Classes Paladin

Paladin
©
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Credit Carlos
Villa
Source Monte
Cook
. (February 9, 2011). A
Broken Sword’s Quest
, Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction. Print Source  Template:Cite
book/The Ghosts of Broken Blades
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Through a select, worthy few shines the power of the divine. Called paladins, these noble souls dedicate their swords and lives to the battle against evil. Knights, crusaders, and law-bringers, paladins seek not just to spread divine justice but to embody the teachings of the virtuous deities they serve. In pursuit of their lofty goals, they adhere to ironclad laws of morality and discipline. As reward for their righteousness, these holy champions are blessed with boons to aid them in their quests: powers to banish evil, heal the innocent, and inspire the faithful. Although their convictions might lead them into conflict with the very souls they would save, paladins weather endless challenges of faith and dark temptations, risking their lives to do right and fighting to bring about a brighter future.

Role: Paladins serve as beacons for their allies within the chaos of battle. While deadly opponents of evil, they can also empower goodly souls to aid in their crusades. Their magic and martial skills also make them well suited to defending others and blessing the fallen with the strength to continue fighting.

Alignment: Lawful good

Hit Die d10

Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gp (average 175 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills

The paladin‘s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Constitution), Craft (Intelligence), Diplomacy (Charisma), Handle Animal (Charisma), Heal (Wisdom), Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) (Intelligence), Knowledge (religion) (Intelligence), Profession (Wisdom), Ride (Dexterity), and Sense Motive (Wisdom).

Skill Points at 1st Level (2 + Intelligence modifier) x4.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level 2 + Intelligence modifier.

The Paladin
  Paladin
Spells
per Day-
Level Base Attack
Bonus
Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Aura of good, detect evil, smite evil 1/day
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Divine grace, lay on hands
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Aura of courage, divine health
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Turn undead 0
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Smite evil 2/day, special mount 0
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 remove disease 1/week 1
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2   1
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2   1 0
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 remove disease 2/week 1 0
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Smite evil 3/day 1 1
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3   1 1 0
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 remove disease 3/week 1 1 1 –  
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4   1 1 1
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4   2 1 1 0
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 remove disease 4/week, smite evil 4/day 2 1 1 1
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5   2 2 1 1
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5   2 2 2 1
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 remove disease 5/week 3 2 2 1
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6   3 3 3 2
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Smite
evil 5/day
3 3 3 3

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the paladin.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Paladins are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor (heavy, medium, and light), and with shields (except tower shields).

Aura of Good (Ex) : The power of a paladin’s aura of good (see the detect good spell) is equal to her paladin level.

Detect evil (Sp) : At will, a paladin can use detect evil, as the spell.

Smite Evil (Su) : Once per day, a paladin may attempt to smite evil with one normal melee attack. She adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to her attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per paladin level. If the paladin accidentally smites a creature that is not evil, the smite has no effect, but the ability is still used up for that day.

At 5th level, and at every five levels thereafter, the paladin may smite evil one additional time per day, as indicated on Table: The paladin, to a maximum of five times per day at 20th level.

Divine Grace (Su) : At 2nd level, a paladin gains a bonus equal to her Charisma bonus (if any) on all saving throws.

Lay on Hands (Su) : Beginning at 2nd level, a paladin with a Charisma score of 12 or higher can heal wounds (her own or those of others) by touch. Each day she can heal a total number of hit points of damage equal to her paladin level x her Charisma bonus. A paladin may choose to divide her healing among multiple recipients, and she doesn’t have to use it all at once. Using lay on hands is a standard action.

Alternatively, a paladin can use any or all of this healing power to deal damage to undead creatures. Using lay on hands in this way requires a successful melee touch attack and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. The paladin decides how many of her daily allotment of points to use as damage after successfully touching an undead creature.

Aura of Courage (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, a paladin is immune to fear (magical or otherwise). Each ally within 10 feet of her gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against fear effects.

This ability functions while the paladin is conscious, but not if she is unconscious or dead.

Divine Health (Ex) : At 3rd level, a paladin gains immunity to all diseases, including supernatural and magical diseases.

Turn undead (Su) : When a paladin reaches 4th level, she gains the supernatural ability to turn undead. She may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 +her Charisma modifier. She turns undead as a cleric of three levels lower would.

Paladin Spells

Beginning at 4th level, a paladin gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells, which are drawn from the paladin spell list. A paladin must choose and prepare her spells in advance.

To prepare or cast a spell, a paladin must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a paladin’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the paladin’s Wisdom modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a paladin can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Paladin. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Wisdom score. When Table: The Paladin indicates that the paladin gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, she gains only the bonus spells she would be entitled to based on her Wisdom score for that spell level The paladin does not have access to any domain spells or granted powers, as a cleric does.

A paladin prepares and casts spells the way a cleric does, though she cannot lose a prepared spell to spontaneously cast a cure spell in its place. A paladin may prepare and cast any spell on the paladin spell list, provided that she can cast spells of that level, but she must choose which spells to prepare during her daily meditation.

Through 3rd level, a paladin has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, her caster level is one-half her paladin level.

Special Mount (Sp) : Upon reaching 5th level, a paladin gains the service of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed to serve her in her crusade against evil (see below). This mount is usually a heavy warhorse (for a Medium paladin) or a warpony (for a Small paladin).

Once per day, as a full-round action, a paladin may magically call her mount from the celestial realms in which it resides. This ability is the equivalent of a spell of a level equal to one-third the paladin’s level. The mount immediately appears adjacent to the paladin and remains for 2
hours per paladin level; it may be dismissed at any time as a free action. The mount is the same creature each time it is summoned, though the paladin may release a particular mount from service.

Each time the mount is called, it appears in full health, regardless of any damage it may have taken previously. The mount also appears wearing or carrying any gear it had when it was last dismissed. Calling a mount is a conjuration (calling) effect.

Should the paladin’s mount die, it immediately disappears, leaving behind any equipment it was carrying. The paladin may not summon another mount for thirty days or until she gains a paladin level, whichever comes first, even if the mount is somehow returned from the dead. During this thirty-day period, the paladin takes a -1 penalty on attack and weapon damage rolls.

Remove disease (Sp) :At 6th level, a paladin can produce a remove disease effect, as the spell, once per week. She can use this ability one additional time per week for every three levels after 6th (twice per week at 9th, three times at 12th, and so forth).

Code of Conduct

Overthrowing of the Rusty Knight Date 1908 Arthur Hughes (1832-1915) 
Overthrowing of the Rusty Knight Date 1908 Arthur Hughes (1832-1915)

A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class abilities if she ever willingly commits an evil act.

Additionally, a paladin’s code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.

Associates: While she may adventure with characters of any good or neutral alignment, a paladin will never knowingly associate with evil characters, nor will she continue an association with someone who consistently offends her moral code. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are lawful good.

Ex-Paladins

A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who grossly violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and abilities (including the service of the paladin’s mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She may not progress any farther in levels as a paladin. She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (see the Atonement spell description), as appropriate.

Like a member of any other class, a paladin may be a multiclass character, but multiclass paladins face a special restriction. A paladin who gains a level in any class other than paladin may never again raise her paladin level, though she retains all her paladin abilities.

The Paladin’s Mount

The paladin’s mount is superior to a normal mount of its kind and has special powers, as described below. The standard mount for a Medium paladin is a heavy warhorse, and the standard mount for a Small paladin is a warpony. Another kind of mount, such as a riding dog (for a halfling paladin) or a Large shark (for a paladin in an aquatic campaign) may be allowed as well.

A paladin’s mount is treated as a magical beast, not an animal, for the purpose of all effects that depend on its type (though it retains an animal’s HD, base attack bonus, saves, skill points, and feats).

Paladin
Level
Bonus
HD
Natural
Armor
Adj.
Strength
Adj. Intelligence Special
5th-7th +2 +4 +1 6 Empathic link, improved evasion, share spells, share saving throws
8th-10th +4 +6 +2 7 Improved speed
11th-14th +6 +8 +3 8 Command creatures of its kind
15th-20th +8 +10 +4 9 Spell Resistance

Paladin’s Mount Basics

Paolo Uccello Drei Gemälde zur Schlacht von Romano für den Medici-Palast in Florenz, Szene: Der Sieg über Bernardino della Ciarda Year 1438
Paolo Uccello Drei Gemälde zur Schlacht von Romano für
den Medici-Palast in Florenz, Szene: Der Sieg über Bernardino della
Ciarda Year 1438

Use the base statistics for a creature of the mount’s kind, but make changes to take into account the attributes and characteristics summarized on the table and described below.

Bonus HD : Extra eight-sided (d8) Hit Dice, each of which gains a Constitution modifier, as normal. Extra Hit Dice improve the mount’s base attack and base save bonuses. A special mount’s base attack bonus is equal to that of a cleric of a level equal to the mount’s HD. A mount has good Fortitude and Reflex saves (treat it as a character whose level equals the animal’s HD). The mount gains additional skill points or feats for bonus HD as normal for advancing a monster’s Hit Dice.

Natural Armor Adj: The number on the table is an improvement to the mount’s existing natural armor bonus.

Strength Adj : Add this figure to the mount’s Strength score.

Intelligence: The mount’s Intelligence score.

Empathic Link (Su) : The paladin has an empathic link with her mount out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The paladin cannot see through the mount’s eyes, but they can communicate empathically.

Note that even intelligent mounts see the world differently from humans, so misunderstandings are always possible.

Because of this empathic link, the paladin has the same connection to an item or place that her mount does, just as with a master and his familiar (see Familiars).

Improved Evasion (Ex): When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, a mount takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage if the saving throw fails.

Share Spells : At the paladin’s option, she may have any spell (but not any spell-like ability) she casts on herself also affect her mount.

The mount must be within 5 feet at the time of casting to receive the benefit. If the spell or effect has a duration other than instantaneous, it stops affecting the mount if it moves farther than 5 feet away and will not affect the mount again even if it returns to the paladin before the duration expires. Additionally, the paladin may cast a spell with a target of “You” on her mount (as a touch range spell) instead of on herself. A paladin and her mount can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the mount’s type (magical beast).

