What does a paladin do (or should be doing)?

Daggerswan

First Post
I would argue that the Cleric cannot do what Roland did. The Cleric cannot (should not) wade into melee and bring the smackdown on swarms of minions. He needs his spells to back that up. I envision the Paladin to be overpowered, but tempered with the heavy burden of Lawful Good and the Laws of Chivalry. Am I giving myself away as an old-schooler? :)

A fighter-cleric won't work because the martial prowess and abilities would get watered down...unless they bring back old-school multiclassing. I think they had metioned that the multiclassing would work like 3e so this may not work.

If the Paladin is to be one of the core classes it should be a Fighter. But it's going to require a very dedicated set of feats to pull off.

Right now I am leaning towards Paladin as a standalone. In my mind it is removed enough from the fighter to be its own class.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Zaphling

First Post
No-one is unaware of this. Its been pointed out so many times. We know there is a historical reference.

Its the game space question he is asking, not the historical reference. We bring the historical reference into the game and create the paladin. Then we put him side by side with the cleric and realize "you know in fluff terms there is a difference, but really, in game design terms, there is very little".

The relevance of the paladin is an ongoing debate. WOTC have spoken that they will have the paladin as a class in 5e so thats the working state, and Im happy to accept their judgement in this case.

But the historical reference, at best, suggests fluff. This is a game space question, not a fluff question.

Has anyone of you have actually played 4e. That's what they did to the paladin, they build it from the ground up in that edition. Hence, the total uniqueness of the class, unlike 3.5 which sucks.
 

IanB

First Post
The consensus among people who like paladins seems to be they're about Good rather than gods. So give them powers based on channeling raw "good" rather than spells.

Hmmm. No, not to me. I see the breakdown sort of like this:

Cleric - requires investiture into a church, by own choice
Paladin - may or may not be member of an order of knighthood but is not an invested priest, dedicates himself to a god or gods or holy cause by own choice
Favored Soul/Oracle/Invoker/whatever you want to call it - chosen by the gods whether or not she likes it

I think it is a very important part of the paladin's 'thing' that they choose to devote themselves to some specific god or cause. The code of conduct aspect becomes meaningless if they're forced into it rather than choosing it. They're a divine class, that means gods get involved to me, whether directly (I am a Paladin of Pelor) or indirectly (I am dedicated to the ideal of Freedom, so Tritherion is giving me my power anyway.)

You may glean from this that I prefer Paladins as a more general holy warrior catch-all rather than LG only. That in itself is a core design point that probably has to be hashed out and decided one way or another at WotC before they ever even get into the class ability design.
 

Abstruse

Legend
I would argue that the Cleric cannot do what Roland did. The Cleric cannot (should not) wade into melee and bring the smackdown on swarms of minions. He needs his spells to back that up. I envision the Paladin to be overpowered, but tempered with the heavy burden of Lawful Good and the Laws of Chivalry. Am I giving myself away as an old-schooler? :)

A fighter-cleric won't work because the martial prowess and abilities would get watered down...unless they bring back old-school multiclassing. I think they had metioned that the multiclassing would work like 3e so this may not work.

If the Paladin is to be one of the core classes it should be a Fighter. But it's going to require a very dedicated set of feats to pull off.

Right now I am leaning towards Paladin as a standalone. In my mind it is removed enough from the fighter to be its own class.
Hi, ever seen a cleric from a previous edition? They weren't priests in robes, they were heavily armored tanks with a mace who cracked skulls in the name of their deity. They were warpriests. It wasn't until 3rd Ed came along and the idea of a "laser cleric" took off that they became more priest-like. You can't start adding restrictions to the cleric class then point to them as reasons why the paladin is different.

To quote someone from another board, "The Moradin cleric isn't a paladin. His spells are actually useful and he doesn't have a magic horsie."
 

IanB

First Post
Hi, ever seen a cleric from a previous edition? They weren't priests in robes, they were heavily armored tanks with a mace who cracked skulls in the name of their deity. They were warpriests. It wasn't until 3rd Ed came along and the idea of a "laser cleric" took off that they became more priest-like.

And yet, for example, the cleric never got multiple attacks; the paladin did. The cleric was limited to a few less effective weapons; the paladin could swing around a two-handed sword and do 3d6 damage to large creatures if he wanted. The cleric could wade into that horde of Saracens, but he'd be cracking skulls one at a time unless he cast fire storm, which I think is exactly Daggerswan's point. The paladin is melee-first; the cleric is melee-capable. There's a difference.
 

FreeTheSlaves

Adventurer
Absolutely. But the question is not one of throwing the fluff aside, the question is (with tweaks) can the cleric satisfy the fluff? Is another class required to implement the fluff?

Some would say yes, some would say no. The important thing is to understand the question.
I see little in the Cleric or Fighter story that captures the essence of the Paladin.

Fighters encompass a lot of archetypes but chivalric or divine story concepts don't get enough focus. Clerics too encompass broad archetypes that include divinity but there is far too heavy a spellcasting component and not enough intrinsic divine virtue, not to mention not enough focus on martial training.

To me the Paladin story are home to concepts like honour, valor, piety and virtue. Basically chivalry dialed up to max.

I guess you could eventually build a passable character with a mish-mash of fighter/cleric/bard with themes, backgrounds and houserules. Wouldn't excite players looking for the Paladin class though.
 

Ellington

First Post
Paladins need some sort of mechanical niche. Now that they're not going to be LG only, I don't think smite/detect evil is going to cut it.

Having the Paladin required to swear some sort of oath, regardless of his alignment or deity, could be pretty cool. The oaths could range from vanquishing the enemies of your god to protecting the weak, and the paladin could get mechanical bonuses as he levels that help him to better uphold his oath.

Just an idea.
 

ZombieRoboNinja

First Post
Like the ranger discussion in another thread, I think this is a case where 4e actually came up with a clear answer, and 5e might be sliding away from it by de-emphasizing the centrality of "roles."

What's a paladin, mechanically speaking? A divine-powered defender. He has the same basic role as a fighter, but rather than depending primarily on his own strength and skill, he calls upon his deity to protect him and his allies.

How does that carry over into 5e? Damned if I know. Here's a shot at it: no spell list per se (to differentiate from clerics), but a powered-up Channel Divinity skill that allows him to do certain things a few times a day. These powers will primarily be abilities that encourage bad guys to hit him instead of his buddies. "Auras" or "battle cries" might work. ("Channel Divinity: Divine Challenge: Target receives disadvantage on attacks against anyone but you until the end of your next turn.") And what the heck, he has slightly lower AC, HP, and attack rolls than a fighter, but better defenses against magic and probably some other cool defensive measures.
 

Abstruse

Legend
And yet, for example, the cleric never got multiple attacks; the paladin did. The cleric was limited to a few less effective weapons; the paladin could swing around a two-handed sword and do 3d6 damage to large creatures if he wanted. The cleric could wade into that horde of Saracens, but he'd be cracking skulls one at a time unless he cast fire storm, which I think is exactly Daggerswan's point. The paladin is melee-first; the cleric is melee-capable. There's a difference.
And a cleric can do that in 3.x and 4e too. And considering the Next Moradin cleric can keep up with the Fighter very nicely, I'm still thoroughly unconvinced.

Again, you can't decide for yourself what is and isn't a cleric and then say "See, that's different from a paladin!", especially when a cleric can, in fact, do what you say it can't.

This goes double for saying what is and isn't the focus of the fighter especially when said focus ("chivalric") has absolutely no game mechanics whatsoever and is completely a backstory-based on. Want a chivalric fighter? I'll use the knight background and play him up as Sir Gawin with a strict moral code. Want divine? Put in a theme similar to the Magic User theme to give low-level access to divine spells.

I've yet to see a single convincing argument for why the Moradin cleric is not a paladin. Only thing I can find is the lack of the "magic horsie" and frankly, that's the power of paladins I almost always ignored because it doesn't work in a dungeon-based game and the mounted combat rules are almost always a cast iron pain in the ass.
 

Gold Roger

First Post
For me the paladin is something like a divine PR stunt. Or to put it less blunt, a rallying point for the forces of good and law under divine patronage.

This view was formed by some of the abilities seen on Paladins:

Inspiration: Call it auras or halo if you want to, but Paladins inspire those around them and grant them a strength they never knew. Around a paladin you're not easily shaken by fear, because you know everything will be alright. The forces of corruption can't take hold of a mortals heart as easily. The paladin literaly shines with divine light and upheaves everyone around, not through a spell, but by mere presence.

Charisma: To allow this inspiration, the paladin is a charismatic figure. If a paladin is present and doesn't actively hide himself, you know he's there. All eyes are drawn to him and even when he isn't active, he's the talk of the town (and kingdom, at higher levels). All to ensure his magnificient deeds don't go unnoticed, for all to recognize that no evil goes unpunished and the god bring succor to their faithful.

Righteousness: With all eyes on him and the ear of the people, the paladin accurately identifies and calls out evil in all forms. He doesn't just see some abstract evil, he reveals it. He can recognize the mark of evil and at his sword touch, the evil shapechanger is robbed of his disguise. As he goes through the slums, he sees who is to blame and who needs his help.

Healing: The paladin brings restoration to the sick, peace of mind to the mad and relief to those wounded fighting evil, at a mere touch. But all this could be done through spells you say? Perhaps, but to me the paladin is:

Not Spellcaster
: The paladin has been permanently imbued with his abilities. He doesn't pray for them (though pray he does!), he does no invocations and no great gestures. To inspire, he just stands tall, to heal, he just touches and to slay the wicked, he just brings down his sword.

Smite Evil: The paladin is no preacher and no pacifist. Wether it is as a shining knight on the battlefield or as a prominent vigilante, who puts fear into the hearts of the depraved in a notorious city, he's a warrior. But it's not through supreme talent or training he puts down his opponents, but he overwhelms them with sheer righteousness. Seemingly untouchable, he simply clashes into his foes.

Immunity and Resistance: An important symbol of good, law and the power of gods, the paladin is not allowed to fall easily. As exalting as it is to see his deeds, as devastating is his fall. Thus, the paladin is divinely shielded. He never feels true fear and no sickness incapicates him. Poison has a hard team fining it's way through his veins and is mind is not easily subjugated.

Translated to mechanics, at the core, the paladin is a potent, but simple, warrior (no fancy maneuvers from class) with an emphasis on the charisma stat. All his abilities are either authomatic or recourced differently from spells He can heal a certain amount and as he gains levels remove conditions. He has immunities, resistance and great saves and can extend a certain amount of these to his allies via auras. These auras might also debuff opponents, as can his attacks (smites). As a topping, he gains some divinatory abilities. Not necessarily see evil, but the (limited) ability to see and reveal shapeshangers and illusions.

The paladin should share many qualities with clerics, they are both divine, but manifest them in a completely different way.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top