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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default How would my character feel?

    My character is currently faced with a situation which has me at a crossroads and I am not sure how he would react, so I am hoping that I can use the 2 weeks before my next session to illicit some ideas.

    The character:
    Oath of Conquest Paladin - Lawful Neutral
    Oath: Douse the flame of hope (translated as intimidating people into staying on the right side of the law); Rule with an iron fist (translated as being merciless to lawbreakers); Strength above all (translated as those who have the strength should make the laws that those without strength should appreciate protecting them)
    Key belief: Everyone is deserving of equal justice, if someone breaks the law (No matter how small that law, and he would even punish thought crimes if they could be detected) they should be given one chance to repent, then shown no mercy. In his ideal land that one chance would be see an oath sworn in a Zone of Truth, refusal or the inability to swear that oath would mean death.

    The situation:
    My character finds himself in a land which outwardly is pretty perfect. The citizens are safe and happy, the city clean and the law mercilessly enforced. His biggest problem with the city is that justice is used to punish the guilty rather than protect the innocent from them, so there is no second chance, and even foreigners who may be unaware of certain laws are arrested. The only penalty for crime seems to be death, but he has no issues with that. Generally he is happy to obey the law and thinks it is better than most places.
    Recently he found out that the death penalty is actually effectively exile to an area buried under the city. That same area is now home to an unknown amount of people. Some are the criminals that were exiled there, others were probably born down there since it has existed for 1000 years. Those exiled there are criminals deserving of that exile and there is no sympathy, but those born down there have committed no crime, and my character feels they should be allowed back into the city. The city however has declared simply being in that exile area to be a crime so nobody can return. Even when my character goes into this area to save the city he does so in the knowledge that he can never return.

    The conundrum:
    Does my character feel that upholding the law of the city is key, therefore everyone underground is a criminal? Does he feel sorry for those born down there and help them return to the surface? Does he do that even if it means destabilising an almost idyllic peace?

    I am genuinely torn here, so any opinions on how you would handle a similar situation, or any insights you may have into your own thought processes would be great!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: How would my character feel?

    I'd say that he finds himself in a ghost-rider-esque situation, hunting down those who are abusing their second chance. That character is effectively the Judge Dredd of the underground Australia, hunting down the righteous for a chance of redemption, and inspiring fear in the guilty, giving them a true execution.

    I'd say he needs an ultimate goal for those he rescues. It could be a way to get them to the surface, establish sanctuary location within the underground area if it's impossible to leave, or create some sort of halfway location to let the righteous thrive.
    Always looking for critique of my 5E homebrew!
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: How would my character feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vogie View Post
    I'd say he needs an ultimate goal for those he rescues. It could be a way to get them to the surface, establish sanctuary location within the underground area if it's impossible to leave, or create some sort of halfway location to let the righteous thrive.
    That's the sort of awesome I was hoping for!

    One of his goals is to establish a group of followers who believe in his ideals, he could uphold the law by keeping them down in exile, but help them by raising them above the rest of the scum! When he creates his perfect society (which the GM will totally let me do...) he could come back for them and transport them to his promised land!

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: How would my character feel?

    That will largely depend on how your character feels about the nature and existence of universal laws. As in, "everyone has the right to be treated equal", "everyone is equal before justice" and such (look up the UN charta, geneva accords and such). Justice is not always just and even a strong L-type character can recognize that.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: How would my character feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    That will largely depend on how your character feels about the nature and existence of universal laws. As in, "everyone has the right to be treated equal", "everyone is equal before justice" and such (look up the UN charta, geneva accords and such). Justice is not always just and even a strong L-type character can recognize that.
    Mostly he hates that this injustice is forced upon people, if he was alive 1000 years ago when the city was separated like this he would have probably fought to prevent it, but now it is in place he understands that his hands are at least semi-tied if he doesn't want to risk the peace on the surface - which he absolutely doesn't.

    The point you make is that he could justify their fate as being for the greater good, the law protects the many at the expense of the few, he can certainly rationalise that (worryingly so can I).

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: How would my character feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by YviStardark View Post
    Mostly he hates that this injustice is forced upon people, if he was alive 1000 years ago when the city was separated like this he would have probably fought to prevent it, but now it is in place he understands that his hands are at least semi-tied if he doesn't want to risk the peace on the surface - which he absolutely doesn't.

