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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).

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

Code of Conduct

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.


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
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

Paladin's Mount Basics

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

Gentile da Fabriano Anbetung der Heiligen Drei Könige, Haupttafel: Anbetung der Könige, Detail: Pferde Year 1423

Gentile da Fabriano Anbetung der Heiligen Drei Könige, Haupttafel: Anbetung der Könige, Detail: Pferde Year 1423

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
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Paladins can call a special mount when they reach 5th level. The SRD gives the details on how this mount grows in power and mentions that a paladin may receive a mount other than a war horse, but it does not address matters of game balance or how the mount may develop if it is weaker or stronger than a regular war horse. Advancement tiers allow players and Games Masters to determine quickly what powers a stronger or weaker mount would have when its paladin master is of certain level, by comparing the advancement tier each belongs to.

A paladin’s advancement tier is determined by his level according to the table below, while a mount’s is determined by a tier rating. The mount’s tier rating not only measures its power, but also its usefulness as a special mount, and is calculated as follows:

Mount’s Tier Rating = Challenge Rating + 3 + other modifiers.

Tier Rating Modifier

Tier Rating
Mount Modifier
Can fly +1
Has Intelligence equal or higher than 6 +1
Is an Animal, Beast or vermin +0
Is an Aberration, fey* or magical beast +1
Is a Construct or outsider** +2
Is a Dragon +1

* fey creature must be capable and willing to bear the rider
** ‘Natural’ outsiders only, creatures who become outsiders because of a template do not apply this modifier.

Advancement Tiers

Tier Paladin Level / Tier Rating
0 1-4*
1 5-7
2 8-10
3 11-14
4 15-19
5 20-25*

* Tier Rating only.

If a mount’s tier rating is equal to the highest rating for a tier, the paladin cannot call the mount until he is one level higher than the lowest level in that tier for Tiers 1 and 2, and two levels higher for Tiers 3 and 4.

For example, a 5th level paladin (Tier 1) wishes to call a dire boar as his special mount. The dire boar has a Tier Rating of 7 (CR 4 + 3 + 0 animal), which is the highest rating in Tier 1, which means that the paladin cannot call it until he is 6th level, one level higher than 5th level, the lowest level in Tier 1.

Tier Summary

  Paladin can first call mount at
Tier 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
1 5th-7th 6th-8th 7th-9th 8th-10th 9th-11th 10th-12th
2 8th-10th 9th-11th 10th-12th 11th-13th 12th-14th 13th-15th
3 11th-14th 12th-15th 13th-16th 14th-17th 15th-18th 16th-19th
4 15th-20th 16th-21st* 17th-22nd* 18th-23rd* 19th-24th* 20th-25th*

* Should the Games Master wish to continue his campaign beyond 20th level.

Effective Tier Power

A paladin’s mount gains special bonuses and abilities as the paladin advances in level but, if the mount was naturally stronger or weaker than a normal war horse before becoming a special mount, it may not gain the same bonuses and abilities. The effective tier power of a mount depends on both its own and the paladin’s tiers. It determines the corresponding powers it can have to compensate for its natural special abilities or lack thereof.

Compare the paladin’s tier with the mount’s in the following table. The number in the matching row and column indicates the special mount abilities that the mount receives from the paladin’s tier. The next section applies the advancement tier system to the special mount’s advancement table found in the SRD as well as providing more options of advancement.

Effective Tier Power

Mount Tier
Paladin Tier 0 1 2 3 4 5
1 2 1 0 - - -
2 3 2 1 0 - -
3 4 3 2 1 0 -
4 4 4 3 2 1 0

For example, a 12th level paladin (Tier 3) calls a new war horse mount (Tier 1); according to the table, the horse receives the bonuses and abilities that correspond to a Tier 3 (11th to 14th levels) paladin. If the same paladin were to call a griffon (Tier 2), the griffon would receive the bonus and abilities of a Tier 2 (8th to 10th level) paladin instead.

Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov: Bellerophon is sent to the campaign against the Chimera Date1829 Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov: Bellerophon is sent to the campaign against the Chimera Date1829

Exotic Mounts

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’s special mount.

fey Mounts: Some fey creatures may serve as mounts if they are quadrupeds 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 fearsome 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 vulnerable 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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).


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.


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 fulfil 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.


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
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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.


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 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.


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.


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

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
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Paladins are devoted to upholding the law and protecting good and they follow a strict code of honour that regulates their behaviour, but very few paladins wander the land aimlessly in search of wrongs to right. They become paladins because there is something they want to accomplish, or they quickly find a goal to focus their efforts upon if paladinhood was thrust upon them. This is the cause, and the cause can give a paladin the strength he needs to prevail when evil threatens to overwhelm him.

A cause is to a paladin what Domains are to a cleric; it defines his role in the fight against darkness and sets him apart from other paladins who are doing the same thing. Devoting all his efforts towards a specific cause marks the paladin in many ways: he gains abilities he would not have access to otherwise, learns new skills or opens new doors to his future.

Adopting and Following a Cause

The paladin may adventure freely from the moment he dons the mantle of paladinhood, pursuing whatever goals he deems worthy. He has several opportunities to decide on a specific cause to serve, though and once he does, he cannot go back on that decision, nor can he branch out and pursue other causes with the same dedication.

The paladin can choose a cause in place of a feat, at any level in which he would gain a feat as a character (1st, 3rd, 6th, 9th, etc). By choosing the cause in this manner, he gains a number of advantages related to his cause, some of which get better as he gains in level as described under each cause. In general, the abilities the paladin gains from focusing his dedication improve at every level at which he would gain a feat. He does not need to spend additional feats for this. Since concentrating his attention on a narrower cause than the broad protection of law and good focuses his efforts, the paladin neglects certain other areas of his advancement, gaining disadvantages also described under each cause. Note that since these are paladin abilities, the character can lose them under the same circumstances by which he loses the rest of his abilities.

Causes are divided in the two main pursuits of a paladin’s ethos: Law and Good. Causes of Law are those that pursue order and discipline, and Causes of Good revolve around ensuring the well-being of others.

Causes of Law


The cause of defending law from chaotic forces gives the paladin an insight into the strengths and weaknesses of those who follow each of the ethical paths. A paladin pursuing the defence of law as his lifelong cause understands how its servants and enemies work. He knows of the demons who seek the destruction of all, and of the darker realms of the lower planes where the only stability to be found is the one strong spirits carry with them.

Advantage: The paladin can use his smite evil ability as smite chaos instead. At each level at which he gains a feat, he gains two bonus skill points to assign between Knowledge (the planes), Knowledge (Arcana) and Spellcraft, which are considered class skills only for distributing the bonus skill points.

Disadvantage: When using his smite evil ability to target lawful evil creatures, the paladin only deals half his level in bonus damage. Also, his conditioning and devotion to Law leave him vulnerable to lawful spells, suffering a -1 penalty to saving throws against them.


For a paladin, Discipline is of paramount importance as he struggles to maintain his code of conduct and keep his ethics pure. Paladins who pursue Discipline as a cause are strong in conviction and not easily swayed from their path. They try to inculcate in others the same orderly and disciplined life they lead themselves, opposing chaos from the bottom of their hearts.

Advantage: The character gains a +3 bonus to Will saves against mind-affecting magic and effects. The next time he gains a feat, this bonus also applies to Illusion spells and spell-like abilities. The next time, it extends to all spells with the chaotic descriptor. After that, the bonus increases by +1 at each level at which the paladin gains a feat.

Disadvantage: The paladin focuses so much on his inner perfection that he loses touch with the people around him. He gains a -2 penalty to all Charisma based skill checks as his tolerance for others’ faults erodes. He also suffers a -2 penalty to saves against lawful spells.


When it comes to Judgement, it is hard to find a more impartial arbiter than a paladin. He is committed to safeguarding the laws at the same time that he advocates fairness, and thus seeks the best resolution possible in any given conflict. He concentrates on keeping his moral compass working correctly, so that he has the moral authority to pass judgement over his peers. This contemplation makes paladins who embrace the cause of Judgement good judges of character, and not easily deceived.

Advantage: The paladin gains a +2 bonus to Sense Motive checks, and he may use three turn undead attempts to cast discern lies once per day. At every third level, the bonus to his Sense Motive checks increases by +1. Lastly, Knowledge (law) becomes a class skill.

Disadvantage: Keeping himself impartial and focused upon the rightness of the law makes the paladin a poor liar. He does not lie and, even when forced to do so, suffers from a -6 penalty to his Bluff checks. Also, by concentrating on his knowledge of law and good government, the paladin loses focus on other skills, with Heal and Knowledge (religion) becoming crossclass skills.


Paladins who turn their minds to philosophy often end up taking the cause of pure Law. They ponder on the nature of order and chaos and understand their role as agents of the former, staunch opponents of the latter. Their mind is open to the ways of Law both as an abstract concept and a universal force, with their conclusions filling them with purpose and strength, because they are well-reasoned and thoroughly thought about, rather than based solely on faith.

Advantage: The paladin adds the spells of the Law domain to his spell list (up to 4th level) and, once per week, he can sacrifice spell slots that add to five spell levels to cast dispel chaos.

Disadvantage: The paladin must have a Wisdom score of 15 or higher in order to understand the magic of Law. This focus robs him of a bit of creative spark, imposing a -1 penalty to all Wisdom-based skill checks and -2 to initiative rolls.


A peaceful society is an ordered society, and its citizens have time to prosper and concentrate on matters beyond survival. A paladin following the cause of Peace seeks a quick and painless resolution to conflicts he stumbles across. Although he believes that things can be solved through peaceful means, he knows when the line has been crossed and only swift and merciful violence can solve a situation, although it is always his last resort.

Advantage: When first taking up the cause of peace, the paladin gains a +2 bonus to Diplomacy checks and adds calm emotion and Hold Person to his 2nd level spell list. At every level where he gains a feat, the bonus increases by +1.

Disadvantage: The paladin is not exactly naïve and trusting, but his keenness to reach a peaceful solution sometimes gets the better of him. Even after he takes an action in combat, he is still considered to be flatfooted during his first round. If battle breaks out when he is trying to negotiate, he suffers a -4 morale penalty to initiative.


Ensuring people are safe is the most important goal for the paladin; safe to go out at nights, safe to travel through a forest, safe to lead a normal life. He is always watchful of incoming threats and is always ready to confront them and deal with them so the people he protects do not even notice they were threatened. The paladin is the perfect watchman, as he is ever on the lookout.

Advantage: The paladin’s senses are always on alert, and he gains a +1 bonus to Spot and Listen checks. This bonus increases by +1 on every level when the paladin gains a feat. He is not considered to be flatfooted in a surprise round (although he still does not get an action), and his detect evil ability extends for an extra 30 feet beyond its normal range.

Disadvantage: Being on alert at all times is tiring for mind and body alike. The paladin only cures a number of hit points equal to half his level when he rests, although magical healing works normally. In addition, enemies may take advantage of his suspicious nature, as he suffers a -1 penalty on Will saves against Illusion magic.

Causes of Good


Despite their role as holy warriors, many paladins still find it in their hearts to make mercy and Compassion the cause they will defend with their lives. Forgiveness and redemption are the hallmarks of the Compassion cause, and paladins who follow it believe there is no such thing as irredeemable evil when it comes to mortals. They will protect the lives of prisoners with as much zeal as they protect those of innocents, and will take upon themselves the task to lead others to save themselves.

Advantage: The paladin adds remove curse and lesser geas to his 3rd level spell list, and Atonement to his 4th level spell list. The same day he loses his paladin abilities due to transgression of his code, he can cast Atonement to plead his case.

Disadvantage: Compassionate paladins are often the victims of deceit, for their trust in the good in others never wavers, even in the light of constant disappointment. They suffer a -2 penalty on Sense Motive rolls, and their detect evil ability is limited to 5 times per day plus their Charisma modifier.


The cause of defending good from evil gives the paladin an insight into the strengths and weaknesses of those who follow each of the moral paths. A paladin pursuing the Defence of good as his lifelong cause understands how its servants and its enemies work. He understands better how fiends, undead and other servants of darkness work and of the vile realms of the lower planes where the only light to be found is within one’s own heart.

Advantage: The paladin gains an additional use of his smite evil ability. At every level at which he gains a feat, he gains two bonus skill points to assign between Knowledge (the planes), Knowledge (Arcana) and Spellcraft, which are considered class skills for the bonus skill points only.

Disadvantage: As a servant of good, there is a chance equal to 5% per character level (maximum 60%) that at the end of any given week, a celestial envoy will appear before the character and ask for a minor service. The paladin cannot refuse.


Introspective paladins ponder the true nature of Good so they might fully understand their role. They consider the nuances in the eternal battle of good against evil and understand their role as agents of the former, staunch opponents of the latter. Their minds are open to the ways of Good both as an abstract concept and a universal force, with their conclusions filling them with purpose and strength, their faith strengthened by enlightenment.

Advantage: The paladin adds the spells of the Good domain to his spell list (up to 4th level) and, once per week, he can sacrifice spell slots that add up to five spell levels to cast blade barrier. He casts protection from evil, magic circle against evil and Dispel Evil as if his caster level were equal to his paladin level.

Disadvantage: The paladin must have a Wisdom score of 15 or higher in order to understand the magic of Good with greater depth. This stronger allegiance makes the character vulnerable to certain magic. He is considered an outsider in respect to the protection from good and magic circle against good. The paladin saves against spells that target good creatures with a +2 DC.


Alleviating pain and suffering is one of the core values of the good morality, and few activities embody that ideal better than healing. Paladins, with their direct connection with the divine, can channel positive energy without resorting to magic, although, of course, they can also use the cure spells clerics have access to. Paladins dedicated to healing are a boon to their companions and indirectly a major threat to the undead, for they are even better than other paladins at channelling positive energy into healing power.

Advantage: Cure serious wounds is added to the paladin’s 3rd level spell list and cure critical wounds to his 4th level spell list. At every level when he would gain a feat, the paladin can cure +1 additional hit point with his curing abilities, including lay on hands. He also can use his remove disease ability one additional time per week.

Disadvantage: The paladin is reluctant to use deadly force, as he has dedicated his life to healing. When he is fighting non-evil living creatures, he suffers a -2 penalty to damage rolls. If he deals subdual damage, he suffers no penalty.


The combat training paladins go through allows them to last longer in battle – much longer than some of their companions. More than just taking the fighting role in a party, the paladin is the protector, the one who is always looking over his shoulder in the middle of a battle to make sure everybody else is alright, or at least holding their ground. And, if they must come between a fatal strike and a friend or an innocent, they will do so gladly.

Advantage: When casting protection from evil and magic circle against evil on targets other than himself, the bonuses to AC and saving throws is +3 instead of +2. Also, if an ally would be hit within the paladin’s run distance and he has not acted in that round, he can jump in initiative to interrupt the attacker and move between it and his ally. The paladin cannot do anything else in that round except execute a full defence action and his rescuing movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Disadvantage: The paladin who follows the cause of protection pays more attention to the safety of others than his own. When he casts protection from evil and magic circle against evil on himself, the bonuses to AC and saves is +1 instead of +2. Also, whenever he is fighting adjacent to an ally, he suffers a -2 Dodge penalty to his Armour Class and the ally gains a +1 synergy bonus to his own Armour Class, as the paladin watches over him. The character only suffers the effect of one adjacent ally.


Rather than follow an abstract cause, many paladins pledge their allegiance to a divine patron. Although most often a deity, the patron need not be so high in the celestial hierarchy. Paladins may serve a god, demigod or powerful denizen of the higher planes, or even an abstract force. High-ranking celestials, the concept of Light or the First Silver Dragon are examples of viable patrons that a paladin might serve.

A greater being offers patronage to individual paladins who shine above their brethren, whom it provides with their usual allotment of magic and divine power. Depending on the patron’s nature, the paladin so honoured might gain great advantages, but they come with equally great obligations. Weaker patrons demand less of their servants, but they also provide lesser gifts.

A paladin character may choose a patron or a cause as detailed above, but not both; he either serves his patron’s interests, his own personal focus, or goes about with neither, adapting his focus as the present situation requires, not beholden to a greater being’s inscrutable whims or the ethical demands of a focused cause.

Unlike causes, the paladin may ask or be offered patronage at any point in his career, but most potential patrons ask that the paladin possess certain powers on his own before bestowing more on him.


Gods and goddesses compose the bulk of beings that sponsor paladins beyond supplying them with their limited magic and other abilities. The deity must either be lawful or good in alignment (preferably both) in order for the connection between it and the paladin to work. Greater deities do not accept paladins of less than 14th level, while intermediate deities start at 11th and lesser deities at 8th.

Earning Patronage: To earn the patronage of a deity, a paladin must sacrifice part of his life force so that he can accept the deity’s essence and act as its agent. If the character is asking for patronage, he spends a full night in prayer and meditation, spending experience points as an offering. The deity answers and, if it deems the character worthy, he accepts the offering. If not, he gives the experience back and the paladin cannot ask for patronage until a year and a day later to any deity of equal or higher rank. The costs for each type of deity are detailed in the table at the end of this section.

Advantage: A paladin who becomes the agent of a deity is in for great power. When first gaining a deity as a patron, the paladin can choose one of the deity’s Domains (other than Law or Good). He gains the domain granted power and a Bonus Domain spell per level, up to their 4th level maximum. Depending on the deity’s rank, the paladin gains access to higher level spells from the Domain at the expense of a spell slot of the levels he can cast, and a temporary point of Wisdom damage. The paladin cannot use up Bonus Domain spells to power higher level domain spells. The levels available and their cost are detailed in the table at the end of this section.

Obligations: In exchange for the additional divine power the paladin wields, he is beholden to his patron’s needs and wants. He speaks for the deity and his actions reflect the deity. He must make a monthly offering of a value that befits the deity’s rank. The offering must be in the form of a donation to the deity’s temples, leaving it on a shrine or giving it away to charities in the deity’s name. In addition, the paladin swears an oath of fealty as described in the Tricks of the Trade chapter (severity +1 for lesser deities, +2 for intermediate and +3 for greater). The oath costs the paladin no experience, does not grant any of the advantages for the oath, but does carry the consequences for its violation.

Losing Patronage: Disobeying the deity’s orders is the most direct way to lose its patronage, but also transgressions that would cause the paladin to lose his status as one. He suffers the effects of violating the oath of fealty and loses his spellcasting and turn undead abilities, if the cause of the loss is not becoming an ex-paladin. The deity’s orders might be transmitted through another agent, but the paladin is always certain when an order is coming from the deity. To end the patronage peacefully, the deity asks for a final quest from the paladin.

Patron Deity

Deity Rank XP Cost High domain Spells Offering Value
Lesser Paladin’s level x 250XP None 100 gp
Intermediate Paladin’s level x 500 XP 5th level 200 gp
Greater Paladin’s level x750 5th and 6th 400 gp
High Domain Spells Cost to cast
(Intermediate Deity) (Greater Deity)
5th 4th level + 1 Wisdom 3rd level + 1 Wisdom
6th - 4th level + 1 Wisdom

Quasi-divine Beings

Below the deities proper, there are a score of divine beings that do not shatter mountains in a single blow, nor raise them again at a whim. Demigods and powerful celestials like high-level solar lords are less demanding patrons than their betters in the celestial hierarchy. Celestial creatures must have a Challenge Rating higher than 20 in order to be able to act as patrons. Demigods and other celestials accept paladins of any level.

Earning Patronage: Asking or receiving patronage from one of the lesser celestials is easier than gaining the attention of a deity. The sacrifice of experience points is equal to the character’s level multiplied by 100.

Advantage: If the patron is a demigod, the paladin can choose one of its Domains. He gains the free use of the domain granted power. Other celestial creatures grant the paladin with a bonus feat from among their own repertoire plus a +2 sacred bonus to a single skill of the patron’s choosing. As these beings are closer to the Material Plane than the deities, the paladin may ask for assistance. He adds summon monster I through IV to his appropriate spell level lists, but he may only prepare each once per week, and the creatures arriving are always celestial.

Obligations: Very similar to those for the deities, the paladin is obligated to follow his patron’s orders. These patrons are not as demanding, though. They ask for an oath of fealty (severity +1), but the paladin does enjoy the benefits. He must offer a monthly prayer to the patron, informing him of his progress. Performing this prayer so that it pierces the planar barriers causes 1 point of temporary Wisdom damage.

Losing Patronage: Failing to report or follow direct orders gets the patrons angry at the paladin. They end the patronage at that moment, but the paladin does not suffer any ill consequence except the loss of the abilities the patron granted. Demigods and lesser celestials are more forgiving, since they are using the paladin for minor jobs anyway, and may agree to end patronage peacefully.

Abstract Forces

An abstract force serving as a patron pushes the paladin closer to druids and rangers, who serve an abstract force themselves in the form of Nature. Abstract forces are concepts of creation such as light, darkness, justice or even death. Choosing this kind of patron is very similar to choosing a cause, except that the abstract force is somehow sentient enough to understand the paladin’s needs and the power comes from outside, not from the paladin’s own conviction.

Earning Patronage: Earning the patronage of an abstract force is more a matter of happenstance, moreso if the paladin has no idea that the abstract force exists as a sentient entity or ideal that he could plead with. It is often the being that manifests before the paladin, offering its assistance and striking a deal. The paladin sacrifices an amount of experience points equal to his level multiplied by 50 to link with the force, and the deal is set.

Advantage: An abstract force is the sentient expression of a cleric Domain. The player should choose which Domain it is that he will serve, but any Domain with evil or chaotic spells in its list are not allowed. The paladin gains the domain granted power, and the abstract force grants him the use of the Domain’s 1st level spell as a spell-like ability, usable once per week.

Obligations: The paladin must act out the Domain’s philosophy. The Games Master and the player should agree on what kind of behaviour the paladin should have, but a good way to characterise this is to use the code of honour system in the previous chapter, creating tenets that agree with the Domain’s philosophy.

Losing Patronage: Failing to follow the Domain’s philosophy for three consecutive days causes the paladin to lose his patron’s benefits, but not his favour. A simple and sincere Diplomacy check (DC 18) should patch things up, but three such transgressions end the patronage definitely. The abstract force bestows a curse on the paladin as it leaves him, usually a reverse version of the domain granted power (acting as a bestow curse spell as if cast by a 15th level cleric).

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