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

Redwizard007

Adventurer
No, it doesn't. Why would you think it does? The point is that the concept is broader than a single archetype, that doesn't mean you focus on everything except that archetype.



And what changes specifically would you make to the Paladin to allow a Holy Sikh warrior archetype instead of a French Crusader? How have we changed anything in the game as it exists currently, to make that happen?
I think the point is that no changes are necessary to play a paladin in that way.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Clint_L

Legend
But paladin is not just a knight. It is a holy knight, and that connotes a crusader. Most knights are fighters, not paladins.
All knights were holy knights. Faith is part of the oath of chivalry. Paladins do not evoke crusaders, they evoke questing knights, like Gawain. The whole point of his most famous quest is as a test of his faith.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I think the point is that no changes are necessary to play a paladin in that way.

I would agree, but @Micah Sweet responded to my post by saying "rather than push to change the game for everyone to suit them." If no changes are needed to play the paladin in the way I stated, then why finish off by saying that it is better to just come to terms with the paladin as they exist than change them? It would be a rather bizarre statement in that case.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
All knights were holy knights. Faith is part of the oath of chivalry. Paladins do not evoke crusaders, they evoke questing knights, like Gawain. The whole point of his most famous quest is as a test of his faith.

I mean to be even more fair, being religious in the medieval ages was like wearing clothes. Most people did it, and it was REALLY noticeable if you didn't. And usually met with a large degree of social disapproval.

I don't think Gawain was particularly notably a story about Faith in the religious sense. It always seemed to me more of a test of character and a willingness to die to keep the letter of his word. And it ends, notably, with him failing that test and being told "That's okay, you are human, of course you would cling to life."
 

Redwizard007

Adventurer
All knights were holy knights. Faith is part of the oath of chivalry. Paladins do not evoke crusaders, they evoke questing knights, like Gawain. The whole point of his most famous quest is as a test of his faith.
With Galahad, Percival, and maybe Bors a case could be made that they fit the paladin archetype. In various tellings, those were the knights that found the grail. Most of the other knights were significantly flawed, Gawain being no exception.

That said, I agree there is a strong case to be made that the paladin is based more on the romanticized Arthurian knights that have been popularized in books and movies. To the best of my knowledge, Gygax was more a consumer of pop culture than a history buff, but i never had the opportunity to meet the man, nor have I extensively dissected his writings.

If official D&D product had not used heavily crusader inspired art, this would probably be a moot point. One can still point out how easily the paladin can be adapted to Mesoamerican, Indian, Maori, or a dozen other cultures, but until that type of art replaces the templaresque standard we will have some issues to work through.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
If official D&D product had not used heavily crusader inspired art, this would probably be a moot point. One can still point out how easily the paladin can be adapted to Mesoamerican, Indian, Maori, or a dozen other cultures, but until that type of art replaces the templaresque standard we will have some issues to work through.

Agreed. But, as I pointed out before, part of THAT issue is one of limited options.

This is Fantasy, people want to see heavy armor, we like heavily armored figures. Out of the Twelve standard classes... there are only three that would traditionally wear heavy armor. Fighter, Cleric, Paladin. You will not see art of heavily armored characters who are: Barbarians, Bards, Druids, Monks, Rangers, Rogues, Wizards, Warlocks or Sorcerers.

So, if you want heavily armored art, you are going to end up with art of heavily armored religious characters. They are 2/3rds of the possible characters who can HAVE that much armor. So I doubt it will be replaced. I would like to see it supplemented though. After all, we do see plenty of clerics in robes. And, actually, 5e hasn't been the worst at this yet.

Out of the Five Official arts I am aware of, two are non-standard (Glory and Redemption) two are fairly standard (Torm and the Watchers) and the last is a Conquest/Dark Paladin. That is a decent mix.

Also, I had never noticed before that the Conquest paladin is wearing a belt of broken swords. That is kind of bad-ass.

1718213342405.png1718213354591.webp1718213538019.jpeg
 

Redwizard007

Adventurer
Agreed. But, as I pointed out before, part of THAT issue is one of limited options.

This is Fantasy, people want to see heavy armor, we like heavily armored figures. Out of the Twelve standard classes... there are only three that would traditionally wear heavy armor. Fighter, Cleric, Paladin. You will not see art of heavily armored characters who are: Barbarians, Bards, Druids, Monks, Rangers, Rogues, Wizards, Warlocks or Sorcerers.

So, if you want heavily armored art, you are going to end up with art of heavily armored religious characters. They are 2/3rds of the possible characters who can HAVE that much armor. So I doubt it will be replaced. I would like to see it supplemented though. After all, we do see plenty of clerics in robes. And, actually, 5e hasn't been the worst at this yet.

Out of the Five Official arts I am aware of, two are non-standard (Glory and Redemption) two are fairly standard (Torm and the Watchers) and the last is a Conquest/Dark Paladin. That is a decent mix.

Also, I had never noticed before that the Conquest paladin is wearing a belt of broken swords. That is kind of bad-ass.

View attachment 367192View attachment 367193View attachment 367194
Sure, but they could just as easily used these. The only problem I see is with the art department.
 

Attachments

  • b7305b1786f4328551d985dd64b69704.jpg
    b7305b1786f4328551d985dd64b69704.jpg
    51.3 KB · Views: 15
  • 4c9603a7f392296025f9c341845e2e8a.jpg
    4c9603a7f392296025f9c341845e2e8a.jpg
    51.2 KB · Views: 17
  • 50155123173cd2ef3b7ca08ed26c4fac.jpg
    50155123173cd2ef3b7ca08ed26c4fac.jpg
    13.7 KB · Views: 18
  • 8ad7d9094c5fe201653b13181032cb31.jpg
    8ad7d9094c5fe201653b13181032cb31.jpg
    31.4 KB · Views: 17
  • c05b089e8d08eff9ff376acc4f4191a8.jpg
    c05b089e8d08eff9ff376acc4f4191a8.jpg
    24.5 KB · Views: 17
  • TANG+FATHERS.jpg
    TANG+FATHERS.jpg
    494.4 KB · Views: 19
  • 4cf8f14d0af6929e953ec472176b6317.jpg
    4cf8f14d0af6929e953ec472176b6317.jpg
    91.8 KB · Views: 15

Hussar

Legend
I remember years ago trying to play a no -standard paladin in 2e and the dm absolutely insisting I must play the 1e cavalier style paladin from 1e. It was so frustrating to be flat out told that you absolutely couldn’t have Native American inspired paladins. Those had to be rangers.

And let’s not forget that adnd paladins in 1e were a subclass of cavalier which were explicitly Christian knights.

We’ve come so very far since then.
 


Hussar

Legend
Fair enough, my own limitations on what "plate armor" can be were showing a bit.

I see your point. Plate armor is a thing. There’s only so many ways you can draw a character in plate armor with a shield and a sword in some sort of action pose. They’re all kinda going to look pretty close. Variations on a theme in any case.

That’s just kinda one place that we can’t actually do too much. It’s kinda like uniforms. It’s hard to show a character in a uniform without giving it military connotations. It’s unavoidable.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top