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reorith
2007-03-17, 01:15 AM
most of us are familiar with

associates

while she may adventure with characters of any good or neutral alignment, a paladin will never knowingly associate with evil characters, nor will she continue an association with someone who consistently offends her moral code. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are lawful good.during tonights game, a paladin stuffed a tomb mote in a bag of holding and used diplomacy to improve its attitude to friendly. he claims that it is "an experiment in morality and redemptiom" to see if he can turn this "always chaotic evil creature" good or at least neutral.

edit: did he violate the association part of the code if it won't be evil when he is finished?

arkwei
2007-03-17, 01:18 AM
most of us are familiar with


during tonights game, a paladin stuffed a tomb mote in a bag of holding and used diplomacy to improve its attitude to friendly. he claims that it is "an experiment in morality and redemptiom" to see if he can turn this "always chaotic evil creature" good or at least neutral.

did he violate the association part of the code?



I am pretty sure if you want to redeem someone, then "association" is required.

TheOOB
2007-03-17, 01:28 AM
Keep in mind that a paladin is a holy warrior, not a missionary. They promote good and smite evil, and leave stuff like conversion and philosophy to the clerics and their loose code of conduct.

arkwei
2007-03-17, 01:32 AM
Keep in mind that a paladin is a holy warrior, not a missionary. They promote good and smite evil, and leave stuff like conversion and philosophy to the clerics and their loose code of conduct.


Yes, but paladin can still redeem people, right?

..or am I wrong?

TheOOB
2007-03-17, 01:39 AM
Not if they have to associated with them for any length of time to do so. (assuming their evil). A paladin is more likely to call one of their priest buddies and have them sent to a church to atone for their sins, paladins have a pretty one-track mind.

arkwei
2007-03-17, 01:47 AM
Not if they have to associated with them for any length of time to do so. (assuming their evil). A paladin is more likely to call one of their priest buddies and have them sent to a church to atone for their sins, paladins have a pretty one-track mind.


Hmm. Meh, I was very disillusioned of core paladins today anyways.

Jack Mann
2007-03-17, 01:59 AM
Indeed. Paladins aren't allowed to redeem lost souls. Besides, lost souls can only be redeemed if you have sufficient box tops, and have you ever tried eating two hundred boxes of Holy-Os?

Beleriphon
2007-03-17, 02:07 AM
Indeed. Paladins aren't allowed to redeem lost souls. Besides, lost souls can only be redeemed if you have sufficient box tops, and have you ever tried eating two hundred boxes of Holy-Os?

Yeah, the frost positive energy topping gets to you eventually. Not fun.

As for redeeming lost souls, paladins can do that, but not evil people. It isn't part of their job description. For me that paladin should basically give the evil guy his speech, and be on his way. The lost soul is the CN character or the LN neutral guy that keeps the emphasis on the lawful.

Duraska
2007-03-17, 02:50 AM
I think this situation hinges on how the Paladin goes about "redeeming" this creature. I assume by redeeming it, he means changing its alignment to CN or higher.

If he does it quickly, like by using an item of opposite alignment on it, I would say that he was not associating with the creature, but rather enforcing his will upon it. I would say that this is fine because as long as the CE doesn't want to become good, then the Paladin isn't associating with the creature, but rather enforcing his will upon it. And since the creature is evil, the Paladin can take an extreme action against it without falling.

If the Paladin attempts to redeem it by spending time talking to it and negotiating with it, then I would rule that he is, in fact, associating with an evil creature. Even though the creature may become friends with the Paladin, if it retains its evil alignment, the Paladin cannot be a willing companion to it ( - the Paladin cannot help it out, or perform any favors for it, even if it promises to be "good").

So I guess basically my answer boils down to this:

If the Paladin quickly forces the creature to adopt a CN alignment (or better) via a magic item, or spell, then he is not associating with the creature and would not be violating his code of conduct.
If the Paladin spends a few days or weeks engaging with the creature and attempts to alter its alignment through compromise and favor, then he is associating with an evil creature, and would be violating his ethical code.

Beleriphon
2007-03-17, 02:55 AM
So I guess basically my answer boils down to this:
If the Paladin quickly forces the creature to adopt a CN alignment (or better) via a magic item, or spell, then he is not associating with the creature and would not be violating his code of conduct.
If the Paladin spends a few days or weeks engaging with the creature and attempts to alter its alignment through compromise and favor, then he is associating with an evil creature, and would be violating his ethical code.

You basically have my view as well. If you have to cajole an evil creature into being good, then you aren't really making it good. All you've done is make not perform evil acts. The thing is still evil.

Now if the creature is a prisoner and changes alignment by virtue of your shining example then we have a whole other ball game.

Bouldering Jove
2007-03-17, 03:17 AM
I'm rather surprised that the consensus seems to be to punish the paladin for this. In its context, I always thought that the description of "association" in the paladin code of conduct was about adventuring parties and with whom the paladin will create long-term relationships. How isn't a recurring villain that the paladin willingly pursues an "association" by the standards being presented?

arkwei
2007-03-17, 03:20 AM
If he does it quickly, like by using an item of opposite alignment on it, I would say that he was not associating with the creature, but rather enforcing his will upon it. I would say that this is fine because as long as the CE doesn't want to become good, then the Paladin isn't associating with the creature, but rather enforcing his will upon it. And since the creature is evil, the Paladin can take an extreme action against it without falling.


No, I would believe only killing is viable. Paladin cannot torture.

About magic items: Just enlighten me, but how is a Charm Person spell less evil than torturing? You are really brainwashing the subject to make it think you are his friend. If that is not evil then some spy organization doesn't deserve their black name at all.

arkwei
2007-03-17, 03:25 AM
I'm rather surprised that the consensus seems to be to punish the paladin for this. In its context, I always thought that the description of "association" in the paladin code of conduct was about adventuring parties and with whom the paladin will create long-term relationships. How isn't a recurring villain that the paladin willingly pursues an "association" by the standards being presented?


Not quite, association means "befriending," at least that is the context when I was using it. It is just that if someone don't think you are a friend or at least generally kinda trying to help them, they won't listen to you. And you can't lie in the name of good, according to BoED pg.9.

And about diplomacy: you are improving his attitude towards you to be friendly. That's befriending, therefore right out. Unless you claim "I wasn't considering him my friend," but then you are lying to someone about being friendly, which is an evil act by BoED pg.9.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-03-17, 03:29 AM
That's it. In all current and future games I DM, the "associates" cluase is officially stricken from the rules. I can't change the rules as written for the sake of other games, but I can damn sure complain about them. Telling a Paladin he can't proselytize and attempt to redeem Evil, but rather must Smite the hells out of anything that pings on his detect-o-meter, is ridiculous, promotes mindless killing over social roleplaying, and in my mind, is very much against the ideals of Good, which promote compassion and mercy. Granted, a Paladin's primary purpose is a blunt instrument to be used against the irredeemable, but to say he can't try to destroy Evil by changing it to Good? Not in my games.

kamikasei
2007-03-17, 03:31 AM
I'm rather surprised that the consensus seems to be to punish the paladin for this. In its context, I always thought that the description of "association" in the paladin code of conduct was about adventuring parties and with whom the paladin will create long-term relationships. How isn't a recurring villain that the paladin willingly pursues an "association" by the standards being presented?

Exactly what I was thinking. The responses here seem to be taking an extremely harsh and limiting view of "association". While keeping an evil creature around to try and talk it around to good might be considered "association", debating with a prisoner or making small talk at official functions with the noble who shows up on Detect Evil but hasn't done anything the paladin can pursue him for shouldn't cause you to fall.

On the other hand, proselytizing to random evil creatures is a poor use of a paladin's time. If you think someone is redeemable you hand them over to authorities, tell the authorities that you think the person might respond well to the right treatment, and set a good example while doing so. Dabbling in experimental alignment-changing would probably be viewed, not as a violation of the code of honor, but as an inappropriate indulgence.

And of course, going up to a villain who you know to be evil and to be doing evil things and simply chatting with him about alignment rather than thwacking him over the head and bringing him before the judge is not really what paladins are about.

Duraska
2007-03-17, 03:43 AM
No, I would believe only killing is viable. Paladin cannot torture.

About magic items: Just enlighten me, but how is a Charm Person spell less evil than torturing? You are really brainwashing the subject to make it think you are his friend. If that is not evil then some spy organization doesn't deserve their black name at all.

You have to keep in mind that as far as D&D rules are concerned, alignment is an absolute and palpable part of a character. Evil creatures are thoroughly evil. There are no shades of grey when it comes to alignment in D&D. Creatures are either Good, Evil, or Neutral.

Changing a creature's alignment to good, whether it be through a spell or magic item, is not torture at all. The creature now possesses a good alignment, and is therefore thoroughly and genuinely good. It would actually now despise its former (evil) self and be thankful that it was redeemed.

Edit: I do want to add that the Charm Person spell does not (as far as I know) actually change the target's alignment, but only its reputation toward you. Therefore, if a Paladin cast a charm person spell on an evil creature, and then proceeded to team up with it, he would be violating his code of conduct. After all, creature is still evil, and even though he might view the Paladin as a friend, the Paladin would not be able to associate with it unless it truly changes alignment.

arkwei
2007-03-17, 03:44 AM
Exactly what I was thinking. The responses here seem to be taking an extremely harsh and limiting view of "association". While keeping an evil creature around to try and talk it around to good might be considered "association", debating with a prisoner or making small talk at official functions with the noble who shows up on Detect Evil but hasn't done anything the paladin can pursue him for shouldn't cause you to fall.

I'm very cool with changing the rules of the core. But, as the rules stand right now, associate is left undefined. So really, anything goes, and I kinda want to support your view. They have to have SOMETHING.

arkwei
2007-03-17, 03:48 AM
You have to keep in mind that as far as D&D rules are concerned, alignment is an absolute and palpable part of a character. Evil creatures are thoroughly evil. There are no shades of grey when it comes to alignment in D&D. Creatures are either Good, Evil, or Neutral.

Changing a creature's alignment to good, whether it be through a spell or magic item, is not torture at all. The creature now possesses a good alignment, and is therefore thoroughly and genuinely good. It would actually now despise its former (evil) self and be thankful that it was redeemed.


So is brainwashing someone into evil. Now he despise its former self (good). And it is thankful that it is enlightened. That's not torture at all.

...That was just a paraphrase of your words. They have to sound wrong to you.

Even I believe good people can use evil methods, brainwashing is going too far.

Duraska
2007-03-17, 03:56 AM
I'm very cool with changing the rules of the core. But, as the rules stand right now, associate is left undefined. So really, anything goes, and I kinda want to support your view. They have to have SOMETHING.

