Simple question re: Smite Evil in 2e


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After a two-year hiatus from 5e during which I ran a long Pathfinder campaign (set in the Dragon Empires, yeah!), I ran three sessions of 5e for Free RPG Day on Saturday at my FLGS (shout out to Brooklyn Strategist!). I was dismayed to learn that Smite can be used against any creature regardless of alignment (something that really annoyed me about 5e, I had repressed, and then was re-really annoyed with yesterday).

First thing yesterday morning I cracked open my Playtest rulebook and was relieved/pleased to see the word evil in the descriptor for the Paladin smite feat.

My question: Will Paizo be retaining Smite vs EVIL? Or is it going to be genericized like 5e? Please tell me it's the former! :)

Thanks in advance!

Liberty's Edge

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Paladins (and other Champions) do not have an ability called Smite Evil by default.

They do, however, have a variety of ways to do Good damage, and Good damage only applies to Evil creatures.

Their abilities do also work vs. non-Evil things, but without the Good damage they're a lot less effective. Good damage is also especially effective against Fiends. So I think that PF2 Champions (including Paladins) may be a better fit for what you're looking for than 5E Paladins were.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Paladins (and other Champions) do not have an ability called Smite Evil by default.

They do, however, have a variety of ways to do Good damage, and Good damage only applies to Evil creatures.

Their abilities do also work vs. non-Evil things, but without the Good damage they're a lot less effective. Good damage is also especially effective against Fiends. So I think that PF2 Champions (including Paladins) may be a better fit for what you're looking for than 5E Paladins were.

There will almost certainly be a feat called Smite Evil though. There's some evidence to suggest the Smite Evil and Blade of Justice feats from the playtest swapped names, so I'd bet we get a Smite Evil feat that looks like this:

http://pf2.easytool.es/index.php?id=864&advancement=0


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

Information relevant to this discussion:

Spoiler #43 wrote:

Blade of Justice {A}{A} | Champion Feat 12

Prerequisites paladin cause
You call upon divine power an make a weapon or unarmed Strike against a foe you have witnessed harming an ally or innocent. The Strike deals two extra weapon damage dice if the target of your Strike is evil. Whether or not the target is evil, the Strike applies all effects that normally apply on a Retributive Strike (such as divine smite), and you can convert all the physical damage from the attack into good damage.

Also, LINK to the Playtest Blade of Justice (Feat 6, a different thing), that Captain Morgan shared above.


Thanks so much, guys! This really puts my mind at ease (seriously).

I am a grog (1e is my main jam, actually) and these sorts of things really get under my skin lol. It's not the streamlining, per se; more the continual watering down of the game to a diluted, washed out version of its former self. 5e is not the only victim of this but I will cut the rant here lest I upset some folks.

I was going to preorder Pathfinder 2e and was holding off pending the answer to this question. Going to pull the trigger on the preorder now, however! I was not a huge fan of the Playtest version of 2e (we played roughly half of the playtest but it got pretty ridiculous at high level) but am cautiously optimistic, leaning towards optimistic, about 2e, after the recent Know Direction episode. (In AD&D speak, it would be CO (O))

I will refrain from 5e bashing here because it's not good form, but let's just say it's not the game for me. :D


I recall a Smite Evil feat being Paladin-exclusive. Can't recall however if it was from a page screenshot or a rule reveal or what else. I've been following pretty closely, but it's damn too scattered to find out in just a few seconds... I might look it up later. Regardless, it moves from a default class ability to a mid-to-high level optional feat.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Paladins (and other Champions) do not have an ability called Smite Evil by default.

They do, however, have a variety of ways to do Good damage, and Good damage only applies to Evil creatures.

Their abilities do also work vs. non-Evil things, but without the Good damage they're a lot less effective. Good damage is also especially effective against Fiends. So I think that PF2 Champions (including Paladins) may be a better fit for what you're looking for than 5E Paladins were.

The Oblivion Oath stream sorcerer that uses divine magic has a cantrip that does Good damage and it followed that rule of only effecting Evil though I think the cantrip might actually depend on your diety (i.e. doing good, evil, lawful or chaotic damage depending on alignment). I think was called divine lance or something similar; it was even used in the good old way of hitting someone with a good spell to see if they're capital E Evil or just a bad guy.

Liberty's Edge

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Some Kind of Chymist wrote:
The Oblivion Oath stream sorcerer that uses divine magic has a cantrip that does Good damage and it followed that rule of only effecting Evil though I think the cantrip might actually depend on your diety (i.e. doing good, evil, lawful or chaotic damage depending on alignment). I think was called divine lance or something similar; it was even used in the good old way of hitting someone with a good spell to see if they're capital E Evil or just a bad guy.

