An Analysis of the 1.6 Paladin Variants


Classes

1 to 50 of 61 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Alright. Not that there's any shortage of ranting about paladins, but here's my additional two cents for the wishing fountain...

First of all, to get this straight, I'm not really opposed to non-LG paladin variants or equivalents. In fact, I like the idea, as long as they are handled with respect for the role of the "traditional" paladin. What I see as conditions of this are as follows:
- Existing paladin concepts are not invalidated or degraded.
- LG paladins are still the norm and default, in-universe and ideally OOC too.
- Traditional paladins not be pushed into some overstereotyped "LG is the alignment of murdering baby goblins for da greater good" pigeonhole for the sake of contrast.

Now, why I feel the 1.6 paladin breaks these rules.

First of all, the means of choice. Something being in the CRB is, as I understand it, generally indicated to represent a certain status. These things are relatively basic to the universe and are expected to be always accessible. It is, in essence, the first indicator of rarity, in absence of any specification. And alignment is presented as a basic choice, comparable to a sorcerer's bloodline or a wizard's arcane school. Even if the umbrella name of the class is changed, that won't change the implication that CG "champions" or whatever are just as normal and standard a choice as LG ones.

Why do I not like this?:
First, because the act of swearing devotion to an ideal and choosing to follow a strict code of conduct is inherently more lawful. Don't get me wrong, I think it's absolutely possible for Chaotic characters, but would be significantly less likely/common. Second, because I think the class variants are similar enough that a bunch of Caydenite "champions" or whatever would presumably influence how traditional paladins would be viewed in-universe; no longer necessarily upholders of justice, no longer necessarily heroes, no longer necessarily going to defend the weak or confront the wicked, just more martial priests championing whatever ideals they wanted. This might not affect a paladin of Iomedae, but a paladin of Abadar or Shelyn would probably be seen a bit differently, I'd think, if paladins weren't necessarily LG.

Potential fixes: Either delaying variant paladins a book or two, and/or handling them similarly to the current (and not-liked-by-me) implementation of half-humans by letting you use your first class feat to get "you can be this alignment, which gives you this ability" to at least present it as a divergence from the norm, and/or making them archetypes of the original 1e style (I liked all the 1e paladin alignment-variant archetypes, and would have welcomed a CG one of it was done in that way) would all solve this in my opinion. At the least, a little bit of flavor text saying non-LG paladins are uncommon would be nice, but by itself would feel a little insufficient. But it would be better than nothing.

Second concern: the codes of conduct. IMO, the way it was subdivided actually encourages Lawful Stupid interpretations of traditional paladins, and similarly poor roleplaying of others.

LG:
• 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.
NG:
• You must first try to redeem or rehabilitate those who commit evil acts, rather than immediately killing them or meting out undeserved punishment. However, if they choose to continue on a wicked path, you might need to take more extreme measures, especially if innocents would come to harm.
• You must show compassion for others, regardless of their authority or station.
CG:
• You must respect the choices others make for their own lives and can’t force someone to act in a particular way or threaten them if they don’t act that way.
• You must demand and fight for the freedom of others to make their own decisions. You must never engage in or countenance slavery or tyranny.

Here's the thing. All of these, minus some absoluteness on the try-redemption-first one, are how I think all paladins should be required to act. Subdividing it this way indicates these codes are specific to the alignments.

So it's fine for a CG champion to lie and take advantage of others? They don't need to show compassion for others?

It's fine for a NG champion to engage in slavery and tyranny?

It's fine for a paladin to coerce people to act in particular ways even if they're doing no harm? Or mete out undeserved punishment?

Even some of the less cut-and-dry cases, for instance if an authority figure hasn't made any laws that violate other tenets of the paladin code, I see absolutely no reason a CG champion shouldn't be encouraged to respect them in the absence of any reason not to. Fighting the power just 'cause it's there even if there's no substantial gain from disrupting people's lives is CN imo, not CG.

I really, really don't want true paladins reduced to "you don't have to be compassionate and can go beat up gays, those rules are for NG and CG!"

Potential fix: Use all tenets for all Good alignments. Have variation in the code of conduct be in the form of how the tenets are prioritized.

The last point is this: the abilities themselves. I don't like the idea of locking redemption-related abilities to NG-only. Okay, maybe Paizo wants LG paladins of LG-adjacent deities to no longer be a thing, so I'll leave out paladins of Sarenrae and similar, but that doesn't change that redemption-focused LG paladins have been supported, allowed, and encouraged up until now. The Redeemer archetype doesn't change alignment. Iomedae and a few other LG deities have the Redemption domain. Erastil would probably be more in favor of trying to bring a misguided local teenager back into the fold than meting out justice, if maybe not in favor of showing the same mercy to outsiders. But now LG paladins don't, and quite possibly will never, have access to abilities enabling that.

Potential fix: I like the idea of alignment variants getting different abilities, but I don't think LG should be relegated to "I guess they get the killy stuff". This will probably be amended by more options, and Retributive Strike being changed to something that doesn't only work if you let your allies be meatshields. Because "come on, come on, cut that guy down so I have a chance to retaliate" is not my LG.

(EDIT: Ooooops, I meant to put this in the classes subforum, I guess I had the wrong tab up. Sorry!)

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, the separation of the codes in this manner in particular makes absolutely no sense to me.

The two less important and most misinterpreted rules being left to the iconic paladin as key features really rubs me the wrong way.

Compassion, redemption and fighting tyranny have always been iconic themes of the LG Paladin and I really don't like these are taken away from its identity.

Liberty's Edge

13 people marked this as a favorite.

Personally, I think a simple note in the book that LG Paladins are by far the most common in Golarion would solve your first issue (and be something I would strongly approve of for world consistency). As for your second:

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
Here's the thing. All of these, minus some absoluteness on the try-redemption-first one, are how I think all paladins should be required to act. Subdividing it this way indicates these codes are specific to the alignments.

Yes it does, and it probably should. You need to think of these in context, which is that all are subordinate to the Paladin not committing Evil Acts, and also subordinate to protecting innocents. That really just fixes many of your seeming problems with them.

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
So it's fine for a CG champion to lie and take advantage of others? They don't need to show compassion for others?

A CG Paladin can and should be able to lie like a rug. Deception used for the benefit of others is a standard tactic of the CG Alignment, of which Robin Hood and his disguises and lies is a pretty solid example (and anything the Disney Robin Hood does should be Liberator-safe).

As for compassion, neither a LG nor CG champion needs to show compassion to the sadistic serial killer they are hunting. A NG champion must (they can kill them, but they must nevertheless show them compassion). Not showing basic compassion to, say, a grieving widow is probably a minor Evil act and not Paladin safe, but compassion for everyone is a tall order and

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
It's fine for a NG champion to engage in slavery and tyranny?

No, doing that would be Evil and thus not Paladin safe. But a Redeemer can live in Katapesh or Qadira without actively working to free all slaves, instead focusing on other Evils they are in a better position to combat, they can prioritize things other than combating slavery. A Liberator cannot do that, not on any long term basis. The Liberator can take a break from combating slavery to save people, but it needs to be their primary life priority if they're in a place that has it, and that's an appropriate distinction between CG and NG in terms of priorities.

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
It's fine for a paladin to coerce people to act in particular ways even if they're doing no harm? Or mete out undeserved punishment?

