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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default not quite paladins - help with new core class

    Paladins don't really fit in my campaign world as they are published, but I still want religious warriors in the style of "chivalrous" knights to champion the (sometimes corrupt) church that is central to my plot(this church is based on the unfortunately flawed and all-too-human late-dark ages / medieval Catholic church of real world history).

    I came up with Holy Knights in the dim distant past when I played boxed set D&D. For the 3rd Edition, here is my revised core class, with which I know I need some peer input. (There are so many great gamers on here with plenty of rules-lawyer and role-playing opinions...)

    Please help me out by making comments so I can get things right!!

    [edit: Good grief, you're all so fast! My connection's a slow one and I was just posting the details....

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    Default Re: not quite paladins - help with new core class

    Here?...
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    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: not quite paladins - help with new core class

    Try these guys out.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: not quite paladins - help with new core class

    HOLY KNIGHT

    Holy Knights have the following game statistics.
    Abilities: Charisma increases the Holy Knight’s healing and undead turning. Strength is important for a Holy Knight because of its role in combat. A Wisdom score of 14 or higher is required to get access to the most powerful Holy Knight spells, and a score of 11 or higher is required to cast any Holy Knight spells at all.
    Alignment: Lawful (any).
    Hit Die: d10.
    Class Skills
    The Holy Knight’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are;
    Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Ride (Dex).

    Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4.
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.

    Class Features
    All of the following are class features of the Holy Knight.

    Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Holy Knights are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armour (heavy, medium, and light), and with shields. Note that armour check penalties for armour heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble. Also, Swim checks suffer a -1 penalty for every 5 pounds of armour and equipment carried.

    Sanctuary: A Holy Knight may visit any castle of any territory practicing the same religion and request sanctuary. The castle owner must by this custom give the knight a place to stay for up to three days , along with food and drink. The host need not be friendly to the Knight, but may not attack, challenge of refuse sanctuary to the Knight. Similarly, the Knight may not attack or challenge the host or the members of the host’s court or family - doing so ends the sanctuary and the host is entitled to punish the Knight as fitting.

    Lay on Hands: A Holy Knight can heal wounds by touch. Each day she can cure a total number of hit points equal to 1, plus her Charisma bonus (if any), times half her level (rounding down, to a minimum of 1). For example, a 1st-level Holy Knight with 16 Charisma (+3 bonus) may cure up to 4 points of damage, while the same Holy Knight at 7th-level (still with a 16 Charisma) may cure up to 12 points of damage. The Holy Knight can cure herself. She may choose to divide her curing among multiple recipients, and she doesn’t have to use it all at once. Lay on hands is a spell-like ability whose use is a standard action. Alternatively, the Holy Knight can use any or all of these points to deal damage to undead creatures. Treat this attack just like a touch spell. The Holy Knight decides how many cure points to use as damage after successfully touching the undead creature.

    Leadership: At 2nd level, the Holy Knight may take the Feat leadership without having to meet the normal minimum level requirement.

    Remove Disease: Beginning at 3rd level, a Holy Knight can remove disease, as per the spell remove disease, once per week. She can use this ability more often as she advances in levels (twice per week at 6th level, three times per week at 9th level, and so forth). Remove disease is a spell-like ability for Holy Knights.

    Turn Undead: When a Holy Knight reaches 4th level, she gains the supernatural ability to turn undead. She may use this ability a number of times per day equal to one plus her Charisma modifier. She turns undead as a cleric of three levels lower would. (See Turn and Rebuke Undead) Extra Turning: As a feat, a Holy Knight may take Extra Turning. This feat allows the Holy Knight to turn undead four more times per day than normal. A Holy Knight can take this feat multiple times, gaining four extra daily turning attempts each time.

    Spells: Beginning at 4th level, a Holy Knight gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells. To cast a spell, the Holy Knight must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the spells level, so a Holy Knight with a Wisdom of 10 or lower cannot cast these spells. Holy Knight bonus spells are based on Wisdom, and saving throws against these spells have a Difficulty Class of 10 + spell level + Wisdom modifier. When the Holy Knight gets 0 spells of a given level, such as 0 1st-level spells at 4th level, the Holy Knight gets only bonus spells (as per Table 1-1: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells). A Holy Knight without a bonus spell for that level cannot yet cast a spell of that level. A Holy Knight has access to any spell on the Paladin list and can freely choose which to prepare, just as a cleric can. A Holy Knight prepares and casts spells just as a cleric does (though the Holy Knight cannot use spontaneous casting to substitute a cure spell in place of a prepared spell). Through 3rd level, a Holy Knight has no caster level. Starting at 4th level, a Holy Knights caster level is one-half her class level.

    Bonus Feats: At 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels, the Holy Knight may select a bonus feat from the Fighter Bonus Feat list. The Knight must meet the prerequisites to qualify for the Feat.

