unixknight

Dungeons & Dragons: No, a Paladin is NOT a Boyscout

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I love playing Paladins in D&D.  Love it.  And I never play one as a boy scout either, even though that's the reputation the class had gained as a result of having to be Lawful Good and associated with a good aligned deity.  On 1d4chan, I found an article that sums up the way a Paladin REALLY thinks (In my opinion) and what makes them AWESOME. I'm not pasting the original quote unedited because of language, and for that reason I'm also not linking the source, but I am including the credit to the person who said it.  If you'd like to see the original article, go onto 1d4chan (It's a gamers' wiki) and just search for 'Paladin.'

Quote

There is none of that, "Oh well if you're truly sorry, there's nothing I can do." [nonsense]. No, he coup de graces your [butt] because he's a [dang] paladin. His job is killing evil. You know what his job doesn't entail? Being a sympathetic ear for every whiny NE or CN or LE [fool] who's only being evil because the world is unfair to him or every punk that lets his own dislikes or laziness overcome his own personality. You know what unfair is? Being able to know what kind of person everyone is before you even talk to them. Smelling evil so potent on [someone] that you want to sink your fingers in his chest and pull that tar out until the screaming stops. Having the psychotic urge to murder people that you've never even met, for the sole reason that your god decided that you ought to be his right hand without your choice in the matter, that's unfair.

But unlike Evil McBlacknails over there, that Paladin puts on his helmet, sharpens his sword, and then continues walking through crowds of people day by day, resisting the urge. Seeing evidence of injustice so black it makes him sick. Seeing murderers and rapists walk the street, watching good men hang as evil ones pull the lever. Saving his righteous violence for when the situation exactly, specifically, precisely calls for it. Surgically removing that which is most evil. Because he's a Paladin. And if he gave in to the urge, what would he be? Who will right the true wrongs if not he? It's not about not falling as a Paladin. It's about falling so [freakin'] hard you crash through the planet and stand up on the other side.'
 - Dragonladieshere

That last line gives me a chill.

Know why?  Because in a way, every priesthood holder is like a Paladin.  Not in the violence part, but in the part that says we have to go through life having to put up with being in an ugly, sinful, fallen world but there's only so much we can do about it, and only at certain times.  It means living by a higher standard and knowing that to compromise that is to lead to a fall, a fall so hard that for many, it's unrecoverable.

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I've been playing a paladin as my primary character type for 20 years. There is no question that I've always played them as a crusading knight, out to right wrongs and destroy evil. I know some people try making a paladin a wuss who is constantly wringing his hands over whether or not he is breaking a local law or being nice enough, but to me thats not Lawful Good, that's Lawful Wuss. A paladin is a crusader who ALWAYS knows (in a way only possible with magic😁) who is evil, and who operates on higher laws to protect the innocent. That's the way I've always played them, so it was a surprise to me when I finally learned the way a lot of people play them. Mine have always been significantly cooler than that IMHO😉.

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Guest MormonGator

@Midwest LDS- I call those "lawful wuss" paladins OCD paladins. People who play them seem to be neurotic! 

I usually play a neutral-chaotic good ranger. I like being able to be a crusader for good, but I also like being able to break a few eggs along the way. 

Edited by MormonGator

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6 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

@Midwest LDS- I call those "lawful wuss" paladins OCD paladins. People who play them seem to be neurotic! 

It's usually play a neutral-chaotic good ranger. I like being able to be a crusader for good, but I also like being able to break a few eggs along the way. 

Those are fun too. I like playing any of the fighting class good alignments. The only spellcaster I play is cleric. Of the other alignments, I only play Lawful Neutral (strictly intepreting every law can be fun once in a while) or chaotic neutral if they are dedicated to Chaos (I don't like the typical Chaotic Neutral where you just do whatever you feel like, it's not as fun to roleplay). 

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27 minutes ago, unixknight said:

I love playing Paladins in D&D.  Love it.  And I never play one as a boy scout either, even though that's the reputation the class had gained as a result of having to be Lawful Good and associated with a good aligned deity.  On 1d4chan, I found an article that sums up the way a Paladin REALLY thinks (In my opinion) and what makes them AWESOME. I'm not pasting the original quote unedited because of language, and for that reason I'm also not linking the source, but I am including the credit to the person who said it.  If you'd like to see the original article, go onto 1d4chan (It's a gamers' wiki) and just search for 'Paladin.'

