“What is it you wish?”
“To see terror on the face of evil.”
|Songs of Violence|
The Paladins are not in service to the Gods. This is a common misconception.
Yes, many bear holy symbols, and many speak in quotations from litanies and holy books, but no:
Like their eternal shadows, the Illriggers, the Paladins are the mortal army of a Planar polity - where the Illriggers are bound to the Baatezu of the Nine Hells, the Paladins serve the Archons of the Seven Heavens.
They say the first Paladin was anointed in the city of Heart’s Faith, on the Outlands, which has since slid to the shore of the Silver Sea, at the foot of the Heavenly Mountain.
Now, they rule Excelsior on the Outlands as their holy capital, from which they prosecute the Archons’ wars in the name of Heavenly Law.
+1 AC and +1 Save per Template.
Starting Items: 1 Piece of Shiny Armour, An Engraved Weapon, an Angel’s Feather, a Medallion of Service.
Skills: 1) Empath 2) Navigator 3) Athlete 4) Theologian 5) Planar Expert 6) Public Speaker
A - Oath to the Archons, Armour of the Righteous
B - Blessed Steel
C - As to the Faithful
D - Borne Aloft
Oath to the Archons
Choose which Host of Archons you swore your Oath to.
Should you fail to uphold your Oath, the Archons will know, and you will lose all Paladin features (excepting the bonus AC and Save) until you undertake Penance (see below).
As a consequence of the method used to create them (strict and constant testing to advance in the ranks), most Archons are inflexible, dogmatic and judgemental.
1. DevaThe Hosts Astral, Movanic and Monadic comprise the Deva, the messengers, foretellers, soothsayers and deliverers of omens among the Heavens.Each Host has its own subset of multifarious and assuredly holy duties in the realms of the Celestial Bureaucracy, but the bearing of Messages is that for which they are best known.OATHNever Allow a Lie to Conquer the Truth.BLESSING
A - Incorruptible WordWhen you speak, all present can understand you. Your voice cannot be halted by magical silence or similar effects.If you wish, you may speak a message of up to ten words to a person you have met, and it will travel any distance to reach their ears.2. PlanetarThe Hosts Planetar are the soldiers of the Seven Heavens, sometimes called the Sword Archons - they are the ones who battle Fiends and watch the Outlands for possible invasion.The Hosts Planetar are highly respected in the Archonic Hierarchy.OATHWhen You Make a Promise, Fulfil It.BLESSING
A - Extension of the ArmChoose one weapon of any kind. It becomes a magic weapon with +1 to Hit and Damage.You cannot be disarmed of this weapon unless you choose to be.3. SupernalThe Host Supernal are the lore-keepers and historians of the Seven Heavens, sometimes called the Tome Archons.They reside in great libraries in the misty fields of Venya, the Pearly Heaven, where they record history, and, if the Bureaucracy commands, redact it.OATHDo Not Allow Error to Grow in the Minds of the IgnorantBLESSING
A - Lore KeeperYou have a holy grimoire, gifted by the Host Supernal. You gain 1MD and 1 Spell involving Healing, Light, Fire or Metal. You may add spells to your grimoire from scrolls like a wizard.You gain a second MD at Level 4.4. SolarThe Host Solar are the greatest warriors of the Seven Heavens. It falls to them to battle demon lords, archdevils, powerful aberrations and other such threats.They are regarded by most as the highest rank of the Archonic Hierarchy.OATHDo Not Allow Evil to Go UnchallengedBLESSING
A - Divine SmiteWhen attacking an enemy your Solar patron considers Unholy, you deal +1d6 Damage.The Solars consider Fiends, Undead, Cultists, Aberrations and Slaad to be extremely Unholy. Warriors, Mages and Modrons are edge cases.Ordinary Folk and Celestials are 100% immune to your Smite, no matter how arrogant, foolish or downright bastardly they are.5. LunarThe Host Lunar are wayfarers, sent abroad (especially to the Outlands and Hells) to guide the lost back to safety, both literally and metaphysically.The Host Lunar are regarded with suspicion by other Archons, as the amount of time they spend away from the Heavens leaves them open to outside influence - many are idiosyncratic, or even… Chaotic, as an Archon might put it.OATHYour Duty is to Guide the LostBLESSING
A - Sacred SteedYou have a blessed mount which accompanies you everywhere. This takes whatever form fits your personal history - the stereotypical one is a stallion, but Orcish paladins have been known to ride massive sacred boars, and Halfling paladins can often be seen astride a holy mastiff.Your steed is a Celestial Animal. If you weren’t already under constant Archonic surveillance, the steed would totally rat you out for breaking your oath. It is otherwise perfectly loyal and immune to fear.