    Holy Knight’s Code of Conduct: Sworn Fealty to the Church: If summoned by the Church, the Holy Knight must report as quickly as possible and must serve as the Church orders. If the Knight ever refuses to obey the Church’s orders, or swears fealty to another religion (with the knowledge of any official of the Church), the Knight is treated as having lost three levels of experience for the purposes of determining special class abilities. This is conferred by the supernatural ability Excommunication, imposed by the Knight’s church, and must be a positive and knowing act on the part of the church.
    Service to the Church’s Lands: If a Call to Arms sounds, the Knight must respond. This declaration may only be issued by the leader of a large town or territory, or by the Church. The Knight need only respond if the issuing authority is one that practices the same religion as the Holy Knight. The ruler may order the Knight to fight in any way, but the Knight need not obey if the orders would go against the Code of Conduct or any edict from the Church.

    Table 3-12a: The Holy Knight
    Follow the Paladin table, noting exceptions above.

    Ex-Holy Knights
    A Holy Knight who ceases to be lawful, or who grossly violates the code of conduct loses all special abilities and spells, including the service of the Holy Knights warhorse. She also may not progress in levels as a Holy Knight. She regains her abilities if she atones for her violations (see the atonement spell description), as appropriate. Like a member of any other class, a Holy Knight may be a multiclass character, but Holy Knights face a special restriction. A Holy Knight who gains a new class or (if already multiclass) raises another class by a level may never again raise her Holy Knight level, though she retains all her Holy Knight abilities. The path of the Holy Knight requires a discipline and rigorous adherence. Once you undertake the path, you must pursue it to the exclusion of all other careers. Once you have turned off the path, you may never return.

    [Edited for balance - thanks for the advice folks!]

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: not quite paladins - help with new core class

    Um, ouch? three levels of XP for changing churches?
    I like the sanctuary idea. very original. A lot of servitude inherent in the class though. Not very freelance.
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    Default Re: not quite paladins - help with new core class

    My question is why does smite evil and divine grace not fit in your campaign.
    From a statistical view, the class is now underpowered. From a roleplaying view he's almost just a Lawful fighter with extra abilities, he doesn't really have any attachment to good or justice, thus he can be played just like that and might not fit what you are looking for.
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: not quite paladins - help with new core class

    Personally, I'd run 'em as Fighters. That's pretty much all Paladins were back in the era of the Crusades. The Knights Templar were just that... the Temple Knights, or those knights sworn to the church rather than to a leige.

    Looks to me like your Holy Knights is just a Paladin without the cha bonus to saves...

    Try making a prestige class with prerequsite LG alignment, weapon specialization, and able to channel positive energy. Allow you to continue turning, full BAB, and alternating spell progression (spell level every other level). That'll give him enough heals to be a backup band-aid, retaining most of his combat ability, and having a few extra buffs. Also makes for a fairly good anti-undead, as he's only four levels behind on turn attempts, so he can pick up a Phylactery of Undead Turning to compensate. Toss in the mount and the code of conduct/fealty to the church thing and there you go.

    The sanctuary effect is pure roleplay... that's something that you the GM can handle without needing to make it a class feature. The PC shows up destitute at the Manor bearing a symbol of the Church asking for succor, being polite and humble about it, and the noble is going to give him food and shelter, because no one wants to get the church upset with them.
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    Amotis's Avatar

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    Default Re: not quite paladins - help with new core class

    I have an idea. You can use the smite opposition option and replace the ability to smite evil with the ability to smite those agianst your current church.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: not quite paladins - help with new core class

    Quote Originally Posted by pocket watch
    Um, ouch? three levels of XP for changing churches?
    I like the sanctuary idea. very original. A lot of servitude inherent in the class though. Not very freelance.
    Three levels... Perhaps that should be less? Although, it is only for determining your level with respect to your Holy Knight special abilities... It's not like 3 negative levels as such.

    Yes, this class is intended to be a serving PC, inherently bound to their church. My campaign has warring monotheistic religions, you see.

    I can't really claim full credit for sanctuary - it comes right out of the D&D Rules Cyclopeadia. :-[

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: not quite paladins - help with new core class

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost
    Personally, I'd run 'em as Fighters. That's pretty much all Paladins were back in the era of the Crusades. The Knights Templar were just that... the Temple Knights, or those knights sworn to the church rather than to a leige.

    Looks to me like your Holy Knights is just a Paladin without the cha bonus to saves...

    Try making a prestige class with prerequsite LG alignment, weapon specialization, and able to channel positive energy. Allow you to continue turning, full BAB, and alternating spell progression (spell level every other level). That'll give him enough heals to be a backup band-aid, retaining most of his combat ability, and having a few extra buffs. Also makes for a fairly good anti-undead, as he's only four levels behind on turn attempts, so he can pick up a Phylactery of Undead Turning to compensate. Toss in the mount and the code of conduct/fealty to the church thing and there you go.