The Paladin's code of conduct requirement is a roleplaying restriction, and therefore one that would be difficult for WOTC to fully define. I think the definition of association is certainly something that falls within the domain of the DM. That said, I personally consider association to be an act that requires input from the two (or more parties involved). Here's some examples:

Example of Association: A police detective is trying to uncover gang activity and recruits the assistance of a mole. In return for sharing information about the inner-workings of the gang, the detective offers the mole immunity for any previous crimes. Both the detective and the mole are involved in a give and take relationship.

Example of non-association: A police detective brings a gang member in for questioning. During the interrogation, he makes threats and uses psychological tactics on the gang member in order to get information about various crimes committed by the gang's leader. At no point during the interrogation does the detective offer the suspect any kind of deal or protection. This is a situation where the detective is recieving assistance without offering any in return, and the gang member is giving assistance without recieving any favor in return.

That's how I personally define association in D&D.

Duraska
2007-03-17, 04:06 AM
So is brainwashing someone into evil. Now he despise its former self (good). And it is thankful that it is enlightened. That's not torture at all.

...That was just a paraphrase of your words. They have to sound wrong to you.

Even I believe good people can use evil methods, brainwashing is going too far.

Technically no, I would not consider that to be "torture" because the end result is a creature who used to be good, but is now evil. If, instead, the creature was good the whole time but was forced to commit evil acts, then I would say that this is torture. Do you see the difference? In one situation a persons entire outlook on life is fundamentally changed, where as in the other situation they still hold true to their set of morals, but are forced to act in opposition to those morals.

I also believe that good people can succumb to evil actions when they're trying to do something that they think is good. This happens very often in the real world. However, using the D&D RAW, there are clearly defined "good" and "evil" people, and "good" and "evil" actions. Therefore, some of the stuff that would seem vile to us in the real world, would be perfectly acceptable in D&D because it's happening to an "evil" creature. In real life, brainwashing someone is terrible; but in D&D if that brainwashing session results in their alignment changing from evil to good - then they are fundamentally a good person now, and therefore it's a gain for society as a whole. I think this is a prime example of how D&D's alignment system is too simplistic (and widely unnecessary), but that's another topic all together (and not relevant to this thread).

Jack Mann
2007-03-17, 04:08 AM
We aren't talking about what's right, merely what the rules say. Sticking around long enough to change someone's alignment is going to count as associating. One talk ain't gonna do it, I'm pretty sure, unless you've your diplomacy cranked up. I'm pretty sure Book of Exalted Deeds has some information on how redeeming the evil works, and if I remember right, it takes a few days at least. That would be associating.

Think that's stupid and unnecessarily harsh? Hey, you're preaching to the choir. I change it in my games. But the base rules say you can't. Don't bag on us because of the decisions of those spooky wizards from the seaboard regions.

Renegade Paladin
2007-03-17, 04:08 AM
A paladin cannot redeem an evil creature when he is on even terms with it, but a prisoner is not his associate. Though isn't a tomb mote some form of undead? Good luck redeeming that one...

kamikasei
2007-03-17, 04:38 AM
Think that's stupid and unnecessarily harsh? Hey, you're preaching to the choir. I change it in my games. But the base rules say you can't. Don't bag on us because of the decisions of those spooky wizards from the seaboard regions.

It's not the rules but your interpretation that I consider unnecessarily harsh. My argument is not the paladins can in fact associate with evil creatures, but that there are things I think they can do without it qualifying as "association".

Thoughtbot360
2007-03-17, 04:42 AM
These "Paladins" you speak of sound like a very evil bunch if their choices when it comes to tackling the noble cause of attempting to solve the problem the average D&D world has with irredeemably evil creatures. From what you've told me, their only options are mind control, murder, or turning them over to religious fanatics that are running, I can only assume, a Love In Action (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_In_Action) operation (only for evil outsiders instead of "Bi-curious" boys.)

Seriously, though, this whole stupid "code of honor" thing is unfair. For everyone sitting around the table. The party can't function as it usually can because they are afraid of setting off the paladin. The DM probably isn't too happy when the paladin argues with the party. But, get this, the paladin isn't having fun, not even the ones played by good players, because they are afraid of losing their powers, they are always asking themselves "Can I do this?" And then they ask the DM if they can do this. The DM is annoyed with the paladin again. And let me tell you, the paladin's don't like this, particular those played by people who define good as healing and improving the world, not cleansing it of everything that is not pre-defined to be your "friend."

My conclusion: It behooves the DM to rewrite the paladin code. This sounds like a lot of work, but think about it. Why does anyone like the concept of the paladin? I mean, the Fighter who tries to stop violence and shows mercy on defeated enemies based on principles he choose to follow sounds a lot more like a hero and a good guy than some zealot with a code that reduces his excuses to not kill anything he detects as "evil" to brainwashing or handing the subject over to some other people not because the subject trusts them, but because they have better ranks in diplomacy and profession (make people give themselves over to Jebus). In my eyes, most of the content in the BoED and the vaunted paladin's code are mutually exclusive.

I seriously suggest to replace the Paladin's detect evil at will ability with a continous "detect evil intent" What's the difference you ask? Simply put, the Paladin has a constant information feed on any imminent murder. He senses a murderer's excitement and thrist for blood, but only when they are (at least mentally) fingering their weapon or when they are just about to poison someone's drinks, or when the assasain is spending those infamous five rounds focusing on the soon-to-be-victim of his death attack. This allows a paladin not only to be mostly immune to assasains but also allows them to have the odd but ultimately cool quirk of charging out of the tavern without a word to stop a murder in the back alleys nearby. This however means the paladin will always be vulnerable to being overwhelmed, but it doesn't apply to Asmodeus unless Asmodeus is feeling particularly murderous at the moment. If you want to cause a paladin's head to spin with nasuea cast a city-wide mind affecting spell that drives the inhabitants (regardless of alignment) berserk. Its not really a solution to all the pally's problems, but its a very invigorating fresh way to present the paladin.

The_Blue_Sorceress
2007-03-17, 04:50 AM
I guess I have a looser interpretation of this than other people do, because I always interpreted the rules in such a way as to allow paladins in my game to tremporarily join forces with an evil individual in pursuit of the greater good, provided that the paladin work not only to help bring the evil individual around, but also to prevent the evil individual from committing evil acts. If an evil person is prevented from doing evil, that's the best that a paladin can do without resorting to mind control, which has always smacked of less than ethical tactics to me and would essentially be a violation of the lawful part of the paladin's alignment. Aside from that it's something that takes the power of the decision to be good out of the hands of the individual being redeemed, thus making the redemption more or less meaningless except in that the individual's behavior, motives and morality have changed. When a paladin is attempting to redeem someone I allow them to interact, with the expectation that if the evil individual takes an action for which the paladin would be bound to arrest them, or even kill them in neccessary, that the paladin would do that regardless of their relationship.

-Blue

Renegade Paladin
2007-03-17, 06:17 AM
These "Paladins" you speak of sound like a very evil bunch if their choices when it comes to tackling the noble cause of attempting to solve the problem the average D&D world has with irredeemably evil creatures. From what you've told me, their only options are mind control, murder, or turning them over to religious fanatics that are running, I can only assume, a Love In Action (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_In_Action) operation (only for evil outsiders instead of "Bi-curious" boys.)
Calling killing such a creature in combat "murder" is a stretching a fair bit, I think. And rehabilitation of truly evil individuals if they're taken prisoner but not executed is certainly preferable to just keeping them locked away to stew until they escape or are released. :smallannoyed: Besides, who said anything about religious fanatics? In a world where the gods are real, tangible, and frequently interfere in mortal affairs, it is more than probable that most followers, and even most clerics, aren't mindless fanatics.

Seriously, though, this whole stupid "code of honor" thing is unfair. For everyone sitting around the table. The party can't function as it usually can because they are afraid of setting off the paladin. The DM probably isn't too happy when the paladin argues with the party. But, get this, the paladin isn't having fun, not even the ones played by good players, because they are afraid of losing their powers, they are always asking themselves "Can I do this?" And then they ask the DM if they can do this. The DM is annoyed with the paladin again. And let me tell you, the paladin's don't like this, particular those played by people who define good as healing and improving the world, not cleansing it of everything that is not pre-defined to be your "friend."
I don't particularly see why I should let you tell me, because the evidence of my experience tells me that this simply isn't the case. I freely admit that not every party can handle having a paladin in it, but one that can will be perfectly able to function as it normally would because their normal operations won't "set off" a paladin. The DM may or may not get annoyed if the players roleplay a conflict between their characters; I know I don't, and my players are mature enough to not just start yelling at each other OOC over the game. As for asking the DM whether or not the paladin would lose his powers for doing X, that should be perfectly clear. If a paladin player has this problem, it's because his DM is far more strict about causing paladins to fall than the rules intended. Discounting alignment change, the paladin falls for gross (as in, large, and leaves no doubt) violations of the Code, or for an evil act. It isn't too hard to work out what will cause a paladin to fall in most situations. If the DM gets annoyed with his players asking legitimate questions, he doesn't belong behind the screen. As for healing and improving the world, guess what? Lay on hands and remove disease are there for a reason. But it is a paladin's job to be a holy warrior, not a holy social worker. If you'd rather do the latter, you're probably better off playing a cleric and taking the Healing and/or Protection domains.

My conclusion: It behooves the DM to rewrite the paladin code. This sounds like a lot of work, but think about it. Why does anyone like the concept of the paladin? I mean, the Fighter who tries to stop violence and shows mercy on defeated enemies based on principles he choose to follow sounds a lot more like a hero and a good guy than some zealot with a code that reduces his excuses to not kill anything he detects as "evil" to brainwashing or handing the subject over to some other people not because the subject trusts them, but because they have better ranks in diplomacy and profession (make people give themselves over to Jebus). In my eyes, most of the content in the BoED and the vaunted paladin's code are mutually exclusive.
Whoa, easy there Tiger. I agree that paladins should have individual codes (using the Player's Handbook skeleton code as a basic guideline, nothing more), but you have to remember one thing: The paladin chose to take up that mantle. He chooses to follow his principles every day of his life; same as your hypothetical fighter. He's no less heroic because he gains power from doing so. If a paladin is only sticking to his paladinhood out of a cynical wish to maintain his personal power rather than a real desire to actually discharge the duties of paladinhood (protection of the weak, fighting evil, saving the world from darkness, that kind of thing), then he should eventually fall regardless. Selfish motives don't work too well with paladinhood. As for handing over prisoners, what the heck do you expect him to do? Let them loose? We're not talking about political prisoners or rebellious teenagers here; we are discussing real, objective, puppy-killing evil. It is in no way equivalent to brainwashing harmless people, because if a paladin's hauled someone in for doing evil, he really did some evil.

