Evil Clerics Turning Paladins


Advice


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One weird ability of nongood clerics in 2E was “turning paladins”. Some Planescape books then expanded it telling that both good and evil characters with power over undead could turn powerful outsiders, priests, and champions of an opposite alignment.
Is there a way, RAW, to replicate this ability in Pathfinder? I know that there are fear spells, but the flavor is not quite the same.


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There is nothing that I know of in Pathfinder that will allow you to turn a paladin or cleric. The only way I know for this to happen is for the GM to make a house rule.

Fear spells are not going to work on Paladins unless they are 2nd level or lower. Once they have aura of courage, they are immune to fear.

Cleric’s do get a fair amount of enchantment spells that can allow them to some control over a paladin. 1st level gives you Command, Forbid Action and Murderous Command. 2nd level gives you Demand Offering, Enthrall, and Hold Person. After that it gets a little harder but there are some higher-level control spells. Keep in mind that Paladins get good will saves and ad CHA to them to make them even stronger. Your chance of actually pulling this off is pretty low. The same will also probably apply to any house rule the GM comes up with.


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Antipaladin types can get an aura that turns off Paladin fear immunity.


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Evil Ahead...:

I did tell you *NOT* to click the button... +1 to your Evil Alignment infractions...

straight up Repulsion:A6-7.
Though Desecrate:K2 and their ilk can discourage such do-gooders.
The most flexible and practical is Bestow Curse and such.
The trope of Paladin makes them highly susceptible to distraction and wanton acts of kindness and bragging about it later, along with paranoia about violating their oath. Thus a bugbear with a life-like baby doll is a Paladin magnet, two goblins with a baby doll on fire even more so... so with some simple illusions you can put the Paladin where you want. (A soulbound doll can prove invaluable in providing an opening and delivering a spell. Charming innocent children into dressing up as goblins playing rescue the doll with the soulbound doll almost always leads to an oath violation).
Next lower their save via various spells(w metamagics), hexes, bad luck, THEN hit them with your curse/actual spell.


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Azothath wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

That kind of stuff might make the paladin really mad or possibly have a mental breakdown, but it wouldn't have anything to do with most oaths.


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Melkiador wrote:
Azothath wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
That kind of stuff might make the paladin really mad or possibly have a mental breakdown, but it wouldn't have anything to do with most oaths.

Baiting does rely on a creature's need to act and do something, inviting it to impose it's values on the world around it. Contemplation, reserve, and keen perception aren't really priorities for that trope. In specific circumstances that action can have consequences (such as attacking innocents). As a GM if you do Evil Things you also have to have a plan for the Redemption and Recovery.

It's not really on topic for this thread.


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When I GM, I do not, generally speaking, use these "Anti Paladin traps".

I think its overdone.

There are cool and interesting ways of having a Paladin fall, and its typically via Pragmatism, not via dolls.


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The paladin has to "willingly" do evil. Tricking them into doing something that is evil in hindsight really doesn't count. They need to know that what they are doing is wrong in the moment.


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Uhmmm. True, paladins are supposed to be immune to fear. But so are undead, though, and they can be turned.
I suppose I will houserule a “variant channeling” type of universal enemy faith turning. Would that be too powerful?


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Like, the most interesting Paladin fall we had was WOTR.

Nocticula straight up offered to go to full out war with Baphomet and Deskari in exchange for his willing conversion to her (Paladin was a child of Iomedae), including a considerable prisoner release from Alyushinnarras slave markets.

She later ended up having more fun with other characters in the party, but it was interesting and well, fair.

She was of course just fishing to get something on top for doing what she was going to do anyway, but the Paladin didnt knew that.


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I wasn’t talking about “paladins turning evil”, but “evil clerics repelling paladins” as in older editions.


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(okay - back from Evil mode)
I'd suggest using Command:E1 Flee option, or Grtr Command. It effectively does the same thing but consumes a standard action casting and has a Will save. Probably not going to work most of the time but Persistent metamagic and some DC boosting is possible. It's also well within RAW. Again, creative use of Bestow Curse can accomplish the same thing with a far longer duration.

