My Paladin killed a child molester (and now my DM wants to take away my powers!)




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    My Paladin killed a child molester (and now my DM wants to take away my powers!)

    Okay guys, let's open up another can of worms.

    Last night we were playing our Forgotten Realms campaign and my character, a 5th level Paladin, observed this shifty character go to the back room of the tavern we were carousing in. Suspicious, my Paladin followed the guy and found that he had a 10-year-old girl tied up in the storage room. My DM didn't get into gory description, but he told us, "It is obvious from the girl's physical appearance that she has been sexually violated."

    Our campaign is a gritty one. These issues come up.

    Then the guy (who still hadn't noticed my Paladin in the doorway) says, "Now let's teach you another lesson, missy." And he *undid his pants*.

    With no hesitation, I attacked him with my sword. My DM cautioned me, saying, "Attacking him from behind, with your BAB and STR bonus, you realize that you will probably kill him with one blow. The dude's a lowly commoner."

    "My intention is to cut off his head," I (my Paladin) replied.

    I did so.

    Long story short--now my DM has stripped me of my Paladinhood. I'm fighting him on it. His argument: "A cowardly, unjust, unlawful act." My argument: "A righteous, noble, just act."

    My DM is a lurker but not a poster...he *will* be reading your responses to this situation. He has agreed to abide by whatever consensus you, the jury, arrive at. (For that I give him lots of credit.)

    Discuss.
    VINDICATOR
    Guardian of the North

 

  • #2

    I agree with your GM

    In my opinion, a Paladin would have at the worst, given the guy the opportunity to defend himself, but optimally, have arrested the man and brought him before the Law. I could see any alignment other than " Lawful Good " doing what you did, but that is why I do not play Paladins. The God of law is whom, I forget...Lathander maybe? Yeah...arrested, or beaten into submission, then dragged before the courts...definately way to go

    I hate Lawful Good....Dirty Harry was Chaotic Good
    And you Barbarian, what is lifes greatest joy? " To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women"

  • #3
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    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)

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    Ya, a LG person first should have asked him to surrender to take him to the local law. Killing him in such an unhonorible way (attacking a man from behind who has his pants down) would go against a Paladins code. But lucky, in D&D attuning and being forgiven is not hard.

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    According to the paladin's Code of Conduct, a paladin must "punish those who threaten or harm innocents."

    I'd say that your paladin deserves to keep his powers.
    -Dark Jezter

    "He who does not punish evil commands it to be done."
    -Leonardo Da Vinci

    "Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing."
    - Robert E. Howard, The Tower of the Elephant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vindicator
    Long story short--now my DM has stripped me of my Paladinhood. I'm fighting him on it. His argument: "A cowardly, unjust, unlawful act." My argument: "A righteous, noble, just act."
    Cowardly, very dubious and only because the man's back was to him and the man was unaware. Unjust and unlawful? Feh. The paladin is just saving the courts time on this one. If anything his patron diety should reward him with something nice, like making his sword a Good weapon.

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    In my opinion, a Paladin would have at the worst, given the guy the opportunity to defend himself
    To exactly what point and purpose? 5th level paladin. "Lowly" commoner. The man's death is a foregone conclusion. Telling him to zip up, grab a club and defend himself would pointless sophistry - he can't defend himself against the paladin. It won't matter what he does, he is going to die in single combat against so supperior an opponent.

    but optimally, have arrested the man and brought him before the Law.
    Lawful means disciplined and organized, not follows local legal structure. Frankly, I have a hard time imagining the paladin walking up to whatever local constabulary is in the area and telling them "Hey guys, I walked in on this man about to rape this 10 year old girl ... again. She can testify to what happened. I killed the man in defense of the child." and having their response being anything other then "Oh. Alright then. Nicely done there, citizen. Thank you." And that's to say nothing of the fact that on the good/evil end of things it was the morally right thing to do. Defending the weak and innocent from the depredations of the wicked. The paladin was justified in what he did.

    The God of law is whom, I forget...Lathander maybe?
    Lathander's neutral good, actually. God of the Sun, Renewal and so forth. The god you're thinking of is Tyr, God of Justice. He's lawful good. Either can have paladins in their service, however.

    My oppinion: the paladin did what was right and took what action was appropriate at the time. He should keep his powers and status.
    *roll* No, you don't find any traps, and in fact that big red lever over there appears to be made out of candy!

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    Hi Vindicator,

    I am currently playing two paladins, one of whom has lost his powers once but atoned.
    Guess what, your guy should most likely follow the same path.

    The following is "Old School" but most likely applicable to 99% of Paladins out there.

    You attacked an unarmed opponent from behind without warning. The fact that he was in the act of commiting a grievous offence did not demand lethal action when a stern warning to cease followed by subsequent "punishment" if your orders were not followed was more appropriate.

    If I was the mentor of said Paladin, I would have described to him what would have happened if an unscrupulous "friend" of the deceased said that you had raped the child and killed the man as he was trying to protect her and then pulled his pants down to cover your indiscretion?
    To those looking upon the scene, they would most likely have seen through the falsehood but what if one or two did not? Your actions would come into question and you would have been brought to an unnecessary trial bringing undue and unwarranted pressure upon the church that you profess to follow.
    Paladins are not renegades or vigilantes. They are required to follow the law and the processes there entailed. A Paladin must ALWAYS be above reproach and unquestioned in his actions. Your acts while expediating the process of the law did not render the law the respect it deserved.

    However, while your character has shamed the ideals of his station, the emotional consequences of seeing a violated juvenile in the process of once again being victimized should be taken into account and not be denied. As such, a quest of atonement would be suitable so that your character could once again re-establish his righteous and divine link with his God. Having been guided back to the path of RIGHTEOUSNESS and justice, your character will then be a paragon of faith and virtue and a symbol to others who would follow your august journey to paladinhood.

    Classic case of atonement in my opinion.
    Apologies if this sinks you in it.

    Best Regards
    Herremann the Wise

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    Wow, this is a big can of worms.

    What deity does your Paladin worship? I guess the punishment really depends on your god.

    Helm - being the God of Protection, you could probably argue that you were protecting the girl.

    Torm - you are to strive to maintain law and order, strike quickly and forcefully against the rot of evil

    Tyr - Uphold the law wherever you go and punish those who do wrong under the law.

    I took those from Faiths and Pantheons for FR (under the dogma) those are the usual big 3 Paladin religions.

    For a Paladin to loose their abilitie they have to a) cease being Lawful Good, b) willfully commit an evil act or c) grossly violates the code of conduct. I wouldn't say you did either a or b. Maybe a strike against you for under a.

    If you were a follower of Helm or Torm, I'd let you go. If you were a follower of Tyr, you're screwed.

    You should probably have detained this man and made sure he got a fair trial. If you followed Tyr, you definatly should have done that and your GM was right to strip you of your powers (assumeing the law is innocent until proven guilty, or if the penalty for child molestation was not death, etc.)

    Helm can chalk this kill up to defending the innocent. You definatly did that.

    Torm can attribute this to your duty to strike quickly and maintain the law.

    If you are a worshiper of someone else, well, I just wasted your time.

    Did this help?
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  • #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vindicator
    With no hesitation, I attacked him with my sword. My DM cautioned me, saying, "Attacking him from behind, with your BAB and STR bonus, you realize that you will probably kill him with one blow. The dude's a lowly commoner."

    "My intention is to cut off his head," I (my Paladin) replied.

    I did so.

    Long story short--now my DM has stripped me of my Paladinhood. I'm fighting him on it. His argument: "A cowardly, unjust, unlawful act." My argument: "A righteous, noble, just act."
    A couple of points. One, your DM was correct in giving you a warning. In many ways you have to take the consequences of your characters actions - even if YOU don't think it was a problem your DM did, and told you so before you took the last step.

    Your DM was wrong though (IMO) in his basic stance and I think it's valid that you argue against it. From behind, from in front, in one blow or in 1000 is irrelevant. What matters is - whether the victim was deserving of the punishment that the paladin dealt to him; whether the paladin was "authorized" to be the one to deal out that punishment on the spot. My responses would be yes, and yes.

    Rape and child molestation are hands-down qualified as Evil acts - the guy had it coming to him. The paladin is IN NO WAY required to tap him on the shoulder, get his attention, read him his rights, and THEN kill him. He's an evil man in the ACT of doing evil deeds and if the paladin can apply lethal punishment with complete safety because the target is blissfully unaware (or even incapable of mounting a worthwhile defense if he weren't) so much the better for all concerned.

    This does not mean that your paladin can't take the attitude of not wanting to kill even an evil opponent without giving them a sporting chance of fighting back. He certainly can. He's just not OBLIGATED to do so. He could simply KO the guy, and have him incarcerated or otherwise turned over to metropolitan authorities (or whoever), but he's not OBLIGATED to do so by default.

    Unless your DM has well-established beforehand the reasons why your paladin needs to be not just goody-two-shoes, but to go out of his way to give evil a fighting chance because it SEEMS cowardly or dishonorable on the face of it? Nonsense.
    Actually, my mileage DOES vary - my game is fueled by imagination.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vindicator
    Okay guys, let's open up another can of worms.

    Last night we were playing our Forgotten Realms campaign and my character, a 5th level Paladin, observed this shifty character go to the back room of the tavern we were carousing in. Suspicious, my Paladin followed the guy and found that he had a 10-year-old girl tied up in the storage room. My DM didn't get into gory description, but he told us, "It is obvious from the girl's physical appearance that she has been sexually violated."

    Discuss.
    IMO you did alright !
    Paladins are based loosely around the legends of the ideal medieval knight. In some versions of the Arthurian legends, king Arthur and Lancelot at some point encounter rapists (a giant living on an isolated small island if I remember). They only have a second hand report. Their reaction : immediately travel there and cut off its head. The guy, despite being a giant dies at the first sword stroke. They go home happily smiling that justice is done.

    Morality : Knights were EXPECTED to take the law into their hands ! Mostly also, there was no law to speak of, and when it existed, it was often days away and uncaring if you were not a noble. When you think of medieval laws and medieval cities, think Lankhmar. only in worse.

    Besides, most of you are thinking of the law of fantasy world as the modern day efficient police we have. Nothing could be more wrong. Give such a guy to a medieval "police" and three things could happen :
    - He is thrown in a deep oubliette and dies for days
    - He is executed by dismemberment on the public square
    - OR : he pays a bribe, goes home and resume tormenting the girl.

    In the first two cases, the paladin is in fact merciful in his treatment of the rapist, in the third, he prevents an horrible monster from tormenting innocents.

    Congratulations Vindicator ! Your character is a paladin.
    PAIZO ! PAIZO ! PATHFINDER !!!!

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