Thoughts on the Paladin

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Designing the Paladin

The Paladin was one of the first classes in Chronos. My original thoughts on the Paladin was that it would be called the Templar and it would be the other side of the coin to the Dread Knight.  The Paladin had a Paladyne instead of the Dreadnaught and they used positive energies rather than negative energies to defeat their enemies. I still wonder about changing it to Templar, but that ship has probably sailed for now. The Paladin falls in the category of a required class for every game. Even when people would like to act like they are not making a Paladin Class, they make a class with a slightly different name that has very similar abilities (i.e. Templar). I didn’t come into this trying to make the Paladin vastly different. I knew its overall feel would be in tune with established canon, but I could still make it my own if I tried. My spin on established canon was a Paladin would protect the world with the blessings of a Titan race called the Paladynes. A member of the Order of Paladyne would train as a guardian of law and order. They were highly trained military minds and soldiers trained in the arts of war. When their training was complete and they were deemed worthy by a Paladyne, they would become blessed with the patronage of a Paladyne. This Patronage would increase their powers to supernatural levels, granting them immeasurable strength, an ever present ally, and a means to serve and protect the people of the world.

With that, I knew I had a start and that I could feel confident about putting them in my game. They had a flavor all my own, so the rest was simple from that point on. I started to work on their position in the Chronos Game System. My thoughts on the Paladin were that I needed a Champion class. The Paladin fit the bill as a protector, so it would be logical to add them in that role. I also needed a secondary healer, and their holy Patrons granted powers that dovetailed nicely with a secondary healer role. As they evolved during development testing, the Paladin would become a holy avenger with the righteous ferocity of an Archon to round out the spectrum of their powers.

Reaction to the Paladin

Measuring by the frequency of play, and the frequency by the same person, I would have to say the Paladin class has been a success. I had a rough time at first trying to find a way to make a tank class fun, but in the end I feel the invulnerability in combination with the counterattack aspect of play gave them what was needed to get over the “boring protector” feel. At first they required many different Attributes, Battle Skills, and Character Skills. It was bad character design to say the least, but even through those rough times, people still chose them. I overhauled them many times, each time making them more streamlined. In the end, their role as a protector and healer was solidified and streamlines. All I needed was that “something else.”

With some inspiration from a unique campaign created by our good friend Vicki, I was able to flesh out a “righteous hunter” sort of character, and as the game designer, I easily made some adjustments to the abilities to make that happen. With that addition, I think the Paladin has more to offer and will appeal to a broader audience than those looking for a tank and healer role.

There has also been a strong reception that Paladins have the autonomy to play and act as they wish without fear of alignment rules. I played a Templar Inquisitor that did whatever it took to get the job done, Grorst was played as a Gentle Giant that stood confidently up to evil when it threatened others. The other variations of Paladins have followed classic lines with but one exception, the Dwarven Cook Grimmr broke the mold. Grimmr was not the holy roller type of Paladin. I should start by saying that there is a place for almost everyone in the Paladyne Order as long as they have a sense of right and wrong and the desire to complete the training. Lastly, a Paladin must find a Paladyne that will be their Patron. Grimmr completed the training, but was lackadaisical about it. Fortunately, he found one of the more lackadaisical Paladynes that doesn’t get pompous or pious with his charge and that is why Grimmr made it through the Paladyne Order as he did. His heart was always in the right place, even if his ambition was occasionally lacking.

As you can see, people have really taken the Paladin class and ran with it, which is what I like to see. I would say that the Paladin has been well received.

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