For a Paladin, is merely sensing an evil alignment justification enough to kill someone, or is actual evidence of death-worthy acts required?

13 thoughts on “For a Paladin, is merely sensing an evil alignment justification enough to kill someone, or is actual evidence of death-worthy acts required?

  1. Cole says:

    I would say it depends on the player. If they’re going for a by the book, lawful good Paladin, I would say they need to witness an evil act before dishing out justice. However, if they’re more on the chaotic side, I could see them killing an NPC just because they know they’re evil. Captain America wouldn’t kill someone just because he knows they’re a bad person. Deadpool however, would do it without a second thought.

    • Hugh says:

      Having played a paladin (dragonlance) who went on a killing spree in a town that was all evil when detect evil was cast, lost his paladin powers cause I am a dumbass and killed people just cause they where evil. So unless a paladin sees an evil act or knows they have done an evil act they should not kill random evil people

  2. Greg says:

    It’s never O.K. to murder someone based on alignment alone . Paladins uphold all the tenets of good including mercy, redemption,and justice. Taking a life should width heavily on a paladin. Only irredeemably evil monsters such as undead should be slain for merely existing. Hell a person can be evil just for being selfish and self centered being a dick should not warrant a death sentence or are we also smiteing every chaotic neutral person as well ?

  3. Robin A Blair says:

    Isn’t an evil alignment proof the creature has actually committed many evil acts already? Or can you be born ‘evil’ aligned and live like a Saint your entire life?

  4. JC says:

    Wow… That’s a big nope from me. An evil intent can be someone plotting a murder. Of the Necromancer killing villagers and reanimating them. No, a Paladin (in the Old School sense) was LAWFUL and Good. In modern society, for example, this response would immediately brand the Paladin as a vigilante. Hardly Lawful and, possibly, not at all Good…

  5. Lord Rumpleteezer says:

    Depending on edition, the rules for detecting evil differ. In some editions, a high-level/high-HD Undead or evil cleric could cast an evil Aura so strong that it could literally cause damage to perceive it. At which point, one could theoretically argue that they have been spiritually assaulted.
    Beyond that, a paladin that is “good” needs actual witness to actual deeds in order to condone murder of a living humanoid. Evil alignment is a spiritual wavelength, not a criminal record.

  6. Mok214 says:

    As a Paladin I never had my character kill anyone based off of the results of a detect evil spell. Divinations are formidably tricky spells and can always lead to unintentional results.
    Example: Is that a real evil arura or could that person be under the influence of a spell or a cursed object?

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