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shilar
07-10-2007, 01:41 AM
I feel a DM needs to challenge a Paladin to stick to his code. Some Paladins feel I'm a little sadistic about this. But, I think, a lot of paladins don't chose the class for its role play value but, instead, for its munchkin factor. so here's how I do it. Do you guys think I go to far? Also, how do you do it? If you have a certain method.
One of my favorite tactics is to give or loan a Paladin a Holy Avenger. Send him on a time sensitive mission and then before the party even arrives at mission site throw in an encounter to challenge the Paladins code.
Usually goes something like this. As you ride into town you hear a woman scream in horror. "My child, somebody save my baby." The Paladin charges over to find a young boy wrestling with a Kobold. Unknown to the party and the town the kobold is a deviant from his society and is actually LG. The boy and the Kobold are actually friends playing as boys will. Since a single Kobold is a CR 1/4 a Paladin with a Holy avenger is more or less guaranteed to cut him down, if he wants to. Now if the Paladin takes even a moment to asses the situation I give enough clues to reveal the truth and he gains a loyal follower to help him in his quest. If not hello mister ex-paladin. I always give the opportunity for an atonement but they are not easy.

Ed Zachary
07-10-2007, 03:38 AM
Cool... what kind of challenge would you give me if I had an anti-paladin?

As a DM I usually throw in challenges during the game where the Paladin or Priest doesn't know its a challenge.

shilar
07-10-2007, 02:09 PM
I usually play good aligned groups, so I never thought of what to do for an anti-paladin. Most of my challenges are not what they seem on the outside. My above example illustrates this I think. The obvious answer, killing the Kobold, is very much the wrong answer. With an evil aligned character I would probably force them to save a force for good to further an evil end. Thus putting them at odds with their own code of not working wit a good being.

PhishStyx
07-10-2007, 04:44 PM
I'm curious, do you have a specific Code of Conduct written out that they must follow or is it simply a "you must do Lawful-Good things and I'll decide whether you succeeded or you're screwed" kind of situation?

Too me, what you've posted does look like you're out to get the player rather than create an interesting story for the character, and frankly, you seem kinda keen on setting the player up to fall based primarily on rules-lawyering their character into a fall from grace.

Maybe I'm wrong. That's just the way your post looks to me.

Farcaster
07-10-2007, 05:34 PM
The thin line that a paladin must walk is an extremely difficult one not just from the character's perspective, but from the player's as well. A wizard may have to spend years in demeaning apprenticeships and may need to constantly study to hone his skills, but only the player only reaps the rewards without anything personally sacrificed. In 1st and 2nd edition, the disparity between the other classes and the Paladin was even more evident, when the Paladin could only keep a limited amount of magic items and had to donate large portions of his personal wealth back to the church.

Pile onto that the skewed perspective that many DMs take of the Paladin code. I personally played in a 2nd edition AD&D game where within the first two hours of play, I had lost my paladinhood. Why? Because I didn't run headlong into an impossible to win fight against not just overwhelming, but impossible odds. But the DM had it in his mind that a young paladin should sacrifice himself without question or thought. If every paladin was so narrow minded that they would lay down their life to save any and every hapless peasant in needed, then I submit to you that the world would quickly be depleted of all of all who would take up such a mantle. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that there aren't circumstances that a Paladin must take a stand and be willing to sacrifice everything even for the life of but one lowly serf, but at the same time, the Paladin must also keep in mind the larger picture. He can't save everyone. Its just not feasible.

The thin line itself is a difficult one to walk, and most of the time, I just make sure that my paladin-player is just keeping to his edicts. Occasionally, I do throw a particularly challenging scenario at the paladins in my games. Usually, it boils down to a moral dilemma that may have no clear answer. For instance, recently, my players had to sneak into the City of Dis on the second layer of Hell under the guise of an illusion that made them appear to be tieflings. The group was on an important mission to gather information and intelligence. They were warned that they might witness acts of great evil happening there -- it is Hell after all, but they must maintain a low profile. This was a challenge to the entire group, but it was most challenging for the Paladin, of course.

While in Hell, the group was faced with a situation in which an innocent had been captured and was being used as the personal punching-bag --and worse-- of a powerful devil. The paladin played this very well, trying to buy the innocent's freedom, under the pretense of ill intent, but when the Devil was not swayed, the paladin and the group attempted to waylay the Devil and take the innocent by force. In the first few seconds of the fight, the Devil was pressed into laying down a fireball directly on his aggressors, which also engulfed the elven maiden the group was trying to save and killed her instantly. Ultimately, the group was forced to flee and almost cost themselves the mission.

Afterwards, my player was very upset by what he felt was an unwinnable situation for his paladin. In a way, he was right. He couldn't save the girl. It just wasn't in the cards. The challenge in this case was to behave according to his code and do what was right, even if doing what was right was excruciatingly hard. And, in truth, I think the paladin acted exactly right in this situation until he decided to risk the greater mission by attacking the devil to try to save this one, albeit pitiable, innocent.

Wew! So, to make a short-story long, I try to keep these kinds of challenges sparse, because it can be extremely trying on both the player who is running the paladin and the rest of the group. But, when I do dole them out, they are usually doozies.

Ed Zachary
07-10-2007, 07:39 PM
I like the old WW Vampire system with the various Paths of Enlightenment.

I liked to play the various Paths (Inner Voice, Death, Scorched Heart) rather than boring Humanity, and I always worked to increasing my path rating and virtues. I wonder how the Path of Humanity would work with a D&D Paladin... any thoughts?

PhishStyx
07-10-2007, 07:53 PM
I like the old WW Vampire system with the various Paths of Enlightenment.

I liked to play the various Paths (Inner Voice, Death, Scorched Heart) rather than boring Humanity, and I always worked to increasing my path rating and virtues. I wonder how the Path of Humanity would work with a D&D Paladin... any thoughts?

Although I don't know a lot about WW's enlightenment paths, I doubt strongly that a philosophy of humanism in general would work for an order of holy knights. Those two things seem at odds to me.

Ed Zachary
07-10-2007, 09:53 PM
Although I don't know a lot about WW's enlightenment paths, I doubt strongly that a philosophy of humanism in general would work for an order of holy knights. Those two things seem at odds to me.

Path of Humanity / Hierarchy of Sins
10: Selfish Thoughts
9: Minor selfish acts
8: Injury to another (accidental or otherwise)
7: Theft
6: Accidental violation (drinking a vessel dry)
5: Intentional property damage
4: Impassioned violation (manslaughter)
3: Planned Violation (outright murder)
2: Casual violation (thoughtless killing)
1: Utter perversion or heinous acts

A possibility would be to take the WW system and make a Paladin live up to a Ten. For each transgression the Paladin could lose (11-rating) temporary Charisma points. They could be regained by "Deeds of Atonement", however the DM sets them.

I've never played a Paladin, its requirements are to rigid for me to enjoy the game.

Dimthar
07-10-2007, 11:01 PM
Paladins are "Lawful" and "Good" so I suggest to take advantage of the "Law" to challange your Paladin.

The Paladins Deity Power may relay to much in the Power and Unity of its church, which can be corrupted by Rich Villains or Merchants. Some Deities like Helm are Lawful Neutral which allow for Lawful Evil Cardinals which are in very good standing with their God.

