Paladins no longer have to do stuff to be paladins.
This is the note that starts the list of aggravations for the last session of our 4E game. It used to be that being a Paladin didn’t just require an unlikely succession of die rolls for attributes, but the GM’s constant surveillance of your demeanor and actions. If you acted in anything but a Paladinesque fashion, you were stripped of your special abilities, and became Just An Ordinary Fighter.
Their “specials” are coded into the deity choices promoted with the system. I can understand that. I will even consider it a feature rather than a bug because it means that if I am feeling ambitious I have templates for Paladins of other deities.
But they’re not really Paladins anymore.
Apparently, Paladins are no longer charged with holy orders, but merely possessed of a certain level of knighthood and practice that gives them their special abilities. “Special” meaning they’re a little different than fighters. No real expectations anymore.
…Where’s the “detect alignment”? Oh, we don’t need it anymore because it’s not a matter of alignment. Where’s the “lawful good” requirement? Gone. Where’s the impact of shouting “Bring it!” across the crowded battlefield, while staring a red dragon deep in the eyes?
Don’t get me started on clerics. The idea that I can, with full conscience, TEMPORARILY consecrate land TO MY GOD just to singe someone’s backside is anathema to me. That’s not responsible cleric…ness.