Coercion can have many meanings. A LG Paladin can intimidate someone into not doing something dangerous to them, or jail someone for a crime even if there's no risk of them committing one in the future. A Liberator cannot do either of those things, since they can only coerce someone to do something if there are people in immediate danger.

And no Paladin can mete out undeserved punishment since that's an Evil act, but it's a side note of the Redeemer tenet that says you also can't kill the aforementioned serial killer without giving them an opportunity for redemption, something neither the LG nor CG versions are required to do, nor should they be.

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
Even some of the less cut-and-dry cases, for instance if an authority figure hasn't made any laws that violate other tenets of the paladin code, I see absolutely no reason a CG champion shouldn't be encouraged to respect them in the absence of any reason not to. Fighting the power just 'cause it's there even if there's no substantial gain from disrupting people's lives is CN imo, not CG.

Uh...there's no requirement that a Liberator disobey all laws, but I see no reason that they should have following any laws ever be part of their Code. Say you have a LG government that is mostly perfectly nice, but has alcohol as illegal...a Paladin of Cayden Cailean will, and should, ignore that law.

Technically, a LG Paladin (or anyone with the laws tenet) can fall for jaywalking. I think a general casual disregard for minor laws like that is pretty reasonable for many CG Paladins...and this should thus not be on their anathema list.

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
I really, really don't want true paladins reduced to "you don't have to be compassionate and can go beat up gays, those rules are for NG and CG!"

The former I address above, the latter is an Evil act and thus not safe for any Good Paladin.

.
.
.
On the abilities, I agree there are some issues that should probably be addressed. I just feel the Codes are mostly fine.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The whole "LG Paladin only in core" boat looks like it's sailed and am personally grateful. Based on dev posts I believe Jason Buhlman championed for it pretty hard. The only reason I can think of for him relenting was the survey data was overwhelmingly against it.

That said I would be fine with a note saying lg is default in Golarion.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
John Lynch 106 wrote:

The whole "LG Paladin only in core" boat looks like it's sailed and am personally grateful. Based on dev posts I believe Jason Buhlman championed for it pretty hard. The only reason I can think of for him relenting was the survey data was overwhelmingly against it.

That said I would be fine with a note saying lg is default in Golarion.

I dunno about 'default' exactly, but something mentioning that the LG version is by far the most common seems warranted given what's been established thus far in regards to the world (ie: all examples from PF1 are indeed LG...that sort of has to mean most of them are of that Alignment).


2 people marked this as a favorite.

LG Paladins being vastly more common than the other two kinds makes sense even without any sort of metaphysical reason, since one thing Lawful Good has on the other kinds of Good is "getting people organized and pointed in a specific direction".

Like with the liberator focus on individual self-determination, it makes recruiting incredibly difficult. Mendevian Crusaders can just walk up to people and say "Hey, you should devote yourself to Iomedae and go kill some demons up in the Worldwound."

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:

LG Paladins being vastly more common than the other two kinds makes sense even without any sort of metaphysical reason, since one thing Lawful Good has on the other kinds of Good is "getting people organized and pointed in a specific direction".

Like with the liberator focus on individual self-determination, it makes recruiting incredibly difficult. Mendevian Crusaders can just walk up to people and say "Hey, you should devote yourself to Iomedae and go kill some demons up in the Worldwound."

Yup. Plus there's the whole 'Iomedae's church is the most likely to have Paladins because she was one' factor.

And the fact that Gorum doesn't have Good followers while both LN Gods do (Abadar even has Paladins in significant numbers), while few Neutral deities are gonna have such things (Nethys and Gozreh just make little sense...I can see some following Pharasma), is also probably a contributing factor.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
John Lynch 106 wrote:

The whole "LG Paladin only in core" boat looks like it's sailed and am personally grateful. Based on dev posts I believe Jason Buhlman championed for it pretty hard. The only reason I can think of for him relenting was the survey data was overwhelmingly against it.

That said I would be fine with a note saying lg is default in Golarion.

I continue to point out that Cavaliers in 1e were already basically non-magical paladins of any alignment. Challenge = Smite, Order = Code, Banner = Auras, Mount = Mount Bond...


3 people marked this as a favorite.
RazarTuk wrote:
I continue to point out that Cavaliers in 1e were already basically non-magical paladins of any alignment. Challenge = Smite, Order = Code, Banner = Auras, Mount = Mount Bond...

If I want to play a non-LG paladin then I don't want a non-magical paladin though. So that's not particularly relevant to the conversation.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
John Lynch 106 wrote:
RazarTuk wrote:
I continue to point out that Cavaliers in 1e were already basically non-magical paladins of any alignment. Challenge = Smite, Order = Code, Banner = Auras, Mount = Mount Bond...
If I want to play a non-LG paladin then I don't want a non-magical paladin though. So that's not particularly relevant to the conversation.

My point was that there's precedent for non-lawful characters following codes. Not to mention the whole ambiguity of which code. Like is a mafioso chaotic for breaking the law, or lawful for abiding by an internal code of honor?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

LG Paladins being vastly more common than the other two kinds makes sense even without any sort of metaphysical reason, since one thing Lawful Good has on the other kinds of Good is "getting people organized and pointed in a specific direction".

Like with the liberator focus on individual self-determination, it makes recruiting incredibly difficult. Mendevian Crusaders can just walk up to people and say "Hey, you should devote yourself to Iomedae and go kill some demons up in the Worldwound."

Yup. Plus there's the whole 'Iomedae's church is the most likely to have Paladins because she was one' factor.

And the fact that Gorum doesn't have Good followers while both LN Gods do (Abadar even has Paladins in significant numbers), while few Neutral deities are gonna have such things (Nethys and Gozreh just make little sense...I can see some following Pharasma), is also probably a contributing factor.

Gorum not having Good followers is a PF2 thing.

You could even have Good Clerics of Gorum in PF1. Not sure if there was any in canon though


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Raven Black wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

LG Paladins being vastly more common than the other two kinds makes sense even without any sort of metaphysical reason, since one thing Lawful Good has on the other kinds of Good is "getting people organized and pointed in a specific direction".

Like with the liberator focus on individual self-determination, it makes recruiting incredibly difficult. Mendevian Crusaders can just walk up to people and say "Hey, you should devote yourself to Iomedae and go kill some demons up in the Worldwound."

Yup. Plus there's the whole 'Iomedae's church is the most likely to have Paladins because she was one' factor.

And the fact that Gorum doesn't have Good followers while both LN Gods do (Abadar even has Paladins in significant numbers), while few Neutral deities are gonna have such things (Nethys and Gozreh just make little sense...I can see some following Pharasma), is also probably a contributing factor.

Gorum not having Good followers is a PF2 thing.

You could even have Good Clerics of Gorum in PF1. Not sure if there was any in canon though

Raw mechanics allowed good clerics of gorum, the fluff and doctrine of the church doesnt make it seem particularly lore accurate though.

Also boo non LG paladins, adios 2e

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Gorum can be seen as the god of "Never give up". Which can be incredibly uplifting and meaningful to Good characters, especially CG ones. I am a bit sad to see them gone from the setting.
I guess CN can be used as CG-lite as well as CE-lite even if it is something of a novelty.

