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    Default This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5/PF Paladin ACF/Archetype, PEACH)

    The Celestial Sword


    Some paladins aren't divine spellcasters. (Most of them can't even be called "spellcasters", but let's not get into that now.) Instead, these paladins are blessed by their gods, and gifted with a powerful weapon that grows as they unlock their hidden potential.

    Starting Level: 4
    Replaces: Spellcasting. A paladin who takes the Celestial Sword Alternate Class Feature is treated as having a caster level of 0 and having no spells on his spell list for the purposes of using scrolls or wands.

    Benefits: You acquire a powerful weapon. This ACF might require you to go on a quest, set by your DM, which allows you to uncover a holy relic, at the DM's option. Otherwise, the weapon is granted to you directly through divine power, and manifests in your hand when you gain your 4th level of paladin. The weapon is typically a longsword, but your DM may allow other weapons in its place. When you find the weapon, it is simply a +1 cold iron longsword that is treated as if it were good-aligned for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction. The identify spell reveals that the sword has hidden potential, but nothing more than that. The sword's mystical power prevents any crafter or spellcaster from permanently enchanting it (though casting a spell on it, such as greater magic weapon, still functions as normal).

    You can call the sword to your hand, at will, as if it had the calling weapon enhancement (but it only works for you). If your weapon is broken, you can create a new one with just the power of your soul. You must expend 200 XP per paladin level in a ritual that takes 24 hours, but then the weapon will appear in your hands with full hit points.

    As your power increases, so too does your weapon progress. The weapon's enhancement bonus to attack and damage rolls is equal to 1/3 of your character level, rounded down (to a maximum of +5 at level 15). In addition, your weapon gains special abilities as you level up (Unlike the enhancement bonus, these abilities are based on your class level rather than character level):

    At 6th level, your sword grants you the ability to cast dispel magic, as the spell, as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to your class level, once per day per class level. You must be wielding the sword in order to cast the spell-like ability. When you reach 12th level, this ability improves to allow you to cast greater dispel magic, as the spell, as a spell-like ability once per round with a caster level equal to your class level. You may use this ability at will. You must be holding the weapon to cast the spell-like ability.

    At 8th level, your sword is treated as if it had the holy weapon enchantment ability. At 12th level, this ability improves, and your sword is also treated as if it had the axiomatic weapon enchantment ability. Also at 8th level, you receive one additional +1 bonus to your sword, which you can spend on any ability you choose. This bonus pool increase by +1 at 11th level, and every 3 levels after that, to a maximum of +5 extra enhancement bonus at 20th level. You may change the abilities your weapon possesses as often as you like, as a full-round action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

    At 10th level, your sword grants you spell resistance equal to your class level +5. You may suppress or resume this effect as an immediate or swift action. The spell resistance improves to 10+class level at 15th, and 15+class level at 20th.

    At 12th level, your sword ignores all damage reduction when it strikes an evil foe, and any critical hits you threaten with it against an evil foe are automatically confirmed. This is a supernatural quality. Additionally, your sword's base damage increases by an additional damage die (+1d8 for a longsword). It increases again at 14th and 16th levels (to a maximum of 4d8 total damage for a longsword at 16th level).

    At 14th level, your sword projects a continuous magic circle against evil.

    At 16th level, you gain a continuous true seeing effect while you wield your sword. You may suppress or resume this ability as an immediate or swift action.

    At 18th level, your sword deals double damage to all evil creatures you strike at the end of a charge, excluding the bonus damage you receive from your Smite Evil class feature. Additionally, treat your paladin level as if it was double what it really was for the purposes of determining the bonus damage you deal with a Smite Evil attack made while using your sword.

    At 20th level, you gain damage reduction 10/evil while you wield your sword.
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2012-03-11 at 12:06 AM.

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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5 Paladin ACF, PEACH)

    The only thing that worries me is that you have to go on a quest set by the DM.

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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5 Paladin ACF, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by hobbitkniver View Post
    The only thing that worries me is that you have to go on a quest set by the DM.
    What, you think the paladin should just get a sword, out of nowhere?

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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5 Paladin ACF, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    What, you think the paladin should just get a sword, out of nowhere?
    Well, it adds the requirement that your DM be willing to go out of his way for an unimportant quest to unlock a class feature. It's very dependent on what kind of DM you have as to how useful this alternate class feature would be. I could see a lot of people taking magic because it's easier.