    The point you make is that he could justify their fate as being for the greater good, the law protects the many at the expense of the few, he can certainly rationalise that (worryingly so can I).
    Because of forum rules, I only breach that as softly as I can. There is a concept of Universal Rights, but it is sometimes extremely hard to enact in reality. It is easy to say that children born in prison don't belong in prison because they committed no crime and therefore don't deserve the punishment that prison is meant to be. It gets hard when talking about the point if, when and how to release said child from prison and how to manage all of that. Foster parents? Orphanage? What age, when and how, what happens when the parents protest?

    The situation you described is more akin to our age of sails when the UK exiled their convicts to Australia. In a sense punished, but free, with children that were born free (the rest depending whether you deem the UK, Australia or both to be freedom or punishment). Ok, typical fantasy stuff, so dark, weird and creepy underground kingdom, but....

    Beyond that, there's not much to rationalize.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: How would my character feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by YviStardark View Post
    Mostly he hates that this injustice is forced upon people, if he was alive 1000 years ago when the city was separated like this he would have probably fought to prevent it, but now it is in place he understands that his hands are at least semi-tied if he doesn't want to risk the peace on the surface - which he absolutely doesn't.

    The point you make is that he could justify their fate as being for the greater good, the law protects the many at the expense of the few, he can certainly rationalise that (worryingly so can I).
    But the thing is, his beliefs don't seem to be about the greater good. They seem to imply that punishments are designed for those who deserve them. It is done to deter people from breaking the law. A punishment that is enforced against those who do not deserve them isn't a punishment at all. It isn't a law. It is now an oppression. It has no value. From what you've posted, the intent of the criminal doesn't matter, only their decisions. And if their decisions don't hold any weight, and they don't matter, they simply can't be punished.

    They are, in a way, exempt from the law, because the law is exempt from applying to them.

    In a similar way, you shouldn't have access to public roads or facilities if you don't pay taxes. On the flipside, you shouldn't pay taxes if you're not allowed to use public roads or facilities. In this case, your character needs to make a decision as to whether or not these people deserve to have law and order of any kind. And as a lawful neutral Paladin, I'd argue that he'd feel EVERYONE deserves that right. There is no "greater good" than justice, and these people are being denied it. These people are basically born without a right to choose, or to make decisions. They are born to break the law, endlessly, and I'd say that it'd be your duty to shatter such a broken system.
    Last edited by Man_Over_Game; 2019-05-08 at 03:36 PM.
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    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas Iíve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. Youíre a gem of the community here.
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    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes to open a world of new multiclassing.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
    Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

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    d6 Re: How would my character feel?

    Red Fel Red Fel Red fel.

    I feel this muted Paladin is no paladin I feel he has become one of yours.

    Extinguishing hope.
    Iron hand tactics to crush the weak.
    Strength above all else.

    I maybe and frequently am wrong on this.

    Why would someone who is extinguishing hope give hopen for children of those that are criminals. The law states they are criminals. Heavy lawful reinforces this believe. Strength above all else means you murder at the exit point without a word. They are weak for not accepting the point of view of the non-criminal government.

    Better use of your time would be to go after the criminal elements that run the city and force them underground. That would be in a good not evil direction.
    Last edited by denthor; 2019-05-08 at 03:48 PM.
    9 wisdom true neutral cleric you know you want me in your adventuring party


  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: How would my character feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by denthor View Post
    Red Fel Red Fel Red fel.

    I feel this muted Paladin is no paladin I feel he has become one of yours.

    Extinguishing hope.
    Iron hand tactics to crush the weak.
    Strength above all else.

    I maybe and frequently am wrong on this.
    It's the Tenets of the Conquest Paladin Oath in DnD 5e. It's a Paladin type that is all about dominating others using an aura of Fear. In this case, he's using it to punish the deserving.
    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas Iíve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. Youíre a gem of the community here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post

    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes to open a world of new multiclassing.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
    Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

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    d6 Re: How would my character feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    It's the Tenets of the Conquest Paladin Oath in DnD 5e. It's a Paladin type that is all about dominating others using an aura of Fear. In this case, he's using it to punish the deserving.
    Did not see the 5e bit. Man I am never going to play this,edition. It seems to suck as much as 4th.
    9 wisdom true neutral cleric you know you want me in your adventuring party


  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: How would my character feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by denthor View Post
    Did not see the 5e bit. Man I am never going to play this,edition. It seems to suck as much as 4th.
    It was added in favor of players who wanted to go darkside. Most of the other Paladin Oaths are about light and stuff.

