A templar formulates his personal code of conduct around a set of oaths that he makes and bind himself to in the everlasting covenant between himself and whatever power to which he swears allegiance. These vows give him tremendous power and serve to differentiate one templar from another, while not necessarily limiting him to one form of play. Initially, a templar may only select new vows to make and new ideals to uphold. As he gains levels, the templar is able to renew vows, essentially swearing upon the same vow again. This reaffirmation of his faith and dedication to that vow results in further powers related to that particular oath. Of course, since no one is perfect, breaking these vows does not necessarily result in the loss of class features.
Unless otherwise noted, the default saving throw for any effects related to the paladin's earthly vows is 10 + ½ the templar's class level + his Charisma modifier.
Vow of Charity
First: Once per round on your turn you may aid another as a free action.
Second: Once per round when you are targeted by a spell with an effect beneficial to you, you may allow another creature within Close Range to also gain the benefits of that spell. The spell must also be beneficial to the creature you wish to share it with (interpreted at the DM's discretion), or the sharing fails.
Third: An ally within Close range of you may use your spell slots to cast a spell of an equivalent or lower spell level, so long as you possess the minimum charisma score to use the slot yourself. Your ally may use this slot to cast any spell that they have prepared or that they know (in the case of spontaneous casters), using your slot instead of their own. Your ally may also cast spells from your spell list, even if they would not normally be capable of casting divine spells. Anyone casting a spell in this fashion uses their own attributes, feats, and character level to determine the effects and DC of the spell. They do not need to meet the minimum charisma score requirement for a particular spell level cast from your list, but they must be of a sufficient level that they would be able to use the spell slot were they a templar of the same level.
Roleplaying Ideas: Perhaps your church decrees that its members must give aid to others, or maybe you give out of the goodness of your heart. You are the quintessential selfless knight, giving to others without necessarily thinking of your own gains. There are times when you may give up more important things than money; the truest sacrifice a templar can make is to offer their own life in the service of their cause.
Vow of Clemency
First: Whenever you deal lethal damage with a weapon or spell, you may freely opt to deal nonlethal damage instead without suffering a penalty to attack or damage rolls.
Second: You may automatically stabilize any creature within Close range of yourself. Additionally, you may keep them from being killed outright through hit point or ability damage. If a creature within Close range would reach -10 hit points or 0 in an attribute, you may instead set them to -9 hit point or 1 in the attribute, whichever is more appropriate. Creatures who are saved from reaching 0 in an ability score are rendered unconscious for 24 hours, though you may rouse them as a standard action at any time before that. You must be aware of a creature to use this ability.
Third: You may administer healing or other status restoration effects to creatures who have been dead for less than 1 hour as if they were still alive. If you would heal a creature in such a way that they would not be dead, they recover from that condition without penalty.
Roleplaying Ideas: A good templar may see legitimacy in the concept of defeating enemies in a non-fatal fashion, but it's just as possible that you may simply need to capture them so as to transport them to a more grisly fate.
Vow of Confrontation
First: When you deal damage to a creature with an alignment component opposed to your own, you add your templar level to the damage. A lawful good templar, for example, would add this damage to chaotic or evil creatures. Neutral creatures are considered opposed to creatures with no neutral portion of their alignment. You may suppress this bonus damage at-will.
Second: Any weapon you wield gains the benefits of an alignment related weapon ability. Chaotic templars gain the anarchic property, lawful templars gain the axiomatic property, good templars gain then holy property, and evil templars gain the unholy weapon property. If you would qualify for multiple properties, you gain them both. If you qualify for only 1 property, you may gain that one or select either one from your neutral alignment axis. If you do not qualify for any property, you may select one. Altering your selection requires a swift action.
Third: Any foe who suffers additional damage from your alignment related weapon properties must also succeed on a Fortitude save or die. You may suppress this effect at will, and may not combine this with any other strike that would inflict a status condition. A creature that makes their save suffers normal damage from the strike and is immune to this effect until the start of your next turn. If the creature would only suffer additional damage from one weapon property, they gain a +4 bonus to this save. If you are a Neutral templar, the target gains an additional +2 on their save. This is a [Death] effect.
Roleplaying Ideas: You don't back down in the face of your enemy, don't stomach the foes of your faith, and do what you can to quickly remove them from the world. It doesn't really matter what the rest of the world thinks about the plan.
Vow of Conquest
First: Your first successful melee attack against an opponent in a round causes them to make a Fortitude save or become fatigued. This ability cannot be used to confer exhaustion on a creature that is already fatigued.
Second: Your first successful melee attack aginst an opponent in a round deals an additional 1 point of Wisdom damage.
Third: Your first successful melee attack aginst an opponent in a round confers 1 negative level.
Roleplaying Ideas: Only by destroying the will to fight can you truly conquer a people, and this shows is all of your deeds and words.