Divine Lance does indeed depend on the Alignment of you and your God and can do damage as appropriate (ie: a Cleric of Asmodeus can do Law damage or Evil damage with it). We;ve actually seen the full text of that one.

I didn't mention it since it's not a Paladin option, though it is good evidence that Alignment has continuing mechanical weight by default.


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I actually kind of disagree with this one, and I am also the sort who prefers a more robust game and has a lot of problems with how watered down 5e is (while still appreciating other things about it).

But I have always had a hard time justifying Smite Evil as the primary ability of the Paladin, given that it only effects Evil Beings.

From a game perspective, it puts way too much onus on the GM to design encounters around one specific class (so long as that class is in the party).

Now don't get me wrong, every encounter is going to favor some classes over others. Rogues struggle against things that don't care about sneak attack, anti-magic fields laugh at Wizards, ect. These examples are either highly specific or still allow the class to do their thing, that thing just isn't going to be as effective.

But Smite Evil is completely and utterly useless against a very large portion of the game's potential enemies. The DM now has to be careful about making sure that he is balancing a good number of Evil threats and non-evil threats rather than just playing with whatever they think would be fun. Too much evil and the Paladin becomes the MVP, but not enough evil and the player feels like they aren't getting to play with their best toy.

From an in-universe perspective I'm not sure it makes a ton of sense either. While I am sure the Paladin's God doesn't want the Pali to be smiting the innocent, not all threats to peace and harmony are evil. What if a big mindless beast is slaughtering people in the night? Does the Pali's God shrug and say "not my job description so deal with it yourself"? It makes even less sense for Anti-Paladins. Why would an evil tyrant care that their powers only hurt good people? Shouldn't they want to also be able to beat down their evil rivals to ensure their own dominance? Makes Cleric or Wizard seem like a more viable position for evildoers in the long run.

I get that this makes the game more "nuanced" and potentially more interesting, but personally I'd split the difference. Let Smite do more damage or have more effects against evil beings, still work but not as well against Neutral (for dealing with those rabid beasts that need to be put down for everyone's safety) and have no effect against Good targets.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Vali Nepjarson wrote:

I have always had a hard time justifying Smite Evil as the primary ability of the Paladin, given that it only effects Evil Beings.

From a game perspective, it puts way too much onus on the GM to design encounters around one specific class (so long as that class is in the party).

But Smite Evil is not "the primary ability" of the PF2 Champion(Paladin), right? Unless I'm misremembering and/or misreading the tea leaves here, it's just one option selectable by feats.

Rather, it's Retributive Strike that is "the primary ability", and there appear to be options to add specifically anti-evil effects to that ability.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

With alignment being its own damage type, I wonder how difficult it would be to remove alignment from the game entirely? While overall I'm not a huge fan of 5th edition, I do like how easy they made it to play games without the alignment system.


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Mechalibur wrote:
With alignment being its own damage type, I wonder how difficult it would be to remove alignment from the game entirely? While overall I'm not a huge fan of 5th edition, I do like how easy they made it to play games without the alignment system.

I think the easiest approach is to keep alignment as a "kinds of metaphysical energy" thing, drop alignment as a "which maps neatly to morality" thing.

So like "good" damage is effective against "evil" things because of the energies in the thing being incompatible with the energy you're hitting it with, not because they are bad and you are not.

So a "holy" weapon deals more damage to fiends for the same reason a cold iron weapon deals more damage to fey.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Vali, I think you just sorta spontaneously came up with a really good argument for Paladins being based on Retributive Strike instead of Smite Evil.

That actually makes me feel a lot better about the change, when you put it in those terms.


Vali Nepjarson wrote:

I actually kind of disagree with this one, and I am also the sort who prefers a more robust game and has a lot of problems with how watered down 5e is (while still appreciating other things about it).

But I have always had a hard time justifying Smite Evil as the primary ability of the Paladin

I've never considered Smite their primary ability. --Their main abilities are resiliency and automatic party-buffing just by being present (i.e., auras).

(I get the impression that Denim N Leather is fan of a strong alignment system, with at least some classes accordingly affected, paladin in particular. Well, I am too.)

Paizo Employee Designer

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Mechalibur wrote:
With alignment being its own damage type, I wonder how difficult it would be to remove alignment from the game entirely? While overall I'm not a huge fan of 5th edition, I do like how easy they made it to play games without the alignment system.

I think the easiest approach is to keep alignment as a "kinds of metaphysical energy" thing, drop alignment as a "which maps neatly to morality" thing.

So like "good" damage is effective against "evil" things because of the energies in the thing being incompatible with the energy you're hitting it with, not because they are bad and you are not.

So a "holy" weapon deals more damage to fiends for the same reason a cold iron weapon deals more damage to fey.

In a homebrew setting of mine, capital G "Good" vs capital E "Evil" on a cosmic scale among extraplanar beings are defined based on whether those beings are rebelled (or were affiliated with those who rebelled) against a particular divine edict of the creator goddess that basically gives mortals free will from extraplanar interference but practically had a lot of implications that left the coalition that opposed (and are now capital E "Evil") including both the would-be god-king Archangel of Rulership who rightly believed this would prevent him from ruling mortalkind into an age of enlightenment and the benevolent Archangel of Redemption who rightly believed that this would significantly curtail her ability to redeem mortals.

Also capital C "Chaotic" beings are trying to unravel reality, while capital L "Lawful" beings are actively striving to preserve it against that. Needless to say, both Good and Evil non-chaotic beings pretty much agree that Chaos needs to fail at this goal.


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Slim Jim wrote:
Vali Nepjarson wrote:

I actually kind of disagree with this one, and I am also the sort who prefers a more robust game and has a lot of problems with how watered down 5e is (while still appreciating other things about it).

But I have always had a hard time justifying Smite Evil as the primary ability of the Paladin

I've never considered Smite their primary ability. --Their main abilities are resiliency and automatic party-buffing just by being present (i.e., auras).

(I get the impression that Denim N Leather is fan of a strong alignment system, with at least some classes accordingly affected, paladin in particular. Well, I am too.)

Except those are passive abilities. And while they're awesome, and a great thing for the Paladin to have, no one picks a class just to stand there and not do anything.

That's an exaggeration of course since even without Smite, the Paladin can still swing a sword. But the point is that the main feature of a class is always going to be something they can do, since doing things is always going to be more fun than not letting things get done to you.

And I prefer a stronger alignment system as well. I am 100% in favor of a much more robust and stronger focus on alignment, and that Paladins should revolve around this concept. 5e's system of making alignment completely unnecessary and having no gameplay effects at all is not for me.

But I think there are ways to do this without making the Paladin's effectiveness in combat be so strongly tied to only fighting Evil aligned things. I don't want to be punished for wanting to play a typical Paladin in a Campaign where my GM was planning on throwing us into a war between the Axis and The Maelstrom.

MaxAstro wrote:

Vali, I think you just sorta spontaneously came up with a really good argument for Paladins being based on Retributive Strike instead of Smite Evil.

That actually makes me feel a lot better about the change, when you put it in those terms.

Yeah, I am a bit more forgiving of Retributive Strike as a whole than some people seem to be. Although to be honest I still prefer not having the new main ability of the Paladin not be based on a Reaction. I'd still prefer Smite Evil just still worked (albiet to a lesser extent) on Neutral aligned things.


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Vali Nepjarson wrote:
Yeah, I am a bit more forgiving of Retributive Strike as a whole than some people seem to be. Although to be honest I still prefer not having the new main ability of the Paladin not be based on a Reaction. I'd still prefer Smite Evil just still worked (albiet to a lesser extent) on Neutral aligned things.

Retributive Strike isn't really bad as an ability. Especially the version from the 1.6 update that gives resistance against the attack. It just feels bad for it to be the main signature ability of the paladin. For one, I'm not a fan of the idea of a class having a reaction as their signature ability, especially the paladin who are in my mind an active crusader against evil, not a body-guard. It also feels like a drastic change of the core identity of the class for no good reason (yes, I know smite was introduced in D&D 3rd ed and paladins didn't have it before. But it's become their most identifiable ability since then. Much like how Sorcerers are so classic despite being introduced at the same time). Like removing sneak attack as the main Rogue ability and giving them a reaction that triggers an attack on an enemy, when an ally hits them, maybe with some cool riders on top of it, and then sneak attack is only available as a 12th level feat. That's not a bad ability, I might spend a feat for it. But I don't want that as the main thing for the rogue, and not at the expense of something that's so iconic of the class as sneak attack. This is what retributive strike feels like to me.

I'm hoping the final version feels more like a paladin, but I'm not optimistic. But maybe down the line they'll release an archetype or something for those of us who want a PF1 style paladin instead of the radically different beast the playtest gave us (and PF2 seems to have as well). Again, I'm not saying the PF2 paly is bad, it's just a different beast.

As for the idea that being only usable against evil is a problem, I can see both sides of that. Evil is a big deal, and a large amount of your enemies will be evil, simply because evil makes someone more likely to do things that attract a paladin's attention. And smite evil works well as a thing that isn't always available, but is dramatic when it is. On the other hand, there is the issue that some GMs (and even published material) will throw neutral baddies at the party just to nerf the paladin (there's just something about the class that drives a lot of people insane). A player in my group who used to play a lot of Living Greyhawk refers to this as "Greyhawk Neutral." The character acts evil, but the sheet says CN or something, so no smite for you! So allowing an effect on neutrals could be useful.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Paladins in the playtest were one of the areas I was most critical in, and I'm reasonably sure it never got fixed to my satisfaction. The focus on bodyguard duty and heavy armor came out of the blue for me. In PF1 Paladins were a terrifying weapon of the forces of good, forged to cut a swathe through the darkness.

