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I am basing my new character on Lorgar Aurelian from Warhammer 40k fame, and thus I have narrowed down the class selection to either Priest or Paladin. For those of you who are unfamiliar with 40k, what I want is a diplomatic leader character who would rather resolve conflict peacefully but when pressed favors blunt weapons such as maces, quarterstaffs and morningstars. He doesn't have to be a stellar fighter, obviously. What build would you suggest?

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Here's my thoughts based upon separate role-playing and power gaming perspectives:

 

Role-Playing

 

You have correctly identified the two classes that best correspond with Lorgar Aurelian, the Paladin and Priest. Either class requires a choice of favored/disfavored dispositions, by way of Order for Paladins and Deity for Priests. Dispositions that align strongly with Lorgar Aurelian would most likely be Diplomatic and Passionate. Dispositions that align poorly would probably be Stoic and Aggressive.

 

Possible Orders for your character as a Paladin:

  • The Shieldbearers of St. Elcga - Diplomatic and Honest favored, Aggressive and Cruel disfavored. This aligns with one key favored and disfavored disposition, though I'm not sure if Lorgar Aurelian would place high value in honesty or be opposed to the use of cruelty to achieve an objective. The wiki says that "The Shieldbearers were founded in honor of an elven noble who helped unite the Aedyr and Kulklin kingdoms after a long war", which is somewhat analogous to the Space Marines and the Emperor.
  • Kind Wayfarers - Benevolent and Passionate favored, Deceptive and Cruel disfavored. A minor fit on disposistions and nothing particularly stands out in terms of lore.
  • Darcozzi Paladini - Clever and Passionate favored, Cruel and Stoic disfavored. Again we match one favored and disfavored disposition and Lorgar Aurelian could fairly be described as clever as well, though in this game clever often translates to smart-ass. The wiki says that "Darcozzi Paladin were founded as the guards of the Darcozzi Palace in Grand Vailia over 2000 years ago." However Grand Vailia has since collapsed so there is some timing issues here if we're trying to make it comparable to Warhammer 40k.

Looking at possible Priest deities doesn't reveal very promising options in terms of disposition. Not a single Deity corresponds with Diplomatic or Passionate as a favored disposition nor does any have Stoic as a disfavored opposition. Looking at the Deities themselves Eothas is a strong choice. St. Waidwen was supposedly a living incarnation of Eothas until his death in the Saint's War. This isn't a perfect correlation with the Emperor and again the timing is off, but Eothas as a focus of worship is closer than any of the other deities the Priest can choose from. Dispositions favored would be Honest/Benevolent and dispositions disfavored would be Cruel/Deceptive. This doesn't align with what we're looking for but it at least doesn't conflict with it either.

 

I think a Shieldbearer or Darcozzi Paladin would be a strong fit to allow you to play your character in a way that would correspond with Lorgar Aurelian and be rewarded for it. A Priest of Eothas would provide a reasonable lore fit but will encourage you to play your character as more of a do-gooder than you might prefer.

 

Power Gaming

 

Obviously any time you involve role-playing you're accepting that your character will be less than optimal. This doesn't mean you have to create an ineffectual character though.

 

Both the Paladin and Priest are strong choices of class that can fit into most any party. The Paladin is more of a frontline tank/support character while the Priest operates more from the rear as a healer/buffer with a few offensive spells in the mix. A well designed party should ideally have two characters capable of tanking, so if your party composition would otherwise leave you short the Paladin can fit in nicely. Note that the Priest is less reliably useful early on unless you rest frequently, but becomes far more powerful later on (particularly starting at level 9 when you get level 1 spells per encounter).

 

A Priest would typically use ranged weapons primarily with melee only as a backup while the Paladin would initiate with a ranged attack then immediately switch to melee. However, the Quarterstaff has increased reach and could be used by a Priest standing behind your tanks. Unfortunately the only noteworthy unique Quarterstaff is only available very late in the game. There is a really nice Morning Star that is dependent on RNG for acquisition, and is thus unlikely to be found very early. There is a good mace that can be found early in act 2, though it isn't quite as impressive as some of the alternate one-handed weapons late in the game.

 

The optimal Priest Deity is typically considered to be Magran for the talent that provides a nice accuracy bonus to the Arquebus (and Sword). You can get an accuracy bonus to the Morning Star with Eothas, Quarterstaff with Wael, and Mace with Berath. The most notable bonuses from Paladin Orders is a talent that allows Liberhating Exhortation boost accuracy of the target for Darcozzi and a couple talents to cause Flames of Devotion/Lay on Hands to provide allies with deflection bonuses for Shieldbearers.

 

My Suggestion

 

I would personally opt for a Paladin as they make great leaders and if you plan to use the companions in your party (as opposed to custom characters) you'll find they're lacking on solid tanks. I enjoy Darcozzi Paladins personally but I believe the Shieldbearers would be a better fit. Race should be Human of course, your culture should be Aedyr, and your background should be Clergyman. You'll want plenty of Intellect, Resolve, and Strength. You can distribute the remaining points as you see fit, but I would recommend not skimping on Perception. A Mace and Shield will serve you well as your primary armament. Finally I would suggest that you still have a Priest in your party, either Durance or a custom character.

Edited by HoopleDoople
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Thank you for your awesomely put comment! Yes, paladin sounds perfect, and Shieldbearer would definitely be the best fit for the character. Dialogue and mind-centric stat distribution... yup. Starts combat with a pistol shot, perhaps, and then tanks with shield and mace (or perhaps off-tanks with a morning star, what better to represent Illuminarium?). Thank you very, very much! 

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