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TalonDemonKing
2011-07-05, 11:05 PM
Question came up when running the lore by one of my friends for a campaign world.

What exactly does happen to old Paladins? I couldn't find anything RAW in 3.5/pathfinder, but do they actually 'lose' all of their abilities once they're no longer actively crusading for the cause?

Assuming a Paladin decides that hes getting too old for adventuring, hangs up his armor, and goes to be a farmer or some non-clerical job. If he didn't violate the Code of Conduct, stays Lawful Good and worships the same deity, does he still retain all of his class features, like Lay on Hands or Smite Evil?

Shpadoinkle
2011-07-05, 11:17 PM
Uh... exactly what reason could there possibly be for a paladin to lose his powers if he retires? A paladin's powers aren't like a policeman's badge and gun, that are assigned to him and technically company property. His powers aren't even granted by a god, he's empowered by the very forces of good and law themselves.

I honestly can't think of a single reason a paladin who retired would lose his powers, unless he violated his code and refused to atone.

Daisuke1133
2011-07-05, 11:18 PM
Strictly speaking by the rules as they are written, there is no reason that an old retired paladin would lose his powers. But there really is no reason why it could not happen for storyline reasons.

I, for one, would think it quite flavorful if an old retired paladin agreed to give up his powers so that they could be granted to the younger generation to make use of in the never-ending battle between good and evil.

Zaydos
2011-07-05, 11:25 PM
As long as they keep to their code of conduct.

So in AD&D this means they have to tithe, never keep more than enough to support themselves (and their men-at-arms) in a modest manner and maintain and built a small castle, avoid owning too many magic items, if possible take service with lawful good fighters and/or clerics, and avoid knowingly and willingly commiting evil or chaotic acts.

In AD&D 2e: Remove the take service with lawful good fighters and/or clerics part.

In 3.X: As long as innocents nearby are safe, or he acts to maintain their safety, he's good.

Strangely enough while they have the least rules they must obey in 3.5 they actually have the most stringent one. I'd say he'd be fine as long as legitimate authority was legitimate and he did what he still could (not much with age) to protect the people living nearby.

TalonDemonKing
2011-07-05, 11:33 PM
Thanks for the responses and all. I guess paladin's never do lose their powers, but I don't ever recall seeing old paladins. Old warriors, sure, but paladins...


His powers aren't even granted by a god, he's empowered by the very forces of good and law themselves.

I thought this was only an option for Paladins, and that there are ones that are indeed fueled by deity-juice?

Shpadoinkle
2011-07-05, 11:41 PM
Thanks for the responses and all. I guess paladin's never do lose their powers, but I don't ever recall seeing old paladins. Old warriors, sure, but paladins...



I thought this was only an option for Paladins, and that there are ones that are indeed fueled by deity-juice?

Paladins CAN follow a god if they choose, but they 're not REQUIRED to, and those who do are often very devout, but they're not clerics and don't actually get their powers from a god in much the same way that a druid CAN follow a god but is actually granted his power by nature itself.

Honest Tiefling
2011-07-05, 11:41 PM
Well, I imagine most paladins don't really make it to old age. Not that most adventurers don't wind up in something's stomach, but paladins a little more so.

But where do you get new paladins? I would assume that many paladins retire to train up the next generation if they felt that they could not continue the good ol' fight.

I also imagine that no where in a paladin's code does it say that they can't retire to serve the god/concept in a non-militaristic fashion. A lot of settings have paladins with other focuses then just seeing how many times you can stab a demon in the face for righteousness. Even if he can't swing a sword all that great, having a guy with a high will save and detect evil has to be useful...Say hanging around the Lord's council or in courtrooms with mages. Their immunity to disease will be great for treating the sick.

kenjigoku
2011-07-06, 01:45 AM
Thanks for the responses and all. I guess paladin's never do lose their powers, but I don't ever recall seeing old paladins. Old warriors, sure, but paladins...


