Friday, December 8, 2017

The Holy Man's Anger

by Flibbertyjibbeth

You are defined by your convictions. The vows are your strength and solace in the world. They are the millstone at your shoulder. They are the fire burning in your heart. The vows are as integral a part of your as your own blood and the air in your lungs. In your deepest self, those words are inscribed.

You knew what would be asked when you prostrated yourself on the cold marble floor and swore that oath. You could have chosen anything else - your father's trade, the girl down the road with a face full of freckles, an ordinary life of ordinary pains and ordinary joys - but you believed, you knew, that this was your place, that the sword and the millstone was your life.

But no conviction goes without testing.

You have seen good men die and evil men walk free, and too many men in-between do nothing.

You have watched the law twisted out of shape to shield the wicked and trample the innocent.

You have killed men and buried them in the frozen earth.

You have delivered boys back to their mothers in pinewood boxes.

You have comforted more battered wives and heard more desperate confessions and said more prayers over shoebox coffins than a human being should ever have to.

You have seen the absolute black depths of humanity. 

You have cried out to heaven, and have heard no answer.

You continue.

You do not despair. To despair is to die. You must not stop.

If you are to be the last voice raging against the dying of the light, so shall it be. You shall rage to shake the pillars of the earth itself.

Paladin Class 


  • XP, HP, armor and weapons as fighter.
  • Saves as cleric.
  • AB begins at +1, then increases as fighter.
  • Can cast 1st level sacraments and use relics.
  • Begin with 1 spell die.
  • Minimum stat requirements: 13 STR, 13 WIS 
    • CHA can be used instead of WIS, as one prefers.
  • Begin play with additional convictions: these are the vows of your order.

by einsbern

Clash of Convictions

When your convictions collide with an impediment that you cannot overcome (that is, you have been handed a sound and significant defeat), roll against your WIS.
  • If you roll above your WIS, you manage to cope with the failure and carry on. Better sense prevails over the will. 
  • If you roll below WIS, the conflict between reality and your ideals puts more strain on you than you can easily shake off. You take 1d6 points of damage to your convictions.
(Conviction damage can be healed by re-affirming your vows. 1 point can be returned through a pilgrimage, meditative retreat, acts of penance, the counsel of a spiritual advisor, or by otherwise fulfilling your vows.)

When your conviction damage is equal to your WIS score, you have reached the point where unstoppable force has reached immovable object. There are two paths now. (The choice can be made by the player directly, or left up to the dice in a final WIS check, as desired. Option 1 is roll over, Option 2 is roll under.)

Option 1: You recant of your vows. The millstone is too much to bear. You lose your spellcasting abilities, the support of your order, and all convictions linked to your vows. You will not be permitted to return.

Option 2: You gain a new conviction. This one will be unique to the circumstances at hand, but will share the following traits.
  • It is directly focused on eliminating the obstacle that has thwarted you.
  • It does not have moral qualms on how the obstacle is eliminated or otherwise stopped
 When acting according to this new conviction, you gain the following:
  • +2 damage to all attacks
  • - 4 AC
  • Half damage received
  • -2 morale to all applicable enemies
(It's a targeted rage, nothing ground-breaking here)

  • Your spell die's burn range increases by one each time you act on your rage.  (ie: after the first rage it will burn after casting on a 5-6, then 4-6 on the time after that. At 1-6 it will burn out after every spell, and at the step beyond [6 steps from the beginning] all casting ability will be lost). 
  • You gain +1 to hit / + 1 bonus damage on alternating pips, max of +3 for each.
  • -2 to reaction rolls for people aware of your actions. This penalty is increased by 1 for every other burnt pip on your spell die for your targets or their allies.
This conviction and all the effects it grants will remain with you until it is either fulfilled, or you die.

The damage to your casting ability and reaction rolls made towards you are permanent.

I think FromSoft has a thing for this archetype.

Redemption Arcs

By the time you have fulfilled your conviction, you may be more monster than man. You can no longer gain levels as a paladin in this burnt and exhausted state (You can gain levels in other classes). But if there is still a glimmer of goodness within you, you might redeem yourself.

To redeem yourself, you must do the following:
  • A recover all of your conviction damage, through the methods listed above, until you reach your cap.
  • Gain a level - All XP must be gained through donations to your order.
  • Public penance and renewal of your oaths
A redeemed paladin has:
  • Additional spell die equal to their WIS modifier. (If WIS modifier is +1, gain 1)
  • Protection from all further conviction damage caused by defeat of their vows.
  • -1 / +1 to reaction rolls for those aware of your actions. A reformed sinner rarely finds themselves in the good graces they once enjoyed, alas, but there are many who are less judgemental.

Nah, probably my imagination.


I wrote a post on knightly orders a few months ago that provides four paladin orders with pre-made vows. The Order of the Sable Maid is a good choice if you want a standard paladin, but I am certainly eyeing the potential that can be had with less-traditional oaths.

1 comment:

  1. That picture up top is probably my favorite piece of paladin-related art.

    Also, if repurposed barbarian mechanics aren't your thing, you can easily remove this subsystem and just use the class as provided. Modularity is fun!