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Sacred Flame Paladin Archetype

The bastions of the Sun and fire, sacred flames deem the cold and darkness their mortal adversaries. These pious paladins typically hail from other lands. They venture to the distant, forsaken poles to wage war against the heinous creatures seeking to expand their territory beyond the ice and snow and into their temperate kingdoms. Slaying a frost giant jarl or an ancient white dragon demands tremendous temerity, martial prowess, and specialized knowledge acquired after years of practice and study. Sacred flames devote their lives to mastering the art of combat, spending countless hours for the day when they cross paths with these hated adversaries. While they spend most of their adventuring careers vanquishing bloodthirsty giants and dragons, the ultimate polar challenge remains beyond the skills of all but an elite cadre of the most renowned heroes. Sacred flames steel themselves for the occasion when they meet the devious wendigo.

Sadly, most perish attempting to complete this holy task, but the few who succeed equate the experience to basking in eternal sunlight. On the other hand, these paladins exhibit far less zeal learning to cope with the rigors of polar travel. Despite the smoldering conviction in their pristine hearts, most sacred flames arrive better prepared to do battle against their monstrous foes than the elements. Trudging across endless miles of ice and snow feels like a depressing letdown when compared to piercing a dragon’s scaly defenses or felling an oversized humanoid. For this reason, they almost always travel in the company of other stout-hearted adventurers of strong moral character who are equipped to traverse the difficult terrain ahead of them. Although the sacred flame rarely leads the expedition across the frozen wasteland, they also assume the vanguard when danger approaches.

Smite Cold (Su)

When the paladin gains the smite evil ability, the sacred flame does not deal 2 points of damage per level on the first successful attack against outsiders with the evil subtype, evil-aligned dragons, and undead creatures. Instead, the sacred flame deals 2 points of damage per level on the first successful attack against all evil creatures with the cold subtype. This ability otherwise functions as and replaces smite evil.

Smoldering Resistance (Su)

At 3rd level, a sacred flame gains resistance to cold 5. At 10th level, his cold resistance increases to 10, and at 17th level, it increases to 20. This ability replaces divine health, aura of resolve, and aura of righteousness.

Frozen Enemy (Ex)

At 3rd level, the paladin gains a +2 bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls as well as Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against evil creatures with the cold subtype. He may attempt Knowledge skill checks untrained when attempting to identify these creatures, their powers, and their vulnerabilities. At 9th level and at 15th level, the bonus against these creatures increases by +2. This ability replaces mercy.

Spells At 4th level, when a sacred flame gains the ability to cast spells, he gains the Fire domain. His effective cleric level for this domain is equal to his paladin level –3. In addition, he also gains one domain spell slot for each level of paladin spells he can cast.

He may only prepare the Fire domain spell in that spell slot. This alters the paladin’s spells.

Channel Fire (Su)

At 4th level, when a paladin gains the ability to channel positive energy, the sacred flame uses the Fire variant channeling ability to heal creatures with the fire subtype and harm creatures with the cold subtype. This ability otherwise functions as and replaces channel positive energy.

Divine Bond (Su)

At 5th level, a sacred flame must form a bond with a weapon, except he may only apply the flaming, flaming burst, and igniting special properties to the weapon. When doing so, he may add a +1 enhancement bonus to the bonded weapon at no additional cost, thus allowing him to increase the enhancement bonus of a magical weapon or grant a +1 enhancement bonus to a non-magical weapon. This ability does not allow the weapon to exceed its maximum enhancement bonus of +5. This ability otherwise functions as and replaces divine bond.

Uphold Flames (Su)

At 8th level, the sacred flame can spend a use of his smite cold ability to dispel an existing spell or spell-like ability cast by an evil creature of the cold subtype as a standard action. This ability functions as if using a targeted dispel magic, though the paladin may use it against a specific spell or spell-like ability provided he is aware of that particular magical effect. This ability replaces aura of resolve.

Aura of Flames (Su)

At 11th level, a sacred flame can expend two uses of his smite cold ability to conjure gouts of divine flame, which instantaneously engulf all foes within 20 feet of the paladin. The flames deal 1d6 points of damage for every three paladin levels up to a maximum of 6d6 points of damage at 18th level. There is no saving throw against the damage. Half the damage is fire damage, but the other half comes from divine power and is therefore not subject to being reduced by resistance to fire-based attacks. Evil creatures with the cold subtype who take damage from this ability must also attempt a Will saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 the paladin’s level + his Charisma modifier).

On a failed save, these creatures are shaken for a number of rounds equal to the paladin’s Charisma modifier. This ability replaces aura of justice.

Fiery Champion (Su)

At 20th level, a sacred flame becomes a creature borne of fire. He gains the fire subtype and DR 5/evil. Whenever he uses smite cold and successfully strikes an evil creature with the cold subtype, the creature is also subject to a plane shift using his paladin level as the caster level. The sacred flame must teleport the creature to the Plane of Fire.

After the plane shift effect and the damage from the attack is resolved, the smite immediately ends. This ability replaces holy champion.