I did a romanesque paladin woman to a goddess of, basically, beauty and harmony. I feel a paladin simply isn't 'programmed' right from the get-go. They're imbued with anonymous holy powers that they get regardless if they serve the one true god almighty, or Bungalo Bob who happens to be an LG God. =P It seems that they take on more of stereotypical 'angel of death' role than any serious and flexible roleplaying set. I think it's why people get all up and arms about them. <SNIP> but in honesty and in the nature of your 'goodly' mission. I imagine a paladin would simply be more choosy about it, and would have willpower against falling in love. Though I definitely see it becoming plutonic.. as a Paladin is capable of much love. ^^ In my own imagination, anyways.
Wow. Well said.
Admittedly, I just scanned over this thread, so I may have missed something... but it seems that at the nature of this debate it the nature of the paladin as Chivalric vs. "other". And I think it depends entirely on the setting.
If the game's set in a western-european, high-middle-ages or dark-ages world, of course the Paladin, to be "pure", is expected to abstain from sex. Not that knights did that, even in the eariest treatments of Arthurian legend... but we imagine all paladins to be Gawainesque. That need not be the case, in my mind.
As a side note, I believe that some things in roleplaying are blatantly ignored. Such as respect and sponsorage. I dont see too many truly selfeless characters, or returns for such selflessness. I could imagine that paladins, clerics, etc. would be able to get free lodgings, or assistance if they need it, in turn for serving the needs of the community. You know, just out of respect. Of course the paladin would be played selfelessly as well. But that doesn't mean FORCING everyone in the party to give back to the community. Maybe pointing out kindness, or needs of the poorer folk, and donating his own share to where he feels it would best go.
So what do you think?
Agreed. I'd like to anonymously quote an old friend of mine, who-- on paladins-- said this: "It's lawful good, not awfully stupid." In my first couple games, Paladins were the target of ridicule or outright hostility because they were played as such complete extroverts. I'm sure there are examples where this is perfectly fine, but it seems to me that paladins who acted this way would be openly resented by everyone. Nobody would tolerate them, and they'd get more and more indignant and condescending with their self-importance, and eventually they'd just become sword-brandishing zealots, and end up being hunted down by every authority in the community-- including their own churches. The only successful paladins, then, would be-- in essence-- conquistadors, leading bands of thugs from place to place, "converting" and "purifying" the populace.
I always envisioned the Paladin as being NOT a swaggering blowhard, barking out orders to the party, but a deeply introspective and spiritual character who is, if nothing else, deeply pained by his or her isolation from others. They can be truly inspirational leaders, not because they cry havoc all the time and have the shiniest armor, but because they show courage where others would flee, and led out of action rather than words. How, exactly, that comes together is dependent upon their deity, sure, but the setting as well-- the social structure of the in-game world.
So why the hell not deviate from the Chivalric ideal of a Paladin? Gods and goddesses in fantasy worlds, and in historical ones, engaged in behaviors that we don't necessarily associate with monotheism. I won't name names, but you know what I mean. If a character's faith encourages abstinance-- awesome. It makes absolute sense for a self-disciplined warrior to control every urge. But if the character's faith revolves around a particular attitude or behavior, and the character maintains that-- then great. If it makes a good story, go with it.
I find prostitution a little awkward, though... can you imagine a merchant paladin, fighting for the god of low income taxes, or the goddess of tidy record-keeping? I can imagine sex, as a deeply spiritual act-- or a physical expression of freedom and pleasure-- something that could be deeply associated with a character's spirituality, certainly. So if it were up to me, I'd pass on the prostitute paladin. In that case, I guess Ruby Slipper's note...
There is one way I could see it that is if a faith REQUIRED a woman and or man prostitute for their faith once like the faith of Ishtar required of maidens before they became women. It would be a holy act.
... pretty much sums it up for me. Otherwise, it just 'don't make no sense.'
*sighs in relief*
OK-- my first diatribe is done, now I'll let the regularly scheduled program resume. Thanks for reading... assuming you got this far. :)