Share Saving Throws: For each of its saving throws, the mount uses its own base save bonus or the paladin’s, whichever is higher. The mount applies its own ability modifiers to saves, and it doesn’t share any other bonuses on saves that the master might have.

Improved Speed (Ex): The mount’s speed increases by 10 feet.

Command (Sp) : Once per day per two paladin levels of its master, a mount can use this ability to command other any normal animal of approximately the same kind as itself (for warhorses and warponies, this category includes donkeys, mules, and ponies), as long as the target creature has fewer Hit Dice than the mount. This ability functions like the command spell, but the mount must make a DC 21 Concentration check to succeed if it’s being ridden at the time. If the check fails, the ability does not work that time, but it still counts against the mount’s daily uses. Each target may attempt a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 paladin’s level + paladin’s Charisma modifier) to negate the effect.

Spell Resistance (Ex): A mount’s Spell Resistance equals its master’s paladin level + 5. To affect the mount with a spell, a spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the mount’s Spell Resistance.

Special Mounts

Exotic Mounts

Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov: Bellerophon is sent to the campaign against the Chimera Date 1829
Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov: Bellerophon is sent to the campaign against the Chimera Date 1829

Warhorses or war ponies are not the only mounts that a paladin may call to service. If the divine forces will it, he may be soaring the skies atop a mighty griffon, or razing
battlefields astride a divine war machine. The advancement tier system above provides a tool for the paladin to call upon the service of more exotic mounts.

To serve as a mount, the creature must be at least one size category larger than the paladin and must be suitable for riding. The only creatures that a paladin may call as mounts are some aberrations, animals, dragon cohorts (as per the Leadership feat), beasts, magical beasts, fey, adequately built constructs and certain outsiders. A deinonychus dinosaur is certainly an unlikely choice for a mount but it is feasible. A clay golem is not an option. In the end, the Games Master has the final authority as to the availability of a specific creature as a paladin’s special mount.

Alignments: The creature that is to become a special mount cannot be of chaotic or evil alignments in its natural form. Neutral creatures become either lawful or good when entering service as a paladin’ special mount.

fey Mounts: Some fey creatures may serve as mounts if they are uadrupeds or with a horizontal configuration. Intelligent fey (Intelligence 12+) must be convinced to serve as mounts before the paladin can ride them.

Constructs: An iron golem warhorse sent by a deity of the forge is a earsome mount indeed. The fact it is a special mount sets it apart from other constructs. Consider that it has animal Intelligence (score of 2) before applying any Intelligence adjustment from a mount purpose template as described in the next section.

Dragons: Dragons are very special creatures and it takes extra effort to persuade one to serve as a mount. The paladin must possess the Leadership feat and must first have the dragon as a cohort before it will enter into a
bond with the paladin as a special mount.

outsiders: A particularly pious paladin may receive a celestial creature to serve as his mount. The advantage of having such a creature is that it does not die when reduced to 0 hit points. The paladin may call it again from its extra-planar home the following day. The disadvantage is that it is ulnerable to all the magic that affects outsiders; a magic circle can imprison it, it can be expelled from the material plane with dismissal and banishment and it is considered a lawful good creature, vulnerable to damaging chaotic and evil spells. If the mount is killed while on its home plane, it is destroyed permanently.

A Mount’s Purpose

Obviously, the primary purpose of a mount is to transport its rider, and that of a battle mount to give him advantage on the battlefield. A paladin’s mount, however, is a divinely-blessed beast, magical in nature, and does not exist in this world before it is created by the paladin’s need, ceasing to exist when he needs it no longer.

A special mount is a normal member of its species in all regards except for its powers and its creature type, which is “magical beast”. The powers it
gains as the paladin increases in level reflect its role as the paladin’s
comrade in arms, enabling them to fight as if they were one.

A mount’s purpose is a template that defines the abilities the mount has, with the warmount template being the most common, as seen in SRD. Each purpose template can replace the warmount, with the special mount gaining different abilities at a different pace depending on its role. Once a paladin has called a mount with a special purpose template, he is stuck with it unless he dismisses his old mount or it dies for whatever cause, at which point the paladin can call for a mount
with a different purpose. The mount that arrives does not start from the beginning,
but conforms to the characteristics that correspond to the paladin’s level,
with all abilities and statistics as described in the corresponding table.

 

The
tables for the different purpose templates list a tier column, for use with the
advancement tier system for exotic mounts in the previous sections.

 

Warmount

 

This is the most common
special mount that paladins receive, geared for battle and growing in strength
and resistance to keep apace with his rider’s combat prowess. All abilities
and bonuses are described above.

 

Counsel

 

When the divine
forces sent the mount, they decided that the paladin did not need something to
help him fight, but someone to help him follow the path of righteousness without
deviation. The counsel mount is the paladin’s compass when he finds himself
mired in moral ambiguity, and a beacon of light when darkness threatens to overwhelm
him. The counsel is more than simply a mount, it is a friend.

 

Improved
Empathic Link: The telepathic communication that the paladin can maintain
with his mount extends for far longer distances. He remains in touch with his
mount up to one mile per level away.

 

Moral
Warning: When the paladin is about to commit an act that would cause him to
become an ex-paladin, or to make him break a vow or an oath, the counsel warns
him of the consequences of his actions. If he is being manipulated, the counsel
grants him a +4 synergy bonus to any skill check to resist or discover the manipulation,
and a +2 inherent bonus to Will saves if the manipulation is magical in nature.

 

Share Spell
Resistance
: When the paladin is riding his mount, he enjoys the protection
of its Spell
Resistance
rating.

 

Atonement: The counsel may intercede in the paladin’s favour if he incurred any
penalty that makes him lose his paladin abilities. Not only does the counsel remain
at his side when other mounts would leave, but he can also cast Atonement on the
paladin.

 

Traveller

 

Sometimes, the
purpose of the special mount is not helping the paladin in battle; just getting
him there. A traveller special mount may still fight as if it was trained for
combat thanks to its intelligence, but it is not as resistant as a warmount and
may get killed more easily if it does enter combat. Traveller mounts have a special
knack of finding their way to where the paladin is most needed, and have the endurance
necessary to withstand long travels.

 

Endurance: The mount gains the advantages of the Endurance feat, gaining a +4 bonus for performing
a physical action that extends over a period of time (running, swimming, forced
marching, and so on).

 

Wanderer
Sense: The mount has a +10 inherent bonus to Intuit
Direction
and Wilderness
Lore
checks used to find the way.

 

Serendipity: For every day of overland travel, there is a 2% chance per paladin level that
he will come across a situation where his help is needed before he reaches his
destination.

 

Seven
League March: Once per week, the mount can engage in a high-speed mode of
travel, covering seven times the distance it would cover in normal overland travel.
It can maintain this supernaturally-fast pace for as long as 8 hours but if it
stops before that, it cannot resume this ability until a week has passed.

 

Overseer

 

Like the paladin,
a mount can serve a higher power than its rider, complying with his wishes but
really answering to a worthier authority. The overseer mount is almost undistinguishable
from the warmount, and gives most of the same benefits, but it was sent to keep
an eye on the paladin, not to be his unquestioningly loyal servant. The overseer
is loyal and will never betray the paladin, but it has permission from whatever
force the paladin serves to act counter to his interests if they deviate from
their true path, or even to call in reinforcements.

 

commune: The mount can communicate with the deity or divine force that sent it to serve
the paladin. It can do this once per day and incurs in no experience cost as it
delivers its observations on the paladin’s behaviour to the deity. It can
ask questions on behalf of the paladin, but the paladin pays the spell’s
cost as if he were casting the spell.

 

Hold: The mount may cast a focused version of Hold Person on the paladin as an 8th
level cleric. The paladin may move freely if he fails his Will save, but he cannot
dismount until the mount dispels the effect. The paladin can be knocked from the
saddle, however.

 

Reinforcements: The first version of this ability allows the mount to use Summon
Monster V
to
call a celestial creature to help the paladin in battle. The second version allows
the mount to cast lesser
planar ally
. It can use either ability once per week.

 

Mentor

 

Not all paladins
have the benefit of belonging to an order. The ones who are answering the call
from within their hearts often find themselves learning the ropes of paladinhood
by trial and error, trusting the strength of their faith to carry them through.
When they finally call a mount to fight by their side, their predicament has been
taken into consideration, and they receive a creature that will guide their growth
as well as help them in their mission. The mentor mount is a wellspring of knowledge,
a teacher that will show the paladin the correct use of his powers.

 

Spellcasting: The mount is a minor spellcaster in its own right, but uses his knowledge
to complement the paladin’s. Only when riding the mount, the paladin gains
an extra spell slot of the level where his own spells per day table indicates
‘0’.

 

Gift
of Learning: The paladin chooses a Knowledge skill per his own Wisdom modifier.
From now on, that skill is considered a class skill.

 

Superior
Instruction: From 11th to 14th level, the paladin has 2 extra skill points
when he gains a new level.

 

Special
Mount – Warmount

 

 

Tier Paladin Level Bonus HD Natural Armour Strength
Adj.
Intelligence Adj. Special
1 5-7 +2 4 +1 +4 Improved evasion,
share spells, share saving throws
2 8-10 +4 6 +2 +5  
3 11-14 +6 8 +3 +6 Command
creatures of its kind
4 15-20 +8 10 +4 +7 Spell
Resistance

Special
Mount – Counsel

Tier Paladin
Level
Bonus
HD
Natural
Armour
Strength
Adj.
Intelligence
Adj.
Special
1 5-7 +2 1 +5 +1 Improved
empathic link, share spells, share saving throws
2 8-10 +3 2 +6 +2 Moral
warning
3 11-14 +4 4 +7 +3 Spell
Resistance
4 15-20 +5 6 +8 +4 Share Spell
Resistance
, Atonement

Special
Mount – Traveller

 

 

Tier Paladin
Level
Bonus HD Natural Armour Strength
Adj.
Intelligence
Adj.
Special
1 5-7 +2 2 +0 +2 Endurance,
share spells, share saving throws
2 8-10 +4 4 +1 +3 Wanderer sense
3 11-14 +6 6 +1 +4 Serendipity
4 15-20 +8 8 +2 +5 Seven league march

Special
Mount – Overseer

 

 

Tier Paladin
Level
Bonus
HD
Natural
Armour
Strength Adj. Intelligence
Adj.
Special
1 5-7 +1 2 +0 +6 Improved evasion, share spells, commune
2 8-10 +2 4 +1 +7 Hold
3 11-14 +4 6 +2 +8 Reinforcements
I
4 15-20 +6 8 +3 +9 Reinforcements II

Special
Mount – Mentor

 

 

Tier Paladin Level Bonus HD Natural
Armour
Strength
Adj.
Intelligence Adj. Special
1 5-7 +2 2 +0 +9 Spellcasting,
share spells, share saving throws
2 8-10 +4 4 +1 +10 Gift of
learning
3 11-14 +6 6 +1 +11 Superior Instruction
4 15-20 +8 8 +2 +12 Spell
Resistance

* If the creature’s Intelligence is above 10 before becoming a mount, use the Counsel’s adjustment.

 

Character
Concepts

 

Tricks of
the Trade

 

The Quintessential
Paladin

Author Alejandro Melchor

Series Quintessential Series

Publisher Mongoose
Publishing

Publish date 2002

Pages 128

ISBN 1-903980-79-8

OGL Section 15 qpal

Content Puller {$content}

 

Netbook
can be found on the following website

 

The
Grand OGL Wiki

 

The
material below is designated as Open Game Content

 

There is a great
difference between a mounted knight and a paladin. While both fight on horseback
to gain advantages, the knight cannot communicate his wishes directly to his mount’s
mind. The paladin’s special mount is no ordinary animal either; it is an
intelligent and powerful ally. Mounted
Combat
is thus a bit different for the
paladin than for any other character.

 

The Ride Skill

 

The Ride skill works in a slightly different way for paladins and their empathetically
linked mounts. While the paladin still needs to take ranks in Ride so he can take full advantage of being mounted, there are some tasks that
work differently when the rider has a continuous empathic link with an intelligent
mount. For paladins riding their special mounts, use the following DCs for the Ride check instead of the ones in the SRD. If
a task is not listed, it uses the same DC as the normal check.

 

 

Riding
Task
DC
Control
Mount in Battle
Fight
with Warhorse
Guide
with Knees
Stay
in Saddle
5
Leap 10
Cover 10
Soft
fall
10

Control
Mount in Battle: Given that the special mount is a warhorse or is at least
intelligent and trusting of the rider’s judgement, it does not need to be
calmed down to enter combat.

 

Fight
with Warhorse: No check is necessary. The paladin simply gives his mount the
command to attack as a free action, while he uses his own attacks normally at
the same time.

 

Guide
with Knees: A paladin can use both hands in combat while mounted without needing
to make a Ride (Dexterity)check. The empathic link and telepathic communication replace the
guidance he would provide with the knees.

 

Stay
in Saddle, Soft Fall and Leap: Mount and rider react as one to any sudden
movement because they just know what the other is doing.

 

Cover: The mount runs and moves to compliment the rider’s movement so as to
help him get cover behind its own body. Paladins rarely do this, however; they
respect their mounts too much to expose them to such danger.

 

If the player has 5 or
more ranks in Handle Animal, he gains
a +2 synergy bonus to Ride checks as normal.
If the Games Master allows it, the empathic link gives an additional synergy
bonus equal to the character’s Charisma modifier.

 

Riding Feats

 

Even though paladins can
communicate with their more intelligent mounts, they do not receive training
for free. The special mounted attacks represented in the feats Mounted
Combat
, Mounted Archery, Trample, Ride-by Attack and Spirited
Charge
still need to be taken for the paladin, and his mount, to enjoy their
benefits.

 

Mounted
Combat
Manoeuvres

 

The following are new actions
that a mounted character can attempt. They are a combination of existing tactics
and feats into new forms of attack that do not require the character to learn
new feats. Like normal riding tasks, Mounted
Combat
manoeuvres require the character to make a Ride check with varying DCs. Any character can attempt these actions if he has
the necessary feats and succeeds at the Ride check,
although some are exclusive to the paladin’s unique relationship with his
mount. The manoeuvres’ entries read as follows:

 

Feat: Lists the feats a manoeuvre requires the character to possess. If the character
does not have the feat, he cannot perform this manoeuvre.

 

Ride (Dexterity)check DC: Gives the DC for the Ride (Dexterity)check the character makes to prepare his
mount for the manoeuvre. If the ‘empathic’ descriptor appears with a
bonus, it means that a character with an empathic link with his mount adds this
number as a synergy bonus to the Ride (Dexterity)check. If there is no bonus listed for the
empathic descriptor, such riders do not need to make a Ride (Dexterity) check.

 

Rider/Mount
Action: This entry describes what kind of action the rider and mount perform
when using the manoeuvre. This is useful for determining what else each of them
can do during the rest of their turn. The first definition before the slash pertains
to the rider, and the second to the mount.

 

Effect: Describes what results from the manoeuvre, as well as gives any additional
skill check needed, plus exceptions to the general rules.

 

Manoeuvre
Descriptions

 

Boarding
Leap

 

Feat: Mounted
Combat
.
Ride check DC: 20 (empathic +5).

Rider/Mount Action: Move-equivalent/Full-round.

 

Effect: The character leaps
from his mount to land on another moving mount or vehicle. The mount’s
makes a full-round action to attempt to catch up and match speed with the other
moving target, usingthe doublemove action, and possibly the run option too.
The character’s Ride check implies guiding
his mount so that there is enough distance to leap and not break his neck. The
target can make an opposed Ride (for mount targets), Handle Animals (for carts and beast-driven
vehicles) or other relevant check to try to manoeuvre away. If the leaping character
beats both his DC and the opposed check, he successfully leaps onto the target,
requiring a Balance check (DC 15) if he wants to take his remaining standard
action doing something else other than keeping his footing. If the Balance check
fails, the character may fall off the target or into a prone position on top
of it, depending on the target’s nature.

 

Strong
Leap

 

Feat: Mounted
Combat
, Ride-By Attack.
Ride check DC: 20 (empathic +5).

Rider/Mount
Action: Free/Special.

 

Effect: The mount makes a short but powerful jump in order to reach an enemy. The mount can leap 10 feet, and such movement counts as if it had taken a 5-foot step for purposes of determining attacks of opportunity. As per the normal leap, the Ride (Dexterity)check is meant to determine if the rider remains in the saddle after the leap. It also allows the mount to take a fullround action after it jumps. If they are leaping over an obstacle, make a Jump or Ride (Dexterity)check (whichever is lower) with a DC determined by the GM.

Follow-up Attack

Feat: Mounted Combat. Ride check DC: 15 (empathic).

Rider/Mount Action: Standard or Full-round/Fullround.

Effect: The mount and rider attack in rapid succession for devastating effect. As mount and rider attack on the same initiative order, the rider lets the mount go first with both hooves (no bite). If it hits, the rider gains a +2 synergy bonus to all his attack rolls for this turn against the same target, in addition to the +1 bonus for being mounted. The rider can use all of his attacks or just one and perform another partial action. If all of the attacks hit, the target must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + damage inflicted) or fall prone as if tripped.

Knockdown

Feat: Mounted
Combat
, Trample.
Ride check DC: None.

Rider/Mount Action: Move-equivalent/Full-round.

Effect: The rider guides the mount into the target in order to trip it. The mount charges
against the target but, instead of attempting an overrun, it performs a trip attack
with the aid of its rider. The mount uses its own base attack bonus, its rider’s
or his full Ride (Dexterity) modifier, whichever is greater. The attack roll gains the normal
+2 bonus for the charge, plus another +2 competence check because of the rider’s
Trample feat. To oppose the target’s Strength or Dexterity check, the mount
uses a second Ride (Dexterity) check from its rider instead of its own Strength.

If the mount beats the target’s check result, the target is tripped and is now in a prone position and the rider can now proceed to attack with his remaining standard action with all the pertinent bonuses. The rider must have a reach weapon in order to attack a prone target.

Leaping Tackle

Feat: Mounted Combat, Ride-By Attack.
Ride (Dexterity)check DC: 15 (empathic).

Rider/Mount Action: Standard/Full-round.

Effect:The rider jumps from the mount to tackle the target. The rider uses the speed
from a charge to make a combination of a trip and a grapple attack. The rider
makes a normal attack roll adding +2 for the charge action, with the Ride (Dexterity)check
meaning that he let go of the mount at the right moment. If the check fails, the
rider takes 1d6 points of damage and falls short of the target and must make a
Reflex save (DC 15) to get up. If both check and attack roll succeed, the rider
slams the target for 1d6 points of damage, taking 1d4 hit points damage himself.
The rider has a +4 bonus to his Strength check to trip the target. Whether the
target is tripped or not, the rider automatically starts a grapple and both combatants
make a grapple check. If the trip was successful, the rider gains a +4 bonus to
his grapple check. If the trip was unsuccessful, the target may attempt to trip
the rider in response or let grapple check proceed normally. The mount moves on
after the rider leaps and, if intelligent, circles around to return to help its
rider.

 

Pin
Down

 

Feat: Mounted
Combat
.
Ride (Dexterity)check DC: None.

Rider/Mount Action: Standard/Special.

 

Effect:
The rider pins a prone target to the ground with either a reach weapon or with
the mount itself. The rider must start his action while next to a target that
is already prone, either because the mount moved in and he still has actions left
or because they started their turn in such a position. The rider makes a touch
attack against the prone target using his normal attack bonuses or, if using the
mount, a normal Ride (Dexterity) check to put a hoof, paw or claw over a sensitive area. The
target is considered pinned and risks injury if it tries to escape, automatically
suffering appropriate damage regardless of the attempt’s success. The rider
or mount can attempt to push the target back down with an opposed Strength check,
but the rider adds his base attack bonus.

 

Pounding

 

Feat: Mounted
Combat
, Trample.
Ride (Dexterity)check DC: Special (empathic +2).

Rider/Mount
Action: Full-round/Full-round.

 

Effect:
The rider guides the mount to smash a prone target into bloody pulp. As with the
Pin Down manoeuvre, rider and mount must start their action while next to a target
that is already prone. The rider does nothing but guide his mount’s attacks,
granting it a +2 synergy bonus to attack and damage rolls. The Ride (Dexterity)check determines
how successful the Pounding is, as the check result becomes the target DC to either
a Reflex save or an Escape Artist or Tumble check, whichever is higher. A successful
check or save means that the target rolled out of the way and can try to stand
up. For every round after the first that the mount deals damage, the target also
suffers 1d4 points of ability damage to Strength, Dexterity or Constitution (rider’s
choice) as its limbs are smashed into the ground. If Dexterity or Strength are
reduced to 0, the target cannot move any more. If Constitution is reduced to 0,
the target dies.

 

Rearing
Attack

 

Feat: Mounted
Combat
.
Ride (Dexterity)check DC: 18 (empathic).

Rider/Mount Action: Standard/Standard.

 

Effect:
The mount rears and slams down, giving momentum to its rider’s attack. Essentially,
the mount uses the Aid Another action but does not roll to attack, as the Ride (Dexterity)check or empathic link provides it with enough guidance and co-ordination with
the rider’s efforts. The rider gains a +2 bonus to his next attack roll.

 

Skewer

 

Feat: Mounted
Combat
, Ride-By Attack, Spirited
Charge
.
Ride (Dexterity)check DC: 20 (empathic
+5).

Rider/Mount Action: Standard/Full-round.

 

Effect:
The rider runs a target through with a lance. As part of a normal charge action,
the rider may impose a -2 penalty to the attack roll in order to skewer his target
with the lance, manoeuvring the mount for better effect. If the attack is successful,
the damage is multiplied by one factor less than the Spirited
Charge
allows (normal
damage for melee weapons, double damage for lances), but the weapon is embedded
in the target’s body. If the damage is resisted by damage reduction, the
attack was not strong enough and the weapon falls to the ground. Every subsequent
round, the target has a -2 penalty on every die roll and suffers 1d6 points of
automatic damage until he removes the weapon with a successful Strength check
(DC 15). Removing the weapon deals double the weapon’s damage if it is a
melee weapon, and triple if it is a lance. Even with the weapon removed, the target
loses 1 hit point every round until the wound is closed by any curing magic or
a successful Heal check (DC 10).

 

Snatch

 

Hans Baldung (1485–1545) Title The Knight, the Young Girl, and Death Date ca. 1505

 

Hans Baldung (1485–1545) Title The Knight, the Young Girl, and Death
Date ca. 1505

 

Feat: Mounted
Combat
, Ride-By Attack.
Ride (Dexterity)check DC: 10 (empathic).

Rider/Mount
Action: Standard/Move-equivalent or full-round.

 

Effect:
The rider snatches another creature and props it behind him in the saddle. The
mount runs past a creature as its rider leans down to grab it. The target creature
must be of the same size or one size smaller than the rider (usually a damsel
in distress). The rider makes a touch attack to grab hold of the creature. If
the creature is willing and waiting to be snatched, the rider gains a +2 synergy
bonus. If the creature is not aware of the attempt but would not resist it, the
rider gains no bonus to the touch attack roll, but he automatically picks the
creature up if successful. If the creature resists, both make a Grapple check.
If the creature wins, the rider speeds by and out of range without provoking attacks
of opportunity but, if the rider succeeds, he picks the creature up. He pins the
creature but cannot attack it. The rider can prop the creature face down over
the saddle with a second successful Grapple check, and all of the creature’s
efforts suffer a -2 penalty for the mount’s violent movements. If the creature
escapes or is released while the mount is moving, it suffers damage depending
on the mount’s movement as follows:

 

 

Mount Moves Damage
Walk speed, move-equivalent 1d6 nonlethal
Walk speed, double-move 1d6
Run speed, move-equivalent 2d6
Run speed, double-move 3d6

Unseat Rider

Feat: Mounted Combat, Ride-By Attack.
Ride (Dexterity)check DC: Special (empathic +2).

Rider/Mount Action: Standard/Full-round.

Effect: The rider uses speed and precision to dismount an enemy rider. Rather than dealing damage, the character uses the momentum from a charge to knock a mounted opponent to the ground. The character makes a touch attack roll with a -4 penalty and rolls for damage if successful. The target rider does not suffer the damage as hit point loss, but instead must make a successful Ride (Dexterity)check (DC 10 + damage) or fall from his mount, suffering 1d6 points of subdual damage. If the weapon used is a lance, the virtual damage is doubled before it is added to the Ride (Dexterity) check’s DC.

Detecting Evil

Starting at 1st level, paladins gain the ability to detect evil at will. The difference between having this power as a spell and as a spell-like ability resides in the fact that, without a daily limit on the number of uses, paladins can practice. Paladins who wish to become better at locating evil can fine-tune their ability with dedication and perseverance, something that they have in spades.

The following options are alternate uses for the detect evil spell-like ability that
paladins can use as many times and for as long as they want. Some of them work
like metamagic feats and others are simply fine-tuning. Learning a new use for detect evil costs the character an amount of experience points that he can pay
at any time, provided that he does not lose a level. Once he pays the experience
points, he can apply the new use at all times. Some of the new uses require that
the paladin activate his ability and make either a Wisdom or a skill check. The
check is a free action performed as part of the detect evil activation. If the
check fails, the paladin does not activate his detect evil ability, although he
may try the next round at +1 to DC. The paladin may use his ability normally if
he so desires; he is not forced to apply any new use he might have learned.

 

 

New
use
XP
cost
Activation
check
Active sense 400 XP Concentration (DC 20)
discern
lies
300 XP Sense
Motive
(opposed)
Enlarge 250 XP Concentration (DC 16)
Fighting invisible
evil opponents
450 XP Wisdom (DC 15)
Maintain 400 XP Concentration (DC 15+)
Pin-point location 250 XP Search (DC 16)
Skip to a stage 150 XP Concentration (varies)
Tracking 300 XP Concentration (varies)

Active
Sense: Paladins are always vigilant, and they can train to sense the approach
of impending danger while they sleep. Before laying down to rest, the paladin
makes a Concentration check (DC 20) and activates detect evil. For as long as
he remains asleep, any evil creature approaching within 60 feet of him will trigger
his senses. He makes a Will save with a base DC 15 minus the creature’s evil
power (see the detect evil description for how to calculate evil power). If he
succeeds, he awakens instantly knowing that something wicked is coming. The effect
is broken whenever he wakes up.

 

discern lies: The paladin fine-tunes his ability to sense evil so that he can perceive
the minor evil caused by the act of lying, even if the subject is lying for a
good cause. The character activates his ability and makes a Sense Motive check
with an insight bonus equal to +2 plus his Charisma modifier, opposed by the subject’s Bluff check.

 

Enlarge: When the paladin activates his detect evil ability and succeeds at a Concentration check (DC 16), the ability’s range extends to 120 feet away from him.

 

Fighting
Invisible Evil Opponents: If the paladin is beset by an invisible evil opponent,
he can send out magical ‘pings’ every round to locate it with a successful Wisdom check (DC 15) and short bursts of his detect evil ability rather than a
sustained duration. If the creature is within the ability’s area of effect
in that round, the paladin’s chance to miss with a melee attack is reduced
by 20% and he keeps his Dexterity modifier to AC. Using his spell-like ability
in this way is a move-equivalent action, which allows the paladin to attack the
creature, but not perform a full-round action.

 

Maintain: The character can keep his magical senses alert while performing other actions,
such as fighting. He concentrates for the number of rounds needed to reach the
desired precision of the detect evil effect and locks his senses there. Every
round after the first, he makes a Concentration check (DC 15 for the 1st round’s
effect, DC 16 for the 2nd round’s effect and dc 18 for the 3rd round’s
effect), if he succeeds, he maintains the effect as a free action. If he fails,
his Concentration breaks and he must reactivate his ability. The effect works
normally and, while the paladin maintains it, he cannot use any other spell, spell-like
ability or activate any spell trigger magical item. If he uses detect evil in
this way to fight against invisible evil opponents, he must use the effects of
the 3rd round of Concentration, and even then it only lets him guess where the
creature might be, without reducing any of its advantages due to invisibility.

 

Pin-point
Location: By concentrating for at least 3 rounds and making a Search check
(DC 16), the paladin can pin-point the location of any evil aura, even if it is
outside his line of sight (although it must still be within the ability’s
range). This use takes a standard action.

 

Skip
to a Stage: Rather than waiting for an extra couple of rounds to achieve an
effect, the paladin can skip directly to the 2nd or 3rd round effects of Concentration for the detect evil ability. He must succeed at a Concentration check (DC 17 for
the 2nd round’s effect, DC 19 for the 3rd round’s effect) in order to
skip directly to that stage when activating his ability.

 

Tracking: Evil leaves a trail, and strong evil practically leaves a map. Paladins can use
their familiarity with evil auras to track their owners. The character detects
the lingering aura of evil according to the guidelines in the detect evil description
and makes a Concentration check (DC varies according to the table). If he succeeds,
the paladin determines where the aura is heading. He makes a Concentration check
for every mile and, if he is travelling faster than his quarry, the lingering
aura gets stronger and is easier to follow, with the paladin gaining a cumulative
+1 competence bonus for every successful check. If he fails a check, it means
that he misread the aura and is heading the wrong way. A successful check will
tell him there is no aura present and he must backtrack, losing all the bonuses
he accumulated for previous successful checks. Unlike tracking by footprints,
the paladin can even travel at a hustle, since he is detecting the aura, not carefully
looking for physical traces of the creature’s passage.

 

 

Aura Strength Check
DC
Dim 30
Faint 25
Moderate 20
Strong 15
Overwhelming 10

The
Power of Faith

 

Some
paladins take on special quests to discover new ways to channel the power of their
faith, finding new weapons in their never-ending fight against darkness and sharing
their discoveries with organised orders and lone warriors alike.

 

The
following abilities use the paladin’s ability to channel positive and divine
energy through the strength of their faith alone. Divine intervention grants the
paladin additional dice to bolster his rolls, for those times when he calls upon
his deity or to grant him strength to defeat his enemies, or avoid an untimely
end that would leave unprotected the people he cares about. Combat prayers are
an alternate form of magic that paladins use in lieu of their very limited spellcasting
ability, channelling their capacity for divine magic in weaker but ultimately
more useful ways for them.

 

Since
both of these abilities have not been fully explored, paladins draw from their
other gifts to use them, converting their faith into raw power that they can channel
in different ways. To represent this, the paladin can convert into Faith Points
the hit points he cures with his lay on hands ability, his turn undead attempts
and his smite evil attempt. He can use these faith points to call for divine intervention
or utter a combat prayer, and the ability he used to gain them is considered spent
for the day, as if he had activated the ability normally.

 

Faith
Points

 

 

Ability Faith Points
Lay on Hands 1 per hp*
Turn undead 3 per
attempt
Smite
Evil
9
remove disease 10

*
The paladin does not need to convert all the hit points he can cure in a day at
the same time.

 

Converting
faith points is a free action and happens at the same time that the paladin uses
an alternate ability. The paladin can spend as many ability uses as he needs to
pay for an alternate ability, but he can only spend one kind of power in the same
turn. For example, he wants to get a d10 intervention die (see below), which costs
8 faith points. He could use up 8 hit points from lay on hands to pay for the
exact amount, or use up three turn undead attempts or his one smite evil attempt
and have one unused faith point left. He cannot use two turn undead attempts and
2 hit points from lay on hands, since they are different powers.

Divine Intervention

True heroes have a way of either twisting fate in their favour or having their life twisted back to accommodate the whims of destiny. A paladin has the attention of divine forces, fate included, and may call for their intervention in subtle yet significant ways. This intervention does not manifest in a glowing hand descending from the sky to help the paladin out. It is a helpful push so slight that many paladins argue that it is simple a manifestation of their own conviction, giving them strength to prevail where others fall short.

The role that a paladin’s faith and conviction plays in the game is represented by intervention dice. This mechanic is meant to add a more epic sense to an adventure, where characters can sometimes go beyond their limits to achieve a great feat of heroism. The rules for divine intervention should only be applied to player characters. Even if they are not the most important characters in the campaign world, they are the centre of the story, plain and simple.

A paladin gains intervention dice by exchanging faith points. Depending on the number of faith points spent he gains a single die he can use in different ways; from adding to his own checks to gaining temporary hit points, as described below. Beginning characters are limited to calling for divine intervention once per game session, but as they grow in power by gaining levels, they can squeeze more effort out of themselves. When the character is of sufficient level to use more than one intervention die per session, he is free to use as many as he can to empower the same action.

Intervention Dice

Die Faith Points
cost
1d4 3
1d6 4
1d8 6
1d10 8

 

Character
Level
Dice
per Session
1-5 1
6-10 2
11-15 3
16-20 4

Uses of
Intervention Dice

Intervention dice represent the extra effort that a paladin is capable of thanks to his unwavering faith and strength of character. Mechanics-wise, the player rolls the intervention die and applies the result in different ways:

Add to rolls: This is the most common use of an intervention dice, as the paladin draws from his inner reserves of strength and conviction. After rolling the die, the character can apply the result as a sacred bonus to any skill, ability, caster,
turning or combat action check, to any saving throw or attack or damage roll.
The player can decide to spend faith points and roll the intervention dice before
or after his original roll, so that he can either get a better result or avoid
a narrow failure.

 

Deduct
from the Games Master’s rolls: Sometimes, fate smiles upon the paladin
and affects the actions of others, instead of his own. In terms of the game, the
player can roll the intervention die and deduct the result from any one die roll
from the Games Master who must first approve of this use of intervention dice
before letting them affect his rolls. The only condition for this is that the
player cannot use a higher die type than the one the Games Master is rolling.
For example, the paladin cannot use a d10 to reduce the damage from a 2d4+2 magic missile from a Non Player Character sorcerer. He can only use one or more d4s.

 

Gain
Temporary Hit Points: At any point during an encounter, the paladin can roll
an intervention die to gain temporary hit points. He adds his Charisma modifier
to the total temporary hit points he gains, which last for one round per paladin
level and then disappear with no ill effect.

 

Divine
protection: Marked by destiny, the paladin can pray for protection when he
cannot afford to be hurt accomplishing his mission. He can add the result from
only one intervention die to his AC. If he can roll more than one die, he can
choose the result that best suits him. This divine protection lasts for one round
only.

 

Divine
guidance: The paladin has faith in the righteousness of his motives, and lets
that confidence guide his sword. If an attack roll is successful, the paladin
can add the result from intervention dice to turn that success into a threat,
which gives him the possibility to score a critical hit. If the result of the
original roll plus the intervention dice is equal or higher than the threat range
of his weapon, the attack is now considered a threat and he can roll again to
try for a critical. The cost of the intervention dice for this use is as if it
was one die category higher. For example, if the paladin wants to roll a d6 to
add to his already successful attack roll, he must spend 6 faith points as if
he were exchanging them for a d8. He spends 10 faith points to get a d10. If the
character can use an additional intervention die because of his level, he can
use it to add to his second attack roll to increase the chances of a critical
hit.

 

Combat
Prayers

 

Paladins
are extremely limited when it comes to spellcasting, mostly because their strength
lies in using the Divine Favour they enjoy in more direct and specific ways. Combat
prayers are a middle point between actual spells and the paladin’s basic
abilities, for they are spell-like abilities that channel the positive energy
that the paladin is already capable of using through his faith.

 

Combat
prayers are very easy to use, although, unless taught during a paladin’s
training, they often go undiscovered until a paladin prays in earnest during a
time of all-but-certain defeat. They are uttered as a move-equivalent action and
are usually followed by attacks. The effects of a combat prayer last for one round
per the paladin’s caster level (which is half his actual class level) unless
defined otherwise. The paladin must pay a number of faith points extracted from
his other abilities as described earlier in this chapter, with costs listed under
each prayer’s description. Also, the paladin cannot be under the effects
of more combat prayers than his Wisdom modifier during a single encounter, although
he can utter prayers that affect others as many times as he can afford.

 

Combat
Prayer Descriptions

 

Begone
whence you came

 

Cost: 6 faith points.
Effect: The paladin gains an extra +1d6 damage on his
next turn undead attempt. He can spend extra faith points to add more d6 to the
turning damage, to a maximum of +3d6 (18 faith points).

 

Bless
my blade

 

Cost: 4 faith points.
Effect: The paladin gains +1 sacred bonus to all
damage rolls with a melee weapon for the duration of the prayer’s effects.

 

Cleanse this
body

 

Cost: 10 faith points.
Effect: By touching the victim of a negative energy
attack or effect and pouring divine energy into him, the paladin grants the character
an extra saving throw. If the effect already took place and is affecting the target,
it gets a second save to throw off the effects. If the negative energy is still
present and has not elicited a saving throw, such as when gaining negative levels,
the target can make a pre-emptive save, and may still make his normal save if
this extra one fails.

 

Deliver
me from treachery

 

Cost: 8 faith points.
Effect: The paladin feels a divine will watching his
back, with opponents not gaining the +2 bonus for flanking him. He cannot be the
target of a sneak attack caused by flanking.

 

Free
this soul

 

Cost: 8 faith points.
Effect: By touching the victim of a mind-affecting
ability or spell and pouring divine energy into him or her, the paladin grants
the character a second saving throw.

 

Give
me speed

 

Cost: 4 faith points.
Effect: The paladin’s walk speed is increased
by 10 feet. He can choose to target his mount rather than himself.

Grant life to this person

Cost: 2 faith points.
Effect: Useful for times when the paladin already spent his lay on hands and is out of spells, he can stabilise a dying character with a simple touch.

Grant me strength

Cost: 3 faith points.
Effect: The paladin gains a +2 sacred bonus to Fortitude saves.

Guard my heart

Cost: 3 faith points.
Effect: The paladin gains a +2 sacred bonus to Will saves.

Guide my hand

Cost: 2 faith points.
Effect: The paladin gains a +2 morale bonus on his next attack roll.

Guide my words

Cost: 4 faith points.
Effect: For the duration of the prayer’s effect, the paladin gains a +4 morale bonus to Concentration checks as if he possessed the Combat Casting feat. This bonus stacks if the paladin actually has the feat.

Let me be your vessel

Cost: 4 faith points.
Effect: The character gains a +2 sacred bonus to his next caster check.

Protect me from my enemies

Cost: 4 faith points.
Effect: The character gains a +1 deflection bonus to his Armour Class.

Reveal my enemies

Cost: 6 faith points.
Effect: The character has a chance to miss concealed opponents 5% less than normal. The paladin cannot target incorporeal or ethereal creatures unless he has a weapon with a +1 or better enhancement.

Show me the way

Cost: 3 faith points.
Effect: The paladin gains a +2 sacred bonus to Reflex saves.

Take me!

Cost: 6 faith points.
Effect: The paladin can transfer all damage from a single melee attack suffered by a creature within 30 feet plus 10 feet per caster level from him. The damage must be enough to reduce the creature below 0 hit points, or the prayer will not work. Unlike other combat prayers, this takes a move-equivalent action as the paladin must intercept the blow, moving to stand in front, or alongside the creature struck, being subject to attacks of opportunity for this move as normal.

Oaths and Vows

When a paladin says he is going to do something, it can be safely assumed that he will do his best to do it. The paladins’ fame for honesty is well-deserved, for their code of conduct demands of them a strict adherence to truthfulness and fair dealings. They are supposed to be a beacon of light in the darkness, showing the power of good by example. However, there are times when the paladin wishes the heavens to witness him pledge his very soul to a task. Such a severe commitment twists the strings of fate and creates a holy obligation that goes beyond a mere promise, for the paladin is putting all he is to the task.

Holy oaths and vows are never taken lightly and are very serious matters indeed. The paladin sacrifices a bit of his being by swearing them, but in exchange he can count on aid from above when fulfilling the terms he gave his word to. Oaths are akin to a self-imposed geas, giving advantages for following them as well as penalties for violating their terms. Vows are more long-term promises that define the way the paladin behaves, altering the way he interacts with his own capabilities as well as with his surroundings.

Oaths

When a paladin takes an oath, it is not rare to hear a crack of thunder or see a soft glow in the room as the divine forces acknowledge his words and seal his promise. An oath binds the paladin to fulfill a certain task or comply with certain terms. Most oaths only involve the paladin in a two-sided contract with the celestial powers, but a few are sworn between two or more individuals, and it is the paladin who acts as heaven’s proxy by sanctifying the oath. Paladins cannot be under
the effects of more than one oath at a time, with some exceptions. Oaths have
the following characteristics:

 

Severity
Rating: A paladin may swear to defeat an enemy, or make it his life’s
purpose to destroy that enemy. All oaths have a severity rating ranging from 1
(light oaths) to 5 (mortal oaths). This rating determines how much of an advantage
the oath provides when it is being fulfilled, as well as the difficulty of ignoring
its mandates and suffering the penalties for doing so. The player chooses the
severity of his oath at the moment of taking it.

 

If
the character wishes to go against an oath, he must make a Will save (DC 15 +
severity rating). If he succeeds, he can go about his business, suffering a basic
penalty for some time based on the oath’s severity. If he fails the save,
he can choose to comply with the terms of the oath or suffer the full effects
of the violation as described under each oath in addition to the basic penalty.

 

†
Light Severity: Light oaths are not too taxing to the paladin, requiring little
attention. He only has to make a Will save when willingly and directly violating
the terms of the oath and he is not forced to comply with the terms at all times.
The basic violation penalty is a -1 to either attack and damage rolls, to skill
checks or to saves (player’s choice). The penalty lasts for a day.

 

†
Moderate Severity: Moderate oaths require a little more commitment from the
paladin. He must make a Will save even if the violation is accidental and indirect,
as well as for willing and direct violations. The basic violation penalty is a
-2 to either attack and damage rolls, to skill checks or to saves (Games Master’s
choice). The penalty lasts for a day.

 

†
Serious Severity: As the name implies, a serious oath marks the paladin and
shows his conviction. At the end of every month that he spent doing other things
not related to the oath, he must make the Will save. The basic violation penalty
is a -3 to attack and damage rolls and to either skill checks or to saves (player’s
choice). The penalty lasts for three days.

 

†
Critical Severity: For deadly-serious undertakings, the paladin makes a critical oath. At the end of every week that he spent doing other things not related to the oath, he must make a Will save. The basic violation penalty is a -4 to attack and damage rolls and to either skill checks or to saves (Games Master’s choice) as well as suffering 2d6 points of damage that cannot be healed in any way until he resumes complying with the oath’s terms. The penalty lasts for a week.

† Mortal Severity: Mortal oaths are taken only when the paladin is going to
spend every waking moment in pursuit of the oath. For every day that he spent doing other things not related to the oath, he must make the Will save. The basic violation penalty is a -5 to attack and damage rolls and to either skill checks or to saves (Games Master’s choice) as well as suffering 3d6 points of damage that cannot be healed in any way until he resumes complying with the oath’s terms. The penalty lasts for a week.

Oath Severity Observance

Severity Effect
1. Light Penalties
only apply in direct and willing violation
2.
Moderate
Penalties
apply in accidental violation
3.
Serious
Will
save each month
4.
Critical
Will
save each week
5.
Mortal
Will
save each morning

Experience
Cost: Swearing an oath takes something out of the paladin, giving the words
the power to bind him and any other oath-takers in order to enjoy the benefits,
as well as endure the obligations. Each type of oath has a different cost in experience
points, which can be reduced by the oath’s duration as described below.

 

Duration: An oath’s duration is also determined by the paladin at the moment he takes
it, and it affects the experience cost depending on when the oath’s effects
are supposed to end. When the duration ends, the character does not enjoy the
oath’s benefits any more, but he is no longer bound by its terms and any
penalties he may have accrued disappear.

 

†
Definite Durations: An oath can last an entire week, a year and a day, a decade
or any other specific duration from the moment of its swearing.

 

†
Event Durations: The oath’s obligations can be set to end when a specific
event comes to pass, such as the birth of the oathbound’s first child, the
next equinox or by the crowning of a new king in a realm. These event-driven durations
may impose their obligations for an indefinite amount of time, but they have a
clear end.

 

†
Conditional Durations: Other durations are condition-driven; they have no
specified duration and the paladin cannot simply count the days, for he will be
released from the oath when certain conditions are met, such as the defeat of
an opponent. These oaths are the ones more common to task-resolution oaths.

 

†
Eternal: Eternal oaths last until the paladin’s death and sometimes beyond.
The danger and virtue of an eternal oath is that, depending on its nature, there
is a chance that the paladin will become a ghost upon his death, bound to continue
with his duties. Each oath lists the chance to become undead for eternal durations.
Note that ‘until death’ is a valid conditional duration that does not
risk undeath.

 

The
oath’s duration alters the experience cost of an oath in the following ways:

 

Advantages: Depending on the type of oath, the paladin can get a sacred bonus equal to the
oath’s severity to certain kinds of actions. Some oaths grant the character
other benefits not related with numerical bonuses, but all of them are affected
by the severity rating in one way or another.

 

Violation: When the paladin goes against his oath, he faces the punishment of heaven
in the form of the violation penalty. As described under the severity ratings,
the paladin suffers from a basic penalty when going against an oath, but only
when he fails his Will save does he suffer the full violation penalty described
here. Unlike the basic penalty, the violation penalty does not go away until the
paladin atones for his breach of conduct either by actively undertaking the terms
of the oath, with an Atonement spell or when the oath’s duration ends.

 

Oath
Descriptions

 

Oath
of Fealty

 

XP
Cost: 100 x Severity Rating.
Chance of Undeath: 40%.

 

The
paladin swears that he will lay down his life in service to a ruler or figure
of authority. This oath is most often taken during a paladin’s initiation
if he belongs to an order sponsored by a church or the crown. Terms of obligations
include serving in an army, obeying orders as long as they do not go against the
character’s or church’s morals, being on call at all times, etc. Although
some more loosely-termed oaths give the paladin more freedom of movement, the
core of an oath of fealty is that the paladin now owes allegiance to a person.

 

Advantages: The character gains a morale bonus to Will saves and skill checks equal to
the oath’s severity rating when a mind-affecting power or mundane manipulation
would put him at odds with his liege. Any message from his liege will reach him
in half the time that it normally would or has double the chance to get to him,
be it by courier, animal
messenger
or magical means. Also, the paladin can discern
where his liege is once per day per severity rating, as if under the effects of
a locate person spell; the liege gains this ability as well.

 

Violation: Lose the morale bonus and the ability to locate the liege, but messages still
reach him and his liege can locate him, although he can no longer locate his liege.
Suffer a morale penalty to all Will saves equal to the severity rating.

 

Oath
of Alliance

 

XP
Cost: 200 x Severity Rating.
Chance of Undeath: 20%.

 

An
oath of alliance is a two-way version of the oath of fealty, where both parties
agree to aid each other in times of need. An oath of alliance can be sworn by
more than two persons, with each paying the experience cost. A good-aligned adventuring
party with a paladin present often swears this oath, for it represents their commitment
to long-term association and mutual support.

 

Advantages: Every oath-taker is more or less aware of his companions’ states. Every member
of the oath circle is instantly aware when one of their number is damaged, and
knows his general direction after receiving such an alert. With a Wisdom check
(DC 15), a character can concentrate on a single one of his companions and get
a sense of him as if using the status spell, but it also lets him know how many
hit points his target has left as well as the uses of his abilities remaining
(such as spells, turn undead attempts, bardic music and barbarian rages). Additionally,
oath-takers have an inherent bonus equal to the severity rating +2 to Sense Motive checks to know if one of them is lying, and have a morale bonus to Will saves
against mind-affecting magic that would set them against their fellows equal to
the severity rating.

 

Violation: The penalties only affect the person guilty of violating the oath’s terms,
who is branded with an indelible sigil on his forehead, marking him as an oath-breaker
and traitor. He suffers a -2 morale penalty to attack rolls and to all Charisma based checks, with all NPC attitudes starting at one stage worse than they normally
would. Every member of the oath circle is aware of the character’s treason
the moment he commits it and gains a +2 morale bonus on all dice rolls made against
him.

 

Oath
of Guardianship

 

XP
Cost: 150 x Severity Rating.
Chance of Undeath: 80%.

 

When
the paladin takes this oath, he is basically giving his life, and possibly his
soul, in guarantee that a person, object or place in his care will not be harmed.
He may be a bodyguard, an escort, a sentinel, a guardian or serve in any official
or extra-official capacity to protect someone or something. A guardianship oath
frequently has a set duration, such as ‘protect the princess until she is
married’, but it is sworn for all eternity with more frequency than any other
kind of oath, creating ghostly guardians for a king’s tomb or holy relic.

 

Advantages: Whenever the recipient is standing in harm’s way between a threat and
his ward, he gains a sacred bonus to AC and to all saves equal to the oath’s
severity rating. If the paladin drops below 0 hit points while protecting his
charge, he is instantly stabilised and does not lose any more hit points. If he
is separated from his charge, he can make a Wisdom check (DC 15) once per day
to locate it as if by a locate person or locate object spell.

 

Violation: The penalty for violating this oath comes in two parts: by willingly abandoning
his charge, the paladin incurs a percentage chance to miss any target he tries
to hit equal to severity rating multiplied by 10. If his charge was harmed, stolen
or tampered with as a direct result of the paladin’s actions, he suffers
temporary Constitution damage equal to the oath’s severity. The damage becomes
permanent if his charge is killed or destroyed. Note that if the paladin did his
best to protect his charge and it was still harmed, he did not violate his oath,
although he may embark on a quest to repair the damage done.

 

Oath
of Questing

 

XP
Cost: 500 x Severity Rating.
Chance of Undeath: 40%.

 

A
paladin swears by all that is holy that he will retrieve a holy relic from an
evil temple, hunt down and destroy a monster that has been terrorising the countryside
or go to the most foul of planes to destroy an evil artefact. These are examples
of quests that paladins are fond of undertaking, and they give holy sanction to
them by taking the oath of questing, a promise not only to the divine forces,
but also to himself, that he will not rest easy until he has achieved his objective.
This oath can be taken in private or in front of witnesses, it matters not to
the final effects, for the paladin is devoting all his drive to succeed or die
trying. Most oaths of questing have a condition-based duration, which is the completion
of the quest, but many include a ‘failure clause’ that will free them
of the oath if they have not completed the quest in a certain time or when given
conditions apply, such as somebody else achieving the objective.

 

Advantages: While actively pursuing the object of his quest, the paladin can call upon divine
help three times per day plus one per Charisma modifier. This help takes the form
of a sacred bonus to any kind of dice roll equal to the oath’s severity.
If you are using the rules for intervention dice, the paladin can use an extra
die per session (although he must still pay for it normally).

 

Violation: Upon first violation of the oath, the paladin suffers 3d6 points of damage and
a Strength and Dexterity decrease equal to the oath’s severity rating. Each
day he must make a Fortitude save (DC 12 + severity rating) or sicken. He heals
damage at one-tenth his normal rate and cannot benefit from any magical healing
effects.

 

Oath
of Friendship

 

XP
Cost: 300 x Severity Rating.
Chance of Undeath: 20%.

 

This
oath is taken between the paladin and another person, who swear to be friends
and support each other at all times. Friendship oaths with a duration less than
eternal are rare, and thus is one of the oaths that allow the paladin to take
on other oaths, but neither may take a second oath of friendship with somebody
else. Also, this oath cannot be taken with a severity lighter than 3 (serious),
else the motives of the oathtakers are suspect and the divine forces ignore the
oath. Both participants pay the experience amount in order to enjoy the benefits
and share the obligations. Both advantages and violation penalties stack with
those of other oaths.

 

Advantages: The oath-takers are empathically linked like the paladin and his special mount.
They know the other’s state of mind and emotions. They cannot perceive through
each other’s senses and, although they cannot communicate telepathically
either, they can target a single emotion so that the other knows that emotion
is directed at him specifically. In addition, they can protect each other from
a distance by taking the damage the other takes similar to a shield
other
spell,
but every round each character decides how much damage he will suffer that his
oath-friend will not take.

 

Violation: The breaking of the empathic link is a sure way to tell the other that the
oath has been broken, and it is perfectly clear that it was not due to unexpected
death. The oath-breaker suffers a penalty to all saves equal to the oath’s
severity and he shares the full damage from three different attacks in a day that
his once-oath-friend takes (the other character’s choice), although his friend
does not take any of the damage that he incurs. Atonement must always include
forgiveness by the slighted oath-friend.

 

Oath
of Binding

 

XP
Cost: 400 x Severity Rating.
Chance of Undeath: 60% (special).

 

The
paladin binds his life-force to another person in ties that go beyond friendship.
Paladins usually limit this oath to their lovers or spouses (yes, paladins have
a life too), but some truly devoted ones can do this with a revered member of
their religion or another personage. The other person is not forced to take the
oath, but it is also rare that he or she does not do so, paying the experience
cost too. Unlike the oath of friendship, this oath can be taken with any severity
rating, but it does not allow the participants to take any other sacred oath.
Spouses can take the oath with a condition limit, which is the possible, even
if unlikely, end of their union.

 

Advantages: Like with the oath of friendship, the oath-bound have an empathic link, but this
one allows them to send telepathic messages with a successful Wisdom check (DC
16) for each short message, and they get to add the other’s Wisdom modifier
and a bonus equal to the severity rating. When they both sleep they can share
the same dream and communicate more freely, spending time together or one watching
over the other, unobtrusively. Also, the subject of the oath may use the other
character’s Constitution, Dexterity or Wisdom modifiers to his corresponding
Fortitude, Reflex and Will saves, with a maximum bonus equal to the oath’s
severity rating. Finally, an oath-bound character may freely choose to become
a ghost independently of the oath’s chance of undeath, so he or she can remain
protecting the other.

 

Violation: Like breaking the oath of friendship, the oath-breaker suffers a penalty to
all saves equal to the oath’s severity rating. He also suffers a streak of
bad luck. On every skill check, roll two dice and apply the lowest result to the
check. Also, if the oath-breaker dies without having atoned for his violation
and while the oath is still in effect, he immediately becomes a ghost that cannot
rest until he finally atones.

 

Oath
of Enmity

 

XP
Cost: 300 x Severity Rating.
Chance of Undeath: 40%.

 

Hate
can drive a man to excess, and paladins are not above such base feelings. The
oath of enmity is like throwing a gauntlet at someone’s face, and paladins
take it directly in front of the subject when they can, and go to extreme lengths
to let him know if they cannot. The paladin literally becomes his target’s
sworn enemy, and the oath may end under such extreme conditions as the target’s
death. This oath is almost exclusively reserved for use against evil creatures
or characters, but the paladin may determine that otherwise just people deserve
to be opposed at every turn. The oath of enmity always includes a special condition,
regardless of the paladin’s wishes: if he ever ceases to consider his target
an enemy, he is free from the oath.

 

Advantages: The paladin gains a sacred bonus equal to the oath’s severity rating
to Listen, Sense Motive and Spot checks when using these skills against his sworn
enemy. He also adds the same bonus to weapon damage rolls against his enemy, and
the bonus doubles when applied to a valid smite evil attack (if the enemy is indeed
of evil alignment).

 

Violation: Violating an oath of enmity is hard, which is why the penalties are far greater.
Violation of an oath of enmity consists of letting the enemy go when capture is
possible, or letting his plans and influence continue when they can be thwarted.
The Games Master should be creative when determining what constitutes a violation
of this oath. The character suffers a penalty to all skill checks equal to the
oath’s severity, and to saves against attacks from his enemy or his allies.
Also, his enemy, as well as his minions, allies or retainers, gain a bonus to
attack and damage rolls against the paladin equal to the oath’s severity
rating.

 

Vows

 

Unlike
an oath, a vow does not follow strict guidelines. It is more like a pointer to
how the paladin behaves than swearing to fulfil a certain task or defining his
obligations towards another person. A paladin can take as many vows as he wishes,
but he must abide by all of them.

 

Taking
a Sacred
Vow
involves a full night of meditation as the paladin considers why
he is taking such a restriction on his conduct, suffering 1d4 points of temporary
ability damage to his Constitution and Wisdom. The following day, the paladin
is under the full conditions of the vow, enjoying all its benefits as well as
its restrictions.

 

The
conditions to break a vow are very clear and have dire effects. If a paladin violates
a vow, he loses all his paladin special abilities and spells, not only those granted
by the vow, he loses the service of his mount and can no longer gain levels as
a paladin. Only after he atones does he regain all his powers. Unlike the conditions
for ex-paladinhood, a paladin who wilfully violates a vow may remain a paladin
after he is forgiven.

 

A
paladin may abandon a vow with a similar ritual as when he undertook it. He prays
for an entire night and suffers 1d6 points of temporary ability damage to Constitution and Wisdom and pays 500 XP, but the following morning he is free from the vow,
exempt from its obligations but also lacking its benefits.

 

Secular
Vows: Secular vows are a special case, as they are minor conditions for the
character’s behaviour such as dress code, vocabulary, daily routine, etc.
These minor vows only provide a single +1 bonus per day to Will saves against
a mind-affecting spell, ability or effects, as the paladin reinforces his will
by such selfaffirming practices. A paladin can take a maximum of three secular
vows and enjoy either the added bonus to a single save, or spread the bonuses
on different rolls in any proportion (three +1 bonuses, one +2 and one +1 bonus
or a single +3 bonus). Breaking a secular vow is not as serious as breaking other
vows: the paladin merely suffers a -1 morale penalty to the same Will saves until
he resumes his practice. A paladin constantly washing his tabard is not vain,
but probably under a vow to present the tabard as a symbol of his deity or cause.
Abandoning a secular vow does not elicit an experience cost, but still incurs
the ability damage for the ritual.

Vow of Truthfulness: A paladin under this vow may never lie or use deceit
even when it suits the cause of good. He may never gain ranks in the Bluff or Innuendo skills, nor use them at all. Whenever he is called for a Bluff or Innuendo check, he must forfeit and fail automatically. Also, he may never use Diplomacy checks to hide the truth. If he does not wish to speak honestly, the paladin prefers not to speak at all and, if asked directly, he must answer honestly and not evade the question. Additionally, he will refuse to disguise himself by any mundane or magical means, although being unwittingly disguised by surreptitious magic does not count as a violation of the vow as long as he reacts in anger when discovering that he was disguised against his will. He may still ambush as a tactical advantage,
but he cannot use feints in combat.

Advantage: The paladin gains a +2 insight bonus on all Sense Motive checks to detect falsehood as well as to saves against illusion magic.

Vow of Mercy: A paladin must spare any and all fallen enemies he can, using potions,
Heal checks, spells or his lay on hands ability to keep them from reaching -10
hit points and dying. He is not obliged to care for all opponents in a large combat,
but at least he must care for the opponents he downs personally, spending a round
to check if they are alive and stabilise them if the combat is not over. When
the combat does end, he must check all the fallen enemies and stabilise them,
after making sure his own companions are alright, of course. He will defend prisoners’
lives to the extreme of drawing his weapon against his allies if they prove too
intent on killing them. undead, constructs, outsiders (especially evil ones),
oozes and vermin are not subject to this vow.

 

Advantage: The paladin can use the deathwatch and Sanctuary spells as spell-like abilities
a combined number of times equal to once per day per Wisdom modifier. He adds
his Wisdom modifier to all his curing abilities and magic, whether it is to amount
of damage cured, Heal checks to remove
disease
or the effects of poison, or caster
checks to defeat curses and enchantments.

 

Vow
of Poverty: The paladin may not own riches. He can keep enough gold to feed
himself and his mount and give regular maintenance to his equipment, but he cannot
hoard money for any other purpose. He will refuse his part of the loot except
enough money for those basic necessities, or he can take his part and give it
away within a day of arriving at a town or any other settlement. If he has magical
equipment, it is because he found it or it was given to him, not because he bought
it. Even then, if he finds magical items that are not immediately useful to him,
he must give them away. He tends to sleep in the stables because he cannot afford
a room at an inn, but his own virtue often saves him from this as innkeepers offer
him board and food for free or in exchange of services.

 

Advantages: The paladin’s resolve is much greater by disdaining material wealth and
focusing on the spiritual. He casts spells at +1 his normal caster level, and
enjoys a +2 sacred bonus to his turning checks and damage when turning undead.

 

Vow of Silence: The
paladin swears never to utter a word either as penance or as special commitment
to a deity or cause. He cannot cast spells with verbal components or activate
magical items that require command words, not to mention that he cannot communicate
with any other person through verbal means.

 

Advantage: Living in silence has the merit of granting the paladin a +4 insight bonus to Concentration and Listen checks and a +2 bonus to saves against sonic and language-dependent
effects. If he has the Silent Spell feat, the level of affected spells does not
increase (if he abandons his vow, the feat functions normally).

 

Vow of Abstinence: The paladin is not allowed to imbibe any intoxicating substance, be it Alcohol,
drugs or even ceremonial herbs. Additionally, he is not allowed to drink any
potion of transmutation magic. If someone slips such a substance into his normal
drink without the paladin noticing, it does not count as violating the vow.

 

Advantage: The character gains a +2 morale bonus to Fortitude saves against toxins and poisons.

 

Vow of Celibacy: The paladin abstains from sexual intercourse, period. The character cannot
marry while under this vow, nor lay with members of the opposite sex (or same,
depending on inclinations), regardless of species. Contrary to other vows, even
having sex unintentionally (as per the effects of magic) does count as violating
the vow, although the Atonement quest carries
mitigating circumstances.

 

Advantage: The character is immune to mundane seduction attempts, and gains a +4 bonus to saves against magical seduction, and +2 against general enchantment magic.

Codes of Conduct
The Quintessential Paladin
Author Alejandro Melchor
Series Quintessential Series
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2002
Pages 128
ISBN 1-903980-79-8
OGL Section 15 qpal
Content Puller {$content}
Netbook can be found on the following website
The Grand OGL Wiki
The material below is designated as Open Game Content

A paladin follows a ‘code of conduct’ that limits his actions and defines his philosophy. Bound by honour and his inherent nobility, the paladin stands straight while his morals are tested time after time, for it is his virtue that connects him to the source of his divine power.

When a paladin decides on his code, he makes a most solemn oath to follow its tenets to their letter and spirit, sacrificing his general well-being and determining the boundaries of his conduct. The things that he will not do, and those that he will give his life trying to accomplish. A paladin that breaks his code loses his power, as it is his code that supports his faith in the righteousness of his mission.

A code of honour is a way for a player to flesh out the paladin’s outlook on life and how he sees his role in the world as a holy warrior. It expands and builds on the general description of Lawful Good behaviour to grant the paladin some advantages when his code is called into question, but also restricts his conduct for risk of losing his paladin abilities. It also gives the Games Master a more concise list of guidelines to watch out for when posing challenges for the paladin character, allowing his evil elven seductress Non Player Character to target a specific virtue in the paladin’s code.

A code is composed of several tenets, small pledges of conduct that a paladin observes as part of his everyday life. These tenets form the core of his ideology, and he learns them either from his training with a paladin order or a church, or develops them naturally in the course of his life. Similar to the oaths in the Tricks of the Trade chapter, the tenets of a code of honour are measured in degrees of adherence, depending on how essential each tenet is in the paladin’s philosophy. The higher the adherence, the more advantages it provides for the paladin, but the greater the consequences of him breaking the tenet’s principles.

Tenets

A code’s strength is defined by its tenets, and the tenets’ power is measured
by the paladin’s adherence to them. A code may be composed of many tenets, but the character is not as committed to following all of them as if his code only had a few on which he can concentrate better.

A tenet’s strength is measured by an adherence bonus, ranging from +0 (it is
part of the code, but has no serious repercussions) to +3 (a vital part of the
code). These bonuses apply to skill checks or saving throws that directly relate
to the principles of the tenet. A paladin may use his code of honour’s adherence
bonuses in the following ways:

 

†
Use Limit: A paladin can only invoke a tenet’s adherence bonus once per Wisdom modifier in a single session.

 

†
When trying to fulfil a tenet: When the paladin is trying to fulfil the principles
of a tenet in an active manner, he can invoke that tenet’s adherence bonus
to a skill check or attack roll.

 

†
When avoiding the violation of a tenet: If the paladin is the target of magic
or special abilities whose results would cause him to violate one of his tenets,
he can invoke the tenet’s adherence bonus to a skill check or saving throw
to resist the attempt.

 

†
Adherence Weakness: If a clever opponent uses magic or an ability to get something
out of a paladin by appealing to his code’s tenets, the paladin suffers a
penalty to resist equal to the bonus he would normally receive. He can invoke
one use of the tenet’s bonus to cancel the penalty. For example, a vampire
uses its charm ability and appeals to a paladin’s tenet of generosity, asking
him to give a valuable item away, the paladin suffers a penalty equal to his adherence
to the principle of generosity within his code, but he can opt to invoke the true
spirit of the tenet to cancel the penalty.

 

Adherence

 

Adherence
measures how strong a tenet is in the mind of the paladin, which gives him a bonus
to dealing with some situations, but also marks the pace at which he risks losing
his paladin abilities due to transgressions against his code’s tenets.

 

Building
the Code

 

To build a character’s personal code of honour, write down all its tenets, either choosing them from the list of sample tenets later in this chapter or making up your own with the Games Master’s approval. A code can have any number of tenets up to the character’s Wisdom modifier, and they all start at a +0 bonus.

When first adopting a code of honour, the paladin gets a number of adherence points equal to his Wisdom score plus his level. Each point buys a +1 adherence bonus for a single tenet, up to the maximum of +3. He is not forced to spend all the points to purchase bonuses, but any unused points are lost. At each level, the paladin gains 2 + Wisdom modifier extra points to represent his growing conviction. He can add new tenets at +0 bonus for one adherence point, and he is not forced to spend all his new adherence points but, like at the time of first taking the code, unused points are lost.

General Tenets

Tenets are best defined as a short sentence that specifies a single action like ‘give money to the poor’ or ‘accept an honourable surrender’. Tenets like ‘uphold justice’ and ‘be generous’ are very general, covering a wider spread of situations. General tenets cost two adherence points per bonus, and the Games Master has the final word on whether any given tenet is general or specific.

General tenets apply to more situations so that the paladin has more opportunities to invoke their bonus, but they are likewise weaker in their commitment, thus providing a smaller bonus for the same amount of dedication.

Transgressions

The down side of a code of honour is that it can be broken. Unlike the oaths in the Tricks of the Trade chapter, the paladin does not need to roll to break a code’s tenet, he simply does. Breaking a code’s tenet does not carry an immediate and harsh punishment, but it sets off the counter for the paladin’s downfall. The more the paladin breaks his self-imposed promises, the more his righteousness is cracked and the closer he is to losing all faith in himself or in the divine power that grants him its favour, eventually losing his status as a paladin.

When the paladin breaks his code of honour, he creates a transgression score equal to the violated tenet’s adherence bonus. Further lapses add the tenet’s bonuses to the original transgression score and, when the sum of his transgressions equals his Wisdom score, the paladin cannot stand the weight of his guilt and loses all his paladin abilities.

There are three kinds of transgressions:

Involuntary: When a paladin unwittingly breaks his code, he commits an involuntary transgression. He can be duped into breaking one of his code’s tenets or acting wrongly simply because he did not know all the facts in a given situation. When committing an involuntary transgression, the paladin can roll a Will save (DC 15 + tenet’s bonus); if he fails, he cannot invoke that tenet’s bonus until he atones (see below), and he adds the violated tenet’s bonus to his transgression score. Success means that he can still invoke the bonus, but his transgression score still increases.

Voluntary: Knowingly breaking a tenet carries automatic punishment. The paladin adds the tenet’s bonus to his transgression score, and immediately loses the ability to invoke that tenet’s bonus with no saving throw allowed.

Necessary: Sometimes, Good must stand above Law. If the paladin broke his code with full knowledge of the consequences, accepting his responsibility and punishment with grace and honour, the Games Master may determine that the paladin’s intentions supported the cause of Good and allow a Will save (DC 20 + tenet’s bonus).
If the paladin succeeds, he loses the ability to invoke the tenet’s bonus
for 1d4+1 days, and he does not add the bonus to his transgression score. Failing
the save carries the same consequences as a voluntary transgression.

Atoning

Transgressing against his code of honour puts the paladin at risk of losing his abilities. However, he can atone for his misbehaviours before their weight overwhelms him and he is forced to undergo a quest to recover his Divine Favour.

Atoning for a tenet violation is relatively easy, if the paladin is sincere. He must perform a small sacrifice in accordance with one of the violated tenets, showing his continuing devotion to its principles. The sacrifice consists of an act of devotion and the expenditure of experience points equal to the violated tenet’s bonus multiplied by 5. The act of devotion depends entirely on the nature of the tenet and, although the paladin may receive some divine guidance through prayer, it is up to him to decide what his peace of mind is worth.

Once he successfully atones, he subtracts the atoned tenet’s bonus from his transgression score and regains the ability to invoke it if he lost it.

Champion of a Cause

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