Author Topic: Virtue penalty for sending Odren to his death at Watcher's Keep  (Read 10511 times)

Offline Murdane

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Re: Virtue penalty for sending Odren to his death at Watcher's Keep
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2004, 01:51:47 AM »

Under the ordinary round of daily existence, lying is wrong. This isn't the ordinary round of daily existence though. I also think paladins should be able to lie, spy, mislead and obfuscate if they have to. It's both stupid and wrong to assault a bandit camp head-on if you can infiltrate it and destroy it from within with a better chance of success.

Paladins aren't supposed to be ends-justify-the-means people though.  They are supposed to do what is right, not necessarily what is most efficient (they can be efficient, but not if doing so requires them to break their code).  I recall reading explicitly that they are not supposed to lie, period.  Not even to people who are their enemies, even if those people are evil.  The idea, I believe, is that the paladin isn't supposed to sink to their level.

I do, however, agree about Demogorgon, because I believe the game literally gives you no choice but to tell the Imprisoned One that you will betray the Knights of the Vigil.

Offline SimDing0™

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Re: Virtue penalty for sending Odren to his death at Watcher's Keep
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2004, 02:00:18 AM »
Breaking a paladin's code isn't the same as performing an evil act, though. There are things that a paladin isn't supposed to do that we can stand back and say "wait, perhaps that isn't evil after all".

Offline Kish

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Re: Virtue penalty for sending Odren to his death at Watcher's Keep
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2004, 02:20:29 AM »
I do, however, agree about Demogorgon, because I believe the game literally gives you no choice but to tell the Imprisoned One that you will betray the Knights of the Vigil.
Just to provide information here...
Yes, it does.  The Imprisoned One tells you: You can kill it, and the wards will disappear.

Also, Demogorgon is not keeping you there--the Knights are.  Demogorgon offers to help you, if you help it.  Its choices are to do nothing (in which case you remain trapped by the Knights) or to help you get through the wards.  You don't know it's Demogorgon; you don't know he's evil.  You just know that you have the word of people who lied to you and tricked you into imprisoning yourself there that it is (evil), and you have the word of someone who warned you (truthfully and correctly) what would happen if you used the scroll that it is not.  Demogorgon does talk about revenge, and promises to kill the leader of the "false Helmites," but while that might disqualify it from paladinhood, vindinctiveness directed at a group which (from the story it tells) has kept it imprisoned for centuries in order to hide their dirty secrets is not enough to mark any creature as evil.  No spell will tell you that it is evil, no companion senses its evil--Anomen even senses that it is not evil.  In a court of law, I'd vote to acquit the Imprisoned One and convict the Knights, based on all the evidence you have while imprisoned there.  The one thing that might justifiably make a PC who didn't read the back of the CD case and go "Ooh, Demogorgon!" suspicious is when it offers to unlock the powers of Bhaal within you, and while that's evidence the Imprisoned One might really be bad, it still compares favorably to what you know about the Knights.
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Offline Reverendratbastard

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Re: Virtue penalty for sending Odren to his death at Watcher's Keep
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2004, 03:37:42 AM »
 w0rd to tha k1sh.
 
@paladins and so on --

  no, paladins (those played in a world in which they have stringent codes like they were *ahem* always supposed to) are not permitted to lie for any reason.  and no, it's not intrinsically evil if they do, it's more like chaotic, but invariably a violation of the code.  and some lies would amount to evil - by way of intent to, e.g., lead someone to their death, or wittingly allowing the false witness to be used, by anyone who accepts it, in a way that creates/spreads evil.  the idea of the code is to hold paladins ultimately responsible for their actions, yes?  so even if the intentions are good and the results are code-positive, it would still be a chaotic violation (which, to recap, doesn't cast them out irrevocably unless the behavior persists and no penance is forthcoming/imminently intended).
  >all< lies from a paladin are violations.  whether a paladin Falls from dishonesty has to be a case-by-case basis.  and of course, the whole Atonement Apparatus hasn't been worked into any non-p&p/non-live-action game i've ever heard of.  {sure, some of the ultimas could be a quasi-relevant exception since it has paladins, but anybody can be an avatar...}
  on another hand, i take it that the Virtue scale involves only 'good' and 'evil' on one 'axis', and as of yet doesn't concern itself with 'law' and 'chaos' (and once it did i imagine its name might evolve).  so i'm guessing that only the lies that qualify as evil or result in 'collateral evil' (intended or not) would be a virtue hit.  i would say this applies to any class, with the possible exception, for non-paladins, of the more indirect evil results - perhaps as a minor{?} tweak, lawful [non-evil] companions would just be more disapproving than others, regardless of virtue hit/lack thereof.
 
  a lie resulting in demogorgon roaming faerun should Fallify a paladin, regardless of anomen's counsel or any lack of knowledge of the imprisoned one's identity.
  a lie resulting in the added 'imprisonment' {slaughter/"knockout"} of O. should be either:
  --dependent on a judgment call for Helm's own rules and regulations (if O. has cheated, and this comeuppance is determined to be what he deserves by his own claimed laws, but not just because a paladin says he deserves it - unless that paladin is a Helmite with the rank/authority to judge over these fellows in the first place);
  or
  --Fallification material, because even if it is righteous by Helm's standards to condemn him, the paladin should be up front about it and demand that O. subject himself to imprisonment (or, y'know, perhaps admit what the hell he was up to all along) - not deceive him into being unprepared.
  then of course follows the question of whether or not the 'helmite spirit' (actual name/title/desc. escapes me) is sufficient to take as aforesaid judgment material.  probably...
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Offline neriana

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Re: Virtue penalty for sending Odren to his death at Watcher's Keep
« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2004, 04:39:29 AM »
If paladins cannot even lie to further the cause of good, that's a serious flaw in D&D.

You have two choices: go in and assassinate a leader of an evil cult, in which case the cult will fall apart, or perpetrate a frontal assault, in which case the cult will murder every single person in the enclave, including hostages and children. To do the first, you have to disguise yourself and lie. The first has a better chance of success, and is obviously less dangerous to innocents. You know the choices, you know the odds of what will happen in both.

In my opinion, any paladin who chose to do the second should fall so low they'd have to dig the height of Mt. Kiliminjaro to see the sun again.
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Offline Reverendratbastard

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Re: Virtue penalty for sending Odren to his death at Watcher's Keep
« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2004, 04:52:01 AM »

 why is the paladin the only entity who can complete this mission?
 paladins are allowed to let other people lie.
 and even travel with those liars.
 and even trust their motives.
 your scenario smacks of godlike intervention and foreknowledge, anyway.
 
 and like i hope i implied, it's not impossible[/] for paladins to lie.  if a mission such as you suggest was a success, it would certainly be weighed heavily in favor of the paladin's required atonement for lying.
 
 nobody ever said paladins habitually achieve perfection, anyway.  it's the striving that makes them so exceptional in the first place.
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Offline Murdane

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Re: Virtue penalty for sending Odren to his death at Watcher's Keep
« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2004, 06:31:43 PM »
If paladins cannot even lie to further the cause of good, that's a serious flaw in D&D.


That's your opinion, fair enough.  But I believe that paladins shouldn't just be at liberty to do what every other Tom, Dick, and Harry is free to do.  If they are...well, then what makes them so special or good?

One could justify a lot of evil (or unjust) acts simply by rationalizing that said acts will bring about the greater good.  The idea is that an evil act to supposedly bring about "good" is still an evil act, and a paladin doesn't want a part of that.

I, for one, don't believe paladins should even be a core class, but that's another topic.

As for assassinations...why not just get a rogue who is skilled at infiltration to do that?

 
Breaking a paladin's code isn't the same as performing an evil act, though.

Never said it was.  But it's something to think about, especially when terms like "obviously the moral thing to do" are floating around, here.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2004, 06:41:29 PM by Murdane »

Offline Murdane

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Re: Virtue penalty for sending Odren to his death at Watcher's Keep
« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2004, 06:44:38 PM »

Also, Demogorgon is not keeping you there--the Knights are.  Demogorgon offers to help you, if you help it.  Its choices are to do nothing (in which case you remain trapped by the Knights) or to help you get through the wards.  You don't know it's Demogorgon; you don't know he's evil.  You just know that you have the word of people who lied to you and tricked you into imprisoning yourself there that it is (evil), and you have the word of someone who warned you (truthfully and correctly) what would happen if you used the scroll that it is not.  Demogorgon does talk about revenge, and promises to kill the leader of the "false Helmites," but while that might disqualify it from paladinhood, vindinctiveness directed at a group which (from the story it tells) has kept it imprisoned for centuries in order to hide their dirty secrets is not enough to mark any creature as evil. 

True enough.  In fact, do you even find out that the Imprisoned One is Demogorgon unless that Helmite spirit comes down and tells you that?

Offline neriana

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Re: Virtue penalty for sending Odren to his death at Watcher's Keep
« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2004, 06:50:35 PM »
Handing off a job that seems "dishonorable" or "dirty" to someone else sounds incredibly un-paladinish. If what makes paladins "special" is that they are above doing things that further the cause of right because it might "dishonor" them personally -- well, I can see why some people hate paladins that play by the D&D rules, then. What makes paladins special, to me, is the ability and desire to endanger themselves to help others, to oppose evil wherever they find it, and to judge fairly and rightly. It's cowardly to refuse to lie to save others because your personal "honor" is at stake. It's also dangerous and wrong.

RB: It doesn't take godly knowledge or wisdom to know that a silent, covert attack is less dangerous to any innocents involved than a full-out frontal assault.
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Offline Murdane

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Re: Virtue penalty for sending Odren to his death at Watcher's Keep
« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2004, 07:06:31 PM »
Handing off a job that seems "dishonorable" or "dirty" to someone else sounds incredibly un-paladinish. If what makes paladins "special" is that they are above doing things that further the cause of right because it might "dishonor" them personally -- well, I can see why some people hate paladins that play by the D&D rules, then.

How does one know for a fact that doing something dishonorable will without a doubt further the cause of right, though?

Anyway, I don't see paladins (or fighters) as being expert infiltrators, which is why I mentioned the rogue.  If a person is playing a paladin, I tend to assume that the character is going to better at taking the direct approach than sneaking around and putting daggers in someone's back.

That is one reason why Harpers--who sneak around and infiltrate--tend to be rogues, bards, and rangers rather than paladins (I honestly can't even think of any Harper paladins, myself).

Quote
What makes paladins special, to me, is the ability and desire to endanger themselves to help others, to oppose evil wherever they find it, and to judge fairly and rightly.

But any good character can choose to do those things.  Paladins are supposed to be held to a strict set of standards.  Not merely by themselves, but by their god (or their "supernatural force" if you believe what the PHB has to say about that).

Quote
It's cowardly to refuse to lie to save others because your personal "honor" is at stake. It's also dangerous and wrong.

Remember--just because a paladin can't lie doesn't mean he MUST tell the truth.  He can choose to remain silent.




Offline Kish

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Re: Virtue penalty for sending Odren to his death at Watcher's Keep
« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2004, 09:20:32 PM »
True enough.  In fact, do you even find out that the Imprisoned One is Demogorgon unless that Helmite spirit comes down and tells you that?
Odren may tell you, or, if you challenge it to come out and fight, Demogorgon itself.  One way or another, you find out, but always after the point when you decide whether to fight the Imprisoned One or promise to help it.
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Offline Reverendratbastard

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Re: Virtue penalty for sending Odren to his death at Watcher's Keep
« Reply #36 on: December 14, 2004, 03:41:57 AM »
Handing off a job that seems "dishonorable" or "dirty" to someone else sounds incredibly un-paladinish.
as opposed to *doing* a job that 'seems' "dishonorable" or "dirty"?
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RB: It doesn't take godly knowledge or wisdom to know that a silent, covert attack is less dangerous to any innocents involved than a full-out frontal assault.
Quote
You have two choices: go in and assassinate a leader of an evil cult, in which case the cult will fall apart, or perpetrate a frontal assault, in which case the cult will murder every single person in the enclave, including hostages and children.
  i'm referring to the knowledge that the cult will fall apart (and be unable to murder hostages) the instant the leader is defeated.  and how did the paladin find out what and who was inside the enclave, anyway?  by answering that, i would presume that there are/were more appropriate people for the job.  and if the paladin's superiors don't care enough to send them instead of giving the paladin all the glory/responsibility, then they deserve to have any resultant deaths on their conscience just as much as would a paladin who religiously believes that deception is wrong. (cuz, like - they do, and it is religious.)
  a special agent of covert military or 'law enforcement' who does what you advise is not an example of successful paladinhood (unless a neutral or chaotic superior is training very very sheltered paladins that espionage is righteously LG behavior and then sending these tools against very specific targets without publicity). (hmm - sounds like something that can be abused)  the crossing into, or creation of, 'grey areas' like "it's righteous to be dishonest *sometimes*, and you as an individual get to decide when" is fine for ruthless good people in my campaign any day.  but >paladins< who are habitually so ruthless Fall.  as i see it, as was suggested and codified on more than one occasion throughout all editions, et cetera.
  and why is it that they always receive military training and never receive espionage training, if 'anything goes' in the cause of righteousness?  the person for your job, imo, would be more like a NG or CG cleric/rogue.  who are probably a larger slice of the population in most paladin-containing worlds (especially 3e :P).  paladins have serious benefits because they have serious behavioral restrictions *beyond being lawful good*.
  anyway, i'm veering towards scenarios in which there's actually more than one protagonist, or the paladin has more than two choices.  forgive me.

