him as well since he *also* didn't explicitly state that it was an opinion. If you are going to try that on me. Thank you very much.

Also, it is onlyyour opinion that it is my opinion and that he isn't incorrect.

See how that works?

Forcing people to preface every statement with "in my opinion" is needless and is basically pointless because EVERYTHING we tend to say about anything is our opinion when discussing a fantasy game.

It doesn't even weaken the person you are stating it to's argument because we all already know that. So there is nothing to gain.

I'll go ahead and acknowledge that. Here it is, spelled out and bolded: An opened Paladin IS a Paladin, in my opinion. But the thing is, an opened Paladin let's the person who wants a not-LG Paladin play his not-LG Paladin with the same minimum of fuss that a person who wants a LG Paladin can play his LG Paladin. A closed Paladin closes one of the two off.

And the premise, last you stated, was that the ends don't justify the means. So your Paladin, being defined as the quintessential "good guy", CANNOT stand on the foundation of something fundamentally unfair. "I can't enjoy my Paladin unless I know that someone somewhere else that I will never meet is having to move heaven and earth to enjoy his Paladin" CANNOT be anything other than unfair. Ergo, a closed off Paladin, not in my opinion but in my basic understanding of right and wrong and logical thought, CANNOT be anything other than self-contradictory.

Now, if you want to say that the ends sometimes do justify the means, then the logical foundation can hold, and your Paladin can be a quintessential "so-called good guy".

This isn't a Paladin alignment...

I didn't make it a Paladin alignment thread. You made the claim, which I agree with, that the ends do not justify the means. Earlier, you'd made another claim, which I also agree with, that nothing good, no matter its appearance, can come of evil.

As you say, the Paladin being forcibly married to an alignment restriction and code of conduct is for the sake of legacy, tradition, class flavor, world flavor, and the narrative's cosmology. All appearances. It's still being born of "I can't enjoy my Paladin unless someone else's ability to play their character concept is as hampered as humanly possible. As long as that's true, it's a sham. It will never not be a sham.

I'm sorry, but that's just the only conclusion that I can derive from what you yourself are saying. Your intentions for the game do not bear out with your statements of whether the means outweight the ends or vice versa. Now, again, if you want to let your acknowledgment that you are placing other people's enjoyment of the game below some so-called integrity of the setting/legacy stand in place of you acknowledging that yes, some ends do justify the means (sometimes people are just supposed to be arbitrarily screwed over), then you may do so.

You're not saying anything coherent otherwise.


Tectorman wrote:

I didn't make it a Paladin alignment thread. You made the claim, which I agree with, that the ends do not justify the means. Earlier, you'd made another claim, which I also agree with, that nothing good, no matter its appearance, can come of evil.

As you say, the Paladin being forcibly married to an alignment restriction and code of conduct is for the sake of legacy, tradition, class flavor, world flavor, and the narrative's cosmology. All appearances. It's still being born of "I can't enjoy my Paladin unless someone else's ability to play their character concept is as hampered as humanly possible. As long as that's true, it's a sham. It will never not be a sham.

I'm sorry, but that's just the only conclusion that I can derive from what you yourself are saying. Your intentions for the game do not bear out with your statements of whether the means outweight the ends or vice versa. Now, again, if you want to let your acknowledgment that you are placing other people's enjoyment of the game below some so-called integrity of the setting/legacy stand in place of you acknowledging that yes, some ends do justify the means (sometimes people are just supposed to be arbitrarily screwed over), then you may do so.

You're not saying anything coherent otherwise.

Just because it is the only conclusion that you can derive doesn't make it the correct conclusion. Just because you disagree with someone else doesn't make their argument incoherent.

Also, everything you are saying can be turned back around onto you.

Example:

You said:
"Now, again, if you want to let your acknowledgment that you are placing other people's enjoyment of the game below some so-called integrity of the setting/legacy stand in place of you acknowledging that yes, some ends do justify the means (sometimes people are just supposed to be arbitrarily screwed over), then you may do so."

Now I turn this around:

You are aware that some people's enjoyment of the game is derived from there not being non-Lawful Good Paladins, and the common (official) existence of Paladins that aren't Lawful Good actively harms their experience and their enjoyment.

This is something you are indeed aware of.

Thus by constantly asking for non-Lawful Good Paladins you must aknowledge that you are placing other people's enjoyment of the game below your own. Thus putting your enjoyment above theirs. So the ends, your personal enjoyment, justify the means, damaging their enjoyment.