That last line gives me a chill.

Know why?  Because in a way, every priesthood holder is like a Paladin.  Not in the violence part, but in the part that says we have to go through life having to put up with being in an ugly, sinful, fallen world but there's only so much we can do about it, and only at certain times.  It means living by a higher standard and knowing that to compromise that is to lead to a fall, a fall so hard that for many, it's unrecoverable.

I'm not a paladin.  I'm usually a ranger.

And I mean that in response to your statement that every priesthood holder is like a Paladin.

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I once had this weird debate with a friend over the following scenario:

A band of orcs has defeated a party of PCs and driven them off.  They did however, manage to capture the paladin.  They demand that the paladin tell them whether the party is hiding in the woods (assuming the paladin does, in fact, know this.)  

My friend insisted that if the Paladin lied to save his friends, he would cease to be a Paladin due to having lied.

My point was that the Paladin is justified in misleading the orcs, because in this case, to tell the truth would be to serve the cause of evil.

Honestly, I think the answer is:  Both are correct in their own way.  I'd still tweak my friend's point to suggest that the Paladin just shouldn't respond at all, but either way the beauty of the class is that there really are lots of different ways to approach it.

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2 minutes ago, unixknight said:

I once had this weird debate with a friend over the following scenario:

A band of orcs has defeated a party of PCs and driven them off.  They did however, manage to capture the paladin.  They demand that the paladin tell them whether the party is hiding in the woods (assuming the paladin does, in fact, know this.)  

My friend insisted that if the Paladin lied to save his friends, he would cease to be a Paladin due to having lied.

My point was that the Paladin is justified in misleading the orcs, because in this case, to tell the truth would be to serve the cause of evil.

Honestly, I think the answer is:  Both are correct in their own way.  I'd still tweak my friend's point to suggest that the Paladin just shouldn't respond at all, but either way the beauty of the class is that there really are lots of different ways to approach it.

The DnD version of the classic debate "Is it okay to lie to a Nazi if I know where Jewish refugees are hiding in 1943 Germany". Not trying to be funny or make light of a such a serious situation. 

Edited by MormonGator

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Just now, MormonGator said:

The DnD version of the classic "Is it okay to lie to a Nazi if I know where Jewish refugees are hiding in 1943 Germany". Not trying to be funny or make light of a such a serious situation. 

That's a good point though.  

The very fact that we can even have this kind of conversation speaks to the awesomeness of that game.

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1 minute ago, unixknight said:

That's a good point though.  

The very fact that we can even have this kind of conversation speaks to the awesomeness of that game.

Yup, agree totally. 

Do you think it's immoral to play a lawful evil character? What about you @Midwest LDS?

Edited by MormonGator

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Just now, MormonGator said:

Do you think it's immoral to play a lawful evil? What about you @Midwest LDS?

Not necessarily.  IMHO one might play a LE character just because they wanted to try the challenge of someone who is utterly manipulative of the laws for their own gain, or who looks for such loopholes to get away with what they can (exactly the way some players play Dungeons & Dragons itself, actually).  It isn't necessarily about doing things that are overtly immoral or what we usually think of when we talk about evil.

That said, I don't allow evil aligned characters in my game as PCs.  Ever.  It *always* leads to party conflict sooner or later, especially if there's a Paladin in the group.  Besides, most players who want to play evil aligned characters only want to do it so they can grief the DM or other players in the first place.  

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2 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

Yup, agree totally. 

Do you think it's immoral to play a lawful evil character? What about you @Midwest LDS?

I don't think it's immoral. Like any game, you can play a "clean" character no matter what the alignment. My favorite way to play Lawful Evil is as a well intentioned extremist. Someone who's willing to do the dirty work to benefit society (think Section 31 from Star Trek). Usually I will play them as having a code of honor to set them apart from other villians. Like they may overthrow a rightful king and place themselves on the throne, but they refuse to hurt a child stuff like that. I also mostly agree with @unixknight that I usually don't allow neutral or chaotic evil characters in a party. They are just too ruthless or crazy and usually end up causing party conflict.