I seriously suggest to replace the Paladin's detect evil at will ability with a continous "detect evil intent" What's the difference you ask? Simply put, the Paladin has a constant information feed on any imminent murder. He senses a murderer's excitement and thrist for blood, but only when they are (at least mentally) fingering their weapon or when they are just about to poison someone's drinks, or when the assasain is spending those infamous five rounds focusing on the soon-to-be-victim of his death attack. This allows a paladin not only to be mostly immune to assasains but also allows them to have the odd but ultimately cool quirk of charging out of the tavern without a word to stop a murder in the back alleys nearby. This however means the paladin will always be vulnerable to being overwhelmed, but it doesn't apply to Asmodeus unless Asmodeus is feeling particularly murderous at the moment. If you want to cause a paladin's head to spin with nasuea cast a city-wide mind affecting spell that drives the inhabitants (regardless of alignment) berserk. Its not really a solution to all the pally's problems, but its a very invigorating fresh way to present the paladin.
I don't really see the need. A paladin who runs around detecting evil on everything he encounters without cause will be quickly ostracized by all and sundry; I can't help but think that such behavior would be considered very rude by all the innocent people that he randomly decided to basically conduct a mental search on without a reason. :smalltongue:

Edit:
Keep in mind that a paladin is a holy warrior, not a missionary. They promote good and smite evil, and leave stuff like conversion and philosophy to the clerics and their loose code of conduct.
If a cleric has looser standards of behavior than a paladin, something's wrong. A cleric is the direct representative of his deity; a cleric of a lawful good, paladin-sponsoring god should have much similar standards of behavior and should he fail to uphold the deity's tenets, he should have to atone. The same goes for clerics of other faiths; their own standards are of course different, but if they don't exemplify them, they're going to have some 'splainin' to do.

Saph
2007-03-17, 06:53 AM
most of us are familiar with
during tonights game, a paladin stuffed a tomb mote in a bag of holding and used diplomacy to improve its attitude to friendly. he claims that it is "an experiment in morality and redemptiom" to see if he can turn this "always chaotic evil creature" good or at least neutral.

edit: did he violate the association part of the code if it won't be evil when he is finished?

I'd say what he's doing is fine. He's trying to spread Good, which is exactly what paladins are supposed to do, and he's trying to do it by persuasion rather than force, ie in a good way, which is also what paladins are supposed to do. Props to the player.

Of course, it won't necessarily work, in which case he'll have to quit his association with the tomb mote once it's clear that it's staying evil, but that's fine too.

I honestly don't know why some people have such problems with paladins. About 60% of the D&D sessions I've seen have had a paladin in the group, and I've never once seen it cause any problems. The paladin does good, fights evil, and upholds the law, in that order. Simple.

- Saph

The Prince of Cats
2007-03-17, 07:20 AM
My take would be that preventing a subject from performing evil acts would mitigate the 'associating with evil' angle. I mean, I would make a paladin fall if they allowed an evil-doer to continue doing evil but I would think that it is only really applicable to actively-evil entities.

Not every paladin is a holy avenging stick-up-the-arse type. Some are just good people who really believe that everyone can be redeemed. That said, my players would probably pray to their god for some guidance if they were unsure.

If the paladin is resolute in his decision to redeem the creature or kill it, preventing it from doing harm, then I would allow it. If the paladin started to doubt himself or if someone (otherthan the paladin) was harmed as a result of his actions, I would advise them to kill the mote and atone. By 'advise', I mean strip their powers and give them a holy message that left no room for arguments and probably cost a few HP just to make sure the message went in...

Zincorium
2007-03-17, 07:47 AM
Most people who've posted agree with my interpretation of the paladin: that they're the people of the highest scruples who do not falter in the face of evil. However, by the book and too often in practice, they're a thug with a laundry list of rules to follow and a preconditioned violent response to what they perceive as evil. That all these things are codified and judged by a harsh outside force really diminishes the virtue of the character in my mind. Are you really good if often what you do, you do only because you are commanded to or you face a loss if you don't?

Being truly and completely good means doing the right thing regardless of personal cost or effort, and a paladin who refused to do what is necessary for the greater good, because it would mean they lost paladin status, is in my mind not worthy of the title in the first place. And that's the problem. All the self-sacrificing, completely empathic people who want to make things right in the world would lose paladin status because they can't reconcile not associating with evil when it means that more evil occurs. If you can get two rival organizations against one another via diplomatic means, and you refuse to do so knowing that they will continue to harm innocents, have you not knowingly done great evil?

Part of it is sheer vagueness of the rules, which instead of making the rules more adaptable leads to wildly different but equally strict interpretations of the same passage. The fact that the consequences are so game shattering and immediate certainly doesn't help matters. The group I play in has agreed to not have paladins because we can't reconcile all our views of what a paladin is and is supposed to behave like, and a being paladin requires certainty in what is right at all times, we can agree on that much.


What it all boils down to is that paladins too often balk at doing what is truly righteous because they are afraid of losing paladinhood, and along with it the power and prestige. And this should never be the case.

Saph
2007-03-17, 07:58 AM
What it all boils down to is that paladins too often balk at doing what is truly righteous because they are afraid of losing paladinhood, and along with it the power and prestige. And this should never be the case.

I honestly don't find this to be the case anyway. The paladin characters I've seen very rarely have this problem. There are very few situations where doing what's 'righteous' absolutely HAS to mean doing something evil. There's generally a third alternative, and this is what a paladin does.

- Saph

Falrin
2007-03-17, 08:29 AM
If a Paladin takes a LE prisonner to a prison in two weeks travel.

He feeds him, he talks to him, he preaches a litlle. For Two weeks. He finds out the guy isn't 'bad to the bone', but had 'a unfortunate childhood'. At Court the prisonner is found not guilty for that specific murder, although he is clearly evil (As in Detect Evil : Code red) and the paladin decides to keep him under his wing, teach him the beauty off life & good.

Should he lose his abbilities?
Should he have killed him when they met?
Should he have killed him when he was released?


One month passes; a few scenarios.

1) The paladin fails.

He stays evil and
-Starts concidering the paladin as his friend and stays with him. The paladin doesn't know this. He knows this and leaves him? Kills him?
-Escapes and does some evil acts, the paladin gets him and takes him to prison? Kills him?


1) The paladin succeeds.

He becomes neutral and tries hard to beter his life.
He becomes Good and wants to start a carreer as Paladin.


Is your paladin a holy warrior presenting the big example? Is he machine of destructing evil? Is he a preacher? A judge? A cop?

Zincorium
2007-03-17, 08:30 AM
I honestly don't find this to be the case anyway. The paladin characters I've seen very rarely have this problem. There are very few situations where doing what's 'righteous' absolutely HAS to mean doing something evil. There's generally a third alternative, and this is what a paladin does.

- Saph

It's not a matter of whether or not they come up, that depends a lot on the campaign, but that the paladin is incapable of acting flexibly. And I think the usage of terms is causing some confusion. Righteous and evil in my mind should be opposites for a paladin, doing the right thing should always do more good than harm at least in the big picture. Only in a high fantasy game can you say without a doubt that all situations have an outcome that is purely good without harm to anyone, and many of us have more realistic playing styles where there are going to be moral challenges, not to screw us over, but simply because that is how the plot has developed.

And it's all well and good to say that there will be without doubt a third option that is always going to work for the paladin, but I certainly have not seen that be the case. Yes, there will probably be a third option in a complicated situation, and a fourth and fifth and so on, but often none of them both serve the greater good and are acceptable to the paladin code. And sometimes you don't have time to think about other ways of doing things, you simply have to react and hope you made the right decision.

Roderick_BR
2007-03-17, 08:41 AM
In my view, if a paladin is trying to redeem a evil creature, that by nature, is evil, I wouldn't call it "association". They are clearly not working together, as I believe the creature is not willing to help the paladin in the task.
The paladin is still working against it.

Krellen
2007-03-17, 12:08 PM
I think we need to check our definition of 'associate':
Merriam-Webster (http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/associate) says 'associate' means 'to join as a partner, friend, or companion'. In the context of D&D and the typical adventuring party, I think the word 'join' is the important aspect here. The Paladin does not 'associate' with evil unless he makes compromises for it.

Roy would violate the Paladin code, given his treatment of Belkar (whom he treats with about the same respect he does the rest of the party.) Miko does not, because she does not view any of the OotS as 'associates'. They are prisoners, and even when they had some freedom in their actions (before strip #251) she did not make allowances or exceptions for them. She expected them to abide by at least the letter of her own code.

Also, it's very important to notice two things about the 'associates' section: first, the word 'knowingly'. You have to know someone is evil to violate. Secondly, it is not part of the 'code' section. The prohibition on association is not part of the Paladin's code; it's basically the rules telling us 'oh, and by the way, you can't just turn a blind eye and be okay. No bending the rules to stay a paladin.' It prevents the paladin and the CE ranger from being in a group together by virtue of the paladin never "knowing" that he's evil by conveniently missing all the evil actions he takes.

Narmoth
2007-03-17, 12:20 PM
"paladin will never knowingly associate with evil characters"

I believe "characters" here should be used as player characters, as I interpret it to refer to the total unplayability of a group with both evil characters and paladin characters. Therefore, a paladin might interact with evil characters if his intent and results are good


"nor will she continue an association with someone who consistently offends her moral code."

This on the other hand I believe to apply to all pc's and npc's the paladin encounters.

Consequently I would say that the paladin hasn't yet violated his code. On the other hand, if the monster attacked people and the paladin tried to convince it to do good rather than restrain it and make it imposible for the monster to attack, he would be violating his code. Also, since the monster is likely to attack others if he just lets it roam free, it's the most good solution to try to conert it to a less violent attitude rather than slaying it or simply confiding it forever.

Duraska
2007-03-17, 12:34 PM
These "Paladins" you speak of sound like a very evil bunch if their choices when it comes to tackling the noble cause of attempting to solve the problem the average D&D world has with irredeemably evil creatures. From what you've told me, their only options are mind control, murder, or turning them over to religious fanatics that are running, I can only assume, a Love In Action (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_In_Action) operation (only for evil outsiders instead of "Bi-curious" boys.)