As for an Evil Cleric turning a Paladin back in AD&D days he needed to be roughly 4 levels above the Paladin for a decent chance.
Paladin Lvl | Cleric Lvl=DC . . . . . |
- - ≤2 - - -| 4=19, 5=16, 6=13, 7=10, 8=7, 9-13=4, 14+=T(automatic) |
- - ≤4 - - -| 4=20, 5=19, 6=16, 7=13, 8=10, 9-13=7, 14+=T |
- - ≤6 - - -| 4= n, 5=20, 6=19, 7=16, 8=13, 9-13=10, 14+=4 |
- - ≤8 - - -| 4= n, 5= n, 6=20, 7=19, 8=16, 9-13=13, 14+=7 |
etc

=== Homebrew link ===
IF you were to do this in PF1, I would make it a Channeling Feat or an Alt Domain power for a standard action channel as an enhanced Level Check with the spellcasting ability score(SAS) as a bonus (and any modifiers) and the paladin getting his Will save bonus (likely higher than the SAS bonus) for a forced withdraw lasting a few rounds with a kick based on the DC difference.
Thus 1d20 +Cleric Level +SAS +circumstance ≥ Paladin(or similar class) Level + Will save For (DC difference/5, minimum 1)d4r forced Withdraw(retreat away from ability user). Withdraw is not as severe as Flee.

If you wish to comment on the ability as crafted, please use the Homebrew link.


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Bardess wrote:
I know that there are fear spells, but the flavor is not quite the same.

What is the flavor, though? Why is the Paladin of all classes susceptible to it, despite them being the ones most dedicated to fighting evil rather than fleeing form it?

Bardess wrote:
I suppose I will houserule a “variant channeling” type of universal enemy faith turning. Would that be too powerful?

What does "enemy faith" mean? Is it deity based? That would require a ton of work, and reward players for picking obscure deities. Is it based just on alignment? In that case, it would fill the same design space already occupied by spells like Holy Smite/Unholy Blight/Order's Wrath/Chaos Hammer and Holy Word/Blasphemy/Dictum/Word of Chaos.

Also, it would be super contrived to make a Variant Channel that imitates a fear effect without being one.


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Derklord wrote:
Also, it would be super contrived to make a Variant Channel that imitates a fear effect without being one.

You would almost be correct in any case other than Turn Undead. Because Turn Undead itself is obviously something that makes undead flee in fear from you, when it is commonly known that undead are immune to fear (and mind-affecting, which covers fear). So making a turn-like effect that doesn't count as a fear effect is most definitely not contrived and certainly not super contrived, especially not in the dismissive and derogatory way you framed it.

Contrived would be making Turn Undead suddenly blow up targets, not just damaging undead to 0 hp where they are destroyed, but literally just blowing them up if they fail their save. Super contrived would be also making that do AoE damage to other creatures around them when it happens, since Turn Undead has never had any such effect in any iteration (and if it did, you can be sure it was because of some rare feat, power, or ability granted by some obscure prestige class).

Causing a target to flee that is normally not subject to fear... is not contrived, that's always and forever been a feature.

Because Pathfinder altered the turning system (they changed it to channel energy) so it just heals/damages, that altered turning undead. Now, you need to take a feat to be able to do it in the method that Bardess is asking about. There is nothing untoward about allowing a variant feat or ability that turns/rebukes paladins other than game balance. Since Pathfinder turning now relies on a creature getting a Will save (as opposed to earlier versions where it was all a die roll from the cleric and based on their level and the targets), a paladin (who have spectacular saves and bonuses to those same saves) would have a much greater chance of resisting it than any other comparable target, whether undead, elemental, or outsider.

So there'd be nothing inherently bad about designing an ability to do what Bardess is asking, since it would basically just be causing a PC or NPC to flee a battle, which is already something that can be done. Even in the case of somehow commanding a paladin... that's still something that can be done and there's even notes on how to deal with what happens to a paladin who's commanded/dominated into doing Bad(tm) things.

