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Antipaladin

Although it is a rare occurrence, paladins do sometimes stray from the path of righteousness. Most of these wayward holy warriors seek out redemption and forgiveness for their misdeeds, regaining their powers through piety, charity, and powerful magic. Yet there are others, the dark and disturbed few, who turn actively to evil, courting the dark powers they once railed against in order to take vengeance on their former brothers. It’s said that those who climb the farthest have the farthest to fall, and antipaladins are living proof of this fact, their pride and hatred blinding them to the glory of their forsaken patrons.

Antipaladins become the antithesis of their former selves. They make pacts with fiends, take the lives of the innocent, and put nothing ahead of their personal power and wealth. Champions of evil, they often lead armies of evil creatures and work with other villains to bring ruin to the holy and tyranny to the weak. Not surprisingly, paladins stop at nothing to put an end to such nefarious antiheroes.

Note: The antipaladin is an alternate class for the paladin core class. Making use of and altering numerous facets of the paladin core class, this villainous warrior can’t truly be considered a new character class by its own right. By the changes made here, though, the details and tones of the paladin class are shifted in a completely opposite direction and captures an entirely different fantasy theme, without needlessly designing an entire new class. While a redesign of sorts, this alternate class can be used just as any of the other base classes.

Role: Antipaladins are villains at their most dangerous. They care nothing for the lives of others and actively seek to bring death and destruction to ordered society. They rarely travel with those that they do not subjugate, unless as part of a ruse to bring ruin from within.

Alignment: Any evil.

Hit Points: d10.

Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gp (average 175 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class skills

The antipaladin’s class skills are Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Stealth (Dex).

Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: Antipaladin
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spells per Day
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Aura of evil, detect good, smite good, unholy style
2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Touch of corruption, unholy resilience
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Aura of cowardice, cruelty, plague bringer
4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Channel negative energy, smite power 0
5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Fiendish boon 1
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Cruelty 1
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +5 Smite power 1 0
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Aura of despair 1 1
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +6 Cruelty 2 1
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Smite power 2 1 0
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +7 Aura of vengeance 2 1 1
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +8 Cruelty 2 2 1
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +8 Smite power 3 2 1 0
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +9 Aura of sin 3 2 1 1
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +9 Cruelty 3 2 2 1
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +10 Smite power 3 3 2 1
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Aura of depravity 4 3 2 1
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Cruelty 4 3 2 2
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Smite power 4 3 3 2
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Unholy champion 4 4 3 3

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the antipaladin.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Antipaladins receive proficiency with three of the following weapon groups (Swords, Polearms, Axes, Hammers, Bows, Pistols, Rifles, or Shotguns) in addition to Simple weapons, and receive proficiency with all armor types.

In addition they are treated as being proficient with their deity’s favored weapon.

Spellcasting

Table: Paladin Spells Known
Level Spells Known
0th 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1st 2
2nd 3
3rd 4
4th 4 2
5th 5 3
6th 5 4
7th 6 4 2
8th 6 4 3
9th 6 5 4
10th 6 5 4 2
11th 6 5 4 3
12th 6 6 5 4
13th 6 6 5 4 2
14th 6 6 5 4 3
15th 6 6 6 5 4
16th 6 6 6 5 4
17th 6 6 6 5 4
18th 6 6 6 6 5
19th 6 6 6 6 5
20th 6 6 6 6 5

An antipaladin gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells which are drawn from the antipaladin spell list (and the Cleric/Oracle spell list for 0th level spells). An antipaladin must choose and prepare his spells in advance.

Orisons: Antipaladin learn a number of orisons, or 0-level spells, as noted on Table: Antipaladin Spells Known. These spells are cast like any other spell, but they don’t consume slots and can be used again.

To prepare or cast a spell, an antipaladin must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an antipaladin’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the antipaladin’s Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, an antipaladin can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is the same as that of a paladin and is given on Table: Antipaladin. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score. When Table: Antipaladin indicates that the antipaladin gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Charisma score for that spell level.

An antipaladin must spend 1 hour each day in quiet prayer and meditation to regain his daily allotment of spells. An antipaladin may prepare and cast any spell on the antipaladin spell list, provided that he can cast spells of that level, but he must choose which spells to prepare during his daily meditation.

