View Full Version : Karma Paladin [3.5 Variant]

Corporate M
2010-04-08, 01:29 PM

Whats the difference between a king and his horse?I dont mean some kiddy **** like one has 4 legs and the other has 2, or ones a person and ones an animal. If their form, ability, and power is exactly the same, then why is it one becomes the king and controls the battle and the other one becomes the horse and carries the king? There's only one answer...INSTINCT!!!
--Ichigo, paladin of freedom
I like the paladin as a concept, but it's way too frontloaded, and quite honestly, it better as a prestige class.

I thought about making a whole new class. But why, when I could improve upon an existing one? The paladin loses some things and gains access to others.

The paladin no longer gains a mount.
The paladin loses ride and hide animal as class skills.
The paladin no longer gains spells.
Class abilities like turn undead and smite or no longer charisma based.

The paladin gains intimidate as a class skill.
The paladin can use manuevers as presented in tome of battle. Via Karma Point system. (Explained shortly...)
Class abilities like turn undead and smite are key stat based. (Explained later...)

Karma System:
The Karma System is almost like a spellpoint system, but based around the paladin's alignment. For one: Paladins never "fall". They simply switch over to a variant paladin. For purposes of discerning, we will call them

Paladin of Valor (The basic lawful good one)
Paladin of Freedom (chaotic good unearthed arcana)
Paladin of Slaughter (chaotic evil unearthed arcana)
Paladin of Tyranny (lawful evil unearthed arcana)

Switching over to one class merely changes your abilities and the manuevers you have access too. As well, karma system works like action points, in that it's allocated over the course of your adventuring career as the DM gives you notice when you have more karma points to expend. Typically, good roleplaying, or slaying a creature of a certain alignment gives you karma points. If you become some neutral alignment, the DM picks a paladin type for you to become. This isn't supposed to be puritan, its just supposed to be a measuring stick...

Manuevers/Key Stat:
Paladins have access to Tome of Battle manuevers like any other innitiator class. (Level 1: first level manuevers Level 3: second level, and every two levels after that a new level they can innitiate) Your key stat determines the DC of your manuevers.

A manuever costs a number of karma points to use equal to it's level. You gain a number of starting karma points equal to your key stat score. As well, you'll need to consult your key stat for determining how long a stance lasts. (It's not like in ToB where it lasts till you activate a new one. This one lasts a number of rounds equal to your key stat modifier+1. You can also only innitiate certain disciplines of manuevers, depending on your class type.

(All paladins can use Iron Heart discipline)
Paladin of Valor: Diamond Mind / Devoted Spirit
Paladin of Freedom: White Raven / Desert Wind
Paladin of Slaughter: Tiger Claw / Shadow Hand
Paladin of Tyranny: Stone Dragon / Setting Sun

Key Stat:
You may choose your key stat for determining the DC of your manuevers, the stance rounds, and starting karma points. You also get an added bonus based off the key stat you so choose as listed below!

Gain a +1 bonus to all damage rolls against creatures of opposing alignment per paladin level. (Say you're chaotic evil, you deal the +3 damage to lawful or good creatures) But no more then your strength modifier.

You add your strength mod to total HP score every hit die of paladin (like constitution) and do this a number of times equal to strength modifier. (Say you have 18 strength, 4 levels of paladin you can add the +4HP to hit die)

Armor no longer has a max dexterity bonus or dextery check penalties.

May a number of times per day equal to paladin level (but no more then dexterity modifier), "absorb" the AC bonus of others. Its a melee touch attack that deals 1d6 non-lethal damage, and whatever AC bonus they have, you add to your own. This bonus can stack with all other AC bonuses, and it lasts for a number of hours equal to your dexterity modifier. You can even absorb this from inanimate objects like armor/shields.

You can increase the critical threat range and multiplyer of your weapon (you must do it before you roll the attack) by an amount equal to your paladin level (but no more then con modifier) Say for example you have 18 con. You have 4 points to switch around a greatsword which is normaly 19-20/x2, to make 16-20/x3, or 19-20/x6. Whatever!

The paladin's attacks may deal one of the following (choose when you attack) ;
Fortitude save DC equal to int score or become sickened.
Reflex save DC equal to int score or become fatigue.
Will save DC equal to int score or become shaken.
You may do this a number of times per day equal to paladin level.

You are immune to critical hits, and gain a bonus to confirmation hits equal to your paladin level. (But no more then your wisdom modifier+1)

You gain +1 to manuever DCs per paladin level. (But no more then charisma modifier)
You add your charisma score to your massive damage threshold. (So say it's 18. 50+18=68)

I accidently made the paladin even more frontloaded then it was before. Manuever progression alone would not be worth it if it did not scale, it could just be dipped. So the abilities are now much more scaled... Unfourtanately, I think I may have very well turned the paladin into a tier 2 or even tier 1 class!

2010-04-08, 07:06 PM
It sounded like an interesting idea,
But as soon as I saw the aility to be immune to criticals I just had to stop. While you have the option of not choosing that power it's just too unbalanced. you should rework that, or suffer major balance issues in your game.

2010-04-08, 07:40 PM
The features from the key stats should not all be granted at once since that just encourages dipping (albeit you can still only dip once, I'm assuming).

Grant them over the course of several levels.

Also, wisdom should probably be more focused on not being surprised. Paladins hate 'dishonorable combatants' like ambushers after all, right? Maybe their ultimate is improved uncanny dodge. Immunity to critical seems a bit silly. Also, bonuses to intimidate, saves, and cold stare (replaces charisma with wisdom as intimidate stat). Maybe even the ability to predict in combat so at very high levels it'd be like divine telepathy?

Int should reflect combat style or technique, making the paladin sort of a holy/unholy tactician.

Charisma could offer straight aura buffs and the ability to turn undead, that sorta thing.

Strength should be pure damage. Flavor it with supernatural abilities like 'divine surge' which burns people in a blaze of light or whatever. Also the ability to duplicate weapon enhancements on a smite seems popular and the ability to smite more then just evil (declare favored enemies, so smite aberration, smite undead, smite outsider, etc. for extra damage).

Dexterity would transform you into some kind of armored speedster. I don't know how that works out fluff wise exactly. But a crusader who brings gymnastics to the battlefield? Could work. Maybe they could cast up glowing mists of blinding light that work like darkness (you cannot see into it directly, hence dark vision does not work unless enemy can see with very high light amplitudes in the way), and then daylight spell at outer ranges where their would normally be low light for an area enshrouded in darkness.

Constitution would be straight tank. What about the ability to wear very heavy armor (armor made thicker but heavier, so 300 pound full plate could offer damage reduction or whatever), and equip tower shields? Also, spell resistance or reflection at high levels.

Note that for my warcraft themed paladin, I included retribution, holy and defense (WoW talent trees). Each was like a different style or 'stride' which essentially could be selected at level one and then offered a major capstone at level 20. Retribution was damage, defense was basically armor (so, like auras and immunity to critical probably) and holy was healing and undead smiting (assuming alignment was appropriate).

Another Idea to make it more captivating: Give each key stated paladin an additional name.

Like for strength, you could call it 'Force of <insert deity here>' and for dexterity it'd be 'Grace of Angels' - better names would do than these, of course.

Since your new paladin is an initiator, you should indicate a table for stances and maneuvers that you can ready at each level as well as maneuver recovery method.

2010-04-08, 08:08 PM
Since you aren't afraid to use ToB material why not start with the crusader class and alter that?

Also, the quote in your opening post is actually said by Ichigo's hollow aspect. Sorry, nitpick.

2010-04-08, 09:02 PM
Key stats are too strong as currently presented, Str, Con, and Cha seem best but they're all irregular.

It seems unlikely that given Karma points will allow frequent use of maneuvers. Did you want the Karma pool to refresh every encounter? Even that will not allow many maneuvers per encounter. Consider stealing the Crusader's mechanic, or the Warblade's.