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8BitNinja
2015-12-04, 06:07 PM
NOTICE: NOT JUST D&D

A Knight has Chivalry, a Samurai has Bushido, and the U.S. Marines have their own code

But a Paladin is something different

Paladin is my favorite class, a holy knight with powers granted by the divine, dedicated to honor, courage, justice, compassion, love, and the virtues could go on and on

Paladins are not just a paragon of righteousness, but also adheres to a strict code, however, I could not find such a code, even in the AD&D Paladin's Handbook

In the Handbook, it gave ideas for a code, but only certain components, such as vow of poverty, celibacy, abstinence, etc.

This isn't a code, these are restrictions

A code is not a set of restrictions, it is a guideline for doing something, it can have restrictions, but not just a long list, there should be more duties

Can you help me make a Paladin's code? I have a few ideas

1. Piety- you shall worship your god(s) and keep his commandments, no matter what
2. Loyalty- you shall keep your patron as your patron, no betraying the patron
3. Mastery of Tongue- A Paladin will refrain from profane and destructive speech
4. Worship- A Paladin will set aside one day a week to worship their deity
5. Respect- A Paladin respects and honors legitimate authority and elders
6. Mercy- A Paladin will not kill if he doesn't have to, premeditated homicide is out of the question
7. Chastity- A Paladin will have no sexual relations until married, and will stay faithful to his/her spouse
8. Restraint- A Paladin never steal
9. Honesty- A Paladin will never lie
10. Thankfulness- A Paladin will never covet

Any more ideas?

Cluedrew
2015-12-04, 06:46 PM
I think you may have hit on something with the code vs. restraints thing. I've heard of things like that before but never in this context. If you want to follow that I would phase the points in a positive way instead of a negative one. For instance:
9. Honesty - A Paladin will never lie becomes A Paladin will always speak the truth.

Now that is going to lead to someone saying that now a paladin can't even shut up to avoid revealing something. Personally I think there is an implicate "rule zero" for these kinds of things.

0. If following these rules would lead to more evil than breaking them then break them.

Florian
2015-12-04, 07:37 PM
For interesing cues, take a look at Inner Sea Gods and the different CoCs coupled with the gods that spinsor paladins.

8BitNinja
2015-12-04, 08:48 PM
So this is what I have

1. Piety- you shall worship your god(s) and keep his commandments, no matter what
2. Loyalty- you shall keep your patron as your patron, no betraying the patron
3. Mastery of Tongue- A Paladin will refrain from profane and destructive speech
4. Worship- A Paladin will set aside one day a week to worship their deity
5. Respect- A Paladin respects and honors legitimate authority and elders
6. Mercy- A Paladin will not kill if he doesn't have to, premeditated homicide is out of the question
7. Chastity- A Paladin will have no sexual relations until married, and will stay faithful to his/her spouse
8. Restraint- A Paladin never steal
9. Honesty- A Paladin will always tell the truth
10. Thankfulness- A Paladin will never covet, he is thankful for what he has
11. Tithe- A Paladin gives 1/10 of his income to the church, and 1/10 to help the poor
12. Compassion- A Paladin does not judge hypocritically and does good deeds, even if no one else sees him
13. Justice- A Paladin destroys evildoers, the undead, and other creatures who wish to harm
14. Forgiveness- A Paladin remembers where he once was and offers redemption to all
15. Resistance- A Paladin follows the law, but fights unjust ones
16. Courage- A Paladin forgets the value of his life to save others

More coming soon

Βmesang
2015-12-04, 08:59 PM
Mind if I quote some Ultima? :smallsmile:

HONESTY

• Take not the gold of others found in the towns and castles for yours it is not!
• Cheat not the merchants and peddlers for tis an evil thing to do!
• A dishonest life brings unto thee temporary gain, but forsakes the permanent.
• Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.

COMPASSION

• Kill not the non-evil beasts of the land, and do not attack the fair people!
• Give of thy purse to those who beg and thy deed shall not be forgotten!
• Only a detested life owes its pleasures to another's pain.
• No beast so fierce but shows some touch of pity. Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge.

VALOR

• Victories scored over evil creatures help to build a valorous soul!
• To flee from battle with less than grievous wounds often shows a coward!
• Those who fear to try, know not their limits and thus know not themselves.
• Tender-handed stroke a nettle, and it stings you for your pains; grasp it as a man of mettle, and it soft as silk remains.

JUSTICE

• To take the gold of others is injustice not soon forgotten. Take only thy due!
• Attack not a peaceful citizen for that action deserves strict punishment!
• Kill not a non-evil beast for they deserve not death, even if in hunger they attack thee!
• Those who inflict injustice upon others, cannot expect fair treatment unto themselves.
• Justice without force is impotent; force without justice is tyranny.

SACRIFICE

• To give thy last gold piece unto the needy shows good measure of self-sacrifice.
• For thee to flee and leave thy companions is a self-serving action to be avoided!
• To give of thy life's blood so that others may live is a virtue of great praise!
• None live alone, save they who will not share their fortune with those around them.
• The universe is so vast and so ageless that the life of one man can only be justified by the measure of his sacrifice.

HONOR

• Take not the gold of others for this shall bring dishonor upon thee!
• To strike first a non-evil being is by no means an honorable deed!
• Seek ye to solve the many Quests before thee, and honor shall be a reward!
• It is the guilt, not the guillotine, that constitutes the shame.
• Honor may be assailed, but can never be hurt; surprised by unjust force, but not enthralled.

SPIRITUALITY

• Seek ye to know thyself. Visit the Seer often for he can see into thy inner being!
• Meditation leads to enlightenment. Seek ye all Wisdom and Knowledge!
• To forsake one's inner being is to abandon thy hopes for thyself and thy world.
• Throughout this varied and eternal world, soul is the only element. The wealth of the spirit is the only true wealth.

HUMILITY

• Claim not to be that which thou art not. Humble actions speak well of thee!
• Strive not to wield the Great Force of Evil for its power will overcome thee!
• Pride is a vice, which Pride itself inclines one to find in others, and overlook in one self.
• The humblest citizen of all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error.

“The path to victory is marked with the laws of Virtue, not the commands of DOS.”
— Lord British

8BitNinja
2015-12-04, 09:28 PM
Mind if I quote some Ultima? :smallsmile:

HONESTY

• Take not the gold of others found in the towns and castles for yours it is not!
• Cheat not the merchants and peddlers for tis an evil thing to do!
• A dishonest life brings unto thee temporary gain, but forsakes the permanent.
• Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.

COMPASSION

• Kill not the non-evil beasts of the land, and do not attack the fair people!
• Give of thy purse to those who beg and thy deed shall not be forgotten!
• Only a detested life owes its pleasures to another's pain.
• No beast so fierce but shows some touch of pity. Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge.

VALOR

• Victories scored over evil creatures help to build a valorous soul!
• To flee from battle with less than grievous wounds often shows a coward!
• Those who fear to try, know not their limits and thus know not themselves.
• Tender-handed stroke a nettle, and it stings you for your pains; grasp it as a man of mettle, and it soft as silk remains.

JUSTICE

• To take the gold of others is injustice not soon forgotten. Take only thy due!
• Attack not a peaceful citizen for that action deserves strict punishment!
• Kill not a non-evil beast for they deserve not death, even if in hunger they attack thee!
• Those who inflict injustice upon others, cannot expect fair treatment unto themselves.
• Justice without force is impotent; force without justice is tyranny.

SACRIFICE

• To give thy last gold piece unto the needy shows good measure of self-sacrifice.
• For thee to flee and leave thy companions is a self-serving action to be avoided!
• To give of thy life's blood so that others may live is a virtue of great praise!
• None live alone, save they who will not share their fortune with those around them.
• The universe is so vast and so ageless that the life of one man can only be justified by the measure of his sacrifice.

HONOR

• Take not the gold of others for this shall bring dishonor upon thee!
• To strike first a non-evil being is by no means an honorable deed!
• Seek ye to solve the many Quests before thee, and honor shall be a reward!
• It is the guilt, not the guillotine, that constitutes the shame.
• Honor may be assailed, but can never be hurt; surprised by unjust force, but not enthralled.

SPIRITUALITY

• Seek ye to know thyself. Visit the Seer often for he can see into thy inner being!
• Meditation leads to enlightenment. Seek ye all Wisdom and Knowledge!
• To forsake one's inner being is to abandon thy hopes for thyself and thy world.
• Throughout this varied and eternal world, soul is the only element. The wealth of the spirit is the only true wealth.

HUMILITY

• Claim not to be that which thou art not. Humble actions speak well of thee!
• Strive not to wield the Great Force of Evil for its power will overcome thee!
• Pride is a vice, which Pride itself inclines one to find in others, and overlook in one self.
• The humblest citizen of all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error.

“The path to victory is marked with the laws of Virtue, not the commands of DOS.”
— Lord British

This is all well and good, but I would omit some things, such as not being able to kill animals, I think Paladins have every right to hunt

Βmesang
2015-12-04, 09:39 PM
Just means they have to hunt the evil-beasts is all! :smalltongue: Might have to prestidigitate the flavor, though.

…and I don't think you needed to re-quote the whole thing. Yikes!

Cikomyr
2015-12-04, 10:50 PM
Just means they have to hunt the evil-beasts is all!

Like the Platypuses

Cazero
2015-12-05, 03:09 AM
Now that is going to lead to someone saying that now a paladin can't even shut up to avoid revealing something. Personally I think there is an implicate "rule zero" for these kinds of things.

I saw that argument before and don't understand it. It's ridiculously stupid. Assuming the paladin can't just shut up and is forced to speak, he can simply say "I'm not telling you."

edited :

Like the Platypuses
What? Nooo ! Platypuses are awesome ! They can't be evil !

Mr.Moron
2015-12-05, 04:42 AM
I think my ideal paladin's code would look like something like this:

Truth:Seek the truth in all things. Do not fall prey to preconceptions, convenient explanations or simple narratives.
Justice: Protect the innocent. Prevent those that would harm others from doing so.
Mercy: Never cause more than you must and spare all those that you can.
Tenacity: Maintain your resolve in the face of the insurmountable. Have courage in the face of fear. Never lose sight of hope.
Prudence: Do not be given to recklessness or allow your actions to be driven by zeal. Keep sight of your goals and focus on the proper path to them.
Fairness: Treat others with respect and kindness. Never benefit your self at cost to another. Conduct yourself with honesty and transparency. Avoid deception.
Humility:Recognize your limitations. Appreciate the contributions of others. Accept help as readily as you give it.
Industry: Avoid Idleness. Find purpose for your every moment.

Granted that's a rough sketch but I think those are more/less what I'd want as core values.

BWR
2015-12-05, 07:05 AM
I disagree with the OP's assessment of a paladin's code being qualitatively different from other martial codes. Read AD&D 2e's "The complete book of Paladins" for the best D&D-centric discussion on the nature of a paladin and their code and strictures (and how they are very closely tied to traditional romantic chivalry). It's perhaps a bit overly strict in certain respects but arguing about D&D-ish paladins without knowing this book is really missing out on something terribly useful and insightful.

8BitNinja
2015-12-05, 12:13 PM
Okay, because of what you guys said, I have some more

1. Piety- you shall worship your god(s) and keep his commandments, no matter what
2. Loyalty- you shall keep your patron as your patron, no betraying the patron
3. Mastery of Tongue- A Paladin will refrain from profane and destructive speech
4. Worship- A Paladin will set aside one day a week to worship their deity
5. Respect- A Paladin respects and honors legitimate authority and elders
6. Mercy- A Paladin will not kill if he doesn't have to, premeditated homicide is out of the question
7. Chastity- A Paladin will have no sexual relations until married, and will stay faithful to his/her spouse
8. Restraint- A Paladin never steal
9. Honesty- A Paladin will always tell the truth
10. Thankfulness- A Paladin will never covet, he is thankful for what he has
11. Tithe- A Paladin gives 1/10 of his income to the church, and 1/10 to help the poor
12. Compassion- A Paladin does not judge hypocritically and does good deeds, even if no one else sees him
13. Justice- A Paladin destroys evildoers, the undead, and other creatures who wish to harm
14. Forgiveness- A Paladin remembers where he once was and offers redemption to all
15. Resistance- A Paladin follows the law, but fights unjust ones
16. Courage- A Paladin forgets the value of his life to save others
17. Industry- A Paladin works hard and preserves to earn what he needs and wants
18. Leadership- A Paladin leads by example and serves as a light in a dark world
19. Humility- A Paladin is always humble and prudent
20. Gentlemanliness- A Paladin respects women and is kind to children, he also never needs to prove his strength
21. Wisdom- A Paladin always thinks through everything he does, he also seeks wise counsel
22. Kindness- A Paladin never lashes out at others and does not put others down
23. Joyousness- A Paladin attempts to see a learning experience in everything he does and tries to find beauty in a bleak and cursed world
24. Bravery- A Paladin never panics in the face of adversity

More coming soon

8BitNinja
2015-12-05, 12:17 PM
Like the Platypuses

When I was little, I had horrible nightmares about platypi

I will hunt every single one of those things down

Toastkart
2015-12-05, 12:53 PM
No mention of Dragonheart's Old Code? I never much cared for paladins mechanically or narratively, but I always felt Bowen would have been a paladin.