So if you think you don't support the ends justifying the means because you want open Paladins... You would be doing the exact same thing that others do.

However enjoyment isn't an ends justify the means situation.

At the end of the day everyone wants to enjoy the game. Period. That is the point of the game. Sometimes, as is with Paladins, you simply find that what makes the game fun for some, makes the game unfun for others.

Making Paladins open destroys my enjoyment of the game.

You don't care if my enjoyment of the game is destroyed, because your enjoyment of the game will be enhanced.

And, if it is a game that I am playing, then yes me enjoying it is my primary concern.

My view on Paladins and having them have a situation where the ends don't justify the means is irrelevant. Why? Because I am not a Paladin, I just play one in Pathfinder. I do not play a Paladin in D&D, because they opened them up, and I can't stomach playing them. If they are opened in Pathfinder, I will not play them here, because I know how I feel about that, and like with D&D I will just stop playing Pathfinder altogether.


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Iron_Matt17 wrote:

TheFinish,

I believe the problem here is the "Rules as Written" vs "Rules as Intended". If a Paladin is *consistently* using that sentence to excuse him from acting out and putting himself in danger, THEN HE SHOULD FALL. He kept the literal words of the 2nd tenet, yet lost the meaning of what it is to be a Paladin. In fact, I would say he broke the 1st tenet. Words like cowardice, selfishness, and ultimately EVIL could describe him.
I know that there are many fringe cases that can prove me wrong... But that's not the point. The point is: It's not about the loop holes that one can make with the tenets, (the letter of the law) it's about the tenets freeing you to be the exemplary of Goodness. (the spirit of the law) I believe that any document, no matter how perfect, can be exploited if one tries hard enough.

All that being said, this document is not perfect. And if you have a better way of stating what the end goal of the second tenet is, I'm all ears!!

Honestly? Just replace the second tenet with:

"You must protect the innocent as best you can, and never knowingly cause them harm."

That's it, really. You'll still have problems (what exactly constitues harm? How do we tally the paladin's ignorance to ascertain whether or not they knew their action would cause harm?) but it allows the Paladin a bit more leeway, and doesn't read like a horrible jumble of legalese.

Like, in my examples (and I'm sorry I'm not quoting you Stone Dog, but I figure I can work it in here without making this post ginormous. My apologies):

If the Paladin sees a village attacked by orcs, he may think the best he can do is attack the orcs to distract them. Or try to save some villagers. Or go get reinforcements.

If the Paladins sees a burning building, he may thinkt he best thing to do is leap into the building to save people. Or stay outside and start a bucket line. Or use a want of....uh....create water to stop the flames (I was gonna say gust of wind and then I realised that would probably make things way worse...)

If the Paladin sees a Katapeshi slave master whipping a slave to near death, he may think the best thing to do is attack the slave master. Or stop him with words. Or try to buy the slave. Or just heal the slave.

I just think the second tenet, as written, is giving Paladins a way out of acting, instead of allowing Paladins the leeway to fulfill the tenet as they think is best.

But maybe it's just me.


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TheFinish wrote:
Iron_Matt17 wrote:

TheFinish,

I believe the problem here is the "Rules as Written" vs "Rules as Intended". If a Paladin is *consistently* using that sentence to excuse him from acting out and putting himself in danger, THEN HE SHOULD FALL. He kept the literal words of the 2nd tenet, yet lost the meaning of what it is to be a Paladin. In fact, I would say he broke the 1st tenet. Words like cowardice, selfishness, and ultimately EVIL could describe him.
I know that there are many fringe cases that can prove me wrong... But that's not the point. The point is: It's not about the loop holes that one can make with the tenets, (the letter of the law) it's about the tenets freeing you to be the exemplary of Goodness. (the spirit of the law) I believe that any document, no matter how perfect, can be exploited if one tries hard enough.

All that being said, this document is not perfect. And if you have a better way of stating what the end goal of the second tenet is, I'm all ears!!

Honestly? Just replace the second tenet with:

"You must protect the innocent as best you can, and never knowingly cause them harm."

That's it, really. You'll still have problems (what exactly constitues harm? How do we tally the paladin's ignorance to ascertain whether or not they knew their action would cause harm?) but it allows the Paladin a bit more leeway, and doesn't read like a horrible jumble of legalese.

