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Reader Comments (9)

Posted: Dec 24th 2010 3:06PM Laren said

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It is sad that most people will use blizzards interpretation of the class as gospel. They really messed it up, because their game play just doesn't have room for a character like this. Maybe on an rp server things are different...

Posted: Dec 24th 2010 3:13PM juanele said

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I always have viewed a paladin as sort of a Knight Templar from history. One game aspect that has always bothered me is when they turn the Paladin/Knight archetype into a healer.

Posted: Dec 24th 2010 11:13PM KDolo said

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I like the WoD's nomenclature when it comes to Paladin. They take on a very different image as members of the Sabbat. I can't wait to have the opportunity to play one in CCP's upcoming WoD MMO

Posted: Dec 25th 2010 4:12AM Haldurson said

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@KDolo
Years ago when I was in High School, I remember reading "Song of Roland". What struck me about it then was that it referred to both the Christian and Muslim soldiers as 'Paladins'. It wasn't about good or evil, The term Paladin, traditionally was used to refer to any knight who fought in the crusades, regardless of which side they were on. Even they were on opposite sides, both Muslim and Christian Knights were considered holy warriors.

Granted, Judeo-Christian morality has influenced a lot of literature, painting most conflicts into good vs. evil. Even in modern times, when most good writers have freed themselves from this tradition, fantasy tends to be filled with lazy writers who stick with the formula (No, the WoW creatros did not invent this idea, nor did Gary Gygax, or Tolkien). For what its worth, it's a tried and true formula. But no one says that it's the only way to go.
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Posted: Dec 24th 2010 11:16PM Dblade said

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Yeah this isn't really a paladin, paladins tend to be more protector or crusader archetypes. This seems to be more of a generic healer.

It's hard to RP a decent paladin because the religious aspects of most game's lore are slim. Paladins only make sense in the context of a dominant religious faith, as they specifically are holy warriors. This is why they are often bound to healing magic. in FFXI for example only the sandorian's have a faith that would suit a paladin, but all three races can be one, so you have to come up with some backstory to explain why nature-loving windurstians would be holy warriors.

Posted: Dec 25th 2010 5:56AM Jeromai said

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I think this is ill-named as an archetype. It mixes more concepts than the previous ones of rogue, scholar and soldiers. I could argue fer example that Malcolm Reynolds in Serenity also has a code of honor as a cowboy-like rogue.

A character with a code of honor he insists on following is one concept. It covers the chivalric codes of knights, bushido, honor among thieves, such as the code of omerta in the mafia.
http://everything2.com/title/Code+of+Honor
(I can't find a good name for this concept, honor-seeker or honor-follower sound ridiculously lame.)

The paladin class also conjures automatic images of the knight-templar religious order crusader-soldier archetypes. That's another concept there, the gallant champion, the lawful good cavaliers - they are holy warriors of a militant order, they can't not be, on the moral side of an objective good. They are the white in their black-and-white world.
http://www.deathquaker.org/gaming/archetypes.html
(And imo, cavaliers/crusaders are kind of a mix of soldier and fanatic archetype too.)

Another concept being mixed into the paladin fray is that of the defender/guardian/protector (tank) and caregiver (healer) archetypes. I see the first as willing to throw themselves in front of others to protect them. Giving up their lives to save others though would stray towards martyr. Caregivers give of themselves to directly address the needs of others (ie. turn and talk directly or face the person in need), whereas the first deflects others from the impact of outside forces (shoves the person behind them, or throws themselves forward before others).

On the other hand, this quote... ""willing to give her life in defense of what she believes is right, to keep the codes of honor alive as best she can, to show all of her virtues in word, thought, and deed" just reminds me of anyone with a lawful good, "Hero" alignment. I've roleplayed a cleric with such a mindset.

Maybe a better name for this archetype would be "Noble Hero" rather than paladin. Key concepts: virtue + code of honor (that happens to be moral good-aligned.)

Nah, the name still sounds lame. Virtue? Paragon? Don't know if we have a word in english for this ideal. Knight still has the militant connotations. Hmm...

Posted: Dec 25th 2010 6:04AM Jeromai said

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Random thought: The Chosen might be an interesting RP archetype for a future article. These are the folks who are convinced they have been picked out in some way for something special. :)

Posted: Dec 25th 2010 7:07AM JuliusSeizure said

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Dexter Morgan is a paladin. He's a sociopath, an atheist (or possibly agnostic, hard to say for sure), a serial killer and constantly deceives those around him, but none of that matters. The Code of Harry and the personal values he's slowly built up over the course of the series and the actions he takes because of them put him solidly in the paladin camp. After all, fantasy paladins take the law into their own hands constantly, don't they? He's messed up a few times and had to amend the code on others, but he always ends up on the right path.

Here's a short list of other paladin role models, some obvious, some not so: Superman; Thrall, son of Durotan; Captain America; WALL-E; Frodo Baggins; Simon the Digger; Alexander Anderson (yes his title is Paladin, but this needs to be stated because he's such a psycho you might think otherwise); Atreyu; Mario; Nelson Mandela!

And everyone complaining that what's outlined "isn't really a paladin", if you want to get strict, a paladin is a member of the best knights in Charlemagne's court, and that's it. Eliot used a convenient term that evokes the right idea for a concept that doesn't have a distinct name of its own. Also, the point is to get at the essence behind the things you're describing, to not get hung up on details.

And one more thing, I'm curious to see what other archetypes we'll see. I suppose there's got to be one for the supportive, encouraging type, whether they be a bard, a healer, a spiritual guide or whatever. Survivour is another good one, as is warlock (as in the character who seeks power at any cost), and certainly the trickster archetype. Oh, and the hot-head/berserker. I'm sure there's heaps of others still, so this series could go on a looong time. :)

Posted: Dec 25th 2010 12:44PM Dblade said

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@JuliusSeizure I disagree. Dexter is more a dark knight than a paladin, and people forget the dark knight is supposed to be the twisted version of it. Alex Anderson is a crusader rather than a paladin. Simon is an anti-paladin-the whole point of him is that he follows no rules and makes his own path against fate, and is an expression of an anarchic force that is suppressed for very paladin-like reasons: if anything the Anti-Spiral is more of a paladin, and Rossiu was too.

Rich RP comes from being very specific. This really isn't. This is more of an idealist, and can be done with any class.
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