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Saturday, 4th December, 2004, 07:15 PM #1
Gallant (Lvl 3)
Alternate Paladin - Fiends beware!
I am re-doing the Paladin core class, and making him less of a divine spellcaster/undead hunter and more of a demon hunter. I think the Core Rules Paladin is a bit boring after level 5, and decided to change him quite drastically.
This guy basically doesn't like fiends, that's demons and devils for those who don't know what I am talking about.
As I don't know how to use tables in this script, I have posted a screenshot of my class table.
As you can see, he has no spells, but instead of that flexibility he has been given a lot of new abilities.
Also, he can Turn Fiends in the same way a cleric Turns Undead, but he can't turn undead at all. Fiends turned in this way cower like undead, and if usually destroyed, they are sent packing to their home plane.
Anyway, here is the rundown of the abilities:
Remove Disease, Remove Curse, Restoration and Break Enchantment: The Paladin can use one of these abilties once a week. This is to give him added flexibility. He can only use this power once per week. At level 5, he may only try to Remove Disease, but as he increases in power, so too does the effects he may use.
True Death: Fiends slayed by the Paladins hand are permanently destroyed and not just "returned" to their home plane. This is mostly a fluff effect ;-)
Good Weapon: A weapon wielded by the Paladin is considered Good for purposes of overcoming damage reduction. This is the only effect of this ability.
Gift of Grace: Allies within 10' of the Paladin share his Divine Grace saving throw bonuses.
Protection From Fiends: This ability grants the Paladin a constant Protection From Evil effect, but it only works against fiends.
Final Stand: Once a week, the Paladin can force himself to inhuman endurance, and gains 2d10 temporary hitpoints for an amount of rounds equal to his level.
Positive Energy Burst: Once per week, the Paladin can use a standard action to create a burst of positive energy, dealing 1d6 points of damage per level to evil creatures in a 20' radius. Reflex save DC 10+ ½ level + cha modifier halves the damage.
Dismissal, Banishment: As the spell, once a week. From level 12 to 17, it is Dismissal, but once the Paladin reaches level 18, this spell becomes Banishment instead.
Upgraded Final Stand: Allies within 10' also gain the benefits of the Final Stand.
What do you think? Personally, I think it is a little bit on the underpowered side, since many of the effects are 1/week, and giving up the flexibility and power of spells is quite severe (3/3/3/3 in level 20). I was thinking about making a few of the abilities cost turning attempts instead (thus making them more easily and often used) or perhaps giving the Paladin a few bonus feats (Deadly Charge or similar..)
I also thought about a Combat style for levels 6,12,18 life "Mounted Combat Style" or "Melee Combat Style". Any ideas are very welcome!
But please, post your honest opinions about this guy, and please tell me if you think he is over- or underpowered.My website: www.sorenkristensen.com
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Saturday, 4th December, 2004, 11:55 PM #2
Defender (Lvl 8)
A few random comments.
A Paladin that cannot Turn undead is technically ineligible for Divine feats. That is a significant disadvantage. Paladins were born to use Divine Might.
Gift of Grave is very powerful in an odd way. Suddenly someone near the Paladin has the best saves in the party. When bunched up, the Paladin will likely have the worst saves in the party. I would suggest something simple like a continuous Magic Circle vs. Evil, but that is much weaker. You would also need to make Prot vs. Deomns/Devils double strength or they would be worthless.
I do not like per week powers. Pacing varies from campaign to campaign, and a 1/week power may be great in one campaign and useless in another. Class abilities should be per day or not at all IMHO.
Positive Energy Burst is weird mechanically, because positive energy does not normally harm non-undead. Perhaps a Sacred (metamagicked) Searing Light instead?
Final Stand is a weak ability at the level it is granted. I kind of like Upgraded Final Stand.
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Sunday, 5th December, 2004, 12:21 AM #3
Gallant (Lvl 3)
So would you say over- or underpowered all in all?
How does this table look in comparison.
I included Divine Might and Circle of Pro. vs. Demons, put Final Stand a level up, and removed Gift of Grace.
I also made it 1/day for the abilities, although I really think that skews the power considerably, even though it is much easier to play with.
The mechanics about turning undead / divine might etc. are not so important, the GM and I can easily sort out that stuff.. What we are worried about is the balance of the character in-game.
Last edited by ParagonofVirtue; Sunday, 5th December, 2004 at 12:38 AM.
My website: www.sorenkristensen.com
Sunday, 5th December, 2004, 03:59 AM #4
Gallant (Lvl 3)
The true death ability; does the paladin have to give the killing blow?
