Paladin Roleplaying

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My favourite class is the chaladin. I love the lawful good steriotype and I love roleplaying it. I was just wondering if you could give me any tips n' tricks about roleplaying this class. What do you do to make your Paladin memorable, what are your "roleplaying" rules?

Everthing I know about roleplaying a Paladin is what I've read from 3.5 and Pathfinder, and I actually asked my DM to make some of it actual rules and not just flavour. For example:

If I break my vows I lose my powers:
I know right and wrong isn't as set in stone in 4e as it was in 3.5, but it make my steriotype a bit more acceptable. It makes him more vulnerable and means that the other players understand my roleplaying. Sometimes when playing a "I only do good"-character the other players might think that I think Im better then they are. Sometimes it makes them feel a bit guilty when doing something more unaligned, that my paladin always has to come with a "You must do what's right"-speech. This way I can always just say "I'm sorry, I can't take part in this, even if it's the smart thing to do, I made a vow".

This happened to me when we cought a spy that eventually begged for mercy. My team wanted to kill him to make sure he wouldn't backstab us later, but my paladin thought it was evil and dishonest. I know as a player that the DM would love to use that spy to the BBEG's advantage, but my paladin couldn't do it. We actually had an argument about this. Eventually our Ranger killed him in a quick and painless manner while my paladin turned his back.
A month later I read about the alignment restrictions in Pathfinder and I fell in love "so THAT'S why!" 

My powers are a boon of a divine entity, and I must pray to refill my strength.
In 3.5 clerics have to pray once a day to regain their spells. I do the same thing, it reminds me and the group that I am not a wizard or a sorcerer, my powers are borrowed and I can channel that power as long as I do what's right or in the spirit of my deity.

I need some help roleplaying some of the Paladin's game mechanics, such as Divine Sanction and Divine Challenge. How do these things work, lore wise? For example that encounter power that sanctions all enemies in close burst 3, how does that work? Is this an interpretation of smite from Pathfinder? If so can I say that it's the power of my god, and can only be channeled against those who are evil or oppose the will of my deity?



 

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You might want to be careful with those rules. While it's a cool roleplaying concept, putting that kind of power with the DM might incidentally screw you over badly. It's more or less a given that eventually any Paladin will fall because there is no path of perfect good. You're putting a lot of trust in your DM.

That said; there's not a lot of flavor here yet. It's mostly mechanical. You don't roleplay a Paladin; you roleplay a character. Who are you, exactly?

A good place to start might be your Code of Conduct, basically a Knight's code that explains how you should act. It also helps to think about why you are a Paladin; you don't just some decide to be a Paladin. It's a holy calling and a complicated path.

As for Sanction and Challenge; the default flavor is that divine fire burns your enemies if they deny you. You can certainly call it the power of your god and wield it against Evil, but mechanically it works on anything. Limiting it to only evil creatures and those opposing the will of your deity might get you (and your party! remember you want to protect them) in trouble when you have to do battle with mindless things such as Oozes and animals. They are neither evil nor opposing your deity but will probably have to be killed or scared off, and it sucks if your powers don't work against them.
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Hi mhbjarkistef, I hope that you continue to have fun playing your paladin.  As for my thoughts on breaking vows, I feel that your off to a good start by talking to your DM about it.  I recomend that you and your DM come to an agreement on what the Code of Conduct for your paladin will be.  I would also recomend that you come to agreement on who enforces the Code of Conduct, for example in a previous game I ran as a DM D&D 3.5 (Eberron setting) the PC paladin (Silverflame) and I had a disagreement because he felt that it was up to his character whether they had broke the CoC or not, I believed it was the god that determined when the CoC had been violated.  I felt that a PC can rationalize/make excuses for anything, but even so we came to an agreement.  More importantly, perhaps, I would recomend planning on ways for your paladin to regain his powers if they ever lose them.  In 3.5 the Atonement  spell was needed.  You and your DM could homebrew this as a ritual, or come up with other ways for redemption.  Maybe your character's god will give them a vision/dream telling them they are fallen from grace and give instructions on how to make amends.


Paladin marking(Divine Sanction,Divine Challenge) I would probably feel that it is less of a "smite" and more of "my god empowers me to protect my allies from harm while we progress the divine will of my god".  This is just my take on it though.  This would have the benifit of helping to protect your allies from non evil threats, such as animals and such.  Of course your interpretation is not "wrong", but it would limit your characters ability to funtion as a defender.


Paladins praying for powers:  this is an interesting way to add flavor to the class.  It probably wouldn't work exactly like clerics in 3.5, but that's not really a problem.  Clerics in 3.5 (as I'm sure you know) prayed for 1 hr. a day to get their spells for the day, this wasn't a huge obstical and overall I didn't do much role play in game for it when I played clerics in 3.5, but then again immersive roleplaying has never been my strength your milage may vary.  For 4e I suppose that you could say that your character prays 1 hr. in the morning to gain their at wills for the day, daily utilities and their daily powers as well as their encounters for their first encounter.  Then after each encounter a short prayer to replenish their encounters and encounter power utilities.  I suppose that you may need to think about what might happen if your character is attacked at night before your character prays (say 12 AM-whenever your character usually prays), I wouldn't go out of my way to deny powers in this case, but your DM may disagree.


Happy gaming.  

Everthing I know about roleplaying a Paladin is what I've read from 3.5 and Pathfinder, and I actually asked my DM to make some of it actual rules and not just flavour.



Even if you ignore everything else in this post, keep in mind that paladins in 4e are not limited to LG knights of justice.  While these houserules may appeal to you, if made the de facto ruling at your table, they may chafe at other players who may decide to play a different sort of paladin in the future.

Sometimes when playing a "I only do good"-character the other players might think that I think Im better then they are. Sometimes it makes them feel a bit guilty when doing something more unaligned, that my paladin always has to come with a "You must do what's right"-speech. This way I can always just say "I'm sorry, I can't take part in this, even if it's the smart thing to do, I made a vow".

This happened to me when we cought a spy that eventually begged for mercy. My team wanted to kill him to make sure he wouldn't backstab us later, but my paladin thought it was evil and dishonest. I know as a player that the DM would love to use that spy to the BBEG's advantage, but my paladin couldn't do it. We actually had an argument about this. Eventually our Ranger killed him in a quick and painless manner while my paladin turned his back.
A month later I read about the alignment restrictions in Pathfinder and I fell in love "so THAT'S why!"


You do not need mechanical restrictions to choose how you want to play.  This is evident since you are already playing your paladin how you wanted to play him anyway.

Instead, it sounds like you want an easy excuse to play your good and righteous character so that when your character's motivation clash with that of the other players, you can take the easy way out point to "Da Rules" and say "But I must play my character this way or I'll lose mah powahs! It's in Da Rules" instead of actually resolving these conflicting character motivations with your group.  Since you would still be roleplaying your character the same way, instead of ending argument, I predict that this will just change the target issue from how you're playing your character to how you're playing your character and hiding behind this new houserule (not to mention potentially opening the pandora's box of fall-mechanic-related alignment arguments).

