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I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Jon Schindehette said:
What does a paladin look like? What makes them different (or are they?) from a standard fighter? What do they wear? What are their personalities like overall? What emotions do they elicit from the population? When a paladin walks down the street, what do people whisper? Please leave mechanics out of this discussion. This is simply about the visual representation of a paladin.

Archetypal Knight in Shining Armor. On a horse.

Standard fighters are gritty and efficient and a little scarred. Knowledgeable. Skeptical. Jaded. A fighter's confidence is born from toughness and experience; they know what they can handle. Paladins are shimmering beauty and confidence. Wide-eyed and almost maniacal in their dedication. A paladin's confidence is madman zealot bravery, an unbreakable trust in something unseen. They do not doubt, though they may have no reason to believe.

They wear ornate armor. They are elites. Nobles. They carry battle standards and flash in polished plate. Lances. Sword & Shield.

They are cool and confident, brave and unflappable, dedicated and persistent. They trust their gods implicitly, and have no fear. They are smiling and resolute in the midst of the brimstone of hell. They have seen a better future for everyone, and will lead us all too it.

Other people whisper words of admiration and respect. The paladin is a "good noble," not like those selfish kings or arrogant merchant-lords. The paladin helps others. They tell stories about the time he gave his treasure to the orphanage or the soup kitchen, about the time he showed up in the drought-afflicted village and the rains just started coming the very next day. They are miracle workers, otherworldly paragons. Others want to be like them, but most know they lack the dedication and purity.
 
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tuxgeo

Adventurer
Jon Schindehette said:
What does a paladin look like? What makes them different (or are they?) from a standard fighter? What do they wear? What are their personalities like overall? What emotions do they elicit from the population? When a paladin walks down the street, what do people whisper? Please leave mechanics out of this discussion. This is simply about the visual representation of a paladin.

The one thing paladins have in common is their devotion.
Their devotion is apparent from their bearing (or posture), their demeanor (or facial expression), and their mode(s) of address. Some people have heightened sensitivity (or pattern recognition) for such things, and can recognize a paladin on sight based on his or her bearing, demeanor, and address; but the common run of people might not be able to do that.

Aside from that, the outer accoutrements of plate armor versus cloth, lance versus sword versus cudgel, mount or no mount, are fiddly little details that vary from paladin to paladin.

For visual representation, a nimbus of light around the paladin's head might help -- or it might hurt, if the paladin serves a deity of darkness.

When a paladin walks down the street, people whisper the same sorts of things they always whisper:

If the paladin is a stranger to them, they may whisper, "Who is that?"

If the people knew that paladin earlier, during a time before the paladin actually gained membership in the "paladin" class, they might whisper, "What's he/she doing back here? Didn't he/she leave here long ago -- under a cloud, or out of dissatisfaction, or in order to try to become a paladin? Did that prospect work out alright, or did it fail?"

If the people know that the person in question is now a paladin, it would probably be more along the lines of, "There goes an actual paladin! I thought they were supposed to give off constant light, or something; and be followed by chirping birds, and ride a clearly divine horse, and be surmounted by rainbows! What's with all this, though? That paladin just looks like an ordinary person!"
 

Klaus

First Post
I'll re-post my answer from the WotC site:

Good question. I'll try to reply with an eye towards my inner 12-year-old, who was instantly drawn to the Paladin, way back in 1e.

Fighters are down-to-earth types. They are savvy, often pragmatic, "expect the worse and you're never disappointed". They plan for several scenarios, and react with instincts honed by hours of rigorous training.

Paladins are what we aspire to be. They are idealistic, often hopeful, "seek out the best in people and you'll often be rewarded with it". They trust in their ability to overcome anything the world can throw at them, and react with skill increased by their own convictions.

When a Fighter walks down the street, people will look at him as a soldier or veteran, maybe as a dangerous slayer. His armor shows the dents and his skin shows the scars. His weapons are mainteined, but still bear the marks of a thousand fights.

When a Paladin walks down the street, people see a protector, a selfless hero. His very presence eases their dreary lives. His armor might have a dent or two, but they never notice. To them, it is shining with light (even more than it should). He might have a scar, but people only notice his sincere eyes and his friendly smile. His weapon and shield are immaculate, as part of him as the hands that wield them.

When I think "Paladin", I always think Lancelot in Excalibur or in Camelot 3000.

nicholas_clay_again.jpg


Lancelot_Camelot_3000_001.png
 

Hussar

Legend
Not sure about the armor thing to be honest. That's really going to depend on the paladin. But, the whole, holy warrior, clean, honest, that sort of thing.

Superman in other words. A paladin in a lower technology setting - say pre-iron age - should look quite different from a paladin from 13th century Europe. But, both would be handsome, clean, and very forthright looking. No skulking, that sort of thing.

Meh, I'm meandering. I'll come back to this later.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
However you imagine paksanaarion (sp?) looking....assuming paladin means good holy warrior, and not champion of a God/ cause.

Sent using Tapatalk 2
 

So, there are basically two paladins that I've played or DMed as NPCs, off-and-on, in different versions of D&D and even different rules systems and even different media (like, for instance, I'm currently playing as one in a game of Mount and Blade!).

The first is a character I created with my brother, years and years ago, named Azdrinac Lichbane. He comes from a long line of more-or-less holy knights who have been pledged, for all eternity, to stand against the undead. In a Forgotten Realms campaign, he'd be a Paladin of Kelemvor; in Eberron, he's probably a hard-line follower of the Silver Flame. He's a bit battered, and a little fatalistic - he knows that he was born for a purpose, and his children after him (should he survive to have any), will also be born for a purpose; it is unlikely that he will ever actually complete his divine charge, and he knows it. He existed before I read the series, but John Ross from the Word and Void novels by Terry Brooks has a lot in common with him, as well as Sparhawk from The Elenium. He doesn't wear perfect, shiny armor, because his favored set is a hand-me-down that has been in the family for centuries, and shows the dents, patches, and repairs attendant thereto.

Secondly, I have Rolndo of-many-last-names, who I started playing in 3E as a Paladin / Rogue of Yondalla - a "knight in shining leather armor" by way of Guybrush Threepwood. He's obviously been with my a lot shorter time than Azdrinac, so he hasn't found his way into nearly as many campaigns, but I like him anyway. Yondalla is the matriarch and protector of the halfling family - and her paladins, to me, take on a similar role; many of them expanding on the concept of the family to include the friendly races as honorary cousins. Rolndo always has a twinkle in his eye and a bounce in his step - and he smiles because he knows the absolute gravity of his responsibilities, and you have to either laugh or cry, right? So make the best of it, and maybe you'll get everyone else to make the best of it, too.

Azdrinac's the type who would hold a castle wall by himself against an assaulting army, giving the women and children a chance to escape, because he knows he has been chosen for exactly this - and though he wouldn't ask, he'd welcome anyone who wanted to stand with him.

Rolndo would have the whole town convinced to take to the walls themselves and stand together against the invader.
 

Dausuul

Legend
A paladin should look the viewer straight in the eye, and the paladin's expression should always be animated with some strong emotion. The paladin may be brimming with optimism and eagerness, or haunted by sorrow, or transported with joy, or filled with righteous fury, but never bored or uncaring. Even the most well-intentioned fighter is apt to develop a certain armor of cynicism against the suffering and evil of the world. The paladin doesn't do that, can't do that. The paladin cares, deeply, always.

The art should also include subtle cues to the "specialness" of the paladin. If the environment is dark, the paladin is illuminated just a little bit better than the rest of the party. If the rest of the party is covered in filth and gore, the paladin is cleaner--not sparkly clean, but several steps up from where the others are. If everyone else has been knocked down, the paladin is standing up.

As far as equipment, the classic paladin image is a clean-cut knight in shining armor, but that isn't required by any means. Their gear is always well-kept, but not necessarily shiny or ornate. A high-level paladin is likely to be distinctly less blinged-out than her fellow high-level adventurers.
 
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Yora

Legend
A paladin should also not look obnoxious or arrogant.

I think a paladin probably should look like wearing a uniform with symbols of the order. Fighter would be wearing a customized outfit that best suits their personal needs and also what they could get their hands on, so not everything is neccessarily matching.

Pathfinder does that quite well:

paladin.jpg
fighter.jpg
 
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Hussar

Legend
The one on the right is a paladin? I would have said ranger at first glance. Fighter possibly. But, no, not a paladin. The one on the left? Oh, yeah, that's a paladin. No problems there.
 


Klaus

First Post
A quick sidenote: I don't have a problem with a hypothetical Paladin-In-Leather-Armor. It is certainly an archetype I've tried to create in the past (wielding a quarterstaff, no less). But I see something like this as the exception to the rule, something you *can* build towards, but not the archetypal image of the class.
 

Kaodi

Hero
I think there are at least two kinds of paladins. One in the classic conception, the fearless holy warrior, usually with the heaviest armour available, and the best weapons, and a sturdy horse. A second, however, takes its cues from more modern superheroes: someone who is not fearless, but rather has limitless courage: the "Caps" , so to speak. These guys may have preferred armaments, but they will wear or wield whatever they have to carry the day, from heavy plate to roughspun tunic, and from shining lance to broken chair leg.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
In my mind, my concept of an archetypal paladin differentiates them strongly from both fighters and clerics. They are more crusading and aggressive than clerics (who are more about protecting and supporting), and they are more dedicated and idealistic than fighters (who are more about efficiency and self-reliance).
 

Yora

Legend
D&D needs to define Paladins. Based on 2nd and 3rd Edition, I never saw any difference to inferior fighter/clerics.
 

Klaus

First Post
D&D needs to define Paladins. Based on 2nd and 3rd Edition, I never saw any difference to inferior fighter/clerics.
Paladins were less "religious" in 1e. Sure, they were pious (and tithed to his local temple), but they were more idealistic. Most of their powers were of a defensive nature (immunities to a boatload of stuff), aside from the warhorse, turn undead and the holy avenger abilities (which were actually class abilities unlocked by a magic item).

Really, one can't address the D&D Paladin without mentioning Three Hearts & Three Lions.
 


steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
It starts with something a lil' somethin' like this...

jeffdee_paladin.jpg


and this...

paladin.jpg


But I'll also except any of these...

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paladin.jpg


Paladin_of_St__Cuthbert_by_Razeil753.jpg


paladin.jpg


and let's not forget, this guy too...

Dungeons_and_Dragons_by_vagabondx.jpg
 



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