I think you're applying a real-world set of morals to the D&D universe. This is okay if your campaign takes place on an alternate version of Earth, but most campaigns take place in a completely different existence. Judeo-Christian values are not prevalent in these worlds. "Good" and "Evil" are clearly defined (and not always the same as we consider them to be) and violence occurs on a daily basis for most heroes. As another poster pointed out, the Gods in a D&D campaign are very often real, meta-physical beings who take an active role in the daily workings of the world. Therefore, people who follow the instructions of their God(s) are not blindly acting as "religious fanatics," but rather acting as servants to their master. We might consider forcibly altering somebody's alignment to be "evil" based around our own ideals of individual freedom, but in the D&D worlds, that may be a very acceptable thing to do. You say that Paladins are murderers because they kill evil creatures, but I would argue that killing an absolutely evil creature (and if you're "evil" in D&D, then you are absolutely evil - otherwise you'd be neutral) is a perfectly acceptable thing to do. Heck, it's even considered a good action.

In our world, we cannot clearly define a person as 100% good, 100% evil, or neutral; so we have to give people the benefit of the doubt, and protect their individual rights. Let me ask you this: If, in our world, we could clearly see if a person was completely evil (from a worldwide accepted point of view), then wouldn't it be okay to kill them or turn them good? Wouldn't it be wrong to allow a person who is undeniably evil to continue in their ways? This is how it is with the D&D alignment system. Evil creatures are evil, they're not just "misunderstood" or "confused." They are evil to the bone. Otherwise they'd be some brand of neutral.

Clementx
2007-03-17, 12:37 PM
Keeping a prisoner or trapping a creature until you can make sure it no longer commits evil is not an, "association". You are not giving and taking, accepting the creature as it is, or giving it any freedom to continue committing evil acts. Keeping an evil creature under your thumb is definitely allowed. Should that creature prove irredeemable, commit an evil act under your watch, etc., you have to take the appropriate actions. Letting the evil slip by begins your association, and brings about loss of powers. Lax observation also qualifies- if you aren't continually checking the creature's actions, you are letting it be as is, which, last time you checked, was evil.

Trying to redeem a creature is a large responsibility for a paladin. Doing so while on an adventure should be difficult- you can't let him out of your sight. Getting a mark of justice or geas cast as the next opportunity would be advisable. Getting the creature to willingly accept such a spell should be a huge victory for the paladin, as well. Then he needs to check the creature often, or put him in care of a responsible minder, like clerics of his church, if he has to leave for any period of time. The biggest cost- if you screw up through inaction, or despite your best efforts the creature commits seriously evil acts (like murder), your lapse of judgment warrants a fall until atonement .

Saph
2007-03-17, 06:29 PM
It's not a matter of whether or not they come up, that depends a lot on the campaign, but that the paladin is incapable of acting flexibly.

Well, yes, but this is an issue with all lawful characters. They'll generally be less flexible than chaotic types. Sometimes this is harmful, sometimes this is helpful, most often it doesn't matter all that much - either approach can work.

But this is how it's supposed to be. Paladins are Lawful Good. A character that is purely devoted to good, with no interest in law or chaos, is Neutral Good. A paladin shouldn't be acting exactly like a Neutral Good character in the first place (although they should have a lot of similarities).


And it's all well and good to say that there will be without doubt a third option that is always going to work for the paladin, but I certainly have not seen that be the case. Yes, there will probably be a third option in a complicated situation, and a fourth and fifth and so on, but often none of them both serve the greater good and are acceptable to the paladin code.

Pretty sweeping statement. I can't really agree. For one thing, it's not at all easy in the average situation to say with any degree of certainty which option will serve the 'greater good'. Generally you don't know most of the outcomes of your actions, and that's exactly what the paladin's code is good for. When you don't know what the end results of what you're doing will be, you focus on making sure your actions are good, right now.

Secondly, most of the things the paladin's code forbids are exactly those things that are likely to lead to evil actions in the first place. You can come up with scenarios where following the paladin's code will with 100% guaranteed certainty lead to an evil outcome, but they're pretty rare. What's much more common is "The code is kind of inconvenient", or "The code doesn't mesh with the plan we've got, which might or might not work," or "The code might lead to an evil outcome, but we don't really know for sure," or "The code doesn't let me do what I'd like to do right now, which is kind of chaotic and evil but isn't a big deal really."

But I've never seen a situation of the kind you mention. And I don't play in or run particularly black-and-white games. Maybe you could give more specific examples?

- Saph

Thoughtbot360
2007-03-17, 08:52 PM
What it all boils down to is that paladins too often balk at doing what is truly righteous because they are afraid of losing paladinhood, and along with it the power and prestige. And this should never be the case.
That's what I'm saying!

kamikasei
2007-03-17, 10:41 PM
You say that Paladins are murderers because they kill evil creatures, but I would argue that killing an absolutely evil creature (and if you're "evil" in D&D, then you are absolutely evil - otherwise you'd be neutral) is a perfectly acceptable thing to do. Heck, it's even considered a good action.

In our world, we cannot clearly define a person as 100% good, 100% evil, or neutral; so we have to give people the benefit of the doubt, and protect their individual rights. Let me ask you this: If, in our world, we could clearly see if a person was completely evil (from a worldwide accepted point of view), then wouldn't it be okay to kill them or turn them good? Wouldn't it be wrong to allow a person who is undeniably evil to continue in their ways? This is how it is with the D&D alignment system. Evil creatures are evil, they're not just "misunderstood" or "confused." They are evil to the bone. Otherwise they'd be some brand of neutral.

I don't know where you're getting this from. Nothing about alignment that I know of says that a person of a given alignment is only and purely of that alignment in every aspect and facet of his being. Outsiders may have such extreme traits, but no mortal should. The idea that a Good person is 100% totally Good and nothing else is simply unsupported. A Good person is someone who, on balance, weighing their actions, motivations and so on, comes out as Good. This result is objective and verifiable, but it doesn't mean that the guy might not have some Evil or Neutral traits.

By the same token, if a paladin sees that someone pings on his Detect Evil radar, all he knows is that the person has an Evil alignment. If the aura is exceptionally strong, then there's something going on that he needs to pay attention to - the guy may be an evil cleric or outsider - but if it's a faint or even moderate aura, it doesn't necessarily mean the guy has done anything wrong or is about to do anything wrong that the paladin has a right to involve himself in. It certainly doesn't mean that the paladin has a right to kill the guy!

Clementx
2007-03-17, 10:49 PM
By the same token, if a paladin sees that someone pings on his Detect Evil radar, all he knows is that the person has an Evil alignment. If the aura is exceptionally strong, then there's something going on that he needs to pay attention to - the guy may be an evil cleric or outsider - but if it's a faint or even moderate aura, it doesn't necessarily mean the guy has done anything wrong or is about to do anything wrong that the paladin has a right to involve himself in. It certainly doesn't mean that the paladin has a right to kill the guy!

The inaccuracy of divinations is brought up in every single WotC discussion of legal systems- usually using the very example of a paladin being guilty of murder for cleaving someone he detect evil'ed. There is ONE place in the highly-inconsistent history of DnD alignment that ever dares to state that killing evil creatures is good. That would be the Book of Exalted Deeds. If you ever looked at it, you know it is f*cking insane in all of its descriptions of goodness. In fact, I would rather hang out with people that swear by the Book of Vile Darkness than put my trust in a witch-burning, self-righteous, valuing-his-own-purity-over-the-lives-of-innocences-and-the-continued-existence-of-the-universe
"good" guys described therein.

kamikasei
2007-03-17, 11:00 PM
Clementx: I agree that there are issues with the fallibility of divinations and detection spells, and that therefore a paladin shouldn't rely overmuch on his Detect Evil to determine who's evil or not. My point, though, was that even if you could be totally sure that someone is in fact of an evil alignment and your divinations are infallible on that point, you still don't have the right to just kill them (or even arrest/assault/harass them). The idea that there is only one kind of Evil person and it's a pure, unmitigated, Devil- or Demon-level, eats-babies-and-wants-to-destroy-the-world, kill-on-sight Evil, is just silly.

TheOOB
2007-03-17, 11:26 PM
The fact that a single sentance of the paladin code can cause this much debate in a day is all the more reason not to use paladins. Their code is way to difficult and annoying for a base class, and they don't even have good class abilities to justify needed a balancing factor such as this. Sure Divine Grace is good, but most the other paladin abilities are really weak and/or pointless. (Wow I can can use the incredibly limited spell remove diseases once a day, good thing i'm allready immune...whats that? once a week? well crap.)

In my campaign anyone who wants to play a paladin will play a cleric, dawnblade(homebrewed, think divine duskblade), or a crusader, they all can get the paladin flavor well, but they acually have good abilities and their code of conduct can be handled with roleplay, not mechanical penalties.

arkwei
2007-03-18, 02:57 AM
The inaccuracy of divinations is brought up in every single WotC discussion of legal systems- usually using the very example of a paladin being guilty of murder for cleaving someone he detect evil'ed. There is ONE place in the highly-inconsistent history of DnD alignment that ever dares to state that killing evil creatures is good. That would be the Book of Exalted Deeds. If you ever looked at it, you know it is f*cking insane in all of its descriptions of goodness. In fact, I would rather hang out with people that swear by the Book of Vile Darkness than put my trust in a witch-burning, self-righteous, valuing-his-own-purity-over-the-lives-of-innocences-and-the-continued-existence-of-the-universe
"good" guys described therein.



You have points. If you use BoED:

A baddy named Nick says to paladin Joe, "You will submit to my will and do my evil biddings or I will destroy the universe. Oops, that city is already gone, sorry, just wanted to show you I'm serious."

The paladin should say, "no."

Because BoED says "you cannot perform evil acts to save millions of people, since your actions have meaning beyond that."

What kind of stupid requirment is THAT?

Thoughtbot360
2007-03-18, 04:41 AM
Clementx: I agree that there are issues with the fallibility of divinations and detection spells, and that therefore a paladin shouldn't rely overmuch on his Detect Evil to determine who's evil or not. My point, though, was that even if you could be totally sure that someone is in fact of an evil alignment and your divinations are infallible on that point, you still don't have the right to just kill them (or even arrest/assault/harass them). The idea that there is only one kind of Evil person and it's a pure, unmitigated, Devil- or Demon-level, eats-babies-and-wants-to-destroy-the-world, kill-on-sight Evil, is just silly.

:xykon: :Amen, brother! Preach it!


Also, Saph, you wanted a specific example? I can give you one, though it might not be of the type you wanted.

