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Mythological Figures: Saint George (5E)

Today’s entry in Mythological Figures is the dragon-slaying martyr and patron Saint of England: Saint George!



Saint George here is like a super myth with serious fans all over the western world and even a little beyond. There’s argument over where and when he originates, and on top of that there are multiple cultures with different interpretations of him--is he a protective saint or a prophet? He’s best known for two particular things: slaying a dragon (despite several saints being attributed the story before he even shows up) and being tortured (which of course gets longer and happens more the longer time goes along).

Design Notes: Once I realized how many different things Saint George is to so many places across the world, I decided that a badass holy mounted dragonslayer should be the design goal and went after it with the cavalier fighter and then a touch of paladin (for smiting) and a big investment into cleric, choosing the protection domain because that appears to be one of his saintly things. Could he have gone 100% paladin? Yes I suppose so but then he wouldn’t be quite so good on a horse and any party worth their salt would pick out his shtick after a round or two. This way at least there are some surprises and he can get away with some downright saintly stuff (like hallow). CR Statisticians: he came in at a 9.2 on the DMG charts but a 10.8 in the Blog of Holding rubric so I settled onto 10.
For GMs that plan to use this fellow I’d drop some things from the statblock to make it handier (just jot down his Background, Turn Undead CR 1, and Divine Sense) and use him as a reluctant antagonist--someone that can definitely help the party but only for a time, ultimately abandoning or betraying them in order to achieve a greater and more important goal.


Saint George
Medium humanoid (human), lawful good fighter (cavalier) 6/cleric (protection) 8/paladin 2

Armor Class 19 (breastplate, shield, defensive fighting style)
Hit Points 144 (8d10+8d8+64)
Speed 30 ft., 60 ft. on mount (riding horse)

STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
16 (+3)​
14 (+2)​
18 (+4)​
11 (+0)​
14 (+2)​
14 (+2)​

Saving Throws Str +8, Con +9
Skills Animal Handling +7, Athletics +8, Intimidation +7, Perception +7
Tools gaming set +5, vehicles (land) +5
Senses passive Perception 17
Languages Common
Challenge 10 (5,900 XP)

Background: Military Service - Rank. Saint George commands respect from his time serving in the army. Soldiers loyal to the same forces view him as their superior, and Saint George can use his influence to temporarily requisition simple equipment or horses, possibly even gaining entrance to military fortresses and outposts.

Action Surge (1/Short Rest). On his turn, Saint George can take an additional action on top of his regular action and a possible bonus action.

Blessed Healer. When Saint George casts a spell of 1st level or higher that restores hit points to a creature other than him, he regains hit points equal to 2 + the spell’s level.

Channel Divinity (2/Short Rest). Saint George can channel his divine energy to fuel one of two magical effects.
Divine Protection. As an action, Saint George chooses an ally within 30 feet that he can see. Within the next minute, the first time the target is hit by an attack, the creature that attacked the target takes 2d10+8 radiant damage.
Turn Undead. As an action, Saint George presents his holy symbol and speaks a prayer censuring the undead. Each undead within 30 feet that can see or hear him must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw. If the creature fails its saving throw, it is turned for 1 minute or until it takes any damage. When an undead of CR 1 or lower fails its saving throw the creature is instantly destroyed. A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from Saint George as it can, and it can’t willingly move to a space within 30 feet of him. It also can’t take reactions. For its action, it can use only the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there’s nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action.​

Divine Sense (2/Long Rest). As an action, until the end of his next turn Saint George knows the location of any celestial, fiend, or undead within 60 feet of him that is not behind total cover. He knows the type (celestial, fiend, or undead) of any being whose presence he senses, but not its identity. Within the same radius, he also detects the presence of any place or object that has been consecrated or desecrated, as with the hallow spell.

Divine Smite. When Saint George hits a creature with a melee weapon attack, he can expend one spell slot to deal radiant damage to the target, in addition to the weapon’s damage. The extra damage is 2d8 for a 1st-level spell slot, plus 1d8 for each spell level higher than 1st, to a maximum of 3d8. The damage increases by 1d8 if the target is an undead or a fiend.

Feat: Charge. After Saint George uses his action to Dash, so long as he moves 10 feet or more in a straight line he can use a bonus action to immediately either shove a creature or make a single melee weapon attack. On a hit he either pushes the target up to 10 feet away from him or deals +5 extra damage.

Lay on Hands (10 points/Long Rest). As an action, Saint George can touch a creature and restore a number of hit points to it, up to the maximum amount remaining in this pool. Alternatively, he can expend 5 hit points to cure the target of one disease or neutralize one poison affecting it.