  speaking of which, you seem to be overlooking the atonement issue anyway.  i don't think it's a terrible mess or a 'serious flaw in D&D' if the paladin (let's assume they're the only survivor of a party that was sent against the enclave)
 1) sneaks in, knocks out/restrains/takesouttolunch the single figure that motivates all other evil entities inside, therefore preventing them from being able to do anything evil (unless of course they escape (with hostages, even), but i suppose the leader's life was also the only thing that gave them mobility)
 2) atones for employing underhanded methods, requiring heavier tithing, lots of grueling community service and probably another quest which would've been something any self-respecting paladin would jump at the chance to do anyway, right?
  because a LG organization that is more strict than other LG organizations (hence additional powers, game balance blahblahblah) oughtn't just say "yup, you did the right thing, don't worry about your illegal methods, we signed an international treaty that allows for assassination when you are reduced to one other choice".
  HOWEVER - isn't murder kind of invariably evil, even in real life?  i just don't buy the whole "you know the only way to save any lives is to quietly kill a single entity".  most extreme faiths that mirror/parallel a paladin's (that i've heard of, anyway) consider that a Temptation rather than a Solution.
  regardless, most players probably won't want to die gloriously AND automatically cause the death of X innocents. :P
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Offline UnholyAngel

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Re: Virtue penalty for sending Odren to his death at Watcher's Keep
« Reply #37 on: December 14, 2004, 08:50:14 AM »
There are many many situations, when you can΄t solve the conflict of aims, which results of:

His duty to follow a code.

His Duty to futher the good.

Think company of maradeurs who want to sack a village and slaughter the inhabitants and the Paladin who makes them believe there are fifty elite soldiers hidden in this village and therefor makes them abandom their plans. He alone and outnumbered
 many times. And a village are small children and old people who cannot flee fast enough.

The Paladin breaks his code, but has he something wrong?
Handing off a job that seems "dishonorable" or "dirty" to someone else sounds incredibly un-paladinish. If what makes paladins "special" is that they are above doing things that further the cause of right because it might "dishonor" them personally -- well, I can see why some people hate paladins that play by the D&D rules, then.

How does one know for a fact that doing something dishonorable will without a doubt further the cause of right, though?

Anyway, I don't see paladins (or fighters) as being expert infiltrators, which is why I mentioned the rogue. If a person is playing a paladin, I tend to assume that the character is going to better at taking the direct approach than sneaking around and putting daggers in someone's back.

That is one reason why Harpers--who sneak around and infiltrate--tend to be rogues, bards, and rangers rather than paladins (I honestly can't even think of any Harper paladins, myself).

Quote
What makes paladins special, to me, is the ability and desire to endanger themselves to help others, to oppose evil wherever they find it, and to judge fairly and rightly.

But any good character can choose to do those things. Paladins are supposed to be held to a strict set of standards. Not merely by themselves, but by their god (or their "supernatural force" if you believe what the PHB has to say about that).

Quote
It's cowardly to refuse to lie to save others because your personal "honor" is at stake. It's also dangerous and wrong.

Remember--just because a paladin can't lie doesn't mean he MUST tell the truth. He can choose to remain silent.

To remain silent will in many situation be much less persuading and there is no moral difference between deceiving through "remaining silent" and lying.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2004, 07:23:25 AM by UnholyAngel »

Offline Murdane

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Re: Virtue penalty for sending Odren to his death at Watcher's Keep
« Reply #38 on: December 14, 2004, 10:50:15 PM »
Remaining silent isn't meant to be employed as a form of deception.

Offline Reverendratbastard

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Re: Virtue penalty for sending Odren to his death at Watcher's Keep
« Reply #39 on: December 15, 2004, 12:37:40 AM »
. . .
The Paladin breaks his code, but has he something wrong?

  committing one's life/entire being to a code and then breaking it.  hmm.
  painting painfully simple binary scenarios does not establish that the ends justify the means.  and besides, from the original printed rules for the AD&D paladin class, which have never been refuted by any other tsr or wotc product (and which every DM has the prerogative to alter in their own campaign, obviously), there is a difference in severity between evil acts and chaotic acts (in the original, certainly less sophisticated, language).

  how is the following not simple/sensible?:
  1. code is broken.
 
  2. a. if violation is unmistakeably evil,
      paladin is stripped of all paladin powers.  and possibly hunted by former fellows.
 
      b. if violation is not unmistakeably evil,
      it is still a violation and the paladin has a duty to take measures to amend the misstep.  doesn't have to cry about it.  just has to do whatever penance is determined through the appropriate channels.

  you're obviously free to say that you would have tyr or torm say "bah, a minor infraction was the only thing they could've done.  there's nothing to forgive."  (and of course if we're talking about 3e then there are a variety of orders, each of which surely has a slightly different standard of mercy, or valor, or yada yada yada.)  i for one haven't noticed any such loopholey attitude in any published canon.
 
  i don't see "has he done something wrong?" as a pertinent question.  even paladins are not that dualistic (unless they were raised/trained with extreme prejudice, or have some susceptibilities as a result of low intelligence, in which case(s) they're loose cannons anyway, for whom there is a greater risk of violation unless they are 'handled' superbly by superiors, companions and/or players)
 
  :-X!
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Offline belboz

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Re: Virtue penalty for sending Odren to his death at Watcher's Keep
« Reply #40 on: December 15, 2004, 06:25:57 PM »
That seems fair to me. In fact, it even opens up good roleplaying opportunities.

The example of the bandit lair is a perfect case of what should, for the paladin, be a hideous moral dilemma. Here's how I think it should work out:

1. If the paladin leads the frontal assault, knowing full well that it will lead to the death of the hostages, s/he should fall, period. Putting your "personal honor" above the good is a hideous decision and should be badly punished.
2. Refusing to infiltrate but suborning others in doing so--not because they'd be better at it, but because the paladin is more worried about his/her own honor than theirs--should make the paladin fall even harder. It adds hypocrisy to the offenses in #1.
3. Infiltrating--or suborning others in doing so because they'd have a better chance of success (rather than because it's "farming out the dirty work")--is clearly the least of the evils. But it's not OK. A paladin that does this shouldn't fall, but should face disgrace within their order and be required to perform some great atonement for their actions before regaining their paladin powers.
4. Doing nothing is, at best, a sign of weakness and moral cowardice. Depending on the circumstances, it might trigger an actual fall (if it was a calculated attempt to avoid getting dirty) or just a *very* harsh atonement--harsher than that in #3 (if it was genuine panic and paralysis). A paladin certainly shouldn't be allowed to get away with lawyering involving the difference between lying and misleading, for example, or allowed to pretend that there are no sins of omission.

Is this, in some sense, unfair? Perhaps, though I'd regard it as a legitimately tragic situation, instead. Sometimes there's *no* way for a paladin to act that won't stain their honor in some way; such is the harshness of their code. But the paladin is a powerful class; this sort of RPing difficulty is, I think, fair compensation.

Edit--it's occurred to me that this has wandered off topic, since this sort of thing is *totally* impossible to code for in a mod. Sorry about that.

« Last Edit: December 15, 2004, 06:31:42 PM by belboz »

Offline Murdane

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Re: Virtue penalty for sending Odren to his death at Watcher's Keep
« Reply #41 on: December 15, 2004, 09:17:17 PM »


Is this, in some sense, unfair? Perhaps, though I'd regard it as a legitimately tragic situation, instead.


I'd call it a cop-out, myself.  And I agree with RRB that the whole scenerio requires an amazing amount of foreknowledge that most characters probably wouldn't have.

Quote
Infiltrating--or suborning others in doing so because they'd have a better chance of success (rather than because it's "farming out the dirty work")--is clearly the least of the evils. But it's not OK. A paladin that does this shouldn't fall, but should face disgrace within their order and be required to perform some great atonement for their actions before regaining their paladin powers.

Why, exactly, is it "not OK"?  There is nothing inherently wrong with working with rogues or other types of infiltrators, because rogues can be of any alignment (and don't have to steal).
« Last Edit: December 15, 2004, 09:18:53 PM by Murdane »

Offline belboz

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Re: Virtue penalty for sending Odren to his death at Watcher's Keep
« Reply #42 on: December 16, 2004, 03:51:42 PM »


Is this, in some sense, unfair? Perhaps, though I'd regard it as a legitimately tragic situation, instead.