I was playing a Paladin in a party that was infiltrating the base of a wizard that was using an orc tribe in his attempts- to I can only assume conquer the world (I had to miss out on some sessions, sadly). Anyway when we had slipped past his army during a battle with the good guys, and made it to the orc's warcamp located outside of the wizard's castle, I asked the DM if there was a food warehouse or other type of supply depot. "An army marches on its stomach" I thought entirely to myself. The bard had to stick his nose in it and said "Are you going to poison the food? ' I detect evil. What? It's me?!'" I tried to shoot back that I wanted to burn the food depot down, forcing the orcs to find a new source of food, which would ultimately slow them down and potentially save some lives (and optimally forcing the wizard's control over the orcs to break down.) before the DM interrupted with "No, there's nothing like that." Later, inside the castle, the group was moving very slowly after we had just found the wizard's room (but the bard closed the door akwardly and the wizard cast hold portal to keep it shut) I suggested that I was going to search the other rooms of the castle (which we had barely explored) and el Senior Bard had to give his input of "Um, a Paladin searching a castle to steal um, treasures? 'What? I can't cast spell anymore!'"

So anyway, the session ended with us accomplishing nothing and I told the DM I couldn't come next week. However, the bard's constant badgering about me losing my powers whenever I came up with an idea of my own brought the issue of taking the paladin's code seriously into focus.

When I did get back to the campaign, I discovered that the wizard got away and this time we the group (which didn't include the bard or the stupid necromancer wiz/cleric hybrid, our two healers, they were absent, I prepared a healing spell in case we needed it, turns out we didn't.) was going to teleport in to the castle owned by one of the player characters (The Dwarf warwizard that was raised by a human Cleric of some LN forgotten realm deity) that had been taken over by the enemy. So we teleported in and just stopped an imposing black-armoured guy and his 1st-level warrior minions from killing the dwarf's father figure. Our party's other wizard (a human) in the party casted a web spell, and got the two lankies, the bad news was it got the rogue, me, and our fighter too! The rogue evaded the web, and the fighter used his staff of infinitely spewing acid to fizzle his way out of the web, but I was stuck! (I did count as flanking the big boss, though, so the rogue ended up sneak attacking him for most the fight.) Anyway after getting off one attack (but that was okay, because 3.0 pallys only get one smite anyway.) But then we had the two lankies still stuck in the web.

During their interrogation there was a lot of the dwarf shouting out "kick the baby!" (I was overlooking that, willfully ignorant, but the thought crosses my mind these days when I look back on that day that they were beating the information out of them....and making a South Park reference I didn't get cuz' I didn't watch South Park at the time.) As they were talking, I made out that the Black armored general guy we just killed went to the western heartlands and thats were they recruited them, but thats all I could make out of the "interrogation." Those two prisoners whined and cried a lot. Finally the dwarf and the fighter, who were interrogating them, said something that would rise me out of my stupor and give my character a chance to develop and finally live outside the battlefield (where I had just spend stuck in my own wizard's web, if you recall. I had a str of 16, but I just couldn't roll high enough!) Besides, with the bard's various accusations still burning in my head, I felt the time had come to do something paladin-ny.

"Hey, we're going to kill them."

And then I said "Well, we're going to have a problem" This didn't go down well with the group at all and the dwarf in particular wasn't cutting them any slack. He said things like "they didn't surrender, we beat them into submission," "Its not like we have a prison" (What kind of castle doesn't have a dungeon...) and used my own alignment against my position. "I know you're good, but may I also assume you are lawful? Well then you should see that murderers are killed!" The dwarf was angry over the damage they had done. Then the Rogue made it all better with one simple suggestion.

"Hey, do your....thing."

I told the DM I detect evil.

DM: They're evil.

Dwarf: *not even waiting for me to tell the group that I had even scanned their alignments, let alone wether or not they registed as evil* Sa-wing! *kills them*

Me: ........

:roach: : Don't feel bad, Jim. At least you're still a useful member of this party. Even if you don't have any magic items. (I actually had a spiderbane dagger on my old sorcerer character, but he died the next session, so I switched to a paladin.)

Human wizard: Wheee!!1!!1! Its so fun flying around and casting fireballs at expensive looking seige weapons and clumps of stupid army men! :smallbiggrin: Oh, I'm sorry, they dispelled my fly? Good thing I have my ring of feather fall! I'm falling, I'm falling and -your going to blow up!

:roach: : I'll just be going now.






....What should I have done? On one hand, I feel like the issue wouldn't have come up had I not played a paladin, one the other I really did feel that killing off the soldiers was unwarranted, simple because they were unimportant. I mean, its not like they are going to re-organize the wizard's army just on their own.
(Someone above said that all lawful characters suffer from inflexibility. I'd like to point out that adventurers tend to be rather on the chaotic side of life, since when they aren't dungeon crawling, they are sneaking into the residence of the baron to conduct an illegal seizure to discern if he is a vampire or not, or cutting a deal with the local thieves guild to find that one world-saving/damning artifact the guild stole last week before the villians do, or possibly even joining a revolution. Yet Lawfuls still join, and usually have no problem with any of these situations.)

Whamme
2007-03-18, 05:23 AM
Exactly what I was thinking. The responses here seem to be taking an extremely harsh and limiting view of "association". While keeping an evil creature around to try and talk it around to good might be considered "association", debating with a prisoner or making small talk at official functions with the noble who shows up on Detect Evil but hasn't done anything the paladin can pursue him for shouldn't cause you to fall.

On the other hand, proselytizing to random evil creatures is a poor use of a paladin's time. If you think someone is redeemable you hand them over to authorities, tell the authorities that you think the person might respond well to the right treatment, and set a good example while doing so. Dabbling in experimental alignment-changing would probably be viewed, not as a violation of the code of honor, but as an inappropriate indulgence.

And of course, going up to a villain who you know to be evil and to be doing evil things and simply chatting with him about alignment rather than thwacking him over the head and bringing him before the judge is not really what paladins are about.

While she may adventure with characters of any good or neutral alignment (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/description.htm#alignment), a paladin will never knowingly associate with evil characters, nor will she continue an association with someone who consistently offends her moral code. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are lawful good.



That's not part of the Paladin Code.

A paladin must be of lawful good alignment (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/description.htm#alignment) and loses all class abilities if she ever willingly commits an evil act.
Additionally, a paladinís code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#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.


THAT is the code of conduct. Falling requires breaking the Code, commiting an immensely evil act, or changing alignment.


So the Paladin is fine. Heck, it looks like the Association rule is just to stop parties with a CE murderer and a Paladin... oh, right.

Saph
2007-03-18, 05:24 AM
Thoughtbot: I don't really get it. Not sure what you're saying in the first section - but the paladin's code doesn't prevent you from taking stuff.

As for the interrogation bit - deciding what to do with prisoners is a problem for ALL good-aligned adventurers (or it should be). Paladins don't get it particularly harder than anyone else. You have to let them go, turn them over to authorities, keep them captive indefinitely, or execute them. Sometimes there's another option, but usually you have to choose between the first four, none of which are usually ideal. But that's just how it goes. It's a problem in the real world too.

Honestly, it sounds as though the problem is with an annoying group of players rather than the paladin's code - and trying to play a seriously good-aligned adventurer in a party that keeps quoting South Park is a recipe for trouble anyway. :)

- Saph

Saph
2007-03-18, 05:31 AM
You have points.

He doesn't have points. His description of the BoED is pretty inaccurate, from what I remember. The BoED says that killing a FIEND is a good act. That's because they're incarnations of evil.

Exalted characters are the exact opposite of psycho murderers. That's the real reason most people have trouble playing them - because they have to spend such effort trying to avoid killing things.


If you use BoED:

A baddy named Nick says to paladin Joe, "You will submit to my will and do my evil biddings or I will destroy the universe. Oops, that city is already gone, sorry, just wanted to show you I'm serious."

The paladin should say, "no."

What kind of stupid requirment is THAT?

Because of course the baddy is going to keep his word. Nothing like casually wiping out a few cities on whim to show how how trustworthy and reliable you are, right? *rolls eyes*

This is exactly the kind of stupid scenario that I was talking about earlier. If you're in a position where that kind of psycho can destroy the universe any time he likes, YOU'VE ALREADY LOST. Trying to do moral algebra from that position is a complete waste of time.

- Saph

Zincorium
2007-03-18, 05:45 AM
It's a problem for all adventurers, but here's the thing: most people's characters do not center on being the epitome of an alignment, and if they deviate from that, they lose little game wise.

A paladin is different. Period. If they 'deviate', another one of those poorly defined words, from lawful good, it's over. They can atone, but they are no longer a paladin until that happens.

And it does not matter whether the baddy will keep their word, or if you've already 'lost' or any of that. If you just give up when the odds are against you, even insurmountably, then you do not have what it takes to be a paladin, and that's why they shouldn't be a base class. They are held to a higher standard, and the code mucks that up rather than clarifies it.

A good character would be morally forced to take a gamble on the one chance that they are serious, even if it's .1% likely it will happen, simply because it could save lives, and serving evil is meaningless if the universe is destroyed anyway. Any good character should be doing that, exalted or otherwise.

Thoughtbot360
2007-03-18, 05:53 AM
You have points. If you use BoED:

A baddy named Nick says to paladin Joe, "You will submit to my will and do my evil biddings or I will destroy the universe. Oops, that city is already gone, sorry, just wanted to show you I'm serious."

The paladin should say, "no."

Because BoED says "you cannot perform evil acts to save millions of people, since your actions have meaning beyond that."

What kind of stupid requirment is THAT?

Paladin Joe should say this:

"Wait, did you just threaten my lowly self, who is so powerless before you I can't even act as a deterent to you destroying a city (which apparently you can do with the nothing less than the power of your mind) to help you conquer the universe or else you will destroy it?"

Nick: -yyyYES!

Joe: "You're some kind of moron, you know that?"

Saph
2007-03-18, 06:03 AM
If you just give up when the odds are against you, even insurmountably, then you do not have what it takes to be a paladin, and that's why they shouldn't be a base class. They are held to a higher standard.

They are held to a higher standard. But what's wrong with that? They're 1 out of 11 classes. If you don't want to be held to a higher standard, you can pick something else.

What about the players who want to be a paladin from level 1 BECAUSE paladins are held to a higher standard? I've played with several, and it works great. They know their actions are more restricted than the CG and CN party members, but they don't mind - that was why they picked the paladin class in the first place. Some people want to be the paladin-type from level 1, and I don't see anything wrong with that.


A good character would be morally forced to take a gamble on the one chance that they are serious, even if it's .1% likely it will happen.

No, a gullible good character would be forced to do that. A smart good character would think "Hey, wait a minute. If this guy is that powerful, why is he trying to coerce me instead of just taking what he wants by force? What's his agenda here?" And then he might find out, say, that the bad guy is not telling the truth and going along with what he asks will actually lead to worse consequences (maybe the destroyed city was an illusion - but the evil act the paladin is being blackmailed into isn't).

