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I'm looking to run the Emerald Spire Superdungeon soon and thinking about the initial location of Fort Inevitable. The town is controlled by a Lawful Evil group of the Hellknights. As a result, I was thinking about not allowing any of the PCs to be a Paladin class. These Hellknights, being LE aligned, would seem to be the antithesis of LG/LN paladins. I would believe that if a Paladin were to ride up to town, they would seek to challenge the Paladin practically at the front gate. That's something that could bring the module to a screeching halt before it begins.

What in the rules or other source materials would support or repudiate that view? Or vice-versa: Would a Paladin see himself as honorbound to attack these Hellknights as beings of evil?

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up vote 22 down vote accepted

You should read up on Hellknights more. They are the epitome of law - but there are LE, LN, and LG Hellknights. To quote,

Regardless of their severity, Hellknights are not an evil group. Although there are doubtlessly numerous evil members—particularly among the upper echelons of power—the majority of the orders are impartial arbiters and enforcers of order and justice. They see the study of Hell’s tenets and even the summoning of devils as tools meant to intimidate and strengthen the individual resolve of the orders’ members.

So no, there is no "kill on sight" between paladins and Hellknights in general. There is also not necessarily "kill on sight" between any members of differing alignments; you may as well declare LG and CG will shoot at each other when the opportunity arises.

Paladins would generally know better than to attack Hellknights on sight. A PC paladin may, of course, but that's why they have dice, to roll up new characters on demand.

In general Golarion does a much better job than many settings in not treating alignment as some bizarre prescriptive straitjacket. Consider reading the Inner Sea World Guide or even some of the Pathfinder Tales novels to get a better feel for the world. Basically if you ask yourself "should I do something stupid because of a game mechanic," answer "no" and you'll be OK.

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We do actually run this in a custom Forgotten Realms world rather than Golarion. But I will definitely check up more on Hell Knights. Haven't studied them all that much yet. Was more going on some of the text from the module. – BBlake Jul 2 '14 at 14:10
CG might shoot at LG when the opportunity arises. You know. The C part. – corsiKa Jul 2 '14 at 17:04
@corsiKa - ...not likely. They're both still good. Chaotic does not equal "insane". AD&D did have that "CN characters are crazy" thing, but that's been gone since 3e. Unless you're talking about a waterbaloon or something equally hilarious to drop on the Pally's head. – Cthos Jul 2 '14 at 17:55

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