The Remove Disease, Remove Curse, Restoration and Break Enchantment chain; he can do one of these things 1/day? Does he have to specify which he is using? For example, suppose a magical curse requires a remove curse then a remove disease; if he tries to heal it, would the remove curse happen automatically (so that it could be dealt with completely the next day)? And what is the caster level (if a caster level check is needed)?
When you turn fiends, is there anything corresponding to turn resistance? (I would suggest their charisma bonus adds to their effective hit dice).
Sunday, 5th December, 2004, 09:10 AM #5
Gallant (Lvl 3)
True Death: No, but he must have participated in the given combat.Originally Posted by Cheiromancer
Remove etc.: Caster level is the Paladins level, and yes he has to specify the use.
Turning: Yes, there will be added resistance in the form of Cha or similar (GM's call)
Thanks for the feedback.. Over- or underpowered?
My website: www.sorenkristensen.com
Sunday, 5th December, 2004, 05:27 PM #6
under powered, I think. It just doesn't speak to me, it lacks that spark that makes me want to play it.
Monday, 6th December, 2004, 03:24 AM #7
Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)
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This looks like it would do better as a PrC than as a core class, in my view. The core paladin's abilities and the flexibility of his spells make him useful enough in many campaigns. Putting too much of an emphasis on anti-fiend abilities means that he will be less effective in campaigns where they are not the main antagonists.
Monday, 6th December, 2004, 05:43 PM #8
Gallant (Lvl 3)
Okay, here's the final class build, we are currently playtesting it.. If anyone wants a more detailed (and nicer looking) Word-document with it, please email me at sbk AT image DOT dk
Alignment: Lawful good.
Hit Die: d10.
The paladin's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Int), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), and Sense Motive (Wis).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Table: The Paladin
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
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 Demons
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Smite evil 2/day, special mount, Remove Disease 1/day
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 True Death, Good Weapon, Combat Style 1
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Divine Might bonus feat
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Protection from Fiends
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Remove curse
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Smite evil 3/day, Divine Vigor bonus feat
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Positive Energy Burst 1/week
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 Dismissal 1/day, Combat Style 2
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 Restoration
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Circle of Protection From Fiends
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Smite evil 4/day
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 Final Stand 1/day
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Break Enchantment
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 Banishment 1/day, Combat Style 3
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Extra Turning bonus feat.
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Smite evil 5/day
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 Fiends (Su): When a paladin reaches 4th level, she gains the supernatural ability to turn fiends. She may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier. She turns fiends as a cleric who turns undead of three levels lower would.
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).
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, Remove Curse, Restoration and Break Enchantment (Sp): At 5th level, a paladin can produce a remove disease effect, as the spell, once per day. This ability can be used for other spells as the Paladin progresses in level, but he may only ever use one of the spells in a given day.
True Death (Su): Fiends slain by the Paladin cannot be resurrected. They don't return to their native plane, and are forever destroyed.
Good Weapon (Su): A weapon wielded by the Paladin is considered Good for purposes of overcoming damage reduction. This is the only effect of this ability.
Combat Style: When a Paladin reaches level 6, he can choose between two combat styles. Mounted or Melee.
If a Paladin chooses the Mounted Combat Style, he gains the following abilities: Spirited Charge bonus feat at level 6, Deadly Charge ability at level 12, Unstoppable Charge ability at level 18.
If a Paladin chooses the Melee Combat Style, he gains the following abilities: Cleave bonus feat at level 6, Improved Critical bonus feat at level 12, and a feat involving melee combat at level 18, as chosen by the Paladin.
The Paladin gains these abilities as bonus feats. The Paladin gains this even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.
Divine Might and Divine Vigor: The Paladin gains these abilities as bonus feats. The Paladin gains this even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.
Protection From Fiends: The Paladin is surrounded by a permanent Protected From Evil effect that only works against Fiends. Furthermore, it only prevents mind-influence from fiends, and doesn't grant any other or that spells effects.
Positive Energy Burst (Sp): Once per week, the Paladin can use a full-round action to create a burst of positive energy, dealing 1d6 points of damage per level to evil creatures in a 20' radius. Reflex save DC 10+ ½ level + cha modifier halves the damage.
Dismissal and Banishment (Sp): As the spell per the Player's Handbook. When the Paladin reaches level 18, he can no longer cast Dismissal, but instead gets Banishment. Caster level is his Paladin level. Cha modifier used for saves.
Circle of Protection From Fiends: Allies within 10' of the Paladin can't be affected by mind-influence from Fiends. Can be used once per day.
Final Stand (Su): Once per week, as a free action, the Paladin can bring forth the willpower in himself and his allies to perform a Final Stand. The Paladin forces himself and others to inhuman endurance, and gains 3d10 temporary hit points for an amount of rounds equal to his level.
Extra Turning: As the feat.
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 wilfully 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. Str Adj. Int Special
5th-7th +2 +4 +1 6 Empathic link, improved evasion, share spells, share saving throws
8th-10th +4 +6 +2 7 Improved speed
11th-14th +6 +8 +3 8 Command creatures of its kind
15th-20th +8 +10 +4 9 Spell resistance
Paladin's Mount Basics: 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.
Str Adj.: Add this figure to the mount's Strength score.
Int: 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 Cha 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.
Thanks for all the feedback!!
Last edited by ParagonofVirtue; Tuesday, 7th December, 2004 at 09:38 AM.
My website: www.sorenkristensen.com
Monday, 6th December, 2004, 06:57 PM #9
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
It does have that 'spark' for me; I'd love to play it in a fiendish campaign.It just doesn't speak to me, it lacks that spark that makes me want to play it.
As people noted above, a few things...
Specify that 'Turn Fiend' counts as 'Turn Undead' for feats which require 'Turn Undead', or to power abilities which require consumption of a 'Turn Undead'.
'True Death' is hardly 'fluff' - it certainly is for 'sword fodder' level fiends, but if the DM wants to start pitting a high-level party against unique/named fiends, it becomes very powerful. I'd actually modify it to require that the paladin strike the killing blow: see piratecat's story hour for a great scene involving a similar ability, which does require Malachite to land the telling blow; it might also add some tactical consideration to low-level fights if the party is trying to incapacitate so that the paladin can slay rather than just unleashing every power they have at the fiends.
Does Dismissal and Banishment apply? I thought he couldn't cast spells.
Mount - the paladin's mount will probably be very underpowered for this particular class; I wouldn't expect a horse to last long against devils and demons. If I were designing the class, I might have gone down the path of applying the 'celestial' template to the mount at some level, and otherwise beefing up the mount. As is, I might drop the mount entirely.
I liked some of your earlier versions for 'balance' better than this last version; it feels a little too much like 'some neat power every level' than a well-balanced class (but this is a complaint I have about a number of published classes and PrC's, so it may well balance against them!). At 19th level, for example, this paladin has seven bonus feats (to a fighter's nine) and many other powers in addition, such as the mount, lay-on-hands, smite, positive energy burst, etc.
I'd recommend running it trhough Dr_Spunge's Class Balance Spreadhseet to level it against the 'core' classes; if nothing else the spreadhseet is a good tool for both you and the GM to consider in constructing a new class like this.
Regarding PrC vs core, there doesn't seem to be much teeth to that debate; if it makes sense for your campaign world and your GM agrees, its fine to run it as 'core' for that world, I'd say.
Even if balanced, though, it will present a bit of a challenge for the GM, though, and that is this: any time he throws a fiend against the party, this character will shine and stand heroically in the spotlight; any time he does not, this character risks (or should risk) being underpowered relative to a straight fighter of the same level.
Tuesday, 7th December, 2004, 09:23 AM #10
Gallant (Lvl 3)
Thanks for your comments, and thanks for that great link!Originally Posted by Amaroq
Regarding the above, we have playtested it with a core paladin, and made some combats with fiends, and the core paladin actually does better every single time, mainly because of the spells (Divine Favour, Bull's Strength, Prayer and last but not least Holy Sword).
Also, the fighter has 10 bonus feats in level 20, and we have removed Divine Shield after playtesting some combats, so this guy "only" has 6. Extra Turning is also sorta' on the way out.
I agree on the True Death being very important in high-diplomacy games, and in this, only the ones involving fiends. However, it is very rare, and very specific, so that won't be a problem, at least for us. If in fact we ever do it, and we finally get to battle some big bad fiend, and we kill him, I know that we would be very upset if the GM pulled a "He's baaaack!" on us with him. That's why I say it's fluff, because in our games, once you kill em', they stay dead anyway, especially if you have spent many sessions chasing someone or something, it's just demotivating if the GM keeps bringing back the antagonist.
If for storyline reasons this would be a problem, because every once in a while the GM might want to use the old "He's baaack" approuch, remember that the fiends know about the paladins abilities, and can use a Death Ward to protect itself from Death effects or something similar. I don't see it as a big problem, but I do see the ability as great fluff.
Last edited by ParagonofVirtue; Tuesday, 7th December, 2004 at 09:36 AM.
My website: www.sorenkristensen.com