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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: On the Subject of Paladins

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47 posts found
  Ozmodan

Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 6562

5/04/13 9:01:27 AM#21
It is what a Jedi is, a paladin in space so to speak.  The model is always there no matter what era you work with.  
  Oldskoo

Novice Member

Joined: 2/12/13
Posts: 190

5/04/13 9:56:16 AM#22
Originally posted by logan400k

Where is the incentive to re-imagine the Paladin? I agree, the characters can be as well rounded and human as any character, but why would a game developer / designer want to take the time to stand sterotypes on their head for an audience that only wants to get to the end game? For the table top crowd adn for writing, sure no doubt it needs to be revisited. For the MMO crowd though, they are the off-tank, off-healer class; druids who are not hippie tree huggers. 

 

The Paladin is a tragic figure in many ways; dedicated to a cause or a faith or both yet still eminently human and open to human frailty. They are holy soldiers, not necessarily holy warriors though they may act in that regard. I thhink there is a difference there. They have a relationship with the clergy, not always a good one and it depends on which  version of the clergy you decide to use.

 

To make the paladin open to being more interesting, there are a few things I think that could be adjusted.

 

  • Armor - In a traditional setting a paladin is a kinight, but that does not have to be the case in all settings. Take the paladin out of he armor or at least find a good reason to have him or her there.
  • Divine Powers - let's remove the plethora of diving powers. More skills, more training and miracles that are few and far between, not commonplace.
  • Code of Conduct - Chivalry has to go, especially in non-traditional settings. Its too patriarchal and it covers only faiths of Medieval times. Modernize the code of conduct to appeal to the modern gamer and if in an MMO MAKE IT RELEVANT.
  • Tragic Flaws - Being caught between your god and your friends and family has to count for something. Let's explore those flaws and tragic Catch-22s and as with the Code of Conduct make them relevant to the game.
 
 

Interesting ideas Logan. Nice post

  Mackeskimo

Novice Member

Joined: 10/26/10
Posts: 49

Sometimes you can't wait, Sometimes you have to scream your name & just run in.

5/04/13 10:49:28 AM#23

Liked the article, good topic.

 

My chosen in game class is normally Paladin, however, I never took on the eurocentric version of Paladin. 

 

For example, Chivalry to me is more a notion of justice than patriarchy or some other ridiculous notion. Paladins, in my stories, do what they must to keep the balance, normally tilting towards good, some paladins however are also/ can be lawfully evil. Depending on their notion of justice, may that be to follow the will of his king, clergy, god, or his own heart. Defending the weak and/or comrades in danger was just a part of this personal sense of justice.

 

Holy powers. i can easily see Paladins without this power, being excellent survivalist, tacticians, charismatic politicians, and master swordsman is qualified enough to lead one's forces. maybe add some Force powers. Similar to what Ozmodan said, I believe jedi are very Paladin-like in nature and depiction of ability.

 

Paladins, imo are all about their virtues and sense of justice, whatever that may be and I play my paladins, depending on how much I rp, just like that.

 

The point is I think Paladin has already evolved and became more then it originally was.

 
 
 
 

  Wylf

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/13/13
Posts: 110

5/04/13 11:55:34 AM#24
Another great article, when I read your post I was reminded of Sturm Brightblade a Knight of Solamnia in the Drangonlance Chronicles. A fierce warrior who held true to his own beliefs and  followed a code he believed in, even when no one else did.  To me that is a Paladin.

 

 
  Wizardry

Elite Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 6546

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

5/04/13 12:10:19 PM#25
Originally posted by ariasaitcho

In many ways it isn't just the Paladin that has become cookie cutter, cardboard cutout, off tank, off healer. When was the last time you played a game where thieves could actually steal? In most modern mmos thieves are nothing more than agi based warriors in light armor.

 

Yeah, the "race to the top" so we can be bored and demand more content has pretty much all classes cardboard cutouts of what they should be.  There is very little RPG in MMORPG anymore. Not that I usually care for that. It usually ends up being all thee, thou, m'lord, m'lady crud. Umm the setting isn't mideval Europe, so why are we talking like we're in mideval Europe?

;)

FFXI a Thief can steal.

I know it might sound biased but i enjoyed FFXI like no other becuase it just did almsot everything right.Teh class designs were exactly how i woudl see them as being played out.

The Thief not only could steal but they gave him a sneak attack ability,instead of the usual oddly named backstab ability.Also the Thief was given a HIDE ability again it just sounds right,instead of the usual invisible idea which to me in unrealistic,unless you were using some magical cloak of invisibility or a mage cast invisible on you.

As to the armor theme,i think it is realsitic to have a Paladin in heavy and a Thief in light,it makes sense to me.Also the AGI versus Staminma again makes sense.

A paladin was done near perfect imo by FFXi,it only faield on timer decisions.I know why they chose long timers,it was to keep from breaking the game,but really they shoudl have realized Paladins are seldom used and deserved a lot more love.

Paladin could guard/block,cover/shield bash and cast a few spells including healing and raise.He has abilities to enhance defensive abilities which again all makes sense to me.FFXi made the Paladin what you expect a TRUE Tank,the guardian and protector of the group.FFXI also gave him a 2 hour [now 1 hour] ability of invincibility,it further showed off the prowess of a true TAnk but it also was a huge hate mechanic that coudl steal hate back and lock it down from a proficient DPS player.

Of course like any game,as time goes on developers need to keep overpowering ideas to keep people buyuing their NEXT expansion,so eventually game design becomes messed up or broken,no longer plays as the original design intended.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Napolianboo#p/u/15/rCYLLQCNc1w
Samoan Diamond

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

5/04/13 12:21:56 PM#26
Originally posted by Lobotomist

Lawful Good means the character will always uphold the laws no mather what and without compromise.

I've always seen it a little differently ...

 

If one acknowledges that lawbreaking people exist then one should also believe that peoplebreaking laws can exist.   Both are corruptions of a paladin's romantic vision of what society could be and both bad people and bad laws can be a paladin's enemy.

 

If the paladin places a questionable law above a good person, that is drifting into lawful neutral.

 

If the paladin places a questionable person above a good law, that is drifting into neutral good.

 

Juding the contradictions where good people and good laws collide is where a paladin's religion comes in.  If the paladin sees their prayers as appeals to a higher court, then yes, the paladin may enforce divine judgement without question.  However, I've also seen a few people play rational paladins who see their divine benefactor as simply another source of laws, not necessarily better laws.

 

So a lot of the drama around a paladin's choices and whether they end up being a beacon or a parody lays in how harshly the game puts well-meaning people and well-meaning laws into conflict with each other and what sort of divine advice the paladin is given (wihether its the player, the DM or the dice deciding what that advice was).

 
 
 
  SteinarB

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/15/12
Posts: 46

5/04/13 12:36:01 PM#27

Honestly, the badly played paladin/lawful good character is not what annoys me the most, though they can be truly groan-inducing.  No, what annoys me both as a GM and as a player is the "true neutral in name only" types.  How often have you seen players pick the true neutral alignment because "that means I don't get the penalties inherent in being good or evil, like powers or spells affecting those of that alignment, and at the same time I can do whatever I want"?  How often have your supposedly neutral players acted more like evil bastards than the villains themselves, and justified it with "Well, once last year my character gave to charity and saved a cat from a tree without asking for more than 50 percent of the owners possessions in compensation, so I'm still neutral"?  Or how often have you heard them justify a horrible deed with "Sure, it may seem evil, but it's not, really, because my character thought the guy I just robbed and murdered was an enemy spy"?

 

I don't think any alignment has been more abused and misused than true neutral.

  Thanosxp

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/02/05
Posts: 172

5/04/13 5:10:02 PM#28
Originally posted by SteinarB

Honestly, the badly played paladin/lawful good character is not what annoys me the most, though they can be truly groan-inducing.  No, what annoys me both as a GM and as a player is the "true neutral in name only" types.  How often have you seen players pick the true neutral alignment because "that means I don't get the penalties inherent in being good or evil, like powers or spells affecting those of that alignment, and at the same time I can do whatever I want"?  How often have your supposedly neutral players acted more like evil bastards than the villains themselves, and justified it with "Well, once last year my character gave to charity and saved a cat from a tree without asking for more than 50 percent of the owners possessions in compensation, so I'm still neutral"?  Or how often have you heard them justify a horrible deed with "Sure, it may seem evil, but it's not, really, because my character thought the guy I just robbed and murdered was an enemy spy"?

 

I don't think any alignment has been more abused and misused than true neutral.

  That sounds just like "knights of the dinner table" comic. Check it out, you'll like it.

=P

  waynejr2

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 3709

RIP City of Heroes!

5/04/13 5:19:00 PM#29
Originally posted by SteinarB

Honestly, the badly played paladin/lawful good character is not what annoys me the most, though they can be truly groan-inducing.  No, what annoys me both as a GM and as a player is the "true neutral in name only" types.  How often have you seen players pick the true neutral alignment because "that means I don't get the penalties inherent in being good or evil, like powers or spells affecting those of that alignment, and at the same time I can do whatever I want"?  How often have your supposedly neutral players acted more like evil bastards than the villains themselves, and justified it with "Well, once last year my character gave to charity and saved a cat from a tree without asking for more than 50 percent of the owners possessions in compensation, so I'm still neutral"?  Or how often have you heard them justify a horrible deed with "Sure, it may seem evil, but it's not, really, because my character thought the guy I just robbed and murdered was an enemy spy"?

 

I don't think any alignment has been more abused and misused than true neutral.

 Did they have fun?

  Maquiame

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/07
Posts: 622

Power without perception is spiritually useless and of no true value

5/04/13 6:32:55 PM#30
I think it depends on the god that is being followed. In the upcoming game TESO I don't expect a Redguard who is a Templar of the Hoonding to act like a Breton Paladin who follows Stendarr or St. Alessia. Same goes for a Orc Paladin of Malacath but I'm an rper so doing this is nothing new, Now as far as mechanics go I would have to agree with the other guy and say that most mmo players won't and don't care- aside from the rpers *winks*.

Any mmo worth its salt should be like a good prostitute when it comes to its game world- One hell of a faker, and a damn good shaker!

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 18727

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

5/04/13 6:44:48 PM#31
Originally posted by SteinarB

Honestly, the badly played paladin/lawful good character is not what annoys me the most, though they can be truly groan-inducing.  No, what annoys me both as a GM and as a player is the "true neutral in name only" types.  How often have you seen players pick the true neutral alignment because "that means I don't get the penalties inherent in being good or evil, like powers or spells affecting those of that alignment, and at the same time I can do whatever I want"?  How often have your supposedly neutral players acted more like evil bastards than the villains themselves, and justified it with "Well, once last year my character gave to charity and saved a cat from a tree without asking for more than 50 percent of the owners possessions in compensation, so I'm still neutral"?  Or how often have you heard them justify a horrible deed with "Sure, it may seem evil, but it's not, really, because my character thought the guy I just robbed and murdered was an enemy spy"?

 

I don't think any alignment has been more abused and misused than true neutral.

I don't think it's possible for a human being to play a true neutral character, perhaps only a robot could because it would be divorced of all feeling, empathy, and good vs evil, and make decisions based on the logic of perhaps, does it make things better or worse. 

 

"In these forums 'honest' seems to be a symonym for 'hates the game just like I do'" - ohioastro
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  1vald2

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/20/12
Posts: 75

5/05/13 4:17:33 AM#32
Originally posted by Lobotomist

Lawful-Good is not equivalent of good. Neutral-Good is.

Lawful Good means the character will always uphold the laws no mather what and without compromise.

Even doing evil things if they are in order of law.

 

You have lot of examples in Game of Thrones and kingsguard. Sir Barristan Selmy for example.

I would actually consider Ser Barristan Selmy a Lawful Neutral Character. All the bad things he has done in the name of the Mad King Aerys cannot be considered "good". Lawful? Yes. Good? No.

  Raventree

Novice Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 455

It is a double pleasure to gank the ganker.
-Raven Treeavelli

5/05/13 9:07:11 AM#33
A friend of mine once played a dim-witted paladin who carried around a law book and literally would hit people with it if they broke the law or seemed like they were thinking about it.  It was a hilarious if short-lived campaign.

Currently playing:
Rift
Played:
SWToR, Aion,EQ, Dark Age of Camelot
World of Warcraft, AoC

  Melecon

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/18/13
Posts: 10

5/05/13 10:05:25 AM#34

 

I play paladins a lot in my PnP games, and have a tendency to play them as Templers, where they are lawful to the land where they came from Europe and later the Byzantium Empire. They where run out of the Middle east for this very fact that they were invaders and didn't follow the laws of the land, but the laws of their God.

My Favourite "Paladin" was playing a Knight of the Sword in post Cataclysm in the Dragon Lance series for PnP where my DM played the Mistrust of the people very well... and I had to watch my back from the "evil" doers as well as the people I was trying to save. Was an epic campaign.

  OSF8759

Novice Member

Joined: 5/27/07
Posts: 288

5/05/13 2:57:40 PM#35

What I like about LOTRO's Captain class is that it's a Paladin without the religious baggage.