... they die for the cause. It's the point. At least that's why I never have pondered an old paladin. Plus, my Paladins seem to have a penchant for trying to take on Balor and Dragons while their party escapes.

Zaydos
2011-07-06, 02:34 AM
When I was younger I liked to have old paladins retire to be righteous rulers of kingdoms... despite this going against 2e and earlier books fairly directly (they admit it's theoretically possible for a paladin to rule; just almost impossible).

gibbo88
2011-07-06, 04:21 AM
I think the older Paladins would retire and protect much as they used to and still be willing to die for a cause - but they don't go seeking it out. Also, since they likely have contacts with younger adventurers/good-aligned beings. They are still helping, but in a less direct fashion.

hamishspence
2011-07-06, 04:23 AM
When I was younger I liked to have old paladins retire to be righteous rulers of kingdoms... despite this going against 2e and earlier books fairly directly (they admit it's theoretically possible for a paladin to rule; just almost impossible).

In Faerun novels, there's quite a lot of paladin rulers.

Andre
2011-07-06, 04:27 AM
Piergeiron the Paladinson came to mind.

hamishspence
2011-07-06, 04:30 AM
Gareth Dragonsbane of Damara was another.

Ashram
2011-07-06, 04:33 AM
Paladins CAN follow a god if they choose, but they 're not REQUIRED to, and those who do are often very devout, but they're not clerics and don't actually get their powers from a god in much the same way that a druid CAN follow a god but is actually granted his power by nature itself.

In Pathfinder, there's a paladin archetype called "Sacred Servant" that actually does state that their specific power is fueled by "deity-juice" (Heh heh) just like a cleric. They give up some smiting powers to get better spellcasting.

some guy
2011-07-06, 05:01 AM
[snip] but I don't ever recall seeing old paladins. Old warriors, sure, but paladins...


Keldorn Firecam (http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Keldorn_Firecam) from Baldur's Gate II is an old paladin with retirement issues.

Gettles
2011-07-06, 05:05 AM
Am I the only one who suddenly likes the idea of a party getting over their heads against something or other only for old farmer Willis to walk out, casually smite the creature to death with a shovel and shrugging and going back to his cabbage?

Eldan
2011-07-06, 05:17 AM
I support the non-militaristic idea Or at least, not with a sword.

They could become religious pilgrims. They have the skills to be judges (Diplomacy, Knowledge, Sense Motive) or Doctors (heal, Lay on Hands, Remove Disease) or Priests (Knowledge, Diplomacy). They may not have enough points, sadly, but they have the skill list. They could become officers or instructors in their orders. Or they could become tired of fighting and retire to Lunia or the Isles of Thalassia.

Any number of things, really.

gibbo88
2011-07-06, 05:25 AM
Am I the only one who suddenly likes the idea of a party getting over their heads against something or other only for old farmer Willis to walk out, casually smite the creature to death with a shovel and shrugging and going back to his cabbage?

I didn't think of it...but that really IS awesome.

hamishspence
2011-07-06, 06:17 AM
Faerun's famous for adventurers retiring to do things like barkeeping.

So this kind of idea would fit- and be rather awesome, if not overdone.

Greymane
2011-07-06, 06:29 AM
Faerun's famous for adventurers retiring to do things like barkeeping.

So this kind of idea would fit- and be rather awesome, if not overdone.

It's constantly joked about in our group when we play FR that the Dales are roughly 80% retired adventurers, so nobody likes to pick fights with them.

Edit: Oh, right, contributing. What I was going to say has already been said many times. Paladins are people of action, I feel, and even in retirement, they would do things to better the lives of those around them. Whether it's playing Judge/Mediator over disputes, religious pilgrim, or school teacher (doing that sometime).

Steward
2011-07-06, 06:34 AM
Am I the only one who suddenly likes the idea of a party getting over their heads against something or other only for old farmer Willis to walk out, casually smite the creature to death with a shovel and shrugging and going back to his cabbage?

Fantastic idea.

