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gareth
2008-10-02, 03:50 AM
In 4e, there is no mechanism for paladins falling - after they're granted their powers they can behave how they like. I don't much like this change, but I can understand it. Except that paladins must have an identical alignment to their god. So, someone plays a Lawful Good character who's a paladin of Bahamut. In the first gaming session he has the character kill a small child in cold blood. The character should really be considered Evil now, so what happens to his paladin powers?

Dhavaer
2008-10-02, 04:08 AM
"Once initiated, a paladin is a paladin forevermore". You only have to share your alignment with your deity when you become a paladin. After that, you can do as you please.

KIDS
2008-10-02, 04:12 AM
There is no hard and fast rule about that (which was the intent, obviously), it is up to the DM. In a hack and slash game where no one cares about roleplaying, it will probably go without consequences, while in a more RP-oriented one, it will turn into vivid display of god's displeasure and probably smites and divine challenges stopping working....

The point is that there is no public "rule" aout when paladins fall, and that eliminates the mass whining from other players who are only waiting to bark "that's not paladinish-qqqq!". And that's a good thing. You wouldn't believe how many games I've seen fall apart because moral issues weren't left to common sense and DM but were instead left for everyone to scream and fight over.

Drakefall
2008-10-02, 04:35 AM
In agreement with Kids, yes the lack of falling rules are good for removing whining from hack and slash games. If you are role-playing though I would personally advocate the use of a houserule along the lines of "if you disregard your faith... then you fall... and no more divine related powers for djou!". This works for evil paladins to (you do get those now right?). Of course if your planning on implementing anything like this make sure to tell any prospective paladin about it before starting for obvious reasons.

Torque
2008-10-02, 04:37 AM
The point is that there is no public "rule" aout when paladins fall,
Actually, there is: "they don't" is the public, official and stupid rule.


and that eliminates the mass whining from other players who are only waiting to bark "that's not paladinish-qqqq!".
Quite rightly. Paldins are supposed to be held to a higher standard than others. Maybe their "whining" because your DM is allowing paladin players get away with bad roleplaying.


And that's a good thing.
No it's not.


You wouldn't believe how many games I've seen fall apart because moral issues weren't left to common sense and DM but were instead left for everyone to scream and fight over.
So you think that there'll be less arguments in the group when a paladin kills a kid in cold blood but the DM says "nothing happens; your church is miles away and no one knows except you and the other PCs"?!

And where is the common sense in all of this anyway? Surely it's common sense that a specially chosen and blessed representative of a god who gives him/her special powers to carry out the god's instructions will be held to account by that god when they abuse those powers?

NPCMook
2008-10-02, 05:51 AM
Thank you for proving his point.

gareth
2008-10-02, 05:56 AM
I can grudgingly accept the the "no falling" rule - I believe there was something similar in Eberron, and it does suggest some plot hooks. I imagine the various paladin organisations take a lethally dim view of that kind of behaviour. It could get people wondering about the nature of gods, too. But the alignment thing should be more explicit. Having to match alignments only when starting out is probably the simplest way to resolve it.
Come to think of it, there is a version of falling: all the Channel Divinity feats insist that you actually worship the god in question. Presumably if you lose your faith you lose the feat and the associated power, while keeping everything else.

BobVosh
2008-10-02, 06:02 AM
And where is the common sense in all of this anyway? Surely it's common sense that a specially chosen and blessed representative of a god who gives him/her special powers to carry out the god's instructions will be held to account by that god when they abuse those powers?

What if it is the church that grants you the power, or your god doesn't have time to be looking at every single paladin. DR doesn't make a you a god...er. Well, yes it does. But not omnipotent/omniscient.

Teron
2008-10-02, 06:03 AM
Of course, if your setting has interventionist deities, the fact that the paladin doesn't lose his powers automatically just means his god will have to deal with him personally -- not really a better outcome, if the DM doesn't want it to be. He should count himself lucky if all Bahamut only tears out removes his powers.

Out of curiosity, how does 4E handle clerics? Are they as unfettered as paladins ("Ha ha! You gave me spellcasting powers, you can't take it back even if I flame strike orphanages!")?

BobVosh
2008-10-02, 06:04 AM
Out of curiosity, how does 4E handle clerics? Are they as unfettered as paladins ("Ha ha! You gave me spellcasting powers, you can't take it back even if I flame strike orphanages!")?

Flame striking orphanages is REQUIRED by some orders...

Anyway, yep, anything they feel like at the moment. Not like any other powers could be lost by doing stuff, so all powers can't be lost by doing stuff.

Dhavaer
2008-10-02, 06:25 AM
Out of curiosity, how does 4E handle clerics? Are they as unfettered as paladins ("Ha ha! You gave me spellcasting powers, you can't take it back even if I flame strike orphanages!")?

Once you have power in 4e, it can't be taken away from you. Warlocks aren't beholden to their patrons either.

RebelRogue
2008-10-02, 06:30 AM
I like the intent: to take away all that horrible stuff that happens when the paladin goes stick-up-his-ass and the game grinds to a halt (sometimes with great RP, sometimes not so much). Something about it doesn't feel right though. I'm considering to houserule, that when a paladin acts inappropriate his superior in the church (or perhaps all cleric and/or paladins of his faith) will know it, either though divine intervention or some kind of invisible marking ("there's something wrong about him"). This should enforce the proper behaviour, while still allowing for the "No, I'm doing the right thing, you just can't see it!" variety.

Starbuck_II
2008-10-02, 06:32 AM
There is no hard and fast rule about that (which was the intent, obviously), it is up to the DM. In a hack and slash game where no one cares about roleplaying, it will probably go without consequences, while in a more RP-oriented one, it will turn into vivid display of god's displeasure and probably smites and divine challenges stopping working....

The point is that there is no public "rule" aout when paladins fall, and that eliminates the mass whining from other players who are only waiting to bark "that's not paladinish-qqqq!". And that's a good thing. You wouldn't believe how many games I've seen fall apart because moral issues weren't left to common sense and DM but were instead left for everyone to scream and fight over.

Even in a hack and slash game: the order will still be angry and send bounty hunters (if they find out). Leave no witnesses might work.

Charity
2008-10-02, 06:56 AM
I like the intent: to take away all that horrible stuff that happens when the paladin goes stick-up-his-ass and the game grinds to a halt (sometimes with great RP, sometimes not so much). Something about it doesn't feel right though. I'm considering to houserule, that when a paladin acts inappropriate his superior in the church (or perhaps all cleric and/or paladins of his faith) will know it, either though divine intervention or some kind of invisible marking ("there's something wrong about him"). This should enforce the proper behaviour, while still allowing for the "No, I'm doing the right thing, you just can't see it!" variety.

I prefer to keep it in the players hands (and DM's to some extent, see below)
If I'm playing a LG paladin, I'd be Altruistic and good, honourable and the like, not for any other reason than I chose to play the LG character in the first place.
In 4e you can be an unaligned or even evil Paladin so if you want to go around not being noble and chivilrous as a paladin it is quite possible.

If I were to play a bookish wizard whom suddenly one day goes bat**** crazy and burns down the arcane library will there be and character crippling occurances, any marks? I would expect to have to face the consequences for my actions (the other wizards might have something to say...) but I wouldn't lose my wizardy powers, and not every wizard would automatically know it was me.

If folk are playing the game seriously I can't see any reason to exact penalties for their choice of characterisation and if they are not (we all play silly campaigns every now and then) well then there is still no reason.

If a player is not taking the game seriously and everyone else wants a serious game, there is no point putting penalties on their character, you need to have it out with the player and explain your expectations, not take away their toys.

Teron
2008-10-02, 07:00 AM
Regarding Eberron: its gods are not visibly active, leading to debate as to whether they're subtle, aloof, or non-existent (many atheists point to collective faith as the source of divine magic, which would also explain why "popular" religions yield magical abilities more easily). In any case, a divine spellcaster only has to believe that he's acting in accordance with his deity's will (or his faiths' values and goals, in the case of several godless religions) to retain his powers, and can be of any alignment as long as he honestly holds that conviction; thus, CE clerics of the Silver Flame (a LG mystical force that exists to oppose supernatural evil, demonstrably real but questionably divine) are rather unlikely, but LE well-intentioned extremists are not unheard of. Paladins, however, are still bound by a slightly loosened version of the code (specifically, evil NPC's are extremely common, but aren't necessarily guilty of anything more than being selfish jerks, so the rule about associating with them is relaxed) and must still be LG as well as exceptionally faithful. Paladins are meant to be special in Eberron, even as PC-classed characters go -- whereas becoming a cleric is "merely" a matter of intense faith (bear in mind, even being an adept is a pretty big deal in this setting where most priests are experts), paladins are actually "chosen" by someone or something, and no amount of wanting or deserving it will make it happen if it's not meant to be.

PS: Sorry for the excessive use of parentheses -- I'm lucky if I can organise my thoughts properly when I'm rested and alert, and at the moment I'm anything but.

potatocubed
2008-10-02, 07:17 AM
Here's an alternative possibility: when a paladin (or cleric) does something that would cause their god to forsake them, another god - one who thinks 'I can use a person who acts like this' - steps in to supply the divine energy that fuels the paladin's powers. If the new god is subtle, the paladin may not even realise his old faith is false - the new god could then use this to undermine the teachings of the old god:

Priest: "Slaying innocents is evil and will cause the Happy Fun God to turn his face from you."
Sceptic: "But Paladin Bob was using divine strike on puppies and kittens the other day, and he's still got all his powers."
Priest: "Um..."

(Of course, the old god will probably send crusaders after you, cause his holy symbol to burn you on contact, and manifest other such clues that you've fallen from the true path... but your powers remain.)

TwystidMynd
2008-10-02, 08:01 AM
IMO, don't let a handbook get in the way of your game.

The PHB suggests that you let Paladins keep their powers even if they don't abide by their moral code. The PHB also suggests that players play only Good-leaning characters. The PHB lastly suggests that players who wish to play Evil characters should talk with their GMs before doing so.

Therefore, I feel it's a safe conclusion to draw that the PHB assumes all Paladins are Good-leaning and will stay Good-leaning for the duration of their character's life. If they aren't Good-leaning, then the PHB metaphorically puts its hands up in the air and says, "Whoa there! I don't cover this kind of behavior. Talk to your DM, man; I don't want anything to do with this."

So, if one of my players had a Good Paladin that did something Evil, I would feel like the PHB gave me plenty of leeway to do exactly what I want to in that situation, and wouldn't need to view the PHB as some sort of straightjacket that forces me to allow the Paladin to continue as if nothing happened.

KIDS
2008-10-02, 08:28 AM
Torque, please don't dissect post in that fashion; I dislike being quoted out of context. Thanks.

Anyways, consider that, in our case, the DM is the god (Bahamut or Moradin or whomever). No covering up the deeds could save the offending paladin from his deity's judgement. I'm assuming that same would apply for clerics too.
Following from the whole discussion, my view is that while paladins and clerics can definitely "fall" and lose their powers, it is left up to the DM in the same fashion that the DM can decide that the fighter had not been able to practice during his two years of jail and loses all his daily powers.

However, I do know that since there is no written code in PHB now, I find myself much less attentive for a fellow player or DM-ed Paladin to break some rule that would cause him to fall. In some sense, not having it as a rule encourages you to be less strict about it and allow for more interpretations.

truemane
2008-10-02, 08:41 AM
The other important element of all this is game balance. Paladins in 1E and 2E and (to a lesser extent, 3E) were built to be balanced INCLUDING the alignment and other restrictions (anyone else remember tithing?). They were a better class than Fighter and their attribute limits and behavioural restrictions were part of the balancing act.

In 2E, Rangers had to be 'any Good' and Druids had to be 'True Neutral.'

However, the problem really hit in 3E, where they eliminated attribute minimums and just (in theory) balanced all the classes against each other. In THAT environment, the aligment restriction of the Paladin started to look more and more like a legacy issue and less and less like a viable game mechanic.

So, in 4E, they dropped it completely. I think it's a positive change, especially since there's nothing stopping anyone from adding the rule back in, or following it voluntarily in the absence of one. Because, in the absence of a RULE, the character and the Dm can work it out any way they please.

ninja_penguin
2008-10-02, 08:55 AM
Keep in mind that the PHB specifically states that you don't get your powers directly from you deity, but from various rites and rituals performed as they are being initiated.

I'm personally a fan of removing the falling rules, although that's just a personal preference; I saw a lot of alignment arguments and spiteful GM's who just wanted to make a Paladin fall. And while you're free from falling, you're not free from consequence. The PHB mentions that Paladins that stray too far are punished by other members of the faithful. You don't have a free pass to start murdering everybody in the street. (unless uh, you're a paladin of a god that's okay with that)

Charity
2008-10-02, 09:42 AM
Keep in mind that the PHB specifically states that you don't get your powers directly from you deity, but from various rites and rituals performed as they are being initiated.

I'm personally a fan of removing the falling rules, although that's just a personal preference; I saw a lot of alignment arguments and spiteful GM's who just wanted to make a Paladin fall. And while you're free from falling, you're not free from consequence. The PHB mentions that Paladins that stray too far are punished by other members of the faithful. You don't have a free pass to start murdering everybody in the street. (unless uh, you're a paladin of a god that's okay with that)

I think the city gaurd might stil have something to say on the matter...

But yeah the further we go from alignment arguments the better.


Note however folk that the Paladin still has the strictest alignment restrictions as they have to be the same alignment as their god, unlike those flighty clerics.

Calinero
2008-10-02, 09:57 AM
I think the point here might be just a bit moot. I mean, sure, a paladin technically doesn't Fall now if he starts slaughtering orphans. But you have to ask yourself--would someone who goes around slaughtering orphans become a paladin in the first place? Wouldn't issues like that be noticed by someone? Rather than having a rules issue, this is also a characterization issue.

Personally, if I were DM'ing I would make there be some consequences if a paladin were to act against his/her deity. (Well, first, I would make sure the paladin wasn't just being OOC). S/he might not immediately lose his powers, but eventually it would come back to bite him/her. Gods are sneaky that way.

Torque
2008-10-02, 11:00 AM
Torque, please don't dissect post in that fashion; I dislike being quoted out of context.
I can't see how it can be out of context; I quoted your entire post.


Anyways, consider that, in our case, the DM is the god (Bahamut or Moradin or whomever). No covering up the deeds could save the offending paladin from his deity's judgement. I'm assuming that same would apply for clerics too.
Following from the whole discussion, my view is that while paladins and clerics can definitely "fall" and lose their powers, it is left up to the DM in the same fashion that the DM can decide that the fighter had not been able to practice during his two years of jail and loses all his daily powers.
Which is my position too. The point was that it's specifically not WotC's.

Mark Hall
2008-10-02, 11:10 AM
Once I realized that 4e had little in common with D&D aside from some nomenclature, I didn't have much of a problem with it. The "Divine" part is a rationalization for their powers, that really doesn't matter... you could call it "Cheez-doodle powered" and it would have the same effect.

truemane
2008-10-02, 11:19 AM
Except that everyone's fingers would be an unsightly orange colour.

BardicDuelist
2008-10-02, 11:20 AM
Here's how I explained it to an old 2e player. Paladins are chosen by a deity and given power. Part of that power is the ability for deities to not take it away (so that a crusade isn't stopped when two deities' followers go to war with each other and then one of the god's just strips the other side of their followers). However, by doing this, the deity also relinquishes its ability to strip the paladin of its power.

This seems to work, depending on the flavor of your campaign world. In Eberron, it'd probably go fine, but in FR, maybe not so much.

Yes, this is not the official flavor. There is hardly any official flavor though.

Also, if you have it so that a paladin can fall, make it like the 3e clerics, who can switch deities to gain back their powers. And let the player know before he makes a paladin.

Zeful
2008-10-02, 11:20 AM
Paladin's can't fall but they could easily have their entire order/faith turn against them if they do sufficiently bad things.

However compared to the old system, where paladin behavior wasn't quantified, they could fall for anything the DM deemed was a falling offense. So in comparison, the no fall rule is better because it requires less DM arbitration.

Yakk
2008-10-02, 11:32 AM
*nod*, the mechanic of "if you step out of line, the DM as proxy for the deity slaps you down" ... is relatively boring.

The idea that you, as a Paladin, where invested with power by the deity and it's church, an investment that was _not_ a guaranteed good thing, means that making someone a Paladin is a risky thing for the Church and/or Deity.

Remember: by the base fluff of 4e, Deities are not omnipotent -- they are more like the old Roman/Greek gods, who are more powerful than mortals, but not in any sense like the Christian god.

So your character was invested with Divine power -- now that character has to decide, on their own conscience, what to do and what not to do. If they fall and fail to live up to the standards that they almost certainly promised to live up to, their consequences are those that everyone else faces.

Each order of Paladins would then have to police it's own members, instead of just relying on "detect evil" and "to prove you did nothing evil, please lay on hands... ok, you pass. Your act of murder must have been justified. Carry on."

Paladins and Clerics have been invested with power by their respective Deity, probably because of their devotion to the cause of the Deity, and the Deity's willingness to take a gamble and have every future moral decision of these mortals be the responsibility of the Deity. If the mortal fails, then the Deity has to use other mortals, or their own tools, to hunt down and prevent the damage that their blessing has caused.

mangosta71
2008-10-02, 11:38 AM
However, it stills requires some DM arbitration. The PHB explicitly states that paladins who do not act in accordance with their church/deity are disciplined by other members of the faithful. This allows for redemption plot hooks, in which the paladin sets forth on a quest to atone for his actions.

Really, the change doesn't remove the whining kids. Now, instead of saying "That's not a paladiny thing to do!" they say "That's not a <insert deity>y thing to do!"

Zeful
2008-10-02, 11:51 AM
However, it stills requires some DM arbitration. The PHB explicitly states that paladins who do not act in accordance with their church/deity are disciplined by other members of the faithful. This allows for redemption plot hooks, in which the paladin sets forth on a quest to atone for his actions.

Really, the change doesn't remove the whining kids. Now, instead of saying "That's not a paladiny thing to do!" they say "That's not a <insert deity>y thing to do!"

Yes but it's no different than if the party rogue gets arrested robbing a noble family. There's a trial to determine the truth, then a judge or some other kind of arbiter (the high priest of the faith in this case) to mete out punishment/restitution.

Vva70
2008-10-02, 11:54 AM
I play/run 3.5 rather than 4E, but I may just take some of this new attitude into the 3.5 games I DM. I like it.


I think it's a positive change, especially since there's nothing stopping anyone from adding the rule back in, or following it voluntarily in the absence of one. Because, in the absence of a RULE, the character and the Dm can work it out any way they please.

This. The only difference here is that if a DM (or player) wants falling to be something that a paladin may face, he must do what he always should have done. Talk with the DM/players that might be affected by this and work out what "fall-level offenses" mean.

Of course, I'm a firm believer that printed rules should be restricted to combat, conflict, and action resolution, and that actual roleplaying should be enhanced with optional flavor rather than explicit rules that require obscene amounts of interpretation but still have direct mechanical effects.


Here's an alternative possibility: when a paladin (or cleric) does something that would cause their god to forsake them, another god - one who thinks 'I can use a person who acts like this' - steps in to supply the divine energy that fuels the paladin's powers. If the new god is subtle, the paladin may not even realise his old faith is false - the new god could then use this to undermine the teachings of the old god:

Priest: "Slaying innocents is evil and will cause the Happy Fun God to turn his face from you."
Sceptic: "But Paladin Bob was using divine strike on puppies and kittens the other day, and he's still got all his powers."
Priest: "Um..."

(Of course, the old god will probably send crusaders after you, cause his holy symbol to burn you on contact, and manifest other such clues that you've fallen from the true path... but your powers remain.)

Okay, this is a pretty awesome potential way to look at it. :smallsmile:


Keep in mind that the PHB specifically states that you don't get your powers directly from you deity, but from various rites and rituals performed as they are being initiated.

I'm personally a fan of removing the falling rules, although that's just a personal preference; I saw a lot of alignment arguments and spiteful GM's who just wanted to make a Paladin fall. And while you're free from falling, you're not free from consequence. The PHB mentions that Paladins that stray too far are punished by other members of the faithful. You don't have a free pass to start murdering everybody in the street. (unless uh, you're a paladin of a god that's okay with that)

Sounds a lot like paladins in the Warcraft universe (please don't shoot me for making that comparison). Of course in that, the paladin order had the ability to strip a paladin of his or her powers, but they first had to recognize the need, capture the paladin, and perform yet another ritual to cause the removal (that's not in any games; it's in one of Metzen's short stories).

Shazzbaa
2008-10-02, 12:04 PM
Paldins are supposed to be held to a higher standard than others. Maybe their "whining" because your DM is allowing paladin players get away with bad roleplaying.
No it's not.
So you think that there'll be less arguments in the group when a paladin kills a kid in cold blood but the DM says "nothing happens; your church is miles away and no one knows except you and the other PCs"?!

And where is the common sense in all of this anyway? Surely it's common sense that a specially chosen and blessed representative of a god who gives him/her special powers to carry out the god's instructions will be held to account by that god when they abuse those powers?

I dunno, Torque, that's just one side of it. Sure, there's the possibility of having wacko-crazy players who want to play a paladin and do something evil for... some... reason... but sometimes you have an entirely unreasonable DM. Or perhaps a DM who simply disagrees with his players on what each alignment means, exactly.

I've had one DM who commented on our party's LG cleric of St. Cuthbert, who had a slightly mischievous and teasing sense of humour, saying that he was acting "too chaotic" and might come into conflict with his LN god if that kept up. I thought it seemed silly -- it's not that the cleric was Chaotic, it was that he wasn't Lawful Anal.
Sometimes the DM will think LG means "the LG stereotype" and punish anything less. I'm of the opinion that taking away the DM's "take away all your powers" button is a good thing -- making it instead "suddenly your church has problems with you," which keeps the conflict in-game, rather than turning it into an argument with your DM about whether or not your alignment really should have shifted.

So, mangosta71, that's how I see it as better for the "whining kid" problem -- instead of being in direct disagreement with the arbiter of the world, you're in disagreement with a character in the world; that is, whatever church head sent people out to discipline you. It makes a lot of difference to me, since the latter allows you to remain in disagreement with the DM, while the former does not.


I'm considering to houserule, that when a paladin acts inappropriate his superior in the church (or perhaps all cleric and/or paladins of his faith) will know it, either though divine intervention or some kind of invisible marking ("there's something wrong about him"). This should enforce the proper behaviour, while still allowing for the "No, I'm doing the right thing, you just can't see it!" variety.

I really like this, actually. If you want paladin's misbehaviour to have real consequences, the idea that suddenly everyone can see, somehow -- even if they can't put their finger on why -- that he's not fully in the god's favour would be a cool way to make others of his faith uneasy about him, and as you say, allows players to be a corrupt paladin, which strikes me as a fun archetype.

I like potatocubed's take on it, too. :smallsmile:

But in the end, I mean, you're the DM. If any character did something evil, there'd be consequences (hopefully). If a character with strong ties to a good organisation did something evil, there'd be pretty direct consequences. It's not as if paladins are getting off easy, it's just that... well, while losing powers for an evil act is dramatic in a story, it is less than fun for a player. Rather than facing natural consequences of your actions, it feels like you've just been Deus-Ex-Machina'd and the DM has said "No. You're not allowed to play that way," like the kid who owns the only baseball bat so he makes you play baseball his way or else he'll go home and take the bat with him.

Sure, falling paladins can work out, if everyone's okay with it. The problem is that something like that can frequently be disagreed upon, so I think TwystidMynd's analysis is accurate -- the PHB just says that if you want to play some kind of ambiguously grey/black scenario then you get to work out how you're going to handle that among yourselves.

Mando Knight
2008-10-02, 12:39 PM
(Of course, the old god will probably send crusaders after you, cause his holy symbol to burn you on contact, and manifest other such clues that you've fallen from the true path... but your powers remain.)

This seems to be what the designers had in mind, as PHB page 91 says, "... paladins who stray too far from the tenets of their faith are punished by other members of the faithful." This implies that the DM can, if he feels that the paladin is straying too far from what his deity would want, send another member of the faith to warn him... possibly even the order's Grand Master (who would be the most powerful paladin or cleric of that deity--possibly even Chosen or Demigod--in the campaign until the player surpasses him in Epic levels)...

Callista
2008-10-02, 01:30 PM
A lot of this stuff seems to be designed to remove any and all arguments a group could possibly have... at the expense of also removing a lot of the fun.

I feel patronized, like they must think I am some sort of an immature idiot who can't possibly have a civil discussion about anything ever, in the history of the world, associated with any sort of controversy.

They've also effectively removed the possibility of gods being directly involved in the fantasy world... at least, without a big, glaring plot hole.

hamishspence
2008-10-02, 01:35 PM
Oh, the arguments can still exist. The paladins just are suffering mechanical penalties for straying off the "straight and narrow path"

What constitutes Good and Evil is given a very thin outline, then left to DM and the players.

when paladin strays out of the alignment their deity precscribes, and DM shows NPCs associated with that deity reacting badly to paladins, there will be much discussion over "No he wasn't acting evil" or "no, he shouldn't have changed from LG to Good".

I suspect absence of atonement spell, and penalties for committing evil acts unknowingly, or under magical compulsion, may be greeted warmly by some players.

Callista
2008-10-02, 01:54 PM
Only the ones with idiot DMs... and said idiot DMs will probably just go and send repeated groups of assassins after the wayward paladin, anyway.

I've never had any problems with paladins in my games. Three simple rules:

1. Don't let a novice role-player play a paladin.
2. Everybody creates characters together and defines their relationships before you start, so you know the party fits together. (Just so long as you discuss potential problems between characters beforehand.)
3. The Atonement spell is there for a reason; most paladins will probably need it sooner or later. Don't make it too hard to get, and don't leave the player with a weakened character for too long. It can, in fact, be no more remarkable than a Catholic going to confession after a minor evil act.

Biggest problem with playing paladins? Other people will think you're going to go Lawful Stupid, even though most people don't. A few bad examples tend to ruin it for the rest.

mangosta71
2008-10-02, 02:06 PM
I suspect absence of atonement spell, and penalties for committing evil acts unknowingly, or under magical compulsion, may be greeted warmly by some players.

This is a very good change. I never thought that a paladin should be able to fall for something he did not realize he was doing. And any restitution should be handled in the form of a quest rather than simply having a spell cast, with the breadth of the quest determined by the gravity of the offense.


3. The Atonement spell is there for a reason; most paladins will probably need it sooner or later.

It's not there any more in 4e. The mechanics changed, making it unnecessary.

hamishspence
2008-10-02, 02:11 PM
Of course, it also covered acts paladin did not believe were evil, that they really should have believed were evil. Miko, if you take that view, fits into the category of Falling for committing an act she didn't know (believe) was evil.

Others keep insisting it wasn't evil, Belkar was lying, and it was merely a gross violation of the code, or even just a very Chaotic act causing a shift from LG to NG, but not even a gross violation.

But enough about Miko. Does this suggest that "unknowing evil act" should in fact, make paladin fall? In 3.5 at least.

EDIT: And Fiendish Codex 2 covered the atonement issue, I thought fairly well. If act was small, you must merely apologize, give up what you gained from it (or fix damage done) and go on some sort of quest.

If act was larger, you must do all these, and receive atonement spell as well.

So, in effect, both Fiendish Codex 2 (and, to some extent, Exalted Deeds) already refute the notion that the spell alone is enough.

Jayabalard
2008-10-02, 02:14 PM
she knew exactly what she was doing; there was no confusion as to what was going to happen to shojo if she bisected him with her sword. She thought she was justified, but that's not the same thing as unknowingly doing something evil.

hamishspence
2008-10-02, 02:15 PM
if she genuinely believed that act was execution, not murder, it fits. To not know, to not believe, are they, in this sort of case, the same?

Starbuck_II
2008-10-02, 02:46 PM
A lot of this stuff seems to be designed to remove any and all arguments a group could possibly have... at the expense of also removing a lot of the fun.

I feel patronized, like they must think I am some sort of an immature idiot who can't possibly have a civil discussion about anything ever, in the history of the world, associated with any sort of controversy.

They've also effectively removed the possibility of gods being directly involved in the fantasy world... at least, without a big, glaring plot hole.

Because most of all DMs couldn't handle a civil discussion when it came to Paladins. It was like there was a switch (calm, rational DM when confronted by a Paladin= DM go crazy mean).

Have you ever actually read the Wotc, Enworld, or this board for Paladin topics? A lot of DMs will make Pallys fall for stupid stuff (oh stepped on a bug). I'm glad that WotC finally listened and made the flavor restrictions just flavor (like they should have been).

hamishspence
2008-10-02, 02:50 PM
Yes: paladins don't always go over well with some DMs.

Strictly, even strictest moral sytem produced yet by WOTC doesn't have Falls for killling unintelligent creatures. It does have Vows, but breaking a Vow does't cause you to lose Exalted status, or Paladin status, just the benefits of the Vow. And, it pointed out that DMs should not taken Vows away on stupid pretexts. Accidentally swallowing a bug was given as a stupid pretext to lose the Vow of Peace.

Torque
2008-10-02, 02:50 PM
Have you ever actually read the Wotc, Enworld, or this board for Paladin topics? A lot of DMs will make Pallys fall for stupid stuff (oh stepped on a bug). I'm glad that WotC finally listened and made the flavor restrictions just flavor (like they should have been).
Well, that's the golden rule of RPG design: you can't possibly design a game that people can't play badly; concentrate on giving the good players something that they can enjoy. This paladin is a great example - bad DMs/players will screw up no matter what the rules, so forget about them and make the best rules you can. If WotC had stuck to that, they would have a much better game.

mangosta71
2008-10-02, 02:51 PM
if she genuinely believed that act was execution, not murder, it fits. To not know, to not believe, are they, in this sort of case, the same?

Except, had she been acting as a paladin (or any LG character), she would have arrested him and brought him to trial, rather than executing him vigilante style.

Thane of Fife
2008-10-02, 02:52 PM
Because most of all DMs couldn't handle a civil discussion when it came to Paladins. It was like there was a switch (calm, rational DM when confronted by a Paladin= DM go crazy mean).

Have you ever actually read the Wotc, Enworld, or this board for Paladin topics? A lot of DMs will make Pallys fall for stupid stuff (oh stepped on a bug). I'm glad that WotC finally listened and made the flavor restrictions just flavor (like they should have been).

That would just be a case of how you only hear about flaws. How often do you see a thread about "My DM doesn't make my Paladin fall for stupid things?"

Never. It would be a dull thread. You'd get people who'd come in and say "Hey, great," or "Yeah, my DM doesn't do that either." There would be no discussion. People don't comment on things which have been done reasonably.

hamishspence
2008-10-02, 02:55 PM
"The laws have no meaning. They were written by the enemy himself in his 47 years on the throne"

While she isn't necessarily right, this is the reason she didn't take him to trial.

But then, Miko was intended to represent one of the more annoying paladin archetypes, the Knight Templar (apologies to any real knight templar)

I'm guessing following Exalted to the letter tends to be stereotyped as "stupid good"

Oracle_Hunter
2008-10-02, 03:08 PM
Well, that's the golden rule of RPG design: you can't possibly design a game that people can't play badly; concentrate on giving the good players something that they can enjoy. This paladin is a great example - bad DMs/players will screw up no matter what the rules, so forget about them and make the best rules you can. If WotC had stuck to that, they would have a much better game.

Not so! WotC merely shifted the control of the character from the DM to the players.

LONG
Previous editions of D&D included large, structural sticks for the DM to use on PCs who "played wrong." These included XP penalties for changing alignment generally, but the class rules for Paladins, Rangers, Clerics (and later Barbarians, Bards, and Monks) also "allowed" DMs to nuke characters if they felt that the player was not being a "proper" member of their class.

This was problematic for a few reasons. One was that not all of the classes were under such restrictions - an odd asymmetry that was heightened in 3e by making ex-Bards and Barbarians. Why should their class powers be tied to alignments, but not, say, Rogues? There isn't really a good answer.

Secondly (and particularly in the case of the Paladin) by stripping a character of their powers due to an in-character change, you made it very hard for them to survive as regular party members. It can make for an excellent story to have a Paladin fall and then seek redemption, but he's not going to be doing a whole lot on that Redemption Quest if he's weaker than the Fighter. Far better to just get an Atonement spell and forget about the whole thing.

Third, it encouraged the DM to react against player problems with nukes. If your player isn't playing a Paladin "right" then the correct response, previously, was to strip them of all their powers. In 4e, the DM theoretically has that power removed, which encourages them to use subtler, in-game events to correct such action. Perhaps a commoner notices the Paladin of Pelor kicking puppies and says "what are you doing? Aren't you a protector of the weak?" Later on, if the Paladin starts slaughtering innocents, it may reach the ears of a nearby Church of Pelor, which may send a priest to try and reason with the Paladin... if not, then the Church will respond by declaring him a Heretic and offering a bounty on his head. All in all, these responses have more (and better) story opportunities than "zap, you're a fighter-without-bonus-feats. Go to Atone now."

Summary
WotC has removed rules that previously gave the DM greater control over the actions of the PCs than the players themselves. This is a good thing because it encourages more storytelling than smiting when characters "go down the wrong path" and it removes some oddities, like requiring Barbarians and Bards to be Chaotic to retain their powers.

SadisticFishing
2008-10-02, 04:16 PM
Did none of you think it was stupid that the player who wanted to play a Blackguard had to take Improved Sunder and ranks in Hide... as a PALADIN!? "Hey, why are you learning to hide?" "well, later, I want to take levels in blackguard!" "ah, you're fallen?" "no, not yet, I want that Paladin 7 so I get more bonuses when I go into blackguard"...

No. That's stupid. It should just turn you into a paladin of a different flavor.

How about how a cleric who has some faith shattering thing happen, turn into a WORSE expert? Also no. Stupid. Players should never be THAT punished for RPing properly. Ever. "Oh you want to play what you want, and be a realistic character? turns out, you lose all your powers. Have fun!"

This is a great change. You are a Paladin, you have your powers. If you begin to fall, you use your powers for the wrong things. You are a Blackguard, in everything but name - and the best part is, you're using your Radiant powers for evil. Naturally... Your god will be PISSED. So he'll set his men after you, and you'll have a new group of enemies - the priests and paladins of Pelor. That's not an enemy you want to make!

But unlike falling in 3.5, you don't have to specifically PLAN for it to happen, or be COMPLETELY underpowered for the rest of the campaign. Being a fallen Paladin 5 is worse than dying and making a new character - ridiculous.

Mark Hall
2008-10-02, 05:00 PM
Did none of you think it was stupid that the player who wanted to play a Blackguard had to take Improved Sunder and ranks in Hide... as a PALADIN!? "Hey, why are you learning to hide?" "well, later, I want to take levels in blackguard!" "ah, you're fallen?" "no, not yet, I want that Paladin 7 so I get more bonuses when I go into blackguard"...

No. That's stupid. It should just turn you into a paladin of a different flavor.

That's stupid design on the part of the Blackguard, however, not the paladin.

Artanis
2008-10-02, 05:02 PM
There's also the 3e Paladin's little bit about not associating with evil characters. So not only did the class straightjacket anybody who wanted to play a Paladin, but it ALSO restricted the entire rest of the party.

Torque
2008-10-02, 05:09 PM
But unlike falling in 3.5, you don't have to specifically PLAN for it to happen, or be COMPLETELY underpowered for the rest of the campaign. Being a fallen Paladin 5 is worse than dying and making a new character - ridiculous.

"3e was worse" is not an argument for anything, otherwise there'd be no issue with 4e at all.

SadisticFishing
2008-10-02, 08:42 PM
"3e was worse" is not an argument for anything, otherwise there'd be no issue with 4e at all.

Point is they learned from their mistakes.

Sure, the Blackguard was badly designed with the Hide ranks - but if you're not going Blackguard, as soon as you change alignments, ALL your paladin levels are lost. That's still bad design, and unfun.

4e's main rule philosophy: Is it fun?

No. It was not fun.

Zeful
2008-10-02, 09:22 PM
A lot of this stuff seems to be designed to remove any and all arguments a group could possibly have... at the expense of also removing a lot of the fun.

I feel patronized, like they must think I am some sort of an immature idiot who can't possibly have a civil discussion about anything ever, in the history of the world, associated with any sort of controversy.

You do know how many "Stab the Baby" threads were made? How many, many DMs would simply force the Paladin into choosing one of two acts, both of which would cause them to fall? In my time on D&D boards both here and at the Wizard's forums I have seen one instance of the DM fairly arbitrating a Paladin.

I'm going to sound like a jerk, but the game was not made for you, or for me, or any one person. It was made for the community, which as a whole seemed to have a problem dealing with the Paladin. So Wizards took the thing causing problems (the falling mechanic associated with both Clerics and Paladins) and removed for the good of the community. They did not care for the exceptions (you and others capable of civil argument), only for the majority, which none of us represent.

horseboy
2008-10-02, 09:25 PM
Each order of Paladins would then have to police it's own members, instead of just relying on "detect evil" and "to prove you did nothing evil, please lay on hands... ok, you pass. Your act of murder must have been justified. Carry on."
Yeah, once I actually wanted to try and frame a paladin and realized that there just was no way of doing it.
It's stuff like this that make me happy that I switched over to alignment less systems almost two decades ago. That way you get to game all night instead of arguing on can or can not your character do something.

Callista
2008-10-02, 10:37 PM
They cater to the majority because the majority pays their bills. That doesn't make it a better game.

Artanis
2008-10-02, 10:38 PM
And that doesn't necessarily make it a worse game, either.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-10-02, 10:54 PM
So we've agreed that commercial success has no bearing on the quality of a product. Good :smalltongue:

Grynning
2008-10-02, 10:57 PM
They cater to the majority because the majority pays their bills. That doesn't make it a better game.

No offense, but has it ever occurred to you that technically, it does make it better, at least historically speaking?

Game A - Fun for lots of people, a small group dislikes it.

Game B - Fun for a small group of people, the vast majority dislike it.

Guess which one is going to be remembered as the "better" game. Fun > elitism, obscurity, realism, and pretty much everything else.

Anyways, back on topic - I totally agree with the paladin changes, and I think it's a misconstruction to say that paladins now have the free will to run about willy-nilly regardless of their alignment/cause/faith. Any DM who enforces even the smallest amount of table etiquette and in-character play will put the kibosh on the Good paladin killing babies rather quickly, whether with in-game consequences or an OOC discussion. Also, I like the fact that I can now make a "paladin" have any flavor I want without having to significantly change the class.

By the way, by far the worst paladin de-powering I ever heard of occurred in an AD&D game ran by a rather infamous grognard in Albuquerque. Apparently the old paladin code including a vow of chastity. And apparently the rules didn't specifically say you had to willingly break said vow. I will leave the rest to your imagination, but suffice to say it was quite unpleasant.

horseboy
2008-10-03, 12:07 AM
So we've agreed that commercial success has no bearing on the quality of a product. Good :smalltongue:Didn't we all agree we hate Shinji too, or was that the other thread?

Stormageddon
2008-10-03, 12:24 AM
It's an interesting question. You could also apply it to a cleric. What happens if a cleric worshiping a LG god has an alignment change to CE? I think the same rules would have to apply.

huttj509
2008-10-03, 01:13 AM
What it REALLY does away with is the "you were put in a no win situation and lost all your powers, hahahah." Questions that popped up. Now, in the worst case, with a situation like that you make the best decision you can, then if your order questions you about your actions you can explain.

Paladins can still be played as a shining light of hope and virtue, but they are allowed to have human fallacy occasionally. The struggle to do the right thing is for its own sake, not the power Orrec XL descending from above, because the paladin had to choose between lying to the orc army, or letting the town be slaughtered, when both are interpreted as "breaking the code".

Torque
2008-10-03, 04:20 AM
Not so! WotC merely shifted the control of the character from the DM to the players.
Therein lies part of the problem: the DM is a player too. So what you are saying is that WotC have taken control of one set of characters from one player in order to give more control over another character to a different player. That's not the inherently good thing you imply.


Previous editions of D&D included large, structural sticks for the DM to use on PCs who "played wrong." These included XP penalties for changing alignment generally, but the class rules for Paladins, Rangers, Clerics (and later Barbarians, Bards, and Monks) also "allowed" DMs to nuke characters if they felt that the player was not being a "proper" member of their class.
Yes, which is fair enough. If I say I want to play class X which has Y abilities and Z restrictions and then ignore those restrictions then it is I, the player, who is being a **** and not the DM who enforces the agreement.


This was problematic for a few reasons. One was that not all of the classes were under such restrictions - an odd asymmetry that was heightened in 3e by making ex-Bards and Barbarians. Why should their class powers be tied to alignments, but not, say, Rogues? There isn't really a good answer.
There is a perfectly good answer: they agreed to play that class and the conditions were not secret so it's perfectly fair. The price of admission was posted at the door.


Secondly (and particularly in the case of the Paladin) by stripping a character of their powers due to an in-character change, you made it very hard for them to survive as regular party members.
Yes, that's what made sucessfully playing a paladin such great fun. If you can't walk a high-wire then that's not my problem nor should I be abliged to put the wire on the ground and sing your praises when you manage to walk along it.


It can make for an excellent story to have a Paladin fall and then seek redemption, but he's not going to be doing a whole lot on that Redemption Quest if he's weaker than the Fighter.
Well, this is a 3e issue; a fallen 1e paladin is, in fact, a fighter.


Far better to just get an Atonement spell and forget about the whole thing.
Again, this is a 3e problem caused by WotC. Atonement in 1e does not work on deliberate misdeeds; the paladin who does a chaotic act must actually do something about it, not just have a spell cast on him/her and one who commits an evil act is simply no longer a paladin. Which is fair enough, given the class concept.


Third, it encouraged the DM to react against player problems with nukes. If your player isn't playing a Paladin "right" then the correct response, previously, was to strip them of all their powers.
You put "right" into quotations in an attempt to make it sound unreasonable. In fact, playing the character "right" is exactly what the player said s/he was going to do and punishing the character for not doing it is no more unreasonable than rolling damage for falling rocks when a character pulls out a pit prop while standing under it.


In 4e, the DM theoretically has that power removed, which encourages them to use subtler, in-game events to correct such action.
Or, as you might put it, it takes the ability to honestly play their characters away from one player (the DM playing the deity) in order to give another player the ability to misplay their character. Is that progress?


Perhaps a commoner notices the Paladin of Pelor kicking puppies and says "what are you doing? Aren't you a protector of the weak?" Later on, if the Paladin starts slaughtering innocents, it may reach the ears of a nearby Church of Pelor, which may send a priest to try and reason with the Paladin... if not, then the Church will respond by declaring him a Heretic and offering a bounty on his head. All in all, these responses have more (and better) story opportunities than "zap, you're a fighter-without-bonus-feats. Go to Atone now."
None of which is any different from previously except that now, for no good reason, the paladin has their god's backing in all confrontations with those who wish to enforce the agreement s/he made when becoming a paladin.


Summary
WotC has removed rules that previously gave the DM greater control over the actions of the PCs than the players themselves. This is a good thing because it encourages more storytelling than smiting when characters "go down the wrong path" and it removes some oddities, like requiring Barbarians and Bards to be Chaotic to retain their powers.
Summary
Because some players and DMs played the old rules badly, WotC have decided to punish all players and DMs by assuming that they too are incapable of reading the class descriptions carefully. In so doing they have arbitarily decided that gods can not control their own powers and have undermined good DMs and players while in fact doing absolutely nothing to enforce "proper" (I can do it too) play on the sort of people who don't actually pay much attention to the rules. They have furthermore given carte-blanche to rule-lawyer players to abuse the entire concept of the paladin class while waving the "no fall" rule at their DM and his/her gameworld. And they've done all this while further increasing the bland "all classes are for the same" quality of their game.

Charity
2008-10-03, 05:26 AM
Summary
Because some players and DMs played the old rules badly, WotC have decided to punish all players and DMs by assuming that they too are incapable of reading the class descriptions carefully.
Because the old rules were open to several interpretations and caused player conflict they have removed the RP 'balance' restrictions on a popular class.
Nobody is being punished as any player may still play to the old code should they wish.


In so doing they have arbitarily decided that gods can not control their own powers and have undermined good DMs and players while in fact doing absolutely nothing to enforce "proper" (I can do it too) play on the sort of people who don't actually pay much attention to the rules.
So folk whom don't want to play your way are having bad/wrong fun are they?


they have furthermore given carte-blanche to rule-lawyer players to abuse the entire concept of the paladin class while waving the "no fall" rule at their DM and his/her gameworld.

If the dynamic of your game is set up as players vs DM then there is a problem there that rules won't fix. Act like a grown up and expect your players to do similarly is my advice.


And they've done all this while further increasing the bland "all classes are for the same" quality of their game.

And here we come to the crux of this, you don't like 4e, which is fine don't play it, but please don't go threadcrapping just to get your 'I hate 4e' hit.

Torque
2008-10-03, 05:56 AM
Because the old rules were open to several interpretations and caused player conflict they have removed the RP 'balance' restrictions on a popular class.
That's like saying that because murder happens every day there's no point in having laws against it.


Nobody is being punished as any player may still play to the old code should they wish.
The point is that the DM is being punished.


So folk whom don't want to play your way are having bad/wrong fun are they?
You misunderstand. I'm saying that the change was driven by a desire to "fix" the fact that players could, from WotC's PoV, play "wrongly". Their solution was to assume that everyone was playing wrongly and simply say "playing that way is simply not allowed any more" by taking out the falling rule and specifically saying "they can't fall". Yet this is futile since the target of the change were people who were not playing the rules as printed anyway, so what is there about the new rules which will make them start paying attention to them?

if the dynamic of your game is set up as players vs DM then there is a problem there that rules won't fix. Act like a grown up and expect your players to do similarly is my advice.
Yes, that was my advice too. Rules can't fix broken players/groups, so don't waste space trying to design a system that will.


And here we come to the crux of this, you don't like 4e, which is fine don't play it, but please don't go threadcrapping just to get your 'I hate 4e' hit.
Ah, so you're saying that the only entry in this thread after the OP should have been someone replying "Nothing happens." and then Roland should have locked the thread?


By the way, by far the worst paladin de-powering I ever heard of occurred in an AD&D game ran by a rather infamous grognard in Albuquerque. Apparently the old paladin code including a vow of chastity. And apparently the rules didn't specifically say you had to willingly break said vow. I will leave the rest to your imagination, but suffice to say it was quite unpleasant.
The D&D rules have never included chastity for paladins, so if that paladin took such a vow in addition to the basic class restrictions then that was his/her lookout. Secondly, breaking the vow is a chaotic act, not an evil one so in AD&D the paladin would not fall. Thirdly, AD&D does indeed specifically say that the act has to be done willingly.

As usual, examples of the "problems" with the old paladin rules come down to the same old thing: people ignoring what is printed in black and white in the rules. Who's fault is that?

Charity
2008-10-03, 06:44 AM
That's like saying that because murder happens every day there's no point in having laws against it.

This is not remotely similar to what I am saying.
Try this analogy for size - there is a really annoying stiff label in your shirt that rubs the back of your neck every time you turn to speak to your friend.
I'm suggesting you remove it, you are suggesting as it has always been there you are better off keeping the label and not making eye contact with your friend.



The point is that the DM is being punished.
How is this? Is he being punished as he can no longer look up in a book whether the player is playing to his expectations or not?
Or is it that he can no longer punitively invalidate everyone elses opinions on their own characters ideals?



You misunderstand. I'm saying that the change was driven by a desire to "fix" the fact that players could, from WotC's PoV, play "wrongly". Their solution was to assume that everyone was playing wrongly and simply say "playing that way is simply not allowed any more" by taking out the falling rule and specifically saying "they can't fall". Yet this is futile since the target of the change were people who were not playing the rules as printed anyway, so what is there about the new rules which will make them start paying attention to them?

And I am saying the change was driven to remove a clunky, heavily open to conflicting interpretation, unbalanced, unbalancable role playing imperative on a class that does not require such. Folk play paladins because they want to play knights in shining armour. If everyone is entering the game with similar expectations of setting, theme and mood then I say it's a case of Physician, heal thyself, the DM's view of a noble deed is no more valid than the PC's.


Yes, that was my advice too. Rules can't fix broken players/groups, so don't waste space trying to design a system that will.
If a group wants to play in a different style to you, not reading the rules and are enjoying themselves doing so, who are you or I to say they should play otherwise?


Ah, so you're saying that the only entry in this thread after the OP should have been someone replying "Nothing happens." and then Roland should have locked the thread?

No I am suggesting your vehemence comes not from the concept that paladins no longer fall by raw and more from the fact that you dislike the system itself, which albeit a valid stance it is not conducive to a meaningful debate on Paladins falling.
Only you can be certain of the validity of such a statement, however that is how it appears to me.

Starbuck_II
2008-10-03, 06:56 AM
Therein lies part of the problem: the DM is a player too. So what you are saying is that WotC have taken control of one set of characters from one player in order to give more control over another character to a different player. That's not the inherently good thing you imply.

Wait, punish a player is fun... isn't that a little sick? To take enjoyment out of torturing another?

Personally, I say the player of the actual class has more rights to his class than secondary players.


Yes, that's what made sucessfully playing a paladin such great fun. If you can't walk a high-wire then that's not my problem nor should I be abliged to put the wire on the ground and sing your praises when you manage to walk along it.

For you it was great fun doing that. How many Paladins did you play?
Or is this an assumption that it was fun? (there are peoplre who think like you but have never played a Paladin so I'm curious)


Or, as you might put it, it takes the ability to honestly play their characters away from one player (the DM playing the deity) in order to give another player the ability to misplay their character. Is that progress?

Is it progress. Yes, it is.


Summary
Because some players and DMs played the old rules badly, WotC have decided to punish all players and DMs by assuming that they too are incapable of reading the class descriptions carefully.

Yes, that was how it should be. If some people are abusing a priviledge it gets taken away; same as real life.
That was how gun laws, Abortion laws, divorce laws, etc are made.

Torque
2008-10-03, 07:02 AM
This is not remotely similar to what I am saying.
Try this analogy for size - there is a really annoying stiff label in your shirt that rubs the back of your neck every time you turn to speak to your friend.
I'm suggesting you remove it, you are suggesting as it has always been there you are better off keeping the label and not making eye contact with your friend.
Actually, I'm suggesting that you stop buying that brand of shirt and then complaining about it afterwards.


How is this? Is he being punished as he can no longer look up in a book whether the player is playing to his expectations or not? Or is it that he can no longer punitively invalidate everyone elses opinions on their own characters ideals?
That he can not within the rules apply a logical ruling about how their gods work, in order to allow a player to play a character with restrictions and responsibilities without heeding either.


And I am saying the change was driven to remove a clunky, heavily open to conflicting interpretation, unbalanced, unbalancable role playing imperative on a class that does not require such.
That's circular reasoning. A paladin is a particular type of character, you're saying that you want to remove one of the most distinctive features of a paladin in order to allow playing that type of character.


Folk play paladins because they want to play knights in shining armour.
No they don't, they can play knights in shining armour with the fighter class. They play paladins because they want to play knights with a divine mission, surely? Yet now we're told that the divine mission can be ignored at will.


If everyone is entering the game with similar expectations of setting, theme and mood then I say it's a case of Physician, heal thyself, the DM's view of a noble deed is no more valid than the PC's.
It's no less, either.


If a group wants to play in a different style to you, not reading the rules and are enjoying themselves doing so, who are you or I to say they should play otherwise?
Yes, yes, that's fine. The problem is when the rules are changed for everyone in order to pander to people who don't read the rules anyway. That's futile.


No I am suggesting your vehemence comes not from the concept that paladins no longer fall by raw and more from the fact that you dislike the system itself, which albeit a valid stance it is not conducive to a meaningful debate on Paladins falling. Only you can be certain of the validity of such a statement, however that is how it appears to me.
I'm not sure why you think that; the issue of paladins actually having to follow their alignment and duty is unrelated to the system and strikes at the heart of whether the DM is allowed to play their NPCs reasonably or are simply there to provide a Disneyland "no one ever loses" pap-o-vision experience for people who can't stick to their character's restrictions but are happy to have the super-powers that come with those restrictions.


Wait, punish a player is fun... isn't that a little sick? To take enjoyment out of torturing another?
If you want me to respond to your post you need to not start it by lying about what I said.

Saph
2008-10-03, 07:32 AM
Avoiding the flamewar . . .

I have to say, this is pretty much exactly why I didn't like Eberron. It makes zero sense to have an agent of a LG god using his prayers for CE things.

Paladin: "Oh, great and honourable Bahamut, please burn down this orphanage and strike the little kids with divine fire, because they really annoy me."
Bahamut: "Okay."
Paladin: "Awesome. Next I've got some priests of Pelor to kill."

Sure, you can make up flavour excuses, but it ultimately boils down to the supposedly uber-powerful and dedicated gods either being unable to even control the powers that they give out, or being too lazy to bother. Either way, it's pretty unimpressive.

. . . Heh, it just occurred to me that 4e would be the perfect system for the Knights of the Dinner Table.

Sara: "You just wiped out an entire village! You razed it to the ground and killed every living being inside its walls! Again!"
Dave: "Awesome huh?"
Sara: "Dave, your character is supposed to be a LAWFUL GOOD PALADIN!"
Bob: "Don't listen to Sara, Dave. They totally had it coming."

- Saph

Charity
2008-10-03, 07:51 AM
Edit - ^ no flames Saph, just a disagreement.:smalltongue: and the thing is if your players are acting like that it's not the class where the problem lays.


Acutally, I'm suggesting that you stop buying that brand of shirt and then complaining about it afterwards..
But I've bought the shirt now, it fit's real nice and I have scissors.


That he can not within the rules apply a logical ruling about how their gods work, in order to allow a player to play a character with restrictions and responsibilities without heeding either..
If you can make gods logical then I am impressed... Still, the point is that paladins force a restrictive code on any player wishing to play one.
In your mind that code is set in stone in the book and the only interpretation of it that matters is not the players but that of the DM.
I am saying as a grown up wishing to roleplay a character of my chosing (and as a DM allowing my players to do similarly) I would prefer that the players interpretation is the one that matters. The DM is not in a position to understand the characters motivations for his/her actions the player is. As long as the game is played by people whom are all on the same page as to their expectations then this is perfectly suitable.
The Paladin as is set up in the PHB (1e) is a Paladin of a LG diety, as other dieties now have paladins they are likely to have a different standard of morals (I'm sure you'll agree), now it is posible I suppose to put a prescriptive set of guidelines for each and every god, and then all gods for future supliments but as you say these are often ignored... soooo... why not leave it entirely in the hands of the player to decide (as in every other class including clerics) what his own moral code should be and respect their rights to play their own character how they invisaged it not how some guy whom made up some rules based off old Christian chivalrous knights codes, which were never adhered to in any respect.


That's circular reasoning. A paladin is a particular type of character, you're saying that you want to remove one of the most distinctive features of a paladin in order to allow playing that type of character..
I'm saying that trying to force folk into The one true interpretation of a class will doubtless lead to unessisary conflict in what is supposed to be an enjoyable passtime... there is no circle.


No they don't, they can play knights in shining armour with the fighter class. They play paladins because they want to play knights with a divine mission, surely? Yet now we're told that the divine mission can be ignored at will..

I'm sure if I did a pole of this site and asked what class a knight in shining armour would be my statement would be vindicated.


I'm not sure why you think that; the issue of paladins actually having to follow their alignment and duty is unrelated to the system and strikes at the heart of whether the DM is allowed to play their NPCs reasonably or are simply there to provide a Disneyland "no one ever loses" pap-o-vision experience for people who can't stick to their character's restrictions but are happy to have the super-powers that come with those restrictions..
But in 4e the classes are balancedagainst one another without the need for the restrictive must be LG, must act in this prescribed fashion... and believe me 4e is quite lethal you'd be suprised I think.

Also as an aside Clerics, Druids and Wizards are all far more powerful (after about 5th level) than paladins, so where is their code?

MartinHarper
2008-10-03, 08:55 AM
Paladin: "Oh, great and honourable Bahamut, please burn down this orphanage and strike the little kids with divine fire, because they really annoy me."

That's a 3e paladin. A 4e paladin uses the divine spark that is within hir, that was ignited by hir church, to burn things. Bahamut is not directly involved, though he may well appear in a vision to the paladin, or send his angels and other servants to intervene. Same deal with 4e clerics.

Starbuck_II
2008-10-03, 08:59 AM
If you want me to respond to your post you need to not start it by lying about what I said.

Then tell me what thismeans contrary to what I said:
"Therein lies part of the problem: the DM is a player too. So what you are saying is that WotC have taken control of one set of characters from one player in order to give more control over another character to a different player. That's not the inherently good thing you imply."

How is the DM controlling the Paladin not:
"Wait, punish a player is fun... isn't that a little sick? To take enjoyment out of torturing another?"

So it isn't about whether the DM had fun... well if it wasn't fun for the DM to control the Paladin why are you complaining? I thouhght removing unfun activities was a good idea...no?

Or is this a case of the: "It sucks having to do this but I'd rather do it than not" situations? Which sounds more like a Sacred cow needing to be slaughtered.

Saph
2008-10-03, 08:59 AM
That's a 3e paladin. A 4e paladin uses the divine spark that is within hir, that was ignited by hir church, to burn things. Bahamut is not directly involved

4e cleric and paladin powers are called 'prayers'. If your interpretation was what the designers were intending, they did a pretty bad job with the wording.

- Saph

Starbuck_II
2008-10-03, 09:04 AM
Also as an aside Clerics, Druids and Wizards are all far more powerful (after about 5th level) than paladins, so where is their code?

Technically, Clerics had a code if they had a God (I perfer worshipping a concept meself), but the code was so loose and not strict like the Paladins that the chance of falling was a number close to or equal to 0. (~0)

In fact, I've never seen a Cleric fall before...

potatocubed
2008-10-03, 09:05 AM
If you can make gods logical then I am impressed... Still, the point is that paladins force a restrictive code on any player wishing to play one.

Well, that's not really the problem - as Torque has mentioned, the price of admission was posted at the door. The problem is that paladins force a restrictive code on everybody else at the table when a player wishes to play one. You've all got to gen paladin-friendly characters and the GM has to ensure that every problem has a paladin-friendly solution or whoops, you're all being spoonheads who trample over someone's right to play a holy warrior. The paladin code is was (thank muffins) just a giant grief machine.

Jayabalard
2008-10-03, 09:06 AM
For you it was great fun doing that. How many Paladins did you play?It was fun for me too, though I didn't play that many paladins, since rolling that 17 charisma on 3d6 in order is pretty damn unlikely.


In fact, I've never seen a Cleric fall before...I have; in many ways, it can be easier for a cleric to fall (in some cases, just using an edged weapon is sufficient). These weren't due to the DM putting the player in an unwinnable situation, or as punishment for playing wrong either.


Also as an aside Clerics, Druids and Wizards are all far more powerful (after about 5th level) than paladins, so where is their code?Clerics have responsibilities to their deity, as do druids toward nature; so they do indeed have a code. Wizards on the other hand, do not get their power from an external source, so a code isn't appropriate.

Torque
2008-10-03, 09:11 AM
If you can make gods logical then I am impressed...
They have desires and goals; they act for a reason - even the ones that act randomly act randomly for a reason.

Still, the point is that paladins force a restrictive code on any player wishing to play one. In your mind that code is set in stone in the book and the only interpretation of it that matters is not the players but that of the DM.
I'm not arguing about the code at all! I never even mentioned codes!


I am saying as a grown up wishing to roleplay a character of my chosing (and as a DM allowing my players to do similarly) I would prefer that the players interpretation is the one that matters.
Do you, as a grown up, expect that when you break a contract that you will get the choice about what sanctions are applied to you? If you do then I would suggest that you have been lucky enough never to have had much dealings with the law.


The DM is not in a position to understand the characters motivations for his/her actions the player is.
I think you're talking about codes again; that's related but secondary - the issue is what the DM is allowed to do when the code of behavior is knowingly broken?


As long as the game is played by people whom are all on the same page as to their expectations then this is perfectly suitable.
Sure. But we're talking about when people who play x way change the game to say "everybody must play x way".


The Paladin as is set up in the PHB (1e) is a Paladin of a LG diety,
Not actually true. The deity bit is very optional (ie, it's not in the rules anywhere); the 1e paladin is very flexible.


as other dieties now have paladins they are likely to have a different standard of morals (I'm sure you'll agree),
I agree that WotC have chosen to give "paladin" a meaning which it has not had for several hundred years and, although I feel that this reflects their general ignorance and sloppiness, that's the definition 4e uses.


now it is posible I suppose to put a prescriptive set of guidelines for each and every god, and then all gods for future supliments but as you say these are often ignored... soooo... why not leave it entirely in the hands of the player to decide (as in every other class including clerics) what his own moral code should be and respect their rights to play their own character how they invisaged it not how some guy whom made up some rules based off old Christian chivalrous knights codes, which were never adhered to in any respect.
To take your last point first: the adherence in real life to chivalrous codes is neither here nor there, otherwise we may have to discuss the existence of elves.

Otherwise, you're not making any sense. The powers of paladins and clerics are given by an NPC - why should that NPC be singled out by the rules for a limitation on their behaviour. It doesn't matter if the god is LG, CE or simply insane; the details of the code are irrelevant - the principle is the issue of why a DM is now forbidden by the rules to say "Actually, Lloth doesn't approve of helping old ladies across the road - as you well know - and has decided to stop giving you aid in battle". Why is that a reasonable position to be enshrined in the RAW?


I'm saying that trying to force folk into The one true interpretation of a class
It's not about class, it's about the Gods as characters and the way they behave. The fact that this mainly affects those classes that deal with gods is tangental.


I'm sure if I did a pole of this site and asked what class a knight in shining armour would be my statement would be vindicated.
I'm sure if I polled the Conservative Party Conference they'd agree that Margaret Thatcher was a wonderful PM while simultaneously condemning the effects of 30 years of Thatcherite policies on the UK.


But in 4e the classes are balancedagainst one another without the need for the restrictive must be LG, must act in this prescribed fashion
Sorry to bang on about this, but LG is not the issue; the issue is that an NPC said "you must act this way" for whatever values of "this way" you want to pick. Why is that NPC not allowed to act when their instructions are ignored? This is an especially pointed question when the NPC is supposed to be a god.


Also as an aside Clerics, Druids and Wizards are all far more powerful (after about 5th level) than paladins, so where is their code?
Well, if you play that clerics and druids can do what they like and still be rewarded then that hardly makes things better. Clerics have always had the ability to "fall" - the god simply stops supplying the spells.


Then tell me what this means contrary to what I said:
Re-read the posts again; I never mentioned fun. I'm arguing about the internal consistency of the DM's world. Why should the player be allowed to run rough-shod over that?

Saph
2008-10-03, 09:15 AM
Technically, Clerics had a code if they had a God (I perfer worshipping a concept meself), but the code was so loose and not strict like the Paladins that the chance of falling was a number close to or equal to 0. (~0)

In fact, I've never seen a Cleric fall before...

I've never seen a Cleric fall either, or a Druid - or a Paladin. In all cases the player picked the class willingly and made sure it was a character they were happy playing. If you're not willing to be honest, don't play a Paladin; if you're not willing to revere nature, don't play a Druid; if you're not willing to look sexy, don't play a cleric of Sune, etc. As long as the player and DM are clear in advance about what their code of conduct means, it's not usually a problem.

- Saph

JaxGaret
2008-10-03, 09:16 AM
Does the 4e PHB say you can't use the 3e Paladin CoC? No, it does not. If you want to play a 3e-style Paladin, nobody's stopping you.

Let me repeat that: nobody's stoppping you. No one. Not a single person.

Think about that for a minute.

Jayabalard
2008-10-03, 09:24 AM
Does the 4e PHB say you can't use the 3e Paladin CoC? No, it does not. If you want to play a 3e-style Paladin, nobody's stopping you.You mean, other than the rules as written, right?

Eorran
2008-10-03, 10:01 AM
But the 4e rules as written basically say "If the paladin steps out of line, it's up to the DM to determine an appropriate response." It allows the DM to responed to RP problems with RP solutions, rather than mechanical ones.
I don't think the RAW prohibits a diety from stripping one of their worshippers of their powers, even if it doesn't explicitly allow it. (If it does, a house-rule is more than appropriate.)
I can support the 4e position on paladins, although in any game I DM, I'd house-rule that any Divine powered class (paladin, cleric) that grossly violates the tenets of their faith would lose their powers.

Honestly, the problem with the Paladin from earlier editions was almost always due to the DM and the player having a very different understanding of how the class should be played. While I support the DM as the final arbiter in a rules disagreement, he/she must tread very carefully when considering long-term effects on a PC... because the DM also has a large portion of the responsibility to make the game enjoyable by all.

I've played 2e and 3e paladins (I much prefer how the class worked in 2e), and haven't had one fall, mostly because the DM and I agreed on how the class should be played.

Hey, did anyone else see the title of the thread and think: "4e... paladins... alignment... this will not end well."

Charity
2008-10-03, 10:03 AM
Clerics have responsibilities to their deity, as do druids toward nature; so they do indeed have a code. Wizards on the other hand, do not get their power from an external source, so a code isn't appropriate.

You really need to address this in the context in which it was written, in so much that Torque stated that paladins needed RP restrictions in order to 'pay for' their wizzy class benifits


... I will post a reply in a bit Torque, I am still reeling about the 1e Paladin being very flexable bit..

MartinHarper
2008-10-03, 10:12 AM
You mean, other than the rules as written, right?

This is true. You can play a paladin with a code in 4e. However, the consequences for breaking that code cannot be the same as in 3e unless you change the default cosmology.

4e is making things difficult for players who want to play a paladin or cleric and want to have a code and want to break that code and want to be stripped of all their powers as a result, immediately. I don't know any players like that.

4e is also making things difficult for DMs who don't like the default cosmology and don't want to change the default cosmology. I don't know any DMs like that.


The powers of paladins and clerics are given by an NPC - why should that NPC be singled out by the rules for a limitation on their behaviour.

In 4e, the powers of clerics and paladins are given out at ordination. If the NPC god wants to remove that power, it has to achieve it in the same way as when it removes power from mages or fighters or druids: send an Angel of Vengeance over and kill the person in question.


4e cleric and paladin powers are called 'prayers'. If your interpretation was what the designers were intending, they did a pretty bad job with the wording.

That's just one word. I'm looking at the 4e DMG section on gods, and the 4e PHB section on "clerics and deities" and "paladins and deities". I think they just needed a Christian-flavoured equivalent to the word "spells".

Jayabalard
2008-10-03, 10:14 AM
You really need to address this in the context in which it was written, in so much that Torque stated that paladins needed RP restrictions in order to 'pay for' their wizzy class benifitsIn the piece I responded to, you said it was an aside; that' implies that there isn't any further context. Nothing you quoted from Torque said anything about that. If the context is that important, you should probably quote it or at least sum up their point rather than expecting people to follow it. As it is, I have no idea what you're talking about.


No offense, but has it ever occurred to you that technically, it does make it better, at least historically speaking?Nope; I'm pretty sure Eragon is more popular (meaning, enjoyed by more people) than "The Girl, The Gold Watch, and Everything" but that doesn't make better by any stretch of the imagination.

I'd argue the opposite: that by designing to the lowest common denominator, you get an inferior product, even if it sells better and makes you more money.

I don't know any players like that.Hi, I'm Jayabalard, nice to meet you.


4e is also making things difficult for DMs who don't like the default 4e cosmology and don't want to have to change the default cosmology.fixed; if you havn't seen any of these posting, then you should check out some of the 4e vs 3e threads.

Starbuck_II
2008-10-03, 10:39 AM
Hi, I'm Jayabalard, nice to meet you.


You said you are this:
"4e is making things difficult for players who want to play a paladin or cleric and want to have a code and want to break that code and want to be stripped of all their powers as a result, immediately. I don't know any players like that."

Then when you play a 4E paladin; why don't you just make up a Code...and stop using your powers until you atone for breaking your code.

See, the optimal word here I think is "you". It is your characterv when you are a player. If you want to add extra restrictions: good for you.

But what we are saying is; why do you get to restrict the other players?

Teron
2008-10-03, 10:54 AM
Avoiding the flamewar . . .

I have to say, this is pretty much exactly why I didn't like Eberron. It makes zero sense to have an agent of a LG god using his prayers for CE things.

Paladin: "Oh, great and honourable Bahamut, please burn down this orphanage and strike the little kids with divine fire, because they really annoy me."
Bahamut: "Okay."
Paladin: "Awesome. Next I've got some priests of Pelor to kill."

Sure, you can make up flavour excuses, but it ultimately boils down to the supposedly uber-powerful and dedicated gods either being unable to even control the powers that they give out, or being too lazy to bother. Either way, it's pretty unimpressive.
Eberron doesn't work that way. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5031588&postcount=15)

Torque
2008-10-03, 10:56 AM
4e is making things difficult for players who want to play a paladin or cleric and want to have a code and want to break that code and want to be stripped of all their powers as a result, immediately. I don't know any players like that.
Well, I don't either because I've never met a player of those classes who wanted to break their god's code of acceptable behaviour. I've also never met one who would have thought it odd to lose their powers if they did.


You really need to address this in the context in which it was written, in so much that Torque stated that paladins needed RP restrictions in order to 'pay for' their wizzy class benifits
I didn't say that; I said that the requirements demanded by the deity were known to the player at the start. It's of no relevance whether those requirements balance anything else out or not.


See, the optimal word here I think is "you". It is your characterv when you are a player. If you want to add extra restrictions: good for you.

But what we are saying is; why do you get to restrict the other players?
There's two players' characters involved here: yours and the DMs. Why do you get to restrict the DM's? After all, the DM wasn't restricting your character in the old system.

MartinHarper
2008-10-03, 11:03 AM
Hi, I'm Jayabalard, nice to meet you.

Likewise. :)

What would you enjoy about playing that character? Is the loss of power important to that story?


There's two players' characters involved here: yours and the DMs. Why do you get to restrict the DM's?

The god is restricted by not being an omnipotent god, just as the PC is.

SmartAlec
2008-10-03, 11:10 AM
There's two players' characters involved here: yours and the DMs. Why do you get to restrict the DM's? After all, the DM wasn't restricting your character in the old system.

What, no consideration for the rest of the party? At least now, Paladins don't straight-jacket the whole party in terms of what they can and cannot do. It's frustrating as a player - as a party - to have to cater as a group for one player just so they don't lose their class bonuses. And that's not even counting DMs, some of whom have probably had to bend adventures specifically to cater for a Paladin. No other base class had the power and potential to be such a roadblock to everyone else's game, and it leaves a gaming group with two choices - include a Paladin and work around it, or avoid the Paladin class completely.

I'm glad it's gone, because I want to play a Paladin without making my friends' lives difficult.

Yakk
2008-10-03, 11:16 AM
Therein lies part of the problem: the DM is a player too. So what you are saying is that WotC have taken control of one set of characters from one player in order to give more control over another character to a different player. That's not the inherently good thing you imply.
Except, of course, that the DM has huge amounts of power relative to the players -- even after this shift of power.


Yes, which is fair enough. If I say I want to play class X which has Y abilities and Z restrictions and then ignore those restrictions then it is I, the player, who is being a **** and not the DM who enforces the agreement.By this logic, changing the restrictions is also perfectly fair.


There is a perfectly good answer: they agreed to play that class and the conditions were not secret so it's perfectly fair. The price of admission was posted at the door.
This doesn't address "should there be such a price of admission", which is what this thread is about.

...

Look. The ability for a God to come and punish a Paladin remains -- but it now requires that the God do it in-game with power and force, not by fiat.

It is now possible to FRAME a Paladin for a crime they didn't commit.

You can invent a ritual that _strips_ a Paladin of their powers, but requires a significant amount of effort (I'd presume a month, during which the Paladin is bound and helpless) -- or you can say the investment can only be stopped by the killing of the Paladin.


Paladin: "Oh, great and honourable Bahamut, please burn down this orphanage and strike the little kids with divine fire, because they really annoy me."
Bahamut: "Okay."
Paladin: "Awesome. Next I've got some priests of Pelor to kill."

Sure, you can make up flavour excuses, but it ultimately boils down to the supposedly uber-powerful and dedicated gods either being unable to even control the powers that they give out, or being too lazy to bother. Either way, it's pretty unimpressive.
In 4e, a 30th level character is on the same page of the power-book as Orcus, and Orcus is a corrupted primodeal whom the Gods themselves fought.

So no, a diety in 4e isn't presumed to be so far beyond the power spectrum of players.

The Paladin's power is imbued into the character, an act that requires the consent (probably) of the diety, instead of each act requiring the consent of the diety (which implies a very high level of omniscience in dieties).


However, the consequences for breaking that code cannot be the same as in 3e unless you change the default cosmology.
The player controlling the character can choose that their powers cease to work, by simply not using them.

Really, the player can do this. There is nothing in the 4e rules that prevent it, and no custom that justifies the DM forceing the player to make the character use thier powers.

This can generate some really cool drama, as you _as the player_ get to pick when your character has atoned for the sin, and gains the power back.

That gives me a good character idea -- a fallen paladin, who is seeking to atone for a sin, and doesn't use any divine power-source powers until the sin is atoned for. (Multiclass might be a good idea, as might half-elven race).

Vva70
2008-10-03, 11:24 AM
Nope; I'm pretty sure Eragon is more popular (meaning, enjoyed by more people) than "The Girl, The Gold Watch, and Everything" but that doesn't make better by any stretch of the imagination.

That may or may not be true; I really don't know. But I can almost guarantee that there are movies that are both more watched, and better, than both of those. And how do we determine what movies are "better?" Not on an individual basis, mind you, but as a society? I'd imagine that we'd take the average of the individual opinions, or look to the critics. Remember that something which could potentially get broad acceptance may still stay obscure; maybe it went unadvertised or had a limited run. Thus you have to look at the average, not the total.


I'd argue the opposite: that by designing to the lowest common denominator, you get an inferior product, even if it sells better and makes you more money.

Designing for the majority and designing for the lowest common denominator are not the same thing. When you design for the lowest common denominator, you know that many people (probably the majority, in fact) will dislike significant portions of your product. You're banking on the fact that they'll probably buy it anyway. If you don't have reason to believe they'll buy it anyway, then this is obviously a bad idea.

When you're designing a product based on what the majority want, you're not looking at the lowest common denominator; you're looking at the average. This will alienate some of your lowest-common-denominator-only people, but if the lowest common denominator plan would have alienated too many people for whom the lowest common denominator isn't enough to justify the expense, then it may well be for the better.

I agree that shooting for the lowest common denominator (which does not target what the majority wants and may or may not achieve the largest number of buyers) will probably result in an inferior product. Designing a product according to what the majority wants (shooting for the average) is probably going to result in a superior product.

Torque
2008-10-03, 11:26 AM
I'm glad it's gone, because I want to play a Paladin without making my friends' lives difficult.
Why do you want to play a paladin at all if not to be an example of your deity's power and wonder etc?

If a paladin isn't played as an champion of their god then what the !#@? is the point of the class even being in the game?

SmartAlec
2008-10-03, 11:30 AM
Why do you want to play a paladin at all if not to be an example of your deity's power and wonder etc?

If a paladin isn't played as an champion of their god then what the !#@? is the point of the class even being in the game?

What are you talking about? I can play a Paladin that way perfectly well. I don't need in-game mechanics for that. No-one does.

Artanis
2008-10-03, 11:37 AM
Just thought of a great example of games being BETTER due to being made for the majority: Blizzard Entertainment.

StarCraft is considered - and rightly so - possibly the greatest game of all time. And it is a shining example of Blizzard's design philosophy of making it a fun game for as many people as possible. In fact, that is the reason SC was 2D when the rest of the genre was starting to 3D: so that the people who did not have 3D cards yet could play it as well.

So anybody who things that designing "for the majority" makes a game worse only needs to look at StarCraft to see where that arguement fails.

Starbuck_II
2008-10-03, 11:38 AM
What are you talking about? I can play a Paladin that way perfectly well. I don't need in-game mechanics for that. No-one does.

Not to put words in Torques mouth but the way he phrased the last post: it sounds like he thinks he does.

"Why do you want to play a paladin at all if not to be an example of your deity's power and wonder etc?"
To do that he believes you need in game mechanics or that was how he sounded to me.

Torque
2008-10-03, 11:46 AM
Not to put words in Torques mouth but the way he phrased the last post: it sounds like he thinks he does.

"Why do you want to play a paladin at all if not to be an example of your deity's power and wonder etc?"
To do that he believes you need in game mechanics or that was how he sounded to me.
Yes, the point being that if you want to play paladins that way, then what actually is the cost to you as a player or a group of there being a perfectly logical, sensible, in-game punishment for paladins that are not played that way?

This change, remember, only rewards those players who do not want to play paladins as champions of their gods who embody their ideals. It punishes the DM and other players who are trying to play their own characters honestly and suddenly find a loose canon in the group who can wave this daft restriction in their faces and hijack the whole plot of the campaign as the church tries to hunt them down and, probably, everyone associated with them. It's a freaking nightmare for the DM and the other players unless they all want to play the powergamer's way.

SmartAlec
2008-10-03, 11:48 AM
I'm not going to assume. But let me expand on my point.

See, I can play a Paladin to the hilt just fine, in any edition. But at least in 4th Ed, my friend can play a roguish Rogue, and another of my friends can play a faintly sinister Warlock, and the rules of the game aren't going to kick any of us in the junk if we all play our characters. Sure, there'll be disagreements in the party, IC, as the members of the party disagree on what approach to use to solve the problems that beset them. I can argue with every ounce of my breath for the honorable and true course, and the rogue can suggest heavily for the pragmatic course - and if the party decide on balance that this time, the rogue is right, I'm not going to get punished for it. And that's good, because punishing me for that is really dumb.

I can certainly play my Paladin as grim and disappointed about it. I can make sure that he, himself, doesn't do anything wrong, even if other party members indulge in that sort of behaviour. I can have him pray and meditate on events afterwards, to understand the complexities of the moral conundrum and deal with the guilt. I can have him swear to do his utmost to save the souls of his travelling companions, and lead them out of the moral quagmire they've found themselves in. But there's a lot less 'me me me' about the Paladin class in 4th Ed - if things take a morally questionable turn, I have a bit more leeway to let it go, I don't have to kick up an OOC fuss because the rest of the party is hamstringing me, they don't have to kick up a fuss that I'm straight-jacketting them, and I won't have to drag the party on a quest for my atonement afterward. All in all, there's significantly less hassle all round, and my character is no less a Paladin than any.


It's a freaking nightmare for the DM and the other players unless they all want to play the powergamer's way.

I think I just said exactly the opposite of what you just said.

Anyhow - frankly, a gamer who so decides can railroad a campaign into having the party being hunted by the law or a church, no matter what class he or she is playing. All it takes is some serious misdeed. You don't have to be a Paladin for that. As far as the 'logic' and 'sensibility' of the insta-fall, others have already commented on why it's not really all that logical.

Edit: I think I grasp what you're trying to say - that the Paladin class is special, and needs sharp penalties written into the rules to hobble players that play it 'wrong'. I would disagree, as I don't think a base class, no matter what class, should be singled out like that.

But then, I'm also of the opinion that in 3rd Ed, 'Paladin' should be a Prestige Class.

Teron
2008-10-03, 11:51 AM
Just thought of a great example of games being BETTER due to being made for the majority: Blizzard Entertainment.

StarCraft is considered - and rightly so - possibly the greatest game of all time. And it is a shining example of Blizzard's design philosophy of making it a fun game for as many people as possible. In fact, that is the reason SC was 2D when the rest of the genre was starting to 3D: so that the people who did not have 3D cards yet could play it as well.

So anybody who things that designing "for the majority" makes a game worse only needs to look at StarCraft to see where that arguement fails.
StarCraft was excellent for its time. StarCraft 2 looks like an unspeakably dull 3D update of mechanics other, more sensible RTS designers consider obsolete, with a frankly embarrassing emphasis on twitch "skills" whose importance most other games try to diminish. I'll wait for Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 2, thank you very much.[/tangent]

Charity
2008-10-03, 11:56 AM
They have desires and goals; they act for a reason - even the ones that act randomly act randomly for a reason.
That makes less sense than you'd intended I'm sure.


Do you, as a grown up, expect that when you break a contract that you will get the choice about what sanctions are applied to you? If you do then I would suggest that you have been lucky enough never to have had much dealings with the law.
In 4e there is no contract for the player, we are talking about characters and if there is a serious disconnect between the gods teachings and his paladin's actions then I imagine other members of that faith that discover this will feel inclined to act.
There does not need to be a hard coded in the rules response to cover this rare event, it can be delt with by the DM on a case by case basis.
In my experiance if a player elects to play a paladin of a certain faith then that player will endeavour to follow the tenents of that faith as they understand them, much like the cleric. In all likelyhood if the player plays the character appropriately to their alignment they won't be far off the mark.

You seem to wish to legislate to prevent players from acting out of character, let me ask you has this ever had the desired effect?
If you and I disagree whether my actions are appropriate and you remove my characters abilities what happens next do you suppose?
a. I continue to play much as before but now I'm a rubbish character but I take that merrily in my stride and everything is rosey.
b. I contritely try to mend my ways but as i thought I was playing appropriately anyway I inevitably transcend your invisible lines in the sand again and again and end up with a crap fighter.
c. We argue about the interpretation... ending badly.

Now if you don't like how a player plays there are much quicker and easier ways of getting shot of them than this.




I think you're talking about codes again; that's related but secondary - the issue is what the DM is allowed to do when the code of behavior is knowingly broken?
The DM can do anything he wants as you well know. however if the DM arbitarily takes away a characters choices and/or abilities then he won't have players for long.



Sure. But we're talking about when people who play x way change the game to say "everybody must play x way".
No, you chose to over extend the lack of a rule into a definative statement that this is no longer permisable in the game.



Not actually true. The deity bit is very optional (ie, it's not in the rules anywhere); the 1e paladin is very flexible.

Hang on you were the one whom said that they were granted the powers by the diety and that those powers should be snatched away at the dieties (DM's interpretation) whim.


Otherwise, you're not making any sense. The powers of paladins and clerics are given by an NPC - why should that NPC be singled out by the rules for a limitation on their behaviour. It doesn't matter if the god is LG, CE or simply insane; the details of the code are irrelevant - the principle is the issue of why a DM is now forbidden by the rules to say "Actually, Lloth doesn't approve of helping old ladies across the road - as you well know - and has decided to stop giving you aid in battle". Why is that a reasonable position to be enshrined in the RAW?

It is not forbidden, it simply is not hard coded into the ruleset.


I'm sure if I polled the Conservative Party Conference they'd agree that Margaret Thatcher was a wonderful PM while simultaneously condemning the effects of 30 years of Thatcherite policies on the UK.
Are you suggesting that this forum is in some way bias towards 4e?
I think you'll find that is not the case and it was a reasonable non edition specific question, this is not a fair comparison, and I think you know that.


Sorry to bang on about this, but LG is not the issue; the issue is that an NPC said "you must act this way" for whatever values of "this way" you want to pick. Why is that NPC not allowed to act when their instructions are ignored? This is an especially pointed question when the NPC is supposed to be a god.

Sorry to keep reiterating 'It is not forbidden, it simply is not hard coded into the ruleset.'
Also the diety can take any number of punative actions, however in 4e the powers are not drawn directly from the diety and therefore cannot be witheld by them.

I'm not sure how far we can go with this, I feel it is unlikely our two opinions will overlap.
i think it really comes down to a balance of power between the players and the DM issue.
From what I understand you feel more power should lay with the DM than I do, and thats fine but my mind like yours is pretty set on my preference.

Vva70
2008-10-03, 12:16 PM
Yes, the point being that if you want to play paladins that way, then what actually is the cost to you as a player or a group of there being a perfectly logical, sensible, in-game punishment for paladins that are not played that way?

This change, remember, only rewards those players who do not want to play paladins as champions of their gods who embody their ideals.

This change rewards players who disagree with their DMs about what alignment means. Note that a reasonable player and a reasonable DM can still disagree on what constitutes good and evil actions.

Note that if a player wants for his paladin to be held to exemplary conduct he still can. If he feels that his character should fall, he can, as previously mentioned, stop using the divine abilities and say in-character that they stopped working. If he wants the DM to tell him when his character has crossed the line, he can ask the DM to.

If a DM wants deities to punish paladins by removal of powers, he just has to discuss it with any player who is going to play a paladin. If the player is fine with this, house-rule-ahead-GO! If the player doesn't want it, and they can't find an agreeable resolution, then it may well have turned out badly if the rule had been there in the first place.


It punishes the DM and other players who are trying to play their own characters honestly and suddenly find a loose canon in the group who can wave this daft restriction in their faces and hijack the whole plot of the campaign as the church tries to hunt them down and, probably, everyone associated with them.

A player who is going to cause trouble like this is going to cause this sort of trouble in a game with paladin codes and falling as well. He's just less likely to play a paladin in this scenario.


It's a freaking nightmare for the DM and the other players unless they all want to play the powergamer's way.

Why do you use the word powergamer here? Paladins have not been more powerful than other classes, or needed the code and falling to balance their powers, since 3e. In fact, in 3.5 a single-classed paladin is one of the weaker classes in the game.

Artanis
2008-10-03, 12:36 PM
StarCraft was excellent for its time. StarCraft 2 looks like an unspeakably dull 3D update of mechanics other, more sensible RTS designers consider obsolete, with a frankly embarrassing emphasis on twitch "skills" whose importance most other games try to diminish. I'll wait for Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 2, thank you very much.[/tangent]
And StarCraft originally looked like an "Orcs in Space" version of Warcraft 2 :smalltongue:

Torque
2008-10-03, 12:45 PM
I'm not going to assume. But let me expand on my point.

See, I can play a Paladin to the hilt just fine, in any edition. But at least in 4th Ed, my friend can play a roguish Rogue, and another of my friends can play a faintly sinister Warlock, and the rules of the game aren't going to kick any of us in the junk if we all play our characters. Sure, there'll be disagreements in the party, IC, as the members of the party disagree on what approach to use to solve the problems that beset them. I can argue with every ounce of my breath for the honorable and true course, and the rogue can suggest heavily for the pragmatic course - and if the party decide on balance that this time, the rogue is right, I'm not going to get punished for it. And that's good, because punishing me for that is really dumb.

I can certainly play my Paladin as grim and disappointed about it. I can make sure that he, himself, doesn't do anything wrong, even if other party members indulge in that sort of behaviour. I can have him pray and meditate on events afterwards, to understand the complexities of the moral conundrum and deal with the guilt. I can have him swear to do his utmost to save the souls of his travelling companions, and lead them out of the moral quagmire they've found themselves in. But there's a lot less 'me me me' about the Paladin class in 4th Ed - if things take a morally questionable turn, I have a bit more leeway to let it go, I don't have to kick up an OOC fuss because the rest of the party is hamstringing me, they don't have to kick up a fuss that I'm straight-jacketting them, and I won't have to drag the party on a quest for my atonement afterward. All in all, there's significantly less hassle all round, and my character is no less a Paladin than any.

Can you explain to me what any of that has to do with the "no fall" rule? You're saying that what constitudes "bad" behaviour is now looser or more flexible. Firstly, I'm not sure that's true for any given paladin, but more importantly I don't see that it has anything to do with the change to what happens if your behaviour is judged "bad" according to the tenants of your god.


In 4e there is no contract for the player, we are talking about characters
Sure, yhe contract is between characters.


and if there is a serious disconnect between the gods teachings and his paladin's actions then I imagine other members of that faith that discover this will feel inclined to act. There does not need to be a hard coded in the rules response to cover this rare event, it can be delt with by the DM on a case by case basis.
Well, not the DM can't because the player can use the rules as written to argue against the DM if the DM says "the god pulls the plug on your powers". So the DM is now restricted in how s/he runs their world and furthermore the restriction is arbitrary and nonsensical. And hard-coded.


In my experiance if a player elects to play a paladin of a certain faith then that player will endeavour to follow the tenents of that faith as they understand them, much like the cleric. In all likelyhood if the player plays the character appropriately to their alignment they won't be far off the mark.
Totally agree.

You seem to wish to legislate to prevent players from acting out of character,
I wish only to say that when one character says that they will give another character something under certain conditions then the second character may do whatever the DM deems reasonable should the first character break their word. You may well have had in-character reasons for doing it; that in no way negates the other character's in-character reasons for withdrawing their support and aid.

Now if you don't like how a player plays there are much quicker and easier ways of getting shot of them than this.
It's not about the player; it's about the characters. The player may or may not be playing well, the issue is that the DM is forced to play his/her characters badly/illogically/unreasonably. AND the door is opened for straight-out bad players to abuse inexperienced DMs and turn their own character into the central point of the whole game.


however if the DM arbitarily takes away a characters choices and/or abilities then he won't have players for long.
Very true. Irrelevant, but true.

No, you chose to over extend the lack of a rule into a definative statement that this is no longer permisable in the game.
It is hardcoded by the fact that paladins and clerics don't get their powers from gods and are punished only by the church.

In fact, now that I look at it, the gods are, for all practical purposes, written out of 4e, aren't they? They can't do anything, they don't grant anbody anything, and there's no advantage to worshiping one as opposed to a tree stump. They're back to being just big monsters for high-level characters to fight.


Are you suggesting that this forum is in some way bias towards 4e?
No, just that democracy doesn't trump logic.

Also the diety can take any number of punative actions, however in 4e the powers are not drawn directly from the diety and therefore cannot be witheld by them.
So a paladin can't fall.

Hmmmm. Oh, well.

"Now when I talk to God, I hope you'll understand,
He says `stick by me and I'll be your guiding hand,
But don't ask me what I think of you,
I might not give the answer that you want me to.'
Oh, well."

