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.
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.
1. Failed miserably
5. Failed Miserably
6. Failed - The only witness (also the victim) has only ever been shown that the mightiest survive.
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."
Herremann the Wise