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    Default (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    Playgrounders:

    I have a setting I am working on for a 10 level game, and I'm re-working a few of the base classes for that setting. The Paladin is my current target for revamping, but it might prove to be a challenge for 1 big reason: Magic is really, really rare in the setting. Only 1 class gets spellcasting naturally, though any class can gain a limited form of spellcasting if subject to a special ritual.

    So, I need to make a Paladin in 10 levels that functions around tier 3 or 4. No spellcasting is allowed, though miraculous feats like laying on hands and smite are ok.

    How do I manage this?

    Thanks

    --Wayfare

    The Paladin

    Alignment: The Paladin chooses to embody 1 alignment at 1st level. The paladin is neutral with respect to other alignments.

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

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Embodied Alignment, Conviction

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Restoration, Smite

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Detect Opposition

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Aligned Weapon

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Faith's Grace

    6th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Potent Aura

    7th|
    +7/+2
    |
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Healing Heart

    8th|
    +8/+3
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Faith's Judgement

    9th|
    +9/+4
    |
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Hallowed Weapon

    10th|
    +10/+5
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Providence[/table]

    Embodied Alignment (Su): A Paladin embodies a specific alignment to the exclusion of all else, radiating an aura of power associated with his alignment. At 1st level, the Paladin radiates an aura with a 30 foot radius. The effect of this aura depends on the alignment of the Paladin:

    Chaos: Allies within the Paladins aura gain +1 to Reflex Saves and Initiative

    Law: Allies within the aura gain +1 to Will Saves and Attack rolls

    Evil: Allies within the aura gain +1 to Fortitude Saves and Damage Rolls

    Good: Allies within the Aura gain +1 to all Saves

    The Paladin does not benefit from the effect of his own Aura.

    Conviction (Ex): The steady faith of a Paladin is a mighty power in and of itself, capable of creating opportunity in even the most desperate of situations. At 1st level, the Paladin gains the Extraordinary Ability to re-roll any Skill Check, Attack Roll, or Saving Throw he makes. The Paladin may use this ability (Charisma Modifier + Level) times per day.

    Smite (Su): At 2nd level, as a swift action, the Paladin may expend a daily use of Conviction to imbue his next attack with the strength of his beliefs, surrounding his weapon with a nimbus of searing energy. The Paladin adds his Charisma modifier to his attack roll and inflicts an additional damage equal to his Paladin level. Against opponents of an opposed alignment, the Paladin adds his Charisma Modifier to the damage inflicted with a Smite.

    Restoration (Su): At 2nd level, the Paladin gains the supernatural ability to heal his allies with a touch, literally willing his allies well. As a standard action, the Paladin may touch an ally and expend a daily use of Conviction to grant himself or an ally Fast Healing equal to the Paladin's Charisma modifier. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to the Paladin's level.
    If the target shares alignment with the Paladin, add 1 to the Fast Healing gained. If the target is of an opposed alignment, subtract 1 for the Fast Healing effect.

    Detect Opposition (Su):
    At 3rd level, the Paladin gains the ability to detect those who would act against him. The Paladin automatically knows if an individual with opposing alignment enters his Aura. Additionally, the Paladin can sense other Paladins at a range of 1 mile, and Paladins of an opposed alignment at a rage of 10 miles.

    Aligned Weapon (Su): At 4th level, any weapon the Paladin wields gains the Paladin's alignment type, and is capable of bypassing opposed alignment-based damage reduction.

    Faith's Grace (Ex):
    The Paladin's faultless faith is an incredible source of strength for him, enabling the warrior to resist all but the most baleful of effects. A Paladin of 5th level adds his Charisma Modifier to all Saving Throws.

    Potent Aura (Su): A Paladin of 6th level or higher has an unusually powerful aura. Those within the Aura gain double the normal effects ranted by the Paladin's aura.

    Healing Heart (Su):
    A Paladin of 7th level gains the supernatural ability to cure more more severe ailments. When the Paladin uses Restoration, he may instantly end 1 status ailment afflicting the target (Daze, Stun, Confuse, Paralysis, Slow, Charm, Dominate, Fear).

    Faith's Judgment (Su): A Paladin of 8th level or higher is capable of delivering blows imbued with supernatural virtue. When the Paladin hits with a successful Smite attack, the opponent must make a Saving Throw (DC 10 + Paladin's Charisma Modifier + Paladin's Level) or suffer one of the following status ailments, chosen by the Paladin:

    Effect Duration Save
    Stun 1 round/level Fortitude
    Confuse 1 round/level Will
    Slow 1 round/level Fortitude
    Frightened 1 round/level Will

    If the Paladin is Smiting a target of opposed alignment, the Save DC increases by 5.