Artanis
2008-10-03, 12:55 PM
If the DM wants to use DM Fiat to cripple a character, he still can. If he wants to do so by RAW, he can have a level 50 creature show up, beat the crap out of the Paladin, smack him with a status effect that gives him -500 to all rolls related to divine powers and that can only be removed by a certain spell, then leave.

Either way, it's the same effect as 3e: the Paladin does something the DM doesn't like, so the DM cripples him for it. The DM just has to put thirty seconds of extra work into it.

SmartAlec
2008-10-03, 01:14 PM
Can you explain to me what any of that has to do with the "no fall" rule?

Nothing. I was trying to make the point that the "Fall Rule" is more trouble than its' worth, and that even if there was a "Fall Rule" in 4th Edition, it wouldn't change anything - a troublemaker player is a troublemaker player, no matter who they are.

See, when you say:


the door is opened for straight-out bad players to abuse inexperienced DMs and turn their own character into the central point of the whole game.

... that's also my issue with the "Fall Rule" - it makes a Paladin the centre of the party. Suddenly, everything the party does has to fall in line with what this one character's faith thinks, or they lose their powers. And if they do, then comes a quest to atone. Any class could get the party in trouble with the law, but only a Paladin could get depowered and then basically force the party to undertake a quest with him/her.

Essentially, to be centre stage and make the party's life difficult in 4th Ed, a troublemaker has to play against their God's tenets. In 3rd Ed, all a troublemaker has to do to be centre stage and make the party's life difficult is play the Paladin class exactly as written.


In fact, now that I look at it, the gods are, for all practical purposes, written out of 4e, aren't they? They can't do anything, they don't grant anbody anything, and there's no advantage to worshiping one as opposed to a tree stump. They're back to being just big monsters for high-level characters to fight.

4th Edition seems to draw very clear lines between roleplaying and game mechanics, that's true. Worshipping a God - roleplaying choice. The Gods in 4th are distant, unknowable beings, quite unlike the Forgotten Realms in-your-face, Time-of-Troubles, here-is-a-book-of-stats-for-each-god-in-case-someone-wants-to-fight-them type of God, which to my mind means the 4th Ed Gods are actually moving away from just being big monsters.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-10-03, 01:17 PM
Sure, you can make up flavour excuses, but it ultimately boils down to the supposedly uber-powerful and dedicated gods either being unable to even control the powers that they give out, or being too lazy to bother. Either way, it's pretty unimpressive.

This is an interesting point: how much control do you want the Gods to have over their world?

LONG
If you give them too much fine-tuned control, such as selectively punishing individual members, then what is the role of the Church? In such a situation, the God would be able to (and regularly would) ex-communicate people who were acting badly, which removes any need for mortal oversight of members and, in all honestly, any need to have a formal church at all.

Now, just like Tippyverse, you don't have to run a 3e game like that, but the ability of the Gods to pay attention at such a detailed level does remove a lot of the agency from mortals. It's like the old problem of Omnibenevolence in real-world religions - if God is Good, Omniscient and Omnipotent, then why is there Evil in the world? There are a variety of answers, of course, but it is harder to explain in a world with a bluntly active God.

4e gives more agency to mortal churches, and therefore, to mortals. Gods permit their powers to be granted to mortals via rituals known to the mortal priesthood, but They do not control who gets it, or when they lose it. It is up to the mortal churches to figure out who they want to give these powers to, and to make sure that they don't abuse them - in essence, they look a lot more like Real World churches.

Summary
By putting the power of Divine Investment into the hands of the mortal churches, the Gods leave the duty of monitoring their flock and preventing abuses in the hands of mortals. This gives the mortal churches more agency, which means that mortals (like the PCs) can play a much larger role in Divine matters on the Prime Material Plane.

horseboy
2008-10-03, 01:24 PM
That's circular reasoning. A paladin is a particular type of character, you're saying that you want to remove one of the most distinctive features of a paladin in order to allow playing that type of character.There's one disconnect. I've never considered the ability to fail spectacularly to be a positive distinctive feature. I play a paladin because I want to play someone who's dedicated to making the world a better place, to be a shinning beacon of hope that rekindles mankind's faith in his fellow man. I guess I'm just more optimistic. But I don't choose paladin to sit in the corner, unable to stop the BBEG from taking over the world because the DM suddenly says it would be unchivalric for my character to hit a girl. And nobody wanted to try 2nd edition grappling rules to let me just put her in a guillotine.
Well, if you play that clerics and druids can do what they like and still be rewarded then that hardly makes things better. Clerics have always had the ability to "fall" - the god simply stops supplying the spells.Uh, no. Not even in prior editions. Gods don't actually grant clerics spells. 1st and 2nd level spells are training given to the cleric by their faith that will work irregardless of whether or not their god even exists. 3rd and 4th level spells come from functionaries of the god, divine middlemen. Nothing that a paladin does draws directly off of the god himself. Only the highest level cleric spells require their Divine patron's knowledge. In fact, the only classes I can think of that require constant consent of their esoteric patron are Templar and uh, mmm those guys with the genies in Al Quadeem.

Thane of Fife
2008-10-03, 01:34 PM
Uh, no. Not even in prior editions. Gods don't actually grant clerics spells. 1st and 2nd level spells are training given to the cleric by their faith that will work irregardless of whether or not their god even exists.

Uh, no. The 2e Player's Handbook explicity states that the cleric can lose his spells by not acting faithfully, as well as that the spells are received from the deity.


The cleric receives his spells as insight directly from his deity...he must take care not to abuse his power lest it be taken away as punishment.

I believe that the Complete Book of Priests goes even farther and suggests that the god won't always grant the cleric the spells he asks for, perhaps as punishment, or perhaps to prepare him for something which he would otherwise be unable to face.

FoE
2008-10-03, 01:41 PM
I have to say, this is pretty much exactly why I didn't like Eberron. It makes zero sense to have an agent of a LG god using his prayers for CE things.

Paladin: "Oh, great and honourable Bahamut, please burn down this orphanage and strike the little kids with divine fire, because they really annoy me."
Bahamut: "Okay."
Paladin: "Awesome. Next I've got some priests of Pelor to kill."

Bahamut and Pelor aren't in Eberron. And no one's absolutely sure the gods even exist, so conversations with them aren't happening.

That's one of the interesting features of Eberron: does divine power come from the gods, or do mortals tap into some power hidden within themselves? Clerics of the Blood of Vol, one of the major religions within Karrnath, don't technically even believe in gods.

Mark Hall
2008-10-03, 01:46 PM
By putting the power of Divine Investment into the hands of the mortal churches, the Gods leave the duty of monitoring their flock and preventing abuses in the hands of mortals. This gives the mortal churches more agency, which means that mortals (like the PCs) can play a much larger role in Divine matters on the Prime Material Plane.

Wow. I like that.

horseboy
2008-10-03, 01:47 PM
Uh, no. The 2e Player's Handbook explicity states that the cleric can lose his spells by not acting faithfully, as well as that the spells are received from the deity.Which was one of the reasons that gods removing powers never made sense, since gods didn't come into the scene until the last two levels of casting.




I believe that the Complete Book of Priests goes even farther and suggests that the god won't always grant the cleric the spells he asks for, perhaps as punishment, or perhaps to prepare him for something which he would otherwise be unable to face.Yeah, that was an excuse for a DM to play Deus ex Machina to cover up a plot hole.

Saph
2008-10-03, 01:47 PM
Summary
By putting the power of Divine Investment into the hands of the mortal churches, the Gods leave the duty of monitoring their flock and preventing abuses in the hands of mortals. This gives the mortal churches more agency, which means that mortals (like the PCs) can play a much larger role in Divine matters on the Prime Material Plane.

I'm not sure I'd agree. I'd say that the main effect is to take divine matters out of the game altogether. After all, for all practical purposes, there's no difference between the divine, the arcane, and the martial in the 4e PHB - they're functionally identical.

- Saph

Thane of Fife
2008-10-03, 01:51 PM
Which was one of the reasons that gods removing powers never made sense, since gods didn't come into the scene until the last two levels of casting.

Pardon? I'm unsure why you say that.

SmartAlec
2008-10-03, 01:54 PM
I'd say that the main effect is to take divine matters out of the game altogether.

Out of the mechanics, rather.

Torque
2008-10-03, 02:00 PM
Which was one of the reasons that gods removing powers never made sense, since gods didn't come into the scene until the last two levels of casting.
Actually, they were involved from 3rd (and 1st and 2nd indirectly).

horseboy
2008-10-03, 02:13 PM
Pardon? I'm unsure why you say that.
Because only the top two levels of casting directly involve their attention. It's set up that way so he doesn't have to deal with all 10,000 of his followers in this sphere, 100,000 in that sphere, 300 in the sphere over there, those 12 spheres with 13,500 casters while simultaneously having to out wit 8 different gods of deceit, the same three gods of murder in 8 different versions of the same outer plane in 5 different spheres. Oh, and his woman is bitching because he's not paying enough attention to her so she's run off with Helm, though not that Helm, the other Helm from that pantheon over there. There are just more pressing matters on a god's mind than did that paladin stab a baby to stop a summoning spell that's going to screw over a planet for a 100 years. Of course, that's that whole Lovecraftian "..all of humanity hopes, dreams and aspirations matter not one whit to the universe at large," philosophy showing up again.

mangosta71
2008-10-03, 02:18 PM
In 4e, paladins are required to choose a god to follow, and their alignment must be tied to that deity. Each deity has a code that's somewhat laid out in the PHB. This is cool, since it means that gods who could not have these champions of their order under 3e rules now can. Making them all the same class, with the same abilities, means that optimizers aren't drawn to one particular deity.

I like that paladins are no longer punished for actions beyond their control. As I'm sure everyone can agree, it's no fun for the party when one person has the power to tell everyone what they can or can't do, and now you don't gimp one of your players for having a bit of fun. However, paladins still have the code laid out by their deity. It's as inappropriate for a paladin of Lloth to help old ladies cross the street as it is for a paladin of Bahamut to slaughter a building full of orphans. In both cases, it's reasonable to assume that the deity would be upset by the paladin's actions.

I don't think that Torque's and Charity's positions are irreconcilable at all. Torque seems to be saying that the gods themselves should come down and smack their wayward followers, while Charity is saying that it's up to the gods' followers to correct the behavior. Neither of you is saying that paladins should be able to just ignore the mandates of their chosen deity without consequence. Yes, 4e lacks the hard-and-fast "strip him of his powers if he or anyone that's ever associated with him for more than 3 seconds violates his code" rule. Instead of the deity himself coming down, he acts through agents (mortal or otherwordly) in attempts to bring the paladin back in line. A good roleplayer will not have any problems playing a paladin in 4e, as the gods' codes are laid out and more open to interpretation, so as long as an action can be justified by the character as being in line with the code, there's no problem. In some cases he may be called upon to do so before his superiors in the church. Problems arise when you have a bad roleplayer that wants to be a paladin.

Thane of Fife
2008-10-03, 02:29 PM
Because only the top two levels of casting directly involve their attention.

I actually meant that I don't understand where you're getting this number. Looking through the vast majority of the PHB stuff on priest spells, I see nothing to in any way imply that - indeed, it seems more like the god is involved in the granting of every spell.

No, the god doesn't directly appear for each one, but it's never implied that he (or at least his loyal minions) don't take note of what spells they're doling out.

Jayabalard
2008-10-03, 02:32 PM
As I'm sure everyone can agree, it's no fun for the party when one person has the power to tell everyone what they can or can't do, and now you don't gimp one of your players for having a bit of fun.Nope; not everyone can agree with this.


I don't think that Torque's and Charity's positions are irreconcilable at all. Torque seems to be saying that the gods themselves should come down and smack their wayward followers, while Charity is saying that it's up to the gods' followers to correct the behavior.Those look like pretty irecconcilable views to me, especially when you add in that Torque seems to want paladins to fall and lose their abilities while Charity does not want that to happen. It's a giant shift in the way that the universe works.


Actually, they were involved from 3rd (and 1st and 2nd indirectly).Whether the diety is directly, or indirectly involved is pretty immaterial; if the deity has a policy of "cross this line and we stop granting you XXX power" then it doesn't really matter if the deity is the one granting the spell, or some minion of the deity is granting it. Neither the Deity of the minion have to remove anything or do anything activly to punish the individual ... they just stop granting those powers.

Artanis
2008-10-03, 02:33 PM
In 4e, paladins are required to choose a god to follow, and their alignment must be tied to that deity. Each deity has a code that's somewhat laid out in the PHB. This is cool, since it means that gods who could not have these champions of their order under 3e rules now can. Making them all the same class, with the same abilities, means that optimizers aren't drawn to one particular deity.

I like that paladins are no longer punished for actions beyond their control. As I'm sure everyone can agree, it's no fun for the party when one person has the power to tell everyone what they can or can't do, and now you don't gimp one of your players for having a bit of fun. However, paladins still have the code laid out by their deity. It's as inappropriate for a paladin of Lloth to help old ladies cross the street as it is for a paladin of Bahamut to slaughter a building full of orphans. In both cases, it's reasonable to assume that the deity would be upset by the paladin's actions.

I don't think that Torque's and Charity's positions are irreconcilable at all. Torque seems to be saying that the gods themselves should come down and smack their wayward followers, while Charity is saying that it's up to the gods' followers to correct the behavior. Neither of you is saying that paladins should be able to just ignore the mandates of their chosen deity without consequence. Yes, 4e lacks the hard-and-fast "strip him of his powers if he or anyone that's ever associated with him for more than 3 seconds violates his code" rule. Instead of the deity himself coming down, he acts through agents (mortal or otherwordly) in attempts to bring the paladin back in line. A good roleplayer will not have any problems playing a paladin in 4e, as the gods' codes are laid out and more open to interpretation, so as long as an action can be justified by the character as being in line with the code, there's no problem. In some cases he may be called upon to do so before his superiors in the church. Problems arise when you have a bad roleplayer that wants to be a paladin.
Exactly. For a good roleplayer, this will never be a problem, and will only be a boon to the rest of the party. For a bad roleplayer, there's plenty of ways to make him really, really regret blatantly violating his code (i.e. the orphanage example) without resorting to using DM fiat to instantly cripple him.

SmartAlec
2008-10-03, 02:34 PM
It is hardcoded by the fact that paladins and clerics don't get their powers from gods and are punished only by the church.

I do feel that the idea of a Paladin player causing trouble by disobeying his or her God's tenets and then demanding that the DM persecute the Paladin 'because it's in the rulebook' falls rather heavily on the 'ridiculous' side. I can't help but feel that if a group's got a player like that and a DM that allows it, they've got bigger problems.


Nope; not everyone can agree with this.

Do you mean that you don't agree, or just that you are hypothesising the existence of someone who doesn't?

If it's the former, what don't you agree with? Do you think that it IS fun for all concerned when one player has the power to tell others what to do, or do you think it's good that you should have to gimp a player for enjoying themselves in an appropriate way?

Jayabalard
2008-10-03, 02:39 PM
I do feel that the idea of a Paladin player causing trouble by disobeying his or her God's tenets and then demanding that the DM persecute the Paladin 'because it's in the rulebook' falls rather heavily on the 'ridiculous' side. I can't help but feel that if a group's got a player like that and a DM that allows it, they've got bigger problems.what is it necessarily a problem with that? I don't see anything wrong with someone who is playing a paladin that has trouble sticking to the straight and narrow and wants to play though the sort of story. Certainly, someone who has questions and then loses their faith, and then either regains it or falls and becomes the opposite of everything he stood for can be as interesting or more interesting to play than the perfect paladin that never wavers in his devotion.

SmartAlec
2008-10-03, 02:42 PM
what is it necessarily a problem with that?

I'm referring to Torque's claim that a player might deliberately and with malice aforethought use the Paladin class to force a DM into a position where he or she has no choice but to send armies of clerics and paladins after the party.

A Paladin player who actually wants to play out the consequences of a bad decision because they're interested in the potential avenues it could go is fine. A Paladin player out to cause trouble and make everyone's lives hell by quoting the rulebook and claiming that the DM has no choice in the matter... less so.

Jayabalard
2008-10-03, 02:43 PM
Do you mean that you don't agree, or just that you are hypothesising the existence of someone who doesn't?

If it's the former, what don't you agree with? Do you think that it IS fun for all concerned when one player has the power to tell others what to do, or do you think it's good that you should have to gimp a player for enjoying themselves in an appropriate way?The former; yes it can be (as in, I don't agree that it can't be fun); and yes you should "gimp a player for having a bit of fun" if that character has abilities powered by an outside source (especially a divine one) and that "bit of fun" falls outside of what is acceptable to that outside source.


I'm referring to Torque's claim that a player might deliberately and with malice aforethought use the Paladin class to force a DM into a position where he or she has no choice but to send armies of clerics and paladins after the party.I'm not seeing where he said that (though I'm not doing more than scanning for it). It looks like he's voicing his displeasure that the rules specifically say that the only way to deal with a paladin who has violated his code is through the church.

SmartAlec
2008-10-03, 02:54 PM
yes it can be

'Can be' is not good enough. I will go so far as to say that it's only fun for all concerned if everyone is willing to go along with it, and a base class that relies on everyone's consent in such a matter is not a good idea.


I'm not seeing where he said that (though I'm not doing more than scanning for it). It looks like he's voicing his displeasure that the rules specifically say that the only way to deal with a paladin who has violated his code is through the church.


It punishes the DM and other players who are trying to play their own characters honestly and suddenly find a loose canon in the group who can wave this daft restriction in their faces and hijack the whole plot of the campaign as the church tries to hunt them down and, probably, everyone associated with them. It's a freaking nightmare for the DM and the other players unless they all want to play the powergamer's way.

Emphasis on the 'wave the daft restriction in their faces' part, which implies that it's on purpose.

mangosta71
2008-10-03, 02:59 PM
Nope; not everyone can agree with this.

Ah. Well, in all the groups I ever ran with, we never had a situation where everyone could have fun while one guy was constantly screaming "you can't do that!" at us.


Those look like pretty irecconcilable views to me, especially when you add in that Torque seems to want paladins to fall and lose their abilities while Charity does not want that to happen. It's a giant shift in the way that the universe works.

I meant, they're agreed that the DM has to take steps to correct the paladin's behavior, so they've already reached a level of compromise. They differ on what those steps should be. One of the more interesting solutions I've seen on these boards (possibly even brought up in this thread) is another deity coming in and supplying the power for the paladin's abilities, subtly subverting his faith. In such a case, the DM can consider the character's actions and choose an appropriate deity, while the paladin's original brethren start looking for him to have a chat about his actions. This allows a justification of the paladin retaining his abilities (at least, in the short run).

Jayabalard
2008-10-03, 03:09 PM
Ah. Well, in all the groups I ever ran with, we never had a situation where everyone could have fun while one guy was constantly screaming "you can't do that!" at us.It's quite easy to tell people what they can and can't do without screaming anything at them, especially if you stick to doing it in character instead of making it an ooc argument.


I meant, they're agreed that the DM has to take steps to correct the paladin's behavior, so they've already reached a level of compromise.Not at all, the disagreement between has been specifically the methodology used from the beginning. There's no compromise involved between these two.


'Can be' is not good enough. It's good enough for me; can be means that as long as I game with the sort of people I game with it's not an impediment to having fun. Since that may not necessarily the case you for, and I'm not trying to speak for other people like mangosta71 was, I won't say "IS" and instead stick to what I know to be true.

Since it's fun for me when done right, I don't agree with "it's no fun for the party when one person has the power to tell everyone what they can or can't do" ... which is why I said "Nope; not everyone can agree with this."

If he had stuck to "I don't find it fun when x, y, or z" I wouldn't have responded, since he would have been speaking for himself instead of trying to speak for everyone.


Emphasis on the 'wave the daft restriction in their faces' part, which implies that it's on purpose.It reads to me like he's talking about someone who just ignores the code of his paladin since there's nothing that the DM can do without being disruptive the game over it at that point.

MartinHarper
2008-10-03, 03:25 PM
Yes, the point being that if you want to play paladins that way, then what actually is the cost to you as a player or a group of there being a perfectly logical, sensible, in-game punishment for paladins that are not played that way?

If you want to play paladins that way, then 3e and 4e are the same.
If you want to play a 'grey paladin' who sometimes does the wrong thing for the right reasons, then 4e works better.

Jayabalard
2008-10-03, 03:33 PM
If you want to play paladins that way, then 3e and 4e are the same.
If you want to play a 'grey paladin' who sometimes does the wrong thing for the right reasons, then 4e works better.Not true; If you want to play a 'grey paladin' who sometimes does the wrong thing for the right reasons with no repercussions, then 4e works better. If you want to play a 'grey paladin' who sometimes does the wrong thing for the right reasons with repercussions, then previous editions work better.

erikun
2008-10-03, 03:41 PM
Well, I'm just catching the tail end of this conversation, but something about it clearly doesn't make sense. In particular, the idea that someone playing a jerk-Paladin is somehow worse than someone playing a jerk-anythingelse.

Example 1: The Paladin in the party kills everyone in a village, then burns the place to the ground. The church dispatches holy crusaders after the Paladin, for mass murder and blatant disregard of the church's doctrine.

Example 2: The Fighter in the party kills everyone in a village, then burns the place to the ground. The king dispatches officiers after the Fighter, for mass murder and blatant disregard of the law.

What is the difference?

There seems to be some idea that ignoring the church's order or puppy-kicking forces the church to sic holy avengers onto the party. This simply isn't true. If a paladin of Avandra sits at home all day, drinking beer and eating Cheetos, that doesn't mean the Spanish Inquisition will be breaking down his door and burning him at the stake. It just means that the church isn't going to be willing to help said paladin out. Similarly, most churches will just withhold healing and services from someone who goes around kicking puppies - paladin or not. And if the paladin does something so bad that the church is after him, wouldn't another character doing the same thing raise the church's ire about as much?

Basically, is there any time when someone would be hunted down as a paladin, but not as a fighter in the same situation?

Oracle_Hunter
2008-10-03, 03:47 PM
I'm not sure I'd agree. I'd say that the main effect is to take divine matters out of the game altogether. After all, for all practical purposes, there's no difference between the divine, the arcane, and the martial in the 4e PHB - they're functionally identical.

- Saph

Well, that's not quite true though. Yes, Divine, Arcane (Prepared), and Arcane (Spontaneous) magic is no longer divided into mini-systems, but there remains a mechanical distinction between them (there are feats and PP which only apply to certain power sources, even with MC) and, more importantly, strong fluff differences.

Wizards are currently the only spellcasters who have no one, in-game, to answer to. They get their powers entirely from within, manipulating the mystic forces based on their own minds.

Warlocks get their powers from Other Powers via a Pact. The details of this Pact are deliberately vague, but it clearly creates some manner of obligation between the mortal and the Other.

Paladins and Clerics, however, get their powers explicitly by church sanction, on the sufferance of their God. They represent a mortal church, and their actions will both be checked by, and measured against, that church. And, depending on your fluff, their souls may end up in the care of their God once they die, who will then have the ability to judge their lives and actions.

Martial powers, of course, come purely from within - but that's not really the question here. By the sparse fluff provided in the PHB, it's clear that these various classes gain their powers in different ways, and that for most of them, they have bound themselves to some force greater than themselves.

However, if your complaint is merely that they use a unified system (fluff be damned!) then I suppose you are correct - though whether or not Paladins could Fall doesn't seem like it would matter for such a calculation.

SmartAlec
2008-10-03, 03:48 PM
Not true; If you want to play a 'grey paladin' who sometimes does the wrong thing for the right reasons with no repercussions, then 4e works better. If you want to play a 'grey paladin' who sometimes does the wrong thing for the right reasons with repercussions, then previous editions work better.

4th Edition suggests that there be repercussions. Because they are left up to the DM and the player, the DM can set them aside, so the first part of your assertion is unarguably correct. The second, though - I'm not sure how the one-strike-and-you're-out fall is 'better'.

I would go so far as to say that 4th Edition is better if you want repercussions that don't necessarily break your character. And even in 4th Ed, if you want a scenario in which a Paladin loses his or her powers as punishment for a wrongdoing, that's do-able; a geas or a ritual that can last until atonement has been found has already been mentioned in this thread. The book may state that a Paladin's power comes from within, but I don't think it goes so far as to add "and it can never be taken away ever ever by anything".

JaxGaret
2008-10-03, 03:48 PM
You mean, other than the rules as written, right?

I assume you're referring to this section of the PHB:


Once initiated, the paladin is a paladin forevermore. How justly, honorably, or compassionately the paladin wields those powers from that day forward is up to him, and paladins who stray too far from the tenets of their faith are punished by other members of the faithful.

Let's break it down.


Once initiated, the paladin is a paladin forevermore.

Okay, this is a change from 3e; a 4e Paladin is always a Paladin, even if stripped of their powers, and a 3e Paladin is a Paladin only until they are stripped of their powers; at that point, they are an ex-Paladin.

So what's the difference between a 4e Paladin stripped of their powers and a 3e ex-Paladin? A title, nothing more.


How justly, honorably, or compassionately the paladin wields those powers from that day forward is up to him

Same as in 3e.


and paladins who stray too far from the tenets of their faith are punished by other members of the faithful.

Where is the rules text stating that the gods can't strip a Paladin of their powers? There are none. There is only a positive affirmation that fallen Paladins "are punished by other members of the faithful." That does not in and of itself mean that Paladins cannot also be punished by the gods.

So, essentially, the only RAW mechanical difference from 3e to 4e is that fallen Paladins are called "Paladins" in 4e, and "ex-Paladins" in 3e, though that's pretty much just semantics.

Yakk
2008-10-03, 03:50 PM
Not true; If you want to play a 'grey paladin' who sometimes does the wrong thing for the right reasons with no repercussions, then 4e works better. If you want to play a 'grey paladin' who sometimes does the wrong thing for the right reasons with repercussions, then previous editions work better.
Except, of course, that you as a 'gray paladin' can choose to have your powers revoked whenever you want to?

By removing the core presumption, it allows both options to be played out, without any house rules. You, as the player, get control over your character's fiction, to a greater extent than in 3e.

Basically, is there any time when someone would be hunted down as a paladin, but not as a fighter in the same situation?

There is the moral responsibility of having created said Paladin, and said Paladin using a spark of Divine from the deity to do evil.

The 4e Paladin is created using Divine power, and from that power the Paladin's abilities derive. In the event that they seek to use that power corruptly, the Divine power in question has to either accept the misuse of the weapon that is a part of the Divine power's very essence, or seek out to prevent this.

It opens up some rather neat adventure concepts that are missing in 3e.

And, at the same time, anyone who wants to play a "fallen paladin" going on an atonement quest has _no problem_ -- it requires zero house rules to implement.

horseboy
2008-10-03, 04:21 PM
I actually meant that I don't understand where you're getting this number.
Spelljammer

Jayabalard
2008-10-03, 04:27 PM
Except, of course, that you as a 'gray paladin' can choose to have your powers revoked whenever you want to?Except that you can't... you can choose not to use them, which is close, but not the same thing.

erikun
2008-10-03, 04:39 PM
The 4e Paladin is created using Divine power, and from that power the Paladin's abilities derive. In the event that they seek to use that power corruptly, the Divine power in question has to either accept the misuse of the weapon that is a part of the Divine power's very essence, or seek out to prevent this.

It opens up some rather neat adventure concepts that are missing in 3e.
Oh, true. I'm not denying that a Paladin has a lot of RP potential as he falls. I'm just saying that it's not any different than a Cleric who strays too far from the divine path, or a Wizard who strays too far from the ideals of the mage order, or a Rogue who strays too far from the rules of the local thieves guild, or the Fighter who strays to far from the rules in place regulating local mercenaries...

I'm just saying that, while a Paladin has fluff-reasons not to do specific things, the other characters in the party should also have similar fluff-reasons to avoid actions - with probably similar (although not from the same source) consequences.

Wulfram
2008-10-03, 04:43 PM
Stripping 4e Paladins of there powers wouldn't really work, AFAICS. You can't really be a working character with just your base attack

Of course 3e Fallen Paladins weren't exactly great, but, as a fighter without the feats, you were still an OK combatant. Hopefully the DM would eventually let you trade the fallen paladin levels in for something better, but in the short term you could get along.

Artanis
2008-10-03, 04:48 PM
Not true; If you want to play a 'grey paladin' who sometimes does the wrong thing for the right reasons with no repercussions, then 4e works better. If you want to play a 'grey paladin' who sometimes does the wrong thing for the right reasons with repercussions, then previous editions work better.

I disagree. I think the following is a more accurate representation of the situation you describe:


If you want to play a 'grey paladin' who sometimes does the wrong thing for the right reasons with repercussions such as having an entire church hunting you down in order to kill you slowly and painfully, then 4e works better. If you want to play a 'grey paladin' who does the wrong thing for the right reasons once, after which he is as utterly worthless as a NPC Warrior, then previous editions work better.

Vva70
2008-10-03, 04:51 PM
Except that you can't... you can choose not to use them, which is close, but not the same thing.

You as a player can choose not to use them, saying that your character has been stripped of them. That IS the same thing, at least in-game. Metagame, not so much, but why should a distinction in the metagame matter here?

Saph
2008-10-03, 04:52 PM
Well, that's not quite true though. Yes, Divine, Arcane (Prepared), and Arcane (Spontaneous) magic is no longer divided into mini-systems, but there remains a mechanical distinction between them (there are feats and PP which only apply to certain power sources, even with MC) and, more importantly, strong fluff differences.

Wizards are currently the only spellcasters who have no one, in-game, to answer to. They get their powers entirely from within, manipulating the mystic forces based on their own minds.

Warlocks get their powers from Other Powers via a Pact. The details of this Pact are deliberately vague, but it clearly creates some manner of obligation between the mortal and the Other.

Paladins and Clerics, however, get their powers explicitly by church sanction, on the sufferance of their God.

Is there really a difference, though?

I agree that that's how the flavour text presents it, but the mechanics don't back it up. Or rather, the mechanics don't back it up more than anything else. Take warlocks and wizards. According to the fluff, wizards get their powers from within and warlocks from outside, but contrary to the 'pact' description, warlocks aren't actually under any obligation. They can use their powers for their patron, or against their patron, with no in-game consequences except that which the DM chooses to invent.

