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    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

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    Default [Pathfinder] Paladins of Neutral Gods

    I've recently been looking at some of the deities in Pathfinder, but there's something that I've been interested in but not sure how to implement. I know that you need to be within one step of your deity's alignment to recieve benefits from worshipping them, but what happens when your class demands a specific alignment that doesn't really synch with your deity?

    The deity that I'm concerned with in this case is Pharasma, the goddess of birth, death, fate and prophecy. She reminds me a lot of Forgotten Realms' god Kelemvor in that she's a death goddess who advocates the destruction of undead as an abomination. Unlike Kelemvor, however, who is Lawful Neutral and thus definitely can have paladins, Pharasma is Neutral. Paladins are required to be Lawful Good, so I don't know if Pharasma actually can have paladins. On the one hand, it'd make sense since paladins are great undead killers, which Pharasma appreciates, plus they can heal with a touch, which would be great in assisting mothers giving birth, which is another duty her priests often take. At the same time however, Lawful Good is two steps away from Pharasma's alignment of Neutral.

    So I suppose the question is this. Can a Paladin who hates the undead and endeavors to destroy them at any opportunity, worship Pharasma, the goddess who looks the most favorably on this activity?
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Paladins of Neutral Gods

    I've always preferred the idea that a Paladin just has to uphold it's god's dogma and doesn't have to be Lawful or Good. So I would say yes your paladin could get it's powers from Pharasma or any other god that is more than a step away from being Lawful Good.

    As usual though, anything that's not strictly RAW must be cleared by your DM...

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Paladins of Neutral Gods

    Personally, if I were DMing I would readily allow a LG paladin belonging to a LN church of a generally TN deity, presuming that (as in this case) the dogma was compatible with such an idea. It is not RAW, but I suspect most reasonable DMs would be fine with houseruling it.

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Paladins of Neutral Gods

    In 3.5, while it's stated that Paladins must worship a Lawful Good deity, they had exceptions in some cases. There have been a couple examples of Paladins of Lawful Neutral deities. I would assume there could be some in Pathfinder as well, it's more down to whether the deity feels a Paladin would be useful for them than anything else I would think.
    Game systems I play: DnD 3.5, Pathfinder, Star Wars Saga, Vampire: The Masquerade, Dungeons: The Dragoning, AFBME, Atomic Highway, Dark Heresy, Legend of the 5 Rings 4E, MAID and... EQRPG... Does anyone actually play that?

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Paladins of Neutral Gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Jjeinn-tae View Post
    In 3.5, while it's stated that Paladins must worship a Lawful Good deity, they had exceptions in some cases. There have been a couple examples of Paladins of Lawful Neutral deities. I would assume there could be some in Pathfinder as well, it's more down to whether the deity feels a Paladin would be useful for them than anything else I would think.
    Wow. That statement made me flip through one of my Pathfinder books to see if I was remembering it correctly. According to some of the fluff, Asmodeus, the Lawful Evil god and ruler of Hell, actually has a few paladins who worship him. He uses them basically as ambassadors and agents in places where his more orthodox followers aren't allowed, mainly concerning themselves with things like the fair enforcement of contracts and the establishment of law and order in either wild areas where civilization's just getting started or crime-infested places where the law's lost all its teeth. And he always deliberately outlines all the boundaries of their duties when he recruits them to make sure they don't turn evil and ruin their usefulness (A fallen paladins basically a fighter without the bonus feats after all).

    Granted this mainly works because Pathfinder reinvisions Asmodeus as focused primarily on order, evil being part of his alignment due to his ruthlessness and "end-justifies-the-means" mentality.

    Still, if even the ruler of all devils can have paladin servants, it likely seems a Neutral goddess can as well.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Paladins of Neutral Gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Jjeinn-tae View Post
    In 3.5, while it's stated that Paladins must worship a Lawful Good deity, they had exceptions in some cases.
    Actually the rule was "must worship a deity within one step of their alignment"- with exceptions.

    Most notably, the Chaotic Good Sune has paladins.

    NG and LN deities having paladins was perfectly within the rules.
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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Paladins of Neutral Gods

    pathfinder paladins can worship ln or lg deities by focusing on either tha lawful aspects or the good aspects.

    I don't know how well this would work for a neutral god. though in the case of golarion I suppose you could do a paladin of pharasma and focus on funeral rites the destructionnof undead. though as a goddess shescalso about fate and paladins often are big on interfering in fate forbgood.

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Paladins of Neutral Gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo_Rat View Post
    pathfinder paladins can worship ln or lg deities by focusing on either tha lawful aspects or the good aspects.

    I don't know how well this would work for a neutral god. though in the case of golarion I suppose you could do a paladin of pharasma and focus on funeral rites the destructionnof undead. though as a goddess shescalso about fate and paladins often are big on interfering in fate forbgood.
    She's Neutral instead of Lawful Neutral because she understands that sometimes destiny gets screwed. Her faithful just make the predictions, they don't enforce them (at least not as far as what I've read suggests).
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Paladins of Neutral Gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha View Post
    She's Neutral instead of Lawful Neutral because she understands that sometimes destiny gets screwed. Her faithful just make the predictions, they don't enforce them (at least not as far as what I've read suggests).
    yeah thats pretty accurate, i only suggested it as off the top of my head i could see how you could do it if you /really/ wanted to

    in PF though Paladins dont have to get their power from a god.

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Paladins of Neutral Gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo_Rat View Post
    in PF though Paladins dont have to get their power from a god.
    They don't have to in 3.5 either. That's a setting-specific detail, primarily taken from Forgotten Realms, not a RAW restriction; 3.5 itself is fine with Clerics of causes instead of gods and Paladins that are Paladins just because they are, not sponsored by a god or church.

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Paladins of Neutral Gods

    I'm playing a Paladin of Abadar in Council of Thieves AP. Since we're basically struggling to free a city from the clutches of its evil rulers, it's working brilliantly, since Abadar is god of civilization, amongst other things

    Also, here's a quote from James Jacobs (one of Paizo's developers):

    Clerics (and probably inquisitors) are the only class that gets their spells directly from a deity at this point in the game. Other divine spellcasters CAN get spells from a deity, but they don't have to; they can get them from philosophies, pantheons, or whatever.

    If a spellcasting class says its alignment has to be within 1 step of its deity, and/or if that class has access to domains, that's pretty much how you know that spellcaster gets spells from a deity.

    So you COULD have a paladin of Aroden, where you couldn't have a cleric of Aroden or an Inquisitor of Aroden. Doesn't mean being a paladin of Aroden is a wise or smart choice, because you'll not have a strong network of support and most folks will regard you as something of a pitiable figure at best or a madman at worst. The vast majority of Aroden's worshipers, including his paladins, now worship Iomedae.

    Of course, all of these rules are subject to GM whimóbut that's how we'll be presenting things in Golarion products.
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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Paladins of Neutral Gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbash View Post
    I'm playing a Paladin of Abadar in Council of Thieves AP. Since we're basically struggling to free a city from the clutches of its evil rulers, it's working brilliantly, since Abadar is god of civilization, amongst other things

    Also, here's a quote from James Jacobs (one of Paizo's developers):
    Clerics (and probably inquisitors) are the only class that gets their spells directly from a deity at this point in the game. Other divine spellcasters CAN get spells from a deity, but they don't have to; they can get them from philosophies, pantheons, or whatever.

    If a spellcasting class says its alignment has to be within 1 step of its deity, and/or if that class has access to domains, that's pretty much how you know that spellcaster gets spells from a deity.

    So you COULD have a paladin of Aroden, where you couldn't have a cleric of Aroden or an Inquisitor of Aroden. Doesn't mean being a paladin of Aroden is a wise or smart choice, because you'll not have a strong network of support and most folks will regard you as something of a pitiable figure at best or a madman at worst. The vast majority of Aroden's worshipers, including his paladins, now worship Iomedae.

    Of course, all of these rules are subject to GM whimóbut that's how we'll be presenting things in Golarion products.
    I'd play Abadarans more often, but their weapon of choice really bugs me. Crossbows? Really? In the Council of Thieves game I'm playing, I play an Iomedean.

    I guess that answers my question. Here's another one, kind of related. Suppose I played a paladin or maybe a cleric of Pharasma that channels positive energy (since Pharasmans destroy undead). Now what if I took a race that has negative energy affinity (healed by negative, harmed by positive, even though alive)? Would such a character constantly hurt himself when channeling energy or laying on hands?
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Paladins of Neutral Gods

    Say you made a Damphir (from beastiary 2) Cleric of Pharasma and went with positive energy channeling. when you channeled Energy /nothing/ would happen to you.

    the game is very specific that youc an either hurt or harm but not both at the same Time. if an Enemy Cleric channeled to harm others with Negative energy your Damphir cleric would not be hurt and would not heal.

    However if the vile necromancer oponent chose to heal his undead Allies and channeld to do so while your cleric was within 30 feet of him. The cleric would be healed.

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Paladins of Neutral Gods

    You could also try to convince your DM to let you play as a variant paladin from Dragon 310. The issue has Sentinel (NG) or Incarnate (N), Enforcer (LN), Avenger (CG) and Anarch (CN).

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Paladins of Neutral Gods

    How would I find this magazine issue?

    So how does energy channeling work? I was under the impression that you just chose an energy type to channel and it healed or harmed depending on whether what was in your range was alive or dead.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Paladins of Neutral Gods

    Channeling positive/negative energy is dependent upon your alignment and deity. As a general rule, good clerics channel positive (Turning Undead) while evil clerics channel negative (Rebuke Undead), leaving neutrals to decide upon on at character creation. There are exceptions to this rule. Neutral clerics of Wee Jas must Rebuke, all clerics of St Cuthbert and all nonevil clerics of Obad-Hai must turn undead.
    As for the Dragon magazine, you'll either need to pester a friend that has it, or visit Paizo's website and grab a pdf of it.

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Paladins of Neutral Gods

    No, I get the part about energy types and alignment. The impression I'm getting though is that you also choose what type of positive or negative energy it is. So a cleric who channels positive energy has to choose whether its positive energy for healing his allies or destroying undead and once he's chosen one path, he can't take the other.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Paladins of Neutral Gods

    You don't have to have a deity as a paladin. So that would allow you to be a paladin of a cause who also happens to worship a True Neutral deity--the two things being quite unrelated, since your power comes from the Upper Planes rather than from the deity, whom you revere because you share a common cause. It would be unusual but I don't think most DMs would really have an issue with it.

    This doesn't extend to evil or CN deities because, obviously, that would go against your (LG) paladin's code: Worshiping an evil deity would mean associating quite closely and willingly with evil; and while you could easily agree with the Good aspect of a CG god (Corellon Larethian springs to mind here), you'd simply have nothing in common with a CN one.
    Last edited by Callista; 2011-01-14 at 01:52 AM.

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Paladins of Neutral Gods

    Right, that's been established thanks to the Word of God post from Gorbash. I'm confused about the specifics of Pathfinder's channel energy class feature now.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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