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Paladin of the Sublime Way (3.5e Class)

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Date Created: 4-5-10
Status: Complete
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Balance: Rogue

{{#set:Summary=A paladin which uses martial maneuvers instead of spells, they have the backing of the gods at their side. |Length=20 |Minimum Level=0 |Base Attack Bonus Progression=Good |Fortitude Save Progression=Good |Reflex Save Progression=Poor |Will Save Progression=Poor |Class Ability=Martial Maneuvers }} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Lawful Good}}


Paladin of the Sublime WayEdit

Paladins who have focused on the more martial aspects of their class, in lue of trying to be mini-clerics and gain spells, they channel their divine might through their sword, striking at evil directly with the grace of their divine patrons.

Making a Paladin of the Sublime WayEdit

Abilities: As a melee class, strength and constitution are ever as important. However, charisma is important with many paladin class features, and allows the paladin to truly shine as a hero. Certain disciplines may rely on wisdom, and dexterity and intelligence are used less frequently due to heavy armor and straightfoward tactics, although certain paladin builds do enjoy the additional skill points of a high intelligence score.

Races: Any race which is devoted and capable enough to produce a paladin can have a paladin of the sublime way within their ranks.

Alignment: Lawful Good.

Starting Gold: 5d4×10 gp (125 gp).

Starting Age: As fighter.

Table: The Paladin of the Sublime Way

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Maneuvers Known Maneuvers Readied Stances Known
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Aura of Good, Detect Evil, Martial Domain, Smite Evil 1/encounter 44(2)+11
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Divine Grace, Lay on Hands (Healing) 44(2)+12
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Aura of Courage, Divine Health 54(2)+12
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Bonus Feat 54(2)+12
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Smite Evil 2/encounter, Paladin's Blessing 1 64(2)+12
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Sacred Sword Stance 64(2)+12
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Lay on Hands (Disease and Poison) 74(2)+12
8th +8+/+3 +6 +2 +2 Bonus Feat 74(2)+13
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Paladin's Blessing 2 84(2)+13
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Martial Domain, Smite Evil 3/encounter 85(3)+13
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Aura of Healing 95(3)+13
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 Bonus Feat, Angel Wing Stance 95(3)+13
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 Paladin's Blessing 3 105(3)+13
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Lay on Hands (Ability Damage and Negative Levels) 105(3)+14
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Smite Evil 4/encounter 115(3)+14
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 Bonus Feat 115(3)+14
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Paladin's Blessing 4 125(3)+14
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 Fierce Deity's Justice 125(3)+14
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Death Ward 135(3)+14
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Bonus Feat, Divine Apothesis, Martial Domain, Smite Evil 5/encounter 136(4)+14

Class Skills (Skill Points::2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Balance (Dex), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Martial LoreToB (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Tumble (Dex),

Class FeaturesEdit

All of the following are class features of the paladin of the sublime way.

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).

Maneuvers: You begin your career with knowledge of four martial maneuvers. The disciplines available to you are Devoted Spirit, Stone Dragon, Twin Spirit, and White Raven.

Once you know a maneuver, you must ready it before you can use it (see Maneuvers Readied below). A maneuver usable of paladins of the sublime way is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in its description. Your maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and you do not provoke attacks of opportunity when you initiate one. You learn additional maneuvers at higher levels, as shown on Table: Paladin of the Sublime Way. You must meet a maneuver's prerequisite to learn it. See the table to determine the highest level maneuver you can learn.

Upon reaching 4th level and every even-numbered paladin level after that (6th, 8th, 10th, and so on) you can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one you already know. In effect, you lose the old maneuver and exchange for the new one. You can choose a maneuver of any level you like, as long as you observe your restriction on the highest level maneuvers you know; you need not replace the old maneuver with a new maneuver of the same level. For example, upon reaching 10th level, you could trade in a single 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th level maneuver for a maneuver of 5th level or lower, as long as you meet the prerequisite of the new maneuver. You can swap only a single maneuver at any given level.