Aura of Evil (Ex)

The power of an antipaladin’s aura of evil (see the detect evil spell) is equal to his antipaladin level. A paladin who uses smite evil on an antipaladin deals 2 points of damage per paladin level on his first successful attack.

Detect Good (Sp)

At will, an antipaladin can use detect good, as the spell. An antipaladin can, as a move action, concentrate on a single Item or individual within 60 feet and determine if it is good, learning the strength of its aura as if having studied it for 3 rounds. While focusing on one individual or object, the antipaladin does not detect good in any other object or individual within range.

Smite Good (Su)

At 1st level the Antipaladin learns how to crush good in the world. As a free action they can designate a target they can see for their Smite Good. If the target is good they gain a bonus equal to their Charisma + half level to attack and damage rolls (both are minimum of 1, thus the total minimum is a +2 bonus). In addition to this, the Antipaladin bypasses any DR the foe may have (even DR/-) and they receive a Profane bonus to AC equal to Charisma modifier.

If the target of the Smite is an Outsider (Good), an good-aligned Dragon, good-aligned Fey, a good divine spellcaster, or Paladin, the bonus to attack and damage is instead the Antipaladin’s Charisma + Level.

Smite Good can be used as many times per day as the Antipaladin wants, however it can only affect one target at a time, and a target cannot be affected by Smite Good more than once per day.

Unholy Style

At 1st level the Antipaladin is trained in a technique which cements the way they go about fighting good in the world. They receive two Styles, one is determined by their alignment and the other is one they choose themselves.

Alignment:

  • Lawful Evil: So long as the Antipaladin has at least 1 Stamina Point, they receive a +1 bonus to disarm, dirty trick, and feint attempts. This increases by +1 for each 5 levels they possess (maximum of +5 at 20th).
  • Neutral Evil: So long as the Antipaladin has at least 1 Stamina Point, they receive 1d6 sneak attack dice as per the Rogue. This increases by +1d6 for each 5 levels they possess (maximum of 5d6 at 20th).
  • Chaotic Evil: So long as the Antipaladin has at least 1 Stamina Point, they can be healed by both positive energy and negative energy used for healing, however they are also harmed by positive energy and negative energy used to harm.

Choice:

  • Champion: The Antipaladin gains Weapon Focus in a single weapon group of their choice.
  • Defender: Adjacent allies to the Antipaladin receive a profane bonus to AC equal to the Antipaladin’s Cha modifier.
  • Conniver: The Antipaladin receives 1 rank in Diplomacy if they did not already have it, and a +5 bonus to Diplomacy checks made to improve someone’s attitude.
  • Clergy: The Antipaladin receives a bonus spell level per day for each spell level.
  • Duelist: The Antipaladin receives Two-Weapon Fighting as a bonus feat.
  • Hunstman: The Antipaladin receives Point Blank Shot as a bonus feat.
  • Shadow: The Antipaladin in dim light increase the miss chance by +20%.
  • Glory: Once per day the Antipaladin can allow a single ally within line of sight to gain the benefit of their Smite and Smite Powers.

Unholy Resilience (Su)

At 2nd level, an antipaladin gains a bonus equal to his Charisma bonus (if any) on all saving throws.

Touch of Corruption (Su)

Beginning at 2nd level, an antipaladin surrounds his hand with a fiendish flame, causing terrible wounds to open on those he touches. Each day he can use this ability a number of times equal to 1/2 his antipaladin level + his Charisma modifier. As a touch attack, an antipaladin can cause 1d6 points of damage for every two antipaladin levels he possesses. Using this ability is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Alternatively, an antipaladin can use this power to heal undead creatures, restoring 1d6 hit points for every two levels the antipaladin possesses. This ability is modified by any feat, spell, or effect that specifically works with the lay on hands paladin class feature. For example, the Extra Lay On Hands feat grants an antipaladin 2 additional uses of the touch of corruption class feature.

Aura of Cowardice (Su)

At 3rd level, an antipaladin radiates a palpably daunting aura that causes all enemies within 10 feet to take a –4 penalty on saving throws against fear effects. Creatures that are normally immune to fear lose that immunity while within 10 feet of an antipaladin with this ability. This ability functions only while the antipaladin remains conscious, not if he is unconscious or dead.

Plague Bringer (Ex)

At 3rd level, the powers of darkness make an antipaladin a beacon of corruption and disease. An antipaladin does not take any damage or take any penalty from diseases. He can still contract diseases and spread them to others, but he is otherwise immune to their effects.

