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Jonesy89: This whole playthrough seems like a textbook
That's it, right there. As I read these posts and view the videos, I see a person with a (Complete Paladin's) handbook, role playing the handbook and having great difficulty translating anything within to a (virtually) real paladin -- 'have book, will follow'.
You know what, I think I'll go ahead and quote some more scripture while I'm at it.

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algi: In Viconia's case when I meet her, she's being chased by law enforcement if I remember right. Which means, I'll probably side with the guard chasing her. (A paladin accepts the laws of a kingdom if they aren't extremely cruel. They don't want ot torture her, they want to execute her for her crimes.) If I can make a detect evil before meeting her, that makes the choice to side with the law enforcement even easier. (I don't remember the specific situation, so it IS possible for an evil person to manipulate a paladin into helping them, if the paladin forgets to do detect evil regularly.)
"At the heart of a lawful good alignment is the belief in a system of laws that promotes the welfare of all members of a society, ensures their safety, and guarantees justice. So long as the laws are just and applied fairly to all people, it doesn't matter to the paladin whether they originate from a democracy or a dictator."

Another cirect CPH quote, my emphasis added. What effectively amounts to vigilante justice by the establishment on the grounds of that 'this person with a darker shade of skin whose values differ from ours must DIE' can hardly be considered to be clearly just, nor can it be considered something that is fairly applied to all citizens, since it essentially amounts to the fantasy equivalent of racial profiling.

Also, there's this:

" However, a paladin will not honor a law that runs contrary to his alignment. A government may believe that unregulated gambling provides a harmless diversion, but a paladin may determine that the policy has resulted in devastating poverty and despair. In the paladin's mind, the government is guilty of a lawless act by promoting an exploitative and destructive enterprise. In response, the paladin may encourage citizens to refrain from gambling, or he may work to change the law."

Another direct quote with my emphasis. The Paladin actually has considerable agency when it comes to deciding whether to follow the law or not. As a result, someone RPing a Paladin might still call bullshit on the Flaming Fist so long as they personally took issues with the harmful outcomes of the policy being executed.
Post edited April 22, 2016 by Jonesy89
But maybe the Paladin won't interfere on the grounds that this is a lawful execution?

" When will a paladin take a life? A paladin kills whenever necessary to promote the greater good, or to protect himself, his companions, or anyone whom he's vowed to defend. In times of war, he strikes down the enemies of his ruler or church. He does not interfere with a legal execution, so long as the punishment fits the crime."

The crime in this case being a dark elf. Not harming anyone or plotting to harm anyone. Just existing. Yeah, no, the Paladin can still call bullshit, considering that they also have clear thoughts about that sort of thing being wrong:

" Otherwise, a paladin avoids killing whenever possible. He does not kill a person who is merely suspected of a crime, nor does a paladin necessarily kill someone he perceives to be a threat unless he has tangible evidence or certain knowledge of evildoing. He never kills for treasure or personal gain. He never knowingly kills a lawful good being."
Post edited April 22, 2016 by Jonesy89
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algi: Belonging to an alignment doesn't mean that all your actions will be of that alignment. But in D&D your alignent is an absolute. There is no moral ambiguity whether an evil character is evil. I just use Detect Evil and we will have scientific proof that the person is evil (or not).
That all depends on what interpretation of the alignment system you are working with. If you take Evil to mean that 'this person gets off on punting infants and will do it if not stopped', then sure. Under a more liberal interpretation of the alignment system, however, Evil translates into something like Randian Objectivism; sure, they might be dicks, but that doesn't necessarily mean they represent an immediate danger to all un-punted infants in the area.
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jsidhu762: It's impossible for any character or monster to be 100% lawful, chaotic, good, evil, or neutral. The tanaari have a sense of law to some degree. Especially when it comes to the Blood War and the chain of command.
I suspect the Tanaari chain of command isn't quite as formal as you seem to think. I figure it is closer to "You want to know about the chain of command? It's a chain I go get and beat you with until you realize I'm in command." (Yes, that line was shamelessly stolen.) The ranking Tanaari reign because no one else is strong enough to topple them.

The Tanaari don't get wiped out by the more orderly Baatezu in part because there are just so many Tanaari. The infinite planes of the abyss versus the 9 hells.

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algi: For example if a paladin wanders in the world and isn't part of a military, that's already not 100% lawful behavior.
This I genuinely don't understand. How is roaming the world contrary to being lawful?

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Jonesy89: ...but avoiding anything that might pose a threat and necessitate a tactical retreat is quite another, since it means that you will never be helping where help is needed the most. If you fuck up, you make amends. You don't leave dangers you know about to fester because you might fuck up in the first place, because that's putting your own convenience ahead of everything else.
I believe he means he (the player) is avoiding areas of the game where his character would be "forced" to intervene. If the paladin doesn't hear about the Windspear Hills ogres, the paladin doesn't have to feel the need to go there, so the paladin doesn't find out about the dragon, and thus the paladin isn't obligated to deal with it (which is likely suicide early).

