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The Yellow Wizard » The Bar » Bloggards » Following the Faith: Alternate Paladin Codes

Following the Faith: Alternate Paladin Codes

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Great Adventurer
Great Adventurer
While traditionally the paladin has been a model of what is good and honourable, there's a lot of room for expanding that slightly. The concept of the paladin, taking it in a broader light, is almost like that of a holy (or unholy) knight, devoted to a cause.

"Yes, but isn't that what the Cavalier does?" I hear you say. Well, that's true, but they are very much less holy warriors and more just knights. Of course, they might well call themselves paladins if they are devoted to a religious order, or even be confused with them, but they do not perhaps have the same degree of faith, or training, to properly use divine power. So, to an extent, the Cavalier is almost an archetype of the Paladin. While allowing different codes might weaken the usefulness of the cavalier in general, it does allow more versatility for the Paladin.

Regardless, here are some simple adaptations for the Paladin to allow for other codes or concepts.

Paladin of Good

This functions exactly as the standard paladin. Instead of being restricted to a Lawful Good alignment, a paladin of good may be of any good alignment, or worship a good-aligned Deity. Because frankly, the standard paladin doesn't care a jot for law or discipline at all. A Paladin of Good should be dedicated primarily to good or to her deity, depending on which she draws power from. If she ever willing commits an evil act (if she is dedicated to good) or disregards her deity's core tenets (if she is dedicated to a deity), she loses all paladin of good spells and class features.

Paladin of Law

Paladins of Law must be of any lawful alignment or worship any Law-aligned Deity.
Good aligned Paladins or Paladins who worship a good-aligned Deity gain all of the class features of the standard paladin, while Evil aligned Paladins or Paladins who worship an evil-aligned Deity gain all the class features of the antipaladin. Neutral aligned Paladins or those who worship a neutral aligned Deity choose at first level whether they gain the class features of the anti-paladin or the paladin.
The exceptions are:
The Spell List combines both Paladin and Anti-paladin spell lists. However, you lose access to any spells with descriptors that oppose your alignment or your deity's alignment (A Lawful Good Paladin still cannot cast Protection from Good). Any spells with alignment variables always give the most beneficial effect to lawful creatures and the least beneficial effect to chaotic creatures
Fiendish Boon/Divine Bond becomes Axiomatic Bond. This functions as a Paladin's Divine Bond. If a weapon is chosen, the available weapon properties are axiomatic, brilliant energy, defending, disruption, flaming, flaming burst, negating, keen, merciful, and speed. If a mount is chosen, it gains the Resolute simple template at 11th level.
If the Paladin class features are being used, swap Good for Law and Chaos for Evil for the following abilities: Smite Evil, Detect Evil, Aura of Justice, Aura of Faith, Aura of Righteousness, Holy Champion. If the Anti-paladin class features are being used, swap Evil for Law and Chaos for Good for the following abilities: Smite Good, Detect Good, Aura of Vengeance, Aura of Sin, Aura of Depravity, Unholy Champion.

Paladin of Chaos

This is just like the paladin of law, but swap Law and Chaos for all abilities. The only exception is that Axiomatic Bond becomes Anarchic Bond. This functions as an Antipaladin's Fiendish Boon, but the servant has the Entropic simple template instead of the fiendish simple template if the servant is chosen. If a weapon is chosen, the available weapon enhancements are flaming, keen, vicious, negating, flaming burst, unholy, wounding, speed and vorpal

Paladin of Evil

This functions exactly like the anti-paladin in all ways, but a Paladin of evil may be of any evil alignment, or simply worship an evil deity. His code is broken if he ever willing or altruistically commits a good act or violates his deity's code of conduct.

Paladin of Balance

Now this is an interesting one, for Neutral Paladins. This one in traditional fashion is about getting rid of extremities in the alignment scale. The Paladin of Balance is based on the standard Paladin.
Smite Evil become Smite Extremists. This functions only against creatures that do not have a neutral component of their alignment.
Detect Evil becomes Detect Alignment, as the inquisitor class feature.
A Paladin of balance gains both lay on hands and touch of corruption, but can only use it a number of times per day equal to her charisma modifier.
The mercy and cruelty features combine. Learning a mercy also gives the corresponding cruelty.
A Paladin of balance can channel both positive and negative energy
A Paladin of balance gains spells from both the paladin and anti-paladin spell lists, but cannot cast any spells with an alignment descriptor other than the various protection and magic circle spells.
A Paladin of Balance's Divine Bond to a mount gives it the Advanced simple template at 11th level instead of celestial. A bond to a weapon allows the following special abilities: negating, brilliant energy, defending, disruption, flaming, flaming burst, phase locking, keen, mimetic, and speed.
Aura of justice allows the paladin of balance to give her allies use of her smite extremists ability.
Aura of faith allows the paladin's weapons and those of her allies to count as magic for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction.
Aura of righteousness gives DR10/magic instead of DR5/evil
Holy Champion gives DR20/magic instead of DR10/evil, the banishment effect applies to outsiders of an alignment extremity and on her smite extremists and her lay on hands/touch of corruption/channels all have maximum effect.

Other things
Versatile channel also applies to Lay on Hands and Touch of corruption if you had the option of picking. It also counts as the mercy and cruelty class features for the purpose of taking the extra mercy/cruelty feats.
I have always hated alignment restrictions for classes that get their power from a deity. So long as you worship the deity, you're fine. That said, even if you're the right alignment, if you're not worshipping your deity properly, you're going to lose your class feature quickly. Because a deity is not a charity who gives spells to people just because they maybe sort of share some of the same beliefs they do, as ruled by a crude approximate of moral values. They'd prefer to keep the power for someone who was actually faithful. So these paladin things reflect that (although it's completely possible to just worship the concept of evil/good/law/chaos to get power from it, which is fine)

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