Cruelty (Su)

At 3rd level, and every three levels thereafter, an antipaladin can select one cruelty. Each cruelty adds an effect to the antipaladin’s touch of corruption ability. Whenever the antipaladin uses touch of corruption to deal damage to one target, the target also receives the additional effect from one of the cruelties possessed by the antipaladin. This choice is made when the touch is used. The target receives a Fortitude save to avoid this cruelty. If the save is successful, the target takes the damage as normal, but not the effects of the cruelty. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the antipaladin’s level + the antipaladin’s Charisma modifier.

At 3rd level, the antipaladin can select from the following initial cruelties.

  • Fatigued: The target is fatigued.
  • Shaken: The target is shaken for 1 round per level of the antipaladin.
  • Sickened: The target is sickened for 1 round per level of the antipaladin.

At 6th level, an antipaladin adds the following cruelties to the list of those that can be selected.

  • Dazed: The target is dazed for 1 round.
  • Diseased: The target contracts a disease, as if the antipaladin had cast contagion, using his antipaladin level as his caster level.
  • Staggered: The target is staggered for 1 round per two levels of the antipaladin.

At 9th level, an antipaladin adds the following cruelties to the list of those that can be selected.

  • Cursed: The target is cursed, as if the antipaladin had cast bestow curse, using his antipaladin level as his caster level.
  • Exhausted: The target is exhausted. The antipaladin must have the fatigue cruelty before selecting this cruelty.
  • Frightened: The target is frightened for 1 round per two levels of the antipaladin. The antipaladin must have the shaken cruelty before selecting this cruelty.
  • Nauseated: The target is nauseated for 1 round per three levels of the antipaladin. The antipaladin must have the sickened cruelty before selecting this cruelty.
  • Poisoned: The target is poisoned, as if the antipaladin had cast poison, using the antipaladin’s level as the caster level.

At 12th level, an antipaladin adds the following cruelties to the list of those that can be selected.

  • Blinded: The target is blinded for 1 round per level of the antipaladin.
  • Deafened: The target is deafened for 1 round per level of the antipaladin.
  • Paralyzed: The target is paralyzed for 1 round.
  • Stunned: The target is stunned for 1 round per four levels of the antipaladin.

These abilities are not cumulative. For example, a 12th-level antipaladin’s touch of corruption ability deals 6d6 points of damage and might also cause the target to become fatigued, dazed, poisoned, or diseased. Once a cruelty is chosen, it can’t be changed.

Channel Negative Energy (Su)

When an antipaladin reaches 4th level, he gains the supernatural ability to channel negative energy like a cleric. Using this ability consumes two uses of his touch of corruption ability. An antipaladin uses his level as his effective cleric level when channeling negative energy. This is a Charisma-based ability.

Fiendish Boon (Sp)

Upon reaching 5th level, an antipaladin receives a boon from his dark patrons. This boon can take one of two forms. Once the form is chosen, it cannot be changed.

The first type of bond allows the antipaladin to enhance his weapon as a standard action by calling upon the aid of a fiendish spirit for 1 minute per antipaladin level. When called, the spirit causes the weapon to shed unholy light as a torch. At 5th level, this spirit grants the weapon a +1 enhancement bonus. For every three levels beyond 5th, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +6 at 20th level.

Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s cost (sorted and listed below).

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:

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 fiendish spirit imparts no bonuses if the weapon is held by anyone other than the antipaladin but resumes giving bonuses if returned to the antipaladin. These bonuses apply to only one end of a double weapon. An antipaladin can use this ability once per day at 5th level, and one additional time per day for every four levels beyond 5th, to a total of four times per day at 17th level.

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

The second type of bond allows an antipaladin to gain the service of a fiendish servant. This functions as summon monster III, except the duration is permanent and the antipaladin can only gain the service of a single creature and that creature must either have the chaotic and evil subtypes or it must be a fiendish animal. Once selected, the choice is set, but it may be changed whenever the antipaladin gains a level. Upon reaching 7th level, and every two levels thereafter, the level of the summon monster spell increases by one, to a maximum of summon monster IX at 17th level. Once per day, as a full-round action, an antipaladin may magically call his servant to his side. This ability is the equivalent of a spell of a level equal to one-third the antipaladin’s level. The servant immediately appears adjacent to the antipaladin. An antipaladin can use this ability once per day at 5th level, and one additional time per day for every four levels thereafter, for a total of four times per day at 17th level.

At 11th level, the servant gains the advanced template. At 15th level, an antipaladin’s servant gains spell resistance equal to the antipaladin’s level + 11.

Should the antipaladin’s fiendish servant die or be banished, the antipaladin may not summon another servant for 30 days or until he gains an antipaladin level, whichever comes first. During this 30-day period, the antipaladin takes a –1 penalty on attack and weapon damage rolls.

Aura of Despair (Su)

At 8th level, enemies within 10 feet of an antipaladin take a –2 penalty on all saving throws. This penalty does not stack with the penalty from aura of cowardice.

This ability functions only while the antipaladin is conscious, not if he is unconscious or dead.

Aura of Vengeance (Su)

At 11th level, an antipaladin can grant the ability to smite good to all allies within 10 feet, using his bonuses. Allies must use this smite good ability by the start of the antipaladin’s next turn and the bonuses last for 1 minute. Using this ability is a free action. Good creatures gain no benefit from this ability. This expends 2 Stamina Points per ally included.

Aura of Sin (Su)

At 14th level, an antipaladin’s weapons are treated as evil-aligned for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction. Any attack made against an enemy within 10 feet of him is treated as evil-aligned for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction. This ability functions only while the antipaladin is conscious, not if he is unconscious or dead.

Aura of Depravity (Su)

At 17th level, an antipaladin gains DR 5/good. Each enemy within 10 feet takes a –4 penalty on saving throws against harmful mind-affecting effects (such as charm or compulsions). This ability functions only while the antipaladin is conscious, not if he is unconscious or dead.

Unholy Champion (Su)

At 20th level, an antipaladin becomes a conduit for the might of the dark powers. His DR increases to 10/good. Whenever he uses smite good and successfully strikes an good outsider, the outsider is also subject to a banishment, using his antipaladin level as the caster level (his weapon and unholy symbol automatically count as objects that the subject hates). After the banishment effect and the damage from the attack is resolved, the smite immediately ends. In addition, whenever he channels negative energy or uses touch of corruption to damage a creature, he deals the maximum possible amount.

In addition, they can smite foes regardless of their alignment.

Fall from Grace

Not all paladins that fall become antipaladins. In fact, the transformation is quite rare. Most paladins spend months or even years regaining their paladinhood, but they never stray so far from the path as to become irredeemable. Rarely, a paladin turns from the light and seeks instead to make a pact with the dark powers. Often this is through temptation or some sort of ruse, but once the deal is struck, the paladin finds himself on the path to damnation.

When such a fall occurs, the transformation can be swift. The paladin trades in all of his paladin levels for antipaladin levels on a 1-for-1 basis. This is usually a traumatic experience, involving a complex ritual that involves a living sacrifice and dark oaths made to foul powers (who sometimes send minions to bear witness). Once complete, the antipaladin emerges, ready to bring ruin to the world.

It should be noted that not all antipaladins are fallen heroes. Some warriors are trained from a young age to assume the mantle of antipaladin, forged through pain and trauma into exemplars of evil. These cruel warriors know nothing of compassion or loyalty, but they can teach a great deal about pain and suffering.

Code of Conduct

An antipaladin must be of chaotic evil alignment and loses all class features except proficiencies if he willingly and altruistically commits good acts. This does not mean that an antipaladin cannot take actions someone else might qualify as good, only that such actions must always be in service of his own dark ends. An antipaladin’s code requires that he place his own interests and desires above all else, as well as impose tyranny, take advantage whenever possible, and punish the good and just, provided such actions don’t interfere with his goals.

Associates

While he may adventure with evil or neutral allies, an antipaladin avoids working with good characters or with anyone who consistently attempts to do good deeds. Under exceptional circumstances, an antipaladin can ally with good associates, but only to defeat them from within and bring ruin to their ranks. An antipaladin does not need an atonement spell during such an unusual alliance as long as his nefarious goals are met in the end—evil cares only about results. An antipaladin may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are chaotic evil.

Ex-Antipaladins

A antipaladin who ceases to be evil, who willfully commits an good act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all antipaladin spells and class features (including the fiendish boon, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). He may not progress any further in levels as an antipaladin. He regains his abilities and advancement potential if he atones for his violations (see the atonement spell), as appropriate.