Paladin who pretended to be religious and lived in a Theocratic society (Mendev, Pathfinder) Decent person, utterly lacking in faith due to having never heard 'the call' the way he thought other Paladins did and absurdly high expectations on his shoulders.
So he struggled onwards and turns out you don't need to believe in god. If god believes in you.
>>45234570 This is even true in 3.5 in general, Paladins get their power from the forces of Law and Good, not any god they may follow. They DO get power from the gods in FR, which is why a lot of people assume that is the rule, but FR is the exception in this case, it just happens to be a popular exception.
Aw, c'mon. Let him have his fun. We all gotta get our rocks off somehow.
Besides, Atheism *is* a religion. Or at least it is *now.* There's no reason he can't play it straight and actually make a compelling story out of it... except for the fact that he's probably being autistic about it just like you said. Right.
>>45238929 >In 1e/2e Paladin had nothing to do with having a God Not exactly accurate.
Paladins were required to serve a religious institution or alignment, in 1e and 2e.
Basic they had to serve clrerical orders, but clerical orders didn't have to serve gods.
But to say "nothing to do with it?" Well, since virtually every order ever described in any setting other than Dark Sun is a religious one, that seems a bit of a stretch. Let's say "wasn't necessarily required to serve a god."
>>45234273 I politely remind such players that the gods *really totally do exist* and, in the event that they proclaim atheist or antireligious paladin status... I WILL pick a patron to grant his powers, and said patron *will* be worse than anything in the book.
>>45234639 In 4e it can be taken away. It just requires being such a cunt to your patron God that you gain their attention and they'll just strip your powers. This is the background for a Fighter PP. But classic herp derp you fall for stupid bullshit doesn't exist.
But you are right. All non Invoker divine characters get their powers from a ritual that is usually, but not always, preformed by a religious organization. The divine character is then more or less beholden to said organization, who usually worship a god making most Paladins God worshipers but there are possible exceptions.
>>45239934 2e: >A paladin must tithe to whatever charitable, religious institution of lawful good alignment he serves. Must serve a religious institution, specifically. 1e >whatever charitable religious institution (not a clerical player character) of lawful good alignment the paladin selects 1e does not specifically require service to a religious order. 2e does.
>>45238929 Atheism in DnD or similar systems, would be more along the lines of, Gods aren't actual gods, but really powerful spellcasters who masquerade as gods, and in Pathfinder they have the Test of the Starstone to become a God so for some that would be how they view gods.
>>45241109 You can choose to define it that way. But when I have heard of people talking about 'atheism' within D&D (like) games it has always been in regards to someone who does not believe that Gods exist.
Not that they aren't worthy of worship or are just powerful beings (both are common enough). But that they don't exist.
Yours is the first time I have seen that (new) definition applied to the topic.
I was always under the impression that Clerics were the only class that had to have a deity, and that Paladins just had to adhere to a strict code of honor, divinely inspired or not, so they have something to potentially fall from. Is this not the case?
>>45241396 You're exactly right. Clerics were designed as the class representing Knights Templar and other religious knightly orders, whereas the Paladin class was based on the Twelve Peers and certain knights of the round table [mainly Galahad]. While all of those knights were pious, the paladin class itself was not designed around piety, but around chivalry, and upholding the standards of righteousness.
An atheist in a fantasy setting makes no sense, but an 'atheist', that is, someone who doesn't believe the gods are worthy of worship, or who is simply ambivalent to them, makes perfect sense.
A considerable number of wizards hold this near-Gnostic belief in the nature of the 'gods', and there is a faction in Planescape dedicated to the concept.
TLDR: OP is a berk whose never read the AD&D books.
>>45241345 The character's core backstory is the ancestor-worshipping order they're in, who also happen to persecute the shit out of any (non-"divine"-alike) magic users, including warlocks. So, nothing wrong with a fighty warlock, it just didn't fit what I was making.
On a related note, would you guys allow a player to run a Paladin who doesn't consider himself a Paladin? Like, just a fighter who fights for the underdog or something, but his moral compass is strong and a god has entrusted him with powers. He doesn't recognize this, and the god knows he probably never will, but it's fine.
>>45244462 Yes I played that, it was mostly a guy who wanted to become a paladin in a world were only a few can achieve it. He became one as part of the ending of campaign when he and dwarf did a sucide charge against demons.
>>45244462 What about a character who renounces his god, tries to live as if that god didn't exist, but can't help himself from doing right by that god's teachings time and time again? Maybe he has a history with corrupt/overbearing/smelly followers of that god, so he left the church, but try as he might, when he's really pressed he can't bring himself to go against what he learned was right. And since, at his core, he's a true believer, he has divine powers that help him.
Or... How about a god who is so nervous about losing followers (and thus losing godhood?) that he hands out powers like candy? Your character could be a true believer, but he could just as easily be a conniving bastard who just does the bare minimum of prayer so he can be really strong.
Spinoff setting: The gods are all like the example above, and 99% of people worship as many as possible to get all kinds of powers. Your character would be somebody who decided everybody was going soft because they were relying on divine powers, so he doesn't pray, and struggles for decades until he becomes as tough as a divine warrior just through sheer determination.
Ripped straight from the TV tropes page for the Ebberon Campaign setting:
Genre Savvy: Forges Of War shows that scholars in the setting are at least partially aware of Divine Magic's reliance on Clap Your Hands If You Believe, and attempts were made during the last war to train clerics devoted to national ideals rather than religion to function as healers and replaces the services of House Jorasco. It didn't work.
IMHO, Atheist Paladin just sounds like a great joke character. Its like the Spoony one said:
I could see a paladin being essentially a knight dedicated to a higher cause. If there isn't religion there is always ideology (Paladin of Communism), racial supremacists (Allowing humans into the sacred glade is Elven genocide), protecting the interests of some special figure (Empress' Guard), or maybe enforcing some ethical philosophical viewpoint (the pushiest vegans you've ever met).
Basically any cause which is unselfish and which transcends them.
Actually, that gives me an idea. What about agnostic paladins? As in "I don't know what makes the universe tick, and we shouldn't fuck with it". They show up to stop people from abusing the power of the cosmos and try to understand it from a scientific prospective rather than a devotional one.
I've got a 4e Paladin sitting about who's powered by two things. Her sincere desire to be a true knight (She's common born) and a childhood promise.
When she was a child she was playing Knights with her friends and got lost. She found another girl crying in the forest, sad that she didn't have a knight any more. Thinking it was just someone else playing the game, she promised to be that girl's knight.
Turns out that strange, pointy-eared girls in the middle of forest clearings with hair and eyes the colour of ice TEND NOT TO BE TRUSTWORTHY and now she's bound as the Knight of a Fey. Still, a true knight would not back down from her word so she's going to be a good knight and noble knight as she promised.
HElf with Dark Beckoning as her Dilettante power and a Multiclass into Warden for a good 'Winter Fey' feel without just going with Warlock.
>>45253199 >in games No more than absolutely needed.
>In setting Constantly. They're basically using mortals to fight a giant proxy war with each other, given that a bunch of what can best be described as cosmic defensive pacts have made it impossible for one of the gods to get near the other with out causing a pan dimensional holy war. Aside from that, there's a couple like Arquero the God of Change and Chance who's pissed people keep trying to stop things from changing and is trying to engineer his reincarnation, or Arcatus the Lesser God of Oblivion who is a pile of dead gods merged together trying to cause the aforementioned pan-dimensional holy war for some nebulous reason.
>>45234273 I'm playing a paladin hellbred who ain't religious. He became a paladin through his devotion to law (and by extension good in his own philosophy).
For those who aren't in the know, hellbred are basically people who repented last minute, had their memories mostly wiped and a new body given to them, then sent back to atone for their sins. My character thinks this injust as he is a new man, and thus refuses to worship gods.
>>45240188 >>45240550 The modern, commonly accepted definitions are this: An atheist is someone who does not believe god(s) exist. An agnostic is someone who believes that we cannot know whether or not god(s) exist.
Etymologically speaking, the word atheist means "without a god" ("a" meaning without and "theos" meaning a god), so it could easily be interpreted to mean that you simply don't worship any particular deity and not specify whether or not you believe deities exist, though that's not the way people use it today.