A knight is sworn to valor
His heart knows only virtue
His blade defends the helpless
His might upholds the weak
His word speaks only truth
His wrath undoes the wicked

Mr.Moron
2015-12-05, 01:03 PM
Okay, because of what you guys said, I have some more

1. Piety- you shall worship your god(s) and keep his commandments, no matter what
2. Loyalty- you shall keep your patron as your patron, no betraying the patron
3. Mastery of Tongue- A Paladin will refrain from profane and destructive speech
4. Worship- A Paladin will set aside one day a week to worship their deity
5. Respect- A Paladin respects and honors legitimate authority and elders
6. Mercy- A Paladin will not kill if he doesn't have to, premeditated homicide is out of the question
7. Chastity- A Paladin will have no sexual relations until married, and will stay faithful to his/her spouse
8. Restraint- A Paladin never steal
9. Honesty- A Paladin will always tell the truth
10. Thankfulness- A Paladin will never covet, he is thankful for what he has
11. Tithe- A Paladin gives 1/10 of his income to the church, and 1/10 to help the poor
12. Compassion- A Paladin does not judge hypocritically and does good deeds, even if no one else sees him
13. Justice- A Paladin destroys evildoers, the undead, and other creatures who wish to harm
14. Forgiveness- A Paladin remembers where he once was and offers redemption to all
15. Resistance- A Paladin follows the law, but fights unjust ones
16. Courage- A Paladin forgets the value of his life to save others
17. Industry- A Paladin works hard and preserves to earn what he needs and wants
18. Leadership- A Paladin leads by example and serves as a light in a dark world
19. Humility- A Paladin is always humble and prudent
20. Gentlemanliness- A Paladin respects women and is kind to children, he also never needs to prove his strength
21. Wisdom- A Paladin always thinks through everything he does, he also seeks wise counsel
22. Kindness- A Paladin never lashes out at others and does not put others down
23. Joyousness- A Paladin attempts to see a learning experience in everything he does and tries to find beauty in a bleak and cursed world
24. Bravery- A Paladin never panics in the face of adversity

More coming soon

I think, at 24 points this is getting a bit unfocused and cumbersome. Some of the points like Chasity, Mastery of Tongue & Gentlemanliness feel more like etiquette points for nobility than a cosmological mandate for goodness. Others like piety, tithe and worship feel much more like the paladin is getting tied to the very specific role of being a "Soldier of the Church" rather than a more general champion of good. Some points are even getting kind of contradictory like the "Wants" clause in industry vs the general tone of the thankfulness tenet.

I think you could benefit from first getting a really cohesive vision for what you want a paladin to be and narrowing that down to maybe 5-10 really core ideals.

Dienekes
2015-12-05, 01:14 PM
Some of those may be getting a bit too long, to star bordering on suggestions rather than a firm part of the Paladin's Code.

For example, all of the religious ones only make sense for religious Paladins which need not be the case. Since Divine Power in the D&D world doesn't have to come from a god, for some reason.

Others feel like they're trying to create the perfect human being but aren't particularly useful for all Paladins. For example, Joyous pretty much negates one of my favorite Paladin archetypes the Knight in Sour Armor, if you forgive the TV Tropes reference.

Really for these kind of codes, I've always thought simplicity and room for interpretation is key to make them playable. Honesty, Justice, and Courage should be the key factors to focus around. Wisdom, Gentlemanlyness, Mastery of Tongue and the like are more aspects of specific characters.

Cluedrew
2015-12-05, 01:27 PM
Although you have a lot of good things I feel it is to long. 1, 3, 7 & 10 are all good numbers for this sort of thing. 24 is a bit much. I'd say pick a smaller set for any particular paladin. 7 and 10 would work for your approach, if you want to go down further you might have to generalize the rules a bit. Or pick an area to focus on, that might not work for a paladin all-round good guy.

If you want to have more complex sets of rules I might have a solution for that.

The Knights of... the ones from Dragon Lance I haven't read any of those in a while, they had "the oath and measure". The oath "Death before Dishonor" is very straight forward and is little more than a flavoured version of 'be nice'. The measure on the other hand was more like a book of law containing the rules and the standard by which one "measured" how one followed the oath.

Now I got a little distracted and I see I have been double sword-saged. I also agree that not all paladins are the same so you could use a different subset of rules for different paladins.

Hyena
2015-12-05, 01:35 PM
Sword Coast's adventurer guide has a pretty good paladin code. It's for 5e.

