What’s the deal with the Paladin hate?

I love the Paladin. It’s got good class abilities, good archetypes, and look at this:


That picture is called, ‘a paladin in hell’, by Dave Sutherland, and originally appeared in the AD&D players handbook. You may want to try zooming in and out to capture various perspectives of it. This one of the many pictures that demonstrate why paladins are cool.

This is one of the many pictures that demonstrate why people don’t play paladins.


You’ve seen charts like this before. The Muppets have one. Batman has one. Adventure Time has one. And they all have many things in common, not least of which is making Lawful good the ‘uncool alignment’. Even the Neutral Aliens are cooler than Superman these days.

And the Paladin, like Lawful Good, has the potential to be so much more. Not just Superman. Aragorn. Angel. The Dark Knight. Solomon Kane.

Slowly he rose, mechanically wiping his hands upon his cloak. A dark scowl had settled on his somber brow. Yet he made no wild, reckless vow, swore no oath by saints or devils.

‘Men shall die for this,’ he said coldly.”

“‘What I wish to know, Monsieur,’ said the bandit, ‘is why in the Devil’s name have you harassed my band as you have, and how did you destroy that last set of fools?’

‘Your last question is easily answered, sir,’ Kane replied. ‘I myself had the tale spread that the hermit possessed a store of gold, knowing that would draw your scum as carrion draws vultures. For days and nights I have watched the hut, and tonight, when I saw your villains coming, I warned the hermit, and together we went among the trees back of the hut. Then, when the rogues were inside, I struck flint and steel to the train I had laid, and flame ran through the trees like a red snake until it reached the powder I had placed beneath the hut floor. Then the hut and thirteen sinners went to Hell in a great roar of flame and smoke. True, one escaped, but him I had slain in the forest had not I stumbled and fallen upon a broken root, which gave him time to elude me.’

‘Monsieur,’ said Le Loup with another low bow, ‘I grant you the admiration I must needs bestow on a brave and shrewd foeman. Yet tell me this: Why have you followed me as a wolf follows deer?’

‘Some moons ago,’ said Kane, his frown becoming more menacing, ‘you and your fiends raided a small village down the valley. You know the details better than I. There was a girl there, a mere child, who, hoping to escape your lust, fled up the valley; but you, you jackal of Hell, you caught her and left her, violated and dying. I found her there, and above her dead form I made up my mind to hunt you down and kill you.’

‘H’m,’ mused the Wolf. ‘Yes, I remember the wench. Mon Dieu, so the softer sentiments enter into the affair! Monsieur, I had not thought you an amorous man; be not jealous, good fellow, there are many more wenches.’

‘Le Loup, take care!’ Kane exclaimed, a terrible menace in his voice, ‘I have never yet done a man to death by torture, but by God, sir, you tempt me!’

The tone, and more especially the unexpected oath, coming as it did from Kane, slightly sobered Le Loup; his eyes narrowed and his hand moved toward his rapier. The air was tense for an instant; then the Wolf relaxed elaborately.

‘Who was the girl?’ he asked idly. ‘Your wife?’

‘I never saw her before,’ answered Kane.

‘Nom d’un nom!’ swore the bandit. ‘What sort of a man are you, Monsieur, who takes up a feud of this sort merely to avenge a wench unknown to you?’

‘That, sir, is my own affair; it is sufficient that I do so.'”

I hope that I have, against all probability, said something original about the paladin, and I hope I have given you a good idea of my idea of what the paladin should be.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: