Defense of Paladins: feedback please?

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Paladin of Asmodeus.
Paladin of Bane.
Paladin of Tiamat.

Need more?

I see what you're getting at, but I still have difficulty seeing how a Paladin's peculiar ability set exemplifies any of these. An evil cleric could pick spells and abilities much more in line with being a petitioner of an evil dragon god Tiamat. I just don't see the flavor of the paladin's abilities particularly suited for the task.

I'd really like to see blackguard become a base class though... with similar, but different abilities. I wouldn't want to see a good blackguard, though.



Blackguard is a class?  Its a type of paladin.

Also, good and evil are so relative that it can't really be codified into rules or laws.  That is most of the problem with alignment.  You also ignored the example I gave. 
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Paladin of Asmodeus.
Paladin of Bane.
Paladin of Tiamat.

Need more?

I see what you're getting at, but I still have difficulty seeing how a Paladin's peculiar ability set exemplifies any of these. An evil cleric could pick spells and abilities much more in line with being a petitioner of an evil dragon god Tiamat. I just don't see the flavor of the paladin's abilities particularly suited for the task.

I'd really like to see blackguard become a base class though... with similar, but different abilities. I wouldn't want to see a good blackguard, though.


I'm playing a good Blackguard right now. He doesn't care much for rules and is a horribly violent sociopath, but he does his bets to do the right thing and is extremely loyal to his allies(to the point where he singe-handedly beat a villain into paste for killing one of his allies).

As far as non-LG Paladins, how about a Lawful Evil Paladin who decides the best way to enforce law and order is by force? He takes over the kingdom, seeing the current rulership as too corrupt to rule properly and upholds every law he passes with an iron fist, meeting any objections or violations of the law with extreme force, turning his kingdom into a complete dictatorship, and amassing himself an army to bring his ideals of law and order to the rest of the world, whether the world wants it or not.
A paladin is just a heavily-armored warrior of a god.  Any god.  No alignment bullcrap needed.



My paladin serve no god. He is lawful because he is honorable and he is good because he do what is right. His powers come from his heart and he use it to become a shining beacon of hope for all that is good. 

A paladin is just a heavily-armored warrior of a god.  Any god.  No alignment bullcrap needed.



My paladin serve no god. He is lawful because he is honorable and he is good because he do what is right. His powers come from his heart and he use it to become a shining beacon of hope for all that is good. 



Which is why I prefer the idea that the Paladin is the champion of an ideal or cause instead of a god in particular. He can be a champion of a god, or to his alignment, or to a certain way of living, etc.
A paladin is just a heavily-armored warrior of a god.  Any god.  No alignment bullcrap needed.



My paladin serve no god. He is lawful because he is honorable and he is good because he do what is right. His powers come from his heart and he use it to become a shining beacon of hope for all that is good. 




There's nothing at all wrong with your approach.  The only thing wrong imo, is telling others that their approach is wrong.
A paladin is just a heavily-armored warrior of a god.  Any god.  No alignment bullcrap needed.



My paladin serve no god. He is lawful because he is honorable and he is good because he do what is right. His powers come from his heart and he use it to become a shining beacon of hope for all that is good. 




That's fine.

Someone else's paladin, however, may not be any of that, and what you fail to recognize, consistently to the point where I have to assume you're being willfully ignorant, is that other people should have the option to play their characters their way as well.
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Salla, I'm not entirely sure what you're saying. It sounds like you want people be able to play their character anyway they want, but that they shouldn't be allowed to use alignment to do so, am I misunderstanding something?

Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
Best defense that I've read in favor of having alignment systems as an option
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If some people are heavily benefiting from the inclusion of alignment, then it would behoove those that AREN'T to listen up and pay attention to how those benefits are being created and enjoyed, no? -YagamiFire
But equally important would be for those who do enjoy those benefits to entertain the possibility that other people do not value those benefits equally or, possibly, do not see them as benefits in the first place. -wrecan (RIP)
That makes sense. However, it is not fair to continually attack those that benefit for being, somehow, deviant for deriving enjoyment from something that you cannot. Instead, alignment is continually attacked...it is demonized...and those that use it are lumped in with it.

 

I think there is more merit in a situation where someone says "This doesn't work! It's broken!" and the reply is "Actually it works fine for me. Have you considered your approach might be causing it?"

 

than a situation where someone says "I use this system and the way I use it works really well!" and the back and forth is "No! It is a broken bad system!" -YagamiFire

Salla, I'm not entirely sure what you're saying. It sounds like you want people be able to play their character anyway they want, but that they shouldn't be allowed to use alignment to do so, am I misunderstanding something?



I'm saying alignment is bull.  It's cumbersome, archaic, and an impediment to roleplay.  If you can describe your character's personality with two words, it ain't much of a personality.  It's a needless, pointless restriction that needs to die in a fire.
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Salla, I'm not entirely sure what you're saying. It sounds like you want people be able to play their character anyway they want, but that they shouldn't be allowed to use alignment to do so, am I misunderstanding something?



He is saying that everyone should be allowed to play their characters the way they want to. The developers or other players should not be allowed to use alignment to tell players how they should be playing their characters.

Salla, I'm not entirely sure what you're saying. It sounds like you want people be able to play their character anyway they want, but that they shouldn't be allowed to use alignment to do so, am I misunderstanding something?

It's the same misunderstanding that comes up in every discussion of alignment.

One side says alignment is stupid and shouldn't be used. They're right, because alignment is very easily (mis)understood to be a tool for controlling how others play their characters.

One side says alignment is useful. They're right too, because anyone should be allowed to use whatever they want to define their character.

The game muddles everything, because it treats alignment as an objective concept for the purposes of Detect Evil, and smite, and a paladin's restrictions, but it does a very poor job of explaining (when it explains at all) how to adjudicate alignment in the game, and when not to use it as a leash on players. I suspect some people really believe that it works as a leash, and some of those people are designers, and that feeds into the problem.

If future versions of the game can't leave out alignment entirely, and can't fix it so it is not easily misunderstood (doubtful now, given its history), then the sections on it need to say, repeatedly, in big bold letters, "The rules for alignment are not to be used to tell players how to play their characters. They are advice only, just like sections that talk about racial and class tendencies. The player characters are exceptional in every way, including their approach to alignment."

My favorite take on alignment is one that divorces alignment entirely from behavior. It's just a facet of one's make-up, like hair color, or blood type. Or, more to the point, skin color. People would hold strong beliefs about alignment and behavior, just as they do about physical features and behavior, and those who "read" as evil would be shunned and kept out of holy society (and groups like paladins), even if they've never done anything wrong, but those who "read" as good would be accepted and fawned upon, even if they were utterly despicable. Then we could tell some real stories about people who struggle with accepting or rejecting society's beliefs about them. Not that we couldn't, and don't, already, but we're mostly stuck with the old (though sadly still relevant) concept of physical appearance being the deciding factor.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Salla, I'm not entirely sure what you're saying. It sounds like you want people be able to play their character anyway they want, but that they shouldn't be allowed to use alignment to do so, am I misunderstanding something?



I'm saying alignment is bull.  It's cumbersome, archaic, and an impediment to roleplay.  If you can describe your character's personality with two words, it ain't much of a personality.  It's a needless, pointless restriction that needs to die in a fire.



But I love aligments. It what makes D&D D&D. 

If a character said they are this aligment, it gives me a general idea what their personality is.

That what makes it great, only needs two words. So simple, it's perfect.  
If a character said they are this aligment, it gives me a general idea what their personality is.

No, it doesn't because not only might the two of you not agree what that alignment means, there's next to no reason to expect (or require) that the player will adhere to any particular meaning.

And if you both come to an understanding, and make up rules for what happens if that understanding is violated, then it's no longer simple. It's also still not perfect.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy


But I love aligments. It what makes D&D D&D. 


In your opinion.  Personally what makes DnD feel like DnD to me is the freedom of doing what you want and not being restricted or labeled like you would in a video game or other formalized game.  Alignment is something cookie-cutter that would work great for a video game franchise (if you wanted to take the game that route) but doesn't really work well in the completely open world setting that is DnD.
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Alignment is a big mystery to me in general. I don't really understand those who shun it completely from their games, mostly because I don't understand how they would do that. When my current group started they made the group decision that they were all going to be bastards, or as they put it simply 'Evil'

So I put the land, NPC's and options infront of them and they do what would suit their character personalities, which means ;they do what ever they can to benefit themselves the most. They have killed harmless NPC's simply because they didn't like them, they have stolen, and even eaten people. (one of them is a bugbear) So yeah it's pretty easy to say their allignment could be classified as evil. I don't really put labels on it though, which is why the whole constant Allignment debate befuddles me.

Just because they are evil doesn't mean people from all over run away from them at the mere sight (well sometimes...) They do what ever they can that helps them the most, and surprisingly more often than not, this involves taking out other threats. They're even revered as heroes in some places for taking out armies of an opposing city or ridding a settlement of a ruthless bandit (mainly because the bandit stabbed them in the back first) but the fact remains, they play their characters how they built them; Greedy, Selfish, etc. But it's still not black and white, it never is.

