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    Default Would paladins come from nobility?

    Just a thought, but seeing as paladins usually require plate armor (which is expensive on a realistic setting) aswell as usually have a warhorse (which is also expensive) it just doesn't make any sense to me how people of humble origins could be able to afford to be a paladin. I can see the son of a well-off merchant being a paladin but not that of a peasant.

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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    depends. I love to create in depth histories for all of my characters, if I wanted my character to come from nobility then I would make him a noble, if I wanted him to come from anywhere else I would and I would find a way to explain it....but that's me.

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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    Well, you're assuming that the paladin got all his wealth from his family. Historically, this is not always the case.

    Take the instance of the Crusades. It was not unheard of for poor villages to pool their resources to outfit one of their own with arms and armor, to send them on a pilgrimage (as that's officially what crusaders were: pilgrims) to carry the sins of the entire village to a a holy site (like the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem)

    So, your Paladin could get his fancy armor from the faithful in his community, outfitted to show their devotion to their patron deity. As for the war horse, well, the Paladin gets a divine one for free :)

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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    Many of them perhaps, and the default fluff seems to indicate this.
    Personally I think a lot of adventurers period come from nobility, albeit minor non-inheriting sons and daughters who are used to the comforts of wealth, have the funds to buy the equipment, but can't be assured of this continuing.
    That being said, I like to subvert fluff in small ways.
    An archer paladin who born of freeborn peasants, a family man, is something I've always wanted to try.
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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinofshojo View Post
    Just a thought, but seeing as paladins usually require plate armor (which is expensive on a realistic setting) aswell as usually have a warhorse (which is also expensive) it just doesn't make any sense to me how people of humble origins could be able to afford to be a paladin. I can see the son of a well-off merchant being a paladin but not that of a peasant.
    If we divorce the Paladin image from the Knight image a little... what makes a Paladin different from a fighter, in my eyes is, primarily, their divine calling. And I see no reason why more nobles should be called upon by the Heavens than peasants. Sure, they might not charge evil on their warhorses quite as often, but I see no reason why you can't smite an imp with a warscythe instead.
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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    I think the theory is that a Paladin is usually supplied by their church or order. The real world equivalent (in infrastructure terms, if not in general morality) would be the Knights Templar and other military orders, who received donations from various wealthy families with the encouragement of the Catholic Church.

    That said, yes, a lot of them were the offspring of noble houses, generally second or greater sons who didn't stand to inherit. Look at it this way- a peasant's livelihood depends on getting a certain amount of work done. Realistically, by the time the child's old enough to enter a holy order, they're working full time in the fields. Peasants often can't afford to send their children away to serve the church without risking slipping further into poverty because of not being able to bring in the harvest. On the other hand, if you're a wealthy family, you train your first son to manage the estate when he inherits, perhaps the second son to command his military forces or help with the management, and you marry off the daughters (IRL Europe- substitute genders as needed for your campaign setting) but then you've got however many left (and there'll often be a surplus, because child mortality is high enough that you have lots to ensure that at least some survive to adulthood) who stand no chance of inheriting, and at best if they remain home can look forward to a life of dependency on their older siblings.

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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    I tend to use the "invest in orphans" plan for Paladins. Like Miko or the paladin character from the Baker's Boy series, orphans that are effectively bought as children to be turned into priests/paladins/etc.
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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    If we divorce the Paladin image from the Knight image a little... what makes a Paladin different from a fighter, in my eyes is, primarily, their divine calling. And I see no reason why more nobles should be called upon by the Heavens than peasants. Sure, they might not charge evil on their warhorses quite as often, but I see no reason why you can't smite an imp with a warscythe instead.
    This, by DnD rules, a peasant who smites evil with a broken broom handle (Improvised shortspear!) is just as much as Paladin as somebody clad in gleaming plate.

    The problem is that, unlike the Crusades, not everybody can become a Paladin. Anybody with a weapon and the willingness to fight (whether for faith, glory, or plunder) could become a crusader. A Paladin however, must truly devote themselves to the cause of good. The only way to be sure somebody will make a good paladin is to raise them as one.

    Which raises an excellent origin story for Paladins: Bastards.

    Noble families produce Bastard offspring, it's a fact, and Bastards are inconvenient, they can threaten your line of succession, ruin your reputation, and they keep hanging around, reminding everybody about your transgression.

