Tuesday, August 12, 2014

But What About the Paladins?

The 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons will officially release on the 19th of August.  I have already pre-ordered my copy partly because I am damned curious about the full new release and partly because I entertain notions of actually playing.  I have downloaded and read through the free basic rules, 100 pages of pdf with no pictures but the essentials to play.  I was impressed enough with the basic rules to make the order.  One thing that the free rules do is point to the Player's Handbook as having more options and I want to see those options.  I have reason to believe there will be paladins.
I have reason to believe this because the Basic Rules mention paladins a few times (and bards as well) but only has the four basic classes of Fighter, Cleric, Rogue and Wizard.  I have every confidence the other favorites will be in the full PHB but what I do not have every confidence in is that they will not suck.

This is my major concern then: will the paladin suck this go round?

I've explained this before, I seem to recall.  Twice to be more accurate.  In the days before the horribly egalitarian method of play we see today, the post MMORPG method of play, paladin was one of those special classes that had entry requirements.  Yes, it is a pain when you don't roll well enough to get the requirements but that was what made those classes special.  These days not so much.  Of course once everybody can be everything everybody has to be on par with each other and play their role and the poor paladin gets left out in the cold.  Doesn't heal or turn as well as a cleric, doesn't fight as well as a fighter.  It's a sad hybrid if you take away the special qualities required to get the job.
Then of course there is the problem where players confuse a special ability with the "only thing a class can do".  That's a shame because the ability to put a hurting on evil, into which undead and demons fall, should not be the only thing a class can do.  However it happens, with the stat addiction fully in effect players foolishly think that if there is no bonus to something then that is something a class or character does poorly.  "Oh you don't even get a +1 unless we are fighting undead.  You should just let the real damage dealers handle it."
Which is total bullshit but that's people for you.  Now if you are getting negatives I can understand that attitude.
"I shall pick the lock!" Sir Hopeless said bravely.
"Let me handle that, plate-boy," said Skulky McShadow, the party thief.
That makes sense.
So I don't know if I should be foolishly optimistic that with the new streamlined rules I will again see the furious warrior paladin or be stuck with the less useful than a stick of spaghetti in feeding frenzy paladin.
I've got my fingers crossed for a return to the glory days.  I'll keep you posted.

Less of this:

And more of this:

Now.  Dammit.

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