Maneuvers Readied: You can ready all four maneuvers you know at 1st level, but as you advance in level and learn more maneuvers you must choose which maneuvers to ready. You ready maneuvers by praying for 5 minutes. The maneuvers you choose remain readied until you decide to pray again and change them. You need not sleep or rest for any long period of time in order to ready your maneuvers; any time you spend five minutes in prayer, you can change your readied maneuvers.

You begin an encounter with all your readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times you might have already used them since you chose them. When you initiate a maneuver, you expend it for the current encounter, so each of your readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter (unless you recover them, as discribed below).

Paladins of the Sublime Way share their maneuver methods with crusadersToB, relying on flashes of divine inspiration to use their martial maneuvers. As such, you do not control access to your readied maneuvers. Before you take your first action in an encounter, two of your readied maneuvers (randomly determined) are granted to you. The rest of your readied maneuvers are withheld, currently inaccessable. At the end of each turn, one previously withheld maneuver (again, randomly determined) is granted to you and thus becomes accessable on your next turn and subsequent turns.You can freely choose to initiate any maneuver that is currently granted when your turn begins, but you cannot initiate a withheld maneuver. If you choose not to employ a maneuver in a given round, your currently granted maneuvers remain available, and a previously withheld maneuver is granted, as described above. In other words, it doesn't matter if you use your maneuvers or not- at the end of each of your turns, one withheld maneuver from your selection of readied maneuvers is granted to you. Over the course of a few rounds, all your maneuvers will eventually be granted.

If, at the end of your turn, you cannot be granted a maneuver because you have no withheld maneuvers remaining, you recover all expended maneuvers, and a new pair of readied maneuvers is granted to you. Randomly determine which of your maneuvers are granted and which are withheld. At the end of your next turn, a withheld maneuver is granted to you, and the whole process of divine inspiration begins again.

You begin an encounter with an additional granted maneuver at 10th level (bringing your total to three) and every 10 levels after.

Stances Known: You begin play with knowledge of one 1st level stance from the Devoted Spirit, Stone Dragon, Twin Spirit, or White Raven discipline. At 2nd, 8th, and 14th level, you can choose an additional stance. Unlike maneuver, stances are no expended, and you do not have to ready them. All the stances you know are available to you at all times, and you can change the stance you currently use as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance description.

Unlike with maneuvers, you cannot learn a new stance at higher levels in place of one you already know.

Aura of Good (Ex): The power of a paladin’s aura of good (see the detect good spell) is equal to her paladin level.

Detect Evil (Sp): At will, a paladin of the sublime way can use detect evil, as the spell.

Martial Domain: A paladin of the sublime way selects a martial domain associated to his disciplines. Similar to a cleric's domain class feature, you gain a domain power which you benefit from at all times. You also gain a single domain slot, in which you can prepare a maneuver from the chosen discipline. It need not be a maneuver you know, but you must qualify for the maneuver. You may use this maneuver at any time. However, the domain granted maneuver has no method of refresh, and so in effect may only be used once per encounter. Also unlike your normal maneuvers, you may not ready a new maneuver until you have fully rested. This maneuver is divinely granted to you in times of only deepest meditation. See below for a list of domain benefits.

Martial Domains
Discipline Domain Power
Devoted Spirit Gain 1/2 your class level on heal checks. In addition your paladin of the sublime way level is considered 4 higher for the purpose of Lay on Hands.
Stone Dragon Gain 1/2 your class level on ability checks made to resist being bull rushed or tripped when standing on the ground (but not when climbing, flying, riding, or otherwise not standing firmly on the ground). Your mount (if any) also benefits.
Twin Spirit Gain 1/2 your class level on handle animal and ride checks, and your mount gains your class level to its balance, climb, jump, and swim checks.
White Raven Gain 1/2 your class level as a bonus on bluff, diplomacy, gather information, intimidate, and sense motive.

A paladin of the sublime way gains an additional martial domain at 10th level and again at 20th level. She still only has one slot open for her domain maneuver, which she selects from any of her martial domains available. She does however benefit from the domain powers from all her martial domains.

Smite Evil (Su): Once per encounter, a paladin of the sublime way may attempt to smite evil as part of a normal melee attack. She adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to her attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per paladin level. If the paladin accidentally smites a creature that is not evil, the smite has no effect, but the ability is still used up for that encounter.

At 5th level, and at every five levels thereafter, the paladin may smite evil one additional time per encounter, as indicated on Table: The Paladin of the Sublime Way.

Divine Grace (Su): At 2nd level, 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 of the sublime way 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 her paladin level × her Charisma bonus. A paladin may choose to divide her healing among multiple recipients, and she doesn’t have to use it all at once. Using lay on hands is a standard action.

Alternatively, a paladin can use any or all of this healing power to deal damage to undead creatures. Using lay on hands in this way requires a successful melee touch attack and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. The paladin decides how many of her daily allotment of points to use as damage after successfully touching an undead creature.

At 7th level you may use 5 points of healing from lay on hands to instead duplicate the effects of remove disease or neutralize poison.

At 14th level you may instead cure ability penalties, damage, and ability drain, or cure negative levels by using your lay on hands. For each point of ability penalty, damage, drain, or negative level you consume 2 points of healing from your lay on hands.

Aura of Courage (Su): Beginning at 3rd 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.

Divine Health (Ex): At 3rd level, a paladin gains immunity to all diseases, including supernatural and magical diseases.

Bonus Feat: At 4th level and every four levels beyond (8th, 12th, 16th, and so forth) the paladin of the sublime way gets a bonus feat. A paladin of the sublime way must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums. For the purposes of feats, the paladin of the sublime way as an effective fighter level of her class level -2. This means, among other things, she can select Weapon Specialization at level 6 and beyond, as her fighter level would be 4th. He may select any of the following feats: Blind-Fight, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Die Hard, Dodge, Endurance, Greater Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Focus, Improved Critical, Improved Initiative, Martial StanceToB, Martial StudyToB, Mobility, Skill Focus, Spring Attack, Weapon Specialization, Weapon Focus, and Whirlwind Attack.

Paladin's Blessing (Sp): At 5th level, a paladin is given a boon by the spirits who favor him in the form of either a powerful weapon to strike against evil with, or a brave mount to ride into battle. Choose between gaining a Special Weapon, or a Special Mount. Once selected your choice is set.

Special Mount: You gain a loyal steed identical to the original paladin's class feature. Your special mount grows and progresses with you as you level, and enjoys a few additional benefits beyond that of the standard paladin.

At 9th level your ability to summon your mount rises to 2/day. Your mount gains the celestial template.

At 13th level your ability to summon your mount rises to 3/day. When riding your mount you may plane shift between the material plane and any lawful and good aligned outer plane, 1/day.

At 17th level your ability to summon your mount rises to 4/day. Your mount loses the celestial template and instead gains the half-celestial template.

Special Weapon: You name a particular weapon to to be your Special Weapon. It must be your deity's favored weapon. If you lack a deity, it must be a weapon which you are proficient in. As a swift action, you charge your blade with divine energy, allowing to count it as a good and magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. In addition, any critical threats made against evil outsiders are automatically confirmed. The benefits function only on your particular special weapon, and not on all weapons of the same type. The effect lasts for 1 round, and you may use to up to 1 time per class level per day.

As you level, your special weapon grows in power. At 9th level, the weapon also gains one of the following enhancements: Bane (aberrations, chaotic outsiders, evil outsiders, undead, or vermin), Defending, Ghost Touch, ImpactMIC, Keen, Lesser Axiomatic, Lesser Holy, Merciful, or SacredMIC. Your weapon must be at least a +1 weapon to enjoy from this benefit, and once selected you cannot change your choice unless you change your weapon (see below). Previous benefits still apply.

At level 13, you may add any of the following enhancements or select a previous enhancement choice, in addition to the one chosen before: Axiomatic, BanishingMIC, Disruption (bludgeoning only), FiercebaneMIC (aberrations, chaotic outsiders, evil outsiders, undead, or vermin), Ghost StrikeMIC, Holy, or Sacred BurstMIC.

At level 17, you may add any of the following enhancements or select a precious enhancement choice, in addition to the ones chosen before: Ethereal ReaverMIC, Holy SurgeMIC, or Speed.

