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illis_litefoot
2010-03-30, 02:58 AM
If a Paladin is under the effects of a suggestion spell and he kills a party member who is not evil does his aliment shift and or loose his paladin-ship

Keld Denar
2010-03-30, 03:26 AM
Rules dictate that he would lose his abilities until he atones (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/atonement.htm). If he intentionally broke his code of conduct, there would be no opportunity for atonement.

hamishspence
2010-03-30, 04:23 AM
If he intentionally broke his code of conduct, there would be no opportunity for atonement.

Incorrect- this only applies in 3.0.

In 3.5, paladins can atone, and continue taking paladin levels, even if they intentionally break their code.

Drend
2010-03-30, 06:09 AM
A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class abilities if she ever willingly commits an evil act.

Additionally, a paladinís code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.


A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who grossly violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and abilities (including the service of the paladinís mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She may not progress any farther in levels as a paladin. She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (see the atonement spell description), as appropriate.

The key here is under the effects of a suggestion spell. The action is committed against the Paladins will. There is NO need for atonement. Nothing is lost.

So long as a Paladin can justify how someone is "threatening innocents," and the DM isn't a total jerk, a Paladin can get away with just about anything. If there was no leeway, every time a Paladin farted they would lose all their class abilities. Paladins kill each other in war all the time. This doesn't make them evil. They both vehemently believe that their actions are right and just, and for the betterment and defense of their peoples. Does it mean they shouldn't feel bad or remorseful? No, but then again, people have to do some pretty awful things for the 'greater good.'

hamishspence
2010-03-30, 06:57 AM
The key here is under the effects of a suggestion spell. The action is committed against the Paladins will. There is NO need for atonement. Nothing is lost.

Not according to the Atonement spell- it's still required for acts committed against the paladin's will, it just doesn't cost the caster XP.


Paladins kill each other in war all the time. This doesn't make them evil.

Not according to BoVD- Good vs Good leads to both sides being in considerable danger of Falling.


but then again, people have to do some pretty awful things for the 'greater good.'

According to Champions of Ruin, "For the Greater Good" is a common path to evil alignment.

Drend
2010-03-30, 07:03 AM
Not according to the Atonement spell- it's still required for acts committed against the paladin's will, it just doesn't cost the caster XP.

If a Paladin cannot fall without "willfully" committing an evil act, as the class not only suggests, but clearly states, than the wording in atonement is either partially skewed, or painfully wrong. The way I interpret atonement, is that if they are manipulated there is no XP cost. The best example I can come up with is Miko. Her act was WILLFUL and not manipulated. Thus she fell, and would require the XP cost. Had Xykon said "Hey look Miko, Shojo is betraying you." That wouldn't incur an XP cost. Had he "suggested" "Hey Miko, go Kill Shojo" She would have turned around and smote him. Forcing a Paladin to commit an act that grossly violates his codes of ethics, is harmful.

Not according to BoVD- Good vs Good leads to both sides being in considerable danger of Falling.

"Danger," not automatic falling. Roy Vs. Miko is a good example. Both are lawful good, and she beat him to within an inch of his life several times. They disagreed on a LOT of stuff. Sharing an alignment does NOT mean you share all ideals. For example, a Paladin from Thay would feel that Slavery is right and just. A Paladin from Waterdeep would not. Looking at History, Jeanne D'Arc and Prince Edward. I'd put both in the Paladin class, or at least Knight. Edward executed Jeanne. No alignment hit.

According to Champions of Ruin, "For the Greater Good" is a common path to evil alignment.