Even when inventing Villains, I could never classify any of my own villains as 'evil' because they all have a motive one way or another that defines their choices, and from their point of view they are doing what needs to be done, but if forced to label them on the allignment scale, I could still do it.

I don't know, maybe I'm not making any sense, the problem is I don't understand the allignment debate because I see allignment as a non issue, I don't use it as a leash and maybe that's where the dislike for it comes form is the restrictive part.
I just found this thread, community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758... and I think Chiba-Monkey expressed what I'm thinking better than I would've (spoilered for length).

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Because of this emphasis on what is fact and what is not, your own personal experiences and anecdotal references do not constitute valid fact. Alignment gets misused and abused, by players and Dms alike, all the time. That has no bearing on the facts of alignment. Since D&D is frequently houseruled, and there is no objective manner in which to cover and account for every given houserule, only RAW (Rules As Written) is considered valid fact.

I fully expect that 3.5e, as the most recent edition to have the “9 alignment grid” and concrete alignment mechanics, will be the most discussed system of alignment and alignment mechanics. If you are discussing a different edition, make that clear in your points, please. I hear alignment detractors all the time cite this or that reason why alignment limits them, but the truth is this: Nothing about alignment limits one's creativity, or the actions of one's character. The RAW explicitly state that alignment is NOT a straightjacket (3.5e PHB page 103). Therefore, any statement to the contrary is objectively false.

Another point alignment detractors like to focus on is the claim that “alignment cannot work because morality and ethics are subjective”. While it is true in the real world that morality and ethics are subjective (after all, what one culture perceives as good, another might view as abominable), in D&D there is an objective scale. The 3.5e RAW, for example state : “Good and Evil are not philosophical concepts in the D&D world. They are the forces that define the cosmos.” (page 103). Dungeons and Dragons is FANTASY, and because it is so, things like objective values of Good and Evil may exist. While an individual may believe that his/her actions are justified, or “for the greater good”, there is an objective scale by which that individual is judged. That person's place on that scale is his or her alignment. The RAW presents the definitions of Good/Evil/Law/Chaos, and while an individual DM might impose his/her own moral/ethical values on that in his/her ruling on the matter, if that ruling is not compatible with RAW, then it is a houserule.

Others say “when you use alignment, you are playing an alignment, and not a personality”. The RAW also state that each alignment covers a broad range of personality types and personal philosophies (3.5e PHB, pg 103), and that just because someone has a greed streak, or a short temper, does not mean that said person is not Lawful Good.

One of my main points is this: ALIGNMENT IS NOT AN ABSOLUTE BAROMETER OF ACTION OR AFFILIATION. A Chaotic person is not obliged to break laws or disobey authority. An Evil person is not incapable of selfless action. Being Lawful may or may not have anything at all to do with civil law or authority. Being Good does not mean never doing things to your own advantage.

Have DMs all over the world forced a PC's action because “your alignment is x, you can't do that”? Of course, you hear about it all the time. But that kind of DM overbearingness is not supported by RAW, and is therefore a houserule. Have players been disruptive or combatative to the other members of their party and used alignment as an excuse for bad behavior? Certainly, but nothing about alignment RAW encourages or even allows that. The fact is, that those kinds of DMs and players are the problem. You could run a game without alignment, and a DM could still find a way to try and railroad you, or force your character's actions. A player in a game without alignment could write up a detailed character background and personality, and still act contrary to it, and be just as disruptive.

In 100% of the examples I have ever been presented with about why alignment is bad, the issue is a player or DM deviating from RAW. Not once has an alignment detractor presented a situation that can show, objectively, that alignment, when properly used in accordance with RAW, has caused problems in their games.

People are certainly entitled to their opinions. If you don't like alignment, don't use it. Far be it from me to tell you you're “doing it wrong”. D&D is a game that thrives on individuality and customization. If you prefer to run a game and throw alignment out the window, and you and your players have fun playing, more power to you. But don't claim falsehoods about what alignment is and is not. Your opinion, while valid for you, does not hold objective weight if you can't support your points with direct quotes from RAW.



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Nothing about USING alignment mechanics is, in the RAW, supported in crafting a "no-win" scenario.  DMs craft the scenarios.

Say the person confronted with the above choice is a Paladin.  The DM thinks that killing the child was an evil action, The player thinks it was a good or neutral action because it was to save the world.  Another player thinks that it was an evil action but that the situation was such that it had to be done and the paladin shouldn't be punished.  None of this would be an issue if Paladins didn't have alignment restrictions.


This is why I said only a terrible DM would create this scenario.  This scenario is specifically crafted to screw over the player.  Any DM who intentionally sets things up to be contrary and adversarial to his players is a Bad DM.