    The sanctuary effect is pure roleplay... that's something that you the GM can handle without needing to make it a class feature. The PC shows up destitute at the Manor bearing a symbol of the Church asking for succor, being polite and humble about it, and the noble is going to give him food and shelter, because no one wants to get the church upset with them.
    It's not just missing the CHA bonus, there are a load of other things missing too - no Divine Grace, no Divine Health, etc, etc. I've done the prestige Paladin class to go with this, reverse engineering the PrC from Unearthed Arcana to go with this one.

    The Sanctuary part is just RP, but I felt it needed to be available only to this character class. I will be making up a PrC that will get it too - the Sworn Knight, who is in servitude to a leige. These are ideas from the old D&D boxed sets, by the way.

    Yes, it is essentially a Fighter with extras, but the Holy Knight is specifically aimed at overcoming the undead and other threats to the church in my campaign I thought it made a good "core" class addition - it replaces the Paladin core class, which I'm not making available in my game.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: not quite paladins - help with new core class

    Quote Originally Posted by Amotis
    My question is why does smite evil and divine grace not fit in your campaign.
    From a statistical view, the class is now underpowered. From a roleplaying view he's almost just a Lawful fighter with extra abilities, he doesn't really have any attachment to good or justice, thus he can be played just like that and might not fit what you are looking for.
    He's a Lawful fighter with a bunch of status-granted abilities and prestiges, dependent on his (limited) code of conduct.

    The idea behind this was that the Divine Powers (gods) that are very aloof and distant in my game will only give full paladin status to those who are truly worthy.
    This class allows characters that fill the Paladin gap in the campaign, but limits them a bit, only giving the really DIVINE abilities to the PrC paladins.

    I plan to have divine grace and smite evil via the Paladin PrC, but I don't want them available to starting characters.

    I think my idea behind this is best summed up by saying that I'm not having my deities directly involved in the campaign at all, and that divine spells are gained through pure faith, regardless of the organised religious power structures of the nations. I suppose that's a bit different to the usual game setting.

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    Default Re: not quite paladins - help with new core class

    So the mount isn't summoned like a Paladin's?
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: not quite paladins - help with new core class

    Mounts?

    Good point...

    I was thinking of the mount being assigned by the church. The special abilities of "Share Spells" and "Share Saves" are granted by the Holy Knight.

    Does that work for you?

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    Default Re: not quite paladins - help with new core class

    *BUMP!*

    Any other opinions? It'll help me get a feel for whether I'm breaking the game...

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    Default Re: not quite paladins - help with new core class

    Given your setting, I'd strongly consider adding Knowledge Nobility to your class list - give them a sense of a role within the political world of the churches.

    Instead of smite evil, how about the ability to smite members of the opposing church. Or drag in some special ability versus undead - improved/exalted turning etc, to reflect the specific focus of the character?

    Basically, the Holy Knight seems to be a slightly-nerfed version of the paladin, and it would be nice to be able to instead offer a couple special campaign specific abilities (the hospitality one is a good example) to add flavour. What about the Leadership feat free at a certain level, to reflect their integration into the Church Hierarchy?
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    Default Re: not quite paladins - help with new core class

    First of all: I have never actually played D&D as PnP-RGP, so if you want any tips really based on the rules, you can probably just skip this comment...

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost
    Personally, I'd run 'em as Fighters. That's pretty much all Paladins were back in the era of the Crusades.
    I think this is a nice idea - not every paladin-type has to have supernatural powers...
    I personally would suggest to create some kind of fighter without divine spells, but with plenty of roleplaying-features - you could handle them without rolling dice, just through roleplay, or you could give the class additional bonuses on skills such as intimidation (simply because the paladin-type belongs to the church) and stuff.

    By the way: have you ever thought about creating a world in which there are no gods/the players aren't given information about whether there are gods or not?
    You could allow clerics with divine spells, but say their divine spellcasting powers would just be "normal" magical powers, but because the clerics are into the dogma of the church, they all believe it was divine powers...
    And if you want the paladin-type to have the power to somehow do additional damage to undead, you could give them a "indoctrination-bonus" against undead, give everyone around the paladin a boost while fighting undead (maybe morale?!) or come up with something like that for some reason the undead fear faithful people...
    I don't know, that last part sounds crappy, but... I hope I could give some people the idea to mystify their pantheon a little more...

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: not quite paladins - help with new core class

    Thanks people.

    Do they need extra abilities to balance out the power?
    I'd rather hype up their anti-undead stuff than give them "smite" [anything/whatever] - I'm reserving the smite power for the PrC Paladin. What if I put their Turn Undead ability back up to fuill Paladin power?

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: not quite paladins - help with new core class

    I've always thought that the churches needed more members than clerics and paladins. Holy Warriors fit the spot without being so restricted like Paladins. There are people that can serve the gods without getting spells.
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    Default Re: not quite paladins - help with new core class

    Re-edited after some play testing in the game.

    I'd forgotten I put this up here. Amazing what a bit of web-site re-arranging can do!

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