Assuming it takes a feat (or a prestige-type class ability), the turner is using up a feat (or having to take a whole class) to be able to do something to one specific class of target, which... frankly is probably the least common and most restrictive class choice of any class in existence.


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Pizza Lord wrote:
You would almost be correct in any case other than Turn Undead. Because Turn Undead itself is obviously something that makes undead flee in fear from you, when it is commonly known that undead are immune to fear (and mind-affecting, which covers fear).

You're ignoring an important detail: Making Turn Undead not actually a fear effect was essential to make the feat work at all. The same is very much not true for a hypothetical Variant Channeling, as it would mainly be against creatures no immune to fear effects. The effect would have no justification for not being a fear effect beyond "I don't want certain classes to benefit from their class features", and thus would, indeed, be completely contrived.

If you don't want to make it a fear effect, make it a compulsion effect. It would do the same thing, really, only non-contrieved.

Pizza Lord wrote:
So there'd be nothing inherently bad about designing an ability to do what Bardess is asking

When targeted at Paladins, I disagree. It would be worthless for PCs for virtually every campaign, and I think creating a homebrew feat to target specific classes is bad form. Indeed, I don't think effecting the target based on its class is a concept that even exists in Pathfinder.


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Derklord wrote:
... and I think creating a homebrew feat to target specific classes is bad form. Indeed, I don't think effecting the target based on its class is a concept that even exists in Pathfinder.

There are a plethora of spells that affect class features, some are exclusive to a single class. There are feats that follow this theme.

Disrupt Link:A2 {targets animal companion, familiar}
Arcane Disruption:E2 {arcane spell classes}
Paladin's Sacrafice:Pal2 {negatively affects a willing Paladin}
Devolution:T3 {eidolon}
Pup Shape:T3 {animal (companions)}
Call of the Void:K3 {verbal component}
Dispel Magic:A3&A6 {magic & users, counterspell}
Thanatotic Fury(giant):T4 {divine caster}
Mindwipe:E4 {spellcasters}
Heretic's Tongue:E5 {extra effect for divine casters}
Rebuke:Inquis4 {burst targeting your faith for extra damage}
Reprobation:T5 {targets faith}
Feeblemind:E5 {arcane spellcasters -4 to save, Int & Cha ->1, a well known classic}

feats w"divine spellcaster" 2//3 are bad news.
feats w"arcane spellcaster" 0//11 are bad news.

I'd agree that targeting a specific class, such as Summoner, would be overly specific but a class feature (Eidolon - of only 1 class) or arcane spellcasters seems fair game.

Personally I think turning PC's was done away with for 2 reasons; impeding a PC (bad PR), an ability doing more than one thing. With negative channels a caster hurts a number of foes a bit but it's generally not as effective as spells or combat.


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Ok guys, thank you for help. I think I'll stay with my initial idea, that is, a dedicated channel feat (but selectable also by divine characters with Turn/Command undead only, like Bones oracles). Look forward to Legendary Inquisitors, out soon for Legendary Games!


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Azothath wrote:
There are a plethora of spells that affect class features, some are exclusive to a single class.

Class features. Not class names. Also, of the spells you listed, the only ones where the spell has a specific effect based on what class feature the target has is in regards to spellcasting, and we all know how spellcasting (vancian casting) gets a different treatment compared to the rest of the game all the time.

If punishing you for having a class feature isn't even used in the game (beyond directly affecting said class feature), punishing you for having a class is really not something that should exist.

For comparison, look at the archetypes Witch Hunter, Witch Killer, and Hexenhammer, as well as the Witch Hunter rage power. None of them specifically target a class, despite their names being all about doign that.

Also compare the spell Heretic's Tongue, which shuts down Paladins hard (as you wouldn't have to guess their alignment unless it's a Grey Paladin). Note that identifying the target as a Paladin can be justified with the Recall Intrigues option of the knowledge skill.


I actually found ONE way to rebuke an enemy alignment: the Rebuke Anathema focus power from the Saint’s Holy Regalia occultist panoply.
Shame that only an occultist can use it, because it just seems what I needed.

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