This is what I mean about most paladin 'dilemmas' being a non-issue in practice. The above situation is ridiculously unlikely and if it ever happens, you've got bigger problems than whether your paladin's going to fall or not.

- Saph

Zincorium
2007-03-18, 06:32 AM
They are held to a higher standard. But what's wrong with that? They're 1 out of 11 classes. If you don't want to be held to a higher standard, you can pick something else.


I have a problem with people being held to a higher standard and ruining their character when they don't meet it. And I've already stated that we don't use paladins anymore, in effect everyone already does play something else.



What about the players who want to be a paladin from level 1 BECAUSE paladins are held to a higher standard? I've played with several, and it works great. They know their actions are more restricted than the CG and CN party members, but they don't mind - that was why they picked the paladin class in the first place. Some people want to be the paladin-type from level 1, and I don't see anything wrong with that.

No, a gullible good character would be forced to do that. A smart good character would think "Hey, wait a minute. If this guy is that powerful, why is he trying to coerce me instead of just taking what he wants by force? What's his agenda here?" And then he might find out, say, that the bad guy is not telling the truth and going along with what he asks will actually lead to worse consequences (maybe the destroyed city was an illusion - but the evil act the paladin is being blackmailed into isn't).


Right. I mentioned 'credible' right? Thus, you're in practice ignoring what I said because what you're talking about isn't a credible threat. If you have time to step back and think about it for a while and investigate it, then it wouldn't be a problem, you're right. But if that isn't the case, you are wrong. If you have a second to decide, and you don't decide, the answer is in practice 'no'. And while the question is theoretical, you can't base decisions on the theory that all you know could be wrong, not and retain certainty and confidence.



This is what I mean about most paladin 'dilemmas' being a non-issue in practice. The above situation is ridiculously unlikely and if it ever happens, you've got bigger problems than whether your paladin's going to fall or not.


Yes, but you're dodging the question and acting like you've won. There are many paladin dilemmas, from what I've seen personally and read on the board. They come up. And often you don't have bigger problems at the time.

Let's deal with the OP. It's a dilemma ranging around whether the paladin would fall for associating with an evil creature to try and convert it to good. The player obviously thinks that such an action is for the best and is a good act, otherwise they, as playing a paladin, would probably not seriously consider it.

But they're worried they might fall for doing so. If they choose not to help the poor little tomb mote onto the right path, they are refusing to do what they feel is good. Why would they refuse to do good? So they don't violate the paladin's code and stop being a paladin.

They would do good if they could still be a paladin, but there's a very real possibility they can't? How does that make sense? Paladins should be rewarded for doing good, no matter if it's unpleasant. That's a problem with no third option, they either convert it to good or destroy it. Releasing it while it's still evil is not acceptable.

This is why the paladin code is a problem, it has nothing to do with the viability of paladins or theoretical no win situations. It's occasional things that are only important because they are so tied into game stats it's stupid.

arkwei
2007-03-18, 06:37 AM
Paladin Joe should say this:

"Wait, did you just threaten my lowly self, who is so powerless before you I can't even act as a deterent to you destroying a city (which apparently you can do with the nothing less than the power of your mind) to help you conquer the universe or else you will destroy it?"

Nick: -yyyYES!

Joe: "You're some kind of moron, you know that?"

Doing One's evil biddings != (not equal to) conquer the universe. If someone is destroying the universe, chances are good they don't care about it.

I could be talking about a wizard who banned enchantment and now is terribly regretting he lost the power to control people's minds, and now is using the safety of the universe as leverage in "persuading".
I could be talking about someone who is sadistic and what to see a paladin cry and bend. (You know, it is kinda hard to cry when you can't fear. Out of sadness is cool, though.)
I could be, just could be, talking about someone who is just being obsessive on the said pal.

Who knows?




Sigh. If you live by the code, you should expect one day to be screwed up by the code. That's what I'm trying to say. And the story I gave was pretty much straight from the book, with flavor.

kamikasei
2007-03-18, 06:40 AM
They would do good if they could still be a paladin, but there's a very real possibility they can't? How does that make sense? Paladins should be rewarded for doing good, no matter if it's unpleasant. That's a problem with no third option, they either convert it to good or destroy it. Releasing it while it's still evil is not acceptable.

:smallconfused:?

There's a very clear third option: hand the thing over to someone else. The OP's dilemma wasn't "do I redeem this thing or destroy it", it was "am I allowed carry around a subdued evil creature in my backpack for fireside chats about ethics?"

arkwei
2007-03-18, 06:41 AM
Because of course the baddy is going to keep his word. Nothing like casually wiping out a few cities on whim to show how how trustworthy and reliable you are, right? *rolls eyes*

This is exactly the kind of stupid scenario that I was talking about earlier. If you're in a position where that kind of psycho can destroy the universe any time he likes, YOU'VE ALREADY LOST. Trying to do moral algebra from that position is a complete waste of time.

- Saph

Sure, why don't we just give up? Surely a LE person would not keep his words.


So, the entire universe is not an arguable position. What about half of it? One quarter? 20%?
Surely you can come up with a percentage of the universe, that, if destroyed, would not mean total, irreversible loss on the GOOD side?

Saph
2007-03-18, 08:30 AM
I have a problem with people being held to a higher standard and ruining their character when they don't meet it.

But other people don't - and they're happy playing paladins as they are.

You dislike the paladin code, so you play other classes. They like the paladin code, so they play paladins. Where's the problem?


Yes, but you're dodging the question and acting like you've won. There are many paladin dilemmas, from what I've seen personally and read on the board. They come up.

They do. But they're not insoluble. This is where you have to make a distinction between the realistic ones that come up in play, like "what shall we do with the prisoners?", and the kind arkwei describes, which is "You must break your code or THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE WILL BE DESTROYED! These are the only two choices! There are no alternatives! By the way, did I mention I hate your class?"


Let's deal with the OP. It's a dilemma ranging around whether the paladin would fall for associating with an evil creature to try and convert it to good. The player obviously thinks that such an action is for the best and is a good act, otherwise they, as playing a paladin, would probably not seriously consider it.

But they're worried they might fall for doing so.

I already gave my response to this on page 1 - I see absolutely no reason to have a paladin fall for doing something like this. Honestly, I think if your DM makes your paladin fall for something this minor, then he either hates paladins or just hates you. The 'association' rule isn't even part of the paladin's code in the first place, it's a separate paragraph. You have to have some kind of bizarre reading of the paladin class (or just a sadistic DM) to say that a paladin falls for trying to redeem an evil creature.

- Saph

Renegade Paladin
2007-03-18, 08:32 AM
Let's deal with the OP. It's a dilemma ranging around whether the paladin would fall for associating with an evil creature to try and convert it to good. The player obviously thinks that such an action is for the best and is a good act, otherwise they, as playing a paladin, would probably not seriously consider it.

But they're worried they might fall for doing so. If they choose not to help the poor little tomb mote onto the right path, they are refusing to do what they feel is good. Why would they refuse to do good? So they don't violate the paladin's code and stop being a paladin.
Which is patently ridiculous. The Associates section is not part of the code, and has no direct consequences involving falling.

Jayabalard
2007-03-18, 09:04 AM
That's it. In all current and future games I DM, the "associates" cluase is officially stricken from the rules. I can't change the rules as written for the sake of other games, but I can damn sure complain about them. Telling a Paladin he can't proselytize and attempt to redeem Evil, but rather must Smite the hells out of anything that pings on his detect-o-meter, is ridiculous, promotes mindless killing over social roleplaying, and in my mind, is very much against the ideals of Good, which promote compassion and mercy. Granted, a Paladin's primary purpose is a blunt instrument to be used against the irredeemable, but to say he can't try to destroy Evil by changing it to Good? Not in my games.I agree completely.

Compassion, sacrifice, spirituality, and humility are just as important as justice, valor, honesty and honor...

Pocket lint
2007-03-18, 11:35 AM
Ok, people have had a lot of good points here. I thought I'd add another perspective. The reason for that paragraph in the paladin description is quite simple - a paladin (or indeed any exalted character) is flat incapable of trusting an evil character. I mean, heck, you know the guy puts himself first, so trusting him is just stupid.

The detect evil ability, which I hold to be largely subconscious anyway, sets you on hair-trigger alert whenever he's around. Whenever he speaks, there's just something slightly wrong, something that grates on your nerves. He may be nice, friendly, charming, but you know that it's all just a facade to get whatever he's after. How do you manage any lasting relation in this situation?

Frankly, that supernatural ability must be a relief to a paladin - at least he knows what the heck is wrong instead of just having to guess. And he'd know who to keep an eye on...

Thoughtbot360
2007-03-18, 03:33 PM
Thoughtbot: I don't really get it. Not sure what you're saying in the first section - but the paladin's code doesn't prevent you from taking stuff.
Tell that to the spoony bard.:smallannoyed: (also, why do I think about Roy Greenhilt whenever I use the annoyed smiley?)


Honestly, it sounds as though the problem is with an annoying group of players rather than the paladin's code - and trying to play a seriously good-aligned adventurer in a party that keeps quoting South Park is a recipe for trouble anyway. :)

You're probably right.


Doing One's evil biddings != (not equal to) conquer the universe. If someone is destroying the universe, chances are good they don't care about it.
Ok.... then what are his evil biddings? Besides the point still stands, he can destroy the universe (or a significant chunk thereof), if he doesn't need the paladin's help. I was simply pointing that out when he said "you're some kind of moron." I agree with Saph on this point, doing moral alegbra is pointless. If worst comes to worse, the paladin can simply mentally beat himself up attacking himself with self-destructive thoughts in an attempt to make himself useless by sabotaging himself. The one thing anyone has control over is their own thoughts (unless they are mind controlled, and if Nick could have mind controlled Joe, he probably wouldn't be coercing Joe to work for him) and Joe may simply choose he doesn't want to be strong, doesn't want to be compentent, doesn't want any energy, doesn't want to live! -and his body will comply sooner or later, and Nick will be out one fallen paladin.

Starbuck_II
2007-03-18, 04:07 PM
If a cleric has looser standards of behavior than a paladin, something's wrong.

What following the rules? Because Clerics have less restrictions. Heck, LG Clerics make better Paladins. They can do good at all times and don't fall for redeeming/associating evil creatures.


A cleric is the direct representative of his deity; a cleric of a lawful good, paladin-sponsoring god should have much similar standards of behavior and should he fail to uphold the deity's tenets, he should have to atone.

