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5E Is Anyone Unhappy About Non-LG Paladins?

Are you unhappy about non-LG paladins?

  • No; in fact, it's a major selling point!

    Votes: 98 20.5%
  • No; in fact, it's a minor selling point.

    Votes: 152 31.7%
  • I don't care either way.

    Votes: 115 24.0%
  • Yes; and it's a minor strike against 5e.

    Votes: 78 16.3%
  • Yes; and it's a major strike against 5e!

    Votes: 18 3.8%
  • My paladin uses a Motorola phone.

    Votes: 18 3.8%

  • Total voters
    479

Savage Wombat

Adventurer
Because there is no negotiation at all. The DM is right. The player cannot gainsay the DM, after all. If you, the DM, claim that the Raven Queen is X, I cannot, as a player, claim that it is Y.
But players can, and do, "gainsay" the DM because the DM is a friend of theirs at their table. And can be negotiated with just like the players.

So, yeah, if the DM's interpretation is counter to the player's, but the DM didn't negotiate that at the outset, the DM should back off. The DM is playing bait and switch otherwise, and telling the player that he or she is playing the wrong character. I think that my character is X, you tell me, no and it's really Y. If you do so at chargen, I'll probably be fine with it, since I can choose not to play that character. But, afterwards, yeah, it's better for the DM to step back and let the player play the character that the player sees as his or her own character.
Establishing an alignment restriction meets the definition of "negotiated at the outset." To use your phrasing, I see this as "You think your character is X, and I'm telling you that you seem to not be role-playing X." At which point the player should probably drop out of character and directly argue with the DM over what exactly constitutes X, since they don't seem to be on the same page any more.

But, this is somewhat besides the point. The issue was that you wanted to play a "LG Paladin" but are somehow prevented from doing so because I'm playing a CG paladin. Bringing in the DM into the equation is simply clouding the issue. Presumably, in a DM/Player situation, the DM can simply declare that all paladins are LG at chargen. Cool, no problems. It is the DM's world after all. But, if the DM allows for any alignment paladin, you, as another player, should not ever be able to tell me that I can't play my any alignment paladin just because you want to play a traditional LG paladin.
I'm beginning to lose track of your belief here. I'm not suggesting that the player should be able to tell another player what to play, but that one player's decision of what to play can be in conflict with another's. The issue is that, when the question of "should paladins be restricted to LG" is resolved, some people believe that a non-LG paladin is a non-paladin. Some of these players are DMs. I maintain that the "I think only LG paladins are paladins" crowd is not served by a "paladins can be any alignment" rule, and claiming that the second includes the first is a misunderstanding of the first group's belief. If these people are in the majority - probably not - then the game rules would be better served by accommodating their belief, just as they attempt to accommodate what the majority think a "warlock" is.
 
The people who think paladins should be LG are not talking about an individual character concept, they are talking about a definition in the game world, a rule of physics if you will. Attempting to make the debate about "you don't want to let me play what I want" is avoiding the central issue.
For you. The definition of the paladin is your central issue. It might seem like others are 'changing the debate' or being disingenuous, but creativity and the freedom to role play always was and is the central issue for us.

Definition is malleable, and therefore a non-issue for us.
 

Savage Wombat

Adventurer
For you. The definition of the paladin is your central issue. It might seem like others are 'changing the debate' or being disingenuous, but creativity and the freedom to role play always was and is the central issue for us.

Definition is malleable, and therefore a non-issue for us.
If you do not attempt to understand the other side of a debate, you are not engaging in debate but simply nay-saying. I continue to state that many of those supporting all-alignment paladins have not tried to understand why others feel that paladins need to be alignment restricted.

If you wish to argue with me, please attempt to address my point rather than a point you attribute to me.
 

Hussar

Legend
Ok. Druids for AdnD are restricted to true Neutral. I am playing a true Neutral Druid because I believe that that is the archetypal Druid.

Does that mean you cannot play a Druid of another alignment? In what way do your paladin arguments not equally apply here?
 

Savage Wombat

Adventurer
Ok. Druids for AdnD are restricted to true Neutral. I am playing a true Neutral Druid because I believe that that is the archetypal Druid.

Does that mean you cannot play a Druid of another alignment? In what way do your paladin arguments not equally apply here?
OK. You are playing a druid because, in your view as a role-player, druids are True Neutral. (Assume the DM is OK with this.) You have a concept of what your druid believes, how it is relevant to the campaign, and that those who are not True Neutral have some major disagreement with you on how the forces of nature should be served. You, in a spiritual sense, derive your definition of "what it means to be a Druid" from your interpretation of the rule definition of TN.

Another player comes along and says "I'm a druid too - I'm a CG druid of Ehlonna". (Assume the DM has not yet ruled on this.) If the DM says, "Sure, go ahead" - he has just told you that some portion of your character concept is in error. You are told that druids derive power from gods, that they are not solely devoted to the balance (or whatever TN definition you use) - maybe now you don't feel you can trust other druids to support you because now you can't assume they share your viewpoint. His concept has now impinged on yours, without your permission. Your character concepts do not mesh.

This is not a statement that one is right or wrong - that the DM should rule for one player or the other for any particular reason - it is a statement that the second character concept forces the first to compromise a portion of his character concept. Telling the first player "you can still play a TN druid" does not change the fact that his character has been impacted.

You can even go outside of alignment. If you join a campaign assuming that "all elves are mystical children of Iluvatar" and a new player comes in with a "Santa's elf" - your assumption about the universal nature of elves has been compromised. You could say "well, they're different kinds of elves" - but the first players perception of elves doesn't allow for that. But now he has to compromise on that view.

A player who thinks all druids should be neutral is not served by rules allowing all alignments to be druids.
A player who thinks all paladins should be lawful is not served by rules allowing all alignments to be paladins.

Argue for inclusiveness all you want - but on its merits, not on the assumption that inclusiveness covers both positions.
 

Lalato

Explorer
OK dudes, circular arguments are circular. This is getting old (Methuselah old).

Accept that you are not convincing anyone, and let's turn this thread into something more constructive. Tell me about your Paladin's code, oath, lifestyle, guidelines, power source, pact with their deity... whatever. Tell me something good... but preferably not lawful good. (see what I did there?) ;)
 

evileeyore

Murrph
Argue for inclusiveness all you want - but on its merits, not on the assumption that inclusiveness covers both positions.
It requires a DM to either houserule and restrict Alignments to play the "Restrictive Alignment Camp" or leave it open and thus play to the other Camp.

So where is the problem? Just houserule it in your campaigns. Or if you're the player, put up with whatever the DM decides.
 

pkt77242

Villager
OK dudes, circular arguments are circular. This is getting old (Methuselah old).

Accept that you are not convincing anyone, and let's turn this thread into something more constructive. Tell me about your Paladin's code, oath, lifestyle, guidelines, power source, pact with their deity... whatever. Tell me something good... but preferably not lawful good. (see what I did there?) ;)
Well I already told my story of my womanizing Paladin so, I once played a LG Paladin that couldn't stand to lie or be around people that were lying as his facial expression would give it away (think Sheldon in the Big Bang Theory when being asked to lie) it led to some very awkward role-playing moments and quite a few busted scenarios for the poor rogue in our group.

Also earlier someone mentioned that they wanted to play an alcoholic Paladin and that is a great idea. I once played an alcoholic Dwarven fighter that was awesome. We had a group get to 12 level and then a TPK happened so we all created 10th level characters to pick up where the last group left off and I made my 10th level Dwarven Fighter who drank to forget about all the friends that had died as well as all of the horrible things (devils, dragons, Drow) that he had seen. I think a functioning alcoholic character can work in D&D and can add a touch of realism to any character class (but would be very interesting in a Paladin).
 

evileeyore

Murrph
Tell me about your Paladin's code, oath, lifestyle, guidelines, power source, pact with their deity... whatever. Tell me something good... but preferably not lawful good. (see what I did there?) ;)
I tend to dislike Paladins in D&D (I'm not a fan of Alignments, thus things that force them to be an issue poke one of my buttons).


