Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Classy Post

It's day three of my D&D 30-day challenge (yes, I know it's the 13th, I started late).  Today's topic:  Favorite PC Class.

This is another easy one.  The Paladin.  From a very early age, I was obsessed with knight and armour.  The first book I remember repeatedly checking out from the library was a kids book on the subject with lots of photographs.  I suspect I was the only fourth grader in my school whose parents had to disappoint by telling him they wouldn't buy him stuff to acid-etch metal.

(I was also the only kid in my Cub Scout pack to have proper heraldry painted on my shield for "Knights of the Round Table" night.)

Early in my D&D career, the Paladin seemed like the best thing ever because he was so very hard to roll up.  Plus, he got a magic horse and could wield a holy sword.  How awesome is that?  Sure, there's the whole Lawful Good thing, but it never really bothered me, to tell you the truth.

Then, I found a copy of Three Hearts and Three Lions, by Poul Anderson.  Have you read it?  It's in Gygax's "Appendix N" and I'm not exaggerating in the least when I say it is Patient Zero of the D&D Paladin.  Pretty much everything Sir Holger has going for him in the novel is there in the class abilities.  It's well worth your time.

But, I digress.  Point is, I like the stereotype.  I like the heavily armored warrior for good.  I like the high charisma enemy of evil.  And I like warhorses too, for that matter.  It's a pity they're so marginalized in later versions of the game.I'm not as keen the lightening of alignment restrictions in 4e and 5e, but that's pretty easy for a GM to handwave.  Personally, I think Paladins should have special restrictions.  Otherwise, they're just fancy Clerics.

I've played more than my share of Paladins in my time.  My most successful was a guy named Valentyn, who I'll tell you about in greater detail in a later post.  If I get another chance, I'd like to play a character based on this illustration from the new PHB:

Tell me this isn't a Paladin.  I dare you.

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