Out-of-game problems require an out-of-game solution.  I would suggest talking to your group if you think they may be resenting how you are roleplaying your character and at the very least explain that you're just trying to roleplay your preferred archetype and not intentionally trying to be condescending in real-life.  They may not actually have any problem with your do-goody character, or may even enjoy these in-game personalty clashes. 

My powers are a boon of a divine entity, and I must pray to refill my strength.
In 3.5 clerics have to pray once a day to regain their spells. I do the same thing, it reminds me and the group that I am not a wizard or a sorcerer, my powers are borrowed and I can channel that power as long as I do what's right or in the spirit of my deity.


Again, you don't need a mechanic to do this.  If that's how you want to roleplay your character, then go for it.  And if you feel you are not living up to the ideals you outline for your character, you can simply just roleplay him as you feel appropriate.  It's your character, and you are always in control of what he can or cannot do, and for what reasons.  So if your character must eat his morning bowl of Prayer-Os before he can smite evil in the face, then its your choice.

I need some help roleplaying some of the Paladin's game mechanics, such as Divine Sanction and Divine Challenge. How do these things work, lore wise? For example that encounter power that sanctions all enemies in close burst 3, how does that work? Is this an interpretation of smite from Pathfinder? If so can I say that it's the power of my god, and can only be channeled against those who are evil or oppose the will of my deity?



There is no one correct answer.  Fluff is open-ended and mutable, particularly in 4e. A better question would be "How can these things work."  And the answer would be, "however you want."  The description and lore is completely up to you.

If you want Divine Challenge/Sanction to have PF's Smite Evil flavor, it does.  If you want it to appear as white-hot pillars of flame sprouting from the ground whenever your foe ignore your challenge, then it is so.  Your Divine Challenge could manifest as hundreds of vengeful ghost pushing your foes into your blade, if you like. 

The source could be your God, some nebulous cosmic manifestation of Goodness, the spirit of the Earth, your own divine conviction made manifest, or whatever else.  And your chose of description could change depending on what kind of god you worship if any, your character's personality, or even just your whims as a player. 

And like I said above, its your character, so you can choose who you use your powers on and why.  So if it fits your character to only Divine Challenge the evil and the blasphemous, then so be it.

Have fun with it.
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What violates a "Paladin's code" is going to be highly dependant on your Paladin's religious beliefs.

As I understand the deities' priorities, A Paladin of Pelor would value protecting the meek over punishing the wicked, while a Paladin of Bahamut might make punishing the wicked his primary focus.

(Note: I use the term "wicked," and not "evil." Evil is a game term that is well defined in the space of the rules. "Wicked," however, can be used in a much more nebulous sense to identify that which offends the Paladin's sensibilities. Since "evil" is a game term, "wicked" can become a roleplaying term.)

And what of the Paladins dedicated to gods who are not Good or Lawful Good. It would be all well and good for a Paladin of Erathis to depose an evil tyrant, but not if it would cause the region to devolve into chaos and anarchy. A Paladin of Erathis in this situation would attempt to find a suitable heir and foster a strong and popular resistance movement before striking against the tyrant. If the people are too cowed to stand against the tyrant, then it falls to the Paladin to lead the community until such a time as a strong local leader could be found to take his place. The greatest sins a Paladin of Kord could commit are cowardice in the face of surmountable odds (Kord is a fairly practical god who understands the value of "tactical withdrawal" when faced with insurmountable odds) or inept leadership that leads to a total decimation of the forces under his command

Just as in every modern religion, there will also be sects within each church that hold variant ideas about their faith. For example, in my campaigns; The Eberron religion of the Silver Flame is a radical sect of Pelor, very concerned with the smiting of the wicked, particularly the undead and shapechangers.

If your Paladin defies his ethos, then it is perfectly appropriate for your DM to send you a vision or a dream by which you are reminded of your failing. If the Paladin be properly abashed, then that is all that need be done. (By "properly abashed," I mean that the Paladin is moved to make absolution and rededicates himself to not making the same mistake in the future.)

If the dream or vision fails, then the deity may send the same dream or vision to those highly placed in the Paladin's church. Upon the Paladin's next visit to the temple, he may be called upon to make absolution. If the offense is egregious enough, the counterpoint to the Paladin is the Avenger. A Paladin of Pelor who slaughters a community of unarmed and unthreatening villagers can expect to be set upon by a group of amazingly accurate, lightly armored, yet difficult to hit brethren of the faith.

As for the prayer for spells, I always assume that whatever study, prayer or meditiation a character needs to do is part of their extended rest. A rest is often assumed to be eight hours long, with each character sleeping for six hours, and keeping watch the other two. Study, prayer, meditation and practive can all be performed during this time without any disruption of the flow of the adventure. That being said, there is nothing to stop you from saying a quick prayer to your deity whenever you feel it appropriate. Speaking is a free action, after all.
This may sound a bit odd, but I'm going to strongly recommend you read a webcomic.

Order of the Stick is a comic that mostly adheres to the 3.5E D&D rules (and the characters know about them!). It has three paladins of particular note (even though none of them are first-tier major characters) in it whom I recommend to you for observation:
- Miko Miyaki Miyazaki, zealous
- O-Chul, wise
- Hinjo, charismatic

"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose


mhbjarkistef, in any game Paladins are the class that I naturally gravitate toward, though often I'm disappointed;  Paladin is a concept that has many tropes going for it, and can be described in quite a few ways, but I think that at its core a Paladin is a divine champion of martial prowess who does good deeds.  My introduction to the concept was from Final Fantasy IV (then called FFII on the SNES) in a character called Cecil who begins as a dark knight and lawfully carries out evil orders.  He turns from this path and seeks to right these wrongs but can't do so as he is and so goes on a physical and spiritual journey that ends the second act of the game with his transformation into a Paladin.


 


These concepts are important to me: Physically powerful, a desire to do what's right, chosen by a higher power, and imbued with powers in order to be able to defeat evil.  One of the gripes I had with 3.5 was that I felt I was only powerful if I fought the right kind of enemies, and for a lot of people that was ok as a balancing point, but for me it didn't match my expectations for the class.  I felt that I wasn't that champion and instead only a poor man's fighter when faced with mundane threats.  Towards the end of the product I felt that it got a lot better, but I still had some gripes.  The second biggest gripe for me is the code and the ever-present loss of my powers. I've never had my character lose his powers, and I've seen some paladin players justifiably lose theirs, but as a mechanic I think that it's too subjective in the game, especially as a balancing feature to my class powers.  I always felt happier as a player playing a Fighter/cleric.


 


The problem with that subjectivity is in how people interpret the class.  There are some very good depictions of paladins in books and games etc.


The Deed of Paksanarrion by Elizabeth Moon is often brought up.  In fact there's a rumor out there somewhere that she wrote the novel as a response to her seeing some badly roleplayed Paladin at a D&D game.  I recommend the books, and summarize the treatment: Moon's Paladins can do no wrong.  Literally they would have to actively disobey a direct order from their god, and the people who become those paladins aren't the sort of people who would do that.  Moon's Paladins are all martially proficient, in fact they're very proficient as there's never a case in any of her stories of one losing in single combat.  They have 4 powers from their god(s) which are the ability to heal, the ability to create light, the inability to be mentally dominated by anything ever, and finally the ability called 'the quest' which you can read as 'the plot' where a really smart extra awesome warhorse servers as their moral and physical compass to get them to exactly where they need to go.  Along with that is the classic 'detect evil' power which also functions as 'detect lies, plots, trickery, things you aren't saying, Absolute Insight, blindvision, and detect lingering traces of evil magic that may lead you forward on your quest.'


 


So yeah, sign me up for one of those paladins: I want phenomenal cosmic powers, I want the ability to be impervious to everything (most 'magic' in Moon's stories is really varies cases of domination and hold person), I want a shining moral compass in my brain that steers me toward the right answer every time.  The trade off for this character is that you're eternally busy going from quest to quest to right every wrong in the world.  Again, not a bad deal, which is what playing a class should feel like.


 


Now for the other players in the group, they might not have the special powers to confront the villain head on (though if they were hanging around with Paksanarrion they wouldn't have to worry because her protection involves them too),  Maybe they don't want to risk their lives for whatever particular cause Gird sends Paks on.  Ideally a good DM could satisfy all players' needs with the same continuous story, but that's not always the case.  Oh, and some people just don't want to play as any of the other superheroes in the Justice League when Superman is there and can solve every problem every time.


 


 


 


4.0 I think has corrected both of those gripes I had with the 3.5 class; my powers tend to do extra damage against the thematically appropriate enemies, but I can still use them regardless.  I don't have to worry about losing my powers ever because there's no game mechanic for it at all.  The idea of binding a deity’s powers into a warrior, and then trusting that warrior with them is awesome; it allows for a lot more flexibility for the class without taking anything away from you or I who would play the Paladin concept straight as a lawful good champion.  You want this because things can get weird when you follow someone else's idea of what a paragon of virtue would be like:


 


 


 


 


Case in point, I'm going to pick on Malak Lightfoot here:
...It would be all well and good for a Paladin of Erathis to depose an evil tyrant, but not if it would cause the region to devolve into chaos and anarchy. A Paladin of Erathis in this situation would attempt to find a suitable heir and foster a strong and popular resistance movement before striking against the tyrant. If the people are too cowed to stand against the tyrant, then it falls to the Paladin to lead the community until such a time as a strong local leader could be found to take his place.



 


So you're telling me that my Straladin with an 8 in Intelligence or my Baladin with 12 Wisdom is going to do all this college level thinking?  There is a problem going on here now, I am a holy champion with the means and moral imperative to fix this problem.  I doubt you meant to say that your proposed solution is the only answer, but on the other hand my proposed solution of (1) enter as an envoy of the church of Erathis, (2) slay the evil bastard, and then (3) let my church sort out the rest should be just as valid.  I mean, the party and I are a couple of Big Damn Heroes, and I'm playing Martian Luther Kingslayer, not a civil rights activist or stand in monarch. 




Case in point, I'm going to pick on Malak Lightfoot here:
...It would be all well and good for a Paladin of Erathis to depose an evil tyrant, but not if it would cause the region to devolve into chaos and anarchy. A Paladin of Erathis in this situation would attempt to find a suitable heir and foster a strong and popular resistance movement before striking against the tyrant. If the people are too cowed to stand against the tyrant, then it falls to the Paladin to lead the community until such a time as a strong local leader could be found to take his place.



 


So you're telling me that my Straladin with an 8 in Intelligence or my Baladin with 12 Wisdom is going to do all this college level thinking?  There is a problem going on here now, I am a holy champion with the means and moral imperative to fix this problem.  I doubt you meant to say that your proposed solution is the only answer, but on the other hand my proposed solution of (1) enter as an envoy of the church of Erathis, (2) slay the evil bastard, and then (3) let my church sort out the rest should be just as valid.  I mean, the party and I are a couple of Big Damn Heroes, and I'm playing Martian Luther Kingslayer, not a civil rights activist or stand in monarch.




Presumably any Straladin or Baladin also has the Wisdom to know when the cure is worse than the disease. As a god of Justice, an evil tyrant offends her sensibilities. However, anarchy in any region offends Erathis in all of her aspects as a god of Justice (where might makes right, there is no justice), Civilization (where every man only looks out for himself, there is no sense of community) and Invention (when people are scrabbling just to subsist, there is no time for education).

As we know very well from the last ten years, it is remarkably easy to depose a tyrant. It is much more difficult to replace that tyrant with a stable government when that tyrant has squashed anyone who could stand against him among the local populace (of course, completely dismantling that tyrant's infrastructure and starting over from scratch never helps). It is one thing if the Church of Erathis is poised to show the people the way, and it is quite another for the Paladin to move in and start laying waste without thought to the consequences of his actions.

A Paladin takes the hard path, not the easy road, and presumably has enough wisdom to tell the difference between the two.

See? this is my point exactly: you've got two radically different views on what is appropriate behavior for Paladins.  And if one of us is the DM in the group you're going to see a lot of conflict as I struggle to play the kind of character that I want under a DM that disagrees.  This is why it is very important and a huge step forward for the game mechanics of the class to be divorced from the code.

Malak and I can argue for days about what the best way to go about a regime change, but even if we were the kind of people/players who enjoyed our argument the rest of the table suffers.  Not to say that the DM is powerless, should Martin Luther Kingslayer go with plan A and break down the palace door, put the tyrant's head on a pike, and then hand over the scepter to the local church at Malak's table, he'd be well within his rights to have the church censure me.  Maybe eventually if my behavior kept up I'd get nasty-grams in the form of Avengers or Angels or something, but at no time do I revert to an NPC class.

That's the main point I'm trying to make, though I do feel a little obligated to stand for my views in the example.  When we're talking about action, of course it's all relative to the situation.  Yeah, I wouldn't deliberately do more harm than good, that would be an evil act.  I think that it's partually a reflection of the world we live in now but you often see that decisions made are often moralized with the consequences that come after.  The intent is what decides good or evil, not the outcome.  A class like the Paladin isn't a Jedi consuler, there's no powers of precognicience.  Yeah, common sense is expected from a class that has wisdom riders, but even so the Paladin isn't a diplomat, or a stategic thinker, or even a leader of his faith.  Individually they can do these things but the real Archtype is a knight in shining armor who is empowered to fight where others can't.  I'll solve problems directly, forcibly, and honorably; anything else isn't my cup of tea.  I'll roll that diplomacy check with my boot heel on his chest and my sword at his throat: if there's no fighting to be done, then send an envoy to do it because you need me to be elsewhere.  If my deity/religon/liege lord sent me it's because he needed to know that the job is going to get done and get done the right way.

The rest of the answer would be specific to the circumstances.  I mean, MLK wouldn't just pack up and leave the day the moment the corpse hit the floor; I assume that there's some church of Erathis nearby that I'd be working with.  That if there is a proper destined heir that I would've found him or it would be the next thing on the list to do, etc.  I disagree through that I'd have to start a popular movement and stay around to babysit them: that to me screams out either bard, cleric, or warlord.

The thing that I think is important when dealing with Paladins and the code is The Calling aspect of it:  Paladins don't just exist and head off to the neariest problem and solve it perfectly.  They need some direction from on high.  It's not a matter of hard path/easy road (and I don't think it's exactly easy to stand up in the face of overwhelming odds and oppression, kick down the door, and kill a tyrant), as a Paladin my path should be lined with giant neon signs saying "This way!  Your Deity wants you to go over here and fight [insert specific evil]."

See? this is my point exactly: you've got two radically different views on what is appropriate behavior for Paladins.  And if one of us is the DM in the group you're going to see a lot of conflict as I struggle to play the kind of character that I want under a DM that disagrees.  This is why it is very important and a huge step forward for the game mechanics of the class to be divorced from the code.

Malak and I can argue for days about what the best way to go about a regime change, but even if we were the kind of people/players who enjoyed our argument the rest of the table suffers.  Not to say that the DM is powerless, should Martin Luther Kingslayer go with plan A and break down the palace door, put the tyrant's head on a pike, and then hand over the scepter to the local church at Malak's table, he'd be well within his rights to have the church censure me.  Maybe eventually if my behavior kept up I'd get nasty-grams in the form of Avengers or Angels or something, but at no time do I revert to an NPC class.

That's the main point I'm trying to make, though I do feel a little obligated to stand for my views in the example.  When we're talking about action, of course it's all relative to the situation.  Yeah, I wouldn't deliberately do more harm than good, that would be an evil act.  I think that it's partually a reflection of the world we live in now but you often see that decisions made are often moralized with the consequences that come after.  The intent is what decides good or evil, not the outcome.  A class like the Paladin isn't a Jedi consuler, there's no powers of precognicience.  Yeah, common sense is expected from a class that has wisdom riders, but even so the Paladin isn't a diplomat, or a stategic thinker, or even a leader of his faith.  Individually they can do these things but the real Archtype is a knight in shining armor who is empowered to fight where others can't.  I'll solve problems directly, forcibly, and honorably; anything else isn't my cup of tea.  I'll roll that diplomacy check with my boot heel on his chest and my sword at his throat: if there's no fighting to be done, then send an envoy to do it because you need me to be elsewhere.  If my deity/religon/liege lord sent me it's because he needed to know that the job is going to get done and get done the right way.

The rest of the answer would be specific to the circumstances.  I mean, MLK wouldn't just pack up and leave the day the moment the corpse hit the floor; I assume that there's some church of Erathis nearby that I'd be working with.  That if there is a proper destined heir that I would've found him or it would be the next thing on the list to do, etc.  I disagree through that I'd have to start a popular movement and stay around to babysit them: that to me screams out either bard, cleric, or warlord.

The thing that I think is important when dealing with Paladins and the code is The Calling aspect of it:  Paladins don't just exist and head off to the neariest problem and solve it perfectly.  They need some direction from on high.  It's not a matter of hard path/easy road (and I don't think it's exactly easy to stand up in the face of overwhelming odds and oppression, kick down the door, and kill a tyrant), as a Paladin my path should be lined with giant neon signs saying "This way!  Your Deity wants you to go over here and fight [insert specific evil]."



Hi I feel that you've made some very interesting points not_a_tame_lion.  By the way, I'm also a big FF4 fan.
"the Paladin isn't a diplomat, or a stategic thinker, or even a leader of his faith"

This is a valid way of playing a paladin, especially if you're going with strength paladin, but that is not true for all paladins though.  About half of the paladin powers are Cha. based, meaning they would be great diplomats and leaders of the faith.  I can understand that this is not the archtype of paladin you prefer to play, and I'm not saying your preference is wrong, just that other paladin archtypes exist.  You mentioned Final Fantasy 4, Cecil was the leader of the group I would imagine that he had higher than average Cha., although that's probably just a matter of oppinion.  You also mentioned a bard/paladin, I would imagine that they would have a high cha., I would imagine that this particular build would be very diplomatic and a leader of the faith IMO.

As far as paladins of Erathis goes, the way I see it Erathis wouldn't really even be botherd by evil rulers, as long as they where lawful  Malak Lightfoot made some a very interesting case for Erathis being anti-evil, but I would never have thought of it that way.  He stated that Erathis as a godess of justice, I usually see her a godess of law, which does not always equal justice, IMO.  Erathis herself is unaligned, and paladins must at least begin the game with the same alignment as the deity they serve (PHB 90).  This means that a paladin of Erathis would have to begin the game being unaligned.  They could later play however they like, even lawful good, if that's what the player wanted to and not fear loosing any powers.

I also noticed that you mentioned prefering to play fighter/clerics in 3.5, they could have a very paladin feel when done right, but technically even clerics could lose their powers in much the same way a paladin could.  The difference was that there was no clear statement about what exatly caused powers to be lost.  Actually there were a lot of classes with alignment restrictions if 3.5:  barbarians, bards, clerics and paladins to name of few, and that's not even going into prestige classes.    
 
Oh, I definetly agree that there is more than one way to play a paladin, which is great for an RPG.  The trouble is that I've seen in a few games I've played, and often heard of stories where the DM railroaded a paladin into behaving a certain way by threatening to revoke his powers.  And while their existed guidence for some of the other 3.5 classes like clerics, barbarians, and druids (to name a few) to lose their class powers you just don't hear about it often if at all.

The text you bolded up there needs a little clarification I think.  A paladin can choose to excel in those roles, but I would argue that it's not my primary role.  Diplomat in this case refers to a political envoy (though religious works too) seeking negotiations.  I can certainly do that, but so can some other non-champion of the faith.  Unless you're expecting a lot of trouble, it's a waste of resource.  And sending a paladin in my opinion sends the same message as a carrier battlegroup escort: "negotiations are going to go my way, or else."  It sounds brutal, but what distinguishs a paladin in this case is that he follows a code of conduct and won't compromise on it.

I think it's a similar case for 'leader of the faith.'  Yeah I'm a pretty good example of my faith, and we all know that leading by example is pretty a great way to do it, but again it's misplaced resources.  To paraphrase something from Moon's The Deed of Paksanarrion, "Paladins go into a place were things havent been right in decades.  They go and right the wrongs and free the oppressed and then they leave.  It's the Marshals [clerics] who remain and tend to the faithful."  My paladin might lead a prayer service or two while on quest, or he might teach Sunday School at the monastary in between quests, but his job isn't to stay in one place and lead the flock.

I agree that my Chaladins in particular will have the diplomacy skill and use it in equal measures to force.  My chaladins will usually feature a strong leader element to them in all the healing and buffing that the do for the party.  I agree that paladins do these things and do them well, but I'll argue that what separates paladins from other classes is that they do these things in pursuit of the specific goals of their faith, and not as their primary job.
I think you are focusing too much on mechanics of where your power comes from. You are trusted to make decisions for your god, and trusted that you are going to try and stay as close as possible to what the god would want you to do. If you make a choice that is not in keeping with your gods commands, your powers should not suddenly disapear. Playing it this ways keeps the DM from pressing the powers off button, because you can say that from your characters perspective, you believe what you are doing is right. The DM can say this is probably not what your god wants, and if that happens enough then maybe you'll have some confrontation with a messanger from your god, or a terrible vision or something. Otherwise you can end up debating with your DM over every action. But by putting in such strict rules, it railroads your character into only being able to do very specific actions. You are a person with complex goals and emotions, and even as a ritious knight of truth and justice, you should allow yourself the room to slip up, otherwise you're just not human.

Also, for the love of god don't play the type of paladin that will try and wade into 200 rampaging orcs to rescue one girl. When people play paladin they have a tendency to do things like that, and as a real person, even if you knew you had divinely inspired powers, you're not going to seriousy consider an action that you know is going to kill you. Real people file that under the "last resort" tab, it's not your plan A. Being couragous doesn't mean being fearless, fear makes us human.

Don't try and force other characters based on what you believe. If thats what your god wanted, then he would use his godly power to stop them himself. Free will exists for a reason. Your job is to lead by example and offer words of wisdom that would disuade them, not to try and make the rules and set the punishments. This is even more true in a world where it is accepted that there are many gods.


... snip 

I think it's a similar case for 'leader of the faith.'  Yeah I'm a pretty good example of my faith, and we all know that leading by example is pretty a great way to do it, but again it's misplaced resources.  To paraphrase something from Moon's The Deed of Paksanarrion, "Paladins go into a place were things havent been right in decades.  They go and right the wrongs and free the oppressed and then they leave.  It's the Marshals [clerics] who remain and tend to the faithful."  My paladin might lead a prayer service or two while on quest, or he might teach Sunday School at the monastary in between quests, but his job isn't to stay in one place and lead the flock.

I agree that my Chaladins in particular will have the diplomacy skill and use it in equal measures to force.  My chaladins will usually feature a strong leader element to them in all the healing and buffing that the do for the party.  I agree that paladins do these things and do them well, but I'll argue that what separates paladins from other classes is that they do these things in pursuit of the specific goals of their faith, and not as their primary job.



Thank you for the clarification not_a_tame_lion.  When I thought of leader of the faith, I was thinking more of setting an example than running a church.  So now that you've clarified it it seems that we agree more on this than I thought.

As a side note, it's kind of ironic to me that the strength based paladin is usually not nearly as intimidating as a charisma based paladin.  I'm pretty sure that there are magic items and feats that let a PC use St. instead of Cha. for intimidate checks, but it's kind of a pain that you have to burn resources to do so.

Also I really like the "smite" avatar Cool.  
This thread is interesting because the OP seems to really love all the things I hated about 3.5e Paladins.  I understand the desire for your character to have a rigid code, although IMHO it's MUCH more interesting over the long term if that code is at least somewhat different from "Lawful Good, Blah Blah Blah Honor and Courage."  Everyone's seen that character before, and everyone knows just how he'll act.  But a Paladin of Erathis?  Corellon?  Ioun? Sehanine?  That character may have an equally rigid code along lines you haven't tried roleplaying before, and that your group isn't used to seeing.  That character has a chance to really be his or her own person while striving to live up for the appropriate godly ideal.

Regardless of what your code is, I would strongly recommend it being self-enforced (with storyline nudges from your DM where appropriate, and fluff consequences when they make sense), if only for the reason others have cited: that way, you'll never have to waste a second of the table's time discussing how an action does or doesn't life up to your Code and how it affects play.  And it's perfectly reasonable for you to roleplay whatever repentance your character deems necessary to restore his god's favor, but for the sake of the table, please keep the penalties out of combat, and don't drag it into a long story arc.

I guess that's my real complaint with the 3.5e, over-the-top-lawful-good, rules-mandated Paladin concept.  Just the process of his being a paladin and having to do all his special things and argue about what his friends are allowed to do in front of him forces one player to steal the spotlight a significant amount of the time to deal with all the baggage that comes from his class.  If it's handled poorly, the rest of the players start feeling like the Paladin's side plot, and that's a pretty lame thing to do to your table.

The best way to avoid the spotlight aspect is to take full responsibility for fitting your Paladin and his divine mandate into the group's larger story.  It doesn't take a special, weirdly-specific relationship with your DM that no other player at the table gets to have a full character with a rich, engaging story--even one who has strong moral limitations of whatever kind.  Don't expect or ask your DM to spend time policing you, or your fellow players to spend time sitting and listening to you be policed.

I've been in a play-by-post 4e game for the last several months, and it's been a great exercise for giving my character depth without forcing any aspect of the story to revolve around him.   The setting is a moderately-fantasy-ized version of late 16th century Earth (with much more advanced trade, travel and communication due to the existence of magic, etc), and halflings exist in it in place of various pygmy tribes across the planet.  So I refluffed an Iron Soul Monk into a pygmy elephant hunter who draws power from the spirits of his ancestors.  With in-combat description of how his ancestors' gifts manifest, out-of-combat description of his personal rituals and meditation, and dialogue that hints at his relationship with his power and its sources, I have a complex backstory to my character's abilities that plays out continuously, but nobody but me has to spend any time adjudicating, acknowledging, or helping create that.

If you'd like more ways to have your god's favor visible in the story without making your DM do it, try refluffing your magic items as boons from your god.  My Monk is doing something similar: his Goblin Totem Dagger is fluffed as an expression of his ancestors' gifts and his experience taking down large enemies.  His Rain of Hammers Ki Focus is his own mother's skull hanging on a rope from his belt, with two chunks of obsidian in its eyes that glow when he takes a life and activates the item.  He's even carrying around an old leather strap that belonged to his grandfather, and ritually wraps it around his hand and arm as part of his morning meditation.  It's not a magic item yet, although he believes it grants him power, but next time I get to choose a magic item as a quest reward, it's going to manifest into a +1 Siberys Shard of the Mage to give him a damage bonus.  Most of my party has somewhat gone this route, and it adds an interesting tone to the campaign.  A Paladin wanting to express his god's favor could get a lot of mileage out of that.

Anyway, hopefully some of that wall of text was helpful.  I got a bit long-winded, it seems. 
This thread is interesting because the OP seems to really love all the things I hated about 3.5e Paladins.



Ditto.  I banned the class (and houseruled the living **** out of alignment) because of all the arguments and headaches it caused.
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for all your lawful good paladin needs, see Sturm Brightblade from Dragonlance Chronicles: Dragons of Winter's Night. He's probably the best paladin ever.

I read a good article on that. If you google how to play a dnd paladin i think you might find it.

Always remember "My honor is my life!"

My dad also taught me something interesting about paladins. He said that originally everyone saw them as weak and that they weren't allowed to kill because they needed to show mercy. But, upon capturing 20 orcs, my dad killed all but three of them or so. He said this was merciful because they were evil and could only be evil. By allowing them to live, he risked them returning to raid the town again. Therefore, his task as a protector was to kill all 20 of them. He showed mercy by leaving 3 so that they could return to their tribe and speak of how they should no longer raid that place. You can be tough and gritty as a paladin, just remember duty and honor.

as for the abilities, you can come up with whatever you like of course, but i like to think of the marking abilities as the paladin saluting his enemies, calling them to meet him in battle. 
My favourite class is the chaladin. I love the lawful good steriotype and I love roleplaying it. I was just wondering if you could give me any tips n' tricks about roleplaying this class. What do you do to make your Paladin memorable, what are your "roleplaying" rules?

Everthing I know about roleplaying a Paladin is what I've read from 3.5 and Pathfinder, and I actually asked my DM to make some of it actual rules and not just flavour. For example:

If I break my vows I lose my powers:
I know right and wrong isn't as set in stone in 4e as it was in 3.5, but it make my steriotype a bit more acceptable. It makes him more vulnerable and means that the other players understand my roleplaying. Sometimes when playing a "I only do good"-character the other players might think that I think Im better then they are. Sometimes it makes them feel a bit guilty when doing something more unaligned, that my paladin always has to come with a "You must do what's right"-speech. This way I can always just say "I'm sorry, I can't take part in this, even if it's the smart thing to do, I made a vow".

This happened to me when we cought a spy that eventually begged for mercy. My team wanted to kill him to make sure he wouldn't backstab us later, but my paladin thought it was evil and dishonest. I know as a player that the DM would love to use that spy to the BBEG's advantage, but my paladin couldn't do it. We actually had an argument about this. Eventually our Ranger killed him in a quick and painless manner while my paladin turned his back.
A month later I read about the alignment restrictions in Pathfinder and I fell in love "so THAT'S why!" 


You don't need the DM to take his powers away for your character for him to be able to stand up for what he believes in.  You can roleplay losing access to divine powers without some other agent enforcing it. 

If your character does something that troubles his conscience so much that he believes his god has forsaken him, or that he's lost the right to channel divine power, stop using paladin powers that you consider to be granted by his god.  Use melee basic attacks in place of your divine attacks.  If a power seems outside of the scope of human ability to you, abstain from using it.  Decide what your character can and can't do without his holy magic, and what he has to do to atone, and go do it.  Once he has atoned, use your divinely granted powers again.

That comes with some responsibility.  While it's on your friends to be considerate of your character's binding oaths and to play characters that can work with your character without frequent disagreements over how to proceed, it's on you not to use those oaths as a means of browbeating them and restricting their behavior so frequently that it gets in the way of plot advancement, or prevents them from playing their characters and having fun.  The other characters in your group aren't bound to your paladin's oaths, and it's your responsibility to play a character that is relatively compatible with the other characters in the party.  If you find that the party frequently ditches your character so they can "get things done," it's time to start questioning why those people are adventuring together.


My powers are a boon of a divine entity, and I must pray to refill my strength.
In 3.5 clerics have to pray once a day to regain their spells. I do the same thing, it reminds me and the group that I am not a wizard or a sorcerer, my powers are borrowed and I can channel that power as long as I do what's right or in the spirit of my deity.


Definitely keep doing it, then! 

I need some help roleplaying some of the Paladin's game mechanics, such as Divine Sanction and Divine Challenge. How do these things work, lore wise?


In this edition, mechanics and narration are discrete, separate concerns.  Lorewise, they work however you want them to.  If you want a flight of deva to descend upon the battlefield and grant a power's effect and the DM allows it, that's how it happens.  If a shaft of sunlight pierces the gloom and comes to rest on your target's forehead and the DM allows it, that's how it happens.  That's what we call "fluff," and it happens independant of the mechanics of a power.  That, ideally, is the part of the story over which you have complete control as the player of that character.  If you have a power that heals an ally for 5 HP, you can narrate that as holy light enveloping the target and invigorating her, tiny little angellic beings the size of bumblebees sewing wounds shut (with a faint aroma of lemons filling the air,) or even your character barking, "walk it off, Nancy!" at the target.  It's up to you! 


For example that encounter power that sanctions all enemies in close burst 3, how does that work? Is this an interpretation of smite from Pathfinder? If so can I say that it's the power of my god, and can only be channeled against those who are evil or oppose the will of my deity?

All enemies in the burst are sanctioned.  You can say that it's the power of your god, or the energy that suffuses all things in the universe, or something in their bad guy DNA that is allergic to a pheromone you secrete, as explained above.  That's fluff.  Target eligibility, that is, who the effect hits, is a matter of mechanics - we call that "crunch."  Crunch happens as listed on the power unless your DM rules otherwise.  So if the target line of the power says "enemies in burst," then every character in the burst that is considered an enemy (that is, DM controlled NPCs that are hostile unless the DM rules otherwise) is subject to the effect.  If the power says "creatures in burst," then everyone in the burst, regardless of religious affiliation, is subject to the power's effect.  If you have a power that targets all creatures, but you want to narrate it as only affecting enemies of the faith, it is your burden as a player to only use that effect when the only eligible targets are enemies of the faith.

"When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish." D&D Outsider
I agree that the whole thing that seperates the divine from others is the divine connection, that you power is drawn from a God. The best example of what drawing on divine power is like is Lady of Poison. Its not like saying a few hail mary's and you have a bunch of powers you can unleash by saying a word, like a voice activated spell like you might with a wizard or Warlock. It deeper then that.
When you pray you open your soul up to the deity, you don't just have magic words appear in your head. You feel thier presence within yourself, your soul touches thiers and you feel thier love, wisdom, power, essence. And its not just when you pray for powers, thier presence is always there, you can shut you eyes and feel thier light and warmth.
Warlocks get thier power from other beings, but they'll never know that sort of intimacy. Primal uses will understand that better then others, with perhaps Shamans the only ones that really get that sort of connection with a higher power.

As to Paladin code it has to have some flexiblity. Not all Lawful Gods see eye to eye on all issues and not all Paladin's are cook cutters of each other. I'm not just talking about symbolisms either.

One way to play the lawful good Paladin would be to give him a defense lawyer history. Maybe he acted as the defense of accused criminals in church trials, giving him more of a connection and sympathy for criminal elements, and more a taste for leancy.

Another Lawful Good Paladin might believe in the death penalty, they might regret the nessecity, but deside that it is the law and it is needed to protect the innocent. That sort would allow the ranger to kill the spy, but only after as fair a trial as possible.

Another Lawful Paladin might actually be a Che type, that beleaves that the power of law resides with the people, not the unelected elites. That Paladin still believes in the state and the rule of law, laws to contain the abuses of power by the elited, but one ruled by the people and that the laws of Kings are false laws.

