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 Pre-Blackguard Scyllua
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21 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2017 :  01:42:00  Show Profile Send nblanton a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I feel I may have backed myself into a corner of unreasonable characterization by introducing Scyllua as an NPC while she was still a paladin.

I had not realized how bad the mental gymnastics were going to be having a paladin of Tyr serving in the Zhentilar as an officer. I had plans to run the campaign with the end game to possibly focus on redemption of Scyllua once she is turned by Orgauth in 1368 after the Fall of Zhentil Keep. Currently my party is lowish level and working through Doom of Daggerdale with Scyllua making her first appearance as part of the occupying force in the dale. I made her operate more or less as a symbol of the good side of the Keep. My thoughts were that she was simply being used naively by the Zhentarim controllers to help win some hearts and minds type of things. The problem is, at least from a rational standpoint, the Zhent's are so comically evil I find it difficult to have a paladin with Int 14 and Wis 15 be wiling to work with such an organization, regardless of how high minded her goals are.

Any thoughts?

Realms Explorer extraordinaire

14387 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2017 :  02:12:20  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There were different types of paladins for each alignment choice, first in 2e, and then in 3e (although the anti-paladin has been around since 1e). You can say she was a paladin of Tyranny, and for whatever reason, she was still receiving her spells (maybe from some god other than her own, like Bane). If you go HERE and scroll down to the Paladin section, you can check out the three variant types. That may help you.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

Edited by - Markustay on 15 Nov 2017 02:12:57
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief

30338 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2017 :  03:47:17  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you plan on her being the typical Lawful Good paladin, to start with... The fall has to be a matter of degrees. Someone LG isn't going to wake up one day and decide to do evil -- they're going slowly fall that way, justifying their actions as being for the greater good the whole time, until they're too far gone to go back.

All that has to happen is a couple of good Kobayashi Maru scenarios -- situations in which no matter what choices are made, you're going to lose. For a paladin sworn to upholding the ideals of justice and protecting the innocent, it's a nightmare to be in a situation where no matter what happens, innocents have to allowed to die, defenseless and frightened.

One major scenario like that, or a few smaller ones, and even the most devout paladins are either going to be more willing to embrace shades of grey, or they'll become overwhelmed by despair and guilt. And either one leads far more readily to a fall...

You start with "I must lay down my life to protect innocents!" and then get to "No matter what I do, innocents will suffer..."

Next is either "Screw this, I'm going on the offensive. I'll protect these people no matter what it takes!" or "Well, if they're going to die anyway, what's wrong with making a little coin while I'm out there risking everything for them?"

And from there, it's an easy progression to "It's a dark world, I might as well do right by me," or "If it's not me doing it to these folks, someone else will."

And then the Zhent membership card arrives in the mail.

The alternative is the sudden fall, preceded by a tragic loss... Perhaps a beloved ally or a family member is slain by an enemy. The paladin, heartsick with grief and filled with rage, can only think of revenge, and they go on the warpath. Even if they are remorseful afterwards, it's a strong person who wouldn't want to blame such a tragedy on a formerly trusted deity. The now-fallen paladin turns their back on a world where such a thing could happen, forswears such soft emotions, and decides that it's time to look out for Number 1.

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 15 Nov 2017 :  05:53:17  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Paladins have no alignment restrictions in 5E. Maybe she was "always an evil paladin" ...

-- George Krashos

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Senior Scribe

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Posted - 16 Nov 2017 :  00:54:32  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Given that Bane is the god of tyrants, maybe with her fall, all her Paladin levels became Paladin of Tyranny levels, so she keeps all her level-based abilities and progresses normally, just with evil abilities. (Deadly Touch, etc)
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21 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2017 :  04:15:33  Show Profile Send nblanton a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've played her as written, but with equivalent 5e stats. Basically your generic LG old skool paladin. She is listed as a paladin of Tyr, and going back to Faiths and Avatars, it looks like you can play a Tyrran paladin as pretty rough. They are said to often stick closer to the lawful opposed to the good part of their alignment. Also, unfairness in law is acceptable, as long as the laws are applied fairly within the setting and system they come from. Definitely sounds like a bunch of not super fun folks to hang around with on a weekend night in Waterdeep!

I've included her as part of two of the characters backstories as well so that they would know that she is an honest broker regardless of who's banner she serves under. One of the characters served with Cormyr in the Crusade and I had Scyllua and that character interact in their past as--in my campaign--Scyllua was part of the Zhentish force of orcs. The other character knows her from Scardale, as I had Scyllua be one of the leaders of the Zhentish occupation force as well. My thoughts were that if the Zhents are going to pretend to be helpful, sending one of their few paladins to assist would be the best way to convince others of the sincerity of the Zhents. Besides, I doubt the Zhents really want a meddling rules-obsessed paladin hanging around the Keep.

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