The holy warrior dedicated to destroying the forces of evil. He is completely devoted to his cause and is given unique abilities to further aid that quest. These powers typically include up to mid level healing spells, ways to absorb punishment, bolstering the abilities of allies, and Detect Evil
(usually coupled with Smite Evil
) Through a combination of his powers and training, the paladin is the bane of all demonic
foes. Common war gear for paladins are full plate, a shield (unless using [[BFS two]] handed weapons
), and either a long sword or some kind of smashing weapon such as a mace or a maul. A paladin will typically have good magic resistance, defense and attack power (though not as strong as a pure fighter), but will have terrible offensive magic ability and sometimes speed. In a group, the paladin's role will typically be as a Combat Medic
(secondary healer), tank (the class is often very hard to kill), or even diplomat. Often a Stone Wall
(sword and shield types) or a Mighty Glacier
(two handed weapon types). Expected to behave like a Knight in Shining Armor
but the possibility of a Knight in Sour Armor
certainly exists. Can be prone to Good Is Not Nice
It might be of some interest to note that the word "paladin" (>L., palatinus) originally meant "a dweller in the imperial palace" (just as "Count" meant "companion of the emperor"), which was in turn derived from the fact that the imperial palace was on the Palatine hill in Rome, which was, in turn, the hill sacred to the shepherd god/goddess, Pales. The original Paladins were the "knights" associated (somewhat anachronistically) with the Emperor Karl, AKA Charlemagne, especially his legendary "Twelve Peers" (of whom Roland was the most famous).
Most types of Paladins (especially in Tabletop Games
) are restricted to be on the Good side of "Good Versus Evil". Most rules enforce this by making the Paladin lose their Anti-Evil abilities if they stray too far from their alignment.Woe to the player who plays a paladin in a tabletop RPG, as Jerk Ass D Ms
are extremely fond of picking on paladin players by setting up situations that force them to act in a way that makes them lose their powers no matter what they do. See To Be Lawful Or Be Good
and Sadistic Choice
, which are the most often invoked cheap shots.
Often overlaps with Combat Medic
depending on the setting and powers. Defensive orientated counterpart to the Magic Knight
. A more benevolent Church Militant
will typically have an order of paladins at their call. Expected to behave like many tropes associated with Lawful Good
characters. The most common alignment is Lawful Good
, though there may be an occasional Neutral Good
paladin. Can become a Knight Templar
if they stray too far along the lawful axis, thus going rogue. Typically on the idealistic side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism
. Good Is Not Nice
is more likely to occur with more cynical paladins.
Anime and Manga
Table Top Games
- The paladin class of Dungeons & Dragons is the Trope Namer and the base by which the paladin archtype is based. Wizards of the Coast is extremely aware of the Jerk Ass DM ploys and developed the Holy Liberator prestige class and dedicated an entire section of Book of Exhalted Deeds to advice on how to counter these traps. Also the Trope Namer for Detect Evil and Smite Evil.
- Brutally deconstructed in War Hammer 40000 with the Grey Knights chapter of Space Marines. Have loads of powers to fight daemons and are completely uncorruptable, but are extremely ruthless in their mission. Given the Grim Dark Crap Sack World that 40k is, they still manage to remain sympathetic as from their perspective, Exterminatus is an act of mercy for the innocents caught in the daemonic incursion. Better to die with their souls pure than live and be inevitably corrupted by the daemons out to corrupt them.