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Thread: Paladins choice

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    Default Paladins choice

    Woman is severaly beaten on the street by her husband. When paladin intervenes, both of them tell him to mind his own business (woman is not intimidated by husband). What does paladin do in order he does not fall? Also, is it ok for him to "confiscate" children in such a family, regarding the "fall" thing?
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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    Walk away, and no it's not.

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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    Walk away and eventually report the thing to the local church: certainly they know the situation and can judge better than him.
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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    Ask your DM, in character!
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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodbyeSoberDay View Post
    Ask your DM, in character!
    Indeed, no sane paladin should adventure without one of these...
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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    If the paladin is a member of the local law enforcement, he can arrest the husband (and the wife, if it's a full on brawl), throw them in separate cells and volunteer to spend the night talking to them. If he's not, I agree that he can go walk away and call the city watch on them or alternatively, use his diplomacy to talk the husband out of it. He's beholden to his church and to his god, not the snappy opinions of people.

    I don't think a paladin would do the Social Services thing and take the children away for "safety."

    I think ample use of the Diplomacy skill would be the best way to deal with this.


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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    How about if one or the other partner is evil-aligned?

    Most D&D splatbooks seem to go with "being evil is not necessarily a crime"

    Paladins are supposed to defend the weak, generally- but sometimes that might conflict with other basic principles.
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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post

    Paladins are supposed to defend the weak, generally- but sometimes that might conflict with other basic principles.
    My point exactly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoodbyeSoberDay View Post
    Ask your DM, in character!
    Man, that´s a Tefillin. Who would have figured the SRD had that stuff in the list of items :)

    Back to the OP, Paladin should discreetly step out of the discussion and keep an eye on the scene until the drama is over. The woman, though not intimidated, might be underestimating the gravity of the situation, or husband might think he can keep control only to realize he´s gone ape**** when it is too late. It might drag for hours, and you are gonna have to stand in the shadows with your righteous 30kg of full plate on, but no one said that taking it upon yourself to be a custodian of the highest values was gonna be easy.

    If the situation degenerates (i.e. you see blood or any kind of weapon, even just a wooden ladle) make sure the homie gets a lesson in good manners.

    Then, you know, your paladin will leave and continue on the path of Awesome, all happy and righteous, and probably the husband will take it out on the wife when they are back at home and no one can protect her, but this is D&D, not Social Services Inc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AslanCross View Post
    I think ample use of the Diplomacy skill would be the best way to deal with this.
    QFT. I always make sure to get Diplomacy as a class skill and max my ranks in it, with any character I make.

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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Adamaro View Post
    Woman is severaly beaten on the street by her husband. When paladin intervenes, both of them tell him to mind his own business (woman is not intimidated by husband). What does paladin do in order he does not fall? Also, is it ok for him to "confiscate" children in such a family, regarding the "fall" thing?
    The Paladin as a holy warrior can certainly be seen as a 'religious' character. She fights for right and good in the name of her deity. Therefore we can assume that the paladin’s code is quite like an embodiment of her deity’s creed. To break the code of conduct means, therefore, to act against faith, thus committing heresy.

    According to William Ockham, a heretic is a person who consciously and willingly errs against the faith and insists upon his error, despite being proven wrong (I Dialogus V, c. 1).

    Now, would a paladin’s deity, a being of righteousness and goodness, want
    a) his champion to confidently prevent violence and to protect another person?
    b) to stab his champion in the back on the first chance for following her conscience?

    The concept of the "Fall", as it is commonly understood, itself is a ridiculous and completely unjust game mechanic. A paladin should only fall if she purposefully commits an evil act, not accidentally. The code and the possibility to fall should enhance the role play, not block it. To advance good according to one self’s best knowledge and conscience is not evil and would not cause a paladin to fall.
    Last edited by Calmar; 2010-04-08 at 06:09 AM.

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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Calmar View Post
    The concept of the "Fall", as it is commonly understood, itself is a ridiculous and completely unjust game mechanic. A paladin should only fall if she purposefully commits an evil act, not accidentally. The code and the possibility to fall should enhance the role play, not block it. To advance good according to one self’s best knowledge and conscience is not evil and would not cause a paladin to fall.
    It may be unfair- but it's of long standing. 2nd ed had the same "fall for accidental evil acts or ones committed under magical compulsion" rule.

