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    Default The Prestigious Paladin! [3.5]

    So the paladin is far too restrictive for a base class, it really should be a PrC, and not too difficult to do either really, it works well enough basically compressed into 10 levels. But then I don't really like it anyway, but there's certainly a place for it in many games, and i find myself needing that kind of class available.

    At the moment it's kind of a rough draft and I'd like some opinions on the crunchy stuff since i have a tendency to balance things on the fly rather than have something suitable out of the gate.

    I will be using female terms since the default fluff paladin is a female.

    Ok what I have:

    PALADIN
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spells

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Righteous Fury, Divine Grace, Mount |-

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Aura of Courage, Lay on Hands\Smiting Hands|+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |-|+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |-|+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Battle Blessing|-

    6th|
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Restorative Hands\Accursed Hands|+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    7th|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |-|+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    8th|
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |-|+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    9th|
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Battle Summons|-

    10th|
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Protective Hands\Dictator's Hands|+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class [/table]

    Hit Die
    d10.

    Requirements
    To qualify to become a paladin, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

    Alignment
    Becomes Lawful

    Spoiler
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    I should note here that I use alignment mechanically as a character's alignment to cosmic forces(such as deities) Only things like clerics and those with the subtypes have an alignment. I guess 'Any Lawful' though given the True Believer requirement it would mean lawful good or lawful neutral


    Base Attack Bonus
    +4

    Skills
    Knowledge (religion) 8 ranks.

    Spells
    Ability to cast divine spells.

    Feats
    True Believer, Weapon Focus (with her deityís favored weapon).

    Special
    The character must have Illyana has her patron diety.


    Spoiler
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    Deity specific PrC, can be used for any appropiate deity in other campaigns I suppose


    Class Skills
    The paladinís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), and Sense Motive (Wis).

    Skill Points
    2 + Int modifier.

    Class Features
    All of the following are class features of the paladin.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency
    Paladins are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor (heavy, medium, and light), and with shields (except tower shields).

    Aura of Law (Ex)
    The power of a paladinís aura of law(see the detect law spell) is equal to her class level plus her cleric level, if any.

    Righteous Fury (Ex)
    A paladin can fly into a fury of righteous fervor once per day, dealing powerful blows to her enemies. Entering a righteous fury is a free action. While in a righteous fury, the paladin gains a +2 morale bonus on melee weapon damage rolls.

    This bonus increases by 1 for every two class levels, to +3 at 3rd level, +4 at 5th level, up to a maximum of +6 at 9th level. The paladin remains in this fury for 1 round plus 1 round per point of Charisma bonus (minimum 1 round).

    At every even level, the paladin may enter this righteous fury one additional time per day, upto a maximum of five times per day.

    Spoiler
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    Never liked smite, never will. Besides it's pretty dodgy when most of your foes don't even have an alignment IIRC I based this on Half-Orc Paladin substitution levels from Races of Destiny


    Divine Grace (Su)
    A paladin gains a bonus equal to her Charisma bonus (if any) on all saving throws.

    Lay on Hands (Su)
    Beginning at 2nd level, a paladin with a Charisma score of 12 or higher can heal wounds (her own or those of others) by touch. Each day she can heal a total number of hit points of damage equal to twice her paladin level ◊ her Charisma bonus. A paladin may choose to divide her healing among multiple recipients, and she doesnít have to use it all at once. Using lay on hands is a standard action.

    While in a state of righteous fury a paladin's lay on hands functions differently instead smiting foes she touches. Upon a successful melee touch attack the paladin deals her righteous fury bonus damage + 1 damage per point of healing spent using this ability. If the paladin does not spend any healing(or can't) this ability has no effect. A successful will save at a DC of 10 + paladin level + cha mod halves the damage taken.

    Alternatively, a paladin of 6th level or higher may use her lay on hands ability to end any one of the following adverse conditions, at the cost of 5 points of healing per condition unless otherwise noted: ability damage (costs 1 point per ability point restored), blinded, confused, dazed, dazzled, deafened, diseased, exhausted, fatigued, feebleminded, insanity, nauseated, sickened, stunned, or poisoned. The paladin can remove adverse conditions at the same time that she heals damage, but any points of healing spent to end adverse conditions donít also cure hit point damage.