    So imagine this, a setting where Nobles who need to dispose of the odd bastard, send the small infants to be raised by an order of Paladins, usually with a considerable donation to cover the child's upbringing, training, and equipment. Nobody can look down upon a nobleman for donating to an order of paladins, the children receive a good upbringing, and it helps avoid those awkward dinners where everybody is trying not to comment on how much the servant girl's baby looks like the duke.

    Of course the Paladin orders don't say where they get the orphans they raise. And the paladins themselves, being brought up with no goals besides battling evil, wouldn't bother to claim their birthrights even if they found out who their true parents were.

    Heh, that could be a fun plot . The last trueborn heir to the local throne is dead, so they have to track down the bastard heir, who is now a paladin with no idea of his lineage, save him before he dies in his quest against evil, then convince him to take up the throne.
    Then stop him from bankrupting the kingdom because he has no idea how to run a government.
    Last edited by BRC; 2012-07-17 at 03:48 PM.
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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post

    Take the instance of the Crusades. It was not unheard of for poor villages to pool their resources to outfit one of their own with arms and armor, to send them on a pilgrimage (as that's officially what crusaders were: pilgrims) to carry the sins of the entire village to a a holy site (like the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem)
    True, but many of the poor would be too illprepared for battle, seeing as a medieval warhorse is the equivallent of a rolls royce today. Hell, they were so important that they were ferried TO battles instead of being ridden there. And that is not to bring in the cost of metal armor and weapons. Even mail was ludricously expensive.

    Another problem was that the majority of the peasants who came on the Crusades were there to serve as auxillary rather than troops. After all, all those knights who did travel across Europe needed someone to cook and clean for them and their horses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    I tend to use the "invest in orphans" plan for Paladins. Like Miko or the paladin character from the Baker's Boy series, orphans that are effectively bought as children to be turned into priests/paladins/etc.
    True, but in reality, this leads to the question of "Why buy what you can rent?" Lesser and bastard sons of nobility are all around that would either join the military or the clergy. It's cheaper to use them instead of having to clothe and feed soldiers from the cradle.
    Last edited by paladinofshojo; 2012-07-17 at 04:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    I've always likes the idea that some are wards of the church, no parents and them serving in the field if battle is their way of giving back to the intiturion that raised them. Different orders equivalents would raise different kinds of Paladins, like a Knight Hospitaler of St John would be rather heal focused.
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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinofshojo View Post
    True, but many of the poor would be too illprepared for battle, seeing as a medieval warhorse is the equivallent of a rolls royce today. Hell, they were so important that they were ferried TO battles instead of being ridden there. And that is not to bring in the cost of metal armor and weapons. Even mail was ludricously expensive.
    Why would they need a warhorse? Despite modern depictions of the "Knight in Shining Armor", battles were still fought by unwashed masses of undertrained and underequipped infantry who died by the droves, but that dosn't make them any less Crusaders than the knights on horseback.

    Remember that the pictures of DnD characters all assume a standard WBL. If a character isn't wearing full plate, it's usually because something about their class (Lack of proficiency, ASF, penalties to vital skills, ect) discourages heavy armor.

    I actually worked it out once while making an epic-level character with Leadership. Using my first level followers WBL and the 3.0 Arms and Equipment guide, I was able to have my basic footsoldier wearing heavy armor (not quite full plate), with my cavalry riding dire bats or trained war rhinos.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    Why would they need a warhorse? Despite modern depictions of the "Knight in Shining Armor", battles were still fought by unwashed masses of undertrained and underequipped infantry who died by the droves, but that dosn't make them any less Crusaders than the knights on horseback.
    True, but we're not talking about Crusaders, we're talking about Paladins... the archetypical "Knight on horseback".

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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinofshojo View Post

    True, but in reality, this leads to the question of "Why buy what you can rent?" Lesser and bastard sons of nobility are all around that would either join the military or the clergy. It's cheaper to use them instead of having to clothe and feed soldiers from the cradle.
    Well, they have to be fanatically devoted to be a Paladin. Raising someone to be like that is difficult enough, but hoping to find enough of them in a single class is near impossible. Remember, these aren't soldiers, they're Paladins.
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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    You're assuming that any given fantasy world - despite this thread being in the general Roleplaying section you seem to be talking exclusively about D&D - works exactly like medieval Europe. This is not a safe assumption to make. Fantasy worlds often have medieval European trappings, but they don't work the same way.
    Besides, who says a paladin has to have plate armour and a warhorse? D&D rules do not. When they recieve a special mount at level 6, it comes from the celestial realms. Again, you're assuming things that are not true.
    Last edited by Morty; 2012-07-17 at 04:16 PM.
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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinofshojo View Post
    Just a thought, but seeing as paladins usually require plate armor
    No.
    (which is expensive on a realistic setting) aswell as usually have a warhorse (which is also expensive)
    ...and have a celestial warhorse as a class feature...
    it just doesn't make any sense to me how people of humble origins could be able to afford to be a paladin.
    If you decide that a wizard "requires" a Staff of the Magi, suddenly it's a lot harder to explain why there would be any non-nobility wizards.
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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinofshojo View Post
    True, but many of the poor would be too illprepared for battle, seeing as a medieval warhorse is the equivallent of a rolls royce today. Hell, they were so important that they were ferried TO battles instead of being ridden there. And that is not to bring in the cost of metal armor and weapons. Even mail was ludricously expensive.
    And it's ludicrously expensive for a starting 1st level paladin, unless he doesn't mind going without a sword or any other trifling possessions, like food.

