“So should we go to Morne, to arrange for approval?” Mostin asked brightly. “Oh, no need for that, Mostin,” Eadric replied. “As an inquisitor, I am more than qualified to release the money to you. I’ll just write you a check to draw against the temple funds.” The Alienist’s mouth dropped open in an expression of disbelief. Here was such an enormous potential for financial abuse that his mind boggled. Then again, thought Mostin, that’s probably why he’s the paladin and I’m not.
Sepulchrave’s Lady Despina’s Virtue is the story of a real D&D campaign, but it’s also one of the most enjoyable fantasy stories I’ve read. It’s got a lot of stuff you can pull out and use in your own campaign. Here’s one thing you can use:
If you want to give a real moral temptation to a paladin, don’t have leering demons offer hellish pacts. Just have the paladin’s superiors give him an expense account.
PCs usually have stuff they want to buy. A lot of it can be used to fight evil, so there will be some legitimate expenses. There will also be a temptation to borrow against the expense account for less-clear-cut expenses, and pay it back out of future loot. See if you can get your paladin to start embezzling.
That’s when you bring in the inquisitors. Revel as the paladin is forced to compromise his ideals to avoid discovery. Laugh as he loses his paladinhood. Celebrate your dark victory as he returns as an anti-paladin!
Or not. But a paladin needs to face some real temptations, or he’s just a fighter with good PR.