    There is also the issue of "nonevil acts that are gross violations of the code".
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    Kill 'em all, and let the Gods sort them out.
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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    Depends on how old school you want to go.

    Alot of older societies didn't look at beating your wife or kids as a bad thing.

    So check with your GM out of game to see if that is the way the society works in his world.

    Confiscating the kids in said old world would be up to you but you would most likly be breaking local law.
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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    If you're going by modern mores (slavery, torture, gender/racial discrimination, etc being considered evil) for alignment, but old-style values for many of the societies, then you end up with a lot of "evil societies"-

    thus, the paladin needs to tread carefully- even if something is evil, if the society accepts it the paladin might get into trouble if they overtly oppose it- or use force to prevent "evil acts".
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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    First off, the couple is incorrect - if the disturbance is public, it is the paladin's business.

    So, in the ideal situation: first step, defuse the situation. Stop any current beating that's going on, and allow them to calm down. Step two, investigate. Find out what happened. Determine if any laws or traditions have been broken, and if so, turn them over to the legitimate authorities. Find out from the authorities if this has been going on for awhile, if it's tolerated, any other circumstances he should be aware of, etc. Step three, diplomacy. Convince them beating isn't a good idea, be a medieval couples counselor, whatever.

    If the situation is short of ideal (i.e. in the middle of a kingdom run by a cabal of Priests of Hextor, there is no local authority, laws on the subject are hazy or favoring beatings), the Paladin will have to change the strategy as necessary, possibly proselytizing a little bit along the way.

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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    I agree with the most recent post

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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    Do what the Paladin's deity has taught is right in this situation. Seriously. Your god doesn't care what the local laws says is Good or not. Your god has his/her own concepts of Good. Hell, by RAW, the entire universe has a Concete Concept of Good and Evil. In fact, even if the local laws proclaim that marital beatings and legal and Good, it is your DUTY as a Paladin to stop it if it is not Good according to your deity/the universe.

    The Paladin is under no compulsion to obey evil/unjust laws.

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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    What is the status of women in the campaign world? Because prior to the 20th century, appalling domestic violence was pretty common and accepted across most cultures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    What is the status of women in the campaign world? Because prior to the 20th century, appalling domestic violence was pretty common and accepted across most cultures.
    But it doesn't (necessarily) mean that your deity considers to non-Evil

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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    It's perfectly alright to arrest the man as a person cannot consent to being a victim of a crime. A crime is society's business so the "none of your business" argument doesn't work.

    Nonlethal force should be used if he resists. If the woman tries to physically prevent the arrest then it is fine to use nonlethal force to arrest her as well. Then drop off the person(s) off at the authorities and offer to testify at any trial.

    Since nonlethal force is key, a paladin ought to carry a weapon such as a sap for this very purpose.
    Last edited by snoopy13a; 2010-04-08 at 03:05 PM.

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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Adamaro View Post
    Woman is severaly beaten on the street by her husband. When paladin intervenes, both of them tell him to mind his own business (woman is not intimidated by husband). What does paladin do in order he does not fall? Also, is it ok for him to "confiscate" children in such a family, regarding the "fall" thing?
    I think the best thing for the paladin to do is intervene in the immediate beating. That's what he can do right now, and one can't necessarily tell if "dude beating a woman" is domestic abuse or regular assault and battery. I might also ask to talk to the guy, offer to buy him a drink... and talk to him, figure out what's going on, why he thinks a beating is necessary, etc. In the meantime, I'd be gathering information like where they live, what kids they have, his and his wife's name. That I would probably share with a religion that dealt with these kinds of issues (a deity of marriage or children, or one of peace or things of that nature; local lords might also work, especially if they or their families have a reputation for taking care of children).

    A paladin cannot make people's choices for them. He can't stop her from going back to him, nor should an itinerant paladin confiscate children he's going to lack the means to take care of. On the other hand, using existing social structures to achieve good ends (i.e. making sure the children are taken care of and the adults don't beat each other to death) is well within a paladin's purview.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    What is the status of women in the campaign world? Because prior to the 20th century, appalling domestic violence was pretty common and accepted across most cultures.
    BoED suggests that while its not the default D&D world, it is possible to play in a campaign where the the mores of society are more medieval- with slavery, discrimination, torture, etc being accepted.

