Quote: “X. Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil.”
Chivalry by Leon Gautier
- S. Inspires Belief, Endlessly Devoted, Enforces Fairness
- W. Intolerant of Other Viewpoints, Lacks Subtlety, Unquestionably follows orders
- O. Unfocused Teams, Poor morale, Injustice
- T. Conflicting Causes
Who will stand in the gap against tyranny and hypocrisy? Are there none who would set themselves against the evil of the land and defend the people? Is there one who would lead us?
If there is, it is surely the paladin. Atop his white horse, adorned with gleaming armor, he defends the realm and vanquishes the fallen enemies of his cause.
Paladins are charismatic leaders and gifted generals. Their words inspire others to join their banner and charge into the front lines. Paladins relish being in the battle because they know no one else will fight with the same dedication and zeal as themselves. They are fearless and tireless defenders of their cause.
Paladins carry with them the ability to alleviate the fatigue, sickness, injury, and discouragement of their troops which helps them focus and continue the fight. This gives the paladin the ability to be a strong individual contributor as well as force multiplier on the team.
Paladins defend the weak by standing in the way of the blow and asking for more. They can absorb a massive amount of damage with their heavy armor and tower shields. Their dedication to their ideals gives them unbreakable resolve and their skill in martial tools gives them the means to win.
Paladins are not particularly flexible or mobile in combat. They rarely see the need to be, since it is almost impossible to pierce their armor. They enjoy being able to outlast the enemy and wear down their defences; often, opponents simply lose their nerve to fight in the implacable light of the paladin’s conviction.
A notable exception to this lack of mobility is in their charge. Paladins are quick to wield sharp tipped lances and trample fortifications that stand against their kingdom. There is no compromise or negotiation; victory is the only thing that will quell the paladin’s retribution.
Finally, the paladin can immediately identify and target the opposing side’s champion. The paladin then mercilessly pursues this foe and will not rest until he/she/it is reduced to ash. He knows that once this heretic is dispatched, the opposing forces will flee.
Paladins are empowered by the quest. When the purpose is clear and the course is set, the paladin benefits from additional focus and resolve. It gives him greater resilience (already a strength for the paladin) and an increased ability to stay focused for long periods of time.
The paladin’s strikes are empowered by their belief in the pursuit of quest goals. Their conviction gives their weapons the ability to strike harder, find their mark easier, and do more damage when they land. Further, opponents of the paladin’s quest will recoil from these types of attacks and seek other, weaker prey, provided they survive their encounter with the zealous paladin.
3. Detect Evil
Paladins know their enemies. They instinctively know to find them and how to defeat them. This ability allows the paladin to focus their attacks against those that are most susceptible. The paladin will seek the biggest and most malevolent foe and focus their energy on it to take it down.
4. Lay on Hands
Rallying behind a cause can be very effective in helping others stay focused. Paladins are able to help those around them by clarifying their purpose and helping them overcome obstacles that hinder their effectiveness. Paladins can close minor wounds, cure disease, and remove curses on the team. Unfortunately, this ability will only work on others… paladins cannot use it on themselves.
5. Inspired Aura
The paladin gives off an aura of purpose, confidence, and authority that is almost immediately recognized by those around them. It will draw those dedicated to the same cause closer together and will repel any interlopers or potential opponents. This aura increases team productivity and lowers team stress.
In a business context, paladins make excellent leaders and managers. They will aggressively defend the company’s mission and will encourage others to do the same.
Their charismatic speeches and powerful aura encourage others to sacrifice themselves for the greater good of the company. This ability to affect organizational change is important, because paladins will be unyielding taskmasters. They accept nothing short of excellence and require dedication and diligence from everyone in the organization.
Paladins take orders very seriously. Once the paladin believes in the cause and leadership of the company, he will not complain or argue with orders given by superiors. Paladins will follow both the letter and the spirit of the law and will expect their subordinates to do the same with their instructions. They see the need for everyone to be in lockstep, in full submission to the hierarchy of the company, in order to fully leverage the group’s strengths and talents.
Once their trust has been earned, the paladin delegates easily and will expect their subordinates to act as they would in a given circumstance. In the case of conflicting viewpoints, the paladin has no problem pulling rank, moving on, and thinking nothing more of the matter.
This perspective can make less rigid classes uncomfortable. Paladins often see self expression as unnecessary and even counterproductive in times of need. Keep this in mind when putting such a class in charge of creative or expressive types. The paladin will encourage these activities only so far as he views them as “in-line” with his mission.
Paladins are good at working in the trenches as well with leading groups. They enjoy doing the “dirty work” themselves. In fact, the paladin may feel that he needs to be the best individual contributor in addition to being the best leader. He sees it as his job to act as an example to the troops and will model what he expects in battle.