Granted in the norm, but not always. Look at the Chosen in the FR campaign setting. Are they good? Of course! Do they always do what the individual thinks is good? Hell no! The Chosen all work toward the greater good. Are things that governments do always for the good of an individual? No. Are they working (usually) toward the greater good? YES! Paladin's are devoted to a god, cause, or country. The views that particular group has are absolute. His king says that the opposing Paladin is in the wrong, than he is in the wrong, and Paladin A is fulfilling his duty, not breaking his oaths, when he violently separates his opponents head from his body. Paladin's always work to the "greater good" as they see it. It is a given fact that the alignment system is flawed. Ideals of the Paladin are what is important. What would "grossly violate" the oath of one Paladin is completely acceptable according to another.


And according to the rules of D&D, CORE trumps SPLAT. Core wins. "Willfully" is a key word.

EDIT: I feel I need to elaborate on all these points. I apologize for the terse reply.

EDIT2: Spelling.

hamishspence
2010-03-30, 07:05 AM
The atonement spell- in the PHB- makes it clear that you can Fall for involuntary acts- committed under magical compulsion.

And when it comes to fluff, splatbooks have priority. Can good guys routinely wage wars against other good guys, and remain good for any length of time? No.

It is not a paladin's job, to slaughter other paladins, just because his rulers tell him to.

Chen
2010-03-30, 07:22 AM
No, but then again, people have to do some pretty awful things for the 'greater good.'

I'm pretty sure the "greater good" argument doesn't work for Paladins. Performing a "little" evil for a "greater" good is still enough to cause a paladin to fall.

Greenish
2010-03-30, 07:29 AM
If a Paladin is under the effects of a suggestion spell and he kills a party member who is not evil does his aliment shift and or loose his paladin-shipSuggestion (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/suggestion.htm) probably can't make a dedicated paladin kill his non-evil companions, so being under the effect is no excuse. The spell only works if the suggestion sounds reasonable and is not obviously harmful. Sly talker might manage the first requirement, even in the two sentences the spell is limited to, but the second one is probably not going to fly.

Now, if it was a Dominate spell, I'd say the paladin doesn't fall because the actions weren't under his control.

Drend
2010-03-30, 07:53 AM
The atonement spell- in the PHB- makes it clear that you can Fall for involuntary acts- committed under magical compulsion.

And when it comes to fluff, splatbooks have priority. Can good guys routinely wage wars against other good guys, and remain good for any length of time? No.

It is not a paladin's job, to slaughter other paladins, just because his rulers tell him to.

No, I don't see that it says so clearly, and I do see the Paladin class feature (not fluff, core piece of the class) contradicting it to the point of moot.

No, there is NO ruling that says that Splatbooks EVER have priority. The DMG says that where 2 rules contradict, the Core rulebook ALWAYS over rule the splatbooks, not when it is mechanic-tastic and not fluff-tastic.

No, it isn't a Paladin's job to slaughter other Paladin's just because his king says so. That is a Paladin of Tyranny's job. It is, however, a Paladin's job to lead the charge when at war between two countries, and a Paladin's job to defeat ANY threat to his country, whether that person claims to be LG or not. If I, as a Halfling Paladin of Arvoreen, am set with the option of allowing a Paladin of Tyr to invade MY LANDS and harm MY PEOPLE (prompting me to fall) or defeating that Paladin (defeat meaning death, since Paladin's don't give up a mission, for risk of falling), your view of Paladins puts me in a Catch 22. I am LITERALLY damned if I do, and damned if I don't. Thus, there cannot be any Paladins, since no matter WHAT they do, they will fall. It is IMPOSSIBLE to never come into contact with another LG person that does not disagree with you. This interaction will ALWAYS lead to conflict, due to the LG alignment rules, and the militaristic temperament of the paladin.

Roderick_BR
2010-03-30, 08:31 AM
The key here is under the effects of a suggestion spell. The action is committed against the Paladins will. There is NO need for atonement. Nothing is lost.

