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Thread: A Noble Death

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default A Noble Death

    So, I really feel…cheated of a good, noble death. It’s weird, but…it happened.

    Due to setting off a trap, my paladin/crusader and some his comrades were trapped in a solid wall of force that was filling up with a mist that was causing us drowning checks. Our DM was being nice and making it a flat DC 16 fort check instead of a steadily rising con Check, and it took two failure to drop us unconscious.

    Through trial and experimentation, we discovered that my crusaders Foehammer and Mountain Hammer maneuvers would crack the shell long enough to get one person out. So, every turn, I cracked the wall, and one person would squeeze through the opening. First out was the wizard, who had failed two saves and had to be thrown. Then the cleric, to whom the same thing had happened. Because they were lying there inert, I sent the monk (trained in heal) out there to help them. At this point, the fighter who was in there, helping me, dropped unconscious due to failed saves. The DM was not being nice to me…I made save after save trying to figure out a way to strike the wall and hurl the fighter out. It ended in me managing to put the fellow on my shoulder, slam the wall with a warhammer, and toss him out. The round I did that in, I got my first failed fort save, upon which my DM said I could feel my lungs filling with water. Still, I was able to hurl my friend out of the wall of death and pick up the gear I’d dropped. Armed and ready, I make my next fort save.

    Nat 1. I drop unconscious. IRL, the group panics. And I mean they PANIC. I have been playing the laid-back moral compass of the group…My paladin didn’t police, but he was kind and noble and to many of them, a bit of an innocent…he was a farm-raised boy and it reflected in the way he treated things and people. They didn’t want him dead. Well, the rogue did, but that’s because the player hates me IRL (he’s the person my inevitable conflict thread was about). The swashbuckler’s player almost started crying. And then we switched to the portion of the party that was pursuing a hag coven.

    I sat back and actually smiled, because you know what? How much of a better death can a Paladin 5/Crusader 1 with an utter devotion to his friends and his god ask for? I saved every single person in that orb with my conviction and devotion to my god, hurling a fully armored fighter to safety with my lungs filled with water before giving in. My friends would have seen nothing more than me hurling our friend to safety before the wall closed in and then…nothing but silence. The wizard player gave me a back-thumping man-hug, saying that this was the first time he’d seen a paladin played as he imagined it instead of a fighter with a superiority complex. The monk-player who plays a paladin in another game gave me a salute. All in all, I was proud. In game, enough time had passed that the monk was now flailing at the wall in a panic (his character had grown very close to mine, due to mine saving his life, trusting him, and backing him up in matters of honor) and trying to figure out if he could leap the wall and rig up a pulley system.

    I stepped outside to call my girlfriend in our downtime and we talked for a while. When I returned, I was greeted with triumphant shouts of joy and given a beartackle hug by the swashbuckler. They saved me. Thanks to some shenanigans with an elixer of firebreathing and the cleric, having been healed up via wands, charging through the flames to drag my unconscious body through the opened up hole.

    The party was ecstatic, I was happy, and the DM gave me a giant grin and a handshake. I was simultaneously ectstatic about this and a little sad. I felt cheated of an amazingly poetic death…while I wasn’t even there. But the party seemed so very happy I didn’t want to say anything about it.

    Still, it allowed me to have a bit of a moment of badass. While the cleric and monk and wizard are all thanking me, we hear the swashbuckler’s character scream in the distance. Having recently regained consciousness, I hit myself with lay on hands, charges of a cure mod wand, and start running. The cleric catches up to me and says

    Cleric: “Haven’t you done enough heroics for the day?”

    Paladin, stonefaced, with water dripping off his face and still coughing up liquid as he runs: “Nope. Paladin.”

    The party was really, really happy, though I was a bit disappointed. Still, I’m hoping for a heroic death again.
    "We speak for the dead. We are all they have when the wicked steal their voice. But we do not owe them our lives."

    Roy Montgomery, NYPD Sgt., Castle

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    Default Re: A Noble Death

    +1


    That is all

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    Default Re: A Noble Death

    That would have been a good death.

    Glad you lived though. Allthough, I'm uncertain how you broke Force walls...

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    Quote Originally Posted by AtwasAwamps View Post
    Cleric: “Haven’t you done enough heroics for the day?”

    Paladin, stonefaced, with water dripping off his face and still coughing up liquid as he runs: “Nope. Paladin.”
    Dear Wizards of the Coast: Put this quote into ANYTHING you write about paladins.

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    Default Re: A Noble Death

    I don't think they were force walls, but honestly, I'm guessing mostly because my DM realized too late he created a trap that would TPK and he didn't want that.

    Mountain Hammer and Foe Hammer penetrate all DR, so I think he was just trying to toss us a bone. He expected me to save myself and help people from the outside, but I realized I was the hardiest of the players and couldn't risk people dropping unconscious inside without someone consistently working to save them. So I stayed inside and I played the goddamn paladin.
    "We speak for the dead. We are all they have when the wicked steal their voice. But we do not owe them our lives."

    Roy Montgomery, NYPD Sgt., Castle

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    Default Re: A Noble Death

    These are the epic moments of pure win I strive for. Thanks for posting this, it made my day.

    Forever Curious ~
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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: A Noble Death

    Quote Originally Posted by AtwasAwamps View Post
    Cleric: “Haven’t you done enough heroics for the day?”

    Paladin, stonefaced, with water dripping off his face and still coughing up liquid as he runs: “Nope. Paladin.”
    EXCELLENT line.

    Epic. Quite Epic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forever Curious View Post
    These are the epic moments of pure win I strive for. Thanks for posting this, it made my day.

    Forever Curious ~
    This is one my group and I went through years ago

    It's not as poetically heroic as the OP's paladin, but I was shaking in my boots the whole time, and it did save the whole group. It is remembered as the finest piece of RPG we ever had as a group.

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    That was one of the better RP stories I have heard all year. Kudos.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Inspirational, sir. I salute you.

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    Isn't it great when paladins are played as paladins? Really, who else but a paladin would so willingly sacrifice themselves to save the party?

    Also, I understand what you mean about missing out on a heroic death. Sometimes it just seems right for a character to die, even if you want to keep playing them and this was one of those moments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuaqchi View Post
    Also, I understand what you mean about missing out on a heroic death. Sometimes it just seems right for a character to die, even if you want to keep playing them and this was one of those moments.
    But think of it for the other players' perspective. They are SO happy to have reaped him from the clutches of Death. They LOVED the guy.

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    You sir, had one of those great moments in role playing that many of us wish we had the oppertunity to achieve and for that, you did not loose out on a Noble Death. No, you simply had a test run for what it would be like when your last moment of glory arrives.

    Of course hopfully your character lives till a nice old age and dies a peaceful death.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolkaTruesilver View Post
    But think of it for the other players' perspective. They are SO happy to have reaped him from the clutches of Death. They LOVED the guy.
    Which is what makes ME okay with it. There was a brief conversation about how to raise me if I died, where I said it was okay for it not to happen, since I'm not the type of guy who likes the revolving-door afterlife. The wizard-player responded with this:

    "Don't be ridiculous. Yeah, if you died in a random fight with a bunch of ogres, sure, it would feel lame for you to be brought back. But you died saving our lives, man. Sure, on one side of it, you died a good death and any god would be happy to have a character that noble at its side...but what good god, for the sake of the world, wouldn't want an agent that devoted still fighting for good on the material plane?"

    Brings to mind a quote from a favorite movie, Stranger Than Fiction (spoilered because its essentially the end of the movie:

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    Said about Howard Crick, who goes to meet his death to save a little boy he doesn't know from the same fate and now knows it, by the woman who unknowingly decreed his death and at the last moment, changed it (without Harold's knowledge) to allow him to live:

    "But if a man does know he's about to die and dies anyway. Dies- dies willingly, knowing that he could stop it, then- I mean, isn't that the type of man who you want to keep alive?"
    "We speak for the dead. We are all they have when the wicked steal their voice. But we do not owe them our lives."

    Roy Montgomery, NYPD Sgt., Castle

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    Default Re: A Noble Death

    Quote Originally Posted by AtwasAwamps View Post
    Cleric: “Haven’t you done enough heroics for the day?”

    Paladin, stonefaced, with water dripping off his face and still coughing up liquid as he runs: “Nope. Paladin.”
    Words cannot describe. Well, okay, they kinda did already. But yeah. This is what a paladin should be like.

    Cool story, although every time I think "a noble death", I think of the Operative from Serenity...
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    That is just about the singular most epic thing I have ever seen, and I've seen Pulp Fiction. And kudos for managing to make a Paladin well-liked by a party, as many people have problems with them as I'm sure everyone on this forum knows. And the 'Nope. Paladin' line made me want to hug my computer screen. Thank you good sir.
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    Now that is a magnificant example of roleplaying!

    It would have been a great ending for the character, yet now you can strive to top it with more noble heroics. It also seems to have created a very special bond between characters - something to be cherished. Besides: you got to play the hero and save everyone else and a moment after they got to playt heroes to save you. If your character would die there, their heroics would be in vain.
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    Great story!

    Now you can live to die another noble day!

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    Great line, great group, great character! This makes me want to roll up a paladin.

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    (applauds) As cool a story as any.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Graek Wolf-Fang View Post
    And kudos for managing to make a Paladin well-liked by a party, as many people have problems with them as I'm sure everyone on this forum knows.

    Never understood that. Though I guess it's a common feeling...when I said I wanted to play a paladin (this is the first game I've ever played), the DM and the other person I was meeting with said "Uh-oh..." and started laughing. But...I didn't know why. And as I played my paladin (and I play him to the hilt lawful good, just...capable of compromise), the party rapidly warmed up to him, especially when compared to the other worshipper of the same god, a cleric of Heironeous, my character was severely laid back (at one point telling the cleric to get the stick outta his rear-end and just deal with it).

    One of the key lines in the paladin class description is that you can ignore evil for a time for the sake of a greater good. In light of that, why can't I ignore the teenaged monk oggling some breasts when I know that if I've got to face down an evil cult, he's got my back? No one in the party (except for the rogue) is a brutal heartless cutthroat.

    The group has some problems with their conceptualization of alignments, too. I'm hoping to crack them out of that (chaotic neutral isn't madcap crazy, etc.) but we'll see. Events like this make my characters and my actions memorable and I love it.
    "We speak for the dead. We are all they have when the wicked steal their voice. But we do not owe them our lives."

    Roy Montgomery, NYPD Sgt., Castle

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    Default Re: A Noble Death

    Awesome story. I wish more of our games were like that.

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    You sir... are my role model for playing my paladin!

    i want everyone in my party to feel the same way about my Paladin! u truly broke the mould and i salute and congratulate you!

    this is exactly how the paladin is meant to be portrayed
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flail_master View Post
    You sir... are my role model for playing my paladin!

    i want everyone in my party to feel the same way about my Paladin! u truly broke the mould and i salute and congratulate you!

    this is exactly how the paladin is meant to be portrayed
    He did not "break a mold". He tried to apply the spirit of the real "Heroic and Galant Knight" without taking it as a license to being a jerk.

    The same thing applies to a well-played evil character. It doesn't give you the right to kill the other party members. I once played a bad guy that was fondly remembered and brought a lot of fun to the team. being evil doesn't mean you have to ruin everyone's fun.

    He seems to be a good player that I'd be proud to have at my table, methink.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SolkaTruesilver View Post
    He did not "break a mold". He tried to apply the spirit of the real "Heroic and Galant Knight" without taking it as a license to being a jerk.

    The same thing applies to a well-played evil character. It doesn't give you the right to kill the other party members. I once played a bad guy that was fondly remembered and brought a lot of fun to the team. being evil doesn't mean you have to ruin everyone's fun.

    He seems to be a good player that I'd be proud to have at my table, methink.
    +1

    It would seem that everyone here is rejoicing in the nobility of a well played paladin. I only wish they weren't so rare...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuaqchi View Post
    +1

    It would seem that everyone here is rejoicing in the nobility of a well played paladin. I only wish they weren't so rare...
    Well, the PHB does say that a lot of people are called to be a Paladin and yet, few are chosen. I guess the same thing goes with those who play Paladins.

    But, yeah. Great story. Everyone at work is asking me why I have such a big grin on my face.

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    The "Lawful Stupid" Paladin tends to take the approach "I Am Lawful Good, ergo, anything I do is Lawful Good". That's not an absolute, but you get the idea. They get a superiority complex and use that to justify bossing around/judging the party.

    A Proper Paladin should try to inspire good deeds by example. They do not try to change the ways of others, they try to convince others to change themselves.
    If a Paladin stands fast and defends a village from a group of marauding ogres, he is not just fighting to defend the innocents or to end the evil the ogres represent. His true victory is in the hearts and minds of the villagers who see him defend them, respect him for it, and in the process try to act a little more like him.

    The way I see it, a paladin who sacrifices himself to save his party does not do so because he has a death wish, or because he is bound by some idiotic code to never retreat. He sacrifices himself in order to inspire his party to be better people on his account.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    A Proper Paladin should try to inspire good deeds by example. They do not try to change the ways of others, they try to convince others to change themselves.
    If a Paladin stands fast and defends a village from a group of marauding ogres, he is not just fighting to defend the innocents or to end the evil the ogres represent. His true victory is in the hearts and minds of the villagers who see him defend them, respect him for it, and in the process try to act a little more like him.

    The way I see it, a paladin who sacrifices himself to save his party does not do so because he has a death wish, or because he is bound by some idiotic code to never retreat. He sacrifices himself in order to inspire his party to be better people on his account.
    This is true, but not entirely. "Teach by Example" is one of the core examples of my paladin's beliefs...he'll never lecture and will almost never preach, but he hopes his actions inspire others. One of the happiest moments in his life is when he knelt down to pray for guidance during a difficult time in the party's adventures and the generally doubting and mildly agnostic swashbuckler knelt down beside him and prayed to HER GOD in hopes that they would answer.

    (after this, he nudged the NPC cleric of the same god that the other characters HATED and murmured "Honey and Vinegar, my brother")

    But as for why he saved people or defends them or anything like that? It's still because its the good and right thing to do. He saved his party because they are his friends. And because he treats them like his friends and not his charges, they treat him like a friend and not someone they have to put up with.
    "We speak for the dead. We are all they have when the wicked steal their voice. But we do not owe them our lives."

    Roy Montgomery, NYPD Sgt., Castle

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    Quote Originally Posted by AtwasAwamps View Post
    But as for why he saved people or defends them or anything like that? It's still because its the good and right thing to do. He saved his party because they are his friends. And because he treats them like his friends and not his charges, they treat him like a friend and not someone they have to put up with.
    I said he does not JUST defend the village in order to protect the villagers and defeat evil, he does it for those reasons, but also to inspire the villagers to be good people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    I said he does not JUST defend the village in order to protect the villagers and defeat evil, he does it for those reasons, but also to inspire the villagers to be good people.
    Totally missed the just, which is why I was confused. Carry on.

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