Volume 3 Mini Issue 3 – Paladins

1 comment on “Volume 3 Mini Issue 3 – Paladins”

  1. John Fenton

    Nowhere in the PHB does it state that paladins are the champions of a deity. That’s just an assumption people make, probably because it’s the easiest interpretation of the class. Unfortunately it’s been repeated so often that it’s now taken as gospel—kinda like the overblown connection between rangers and nature, …but that’s a topic for another discussion.

    I think the best models for paladins are those characters of legend & literature the class is based upon: Arthurian knights such as King Arthur, Lancelot & Galahad, and Roland & the Peers. These were pure of heart warriors who strove to live chivalrous lives. They were noble in the finest, most idealistic sense of the word. And yes, they were certainly pious too. There is no denying that a strong religious undercurrent informed most everything they did. But I think their piety was a function of their personal discipline. And while they were certainly were Christian champions, they were not mere champions of the Christian God. Lancelot was Arthur’s champion, and Roland Charlemagne’s.

    I’ve always viewed the powers of the paladin class as partly a gift of their deity and partly a product of their purity, devotion & discipline; a physical, spiritual & magical manifestation of their lawfulness & goodness.

    Indeed, in a fantasy world where clear absolutes of law & chaos and good & evil exist side by side, it is conceivable that true paladins could possess the powers of their class independent of any deity. I would not, however, say the same for devotees of other alignments.

    But that’s just my take.

    On the other hand, if you are going to play paladins in the fashion of official champions of their deities, then it makes no sense whatsoever to restrict their alignment. After all, don’t you think a lawful evil or chaotic good deity would have champions, and wouldn’t deities of those or any other alignments be just as inclined as lawful good deities to reward devoutly faithful champions striving to further their cause?

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