    The paladin does not get his shiny plate armor and (mundane) war horse until he has actually finished an adventure that provides enough wealth to purchase those. He is no more well provisioned than the average fighter or ranger.

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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    And it's ludicrously expensive for a starting 1st level paladin, unless he doesn't mind going without a sword or any other trifling possessions, like food.

    The paladin does not get his shiny plate armor and (mundane) war horse until he has actually finished an adventure that provides enough wealth to purchase those. He is no more well provisioned than the average fighter or ranger.
    The average fighter starts with over a 100 gold worth of gear. That's a fortune by D&D peasant standards.
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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinofshojo View Post
    True, but we're not talking about Crusaders, we're talking about Paladins... the archetypical "Knight on horseback".
    No they're not. They're DEPICTED that way by the art, because the art assumes full WBL, which provides plenty of money for big shiny armor. Technically, paladins don't have any more money than fighters, rogues, wizards, or rangers.
    Well, they may have a little bit more, because they get free warhorses.

    However, saying all Paladins must be nobles is saying that every PC must be from a noble family, since they all have the same WBL. Nobody blinks when I say "My rogue grew up dirt poor on the streets of a shady port town", and then give my character a magic dagger that costs more than the combined annual income of some towns.
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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    The average fighter starts with over a 100 gold worth of gear. That's a fortune by D&D peasant standards.
    Yet we don't see the OP asking if Fighters, Rangers, Clerics, Rogues, Bards or Barbarians come from nobility. Only Paladins.

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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    @BRC:
    Actually, I would blink unless you had a justification, which isn't hard.
    Say you stole it from someone and now they want it back.
    Bam, instant character hook, reason to be part of the party, and equipment justification.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    Yet we don't see the OP asking if Fighters, Rangers, Clerics, Rogues, Bards or Barbarians come from nobility. Only Paladins.
    As I said in an earlier post, I do think most in fact are.
    As I also said, there can and should be exceptions.
    Last edited by Ravens_cry; 2012-07-17 at 04:58 PM.
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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinofshojo View Post
    Just a thought, but seeing as paladins usually require plate armor (which is expensive on a realistic setting) aswell as usually have a warhorse (which is also expensive) it just doesn't make any sense to me how people of humble origins could be able to afford to be a paladin. I can see the son of a well-off merchant being a paladin but not that of a peasant.
    Seconding the above posters from Kish on down. At least in D&D 3.5, either you focus on mounted combat from first level and so invest in a mount (which is affordable with the wealth you start with, just like any PC's basic starting gear has to be affordable), or you pick up a good mount when you need it with the wealth you've accrued by that point, just like you'll have to wait for plate armour if you want to have it. This is exactly the same as any other PC, all of whom start out well-off and quickly become ridiculously wealthy. If you want to have the economics of your particular setting work a certain way in your particular game, whether 3.5 or any other edition or system, then paladins of the plated-knight-on-horseback sort will be restricted just like a whole swath of other concepts, and people may opt to play paladins of other sorts with different images.

    PCs tend to get what they need, and don't need to start out with everything they'd like to eventually have.

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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    In "realistic setting" (medieval or later Europe, I guess) there could perfectly easily be piss poor noble and wealthy peasant.

    Peasant would of course be still be less likely to have armor and stuff, because trough the ages nobles pretty much from definition and obligation were expected to be warrior class - but it's perfectly feasible for peasant son who turned into military carrier to have armor and horse...
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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    Well, the said armour, mount and weapon might not even be theirs, just on loan from the order and to be sent back on their death or fall.
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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    As I said in an earlier post, I do think most in fact are.
    Then there are a lot of nobles running around in D&D. Like, throw a rock and you'll hit one and it will bounce off and hit another. "That ogre you killed was actually Baron von Gurlock, and the other ogre was Duke Urk" lots.

