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

Abraxas said:
Well I've waited to the very end to make a comment in this thread (although I participated in the Jury thread).

Agemegos, it seems (to me at least) that your arguments that Vindicator's paladin did wrong are based on the campaign your paladin is being played in. If Vindicator's paladin were being played in the campaign I play Abraxas in, his actions would have been seen as a touch rash - but would be seen in no way wrong. Paladins are judge, jury and if need be executioner in this campaign. In the campaign I play in

As Judge he weighs the evidence - he doesn't have to demonstrate this to the populace at large before he takes action.

As Jury he decides sentance - This may run him afoul of local secular law, but the sentence is based on the tenents of his faith. (In fact Abraxas has run afoul of local law many times because slavery is legal in Mulhurond, where he hails from)

As Executioner (if needed) he carries out the sentance in a way that does not include undo suffering. - if death is warranted.

There is no need for a public display to prove his lawfulness and there is no need for a public display for his actions to be lawful.

In addition, if you expect that a paladin should use non-lethal means in this situation, you would have to expect him to use non-lethal means in every situation that doesn't involve a demon/devil or mindless beast. All the possible what ifs that could have have made this go terribly wrong (possesed, mind controlled, faked, etc etc) would have to always be considered. And carrying this to an extreme, a paladin played in such a way should use non-lethal force at all times unless sanctioned ahead of time by his God even if by doing so he could possibly lose - because shouldn't he be willing to sacrifice himself so that a potential innocent isn't harmed?

Anyways - I'm not looking to continue this thread - Vindicator has gotten his verdict. Just something I've been meaning to say for a while and wanted to get it out of my head.

Peace

Hi Abraxas,

I also was part of the Hung Jury (as Herremann Mallaefor) and would wish to address some of your comments here. Firstly I understand the above comments relate to your campaign world. However your campaign would seem to be the "friendliest" to the Paladin's actions in question.

As Judge: Did he weigh all the evidence in front of him or just come to the most obvious conclusion based upon numerous assumptions that may or may not have been true?

As Jury: Did he consider alternative punishments that could have been metered out outside from death?

As Executioner: Was the transgressor aware of the sentence that had been passed and the reason for the punishment decided upon?

In all cases I would say no!

In other words, the Paladin had done a very shoddy job in terms of the "judge, jury and executioner" excuse for acting as he did. I have tried to separate this from the "honourbound chivalry" style of reasoning at which he obviously failed as well.

In regards to your final paragraph - should the Paladin therefore forego lethal action because of the doubts etc. that he will be inundated by: I think this is putting the cart before the horse.
A Paladin should never take a life without thought. This does mean that in a lot of situations, a Paladin will use his best judgment to use non-lethal force. However, if a Paladin must defend him or herself with lethal force then so be it. Note the difference between defending with lethal force and attacking with lethal force. To attack with lethal force is surely a last resort for most Paladins.

I mentioned in my original post - post number 7 from memory - that I was Old School in regards to Paladins. In our campaign Chivalrous Paladins were given the following code - a generic Code of Heironeous:

Codex of Honor

1. A righteous warrior always observes the rules of honorable warfare. The tenets of honor and chivalry are to be upheld even in the face of enemies that do not grant the same respects. Never strike a helpless opponent or one who is down and unable to defend himself.

2. Service to ones fellow man is the highest service one can undertake.

3. Law and justice are the cornerstones of a righteous society. Never subvert the rule of law in the name of expediency or put oneself above righteous authority.

4. Relentlessly pursue evil and destroy it, but never let the desire to smite the evils of the world take one outside the rule of law and justice. The ends do not justify the means.

5. Lethal force is not always the best option for dealing with evil. Do not let wrath cloud ones mind to other options that may lead to greater good.

6. Show the power and righteousness of Heironeous in every action and word. A righteous warrior can fight evil by providing an example of courage and good to all those who know him. Changing the hearts of men by example is one of the noblest ways to spread justice and law.

7. Be careful of who one associates with, the subtle influence of less righteous companions has been the downfall of many a noble warrior. A righteous warrior never associates with those he knows to be of questionable character.

8. Treachery and deceit are the tools of Hextor. Avoid them at all costs. Better to die a thousand deaths in the name of truth than to live by lying.

9. Beware the lure of riches and worldly possessions. The desire to acquire wealth and personal power will blunt the edge of a righteous warrior and cause him to center his attentions on things that do not spread law and justice, or show the power and humility of a knight of Heironeous. A knight who tithes half of his wealth to the church is blunting the lure of gold.

Of these:
The Paladin
1. Failed miserably
2.
3. Failed
4. Undetermined
5. Failed Miserably
6. Failed - The only witness (also the victim) has only ever been shown that the mightiest survive.
7.
8.
9.

Failing one of the tenets in our campaign would be enough to breach the class - as I said, we are old school and very strict on this type of stuff. To have failed almost half of them is to show no respect to the code whatsoever.
The character decided to throw out half of what had been taught to him. Only because of the "apparent" circumstances would the Paladin have had any right to expect a chance at atonement - Atonement is always offered but is not always accepted. In the most serious cases, the former Paladin knows that they are not cut out for the Holy Knight caper.

Anyway, I never gave comment in character to the jury result so, shaking Herremann Mallaefor from his current campaign - where he has just seen his Cohort tragically plummett to her death - is the following:

"In this most desperate time of personal grief, I will momentarily adhere to the finding as laid out by Torm - Master of procedings. When my period of grief is at an end, I may appeal the decision of chaotically choosing a 13th paladin to pass sentence upon the Paladin in question. A hung jury should have been the registered result and a retrial set forth. For the nonce however, I have weightier issues at hand."


Best Regards
Herremann the Wise
 

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Agemegos

Explorer
Maggan said:
The DM might have planned a really fun campaign based on the Paladin atoning his actions.

Good point. I suspect that a lot of us are arguing under the impression that a paladin's loss of his class powers is an irremediable disaster. Whereas by the PHB in most circumstances it requires only that some cleric or druid willingly cast Atonement, a 5th-level spell.

Indeed one might argue that the loss of powers, realisation of sin, atonement, penance, and restoration of the paladin is an absolutely archetypal paladin story. (eg. Sir Lancelot.)

there is, however, one significant danger arising from the multi-classing restriction that prevents a paladin who gains an new class or raises another class after becoming a paladin from ever raising his paladin class level again. That rule makes long penances fraught with danger. And I don't really see that it is a good, useful rule that corrects a game imbalance or otherwise conduces to fun. I think I would Rule-Zero it.
 

Alhazred

First Post
Trainz said:
No hard feelings, but...

Once and for all, the paladin's "Lawful" aspect has nothing to do with civil law.

A lawful evil ruler might set up a code of law for his kingdom that says "If one of your slaves speaks before spoken to, you must cut his hands and feed them to his kids". Codified code of law.

Paladins must NOT respect legitimate authority, they must do what's right and good.

Perhaps :)

If I may quote from BoED: "In an evil culture or one that tolerates evil, lawful good characters are in a difficult situation. On the one hand, they abhor evil and cannot stand to see it institutionalized. On the other hand, they believe in legitimate authority and will not overthrow a kingdom because of evil practices within it. Lawful good characters usually try to work to change flawed social structures from within, using whatever political power is available to them rather than toppling those structures by force (p.12)."

(I concede that the passage does not refer to paladins specifically, nor is it the PHB, and I am undecided as to whether or not it deserves inclusion in my home-brew setting.)

IMO, "Lawful" goes beyond adherence to one's own principles, otherwise Chaotic and Neutral characters may be considered Lawful vis-a-vis adherence to the tenets of their alignment. Lawful characters promote ordered societies, including a codified set of laws to which all are bound. Someone who simply does what is right and good is Neutral Good, or perhaps Chaotic Good.

Once again, this is IMO, and I appreciate your argument. The group with which I am playing is split on this whole thread, my interpretation included. And if this doesn't suit, give an ex-Montrealer a break :D
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
Agemegos said:
To demonstrate to the public that justice had been done, and not some sordid private murder. To demonstrate to the public that the law is just, and that they can rely upon the authorities to deliver justice even when appearances are misleading. Thus to enable the community to respect the law and to encourage them to settle their disputes, obtain vengeance for their wrongs, and defend themselves from false accusations in a regular, peaceful orderly manner--and not to resort to feud or flight. In short, to bring law to a lawless land.

I am assuming, though I may be wrong here, that the paladin in question didn't kill the child molester and then try to hide the body. It is doubtful that this would be considered a "sordid private murder" by anyone in the real Middle Ages, or in most D&D-type worlds. The act itself demonstrates that "justice had been done," if one takes into account the general principles that a) the perp was doing his child raping in a fairly public place, and someone else already probably knew about it, and/or b) the paladin's reputation as a paladin makes it likely that his description of events would be believed unless he is punished by removal of his paladin status .

Public trials do not always demonstrate that authority will deliver justice. Regardless of where you stand on cases like that of O.J. Simpson, Martha Stewart, or (in my neck of the woods) Karla Homolka, public trials can result in the general perception that jurisprudence is slipshod, uneven, and/or either excessively harsh or excessively lenient on the well-to-do. Of course, it is even worse when an allegation (with some evidence for that allegation) exists, but there is no will from those in power to either punish or investigate.

Others have claimed that there could have been demonic involvement and/or illusionary effects in place. Certainly, a trial might have determined this if there was will and jurisprudence for such a trial. However, were I possessed by a demon and about to bring harm to my daughter, I would accept decapitation as not the optimal, but a satisfactory, preventative.

I disagree. I think it would give rise to exactly the same sort of suspicions as occur when the police gun down some unarmed person in a private home. The masses wonder what he had to say that the police did not want them to hear.

It would be much more useful to have the malefactor make his pathetic excuses in public, and to demonstrate that they were untrue.

In most D&D worlds, and certainly in the high-fantasy Forgotten Realms, one does not need to hear the malefactor in order to know something is untrue. In fact, it is possible through the use of magic to know something with utter certainty, which is never possible in the real world. The simple fact that the paladin acted, and remains a paladin proves beyond all reasonable doubt that he is speaking the truth. Certainly, it proves it more than any trial could.

If the DM in question had requirements for paladinhood other than those listed in the Player's Handbook, he also had the responsibility to spell those requirements out to the players. :confused:

It would also be useful to know the reasons (if any) the DM gave for stripping the paladin of his status. Even if we disagree about the correct course for a paladin to take, we might nonetheless agree that the DM's reasoning is either correct or incorrect.

However, that said, were I the player in question, I would have taken the DM's pre-action intervention as a cue to ask him exactly what he expects under the circumstances. And then, if his expectations seemed wrong to me, I'd do what I thought was right anyway. :) After all, being a paladin is often about doing what is right, regardless of the consequences!

Raven Crowking
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
Agemegos said:
I think that part of the reason that we are seeing so much controversy is that people think that 'Lawful Good' means 'extra-specially righteous', even though their own personal standards of righteousness tend more to the individualistic case-by-case Chaotic Good than the institutional due-process Lawful Good. They judge that according to their own standards the paladin has done the right thing, and fail to take into account the gap between their own standards and the ones by which the paladin is correctly judged. Me, I am apparently Neutral Good, but I recognise that a paladin has to be judged by lawful Good standards, not my own.

Perhaps, but it may also be the case that your definition of "Lawful Good" is a specific type of Lawful Good, as opposed to Lawful Good as defined by the core rulebooks.

As far as your contention that the paladin failed to undertake the roles of "judge" and "jury" (as well as that of executioner), you fail to define those roles.

I would assume that the role of "judge" in this case is to implement whatever legal conditions may exist to what evidence is admissible, to instruct the jury, and to determine what punishment (if any) is appropriate.

I would assume that the role of "jury" would be to determine innocence or guilt. I would also note that the modern concept of a jury of one's peers is just that -- a modern concept. For all we know, the local lord, or a tribunal, or a magistrate, or some other person or system may perform this function.

We haven't been given any indications as to what legal precedents are involved, with the exception that this is a "grim-n-gritty" setting, which implies that there may be no legitimate authority.

Clearly the paladin performed the "decide what punishment is appropriate" part of the judge's job. He also did the "determine guilt or innocence" part of the jury's job. There is no indication that he disrespected either of these functions. There is no indication that a public trial system exists in this location. There is no indication that he overstepped the authority invested in him by his god(s), government, and/or faith.

All of this is even assuming that Lawful equates with a specific idea of Due Process, which is a whole 'nother area of argument....

RC
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
Numion said:
Besides, a Paladin shouldn't let the remote possibilities hamstring his ability to act efficiently. I'd rather use Evil-Radar to find new evil rather than to waste time from acting against already identified evildoers.

Again, you seem to think that this is indeed a situation which the Paladin should approach like a puzzle. "Activate evil-radar, maybe knock out". Thats all good, and I bet the DM intended that too, but in reality there was an innocent about to be harmed. At that point I'd say it's not outside the Paladins Code of Conduct to vanquish the evil swiftly, even if you should (god forbid) sidestep the DMs supposed moral puzzle.

If it happened in a dungeon with an Orc standing there no questions would've been asked. I don't think Paladins code encourages double standards for different sentient races. I might be wrong on that though.

I absolutely agree with this.
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
SirEuain said:
The more "realistic" and "gritty" a campaign is, the more uphill the paladin's life. Intelligent enemies find clever ways to undermine the paladin by forcing the issue of honor. Even without such interference, temptation is always an issue - what is right is not always what is easy, or even what is best in the long run (Hamlet learned that the hard way). As the campaign wears on, the paladin's role is likely only getting harder. Where once, any failure of duty meant consequences for himself alone, as a champion any breach of the code could be potentially catastrophic. Despite all this, paladins are only human (or gnomes, or halflings, or whatever), while gods are most assuredly not - and the harsher the god's view of evil, the less forgiving he's likely to be of mortal weakness. As the pressure mounts, they become only more likely to fail.

Hey, I don't disagree with this. In Celtic mythology, people are screwed all of the time because honor and various geases require different things of them. Cuchulainn, the Hound of Ulster, was a Red Branch Knight. He had a specific geas that prevented him from eating the flesh of dogs, but he encountered a situation where he could not both keep honor intact and maintain his geas. Now, C was the closest thing that setting had to a paladin (his horse even avenged his death), but this act stripped him of his special powers and brough about his downfall.

But there's a big difference between saying "A paladin must keep his word," and then having intelligent enemies try to set up a no-win scenario on the basis of this prohibition, and not having some leniency in interpreting what "lawful good" means. Especially the "lawful" part, because the odds are that you can't put 20 random DMs (or players) in a room and get less than a dozen different intretations as to what that word means.

There is a world of difference between an objective violation of a clear tenet and a subjective violation of a rather unclear principle.

Raven Crowking
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz
Essentially, almost any amount of physical force required to subdue a human being, however minimal, can be considered lethal force if the circumstances warrant. Its VERY fact sensitive.

So the courts don't observe any distinction between grabbing a man by the collar of the coat and opening up without warning with a 12-gauge?

Yes they do. However, they also recognize the difference between Joe Ordinary and someone who is trained in any form of fighting or martial art. A punch by me is nothing, but a punch by Mike Tyson could be considered deadly force because he is a trained fighter.

The Paladin is a trained warrior- anything beyond a shout and grab could get him in trouble. In fact, if he grabs the guy and accidentally injures him, the Court might inquire as to whether that grab was intended to do damage.

This stuff is all situationally sensitive.
 

SirEuain

First Post
Raven Crowking said:
But there's a big difference between saying "A paladin must keep his word," and then having intelligent enemies try to set up a no-win scenario on the basis of this prohibition, and not having some leniency in interpreting what "lawful good" means. Especially the "lawful" part, because the odds are that you can't put 20 random DMs (or players) in a room and get less than a dozen different intretations as to what that word means.

There is a world of difference between an objective violation of a clear tenet and a subjective violation of a rather unclear principle.

Yes, there is, and that difference is where the "unwilling breach" lies. A paladin tricked into a corner gets to atone. One that abandons his code on his own doesn't. While I commented very early on that whether Vindicator's paladin violated the code of conduct is probably contingent on his deity's nature, I also pointed out that as a paladin, he still should have known better than to kill a man showing every sign of having accomplices.

I won't pull punches on paladins just because they've got a hard job - if the player doesn't want to RP the difficulties of being a paladin, he has the option of not playing one. Neither will I dumb down villains just to give a paladin PC some leeway, since it's hard enough to outwit 4-6 players as it is. While I may throw out occasional villains who are too honorable themselves to stoop to such actions, that'll be if and when the story calls for it.

As far as I'm concerned, a player running a paladin in a campaign is tacitly asking for a tragic outcome. I'll work with him on how it'll happen, but I won't put the kid gloves on just for him.
 

sword-dancer

First Post
Vindicator said:
Okay guys, let's open up another can of worms.



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*.
.

I think this is the moment where in a pally the righteous fury would fire up.

I think the point is really in which kind of society the pally did this.
If you did this in a "good" or reasonably Neutral society, it would be against the legitimate authority part of the pally code.
But under this circumstances I would reduce his Powers about a level or take one of this Powers from him, untill he atones.
I wouldn`t make a ´true quest necessary for atonement.
The main reason for this would be, to teach9(like a mentor) the pally that this kind of road could be went into dangerous terrain.

If he died this in an evil society, no legitimate authority here, he acted right.

BTW
In an adventure, our party catched a man and his adult victim.
My Amazonpriestess wanted to bring the man back to civilisation.
Not for defense of his "rights" or such fuss.
Clerics in this world are given the legal authority to dispense justice, when no Judge is at hand.
But to get him punished with the full extend of the law, and made an official example.
Which means a slow tormenting and degrading death.
he northern Warrior slit the throat of him, after his capture.
Asked why he did this
He ansered, he didn`t want the wopman be forced to be longer fear his societey.


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

IDiscuss
 

sword-dancer

First Post
Zimri said:
My goodness, we can honorably sneak up behind someone and run them through without warning now ?

pray tell HOW is that honorable ?

That he define his honor over other things than his way of fighting?
OTOH
Would it be honorable
to let a murder kills somebody, because you wouldn`t attack him in the back
or better
let a demonfpollower sacrifices an innocent soul to demons, because yo don`t attack him from behind?
Would you let a comrade in arms go down, because you refuse him help because this would be "dishonrable"
 

Abraxas

Explorer
Agemegos said:
If this was not a lawless land, then a Lawful character would have tended to leave judgement and punishment to the law.
The character may have well left the judgement and punishment to the law - it was just that he was the law. We don't have enough info to actually make this determination, without the needed info making blanket statements on both sides of the discussion is merely speculation.

Agemegos said:
or by the laws of Texas. But I don't believe that those are the appropriate standards.
So the character could be following the law and still not be lawful? Seems a bit odd.

Agemegos said:
Actually, I would be applying a 'Just War' defence, not a 'Just Following Orders' defence. And I would still judge the Lawful character's alignment according to a Lawful standard. It is just that the principles of Lawfulness that demand certain procedures in judging a neighbour and delivering justice to a community demand different procedures when killing an enemy of that community in open war.
What if that enemy combatant is possesed or under a charm or any of the other scenarios proposed as to why the pedophile rapist might not have been in control of his actions. Don't you have to consider those actions at all times? Or can you ignore them when the king says kill the enemy?



Agemegos said:
Don't get a job as a cop or security guard. And don't try house-training a puppy ;)
I'm not really sure what you mean by this but I don't like the tone and - perhaps I'm a bit thin skinned at the moment - the little winky face at the end bugs me. I did work security to help pay for college and my last puppy grew up to be a healthy happy dog who lived to the ripe old age of 17.

Feh
 

Agemegos

Explorer
Abraxas said:
I did work security to help pay for college and my last puppy grew up to be a healthy happy dog who lived to the ripe old age of 17.

Then I guess that when your puppy piddled in the house you didn't use the most effective way to make sure that he would not do it again. You limited yourself to reasonable means and appropriate force. And I guess that when as a security guard your duties required you to make someone stop doing something that you took into account (when choosing your means of doing so) not only what was effective but also what was appropriate and necessary.

I agree that killing the rapist was the most effective way of making hiim stop. But then, going on to kill everyone in the tavern would have been a very effective way of making sure that any of them who were complicit in the rape or any other crime would stop that. The point is that you can't use its effectiveness as the only criterion for judging whether to use lethal force. You didn't shoot lots of people when you were a security guard, You didn't housebreak the puppy with a shotgun. So in fact you don't treat its effectiveness as a sufficient justification of the use of lethal force.

Sorry about the wink. It was supposed to indicate that the meaning of the material marked was not literal. (And to think I have been told the smileys remove the ambiguity of indirect statement.)
 
Last edited:

Numion

First Post
sword-dancer said:
That he define his honor over other things than his way of fighting?
OTOH
Would it be honorable
to let a murder kills somebody, because you wouldn`t attack him in the back
or better
let a demonfpollower sacrifices an innocent soul to demons, because yo don`t attack him from behind?
Would you let a comrade in arms go down, because you refuse him help because this would be "dishonrable"

These are good reasons why it isn't dishonorable to refuse honor to those who have none.
 

Agemegos

Explorer
Raven Crowking said:
In most D&D worlds, and certainly in the high-fantasy Forgotten Realms, one does not need to hear the malefactor in order to know something is untrue.

No. But one has to do something, and after the execution is a bit late.

The simple fact that the paladin acted, and remains a paladin proves beyond all reasonable doubt that he is speaking the truth.

True, but having a paladin execute everyone against whom there is a prima facie case, and acquitting the corpse if the paladin loses his powers is unacceptably costly in innocents and paladins.
 

Torm

First Post
Agemegos said:
Then I guess that when your puppy piddled in the house you didn't use the most effective way to make sure that he would not do it again.

I hate to jump in here, but I think the difference between the puppy in your analogy and the pedophile-rapist is that the puppy, in piddling on the carpet, is not traumatizing anyone for the rest of their lives, or possibly killing them!

The difference is whether what is being done in something you could afford to have happen again. You'll be alright with a little piddled carpet - there's a fine line of carpet care products for that that work pretty well. The little girl won't be alright with just some Luv-My-Carpet.
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
Agemegos said:
No. But one has to do something, and after the execution is a bit late.

Clearly, this case was designed by the DM to be rather clear-cut. If this case is not clear-cut, then no case ever is. This includes, as others have pointed out, the case of orcs attacking a town, and, yes, wartime.

True, but having a paladin execute everyone against whom there is a prima facie case, and acquitting the corpse if the paladin loses his powers is unacceptably costly in innocents and paladins.

No one suggested that this was an appropriate reaction to every case, merely that it was an approriate reaction to this case, and therein lies a world of difference.

If you accept that it is true that "The simple fact that the paladin acted, and remains a paladin proves beyond all reasonable doubt that he is speaking the truth," I would suggest once more that the magical nature of a D&D world can prove that justice was done far more absolutely than any modern equivilent, including an open trial, and thus renders your point requiring an open trial "to show that justice was done" moot.

Raven Crowking
 

Agemegos

Explorer
Raven Crowking said:
However, were I possessed by a demon and about to bring harm to my daughter, I would accept decapitation as not the optimal, but a satisfactory, preventative.

Sure. No question. But you'd rather be taken down by a tazer, or wrestled to teh ground by a burly cop.

My point here is that the paladin had other means at his disposal, that (both according to the actual circumstances and according to his actual belief at the time) would have been equally effective in protecting the girl, and that would have 1) avoided the risk of killing an innocent man in the case of possession, compulsion, or illusion; 2) given a better chance of discovering any accomplices the rapist might have had; 3) reduced the risk of the rapist's relatives refusing to accept his guilt, and turning to feud; and 4) been more in accord with a Lawful standard of conduct.

I don't think that that amounts of a case for stripping the paladin of his powers. But given that that's teh way it seems to me, neither can I accept that what the paladin did was perfectly alright by Lawful standards.
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
SirEuain said:
Yes, there is, and that difference is where the "unwilling breach" lies. A paladin tricked into a corner gets to atone. One that abandons his code on his own doesn't. While I commented very early on that whether Vindicator's paladin violated the code of conduct is probably contingent on his deity's nature, I also pointed out that as a paladin, he still should have known better than to kill a man showing every sign of having accomplices.

I won't pull punches on paladins just because they've got a hard job - if the player doesn't want to RP the difficulties of being a paladin, he has the option of not playing one. Neither will I dumb down villains just to give a paladin PC some leeway, since it's hard enough to outwit 4-6 players as it is. While I may throw out occasional villains who are too honorable themselves to stoop to such actions, that'll be if and when the story calls for it.

As far as I'm concerned, a player running a paladin in a campaign is tacitly asking for a tragic outcome. I'll work with him on how it'll happen, but I won't put the kid gloves on just for him.

Please note that I did not argue that unwilling breaches could occur. Had Cuchulainn survived, he could have atoned for eating dog's flesh.

I am not arguing that you should pull punches for paladins.

I am arguing that, where you have not made the rules clear, you should allow some leeway to take the fact that you haven't made the rules clear into account.

There have been a few good "paladin's codes" posted in this thread (yoink! Thanks! :) ), and in those worlds paladins know absolutely what is expected of them. If you've got the same sort of definitions, don't pull your punches. But barring that sort of predefined rules set, the player has a reasonable expectation that the rules for Paladinhood in the PHB define what should (and should not) restrain his or her behavior.

This seems fairly clear to me, anyway.

RC
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
Dannyalcatraz said:
Yes they do. However, they also recognize the difference between Joe Ordinary and someone who is trained in any form of fighting or martial art. A punch by me is nothing, but a punch by Mike Tyson could be considered deadly force because he is a trained fighter.

The Paladin is a trained warrior- anything beyond a shout and grab could get him in trouble. In fact, if he grabs the guy and accidentally injures him, the Court might inquire as to whether that grab was intended to do damage.

This stuff is all situationally sensitive.

Sorry, but as interesting as this is, in D&D there is a much clearer line between subdual damage and lethal damage. As such, I would say that this point is fairly moot. If the paladin wanted to attempt to subdue, there is very little chance that this would result in permanent injury.

RC
 

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