    In a state of righteous fury the paladin instead channels the power of her fervor into a powerful curse. By making a successful melee touch attack the paladin's righteous fury ends and inflicts a penalty on attack rolls, saves, ability checks, and skill checks of the target equal to damage bonus of her righteous fury. (-4 at paladin level 6) The curse bestowed by this ability cannot be dispelled, but it can be removed with a break enchantment, limited wish, miracle, remove curse, or wish spell.

    Your opponent can make a will save to negate the effects of the curse with a save DC of 10 + your paladin level + your Cha modifier +1 for each 10 points of healing spent to inflict the curse.

    EDIT ADDED: At 10th level the Paladin can unleash her healing power as a wave of force forming a protective shield around her allies. Aslong as she spends atleast 10 points of healing all allies within 40' of the paladin receive a deflection bonus to AC equal to her charisma modifier and spell resistance of 10 + 1 for each additional points of healing spent. The ability lasts for a number of rounds equal to her charisma modifier and then begins to drain 1 point of healing each round until deactivated(as a free action) the paladin enters a state of righteous fury, is rendered unconscious or is slain.

    EDIT ADDED:If activated during a state of righteous fury the paladin can spend 20 points of healing to have the energy instead spread out in a 40' area centered on the paladin that functions like the Dictum spell(treat your caster level as your character level) except it can affect foes of any alignment(or none) Non-Chaotic foes can make a will save at a DC of 10 + paladin level + cha mod + 1 for each point of additional healing spent. To avoid the effect.

    Aura of Courage (Su)
    Beginning at 2nd level, a paladin is immune to fear (magical or otherwise). Each ally within 10 feet of her gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against fear effects.

    This ability functions while the paladin is conscious, but not if she is unconscious or dead.

    Battle Blessing (Ex)
    Beginning at 5th level a paladin can cast spells more quickly than usual in the heat of battle.

    This ability functions only for spells with a range of personal or touch from the class that the paladin used to meet the divine spell casting prerequisite. If the spell normally requires a standard action, you can cast it as a swift action. If it normally requires a full round to cast, you can cast it as a standard action. Spells with longer or shorter casting times are not affected by this ability.

    This ability can only be used once per round, So a paladin can not use it to cast a spell as a swift action, and then use it again to cast a spell with a 1 round casting time as a standard action(though she can cast a spell that takes a standard action normally).

    EDIT ADDED:At 9th level any Conjuration(summoning) from the class the paladin used to meet the divine spellcasting requirements of paladin entry can also be cast as part of the paladin's Battle Blessing. Creatures summoned as a standard action can act the round it was summoned, but can only take a move or standard action.

    Spells per Day
    When a new paladin level is gained that increases spellcasting progression as noted on table: The Paladin, the character gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in any one divine spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. This essentially means that she adds the level of paladin to the level of whatever other divine spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly. If a character had more than one divine spellcasting class before she became a paladin, she must decide to which class she adds each level of appropiate level of paladin for the purpose of determining spells per day.

    EDIT(possible):A character without spellcasting before taking the Paladin treats each level that advances divine spellcasting as cleric levels to determine the spells per day and caster level.

    Special Mount (Sp)
    A paladin gains the service of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed to serve her in her crusades against injustice.

    Once per day, as a full-round action, a paladin may magically call her mount from the celestial realms in which it resides. This ability is the equivalent of a spell of a level equal to one-half the paladinís level. The mount immediately appears adjacent to the paladin and remains for 4 hours per paladin level; it may be dismissed at any time as a free action. The mount is the same creature each time it is summoned, though the paladin may release a particular mount from service.

    Each time the mount is called, it appears in full health, regardless of any damage it may have taken previously. The mount also appears wearing or carrying any gear it had when it was last dismissed. Calling a mount is a conjuration (calling) effect.

    Should the paladinís mount die, it immediately disappears, leaving behind any equipment it was carrying. The paladin may not summon another mount for thirty days or until she gains a paladin level, whichever comes first, even if the mount is somehow returned from the dead. During this thirty-day period, the paladin takes a -1 penalty on attack and weapon damage rolls.

