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Flail_master
2010-04-01, 11:40 AM
Hey everyone, first thread first post, wish me luck :P

OK so basically i want to dedicate this forum to everyones opinions on 3.5 paladins, i myself am a level 6 paladin now, and I've been playing long enough to get a feel of them, combat wise, perhaps not roleplay wise, which saddens me :P
But anyways, another thing i want to ask is what all you paladin players got as a reaction to you're choice? if anything some people in my group sorta resent the fact im a pally coz they wanted to be evil.
However in my opinion, people tend to play either evil or good party campaigns, and honestly, it seems a bit stupid/weird/illogical to play with a mix of good and evil, you would need a hell of a good reason why they're travelling together, paladins or not!

All i know is people i know didnt like me limiting their options, despite the lack of logic behind a mixed party.

and a lot of people forget that it should be alignment by character, not character by alignment (in my opinion :P) i think paladin roleplay holds potential

anyways enough rambling, your opinions?

Critical
2010-04-01, 11:43 AM
I'd stick to your groups opinion. Paladins can be such a weight when making decisions/doing something. I'd not use a paladin at all, unless the party is alignment specific.

hamishspence
2010-04-01, 11:47 AM
The Order of the Stick are a mixed adventuring party that include LG and CE characters.

That said, the "association" thing does prevent the paladin from staying with the party- if he knows one or more of the members is evil.

There are a great many varieties of evil character in D&D- some of which "play well with others" better than most. Not all are the cliched "psychopathic evil" of PHB.

Similarly, Paladins don't have to be played as "kill everything evil on sight" - some varieties of paladin may be interested in redeeming evil beings rather than killing them, seeing killing as a last resort.

Yukitsu
2010-04-01, 11:50 AM
Everything they said about paladins blah blah applies to evil characters as well. Especially ones that aren't clever enough to take advantage of a paladin ally.

SpikeFightwicky
2010-04-01, 11:50 AM
First off, welcome to the forum!

Personally, I always found that the paladin was a fun class to play. The trick is to not get caught up in playing a stick in the mud. Whenever I opt to create a paladin in a game, it's usually met with groans and sighs. Once the game starts, they're usually pleasantly surprised that I don't play 'Lawful Stupid'.

I usually try to set an example, but don't force other players to play by my code. For example, if there's a reward offered for a quest, if the rewarder isn't rich by any means, I'll forgoe the reward, but not try to force the rest of the party to do the same. When someone who's well off offers a reward, or if it'll be insulting not to take it, then I'll likely give it away to someone more needy.

LaughingRogue
2010-04-01, 11:54 AM
Yeah i usually dislike the "Lawful Stupid" paladins that are mentioned above

but they're usually good tanks in combat, so it evens out
I like rogue type characters so me and the pally usually get into some arguments about two times a game, but it's really all in good fun

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 11:56 AM
hmm fair enough with the association, my quarrel mainly was just the logic behind it other than miko's case being 'she didn't fully know' or Roys case 'he's keeping Belkar in check'

my problem with miko's case in a real game being, they'll find out eventually.
and although ' why should i care bout someone elses class being affected by my actions' sometimes it just seems unfair to say that, i mean people who play paladins aren't doing it to hurt the party, and although my party is alright with it now since we all have nuetral and good chars we like, i recieved some grief, but we are alignment specific now, and we like to roleplay and think of histories for characters so mixed party couldnt really work at this point.

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 11:59 AM
Yeah i usually dislike the "Lawful Stupid" paladins that are mentioned above

i agree here, paladins are roleplayed wrong a lot from what ive seen and it gives us a bad name

ive visited countless sites trying to sort out my characters personality


but they're usually good tanks in combat, so it evens out
I like rogue type characters so me and the pally usually get into some arguments about two times a game, but it's really all in good fun

another thing i agree with, the arguments and conflicts can be fun roleplay wise! some people miss that point sometimes. it's not literally "YOU ARE DOING EVIL THINGS! YOU DIE!"
sometimes theres such a thing as having a friend, or reasoning with them :)

hamishspence
2010-04-01, 12:02 PM
Yup.

I liked Savage Species's "An evil character can be a loving parent, devoted spouse, loyal friend, without affecting their evilness in any way"

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 12:02 PM
First off, welcome to the forum!

Personally, I always found that the paladin was a fun class to play. The trick is to not get caught up in playing a stick in the mud. Whenever I opt to create a paladin in a game, it's usually met with groans and sighs. Once the game starts, they're usually pleasantly surprised that I don't play 'Lawful Stupid'.

I usually try to set an example, but don't force other players to play by my code. For example, if there's a reward offered for a quest, if the rewarder isn't rich by any means, I'll forgoe the reward, but not try to force the rest of the party to do the same. When someone who's well off offers a reward, or if it'll be insulting not to take it, then I'll likely give it away to someone more needy.

again i couldn't agree more!

thanks for the welcome BTW :)

good to hear theres another pally player who doesn't wanna be a 'stick in the mud' 'lawful stupid' pally :)

Draz74
2010-04-01, 12:04 PM
O-chul and Hinjo have some good opinions on this subject.

paddyfool
2010-04-01, 12:06 PM
May I recommend Fax Celestis' Paladin (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33551)? It ties specific abilities to specific oaths, and allows you to choose far more precisely what ideals you wish to commit your character to.

Octopus Jack
2010-04-01, 12:11 PM
I love playing paladins, I love tricking them, manipulating them and killing them once they're no longer useful. In other words paladins are fun to have around and I don't know what (other) evil people complain about.

Also Paladin soup is nutricious and tastes good!

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 12:12 PM
May I recommend Fax Celestis' Paladin (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33551)? It ties specific abilities to specific oaths, and allows you to choose far more precisely what ideals you wish to commit your character to.

oooo i like, at the least its got some good concepts in it :)

dont think ill change now tho, as much as i like the idea of it, two guys in our party have already changed character few times, dont wanna make it a third, we are finally set with our characters :P

Yukitsu
2010-04-01, 12:16 PM
For RP purposes, I always like taking a paladin, conforming to the rules of their written code, then adding a philosophy on top of it. Especially good for the philosophies that clash with paladin-ness.

Solopsist paladin and Nietzschian paladin were a blast to play. Especially their really odd justifications as to why they could fight for good, when they didn't really believe in the world/the relevance of the world. Athiest paladin was pretty neat as well, but less philosophically incongruent. Making them sort of contradictory by nature makes them less obviously a paladin, and for some reason, makes them pretty interesting to RP, so long as you remember that they're people with other beliefs and desires as well.

Mystic Muse
2010-04-01, 12:16 PM
May I recommend Fax Celestis' Paladin (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33551)? It ties specific abilities to specific oaths, and allows you to choose far more precisely what ideals you wish to commit your character to.
I personally prefer Surrealistik's Paladin (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133737)

Paladin's are personally my favorite characters. I'm playing one right now in a red hand of doom campaign. (Surrealistik's one) It's fun but there's a slight problem. everybody else in my group is neutral aligned.:smallannoyed:

One of the reasons I like Surrealistik's Paladin is Lay on hands is actually relevant with it. there are obviously more but that's one of the main ones.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-01, 12:17 PM
I <3 paladins.

I love playing all sorts. From the ones that ride the line between falling and not (my favorite) to the fair and balanced, to the inquisitorial style that seems more like some one playing 40k to the reconsiler.

All of em. I've never been a stick in the mud for any one. And we have had necromancers in parties with paladins. ITs all the more fun to play a paladin when there is an evil person in the party. Cuz you want to out them but you don't especially if you have a good story arc for not. or there needed.

hamishspence
2010-04-01, 12:18 PM
It helps if you know the DM's opinion's on what's a "gross breach" and what isn't- similarly with what's an evil act and what isn't.

Also, some sources have the concept of "partial fall" where the paladin who commits an evil (but fairly minor) act loses some, rather than all, of their powers- with the amount of power lost depending on how evil the act was, and how much of a breach of the Code it was.

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 12:23 PM
man this is awesome, didn't expect this much response :P

but a lot of stuff you guys are sayin is inspirin some confidence in my chosen class :)

may have to show this to my fellow adventurers :P

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-01, 12:25 PM
I highly recomend finding a prestige class at your level to go into though. after level 6 paladins start to loose power.

hamishspence
2010-04-01, 12:26 PM
Paladins in general seem to be one of the more common D&D things talked about here- some people love them, some hate them, some are indifferent, but they get a lot of "airtime" :smallamused:

Kylarra
2010-04-01, 12:41 PM
Paladins in general seem to be one of the more common D&D things talked about here- some people love them, some hate them, some are indifferent, but they get a lot of "airtime" :smallamused:Like monks!

I've always liked the idea of a paladin personally, but it is something I'd recommend discussing with your group ahead of time. Of course, I'm always a proponent of creating groups that would plausibly work together rather.

Starbuck_II
2010-04-01, 12:48 PM
It helps if you know the DM's opinion's on what's a "gross breach" and what isn't- similarly with what's an evil act and what isn't.

Also, some sources have the concept of "partial fall" where the paladin who commits an evil (but fairly minor) act loses some, rather than all, of their powers- with the amount of power lost depending on how evil the act was, and how much of a breach of the Code it was.

I thought gross meant the defintion word... 144 number...

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 12:54 PM
What u guys think of the whole free mount thing? i like the idea, especially considering my DM let me have a lion :P

overall tho i think its a good class feature, no one else has it... cept druids maybe

my lion is too epic :P

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-01, 01:01 PM
What u guys think of the whole free mount thing? i like the idea, especially considering my DM let me have a lion :P

overall tho i think its a good class feature, no one else has it... cept druids maybe

my lion is too epic :P

have you ever seen the ubermount build? they use paladins mount and with a feat combine it with an Animal companion to get a... super mount.


I ususaly switch out my mount for the charging smite variant just cuz i like to smite.

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 01:09 PM
lol very nice, i like the sound, tho im gonna stick with my lion, i like him a lot :P

hamishspence
2010-04-01, 01:21 PM
What you you usually describe him as looking like?

There is a lot of variety- lion manes can be any shade from blond to black, any length from short to long. Then there's base color (some lions are white, some, especially blackmaned lions, can be pretty dark)

There's also the Cave Lion (spotted, short or no mane) which is pretty hefty for a lion.

If it's a lion from the celestial planes, it might look a little different from a standard one.

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 01:26 PM
What you you usually describe him as looking like?

There is a lot of variety- lion manes can be any shade from blond to black, any length from short to long. Then there's base color (some lions are white, some, especially blackmaned lions, can be pretty dark)

There's also the Cave Lion (spotted, short or no mane) which is pretty hefty for a lion.

If it's a lion from the celestial planes, it might look a little different from a standard one.


if anything i see him as just a normal coloured lion, large brown mane, perhaps yellower than usual, desert sand coloured fur, but sue to celestialness i kinda imagine a faint glow coming from him if u look at him for a second or two

my paladin's a paladin of Pelor so it would make sense for the glow to be mainly round his mane, like the sun

hamishspence
2010-04-01, 01:29 PM
Does make sense- and it goes well with the maned face symbol of Pelor.

A Pelorite paladin might be a little closer to Neutral Good than most paladins are, what with Pelor being a NG deity.

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 02:12 PM
yah probably but either way still paladinny :)

monkey3
2010-04-01, 02:21 PM
My opinion does not come from RAW. My opinion on paladins comes from decades of seeing them played my numerous people in numerous playing groups.

Paladins are the bullies of D&D.

For no other class is it mandatory to tell other people what to do, how to play, or even if they can join your group.

You want to play evil? Get lost.
You want to play neutral? Got my eye on you short-timer.
Prisoners? I'll decide, back off.
Moral dilemma? I'll decide.
It's not the paladin's choice, it's the rules.

DragoonWraith
2010-04-01, 02:25 PM
I hate hate hate the Paladin. The Code of Conduct is stupid, the falling mechanic is worse, they're largely useless in combat (too few spells and they come too late, Smite is mediocre at best and rarely usable, the mount's great except it can't fit a lot of places the Paladin wants to go, and the rest of the class features aside from Cha-to-saves are pretty much pointless), etc. etc. They're a terribly designed class with incredibly stupid fluff, and I hate them.

Play a Crusader, they're much better.

All of which is my opinion, I realize some people like the Code of Conduct/falling thing because they think it's interesting/challenging. I simply disagree. I think it makes the character obnoxious, it limits your teammates too much, and provides extremely little in terms of actual roleplaying value because falling hurts so hard that it's simply not an option ever, which means you get rail-roaded into doing the right thing always and can't actually make decisions. That's my experience with them.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-01, 02:26 PM
My opinion does not come from RAW. My opinion on paladins comes from decades of seeing them played my numerous people in numerous playing groups.

Paladins are the bullies of D&D.

For no other class is it mandatory to tell other people what to do, how to play, or even if they can join your group.

You want to play evil? Get lost.
You want to play neutral? Got my eye on you short-timer.
Prisoners? I'll decide, back off.
Moral dilemma? I'll decide.
It's not the paladin's choice, it's the rules.


I guess if thats how your players/friends play them some are like that some are not. It realy depends on two things

GM's strictness of the what "falls"
the players ability to not be a ****.

Seffbasilisk
2010-04-01, 02:26 PM
I really enjoy the concept of paladin, but have played many different styles.

It IS easiest if the Paladin is the party leader, or at least highly respected in a group of all good characters, or if the DM gives some flexibility with the oath (might need to dip Greyguard).

That said, every single one of my paladins, from the stick-up-their-ass ones to the 'For the Greater Good' PF one I'm playing right now, have had to make choices which, in all likelyhood will lead to their demise. The aforementioned Sir Argran has been beaten unconscious, stripped of his armor, fought with just gauntlets, a broad array of weaponry, regained his armor, died facing a dragon, was brought back by his Goddess, and is now engaged in a very complex style of fighting a haunted castle.

AtwasAwamps
2010-04-01, 02:30 PM
My opinion does not come from RAW. My opinion on paladins comes from decades of seeing them played my numerous people in numerous playing groups.

Paladins are the bullies of D&D.

For no other class is it mandatory to tell other people what to do, how to play, or even if they can join your group.

You want to play evil? Get lost.
You want to play neutral? Got my eye on you short-timer.
Prisoners? I'll decide, back off.
Moral dilemma? I'll decide.
It's not the paladin's choice, it's the rules.

Not...really. Not really at all. Wow. There's a lot of hate in there. You've definitely encountered some fairly awful people playing paladins. Thought I admit, the "evil" thing is a bit of a kick in the pants (as that is one of the only things that's totally spelled out in the books - "may not knowingly associate with an evil character"), it's worth noting that the PHB does mention that Paladins may ignore lesser evils in favor of eliminating a greater threat.

The paladin "code" is significantly more flexible than most people give it credit for. The Knight's Code is far more restrictive because it is more specific and has a distinct mechanical function. The paladin code is very vague and comes down mostly to DM adjudication.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-01, 02:32 PM
Not...really. Not really at all. Wow. There's a lot of hate in there. You've definitely encountered some fairly awful people playing paladins. Thought I admit, the "evil" thing is a bit of a kick in the pants (as that is one of the only things that's totally spelled out in the books - "may not knowingly associate with an evil character"), it's worth noting that the PHB does mention that Paladins may ignore lesser evils in favor of eliminating a greater threat.

The paladin "code" is significantly more flexible than most people give it credit for. The Knight's Code is far more restrictive because it is more specific and has a distinct mechanical function. The paladin code is very vague and comes down mostly to DM adjudication.

agreed. Although the evil thing is fixed simply by a non detection/some sort of alignment obfustication and good Roleplay.

Kaiyanwang
2010-04-01, 02:40 PM
I love paladins... IMO LG can be played in several ways.. so paladin can be played in several ways too.

One can be a single minded evil destroyer, only dedicated to his mission.

Another one could be a defender of innocent people... maybe not necessarily respecting the "pompous in shining-armor" stereotype...

In a more gritty setting, paladins could be real enforcers of order.

DM could vary them as in WH 40K space marines chapters vary.. is enough use alternative class features from several manuals and some prestige class.

One chapter is more dedicated to healing (healing spirit? hospitalier?) another one on persecute evildoers (charging smite), another one is an order of cavaliers..

In core paladins has not so may options, but IF THE POWER LEVEL OF THE CAMPAING DEMANDS IT the OP could easily pimp is paladin with "fix feats" like battle blessing.

In spell compendium there are several useful spells, in complete champions there is some mount pimping one.

He could aquire the lion through wild cohort, then take the charging smite ACF from PHII and take Mounted Combat and Smite Feats in the combination he wants, or MC + Charge.

If flaws are allowed, one could try to throw in few divine feats if suitable.

Yukitsu
2010-04-01, 02:42 PM
I hate hate hate the Paladin. The Code of Conduct is stupid, the falling mechanic is worse, they're largely useless in combat (too few spells and they come too late, Smite is mediocre at best and rarely usable, the mount's great except it can't fit a lot of places the Paladin wants to go, and the rest of the class features aside from Cha-to-saves are pretty much pointless), etc. etc. They're a terribly designed class with incredibly stupid fluff, and I hate them.

Play a Crusader, they're much better.

I can't really agree with that. My crusaders tend to lack a lot of things that my paladins have, and I do mean mechanically. The only thing my crusaders tend to have more of, is durability. I tend to PRC out in either case after 5, so it's not like you can make the argument that I'm only using the paladin as a dip class, because frankly, I use crusaders as a dip class as well.


All of which is my opinion, I realize some people like the Code of Conduct/falling thing because they think it's interesting/challenging. I simply disagree. I think it makes the character obnoxious, it limits your teammates too much, and provides extremely little in terms of actual roleplaying value because falling hurts so hard that it's simply not an option ever, which means you get rail-roaded into doing the right thing always and can't actually make decisions. That's my experience with them.

Why can't you fall? I've had my paladin characters betray their oaths and fall to fight and save something they truly cared about. Even though my DM says repentance can't just be a spell cast on you afterwards. While playing a poorly built character doesn't make you into a better RPer, being able to run with a massive nerf that makes you into a poorly built character is a mark of a better RPer. And being, when the situation at times is appropriate for it, making that leap into the realm of suckage is also appropriate.

Aron Times
2010-04-01, 02:48 PM
I prefer the way paladins are handled in 4e.

No. Alignment. Restrictions. :smallcool:

Chaotic Evil paladins go go go!

Kaiyanwang
2010-04-01, 02:53 PM
I prefer the way paladins are handled in 4e.

No. Alignment. Restrictions. :smallcool:

Chaotic Evil paladins go go go!

Both Unearthed Arcana and Dragon Magazine have several paladin variants.

Just with UA, you can have Paladins of Justice (LG) of Freedom (CG) of Tyranny (LE) and of Slaughter (CE).

If you ask me, I see paladins as inherently lawful, so I can imagine well LE paladins, but not CG ones.

And I like the fact that, you know, if one advocates himself as a parragon/defender/public relation man of some principles (alignment) must follow it. And falls from grace if does something really wrong (or right, in case of, say, a CE paladin).

hamishspence
2010-04-01, 02:57 PM
Why can't you fall? I've had my paladin characters betray their oaths and fall to fight and save something they truly cared about. Even though my DM says repentance can't just be a spell cast on you afterwards. While playing a poorly built character doesn't make you into a better RPer, being able to run with a massive nerf that makes you into a poorly built character is a mark of a better RPer. And being, when the situation at times is appropriate for it, making that leap into the realm of suckage is also appropriate.

I like Champions Of Valor's handling of repentance: with proper roleplay, you don't need the spell cast on you afterwards.

Quintessenial Paladin 2 had an interesting take on paladins- first you build your code, from a selection of tenets (you can have some tenets be more strict, and others weaker).

And if/when you break your code, how badly you break it, determines how much power you lose- with only a really severe breaking of the code causing your to lose all your powers.

Torture might be an evil act (by BoED and FC2) but if your code has the treatment of prisoners as one of its most minor tenets, roughing up a prisoner for info only causes you to lose a little of your paladin powers.

paddyfool
2010-04-01, 02:57 PM
@Flail_master,

Incidentally, there's one feat above all else that you'll be wanting for your Paladin build. It's called Battle Blessing, it's found in Complete Champion, and it suddenly makes all your spells much more worthwhile, simply by cutting out the while.

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 03:03 PM
Why can't you fall? I've had my paladin characters betray their oaths and fall to fight and save something they truly cared about. Even though my DM says repentance can't just be a spell cast on you afterwards. While playing a poorly built character doesn't make you into a better RPer, being able to run with a massive nerf that makes you into a poorly built character is a mark of a better RPer. And being, when the situation at times is appropriate for it, making that leap into the realm of suckage is also appropriate.

lovely i deffo agree, a measure of an RPer is the ability to take what they have and make an epic story out of it, as well as a good character


Not...really. Not really at all. Wow. There's a lot of hate in there. You've definitely encountered some fairly awful people playing paladins. Thought I admit, the "evil" thing is a bit of a kick in the pants (as that is one of the only things that's totally spelled out in the books - "may not knowingly associate with an evil character"), it's worth noting that the PHB does mention that Paladins may ignore lesser evils in favor of eliminating a greater threat.

The paladin "code" is significantly more flexible than most people give it credit for. The Knight's Code is far more restrictive because it is more specific and has a distinct mechanical function. The paladin code is very vague and comes down mostly to DM adjudication.

again TOO true, i read up on it recently, all it says is STAY lawful good, dont be with evil characters, and be a nice person, obv be bit more pally like than that but a lot of people dont give the code credit for it flexibility, nothing bout declaring attack or anything, just fight evil and stuff. a lot of people dont realise that a defining feature fo a pally is often Humility the ability to TRY and bring their views to other people, but otherwise respecting their opinion and not thinking theyre all hig and mighty


I guess if thats how your players/friends play them some are like that some are not. It realy depends on two things

GM's strictness of the what "falls"
the players ability to not be a ****.

lol last line says it all man, all about the person behind the pally, most people dont know how to play pallys other than as stuck up idiots obsessed that they are right

man there is some hate in a few of these posts :P obv some bad experiences with pallys :P

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 03:04 PM
@Flail_master,

Incidentally, there's one feat above all else that you'll be wanting for your Paladin build. It's called Battle Blessing, it's found in Complete Champion, and it suddenly makes all your spells much more worthwhile, simply by cutting out the while.

intriguing, could you perhaps link a page of this it sound like it could be worthwhile :)

monkey3
2010-04-01, 03:06 PM
I said by RAW... From the player's handbook:
paladin will never knowingly associate with evil characters, nor will she continue an association with someone who consistently offends her moral code.

Good luck not violating the paladin's code of conduct if you are neutral (realistically anyone not LG). Basically if you are with a paladin (and you follow RAW) he is the leader. Don't try that old defence "you are obviously playing with the wring kind of paladin." To you I reply: "You are not playing RAW." You can metagame an evil party-member who is hidden with a nudge and a wink, but how many slain prisoners is the paladin going to ignore before you admit he is ignoring his code. Let me guess your next defense: The rules use the word "consistently." In my world "consistently" means every second of the day!
Hence my statement:

Paladin's are the bullies of D&D. It's their party. Do what they want or get out.

hamishspence
2010-04-01, 03:08 PM
To sum it up,

Standard action spells become swift action,
Full round action spells become standard action,
All other spells are unaffected.


You can metagame an evil party-member who is hidden with a nudge and a wink, but how many slain prisoners is the paladin going to ignore before you admit he is ignoring his code.

A smart evil character is not going to do that sort of thing around the paladin.

Not every evil character does obviously evil acts every time the opportunity comes up.


Let me guess your next defense: The rules use the word "consistently." In my world "consistently" means every second of the day!

Champions of Ruin says a character who "consistently" does evil acts is evil regardless of what alignment they think they are- but even evil people don't do evil acts every second of every day.

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 03:13 PM
To sum it up,

Standard action spells become swift action,
Full round action spells become standard action,
All other spells are unaffected.


sounds epic, i shall have to ask DM approval for that, i like it muchly :)

Scarey Nerd
2010-04-01, 03:16 PM
I'm a fellow adventurer in Flail_Master's party, there have been maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaany problems, to the point that the majority of the party want to die at the word "Paladin" :smalltongue: Having said that, I've always liked pallys, providing they can be played well. Taking Miko as an example, she is a paladin who would earn her player's sorry ass to be kicked out of the game. On t'other hand, she is not all bad, and shows some examples of being RPed well, such as the AOE spells on the ogres, and her speech to Roy about the possibility of a relationship. Both of those incidents showed interesting RP, especially the former, demonstrating a paladin's ability to honour her code without needless suicide missions.

hamishspence
2010-04-01, 03:16 PM
In Eberron, one common type of evil character (in the Church of the Silver flame) is the character who is overzealous in fighting evil. And they may not believe themselves to be evil.

So you could have a "dedicated enemy of evil" who is evil themselves, although they believe themselves to be good.

Tome of Magic had a very similar character who was an enemy of "witches" (binders, in this case)

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-01, 03:17 PM
I said by RAW... From the player's handbook:
paladin will never knowingly associate with evil characters, nor will she continue an association with someone who consistently offends her moral code.

Good luck not violating the paladin's code of conduct if you are neutral (realistically anyone not LG). Basically if you are with a paladin (and you follow RAW) he is the leader. Don't try that old defence "you are obviously playing with the wring kind of paladin." To you I reply: "You are not playing RAW." You can metagame an evil party-member who is hidden with a nudge and a wink, but how many slain prisoners is the paladin going to ignore before you admit he is ignoring his code. Let me guess your next defense: The rules use the word "consistently." In my world "consistently" means every second of the day!
Hence my statement:

Paladin's are the bullies of D&D. It's their party. Do what they want or get out.