Vow of Greed
First: As a standard action, you may detect metals and minerals as a Rod of Metal and Mineral Detection for 1 round. After this time you must wait 5 minutes before acting in this fashion again.
Second: You can steal the health from those you harm, and recover hit points equal to the damage you deal to a living creature in melee or your class level, whichever is less. This healing cannot restore you beyond your normal hit point total.
Third: Once per round when a spell is targeted on another creature within Close range of you, you may also gain the effects of that spell. A spell leeched in this fashion has the same duration (if applicable) for you as it does for the other recipient, but if it ends prematurely for the recipient it does not end for you. This ability is only useable at the moment the spell is cast, but does not grant you any particular knowledge of what spell is being cast. You must be a valid target for the spell; if you are not this ability is not considered expended. You can even use this ability to teleport along with a caster; if you do so you appear in the space next to them instead of in the same space.
Roleplaying Ideas: While many religions place Greed among their sins, being selfish and simply taking your due is seen as a virtue in many eyes. The church also loves money and various assorted shiny things, and has its knights seek to recover either wherever possible (by scrupulous methods as often as not). Or perhaps covetousness and greed is more specific to you, and the church merely puts up with it because they like having badasses who do good things for them.
Vow of Loyalty
First: Once per round you may intercept an attack, spell, or supernatural effect that specifically targets a creature adjacent to you. When you do this, you become treated as the intended recipient of the attack or effect. You must declare this after the creature has been targeted but before the success of the action has been determined.
Second: Once per round as a free action, you may teleport to a space adjacent to any ally within Close Range (25 feet + 5 ft./2 levels) of you. This provokes attacks of opportunity.
Third: You may designate one creature adjacent to you as protected as a free action on your turn. So long as you remain adjacent to them and don't designate a different creature, you grant them full cover and block line of effect from anyone other than yoruself. You may still intercept attacks for other adjacent allies as normal, however, and if you use your ability to teleport to a nearby ally you bring the protected creature with you as well.
Roleplaying Ideas: Whether it's guarding a cleric of the church or some other less individually capable VIP, you protect them with your body and your life.
Vow of Perseverance
First: You no longer suffer penalties to your base movement speed caused by wearing medium or heavy armor. Secondly, you do not suffer the fatigued or exhausted conditions directly. An effect that would normally cause you to be fatigued is reduced to having no effect, while an effect that would normally cause you to become exhausted is instead reduced to fatigued. Should you be exhausted again while suffering fatigue from a previous exhaustion, that still stacks to exhausted as normal.
Second: You no longer needing to sleep 8 hours or trance for 4 hours in a night, and are instead sufficiently rested after a single hour. You have no sense of the outside world during this time and are treated as unconscious, though you can be roused in the same way as any sleeper would be. Further, you gain immunity to any natural or magical effect that would cause you to lose consciousness, aside from the dying condition. This does not affect the schedule on which you regain spells, and you must still meet any other rest requirements before regaining spells even if you simply sit on watch. It does allow you to craft things twice as quickly however (if you have sufficient spells available in the case of magical items), or perform many other downtime tasks in half as much time.
Third: Once per round, you can elect to not be affected by an attack, ability, or other effect that would cause you to die, begin dying, or be transformed into an inanimate form. You may do so even if you have already failed a save against the ability or been successfully hit by the attack.
Roleplaying Ideas: A good templar may work tirelessly for the advancement of a city or group, while an evil one might work tirelessly for their own. He can sleep when he wants to, or when he's dead.
Vow of Perfidy
First: You gain Bluff as a class skill, and any effect that would interfere with your ability to lie has a 50% chance to not affect you at all. This is rolled before spell resistance and saving throws.
Second: You are shielded by a constant ''[[SRD:Nondetection|nondetection]]'' effect with a caster level equal to your class level. If you successfully block a ''detect'' spell, you may provide instead provide a false reading for the caster of the divination if you wish.
Third: You are able to mimic other templars, down to gaining the benefits of vows that they receive. You gain the once vowed and twice vowed ability of one vow that you do not already possess; by meditating without interruption for 8 hours, you may change which vow you possess the abilities of.
Roleplaying Ideas: Deceitful churches employ deceitful templars, able to disguise themselves and assume the mantles of other churches and knightly orders. In order to protect the secrets of your faith, you have sworn to become such a templar.
Vow of Resilience
First: You become immune to the shaken and frightened conditions, and only suffer the penalties of the shaken condition if you happen to become panicked. Against [Fear] effects that do not result in one of the above conditions, you gain a +4 bonus on your saves.
Second: You can prevent yourself from losing consciousness or dying as a result of hit point loss for 1 round, no matter how low your hit point total falls. You may gain this protection as a swift or immediate action, and it automatically activates in any round you use an ability from your Avenger of the Faith styles.
Third: Once per round as a free action you may revive a dead ally within Medium range in order to allow them to keep fighting. This ability lasts until the ally takes damage again, suffers a condition that would kill them, or until the beginning of your next turn. You may revive an ally multiple times with this ability, but may not return them to life permanently without suitable magic.
Roleplaying Ideas: Open to cliches galore. You are the sole survivor of a group of knights slaughtered by some great opponent. Your experience in the horrors of war has seen you lose many comrades, but hardened your body and soul in the face of imminent danger.
Vow of Purity
First: You gain immunity to all poisons and diseases (even those of magical nature).
Second: You gain immunity to [Mind-Affecting] effects cast by those whose alignments are oppose yours. Neutral creatures are considered opposed to creatures with no neutral portion of their alignment.
Third: As a move action useable at will, you may purge your system of any negative condition affecting you including: ability penalties (such as from ray of enfeeblement, touch of idiocy, etc.), ability burn, ability damage, ability drain, blindness, confusion, dazing, dazzling, deafness, entanglement, exhaustion, fatigue, fascination, fright, level drain, shaken, panicked, cowering, nausea, paralysis, sickness, stunning, and any other condition that this list does not include but the DM deems permissible. If you are unable to take a move action but are still conscious, you may purge yourself of one negative effect as a 1-round interruptable action.
Roleplaying Ideas: You keep a clean body, and a clean soul. And maybe you force everyone to try to live that way as well...
Vow of Taint
First: If an ally within Close range is afflicted by a harmful condition listed below (death and dying do not count) that could also affect you, you may take a move action to take that condition from them and instead apply it to yourself: ability penalties (such as from ray of enfeeblement, touch of idiocy, etc.), ability burn, ability damage, ability drain, blindness, confusion, dazing, dazzling, deafness, entanglement, exhaustion, fatigue, fascination, fright, level drain, shaken, panicked, cowering, nausea, paralysis, sickness, stunning, and any other condition that this list does not include but the DM deems permissible.
Second: You may suppress the effects of one of the above negative status effects currently imposed on yourself. While suppressing it in this fashion, you suffer no penalties for it. You may suppress an effect or select a new effect to suppress once per round as a free action on your turn. Additionally, you may spread your suppressed condition to an enemy struck with a melee attack, forcing them to make saving throws as needed to avoid contracting the same ailment. If they make their save, they are immune to this effect until the start of your next turn. You may not apply this effect when your attack would deliver another status effect. If the ailment stacks, such as negative levels, you may apply it to a target additional times in later rounds.
Third: Taint oozes off of you, even when you're otherwise clean. On a successful attack, you may force the target to make a save or become Nauseated for 1 round. If they make their save, you may not attempt to nauseate them again until the start of your next turn. You may not apply this effect when your attack would deliver another status effect, either with the above ability or another spell, feat, or similar feature.
Roleplaying Ideas: Evil power can only be contained by the body and will of good's greatest servants, or harnessed by the most ambitious and ruthless of tyrants.
Vow of Truth
First: You may radiate a Zone of Truth for 1 round by concentrating as a standard action. This is a supernatural ability useable at will.
Second: You may not be compelled to lie or be untruthful to your faith. If a spell would cause you to act against a known adherent to your faith or philosophy (including alignment), break a vow, or lie you may instead state that you are unable to commit such an act and perform no actions for the round. If the effect would end following the completion of the compulsion, as in suggestion, it is automatically discharged and ended at the start of your next turn. Otherwise you gain a new save against the effect, with a +4 bonus.
Third: You are constantly under the effects of a true seeing spell. This is a supernatural ability.
Roleplaying Ideas: Dishonesty really sticks in your craw, and you like to rattle the saber against those who would use treachery and subterfuge. For without truth, how can anything ever be accomplished in the world?
Vow of Valor
First: You respond quickly to the threat of a charge. If a charge attack is ever declared against you, you may declare a charge against the opponent charging you as an immediate action. You gain all normal charge benefits on this action. You and the opponent charging meet at the midpoint of your charges, regardless of your respective speeds.
Second: Your valor allows you to stand in the face of adversity when others can not. As a swift or immediate action (or as a free-action in any round you use an ability from your Avenger of the Faith styles) you can become rooted to a space unless you elect to move from it. If you are falling or sinking, you immediately cease at your current elevation. Should you allow yourself to fall in later rounds, you suffer falling damage from your new position. Your position can be changed, however, but it requires substantial effort. You gain a bonus equal to twice your templar level on any check or save to resist falling, losing your footing, or being forcibly moved to another space. This protection lasts until the beginning of your next turn. You may take move actions normally while this effect is active.
Third: Your fearlessness is terrifying in its own right. On a successful attack, you may force the target to make a save or become Frightened for 1 round. If they make their save, they are immune to this effect until the start of your next turn. You may not apply this effect when your attack would deliver another status effect.
Roleplaying Ideas: You are one of those hardcore zealots who throw themselves at the enemy, striking fear deep into their hearts. It's hard for enemies to fight someone who doesn't fear death.