Because of this personal standard of dedication and zeal, paladins are often unreasonable when it comes to discussion and compromise. They do not see any reason to deal in half-measures seeing it as a step along the road to mediocrity.
As individual contributors, paladins devote themselves to their work. They steadfastly apply themselves to the task without complaint or question. Further, they tend to find some aspect of the job to which they gravitate and will become champion for those tasks. They want to see those areas done thoroughly and in a particular way; sometimes, paladins will develop the “best” way that a task should be done and attempt to enforce this process on others.
Paladins who decide that the company is allied with their values will become a paragon of that company. They will show up early and stay late, take on additional workloads, and look for opportunities to serve. To the degree that they understand what is expected of them, they will attempt to embody the ideal.
With all the dedication paladins show in their work, there is a risk that the paladin will become too focused in areas that they are passionate about. As a result, the paladin is less suited to introspective and isolated work over combat encounters. It is best to check in on the paladin’s progress and make sure that they are on the right track.
A paladin that is currently an individual contributor can be quite content in his position if he has strong leadership. If he feels his efforts fit within the master plan, he will be a valuable asset. Paladins want to know that their diligence will serve the greater good, and they become frustrated if sloppy work is permitted, there are insufficient resources to solve the problem the “right” way, or if the mission and the company values seem out of sync.
5. Nomocracy (rule of law)
Since paladins take their instructions so seriously, they may take it too far and thus cause communication problems within the organization. They follow manuals to the letter of the law, fearing that they will be wrong if they take any subjective license. This makes it extremely important to make sure documentation is kept up-to-date and new assignments are given clear scope, cost, and time deadlines. If creativity is required, one must make that an explicit as part of defining excellence in the task.
Working in Groups
1. Spirited Charge
Paladins can have an amazing affect on those with whom they work. When the mission is clear and it is time to execute it, they will ride off into battle and act as standard bearer for the team. They will make sure that the end objective is kept as the center of all communication and will not let anyone get distracted. While this can frustrate more reflective classes, paladins know that there is a time for talk and a time for action. They will favor action every time.
2. Luminous Armor
Paladins are extremely fair and just when working with others. They don’t allow bullying from co-workers or superiors, they quell gossip, and they hold everyone accountable for their own work. They will be the first to step up to defend anyone in their team from attack, regardless of its source. The downside of this ability is the paladin’s own strength of personality. The paladin is so decisive and direct with his actions that he is likely to unintentionally hurt other peoples’ feelings in his zeal for executing justice.
3. Hold the Line
A true faithful soldier, the paladin will step in to make up for a fallen or compromised team member. He will view it as his responsibility to bear the brunt of the role until suitable replacements can be found. This will buy the company more time to find alternative solutions to the problem.
4. War Room
At high levels, paladins can see the whole scope of the plan. They can make difficult decisions in order to see the mission to completion. They think strategically and give clear and concise orders for success. Creative classes chafe at this, but in times of high pressure, these orders must be followed closely.
Finally, paladins make and carry out the hard decisions in their company. They can and will fire people to make organizational improvements even though it may devastate teams within the company. Because of their need to protect others, paladins will take such decisions personally. They know that tough decisions sometimes must be made for the greater good, however.
Paladins in a group setting are a potentially dangerous force. The paladin will have a clear purpose and a set method for seeing that purpose to fruition. In accordance to their martial nature, paladins decisively confront ideas that do not align with their beliefs. There will likely be altercations with the paladin’s peers and subordinates on how things should be done. Paladin’s do not have a high tolerance for multiple viewpoints when it is time to work. Be prepared to supervise interactions or pull rank to keep order. Strangely, the paladin will be content with this, as in so doing, he will be in submission to the hierarchy of the company.
Management and Motivation
1. Sound Doctrine
Managing the paladin is both simple and extremely difficult. A paladin needs to know the mission, its objectives, and believe that it is in service to something greater than himself. He already has taken the leap of faith that the company is something he wants to stand for, or he wouldn’t work there. It is important for the company to take this faith offering seriously. Give the paladin clear objectives and show how it is related to your company’s mission. Make sure that your documentation and reward systems are totally support this message.
2. Radiant Crown
Paladins swear oaths of allegiance to the company and to those with whom they work. As a result, they can act as a figurehead or “model employee” if you need a comparison for others. Letting a paladin know he is being regarded as this standard will further re-inforce his pride in the company and in his service. You can trust that a confident paladin will inspire and protect those who work for him.
3. Chain of Command
Be aware that the paladin follows the chain of command with fervor. He will defer to those above him and execute their orders to the best of his ability. Be careful that managers of the same level don’t offer conflicting instructions. The paladin’s qualities of attention to detail, respect for authority, and adherence to procedure will likely to see the paladin rise quickly in your organization. This is a good thing, because paladins are well worth your trust.