    Code of Conduct

    Ex-Paladins

    Spoiler
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    blah blah blah mostly fluff stuff, and I only have notes atm anyway probably end up a little less restrictive than phb paladin(on paper if not in practice), but a little harsher on the fallen


    The Paladinís Mount
    The paladinís mount is superior to a normal mount of its kind and has special powers, as described below.

    {table=head]Paladin Level|Bonus Hit Dice|Natural Armour Adj.|Str. Adj.|Intelligence|Special

    1st-3rd|
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    6
    |Celestial Mount, Empathic link, Share Spells, Share Saving Throws

    4th-5th|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    7
    |Improved Evasion

    6th-8th|
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    8
    |Improved Speed

    9th-10th|
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    9
    |Command Creatures of it's Kind[/table]

    Paladinís Mount Basics
    Use the base statistics for a creature of the mountís kind, but make changes to take into account the attributes and characteristics summarized on the table and described below.

    Celestial Mount (Ex)
    Your mount benefits from your divine connection. The Celestial template can be applied to your mount, if you so desire. Since this is not possession but rather a sympathetic link, the creature's alignment need not change.

    Natural Armor Adj.
    The number on the table is an improvement to the mountís existing natural armor bonus.

    Str Adj.
    Add this figure to the mountís Strength score.

    Int
    The mountís Intelligence score.

    Empathic Link (Su)
    The paladin has an empathic link with her mount out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The paladin cannot see through the mountís eyes, but they can communicate empathically.

    Note that even intelligent mounts see the world differently from humans, so misunderstandings are always possible.

    Because of this empathic link, the paladin has the same connection to an item or place that her mount does, just as with a master and his familiar.

    Improved Evasion (Ex)
    When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, a mount takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage if the saving throw fails.

    Share Spells
    At the paladinís option, she may have any spell (but not any spell-like ability) she casts on herself also affect her mount.

    The mount must be within 5 feet at the time of casting to receive the benefit. If the spell or effect has a duration other than instantaneous, it stops affecting the mount if it moves farther than 5 feet away and will not affect the mount again even if it returns to the paladin before the duration expires. Additionally, the paladin may cast a spell with a target of "You" on her mount (as a touch range spell) instead of on herself. A paladin and her mount can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the mountís type (magical beast).

    Share Saving Throws
    For each of its saving throws, the mount uses its own base save bonus or the paladinís, whichever is higher. The mount applies its own ability modifiers to saves, and it doesnít share any other bonuses on saves that the master might have.

    Improved Speed (Ex)
    The mountís speed increases by 10 feet.

    Command (Sp)
    Once per day per paladin level of its master, a mount can use this ability to command other any normal animal of approximately the same kind as itself (for warhorses and warponies, this category includes donkeys, mules, and ponies), as long as the target creature has fewer Hit Dice than the mount. This ability functions like the command spell, but the mount must make a DC 21 Concentration check to succeed if itís being ridden at the time. If the check fails, the ability does not work that time, but it still counts against the mountís daily uses. Each target may attempt a Will save (DC 10 + paladinís level + paladinís Cha modifier) to negate the effect.

    Ok let me have it...
    Last edited by Latronis; 2009-11-19 at 05:28 AM.

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    Default Re: The Prestigious Paladin! [3.5]

    Doesn't UA already have one (in the SRD no less) that is basically the same with a few feats shifted around.

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    Default Re: The Prestigious Paladin! [3.5]

    The SRD version exists over 15 levels.

    Paladin works pretty well as a normal prestige class, IMO, rather than being a massively extended, easy entry one.
    Thanks to Serpentine for the half-elf sorceress avatar.

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    Default Re: The Prestigious Paladin! [3.5]

    The UA paladin PrC isn't overly different from the core class paladin, so while it would solve the problem of needing a holy knight type PrC for the church, it doesn't work any better than compressing the abilities of the base class into a 10lv PrC

    It still has the subpar smite as a major part of the class.