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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5 Paladin ACF, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by hobbitkniver View Post
    Well, it adds the requirement that your DM be willing to go out of his way for an unimportant quest to unlock a class feature. It's very dependent on what kind of DM you have as to how useful this alternate class feature would be. I could see a lot of people taking magic because it's easier.
    I suppose, but the alternative is that the item is just...created. Out of thin air. Strikes me as...not realistic, especially for a character who is supposedly not as magical as other paladins.

    Still, I guess I'll add in that the quest is optional.

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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5 Paladin ACF, PEACH)

    simple, angle shows up and hands the paliden a sword, along with a ramble about destiny or some such... boom, sword in hands with a reason for it showing up.
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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5 Paladin ACF, PEACH)

    simple, angle shows up and hands the paliden a sword, along with a ramble about destiny or some such... boom, sword in hands with a reason for it showing up.
    Last edited by bobthe6th; 2012-03-10 at 03:25 PM.
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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5 Paladin ACF, PEACH)

    So...you have to waste the first round of combat calling a weapon (in addition to the action cost needed if you don't have a mount summoned yet) and all you get is something you can already buy, only worse? And in exchange you lose all of your casting? Would not take.
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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5 Paladin ACF, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by bobthe6th View Post
    simple, angle shows up and hands the paliden a sword, along with a ramble about destiny or some such... boom, sword in hands with a reason for it showing up.
    The only problem I can see with this method, though I like it, is that if the paladin is the Saul Malone of the party (aka the DeFacto Leader of the Team), expect whoever is playing the rogue to say "Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery celestial tart threw a sword at you."

    Me? I'd make it fit each character, and if they had a god, it's the god's favored weapon (if appropriate). So for the Paladin of God Who Uses Shuriken, yeah, probably going for a longsword or a kodaichi, but for the dwarf? Battleaxe. For the elf? Thinblade (or was it Lightblade? I can't keep elven weapons straight...).

    Though I like the idea that the paladin draws his sword one day and notices it's different. The light shines off it differently, it's always just cool to the touch, and it glows green near fiends. But the biggest change is when he smites or critical hits with his weapon, the light of the blade shifts in mid swing so, for a small second, his god's symbol appears in the air before disapearing as quick as it went. Make it so that the paladin is not just a warrior of his god, he is the HAND of his god, the BLADE of his god, and nothing can stand in his way.

    Nothing.

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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5 Paladin ACF, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    So...you have to waste the first round of combat calling a weapon (in addition to the action cost needed if you don't have a mount summoned yet) and all you get is something you can already buy, only worse? And in exchange you lose all of your casting? Would not take.
    Er...no. The calling effect is only if it's stolen from you or something. The sword itself is permanent.

    Edit: I see. The problem was a misinterpretation of the call weaponry psionic power, on my part. Have edited the post to reflect the calling weapon enchantment instead.

    Though I like the idea that the paladin draws his sword one day and notices it's different.
    It's not once per day. The paladin is receiving a magic weapon as a class feature.
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2012-03-10 at 03:17 PM.

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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5/PF Paladin ACF/Archetype, PE

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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5 Paladin ACF, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Er...no. The calling effect is only if it's
    It's not once per day. The paladin is receiving a magic weapon as a class feature.
    He meant the paladin notices his sword is different when he gains the class feature. Note that it changes once a day. Like he draws it but it looks different from then on.

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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5 Paladin ACF, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by wiimanclassic View Post
    He meant the paladin notices his sword is different when he gains the class feature. Note that it changes once a day. Like he draws it but it looks different from then on.
    Oh, yeah. That. I suppose there's no reason that if the DM decides to skip the quest that he couldn't just enchant the weapon you've been using the whole time (though you might find it strange that your steel weapon is suddenly made of cold iron).

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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5/PF Paladin ACF/Archetype, PE

    I have to agree with Flicker; the exchange in cost isn't as good as what you sacrifice.

    Consider that, at the very least, you're replacing one of the few things in which Paladins can actually collaborate (their limited spellcasting) for a 100% chance of landing a Holy Avenger. Now, the Avenger is pretty nice on its own, but it doesn't do much compared to what some spells can do (particularly those that help the mount, 1st level spells such as Lesser Restoration and Rhino's Rush, amongst others), PARTICULARLY when Holy Sword (and its equivalent, Lawful Sword) give you half the benefits for the cost of one spell slot. The exchange is simply not as good.