So long as a Paladin can justify how someone is "threatening innocents," and the DM isn't a total jerk, a Paladin can get away with just about anything. If there was no leeway, every time a Paladin farted they would lose all their class abilities. Paladins kill each other in war all the time. This doesn't make them evil. They both vehemently believe that their actions are right and just, and for the betterment and defense of their peoples. Does it mean they shouldn't feel bad or remorseful? No, but then again, people have to do some pretty awful things for the 'greater good.'
I dunno. If two paladins find themselves fighting on the opposite sides of a war, wouldn't they find something is amiss? True paladins would either find out the war is pretty much useless and is taking lives for nothing, or that both their kingdoms are being manipulated by evil beings (be it their leaders themselves, for land and money, or their leaders are manipulated by evil creatures). Either way, it's not unlikely they'd try to find a middle ground and try to convince their respective leaders to cease fire until they find out what's going on.

hamishspence
2010-03-30, 08:59 AM
I dunno. If two paladins find themselves fighting on the opposite sides of a war, wouldn't they find something is amiss? True paladins would either find out the war is pretty much useless and is taking lives for nothing, or that both their kingdoms are being manipulated by evil beings (be it their leaders themselves, for land and money, or their leaders are manipulated by evil creatures). Either way, it's not unlikely they'd try to find a middle ground and try to convince their respective leaders to cease fire until they find out what's going on.

This.

I believe that the reason the paladin text in PHB does not precisely match up to the Atonement text- is that it is directly copied from the 3.0 PHB.

In which a wilfully committed evil act did lead to a permanent Fall.

In 3.5, the Atonement text was updated, but the Paladin text wasn't.

Every edition from 2nd ed to 3.5 ed (and possibly 1st ed as well) has stated flatly that if a paladin commits an evil act under magical compulsion- note the use of the word compulsion, not just influence- still falls.

However, only 3.5 ed does not have the notion that wilful evil acts lead to a permanent fall, which means the paladin can never gain paladin levels again.

Instead, in 3.5, the atonement spell states (very clearly) that for acts commited under magical compulsion, or for acts committed unknowingly, there is no XP cost to the caster when casting the spell.

Whereas for wilful acts, there is XP cost.


It is IMPOSSIBLE to never come into contact with another LG person that does not disagree with you. This interaction will ALWAYS lead to conflict, due to the LG alignment rules, and the militaristic temperament of the paladin.

This is the bit I disagree with. Same, in fact, would apply to a paladin who meets a NG or CG person- you can disagree without getting into a fight.


No, there is NO ruling that says that Splatbooks EVER have priority. The DMG says that where 2 rules contradict, the Core rulebook ALWAYS over rule the splatbooks, not when it is mechanic-tastic and not fluff-tastic.

Please cite page number, and quote. I don't remember seeing anything like this in the DMG.

Weezer
2010-03-30, 09:11 AM
A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act
(emphasis mine)

The key word is willfully, it's very clear that the section on ex-paladins states that an evil act that leads to falling must be willful so according to this suggestion wouldn't cause a paladin to fall.

On the other hand the atonement spell says this:


Restore Class
A paladin who has lost her class features due to committing an evil act may have her paladinhood restored to her by this spell.
and later in the spell says:


If the atoning creature committed the evil act unwittingly or under some form of compulsion, atonement operates normally at no cost to you.

I take this to mean that since a paladin can very clearly only fall from a willful act that the line removing the XP cost for acts under compulsion applies only to the various other applications of atonement (redemption, restoration of cleric spells etc.). If the clause about waiving payment for unintentional acts had mentioned paladins, then perhaps there would be an argument but I just don't see one.

Lysander
2010-03-30, 09:25 AM
(emphasis mine)


That's not the whole quote though:


A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who grossly violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and abilities

So a dominated paladin killing babies remains lawful good, and isn't willfully committing evil acts, but IS grossly violating the "don't kill babies" part of the code of conduct.

So yes, paladins can get shafted by being forced to do evil deeds. I would say this would only apply to really heinous deeds. For example, being dominated to fight your friends is not evil enough on its own. Being dominated and killing one of your friends would do it though.