    It's useless agaienst run of the mill monsters and a large number of villians, and for those it does work againest it makes too little difference

    Turn Undead is thematically inappropiately, as is the overly strong anti-evil aspects(I'd prefer to have to focus more on the lawful side rather than the good)

    It still fits the archetype of the holy knight punishing wrong-doers and aiding others with god-given powers. I prefer it as a kind of Warrior Priest class and i've become rather fond of the modal aspect having the default 'succour' mode and for lack of a better term Smite mode.

    But what i really wanted was some opinions on the balance of the class, too strong? too weak? tries to do too much? etc

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    Default Re: The Prestigious Paladin! [3.5]

    Well, speaking as a player who's overly fond of paladins, I gotta say I like this class. At first, the loss of smitage struck me as odd, but then I realized how awesomely well the idea of a holy rage fit. I'd still keep smiting in, at least in my game - a lot of enemies actually have evil alignments in my game, unlike yours - but overall I like this class. Maybe as a feat option, requirement Aura of Alignment class feature (so clerics, most incarnum-users could get it). Hm.
    Also, I think I like the idea of having mechanical alignment be due to deities, whereas everyone else has nonmechanical alignments.

    The only grip I have is the free Quickened Casting on all cleric spells. Maybe a level cap on the ability?
    I think I've had enough for a while.

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    Default Re: The Prestigious Paladin! [3.5]

    The last four levels have no special abilities, and level 8 especially is an offender. +1 BAB, +1 Fort, +1 Will. That's my main gripe. Oh, and

    Your opponent can make a will save the negate the effects of the curse...
    Should be "to."
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    Default Re: The Prestigious Paladin! [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Solaris View Post
    Well, speaking as a player who's overly fond of paladins, I gotta say I like this class. At first, the loss of smitage struck me as odd, but then I realized how awesomely well the idea of a holy rage fit.
    It fit's the flavour of punishing wrong doers without limiting her full effectiveness to just evil foes!

    Unlike Half-orcs i imagine most paladins won't have a charisma penalty limiting the duration somewhat though, so I'm wondering if the +6 might get a little much.. My gut says no but i do have a tendency to start high and nerf down.

    I'd still keep smiting in, at least in my game - a lot of enemies actually have evil alignments in my game, unlike yours - but overall I like this class. Maybe as a feat option, requirement Aura of Alignment class feature (so clerics, most incarnum-users could get it). Hm.
    Something like?

    SMITE

    Prerequisites: Aura of Good, Evil, Law or Chaos; BAB +1

    Benefit: You may attempt to smite a creature once per day per 4 levels. When making a smite attempt with a normal melee attack the character may add her Charima bonus (if any) to her attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per level upto her Base Attack Bonus. Only creatures of an alignment opposed to her aura can be affected(A character with an Aura of Good smites evil, Aura of Chaos smites Law etc) If the paladin accidentally smites a creature of a different alignment, the smite has no effect, but the ability is still used up for that day.

    Special: If a character with this feat has more than one Aura of Alignment she must choose which alignment she is smiting before she makes her attack.

    Also, I think I like the idea of having mechanical alignment be due to deities, whereas everyone else has nonmechanical alignments.
    I know I'm not the only one who does so I've seen other people on various forums do similiar things. At one stage i was just going to do away with mechanical alignment altogether until i saw someone (I can't remember anymore) mention using alignment as a character's alignment to cosmic forces(such as deities)

    The only grip I have is the free Quickened Casting on all cleric spells. Maybe a level cap on the ability?
    That is a good point.. I imagined it as more of a quick buff that still allowed you to get in an attack without resorting to metamagic feats and preparing metamagic. Or possibly some summoned aid being more immediately useful.(I should put in a thing about that actually)

    But then I guess intent doesn't always prevent abuse does it :\

    Although i'm not a big fan of level caps...

    Paladin: "The gods have blessed me with the ability to use their blessings rapidly in the heat of the moment?"

    Fighter: "So why only a Bless?"

    Paladin: "Well the gods only let me use their blessings rapidly in the heat of battle for spells i mastered as an apprentice..."

    Also the question becomes how to cap it, while remaining a useful ability across all levels...