8BitNinja
2015-12-05, 01:46 PM
I should specify more

The Paladin Code I am writing out is not only for a Champion of Good, but also a Church Militant

To me, a Paladin is always religious, not the whole follow a philosophy thing

8BitNinja
2015-12-05, 01:52 PM
I also have seen complaints about joyousness, the intention is to not be happy all the time, but to fing true happiness in good works, basically, you don't have to be the good guy, you get to

Mr.Moron
2015-12-05, 02:00 PM
I should specify more

The Paladin Code I am writing out is not only for a Champion of Good, but also a Church Militant

To me, a Paladin is always religious, not the whole follow a philosophy thing

Then focus on that. The code should be specific to the church in question and be focused. What you have right now is an odd mish-mash collection of high-society etiquette, church militant and general good guy stuff. For example mercy, joyousness, forgiveness, kindness and compassion are probably all out of place in the code of an enforcer of the will of church officials. If was going the " church militant " angle it might read:


Obedience: First and foremost remember your duty. Never hesitate, never question.
Steadfastness: The heretic lies, do not believe him.
Faith: All that is right and good flows from our god. Leave room in your mind only for his thoughts. Leave your soul bare for his will. Leave your heart loyal only to him.
Poverty: Give all that you have and all that you are to our god. You have no need of anything but his light.
Sacrifice: Make it your self and demand it of others. No life has any meaning beyond what it is given serving our god's will.

NRSASD
2015-12-05, 02:24 PM
Agreed! I would also like to aid that Paladins, although lawful good, can have totally different codes based on their emphasis on the "lawful" or "good" parts of their alignment. Additionally, whether they are lawful through upholding society as a member of an order or lawful through upholding society as an independent alters their code as well.

AMFV
2015-12-05, 05:10 PM
Agreed! I would also like to aid that Paladins, although lawful good, can have totally different codes based on their emphasis on the "lawful" or "good" parts of their alignment. Additionally, whether they are lawful through upholding society as a member of an order or lawful through upholding society as an independent alters their code as well.

Not only this. But Paladins of different religions would likely have very different codes of conduct (both in the formal and informal sense). There are certain religions that would in-fact frown on killing animals. And others that would encourage it.

I mean if you look at the OP's original code, it is very unlikely that Sune would bar her paladins from any sort of premarital sex. Whereas others might, or even from ALL sexual relations at all. After all there are many orders in the real world that demand complete chastity, there would presumably be Paladin orders that would demand the same.

As such I like to take it order by order, or even individual paladin by individual paladin (If we're going the called route). My favorite method is to have the player of said paladin devise their code, with my suggestions, it's a good system for: A.) Discussing what exactly the code involves before they're actually falling due to it, B.) Giving them a good place to determine what their paladin care about, what they stand for. And C.) It gives the different orders different flavors... So a Paladin of Sune might sleep around (as ethically as possible), a Paladin of Garl Glittergold might attempt deception (as long as it wasn't harmful), Paladins of Mystra might be required to study the Arcane (at least to some points in Know [Arcana], possibly I'd give that as a class skill). Different Paladin orders should be as diverse as the sets of Gods they follow, or the ideals they espouse.

8BitNinja
2015-12-05, 07:38 PM
Everyone comments on what the Paladin code should be, and it should be different and all this stuff, so I'll tell you everything

The Paladin was supposed to not just be a Church Militant (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ChurchMilitant), but also an upholder and defender of the faith

and I'll let you guys know that I did more or less base it off of Christianity, but keep in mind that I AM NOT TRYING TO BRING IN REAL WORLD RELIGION (Caps for magnification, not yelling), but was the best religion to base it off of, since the Paladin shares a lot of aspects of life, duties, missions, and stereotypes of a Christian, so I decided to go after that, but when writing it down, I thought using the fruits of the spirit and the Ten Commandments were perfect things to go off of, also we can agree that the Medieval Knights were at least professing to be followers of Christ

There's even a spell Paladin can learn called Shield of Faith

If you guys want to report me for this, go ahead, but please understand what I was going at here, It was the best way I found to make a definite code

Βmesang
2015-12-05, 08:08 PM
No mention of Dragonheart's Old Code? I never much cared for paladins mechanically or narratively, but I always felt Bowen would have been a paladin.
Reminds me of a particular quote from Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie:

"From strength, learn gentleness; through gentleness strength will prevail."

Dienekes
2015-12-05, 08:31 PM
That's not grounds for reporting, really. Fictional religions based off of Christianity are a dime a dozen, and we often discuss it. So long as we don't get into a detailed discussion of the Catholicisms role in the 11th century Gregorian Reforms and it's effect on the political body of the military elite or something in that regard, we should be fine.

Anyway, there are historic codes we can draw inspiration from, not just the knight's chivalry, but also the specific codes of different knightly orders, such as the Hospitaller, the Templar, and so on.