Thus I've only ever played one. Me and a friend decided to play brothers, Paladins and to push one aspect of the Aligment requirement as the central concept for each character.

As the older brother my Paladin was Law and Duty before all things, with a passing nod to Good, and my younger brother was Good and Bravery before all things, only mildly restrained by Law. Each of us served a different diety, both were LG, but like our characters the two gods both favored one aspect of their alignment over the other (I want to say it was Tyr and Torm respectively).

That campaign was interesting considering the other characters were a CN Wizard, a LE Assassin, and TN Druid.... the Assassin walked a fine line and kept his alignment (and most of her side missions) well hidden. But even with the "obvious strife" presented in the alignments of our colleagues, it was the arguments we brothers got into that were the most contentious.
 

Der-Rage

Villager
OK. You are playing a druid because, in your view as a role-player, druids are True Neutral. (Assume the DM is OK with this.) You have a concept of what your druid believes, how it is relevant to the campaign, and that those who are not True Neutral have some major disagreement with you on how the forces of nature should be served. You, in a spiritual sense, derive your definition of "what it means to be a Druid" from your interpretation of the rule definition of TN.

Another player comes along and says "I'm a druid too - I'm a CG druid of Ehlonna". (Assume the DM has not yet ruled on this.) If the DM says, "Sure, go ahead" - he has just told you that some portion of your character concept is in error. You are told that druids derive power from gods, that they are not solely devoted to the balance (or whatever TN definition you use) - maybe now you don't feel you can trust other druids to support you because now you can't assume they share your viewpoint. His concept has now impinged on yours, without your permission. Your character concepts do not mesh.
If that really bothers you that bad then honestly, get over it. If your concept of Druid requires all other Druids in the campaign to share your alignment then you're being unreasonble. The DM is not telling you your character is invalid; the DM is telling you that your Druid's tradition is not the only Druid tradition in his world. If that is intolerable to you as a player then either get thicker skin or find another group. None of this is even a coherent argument as to why this needs to be supported in the core rules. "I would feel personally slighted if a DM didn't run the campaign to my specifications." Is not really a premise that you can take to the conclusion "Therefore my specifications should be the default rules for the game." If you want Paladins = Lawful Good to be regarded as something worthy of encoding into the base rules, then you need to come up with an argument for the merits of the rule based on other than preference.

You can even go outside of alignment. If you join a campaign assuming that "all elves are mystical children of Iluvatar" and a new player comes in with a "Santa's elf" - your assumption about the universal nature of elves has been compromised. You could say "well, they're different kinds of elves" - but the first players perception of elves doesn't allow for that. But now he has to compromise on that view.
And? Either compromise or leave the campaign. Nobody is forcing you to continue. Something that out-there is not likely to be without controversy anyway if your players weren't expecting it, so if you have a reasonable DM you can probably talk it out like adults.

Argue for inclusiveness all you want - but on its merits, not on the assumption that inclusiveness covers both positions.
It does. It includes both positions by leaving it entirely in the hands of the DM. If you want alignment restrictions, implement them as a house rule. If the majority of the players and/or the DM doesn't want them and you do, suck it up and deal. If your players are new and don't give a flying fig about tradition, then insisting upon that tradition is just going to annoy them.
 

Sadras

Explorer
Back stories for D&D, I am weaker with because I concentrate on the now-->future as opposed to the past. I've always felt the backstory of importance in D&D is what the character did once he hit the table especially if the characters are coming in at low level. In other games, like Hero, back stories have a stronger emphasis and I treat them treated differently.
I'm similar to [MENTION=5038]Greg K[/MENTION]'s approach with backstories as I tend to think they are pretty important in defining the character as well as the goals he creates and therefore I try as DM to thread backstories into the present for importance.
 