Paladins are not necessarly "Nobles", and their "Class" doesn't mean "Knighthood", that means Lawful Evil Nobles, Guard Captains and even Kings will make the Paladin's Life very dificult, specially when they are in good standing with the common population.

Like Today, there may be popular "Pop Bard Stars" which will be adored by millions for their beautiful performances, but may be saadistic with their lovers.

I suppose presenting the Paladin with situations where they can not destroy the evil guy right away, the world is not black and white, put them in gray scenarios.

PhishStyx
07-10-2007, 11:22 PM
...

Ed Zachary
07-10-2007, 11:56 PM
Sorry, I've only been playing since 1980. Do you have a better system in mind?

Even if the Paladin killed the Kobold in the system I worked out with about 30 seconds of thought, he could recover through atonement actions (5 points worth). These actions could lead to scenarios centered on the Paladin but involving the other characters. The Paladin's reputation would suffer because of the incident, and Charisma (likability) is the most obvious ability to take the hit.

And if you'd do what you said to the Paladin, it would make that character unplayable. That would be a real screw-job by the DM. Sorry, but this isn't real life, it's a game with a limited options to describe things. So a "mechanical solution to a problem" is needed. The game has character sheets with mechanics on it to help describe characters.

"Taking his mechanically donated horse or sword or attribute points away"

Jeebus, in the game of D&D, how else do characters acquire things? We role play based on what is on our character sheet, it's not a feel good free for all where we imagine whatever we want our character to be or have.

PhishStyx
07-11-2007, 12:28 AM
...

Ed Zachary
07-11-2007, 12:31 AM
I'm stepping back from this discussion, nothing good can come from it.

PhishStyx
07-11-2007, 12:38 AM
never mind, discuss away.

Moritz
07-11-2007, 08:49 AM
I think Ed's got a good idea. There are thousands of frothing flame wars on the internet just on the subject of the paladin code. And I know from my own experience as a DM and player, that nothing good can come of this.

Move along, nothing to see here, move along.

Grimwell
07-11-2007, 10:48 AM
Bah! What good is running away from the conversation? By far we are all adults and should be able to discuss a game without finding reasons to hate each other!

shilar:
I'd never do what you are doing to a paladin. It's a setup. Your kobold situation is one in which the paladin acting on the information he has available is wrong, even though traditional fantasy societies tell him he's right. You see a kobold, it's evil. That kobold is 'attacking' a kid? Simple decision: 'save' the kid.

Since the creation of Paladins in D&D this would be the answer in terms of stock settings.

I would suggest that you include a few clues that your player can pick up before you stick him/her in this situation. Have the kobold wear a holy symbol of a good deity. Give the kobold a useful skill (maybe he's a famous (by name) leather worker, and the kid he is wrestling says his name - tipping off the paladin that all things are not what they seem. Heck, have the kid be laughing about the wrestling as well.

Then you have some clues that the player can pick up on and process. This information creates a reason for pause and thought, and makes the situation less stock, and less cut and clear.

I like to test my paladins with questions of morals and law; not with random cobbled situations where they are acting on ignorance and assumption. I don't see any morals, laws, or breaks from 30+ years of D&D assumption in your situation yet.

Right now the DM text reads as follows:

One the road before you a young lad and kobold are fighting in a jumble of arms and legs. Next to them is a motherly peasant who is visibly upset. The peasant woman spots you and shouts, "My child, somebody save my baby."

Player response:
Kill the kobold and save the baby.

Based on that setup, they have done a good deed.

Change the DM text to read like this:
One the road before you a young lad and kobold are fighting in a jumble of arms and legs. The boy is giggling some, and strains a little to say "I'll get you yet Meepo!" Next to this pile of arms and legs is a visibly upset peasant woman who spots you and shouts, "My child, somebody save my baby!"

Player response:
"Do I know of anyone named Meepo?"
"Is the boy really giggling? Is there any blood?"
"I grab both of them and hold them at arms length."
"I draw my blade and shout for everyone to stop and freeze. Next I detect evil on the kobold."
"I kill the peasant woman, carve her heart out, and offer it to Baahl as the final step toward becoming a Blackguard."

For the record, I'm copying Ed's Path of Humanity. That's an interesting system for the game. Something to consider, at least for me. :)

Farcaster
07-11-2007, 11:23 AM
"I kill the peasant woman, carve her heart out, and offer it to Baahl as the final step toward becoming a Blackguard."

That one! If this was a choose-your-own-adventure-story, I'd choose that one.


For the record, I'm copying Ed's Path of Humanity. That's an interesting system for the game. Something to consider, at least for me. :)
I'm not that familiar with the path Ed is referencing. I do remember from when I played the 1st edition game (about 10 years ago) that there was a trait that measured your humanity. You could gain or loose points based on your actions. Is that the system you are talking about?

Ed Zachary
07-11-2007, 11:42 AM
I'm not that familiar with the path Ed is referencing. I do remember from when I played the 1st edition game (about 10 years ago) that there was a trait that measured your humanity. You could gain or loose points based on your actions. Is that the system you are talking about?

It'd not D&D, it's from White Wolf's; Vampire, the Masquerade.

ronpyatt
07-11-2007, 12:07 PM
Ah, I see. The real test is for the Player not the Paladin. The Player must then remember to make a quick check before charging. The Paladin can atone for mistakes. In fact, the character was designed to do just that. That's why it's a Paladin. Otherwise, it's just another fighter with a few powers, which might make it unbalanced without those restrictions. Behavior is everything to the Paladin. Moral challenges are begged into existence by the mere presence of a Paladin.

Like with characters that have familiars. One well placed fireball hits the party and the familiar dies. Oops! Need to find another familiar. GM's aren't going to hold back on using fireballs every time a familiar is present. It's going to happen eventually. The Player learns to keep their familiar out of harms way or not get one.

It makes very little sense to have the game setup that way unless it's to challenge the players as much as the characters, which D&D does very well.

Farcaster
07-11-2007, 01:07 PM
It'd not D&D, it's from White Wolf's; Vampire, the Masquerade.

Aye. I know. I was talking about the 1st edition of Vampire. But, its been so long, its all a little vague. I just remember that the character I played was always struggling with keeping his humanity as high as possible.

Ed Zachary
07-11-2007, 01:52 PM
I just remember that the character I played was always struggling with keeping his humanity as high as possible.

From what I remember most players struggled to keep there Humanity between three and five. Nobody wanted it higher, the character became unplayable or would be a drag on the rest of the party. I preferred to run the Paths of Enlightenment. My favorites were Inner Voice (Lasombra) and Death (Tremere). My Lasombra that went through the entire Transylvania Chronicles plus some achieved a ten in Inner Voice.

Most people I knew suffered unenthusiastically with Humanity and kept it mediocre to low. Those that ran Paths were enthusiastic about them and all were above average. Except the idiots who played the Path of the Beast.

shilar
07-13-2007, 10:06 AM
Time for me to speak up again.

Ah, I see. The real test is for the Player not the Paladin. The Player must then remember to make a quick check before charging. The Paladin can atone for mistakes.

