If this is the wrong forum for this, I apologize. I wanted to ask everybody's help, because I'm having paladin problems which also impinge on the interpretation of a Greyhawk deity.
I've been running for the past few months the Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk module (as a entree to them going to Maure Castle at some point in the future) and for the most part it's been smooth running. Up till last session, that is.
The party consisted at the time of two Paladins of Mayaheine (one who is currently in her good graces, one who is currently atoning after his alignment was changed by the use of a cursed sword), a CN wizard/cleric/mystic theurge of Zagyg (who believes himself to BE Zagyg!) and a CN (with some slight CG tendencies) ex-drow (don't ask...) wizard/fighter.
The problems basically revolved around the drow (while she was a drow) and the rest of the party, due to two unrelated issues, but both of which concern the paladins.
1) the drow had some ... issues ... with the truth and figures of authority, and did tell white (and otherwise) lies when she felt it necessary (or profitable, or humorous).
2) The Paladins (or their players) have gotten the notion that, even against all evidence to the contrary, drow=automatically evil, even though she had gone to great pains to explain that she had no love for the normal CE, Lolth-worshipping sort of drow.
Well, matters came to a head in the last session, as the drow, as a derriere-cover for accidentally webbing her teammates along with a group of orcs while in the dungeons of castle Greyhawk, lied about there being another spellcaster. A couple of times during the combat. To be fair, she was holding her own (and holding a stairway leaging to the rest of the party) against a half-ogre alone.
The current paladin, when the truth was discovered, was incensed and demanded justice be served, by him punishing her (knowing the player and character, the punishment would have been short of death, but probably would have entailed her going back to Greyhawk City to be turned over to the guards [who then would have scoffed and said "stop wasting our time, wouldja?"]) pretty much on the spot with what would have amounted to a drumhead court-martial. The drow was not enthused by this prospect.
She offered to take the judgement of the clerics of Corelian Latherian (sp? forgive me, it's past midnight over here...) as a neutral arbiter and abide by their decision. To this, the paladins in effect said "not good enough -- we don't recognize the authority of Corelian" and the cleric of Zagyg in effect said "These here are human lands missie, we don't need any o' that Olven jurisprudence round hyar." To be fair, the drow then retorted by declaring that she believed Mayahiene to not exist, and dared her to prove the Drow wrong.
Then, the ex-paladin of Mayaheine (the one currently undergoing atonement) suggested, nay, demanded, a duel to settle the matter. I smelled a rat, but let things continue. The drow, knowing that the ex-paladin could tear her to shreds in very short order in melee, tried to even the playing field by suggesting darts at 20 paces. The ex-paladin agreed to everything but the distance -- he would only accept darts if used as melee weapons, and could not be dissuaded from this position. (The ex-paladin is a tank, 12th level IIRC, who can literally hit most things thrown at him by rolling no more than a 5.) He attempted justification this by saying that it would violate his honor to use ranged weapons. I tried to call b******t on this, but the argument was roiling by now and nobody decided to listen to the DM anymore.
The whole thing drug on so long (they were there arguing for god knows how long over this) that I finally got fed up and seized on the mutual blasphemy and actually DID have Mayaheine manifest to get them to knock it off. She royally chewed out the ex-paladin (putting him on notice that he was officially on very thin ice), rebuked the other paladin, gave a mark of justice to the drow, and then departed, her theophany finished.
After all this, when they got back to the city, and knowing full well that Mayaheine had already punished the drow, the ex-paladin then went and suggested that the cleric of Zagyg turn the drown into the authorities. They scoffed and said "stop wasting our time, wouldja?" The drow went off to parts unknown, no longer desiring to work with the party.
My questions on this whole affair, going from a Greyhawker standpoint:
1) DM irritation, annoyance and fiat aside, was it kosher for me to have had Mayaheine make her presence known in such a flashy manner? Would she really have given a rip if a non-worshipper declared her not to exist in a fit of pique?
2) Should the Mayaheine Paladins have been so down on Corelian to the point of dismissing the suggestion to turn to their priesthood for an impartial hearing?
3) Would an atoning paladin of Mayaheine, challenging someone to a duel and then rigidly insisting on rules that he would have reasonably IC and definetly OOC known to have given him a major advantage, have his atonement derailed?
4) Paladins of Mayaheine have no taboo against ranged weapons, right?
well, im not a GH expert (acctually, im kindda of opposite!), but a couple o f months ago, i asked ENW foruns about "what does gods heard?".
the thing is, they can do what they whant, so i dont think it was kosher. i mean, at least for my 1-2 edition ad&d standarts, the paladin and the ex-paladin (both around 12th level?) are high level, so they must have higher connections to the gods, and the opposite too.
if it was not like "hi guys, wassup?" appereance, than i think its ok.
One thing that i learnde from time is that paladins can "bend" their rules with interpretaions of codes.
If you know just a little of Dragonlance knights of solamnia, you will get my point.
in this case, theres some points to consider (even as im not familiar with this god codes):
-the pc was a drow
-was a female
-was a part of the group
-she choose the weapon, so maybe he could choose place and time (not how to use the weapon! )
-is he really trying to "re-connect" to his god?
check this questions and the god's codes and maybe you can get some answers ;)
sorry for not being so clear, but i hope this help you
Paladins in general don't have anything against the use of ranged weapons, and indeed they may freely make use of all simple and martial weapons, and that includes missile weapons too. Some organizations/religions may see missile weapons as cowardly, or suitable for only the baseborn to use. Even still, such groups probably see the value in such weapons, even though they themselves will disdain their use whenever they can. How you as a DM choose to run Paladins in your own game is up to you, but I would suggest that not every Paladin of every god has the same strictures applied to them.
Gods of war tend not to impose foolish ideals upon their followers, such that they MUST conduct war in a certain way. They might see a lack of honor in using missile weapons for example, and might make every effort to avoid using them when possible, but they surely see the value in them and certainly would make use of them if they had to.
One must remember that Paladins are not knights. They are holy warriors, and Paladins of different religions will actually be different from one another with regards to how they view certain activities. The only thing they all have in common is their Lawful Good alignment, and annoyingly enough their class powers as well(that is something I am working on though).
Even Heironeans will use ‘missile weapons”. If using ranged weapons were such a taboo for them, their signature attack(Bolt of Glory) wouldn’t be a ranged attack, now would they. What’s the matter? Are you too big of a wuss to go hand-to-hand with that demon Mr. Cleric of Heironeous? Apparently it is more than just OK for even Heironeans to soften up an enemy with ranged attacks.
Mayaheine is a servant power of a Sun god, which are very often associated with ranged attacks(they are associated with the rays of the sun). As a one-time Paladin of Pelor, Mayaheine herself probably used a javelin, spear or bow, and in her own role as a defender such weapons are more than suitable as well. More than that, a servant power is not going to blaspheme her own sponsor's religion(who she is very friendly with) that is associated with the use of ranged attacks by saying that such attacks are dishonorable.
So, put some thought into your Paladins. These are Paladins of Greyhawk, not foolish cookie-cutter Knights of Solamnia. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
Yes, each "order" of paladins would have a set of rules to live by that would best exemplify the essence of his or her deity. These might not even be in the form of any kind of an official oath, but just the common rational of the paladin. After all Paladins are not stupid; If someone is standing far away from him trying to turn him into a pin cushion, he is not just going to stand there smiling.
I think there was a DragonMagazine article once detailing the whole Paladins aren't stupid idea. _________________ Count Telemachus, Archmage of the Unicorn Conferderation
Mayaheine is traditionally depicted with both a bastard sword and a longbow, so she definitely has no problem with ranged weapons. While the player may be excused for not remembering details like this, it seems he was just looking for an excuse to be able to beat up the other player character. This sounds like a "rocks fall, everybody dies" situation that very much justifies divine intervention or whatever tool you want to force the players to stop being dicks to each other.
If the game continues, as a DM I would never allow the ex-paladin to atone. Not finding the judgment of his god sufficient after a face to face waring. He is lucky he was not struck down by a bold of holy light.
Then again, IMHO, playing an ex-paladin sounds like a good opportunity for role , rather than roll, playing .... Demons come a-courting. _________________ Plar of Poofy Pants
Rasgon has it.
If the game continues, as a DM I would never allow the ex-paladin to atone.
That's definetly in the works. His returning to paladinhood is on very thin ice right now, and so this Saturday it's going to be impressed upon him that he'd better be on his best behavior from here on in if he wants to smite evil again.
Not finding the judgment of his god sufficient after a face to face waring. He is lucky he was not struck down by a bold of holy light.
That's what I probably should have done, but I was hoping for (and was able to attain) righting the train back onto its tracks eventually. However, if he keeps it up...
Then again, IMHO, playing an ex-paladin sounds like a good opportunity for role , rather than roll, playing .... Demons come a-courting.
Or devils who might return to him a sham paladinhood for the low, low price of his soul?
Cebrion: Thanks for the insight. Now it's just getting them to listen. :)
My take, as a DM, would be that the paladins should not have had any real knowledge of the drow as evil in the first place. Drow are hardly common on Oerth, being seldom mentioned in much of the material. Though when in an adventure they are almost always a villain, I highly doubt the two paladins have played through vault of the drow or a couple of the other few mentions of the race.
I would have kicked that in the butt right off of the bat, that the drow, who obviously was not of evil alignment, could have passed herself off as a genetic oddity amongst her race and they would have been none the wiser.
Of course, when I run GH, I act like there is no Internet on Oerth and when you start play, especially at low level, your party does not know what the player knows. More or less, if you are a Paladin from Onwall, you know about Onwall and its enemies. If one of those enemies is Lolth, which it isn't, then you may have heard of drow.
I make my players give me knowledge checks whenever they seek information like this to include in play. I figure, that is why knowledge skills even exist(ed)--thank you 4e.
At any rate, remember, the DM cannot cheat, and the DM cannot lie. You are not held by any of your players. Them going "above your head" with the arguing was uncalled for. I would have had Mayaheine appear, turn the drow into a pillar of f-ing salt, and then punish the paladins for fraternizing with her in the first place.
Then the rest of the party could have sold the drow salt at a premium to Rhenee chefs or something.
A pillar of salt? I don't know if I (as a GM) would have gone that far...
Here's my views as a GM.
It sounds like the players of both paladins - and especially the atoning one - need to chill out a LOT. This is a game, we're here to have fun.
Drow=Evil: Well, usually I let that one slide a bit, especially in Greyhawk post-GDQ series. It is not totally unreasonable, in a world with gods of Knowledge and Travel, that infomation could spread fairly quickly. And paladin orders especially would be interested in information on new forms of evil in the world.
Which edition of the game is this? If it is 3E (since the Expediton series is) then both paladins have detect evil at will, and know that the drow is not. Treating her as such is a willfully chaotic act and should result in atonement for the one, and disbarment from the order for the other.
On the other hand, since the drow has shown herself to be unrepentantly chaotic herself, then it is entirely in character for the paladins to insist she be removed from the adventuring party.
Mayahene, being a Demigod recently ascened from Greyhawk, is going to be VERY interested in the conduct of her direct representatives - which a 12th level paladin of Mayahene definitely is. Having her appear directly to them (granted, discretely in the dungeon, not in town where everyone can see) seems entirely in HER character to me.
Here's my views as a player.
All three players need to chill. Getting into a full-blown argument because your character got webbed - or is being threatend with being kicked out of the party - is immature at best. Now you've wasted a bunch of game time over bruised egos. THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN! If you're not having fun, then yes, there is a problem, but it can be solved more easily by being mature and talking it over. Genre conventions aside, fighting never solves anything between friends.
Hoo-boy... what a can of worms. I have this to offer: did your actions as DM appease you and your players? If so, then it was handled properly. I always believe the play of the game and the comraderie of the group takes precedence over any rules interpretation. That said, here's how I would have handled it:
These players need a spanking. I definitely would have had some divine intervention, either Mayaheine appering directly or through some other manifestation, and struck these three PCs with some pretty stiff penalties (though short of death or similar destruction), with a DM's admonishment to "play nice or else". After all, the group is there, obstensibly, to have fun, not be at each other's throats. I've had this sort of scenario play out time and again, and once I even killed the entire party because of their actions. Also, remind your players that you, the DM, are "final arbiter of all affairs of his or her campaign" (1st Ed. PHB). If the players have a legitimate grievance or concern, that's one thing, but part of being a DM is control. Control your group, and remind them if you must. Hope this helps, and I hope your group can survive this little bout of "big-d!@kery". _________________ Greyhawk is dead; long live Greyahwk! It is not heresy; I will not recant!
I don't think I would go as far as "divine intervention...Mayaheine" as mentioned above but Mayaheine is a defender of the innocent which includes chaotic alignments. Don't let the characters get to caught up in the strict variations of behavior; GH is polythestic and a heavy dose of pragmatism goes a long way.
Even the most extreme Paladin of Pholtus subtly chooses not to make an issue of the heretical rural faiths within the Pale. If those paladins have some societial discretion, a devout protector of the innocent should be bending over backwards to entice the misguided to the faith without resorting to violence.
Use some gameworld remedies; he is subservient to the faith hierarchy so have the local priest take an interest, humble him; join the low level initiates to tend the poor (feet washing, healing, soup kitchen duty) or if his behavior continues have the priest assign a spirtual advisor to accompany him to help him attain maturity in the faith.
Even use these as adventure scenarios; as he is helping the poor he sees a beating or robbery; he is without his weapons and magic items - learning humility remember - how does he react. This could lead to a criminal gang or cult that is preying on the poor.
My personal favorite: the advisor, if it was me, have him treat the Paladin as a misbehaving child. Have the advisor lecture the paladin on proper conduct; use game instances as sermon examples. When the paladin loses his temper have the advisor shake his head sadly and begin again; after assuring the paladin that the advisor won't give up on him; he knows the paladin doesn't really mean it. After all it is his duty to the faith to save such an important person as a paladin. Throw in some visits to the local temple when one is in town - comment on the condition of the paladin - to show the PC how it is going; some progress or still much work to be done; I have faith in you to complete the task no matter how long it takes - advisor.
First time I used it; became a running joke - other party members even started gambling on the outcome of the "paladin report" when they arrived at a city. Some of the other players tried to help stop the paladin from transgressing simply to win their bets.
The advisor becomes his personal "Jiminy Cricket" to paladin Pinocchio; the paladin will either shape up or decide he doesn't want to be a paladin just to get rid of the advisor. Not everyone has what it takes to be a paladin. The advisor should remain calm and concerned no matter what the paladin does; it is much more satisfying if the paladin feels like an idiot for reacting or sulking if he ignores him. Plus it should be entertaining for the other members to see the paladin helped.
After an outburst of temper have the advisor apologize for the paladin; sorry for my charge, he is young in the faith and paladinhood is such a strain; I will need your help to lead him back to the proper path. I hope this doesn't taint you perception of blessed Mayaheine. Gradually up the pressure; if he doesn't get the clue. After a few more outbursts have the advisor ask the other party members to help him by bringing problems to his attention. If he has been such a jerk; the party members should jump at the chance.
If he still won't shape up; have the advisor have the paladin confront his spiritual issues; therapy GH style. Have the advisor delve into character anger issues, background; have the PC develop a background and expand on the history. Have the advisor bring these up at certain times. Poor background; don't be angry he never played well with others having to deal with shame. Rich background; He never faced hardship being an overindulged child, adventuring sounded fun but he is not used to it like you seasoned types (party members) . If the paladin protests; he is in denial, see how much work I have to do but I will save him with your help.
The advisor can be anyone; a shining warrior example, a old priest or an eager young acolyte. Even use the advisor NPC to flesh out the party. Of course the paladin should do all in his power to protect his spiritual superior and the faith is eager to hear news of the progress the advisor has made with the paladin. Once the paladin turns around have him depart.
Personally I like to keep them as recurring NPCs in the campaign; always cheerful and proud of his former charge. Always avaliable to help him out if he should falter - human weakness can always resurface; don't worry I am here for you. NPC advisors can also be used as a patron or adventure hook - sends a message to his friend about odd reports, can you deliver this for me, protect this person, cursed item needs recovered - You don't mind going out of your way for an old friend.
I realize this thread is a couple weeks old, but here goes...
Going back to Payne's original post, the basic problem here is bickering players. Why not deal with it the old fashioned way: wandering monsters. Look at Against the Giants or City of Skulls--players who act the way you describe end up dead.
The one time I was suckered into joining a Forgotten Realms campaign, a similar situation occurred due to old grudges between the established players. Several hours were wasted and the DM eventually became so flustered he called in Midnight in an attempt to talk some sense into the players. Needless to say, things rapidly spiraled out of control (thus ending my first and last session with that group).
Gargoyle is right, your players need a spanking, but that's no reason for divine intervention. It's heavy-handed and breaks the DM's role as an impartial referee. If you're calling in gods to rebuke them when they're 12th level, how are you going to keep them under control when they're 16th? Next time your players start wasting time deep in enemy territory, have some enemies they defeated earlier gather up reinforcements and track them down.
Also, consider what was happening before the argument began. Are there ways to detect when your players' interest in the mission at hand starts to flag? Watch for future indications and also find out what makes them tick. How can you 'distract' them and get back to the game?
Anyway, now that Mayaheine has appeared, there are some interesting things to consider. With Iuz and an Iggwilv simulacrum running around and Greyhawk City at stake, other deities certainly had their eyes on events under the castle; what kind of permission did Mayaheine have to get from the other powers to take direct action in the affairs of mortals? As a new demigoddess, two of her most powerful holy warriors were already on the scene (who she no doubt subtly directed there), wasn't that enough? Nerull might wish to re-establish his followers under the castle, will Pelor and Mayaheine now have to step aside and watch him to so at a later date? What do Zagyg and master Boccob think of her stepping into the Mad Archmage's former abode? Is Iuz's traditional foil, St Cuthbert, passing the role on to Mayaheine? I also suspect lesser and demigods are very careful coming anywhere near Castle Greyhawk given its history of divine imprisonment.
In regards to your second question, the paladins could have probably gone either way. On one hand, they're strongly lawful and may not have much trust in the judgment of chaotic priests. On the other, Mayaheine serves Pelor, NG greater god of the Flan, who would most likely be on amiable terms with Corellon.
Mayaheine is traditionally depicted with both a bastard sword and a longbow, so she definitely has no problem with ranged weapons. While the player may be excused for not remembering details like this...
-Uh, how in the world would someone become a Pal12 of Mayaheine, without knowing the basic tenets of her faith, including the acceptable use of weapons?
Sounds like the Pal12 could use an 8-hour block of instruction on values at the closest chapel or temple.
My take, as a DM, would be that the paladins should not have had any real knowledge of the drow as evil in the first place. Drow are hardly common on Oerth, being seldom mentioned in much of the material...
-If it were before CY 578 or so (about the time of conclusion of "Vault of the Drow"), I'd agree, but if it's set in the 590s (which a Pal12 of Mayaheine implies), then I'd say that the existence of the drow, and their bent for CE alignment, would be common knowledge, or at least common to adventurers.
However, as a Paladins, the players could easily determine that this Drow was not evil (unless she was using "Unkowable Alignment" or some such)...
...Which edition of the game is this? If it is 3E (since the Expediton series is) then both paladins have detect evil at will, and know that the drow is not...
...IIRC, every edition of Paladin has detect evil at some point, don't they. And even if they didn't, a Pal12 has access to spells, including "Detect Evil".
...On the other hand, since the drow has shown herself to be unrepentantly chaotic herself, then it is entirely in character for the paladins to insist she be removed from the adventuring party...
-Agreed, or, more likely, remove themselves from the party.
BTW, what are two paladins doing hanging out with a priest of Zagyg?!
(Nevermind; Murlynd & Zagyg hang out, so why not?)
...Mayahene, being a Demigod recently ascened from Greyhawk, is going to be VERY interested in the conduct of her direct representatives - which a 12th level paladin of Mayahene definitely is. Having her appear directly to them (granted, discretely in the dungeon, not in town where everyone can see) seems entirely in HER character to me...
-Agreed. I don't even think it would need to be discreet; her manifestation would be a learning experience for everyone:
"And Mayaheine spoke unto the ex-Drow, saying 'Yo! I'm Real' Then Mayaheine spoke unto her servant, saying "Dude, WTF?!""
...Use some gameworld remedies; he is subservient to the faith hierarchy so have the local priest take an interest...
My personal favorite: the advisor, if it was me, have him treat the Paladin as a misbehaving child. Have the advisor lecture the paladin on proper conduct; use game instances as sermon examples...
Personally I like to keep them as recurring NPCs in the campaign...
-"Bastion of Faith" leaps to mind.
Going back to Payne's original post, the basic problem here is bickering players. Why not deal with it the old fashioned way: wandering monsters. Look at Against the Giants or City of Skulls--players who act the way you describe end up dead...
-This is also true, in certain locations...
...I make my players give me knowledge checks whenever they seek information like this to include in play. I figure, that is why knowledge skills even exist(ed)--thank you 4e...
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