But since Neutral is often depicted as not willing to take risks to protect innocents, I think it strange that those not-Evil adoring the god of the fight are unwilling to fight to protect the innocent

But maybe the actual definition and meaning of the alignments also changed in PF2 though I do not remember any specific thread dealing with it

Liberty's Edge

Oh, a CN follower of Gorum will absolutely fight to protect the innocent, they'll fight for almost anything if given the opportunity. But per PF2 Anathema (which are thematically on point for the PF1 version as well), they can never try and solve problems peacefully if violence is a viable option...which is not an attitude Good people should generally have.

And yes, them being unable to be Good is technically new to PF2, but I'm pretty sure we lacked a single canonical CG Divine caster dedicated to Gorum in PF1 as well.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Before I get back to the actual topic, some thoughts on Gorum. He is the god of fighting, for the sake of fighting. Sure, they can fight to save innocents, but they do it because they want to smash somebody's face in. Not because of the kindness of their heart. In the same vein, the anathema to harm non-combatants doesn't stem from Gorum being a big softy, but because killing them doesn't pose a challenge aka its boring.

Back to the original posts. While there are canonical examples of non lawful characters strictly adhering to a code, I agree with your view, that the whole paladin package lends itself far easier to it than other alignment configurations.

I like the way that we have different flavors of paladin now, but it doesn't go far enough. Also I disagree with the designers, that lawful paladins can not also violently oppose slavery now as the chaotic good ones. it should be up to the players to decide what their character aims to achieve.

What I would have preferred to see in the class would have been that the code of conduct could be made more modular and divested from alignment.

I was thinking that paladins get a whole talent line focusing on them taking their oaths as paladins. That as the character levels up, their code of conduct changes, and in turn what they can and cannot do. Tied to the Oath talents are abilities, passives and what not.

For example:

Oath (Grand): Crusader
The paladin becomes a righteous crusader of his faith. They vow to seek out evil, wherever it may hide and to strike it down with all their might. Backing away from the opportunity to destroy a great evil is anathema to the crusader.
The crusader gains the "Holy Smite" power.

Oath (Grand): Guardian
The paladin becomes a sworn protector of this faith and community. They vow to prevent the innocent from coming to harm. Abandoning those that cannot help themselves to their fate is anathema to the guardian.
The guardian gains the "Retributive Strike" power.

Oath (Grand): Saint
The paladin follows the teachings of their faiths holy men and women. They vow to bring aid to those in need, cure the sick and heal the wounded. Disregarding the needs of the sick and the poor is anathema to the healer.
The saint gains the "Lay on Hands" power.

These are just examples. The nice thing about this, is that these are alignment agnostic. They define in broad terms, what the character is about, but does not limit him/her to any particular alignment, which seems to me to be one of the strongest point of contention so far.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I think it's worth mentioning that PF2e will not have Paladins that are any alignment other than LG.

Because the other alignments of the Divine Champion class are not called Paladins.

Semantics, yes, but at least for me it satisfies my need to have Paladins be the LG champions that they have always been, while letting other people have fun playing divinely-empowered champions of other alignments.

EDIT: Although the be fair, the fight I cared about most was already won. I care much more about Paladins needing to worship a deity than I do about characters of other alignments with similar powers existing. Super happy that "Paladin of an ideal" is dead and gone. If you want to be an Arthurian knight, that's what cavalier is for. :P


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Yes it does, and it probably should. You need to think of these in context, which is that all are subordinate to the Paladin not committing Evil Acts, and also subordinate to protecting innocents. That really just fixes many of your seeming problems with them.

I'd love for it to work that way. But I don't think it's going to.

People can't even agree here on if casting evil spells is evil, or if torture is evil, or if raising undead is evil, or if killing baby goblins is evil. You think they'll suddenly agree on if Liberator Bob flirting with the barmaid behind his wife's back is evil? Because I sure don't.

And, if these things were so clearly evil, why call them out at all? I think it should be obvious that taking advantage of people or engaging in slavery is evil, definitely. But solely looking at the writing without accounting for anyone having a moral compass... if the alignment tenets are all meant to be subordinate to protecting innocents and not committing evil acts, then logically it makes sense to assume anything in them isn't redundant. As it's written now, why would they specifically forbid Liberators from engaging in slavery, unless the other alignments could?

And no, I don't think all alignments should be held to all of these rules as strictly as they're written now. I tried to say as much.
But I do think all or most of them are at least somewhat applicable as guidelines. Yeah, I think it should be okay for a Liberator to lie, but I also don't think any Good character should be routinely lying - actually lying, not just boasting or exaggerating or flattering or whatever - without some substantial reason for it. Yeah, I don't think any paladins have to want to go hug that thief, but I do think every single paladin ideally should care about them not being treated unduly harshly. And every single paladin or other LG character of mine who's lived for long in a place with commonplace slavery has made a consistent effort against it, maybe by trying to change the laws, personally freeing slaves, trying to influence public opinion, etc instead of breaking chains, but no, I don't think "slavery is kinda icky but it's not my responsibility to change" is an acceptable viewpoint for a LG character.

And respect for authority and the law is not the same as always following the law. It can be as simple as "I wouldn't make this many laws personally, but the king is a decent fellow and means well, even if I didn't vote for him." Yeah, I don't think that should be strictly and completely required for CG, but I do think it should still be a recommendation that even if the town guards aren't such fun guys, you still generally respect that they're trying to do their part.

But yeah. Important part is, the tenets are written in a way that implies they aren't redundant, and thus these things are only prohibited for that alignment, even if common sense imo says otherwise. And I'd really rather they be written in a way that doesn't rely on common sense that much, what with how lacking it can be at times.

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
I'd love for it to work that way. But I don't think it's going to.

It does if going by the rules. And by common sense. Now, neither of those things are universal by any means, but it's frankly about as good as can be expected.

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
People can't even agree here on if casting evil spells is evil, or if torture is evil, or if raising undead is evil, or if killing baby goblins is evil. You think they'll suddenly agree on if Liberator Bob flirting with the barmaid behind his wife's back is evil? Because I sure don't.

Of course people won't all agree on interpretation. That's true of any possible Paladin Code one could write. Or any other possible other thing to do with Alignment. Disagreements of this sort are completely inevitable, and would be so no matter how clearly things were written.

Heck, I've seen people flatly contradict the game's own text, and when called on it say 'well, this is how I'm doing it anyway'. No possible Code of any sort could keep this from happening and looking for one that will is an exercise in futility.

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
And, if these things were so clearly evil, why call them out at all? I think it should be obvious that taking advantage of people or engaging in slavery is evil, definitely. But solely looking at the writing without accounting for anyone having a moral compass... if the alignment tenets are all meant to be subordinate to protecting innocents and not committing evil acts, then logically it makes sense to assume anything in them isn't redundant. As it's written now, why would they specifically forbid Liberators from engaging in slavery, unless the other alignments could?

Slavery is usually Evil. I can think of a couple of situations right off the top of my head where it isn't, though. First, buying slaves in order to set them free is definitely not Evil, and second I'm pretty sure that forced labor for convicts without pay is not always Evil.

So, a LG Paladin could buy slaves in order to free them and turn a prisoner over into enforced servitude for legitimate crimes. A Liberator? Can manage the first if it's the only option to free those people (but not otherwise), and can't do the second at all.