In your example, using your example, obviously there is something more going on here. So, now it's up to us, as players, during play to determine just what's going on. How can these two concepts both be true? What's happened? Am I pretender or were you just mistaken? I don't know, let's find out in play. Isn't that why we're sitting down at the table?
In your example, my classic paladin's concept is now impacted by the existence of your pretender to his title. What if that's not something I wanted to role-play? Aren't you forcing me to play my character in your story?

<snip>

In a world where any alignment has paladins, you exclude the character whose concept is "only the epitome of LG can be a paladin."
The last line I have quoted is phrase in such a way as to obscure what, from at least my point of view (and [MENTION=22779]Hussar[/MENTION]'s too, I think) is really going on.

The "world" in which any alignment has paladins is the real world in which the players and GM's live. (The "meatspace" referred to upthread by [MENTION=16586]Campbell[/MENTION].) In that world, any player is free to write "paladin" in the class entry on a sheet, and to write whatever alignment s/he chooses on that part of his/her sheet.

But that does not tell us what is true in the fiction. In the gameworld, whether the character is really a paladin is - as Hussar explains - up for grabs. It's up to actual play to determine which character is really a paladin (and of course different players in the game might disagree, just as they might disagree over which PC is the most clever or the most honourable or the most ruthless).

I am with Hussar in thinking that this is what actual play is about. Character creation should be about raising the questions, not answering them.

If I wanted to play a PC whose view of the Raven Queen was in conflict with yours, you'd settle it through role-play. But if I as DM have a view of the Raven Queen in conflict with yours, you think your view should automatically prevail.
Why do you give a fellow player the authority to "prove" through role-play whether your character is "right" (I know that's not really the point) - but would deny the DM the ability to do so?
Because the GM's job in play is not to push for answers to a particular character's questions. That is the players' job. The GM's job is to manage the rest of the fiction in such a way that those questions get asked and candidate answers can emerge.
 
Believe the Church's teachings and observe all the Church's directions.
Defend the Church.
Respect and defend all weaknesses.
Love your country.
Show no mercy to the Infidel. Do not hesitate to make war with them.
Perform all your feudal duties as long as they do not conflict with the laws of God.
Never lie or go back on one's word.
Be generous to everyone.
Always and everywhere be right and good against evil and injustice. [borrowed shamelessly from wikipedia]

Right there, we're pretty much ruling out anything but good.
It seems to me that that leaves plenty of room for Lawful Neutral, unless you really want to play up the issue of generosity.

There is also the paradox that the "infidel" live by pretty much the same code - which generates possible tensions between "show no mercy to the infidel" and "always be right and good against evil and injustice".

Which is to say, even within a completely orthodox conception of paladinhood there is scope to explore outlooks other than one's that D&D would label LG.
 

Sadras

Explorer
But that does not tell us what is true in the fiction. In the gameworld, whether the character is really a paladin is - as Hussar explains - up for grabs. It's up to actual play to determine which character is really a paladin (and of course different players in the game might disagree, just as they might disagree over which PC is the most clever or the most honourable or the most ruthless).

I am with Hussar in thinking that this is what actual play is about. Character creation should be about raising the questions, not answering them.

Because the GM's job in play is not to push for answers to a particular character's questions. That is the players' job. The GM's job is to manage the rest of the fiction in such a way that those questions get asked and candidate answers can emerge.
How are those questions answered through play (via the DM) without offending one of the players/characters?
I doubt these answers will come from play via the players through their characters, which would leave the DM having to sort this mess out as to which character (player's concept) is right or am I not interpreting your post correctly.
 

Savage Wombat

Adventurer
You are both forgetting that this thread is not, ultimately, about what an individual DM allows in his or her game. This is about what should or should not be published in the official 5th edition PH. Which is why understanding both sides of the argument is more important than you are willing to accept. I'm not trying to persuade you to accept the other position - I'm trying to get you to understand what the other position is.

But [MENTION=9171]Lalato[/MENTION] doesn't want us to talk about this any more.
 

evileeyore

Murrph
I'm not trying to persuade you to accept the other position - I'm trying to get you to understand what the other position is.
We understand your position. We simply don't accept as a valid position from which to write rules.


Look at it from this perspective:

If WotC write rules that are open to "Any Alignment" Paladins, then it is easy for individual DMs to houserule it to a smaller subset of the "9 Periodic Alignments", say "Only Lawful Paladins" or "Only Lawful Good" or "Only Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil".

However if WotC were to recreate the old "Only One Way" Paladins it may be harder to houserule in the other direction, if a number of Paladinic abilities are based on Alignments (Smite Evil, Lay Hands On Only Good, Uphold Law, Choatic Saves, Evil Summons, etc).

Thus writing the rules to be inclusive at the outset covers both positions. It's still the DM's responsibility to decide on the organizations that sponsor Paladins and those requirements.
 

Savage Wombat

Adventurer
We understand your position. We simply don't accept as a valid position from which to write rules.

...

Thus writing the rules to be inclusive at the outset covers both positions. It's still the DM's responsibility to decide on the organizations that sponsor Paladins and those requirements.
No, see, that just shows that you DON'T understand the other position. Because you still think your position covers both sides. Which my examples demonstrate that it doesn't.

You think that saying "paladins can be any alignment should make everyone happy" is true - which I've shown actually isn't. Your actual position should be "people who want LG paladins only should suck it up because XYZ" - which has never been then point I've been arguing against.
 
If you do not attempt to understand the other side of a debate, you are not engaging in debate but simply nay-saying. I continue to state that many of those supporting all-alignment paladins have not tried to understand why others feel that paladins need to be alignment restricted.
I think I understand both sides of the debate more than you think I do, academically if not intuitively.

However, you seem to have ignored where I addressed your point:
Tequila Sunrise said:
...It might seem like others are 'changing the debate' or being disingenuous, but creativity and the freedom to role play always was and is the central issue for us.

Definition is malleable, and therefore a non-issue for us.
...Unless you're no longer talking about your Central Issue of definition?
 

Hussar

Legend
No, see, that just shows that you DON'T understand the other position. Because you still think your position covers both sides. Which my examples demonstrate that it doesn't.

You think that saying "paladins can be any alignment should make everyone happy" is true - which I've shown actually isn't. Your actual position should be "people who want LG paladins only should suck it up because XYZ" - which has never been then point I've been arguing against.
But, your argument basically boils down to saying that because a given player doesn't like any other interpretation other than the one true interpretation of a given archetype (and you can equally apply this to druids - the ability to make non-true neutral druids came about in 3e after all - a pretty radical change in archetype, and you can apply this to Rangers (no non-good rangers until 3e), then no other interpretation should be allowed by the rules.

Sure, we could house rule non-LG paladins, the same way you can house rule anything. But, you're basically telling anyone who disagrees with you, too bad, core will include the one true version of a given class and tough noogies to anyone else. Despite the fact that including a broader archetype class makes it easier for everyone to get what they want. With open alignment paladins, there is absolutely no rule preventing you from playing a classic paladin. There is absolutely no 3e rule that prevents you from playing a classic Druid or Ranger either.

But now, those who don't want to play a classic class, can also get to sit at the table too. How is that not more inclusive? The only way in which it is not inclusive is if a player absolutely wants to dictate to the entire group what they can and cannot play. Sorry, I really don't think the rules should do that. I don't want rules that say, "Sorry, your interpretation is WRONG and you can't play that." I want the rules to say, "Hey, if you want to play this interpretation, here's how you do that. If you want to play a different interpretation, here's how you do that too."

I want inclusive, not exclusive rules.
 

TrippyHippy

Adventurer
I didn’t know that Paladins were allowed to be other alignments other than Lawful Stupid in this new edition. If so, it allows them to play all sorts of Knightly characters with differing allegiances. So, on the whole I think that’s a good thing.
 

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