That's something you definitely should bring up during the Playtest. It is pretty wordy, and perhaps your replacement would be better. But I have a feeling they had already come up with something like that. But I want to hear why they ended up with the more "legalese" version.


Iron_Matt17 wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
Iron_Matt17 wrote:

TheFinish,

I believe the problem here is the "Rules as Written" vs "Rules as Intended". If a Paladin is *consistently* using that sentence to excuse him from acting out and putting himself in danger, THEN HE SHOULD FALL. He kept the literal words of the 2nd tenet, yet lost the meaning of what it is to be a Paladin. In fact, I would say he broke the 1st tenet. Words like cowardice, selfishness, and ultimately EVIL could describe him.
I know that there are many fringe cases that can prove me wrong... But that's not the point. The point is: It's not about the loop holes that one can make with the tenets, (the letter of the law) it's about the tenets freeing you to be the exemplary of Goodness. (the spirit of the law) I believe that any document, no matter how perfect, can be exploited if one tries hard enough.

All that being said, this document is not perfect. And if you have a better way of stating what the end goal of the second tenet is, I'm all ears!!

Honestly? Just replace the second tenet with:

"You must protect the innocent as best you can, and never knowingly cause them harm."

That's it, really. You'll still have problems (what exactly constitues harm? How do we tally the paladin's ignorance to ascertain whether or not they knew their action would cause harm?) but it allows the Paladin a bit more leeway, and doesn't read like a horrible jumble of legalese.

That's something you definitely should bring up during the Playtest. It is pretty wordy, and perhaps your replacement would be better. But I have a feeling they had already come up with something like that. But I want to hear why they ended up with the more "legalese" version.

Oh I intend to, because the second tenet is just...ugh. But even if my ideas don't resonate I'll still house-rule them. You gotta talk to a Paladin player anyway, even with this new and revised code.

And we don't even know how a deities anathema works in! That's gonna be a whole other can of worms I tell you.


TheFinish wrote:

Oh I intend to, because the second tenet is just...ugh. But even if my ideas don't resonate I'll still house-rule them. You gotta talk to a Paladin player anyway, even with this new and revised code.

And we don't even know how a deities anathema works in!...

I completely agree on this post though. Really, any character with a concept, class or otherwise, that is going to have an outside authority so directly involved; paladin, cleric, kings guard, etc. You have to have the GM and the player on the same page of expectations or things can get very spoiled!

I'm hoping that Anathema are just a lesser Code, something the paladin needs to be mindful of but are more guidlines and will fall more closely to "do not grievously violate." Like a Shelynite paladin wouldn't put protecting art above the obligations of the Code, but would fall swiftly out of favor with Shelyn if they knifed a painting out of spite or told a burgeoning sculptor, "You are terrible, go be a farmer" and crushed their artistic spirit.

Really, I hope that being a Paladin merely powered by Heaven is possible, but that they can get additional benefits (ie special feats or archetypes) by taking on the additional burden of actual religion.


Stone Dog wrote:
TheFinish wrote:

Oh I intend to, because the second tenet is just...ugh. But even if my ideas don't resonate I'll still house-rule them. You gotta talk to a Paladin player anyway, even with this new and revised code.

And we don't even know how a deities anathema works in!...

I completely agree on this post though. Really, any character with a concept, class or otherwise, that is going to have an outside authority so directly involved; paladin, cleric, kings guard, etc. You have to have the GM and the player on the same page of expectations or things can get very spoiled!

I'm hoping that Anathema are just a lesser Code, something the paladin needs to be mindful of but are more guidlines and will fall more closely to "do not grievously violate." Like a Shelynite paladin wouldn't put protecting art above the obligations of the Code, but would fall swiftly out of favor with Shelyn if they knifed a painting out of spite or told a burgeoning sculptor, "You are terrible, go be a farmer" and crushed their artistic spirit.

Really, I hope that being a Paladin merely powered by Heaven is possible, but that they can get additional benefits (ie special feats or archetypes) by taking on the additional burden of actual religion.

I'm of the opposite opinion actually. I am excited that the deities play more of a role in the Paladins life officially. (That's always has been the way I've played anyways...) I feel it grounds it directly into the world of Golarion. But again if that's not your thing, house rule it out. Especially if you're running a Homebrew.

Also, we do know some things about Anathemas... According to Mark on the Paladin's Friday Twitch stream, the Anathemas will now be on par with the 1st tenet. This was due to a poster (I think it was HWalsh actually) pointing out a discrepancy between the code and a known Anathema. So, the designers are purposefully moving the Paladin away from the powered by Heaven or their own "Lawful Goodness" approach. Sorry guys...


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Hwalsh, they( and I) never say it, but we do know that players enjoy the LG alignment restriction. we are just vocal because it never made sense.

even more so for some of us whose first views of the class was not dnd related.( Ultima franchise and bards tale franchise was mine/ Both are paladins both in name and in spirit)

edit: wanted to say

people your opinions are wasted on the opinionated


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HWalsh wrote:
Tectorman wrote:

I didn't make it a Paladin alignment thread. You made the claim, which I agree with, that the ends do not justify the means. Earlier, you'd made another claim, which I also agree with, that nothing good, no matter its appearance, can come of evil.

As you say, the Paladin being forcibly married to an alignment restriction and code of conduct is for the sake of legacy, tradition, class flavor, world flavor, and the narrative's cosmology. All appearances. It's still being born of "I can't enjoy my Paladin unless someone else's ability to play their character concept is as hampered as humanly possible. As long as that's true, it's a sham. It will never not be a sham.

I'm sorry, but that's just the only conclusion that I can derive from what you yourself are saying. Your intentions for the game do not bear out with your statements of whether the means outweight the ends or vice versa. Now, again, if you want to let your acknowledgment that you are placing other people's enjoyment of the game below some so-called integrity of the setting/legacy stand in place of you acknowledging that yes, some ends do justify the means (sometimes people are just supposed to be arbitrarily screwed over), then you may do so.

You're not saying anything coherent otherwise.

Just because it is the only conclusion that you can derive doesn't make it the correct conclusion. Just because you disagree with someone else doesn't make their argument incoherent.

Also, everything you are saying can be turned back around onto you.

Example:

You said:
"Now, again, if you want to let your acknowledgment that you are placing other people's enjoyment of the game below some so-called integrity of the setting/legacy stand in place of you acknowledging that yes, some ends do justify the means (sometimes people are just supposed to be arbitrarily screwed over), then you may do so."

Now I turn this around:

You are aware that some people's enjoyment of the game is derived from there not being non-Lawful...

Here's the difference.

I'm not beginning with the premise that Paladin's must be LG only, that they must only do good, that any iota of evil is unacceptable. My premise is this: Paladin is just a class, a collection of class features, one of eleven twelve in the CRB. And just like any other class, it can be and is inspired by a certain concept or range of concepts, and it can also inspire (and should be inspiring) a concept or a range of concepts. But anything the class features best serve to represent, whether a previously anticipated concept or something new, IS what the class is supposed to be used for. Under the premise that a roleplaying game isn't supposed to be where players go to have all their "badwrongfun" character concepts forcibly beaten out of them, what the class CAN be used to represent IS what it was meant to*. And IF the concept is "never a product of evil", then it can't be a product of any evil, including this culture of exclusionary elitism that says you get to dictate what I can even do in this game even though you and I will likely never meet.

*

Spoiler:
Subject to the rest of the gaming group, maybe for that particular game or for all of them, but never subject to the idle whims of Joe Random Whoever five hundred miles away.

But since that IF isn't a given, my premise can logically survive my enjoyment "coming at the expense of yours".

Though, again, I'm not even remotely sold on this notion that me, minding my own business, just playing my character my way rather than yours in a game, in a gaming group, in a city or state or country that you aren't even in for all I know, equates to you hampering my ability to enjoy my character without fighting an uphill battle each and every damned time. If I want my Fighter to only use axes, do I get to say that every other Fighter character, in every other game, group, country, must also use axes? Is that anything other than ridiculous selfishness that deserves to be rightly laughed off of every forum board I'd hypothetically be putting that absurdity on? I don't play Gnomes; should you never get to play a Gnome? I'll likely never be gaming with you, but there's still this notion that you're playing a Gnome and you didn't have to struggle to do so. If I say that makes my skin crawl, is that a legitimate position and should I be expecting your sworn statement to never play a Gnome again?

Obviously not. So while my preferences for axe-only Fighters and no Gnomes are things that I do not get to dictate to players I will never meet, my enjoyment, in like fashion, isn't coming at the expense of yours.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I feel that the idea behind the revision of the Code was good : avoid Gotcha moments of Paladin falling without understanding.

But I fear that they did not go far enough in the search for root causes and overly focussed on tackling the PF1 cases of Gotcha. Which IMO will only open new cans of worms AND will not prevent future different cases of Gotcha.

This is conflated by the fall now being triggered by 3 different causes (anathema, tenets and alignment) vs 2 in PF1

We can even search new cases of PF2 Gotcha, such as a Paladin in Nidal very likely losing the Lawful alignment pretty quickly, for days and weeks. But that will not cure the root causes either

I think the principles of the code, including its interaction with tenets and alignment, should be clearly delineated as well as what constitutes reason for legitimately falling and what does not

And most of all that player and GM must share their understanding of these items before the game begins


Iron_Matt17 wrote:
So, the designers are purposefully moving the Paladin away from the powered by Heaven or their own "Lawful Goodness" approach. Sorry guys...

which is fine, not something I'd prefer, but nothing to get worked up about.

It is sort of at odds with what I read saying that the Paladin is a test bed for a series of sort of Alignment/Planar Exemplar style of classes though. It implies that a Chaotic Good Chevalier or a Chaotic Evil Anti-Paladin would require a god as well.


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Stone Dog wrote:
Iron_Matt17 wrote:
So, the designers are purposefully moving the Paladin away from the powered by Heaven or their own "Lawful Goodness" approach. Sorry guys...

which is fine, not something I'd prefer, but nothing to get worked up about.

It is sort of at odds with what I read saying that the Paladin is a test bed for a series of sort of Alignment/Planar Exemplar style of classes though. It implies that a Chaotic Good Chevalier or a Chaotic Evil Anti-Paladin would require a god as well.

Good, on you Dog. Your statement belies a mature attitude. One I hope to emulate when I find something I'm not happy about.

I expect the Chevalier (which I think means the CG counterpart to the LG Paladin) and the CE Anti-Paladin will require a deity as well.


The Raven Black wrote:

I feel that the idea behind the revision of the Code was good : avoid Gotcha moments of Paladin falling without understanding.

But I fear that they did not go far enough in the search for root causes and overly focussed on tackling the PF1 cases of Gotcha. Which IMO will only open new cans of worms AND will not prevent future different cases of Gotcha.

This is conflated by the fall now being triggered by 3 different causes (anathema, tenets and alignment) vs 2 in PF1

We can even search new cases of PF2 Gotcha, such as a Paladin in Nidal very likely losing the Lawful alignment pretty quickly, for days and weeks. But that will not cure the root causes either

I think the principles of the code, including its interaction with tenets and alignment, should be clearly delineated as well as what constitutes reason for legitimately falling and what does not

And most of all that player and GM must share their understanding of these items before the game begins

Since were only in the Playtest phases, I'm not expecting clear delineations. In fact, I'm not expecting any clear delineations AT ALL. I think they will give us the bare bones, then let us figure it out from table to table. It worked in 1e, it'll work here.


Iron_Matt17 wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

I feel that the idea behind the revision of the Code was good : avoid Gotcha moments of Paladin falling without understanding.

But I fear that they did not go far enough in the search for root causes and overly focussed on tackling the PF1 cases of Gotcha. Which IMO will only open new cans of worms AND will not prevent future different cases of Gotcha.

This is conflated by the fall now being triggered by 3 different causes (anathema, tenets and alignment) vs 2 in PF1

We can even search new cases of PF2 Gotcha, such as a Paladin in Nidal very likely losing the Lawful alignment pretty quickly, for days and weeks. But that will not cure the root causes either

I think the principles of the code, including its interaction with tenets and alignment, should be clearly delineated as well as what constitutes reason for legitimately falling and what does not

And most of all that player and GM must share their understanding of these items before the game begins

Since were only in the Playtest phases, I'm not expecting clear delineations. In fact, I'm not expecting any clear delineations AT ALL. I think they will give us the bare bones, then let us figure it out from table to table. It worked in 1e, it'll work here.

If my guess is correct, I'm thinking that not only will this be how it'll be in the Playtest, but there'll be a Paladin-challenging part of Doomsday Dawn, to let them stress test the code, in the same way that they're making the whole module pretty deadly to stress test the mechanics.


Tholomyes wrote:
Iron_Matt17 wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

I feel that the idea behind the revision of the Code was good : avoid Gotcha moments of Paladin falling without understanding.