Mark of Challenge (1/Long Rest). Saint George may choose to mark a creature when he hits it with a melee weapon attack. This mark lasts until the end of Saint George’s next turn, he dies, becomes incapacitated, or another creature marks the target. A marked creature has disadvantage on attack rolls targeting creatures other than Saint George while it is within 5 feet of him. In addition, Saint George can use a bonus action on his turn to make a melee weapon attack with advantage when a marked creature deals damage to someone other than him. On a hit, he deals 2 extra damage to the marked creature. Once Saint George has made this special mark and used it to hit creatures a total of three times, he cannot do so again until he finished a long rest.

Saddleborn. Saint George mounts or dismounts a creature with only 5 feet of his movement (not half his speed), has advantage when making a saving throw to avoid falling from his mount, and lands on his feet when he falls off his mount and falls less than 10 feet as long as he’s not incapacitated.

Second Wind (1/Short Rest). On his turn, Saint George can use a bonus action to regain 1d10+6 hit points.

Spellcasting. Saint George is a 9th level spellcaster that uses Wisdom or Charisma as his spellcasting ability (spell save DC 15; +7 to hit with spell attacks). Saint George has the following spells prepared from the cleric and paladin spell lists:
Cantrips: guidance, light, sacred flame, spare the dying
1st-level (4 slots): cure wounds, divine favor, guiding bolt, shield of faith; <omitted>, protection from evil and good
2nd-level (3 slots): augury, enhance ability, spiritual weapon; aid, protection from poison
3rd-level (3 slots): daylight, dispel magic, revivify; protection from energy, slow
4th-level (3 slots): death ward, divination; guardian of faith, resilient sphere
5th-level (1 slots): hallow


ACTIONS
Extra Attack. Saint George attacks twice.

Lance. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d12+3) piercing damage plus 4 (1d8) radiant damage. This attack roll has disadvantage if the target is within 5 feet.

Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d8+3) slashing damage plus 4 (1d8) radiant damage or when wielded with two hands 8 (1d10+3) slashing damage plus 4 (1d8) radiant damage.


REACTIONS
Devoted Shield. Saint George can use his reaction to disrupt the attack of a creature he can see when it attacks a target other than him that is within 5 feet of Saint George. The attacker has disadvantage on the attack roll.
 
Mike Myler

Comments

LuisCarlos17f

Registered User
Almost off topic.

Sometimes I think about campaigns with conflicts and hate-love relations between different classes os divine spellcasters, recycling someones from 3.5.

Archivists would be with only light armor, and sacred bows forbidding edged weapons, and only shield when no weapon is used. It wouldn't be really a nerfer-buffer, but more a spell-breaker, or a enemy-buff breaker, and student of the reversing engineering of the arcane arts.

The ardent would be like a psionic version of the cleric, a psionic "freelance" of the cleric, somebody with a strong faith, but too independent to be in the clergy. Sometimes are allies with clerics, but these don't like very much because somebody says ardents are the sign clerics aren't doing a good work.

Favored Soul aren't only a sorcerer with armor and divine magic. Their class features and subclasses are like a softer version of monster templates. Some subclass would allow incarnum soulmelds to get temporary some monster traits (natural armour or weapons, breath attack, etc..).



* About miracles by saints isn't like D&D divine magic. This isn't like master Joda teaching Skywalker. A saint to pray in the right way needs focus, serenity, humility, sincerity, and trust/faith. To asks help by God then you have to be ready to offer the same you request: love and obedience.

If you want to add Catholic saints as nPCs in a fantasy Europe, forget paranormal version of simony. Saints can't be spellcasters...(but if in your fantasy world, no-sentient creatures can be spellcasters like the pokemons. Then this means they aren't really supernatural powers, but nature laws are different). The God from the Bible can give "charismas", special gifts to help the community. Other option could be Christian clerics can spent spell slots to counterspell (the school of magic doesn't matter at all).
 
Last edited by a moderator:
use him as a reluctant antagonist--someone that can definitely help the party but only for a time, ultimately abandoning or betraying them in order to achieve a greater and more important goal.
I don't think St George would ever betray the PCs. He's honourable.

Nor even abandon them. He's not a coward.

He might leave them.
 
I feel a little tentative about suggesting it, but maybe replace the cleric levels with hunter ranger levels to emphasize the dragon-slaying.

It seems like a good story for this NPC would be that the PC's discover a dragon hunter has been tricked into thinking a good dragon the PC's are familiar with has "good bad."
 

dave2008

Adventurer
I general I like the build and the direction. However, I find your suggestion of having him abandon or betray the party as very odd and not very saintly. His there something in his backstory you found that would suggest this?
 