Cept you can play by raw and have an evil member in your party. ya mabye not CE or some one who is blatently evil. But subtil evils can be.
Lower levels is harder due to the lack of spells and abilities to hide evilness.

but the moment you can obfusticate an evil alignment, you can with ease.


but how many slain prisoners is the paladin going to ignore before you admit he is ignoring his code.
Um to be honest with you if a player was killing prisoners left and right i would probebly have them start sliding to evil any way. But realy its about making sure the paladin DOESN"T see the bodies which is very easy to do in game.

"O we will take care of prisoner transport why don't you and the cleric go ahead we will catch up once we have brought these to the local sherif"

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 03:19 PM
Good luck not violating the paladin's code of conduct if you are neutral (realistically anyone not LG). Basically if you are with a paladin (and you follow RAW) he is the leader. Don't try that old defence "you are obviously playing with the wring kind of paladin." To you I reply: "You are not playing RAW." You can metagame an evil party-member who is hidden with a nudge and a wink, but how many slain prisoners is the paladin going to ignore before you admit he is ignoring his code. Let me guess your next defense: The rules use the word "consistently." In my world "consistently" means every second of the day!
Hence my statement:

Paladin's are the bullies of D&D. It's their party. Do what they want or get out.

understandably consistent isn't obviously every second of day, people are 'consistently' evil by doing only evil acts generally, not by doing them all the time rightly.

and honestly people who try and play with a pally and an evil character... thats ambitious, that requires really good Roleplay, and honestly it would end up with em gettin found out no doubt, but anyone who plays with those two in a party or ignores evil acts, or smmits evil acts in front of a pally (without proper justification or of course good to balance [nuetral])is stretching it

and your last quote with pallys bein bullies is a bit harsh i reckon, maybe the guys u played with were but in my books, pallys are humble, not preachers. and bein a leader is one thing, bullying and 'what i say goes' is another, some people dont get that

Yukitsu
2010-04-01, 03:19 PM
I said by RAW... From the player's handbook:
paladin will never knowingly associate with evil characters, nor will she continue an association with someone who consistently offends her moral code.

Good luck not violating the paladin's code of conduct if you are neutral (realistically anyone not LG). Basically if you are with a paladin (and you follow RAW) he is the leader. Don't try that old defence "you are obviously playing with the wring kind of paladin." To you I reply: "You are not playing RAW." You can metagame an evil party-member who is hidden with a nudge and a wink, but how many slain prisoners is the paladin going to ignore before you admit he is ignoring his code. Let me guess your next defense: The rules use the word "consistently." In my world "consistently" means every second of the day!
Hence my statement:


"Offending" a moral code doesn't mean "doesn't follow it." It means showing a flagrant disrespect for the intent of the moral code, or in other words, going directly against it. Code says always defend the innocent? It's not offending the code to not defend the weak, but it is an offense against it to attack the innocent.

Also, if you're running about as an evil character near a paladin, and are executing prisoners with anything other than slow acting poisons, you're a variety of evil that is too stupid to live, and thus deserve to get caught.

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 03:23 PM
I'm a fellow adventurer in Flail_Master's party, there have been maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaany problems, to the point that the majority of the party want to die at the word "Paladin" :smalltongue: Having said that, I've always liked pallys, providing they can be played well. Taking Miko as an example, she is a paladin who would earn her player's sorry ass to be kicked out of the game. On t'other hand, she is not all bad, and shows some examples of being RPed well, such as the AOE spells on the ogres, and her speech to Roy about the possibility of a relationship. Both of those incidents showed interesting RP, especially the former, demonstrating a paladin's ability to honour her code without needless suicide missions.

HELLO my good friend, a fine point indeed, and not just cos u made it :P

actually i really like the bit with Miko talkin bout a relationship, got me thinkin what pallys attitude toward relationships are. got that integregrated into my char now too.

thanks for the opinion too, you more than anyone should know what its been like with the constant times ive tried to help u guys understand that my pally is not the stereotype... it's gotten through to some of you :P

Scarey Nerd
2010-04-01, 03:28 PM
thanks for the opinion too, you mor ethan anyone should know what its been like with the constant times ive tried to help u guys understand that my pally is not the stereotype... it's gotten through to some of you :P

I thank you *Bows and takes off steampunk goggles*

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 03:29 PM
"Offending" a moral code doesn't mean "doesn't follow it." It means showing a flagrant disrespect for the intent of the moral code, or in other words, going directly against it. Code says always defend the innocent? It's not offending the code to not defend the weak, but it is an offense against it to attack the innocent.

again a point i like, :smallsmile: this is kinda stuff DM should take into consideration for when being all like "THAT WAS UNACCEPTABLE! FALL YOU STUPID PALADIN!" *points*

sometimes pallys are incapable of keeping to the code (restrained) or simply it's not of the greatest importance to greater good, it saddens me when a very small infraction of the code in the DM's eyes makes them go "YOU FALL NOW!" usually sorted out luckily tho :P

one thing to remember is the countless amounts of unjustified things Miko did as a paladin BEFORE she fell. hell she was downright rude the order of the stick and was REFUSED to listen to truth. sure they arent exactly infractions, but she was a real pain in the backside at best of times and for lack of a ruder word. not summin looked for in pallys. she only fell when she killed Shinjo out of her obsession with finding out Order of the stick and the veil of lies she pulled over her own eyes.

a major infraction i may call that :P

Mystic Muse
2010-04-01, 03:30 PM
Also, if you're running about as an evil character near a paladin, and are executing prisoners with anything other than slow acting poisons, you're a variety of evil that is too stupid to live, and thus deserve to get caught.

This is a very good point.

hamishspence
2010-04-01, 03:31 PM
Also, if you're running about as an evil character near a paladin, and are executing prisoners with anything other than slow acting poisons, you're a variety of evil that is too stupid to live, and thus deserve to get caught.

In some games, it's the paladin doing the executing (when the player & DM take the view that the paladin may execute people taken prisoner, if they "deserve it".)

In others, they don't.

EDIT: I think that it was brought up in one of the earlier threads, that Gygax took this view- that paladins may execute prisoners at their own discretion- they are the law.

EDIT: Ninjaed while editing.

Optimystik
2010-04-01, 03:33 PM
In some games, it's the paladin doing the executing (when the player & DM take the view that the paladin may execute people taken prisoner, if they "deserve it".)

Mr. Gygax himself, no less! :smallsigh:


sounds epic, i shall have to ask DM approval for that, i like it muchly :)

Autoquicken is nice indeed. It works even better with Prestige Paladin and/or Archivist - you can now quicken all your dispels, heals, blessings, and even combat spells like Find the Gap and Holy Sword.

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 03:34 PM
Also, if you're running about as an evil character near a paladin, and are executing prisoners with anything other than slow acting poisons, you're a variety of evil that is too stupid to live, and thus deserve to get caught.

lol loving it man... and too right as well :smalltongue:

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 03:37 PM
Autoquicken is nice indeed. It works even better with Prestige Paladin and/or Archivist - you can now quicken all your dispels, heals, blessings, and even combat spells like Find the Gap and Holy Sword.

autoquicken is the name u say? any prerequisits?

i am SO puttin this past my DM :smalltongue:

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-01, 03:39 PM
autoquicken is the name u say? any prerequisits?

i am SO puttin this past my DM :smalltongue:

he was talking about battle blessing

hamishspence
2010-04-01, 03:40 PM
The name of the feat is Battle Blessing- the description of one of the two things it it does is that it automatically quickens "autoquicken" standard action spells.

And it's only prerequisite is the ability to cast paladin spells.

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 03:41 PM
he was talking about battle blessing

ah fair dous...

the one that speeds up casting times of spells IS autoquicken tho right? sorry for bein a noob :P

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 03:42 PM
The name of the feat is Battle Blessing- the description of one of the two things it it does is that it automatically quickens "autoquicken" standard action spells.

And it's only prerequisite is the ability to cast paladin spells.

AH ignore my last post then
thankyou very much Hamishspence :)

hamishspence
2010-04-01, 03:43 PM
in the Epic Handbook the feat Automatic Quicken Spell automatically quickens low level spells, and can be taken multiple times, for higher levels each time.

There isn't a feat just called Autoquicken though (as far as I know)

On Falling- does the idea of it being scalable- with only a bit of the paladin's special powers lost, for minor evil acts, but increasing amounts lost the more evil the act, seem like a good one?

It helps get the message that the paladin is transgressing, across, without hitting them over the head with a full Fall.

Scarey Nerd
2010-04-01, 03:47 PM
in the Epic Handbook the feat Automatic Quicken Spell On Falling- does the idea of it being scalable- with only a bit of the paladin's special powers lost, for minor evil acts, but increasing amounts lost the more evil the act, seem like a good one?

One member of our party has already devised with the DM a "sliding-scale" system of alignment, the same concept could be applied to paladin powers...

What do you reckon, Flaily?

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 03:49 PM
One member of our party has already devised with the DM a "sliding-scale" system of alignment, the same concept could be applied to paladin powers...

What do you reckon, Flaily?

i dunno, honestly id like to stay fully LG ya know, keep em all :P dont wanna risk rahmun'al-rha (lion) :P

Scarey Nerd
2010-04-01, 03:50 PM
dont wanna risk rahmun'al-rha (lion) :P

Or Ray, as I will inevitably call him :)

hamishspence
2010-04-01, 03:53 PM
Maybe the mount could be the gauge?

If he's serene when you summon him, you're fine, if he's a little agitated, you've been misbehaving a bit, if he growls or roars at you before letting you mount, you've been misbehaving a lot, and if he won't come near you, you're on the brink of a Fall and must change your ways.

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 03:55 PM
Maybe the mount could be the gauge?

If he's serene when you summon him, you're fine, if he's a little agitated, you've been misbehaving a bit, if he growls or roars at you before letting you mount, you've been misbehaving a lot, and if he won't come near you, you're on the brink of a Fall and must change your ways.

I LOVE IT
YOU are a genius man! 'hugs' :smalltongue:

Yukitsu
2010-04-01, 03:56 PM
Maybe the mount could be the gauge?

If he's serene when you summon him, you're fine, if he's a little agitated, you've been misbehaving a bit, if he growls or roars at you before letting you mount, you've been misbehaving a lot, and if he won't come near you, you're on the brink of a Fall and must change your ways.

Funny, my unicorn mount did something like that, but skipped a lot of steps, and for a reason other than falling. :smallfrown:

monkey3
2010-04-01, 04:00 PM
"Offending" a moral code doesn't mean "doesn't follow it." It means showing a flagrant disrespect for the intent of the moral code, or in other words, going directly against it. Code says always defend the innocent? It's not offending the code to not defend the weak, but it is an offense against it to attack the innocent.

Also, if you're running about as an evil character near a paladin, and are executing prisoners with anything other than slow acting poisons, you're a variety of evil that is too stupid to live, and thus deserve to get caught.

The code you partially quoted in your first paragraph says a lot more than that, but thanks for building your straw man. I'll try to drink out of it.

Your second paragraph actually agrees with my thesis which is that a paladin in the party will make you act the way HE wants you to act. Your whole reason for wasting 5 doses of poison on those 5 tied-up bandits was to not raise the paladin ire. "caught," you say. Caught by whom? The paladin.

No reason to call people stupid. You can be civil even if your point is moot.

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 04:05 PM
No reason to call people stupid. You can be civil even if your point is moot.

dude he wasn't calling anyone in particular stupid, and if anything, he was insulting the character not the person behind them, for all we know that could be what the character's like, stupid enough to commit evil in front of a pally :smalltongue: :)

hamishspence
2010-04-01, 04:06 PM
No reason to call people stupid. You can be civil even if your point is moot.

He wasn't referring to the poster, but the character- basically:

"an evil character which executes prisoners in front of a paladin is an evil character that is too stupid to live"

That's not an insult directed at the poster though.

Really though, it applies to evil charcters in with a party of any good characters- evil people who don't want Good ones to object strongly to their behaviour, have to moderate themselves.

EDIT: Ninjaed.

Yukitsu
2010-04-01, 04:07 PM
The code you partially quoted in your first paragraph says a lot more than that, but thanks for building your straw man. I'll try to drink out of it.

Examples are never straw men when they adress the original complaint. You are simply incorrectly using the word "offends" and no amount of argument against any individual example negates that fact. The king of Spain doesn't "offend" the code of chivalry by not following it, no matter what the content of the code is. He is only offending it if he is opposing the tenants by doing the inverse.


Your second paragraph actually agrees with my thesis which is that a paladin in the party will make you act the way HE wants you to act. Your whole reason for wasting 5 doses of poison on those 5 tied-up bandits was to not raise the paladin ire. "caught," you say. Caught by whom? The paladin.

Who caught them is academic, and no different than catching a prisoner of war in front of a UN reporter. And the same argument should follow in any party of good aligned individuals, unless of course, there is a very good reason they should believe otherwise.