4. Request a Quest
Paladins are strongest andhappiest when on a quest. As a result, paladins will tend to seek one quest right after the next. Since this is what paladin’s find most rewarding, its best to keep the quests coming. Quest-less paladins quickly become restless and dissatisfied, much to the chagrin of their peers and coworkers.
5. Test of Faith
It is important to make sure that a paladin doesn’t lose his purpose within the organization. If he feels the company is no longer something he can stand for, or if he doesn’t have the skills to contribute, a paladin becomes much less effective. He will still do his duty and follow orders, but he will lose the essential components of his class that makes him unique. His speeches won’t inspire, his skills in battle will be unfocused, and his insight will miss the mark. In this way, uninspired paladins become a kind of unadorned martial class, lacking the purpose of the paladin, the fury of the barbarian, or the calculating tactics of the gladiator. Check on the paladin from time to time to in insure his faith is strong.
“Thank the heavens, men! We have them surrounded!” Jayson’s voice rang out above the murmur of his men. Veterans forced a nervous chuckle as the greener soldiers gripped their weapons unconsciously, staring at the enemy legion across the ruined valley.
The mountains rumbled with the echoes of Jayson’s voice as the wind carried with it the stink of death, rancid meat, and burning cinders. Like a foul black wave, the horde of monsters seemed to absorb the rising sun as the legion crested the mountains and flowed down toward the soldiers. The army of wolfriders snarled along with their mounts, screaming obscenities at the small band of soldiers guarding the pass.
They were but a few hundred cavalry. Exhausted and malnourished, the troop knew they had no options left. They were the last force to stand in the way. At least, they would never live to see their homes destroyed…
“Stay close, men! I have never died in a battle yet and I’m not going to start now. Now, courage! We will win– because we must.” Jayson lifted his tattered banner high and a golden sunbeam broke through the sullen, overcast sky and illuminated it. Colors seemed to intensify and the rumble of the marching army in the distance receded into insignificance. The men felt golden sunlight warm their stiffened limbs and revive their flagging spirits, and each man unconsciously straightened his shoulders and focused on Jayson with renewed vigor.
men! Blood and Honour! CHARGE!” Jayson yelled as he spurred his mount to full gallop at the head of the company. As one, the men shouted their defiance and galloped toward the enemy line.
With a sickening crunch of metal and flesh, the armies met. Screams of mount and rider rang out as friend and foe alike fell, cut down under sword, lance, and hoof. The men acted in perfect union with each other, the practice of hundreds of close fought battles keeping them disciplined and organized in the chaos of battle. Heavily outnumbered though they were, the valiant crew fought like lions against the hideous horde.
As he looked around, Jayson could see they wouldn’t make it. They were losing momentum, and with it the only thing they had in their favor.
“Lieutenant! Draw the wolf riders to our left flank. Take the men!” Jayson thrust his banner toward the lieutenant, who somehow caught it amidst the tumult. They locked eyes for an instant, and the lieutenant nodded. He lifted the banner, blew his horn, and charged off in a new direction. With excellent precision, the men followed, and so did the wolf-riders.
It was then Jayson spotted him. The feral general Martooth crouched atop his heavily armored war-rhino. The general brandished a cruel barbed scimitar which was matched by his equally cruel razorwire teeth.
Jayson saw his opportunity and seized it. Lowering his lance, Jayson broke from the surrounding swarm of enemy and charged at the General. Both mounts collided, and the lance found its mark between the armpit of the rhino’s barding.
Jayson could see the white hot rage in Martooth’s eyes as he hurled off his wounded horse toward him. The scimitar narrowly missed Jayson’s head as the force of the impact took them both to the ground.
The commanders grappled, each refusing to let go and give the other any advantage. True to his namesake, Martooth opened his hideous maw and clamped down on Jayson’s shoulder. Jayson felt diseased teeth pierce through his armor and bury into his flesh, cold venom seeping through veins and muscle.
Jayson threw his arms around the neck of his opponent and bellowed with newfound fury. He tightened his grip as Martooth clamped down further.
Warm golden light appeared around Jayson. His waning strength returned, and he felt the poison saliva working its way into his blood burn away. With a triumphant shout, Jayson tightened his hold further.
A dull snap, and Marltooth’s neck gave way under the Jayson’s viselike grip, and the body of the General went limp against him. Jayson arose and stepped back from the corpse. He drew his sword, and with a swift flashing arc severed the monster’s head. Cold black blood gushed out as the paladin raised the head and trumpeted his victory. The golden nimbus around him suddenly radiated with the brilliance of a hundred suns, and a wail arose from the horde as they shrank back from the light. Terrified, the horde turned and rode frantically away from the now triumphant army.