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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    Absolutely, I think the most commonly played Cleric and Paladin are devotees of a particular Deity or group of Deities and that mostly the view of the Paladin is of an ordained member of some sort of Military Order. That's why people see so much overlap between the two Base Classes, which sometimes causes considerable confusion.

    For my part, the last Paladin I played was in the Forgotten Realms and he was a follower of Tyr, Torm, Ilmater and the Red Knight. He was, however, simply a pious secular Knight.

    The ultimate source of Divine Power is the problem, as D&D gives no indication of what this may be (unless it is Ao!). In the Planescape setting this is an even more interesting problem.
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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    We can completely agree there, I think :)

    And... I honestly can't remember the last paladin I played. I know I have played them but it was long ago. My last cleric served Mishakal, the Krynn goddess of Healing.
    Last edited by Elliot Kane; 2007-02-09 at 03:28 PM.

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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    Has everyone forgotten the other divine caster, the druid? they may not worship a god and receive power from them, but they gain power from a neutral source described as "nature". paladins can be of a cause and draw power from their belief in that cause. they may pay lip service to a god that shares their belief in that cause (example, Syreth (god from Cwar) beleves in protecting those who are in need of protection. Delasp the paladin is the protector of a village that needs protecting from orcs. Delasp pays tribute to Syreth after each battle to thank him for guiding his blades. Delasp is not an ordained member of Syreth, nor does he protect in the name of Syreth.) though the paladin prays to a god before a battle, they do not draw power from that god. the source of that paladins power may even be that god that they pray to, yet the paladin may be able to do things that the ordained members of that god could not do without severe repercussions from those higher up in the church or would take to long to go into action.

    disecct this as you like, its just one persons point of view on a topic.
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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    Generally speaking, every pantheon has a deity who embodies Nature somewhere and who would doubtless empower the local druids.

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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    This depends entirely upon setting. In the Forgotten Realms, you cannot play a secular paladin. Or druid, for that matter. And if you play a secular ranger, you don't get your spells.

    You have to worship a deity to get divine powers in Faerun. That's the long and short of it. Greyhawk is another story, but I seriously find that the cleric-without-a-god thing stretches the bounds of credibility... not to mention makes an already overpowered class broken beyond belief as it lets you pick and choose pretty much whatever domains you want.
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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    Yes, we did note that Faerun is an exception, but we are talking about in the context of default core (i.e. Grey Hawk or something like it...)

    I think Knightsaline makes a good point about Druids. The PHB fluff says ""Druids cast spells much the same way clerics do, though most get their spells from the power of nature, not from deities" and "Druids revere nature and gain their magical power from the forces of nature itself or from a nature deity. They usually pursue a mystic spirituality of transcendent union with nature rather than devotion to a divine entity."

    Exactly how "nature" is able to grant Divine Spells is unclear, but goes back to the 'ultimate source of divine power' problem. I wonder wat the Planar Hand Book has to say? I think I had better go and have another read of Deities and Demi Gods, I remember there being considerable discussion of the possibilities in that.
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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    Last time I looked, Forgotten Realms was the default world for D&D, or have they changed it?

    I can absolutely see 'godless clerics' in Ravenloft, because the Dark Powers would love the chance to just hand out power like sweets to anyone who would accept it from them :D So in Ravenloft, I'll grant it make sense... sort of... But not anywhere else.

    I'm very puzzled about one thing, though: how can a 'godless paladin' ever fall? There's no-one and nothing to take the power away.

    It seems to me the PHB loves using the word 'most' when it means 'almost none' :D If you have a deity who embodies nature and/or the world, then drawing on nature IS drawing on the deity.

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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    No, Grey Hawk is the default Campaign World, that's why the PHB Deities are Grey Hawk ones. It has always been Grey Hawk, but it is an easy mistake to make.

    A Paladin falls when he breaks one of the rules of his code. It doesn't require any judgement on the part of a divine being, apparently.
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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    'Always' is a bit strong. It certainly wasn't so in 2nd ed AD&D, nor for much of 1st. That said, I'm more than happy to accept it is now :)

    I'm still puzzled how a Paladin with no deity could ever fall, though. Something must pass judgement on his actions somehow in order to invoke the penalty.