No reason to call people stupid. You can be civil even if your point is moot.

There is no person here who I have called stupid. That is a straw man. I have called a theoretical individual who has done something that would be, as it were stupid, stupid. Since this non-existant and theoretical individual is defined only by doing something unintelligent, I can't imagine that this could in any way be considered off center.

Unless you want to tell me someone here has IRL executed someone in front of a paladin.

Kaiyanwang
2010-04-01, 04:10 PM
Poin is, that your bias with paladins should be roughly the same with every Good PC.

The difference lies in the fact that a paladin loses class features if is behaving like a jerk.

Flail_master
2010-04-01, 04:12 PM
Unless you want to tell me someone here has IRL executed someone in front of a paladin.

LOL well played, laughed at that one :P

monkey3
2010-04-01, 04:18 PM
Who caught them is academic, and no different than catching a prisoner of war in front of a UN reporter. And the same argument should follow in any party of good aligned individuals, unless of course, there is a very good reason they should believe otherwise.


I think we both made our points. I'll just clarify the part of my reply that was obviously ambiguous.

You said:
I said Also, if you're running about as an evil character near a paladin, and are executing prisoners with anything other than slow acting poisons, you're a variety of evil that is too stupid to live, and thus deserve to get caught

I said:
"caught," you say. Caught by whom? The paladin.

"caught" referred to the last word in your paragraph. I was saying that the evil guy in the party has to jump through hoops (waste money on poison or whatever) so as not to get "caught" by the paladin for doing what he wants. Based on that fact (I don't think anyone disagrees with that), I will say that when there is a paladin in the party, all other members take one step towards being NPCs. (Because they loose some of their free will. The will being substituted is that of the paladin.)

Yukitsu
2010-04-01, 04:22 PM
I think we both made our points. I'll just clarify the part of my reply that was obviously ambiguous.

You said:
I said Also, if you're running about as an evil character near a paladin, and are executing prisoners with anything other than slow acting poisons, you're a variety of evil that is too stupid to live, and thus deserve to get caught

I said:
"caught," you say. Caught by whom? The paladin.

"caught" referred to the last word in your paragraph. I was saying that the evil guy in the party has to jump through hoops (waste money on poison or whatever) so as not to get "caught" by the paladin for doing what he wants. Based on that fact (I don't think anyone disagrees with that), I will say that when there is a paladin in the party, all other members take one step towards being NPCs. (Because they loose some of their free will. The will being substituted is that of the paladin.)

I didn't say "caught" by the paladin. You did. You did after my initial statement. Hence the apparant confusion as to what you are talking about. When someone deserves to get caught, any agent of just cause is as good as any other. I didn't say by the paladin, nor do I particularly care if that is the case.

And the repeated point still stands, unless your good aligned party members are actually neutral in disguise, the same argument arises to all good aligned party members.

hamishspence
2010-04-01, 04:22 PM
I will say that when there is a paladin in the party, all other members take one step towards being NPCs. (Because they loose some of their free will. The will being substituted is that of the paladin.)

Does this apply to any party that travels into an area with a strict law code that is tightly enforced? They have to moderate their behaviour, or deal with the consequences.

For the DM to describe an area of the world the players are passing through in this fashion, is not "taking away their free will"- the players can do anything. But "Anything" has consequences.

Same principle applies here.

the main limitation for the evil character isn't "Don't do evil things" but "Be very subtle when doing evil things"

Which is pretty realistic- a character who is both evil and unsubtle, and won't change, shouldn't last very long in a D&D-type world, in the civilized areas.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-01, 06:00 PM
Does this apply to any party that travels into an area with a strict law code that is tightly enforced? They have to moderate their behaviour, or deal with the consequences.

For the DM to describe an area of the world the players are passing through in this fashion, is not "taking away their free will"- the players can do anything. But "Anything" has consequences.

Same principle applies here.

the main limitation for the evil character isn't "Don't do evil things" but "Be very subtle when doing evil things"

Which is pretty realistic- a character who is both evil and unsubtle, and won't change, shouldn't last very long in a D&D-type world, in the civilized areas.

I'd like to go one step further and say that a character who is both evil and unsubtle that doesn't change won't last in any type world.

Though monkey3 is off base with his argument. He may however like to play people who are blatently evil or he may enjoy the chaotic stupid characters.. Which there is no problem with some times it is quiet enjoyable.

hamishspence
2010-04-01, 06:10 PM
Lower levels is harder due to the lack of spells and abilities to hide evilness.

but the moment you can obfusticate an evil alignment, you can with ease.


For those who want a nonmagical way of hiding evilness, there is a very nice feat in Exemplars of Evil. Funnily, you could be Good or Neutral and still take it:

Mask of Gentility- Prerequisites: Bluff 9 ranks, Disguise 9 ranks, Cha 15.

Regardless of your alignment, you detect as Neutral to all divination effects.

Also, the DC to get an accurate impression of your intentions with Sense Motive, is 30 instead of 20.

Ironically, it would be a great feat for a paladin, who has to infiltrate an evil city with lots of clerics who cast Detect Good regularly.

Kaiyanwang
2010-04-01, 06:27 PM
Consider that due to the lack of skill point and for the cross-class skills, could be hard for the paladin aquire the feat without asking the DM to tweak it a little.

Starbuck_II
2010-04-01, 06:28 PM
Isn't undetectable alignment a bard 1st lv spell?

Greenish
2010-04-01, 07:02 PM
Isn't undetectable alignment a bard 1st lv spell?Yeah, it's first level spell for bards, and second level spell for clerics and paladins. It might be first level for beguilers too, I think.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-01, 08:17 PM
Isn't undetectable alignment a bard 1st lv spell?

well then evil bards can exist in a group with paladins.

Optimystik
2010-04-01, 08:24 PM
Poin is, that your bias with paladins should be roughly the same with every Good PC.

The difference lies in the fact that a paladin loses class features if is behaving like a jerk.

I'm fine with "Fall if you behave like a jerk."

But "fall if you hang out with jerks" is a bit much. The game forces paladins to be the party nanny, and that's where a lot of the player backlash against them comes from. Soulborns, Crusaders, even Divine Minds don't have to police the party - why do Paladins?

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-01, 08:34 PM
I'm fine with "Fall if you behave like a jerk."

But "fall if you hang out with jerks" is a bit much. The game forces paladins to be the party nanny, and that's where a lot of the player backlash against them comes from. Soulborns, Crusaders, even Divine Minds don't have to police the party - why do Paladins?

I think the problem is that people don't want to enforce the other fall mechanics in the game, IE Cleric and druid.

Soranar
2010-04-01, 08:56 PM
My group got tired of never having a paladin around because we all worried about roleplay.

So we decided to ALL play a paladin. 4 overzealous halflings on riding dogs...

The result was surprisingly fun to play and extremely entertaining. Especially since 1 guy had a mount smarter than he was.

In most campaigns we play, we're the good guys anyway, so everyone playing Lawful Good isn't that complicated.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-01, 10:00 PM
My group got tired of never having a paladin around because we all worried about roleplay.

So we decided to ALL play a paladin. 4 overzealous halflings on riding dogs...

The result was surprisingly fun to play and extremely entertaining. Especially since 1 guy had a mount smarter than he was.

In most campaigns we play, we're the good guys anyway, so everyone playing Lawful Good isn't that complicated.

Thats ****ing awsome!

Greenish
2010-04-02, 03:48 AM
I think the problem is that people don't want to enforce the other fall mechanics in the game, IE Cleric and druid.Druids can be in a party with anyone just fine, as can clerics of many gods. Neither of those has you trying to impose your own code on how others act (except perhaps some clerics of more totalitarian deities).

Chaelos
2010-04-02, 03:59 AM
Paladins are situationally awesome. In terms of mechanics, they fit well enough in the (relatively) unoptimized games I play with my RL friends, but you really have to work things out with the other players/the DM beforehand. If you're playing with a DM who'll force you to fall for every little minor transgression, it's not worth it; if you play with a DM who handles alignment/morality with intelligence and thoughtfulness, however, Paladins can be very cool.

I admit, before this strip (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0449.html), I'd always overlooked Paladins. That declaration by Soon still sends chills down my spine.

Kris Strife
2010-04-02, 06:23 AM
OP: See if you can talk your DM into letting you take Grayguard levels. Not only for the more relaxed code, but for the ability to deal damage to living creatures with Lay on Hands. And Smite Anything is always nice.

Optimystik
2010-04-02, 07:03 AM
I think the problem is that people don't want to enforce the other fall mechanics in the game, IE Cleric and druid.

Those two get a lot more leeway though. You have to REALLY screw up to fall as a cleric, and druids just have to avoid metal.

More importantly, they rarely if ever actually fall for what their parties are doing, unlike paladins. This is what we in the divine business call "a good thing."

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-02, 07:05 AM
Those two get a lot more leeway though. You have to REALLY screw up to fall as a cleric, and druids just have to avoid metal.

More importantly, they rarely if ever actually fall for what their parties are doing, unlike paladins. This is what we in the divine business call "a good thing."

How so? I'm sure there are alot of Good gods that would have there clergy fall for the same reason paladins would.
I just think cuz its alot less obvious to alot of newer gms that they eaither forget or just don't care about the cleric fall mechanic.

Starbuck_II
2010-04-02, 07:10 AM
How so? I'm sure there are alot of Good gods that would have there clergy fall for the same reason paladins would.
I just think cuz its alot less obvious to alot of newer gms that they eaither forget or just don't care about the cleric fall mechanic.

Pallys fall for choatic or evil actions... it is a lot less leeway.
Then you get the trouble that the DM overlooks work Gross (same way Pathfinder Pally editors did) so it becomes even easier to fall.

Clerics have to blasphemy do something to fall basically.

Kris Strife
2010-04-02, 07:15 AM
Druids can also fallautumn by changing alignment to something with no nuetral component or ceasing to revere nature. We had a thread on what a jerk DM should do to druids a while back. :smallamused:

Optimystik
2010-04-02, 07:44 AM
How so? I'm sure there are alot of Good gods that would have there clergy fall for the same reason paladins would.
I just think cuz its alot less obvious to alot of newer gms that they eaither forget or just don't care about the cleric fall mechanic.

Clerics don't fall for failing to police the party. Hell, they have a reason to travel with evildoers/heathens - trying to convert them.

The code of conduct of a deity is their dogma, and a lot of deities' dogma can be interpreted to fit just about any situation. Mystra is a good deity, but part of her dogma says "seek always to learn and create new magic." So one of her theurges can study at the feet of a less than reputable mage and still uphold her instructions, by learning new spells from him. Similarly, most gods would be upset if their clerics claimed to belong to another religion, but not Mask - so long as his clerics don't lie outright, they can dance around the truth as much as they please. "I serve the one who safeguards all wealth" can trick anybody into thinking you're a cleric of Waukeen instead of a Maskarran. Far from being upset, Mask would likely approve. And so on. Paladins don't have nearly that much leeway.

CockroachTeaParty
2010-04-02, 08:18 AM
If anyone wants to read about a paladin tearing up some hobgoblins, check out this Red Hand of Doom game, (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8039780#post8039780) where my Dragonborn paladin of Bahamut proceeds to critical hit just about every attack with his lance.

As my first serious attempt as a paladin, I'm certainly enjoying myself. :smallbiggrin:

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-02, 08:36 AM
Clerics don't fall for failing to police the party. Hell, they have a reason to travel with evildoers/heathens - trying to convert them.

The code of conduct of a deity is their dogma, and a lot of deities' dogma can be interpreted to fit just about any situation. Mystra is a good deity, but part of her dogma says "seek always to learn and create new magic." So one of her theurges can study at the feet of a less than reputable mage and still uphold her instructions, by learning new spells from him. Similarly, most gods would be upset if their clerics claimed to belong to another religion, but not Mask - so long as his clerics don't lie outright, they can dance around the truth as much as they please. "I serve the one who safeguards all wealth" can trick anybody into thinking you're a cleric of Waukeen instead of a Maskarran. Far from being upset, Mask would likely approve. And so on. Paladins don't have nearly that much leeway.

Good examples, how ever arn't they neutral gods?
If you complaired them to helm, tyr or some one like that it would be a little more paladin like.

hamishspence
2010-04-02, 08:47 AM
Pallys fall for choatic or evil actions... it is a lot less leeway.

Only in 2nd ed (and maybe 1st ed) did a paladin fall for any chaotic act committed.

It's something to think about- how playing paladins has gotten a little easier over time.

2nd ed- Any Chaotic act- You Fall. Any evil act- You fall. Any intentional evil act- you stay fallen.

3rd ed- Any evil act- You Fall. Any intentional evil act- you stay fallen.

3.5 ed- Any evil act- You Fall. But you can redeem yourself- whether the evil act was intentional or not.

This is aside the issue of grossly breaching your code without actually committing an evil act, or changing alignment.

Starbuck_II
2010-04-02, 08:59 AM
Only in 2nd ed (and maybe 1st ed) did a paladin fall for any chaotic act committed.