A lot of the Code stuff is very clearly designed to cover those corner cases, really. I mean, looking at the LG Paladin's Code a majority of 'dishonorable' tactics are also Evil...but not all of them, hence the additional part of the Code.

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
And no, I don't think all alignments should be held to all of these rules as strictly as they're written now. I tried to say as much.

Understood. I still disagree, however.

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
But I do think all or most of them are at least somewhat applicable as guidelines. Yeah, I think it should be okay for a Liberator to lie, but I also don't think any Good character should be routinely lying - actually lying, not just boasting or exaggerating or flattering or whatever - without some substantial reason for it.

Well, lying to people about anything important for no reason starts being an Evil act pretty quick. It's only when you have good reasons that it becomes justifiable (unless you're a LG Paladin, of course).

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
Yeah, I don't think any paladins have to want to go hug that thief, but I do think every single paladin ideally should care about them not being treated unduly harshly.

Sure, but again, this tends to fall under 'don't commit Evil acts'. Standing by and allowing torture is an Evil act by most reasonable moral compasses, after all.

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
And every single paladin or other LG character of mine who's lived for long in a place with commonplace slavery has made a consistent effort against it, maybe by trying to change the laws, personally freeing slaves, trying to influence public opinion, etc instead of breaking chains, but no, I don't think "slavery is kinda icky but it's not my responsibility to change" is an acceptable viewpoint for a LG character.

No, but I think "Slavery is terrible, but I'm a bit busy fighting demons to make it a priority." is an entirely reasonable LG Paladin attitude to possess...and a lot less so for a CG one

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
And respect for authority and the law is not the same as always following the law. It can be as simple as "I wouldn't make this many laws personally, but the king is a decent fellow and means well, even if I didn't vote for him." Yeah, I don't think that should be strictly and completely required for CG, but I do think it should still be a recommendation that even if the town guards aren't such fun guys, you still generally respect that they're trying to do their part.

I strongly disagree. A CG character will obey the law as long as it doesn't get in the way of doing whatever they believe is right. But that's a sharply demarcated line and one they're likely to cross often even in a LG society. They probably won't break laws for no reason, but that's a matter of practicality rather than ethics.

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
But yeah. Important part is, the tenets are written in a way that implies they aren't redundant, and thus these things are only prohibited for that alignment, even if common sense imo says otherwise. And I'd really rather they be written in a way that doesn't rely on common sense that much, what with how lacking it can be at times.

There is no way they could be written that couldn't be misinterpreted. It's just not possible. And getting any 'clearer' in the sense you're using (wherein it's made clear there's some overlap, or you add provisos) tends to make the language vastly more opaque...making them less clear again.

I'm all for some slightly clearer wording if they can manage it, but I doubt it's gonna be possible to make it substantially clearer than it is.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I think I need to be a reminder that even legal texts aren't always interpreted the same way by everyone, so attempting that with paladin codes seems unlikely to prove profitable.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

So, a LG Paladin could buy slaves in order to free them and turn a prisoner over into enforced servitude for legitimate crimes. A Liberator? Can manage the first if it's the only option to free those people (but not otherwise), and can't do the second at all.

Well, lying to people about anything important for no reason starts being an Evil act pretty quick. It's only when you have good reasons that it becomes justifiable (unless you're a LG Paladin, of course).

No, but I think "Slavery is terrible, but I'm a bit busy fighting demons to make it a priority." is an entirely reasonable LG Paladin attitude to possess...and a lot less so for a CG one

A CG character will obey the law as long as it doesn't get in the way of doing whatever they believe is right. But that's a sharply demarcated line and one they're likely to cross often even in a LG society.

This sounds exactly like what I think, though.

A LG paladin will prioritize doing good over preserving order, but only as much as necessary. They'll break the law if needed to save lives or something, but generally will try to work with the system.
And they'll prioritize doing good over protecting people's freedom, generally, even if there would be ways around the conflict they're not really obligated to find those ways. If the simplest way for them to help a slave starts with buying the slave, it doesn't have to be a last resort. But they should still take freedom and individual rights into consideration, ideally. Even if they should only fall for egregious/deliberate unconcern, if at all, it still is at some point an aspect of being Good to care somewhat.

Conversely, a CG paladin will prioritize doing good over protecting freedom, but only as much as necessary. They'll stop freeing the slaves and go fight the demons when it really comes down to it, but you're absolutely right that doing something about slavery should be their usual focus.
And they'll prioritize doing good over upholding the law, generally, even if there would be ways around the conflict they're not really obligated to find those ways. If they can help an orphan by stealing some food from Baron Snootyrich who won't miss it, they should be able to do so. But they should still take law and order into consideration, even if not as a priority over any amount of doing good. Etc. (And I don't think it should be solely pragmatism, because a sensible CG character should imo be able to recognize that some laws and traditions help people coordinate things and work together, and breaking them willy-nilly could often interfere with what other people are doing.)

So, essentially, priorities would be this:

LG:
- Do the big good deeds and stop the big threats. If it takes acting contrary to law and order, do what has to be done to prioritize good, but try to minimize that conflict.
- Uphold law and order
- Do good in little and convenient ways, but work within the system and by the rules when possible.
- Respect freedom and individual rights

CG:
- Do the big good deeds and stop the big threats. If it takes setting aside protecting others' freedom, do what has to be done to prioritize good, but try to minimize that conflict.
- Uphold freedom and individual rights
- Do good in little and convenient ways, but don't ignore tyranny or sacrifice others' freedom to do it.
- Respect morally valid authority and laws

So, this could easily be represented by prioritizing the alignment tenets differently, and maybe using less absolute versions of different-alignment ones. Instead of unnecessarily potentially implying they're only at all relevant to that alignment.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Stealing from people isn't Good just because the victim is rich and you're helping somebody who actively failed to keep their parents alive e.g. by working hard to earn enough money to have them reincarnated.

/thread.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
This sounds exactly like what I think, though.

Excellent, I'm glad we're at least in general agreement about how Paladins should usually behave. It's nice to have that sort of common starting point on these things.

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:

A LG paladin will prioritize doing good over preserving order, but only as much as necessary. They'll break the law if needed to save lives or something, but generally will try to work with the system.

And they'll prioritize doing good over protecting people's freedom, generally, even if there would be ways around the conflict they're not really obligated to find those ways. If the simplest way for them to help a slave starts with buying the slave, it doesn't have to be a last resort. But they should still take freedom and individual rights into consideration, ideally. Even if they should only fall for egregious/deliberate unconcern, if at all, it still is at some point an aspect of being Good to care somewhat.

Depends on what you mean by 'individual rights'. A Paladin definitely needs to protect people from being unjustly imprisoned and the like...but I'm not at all convinced a LG Paladin really needs to respect an individual's right to consume mind altering substances. I could easily see a LG Paladin forbidding their kid (or employees, or anyone they have any authority over) from drinking or doing drugs even though the kid (or other person) is of legal age and those the substances in question are legal where they are. A restriction like the one you suggest prevents this, which seems strictly wrong to me.

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:

Conversely, a CG paladin will prioritize doing good over protecting freedom, but only as much as necessary. They'll stop freeing the slaves and go fight the demons when it really comes down to it, but you're absolutely right that doing something about slavery should be their usual focus.

