Why play a Paladin when a Cleric seems to be so much more... (3.5)

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Laughed at for his beliefs. Ridiculed for his inability to accurately swing a weapon. Generally hated on by the others for no real reason at all.

A Gnome Bard? No. The player in my game playing a Human Paladin.
 

Before you gasp in horror at the approaching lenghty rant I'll TLDR the thread here:


I have a player in my 3.5 game who is unhappy with playing a paladin, is eyeing the healing powers of the cleric class, and wondering what to do with his level up before next session.
Questions: does anyone have any experience with:


  • A Paladin vs cleric in an three-person party?

  • A multiclassing Paladin/Cleric?

  • Playing a paldin until high levels? Is it worth it? Is a cleric more worth it?

  • General opinions about a cleric vs a paladin?



You could read on if you like... but I'm warning you, I got carried away. It's a lot of words (and I should really learn how to 'spoiler' text, but google search isn't helping me on that).



 

Why does one so immersed in the goals of righteousness and valor become so low on the pecking order? Compared to his fellow adventurers, a barbarian and a fighter, the paladin  is the runt. Weaker with weapons, weaker with armor, weaker with damage. Yes, the barbarian and fighter rolled god-tier strength abilities, but the paladin's hope is to show them that while he falls behind in combat, he makes up with healing and magic.


Ha.


The low-level paladin's arsenal includes and is basically limited to:

Detect evil: useful  every once in a while in avoiding combats when the barbarian would have rushed in for the kill before asking questions.

Smite: a once-per-day attack that deals a smidgeon of bonus damage to evil characters, and evil characters only.

Heal checks: insane bonus on stabilizing dying friends, but recovering lost health? Nope, only if it takes several days of bedrest.

Code of Conduct: Fun to roleplay, no doubt, but not helpful at all in terms of gameplay
 

Ah, but if a paladin waits until 5th level he gets a special intelligent mount. That's five levels away. Pretty sure he'll have a chance to buy an unintelligent mount before then.

Oh but wait, the kicker is yet to come. When he gets to fourth level, a paladin gets access to Divine Spells!

"Yes!" My player shouts. "Finally I'll get a slough of magic doodads, I'll show you melee-ers my new abilities."


Spells per Day: 0 + Wisdom Bonus.


Swell, so not only does the paladin come out behind the up-and-close-combat fighter and barbarian in battle, his class abilities are nearly useless in the grand scheme of things, and his one redeeming skill check only helps stabilize a friend in death; the one hope the paladin has of wrecking shop with magic healing or attacks is reduced to his lackluster wisdom bonus of +2.


His decision (and my DMing reccomendation)? Multiclass to Cleric and bring up the melee skills of the paladin at the same rate as the powerful healing hands of the cleric. Sounds like a grand idea for an awesome character. But the PHB thinks differently...

"A paladin who gains a level in a class other than paladin may never again raise [his] paladin level, though [he] retains all [his] paladin abilities."

Really?  So basically either you stick with the lackluster Paladin abilities all the way through Epic Levels relying only on Smite and Remove Disease without any hope of multiclassing, or you waste your first level gaining hitpoints then spend the rest of the game leveling cleric with the experience penalty?

Likely I'm confused. It does happen occasionally. I've been here to rant about the paladin code of conduct before, and the best advice I got was to either dumb down the restrictiveness of it or tell the player to swap classes. 

What does one do in this situation? Yes yes I know 3.5 heavily relies on a cleric in the party, which is partly why I suggested the cleric multiclass. I also suggested just drawing up a new character sheet, maybe abandon the paladin for now and just focus on a cleric.

What I think I know:


  • The low-level paladin pales in comparison combat-wise to a fighter and barbarian, and the "ooh-I-have-magic" abilities of him are so few and far between that it would be more worth it to just go full cleric than muck around with the paladin restrictions.

  • The high-level paladin gains nothing other than more smites and cure diseases per day, a grand-daddy of an attack bonus, and a summonable mount, wereas a cleric continues to expand a healing arsenal at the cost of sacrificing some combat capabilities.


So. What do I do here? I have a player who wouldn't mind going full cleric. He does not like the bleak future of his paladin. He feels he has wasted his first level on a restrictive class that isn't really going anywhere. There is Heirophant at Prestige levels, but other than that there is little future for a Paladin who wants to serve a function in the party. Once a day Smites adding a charisma bonus to an attack just can't compare to a raging barbarian and a cleaving power-attacking fighter.

Currently DMing a 3.5e AoW game one night a week. Players are almost through Three Faces of Evil. If you are considering beginning this campaign using this edition, I can help.
You're pretty much spot-on.  The Cleric is one of the top 3 classes in the game, a solid Tier 1, and the Paladin chimes in at Tier 5.  A well-built and well-played cleric will make the barbarian andd the fighter look like spiteful kittens at best (Barbarian: Tier 4, Fighter: Tier 5).  Forget healing, he'll be up in the front lines kicking more ass than Bruce Lee in a donkey kennel.

My advice, just let him re-build his character as a cleric.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
orget healing, he'll be up in the front lines kicking more ass than Bruce Lee in a donkey kennel.

My advice, just let him re-build his character as a cleric.


Seconded.  Just retcon his existing character.  Handwave that he was always a cleric and be done with it. 
Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.
Forget healing, he'll be up in the front lines kicking more ass than Bruce Lee in a donkey kennel.

My advice, just let him re-build his character as a cleric.


Seconded.  Just retcon his existing character.  Handwave that he was always a cleric and be done with it. 



Thirded. Clerics can do some good melee damage. When they get Righteous Might they can do more than any purely melee class. Their spells can also do massive amounts of damage. 
Fourthed. On the bright side, at least he didn't try to make a truenamer.
I'll fifth it. Paladin is one of the worst classes in 3.5e. Not only are its abilities crappy, it's even got a bunch of roleplaying restrictions slapped on to "balance" it as well. 
Epic Dungeon Master

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Fourthed. On the bright side, at least he didn't try to make a truenamer.



Now that's just uncal... Oh who am I kidding? It's totally called for...

But yes, rebuild as a Cleric. Domains, Spells out the box, and you're not too bad in melee either. Makes for a nice balance if godworshipping is your thing, and opens up even more options along the way.
Paladins, you know something is wrong when one of your great unique spells, is done by a wizard at level 2 (summoning a steed) and the cerlic does it as a part time job.
Let him switch to Pathfinder Paladin.  Pathfinder Paladins are truly awesome.
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Paladin is never getting better. Rebuild as a cleric, and he will make the others jealous.
Forget healing, he'll be up in the front lines kicking more ass than Bruce Lee in a donkey kennel.

My advice, just let him re-build his character as a cleric.


Seconded.  Just retcon his existing character.  Handwave that he was always a cleric and be done with it. 



Thirded. Clerics can do some good melee damage. When they get Righteous Might they can do more than any purely melee class. Their spells can also do massive amounts of damage. 


Sixthed. Alternatively, the Crusader from the Tome of Battle is a helluva lot more fun than the Paladin, and without the terribad Code, from what I hear.
Let him switch to Pathfinder Paladin.  Pathfinder Paladins are truly awesome.



I took a look at the Pathfinder Paladin, aaaand....well, its better than the 3.5 Paladin, but I still don't see how it even compares to the Cleric.

Here's the 3.5 Paladin , and here's the Pathfinder Paladin. The Pathfinder pally has a few extra bells and whistles (a self-enchanting weapon and the ability to remove more status effects with their lay on hands are noticeable, and able to "channel positive energy" as a cleric of his level, rather than as a cleric 3 levels lower is nice), but still....Well, I guess if he wants to stay a Paladin, use the Pathfinder Paladin, but Cleric just seems better any way you slice it.

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

Miss d20 Modern? Take a look at Dias Ex Machina Game's UltraModern 4e!

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
How can the paladin possibly be underpowered?! They can remove diseases!! Its a unique weekly ability!!
Let him switch to Pathfinder Paladin.  Pathfinder Paladins are truly awesome.



I took a look at the Pathfinder Paladin, aaaand....well, its better than the 3.5 Paladin,



To paraphrase Jon Stewart, 'That's like saying you're the thinnest kid at Fat Camp'.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Let him switch to Pathfinder Paladin.  Pathfinder Paladins are truly awesome.



I took a look at the Pathfinder Paladin, aaaand....well, its better than the 3.5 Paladin,



To paraphrase Jon Stewart, 'That's like saying you're the thinnest kid at Fat Camp'.



Hahaha. I was trying to look on the positive side......

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

Miss d20 Modern? Take a look at Dias Ex Machina Game's UltraModern 4e!

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
How can the paladin possibly be underpowered?! They can remove diseases!! Its a unique weekly ability!!



And yet any character can succeed on a heal check, a universal skill nearly with guaranteed success to anyone with Wisdom, and achieve the same result.

I sat down with my player two days ago and we just scrapped his paladin and re-wrote him as if he was a cleric. Same religion, same equipment, same ability scores,  nearly the same skill points, but a much happier player. Now I'm examining options for necromancer opponents so he can embrace the strange and enciting notion of turning. Thanks for the instant, and direct, replies everybody.
Currently DMing a 3.5e AoW game one night a week. Players are almost through Three Faces of Evil. If you are considering beginning this campaign using this edition, I can help.
Let him switch to Pathfinder Paladin.  Pathfinder Paladins are truly awesome.



I took a look at the Pathfinder Paladin, aaaand....well, its better than the 3.5 Paladin, but I still don't see how it even compares to the Cleric.

Here's the 3.5 Paladin , and here's the Pathfinder Paladin. The Pathfinder pally has a few extra bells and whistles (a self-enchanting weapon and the ability to remove more status effects with their lay on hands are noticeable, and able to "channel positive energy" as a cleric of his level, rather than as a cleric 3 levels lower is nice), but still....Well, I guess if he wants to stay a Paladin, use the Pathfinder Paladin, but Cleric just seems better any way you slice it.



It shouldn't be about being compared to the cleric. 3E cleric looks so awesome compared to 3E paladin because aside from Divine Grace and Lay On Hands, 3E paladin isn't really exciting in its own right. Pathfinder Paladin has Smite Evil worthy of being a SMITE! You can get a cool weapon. Lay On Hands is more versatile. You eventually become immune to compulsions too. Pathfinder paladins get so much nifty stuff who cares what the cleric gets. You're a Paladin! Don't look at what others get and be jealous. Look at what you get and be marveled.

Support Cedric Diggory, the real Hogwarts Champion!
.. I have three ideas in order of easiest to implement..

1st   ..if he can hang on till he is able to cast spells, I do believe I have seen a really nice feat for paladins that makes all of their standard action spells instants (I am sorry I do not have my books with me to reference these things)..

2nd  ..I have had to make some house rules, I have let a paladin freely multi class a cleric that worships a lawful good diety, or any of the dieties that list paladins as worshipers, I believe there is even a diety or two with levels in paladin, I have no problem letting them multi class if his cleric worshipped those dieties..

3rd  ..(this one will prolly get shot down, which is why I placed it last).. you could make some adjustments to the paladins in your world.. ..I would drop the horse - and let him cast paladin spells the same time he starts turning undead using the same chart that is in the player's handbook just moved up to level 4, I would drop the cure disease - and allow access to lay on hands at first level, and maybe make it double his level times charisma mod OR let him have lay on hands at first level and keep the equation the same but let him do other things with it, say.. ..spend points equall to a diseased character's level to cure them..



... ...or you could just let him make a cleric..

..good luck to you and all that jazz :D



A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men. - Willy Wonka
It shouldn't be about being compared to the cleric.

It's actually about comparing the Paladin to every other class and finding it wanting. It's a low Tier 5 class, with absolutely nothing within core that it excells over, and precious little outside of it. We then look to the cleric as a class that is a better fit the Paladin's role, both mechanically and conceptually, than the Paladin.
Pathfinder Paladin has Smite Evil worthy of being a SMITE!



I saw that, and didn't look into it. Smite evil is the same, right? Yeah. Oops, my bad.

You're a Paladin! Don't look at what others get and be jealous. Look at what you get and be marveled.



That may work for some people, but....when other classes can be just as good as my role as they are in other roles, well....

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

Miss d20 Modern? Take a look at Dias Ex Machina Game's UltraModern 4e!

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
If you win a raffle and get $1,000, you'd be very happy. Ten minutes later, there's another raffle and someone else wins $2,500. Should you now be upset, angry, and scream unfair because you only got $1,000?



That may work for some people, but....when other classes can be just as good as my role as they are in other roles, well....



Don't be a paladin. Play cleric. He gets all those cool spells. He can cast Divine Favor, Divine Power, and Righteous Might to go all in the face of the monsters to bash them to bits. Paladins suck, play a cleric.

Don't be a cleric. Play druid. A cleric has to cast spells to be able to smack down. Casting spells takes time, even when Quickened. Of course, there's the Divine Metamagic Persistent Spell route, but that is feat intensive and you need lots of nightsticks. Druid don't need any of that. They can change into whatever creature is most appropriate. They can get all the strength, dexterity, and natural ac they need. Druids only need one feat, Natural Spell, and they can still cast spells while kicking butt. Clerics suck, play a druid.

Don't be a druid. Play wizard. Even though the druid can cast spells while wildshaped, they still have to go toe-to-toe againt the bad guys. As a wizard, you can kill your enemies from afar. It's possible for your enemies not even to know you're about to kill them.  You can avoid all sorts of dangers. No one can touch you. Druids suck, play a wizard.

Wizard? Pshaw! Just play Pun-Pun already.

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If you win a raffle and get $1,000, you'd be very happy. Ten minutes later, there's another raffle and someone else wins $2,500. Should you now be upset, angry, and scream unfair because you only got $1,000?


You should be upset if you are expected to pay $1,500 in taxes on your $1,000, which is what playing a paladin is like.

Encounters have to be balanced party-wide. Something that will challenge the Paladin will not challenge 90% of the classes out there. Something that challenges a tier 3 is going to tell the paladin to go sit in a corner and rethink his life.

Yes, wizards, clerics, and druids are broken. In 3.5, they need close monitoring by the DM to avoid overshadowing everyone else. But, you can always tone down a wizard. You can never amp up a paladin.
While all of the above comments are accurate...

> Yes, the barbarian and fighter rolled god-tier strength abilities,

...also points to part of the problem. There's a reason why point-buy became standard.
If you win a raffle and get $1,000, you'd be very happy. Ten minutes later, there's another raffle and someone else wins $2,500. Should you now be upset, angry, and scream unfair because you only got $1,000?



I'd be happy for a friend winning $2,500 right up until the moment where I take everyone to dinner to celebrate my winnings and at the end my friend says "Oh don't bother, I'll cover the bill with my bigger winnings."

That's what it's like to be a 3.5 Paladin next to a 3.5 Cleric (or basically any other actually good class).
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.

If you win a raffle and get $1,000, you'd be very happy. Ten minutes later, there's another raffle and someone else wins $2,500. Should you now be upset, angry, and scream unfair because you only got $1,000?


You aren't winning a raffle. Its not some random chance that you might get something, but you probably have nothing. This is a choose which you want. You are gaurenteed one of them, and there is no penalty for picking the one you want. 


This isnt a random chance at bonuses to the baseline, this is establishing your baseline. 

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

In my group's 3.Pathfinder game, the Paladin player is having a blast. He loves his Smite. He likes his Lay On Hands. He's happy of his Divine Grace.  He enjoys Battle Blessing casting his very few number of spells. We're 6/7th level now. Reading up on Paladin spells, he noticed he could eventually potentially cast as a 4th level spell (King's Castle) what my Sorcerer has been doing for a couple of levels already as a 1st level spell (Benign Transposition). His reaction? Bemusement at first then not caring. He has his Smite. He has his Lay On Hands. He has all his Paladin goodies. It bugs him not what my character can do.

As a player, one of his all time favorite magic items is the Cloak of Displacement. In all previous campaigns his character always eventually got one. His reaction when I chose Displacement as one of my spells? Happiness. He doesn't demand I cast it on him. He's just happy we have access to it through me. I've casted it on his Paladin. I've casted it on the Cavalier. Does he go crying because I can have Displacement practically at will? Of course not. He's happy for me I got Displacement, and he still enjoys all the stuff he can do.
Support Cedric Diggory, the real Hogwarts Champion!
[ You're a Paladin! Don't look at what others get and be jealous. Look at what you get and be marveled.




"Wow, this is the shiniest turd I've ever seen!"
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
In my group's 3.Pathfinder game, the Paladin player is having a blast. He loves his Smite. He likes his Lay On Hands. He's happy of his Divine Grace.  He enjoys Battle Blessing casting his very few number of spells. We're 6/7th level now. Reading up on Paladin spells, he noticed he could eventually potentially cast as a 4th level spell (King's Castle) what my Sorcerer has been doing for a couple of levels already as a 1st level spell (Benign Transposition). His reaction? Bemusement at first then not caring. He has his Smite. He has his Lay On Hands. He has all his Paladin goodies. It bugs him not what my character can do.