This is aside the issue of grossly breaching your code without actually committing an evil act, or changing alignment.

The code is part lawful and good. If you take out the good, you fall for chaotic acts.
Additionally, a paladinís code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.

1) Respect Legimate Authority- lawful.
2) Act with Honor-Lawful

Thus you fall for choatic acts
1) Not respecting the law.
2) lying
3) Cheating
4) Using poison
5) Stealing

Chaotic acts aren't honorable.

hamishspence
2010-04-02, 09:03 AM
According to BoVD, lying, cheating, stealing, are all associated with evil rather than chaos. (Though it lists lying as not always evil, but very risky)

Defenders of the Faith says the same thing- adding using poison to the list.

Also- the "gross" bit is important. You don't fall for Chaotic acts- you fall for major chaotic acts that breach the code.

Not all chaotic acts breach the code- making a decision based entirely on whim, rather than reasoning, is pretty Chaotic.

Paladins are (especially in BoED) Good first, Lawful second- a paladin who chooses to do the Good thing over the Lawful thing (if the choice ever comes down to that) doesn't Fall.

Optimystik
2010-04-02, 09:04 AM
Good examples, how ever arn't they neutral gods?

Only ethically. Morally, Mystra is Good, Mask is Evil.

Compare Mask to Bane - Bane would never want his clerics pretending to be in another faith, as it would be a sign of severe weakness. "Serve no one but Bane."

hamishspence
2010-04-02, 09:07 AM
The previous Mystra was Lawful Neutral- and the current one still grants spells to those clerics or paladins who worshipped the old one.

So, you might meet LG, NG, CG, LN, and LE clerics of Mystra, as well as LG paladins of Mystra.


Chaotic acts aren't honorable.

There are times when the more honorable thing to do can be Chaotic. Such as disobeying a legitimate authority, when it asks you to do something wrong.

And if lying is taken as a code breach- it isn't always an evil one, or one Chaotic enough to cause an instant Fall.

In Wars & XPs, two paladins lie to Miko-
"Isn't that a violation of our code?"
"Yeah- but it's not a gross violation"

Optimystik
2010-04-02, 09:15 AM
The previous Mystra was Lawful Neutral- and the current one still grants spells to those clerics or paladins who worshipped the old one.

So, you might meet LG, NG, CG, LN, and LE clerics of Mystra, as well as LG paladins of Mystra.

Exactly. So again, it's very hard for her clerics to violate the CoC, so long as they advance the cause of magic. She strikes me as the kind of deity that would grant someone like Raistlin all kinds of concessions, even though he's an unapologetic bastard, simply because he values magic so highly.

But her paladins would be more constrained, simply because they're paladins.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-02, 09:18 AM
The code is part lawful and good. If you take out the good, you fall for chaotic acts.
Additionally, a paladinís code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.

1) Respect Legimate Authority- lawful.
2) Act with Honor-Lawful

Thus you fall for choatic acts
1) Not respecting the law.
2) lying
3) Cheating
4) Using poison
5) Stealing

Chaotic acts aren't honorable.

I agree with you there. Though the not respecting the law thing depends as "legitimate authority" is a grey area. And realy depends on the paladin order (aka GM). I could see that fluctuating especialy if your in land that has alot of corrupt politics in it.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-02, 09:19 AM
Exactly. So again, it's very hard for her clerics to violate the CoC, so long as they advance the cause of magic. She strikes me as the kind of deity that would grant someone like Raistlin all kinds of concessions, even though he's an unapologetic bastard, simply because he values magic so highly.

But her paladins would be more constrained, simply because they're paladins.


I guess. I don't see mystra as being a good or evil though i guess her opposition to shar makes her good.

hamishspence
2010-04-02, 09:21 AM
I think the concessions apply more to clerics who used to be clerics of the last Mystra.

So a LG cleric who first started worshipping the present one, who becomes LN, or LE, would Fall, even though those are valid alignments.

Because Mystra cuts worshippers of the previous Mystra more slack- but only up to a point.

The previous one was much more ruthless.


I agree with you there. Though the not respecting the law thing depends as "legitimate authority" is a grey area. And realy depends on the paladin order (aka GM). I could see that fluctuating especialy if your in land that has alot of corrupt politics in it.

One of my favorite cases was in Tymora's Luck- a paladin disobeying a direct order from her (NG) deity-

The deity asks "How dare you disobey me and risk falling from my grace?"

Her answer- because what the deity was doing, was wrong.

Optimystik
2010-04-02, 09:31 AM
The thing is, The current (or former, if you want to be technical :smallamused:) one's dogma doesn't stipulate using Magic in any particular moral way; just being moderate and not using it to reshape the world to your will - which could apply to overzealous Good wizards as much as to Evil ones.

Ilmater is another strange example. "Stand up to all tyrants and allow no injustice to go unchallenged," says his dogma, but that's an overly confrontational stance for a Lawful follower to take. BoED states that LG characters are more wont to change an oppressive system gradually from within, than simply fly in its face like an NG or CG character would (except as a last resort.)

A Cleric of Ilmater is free to take this stance from the start and possibly slip to NG in the process without falling, but a Paladin of Ilmater cannot. He has to try the slow way first or risk losing his powers, by RAW. It's a senseless system to me.

Ranger Mattos
2010-04-02, 09:34 AM
I love paladins. I just hate when people play them as 'Lawful Stupid.' They may be holy warriors, but they shouldn't have that 'holier than thou' attitude.

hamishspence
2010-04-02, 09:35 AM
Then of course you've got the (rare) deity which is two steps away from LG and allows paladins, like the CG Sune. So the paladin ends up pulled two ways, between the dogma of a CG deity, and Lawful Goodness.


I love paladins. I just hate when people play them as 'Lawful Stupid.' They may be holy warriors, but they shouldn't have that 'holier than thou' attitude.

Yes- Dragonbait, in the Finder's Stone trilogy is said to have began as holier-than-thou before book 1- but learns humility and the ability to respect worldly things- and stops being Lawful Stupid (which is what he's implied to be before the start of book 1.)

Nidogg
2010-04-02, 09:37 AM
I DMd a game where the paladin was kept in the dark. This seems very one dimentional (even when the paly is a 8INT Minotaur) But If the paladin frowns on evil acts, doesnt activly partisipate and occasionaly steps in, then its all good, in my eyes...

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-02, 09:37 AM
The thing is, The current (or former, if you want to be technical :smallamused:) one's dogma doesn't stipulate using Magic in any particular moral way; just being moderate and not using it to reshape the world to your will - which could apply to overzealous Good wizards as much as to Evil ones.

Ilmater is another strange example. "Stand up to all tyrants and allow no injustice to go unchallenged," says his dogma, but that's an overly confrontational stance for a Lawful follower to take. BoED states that LG characters are more wont to change an oppressive system gradually from within, than simply fly in its face like an NG or CG character would (except as a last resort.)

A Cleric of Ilmater is free to take this stance from the start and possibly slip to NG in the process without falling, but a Paladin of Ilmater cannot. He has to try the slow way first or risk losing his powers, by RAW. It's a senseless system to me.
I can agree with you on that and Taking RAW it doesn't make sense that paladins would be of that order. Yet I belive in Champions of valor they talk about how. That is at least what i understand. I have never actualy read the book.
Does it also talk about how the Code should be shifted or tweeked to fit the gods code.


From a NON Raw aproch, I've always shifted god paladins code to fit better with there god's views. So long as there still "good" or "evil" I just can't see a paladin of a netrial god.

hamishspence
2010-04-02, 09:41 AM
Paladins of a Lawful Neutral god (like St Cuthbert, or Helm) work. Maybe adding a little extra compassion to their deity's doctrine.

Though in FRCS, it seems to suggest they don't, much:

"Helm: Paladins of the Watcher prefer to guard against evil or slay it outright rather than work to heal its damages. They seem rigid and uninteresed in helping others"

whereas:

"Ilmater: Paladins of the Broken God guard the weak and use their healing powers on any who need them. They are not shy about fighting evil, but they would rather pause to heal someone who is about to die than sacrifice that life in order to pursue fleeing evildoers"

Ilmaterite paladins seem LG with NG tendencies, whereas Helmite ones seem LG with LN tendencies.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-02, 09:46 AM
Paladins of a Lawful Neutral god (like St Cuthbert, or Helm) work. Maybe adding a little extra compassion to their deity's doctrine.

I could see a paladin of helm, even as it stands. Most of the tenants are the same.
Probebly would play him more of a defender of the weak

hamishspence
2010-04-02, 09:48 AM
Probebly would play him more of a defender of the weak

which fits- though apparently, while they defend the weak, they aren't much for fixing the damage evil does, or for helping people who are in trouble that isn't caused by evildoers.

Optimystik
2010-04-02, 09:50 AM
I love paladins. I just hate when people play them as 'Lawful Stupid.' They may be holy warriors, but they shouldn't have that 'holier than thou' attitude.

http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s52/Optimystic8/Suzaku-LSPoster.jpg


From a NON Raw aproch, I've always shifted god paladins code to fit better with there god's views. So long as there still "good" or "evil" I just can't see a paladin of a netrial god.

Like Hamish said, I can't really see Helm or Kelemvor without Paladins. Although come to think of it, I can't really envision Evil members of their respective orders either. Well-intentioned Extremists maybe?

hamishspence
2010-04-02, 09:57 AM
Even within the ranks of paladins of a specific god, there will be different orders with different specialities- in Champions of Valor there are at least two Ilmaterite paladin orders-

Companions of the Noble Heart- who specialize in eliminating the cruel, those who enjoy the torture and suffering of others.

Order of the Golden Cup- sooth the hurts of the world, rather than seeking out evil to destroy- though they never hesitate to fight if fighting is necessary.

I'm not sure about Helm and Kelemvor- though Well Intentioned Extremists (maybe of the "protect people by brutal sacrifice" or the kind of Kelemvorite that likes the concept of the Wall of the Faithless) might work.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-02, 09:57 AM
Like Hamish said, I can't really see Helm or Kelemvor without Paladins. Although come to think of it, I can't really envision Evil members of their respective orders either. Well-intentioned Extremists maybe?

Exactly. That's what i was getting at. Even though there LN a LG paladin can follow them with out issue.


Though i feel this is slightly getting off topic. I think a lot of GM's go over bored with the whole paladin fall/ paladin code.
Though it is realy up to the GM. Even by raw i feel as though its more up to the GM as the actualy phrasing of the paladin code can be taken in very different ways..

also Wasn't there an order of paladins in Planescape that enforced law pritty violently? I remember them being LG though, they where just realy violent about it.

hamishspence
2010-04-02, 10:01 AM
also Wasn't there an order of paladins in Planescape that enforced law pritty violently? I remember them being LG though, they where just realy violent about it.

the Sons of Mercy were good guys who worked with the system.

the Sodkillers were fanatical, cruel bounty hunters and assassins.

the two combined to produce the Mercykillers.

More recently, in the Faction War, the two split up again.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-02, 10:13 AM
the Sons of Mercy were good guys who worked with the system.

the Sodkillers were fanatical, cruel bounty hunters and assassins.

the two combined to produce the Mercykillers.

More recently, in the Faction War, the two split up again.

Where they the ones that where like hey you you are being evil (have just stolen a purse) and then smashed the guys face in? I remember one being absolulty brutal in there pursut of Goodness...

We often questioned how they didn't fall.

edit:
Though i believe a lot of what was "good" in planescape was more about perception then any thing.

hamishspence
2010-04-02, 10:19 AM
Could be (my knowledge of Planescape is a little thin).

If it's the Planescape Torment game that their behaviour is from- Computer games might work slightly differently. A bit like the Flaming Fist, in Baldur's Gate.

If it's pen-and-paper, I'm not sure why they wouldn't Fall. Possibly 2nd ed was more lax on some forms of behaviour- like paladins acting as judge, jury, and executioner.

Or it could simply be that Sigil has no official law enforcement- so the paladins aren't "failing to respect the law" by acting in this fashion.


Though i believe a lot of what was "good" in planescape was more about perception then any thing.

I'm guessing that the Sons of Mercy were a lot more about protecting people, enforcing the law without this kind of OTT behaviour, than the Mercykillers.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-02, 10:32 AM
Or it could simply be that Sigil has no official law enforcement- so the paladins aren't "failing to respect the law" by acting in this fashion.


See there in lies the problem with the paladin, Failing to respect the law could be argued that the lady of pain is evil and therefor is a currupt politician so to say?

Yukitsu
2010-04-02, 10:36 AM
See there in lies the problem with the paladin, Failing to respect the law could be argued that the lady of pain is evil and therefor is a currupt politician so to say?

Well, she's not a politician, and she's not so much got laws as "If you do this I'll put you in my shadow." Besides, most of her erstwhile laws are actually rather reasonable.