    However- they still count as evil.

    Which is not to say it is OK (morally) in D&D to slay an evil-aligned wife-beater on sight- you should try and prevent evil deeds, but not necessarily by killing all those you catch doing evil things- sometimes non-lethal force is more appropriate.
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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    Don't forget if you play with a more medivel bent alot of the Good/Evil access changes. Well actualy theres no RAW behind that but i would assume it would as well.

    For instance being a paladin of perlor, i could see that said wife beating would probly not be a big issue.

    But a god of freedom and anti oppression probebly would have an issue.


    You should deffinetly talk to your GM about where that falls on the universal Good evil line and where it falls for your specific god.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RagnaroksChosen View Post
    Don't forget if you play with a more medivel bent alot of the Good/Evil access changes. Well actualy theres no RAW behind that but i would assume it would as well.
    BoED takes the approach that nothing that is Good (or evil) as described in PHB, BoVD, and BoED itself, changes in a medieval themed campaign.

    This can lead to a "good aligned characters are rare" situation- but if the players like that, this can make for an interesting feel to the game.

    Alternatively, players could take a "relative morality" approach, with Good and Evil changing to correspond more closely to what was seen as Good and Evil in medieval times. It would be very different to the standard alignment system though.

    Heroes of Horror mentions it, but says "using relative morality changes the game on a fundemental level, and is well beyond the scope of this work."
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2010-04-08 at 03:47 PM.
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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    BoED suggests that while its not the default D&D world, it is possible to play in a campaign where the the mores of society are more medieval- with slavery, discrimination, torture, etc being accepted.
    All that means, as you understand very well, is that in such a society, most of the souls there will go to the Nine Hells.

    In fact, Devils *actively encourage* such social mores just to get more soul traffic to Baator. Seriously. It's spelled out in Fiendish Codex II. It doesn't matter that society pressures you to do evil or that they tell you evil acts aren't evil. You do it, you pay the price when you die.

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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    Yup- when reading FC2's description of "devil influenced" societies, it seemed to me that they did fit rather well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy13a View Post
    It's perfectly alright to arrest the man as a person cannot consent to being a victim of a crime. A crime is society's business so the "none of your business" argument doesn't work.

    Nonlethal force should be used if he resists. If the woman tries to physically prevent the arrest then it is fine to use nonlethal force to arrest her as well. Then drop off the person(s) off at the authorities and offer to testify at any trial.

    Since nonlethal force is key, a paladin ought to carry a weapon such as a sap for this very purpose.
    The problem with that is, your barely better then the man. The man isn't trying to kill his wife so why would proceed to beat them up? Calling the proper authorities is much less likely to cause any violence, and even it does force is then appropriate.

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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Adamaro View Post
    Woman is severaly beaten on the street by her husband.
    Husband is committing a crime, haul him off to jail. If societal laws aren't compatible with this mindset, most every good-aligned god I can think of still has a "defend the defenseless" clause in there somewhere. Beat him silly, and use a diplomacy or intimidation check to convince him to never do it again.

    The difference between him beating her silly and you beating him silly is that: He's a bully, you're defending someone against a bully.

    Ensure the woman is able to take care of her children while her husband is recovering \ in jail whether with money (even low-level adventurers lose enough coins between the couch cushions to keep a peasant woman living comfortably for a year), or by the intercession of your fellow clergymen.
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    Default Re: Paladins choice

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    BoED takes the approach that nothing that is Good (or evil) as described in PHB, BoVD, and BoED itself, changes in a medieval themed campaign.

    This can lead to a "good aligned characters are rare" situation- but if the players like that, this can make for an interesting feel to the game.

    Alternatively, players could take a "relative morality" approach, with Good and Evil changing to correspond more closely to what was seen as Good and Evil in medieval times. It would be very different to the standard alignment system though.

    Heroes of Horror mentions it, but says "using relative morality changes the game on a fundemental level, and is well beyond the scope of this work."
    We just shift the societies views along with it.
    for example slavery has no right or wrongness. Its right or wrong depends on the nation/dutchy/land what have you. Though some gods disaprove of it(mostly CG gods) some don't care or are indifferent to it.
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