I have come to a point in a 5e game where my character has essentially released a great evil on the world so that another more widespread evil can be possibly killed. Of course, the great evil released will inevitably be killed, as is the goal for all good vengeance paladins. Should I be forced into oath-breaking for doing so, or was I justified under the tenants of the oaths of vengeance?
You're good, man. Vengeance often demands you do questionable things. However, I wouldn't be surprised if someone else became a paladin of vengeance to exact revenge on you for releasing said evil. And I would giggle a bit if he ended up releasing some sort of evil in pursuit of said revenge, causing someone ELSE to become a paladin of vengeance, perpetuating the great cycle of destruction, revenge, and releasing evil on the world.
You aren't a "Greater Good" Paladin, you aren't a "Justice and Honor" Paladin you aren't a "Tea and Cupcakes" Paladin, you are Vengeance Paladin.
You swore Vengeance and anything that gets you closer to that Vengeance is KEEPING to your Oath.
It's like TFS Vegeta says.
>I will kill as many people as I have to as long as you are one of them
Vengeance isn't really a church-sanctioned oath, it's between you, the motherfucker/group of motherfuckers/motherfucking abstract concept what needs a good smiting, and whatever god, gods, or abstract divine wellspring are willing to help you accomplish said smiting.
The only sad part is that eventually one of the paladins will release an evil weak enough that the next paladin will simply declare vengeance against the evil and ignore the other paladin. Then all the evils get killed off and you have to spend the next three centuries sealing away deadly evils so you can watch it all happen again.
First Wyrm Problems I guess.
Well I mean, unless it's a church that exists for the sole purpose of mercilessly eradicating some particular specific force of evil, then they would probably be totes down with Vengeance.
Your understanding of Vengeance Paladin is really skewed.
They're hunters of evil and relentless warriors, but it doesn't mean they are still not Paladins. They're still capable of falling just as hard as any other Paladin, their ends do not justify the means and they have to adhere to a certain code.
Id recommend talking with your DM one on one about it.
Why does he feel your character broke his oath? Why do you disagree? Where are the discrepancies in your and his understanding of your oath?
Figure this out and you guys and know how best to proceed.
DMs tend to not do shit like that for no reason.
>DMs tend to not do shit like that for no reason.
I'm not entirely certain why he thinks that my character broke his oath exactly. Our characters were embarking on a quest to gather information about a fog storm that blocks sunlight in a particular kingdom, which allows undead to spread outward, which halts forward assault from any defensive military. In order to combat this threat, we needed to contact said evil earlier, which just so happened to be an adult black dragon in a land far to the west. This particular element was brought up since my character is a dragonborn, he has a dragon parent, who happens to be a black dragon. Anyway, we proceeded to these lands where we navigated to a pond where the dragon was held. There, after talking with him, bargaining for information in exchange for his release, we destroyed the containment device. That is where we left off. Perhaps he thought that agreeing to the dragon's release so easily contributed largely to an oathbreak.
Of that I am unsure.
I think the disagreement comes primarily from his understanding of the oath, as my character was largely compliant with the release due to the fact that he must eventually face the dragon in combat. Not to mention, the immediate danger of the kingdom engulfed in undead was an immediate threat.
I've spent enough time on /tg/ to know that some GM's are simply that bad, and this sort of thing actually happens from time to time.
Some thing it's dramatic and worth forcing on a player for the ensuing story, some just want to be spiteful or watch their players squirm, some just want to challenge their players' gameplay and character choices. But enough bad GM's do it in any case.
I've had the good fortune never to be in one of those games, but look at people like >>44600380 who flat out don't trust their GM not to try and arbitrarily fuck them over. Some shitty GMs shit in this guy's punchbowl and now he thinks everybody wants to. Like an abused dog.
So you let an evil black dragon out to stop an undead plague and you plan to kill the black dragon afterwards.
It's 100% vengeance paladin. Nothing wrong with it.
Point to him "Fight the Greater Evil" and "By Any Means Necessary" in the PHB, p.88
You thought that the undead wave is the greater evil, and you have to end it by any means necessary. Your actions are justified under your oath.
>Sworn Oath against Evil in general
Okay, you're kind of fucked, if all Evil is your sworn enemy then you needed to kill the Dragon or keep it contained and not doing so WAS a violation.