SmartAlec
2010-04-02, 10:43 AM
Worth noting that neither the Sons of Mercy nor the Mercykillers were Paladin orders - they were organisations that had some paladin members, however, who (in the case of the Mercykillers, especially) worked to balance the influence of the more bloodthirsty or cruel members. A paladin member of the Mercykillers reformed the Sons of Mercy after the Mercykillers split.

Law enforcement in Sigil was complex, with the Mercykillers having overall control of the Prison and the punishment of those criminals found guilty, but they had no control over the Courts or the police forces (which were maintained by the Fraternity of Order and the Harmonium, respectively).

WarKitty
2010-04-02, 11:52 AM
Our current party contains a paladin and a blackguard. The DM house-ruled that the paladin can associate with evil characters for the quest as long as he doesn't help them be evil. (Since we pretty much got tossed into the dungeon with no way out except through the quest, the dm figured the paladin wasn't willingly associating with them).

It's actually turning out to be a lot of fun. The paladin pretends to be a total idiot...but has a few tricks up his sleeve. Of course, we have one of those parties that would probably kill each other if there wasn't a quest to do, and aren't shy about letting each other know that.

hamishspence
2010-04-02, 12:31 PM
that's one way of doing it- good and evil people can certainly work together toward a common goal.

Dungeon has an adventure path, where the heroes have to put together an alliance between celestials and demons- to thwart Demogorgon.

So- you're allied (for the duration) with Orcus & Malcanthet, and from the celestials, you have Gwynharwyf (one of the mightiest of the eladrin.) And Charon of the yugoloths, is also helping.

So- alliances between good and evil forces, even outsiders, aren't exactly impossible in D&D

mackejn
2010-04-02, 12:45 PM
Well I mean as far as it goes. Lawful good means following the law and doing good right? So, if you consider your god to be the only valid law and the ultimate source of good then anything you do in the service of your god won't make you fall right? I mean its all in how you interpret stuff. I'm still new to the whole roleplaying thing. It seems to me that the biggest issue with paladins is simply people's pre-concieved notions of them. Use your imagination a little.

Starbuck_II
2010-04-02, 12:48 PM
Well I mean as far as it goes. Lawful good means following the law and doing good right? So, if you consider your god to be the only valid law and the ultimate source of good then anything you do in the service of your god won't make you fall right? I mean its all in how you interpret stuff. I'm still new to the whole roleplaying thing. It seems to me that the biggest issue with paladins is simply people's pre-concieved notions of them. Use your imagination a little.
No, that would be LG Clerics.
But Paladins have a code written in the PHB they also have to follow despite their god's will.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-02, 12:48 PM
Well I mean as far as it goes. Lawful good means following the law and doing good right? So, if you consider your god to be the only valid law and the ultimate source of good then anything you do in the service of your god won't make you fall right? I mean its all in how you interpret stuff. I'm still new to the whole roleplaying thing. It seems to me that the biggest issue with paladins is simply people's pre-concieved notions of them. Use your imagination a little.

I agree with you here.
I always saw a lawful character following a set of guidlines be they tradition or something set down by your god.

I personaly always saw guild rogues as LN rogues.

edit:
@starbuck_

Additionally, a paladinís code requires that she respect legitimate authority
The only legitimate authority is my god/there god

act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth),
Not lying at all can be more dishonorable then honorable in some situations usualy petty ones , like when and when not to use tact. Posion obvious as well as cheeting. But then again what defines honor, I would say the things in the () are examples of what typical honor is.

help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends),
I can't think of any gods that don't promote this. that are good.


and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.

Again pritty obvious.


I'd say there is quite a bit of leway for interpertation.

mackejn
2010-04-02, 01:00 PM
No, that would be LG Clerics.
But Paladins have a code written in the PHB they also have to follow despite their god's will.

Disclaimer: I do not now, nor do I plan on owning a 3.5e or earlier players handbook.

What I have seen of the Paladin code from the SRD is:
Never commit an evil act
Respect legitimate authority
Act with honor
Help those who need help
Punish those that harm or threaten innocents

The only items here I find remotely hindering are the punishing those that harm or threaten innocents and commiting an evil act. The only time that's an issue is when SOMEONE else in the party wants to force an all evil party. If you're doing those two things you're pretty much forcing everyone else's alignment anyways. So, its a question of is your enjoyment of being an evil bastard more important than the paladin's being a good bastard. You can generally get along with just about anyone other than out and out stupid super serial rapist/murderer evil. Everyone's character puts a certain amount of roleplaying limitation on other people in the group. It's just a question of your enjoyment vs there's. You can do a pretty good job of bending the rules and manipulating your perspective to allow things just like RagnaroksChosen said if you're willing to use a little creativity and imagination. The only time it's an issue is if someone else makes it an issue. Like other people have said, there's a difference between lawful stupid and lawful good. It's all in how the person playing chooses to play it.

Eldonauran
2010-04-02, 01:00 PM
Interpretation only goes so far. In D&D, good and evil, law and chaos are absolute values. You can justify any action and make yourself believe that it is right or it is wrong but that won't change the inherant value of the action.

There is a reason for every action and it is that reason that determines whether or not the action was good, evil, lawful or chaotic.

Let's say a group of adventurers just slew a powerful lich and saved the world from evil. Everyone would praise the group for doing a good act. However, the act may or may not be good. It all depends on WHY the adventurers defeated the lich.

The paladin adventured to save the innocents and prevent the spread of evil across the land. The paladin performed a good act by slaying the lich.

The cleric (lets say LN) adventured to prevent the spread of chaos bound to manifest by the slaughter of the people and hordes of undead. He only cared for the order that might be lost. This was a lawful act, purely.

The rogue (let's say CN) adventered for the glory and riches that would be available. The lair of a lich!? Imagine what could be in there! Hope we beat all the other thieves to it! The rogue was only looking out for himself, though he watched the backs of the characters fighting with him since that would keep him safer. Despite all of this, he only fought as a whim and for profit. Chaotic act.

Now, let's look at the wizard (NE). Normally, an evil charcter would be in the service of evil. But we need a reason for this wizard to be fighting along side a paladin. Since evil people can love and care for others and have complete disregard for everyone else, let's say the one of the wizard's close friends or relatives was slain by one of the lich's legions of zombies. The wizard wants revenge and not only that, to make the lich suffer because of the personal distress it has caused him. While benefitting the world as a whole, the wizard performed an evil act.

Each of these characters acted towards their alignment even when judged by the rest of the world as performing a Good act.

D&D alignment is incredbily simple and yet very complex. You have to understand intimately why your character does something in order to get to the bare-bones truth of your motivations.

Starbuck_II
2010-04-02, 01:04 PM
Disclaimer: I do not now, nor do I plan on owning a 3.5e or earlier players handbook.

What I have seen of the Paladin code from the SRD is:
Never commit an evil act
Respect legitimate authority
Act with honor
Help those who need help
Punish those that harm or threaten innocents

The only items here I find remotely hindering are the punishing those that harm or threaten innocents and commiting an evil act. The only time that's an issue is when SOMEONE else in the party wants to force an all evil party. If you're doing those two things you're pretty much forcing everyone else's alignment anyways. So, its a question of is your enjoyment of being an evil bastard more important than the paladin's being a good bastard. You can generally get along with just about anyone other than out and out stupid super serial rapist/murderer evil.

Everyone's character puts a certain amount of roleplaying limitation on other people in the group. It's just a question of your enjoyment vs there's. You can do a pretty good job of bending the rules and manipulating your perspective to allow things just like RagnaroksChosen said if you're willing to use a little creativity and imagination. The only time it's an issue is if someone else makes it an issue. Like other people have said, there's a difference between lawful stupid and lawful good. It's all in how the person playing chooses to play it.

You also can't associate with evil people. So without a houserule, no conversions/adventuring with evil.

mackejn
2010-04-02, 01:06 PM
Interpretation only goes so far. In D&D, good and evil, law and chaos are absolute values. You can justify any action and make yourself believe that it is right or it is wrong but that won't change the inherant value of the action.

There is a reason for every action and it is that reason that determines whether or not the action was good, evil, lawful or chaotic.

Let's say a group of adventurers just slew a powerful lich and saved the world from evil. Everyone would praise the group for doing a good act. However, the act may or may not be good. It all depends on WHY the adventurers defeated the lich.

The paladin adventured to save the innocents and prevent the spread of evil across the land. The paladin performed a good act by slaying the lich.

The cleric (lets say LN) adventured to prevent the spread of chaos bound to manifest by the slaughter of the people and hordes of undead. He only cared for the order that might be lost. This was a lawful act, purely.

The rogue (let's say CN) adventered for the glory and riches that would be available. The lair of a lich!? Imagine what could be in there! Hope we beat all the other thieves to it! The rogue was only looking out for himself, though he watched the backs of the characters fighting with him since that would keep him safer. Despite all of this, he only fought as a whim and for profit. Chaotic act.

Now, let's look at the wizard (NE). Normally, an evil charcter would be in the service of evil. But we need a reason for this wizard to be fighting along side a paladin. Since evil people can love and care for others and have complete disregard for everyone else, let's say the one of the wizard's close friends or relatives was slain by one of the lich's legions of zombies. The wizard wants revenge and not only that, to make the lich suffer because of the personal distress it has caused him. While benefitting the world as a whole, the wizard performed an evil act.

Each of these characters acted towards their alignment even when judged by the rest of the world as performing a Good act.

Actually it's up to the DM and the people playing.

Oh you killed that poor lich. You should have redeemed him. You shouldnt' have killed him, killing is evil. You should have either sacrificed yourself to the cause or managed to turn him from his wicked ways. Therefore, you fall. It's all in how you interpret things. Like I said. I think this is more about leftover perspectives from people who've been playing D&D too long enforcing their ideas of what a paladin should be. It's one of the main reasons I'm happy WotC doesn't have that restriction in 4e and why I probably won't ever be playing 3.5e or eariler.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-02, 01:12 PM
Interpretation only goes so far. In D&D, good and evil, law and chaos are absolute values. You can justify any action and make yourself believe that it is right or it is wrong but that won't change the inherant value of the action.

There is a reason for every action and it is that reason that determines whether or not the action was good, evil, lawful or chaotic.

Let's say a group of adventurers just slew a powerful lich and saved the world from evil. Everyone would praise the group for doing a good act. However, the act may or may not be good. It all depends on WHY the adventurers defeated the lich.


The rogue (let's say CN) adventered for the glory and riches that would be available. The lair of a lich!? Imagine what could be in there! Hope we beat all the other thieves to it! The rogue was only looking out for himself, though he watched the backs of the characters fighting with him since that would keep him safer. Despite all of this, he only fought as a whim and for profit. Chaotic act.

Now, let's look at the wizard (NE). Normally, an evil charcter would be in the service of evil. But we need a reason for this wizard to be fighting along side a paladin. Since evil people can love and care for others and have complete disregard for everyone else, let's say the one of the wizard's close friends or relatives was slain by one of the lich's legions of zombies. The wizard wants revenge and not only that, to make the lich suffer because of the personal distress it has caused him. While benefitting the world as a whole, the wizard performed an evil act.

Each of these characters acted towards their alignment even when judged by the rest of the world as performing a Good act.

D&D alignment is incredbily simple and yet very complex. You have to understand intimately why your character does something in order to get to the bare-bones truth of your motivations.

I agree and disagree with you. Over all they commited a good act by ridding the world of an evil. no matter what there motivations are that was a good act.

Now the cleric and the pally i agree with your explinations though the cleric could still be considered a good act.

However the mindset you describe the rogue having is definetly more twords NE then it is CN. He was in it for him self. NE is definetly described more on a selfish nature. I hardly see it being chaotic or lawful for that matter.

The wizard, im not sure about vengance is more evil act i agree though im not sure if it is enough to quantify a purly evil act.

Eldonauran
2010-04-02, 01:40 PM
Actually it's up to the DM and the people playing.

To a certain degree, this is correct. The DM is the Alpha and Omega of the game. He can choose to change anything he wants. The DM and the players can change the alignment of the character whenever they want by having the character act different. This does not change how the alignment system works.


I agree and disagree with you. Over all they commited a good act by ridding the world of an evil. no matter what there motivations are that was a good act.

To the world they saved, they commited a good act. However, how everyone thinks of them does not change who they are or their alignment. This is the line a lot of people can trip up on. The 'greater good' or the appearance of a 'good' act has no bearing on the act itself. Perceptions can be warped and twisted. Perceptions can be illusions.


However the mindset you describe the rogue having is definetly more twords NE then it is CN. He was in it for him self. NE is definetly described more on a selfish nature. I hardly see it being chaotic or lawful for that matter.

I see we have differences in how we see selfishness. You can be selfish, yet willing to sacrifice for the one's you love. You can be selfish and still give the homeless guy a few dollars.

I see chaos as always needing a motivating force in order to get it into motion or another force to get it to stop. The rogue I used in my example was chaotic neutral. As a neutral character, he had much to gain by living in a country or world ruled by good people as he would not be overly exploited. However, he was greedy though never actually went far enough to intentionally harm an innocent in order to further his greed.