If you change your special weapon (because your former weapon was destroyed or another reason) you may not name another weapon as your special weapon for at least thirty days or until you gains a paladin of the sublime way level, whichever comes first. During this thirty-day period or until you level, the paladin of the sublime way takes a -1 penalty on attack and weapon damage rolls.

Sacred Sword Stance (Su): At 6th level you learn to channel the light of heaven into your weapon attacks, and in doing so become a potent weapon against evil. While you are in any stance, you can forgo its normal benefit as a swift action to gain the effect of the sacred sword stance. This ability lasts as long as any normal stance, or as described below. You may stop using the sacred sword stance and return to your previous stance as a swift action.

When you use this ability you gain a +4 dodge bonus against outsiders with the [Evil] subtype and undead, and a +2 sacred bonus to attack rolls, skill checks, opposed ability checks, and saving throws against them. In addition, whenever you make a critical hit against an evil outsider or undead, you may end this stance as a free action to cause all opponents within 60 feet to be rendered shaken for 1 minute. This ability works on undead as if they were living creatures.

Aura of Healing (Su): At 11th level your holy powers help augment those who would save others. Each ally within 10 feet of her (including herself) has any healing effect applied to her automatically empowered as per the metamagic feat. Effects which do not have random die of damage, such as the paladin's lay on hands or a heal spell are unaffected.

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

Angel Wing Stance (Su): At 12th level you channel the spirit of an angel, granting you its beautiful wings. While you are in any stance, you can forgo its normal benefit as a swift action to gain the effect of the angel wing stance. This ability lasts as long as any normal stance, or as described below. You may stop using the angel wing stance and return to your previous stance as a swift action.

When you use this ability you sprout ghostly angel wings, which grant you a fly speed equal to your land speed (average maneuverability). You may fly in heavy armor but your speed is hampered as normal. In addition, you may end the stance as an immediate action to gain total concealment against a single attack (a 50% miss chance). Doing so sheds your wings, which vaporize into motes of light, and so it is advisable that you only shed your wings when you are nor currently airborne.

Fierce Deity's Justice (Su): At 18th level the rage of the gods is yours, go forth and cleave and smite evil! While you are in any stance, you can forgo its normal benefit as a swift action to gain the effect of the fierce deity's justice. This ability lasts as long as any normal stance, or as described below. You may stop using the fierce deity's justice and return to your previous stance as a swift action.

When you use this ability you gain +8 to damage rolls against any evil aligned creature. Your attacks are considered both lawful and good for bypassing damage reduction, and every hit against them deals maximum damage from your weapon (but not any extra damage die such as flaming, or sneak attack). You may end this stance as a standard action, by making a single melee attack which adds your initiator level to damage. Evil outsiders and undead take 2x your initiator level in damage instead.

Death Ward (Su): At 19th level your body is guarded against evil's touch. You are under the constant effects of a death ward effect.

Divine Apothesis: At 20th level a paladin of the sublime way becomes a magical creature, her appearance taking on an angelic visage. Her type changes to outsider, with the [Good] subtype. She is considered a native of both the material plane and any lawful good aligned plane. Additionally, the paladin of the sublime way gains damage reduction 10/evil, which allows her to ignore the first 10 points of damage from any attack made by a nonevil weapon or by any natural attack made by a creature that doesn’t have similar damage reduction. Unlike other outsiders, the paladin of the sublime way can still be brought back from the dead as if she were a member of her previous creature type.

Ex-Paladins of the Sublime WayEdit

A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who grossly violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and abilities (including the service of the paladin’s mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She may not progress any farther in levels as a paladin. She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (see the atonement spell description), as appropriate.

Epic Paladins of the Sublime WayEdit

Table: The Epic Paladins of the Sublime Way

Hit Die: d10

Level Special
21st Maneuver Known +1, Stances Known +1
22nd
23rd Maneuver Known +1
24th Bonus Feat
25th Maneuver Known +1, Smite Evil 6/encounter
26th
27th Maneuver Known +1
28th Bonus Feat, Stances Known +1
29th Maneuver Known +1
30th Maneuvers Readied 7(5)+1, Martial Domain, Smite Evil 7/encounter

2 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Maneuvers Known: Paladins of the Sublime Way continue to gain maneuvers known at 21st level, and every two levels beyond.

Stancess Known: Paladins of the Sublime Way continue to gain stances known at 21st level, and every seven levels beyond.

Smite Evil: Paladins of the Sublime Way continue to gain additional uses of smite evil at 25st level, and every five levels beyond.

Martial Domain: Paladins of the Sublime Way continue to gain additional martial domain at 30st level, and every ten levels beyond.

Bonus Feats : The epic paladin of the sublime way gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic paladin of the sublime way bonus feats or any fighter bonus feat) every 4 levels after 20th.

Epic Paladin of the Sublime Way Bonus Feat List: <-list of bonus epic feats->.

Human Paladin of the Sublime Way Starting PackageEdit

Weapons: Longsword.

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 2 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Check
Penalty
Diplomacy 4 Cha
Knowledge Religion 4 Int
Sense Motive 4 Wis

Feat: Weapon Focus Longsword.

Bonus Feats: Power Attack.

Gear: Chain Shirt.

Gold: 10g.

Campaign InformationEdit

Playing a Paladin of the Sublime WayEdit

Religion: As a paladin, religion is nearly universal. Deities choose paladins to enact their will. However, some paladins do not follow a god (or a specific god, in any case), and the nature of their divine sponsorship is unknown, drawn from some more vague source such as nature, or raw belief.

Other Classes: As the paladin, so too the paladin of the sublime way. The only difference of note is the respect the paladin of the sublime way has for her fellow initiators such as the swordsage, the warblade, and especially the crusader.

Combat: Paladins of the sublime way are melee units, tanks or attackers, and should be found in the front lines smiting evil for the greater good.

Advancement: Classes friendly to either paladins, initiator classes, or both are fair game.

Paladin of the Sublime Way in the WorldEdit

I am not afraid, no matter what evil comes. I will defeat the cursed knight and stop his terror, so others may sleep at night.
—Garland Quivira, Elan Paladin of the Sublime Way

Daily Life: The stereotype is that a paladin must be stuck up, but in truth, paladins are people too. The only difference between a paladin and an average Joe is that in times of strife and trouble, a paladin will not compromise his believes, and will fight to the death to defend them.

Notables: Garland Quivira, a servent of the benign spider goddess Charl, was notable for his heroic deeds. Some say though he has been recently corrupted by some dread evil force.

Organizations: Paladins can be found as loners or as members of a church or military. Their charisma and strong standing within the community help form the bonds nessicary for leadership roles.

NPC Reactions: A holy defender, a man of justice, for more NPCs a paladin is a good sign, though for others it is a polarizing experience. Not everyone is kind.

Paladin of the Sublime Way LoreEdit

Characters with ranks in Knowledge Religion can research paladins of the sublime way to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge Religion
DC Result
10 Paladins of the Sublime Way are paladins who forgo spellcasting in favor of martial maneuvers.
15 A paladin of the sublime way may either have a powerful mount straight from heaven, or be wielding a blade blessed from the gods themselves.
20 Powerful paladins of the sublime way can ignore death and negative energy, and seem more like avenging angels than men, evil beware!
30 Those who reach this level of success can research individual paladins of the sublime way, their lore, whereabouts, activities, and behavior.

Paladins of the Sublime Way in the GameEdit

Adaptation: As the paladin does, the paladin of the sublime way may come in other alignment flavors. Replace the typical paladin abilities for their varient class powers (paladins of courage, tyranny, and slaughter) and invert alignment boons when possible.

In the event that the paladin of the sublime way gains access to other disciplines (through alternate class features or the like), the following martial domain powers are suggested for each martial discipline.

Alternative Martial Domains
Discipline Domain Power
Anima River Pending
Black Rain Pending
Chthonic Serpent Pending
Desert Wind Pending
Diamond Mind Pending
Iron Heart Pending
Mental Grip Pending
Setting Sun Pending
Shadow Hand Pending
Tiger Claw Pending

Sample Encounter: A paladin of the sublime way has become possessed by an evil intelligent sword, and it leading him some place to complete it's fell ritual of transformation. You must stop the paladin, saving others in his path while keeping him from falling into evil's hands.

EL 10: PENDING.



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