[quote]When did purity of spirit or intent come to mean, “doesn’t have sex, or thoughts of sex”?[/quote]

Christianity's anti-sex stance predates the Victorian era by some centuries.

  Po_gg

Elite Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 1951

5/05/13 3:43:11 PM#36
Originally posted by OSF8759

What I like about LOTRO's Captain class is that it's a Paladin without the religious baggage.

Strange, one of my mains is a cappy, but I never looked at him as a paladin...

 

More so, to the column start  "Paladins are everybody's favorite good guy to pick on in most MMOs." khm, everybody -1. I never played paladins so far (mmo's or p'n'p either), except a "paladin" in huge brackets back in AD&D 2nd.

He was a fighter, who got enlisted only to the city guard because he wasn't qualified to be a paladin (those nasty rolls at character creation :) ) but he wanted to be one since childhood... So he posed and acted like one, pretty well indeed, the first 2 sessions went good as a paladin, but then the party got suspicious (he wasn't lawful stupid only lawful neutral, and to be honest, he wasn't 100% chaste :D ), not to mention he couldn't Turn ofc...

Which led to a theatrical coming out, where he confessed, that...  his Goddess didn't aid him anymore due to his lady issues, and he's an outcast (yep, he lied too... what can a poor fighter do if he's cursed with paladin obsession? :) ). It was a great character to play, sadly he died a very noble (and very stupid, paladin-ish) death a few sessions later...

 

Edit: a paladin thread simply has to contain these epic lines :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kNpvCVQPm0

  hcosmin

Novice Member

Joined: 2/02/06
Posts: 45

5/06/13 6:38:23 AM#37

Sorry but all you want out of your paladins matches very neatly with a Neutral Good - Chaotic Good character. Playing medieval Han Solo is not some kind of revolution in character development that no nerd has thought of before. If your own temperament somehow prevents you from enjoying a straight-up Lawful character and their natural depth that comes from the conflict between Duty/Honor and Empathy that's fine but you don't have to rub it in other people's faces how much more interesting your characters are.

Obviously if you're going to be playing a modern-day paladin what would be seen as Lawful would be different than in a medieval story, but as a general rule a Lawful Good character would still be one that respects and protects existing social institutions and laws and all that because they believe them to be good and necessary.

He doesn't have to be chaste like a monk but he would still for example follow the modern opinion as to what is ethical in relationships (i.e. he would not cheat on or lie to his parteners). He would certainly not enjoy some sensless bar brawl for no apparent reason. Making that kind of character and calling them paladins doesn't make them interesting, just schizo.

"Oh look at me i made a paladin who is a rebel and doesn't believe in religion and always does his own thing!" - no you didn't you special snowflake, you made a warrior.

And come on, the Doctor a Lawful character ? You must be joking.

 
  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 16945

5/06/13 6:58:04 AM#38
Originally posted by Lobotomist

Lawful-Good is not equivalent of good. Neutral-Good is.

Lawful Good means the character will always uphold the laws no mather what and without compromise.

Even doing evil things if they are in order of law.

 

You have lot of examples in Game of Thrones and kingsguard. Sir Barristan Selmy for example.

Yeah, I have a "paladin" character as one of my Skyrim characters and that's exactly how I play her. She's my "Joan of Arc" character in that she is a female character with a cause (among other things) but she always does "what's right" as the law states it.

So Paarthanax dies no matter what and Serana is an abomnation who is only a means to an end.

It's interesting playing a "good" character that does so many distasteful things.

Nevermind that tree in whiterun was being restored at all costs!

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

5/06/13 6:53:29 PM#39
Originally posted by hcosmin

"Oh look at me i made a paladin who is a rebel and doesn't believe in religion and always does his own thing!" - no you didn't you special snowflake, you made a warrior.

 

When it comes to something as large and complex as a character archetype, we all tend to put the emphasis in different places.  When it comes to building fantasy worlds, doubly so.

 

  krant

Novice Member

Joined: 1/24/13
Posts: 7

5/06/13 9:53:25 PM#40
Originally posted by hcosmin

 

 

And come on, the Doctor a Lawful character ? You must be joking.

 

Actually the doctor is a fairly lawful character, but like any decently written elf, over his extended lifetime there have been periods where he just gets fed up with everything and goes rogue.

If you were a millenium and a half old you'ld probably have a few chaotic periods in your life too

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