Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Enough with the Anti-Paladins, already!

This guy's called a "blackguard"...that's better than "anti-paladin."
I wanted to share a thought for the day:
I never understood the need for the "anti" in "anti-paladin." I know that, traditionally in the real world, the term paladin was used to describe those considered virtuous or holy warriors, such as Charlemagne's Paladins. But, ask the Saracens if the Paladins were holy; you'd get a different opinion!
Anyway, the Merriam-Webster definitions for paladin are: 1) a trusted military leader and 2) a leading champion of a cause. That second definition supports my point here: it doesn't say "champion of a GOOD cause." A paladin is a champion of a belief, cause, religion, whatever. So, even if that religion is evil, they are still just a paladin!
Ugh, in my long-gone Second Edition AD&D days, there was a guy who always, ALWAYS played a drow anti-paladin. Blech. As it turns out, that meant he was pretty much a douche, both IN and OUT of the game.

Let me leave you with a parting thought: do you call a cleric of an evil religion an "anti-cleric"?!
So, what do you all think?


  1. The obsession with fixing perceived problems with the game through adding new stats, skills, proficiencies, and new race/class combinations is flawed.

    The emphasis should be on having meaningful choice within the imagined world, and accumulating experiences and accomplishments within that context-- not monkeying around with a bunch of numbers and options on a character sheet .

  2. Yes it's silly, but in the 80's it sounded really "evil" and that means kewl back then right?

    I am beginning to think that classes should just be general outlines for character design. Not the standard. Creating a Fighter should not be so much as picking which weapon to wield as deciding what kind of fighter I want to be. Knight, Barbarian, Mercenary...etc etc etc....

    Then as a DM/GM me and the player can discuss if the character concept deserves any unique abilities or what not.

    So maybe having 3 or 4 base classes then using the classes to design a unique character, without the need of a "splat" book.

    Why can't I just make an "evil" Champion and flip a few special abilities, why do I 'need' a class built to do this?

    I say all this while I ponder how to handle classes in my homebrewed game. Part of me wants 900 character classes and part of me wants to just 'wing it'.


  3. I guess I'm just a Word Nazi and I am tired of hearing the term used. A paladin is a paladin is a paladin. No one calls a cleric of an evil religion an "anti-cleric," do they?!

    It's as annoying as the term "reverse racism." Racism is racism, folks, no matter the color of the person who is hating on some other ethnicity.

  4. Agreed, paladin, champion or holy warrior, all work. The use of anti-paladin as a title seems very meta-gamish, it does not sit well with me either.

  5. Paraphrasing Gygax from an interview years ago . . .
    DnD already has an anti-paladin class, its called an "assassin"

  6. I always like Avenger and Blackguard as titles for this type of character.

  7. I've discussed this in my blog as well. A Paladin is a Paladin, plain and simple. As you've noted, it's a Real World term, not a "game invented" term.

    A Paladin is a Paladin; if you wish to have your churches call Paladins by a specific title -- Crusader, Templar, Blackguard, Avenger, et al -- that's an entirely different matter.

    Whatever title the church may give them, they're still a Paladin.