My Paladin killed a child molester (and now my DM wants to take away my powers!) - Page 9





  1. #81
    Registered User
    Gallant (Lvl 3)

    Sejs's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Cuuuuuuuuuube!
    Posts
    5,448
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    ø Ignore Sejs
    Quote Originally Posted by jgbrowning
    But dieties are just powerful beings. There's not a "GOD" you know.
    Well, this is Forgotten Realms after all, so actually there is. His name is Ao and he doesn't care one single bit about anything we, or anyone else, does.

    ^_^
    Last edited by Sejs; Thursday, 27th May, 2004 at 08:55 AM. Reason: comma abuse.
    *roll* No, you don't find any traps, and in fact that big red lever over there appears to be made out of candy!

 

  • #82
    Quote Originally Posted by jgbrowning
    But dieties are just powerful beings. There's not a "GOD" you know. Polytheisms are very different in feel of authority than what we're more familiar with in our monotheisms and I think we tend to lose track of that when thinking about secular/religious interactions.
    would it help if i explained that my last D&D campaign was monotheistic; with a Lawful Neutral god and a religion patterned on medieval Islam? (and yes, i still had paladins. i think they fit right in with a Muslim religious mindset.)

    Also, I still don't understand why a noble ruling his land can't claim divine right. Just because he's not given the gifts that others have (all men are given different gifts by the gods) doesn't necessarily mean his gift of rulership is subservient to the gift of magic.
    well, i looked at it this way: a noble has a right to rule because he inherited the title from his father. a paladin or cleric has divine power because a god personally granted it to him. it's that personal interaction that makes it seem more powerful to me.

    (though i see that i'm using a rather modernistic view of secular authority, and that's contrasted with the more medieval view i have of religious authority.)

    Divine magic doesn't prove greater authority. It's just another tool, like arcane magic.
    i don't agree. arcane magic is indeed just a tool -- it can be learned by anyone who studies the rules (i.e., the wizard class). but divine magic doesn't work that way. in order to wield divine power, a god must grant it to you. it's that personal aspect that makes it not just another tool.

    if you do something against your god's wishes, you lose your powers. thus, if you have divine power, it must mean you are acting in accordance with your god's wishes. the same can't be said for other things like arcane magic or rulership.

    I don't have any issues with a particular group of paladins having the recognized rights similiar to a guardsmen in certain designated locations, but paladins in general seems a bit pushy to me. In your campaign, it sounds like it works, but I don't think you're running a very traditional world.
    you're right -- i wouldn't call my take on paladins and lawful clerics as arbiters of the law as traditional. but it worked for the culture i wanted to create.

  • #83
    I was gonna go quote grab from an earlier one, but this one lets me say my point better.

    Quote Originally Posted by jgbrowning
    The problem with this is that we're not talking about the paladin's abilities.... we're talking about his judgement. His judgement is no more divine than anyone's. His discernment of what is just isn't better than anyone else's. At least according to game rules.
    I'd argue his judgement is better for two reasons. The paladin is Lawful. The paladin is Good. That is tied to him being a paladin. Since that perspective is a part and parcel of the character class, I'd expect his judgements to reflect that. It's not like he's a rogue who might be good, but could also be evil.

    You're assuming that he's got a direct line to his god when it comes to his making decisions. What's really going on is he has a direct line to his god because of the decisions he's already made, not the one's he's going to make.
    The way it's run in my game is that I assume they got their paladinhood because of their previous decisions, but also the mind and spirit that lead to those decisions. Given typical circumstances, those who showed good judgement in the past will continue to show good judgement in the future. And if he didn't show good judgement in the past, he wouldn't be picked. Hence, while not infallible, they will have better judgement overall.

    For if paladin's were truly given divine grace in judgement to be "judge, jury, and executioner" there wouldn't be Blackguards. If divine grace can fail, it's not really divine grace.
    Well, given my above assumptions, when there's a change in the mind or spirit of the person, the arrow that flew straight my fly straight no longer. When the paladin isn't a paladin anymore, he isn't a paladin. If that makes any sense. Again, I think paladinhood is within, not without.

    It's your campaign so it's your call. What do you do when two paladin's argue about what one of them did, or are all LG gods monolitically in agreement concerning the amount of violence appropriate in every situation?
    I'd say let them disagree. Not only is it more fun to see in game, they're both right. Besides, it can lead to some interesting situations.

    Thanks for letting me quote you completely out of context!

  • #84
    Quote Originally Posted by argo
    Since when is a paladin required to be a pacifist/modern day cop? Whatever happened to the holy warrior emphasis on warrior?
    Firstly I never implied that the paladin had to act like a pacifist/modern day cop. I merely said he is responsible to behave according to the laws in his area, as long as those laws are also good, as well as lawful.

    It is generally not OK to kill someone when there is the option of not killing someone. This is a truism of almost all societies everywhere. It's better to not kill when given the choice between kill and not.

    This is usually only under debate when there's the change that the failure to use immediate lethal force could lead to greater danger than what currently exists. The immedieate need simply isn't there.

    My point is that there are many different ways to play a paladin. If there wern't then the class really would be as boring and lifeless as some people accuse it of being. Playing a paladin as a "modern day cop" who sees that the law is enforced in a noble and goodly manner is fine. Playing a paladin as a "missionary" who seeks to show evil the folly of its ways and convert it to good is fine. But there is also plenty of room in the code for playng as a "righteous but-kicker of evil" who defends the weak and lays the wrath of his diety on the heads of the guilty. Matter of fact there is a good argument that that is the intended sterotype considering the presence of abilities such as smite evil and the combat-oriented bent of DnD.
    Yep. But being a righteous butt-kicker of evil doen't abrogate the paladin from his responsibilities to his society. He is supposed to uphold the law as long as that law is just.

    Beyond that, there were many other things the paladin could have done that would have be "more" Paladinesque than what he did do. The situation wasn't so dire that he had to act or someone was going to immediately die. He had pleanty of time to command the villian down under penalty of bodily harm, or to do several other variations on that theme, but he chose instead to immediately kill. From behind without warning. When he absolutely wasn't forced to in order to protect the innocent.

    As discribed, the scene is one of vengence, not justice. Anger, not temperance. Baseness, not quality.

    joe b.

  • #85
    Lethal force from behind is still not honorable. Both the PHB and BOED say that LG characters are HONORABLE and compassionate. By the way of thinking I am seeing exhibited here any paladin that walks into a town with detect evil up SHOULD kill everything that glows with no thought of redeeming anyone. That same paladin should probably also kill anything that isn't evil so it doesn't have the chance to become so.

  • #86
    Quote Originally Posted by Sejs
    Well, this is Forgotten Realms after all, so actually there is. His name is Ao and he doesn't care one single bit about anything we, or anyone else, does.

    ^_^



    joe b.

  • #87
    Quote Originally Posted by d4
    would it help if i explained that my last D&D campaign was monotheistic; with a Lawful Neutral god and a religion patterned on medieval Islam? (and yes, i still had paladins. i think they fit right in with a Muslim religious mindset.)
    Yes. Muchly. With this take in mind, I agree with everything you've said about your paladins.


    you're right -- i wouldn't call my take on paladins and lawful clerics as arbiters of the law as traditional. but it worked for the culture i wanted to create.
    Indeed!

    joe b.

  • #88
    Registered User
    Cutpurse (Lvl 5)

    Khaalis's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    1,542
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    ø Ignore Khaalis

    Late Addition...

    Where in the Realms are you? Knowing this would help to understand the culture and local law.

    I think the DM was wrong for even warning you. You DON’T know that the man is nothing more than a commoner, nor does that fact even matter. To the Paladin, the criminal is a vile, evil creature. Anyone who would rape and torture a child is the embodiment of what the Paladin stands against. Just because he is LG doesn’t mean he is a pansy nor does he allow evil to run rampant due to legal loopholes and propriety. There is more at stake then killing one man. I also believe the Dm was wrong to strip the Paladin of his powers. If every Paladin was stripped of his powers for doing their duty – their wouldn’t be any Paladins left.

    Why do I feel this way?

    From the SRD:
    Ex-Paladins: A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who grossly violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and abilities.

    Code of Conduct: A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class abilities if she ever willingly commits an evil act. Additionally, a paladin’s code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.
    Thus the questions are:
    1) Did the Paladin willfully commit an Evil Act?
    2) Did the Paladin “Grossly” Violate the Code of Conduct?


    * Did the Paladin willfully commit an Evil Act?
    GOOD VS. EVIL
    Good characters and creatures protect innocent life. Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life, whether for fun or profit.
    “Good” implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.
    “Evil” implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some evil deity or master.
    Lets look at these step by step.

    Is what the Paladin did Evil? In my opinion – Not in the least!

    1st & Foremost: “Good characters and creatures protect innocent life.”
    Unless the 10 year old child was a demon in disguise, there isn’t much more innocent than a child. The Paladin acted to protect the innocent, who at the time was in imminent danger. That is a good act.

    “Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life, whether for fun or profit.”
    1) The man was not an innocent, by any stretch of the imagination.
    2) The Paladin did this act to protect the innocent, not for profit or pleasure. More so, by killing the man the Paladin not only protected the innocent at hand, but also protected all the potential future innocent victims the man would have molested.

    “Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.”

    Altruism – the unselfish concern for the welfare of others. The Paladin had only one thought going through his mind – saving the child and eradicating a source of evil from the world without concern for the cost to himself. Sometimes a Paladin has to get dirty and soil themselves, making a personal sacrifice of the MUCH touted Paladin “Honor” to do what is right instead. What is Honorable, and what is Right are not always the same thing – and a True Paladin knows when to sacrifice personal honor in order to do what is necessary and right.

    “Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some evil deity or master.”

    Did the Paladin kill someone? Yes. Is this act in and of itself evil? No or there would be no such thing as Good Heroes. The difference between killing for good and killing for evil, is that the Paladin killed an evil man caught “in the act”, to prevent that man from further atrocities. The Paladin did not kill for pleasure, profit, or sport – and thus it was not an evil act.

    So… did the Paladin commit an Evil act? NO


    * Did the Paladin “Grossly” Violate the Code of Conduct?

    From the SRD:
    Code of Conduct: A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class abilities if she ever willingly commits an evil act. Additionally, a paladin’s code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.
    So to answer if the Paladin Grossly violated the code we have to ask:
    1) Did the Paladin respect the Legitimate Authority?
    2) Did he act with honor?
    3) Did he NOT help those in need?
    4) Did he NOT punish those who harm or threaten innocents?


    LAW VS. CHAOS
    Lawful characters tell the truth, keep their word, respect authority, honor tradition, and judge those who fall short of their duties.
    “Law” implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability. On the downside, lawfulness can include close-mindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, judgmentalness, and a lack of adaptability. Those who consciously promote lawfulness say that only lawful behavior creates a society in which people can depend on each other and make the right decisions in full confidence that others will act as they should.

    Lawful Good, “Crusader”
    A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. She combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. She tells the truth, keeps her word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go unpunished.
    Lawful good is the best alignment you can be because it combines honor and compassion.
    Now to the question…

    1) Did the Paladin respect the Legitimate Authority?
    I am not sure as we do not know WHERE this occurred. However, in most places in the Realms this offense is a death penalty offense. Depending on where this occurred, it may even be that the Paladin knew that any other course would allow the criminal a chance to escape punishment, legal systems being as they are, and it is within the Paladin’s nature to ” hates to see the guilty go unpunished”. The Paladin caught the man in the act. That does NOT mean that a magistrate (court, etc.) is A) Going to believe the Paladin, nor does it B) Prove that the court will find the criminal guilty. The Paladin acted within the boundaries of what was GOOD and RIGHT. He may have avoided the legal system, but we also do not know what acts the Paladin followed up this event with. At the very worst, the Paladin acted as Judge and Jury.

    Does this grossly violate the code? No. It may not have followed the local law to the letter but it falls within the LG alignment and within the Paladin code, assuming that the Paladin had ANY reason to be doubtful of the local authority. Remember the Paladin is only required to “Respect” LEGITAMATE authority. At the absolute worst, the Paladin bent this aspect of the Code as a personal sacrifice to do what was the Good and Right thing. Again, as with the Good Vs. Evil argument – doing what is right is sometimes more important than doing what is “Lawful”.

    (Example: Just because Slavery is legal somewhere, doesn’t mean a Paladin is going to suffer slavery as a Non-Evil act. To the Paladin, what is right – acting against slavery – is more important than respecting the law.)


    2) Did he act with dishonor? (ie: Did he act cowardly or unjustly?)
    In my opinion... No.
    There was nothing the Paladin did that was unjust or cowardly. It is not a cowardly act to act immediately. If the Paladin had given the cretin a chance, he might have attacked or even killed the Child. Acting immediately was the best action.

    From another viewpoint, as someone mentioned earlier, having the evil cretin “defend” himself would have done nothing. In fact, the Paladin acted in a MERCIFUL manner, killing the man outright in one swift strike. If the Paladin would have made the man defend himself, and face the fear of retribution and punishment, which would qualify as “playing with the victim” – THAT would have been an evil act.


    3) Did he NOT help those in need?
    I think the answer to this obvious. He acted fully within the code.


    4) Did he NOT punish those who harm or threaten innocents?
    I think the answer to this obvious. He acted fully within the code.


    So overall, the Paladin MIGHT have bent One aspect of the Paladin code by doing the GOOD act rather than the LAWFUL act. I think the DM is wrong to strip the Paladin of his powers. The Paladin acted fully with the purview of what it is to be a Paladin. The DM “COULD” make the Law an issue depending on where they are. Somewhere like Waterdeep, the Paladin at worst would get a slap on the wrist and might have to pay a small fine for technically being a vigilante, however at best he would be commended for his act to protect the citizens and to stop a crime in the act.