The general theme is:

Believe in the 'One True Church'
Defend said Church
Defend the weak
Make war against the infidel
Be diligent in maintaining your arms and skills of warfare
Obey your superiors, whether it be the local sovereignty such as your lord or bishop, or the leaders of the specific knightly order
Never surrender or retreat before the enemy (probably the single most commonly broken rule)

There are a lot of variations of course, but that seems to be the gist for most of them. A bunch have specific clauses on women and children, which apparently need to be specified above just "the weak." These are usually added during the Romance periods to give an aspect of courtly love to the knight orders. If you want your order to be more monastic I'd drop this.

There are also numerous books written in the High and Late Medieval Periods on chivalry, that usually add details on behaving gentlemanly as well, but those are often added at the tail end more during the Late Medieval period, or even the Early Modern era. The qualities like honesty and courtly etiquette are usually added here.

So, for a fictionalized Paladin Order, I would probably bring it to the following:

Defend the weak
Obey the rules of the religion and the head church of said fictitious religion
Try and gain excellence as a warrior
Obey superiors in the order, and the church
Obey local superiors, so long as their laws do not contradict the laws of the specific order and church

Then depending on what aspect you want your specific order to emphasize I would add either the emphasis on fighting infidels, spreading the word of the church, or courtly behavior.

More details on the order itself would be beneficial, for example some knightly orders accepted members of the peasantry so courtly behavior would not be as emphasized, and some orders that originally had a more strict violent against non-believers clause seem to have mellowed out to simply spreading the word as they interacted more with them.

So what is the history of your Paladin Order? Were they created during a religious war? How long ago, and what was the result of the war? Are they just a general defensive order of the church not directly related to religious wars? Who do they accept as members, just the nobility or is it open to everyone who can afford the arms and armor? That sort of thing.

Frozen_Feet
2015-12-05, 09:45 PM
For a paladin's code, you want to think of the spirit and interpretation of it in addition to the letter.

On it's most basic, this means deciding which principles of the code are highest in priority, so that if two parts of the code come into conflict a paladin knows which part to follow. (And you know how if it'll reflect on the paladin if they choose otherwise.)

An example: a paladin may be required to punish evil, but also to obey their lawful superior. So if the King commands the paladin to not execute a criminal, which takes precedence and why?

goto124
2015-12-05, 11:11 PM
Don't codes like these assume the authorities are always good?

Since the code would be written by the authority, it might lean slightly more towards 'lawful' than 'good'. The bit about faith could say "have faith that [God/the King/insert authority here] means well and knows best, even if they don't seem that way at first".

Would such a code work out in terms of playability though? If the King, an NPC, ordered a paladin PC to execute his party member, the code would mean the paladin must either fall or the party member dies. Oops.

Who writes the Code anyway? The gods? The King? The leader of the paladin order? The paladin hirself?

Dienekes
2015-12-06, 01:02 AM
Don't codes like these assume the authorities are always good?

Since the code would be written by the authority, it might lean slightly more towards 'lawful' than 'good'. The bit about faith could say "have faith that [God/the King/insert authority here] means well and knows best, even if they don't seem that way at first".

Would such a code work out in terms of playability though? If the King, an NPC, ordered a paladin PC to execute his party member, the code would mean the paladin must either fall or the party member dies. Oops.

Who writes the Code anyway? The gods? The King? The leader of the paladin order? The paladin hirself?

Interestingly, the Knights codes I've read (or at least the various books written about theoretical knights codes written at the time) do make reference that sometimes the leadership can be corrupt. Anti-clerical thought was incredibly popular but it was considered distinct from anti-church thought. You'd read passages saying things like obey the lord, unless the lord commands things against the church. Lord including bishops and other clerical bodies who were as powerful as most other landholding lords at the time. Basically, the church was held up as some theoretical perfect entity but the various people within it were recognized as being corrupt as anyone else.

The codes themselves are rarely formalized outside of a few specific orders giving their version. General knightly codes were sort of made over time, and vaguely formalized in books written at the time, usually using an old speech by a pope whose name I forget as a basis but developing a bit beyond it.

I'd go further, but this is, I think, pushing into penalty inducing territory. So I'd better stop here.

Lord Raziere
2015-12-06, 01:36 AM
The code of the Knights Radiant from the Stormlight Archive seem pretty simple but very applicable here:


"Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination."
— The First Ideal of the Knights Radiant

"I will protect those who cannot protect themselves."
— The Second Ideal of the Windrunners

"I will protect even those I hate so long as it is right."
— The Third Ideal of the Windrunners

"I will unite instead of divide. I will bring men together."
— The Second Ideal of the Bondsmiths

"I will remember those who have been forgotten."
— The Second Ideal of the Edgedancers

"Lightweavers make no oaths beyond the first. I must speak truths."
- The Second Ideal of the Lightweavers


It may seem like many, but the only oath they all share in common is the Knights Radiant one, while others take different ones for different paths.

Frozen_Feet
2015-12-06, 07:24 AM
Don't codes like these assume the authorities are always good?

No.

There are systems where some entity is Right by definition. But just as well there are plenty whete authorities are only good insofar as they themselves follow the principles of justice. It's possible for a paladin's superior to give an unlawful order, ie. an order they are not authorized to give or an order which violates the spirit in which the paladin is meant to act.


Would such a code work out in terms of playability though? If the King, an NPC, ordered a paladin PC to execute his party member, the code would mean the paladin must either fall or the party member dies. Oops.

Provided the other character has done something worthy of execution? That's not a bug, that's a feature!


Who writes the Code anyway? The gods? The King? The leader of the paladin order? The paladin hirself?

The game master, duh. Or a player if you're feeling heretical. :smalltongue:

goto124
2015-12-06, 08:47 AM
There are systems where some entity is Right by definition. But just as well there are plenty whete authorities are only good insofar as they themselves follow the principles of justice. It's possible for a paladin's superior to give an unlawful order, ie. an order they are not authorized to give or an order which violates the spirit in which the paladin is meant to act.

... and this is recognised by the authority themselves? And written as such into the code?

Frozen_Feet
2015-12-06, 09:34 AM
Yes to the former (the concept has existed since at least Roman times), mu to the latter.

What is the spirit of a law or how to interprete a law often are not, and sometimes cannot be codified in the law itself. This is why religious texts and justice systems alike have had a separate interpretative traditions from the main text.

veti
2015-12-06, 10:39 AM
A paladin is one who can be trusted. Specifically, by his/her patron. One who will always, in all circumstances and all times, put the interests of The Cause first - ahead of not only their own wellbeing, but also their family, friends, and the adorable lisping orphan they just rescued.

Everything else is gravy.

Βmesang
2015-12-06, 01:20 PM
…suddenly I want to play as a paladin with Profession (cook) questing for the world's greatest gravy recipι. Might make for an interesting (if not outright silly) flaw if it happens to get in the way of his code.

"Save the orphan? Save the gravy? %&#$ it!"

8BitNinja
2015-12-06, 04:37 PM
I haven't been able to explain what the Paladin I am basing it off of looks like

so here is his life (put this in a D&D setting if you will)

Steve is a Paladin, he worships a Crystal Dragon Jesus (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CrystalDragonJesus) and his religion is a straight port from The Bible (except the part about noother gods existing, this is D&D, so to him, all the other ones are inferior). He wears white armor which gleams in the sunlight and carries a sword which glows with holy light, and walks very closely to his God. Steve also under King Jerry, a benevolent king who just wants to help everyone (but those orcs and goblins ruin everything). His Order was made during a time when he was a part of one of the last righteous kingdoms, is very much a gentleman, and could qualify as a Chaste Hero (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ChasteHero) (makes that seventh one super easy). Steve's flaws is that he is quick to judge, sometimes starts arguments that don't need to happen, and being totally oblivious to the ladies reacting to his 18 charisma (but in the Book of Exalted Deeds he gets a bonus for that).

Is this good enough to base his code on?

He also has a horse named Henry

Faily
2015-12-06, 06:37 PM
I haven't been able to explain what the Paladin I am basing it off of looks like

so here is his life (put this in a D&D setting if you will)

Steve is a Paladin, he worships a Crystal Dragon Jesus (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CrystalDragonJesus) and his religion is a straight port from The Bible (except the part about noother gods existing, this is D&D, so to him, all the other ones are inferior). He wears white armor which gleams in the sunlight and carries a sword which glows with holy light, and walks very closely to his God. Steve also under King Jerry, a benevolent king who just wants to help everyone (but those orcs and goblins ruin everything). His Order was made during a time when he was a part of one of the last righteous kingdoms, is very much a gentleman, and could qualify as a Chaste Hero (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ChasteHero) (makes that seventh one super easy). Steve's flaws is that he is quick to judge, sometimes starts arguments that don't need to happen, and being totally oblivious to the ladies reacting to his 18 charisma (but in the Book of Exalted Deeds he gets a bonus for that).

Is this good enough to base his code on?

He also has a horse named Henry

I think you're overthinking the code a bit too much, tbh, based on that.

It sounds like you want to play a romanticized paladin of Charlemagne, with a focus on chivalry. 2nd Edition's Paladin's Handbook summarizes that arctype really well, especially its view on courtly romance.

Having played a fair share of Paladins, and with different codes to each, keep it simple and stick to 3 core principles and maybe 2-3 lesser requirements.

Dienekes
2015-12-06, 07:08 PM
I haven't been able to explain what the Paladin I am basing it off of looks like

so here is his life (put this in a D&D setting if you will)

Steve is a Paladin, he worships a Crystal Dragon Jesus (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CrystalDragonJesus) and his religion is a straight port from The Bible (except the part about noother gods existing, this is D&D, so to him, all the other ones are inferior). He wears white armor which gleams in the sunlight and carries a sword which glows with holy light, and walks very closely to his God. Steve also under King Jerry, a benevolent king who just wants to help everyone (but those orcs and goblins ruin everything). His Order was made during a time when he was a part of one of the last righteous kingdoms, is very much a gentleman, and could qualify as a Chaste Hero (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ChasteHero) (makes that seventh one super easy). Steve's flaws is that he is quick to judge, sometimes starts arguments that don't need to happen, and being totally oblivious to the ladies reacting to his 18 charisma (but in the Book of Exalted Deeds he gets a bonus for that).

Is this good enough to base his code on?

He also has a horse named Henry

Well, to me this sounds like he has several codes he has to balance.

There's the base code of his religion.
Then there's the specific codes of his Order
There's his code as a knight of King Jerry which would be it's own separate thing.

The religion may demand chastity until marriage, and just generally being a good dude
The Paladin Order may demand honesty in all things, defending the weak, and spreading the word of the church through the sword if necessary
King Jerry may demand that all his knights must obey their feudal superiors in all things, and obey the rules of courtesy

AMFV
2015-12-06, 08:32 PM
Well, to me this sounds like he has several codes he has to balance.

Definitely agree, the codes may even come into conflict. Here is the big point. Talk to the player (if you are the GM), or the the GM (if you are the player), if you are looking for complex moral dillemma with the code, spell it out, talk about it. If you don't want those, then that should be discussed as well.

IMHO a big reason that Paladins cause so much discord is a difference of base opinions, where a player is expecting to play the holy kicker of backside, who occasionally hams up his code, and the DM goes "Oh boy complex morality and philosophy discussions here we come!" Or the reverse. Paladins, more so than most other classes, need to have a lot of discussion prior to the game, because they are bound in game mechanics by their code, so what kind of game and where that will go plot-wise needs addressed.

8BitNinja
2015-12-06, 08:43 PM
Should his friends play a part with how he acts and reacts in accordance with things?

there is:

Manny- CN Halfling Thief: A Klepto hobbit who needs serious help, the group's Lancer
Nerl- NG Elf Wizard: One of the best wizards of Elvington, quiet and reserved, The Smart Guy
Greg- LG Human Cleric: A mace-loving cleric of Steve's God (Even though the deity's preferred weapon is a longsword), The Smart Guy
Jason- LG Dwarf Fighter: is a Dwarf, The Tough Guy
Peter- CG Human Bard: That one guy who can't control himself in the inn and casts off all restraints, 6th Ranger
Sabrina- LG Human Ranger: The only girl and a Ranger of the Tree Forests, The Chick

I listed their roles of a 5 man band

TV Tropes is everywhere

NOTE: Any correlation between this group and OotS is coincidental

YossarianLives
2015-12-06, 11:01 PM
I have to ask... Why does your entire party have really mundane modern names?

8BitNinja
2015-12-06, 11:03 PM
I have to ask... Why does your entire party have really mundane modern names?

We suck at naming things

You should see my Medieval Fantasy Card/Board Game (Style similar to the oots game in how the board works)

The characters names are
Steve
Clark
Greg
Brad

and

Thor

and my brother has a homebrew enemy for every Tabletop game, no matter what called a Fishy
Rules will change, but he will find a way to add it

Βmesang
2015-12-06, 11:55 PM
Odinson always seems to find his way onto odd lists, doesn't he? :smalltongue: "A bulette, a beholder, a mindflayer… Thor!"

8BitNinja
2015-12-07, 01:36 AM
So back to the topic, based on the code and/or, depending how you view Steve's life, how he would interact with those characters?

8BitNinja
2015-12-07, 01:34 PM
Well, I think I just ended this thread

If this is false, I'll see a comment

AMFV
2015-12-07, 02:05 PM
Well, I think I just ended this thread

If this is false, I'll see a comment

The forums have been down, people are probably going to filter back in gradually.

8BitNinja
2015-12-07, 02:15 PM
The forums have been down, people are probably going to filter back in gradually.

Alright, thanks