Mike Myler

Explorer
I feel a little tentative about suggesting it, but maybe replace the cleric levels with hunter ranger levels to emphasize the dragon-slaying.

It seems like a good story for this NPC would be that the PC's discover a dragon hunter has been tricked into thinking a good dragon the PC's are familiar with has "good bad."
If you do that remember to lower his CR by ~2 (because cleric --> higher level spell slots for smiting).

I general I like the build and the direction. However, I find your suggestion of having him abandon or betray the party as very odd and not very saintly. His there something in his backstory you found that would suggest this?
That's about not outshining the players or soaking up the spotlight, and if it did come up during my research I'm not positive as to where (this build got stuck in the backlog and was made I think at the start of this year).
To clarify because this is the second time it's come up, there is a second part to that sentence about how to use him (extra formatting for emphasis).
OP said:
...and use him as a reluctant antagonist--someone that can definitely help the party but only for a time, ultimately abandoning or betraying them in order to achieve a greater and more important goal.
 

dave2008

Adventurer
That's about not outshining the players or soaking up the spotlight, and if it did come up during my research I'm not positive as to where (this build got stuck in the backlog and was made I think at the start of this year).
To clarify because this is the second time it's come up, there is a second part to that sentence about how to use him (extra formatting for emphasis).
I get that, I just think the words "abandon" and "betray" are not how I would construct the situation. He can could leave without abandonment or betray all IMO. So, I just wonder if it was in the lore some where. No big issue, just curious. Thank you for the response.
 

Mike Myler

Explorer
I get that, I just think the words "abandon" and "betray" are not how I would construct the situation. He can could leave without abandonment or betray all IMO. So, I just wonder if it was in the lore some where. No big issue, just curious. Thank you for the response.
It very well might! I spent a few hours reading up on his exploits (which are recorded, apparently, everywhere throughout and around Europe and bordering regions by numerous sources). I think maybe I was considering this in the face of the crusades (killing dragon and getting Christian converts taking precedence over the holy war he's on his way to, which started like 700 years after the first telling of this myth, but the soldiers in the First Crusade think he fought along with them? Augh this guy's lore drives me bonkers) but honestly I'm really not sure. I am sure that its purpose in the article is about not letting the dragon-slaying guy take the limelight off players in a Dungeons & Dragons game though, which is why it's in the design notes bit. :p
 

ParanoydStyle

Peace Among Worlds
* About miracles by saints isn't like D&D divine magic. This isn't like master Joda teaching Skywalker. A saint to pray in the right way needs focus, serenity, humility, sincerity, and trust/faith. To asks help by God then you have to be ready to offer the same you request: love and obedience.
Um, actually that sounds quite a lot like how I handle divine magic in D&D. Generally speaking, Clerics and characters proficient in Arcana and/or Religion describe clerical spells as miracles, and never use the word "spells" to describe them. In 3.5 I had Elistan (D&D Joseph Smith) of Dragonlance fame experience a crisis of faith because he did not have a 5th level spell slot prepared to cast raise dead on an important character. He felt like Paladine had abandoned him: to me, this was a logical consequence of the character not knowing that he's a character in a game, let alone its rules.

But...I...digress...

St. Peter not having Dragon as a favored enemy just seems WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. St. Peter and the nameless Dragon (generally considered to be Satan) are both very interesting mythic figures for what they represent, and only become more interesting in a D&D context as Saints exist outside of monotheism and Dragons are more complicated and more nuanced than mere vessels of Satan.

I've never noticed how much of the St. George art depicts him as mounted on a destrier, so good call statting him as a cavalier, which I wouldn't have thought to do. Why no full plate for a champion of The Lord? Sure looks like Full Plate in those great medieval illustrations. The gaming set proficiency doesn't seem to fit but I know it's just one of the proficiencies that comes with that background. His lack of proficiency in Religion is just baffling, though. I'm also not sure I see what he's getting from having two levels of Paladin that two more levels of Cleric wouldn't be better than in any way (or alternatively I might just have statted him as a 15th or 16th level Paladin w/ however many Ranger levels I need to throw in to get Favored Enemy: Dragon). Final kibbutz/nitpick: I feel like Charisma 18 is pretty much a prerequisite for being CANONIZED.

Anyway, all in all, this is pretty much what a badass champion of the 'One True God of Christendom' should look like so GJ. I always find it interesting statting a divine D&D character whose deity is just our real world God/YHWH/Jesus Christ.

Final thoughts: this guy is a bad mother. You have him at CR10 but I can see him wiping out a 10th level party of four or five particularly if they have the misfortune of being primarily nongood. Is there any formula prescribed by 5E for getting from 16 character levels to CR10 or is that just a play-it-by-ear thing?
 

Mike Myler

Explorer
Um, actually that sounds quite a lot like how I handle divine magic in D&D. Generally speaking, Clerics and characters proficient in Arcana and/or Religion describe clerical spells as miracles, and never use the word "spells" to describe them. In 3.5 I had Elistan (D&D Joseph Smith) of Dragonlance fame experience a crisis of faith because he did not have a 5th level spell slot prepared to cast raise dead on an important character. He felt like Paladine had abandoned him: to me, this was a logical consequence of the character not knowing that he's a character in a game, let alone its rules.

But...I...digress...

St. Peter not having Dragon as a favored enemy just seems WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. St. Peter and the nameless Dragon (generally considered to be Satan) are both very interesting mythic figures for what they represent, and only become more interesting in a D&D context as Saints exist outside of monotheism and Dragons are more complicated and more nuanced than mere vessels of Satan.

I've never noticed how much of the St. George art depicts him as mounted on a destrier, so good call statting him as a cavalier, which I wouldn't have thought to do. Why no full plate for a champion of The Lord? Sure looks like Full Plate in those great medieval illustrations. The gaming set proficiency doesn't seem to fit but I know it's just one of the proficiencies that comes with that background. His lack of proficiency in Religion is just baffling, though. I'm also not sure I see what he's getting from having two levels of Paladin that two more levels of Cleric wouldn't be better than in any way (or alternatively I might just have statted him as a 15th or 16th level Paladin w/ however many Ranger levels I need to throw in to get Favored Enemy: Dragon). Final kibbutz/nitpick: I feel like Charisma 18 is pretty much a prerequisite for being CANONIZED.

Anyway, all in all, this is pretty much what a badass champion of the 'One True God of Christendom' should look like so GJ. I always find it interesting statting a divine D&D character whose deity is just our real world God/YHWH/Jesus Christ.

Final thoughts: this guy is a bad mother. You have him at CR10 but I can see him wiping out a 10th level party of four or five particularly if they have the misfortune of being primarily nongood. Is there any formula prescribed by 5E for getting from 16 character levels to CR10 or is that just a play-it-by-ear thing?
Clerics don't get Divine Smite which is where his damage output comes from (swapping out those spell slots from cleric, thus my comment above about lowering CR if removing cleric levels). I did consider proficiency in Religion instead of Perception but figured hey--this guy has 10 levels in holy-warrior classes and can cast hallow, that's pretty saintly.
As for calculating CR for NPCs built with class levels: you do it the same way you would a monster but just completely ignore the first column (proficiency bonus). Most of these get balanced off of two rubrics as well (the spotty one in the Dungeon Master's Guide and the chart put together by Blog of Holding's breakdown of the Monster Manual's actual numbers; in this case DMG 9.2, BoH 10.8, averages to 10).
 

ParanoydStyle

Peace Among Worlds
Inspired by St. George, here's my hot take on St. Michael.

"Six Pentacle dice
If you roll the seven
St. Michael dies
There'll be no ransom
Don't shut my mouth
I scald the answer
You're afraid of."
- The Mars Volta, "Tetragrammaton"

St. Michael--actually the Archangel Michael
, the first of Seven Archangels named in the Bible--is the beloved of God and might logically be one of the first sentient beings that YHWH created, pre-humanity. His name means "he who is close/closest to God" so all you IRL Mikes out there who didn't know your name had a badass translation, now you know. Michael is clearly the strong right arm of God and various sources credit him with being the one that actually punted Satan's ass down to Earth. He is universally characterized as a warrior angel, and generally considered to be the baddest mofo in all of Heaven, no mean feat since the competition includes the Archangel Gabriel whose job is to BLOW THE TRUMPET THAT ENDS THE WORLD. As God's champion and general, Michael, in TV Tropes terms is clearly "The Dragon" in whatever 'Band' God is leading.

The grand finale of the first three years of the Systems Malfunction LARP--after the physical universe had been destroyed and while the PCs were in the afterlife deciding the metaphysical fate of the galaxy--culminated in a ridiculously epic battle between the forces of good and evil. Until that point the Archangel Michael was the most powerful thing anyone in the game had ever encountered. His flaming sword did something along the lines of '100 Fire Light Smash Piercing' in a game where the maximum Health for a human was in the neighborhood of 60, so, in other words, enough damage to kill the average character two or even three times over if it actually connected. After several minutes of them battling in the heavens, the Lucifuge (the big big big big big big big big BIG Bad) hurled Michael's bleeding, battered, and broken body down upon the PCs, laughing. This was probably the biggest morale hit I have ever seen a group of players take in one moment. As twilight began to settle to dusk, I could see the hope flee from each of their faces. It was glorious.

