PDA

View Full Version : Grr so my paladin has fallen...



Akisa
2008-12-01, 09:04 PM
So I received a sending message of a NPC that was in trouble within an enemy nation's territory. The problem is we have a treaty with the enemy nation and since I'm well known agent of my home nation. So if I come to the aid of the npc I might break the treaty and cause a war that could escalate into a world war due to the various alliances formed. So I responded to the NPC by saying "I can't rescue you because risking the breaking of Red Bay would result in a world war."

And boom, as soon I finished my reply I fell. The DM said I didn't go and rescue the npc would be like killing him myself. I argued that I prevented the death of Thousands upon thousands from a needless war. What I did was wrong or was my DM being a jerk?

Oniferous
2008-12-01, 09:06 PM
i agree with you.

greater good.

Zeful
2008-12-01, 09:06 PM
Pretty much, if you haven't taken steps to be evil, and aren't being a jerk yourself. Then your DM's a jerk if you fall.

turkishproverb
2008-12-01, 09:07 PM
DM was a jerk. He was deliberately trying to force your character to fall. If you had chosen otherwise he'd have made you fall for starting a war over personal issues.

Jayngfet
2008-12-01, 09:08 PM
He's one of the thousands of DM's who don't trust you to fall on you're own. He expects lawful stupid behavior.

Maerok
2008-12-01, 09:11 PM
Have your paladin go crazy. Go blackguard, chop the party. Then roll up a nice little kobold, I believe his name was Fun-Fun?

kopout
2008-12-01, 09:13 PM
maerok good to see you my insane friend also yeah your dm is a jerk

monty
2008-12-01, 09:13 PM
Have your paladin go crazy. Go blackguard, chop the party.

This. Then start the war you were trying to stop.

Mushroom Ninja
2008-12-01, 09:16 PM
This. Then start the war you were trying to stop.

You know that you want to...

turkishproverb
2008-12-01, 09:17 PM
Give in to your anger.

kopout
2008-12-01, 09:17 PM
This. Then start the war you were trying to stop.

why stop there? leave the area and start an evil adventuring party with the other players and ravage the country side. If that doesn't stop the campaign , keep going. Build an army and conquer the war torn region you left, construct it into a power base and launch an evil empire!

Doomsy
2008-12-01, 09:17 PM
So I received a sending message of a NPC that was in trouble within an enemy nation's territory. The problem is we have a treaty with the enemy nation and since I'm well known agent of my home nation. So if I come to the aid of the npc I might break the treaty and cause a war that could escalate into a world war due to the various alliances formed. So I responded to the NPC by saying "I can't rescue you because risking the breaking of Red Bay would result in a world war."

And boom, as soon I finished my reply I fell. The DM said I didn't go and rescue the npc would be like killing him myself. I argued that I prevented the death of Thousands upon thousands from a needless war. What I did was wrong or was my DM being a jerk?

DM was being a pissy jerk. You took his story off the rails, I'm betting. Look him in the eye and tell him that as lawful good, you would have fallen for betraying the treaty. Ask him flatout if he actually intended you to have an out or was setting up an autofall.

turkishproverb
2008-12-01, 09:19 PM
If all else fails, take your PHB and cast smite idiot.

Vexxation
2008-12-01, 09:19 PM
Give in to your anger.

Take your weapon. Strike them down with all your hatred, and your journey to Blackguard will be complete!

[/Palpatine]

monty
2008-12-01, 09:20 PM
DM was being a pissy jerk. You took his story off the rails, I'm betting. Look him in the eye and tell him that as lawful good, you would have fallen for betraying the treaty. Ask him flatout if he actually intended you to have an out or was setting up an autofall.

...OR you could go blackguard and completely derail his campaign. That's more fun.

Starbuck_II
2008-12-01, 09:21 PM
So I received a sending message of a NPC that was in trouble within an enemy nation's territory. The problem is we have a treaty with the enemy nation and since I'm well known agent of my home nation. So if I come to the aid of the npc I might break the treaty and cause a war that could escalate into a world war due to the various alliances formed. So I responded to the NPC by saying "I can't rescue you because risking the breaking of Red Bay would result in a world war."

And boom, as soon I finished my reply I fell. The DM said I didn't go and rescue the npc would be like killing him myself. I argued that I prevented the death of Thousands upon thousands from a needless war. What I did was wrong or was my DM being a jerk?

Maybe, in his weird way, your DM wouldn't make a Paladin for causing war for the *"right" reasons (to save a friend).

We don't know since he never said, but it is likely unless it was a Pally Trap meant to make you fall.

*Right means better in DM's eyes. Phalactery of Faithfulness were created to stop DMs from doing this. Buy one at your local DMG Wonderous item shop as soon as possible.

turkishproverb
2008-12-01, 09:22 PM
[/Palpatine]

Win.

Remember

Fear leads to anger
Anger leads to hate
Hate leads to POWER

Kris Strife
2008-12-01, 09:23 PM
Maybe he expected you to hack the universe so that the other country fears you.

TempusCCK
2008-12-01, 09:23 PM
So, your Paladin fell, as an attempt to redeem yourself, go ahead and break that treaty. You're still a well known emissary for your country, right? This would well trail into the Blackguard "evil, but believes he's still right" for a good bit of roleplay.

That is, of course, if you're trying to spite your DM, the other alternative is that now that you're free of your bounds as a Paladin and the inability to be sneaky means you can now assume an undercover identity and go to his aid.

Or of course you could have petitioned the enemy government for his release or at least leave to go after him yourself. If they denied you, they're evil pricks and then the greater good means you have to assume a secret identity and go after your friend.

Mushroom Ninja
2008-12-01, 09:25 PM
Win.

Remember

Fear leads to anger
Anger leads to hate
Hate leads to POWER

And power leads to MORE FUN SHENANIGANS

GoodbyeSoberDay
2008-12-01, 09:26 PM
Ah, the good old Kobayashi Fall-u. This is why I like playing evil-but-party-friendly characters. Reroll as one today!

monty
2008-12-01, 09:27 PM
Win.

Remember

Fear leads to anger
Anger leads to hate
Hate leads to POWER

Power leads to dead enemies, which leads to shiny new toys magic items!

Vexxation
2008-12-01, 09:27 PM
Win.

Remember

Fear leads to anger
Anger leads to hate
Hate leads to POWER

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.

The Force shall free me...

RTGoodman
2008-12-01, 09:34 PM
Wow... this should go in the "Silliest Ways to Make a Paladin Fall" thread - you basically fell because of a PHONE CALL. :smalltongue:

Kris Strife
2008-12-01, 09:37 PM
Ah, the good old Kobayashi Fall-u. This is why I like playing evil-but-party-friendly characters. Reroll as one today!

Finally someone else saw the StarTrek/K-M theme!

Lemur
2008-12-01, 09:45 PM
Can't seem to get enough of those paladin pratfalls recently. At least it isn't about babies this time :P

I can't say with certainty as to whether or not your DM is truly a jerk or simply misguided, but his understanding of the situation is certainly flawed.

First off, neither of the two obvious responses would be evil. Not attempting a rescue is the Rational thing to do, attempting a rescue is the Heroic thing to do. Both are acceptable in their own way. One looks at the situation strategically and determines there are acceptable losses. The second does not analyze the situation (very much, anyway) but instead makes the decision that no losses are acceptable, thus any risk is worth taking.

But to reiterate, neither decision is inherently evil. Your DM has an incredibly bad understanding of the alignment system if he considers your action evil. Also, from your character's perspective, said NPC isn't necessarily going to die if he's in trouble. Even if his execution date is set, there's always a chance that he'll somehow escape his fate, so if there's a chance of a war starting, there's also a chance that everything will be okay without any input on your part (however unlikely).

Second, there's another layer your DM seems to be overlooking. That is, deception. Just because you sent a letter saying you won't help doesn't mean that you're course of action is fixed- you could have a change of heart, or be presented with new information which makes you reconsider. Alternatively, you could deliberately send a refusal in case your letter is intercepted (which is a definite possibility if the guy is in a tight spot) and if the enemy knows what you're doing, that makes the risk of a rescue attempt being discovered all the more likely.

Speaking of deception, there's also a possibility that the letter has been sent by the enemy, or that the enemy has coerced the NPC to send you a letter in hopes of baiting you into breaking the treaty so that they can attack. Even if this isn't actually the case, for all you or your character knows, this is a possibility that can only be ignored at your own peril.

By making you fall just for writing and sending a letter, wait, I changed my mind. Your DM is a jerk.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-12-01, 09:48 PM
You shouldn't have fallen. You can't lie, so you can't go undercover to rescue him. You can't break the treaty, it's against code, as well as starting a war. You had to leave him, any other option would be evil and/or doomed to failure and both your deaths. Don't wreck the campaign. Take the DM aside and ask if there was any way for you not to fall. If there was, explain why those acts would be just as bad, if not worse, than what you did. If there wasn't, leave the game. If you continue playing, try to get your character re-spec'd as a Crusader(ToB). Same flavor, less idiocy.

Reinboom
2008-12-01, 09:49 PM
This sounds more like:
"You fall because you didn't take my [not-so] obvious plot hook!"

Ridureyu
2008-12-01, 09:49 PM
This belongs on that other thread:smallbiggrin:

Myatar_Panwar
2008-12-01, 09:51 PM
I suspect that he had a plan for you to figure out a way to infiltrate the base stealthy-like where new revelations as to the nations true nature would be revealed, or something along those line. Point is that you may have just accidentally ruined a plot hook he had planned (poorly at best), and he may have been just a little frustrated when he said you fell.

Maybe ask him again later when he has no doubt come up with another hook.

Also, he may have never intended for you to go in guns blazing. Did you consider doing a bit of healthy diplomacy with the other nation (*cough*paladincharisma*cough*) where you might discuss the well being of your friend?

TheElfLord
2008-12-01, 09:54 PM
So I received a sending message of a NPC that was in trouble within an enemy nation's territory. The problem is we have a treaty with the enemy nation and since I'm well known agent of my home nation. So if I come to the aid of the npc I might break the treaty and cause a war that could escalate into a world war due to the various alliances formed. So I responded to the NPC by saying "I can't rescue you because risking the breaking of Red Bay would result in a world war."

And boom, as soon I finished my reply I fell. The DM said I didn't go and rescue the npc would be like killing him myself. I argued that I prevented the death of Thousands upon thousands from a needless war. What I did was wrong or was my DM being a jerk?

DnD morality has never been supportive of utilitarianism (going for the greater good). While I think the DM took things too far, from what little you've given us you seem to be making a lot of assumptions about the consequences of a rescue mission. You could be recognized (disguise anyone?), this could lead to a small war which could lead to a world war causing thousands of deaths. That's a lot of possibilities to reach the end you claim your character's refusal to help prevented.

Does refusing to help him equate to killing him yourself? No, your DM was out of line on that in my opinion. But your character did turn down a very real needy person to prevent a possible bad outcome.

TheOtherMC
2008-12-01, 10:01 PM
Convert to Hextor. He makes things feel all better.

Lemur
2008-12-01, 10:06 PM
DnD morality has never been supportive of utilitarianism (going for the greater good). While I think the DM took things too far, from what little you've given us you seem to be making a lot of assumptions about the consequences of a rescue mission. You could be recognized (disguise anyone?), this could lead to a small war which could lead to a world war causing thousands of deaths. That's a lot of possibilities to reach the end you claim your character's refusal to help prevented.

Does refusing to help him equate to killing him yourself? No, your DM was out of line on that in my opinion. But your character did turn down a very real needy person to prevent a possible bad outcome.

Still, if you're going to argue about possibilities you can't ignore the possibility that things will turn out all right for the NPC without the paladin's help. It may seem unlikely, but you have to compare it to the possibility that you won't be discovered- if likelihood of both are roughly equal to each other, then it's safer not to act.

Plus, you can't ignore the very significant possibility that it's actually a ruse created by the enemy country, or an evil third party that wants to plunge the world into chaos for no good reason (this is D&D remember, those guys are a dime a dozen).

mikeejimbo
2008-12-01, 10:16 PM
My group never has issue with paladins falling. No one plays them. And we're usually evil, so whee!

PaladinBoy
2008-12-01, 10:21 PM
Hmm. I can agree with some of the other posts on this thread: your DM is not being very nice here. Falling for what amounts to a letter? That's harsh. Really, Lemur said it best.

That said, you probably could have found a better course. You have no friends which could help? Anyone who won't be decried as an agent of your nation upon entry will do. You could ask your nation for assistance... if you are a good agent for them, there should be something they can do. Diplomacy won't help? No spies or spec ops soldiers infiltrating the enemy nation that could render assistance? Since war is what you're trying to avoid, obviously military pressure it out of the question, but it's hardly the only option.

Ultimately, if your nation refuses to do anything, there is the nuclear option... resign your commission, as it were, in a very public fashion. That, at least, gives your nation plausible deniability. If the enemy nation is looking for an excuse for war with this whole situation, it won't help, but it would stir up world opinion against the enemy nation. (Assuming that matters, which is might not.)

Finally, while I would encourage thought for these alternatives, each must be weighed against the very real possibility that the other nation is simply looking for an excuse, in which case any attempt to render aid will trigger war. If possible, I would try and gain your friend's opinion on some of this (which may be impossible). I would probably have worded the reply more like, "I'll do what I can, but I don't want to provoke war, so that may be very little."

Drider
2008-12-01, 10:27 PM
Maybe you were supposed to look for a high level super-rogue that can infiltrate them, save your friend, photocopy his butt using all the paper in their country, and return your friend to you safely.

Edit: Became an orc in the playground from a post about photocopying butts.:smallcool::smallbiggrin:

Narmoth
2008-12-02, 04:18 AM
Basically, both you and your dm are wrong:
You could rescue the NPC (how have allready been mentioned) but chose not to, not because of evil intent, but because of other reasons (fear, anger and all the stuff leading to the dark side). Your alignment is now a bit less good, and you are on the way to fall. Some cold blooded executions of your enemies, fight rather than parlay, and you fall, but not yet.
Your Dm is wrong, because your fall was because of refusal to take the bait to a plot hook, not because your action was evil enough to warrant instant fall.
The rules are set up for the paladin to fall gradually, with the Dm being able to warn the player and fin dout if the player wants his paladin to fall, or if the palyer will want to change the characters behavior to redeem the paladin

Talic
2008-12-02, 04:38 AM
PC: This is a tough one. My friend, or a nation?
DM: Would you like to phone a friend?
PC: Um, yeah, I'll use a lifeline.
DM: You FALL!

Phoning a friend seems to not work very well outside of that show.

Coidzor
2008-12-02, 04:57 AM
I think the obvious thing here is, that the prominent paladin whose hands are tied personally but the action itself is not something that is nefarious or evil, is supposed to have gone out and hired some adventurers to go to the rescue without causing the war.

I mean, heck, that sounds like a situation I've encountered before...

gibbo88
2008-12-02, 05:00 AM
Unfortunately, if you do take the Blackguard (Destroy the world/campaign) will probably end in some large geological formations falling on your head. Ularu sized rocks.

Tempest Fennac
2008-12-02, 05:03 AM
I'd agree with the idea that the DM was just being a jerk (if there was a real risk of your intervrntion causing a war, it would have been unwise to try to rescue him yourself).

Roderick_BR
2008-12-02, 11:26 AM
(...)Your DM has an incredibly bad understanding of the alignment system good and evil if he considers your action evil. (...)
Fixed.

If it were with me, I'd ruin the rest of the game arguing with him that he was wrong. Hey, he is runing your fun for being a jerk, ruin his fun too. If your other friends complain... it's your DM's fault.

Seriously... "... it's like you killed him himself" is stupid. It's not even a "Kobayashi Maru" situation, because not even the options are there. It's like "well... you managed to defeat the klingons, rescue the tripulation, escape, and not tarnish your reputation.... and... uh... your ship explodes, killing you, your crew, and everyone you rescued. For no reason. The end."

PurinaDragonCho
2008-12-02, 12:38 PM
If there is a treaty with another nation, that treaty is an expression of the will of your own nation. That is law in its purest form. I would argue that if the paladin character is in fact an agent of his nation, he CANNOT violate the treaty. Doing so would violate the code more than letting an NPC be killed. The paladin character could try to rescue the NPC by LEGAL means only - through diplomacy, for example.

If you're a paladin, you have to uphold the law first.

This ignores the possibility that the law of your home country is in conflict with your code of honor - as in, unjust laws, etc.

I think every paladin should have a clearly defined code - discussed ahead of time by player and DM. It makes it far less likely for something like this to happen. You should have a sheet of paper somewhere that prioritizes your duties - first to king, then to country, to uphold the laws of the land, to aid the weak and those in need, to uphold the ideals of your deity... whatever.

In other words, yeah, your DM is a jerk. And, unless you left out some important information, he's just flat out wrong, in my opinion.

snoopy13a
2008-12-02, 12:44 PM
Have your character refuse to do anything. Go to the nearest tavern and stay there. Roleplay it as your character resorting to the bottle to try and medicate the devastation of the fall.

Mikeavelli
2008-12-02, 12:50 PM
doubled up on exactly what PurinaDragonCho is. While your DM is expecting you to play a Lawful Good Paladin, and making you fall for something that is, in his mind, not up to the highest standards of goodness, you're playing a Lawful Good Paladin.

you can talk about this with him, point it out that he's being a tard, but really what's more fun is to go full on Blackguard and destroy his campaign any way you know how.

Then find a new DM.

Falrin
2008-12-02, 12:53 PM
I agree with your DM, sorry.

Your an avatar of good, when innocents are in mortal dangers, you WILL come to their aid.

Hire some adventurers.
Use a disguise.
Ask permition to some officials.


Don't say bluntly no because, if things go wrong, a greater evil might emerge.



I'm not rescueing that village from those orcs, I might get killed and I'm needed in the upcoming war.

That's what your saying.

Yes, some shades of grey apply.
Yes, you shouldn't have fallen imediatly.
Yes, your DM is a jerk for not giving signs.

But in the end you let an innocent person down.

ps: A lot depends on the actual situation. Do you need to fight against officlas of the other country? Just get him out of there.
Is he a high profile rebel?
Are some bandits threatening his daughter?
...

hamishspence
2008-12-02, 12:57 PM
Some settings do make Paladin Good first, Lawful second.

also, there is much debate on- when a person is genuinely In Need, are you allowed to refuse point blank to help them?

might depend on DM and on distance- if you can see the person and the physical danger they are in, Walking On By may seem more overtly ruthless than if its just come by letter.

Lets say you were actually on the border at the time, you could see the NPC and his enemy- the enemy grinning and raising their sword to strike the NPC's head off- Save a life- and risk breaking a treaty.

Makes the situation more clear and immediate.

Paramour Pink
2008-12-02, 12:59 PM
I agree with your DM, sorry.

Your an avatar of good, when innocents are in mortal dangers, you WILL come to their aid.

Hire some adventurers.
Use a disguise.
Ask permition to some officials.


Don't say bluntly no because, if things go wrong, a greater evil might emerge.



I'm not rescueing that village from those orcs, I might get killed and I'm needed in the upcoming war.

That's what your saying.

Yes, some shades of grey apply.
Yes, you shouldn't have fallen imediatly.
Yes, your DM is a jerk for not giving signs.

But in the end you let an innocent person down.

ps: A lot depends on the actual situation. Do you need to fight against officlas of the other country? Just get him out of there.
Is he a high profile rebel?
Are some bandits threatening his daughter?
...

Honestly, I agree with this. As a paladin, you were right to note the problems with an attempt at rescue. But to make no attempt whatsoever and just wash your hands of the situation completely? I can understand that the alignment system is meant to be fluid, but you sound almost lawful neutral instead of lawful good.

RagnaroksChosen
2008-12-02, 01:05 PM
A good paladin would not only save the person but would also attempt to stop said war after saving the person.
my vew of the paladin code would say that you can't use the fraise "ends justify the means" and or you can't sacrafise one to save many you must try and save every one... both the one and the many.

PurinaDragonCho
2008-12-02, 01:07 PM
I agree with your DM, sorry.

Your an avatar of good, when innocents are in mortal dangers, you WILL come to their aid.

Hire some adventurers.
Use a disguise.
Ask permition to some officials.


Don't say bluntly no because, if things go wrong, a greater evil might emerge.



I'm not rescueing that village from those orcs, I might get killed and I'm needed in the upcoming war.

That's what your saying.

Yes, some shades of grey apply.
Yes, you shouldn't have fallen imediatly.
Yes, your DM is a jerk for not giving signs.

But in the end you let an innocent person down.

ps: A lot depends on the actual situation. Do you need to fight against officlas of the other country? Just get him out of there.
Is he a high profile rebel?
Are some bandits threatening his daughter?
...

This all comes down to how one interprets the paladin's code. Which is exactly why a player and DM shoudl sit down and talk about the paladin's code before a player ever rolls up the character. And they should also write down what the code is.

I still think that directly violating the treaty is about like Lancelot sleeping with Gwynyvere - it's a direct violation of his duty to country and king. And throwing an entire region into chaos, along with all the other suffering of innocents that goes along with it breaking the treaty and starting a war? I don't buy that at all.

But again, that's because I see the code differently.

Comet
2008-12-02, 01:09 PM
What I dont get is this: why does doing anything remotely not supergoodJesus result in a paladin falling?

"You broke out of jail to hunt down a villain! YOU FALL!"
"You broke a promise in order to protect your wife! YOU FALL!"
"You drank wine! In a dirty bar! YOU FALL!"

Seriously, why does everything have to result in falling? Why cant the paladin just feel bad about his wrong decision and move on with a fair warning? Especially if he's been forced into a situation where he has to make sacrifices in order to prevail.
He's not actively seeking to do evil, he's just doing something not-good.

No wonder nobody plays paladins when they have DMs that think falling is the only punishment for paladins that have failed to uphold their code. How about roleplaying? Having the paladin question his own beliefs and his faith? Making everybody hate him lots and lots?
Why does everything have to be resolved with a quote from the rulebook? "If you do bad things you Fall! It's what the Book says!"

Failure to do good should not result in falling. Paladins aren't that powerful, they dont need to be limited by stupid rules.
Now, if a paladin really goes about killing babies and eating womenfolk, then yeah he should fall. But riddle me this:
If a player goes about eating women then why on earth is he playing a paladin? Some things I'll just never understand.

hamishspence
2008-12-02, 01:14 PM
Not going to rescue someone you have a commitment to is considered dubious in OoTS "if you hadn't gone back, whatever happened to him, your file would be in the True Neutral bin" but maybe not in core D&D.

But how much of a commitment does paladin have to helping others, especially this particular NPC? and how much of a requirement is there?

in some cases, there is only so much you can do- two people simultaneously ask for help, paladin picks one- shouldn't fall for "Not helping" the other.

ashmanonar
2008-12-02, 01:21 PM
Not going to rescue someone you have a commitment to is considered dubious in OoTS "if you hadn't gone back, whatever happened to him, your file would be in the True Neutral bin" but maybe not in core D&D.

But how much of a commitment does paladin have to helping others, especially this particular NPC? and how much of a requirement is there?

in some cases, there is only so much you can do- two people simultaneously ask for help, paladin picks one- shouldn't fall for "Not helping" the other.

On the same token, though, a fighter doesn't lose his feats if he chooses Railroading Decision A over Railroading Decision B. It's a more long-term, role-played discussion than "You fall. Goodbye!"

In any case, this smells an awful lot like "You didn't choose the third option I didn't enumerate, so you fall because you wrecked my railroad tracks." Sorry, man. I agree with the "go Blackguard and wreak havoc" decision.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-12-02, 01:31 PM
DnD morality has never been supportive of utilitarianism (going for the greater good).

Except, you know, the blatantly utilitarian 10-point Paladin Code in the 2nd edition revised Forgotten Realms set books. "Do the most good while doing the least harm," and so on.

Paladins do feel more deontological than teleological, at first blush, but neither is more or less Good or Lawful than the other. (Then again, you can also be a deontological utilitarian.) I don't see the alignment system really tackling this in any way.

That said, I think what should always distinguish a paladin is their unwillingness to just opt out of a difficult situation. That's sort of the definition of a paladin - they're the men and women who just won't stop or give up. They don't have the luxury of saying, "Oh, well, I can't do it because it's too dangerous and could start a war." They have to find a way, no matter what. They're supposed to deal with the madman holding a knife to a hostage's throat to delay attempts to stop their plan to kill hundreds imminently, and they have to try to find a way to save everyone, every time. A paladin shouldn't fall for failing, but they can and should fall for refusing to try. There's no way the average paladin's code allows them to just shrug and go, "I can't see a way, sorry, I'm not going to try."

In the OP's specific example, the paladin should have convened his or her closests friends and most trusted allies, taken counsel with them, and found some way to do it. Even if, in the end, the paladin is unable to participate directly in any action, they can organize, lead, coordinate, arrange, facilitate... There's a ton of options, from covert operation and subterfuge to diplomacy and cooperation with the other nation. The important thing is that the paladin tries, and won't give up, ever. That doesn't mean taking increasingly desperate and dangerous actions - it just means plumbing all options.

The DM, though, was still a jerk.

snoopy13a
2008-12-02, 02:17 PM
Not going to rescue someone you have a commitment to is considered dubious in OoTS "if you hadn't gone back, whatever happened to him, your file would be in the True Neutral bin" but maybe not in core D&D.

But how much of a commitment does paladin have to helping others, especially this particular NPC? and how much of a requirement is there?

in some cases, there is only so much you can do- two people simultaneously ask for help, paladin picks one- shouldn't fall for "Not helping" the other.

Actually, this would be more like Hinjo and Lien retreating from Azure City instead of trying to save Belkar, Haley, and Roy's corpse. The paladin's committment to their country outweighes anything towards the NPC. Risking a war to attempt to save one person (there's no guarantee that they would be successful anyway) is foolish.

Additionally, the NPC might be the one at fault here. Perhaps he committed a crime in the hostile country and deserves to be punished. Even if the NPC is innocent of any wrongdoing, they were foolish enough to be poking around the enemy's backyard.

Having the paladin fall here creates a dangerous precident. Under this logic, the paladin must drop everything to save any person in need no matter what the danger, conquesences, or chance of success. Suppose a country has an evil dictator. Under this reasoning, a paladin is bound to fight a one-person war against this dictator or fall. It doesn't matter that the actual chances of the paladin succeeding are nil. Or perhaps a famine is in another country. Now, the paladin is obligated to spend all of their gold to buy food supplies to take to this country. Again, if they don't they will fall under this logic.

Kris Strife
2008-12-02, 02:19 PM
Why is it that most of the 'DM was right' people suggest using tactics paladins cant use? Sneaking in, disguising yourself, saying 'screw you I quit to go violate a treaty' to his superiors, letting the war start and then stopping it, etc.

Honestly, I'd make a paladin fal l for going because he'd be a: ignoring standing orders from two legitimate authorites; b: risking the lives of thousands by starting a war and c: doing it for a personal, possibly even selfish reasons.

Paramour Pink
2008-12-02, 02:22 PM
I guess they're thinking about the Paladin of Freedom? That's the only variant that could reasonably do all that unless I'm mistaken. But, for the typical Lawful Good 3.5 paladin, a lot of that would probably fall under violating the no lying clauses.

Akisa
2008-12-02, 02:36 PM
The NPC wanted me to break into a fort something (forgot name). The npc in question was sneaky type like rogue and last time we meant he said he had to go away on a mission. So we (the group) suspect he was spying, now I know it's pretty stupid go in and break him out. I suspect a trap anyway because how would have a sneaked in a scroll? Which I told the DM I suspected a trap... I guess I could send an e-mail saying I could try diplomacy to free him. As for breaking him out now, I'm basically warrior with 3/4 Bab and better will saves (I never picked paladin but instead cleric with the CoC) so rescuing him would be even harder.

Zenos
2008-12-02, 02:42 PM
Okay, that sucks harder than being a fallen paladin. I can not think of anything better than diplomacy in that situation, and probably not on the fly. How long did you have to think about your answer?

Kris Strife
2008-12-02, 02:51 PM
Wait, the NPC was a spy who got caught and was arrested and you fell for not breaking him out of prison?

hamishspence
2008-12-02, 02:54 PM
it does seem a little odd.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-12-02, 02:55 PM
Honestly, I agree with this. As a paladin, you were right to note the problems with an attempt at rescue. But to make no attempt whatsoever and just wash your hands of the situation completely? I can understand that the alignment system is meant to be fluid, but you sound almost lawful neutral instead of lawful good.

But... but the OP hadn't done anything yet. All he did was tell the NPC that he could not act without risking a massive war. If he had then done absolutely nothing (including asking allies to go rescue the NPC) and the NPC had died, then maybe it'd be a reason for a Fall.

But merely saying something? Since when have Paladins been judged by words over actions? :smallconfused:

It seems incredibly likely that the DM was lashing out at you for not immediately accepting the plot hook. This is why I'm glad they got rid of the DM Sticks in 4E.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-12-02, 03:26 PM
But... but the OP hadn't done anything yet. All he did was tell the NPC that he could not act without risking a massive war. If he had then done absolutely nothing (including asking allies to go rescue the NPC) and the NPC had died, then maybe it'd be a reason for a Fall.

But merely saying something? Since when have Paladins been judged by words over actions? :smallconfused:

That's the bit where the DM is a jerk. If the PC proceeded to ignore the situation, sure, fall away.

Doomsy
2008-12-02, 04:25 PM
I'd kind of like to see the OP get back to us on this. I'm still betting she derailed his story and he was just pissed about it.

Yakk
2008-12-02, 04:34 PM
So you fell. That means your god has decided to punish you.

But you, personally, know that you where not due to be punished.

Sounds like it is time to defeat the unjust tyrant of your god?

For the greater good, after all.

Asheram
2008-12-02, 04:45 PM
So you fell. That means your god has decided to punish you.

But you, personally, know that you where not due to be punished.

Sounds like it is time to defeat the unjust tyrant of your god?

For the greater good, after all.

Yup. Go back to the classics. WWYGD
What Would Your God Do (if he were in your shoes right now.)
Paladin code and all that to "#&#. I've always believed that as long as you do something your god would approve of, you can't fall. You might be excommunicated, but as long as your god have your back then you're in the free.

hamishspence
2008-12-02, 04:48 PM
in Tymora's Luck- its the reverse. paladin goes against the will of her own god Lathlander- because what he is doing (Merging a good and evil deity together, both against their will) is dishonorable. And doesn't fall.

23minds
2008-12-02, 04:56 PM
Well, its not like you can justify the death of thousands of people just to save someone you like.
Also, you would have to try and find a way you could help your friend, through sending someone else to help, diplomacy, or something similar. But as you didn't get the chance to do that:
Your DM screwed up big time.
BURN EVERYTHING.:smallamused:

Paramour Pink
2008-12-02, 04:59 PM
But... but the OP hadn't done anything yet. All he did was tell the NPC that he could not act without risking a massive war. If he had then done absolutely nothing (including asking allies to go rescue the NPC) and the NPC had died, then maybe it'd be a reason for a Fall.

But merely saying something? Since when have Paladins been judged by words over actions? :smallconfused:


...

That's ridiculous. The DM just sounds mean if he did that. :/

Narmoth
2008-12-02, 05:03 PM
If I were you, I'd offer to pay ransom for the NPC spy.

RPGuru1331
2008-12-02, 05:25 PM
So you fell. That means your god has decided to punish you.

But you, personally, know that you where not due to be punished.

Sounds like it is time to defeat the unjust tyrant of your god?

For the greater good, after all.

Hell to the yes, as the kids say. Go make the heavens tremble!

Doomsy
2008-12-02, 05:32 PM
Hell to the yes, as the kids say. Go make the heavens tremble!


This is the best backup plan if the DM does not answer the 'Did you even give me an out' question. While making an end run at the gods themselves is usually a pretty poor plan, it is usually a pretty awesome one.

PurinaDragonCho
2008-12-02, 05:43 PM
Anyway - all you need is an atonement, right?

Of course, your DM will probably deny you of that, too.

Singhilarity
2008-12-02, 05:54 PM
1 - Lemur's response on the first page = Correct. Fullstop.

2 - Just because you've fallen doesn't mean you can't get up.
Make positive that your DM knows that, regardless of ruling, you intend to keep playing a Paladin. That you will begin to actively work to restore your status, because it's right.

Have him work it in. Make sure you remember to earn some serious EXP and loot from it.

If any of these falls through... defecate in his shoes. (In person)

skeeter_dan
2008-12-02, 05:54 PM
The NPC wanted me to break into a fort something (forgot name). The npc in question was sneaky type like rogue and last time we meant he said he had to go away on a mission. So we (the group) suspect he was spying, now I know it's pretty stupid go in and break him out. I suspect a trap anyway because how would have a sneaked in a scroll? Which I told the DM I suspected a trap... I guess I could send an e-mail saying I could try diplomacy to free him. As for breaking him out now, I'm basically warrior with 3/4 Bab and better will saves (I never picked paladin but instead cleric with the CoC) so rescuing him would be even harder.

Wow...this just got worse. I could almost see the DM's point-of-view with the first post, but the fact that the NPC was a spy and got caught and you fell for not rescuing him is absurd.

PaladinBoy
2008-12-02, 05:57 PM
Why is it that most of the 'DM was right' people suggest using tactics paladins cant use? Sneaking in, disguising yourself, saying 'screw you I quit to go violate a treaty' to his superiors, letting the war start and then stopping it, etc.

Honestly, I'd make a paladin fal l for going because he'd be a: ignoring standing orders from two legitimate authorites; b: risking the lives of thousands by starting a war and c: doing it for a personal, possibly even selfish reasons.
(emphasis mine)

Yet if he does nothing, he's ignoring someone asking for help. Admittedly, this NPC being a spy who got caught is hardly encouraging (events like that are hardly uncommon as far as espionage goes). It does clarify why the friendly nation can do little to help... even if both sides know that spying is going on, neither side will want to admit it. On the other hand, it does raise the chance of a clandestine rescue mission, depending on the value of the NPC. The paladin, however, is not likely to have a role in such a mission that involves much more than planning.

Also, I'd like to call attention to the bolded section. What I see happening there is the paladin deciding that he views saving the NPC as being more important than his career and standing as an agent of his nation. Saying "screw you, I'm gone" is hardly appropriate, but he can resign his commission, as it were, with regrets, all in a perfectly legal fashion. This does happen in the real world... military officers, unfortunately, sometimes have to choose between their careers and their values. (It is possible that superiors can refuse to accept a resignation, but that isn't very common unless there is some emergency that requires every single person possible.)

Scribble
2008-12-02, 06:02 PM
Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.

The Force shall free me...

Sith Code... very nice.

Doomsy
2008-12-02, 06:36 PM
Wait, wait.


The NPC is a criminal arrested for actually committing crimes he freely admits to. He is lawfully imprisoned. You were told your paladin fell for refusing to shatter a treaty and cause a war to rescue an actually guilty criminal.

Okay. You need to call shenanigans on your DM immediately. If he gets pissy, he gets pissy, but this is completely inappropriate. He gave you no out here.

Lawfully? He was in the wrong. The only option that could even take his 'option' was a chaotic good alignment. A paladin would be stuck trying to get him out through the appropriate channels.

Or if they were smart, hunting down a similar spy in their own country and offering a trade. Lawful good plays by the rules altruistically, it's not stupid.

monty
2008-12-02, 07:05 PM
This is the best backup plan if the DM does not answer the 'Did you even give me an out' question. While making an end run at the gods themselves is usually a pretty poor plan, it is usually a pretty awesome one.

Not necessarily. Since he's a cleric rather than a paladin, it's even easier. All he has to do is atone (switching gods if necessary), hit level 21, and win the game.

RPGuru1331
2008-12-02, 07:06 PM
This is the best backup plan if the DM does not answer the 'Did you even give me an out' question. While making an end run at the gods themselves is usually a pretty poor plan, it is usually a pretty awesome one.

....

Are you implying that any plan that has you chant WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM!? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-T4g86KkNg) is a bad plan? :smallconfused:

Shadowtraveler
2008-12-02, 07:23 PM
A True Paladin would not only rescue the NPC, but end all agression between both states and eliminate any dark forces at work without effort.

A True Paladin also carries all 20 d20s.

chiasaur11
2008-12-02, 08:33 PM
A True Paladin would not only rescue the NPC, but end all agression between both states and eliminate any dark forces at work without effort.

A True Paladin also carries all 20 d20s.

And is Pun-Pun.

So...
not an option for most people.

Doomsy
2008-12-02, 08:56 PM
....

Are you implying that any plan that has you chant WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM!? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-T4g86KkNg) is a bad plan? :smallconfused:

Of course. That is why it is SO DAMN AWESOME.

Starbuck_II
2008-12-02, 09:31 PM
And is Pun-Pun.

So...
not an option for most people.

Pun-pun is evil so Pun-pun can't exist if he is supposed to be a Paladin.

chiasaur11
2008-12-02, 10:10 PM
Pun-pun is evil so Pun-pun can't exist if he is supposed to be a Paladin.

Nope. The level one build is Neutral Good.

Deals with Pazazu only drop you one point towards CE, with Chaotic favored. Sure, he'd fall, but it's a fair trade.

Myatar_Panwar
2008-12-02, 10:37 PM
I can't really understand how so many people can make such assumptions about this DM after one bad occurrence.... oh wait *realizes this is the internet* I understand now.

But seriously, alot of people here seem to think that you need to go commando or something to rescue this guy. You could... you know... talk to these people. Like. Diplomacy.

It's been suggested before. Just thought I'd bold that sucker.

Trying nothing at all really is kinda bad... but thats not to say that your DM should just insta fall you like he did. That was also a mistake.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-12-02, 10:59 PM
I can't really understand how so many people can make such assumptions about this DM after one bad occurrence.... oh wait *realizes this is the internet* I understand now.

But seriously, alot of people here seem to think that you need to go commando or something to rescue this guy. You could... you know... talk to these people. Like. Diplomacy.

It's been suggested before. Just thought I'd bold that sucker.

Trying nothing at all really is kinda bad... but thats not to say that your DM should just insta fall you like he did. That was also a mistake.

Dude, the DM had him fall as soon as he sent his return Sending.

Go on, read the OP:

So I received a sending message of a NPC that was in trouble within an enemy nation's territory. The problem is we have a treaty with the enemy nation and since I'm well known agent of my home nation. So if I come to the aid of the npc I might break the treaty and cause a war that could escalate into a world war due to the various alliances formed. So I responded to the NPC by saying "I can't rescue you because risking the breaking of Red Bay would result in a world war."

And boom, as soon I finished my reply I fell. The DM said I didn't go and rescue the npc would be like killing him myself. I argued that I prevented the death of Thousands upon thousands from a needless war. What I did was wrong or was my DM being a jerk?

Emphasis mine. That is a serious jerk of a DM, even if the NPC in question wasn't a spy of dubious reputation. What reasonable DM strips a PC of his class features for a phone call?

monty
2008-12-03, 12:32 AM
Pun-pun is evil so Pun-pun can't exist if he is supposed to be a Paladin.

Pun-Pun can change his alignment at will, and can have multiple alignments at once if doing so benefits him. He can also be a paladin without being Lawful Good. You are severely underestimating Pun-Power.

Myatar_Panwar
2008-12-03, 12:49 AM
Dude, the DM had him fall as soon as he sent his return Sending.

Go on, read the OP:

Emphasis mine. That is a serious jerk of a DM, even if the NPC in question wasn't a spy of dubious reputation. What reasonable DM strips a PC of his class features for a phone call?

Yes... I read the OP. I have now read it twice.

I understand that it was a jerk move. Its not brain science to figure that out. In fact I think I put that in my post.

I am also aware that he fell after the sending spell, where he told his friend
I can't rescue you It just seems that he didn't exactly think of doing anything to help him aside from breaking down the front door. This may not be entirely true, but the OP wasn't very specific as to what happened after the incident. I was only making a suggestion.

Also, once again, the fact that people are saying that this guy is such a horrible person and that the OP should destroy his campaign blah blah blah bothers me more than a little. This is one incident, one which none aside from the OP were witnessing, which in my opinion looked like nothing more than a knee jerk reaction. Way to read a book by its cover. He didn't have 3 pages on a forum to analyze before he came up with a response. A plot hook was ruined, and the paladin just refused to aid another in need. He thought, and he spoke. I wouldn't be surprised if the OP couldn't convince his DM that he shouldn't have fallen. And hey, if the DM really is a jerk who acts like this consistently, then ok, it may be time to find a new one.

monty
2008-12-03, 12:55 AM
Still, there's nothing inherently wrong with going blackguard and derailing the entire campaign. Hell, I've done things like that a few times even when my DM didn't do anything bad.

Talic
2008-12-03, 02:05 AM
Note: Breaking the law doesn't make paladins fall.

A gross violation of not respecting legitimate authority would.

So, if authority isn't legitimate (and if we go by defining legitimacy as "authority acting to safeguard the interests of the people he presides over"), then he is not obligated to follow it.

Thus, a paladin can be perfectly lawful, by fighting against chaos, and any order that does not benefit good. The only order he promotes is an order that exists to protect and strengthen the people.

All others? Illegitimate as the 5 kids of the prince's chamber maid that bear that striking resemblance to... oh never mind.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-12-03, 02:18 AM
Also, once again, the fact that people are saying that this guy is such a horrible person and that the OP should destroy his campaign blah blah blah bothers me more than a little. This is one incident, one which none aside from the OP were witnessing, which in my opinion looked like nothing more than a knee jerk reaction. Way to read a book by its cover. He didn't have 3 pages on a forum to analyze before he came up with a response. A plot hook was ruined, and the paladin just refused to aid another in need. He thought, and he spoke. I wouldn't be surprised if the OP couldn't convince his DM that he shouldn't have fallen. And hey, if the DM really is a jerk who acts like this consistently, then ok, it may be time to find a new one.

Well, the reason people react harshly to the DM is because he essentially nuked the OP's character for no good reason. Falling is a big deal for a Paladin, equivalent to nuking a Fighter's favorite magic sword or a Wizard's spellbook; yeah he can get Atonement, but it's going to cost him XP and probably an extra quest (without Paladin powers).

We don't know the full details, no, but every DM who has dealt with Paladins should know how big a deal declaring a Paladin Fallen is. I find it very hard to have any sympathy for a DM who would whack a player so casually with that big a stick. Either he is very new, or very spiteful.

Or maybe people don't consider Falling such a big deal these days? :smallconfused:

Khanderas
2008-12-03, 02:37 AM
+1 on jerk DM

He obviously railroaded you to fall. Not only expecting it, but actually forcing it.

I see only three options.
1) What you did, greater good, no fall.
2) Start a war, knowing it would start a war, fall
3) Buy the services of a spy/rogue guild (he would problebly make you fall on this too).

Raging Gene Ray
2008-12-03, 02:54 AM
I'm going to try and give the DM the benefit of the doubt here. No, I don't think the OP should have fallen, but I think the DM might have simply expected the paladin to rescue the NPC. The DM might have had a whole plot twist involved with the war being set off, and the paladin not falling, but having to go on a quest to prevent the war and free the NPC. There might have been several ways to work around the war while still liberating the political prisoners that the DM wanted the party to look for.
The DM might have had a whole stack of character sheets for NPCs...and then the paladin predicts the clever plot twist, ignores it, and the DM makes him fall in either 1) a misguided attempt to get him to follow the NPC as Atonment or 2) out of spite.

Of course, this is a lot of "mights." And the OP is the one who actually knows the DM, so I don't really have much of a basis. I think the DM should offer a convenient, plot-progressing Adventure hook that involves an Atonement spell.

Tokiko Mima
2008-12-03, 02:56 AM
So I received a sending message of a NPC that was in trouble within an enemy nation's territory. The problem is we have a treaty with the enemy nation and since I'm well known agent of my home nation. So if I come to the aid of the npc I might break the treaty and cause a war that could escalate into a world war due to the various alliances formed. So I responded to the NPC by saying "I can't rescue you because risking the breaking of Red Bay would result in a world war."

And boom, as soon I finished my reply I fell. The DM said I didn't go and rescue the npc would be like killing him myself. I argued that I prevented the death of Thousands upon thousands from a needless war. What I did was wrong or was my DM being a jerk?

He is being illogical. That refusing to help a person avoid death is the same as killing them yourself, is patently absurd. Think about it.

Next time someone drops their books in front of you, pour gasoline and light them all on fire. It's the same as not helping, according to the DM's logic. Or when someone asks you to help them with their math homework, kill their math teacher. Do you see where I'm going with this when you apply the same logic to other things?

Helping people is generally a good action. It's the polite and mannerly thing to do. However, when someone asks you a favor that might start a global war, the polite thing to do is turn them down as neatly as possible. If you're feeling benevolent, you might come up with another way of solving their problem, but that's not your responsibility. As a paladin your responsibility is to serve the interests of Lawful Good which usually involves not starting wars.

Khanderas
2008-12-03, 03:09 AM
I agree with your DM, sorry.

Your an avatar of good, when innocents are in mortal dangers, you WILL come to their aid.

Hire some adventurers.
Use a disguise.
Ask permition to some officials.

Don't say bluntly no because, if things go wrong, a greater evil might emerge.

I'm not rescueing that village from those orcs, I might get killed and I'm needed in the upcoming war.

That's what your saying.

Yes, some shades of grey apply.
Yes, you shouldn't have fallen imediatly.
Yes, your DM is a jerk for not giving signs.

But in the end you let an innocent person down.

ps: A lot depends on the actual situation. Do you need to fight against officlas of the other country? Just get him out of there.
Is he a high profile rebel?
Are some bandits threatening his daughter?
...
Who says this NPC is innocent ? He could very well be a captured spy, legally tried and on death row by the laws of the country he was spying upon.
A spy is a political tool, not directly involved on the good/evil axis so "may not consort with evil characters" does not apply, nor is the execution unjust (death penalty on spying exists in many Real Life countries). The sending comes from within enemy lands, so this is my guess as to what he was doing there.

If he is captured (or will be by the time the paladin makes it there) a jailbreak with a martial character will result in killing. Guards, officers who are just doing their jobs ! That is not a job for a paladin.

If not rescueing himself is equal to killing him yourself, then hiring adventurers who kill the guards would be equal to killing the guards yourself. And they would problebly kill more then the paladin character would.

You say the paladin not going to the rescue the same as saying "I'm not rescueing that village from those orcs, I might get killed and I'm needed in the upcoming war."

No.
If we are going to involve orcs and villages here, it would be much closer to "I cant ride off to the village to save 5 innocents, because if I leave my post 5 000 will be slaugtered by the main force of orcs who are waiting outside this city for me to leave the city defenseless.". Note how, with this DM riding off to help the 5 would make the paladin fall for not sheltering the 5000 properly. Not riding out would make him fall for not coming to the aid of those who need it.


I do agree on using diplomacy or other venues, but this paladin fell before hanging up the "phone". The paladin was not given time to check with his superiors, or the underground network, or diplomacy, or talk things over with an advisor, or prepare a disguise (and that is alot of risky buissness)
The paladin said he could not cross the border and explained why. Then fall.

Obvious the DM either wanted a fall and was gonna force one (via the "all options are wrong and will make you fall) or was so disappointed the plothook failed he lashed out.

Edit: Either case, the OP problebly does not have to dump the DM, just explain to the DM that the paladin were not given time to explore the options and the fall was alittle hasty.
In game, the paladin may be depressed and THINK he fell (and belief for a paladin is a big deal), but logically his church will fix that for him with a lecture or a "quest for atonement" (that he won't need but for his own self-confidence. In game church superiors telling him it was afterwards, is optional).

Tsotha-lanti
2008-12-03, 04:37 AM
+1 on jerk DM

He obviously railroaded you to fall. Not only expecting it, but actually forcing it.

I see only three options.
1) What you did, greater good, no fall.
2) Start a war, knowing it would start a war, fall
3) Buy the services of a spy/rogue guild (he would problebly make you fall on this too).

Seriously?

How about "Negotiate for the freedom of the spy" ? There's literally endless ways to resolve the situation, but giving up right at the onset isn't it.

turkishproverb
2008-12-03, 04:39 AM
Seriously?

How about "Negotiate for the freedom of the spy" ? There's literally endless ways to resolve the situation, but giving up right at the onset isn't it.

It was a sending. he gave a reply and fell. He wasn't given a CHANCE to try anything besides telling the guy he couldn't COME and help.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-12-03, 04:42 AM
Seriously?

How about "Negotiate for the freedom of the spy" ? There's literally endless ways to resolve the situation, but giving up right at the onset isn't it.Hey buddy, I was spying on a foreign kingdom, they caught me, and now they're going to execute me under the law. Rather than a useful spell, I'm casting Sending and telling you this. Please come save me.
I really can't come rescue you, that would cause a war, sorry. Maybe I could...
God: *beatdown*

Tsotha-lanti
2008-12-03, 04:43 AM
Read my previous posts. Context is good.

Muad'dib
2008-12-03, 05:08 AM
Read my previous posts. Context is good.

Except all she did was answer a phone call and as soon as she was finished with "I can't come and help you sorry." she fell. That is not "giving up at the onset" at all. That's a freaking response. A handful of words. No action at all. There was no time between "I can't come and help you" and YOU FALL!!! Since when can Paladins fall for speaking a handful of words that don't cause a great evil to blemish the land. or aren't said Paladin consorting with evil. Even further as far as the paladin code goes she would be ignoring, not one, but two legitimate authorities to rescue as spy caught in the act of being a spy, or in other words: A Criminal with a capital C. But regardless, why should she fall immediately after a phone call, without any time to actually try any of the alternatives?

Tsotha-lanti
2008-12-03, 07:54 AM
Please be respectful enough to at least reply to me when replying to me, rather than a strawman.

Thanks.

Quoting myself since apparently it's too far back in the thread:


The DM, though, was still a jerk.



But... but the OP hadn't done anything yet. All he did was tell the NPC that he could not act without risking a massive war. If he had then done absolutely nothing (including asking allies to go rescue the NPC) and the NPC had died, then maybe it'd be a reason for a Fall.

That's the bit where the DM is a jerk. If the PC proceeded to ignore the situation, sure, fall away.

Edit: A spy acting in a foreign country is probably a criminal by that country's standard, and usually a patriot by their employer's standards. Way to simplify the situation there though.

I also recommend taking the link in the first quote and reading my post, to get, you know, context, since I extensively address just when and how the paladin should fall.

Narmoth
2008-12-03, 09:45 AM
Actually, now that it's clear that the NPC in question was a spy, I would rather consider to have the paladin fall for freeing a justly imprisoned criminal than for refusing to help

Tsotha-lanti
2008-12-03, 10:25 AM
Actually, now that it's clear that the NPC in question was a spy, I would rather consider to have the paladin fall for freeing a justly imprisoned criminal than for refusing to help

That's entirely dependent on why employs the spy. If, for instance, the spy happens to work for the paladin's superiors (or the government they're allied with, or whatever) - which would make sense to me, since he's asking the paladin's help - then I can't see what would be wrong with freeing him. Seriously - if you're an authorized government agent, espionage is only a crime in the country where you're committing it. In the country that employs you, it's your job. So that "justly" part is entirely subjective, as are most crimes related to politics.

Doomsy
2008-12-03, 03:14 PM
Failure to read the OP in the post above. The character would have fallen for disrespecting her own nations authority, in that they had a tenuous peace treat with the nation that their spy was caught in.

A paladin in their service is beholden to the laws that entail given the nature of that treaty.

I'm pretty sure going in on as a one (wo)man army of rescuin' a convicted, guilty spy and hauling him back across the border, causing a massive diplomatic incident that would breach that treaty as an act of aggression, counts as being unlawful as all get out.

Paladins are LAWFUL and GOOD. They violate one or the other, the crap hits the fan.

I still think her DM was just pissy his story went off the rails. She had said "I can't rescue you" in a sending. The same as killing him? That is complete and utter horse crap. He got himself caught. He asked her to break a major treaty to rescue him and start a war instead of taking it like a man. Not only was she right to deny him this rescue, he was stupid to ask for it. The DM was just trying to shove a plot onto her rough shod. If she had gone through with it he probably would have ignored the massive unlawful parts just because it fit his story. Or he was actively going for an autofall no matter what. Either way, pissy move.

Severus
2008-12-03, 03:53 PM
Your GM is being stupid.

I've heard that if you hit someone enough times with a stick, all the stupid is knocked out of them. You should try that.

only1doug
2008-12-03, 04:08 PM
That's entirely dependent on why employs the spy. If, for instance, the spy happens to work for the paladin's superiors (or the government they're allied with, or whatever) - which would make sense to me, since he's asking the paladin's help - then I can't see what would be wrong with freeing him. Seriously - if you're an authorized government agent, espionage is only a crime in the country where you're committing it. In the country that employs you, it's your job. So that "justly" part is entirely subjective, as are most crimes related to politics.

I completely disagree with you Tsotha-lanti

The most important thing about spying is not getting caught.

the 2nd most important thing is that if you do get caught then don't reveal your employer.

Deniable assets and black ops all rely on leaving no proof that your employer was spying / committing crimes.


then I can't see what would be wrong with freeing him.
well known government agent frees captured spy: how can we figure out who the spy was working for?


Seriously - if you're an authorized government agent, espionage is only a crime in the country where you're committing it. In the country that employs you, it's your job.
Except that not getting caught is also your job. so is leaving no proof that your country of origin is your country of origin.


So that "justly" part is entirely subjective, as are most crimes related to politics.
Again I disagree, as (I believe) do most posters on this thread.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-12-03, 04:21 PM
I'm pretty sure going in on as a one (wo)man army of rescuin' a convicted, guilty spy and hauling him back across the border, causing a massive diplomatic incident that would breach that treaty as an act of aggression, counts as being unlawful as all get out.

Talk about a failure to read. Is this what I proposed in my post as the solution?

only1doug: Great simplification there. Spies get captured, and they get returned by various means.


Context, context, context. I'm not going to re-iterate my entire point in every post in the same thread.

Zeful
2008-12-03, 04:26 PM
That's entirely dependent on why employs the spy. If, for instance, the spy happens to work for the paladin's superiors (or the government they're allied with, or whatever) - which would make sense to me, since he's asking the paladin's help - then I can't see what would be wrong with freeing him. Seriously - if you're an authorized government agent, espionage is only a crime in the country where you're committing it. In the country that employs you, it's your job. So that "justly" part is entirely subjective, as are most crimes related to politics.

Which is more important? A treaty that, if broken, could kill thousands. Or the life of a bad[1] spy?

1: By bad I don't mean evil.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-12-03, 05:13 PM
Which is more important? A treaty that, if broken, could kill thousands. Or the life of a bad[1] spy?

1: By bad I don't mean evil.

I addressed this, too. I guess I'll just freaking repeat everything I posted, then.

The essence of being a paladin is that you don't make an "either-or" choice - you have to try to find a way to preserve both. You don't fall if you fail, and a DM is an ******* if they have you fall before you've even had a chance to do or not do anything. (Just like Oracle Hunter said a page or two ago, with which I agreed...)

Obviously, this all assumes you have a reason to save the spy. Common sense and the rules apply - obviously. If the spy is evil-aligned, you can't associate with them, and obviously aren't obliged to rescue them. If the spy was jailed for evil actions - assassinating a Good or Neutral person without really compelling justifications, working freelance or for profit, fomenting causeless rebellion against a rightful (and preferrably non-evil) authority, or somesuch - there's probably no obligation.

If the spy is, say, a Chaotic Good character James Bond -type working on independent information that offers compelling reason to spy in the country, there's certainly an amount of obligation on the paladin's part. If the spy is a Neutral Good patriot who has uncovered an evil plot within the government and is working to reveal it to the world, there's a heck of a lot of obligation. If the spy is a Lawful Good priest tracking down information suggesting prominent nobles within the government are summoning an evil god, there's a crapload of obligation.

The details matter a lot. The paladin, obviously, has to work off what they know. If the DM has failed to reveal important plot points that would lead to a plot-useful action, that's the DM's fault, and he's even more of a jerk for punishing players for sucking himself.

What should the paladin do, assuming there is an obligation or duty?

The paladin should protect everyone. That's the point. A paladin shouldn't settle for the "most good, least harm" - that's for normal Good characters. The paladin should strive for "all good, no harm," even if that appears impossible. This is, in fact, what creates some of the most compelling drama and conflict related to being a paladin - you have to strive for near-impossible standards (and, again, failing to reach them does not cause you to fall; failing to strive for them should, but not in a single incident, and certainly not in one sentence fragment), and sometimes that means you'll have to take risks that may have dire consequences. A paladin can't just "play it safe." This also results in some of the coolest successes, when you do pull off the impossible (which is what epic RPGs, like most D&D settings, are all about).

Curiously enough, the torture- and murder-happy Jack Bauer is actually a decent example of this, a lot of the time - he won't accept any sacrifice of an innocent or a friend (except when he must, when he'll even act as executioner...), and will try to find some way to do the impossible. Meanwhile, the admittedly good and loyal people he works with will accept a scenario where Bauer himself is sacrificed in an uncertain gambit...

How can the paladin protect everyone?

Diplomacy is the most obvious option (it's also a class skill!). This can be a direct appeal to the government holding the spy, or to allies and benefactors within their own government. There's endless variants and specific approaches on this theme. First, the paladin must figure out just what is going on - because making the right decision, on a larger scale, requires accurate information. Once the details are clear, a course of action can be decided upon.

Note that Akisa said the group suspect the character was spying. Even that much isn't confirmed! The truth of this suspicion will almost certainly help make a decision about the earlier question - "Is there an obligation to help?"

Depending on the exact nature of the situation, mostly related to the specific circumstances of the spying, it may be worth it to risk war. That's classic high drama, again - trying to stop a grand plot while avoiding starting a war.

When should the paladin fall?

A paladin should, really, never fall for a single action that isn't flagrantly evil. Attacking and killing innocents, robbery, flagrantly breaking against their deity's dogma, or violating taboos. Mostly the actions that cause an instant fall should be laid out explicitly in the specific paladin code.

A paladin's fall should be a process, like switching alignment. Consistently failing to act according to the code and to live up to the deity's dogma should eventually cause a fall.

If you're strict about the rules, falls will happen more suddenly, but they definitely shouldn't happen for just saying something (unless, of course, it's blasphemy or something to the effect of "I renounce my oaths").

In the example (excepting specifics of the code and the deity's dogma and the duties and oaths of the ordained), a fall might have been reasonable if the paladin did not act in any way on the information, but that'd be harsh, too. It should definitely have counted toward eventually falling. Refusing to act because of the danger of a war would not have been the issue at all - it would have been the lack of interest in a situation where there was a potential obligation to help someone in need, which would have been negligence of the paladin's duties.


This is getting longwinded and is repetitive anyway, so I'll finish here for now.

Starbuck_II
2008-12-03, 05:27 PM
.

If the spy is, say, a Chaotic Good character James Bond -type working on independent information that offers compelling reason to spy in the country, there's certainly an amount of obligation on the paladin's part. If the spy is a Neutral Good patriot who has uncovered an evil plot within the government and is working to reveal it to the world, there's a heck of a lot of obligation. If the spy is a Lawful Good priest tracking down information suggesting prominent nobles within the government are summoning an evil god, there's a crapload of obligation.

James bond wasn't good. Not evil. He was neutral.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-12-03, 05:49 PM
Man, if that level of nit-pick is the most anyone can find, I guess the text-wall will have been kinda-sorta worth it. Thread ain't about the alignment of James Bond, fortunately.

RukiTanuki
2008-12-03, 05:50 PM
Add me to the folks saying that a singular, non-Evil act should never result in a fall. Maybe a What The Hell Hero (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ptitle0z548336167v?from=Main.WhatTheHellHero) moment, but not inherently a fall.

monty
2008-12-03, 05:57 PM
James bond wasn't good. Not evil. He was neutral.

No, he's True Bond. Alignment is beneath him.

Shadowtraveler
2008-12-03, 08:08 PM
And is Pun-Pun.

So...
not an option for most people.I wouldn't go that far, but an army of clones/constructs that can respond to problems five minutes before they happen helps, yes.

Remember, a True Paladin lives in mortal fear of an harsh, uncaring god who will punish him/her for the slightest fault, all the while being Good and/or Lawful.

Roderick_BR
2008-12-03, 09:48 PM
I agree with your DM, sorry.

Your an avatar of good, when innocents are in mortal dangers, you WILL come to their aid.

Hire some adventurers.
Use a disguise.
Ask permition to some officials.(...)


According to the OP, he just denied the first request, and the DM falled him right away, without time to check options. Plus, denying rescue of character X in some far place, because someone said it, is diferent from seeing someone being attack right there in your front.

Random NPC: Some guy is being tortured in Country XYZ. You must save him.
Paladin: But that's in the other side of the world! I don't have anyone to get me there in time, and I'm needed here. Maybe we could try sending a message to someone closer to that plac...
DM: You fall for refusing to help.

Myatar_Panwar
2008-12-04, 02:17 AM
But Roderick, thats not what he said.

He told the NPC "I can't help you". Its right in his OP. He didn't even bother to give the man any sort of reassurance that he would attempt a rescue at all. If the DM took the paladins words as truth for his future actions, then yes the DM had the "right" to fall the paladin (this meaning that he wouldn't attempt even the most non-hostile tactics to rescue the caller).

But the player might have not meant it like that, and the DM should have given it more time. No questioning that.

Zeful
2008-12-04, 02:23 AM
But Roderick, thats not what he said.

He told the NPC "I can't help you". Its right in his OP. He didn't even bother to give the man any sort of reassurance that he would attempt a rescue at all. If the DM took the paladins words as truth for his future actions, then yes the DM had the "right" to fall the paladin (this meaning that he wouldn't attempt even the most non-hostile tactics to rescue the caller).

But the player might have not meant it like that, and the DM should have given it more time. No questioning that.

So now paladins are falling for inability, great precedent.
NPC: Help I'm getting executed tomorrow!
Paladin: I'm a week away from you, cannot teleport, and don't know where you are, I can't help you.
DM: Fall.

Khanderas
2008-12-04, 03:06 AM
Originally Posted by Khanderas
+1 on jerk DM

He obviously railroaded you to fall. Not only expecting it, but actually forcing it.

I see only three options.
1) What you did, greater good, no fall.
2) Start a war, knowing it would start a war, fall
3) Buy the services of a spy/rogue guild (he would problebly make you fall on this too).
Seriously?

How about "Negotiate for the freedom of the spy" ? There's literally endless ways to resolve the situation, but giving up right at the onset isn't it. Man you got some flak for that, but good question.
The short answer is... didnt think of it as an option (prolly didnt think of it at all either). However to argue :smallbiggrin: ..:
The Paladin is an enemy of the state, trying to pull out another enemy of the state after said spy did <Idonnowhat>. If the spy is not caught (yet), alerting them by asking the statemen to leave your buddy alone would be counterproductive and they start looking. If the spy is caught the state does not know what secrets he found out and would ill afford to let him go, followed by torture and finally execution.

The diplomacy in mind must be exchange or prisoners or bribes. This would problebly be better off done by intermediaries. The paladin is well known antagonist of the enemy state, doing it personally would only make it harder as the spy would become a pawn for them. For bribing and sneaking out the spy the options of contacting rogues guilds/spy network as they got experience in those matters (works both if they spy is caught or just in a tight spot).
Exchange of prisoners or buying back the friendly spy from the enemy goverment would be to confess to having a spy in their lands. This could escalate war on its own. Sneaky way, is the only way. And a Paragon of Justice with his own lightsource does not do that well. Not doing it well means risking war.

For that reason diplomacy is "somehow" baked into either doing it yourself (risking war, option two in my 3 point list) or getting others to do it for you (option three in my list).

Wheww. Saved my hide there :smallwink:


There's literally endless ways to resolve the situation, but giving up right at the onset isn't itAs far as I can tell from the original post, the paladin had not given up, but only replied he couldnt get over there without risking war. Fell before the endless other ways were even thought of.
The reason most of us blame the DM was because the fall was so fast.

Muad'dib
2008-12-04, 06:48 AM
I addressed this, too. I guess I'll just freaking repeat everything I posted, then.

The essence of being a paladin is that you don't make an "either-or" choice - you have to try to find a way to preserve both. You don't fall if you fail, and a DM is an ******* if they have you fall before you've even had a chance to do or not do anything. (Just like Oracle Hunter said a page or two ago, with which I agreed...)

I don't remember ever reading that in the Paladin Code, since when can Paladins not make either-or choices? How is this more deeply ingrained in the essence of being a Paladin than protecting the lives of thousands of innocents by not aggravating a shaky truce by trying to save the spy personally, admitting you had a spy placed in their country in the first place(as bad as going there to save him herself), or by sending a group of adventurers in who can get caught just as easily as the spy did in the first place and are probably less inclined to protect the identity of their employers if it means saving their own skins? Prove to me that any of these options are actually viable without have a good chance of provoking the war that the OP is so concerned about preventing.


Obviously, this all assumes you have a reason to save the spy. Common sense and the rules apply - obviously. If the spy is evil-aligned, you can't associate with them, and obviously aren't obliged to rescue them. If the spy was jailed for evil actions - assassinating a Good or Neutral person without really compelling justifications, working freelance or for profit, fomenting causeless rebellion against a rightful (and preferrably non-evil) authority, or somesuch - there's probably no obligation.

If the spy is, say, a Chaotic Good character James Bond -type working on independent information that offers compelling reason to spy in the country, there's certainly an amount of obligation on the paladin's part. If the spy is a Neutral Good patriot who has uncovered an evil plot within the government and is working to reveal it to the world, there's a heck of a lot of obligation. If the spy is a Lawful Good priest tracking down information suggesting prominent nobles within the government are summoning an evil god, there's a crapload of obligation.

Spying is a crime. We've been given no indication that the Paladin sees either government as illegitimate as she's going to uphold the treaty that the governments have with one another as best she can. So it doesn't matter that her country wouldn't necessarily see the spy as a criminal, the other country still does and is respected as a legitimate authority by the fact that they have a standing treaty. So why should the Paladin risk war to save a criminal? And saving a criminal from a legitimate authority would be a chaotic act, something the Paladin code does state as a no no.


The paladin should protect everyone. That's the point. A paladin shouldn't settle for the "most good, least harm" - that's for normal Good characters. The paladin should strive for "all good, no harm," even if that appears impossible. This is, in fact, what creates some of the most compelling drama and conflict related to being a paladin - you have to strive for near-impossible standards (and, again, failing to reach them does not cause you to fall; failing to strive for them should, but not in a single incident, and certainly not in one sentence fragment), and sometimes that means you'll have to take risks that may have dire consequences. A paladin can't just "play it safe." This also results in some of the coolest successes, when you do pull off the impossible (which is what epic RPGs, like most D&D settings, are all about).

A Paladin shouldn't protect everyone, they should protect innocents before all else. The spy is not innocent, the majority of citizens of both countries are. Any action to save the spy will potentially lead to war, going and rescuing him herself or admitting to the other country that they had a spy being the two most likely to lead to war. Why should she risk peace to save one criminal? As you said the DM failed to give a plot critical reason, as such there is no reason to do so that isn't a disgustingly risky course of action for a Paladin to follow. And the risk is thousands of innocents not just the Paladin's personal safety.


How can the paladin protect everyone?

The better question is "Why should the Paladin protect everyone?" Until a good reason for saving a bad spy from a nation who legitimately captured them can be given I can see no reason to do so when it risks war.


Diplomacy is the most obvious option (it's also a class skill!). This can be a direct appeal to the government holding the spy, or to allies and benefactors within their own government. There's endless variants and specific approaches on this theme. First, the paladin must figure out just what is going on - because making the right decision, on a larger scale, requires accurate information. Once the details are clear, a course of action can be decided upon.

Diplomacy's a bad option unless they have something the country really wants. If going in and saving him herself is a decidedly bad plan how is admitting you have a spy in their country better? Without proof of the other country having committed equally devious deeds during the time that this treaty has existed, then her government has no leg to stand on when asking for a spy back or even admitting the existence there of.


Note that Akisa said the group suspect the character was spying. Even that much isn't confirmed! The truth of this suspicion will almost certainly help make a decision about the earlier question - "Is there an obligation to help?"

Depending on the exact nature of the situation, mostly related to the specific circumstances of the spying, it may be worth it to risk war. That's classic high drama, again - trying to stop a grand plot while avoiding starting a war.

Until evidence of a plot can be given then I see no reason to use one as grounds to save a spy.


When should the paladin fall?

A paladin should, really, never fall for a single action that isn't flagrantly evil. Attacking and killing innocents, robbery, flagrantly breaking against their deity's dogma, or violating taboos. Mostly the actions that cause an instant fall should be laid out explicitly in the specific paladin code.

A paladin's fall should be a process, like switching alignment. Consistently failing to act according to the code and to live up to the deity's dogma should eventually cause a fall.

Evil acts aren't the only things that make a paladin fall. Chaotic ones can too. The Paladin's Code is against both of them. And yes it should definitely be a process.

Anyways for the record, Bond is neutral on the good/evil axis at best. He's way too ends justify the means to be anything but a well-intentioned extremist. The only thing that sets him apart from the villains is he doesn't want to blow up/dominate/annoy the world.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-12-04, 07:08 AM
To repeat myself again: there's no evidence the character was even a spy.

Way to keep strawmanning, though.

Khanderas
2008-12-04, 07:32 AM
To repeat myself again: there's no evidence the character was even a spy.

Way to keep strawmanning, though.
Several, myself included, have said we KNOW the OP didnt state the friend was a spy, but we feel the other circumstances indicate it heavily enough for discussion. A friend of yours in trouble in enemy lines ? Trouble such as he needs a high profile paladin ? Inter-state politics ?

As a sidenote, I feel pointing at strawmanning is too easy, happens too often and sofar I have never seen it as constructive. Far too often it is used as an "intellectual" way of telling ppl to shut it.

Muad'dib
2008-12-04, 07:57 AM
To repeat myself again: there's no evidence the character was even a spy.

Way to keep strawmanning, though.

Except for her saying that she and her entire party suspected him of spying as he's not only a rogue/"sneaky type," but also on a mission in the other government's territory. Way to keep ignoring valid arguments though.

I mean first you complain that the only thing people could point out about your argument was the James Bond thing, now you're ignoring another argument as "strawmanning." Did you even read my post?

PaladinBoy
2008-12-04, 09:44 AM
I don't remember ever reading that in the Paladin Code, since when can Paladins not make either-or choices? How is this more deeply ingrained in the essence of being a Paladin than protecting the lives of thousands of innocents by not aggravating a shaky truce by trying to save the spy personally, admitting you had a spy placed in their country in the first place(as bad as going there to save him herself), or by sending a group of adventurers in who can get caught just as easily as the spy did in the first place and are probably less inclined to protect the identity of their employers if it means saving their own skins? Prove to me that any of these options are actually viable without have a good chance of provoking the war that the OP is so concerned about preventing.

Well, I agree with Tsotha-lanti. I've always seen paladins as the type to ignore the greater good and try to save everyone. Granted, I would expect the paladin to give serious consideration to the possibility of a war, but I would also expect the paladin to try to find options. Saving the spy personally is a bad idea, but there are ways to conduct diplomacy without admitting that the captured person is a spy. Sending other spies or commandos to rescue the captured spy is probably one of the better options, but it carries the most risk.


Spying is a crime. We've been given no indication that the Paladin sees either government as illegitimate as she's going to uphold the treaty that the governments have with one another as best she can. So it doesn't matter that her country wouldn't necessarily see the spy as a criminal, the other country still does and is respected as a legitimate authority by the fact that they have a standing treaty. So why should the Paladin risk war to save a criminal? And saving a criminal from a legitimate authority would be a chaotic act, something the Paladin code does state as a no no.

Well, the OP does describe the other nation as an "enemy nation". It might well be that the entire country considers this enemy nation illegitimate or evil, they just can't/won't do anything. I would compare it to the relationship between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the Cold War.


A Paladin shouldn't protect everyone, they should protect innocents before all else. The spy is not innocent, the majority of citizens of both countries are. Any action to save the spy will potentially lead to war, going and rescuing him herself or admitting to the other country that they had a spy being the two most likely to lead to war. Why should she risk peace to save one criminal? As you said the DM failed to give a plot critical reason, as such there is no reason to do so that isn't a disgustingly risky course of action for a Paladin to follow. And the risk is thousands of innocents not just the Paladin's personal safety.

True. The spy is not innocent. Really, he shouldn't even be expecting rescue, given the nature of his profession, but any nation worth serving should not just let him die without even trying.


Diplomacy's a bad option unless they have something the country really wants. If going in and saving him herself is a decidedly bad plan how is admitting you have a spy in their country better? Without proof of the other country having committed equally devious deeds during the time that this treaty has existed, then her government has no leg to stand on when asking for a spy back or even admitting the existence there of.

If this is anything like, say, Cold War-era foreign relations, then both sides are doing plenty of crap, and both sides know it, they just aren't willing to admit it.

How about a prisoner exchange? "We seem to have found someone in our nation who is a citizen of your nation (a captured spy). We'll give him to you, and in exchange, we'll take (captured NPC) off your hands for you."

Capturing a spy to exchange for the NPC would be an interesting scenario, actually.

Muad'dib
2008-12-04, 10:18 AM
Well, I agree with Tsotha-lanti. I've always seen paladins as the type to ignore the greater good and try to save everyone. Granted, I would expect the paladin to give serious consideration to the possibility of a war, but I would also expect the paladin to try to find options. Saving the spy personally is a bad idea, but there are ways to conduct diplomacy without admitting that the captured person is a spy. Sending other spies or commandos to rescue the captured spy is probably one of the better options, but it carries the most risk.

I would tend to disagree with this being the Greater Good versus for Everyone though. The Greater Good argument is for situations where Group A has to give something up for everyone else for the largest benefit. But this isn't that. Group A here is a lousy spy/agent/whatever who allowed himself to get caught in the process of doing whatever he was doing. So Groups B and C here (the two nations) risk giving up this treaty of theirs (even treaties between two relatively good countries can be shaky if their ideals are different enough) and causing the needless deaths of thousand of innocents for one man who may or may not have any information of great importance. While saving everyone might be good, risking the dissolution of a treaty to do so is definitely not lawful, and Paladins are required to remain both good AND lawful.


Well, the OP does describe the other nation as an "enemy nation". It might well be that the entire country considers this enemy nation illegitimate or evil, they just can't/won't do anything. I would compare it to the relationship between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the Cold War.

True, they are described as enemy, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are seen as evil or illegitimate especially since the op's country has a standing treaty with them. Heck, sometimes you keep referring to that group you were fighting with as the enemy long after the fighting's over and neither side is in control. We really don't have enough information about either country to be labeling them the U.S. side or Soviet Union side. We don't even know what their previous fighting was about. I'd kind of like more info from the op if possible before even bothering to discuss this point anymore.


True. The spy is not innocent. Really, he shouldn't even be expecting rescue, given the nature of his profession, but any nation worth serving should not just let him die without even trying.

Shouldn't let him die as long as doing so doesn't risk the deaths of the very people his actions were meant to protect if those actions were meant to protect.


If this is anything like, say, Cold War-era foreign relations, then both sides are doing plenty of crap, and both sides know it, they just aren't willing to admit it.

How about a prisoner exchange? "We seem to have found someone in our nation who is a citizen of your nation (a captured spy). We'll give him to you, and in exchange, we'll take (captured NPC) off your hands for you."

Capturing a spy to exchange for the NPC would be an interesting scenario, actually.

Could be, op needs to elaborate on the countries' actual relations a bit. Any way you look at it though, diplomacy fails without proof of the other country's wrong-doing as they all ready have proof of yours. The only option that's sort of safe is sending in the rest of the party as a rescue team if they're not well known government agents like the Paladin. But the Paladin doing any of these things will very easily aggravate the situation if her presence in the country is likely to lead to conflict.

Myatar_Panwar
2008-12-04, 10:22 AM
So now paladins are falling for inability, great precedent.
NPC: Help I'm getting executed tomorrow!
Paladin: I'm a week away from you, cannot teleport, and don't know where you are, I can't help you.
DM: Fall.

Not inability no. But lack of trying, yes. You don't think its wrong to have a Paladin not even try to formulate a solution for the NPC? In my opinion, any Paladin who just sits on their ass while people are being killed are not really Paladins.

In your situation, the Paladin should attempt a search for those who can locate and get to this person. If he discovers that the man was an actual evil criminal, then he wont need to save him. If he cannot find anyone to help (but still LOOKS), then hes fine. If he discovers that a rescue would result in more deaths than people saved, then he should try and find an alternative. If he has no luck whatsover in that day of searching, he still tried. He didn't just say "Nope. Its probably impossible to save you. Good luck"

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-12-04, 10:26 AM
Not inability no. But lack of trying, yes. You don't think its wrong to have a Paladin not even try to formulate a solution for the NPC? In my opinion, any Paladin who just sits on their ass while people are being killed are not really Paladins. The OP had no time. He was asked if he would go rescue the guy, said he couldn't break the treaty, and fell. He never said he wouldn't try other things(which many people on here think would be doomed to failure anyways) he just responded quickly to the request for aid with what information he had at the time.

Myatar_Panwar
2008-12-04, 10:30 AM
The OP had no time. He was asked if he would go rescue the guy, said he couldn't break the treaty, and fell. He never said he wouldn't try other things(which many people on here think would be doomed to failure anyways) he just responded quickly to the request for aid with what information he had at the time.

I know. I was just responding to the previous post. Although, to be fair, if his words were accurate("I cannot help you"), then that pretty much means he wasn't going to try anything. I've said it before. The DM shouldn't have fallen him for that sending spell. What happens after it is what really matters.

Fawsto
2008-12-04, 08:28 PM
Roll a Cleric, dominate the world.

Now, seriously, I would have made you fall too... but *Days later for not TRYING to help your friend somehow*. I mean, being a well known agent from your country should mean that you know people who could help your friend out there. I mean, wich kind of big nation does not have reliable spies and mercenaries from whom you can "ask" a little "rescue mission" for God's sake?

Surely, going out there and trying to save him yourself: Bad Idea. Pallys do not hide, Pallys do not lie, you WOULD be caught and the war WOULD start. This would make you fall, since you knew it could happen specially knowing about your limitations on the area.

Your procedure was correct. I would wait until your next decision about the matter to decide a possible fall.

Going there and getting caught, being utterly the cause of the new war = Fall -> Because you were Irresponsible

Saying "sorry, dude, good luck..." and ignoring the problem = Fall Hard -> Because you left a friend to his luck without even lifting a finger.

Not going there (because it is the smartest thing you can do), and trying to get help in the means of more "skilled" agents = Cheers, you are still a Paladin.

Otherwise, your DM is currently being a jerk. Flat decisions like that are a bad idea when 80% of the PC's class is in the game are ALWAYS a bad choice.

Also, note that I am not saying you should order directly to your subordinates to go there and rescue your friend. I am talking about hired mercenaries and spies that DON'T KNOW FROM WHERE YOU ARE and AREN'T ASKING BECAUSE YOU OFFERED MORE MONEY. (Rather chaotic approach, but hey, Paladins do not fall from utterly chaotic acts! Unless this changes their allignment)

Got it?

Sorry for the Caps. I always get jumpy when I see a Paladin fall for no utterly good reason.

Back to my heart medicines. See ya.

Yukitsu
2008-12-04, 08:36 PM
Paladins with jerk DMs always need to buy phylacteries of faithfulness. Then they need to ask if it goes off no matter what they do. Then, if it does, try dumber and dumber things, until claiming "I can't do anything without falling, so I burn down the orphanage and feast on the charred corpses." Then go black guard 10 ur priest 10, and spend the rest of the campaign killing peaceful clerics. Remember to ask if you phylactery if an action you are about to commit is good. Wouldn't want to undue that fall.

Fawsto
2008-12-04, 08:44 PM
danmed be the internetzors! Double Post. I am sorry.

kladams707
2008-12-04, 10:10 PM
Reading through all these articles, and many good points, there's one question that hasn't been raised (or maybe I didn't see it/remember it)

That question is: How legitimate is the authority of both parties involved in the treaty? We know no history of either party other than they have a treaty w/ each other and that our fallen paladin is an agent of one of them, w/ the spy captured by the other spy.

Akisa
2008-12-05, 12:07 AM
So I just got back an apparently the DM claimed he was joking, and I never felled >.>. So we end up exchanging spies through diplomacy, but they attempted to go back on their deal. But thanks to tumbling from rogue using boots of teleportation (on loan) from the rogue and I, and we were able to escape back to our nation's capital without bloodshed.

Note we left their spy behind so we never went behind on the deal.

turkishproverb
2008-12-05, 12:11 AM
So I just got back an apparently the DM claimed he was joking, and I never felled >.>. So we end up exchanging spies through diplomacy, but they attempted to go back on their deal. But thanks to tumbling from rogue using boots of teleportation (on loan) from the rogue and I, and we were able to escape back to our nation's capital without bloodshed.

Note we left their spy behind so we never went behind on the deal.

Sounds like backtracking to me. :smallmad:

I wonder if he reads the forums. :smalltongue:

Khanderas
2008-12-05, 02:41 AM
Sounds like backtracking to me. :smallmad:

I wonder if he reads the forums. :smalltongue:
It was backtracking but that is, in this case, a good thing.
The DM planned this thing as a plot hook, could have put days into planning upcoming rescueplan and then the player say "can't do that, for being paladin" (because lets face it, any other adventurer class stack corpses on eachother on the reason it makes easier looting). DM lashes out against the showstopper (paladinhood).

DM thinks about it for a day, calms down and realises there are other ways.
And we, the forumgoers got to discuss pallys yet again... everybody wins ! :smallcool:

turkishproverb
2008-12-05, 02:45 AM
Oh, I didn't say it was bad, just that it was backtracking.