Except they don't. Paladins don't even need gods. Grabnted Clerics don't either. You might be referring tio Favored Soul.




The same goes for clerics of other faiths; their own standards are of course different, but if they don't exemplify them, they're going to have some 'splainin' to do.
Except they have no listed restrictions. Sure they have loose ones, but loose= better than strict.

Illiterate Scribe
2007-03-18, 04:25 PM
Back to the OP's point - if he/she doesn't try to redeem the X monster, or show mercy to it, isn't the paladin failing in his or her duty to do good, and so will fall anyway?

arkwei
2007-03-18, 04:42 PM
Tell that to the spoony bard.:smallannoyed: (also, why do I think about Roy Greenhilt whenever I use the annoyed smiley?)
Ok.... then what are his evil biddings? Besides the point still stands, he can destroy the universe (or a significant chunk thereof), if he doesn't need the paladin's help. I was simply pointing that out when he said "you're some kind of moron." I agree with Saph on this point, doing moral alegbra is pointless. If worst comes to worse, the paladin can simply mentally beat himself up attacking himself with self-destructive thoughts in an attempt to make himself useless by sabotaging himself. The one thing anyone has control over is their own thoughts (unless they are mind controlled, and if Nick could have mind controlled Joe, he probably wouldn't be coercing Joe to work for him) and Joe may simply choose he doesn't want to be strong, doesn't want to be compentent, doesn't want any energy, doesn't want to live! -and his body will comply sooner or later, and Nick will be out one fallen paladin.



I don't understand your point, if there is one. Did you see the three examples I put? Nick Wizardyguy can simply ask Joe Paladinia to beat up whatever little kids he see to get a sadistic glee out of it. Sure, beating kids is bad, but at least they get to live.




Back to the OP's point - if he/she doesn't try to redeem the X monster, or show mercy to it, isn't the paladin failing in his or her duty to do good, and so will fall anyway?


No, paladins are not required to do good, only they can't do evil. At least that's what the "Psycho Paladin" thread people tell me.

EvilElitest
2007-03-18, 05:26 PM
I don't understand your point, if there is one. Did you see the three examples I put? Nick Wizardyguy can simply ask Joe Paladinia to beat up whatever little kids he see to get a sadistic glee out of it. Sure, beating kids is bad, but at least they get to live.

Well sense he is going to destroy the world anyways, you might as well not beat up the kids. I mean, can you somehow stop this guy? If you try and fail to attack him and the world is destroyed, well then at least you pissed him off first. I mean he is going to detroy the world anyways.






No, paladins are not required to do good, only they can't do evil. At least that's what the "Psycho Paladin" thread people tell me.

And don't you forget it.
from,
EE

Bouldering Jove
2007-03-18, 06:01 PM
No, paladins are not required to do good, only they can't do evil. At least that's what the "Psycho Paladin" thread people tell me.
Paladins aren't required to do good? Not according to the code of conduct:


A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class abilities if she ever willingly commits an evil act.

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.
I bolded the lawful good alignment requirement because of what the SRD has to say about the alignments:


"Good" implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.
...
People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent but lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others. Neutral people are committed to others by personal relationships.
A paladin who doesn't feel obligated to perform good actions is neutral, not good, and thus isn't a paladin.

Thoughtbot360
2007-03-18, 06:25 PM
I don't understand your point, if there is one. Did you see the three examples I put? Nick Wizardyguy can simply ask Joe Paladinia to beat up whatever little kids he see to get a sadistic glee out of it. Sure, beating kids is bad, but at least they get to live.

....:smallconfused: . Then Nick is "some kind of moron" for a whole 'nother reason. But then again, being evil does require being willfully stupid on some level or another.


No, paladins are not required to do good, only they can't do evil. At least that's what the "Psycho Paladin" thread people tell me.

That would make them lawful neutral. In fact the BoED saids rattling off sins you haven't commited makes you solidly neutral, but not good. I agree with the sentiment. Too many people think lawful good is a "limiting" alignment. In fact, the opposite may very well be true. Taking the principled stand may in the long run turn out to be the smartest thing to do. When someone is trying to manipulate the public into a war and trying to get all the political opponents to get on board or seem like "traitors" to call BS on the whole thing at stand by the decision to not support them is going to make you look pretty good when it turns out the whole military adventure was a sham. The manipulators who start such a war however, may never learn the lesson the unsupportive politician had learned long before the start of the war.

After all, which alignment needs to poke a few holes in a fundamentally false PR message to win the argument, and which one needs to burn the Reichstag? (Assuming the choices are the LG and the NE alignments?)

arkwei
2007-03-18, 07:26 PM
Paladins aren't required to do good? Not according to the code of conduct:

I bolded the lawful good alignment requirement because of what the SRD has to say about the alignments:

A paladin who doesn't feel obligated to perform good actions is neutral, not good, and thus isn't a paladin.



That would make them lawful neutral. In fact the BoED saids rattling off sins you haven't commited makes you solidly neutral, but not good. I agree with the sentiment. Too many people think lawful good is a "limiting" alignment. In fact, the opposite may very well be true. Taking the principled stand may in the long run turn out to be the smartest thing to do. When someone is trying to manipulate the public into a war and trying to get all the political opponents to get on board or seem like "traitors" to call BS on the whole thing at stand by the decision to not support them is going to make you look pretty good when it turns out the whole military adventure was a sham. The manipulators who start such a war however, may never learn the lesson the unsupportive politician had learned long before the start of the war.

After all, which alignment needs to poke a few holes in a fundamentally false PR message to win the argument, and which one needs to burn the Reichstag? (Assuming the choices are the LG and the NE alignments?)


Oh, I was less than clear about it. Sorry. I was saying "When paladin is faced with 'commit an evil yourself' or 'people die', they should not do that evil act." Not according to BoED, anyways. Jeez, I was really not clear about it. I apologize.

So yes, they are not required to do good if in doing so involves ANY evil act, including lying, inflicting pain on prisoner to get info, etc. check out BoED pg 9 before you argue.

And, no, I don't think LG is limiting at all. I am personally kinda idealistic, but this tread bumped me. Just that the book of BoED is kinda stupid and limiting. If you haven't read it, then don't argue about it. If you did, I'm glad to elaborate.

This:
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36000

Don't argue with me, go argue about it in the thread I mentioned. I was arguing in your positions, but then I have to concede because I couldn't find argument about this position.


Anyhow, it is in the rules that a paladin cannot lie to save people's lives. check out BoED pg 9 before you think I am stupid.

Bouldering Jove
2007-03-18, 08:30 PM
The Book of Exalted Deeds is a splatbook, so it can be easily disregarded, and there are reasons to doubt its assertion on the matter even if you accept the book as legitimate. The argument it presents hinges on the existence of "a universal balance of power between good and evil," which evil actions even in the service of a good cause shift towards evil. But this is an argument about actions on the material plane; if our heroes venture out into the larger D&D cosmology, then they can actually fight the forces that that "universal balance of power" is referring to. How can an action be metaphysically evil if you're using it to combat the actual forces of metaphysical evil? Does torturing a demon or casting an "evil spell" on it make it stronger or create new demons to fight?

arkwei
2007-03-18, 08:54 PM
The Book of Exalted Deeds is a splatbook, so it can be easily disregarded, and there are reasons to doubt its assertion on the matter even if you accept the book as legitimate. The argument it presents hinges on the existence of "a universal balance of power between good and evil," which evil actions even in the service of a good cause shift towards evil. But this is an argument about actions on the material plane; if our heroes venture out into the larger D&D cosmology, then they can actually fight the forces that that "universal balance of power" is referring to. How can an action be metaphysically evil if you're using it to combat the actual forces of metaphysical evil? Does torturing a demon or casting an "evil spell" on it make it stronger or create new demons to fight?



Huh? Since you brought up BoED I'm assuming you are arguing against me, but I'm not sure. Let me try my best.

Let me state my position first: I believe a paladin should be able to redeem people, and should be able to sacrifice his morality to save masses.

This "GOOD and EVIL are objective" thing is sticky to begin with. Remember, EVIL is a cosmic force. The thing most orthodox GOODist (which I am not) is concerned about is that if you use evil means to fight EVIL, you can never win. Which is somewhat understandable, since for all I know, EVIL might siphon some part of energy and becomes stronger if you commit evil.

So, it's like "if you use evil to fight demons, you killed one but created two more."



That was not what I was talking about. That situation I created is about cutting losses. Since some baddy is already able to destroy part of the universe, the force of GOOD has already lost this day. It is either "this paramount of GOOD has to do EVIL" or "millions of people die," which is a lose-lose situation.

From the dictation of BoED, the paladin should not do EVIL, because "your actions carry meaning beyond that." So how exactly is that reasonable?

If I fell to save those people, those people will be thankful for their lives, and some of them will become paladins. And they will come and cut me into pieces to save me from the living hell I'm going through. And I would die gladly knowing that I saved millions of people and the forces of GOOD grow.

But no, I'm not supposed to do that, as stated by BoED.

I was, and still am, ONLY arguing about the stupidity of the dictates of BoED. I would not argue, and had not argued, about anything else.

EvilElitest
2007-03-18, 10:35 PM
Oh, I was less than clear about it. Sorry. I was saying "When paladin is faced with 'commit an evil yourself' or 'people die', they should not do that evil act." Not according to BoED, anyways. Jeez, I was really not clear about it. I apologize.

So yes, they are not required to do good if in doing so involves ANY evil act, including lying, inflicting pain on prisoner to get info, etc. check out BoED pg 9 before you argue.

And, no, I don't think LG is limiting at all. I am personally kinda idealistic, but this tread bumped me. Just that the book of BoED is kinda stupid and limiting. If you haven't read it, then don't argue about it. If you did, I'm glad to elaborate.

This:
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36000

Don't argue with me, go argue about it in the thread I mentioned. I was arguing in your positions, but then I have to concede because I couldn't find argument about this position.


Anyhow, it is in the rules that a paladin cannot lie to save people's lives. check out BoED pg 9 before you think I am stupid.

You were already countered on that point in the pycho paladin thread, twice a belive by counter power and by PaladinBoy, i think. Also, stop bridging threads. Keep you argument about Paladins commiting evil to that thread, and keep your agument about working with evil to this one.
Also i think Boulder is on your side, but i would like to point out, good is not logical. You want logic, be neutral. Stop harping about how "Obessive" good is. you want opressive become evil, you want morals be good, you want logic be neutral. You can't take good, stop whining about it. You want to aruging about hte details fine, but don't rant against the very concept on this thread. Help youself on the other one.


from,
EE

Renegade Paladin
2007-03-18, 10:43 PM
What following the rules? Because Clerics have less restrictions. Heck, LG Clerics make better Paladins. They can do good at all times and don't fall for redeeming/associating evil creatures.