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1 minute ago, unixknight said:

That said, I don't allow evil aligned characters in my game as PCs.  Ever.  It *always* leads to party conflict sooner or later, especially if there's a Paladin in the group.  Besides, most players who want to play evil aligned characters only want to do it so they can grief the DM or other players in the first place.  

Great point, especially if you taking the game as seriously as it deserves. Heck, a Paladin can't really align with a thief without it getting sort of gray. 

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Just now, Midwest LDS said:

 Usually I will play them as having a code of honor to set them apart from other villians. Like they may overthrow a rightful king and place themselves on the throne, but they refuse to hurt a child stuff like that.

Exact same way I play LE characters. 

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1 minute ago, mirkwood said:

I typically play a fighter or a thief.  CG and CN my preferred alignments.  I have played every original class except illusionist.  What a dumb waste of a mage.

I agree. Why be an Illusionist when you can call down meteors from the heavens? It always sounded like a boring class to me.

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My current toon is a CG paladin, which was a choice specifically to mold break for different for me.  My traditional character are LE thief/caster types.  

Totally agree that a paladin doesn't remotely have to be a good-two-shoes.  And even being LG doesn't mean you need to constantly stop for every little need, you can focus on bigger picture.  

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4 minutes ago, mirkwood said:

I typically play a fighter or a thief.  CG and CN my preferred alignments.  I have played every original class except illusionist.  What a dumb waste of a mage.

I think the only way to make an illusionist useful is if he has a LOT more spell slots . . . or even unlimited.

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1 minute ago, MormonGator said:

Great point, especially if you taking the game as seriously as it deserves. Heck, a Paladin can't really align with a thief without it getting sort of gray. 

That reminds me of a great roleplaying moment we had in a Warhammer game once.  

Yes, Warhammer.  The tabletop wargame.  

I played Bretonnia, basically, imagine if all the Paladins in the world came form one nation... that's Bretonnia.  In one game scenario, I had to join forces with one of my friends who was playing a Chaos army.  How do you reconcile an army of Paladins fighting alongside the most brutal, destructive and chaotic faction in the game?

By having the general of your army be visited by his deity, who assures him that yes, even evil forces can be used by the gods to good ends.  The threat to the realm was great enough that, distasteful as it was, the goddess venerated by all Bretonnian knights had chosen to use this evil army according to her purposes.  Of course, those chaos warriors had their own motives, but this was a way to allow the game to  proceed without feeling like I was breaking the character of my army.

And yes, later in the campaign, the noble Knights of the King's Hammer stood across the field from these wretched Warriors of Chaos, and we ground them into the dirt where they belong under our hooves, lances and devotion to our homeland, in 2 games out of 3.

Even though that game has gone away, I still play that army in Kings of War.  

BRETONNIA VICTA!

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2 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

I think the only way to make an illusionist useful is if he has a LOT more spell slots . . . or even unlimited.

Not me, just be a normal magic user and use those illusion spells...if you don't want to destroy monsters with fire and lightning...

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Just now, mirkwood said:

Not me, just be a normal magic user and use those illusion spells...if you don't want to destroy monsters with fire and lightning...

That's different from an illusionist how?

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2 minutes ago, unixknight said:

And yes, later in the campaign, the noble Knights of the King's Hammer stood across the field from these wretched Warriors of Chaos, and we ground them into the dirt where they belong under our hooves, lances and devotion to our homeland, in 2 games out of 3.

Even though that game has gone away, I still play that army in Kings of War.  

BRETONNIA VICTA!

Only because you never met my glorious Lord Fester and Father Nurgle.

 

heh heh heh...silly knights thought they came away untainted...snigger...

 

 

 

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Just now, mirkwood said:

Only because you never met my glorious Lord Fester and Father Nurgle.

 

heh heh heh...silly knights thought they came away untainted...snigger...

Coincidentally, this was a Nurgle themed force.

But I'll consider that a standing challenge.  ⚔️

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