Monday, December 12, 2011

Paladin, yes, that's a Paladin

We'll be playing our next session of Brian's Pathfinder game next Sunday.  At the end of the last session, there were a few questions by the other players about how I was playing my Paladin. 

Specifically, when we were given our offer of employment by the sage, in a brothel, the sage mentioned that he had paid for the room for the night, and any of us that wished could stay.  My PC was the only one who did.  Of course, while he was enjoying himself, he also used the opportunity to gather information from the lovely ladies there.

What can I say, I'm modeling his personality on Elwood Blues and Johnny Cash, and he's a Paladin of Myrlund, who is a fantasy Cowboy.  It seemed to be an action perfectly in character, and Brian agreed with my logic. 

Now, this is not a post to get into the inherent morality or ethicality of prostitution.  What it is a post about is to show that one can be a Paladin without being a stick-in-the-mud, or an overzealous moron.  The last thing I want to do in a game is play Lawful Stupid and ruin everyone else's fun by forcing them to play along to some overly restrictive moral code.

Anyway, here's a good post I found today about how Paladins should really be played, found via the Hitting Dirtside blog.


  1. Awesome! In my campaigns the Goddess of Prostitution (as well as Motherhood, Marriage, Slavery and Domestic Traditions) is Lawful.

    So yes, there would be Paladins of the Prostitute Goddess

  2. Ahhh, goddesses of prostitution...

    Seriously, though, if D&D's paladin is modeled after the guy from THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS... well... Holger (aka Ogier the Dane) tumbled the elf princess and the Swanmay girl. Or was Anderson's novel where Law vs. Chaos came from? Well, I know that alignment thing had its roots in lots of stuff, not just Anderson's work.

    Anyway, only SOME of the virtuous warriors of the Matter of Britain, and Matter of France had any vows of chastity and most of that stuff came about as a result of later Renaissance and Romantic writers and not the original chansons de geste.

    I mean, heck, in Ariosto's ORLANDO FURIOSO, Orlando goes nuts when he finds out Angelica married another guy and slaughters his way through everyone in Africa and Europe singlehandedly--not entirely quite paladin-like. People playing paladins should read DON QUIXOTE (I recommend Edith Grossman's translation) and ask themselves... when I play or LARP a paladin, am I acting like Don Quixote? The answer is all-too-often "yes." (By-the-way, although it is ridiculously anachronistic, I can't help but imagine Sancho Panza as anything but a Mexican every single time I read the book.)

  3. I think the protest was less with the idea that my paladin might have sex, but with the idea that he'd pay for it, because paying for sex is anti-feminist or something.

    But, I countered, if he pays for what's offered, accepts the word No when it's said, and does his best to make sure the woman he's with gets the money from the transaction, then he's not being evil. And if prostitution is an accepted part of the culture, then he's not breaking his Lawful alignment either.

    DM's verdict? No loss of powers or atonement necessary.

    On the origins of Law vs. Chaos, Anderson, Moorcock, and possibly Zelazny influenced its development. Howard may have been an influence as well, if indirectly, with his ideas of barbarism vs. civilization regarding the natural state of mankind.