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Would you allow this paladin in your game? (new fiction added 11/11/08)

Would you allow this paladin character in your game?


I was doing a writeup for a paladin character concept I had, and was curious how other DMs would react to it. So here are a few paragraphs about Sir Cedric. Simple question - would you allow this paladin in your campaign? For a more complex question - is there anything in the PHB paladin class which prohibits Sir Cedric (I personally think not)? Anyway, here goes:

Cedric opened one eye and looked at the ceiling, and then the other, as he tried to work out where he was. Somebody muttered softly next to him and he felt a warm patch of bare flesh touch him. Memory came flooding back and he grinned as he turned, to find the two girls on his left still asleep. For a few moments he looked at the two naked bodies and thought pleasurably about the activities of the last night. Feeling a familiar stirring, he shook his head and muttered, "Down boy!" to himself, before carefully rising from the bed so as not to awake the others. After rising to his feet, he looked around to make sure where all his belongings were, idly scratching his rear at the same time. Then he slowly lowered himself to his knees by the side of the bed, closed his eyes and began to pray.

Some minutes later, a now fully-clad Cedric walked down the stairs to find Madam Catherine talking to a pair of the girls. Seeing him, Madam waved the girls away. Both of them made mock scowls in Cedric's direction, one sticking out her tongue playfully, before walking away. Madam smiled and said, "They're still a little miffed that you did not choose them last night. Did you ... sleep ... well?"

"They'll get over it," replied Cedric, with a chuckle. "Killing a dragon is one thing, but I am not yet bold enough to tackle four of your girls at once, Catherine. And yes, I did - as you put it - sleep very well."

"Why, sir knight," said she archly, eyes twinkling, "Aren't paladins supposed to be fearless?"

"If we were, Catherine," he riposted, with a mock-serious look, "Would I not have dared to court you yourself, rather than your girls? But such valor flows not in my bosom, that I might dare lay siege to a tower of beauty such as thou." The waggling of his eyebrows ended the speech in laughs from both parties.

"Anyway," said Cedric more seriously, producing a small bag from within his tunic and placing it on the table with a clinking of coins within, "Here is my payment for the week."

"Come now, Cedric - how many times do I have to say you don't have to pay? You heal and cure the girls, protect us while you are here - like with that ruffian last night, and we all love your company."

"I know. But I want to. And now, I am off. I'll be leaving this evening, so I may not see you again."

"Very well," said Catherine. "When do we see you again?"

"Probably in a week's time. I'll come by as soon as I'm back in town. Goodbye."

"We'll be expecting you then. Take care." As he walked to the door, Catherine picked up the bag and weighed it speculatively. Not that she needed to count. Knowing Cedric, it was exactly the same amount as before.


The young man, resplendent in his armor, stepped into the tavern and looked around with a distasteful look on his face. Making his way to the bar, he attracted the attention of the barkeep and said, "I was informed that Sir Cedric of Marne was present here." Taking another look around, he continued, "I assume the information was incorrect."

The barkeep paused to spit on the ground by his feet and then responded with a grunt, "Nah! Cedric's back there," indicating a table against the far wall.

With a skeptical glance, the young knight turned away and walked across the room, to find himself looking at a small table with a single occupant. The man at the table looked like just any other patron, worn clothing hanging around his frame, stubble on his gaunt cheeks and uncombed hair hanging down past his shoulders. A number of empty flagons stood on the table in front of him, and as he raised one to his mouth, his cloak shifted and revealed a polished holy symbol hanging upon his chest. Lowering the flagon, he dropped it on the table and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, before raising a hand and beckoning a passing barmaid for more drink. Then he belched loudly and reached down to scratch his groin.

The watching young man's mouth had already fallen open in horror, but this was the last straw. He walked up to the table and asked in a trembling voice, "Sir Cedric?!"

The man at the table looked up irritatedly and said, "Yeah! Who the **** wants to know?"

Enraged, the young man slammed his fist down on the table. "Sir Cedric! I am Magnus, knight of the Holy Order of the Brilliant Blade. I was sent here on an crucial mission, to find and enlist the aid of Sir Cedric, hero of the Order. And I find ... this!" His voice quivered in anger and disgust.

A hand closed around his arm and he almost yelped at the strength of it. Try as he might, he could not pull away, but was instead drawn closer till he was nose to nose with the other person. A person, he now noticed, whose eyes were completely cold and alert, and now burning with intensity.

"Sit!" said Cedric, inexorably pushing the younger man into a seat.

Once the befuddled Magnus was seated, Cedric leaned towards him and said quietly, "Yes - I am Sir Cedric of the Holy Order. Is there a problem?"

For a few moments, Magnus could not even form an answer, but finally he simply waved a hand in the general direction of Cedric and the rest of the tavern and said lamely, "It's - it's just that I didn't expect this. First I get sent to a brothel - a brothel! - where I'm told you are staying. And then they send me from there to this place. You're a ... a paladin, aren't you?"

Cedric doesn't answer for a moment, simply picking up the flagon and taking a big swig of alcohol. While swilling it around in his mouth for a moment, he turns and fixes Magnus with an unblinking eye. Then he swallows, grimacing slightly at the taste, and speaks. "Yes! I am a paladin. You obviously have a little idea what that means, but just in case, let me clarify it for you. I am a holy warrior, the chosen of my god, in a way not even a cleric is. I travel the world, striking down evil, protecting the innocent, aiding the weak, bringing hope where there is none. I am the kind of hero that they write songs about."

For a moment, his mouth quirks in a sneer of self-deprecation, and then he continues. "Which - to put things very simply - means that I am a dead man walking. Some day, however good and pious and wonderful I may be, some day I will encounter an evil that is stronger, better organized or simply luckier than me. Whether tomorrow or years from now, whether it comes beneath a mighty dragon's claws or at the tip of a stupid goblin's spear, I will die violently, and in all likelihood, screaming in agony. There are many things paladins get to do that others do not. And one of them is that I get to die young. I know only one paladin who died of old age. Bodel the Shining, worshipper of Pelor. Oh, he was an inspiration to paladins everywhere! As long as you knew only of his deeds and never met him, sitting upright on a bed in a corner of a Peloran temple, gruel dribbling down his chin as an acolyte fed him. You see, Bodel once met a demon terrorizing a town and he unhesitatingly attacked. It didn't go as planned. The demon was much more powerful, and both clever and cruel. It ripped Bodel's arms and legs off, intentionally using its flaming body to cauterize the wounds so he would not bleed to death. Bodel spent the rest of his life, sixty years of it, sitting in that temple as an unmoving lump of flesh. Maybe I'll be luckier than him and run into something that will kill me on the spot. But I will run into it some day.

And you know what's the best thing about that? Everything that I do until that day is meaningless in the greater scheme of things. I can fight, and fight, and fight - until I don't have breath enough in my body to lift a finger, and all the good I do will end after I die. If it even lasts that long. I can cut down a warlord, reveal a murderous conspiracy, defend a town from a band of marauders. And a thousand warlords and conspiracies and marauders will rise in their place. I am a single soldier in a war that I cannot win. All I have is a sword and my faith. And arrayed against me is not just the great evil powers of the cosmos, but more dangerous and pervasive, the little flecks of evil caused by apathy and self-interest that lies in the hearts of all humanity.

Yes, I fight the good fight. And I fight it not because I can win or because I hope to do some lasting good, but simply because it should be fought. I'm too stupid to quit. But I'm smart enough to know that the choice I make has doomed me to a lifetime - in all probability a very short lifetime - of beating my head against a rock wall. So pardon me if once in a while I need a drink, or a good meal, or the sensation of a warm pair of thighs wrapped around me. I think you might agree that I've earned it. And if you don't, well then you can just go **** yourself. And do so in the knowledge that this two-bit drunk, swearing, womanizing bastard is willing to die to protect your miserable life. Have a nice day!"

Cedric smiles at Magnus' glazed expression and says, "But before you do that - how about telling me why the Order needs me? As at least some of my friends at Madam Catherine's should have told you, I live to serve."

Edit: In case you're interested in reading more about Cedric and don't want to wade through all of the thread, I've added some more fiction on pages 5 (here and here), 6, 7, 13, 14, 17, 18, 25 and 27. Enjoy!
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First Post
Absolutely not, with one caveat. Read the first page description of a paladin. The context is not merely doing good deeds, you also have to uphold a certain code of conduct. Your character description violates that on several levels. I.e. healing a prostitute would not violate it, but sleeping with her after would. The caveat is rule 0. If the DM likes it and buys into it, then you are gold. But I would not bring this concept to a table and surprise a DM with it either. The powers and abilities a paladin has are in exchange for his upholding his code and living the proper example. Your character violates on several levels, most importantly in how he conducts himself in conversing with others.
Now, that said... if I were your DM and you came to me with this concept.. I would encourage you to build the character as a warrior/cleric, and failed member of the order. You get to behave as you do, provide services, yet not expect the powers of a paladin... which you would lose in short order anyhow for that behavior. You can still do the noble thing anyhow, griping, complaining and bitching all the way, you just don't get the divine protection provided to those who do live the example....


First Post
Sylevus - I respectfully disagree.

I don't see the problem with his brothel patronage. He's respectful, pays, and goes above and beyond to help them out in ways other people wouldn't, just because of who or what they are. Sure, he's horny now and then, but he never stops being a good guy thru and thru.

As for how he speaks to people; Magnus in this case - just because he's a paladin doesn't mean he has to like everyone. Heck, I would probably have a similar reaction. Look at how Magnus first approches the situation: sneering at the man, and then asking for his help. Ugh, you disgust me.. please help us.

Personally, I think Sir Cedric would be just fine as a paladin in any game I ran.


First Post
I voted yes because it can make a flavorfull paladin. However, I would personnaly (as a DM) do things like that: this is probably a CG paladin (Paladin of Freedom variant from Unearthed Arcana) who belongs to a knight order in which most of the time paladins are LG.

Another thing to consider. Paladins are religious characters, they may even be mystics. Their compensation for suffering is not pleasure of the flesh every now and then, but the mystic/religious exaltation in which they live. You should take a look at good books, documents on the web, etc., about what was the most paladin-like order to have ever existed: the Order of the Temple, aka the Knight Templars. Their code included chastity. They reveled in the glory of combating for a greater cause, and for belonging to an illustrious order of religious chivalry (+ dying young = go to Heavens sooner). It seems to have been enough for them. I think anyone with strong religious feelings, or with a mystical inclination can understand this concept. Oherwise, only sex and food are going to pay you for your efforts.

Doug McCrae

I didn't vote as I couldn't be bothered to read 2-3 screens worth of fiction. Any possibility the character's morality could be stated a little more succinctly?


First Post
Frukathka said:
I would not allow this in any of my games. It is a subject that is too mature for the people that I run my games for.

I would never allow a paladin to do this, and certainly not in any game where my 11 year old was playing.
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First Post
I agree with Frukathka - while I see no real violation of the basic Paladin's code of the PHB (though some orders of knightlyhood may forbid some or all of those things, and soem Paladins may choose to abstain), I know that several of the players in my game couldn't handle even that tiny description of a brothel without turning the game into a 'try to make the DM describe me getting laid' fest.


First Post
I would readily allow him (barring of course special circumstances like setting-specific costraints or having a 12 years old player at the table).

First, I find nothing in the code of conduct that conflicts with the description above; now, should he get drunk and harm innocents in a bar brawl, the party would be over... ;)
Second, I have no qualms about placing mature themes in my games, although I tone down the most explicit details with a convenient fade to black.

If anything, it is a well-thought character concept that infuses new life in a class traditionally overdone with stereotypes. Good job!

Doug McCrae said:
I didn't vote as I couldn't be bothered to read 2-3 screens worth of fiction. Any possibility the character's morality could be stated a little more succinctly?
"I am born to die a futile death fighting against evil that will never be defeated. Thus, I can kick back with a brew and a babe now and then."

The fiction is well written, though.

Oh, and this is probably the most interesting paladin archetype I've seen in a long while. Good stuff.
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