The fluff differences don't really translate to anything in in-character terms, which is probably why in the 4e games that I've played, no-one pays attention to the arcane/divine/martial thing. Sure, the fluff may say that the Warlock gets his power from a pact with yadda yadda yadda, but since nothing in the PHB suggests that there are any consequences of that, players generally regard the Warlock as "the striker guy who targets Fort/Ref/Will", as opposed to "the striker guy who targets AC". And to bring the discussion back to topic, Paladins come across rule-wise as "Str/Cha defender with some healing".

- Saph

Yakk
2008-10-03, 05:00 PM
Except that you can't... you can choose not to use them, which is close, but not the same thing.

Care to distinguish between them in a way that impacts game-play?

Paladin A: Character cannot use his Divine powers by GM fiat.
Paladin B: Player decides that the character cannot use his Divine powers.

About the only difference I see is that Paladin A can start using the powers again when the DM says, and Paladin B can start using the powers when the player says...

(Remember: character/player duality exists.)

Thane of Fife
2008-10-03, 05:05 PM
Spelljammer

That's a bit specific, isn't it? What about all of those other campaign settings?

Regardless, here's another quote from the PHB -


Priests must pray to obtain spells, as they are requesting their abilities from some greater power, be it their deity or some intermediary agent of this power.

and


Priests who slip in their duties, harbor indiscreet thoughts, or neglect their beliefs find that their deity has an immediate method of redress. If the priest has failed in his duties, the deity can deny him spells as a clear method of dissatisfaction.... These can be regained if the character immediately begins to make amends for his errors. Perhaps the character only needs to be a little more vigilant, in the case of a minor fault. A serious transgression could require special service, such as a quest or some great sacrifice of goods.

In other words, whether its the deity directly paying attention, or one of his agents saying "Hey, you should check this guy out," the point that I was trying to make remains - the rules provide clear ways for clerics to lose their spellcasting capabilities. This is all that I was trying to prove.

Wulfram
2008-10-03, 05:24 PM
Care to distinguish between them in a way that impacts game-play?

Paladin A: Character cannot use his Divine powers by GM fiat.
Paladin B: Player decides that the character cannot use his Divine powers.

About the only difference I see is that Paladin A can start using the powers again when the DM says, and Paladin B can start using the powers when the player says...

(Remember: character/player duality exists.)


Firstly, in 3e Paladin A isn't losing his powers by GM fiat, but by the rules of the game - admittedly those rules aren't as clear as they probably should be, but it's not, or at least shouldn't be, the GM acting arbitrarily without the player being aware of there being at least the possibility.

As a player I'd be reluctant to claim the right to decide the actions of a deity, which is what I'd be doing by stripping myself of his powers. I also don't really like having to call a penalty on myself. I'd rather focus on what my character does and thinks, and let the rules and the DM decide what the consequences are.

Snooder
2008-10-03, 05:28 PM
Personally, I like the "no falling" simply because it puts control of the PC back where it belongs, in the player's hands.

The 3E falling rules were, ultimately, arbitrary and overly harsh. They were far too vague and put too much power over the Paladin into a DM's hands. Just as a player shouldn't be able to say "hey you can't put *two* dragons in the lair, i'm invoking rule #2324", a DM shouldn't be able to dictate how a player runs his character beyond general guidelines and preventing asshattery.

It's fairly common for people to disagree on the nature of good and evil and nobody has a perfect conception of what each class is. For most classes, this doesn't pose a problem. If the CG rogue decides to let a pedophile get tortured instead of helping him, he gets to keep being a rogue. If the LE Necromancer falls in love and saves the life of his beloved, he doesn't suddenly stop being a necromancer. However, with the falling rules, the second a Paladin decided that it would be appropriate in character to keep silent while the party bard lies to the evil town guards of Evilville, he loses all his powers. Instantly, with no recourse. Sure the Player doesn't think it's a fall worthy offense, but hey, the falling rules are right there, and the DM has complete discretion.

Sorry, but I've been in far too many games where being a Paladin screwed me for no good reason. Mostly, it was just simple things like a DM insisting that my Paladin couldn't allow others in the party to stretch the truth when I felt it would be quite appropriate to do so. However, there is one occasion that pretty much ended my long streak of playing Paladin-esque characters. It was just a one-shot session with a different DM. I'm playing a Paladin and de-facto party leader. We've been tasked by a village to look for the son of the chief, who is important to some prophecy. We go searching in this cave and along the way are beset by zombies and other undead. By the time we get to the end of the cave, we've pretty much given up on finding the kid alive. So we get there, and the villain and the kid are there. Villain threatens to kill the kid if we don't let him go. The kid looks sick, and magical scryer reveals that he's not showing any signs of life. Party consensus is that he's a zombie, so we decide to kill the villain anyway while trying our best to save the kid. Asshat DM then steps in with "lol, you can't do that because if you do, you'll fall", citing some bull**** about me having given my word to get the kid home safe. So we have to let the villain go. Party wants to kill him anyway once he's far enough away from the kid, but again DM steps in saying that I can't even turn a blind eye and would have to fight the party in order to keep my powers. Long story short, bad guy gets away and we find out that the kid was a zombie and end up having to kill him anyway. I felt like strangling the DM and I never played a Paladin in 3.5 again. I played lots of LG fighters/Warblades and a couple Clerics with the War domain, but never again a paladin.

Vva70
2008-10-03, 05:40 PM
As a player I'd be reluctant to claim the right to decide the actions of a deity, which is what I'd be doing by stripping myself of his powers. I also don't really like having to call a penalty on myself. I'd rather focus on what my character does and thinks, and let the rules and the DM decide what the consequences are.

I can certainly understand that outlook, but in that case, all you have to do is say to the DM "I don't mind a possible consequence of improper actions being for the deity to remove my character's powers. Please let me know if my character crosses that line." :smallsmile:

Torque
2008-10-03, 05:59 PM
4th Edition suggests that there be repercussions. Because they are left up to the DM and the player, the DM can set them aside,
They are not left up to "the DM and player"; that's the entire point of the argument.

Artanis
2008-10-03, 06:13 PM
Firstly, in 3e Paladin A isn't losing his powers by GM fiat, but by the rules of the game - admittedly those rules aren't as clear as they probably should be, but it's not, or at least shouldn't be, the GM acting arbitrarily without the player being aware of there being at least the possibility.
Who decides what situations to put the Paladin in, and how likely they are to cause the Paladin to fall? The DM
Who decides what amount of time in the presence of an evil person it takes to cross the line to "knowing associating" with them? The DM
Who decides when an action violates the Paladin's code? The DM

Face it, the Paladin loses his powers when the DM says he loses his powers, not a moment sooner and not a moment later. Yes, there are rules that declare when said power-losing will occur, but no matter how strict the rules, there will always be enough wiggle room to give the DM the power to allow or disallow pretty much whatever he wants.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-10-03, 06:20 PM
Is there really a difference, though?

I agree that that's how the flavour text presents it, but the mechanics don't back it up. Or rather, the mechanics don't back it up more than anything else. Take warlocks and wizards. According to the fluff, wizards get their powers from within and warlocks from outside, but contrary to the 'pact' description, warlocks aren't actually under any obligation. They can use their powers for their patron, or against their patron, with no in-game consequences except that which the DM chooses to invent. Or how their Patron or Bishop would react if they found out they were using their powers against them.

The fluff differences don't really translate to anything in in-character terms, which is probably why in the 4e games that I've played, no-one pays attention to the arcane/divine/martial thing. Sure, the fluff may say that the Warlock gets his power from a pact with yadda yadda yadda, but since nothing in the PHB suggests that there are any consequences of that, players generally regard the Warlock as "the striker guy who targets Fort/Ref/Will", as opposed to "the striker guy who targets AC". And to bring the discussion back to topic, Paladins come across rule-wise as "Str/Cha defender with some healing".

- Saph

Like I said, if you're looking for mechanical differences, you won't find one. However, it's a bit sad that no one in your campaign seems to consider what it means to be the sort of person willing to form mysterious Pacts with extra-planar entities, or what it means to have received your powers from the local Bishop.

This is a roleplaying game after all - presumably you'll think about how your character came by their powers and what that means to them. Just because that doesn't translate into a "you can't eat chicken or you lose your powers" by RAW doesn't mean there isn't a difference.

Saph
2008-10-03, 07:21 PM
Like I said, if you're looking for mechanical differences, you won't find one. However, it's a bit sad that no one in your campaign seems to consider what it means to be the sort of person willing to form mysterious Pacts with extra-planar entities, or what it means to have received your powers from the local Bishop.

I don't think it's fair to blame the players. I think they're just picking up on how the game's presented in the book. Taking the example of Warlocks, there are no rules in 4e for forming Warlock pacts, and in fact there's pretty much no information on those pacts whatsoever - it's all treated as backstory that's assumed to have happened off-camera and which can be safely ignored once the game starts With that in mind, is it really surprising that players don't pay much attention to it?

- Saph

horseboy
2008-10-03, 08:46 PM
That's a bit specific, isn't it? What about all of those other campaign settings?Nope, especially since it was designed to incorporate "all of those other campaign settings." Well except the two plane related. A space ship in Ravenloft would be rather silly, though I could totally see a lifejammer going crazy there.

Thane of Fife
2008-10-03, 09:45 PM
Nope, especially since it was designed to incorporate "all of those other campaign settings." Well except the two plane related. A space ship in Ravenloft would be rather silly, though I could totally see a lifejammer going crazy there.

Spaceships anywhere is kind of silly - that's part of what makes Spelljammer so great (I feel like I should try running a PbP game). I am curious which book you're talking about (I don't actually have that many Spelljammer books - just the War Captain's Companion and an adventure, which put together have enough info for me to run a Spelljammer game).

What I should have said is that using a quote from Spelljammer to say that something in the PHB is silly is backwards: the PHB comes first - it's what the Spelljammer book says that's contradictory.

JaxGaret
2008-10-03, 11:33 PM
I don't think it's fair to blame the players.

There's a difference between "blaming" someone for something, and calling a spade a spade.

If a player doesn't want to roleplay their character, that's their choice. It's no sweat off my back. Just don't tell me that 4e is somehow promoting an anti-roleplaying atmosphere, like you do here:


I think they're just picking up on how the game's presented in the book. Taking the example of Warlocks, there are no rules in 4e for forming Warlock pacts, and in fact there's pretty much no information on those pacts whatsoever - it's all treated as backstory that's assumed to have happened off-camera and which can be safely ignored once the game starts With that in mind, is it really surprising that players don't pay much attention to it?

D&D is a roleplaying game. The players decide how much effort to put into the roleplaying aspect of it, not the game. Always have, always will, no matter the edition.

SmartAlec
2008-10-04, 12:22 AM
They are not left up to "the DM and player"; that's the entire point of the argument.

Au contraire - a Paladin will be "punished by members of the faithful", but that's a very, very vague way of putting it. A DM could do anything they like with that, from stern disapproval and the lack of discount at Paladin stores to a full-blown lynch mob to some sort of ritualised trial to an avenging angel to...

Anyhow, this is entirely unlike 3rd Edition, where there's almost no room to manouvere.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-10-04, 01:12 AM
I don't think it's fair to blame the players. I think they're just picking up on how the game's presented in the book. Taking the example of Warlocks, there are no rules in 4e for forming Warlock pacts, and in fact there's pretty much no information on those pacts whatsoever - it's all treated as backstory that's assumed to have happened off-camera and which can be safely ignored once the game starts With that in mind, is it really surprising that players don't pay much attention to it?

- Saph

I'll second what Jax said, and add something more:

Just because the PHB doesn't fully describe something doesn't mean the DM doesn't have to.

No PHB has described what it means to be a member of a church (duties and so forth) for the Cleric, nor how one is to join a Thieves' Guild (even when all Thieves knew the Cant). Heck, even Druids only had a vague description of their organizations in the 2e PHB, and their leveling was based on it. Yet, in all such editions, DMs would have to describe the churches, and guilds, and yes, druidic orders for their PCs, or the PCs would have to make it up on their own. In a sense, it was part of character creation - the background part of your character.

Would it have been nice for the 4e PHB to include some description of these things? Maybe, though the flavor text in each of the classes gives a sufficient skeleton for any player to create something if they or the DM find it important. If neither DM or player found this to be an important part of the character, well, I'm still sad to hear it, but I'm played excellent games with people who never put more thought into their character than a name, sex, and alignment.

So yes, I'm blaming the player for not thinking about it, and I'm also blaming the DM for not thinking about it either! How the various forces available in a setting operate and interact with each other should be a fundamental aspect of world building, even if it's no more than a "how do you get this power and who do you get it from?" IMHO, a DM which doesn't consider this is as negligent as one who doesn't include a pantheon or know how the kingdom is run.

Sure, the PHB setting is pretty skeletal on this fluff, but that's because WotC didn't want to have to worry about stripping out non-functional fluff when a new world book came out. I haven't read the FR stuff, but if WotC doesn't include information on churches and Pacts in their world books, they're being as negligent as the hypothetical DM above.

Summary
No PHB has fully described the organizations that implicitly produce members of a given class. Those sorts of organizations should be considered and constructed, if not by the player, then at least by the DM as part of the basic world building that DMing entails. Any Setting Book that neglects to describe the general practices of Churches, or the methods of Pacting is a deficient one, IMHO.

This is not to say that all players should create 20 page backstories, but if having a detailed world is important to either the players or the DM, the DM at least should have considered this. Just because it's not written in a book doesn't mean it can't be (or shouldn't be) made up by the DM. That gap-filling is what separates the computer RPGs from the pen & paper RPGs.

Torque
2008-10-04, 05:30 AM
I assume you're referring to this section of the PHB:


Once initiated, the paladin is a paladin forevermore. How justly, honorably, or compassionately the paladin wields those powers from that day forward is up to him, and paladins who stray too far from the tenets of their faith are punished by other members of the faithful.

Let's break it down.


Once initiated, the paladin is a paladin forevermore.

Okay, this is a change from 3e; a 4e Paladin is always a Paladin, even if stripped of their powers, and a 3e Paladin is a Paladin only until they are stripped of their powers; at that point, they are an ex-Paladin.

So what's the difference between a 4e Paladin stripped of their powers and a 3e ex-Paladin? A title, nothing more.

That is (at best) a deluded reading of the text, frankly. The 4e PHB is quite clearly saying that the paladin can not be stripped of their powers, for in all editions the powers are what makes the character a paladin - without the powers they are no longer paladins; in 1e they are fighters and in 4e they are an anomalous object with no defined meaning or mechanical existance under the rules.



How justly, honorably, or compassionately the paladin wields those powers from that day forward is up to him
Same as in 3e.
This is clearly a reference to the third edition of some other game. CoC perhaps? I don't know.


Where is the rules text stating that the gods can't strip a Paladin of their powers? There are none. There is only a positive affirmation that fallen Paladins "are punished by other members of the faithful." That does not in and of itself mean that Paladins cannot also be punished by the gods.
I agree that rule 0 applies and the text you quoted can and should be ignored, but unless you have a definition of "paladin" that is in some secret hidden part of the rules, then the above quote is flat out wrong. A paladin is defined as a class with certain abilities within the game; the game says that a paladin remains a member of that class "forevermore".


So, essentially, the only RAW mechanical difference from 3e to 4e is that fallen Paladins are called "Paladins" in 4e, and "ex-Paladins" in 3e, though that's pretty much just semantics.
Yes, that's exactly what it is, and your semantics are ludicrous. I've never seen such twisted logic presented seriously in my life.

Saph
2008-10-04, 06:24 AM
There's a difference between "blaming" someone for something, and calling a spade a spade.

If a player doesn't want to roleplay their character, that's their choice. It's no sweat off my back. Just don't tell me that 4e is somehow promoting an anti-roleplaying atmosphere, like you do here.

I'm also calling a spade a spade. This is what I've found the game is like to play, in several different groups. If you don't want me to tell you that, don't read my posts.


No PHB has fully described the organizations that implicitly produce members of a given class. Those sorts of organizations should be considered and constructed, if not by the player, then at least by the DM as part of the basic world building that DMing entails. Any Setting Book that neglects to describe the general practices of Churches, or the methods of Pacting is a deficient one, IMHO.

Of course. I just think - if it's so important - it should get at least some sort of mention in the basic rules. E.g., is it possible for a Paladin whose alignment has shifted to rededicate himself to a different god? Can a Warlock cancel or renegotiate his pact? What do the patrons get out of it? Saying that this is all up to the DM isn't the best idea, IMO - DMs have enough work to do already. (I DM one 4e game with a Warlock in it, and I sure wouldn't appreciate the designers telling me that I'm expected to make it all up from scratch!)

- Saph

SmartAlec
2008-10-04, 08:29 AM
On the other hand, I'd put money on the possibility that had such things been laid down in the PHB, someone would post that they don't like it, be told that if they don't like it they can houserule it, and then cite the Oberoni fallacy.

Besides which, the situations you describe - a Paladin rededicating him/herself, a Warlock looking to get out of their Pact - they're so situational, based on a character's personality, what god, what were the circumstances of the alignment change, et cetera... how could a simple guideline cover them properly?

I also don't think the DM likely would have had to do ALL the work - the warlock player would (should?) have some notion of the circumstances of their pact in their character background, for example, most likely discussed with the DM before play, so the DM would have a starting-point to build on, at least. I'm having a hard time imagining a game where

- something happens
- the DM suddenly has to invent an entire system of pacts from scratch.

Torque
2008-10-04, 08:58 AM
I am still reeling about the 1e Paladin being very flexable bit..
Just to go back to this for a moment: I mean that they're flexable about where they get their powers from. They can be divinely inspired or Captain Carrot types who simply radiate LG so strongly that it makes things happen around them. In elther case, losing their powers is a logical consequence of no longer being a paladin - that is to say, a shining example of goodness.

It's also worth remembering that 1e paladins only fall for intentionally doing evil; they can "stumble" for lesser reasons but get up again; a fall is a one-way trip but the class does not live under the binary "Perfect paladin/fallen paladin" some here seem to be suggesting. The DM has leeway, and IME moset use it. A DM who unreasonably beats the paladin with a stick is probably unreasonably beating all the other characters with sticks too, while a DM who is helping a paladin explore their character's relationships with crown, church, and dubious friends is probably letting everyone else get on with their roleplaying too.

Previous editions allowed a DM to fully develop churches and religions and even specific rituals for gaining specific spells or whatever the DM wanted and have it all mean something. 4e appears to have made all that into pointless cant - the gods are simply a sham and contribute nothing except an extra layer of hypocracy. Everything is arbitrary. I can get that in the real world, thanks.

Because of this change, clerics and paladins are meanlingless concepts in-game - they're just superheroes under a different name. Their "special relationship" with a deity is a waste of their time and the players' since they can get everything they want by apparently just concentrating really hard and never have to worry about behaving in any special way.

Why are there real churches in 4e at all? Why would anyone worship a god when there are people walking about all over the place who can do miracles and who will happily tell anyone who asks that they derive their power from within and not through blessings or anything else which has to be granted by an outside agency? Just slip the local Church of the Sub-Genius a few gp and they'll ordane you and off you go - free to do what you want, just like in real life. Faithful Paladins and Clerics have nothing to show for their devotion to their gods compared to such a "mail order" ordination who gets all the same powers and can act how they like, when they like with no fear of reprisal.

This is what happens when you use words like "fluff" to describe the important stuff and "crunch" to describe the things that a DM should be free to change: people start to believe that the important stuff is the mechanics and the unimportant stuff is the gameworld and, therefore, that the former should take precedence over the latter. That's why powergamers picked the terms and stick to them - they know it makes their style of play look more legitimate than those who like to make the system fit the roleplay.

In conclusion, since we're not getting anywhere: it's a junk rule, throw it out under rule-zero. No DM should put up with rules that dictate this sort of nonsense in their gameworld.

SmartAlec
2008-10-04, 09:22 AM
Faithful Paladins and Clerics have nothing to show for their devotion to their gods compared to such a "mail order" ordination who gets all the same powers and can act how they like, when they like with no fear of reprisal.

Hang on a moment. One might argue that if you need some sort of reward for your devotion in this life, that rather makes a mockery of the whole thing. And fear of reprisal should not be the driving force behind a good Paladin's behaviour in the first place, really. The Clerics and Paladins you describe as having a you-scratch-my-back, I'll-scratch-yours deal with a God don't seem very holy.

I would have thought that the idea behind the Paladin in 4th Edition is that only those who are likely to remain faithful after their investiture are those who actually become Paladins - and it's the fact that they are constantly presented with the choice between Evil or Good and choose Good (EDIT: or whatever their deity's alignment is) without the compulsion of their deity standing behind them with the nerfstick that makes them worthy of the name.

I think you've got the cart in front of the horse here. You're saying, there should be some form of divine punishment to prevent Paladins from transgressing. I think that cheapens the concept of the Paladin, and I like the fact that it's no longer there.

Thane of Fife
2008-10-04, 10:00 AM
I think you've got the cart in front of the horse here. You're saying, there should be some form of divine punishment to prevent Paladins from transgressing. I think that cheapens the concept of the Paladin, and I like the fact that it's no longer there.

I think that part of the problem is that you see the paladin's being stripped of his powers as a punishment for being bad. I consider it more of a benefit of being good.

You seem to be describing a contract between the paladin and the god - "I'll give you these powers, and in return you have to be Lawful Good." The paladin doing evil is breaking the contract, and the deity promptly smacks him down and takes the powers away - punishment.

I, on the other hand, consider the paladin to have his powers because he's good. If he becomes evil, then it's not that somebody takes the powers away, it's that nothing is giving them to him anymore. It's the very fact that he's super Lawful Good that gives him the powers.

You argue that presence of a punishment cheapens the paladin - I disagree. Indeed, I think that not having the risk of falling cheapens him - no longer are his powers due to his being an exemplar of virtue - now they're there because he tricked some god into giving him powers (obviously, not every, or even most, paladins will be played this way - it's the fact that they can be which cheapens the whole).

Somebody previously argued that now it's possible to frame a paladin as if it were a benefit. I don't consider that a good thing. I think the paladin should be above that - he's just that Good.

When the villain offers to let a prisoner go on the condition that the paladin take the prisoner's place, the paladin could demand that the prisoner be released as the first part of the exchange - and the villain could accept that, because he knew the paladin would keep his word. Now that can't happen anymore (not because the character's a paladin, anyway). I think that that's a bad thing.

Charity
2008-10-04, 10:34 AM
Just to go back to this for a moment: I mean that they're flexable about where they get their powers from. They can be divinely inspired or Captain Carrot types who simply radiate LG so strongly that it makes things happen around them. In elther case, losing their powers is a logical consequence of no longer being a paladin - that is to say, a shining example of goodness.
I don't really call adhereing to a stringent set of rules, having to be a set alignment, and having pre-determined class abilities flexable, sure you can roleplay the character however you want but the class itself is about as rigid a class as it could be.

A DM who unreasonably beats the paladin with a stick is probably unreasonably beating all the other characters with sticks too, while a DM who is helping a paladin explore their character's relationships with crown, church, and dubious friends is probably letting everyone else get on with their roleplaying too..
Not to my experiance, as shown by this thread, folk have strong and set opinions about how a paladin should act, very much moreso than all other classes.

Previous editions allowed a DM to fully develop churches and religions and even specific rituals for gaining specific spells or whatever the DM wanted and have it all mean something. 4e appears to have made all that into pointless cant - the gods are simply a sham and contribute nothing except an extra layer of hypocracy. Everything is arbitrary. I can get that in the real world, thanks. .
This is just demonstrating your bias, there is no difference between making something up for 4e and making stuff up for previous editions, you really ought to recognise this.

Because of this change, clerics and paladins are meanlingless concepts in-game - they're just superheroes under a different name. Their "special relationship" with a deity is a waste of their time and the players' since they can get everything they want by apparently just concentrating really hard and never have to worry about behaving in any special way..
In exactly the same way you'd expect a bookish wizard, or a foppish rogue, or a hard bitten dwarven fighter to act in character and according to previous actions you can expect the same from a paladin/cleric.
Why is playing a badly realised paladin worse than playing a badly realised wizard/warlord/warlock/whatever?


Why are there real churches in 4e at all? Why would anyone worship a god when there are people walking about all over the place who can do miracles and who will happily tell anyone who asks that they derive their power from within and not through blessings or anything else which has to be granted by an outside agency? Just slip the local Church of the Sub-Genius a few gp and they'll ordane you and off you go - free to do what you want, just like in real life. Faithful Paladins and Clerics have nothing to show for their devotion to their gods compared to such a "mail order" ordination who gets all the same powers and can act how they like, when they like with no fear of reprisal..
Yawn, yes yes you can roleplay badly, as you can in any previous edition of any roleplaying game, including the ones that (shock horror) don't even have alignment systems.

This is what happens when you use words like "fluff" to describe the important stuff and "crunch" to describe the things that a DM should be free to change: people start to believe that the important stuff is the mechanics and the unimportant stuff is the gameworld and, therefore, that the former should take precedence over the latter. That's why powergamers picked the terms and stick to them - they know it makes their style of play look more legitimate than those who like to make the system fit the roleplay..
Honestly is the word 'crunch' invested with that more gravitas than the word 'fluff'? They are shorthand nothing more.

In conclusion, since we're not getting anywhere: it's a junk rule, throw it out under rule-zero. No DM should put up with rules that dictate this sort of nonsense in their gameworld.
You are quite welcome to do just that.

SmartAlec
2008-10-04, 10:38 AM
I think that part of the problem is that you see the paladin's being stripped of his powers as a punishment for being bad. I consider it more of a benefit of being good.

Well. Torque's reasoning, not mine.


When the villain offers to let a prisoner go on the condition that the paladin take the prisoner's place, the paladin could demand that the prisoner be released as the first part of the exchange - and the villain could accept that, because he knew the paladin would keep his word. Now that can't happen anymore (not because the character's a paladin, anyway). I think that that's a bad thing.

Why can't that not happen? A 3rd Ed Paladin has just as much freedom to choose to break their word as the 4th Ed Paladin does - it's simply that for the 3rd Ed Paladin, the consequences are more immediate. And a 4th Ed Paladin of a Lawful Good deity can be every bit as unflinchingly Good as the 3rd Ed Paladin.

Thane of Fife
2008-10-04, 10:58 AM
Well. Torque's reasoning, not mine.

Fair enough. I apologize.


Why can't that not happen? A 3rd Ed Paladin has just as much freedom to choose to break their word as the 4th Ed Paladin does - it's simply that for the 3rd Ed Paladin, the consequences are more immediate. And a 4th Ed Paladin of a Lawful Good deity can be every bit as unflinchingly Good as the 3rd Ed Paladin.

It can happen, but not simply because he's a paladin. The problem is that, previously, the paladin who breaks his word is obviously negatively affected - people probably don't mistake him for a paladin. As long as one knows that somebody else is a paladin, one can think (obviously not word-for-word "Ah, he's still a paladin - I can almost certainly trust him to keep his word."

Now, however, there's no obvious sign that one can trust a given paladin. Sure, some paladins, maybe even most paladins, will keep their word, but that x% which don't are completely indistinguishable from the rest, and that makes it dangerous to trust any paladin.

Note that I am assuming a vaguely Deed of Paksenarrion -esque world here, where it fairly simple to distinguish a paladin.

Telok
2008-10-04, 11:08 AM
In 4th edition there are no longer any lines of cause and effect between the class power source, the class powers, and the setting.

By the current rules of 4e a classes power source has no effect on the class abilities or powers. Likewise the generic default setting of 4e has no effect on power sources or classes. Therefore the text about punishment by other members of a church means exactly the same thing as saying that a thieves guild takes a dim view on freelance burglaries, exactly nothing unless the DM starts using house rules and making stuff up. Divine power source or the involvement of a god in a character's class description has no effect on the game in any manner.

The reason this thread is six pages long is that all previous editions of D&D did not divorce the classes from what they actually did, both in character and in the setting. Used to be that a paladin or cleric got his powers from a god, did the sorts of things that god approved of, and refrained from actions that would cause said god to visit divine wrath on him. In 4e what happens, by the book, is that the character might change alignment.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-10-04, 11:22 AM
By the current rules of 4e a classes power source has no effect on the class abilities or powers. Likewise the generic default setting of 4e has no effect on power sources or classes. Therefore the text about punishment by other members of a church means exactly the same thing as saying that a thieves guild takes a dim view on freelance burglaries, exactly nothing unless the DM starts using house rules and making stuff up. Divine power source or the involvement of a god in a character's class description has no effect on the game in any manner.


:confused:

Is this really the mainstream opinion here? Do DMs refuse to consider how PCs relate to their member organizations? Is that too much work?

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but whenever I had a PC that was a member of an organization (be it a church, a thieves' guild, or a druidic circle) I would always describe that organization. It was just part of my job as a DM - to flesh out the world that the PCs inhabited. I didn't need a "house rule" to say that, if a Priest of Pelor roughed up an innocent barkeep for information, the barkeep could go to the local church of Pelor and complain. Ditto for thieves' who broke their Guild rules (and someone found out) or Druids that violated protocol. It's no different than bringing the Watch down on a Fighter who just assaulted a man in the middle of the marketplace - it's the cause & effect of "living" in a world.

Since when has this been considered "house ruling?" So far I've seen two people on this thread who object to, what IMHO is a basic aspect of world building. Do people really object so strenuously to having to define such things about their characters and worlds?

JaxGaret
2008-10-04, 11:29 AM
That is (at best) a deluded reading of the text, frankly.

No, it's a reading of the text. Thank you for the oblique insult, though.


The 4e PHB is quite clearly saying that the paladin can not be stripped of their powers

Oh, really? Where does it explicitly say that? It does not.


, for in all editions the powers are what makes the character a paladin - without the powers they are no longer paladins

Again, where does it explicitly state that? I was responding directly to Jayabalard's post stating that the "rules as written" say that 4e Paladins cannot be stripped of their powers. I was refuting that.

If you want to tell me that the RAW is actually saying that 4e Paladins cannot be stripped of their powers, then it is you who are deluded, for it says no such thing.


in 4e they are an anomalous object with no defined meaning or mechanical existance under the rules.

No, they are simply paladins without powers. If you don't or won't understand what that means, I can't help you.


This is clearly a reference to the third edition of some other game. CoC perhaps? I don't know.

Ha. Very funny.


I agree that rule 0 applies and the text you quoted can and should be ignored, but unless you have a definition of "paladin" that is in some secret hidden part of the rules, then the above quote is flat out wrong. A paladin is defined as a class with certain abilities within the game; the game says that a paladin remains a member of that class "forevermore".

A paladin is a paladin, nothing more. Their powers don't define them, obviously; what of a 3e Paladin that gets hit by an Antimagic Ray? Do they suddenly stop being a Paladin, simply because they don't have access to their powers? No, they are still a Paladin.


Yes, that's exactly what it is, and your semantics are ludicrous. I've never seen such twisted logic presented seriously in my life.

It is you who are attempting to read something into the RAW that is not there.

Vva70
2008-10-04, 11:29 AM
First of all, after reading this, I feel that I should point out that I use the terms "fluff" and "mechanics." I don't mean anything about the relative value of these aspects by wording them so. Personally, I feel that fluff is the more important as a roleplaying aspect, but it should also be the easiest to change to suit the needs of various worlds. I feel mechanics are less important (but still important), and that they should be be versatile enough to suit many different types of fluff with just minor modifications.


Previous editions allowed a DM to fully develop churches and religions and even specific rituals for gaining specific spells or whatever the DM wanted and have it all mean something. 4e appears to have made all that into pointless cant - the gods are simply a sham and contribute nothing except an extra layer of hypocracy. Everything is arbitrary. I can get that in the real world, thanks.

Who's to say the DM can't still do that? And isn't it a good thing to have a default campaign setting with aloof gods, only connected loosely to the mechanics? If the connection to the mechanics is loose, that means that it's not nearly as much work to change the relationship when you change the campaign setting (either to a WotC one or a homebrew). If specific rules relating the gods to the characters are laid out in the basic rules, then the DM has to either accept those rules for a world he makes, or go in with a pair of tweezers and house-rule each connection that he doesn't like. Adding is generally easier than removing when it comes to homebrew.


Because of this change, clerics and paladins are meanlingless concepts in-game - they're just superheroes under a different name. Their "special relationship" with a deity is a waste of their time and the players' since they can get everything they want by apparently just concentrating really hard and never have to worry about behaving in any special way.

Why are there real churches in 4e at all? Why would anyone worship a god when there are people walking about all over the place who can do miracles and who will happily tell anyone who asks that they derive their power from within and not through blessings or anything else which has to be granted by an outside agency? Just slip the local Church of the Sub-Genius a few gp and they'll ordane you and off you go - free to do what you want, just like in real life. Faithful Paladins and Clerics have nothing to show for their devotion to their gods compared to such a "mail order" ordination who gets all the same powers and can act how they like, when they like with no fear of reprisal.

That would actually be a pretty interesting campaign setting to play in. Divine powers for sale by bribe. Funky. Regardless, I'm getting the sense that this is not at all how it's presented in 4e.


This is what happens when you use words like "fluff" to describe the important stuff and "crunch" to describe the things that a DM should be free to change:

Let's stop right there for a minute. The DM is certainly free to change the "crunch." But in a well designed system it should be flexible enough that he shouldn't have to change it very much.

The DM should also be free to change the "fluff." In fact, that is the one that should be the most likely to be changed. You're right that it's more important, but your sentence there seems to imply that the DM shouldn't be able to change it to create his world the way he wants it to be. I'm sure that's not what you meant, but that's what it sounded like.


people start to believe that the important stuff is the mechanics and the unimportant stuff is the gameworld and, therefore, that the former should take precedence over the latter. That's why powergamers picked the terms and stick to them - they know it makes their style of play look more legitimate than those who like to make the system fit the roleplay.

Again with the powergamer crack. Now, I don't know what your particular definition of powergamer is, but regardless, is an appeal to an ill-defined and controversial term really necessary or even useful in communicating your argument here?

That said, yes the gameworld is more important than the mechanics. And yes, the DM should bend the mechanics as needed to suit his gameworld. But the default gameworld should be only loosely tied in with the mechanics. Things like class flavor should be appropriate, but separable. If the default setting is too ingrained in the mechanics, that just makes more work for the DM who is creating a custom setting.


In conclusion, since we're not getting anywhere: it's a junk rule, throw it out under rule-zero. No DM should put up with rules that dictate this sort of nonsense in their gameworld.

In conclusion, if the DM thinks paladins should fall in his gameworld then he should certainly add that. He should, of course, talk it over with any potential paladin players, just as he should talk it over with potential fighter players if, in his world, all fighters must wear neon pink armor or lose their ability to fight.

MartinHarper
2008-10-04, 11:39 AM
Can a Warlock cancel or renegotiate his pact? What do the patrons get out of it?

Per Worlds and Monsters, the typical Infernal pact swaps power while alive for the mortal's soul when they die. There is also some suggested fluff for a Halfing Warlock on PHB p45, where the pact was in exchange for an unknown to-be-named favour. On the other hand, PHB p130 seems to suggest that the infernal pact involves using a path to power created by devils, rather than actually dealing with devils. So it's contradictory.

Obviously we don't know what the Star Pact patrons get out of the granted power, because the Far Realm is all deep and incomprehensible and such. My guess is "Epic Destiny: Tentacle Monster". I'm similarly unsure about Fey Pact patrons, though I like the idea of an Eladrin Fey Pact warlock who gets his power from his mummy and daddy.


Why are there real churches in 4e at all? Why would anyone worship a god when there are people walking about all over the place who can do miracles and who will happily tell anyone who asks that they derive their power from within and not through blessings or anything else which has to be granted by an outside agency?

The existence of wizards and fighters and warlords and rogues and rangers in 4e does not make religion meaningless, any more than the existence of scientists and writers and politicians in this world makes religion meaningless. There is more to life than power, and a religion doesn't have to grant power in order to be meaningful. Nevertheless, 4e churches do grant power, by permanently imbuing clerics and paladins with divine authority, and by other means.


I, on the other hand, consider the paladin to have his powers because he's good.

That can be true in your campaign setting, but is not true in the default 4e setting.


The text about punishment by other members of a church means exactly the same thing as saying that a thieves guild takes a dim view on freelance burglaries, exactly nothing unless the DM starts using house rules and making stuff up.

Making up consequences for player actions is part of the DM's job, and doesn't really count as "house rules". If the DM ignores the possible consequences of player actions, then that is sad.

Torque
2008-10-04, 12:03 PM
A paladin is a paladin, nothing more. Their powers don't define them, obviously
"When will my shirt be ready?"
"A month next Tuesday."
"A MONTH? It says '24hr cleaners' outside!"
"That's just the name of the shop, dearie."

SmartAlec
2008-10-04, 12:58 PM
"When will my shirt be ready?"
"A month next Tuesday."
"A MONTH? It says '24hr cleaners' outside!"
"That's just the name of the shop, dearie."

Kind of missed the point there, I think.

'Cleaner' is a job description. Your example there lowers 'Paladin' to the level of job description. As a lot of people on this thread have posted, there is more to it than that. Smiting evil, righting wrongs and channeling divine powers are what a Paladin does, just as a cleaner cleans shirts and irons sheets. But the term 'Paladin' goes further than that. It is an identity, and as long as the Paladin holds true to the ideals of Paladinhood, then that identity cannot be taken away.

Expanding on this point - in the same way that a Paladin who loses his powers but stays true to the code of behaviour and standards of Paladinhood is still a Paladin, so a Paladin who fails to live up to those standards but keeps his powers (as in 4th Ed) could be considered to have stopped being a Paladin in any meaningful way - they have simply become Some Guy Who Can Use Divine Powers.

You might say, 'what's in a name?' But for Paladins, the name - the identity - was always what was important about the class, not the powers. In 3rd ed and below, the powers were a by-product of the identity. In 4th, the powers and the identity have been divorced, but that does not make the identity meaningless.

Of course, this means a player has the option to disregard that identity now. But if they do that, chances are they just wanted to play Some Guy With Divine Powers anyway - and for those players, there are Paladins of Neutral Gods to play as.

Yakk
2008-10-04, 01:01 PM
Firstly, in 3e Paladin A isn't losing his powers by GM fiat, but by the rules of the game - admittedly those rules aren't as clear as they probably should be, but it's not, or at least shouldn't be, the GM acting arbitrarily without the player being aware of there being at least the possibility.
The GM decides if your behavior crosses some unclear line, and if so, strips your powers. That's GM fiat.

The GM can be good at it, or bad at it.

Just like what encounters you fight are GM fiat, hopefully well chosen.

As a player I'd be reluctant to claim the right to decide the actions of a deity, which is what I'd be doing by stripping myself of his powers. I also don't really like having to call a penalty on myself. I'd rather focus on what my character does and thinks, and let the rules and the DM decide what the consequences are.
That is the point of character/player duality. You are not your character -- you are the player who picks what your character does.

If you don't want character/player duality, then yes, you cannot say "my character can no longer use his divine powers".

In that case, if you want that experience, you can talk to the DM.

The world that the DM creates can contain fallen paladins -- that is an option.

4e rules are not a world simulator. Neither where 3e rules.

Starbuck_II
2008-10-04, 02:02 PM
"When will my shirt be ready?"
"A month next Tuesday."
"A MONTH? It says '24hr cleaners' outside!"
"That's just the name of the shop, dearie."

I bet there is still a lawsuit pending for False Advertisements (which is technically supportable by the letter of the law but most judges would throw it out).

Wulfram
2008-10-04, 02:08 PM
The GM decides if your behavior crosses some unclear line, and if so, strips your powers. That's GM fiat.

No, it's not. That's the GM making a decision based on the rules, which is his job.

Of course, the rules could certainly be made better the in 3e so that his job was easier


The GM can be good at it, or bad at it.

Just like what encounters you fight are GM fiat, hopefully well chosen.

So what does the GM do which is not fiat? As far as I can tell, nothing, which makes the term pretty meaningless.


That is the point of character/player duality. You are not your character -- you are the player who picks what your character does.

Of course the player picks what the character does, or doesn't, do. This is totally different, however, from picking what your character can and can't do. The player can certainly decide that the character doesn't use his powers. He shouldn't be deciding what his character's deity does.

(stuff I don't disagree with snipped)

Torque
2008-10-04, 02:28 PM
Kind of missed the point there, I think.
The point is that Jax has decided that a paladin can be a paladin without either acting like one or having the abilities of one; at that point we can equally well define up as down, fighters as clerics, and black as white so there's no point in further debate.

MartinHarper
2008-10-04, 03:00 PM
The point is that Jax has decided that a paladin can be a paladin without either acting like one or having the abilities of one; at that point we can equally well define up as down, fighters as clerics, and black as white so there's no point in further debate.

In 4e, a paladin is someone who has gone through the paladin initiation process, which is a series of rituals presided over by a church.

In 3e, a paladin is someone who has been called to paladinhood, but has not ceased to be lawful good, wilfully committed an evil act, or grossly violated the paladin code of conduct.

In real life, a paladin was a high ranking official in medieval Europe.

These are all meaningful definitions.

Noble Savant
2008-10-04, 03:23 PM
Jax, I want you to crack open the Player's handbook and take a look at page 89. Continue reading for a few pages. That right there is the definition of the Paladin. That is the place in the book where it tells you precisely what a Paladin is. If a character doesn't match with whatever is written down there, (barring a house rule), he is not a Paladin.

This also works in the reverse, if a character is a Paladin, then by definition he will match the things written down on those pages. This includes powers and everything.

You could continue with your argument that it never explicitly denies the god's ability to deny a Paladin his power, but it doesn't have to. The PB never explicitly tells you that a hobo can't strip a Paladin's powers from him either. The rules aren't required to inform you of every single thing you cannot do. There is no section in the end called "Random crap that can't be done because it is stupid."

The Paladin is clearly defined in the PB, as long as you are a Paladin; you have the Paladin's powers. There is no getting around this.

Torque
2008-10-04, 03:30 PM
In 4e, a paladin is someone who has gone through the paladin initiation process, which is a series of rituals presided over by a church.
But the result is meaningless according to Jax. Anyone you meet in the street can be a paladin by Jax's definition - it's literally reduced to a title. Now, I don't actually agree that 4e really has such a laid-back attitude to paladins, but like I said, if you want to define paladin as "anyone the church calls a paladin with no regard to their abilities, characteristics, or behaviour" then there's simply nothing to debate. Likewise, if I say a Cleric is anyone wearing green there would be little point in debating with me as my personal, "special" definition of the game term is so debased as to make constructive conversation impossible.

A paladin has been a well defined word for hundreds of years, meaning (from at least the 1600's) a knight of particular goodness or chivalry, often bestowed with extrodinary abilities due to that state. In D&D the term has also meant more or less that from the introduction of the class. That's neither here nor there if WotC have made up a new in-game definition, but I thought I'd chuck it in before going to bed.

MartinHarper
2008-10-04, 03:57 PM
If you want to define paladin as "anyone the church calls a paladin with no regard to their abilities, characteristics, or behaviour" then there's simply nothing to debate.

I don't think anyone wants to define 4e paladins like that, including Jax. 4e paladins are "indomitable warriors who've pledged their prowess to something greater than themselves", and so forth.


A paladin has been a well defined word for hundreds of years, meaning (from at least the 1600's) a knight of particular goodness or chivalry, often bestowed with extraordinary abilities due to that state.

I'm not an etymologist, but Wikipedia suggests that mostly "paladin" was a mundane position of authority. There are stories of paladins with supernatural powers, just as there are stories of kings with supernatural powers. As far as I can tell, d&d was the first place where all paladins were heroes. I think it's reasonable for 4e d&d to tweak that definition further, such that paladins shine with inner divine power, rather than channelling divine power from above.

DSCrankshaw
2008-10-04, 04:38 PM
Okay, I don't really want to get into this argument--I just wanted to comment on this.

The reason this thread is six pages long is that all previous editions of D&D did not divorce the classes from what they actually did, both in character and in the setting.
Actually, I'd say that the reason the thread is six pages long is because it's a thread about paladins and alignment. All paladin alignment threads are like this. I'm actually kind of reassured that 4e paladin threads are this long too.

Saph
2008-10-04, 04:50 PM
Per Worlds and Monsters, the typical Infernal pact swaps power while alive for the mortal's soul when they die. There is also some suggested fluff for a Halfing Warlock on PHB p45, where the pact was in exchange for an unknown to-be-named favour. On the other hand, PHB p130 seems to suggest that the infernal pact involves using a path to power created by devils, rather than actually dealing with devils. So it's contradictory.

Obviously we don't know what the Star Pact patrons get out of the granted power, because the Far Realm is all deep and incomprehensible and such. My guess is "Epic Destiny: Tentacle Monster". I'm similarly unsure about Fey Pact patrons, though I like the idea of an Eladrin Fey Pact warlock who gets his power from his mummy and daddy.

See, this is the kind of stuff I'd like to actually see in the PHB. My point is that I think these kind of details are interesting; they help fill out the class. I'm not disagreeing with Oracle that it's the player's job to roleplay it, but I don't think they should have to make it up completely either. A Warlock's pact, for example, according to the fluff, is supposed to be really really important, so I think the mechanics ought to back that up somehow.

- Saph

Starbuck_II
2008-10-04, 05:48 PM
In 4e, a paladin is someone who has gone through the paladin initiation process, which is a series of rituals presided over by a church.

In 3e, a paladin is someone who has been called to paladinhood, but has not ceased to be lawful good, wilfully committed an evil act, or grossly violated the paladin code of conduct.

In real life, a paladin was a high ranking official in medieval Europe.

These are all meaningful definitions.

Not exactly, a 3E Paladin is someone who has been called and chosen. many people get called to be a Paladin in 3E (you migh even have been called), but only those who choose to be one after being called are Paladins.
(It even gives a example). Another reason you can take a Paladin level anytime after 1st because it just took you that long before you chose to accept the calling.

JaxGaret
2008-10-04, 07:08 PM
The point is that Jax has decided that a paladin can be a paladin without either acting like one or having the abilities of one

Torque, I didn't "decide" anything. That is the RAW on the matter. If you think that the RAW is silly, by all means, disregard it. That doesn't change what the RAW is. The RAW is the RAW, no matter how much you disagree with its consequences.

Note that it was Jayabalard who brought up the question of whether or not it was RAW in the first place, not I.


I don't think anyone wants to define 4e paladins like that, including Jax.

At least someone is being reasonable here. I'm not trying to define 4e Paladins in any way whatsoever, I'm just clarifying what exactly the RAW is on 4e Paladins. I didn't write the books. Sheesh.

JaxGaret
2008-10-04, 07:41 PM
Okay, I'm posting this from my cell phone, because I felt that I needed to clarify what it is that I have been saying.

Say you have a Paladin who does something against their god's wishes, and the god, as punishment, strips them of all of their powers but one: Divine Challenge. Is that character still a Paladin? Of course they are, I think all of us would agree with that, no?

Take it a step further; the same Paladin then gets stripped of their single remaining power. The only tools they have left at their disposal are their wits, their code (such as it may be) and their trusty hammer. Are they still a Paladin? By 4e rules, yes, yes they are, because their Paladinhood is never revoked - though their powers may be.

Remember, I'm not saying that this is how I would run Paladins, nor am I saying that anyone else should play this way. All I am saying is that it is the RAW, by 4e rules.

Let me just say that I don't really see the inherent superiority of either interpretation, the RAW or what some of you think is the RAI. Both seem perfectly fine from a roleplaying standpoint.

Doomsy
2008-10-04, 07:52 PM
In 4e, there is no mechanism for paladins falling - after they're granted their powers they can behave how they like. I don't much like this change, but I can understand it. Except that paladins must have an identical alignment to their god. So, someone plays a Lawful Good character who's a paladin of Bahamut. In the first gaming session he has the character kill a small child in cold blood. The character should really be considered Evil now, so what happens to his paladin powers?

He falls to the dark sid- er, other paladins of his order hear about him giving them a bad name and curbstomp him in a dark forest late one night before leaving the corpse to the wolves. If the other party members try to protect him they are just as guilty for harboring a murder and share the punishment. Aiding and abetting my friend. A clear cut case of dealing with a rogue element quickly and efficiently.

Just because they're lawful good does not mean they are stupid.

Reinforcements
2008-10-04, 09:21 PM
I can't conceive how anyone could view the removal of the paladin code as a bad thing. Ridiculous claims that DMs can now never take away a paladin's powers EVER aside - does this change make it less likely for DMs to do that? Yes. Does it require that the DM have a good reason for doing it, and come to an understanding with the player (and his co-players) about why he's doing it and how to make it fun/a good story/whatever? Yes. Is there no longer a class with strong behavior restrictions? Yes. Are these ABSOLUTELY GOOD THINGS? HELL YES.

Thane of Fife
2008-10-04, 10:31 PM
I can't conceive how anyone could view the removal of the paladin code as a bad thing.

Previously, paladins were special in that only those who exemplified the highest of standards could actually be a paladin - anyone who wasn't of the highest calibur wouldn't have lasted as one.

Now, anyone who can trick some god/church into performing a ritual can be a paladin. Once one gets the powers, he's home free.

To offer an analogy, imagine that tomorrow the Pope started selling sainthoods for $100. This cheapens the sainthoods of those who actually earned them by doing good deeds (no, it's not a perfect analogy, but it gets my point across).

Some things should require work - I would argue that being a paladin is one of them. The fact that someone who isn't remarkably devoted to his specific ideal or deity can become a paladin cheapens the faith of those paladins who are remarkably devoted.

Hence, bad thing.

(In my opinion)

Vva70
2008-10-04, 10:37 PM
Previously, paladins were special in that only those who exemplified the highest of standards could actually be a paladin - anyone who wasn't of the highest calibur wouldn't have lasted as one.

Now, anyone who can trick some god/church into performing a ritual can be a paladin. Once one gets the powers, he's home free.

To offer an analogy, imagine that tomorrow the Pope started selling sainthoods for $100. This cheapens the sainthoods of those who actually earned them by doing good deeds (no, it's not a perfect analogy, but it gets my point across).

Some things should require work - I would argue that being a paladin is one of them. The fact that someone who isn't remarkably devoted to his specific ideal or deity can become a paladin cheapens the faith of those paladins who are remarkably devoted.

Hence, bad thing.

(In my opinion)

Wasn't it required that a paladin share the alignment of the deity upon initiation? That would seem to imply that the deity (or some manner of divine agent) does get directly involved in a paladin's inauguration. Seems to me the creation of a paladin would be just as special, it's just that the paladin isn't, by default, divinely de-powered if he falls off the path.

Asbestos
2008-10-04, 11:02 PM
Now, anyone who can trick some god/church into performing a ritual can be a paladin. Once one gets the powers, he's home free.


Anyone... who can't find a deity/church that they agree with? Not a one? And yeah, like Vva70 said, you have to be of the same alignment as your god at character creation.

Dervag
2008-10-04, 11:44 PM
How big a problem this is depends on how smart the DM makes churches.

Most NPC paladins really should be zealous committed warriors of their god. PC paladins ought to be, too, because that's the only way the fluff makes much sense.

With a few possible exceptions (gods of chaos, maybe), deities will want to make sure that their agenda is followed. So will their supernatural servants like angels. Their church will also be genuinely committed to the agenda of the patron who gives them their magic power, without which they are helpless. Moreover, because the church actually has to live in the mortal realm, they have to make sure that they are socially acceptable to the people they count on to support them.

A paladin who abuses his powers in the eyes of his church and his god is a big threat to all these interests. He may undermine the interests of the god (a 'paladin' of a god of chivalry who behaves unchivalrously). He is likely to endanger the church's relationships with people they are counting on (a 'paladin' of a death god who attacks necromancers on sight).

Therefore, such a fake paladin should a hostile reaction from both his church and his deity, for simple and obvious reasons. Just as a spy agency would try to neutralize a rogue agent, a church will try to neutralize a rogue paladin. Just how they neutralize him depends on the details. A church of chivalry might try to convert the guy or imprison him, while a church of death will probably turn him into some kind of tormented zombie abomination as a warning to the others. But the basic premise remains the same.
______

And the flip side of this is that all churches managed by intelligent beings will be very careful about just who they hand paladin powers to. You have to establish your credentials as a faithful servant of the god before they'll give you powers they can't easily take away.

The problem is that it is now the DM's responsibility to take care of this, and the DM no longer has mechanical text in the rulebook to point to that can justify doing it. Which kind of sucks if you have the wrong sort of players.

SmartAlec
2008-10-05, 12:21 AM
Just to add to everything said above, that there never really made sense. The Paladin's Code is an anomaly. The Paladins of previous editions were caught between:

- Being holy warriors devoted to a God
and
- Being paragons of knightly virtue

and it's never quite made clear which one they're supposed to be because they don't always overlap that comfortably. The fact that it's evil acts that cause a Fall, not acting against your God's interests, makes things a little odd.

A case in point might be the Helmite Paladins of Toril. Lawful Good, through and through - but if they try to emulate their patron and start being Lawful Neutral, 'the ultimate guardians' according to Helm's doctrine, Helm would take away their powers if, say, they let someone die because they refused to abandon their post. What? Weren't they doing what Helm likes? It raises some awkward 'Do as I say, not do as I do' situations with regard to deities.

Kelemvor's another awkward customer. The FR Lawful Neutral god of death, not unlike the Raven Queen of 4th Ed. He's all about the destruction of undead, ensuring that the dead rest easy. There's nothing in his doctrine about keeping your word, or protecting innocents. Yet if a Paladin of Kelemvor embraces Kelemvor's creed heart and soul, he'll eventually become LN and be unable to advance as a Paladin.

What nonsense is this? The Clerics don't get this treatment.

In 4th Ed, that's been tidied up. The Paladin is no longer as schitzophrenic as he was. And as Dervag has mentioned above, the Paladins are still exemplary - that's how they were given the chance to be Paladins. The Paladins of Bahamut would, I daresay, act exactly like 3rd Ed Paladins. Sure, the DM could say that some guy could bribe a cleric into anointing him a Paladin - in basically the same way that a DM could say that becoming a wizard only requires attending a two-hour lesson and reading a 'How to' pamphlet.

If the DM and players are doing this, despite what the books say, then that's not really a failure of the gamebooks.

I suppose WotC could have gone the other way - divorced the Paladin from the Gods and made it a class that was powered by sheer Lawful Gooditude - but that still leaves the problems of the Paladin's class restrictions making everyone else in the party have to play along, and the pressure put on the DM to evaluate everything the Paladin does.

EDIT: Another thought that strikes me, reading back over the thread, is that it's not really a good idea to have a base class that will only work properly in the hands of an experienced roleplayer, which is what some in this thread have said is the case.

Reinforcements
2008-10-05, 12:49 AM
Previously, paladins were special in that only those who exemplified the highest of standards could actually be a paladin - anyone who wasn't of the highest calibur wouldn't have lasted as one.

Now, anyone who can trick some god/church into performing a ritual can be a paladin. Once one gets the powers, he's home free.

To offer an analogy, imagine that tomorrow the Pope started selling sainthoods for $100. This cheapens the sainthoods of those who actually earned them by doing good deeds (no, it's not a perfect analogy, but it gets my point across).

Some things should require work - I would argue that being a paladin is one of them. The fact that someone who isn't remarkably devoted to his specific ideal or deity can become a paladin cheapens the faith of those paladins who are remarkably devoted.

Hence, bad thing.

(In my opinion)
But being a paladin DOESN'T require any work. It ISN'T anything special, it's just another class. "Cheapens the faith of those paladins who are remarkably devoted"? Those paladins DON'T EXIST. We're talking about a game here. Or at least, I'm talking about a game and you're talking about a campaign setting, a world (assuming you're not just being delusional, of course). How a paladin relates to or interacts with his church, culture, god, or world is a question FOR THAT WORLD. If you want a world where a paladin who so much as thinks an impure thought is immediately stripped of all his powers and sent straight to Hell, go for it. The point is that there's no reason for it to be part of the class write-up. At best it does what you were going to do anyway, and otherwise it causes problems or keeps people from playing a paladin a different way.

Doomsy
2008-10-05, 03:30 AM
People really do miss the point. You cannot just become a paladin and skip off yadda-yadda. If you call yourself paladin of a certain deity, people expect certain standards of behavior. If you 'skip out' and start acting in ways that shame the order attached to that deity you can reasonably expect some serious repercussions that do not involve meta game wankery but rather IC, in the game, things going down. This is implied in picking a damn deity, people. If the paladin wants to switch to an evil god and one that acts more in his alignment, let him. If he keeps acting evil and proclaiming himself good, they should expect the other followers of good to treat him at best like a retard and at worse like he is mocking them and respond appropriately.

A paladin of Hextor caught picking flowers and helping the elderly across the street is going to get the holy hell beat out of him by his peers who consider him weak.

A paladin of Helm who jaywalks, steals, and murders is going to get killed by his peers when they catch up to him for being a criminal.

Both are doing this to preserve their reputation and defend the honor of their faith. Keep in mind that like clerics there are role playing elements involved here and that they involve more than your abstract interpretation. If a player is acting way contrary to his deity while still claiming to be part of their order, expect them to get their butts kicked by the proper faithful who do not take kindly. Essentially, they'll get hostile or even aggressively hostile reactions. If he is acting more like a violent idiot or a murderer, have the chaotic evil guys mistake him for one of them, including laughing at him being a paladin of a god of order as a 'great joke, just like the time you ate that baby'. The player might catch it or not.

There is no real need to involve deities unless you're at a level to fight them. Though a particularly bloody minded paladin declaring themselves loyal to a god they are the antithesis of and besmirching their name might find themselves having some particularly interesting run-ins or strings of 'misfortune'.

MartinHarper
2008-10-05, 05:22 AM
Now that a church and god cannot simply remove Paladin powers at will, they're going to be careful about who they ordain. Discern Lies is a low-level Religion-based ritual. Gods can probably hear your thoughts. Tricking a church and its god into making you a paladin would be difficult and typically impossible. Regardless, you still need to share the same alignment as your patron god to be anointed, even with that trickery.

Of course, if you want to have a campaign world where Eris makes people Paladins at random, you can do that too.

Torque
2008-10-05, 06:00 AM
Just to add to everything said above, that there never really made sense. The Paladin's Code is an anomaly. The Paladins of previous editions were caught between:

- Being holy warriors devoted to a God
and
- Being paragons of knightly virtue

"Previous editions" is too sweeping; this dilemma did not exist in OD&D, 1e AD&D, and I think it didn't exist in 2e AD&D although I'm not sure. Paladins may or may not have been devoted to gods in those editions, although they had to be LG and, in post-UA 1e, devoted to a cause of some sort which may or may not have been a religious one. Commiting an Evil act (not a Chaotic one) was the only thing btb that could cause a 1e paladin to permanently (no atonement) loose his/her powers. Things got stricter in 1e-UA when cavaliers were introduced with their codes and paladins became a sub-class of Cavalier instead of Fighter, but as I said this did not have to involve deities.

Notice also, that a church or deity could never (in 3e or earlier) remove a paladin's powers "at will". By the rules, the loss of powers was by the character's own acts in diverging from those values which the character had themselves taken on as their "guiding light". In that context, losing the powers was supposed to be an entirely player-driven process. Bad DMs and lax players certainly did cause problems but they always will and just telling DMs that paladins can never lose their class (and therefore their class abilities) is a very poorly-designed patch which affects all 4e games while not addressing the real issue (it's very like the minion rules in that respect).

To compound their error, WotC have redefined the words "Paladin" and "Divine" in 4e to mean something other than their normal English and "traditional D&D" meanings. "Paladin" now means something like "A person who was once ordained into a religious fighting order" (which is really a Crusader except that you can't ever be an ex-Crusader now), and "Divine" means "Life" or perhaps "Sentient" or something like that; it's not at all clear to me what the word means. Indeed, even the concept of a character class has become so muddied that it's possible for perfectly intelligent people like Jax to be totally confused as to the meaning of the simple phrase "My character is a 5th level <insert class name here>".