    Hallowed Weapon (Su):
    At 9th level, the Paladin's aligned weapon becomes Axiomatic, Anarchic, Holy or Unholy to match his alignment.

    Providence (Su): At 10th level, the Paladin may expend his daily uses of Conviction upon his allies.
    Last edited by wayfare; 2011-05-16 at 09:28 AM.

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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    No spellcasting and tier3? Just play a crusader.


    No, seriously. If you take away the casting you may as well just play a Crusader, and save yourself the effort.
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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    No spellcasting and tier3? Just play a crusader.


    No, seriously. If you take away the casting you may as well just play a Crusader, and save yourself the effort.
    Martial Study can be gained in the same way spellcasting can be gained (through a ritual). But nothing will start out with straight magic or blade magic.

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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    But for those of us who don't prefer to resort to ToB, this forum is crawling with paladin remakes. I even have one hiding in the spoiler under my sig. I'm working on revamping the paladin's mount, but as I understand there are a lot of ACFs out there already. Complete Warrior (IIRC) has a nonspellcasting variant, but most of its changes come into play after 10th level.

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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    Quote Originally Posted by Solaris View Post
    But for those of us who don't prefer to resort to ToB, this forum is crawling with paladin remakes.
    And plenty of them are good. Most of the good ones include casting. Why? Because casting is good. It's a core feature of the Paladin, and even among the stronger paladin rebuilds I'd consider it anywhere from 30-50% of its strength, and the vast majority of its options/versatility.




    What he's asking for doesn't actually conceptually go together. If you want a Paladin without casting, you're looking at playing a T5 character, maybe low t4 if you take something like OW4 or Oskar's fixes and just remove the casting, but that would still be a stretch.
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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    When did all non-spellcasters turn into T5 at low levels? Given how little duration and small spell selection they have, spellcasters are pretty darn tame in the low levels of the game where their exponential growth hasn't taken out the other class's linear growth.

    Unless I'm misreading that and he's looking for a game that starts at level 10, in which case you're correct.

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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    Unless I'm misreading that and he's looking for a game that starts at level 10, in which case you're correct.

    Starting at level 10 was my interpretation of what he posted.
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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    Sorry for the wording. The game caps at level 10.

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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    With rare magic we're looking at a whole different interpretation of the tier system. Assuming the one spellcaster class isn't the be-all, end-all like it is in 3.5 at the higher levels, then the most versatile class is pretty much... rogue? I'm assuming it's just berserker, fighter, paladin, ranger, rogue, and monk here (being that just about every other base class is a spellcaster of some kind or another). By the definitions of the tier system I've read, which rates the classes based on power and versatility, it shouldn't be too hard to make a paladin that rates in the middle of that pack.
    Last edited by Solaris; 2011-05-14 at 11:43 PM. Reason: OP cleared it up.

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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    Warlock and a Refluffed Dragon-Fire Adept are in. Ninja as well, a modified Soulknife may make the cut.

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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    Quote Originally Posted by wayfare View Post
    Warlock and a Refluffed Dragon-Fire Adept are in. Ninja as well, a modified Soulknife may make the cut.
    Are the Warlock and the Dragonfire Adept the casters for this setting? If so, you can probably get away with the weaker paladin, like Solaris said.

    If you intend to have a full wizard or something running around among the rest though... good luck.
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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    There is one casting class that caps out 3rd level spells -- essentially, a more potent version of the Adept.

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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    You could just remove the paladin class entirely and just make its features feat-trees or something for the fighter...

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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jane_Smith View Post
    You could just remove the paladin class entirely and just make its features feat-trees or something for the fighter...
    Problem with that being the fighter is pretty low on the totem pole, even without spellcasters. Letting it opt to take paladin abilities as feats is worse than a regular paladin, or at best is only as good as the paladin.

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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    Wow...really hard to pull off. One of the good things the Paladin has is their spellcasting (and their mount, but that's debatable). Trying to go against that will be hard to pull off.

    In any case:
    --Smites MUST be per-Encounter. Bonus points if you can add rider effects to it (blinding, stunning, etc.)
    --Make Lay on Hands a 1/encounter healing ability. There will be no cleric and Dragon Shaman will probably be the best healer you can get (if you can work with it). Well, that and Crusader which WILL be the best healer.
    --Kill Remove Disease. Allow the Pally to gain bonus feats at those levels, granting the option between fighter bonus feats and divine feats. Maybe even Devotion feats, but based on the deity's domains.
    --Um...your choice of non-Spellcasting exchanges from Complete Warrior or Complete Champion?

    That won't make it even close to Tier 4, but it'll be a good start. You may figure out the rest. But really; Paladin spellcasting isn't something that will break the game. So, assuming BAB and saves remains the same, you'd get:

    {TABLE=head]Level|Class Feature
    1st|Aura of Good, Detect Evil, Smite evil 1/encounter
    2nd|Divine Grace, Lay on hands
    3rd|Aura of Courage, Divine Health
    4th|Turn Undead
    5th|Smite evil 2/encounter, special mount
    6th|Bonus feat
    7th|
    8th|
    9th|Bonus feat
    10th|Smite evil 3/encounter[/TABLE]

    All you'd need is to cover those two dead levels. Allowing Aura of Good to advance AC and saving throws of allies against evil creatures might work (but you'd need a proper advancement track for it), and maybe the PF Paladin Divine Bond (except slightly limited). STILL not enough for Tier 4, but it makes the Paladin a bit better for sacrificing its spellcasting.

    However, and this is true: if you're not going for spellcasting, you might as well allow your players to play Crusaders. That, or kill Crusaders and take their stuff, with maneuvers starting at 4th level (that should make it slightly better)...or viceversa (Crusader takes all of Paladin's goodies, but they get their maneuvers after 4th level). That way, you start "blade magic" later on, but you still get the Paladin to be useful without spellcasting. It's either that or...well, Soulborn, but that's also "magic".
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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    One thing that occurs to me is a feature like this:

    Divine Favor (Level 1)
    Effect: The paladin is a blessed warrior, a vessel for divine power. Once per day, the paladin can use this power to re-roll any skill check, attack roll, or saving throw.
    The paladin gains an additional use of Divine Favor at 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter.

    Lay on Hands (Level 1)
    Effect: The paladin may expend a daily use of Divine Favor to restore health to a single touched target. The Paladin grants the target Fast Healing equal to his Charisma Modifier for a number of rounds equal to his level.

    Divine Grace (Level 2)
    Effect: As the paladin class feature

    Smite (Level 2)
    Effect: The paladin may expend a use of Divine Favor to imbue a single melee attack with devastating power. The paladin adds his charisma modifier to his attack roll and adds his level as a modifier to his damage roll on a successful attack.

    Would this be a help?
    Last edited by wayfare; 2011-05-15 at 01:56 AM.

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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    I would use the binder philosophy.

    Make smite evil into at will usable every 5 rounds. (If you notice many combats take less than 6 rounds so it is mostly an encounter ability but it is also rechargeable for long fights). You could then make it so that each time you would gain an additional daily use of smite you would get a round off the recharge time but limit the ability to once a round. So at level 5 you can smite every 4 rounds all the way to waiting only one round at level 20 which means every other round smiting.

    This would be in addition to other changes.

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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    Quote Originally Posted by wayfare View Post
    Martial Study can be gained in the same way spellcasting can be gained (through a ritual). But nothing will start out with straight magic or blade magic.
    Don't get hung up on the term "blade magic". Never heard anyone say "He's a wizard with computers"? Same thing. Well, a swordsage focusing on Desert Wind and Shadow Hand can pick up supernatural abilities, but they're still less magical than monks (and far less than warlocks). Do your rogues have to go through rituals to learn Sneak Attack? If not, why do warblades have to go through a ritual to hold their swords above their heads?

    On an unrelated note, I have something which might interest you.
    Last edited by Prime32; 2011-05-15 at 04:15 PM.
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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    It's not quite a paladin, but my Judicar class might do it for you.
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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    So you want a non-spellcasting, non-ToB Paladin, that is somewhere around high Tier 4/low Tier 3 and may use "miraculous" abilities? I'd suggest going with the Holy Knight approach, then.

    The Holy Knight calls out his foes in single combat, and if they ignore him he deals loads more damage via his Smite feature. He starts play with a Heavy Warhorse, which becomes a Blessed Mount (as Paladin Special Mount), and he picks up Divine Grace and Lay on Hands. As he gains levels his knightly capacity grows allowing him to become a stronger and stronger defender to his allies and a more severe threat both to foes that choose to engage him single combat and foes that choose to ignore him (meaning both his initial Challenge gets extra effects, such as saves vs fear, and his Smite feature improves adding debilitating conditions or bull rush + trip or something).
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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    Strip out the spellcasting, make smites per encounter or 5-round recharge, and then just gestalt this "spell-less Paladin" with Marshal? That seems like it might be appropriate, allowing the paladin to be a team player and natural leader who boosts his allies up while still being a formidable warrior in his own right.
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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    Ok, so I have the basics of the class up, i think. Please feel free to critique.

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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    I can't find anything explicitly wrong with it per se. It seems effective, for the most part, though I'm having difficult judging it's Tier rating. Probably something in the high Tier 4 range. The aura in particular feels a little weak to me and no action is specified on the Restoration ability.
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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    Thanks for the input, Zeig! Changes made to Restoration, though I'll hold on the aura until more opinions come in (though I agree, it is under powered).

