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Paladins in the Church Hierarchy

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Joined: Sep 09, 2009
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Location: SW WA state (Highvale)

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:28 am    Post subject: Paladins in the Church Hierarchy Reply with quote

OK, I've posted many threads on the topic of paladins (many of them were posted over a year ago from this one), and here's another:

Where in the Church hierarchy do they rank?

Meaning, can clerics expect paladins to 'obey' them? If so, can ANY cleric expect a paladin to carry out his/her orders? Or does the cleric have to 'outrank' the holy knight (higher level?)?

Ex: Would a 7th lvl paladin take orders from a 3rd or 5th lvl cleric? Or would it take a cleric of at least 7th (or 8th) lvl?

If not, then who in the Church DOES have the religious authority to order the paladin to certain expectations?

Furthermore, can paladins command clerics? If so, what are the stipulations or 'rules' to that effect? ( level them?)

I'm very curious how this works. The "Complete Book of Paladins" doesn't seem to clarify this important point (unless I missed the fine print, which is possible).


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Apprentice Greytalker

Joined: Feb 15, 2010
Posts: 48

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would think it would look something like The Crusades--only the high(est) religious authority would demand/expect/direct military actions. Common monks/lay brothers/everyday priests...nope. So equating it to D&D, higher level at least...(and though not 2d ed specific) even then I would say minimum name level.
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Black Hand of Oblivion
Black Hand of Oblivion

Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 3733
Location: So. Cal

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A paladin would likely defer to any priest/cleric, but not to monks or lay clergy. In other words, they would likely defer to those that administer the faith to the flock in an official capacity, but not those who don't. As to non-priest/cleric members of the church, a paladin would likely take orders from the heads of such groups, such as an abbot/abbess (unless specifically told not to), but not from a monk or nun.

It seems reasonable that most churches would have a very limited number of clergy who are authorized to issue orders to the church militant, and if one is not of that distinction, they wouldn't think of issuing an order to a paladin. I think most lower level clergy that a traveling paladin runs into wouldn't issue an order, but instead just ask for help, knowing that the paladin (as a champion of the faith) may already have a task set for them, and interrupting the completion of that task would not be a very good thing to do. Last, but by no means least, a paladin will only follow orders if they can do so in good conscience.

As to paladins commanding clerics, they wouldn't ordinarily be given the authority to do so. One exception that comes to mind would be a paladin commanding a force on behalf of the church, which is accompanied by a cleric. That cleric may have been ordered to defer to the paladin when the force is in the midst of fighting- the paladin is effectively sitting in the general's seat while the cleric is sitting in the advisor's seat. In this case the cleric bolsters morale/helps out as needed, while the paladin commands/leads. Another exception that comes to mind is if a lesser cleric were to be assigned to a stronghold where a paladin is the lord of the stronghold. Even then the paladin is not likely to "lord it" over the cleric, and instead make "suggestions" to them. And the fact that this individual is an actual member of the clergy would mean that the paladin would hold them in fairly high regard to begin with. They might really be orders, but be phrased as requests. For example,

"Curate Maynard. Would you be so kind as to visit the village today and see to their ails?"
"Yes, my lord. I will do so after morning prayers."

I have to think there would normally just be a certain degree of cordiality (though that might turn into something more direct in the heat of battle). Wink
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