Given the chance to raid a lich's treasure (completely evil dude that deserves no mercy) and get away with all that loot? That's a pretty powerful motivating force to get him moving.

Now, I do admit, I did not give enough insight into the rogue's motivations to give a perfect example of his alignment, so whatever you perceive from the example is fine as well. I just wantd to clarify.


The wizard, im not sure about vengance is more evil act i agree though im not sure if it is enough to quantify a purly evil act.

Well, it was more the intending the lich to suffer horribly for the wizard's personal grief that made it an evil act, instead of retribution. I could have used a stronger example...


Oh, and converting a lich? The lich wouldn't surrender. Paladin had to destroy him. Didn't think that needed mentioning but, some people...

Mystic Muse
2010-04-02, 01:48 PM
You also can't associate knowinglywith evil people. So without a houserule, no conversions/adventuring with evil.

Fixed it for you.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-02, 02:05 PM
To a certain degree, this is correct. The DM is the Alpha and Omega of the game. He can choose to change anything he wants. The DM and the players can change the alignment of the character whenever they want by having the character act different. This does not change how the alignment system works.

Agreed.



To the world they saved, they commited a good act. However, how everyone thinks of them does not change who they are or their alignment. This is the line a lot of people can trip up on. The 'greater good' or the appearance of a 'good' act has no bearing on the act itself. Perceptions can be warped and twisted. Perceptions can be illusions.

Agreed again. though the same can be applyed to a personal view of ones morals.



I see we have differences in how we see selfishness. You can be selfish, yet willing to sacrifice for the one's you love. You can be selfish and still give the homeless guy a few dollars.

Selfish:concerned chiefly or only with yourself and your advantage to the exclusion of others. That is what I consider selfishness.
Selfishness by definition is not caring about others.
Therefore is a decidedly evil act.



I see chaos as always needing a motivating force in order to get it into motion or another force to get it to stop. The rogue I used in my example was chaotic neutral. As a neutral character, he had much to gain by living in a country or world ruled by good people as he would not be overly exploited. However, he was greedy though never actually went far enough to intentionally harm an innocent in order to further his greed.

Given the chance to raid a lich's treasure (completely evil dude that deserves no mercy) and get away with all that loot? That's a pretty powerful motivating force to get him moving.

Now, I do admit, I did not give enough insight into the rogue's motivations to give a perfect example of his alignment, so whatever you perceive from the example is fine as well. I just wantd to clarify.

Which is my point exactly is that it can change from person to person and there isn't as much a hard fast rule.




Well, it was more the intending the lich to suffer horribly for the wizard's personal grief that made it an evil act, instead of retribution. I could have used a stronger example...

Oh, and converting a lich? The lich wouldn't surrender. Paladin had to destroy him. Didn't think that needed mentioning but, some people...
I think the comment on the lich was more of sarcasm then any thing.

My over all point is that Good and evil in dnd are not hard fast rules as they are not in RL.

Casting animate dead on a dead relitive to save a child from an orc? is that a good or an evil act?

What about summoning Celestial monkeys with summon monster 1 that is a good act do you move more twords good?

What about Raising a dead paladin/holy man as a skeleton to help fight for a just cause?

Inflict minor wounds?

All of these are grey areas on what is good and evil and there open for interpertation.

Eldonauran
2010-04-02, 02:24 PM
Agreed again. though the same can be applyed to a personal view of ones morals.

Agreed, however one's morals have no effect on the asbolute value of the alignment system. What you consider right and wrong may be completely evil (In the D&D univers, let's leave real life out of this). My entire arguement is 'why you do something determines the alignment of the action.'


Selfish:concerned chiefly or only with yourself and your advantage to the exclusion of others. That is what I consider selfishness.
Selfishness by definition is not caring about others.
Therefore is a decidedly evil act.

I agree on the first 2 statements. I do not agree that it makes you evil. Everyone is selfish to a certain degree, we all do share the survival instinct (for example) and all want to succeed in life. How far we are willing to go to feed that selfishness is where I have to draw the line. Overcoming the selfishness is what I believe determines whether or not the person/character is good or evil.


Which is my point exactly is that it can change from person to person and there isn't as much a hard fast rule.

Agreed


I think the comment on the lich was more of sarcasm then any thing.

Actually, it was directed to a different poster. Of course the good guys would offer the lich a chance to surrender. The lich, being the BBEG and totally undead and evil, would fight to the end.


My over all point is that Good and evil in dnd are not hard fast rules as they are not in RL.

I have to disagree. They are not overly apparent and not easily perceived. You have to understand the motivation behind the act to determine whether or not the act is good, evil, lawful or chaotic. That is where the DM and the players (who know the character the best) come into play.


Casting animate dead on a dead relitive to save a child from an orc? is that a good or an evil act?

The spell is evil (rules here but good people respect the dead and shouldn't mess with necromancy) but the motivation is pure and good. Neutral would be my ruling. But even such a small evil act wouldn't overtly affect the characters alignment.


What about summoning Celestial monkeys with summon monster 1 that is a good act do you move more twords good?

Depends what you do with the monkeys and such a small good act won't overtly affect the alignment of the character


What about Raising a dead paladin/holy man as a skeleton to help fight for a just cause?

Ooooh, thats a good one. See above on the animate dead. Pretty sure you are going to piss someone off in the afterlife, and maybe still living, but nuetral none-the-less.


Inflict minor wounds?

See necromancy above. This would be situational. In a fight, neutral. As a means of torture, evil.


All of these are grey areas on what is good and evil and there open for interpertation.

Give me the motivations of the characters and their application of examples (more details the better) and I will give you an alignment.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-02, 02:31 PM
Agreed, however one's morals have no effect on the asbolute value of the alignment system. What you consider right and wrong may be completely evil (In the D&D univers, let's leave real life out of this). My entire arguement is 'why you do something determines the alignment of the action.'



I agree on the first 2 statements. I do not agree that it makes you evil. Everyone is selfish to a certain degree, we all do share the survival instinct (for example) and all want to succeed in life. How far we are willing to go to feed that selfishness is where I have to draw the line. Overcoming the selfishness is what I believe determines whether or not the person/character is good or evil.



Agreed



Actually, it was directed to a different poster. Of course the good guys would offer the lich a chance to surrender. The lich, being the BBEG and totally undead and evil, would fight to the end.



I have to disagree. They are not overly apparent and not easily perceived. You have to understand the motivation behind the act to determine whether or not the act is good, evil, lawful or chaotic. That is where the DM and the players (who know the character the best) come into play.



The spell is evil (rules here but good people respect the dead and shouldn't mess with necromancy) but the motivation is pure and good. Neutral would be my ruling. But even such a small evil act wouldn't overtly affect the characters alignment.



Depends what you do with the monkeys and such a small good act won't overtly affect the alignment of the character



Ooooh, thats a good one. See above on the animate dead. Pretty sure you are going to piss someone off in the afterlife, and maybe still living, but nuetral none-the-less.



See necromancy above. This wound be situational. In a fight, neutral. As a means of torture, evil.



Give me the motivations of the characters and their application of examples (more details the better) and I will give you an alignment.

See but there in lines the thing i can come up with motivation for the character that can do any thing... MAssacre a thousand babies yes i can come up with a good reason to do it. Thats the thing there are different interpritations of good and evil. No universaly correct way . self motivation or not.

Though to me an act can be Evil regardless of intentions. That's just me though. All I was getting at is the fact that there is no hard fast rule for it and it is open for interetation. Dnd does not have unversal rights and wrongs. Necromancy is something that is seen as evil in multiple sources regardless of how it is being used.

I know some people use the alignment system in a similar way to Kotor. My group uses a more Jedi like way of good vs evil. where you can slowly slip to the "dark side" aka evil.



Edit: So wait after re reading what you wrought your saying that Dnd's ultimate decision on how good and evil work boils down to what your perspective on the act is.

Eldonauran
2010-04-02, 02:47 PM
See but there in lines the thing i can come up with motivation for the character that can do any thing... MAssacre a thousand babies yes i can come up with a good reason to do it. Thats the thing there are different interpritations of good and evil. No universaly correct way . self motivation or not.

There's our problem. Having a good reason to do something has no relevance to the character's alignment. We all know we shouldn't do certain things and yet we always find 'reasons' to 'justify' our actions when we choose do perform said action. Characters can act outside their alignment if they believe the reason is good enough. They are people too, even if they aren't real.

I want to know how your character works and why that character works. Why does the character think that killing a thousand babies is good thing? Is it to save millions of others? It won't be a good act. The results of an action do not determine the alignment of the action. What makes the character who they are and inspires them to act the way they do, that determines the alignment.

If the characters did slaughter a thousand children to save millions of others. He is performing an evil act in order to save others. He can justify it to himself, but its still evil, and in the case of a paladin, he just fell. In D&D, good and evil are driving forces, just a law and chaos and the nuetral alignments is either a lack of or combination of both of these alignments.

My whole arguement is hard to defend since it requires each action to be picked apart and looked at in detail to determine the truth. I am not the best debater either.


Edit: So wait after re reading what you wrought your saying that Dnd's ultimate decision on how good and evil work boils down to what your perspective on the act is.

Not exactly. As I said, not the best debater. You need to understand what drives the character in order to determine why they act as they do. When you understand the character, you can tell if their actions are determine by a willingness to help others, bring order to the universe, willingness to harm others to help themselves, resist the order of the universe (ie freedom), a mixture of any/all of the above or if their behavior has changed due to an outside motivation (ie, acting against their alignment for a specific reason).

I need to take more classes :smallsmile:

hamishspence
2010-04-02, 02:55 PM
A very self-centred person can be Neutral rather than evil- if they don't normally harm others.

Conversely, an altruistic person can be Evil- if in their altruism, they routinely harm others "for the good of the many"- when such harm is unreasonable and unnecessary.

Acts done with the primary motivation being personal gain can't normally be Good- but they can be Neutral- BoVD suggests that killing a creature of "consummate, irredeemable evil" for profit (or maybe glory), is a Neutral action, not a Good one.

So- you can have Neutral selfish people, and Evil altruistic people.

But you can't normally have Good selfish people (at least, not strongly selfish ones to the point of sociopathy).

In 2nd ed, Chaotic Good was characterised as "selfish but good-hearted" in the PHB- inplying that the milder forms of selfishness, are quite compatible with a Good alignment.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-02, 03:03 PM
There's our problem. Having a good reason to do something has no relevance to the character's alignment. We all know we shouldn't do certain things and yet we always find 'reasons' to 'justify' our actions when we choose do perform said action. Characters can act outside their alignment if they believe the reason is good enough. They are people too, even if they aren't real.

I want to know how your character works and why that character works. Why does the character think that killing a thousand babies is good thing? Is it to save millions of others? It won't be a good act. The results of an action do not determine the alignment of the action. What makes the character who they are and inspires them to act the way they do, that determines the alignment.

If the characters did slaughter a thousand children to save millions of others. He is performing an evil act in order to save others. He can justify it to himself, but its still evil, and in the case of a paladin, he just fell. In D&D, good and evil are driving forces, just a law and chaos and the nuetral alignments is either a lack of or combination of both of these alignments.

My whole arguement is hard to defend since it requires each action to be picked apart and looked at in detail to determine the truth. I am not the best debater either.



Not exactly. As I said, not the best debater. You need to understand what drives the character in order to determine why they act as they do. When you understand the character, you can tell if their actions are determine by a willingness to help others, bring order to the universe, willingness to harm others to help themselves, resist the order of the universe (ie freedom), a mixture of any/all of the above or if their behavior has changed due to an outside motivation (ie, acting against their alignment for a specific reason).

I need to take more classes :smallsmile:

Yes but see the problem is that even the motivations and thoughts a character has on there actions are subject to interpitation. Being that there thoughts on good and evil are subject to where they grew up(aka enviromental).

Dnd doesn't have a universal truth or evil. Much like paladins can adventure with evil as long as there is a way for the paladin to not detect the evil on the other character.

hamishspence
2010-04-02, 03:28 PM
And (in a sufficiently "crisis-ish" situation) they will work with evil guys on a strictly temporary basis.

Its long term association, of the "accept as fellow party member for an indefinite duration"- that's the thing they won't do.

Though they might act as companion and watcher for an evil guy going through the redemption process- going by BoED.



Yes but see the problem is that even the motivations and thoughts a character has on there actions are subject to interpitation. Being that there thoughts on good and evil are subject to where they grew up(aka enviromental).

Champions of Ruin discusses this- without giving much of an answer as to whether it works this way or not (DM's discretion starts to come into play)- still- its implied that it isn't completely relative, though different perspectives on evil can each have validity.


Tradition/There Is No Evil

One potential cause for evil is simply following the norms and standards of your ancestors and society. Evil is defined by society, not by the inherent laws of gods or nature. What might be considered the darkest taboo in one place might be a perfectly acceptable practice somewhere else. For example, slavery is illegal in many parts of Faerun but is fairly common in Thay, where even a good person might keep a slave or two simply because it is a societal norma. In some regions, the use of narcotics and hallucinogenic drugs is strongly discouraged, while in others it is an integral part of the daily spiritual lives of the people.