You're technically sworn to kill or neutralize every Evil being in existence and then off yourself.
This is why you need to be specific with Oaths or Wishes or commands to constructs.
Ah, but would there not be more pressing matters to attend to, more lives at stake, if the dragon was not released? Without his help, the kingdom would fall, which would mark me for failure. With his help, the kingdom may defeat the undead, which then may focus its attention in dealing with the dragon threat. Shifting of focus allows vengeance strike in decisive order.
Okay, but remember what I said about killing half the universe and then yourself because you're the guy that just laid waste to the cosmos?
This is exactly the kind of fine print you need to double check in charge.
Oathbreaker is about unrepentant rejection of your oath. Getting tempted away from your original call to justice, so that you no longer value it above everything else.
Riku and Anikin Skywalker are good examples (in both cases "gotta save da gurl" becomes their new primary mission) but falling from powerlust or greed is also just as common.
Because you no longer value JUSTICE above all else, you're open to the powers the darker side of paladinry, the Blackguard. Perhaps there's even some grand spirit of injustice that gives you said powers, just like the spirit of justice is the one giving you the normal kind of paladin powers.
Either way, you have to intentionally give up on your call to justice to become an Oathbreaker. Otherwise you're just a failure who needs to ask forgiveness and atone for his shortcomings.
do remember that breaking your oath, and becoming an oathbreaker paladin are two different things.
one you might lose your powers for a bit til you atone. rules say often all yu need to do is atone, no power loss or anything. but for major cases like this, yeah probably some paladin licence revoking is in order.
Attonement is free now by the way. Just go confess your sins to a priest.
the other you gave up on the good fight and become an antipaladin.
The code specifically mentions lesser evils are a-ok if they get you closer to defeating greater evils. Vengeance is an oath for edgy paladins; he would actually fall if he refused to do as such.
Picking a lesser evil to stop a greater evil is not an evil act (especially if you have no other choice). It wouldn't be for any Oath, but especially not for a Vengeance Paladin.
That said, Vengeance isn't mindless murder and slaughter. They're still benevolent and good-hearted, as evidenced by their dedication to restitution. They take full responsibility for the problems caused by the actions of not just themselves, but for their opponents.
At worst, a Vengeance Paladin is a loose cannon that doesn't follow the rules, but damn does he get results.
Wrong. Vengeance Paladins are "give no quarter, fight fire with fire, but never let evil befall the innocent."
Their entry in 5th gives their tenets as "help those harmed by evil, exterminate evil by any means necessary, give mercy to enemies but those who are my sworn foes."
It's not a free pass to be chaotic retarded and be like "lol muh veneance." A Vengeance Paladin that allows evil to flourish as a result of his actions would fall so fucking hard that it'd drive the planet out of orbit.
It doesn't say never "let evil befall the innocent", just "help those harmed by evil"
You're free to unleash horrors upon the world to prevent your sworn foes from winning, you just have to fix the shit you break.
There doesn't seem to be a prohibition against it anywhere, you're thinking of the caution about letting PCs use villain classes.
Not to mention that being made evil is almost impossible -- 5e alignments are so broad as to allow nearly any behavior. CG types can do whatever they like as their conscience dictates, LN types can do whatever their want as long as their codes permit, CN types can do whatever their whims result.
You are an oath breaker.
You aided your sworn enemy (evil) out of convenience.
If your imbecile self had bothered to chose a real sworn enemy, you might be fine, but in this case, you assisted your sworn enemy and are likely further wrecking those harmed by evil.
You are no avenger, you are a pawn of evil.
>my character is a dragonborn, he has a dragon parent,
>There doesn't seem to be a prohibition against it anywhere, you're thinking of the caution about letting PCs use villain classes.
I don't understand. Why are you citing the Dungeon Master's Guide? What does that have to do with officially sanctioned play? One look in the Adventurer's League rules would tell you that use of evil characters is restricted.
Which is why your Oath should be directed against a specific individual, or failing that a specific group of beings like "Undead" or the more specific "Vampires", "Fiends" or the more specific "Demons" , "Evil Dragons" or the more specific "Evil Black Dragons" that way your priorities are always clear.