And they'll prioritize doing good over upholding the law, generally, even if there would be ways around the conflict they're not really obligated to find those ways. If they can help an orphan by stealing some food from Baron Snootyrich who won't miss it, they should be able to do so. But they should still take law and order into consideration, even if not as a priority over any amount of doing good. Etc. (And I don't think it should be solely pragmatism, because a sensible CG character should imo be able to recognize that some laws and traditions help people coordinate things and work together, and breaking them willy-nilly could often interfere with what other people are doing.)

Again, much like my argument above, I don't think a Liberator is at all obligated to obey even well-meaning laws if it's more convenient not to. I can easily see a Liberator in an open relationship disobeying the anti-adultery laws of even a well meaning monarch. It doesn't gain them anything but personal pleasure, and so they couldn't do that if it's part of the Code, but I can't imagine them not feeling free to do so.

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:

So, essentially, priorities would be this:

LG:
- Do the big good deeds and stop the big threats. If it takes acting contrary to law and order, do what has to be done to prioritize good, but try to minimize that conflict.
- Uphold law and order
- Do good in little and convenient ways, but work within the system and by the rules when possible.
- Respect freedom and individual rights

My basic argument is that, while many LG Paladins will do that final one much of the time they are not and should not be obligated to do so by reason of being a Paladin.

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:

CG:

- Do the big good deeds and stop the big threats. If it takes setting aside protecting others' freedom, do what has to be done to prioritize good, but try to minimize that conflict.
- Uphold freedom and individual rights
- Do good in little and convenient ways, but don't ignore tyranny or sacrifice others' freedom to do it.
- Respect morally valid authority and laws

And again, while I think most Liberators probably will follow this last one much of the time, I don't think they're obligated to or will lose their powers if they don't.

Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
So, this could easily be represented by prioritizing the alignment tenets differently, and maybe using less absolute versions of different-alignment ones. Instead of unnecessarily potentially implying they're only at all relevant to that alignment.

I disagree. I don't think just reorganizing priorities is sufficient since the point of the Code is that this is things that are vitally important to you. Things that you will fall for doing. And I don't think that really applies to everything for all Paladins.


Gorbacz wrote:

Stealing from people isn't Good just because the victim is rich and you're helping somebody who actively failed to keep their parents alive e.g. by working hard to earn enough money to have them reincarnated.

/thread.

Sorry Gorbacz, but for Chaotic Good, Stealing from those who have enough to not miss it, and giving to those who Desperately Need It (like food) is Not doing Evil, no matter how much you think it is, its doing a Good thing Unlawfully. Even more so if that Rich person Took the food from those people who need it, because he's a dick.

Remember that While Prince John was trying to get his brother's throne through blackmail and not paying his ransom (despite taxing the Hell out of the people), Richard still made him his proper heir when he got back, and he was going about it quite lawfully at that >.> so yeah....

That literally makes Robin of Loxley the Chaotic Good in this scenario, and I don't think anyone here would question him being Good and John as Evil. (Then again does that make Richard Evil? or just Lawful Neutral? Or is RL just less Alignment based than D&D)

Silver Crusade

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dracala wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

Stealing from people isn't Good just because the victim is rich and you're helping somebody who actively failed to keep their parents alive e.g. by working hard to earn enough money to have them reincarnated.

/thread.

Sorry Gorbacz, but for Chaotic Good, Stealing from those who have enough to not miss it, and giving to those who Desperately Need It (like food) is Not doing Evil, no matter how much you think it is, its doing a Good thing Unlawfully. Even more so if that Rich person Took the food from those people who need it, because he's a dick.

Remember that While Prince John was trying to get his brother's throne through blackmail and not paying his ransom (despite taxing the Hell out of the people), Richard still made him his proper heir when he got back, and he was going about it quite lawfully at that >.> so yeah....

That literally makes Robin of Loxley the Chaotic Good in this scenario, and I don't think anyone here would question him being Good and John as Evil. (Then again does that make Richard Evil? or just Lawful Neutral? Or is RL just less Alignment based than D&D)

Oh, don't mind me, I was just making a point of how no matter how EXPLICIT, THROUGHOUT AND FIRE-PROOF you think that ethical codes/guidelines are and no matter how hard do you try to eliminate the need to use common sense, somebody will come along and trip the whole thing over rather easily.

In practice, that means that 80% of people who play D&D handle Paladins just fine no matter what alignment they are, 10% are prowling the Internet for opportunities to ask "what happens if you're a LG Paladin and the country you are in makes it legal to kill on sight kids of 'always Evil' species?" and 10% stare at the code as written and fall into a decision paralysis since the code doesn't cover every possible situation they think a Paladin might be in.

Of course, since it's the Internet, the 20% are over-represented here.


Something I'd like to add on here. It's been more or less said already but I wanted to add my two cents.

Even CG Paladins (Or CG characters in general) should definitely have some respect for at least some governmental and lawmaking structure. Being CG and understanding a need for government and law are not mutually exclusive IMO, it's more a matter of the degree of such and the power such should have.

Because you don't have to be too smart to realize that total anarchy hurts personal freedom more than it helps. If you don't think about it then it sounds like cool, no laws means everyone is free, but of course in practice no law or law enforcement means strength becomes king, the strong do as they please, and the weak get rekt.

So I don't think there's much question that a CG ought to at least have some respect for just laws. Not to say they would never break them but I think ignoring them is a stretch.

Again, kinda already said but I wanted to add my take.


So, do you make the game to fit people who play it, or make players fit the game you make?

Because lot of people, I would dare to say most, just play Lawful Good as Ideal Hero and GMs just go with it. Appeal of Ideal Hero is easy to understand and it is appealing. In that context, whatever you write to the paladin code becomes more superficial, as long as it is easy enough to incorporate to general way to play good stern friendly smiter of evil.

But it is just more intriguing if paladins are ... weird. Alignment corners have lot more nuance to them if you consider them as places for people with extreme personalities, rather than faction camps for heroes and villains. In the first perspective, the Ideal Hero perspective, the difference between the LG and CG paladin is not important because there, alignment itself is not important. Like, "my paladin is chaotic good, he is cool and wears leather jackets, but no drugs because winners don't do it."

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Edge93 wrote:

Something I'd like to add on here. It's been more or less said already but I wanted to add my two cents.

Even CG Paladins (Or CG characters in general) should definitely have some respect for at least some governmental and lawmaking structure. Being CG and understanding a need for government and law are not mutually exclusive IMO, it's more a matter of the degree of such and the power such should have.

This is certainly true in some cases, but not all, and even when it is true there's a rather vast difference between 'Some laws are probably necessary to make society function' and 'I'll personally obey laws I disagree with.' Heck, that first statement doesn't even necessarily lead to obeying laws you agree should exist all the time (you can easily think a law is a good thing most days...but is really in the way right this second).

Edge93 wrote:
Because you don't have to be too smart to realize that total anarchy hurts personal freedom more than it helps. If you don't think about it then it sounds like cool, no laws means everyone is free, but of course in practice no law or law enforcement means strength becomes king, the strong do as they please, and the weak get rekt.

Speaking as someone with a fairly serious anarchist in my immediate family, this is not necessarily the case. It's entirely possible to have an anarchy with no strictly defined 'government' where private entities/businesses nonetheless do things like protect people from being exploited or robbed.

