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hymer
2012-11-01, 01:49 PM
I'm getting a little creatively stale here, so maybe I can turn to you for some inspiration? I'm looking for concepts LG Paladins could be dedicated to, or a god of such morality could have as portfolio.
Examples already used or scrapped are Justice, Protecting the Innocent, Smiting Evil, Serving <good nation/state/person>.

If you have any good thoughts, please share (and pardon the bad pun).

ReaderAt2046
2012-11-01, 01:59 PM
How about Balance? A god of balance would be able to give his followers almost any blessing, but the very nature of his powers would require that an equal price be paid (This could allow for things such as permanently moving points from one ability score to another, healing someone by giving up as many of your own HP, or even losing an eye to gain permanent True Sight).

Also, what about a god and an order of paladins dedicated to Purification? (Focus their magical and divine gifts on removing curses, cleansing poisons and diseases, repelling demons and devils, etc.) It would have some overlap with Justice, but I think it's different enough to work. You could also give this order a secondary focus on trying to redeem evildoers instead of punishing them.

Scots Dragon
2012-11-01, 02:21 PM
Balance is more of a True Neutral thing.

A good one would be a paladin of charity. Kind of like a fantasy version of the Salvation Army.

Kornaki
2012-11-01, 03:13 PM
What about the paladin that fights political corruption? It seems like whenever paladins take on lawful evil guys, they get their butts kicked because the lawful evil guy has the whole system rigged in his favor. Why don't paladins ever focus on unrigging the system?

That would make for some awesome roleplay. Either the crusading political reformer pushing progressive democracy or bureaucratic transparency through at every level, or maybe a heroic sword-swinger who signed up to smite demons and got assigned by his god to be a pencil pushing bureaucrat.

Ravens_cry
2012-11-01, 03:47 PM
I think it would be awesome to play a lawful good character like Kharl from Wellspring of Chaos (http://www.amazon.com/Wellspring-Chaos-Saga-Recluce-Modesitt/dp/076534808X), a deeply principled craftsmen who finds himself thrown into events far outside his normal circumstance, but does what's right because, well, it's what's right.

Clistenes
2012-11-01, 03:50 PM
What about Community and Family? A community paladin could protect the peasant communities/families in his territory, and also heal their sick and wounded, acting like a sort of ranger/cleric mix. I'm thinking of a paladin of Erastil.

hymer
2012-11-01, 05:04 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, guys! They're for NPC paladins for now (one in particular the players are likely to meet next session), but who knows what it may lead to. It's a fairly fresh world, so plenty of room to expand.

@ ReaderAt2046: The balance thing may be hard to swing, as it's a D&D world, so neutrality usually has the balance shtick.
Purification and cleansing is an interesting concept. These guys would probably work well with some nature-types, too.

@ Narsil: Charity could work, especially if it's more of the archaic notion of charity, more than just giving stuff away.

@ Kornaki: Paladins usually make poor politicians, they just can't compromise. But a paladin could certainly put the fear of Purity into the heart of some corrupt officials and smarmy political types. :)

@ Ravens_cry: It does sound interesting, but doesn't really give me much of a concept besides LG in general. Maybe as a protector of a guild, though, say the healer's guild or some other very nice profession.

@ Clistenes: The God of Justice in my previous campaign was also the King of the Gods and God of Kings. As such, he was also the god of society/community (and keeper of time, but that's a different story). But family is one I haven't used yet. We'll just leave the social realism out, and families can be quite nice. :)

Thanks again, and if you have more, feel free to throw'em in. :)

Man on Fire
2012-11-01, 07:43 PM
How about Paladin dedicated to the concept of Conscience? Paladin who goes around and fights evil he sees in abuse of rules and doesn't hold law above people's good? guy who knows the system he is in is flawed and even corrupted and is actively working to change it from inside?

ReaderAt2046
2012-11-01, 08:12 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, guys! They're for NPC paladins for now (one in particular the players are likely to meet next session), but who knows what it may lead to. It's a fairly fresh world, so plenty of room to expand.

@ ReaderAt2046: The balance thing may be hard to swing, as it's a D&D world, so neutrality usually has the balance shtick.
Purification and cleansing is an interesting concept. These guys would probably work well with some nature-types, too.

@ Narsil: Charity could work, especially if it's more of the archaic notion of charity, more than just giving stuff away.

@ Kornaki: Paladins usually make poor politicians, they just can't compromise. But a paladin could certainly put the fear of Purity into the heart of some corrupt officials and smarmy political types. :)

@ Ravens_cry: It does sound interesting, but doesn't really give me much of a concept besides LG in general. Maybe as a protector of a guild, though, say the healer's guild or some other very nice profession.

@ Clistenes: The God of Justice in my previous campaign was also the King of the Gods and God of Kings. As such, he was also the god of society/community (and keeper of time, but that's a different story). But family is one I haven't used yet. We'll just leave the social realism out, and families can be quite nice. :)

Thanks again, and if you have more, feel free to throw'em in. :)

Yeah, I realized that Balance wouldn't be very good after putting it in.

One that could be really interesting would be the "Paladins of the Blessed Sleep". The idea would be paladins of a death god dedicated to ensuring the dead stay dead, that their graves are not disturbed and their bodies not desecrated. Special focus on destroying undead and necromancers, but with a side of running funerals and keeping deathspeakers rare.

Mark Hall
2012-11-01, 08:50 PM
A Paladin of Service. One whose guiding principle is to teach people to aid each other, and to do so by example.

Winds
2012-11-01, 08:59 PM
Chivalry is a good one, of course.

A wing/order/reason to be might also be going after foes no one else could face, or where less martial orders couldn't go.

Grace bonus and Cure Decease on self make them more resilient than most-have an order that's trained to bring mundane and magical healing to places and peoples no one else could safely visit.

Acanous
2012-11-01, 09:56 PM
Paladin of Preparation.
He's dedicated to the principles of dilligently preparing for possible bad outcomes, in order to prevent them entirely. Most evil is done as crime of opportunity, and this paladin exists to limit or eliminate those opportunities. A stout bulwark of Law, while caring for the community as a Good character does.
This paladin would carefully stockpile equiptment, supplies, etc. before adventuring out, and would ensure he had *Something* to deal with every situation (Think Batman Paladin).

