View Full Version : Replacing the base class abilities of Paladins

2011-01-10, 01:36 PM
I am creating an extensive homebrew D&D world, intended for 3.5 but I may adapt it 4.0 since a friend has just recently bought the books and is pushing for us to learn it. The biggest difference is that Good, Evil, Law, and Chaos have been replaced by good, evil, law, and chaos.

Characters still have alignments. There are still moral conflicts. But the alignments are not cosmological forces in and of themselves. Thus my world has no spells that are alignment specific like Detect Evil and Know Alignment.

Each deity in my world has an associated aura color that a level two home brew divination spell lets a castor ID the particular patron behind any divine spell caster or outsider.

I still like the idea of paladins. Warriors who gain divine power by maintaining a rigid honor code. They'd still have to maintain their code to maintain their spells, save bonuses and the like. But they have two class abilities that are alignment based. Detect Evil and Smite Evil. I thought about replacing Smite Evil and Detect Evil with a generic Smite, but my friend pointed out that it's rare in a typical D&D game, almost everything PCs fight is evil, so that's not a giant boost. Replacing detect evil with the ability to read divine auras would make paladins needlessly specialized towards fighting other divinely powered beings since I'm not planning to use too many outsiders outside of very high level campaigns.

So what's a fair trade for Detect Evil at will and some Smite Evils every few levels?

2011-01-10, 01:47 PM
Maybe something like Detect/Smite Enemy or Detect/Smite Sinner, affecting those with hostile feelings towards you or who are extensive sinners, respectively? They should work fine, but the interpretation of what qualifies as a valid target is greatly dependant on fair DM fiat.

2011-01-10, 01:57 PM
I would considder making the abilities given to a paladin differ depending on his diety, or the nature of his code. Not helpful with rules questions, but an interesting flavour to the class.

Foryn Gilnith
2011-01-10, 02:03 PM
Champions of Valor substitution levels allow paladins to replace Detect Evil with Detect Magic, Inspire Courage, or Know Greatest Enemy (automatic sense of which enemy within 60' has highest CR). The Gaze of Truth variant from some dragon magazine allows the paladin to use Discern Lies (1+Cha mod) times per day. A successful save blocks this for 24 hours.

No significant replacements for Smite Evil, though changing it to Smite would be adequate, I suppose.