None of my paladins got heavy armor, unless it was mithral. They always led the charge. If they could fight on their own, they would because it shifted more risk of harm to themselves. If they failed to end the threat on time, they would lay on hands to save people.

All of my paladins knew that taking a passive, reactive stance against evil was shortsighted.

So when Paladins lost Smite and gained Babysitter, I was sad. However, the Champion class is fine for lots of other concepts, so I plan to look into ways to home brew a fix for my games. I'm thinking a level 1 archetype that trades out retributive strike for Smite Evil would be a good start. Making sure they're viable in other armors will help too.


WatersLethe wrote:

Paladins in the playtest were one of the areas I was most critical in, and I'm reasonably sure it never got fixed to my satisfaction. The focus on bodyguard duty and heavy armor came out of the blue for me. In PF1 Paladins were a terrifying weapon of the forces of good, forged to cut a swathe through the darkness.

None of my paladins got heavy armor, unless it was mithral. They always led the charge. If they could fight on their own, they would because it shifted more risk of harm to themselves. If they failed to end the threat on time, they would lay on hands to save people.

All of my paladins knew that taking a passive, reactive stance against evil was shortsighted.

So when Paladins lost Smite and gained Babysitter, I was sad. However, the Champion class is fine for lots of other concepts, so I plan to look into ways to home brew a fix for my games. I'm thinking a level 1 archetype that trades out retributive strike for Smite Evil would be a good start. Making sure they're viable in other armors will help too.

Yeah, I'm thinking a Class Archetype is probably the best bet (that's the name for the PF1 style ones that trade class featurers out right?). I'm not sure if just giving the Smite Evil feat is a good idea though. The one in the playtest update 1.6, was really pretty powerful. It was 12th level an deserved it. For one, there were no limits to how often you could smite, it was just a 2 action attack that gained two weapon dice if the target was evil, all the extras given to your Retributive strike from feats, and could make all the damage Good, letting you get past resistances and possibly trigger a vulnerability. But as stated above, this has been renamed Sword of Justice in the final book. It's possible the old Sword of Justice (6th level feat) will be the new Smite Evil, or maybe it can indeed be a 1st level feat. A first level smite evil certainly needs to be weaker than the 12th level version, something like the playtest Sword of Justice might well be usable. I'd probably keep Retributive strike around, just switch the Smite Evil feat with it, so if Smite is a 6th level feat, you can take retributive strike as a 6th level feat. I also like the way the new Sword of Justice (playtest smite evil) uses the extra effects from retributive strike feats. Having something like that on smite will let you still use those feats to upgrade your main ability, even though it's been swapped.

Creating a more PF1 style paly shouldn't be too hard. Most of the class is fine, it's just the focus on reactions and heavy armor which are problematic. And I think the armor thing might have changed since the playtest. So I figure eventually Paizo will probably release an official class archetype or whatever to bring it into PF2 (I'd propose the name Crusading Paladin to indicate it's active nature). I imagine it'll still be popular, and those who like the new style can keep those. Win win.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Or you could start fighter and take the paladin multiclass, thus giving you AOOs and the fighters rush to the front fighting style while picking and choosing paladin feats such as sword of justice.


Doktor Weasel wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

Paladins in the playtest were one of the areas I was most critical in, and I'm reasonably sure it never got fixed to my satisfaction. The focus on bodyguard duty and heavy armor came out of the blue for me. In PF1 Paladins were a terrifying weapon of the forces of good, forged to cut a swathe through the darkness.

None of my paladins got heavy armor, unless it was mithral. They always led the charge. If they could fight on their own, they would because it shifted more risk of harm to themselves. If they failed to end the threat on time, they would lay on hands to save people.

All of my paladins knew that taking a passive, reactive stance against evil was shortsighted.

So when Paladins lost Smite and gained Babysitter, I was sad. However, the Champion class is fine for lots of other concepts, so I plan to look into ways to home brew a fix for my games. I'm thinking a level 1 archetype that trades out retributive strike for Smite Evil would be a good start. Making sure they're viable in other armors will help too.

Yeah, I'm thinking a Class Archetype is probably the best bet (that's the name for the PF1 style ones that trade class featurers out right?). I'm not sure if just giving the Smite Evil feat is a good idea though. The one in the playtest update 1.6, was really pretty powerful. It was 12th level an deserved it. For one, there were no limits to how often you could smite, it was just a 2 action attack that gained two weapon dice if the target was evil, all the extras given to your Retributive strike from feats, and could make all the damage Good, letting you get past resistances and possibly trigger a vulnerability. But as stated above, this has been renamed Sword of Justice in the final book. It's possible the old Sword of Justice (6th level feat) will be the new Smite Evil, or maybe it can indeed be a 1st level feat. A first level smite evil certainly needs to be weaker than the 12th level version, something like the playtest Sword of Justice might well be...

Blade of Justice or whatever that just added some dice depending on your level would work pretty well even at level 1 because of it's scaling nature. Smite is supposed to be strong vs the specific enemies in can target, too!


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Vali Nepjarson wrote:
And I prefer a stronger alignment system as well.

This makes me want some kind of paladin to come around and smite that idea. ;P


I actually prefer the 5e paladin..... just saying.
like the pf1 too..
pf2 not so much.

do not like playing as a glorified babysitter.

ummm.. yeah... you should have seen the pf3 and dnd6e line that I had here......


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

they have like 1 locked in feature about being close to their allies. I'd hardly call that a glorified babysitter. In fact against non-mindless foes that feature promotes foes coming after the champion. In my eyes its very much the "you've got to come through me" archetype.


Malk_Content wrote:
In my eyes its very much the "you've got to come through me" archetype.

With the 3 action system and the reaction being within the paladin's reach it's more 'you have to go around me' than "you've got to come through me", especially with heavy armor's speed reduction, for non-mindless though. And with mindless foes, it actually benefits the paladin to hide behind an ally with a reach weapon so they can get the extra attack then they attack the ally: if you actually prevent your allies from being attacked, you lose out on an attack/round.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
graystone wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
In my eyes its very much the "you've got to come through me" archetype.
With the 3 action system and the reaction being within the paladin's reach it's more 'you have to go around me' than "you've got to come through me", especially with heavy armor's speed reduction, for non-mindless though. And with mindless foes, it actually benefits the paladin to hide behind an ally with a reach weapon so they can get the extra attack then they attack the ally: if you actually prevent your allies from being attacked, you lose out on an attack/round.

This is the Reaction for Champion:

Glimpse of Redemption [R] Champion Reaction

Trigger An enemy damage your ally, and both are within 15 feet of you.

Your foe hesitates under the weight of sin as visions of redemption play in their mind’s eye. The foe must choose one of the following options:
· The ally is unharmed by the triggering damage.
· The Ally gains resistance to all damage against the triggering damage equal to 2 + your level. After the damaging effect is applied, the enemy becomes enfeebled 2 until the end of its next turn.

Looks a really nasty effect if you want to go round the champion.

Silver Crusade

WatersLethe wrote:

Paladins in the playtest were one of the areas I was most critical in, and I'm reasonably sure it never got fixed to my satisfaction. The focus on bodyguard duty and heavy armor came out of the blue for me. In PF1 Paladins were a terrifying weapon of the forces of good, forged to cut a swathe through the darkness.

None of my paladins got heavy armor, unless it was mithral. They always led the charge. If they could fight on their own, they would because it shifted more risk of harm to themselves. If they failed to end the threat on time, they would lay on hands to save people.

All of my paladins knew that taking a passive, reactive stance against evil was shortsighted.

So when Paladins lost Smite and gained Babysitter, I was sad. However, the Champion class is fine for lots of other concepts, so I plan to look into ways to home brew a fix for my games. I'm thinking a level 1 archetype that trades out retributive strike for Smite Evil would be a good start. Making sure they're viable in other armors will help too.

Yes, this. My PF1 Paladin is exactly this. Medium armour for speed. No shield, don't need it. Two-handing a longsword (for Iomedae). Fist into battle, he defended the party by discouraging others from the front line - in a party of four with him, the others would typically be a Wiz, a Rogue and a Divine of sorts, why should they risk their necks or have redundancy in more than one frontliner? PF2 appears to need more than one melee fighter in a party to make the Champion worthwhile.


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Davido1000 wrote:
graystone wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
In my eyes its very much the "you've got to come through me" archetype.
With the 3 action system and the reaction being within the paladin's reach it's more 'you have to go around me' than "you've got to come through me", especially with heavy armor's speed reduction, for non-mindless though. And with mindless foes, it actually benefits the paladin to hide behind an ally with a reach weapon so they can get the extra attack then they attack the ally: if you actually prevent your allies from being attacked, you lose out on an attack/round.

This is the Reaction for Champion:

Glimpse of Redemption [R] Champion Reaction

Trigger An enemy damage your ally, and both are within 15 feet of you.

Your foe hesitates under the weight of sin as visions of redemption play in their mind’s eye. The foe must choose one of the following options:
· The ally is unharmed by the triggering damage.
· The Ally gains resistance to all damage against the triggering damage equal to 2 + your level. After the damaging effect is applied, the enemy becomes enfeebled 2 until the end of its next turn.

Looks a really nasty effect if you want to go round the champion.

That's greatly improved from Retributive Strike. At least now the paladin doesn't have to hug a person to use it and doesn't require a strike to use.

Again though, the entire party has to stay in that 15' circle or the foes can indeed just walk right past the paladin and hit someone: with the 3 action rule and bow volley rules for instance, you'll see people not want to be that close and bad guys with 40' or 50' speeds that can quickly close the gap. Trying to stay in that 15' radius while doing that is going to be next to impossible. So as mobile the combat is, I can see a lot of times you'll see baddies go round the paladin with no worries.*

*unless of course you always fight in a hall in formation, never leaving 15' of the paladin ever.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

only if we play in the featureless infinite plane. Normally two or one character can make use of terrain to make it very difficult for folks to move through. Its actually why castles have these things called doorways.

It isn't limited to hallways. Difficult terrain or hazardous terrain can do work. Hell even a forest a well positioned character can cause foes to have to move 3 or 4 more squares.

The champ doesn't need to protect everyone, just at least one person who would like to be near (indeed that is the maximum number he can protect.) And as I said before, its ONE feature, its okay for it to not be used every turn or even fight.


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Malk_Content wrote:
only if we play in the featureless infinite plane. Normally two or one character can make use of terrain to make it very difficult for folks to move through. Its actually why castles have these things called doorways.

I've fought plenty of creatures in fields, valleys, swamps, woods and other open areas and some had abilities to easily traverse difficult terrain [like swamp walk, flying, ect].Even structures often have enough room for characters to be out of the 15' range. I understand it's not a "featureless infinite plane", so maybe you can understand that it's not always a 10'x10' room with a single easily defended door...

Malk_Content wrote:
Hell even a forest a well positioned character can cause foes to have to move 3 or 4 more squares.

This is often meaningless with being able to spend 2 actions to move, even a 25' move human can eat a 20' penalty to attack someone. You get creatures with 40'+ and they might be able to make it with only a single move.

And recall, my point at start was to disagree with "its very much the "you've got to come through me" archetype", and I tried to explain why. Can it be that in the right situation? sure. I can see as many situations where it isn't though. It very much required you to turtle and that often isn't what you want to do: a caster, for instance, is more than happy for everyone to get in that fireball radius and doesn't give a hoot about being enfeebled: sure you take some damage off someone but they might not have taken any if they'd have been further apart.


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Well the Champion party members are not traffic cones, if an enemy could freely move on the field you can bet that I will move and stick my ass close to the Champion not only for the Retributive Strike but for the sexy auras as well.


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Champion pairs so freaking well with another melee buddy it is crazy. Theoretically, you could have a party where the Champ is the only melee combatant, but I don't think I've ever seen a party with only one melee candidate in practice, and often the cramped quarters of the dungeon means the ranged characters are near the front anyway.

A barbarian really appreciates the resistance to help offset their low AC. The rogue gets a flanking buddy who provides cushion for their low HP. And the fighter can use a shield to further reduce damage to zero. And two champions? Fogetaboutit


Kyrone wrote:
Well the Champion party members are not traffic cones, if an enemy could freely move on the field you can bet that I will move and stick my ass close to the Champion not only for the Retributive Strike but for the sexy auras as well.

Well if you're the longbow ranger and the paladin is in melee, that can cause an issue. ;)

While I do understand it can be nice to hug the paladin for the reaction and buffs, as I pointed out above it's not a great idea to bunch up sometimes either. For instance, if you're ambushed by an evil adventuring team do you hug the paladin because there are mobile animal companions and the field is fairly open or do you spread out to avoid the area attacks of the casters?

As to the auras, that of course assumes that the paladin picked those feats. As I recall those were optional feats.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Champion pairs so freaking well with another melee buddy it is crazy.

I agree! I don't really see that as a "you've got to come through me" archetype" though, but a 'melee tagteam character'. The paladin isn't protecting the melee partner in a traditional 'block their path' way but still protect/buffs them.


The other nice thing the champion will have is even better relative AC thanks to the proficiency changes, and heavy armor promises to be less punitive to boot.

But the idea that Retributive Strike is a bad ability raised so many eyebrows at my table, where in practice they found it borderline overpowered.


Captain Morgan wrote:
But the idea that Retributive Strike is a bad ability raised so many eyebrows at my table, where in practice they found it borderline overpowered.