Kelb_Panthera
2012-11-02, 12:39 AM
These two are a bit DM dependent but I'll toss 'em at you anyway.

Samurai: The ideal samurai, according to some versions of bushido, is definitely a LG figure. Play up the service to your master and the good of the realm. If your master's alignment doesn't match your own, it can lead to some very interesting conflict. DM requirement: a feudal type lord for your character to be beholden to.

Paladin of Order: by default, paladins are supposed to put the G ahead of the L in lawful good, but you could play up the idea that, at least in your mind, good and law are the same thing. Acts of evil smiting are preceded by listing the charges against the foe. Acts of charity are rewarded in a systematic fashion, by you if not any official authority figure. Things like that. DM requirement: a bit of leniency in the blurring of the alignment lines.

I have to admit there's some overlap between these and the things the OP mentioned already doing, but perhaps these are different enough to work. They'd also work pretty well in conjunction with one another.

MarsRendac
2012-11-02, 01:08 AM
You could go with Creation, as in the domain. Mortals by their nature have a need to turn their own divinely inspired thoughts into reality, and only good acts can come from good thoughts. At the same time, while a great-but-controversial work by a CG character is inarguably divine and meritorious, it needs the support of society and law before it can be truly understood by all, and as such chaos for its own sake must be discouraged, lest certain (read: evil) people take advantage of the confusion and spread their own agenda.

The truly evil present, then, flawed works; as a glabrezu demon will go out of its way to twist the wish of a well-meaning mortal, an evil mortal will present his or her fellows with specious solutions to the problems of either the individual or a society at large. A truly cunning fiend may attempt to subvert the true nature of creation and actually induce the problem in the first place, in hopes of driving desperate mortals to any means necessary for a solution.

This is how evil opposes creation, and why it, most often, manipulates chaos to do so. Thus, a paladin can always be counted on to fight evil and is an instrument of the gods and of creation.

hymer
2012-11-02, 07:46 AM
@ Man on Fire: Much like Kornaki's suggestion, could certainly make something of that.

@ ReaderAt2046: Oh yes, that sounds interesting. I always like it when you take a concept (say, fear of death) and take a radically different view of it.

@ Mark Hall: Definitely a LG concept. Thanks!

@ Winds: Sounds good. I'm not sure I caught the middle thing you said, though.

@ Acanous: Int shouldn't be a dump stat for that guy! :)

@ Kelb_Panthera: I'm the GM, so I have a decent chance of persuading him. :) Probably can't use those for this particular paladin, but the more L than G order sounds like a concept that could be very interesting - probably a very old order, where regulations seem to have piled up over the ages. Maybe these guys need to be saved from themselves...

@ MarsRendac: Excellent, a paladin with an unusual philosophy is always better remembered by PCs than the average do-gooder.

Slipperychicken
2012-11-02, 12:24 PM
Either the crusading political reformer pushing progressive democracy or bureaucratic transparency through at every level, or maybe a heroic sword-swinger who signed up to smite demons and got assigned by his god to be a pencil pushing bureaucrat.

In all seriousness, the Paladin's extremely strict Code makes them more valuable as bureaucrats than warriors. Put it this way: If you have a perfectly loyal worker who can never lie or succumb to Evil, why are you feeding him to dungeon-monsters? Let the Fighters do that. Paladins could save you untold money (which you could use to pay more Fighters to stab monsters) by rooting out corruption within the system.


"Paladins of Honesty". They work in government and church offices, protecting them from corruption, maintaining very strong internal controls, and immediately reporting any and all activities suspected of being fraudulent or unethical. Every day after work, each Paladin demonstrates he still has his powers, or else they get investigated for fraud and fired. All Paladins of Honesty are required to have maximum ranks in Profession: (Accountant) and Knowledge: (Ethical Standards).

Sith_Happens
2012-11-02, 02:43 PM
How about Balance? A god of balance would be able to give his followers almost any blessing, but the very nature of his powers would require that an equal price be paid (This could allow for things such as permanently moving points from one ability score to another, healing someone by giving up as many of your own HP, or even losing an eye to gain permanent True Sight).

That's actually been done before, if not in an RPG:

http://i1201.photobucket.com/albums/bb357/cmk360/truth.jpg

I'd peg him as TN at best.


In all seriousness, the Paladin's extremely strict Code makes them more valuable as bureaucrats than warriors.

Any good homebrewers here who want to make a prestige class for this?:smallbiggrin:

Clistenes
2012-11-02, 02:54 PM
How about Balance? A god of balance would be able to give his followers almost any blessing, but the very nature of his powers would require that an equal price be paid (This could allow for things such as permanently moving points from one ability score to another, healing someone by giving up as many of your own HP, or even losing an eye to gain permanent True Sight).

The name of that goddess is Yuuko Ichihara.

Slipperychicken
2012-11-02, 03:17 PM
only good acts can come from good thoughts

http://sociologyanthropologyc1213.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/are_you_kidding_me_rage_face_meme_flyer-p244937788706157944bfpe8_400.jpg?w=584

Kelb_Panthera
2012-11-02, 03:53 PM
http://sociologyanthropologyc1213.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/are_you_kidding_me_rage_face_meme_flyer-p244937788706157944bfpe8_400.jpg?w=584

+10.

That's one of the most naive statements a person can make. It's right up there with only evil can come from evil thoughts.

Kane0
2012-11-02, 06:07 PM
When I read the title I immediately thought "Good Guy Greg".

Hmm. Do you want to emphasize the law or the good? Have a look through the domains and porfolios of a few Lawful / Good deities, there are a few gems in there. Like retribution, valor/honor and Family.

navar100
2012-11-02, 09:39 PM
I once played a paladin who was wholesome. The concept was he didn't know he was a paladin. He behaved in ways people just should. His (2E) paladin abilities were easily explained. He gets goosebumps when feeling bad vibes from evil people. He kisses booboos like mom did when he sprained his knee. Not necessarily literally - laying his hand on the bruise and thinking about his mother's nurture is enough. He lives a healthy life so of course he doesn't get sick with cold or some nastier disease.

MarsRendac
2012-11-02, 10:42 PM
+10.

That's one of the most naive statements a person can make. It's right up there with only evil can come from evil thoughts.

I guess I should make it clear, I don't agree with that philosophy. I was just posting an alternate LG concept as per the thread.

Ghostwheel
2012-11-02, 11:58 PM
While this is off-subject at this point, but I would like to hear about how other people would play a Paladin in a "dark-world" scenario [think Sauron lost, but his armies were not defeated, but won some of the battles that ensued].

Ghostwheel
2012-11-03, 12:04 AM
Paladin of Preparation.
He's dedicated to the principles of dilligently preparing for possible bad outcomes, in order to prevent them entirely. Most evil is done as crime of opportunity, and this paladin exists to limit or eliminate those opportunities. A stout bulwark of Law, while caring for the community as a Good character does.
This paladin would carefully stockpile equiptment, supplies, etc. before adventuring out, and would ensure he had *Something* to deal with every situation (Think Batman Paladin).

I LIKE this. :smallcool:

Ghostwheel
2012-11-03, 12:06 AM
A Paladin of Service. One whose guiding principle is to teach people to aid each other, and to do so by example.

I LIKE this one as well.:smallcool:

Slipperychicken
2012-11-03, 12:13 AM
While this is off-subject at this point, but I would like to hear about how other people would play a Paladin in a "dark-world" scenario

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_jpV9grFxkKI/SRNLnQKiqPI/AAAAAAAAANM/9kybpBM-rbc/s400/no_you_move_close_up_sm.jpg
Kinda like that.

Well, I couldn't do Captain America justice in a game, but I'd sure as hell try.

Kelb_Panthera
2012-11-03, 12:15 AM
While this is off-subject at this point, but I would like to hear about how other people would play a Paladin in a "dark-world" scenario [think Sauron lost, but his armies were not defeated, but won some of the battles that ensued].

Done it. Hell of a rough ride though.

I played him such that while he accepted that the world was the way it was, and he sometimes had to do unsavory things (never evil though) to survive and succeed, he never lost faith that if he continued to battle the forces of evil with all his might, until his dying breath he'd leave the world just a little less dark than he found it.

Kelb_Panthera
2012-11-03, 12:17 AM
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_jpV9grFxkKI/SRNLnQKiqPI/AAAAAAAAANM/9kybpBM-rbc/s400/no_you_move_close_up_sm.jpg
Kinda like that.

Well, I couldn't do Captain America justice in a game, but I'd sure as hell try.

Do bear in mind that Cap's speech there works a heckuva lot better in a D&D world, with objective good and evil, than it did in the Marvel Universe during that particular arc.

Ghostwheel
2012-11-03, 12:17 AM
How about Paladin dedicated to the concept of Conscience? Paladin who goes around and fights evil he sees in abuse of rules and doesn't hold law above people's good? guy who knows the system he is in is flawed and even corrupted and is actively working to change it from inside?

This is good work/thought. But it risks the Paladin going to NG alignment in a real big hurry. Which might make for a real compelling story, but results in a PC that is a xth level fighter with no bonus feats. As a player I would rather start as a fighter going for the prestige Paladin class from Unearthed Arcana. Just my thoughts....:smallcool:

willpell
2012-11-03, 12:28 AM
I was interested to discover a while ago that my character in a Vampire: the Masquerade game was functionally Lawful Good. Normally I consider LG to be a lesser degree of good than NG or CG, because it involves being hidebound and constrained to uphold the system first and the ideal second. But vampires in the White Wolf universe have a distinct problem with self-control, constantly facing the temptation to just hunt and kill and drain-dry everything that moves, and so it made a lot of sense to me that the best way for a vampire to maintain a moral center would be through absolute adherence to principle and civilization. The character in question is a member of Clan Gangrel, who are normally thought of as wild beasts, but her concept can be summed up as "domestic animal"; she's a huge believer in community and compromise, who surrounds herself with humans and still thinks of them as people, rather than looking down on them as vampires tend to do, because she figures that treating people as equals helps her maintain her own Humanity, which is directly tied to her ability to resist the murderous urges of the Beast. So she's very firmly LG, but in a way that's pretty much the opposite of the classic holier-than-thou paladin.

Ghostwheel
2012-11-03, 12:38 AM
Done it. Hell of a rough ride though.

I played him such that while he accepted that the world was the way it was, and he sometimes had to do unsavory things (never evil though) to survive and succeed, he never lost faith that if he continued to battle the forces of evil with all his might, until his dying breath he'd leave the world just a little less dark than he found it.

Good show.

I have always relished those types of challenges to stereotypes. My favorite (PC) Ranger had to deal with Hierophant Druids on one side and a kingdom of Cavaliers on the other allied side. And a Lich-King. And the "Orcish Peoples Republic". And don't get me started on the Gnome diaspora! Oy vey!

A lot of fun, but challenging.:smallcool:

snoopy13a
2012-11-03, 01:02 AM
Education--founding free schools to educate poor children.

But this, and many other examples, are probably more efficiently served by other lawful good characters. You don't want your knight-in-shining armor teaching second grade. Instead, his job is to save princesses from evil dragons. The more mundane aspects of good are best left to NPC classes like adepts, commoners, and experts.

On a tangent, why is the common trope for a lawful good society that of a very idealized Camelot? Yes, all paladins are lawful good, but the vast majority of lawful good people are not paladins. Yet, no one ever considers a lawful good rogue or fighter or wizard. After all, the hobbits in The Lord of the Rings were likely lawful good--beginning their adventure as a party of three aristrocrats and one commoner--and The Shire is arguably a lawful good society.

Kitten Champion
2012-11-03, 01:16 AM
Paladin of logic and reason. Possibly something like a Platonic philosopher king with rational mind being necessary for there to be Lawful Good. They believe in affirming the virtue of his/her actions only with dispassionate and reasoned arguments

They worship the logos essentially, and express this worship through enlightened and efficacious judgments.



While this is off-subject at this point, but I would like to hear about how other people would play a Paladin in a "dark-world" scenario [think Sauron lost, but his armies were not defeated, but won some of the battles that ensued].