Elderly characters also get boosts to their mental abilities, even if their physical stats go down, right? Wouldn't that mean that Paladins' healing abilities will increase, as well as their ability to use their so-called "spells". Being able to remove curses, neutralize poisons, and discern lies would be very helpful even on a local scale.

GodGoblin
2011-07-06, 07:03 AM
You could rule it that the Paladin loses their powers once they drop the cause but re gain them once they have a new goal.

So old farmer John used to be a holy smiting machine but since arthritis set in and he got that dodgy hip he has hung up his sword and lived a simple life, losing his smiting ability but he still helps others, maybe he does odd jobs for the orphanage etc.

However one day the evil Orcish hoards fall upon this quaint villiage and they need protecting, suddenly John has a rightous goal again, picks up his sword and lets the Holy, divine fueled arse kicking begin once more.

hamishspence
2011-07-06, 07:05 AM
You could rule it that the Paladin loses their powers once they drop the cause but re gain them once they have a new goal.

So old farmer John used to be a holy smiting machine but since arthritis set in and he got that dodgy hip he has hung up his sword and lived a simple life, losing his smiting ability but he still helps others, maybe he does odd jobs for the orphanage etc.

Smiting isn't the only ability of use- and not all paladin orders focus on that. A case could be made that the paladin who becomes the town healer, is still fulfilling his duty to the innocent.

GodGoblin
2011-07-06, 07:09 AM
Well yeah but I was just being vague, the point was a fun RP ruling could be to lose your goal is to lose your powers but once you find a new one you get super charged again.

If your goal is more subtle like keeping the sick safe then you could say they keep them too as it counts as a goal.

Kurald Galain
2011-07-06, 07:31 AM
I don't ever recall seeing old paladins.
Well, there's Soon in this very comic here...

Also, I think that most kings in the official D&D campaign worlds are either wizards or paladins.

The main thing is that paladins are rare in the first place, and because of their conduct tend not to live until old age.

Mastikator
2011-07-06, 08:14 AM
He moves up the ranks to a position where he can contribute by giving orders, since he is immune to disease he won't ever become senile or anything that will detriment him so he'll be mentally able to do his duty until he meets his final breath in the comfortable bed he earned.

I think renegade paladins are in the minority :smallwink:

RebelRogue
2011-07-06, 09:13 AM
That would actually be a pretty cool character concept to play: an old paladin, now retired and without the usual powers (having passed them on to younger paladins who need them more than he does), probably serving a community of some sort as a teacher or wise elder or what have you. Of course, in order for him to be interesting to play, some kind of disaster or crisis will have to strike, forcing him to take up his old calling. I imagine RPing his frustration and prayers to regain the various iconic powers as he goes along could be rather interesting in a 'gramps kicks ass' kind of way.

Kurald Galain
2011-07-06, 09:19 AM
Ah, here's an example. Rakeesh from the Quest For Glory computer games, especially in the third game.

Jay R
2011-07-06, 09:52 AM
Although most D&D players don't think this way, it is technically possible to be good and decent and noble without going around killing people and taking their stuff.

Paperbag4
2011-07-06, 09:55 AM
Well, there's Soon in this very comic here...


Actually, Soon has levels of Aristocrat, not Paladin.

On Topic:

I like the idea of a Paladin becoming a landholding noble whose ideals force him to become a thorn in the king's side over things like taxing the freeholders to death.

boj0
2011-07-06, 10:01 AM
Gran Torino came into my mind as soon as I read the first post.
I'm okay with that.

RebelRogue
2011-07-06, 10:03 AM
Actually, Soon has levels of Aristocrat, not Paladin.
You're thinking Shojo, not Soon.

Mark Hall
2011-07-06, 11:04 AM
In general, most paladins don't live to retirement. Those that do might, according to their lights, retire to a farm (likely as the owner/administrator, rather than as a individual running a farm themselves... old enough to farm, old enough to fight bad guys), retire to teach (swordwork, religion, horsemanship), or retire to lead (likely a small fief, rather than a large kingdom). I don't see any particular reason a still-faithful paladin should lose his powers, unless he wanted to.