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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    *Laughs*

    Yes, I didn't mean in previous editions, I meant in 3.0 and 3.5!

    As I understand it, the Paladin himself passes judgement, having lost his conviction.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    Ignoring the discussion that ensured...
    Excellent piece. Applause for the author!
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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    I demand my right to play a nihilist cleric!

    "Ve are nihilists! Ve believes in nosink, Lebowski!"

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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    *Laughs*

    Yes, I didn't mean in previous editions, I meant in 3.0 and 3.5!

    As I understand it, the Paladin himself passes judgement, having lost his conviction.
    And what if he hasn't? If that were true, Miko would not fall because she believed herself to be entirely in the right.

    The trouble with that is the fact that in D&D alignment is objective. Making it up the the paladin puts the objective fact of alignment and evil acts into the subjective judgment of the paladin, or worse, the paladin's player.
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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    Miko and Order of the Stick are not exact representations of D&D. Clearly Miko lost her powers at the behest of her Deities.

    A Paladin committed to a cause, as best as I can tell, would fall because he no longer believed in the code of that cause.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade Paladin View Post
    And what if he hasn't? If that were true, Miko would not fall because she believed herself to be entirely in the right.

    The trouble with that is the fact that in D&D alignment is objective. Making it up the the paladin puts the objective fact of alignment and evil acts into the subjective judgment of the paladin, or worse, the paladin's player.
    That's what I think, too. If the Paladin himself believes he is still absolutely righteous, he'd keep his powers if it's down to him to decide. You could end up with evil Paladins that way.

    Conversely, a truly good Paladin who thought he had done something bad when he hadn't would lose his powers.

    The whole matter becomes one of the Paladin's belief in himself.
    Last edited by Elliot Kane; 2007-02-10 at 02:55 PM.

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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    Apparently, it's not enough for one person to believe (according to Deities and Demi Gods) it has to be (an indeterminate) number. I will dig up the quote when I get the chance...
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    Quote Originally Posted by Elliot Kane View Post
    That's what I think, too. If the Paladin himself believes he is still absolutely righteous, he'd keep his powers if it's down to him to decide. You could end up with evil Paladins that way.

    Conversely, a truly good Paladin who thought he had done something bad when he hadn't would lose his powers.

    The whole matter becomes one of the Paladin's belief in himself.

    But to what extent does self-deception count? Miko's beliefs stemmed, in large part, from her own hubris. Another paladin, given access to the same information as her, probably wouldn't have ended up believing Shojo was evil and had to be killed. Miko's own pride, her refusal to reconsider her own conclusions, and her hatred of the OOTS led her to make illogical conclusions. So, she may have "believed" she was righteous, but that belief itself was dishonest.
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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    Here we go:

    3.0 Deities and Demi Gods, p. 9.
    Forces and Philosophies
    Not all cleric powers come from deities. In some campaigns, philosophers hold enough conviction in their ideas about the universe that they gain magical power from that conviction. In others, impersonal forces of nature or magic that grant power to mortals who are attuned to them may replace the gods. In the D&D rules, druids and rangers can gain their spell ability from the force of nature itself, rather than from a specific nature deity, and some clerics also devote themselves to ideals rather than to a deity. Paladins may serve a philosophy of justice and chivalry rather than a specific deity.
    By their nature, forces and philosophies are not worshipped – they are not beings that can hear and respond to prayers or accept sacrifices. Devotion to a philosophy or a force is not necessarily exclusive of service to a deity. A person can be devoted to the philosophy of good and, as a result, offer worship to various good deities, or revere the force of nature and also pay service to the gods of nature, who might be seen as personal manifestations of the impersonal force. Few philosophies in a fantasy world deny the existence of deities, although a common philosophical belief states that the deities are more like mortals than they would have mortals believe. According to such philosophies, the gods are not truly immortal (just very long lived) and humans may be quite able to attain divinity themselves. In fact, ascending to godhood is the ultimate goal of some philosophies.
    Generally, the power of a philosophy comes from the belief that mortals invest in it. A philosophy that only one person believes in is not strong enough to bestow magical powers on that person. A force, on the other hand, can have power apart from the belief in it or even apart from the existence of mortals.
    Not exactly core, but as near to as I can find.
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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    Quote Originally Posted by sun_tzu View Post
    But to what extent does self-deception count? Miko's beliefs stemmed, in large part, from her own hubris. Another paladin, given access to the same information as her, probably wouldn't have ended up believing Shojo was evil and had to be killed. Miko's own pride, her refusal to reconsider her own conclusions, and her hatred of the OOTS led her to make illogical conclusions. So, she may have "believed" she was righteous, but that belief itself was dishonest.
    My point exactly :)

    Left to her own beliefs, Miko would still be a Paladin because she is utterly convinced of her own righteousness.

    ***

    Matthew...

    Good quote, but it does not answer how a Paladin can lose their powers if there is no deity passing judgement on their actions.
    Last edited by Elliot Kane; 2007-02-10 at 04:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    No explicit answers, that's for sure, but a good indication that it is a failure of conviction in a philosophy or force that results in the loss of powers [i.e. by taking an evil or code breaking action the Paladin has a failure of conviction and so loses his powers that come from that conviction]
    Last edited by Matthew; 2007-02-10 at 04:30 PM.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    But if his conviction that he is doing the right thing is total, that means he should not fall... So evil Paladins would thus become possible.

    As I have noted before - the rule that enables godless clerics & paladins is, to put it mildly, bizarre.

    On our own world, we could actually have Paladins of Communism or any other system that has attained the staus of a widely held belief...

    I think in a deliberate comedy or farce it's a great idea, but not in any serious game :)

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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    No, because the conviction of a Paladin to a cause is not relative, it is absolute and unwavering and not subject to change without consequence. The Paladin's individual conviction does not determine the code, rather it is the collective belief in the code, cause or force. If the Paladin departs from the conviction held by others of his Class, he loses his abilities, as the power is not derived from him personally, if you see what I mean. So, in the case of Miko, if she served a cause, it would be on account of the belief of the other paladins that she falls.
    The Atonement Spell provides a quite interesting point of reference. The difference between the entry for the Paladin and the Cleric is quite striking.
    Last edited by Matthew; 2007-02-10 at 05:31 PM.
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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    Thanks for the link, Matthew :)

    Reading the Atonement spell, it would appear that it can only be cast by a cleric or druid who worships a deity, which I find interesting.

    The conviction of a Paladin is not relative, it is absolute and unwavering and not subject to change without consequence. It is also the case that the Paladin's individual conviction does not determine the code, rather it is the collective belief in the code, cause or force. If the Paladin departs from the conviction held by others of his Class, it ends, as the power is not derived from him personally, if you see what I mean.
    The power would derive from collective belief, yes. But if the Paladin genuinely believes his convictions are unchanged and his codes unbroken, who is to say otherwise? 'Collective belief' is not sentient and cannot judge.

    What powers the 'paladin of collective belief' is his conviction of the rightness of his cause resonating with all those other similar convictions. Yet no two people ever have exactly the same definitions of anything, as each of us interprets all stimuli, mental or otherwise, through our own perceptions. So the resonance cannot be absolutely exact.

    If the paladin genuinely and completely believes his code and convictions are unchanged, the resonance is still there so he cannot fall. Only if his beliefs or codes change would the resonance cease, thus causing him to fall.

    Thus a paladin may break his code either completely unknowingly or through self-delusion yet still remain a paladin - unless something is passing judgement.
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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    Yes, I noticed that too.

    I suppose the most important thing to remember is that it's a game mechanic and may not make sense. Even so, here's the way I see it in fluff terms with the Deities and Demi Gods passage in mind:

    1. A Paladin who receives Divine protection, aid and Spells from a cause does so because of his inner commitment to that cause.

    2. His commitment and belief empowers that cause, but he cannot provide enough power by his own belief alone to receive Divine aid.

    3. It is a natural result of his absolute commitment that he is able to draw on that Divine force, indeed his commitment is the condition.

    4. The cause is itself brought into being by the collective commitment of Paladins and believers, which provides the cause with Divine energy.

    5. If a Paladin commits an evil action, changes alignment or transgresses against the code, he is no longer commited to same cause as the other believers (whose belief defines what commitment entails) and as a natural result loses his Divine empowerment.

    So, in this case, it is not Divine judgement, but simply a natural result of no longer actually being commited to the same cause as the other believers.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    Paladins may not consciously believe in a deity, but they may receive power from that deity anyway because it furthers their purposes. Delasp (the paladin used in my example) may not consciously believe in syreth, yet holds the same ideals as syreth, even leaving offerings at one of syreths temples before setting out to protect a village. syreth may grant delasp his divine paladin powers because it furthers his cause of protection of the weak and oppressed.

    if you were playing an anti-paladin, the LE diety may just grant the anti-paladin his powers because it amuses him, much like the nine tailed fox paying rent for being in naruto's body, he does it because it amuses him.

    Falling and the paladin of a cause; If the paladin of a cause betrays the cause willingly, the diety that the paladin shares his beliefs revokes his powers and the fallen paladin has to find out which god revoked his powers and gain atonement from one of their clergy.
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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    Sure, that's one possibility, but we have already seen that a Paladin of a Cause can operate entirely independently of a Deity. The question is how does he then fall? What I am proposing (with reference to the Deities and Demi Gods passage) is that a Paladin who betrays the cause can no longer access Divine power because he is no longer capable (i.e. not in the right frame of mind / spirit, whatever).
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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    Yes, I noticed that too.

    I suppose the most important thing to remember is that it's a game mechanic and may not make sense. Even so, here's the way I see it in fluff terms with the Deities and Demi Gods passage in mind:

    1. A Paladin who receives Divine protection, aid and Spells from a cause does so because of his inner commitment to that cause.

    2. His commitment and belief empowers that cause, but he cannot provide enough power by his own belief alone to receive Divine aid.

    3. It is a natural result of his absolute commitment that he is able to draw on that Divine force, indeed his commitment is the condition.

    4. The cause is itself brought into being by the collective commitment of Paladins and believers, which provides the cause with Divine energy.

    5. If a Paladin commits an evil action, changes alignment or transgresses against the code, he is no longer commited to same cause as the other believers (whose belief defines what commitment entails) and as a natural result loses his Divine empowerment.

    So, in this case, it is not Divine judgement, but simply a natural result of no longer actually being commited to the same cause as the other believers.
    I think the logic breaks down at point 5.

    Like you say, though, it's a game mechanic and I think it is probably there to either allow real life followers of a faith to play characters without qualms or to avoid all the old accusations of "RPGs = devil worship" that were far too widespread at one time amongst the seriously uninformed.

    It thus makes sense for out of game reasons, but never for IN game reasons.

    ***

    I like Knightsaline's idea of deities choosing champions without ever telling the champions, I must admit. That definitely works for both clerics & paladins, and would doubtless appeal to any deity with a sense of humour - or one who had a mission their regular followers would be unsuited for.

    It's also a good way of getting things done with 'plausible deniability' if you are part of a pantheon who might object to you doing certain things...

    A cleric or paladin unknowingly drawing power from a deity and believing they are simply inspired by their ideals is definitely an amusing idea :)
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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    I dunno, it doesn't seem illogical to me. For instance, if a Paladin is getting his Spells by meditation, but can no longer attain the required state of mind / psyche to access the Divine Power of the cause. That would apply to all Divine type Paladin abilities, since he is no longer attuned to the Cause, regardless of what he thinks the Cause is now.
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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    I dunno, it doesn't seem illogical to me. For instance, if a Paladin is getting his Spells by meditation, but can no longer attain the required state of mind / psyche to access the Divine Power of the cause. That would apply to all Divine type Paladin abilities, since he is no longer attuned to the Cause, regardless of what he thinks the Cause is now.
    But why not? If his belief is unchanged, his belief in the codes is unchanged and he believes with all his being that what he did was right, what would prevent him?
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    Default Re: Lessons for paladins [rules discussion disguised as prose]

    I would argue he just thinks his belief is unchanged. In actual fact, his beliefs have undergone a shift.

    That doesn't explain involuntary acts of evil, but I'm not sure if they kept those in 3.5. If so, then guilt would be my reason.
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