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The guy from Belgium
Here for a while
(1/8/03 11:12 am)
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Serious question: how do Vows impact on this campaign?
i'm concerned with how Vows of Paladins and Clerics impact on the campaign...

Upon attaining their next level (next session) my characters (the paladin and the cleric) will be 'accepted into the church of pelor)

replies are appreciated!

ok, these are posted for the revision of the HiveMind

bear in mind that the vows are divided into three sections:

- Mundane vows
- Sacred vows
- Mortal vows

Breaking the first is ok, as long as you report it to the church, and dont do it too often
breaking the sacred vows is a graver thing, Pelor might be inclined to withdraw your clerical or paladin benefits until you atone
breaking the mortal vows (only the paladin has these) is well... deadly. If you do this, an avatar or Pelor himself will deal with you...

The vows are not yet divided as such, work for later

for now, i'd appreciate input as to which vows are too heavy or too light, should be removed or which ones that i've forgotten should be included...


vows for the paladin of Pelor

To Pelor, and on my Mortal Soul, I swear to:

Always fight with Honour:
-        Never deal the first blow
-        Never strike an unarmed enemy
-        Never strike an enemy from behind
-        Never deal a killing blow to a downed or helpless foe
-        Always give quarters, but never ask for any
-        Never use a ranged weapon, the only honour is in
melee
-        Never retreat from combat

Always defend the weak

Never put personal glory above my Faith or my tasks

Always stay modest, material riches is for the unenlightened

Always speak only good and act upon it

Always keep my anger in check and never act upon it

Always portray the symbol of my god and never denounce him. A white robe with an emblazoned golden sun will depict who I truly am

Always spare the innocent, regardless the cost

Never judge too quickly the deeds or misdeeds of others and if possible, redeem them

Ride forth with lifted spirits, increase morale and show decency in all my actions

Always use my granted healing powers to benefit those who need them the most

Always pursue true Evil and to not rest before it is put to an end

Always oppose the exploitation, oppression and abuse of the weak

Never overly indulge in material pleasures

Always share my material wealth with the church to further itís task in spreading Pelorís wisdom



vows for my cleric (yeah, they're bound by vows too!)
To Pelor, and on my Mortal Soul, I swear to:

Use my mortal frame as a conduit for the infinite wisdom of Pelor

Use my God-gifted healing powers to benefit those who need them the most

Spend my days seeking out those who need council, to hear them out and to assist them in any way necessary

Spiritually aid those who seek guidance

Protect the faithful flock by any means necessary

Not to judge too lightly those who stand before me, to listen to their motivations and guide them to redemption should they choose to have it

Sheppard the unfaithful and peacefully drive them into the loving arms of Pelor

Openly display the symbol of Pelor in all its glory and to never denounce his name. A white robe with an emblazoned golden sun will always depict who I truly am

Never indulge overly in material pleasures

Share my material wealth with the Church, to benefit its workings


that's it, flame away

Grumgarr
Here for a while
(1/9/03 8:26 am)
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Re: Serious question: how do Vows impact on this campaign?
I think you're on the right road here, setting out a code for Paladins/good Clerics before it becomes an issue...

There are a couple of things in your post I wouldn't do in my campaign - of course YMMV

1. I'd match vows to faiths (I don't use Greyhawk's pantheon so can't speak with any authority here, but isn't Pelor fairly 'moderate' when compared to Pholtus or other 'crusadery' gods).
Pelor's paladins might vow to e.g. 'destroy undead wherever they find them' but not to 'smite all evil from the face or Oerth'

2. Mortal vows - avatar/divine intervention thing - in my campaign bad luck (or worse) might hound a character who transgressed seriously, but nobody would get a visit from an Avatar (or even a Celestial) just for breaking a vow they made. Losing (perhaps permanently) paladin abilities is bad enough - you become a handy Warrior at best - not even a match for a Fighter of your level...and fallen paladins are a great story and character hook. Don't kill a PC with divine vengeance - make them live miserably - now >that's< divine retribution...plus a chance to repent.
For >really< serious sins you might think about a Bestow Curse (or Greater Curse if you have the BoVD) cast at a really high level (can only be removed by a caster of at least the same level IIRC) for the 'bad luck' effects - that way at least the character can still be played...

Always fight with Honour: this is good stuff - my notes follow...
- Never deal the first blow - I'd make this 'never initiate violence' - a paladin could roll great initiative, move up - demand surrender and offer quarter, maybe Ready a retaliatory blow if attacked. :)

- Never strike an unarmed enemy
- Never strike an enemy from behind
- Never deal a killing blow to a downed or helpless foe
these three could be 'never harm the helpless - even enemies'

- Always give quarter, but never ask for any - accepting quarter freely offered should still be okay though
- Never use a ranged weapon, the only honour is in
melee -
- Never retreat from combat - I know from other posts that you have a strong idea of what constitutes a Paladin, but I think making a Paladin vow to "never retreat from combat" is going to get the paladin (and quite possibly other PCs) killed.
This is an adventure of grand scale - the CRM in particular will see wave upon wave of foes arriving - if the paladin simply >can't< retreat, he's dead. Of course, you could make this one of the minor sins. Even as a minor sin though, some players will RP this to the hilt - and will die rather than sin. I'd say be careful with this.

Always portray the symbol of my god and never denounce him. A white robe with an emblazoned golden sun will depict who I truly am - eh yeah, I do kind-of like this actually - but sadly there goes every chance of bluffing your way into/around the CRM...if this weren't a vow some paladins might still rankle and refuse to wear a disguise, but making it a sin means no paladin will do it (and no paladin will wear the Purple Robes of Tharizdun - meaning quick painful death by cold in some areas). Sometimes the best way to defeat a nest of vipers is in its heart...and that requires subterfuge - I've seen too many 'cartoon' paladins to like the 'I will die before I utter a lie' thing.

You might (perhaps not for Pelor, but for LG gods' paladins) add 'Speak only the truth' -this allows for some good disgruntled paladin roleplaying...
"Ignore brother Anselmo - he has vowed to the Dark God not to speak until the day of His release!"

Anyway, this post is getting too long (again) :)

My idea of the paladin's code would more or less say:
'Act always as an example and a light to others, but know that men's hearts are weak, and easily led astray'
Courage
Compassion
Mercy
Where evil will not bend to these, the Blade

Grumgarr

Edited by: Grumgarr at: 1/9/03 8:26:36 am
The guy from Belgium
Here for a while
(1/9/03 9:06 am)
Reply
Re: Serious question: how do Vows impact on this campaign?
ok ok, nice extra input

i'm gonna change them somewhat, idd, some of these things might make a character impossible to play

for instance, you're right about the 'never retreat from combat' option... changing that

also the part about always wearing the robes of Pelor... no disguises possible

mmm... the rest of the combat rules seems to be ok... i agree

ok, very many thanks, working on them later tonight

anyone else wants a sing at them?

ps: feel free to post long replies, i'll be reading them eagerly!

maddman75 
Here for a while
(1/9/03 9:38 am)
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Re: Serious question: how do Vows impact on this campaign?
I'll put some comments in. My comments are behind //, coding style.

vows for the paladin of Pelor

To Pelor, and on my Mortal Soul, I swear to:

Always fight with Honour:
- Never deal the first blow
// Prevents the possibility of an ambush. Paladins are Lawful Good, not Lawful Stupid. What about undead? What about the cult? Should the paladin stand by while Lareth and Imix release Tharizdun because neither of them actually attack?

- Never strike an unarmed enemy
- Never strike an enemy from behind
- Never deal a killing blow to a downed or helpless foe
- Always give quarters, but never ask for any
- Never use a ranged weapon, the only honour is in
melee

// Given Pelor's leanings, I'd except undead from these five. Pelor despises the undead, and wishes them destroyed. They are mockeries of life, not deserving the honor that even a villain recieves. I'd also allow missile weapons if the enemy is out of reach. A murderer or other villain shouldn't be immune to paladins simply because he has boots of striding and springing.

- Never retreat from combat
// Don't like that. Sometimes pulling back is all you can do. And in the temple, this will likely be a death sentance once they reach the Fanes.

Always defend the weak
Never put personal glory above my Faith or my tasks
Always stay modest, material riches is for the unenlightened
Always speak only good and act upon it
Always keep my anger in check and never act upon it
Always portray the symbol of my god and never denounce him. A white robe with an emblazoned golden sun will depict who I truly am
Always spare the innocent, regardless the cost
Never judge too quickly the deeds or misdeeds of others and if possible, redeem them
Ride forth with lifted spirits, increase morale and show decency in all my actions
Always use my granted healing powers to benefit those who need them the most
Always pursue true Evil and to not rest before it is put to an end
Always oppose the exploitation, oppression and abuse of the weak
Never overly indulge in material pleasures
Always share my material wealth with the church to further itís task in spreading Pelorís wisdom
// All these are great, though the 'always wear my symbol' makes disguises harder. They could always pretend he's a prisoner.


vows for my cleric (yeah, they're bound by vows too!)
To Pelor, and on my Mortal Soul, I swear to:

Use my mortal frame as a conduit for the infinite wisdom of Pelor
Use my God-gifted healing powers to benefit those who need them the most
Spend my days seeking out those who need council, to hear them out and to assist them in any way necessary
Spiritually aid those who seek guidance
Protect the faithful flock by any means necessary
Not to judge too lightly those who stand before me, to listen to their motivations and guide them to redemption should they choose to have it
Sheppard the unfaithful and peacefully drive them into the loving arms of Pelor
Openly display the symbol of Pelor in all its glory and to never denounce his name. A white robe with an emblazoned golden sun will always depict who I truly am
Never indulge overly in material pleasures
Share my material wealth with the Church, to benefit its workings
// All these are good too.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -- Buddha

