View Full Version : Alternate Paladin feature

2010-11-02, 07:51 AM
So, it's come up before, and I kinda agree: a Paladin's ability to detect evil is a problem sometimes. You scan creatures, and if they glow red, you now they are bad. I'm trying to come up with an alternate, if similar ability, to replace it.

Holy Guidance (Su) (replaces Detect Evil)

A paladin is, at all times, guided by the very principle of goodness and law. Therefore, he has what amounts to an additional sense, one guiding him on his mission.
If a Paladin comes within thirty feet of any creature with the evil subtype, an undead creature of evil alignment or any divine spellcaster of an evil god, they feel a strong sense of unease. They can not pinpoint the exact source of that feeling, but they know that it comes from an evil creature. This sense lasts for up to a minute after the creature provoking this response leaves the presence of the Paladin. It can be blocked by all methods that would block a Detect Evil spell.

So, what do people think? Compared to the normal Detect Evil, it takes no action to activate and is supernatural, but only goes of in the presence of supernatural evil and does not pinpoint the source (so you can't really scan a crowd).
Good idea? Bad? Abusable in ways I did not think of?

2010-11-02, 08:11 AM
The conservation of character description could cause problems.

2010-11-02, 10:02 AM
I like it. It allows you to have a passive alert system for true Evil, and if nothing else will let you know to be on guard or to let another character scan for the Evil. It can be blocked, so it's well balanced, and it sort of feels like the gods watching out for thier servant, whitch fits the overall flavor of the class. I say, well crafted!:smallsmile:

2010-11-02, 10:27 AM
It could also have a range that increases based on character or class level, since it doesn't really improve at pinpointing the creature. Perhaps 30 feet + 10 feet per character level, or even more. That way a 20th level paladin could feel something coming a mile away, which would be pretty wicked especially if it could gain better detection abilities at higher levels.

2010-11-02, 10:29 AM
Hmm. Fair enough. Though 230 feet isn't quite a mile yet. :smallwink:

What kind of improved detection would you suggest?

2010-11-02, 10:44 AM
True, but I could see 100 feet per level (still not a mile, but getting closer to half) being a reasonable distance still given the lack of precision with the ability. Hell, at higher levels you could probably get away with that and knowing the alignment of every creature in that area. It could really give the paladin some much-needed value as a radar of sorts.

2010-11-02, 10:54 AM
Too much range could actually be a hindrance. If you walk into a tomb full of undead and you feel unease for the entire time you're there, the sense isn't telling you anything you didn't already know. Likewise, in a crowded city, knowing that there are one or more entities of supernatural evil somewhere within a quarter-mile radius isn't terribly helpful.

2010-11-02, 11:04 AM
So perhaps another class feature later that lets you determine the alignment and aura strength of every creature within the area? It is a paladin; it's not like it's levels are so stuffed it can't handle more.

2010-11-02, 11:17 AM
Or swap smite evil x/day for at will smiting but if you smite a neutral you get - 2 to attack (and maybe to damage) for the rest of the day and cannot smite for 1d6 + 3 rounds. If you smite good - 4 cannot smite for 24 hrs.

2010-11-02, 11:19 AM
Perhaps leave it with a large range, but the paladin can, as a free action, reduce the range (perhaps in certain increments). This still lets him be a warning beacon out in the wilderness, but in crowded areas he can greatly restrict the range to, say, the same room he's in.

2010-11-02, 03:05 PM
I'd rather not make the scanning more precise, actually. One of the goals of this version is to reduce the practicality the "scan and smite" approach. If the paladin knows everyone's alignment if they come close to him, that's pretty much against the intent.

But having two versions, one focused, one dispersed, is a good idea. So, one that goes to a few hundred feet later, and one that stays closer.

2010-11-02, 04:16 PM
"Evil sense... tingling!"
I like. I've been playing with this idea for a paladin project, though I kinda scraped it. Still nice as an option for paladins, to choose which version he wants at 1st level. I think keeping the limit to 30 ft is about right, as it allows him to know stuff is nearby.
One idea to consider is that it works as an evil-dar, in places with few people. For example, you are in a dungeon and is about to enter a room, when you suddenly feels evil nearby. You can warn your allies that there's something in there, even if you don't know exactly where or how much, but it's still an anti-surprise device (except against neutral enemies and traps).

2010-11-03, 06:59 AM
What might work is to have the intensity of the feeling vary based on proximity. The closer the bad guy, the more uneasy you feel. The dificulty with this approach would be making it quantitative.

2010-11-03, 07:50 PM

Lv1: Sense the presence of evil within 30ft
Lv3: Sense the presence of evil within 120ft (-4 strength)
Lv5: Sense the presence of evil within 1000ft (-6 strength)
Lv7: Sense the presence of evil within 1 mile (-8 strength)
Lv9: Sense the presence of evil within 2 miles (-10 strength)
Lv11: Sense the presence of evil within 5 miles (-12 strength)
Lv13: Sense the presence of evil within 10 miles (-14 strength)
Lv15: Sense the presence of evil within 20 miles (-16 strength)
Lv17: Sense the presence of evil within 50 miles (-18 strength)
Lv19: Sense the presence of evil within 100 miles (-20 strength)

You can tell which of the radii an evil presence is within. If the strength of the aura would be reduced to 0 or less then you can't detect it. Note that the only evil creatures who will ping in your largest radius are at least twice as strong as you.

2010-11-04, 01:11 PM
I like the idea.

I would also be fine with just bumping the power level of Detect Evil, and making it a continuous ability with a radius of 30 feet. Unlike 99% of other characters (the Knight and variant Paladins/Blackguards being the other exceptions) the Paladin must live under some serious roleplaying restrictions, and his Smite Evil class ability is only useful on a moderate sized sub-group of enemies. In exchange, he should be given a big "Warning: you are about to sleep with a Succubus!" and "Smite that Guy Over There" ability.