Paladins in ME

The place for discussion of Cubicle 7 and Sophisticated Games' "Adventures in Middle-earth" OGL setting.
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Dristram
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Paladins in ME

Post by Dristram » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:22 pm

The paladin has been my favorite class since I began playing AD&D in 1982. My combined interest in LotR and the tales of King Arthur and his knights is what drew to me D&D when I was first introduced to it. And the ranger has been a close second favorite. I ran my Greyhawk campaigns with Middle-earth flair. With that said, I want to have paladins in my AiME game, though non-spellcasting ones. I came up with the below backstory and would like constructive feedback. I know it won't be canon, but that's okay with me. For paladins I'm making an exception.

Paladin
Race: Dunedain
History: Paladins were Servants (Knights) of Tar-Palantir, the 24th King of Numenor (S.A. 3035-3255). They originally consisted of Dunedain who drew direct lineage to Edain who fought against Morgoth in the War of Wrath. They were charged with protecting the Faithful from the King's Men, and being emissaries of the Valar and to the Elves (they all know how to speak elvish). They protected the Faithful on their journey to Pelagir and established a base of operations there. They worshiped Illuvatar and chose a Valar as their Patron, Tulkas being the most popular. They were sworn enemies of Morgoth and battled his minions where ever they were found. They prepared themselves for the Dagor Dagorath (Battle of all Battles). King Palantir released the Paladins from their service while upon his deathbed. They then became independent and established their own order and most continued their purpose as established by King Palantir, but their offer of service was rejected by the new king Ar-Pharazon, and so most headed over to Pelagir with the Faithful. They kept their order secret, no longer referring to themselves as paladins in public and blended in and with the rest of the Faithful, usually serving in the military. The paladins considered the destruction of Numenor (S.A. 3319) their greatest failure for not remaining to be able to protect the land from Sauron. As such Sauron became their main nemesis. Most of the paladins died fighting against Sauron at the Last Alliance (S.A. 3441) and the last paladins were killed at the Battle of the Gladden Fields (T.A. 2)

Paladins in the Third Age
The destruction of the paladins saddened Varda. She approached Tulkas to keep an eye out for Dunedain warriors who showed strong faith in Illuvatar and the Valar, great leadership, kindness towards the Elves, and a disdain towards evil and oppression. To those Dunedain, Varda and Tulkas would approach in their dreams and offer them the opportunity to help the Free Peoples of Middle-earth fight against the dark powers of Morgoth still left in the world, in particular the undead, as Paladins. To these warriors they granted special gifts to aid them in battling the Shadow and forces of the Enemy. Interest in finding Dunedain worthy of Paladinhood waned when the Istari arrived on Middle-Earth. Despite that, the paladins continued and found their own recruits and once deemed ready, were given a ceremony where Tulkas would bestow his blessing on them. Wary of drawing unwanted attention to themselves, paladins never refer to themselves as paladins and usually just blend in as warriors like any other. Informed of the existence of the paladins, Alatar and Pallando found and recruited paladins to accompany them to the East.

Trivia: Shire-thain Paladin I was named in honor of a traveling paladin who saved his parents from a barrow-wight.

BookBarbarian
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Re: Paladins in ME

Post by BookBarbarian » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:53 pm

Whoa, Paladins in ME and AiME. That's a lot to unpack. So apologies in advance for a rambling post.

Random thoughts about the concept of Paladins and their implementation in 5e and potential implementation in AiME:

Paladin's are divinely inspire warriors, which could have a place in ME and AiME specifically. The 5e Paladin casts spells, which aren't by default in AiME, so that has to go. They also derive their power from an Oath, not necessarily from a God. I love that aspect of 5e paladins, but others may not. They smite enemies with radiant Damage, which is supported in AiME for some characters. They buff others with Auras based on Charisma, Auras aren't in AiME, but Warden's and a Dunedain Virtue buff other's based on Charisma so that works.

On to the Backstory!

If I were to implement Paladins I think I would go earlier that the Second Age. For me it would start with some of the Calequendi. The Dunedain could have picked it up from the Eldar while in Numenor. However so far no class has been restricted by culture, and I would be hesitant to do so.

For the rest of your backstory, it is very specific and obviously non-canon which makes it hard to critique except to say, I don't see anything there that would be super outside the realm of possibility for middle Earth.

One final thought, that's not super relevant to the discussion, but something a thought of when I first got my AiME Player's guide. I think I can make a pretty passable paladin-like character for AiME using a Dunedain with High Charisma, the Royalty Revealed Virtue, and either the Warden class going Herald (especially with the Optional Warden rules), Warrior going Knight, or a multiclass of the two.

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Dristram
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Re: Paladins in ME

Post by Dristram » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:13 pm

Great feedback!

I will look into the possible combinations of the classes and virtues you mentioned. Possibly building path of them into a class so it doesn't have to feel so multi-classy.

The race restriction is definitely not a 5e thing, but it was an AD&D paladin thing, so I just stuck with it. In my own 5e D&D campaigns my Oath of Devotion paladins are still restricted to human and LG alignment.

I also like the idea of turning the undead to have more undead encounters in my games. Trying to find a way to fit a cleric in AiME was no way going to happen as far as I could see. The paladin, once spells are removed, seemed plausable as a class. I was initially thinking I'd need to come up with a different name for the paladin class to be derived from, and then I saw Palantir. Him with his backstory just fit for me as a starting point for paladins similar to European paladins origins.

Thanks for taking the time to respond!

BookBarbarian
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Re: Paladins in ME

Post by BookBarbarian » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:28 pm

Another poster had an alternate take on the Warden a while back that was based on the 5e Paladin chassis. It could be worth looking into.

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Dristram
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Re: Paladins in ME

Post by Dristram » Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:11 am

I'll check it out, thanks.

Otaku-sempai
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Re: Paladins in ME

Post by Otaku-sempai » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:30 pm

I'll only add that I see three primary sources for Paladin-type heroes in the late Third Age: the Knights of Dol Amroth; the Dúnedain of the North; and among the Dúnedain of Minas Tirith.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

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Southron
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Re: Paladins in ME

Post by Southron » Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:57 pm

Just a quick thought, I also feel that some of the Noldor would be good examples of Paladins. Glorfindel comes to mind.

Otaku-sempai
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Re: Paladins in ME

Post by Otaku-sempai » Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:01 pm

Southron wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:57 pm
Just a quick thought, I also feel that some of the Noldor would be good examples of Paladins. Glorfindel comes to mind.
Yes, probably; and you could probably include some Sindar as well--especially in the Grey Havens. I hope you'll excuse my Human-centric bias towards Paladins. It comes from many years of playing AD&D.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

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Dristram
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Re: Paladins in ME

Post by Dristram » Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:05 pm

Otaku-sempai wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:30 pm
I'll only add that I see three primary sources for Paladin-type heroes in the late Third Age: the Knights of Dol Amroth; the Dúnedain of the North; and among the Dúnedain of Minas Tirith.
I could definitely see paladins being among their ranks.

BookBarbarian
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Re: Paladins in ME

Post by BookBarbarian » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:21 pm

Southron wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:57 pm
Just a quick thought, I also feel that some of the Noldor would be good examples of Paladins. Glorfindel comes to mind.
5e's Oath of Vengeance Paladin would certainly seem to fit a certain Noldo and (some of) his 7 sons.

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