And what was my thesis earlier?  That DMs and players are the problems, not alignment.  Thank you for illustrating my point.

And as far as paladins having alignment restrictions, I refer you to post #2, above.

Morality is complex and by and large has no right or wrong answers.  Pretending that it does is by and large disengenious.
 



You didn't read the whole OP, did you?  Real-Life morality is complex and subjective.  I'm not "pretending" anything.  You're failing to adhere to one of the core assumptions of the D&D fantasy world.  That Good and Evil are not differing philisophical concepts.  They are the forces which shape the cosmos (3.5e PHB, page 103).

Dungeons and Dragons is FANTASY.  And in FANTASY, such a thing as objective moral weight can exist, even though it cannot in the real world.  You can accept wizards, dragons, magic, and gods that walk the earth, but objective forces of Good and Evil is just too much?  You're inconsistent.  If you don't like objective forces of Good and Evil, you can easily houserule that away.  And, if you read my OP, I say more power to you.  But please understanding that you are altering one of the core assumptions of the D&D world, and that doing so will have cascading effects in other areas.  One of which will be alignment.  As soon as you throw out that core assumption, a couple of other things lose their foundational support.

This is why I am attempting to limit discussions to RAW.  Your points are only correct and valid if we ASSUME a deviation from RAW.  That being, non-objective Good and Evil.  Since this viewpoint is not supported by RAW, the rest of your argument to that point, however well-reasoned, falls out.

Bottom Line: This is not a valid indictment of alignment rules, because it requires a deviation from RAW.

And, to humor you: The RAW answer is that killing an innocent child is an Evil act.  Doing so for objectively Good ends is overall Neutral, at best. However, you are correct that a 3.5e paladin would lose his paladinhood, because the act itself is still Evil.  But being willing to commit acts of Evil for Good ends is overall pretty Neutral, and is a slippery slope.  Indeciciveness indicates Neutrality (3.5e DMG, page 134).  Someone who was truly Good would try and exhaust every other option.

Philosophers have been struggling and failing to adequately define good, evil, order, chaos and all that jazz for millenia.  Gamers sure as heck ain't gonna do it.


Fortunate for us, that, as gamers, we are dealing with a fantasy world that can operate on whatever laws and principles the designers lay out.

Which includes objective definitions of law/chaos/good/evil.  And because it's fantasy, then whatever those developers set down in the rules REALLY IS what defines those concepts within the context of said world.

...

You can't just say that alignment works by telling us that anything we do to break alignment is doing the game wrong.  In fact I am sure that is some sort of logical fallacy.  "It works fine so long as you don't do anything that breaks it."  Is that ringing bells for anybody but me?


Let me re-phrase that for you, in a manner that would be more correct. "It works fine when used in accordance with RAW.  But when scenarios are SPECIFICALLY CRAFTED in a manner INTENDED to break it, and such scenario either would not happen in a game-or would only happen in a game where the DM was a complete douchebag who wanted to adversly affect his players and their fun-it breaks down."
You can't claim that a system is flawed because of a situation you craft EXPLICITLY to make that sytem not work.  Yagami made an excellent analogy. That would be like claiming magic sucks and is flawed because you can craft a campaign setting that is entirely within an anti-magic zone.  That situation does nothing to highlight any actual flaws in the system of magic.

Also D&D should be what the DM and the players choose to make it, it is a Fantasy RPG sure but within that genre it should be able to encompass any sort of High Fantasy fiction.  I am not failing as a DM if I introduce moral complexity into the system, the system is failing me and my fellow gamers when it limits that freedom for no good reason.


The system is not failing you at all, that's what you don't see.

Let me explain: You are coirrect [sic] in that D&D should be what the DM and the players make it.  I made that same point in my OP.  D&D thrives on houserules and customization.  But, the core rules are still clearly defined for those people who do not wish to use many-if any-houserules.  And the core assumption is objective morality.  It's in the RAW, supported in black and white, I have quoted in numerous times in this thread alone.  This is an objective fact.

You want to have moral subjectivity in your game?  Great.  I hope your game is better for you and your players.  But understand that doing so is a houserule.  And that when you make that houserule, some of the other pieces may not fit as well as they did in a strict RAW setting.  I bolded a few points in your statement above, to highlight that, even in your own words, you acknowledge that you are deviating from the base, core assumptions.

This is why, in my OP, I made it clear that only core-rules RAW were valid for discussion on the pros and cons of alignment.  It is impossible for us, or anyone, in any kind of debate, to account for all possible houserules.

