D&D General I have 6 questions about Paladins and 5 of them involve unusual ways in which 1 could lose his or her powers

Weiley31

Legend
I know that if you take a drink at a bar/drinking contest, a Paladin most certainly loses ALL of their powers (Fallen) and then needs an Atonement spell cast to restore it.
 

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Bagpuss

Legend
I know that if you take a drink at a bar/drinking contest, a Paladin most certainly loses ALL of their powers (Fallen) and then needs an Atonement spell cast to restore it.

What? Had they taken an Oath not to consume alcohol or something? Sounds like the start of an RPG horror story.
 


TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
In terms of classic old-school paladin conceptions, I generally find oath violations easy to adjudicate, as long as the paladin is built in the classic "LG holy knight" conception.

Evil acts, anything where the paladin is putting their own well-being over the well-being of others, are relatively simply to recognize and penalize.

Chaotic acts tend to trip people up. To my mind, a chaotic act is an action where the paladin is putting her own conscience above the dictates of God/her god, and is worried more about the results of her actions then following her code. A paladin is NOT a consequentialist. A paladin believes her god and her code to be correct in all things, and has faith that following that code will eventually lead to the best outcome. A paladin does NOT accept a lesser evil to foil the greater. That is the way of chaos, which is why a paladin who follows the dictates of her heart rather than her god must atone.
 

thirdkingdom

Hero
Publisher
3e probably came the closest with its various prestige classes, some of which were actually "opt-in paladins".

But yes, most D&D-derived class systems struggle with diegetic change to core character concepts, outside of creating a new character sheet that's tied to the new fiction.

BECMI does this, giving fighters the option of becoming a paladin (lawful), knight (neutral) or avenger (chaotic) in lieu of settling down and ruling a domain (Companion Player's Set, p. 17.).
 


1. Old School paladins lost their status by doing Chaotic or Evil acts. They would not be beholden to evil laws and could break them at will.

2. Old School paladin's powers can't be lost due to the outcome of a trial.

3. It is unlikely that a LG god would demand their paladins to break their oaths, as that wouldn't be lawful.

4. In Dragonlance definitely (or at least they wouldn't stop it); in other Old School interpretations of alignment, maybe. In modern definitions of LG, most likely not.

5. In Old School, dual classed as long as they meet the requirements.

6. As long as the Toddler wasn't evil already- if they were, the paladin should have destroyed it and would have lost their powers when they didn't. At least according to older alignment interpretations. Modern interpretations would say differently.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Question 1

Its well known that if A Paladin commits a crime that even if he or she isn't convicted he or she still loses his or her powers but what happens if A Paladins is convicted of a crime that he or she didn't commit?

Well, no. In 5e, it isn't a question of whether the paladin breaks the law. It is whether they violate their Oath.

For my games, it has always been such - the laws of mortals can be corrupt. The paladin must do the right thing (as defined by their Oath) whatever the law may say.

Question 2

If being convicted of a crime that he or she didn't commit doesn't cost A Paladin his or her powers would demonstrating that he or she still has his or her powers get the conviction over turned?

Conviction by a mortal court is not material to a paladin's standing. Courts can be corrupt, or incorrect, or just irrelevant to the paladin's moral standing.

Also, as above, the Oath is the operative thing - the paladin may be guilty of a crime, but not guilty of violating their oath. If, for example, in a war a paladin discovered that the war, battles, and leaders were unjust and wicked, so the paladin leaves the fight, the might be guilty of desertion in the legal sense, but entirely in good standing with their Oath.

Question 3

If A Paladins God or Goddess not only gives him or her A Quest but also tells him or her that if during this quest he or she needs to violate the paladins code then he or she can do so and won't lose his or her powers would this allow him or her to violate the paladins code without losing his or her powers or wouldn't it?, after all even gods and goddess make mistakes and if this happened then this could be 1 of those times?

First, the gods almost never speak directly to mortals in my worlds. Paladins and other people with divine powers exist because the gods cannot or will not intervene directly like that.

Second, especially in 5e, paladins don't actually have to be tied to a god. It is their devotion to their Oath that allows them access to the power. The paladin violating the Oath will lose powers, whatever the god may say or want.

Question 4

If A Paladin worships a very tolerant god or goddess that will allow a paladin to commit a fairly large variety of the ends justify the means acts without losing his or her powers would that include things such as saving 10 of thousands of lives by killing a few hundred people that have the plague?

See above that the deity isn't actually the relevant thing.

Most paladin Oaths won't allow such as the above.. I can imagine an Oath constructed to allow such, but it will have just a strong strictures in some other way.

Question 5

Since Paladins that commit certain acts lose the powers of a Paladin but in some situations f they accomplish a sufficient act of redemption they can regain the abilities of a Paladin does this mean that if a sufficiently devout Fight commits enough notable deeds that he or she can earn elevation to the status of A Paladin?

Good deeds alone do not make the paladin. It is, again devotion to the Oath that makes the paladin.

Question 6

If a very young Paladin saves A Toddler and many years later that Toddler becomes 1 of the worlds most powerful servants of Chaos would The Paladin lose their powers even though they had no way of knowing that The Toddler they saved would grow up to become 1 of the worlds most powerful servants of Chaos?

A paladin is not responsible for the choices of others made well after their interaction.
 

3e probably came the closest with its various prestige classes, some of which were actually "opt-in paladins".

But yes, most D&D-derived class systems struggle with diegetic change to core character concepts, outside of creating a new character sheet that's tied to the new fiction.
Actually I think the type of mutliclassing used in 5e is pretty good at this: the character would simply start gaining levels in paladin instead of fighter; they would keep all their prior fighter skills after all.
 

Beleriphon

Totally Awesome Pirate Brain
I know that if you take a drink at a bar/drinking contest, a Paladin most certainly loses ALL of their powers (Fallen) and then needs an Atonement spell cast to restore it.
Only because the drinking game adds a crap ton of Chaos point to that hidden score.
 

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