But I fear that they did not go far enough in the search for root causes and overly focussed on tackling the PF1 cases of Gotcha. Which IMO will only open new cans of worms AND will not prevent future different cases of Gotcha.

This is conflated by the fall now being triggered by 3 different causes (anathema, tenets and alignment) vs 2 in PF1

We can even search new cases of PF2 Gotcha, such as a Paladin in Nidal very likely losing the Lawful alignment pretty quickly, for days and weeks. But that will not cure the root causes either

I think the principles of the code, including its interaction with tenets and alignment, should be clearly delineated as well as what constitutes reason for legitimately falling and what does not

And most of all that player and GM must share their understanding of these items before the game begins

Since were only in the Playtest phases, I'm not expecting clear delineations. In fact, I'm not expecting any clear delineations AT ALL. I think they will give us the bare bones, then let us figure it out from table to table. It worked in 1e, it'll work here.
If my guess is correct, I'm thinking that not only will this be how it'll be in the Playtest, but there'll be a Paladin-challenging part of Doomsday Dawn, to let them stress test the code, in the same way that they're making the whole module pretty deadly to stress test the mechanics.

I agree. I think they will stress test each class, and it's been revealed that an Anti-Paladin is in the Doomsday Dawn... In fact, Mark was telling me about a cool mirror ability of the Paladin's Retributive Strike at Paizocon. It sounds like a reaction ability that damages/enfeebles the one attacking the Anti-Paladin. But the enfeeblement ends if the enemy attacks others... Encouraging the enemy to attack the Anti-Paladin's allies. Pretty neat.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

It isn't about whether there being LG only paladins or open paladins make an individual poster sad. It isn't about the mere fact that it exists makes someone unlikely to play. We already have such things that exist like guns, ninjas, cat people, and so on.

It is what will add to the enjoyment of the game as a whole. Telling the devs and those on the forum that "IF this certain thing happens then I'll go away forever" is the standard emotional blackmail that happens on the internet. You see it constantly on forums, online games and so on.

Someone is welcome to actively dislike a change. But trying to hold the devs or the other members of the community emotionally hostage for what amounts to a choice -- that is, one will never ever play again! -- is, well, just not cool.

It isn't an arguement. It is just a tactic to get one's way.


knightnday wrote:

It isn't about whether there being LG only paladins or open paladins make an individual poster sad. It isn't about the mere fact that it exists makes someone unlikely to play. We already have such things that exist like guns, ninjas, cat people, and so on.

It is what will add to the enjoyment of the game as a whole. Telling the devs and those on the forum that "IF this certain thing happens then I'll go away forever" is the standard emotional blackmail that happens on the internet. You see it constantly on forums, online games and so on.

Someone is welcome to actively dislike a change. But trying to hold the devs or the other members of the community emotionally hostage for what amounts to a choice -- that is, one will never ever play again! -- is, well, just not cool.

It isn't an arguement. It is just a tactic to get one's way.

No. It is just a statement of fact.

I'm a consumer. A customer. I have every right to say: "I will not play a game that contains X."

More so it is not a tactic or idle statement if it is true. It chased me out of one game system (D&D) and would chase me out of Pathfinder.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
HWalsh wrote:
knightnday wrote:

It isn't about whether there being LG only paladins or open paladins make an individual poster sad. It isn't about the mere fact that it exists makes someone unlikely to play. We already have such things that exist like guns, ninjas, cat people, and so on.

It is what will add to the enjoyment of the game as a whole. Telling the devs and those on the forum that "IF this certain thing happens then I'll go away forever" is the standard emotional blackmail that happens on the internet. You see it constantly on forums, online games and so on.

Someone is welcome to actively dislike a change. But trying to hold the devs or the other members of the community emotionally hostage for what amounts to a choice -- that is, one will never ever play again! -- is, well, just not cool.

It isn't an arguement. It is just a tactic to get one's way.

No. It is just a statement of fact.

I'm a consumer. A customer. I have every right to say: "I will not play a game that contains X."

More so it is not a tactic or idle statement if it is true. It chased me out of one game system (D&D) and would chase me out of Pathfinder.

It can be both.

You are a customer; that said, we ALL are. We all have a right to say what we will and will not buy. But your desires do not trump mine, or theirs.

If you choose not to play the game because they did not capitulate to your desires, demands, or wants then that is on you. You are making that decision, the decision to be inflexible.

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