DaTedinator
2010-03-30, 09:44 AM
Where is the "Don't kill the babies" part of the code of conduct, though?


A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class abilities if she ever willingly commits an evil act.

Here we have the willingly note, so no violation there.


Additionally, a paladinís code requires that she respect legitimate authority...

Not an issue.


...act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth)...

Upon first reading "act with honor" you could think killing a party member would violate this, but the description makes it clear that it's talking more knight's code-style stuff than no-killing stuff. How not to kill, not what not to kill.


...help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends)...

While someone being attacked could be described as in need, I don't think the Paladin is obligated to help everyone he attacks. :smalltongue: Otherwise, hey, everyone's gonna commit an evil act sometime, so if he helps them by not chopping them to bits, he's responsible for every evil act they'll ever commit!


...and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.

The only aspect that could really apply, really doesn't. Did he try to punish the guy who suggested he kill his friend, rather than giving him a cookie?

Basically, it's easy to make up stuff Paladins should and shouldn't do, but there's really nothing in the code about killing. They're warriors, they're supposed to kill, and nobody's perfect, sometimes they'll kill the wrong guy. They don't lose their powers for erring on the side of smiting evil, even though you and I might think that would make sense.

Optimystik
2010-03-30, 09:55 AM
No, I don't see that it says so clearly, and I do see the Paladin class feature (not fluff, core piece of the class) contradicting it to the point of moot.

No, there is NO ruling that says that Splatbooks EVER have priority. The DMG says that where 2 rules contradict, the Core rulebook ALWAYS over rule the splatbooks, not when it is mechanic-tastic and not fluff-tastic.

Your whole rant is irrelevant, as Atonement is a Core spell. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/atonement.htm)


If the atoning creature committed the evil act unwittingly or under some form of compulsion, atonement operates normally at no cost to you.

That clause would mean nothing if you couldn't fall while being compelled.

jiriku
2010-03-30, 10:15 AM
If a Paladin is under the effects of a suggestion spell and he kills a party member who is not evil does his aliment shift and or loose his paladin-ship

His alignment would definitely not shift. Suggestion is not nearly powerful enough to force an alignment change, and nothing in the spell description states that it can force an alignment change. Now, if the paladin's player wants to go down that road, he could definitely use the episode as cause for his character to begin questioning the ideals he once accepted, and he could choose to change his alignment as a result of the actions he took under the spell. But it would be the player's decision to do this, not an automatic effect of the spell.

As this thread demonstrates, whether the paladin would fall from grace is up for debate. I'd suggest it's a judgement call for the DM and player to make in partnership. The scale of the offense matters here. Kicking a dog while under a suggestion spell is one thing, while killing a friend is quite another, and butchering thousands of innocents would be in in yet another realm.

However, if he did fall from grace, he'd definitely be able to atone and make things right again. D&D suggests the atonement spell, but I'd suggest that if no one is available to cast atonement, a visit to an ordained priest of his order, some intense roleplaying, and performing some act of contrition appropriate to the scale of his offense ought to set him right again. If the paladin's player roleplays it well, perhaps he even ought to receive bonus XP as compensation for having his class features yanked temporarily.

Remember, the paladin's code is intended to be a tool to spice up role-playing and heighten dramatic tension. It forces the character to try to live up to an ideal, even when it's hard, and it sometimes challenges him by presenting him with difficult decisions. It's not intended to be used as a tool for DM dickishness by forcing the paladin to wet himself and run away for fear of losing his paladinhood every time he comes across a villainous wizard with an enchantment spell.

Lysander
2010-03-30, 10:39 AM
Suggestion is not domination. People always confuse the two. It's more like automatic success on a bluff check. All you're doing is giving them a false piece of information, which they take at face value and try to act on. Whatever you say has to at least sound reasonable.

ericgrau
2010-03-30, 11:13 AM
The atonement spell applies to both willing and unwilling misdeeds. Willing misdeeds add an xp cost of 500 xp to the caster of atonement. The spell also says that in the case of willing misdeeds many casters assign a quest to make sure the atoner is truly repentant. However the unwilling misdeeds applies only to clerics. Paladins, as it says right in their class description, only fall from willing misdeeds and magical alignment change, not unwilling misdeeds.


