Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:38 pm
|Name of the Class:
Paladin Class Description:
Also known as Templars, Avengers, or Crusaders, Paladins devote their lives and their blades to the service of their god. Their combat ability approaches that of Warriors, though it is focused firmly on the enemies of their faith. They have the same potential as Clerics for channeling divine power, but lack the practice in applying that potential. Their magical abilities are thus crude, and limited.Class Features:Hit Points:
1d10 [Paladins are more battle-hardened than Clerics, but don't quite have the durability of Warriors.]Choosing a God:
Similar to Clerics [must match his alignment]Weapon Training:
As Warrior [Possibly some limitations, based on alignment, limited ranged weapons, etc.]Alignment:
A Lawful Paladin is expected to protect the weak and innocent, and to place the needs of others above his own. He strives to uphold the rule of law, and serve the greater good. Smite Evil:
A Neutral Paladin cherishes life in all forms, but will shed blood to maintain the balance of nature, or between opposing forces. He is equally opposed to the abuses of a tyrannical empire, and the unrestrained cruelty of a barbarian horde.
A Chaotic Paladin is expected to spread terror and seize power for his cause (or for its own sake). He is slow to trust others (but quick to betray them), and despises weakness.
A Smite is a dramatic combat maneuver, similar to a Warrior's Mighty Deed of Arms (it can be used to Blind, Disarm, etc.). Smite Evil is not considered a 'spellcasting' ability, and doesn't require a spell check. Rather, prior to any attack roll, a Paladin can declare the attack a Smite. Channel Divine Power:
A Paladin's 'Smite die' modifies their attack and damage rolls, similar to a Warrior's 'Deed die' (for all attacks, not just Smites). The Paladin's 'Smite die' also determines a Smite's success. If the Smite die is 3 or higher, and the attack lands, the Smite succeeds. If the Smite die is a 2 or less, or the overall attack fails, the Smite fails as well. [Smite die progression should be worse than Warriors & Dwarves... for instance, capped at d10 at level 10. It could be tweaked if necessary, but should be high enough to allow the Paladin to reasonably improve his spell check in a fight.]
A Paladin's battle-fervor is at its peak when facing the enemies of his faith. Thus, a Smite can only be successful if targeted at 'Evil'... defined as creatures of opposed alignment, those unholy to the Paladin's god, and those with clear harmful intent. A Smite used against a target not meeting those requirements (at the GM's discretion) is treated as a normal attack. That is, the 'Smite die' still applies to the attack & damage roll, but there is no extra effect from the attack.
In addition to any other affects of the Smite (Blind, Disarm, etc.), a successful Smite increases the Paladin's chances for a successful spell check (by one die up the dice chain), making it easier to channel divine energies. A Paladin is expected to fight on the front lines as a Warrior, and afterward (having gained favor through battle) to tend to the wounded as a Cleric.
A Paladin has limited ability to call upon the favor of his god. It is similar to a Cleric's ability, but is more narrowly focused. A Paladin can channel divine energy into the following effects (similar to the Cleric abilities/spells): Lay on Hands (gained at level 1), Turn Unholy (level 3), Detect Evil (level 5), Protection from Evil (level 7), and Blessing (level 9). [The rationale for the order of abilities is complexity. Using raw energy to heal or turn sounds pretty basic, whereas it would take more fine control to detect or ward against evil. The order also helps avoid stepping on the Cleric's toes too much regarding buffs.]
To channel divine power, a Paladin makes a Spell Check. This is done by rolling 1d8 + Personality Modifier + Caster Level. If the Paladin succeeds, his god attends to his request. [By default, a first-level Paladin with no Personality bonus will fail all spell checks (and even one with a bonus of +3 will find it difficult... needing the maximum roll to succeed). This is intentional. A Paladin must use his Smite Evil ability to increase his chances of a successful spell check. Also, the d8 is a likely place to tweak if the class ends up over/underpowered]
The following rules apply to a Paladin's use of divine power:
Each successful use of Smite Evil moves the Paladin one die up the dice chain - (up to a maximum of 1d20). A Paladin gains favor with his god by bringing justice to the wicked. This resets back to 1d8 when the Paladin rests at the end of the day.
Each failed spell check moves the Paladin one die down the dice chain - Going below 1d3 on the dice chain means a temporary loss of spellcasting ability... until the Paladin rests (and prays) at the end of the day. Overuse of divine power risks disapproval from the Paladin's god.
A natural 1 means disapproval - On a natural 1 during a spell check, a Paladin discovers that he has somehow gained the disapproval of his deity. The spell check automatically fails, bringing the Paladin down one die on the dice chain. The Paladin's maximum die on the dice chain also goes down by one... until the Paladin rests (and prays) at the end of the day. [For example, after rolling his first natural 1 for the day, any subsequent uses of Smite Evil cannot bring him over a maximum of 1d16 on his spell check. The next 1 will lower the ceiling to 1d14.]
Penalties can be offset by sacrifices: Each 50 gp of sacrificed goods brings the Paladin up one step on the dice chain (up to the base... sacrifices cannot bring the paladin above 1d8 on the dice chain). Sacrifices can also restore the Paladin's maximum die on the dice chain to normal. [My thought is that a Paladin shouldn't just be able to 'buy' a cleric-level spell check, but he should be able to make sacrifices to try and appease his god.]
Sinful use of divine power: As with Clerics, Paladins incur penalties to their spell check when channeling divine power for anything not appropriate to their god's core beliefs (ie: blessing or healing someone of an opposed alignment, calling on their god's aid in a frivolous manner, etc.). The penalty can range from one die on the dice chain, all the way to an immediate loss of spellcasting ability until the Paladin's deity is appeased (in extreme cases).
Caster Level: Caster level is a measurement of a Paladin's power in channeling his god's energy. A Paladin's caster level is equal to his level as a Paladin. [Again, the thought is someone with similar raw power to a Cleric, who is just really bad at focusing that power because he's mostly worried about fighting.]
Lay on Hands: As a Cleric, but with additional restrictions based on alignment: [Something else to keep the class from stepping on the Cleric's toes, and I like the concept.]
Lawful: If the Paladin heals himself while a nearby (in sight) ally, innocent, or person-of-same-alignment is more badly wounded (ie: closer to 0 hit points), the result is treated as healing someone of Adjacent alignment (and may risk disfavor). If the Paladin heals himself while a nearby ally, innocent, or person of same alignment lies dying, the result is treated as healing someone of Opposed alignment (and is likely to risk disfavor).
Neutral: [I haven't thought of a comparable restriction for Neutral Paladins yet. A Neutral Paladin doesn't have a specific Opposed alignment, so maybe something based on 'balance'... ie: they're penalized if they heal someone other than the most in need?]
Chaotic: If the Paladin heals an ally or person-of-same-alignment while he himself is more badly wounded (ie: closer to 0 hit points), the result is treated as healing someone of Adjacent alignment (and may risk disfavor). If the Paladin heals someone who lies dying, or heals someone of Adjacent alignment while he himself is more badly wounded, the result is treated as healing someone of Opposed alignment (and is likely to risk disfavor).
Turn Unholy: As a Cleric.
Detect Evil, and Protection from Evil: As the Cleric spells of the same name... however, the Paladins' lack of practice in channeling divine energy leads to a side effect. The manifestation of divine energy is like a beacon to 'Evil' creatures, who are able to sense the Paladin as if they were using 'Detect Good' themselves, as long as the Paladin's spell is in effect.
Blessing: As the Cleric spell of the same name.
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I used the Elf as a starting point for this class, but flipped (I'd consider the Elf sort of a 80%/20% mage/fighter, and I wanted to make the Paladin a 80%/20% fighter/cleric). My overall intent is a class that can stand on the front line with the fighters & dwarves, and afterwards help the party cleric see to the wounded. To me, this requires d10 hit dice, good weapons/armor, and something like a 'Deed Die' boosting their attacks/damage. I also think their Crit Dice/Table should be worse than a Warrior or Dwarf (but better than a Thief). They should probably be limited to Crit Tables 3 & 4 (start out on 3... graduate to 4 around level 7 or so?). As for Action Dice, they should maybe miss out on the third action die warriors get at level 10.
The class has a form of Mighty Deeds, which is restricted by requiring an 'evil' target to whip up the Paladin's zeal sufficiently (that's what all their training is focused on, as opposed to a warrior's more general training). The spellcasting abilities are limited in various ways without making them useless, and where possible I tried to think of iconic sorts of rationales for the limits. I especially like the idea of using a Cleric's spell check, flipped. So instead of getting worse and worse at casting throughout a long day of adventuring, the Paladin instead starts out bad, and gets progressively better. However, they still have the chance to screw up and piss off their god... especially if they try too many 'hail-mary' attempts before sufficient Smiting. The d20 ceiling (and natural 1 penalty) prevents their check from scaling better than the Cleric after a really long day.
Last edited by BitHead0023 on Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:00 pm, edited 4 times in total.