Something like the borderland warriors in the Wheel of Time. Particularly Lan Mandragoran. They're all somewhere in the middle of idealism and cynicism, but have an unwavering conviction to destroy evil and obtain peace.

Slipperychicken
2012-11-03, 01:43 AM
This is good work/thought. But it risks the Paladin going to NG alignment in a real big hurry. Which might make for a real compelling story, but results in a PC that is a xth level fighter with no bonus feats. As a player I would rather start as a fighter going for the prestige Paladin class from Unearthed Arcana. Just my thoughts....:smallcool:

Lawful just means you have a well-defined moral code you stick to (doesn't have to be cute or fuzzy, it can even be brutal, messy, or downright dystopian), you might follow some routines, and might be more honest. Doesn't mean you have to play by the government's rules. Your moral code can even oppose the government, and compel you to violate its laws for your ideals.

Paladins's Code has them "respect legitimate authority", which is very flexible if you consider that an authority which routinely authorizes Evil has lost its moral legitimacy. Same goes if you consider authority to be the enforcing agent (police, ministers, public officials) and not the written laws themselves.

willpell
2012-11-03, 02:21 AM
On a tangent, why is the common trope for a lawful good society that of a very idealized Camelot? Yes, all paladins are lawful good, but the vast majority of lawful good people are not paladins. Yet, no one ever considers a lawful good rogue or fighter or wizard.

One of my very earliest D&D concept characters was an LG Rogue, because I love playing against type; he knew how thieves worked and hired himself out as a "counterthief" to help the rich remain secure. I also have an LG abjurer wizard with a "Transformers" theme as a major NPC; she likes order and mechanical precision, and leans closer to Law than Good, but is more inclined toward idealism than necessary evils. (Unfortunately she suffers from a distinct shortage of appropriate Summon Monster creatures; she's only allowed to use LG or NG creatures because the core books offer no LN options except at higher levels - I'm not clear on whether Elementals are allowed if you don't have a Neutral alignment, and there aren't any 1-3 HD Inevitables that I know of, nor are Modrons in the core, plus I've never managed to fully digest all of the various sections where they talk about how to revise your Summon Monster list).


Do bear in mind that Cap's speech there works a heckuva lot better in a D&D world, with objective good and evil, than it did in the Marvel Universe during that particular arc.

Counterpoint: As I've previously argued on a different paladin thread, this statement encourages you to never listen to anyone else, and to assume that you're automatically right no matter what "logic" is presented or how many people try to persuade you. Thusly, while the existence of objective Evil makes it somewhat easier for you to be sure that your definition of "not right" is accurate, there's also a difference between having the objective force of Good on your side and actually being Good, and even if you actually are Good, there's no guarantee that you're always right (the higher your Wisdom, the more likely it is, but even 20 wisdom doesn't amount to 100% certainty that you've always made the best decision).

hymer
2012-11-03, 04:22 AM
@ snoopy13a: There are schools around that could use a couple of paladins to keep them safe. I think it's something a paladin could do, and when there aren't any schoolchildren/students in need of his protection, I'm sure some wacky professor is about to go somewhere dangerous to study something weird.

@ Kitten Champion: Only one good, knowledge, and only one evil, ignorance? Could actually go quite well with snoopy's suggestion above.

About the 'only good can come of good thoughts', this could be true without being particularly naïve. But you'd need to be aware that excuses aren't good thoughts, external factors can mess things up, and people are fallible.

Wardog
2012-11-03, 05:18 AM
Lawful just means you have a well-defined moral code you stick to (doesn't have to be cute or fuzzy, it can even be brutal, messy, or downright dystopian), you might follow some routines, and might be more honest. Doesn't mean you have to play by the government's rules. Your moral code can even oppose the government, and compel you to violate its laws for your ideals.

Paladins's Code has them "respect legitimate authority", which is very flexible if you consider that an authority which routinely authorizes Evil has lost its moral legitimacy. Same goes if you consider authority to be the enforcing agent (police, ministers, public officials) and not the written laws themselves.

Also, I think the important philosophy for a Lawful character is Laws are a good thing (or rules/order/hierarchy/consistency/etc).

A Lawful character can (potentially) bend or break rules, or even openly rebel, if it is in the cause of replacing bad laws with good laws. (Whether they actually do so will of course depend on the nature of the bad laws, the personality of the character, and how easily they can be fixed while working within the system).

IMO, when faced with a bad or harmful law, a LG, NG and CG character would likely respond something like this:
LG: This law is bad and harmful, and subverts the true purpose of Law. It should be abolished and replaced with a better law.
NG: This law is bad and harmful, so I'm going to ignore it.
CG: See - this is why trying to regulate and control everything is bad!

gkathellar
2012-11-03, 09:04 AM
What defines Lawful Good is the concept that there is a clear-cut, defined methodology of right action. "Capital-g Good people are Good because they do Good things, and Good things are XYZ," is the tagline we're looking for, here. LG is not so much about explicit laws as it is about being in possession of a personal set of rules that one believes to be personally and/or objectively correct. Lawful is about laying down absolute truths and sticking to them, and Lawful Good is when those absolute truths consistently better the lives of others, by design or by happenstance.

Working from that, there are reasons why concepts like "justice," "service," "honor," and "striking down unrighteousness," stand out as classically Lawful Good. A few other cases are: "ritual/tradition" "truth," "proselytizing," and my favorite, "sacrifice" — because when push comes to shove, the LG character is the one who thinks it doesn't matter whether their alignment is in any way rewarding or pleasurable, just so long as it's right. You can also make cases for a lot of other, more individualized cases. "Knowledge," for instance, could be a primary focus of an LG character who thinks people have a prerogative to learn and improve the world through learning.

snikrept
2012-11-04, 12:54 AM
What about a humanist paladin? Fiercely dedicated to the idea that humans are awesome and should strive to achieve perfection in themselves and by ordering the world, without the need of bowing to gods. Personal perfection, of course, being achieved through good works, absolute honesty, and so forth; worldly perfection being achieved by ridding the world of dangers and discomforts to fellow humans. Humanist paladin sees a duty to lead by example to show others this path.