I'd call it a cop-out, myself.  And I agree with RRB that the whole scenerio requires an amazing amount of foreknowledge that most characters probably wouldn't have.

The situation is oversimplified as stated. But there are certainly cases where any decent tactician could figure out that a frontal assault is more *likely* to hurt innocents than a cloak-and-dagger routine. If that weren't true, what would be the point of tactics?

As for a cop-out...I'm not sure. A heroic figure torn between doing what's right and another undeniable virtue (love, honor, friendship, etc) strikes me as the classic makings of fantasy. And neither choice should be an easy one; if it is, the situation is gutted.
Quote
Quote
Infiltrating--or suborning others in doing so because they'd have a better chance of success (rather than because it's "farming out the dirty work")--is clearly the least of the evils. But it's not OK. A paladin that does this shouldn't fall, but should face disgrace within their order and be required to perform some great atonement for their actions before regaining their paladin powers.

Why, exactly, is it "not OK"?  There is nothing inherently wrong with working with rogues or other types of infiltrators, because rogues can be of any alignment (and don't have to steal).


Because "codes of honor" don't work that way. If a paladin's code of honor looks down on infiltration as a tactic (and that's independent of whether infiltration as a tactic is inherantly evil--one of the disadvantages of being *lawful* good is that you may have customs which, whether or not they have obvious intrinsic moral values, must be obeyed), it's a *huge* cop-out for the paladin to use a cat's paw and think that absolves him/her of guilt.

I'd be inclined to think that getting someone else to do this work is *exactly* as bad as the paladin doing it him/herself (which is compatible with it being the best option), and pretending it isn't is an *additional* wrong.

I once (badly, admittedly) ran a campaign where I routinely let the paladin's player get away with the party's paladin being "out of the room" every time the party had captured an enemy and needed some information. This was a mistake on my part.

Offline Murdane

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Re: Virtue penalty for sending Odren to his death at Watcher's Keep
« Reply #43 on: December 16, 2004, 08:34:29 PM »

The situation is oversimplified as stated. But there are certainly cases where any decent tactician could figure out that a frontal assault is more *likely* to hurt innocents than a cloak-and-dagger routine. If that weren't true, what would be the point of tactics?

Right, but usually when scenarios like this are presented, either to prove one class better than another or to prove what would be right for a character to do, the circumstances are very specific, so specific that it is unlikely that any character would have access to all the information given (ie. surreptitiously killing the cult leader WOULD WITHOUT A DOUBT save everyone and destroy the cult for good).

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As for a cop-out...I'm not sure. A heroic figure torn between doing what's right and another undeniable virtue (love, honor, friendship, etc) strikes me as the classic makings of fantasy. And neither choice should be an easy one; if it is, the situation is gutted.

It's a cop-out because it's a situation where the player has no real recourse.  And I have, in fact, read posts by people who think it's a good thing if a DM sets up a situation for the paladin to fall no matter what he does just to drive home the point that life is tragic and there is nothing you can do about it...the fact that it is a game notwithstanding.

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Because "codes of honor" don't work that way. If a paladin's code of honor looks down on infiltration as a tactic (and that's independent of whether infiltration as a tactic is inherantly evil--one of the disadvantages of being *lawful* good is that you may have customs which, whether or not they have obvious intrinsic moral values, must be obeyed), it's a *huge* cop-out for the paladin to use a cat's paw and think that absolves him/her of guilt.

I'd be inclined to think that getting someone else to do this work is *exactly* as bad as the paladin doing it him/herself (which is compatible with it being the best option), and pretending it isn't is an *additional* wrong.

I once (badly, admittedly) ran a campaign where I routinely let the paladin's player get away with the party's paladin being "out of the room" every time the party had captured an enemy and needed some information. This was a mistake on my part.


I don't know if infiltration is looked down upon as a bad or evil thing, per se.  It's just something that paladins themselves aren't supposed to do, because of their nature.  It goes back to the simple fact that paladins don't expect everyone else to act in the same way that they do.  Also, part of my point is the simple fact that the paladin class simply just isn't designed for sneaking around, disguising themselves, etc. 

I remember in IWD2, your party could infiltrate a yuan-ti complex by doning the robes of priests of Sseth.  However, a paladin could not done the robe, period, and thus the group had no choice but to take the yuan-ti head-on. 

 

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