There is no real need to involve deities unless you're at a level to fight them.
That could be WotC's motto when it comes to religious classes in the game; gods are just there to fight and have no day-to-day importance to anyone whatsoever. The argument that gods a busy has been applied so broadly as an excuse to write them out of the setting that it's now hard to imagine what they actually do all day.

MartinHarper
2008-10-05, 06:28 AM
In that context, losing the powers was supposed to be an entirely player-driven process.

That would be a good way of doing it, but I don't see where that is backed up in the books.


"Divine" means "Life" or perhaps "Sentient" or something like that; it's not at all clear to me what the word means.

It means something like "of or pertaining to a god". The divine power source means that power is sourced from a god.


The argument that gods are busy has been applied so broadly as an excuse to write them out of the setting that it's now hard to imagine what they actually do all day.

Per the DMG, they listen to prayers, give dreams and visions, and command and direct their servants. Given that they're not omnipotent, omnipresent, or omniscient, that's probably enough to be getting on with.

Torque
2008-10-05, 07:36 AM
That would be a good way of doing it, but I don't see where that is backed up in the books.
Well, to take 3e:


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
There is no mention here of the DM being able to arbitrarily remove powers, whether through an agency or otherwise: the above quote is the entirity of conditions under which a paladin loses their powers. The character has to take specific actions in opposition to the choices they made on becoming a paladin. It is a broader stick than the 1e one, which only sanctioned a permanent loss of powers for an evil act done knowingly (a paladin who became non-LG could come back), but in both editions the loss of powers is triggered by the RP decision by the player to break their word/change their worldview etc. in-game and in-character.

The problems arose from two directions (other than simple ignorance of the RAW): DMs who thought that if a Paladin was placed in a position of having to pick the lesser of two evils in order to do some Good thing (such as save orphans) then no matter what happened the paladin would have to fall - this is simply wrong ("willfully" does not cover coercion). The other was the player who wanted to take a paladin and do all the cool paladin things without having to RP the restrictions (these are what I call "powergamers"-players who want mechanical powers and feats without bothering with RP-based choices; the powergamer is the antithesis of the roleplayer).

I'm not saying that these were not real problems, but they were problems with players or groups, not the rules. And even then, if the whole group was happy to play that way it wasn't a problem. It was really only a problem when a player and a DM wanted to play differently and one of them was unwilling to simply stick to the rules. But changing the rules is rarely a good solution to that sort of situation. It may a solution, but hardly ever a good solution. Confrontational DMs and munchkin players can not be legislated out of roleplaying games, sadly, and it's pointless to twist the game to try.

Telok
2008-10-05, 07:57 AM
Given: Good RP trumps bad RP

Given: Good DM trumps bad DM

Statement: Paladin codes of conduct are a useful RP tool and plot device.

Theory:http://img379.imageshack.us/img379/951/palcodege1.th.png (http://img379.imageshack.us/my.php?image=palcodege1.png)

Starbuck_II
2008-10-05, 08:22 AM
Given: Good RP trumps bad RP

Given: Good DM trumps bad DM

Statement: Paladin codes of conduct are a useful RP tool and plot device.

Theory:http://img379.imageshack.us/img379/951/palcodege1.th.png (http://img379.imageshack.us/my.php?image=palcodege1.png)

Flaw in theory is there many DMs who are good except when it comes to Paladins. Really, if a DM was always a bad DM; you'd think the players would leave or realize this before they had Paladin issues (like the Paladin traps)

MartinHarper
2008-10-05, 08:51 AM
Anyone can have a code, in both 3e and 4e.


DMs who thought that if a Paladin was placed in a position of having to pick the lesser of two evils in order to do some Good thing (such as save orphans) then no matter what happened the paladin would have to fall - this is simply wrong ("willfully" does not cover coercion).

I don't see how it is simply wrong. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/willful : "Done in a manner which was intended". By that definition, a willful act would include a lesser-of-two-evils act. Your interpretation is fine too, but I don't see how it is the only interpretation, or even the obvious interpretation. Perhaps there is some clarifying text in a splatbook I don't have?


the loss of powers is triggered by the RP decision by the player to break their word/change their worldview etc. in-game and in-character.

The player might break their word and fall. This would happen if the DM decided that it counted as a "gross violation of the code". The player might break their word and not fall. This would happen if the DM decided that it did not count as a "gross violation of the code". Neither hypothetical DM would be doing it wrong. This does not sound player driven to me.

Xenogears
2008-10-05, 09:04 AM
I suppose WotC could have gone the other way - divorced the Paladin from the Gods and made it a class that was powered by sheer Lawful Gooditude - but that still leaves the problems of the Paladin's class restrictions making everyone else in the party have to play along, and the pressure put on the DM to evaluate everything the Paladin does.

Isn't this exactly what happened in 3E? It didn't say you had to have a diety. In fact it said you could just be devoted to rightousness. So you could have a Paladin who was an Athiest and nothing would be wrong with it. They in fact were powered by "sheer Lawful Gooditude."

In 4E it seems like they decided that instead of being powered by sheer holiness and lawfulness they are basically just divinely infused warriors. So they can follow any god. You can paladins who run around eating babies and are considered paragons of virtue (by other followers of their god). Making it so they do not lose their powers seems to imply to me that the gods themselves (and their supernatural servants) would not interfere directly in the affairs. Maybe the most the god would do is send an angel to tell the head of the church to hunt down the paladin.

All the people on the various threads dealing with these are freaking me out. Sending an angel to kill the paladin is overkill. No one will want to play a paladin if stepping out of bounds gets you sent six feet under. Imagine reading a class and in the description it said "Oh and if you ever do something against the will of your god you will be smote by an angel. Instant death. No way to survive." Not many people would take that class.

Artanis
2008-10-05, 12:01 PM
Geez, I go to bed, and there's a whole page of posts...


Previously, paladins were special in that only those who exemplified the highest of standards could actually be a paladin - anyone who wasn't of the highest calibur wouldn't have lasted as one.

Now, anyone who can trick some god/church into performing a ritual can be a paladin. Once one gets the powers, he's home free.

To offer an analogy, imagine that tomorrow the Pope started selling sainthoods for $100. This cheapens the sainthoods of those who actually earned them by doing good deeds (no, it's not a perfect analogy, but it gets my point across).

Some things should require work - I would argue that being a paladin is one of them. The fact that someone who isn't remarkably devoted to his specific ideal or deity can become a paladin cheapens the faith of those paladins who are remarkably devoted.

Hence, bad thing.

(In my opinion)
TRICK a church into giving him Paladinhood? The Paladin has to be the same alignment as the god. Any Paladin who would be willing to trick a church into giving him Paladinhood would have to be a Paladin of an evil god, or else the process to make him a Paladin wouldn't work. If he IS tricking a church into making him an evil Paladin, then he's doing evil, and thus doing that god's work whether he means to or not. Hell, tricking a church into making you a Paladin is the sort of thing that all but two of the evil gods in the DMG demand of their followers anyways.

Your analogy about sainthood is bad because these churches are NOT giving away Paladinhood for a few bucks. They're giving Paladinhood to those they think they deserve it. A better analogy would be if the Catholic church mistakenly canonizes somebody who only performed one miracle, and lied about the requisite second* (at which point the Paladinhood process probably wouldn't work anyways).


*Fixed, thanks to Draco Dracul

Draco Dracul
2008-10-05, 12:43 PM
Geez, I go to bed, and there's a whole page of posts...


TRICK a church into giving him Paladinhood? The Paladin has to be the same alignment as the god. Any Paladin who would be willing to trick a church into giving him Paladinhood would have to be a Paladin of an evil god, or else the process to make him a Paladin wouldn't work. If he IS tricking a church into making him an evil Paladin, then he's doing evil, and thus doing that god's work whether he means to or not. Hell, tricking a church into making you a Paladin is the sort of thing that all but two of the evil gods in the DMG demand of their followers anyways.

Your analogy about sainthood is bad because these churches are NOT giving away Paladinhood for a few bucks. They're giving Paladinhood to those they think they deserve it. A better analogy would be if the Catholic church mistakenly canonizes somebody who only performed two miracles, and lied about the requisite third* (at which point the Paladinhood process probably wouldn't work anyways).


*I think it's 3, I might be wrong.

It only takes 2 miricles to become a saint, also you have to be dead for at least 5 years. So, it could be like becoming a saint by having two miricles under your belt, but faking your death/being falsely declared dead.

JaxGaret
2008-10-06, 01:04 AM
Indeed, even the concept of a character class has become so muddied that it's possible for perfectly intelligent people like Jax to be totally confused as to the meaning of the simple phrase "My character is a 5th level <insert class name here>".

In the game world, no one would utter that phrase, for it would be meaningless.

Do you disagree with what I posted earlier on this page about a Paladin losing their powers, but still being a Paladin? Here, I'll quote myself:


Say you have a Paladin who does something against their god's wishes, and the god, as punishment, strips them of all of their powers but one: Divine Challenge. Is that character still a Paladin? Of course they are, I think all of us would agree with that, no?

Take it a step further; the same Paladin then gets stripped of their single remaining power. The only tools they have left at their disposal are their wits, their code (such as it may be) and their trusty hammer. Are they still a Paladin? By 4e rules, yes, yes they are, because their Paladinhood is never revoked - though their powers may be.

MartinHarper
2008-10-06, 04:33 AM
The code is written down in the 3e PHB and includes not lying.


Coercion is about making people do things they don't intend.

Example: the bank says "pay up or we repossess your house" and I intentionally give them money with the intention of keeping my house. I've been coerced, because ordinarilly I would keep my money. I've still acted intentionally and willfully, if not happilly and willingly and unreservedly.

There's nothing wrong with your interpretation of the rule, and it probably makes for a better game. However, a DM who takes the other approach isn't breaking the rules as written.


Otherwise the correct answer is simply to do nothing even to the point of self-sacrifice.

Unless the DM decides that "evil act" includes "evil act of omission".


If the DM is enforcing the code correctly then it's player-driven so long as the player was aware of the code beforehand.

I think we mean different things by the term "player-driven".

KKL
2008-10-06, 04:42 AM
I welcome the new Paladins with open arms. For too long have I been a victim to and heard stories of horrible DMs who feel that Paladins should be falling every other step because they thought shoving the Paladin himself into "Fall or Die And Fall Anyways" situations was 1.) Good RP and 2.) Good Plot.

Holy **** I remember a campaign I was in where I had to kill kobolds because they were attacking villagers. WHAM, I fell for not trying to talk to the Kobolds into not doing it, letting the Kobolds kill a commoner who was halfway across the damn world, using lethal force against a Kobold, and for using the words "dirty lizards".

Anything to stop the absurdity of 90% of every DM ever making Paladins fall for arbitrary bull**** reasons.

Tyrmatt
2008-10-06, 04:48 AM
Having played around in the Warcraft setting where the predominant priestly faith is "The Light", there's a neat system that allows anyone to worship the light,much like the various denominations of modern religions.
Several cases:
The Order of the Silver Hand: Standard righteous paladins, committed to stopping demons and the undead. The Light empowers them with various powers, holy and the like.

The Scarlet Crusaders - Xenophobic zealots who are committed to wiping every last creature that isn't human and sharing their position off the face of the world. The Light however still empowers them with near identical powers (with a few more martial trappings).

The Priests of Shadow: Largely members of the undead "Forsaken" faction, a lot of them were Silver Handers/Priests of the Light in life. Those who keep the faith, despite being theoretically evil undead abominations, still wield the powers of the light and started a new denomination that acknowledges "the Shadow", i.e. the other side of the Light.


The system of denominations allows anyone of any alignment to worship any particular deity. Given that the gods are above such mortal affairs anyway, they don't particularly care, so long as there's lots of faith to empower them. None of my gods in campaigns ever have an alignment. They're above such petty things.

JaxGaret
2008-10-06, 05:17 AM
Not for all classes; Clerics and Magic Users must have some notion of level.

Spell level, not character level.


But that wasn't what I meant anyway, as you can see from the fact that I started with "My character is..."

Right, but we're talking about IG issues, not OOG issues.


Yes, I disagree

What do you disagree with?


but after a trawl through the 4e Players Handbook (which was fairly traumatic) my conclusion is that we're both wrong

Both wrong about what precisely?


and in fact a Paladin:

Let's take a look.


1) Does derive their powers directly from a deity,

I never said anything about whether or not they derived their power directly from their deity.


2) Can not be permanently stripped of their status as a paladin or of the powers that status grants,

I stated this previously.


3) Can have their powers refused on a case-by-case basis.

I stated this previously also.

So, what exactly did I get "wrong"?

MartinHarper
2008-10-06, 05:44 AM
Your quote from the 4e PHB is interesting. I would interpret that text differently, but your approach is fine too. So the paladin would find the divine strength in his arms failing when he moved to strike down the orphan, but more as a one-off thing rather than a permanent falling.

If "paladins rely on their deities to strengthen their sword-arms and fortify them against the attacks of their enemies", that doesn't mean that without their deities they can only perform basic attacks. Instead, for each paladin power the DM would need to determine what benefits are coming from the deity's assistance, and what benefits are coming from the paladin's martial training, and rule accordingly.


The 3e rules use the word "willfully" and that means the act must be one done without coercion.

The 3e DM has to decide what "willful" means in their game - whether it is meaning 1a, 1b, 2, 3, 4 from the OED. From the OED you quote, meaning 4 of the word allows an act to be both coerced and willful:


4. Purposely, on purpose, by design, intentionally, deliberately.

JaxGaret
2008-10-06, 05:46 AM
The idea that a paladin can lose their powers (in the way that a "fallen paladin" does) and still be a paladin; I can't see any mechanism in 4e either for a paladin to lose their powers nor for a character without a class's powers still being treated as a member of that class in any way (mostly because 4e does not consider the possibility of permanently losing one's class powers - such a character is a non-entity in 4e).

The mechanism is some power that the god has. Take a look at the DMG for the rules on creating NPCs if you need book proof.

Note that a Paladin that has been stripped of their powers and class features still retains their armor and weapon proficiencies, healing surges, skills, and HP derived from the Paladin class, along with their personality and reputation.

Jayabalard
2008-10-06, 01:16 PM
Does it require that the DM have a good reason for doing it, and come to an understanding with the player (and his co-players) about why he's doing it and how to make it fun/a good story/whatever? This isn't a change from previous editions; it requires the same amount of understanding and communication with the player regardless of what edition you're playing in.

Is there no longer a class with strong behavior restrictionsYes; this is the only place that you got the correct answer, but it's a pretty trivial question.

Are these ABSOLUTELY GOOD THINGS? Nope; there's no change as far as the dm player communication, and it's not an absolutely good thing to no longer have a class with no behavior restrictions. Personally, I think that it's a bad thing to remove the restrictions from a class people that are, by definition, people with restrictions on their behavior; this is true of any of the classes that gains or borrows power from an outside source (paladins, clerics, warlocks, druids, etc). By my count you were 1 for 3.


Care to distinguish between them in a way that impacts game-play?Abilities that require all of X type abilities to have already been used would be usable if the powers were stripped by the rules or by the DM, but not if you as a player are just choosing not to use them. If you are choosing to not use abilities, then they still can be used by someone else if you are dominated in some way. Other players can't really be upset if you can't use abilities because you've lost them, but they may be a little upset if you are just refusing to use them.


[Torque's account has been closed down so I've had to start another one to continue the debate]*blinks*

Reinforcements
2008-10-06, 01:28 PM
Boy, you sure showed me. I don't suppose, though, that you couldn't maybe let us know WHY "it's a bad thing to no longer have a class with no behavior restrictions", rather than just declaring me wrong? (I edited the quote to change it to what I think you meant.)

Jayabalard
2008-10-06, 01:41 PM
I don't suppose, though, that you couldn't maybe let us know WHY "it's a bad thing to no longer have a class with no behavior restrictions", rather than just declaring me wrong? (I edited the quote to change it to what I think you meant.)I used the same methodology that you used: just declare it to be the case. It seems kind of odd for you to go calling someone out that when they're pretty clearly mimicking you, though that might be less clear after my edit (since you posted that while I was editing).

Vva70
2008-10-06, 02:04 PM
Abilities that require all of X type abilities to have already been used would be usable if the powers were stripped by the rules or by the DM, but not if you as a player are just choosing not to use them.

Then just ask the DM if you can count them as being permanently used. If the answer is no, then there's a fair chance that's not the way it would have worked otherwise either.


If you are choosing to not use abilities, then they still can be used by someone else if you are dominated in some way.

If the DM is using the abilities that are being withheld, then he is either A) metagaming on behalf of the NPC doing the dominating or B) intentionally shifting the context of the character arc that the de-powering was a part of. If the former, then it's just a DM who's being a jerk. If the latter, then it could be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on execution.


Other players can't really be upset if you can't use abilities because you've lost them, but they may be a little upset if you are just refusing to use them.

What business do other players have being upset about it? Assuming you're playing it out well in-character and not just attention-mongering, then being upset over it is completely unjustified. That's not to say it won't happen, because people do unjustified things all the time, but a player that's upset over this might well be upset over some other de-powering anyway (blaming you for the act that initiated it, rather than the withholding).

SmartAlec
2008-10-06, 02:09 PM
Let's make this neat and clear, then.

Re: Behaviour restrictions on classes

Players with an interest in roleplaying don't need them, players with little or no interest in roleplaying don't want them.

They are an inefficient way to limit a class, because of the impositions they can place on entire groups.

So why keep them?

Reinforcements
2008-10-06, 02:12 PM
I dunno; like I said, I cannot possibly conceive how one strict behavioral restrictions for this one class, in complete defiance of balance or common sense, could be seen as a good thing. Of course, the "one class" part only serves to highlight how absurd it is. It would be more consistent but much worse game design if, say, all rogues had to belong to a thieves' guild and had a hit put out on them if they did something the guild didn't like, and all wizards lost their magic if they opposed the High Council of Archmagi, etc. By the same token, paladins having a big damn THIS IS HOW PALADINS ACT AND IF YOU EVER STEP OUT OF LINE YOU LOSE ALL POWERS section as part of the class write-up is nonsense.

Charity
2008-10-06, 02:17 PM
Let's make this neat and clear, then.

Re: Behaviour restrictions on classes

Players with an interest in roleplaying don't need them, players with little or no interest in roleplaying don't want them.

They are an inefficient way to limit a class, because of the impositions they can place on entire groups.

So why keep them?

I heartily endorse this statement, succinct in a way I fear I shall never mimic...

Jayabalard
2008-10-06, 03:14 PM
Players with an interest in roleplaying don't need themThis isn't true; some people with an interest in roleplaying don't need them and some do need them; and even if you just look at the people who don't need them, some of those find them beneficial. I'd put myself, some of my friends, and anyone who enjoys just picking up a character that they didn't create and playing it in that last category.


players with little or no interest in roleplaying don't want them.Not true either; I'd agree that this is generally the case, but not always. I have known people with little to no interest in roleplaying that enjoyed working with strict behavioral limitations from a strictly metagame perspective.

It makes for great Rhetoric, but that's about it.


Of course, the "one class" part only serves to highlight how absurd it is. The "one class" is only one class in 3e; earlier editions had such restrictions on many classes, specially, all the ones that gained their power from external sources (paladins, druids, clerics, bards) and even some who didn't (barbarians). Even if 3e, it's still implied for most of those other classes even though it's no longer as explicitly set out.

Jayabalard
2008-10-06, 03:24 PM
Then just ask the DM if you can count them as being permanently used. If the answer is no, then there's a fair chance that's not the way it would have worked otherwise either.fair chance or not, it doesn't really matter; the question was for examples where it makes a difference, and this shows one of those cases.

Besides, if we're going to assume a reasonable DM who always makes fair and just rulings like you're suggesting, then any argument against having a well defined fallen paladin mechanic pretty much goes out the window.


If the DM is using the abilities that are being withheldThis isn't what I suggested; I'm saying that the DM uses abilities that the player chooses not to use. The abilities have not been withheld.


What business do other players have being upset about it?I don't see why it would matter whether the other players are justified or not; either way, if someone gets upset over this, that is going to have an effect on gameplay.

SmartAlec
2008-10-06, 03:40 PM
This isn't true; some people with an interest in roleplaying don't need them and some do need them; and even if you just look at the people who don't need them, some of those find them beneficial. I'd put myself, some of my friends, and anyone who enjoys just picking up a character that they didn't create and playing it in that last category.


If the restrictions are not emumerated, then how does the player know what to roleplay? The name? What if they don't know what a paladin is, or what the values of a deity are?

For those, the description of the class itself should itself suffice, as it does for every other class. You say people find them beneficial, but the exact nature of the benefit has yet to be made clear. What do the restrictions do that the class description does not?


Not true either; I'd agree that this is generally the case, but not always. I have known people with little to no interest in roleplaying that enjoyed working with strict behavioral limitations from a strictly metagame perspective.

I will say, then, that keeping the limitations to please these few is probably not practical, especially when the choice is theirs to impose these limitations on themselves.


Because they work and make sense in certain cases, while removing them where it makes sense for them to exist creates an unbelieveable and dull gameworld.

The gameworld is only as dull and unbelievable as the players make it. Placing restrictions on classes does not necessarily make for believability or interest. If it did, then it would be in the game's interest to do so for all classes. Other classes seem to get by fine, though - so why the Paladin?


I disagree completely. It's no different from restricting spell casting to certain classes. Some classes can do things others can't. It's no big deal.

Well, that in particular IS a big deal, as the many discussions on casters ruling the game and balance needing to be found can testify to. And funnily enough, it's another concern addressed in 4th Edition.

Though it is similar, you're right there. A sufficiently developed wizard can make other character classes, such as a Rogue, unnecessary - as a wizard can duplicate many of the Rogue's class abilities through spells, and those class abilities may be among the reasons why a player chose a Rogue. A Paladin can make playing some characters, such as a Roguish rogue, unfun - as the Paladin's presence checks many of the Rogue's likely personality traits, and playing such a character may be among the reasons a player chose a Rogue.

Vva70
2008-10-06, 03:45 PM
fair chance or not, it doesn't really matter; the question was for examples where it makes a difference, and this shows that.

You're right in that there's a difference if the DM chooses for there to be a difference. But assuming that the DM makes reasonably consistent rulings, that won't be.


Besides, if we're going to assume a reasonable DM who makes fair and just rulings like that, then any argument against having a well defined fallen paladin mechanic pretty much goes out the window.

Agreed. But the problem is that the paladin falling mechanism, at least in 3.5, is not well defined. It is so broadly open to interpretation that I feel I have to spend much more time than should be necessary clarifying my views on it whenever I DM with a person playing a paladin. And I cannot really think of a way to make any version that wouldn't need such pre-game clarification.

The problem, as I've said before, is that reasonable players and reasonable DMs can still disagree significantly on definitions of good and evil.


This isn't what I suggested; I'm saying that the DM uses abilities that the player chooses not to use. The abilities have not been withheld.

In-game the abilities have been withheld. The fact that the player is choosing actively not to use them, rather than being denied them, is metagame, not in-game. What I said stands.


I don't see why it would matter whether the other players are justified or not; either way, if someone gets upset over this, that is going to have an effect on gameplay.

My point is that if players are going to be unjustifiably upset at a player for having his paladin's abilities withheld, why wouldn't they be unjustifiably upset if the player had his paladin do something that caused the DM to make the paladin fall?

Jayabalard
2008-10-06, 03:50 PM
You say people find them beneficial, but the exact nature of the benefit has yet to be made clear.I'm not sure why you lumped these together; I'm not entirely sure what you were responding to. But, speaking in general: Limitations are limiting (obviously). Some people see them as a good thing, since they set you down a specific path instead of letting you pick the easy path, letting you focus more on playing the role that you were given than worrying about trying to define that role.


A Paladin can make playing some characters, such as a Roguish rogue, unfun - as the Paladin's presence checks many of the Rogue's likely personality traits, and playing such a character may be among the reasons a player chose a Rogue.This is true whether or not you have the earlier edition paladin code and fall mechanics. The issue is trying to play those two specific types of characters together in the same game. If this is actually a problem in a game, then it's strictly a problem that two players are trying to play characters that don't work well together; it has nothing to do with having paladin code in the rules.


You're right in that there's a difference if the DM chooses for there to be a difference. But assuming that the DM makes reasonably consistent rulings, that won't be.If you make this assumption then there isn't any problem with the 3e paladin code and fall mechanics.


Agreed. But the problem is that the paladin falling mechanism, at least in 3.5, is not well defined.Well defined or not, if you're going to assume a reasonable player and reasonable GM this is a non-issue.


The problem, as I've said before, is that reasonable players and reasonable DMs can still disagree significantly on definitions of good and evil.Not so; If they can not come to an agreement, then either you're dealing with an unreasonable player or an unreasonable DM.


In-game the abilities have been withheld. Nope; the player has chosen not to use them; from a strictly RAW mechanical point of view, this is not the case. Even from a less RAW-centric point of view, the player does not get to control the deity and make decisions on their behalf.


My point is that if players are going to be unjustifiably upset at a player for having his paladin's abilities withheld, why wouldn't they be unjustifiably upset if the player had his paladin do something that caused the DM to make the paladin fall?Having one player angry at another player is much more disruptive to the game than having one player angry at the rules of the game.

SmartAlec
2008-10-06, 04:04 PM
I'm not sure why you lumped these together; I'm not entirely sure what you were responding to. But, speaking in general: Limitations are limiting (obviously). Some people see them as a good thing, since they set you down a specific path instead of letting you pick the easy path, letting you focus more on playing the role that you were given than worrying about trying to define that role.

And as I said, the class description should define it well enough, as it does for every other class. Yes, some people like them. Some people liked a lot of things that were ultimately impractical. But that is not a reason to keep them. So, again, why keep them?


The issue is trying to play those two specific types of characters together in the same game.

It is often useful for parties to be broad in both skills, classes and personalities. The tension between a LG Paladin's code of honour and a Rogue's pragmatic and base nature could work well if other players are prepared to keep the peace, as it might between such a rogue and a pious cleric. I can think of a fair few such groups in fantasy fiction that had such a combination. Unfortunately, if the fall mechanics are present, the party as a whole, OOC and IC, has little choice but to go along with the Paladin, else the Paladin risks falling.

Remove the restrictions, you remove this problem, and you lose little else. And everyone, except the folks you refer to who prefer restrictions that are laid down in the books as opposed to personally-imposed restrictions, is happy.


Having one player angry at another player is much more disruptive to the game than having one player angry at the rules of the game.

The fall mechanics had the potential to cause both, of course, either through the Paladin's presence forcing the party into one course of action, or because the party decided to take another course and the Paladin fell as a result.

mangosta71
2008-10-06, 04:07 PM
Paladins and clerics in 4e have to choose a specific deity to follow. Each deity has a code of conduct, so players have no excuse to not know how their characters should be played. If they don't want to follow a particular god's code, they shouldn't pick that one. If they don't like any of the codes given, they should play a different class. If they choose to play a divine class and then blatantly ignore their deity's code, I see no reason for the god (DM) to continue allowing them to use his powers.

Jayabalard
2008-10-06, 04:15 PM
So, again, why keep them?Because "some" isn't the tiny minority that you're suggesting; nor is it impractical to those people.


The tension between a LG Paladin's code of honour and a Rogue's pragmatic and base nature could work well if other players are prepared to keep the peace, as it might between such a rogue and a pious cleric.Not so, you have to play a specific range of characters in order for this to be true; this is every bit as limiting as if you had the previous edition paladin code. The fall mechanics are just a scapegoat... The problem you're talking about is strictly the result of trying to play characters together that are incompatible.

SmartAlec
2008-10-06, 04:22 PM
Because "some" isn't the tiny minority that you're suggesting; nor is it impractical to those people.

But I daresay those players will get by just fine without these rules. Their removal helps some, and barely effects others. I cannot see any way to regard their removal as a negative decision.


The problem you're talking about is strictly the result of trying to play characters together that are incompatible.

No, it is not. The only reason they were incompatible was because the rules made them so. Now those rules are gone, players and parties can happily have their LG paladin and N rogue antagonising each other in various small ways all throughout a campaign, just as any LG and N characters can do.

Vva70
2008-10-06, 04:29 PM
If you make this assumption then there isn't any problem with the 3e paladin code and fall mechanics.

Well defined or not, if you're going to assume a reasonable player and reasonable GM this is a non-issue.

Not so; If they can not come to an agreement, then either you're dealing with an unreasonable player or an unreasonable DM.

Okay, allow me to clarify what I mean about reasonable players and DMs disagreeing. I'm not talking about an all-out brawl over paladinhood before the game starts. That would be clearly unreasonable. If the player and the DM cannot come to any sort of agreement before the game as to what paladin codes mean, then the reasonable thing to do would be for the player to play something else.

The problem comes when the DM and the player think that they're on the same page when they're really not. And when dealing with issues like morality that is all too easy a situation to fall into.


Nope; the player has chosen not to use them; from a strictly RAW mechanical point of view, this is not the case.

The RAW mechanical point of view is metagame, not in-game. It's irrelevant to what happens in-game.


Even from a less RAW-centric point of view, the player does not get to control the deity and make decisions on their behalf.

On the same token, the DM does not get to control character intent. If the character crosses the line knowingly and willfully, then the player is the one best suited to know when that happened.


Having one player angry at another player is much more disruptive to the game than having one player angry at the rules of the game.

I am talking about having one player angry at another player. Do you think that someone who gets easily unjustifiably upset will distinguish between a player who decides that his paladin crosses the line and chooses for the paladin to fall and the same player who has his paladin cross the line and causes the DM to make the paladin fall?

Jayabalard
2008-10-06, 04:36 PM
But I daresay those players will get by just fine without these rules. Their removal helps some, and barely effects others. I cannot see any way to regard their removal as a negative decision.Having them harms noone (since rules are easy to remove); not having them harms some (since are not so easy to add, especially in a balanced system).


The only reason they were incompatible was because the rules made them so. Not so; the characters themselves were incompatible, regardless of what the rules say.

You can have different characters that are compatible, and they may be similar to the ones that were incompatible, but they aren't the same characters as the ones that are incompatible.