Humanist paladin is an ascetic not because of religious devotion but because they are busy working out to make themselves stronger or studying obscure texts to make themselves smarter while everyone else is down at the pub. Humanist paladin doesn't believe in prime stats, and thinks all their attributes are worth pumping.

Kelb_Panthera
2012-11-04, 03:03 AM
What about a humanist paladin? Fiercely dedicated to the idea that humans are awesome and should strive to achieve perfection in themselves and by ordering the world, without the need of bowing to gods. Personal perfection, of course, being achieved through good works, absolute honesty, and so forth; worldly perfection being achieved by ridding the world of dangers and discomforts to fellow humans. Humanist paladin sees a duty to lead by example to show others this path.

Humanist paladin is an ascetic not because of religious devotion but because they are busy working out to make themselves stronger or studying obscure texts to make themselves smarter while everyone else is down at the pub. Humanist paladin doesn't believe in prime stats, and thinks all their attributes are worth pumping.

I very strongly hope you mean humanoid in each instance of human in the above suggestion.

The alternative is that you just painted a picture of one of the most racist paladins ever.

willpell
2012-11-04, 03:48 AM
Unless, of course, humans really are the only race that really matters. In a fantasy setting, it's possible for that to be literal fact, ordained by the gods at the world's creation. Orcs might exist for no other purpose than to be evil things you can kill; Elves might exist for no other purpose than to be self-congratulatory jerks who you dislike, but don't declare war on because they're good-looking and make nice things and usually don't kill you. It's something of a Broken Aesop, but really it just takes the "Race of Destiny" shtick to its logical conclusion, albeit in a way that contradicts the default setting and strongly discourages players from taking nonhuman characters.

hymer
2012-11-04, 08:09 AM
@ snikrept: In certain worlds, that would make a lot of sense. In some worlds, it would be one of very few ways you could conceptualize a paladin.

gkathellar
2012-11-04, 08:12 AM
I very strongly hope you mean humanoid in each instance of human in the above suggestion.

The alternative is that you just painted a picture of one of the most racist paladins ever.

That's the problem with using philosophical terms like "humanist" in a game with far more diverse sentient species, yes. I suspect snikrept means something broader, here.

Berenger
2012-11-04, 09:31 AM
Make them bankers. :smallamused:

No, seriously. I'd totally entrust my savings to an order of a) well educated b) heavily armed c) lawful good d) politically independent e) elite warriors f) under the protection of [god], which happen to g) despise personal wealth and h) travel a lot between their i) many castles.

Use the profit to do paladin-y things and buy warships, warhorses, plate armor and castles for your eternal crusade. Or whatever floats yout boat.

Clistenes
2012-11-04, 10:28 AM
Make them bankers. :smallamused:

No, seriously. I'd totally entrust my savings to an order of a) well educated b) heavily armed c) lawful good d) politically independent e) elite warriors f) under the protection of [god], which happen to g) despise personal wealth and h) travel a lot between their i) many castles.

Use the profit to do paladin-y things and buy warships, warhorses, plate armor and castles for your eternal crusade. Or whatever floats yout boat.

Well the Kight Templars were bankers...so it wouldn't be so weird.

I've a favourite pelorian Paladin/Cleric/Fist of Raziel (high wisdom, Serenity, Zen Archery, Ranged Smite, Intuitive Attack feats -we give the characters a feat every even level instead of every third level) I've been wanting to retire, the problem being that he doesn't like giving orders or being treated as an aristocrat (he comes from a peasant family and was trained as private in the army, later working as a sheriff's assistant, before becoming and adventurer), so the typical option of giving him a title and a stronghold doesn't cut it.

He lives on the road (owns a Portable Hole and a Cloak of Shelter), so as to not attract danger to any settlement (has many enemies), so building a temple isn't an option either.

He's not above carrying merchandise to trade during his travels (as I said, he had a practical peasant upbringing), so I thought of making him some sort of great merchant, but that doesn't mixes well with the job of paladin...maybe the banking business could be an option.

aberratio ictus
2012-11-04, 10:52 AM
Paladin of Redemption.

Not exactly a knight in shining armour, usually found in the worse parts of town, helping people break free from criminal organisations, cults and the like. Kind of like a street worker, but without that hippie-image and very well able to protect himself and those under his care. Actively trying to show the desperate that there's alternatives to evil, and that it is never too late to redeem oneself. He himself is not afraid to get his hands dirty and help people with menial tasks when needed.
May be actively seeking out those from his order officials or any other people that have fallen from grace, even blackguards, at an appropriate level.
Not at all a zealot, but a well-spoken, calm-mannered diplomatic guy that understands the worries and needs of the downtrodden, maybe even from his own experiences.

hymer
2012-11-04, 11:44 AM
@ Berenger: Certainly, a paladin order could make a very useful nebengeshcäft in banking, but if they focus too much on that, it wouldn't be many generations, I fear, before they'd cease being real paladins. :) Call me cynical.
But as Clistenes points out, not as far fetched as one might first think.

@ Clistenes: Wouldn't those enemies come target his bank, then?

@ aberratio ictus: Sounds interesting, though I haven't yet met a street worker that seemed hippie-like to me. Not that I'd think it was a bad thing if I did.

willpell
2012-11-04, 11:49 AM
Make them bankers. :smallamused:

No, seriously. I'd totally entrust my savings to an order of a) well educated b) heavily armed c) lawful good d) politically independent e) elite warriors f) under the protection of [god], which happen to g) despise personal wealth and h) travel a lot between their i) many castles.

Use the profit to do paladin-y things and buy warships, warhorses, plate armor and castles for your eternal crusade. Or whatever floats yout boat.

The only problem is that it'd be very difficult to enforce a mandate that everyone in the bank has to be an actual paladin; within a few centuries the whole thing would have been taken over by charlatans and ur-priests who would turn it into a loan-shark operation trading on their centuries-proven reputation of unquestionable goodness ("and thus anyone who dares question us now is obviously an agent of Evil trying to discredit one of the noblest pillars of our fine traditional community").