    Oath of:
    • Ancients: Protecting Freedom, Beauty and Passion. Has a lot of nature-esc abilities, and can nullify magic.
    • Devotion: Protect the Weak, the Good and the Light. Versatile, with a balance of consistent attack benefits and supporting a team with auras.
    • Redemption: Everyone deserves it; violence is the last resort. Has benefits for social interaction, and has many effects that punish/stop enemies from dealing damage.
    • Vengeance: Slay those who deserve it. Condemn a target, and gain benefits to slaying that target, gaining powers to hunt your targets down, one at a time.
    • Conquest: The weak must obey the strong. Use an aura that amplifies the effects of Fear, then use magic to inflict Fear effects on your enemies.


    The 5e Paladin chassis as a whole uses auras that help allies, have a small spell selection that add utility to both in-and-out of combat scenarios. They also have some minor healing, mostly used to bring allies back from the brink. Lastly, they can use their spell slots to channel their attacks with special effects, including banishing them, setting them on fire, blinding them, or just dealing a bunch of holy damage.
    Last edited by Man_Over_Game; 2019-05-08 at 04:21 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas Iíve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. Youíre a gem of the community here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post

    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes to open a world of new multiclassing.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
    Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: How would my character feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by denthor View Post
    Did not see the 5e bit. Man I am never going to play this,edition. It seems to suck as much as 4th.
    It's very different to traditional Paladin oaths, but really quite awesome and creating some new RP experiences.

    More generally 5e is miles removed from 4 so I wouldn't judge based on a this, but it isn't everyone's cup of tea.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

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    d6 Re: How would my character feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    It was added in favor of players who wanted to go darkside. Most of the other Paladin Oaths are about light and stuff.

    Oath of:
    • Ancients: Protecting Freedom, Beauty and Passion. Has a lot of nature-esc abilities, and can nullify magic.
    • Devotion: Protect the Weak, the Good and the Light. Versatile, with a balance of consistent attack benefits and supporting a team with auras.
    • Redemption: Everyone deserves it; violence is the last resort. Has benefits for social interaction, and has many effects that punish/stop enemies from dealing damage.
    • Vengeance: Slay those who deserve it. Condemn a target, and gain benefits to slaying that target, gaining powers to hunt your targets down, one at a time.
    • Conquest: The weak must obey the strong. Use an aura that amplifies the effects of Fear, then use magic to inflict Fear effects on your enemies.


    The 5e Paladin chassis as a whole uses auras that help allies, have a small spell selection that add utility to both in-and-out of combat scenarios. They also have some minor healing, mostly used to bring allies back from the brink. Lastly, they can use their spell slots to channel their attacks with special effects, including banishing them, setting them on fire, blinding them, or just dealing a bunch of holy damage.
    This was valuable. What is to stop a Conquest Paladin with teaming up wit a devil. ? They can remain Nuetral after all.
    9 wisdom true neutral cleric you know you want me in your adventuring party


  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: How would my character feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by denthor View Post
    This was valuable. What is to stop a Conquest Paladin with teaming up wit a devil. ? They can remain Nuetral after all.
    Nothing, I suppose? You can even multiclass into Warlock and have a Fiend as a Patron.

    5e Paladins don't care about alignment, they care about Oaths. If you want to be Lawful Good, they have an Oath for that. But if you want a Chaotic Evil option, they have that too.
    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas Iíve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. Youíre a gem of the community here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post

    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes to open a world of new multiclassing.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
    Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: How would my character feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    Nothing, I suppose? You can even multiclass into Warlock and have a Fiend as a Patron.

    5e Paladins don't care about alignment, they care about Oaths. If you want to be Lawful Good, they have an Oath for that. But if you want a Chaotic Evil option, they have that too.
    I know this is off topic, but I would argue it's difficult to uphold an oath of you are truly chaotic. I know alignment becomes very subjective, but I see lawful as an almost requirement of Paladin's and neutral acceptable depending on the Oath.

    I'd also note that I keep this as my opinion even when I DM and have a chaotic good Paladin in my players. (I personally just pretend his sheet says neutral good because that's how I believe he acts and there is no mechanical implication of alignment)

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: How would my character feel?

    I dunno, depends on how you view Oaths. Maybe it's not something you have to force yourself to be. For some, the tenets of an Oath are just who you simply....are.

    Maybe you value beauty in all things, and you become an Ancients Paladin from being who you normally are?
    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas Iíve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. Youíre a gem of the community here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post

    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes to open a world of new multiclassing.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
    Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: How would my character feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by denthor View Post
    This was valuable. What is to stop a Conquest Paladin with teaming up wit a devil. ? They can remain Nuetral after all.
    Part of the description for this oath is that what you describe does happen. Devils believe their ways are the only way to protect against a worse evil, so I can easily see someone playing a Paladin that way in an evil based campaign.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: How would my character feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by YviStardark View Post
    I am genuinely torn here, so any opinions on how you would handle a similar situation, or any insights you may have into your own thought processes would be great!

    Your paladin sounds evil, so my own way of handling the situation is naturally very different from his.

    There's a difference between having sworn to protect the innocent and then going a bit overboard in delivering justice - emotions tend to cause that - and consciously swearing an oath that means you aren't allowed to be merciful.

    Good people are generally happy to have a code of conduct that prevents them from giving in to anger and other negative emotions, as they tend to regret things said and done in anger later on, but rarely or never regret having spoken politely and reasonably when they could have yelled at someone, etc.

    However, having condemned a person to death who could have been redeemed without any danger to others? Not because you felt it right, but because it was your oath? That is a regret that never dies, a wound that would fester forever in the heart of a person who does possess a great deal of compassion.
    A good person would eventually break, thus, such a paladin is the more likely to be evil the longer he can live like this.

    As to how I would play this character if you handed me his character sheet and asked me to roleplay him: He feels a tiny flame of compassion for the children born down there, but actively works to douse it. After all, it is the law, and they did commit a crime by being down there, and he is in favour of punishing people for violating laws they didn't even know exist, right? That no second chance thing might bother him, but it is the LAW and that's what matters. Besides, the people down there are weak, so it is only right and proper that those in the aboveground city do with them as they see fit. That's what the strong ruling over the weak essentialy means - there's literally nothing in his oath that demands that the weak be treated fairly.

    If you feel you don't want to play that kind of character, perhaps he could have a serious crisis of faith and switch to a different deity and oath. (Not sure if that's possible, I'm pretty new to DnD, but it would make sense from a storytelling point of view.)


    I would also like to point out that sending people to live in a place without laws is a punishment that has actually potential to be worse than death.

    Prisoners being violent against each other might be commonplace in prisons, but in countries that are against the death penalty, it is usually attempted to keep down the potential for sexual violence by separating female and male prisoners, and the potential for general physical violence by separating especially violent prisoners from the rest of the prison population, and having guards. Because if you are ethically against the death penalty, you can't have prisons be so bad people willingly commit suicide to escape them.

    In Australia, there was, I assume, enough space to walk away from the more violent criminals.

    The area under the city sounds like it has limited space and thus more resembles a real prison, just without any separation of the sexes, separate cells, or guards. A system in which the strong rule over the weak will establish itself immediately, so according to your paladin's oath, that's cool, but according to my ethics, it is everything but and actually worse than death for the weak, and no punishment at all for the strong.
    Last edited by Themrys; 2019-05-09 at 07:00 AM.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: How would my character feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by YviStardark View Post
    The conundrum:
    Does my character feel that upholding the law of the city is key, therefore everyone underground is a criminal? Does he feel sorry for those born down there and help them return to the surface? Does he do that even if it means destabilising an almost idyllic peace?

    I am genuinely torn here, so any opinions on how you would handle a similar situation, or any insights you may have into your own thought processes would be great!
    Well, if he's LN, the law is the law.

    That's not to say that the law cannot be changed - within the confines of what is legal. So if it's a referendum it takes, then that's what must be done. He's entirely entitled - IMO - to feel that perhaps the law isn't perfect as it is. Maybe he feels you cannot be guilty of a crime until your guilt has been tried before a jury of your peers, and being born in a specific area does not meet that requirement. He can put forth a suggestion for change.

    But he should never break the law, to break law he disagrees with. That should be counter to his beliefs.

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