Choco
2011-07-06, 12:03 PM
Don't all paladins fall for random stupid reasons before they even get a chance to die for their ideals, let alone live to retirement? :smalltongue:

Seriously though, I see no reason for a "retired" paladin to lose his powers (provided that he actually lives long enough to retire, as has been pointed out already) unless he loses his faith and/or stops following his code of honor. Besides, the way paladins are, old paladins would find a way to stay useful to their cause, if only as teachers for the next generation.

Amnestic
2011-07-06, 12:18 PM
Keldorn Firecam (http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Keldorn_Firecam) from Baldur's Gate II is an old paladin with retirement issues.

Keldorn was the first thing I thought of when I saw the thread title. He's basically the archetypical D&D 'Old Paladin' to me. And he's awesome. Uther the Lightbringer (http://www.wowwiki.com/Uther_the_Lightbringer) is a close second, but from WC rather than D&D.

Mark Hall
2011-07-06, 01:26 PM
I actually thought of the Paladin in Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession who sends you on a quest to find his missing sword and dagger. Really want to replay those games.

Leon
2011-07-06, 02:08 PM
There are Old paladins and Bold paladins, there are no Old Bold paladins.

Ashram
2011-07-06, 02:18 PM
Well, there's Soon in this very comic here...

Also, I think that most kings in the official D&D campaign worlds are either wizards or paladins.

The main thing is that paladins are rare in the first place, and because of their conduct tend not to live until old age.

Probably, even though standard aristocrats or, in a more militaristic setting, fighters are far more likely to be a king than a wizard or a paladin. Both wizards and paladins have better things to do than tie themselves to a kingdom; one has entire universes to unravel, the other has entire universes of evil to smite!

Calmar
2011-07-06, 04:00 PM
Since "retirement" means to stop to pursue the path of paladin and to do something else, I suppose technically such a paladin takes levels in an NPC class (e.g. aristocrat, when he rules over a fief; expert, when he becomes a farmer; etc). So, a "retired" paladin would not lose any of his abilities (as long as he behaves in accordance to the paladin's values), but because he stepped off the path of a paladin, he would be unable to advance in this class.

LrdoftheRngs
2011-07-06, 04:50 PM
Actually, Soon has levels of Aristocrat, not Paladin.


I believe that you are thinking of Shojo. Soon was the Order of the Scribble's paladin that didn't get along with Girard.

On Topic, I think that a retired paladin would be an awesome character concept. He would have gone around dishing out Holy ass-kicking back in the day, killing thousands in the name of his god. Then, when he got arthritis* and had to hang up that greatsword for good, he realized just how much destruction he had caused in the name of law and good, and turned to being a doctor, healing the sick and helping to make up for all the hurting he has done. But of course, a band of demons were released by a cult to Orcus, and a group of adventurers came around to fight them off. Gramps here joined up with them, refusing to directly kill, always just healing those in need. Then again, maybe I've just been watching too much of the tenth Doctor :smallbiggrin:

* I know that a paladin's disease immunity would probably make them immune to arthritis, but I just needed an example of something that would make an adventurer retire besides a major hanicap.

Edit: ninja'd. That teaches me to reply in a moment of self-righteous correction before reading the rest of the thread

hamishspence
2011-07-06, 04:53 PM
-6 to Str and Con from aging, might be a handicap severe enough.

Flame of Anor
2011-07-06, 05:25 PM
Am I the only one who suddenly likes the idea of a party getting over their heads against something or other only for old farmer Willis to walk out, casually smite the creature to death with a shovel and shrugging and going back to his cabbage?

Awesome.



Although most D&D players don't think this way, it is technically possible to be good and decent and noble without going around killing people and taking their stuff.

:confused:

Shpadoinkle
2011-07-06, 07:41 PM
* I know that a paladin's disease immunity would probably make them immune to arthritis, but I just needed an example of something that would make an adventurer retire besides a major hanicap.


Adventurers take a lot of hits, and even the ones that don't result in real injury still hurt- look up the kind of stuff professional boxers have to deal with after being in the ring for a few years. D&D adventurers get clobbered with stuff that makes a boxing match look like a cakewalk.

Mark Hall
2011-07-06, 10:22 PM
Adventurers take a lot of hits, and even the ones that don't result in real injury still hurt- look up the kind of stuff professional boxers have to deal with after being in the ring for a few years. D&D adventurers get clobbered with stuff that makes a boxing match look like a cakewalk.

On the other hand, despite how awesome modern medicine is, they still have to rely on natural healing. Adventurers have access to instant, complete, healing... they don't really have a chance for things to heal "wrong" like a boxer does.

panaikhan
2011-07-07, 07:20 AM
There was an 'alternative' PHB produced by someone... can't remember who (but I have it somewhere).
In it was a class that fought for a cause. Whilst persuing that cause, they had all of their class abilities. If they hung up their armour, they became 'normal folk' until they once again found a cause to devote themselves, and regain all of their abilities, HD etc etc.

I would kinda see this happening to paladins.
They retire, become 'normal folk', until Evil once again rears it's ugly head and they feel compelled to combat it.

Tankadin
2011-07-07, 07:39 AM
I always liked to imagine my Diablo II paladin founding a monastery on a bluff overlooking farmland and villages. It'd grow quickly due to his fame, charisma, and his old party members helping with construction costs. There would be a grand basilica, of course, but an astronomer's tower, libraries, meditation rooms, and maybe a barracks for a new outpost of his order of paladins. It'd be a great center of learning and a source of light in the darkness of the world around it. He'd walk around in simple robes, easily mistaken for an old monk.

A relatively peaceful life that would allow him some rest while still doing good in the world. Sounds nice.

Then I found out that all of the Diablo II characters save the Barbarian go mad and are villains in Diablo III. Which, while plausible, isn't what I wanted for my character.

Akal Saris
2011-07-07, 10:59 AM
Only the [Lawful, Good] Die Young!

Nepenthe
2011-07-07, 12:21 PM
On Topic, I think that a retired paladin would be an awesome character concept. He would have gone around dishing out Holy ass-kicking back in the day, killing thousands in the name of his god. Then, when he got arthritis* and had to hang up that greatsword for good, he realized just how much destruction he had caused in the name of law and good, and turned to being a doctor, healing the sick and helping to make up for all the hurting he has done.

This reminds me of Cadfael so much.

Pokonic
2011-07-07, 05:20 PM
Am I the only one who suddenly likes the idea of a party getting over their heads against something or other only for old farmer Willis to walk out, casually smite the creature to death with a shovel and shrugging and going back to his cabbage?

Oh god this is so awsome.

Anyway, I always thinked that older paladans become founders of Knightly orders, always looking out for a youth who shows a zeal for Law and good, or become advizers to local leaders, from a village councel to a duke or the king himself.

paladinofshojo
2011-07-08, 12:54 AM
My idea is that after a paladin goes through "retirement", they spend the remainder of their lives as instructors and mentors to squires. Afterall, if they've gotten to the point where arthritis and alzheimers have a better chance of taking them down than all those demons, dragons, orcs, heathens etc. did then they probably have accumulated some extensive combat experience (I'm not talking about Exp. I'm talking about experience in general) It would be a shame for all that experience to be lost after they eventually pass away correct? So they spend their days teaching their disciple to carry own their legacy. They probably reside in churches and monastaries of their patron gods, in the unforseen event that the holy place gets attacked, the elder paladin will act as a defender, proving that old age doesn't matter when it comes to Smiting Evil, the extremely powerful ones probably live in secluded monastaries where they can teach those who are worthy in peace.

Flame of Anor
2011-07-08, 11:30 AM
the extremely powerful ones probably live in secluded monastaries where they can teach those who are worthy in peace.

They give them...monk levels? :smalleek: I thought paladins were supposed to be kind! :smalltongue: