D&D General The Problem With Paladin's Medieval Origins (+)


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pemerton

Legend
It isn't a matter of authorship, it is a matter of readership. My character may not have seen the dice in the heavens, but the fiction does not exist within my character's mind. It exists within MY mind. And I cannot build a story that I take seriously as "pre-destined" while factually knowing that NONE of it was pre-destined.
In that case, it must spoil LotR for you knowing (i) that JRRT rewrote the Hobbit to fit it, and (ii) knowing that the story did not spring full-formed from his mind but involved him writing, rewriting etc.

In any event, this quote states a biographical fact about you. It does not state any sort of general proposition about how RPGers engage with the medium, and its various modes of establishing providential fiction and depicting providential happenings.

Again, as a consumer of the fiction, I see behind the curtain and know that it isn't true. That ruins the entire point of the story. I can't buy in to the fact that it was all fated to happen, when I know as the consumer of the story that that is a lie.
Every fiction was made up at some point. Whether I made it up now, or yesterday, doesn't change that fact. Nothing in a fiction was ever "fated" to happen. The author just chose to write down one thing rather than another. (Unless you believe that all authorship is the working of fate. But in that case the same will be true of authorship in the course of playing a RPG.)

I am not sure how many different ways I can try and explain that just because you have a character declare something, doesn't make it actually true.
Who thinks otherwise? But sometimes it is true. I posted an example, where the player had their PC state something about the workings of the Raven Queen, and it was true.

But the PC has a highly limited viewpoint ANYWAYS. To them, the spell ended and the paladin just went off about it being the will of the goddess... and they have no way to prove or disprove that.
(1) The absence of proof wouldn't show the claim to be false. (2) How do you know what knowledge of his god the paragon-tier paladin of the Raven Queen has? You weren't there. You're just making this up!

you seem to want to insist that just because your character declared that they believed it was true, it was therefore true and everyone must accept it, because you said it was true.
It was not me who said, speaking as his character, that "The Raven Queen turned me back [from toad to tiefling]." That was a player in the game that I was GMing.

Even if you are a player, just declaring something about the fiction at the table doesn't make it true. See any time the party is in a crime drama, declares they know who the culprit is AND IS WRONG. Even if they never agreed that they would all be wrong.
You are describing one sort of crime RPGing. Brindlewood Bay and its offshoots of course work differently.

And I was not describing a crime drama at all. There was no mystery as to why the paladin turned back from being a frog, which the players as their PCs were trying to puzzle out. The player made a declaration (speaking in character). No one at the table contested it. In fact everyone at the table, as far as I recall, accepted it. I certainly did, as part of my GMing.

the exact nature of that is being negotiated, which means it was vague.
This is a non-sequitur. There is no feature of Fate, and of its rules for the use of aspects, that demand that anything about the fiction that is generated as a result is vague. In fact I suspect this is where, in the play of Fate, some of the clearest and crispest fiction is to be found.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
@Chaosmancer and @pemerton

Treat each other with kindness, respect, and dignity, or walk away.

You two are beyond my saying "please". This is not a request. This is a requirement of your continued participation.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
In that case, it must spoil LotR for you knowing (i) that JRRT rewrote the Hobbit to fit it, and (ii) knowing that the story did not spring full-formed from his mind but involved him writing, rewriting etc.

In any event, this quote states a biographical fact about you. It does not state any sort of general proposition about how RPGers engage with the medium, and its various modes of establishing providential fiction and depicting providential happenings.

Can't spoil it, I don't like it anyways. But do you truly not understand the entire premise of suspension of disbelief? Sure, he rewrote it to get it closer to his vision. I'm an author, I understand that process, but I also get that much of rewriting is because things aren't "correct" for the story. You don't rewrite something (usually, I'll get to that) because you rolled a die.

I'm actually distinctly familiar with the difference, as much of my current writing is the in the Quest format, meaning I have a group of readers who roll dice and vote on what they want to happen. And consistently in all of my stories, I have been unable to have plans for the story, or plans I did have were completely derailed. Now maybe I am the only person on earth who can't see someone roll a die, be on the edge of my seat on the result, then roll my eyes when they begin insisting "exactly as planned!" when they write down the result, but I doubt that.

Every fiction was made up at some point. Whether I made it up now, or yesterday, doesn't change that fact. Nothing in a fiction was ever "fated" to happen. The author just chose to write down one thing rather than another. (Unless you believe that all authorship is the working of fate. But in that case the same will be true of authorship in the course of playing a RPG.)

Of course all fiction is made up, that isn't the point. Would you be satisfied solving a mystery plot if the GM said "okay, whoever you guys decide is the culprit, I'll go back and make them the culprit"? Would that make it feel like your investigation had meaning and that you were uncovering a truth? Is there truly no difference for you between a mystery with an actual perpetrator, or one where the perpetrator is simply decided once the table agrees it must be them?

Because, from what you keep insisting, there isn't. You keep insisting that, as long as you can declare it was always so, then there is absolutely no difference between a planned outcome, and a randomized outcome. And you have gotten increasingly insulting about the fact that I'm insisting there is a difference.

Who thinks otherwise? But sometimes it is true. I posted an example, where the player had their PC state something about the workings of the Raven Queen, and it was true.

And yet, if I declare other possibilities for that same result, you deride me that those cannot possibly be true or make sense, because you know it was the Raven Queen and nothing else. Which makes it increasingly seem like YOU think otherwise.

(1) The absence of proof wouldn't show the claim to be false. (2) How do you know what knowledge of his god the paragon-tier paladin of the Raven Queen has? You weren't there. You're just making this up!

I know the spell effect had a duration. I know that duration did not change. I know you specifically stated that they did nothing and that the duration just naturally expired. So, this has all the hallmarks of having nothing to do with the Raven Queen, just like the fact that a longsword does 1d8 damage, or a shield gives +2 AC. Sure, there is no in-fiction reason given for these numbers. Maybe the Paladin's Ac is a purely an extension of the Raven Queen's Will and if he put on heathen armor his armor class would go down... but once we go down this path, then literally anything can be claimed to be divine will for no reason other than the paladin wants it to be.

And that isn't the narrative of Providence.

It was not me who said, speaking as his character, that "The Raven Queen turned me back [from toad to tiefling]." That was a player in the game that I was GMing.

You are describing one sort of crime RPGing. Brindlewood Bay and its offshoots of course work differently.

And I was not describing a crime drama at all. There was no mystery as to why the paladin turned back from being a frog, which the players as their PCs were trying to puzzle out. The player made a declaration (speaking in character). No one at the table contested it. In fact everyone at the table, as far as I recall, accepted it. I certainly did, as part of my GMing.

Did they accept that the Raven Queen actually acted... or did they accept that the Paladin gave a bad-ass line?

I accept that the Paladin believes what they said. I accept that the paladin has faith. I even accept it was a pretty good line of witty banter. I don't accept it was actually Providence within the fiction of the story, an immutable plan by an omni being that could never be altered. That sort of story doesn't function in a story telling medium where the results are random, and where the beings are fallible. Heck, the Raven Queen was a mortal woman at one point who had to kill a god of death. Who planned that part of the divine plan so that she could save the paladin as part of her divine plan?

This is a non-sequitur. There is no feature of Fate, and of its rules for the use of aspects, that demand that anything about the fiction that is generated as a result is vague. In fact I suspect this is where, in the play of Fate, some of the clearest and crispest fiction is to be found.

You know, for someone who keeps insisting that they know EXACTLY what type of person/GM/ect I am, and that they know EXACTLY what I am arguing and that they are very familiar with all of this.... you keep saying things that showcase how much you don't understand my position.

I was not saying the fiction was vague.
I was saying the destiny was vague.

If the GM and the player are negotiating the facts of the fiction, then you can't say "My Destiny is to the be True King, by pulling the Sword from the Stone, and marrying a princess who will betray me and I shall be nearly slain by my illegitimate son." because each one of those events needs to be negotiated and rolled. Each step requires figuring which of multiple paths you will be on. Which means the clearest you could be is "My Destiny is to be a ruler and face a great betrayal"... which is pretty darn vague!

And the worst part of all of this, is that while you are still trying to browbeat me into saying that you can create a compelling tale of Providence by randomizing key events and just declaring that that was always the plan... you seem to have completely ignored the entire part of my previous post where I point out that such stories are actually the weakest paladin stories, not key to the entire premise of paladins as you claimed. You keep insisting that players should be able to declare the actions of Gods, but completely ignored my entire post where I laid out why I do not think that is the case. When you incorrectly assumed I was talking about the Problem of Evil, you never went back to actually address the point I had actually been making, you ignored it.

I don't feel like you have even once tried to understand my position. You just want to browbeat me for gaming wrong and not accepting your words as gospel. And it is exhausting.

Yes, you can declare anything to be true in the fiction you feel like. But just like retcons and declaring the culprit of a mystery based on it being the person no one guessed, declaring "This was Providence" after the fact feels hollow. It doesn't convey the correct impact. It feels like a farce, because it is rooted in nothing except the fact that this time, the dice sided with what you wanted.
 


pemerton

Legend
Would you be satisfied solving a mystery plot if the GM said "okay, whoever you guys decide is the culprit, I'll go back and make them the culprit"? Would that make it feel like your investigation had meaning and that you were uncovering a truth? Is there truly no difference for you between a mystery with an actual perpetrator, or one where the perpetrator is simply decided once the table agrees it must be them?
Are you familiar with Brindlewood Bay and similar RPGs?

And here are two links to my own actual play of Cthulhu Dark.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Are you familiar with Brindlewood Bay and similar RPGs?

And here are two links to my own actual play of Cthulhu Dark.

"As the mysteries progress, the Mavens become aware of a Hellenic death cult called the Midwives of the Fragrant Void. This cult is the reason why there are so many murders in Brindlewood Bay—because it's all connected to the cult's Dark Conspiracy."

"There is also a new section about the Dark Conspiracy, which details powers and resources of the Midwives of the Fragrant Void. The books also features 6 mysteries (detailed below)."
 

pemerton

Legend
"As the mysteries progress, the Mavens become aware of a Hellenic death cult called the Midwives of the Fragrant Void. This cult is the reason why there are so many murders in Brindlewood Bay—because it's all connected to the cult's Dark Conspiracy."

"There is also a new section about the Dark Conspiracy, which details powers and resources of the Midwives of the Fragrant Void. The books also features 6 mysteries (detailed below)."
I'm not sure if that is a yes or a no. I ask because, in Brindlewood Bay, the answer to the mystery is constructed by the players based on the clues they collect.

In my Cthulhu Dark play, the mystery and its answers were made up by me (as GM) as we went along, in response to the actions the players declared for their PCs, and what seemed like fun ideas to bounce off those.
 

Hussar

Legend
@pemerton - I'm not sure that in a dedicated FIFTH EDITION thread about alignment in D&D and specifically how paladins are presented in D&D, referencing other games is particularly illuminating here.
I'm not sure if that is a yes or a no. I ask because, in Brindlewood Bay, the answer to the mystery is constructed by the players based on the clues they collect.

In my Cthulhu Dark play, the mystery and its answers were made up by me (as GM) as we went along, in response to the actions the players declared for their PCs, and what seemed like fun ideas to bounce off those.
Which is all very cool, but, at the end of the day, has nothing to do with D&D or with alignment in D&D or with how paladins work in D&D. IF D&D were a more narrative game where the players had control over in game truths, then you would have a point.
 

Scribe

Legend
'm not sure that in a dedicated FIFTH EDITION thread about alignment in D&D and specifically how paladins are presented in D&D, referencing other games is particularly illuminating here.

It's tagged D&D, if this was a 5e specific thread, I'd be even more confused. It's a foundational question really, divorced from D&D even, because what's really at question here is the bedrock cornerstone type questions of western fantasy.
 

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