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Paladin

Through a select, worthy few shines the power of the divine. Called paladins, these noble souls dedicate their swords and lives to the battle against evil. Knights, crusaders, and law-bringers, paladins seek not just to spread divine justice but to embody the teachings of the virtuous deities they serve. In pursuit of their lofty goals, they adhere to ironclad laws of morality and discipline. As reward for their righteousness, these holy champions are blessed with boons to aid them in their quests: powers to banish evil, heal the innocent, and inspire the faithful. Although their convictions might lead them into conflict with the very souls they would save, paladins weather endless challenges of faith and dark temptations, risking their lives to do right and fighting to bring about a brighter future.

The paladin is an archetype of the cleric class.

Prerequisites

Must be of a good alignment and worship a Good-aligned god or goddess.

Martial Prowess

A paladin’s base attack bonus increases by one step (from 3/4 BAB to full BAB). Also increases paladin’s hit dice from d8 to d10.

This ability replaces spells and MP pool gained at 1st level. Paladins do not gain any spells or spellcasting ability, do not have a caster level, and cannot use spell trigger and spell completion magic items until 4th level.

Sense Evil (Su)

At 1st level, at will, a paladin can, as a move action, concentrate on a single item or individual within 30 feet and determine if it is evil, with a successful Sense Motive skill check. The DC for an item is equal to 10 + the caster level of the item. The DC for an individual is equal to 10 + the CR of the creature.

This ability replaces spell proficiency.

Smite Evil (Su)

Once per day, a paladin can call out to the powers of good to aid her in her struggle against evil. As a swift action, the paladin chooses one target within sight to smite. If this target is evil, the paladin adds her Charisma modifier (if any) to her attack rolls and adds her cleric level to all damage rolls made against the target of her smite. If the target of smite evil is an outsider with the evil subtype, an evil-aligned dragon, or an undead creature, the bonus to damage on the first successful attack increases to 2 points of damage per level the paladin possesses. Regardless of the target, smite evil attacks automatically bypass any DR the creature might possess.

In addition, while smite evil is in effect, the paladin gains a deflection bonus equal to her Charisma modifier (if any) to her AC against attacks made by the target of the smite. If the paladin targets a creature that is not evil, the smite is wasted with no effect.

The smite evil effect remains until the target of the smite is dead or the next time the paladin rests and regains her uses of this ability. At 4th level, and at every three cleric levels thereafter, the paladin may smite evil one additional time per day o a maximum of seven times per day at 19th level.

This ability replaces aura of resolve.

Lay On Hands (Su)

Beginning at 1st level, a paladin can heal wounds (her own or those of others) by touch. Each day she can use this ability a number of times equal to 1/2 her cleric level plus her Charisma modifier. With one use of this ability, a paladin can heal 1d6 hit points of damage for every two cleric levels she possesses. Using this ability is a standard action, unless the paladin targets herself, in which case it is a swift action. Despite the name of this ability, a paladin only needs one free hand to use this ability.

Alternatively, a paladin can use this healing power to deal damage to undead creatures, dealing 1d6 points of damage for every two levels the paladin possesses. Using lay on hands in this way requires a successful melee touch attack and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. Undead do not receive a saving throw against this damage.

This ability replaces cantrips.

Blessing (Su)

At 3rd level and every three levels thereafter, a paladin gains a blessing as a holy knight of the same level.

This ability replaces armored mage.

Divine Grace (Su)

At 3rd level, a paladin gains a bonus equal to her Charisma bonus (if any) on all Saving Throws. This does not stack with any other class feature that applies a modifier or grants a bonus to saving throws (spells and songs are exemptions).

This ability replaces a deity ability gained at 3rd level.

Spells

Beginning at 4th level, a paladin gains the ability to cast spells according to her deity, which are drawn from the chosen spell list. A paladin begins play with 1 1st level spell of her choice. Each time a character attains a new cleric level, she gains one spell of her choice to add to her list of spells. The free spell must be of spell levels she can cast. Like most spellcasters, a paladin can find or purchase scrolls with spells to add to her repertoire. Unlike other spellcasters, a paladin wearing armor does not affect her spellcasting ability.