Now, I'm not an anarchist because I'm pretty sure there would be a fair number of problems with this, but they're a lot more complicated than just 'no government means the strong rule'. No organization means that things descend to the point where the strong rule, but that's not inherent in the lack of a government.

Edge93 wrote:

So I don't think there's much question that a CG ought to at least have some respect for just laws. Not to say they would never break them but I think ignoring them is a stretch.

Again, kinda already said but I wanted to add my take.

What's a 'just' law? And what separates it from an unjust one? Opinions will differ. I can easily see a Liberator who believes that laws are only reasonable at all if they are achieved through some sort of democratic process, making every law passed down by a monarch completely invalid and not morally binding. That attitude isn't universal among Liberators, but it's reasonable and likely common to Andoren Liberators in-universe, and having anything about respecting laws in their Code makes it very difficult to impossible.


Sorry Gorbacz, I kinda figured that was what you were doing after I had posted, but it was a decent point to make, you were a good spring board to make it with, and it was early in the morning x)

@Edge93: That's exactly why I made the example I did, and referenced Robin Hood. Robin knew the need for government, but he also knew that John was a complete prick (there's a reason that the Magna Carta was first drawn up during his reign).

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

Moved to the classes subforum as indicated by OP.


Commander Crisp wrote:
Before I get back to the actual topic, some thoughts on Gorum. He is the god of fighting, for the sake of fighting. Sure, they can fight to save innocents, but they do it because they want to smash somebody's face in. Not because of the kindness of their heart. In the same vein, the anathema to harm non-combatants doesn't stem from Gorum being a big softy, but because killing them doesn't pose a challenge aka its boring.

I mean, I'm still not convinced Gorum isn't the equivalent of that player who's totally chaotic neutral, and not evil.

As to the paladin thing, I bring up the question again of whose code. For example, members of a rogue's guild might be notorious for breaking the law of the land, and thus be chaotic, but also adhere strictly to an internal code of honor, and thus be lawful.

Lawful-Chaotic is well-defined, but only with respect to a specific code of law.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Edge93 wrote:

Something I'd like to add on here. It's been more or less said already but I wanted to add my two cents.

Even CG Paladins (Or CG characters in general) should definitely have some respect for at least some governmental and lawmaking structure. Being CG and understanding a need for government and law are not mutually exclusive IMO, it's more a matter of the degree of such and the power such should have.

This is certainly true in some cases, but not all, and even when it is true there's a rather vast difference between 'Some laws are probably necessary to make society function' and 'I'll personally obey laws I disagree with.' Heck, that first statement doesn't even necessarily lead to obeying laws you agree should exist all the time (you can easily think a law is a good thing most days...but is really in the way right this second).

Edge93 wrote:
Because you don't have to be too smart to realize that total anarchy hurts personal freedom more than it helps. If you don't think about it then it sounds like cool, no laws means everyone is free, but of course in practice no law or law enforcement means strength becomes king, the strong do as they please, and the weak get rekt.

Speaking as someone with a fairly serious anarchist in my immediate family, this is not necessarily the case. It's entirely possible to have an anarchy with no strictly defined 'government' where private entities/businesses nonetheless do things like protect people from being exploited or robbed.

Now, I'm not an anarchist because I'm pretty sure there would be a fair number of problems with this, but they're a lot more complicated than just 'no government means the strong rule'. No organization means that things descend to the point where the strong rule, but that's not inherent in the lack of a government.

Edge93 wrote:
So I don't think there's much question that a CG ought to at least have some respect for just laws. Not to say they would never break them but I think
...

Hmm, definitely interesting points. Particularly a good point about how even with no government there would be levels of organization that might hold some order. Really hadn't considered that in my mental image of anarchy.

Also I like the distinction of "This law is a good idea most ways, but it's really in the way right now." I find that hilarious for some reason. XD

Also I don't mean to say I think CG Paladins should have a clause to their code requiring they obey the law, I was more speaking against the idea of CG Paladins having no regard towards law at all.

Liberty's Edge

Edge93 wrote:
Hmm, definitely interesting points. Particularly a good point about how even with no government there would be levels of organization that might hold some order. Really hadn't considered that in my mental image of anarchy.

It's not something most people think about. When you're used to the government providing a service it becomes almost second nature to believe that nobody else could provide said service.

Which is not to say private police forces are an idea without serious problems, but they could certainly exist.

Edge93 wrote:
Also I like the distinction of "This law is a good idea most ways, but it's really in the way right now." I find that hilarious for some reason. XD

Well, it's a very Chaotic attitude, or so it seems to me. :)

Edge93 wrote:
Also I don't mean to say I think CG Paladins should have a clause to their code requiring they obey the law, I was more speaking against the idea of CG Paladins having no regard towards law at all.

I think CG Paladins should have as much regard for the law as any CG person...just no more.


Deadmanwalking wrote:


Edge93 wrote:
Also I don't mean to say I think CG Paladins should have a clause to their code requiring they obey the law, I was more speaking against the idea of CG Paladins having no regard towards law at all.
I think CG Paladins should have as much regard for the law as any CG person...just no more.

Completely agreed, poor phrasing on my part implying otherwise.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Hmm, definitely interesting points. Particularly a good point about how even with no government there would be levels of organization that might hold some order. Really hadn't considered that in my mental image of anarchy.

It's not something most people think about. When you're used to the government providing a service it becomes almost second nature to believe that nobody else could provide said service.

Which is not to say private police forces are an idea without serious problems, but they could certainly exist.

What is the difference between a Government and private armed force that takes money in order to provide protection?

Liberty's Edge

Malk_Content wrote:
What is the difference between a Government and private armed force that takes money in order to provide protection?

Mostly? The ability to opt out. A government does not generally respond to 'I won't pay taxes.' with 'Well, then we won't provide services.' They lock you up for tax evasion. You are obligated to pay them or suffer active punishment rather than not receiving services. You also don't have to obey the rules set by a private entity unless you work for them, are paying them, or are interacting with someone who does one of those things. You're not under their jurisdiction.

A government generally also provides services even to those who haven't paid, something a private entity is unlikely to do in most circumstances...even for those who can't pay.

Note that I never said this was necessarily a good idea, just that it's possible.


The thing I find silly about that is the idea that laws enforced by a private company would be any different from laws enforced by a government, or that there somehow wouldn't be laws if the government didn't exist. After all, in order to protect the people who are paying for their service, at least some laws would need to be enforced even on the people who "opt out".

Privatized government is not anarchy, it is privatized government. :P

EDIT: To bring this back on topic, a Liberator, for example, would most certainly regard "this corporation is enforcing unjust rules on people under their influence" as no different from "this kingdom is enforcing unjust laws on people under their influence".

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
MaxAstro wrote:
The thing I find silly about that is the idea that laws enforced by a private company would be any different from laws enforced by a government, or that there somehow wouldn't be laws if the government didn't exist. After all, in order to protect the people who are paying for their service, at least some laws would need to be enforced even on the people who "opt out".

Only in regards to the people paying them. If Sally and Joe are both not clients then the organization has no reason to interfere in the behavior between them, regardless of what that behavior might be.

Of course, if Joe is a client of one such organization and Sally is the client of another, suddenly two organizations (possibly with mutually exclusive standards) get to stick their oars in when the two come into conflict. That gets potentially very messy.

MaxAstro wrote:
Privatized government is not anarchy, it is privatized government. :P

Depends on how one defines 'government'. Governments, generally, maintain a monopoly on the use of force. The government being the only ones who get to jail or shoot people without suffering consequences. Private organizations wouldn't necessarily do that, at least in the short term (and become governments as soon as they do so on any large scale).

MaxAstro wrote:
EDIT: To bring this back on topic, a Liberator, for example, would most certainly regard "this corporation is enforcing unjust rules on people under their influence" as no different from "this kingdom is enforcing unjust laws on people under their influence".

Oh, sure. A Liberator is all about fighting injustice regardless of legal forms, since they generally don't care about legal forms at all. Interestingly, it's the LG Paladin who probably regards the distinctions between the legal forms of things as deeply important.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
What is the difference between a Government and private armed force that takes money in order to provide protection?

Mostly? The ability to opt out.

A government generally also provides services even to those who haven't paid, something a private entity is unlikely to do in most circumstances...even for those who can't pay.

There are certain services that can't function except as a semi-governmental one (ie paid for through taxation). Notably, the fire service.

"Surely that can be a private opt in service!" You say. And it has been done before. The results are horrifying.

*Citizen doesn't pay for the service, neighbor's house catches fire, causing their house to catch fire before the firemen arrive. The firefighters put out the neighbors, but not theirs.*

"Hey, aren't you going to put out the fire on my house?" He asks.
"Nope" replies t the fireman. "You haven't paid for service."
"I'll pay right now!"
"Sorry, it doesn't work that way."
And so, the firemen stand there and watch the house burn, only intervening when a paid customer is threatened.

But what happens when *most* people aren't paying for service? Why, then entire city burns to the ground because the firemen can't protect the few house they're being paid to protect because of the raging inferno on all sides. "If only the fire service would put out all fires, regardless of who is paying and who isn't!" Someone shouts.
"Who's going to pay for it?" Comes the reply.
"Why...everyone should! Everyone should put a dollar in every month."
And twenty years later, you have a government.

Roads, water supply (not usage), sewage and waste treatment, power supply (not usage), fire fighters, police...These are all services that everyone uses, regardless of if they pay into the system as a whole or not; how do you account for visitors? People who have just moved to the area and haven't paid their dues yet? What about other public spaces, parks, etc? CAN you keep people who opt out from using these services?

The only practical answer is a central authority that charges taxes.

Now, this days nothing about the organization or size of this government, only that it is far more practical and less costly to have than to not-have.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

For more on privatized public services, corporations with extraterritoriality and more power than most governments and the high jinx that ensue, look into Shadowrun! The game itself is great but I love the setting even more. It probably isn’t an entirely realistic example, Deadman I’m sure could poke a thousand holes in it and very well may when I see him this weekend for game.

Okay I will try to stop referring to other systems on this forum, it’s probably not cool.


I've played (and love) Shadowrun.

Liberty's Edge

Draco18s wrote:

There are certain services that can't function except as a semi-governmental one (ie paid for through taxation). Notably, the fire service.

"Surely that can be a private opt in service!" You say. And it has been done before. The results are horrifying.

They absolutely are. But I didn't say that doing things this way wasn't potentially horrifying, just that it could be done.

Draco18s wrote:

*Citizen doesn't pay for the service, neighbor's house catches fire, causing their house to catch fire before the firemen arrive. The firefighters put out the neighbors, but not theirs.*

"Hey, aren't you going to put out the fire on my house?" He asks.
"Nope" replies t the fireman. "You haven't paid for service."
"I'll pay right now!"
"Sorry, it doesn't work that way."
And so, the firemen stand there and watch the house burn, only intervening when a paid customer is threatened.

Actually, they usually accepted payment at the time...they just charged utterly absurd fees and wouldn't put the fire out until it was paid. But yes, this is awful.

Draco18s wrote:

But what happens when *most* people aren't paying for service? Why, then entire city burns to the ground because the firemen can't protect the few house they're being paid to protect because of the raging inferno on all sides. "If only the fire service would put out all fires, regardless of who is paying and who isn't!" Someone shouts.

"Who's going to pay for it?" Comes the reply.
"Why...everyone should! Everyone should put a dollar in every month."
And twenty years later, you have a government.

This certainly can happen. It's not exactly inevitable for reasons I'll go into below.

Draco18s wrote:
Roads, water supply (not usage), sewage and waste treatment, power supply (not usage), fire fighters, police...These are all services that everyone uses, regardless of if they pay into the system as a whole or not; how do you account for visitors? People who have just moved to the area and haven't paid their dues yet? What about other public spaces, parks, etc? CAN you keep people who opt out from using these services?

Without a government any city or populated area is basically private property and can readily have rules about who's allowed in and under what circumstances. This makes all this the equivalent of paying rent to those who own the city's services. There'd be potential issues, but they are hardly insurmountable, and a renter's agreement does not necessarily a government make. Especially if you have five of them with different private companies for different services.

Draco18s wrote:
The only practical answer is a central authority that charges taxes.

It's probably the best answer in some ways, but I'd dispute that it's the only one.

Draco18s wrote:
Now, this days nothing about the organization or size of this government, only that it is far more practical and less costly to have than to not-have.

I agree. Which would be why I'm not an anarchist. But 'less practical and more costly' is very different from 'impossible', which was my initial point. Not that a functioning anarchy was a good idea per se, just that it was possible and was not as simple as 'the strong prey on the weak'.

Raylyeh wrote:

For more on privatized public services, corporations with extraterritoriality and more power than most governments and the high jinx that ensue, look into Shadowrun! The game itself is great but I love the setting even more. It probably isn’t an entirely realistic example, Deadman I’m sure could poke a thousand holes in it and very well may when I see him this weekend for game.

Okay I will try to stop referring to other systems on this forum, it’s probably not cool.

Oh, it's fairly realistic, I'd argue it's more of an example of corporations becoming governments than what a system without governments would look like (though things like private police forces are spot on), but the way corporations are in Shadowrun is entirely realistic as a possible future (though the whole magic thing, not so much).


In my personal opinion, Paladins should belonging only to extreme alignments, both good and evil, and I wuold like to see something as the PF2's Orders for Druids (i also would like to see that for the Monks, as to divide and explain LG, LN and LE Monks differences, but this is another topic).
For example, I would like to see the four main Orders for Paladins that belongs to LG, CG, LE and CE such as "Order of Justice", "Order of Freedom", "Order of Tyranny", and "Order of Destruction" (maybe using some new names, more original and coherent with Golarion), and perhaps adopting the descriptions on the old supplements such as Champions of Purity/Balance/Corruption to describe their Codes (I refer, in particular, to the three subdivisions used to describe the alignments: crusader, devotee, agent of freedom, despot, etc.)
I am not at all in agreement with the possibility of having neutral Paladins, under penalty of the devaluation of the Paladin/Hero concepts itself.
To become a Paladin should be something more like a "call", something extreme, and not just an alignment stance. For example, this is the reason why, personally, I am not enthusiastic about the concept of paladins linked to the deities. I find that the paladins should not be just the armed force of the churches, but instead should be unique persons that devote their-self to a cause and receive their powers from unknown entities.
Anyway, to summarize my ideas, I find that will be a great idea to use Orders for Paladins, in the same way it has been used for Druids.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Denyar wrote:

In my personal opinion, Paladins should belonging only to extreme alignments, both good and evil, and I wuold like to see something as the PF2's Orders for Druids (i also would like to see that for the Monks, as to divide and explain LG, LN and LE Monks differences, but this is another topic).