The bad part, IMO, was the 'strike within reach' part. For instance, you couldn't help that flanking rogue if you had a sword and shield because of reach: they literally had to be in base to base contact to help them. So for that team, it bordered on useless. With the new 15', no strike needed version, it's pretty sweet now.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I’m just thinking that with different flavors of Champion, you could have an entire party of them, each with their own reaction to punish enemies for attacking the rest of the party.


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QuidEst wrote:
I’m just thinking that with different flavors of Champion, you could have an entire party of them, each with their own reaction to punish enemies for attacking the rest of the party.

Now you just have to find a reason all those flavors would be in the same room with each other. ;)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
0o0o0 O 0o0o0 wrote:
Yes, this. My PF1 Paladin is exactly this. Medium armour for speed. No shield, don't need it. Two-handing a longsword (for Iomedae). Fist into battle, he defended the party by discouraging others from the front line - in a party of four with him, the others would typically be a Wiz, a Rogue and a Divine of sorts, why should they risk their necks or have redundancy in more than one frontliner? PF2 appears to need more than one melee fighter in a party to make the Champion worthwhile.

I dont understand why people are constantly complaining that they cant play classes the way they want to play it when you can quite easily with the multiclassing system. You wanna run head on into battle with a longsword instead of having the paladin reaction?

Take fighter with sudden charge, then take paladin multiclass at level 2, that way you can pick and choose what you want.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
graystone wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
I’m just thinking that with different flavors of Champion, you could have an entire party of them, each with their own reaction to punish enemies for attacking the rest of the party.
Now you just have to find a reason all those flavors would be in the same room with each other. ;)

In core, you could do a three-person party where all three are champions of Shelyn.


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An all Champion of Good party seems easier to justify forming a party than the average group or murder hobos. Good is more important than law vs chaos, so the champions should have more in common than they do setting them apart.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
An all Champion of Good party seems easier to justify forming a party than the average group or murder hobos. Good is more important than law vs chaos, so the champions should have more in common than they do setting them apart.

Once we get others, a lawful party trying to maintain order or keep a civilization running, or a chaotic part of revolutionaries would both let you do some vertical alignment stripe Champion parties pretty reasonably.


Captain Morgan wrote:
An all Champion of Good party seems easier to justify forming a party than the average group or murder hobos.

I wasn't assuming an all good party though. When he was talking about "different flavors of Champion, you could have an entire party of them, each with their own reaction to punish enemies for attacking the rest of the party" I assumed that meant different ones, either for differing alignments and/or deity specific ones, as I normally think of a party as 4+ and there's only 3 types of paladin right? Heck, even good paladins worshiping different gods might be at odds.

QuidEst wrote:
In core, you could do a three-person party where all three are champions of Shelyn.

I wasn't thinking 3 man party or same god.


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graystone wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
An all Champion of Good party seems easier to justify forming a party than the average group or murder hobos.

I wasn't assuming an all good party though. When he was talking about "different flavors of Champion, you could have an entire party of them, each with their own reaction to punish enemies for attacking the rest of the party" I assumed that meant different ones, either for differing alignments and/or deity specific ones, as I normally think of a party as 4+ and there's only 3 types of paladin right? Heck, even good paladins worshiping different gods might be at odds.

QuidEst wrote:
In core, you could do a three-person party where all three are champions of Shelyn.
I wasn't thinking 3 man party or same god.

We’ve only got three flavors for now, so there’d be some doubling up for 4+. I dunno if neutral and evil will retaliate on behalf of allies, so it might end up being good-only in the end anyway.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
graystone wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
An all Champion of Good party seems easier to justify forming a party than the average group or murder hobos.
I wasn't assuming an all good party though. When he was talking about "different flavors of Champion, you could have an entire party of them, each with their own reaction to punish enemies for attacking the rest of the party" I assumed that meant different ones, either for differing alignments and/or deity specific ones, as I normally think of a party as 4+ and there's only 3 types of paladin right? Heck, even good paladins worshiping different gods might be at odds.

For clarity's sake, there's only 1 type of paladin. There are 3 types of Champion. :)


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graystone wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
But the idea that Retributive Strike is a bad ability raised so many eyebrows at my table, where in practice they found it borderline overpowered.
The bad part, IMO, was the 'strike within reach' part. For instance, you couldn't help that flanking rogue if you had a sword and shield because of reach: they literally had to be in base to base contact to help them. So for that team, it bordered on useless. With the new 15', no strike needed version, it's pretty sweet now.