One thing I did forget to mention, I always warn holy characters that these things could happen. I use the definition of good outlined in the Book of Exalted Deeds.(by the way this is a good definition for those worried about what separates good from neutral from evil if anyones interested) One of the major tenets of that book is that only lower planes denizens are beyond redemption. I do give little clues like giggling and so forth but the player has to asses the situation. I like little tests like this that challenge the player to step out of the box. Another coomon ploy for everycharactor is to use monsters with class levels. Looks easy but it isn't. Hardly anything is ever as it seems, at first glance, but enough clues exist if you look and think. Guess I get that from my time as a Wod ST which if I'm going to GM is my preferred system.

Corinthi
07-13-2007, 04:41 PM
I don't think the test is fair unless there are descriptive clues in the narration of the situation. If all I hear is a horrified mother screaming for me to save her child, who's being attacked by a Kobold, I'm going to attack and possibly the Kobold. Them's the breaks. The Lawful Good Kobold probably should have immediately let go of the kid when it's mother began screaming, neh?

After all, if I stand stock still for 6 seconds to Detect Evil, all I detect is if there's Evil in the area. 6 more seconds gives me strength and number of auras. 6 seconds after that and I /finally/ can place the aura with the creature. In 18 seconds, that mother could /easily/ be mourning a dead child. And if I attack to subdue, that's a -4 to hit. Again, indecision could cost a mother her child.

Now, a fair test would be to give that abberrant LG Kobold some class levels, enough to allow him to take a hit. The Paladin rolls up, smites the heck out of him, and he falls back, one hand in the air, the other clutching his wound. 'Wait, wait! I wasn't trying to hurt the boy.' Maybe he casts a defensive spell.

How does the Paladin react? Does he finish off the 'evil' kobold? Does he stop and get to the bottom of the situation? When he realizes what happened, do he offer to tend the Kobold's wounds? Does he mediate between the Kobold, the mother, and her son? Does he act in accordance to his faith and his alignment?

Groovy.

I'd be /pissed/ if a DM pulled a 'gotcha' on me like the one shilar initially described. Pissed to the point of handing in my sheet and finding a different game. I love moral dillemmas in my roleplaying, but not some Gygaxian silliness designed to steal my class abilities.

Now, a good description makes Gygaxian silliness a genuine test to see if the player is paying attention and giving thought to their character's actions. If the Kobold and boy's struggles are properly described with ample hints that things are not what they seem, groovy. But to just assume that the Paladin should spend rounds staring before taking action is ridiculous if there's even a chance that a child's life is on the line.

shilar
07-14-2007, 12:04 AM
And if I attack to subdue, that's a -4 to hit.
Actually in this case a roll to subdue isn't much of a risk. rember in the origonal secnario I mentioned a holy avenger. In the hands of our paladin that makes it a +5 weapon. As a marshal character the paladin will probably not have less than a +2 strength bonus. Plus probably weapons focus. I've never done this encounter before 6th level(the point I feel a paladin can handle an avenger)(maybe should have mentioned this). The paladin can smite but it would automatically fail because of the kobold's alignment. So lets add this up.

attack+5+2+1+6-4=+10+1d20
and a minimum damage of +2+5+1=8

The kobold is flatfooted because he is being grappled. A kobold has a flat footed AC of 14, and 4 hp. Lets finish up the math. The paladin hits on a roll of 4 or better. An 80% chance of success. Without intervetion on the DM's part the kobold dies from masive subdual damage. As DM I keep the kobold alive in this case for the obvious reason of interogation and an apology we hope.
Now all that aside other clues are available the kids reactions to the kobold, an appropriate good religous symbol on the kobold, the fact that the kid has taken no damage up to this point. Noticing all of this is a free action. As in takes no game time. All available if the paladin doesn't say before I can explain it that, "I charge."

The Wandering Bard
07-14-2007, 12:38 AM
I think that the Paladin Class walks a very thin line like Farcaster said. But thats part of the fun. A paladin must do things that are both Lawful and Good. I think that its important to note that some Lawful things are and can get in the way of Good things.

An Example: ye old Robin Hood, he went against the Law (the Sheriff, and Prince John.) to aid the People (a good deed.) this is were the Paladin must make a choose. but the thing is that if he chooses one side he should always counter it with another incident. like track down roving bandits and than turn down the reward because it was the lawful thing to do. All thngs must be taken in context. If the King saws its a law, but it hurts the people than the Paladins god or godess might deem him correct for standing against the Law of the area, for the better of the people, or visa versa. Its all give and take. but the though and challenge is th fun.

But just FYI I play a chaotic Good Bard so I pretty much follow my own morals.

The Wandering Bard
07-14-2007, 01:01 AM
Sorry one last Bit here.

Under The Paladin Class description in the Players Handbook. (p.44)
under Code of Conduct. it says "...And willingly commits an evil act..." I would say as a DM that the Paladin did not Willingly Commit an Evil act. he did it for the right reasons. to Protect the villagers child from a race of creatures know to be evil (there are exceptions. Dek for NWN,for one and this Kobold.) The God or Goddess should be more than willing to not hold the paladin responsible for the Kobolds death, though it was unfair the te Kobold, it was set up. Thus the Paladin did not Willingly commit an evil act, he rushed to the aid of the villagers for the sake of good. I know this is a loose argument but thats the way I read the Paragraph.

~Now for the Fun Part~!

If the Village knew the Kobold was good, or the thing meant no harm and they wanted it killed or removed, than suprise.....HAHA suddenly the Shoe is on the other foot because under the same code of conduct it says "...punish those who who harm or threated the innocent..." so if the villager knowingly did this, than its the paladins job/duty to punish the Villager....HAHA I love ironic Justice. ;)

shilar
07-14-2007, 05:49 AM
You got me on this one my version of the code is an older slightly less flexible interpretation. Haven't ran it yet under full 3rd edition rules. you point out an interesting twist though.

ronpyatt
07-15-2007, 03:26 PM
So, intent to do Good is the key difference, not the act of killing an innocent?

The example does indicate that the Paladin, after attacking the creature, does willingly kill the creature, but since the Paladin thought that the killing of the boys playmate was a Good thing to do, the Paladin did not actually do an evil thing: Just did a bad thing for the wrong reasons (based on faulty intel) and with the right intentions. So, does god or goddess punish him at all for doing evil or for being hasty and ignorant?

I don't buy "The GM Made Me Do It" argument. Their appeared to be clues. This seems more a symptom of the "Don't Push The Big Red Button" syndrome. We want the GM to trick us. It's the GM's job to do these things.

I don't see any way to justify the end result of the Paladin's actions. The Paladin might, by all that is good in the world should, request that his or her powers be stripped after something like that happened.
Ultimately a player that doesn't know how to play a Paladin... to put it kindly... might eventually learn how after a few lessons like this one.

Hokey as these types of puzzles are, they're part of D&D and the whole experience. When a monster drains levels, a cursed magic item is activated, or a trap is set into the floor that the characters must pass, these characters are designed to deal with these challenges one way or another. Sometimes characters fail. I've lost my fair share of characters by not playing characters the way they were meant to be played. ("Like that time I created an illusion of myself in a bonfire to keep harpy's from attacking. Big mistake." - Tabrane)

This has inspired me to play a Paladin.

Moritz
07-15-2007, 04:22 PM
I don't buy "The GM Made Me Do It" argument. Their appeared to be clues. This seems more a symptom of the "Don't Push The Big Red Button" syndrome. We want the GM to trick us. It's the GM's job to do these things.


Like putting a door in a dungeon that felt evil, made the paladin pass out from the evil presence behind the door, labeled 'do not open you will die', telling them out of character that it would be a bad idea for them to do it, and still watching those tards open the door and everyone dieing.

shilar
07-15-2007, 09:11 PM
The first time I did this particular senario the Paladin, a real power gamer, fell hook line and sinker into it. The good news was he wasn't ready to give up being a paladin so we worked out a quest for his attonement. Turned out tougher than I had origianly planned it to be(this is why I like the CR system in 3rd edition). Took the party from 6th level till 11th before he completed the quest. Basically threw out my original campain. The party loved it. And best of all the player started playing a paladin. He never violated the paladin's code, played the party's moral compass, led the way in every battle and negotiation, even demaded I keep him on the paladin experience chart. All while helping me keep the other players involved. Not that he wasn't still a great power gamer, he was just a much more rounded player.

Farcaster
07-15-2007, 09:18 PM
...And willingly commits an evil act...

I think there is a big difference between the phrasing, "willingly" and "knowingly." In this scenario, the paladin willingly committed an evil act. He just didn't do it knowingly. So, to borrow an expression, "pop goes his powers." ;) Literature is wrought with fallen heroes who willingly committed an act, only to realize later that it was evil, and still they must then redeem themselves.

Moritz
07-16-2007, 07:37 AM
;) Literature is wrought with fallen heroes who willingly committed an act, only to realize later that it was evil, and still they must then redeem themselves.

Yeah, take Jim and Tammy Fae.

Ed Zachary
07-16-2007, 10:58 AM
Like putting a door in a dungeon that felt evil, made the paladin pass out from the evil presence behind the door, labeled 'do not open you will die', telling them out of character that it would be a bad idea for them to do it, and still watching those tards open the door and everyone dieing.

Did this guy play in your group?

http://img78.photobucket.com/albums/v346/Nero874/School_for_the_Gifted.jpg

.

Moritz
07-16-2007, 01:12 PM
Dude, you just don't know how close you are in posting this.

So, that same player is told in city of heroes that his next contact is just a few feet from where he will emerge from the prior zone. What does he do? He takes off running some random direction and gets over 1000 yards away yelling 'help, i'm lost, help' - all of this before the rest of us zone into the area.

The_Shaman
07-18-2007, 05:44 AM
Ok, here are some ideas fresh from a lot of bickering on the WotC boards. I hope I do not offend someone.

The paladin class itself could, I think, use some help. I do not know how it was in previous systems, as apart from a very short stint with an online group and AD&D without any paladins, I have only played 3rd edition. In it, the paladin class is by no means particularly strong, at least unless the paladin does not get a Holy Avenger sword at level 8 or so. Chances are, the party barbarian - or a multiclassed fighter - will be no less useful than you. However, unlike most other warriors, paladins are left with a relatively stringent code - which most DMs make a point to enforce, if not deliberately challenge. I have yet to play in or even see a game where a cleric or druid (in cases where druidic powers are granted by an intelligent being and can thus be lost). Yet a cleric gets even more power and has a no less close link to his or her deity, but gets way less trouble just because no one in the DM put out a sample code, as it seems.

Then comes the code itself, which is somewhat vague at times. All in all, however, it is remarkably close to a standard interpretation of the LG alignment in itself. I quote:

"A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. She combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. She tells the truth, keeps her word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go unpunished. Lawful good...combines honor and compassion."

Hence, keeping close to the alignment a paladin should be of means, by and large, keeping to the code. You should be safe if you took the precaution of discussing what the DM or player expects the alignments to actually mean inside the game - I take lawful to mean adherence to a certain code of conduct, but this code need not coincide with whatever the law is. As for good... Somehow I would consider killing the kobold - unless the paladin had a good reason to believe it was an immediate threat - to be a likely evil act. What happened to the old-fashioned "Halt, fiend!" before you smite, anyway?

Of course, alignments are general tendencies, and people sometimes err. Luckily, the code itself is not as set in stone as it seems - as paladins only risk their powers for gross violations of the code. Now, while we may argue about what gross means, I would say it is usually the kind of thing that may prompt an alignment change anyway. If the paladin objects to something, chances are most LG characters would. The main difference is that paladins can not try the "means justify ends" scenario - engage in an act that the paladin knows to be evil (given their training, they deserve a DM clue on a DC 5 or 10 wisdom check, imo). BTW, minor chaotic acts (including minor breaches of the code) are not such a problem.

Hope that did not bore you too much :P

ss2020
07-19-2007, 12:56 PM
Well, I have played Paladins and there are many takes on this. But I have to say there is a prevalence in the belief that Paladins Dive into suicide situations. Although there are those paladins that would have that mind set, most don't.
The problem stems from us being from earth. Since the Paladin was modeled after our "Knights" many GMs think those codes are appropriate. But real knights never fought a real dragon, never did many things required. In medieval times the Knight was the most formidable fighter possible. Not in FRP though.
I actually played a Paladin from an Egyptian culture where slavery was practiced. Reconcile that one folks! You see in that culture slaves were captured enemies and they were expected to be treated with a certain amount of respect. So if the tables were turned you could expect that same level of treatment as well. So perhaps it is not slavery as our "enlightened society" has come to know it but there it is.

A paladin I think, especially if he has a high wisdom, sees the bigger picture. That is how I see wisdom anyway. So He thinks 'how can I do the most good, make the biggest dent in the Evil armor'. That is the tact I take on playing Paladins. If that means I die, I die. But, as a paladin, I know I am special and I won't throw my life away for just anything.

Hope that helps.

Scott

Moritz
07-19-2007, 01:41 PM
A paladin I think, especially if he has a high wisdom, sees the bigger picture. That is how I see wisdom anyway. So He thinks 'how can I do the most good, make the biggest dent in the Evil armor'.

This is actually a very good assessment.

The Wandering Bard
07-21-2007, 04:39 PM
I agree as well. But a paladin with a Higher Intellegence score would be able to pick up the hints or clues about the creature that the DM dropped. so It again is a toss up.

Argent
07-22-2007, 12:14 PM
Having played paladins and DMed them as well, I've run into a lot of what everyone here is talking about. For our group here, the key to playing a Paladin is to play him Lawful Good, not Lawful Stupid. So no running into impossible odds to save one person, but at the same time no cutting down a juvenile kobold with a Holy Avenger when he could punch it into unconsciousness with his guantleted fist and turn it over to the town watch.

Look at it this way: if you treat the Holy Avenger as what it is, a very powerful, possibly ancient and revered holy artifact, is the paladin really going to use it on every three foot tall humanoid he comes across? Is a kobold really enough of a threat to justify the use of such a holy weapon, or his daily Smite Evil for that matter?

I do like your test, Shilar (I got right away that there were clues to pick-up that things were not as they seem), but for me as a DM the test would be about whether the paladin abuses the privilege of carrying a Holy Avenger by using it to "vanquish" a kobold. That is the point where the paladin would be teetering for me. And if he did, then its off on an atonement quest to become worthy to even draw the weapon again. And he'd better hurry; he was supposed to use the sword against the real threat in a week's time...

I think with the right party mix, paladins can provide great role-playing potential. But that mix need to be there or else you just start bogging the party down with bickering and arguing. And while that can be part of role-playing, is not role-playing in and of itself, and is boring to boot.

And boring is the death of any game.

Ed Zachary
07-22-2007, 01:45 PM
I've never played a Paladin, and I don't believe I've ever played a character in a group with one. I've DMed one once, and it did wind up with that Paladin losing his abilities.

Moritz
08-02-2007, 05:25 PM
You should give it a shot Ed. Playing one that is. They're fun, challenging, and can kick the snot out of evil.

Ed Zachary
08-02-2007, 07:30 PM
You should give it a shot Ed. Playing one that is. They're fun, challenging, and can kick the snot out of evil.

That's close to what I do in real life. I like role playing as a diversion, so I choose flawed characters who are rarely good or lawful.

rabkala
08-03-2007, 10:35 PM
I have played paladins in several groups with several DM's. They all seem to try and hold the paladin up to an ideal that is unattainable. You can not expect a player to use his character as a doormat for everyone. Nor can you demand he play the stereotypical 'lawful stupid' alignment all the time.

When I DM paladins, I use their background stories as a guide to help with the code. I then tell them what I expect from them before many of the moral dilemmas come into play.

shilar
08-04-2007, 08:21 AM
I then tell them what I expect from them before many of the moral dilemmas come into play.
I couldn't agree more. I use the definition of good neutral evil alignment from the book of exalted deeds, and expand it to lawful neutral chaotic. Many players(not just paladins) point out how good their characters are by explaining all of the evil things the character has not done. The same goes for lawful characters, saying how many laws they didn't break. By the definition I use that only makes them neutral. Good, evil, lawful, and chaotic are active alignments, neutral is a passive alignment. Neutral characters define themselves by the things they do not do, the others are defined by what they do. It is only by active support of righteous law, when and where possible, that they bring themselves to be lawful good. I don't expect them to slay every chromatic dragon, take down every evil warlord, or destroy the drow race. I do expect them to take the high road though. To sally forth against the consuming darkness. And most importantly to protect good souls to help further their message.

shilar
08-19-2007, 12:21 AM
I have finally found an example the ultimate expression of what I think the Paladin should be. Besides the rest of the comics in the series is darn funny. http://goblinscomic.com/d/20061223.html

Schmall
06-04-2008, 11:58 AM
I know this has become an old thread, but I have been digging through the forum and enjoy the classical Paladin Code debate. I wish I could remeber wish which issue it was in the Dragon mag that actually addressed the issue head on. I cant recall any quotes, nor have I been able to find that issue much less the article, but it did offer different styles of Paladins.

Different styles of Paladins?? You heard me right. Look at the Monk. Do they follow the laws of the land to the letter. NO! They follow the ethics and morale dictated by thier teachings. Mind over Matter. If there is a way without violence, go for it, but if you have to fight, kick butt. Soooo, LG doesnt mean you have to be a Law abidding saint, but rather adhere to your set of ETHICAL code of conduct. The magic word is Ethical really.

Now for the different styles and the reason for this purpose (I can rant on and on about ethics right and wrong vs legal right and wrong). A Paladin of a War god would follow Valor and Honor before all else, but know how to pick and choose thier battles. They would be the last to retreat, defend the helpless and innocent against oppression. This not mean suicide missions in order to save one poor wench who is being raped and tortured by six veteran mercs. But there is nothing stopping the Paladin from challenging the leader in a one on one dual. Of course the Paladin will fight honorably, but if they try to pull a fast one, he does follow a God of war, so he will do what it takes to survive (trip, dirt in the eyes, disarm) but will show mercy when they yield. If the paladin has a crossbow, bow, or even a spear, he may use an intimadate check to scare off the mercs, if it fails, he wont be above using the ranged weapon to take out one of the mercs before they close in on him. Also nothing wrong with him bluffing that the rest of his squad is at the inn...

Same scenerio, but with a Paladin the Follows Justice. There is nothing wrong with the Paladin whiping the locals into a mob, swarming the mercs, and hang them from the closest tree or sign post, or whatever the local "justice" is.

Never would a Paladin strike from behind like an assassin, however there is nothing wrong with the Paladin using a tanglefoot bag, net, or rope of entagling on a foe from behind in order to subdue the target or to remove a foe from the fight.

My opinion, it all boils down to what the deity expects from the paladin. A Goddess of Mercy will expect compassion, mercy (of course), empathy, and avoidance of a fight when able. Justice may seek diplomacy, cool minded, objective (not completelty emotionless though), and thorough knowledge of your kingdom's laws and church laws. War may demand physical prowess, bravery (not suicide because you are needed to fight another day), last to retreat, use of tatics to overcome foes, and keeping your cool in battle. Leave the raging for those chaotiv, illiterate barbarians.

The whole idea is that all Paladins dont have the same code. The fundementals are the similiar, but not word for word the same. Allows excellent role playing when you have different sets of Ethics between two paladins or even amoung the clerics really.

Valdar
06-04-2008, 12:46 PM
I know this has become an old thread, but I have been digging through the forum and enjoy the classical Paladin Code debate.

The problem with the Paladin's Code is that it's rarely codified. It's a vague description of doing good, and the player's interpretation is going to be different from the DM's, so you get into conflicts.

As an example from your post above, what does the Paladin's Code say about capital punishment? It doesn't say anything, and a given player's or DM's take on it will depend on his take on the death penaly. I once played a paladin in a party that captured a villain- not "detect evil" evil, but he was a bandit who killed people, robbed towns, and enslaved children (The DM had his own view of "evil" apparently, which I was letting slide.) There were no jails available that the villain couldn't break out of effortlessly, so my view of the right thing to do was build a gallows and hang him in the town square in front of a cheering crowd. The rest of the party didn't approve for some reason...

This morning I was thinking of a situation in which the party munchkin decided to herd a flock of sheep in front of him in a dungeon to set off traps. What would a Paladin think of this behavior?

Schmall
06-04-2008, 02:11 PM
This morning I was thinking of a situation in which the party munchkin decided to herd a flock of sheep in front of him in a dungeon to set off traps. What would a Paladin think of this behavior?

That would be a tough one for sure. All depends on the end goals really. I am personally much more loose on the Paladin for my players. I just have them write out thier personal goals, why they joined the paladinhood in the first place, and make them do some research on thier chosen church/deity.

A classical RPing debate within the game I have seen more than once and heard of; the ranger's chaotic methods vs the paladin's lawful way of things. After a few sessions, both charecters if players are not butting heads on purpose, can come to respect the other's way of life, but doesnt have to agree with it.

tesral
06-04-2008, 11:06 PM
Palidins codified. Simple enough, I codfied them and yes I used that article in the Dragon from so long ago. A perfect example of what you are speaking of is on page six of this PDF. (http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/fantasy/fantpdf/heaven.pdf)You can find even more Paladin variations within the pages of my Religion (http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/fantasy/gs_fant.htm#Culture) section.

I ditch the alignment and put the ethics into black and white. In my game a Paladin does not follow "lawful good" they follow the code they are given.

Valdar
06-05-2008, 12:09 PM
Palidins codified. Simple enough, I codfied them and yes I used that article in the Dragon from so long ago. A perfect example of what you are speaking of is on page six of this PDF. (http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/fantasy/fantpdf/heaven.pdf)You can find even more Paladin variations within the pages of my Religion (http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/fantasy/gs_fant.htm#Culture) section.

I ditch the alignment and put the ethics into black and white. In my game a Paladin does not follow "lawful good" they follow the code they are given.

That code is just as vague as "be good" though. "Temper your justice with mercy" doesn't really codify what you do with prisoners if there's no good jail handy. Do you execute them? If so, do you hang them or is just stabbing them ok? If not, do you maim them so they can't rob and pillage any more? Where's the line between mercy for the prisoner and protection for his next victim? And what about condoning the use of sheep as trap detectors? The paladin certainly couldn't, since there's a bit about valor there and it's a really cowardly tactic, but what about the rest of the party?

You probably think that the answers to these questions are obvious based on your code. The players will think that completely different answers are equally obvious.

tesral
06-05-2008, 02:11 PM
You probably think that the answers to these questions are obvious based on your code. The players will think that completely different answers are equally obvious.


You look to the rest of the ethical set. Those rules do not stand alone. They are additioinal rules for the Paladin, not the whole of the content.

Semaj
06-05-2008, 11:19 PM
for me to step in so late is pretty poor form, but if the only way a palidin can deal with a kobald is with his sword, then there is already the character flaw. barring some show of weapon or magic, a weapon should not be drawn on such an individual. that being said, it is a different story for a dragon. if a dragon were to stand there and "playfight" with a kid, a weapon may be the correct defensive action.

agoraderek
06-06-2008, 01:43 AM
Palidins codified. Simple enough, I codfied them and yes I used that article in the Dragon from so long ago. A perfect example of what you are speaking of is on page six of this PDF. (http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/fantasy/fantpdf/heaven.pdf)You can find even more Paladin variations within the pages of my Religion (http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/fantasy/gs_fant.htm#Culture) section.

I ditch the alignment and put the ethics into black and white. In my game a Paladin does not follow "lawful good" they follow the code they are given.

this fits my post in another thread nicely. i dont use alignments, per se, in my homebrew campaign, so paladins arent restricted by some vague d&d defined "lawful good" ethos. they have very specific codes of conduct and duties spelled out by the hierarchy of their religion. paladins are defenders of a faith, not an abstract "alignment".

if a paladin follows a god in my campaign that has decided enemies of the faith deserve no mercy, his paladins are duty bound to offer no quarter to those who would oppose them on the field of battle. of course, the term "paladin" means "champion of [insert diety here]" in my campaign, so some paladins may have rogue levels, wizard levels, druid levels, whatever, depending on the power in question. in effect, "paladin" is as much a template as a character class.

some paladins in my campaign are very much "by the book", as they follow dieties that require their champions to be merciful, charitable, etc, but, by and large, there are as many different codes of conduct for paladins in my game as there are points on a star...

tesral
06-06-2008, 06:31 AM
some paladins in my campaign are very much "by the book", as they follow dieties that require their champions to be merciful, charitable, etc, but, by and large, there are as many different codes of conduct for paladins in my game as there are points on a star...

Yes, that given was one example (http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/fantasy/gs_fant.htm#Culture). There are many examples. I also do not have all my religions on the website. The ones given are primarily as an example. Not an exhaustive list of possible religions.

I have a few I consider to "icky" to list. Dark cults that are frankly twisted and psychotic. The cult of Ackitral makes me shiver.

Some religions are simply "more same". Similar to a listed religion but with a different god or gods and a slightly different viewpoint. The Illuminati for example is similar to the Church of Creation in many ways, but the religion is very down on predicting the future and tolerant of undead.

I have races peculiar to my world and most have a patron god. I don't feel the need to put all of them on the website.

My religion book has reached the point that I have to consider dividing it into sub-volumes. My binder only allows me 120 pages or so per book. I have it pretty full at this point.

Valdar
06-06-2008, 10:31 AM
You look to the rest of the ethical set. Those rules do not stand alone. They are additioinal rules for the Paladin, not the whole of the content.

I guess this is an argument for the DM not being too stringent on the rules when it comes to taking away the paladin's powers for an infraction (that includes using the paladin's code to railroad the paladin's decisions.) There will be times when the paladin and the DM differ on interpretation, and it will frustrate the players when they're told that their interpretation is wrong (either before or after the fact).

Anyway, this is probably more of a problem with players trying to stretch the rules than with the rules themselves.

Schmall
06-06-2008, 01:41 PM
I guess this is an argument for the DM not being too stringent on the rules when it comes to taking away the paladin's powers for an infraction (that includes using the paladin's code to railroad the paladin's decisions.) There will be times when the paladin and the DM differ on interpretation, and it will frustrate the players when they're told that their interpretation is wrong (either before or after the fact).

Anyway, this is probably more of a problem with players trying to stretch the rules than with the rules themselves.


which is why I always have a sit down when one of my players want a paladin. Two big reasons why really. 1) another player has a tendancy of committing evil acts, 2) we have a kender in the group that role-plays well. That means constant pick-pocketing. Matter of fact, the kender decided the Paladin need to liven up and actually managed to remove the paladin's holy symbol from around his neck without him knowing!! rarely have i seen such rolling. lol. That session was a blast.

Anyways, the point. A sit down is needed proir to even the first session. This way both the player and DM know exactly what is going on.

Note, a 1st level Paladin will stick to the rules like any other green warrior fresh from training. However, a veteran of many battles in different circumstants like combat, society, and moral issues, would not follow the rule perfectly. Matter of fact, he may even have the rights to interpret the rules differently based on experience and life. But must remain constistant.

Valdar
06-06-2008, 04:55 PM
The concept of Kender does bug me a bit... If any other character did that, you'd call them on it, so why let the kender get away with it? If I were the dm for that, and the paladin decided to give the kender a good thrashing, I wouldn't really fault him for it.

Would it be ok if I played a halfling-like race that habitually stabs people in the back for a few hp of damage every once in a while? Not lethally, mind you, and it's nothing personal, it's just a trait of my race. Certainly not me being an annoying ass or anything.

Kilrex
06-06-2008, 05:15 PM
The concept of Kender does bug me a bit... If any other character did that, you'd call them on it, so why let the kender get away with it? If I were the dm for that, and the paladin decided to give the kender a good thrashing, I wouldn't really fault him for it.

Number 1 reason I abhor Dragonlance.

Schmall
06-06-2008, 05:35 PM
The concept of Kender does bug me a bit... If any other character did that, you'd call them on it, so why let the kender get away with it? If I were the dm for that, and the paladin decided to give the kender a good thrashing, I wouldn't really fault him for it.


Dont get me wrong. The Paladin decided that the Kender was acting as a child and needed to punished as one. So she got a spanking of her life and then stuffed into an empty bag of holding for the night.

nijineko
06-06-2008, 06:20 PM
there is a handy pdf out there called the 9 alignments of lawful good. useful commentary.

i have found in my experience that most people don't know what good actually is. how many people do you know, yourself included, whom have sat around for hours and hours pondering the exact nature of good or whether a particular action is good or not, or even decided on a firm personal moral code? many judaeo-christians (just to pick on my own area of faith) default to whatever the particular sect of choice expounds, but even then they seldom have spent any significant portion of time deciding the if, why, and how of whether something is actually good or not... for themselves.

a lot of people will say, this is good, or that is good. but when you ask them why, or how, they freeze and can't really answer it.

as such, most people don't know how to play a class that idealizes being the epitomy of good, and on the other side of the coin, don't know how to judge it either.

by 2 copper pieces about the example towards the top with the children... i would call that a player trap, rather than a character trap.

i'll post more later

tesral
06-06-2008, 10:04 PM
I guess this is an argument for the DM not being too stringent on the rules when it comes to taking away the paladin's powers for an infraction (that includes using the paladin's code to railroad the paladin's decisions.) There will be times when the paladin and the DM differ on interpretation, and it will frustrate the players when they're told that their interpretation is wrong (either before or after the fact).

Anyway, this is probably more of a problem with players trying to stretch the rules than with the rules themselves.

Players in the past have not been given a clear understanding of the ethos outside of "Lawful Good". A few paragraphs explaing what Lawful Good is, kinda.

Valdar
06-07-2008, 03:48 PM
Dont get me wrong. The Paladin decided that the Kender was acting as a child and needed to punished as one. So she got a spanking of her life and then stuffed into an empty bag of holding for the night.

Awesome.

"So, when do we let the Kender out of the bag?"
"We don't."

tesral
06-07-2008, 10:15 PM
Awesome.

"So, when do we let the Kender out of the bag?"
"We don't."

"What Kender?"

Kilrex
06-07-2008, 10:27 PM
Awesome.

"So, when do we let the Kender out of the bag?"
"We don't."

"I said put the Kender in the Bag of Holding!" spoketh the Paladin.
"Holding you said? I heard Bag of Devouring," replied the Rogue.

agoraderek
06-08-2008, 02:12 AM
may tracy and margaret hickman forever be banished to the lowest plane of the abyss cleaning demonic birdcages for creating the kender.

tesral
06-08-2008, 01:35 PM
may tracy and margaret hickman forever be banished to the lowest plane of the abyss cleaning demonic birdcages for creating the kender.

With the birds still in 'em.

nijineko
06-08-2008, 03:52 PM
like tesral, having a fairly compact or at least consise definition about the alignments, or at least a code to follow, is one of the better solutions i've seen to the whole conundrum of what is lawful or good to a particular individual versus another particular individual.

in some of my groups i'm known for playing rather odd versions of "lawful good", as according to a characters unusual culture. threw the dm and players for a loop sometimes. especially when i could argue the philosophy behind it in-character. ^^

Schmall
06-10-2008, 10:46 AM
I allowed the Kender to be played because in RL the player fit the racial personality without any issue. Besides, had to get my Girlfriend to play some how.

As for stuffing the Kender in the bag of holding. The Paladin kept her in there for about a full real time hour. My girlfriend (the kender player) was sooooo mad at me becuase I was forced to tell her to be quiet as a player since no one can hear her advise, comments, or even allowed to talk to the other players. I am quite strict on if you are not in the room, you cant talk to the others unless you have the means to do so.

tesral
06-10-2008, 07:09 PM
Ah ha, girlfriend issues.

agoraderek
06-10-2008, 11:28 PM
Ah ha, girlfriend issues.

i just tell my girlfriend "on sunday, from 2 to 10, i am not your boyfriend. i am the dungeon master. period."

tesral
06-11-2008, 07:42 AM
i just tell my girlfriend "on sunday, from 2 to 10, i am not your boyfriend. i am the dungeon master. period."

Wise. I am married, have been for a long time. Wife has the same understanding. I love her. The DM pulls no punches.

nijineko
06-14-2008, 04:46 PM
i can't get my wife to play. she's too self-conscious and can't get past the "it's just a game and i feel silly" or something similar to that issue. ^^

Engar
06-14-2008, 06:32 PM
Few quick thoughts...

Why not make the player write out the code for the paladin and agree upon it with the DM in advance?

Regarding the original kobold/boy friends scenario. I would keep the kobold evil and keep him and the boy as friends. Now what do you do when a young boy is standing between your sword and the evil detecting kobold while his mother begs you to slay the "bad influence"? Depending on your decision that boy might grow up hunting you, is that "good"?

Third, regarding the sheep as trap detectors... are we talking literal fuzzy animals or local impressionable humanoids? Might matter. Dumb animals, as repugnant the thought might be, are still used by men for a purpose. Birds were used in mineshafts because of their sensitivity to dangerous gasses and met no outrage (in real life). Cows are raised for slaughter and killed with powerful air hammers all in a row so we can have a Big Mac (in real life). Dogs are used against armed and dangerous criminals to protect human lives (in real life). I do not know if anyone here hunts, if not you probably underestimate the gore factor to field dressing (and the stench). I write this because it is true, not because I judge any of it as "wrong".

tesral
06-15-2008, 12:54 AM
i can't get my wife to play. she's too self-conscious and can't get past the "it's just a game and i feel silly" or something similar to that issue. ^^

Some people are not comfortable with the role-playing idea. It's best not to push someone outsdie their comfort zone with a game.

Now you might get her to sit in and watch a few sessions, if you play at your house. That may foester a more comfortable feel towards the game. Or see if should would be willing to play a few solo games with you. But, never push.



Few quick thoughts...

Why not make the player write out the code for the paladin and agree upon it with the DM in advance?


Nodding like a freaking bobble head here. Yes, do that, do it soon, and do it often. Especially involve the players. Don't make the code easy necessarily, but make it something that can be followed. And if the player is involved in the making they cannot say they did not understand the code.

Engar
06-15-2008, 01:20 AM
And if the player is involved in the making they cannot say they did not understand the code.

Ah, but they can say the DM did not understand what they meant!

I second the do not push your girlfriend/wife/significant other to roleplay. Welcome them to check it out, but only push them to understand you periodically play for several hours at a time. Because that time can become a major issue if they do not appreciate your "hobby". Pushing them to play can quickly ruin a game, a relationship, or both. Them pushing you not to play can do likewise.

Personally I like that my wife has no interest in roleplaying. She knows I love the hobby and respects my taking time for it. Now if I can just convince her to relax about inviting a bunch of strangers (I never should have said some players are weirdos) to our house since we just moved to Dallas after twenty years with my group in Illinois...

tesral
06-15-2008, 01:27 AM
Ah, but they can say the DM did not understand what they meant!


And you can look at them with that look and take their Paladin hood away. One can make excuses only to a point. Usually with me not to that point.

I hand you the literature and say "read", after that I assume you have read and understand. There is no test except to practice the code you should have read.

Now, if the player asks me, "As per the commandments as given would action X be something my Paladin would consider?" I will not steer them wrong. Intelligent and thoughtful questions will get intelligent and thoughtful answers.

agoraderek
06-15-2008, 05:43 PM
Now, if the player asks me, "As per the commandments as given would action X be something my Paladin would consider?" I will not steer them wrong. Intelligent and thoughtful questions will get intelligent and thoughtful answers.

i hold those who wish to play paladins to a higher standard, i think. if you, as a player, want the prestige and glory that being a paladin brings, you sure as snow better avail yourself of all of the materials i slaved over to create your order, ESPECIALLY the code of conduct and the dogma of your patron power.

to me, answering a question like the one posted above would be too close to a free "commune" spell...;)

tesral
06-15-2008, 07:55 PM
i hold those who wish to play paladins to a higher standard, i think. if you, as a player, want the prestige and glory that being a paladin brings, you sure as snow better avail yourself of all of the materials i slaved over to create your order, ESPECIALLY the code of conduct and the dogma of your patron power.

to me, answering a question like the one posted above would be too close to a free "commune" spell...;)

Hardly. A clarification is always in order. One of the firm rules I have made is that "I will never allow your ignorance about my world or my game hurt your character." I will always answer an intelligent question. If someone wishes a clarification of the commandments out of character, And I know that wasn't really covered (I did write the things) they will get a clarification. If however it is in the commandments the answer is "It's in your commandments, here's the book."

The game is not me against the players and let's see if I can trip you up. I am quite willing to help a player play a good Paladin if they are willing to do so. Paladinhood is not some prize I am desperate to yank back as soon as possible.

agoraderek
06-15-2008, 08:13 PM
Hardly. A clarification is always in order. One of the firm rules I have made is that "I will never allow your ignorance about my world or my game hurt your character." I will always answer an intelligent question. If someone wishes a clarification of the commandments out of character, And I know that wasn't really covered (I did write the things) they will get a clarification. If however it is in the commandments the answer is "It's in your commandments, here's the book."

The game is not me against the players and let's see if I can trip you up. I am quite willing to help a player play a good Paladin if they are willing to do so. Paladinhood is not some prize I am desperate to yank back as soon as possible.

again, i dunno. part of playing such a character is interpreting what is in the dogma. no religious text is going to cover every possible moral choice, the real world examples make that abundantly clear. so, there does have to be a bit of (to use an example from hatheg, "what would donblas do?" when a moral choice presents itself, but thats for the character to decide...) and, no, i dont go yanking paladinhood for just any old minor infraction or sin, a little tune up with atonement covers most of that. :p

but, out of character, away from the game, yeah, im more than willing to sit down and discuss game theology with the aspiring paladin, so i agree with you there.

nijineko
06-15-2008, 08:27 PM
i'm sure he adds to the book as new situations come up.... ^^

agoraderek
06-15-2008, 08:43 PM
i'm sure he adds to the book as new situations come up.... ^^

i wouldnt doubt it at all, trust and believe that i WISH i could sit in on a game of his sometime ;)

tesral
06-15-2008, 11:41 PM
again, i dunno. part of playing such a character is interpreting what is in the dogma. no religious text is going to cover every possible moral choice, the real world examples make that abundantly clear. so, there does have to be a bit of (to use an example from hatheg, "what would donblas do?" when a moral choice presents itself, but thats for the character to decide...) and, no, i dont go yanking paladinhood for just any old minor infraction or sin, a little tune up with atonement covers most of that. :p

but, out of character, away from the game, yeah, im more than willing to sit down and discuss game theology with the aspiring paladin, so i agree with you there.

Well sometimes you have to do it out of character during the game. If that is the case, I keep it short and sweet. No Paladin has a Lawful Stupid code in my world. They are not expected to be inflexible idiots. Indeed several of the codes state, "don't be an inflexible idiot." There is even one The Order of the Hare, an order of Coran the Golden whose stated task is to puncture pomposity. They go about doing good helping the weak and all, but they also have a mission to spread fun and joy, to have fun at the expense of those that sit on sticks, and to never take themselves seriously. Indeed the mark of the order is the ears of a hare, either natural or artificial won on the helm.



i'm sure he adds to the book as new situations come up.... ^^

The books are a work in progress. That is why I bind them myself. New pages inserted as required.

agoraderek
06-16-2008, 12:15 AM
Well sometimes you have to do it out of character during the game. If that is the case, I keep it short and sweet. No Paladin has a Lawful Stupid code in my world. They are not expected to be inflexible idiots. Indeed several of the codes state, "don't be an inflexible idiot." There is even one The Order of the Hare, an order of Coran the Golden whose stated task is to puncture pomposity. They go about doing good helping the weak and all, but they also have a mission to spread fun and joy, to have fun at the expense of those that sit on sticks, and to never take themselves seriously. Indeed the mark of the order is the ears of a hare, either natural or artificial won on the helm.


ok, i concede the point, and definitely see where it would be necessary if you have new players aboard just learning your campaign. and, from what i've seen on your website, its a lot of information to take in all at once...

The_Shaman
07-08-2008, 04:49 PM
I'd say a paladin should know what his code dictates, so I think I may throw some hints about nagging feeling etc. If it's not fully mentioned, I might expect an easy-ish Wisdom check to infer.

However, I think the paladin code is, by and large, nothing but a warriors's interpretation of the LG alignment. Thus, I'm willing to tolerate a few minor fibs in extreme circumstances. After all, only major violations of the code lead to loss of class abilities.

shilar
07-11-2008, 09:20 AM
I never did this as a total set up. I always allow free skill, wis or int rolls to check a course of action. But one thing I always warn my players about is events are rarely as straight forward as they seem. I tell them if a situation seems off ask for a check. Also I do walk through basics of what I expect from players who chose a "devoted" class. I design these tests for all religious classes.
I also allow those rolls to see if players have a skill or ability that could help them in a given situation. I am always shocked how many Rangers forget they can track or fighters who lose track of feats. So anybody else want to share a specific test scenario that they have used?

tesral
07-11-2008, 11:45 AM
So anybody else want to share a specific test scenario that they have used?

I had one where a Demon* took the role of a church elder to try and get the Paladin in question to spill blood in the temple. Murder someone over the altar in fact. Didn't work. He didn't buy it. He did end up spilling blood, the Demon's. A quick penance of cleaning the temple and it was over. In the future please take your demons outside to kill them.


* It had anti good protection of the wazoo to even get in the temple.

agoraderek
07-14-2008, 06:40 PM
I had one where a Demon* took the role of a church elder to try and get the Paladin in question to spill blood in the temple. Murder someone over the altar in fact. Didn't work. He didn't buy it. He did end up spilling blood, the Demon's. A quick penance of cleaning the temple and it was over. In the future please take your demons outside to kill them.


* It had anti good protection of the wazoo to even get in the temple.

at one point, none of the higher priests in the dominant church of my homebrew campaign could cast spells at all. they had gone too far into the pursuit of secular power and were cut off. not even a simple atonement spell. that was a heck of a war.

poor paladins, caught in the middle...

ryan973
07-15-2008, 07:57 AM
I used to think that paladin should be a prestige class. Its just oen of those things that i think would be so much better if it was role played rather than the Yes i am a first level holy fighter of torm. I used to play with a guy who was an amazing paladin but in my games i have house ruled that paladins can be of any alianment so long as it is the same as there deity. There code is diffrent depending on the deity as well.

Engar
07-15-2008, 08:30 AM
I am the traditionalist. I can be swayed on the race, but not the alignment. And on the race issue the character must begin as another class (probably fighter or cleric) and earn a paladinship through deeds.

I am fine with holy warriors or some alternative for other alignments. Even in 4e I will call and treat "paladins" of inappropriate alignment or race differently in the culture. I do not care if they have the same abilities. I agreed to embrace the system for a game, not the crappy, flavorless, boring, mundane, ignorant, unimaginative, life-sucking ideology.:biggrin: