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Paladins and 'one on one' challenges?

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garhkal
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Paladins and 'one on one' challenges?

Post#1 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:12 pm

OK, say the group's out hunting down some LE monsters, the leader of which is VERY well known, to accept or even issue mano-e-mano challenges.. Some of the challenges he's known of to have issued before, were to 'leave XYZ town alone for a set period of time, which he kept to after losing', and another was to spare the rest of a party after THEY were defeated.

So, the party's heading out after him, and one of the members is a paladin.
would HE ever willingly accept a challenge from the badguy?
If so, and he lost, would a paladin be honor-bound to hold up his end of a bargain made?

Let's say the paladin has underlings (henchmen/hirelings), and LOSES a challenge.. What happens to them? Do they lose faith in their 'master'?
What of the other way around, and its the LE BBEG who has underlings, and HE loses?

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Stik
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Re: Paladins and 'one on one' challenges?

Post#2 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:28 pm

Paladins always cause trouble for players and DMs and armchair philosophers alike.

My two cents (and this depends highly on circumstances): Unless there were something compelling him to parley with the the BBEG in the first place, the paladin shouldn't even be entertaining the notion of challenges and duels and such. He should just go in and fight the enemy without negotiation or argument, for a number of reasons. First, because such things suggest that the enemy might have something valuable to say, and if so, then the paladin's position is not as ironclad as it should be; second, because a challenge suggests that there is some doubt to the outcome, and such lack of confidence in his cause or his ability or the support of his deity is not part of the paladin's mindset; third, because delaying a battle rather than getting right to it reeks of weakness or cowardice.
You get in, you get done, and then you get gone.

If for some reason he were to accept a challenge, a paladin should not risk anyone else on the outcome. He might risk his own life, but nobody else's.

And yes, if he did make a deal, and part of that deal was safe passage or mercy for the villain, then yes, he is honor bound to uphold it. It doesn't matter who you make a bargain with - you could make a bargain with a blade of grass or a stone or a spider in your house. You made the bargain, so on your honor you need to keep it.
"No matter where you go, there you are."

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Halaster-Blackcloak
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Re: Paladins and 'one on one' challenges?

Post#3 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:42 pm

I pretty much agree with Stik on each point. I cannot see a paladin making a bargain with an evil being and risking allowing evil to continue to be done. For example, assuming the LE bad guy loses and agrees to leave town - he can reasonably be expected to leave town because of his Lawful alignment. But lawfully, there is nothing in the agreement that prevents him from simply attacking another different, far away town. He only agreed not to harm that particular town.

Even if the villain agrees to not do any evil anywhere for a particular period of time, there are problems. First, after that time expires, the villain will be able to go back to doing evil. Second, who's to say the LE villain's alignment starts to slip so he turns CE and comes right back to that town soon after? Third, he can still commit neutral acts or chaotic acts that would be considered unacceptable by the paladin. Say the villain decides to simply convert people away from the paladin's religion? That's not an evil act per se. He is simply sowing the seeds of doubt because he disagrees with the religion of the paladin. Perhaps he is setting up the town to lose faith in the paladin and his religion and rescind the agreement by allowing the villain to dwell in the town. Or converting them to his (evil) religion. Or perhaps he simply starts setting up lawful contracts that will allow him (after the agreed period of time) to use the letter of the law to seize control. There's an almost never ending string of problems that come from a paladin allowing such an agreement, so I'd say no.

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garhkal
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Re: Paladins and 'one on one' challenges?

Post#4 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:29 pm

When i initially thought this question up, i was more in thinking, that after a severe beatdown on several of the PC's, the paladin might make the challenge TO the BBEG LE guy, as a means to try and save them..

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Stik
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Re: Paladins and 'one on one' challenges?

Post#5 » Sat May 12, 2018 5:19 am

garhkal wrote:When i initially thought this question up, i was more in thinking, that after a severe beatdown on several of the PC's, the paladin might make the challenge TO the BBEG LE guy, as a means to try and save them..

Again, this reflects an attitude of defeatism, and negotiation from a position of weakness. Essentially, the paladin is admitting to his enemy that his side has already lost, and he is pleading for mercy on their behalf and offering himself up as a sacrifice for their protection. To quote The Tick: "Evil is just plain bad! You don't cotton to it! You gotta smack it on the nose with the rolled up newspaper of goodness!"

The only way I can see a paladin issuing a challenge to the BBEG enemy would be an impromptu event on the battlefield. In the midst of a pitched battle, he spots the BBEG and says something along the lines of "Why don't you pick on someone your own size? I'm right here. Come get some!"
"No matter where you go, there you are."

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DrakeNightwind
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Re: Paladins and 'one on one' challenges?

Post#6 » Sat May 12, 2018 11:37 am

I have to agree on the matter of this with Stik, with one slight difference for me, that being there could be a couple other ways of causing the paladin to challenge the LE BBEG or accept a challenge from said BBEG. The first of those being if they were of two dynamically opposing orders, orders that have been known to war amongst themselves anytime that they run into each other. The other way I could potentially see being a way to cause a challenge to be accepted is if the paladin's code, or the code of his order is so strict that if he doesn't accept a parlay and/or a chance to settle things outside of a massive fight that he could get the proverbial slap on the wrist. I've only used the last one once and that was when a player drew up the code that his character lived by. His character's code was worse than a Knight's code.

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