Unless things have change the reaction that was shown earlier in this thread is only for the NG Champion and the LG Champion still uses Retributive Strike and with it you could in fact help a flanking ally in the original version only the enemy needed to be within reach and with the multiple champions update both needed to be within 15 feet and there was a lvl 1 feat to allow you to step if you weren't within reach and strike if the step put you within reach


Lady Wrath wrote:
Unless things have change the reaction that was shown earlier

The poster said "This is the Reaction for Champion", so I'm taking them at their word: it's worded as if there is one reaction total. I have no way to check.

Lady Wrath wrote:
there was a lvl 1 feat to allow you to step if you weren't within reach and strike if the step put you within reach

*Looks at playtest* I'm not seeing that feat. The updated feats I see are RANGED REPRISAL — FEAT 1, UNIMPEDED STEP — FEAT 1, WEIGHT OF GUILT — FEAT 1 and none of those 3 do what you said. That said, even if there was a way to use it in the way you're talking about, it means you're moving out of flank to do so making you not a flanking partner anymore.

That said, my experience was with the earlier, in reach strike without step feat. If this is some change between start and 1.6, I might have missed it as I wasn't too worried about champions until they get a non-good or unaligned option.


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graystone wrote:
Lady Wrath wrote:
Unless things have change the reaction that was shown earlier

The poster said "This is the Reaction for Champion", so I'm taking them at their word: it's worded as if there is one reaction total. I have no way to check.

Lady Wrath wrote:
there was a lvl 1 feat to allow you to step if you weren't within reach and strike if the step put you within reach

*Looks at playtest* I'm not seeing that feat. The updated feats I see are RANGED REPRISAL — FEAT 1, UNIMPEDED STEP — FEAT 1, WEIGHT OF GUILT — FEAT 1 and none of those 3 do what you said. That said, even if there was a way to use it in the way you're talking about, it means you're moving out of flank to do so making you not a flanking partner anymore.

That said, my experience was with the earlier, in reach strike without step feat. If this is some change between start and 1.6, I might have missed it as I wasn't too worried about champions until they get a non-good or unaligned option.

From the playtest:

RANGED REPRISAL FEAT 1 Prerequisites defender cause: You’ve learned unconventional techniques that make it easier to position yourself for a Retributive Strike. You can make the Strike at the end of Retributive Strike with a ranged weapon. If the foe that triggered your Retributive Strike is within 5 feet of your reach but not in your reach, you can Step to put the foe in your reach and make the melee Strike at the end of Retributive Strike.


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graystone wrote:
Lady Wrath wrote:
Unless things have change the reaction that was shown earlier

The poster said "This is the Reaction for Champion", so I'm taking them at their word: it's worded as if there is one reaction total. I have no way to check.

Lady Wrath wrote:
there was a lvl 1 feat to allow you to step if you weren't within reach and strike if the step put you within reach

*Looks at playtest* I'm not seeing that feat. The updated feats I see are RANGED REPRISAL — FEAT 1, UNIMPEDED STEP — FEAT 1, WEIGHT OF GUILT — FEAT 1 and none of those 3 do what you said. That said, even if there was a way to use it in the way you're talking about, it means you're moving out of flank to do so making you not a flanking partner anymore.

That said, my experience was with the earlier, in reach strike without step feat. If this is some change between start and 1.6, I might have missed it as I wasn't too worried about champions until they get a non-good or unaligned option.

1. I also can't confirm anything in the final product yet

2. The feat I was talking about is RANGED REPRISAL and it does do what I said. (see post above)
3. If the enemy you are trying to hit is already in range to be hit there is no need to move otherwise it's a choice to move and get the free hit or stay where you are
4. The original version of Retributive strike reads as follows "Trigger A creature within your reach hits an ally or
friendly creature." so it doesn't matter where your ally is only where the enemy is


Ok, I see it now: Silly me, I assumed a ranged feat was going to be all about ranged attacks so once I say it gave you a strike with ranged weapons I missed the last sentence.. :P

On the rest, I don't know. Maybe we played it wrong: we didn't use a paladin... ur, champion for long. It seems a bit better then for melee buddies.


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Davido1000 wrote:
0o0o0 O 0o0o0 wrote:
Yes, this. My PF1 Paladin is exactly this. Medium armour for speed. No shield, don't need it. Two-handing a longsword (for Iomedae). Fist into battle, he defended the party by discouraging others from the front line - in a party of four with him, the others would typically be a Wiz, a Rogue and a Divine of sorts, why should they risk their necks or have redundancy in more than one frontliner? PF2 appears to need more than one melee fighter in a party to make the Champion worthwhile.

I dont understand why people are constantly complaining that they cant play classes the way they want to play it when you can quite easily with the multiclassing system. You wanna run head on into battle with a longsword instead of having the paladin reaction?

Take fighter with sudden charge, then take paladin multiclass at level 2, that way you can pick and choose what you want.

because some of us, do not like multiclassing

and its a RP thing too....

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