To learn or cast a spell, the paladin must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level (Cha 11 for 1st-level spells, Cha 12 for 2nd-level spells, and so forth). The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a paladin’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the paladin’s Charisma modifier. In addition, a paladin gains additional MP for having a high attribute (Charisma—see Table: Bonus MP per Day (by Spell Level) on the MP System page).

Through 3rd level, a paladin has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, her caster level is equal to her cleric level – 3.

This ability replaces blessing of the faithful.

Divine Health (Ex)

At 5th level, a paladin is immune to all diseases, including supernatural and magical diseases, including mummy rot.

This ability replaces clear mind.

Divine Bond (Su)

Upon reaching 7th level, a paladin forms a divine bond with her god. This bond can take one of two forms. Once the form is chosen, it cannot be changed.

The first type of bond allows the paladin to enhance her weapon as a standard action by calling upon the aid of a celestial spirit for 1 minute per cleric level. When called, the spirit causes the weapon to shed light as a torch. At 7th level, this spirit grants the weapon a +1 enhancement bonus. For every three levels beyond 7th, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +5 at 19th level. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon bonuses to a maximum of +5, or they can be used to add any of the following weapon properties: axiomatic, brilliant energy, defending, disruption, flaming, flaming burst, holy, keen, merciful, shining, shining burst and speed. Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s cost (see Table: Melee Weapon Special Abilities). These bonuses are added to any properties the weapon already has, but duplicate abilities do not stack. If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other properties can be added. The bonus and properties granted by the spirit are determined when the spirit is called and cannot be changed until the spirit is called again. The celestial spirit imparts no bonuses if the weapon is held by anyone other than the paladin but resumes giving bonuses if returned to the paladin. These bonuses apply to only one end of a double weapon. A paladin can use this ability once per day at 7th level, and one additional time per day for every four cleric levels beyond 7th, to a total of four times per day at 19th level.

If a weapon bonded with a celestial spirit is destroyed, the paladin loses the use of this ability for 30 days, or until she gains a level, whichever comes first. During this 30-day period, the paladin takes a –1 penalty on attack and weapon damage rolls.

The second type of bond allows a paladin to gain the service of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed to serve her in her crusade against evil. This mount is usually a heavy horse or a yellow chocobo (for a Medium paladin) or a pony (for a Small paladin), although more exotic mounts, such as a boar, camel, or dog are also suitable. This mount functions as a beastmaster’s animal companion, using the cleric’s level as her effective beastmaster level. Bonded mounts have an Intelligence of at least 6.

In addition to horses, a paladin may select (at the GM’s discretion) some less ordinary creatures.

Once per day, as a full-round action, a paladin may magically call her mount to her side. This ability is the equivalent of a spell of a level equal to one-third the paladin’s level. The mount immediately appears adjacent to the paladin. A paladin can use this ability once per day at 7th level, and one additional time per day for every four cleric levels thereafter, for a total of four times per day at 19th level.

At 11th level, the mount gains the celestial creature simple template and becomes a magical beast for the purposes of determining which spells affect it.

At 15th level, a paladin’s mount gains spell resistance equal to the paladin’s level + 11.

Should the paladin’s mount die, the paladin may not summon another mount for 30 days or until she gains a cleric level, whichever comes first. During this 30-day period, the paladin takes a –1 penalty on attack and weapon damage rolls.

This ability replaces prayer.

Holy Champion (Su)

At 20th level, a paladin becomes a conduit for the power of her god. Her DR increases to 10/evil. Whenever she casts healing spells or uses lay on hands to heal a creature, she heals the maximum possible amount. In addition, any weapon the paladin wields is considered Good aligned for purposes of bypassing damage reduction, dealing an additional 1d6 points of holy damage against all evil opponents and an additional 2d6 points of holy damage against evil undead.

This ability replaces the deific capstone at 20th level.