Other situations are not so obvious. Sorcery, for example, is forbidden in some regions for no other reason that the people distrust it. Anyone practicing sorcery in such a place might be called evil by the region's judges and sheriffs, while just across the border, sorcery is an honoured profession.

In civilized lands, violent retribution or revenge is the exclusive domain of the civil or religious authorities. The rule of law is meant to protect the innocent from hasty judgement by a grieving father or angry mob. If you are harmed and you lash out in retaliaton, your actions might be seen to be as evil as the crime you are avenging.

But in border regions and lawless areas where a person has to rely on his own devices, personal acts of revenge are the norm and are considered no more evil than an act of self defense. Evil can often bedefined no by an individuals acts or personal philosophy, but by the culture in which he is acting at the time.

Characters might use this philosophy to justify their actions, and they could very well be correct, depending on their individual circumstances. A half-orc from the Spine of the World or a drow character from the Underdark might have a much more liberal interpretation of what constitutes evil compared to someone from Silverymoon or Cormyr.

In any case, either the player or the DM must assign an alignment to the character, if for no other reason than the fact that alignment plays a critical role in how certain magic works- forbiddance spells, or dmage reduction that is overcome by a certain kind of aligned weapon, for example.

Morally ambiguous characters can be assigned the same alignment as their patron deity, if no other solution presents itself.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-02, 03:32 PM
Champions of Ruin discusses this- without giving much of an answer as to whether it works this way or not (DM's discretion starts to come into play)- still- its implied that it isn't completely relative, though different perspectives on evil can each have validity.

I wonder if there is any where in BOVD/BOED, CHAMPS of VALOR/RUIN or even C. CHampion that says any thing about modifying the paladin code. Becuase that would give a stand for modifying it a boost. Via RAW

Eldonauran
2010-04-02, 03:35 PM
Yes but see the problem is that even the motivations and thoughts a character has on there actions are subject to interpitation. Being that there thoughts on good and evil are subject to where they grew up(aka enviromental).

That's the problem right there. The character's thoughts or way they are brought up do not change the alignment of what they do. While their thoughts or background might influence how they choose to react to a situation, the basic motivating force behind those actions has a determidible alignment.

If it helps, you can think of it as a basic instinct. If the first gut instinct for the character is to help someone in need, that is a strong indication of a good alignment.

If the first thought is how can the character exploit the situation to better his own position, and the thought of what happens to the person doesn't even cross his mind, and that doesn't bother him, that is a strong indication of evil.

If the first instinct the character has is, should I help them, is that the acceptable thing to do, will i get in trouble if i don't help them? That is a strong indication of a lawful alignment.

If the first instinct is, do I want to help them? Do I need to help them? DO I have to help them? I would say that's a strong sign of a chaotic alignment.

Hmm, i think thats a bit clearer.

hamishspence
2010-04-02, 03:35 PM
Sadly, only 3rd party sources actually go into depth on modifying the code. Quintessenial Paladin 2 especially.

Complete Scoundrel's Grey Guard allows you to commit gross code breaches (including evil acts) without Falling- but only as the capstone feature.

Before that, you still fall, but if your acts "were in a just cause" and you get someone to cast the atonement spell on you, it costs that someone no XP to cast.



If it helps, you can think of it as a basic instinct. If the first gut instinct for the character is to help someone in need, that is a strong indication of a good alignment.

If the first thought is how can the character exploit the situation to better his own position, and the thought of what happens to the person doesn't even cross his mind, and that doesn't bother him, that is a strong indication of evil.

These two are a good baseline- though a character with a sufficiently strong tendency to sacrifice some people to help protect other people, might be Evil.

Conversely, a person keen to exploit situations to better their own position, might be Neutral if their exploitations have done little or no harm. However, the level of indifference to the suffering of someone in the example given, does seem to imply at least a tendency toward evil.

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-02, 03:47 PM
That's the problem right there. The character's thoughts or way they are brought up do not change the alignment of what they do. While their thoughts or background might influence how they choose to react to a situation, the basic motivating force behind those actions has a determidible alignment.

If it helps, you can think of it as a basic instinct. If the first gut instinct for the character is to help someone in need, that is a strong indication of a good alignment.

If the first thought is how can the character exploit the situation to better his own position, and the thought of what happens to the person doesn't even cross his mind, and that doesn't bother him, that is a strong indication of evil.

If the first instinct the character has is, should I help them, is that the acceptable thing to do, will i get in trouble if i don't help them? That is a strong indication of a lawful alignment.

If the first instinct is, do I want to help them? Do I need to help them? DO I have to help them? I would say that's a strong sign of a chaotic alignment.

Hmm, i think thats a bit clearer.

But see there thoughts and the way they are brought up effect every question you ask.

" the basic motivating force behind those actions has a determidible alignment." See thats where your wrong because that determidible alignment is influenced even by our RL thoughts on right and wrong.

For example some people belive murder is wrong no matter the context. I belive murder is not wrong except under certian context, IE cold blooded murder and the like. You are justifying the actions of an character based on A your own view of good and bad and B. what your view on what dnd belives is good and bad.

Eldonauran
2010-04-02, 03:55 PM
See thats where your wrong because that determidible alignment is influenced even by our RL thoughts on right and wrong.

Actually, real life good/evil perceptions have absolutely nothing to do with the D&D alignment. You have to compare the 'instincts' with the definitions of good and evil in the D&D universe, cause quite simply, real life doesn't come with a handbook. Good and evil are spelled out quite clearly in the PHB, with Lawful vs chaotic being the more vague extremes.

If the basic instincts do not key clearly to one of these definitions, then you leave that up to DM and player interpretation.

Some people find it hard to divest themselves of the 'real world'. It is absolutely key if you really want to 'roleplay' to the best of your ability. Its called being 'In Character'.

hamishspence
2010-04-02, 03:58 PM
There's usually a source providing an answer of sorts.

BoED takes the "you can't be Good aligned and not be altruistic" approach- though it doesn't rule out altruistic evil villains.

Savage Species takes the "you can be evil and still love some other people- be loyal to them, and so on" approach.

BoVD lists a lot of the common evil traits- though it does mention that some acts aren't always evil (lying) and mentions how context is important to whether an act is evil or not.

With, for example, a paladin destroying a village in a landslide- in the process of fleeing from extremely powerful monsters- if you didn't mean to and it wasn't forseeable- the act itself wasn't evil.

If you didn't mean to and it was forseeable- you gambled on your skill, and lost- it might be Fall-worthy "you're not exactly a murderer, but you should lose your paladin powers until you make some kind of atonement"

If you knew exactly what would happen, and you fled up that dangerous slope anyway- making the decision to sacrifice the village to save your own life, that's "clearly evil"

Champions of Ruin goes into some depth on various ways a character might be evil.

A person whose "basic gut instinct" is to help people- can still be evil if they routinely do evil acts.

Exemplars of Evil covers antagonists, not all of which are evil- discussing various personality traits and methods. Some personality traits are described as usually Lawful, others usually Chaotic

And Fiendish Codex 2 lists a few evil acts, giving them ranks on a scale, and using the name "corrupt" for them- saying how evil acts need to be atoned for. You can have done good all your life, but if you've done some Evil as well, and you haven't atoned for it, you are at risk of going to Baator, if you are Lawful.

Optimystik
2010-04-02, 04:01 PM
To add to the above, there are also clear links. Champions of Ruin defers to BoVD, and Champions of Valor defers to BoED. I'm not sure if the other books are similar though.

Eldonauran
2010-04-02, 04:01 PM
***Entire Post***

You are well versed and well read in the matters of D&D alignment. Not a lot of us around :smallamused:

If you agree with everything you posted there, you and I think very much alike when it comes to D&D alignment.

EDIT: Don't think I mentioned this but I love playing Paladins. They do what is right*, no matter what.

*Disclaimer: Right refers to Good and then law with never a thought of performing an evil act, no matter how hard the decision is to make. Thou shalt not sacrifice an innocent to save the world. The world should choose to sacrifice itself to save that innocent.

hamishspence
2010-04-02, 04:02 PM
Exemplars of Evil also refers back to BoVD, as does Heroes of Horror.

Eldar Evils doesn't really do philosophy though- just little bits of Vile content.

On D&D alignment- most of the various splatbooks do say things about alignment that make sense to me in the context of 3.5 ed D&D. Even BoED- its main problems have more to do with crunch than fluff. Specifically, a tendency to create versions of normally morally dubious things, that work only on Evil characters.

I figure though that context always applies. A character murdering a relatively harmless Evil-aligned person with a ravage, is doing an evil act, just as much as if the murder was committed with a dagger.

The only gain in ravages and the like- is less risk of collateral damage.

Eldonauran
2010-04-02, 04:08 PM
A character murdering a relatively harmless Evil-aligned person with a ravage, is doing an evil act, just as much as if the murder was committed with a dagger.

We do think alike. *sniff* :smalltongue:

hamishspence
2010-04-02, 04:12 PM
On paladins doing what's right- I mentioned one of the Faerun books I particularly liked, was one where the paladin (eventually) stands up to their own deity and disobeys them- when they understand their deity is doing wrong.

That was Tymora's Luck, by Kate Novak & Jeff Grubb.


We do think alike. *sniff* :smalltongue:

It seems though, that there's a lot of people on the forum who insist (vehemently) that there's no such thing as a relatively harmless Evil person, and that all Evil beings either have committed crimes deserving of death, or have personalities so malevolent that they are virtually certain to do so eventually- making killing them preemptively to protect others, always justified.

I'm not a big fan of this line of thinking.

Starbuck_II
2010-04-02, 04:20 PM
I figure though that context always applies. A character murdering a relatively harmless Evil-aligned person with a ravage, is doing an evil act, just as much as if the murder was committed with a dagger.

The only gain in ravages and the like- is less risk of collateral damage.

No, Ravage useage are a good act otherwise they wouldn't be sanctioned by BoED.

hamishspence
2010-04-02, 04:24 PM
BoED sanctions killing- but says player should think very carefully about whether it is necessary. There are times when killing even an evil person, is evil.

Same principle applies to ravages, or any other useful tool that can be abused.

Holy word is a (Good) descriptor spell- but it is possible to commit murder with it- and the fact that the spell is Good, would not affect the fact that the act is murder.

Casting Holy Word in a life-and-death battle with the BBEG is usually a Good act. Casting Holy Word in an orphanage to kill all the evil older children with the neutral children as collateral damage, would be a very Evil act.

Eldonauran
2010-04-02, 04:27 PM
On paladins doing what's right- I mentioned one of the Faerun books I particularly liked, was one where the paladin (eventually) stands up to their own deity and disobeys them- when they understand their deity is doing wrong.

That was Tymora's Luck, by Kate Novak & Jeff Grubb.

Dully noted and its next on my book list. D&D gods are not infallable. The paladins oath is what makes him a paladin, and exalted too. The paladin's belief in his oath should be stronger than the respect for his/her deity. Paladins do not bend. They will break first.


It seems though, that there's a lot of people on the forum who insist (vehemently) that there's no such thing as a relatively harmless Evil person, and that all Evil beings either have committed crimes deserving of death, or have personalities so malevolent that they are virtually certain to do so eventually- making killing them preemptively to protect others, always justified.

I'm not a big fan of this line of thinking.

Well, you are not alone there either.

Paladins that act without just cause are acting chaoticly and enough of that will violate their code and they will fall. Paladins uphold good above all and then law.

hamishspence
2010-04-02, 04:41 PM
It can be interesting to see how the various D&D sourcebooks portray Fallen paladins. While there's the occasional one who is a card-carrying villain, it seems more common for them to have fallen through excessive ruthlessness in fighting what they perceive to be evil.

In some cases, they don't believe themselves to have Fallen at all- believing that their powers have been taken away as a test of faith, rather than for anything they've done-

Michael Ambrose in Tome of Magic is one such. Lawful Evil- has blackguard levels- still believes himself to be a paladin, despite his Order actually casting him out (he believes them to have been blinded by evil).

Eldonauran
2010-04-02, 04:56 PM
Ahh, the delusions of the self-righteous paladins that have fallen. Why would the gods seek to test one of their champions in such a manner?

When faced with something you don't know is real or imaginary, you have to make a decision. Do I believe it is real or do I believe I am going mad? Have I fallen and lost my powers or are the gods testing me? You have to decide which it is and, pardon me, no one wants to be mad. You have to assume you screwed up and seek redemption.

Like I said, paladins do not bend. Paladins break, and when they do, they break hard.

ArcanistSupreme
2010-04-03, 06:46 AM
So how do these three paladin fixes stack up?

OneWinged4ngel's (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19528002/The_Rebalanced_Paladin!_(Thread_2))
Fax Celestis's (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33551)
Surrealistik's (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133737)