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

Torm

First Post
They somehow integrated the Council of Paladins thread I started into their game, and as we found him not guilty, the DM did not take his powers, but he was given a quest to rectify his haste and see that the matter had, in fact, been fully seen to. (At least, that was the quest the Council issued him. I'm not sure what the DM actually made the quest...)

DARN YOU! Now you've got ME doing it! Very well - back, little thread, back to the top you go...... :p
 

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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
My last contribution to this thread-

This thread has been bugging me, and not for the obvious reasons.
It took me a little while to figure out what it is, but I have it now.

Almost everyone on this thread seems to thinking about Paladins as being played/playable in only one way, so we have focused solely on the fact situation presented to us.

However, even in 2Ed, the game designers made explicit that Paladins could be as varied as any other class. That is, Paladins range from "left-leaning"/"pacifistic"/"doves" (or whatever terminology you prefer) to the "right-leaning"/"Awful-Good"/"hawks," depending on their faith.

That is, one Paladin might be a Knight Hospitaler who usually strikes to subdue (killing only in self-defense) and never strikes first, while another Paladin may have been sent by his god to cleanse the world of evil by sword and fire. Most fall somewhere between the extremes.

If the Paladin of this fact situation was one leaning towards the peaceful extreme, then yes, his powers should have been stripped. He should have tried to make the miscreant see the light before delivering him into it. He failed to even try to solve the problem through peaceful methods.

If he was more of the firebrand, he should be rewarded for being his god's swift sword of justice on earth. Unhesitating action when faced with evil, be it mundane or occult is nothing less than what his god demands- and stopping evil with finality is to be encouraged.

A Paladin in the middle range should probably not be stripped of his powers, but should face some kind of minor quest of attonement to be restored to good odor within the faith's heirarchy and community of believers. Until he completes this task, the stigma of the attack's ferocity should make him shunned by most of the people of his faith.

When formulated this way, the question isn't whether the Paladin acted like a Paladin -under certain circumstances, he did- but whether the player played his Paladin within the confines of the PC's concept.

That is, did the player role-play his Paladin consistent with that Paladin's character concept and past behavior?
If no-penalize the Paladin, if yes, reward him.
 

nikolai

First Post
Dannyalcatraz said:
When formulated this way, the question isn't whether the Paladin acted like a Paladin -under certain circumstances, he did- but whether the player played his Paladin within the confines of the PC's concept.

I think Dannyalcatraz has it. The idea is to figure out a clear set of guidelines, so that the PC knows the limits within which he has to operate. He should have a pretty clear idea of where the line is which - if he crosses it - he'll lose his paladinhood. It's a problem (maybe even unfair) if the player genuinely thought he had the right of it, but it's later determine that he didn't. The best course is to be clear about everything in advance, so the problem doesn't arise. As for this instance, I'd define what he did as legitimate, and give him the benefit of the doubt. You may want to tighten things up for later campaigns though.

Of course, the exact how to of finding honourable ways of dealing with evil-doers is one of the old problems of chivalry...

Malory said:
How Sir Launcelot overtook a knight which chased his wife to have slain her, and how he said to him.

SO Sir Launcelot rode many wild ways, throughout marches and many wild ways. And as he rode in a valley he saw a knight chasing a lady, with a naked sword, to have slain her. And by fortune as this knight should have slain this lady, she cried on Sir Launcelot and prayed him to rescue her. When Sir Launcelot saw that mischief, he took his horse and rode between them, saying, Knight, fie for shame, why wilt thou slay this lady? thou dost shame unto thee and all knights. What hast thou to do betwixt me and my wife? said the knight. I will slay her maugre thy head. That shall ye not, said Sir Launcelot, for rather we two will have ado together. Sir Launcelot, said the knight, thou dost not thy part, for this lady hath betrayed me. It is not so, said the lady, truly he saith wrong on me. And for because I love and cherish my cousin germain, he is jealous betwixt him and me; and as I shall answer to God there was never sin betwixt us. But, sir, said the lady, as thou art called the worshipfullest knight of the world, I require thee of true knighthood, keep me and save me. For whatsomever ye say he will slay me, for he is without mercy. Have ye no doubt, said Launcelot, it shall not lie in his power. Sir, said the knight, in your sight I will be ruled as ye will have me. And so Sir Launcelot rode on the one side and she on the other: he had not ridden but a while, but the knight bade Sir Launcelot turn him and look behind him, and said, Sir, yonder come men of arms after us riding. And so Sir Launcelot turned him and thought no treason, and therewith was the knight and the lady on one side, and suddenly he swapped off his lady's head.

And when Sir Launcelot had espied him what he had done, he said, and called him, Traitor, thou hast shamed me for ever. And suddenly Sir Launcelot alighted off his horse, and pulled out his sword to slay him, and therewithal he fell flat to the earth, and gripped Sir Launcelot by the thighs, and cried mercy. Fie on thee, said Sir Launcelot, thou shameful knight, thou mayest have no mercy, and therefore arise and fight with me. Nay, said the knight, I will never arise till ye grant me mercy. Now will I proffer thee fair, said Launcelot, I will unarm me unto my shirt, and I will have nothing upon me but my shirt, and my sword and my hand. And if thou canst slay me, quit be thou for ever. Nay, sir, said Pedivere, that will I never. Well, said Sir Launcelot, take this lady and the head, and bear it upon thee, and here shalt thou swear upon my sword, to bear it always upon thy back, and never to rest till thou come to Queen Guenever. Sir, said he, that will I do, by the faith of my body. Now, said Launcelot, tell me what is your name? Sir, my name is Pedivere. In a shameful hour wert thou born, said Launcelot.
 


drnuncheon

First Post
Perhaps unwise, weighing in to a 30 page thread without reading all of it, but...

I find it interesting that paladins are expected by so many people to be perfect. Not merely adhere to the tenets of their alignment or religion, but to be absolutely perfect - something that is generally regarded as impossible, even for the children of deities. Being human means being flawed.

No other class has this restriction. Even a cleric, who is arguably even more blessed by his deity than a paladin is, is not held to such strict moral grounds. Paladins apparently never make mistakes without getting kicked to the curb.

With that attitude, it's a wonder there are any paladins around to train new ones.

The paladin's solution may not have been the best solution. But then, who ever always makes the best decisions? Nobody. It's impossible. Paladins are human, like everyone else. A paladin who comes across a man trying to molest a child is going to feel revulsion and righteous wrath, and that may lead him to act hastily.

He doesn't have to be a Vulcan and dispassionately regard the situation - that's nowhere in the code or the description of the class, and I think the people that argue for that are being unrealistic in their expectations.

Aside from the unreasonableness of these expectations, they also hamstring paladin players. If every paladin is expected to behave perfectly at all times, then there is no variation. Every paladin is exactly the same - must be exactly the same, because any flaw, anything less than perfection, results int he DM jumping on them with a gleeful "A-HA! I've got you now!" and a concomittant loss of powers. Add to this that it's a character's flaws that make them truly memorable and interesting and you can see that playing a paladin under those expectations is not going to be enjoyable for the player. (The GM who relishes the aforementioned 'A-HA!' will undoubtedly get his jollies, at least until the paladin's player wises up.)

To sum up: it takes a lot to make a paladin fall, IMO - one incident, one mistake is not enough. The paladin may have acted in haste, but he acted in accordance with what he saw, to protect an innocent. He should strive to be better in the future - but so should all paladins strive for the ideal, even though they will never reach it.

J
 

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