    I worry about the capstone -- I think it is really cool, but might not be very powerful.

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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    As I'm not qualified to offer ANY advice on balance, I thought I'd offer some for flavor instead. Personally, I think the fluff for some of the abilities strays too close to magic still. So instead of smite causing the weapon to be wreathed in energy, it should be the paladin calling upon his faith to inflict a mighty blow on his enemy. His aura should be him inspiring his allies with his unswerving conviction to a cause, not radiating energy. Etc...

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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    This seems pretty solidly tier 4 to me; it clinches a high tier 4 status if you bump it to 4 skills/level with a slightly better class skill list. As it stands, he's a fighter that trades his bonus feats for MADness, die re-rolls, and smite attacks, while having a meager aura. That's probably a slightly better trade, but it's close. The thing that saves him is that a Paladin with even modest charisma is a much, much more efficient healer than a same-level cleric's cure spells, especially if his allies share his alignment. A few questions/points...

    1) Can he use Restoration on himself? The wording indicates "no" but that's a huge nerf compared to what Lay on Hands was capable of honestly.

    2) I think Hallowed Weapon is a better capstone than Providence. As you noted, Providence is cool but if I were a Paladin I'd bet more than half of my Conviction/day was going to be spent patching people up and unleashing righteous smite attacks, as well as probably selfishly rerolling my own failed saves and natural 1s on smite attacks. The ability to let an ally reroll a crucial failed save is nice, but not nearly as strong as giving a free +2 enchantment to every weapon I wield.

    3) You made the class much less dip friendly and removed its good fortitude saves; why? Neither of these are necessarily bad things, I'm just curious.

    4) Related to above; I'd almost rather see him get good fort saves back, and then have a ninja ki-power mechanic where as long as he has 1 conviction left, he gets a +2 luck bonus to Will saves.
    Last edited by Hawk7915; 2011-05-16 at 04:49 AM.
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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk7915 View Post
    This seems pretty solidly tier 4 to me; it clinches a high tier 4 status if you bump it to 4 skills/level with a slightly better class skill list. As it stands, he's a fighter that trades his bonus feats for MADness, die re-rolls, and smite attacks, while having a meager aura. That's probably a slightly better trade, but it's close. The thing that saves him is that a Paladin with even modest charisma is a much, much more efficient healer than a same-level cleric's cure spells, especially if his allies share his alignment. A few questions/points...

    1) Can he use Restoration on himself? The wording indicates "no" but that's a huge nerf compared to what Lay on Hands was capable of honestly.

    2) I think Hallowed Weapon is a better capstone than Providence. As you noted, Providence is cool but if I were a Paladin I'd bet more than half of my Conviction/day was going to be spent patching people up and unleashing righteous smite attacks, as well as probably selfishly rerolling my own failed saves and natural 1s on smite attacks. The ability to let an ally reroll a crucial failed save is nice, but not nearly as strong as giving a free +2 enchantment to every weapon I wield.

    3) You made the class much less dip friendly and removed its good fortitude saves; why? Neither of these are necessarily bad things, I'm just curious.

    4) Related to above; I'd almost rather see him get good fort saves back, and then have a ninja ki-power mechanic where as long as he has 1 conviction left, he gets a +2 luck bonus to Will saves.
    Thanks for the suggestions!

    1) I'll re-work the wording of Restoration, but yeah it can be used on the Paladin himself.

    2) I definitely want to keep providence, so I might just switch the two. Can anyone else weigh in on this?

    3) The save progression was altered because, as I was making the class, it occurred to me that this version of the Paladin is more about willpower than he is about smashing stuff. Hence the only decent (and homebrewed) Fortitude save and good will save.

    3a) The Dip thing was intentional. Divine Grace has always been one of those things that seems like a much cooler feature when you have to work to get it. Otherwise, every bard in town is taking 2 levels of Paladin to get it and then dropping the class. Which seems kind of silly for a class that is mre ore less about a divine calling..

    4) Some kind of bonus wouldn't be out of the question.

    5) To be fair, this class is slightly less MAD than it was before

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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    It looks Low Tier 4 to me. It also looks like it will run out of Conviction points per day ridiculously fast, since a LOT of special abilities use them up. Maybe add +Level instead of +1/2 Level to the number of Conviction points available?
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    Default Re: (3.5) What is Needed to make a Tier 4/3 Paladin (With a Catch)

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    It also looks like it will run out of Conviction points per day ridiculously fast, since a LOT of special abilities use them up. Maybe add +Level instead of +1/2 Level to the number of Conviction points available?
    I'm concerned about this as well. I know you've limited them to limit the number of Smites per day, but since Smite doesn't deal a lot of damage you might be okay with giving Conviction 1x(Cha mod+level) uses per day.
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