Except they don't. Paladins don't even need gods. Grabnted Clerics don't either. You might be referring tio Favored Soul.



Except they have no listed restrictions. Sure they have loose ones, but loose= better than strict.
If you're running a seriously screwed up setting, sure.

First and foremost, a paladin doesn't fall for associating with evil creatures; it is not in the Code section of the description and therefore doesn't share that penalty. Associating with evil creatures is likely to lead him to violate his code, but that's a (slightly) separate issue. Secondly, holding a prisoner is not association; nor is trying to redeem that prisoner, because he is in no way on even terms with you while imprisoned.

Third, a cleric who doesn't exemplify whatever god or ideal he serves gets hit with the big power-loss stick. See the Ex-Cleric section (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/classes/cleric.htm#exClerics) of that class description. It just doesn't give a specific set of rules because it would have to list a different one for every deity, which would add another two or three pages to the class description. If the DM is not enforcing such adherence, that is his problem, and if he's not doing so for clerics while actively attempting to screw the paladin, he's simply exercising a blatant double standard. A cleric of Heironeous or Torm would have a very paladin-like code of behavior, while a cleric of St. Cuthbert would fall for things like knowingly letting guilty men go, a cleric of Helm would bite it for neglecting something entrusted to him to guard, a cleric of Kord would fall if he let himself get out of shape, and a cleric of Sune would fall if she neglected her personal hygiene. Writing out the entire list would be silly, but it should be apparent from the various deity descriptions what behavior they expect.

Narmoth
2007-03-19, 11:18 AM
Back to the OP's point - if he/she doesn't try to redeem the X monster, or show mercy to it, isn't the paladin failing in his or her duty to do good, and so will fall anyway?

That would depend upon the Dm's definition of good.
Actually, the definition of the Paladin's code of conduct and what makes him fail also depends upon the Dm. Given the situation that the paladin has made the monster react friendly to him I would say (and rule if I was the DM) that it's a good act to try to redeem it, a neutral act to keep the monster imprissoned (since it's dangerous to the population) and an evil act to kill it (since isn't a threat as long as it's imprisoned).

Therefore, the paladin will fall if he kills the monster, and should get XP if he convert it to good. Then again, what some rule says about it conserns me in my ****

PnP Fan
2007-03-19, 02:29 PM
to the OP: I think your Paladin needs to spend his next attribute point in WIS, but I'd say that he's probably not beyond the paladin's code to show mercy, and offer redemption to this thing (whatever it is. . *shrug*). I think he should probably choose more wisely who/what can be redeemed though. Something that is "always" CE, my take on it at least, is that there's something innately Evil about the thing, on a supernatural level, and that it's not an act of free will that the creature is evil, as opposed to your typical Evil Wizard, who is Evil because he has chosen to be evil, not because he was made that way.

As far as Clerics being held to a code and being less/more restrictive than Paladins? There is definitely a code, though unwritten, that any cleric should have to follow to be a cleric of a deity. However, the rules allow for flexibility of that code ("within one step of the deity's alignment") to include more interpretation of that code. There is no such allowance for that in the Paladin (always LG, that's always with a small "a" not Always LG, like an angel or something). One of the reasons I've always wanted to do away with the paladin and make it a subclass of the Holy Warrior archetype. Why do the Evil deities only get ruined Paladins? ;-) (rhetorical)

Thoughtbot360
2007-03-19, 04:40 PM
That was not what I was talking about. That situation I created is about cutting losses. Since some baddy is already able to destroy part of the universe, the force of GOOD has already lost this day. It is either "this paramount of GOOD has to do EVIL" or "millions of people die," which is a lose-lose situation.

From the dictation of BoED, the paladin should not do EVIL, because "your actions carry meaning beyond that." So how exactly is that reasonable?

Its not reasonable at all. I think that you misunderstood me. I never insulted you. I did mention that Nick was a moron (or at least a little childish) originally because to do evil (which I assume Nick is aiming for), you need a universe to do it in (although destroying the world would be pretty evil, I assumed that would be killing the golden goose because you could do no more evil), therefore I interpreted that he wanted the paladin to do something more important than just bullying school children when you said "Do my evil biddings." Assuming he wasn't going to tell the paladin to (ironically) destroy the universe himself, there is only a small amount of things that Nick could ask Joe to do:

1) Serve as a soldier in his army to help him conquer the world (Not relevant because Nick is so powerful he could easily conquer it)
2) Betray the Paladins from the inside (Again, Nick could destroy the Paladin guild just like he destroyed that city)
3) Something Naughty or childish, like becoming Nick's sex slave, raping school girls or bullying children ("C'mon!" I told myself, "What're the odds of that happening" so I was suprised when you brought it up)

And so, working with the first two possibilities of evil demands that can be taken seriously, I said Wizardguy Nick was "some kind of moron" for trying to force the paladin to do his (world-conquering) Evil biddings. When you said he could just be in it to get some cheap laughs forcing the Paladin as his ticket for a few cheap laughs, I was a little dumbstruck that Nick was so juvenile. (beating little kids may be wrong, but there is a question of if its evil. Seriously, in a pre-industrial society, even one with paladins, child abuse is probably upheld as the primary method of discipline. Just ask anyone who attending a catholic boarding school as a kid and you will probably find a story of a punishment that was much worse than what Nick is forcing Joe to do to lil' Billy and Timmy. Then again, parents and teachers in your own campaign world may be creating multiple evil outsiders per child! Even if it has to be an unjust beating to count as evil, I still think Joe's forced contributions to evil by just kicking kids so Nick can get some gits and shiggles would be marginal)

But yeah, If I were the DM, I'd just let the players deal with hostage situations however they feel is right.

Renegade Paladin
2007-03-19, 11:08 PM
As far as Clerics being held to a code and being less/more restrictive than Paladins? There is definitely a code, though unwritten, that any cleric should have to follow to be a cleric of a deity. However, the rules allow for flexibility of that code ("within one step of the deity's alignment") to include more interpretation of that code. There is no such allowance for that in the Paladin (always LG, that's always with a small "a" not Always LG, like an angel or something).
That's because a cleric of a deity exemplifies his deity's portfolio, not his alignment. A paladin is a champion of righteousness and justice; that is, good and law are in effect his portfolio. A cleric of an ideal/alignment must be of that alignment and a paladin is the same way.

PnP Fan
2007-03-19, 11:38 PM
Renegade Paladin. .
I'd buy your argument, except that I can't find anywhere in the PHB that actually states a Cleric of <insert aligment> MUST be of that alignment. Obviously MOST of the clerics who fall into this category of alignment worship would also match the alignment that they worship. But I can imagine a Cleric of LG that perhaps falls short on the. . Lawful axis sometimes because he just doesn't get it. He BELIEVES in LG, but he falls short in PRACTICE, so we call him NG instead. Obviously he doesn't get the Lawful domain, but would instead get the Good domain and something else appropriate to the principles of Law and Good (perhaps healing, or protection).

So, I still hold forth that the Cleric is still not as restrictive as the paladin in terms of alignment, but that he should have other RP related restrictions that guide him in his actions (akin to the paladin's code, something beyond just alignment).

Renegade Paladin
2007-03-19, 11:51 PM
If a cleric takes an alignment domain, his alignment must match that domain. You cannot have the Good domain without being of good alignment, for instance.

A cleric that follows Good as an abstract concept must be Good (and not only that, must exemplify Good) or he loses his powers until he either atones or rededicates his service to something else.

And it is a given that the cleric is not as restricted in alignment as the paladin. That says little about him being expected to behave a certain way based on what he's a cleric of.

PnP Fan
2007-03-20, 12:13 AM
"A cleric that follows Good as an abstract concept must be Good (and not only that, must exemplify Good) or he loses his powers until he either atones or rededicates his service to something else." -- Renegade Paladin

While this makes a certain amount of common sense, I don't think that it is necessarily true, in a legalistic sense. I will gladly admit defeat if you can find the place (presumably in the PHB) where it actually states that a cleric of an Alignment MUST have the exact same alignment written on his character sheet. Though it would be reasonable to assume that it must follow the "one step" rule.
As far as loss of abilities goes, I would think that an alignment cleric doesn't necessarily HAVE to take the alignment components as his domain, though that would be the obvious choice. Surely Healing, Protection both would still fall under LG principles?
Oh, and I'm actually rather perplexed by all of this Renegade. I'm not trying to argue, or be stubborn, I'm actually quite curious as to how something so obvious would slip through the cracks. (I've never had anyone use non-deity clerics in any game I've been involved in. Many of us consider it "cheating" and a cop out, to avoid dealing with church heirarchies, etc. . .)

All of this is completely off topic, and this is the last time I will post about it on this thread, though I look forward to your response Renegade. My apologies to the bystanders. :-)

Edit for clarity.

Renegade Paladin
2007-03-20, 12:39 AM
Well, when a cleric follows an alignment, he's generally following one of the alignments, not two. That is to say, he follows Good, or he follows Law, not both. There are four cosmic forces of alignment, not nine; the alignment system characters in the game use is a combination of those four. So a cleric of Good is, to my understanding, able to be any of the good alignments.

That said, I tend to play Forgotten Realms games, so clerics of abstractions are simply not allowed. Makes for slightly less domain-mixing cheese. :smallwink:

Edit: Just realized I didn't really answer your question before hitting Submit. By strict interpretation of the RAW, one could theoretically be an evil cleric devoted to Good, but that's so patently ridiculous that I can't ever see a DM going for it. I confess to not being terribly familiar with the rules for clerics following abstractions other than alignment, since I never use them.

Starbuck_II
2007-03-24, 07:39 PM
Well, when a cleric follows an alignment, he's generally following one of the alignments, not two. That is to say, he follows Good, or he follows Law, not both. There are four cosmic forces of alignment, not nine; the alignment system characters in the game use is a combination of those four. So a cleric of Good is, to my understanding, able to be any of the good alignments.

That said, I tend to play Forgotten Realms games, so clerics of abstractions are simply not allowed. Makes for slightly less domain-mixing cheese. :smallwink:

Edit: Just realized I didn't really answer your question before hitting Submit. By strict interpretation of the RAW, one could theoretically be an evil cleric devoted to Good, but that's so patently ridiculous that I can't ever see a DM going for it. I confess to not being terribly familiar with the rules for clerics following abstractions other than alignment, since I never use them.

Rediculous and pointless.

Clerics can't cast spells of the opposite alignmment.