The player is meta-gaming, using the ignorance of the paladin to keep her from being drawn into death fights.
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Jonesy89: ...but that doesn't necessarily mean they represent an immediate danger to all un-punted infants in the area.
The bolded part made me giggle.
Post edited April 22, 2016 by Bookwyrm627
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Bookwyrm627: The player is meta-gaming, using the ignorance of the paladin to keep her from being drawn into death fights.
The player *is* the paladin.
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Bookwyrm627: The player is meta-gaming, using the ignorance of the paladin to keep her from being drawn into death fights.
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Hickory: The player *is* the paladin.
Yes and no. The player (the person sitting at the keyboard) is not the actual character (the one in Faerun). The player plays the character, and the player can certainly become very immersed in the character, but the player may know things the character would have no way of knowing (ex. while Gorion is still alive, the player may know that Irenicus has parasites, something the character would have no way of knowing).

Different people draw the line of player/character separation at different places. Some try to play as closely to their character's knowledge and personality as they can (I have the impression that you tend toward this route), while others will bee line straight toward high end treasures right from the start or select options based purely on the garnered rewards.

So OP may be running his paladin according to the ethos, but OP is guiding the paladin around areas where the paladin would be unable to abide by the rules OP had in mind when starting the run. The paladin character may not have any reason to visit certain areas if she doesn't receive any hint that she needs to go there.

Edits for clarity.
Post edited April 22, 2016 by Bookwyrm627
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Hickory: The player *is* the paladin.
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Bookwyrm627: Yes and no. The player (the person sitting at the keyboard) is not the actual character (the one in Faerun). The player plays the character, and the player can certainly become very immersed in the character, but the player may know things the character would have no way of knowing (ex. while Gorion is still alive, the player may know that Irenicus has parasites, something the character would have no way of knowing).

Different people draw the line of player/character separation at different places. Some try to play as closely to their character's knowledge and personality as they can (I have the impression that you tend toward this route), while others will bee line straight toward high end treasures right from the start or select options based purely on the garnered rewards.

So OP may be running his paladin according to the ethos, but OP is guiding the paladin around areas where the paladin would be unable to abide by the rules OP had in mind when starting the run. The paladin character may not have any reason to visit certain areas if she doesn't receive any hint that she needs to go there.

Edits for clarity.
You miss my point. The player is the only source of decision making; the paladin (in the game) is just a figment. All that the paladin is, all that the paladin does, belongs to the player. When the player decides that avoiding trouble is better than facing it, that makes the paladin do the same. There is no paladin.
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Hickory: You miss my point. The player is the only source of decision making; the paladin (in the game) is just a figment. All that the paladin is, all that the paladin does, belongs to the player. When the player decides that avoiding trouble is better than facing it, that makes the paladin do the same. There is no paladin.
Ah. Then yes, I did miss your point.
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jsidhu762: It's impossible for any character or monster to be 100% lawful, chaotic, good, evil, or neutral. The tanaari have a sense of law to some degree. Especially when it comes to the Blood War and the chain of command.
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Bookwyrm627: I suspect the Tanaari chain of command isn't quite as formal as you seem to think. I figure it is closer to "You want to know about the chain of command? It's a chain I go get and beat you with until you realize I'm in command." (Yes, that line was shamelessly stolen.) The ranking Tanaari reign because no one else is strong enough to topple them.

The Tanaari don't get wiped out by the more orderly Baatezu in part because there are just so many Tanaari. The infinite planes of the abyss versus the 9 hells.

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algi: For example if a paladin wanders in the world and isn't part of a military, that's already not 100% lawful behavior.
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Bookwyrm627: This I genuinely don't understand. How is roaming the world contrary to being lawful?

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Jonesy89: ...but avoiding anything that might pose a threat and necessitate a tactical retreat is quite another, since it means that you will never be helping where help is needed the most. If you fuck up, you make amends. You don't leave dangers you know about to fester because you might fuck up in the first place, because that's putting your own convenience ahead of everything else.
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Bookwyrm627: I believe he means he (the player) is avoiding areas of the game where his character would be "forced" to intervene. If the paladin doesn't hear about the Windspear Hills ogres, the paladin doesn't have to feel the need to go there, so the paladin doesn't find out about the dragon, and thus the paladin isn't obligated to deal with it (which is likely suicide early).

The player is meta-gaming, using the ignorance of the paladin to keep her from being drawn into death fights.
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Jonesy89: ...but that doesn't necessarily mean they represent an immediate danger to all un-punted infants in the area.
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Bookwyrm627: The bolded part made me giggle.
The tanaari chain of command is the strong rule the weak. There aren't defined roles but it's still a hierarchy. What would happen if a balor's lieutenants and troops just stopped listening to him and wandered off on their own? They also have rules to follow - like serving in the blood war. Desertion and other acts of insubordination are punishable crimes.

As for taking on the baatezu, the tanaari don't just have numbers. Individually the demons are incredibly powerful. A pit fiend cannot go mono et mono with a balor, he needs to use his cunning to get around the balor's strength (if you do meet a pit fiend, I'm going to insist you don't say that to his face).

And of course, Yugoloths are sort of in between.
Post edited April 22, 2016 by jsidhu762
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jsidhu762: The tanaari chain of command is the strong rule the weak. There aren't defined roles but it's still a hierarchy. What would happen if a balor's lieutenants and troops just stopped listening to him and wandered off on their own? They also have rules to follow - like serving in the blood war. Desertion and other acts of insubordination are punishable crimes.
It is a hierarchy only as long as the strong can enforce their rule. If the balor's lieutenants and troops just wandered off, the displeased balor will go hunting for examples. The lucky ones will just be beaten to death in painful fashion (as example number 1), while the unlucky ones will be kept alive as an on-going example number 2.

I'll concede the point that the tanaari aren't completely lacking in any lawful aspect. The strong have objectives and carrot/stick the weaker critters into helping accomplish those objectives.

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jsidhu762: As for taking on the baatezu, the tanaari don't just have numbers. Individually the demons are incredibly powerful. A pit fiend cannot go mono et mono with a balor, he needs to use his cunning to get around the balor's strength (if you do meet a pit fiend, I'm going to insist you don't say that to his face).
I don't think I've ever seen any sort of 1v1 fight run between a balor and a pit fiend, so I don't have any commentary here. I don't think the demons can be too much more powerful than the devils, though, or simple numbers + power would overwhelm the lawful evil side. Of course, I'd imagine that keeping all those demons pointed in the right direction is an issue for tanaari commanders.
Post edited April 22, 2016 by Bookwyrm627
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jsidhu762: The tanaari chain of command is the strong rule the weak. There aren't defined roles but it's still a hierarchy. What would happen if a balor's lieutenants and troops just stopped listening to him and wandered off on their own? They also have rules to follow - like serving in the blood war. Desertion and other acts of insubordination are punishable crimes.
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Bookwyrm627: It is a hierarchy only as long as the strong can enforce their rule. If the balor's lieutenants and troops just wandered off, the displeased balor will go hunting for examples. The lucky ones will just be beaten to death in painful fashion (as example number 1), while the unlucky ones will be kept alive as an on-going example number 2.

I'll concede the point that the tanaari aren't completely lacking in any lawful aspect. The strong have objectives and carrot/stick the weaker critters into helping accomplish those objectives.

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jsidhu762: As for taking on the baatezu, the tanaari don't just have numbers. Individually the demons are incredibly powerful. A pit fiend cannot go mono et mono with a balor, he needs to use his cunning to get around the balor's strength (if you do meet a pit fiend, I'm going to insist you don't say that to his face).
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Bookwyrm627: I don't think I've ever seen any sort of 1v1 fight run between a balor and a pit fiend, so I don't have any commentary here. I don't think the demons can be too much more powerful than the devils, though, or simple numbers + power would overwhelm the lawful evil side. Of course, I'd imagine that keeping all those demons pointed in the right direction is an issue for tanaari commanders.
In hindsight the balor vs pit fiend reference was a poor one. When it comes to raw power the balor is stronger. But when you factor in the pit fiend's cunning I think the pit fiend would win. A pit fiend would only enter a fight on it's own terms.

It's highly unlikely the two would actually fight each other. Entering the Blood War's battlefield would make them priority targets. And if a balor just saw a pit fiend out in the open, he would have enough sense to know that something's up.
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jsidhu762: tanaari...
balor's lieutenants...
baatezu...
tanaari...
A pit fiend...
a balor...
the balor's strength...
a pit fiend...
And of course, Yugoloths...
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Bookwyrm627: the balor's lieutenants...
the tanaari...
a balor and a pit fiend...
the demons...
the devils...
all those demons...
tanaari commanders.
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jsidhu762: balor vs pit fiend...
the balor is stronger.
the pit fiend's cunning...
pit fiend would win.
A pit fiend...
a balor...
a pit fiend...
Where's the Paladin? A discussion for another thread?
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jsidhu762: tanaari...
balor's lieutenants...
baatezu...
tanaari...
A pit fiend...
a balor...
the balor's strength...
a pit fiend...
And of course, Yugoloths...
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Hickory:
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Bookwyrm627: the balor's lieutenants...
the tanaari...
a balor and a pit fiend...
the demons...
the devils...
all those demons...
tanaari commanders.
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Hickory:
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jsidhu762: balor vs pit fiend...
the balor is stronger.
the pit fiend's cunning...
pit fiend would win.
A pit fiend...
a balor...
a pit fiend...
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Hickory: Where's the Paladin? A discussion for another thread?
Didn't realize I went off topic. Sorry about that.
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Hickory: Where's the Paladin? A discussion for another thread?
The Pit Fiend ate her.