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[Column] General: On the Subject of Paladins

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Comments

  • SteinarBSteinarB KristiansandPosts: 51Member Uncommon

    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.

  • ThanosxpThanosxp floripaPosts: 168Member Uncommon
    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

  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,472Member Uncommon
    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?

  • MaquiameMaquiame Posts: 794Member Uncommon
    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*.

    image

    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!

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,980Member Uncommon
    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 my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
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  • 1vald21vald2 StuttgartPosts: 75Member
    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.

    image

  • RaventreeRaventree Yourtown, MNPosts: 456Member
    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

  • MeleconMelecon Calgary, ABPosts: 28Member Common

     

    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.

  • OSF8759OSF8759 Riverside, CAPosts: 284Member

    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_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,714Member Uncommon
    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

  • hcosminhcosmin BucharestPosts: 45Member

    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.

     
  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,452Member Uncommon
    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!

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    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.

     

  • krantkrant Wilsonville, ORPosts: 7Member
    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

  • krantkrant Wilsonville, ORPosts: 7Member
    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.

    A lawful good character will not uphold the law no matter what.  The good part of the alignment requires the character to seek justice.  Not simply adherance to the law.

    A lawful neutral character on the other hand doesn't care why you did what you did, you broke the law and you will be punished.  According to the law.

    A samurai following the code of bushido would obey all of his particular lord's laws, unless ordered to do otherwise.  But for a samurai his lords word is the highest law.

    But a samurai is not a paladin, for that matter a medival knight is not a paladin.  A good example of a modern paladin would be Batman.

  • KonfessKonfess Dallas, TXPosts: 949Member Uncommon

    I always play a healer, and the warrior healer is also a favorite of mine.  In the beginning and for most of its existence, Catholic priest were not celibate.  It wasn’t until their offspring were bleeding the church dry from inheritance that the rules changed.  I will leave it up to online scholars to look up the date that this happened.

    Pardon any spelling errors
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    Mom: We don't talk to Priests.
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  • NoizMchnNoizMchn Atlanta, GAPosts: 29Member
    Lawful Stupid... I need to remember that one.  Good write-up.  I agree 99%.
  • RaysheRayshe London, ONPosts: 1,284Member
    The only time i even look at paladins is when its not Alignment specific. I enjoy being a Neutral Paladin, specially if its something like DnD and it is one of the few things that 4th ed did right. A neutral pally is more interested in achieving his gods will than jumping on the closest sword to save a puppy. To us there is no Good guy or Bad guy, Simply the rules of our religion (mine is 9 times out of 10 the Raven Queen)

    Because i can.
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  • brandisbrandis Fort Smith, ARPosts: 8Member
    I know this is late (followed this thread from Why We Play MMOs) , but, i like the example that is set in Dungeon an Dragons Forgotten Realms Classic's graphic novels 1 to 4 as shown by example of  Priam Agrivar. I inherited a lvl 15 Bladeforged Paladin w/ my Shadowfell Conspiracy packet. I will admit i haven"t played my toon yet, i've been advancing my rouge in DDO and in Neverwinter, the Paladin is next for me to be (yes, i play because i like the outlet i get from the fantasy of being that toon). Live long and prosper, and may the force be with you.
  • brandisbrandis Fort Smith, ARPosts: 8Member

    I play because i love getting into and becoming my toon. I have long been a fan of DnD (first time i played was in 1975  out of a paperback  novel that was strictly a rpg and used a pair of 6 sided dice). I finally got back into gaming this past march when i downloaded DDO Eberron and became a beta tester for Neverwinter. I am 65 and i love the fact that despite my disabilities (COPD) i can run, jump and wield a weapon or cast a spell like i could in my 20's as a former Marine and 'Nam veteran. Semper Fi to all my MMORPG brothers and sisters. We are just as much a closely knit Brotherhood as the U.S.M.C. (which is 1 of the LARGEST there is.)

  • aspekxaspekx Brandon, FLPosts: 2,167Member

    the beauty of the old rpg paladins was in the possible storyline twists which can accompany anyone so passionately taken up with doing the right thing. say someone like Anakin Skywalker.

     

    its the story that you also find in Warcraft 3.

     

    this balancing thread between doing the right thing and doing so much of the 'right thing' that it becomes a bad thing has always held the fascination for most i think. (at least in tabletop rpg's.)

     

    as for mmo's i usually play paladins for their diversity and utility. i like hybrid style classes in general, so the paladin in an mmo certainly holds that sweet spot between melee and magic (even if 'divine'  magic), damage and healing.

     

    being able to jump into a random fight you come across where someone is near dying and being able to either tank the creatures attacking or heal the other player through the damage is always a great feeling.

     

    "There are at least two kinds of games.
    One could be called finite, the other infinite.
    A finite game is played for the purpose of winning,
    an infinite game for the purpose of continuing play."
    Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse

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