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How do you guys play a Paladin?

I just completed TOB for the first time with my fighter/thief and was utterly intrigued by the full backstory of Charname! Now, I'm thinking of playing a Paladin from BG1 all the way into TOB (including SOD which I've not tried yet).

I have a few questions that I hope you guys who have played Paladins before can help answer:

1) In terms of role-playing a Paladin, how do you guys interpret the class of Paladin at the start of the game? I imagine Charname shouldn't be classified as a Paladin yet since to be promoted into the ranks of a Paladin I reckon you need years of experience and numerous remarkable achievements. I know perhaps its for the sake of simplicity when you pick classes, but the way I see it, Charname should perhaps start off his journey as a squire, just like Anomen and Ajantis, and only after Charname has completed the Paladin Stronghold quests in BG2 then he could be finally recognized as a full-fledged Paladin.

2) What deity does your Charname worship? I'm thinking Torm as I like Torm as a figure of who is aware of his past humanity and preaches duty, loyalty and righteousness as opposed to Helm or Tyr whom I feel are too zealous for their own good. Does anyone know if Torm wields a sword and shield or a two-handed weapon?

3) What weapon proficiency and style of fighting do you guys prefer? Sword and Shield, Dual wielding or Two-handed wielding? What is your ideal image of a Paladin?

4) Lastly, what do you guys call your Charname Paladin? I'm having trouble thinking of a cool name.


Personally, I think the class of a Paladin for Charname is really interesting. It's like you have two opposing extreme ideologies clashing in one person: Torm vs. Bhaal; Good vs. Evil. Who will triumph? I can imagine Gorion indoctrinating Charname since young with the faith of Torm/Helm in the hope that perhaps believing in the force of good will aid in Charname's struggle against his evil heritage. I can also see Torm showing a great interest especially in Charname and granting him greater strength and wisdom in order to offset the growing darkness in him.
AerakarThacoBell
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Comments

  • lelag200lelag200 Member Posts: 118
    1) I agree with your first point and like your general thoughts on role-playing as a paladin.

    2) The obvious choice for god to worship in my mind has always been Lathander. Being lawful good in alignment means Lathander is most congruent with your own values.

    3) As I think about the times I've gone through the entire saga I remember Carsomyr being a weapon I wanted to use and since only a Paladin can use it and since it's often regarded as the best weapon in the game, I would personally choose two-handed swords.

    4) Names you could get from generators online. I think prophet names from the bible would be cool-- names like Ezekiel, Isaac, Esau, etc.
    johntylAerakarThacoBell
  • johntyljohntyl Member Posts: 371
    lelag200 said:



    2) The obvious choice for god to worship in my mind has always been Lathander. Being lawful good in alignment means Lathander is most congruent with your own values.

    Hmm.. I always see Lathander as a deity for clerics or druids since his portfolio consists of creativity, dawn, renewal, birth, athletics, spring, self-perfection, vitality. And he favored those who dispelled the undead and blessed those who planted new life. Whereas Torm, Tyr, Illmater and Helm are like the go-to deities for good-aligned fighters and paladins :)
    Aerakar
  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 330
    Paladin's often serve the same dieties that clerics do. Lathander is not really a deity for Druids because he's far too polarized in nature. However he is perfect for Paladin's and undead hunters or Cavaliers in particular. Paladin's started out as the Martial Arm of churches and religions against the threats of outside forces.

    Helm is actually far too driven by law to be truly suitable to Paladins. And Ilmater doesn't quite fit Paladins because the ideals that drive Ilmater are very different being based far more in sacrifice than righteous defense.


    ThacoBelllelag200johntyl
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,023
    Oh man, Paladins always have a soft spot for me, my first succesful BG1 run as well as my first trilogy run was with a Paladin/Cavalier.

    1) I don't stress over titles and experience when I play, but how I act out the alignment and duties is what is important for me. As a lawful good, regardless of how you choose to lean your Paladin, both sides must be represented and balanced with each other in some way. Both define the class, and the difficulty of balancing them is a large part of what makes Paladins interesting. But what if you have to make a choice? This one is on you, but for me personally, a Paladin should ALWAYS choose good over law if they are irreconcilable. Even evil characters can be lawful, its a Paladins duty to advance righteousness whenever possible. My Paladins are always merciful over being harsh or judging, but good does not need to be nice, you have a full range of dispositions that be put into play.