Even the approach they take to dealing with others can vary depending on personality. One can be the typical nagging knight, another might use humour and charm to talk people to see the morally right choice, another might use his wits to lead others to what he believes is right, in a way that they believed it was thier idea the whole time.
As to violations of code, minor infractions should not lead to loss of powers, but maybe a lesser punishment, maybe one not represented by mechanics. A cleric of Bhaal was punish by his god with warts in one novel. Punishment should fit the crime.
While old-E (and novels based on old-E) used that approach, divine-power characters in 4E do not have a direct connection to a god, nor are they granted their power directly by a god. There doesn't even need to be a god in existence for a divine-power character to operate. They do tap the power of the Astral Sea in some fashion, but that's a capability granted to them by their rites of investiture, which are entirely a mortal affair.

Yes, a divine-source character usually (though not always) wields that power in the name of a god (or gods, or some similar concept), but it's entirely up to their own conscience how they go about doing so.

Sure, the character might believe that they're getting instructions straight from on high, but they don't actually have any more of a hotline to divinity than anyone else.
Read the Griffin Brotherhood. The connection is still thier, just less interference in its use and more hinting then spelling out directly what the God wants you to do.
I suggest coming up with a personality flaw. It could be ego, fear of something, a superstition, addiction, irrational bias, something to prove, mistrust, or a self- destructive/sabotaging inclination. Or anything else you come up with.

Note that the quirk/flaw need not define your character, but may very well influence his personal strengths and many decisions. I use this in the creation process of all my characters.
Read the Griffin Brotherhood. The connection is still thier, just less interference in its use and more hinting then spelling out directly what the God wants you to do.



In that book, perhaps.
In D&D, no.  The gods, if they even exist, have nothing to do with it.
In core and maybe ebberon yes, in FR you still need a God, but FR has always had a more interventist Pantheon then others. Its a rule in LFR as well that divine casters have to have a patron because in FR the Pantheon is the Divine power source, investment is not enough. Thier grip has weakened, they can't removed the connection once forged, but still the Gods/Primordials/Exarchs/Archdevils of the divine powersource.

That the difference between Warlocks, Witches and Divine Characters, The archfey/patron what ever grants you the ability to cast spells and that soul energy of your foes converted to arcane energy powers them, but your patron is not the power source, he just grants you access to the arcane weave or its remaints, although his nature flavours that access. Witch's have a mentor familiar attached to thier souls, but actually casting it is like a wizard.

Divine Characters on the other hand draw power directly the Gods, Sune doesn't just say here's the power of the astral plane go nuts, you draw power from Sune, she's the sun to your solar panel.

Even Blackguards, Cavaliers, and Rune Priests in FR have to have a Divine Patron to draw divine power, even drawing power from a vice is drawing power from the gods in FR. How do I square that power comes a vice, but in FR it is the Gods? The below is how.

I like to think of the vices and virtues as kind of like the First on Buffy. He's not just the first evil, it is all evil, when he takes on the form of someone its not as a copy cat, he is that person, because everyone has evil in them even goodly Gods, and he is made up of all that evil that includes the evil parts of good Gods, so he is in that sense a God, even if he can participate directly.
So that's how I see vices and virtues in FR. In Ebberon you just draw power from your rage and belief. In FR you draw your divine power from Torm, but not from his concious mind, you draw it from say the virtue of compassion, which is made up of all the compassion that has ever existed including Torm's sense of compassion, and so Torm with all his divine power is apart of compassion. As is the character. As is an evil being like Lloth. As is the peasant girl. But its not the Whole of Torm, just his compassionate side instead of his total self. I finger the vice or virtue will express itself through that lense.

So a Cavalier of Lloth would still experience the virtue via a spidery connection with Lloth, but the spidery would be far nicer, a nurturing weaver type. Meeting Lloth in person woild be a different experience.
A Blackguard of Dominance that worships Selune on the other hand would experience Selune as a drive to rule the night, were's that done follow the rules die by the sword. That sword might unlease a dread smite might manifest its cold from the coldest recesses of the moon, and its necrotic as dying flesh that is pock marked as the Moon appears. One of Greed might whisper about the profitable of working mischief at midnight under the moon via the servant of vice.

The pure shadows powers of a Blackguard might manifest as more purer or personal expresses of the vice, instead of a darker voice of a God like the divine power ones.
FR you still need a God



Citation needed.  I can find no statement on the FRPG that indicates that this is the case.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
FR you still need a God



Citation needed.  I can find no statement on the FRPG that indicates that this is the case.

Clerics do, Paladins, etc.. DIvine classes for sure. And havign a Patron deity help in afterlive there.

It is not bad per see to have a campaign with the certainity and presence of a god.. honestly, I prefer it this way; we are in a world not only without magic, everyday, but where YHVH and such may not exist...

I like it that we KNOW there may be gods in a fantasy world. And some GOOD. 


Our world may be agnostic-atheistic or even dystheist, alors, its nice to be different... 
My favourite class is the chaladin. I love the lawful good steriotype and I love roleplaying it. I was just wondering if you could give me any tips n' tricks about roleplaying this class. What do you do to make your Paladin memorable, what are your "roleplaying" rules?

Everthing I know about roleplaying a Paladin is what I've read from 3.5 and Pathfinder, and I actually asked my DM to make some of it actual rules and not just flavour. For example:

If I break my vows I lose my powers:
-snip=

My powers are a boon of a divine entity, and I must pray to refill my strength.
-snip-
 


Ultimately, play what you like, including this stuff, but I'm going to outline why I prefer not to have these bolded items in effect when I roleplay a paladin(or any divine character, really).

I find the bolded items do not deepen the divine connection RP, they cheapen it.

 If you're going to be a Paladin, following your code shouldn't need any other reason than "Because it is the right thing to do."  You should pray in the mornings because you're devoted.  Once you add the bolded bits, another element comes into this, and that is power.  You don't want to miss morning prayers, or commit an evil act, because you have your own personal power at stake.  Sure, devotion and codes are in there, too, but these allow a purely selfish reason to enter in to following your code and making your prayers.  
 
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
Knights of W.T.F.- Silver Spur Winner
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FR you still need a God



Citation needed.  I can find no statement on the FRPG that indicates that this is the case.

Clerics do, Paladins, etc..



I can find nothing in the FRPG to support this.  If it's in the FRCG, please quote it, as I don't own that.  Otherwise, FR operates as stated in the PHB.
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FR you still need a God



Citation needed.  I can find no statement on the FRPG that indicates that this is the case.

Clerics do, Paladins, etc..



I can find nothing in the FRPG to support this.  If it's in the FRCG, please quote it, as I don't own that.  Otherwise, FR operates as stated in the PHB.

By heart, no. But LFR forums debated it a lot.

And FR always worked this way - clerics and paladins have to take a god. The others may or may not, its fluff.

And it does make sense to me... clerics, paladins, etc are religious... they have to believe in something. 


And FR always worked this way - clerics and paladins have to take a god. The others may or may not, its fluff.

And it does make sense to me... clerics, paladins, etc are religious... they have to believe in something. 



