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portose_sharpe Posted - 14 Jan 2018 : 22:08:07
I have a Paladin who was attacking a town, and i a previous game he got a spell-like ability to cast Forbiddance.

The town was under pirate control with slaves in the town, he cast the spell in the town and in doing so some non-evil people died and some slaves died due to the spell.

Should the Paladin be punished ?

Be stripped of his powers?

or is this just a side effect of war/attack on a evil controlled town.
23   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
portose_sharpe Posted - 03 Mar 2018 : 10:30:19

The Paladin in question now suffers nightmares, and must pray for 1 hour a day for the innocent lifes lost. he must continue praying for these souls until the day to the best of his ability learns the names of each slaves killed by his spell and if they have any family living and help that family however he can. then he may have atonement cast upon him.
TomCosta Posted - 21 Jan 2018 : 20:04:31
Justice must be served. I generally agree with Wooly, though I think hanging of the leaders and punishment of the remainder would be sufficient (unless you know they committed particularly heinous acts). Like in Pirates of the Caribbean, they might not all be bad, just dragged into servitude.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 21 Jan 2018 : 15:48:11
Originally posted by portose_sharpe

Thanks again guys n girls.

follow up question.

The city was taken with little resistance. and many evil/pirates where taken approx 3000. the Paladin is looking to have them put on trial and hanged. would hanging that amount of people be ok, or should prison with the view of hoping they see the error of their ways and seek atonement be a higher on the list option, for most of them.

I would say that giving them the chance to atone would be very important for a paladin. Similarly, even if they don't atone, they should be given some chance to make good -- like being forced to work on civic projects and such. However, going that route, you still have to make sure they are treated fairly, and that it's not just rebranded slavery.
portose_sharpe Posted - 21 Jan 2018 : 14:33:20
Thanks again guys n girls.

follow up question.

The city was taken with little resistance. and many evil/pirates where taken approx 3000. the Paladin is looking to have them put on trial and hanged. would hanging that amount of people be ok, or should prison with the view of hoping they see the error of their ways and seek atonement be a higher on the list option, for most of them.

Wooly Rupert Posted - 17 Jan 2018 : 23:26:47
Originally posted by portose_sharpe

Guys thanks for the great read and thoughts.

i know feel like i have a better understanding of the Code of conduct.

Some other info I've collected, on proper knightly behavior:

There was a knightly code presented in the old FRA... From pages 2 and 3 of that resource, in the section under "Cavaliers":

The knightly code, as recognized in the Realms, is as follows, rated from most generally important to those of lesser (but still critical) import.

  • Defend any responsibility given, even unto death;

  • A knight's word is his law;

  • Show courage in all things;

  • Show honor to those above one's station;

  • Earn respect from those below one's station;

  • Leadership is the responsibility of the high-born and the fit;

  • Battle is the test of worth (this is rated higher by those knights who strongly venerate Tempus);

  • Be courteous to all women (or all men, depending on the sex of the former cavalier);

  • Bring death to those who raise their weapons against a knight or those entrusted into the knight's protection;

  • Choose death before dishonor.

The same section also noted the knightly virtues:

The knightly virtues in the Realms are:

Good faith
Pride in self and others

Additionally, there were some knightly codes presented in Kobold Quarterly. Neither is canon for the Realms, but between the two there and the one in FRA, a good knightly code for any order can be knocked together. Some of the code can also be used for other religious orders, like particularly sects of clerics or monks. Page 30 of Kobold Quarterly 6 laid out the knightly code for peer knights, as was outlined in the Song of Roland. That code:

  • To fear God and maintain His Church

  • To serve a liege lord in valor and faith

  • To protect the weak and defenseless

  • To aid widows and orphans

  • To refrain from the wanton giving of offence

  • To live by honor and for glory

  • To despise pecuniary reward

  • To fight for the welfare of all

  • To obey those placed in authority

  • To guard the honor of fellow knights

  • To eschew unfairness, meanness, and deceit

  • To keep faith

  • At all times to speak the truth

  • To persevere to the end in any enterprise begun

  • To respect the honor of women (or the dignity of men)

  • Never refuse a challenge from an equal

  • Never turn the back upon a foe

Page 31 of that same volume discusses the Knights of the Palace, an order dedicated to maintaining their deity's holy sites. Their code:

A Knight of the Palace shall above all things:
  • Pay homage at any temple, shrine, or altar to the god before all things. At any image, temple, or place of worship, from the humblest roadside shrine to the greatest cathedral, they must spend at least one minute per level in prayer.

  • Seek, by purity and deed, to spread the word of the god – on arrival at any new settlement, the paladin must spread the word of his lord on the holy day of his church by holding a sermon.

  • Teach others the will of the lord by spreading his image – Once per level, the paladin must create a shrine to the god. The cost of this shrine shall be 100 gp at first level, 200 at 2nd, 400 at 3rd, 800 at 4th, and so on. The paladin must bless this shrine with his own toil and sweat by succeeding in at least a DC 10 +2/level Craft or Profession skill check (maximum DC 40) in constructing the shrine. The resulting shrine gains the effect of a hallow spell at the paladin’s CL.

  • Never knowingly lie

  • Never strike the defenseless

  • Never abandon his mount

  • Spread the holy word through deed

  • Spend the last hour each day in prayer

  • Be as brave as a lion

  • Be as strong as an ox

  • Be as wise as an owl

  • Offer succor and tending to all Knights of the Palace or their associates who suffer any ill

  • Offer service to any lord who owns a castle or stronghold who worships the same god. The service is one day per level, providing it is in keeping with the order’s beliefs, from the humblest and most menial task to the most glorious and demanding.

Kentinal Posted - 17 Jan 2018 : 22:00:24
Atonement can take many forms.
Require pray eight hours a day for weeks, months or years.
Require a quest.
Require giving up wealth to the church or other cause.
Work as a servant for a period of time to those harmed (or surviving family members) for a period of time.

There is a required sacifice of time in service or the lost of wealth. There can be other posible forms as the deity might limit access to spells, or prevent the use of any spell that does not directly support the dogma of the deity. The Paladin must show repentance and understand why the punishment was earned. There is no set code of how harsh the atonement should be. That has always been up to the DM. A good DM clearly will make the atonement a punishment, however one not so serve that the PC (or player) no longer can be an adventurer (That the player will still continue to wish to play).

The game is meant to be fun overall. The Paladin however will suffer some setback in the game.
portose_sharpe Posted - 17 Jan 2018 : 20:23:48
Guys thanks for the great read and thoughts.

i know feel like i have a better understanding of the Code of conduct.

Just out of interest if you made the Paladin atone, what you have him do.
Dark Angel Posted - 16 Jan 2018 : 15:56:21
Hi wooly thanks for your continued input, at the moment we have no ships and we were hoping to capture theirs to use for transporting our army to terthyr. War is in cormyr the dales tethyr villion reach the the north, all been organised by one group. Time is an issue so we cant get drawn into a long sea campaign aspecially with no ship #128512;. My character is effected by loss of lifes but feels this war like any war will have innocents killed. All i can do is try to minamize it as much as possible. That or walk away from it and fight demons in the wilderness with a clean concuis ( mind, cant spell #128512;)
Wooly Rupert Posted - 16 Jan 2018 : 14:58:58
If there is a city, there are likely plenty of innocent people there just trying to make a living. And people can't always pick up and leave. Even if they can, they may not want to, for reasons that have nothing to do with piracy.

If you're fighting pirates, the optimal place to fight them, where civilian casualties could be minimized, is at sea. I would say that not trying to draw the pirates out of their town and into the water -- a pirate's preferred element! -- means the paladin did not do all he could to minimize the loss of life.

Diffan Posted - 16 Jan 2018 : 14:44:43
If that were my campaign, I'd not have you shift alignment or lose any Paladin powers. I would require atonement like Tom suggested, but that's sort of the burden you have to bear as a Paladin of Tyr. In the end you made probably the best decision with the resources you had and gave ample warning, which to me shows compassion.
TomCosta Posted - 16 Jan 2018 : 14:22:45
You're doomed Dark Angel, if for no other reason than being a paladin called Dark Angle. ;-) On a slightly (and only slightly) more serious note, I stick by what I said above. You did what you thought was right, but you compromised (not saying you shouldn't have). The pangs of that compromise need some minor atonement, not a lot, but it should gnaw at you. You made a choice, but the innocent died. You may never know if you made the best call, but you know they died. Tyr knows they died. They did not get justice. So, some atonement is in order IMHO.
Dark Angel Posted - 16 Jan 2018 : 14:02:07
Sorry ment to add that we flew over the city giving warns and maybe naivly thought that people would stay in doors and i assumed that the slaves would be in holding cells so they wouldnt have been in harms way.
Dark Angel Posted - 16 Jan 2018 : 13:27:52
I though I should give my point of view seen that i'm the paladin in question.
the city in question is part of the pirates lands that they conquered. There is two major cities one of 9000 people and another of 22,000 people. months ago I went and fought the pirate leader and killed him, I then warned the others to leave and that I would be back to drive them out. war was officially declared soon after on the pirates and there associates, they were given a dead line to mend their wicked ways and repent after this time they were informed that no quarter would be given because of the atrocities they had committed.
the reason I used the spell was because I wanted to make the battle as quick as possible and I didn't wish the pirates to escape are as follows.
1. Cali sham are in league with the pirates and have sent 200 mages 500 solders to the second city.
if we had a siege the second city could have been reinforced and hundreds of our LG followers could have been killed.
2. the pirates and Cali sham seem to be in league with other evil groups across faerun and we could end up dealing with some very high lvl NPCs.
3. if we let the pirates escape they probably taken the slaves with them and then would of gone to the second city and we would have had to fight them there, which would potentially have resulted in substantial loss of LG life's.

4. we need to keep our army strong because after these cities are won we then need to help tethyr which has been invaded by cali sham and waterdeep which has been taken by undead and orcs. we also don't have the finances for a long campaign so battles need to be quick until we gain gold to help the other nations in need.
5. also the enemies we have faced have used the tactic of saying to us "go away or we kill the innocents". does a Paladin then walk way from evil every time this is used and let evil continue?

I believed using the spell would have maximum effect on the pirates and the lowest loss of innocents, I believed that they would have never had surrendered and that a battle of any other kind would have resulted in lot more innocents killed through out the city.

that's my view, doesn't mean its right but its the one I have at the moment.

all views and opinions welcomed :-)

Diffan Posted - 16 Jan 2018 : 13:17:56

Did the paladin know doing such a spell would put innocent lives at risk and went about it anyways?

Was there an alternative solution that would've proved more difficult but could have mitigated the loss more significantly?

Having unknowns doesn't really excuse such actions, but it definitely determines how his alignment shifts, if at all. If the spell is the best solution AND he doesn't think there will be any collateral damage but it happens anyways, then I'd say his alignment doesn't shift OR at the very least must then make amends in the form of doing work to help the families and victims in the aftermath. If he felt the casualties were sufficient in lieu of a "greater threat" then that's probably an alignment shift and loss of powers, simply because putting lives at risk is never worth the "greater good". But then again that's because he follows Tyr. I allow paladins of other alignments in my games (including 3.5 edition) so for us it won't be a "loss" of powers but a shift towards a deity/mechanics that now reflect their actions.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 15 Jan 2018 : 22:17:55
Originally posted by blade020877

at the time, most of the planning was only done by the paladin as the rest of the group were dealing with some else. we were given the plan and went ahead with it. so no other options were really given.

I don't believe you're understanding my question...

Were there any options available to the paladin that did not involve casting a spell that could kill innocents?

In other words, was the casting of this spell the only possible option -- could he have walked away and come back another day with another plan? Could the bad guys have been defeated without the use of this spell, perhaps thru the use of other spells and/or allies?

Part of the paladin gig is avoiding the deaths of innocents. If there was any possible way that the bad guys could have been defeated without killing innocents, then the paladin has to atone in a major way. If the casting of this spell was the best possible result, I'd still make him atone, but to a much lesser extent.
TomCosta Posted - 15 Jan 2018 : 22:10:17
I stick by my original answer. If the actions were too rash, that is unacceptable. The gods of the Triad are not just lawful, but lawful good. For a compilation of what that means to D&D from the books and Dragon magazine articles see: That said, from what you've shared there is a little gray area, but since Tyr doesn't deal well with gray, it may be moot.
blade020877 Posted - 15 Jan 2018 : 21:08:39
at the time, most of the planning was only done by the paladin as the rest of the group were dealing with some else. we were given the plan and went ahead with it. so no other options were really given.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 15 Jan 2018 : 14:52:04
I don't see mention of other options.

Here's what I'm thinking: if the paladin could have accomplished his goal without the loss of innocent lives, that's an entirely different situation than "I tried to warn them, but they didn't listen."

So it becomes a question of whether or not there was a course of action that would have saved everyone. If there was such an option, and the paladin still chose to rely on a spell that could kill innocents, then that is on him, and I'd certainly demand some serious atonement.

Sure, the paladin warned them... But there are plenty of reasons, aside from panic, that people would choose to leave the area. And if they couldn't leave, then the paladin was keeping them in a potentially dangerous area and thus risking their lives.
portose_sharpe Posted - 15 Jan 2018 : 10:25:29
Yes as blade said.

It is 3.5 he is a follower of tyr.

And the group did warn the town if they tried to run there was a spell in effect that would kill them. So they wanted to block off all chance of the people/enemy running away.

The spell was placed around the keep and dock area.

I believe it they wanted to stop people leaving through gates or dock they could of do by other means.

For example the high level shape changed into dragon and blocked one of the gates. And a bronze dragon was using its breath weapon to scare the sailors off the ships.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 15 Jan 2018 : 00:44:30
Were there options aside from using that spell?
blade020877 Posted - 15 Jan 2018 : 00:09:51
I am part of this campaign. but I am not the paladin. its 3.5ed.god is tyr and lawful good. just one small thing to add he did warn the people that was was a spell in the area that would kill them if entered. but a panic took over wirh some and 20 slaves dead out of 400.
Ayrik Posted - 14 Jan 2018 : 23:30:25
It's an ancient debate in ethics, utilitarianism/consequentialism vs deontological/humanism.
It's worth reading (or at least skimming through) the linked content if you're unfamiliar with this philosophical conflict.

"The ends justify the means" says that nothing is more important the the desired outcome, nothing is unethical or immoral if it serves a "greater good". The cold logic of Vulcans in Star Trek is given in their oft-repeated phrase: "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (and even the needs of the one)".
A champion following this philosophy has already accepted that losses and collateral damage are inevitable, in a sense the adversary has "already" killed them, and the best course of action is to defeat the adversary first and foremost, minimizing further losses is preferable but only a secondary objective. This paladin lives in a realistic world, not an idealistic one.

While "each situation is judged on its own merits" forces action which is always consistent with higher moral or ethical imperatives, using monstrous methods to defeat a monstrous adversary undermines what you're championing and is the most profound loss - it invalidates everything you've fought for and makes you no better than your adversary - and is to be avoided at all costs. Every thought and deed, every decision, every life matters (and is more precious than any ideal) - the "greater good" is not some lofty idea or perfect outcome, it is the intrinsic goodness of all the things (great and small) which contribute towards it.

So it's a question of the paladin's personal interpretation. And that of his religious order, his canon/scripture, his deity. The clergy may have a definite viewpoint about this sort of stuff - or they might even be divided on how best to serve the "good" of their god. I would expect that if your paladin has (in the eyes of his superiors) committed a terrible wrong then he would be forced to atone, and be forced to educate himself on the proper (expected) procedure in such things, and be "tested" or "judged" at some later time.
Just saying that if this is a medieval-like world filled with good vs evil and people die all the time then maybe it's a slap-on-the-wrist kinda thing, while if the value of innocent lives is deemed truly precious then some sort of serious reprimand is in order (and "low-level" people starting off new careers make mistakes, completely normal, but when people die from mistakes which might have been avoided then something has to change).
TomCosta Posted - 14 Jan 2018 : 23:01:05
What edition are you playing? A paladin of what god? What alignment is he? All these things can make a big difference. How many innocents died versus how many were saved? Did he know that he would be sacrificing the innocents for his plan to work?

If you are playing a typical LG paladin of Tyr, Torm, or Ilmater, I would probably argue for the need for some sort of atonement.

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