>>45256159 Wouldn't those definitions make it possible to be both Agnostic and Atheistic? As in, you don't believe in the existence of gods but also believe that it is impossible to conclusively prove one way or another?
>>45256325 Sure, by the definitions as I typed them, though generally people describe agnosticism as being "you don't know therefore you don't believe one way or the other." As in, someone who doesn't believe gods exist and believes we will never be able to prove that would fall under the category of atheist.
Though really, either way is close enough that I wouldn't fault you for your opinion there (seeing as how language changes and whatnot).
There are clerics of atheism in AD&D 2nd edition. They're called ur-priests, they work like clerics but instead of gaining power through faith and devotion they siphon power off gods with unholy rituals.
>>45256498 It depends on the individual ur-priest and their motivations. A lot of ur-priests are antitheists who actively work to undermine a specific god but there's no reason you can't play them as just straight up sceptic with an arcane background. If a cleric claims to work miracles by his god's favor and an ur-priest can work the same miracle while also denouncing the cleric's god then the burden of proof is on the cleric.
My problem with atheism in settings with obvious gods is that the player often does not allow for the possibility that the atheist PC is wrong and that the gods are just that. The burden is always on the religious to prove their gods are really gods to someone who definition of the word god includes the word imaginary, and takes the GM's statements that they are real as just an in-universe belief to be disbelieved and disproven. It feels like getting the PC to even consider they might be wrong requires converting the player in real life.
>>45253164 A Paladin of Ignorance actually sounds pretty interesting. He's just some dirty asshole in robes that runs around burning libraries, and he smites anyone with his Club of Unlearning that says "well, I think I learned my lesson"
>Playing a non-religious or atheist in a fantasy game This, I automatically kick anyone who doesn't put a deity down on their character sheet. They're just flat out bad at role playing. Everyone would be religious as it's the only thing that makes sense in a world where literal avatars of gods and portions of their divine power are handed out to people who follow them. You don't need to have a paladin character to see expose the stupidity.
I've always liked the idea of playing a Paladin that got picked by a god to be his champion while refusing to believe in the god, even though he expounds his ideals and does his work.
He would seek to justify his abilities, his urge to follow the commandants, and other such things as part of his own personality, rather than some divine being.
Basically, he'd be terrified that some big being in the sky is controlling how he acts and what he does, so he insists on denying they exist despite all the evidence so he can believe he controls his own fate.
A big part of playing him would be coming to terms with the whole issue, of course, but I didn't think I could do it without coming off like an asshole.
>>45239021 you should read Pratchett's "Small Gods" it covers atheism in a setting with real gods really well also, it's one of Pratchett's best books (and that's saying something), so you should read it anyway
The whole point of the Paladin is that it depicts a very specific archetype of knight, the Bioware Paragon character.
If I want to play the more morally-dubious crusader type, I play as a Neutral Fighter who is styled as a knight. You know, more of the 'looting and killing in the name of God' instead of 'New Testament Jesus' type. Having a Paladin who doesn't hold to class standards is, to be blunt, stupid.
It's like a Cleric who goes "I believe in MYSELF. That's where I get my domains!"
>>45243094 Jokes on you: my secret patron of the last Atheist Paladin was the City he was born in. Whenever there was a Murder, he, spiritually, felt the knife. Each building that fell was like a icy grip on his soul. But each birth, each accomplishment a triumph. He was fucking paranoid about it, but inside his home town he was granted a form of clairvoyance and precognition, which made him reluctant to leave, but constantly busy stopping crimes and saving lives. Yeah, I made a paladin into a superhero through his decision to not have the patronage of a God. What you gonna do about it?
>>45275086 I don't see the problem. Why does a particular kind of magic or morality necessarily have to come from a god? I mean, we're talking about polytheistic pantheons of 'physical' gods, more akin to the Greco-Roman gods, and there are already things like evil clerics, etc.
I mean I get that it's core - but there are plenty things that are core that people change with homebrew/variants all the time.
My group prefers the existence of gods to be left vague (at least to begin with) so there's no direct obvious intervention by them, and various kinds of idealism and faith can fuel divine powers on its own. It reinstates that fundamental leap of faith that exists in the real world.
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