Do you think that someone who gets easily unjustifiably upset will distinguish between a player who decides that his paladin crosses the line and chooses for the paladin to fall and the same player who has his paladin cross the line and causes the DM to make the paladin fall?Yes; in one case, someone chose not to help their character (they're choosing not to use certain abilities), in the other, they did not have the chance to make that choice (they've fallen, and cannot use those abilities due to the rules of the game). People are much more likely to get upset in the first case.

SmartAlec
2008-10-06, 04:41 PM
Having them harms noone; not having them harms some.

By your own admission, your experiences have been mostly pleasant with regards to these rules. Not everyone is that lucky, as many in this thread have asserted, with justification. Why would the absence of these restrictions harm games, especially as introducing them is more of a roleplaying choice?

And what is this difference that makes some characters 'compatible' and others not? Especially bearing in mind that even moderate, amiable, worldly Paladins in 3rd Ed were bound by the all-or-nothing nature of the fall mechanics?

Jayabalard
2008-10-06, 04:53 PM
By your own admission, your experiences have been mostly pleasant with regards to these rules. Not everyone is that lucky, as many in this thread have asserted, with justification. Correct, I stick to playing with reasonable people who can come to a comprimise on the "what is good vs evil" question and aren't working to screw anyone over. If you aren't in that situation, then no amount of rules (or even lack of rules) will protect you.


Why would the absence of these restrictions harm games, especially as introducing them is more of a roleplaying choice?You quoted text above where I answered this.

Besides that: more choices are not necessarily a good thing. Limitations are a significant reason to play class based RPGs in the first place; they're certainly one of the main reasons that I play D&D. If you want more choices and a more open ended system, I'd suggest a point based system instead.


And what is this difference that makes some characters 'compatible' and others not? A paladin that can tolerate behavior X is not the same character a paladin that cannot tolerate behavior X. I'm not sure how that's confusing.

It seems to me that what you really mean is that you don't want to play the character that is a 1e/2e AD&D or 3e D&D paladin; that's fine, you are free to choose not to play one. You can pick some other class, and call yourself a paladin if you really like the name (though, in my opinion, you're just calling a tail a leg).

SmartAlec
2008-10-06, 05:05 PM
Correct, I stick to playing with reasonable people who can come to a comprimise on the "what is good vs evil" question and aren't working to screw anyone over.

That does not confront the problem of a Paladin straight-jacketing the party's moral and ethical responses to situations, and the resultant problems that can stem from them.

As for classes, they are not limitations, they are categories.


It seems to me that what you really mean is that you don't want to play the character that is a 1e/2e AD&D or 3e D&D paladin; that's fine, you are free to choose not to play one.

On the contrary - if I did play a 4th Ed Paladin, I would play him or her exactly as a 3rd Ed Paladin. The only difference would be that the party as a whole would no longer be obligated to follow my character's point of view.


I think this is the root of your problem: you see anything which impacts your character's freedom as bad.

Not bad, per se. Unnecessary, yes.

It is a Paladin issue, as if we replace the Rogue with, say, a LG cleric, the cleric will not lose his or her powers if the party as a whole decides to go with one of the Rogue's expedient plans. The falling rules make this relationship move into OOC territory.

Jayabalard
2008-10-06, 05:17 PM
That does not confront the problem of a Paladin straight-jacketing the party's moral and ethical responses to situations, and the resultant problems that can stem from them.Why not?


As for classes, they are not limitations, they are categories.Nope, classes are limitations; they limit you to a small subset of options. Just like the paladin's code, they're limitations that you voluntarily take on during the character creation process.


On the contrary - if I did play a 4th Ed Paladin, I would play him or her exactly as a 3rd Ed Paladin. The only difference would be that the party as a whole would no longer be obligated to follow my character's point of view.This isn't a difference; the party isn't obliged to play that way in earlier editions either.

Sure, it's polite to play in such a way that you aren't preventing one of your fellow players from playing the way that they want to, but this can be a problem even if noone is playing a paladin, and it's equally a problem in 3e, 4e, or even RPG's other than D&D.

it goes without saying that if you're all reasonable people, and you're playing a paladin, then everyone you're playing with is ok with the fact that your character is going to be trying to keep everyone on the straight and narrow.


It is a Paladin issue, as if we replace the Rogue with, say, a LG cleric, the cleric will not lose his or her powers if the party as a whole decides to go with one of the Rogue's expedient plans. The falling rules make this relationship move into OOC territory.I think you mean "replace the paladin"

Nope, it's a character issue. If you play a LG cleric who's just as much of a stickler as the paladin, then you have the exact same problem; and in previous editions (2e and earlier) the cleric is just as likely (or in some cases more likely) to fall and lose powers than the paladin.

You can replace the paladin with a LG fighter and still have the same problem; with certain types of fighter characters, he's not going to put up with the rogue's expedient plans any more than a paladin would; he'll be putting the same sort of blocks in the way of other people playing certain ways.

SmartAlec
2008-10-06, 05:55 PM
This isn't a difference; the party isn't obliged to play that way in earlier editions either.

To boil down your post and mine, it comes to this.

They are thus obliged. Else, I may well lose my paladin powers for their actions. I can try to keep the party on the straight and narrow in 3rd Ed and 4th Ed, but only in 3rd Ed and below do my powers depend on it. With other LG characters not bound by a fall mechanic, the disagreements are pure roleplaying between characters - but with the sword of damocles that is the fall mechanic hanging over my head, everyone either has to make concessions for me, or screw me over in the name of their own roleplaying consistency. Even if we are all considerate, everyone still has to make concessions if I want to play this class, and I consider that daft. Yes, it's possible to get by - but that getting by is easier without the fall mechanic moving what should be roleplaying decisions into the metagame, and removing it - I say once again - only removes potential problems.

(as for classes, no, they're not 'limitations', they are categories. There is a difference between the rules imposing a limitation and the rules categorising a choice with many answers.)

Jayabalard
2008-10-06, 07:04 PM
They are thus obliged. Else, I may well lose my paladin powers for their actions.Nope; they are no more obliged to give way for your paladin than they are for your lawful good fighter.

A limitation that you choose is still a limitation. When you choose to play a fighter, you are limiting yourself to the things that fighters can do; in many ways, it's more of a limitation than the paladin code is, since you as a paladin can choose to break your code and fall, while a fighter (barring multiclassing) cannot just choose to start casting spells.

DM Raven
2008-10-06, 07:26 PM
I thought I would chime in on my two cents on this issue...

The paladin class has seen many changes over the editions. Back in the days of second, it was very hard to even play one due to its very high charisma requirement. In addition, the paladin was hit with all sorts of restrictive rules that forced players to use them in a certain way. Then in third edition, the grip was loosened a lot (which a lot of 2e people complained about to no end) and the paladin could be played by anyone with a lawful good alignment.

In fourth, a paladin can be any alignment as long as it's the same one his or her deity has.

Now, one thing I dislike is that the Paladin class is still called Paladin. To me, the D&D Paladin (not the historical paladin) has always been the crusader for good and justice within the world. I enjoyed the paladin's restrictions because it felt like he was contained within certain boundaries regardless of what god he worshipped. The 4e paladin feels like it should have been named something else, but the paladin feel (for me at least) isn't really there. I wish they would have kept the paladin good and kept some rules for a fallen paladin, I always thought that sort of flavor made for great stories.

SmartAlec
2008-10-06, 07:38 PM
Nope; they are no more obliged to give way for your paladin than they are for your lawful good fighter.

I'm afraid that no matter how much you might claim otherwise, they are - by courtesy and fellow gamer team spirit and the like. If I want to play a Paladin, they're stuck with the quandary, knowing that their roleplay decisions can have a heavy mechanical effect on my character. That skews things.

Let me try to illustrate, with a hypothetical discussion.

Me: "Ok, guys, I'm going to play a Paladin. You all know the rules on this. Please don't put me in a position where I have to either fall or abandon you or something."

I'm sure people playing paladins have been making similar requests of their groups ever since the class came into being.

Anyhow, broadly speaking, this can go one of three ways.

1) "Ok, Alec, sure, we'll try not to screw you over." Here, though the party is being considerate, the OOC metagame is creeping in and influencing the roleplay options available to everyone. They know that to keep my character effective, they're going to have to tow the LG line. That's the 'reasonable party' option.

2) "Well... ok, but no promises, Alec." Awkward. Although there's tacit agreement, not I nor they are quite sure how far to push it. Party roleplay can end up a little confused or bipolar as a result, especially in the beginning.

3) "We'd rather do what we like, Alec." The 'oh dear' option. No concessions are made - everyone's intending to play their characters come what may, and be damned to the Paladin's code or my class features. Good for them, I guess, but it will probably leave me high and dry, not to mention make me rethink my class choice. I'd like to play a Paladin, but what good is he if he gets in everyone else's way of a good time?

4th Ed removes all ths angst. If I play a Paladin in 4th, he can be a hardass, he can ride people about morals, he can hold true to a Code, he can do his best to guide the party down a moral, ethical path - but should some members of the party feel like rebelling a little or indulging themselves, the pressure's off. OOC, they know that should they do something to further the mission that is morally questionable, they're not inconveniencing me OOC. Likewise, I have the freedom to let things slide OOC (grudgingly and with much complaining, IC) and be responsible for my decisions and no others, knowing that the others no longer have that issue to deal with.

That's why I find the fall mechanism unnecessary. Removing it changes nothing about my playstyle! But taking it out removes a point of tension from the game that makes the Paladin class not difficult to play, but awkward to play.

Now sure; amongst a serene, philosophically-minded group, that point of tension won't cause many (any?) problems. For others, it could lead to some nasty moments, especially if they're new to the game. That's why I'm glad it's gone, I think it was the right choice to remove it and that the potential for 'bad' things resulting from the Code actually outweighs the potential 'good' things, which can be achieved perfectly well by other means.

Now, if you can show me a way the falling mechanism actually made playing a Paladin less awkward for the party that can counterbalance that point of tension, and convince me of it, I would probably relent. But until that revelation comes, I will continue to think of it as unnecessary metagame baggage that tried to be an interesting roleplaying tool but really just got in the way.


The 4e paladin feels like it should have been named something else, but the paladin feel (for me at least) isn't really there.

Well, the Paladins of Bahamut (or any other LG good of justice and honour) would be the analogue for 3rd Ed Paladins. But in broadening the class, WotC pretty much incorporated all the other classes and prestige classes that people have come up with over the years to add to the Paladin (Grey Guard, Knight, Crusader, Blackguard et al). It's broadened what was a very narrow class - part of me always felt that Paladin in 3rd Ed should have been a prestige class, because it was so specific.

Snooder
2008-10-06, 08:19 PM
Nope, it's a character issue. If you play a LG cleric who's just as much of a stickler as the paladin, then you have the exact same problem; and in previous editions (2e and earlier) the cleric is just as likely (or in some cases more likely) to fall and lose powers than the paladin.


False.

Going by 3.X rules here, let's stipulate two hypothetical parties. One has a Paladin and the other has a LG Cleric.

The first party is hampered, not by the player playing the class, but instead by the rules themselves. The player might be a team player and willing to bend his code slightly as he sees appropriate for his character's RP, (for instance walking away while a prisoner is interrogated) and this works with the LG Cleric who can justify such action to himself. The Paladin however, doesn't have the luxury of making up his own choices because the rules decide what is appropriate.

Both characters have the same code, but one ends up being roleplayed better and more realistically while the other is forced into a rigid and often hypocritical code that doesn't just punish, but effectively removes the character from play.



Nope; they are no more obliged to give way for your paladin than they are for your lawful good fighter.

A limitation that you choose is still a limitation. When you choose to play a fighter, you are limiting yourself to the things that fighters can do; in many ways, it's more of a limitation than the paladin code is, since you as a paladin can choose to break your code and fall, while a fighter (barring multiclassing) cannot just choose to start casting spells.


Yes, they are indeed obliged.

The LG fighter can be in a team with a shady and mysterious member with a dark past. A Paladin falls and becomes useless once he spends more than a short while in company of evil. So a rich and interesting RP idea is cut off, permanently. Imagine if Roy in OOTS was a paladin. No more Belkar.

The LG fighter can allow his team members to use subterfuge as long as he can justify it to himself. The Paladin? He falls.

The LG fighter can commit a lesser evil just once in order to save the world from a greater evil. He'll constantly agonize over the decision, and it can be worked in later as RP with him trying to atone for his actions. The Paladin? He falls. And he can't even atone for it since he loses all his powers and becomes a useless cripple to be carried around by the rest of the party.




Well defined or not, if you're going to assume a reasonable player and reasonable GM this is a non-issue.


The important to remember is that many quite reasonable people do not agree about morality and will never agree. The current solution under 3.5 is to simply not play a Paladin.

This isn't the case with any other class. The guy who plays a Cleric doesn't have to vet every single action with his DM to decide if his definition of law/chaos jibes perfectly with his DM's definition. When someone wants to play a Druid, he just picks the class cause it's interesting and fits his character. He doesn't have to spend hours with the DM going over moral codes and arguing back and forth to create an ironclad morality that both can live with before ever rolling dice.

Clearly the Paladin code was an issue for several reasonable people.

TheDarkOne
2008-10-07, 12:15 AM
#1 reason why no fall mechanic and limited interaction between rules and alignments is good: Arguments about what a good/evil/chaotic/lawful action is are bloody annoying.

I think the whole idea of a Paladin falling works much better as something personalized between the player and DM anyway.

Artanis
2008-10-07, 01:05 AM
Nope; they are no more obliged to give way for your paladin than they are for your lawful good fighter.

A limitation that you choose is still a limitation. When you choose to play a fighter, you are limiting yourself to the things that fighters can do; in many ways, it's more of a limitation than the paladin code is, since you as a paladin can choose to break your code and fall, while a fighter (barring multiclassing) cannot just choose to start casting spells.
But if the Paladin falls, he can't cast spells anymore either. And he doesn't have bonus feats, leaving him more limited than the Fighter.

SmartAlec
2008-10-07, 05:38 AM
If you don't want to play a character who doesn't look the other way, then don't play a paladin!

I don't want to look the other way. The role you speak of would seem to me to be 'party conscience', and I would play it to the hilt give the opportunity. But I would do so because I WANT to playthat character, and because that would be how a LG Paladin would be played. Not because I know the rules will hamstring me if I don't. That 'rule' makes the whole thing a farce.

I also find it odd that you champion one roleplaying opportunity (sacrificing Paladin powers for good - not that this is likely to happen naturally, it is probably the sort of thing best worked out with the DM and thus could easily happen in 4th Ed with some thought) and deny the validity of another (trying to redeem a bad-but-not-evil PC in the course of their adventures, or sticking with a group precisely because the Paladin feels the group needs someone to counterbalance said bad person).

Roleplaying choices do not necessarily need mechanics behind them. Often, they tend to work better if they don't. That's because they're roleplaying choices.

As for the powers, yes, they come as a price. A paladin leads a life of holiness and goodness, and dedicates themselves to their cause; that's the same price clerics pay. But the clerics don't have a falling mechanic - no, it's left to the DM's discretion. Therefore, the Paladin would work fine without one, too.

Reinforcements
2008-10-07, 08:04 AM
I don't see what's so hard to understand about this, Torque. If I want to play an uber-LG paladin, I can do that without the code. Heck, if I want to establish ahead of time that I'll lose my powers if I don't toe the line, I can do that without the code. But what if I want to play a more lenient paladin? What about a morally conflicted one? Or one who likes the status being a paladin brings but doesn't really uphold the ideals? One who ends up opposing their god's doctrine for some reason? One with nonstandard ideas of right and wrong? Even one who just doesn't want to deal with the issues the code raises? What if I'm the DM making a world, where the standard LG paladin doesn't fit? Maybe I want to make a world like the one in Warcraft, where paladinhood is necessitated on manipulation of the Light and not on any faith or morality, which raises its own issues? Maybe most paladins ARE corrupt. Maybe the gods are very distant, like Eberron but more so.

The code causes problems for all these. The code may have been a standard for paladins in D&D, but the paladin class still has plenty of uniqueness without it (especially in 4e, where every class has its own unique list of powers). There are a lot of role-playing opportunities that the code makes difficult or impossible. Again, at BEST it does what you wanted to do anyway and doesn't interfere; that is, it's not actively a problem.

Of course, you might want to say, "Well, in MY world, this is how it is, paladins really ARE paragons of lawful goodness and they get smacked down if they're not, just like the code says." And that's FINE. That's the point - how, or IF, paladins are held to whatever standard is a question for the world and/or the campaign, NOT the class write-up. If it really bothers you that the pretend paladins in other people's pretend worlds are being held to a lower standard, well, I really don't know what to tell you.

Charity
2008-10-07, 08:27 AM
'There are none so blind as those who will not see.'

The absence of a falling mechanic causing this sort of consternation illustrates how deeply divided folk are on the issue and (to my mind) how not only was it a good idea, but entirely necessary to remove it.

Vva70
2008-10-07, 08:54 AM
One of the issues that keeps coming up is the issue of the DM being able to properly roleplay the deity. On that note, I have to ask, isn't the implementation of a paladin code and falling as a specific rule a limitation on the deity?

If there is no specific rule regarding falling, then the deity can take any action the DM decides is appropriate, including the stripping of the paladin's powers. Note that rules on what the gods are/aren't able to do are left unspecific in core. A deity's powers are defined by the DM. If the DM wants an interventionist deity to relate to the paladin, then he should discuss it with the player beforehand to ward off misunderstandings later on.

If the rules specify that the paladin falls, the DM is hamstrung, and can't implement any reaction that doesn't include "and the paladin falls." The DM still needs to discuss with the player beforehand regarding his interpretations of the rule. Granted, the DM can override that rule, just as any. But why is overriding a set-in-plaster response better than developing an organic response based on the nature of the deity?

Starbuck_II
2008-10-07, 10:04 AM
The paladin is a character who is the ideal of their alignment/deity. The ideal LG (to stick with one alignment for now) does not "look the other way" while, for example, a prisoner is beaten to get information out of him/her. That's simple, logical and easy to understand, is it not? If you don't want to play a character who doesn't look the other way, then don't play a paladin! What is the point of picking a class and then whining about being expected to play its role (and I mean its real role, not the combat role which WotC seem to think is all-important in their class write-ups)?

Only in FR do Paladins even have Gods. Can fall if a god wills it or break code.

In 3.5 Core D&D, Paladins get their powers from their Alignment alone. You can fall if break code.

In 4th, you have a God but can't fall.


Why, in general, should it be possible or even disarable for a party to consist of someone who is totally devoted to goodness and someone who is greedy and venal and vicious? Whether the LG member is a paladin, a cleric, or a barkeep.

Paladins get powers from their gods; they come with a price. If you don't want to pay the price, then don't take the powers. Duh!

Only in FR and 4th edition do they comes from Gods!

Please, choose your edition when making generalizations.

Snooder
2008-10-07, 11:27 AM
The ideal LG (to stick with one alignment for now) does not "look the other way" while, for example, a prisoner is beaten to get information out of him/her. That's simple, logical and easy to understand, is it not?


Guess what, not everyone agrees with you on that. Personally, I think a paragon of Lawful Goodness would indeed "look the other way". It's a fairly common character element to have a character with a restrictive code who, when forced by circumstance, has to make hard moral decisions about which way is best.

It's commonly referred to as the "ticking time bomb" scenario. A prisoner has information about a bomb that's about to blow up and kill thousands of innocent people. The heroes have only an hour to find and disarm the bomb. One of the heroes is a paragon of goodness and the prisoner knows it, so the prisoners smirks and asks to be taken off to jail, knowing that his plans will go through.

Some players would lie to intimidate the guy into thinking that they will beat the information out of him. Some would actually go through with it, arguing the greater good. Some would choose to simply step out of the room and let his friends handle the interrogation. Some would protect the guy and let the innocents die. All are valid role-playing choices backed up by literary example.



If you don't want to play a character who doesn't look the other way, then don't play a paladin! What is the point of picking a class and then whining about being expected to play its role (and I mean its real role, not the combat role which WotC seem to think is all-important in their class write-ups)?


Because, and repeat this with me "our conceptions of good/evil are not the same". Everyone can agree on the broad strokes, necromancer who eats babies is evil, paladin who saves damsels is good. The problem comes when you start judging every single individual action. Without falling rules, there is no problem since the broad strokes are all that matter. With them, each action has to be scrutinized intensely, and it's just not possible to find a consensus on things like that.

You and I obviously have slightly different ideas of the role of the Paladin. That's fine. I'll bet we have different ideas of the role of the fighter, wizard, cleric, e.t.c. The difference is that I can choose to play a young angsty nerd of a wizard and you can play an old wise grandfatherly type without interference. With the falling rules in place, the Paladin player must conform to the ideal that the DM has, and isn't free to explore his own conception.



And taking the falling rules out (although I'm happy now that in fact they've not been taken out but are simply the victim of a badly edited/written rulebook) robs the player of the paladin of the choice one day to decide if they will cross that line for some reason and sacrifice their state for some other character-driven goal - or to sacrifice something else to remain a paladin. Without the line to cross, there is no decision needed.


And guess what, that paladin can also role-play it by homebrewing a "Fallen" or "Converted" paragon path indicating a switch to a different alignment. He can talk to his DM about losing his powers for while until an atonement ritual is done. The only that's changed is the Paladin who DIDN'T want to fall for a choice he thought was correct no longer has to.



Why, in general, should it be possible or even desirable[sic] for a party to consist of someone who is totally devoted to goodness and someone who is greedy and venal and vicious? Whether the LG member is a paladin, a cleric, or a barkeep.


Why are Roy and Belkar in the same party? It's a valid and interesting role-playing decision. It's also nice to be able to have every player actually play what they want to instead of being straightjacketed by the choices of their fellow party members.



Paladins get powers from their gods; they come with a price. If you don't want to pay the price, then don't take the powers. Duh!

Except that Paladins aren't a prestige class. The powers they get are no special that anybody else's powers, they just get it from conviction and faith rather than skill, training or innate arcane might. Why should Paladins, and Paladins alone, be held to a higher standard?

SmartAlec
2008-10-07, 12:28 PM
Actually, what really bothered me was being told that holding paragons to a standard at all was stupid and bad roleplaying and something that we should all be glad to see the back of.

No-one's said that! At all! What people are saying (what I've certainly said) is that doing it with awkward mechanics like the fallen-paladin rule is the stupid part.


it seems totally contradictory to say that you agree that LG paladins would behave that way but that they should not be expected to behave that way by their deity.

That's fine, there's just no need to enforce it with blanket, easily-misinterpreted awkward rules!

EDIT: The funny thing is, because of the nature of the rule and its' reliance on the alignment system, people often have to sit down and talk a bit about playing as a Paladin before one of them does it, just to get things straight. So why bother with the rule in the first place? Scrap the rule, keep the talk.

Reinforcements
2008-10-07, 12:39 PM
Really, the only use I see for the "falling" rule is for newbie DMs or DMs faced with a player determined to screw over the system. Beyond that, there is value in having a line which requires actual thought to cross over, but by and large the idea of a paladin actually falling is, I feel, simply inherent in the class concept.
A player determined to be a jerk is going to do so, and it's always going to be a problem. The code really just trades one way to screw around for another -sure, a problem player that (for some reason) is playing a paladin can't go around murdering everyone he meets, but he CAN use the code to back him up if he wants to try to be Miko. Even if you disagree that's really the code's fault, at BEST the code is preventing a jerk from causing problems this one way if he plays this one class, and that's hardly significant.


Well, some of those are in direct opposition to the class concept and are like asking why a player shouldn't be allowed to play a fighter who is a pacifist, but others again seem to point to the code being a problem. So, throw it out if it's making a mockery of the class (although I suspect the DM or player is more to blame).
The difference is that a "pacifist fighter" is deliberately screwing himself over by picking a personality in direct conflict with the abilities of his class. A morally questionable paladin might (might) be going against the "holy warrior" concept, but he's not refusing to use his class powers. And if we're talking about concept, well, I have MUCH less of a problem with the paladin class description including "Paladins are paragons of virtue and righteousness" - indeed, I have basically no problem with that. You seem to be arguing that if a DM really does want to change the class, he can - which is TRUE, but it's a LOT easier if we're talking about a description and not a hard RULE.


These are all within a DM's perview when setting up the world and are divergences from the archetype. As such they have no place in the core rules no matter how acceptable they may be as possibilities.

Then the DM should make a new code. After all, being the sort of person who follows a code is hardly a straight-jacket, is it? There's an infinite number of possible codes that could be followed by a character or order. But I do think that having a code of conduct (whether written down or just a generalised "Be Lawful Good") is inherent in the basic concept of the knight/crusader/cavalier/paladin image we all have in our heads from books and movies.
To make myself clear - I don't have a problem with the concept of the "traditional" paladin as you describe it. I don't have a problem with that being the description in the Player's Handbook. I'm not calling for a different description, or no description, or one that says, "Your paladin can have whatever personality you want!" I know that. I'm not even against there BEING a "code of conduct". I'm only against there being a hard rule that effectively says "YOU MUST ACT THIS WAY" as part of the basic class rules. I disagree that such a rule is necessary or helpful at all. Take an established campaign setting that doesn't muck with the (3e) code - say 3e-era Forgotten Realms. If the code were removed, would anything change? Would it require re-writing anything established in the campaign setting? I don't think so. FR would just go from "world with standard D&D paladins" to "world with LG, super-virtuous paladins" - which is, of course, the same thing.


Actually, what really bothered me was being told that holding paragons to a standard at all was stupid and bad roleplaying and something that we should all be glad to see the back of.
Well. If you want to know my opinion, I think a world where paladins are supposed to be paragons of virtue but aren't supernaturally compelled to be so is much more interesting and realistic. So some really are knights in shining armor, some are lazy, some are corrupt. That's cool. (By the way, I really like A Song of Ice and Fire.)

I'm not saying your way is wrong. I'm saying I don't want the core rules to impose your way on me.

Artanis
2008-10-07, 02:10 PM
A club that breaks my arms and legs the first time I spend six minutes, rather than five, in the presence of a bartender who waters down his ale is NOT a club I would want to join.

Starsinger
2008-10-07, 02:30 PM
Now to me, the archetypal D&D paladin was Sturm Brightblade. And while yes, he did try and convince his party members to do what was right, and what was noble, and to not listen to the obviously evil Wizard, that's all he did. He was never punished for his choice of comrades.

Now admittedly, AFAIK Sturm was technically not a Paladin (class). But he's very much, to me, the embodiment of a Paladin. Do what is Right. Do what is Noble. Advise against the ways of Evil. Protect Women, Children, the Weak, and the Innocent. Stand by your Friends. Eat your Vegetables. Brush your Teeth... y'know that sort of thing.

So this "If you ever rip the tag off of your mattress lose all your class features until you have a spell cast on you and/or do a quest to make it up to Lawful Goodness itself" crap is just too much to me. Particularly in 3rd edition where Paladin itself just isn't worth the hassle. I'd much rather make a Crusader or a Favored Soul with a bunch of melee PrC levels and call myself a Paladin, that way I don't have to worry about the DM deciding that my not tipping a waitress was an act of Chaos (or better, insulting someone which Planescape gives precedent to) and taking away my abilities against my will.

Starsinger
2008-10-07, 03:24 PM
Well, I think that takes us back to the "do you trust your DM?" issue raised early on in the thread, and the truth is still that if the answer to that is "no" then you have the wrong DM and nothing in the rules is going to fix that for you.

I specifically picked ripping the tag off of a mattress because it was utterly ridiculous. I didn't want to spark a debate by picking another more reasonable topic such as "Killing a baby or letting a whole village die".

Reinforcements
2008-10-07, 03:25 PM
Right; so are you happy with a loose requirement like "must be LG" or some other alignment and it's just the specific code that 3e introduced that you have a problem with or would you rather there was no default at all?
No, I'm saying I'm okay with the class description saying, "Paladins are X," because the description is not part of the game rules no matter how strong its wording is. I don't like alignment restrictions, either, for ANY class. I'm saying its okay for the book to use as narrow a definition of "paladin" as it wants as long as it doesn't use the rules to try to make me act a certain way.


I don't know where this "compelled" idea is coming from; required is not the same as compelled. If a fairground requires you to be 5'8" to enter, it's not going to stretch you. Same with paladins: they can act any way they like but they know that certain acts are not allowed. It's a lot like joining a club.
The fairground example isn't quite there - if I'm not tall enough, I can't go on the ride, end of story. Obviously playing a paladin doesn't literally FORCE you to play it the way it suggests - strangely, in some ways that might be BETTER (if weird), since it would be just as restrictive but you'd never run into problems of people meaning well but getting into trouble anyway. By "supernaturally compelled" I mean that a paladin MUST act a certain way because god/the universe/magic forces say so. If it WERE like joining a club that would be great - in most worlds I would expect that if a paladin did something wrong (seriously wrong) and someone from his organization found out, bad things would happen. That's a very different thing.


So, in your opinion, should the core rules not cover the paladin archetype, then? By which I mean a knight who rises above the norm like the Knights of the Round Table (who were actually called Paladins in very old versions of the stories) as opposed to the normal, run-of-the-mill knight on horseback.
You seem, to me, to be putting too much emphasis on the historical (or maybe "classical" would be better) idea of a paladin - that in the real world, or at least a realistic world, all a paladin is IS a knight in shining armor, so to speak. But fantasy paladins have long grown beyond that. A 4e paladin, no matter what god he serves or how he acts, is very clearly a paladin by virtue of his abilities. Does that mean I'd have a problem with the major, or even ONLY group of paladins in World X to embody the traditional knightly ideals? No, but again YOU CAN DO THAT without having a god or other force inflict divine retribution on any paladin who ever fails to uphold those ideals, and I think it's much more interesting that way.

You might notice here that I AM arguing that a world without a 3e-style Code is better for it. I do feel that's true, although I will backpedal a bit to say that if you want to create a world with the Code, hey, go for it. It's just that much worse, vastly worse in fact, when it's not "World X" that includes the Code but the CORE RULES.

JaxGaret
2008-10-07, 04:04 PM
When did this become an argument about what people think about the 3e CoC itself? That's completely off-topic.

Also, you never responded to my last post, Torque.