    What if i started with it capped... and removed it as a capstone ability?

    Or would it still be too strong if I imposed other limits on it. (Just what I'm not sure) But only using it once a round would be a good start(or a cooldown maybe) It would atleast stop things like a swift action Righteous Might followed by a standard action Monster Summoning X

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    Default Re: The Prestigious Paladin! [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Latronis View Post
    Turn Undead is thematically inappropiately, as is the overly strong anti-evil aspects(I'd prefer to have to focus more on the lawful side rather than the good)
    I would say that the Paladin's code, on the subject of Good vs Lawful, has this to say: "Do no evil." The Paladin has always focused on the Good over the Lawful, if it comes down to that (though obviously every attempt must be made to uphold both). Not that there is anything wrong with changing this, but it is worth recognizing that it is a change.

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    Default Re: The Prestigious Paladin! [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Temotei221 View Post
    The last four levels have no special abilities, and level 8 especially is an offender. +1 BAB, +1 Fort, +1 Will. That's my main gripe. Oh, and



    Should be "to."
    Typo fixed :P

    I'm aware it appears a little light in a table, and i Didn't want to over do it. But the Righteous Fury at the least advances in some form every level (alternating morale damage bonus increase and use per day useage) And the mount increases almost every 2nd level(though not 8th).

    Hmmm

    I could probably find some more stuff to fit in there but i don't want it trying to do everything.. I suppose i could seperate the lay on hands abilities (smiting at 4 and accursed at 8) but that kinda removes the modal aspect of it.

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    Default Re: The Prestigious Paladin! [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by DragoonWraith View Post
    I would say that the Paladin's code, on the subject of Good vs Lawful, has this to say: "Do no evil." The Paladin has always focused on the Good over the Lawful, if it comes down to that (though obviously every attempt must be made to uphold both). Not that there is anything wrong with changing this, but it is worth recognizing that it is a change.
    I don't actually have to call it a paladin, it just saves me thinking up a new name when paladin can fit well as a title for the holy knight on a mission from god. And the god i have in mind is more like lawful with benevolent intent, perhaps even a little uncaring. More laws for the greater good of everyone! but i can't afford to make exceptions regardless of mitigating circumstances... seems better served by a greater focus on the lawful aspects rather than the good.

    But that is mostly campaign specific stuff. So changes are certainly possible for other times.
    Last edited by Latronis; 2009-11-14 at 02:16 AM.

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    Default Re: The Prestigious Paladin! [3.5]

    Certainly valid way to have Paladins be in your game. Actually, probably a little more interesting than the sort of generic hero that Paladins are supposed to be. I'd just personally dislike playing one, but then I don't really like Lawful characters so that makes sense, huh? Hehe.

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    Default Re: The Prestigious Paladin! [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Latronis View Post
    SMITE

    Prerequisites: Aura of Good, Evil, Law or Chaos; BAB +1

    Benefit: You may attempt to smite a creature once per day per 4 levels. When making a smite attempt with a normal melee attack the character may add her Charima bonus (if any) to her attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per level upto her Base Attack Bonus. Only creatures of an alignment opposed to her aura can be affected(A character with an Aura of Good smites evil, Aura of Chaos smites Law etc) If the paladin accidentally smites a creature of a different alignment, the smite has no effect, but the ability is still used up for that day.

    Special: If a character with this feat has more than one Aura of Alignment she must choose which alignment she is smiting before she makes her attack.



    I know I'm not the only one who does so I've seen other people on various forums do similiar things. At one stage i was just going to do away with mechanical alignment altogether until i saw someone (I can't remember anymore) mention using alignment as a character's alignment to cosmic forces(such as deities)



    That is a good point.. I imagined it as more of a quick buff that still allowed you to get in an attack without resorting to metamagic feats and preparing metamagic. Or possibly some summoned aid being more immediately useful.(I should put in a thing about that actually)

    But then I guess intent doesn't always prevent abuse does it :\

    Although i'm not a big fan of level caps...

    Paladin: "The gods have blessed me with the ability to use their blessings rapidly in the heat of the moment?"

    Fighter: "So why only a Bless?"

