The ToB Crusader is everything the 5e paladin should be

I always felt the ToB Crusader made for a more interesting and more flavorful paladin than the actual 3e paladin. It combines martial and supernatural maneuvers, it has a means of taking a lot of extra punishment, and can even learn some stances that give similar mechanics to the 4e Defender Aura. All in all the class felt like a great holy warrior who could both smite his foes and guard the front lines. Would anyone else like to see the Crusader make a comeback as the core paladin in 5e?

Edit Maneuvers:  www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/200...

My 5e Homebrew Material

The Warblade: A Mythic Fighter

The Hero: A Modular Class

I hated tome of battle and the book of nine swords was not for me.

so NO I'd rather not see the crusader come back as the 5e core paladin. 
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
I hated tome of battle and the book of nine swords was not for me.

so NO I'd rather not see the crusader come back as the 5e core paladin. 



Any particular reason why?

I mean, the typical reason is "BoNS is too magical for my tastes" but the Paladin is SUPPOSED to be using Divine Magic, so that argument couldn't apply.


The Crusader had access to decent levels of healing, but still behind a Cleric, good defenses, could smite, and had leadership style abilities to help his allies. Is this not everything a Paladin is supposed to be?
That said, I think that the Paladin should either be close to the Crusader, or the Duskblade, depending on if they want it more martial feeling or more magic.

More Martial, go with the Crusader, and you have a wider mix of maneuvers that are combat related, with a few surges of divine inspiration.

More Magical, go with the Duskblade chasis, giving spells starting at level 1, and scaling through 5th level, and many more of them (ie the Wizard gets 4 spells per day per spell level at most, the Duskblade capped at 10 per day per spell level. This let him have similar numbers of spells per day, just using weaker spells). Since the magic would be mostly divine magic, we'd be looking at a spells known list of things like heals and buffs, and hopefully some of the Paladin unique spells from 3.5 that gave things like Pounce, or better smites, or whatever.


In either case, please for the love of god don't make them so MAD. Pick 2-3 stats, and stick with those. And pick a single one to be the primary. In 4e Paladins had all sorts of problem because they could have either Str OR Cha as Primary, and there wasn't a power for each build at every level. In 3.5 Paladins had problems because they needed literally every stat except intelligence. If you want Paladins as a front line defender, go with something like Str/Wis/Con, but not something like Str/Wis/Con/Cha/Dex.  If you want Str/Wis/Cha all as paladin stats, have Wis or Charisma take the place of con for the Paladin. Point is don't spread them any further than 2-3 stats, and make sure one of them is the definite primary. 4-5 stats all being absolutely necessary for a class is too much.
I always felt the ToB Crusader made for a more interesting and more flavorful paladin than the actual 3e paladin. It combines martial and supernatural maneuvers, it has a means of taking a lot of extra punishment, and can even learn some stances that give similar mechanics to the 4e Defender Aura. All in all the class felt like a great holy warrior who could both smite his foes and guard the front lines. Would anyone else like to see the Crusader make a comeback as the core paladin in 5e?



Definitely.  Might be the only way to make the Paladin palatable, especially since, in addition to being mechanically more interesting and just plain better, it got rid of the stupidity of alignment restrictions and power screw.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I didn't like those systems because it implemented something like "maneuvers as programs" - where-as the attack / power attack / two-weapon fighting styles were all basic and vague enough that you could describe them in a manner appropriate to the situation at hand, the martial powers (I forget what they called them in that book) started applying effects that really should have varied depending on what you were fighting - things like knockback, or re-directing enemies.

It also seemed like the start of the "this is the effect we want; what kind of babble can we insert here that makes it sound plausible?" style that really defined 4E.  You had several different variations of "hit it really hard" that only varied by maneuver-level and damage.  I can't recall many specifics because the whole book left a bad taste in my mouth.

One thing that did stick with me, though, was one of the defining features of the Crusader: attack an enemy in order to heal an ally.  It's just.... you know, suspension of disbelief and whatnot.  Why can I only heal my friend when there's an enemy at hand?  It encouraged un-paladin-like behavior.  "Maybe we should pick on those evil-looking guys, because they look pretty weak and I might be able to get out of it with more life than I had going in."  And of course, the method by which they recovered their powers... felt like it was designed to make for a fun game, rather than representing some logical way for anyone to access their divine gifts.

The metagame is not the game.

And lord knows we don't want D&D to be a fun game.
Tongue Out
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Of course it should be fun!  It would be even more fun, though, if you can use it to tell an internally-consistent story.

The metagame is not the game.

I loved 3.5's Tome of Battle and everything in it, especially the Crusader. If the 5E Paladin is half as awesome as the Crusader, I'll play it in a heartbeat.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of really foolish people who claim that Book of Nine Swords is "too anime" and other nonsense like that. These people aren't pleased unless martial characters look like the 3.5 Fighter, with no interesting features or options whatsoever. I can only hope that these people are sorely disappointed.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
I was only poking fun at you, Saelorn.

Though I have to take issue with your choice of words, there - shouldn't your story, using the game rules, be "internally consistent" so long as you're using those rules?

By which I mean: Ability XYZ recharges via method [MADNESS] - that doesn't make it not "internally consistent".



Honestly, I hate ToB discussions, because when people ask, and ask, and ask, and ask, everything boils down to "Some people don't like it because they don't like it", and there's really nothing more to be said on it.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
I agree.
I didn't like those systems because it implemented something like "maneuvers as programs" - where-as the attack / power attack / two-weapon fighting styles were all basic and vague enough that you could describe them in a manner appropriate to the situation at hand, the martial powers (I forget what they called them in that book) started applying effects that really should have varied depending on what you were fighting - things like knockback, or re-directing enemies.

It also seemed like the start of the "this is the effect we want; what kind of babble can we insert here that makes it sound plausible?" style that really defined 4E.  You had several different variations of "hit it really hard" that only varied by maneuver-level and damage.  I can't recall many specifics because the whole book left a bad taste in my mouth.b



They were called maneuvers. 

Also, there were very few knockback style powers that I can think of. Here, let me take a couple random maneuvers of each level a Crusader could get:

Show
Level 1
Stance: Enemies you threaten take -4 to hit your allies.
Strike: Gain DR5/Adamantine for 1 round
Leading the Attack: Allies gain +4 to attack rolls against enemy you hit for 1 round

Level 2
Counter: Grant your shield bonus + 4 to your ally's AC
Strike: Deal +2d6 damage, ignore hardness and DR
Strike: Dead +2d6 damage, all allies adjacent to target take a free 5 ft step.

Level 3
Strike: Foe you hit must attack you next round or provoke an attack of opportunity
Stance: Gain +10 to resist bull rush, trip, disarm, overrun, etc. Gain DR2/-
Boost: Move ally's initiative to go immediately after your turn.

Level 4
Strike: +2d6 damage, reduce opponent's move speed by 20ft
Strike: Deal 2 constitution damage on attack
Strike: Opponent you strike cannot take attacks of opportunity for 3 rounds.

Level 5
Strike: Target becomes shaken
Stance: Deal damage as if you are one size category larger
Strike: Hit a flanked target, allies gain bonus attack against target

Level 6
Strike: Heal 3d6+level to all allies within 30ft
Strike: +4d6 damage, immobilize target
Boost: Allies move up to their move speed on your turn

Level 7
Counter: Shield bash target, disrupt their action
Strike: +6d6 damage, knock opponent back
Strike: Allies make free attacks against a foe you strike

Level 8
Stance: You cannot die from hit point damage
Strike: Local quake knocks enemies prone
Strike: +6d6 damage, stun opponent

Level 9:
Strike: On successful attack, grants Heal Spell
Strike: Deal 2d6 con damage
Strike: You and allies charge, no attacks of opportunity, deal extra damage, stun.



I'll admit I cherry picked around, but I grabbed one maneuver of each school the Crusader has access to at every level. I only got a single instance of forced movement, and two healing maneuvers. There were a lot of other unique effects I skipped on (such as Thicket of Blades, which lets you take AoOs even against 5ft steps).


Anyway, the point is that while there are +x damage abilities, almost all of them have some other effect, and very few of them are forced movement. There is a lot of variety there, and your generalization does great disservice to what the class actually does.


One thing that did stick with me, though, was one of the defining features of the Crusader: attack an enemy in order to heal an ally.  It's just.... you know, suspension of disbelief and whatnot.  Why can I only heal my friend when there's an enemy at hand?  It encouraged un-paladin-like behavior.  "Maybe we should pick on those evil-looking guys, because they look pretty weak and I might be able to get out of it with more life than I had going in."  And of course, the method by which they recovered their powers... felt like it was designed to make for a fun game, rather than representing some logical way for anyone to access their divine gifts.



I agree with you on the point of not being able to use the healing abilities without an enemy to hit. However, this was at a point before healing surges, where an at will heal was feared to disrupt the game (for some reason the designers never really got that everyone just used wands for out of combat healing anyway, so it didn't matter one bit if you let the characters heal to full out of combat without spending permanent resources). But I don't see people attacking random others to heal themselves, they just accept that it's something they can't do and pull out a wand.

As for complaints about the recharge  mechanic, that really is a taste thing. Personally, I love it. The fluff behind it is that you are getting random flashes of divine inspiration, rather than it coming on demand. I think it would have made a lot more sense and been more interesting with a lot more maneuvers readied, but the same number granted, but due to the limited number of maneuvers provided in the book, that probably wasn't an option. 
I edited the original post to include a link to all of the manuevers.  The strikes that do heal are few and far between but the flavor text is actually pretty good at explaining why they heal.  They also only work on enemies who pose an immediate threat and are a challenge (so no bag of rats)
I edited the original post to include a link to all of the manuevers.  The strikes that do heal are few and far between but the flavor text is actually pretty good at explaining why they heal.  They also only work on enemies who pose an immediate threat and are a challenge (so no bag of rats)



For reference, since the link he edited has the maneuvers grouped by school rather than class, the Crusader gets "Stone Dragon" "Devoted Spirit" and "White Raven".


Stone Dragon is a pretty boring school that doesn't have a lot of really interesting effects, but Devoted Spirit and White Raven both have a lot of fun and interesting things that really feel definitive for the archtype.
White Raven Tactics. The awesome of the awesome. Too bad the Swordsage didn't have access to it.
While I'm a fan of the Paladin class in general, the 3E version required a LOT of support to get right. The few final books for 3E (like Complete Champion) saw this and gave them a few incentives to keep going full paladin like casting all your spells as swift actions, calling your mount as a swift action, Awesome Smite, etc.. Still, the Crusader is just far better mechanically and still has the same flavor as the Paladin. So if the 5E Paladin takes Crusader elements, then I'll be happy. If the paladin is shoehorned into the narrow focuse of.........sub-par elements we saw with 3E then I think I'll just play a Fighter/Cleric and call myself a Paladin.
Whether you agree with the system in ToB or not, the Crusader in actual play was an amazing representation of a paladin-type class. Healing while attacking with a melee weapon was an excellent idea, having the ability to shield others while standing next to them was a great idea (and seems to have been replicated in the 5e cleric guardian), and having abilities that boost the abilities of allies through the White Raven school was excellent.

I would be very glad to see some sort of Paladin in 5e if it worked as well and was as useful mechanically as a 3.5 Crusader. Otherwise.... **** paladins.
Whether you agree with the system in ToB or not, the Crusader in actual play was an amazing representation of a paladin-type class. Healing while attacking with a melee weapon was an excellent idea, having the ability to shield others while standing next to them was a great idea (and seems to have been replicated in the 5e cleric guardian), and having abilities that boost the abilities of allies through the White Raven school was excellent.

I would be very glad to see some sort of Paladin in 5e if it worked as well and was as useful mechanically as a 3.5 Crusader. Otherwise.... **** paladins.



Not to mention it had more than 5 levels. The Paladin was a PrC with 15 dead levels attached to it, basically.
Whether you agree with the system in ToB or not, the Crusader in actual play was an amazing representation of a paladin-type class. Healing while attacking with a melee weapon was an excellent idea, having the ability to shield others while standing next to them was a great idea (and seems to have been replicated in the 5e cleric guardian), and having abilities that boost the abilities of allies through the White Raven school was excellent.

I would be very glad to see some sort of Paladin in 5e if it worked as well and was as useful mechanically as a 3.5 Crusader. Otherwise.... **** paladins.



Not to mention it had more than 5 levels. The Paladin was a PrC with 15 dead levels attached to it, basically.



Who took Paladin to level 5?

Paladin was a 2 level long class designed for anyone who used charisma as a primary and wanted some increased defense.  Particularly useful for Sorcerer based Gish builds.

Fake Edit: Okay I could see maybe going as high as 4, to pick up turn undead. For that it depends on if you valued the two caster levels more, or the flexibility that Divine/Devotion Feats would grant. Alternatively, you could give up a point of BAB, take a 1 level dip into cleric, nab 2 devotion feats, better save boosts, and turn undead, and only lose one more level of casting instead of 2. At the cost of 1 BAB and Divine Health/Aura of Courage. 
Whether you agree with the system in ToB or not, the Crusader in actual play was an amazing representation of a paladin-type class. Healing while attacking with a melee weapon was an excellent idea, having the ability to shield others while standing next to them was a great idea (and seems to have been replicated in the 5e cleric guardian), and having abilities that boost the abilities of allies through the White Raven school was excellent.

I would be very glad to see some sort of Paladin in 5e if it worked as well and was as useful mechanically as a 3.5 Crusader. Otherwise.... **** paladins.



Not to mention it had more than 5 levels. The Paladin was a PrC with 15 dead levels attached to it, basically.



Who took Paladin to level 5?

Paladin was a 2 level long class designed for anyone who used charisma as a primary and wanted some increased defense.  Particularly useful for Sorcerer based Gish builds.

Fake Edit: Okay I could see maybe going as high as 4, to pick up turn undead. For that it depends on if you valued the two caster levels more, or the flexibility that Divine/Devotion Feats would grant. Alternatively, you could give up a point of BAB, take a 1 level dip into cleric, nab 2 devotion feats, better save boosts, and turn undead, and only lose one more level of casting instead of 2. At the cost of 1 BAB and Divine Health/Aura of Courage. 



I'm just saying that it stopped gaining new things after level 5. They get their mount at 5, and then there's nothing else for 15 levels. Just more of what you already had.

I guess, but really level 2 is where you get your best feature. Everything past that is kind of meh. Immunity to Disease/Fear is pretty good for the level you get it at, but by mid levels you have those via long duration spells anyway so missing it doesn't hurt you much. Turn Undead is amazing, but why sit for 2 levels of Paladin to get it when you can get it with one level of Cleric? 

On an unrelated note: One thing that always bugged me about the Paladin was how universally bad their prestige classes always were. Like not a single one of them gave them full casting progression, they always got half caster level progression, despite already having absolute crap for casting. They generally had slow or no smite progression, and no support for the mount at all.

Just seems like such a waste for the Paladin to not only suck and stop getting decent features early on, but also doesn't get any options to be able to hop out and get better. 
The ToB Crusader is everything the 5e Paladin should be.

The ToB Warblade is everything the 5E Warlord should be.

The ToB Swordsage is everything the 5E Monk should be.

The 5E Warlock should be everything a hypothetical ToB caster would be.

Do this, Wizards, and you'll prosper.
I guess what I was getting at was that it just seemed very arbitrary.  The difference between a strong hit that ignores DR, or a strong hit that dealt extra damage, or a strong hit that caused Con damage - I can't narrate that. I need to be able to say, "He pulls back for a big swing and unleashes a devastating strike," and that needs to mean the same thing every time.  By letting it mean any one of a number of things, it makes things more interesting on the tactical level but really hurts the narrative immersion, and that doesn't sit well with me.

Some of the tactical maneuvers (white raven in particular) did seemed pretty nifty, but that goes back into the old 4E argument of whether or not the players should have narrative control to set up situations where their powers could work.  I'm sure you can guess where I stand on that point.

Likewise, the tolerance of heal-on-a-hit mechanics is going to vary between games.  The infinite healing by smiting squirrels (especially at high levels!) is a lot more powerful in a game where you don't have unlimited wands of cure light wounds.  

The metagame is not the game.

I guess what I was getting at was that it just seemed very arbitrary.  The difference between a strong hit that ignores DR, or a strong hit that dealt extra damage, or a strong hit that caused Con damage - I can't narrate that. I need to be able to say, "He pulls back for a big swing and unleashes a devastating strike," and that needs to mean the same thing every time.  By letting it mean any one of a number of things, it makes things more interesting on the tactical level but really hurts the narrative immersion, and that doesn't sit well with me.



Ignores DR vs. Extra Damage?  There is no difference of note.  Why narrate them differently at all?

Con damage?  Well, that's easy.  It clearly is a significant blow that weakens the body, there's a lasting effect there.

These aren't hard to narrate.

I guess what I was getting at was that it just seemed very arbitrary.  The difference between a strong hit that ignores DR, or a strong hit that dealt extra damage, or a strong hit that caused Con damage - I can't narrate that. I need to be able to say, "He pulls back for a big swing and unleashes a devastating strike," and that needs to mean the same thing every time.  By letting it mean any one of a number of things, it makes things more interesting on the tactical level but really hurts the narrative immersion, and that doesn't sit well with me.



I assume you don't narrate a standard melee attack the same way every time, even though it always has the same effect. Why do maneuvers need to be different? And if you absolutely do need them to be different, why not just pick something and roll with it?

Honestly, for the Crusader this is the easiest to justify: He gains his abilities from divine flashes of insight. So even though he's hitting the enemy in the same way for two different maneuvers, that flash of divinity is what causes the different effect. 

Some of the tactical maneuvers (white raven in particular) did seemed pretty nifty, but that goes back into the old 4E argument of whether or not the players should have narrative control to set up situations where their powers could work.  I'm sure you can guess where I stand on that point.



Right right the old "Fighters can't have nice things" argument. Though honestly, White Raven is less about narrative control, and more about leadership/morale/tactics. You hit the enemy, and in doing so you are actively creating the opening your allies take advantage of. You call for a charge, and in doing so all of your allies follow your lead and do it. And so on. I mean, I can understand not liking 4e's daily powers where you say "I can only do this ability once per day, because once per day I make it so the enemy puts himself in a perfect position for the ability to work via narrative power". That sort of narrative control can be jarring depending on game style. Nothing in ToB is anything like that.

Likewise, the tolerance of heal-on-a-hit mechanics is going to vary between games.  The infinite healing by smiting squirrels (especially at high levels!) is a lot more powerful in a game where you don't have unlimited wands of cure light wounds.  



Luckily, games where you don't have access to unlimited wands of cure light wounds (or lesser vigor), aren't 3.5. If there's no magic mart, the Cleric spends one feat, and you have it forever. And the Cleric will spend that one feat if necessary, because funny thing: Most clerics don't like spending all of their daily spell slots patching everybody else up. They would much rather be doing cool things just like everyone else.

Also, the healing maneuvers don't work from smiting squirrels. So that's not really an issue. The maneuvers are all about being able to heal in combats that actually matter. And you know what? They're pretty good at that. I have never once, not in years of playing 3.5, cast Cure Light Wounds in combat. In fact, healing spells in combat would either be cure minor wounds (for a quick stabilization in an emergency), or Heal (at level 11+ when it comes online). All the healing spells in between are so inefficient they're not worth the action to cast in combat that you could be doing something else.

Crusader maneuvers on the other hand let you do your attack and still get a heal off that round. That is immensely helpful, especially at low levels. And you'll note, ever since then, similar things have been done. In 4e, we got clerics that heal with a minor action instead of a standard action (which accomplishes the same basic thing, but gets rid of the "I smack you to heal my ally" thing, and instead makes it "I can heal my ally and still smack someone", which is an improvement. In 5e, the playtest pack has a cure spell that heals and gives you a bonus action you can use to attack, again working in a similar manner.

Point is, the "Heal and attack" is actually very popular because it makes in combat healing a thing people actually do. That's really not going anywhere, and it exists in 5e already, independent  of how the Paladin gets implemented in the game. So really they may as well at least allow the Paladin to access that type of healing as well.
I never liked the Crusader. The random refresh mechanic for his manuevers was just weird and slow. It'd be nice if the game was a card game and you have manuever cards, only that wasn't really how it was designed.
I never liked the Crusader. The random refresh mechanic for his manuevers was just weird.



Insight comes in flashes.
It's not that the same attack needs to be narrated the same way every time, so much as every time something is narrated that way it needs to have the same effect.  I could have twenty different things that all result in you taking (1d8 + Str) slashing damage, but every time someone swings a long sword (without special note of taking extra control, or swinging wildly or furiously) it always means the same result.  Any number of different causes can lead to the same effect, but a specific individual cause can only ever lead to the one effect.

I will grant that crusader has a slightly better justification than the warblade, at least, since this literally is magic.  That's kind of a hand-wave of an answer, though - a wizard did it - and it's not really satisfying if you actually want a real reason.  The real reason is that they thought it would be more fun, and hoped people wouldn't mind the inconsistency - and they were half right, because about half the people took that stance and the other half took my stance.

Magic marts are a serious cause of gameplay derailment.  The game changes entirely when you have infinite out-of-combat healing, which is why they always placed limits on it.  Wands were supposed to be balanced by the GP cost (but we all know that they were underpriced, so it's a good thing we have a living DM there to keep things in check).  

Crusader healing is supposed to be balanced by action cost, except it's not because there's no requirement to hit someone with an opposing alignment (the strikes have that requirement, but the stance works on anyone - it very slightly reduces the incentive to keep a demon chained up in the basement so you can heal people for free, and that kind of spell normally goes for 660 GP on the open market).  As written, you can beat up your own team-mates for non-lethal damage and then use the healing to recover actual HP (but we all know that this would be overpowered, so it's a good thing we have a living DM there to keep things in check).

It sounds like you don't like playing a healer, and that you tend to play in groups with people who don't like playing the healer.  Healing can be fun when it's a meaningful choice, and if you have character where that's the main focus (ignoring the above two broken methods).  It's no secret that my favorite class in all of 3.x was the Healer, because I think it's fun to spend my turn healing people.  One of the things I really disliked about 4E was that the at-will cleric abilities amounted to attacking with a minor temporary HP side effect, when I would have had a lot more fun if I just had the "grant temporary HP" abilitiy and wasn't forced into making an attack.

There's nothing wrong with supporting both playstyles, but if they're going to put game mechanics ahead of their meaning again, then it's really going to 


The metagame is not the game.

I never liked the Crusader. The random refresh mechanic for his manuevers was just weird and slow.


Agreed. I liked ToB, but the Crusader's refresh mechanic didn't feel right to me at all.

It's no secret that my favorite class in all of 3.x was the Healer, because I think it's fun to spend my turn healing people.


Hunh. Now there's a sentence I never expected to read. Sealed
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
I will grant that crusader has a slightly better justification than the warblade, at least, since this literally is magic.  That's kind of a hand-wave of an answer, though - a wizard did it - and it's not really satisfying if you actually want a real reason.  The real reason is that they thought it would be more fun, and hoped people wouldn't mind the inconsistency - and they were half right, because about half the people took that stance and the other half took my stance.



"Why does a wizard mumbling some words and wiggling his fingers cause such drastically different effects?" "Because Magic!"

This is a case of martially focused characters being held to a different standard than other characters, because they have one foot grounded in reality. I don't ask too many questions about how wizards accomplish their specific spells, and I similarly don't expect too much detail in how martial characters manage their specific feats or maneuvers. As long as something plausible can be given, it's fine. 

Magic marts are a serious cause of gameplay derailment.  The game changes entirely when you have infinite out-of-combat healing, which is why they always placed limits on it.  Wands were supposed to be balanced by the GP cost (but we all know that they were underpriced, so it's a good thing we have a living DM there to keep things in check).  



The only way the game changes is that it makes it so that you can play for more encounters without needing to rest. Incidentally, this helps martial characters because the casters don't have the excuse "But if we keep going you'll die because we can't heal you", and as such discourages the 5 minute work day.

It may change the tone away from grim and gritty, but grim and gritty isn't really a thing past level 5 anyway, because at that point if the cleric does go all heal-bot, he's got enough healing to keep everyone patched up anyway. 

As for wands being balanced by GP cost, Im pretty sure the DMG explicitly says that 10% of wealth by level is expected to be in the form of consumables, which is why if you follow the encounter charts strictly, by the time a character gains a level, they will have gained 110% of their expected wealth by level.

And this ignores the fact that if you really wanted to, you could use the item creation rules and get a use activated item of Lesser Vigor for 8000 gp. That's a big chunk for low level characters, but if the party chips in on it, it's pretty reasonable by level 6 or 7. (As an aside before you say it's broken, this costs the same amount as basically 11 wands. That's 550 uses of vigor, or 6050 hp restored. Most parties will never actually use that much healing in their whole careers, it's just paying a lump sum up front to make things easier to track).

Crusader healing is supposed to be balanced by action cost, except it's not because there's no requirement to hit someone with an opposing alignment (the strikes have that requirement, but the stance works on anyone - it very slightly reduces the incentive to keep a demon chained up in the basement so you can heal people for free, and that kind of spell normally goes for 660 GP on the open market).  As written, you can beat up your own team-mates for non-lethal damage and then use the healing to recover actual HP (but we all know that this would be overpowered, so it's a good thing we have a living DM there to keep things in check).



I'm not really sure what this is getting at. "Crusader healing could be really imbalanced, but it wasn't because they made sure it couldn't be abused, so it's fine"?

It sounds like you don't like playing a healer, and that you tend to play in groups with people who don't like playing the healer.  Healing can be fun when it's a meaningful choice, and if you have character where that's the main focus (ignoring the above two broken methods).  It's no secret that my favorite class in all of 3.x was the Healer, because I think it's fun to spend my turn healing people.  One of the things I really disliked about 4E was that the at-will cleric abilities amounted to attacking with a minor temporary HP side effect, when I would have had a lot more fun if I just had the "grant temporary HP" abilitiy and wasn't forced into making an attack.



I actually enjoy healing. I usually enjoy playing Paladins and Clerics (my last two characters in 3.5 have been a Archer Cleric, and a Ruby Knight Vindicator, just as a point of reference). You mistake not liking to waste actions and resources on a pittance with not liking to heal.

In 3.5, cure light wounds at level 1 is 1d8+1 hp healed. This means you can very easily spend your action to heal someone for two hit points. The healing values are simply too low to be worth an action until you gain access to the heal spell. 1d8+1 (or 3 with stance) healing along with a melee attack? That's good. Spending your entire turn to heal an ally for less hp than what they will likely take next turn? That is bad.

3.5 in combat healing simply wasn't effective until Heal comes online. And as a result, the healer role became negligible, and all healing would be done out of combat. Post level 11, I was fine with reserving most of my level 6+ slots to cast heal as needed. It actually worked out really well, because levels 1-5 had a lot of the nicer buffs, and higher level slots would have utility that could be spontaneously swapped for heal.  (As an aside: As a low level healer, the Healing Devotion feat is great. 5-6 uses a day of 'gain 10 hit points over a minute' is amazingly useful at levels 1-3).


Anyway, I'm getting off topic. Point is I don't hate healing, and I am okay with spending actions/resources to heal when the heal is potent enough to be worth the actions/resources. But when we're talking about Xd8+Y healing (ie healing comparable to damage dealt from a single attack), that sort of thing should definitely be able to be done without spending actions (or at least not your standard action. If they bring back minor/swift actions, that's fine). You do mention that you don't mind this playstyle being supported, as long as both are, well I just want to make the comment that it is much more reasonable to see the "Attack and heal" playstyle in the Paladin and not the Cleric. If the Cleric can attack and heal, and the Paladin cannot, I will call shenanigans, because that is stupid.
The 2e Paladin is everything a Paladin should be.

He walks a hard line and gets benifits that no other class does because of it.

Stepping off that line makes him just a fighter.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

The 2e Paladin is everything a Paladin should be. He walks a hard line and gets benifits that no other class does because of it. Stepping off that line makes him just a fighter.



Yeah man, I just loved those hours long morality debates at the game table where the Player and DM disagree as to whether the Paladin violated his incredibly vague oaths and lost all his powers. Don't you just love the bitter tears of the players who get told that they were playing their character wrong and thus need to play another class instead?

Those were the days. 
You mean like they still do to this day?
The 2e Paladin is everything a Paladin should be. He walks a hard line and gets benifits that no other class does because of it. Stepping off that line makes him just a fighter.



Yeah man, I just loved those hours long morality debates at the game table where the Player and DM disagree as to whether the Paladin violated his incredibly vague oaths and lost all his powers. Don't you just love the bitter tears of the players who get told that they were playing their character wrong and thus need to play another class instead?

Those were the days. 



Hehehe. +100 XP for you. 
Thems the breaks of playing a paladin and trying to bend the rules.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Thems the breaks of playing a paladin and trying to bend the rules.



Ah yes, the rules. Those nebulous never-quite defined rules that are just vague enough for the DM to pull out whenever he's had a bad day. 

The fallen paladin can make for an interesting story, but it makes for a really crappy game. 
Actually the only paladin I ever played fell.

I had a great time with him. He went on to Dual class as a priest of an opposing diety because he was bitter towards his god for forsaking him.

Memorable and fun is how I feel about the experience.

I was warned by my DM about my moral choices and I disagreed but that made his actions after the fall make all the more sense.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

The fallen paladin can make for an interesting story, but it makes for a really crappy game. 


Not necessarily; if the player makes a conscious choice to do something that would result in falling, and then coordinates with the DM on how to get his/her mojo back in a cool way, I think that could make for some memorable gaming.

But, usually when I hear about a Paladin falling from grace, it's because the DM thought the player was not being particularly Paladin-ey and effectively hits him with a permanent antimagic curse. "I know you wanted to play a Fighter, but I just don't feel like you're being fightey enough, or adhering to the class' fluff very well. I'm changing your class to Warrior instead."
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
excuse me... don't tell me how to play my paladin, I'm good aligned darn it... I threw out the lawful, and chaotic trash its either your good, evil or I don't give a rats furry arse nuetral.

furthermore the code of conduct has always been a bending of the rules and always forces the player into a I'm lawful stupid senario.

Your dm cant dm with a paladin and your player cant play one either.   

even more so if you take the code over the tenants of the paladin's faith... further more my paladins will only do one thing, they will respect your so called legitimate authority, but that does not bind the paladin to your so called authority when you think you can order me to hunt some poor sod down and bring them in for a proper trial when I know you plan on having that poor sod executed anyway.

My paladins follow the tenates of their faith first and are not likely inclined to help if it conflicts weith their faith's tenents nor are they the kind of person who will interigate the bad guy, its hanging out with the bad guy no matter how you look at it.....




anyway I was asked why I didnt like the TOB:BoNS, I skiimmed through it, I just didnt like it. I can say the same for the Tome of spells too.

I just didnt like them and cant place a finger on the why.          
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
I guess what I was getting at was that it just seemed very arbitrary.  The difference between a strong hit that ignores DR, or a strong hit that dealt extra damage, or a strong hit that caused Con damage - I can't narrate that. I need to be able to say, "He pulls back for a big swing and unleashes a devastating strike," and that needs to mean the same thing every time.  By letting it mean any one of a number of things, it makes things more interesting on the tactical level but really hurts the narrative immersion, and that doesn't sit well with me.



This isn't about arbitrariness - it's about imagination. It's not a "strong attack" every time: an attack that ignores DR is a lethally precise blow that finds an impossibly small weak spot in your enemy's defenses, an attack that deals extra damage targets a vital organ or artery, an attack that causes Con damage could be a hit to a nerve cluster that causes your enemy's knees to weaken.
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
The fallen paladin can make for an interesting story, but it makes for a really crappy game. 


Not necessarily; if the player makes a conscious choice to do something that would result in falling, and then coordinates with the DM on how to get his/her mojo back in a cool way, I think that could make for some memorable gaming.

But, usually when I hear about a Paladin falling from grace, it's because the DM thought the player was not being particularly Paladin-ey and effectively hits him with a permanent antimagic curse. "I know you wanted to play a Fighter, but I just don't feel like you're being fightey enough, or adhering to the class' fluff very well. I'm changing your class to Warrior instead."



Precisely. If it's something in the Player's hands, that's fine, no hard feelings there because the player himself chose to do it.

But as you point out, that isn't how it works out the majority of the time. Usually it's some GM who has his own idea of morality that is different from the players, and punishes the player for not roleplaying the way he wanted him to. Warnings such as "This may cause you to fall" may or may not be included in these scenarios, but either way it's the game giving license to usurp the Player's choices about what his character will and will not do. 
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