If a Paladin is under the effects of a suggestion spell and he kills a party member who is not evil does his aliment shift and or loose his paladin-ship
Shorter answer: No and no. If it's a cleric grossly violating his god's code of conduct he may fall though.

hamishspence
2010-03-30, 11:26 AM
Paladins, as it says right in their class description, only fall from willing misdeeds and magical alignment change, not unwilling misdeeds.


Incorrect, what it actually states in the class description is

"A paladin falls for willfully committing evil deeds"

not

"A paladin falls only for willfully committing evil deeds, committing them unwittingly or under compulsion does not count"

Champions of Valor discusses the issue of atonement in more depth, and mentions that if the DM and player agree, the spell is not necessary- atonement can be roleplayed out. However:


In many cases a hero wants the atonement spell not because he wants a shortcut, but because he wants or needs some sort of official reognition that his transgression is forgiven. A righteous paladin of Torm who is dominated by a vampire and terrorizes a town for a month wants to make sure that not only does his church believe he is worthy of absolution, but the townsfolk know that the church believes this (and hopefully the paladin has made reparations to the town as part of his atonement).

If evil acts committed under magical control never ever need to be atoned for, this statement would be meaningless.

It goes on to cite Heracles as a good example of this sort of thing- he was magically driven mad, he killed his family, and his service to his cousin (who set him the Twelve Labors) was penance.

ericgrau
2010-03-30, 11:34 AM
That would only be true if it said willing misdeeds in one part of his class description, and also described unwilling misdeeds in another part. If nothing in the paladin description says that he falls for unwilling misdeeds, I see no reason why he should. Not any more than a fighter would fall and lose all his feats for slicing a strawberry cake in half.

Other books may add more details and additional rules, but that's all they are: additions. Using those books is up to you.

EDIT: There is a section on grossly violating the paladin code of conduct with no "willing" condition mentioned as a requirement. Doing that while under a suggestion could technically work. But not unwillingly committing any old evil act.

hamishspence
2010-03-30, 11:40 AM
There is a bit of a difference between:


Paladins, as it says right in their class description, only fall from willing misdeeds and magical alignment change, not unwilling misdeeds.

and:


If nothing in the paladin description says that he falls for unwilling misdeeds, I see no reason why he should.

Personally I think it's the paladin description that's incomplete, not the atonement spell.

Especially given that dominated paladins committing evil acts, was the example given in sources that discuss atonement in depth.

EDIT: For those that are interested, the 3.0 paladin class used exactly the same phrasing about willfully committing an evil act, and did not mention evil acts committed unwillingly or unwittingly. But in the section of the atonement spell: Restore Class:

A paladin who has lost her class features due to unwillingly or unwittingly committing an evil act may have her paladinhood restored to her with this spell. Note: A paladin who willingly and deliberately commits an evil act may never regain her paladinhood.

Whereas in 3.5, the Restore Class section of the atonement spell is phrased:

A paladin who has lost her class features due to committing an evil act may have her paladinhood restored to her with this spell.

with the section on acts committed unwittingly or under compulsion being general, rather than specific.

So in 3.0, it was clear that a paladin could fall for unwillingly or unwittingly committing an evil act, even though the class description didn't mention it.

In 3.5, it is generalized- speaking in general about falls due to committing evil acts (willful or otherwise) without calling out paladins specifically.

But the paladin class text was the same.

If it was incomplete in 3.0, I figure it's incomplete in 3.5, as the text in the atonement spell description implies.

Lysander
2010-03-30, 12:02 PM
I think the OP's question may be a moot point. Suggestion would not be able to force a paladin to kill their ally unless they strongly wanted to do so anyway. Remember that it has to be reasonably worded.