"Nothing's a cliche when it's happening to you." -- Max Payne

Tribal28
Here for a while
(1/9/03 10:14 am)
Reply
Re: Serious question: how do Vows impact on this campaign?
just a quick thing...
there seem to be some contradicting vows.
How can one "wipe all evil from the face of Oreth" and "never strike the first blow"? The same can be asked for never run from melee vows
Like some one mentioned if an undead creature passed by but never attacks what then. You certainly won't be able to parlay with it to get it to change its alignment.
I'm wondering if maybe a vow to "always show bravery in the face of fear" or "evil" migth be a better way of stating this. It allows some wiggle room. Maybe a vow to "never needlessly forfit my life of the life of others" could allow for some leverage when retreating. Pelor would want to keep his Paladins and Priests around.

Tribal

The guy from Belgium
Here for a while
(1/9/03 1:50 pm)
Reply
Re: Serious question: how do Vows impact on this campaign?
well, i was gonna compensate for the hardships i was going to let my paladin go through...

i've been reading up on the second edition paladin again (man, that guy rocked and kicked ASS) until i can get my hands on the quintessential paladin (due out in januari, quintessential series owns)

some of the things i had in mind:

starting from 9 th level, which he'll attain soon, he'll receive a cummulative hitpoint per level. so +1 hp on 9th, +2 hp's on 10th, +3 hp's on 11th, and so on... that should give him a small margin to down an enemy on, or go down trying...

basically, the never retreat from combat should be read as:
never retreat from combat if it means dishonour! if you do have to retreat because the life of you protegees is in danger, make sure you're the last to wothdraw, covering their retreat with your own body if necessary!

some other nice additions i had in mind was a genuine aura of courage (like a continuous bless around the paladin within 10 feet or something)

so i ask a lot from someone who wants to be a paladin, but i'm prepared to grant him some extra's too...

but some of the vows migth be a little too hard to survive... especially this module...

the retreat from combat rule will be changed to what i said above...

also, the hoborable combat will except undead... since pelor is really opposed to these abominations...

as for 'never deal the first blow'

that will lead to beautiful RP... if i impliment it, it would indeed mean that the paladin cannot attack lareth or imix while they summon Big T...

he'll have to break his vow... save the world by breaking the vow, or stick by it and be partially responsible for big T's release...

i'll let him waist a few valuable rounds while he contemplates on this :evil

The guy from Belgium
Here for a while
(1/10/03 3:09 pm)
Reply
Re: Serious question: how do Vows impact on this campaign?
These are vows for paladin and cleric of pelor
Pelor is a neutral good god of healing and sun = anti-undead


vows for the paladin of Pelor

To Pelor, and on my Mortal Soul, I swear to

Always fight with Honour

- Never deal the first blow

- Never strike an unarmed enemy

- Never strike an enemy from behind

- Never deal a killing blow to a downed or helpless foe

- Always give quarters, but never ask for any, except
them when offered them.

- Never use a ranged weapon, the only honour is in
melee

- Never retreat from combat ( tricky stuff..., slightly
adapted to: never retreat from combat unless by
continuing you put other's at risk. If you do retreat
under these circumstances, you are to provide cover
for the retreating allies, even if that means offering
your own life for theirs )

--- Comments: these rules do not apply to undead opponents, those should be dealt with swiftly and without remorse.

Always defend the weak

Never put personal glory above my Faith or my tasks

Always stay modest, material riches is for the unenlightened

Always speak only good and act upon it

---Comments: this comes down to always speaking the truth

Always keep my anger in check and never act upon it

Always portray the symbol of my god and never denounce him. A white robe with an emblazoned golden sun will depict who I truly am

--- not much chance of sneaking in somewhere disguised as a cleric of another deity, i might add that he can disguise himself if he must do so to help the church or the Faith (thus being allowed to wear purple robes to stop big T from destroying everything)

Always spare the innocent, regardless the cost

--- if the bad guy has hostages, let the bad guy go to spare the innocent, you'll have to deal with him later (ideal if i really wanna save a bad guy... he's got hostages in the next room that his minions will execute unless he gets to leave)

Never judge too quickly the deeds or misdeeds of others and if possible, redeem them

--- just because it detects as evil, doesn't mean yuo have to kill it on sight, except as above, when he's undead)

Ride forth with lifted spirits, increase morale and show decency in all my actions

--- always wash up before appearing in public, groom horse, shine armor, the works

Always use my granted healing powers to benefit those who need them the most

--- use healing on others if they need it more

Always pursue true Evil and to not rest before it is put to an end

--- if it's really evil, you can kill it and ignore the first set of honorable combat --- just because it doesn't attack you, doesn't mean you cant attack it... ( an assassin killing civilians should be stopped for example, even if he's not attacking you )

Always oppose the exploitation, oppression and abuse of the weak

Never overly indulge in material pleasures

--- dont get drunk, no drugs or boosting substances which can be addictive, no gambling ( imagine a paladin with debts in the wrong environment... )

Always share my material wealth with the church to further itís task in spreading Pelorís wisdom

--- standard rules, the holy men have to contribute 10 or 20% of their wealth to their church


vows for my cleric ( yeah, they're bound by vows too! )

To Pelor, and on my Mortal Soul, I swear to

Use my mortal frame as a conduit for the infinite wisdom of Pelor

Use my God-gifted healing powers to benefit those who need them the most

Spend my days seeking out those who need council, to hear them out and to assist them in any way necessary

Spiritually aid those who seek guidance

Protect the faithful flock by any means necessary

Not to judge too lightly those who stand before me, to listen to their motivations and guide them to redemption should they choose to have it

Sheppard the unfaithful and peacefully drive them into the loving arms of Pelor

Pursue and destroy undead when encountered, these abominations shall never be allowed to endanger the flock or any living being.

Spend part of the day in meditation.

Openly display the symbol of Pelor in all its glory and to never denounce his name. A white robe with an emblazoned golden sun will always depict who I truly am

Never indulge overly in material pleasures

Share my material wealth with the Church, to benefit its workings

--- so, the same comments as the paladin apply, undead are exception to every rule, etc...

that's it, flame away (again)
more input is always appreciated...

P.

Edited by: The guy from Belgium at: 1/11/03 3:08:29 am
The guy from Belgium
Here for a while
(3/20/03 3:27 pm)
Reply
Re: Serious question: how do Vows impact on this campaign?
whew, this thread still hasn't fallen into the abyss :D

anyway, the vows pushed my paladin and cleric into great roleplaying (brilliant at times!)

the paladin would never initiate violence, he'd rather walk up to enemies, ask for their surrender and ready a strike if they displayed hostile action

he'd be the last to retreat, covering his allies's retreat from the field and stuff

always cleaned his armor (every night) and even led the party in prayer sometimes to thank the gods for their survival

he went round the campafire at night, encouraging the other pc's to keep up their good work for the cause (quest to destroy big T)

BUT! and this really bites!!!

he transgressed several light vows. it started with the use of his bow under inappreopriate circumstances... this could be forgiven, no problem there

and then, last session, he struck me dumb... i actually felt let down! this great example of a true paladin disappointed me

situation as follows:

party engaged with the chimera near the bridge complex

everyone but unarmored mage in front lines against the beast

oamarthis sneaks past them all (invisible) and strikes down the mage from behind, dropping him to -2 and ticking

his familiar (mastiff, special gisft) starts barking

at first, the barking is ignored, but the chimera drops

the paladin and the cleric move back and engage oamarthis.

they see the mage bleeding to death on the floor, neither moves to heal him

the paladin then declares he uses his full 'lay on hands' to heal the cleric back to an acceptable amount (both badly damaged)

the cleric finally breaks through oamarthis, but it's too late for the mage

I have to declare afterwards that pelor strips the paladin of his powers, since he broke a mortal vow (administer healing to those who need it most)

if he had really played his paladin appropriately, he would have discarded his axe and pushed past oamarthis, drawing the AoO to heal the mage...

instead he did something completely unpredictable...

i couldn't believe what i was hearing...

afterwards, we had a long chat, and he agreed that he made an error of judgement...

stategically, it was a sound call, but it was a heavy violation against the vows

so, we've lost the paladin, who's going on a mortal quest to redeem himself!

just wanted to give you guys an update on the vows and how they work out for me!

no regrets however!

P.

Cordo Crowfoot
Here to stay
(3/20/03 3:39 pm)
Reply
Re: Serious question: how do Vows impact on this campaign?
I think the vows are a great idea, and it sounds like they are working well in your campaign, adding much flavor. I would personally probably let the Paladin atone for that, after all he didn't heal himself, and was probably thinking that the cleric could heal the mage, but as long as your players are ok with that decision.

One cool thing a friend of mine is doing with his own paladin (in another RttToEE game, not my own) is that he gives his entire share of treasure to his church. !!! I'm sure his fellow party member's jaws dropped at that one the first time. However he also has a "Thou shall not covet" vow so he never asks for a share of treasure. But in order to keep him outfitted, the other party members make "gifts" of magical items they have pooled together to buy him.

"They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers. They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came... They were scum who died violent deaths, hanging on to a certain cachet among the impressionable through their undeniable bravery and their occasionally impressive exploits" China Mieville, Perdido Street Station

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