(Sidenote: I know a little bit about the Jewish faith. I am writing YHWH rather than spelling out the proper name of the Old Testament God because I think I recall that the latter is considered a minor blasphemy.)

View attachment 106143

The Archangel Michael
LG Unique Solar Paladin 10
Large Celestial, Lawful Good

AC 21 (natural armor)
Hit Points: 364(28d10 + 224)
Speed 50', Fly 150'
STR 31, DEX 22, CON 26, INT 20, WIS 25, CHA 30

Saving Throws
Strength +17 (+27), Constitution +15 (+25), Wisdom +14 (+24), Charisma +17 (+27)
Skills Intimidation +17, Perception +12, Religion +12
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities radiant, fire
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, poisoned
Senses truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 22
Challenge 25

Abilities


Angelic Weapons. Any weapon wielded by St. Michael becomes magical and good-aligned and deals an extra 6d8 radiant damage.
Divine Awareness. St. Michael knows if he hears a lie.
Innate Spellcasting. St. Michael's spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 25).

At will: detect evil and good, blade barrier, dispel evil, commune
3/day: resurrection

Magic Resistance:
St. Michael has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Paladin Class Features

Divine Sense.
Lay On Hands. (50 hp)
Fighting Style: Dueling: +2 damage when wielding a melee weapon in one hand and nothing in the other.
Divine Smite. When St. Michael hits a creature with a melee weapon attack, he can expend one spell slot to deal radiant damage to the target, in addition to the weapon's damage and in addition to the extra 6d8 radiant damage inflicted by any weapon St. Michael wields. The extra damage is 2d8 for a 1st-level spell slot, plus 1d8 for each spell level higher than 1st, to a maximum of 5d8. The damage increases by an additional 1d8 if the target is an undead or fiend.
Divine Health. Immune to disease. Probably already had that from being an angel, but whatever, included for completeness' sake.
Oath of Devotion.
Channel Divinity: Turn The Unholy.
Extra Attack. When St. Michael takes the attack action on his turn, he can attack twice, instead of once. All things considered, I have decided that contrary to what I understand to be 5E convention, it is most appropriate if this extra attack 'stacks' with the solar's innate multiattack.
Aura of Devotion. Friendly creatures within 10 feet of St. Michael cannot be charmed while he is conscious (Michael is already immune to being charmed.)
Aura of Protection. Whenever St. Michael or a friendly creature within ten feet of him must make a saving throw, the creature gains a bonus to the saving throw equal to St. Michael's Charisma modifier (+10).
Aura of Courage. St. Michael and friendly creatures within 10 feet of him can't be frightened as long as St. Michael is conscious.

Paladin Spellcasting.
1st-- 3 Slots/Day. Spells Prepared: Command, Compelled Duel, Heroism, Searing Smite, Shield of Faith, Thunderous Smite, Wrathful Smite
2nd--3 Slots/Day. Spells Prepared: Branding Smite, Lesser Restoration, Locate Object
3rd--2 Slots/Day. Spells Prepared: Aura of Vitality, Blinding Smite, Crusader's Mantle, Remove Curse, Revivify

ACTIONS

Multiattack. St. Michael attacks three times with his flaming sword.
Flaming Sword. Melee Weapon Attack: +17 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (1d8 + 12) slashing damage plus 27 (6d8) radiant damage plus 24 (4d12) fire damage.
Healing Touch (4/day). St. Michael touches another creature and the target magically regains 40 hit points and is freed from any curse, disease, poison, blindness, or deafness.

LEGENDARY ACTIONS

Teleport.
Michael magically teleports along with any equipment he is wearing or carrying to anywhere he damn well pleases.
The Holy Flames (Costs 3 Actions). St. Michael emits a burst of divine fire, centered on him. Each nongood creature within a 20 foot radius must make a DC 23 Dexterity saving throw, taking 27 (6d8) radiant damage and 24 (4d12) fire damage and becoming blinded on a failed save, or half as much damage (and no blindness) on a successful one.
 

ParanoydStyle

Peace Among Worlds
Jesus those saves man...those saves. But I calculated right. that's what happens when you have godly stats to begin with, including extra godly charisma, then get Aura of Protection to let you add your godly charisma once over to all your saves. hot DAMN.
 

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