I was listening to one of the recent episodes of the Roll for Initiative Podcast on my drive in to work this morning, and they were talking abou the AD&D Paladin class and how rare it was for anyone to play the class properly.
The problem with the Paladin class isn't just with the "roleplay aspect", but that the bit I'll be addressing with this short post.
The AD&D Paladin has (off the top of my head, as I don't have my AD&D books near me at the moment) a bonus to saves, detect evil ability, protection from evil at all times, immunity to disease, layng of hands, cure disease, turn undead at 4th level, a magical warhorse at 4th level, spells at 9th level - all balanced by a slightly harder expo table than a straight up fighter, limited to owning one suit of magical armor and shield, 4 weapons and 4 other magic items. Oh, and must adhere to his Lawful Good alignment and risk losing his Paladin-hood. Must adventure regularly only with good aligned characters. Never evil ones.
How the hell does the first list of bonuses get balanced by the second list of hinderances?
Paladins were loved by the power gamers almost as much as Eleven Bladesingers were loved by power gamers in 2e. Restrictions or hindrances that are roleplay in nature and not mechanical (like the bonuses are) in general do not balance, as the first thing to get glossed over or forgotten in most games is those very roleplay based hinderances. Trust me - players won't forget their mechanical bonuses. They will forget roleplay hinderances.
Looks like I won't be allowing Paladins in my games anytime soon ;)