So, I’ve decided to create an Anti-Paladin class (and sneakily tie it in with the Death Knight which was also mentioned), as noted in the Paladin class writeup. Obviously, it’ll be largely based upon the Paladin, but the powers will be different, as will the weapon choices and proficiency choices.
Of our 4 initial points, I’m assigning 1 to HD (giving the class the same d6 as the Paladin), 2 to Fighter (any armour, any weapons, 3 styles) but trading down unlimited weapon choice to a broad choice of 10 weapons (like the Paladin) in exchange for 1 custom power, and 1 to Thievery (for 3 thief skills immediately traded for 3 more custom powers).
So, we have:
Attack, Damage Bonus, Cleave, and Save as Fighter
Broad selection weapons (10)
Magical items as Fighter
3 styles (wpn + shield, two-handed, wpn in each hand)
4 custom powers
XP Cost 1850 (identical to Paladin)
Must be Chaotic (and loses powers if becomes Neutral or Lawful)
Prime Reqs: STR and CHA
All good so far.
Now, power-wise, let’s have a look:
- The Aura of Protection can stay (but will protect against good creatures, and will appear as a shadowy aura when viewed with detect evil, detect magic, or true seeing.
- The paladin’s Sanctified Body doesn’t make sense for an anti-paladin. Rather than disease immunity, I’m torn on which of the following two powers to give them (so please, weigh in):
a) Cause Disease (as in the reverse of the level 3 spell, Cure Disease). It could be used once per day with a casting time of 1 round.
b) Control Undead as a cleric equal to half their level (round up).
I’m veering towards the latter (it’s nicely thematic with the After the Flesh power below), but I could go either way.
- The paladin’s Detect Evil can be reversed in the anti-paladin’s case for Detect Good.
- Lay on Hands makes no sense for the anti-paladin, and reversing it, causing wounds, is kinda pointless as weapons are more effective anyway. So, we’ll give the anti-paladin After the Flesh. Just like the Zaharan power, the anti-paladin can continue advancing even after becoming an intelligent undead. Such anti-paladins are, of course, called Death Knights.
Might even be cool if favoured Anti-Pals have a percentage chance of automatically being resurrected as intelligent undead by their cthonic patrons, such as 5% per level. What do you think of that, Alex?
Finally, we’ve got the Paladin’s Holy Fervor, which we’ll rename Unholy Fanaticism for the purposes of flavour.
Now, we’ll need to decide which 10 weapons best suit the anti-paladin flavour-wise, and which 28 proficiencies, many of which will obviously be different than those of the paladin; f’rinstance, a good one would be Profession (torturer). Feel free to weigh in on those too.
I’m away for a couple days at a funeral, so will recommence upon my return.
Great work! Adding “After the Flesh” to the mix is pretty inspired. Could make for a nasty surprise for a band of heroes who thought they’d defeated a big badguy. I’d certainky pair that up with Control Undead.
As for weapons, here’s my initial thoughts:
battleaxe, greataxe (representing a massive scythe), sword, shortsword, greatsword, polearm, spear, lance, mace, flail (to get that Witch King of Angmar feel)
Thought now that I look at it, I’d probably just go with the two broad groups “any swords, daggers, spears, and polearms” and “any axes, flails, hammers, and maces” and get the same selection plus a little more.
I don’t see the anti-paladin messing around with bows and such. He’s totally metal and wants to wade in the gore of his victims!
As an aside, I’m not a big fan of the term “anti-paladin.” It always struck my as too clinical-sounding. “We’ve got a paladin vanquishing orcs on Level 2. We’d better perscribe an anti-paladin.”
I’d follow thr Rules Cyclopedia’s example and go with “Avenger” or maybe something fore visceral like “Wrathknight” or “Harrower.”
I like “avenger”, but I would also suggest 3e’s term “blackguard” (because it means “villain”, but also suggests something military).
Powerwise it looks baller. I would want to play one of these. I agree that After the Flesh is scary and awesome as hell. I would probably prefer control undead, for the reason you cite.
A friend of mine played an anti-paladin way back in the day that was totally kick butt cool. This was a in the day of 1st ed DnD so a lot of the ideas were house rules but they worked for us.
Anyway the power that the anti-paladin had was a kind of vampiric lay on hands. The anti-paladin’s connection to the powers of the undead world allowed him to channel its power via his touch, allowing him to drain the life essence of a living creature and use it to heal himself two points per level. At higher levels if the anti-paladin did enough damage to kill the person they were raised as an undead in his service, mostly zombies and weaker undead types but still sort of interesting. The anti-paladin could conversely channel that power into healing the undead by giving them some of his life force. The power works only in increments of twos so that if he drains or heals it is always two (or a multiple there of) points.
One time we were playing he asked the group to attack him and we did, it was that kind of game. He then ran to a local village healer bleeding from his wounds and begging to be healed. He was promptly taken into the healing chamber and the priest and his helpers were prepared to work their magic on him. As the priest tried to heal him the anti-paladin grabbed the man’s hands and drained him to death. It was pretty cool for a 12-14 year old to come up with that on the fly and I’ve never forgotten it. I’d love to see a power like that for this version of the anti-paladin.
Hope that helps
Great character class - thanks for sharing it!
Thanks for the feedback, chaps. I’ll definitely be going with the After the Flesh and Control Undead powers then. I also agree on the “no non-thrown missile weapons” approach too.
I don’t like the name Anti-Paladin much either (as I noted in another thread). I also prefer Avenger, which is what EGG wanted to call Anti-Pals anyway, and yep, it’d tie in nicely with BECMI too, but the Anti-Pal is mentioned in the official ACKS Paladin writeup, so I decided to tie it in that way. However, I did have some ideas as on how to get Avenger in there too (as well as a couple other nods).
I was looking at the cthonic entities Alex described for the Auran Empire, and figured out they many could map quite nicely to certain “types” of anti-pal for the class’ templates. For example:
- Slayer - An anti-pal of Bel (anger, violence, and killing), with the Berserkergang proficiency (plus something else combat-related).
- Deceiver - An anti-pal of Galmorm (deception, lies, and treachery), with the Ambush and Diplomacy profs.
- Corruptor - An anti-pal of Nasga (seduction, adultery, decadence), with the Seduction prof and something else appropriate.
- Desecrator - An anti-pal of Kaleth (profanity, obscenity, madness), with Intimidation and Profession (Torturer).
- Tyrant - An anti-pal of Iskara (chaos, evil, darkness, destruction), with Command and Intimidation.
- Avenger - An anti-pal of Raviled (despair, woe, regret) with ??
- Blackguard - An anti-pal of ?? with Alertness and ? (basically, the blackguard, as a spin on the name, would be a sort of general anti-pal temple/cult guard)
- Warduke - Yep, another Old School nod. Basically an anti-pal of ?? representing the sort of “dark warlord” responsible for training evil hordes.
So, any thoughts on fleshing out these templates? Alex, as you know the cthonic entities you created, would you be able to maybe tell what would suit each, and what weapons those anti-pals might favour as being associated with their gods?
Looking at the paladin profs, most would port over directly to the anti-pal, but I’d strip out…
- Diplomacy (still available as a General prof though)
- Laying On Hands
- Profession (judge).
… and I’d replace them with:
- Ambush (treachery!)
- Berserkergang (bloodshed, rage, killing!)
- Intimidate (because they’re scary eviilll s.o.bs)
- Profession (torturer)
- Seduction (for corruption, Nasga, and the potential to fill the “sexy evil villain/villainess” trope)
How does that sound to folks?
Also, we’ll need to provide the titles for the anti-pal at each level at some point, so anyone want to throw suggestions in the pot?
Oh wow, Warduke. Nice easter egg.
Actually, avenger, blackguard, wearduke, etc would all make really nice level titles.
Might I suggest a new proficiency to replace Goblin-Slayer? “Law Slayer” can give him the same benefits but against lawful (demi)humans.
Thanks, mate. Yeah, Law-Slayer could work. Hmm, you’ve just given me an idea. How about something called “Kin-Slayer” that provides the same benefits as the Goblin-Slayer, but against humans, dwarves, elves, gnomes, and halflings? :evil grin:
Of course, if we pop that in there too, I’d like to keep the symmetry by maintaining the same number of profs as the paladin, so any suggestions on another that could be removed?
I like the weapon list you suggested, by the way. I’d be tempted to maybe replace one with “dagger” (for that whole concealed weapon/treachery angle), but I’m not sure. Then again, “short sword” could easily represent a longer/more vicious dagger anyway.
Here’s the thread where Alex revealed the cthonic gods, by the way:
Well, if you go with "“any swords, daggers, spears, and polearms” and “any axes, flails, hammers, and maces” you’ve got daggers in there too.
Regarding Law-Slayer/Kin-slayer, at first glance, I’d probably remove Seduction, which is still available as a general Proficiency.
I had considered a “Man-Slayer” proficiency (Man-skin leather is very popular among beastmen in my game) good against ALL humans, elves, dwarves, etc, but I thought it might be a bit broad, which is why I limited it to Lawfuls. I prefer it the other way though, given the choice.
Awesome work! can’t wait to see the finished protect. I don’t know that I’ll be able to play one in the game. We are playing a pretty neutral to lawful group for the most part with chaotic being an underground cult-ish kind of thing.
I’d love to fight one as a player because I’ve been playing my cleric like a paladin and this would be a great challenge. I can imagine recruiting a group to go and take down this villain, it could be something worthy of story in itself. With the anti-paladin’s spontaneous resurrection ability and Way of the Flesh he could be a reoccurring bad guy for a while too.
Please let us know when you have the final version/write up buddy I’m looking forward to it.
Thanks everyone. I’ve decided to go with the following weapon selection, based on luftmensch’s suggestion:
battle axe, dagger, great axe, flail, lance, mace, pole arm, spear, sword, and two-handed sword
The warhammer, as a symbol of construction/creation (and thus Law) was removed, as was the morning star (two-handed mace) in favour of the dagger (weapon of treachery and concealment) and great axe (weapon of slaying). The dagger especially fits with some of the sneakier types of anti-pals too (those using seduction and ambush-style backstabs, for example).
I’ll definitely be adding Kin-Slayer (Goblin-Slayer aids destroying a range of non-humans, so no reason Kin-Slayer can’t aid killing the likes of elves, dwarves, and humans), and just deciding on what to drop. Prolly will be Seduction (which can easily be taken as appropriate from the General prof list).
I’m very pleased with how this (admittedly mostly NPC) class is shaping up.
Just need to give the level titles some thought. Any suggestions (recognizing that avenger, warduke, et al. will be template types unless anyone has better suggestions for naming those types of anti-pal)?
Also, if we give the anti-pal a percentage chance of automatically being brought back as an intelligent undead by their patron deity when killed, what should that chance be? Level x 1% or Level x 2%? Wouldn’t want it higher than that on reflection (though the anti-pal could also most certainly seek means to be transformed themselves too). Should the type of intelligent undead be determined randomly or be based on patron?
If you really like a descriptive title, I’d recommend prioritizing level titles over template names (templates are optional and, especially for a mostly-NPC class, won’t see much use).
I think I’ll be using Warduke and Blackguard in the level titles (and maybe Avenger too), and coming up with different names for those types of anti-pals in the templates. I did have a “Me stoopid!” moment though, when I realized the obvious answer for the level titles had been staring me in the face. The paladin has a variety of level titles that all mean guardian/defender, so it stands to reason the anti-pal would have a variety of level titles that all mean attacker/destroyer.
The draft level titles. Think any shouuld be chopped/changed around?
1 - Miscreant
2 - Despoiler
3 - Avenger
4 - Defiler
5 - Blackguard
6 - Destroyer
7 - Warduke
8 - Malefactor
9 - Malefactor Lord
10 - Malefactor Lord, 10th level
11 - Malefactor Lord, 11th level
12 - Malefactor Lord, 12th level
13 - Malefactor Lord, 13th level
14 - Dark Harbinger
Basically, at 14th level you are an omen of evil.
Finished the Anti-Pal (including templates) and just sent to Alex for a quick check over prior to converting it to pdf for everyone.
Thanks. The finished Word doc is a lot cooler, especially with the flavour text et al.