    2) Lathander, this deity fits my Paladins the most, being lawful good, but also leaning more towards mercy and understanding, rather than militant action.

    3) I like either sword and shield or two handed style for my human Paladins, just seems to fit more. It also helps that the two Paladin weapons available are a longsword and a two handed sword. If I'm playing home rules and anyone can be a Paladin, then its whatever I feel fits my character at the time.

    4) Most of my charname uh, names are either bad jokes or references, move along :wink:
    lelag200johntylJarrakul
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 921
    1) Titles aren't important, particularly given CHARNAME's background.

    2) Tyr, because he's also a Norse god.

    3) Because you can't go past specialization you can't really go wrong since you'll eventually look like an orange juice factory: pips all over the place.

    4) My names tend to be bad puns, like Heironymous Bash and Evan Zabove and Sir Culation.
    ThacoBelljohntyl
  • johntyljohntyl Member Posts: 371
    ThacoBell said:


    1) I don't stress over titles and experience when I play, but how I act out the alignment and duties is what is important for me. As a lawful good, regardless of how you choose to lean your Paladin, both sides must be represented and balanced with each other in some way. Both define the class, and the difficulty of balancing them is a large part of what makes Paladins interesting. But what if you have to make a choice? This one is on you, but for me personally, a Paladin should ALWAYS choose good over law if they are irreconcilable. Even evil characters can be lawful, its a Paladins duty to advance righteousness whenever possible. My Paladins are always merciful over being harsh or judging, but good does not need to be nice, you have a full range of dispositions that be put into play.

    Good points!
    ThacoBell said:


    3) I like either sword and shield or two handed style for my human Paladins, just seems to fit more. It also helps that the two Paladin weapons available are a longsword and a two handed sword. If I'm playing home rules and anyone can be a Paladin, then its whatever I feel fits my character at the time.

    You mean bastard swords instead of long sword? Purifier is a bastard sword and it's for Paladins.
    ThacoBell
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 1,221
    @johntyl Purifier is, IIRC, a ToB weapon.


    1) I don't really care about this. If my character sheet says I'm a Paladin, I'm a Paladin. Period. I think you are mixing Class and Title - those are two different concepts IMO. And the way I see there is only one paladin kit: Undead Hunter. Love this concept.

    2) Helm. Maybe because I'm a military myself, I can't even think of another god.

    3) I start with Long Sword (Harrower, Burning Earth, Daystar, Equalizer), go for Two-Handed Sword (Carsomyr) and finally Bastard Sword (Purifier). Usually, I invest in Two-Weapon Style / Two-Handed Weapon Style, in that order.
    johntyl
  • johntyljohntyl Member Posts: 371
    Raduziel said:


    1) I don't really care about this. If my character sheet says I'm a Paladin, I'm a Paladin. Period. I think you are mixing Class and Title - those are two different concepts IMO. And the way I see there is only one paladin kit: Undead Hunter. Love this concept.
    .

    Agreed they are different concepts. What I'm referring to is in terms of roleplaying the class of a Paladin. I would see my level 1 Charname, for example, as a warrior/knight in training to be a Paladin one day, at the beginning of the game, similar to how both Ajantis and Anomen are squires having to prove to be worthy enough to be recognized formally as Sir Ajantis/Anomen, like Sir Keldorn.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,023
    johntyl said:

    ThacoBell said:


    1) I don't stress over titles and experience when I play, but how I act out the alignment and duties is what is important for me. As a lawful good, regardless of how you choose to lean your Paladin, both sides must be represented and balanced with each other in some way. Both define the class, and the difficulty of balancing them is a large part of what makes Paladins interesting. But what if you have to make a choice? This one is on you, but for me personally, a Paladin should ALWAYS choose good over law if they are irreconcilable. Even evil characters can be lawful, its a Paladins duty to advance righteousness whenever possible. My Paladins are always merciful over being harsh or judging, but good does not need to be nice, you have a full range of dispositions that be put into play.

    Good points!
    ThacoBell said:


    3) I like either sword and shield or two handed style for my human Paladins, just seems to fit more. It also helps that the two Paladin weapons available are a longsword and a two handed sword. If I'm playing home rules and anyone can be a Paladin, then its whatever I feel fits my character at the time.

    You mean bastard swords instead of long sword? Purifier is a bastard sword and it's for Paladins.
    I've picked up the Purifier once. I only learned about it this year, so oops. Sorry about the mistake.
  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 330
    edited July 5
    johntyl said:



    Agreed they are different concepts. What I'm referring to is in terms of roleplaying the class of a Paladin. I would see my level 1 Charname, for example, as a warrior/knight in training to be a Paladin one day, at the beginning of the game, similar to how both Ajantis and Anomen are squires having to prove to be worthy enough to be recognized formally as Sir Ajantis/Anomen, like Sir Keldorn.

    Roleplaying wise. if you belong to an order you may get rank titles that differ from what you actually are. but at level 1 you would still be a paladin in all but fancy wording. if you are role playing more that your starting as church trained and not something like order of the radiant heart however. You would basically always be a Paladin. That is their title for your role essentially. (Unless you want to flavor it as Crusader or something). Ajantis, Keldorn, and Anomen are all order members (All Radiant heart as I recall as well) but they are not the only paladin's. Just the source of a decent sized chunk of them.

    There are actually issues with Anomen. Technically he can never be a paladin. He breaks quite a few rules. Particularly in 2e. It's been a point of contention about his character in the past and the whole paladin issue.
  • johntyljohntyl Member Posts: 371
    edited July 6
    fateless said:

    Roleplaying wise. if you belong to an order you may get rank titles that differ from what you actually are. but at level 1 you would still be a paladin in all but fancy wording. if you are role playing more that your starting as church trained and not something like order of the radiant heart however. You would basically always be a Paladin. That is their title for your role essentially. (Unless you want to flavor it as Crusader or something). Ajantis, Keldorn, and Anomen are all order members (All Radiant heart as I recall as well) but they are not the only paladin's. Just the source of a decent sized chunk of them.

    I see your point. But the way I see the class-name Paladin, which is also known as 'Holy Warrior', is an esteemed position bestowed on warriors/knights who have proved their worth. It just seems strange to me that Charname - a gullible, unsophisticated greenhorn raised within the confines of Candlekeep - can be called a Paladin. I guess it's just how I interpreted it :)
  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 330
    Candlekeep is full of sages and scholars and priests. They even have a small temple on the grounds though they don't disclose what god it is to. The reality is that Charname is only gullible and unsophisticated if you wish to play him that way because in some ways he's surrounded by entirely the opposite. It's completely possible there are tomes of tenant and education to teach most anything to one that desires to find it considering there are like 3 or 4 floors of a massive keep dedicated to the texts and tomes of the land.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,023
    fateless said:

    Candlekeep is full of sages and scholars and priests. They even have a small temple on the grounds though they don't disclose what god it is to. The reality is that Charname is only gullible and unsophisticated if you wish to play him that way because in some ways he's surrounded by entirely the opposite. It's completely possible there are tomes of tenant and education to teach most anything to one that desires to find it considering there are like 3 or 4 floors of a massive keep dedicated to the texts and tomes of the land.

    Considering the name of the priest that tends the temple, I'm gonna say Oghma. Makes sense with the Candlekeep being a center of knowledge as well.
    johntylDreadKhan
  • johntyljohntyl Member Posts: 371
    fateless said:

    Candlekeep is full of sages and scholars and priests. They even have a small temple on the grounds though they don't disclose what god it is to. The reality is that Charname is only gullible and unsophisticated if you wish to play him that way because in some ways he's surrounded by entirely the opposite. It's completely possible there are tomes of tenant and education to teach most anything to one that desires to find it considering there are like 3 or 4 floors of a massive keep dedicated to the texts and tomes of the land.

    Yes, but that's like saying you graduated from a University with a, say Honors in battling with unholy creatures since you are a Holy Warrior (Paladin), but you never once killed a zombie. You have zero experience in the field. The only two people you've actually killed prior to fleeing Candlekeep are Shank and Carbos and according to Charname, you are quite distressed after killing Shank. And maybe some rats.
  • johntyljohntyl Member Posts: 371
    ThacoBell said:


    Considering the name of the priest that tends the temple, I'm gonna say Oghma. Makes sense with the Candlekeep being a center of knowledge as well.

    Yes you are right, it's the temple of Oghma.
  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 330
    johntyl said:



    Yes, but that's like saying you graduated from a University with a, say Honors in battling with unholy creatures since you are a Holy Warrior (Paladin), but you never once killed a zombie. You have zero experience in the field. The only two people you've actually killed prior to fleeing Candlekeep are Shank and Carbos and according to Charname, you are quite distressed after killing Shank. And maybe some rats.

    This is actually where basically everybody starts. Mages perhaps being the only exception. They haven't done basically anything or have any real experience in any class and even more particularly any of the kits. Everybody has to start somewhere with no real practical knowledge. That's actually the point of beginning level one. You've gained just enough book knowledge/study to go from level 0 to level 1. From that point on level one is more about practical experience in your preferred class.

    For a Paladin your starting has been studying perhaps certain tactics but never really gotten to try them out. Ethics suited to certain codes of honour until you've memorized them. learning the fighting is easy. Learning the Cods of Behavior and Devotion required can take years of study that likely will never end.
    ThacoBell
  • johntyljohntyl Member Posts: 371
    fateless said:


    Learning the Cods of Behavior and Devotion required can take years of study that likely will never end.

    You see that's my issue with being called a Paladin at level 1 when your codes and devotion have NOT been tested to the extremes and in spite of that kept your resolve and faith.

    It's like a newly arts graduate calling himself Picasso after reading lots of art books and painted one art piece for his final graduate project.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,023
    johntyl said:

    fateless said:


    Learning the Cods of Behavior and Devotion required can take years of study that likely will never end.

    You see that's my issue with being called a Paladin at level 1 when your codes and devotion have NOT been tested to the extremes and in spite of that kept your resolve and faith.

    It's like a newly arts graduate calling himself Picasso after reading lots of art books and painted one art piece for his final graduate project.
    Its more like a new arts graduate calling themselves an artist. Still correct. Some training has to have to have occured to be a level 1 Paladin in the first place anyway, otherwise charname would be a level 0 commoner. I mean, you have enough proficiency points to be considered specialized in 2 completely different weapons.
  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 330
    @Johntyl most artists aren't considered good until they are dead. Even if they become masters of their craft. That's probably not a bad way to think about playing a Paladin. But at the same time. if they are lucky, then they will never have their codes and devotion tested to extremes and be force to keep their resolve and faith in the face of it. And in truth some paladin's will never reach this point.
    johntyl
  • johntyljohntyl Member Posts: 371
    ThacoBell said:


    Its more like a new arts graduate calling themselves an artist. Still correct. Some training has to have to have occured to be a level 1 Paladin in the first place anyway, otherwise charname would be a level 0 commoner. I mean, you have enough proficiency points to be considered specialized in 2 completely different weapons.

    True. But who or what is it that officially recognizes a person as a Paladin in the first place? In Candlekeep for example: there is only a temple of Oghma. I doubt you can call a follower of Oghma a Paladin.

    And if a Paladin doesn't belong to an Order, who or what then decrees a Paladin to be "Fallen" if their reputation is sullied? Is there like a general official judicial body that decides who is or is not a Paladin?
  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 330
    edited July 7
    That is a question that is more valid to 3e and above where Paladin's didn't have so many restrictions on what they could be. However. in 2e there is indeed a clear line. In some respects mechanical but it's there. BG treats it by a reputation getting too low. However in regular game. Doing acts against ones code or losing one of the values of the lawful good alignment loses your standing as a Paladin until you can atone and fix it. But you can only do such things a couple times before you can't fix it at all.

    in 3e and above. It really depends on what god your associated with. Faerun may have certain orders of Paladin's but the reality is that all gods are tied to Gods in some way. If you follow the teachings and the precepts of the god to the point that you live them while defending your faith in a martial capacity then you are a Paladin. If you betray those ethics and precepts of your god then you have Fallen. Alignment only plays a part in your alignment moving away from that of your god. 4e might have been the same(I didn't touch it) otherwise 5e is the loosest because while they are often tied to gods technically it's possible to be a 5e paladin dedicated to the idea of Justice. Even though it still talks about that God Aspect in how it's written.

    Order's are actually kind of a false covering and completely mortal organized. You can actually fail to uphold the standards of an Order and if it's not directly tied to a single god and all of it's beliefs and what not. You don't necessarily stop being a Paladin if you manage to follow your god while failing to follow the Orders ways.
    ThacoBelljohntyl
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,023
    johntyl said:

    ThacoBell said:


    Its more like a new arts graduate calling themselves an artist. Still correct. Some training has to have to have occured to be a level 1 Paladin in the first place anyway, otherwise charname would be a level 0 commoner. I mean, you have enough proficiency points to be considered specialized in 2 completely different weapons.

    True. But who or what is it that officially recognizes a person as a Paladin in the first place? In Candlekeep for example: there is only a temple of Oghma. I doubt you can call a follower of Oghma a Paladin.

    And if a Paladin doesn't belong to an Order, who or what then decrees a Paladin to be "Fallen" if their reputation is sullied? Is there like a general official judicial body that decides who is or is not a Paladin?
    Every god in Faerun has its own Paladin.
  • ZagaciousZagacious Member Posts: 47
    For me personally the paladin is one of the most boring classes, and Figher/Cleric does mostly the same things but better. Paladin isn't the best fighter, and he's an average cleric after getting several levels. From an RP perspective he could be interesting, but I just can't get into playing them.
  • thespacethespace Member Posts: 991
    As much as I enjoy the idea, I've never been able to get into the paladin long enough to sustain for the long haul (although I did finish BG1EE with a cavalier. I love playing rangers (archers & stalkers specifically) with the idea of purity/goodness and such (roleplaying them as somewhere between a paladin and a swashbuckler), just not burdened by rules & heavy armor. I'm too much of a fan of stealth. I'd play a ranger/cleric if I wanted more divine magic/anti undead goodness.
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 1,983
    To me, being a paladin is a calling. It's who you are, whether by fundamental nature or by pigheaded force of will. A order might recognize it and grant the official title, a god might acknowledge it and grant holy powers (although this isn't the only explanation for said powers, in the case of Gorion's Ward), but ultimately, a paladin is defined by who they are, not what someone else calls them. Even with no order and no title, even beyond the sight of every god, a paladin is someone who shines light into the darkness, someone who is utterly uncompromising in their dedication to doing the right thing. And at the end of the day, that's all it is.

    Falling, then, isn't a matter of disgrace or divine disapproval (note that a paladin's code is not order- or deity-dependent, which seems really important to the lore). It's a matter of failure to live up to the calling. A fallen paladin is one who's turned away from the path, who is no longer a beacon in dark places. And again, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. Gods and titles aren't what makes a paladin. Paladins make themselves, which is why they're much rarer than, say, clerics. And by the same token, gods and titles aren't what makes a paladin fall. A paladin falls, quite simply, when they fail to be a paladin.

    As for what god a paladin would choose to follow... Kelemvor, lord of the dead. Seriously, look the guy up, he's an incredibly cool and thematic god for a paladin (especially an undead slayer).
    tbone1BelgarathMTHThacoBelljohntyl
  • GallengerGallenger Member Posts: 316
    edited July 10
    Honestly, given Candlekeep, if you want a narrative for yourself, I think a Paladin of Oghma would be a really interesting head-canon.

    Protector of knowledge, libraries, learners, and traveling sages. Not to mention how much "lore" you find - especially in BG1, and that sort of knowledge is of great value and should be acted upon to better the lives of the people of the Sword Coast. Nor, should it be ignored, that there aren't many libraries or learning outside of Candlekeep, so disseminating that helpful knowledge to those who need it could also be a mission for good.

    thespacetbone1ThacoBelljohntyl
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 4,329
    Gallenger said:

    Honestly, given Candlekeep, if you want a narrative for yourself, I think a Paladin of Oghma would be a really interesting head-canon.

    Protector of knowledge, libraries, learners, and traveling sages. Not to mention how much "lore" you find - especially in BG1, and that sort of knowledge is of great value and should be acted upon to better the lives of the people of the Sword Coast. Nor, should it be ignored, that there aren't many libraries or learning outside of Candlekeep, so disseminating that helpful knowledge to those who need it could also be a mission for good.

    Oghma is neutral. He doesn't take paladins in the official rules. If anybody knows any D&D source books to the contrary, for Oghma or any other non lawful good gods, I'd be interested in looking at that. I do know of one exception - Mystra has an order of paladins.
  • Artemius_IArtemius_I Member Posts: 1,956
    edited July 13
    Oghma did not take paladins until 4e. However there are still deities that would make sense for a paladin of Candlekeep such as Deneir or Milil who are both Neutral Good. Paladin deities must be Lawful Good, Neutral Good or Lawful Neutral. The exception is Sune, who is Chaotic Good.
    Post edited by Artemius_I on
    BelgarathMTH
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