    The Paladin should NOT be stripped of his powers.
    Last edited by Khaalis; Monday, 31st May, 2004 at 08:02 AM.

  • #89
    Registered User
    Acolyte (Lvl 2)

    Agemegos's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Kempsey, NSW
    Posts
    346
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    ø Ignore Agemegos
    Quote Originally Posted by Sejs
    Not at all; there was a trial, you see. It was a very, very brief one in which the child rapist confessed to his misdeeds when he advanced on the notedly sexually violated, restrained girl, pants open and said "Now let's teach you another lesson, missy." Open and shut case. Didn't even have to pay the stenographer.
    I am sorry, I evidently didn't express myself well. I did not mean to claim that there was any possibility that a fair trial would acquit the guy. I only meant to claim that there was a chance that a trial in camera would raise anger and fears of persecution on the part of the perpetrator's friends and relatives and suspicions in the general community that the vigilante paladin might be pursuing a private vendetta or killing witnesses to conceal malfeasance. Those are, after all, the suspicions that arise when the police shoot someone dead.

    Retribution alone rises rise to feuds. It takes a due process to pacify a lawless land.

    If a paladin's role is to bring law to lawless lands he or she has to establish due process, not simply deliver a bit of summary justice. One might say that the Lawful position is "Punish a malefactor and you make a community just for a day. Establish a court and you make it just for a lifetime."

    What would his possible defense be? He had a text book printed on his wang and was just trying to teach her how to read?
    If he has no possible defence, then it behooves his prosecutor to demonstrate in public that this is the case. That way the law is served, and everybody is reassured that the authorities (such as paladins) are pursuing justice and not just their own interests.

    It is the role of the executioner alone to punish the guilty. If a paladin is also to by judge and jury he or she has to fulfil their roles too: to make sure that all the evidence is presented in a public and conspicuously impartial process, and to hear and impartially weigh anything that the accused has to say in his defence.

    "Judge, jury, and executioner" > "executioner".

  • #90
    Quote Originally Posted by ThoughtBubble
    I'd argue his judgement is better for two reasons. The paladin is Lawful. The paladin is Good. That is tied to him being a paladin. Since that perspective is a part and parcel of the character class, I'd expect his judgements to reflect that. It's not like he's a rogue who might be good, but could also be evil.
    But a rogue that's Lawful Good? I the paladin's jugement better than his?

    The way it's run in my game is that I assume they got their paladinhood because of their previous decisions, but also the mind and spirit that lead to those decisions. Given typical circumstances, those who showed good judgement in the past will continue to show good judgement in the future. And if he didn't show good judgement in the past, he wouldn't be picked. Hence, while not infallible, they will have better judgement overall.
    A person who's alignment is Lawful Good as just as good judgement concerning what is lawful and what is good as does a paladin.

    Well, given my above assumptions, when there's a change in the mind or spirit of the person, the arrow that flew straight my fly straight no longer. When the paladin isn't a paladin anymore, he isn't a paladin. If that makes any sense. Again, I think paladinhood is within, not without.
    And its for this reason that I argue that a Paladin's jugement on what is lawful and what is good is no better than anyone else's judgement (as long as they're lawful good as well) because the Paladin is just a capable of being "wrong" as anyone else.

    IMHO, the Paladin's judgement isn't special. His abilities that come from his judgement are.

    Thanks for letting me quote you completely out of context!
    I do it all the time to myself as well...

    joe b.

  • + Log in or register to post
    Page 9 of 59 FirstFirst 12345678910111213141516171819 ... LastLast

    Similar Threads

    1. Paladin's other Mark powers
      By AsmodeusDM in forum D&D and Pathfinder Rules & Discussion
      Replies: 3
      Last Post: Thursday, 19th June, 2008, 08:09 PM
    2. The Paladin killed someone...what to do?
      By Galfridus in forum RPGs & Tabletop Gaming Discussion
      Replies: 592
      Last Post: Wednesday, 16th November, 2005, 06:02 PM
    3. Replies: 120
      Last Post: Monday, 31st May, 2004, 07:56 PM
    4. [Paladin mount questions] But the Lone Ranger never killed off Silver...
      By Lord Pendragon in forum D&D and Pathfinder Rules & Discussion
      Replies: 36
      Last Post: Tuesday, 1st April, 2003, 07:39 PM
    5. [Paladin mount questions] But the Lone Ranger never killed off Silver...
      By Lord Pendragon in forum RPGs & Tabletop Gaming Discussion
      Replies: 5
      Last Post: Wednesday, 26th March, 2003, 08:09 PM

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •