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Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-12, 03:19 PM
I apologize for introducing a potentially religiously charged topic, but I have no idea where to turn. I do not mean to offend anyone's religious beliefs, and am merely asking this question in the interest of helping create the fluff for my latest D&D character.

I'm finally going to make that paladin I asked about a while ago. My biggest problem at this moment is that I sort of want him to have a red cross on his heraldry. I got the inspiration from Spencer's epic poem The Faerie Queene, which begins with the story of Redcrosse, a young holy knight. However, we are using the standard 3.5 D&D pantheon for the game, and thus I worry that crosses would look out of place. how can I justify emblazoning my paladin's tabard and shield with a red cross if he worships Heironeous?

Note that when I say cross, I am referring to just the cross image itself, not a crucifix, which would depict the actual figure of Jesus on the cross. I just want a red cross for my heraldry, like the Knights Templar used.

Thurbane
2009-01-12, 03:27 PM
This will probably get locked, but I'll say my piece first.

There's all kinds of patterns and symbols in heraldry - your character could certainly have a red cross on his livery, shield etc. without it having to have any (real world) religious connotations...

Inyssius Tor
2009-01-12, 03:28 PM
If he has an order, you could make it the mark of that order.

Or what Thurbane said.

Ryuuk
2009-01-12, 03:34 PM
It's a purely aesthetic choice, go for it. I'm even pretty sure I've seen red crosses on some pictures in splatbooks, think it was a worshiper of either Heironeous or St. Cuthbert.

Edit: Found it (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/dd_gallery/dd1/Cuthbert_p92.jpg), looks like a red cross to me.

hamishspence
2009-01-12, 03:36 PM
Bretonnians in the warhammer-verse use a number of thinks originally derived from real-world iconography, despite setting being polytheistic- Templar and Hospitallar -style crosses included.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-12, 03:39 PM
What would it symbolize, if the religious connotations were removed?

Irreverent Fool
2009-01-12, 03:39 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that the symbol/tabard/heraldry/whatever of the Knights Templar?

D&D has a templar PrC in Defenders of the Faith.

Tadaa.

Really there's no reason not to do it unless you're liable to offend someone at your table. When I think 'holy knight', that's usually what I envision as well.

Edit:

It's a purely aesthetic choice, go for it. I'm even pretty sure I've seen red crosses on some pictures in splatbooks, think it was a worshiper of either Heironeous or St. Cuthbert.

Edit: Found it (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/dd_gallery/dd1/Cuthbert_p92.jpg), looks like a red cross to me.

That's actually St. Cuthbert's symbol. Check it out on pg 108 of the 3.5 PHB. It's basically a cross in a circle. If you need your mark to symbolize something, there you go.

obnoxious
sig

Tsotha-lanti
2009-01-12, 03:40 PM
Personal/family coat of arms. It's a gules... well, a cross isn't a traditional ordinary, but there you go. Gules cross on a whatever field.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-12, 03:43 PM
I'm thinking white field, but that's just me. And the Templar PrC in DotF became the Pious Templar in Complete Divine. I don't believe I'm taking that PrC though. I'm taking Ordained Champion.

Another_Poet
2009-01-12, 03:44 PM
In non-christian cultures the cross is often used as a symbol of the sun (or a four-spoked or 8-spoked wheel).

For a non religious association, it could symbolise the four winds. Or, four founders of the knight's order.

You could also give it some mystical associationt of your own devising, like it represents the red start that appeared in the sky when the knight's illustrious ancestor slew the terrible demon-dragon.

Lots of choices. And, I see no reason why this thread would be locked. You're not talking about real-world religion.

hamishspence
2009-01-12, 03:49 PM
Fish is another interesting icon.

Ravens_cry
2009-01-12, 03:50 PM
According to Wikipedia, the cross was also a symbol of the four elements, as well as the four cardinal directions and red is a symbol of Mars, and iron, in alchemy. So this house could be heavily funding research into alchemy for war purposes, and or exploration.

afroakuma
2009-01-12, 03:57 PM
As a symbol of health or foundation, perhaps?

Mando Knight
2009-01-12, 04:00 PM
What would it symbolize, if the religious connotations were removed?

Depends on the type of cross (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross) you use.

Crux Ordinaria, or Latin Cross, the one with the two simple bars, is used in Christianity because of Christ's Crucifixion, which was a common (and grisly, demoralizing, and humiliating) means of execution in the Roman Empire.

Most crosses come from Christian sources, and from the Order of Hospitallers is where the American Red Cross and the first-aid cross seem to come from.

If you're using the Latin Cross, it would probably represent his family/knightly order's history of business as executioners: Red for the blood of the punished criminal, and the cross to represent both the cross and sword as means of execution.

Keld Denar
2009-01-12, 04:04 PM
Another thought is that a cross looks similar to a sword pointed down. That might be a symbol of conquest or or peace, depending on how you interpret "down". Red as a colour has some pretty significant meaning in heraldry, google around for various heraldric symbology for more details. I know my fraternity has colors on their crest which are symbolic, but I can't tell you what they mean :P

Really, just make something up. Use the wind idea, or maybe there were 4 brothers who started the order/family/country whatever. That would also give you an oath! You could swear "by the Four" or something like that. Actually, it would be best if you layered it on even more. I know a few of the symbols on my fraternity crest have double and triple meanings, making them even stronger figures. Its a fantasy game....go nuts!

BRC
2009-01-12, 04:09 PM
It's a fairly basic geometric shape, so there is no end to the potential symbolism. Maybe an ancestor his his once did somthing famous involving a crossroads, perhaps it's a stylized crossbow.

Tacoma
2009-01-12, 04:23 PM
Maybe some tailor decided one day to put perpendicular red stripes on a white tabard. It caught on and suddenly everyone's walking around with 'em.

Nerd-o-rama
2009-01-12, 04:39 PM
Crosses can be used as heraldic devices in plenty of other contexts. It's a fairly simple symbol and, for that matter, was a distressingly common form of execution. It could symbolize martyrdom in that context, the Sun in other classical contexts, the elements (or anything else with four parts), or a lower-case "t". For "time to go", you see.

hamishspence
2009-01-12, 04:42 PM
a star with long vertical and horizontal rays can be a cross of sorts- doesn't have to tie into the execution item.

Maroon
2009-01-12, 04:50 PM
As far as I know, 'fairytale christianity' has been implicit in Gygaxian D&D from when it was still Chainmail. The equipment list of OD&D even has wooden and silver crosses, not 'holy symbols' (mind you, neither are they crucifixes).

I can understand not wanting to discuss real-world religions on the forums, but what's stopping you from using moderately well-known symbolism in a home game? It's probably better than trying to disguise it by replacing it with a random symbol from alchemy, or trying to argue a symbol closely associated with a religious order (and, you know, the Red Cross) is actually something entirely fantastical.

tsuuga
2009-01-12, 04:59 PM
Or describe it, not as a cross, but a white field quartered by red. Maybe you support the unification of some holy enterprise, after a bloody schism.

Deth Muncher
2009-01-12, 05:26 PM
...or a lower-case "t". For "time to go", you see.
I see what you did there.

Bonecrusher Doc
2009-01-12, 05:27 PM
If you use this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_moline) type of cross it means you're the eighth son in your family. No reason why it couldn't be red. Actually, it's red here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadency).

Mando Knight
2009-01-12, 05:34 PM
As far as I know, 'fairytale christianity' has been implicit in Gygaxian D&D from when it was still Chainmail. The equipment list of OD&D even has wooden and silver crosses, not 'holy symbols' (mind you, neither are they crucifixes).

Ah, yes, good ol' Bahamut, the literal (well, almost...) Crystal Dragon Jesus (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CrystalDragonJesus).

Jeivar
2009-01-12, 05:38 PM
Well, the 'cross' could represent a stylized warhammer.

Dacia Brabant
2009-01-12, 08:12 PM
Well, the 'cross' could represent a stylized warhammer.

That would work well, it's what a lot of the Norse converts did with Thor's Hammer, it was pretty easy to turn that into a cross.

And I'm not surprised St. Cuthbert has a cross symbol, considering he's a real-world saint.

But yeah, use whatever symbols you like, it doesn't mean they have to correspond to how they're treated by real-world religions or organizations as long as you don't treat them the same way. Shoot, symbols change in the real world too, just look at the long history of the swastika.

Canadian
2009-01-12, 08:16 PM
I don't see why you can't have it mean whatever you want. It's your shield so you can put whatever you want on it.

shadowfox
2009-01-12, 08:36 PM
Maybe he's part of a special order. Now, I'm borrowing heavily from Fiendish Codex II, so I apologize, but it will make sense.

In the beginning, there were demons. Eventually, several of the Lawful deities popped up, and began fighting the demons. They soon grew tired, and made angels to do the work for them. More time went by and, to keep the focus on my point, some of the angels separated themselves in order to, effectively, give mortals something to fear if they defy the god's will.

These angels became the devils.

Heironeous was one of the first deities.

Maybe, the original Lawful deities have established an order to work together in unison, in order to face the threat of demons and, quite possibly, devils as well (right now, they don't fear the devils much, since they're fighting an essential eternal battle that will last to the end of time (although that could change...)). The order's symbol is a red cross.

Now, ideally, there would be 4 patron deities of this order, and it can work with the original lawful deities because they started with one purpose: to prevent the universe from being devoured by demons. Alternatively, you can limit it to good-deities, because... well, it's more acceptable than the idea of an unholy allegiance.

Also, it'd be easier to explain the symbol if it was limited to four deities: much like Christianity has the Father, the Sun, and the Holy Spirit, which has been adapted quite successfully to the cross (kinda), you can say that each point represents a deity.

That's just my swing at it, though.

Renegade Paladin
2009-01-12, 08:37 PM
It's a purely aesthetic choice, go for it. I'm even pretty sure I've seen red crosses on some pictures in splatbooks, think it was a worshiper of either Heironeous or St. Cuthbert.

Edit: Found it (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/dd_gallery/dd1/Cuthbert_p92.jpg), looks like a red cross to me.
Because Saint Cuthbert the deity is directly lifted from the personage of Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, patron saint of Northumbria. He was, of course, a Christian figure, hence permitting the introduction of Christian iconography into Greyhawk.

ericgrau
2009-01-12, 09:33 PM
I apologize for introducing a potentially religiously charged topic, but I have no idea where to turn. I do not mean to offend anyone's religious beliefs, and am merely asking this question in the interest of helping create the fluff for my latest D&D character.

I'm finally going to make that paladin I asked about a while ago. My biggest problem at this moment is that I sort of want him to have a red cross on his heraldry. I got the inspiration from Spencer's epic poem The Faerie Queene, which begins with the story of Redcrosse, a young holy knight. However, we are using the standard 3.5 D&D pantheon for the game, and thus I worry that crosses would look out of place. how can I justify emblazoning my paladin's tabard and shield with a red cross if he worships Heironeous?

Note that when I say cross, I am referring to just the cross image itself, not a crucifix, which would depict the actual figure of Jesus on the cross. I just want a red cross for my heraldry, like the Knights Templar used.

Red crosses just look cool. Slap one on your shield, wear the normal holy symbol as well and call it a day. Give no religious meaning to it. I was going to give a religious answer when I saw the title, but in this case it need not be religious at all. In fact, I tend to be semi-iconoclastic myself. But for you, slap on a nice big one and make it bright.

Prometheus
2009-01-12, 10:50 PM
It's always interesting to play with the cosmology/religion of the D&D world and see if it has any other workable variants. Obviously that's a task for the DM and not the PC, but you could always ask about it. The most obvious one is the kind of Zoroastrian idea of two Gods, one good and one evil, with roughly equal power. Clerics work under one side of the other- whether they are priest or saints and whether they pray to saints or angels or aspects of the deity-but the mechanics remain much the same. Again, the closer the game is to the RL religious systems the more likely you will have to take offending/catering to someone into account when writing an overarching plot - give how D&D is an interactive game, this can certainly lead to either unintended consequences or plot-railroading.

Jayabalard
2009-01-12, 11:00 PM
My biggest problem at this moment is that I sort of want him to have a red cross on his heraldry. I got the inspiration from Spencer's epic poem The Faerie Queene, which begins with the story of Redcrosse, a young holy knight. However, we are using the standard 3.5 D&D pantheon for the game, and thus I worry that crosses would look out of place. how can I justify emblazoning my paladin's tabard and shield with a red cross if he worships Heironeous?I suggest doing some research on the symbolism of the cross; it's been used in a wide variety of cultures and religions, not just that one particular modern one where it gets all of the notice.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-12, 11:29 PM
With the assistance of a few friends over at GiantITP (especially Keld Denar, who created the actual build), I've assembled a build that I'm thinking of using. I'd like to submit it for critique here.

The build is Paladin 5/Fighter 2/Divine Champion 1/Ordained Champion 4/Fist Of Raziel 8, and it uses the following books: Player's Handbook, Complete Divine, Complete Champion, Book of Exalted Deeds. Open Feat means I haven't selected a feat for that slot yet.

Pal 1 - Power Attack
Pal 2 -
Pal 3 - Servant of the Heavens
Pal 4 -
Pal 5 -
Ftr 1 - Divine Might & Weapon Focus: Longsword
Ftr 2 - Open Feat (Bonus Fighter Feats only)
DC 1 -
OC 1 - Awesome Smite
OC 2 -
OC 3 -
OC 4 - Law Devotion
FoR 1 -
FoR 2 -
FoR 3 - Open Feat (Battle Blessing?)
FoR 4 -
FoR 5 -
FoR 6 - Open Feat
FoR 7 -
FoR 8 -

I'm not certain of skill placement, except pumping Knowledge (Religion). What do you people think? Is it doable? What races would work best?

Keld Denar
2009-01-12, 11:50 PM
Yay, my build!

Hmmmmm, as far as race, you either need an open race, or a dwarf, or you are gonna hit XP penalties. You can't hardly go wrong with human, its just so versitile. If you do go dwarf, I'd recommend the Gold Dwarf sub race from one of the Faerun books. Same as a normal dwarf, except you swap the -2 cha over to a -2 dex, which is good, since you have a lot of cha based abilities, and dex doesn't have to be higher than 12 TOPS, although you would probably be ok with a 10.

As far as your feats...you have 2 with a dwarf, or 3 with a human. Hmmmm. At this point, Improved Init wouldn't be bad, simply because there aren't many more chains to persue. Divine Vigor might be kind of good if you get a quick round to pump it up. Its a standard actions (bad) but gives you temp hp and movement speed boost (good) for a few rounds.

Also, Extra Turning wouldn't be terribly bad. Since you power Divine Might, your OC smite, and Law Devotion (and Divine Vigor if you take it). 4 extra turn attempts will give you a bit more combat longevity.

Oh, and since you are using a Longsword, are you planning on using a shield? Divine Shield can increase your AC pretty high, and combined with good armor, Law Devotion, and all that, can make you pretty tough to hit. It even works with an Animated Shield.

Last question, did you decide which other domain you are gonna take? If you have to stick with the Big H's domains, I'd recommend Glory. If you can branch out a little, I'd go Travel. You have to get War from OC, but the other is still up in the air.

Edit: You can't use Battle Blessing on your DC spells, so that leaves it to your 2 first level paladin spells from Pal5. One of those spells should be Rhino's Rush, which is already a swift action, and the other should probably be Lesser Restoration, which can't be reduced by BB. Hmmmm, that opens up another feat. Dunno mang.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-13, 12:18 AM
I still need to get approval for the books I plan on using from my DM. Which I hope is soon because there's a game on Friday, and I've already missed the first four sessions because I was at home over Holiday Break.

Keld Denar
2009-01-13, 04:26 AM
Hey, I posted over on your CharOp thread, but I'll copy and paste here in case anyone wants to see the updated build (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?p=17620837#post17620837).


Pal 1 - Knowledge Devotion (CChamp)
Pal 2 -
Pal 3 - Servant of the Heavens
Pal 4 -
Pal 5 - (Charging Smite ACF)
Ftr 1 - Power Attack (F) Divine Might
Ftr 2 - Weapon Focus: Longsword (F)
DC 1 -
OC 1 - Awesome Smite
OC 2 -
OC 3 -
OC 4 - Holy Warrior (Reserve Feat, CChamp)
FoR 1 -
FoR 2 -
FoR 3 - Law Devotion
FoR 4 -
FoR 5 -
FoR 6 - Extra Turning
FoR 7 -
FoR 8 -

kamikasei
2009-01-13, 04:54 AM
It occurs to me that a cross can also be visualized as the alignment grid - if you draw out a three-by-three grid of the nine alignments and fill in all the neutrals, you get a cross figure. Either you could say that the cross itself represents the balance, or you could say that what matters is how it divides the four extremes.

A cross could also be used as a symbol of order, structure, geometry etc. (isn't it used/supposedly used this way in Masonic symbolism?).

shadowfox
2009-01-13, 02:49 PM
It occurs to me that a cross can also be visualized as the alignment grid - if you draw out a three-by-three grid of the nine alignments and fill in all the neutrals, you get a cross figure. Either you could say that the cross itself represents the balance, or you could say that what matters is how it divides the four extremes.

A cross could also be used as a symbol of order, structure, geometry etc. (isn't it used/supposedly used this way in Masonic symbolism?).

A very good idea, IMO, but I would be afraid that it would break another fourth wall; instead of mixing real world and fantasy iconography, it threatens to smash the wall separating the world you're imagining and the world you live in. Combining them both together would be less of a threat at the very least, though I can imagine it having no threat at all. Each point could represent the 4 extremes, with each alignment on the other side of its polar opposite, and the point in the center would be the balance. Throw in a sun or a bunch of triangles set up in a circle focused around the intersection, and that can represent everything in between.

But that's just me. It is a very good idea, though.

Unfortunately, I don't know the masonic use of the cross, but I did visit a masonic temple some months back. They use signs from many religions, though, as a Catholic, I recognized more Christian symbols than anything else. I cannot, however, answer your question directly.

Telonius
2009-01-13, 03:19 PM
Other things a cross might symbolize...

Unity
The border between two worlds
Sun setting over water
A constellation
A literal crossroads
Conflict (i.e. crossed swords means two people are fighting)
Guardians (i.e. the way is barred)
Sword (A cross is the literal shape of some swords)
Crossbow
Some word beginning with T that describes his deity

If you use a capital T instead of four 90degree angles, you might have it as a symbol of a helmet (t-shaped opening) or of an abstract rendering of a human face (eyes for the horizontal line, nose and mouth for the vertical).

Mark Hall
2009-01-13, 04:38 PM
A few options:

1) It's the symbol of a Saint of Heironeous. Maybe he has a red cross because he stood and barred the way of an army and was terribly bloodied (or did it at sunset), and so his outstretched arms resembled a red cross. Maybe its a part of his military order's heraldry.

2) It's a family symbol. His family were the traditional executioners of a kingdom, or an ancestor had a distinctive birthmark or scar. Or they gained their peerage at the Battle of Red Cross (a now disappeared village, or part of a larger town), and so commemorated it in heraldry.

3) It's a personal symbol. He doesn't think himself worthy of bearing Heironeous's mark on his shield, and so instead carries a large red cross where it would be. He say a sign which convinced him to follow Heironeous, and it was in the form of a red cross (prayed, odd light appeared, In hoc signo vinces, etc., etc.). He was once a slave, and the cross was his master's mark... he bears a red cross (in the form of a brand) on his shoulder.

Maroon
2009-01-13, 06:09 PM
Ah, yes, good ol' Bahamut, the literal (well, almost...) Crystal Dragon Jesus (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CrystalDragonJesus).
Actually, if I've got my history straight, there was very little information on gods until Supplement IV. Lots of devils and demons and saints, though.


A very good idea, IMO, but I would be afraid that it would break another fourth wall; instead of mixing real world and fantasy iconography, it threatens to smash the wall separating the world you're imagining and the world you live in.Legends tell of a time where this wasn't just popular, but even implied. The pulp fantasy roots of D&D are often full of parallels to our world.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-13, 06:24 PM
Hey, I posted over on your CharOp thread, but I'll copy and paste here in case anyone wants to see the updated build (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?p=17620837#post17620837).


Pal 1 - Knowledge Devotion (CChamp)
Pal 2 -
Pal 3 - Servant of the Heavens
Pal 4 -
Pal 5 - (Charging Smite ACF)
Ftr 1 - Power Attack (F) Divine Might
Ftr 2 - Weapon Focus: Longsword (F)
DC 1 -
OC 1 - Awesome Smite
OC 2 -
OC 3 -
OC 4 - Holy Warrior (Reserve Feat, CChamp)
FoR 1 -
FoR 2 -
FoR 3 - Law Devotion
FoR 4 -
FoR 5 -
FoR 6 - Extra Turning
FoR 7 -
FoR 8 -


I got some bad news I'm afraid. My DM isn't allowing the Book of Exalted Deeds, so both Servant of the Heavens and Fist of Raziel are out.:smallfrown:

Also he gave me some background of the world and where I fit in it, as well as some houserules.

The Thule Campaign:

House Rules

Welcome to my campaign! You’re already familiar with the character requirements: a Level One hero belonging to one of the core classes, and one of the core races (plus changelings, feytouched, goblins, hobgoblins, kobolds, merfolk, orcs, and planetouched), with the average starting gold for your class given in Chapter Seven of the PHB, and abilities of “15 down”. Consider these house rules your introduction to this character’s world.

Knowledge (Geography)

The campaign is set in Europe, during the final glaciation of the next Ice Age 100,000 years from now. But your character knows it only as “Thule”, and as far as they are concerned, it is the center of the universe.

Your character belongs to one of three kingdoms: Armorica (France, Germany, the Low Countries, and the British Isles), Sylvania (Austria, Hungary, Romania, and the Czech and Slovak Republics), or Hyperborea (Poland and the Ukraine). All of these countries are allied with each other: Knowledge (Geography) rolls for your own country are DC 10, while rolls for an ally are DC 15. (Armorica is also allied with the Dwarf Kingdoms, in their common fight against Alsara.)

Every nation sponsors a handful of heroic guilds and state cults, whose members receive certain advantages in return for their annual dues and tithes. (Each is worth ten times your effective character level in gold pieces, and that doesn’t include the equal amount you have to pay to the state earlier in the year. Ain’t feudalism a bitch?) Armorica trains bards, clerics and paladins, and worships Pelor and St. Cuthbert. Sylvania trains druids, rangers and wizards, and worships Ehlonna and Obad-Hai. Hyperborea trains barbarians, clerics and sorcerers, and worships Boccob and Kord. Your character can cross-class outside your kingdom’s sanctioned guild halls…but that entails swearing allegiance to another government, which does train your desired class. This can be a perilous prospect.

Six other nations are known to your character: Adriatica (Italy, Greece, and the Balkans), Alsara (Cyprus and northern Africa), the Dwarf Kingdoms (in the Alps, Pyrenees, and Carpathians), Outremer (all of the Middle East), Sarmatia (Russia), and Tauria (Turkey). Rolls for these countries range from DC 20 to DC 25, depending on whether your people have hostile relations with them, or no relations at all.

All the rest of the world is known only in mythical terms: the Great Ice to the north, the Great Sea to the west, the Terra Incognita and the Mysterious East. These form the borders of your flat Earth, a literally planar Material Plane. Which brings us to…

Knowledge (Mystical)

As far as I’m concerned, Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (the Planes), and Knowledge (Religion) are all the same thing: whenever any of these would be called for, just roll Knowledge (Mystical). (Of course, characters are still restricted to their level +3 ranks in the skill…but at least it’s a skill shared by bards, clerics, monks, paladins, sorcerers and wizards.) Note that this new skill can be applied to constructs, dragons, elementals, magical beasts, outsiders, undead…and fey and monstrous humanoids, since Thule considers them all to be creatures of the “a-wizard-did-it” variety. (Also, creatures of the “aberration” type have been assigned to the magical beasts, so no worries there.)

The Material Plane is one of only five: the DMG says I can use fewer than the standard twenty-seven (!), and hot damn, I certainly will! The Celestial Plane is the home of the nine good gods: Corellon Larethian, Ehlonna, Garl Glittergold, Heironeous, Hextor, Kord, Moradin, Pelor and Yondalla. It is the source of all positive energy, and is itself mildly positive-aligned; also, positive-themed spells are enhanced while negative-themed spells are impeded. (See the DMG for definitions of these terms.) Coexistent with the Celestial Plane is its malignant double, the Fiendish Abyss. This is where the eight evil gods hold court: Erythnul, Gruumsh, Hruggek, Kurtulmak, Laogzed, Maglubiyet, Nerull, and Vecna. As would be expected, its traits are exactly opposite those of the Celestial Plane. The Material Plane, home of the eight neutral gods (Boccob, Eadro, Fharlanghn, Obad-Hai, Olidammara, St. Cuthbert, Skerrit, and Wee Jas), also has an evil twin, the Ethereal Shadow. No gods live here: in fact anyone who arrives there turns into a vampire or lycanthrope if they don’t succeed on a DC 15 Will save once per minute. The Ethereal Shadow is coexistent with the Material Plane: darkness-, ethereal-, and shadow-themed spells are enhanced, while electricity-, fire-, and light- themed spells are impeded. Finally, all four parts of the cosmos are bound together by the Astral Plane, coexistent with all the others, a timeless silver void with subjective gravity…but no solid surfaces.

Reincarnation is central to all faiths, good, evil or neutral. Which fey, elemental or outsider you become in your next life depends on your alignment and level in this one. So even the least ambitious commoners and druids want to rise through the ranks, lest they be trapped as a nixie or lemure forever. And breaking this cycle through undeath is considered so heinous and unnatural that destroying the undead is always considered a good act, and summoning or creating them is an absolute evil.

Knowledge (Nature)

As is standard, Knowledge (Nature) can be applied to animals, plants, vermin and giants; oozes are also included, since they are considered to be mutant fungi or slime molds. Remember that as mere Level One characters, you won’t know very much about the enemies you face. Each time you meet a new kind of monster, make a DC 10 + CR check to remember your guild hall training. If you fail, your character will be totally ignorant of its special attacks, qualities and spell-like abilities…even nasty ones like breath weapons and petrifying stares. (The same applies for monsters covered by Knowledge [Mystical]).

A few words must be said here about “pets”: mounts, familiars, companions and summons. Mounts are treated just as in the DMG: any creatures one or more sizes larger than your character, with a CR at least three levels lower than your ECL (or at least four, if the creature can fly). Familiars from the PHB are allowed, but not the variants from the DMG, since they don’t seem to offer any skill bonuses. A druid can pick any animal-type creature of half their druid level for a companion, except for: apes, baboons, camels, constrictor snakes, crocodiles, dinosaurs, giant octopi, monitor lizards, monkeys, rhinoceroses, and tigers; or dire badgers, bats, boars, rats, sharks, weasels and wolverines. These animals never existed in either modern or Ice Age Europe. Rangers can choose any druid’s animal of one-fourth their ranger level.

The summon monster spell now summons the following dragons, fey, magical beasts and monstrous humanoids:
• I: stirge

• II: death dog, sprite (grig), sprite (nixie)

• III: dragon (wyrmling white), grimalkin, hippocampus, hippogriff, redcap, satyr (without pipes)

• IV: centaur, cockatrice, doppelganger, dragon (wyrmling black), dragon (wyrmling blue), dragon (very young white), dryad, pegasus, senmurv, spriggan, unicorn

• V: dragon (very young black), dragon (very young blue), dragon (wyrmling red), dragon (young white), gargoyle, griffon, harpy, hydra (five-headed), minotaur, satyr (with pipes), sprite (without dance)

•VI: basilisk, dragon (young black), dragon (wyrmling gold), dragon (very young red), fossergrim, manticore, sirine, sphinx (hieraco-), sprite (with dance)

• VII: catoblepas, dragon (young blue), dragon (juvenile white), glaistig, hydra (seven-headed), lamia, will-o-wisp, wyvern

• VIII: chimera, dragon (juvenile black), dragon (very young gold), dragon (young red), medusa, naga (water), nymph, oread, scorpionfolk, sphinx (crio-)

• IX: dragon (juvenile blue), dragon (young adult white), gorgon, hydra (nine-headed), lammasu, naga (dark), sphinx (gyno-)

The summon nature’s ally spell now summons the following animals, giants, oozes, plants and vermin:

I: badger, bat, cat, dog, donkey, eagle, hawk, lizard, monstrous centipede (tiny), monstrous scorpion (tiny), monstrous spider (tiny), owl, pony, porpoise, rat, raven, toad, viper snake (small), war pony, weasel

II: horse (heavy or light), hyena, manta ray, mule, octopus, shark (medium), riding dog, shrieker fungus, squid, viper snake (medium), warhorse (light), wolf

III: bear (black), bison, boar, cheetah, leopard, shark (large), viper snake (large), warhorse (heavy), wolverine

IV: assassin vine, dire wolf, lion, ogre, violet fungus, viper snake (huge)

V: bear (brown), bear (polar), shark (huge), yellow musk creeper

VI: dire lion, ochre jelly, snowflake ooze, troll, whale (orca)

VII: dread blossom, ettin, shambling mound, whale (baleen)

VIII: black pudding, dire bear, dire elk, elephant, giant (hill), whale (cachalot)

 IX: dire tiger, treant

The planar ally and planar binding spells still call outsiders and elementals.

Lesser planar…: angel (movanic deva), archon (hound), archon (justice), archon (lantern), bacchae, barghest, demon (mane), devil (imp), devil (lemure), devil (succubus), dwarf ancestor, eladrin (coure), eladrin (bralani), elemental (small), elemental (medium), genie (janni), hellhound, nightmare, sylph, triton, yeth hound

 Planar…: angel (astral deva), angel (monadic deva), archon (owl), archon (sword), archon (trumpet), archon (warden), asura, couatl, demon (blood fiend), devil (erinyes), eladrin (firre), eladrin (ghale), eladrin (shiradi), elemental (large), genie (djinni), genie (efreeti), moon dog, night hag, rakshasa, salamander

 Greater planar…: archon (throne), angel (planetar), devil (malebranche), devil (pit fiend), eladrin (tulani), elemental (huge), elemental wierd

Most of the other “summon” spells – summon swarm, shambler, and so on – work as normal. Animate dead still creates either skeletons or zombies. Create undead now summons ghouls at caster level 14 or below, and mummies at level 15 and above. Create greater undead now summons wraiths at level 15 and below, spectres at levels 16 and 17, drowned at levels 18 and 19, and jahis at level 20 or above. (Forgive me, but I have no taste for “ghasts” and “mohrgs”.)

Players are encouraged to build or buy constructs. However, since the given rules for them are contradictory or downright nonsensical, we will be using these instead. Any given construct requires raw materials, as listed in the Monster Manuals. First, a Craft check must be made to fashion its body, with a DC of 10 +the construct’s CR. To animate the body, animate objects must be cast on it, followed immediately by a Knowledge (Mystical) check with a DC of 10 +the construct’s CR. This creates a construct with the standard hit points, abilities, and so on, but no spells or spell-like abilities. These must be “programmed” into the construct by casting them during its creation, followed by a Knowledge (Mystical) check just as before. One spell may be programmed for each level in the construct’s CR: a homunculus or bogun can cast only one spell, and that just once, while a juggernaut or stone golem can have eleven spells which it can cast just once, or nine spells it can cast once and two spells it can cast twice, or…etc. Constructs cast spells at the programmer’s level. Since this ability is potentially very powerful, constructs cannot be built with additional hit dice.
To build a construct, you also need to establish a workshop worth 500 gold pieces; to buy one (assuming your kingdom manufactures them), you must pay the cost of the raw materials, the cost of animate objects (a sixth-level spell), and the cost of any programmed spells. Animate objects, mending, and make whole are now available to bards, clerics, druids, sorcerers and wizards.

Knowledge (History)

I’m a bit pressed for time, and I doubt that Level One characters are going to be intimately familiar with 100,000 years of history anyway. For now, a century should suffice.

Only six years ago, your kingdom and its allies decided to unite in a massive construction project, a “Long Wall” from modern-day Krakow to Gerlachovsky Peak in the Carpathian Mountains. After graduating from their guild halls, most new heroes are sent there for experience in leadership, combat, fortification, international cooperation, and hostile environments. (The wall stretches across a tundra between two glaciers…bring a scarf!)

The Long Wall was made necessary by Feng Khan, a half-orc barbarian who rallied Hyperborea’s tribes of orcs and goblinoids, and established a new nation on its eastern border 14 years ago. These “Sarmatian” forces are now running rampant through the empire – the current Empress only took the throne ten years ago because her father the Emperor was killed in battle – and even driving into the farthest marches of Armorica. Armorica itself, once the most glorious kingdom in Thule, was laid low by the infamous dragons Y Ddraig Goch and Hwitdraca 40 years ago, by the armies of Alsara 35 years ago (leading to its current alliance with the Dwarf Kingdoms), and again by the rampages of the tarrasque 23 years ago. Sylvania also has problems with dragons. Behir, an ancient blue dragon and the oldest of all creatures in Thule, took up residence in Tauria centuries ago: at the request of that country’s evil dwarves, he sent his mate Vignarthurkear to conquer the elven nation single-handed. It took the entire royal family and their whole personal guard to strike her down, and Queen Valanthe herself died in this “Blue Crusade” 65 years ago.

Beyond these “current events” lie the thousands of years of the “Age of Kings”, and the countless millennia of the “Age of Magi” and “Age of Gold”…the days when gods walked openly among men. Rumors persist of an “Age of Ashes” before even this, when mithril and adamantine were as common as paper and pig iron; when mortals could harness the fires of the Sun. But even in garbled form, these tales are known only to a few, and denounced as blasphemy by the pious. Naturally, while rolls for the recent past are DC 10 or 15, rolls for this mythical period are up to DC 30.

Knowledge (Local)

Knowledge (Local) works normally, and is most useful for learning about non-monstrous humanoids, individual cities and provinces, or great heroes. But a “great hero” of Thule is not necessarily as impressive as in other campaigns you may have played.

Remember the legend lore spell in the PHB: technically, any character of Level Eleven and higher counts as “legendary”, the equivalent of Achilles or Robin Hood. In all of Thule, there are perhaps 300 heroes of this stature; each nation has only one hero of Level Fifteen. I plan to get at least a few of you to Level Twenty, but your characters will be the first to achieve such glory in centuries. Mid-level spells like animate objects, atonement, raise dead, and reincarnate are rare, as are most magic items.

Knowledge (Dungeoneering)

Actually, this section has nothing to do with dungeoneering. I just needed a place to set down the rest of the house rules.

First, there is no penalty for shooting into melee. I never understood why a raging barbarian with an axe is less dangerous to his friends than a sharp-eyed ranger with a bow.

Second, I have no patience for arcane spell failure or non-proficiency penalties. So if you’re not proficient with it, you can’t use it. On the plus side, I have no patience with having to rack up half-a-dozen weapon proficiencies just to use your own gear either. In this campaign, Exotic Weapon Proficiency counts for all exotic weapons, Martial Weapon Proficiency counts for all martial weapons, and so forth.

Third, I have met exactly one other “Dungeon Master” who bothered with experience points; all the rest operated by DM fiat. That seems like a perfectly sensible system to me. Expect to level up at the end of each game you attend and survive, unless you do something that would normally cost you experience.

Fourth, I have met exactly zero other DMs who bothered with spell components. Except in extraordinary cases, I will follow their example. (But don’t expect NPCs to cast free spells for you, just because they don’t need components. Time is money…)

Lastly: You are heroes. You will be demi-gods. The fate of the known world rests in your hands. ROCK OUT.

Given that this Armorica, where I supposedly come from, is where modern-day France would be, I suppose it isn't too much of a stretch to be semi-Arthurian.

Does this help any?

Keld Denar
2009-01-13, 07:20 PM
Updated Build:

Pal 1 - Knowledge Devotion (CChamp)
Pal 2 -
Pal 3 - Law Devotion
Pal 4 -
Pal 5 - (Charging Smite ACF)
Ftr 1 - Power Attack (F) Divine Might
Ftr 2 - Weapon Focus: Longsword (F)
DC 1 -
DC 2 - Awesome Smite
OC 1-
OC 2-
OC 3- Holy Warrior (Reserve Feat, CChamp)
OC 4 -
DC 3 -
DC 4 - Extra Turning
DC 5 -
DC 6 -
DC 7 - Extra Turning
DC 8 -
???? Last level doesn't matter? Could be DC9, but doesn't advance casting at all. Still, its full BAB and whatnot...Dunno. Pal6?


Had to work around a couple levels in the OC/DC range, since I just looked up Holy Warrior again and forgot that it requires 4th level spells and you only get +spellcasting at OC2 and OC3 (1 and 4 are dead).

Dude, go Gold Dwarf if you can. Black beard, heavy braid, silver beard clasps, silver inlaid armor (masterwork+). That would be awesome. Maybe see if you can go old aspect of Heironious and wield a Battle Axe. Its more dwarfy. That would also allow you to take the Dwarven Fighter racial sub from Races of Stone, which nets you an extra hp. Just a thought. If you can't get Gold Dwarf, go human. The cha penalty just sucks toooooooo bad, since you need that cha for Divine Might, Law Devotion, and your OC Smiting, not to mention Pal Smiting and Divine Grace.

Just from reading it over, your DM just helped you out...a lot! Knowledge Devotion is even stronger than I though. I'm guessing Paladins will get Knowledge: Mystical, since it encompasses Religion. Then just take Nature as your bonus knowledge skill you get from KD, and you'll get +1-5 hit and damage against almost everything you fight that isn't a humanoid.

The loss of FoR kind of sucks, but at least you get the feat back from Servant of the Heavens, a thoroughly craptacular feat. You'll still get your 1 Pal smite, and your OC smites though, which should be enough to make taking Awesome Smite worth it.

So, once you get Holy Warrior, you should be looking at about a +8 to hit and damage on just about every attack, between it and Knowledge Devotion. In fights you really need it, Law Devotion would give you another +5 or so to hit, allowing you to PA for more. Looks solid to me! I'm kind of jealous, I'd like to play this character too! Depending on what level you start, go with Sword and Board until about level 3, and even maybe a bit beyond that because you're damage will be low regardless until you hit Fighter1 and get PA and Divine Might. Then use your sword (or axe) 2handed and try to upgrade to an Animated Shield asap.

BTW, did you ever figure out what domains you can/have to take? Can you possibly nab Travel + War? If not, Good or Glory + War would probably be the best combo given the Big H's domains.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-13, 07:33 PM
I'll go with human, since I don't think the DM's using FR subraces.

Keld Denar
2009-01-13, 08:19 PM
Updated Build:

Pal 1 - Law Devotion, Improved Init?
Pal 2 -
Pal 3 - Knowledge Devotion
Pal 4 -
Pal 5 - (Charging Smite ACF)
Ftr 1 - Power Attack (F) Divine Might
Ftr 2 - Weapon Focus: Longsword (F)
DC 1 -
DC 2 - Awesome Smite
OC 1-
OC 2-
OC 3- Holy Warrior (Reserve Feat, CChamp)
OC 4 -
DC 3 -
DC 4 - Practiced Spellcaster (Divine Crusader)
DC 5 -
DC 6 -
DC 7 - Extra Turning
DC 8 -
DC 9 - (no spell progression, but you do get +1 CL)


Unfortunately, most of the feats you should take have to come where they are. Awesome Smite requires a BAB of +6, Holy Warrior requires PA, and even Extra Turning and Divine Might require Turn Undead. You only really have 2 feats that are Fighter Bonus feats, PA and WF, so those 2 have to fall where they are. That just leaves something generic like Improved Init, Improved Toughness, or the like to take there. If you do decide to take a FB feat at 1, you could rearrange that, PA, and WF a bit, but it won't affect too much.

What's your starting level gonna be? What stat generation? Any starting capital? Which domains you gonna choose? I'm curious.

EDIT: Fixed feat order to be legal

EDIT2: Added in Practiced Spellcaster to buff buffing. Magic Vest is a War3 spell, and needs a higher CL in order to be effective. Also, in the off chance you want to Flame Strike, doing it for 5d6 is crappy, this at least boosts it to 9d6 when you get it, and caps it out by level 20. Late, but at least its a swift action...

Dacia Brabant
2009-01-13, 08:35 PM
If Tome of Battle is allowable by any chance, then might I suggest an alternate path? After reading what your DM's campaign world is it made me think, your iconography plus his homeland basically being Franconia, you might want to consider a Paladin/Crusader/Ruby Knight Vindicator build. It's not quite what you're aiming for (and a lot of people consider it super-cheese) but it might be a fun take on the Knights Templar to have them be a Jasite secret society of crusader-inquisitors running around semi-independently of the established churches in the kingdom.

Also, doesn't Knowledge Domain require 5 ranks in a Knowledge skill? It's an awesome feat, I highly recommend grabbing it as soon as you can, but I didn't think it was available at level 1. And if your DM allows flaws, you might want to take two so you can get Law Domain and Power Attack immediately, that will really help you out at beginning levels.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-13, 09:09 PM
I dunno...I don't have my copy of Tome of Battle, and I think I'm already stretching him thin by asking for the use of the other books. He's already approved Complete Divine for another player, but I need to okay Complete Champion stuff with him first. Which book is Charging Smite in again?

Keld Denar
2009-01-13, 09:16 PM
I suggested a build of Pal4/Cru1/RKV10/Pal2/Cru3 back when he first started building the character. I don't think he can use ToB though. Too bad, its a fun build (I've actually played this up to level 12). I think his build will be plenty strong.

Another thought. Take Combat Expertese if you have the int for it. With it, on a whim, you could combine CE, Law Devotion, and pick up the Divine Shield feat somewhere, which, combined with Full Plate +5, and an Animated Shield +5, a Ring of Protection +5, and an Amulet of Nat Armor +5 would set you at a cool AC of: 10 base, 13 armor, 7 shield, 5 NA, 5 CE, +7 LD, +~10 Cha = ~57, a pretty respectable end game AC. With Knowledge Devotion, Holy Warrior, Divine Might, and OC smitage powering your to hit and damage, you wouldn't even lag behind much to get it. On a whim you could swing the LD and CE over to +hit and PA for the moon as well. A good tactic might be to start offensive to gain "threat" on a big guy, then swap to defensive and hope he doesn't swap targets. Then again, it would probably be better at that level to just keep pounding till its dead, but the option is there.

At least you'd have the option...

EDIT: Charging Smite is in PHBII. It replaces your mount. Double smite damage on a charge (Quadruple with Rhino's Rush) and you don't expend your smite if you miss. Pretty decent since you won't have full pally levels to upgrade your mount.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-13, 09:31 PM
The DM said magic items would be rare, as would high level magic.

Dacia Brabant
2009-01-13, 09:53 PM
I suggested a build of Pal4/Cru1/RKV10/Pal2/Cru3 back when he first started building the character. I don't think he can use ToB though. Too bad, its a fun build (I've actually played this up to level 12). I think his build will be plenty strong.

Hah, yeah that was the exact build I had in mind, funny, and it's one I'd really like to play as a "Lawful Good not Lawful Nice" Dark Knight figure.


And with the standard array it's pretty unlikely he'll have the Int needed for Combat Expertise, which is too bad since it opens up a lot of good feats.


The DM said magic items would be rare, as would high level magic.

Hmm, in that case you really should mention ToB, martial powers will mitigate the lack of magic items at least somewhat. Doubtful he'd approve it though, it is a game-changer.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-13, 09:55 PM
I don't think we even have an arcane spellcaster of any kind in our group.

Keld Denar
2009-01-14, 12:33 AM
Hmmm, after further consulting my Spell Compendium, I'm thinking that Glory would not be such a good domain for you. It contains a lot of nukes, most of which have saves, all of which are gonna deal less damage than you would simply by Power Attacking it. Granted, your DCs won't be terrible, due to your high cha and the fact that the spells eventually level up to a normal caster's DCs, but you nuking should hardly be something that you do a lot of. Plus, you get some nukes like Flame Strike and Blade Barrier from the War Domain. I'm thinking Courage would be a much better domain, fitting with Heironius, provided you can't have Travel. Courage gives you a lot of good spells, including the AMAZING Valiant Fury, which is a personal Haste spell with a built in +4 MORAL bonus to Str and Con, and a +2 to will saves and some temp hp tacked on for good measure. That should be the ULTIMATE buff spell you cast before heading into combat, along with maybe a Quickened Divine Power (from Ordained Champ) for the +6 str and even more temp hp. Thats a 1 round power up suite that gives you +10 str (+7 damage per hit!) and +4 con (2 hp/hd) and like, 20 or so temp hp.

Also, late, you get Lion's Roar, which is a pretty neato spell.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-14, 12:42 AM
Assuming my DM allows it, of course. I still need to show him Complete Champion before he can approve anything from it.

Keld Denar
2009-01-14, 02:07 AM
Actually, Courage domain is in the Spell Compendium...WAY at the end.

Best of luck getting Complete Champ approved though. Without it, you lose Knowledge Devotion, Law Devotion, Holy Warrior, the Courage domain, and Ordained Champion...thats pretty ouch, if you ask me. I guess most of the build will just shift back to Divine Crusader, taking all 10 levels. Ordained Champion would be the biggest hit though. The swift cast War domain spells is really key to being able to buff up in short term. Its a prefect fit for a Paladin Crusader of Heironious too...

BTW, do you know what level you'll be starting at?

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-14, 01:23 PM
Level 1, from what I've seen.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-14, 06:00 PM
I was wondering if I could get some help designing a backstory for this fellow. From what I understand, Hieronean worship is rare in Armorica, and I need a reason for a level 1 paladin from Armorica to be in the Hyperborean capitol of Koav (which I'm assuming is an expy of Kiev, as Hyperborea is supposed to be Eastern Europe).

I know I want him to essentially be the archetypal fairy tale knight. Straight-arrow Boy Scout and all that. Sir Galahd would probably be the best example to draw from.

Keld Denar
2009-01-14, 07:31 PM
"Have Sword, Will Travel" style teach by example and better the world type freelancer. This could be similar to a the mission trips Mormon boys are required to go on after reaching adulthood. Bear your holy symbol with faith and pride and go around do-gooding in the name of the big H. After you've got folks' attention from selflessly slaying goblins/thieves/dwagons and helping get kittens out of trees, engage in a little softcore evangelism and be on your way, looking for the next opportunity to do good and spread faith.

And naturally, 4-6 people are better at getting things done than 1, so sometime a paladin groups up with others to aide him in his work. He doesn't judge them based on their moral character, but only lightly encourages the most honorable and righteous course of action. Not everyone holds themselves to the high measure of honor that you do, but as long as they aren't outwardly evil, people often do good in their own way.

That keeps you from being a zealotty Selfrighteous McArschloch so you don't have interparty conflict. Encourage righeousness, but don't offer ultimatums to party members.

How's that?

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-14, 07:57 PM
Looks good. What about his childhood though?

Keld Denar
2009-01-14, 08:25 PM
I dunno...maybe something traumatic that swung him hardcore to the right wing. Maybe daddy was an alcoholic, and mommy was a...lady of ill repute. Boy's got something to prove, that hes better, nobler than his birth, devoted to a higher cause. Artemis Enteri syndrome, except...not evil.

Or maybe daddy was a paladin too, and buddy boy grew up going to church every sunday with daddy, and then afterwards they all went to the park for punch and pie. All was right in the world, and he just wanted to be like his idol and father. Kind of blah, but relatively angst free.

Or you could go with the classic "orphan raised by church" schtick. Good, albeit strict, childhood leaves you feeling indebted to the church, so you study hard and get accepted to paladin school on a scholarship. You want to help others who had unfortunate childhoods like your own, and to give them the opportunities like the one you had, so you are adventuring not only to right the wrongs, but to raise money to start the "Shining Blade Scholarship For Kids Who Don't Have Much Chance But Want To Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too Endowment" with dividends being awarded to up-and-coming paladins to pay for tuition, room and board, and arms/armor to attend paladin school just like you did.

Any of those sound good?

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-14, 08:39 PM
Think I'll try the first one, but with an optimist, upwardly mobile feel instead of angst.

Keld Denar
2009-01-14, 08:52 PM
Man, I developed the build, the adventuring motive, and the backstory. I kinda have some emotional investment in this guy, and I don't even know his name. But I gotta root for the lil' guy, since I'm so vested. *sniff* My little build is all grown up! *sniff*

lulz...

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-14, 08:58 PM
Georg Redcrosse

((That's what his name is.))

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-15, 01:59 PM
Well, I visit my DM tommorow. Hopefully I can get Complete Champion approved. If not, what would be the alternative?

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-17, 04:03 PM
Well, the moment of truth came and it went off with barely a hitch. My DM approved most, if not all the build. The only thing he seems reluctant about is the Law Devotion feat. I had to tweak things, since I couldn't take Knowledge Devotion at first level (it requires 5 ranks in any knowledge skill, and a first level character can only have 4 ranks, so I took Power Attack and WF Longsword instead), but Georg Redcrosse looks like he's gonna go far in the Thule campaign.

We've already developed modern accounting techniques (thanks to our financially savvy half-elf druid), established a major trade route between Sylvania and Hyperboria, and not the Empress of Hyperboria herself has given us a pair of quests. We're currently on our way to a nearby village that was massacred by griffins, and we've been instructed to kill the griffins, and bring back any griffin eggs or young we find. On the way, we also befriended a herd of pegasi!

Thank you all for your help for making this character possible, and especially to Keld Denar for helping me with Georg's levelling plan. :smallsmile:

Keld Denar
2009-01-17, 04:42 PM
Which build did you use? This was the final result.

Pal 1 - Law Devotion, Improved Init?
Pal 2 -
Pal 3 - Knowledge Devotion
Pal 4 -
Pal 5 - (Charging Smite ACF)
Ftr 1 - Power Attack (F) Divine Might
Ftr 2 - Weapon Focus: Longsword (F)
DC 1 -
DC 2 - Awesome Smite
OC 1-
OC 2-
OC 3- Holy Warrior (Reserve Feat, CChamp)
OC 4 -
DC 3 -
DC 4 - Practiced Spellcaster (Divine Crusader)
DC 5 -
DC 6 -
DC 7 - Extra Turning
DC 8 -
DC 9 - (no spell progression, but you do get +1 CL)


You can't take PA and WF at level 1, because you'll have no feats worth taking when you get your 2 fighter levels. That means you lose out on a couple of nifty feats, like probably Holy Warrior or whatnot. If your DM allows retraining (PHBII), then keep what you have until level 6, when you get your first fighter level. That'll benefit you a lot more at low levels, and after level 7, it won't matter any more which ones you have or don't have, since you'll have them all. Unfortunately, though, of Divine Might, and the Devotion feats and Awesome Smite, none are fighter bonus feats, so you can't take them with your fighter bonus levels, unless your DM makes an exception.

And yea, Law Devotion is strong. Its probably tied with Travel as one of the strongest devotions in the book. Knowledge is pretty good too, but not nearly as good as Law. Law Devotion REALLY fits the character concept though, being all paladiny and whatnot.

Also, which domain did you decide to go with for your non-war domain? Just curious if you were able to finagle Travel. Travel will benefit you most in the late game, due to the increased mobility from Fly, Dim Door, and Teleport.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-17, 04:44 PM
Which build did you use? This was the final result.

Pal 1 - Law Devotion, Improved Init?
Pal 2 -
Pal 3 - Knowledge Devotion
Pal 4 -
Pal 5 - (Charging Smite ACF)
Ftr 1 - Power Attack (F) Divine Might
Ftr 2 - Weapon Focus: Longsword (F)
DC 1 -
DC 2 - Awesome Smite
OC 1-
OC 2-
OC 3- Holy Warrior (Reserve Feat, CChamp)
OC 4 -
DC 3 -
DC 4 - Practiced Spellcaster (Divine Crusader)
DC 5 -
DC 6 -
DC 7 - Extra Turning
DC 8 -
DC 9 - (no spell progression, but you do get +1 CL)


You can't take PA and WF at level 1, because you'll have no feats worth taking when you get your 2 fighter levels. That means you lose out on a couple of nifty feats, like probably Holy Warrior or whatnot. If your DM allows retraining (PHBII), then keep what you have until level 6, when you get your first fighter level. That'll benefit you a lot more at low levels, and after level 7, it won't matter any more which ones you have or don't have, since you'll have them all. Unfortunately, though, of Divine Might, and the Devotion feats and Awesome Smite, none are fighter bonus feats, so you can't take them with your fighter bonus levels, unless your DM makes an exception.

And yea, Law Devotion is strong. Its probably tied with Travel as one of the strongest devotions in the book. Knowledge is pretty good too, but not nearly as good as Law. Law Devotion REALLY fits the character concept though, being all paladiny and whatnot.

Also, which domain did you decide to go with for your non-war domain? Just curious if you were able to finagle Travel. Travel will benefit you most in the late game, due to the increased mobility from Fly, Dim Door, and Teleport.

Oh...I used the build you'd posted earlier, with Knowledge Devotion at first level. And I don't know if the DM approves re-training!:smallfrown:

Keld Denar
2009-01-17, 04:50 PM
Yea, that build fixes another issue with prereqs. Holy Warrior requires the ability to cast 4th level spells, which you wouldn't get by ECL12 if you went straight into OC. Thus, taking a 2nd level of DC, THEN taking 3 levels of OC gets you in with perfect timing. It really doesn't change the build much, delaying some of your more intense smitage by a level, but meh. Smiting is only one of the many combat options you have available.

And as you can see, the new build picks up KD at level 3, which also addresses the skill issue, yet is still early enough that you can backfill Knowledge: Mystical after it becomes a permanent class skill.

I'd ask if you can change your character now, or retrain later. Just say it was an honest mistake, and you don't want to miss out on 2-3 of your more synergistic feats by having to take more crappy fighter bonus feats.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-17, 06:17 PM
Okay, I've sent the following in an e-mail to my DM:


I realize now that I may have made some errors in my character sheet when I made Georg. As it stands, I couldn't take some of the feats I mentioned because my caster level would be delayed, and the feats I took at first level should have been taken with my fighter levels. It was an honest mistake, and I don't want to miss out on 2-3 of my more synergistic feats by having to take more crappy fighter bonus feats. Would it be acceptable for me to alter Georg's character sheet now, or to use the PHB II's retraining system to alter my feats at a later time? Also, what is your final verdict on Law Devotion? I'm aware that it's a rather powerful feat with no real prerequisites, but I think it fits with Georg's character concept as a servant of Heironeous and an officer of holy law. Please let me know as soon as you can. Thank you.

Does that cover it?

Keld Denar
2009-01-17, 06:30 PM
PLAGERIST!!! Not even a citation! :smallfurious:

Just messin. Looks good. Best of luck with that.

Any idea which domain you are gonna be able to take? Or if you might be able to get your hands on a couple of the juicier magic items that would compliment this build PERFECTLY?

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-17, 06:45 PM
I merely thoght you said it best, and besides, the professor isn't gonna see this.:smalltongue:

Anyway, I'll talk to my DM and see what he says about the Courage domain. I need to take the War Domain though, don't I?

Keld Denar
2009-01-17, 06:51 PM
Yea, War is explicitly given by Ordained Champion. You can't NOT take it. The first one you take, however, is up to you. I'd really try to bargain travel though, since you are a wandering knight and what not. Call it sub-sect of the Big H that spend all their time "traveling" and helping others. Sounds fitting to me, even though Travel technically isn't in his Portfolio. Then again, neither is Courage, even though valor is a big part of H's creedo.

Otherwise, Courage would be a close second, primarily for the spell Valiant Fury in Spell Compendium, although Lion's Roar is also kinda good.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-17, 06:57 PM
I thought you had to have the War Domain to take Divine Crusader, and that you got an extra domain with Ordained Champion.

Keld Denar
2009-01-17, 07:02 PM
Nope, other way around.

You'll have to live for 2 levels without War domain, but the spells it gets at 1 and 2 are Magic Weapon and Spiritual Hammer, neither of which are very good at all. Compare with Travel's Longstrider and....forgot...

EDIT: You might want to read up on Ordained Champ. They get a LOT of abilities, so it would be best that you are familiar with all of them. Many of their options are really good, like the smite.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-17, 08:37 PM
Well, he's not allowing retraining, but he'd be willing to let me take Law Devotion instead of Knowledge Devotion.

Keld Denar
2009-01-17, 08:56 PM
No, take Knowledge Devotion when you can, because then you can be putting skill ranks in it much earlier. Thats worth it.

What are you gonna spend those Fighter bonus feats on then? There really isn't much good for you at that point.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-17, 08:58 PM
I was hoping you'd know.:smallredface:

Keld Denar
2009-01-17, 09:05 PM
In construction, we call this "working from old revisions" and usually results in people losing money and the person responsible for it getting canned.

Sigh.

You know, Divine Might and Awesome Smite are pretty martial, see if you're DM will let you take them with your FBFs. That would make all well enough by 7th level or so.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-17, 09:27 PM
I made a big mistake and my character's going to suck because of it, right?:smallsigh:

Here's my latest e-mail to him:


Dear Damien,

I'm keeping Knowledge Devotion. Part of what I'm doing with my background is having Georg be a member of a knightly order in Heironeous's church dedicated to maintaining and expanding the church's archives and codifying Heironeous's law. The main problem is that I need to take Divine Might and Awesome Smite, which aren't fighter bonus feats. That's why I was looking to switch up some feats. I can live without Law Devotion, but Divine Might and Awesome Smite will improve my combat ability, which for paladins is only mediocre without them. I don't know if it'd be possible to allow Divine Might and Awesome Smite as fighter bonus feats, and you have already made a number of concessions for me already.

Sincerely,
Jacob

Keld Denar
2009-01-17, 09:54 PM
Best of luck. Neither of those feats are terribly powerful. Divine Might adds about 5-6 damage per hit, but only a few times a day. Awesome Smite is mostly utility, great for things with DR you'd otherwise have trouble cracking.

Plus, you'll take Law Devotion a little later in the build, in place of where you would take Awesome Smite. A couple levels later, but it gets much better as it scales and is actually worth 3 turn attempts to use 2 or more times per day.


PS, look into the Regalia of the Hero in MIC. That would be some good stuff, especially Gauntlets of War (since Big H has the war domain, and you are using the Longsword, his favored weapon). +3 damage for 4000 gold is pretty snazzy, and getting the whole set would be neat, especially if you can upgrade the shield with Animated so that you can 2hand the sword. But then again, sounds like you are gonna have to take what he gives you. Maybe down the road, accidentally leave a wish list behind after a gaming session with that gear written down, including what it is and does. That would be really good for your character.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-17, 09:56 PM
He said he'd be willing to let me take Knowledge Devotion OR Law Devotion, not both.

Keld Denar
2009-01-17, 10:01 PM
Buh wha? You can't be devoted to the knowledge of the law? LOL!

Um, I'm thinking Knowledge Devotion is probably gonna be the more powerful of the 2, since it doesn't require turn attempts to use, and there are really only 2 knowledges in your game to keep maxed out.

Law Devotion would be something that would be better for big boss fights, KD would be better for every day asskickery. Your choice in the end, though I'd pick KD.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-17, 10:31 PM
That's what I thought. I don't want to push him too far though. He's already approved a lot.

Dacia Brabant
2009-01-17, 11:04 PM
Yeah I don't blame him for not letting you take two Devotion feats when you don't have any Domains (to sacrifice for the feats). And Knowledge is the better one simply on economic grounds: you'll always be able to get something out of it, the only thing you have to spend is skill points and Knowledge skills are handy anyway, and your campaign combines a lot of them into one skill. If you're doing Law Devotion and Divine Might, that's a lot of Turning uses you're going through daily, without a really high Cha you're better off with just DM.

As for your Fighter feats, if you have the Int for it I'd take Combat Expertise+Improved Trip, if not I don't think you have Improved Initiative and there's always Cleave. You probably don't have the Dex to make use of it but Combat Reflexes is a good pairing with Divine Might since DM lasts 1 full round. And I know you're giving up your Special Mount but that doesn't mean you can't still buy a mount and use Mounted Combat+Ride-by Attack.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-17, 11:11 PM
I can't imagine charging into battle on a reindeer (as our campaign is set in a post-ice age world, most of the other characters have two or three pack reindeer.)

Dacia Brabant
2009-01-17, 11:16 PM
I can't imagine charging into battle on a reindeer (as our campaign is set in a post-ice age world, most of the other characters have two or three pack reindeer.)

I have two words for you: wooly mammoth. :smallbiggrin:

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-17, 11:30 PM
Those didn't exist in modern Europe though. The campaign world is set in Earth's future. 1,000,000,000 or so years in the future there's a second Ice Age that sends civilization back to the Dark Ages and apparently introduces magic, since there's dwarves and elves and orcs and such.

Keld Denar
2009-01-17, 11:59 PM
He's using a long sword, which can't be used to make trip attempts. Thus, he'd have to drop his sword or shield to do it. Cleave would be ok, but at the sacrifice of one of the other feats, I don't think its worth it.

Also, LD does use turn attempts, as does DM AND the OC's smite ability. Thats a lot of burnin turn attempts. Maybe its better to take it later. Its not something that you would use every battle though, because of its extreme cost. If you think about all the times you'd could make 3-4 attacks with +6-7 damage per hit in a round, you'd be doing about 30ish extra damage results in about 90 damage for the 3 TU attempts. When Law Devotion would give you about a +5 to hit, which translates to about +10 damage with 2haned PA. Per round, thats about 30-40 damage per round. That would make a combat against a boss go a lot faster, but combat would have to last longer than 3 full attacks to get more damage out of the 3 turns than Divine Might.

Where as, Knowledge Devotion will give you about +3/+3 consistantly. If you PA with it, you'll have +0/+9, which is almost as good as Law Devotion, is active every combat, and can be used in a non-PA situation for bonus to hit if something has a really high AC.

Dacia Brabant
2009-01-18, 12:30 AM
Those didn't exist in modern Europe though. The campaign world is set in Earth's future. 1,000,000,000 or so years in the future there's a second Ice Age that sends civilization back to the Dark Ages and apparently introduces magic, since there's dwarves and elves and orcs and such.

Ah well, worth a shot. I don't see why there wouldn't be horses though in a Dark Ages Europe world though.


He's using a long sword, which can't be used to make trip attempts. Thus, he'd have to drop his sword or shield to do it.

See that's something that's always bothered me, why wouldn't you be able to try to kick someone's legs out from under them in a swordfight? Or, better yet, cut their legs out from under them.

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-18, 04:35 PM
Still no word from my DM.:smallsigh:

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-24, 01:16 AM
I've spoken with my DM at tonight's session. While Divine Might and Awesome Smite are martial in nature, they have requirements that the average fighter most definately cannot meet, and therefore I cannot take them on my fighter bonus levels. I hit level 3 and took Knowledge Devotion though.

I'm at a loss now. I feel like I ruined the build with my shortsightedness and now my paladin's going to suck as a result.:smallfrown:

Keld Denar
2009-01-24, 01:44 AM
Sorry dude. I helped out where I could. Um....if your DM is really uncomfortable with Law Devotion, then I'd skip it. Its great, but no reason to cause a player/dm arms race.

Try this?

Pal 1 - Power Attack, Weapon Focus
Pal 2 -
Pal 3 - Knowledge Devotion
Pal 4 -
Pal 5 - (Charging Smite ACF)
Ftr 1 - Divine Might, Improved Init (F)
Ftr 2 - Improved Toughness (F)
DC 1 -
DC 2 - Awesome Smite
OC 1-
OC 2-
OC 3- Holy Warrior (Reserve Feat, CChamp)
OC 4 -
DC 3 -
DC 4 - Practiced Spellcaster (Divine Crusader)
DC 5 -
DC 6 -
DC 7 - Extra Turning
DC 8 -
DC 9 - (no spell progression, but you do get +1 CL)


So, all you've really lost out on is Law Devotion. Improved Init will let you act a little sooner, which can be good for Charging Smites, and Improved Toughness gives you a little more resiliance, I guess. Its not terrible without Law Devotion, and you'll have a lot more TU attempts to use your Divine Might and OC Smite feature more often.

Look good?

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-24, 01:58 AM
Looks fine. Do I need to take Toughness to take Improved Toughness?

Keld Denar
2009-01-24, 02:07 AM
HELL NO!

Toughness is the 2nd worst feat ever printed, second only to Monkey Grip *shudder*.

Its in Complete Warrior, and only requires a +2 fort save, which you COULD have taken it at 1st level due to being a Paladin (strong Fort).

Hope you enjoy playing the character!

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-01-24, 02:20 AM
I will. I've already perfected an accent for him (he sounds kinda like Ahnold), and with the number of moral quandaries the group's found itself in is really helping me shape his character.

Plus I really shined in the last fight. A she-griffin had raked and pecked me down to 7 HP, so I decided if I was gonna go out it'd be in a blaze of glory. I drop my shield and I quote Sir Orin Neville-Smythe's "prayer" from The Flight of Dragons, and then...I SCORE A CRIT! I dole out 14 damage to the griffin, then the cleric heals me and then I make another attack with Power Attack and dole out 13 damage. Together we brought her down to -4. Then we got hung up on the kobold lycan's alignment and whether we should kill the griffin or not. We eventually ended up trying to negotiate with it, and putting it down when it refused to negotiate. Then we gave the eggs to the local empress, who'd ordered us to drive out the griffins.