    Had it been the mount (much like in Pathfinder), I wouldn't have had much trouble, but I'd still consider that you'd be losing a lot (because you're getting something that you have a decent chance to get, or at least somewhat duplicate). The loss of worth of one class feature over another is a bit less than usual, but still not worth it.

    At most, I would consider one of the following:
    • You can sacrifice part of your spellcasting ability for the ability to have a permanent weapon you can summon, or
    • You can grant the weapon some extra boons aside from the Holy Avenger's own.


    With the first option, you may probably sacrifice one spell slot (either one from each level, or one from your highest level) in order to gain the abilities on a particular weapon. One spell slot from your highest level would suffice, since despite the duration, Holy Sword offers pretty much what you seek on a Holy Avenger, except you can exchange the type of weapon you want (hence, the mention above of the half-effective Avenger). That way, you get a powerful, scaling weapon that you can summon whenever you're disarmed or trapped, but its power wouldn't surface completely until you had your 4th level spells, in which the cost is roughly equal (or potentially better).

    The second option, on the other hand, would create a customizable Holy Avenger which could provide better options for the Paladin. For example, having the chance to add the Metalline property OR the ability to summon a weapon of a specific material would allow you to bypass more types of DR; just by allowing you to change what kind of weapon you wield, you increase the variety of the Paladin's weaponry in leaps and bounds. The chance of adding stuff like Sacred, Flaming or other weapon properties would offset a great deal of the loss of spellcasting (even through wands and scrolls), allowing a Paladin to have a single magic weapon that acts like a whole arsenal. It still doesn't compare to the loss of spellcasting, but at least the cost exchange is much, much more balanced. Heck, giving it some of the traits of the Sun Blade would make it nicer. In short: if you want to replace something as spellcasting on the Paladin (what might effectively keep it from falling even further on the Tiers), you need something extremely worthwhile.

    Otherwise, I don't see why I'd replace spellcasting for an item I could receive at a lesser chance, build (remember that there's the legacy version of the Holy Avenger which has its own kind of sacrifices but nets you a similar weapon), or somewhat replicate. Perhaps it's me and my preference for their limited spellcasting, but I feel that replacing it for this ACF really feels like I'm getting cheated at.
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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5/PF Paladin ACF/Archetype, PE

    As I see it, to make up for what is lost, you'd need at least half of the following, in addition to what's listed already:

    • The ability to banish outsiders using your Smite power
    • Your mount needs to gain flight, as standard
    • Enhancements to the mount
    • Improved healing [easier for Pathfinder, just increase the dice size on Lay Hands]
    • Empowered/Maximised healing for the mount
    • The Blessed condition applied to your weapon at all times
    • Whatever the good equivalent of the Blasphemous weapon quality is
    • Probably some enhancement to the Pathfinder auras, probably a debuff for enemies, given the loss of some useful spells.


    Honestly, i'm all for more development of the Smite power and so on. Never really liked spells on the paladin [I like my Pallys in the style of Three Hearts, Three Lions, myself].
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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5/PF Paladin ACF/Archetype, PE

    Definitely needs more power. "The enhancement bonus increases by 1" every few levels isn't really an ability, it just keeps the weapon level-appropriate. Instead say "it has an enhancement bonus equal to one-third your character level, rounded down" (character level rather than class level because otherwise a multiclass paladin has no reason to use it). Use the slots freed up in the progression for more stuff.

    The dispel could come as early as lv6. In particular, a non-greater dispel at lv18 is useless against normal enemies since the bonus is capped far lower than your level. Conversely, handing out greater instead of regular dispel at low levels has no effect on power. (disregard that if you're in PF, where both spells are uncapped and normal has fewer options than greater)
    I'd suggest eventually making the sword bane and slaying against any evil creature. Maybe letting it shoot energy beams that can channel your smite why not. Oh, and dispel evil.
    Last edited by Prime32; 2012-03-10 at 08:34 PM.

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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5/PF Paladin ACF/Archetype, PE

    Wow it's almost like you took notes from the Soulknife. Like others have said this is nowhere near worth giving up casting for, even paladin casting. Heck the Sword is barely worth more than a 4th level spell.

    That spell resistance needs to be about 5-10 higher to be worth anything against anyone worth mentioning.

    The enhancement bonus should progress more quickly. A Paladin gets 4th level spells at level 14. This means at level 14 you can already have your Magic Circle Against Evil, +5 Holy Weapon for free from casting. Sure the duration is short, but seriously, if you have to wait longer than 15 or 16 to match that, you're doing it wrong.

    Of course this leaves a whole bunch of other paladin spells you still need to make up for losing. As other suggested, your mount should gain flight automatically and lay on hands should get boosted straight up.

    The enhancements on this relic should either be able to be stacked with other enhancements you can pay to enchant it, or it should get more enhancements than it currently gets. A normal paladin can get a +1 weapon with +9 worth of abilities, and throw +5 Holy onto it for free. Here you're just getting the +5 Holy Weapon, and while you got that for free, your weapon is still totally sub-par, despite it being your defining feature.



    And that is honestly still just scratching the surface. A Paladin gets a teleport and pounce as early as 7th level from spells I believe. You're sacrificing those. You're giving up the surprisingly decent buffing ability Paladins have as well. (Battle Blessing really helps here, being able to do your buffs as a swift action always is amazing. Paladins don't have a whole lot of buffing in core, but with spell compendium you open up options like Draconic Might, Visage of Deity, and Righteous Fury). Some passive buffs to make up for this loss might not go amiss.
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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5/PF Paladin ACF/Archetype, PE

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    Definitely needs more power. "The enhancement bonus increases by 1" every few levels isn't really an ability, it just keeps the weapon level-appropriate. Instead say "it has an enhancement bonus equal to one-third your character level, rounded down" (character level rather than class level because otherwise a multiclass paladin has no reason to use it). Use the slots freed up in the progression for more stuff.
    I have no interest in rewarding someone for multiclassing. You shouldn't be more paladinlike if you're not staying with your paladin class.

    The dispel could come as early as lv6. In particular, a non-greater dispel at lv18 is useless against normal enemies since the bonus is capped far lower than your level. Conversely, handing out greater instead of regular dispel at low levels has no effect on power. (disregard that if you're in PF, where both spells are uncapped and normal has fewer options than greater)
    I'd suggest eventually making the sword bane and slaying against any evil creature. Maybe letting it shoot energy beams that can channel your smite why not. Oh, and dispel evil.
    Dispel magic, at will, just one level after the wizard gets it a few times per day? (And at the same level the sorcerer gets it) That...doesn't seem balanced.

    The bane is already there, since holy deals +2d6 damage against evil creatures. Unless you're saying make it stack with the holy weapon enchantment.

    As for slaying against any evil creature, that seems too much, in my opinion. I'm not looking to overpower the class here. The paladin is already a tier 4 or so, and I want to this ACF to stay about even with it.

    As I see it, to make up for what is lost, you'd need at least half of the following, in addition to what's listed already:

    The ability to banish outsiders using your Smite power
    Your mount needs to gain flight, as standard
    Enhancements to the mount
    Improved healing [easier for Pathfinder, just increase the dice size on Lay Hands]
    Empowered/Maximised healing for the mount
    The Blessed condition applied to your weapon at all times
    Whatever the good equivalent of the Blasphemous weapon quality is
    Probably some enhancement to the Pathfinder auras, probably a debuff for enemies, given the loss of some useful spells.


    Honestly, i'm all for more development of the Smite power and so on. Never really liked spells on the paladin [I like my Pallys in the style of Three Hearts, Three Lions, myself].
    The idea behind this ACF is more warrior, less magic. You're going the exact opposite direction with your suggestions.

    The second option, on the other hand, would create a customizable Holy Avenger which could provide better options for the Paladin. For example, having the chance to add the Metalline property OR the ability to summon a weapon of a specific material would allow you to bypass more types of DR; just by allowing you to change what kind of weapon you wield, you increase the variety of the Paladin's weaponry in leaps and bounds. The chance of adding stuff like Sacred, Flaming or other weapon properties would offset a great deal of the loss of spellcasting (even through wands and scrolls), allowing a Paladin to have a single magic weapon that acts like a whole arsenal. It still doesn't compare to the loss of spellcasting, but at least the cost exchange is much, much more balanced. Heck, giving it some of the traits of the Sun Blade would make it nicer. In short: if you want to replace something as spellcasting on the Paladin (what might effectively keep it from falling even further on the Tiers), you need something extremely worthwhile.
    What you're suggesting is basically akin to an entire prestige class (the Kensai, Complete Warrior), but putting it on a base class, as early as level 4. That seems unfair. Still, I suppose it's worth thinking about.

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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5/PF Paladin ACF/Archetype, PE

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    I have no interest in rewarding someone for multiclassing. You shouldn't be more paladinlike if you're not staying with your paladin class.
    They don't get whatever other features you put in. Why not let them keep the sword around and have it still be useful (AKA worth the 4 class levels, minimum, you spent on getting it)?
    Last edited by Siosilvar; 2012-03-10 at 11:12 PM.
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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5/PF Paladin ACF/Archetype, PE

    Quote Originally Posted by Siosilvar View Post
    They don't get whatever other features you put in. Why not let them keep the sword around and have it still be useful (AKA worth the 4 class levels, minimum, you spent on getting it)?
    Hm? Well, it's not like you didn't gain anything else during those four class levels. (Smite, Lay on Hands, Turn Undead, Divine Health, Divine Grace, detect evil at will). But I guess, just the enhancement bonus, yeah, it can scale with character level.

    Anyway, did a complete overhaul of the abilities to make them more powerful. How does it look now?

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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5/PF Paladin ACF/Archetype, PE

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Hm? Well, it's not like you didn't gain anything else during those four class levels. (Smite, Lay on Hands, Turn Undead, Divine Health, Divine Grace, detect evil at will). But I guess, just the enhancement bonus, yeah, it can scale with character level.

    Anyway, did a complete overhaul of the abilities to make them more powerful. How does it look now?
    It is much better now. A few nitpicks:



    1) I would recommend a bit more gradual scaling of the weapon damage. You jump from 1d8 throughout most of the time straight up to 4d8 at level 16. Having it go up 1d8 at a time would be kind of nice.

    2) Similarly the bonus properties at 20th level all come in at once, where it would make more sense to have a progression.

    3) I would change the wording slightly on the level 18 ability, so that only smite damage is multiplied only when making a normal attack, while all damage gets multiplied on a charge. Basically so you don't get quadruple smite damage on a charge. This is partially to reduce the stacking effect here, and partially because if combined with the Charging Smite variant, adding another smite damage multiplier could be over the top.


    The first two are really preference (I like gradually scaling abilities as opposed to big sudden one time changes), the last though I think could potentially be an actual concern. While it probably isn't a huge issue with how late it comes in, it did stick out as enough to be worth mentioning.



    Overall I would still prefer having the spellcasting, but at least this version doesn't feel like I'm completely gimping myself to take it.
    Last edited by Seerow; 2012-03-10 at 11:38 PM.
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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5/PF Paladin ACF/Archetype, PE

    When I saw it, I asked me something: why did you say it was for PF too? PF paladins already have the spirit bound, which makes exactly the same thing, just:
    -better (you have the choice)
    -on any weapon (type, that is)
    -on any weapon (taken individually)
    I just moved with my gf, and might need some time to find the perfect spot for my cpu. Still trying to keep up with my games.


  23. - Top - End - #23
    Colossus in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    My skills exceed yours!
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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5/PF Paladin ACF/Archetype, PE

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post

    1) I would recommend a bit more gradual scaling of the weapon damage. You jump from 1d8 throughout most of the time straight up to 4d8 at level 16. Having it go up 1d8 at a time would be kind of nice.
    Okay.

    2) Similarly the bonus properties at 20th level all come in at once, where it would make more sense to have a progression.
    Sure.

    3) I would change the wording slightly on the level 18 ability, so that only smite damage is multiplied only when making a normal attack, while all damage gets multiplied on a charge. Basically so you don't get quadruple smite damage on a charge. This is partially to reduce the stacking effect here, and partially because if combined with the Charging Smite variant, adding another smite damage multiplier could be over the top.
    Makes sense.

    Overall I would still prefer having the spellcasting, but at least this version doesn't feel like I'm completely gimping myself to take it.
    Thank you Seerow.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Colossus in the Playground
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    May 2011
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    My skills exceed yours!
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    Default Re: This Blade of Mine Glows with an Awesome Power! (3.5/PF Paladin ACF/Archetype, PE

    Fixed, as Seerow suggested, with some boons for 16th and 20th level, because paladins don't really get enough class features anyway. (In 3.5 at least)

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