    Paladin: "Well the gods only let me use their blessings rapidly in the heat of battle for spells i mastered as an apprentice..."

    Also the question becomes how to cap it, while remaining a useful ability across all levels...

    What if i started with it capped... and removed it as a capstone ability?

    Or would it still be too strong if I imposed other limits on it. (Just what I'm not sure) But only using it once a round would be a good start(or a cooldown maybe) It would atleast stop things like a swift action Righteous Might followed by a standard action Monster Summoning X
    Yeah, sounds right.

    Ooh. Maybe instead of a level cap - though you could make the argument that it's simply an effect of the paladin's power growing so he gets better at what he does - you limit it to spells that have a range of Personal or Touch.
    I think I've had enough for a while.

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    Default Re: The Prestigious Paladin! [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by DragoonWraith View Post
    Certainly valid way to have Paladins be in your game. Actually, probably a little more interesting than the sort of generic hero that Paladins are supposed to be. I'd just personally dislike playing one, but then I don't really like Lawful characters so that makes sense, huh? Hehe.
    If i was going to use it in a more by the book campaign I'd likely just use the paladin code as is.

    Besides i figure this way it's easier to allow the players, or npcs to make slightly darker decisions than you'd expect from phb paladin and let them agonize over decisions :P

    Yeah, sounds right.

    Ooh. Maybe instead of a level cap - though you could make the argument that it's simply an effect of the paladin's power growing so he gets better at what he does - you limit it to spells that have a range of Personal or Touch.
    Yeah sure you can justify it that way.. But it doesn't sit aswell when the power supposedly comes from gods as opposed to learning through study such as a mage(though you are only human(oid) so i can buy it).

    Originally you made me think why would I limit what type of spells should be effected.. Targetting enemies with magic is just as useful in battle, and still being able to attack after would surely be a battle blessing!

    But then I thought yeah screw it, restricting it to personal and touch spells kinda promotes the Divine + Warrior merge better. (Sitting back and slinging the spells ain't really the right idea behind it, get right into their faces with spell enhanced sword is more like it!)

    And this way I don't need to keep looking for some precedent to base a scaling level cap on. So Score!

    Although I am now potentially concerned on what kind of effect free swift action Heal\Harms and the like might have, especially if you used a cleric to qualify and can spontaneously cast them.

    Also since it was brought up, that table does look kinda bare up there, I wonder what else i could slot in.

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    Default Re: The Prestigious Paladin! [3.5]

    EDITS: Shuffled around the spellcasting so it was more spread out over the levels and added a higher level application of the healing hands pool abilities. Which I am not real sure on how they are going to work without some extensive play testing :\
    Last edited by Latronis; 2009-11-18 at 05:26 AM.

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    Default Re: The Prestigious Paladin! [3.5]

    I like it. I, too, think the paladin works better as a PrC, though I don't like the one in UA.
    I like smites, but the divine rage can work too (although it makes him a bit of a barbarian like warrior), but the others ways to use lay-on hands looks interesting.
    The smite feat is interesting too, since/although it rellys on BAB, instead of class level.
    My only nitpicks are: Why this paladin is so strongly focused on Law, when the typical paladin is usually focused more on the Good part. You even replaced Aura of Good with Aura of Law, and suggests that a paladin could require "any lawful". It just doesn't sit well with me.
    Second: I'd rather remove the divine spells requisite/progression, and give him his own spell list, like the BlackGuard does. Clerics don't need more PrCs, and IMO, paladins should be fully warriors, not cleric/warriors.

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    Default Re: The Prestigious Paladin! [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Roderick_BR View Post
    I like it. I, too, think the paladin works better as a PrC, though I don't like the one in UA.
    I like smites, but the divine rage can work too (although it makes him a bit of a barbarian like warrior), but the others ways to use lay-on hands looks interesting.
    The smite feat is interesting too, since/although it rellys on BAB, instead of class level.
    My only nitpicks are: Why this paladin is so strongly focused on Law, when the typical paladin is usually focused more on the Good part. You even replaced Aura of Good with Aura of Law, and suggests that a paladin could require "any lawful". It just doesn't sit well with me.

    Second: I'd rather remove the divine spells requisite/progression, and give him his own spell list, like the BlackGuard does. Clerics don't need more PrCs, and IMO, paladins should be fully warriors, not cleric/warriors.
    Alignment: Well as written it's becomes lawful, just in case for some reason you can qualify without already being lawful. (since as I said in the first spoiler tag mechanically i use alignment as a character's alignment to cosmic forces. Not how certain effects interact with them because they behave a certain way. My players can play as neutral evil by the book if they like, but unless they are pysically aligned with an outside force(such as a cleric or dealing with outsiders.. being an outsider etc as far as things like detect evil, smite evil are concerned they are alignment: none))

    Why lawful over good? Because the goddess is more lawful than good. If the paladin's god is more concerned with the lawful side it doesn't make much sense for her champions to be the opposite. Her teachings are based around law and order for the betterment of everyone, and shes just a tad more concerned about enforcing the means(law, order, discipline, justice etc) for her benevolent end(peace and prosperity for all). When push comes to shove between the two, becoming soft on crime only leads to more crime and then the goal will never be reached.

    Besides IMO if the most prevalent religions are more concerned about the law vs chaos battle instead of the good vs evil than you can more easily run darker and more intrigue based games when wanted. And that is a better tone for this specific campaign world.

    Even with mechanical repercussions for alignment(code of conduct and fallen paladins) it's still the most mutable aspect of the class. It's easy enough to twist it back to good if desired. Just change the god, change the code(which isn't fully defined yet even for myself) and viola more traditional paladin behavior. Mechanically I think it can work for any sort of variation one would want, and the alignment aspects have the least mechanical effect(since there is now very little anti-alignment specific abilities)

    Which leads to the smite issue.. Since most mortals or primes or whatever you like don't have a mechanical alignment smite is not a good ability. When most of your goblins, your assassins, your tyrant kings whatever antagonists you happen to be facing suffer no worse from your smites than any other attack and many of those that are effected by it tend towards the higher end of the spectrum(your clerics and your demons etc) don't fear it overly much your god-given power to punish wrongdoers is subpar for a warrior. The Righteous Fury allows me to run the paladin with a power that is always useful for punishing wrongdoers. By tying the lay on hands pool and abilities to it I can cover both aspects of the class, the punishing of wrong-doers and the protection of the innocent, so it isn't just an enforcer. And it was a more interesting way imo of defining and highlighting both aspects.

    Which is why I ended up using the paladin as the basis it already covers the holy knight angle, it is already about protection of the innocent and punishment of the guilty(or admittedly the wicked) so when I've cut the paladin(as a PrC) out because I didn't see it fitting, and then find myself needing something to fit those 3 qualities adjusting what already is seemed natural.

    Spellcasting: Well she is a goddess and she has her champions. She is a more martially inclined deity than some others so it stands to reason her champions would be too(Holy Knight) However a deity would it stands to reason pick her champions from those that live up to her ideals. Now I'd say it's quite likely to find people like that already within the clergy. That also needs to be represented mechanically. If we went with blackguard spellcasting progression(using existing paladin spell list) You'll have say cleric 5\paladin10 who get's upto lv3 spells from cleric, and than upto lv4 spells paladins, half of which the cleric already had as a cleric. That's not something a lot of players would do..

    So if we want clerics of this deity to take up the mantle of paladin then they would need some synergy so it's not just wasted levels to get in and messy spell access.

    And then when deities do grant miracles to some of their followers it is kinda hard to justify why her champions don't get any. So I'm not comfortable scrapping spellcasting altogether. Sacrificing a little spellcasting for unique abilities seems a nicer fit.

    Although you did make me think of an important point.. There's no reason why a more martial character such as a non-magical knight or a devout follower who happens to be a soldier couldn't under some circumstances(even if selection is completely controlled by the church)

    Perhaps if i get rid of the spellcasting prerequisite by keep the spellcasting progression.. Making those levels count as cleric levels for spellcasting purposes only you could end up with spellcasting not all that different from what the base paladin gets.

    Though then cleric still seems the natural choice and will end up the stronger option, but the choice might be worth it.

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