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. Mike Medlin says:

    That is why I am a fan of evil intent. Back in D&D days, it was detect evil intent. Detecting an alignment is such an abstract notion. Now detecting their intention, that is what it should be used for.

  2. Jesse Juarez says:

    You proposed an interesting thought experiment, but if the Paladin set out to kill every evil person he or she encountered on principle then eventually the people would turn against him. Other people can not sense evil and if it was so easy to commit murder then criminals would take advantage of any community gullible enough to beleive anything a man who claims to be a paladin says.

  3. Will Cool says:

    It depends upon the paladin’s dogma, the laws which have been proscribed. A member of an evil, violently opposed sect might warrant immediate dispatch. A particular religion might have strictures about allowing witches or sorcerers to live, for instance, or perhaps lycanthropes, or particular racial stripes. Those notions may not seem “good,” to many, but within some cultural contexts might hold as a good. Might not a dwarven paladin have a stricture requiring them to dispatch any giant they encounter without undue delay? Racial animus is not a choice in this case. Were a paladin given a guarding task, dispatching any or all who intrude might be their charge, regardless how those individuals come to intrude — intentionally or otherwise.
    The paladin does not choose their dogma, save initially, so ambiguities or outright contradictory rules might be cause for realignment or class shift. Paladins often answer to a hierarchy and bureaucracy isn’t always conducive to moral consistency, yet obedience to dogma remains their imperative.

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