You don't like objective morality in D&D.  That's fine, but that is your opinion.  You are welcome to it, and I have no wish to change your mind and tell you that you are "doing it wrong".  HOWEVER, what you have failed to do is objectively prove that there is a flaw with the alignment system when it is used RAW.

This is why Yagami told you that you failed as a DM.  He was adhering to what I pointed out in my OP, that only RAW should be discussed.  What you didn't make clear was that you wanted a deviation from RAW.  My only suggestion to you is that when you DM, make sure your players know about any houserules that are in place.  Because players have a right to know which rulesets are being used, and which are being ignored.

And this failure isn't a corner case or only something that happens when you are activly trying to break the system.  It is something that happens often, to a broad swath of gamers, completley accidentaly.  Issues with alignment make up a big portion of what we try to deal with on these forums when we aren't doing the whole edition war dance, this is the reason so many of the long time posters are so set against alignments inclusion in the RAW.

 
Here's what you, and a lot of the other alignment detractors who think that everyone thinks like they do fail to see:
There are THOUSANDS of gamers out there who never have these problems.

And there is no way to accurately understand how widespread these "problems" might be.  Not without polling every gamer in existence.  And it really would take that, because-and this is key-the forums do not represent an accurate cross-section of D&D players.
Shocking, I know.  I have been playing D&D for 14 years.  I have played in 4 states, with multiple groups in each state, on a Navy Aircraft Carrier with Sailors and Marines from all over the country, at Cons (including 5 consective years as an RPGA judge at Origins and GenCon Indy), at local game stores, in groups at college, and in private homes.  My experiences have been varied, to say the least.  And in all that time, I have never met, in person, someone who frequents these forums.  I have also not encountered anyone with such a vitriolic hate for the alignment system that they wanted it torn down.  Sure, I've heard people with horror stories about this or that situation, but all of them recognized the problem as being with the DM or player in question, and did not blame the alignment system.

Back to my point. The forums do not represent an accurate cross-section of D&D players.  Furthermore, even IF they did, you'd be hard-pressed to show that a majority of people on the forums have problems with alignment.  People often come to the forums when they have questions to be answered or complaints to make.  Most people that don't have an issue with it aren't going to say anything about it, one way or another.  but people with complaints will be vocal.  Hence, the gross misconception that "so many" people are opposed to the inclusion of alignment in RAW.

What this thread is purposed for is to show the actual FACTS about alignment rules.  Because D&D is so subject to houseruling, as we both have pointed out, many people have not experienced strict RAW play.  If the people who play with the RAW don't have the same issues, then the RAW aren't the problem, are they?  That's simple logic, which I am sure you can agree with.  I understand your point about "so many" people having issues, but if those issues stem from a lack of complaiance with the RAW, then, from an objective and logical standpoint, the RAW themselves are not the problem.

To that end, I ask for alignment detractors to show support for their cases.  Please show me, with support from RAW, how alignment is detrimental.  If you cannot, then simply admit that your stance on it is merely your opinon on alignment.  You are certainly welcome to your opinon, as you are welcome to run your game however is best for you and your players.  And anyone who tells you that you are wrong for houseruling whatever you wish is, themself, wrong.   Just please realize that your personal preference does not hold objective weight.

Morality is inherently complex and somewhat subjective.  Any attempt to cut it down to a simple 3x3 grid is going to throw people off and cause contention among them when their personal beliefs about morality inevitably clash.


Once again, [b]within the context of the FANTASY world of D&D[/b], there are objective, and quantifiable definitions of Good/Evil/Law/Chaos.  I know that the real world is different, but the RAW explicitly states that the core assumption of the D&D world is different.  And the RAW clearly outlines those definitions.
Your personal preference is for a more complex and vague moral system.  This does not mean that there is any kind of flaw in the rules regarding alignment, because those rules are set up to be in compliance with the core assumptions of RAW.  Do you get where I'm coming from?

Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
Best defense that I've read in favor of having alignment systems as an option
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If some people are heavily benefiting from the inclusion of alignment, then it would behoove those that AREN'T to listen up and pay attention to how those benefits are being created and enjoyed, no? -YagamiFire
But equally important would be for those who do enjoy those benefits to entertain the possibility that other people do not value those benefits equally or, possibly, do not see them as benefits in the first place. -wrecan (RIP)
That makes sense. However, it is not fair to continually attack those that benefit for being, somehow, deviant for deriving enjoyment from something that you cannot. Instead, alignment is continually attacked...it is demonized...and those that use it are lumped in with it.

 

I think there is more merit in a situation where someone says "This doesn't work! It's broken!" and the reply is "Actually it works fine for me. Have you considered your approach might be causing it?"

 

than a situation where someone says "I use this system and the way I use it works really well!" and the back and forth is "No! It is a broken bad system!" -YagamiFire

My sympathies.
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I don't know, maybe I'm not making any sense, the problem is I don't understand the allignment debate because I see allignment as a non issue, I don't use it as a leash and maybe that's where the dislike for it comes form is the restrictive part.

That's exactly the concern. Not everyone uses it as a leash, and the game doesn't require that it be used as a leash, but it's very easily and commonly understood to be a leash. Because that's a big part of the history of alignment, I doubt it will ever go away entirely, even if alignment is clarified in the rules, so a lot of people would rather see it go away entirely. Many of them already don't use it at all.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

But I liked my paladin leash. The DMs always took good care of it. 
But I liked my paladin leash. The DMs always took good care of it. 

If you say so. Some DMs wouldn't, and those who would probably don't need alignment anyway.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Particularly since the game HAS required it to be a leash in every pre-4 edition.

In 3e, there were alignment restrictions on all kinds of crap, from feats and classes to what spells you could use.  You could get hosed out of your class features because of an ambiguous rule and a difference of opinion.

In 2e, you lost a level if you changed alignment.

In 1e, not only did you lose a level, *and* the DMG suggested that the gods whiz all over you.  The monster books, especially the Fiend Folio, had monsters that existed for no other purpose than 'you violated your alignment, let me sic this dumb thing on you'.

The Aleax, for example, is "sent to punish ... those who stray from alignment, fail to sacrifice enough treasure, or otherwise anger their god."  It's an exact copy of the PC, except that it has cumulative regeneration (1hp, then 2hp, then 4hp ...).  If it kills you, you lose half your xp and all of your treasure, then get raised.  If you win, you get yoinked out of play for a year and a day to 'serve your god directly'.  Talk about lose-lose!
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The Aleax, for example, is "sent to punish ... those who stray from alignment, fail to sacrifice enough treasure, or otherwise anger their god."  It's an exact copy of the PC, except that it has cumulative regeneration (1hp, then 2hp, then 4hp ...).  If it kills you, you lose half your xp and all of your treasure, then get raised.  If you win, you get yoinked out of play for a year and a day to 'serve your god directly'.  Talk about lose-lose!



That is awesome. Even more funny if the character didn't worship a god, but still have to serve. lol

Fine example why the DM had so much power back in the day. 

The Aleax, for example, is "sent to punish ... those who stray from alignment, fail to sacrifice enough treasure, or otherwise anger their god."  It's an exact copy of the PC, except that it has cumulative regeneration (1hp, then 2hp, then 4hp ...).  If it kills you, you lose half your xp and all of your treasure, then get raised.  If you win, you get yoinked out of play for a year and a day to 'serve your god directly'.  Talk about lose-lose!



That is awesome. Even more funny if the character didn't worship a god, but still have to serve. lol

Fine example why the DM had so much power back in the day. 




And a fine example of why he shouldn't.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
The Aleax, for example, is "sent to punish ... those who stray from alignment, fail to sacrifice enough treasure, or otherwise anger their god."  It's an exact copy of the PC, except that it has cumulative regeneration (1hp, then 2hp, then 4hp ...).  If it kills you, you lose half your xp and all of your treasure, then get raised.  If you win, you get yoinked out of play for a year and a day to 'serve your god directly'.  Talk about lose-lose!



That is awesome. Even more funny if the character didn't worship a god, but still have to serve. lol

Fine example why the DM had so much power back in the day. 




And a fine example of why he shouldn't.



Good thing too. Never want a DM to tell me that I can't bring my mount inside a buidling.

DM: You can't ride that horse here.
Me: How tall is the room?
DM: 10ft
Me: Then it's big enough for me and my horse. Case is closed. (Yes, I am a rule lawyer). If the owner of this building have a problem with my horse, he is more then welcome to join the bad guys. 

On the the topic of rule restrictions; if my players cna justify what they're doing and why and have it make sense I let them go with it. If a rule is going to keep them from having fun, what's the point of the rule. If the insane halfling wants to use a bag of holding as a diving helmet go right ahead.
The Aleax, for example, is "sent to punish ... those who stray from alignment, fail to sacrifice enough treasure, or otherwise anger their god."  It's an exact copy of the PC, except that it has cumulative regeneration (1hp, then 2hp, then 4hp ...).  If it kills you, you lose half your xp and all of your treasure, then get raised.  If you win, you get yoinked out of play for a year and a day to 'serve your god directly'.  Talk about lose-lose!



That is awesome. Even more funny if the character didn't worship a god, but still have to serve. lol

Fine example why the DM had so much power back in the day. 




And a fine example of why he shouldn't.