Which I'm sure is all terribly interesting, but as this thread is NOT about YOUR player, but about SOMEONE ELSE, is all completely irrelevant.

Or, by your logic: as we can point to other people that have had terrible experiences with paladins, your friend's opinion is incorrect (yes, construction is intentional), and he should feel bad.
In my group's 3.Pathfinder game, the Paladin player is having a blast. He loves his Smite. He likes his Lay On Hands. He's happy of his Divine Grace.  He enjoys Battle Blessing casting his very few number of spells. We're 6/7th level now. Reading up on Paladin spells, he noticed he could eventually potentially cast as a 4th level spell (King's Castle) what my Sorcerer has been doing for a couple of levels already as a 1st level spell (Benign Transposition). His reaction? Bemusement at first then not caring. He has his Smite. He has his Lay On Hands. He has all his Paladin goodies. It bugs him not what my character can do.


Which I'm sure is all terribly interesting, but as this thread is NOT about YOUR player, but about SOMEONE ELSE, is all completely irrelevant.

Or, by your logic: as we can point to other people that have had terrible experiences with paladins, your friend's opinion is incorrect (yes, construction is intentional), and he should feel bad.



Pay attention.

I'm illustrating my point that you should concern yourself with what your character can do, not someone else's you think is "better".  Your character needs to be good enough, not Mary Poppins "Practically perfect in every way."

The player in question found the 3E paladin wanting. Fine. How can the character be improved? Remaking into cleric is one way, but is there another way that still keeps the character a Paladin. Yes. That it doesn't have the Kewl SPells of a cleric shouldn't be relevant. They chose to go with cleric anyway. Fine. It's not my game or character. Still does not take away my point.



Support Cedric Diggory, the real Hogwarts Champion!
Pay attention.


I have been...
I'm illustrating my point that you should concern yourself with what your character can do, not someone else's you think is "better".  Your character needs to be good enough, not Mary Poppins "Practically perfect in every way."


...and you haven't, as there has been no one claiming that a class must be Mary Poppins, and the complaint with the paladin is it terrible in every way.

But have fun beating your strawman.
The player in question found the 3E paladin wanting. Fine. How can the character be improved? Remaking into cleric is one way, but is there another way that still keeps the character a Paladin. Yes. That it doesn't have the Kewl SPells of a cleric shouldn't be relevant. They chose to go with cleric anyway. Fine. It's not my game or character. Still does not take away my point.


No, your complete inability to comprehend an argument takes away your point.
Your character needs to be good enough



And most people here believe that a Paladin simply isn't. It's not that hard to understand.
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
In my group's 3.Pathfinder game, the Paladin player is having a blast......



Cool story.   So because Some Guy On The Internet's friend enjoyed it, its totally not underpowered.    

Pre-emptive counter to "But you are Some Guy On The Internet saying the opposite". 1- We are Lots Of Guys On The Internet. If one guy says you have a tail laugh, if two say it pause, if 3+ say it look behind you. 2- Repeated number crunching. 3- Consistancy of complaints of "my paladin sucks, I wish it didn't". 4- How much easier the solution of "play a cleric from the same edition" is when compared to "Play a paladin from a different game, based on the original game".   

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

In my group's 3.Pathfinder game, the Paladin player is having a blast......



Cool story.   So because Some Guy On The Internet's friend enjoyed it, its totally not underpowered.    

Pre-emptive counter to "But you are Some Guy On The Internet saying the opposite". 1- We are Lots Of Guys On The Internet. If one guy says you have a tail laugh, if two say it pause, if 3+ say it look behind you. 2- Repeated number crunching. 3- Consistancy of complaints of "my paladin sucks, I wish it didn't". 4- How much easier the solution of "play a cleric from the same edition" is when compared to "Play a paladin from a different game, based on the original game".   



For the past couple of months, Krusk, I've had a (tiny!) chip on my shoulder for a patronizing "let me google that for you" response to one of my posts. After this post, I'm more than willing to forgive you. Well done.

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

Miss d20 Modern? Take a look at Dias Ex Machina Game's UltraModern 4e!

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
Only gamists who don't care about ROLEPLAYING in a ROLEPLAYING game would care this much about 'balance' which shouldn't be that important at all in a ROLEPLAYING game. 

Of course in a tactical, competetive wargame then balance is important. It seems that's what people seem to want which is rather depressing. 
Only gamists who don't care about ROLEPLAYING in a ROLEPLAYING game would care this much about 'balance' which shouldn't be that important at all in a ROLEPLAYING game. 

Of course in a tactical, competetive wargame then balance is important. It seems that's what people seem to want which is rather depressing. 



What's wrong with wanting your hero to be as heroic as the other heroes he travels with?
Only gamists who don't care about ROLEPLAYING in a ROLEPLAYING game would care this much about 'balance' which shouldn't be that important at all in a ROLEPLAYING game. 

Of course in a tactical, competetive wargame then balance is important. It seems that's what people seem to want which is rather depressing. 



What's wrong with wanting your hero to be as heroic as the other heroes he travels with?



If one's answer to all "balance problems" is just play a cleric, druid, or wizard or ban cleric, druid, and wizard, then admit to yourself already 3E is not for you and play something else. The problem isn't really cleric, druid, and wizard at all but rather your personal perspective. There are plenty of us who have clerics, druids, and wizards in the same campaign as fighters, monks, and paladins, and we have no "balance problem" issues at all. We will share our perspective with those who have a problem in their 3E game, and that it does not agree with those who think clerics rule, paladins drool is just tough noogies.


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>What's wrong with wanting your hero to be as heroic as the other heroes he travels with?


 Because it's nothing to do with being heroic, you just want the exact same numbers and combat buffs. It's rollplaying not roleplaying you care about here.  As 4E has proven all a focus on combat and balance does is make every class feel exactly the same. Extreme balance is not good for roleplay. And I don't see why Paladins are so bad anyway especially for those who actually enjoy roleplaying them well as this is you know, a roleplaying game.

And of course the issues people are having are already fixed in Pathfinder.

So I don't see the problem people are having. 


Extreme balance is not good for roleplay.



*pats Panosl on the head condescendingly*

You're adorable.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Only gamists who don't care about ROLEPLAYING in a ROLEPLAYING game would care this much about 'balance' which shouldn't be that important at all in a ROLEPLAYING game. 

Of course in a tactical, competetive wargame then balance is important. It seems that's what people seem to want which is rather depressing. 

Adorable. But that logical fallacy that Roleplaying and Rollplaying are mutually exclusive....

Cute flaming way, lad. Adorable. Are you related to John James Charest? 
Only gamists who don't care about ROLEPLAYING in a ROLEPLAYING game would have any game mechanics whatsoever.


Which would be the logical outcome of your argument, and which is why I'm wondering what you're doing at the WotC forums.

And yes, adorable.
If one's answer to all "balance problems" is just play a cleric, druid, or wizard or ban cleric, druid, and wizard, then admit to yourself already 3E is not for you and play something else.



Many of these people might even do so; it's just that you need a group to play, so if you can't find a 4e group that's enough fun to play with, you might have to suffer through 3e instead. Some help on how to be mechanically relevant can be very useful in such a case (note that the OP already mentioned that the player is now rebuilt as a Cleric)


The problem isn't really cleric, druid, and wizard at all but rather your personal perspective. There are plenty of us who have clerics, druids, and wizards in the same campaign as fighters, monks, and paladins, and we have no "balance problem" issues at all.



Which doesn't show you that the Paladin is a good class or that a Paladin is fun to play, just that some people are good at ignoring mechanical issues because they are not relevant to the game they're playing (which is probably entirely different from the game many other people are playing who do have these issues)


We will share our perspective with those who have a problem in their 3E game, and that it does not agree with those who think clerics rule, paladins drool is just tough noogies.



The problem isn't that opinions differ, the problem is the OP says "clerics rule, paladins drool" and the total extent of your "advice" is "no they don't so just ignore the fact that you're not having fun".

I mean; you haven't yet actually explained how you're running your game in such a way that Paladins don't drool. Because it takes a lot of work. Which your group is probably doing subconsciously. But if you want to actually help anyone, you should try to figure out how you've changed the game to make the Paladin relevant. If you can share that with the OP, maybe they can do the same thing to make their Paladin relevant, as well. (Although in this thread it's probably too late by now)
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Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.