@ Hymer: I read "street worker" there a bit wrongly there...and thereby came up with a delightful other paladin concept, which for TOS reasons I will not discuss. (Remember kids, Lawful =/= obeys every Law on the books.)

aberratio ictus
2012-11-04, 11:53 AM
@ aberratio ictus: Sounds interesting, though I haven't yet met a street worker that seemed hippie-like to me. Not that I'd think it was a bad thing if I did.

Well, it is a common cliché where I come from, that steet workers are ineffectual "Let's talk things out"-hippies (though I personally don't by any means think that image is true for every single one of them or even many of them)

Clistenes
2012-11-04, 12:05 PM
@ Clistenes: Wouldn't those enemies come target his bank, then?

Well, with a few Portable Holes furnished as offices (which he could put on the walls of the cottage created by his Cloak of Shelter), and a Bag of Grendel containing a few Bags of Holding (which could be used as vault), he could have a portable bank.

Add Boots of Teleporting (or just use Word of Recall), and the could make a fortune taking the gold of rich merchants, giving them letters of exchange, and teleporting to a different country where he could return the gold again, for a fee. He could also work as a Mount of Piety (that is like a pawnbroker, but with religiously-inspired ethical rules that prevent it from becoming ussury), lending money and taking jewels, magical items and titles of property as security.

The earnings could be invested in charity, like, for example, making Traps of Create Food for orphanages and hospitals, giving dowries to poor girls, or paying for the education of poor childern.


The only problem is that it'd be very difficult to enforce a mandate that everyone in the bank has to be an actual paladin; within a few centuries the whole thing would have been taken over by charlatans and ur-priests who would turn it into a loan-shark operation trading on their centuries-proven reputation of unquestionable goodness ("and thus anyone who dares question us now is obviously an agent of Evil trying to discredit one of the noblest pillars of our fine traditional community").

Just rule that everybody in a position of authority is a paladin, and make sure each paladin has a LG cleric advisor/assistant. Paladins can only hire lawful good people according to the Code, so the paladins and their cleric assistants will take pains to ensure that all their employees are LG.

I think it would be mostly a retirement option for old paladins from more traditional orders (hey, you are too old to go around killing giants; would you like to become our overseer?). They would have the help of some younger paladins acting as security (for them it would be like paid holidays; spend three or four months a year working as bodyguards instead of chasing orcs in the wilderness).

AgentofHellfire
2012-11-04, 12:33 PM
On a tangent, why is the common trope for a lawful good society that of a very idealized Camelot? Yes, all paladins are lawful good, but the vast majority of lawful good people are not paladins. Yet, no one ever considers a lawful good rogue or fighter or wizard. After all, the hobbits in The Lord of the Rings were likely lawful good--beginning their adventure as a party of three aristrocrats and one commoner--and The Shire is arguably a lawful good society.


Thank you. Seriously.

Almaseti
2012-11-04, 12:49 PM
Digger (http://www.diggercomic.com/?p=3) is one of my favorite webcomic characters, and she is quite definitely LG. She'd make a great model for a paladin (maybe a dwarf paladin, to fit the flavor better) being all aggressively sensible and responsible, yet totally unable to ignore someone who needs help and treating everyone she meets with compassion. And a snarky Naytheist to boot.

Dangit, now I want to play a dwarf paladin modeled after Digger.

hymer
2012-11-04, 01:14 PM
@ Almaseti: A paladin of aggressive sensibility and responsibility? :D

Slipperychicken
2012-11-04, 09:14 PM
The only problem is that it'd be very difficult to enforce a mandate that everyone in the bank has to be an actual paladin; within a few centuries the whole thing would have been taken over by charlatans and ur-priests who would turn it into a loan-shark operation trading on their centuries-proven reputation of unquestionable goodness ("and thus anyone who dares question us now is obviously an agent of Evil trying to discredit one of the noblest pillars of our fine traditional community").


Actual banks have very strict and successful internal controls. And they don't even have the power to read people's brains or objectively determine people's moral outlook.

With frequent, mandatory mind-readings (especially Probe Thoughts, Detect alignment), in addition to thorough background checks, independent investigative agencies, and the other measures which real-world banks take, you're going to have a very hard time corrupting it without someone blowing the whistle on you.


Of course, prior to all mental inquisitions examinations, the subject is mandated to remove all objects from his person and have no magical auras active whatsoever. If a magical aura is detected affecting him during the examination, or the examination has sketchy results, further investigation will be conducted, which may risk his expulsion from the Bank. He will also be required to demonstrate uniquely Paladin-abilities (especially the Detect Evil SLA, pick the Evil aura out of several, without verbal, somatic, or material components. 20+ times in a row when you're feeling paranoid about it. Foiling this will extremely difficult, outside of a few PrCs).

snikrept
2012-11-05, 01:59 AM
I very strongly hope you mean humanoid in each instance of human in the above suggestion.

The alternative is that you just painted a picture of one of the most racist paladins ever.

Quite right, if you've got other races in play then "humanism" doesn't guite have the same meaning.

Then again, paladin as a class concept is already often represented as the most bigoted out there ("Your presence triggers my personal bad person radar, therefore YOU MUST DIE!"), so you could play it that way too: does good works but only for his own race or group, has a code that says his race or group is the divine one and everybody else is capital E Evil. Halflings, elves, dwarves? Evil, because they exist and are an affront to humanity! Good and Evil in fantasy games are already often like Red Team and Blue Team so your paladin order's adding a few more folks to the Blue Team than others do wouldn't be too much of a stretch.

snikrept
2012-11-05, 02:12 AM
What about a paladin order of mobsters? That live in an Evil society? They disobey the official rules (committing "organized crime") because they think the official rules are unjust, and run all sorts of business fronts that funnel cash to their actual, secret, charity activities run according to their own code of ethics. They could have a code that says it's OK to extort from or cheat rich Evil people or an Evil government. Which would be considerably more tame than a code saying it's OK to execute Evil people, really.

"That's a nice unholy tower of the skulls of the innocent you've got there. It'd be a shame if something were to happen to it. But we could offer you protection...":smallbiggrin:

Agrippa
2012-11-05, 02:40 AM
What a paladin order of mobsters? That live in an Evil society? They disobey the official rules (committing "organized crime") because they think the official rules are unjust, and run all sorts of business fronts that funnel cash to their actual, secret, charity activities run according to their own code of ethics. They could have a code that says it's OK to extort from or cheat rich Evil people or an Evil government. Which would be considerably more tame than a code saying it's OK to execute Evil people, really.