"Hey paladin. Kill your beloved friend." = Not reasonable

"Hey paladin. Kill yourself" = Very not reasonable

"Hey paladin. Obey all my commands" = Not reasonable. Why should the paladin take orders from an enemy?

"Hey paladin. Your friend falsely thinks I'm evil. Don't let them attack me" = Reasonable. The paladin might to stop their friend from attacking, but only using the most non-lethal method possible

"Hey paladin. While you try to stop me, my minions are killing a village several miles that way! You have to go now if you want to stop me!" = reasonable way of getting rid of the paladin

hamishspence
2010-03-30, 12:08 PM
"Hey paladin. Your friend is secretly a traitor- and is very dangerous, dangerous enough to make simple arrest impractical"

might work, but the paladin would probably already need to be somewhat suspicious of their friend. Maybe Bluff checks before the spell is cast.

Here, Nale seems to think that the combination of Bluff and Suggestion might be enough to get Elan to kill.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0393.html

Lysander
2010-03-30, 01:08 PM
Here, Nale seems to think that the combination of Bluff and Suggestion might be enough to get Elan to kill.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0393.html

True, but we never see whether Elan actually would have been coaxed into killing. There Nale didn't get further than just making Elan angrily denounce Haley.

That's probably what would happen in the paladin scenario too. You probably couldn't get away with "Your friend is a traitor. Kill them." but "Your friend is a traitor" might work. Then the paladin would confront them however is natural to them, perhaps by demanding an explanation or trying to arrest them. They would only immediately attack if they're already naturally suspicious.

hamishspence
2010-03-30, 01:19 PM
Miko didn't require a Suggestion at all to attack Shojo, once she'd been convinced of his treachery.

Depending on the paladin, the amount of manipulation and deception needed to get them to commit Fall-worthy acts may vary considerably.

It's not clear from the original post what the suggestion in question was, or how it was used.

The original phrasing said "a party member" not "a friend".

It might also depend on how alignment is handled. Given the comment of "a party member that is not evil"

it's possible that the OP takes the approach that any character (PC or NPC) discovered to be evil, can be slain on the spot with no moral repercussions.

In which case, the suggestion might simply have been "your fellow party member is evil" (Character believes it- character attacks)

Myself I prefer a more nuanced handling of evil alignment- it states in PHB that a paladin may not associate with those he knows to be of evil alignment, not that a paladin who discovers that a fellow party member is evil is morally entitled to kill them.

Optimystik
2010-03-30, 01:23 PM
True, but we never see whether Elan actually would have been coaxed into killing. There Nale didn't get further than just making Elan angrily denounce Haley.

In my opinion, even getting him to do that much was stretching the bounds of the Suggestion spell. Stabbing her isn't that much further a step, though I would expect the spell to break instantly once he did.

hamishspence
2010-03-30, 01:29 PM
It seemed like a combination of Bluff and Suggestion- neither would have worked on their own, but both together results in Elan getting very angry.

Suggestion gets stretched a lot more earlier in the strip, by V:

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0183.html

"I suggest you perform no actions except those which I explicitly order of you"

Optimystik
2010-03-30, 01:35 PM
I agree; I was just pointing out for Lysander that, having gotten Elan that angry with Haley already, a stab wouldn't have been out of the realm of possibility.

I don't consider Junior's ensorcellation to be that big a stretch. V's order to him was effectively "do nothing" - generally a reasonable request, and one that even a 1st-level spell (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/command.htm) can accomplish - just for longer, and with the added benefit of translating for him.

hamishspence
2010-03-30, 01:37 PM
true- but as written, it seemed like total control, whereas I figured that Suggestion shouldn't really stop a creature from acting completely- it still has its own will and it's own goals.

"Do nothing other than what I tell you to do", so to speak, is a pretty harsh limitation.