What’s this? A strange new protagonist? Who is this newcomer that she dares profane the hallowed halls of divinity with mortal tread? Only the blessed footgear of Paladin (et al.) has aforetime occupied these most sacred of five-foot squares!

Well friends, if you are attuned to the broader goings-on of the multiverse, you might just recognize Angie from Dungeons & Doodles: Tales from the Tables. We’ve got a crossover brewing with our pal DoodlePoodle, so I hope you’ll stop over and check out his half of this trade. We also have a few more comics from the Doodleverse heading your way in the coming days. But while we wait on those, what do you say we discuss Angie’s choice of deity (or lack thereof)?

To kick things off, let’s zero in on the relevant text from the ol’ rulebook. In 5e we learn that, “Although many paladins are devoted to gods of good, a paladin’s power comes as much from a commitment to justice itself as it does from a god” (PHB, pg 82.) Things are somewhat less explicit in Pathfinder 1e. There we are told that, “Upon reaching 5th level, a paladin forms a divine bond with her god” (CRB, pg 63). When you go digging a little bit deeper though, it’s clear that we’re talking about guidelines rather than rules. And even if your are running in a setting with an established “paladins are champions of the gods” setup, you just know you’re going to run into that player who wants to shake the celestially status quo and fly solo. So then, what exactly does a “godless paladin” look like?

I don’t know about you guys, but in my head it looks a little something like this. Or like this. Or maybe one of these. That’s right folks: We’re talking about the full-on anime protagonist. All you have to do is believe in yourself / your friends / your cause hard enough. Do that and you can hit that little bit harder. Endure that little bit longer. Get back up one more time. And as one of my all-time favorite clerics might tell us, that might just be enough.

So what do you say, Handbook-World? Have you ever encountered a paladin sans-deity before? Does it tend to play out well? Or is Angie making a big mistake by keeping that rose? Tell us your own tale of gods adopted or abandoned down in the comments!

 

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