"That's a nice unholy tower of the skulls of the innocent you've got there. It'd be a shame if something were to happen to it. But we could offer you protection...":smallbiggrin:

I don't think any group of paladins worth their salt would anyone with an unholy tower made from the skulls of the innocent live, or at the very least walk upright anymore. I imagine that an order paladins living in an evilly run city would be akin to a pack of Hartigans (http://sincity.wikia.com/wiki/John_Hartigan) in Basin City (http://sincity.wikia.com/wiki/Basin_City).

snikrept
2012-11-05, 02:50 AM
Well that's the thing, paladins usually have this code that says killing is the answer to the problem of Evil.

But if their code said, instead, that money-draining and powerbase-shifting and such is the answer to Evil, then you'd get paladin mobsters instead of your usual garden variety paladin murderers. The paladin mobsters could have a code against killing, even for always Evil folks, or something.

hymer
2012-11-05, 04:52 AM
@ Slipperychicken: The controls you describe there might rub against the concept of LG, if LG recognizes anything like privacy. It certainly didn't come across to me as the sort of thing LG groups would set up - and if the first fall comes from the detectors, the system is ripe for unspeakable abuse.

ReaderAt2046
2012-11-05, 09:23 AM
What about a paladin order of mobsters? That live in an Evil society? They disobey the official rules (committing "organized crime") because they think the official rules are unjust, and run all sorts of business fronts that funnel cash to their actual, secret, charity activities run according to their own code of ethics. They could have a code that says it's OK to extort from or cheat rich Evil people or an Evil government. Which would be considerably more tame than a code saying it's OK to execute Evil people, really.

"That's a nice unholy tower of the skulls of the innocent you've got there. It'd be a shame if something were to happen to it. But we could offer you protection...":smallbiggrin:

So sort of like Robin Hood? I think this could be Good, but I'm not sure the Wizard would recognize it as Lawful.

willpell
2012-11-05, 09:42 AM
a Bag of Grendel

Is this a thing? What book is it from?


The earnings could be invested in charity, like, for example, making Traps of Create Food for orphanages and hospitals, giving dowries to poor girls, or paying for the education of poor childern.

You should never assume that a DM will allow you to create a Trap of Create Food. Just because the trap creation rules give a formula that produces cheaper outputs than the magic item crafting rules emphatically does NOT mean that most non-Tippyverse GMs will sign off on such a thing. The GM always has the right to fiat that something doesn't work, no matter how many rules say it does, and traps are just one of those things that have to have their own special set of (largely unwritten) rules in order to function in the setting. (A pity that Wotco didn't realize that Fighters and melee in general also needed such special treatments, if they were to be as viable as the milieu expected them to be.)


Just rule that everybody in a position of authority is a paladin, and make sure each paladin has a LG cleric advisor/assistant. Paladins can only hire lawful good people according to the Code, so the paladins and their cleric assistants will take pains to ensure that all their employees are LG.

And the aforementioned charlatans and ur-priests will take pains to ensure that the paladins believe them to be LG. Remember, Paladins cast Detect Evil, not Detect Good, so Undetectable Alignment produces a false negative; that combined with never doing anything you aren't 99.8% sure you'll get away with means that an Evil "mole" can hide for decades in the staunchest of LG organizations, waiting for their chance to make the one big score that will justify all that effort.


Actual banks have very strict and successful internal controls.

I strongly disagree with that "successful", but I had better leave it at that so as not to get in a TOS-breaking argument. Suffice to say that I do not believe, based on my experiences, that the system works as well as it is generally assumed to.


Foiling this will extremely difficult, outside of a few PrCs).

I am not saying otherwise. I am simply saying that those PrCs exist. And, quite possibly, that the Law of Narrative Causality, or some similar principle of drama-mandated fictional universes, ensures that your "uncorruptible" system is virtually guaranteed to be corrupted sooner or later.


What about a paladin order of mobsters? That live in an Evil society? They disobey the official rules (committing "organized crime") because they think the official rules are unjust, and run all sorts of business fronts that funnel cash to their actual, secret, charity activities run according to their own code of ethics. They could have a code that says it's OK to extort from or cheat rich Evil people or an Evil government. Which would be considerably more tame than a code saying it's OK to execute Evil people, really.

This part is somewhat reasonable (and might well be not at all unlike how La Cosa Nostra, the Yakuza, and similar originally thought of themselves - such organizations usually started out as groups of peasants trying to beat the landed nobility at their own game, but in time it all just became about making money and keeping the livelihood they'd become used to). But I think you went a little too far with this last bit:


"That's a nice unholy tower of the skulls of the innocent you've got there. It'd be a shame if something were to happen to it. But we could offer you protection...":smallbiggrin:

While I know you meant it as a joke, I feel obligated to point out that any Paladin who does offer such "protection" would be guilty of aiding and abetting the forces of evil and helping them escape punishment for their crimes; even in the most Saurontastic world, this is almost certain to produce a Paladin fall, unless the Force of Law and Good Itself is much more flexible and forgiving than is usually considered appropriate.

*****

In other news, this is a bit off the Paladin topic but still fits with the thread title: I want to talk about another type of character that's suppposed to always be LG - the Wearbear. Why is it impossible to be a Werebear (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=29785) Druid (http://www.diablowiki.com/images/d/d9/Werebear.gif)? And if you were ruling that a character could have Druid levels and the Werebear template, should the result be LG or NG? (LN just seems wrong somehow, given things like Inevitables and Modrons and the plane of Mechanus, as compared to Elysia and its Guardinals and the goddess Ehlonna.)

Kelb_Panthera
2012-11-05, 04:10 PM
What about a paladin order of mobsters? That live in an Evil society? They disobey the official rules (committing "organized crime") because they think the official rules are unjust, and run all sorts of business fronts that funnel cash to their actual, secret, charity activities run according to their own code of ethics. They could have a code that says it's OK to extort from or cheat rich Evil people or an Evil government. Which would be considerably more tame than a code saying it's OK to execute Evil people, really.