Good thing too. Never want a DM to tell me that I can't bring my mount inside a buidling.

DM: You can't ride that horse here.
Me: How tall is the room?
DM: 10ft
Me: Then it's big enough for me and my horse. Case is closed. (Yes, I am a rule lawyer). If the owner of this building have a problem with my horse, he is more then welcome to join the bad guys. 




Pretty sure any of the groups I play in would disown you if you did things like that on a regular basis.

But it makes some of your posts make more sense.  If you are intentionally a pain when not confined to a box, being confined by alignment is probably great for your DM's sanity. 
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
The Aleax, for example, is "sent to punish ... those who stray from alignment, fail to sacrifice enough treasure, or otherwise anger their god."  It's an exact copy of the PC, except that it has cumulative regeneration (1hp, then 2hp, then 4hp ...).  If it kills you, you lose half your xp and all of your treasure, then get raised.  If you win, you get yoinked out of play for a year and a day to 'serve your god directly'.  Talk about lose-lose!



That is awesome. Even more funny if the character didn't worship a god, but still have to serve. lol

Fine example why the DM had so much power back in the day. 




And a fine example of why he shouldn't.



Good thing too. Never want a DM to tell me that I can't bring my mount inside a buidling.

DM: You can't ride that horse here.
Me: How tall is the room?
DM: 10ft
Me: Then it's big enough for me and my horse. Case is closed. (Yes, I am a rule lawyer). If the owner of this building have a problem with my horse, he is more then welcome to join the bad guys. 




Pretty sure any of the groups I play in would disown you if you did things like that on a regular basis.

But it makes some of your posts make more sense.  If you are intentionally a pain when not confined to a box, being confined by alignment is probably great for your DM's sanity. 



I was playing 3.5e so the horse fights better then me. No joke. That why I summon that horse every chance I get, because that horse is just that awesome. 

When I am outside, I'm using my flying mount while my warhorse protects the party. 

DM also said my horse can't grapple, because it have hooves. So I said," Trust me, they can grapple. I'm not going to show you why, because it's nasty but they can." 



I'm starting to actually reconsider my thoughts on the paladin leash after reading the above :/
My Inner DM wants to backhand you, repeatedly for the last few comments, TheOneWhoCallCrow...you should be put on a leash, bound and gagged, and hooked up to a Thorazine drip. Bad ideas are just bad.
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28.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character (Monk or otherwise) does not require my character to be completely shitfaced, no matter what the name (and fun interpretation) implies.
29.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character does not require ME to be completely tanked, no matter how "in-character" I want to be..
The DM should definitely accept and add on to that idea, if that's the way you want to play. But that's a different thread.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Let's say a Paladin steals a priceless artifact from a ruler. Definitely an evil thing to do, right?
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Now, let's say he stole it because it was the only way to keep said artifact from falling into the hands of evil, or because the ruler was using its power to tyranize his people.
Is this an evil act that warrants the removal of the paladin's divine power?

According to... pretty much EVERY SINGLE BOOK FOR 3.5, the paladin should get nat 20'd by their deity's nerf bat immediately just because they did something evil. The fact that they did it in order to achieve a greater good doesn't matter, not even if it was literally the only option available. Yes, according to the Book of Exalted Deeds (or at least the way I understand it), it's better to let catastrophic evil deeds occur than to commit a minor evil act in order to stop said evil deeds.

While it is always up to the DM to decide whether something is truly against the paladin's code, you run into the problem of having the majority of the game rules and guidelines suggesting the extremely restricted code that everybody associates with the paladin class. Going by the rules, the class is given absolutely no room for error in their actions, and sometimes (with a rules lawyer DM or an extremely malicious one) they're put into a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" position where nothing they do will let them solve an issue without compromising their code.

And then there's the whole problem with having to atone for something that you only did because someone was controlling your mind and you had absolutely no way to stop yourself...
if the owner of this building have a problem with my horse, he is more then welcome to join the bad guys. 




??

I hadn't felt the need to post untill i saw this statement. Is that your perspective or your character's perspective? I find the idea of an elderly innkeeper (or any profession really) who is deathly allergic to horses as equatable to bandits, marauders or any other "bad guys" to be...unsettling.

Also, saying that if your horse can fit into a building then you are bringing it isn't rule-lawyer'ing. Its a decision that has consquences, good or ill.

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

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Going by the rules, the class is given absolutely no room for error in their actions, and sometimes (with a rules lawyer DM or an extremely malicious one) they're put into a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" position where nothing they do will let them solve an issue without compromising their code.

