Knights in shining armor or divisive zealots? The roleplay opportunities for a group of paladins in Azeroth are fierce, either way you look at it. The catch is how they are perceived and manage to interact with their fellow players. Are they protectors of the faith and guardians of fellow citizens, or a fearsome hammer of intolerance to be brought down upon anything that deviates?
Amelas Langston of Caelestis Templares, a guild of paladins on Silver Hand (US-RP), walks that line regularly with a guild of roleplayers who've become known for their devotion to eradicating any opposition to the Light. Has its hardline approach made pariahs of its players? Or has its stalwart stand against the forces of evil made heroes and saviors of its characters?
WoW Insider: Most readers will probably assume that a guild of paladins is portraying a knightly, noble mission, but in fact, your roleplay focus is quite different. A recent recruiting post on the realm forums noted that many of your members roleplay "gruff, jackass characters," and the words "zealotry" and "intolerance" have been used to described the group's approach to its roleplay. Does your mission cast guild members in danger of becoming pariahs among the Silver Hand RP community?
Amelas: It's a fair thing to assume. I've found that the majority of people that role play as paladins have that sort of a character. The Caelestis Templares, however, are dedicated to a goal, that goal being the eradication of all that stands in opposition to the Light. Intolerance and zeal are actually key virtues of our guild, so to describe us as zealots would be pretty accurate.
If our characters encounter something that the Order dictates is heretical, then they are obligated to take action against it. It becomes a bit of a drag when the actions of our characters make people think that the player behind them are as hard and unfriendly as they are.
Main character Amelas Langston, human protection paladin
Guild Caelestis Templares
Realm Silver Hand (US-RP)
Combined with activities such as preaching in Stormwind and Goldshire, do you find that your characters' intolerant attitudes lead to difficult relations with other players and guilds on the realm?
Preaching usually just brings hecklers out of the woodwork, but our penchant for attacking death knights and warlocks on sight has led to some issues. Our style of play is sometimes seen as pushy since we tend to start a lot of fights. All members are told, however, that if somebody makes it known that they do not want to participate then they are to drop it and go their separate ways.
Of those that enjoy interacting with us, there are a great many ways that somebody can be deemed a heretic in the eyes of the Order, so we end up making a lot of enemies.
Your web site is absolutely gorgeous! That said, I must admit that the sheer number of rules and regulations is more than a little intimidating. Do members have to learn and follow all of its guidelines?
Yes, all members of the guild must adhere to all laws of the Order. Every law, just like anything with a list of rules, is there because somebody did it in the past. Violation of the primary laws are grounds for immediate dismissal. Any violation of the many secondary laws is typically taken on a case by case basis, and most often the offending character is given some act of penance and one of the officers will have a discussion about it with the player. Most of the secondary rules are just common sense and good roleplay issues that, chances are, if a person makes it into the guild, we assume that they already are following most of the rules on the books.
How does CT interact with its sister guild, Caelestis Inquisitores? What are the differences between the two groups?
If the Templares are the right hand, then the Inquisitores are the left. The Templares' primary goal is to do battle with heretics, but how do you know who is a demon worshipping fiend and who is just another bystander?
The Inquisitores are mainly an information gathering group that passes along heretic identities, infiltrates hostile guilds, and finds all other sorts of inventive ways to point the strength of the Templares in the right direction.
Tell us about any particular traditions or holidays you follow as a guild.
As a guild, we have only two traditions, really. Our weekly meetings have a strict dress code, but two times a year we break that. We hold a Halloween meeting where everybody is supposed to come in costume, and we all vote for who has the best. The top three costumes win sums of gold as prizes. We also hold an April Fool's meeting where we will change up our tabard as well as our playstyle along whatever theme the officers come up that year. Both of them are an opportunity to get away from the strict rules and act ridiculous in character.
Does the group's roleplay focus have an effect on how you approach game content? For example, are there certain PvE storylines or content you avoid because it's contrary to with the mission of the guild?
We never tell our members that they cannot participate in any game content, but there are some that decline to do certain things that go against our Order's beliefs. For example, there are a few members right now that refuse to participate in the troll rebellion quests, because aiding any members of the Horde would be seen as heresy.
Other events in the game, however, play right into our guild's purpose. The Scourge invasion events before the opening of Naxxramas and before Wrath of the Lich King were fantastic for us. During the entire event, all CT online were patrolling Stormwind repelling the undead attacks. People ran to the cathedral for protection from the ghouls, and the CT were celebrities for all of about three weeks.
The paladin class has been notable throughout the history of World of Warcraft for its extreme versatility and ability to succeed at extreme soloing. How far does the guild push as a group into current PvE content?
Since we are not a raiding guild, it is difficult to have enough people on to do endgame content as a guild. We are able to get through heroic dungeons though with full guild groups and have even managed to down a good many bosses in 10-man raids with a full group of paladins.
What have you found to be the primary limitations of bringing nothing but paladins to the table?
Well, the only limitations I've found have been in game content. On the one hand, we have an entire guild of all three roles in a raid, but things get awfully hard when you need some ranged damage. The lack of class diversity does make certain things more difficult.
What activities might be included in a typical week for the guild?
Typical week might be a couple guild heroics, battlegrounds, and our weekly meeting. Sometimes higher ranks will hold lessons for members on the beliefs of the Order, but most events are off the cuff. Somebody wants to do something and just shouts our for anybody that wants to come.
Coolest thing you never get tired of in game that's related to being a paladin?
Most tired thing you're sick of newbies or others saying or doing in game that's related to paladins?
What has always driven me crazy is when somebody encounters us for the first time and they act in a way that immediately brands them as heretics. When we go after them, they start screaming and yelling about how we're crazy Christian nut cases. They get ignored immediately at this point, but it's strange -- I don't seem to recall Jesus existing in Warcraft ...
Read more in our series on class- and race-exclusive guilds:
Blood elves continue their people's story with self-deprecating humor
Death knights squeeze WoW in ice-fisted death grip
Druids shred raid content by tooth and claw
Draenei inject ancient culture into mainstream Azeroth
Dwarves indulge in rollicking good world PvP
Gnomes ratchet to guild level 25 on steam-drive gnomish power
Goblin roleplay campaign inspires goblin NPC
Hunter collective takes aim across Azeroth
Night elf guild brings Darnassus to the fore
Orc clan leader offers fierce perspectives on RP, world PvP
Rogues stealth and stab their way into friendly player antagonism
Tauren guild stampedes beyond roleplaying
Trolls savagely roleplay the revenge of the Zandalari
Worgen run wild across Azeroth
"I never thought of playing WoW like that!" -- and neither did we, until we talked with Game of Thrones' Hodor (Kristian Nairn) ... a blind ex-serviceman and the guildmates who keep him raiding as a regular ... and a 70-year-old grandma who tops her raid's DPS charts as its legendary-wielding GM. Send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.