In the West, one of the most iconic characters (along with spies and cowboys) is the knight. A bold warrior whose commitment to being better than the average man extends well beyond the boundaries of the battlefield and into virtuous pursuits of all kinds, the knight represents something to aspire too. Knights set an example for us all to do what is right, no matter the consequences; and to fight evil (including such supernatural evils as dragons and enchantresses) even when all the odds are against you. Since knights are so cool, we’ve decided to give them their own theme week, which we kick off today with a new archetype for paladins which is called the crusader against evil: a powerful champion of goodness and righteousness who has devoted her career to engaging evil on the battlefield.
New Paladin Archetype
Crusader Against Evil
Knights of noble and pure virtue, the crusaders against evil are warriors who have devoted their lives to the extinguishing of all vile forces that threaten goodness and civilization. More focused on combat than traditional paladins, the crusader against evil boasts fewer supernatural or priest-like abilities and is more driven to defeat her foes with cold steel alone.
Crusader’s Strike (Su): A crusader against evil is gifted at defeating evil opponents of all kinds and can deliver blows against the servants of darkness with supernatural power. At 1st level, this grants the crusader against evil a +1 bonus on all damage rolls made against evil characters. At 4th level, and every 3 levels thereafter, this bonus damage increases by +1.
This ability replaces the detect evil and smite evil class features.
Shield of the Righteous (Su): A crusader against evil is constantly protected by holy forces against the abilities of evil characters. At 2nd level, a crusader against evil adds her Charisma bonus as a bonus to saving throws made to resist the spells and abilities of evil characters, as well as any effect with the evil descriptor, regardless of its source. Additionally, she adds her Charisma bonus as a bonus to AC against attacks made by characters with the dragon or undead type, as well as to all characters with the evil or chaotic subtypes.
This ability replaces the divine grace class feature.
Rally the Righteous (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, a crusader against evil can lay her sword upon an ally’s shoulder and whisper a prayer in order to empower him for a short time. In order to use this ability, the crusader against evil must touch a non-evil character as a swift action. If she does, the target gains a morale bonus on all attack rolls made against evil characters equal to 1/4 the crusader against evil’s paladin level (minimum 1) and gains a number of temporary hit points equal to 1d6 for every 2 levels of the crusader against evil’s class level.
Additionally, beginning at 3rd level, a character affected by rally the righteous gains immunity to certain conditions. At 3rd level, this includes the fatigued, shaken and exhausted conditions. At 6th level, this also includes the diseased, dazed, and staggered conditions, and at 9th level, the list further expands to include the exhausted, frightened, and nauseated conditions. Finally, at 12th level, this ability also grants protection from the blinded, deafened, paralyzed, and stunned conditions.
The benefits of this ability last for a number of rounds equal to the crusader against evil’s Charisma modifier (minimum 1). The crusader against evil can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1/2 her paladin level. The crusader against evil may not target herself with this ability.
This ability replaces the lay on hands, mercy, and channel energy class features.
Call Crusade (Su): A crusader against evil can raise her weapon to the sky and call upon aid from on high. At 11th level, a crusader against evil can expend 2 uses of her rally the righteous ability as a swift action in order to apply its benefits to all non-evil allies (including herself) within a 10-foot radius. Additionally, beginning at 15th level, all characters affected by this ability do an amount of additional damage against evil characters equal to the bonus damage dealt by her crusader’s strike ability. Finally, at 18th level, a crusader against evil may use this ability by spending only one use of her rally the righteous ability.
This ability replaces the aura of justice class feature.
Champion Against Evil (Ex): A crusader against evil eventually becomes such a potent force on the battlefield that evil foes cannot stand against her for long. At 20th level, a crusader against evil gains the holy champion class feature, with the following exceptions. The crusader against evil cannot banish characters who she is smiting, and the effects of her channel energy and lay on hands class features are not maximized. Instead, she deals twice the normal amount of bonus damage against evil undead, outsiders, dragons. Additionally, whenever she confirms a critical hit against a character with the chaotic or evil subtype, that character must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 20 + the champion against evil’s Charisma modifier) or be stunned for 1 round.
This ability modifies the holy champion class feature.