    Plus, the statement requires that most players pick some kind of noble birth for their characters. But, I'd like to see the survey before I comment on that.

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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    Then there are a lot of nobles running around in D&D. Like, throw a rock and you'll hit one and it will bounce off and hit another. "That ogre you killed was actually Baron von Gurlock, and the other ogre was Duke Urk" lots.
    Why? I'm talking about adventurers, not monsters.

    Plus, the statement requires that most players pick some kind of noble birth for their characters. But, I'd like to see the survey before I comment on that.
    Well, I'm not talking about player choices, but rather what is logistically realistic. You and your party might play some potentially justified exception, but most other characters who would identify as 'adventurers' are for reasons of logistics and motivation.
    Last edited by Ravens_cry; 2012-07-17 at 05:38 PM.
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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    Paladins do not require armor. They only require faith and dedication. Anyone willing and able to take upon the burden becomes a paladin.

    Acquiring platemail or other equipment comes later. It's not as if 1st level paladins are running around in platemail.

    Paladins respect and honor legitimate authority, but paladinhood is not derived from government. A particular society might, sure, fine, but not in general. A King's Paladin will not dismiss the peasant farmer who smote the imp.

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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    Depends on the society and religion. Some might reserve being a paladin just for nobles. Others may open it up to anyone pious and physically capable.

    I could also see a single organization having different orders of paladins serving it, some restricted to nobles and some not, each with their own customs and rules. Paladins don't have to be a single monolithic group that all behave the same way and believe the same thing, even if they're allies and working for the same deity.
    Last edited by Lysander; 2012-07-17 at 06:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    Why? I'm talking about adventurers, not monsters.
    If the wealth as such is so tied to social status that the majority of people who would have it are noble, that means that either the monsters are also largely noble, or they have killed a heck of a lot of noble people to get it. Either way, you have a surplus of nobility in the realm. Your average guttersnipe is probably second cousin to the prince or something.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    Well, I'm not talking about player choices, but rather what is logistically realistic.
    Logistically realistic does not exist in D&D. There would have to be an economy for that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    You and your party might play some potentially justified exception, but most other characters who would identify as 'adventurers' are for reasons of logistics and motivation.
    As I stated, I want to see the survey results to see if my group is exceptional for our lack of noble birth, versus the rest of the player community (that's what the PHB is for, after all).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    If the wealth as such is so tied to social status that the majority of people who would have it are noble, that means that either the monsters are also largely noble, or they have killed a heck of a lot of noble people to get it. Either way, you have a surplus of nobility in the realm. Your average guttersnipe is probably second cousin to the prince or something.
    You are exaggerating. Most brutish monsters are unlikely to have a peerage.
    In many settings, 'civilised' races do.
    Your 'average guttersnipe' is adequately represented in the rules as a level 1 commoner with no skills in craft or profession.
    Logistically realistic does not exist in D&D. There would have to be an economy for that.
    There is an economy, albeit a majorly screwed up one, with prices for many listed goods unattainable to the average peasant.
    Which is a large portion of my argument.
    As I stated, I want to see the survey results to see if my group is exceptional for our lack of noble birth, versus the rest of the player community (that's what the PHB is for, after all).
    There is no 'player community' in game, with the exception of 'Living' settings, like 'Living Greyhawk' and such. Every table, likely each campaign is an iteration unto itself, a different, but parallel, universe.
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    Default Re: Would paladins come from nobility?

    One thing, that seems to be getting taken for granted, is that people seem to be assuming that the 1st level pc's actually buy their gear. It's not a stretch to imagine that the paladin's longsword is a family heirloom. His grandfather spent a summer or three as a paid mecenary, then used the savings he put away to start a family and build a farm. Likewise the rogue probably got his dagger and lockpicks from his mentor, whether that mentor was a relative or not. A fighter could easily have picked his guisarme up from the litter of a battlefield. Just because something is valuable doesn't mean the only way to get it is by purchase. Then, of course, there's the fact that even a failed first level adventure could yield dozens or even hundreds of gold pieces, assuming the adventurers survived.

    EDIT: There's also crafting. If you made most/ all of your gear, it only cost 1/3 of its market value. Just because the player used the starting wealth figures to pick his gear, doesn't mean the character ever had a cp to his name.
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-07-17 at 07:06 PM.
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