"That's a nice unholy tower of the skulls of the innocent you've got there. It'd be a shame if something were to happen to it. But we could offer you protection...":smallbiggrin:

That is an awesome idea. (except for the racketeering) I'm almost certain to steal this for a campaign at some point.

(seriously? Racketeering paladins? :smallamused:)

TuggyNE
2012-11-05, 04:37 PM
And the aforementioned charlatans and ur-priests will take pains to ensure that the paladins believe them to be LG. Remember, Paladins cast Detect Evil, not Detect Good, so Undetectable Alignment produces a false negative; that combined with never doing anything you aren't 99.8% sure you'll get away with means that an Evil "mole" can hide for decades in the staunchest of LG organizations, waiting for their chance to make the one big score that will justify all that effort.

As long as you can verify a single LG cleric to bootstrap, it's not a serious problem: simply have the cleric verify others, and get more LG clerics (perhaps as cohorts, as already mentioned), and so on.

Alternatively, have a Paladin pump their UMD and use scrolls of detect good.

Slipperychicken
2012-11-05, 10:07 PM
I am not saying otherwise. I am simply saying that those PrCs exist. And, quite possibly, that the Law of Narrative Causality, or some similar principle of drama-mandated fictional universes, ensures that your "uncorruptible" system is virtually guaranteed to be corrupted sooner or later.


I forgot to mention that there would (ideally) be multiple examiners/examinations to double-check each other.

I'd give it at least a hundred years. Even if there's an entire cabal of very powerful, malicious characters who have a) the exact mechanics needed to overcome all those defenses (several feats and very specific PrCs) b) life records/backgrounds clean enough to eat off of c) Being widely accepted as exceptional/reputable Paladins d) Having the financial skills needed to both do banking fraud in the first place and e) Being able to convince the accountants and any other regulatory staff (many of whom are also Paladins) to participate in the fraud.

Basically, you'd need a number of high-level, purpose-built NPCs, who probably dedicated their whole lives to the task, and are able to trick/tempt large numbers of financially-literate Paladins into doing their bidding. At that point, you'd be better off using these guys for a coup, take over the government, print all the money you want, and save yourself the points in Profession (Banker).

Blightedmarsh
2012-11-06, 10:49 AM
What about a call of Cthulu paladin?

You've got this guy whose devoted his whole life to upholding justice and fighting evil and suddenly he is facing something utterly other and he doesn't know how to handle it.

He tries to wrap his mind around his alien foe and yet still try to maintain his sanity and not quite succeeding on both fronts. The things he has seen, the things brutal necessity has forced him to do and the hard choices he has made are slowly eating away at his mind; as his concept of himself as a just and righteous person.

Now imagine a whole order of such knights. Who fight to defend the laws of reality, who recruit others for their cause and keep the whole thing a secret from the people for their own good. They fight because someone has to; no matter how hopeless it might seem.

hymer
2012-11-06, 12:40 PM
A sort of cross between the concepts of hope beyond hope and loyalty beyond the call of duty? I wish I had a name for that.
Alternatively it's 'merely' a sort of dogged persistence, of course. Tenacity I guess is the word.

Kelb_Panthera
2012-11-06, 02:47 PM
What about a call of Cthulu paladin?

You've got this guy whose devoted his whole life to upholding justice and fighting evil and suddenly he is facing something utterly other and he doesn't know how to handle it.

He tries to wrap his mind around his alien foe and yet still try to maintain his sanity and not quite succeeding on both fronts. The things he has seen, the things brutal necessity has forced him to do and the hard choices he has made are slowly eating away at his mind; as his concept of himself as a just and righteous person.

Now imagine a whole order of such knights. Who fight to defend the laws of reality, who recruit others for their cause and keep the whole thing a secret from the people for their own good. They fight because someone has to; no matter how hopeless it might seem.

There actually is such an order in Lords of Madness. Order of the cerulean sign, or some-such.

Clistenes
2012-11-06, 03:41 PM
Is this a thing? What book is it from?

Dragon Magazine 329, pag 26.

It's a Large sack made from Black Dragon and Swamp Serpent skin. It's similar to a Bag of Holding, but instead of being an extra-dimensional space, it just shrinks whatever is put into it, so the bag is safe to put in a Portable Hole, Bag of Holding, etc.. You can put up to 1,500 lbs. into it, and always feels like 8 lbs.

Market value: 18,000 gp.

Slipperychicken
2012-11-06, 07:25 PM
What about a call of Cthulu paladin?


Same as a demon-fighting paladin, conceptually. I'm pretty sure they'd just brand eldritch horrors as Evil (remember there are simple ways to hide an Evil aura), or just calamari-flavored Fiend. Paladins aren't the type to make such a subtle distinction.

Bad guy with a sword? Smite him.

Bad red guy with horns, hooves and a pitchfork? Smite him.

Bad green guy with tentacles who makes your brain feel woozy? -> Stab him, cast Heart's Ease and Restoration.

willpell
2012-11-06, 11:22 PM
A paladin who wears black armor bristling with spikes and a helm in the shape of a demon. What, just because it looks evil doesn't mean it has to be evil. Think how many unnecessary fights he could avoid just by looking terrifying.

Kelb_Panthera
2012-11-06, 11:28 PM
A paladin who wears black armor bristling with spikes and a helm in the shape of a demon. What, just because it looks evil doesn't mean it has to be evil. Think how many unnecessary fights he could avoid just by looking terrifying.

Is it more awesome or disturbing that many of my paladins already do that? Deception is frowned upon, not forbidden by the CoC. :smallbiggrin:

willpell
2012-11-07, 11:03 AM
The way I figure it, it would be a minor COC violation if the paladin actively menaced anyone who didn't have Evil alignment or an associations, but as long as he just looks like that, it's not really any different than being built like a linebacker, or being a porcupine, or being on fire. All of these things say "don't **** with me", and as long as that's all you're doing, I wouldn't consider it "spreading fear", an act which I would characterize as Evil-leaning. If you terrorize, bully, and otherwise crush spirits, even for a decent reason, you're not Good, and are lucky if you avoid Evil. But just looking like a bad muthashutyomouth is safe enough, I figure.