For example, I would like to see the four main Orders for Paladins that belongs to LG, CG, LE and CE such as "Order of Justice", "Order of Freedom", "Order of Tyranny", and "Order of Destruction" (maybe using some new names, more original and coherent with Golarion), and perhaps adopting the descriptions on the old supplements such as Champions of Purity/Balance/Corruption to describe their Codes (I refer, in particular, to the three subdivisions used to describe the alignments: crusader, devotee, agent of freedom, despot, etc.)
I am not at all in agreement with the possibility of having neutral Paladins, under penalty of the devaluation of the Paladin/Hero concepts itself.
To become a Paladin should be something more like a "call", something extreme, and not just an alignment stance. For example, this is the reason why, personally, I am not enthusiastic about the concept of paladins linked to the deities. I find that the paladins should not be just the armed force of the churches, but instead should be unique persons that devote their-self to a cause and receive their powers from unknown entities.
Anyway, to summarize my ideas, I find that will be a great idea to use Orders for Paladins, in the same way it has been used for Druids.

CN is the most extreme Chaotic alignment you can have, Chaos without regard for good or evil, LN is the same, but with Law above all and without compromise. NG and NE are both unrestrained by law or chaos, acting purely and solely as dictated by good or evil.


It's clear that every alignment has in itself a certain amount of "extremism", and following this type of reasoning also the pure N alignment is extreme, but a N paladin which superior aim should pursue? Pure neutrality? Probably if that were so, that paladin should not even leave his house ... unless he pursues a religious doctrine, and so it would be nothing more than the "armed arm" of a church. But at this point would a paladin class still make sense? Would it not become rather a sort of "prestige class" for the cleric? He follows the doctrine of a deity, as a cleric, has limitations dictated by the doctrine, as a cleric, prays the deities, as a cleric, receives his powers/spells from deities, as a cleric ... he would have different abilities from a cleric, but it would still be a cleric.
In conclusion, what differences make a paladin what he is, and not simply a "fighter for his deity"?
That's what I mean when I talk about "extreme alignments", the need for a paladin to respond to something superior, to a "call" of Justice/Destruction/Freedom/etc and not just to a deity.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Denyar wrote:

It's clear that every alignment has in itself a certain amount of "extremism", and following this type of reasoning also the pure N alignment is extreme, but a N paladin which superior aim should pursue? Pure neutrality? Probably if that were so, that paladin should not even leave his house ... unless he pursues a religious doctrine, and so it would be nothing more than the "armed arm" of a church. But at this point would a paladin class still make sense? Would it not become rather a sort of "prestige class" for the cleric? He follows the doctrine of a deity, as a cleric, has limitations dictated by the doctrine, as a cleric, prays the deities, as a cleric, receives his powers/spells from deities, as a cleric ... he would have different abilities from a cleric, but it would still be a cleric.

In conclusion, what differences make a paladin what he is, and not simply a "fighter for his deity"?
That's what I mean when I talk about "extreme alignments", the need for a paladin to respond to something superior, to a "call" of Justice/Destruction/Freedom/etc and not just to a deity.

There can be some ideals that are true N.

Balance comes to my mind: don't let one side get too strong, or the multiverse will be ruined!
For a Paladin of Gozreh, it could be nature over civilization.
For a Paladin of Nethys, you could have the proliferation of magic in every form.
I'm sure that someone more creative than me could come up with a consistent set of tenets for any of them.


my gripe
a paladin that can be any good is better than a paladin locked into alignment.

having a paladin class that can be any of the good alignments that studied the mandates of not only their deities they served but the 3 celestial planes as well.

paladins of the heavens : must be LG to take
paladins of nirvana : must be NG
paladins of Elysium : must be CG
would have been better than the 1.6 which just reminds me of the paladins of the same three alignments back in dnd era and of which I didnt like either.

all three of mine would still have smite evil and DG, and would still be a little better than the others at slaying evil outsiders of their opposite alignment. And any other ability could have been altered to reflect the 3 celestial planes
it is what it is though, maybe another book and maybe not.

would have been better imo... but thats my opinion and doesnt mean jack.


Megistone wrote:

There can be some ideals that are true N.

Balance comes to my mind: don't let one side get too strong, or the multiverse will be ruined!

True. Having read (most of) the Emerilia novels, the pantheon was 6 gods: Light, Dark, Earth, Air, Fire, Water.

Oh, and Newt. The gray god.

Neutral was really the "administrator" in all senses of the word, but because of the pressures applied to him by his superiors, he ended up being forced to cave to the whims of the other deities more often than not. But he was supposed to keep the various gods in balance, if one got too strong he'd work to fix whatever it was that was that made them too strong (most of the gods' goals on the other hand were complete and utter domination of the other gods and the world at large).

Each god was allowed to have either Beings of Power (Fire had her dragons, water had his merpeople) or Champions (effectively paladins). Newt didn't have either until the protagonist comes along and ends up more or less being the first gray champion.

And what was the core ideology of neutrality? To protect the people of Emerilia (players respawn, NPCs don't) and to fight back against Newt's bosses, who were in the process of (more or less) setting the world on fire because they're bored.

Where am I going with this?

Well, I'm not sure how well that kind of ideology translates into Pathfinder. Both mechanically and thematically. I can agree that the space exists, I'm just not sure it's interesting, powerful, or large enough.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
RazarTuk wrote:
Commander Crisp wrote:
Before I get back to the actual topic, some thoughts on Gorum. He is the god of fighting, for the sake of fighting. Sure, they can fight to save innocents, but they do it because they want to smash somebody's face in. Not because of the kindness of their heart. In the same vein, the anathema to harm non-combatants doesn't stem from Gorum being a big softy, but because killing them doesn't pose a challenge aka its boring.

I mean, I'm still not convinced Gorum isn't the equivalent of that player who's totally chaotic neutral, and not evil.

As to the paladin thing, I bring up the question again of whose code. For example, members of a rogue's guild might be notorious for breaking the law of the land, and thus be chaotic, but also adhere strictly to an internal code of honor, and thus be lawful.

Lawful-Chaotic is well-defined, but only with respect to a specific code of law.

I found an easy answer to this one (at least for Lawful) by living and working in Japan, which is now my go-to reference for what a Lawful society is like.

The greatest law you must respect is tradition from your own culture.
The second greatest is official law in your own culture (though it bends to tradition).
Other official laws (those of other cultures) come third.

In all cases though, you strive to uphold the letter of the law, even if betraying its spirit, because setting the example of adherence to laws strengthens the whole system of laws, while openly disobeying any law weakens all laws.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The problem with alignment, IMO, is that people tend to find a way to attribute their values to the alignment they like most. When I see someone say that all of the values in the three Paladin codes are all LG, the law-chaos axis has lost its meaning. I'd prefer a more modular Paladin that builds a code from ideals directly. That would be more clear compared to a code derived from alignment, with it's endless arguments and ambiguity on what each alignment means.

1 to 50 of 61 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Playtest / Player Rules / Classes / An Analysis of the 1.6 Paladin Variants All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.