17
\$\begingroup\$

I gave one of my players a handout of the major Gods in Faerûn as I am running Storm King's Thunder pretty soon. My player wants to be a Chaotic good paladin and is not interested in any of the chaotic good Gods. He asked me if his alignment had to follow the alignment of his God and I said that it likely should.

He picked Sune, the God of Beauty, and I think he feels like he was forced to pick her. I think it is holding him back from role playing his character.

Does a paladin's alignment have to match their patron deity's?

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have any reason to hold that a CG deity can only have CG followers? If so, what is its basis? What good deities is your character interested in? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Mar 15 '18 at 13:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the PC human? \$\endgroup\$ – ZwiQ Mar 16 '18 at 21:16
33
\$\begingroup\$

Paladins are not tied to their deity (or lack of a deity) any more than anyone else

In previous editions, paladins gained their power from there dedication to their deity or alignment and could even lose their power if they failed to uphold it. Instead, in fifth edition, paladins get their power from their oath, which may or may not be made to a good deity. From the Player's Handbook (pg. 82):

Different paladins focus on different aspects of the cause of righteousness but all are bound by the oaths that grant them power to do their sacred work. Although many paladins are devoted to gods of good, a paladin's power comes as much from a commitment to justice as it does from a god.

Since this makes the paladin a class without any specification when it comes to deities we can use the general rules for deities for any adventurer. (pg. 293)

From among the gods available, you can choose a single deity for you character to serve, worship, or pay lip service to. Or you can pick a few that your character prays to most often.

The rules make no mention of having to choose a deity in accordance to your alignment. Only clerics and those with the Acolyte background even have to choose a deity.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ May want to mention how vestigial alignment is in 5e. \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Mar 14 '18 at 22:50
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ There is probably a lot of useful stuff to mine in the answers to this question, even though it is specifically about clerics, who have an even greater tie to a patron deity. rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/106587/… \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Mar 14 '18 at 22:54
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This answer might be improved by mentioning that this is a departure from previous editions, where alignment was often a big deal and could cause paladins to lose their powers temporarily until they corrected their alignment. \$\endgroup\$ – Cronax Mar 15 '18 at 9:01
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer It's probably not worthwhile unless OP is confused based on experience from prior versions of D&D where alignment mattered more. If 5E is all OP knows, alignment won't seem vestigial or useless like it might to others. \$\endgroup\$ – TylerH Mar 15 '18 at 14:53
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer alignment is part of the game. Alignment restrictions are not \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Mar 15 '18 at 18:30
14
\$\begingroup\$

Paladins don't need to worship a deity at all in 5e. And characters in general are not restricted by alignment as to which deities they can worship.

If you want to house-rule alignment restrictions, consider 3.5e's approach. Clerics had to be within one step of the deity's alignment. That means, for a CG character, they can choose from CG, CN, and NG deities.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ About the house rule, usually it is not about "sharing one part" of the deity alignment, but is about be within "one step" of that alignment; in your example a CG character could worship a CN deity. \$\endgroup\$ – Matteo Tassinari Mar 15 '18 at 11:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Same meaning, different words :) I have changed to the official wording \$\endgroup\$ – Adeptus Mar 16 '18 at 1:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Rereading my comment now, I didn't mean to write "CN deity" but rather "CE deity" \$\endgroup\$ – Matteo Tassinari Mar 16 '18 at 5:53
8
\$\begingroup\$

In the 5th edition, while the concept of alignment exists, its effects on the game mechanics is much more muted than the earlier editions. For paladins in particular, there are no requirements at all for them to follow a power at all.

But you are correct that in some earlier editions of the game, such as the 3e, the paladins of the Forgotten Realms setting had to choose a deity and that deity had to have an alignment of LN, LG or NG (page 25 of FR Campaign Setting 3e). However even under such strict rules, there were exceptions given, for example Sune, a CG power, had an order of LG paladins affiliated with her church.

So even if you decide to "immerse" yourself in some extra Forgotten Realms flavor of old (see footnote), and house-rule that the paladins should have a patron deity, it would be reasonable to let your player choose any deity of good alignment. (Or even one of CN alignment if the character's ethos agrees with that of the deity.) If the chosen deity is, say LG, you might even create roleplaying opportunities by considering his character as an unruly member of an order with mostly lawful paladins.

In short, given the lack of any constraints from the game mechanics themselves; it is up to you and your player to decide. I would personally recommend that you talk to your player and together you might come up with a nice solution that can improve your game. For a list of FR powers that support paladins, you might have a look at FR wikia's articles on paladins and paladin orders.


Note: According to Ed Greenwood presents: Elminster's Forgotten Realms:

Deities are paramount in Faerûnian life. Everybody believes in all the gods and worships every god... Only clergy, paladins, and fanatics specialize in the worship of certain deities. Everyone else in the Realms is constantly poised between the gods, ...

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I recommend that you both highlight this point you made "it would be reasonable to let your player choose any deity of good alignment" and put it in a more prominent place since that seems to be the heart of your answer to the problem. (IMO a very good answer). \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Mar 15 '18 at 15:39
7
\$\begingroup\$

Paladins and clerics being restricted in alignment is a 3e-and-before thing (including 3.5e and Pathfinder). That restriction was removed in 4e, and is still absent in 5e.

Though it's funny you should mention Sune, who sets one of the oldest precedents for paladins not matching their deity's alignment. Sune sponsored paladins at least as early as 3e, even though they could not match her alignment in those days (because paladins had to be LG, and she was CG). There were a couple of LN deities that sponsored paladins too, like Helm, but Sune was notable for being outright Chaotic: this gave paladins a two-step alignment difference, which even clerics weren't allowed to have. But Sune found the idea of paladins so romantic that she wanted an order of her own, so she made one.

\$\endgroup\$
-4
\$\begingroup\$

Absolutely, after all, a paladin is the Military arm of the faith. It's defender. You can't have a paladin of glitter and sparkles who has an alignment of dark and brooding ... That's just flat out hypocrisy!

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Please take our tour to see why we are different from forums and other sites you may be familiar with. Right now, your answer does not have any kind of supporting evidence behind it. Please consider adding some or it may get downvoted. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Mar 15 '18 at 13:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ More evidence? hmmm. Well i know from my experiences with my own class preference being that of the rogue, we have our Good Girls and our Bad Boys, our swash bucklers and our Jovial underdogs, or a smarmy and snarky little thief and his cutpurse of a girlfriend .. I would imagine that the class of Paladin also has its many variations. Ive witnessed almost all paladins being representatives to some deity, Typically the Paladin is one of some Benevolent Triune God or Goddess, a defender of the people whose Sword is unsheathed only for the greater good of his Village. But not the devil. \$\endgroup\$ – Syntaxxx Err0r Mar 24 '18 at 12:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.