In fact, it's easy to see those kinds of situations as the entire point of the class. It's easy to see Lawful Good as the "cost" for being a paladin, because otherwise anyone could just pick that alignment and be a paladin, so it's reasonable to think that being Lawful Good must itself be made a challenge. From there's it's not hard to imagine that being tempted is almost the entire point of the class, just as there seems to be no reason to have Jedi in a story if they're not at risk of falling to the Dark Side.

If the player was into it, I could see there being a pretty good series of stories made out of a group that had a paladin who repeatedly had to lose and regain his powers throughout the adventures. Just sticking a player with that, when all they did was pick a class that seemed cool to them.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

if the owner of this building have a problem with my horse, he is more then welcome to join the bad guys. 


I find the idea of an elderly innkeeper (or any profession really) who is deathly allergic to horses 



My character didn't know the elderly innkeeper was allergic to horses. The innkeeper died. Oh well, carry on. 

As for defence of paladins, I am the master of it. Go ahead, give me a lose lose scenario.

@Diachronos

It's not stealing if he confiscate the item. ;)
See what I did there? The paladin had legal right to take that item, because the ruler was evil. 

I may be a rule lawyer, but when it comes to paladins, I am the best there is. 






As for defence of paladins, I am the master of it. Go ahead, give me a lose lose scenario.


That would be a threat on it’s own!


But a paladin is not only bound by alignment – don’t forget his Code of Conduct which can be seen as an extended / modified version of a Knights Code of Chivalry. That’s something you can Google!


The Knights Code of Chivalry



  • To fear God and maintain His Church

  • To serve the liege lord in valour and faith

  • To protect the weak and defenceless

  • To give succour to widows and orphans

  • To refrain from the wanton giving of offence

  • To live by honour and for glory

  • To despise pecuniary reward

  • To fight for the welfare of all

  • To obey those placed in authority

  • To guard the honour of fellow knights

  • To eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit

  • To keep faith

  • At all times to speak the truth

  • To persevere to the end in any enterprise begun

  • To respect the honour of women

  • Never to refuse a challenge from an equal

  • Never to turn the back upon a foe

Panartias, ladies-man and Jack of all trades about his professions:

"Once, I was a fighter -

to conquer the heart of a beautiful lady.

Then I became a thief -

- to steal myself a kiss from her lips.

And finally, I became a mage -

- to enchant her face with a smile."

I'm starting to see where this is all going.  It's not about paladins at all, it's about someone wanting validation for their ability to wordsmith and annoy their DM.
I'm starting to see where this is all going.  It's not about paladins at all, it's about someone wanting validation for their ability to wordsmith and annoy their DM.



In other word, it is the newest alignment thread.
if the owner of this building have a problem with my horse, he is more then welcome to join the bad guys. 


I find the idea of an elderly innkeeper (or any profession really) who is deathly allergic to horses 



My character didn't know the elderly innkeeper was allergic to horses. The innkeeper died. Oh well, carry on. 

As for defence of paladins, I am the master of it. Go ahead, give me a lose lose scenario.

@Diachronos

It's not stealing if he confiscate the item. ;)
See what I did there? The paladin had legal right to take that item, because the ruler was evil. 
I may be a rule lawyer, but when it comes to paladins, I am the best there is. 




Legal right has nothing to do with good or evil.  That is why it is the law.  It is supposed to be objective.  You still lose your paladin powers.

Also, I gave you a scenario already that you ignored.

I'm starting to see where this is all going.  It's not about paladins at all, it's about someone wanting validation for their ability to wordsmith and annoy their DM.



+1.  That is basically all of his posts.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Show
Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
I'm starting to see where this is all going.  It's not about paladins at all, it's about someone wanting validation for their ability to wordsmith and annoy their DM.



Agreed. Some people play to have others tell them how clever they are.

But a paladin is not only bound by alignment – don’t forget his Code of Conduct which can be seen as an extended / modified version of a Knights Code of Chivalry.



Not anymore, thank goodness.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.

But a paladin is not only bound by alignment – don’t forget his Code of Conduct which can be seen as an extended / modified version of a Knights Code of Chivalry.



Not anymore, thank goodness.



So 4ed doesn’t require a paladin to display knightly virtues?! Interesting! I was wondering about your earlier statement about “knight” being just a job description. So alignment is basically the only restriction left for the paladin and you and your group aren’t using that…

Are you still using the detect evil and holy aura of the paladin then, because these should go as well, when you do away with alignment! The paladin still has his lay on hands, his warhorse and his spells and so on…

Panartias, ladies-man and Jack of all trades about his professions:

"Once, I was a fighter -

to conquer the heart of a beautiful lady.

Then I became a thief -

- to steal myself a kiss from her lips.

And finally, I became a mage -

- to enchant her face with a smile."