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

SirEuain

First Post
Raven Crowking said:
1) It has been pointed out numerous times by numerous people that having to assume possession, compulsion, or illusion in all cases (and certainly in clear-cut cases such as this) would be unreasonable.

Assuming, yes. Admitting the possibility, no. Paladins don't do anyone justice by killing the innocent.

2) Clearly, the tavern owner is an obvious person to assume as an accomplice, as the girl is tied up in his tavern. Take it from there.

Yes, but the very guilt of the first rapist ensures that he knows something. It's entirely possible that the tavern owner might not.

3) I have pointed out, and you have accepted, that "The simple fact that the paladin acted, and remains a paladin proves beyond all reasonable doubt that he is speaking the truth," thus allowing for proof superior to that of an open trial. If the miscreant's relatives do not accept the paladin's word, and seek him harm, the paladin cannot slay them out of hand, but he can attempt to show them that he is honorable (through word and deed) and convince them of the truth.

Actually, I seem to recall the PC's paladin status being the bone of contention now. As such, neither side can really use this as an argument.
 

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kirinke

First Post
well. personally. as a chaotic type person, i believe he over-reacted.
At the very least, he should suffer some punishment from his diety, perhaps not to the extent of loosing his paladin status.

Possible punishments bad-dreams are always good. A temporary loss in level until he atones for his actions. Temporary suspension of his spell-like abilities.
Giving up money to the dead-man's family (humility is always a plus in paladins)

Giving up money to the captive girl, for forcing her to watch him kill a man. Heck, if the girl has no parents, or the parents are unsuitable, make the paladin the girl's guardian. (will teach him responsibility)

any or all of these punishments would be good (and fun to roleplay out) :cool:
 

cdtaylor_nats

First Post
Of course the Paladin should lose his palidinhood. At the very least he should have checked the alignment of the man he slew. Perhaps the rapist had been entranced or was possessed.

The Paladin should have checked to detect evil, then he should have challenged and if all else failed he should have subdued the rapist.

The first thing he should have heard after the head hit the floor was the sound of his warhorse galloping away.
 

Agemegos

Explorer
Raven Crowking said:
I think the assumption that if the Watch fails the paladin can make good their deficiency is very much based upon campaign, DM, circumstances, and so on. There is nothing that makes this automatic.

True. But I think that to act on the assumption that the Watch and the courts were ineffectual or corrupt can be justified only by a reasonable belief that it is so. To go around assuming without evidence that the Watch (or whatever) and the courts are corrupt or evil is disrespectful to authority. A paladin does not of course lose his powers as a resutl of a single act of unwarranted disrespect to authority, and therefore I do not opine that the paladin ought to lose his powers on the basis of this act alone. But lawful people do as a matter of definition tend to respect authority unless there is reason to believe that it is contemptible. So if this act is part of a prevailing pattern of the character assuming in the absence of evidence that authority is corrupt, then the character is in fact Chaotic. There is nothing wrong with that: I have a streak of Chaoticity myself and I am ready to defend it as right and proper. But if the character is being played as Chaotic the GM ought to adjust his alignment accordingly. The sad fact is that by the rules inthe PHB, the character would then lose his or her paladin's powers.
 

Sejs

First Post
Of course the Paladin should lose his palidinhood. At the very least he should have checked the alignment of the man he slew.

*cough* Yeah, because I mean if this was a neutral child raping kidnapper, the paladin should have just let him continue about his buisness, unabated.

Detect Evil would have taken 12 seconds (2 rounds) to confirm what is pretty obvious to even those of us who arn't paladins - that the rapist is an evil man.

Those 12 seconds would have more than likely proven the difference between keeping the man from raping the child again, and stopping him after he's begun to violate the girl.
 
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Yeah, the girl might have been a demon, and the rapist could have been a paladin, so it's okay.

The paladin shouldn't lose his powers. The paladin should receive a reward for killing a rapist. Rapists are amongst the vilest criminals in existance, there's nothing lost by killing one.
 

MoonZar

First Post
I think the dm should know that no one perfect...

I think that the paladin action was not perfectly LG, he should have use stunt damage, save the girl and take the man to the justice.

This still also not honorable to attack in the back and even more a unarmed man. Also if bloodshed can be avoid, the paladin most do what he could. The situation could have been different if the paladin was on a 1v5 situation or if he doesn't have other option to save the girl.

But my point is that paladin is very hard to play and DM should be mercyfull with them. If i was the DM, i would have just say to the PC that he feel very bad to have kill the man in the back, but he feel relieve to have save the girl...

MoonZar
 
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sword-dancer

First Post
Zimri said:
So you walk into a village and see an orc sleeping. orcs are usually evil so you detect and it is. You should kill it because well orcs are evil and this one will do something bad.
Depends, are you in war or such situation. with the orcs, it isn`t necessarily an violation of the code to take advantage of an enemy.
Like an attack at their camp when they sleep or an ambush.
-Or when orcs are automatically evil born and not reedeemable creatures.
If not the situation would call for less violent actions.

To clear it i don`t fence my words in, of this act

1) If your comrade is fighting against an enemy and is in danger of going down, would you think it disonorable to take his enemy out of action?

2) Yes, and this would be in most just "medival" societies reason enough for a slow painful and public execution.
if the act didn`t happen in a "just" society the pally had a duty to dispense justice as he saw fit.
A Lensman in this situation would be acting within his duties and authorisation of the law of civilisation to execute the bastard on the spot.

3) + 6)
The other possibilities to neutralice the man, are not of first concern, the question ist violated the pally his code, especially enough to fall..
A pally isn`t a robot, he is a "human" being, and rieghteous holy wrath is a really approbiate reaction.
I think at worst he goes a bit over the top, but nothing more.


A Method to stop him,
4) These are "medieval" times, with a "medival" and more hardened lifestyle.
Death is normally an accepted and normal part of life.
Add that psychological knowledge weren`t really exist in these times, were punishment was often cruel and torture was an accepted method.

5) I don`t see your point here?

7) This is a point of the difference between the GMs/&Gods POV and the Pally point of view, and the personalty of the pally.
Would Solomon Kane have killed the man?
Yes, No doubt, No quarter asked no Quarter given.
Would he ´ve killed him from behind, most likely.

8) Honor could be defined by many things, how you fight, for what you fight.
btw a Samurai had killed the man if he thought he must test his sword, or wasn`t polite enough in the perfectest sense without a second thought.

And i know what being involved in killing, even if absolute nessecary, a human being could traumatice a man.
 
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Zimri

First Post
sword-dancer said:
Depends, are you in war or such situation. with the orcs, it isn`t necessarily an violation of the code to take advantage of an enemy.
Like an attack at their camp when they sleep or an ambush.
-Or when orcs are automatically evil born and not reedeemable creatures.
If not the situation would call for less violent actions.

To clear it i don`t fence my words in, of this act

1) If your comrade is fighting against an enemy and is in danger of going down, would you think it disonorable to take his enemy out of action?

2) Yes, and this would be in most just "medival" societies reason enough for a slow painful and public execution.
if the act didn`t happen in a "just" society the pally had a duty to dispense justice as he saw fit.
A Lensman in this situation would be acting within his duties and authorisation of the law of civilisation to execute the bastard on the spot.

3) + 6)
The other possibilities to neutralice the man, are not of first concern, the question ist violated the pally his code, especially enough to fall..
A pally isn`t a robot, he is a "human" being, and rieghteous holy wrath is a really approbiate reaction.
I think at worst he goes a bit over the top, but nothing more.


A Method to stop him,
4) And the point of this is?

5) And the point of this is, also?

7) This is a point of the difference between the GMs/&Gods POV and the Pally point of view, and the personalty of the pally.
Would Solomon Kane have killed the man?
Yes, No doubt, No quarter asked no Quarter given.
Would he ´ve killed him from behind, most likely.

8) Honor could be defined by many things, how you fight, for what you fight.
btw a Samurai had killed the man if he thought he must test his sword, or wasn`t polite enough in the perfectest sense without a second thought.

Read what I wrote dancer. You walk into a village and see an orc sleeping. Don't add things to the situation. If all orcs are evil you are saying go ahead and slash his throat while he sleeps, oh and make sure to kill the women and children so no more orcs get made.

Killing that orc is wrong. Killing that orc will likely feed the hatred that orcs have for civilized people. Genocide is wrong.

1) If my ally is in agreed upon single combat then there is no way I am stepping in. IF it is group vs group (as most situations are) then the attacker obstensibly agreed to combat with the whole group of which I am part. Since it is consentual combat my attacking him doesn't break honor.

2) Just society or lawless one makes little difference. I have never said he can't exact justice. She was in no danger of being "more violated" than she already was. I have some personal experience in this regard. The stain and wounds on her psyche were already there from the first attack. The amount of psychological trauma (in my case) doesn't get much worse after the first violation. The same is not true of a comrade in lethal combat where subsequent attacks can in fact kill.

3) Other ways of dealing with the situation are very much part of the concern. And you were the one who brought up the honor in letting someone die because you wouldn't act from behind. But I would just not lethally. The damage caused by seeing a lifeless body fall at her feet would be one more trauma the girl had to deal with. Having in fact found a fresh body I feel confident in my abailty to speak to that point.

4) The point is that further violation from the same man in the same manner has a lower psycholigical affect than having a dead body fall on you and spray you with it's blood.

5) The point is HE WASN'T GOING TO KILL HER. That thought was not paramount in his mind. The point is also that further sexual violations from him are likely to not cause much more psychological trauma (again I feel imminently qualified to state that based on past personal experiences)

7) The DM warned the player. The Player probably should have taken that as a warning from the characters god to the character. I have no idea who solomon kane is but I do know that if he would kill an unarmed unaware low level commoner from behind and injure an innocents girl psyche by making her watch it (remember she can't look away), and having the head fall in her lap (not much else of a place for it to go based on how the sword would have to swing) He is not at all acting honorably.

8) A paladin isn't JUST someone that acts with honor in mind. HONOR IS his armour and shield. It isn't something he does it is who he is. WHo the paladin is doesn't change based on who his foe is. He will no more lie to a demon lord than he will to a celestial. He would no sooner cheat to win a card game than he would to win a fight. He should give no less respect to the peasant that raises the crops and cattle than he would to the king for whose table they are bound.
 

FireLance

Legend
You know, after thinking over the issues for a long while, I've come to the conclusion that this thread isn't about paladins, or honor, or justice, or laws. It is about a fundamental difference of opinion that will probably never be resolved.

Under conditions of uncertainty, any system to determine whether something is one thing or not suffers from two types of errors: the false positive (the thing is found to be something it actually is not) and the false negative (the thing is not found to be something it actually is). In the case of a judicial system, or a paladin acting on behalf of such a system, the two types of errors are: an innocent is found guilty and punished, or a guilty party is found innocent and released. As mentioned, under conditions of uncertainty, there is no way to avoid either type of error. You can only choose which you would rather be wrong about, by either requiring more or less extensive proofs of guilt or innocence.

In the scenario mentioned by Vindicator, the evidence that the man was guilty was very strong, and the chance that he was actually innocent was very small. As such, it is understandable why the overwhelming concern of those who cannot stand to let a guilty party go free is to punish the evildoer with as much certainty as possible. On the other hand, to those who would rather allow a guilty party to go free than see an innocent man punished, even the very small chance that the man was innocent makes it too risky to kill him without finding out more.

If this is indeed the fundamental disagreement, no amount of discussion about codes of conduct, or honorable behavior, or the lawlessness of the society will ever get us anywhere.
 

Zimri

First Post
I disagree firelance.

No one is saying the rapist is not guilty.
No one is saying the rapist doesn't deserve to die
Heck no one is even saying the paladin didn't have the right to administer justice.

The Bone of contention is about how he rendered the verdict not what the verdict was or that he rendered it.
 

FireLance

Legend
Well, I arrived at my conclusion because of the number of posts arguing whether it was an illusion, or the man was possessed (i.e. the man was innocent), and those arguing that the man may have been more powerful than he seemed, or that he might have accomplices waiting to gang up on the paladin (i.e. the man would escape punishment one way or another).

Thus, it seemed to me that the dispute was whether to take the very small chance that the man might be innocent or the very small chance that the man might escape justice. Those that would rather take the chance that the man is innocent rather than allow a guilty party to escape were in favor of the paladin striking as hard and as quickly as he could. Those that would rather take the chance that the man might escape rather than punish an innocent man were in favor of using non-lethal means to stop him at first so that the due process of law could take place.
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
FireLance said:
Thus, it seemed to me that the dispute was whether to take the very small chance that the man might be innocent or the very small chance that the man might escape justice. Those that would rather take the chance that the man is innocent rather than allow a guilty party to escape were in favor of the paladin striking as hard and as quickly as he could. Those that would rather take the chance that the man might escape rather than punish an innocent man were in favor of using non-lethal means to stop him at first so that the due process of law could take place.

I would agree with you FireLance, if I this argument was occuring outside of the context of a game.

Because of an existing relationship with the DM (and by extension the DM's campaign setting), I feel that the player has a pretty good grasp on the odds that 1) the man was innocent, 2) the local justice system would be effective were the paladin to refer the matter, and 3) whether or not the paladin could successfully refer the matter to the local system given his current circumstances. Although it is metagame for me to say it, there is no innocent or guilty party, really. There is a role-playing situation, and a player who has to decide what to do in that situation, knowing what the DM is likely to do in the case of various circumstances.

No one would get to 5th level in my world without knowing how far they can trust their local judiciary. Hell, by the time they ended up visiting the local magistrate at 1st-to-2nd level and got a good glimpse of exactly how it works (in one town at least). They could turn in a criminal and have a very good idea what would happen to him. In some places, it would be a good idea. In others it would not. Similarly, they would know it wasn't a hat of disguise because magic items IMC are too rare to be squandered in such a way. I'm betting Vindicator was safe in assuming it wasn't a magic act, or a demon, or whatever. What's likely in a campaign world becomes obvious way sooner than that.

Vinidcator was supposed to believe his DM when the DM said, "Dude, it's a lowly commoner!" but not when he said "Dude, it's a rapist." Given what little we know, it seems likely that Vindicator was right to believe both comments. Vindicator knows his DM. He probably knew that his DM wanted the rapist to escape the NPC controlled justice system so that he could inflict a little paladin angst. It has probably happened before.

These things -- and only these things -- determine the odds that the guy was innocent, and that the guy would escape justice if the paladin didn't administer it.

Raven Crowking
 


Goblyns Hoard

First Post
My two cents

I haven't read through the full length of this thread but I'm going to have to come down on your DM being right.

My first reason for this is the honour factor - Paladin's in most religions are honour bound and striking from behind for a 'kill strike' is certainly not honourable. Obviously you'll have to take your religion's principals as a guiding factor.

There's also the magic aspect, and this will depend on how magical your campaign is. If magic is everywhere then illusions/possessions/charms etc. must be considered.

And then there's the issue of law. This will require a GM ruling on what the law permits your Paladin to do. Is he part of the legal enforcement system (and please ignore comments on what a medieval knight was permitted to do - you're not in medieval Earth)? If not does he have the right to kill/murder? If not then he needs to try and bring the rapist to justice - not take the law into his own hands. Otherwise he is a vigilante and that is not part of being LG.

But I think the main reason that I agree with your GM is that the story line will be so much more powerful, and your character develop more as a result of this situation. Suddenly your character is faced with a conflict I don't think you ever envisaged when you first rolled him up. Now you're in a position where he can either listen to his God and church superiors, take a penance and submit to a holy quest for redpemption (which is always a good story line) or he can decide that no he was right and his God has failed him - leading to a possible change in deity or even a switch to full on ex-paladin as he goes into vigilante mode.

The character development opportunities of you losing your powers are so much better than if you keep them... and this game isn't called ROLE playing for nothing
 

Vaxalon

First Post
SejsDetect Evil would have taken 12 seconds (2 rounds) to confirm what is pretty obvious to even those of us who arn't paladins - that the rapist is an evil man.[/QUOTE said:
No, the purpose of the DE would be to determine whether there was something beyond mere mortal evil going on.

Demonic posession would be handled much differently than mundane crime.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Someone's post:
Detect Evil would have taken 12 seconds (2 rounds) to confirm what is pretty obvious to even those of us who arn't paladins - that the rapist is an evil man.

Someone else's response:
No, the purpose of the DE would be to determine whether there was something beyond mere mortal evil going on.

Demonic posession would be handled much differently than mundane crime.

To which I say:

That's even worse. It takes 3 rounds to determine aura power, which is how you would determine whether the man was an outsider or posessed by one.

By then, the second rape would have already been in full swing. So much for prevention.

Edited to correct formatting error.
 
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Majere

First Post
Ok this thread is beyond silly.
The argument seems to be between people who basically hate paladins and can argue a hundred reasons why the paladin should lose his paladinhood WHATEVER he does, and those of us who actually want a playable class.

I ABSOLUTELY agree that the exact same people suggesting the paladin was wrong, and he should consider a whole bunch of rediculous circumstances would also argue he should have lost it all if this was a thread was about a paladin who DIDNT kill a paedophile about to attack a girl.

Paladins are not infallable.
The guy was evil
We can sit here until the end of time coming up with wierd and wonderful scenarios where it wasnt the guys fault, but the facts are he was RAPNG A GIRL.

The paladin killed evil.
Paladins kill evil.
Why punish him ?

Majere
 

Torm

First Post
Majere said:
Paladins are not infallable.
The guy was evil
We can sit here until the end of time coming up with wierd and wonderful scenarios where it wasnt the guys fault, but the facts are he was RAPING A GIRL.

Beautiful and simple. :) Only one problem here, and its not with you - I said almost the exact same thing back in, oh, say..... POST #276!

While it might be interesting to see exactly how long this thread can go, the same arguments are being had VERY verbosely over and over again. Please, people, let it die! I'm tired of this floating back up to the top and then I have to check it to see if anything new is a response to anything I've said, so I can be polite and respond. Really, people, the guy had his day in court, and his DM made his final decision. Good grief! The whole argument really comes down to whether you see the Law part or the Good part to be the most important to the Paladin class - and you're NEVER GOING TO AGREE! Agree to disagree, and take it up with who really matters - the players in your group and your DM (if its not you.)
 

kirinke

First Post
lol

anything with 'child molester' and 'paladin' in the post is going to get anyone's dander up.
but i am curious. what did vindicator's dm decide?
 

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