(Shortening quote pyramid)

Just because it always did doesn't mean it still does.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
> By heart, no. But LFR forums debated it a lot.

Likewise, just because LFR/the RPGA decides to handle something in a particular way doesn't make it official to the setting/system as a whole.
The problem is that you guys ascribe that D&D overrule a setting maybe. And this is it - settings are different beasts at times - like how there is no Gods, nor Divine class in Dark Sun.

FR's gods are sure existing, and more active. And divine classes HAVE to have a religious patron. 

Now, i admit wanting more egality between those two aspects, but... it's like you two don't care for fluff, and say 'bah, core rule'.

Unless someone fish me the official quote saying otherwise, in FR, divine classes take a god. Or religion.

Do you have an issue with this? 
The problem is that you guys ascribe that D&D overrule a setting maybe. And this is it - settings are different beasts at times - like how there is no Gods, nor Divine class in Dark Sun.

FR's gods are sure existing, and more active. And divine classes HAVE to have a religious patron. 

Now, i admit wanting more egality between those two aspects, but... it's like you two don't care for fluff, and say 'bah, core rule'.

Unless someone fish me the official quote saying otherwise, in FR, divine classes take a god. Or religion.

Do you have an issue with this? 


It's very simple.  The core book lays out the rules.  The setting book details ways in which the setting differs from that standard.  If the setting book doesn't address an issue, you assume it is going by the standard.

Requiring a divine class character to have a god in FR is not about caring or not caring about the fluff.  It's about caring or not caring about the published books for FR in previous editions.
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
Knights of W.T.F.- Silver Spur Winner
4enclave, a place where 4e fans can talk 4e in peace.
The problem is that you guys ascribe that D&D overrule a setting maybe. And this is it - settings are different beasts at times - like how there is no Gods, nor Divine class in Dark Sun.

FR's gods are sure existing, and more active. And divine classes HAVE to have a religious patron. 

Now, i admit wanting more egality between those two aspects, but... it's like you two don't care for fluff, and say 'bah, core rule'.

Unless someone fish me the official quote saying otherwise, in FR, divine classes take a god. Or religion.

Do you have an issue with this? 


It's very simple.  The core book lays out the rules.  The setting book details ways in which the setting differs from that standard.  If the setting book doesn't address an issue, you assume it is going by the standard.

Requiring a divine class character to have a god in FR is not about caring or not caring about the fluff.  It's about caring or not caring about the published books for FR in previous editions.

Setting books overule the core books. My point.

It's all about current FR; unless it have changed, Divine classes take a god. And it was it since long ago, as well - and as far I know, kept so.

Again, is that an issue? because it seems. 

You have to decide it one day; are settings just windows setting to colorise your D&D, or worlds that are good to use in their own (and maybe even adapt to other rulesets by example)?
Setting books overule the core books. My point.

It's all about current FR; unless it have changed, Divine classes take a god. And it was it since long ago, as well - and as far I know, kept so.

But it has changed.  The edition changed, and the rules along with it.  The current core book says divine classes don't need to take a god, but can be devoted to an ideal or philosophy instead.  Does the current FR book contradict this?  I'm guessing not, or else you'd put out a quote, and it'd be over.  But, as you said, it is all about the current FR(in this tangeant, anyway).  So the FR of previous editions does not have rules jurisdiction here.

Again, is that an issue? because it seems. 

You have to decide it one day; are settings just windows setting to colorise your D&D, or worlds that are good to use in their own (and maybe even adapt to other rulesets by example)?


You acting as though wanting to hold to previous editions' rules is somehow loftier or more worthy than following the new edition's rules.  Stop that.
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
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It's very simple.  The core book lays out the rules.  The setting book details ways in which the setting differs from that standard.



I agree.

And if you would be so kind as to show me a passage in any 4e canonical sourcebook that indicates that FR differs from the standard, then I will retract my previous statements as there will be incontrovertible evidence that I was mistaken.

In other words, put up or shut up.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
There; LFR CCG page 3: Divine characters must have a patron deity.

You can now all go home and be familly players! *cue Guile's theme*
As I pointed out before, LFR does not represent setting or system canon; the LFR campaign guide amounts to "The Big Book of RPGA House Rules".
As I pointed out before, LFR does not represent setting or system canon; the LFR campaign guide amounts to "The Big Book of RPGA House Rules".

On this case, I'd trust LFR if this was just this;

LFR is notirious for being quite lax on canon - all those arguments on the forums there on allowing monster races, warforged in FR, etc... Grognards did NOT like it.

But they kept THIS. To me, it speak. 
It's a basic fact of fiction that if you start out with a main character with a rigid moral code, the code will eventually be challenged.

If the paladin does what he thinks is right but is empowered to make his own decisions, it makes the temptation to make exceptions into a tense inner battle that reflects the temptations we all face in our daily lives.

If you take away the paladin's responsibility to decide for himself what is right and rely on is own conscience, the same scene becomes a battle for the career of the character.

If the paladin's ability to function is dependent on a rigorous moral code, you should plan on one of these things happening:


  • The paladin will fall.

  • The paladin will refuse to do something and cause the party to fail a quest.

  • The paladin will refuse to do something and leave the group to pursue his own path.


If none of these things happen then you might as well have not established the rule, since it is totally irrelevant to the story.

Personally I favor making the paladin himself define what is righteous rather than putting that in the hands of the DM. It shouldn't be the DM's responsibility to define good and evil. He has enough to do just running the game.

I would suggest creating a backup build of a pure warlord who uses the same weapons and armor. This will represent your paladin should he lose his powers. Tell your DM that you would like to switch to this character should your paladin fail to uphold his vows. This allows the DM to tempt you without being concerned that he will abort your character's story prematurely. When your paladin falls he will have to rely on his physical prowess until he can redeem himself.

I suggest that you keep the power to decide when and how your paladin falls. It should reflect a crisis of his own conscience rather than something the DM inflicts on him. For example, if a paladin has sworn not to lie and not to allow innocents to be harmed, then one day those vows will come into conflict. When that happens the paladin should fall because he questions the righteousness of his own acts, not because he thinks he did the right thing but the DM disagrees. When the paladin has the wisdom to understand the proper role of his code (which might mean that he would tell the truth and then die protecting the innocent, or it might mean that he realizes that there are times when it is acceptable to lie, that is up to you), he should get his powers back.
I shall add that however, if he don't falls NOW, the paladin's ultimate fate may be dire - after death, by example. The God will NOT be pleased, and you may end up.. in a bad state. Hell or even Death Knight-hood.

Or more mudane prosaicaly, you may be hunted by your ex-brothers and sisters... 
As I pointed out before, LFR does not represent setting or system canon; the LFR campaign guide amounts to "The Big Book of RPGA House Rules".

On this case, I'd trust LFR if this was just this;

LFR is notirious for being quite lax on canon - all those arguments on the forums there on allowing monster races, warforged in FR, etc... Grognards did NOT like it.

But they kept THIS. To me, it speak. 



They had to expressly state it for LFR, which indicates that it is different from the standard FR rules.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.