You can summon the steed to you in any space that it fits in - if it is slain, you can resummon it at any temple.
Your Steed has 10 Inventory Slots and the same amount of Hit Dice as you.
6. SiderealThe Host Sidereal were created to hunt powerful Undead, Necromancers, and other beings which pervert the laws of life and death. More importantly these beings interfere with the regular flow of dead worshippers into each god’s neat little pocket of the Outer Planes - including the regular flow of souls into the bottom ranks of the Archonic Hierarchy.Predation by godlike liches, horrendous demon princes and other things besides has left them reduced, but they remain, unbowed even in the face of devastation.OATHUphold The Laws of Life and Death.BLESSING
A - Divine SenseBy closing your eyes and focusing, you can detect any undead, fiends, extraplanar beings or illusions within twelve paces. This effect passes through walls and ignores invisibility.7. The LanternsThere are a thousand Least and Lesser Hosts, which also create Paladins - these are referred to in general as The Lanterns, after the first form a mortal soul takes on the ascending path of Archonhood.Their ranks include the Host Relentless (Hounds), Host Luminous (Radiances), the Host Regnal (Thrones), Host Clamorous (Bells), the Host Vigilant (Wardens), and all such strange and specific sub-hosts besides.OATHDo Not Allow the Innocent to Come to HarmBLESSING
A - Lay on HandsYou have a pool of [Templates] Healing Dice, which are d6s. You may hold your hands above a creature and expend any amount of these Healing Dice. They regain [sum] HP.If there is any HP that spills over (i.e. healing given would take them over their Max HP), the Healing Dice return to your pool.You regain one Healing Dice on a good night’s rest.
Armour of the Righteous
You can wear one piece of armour without it taking up an Inventory Slot. You can ignore the weight of that piece of armour for the purposes of encumbrance, swimming, etc.
In systems that don’t have individual armour pieces, treat heavy armour as medium, medium armour as light, and light armour as unarmoured.
If you make a successful attack on your turn, you may attack again.
This can continue until you miss, or make [Templates]+1 Attacks.
This feature doesn’t work if the weapon can’t attack multiple times a turn (i.e., a musket), but you don’t have to use the same weapon for all of the attacks.
As to the Faithful
The Celestial Bureaucracy have been observing your progress with appreciative eyes. Choose another Blessing from a different Host of Archons. You still only have to follow your original Oath.
At any time, you may summon the wings of the Archons you serve and take flight.
The wings’ appearance are as follows:
- Deva - Shimmering Bronze Feathers
- Planetar - Sharpened Iron Feathers
- Supernal - Bluish Feathers, Glittering with Stars
- Solar - Fiery Gold Feathers
- Lunar - Misty Silver Feathers
- Sidereal - Light-Eating Black Feathers
- Lanterns - Hazy Aura of Golden Light
If you’ve broken your Oath, you can’t use any Paladin abilities nor gain more Templates as a Paladin until you Repent.
For a Level 1 Paladin, you simply have to go to an Archon, a temple dedicated to the Celestial Bureaucracy (all temples to Bahamut are, by default) or a similar link to the Seven Heavens. Then: apologise, and mean it.
For Paladins of Level 2 or higher, you must perform an act which would impress the Host to which you have sworn an oath - destroy a powerful undead for the Host Sidereal, reveal a long lost secret for the Host Supernal, save a village for the Lanterns, etc.
(With thanks to the GLOG Discord for their input.)