Sunday, 18 October 2009

The Return of the Anti-Paladin (An NPC Class for C&C)

Based upon the AD&D NPC Class from Dragon Issue #39 by George Laking and Tim Mesford

Are the players in your campaign bored?

Has smiting the enemies of God and Mankind become a drag?

Now, add an element of surprise and unknown danger to your NPC encounter tables: Let the players meet an Anti-Paladin!

As an NPC, the Anti-Paladin represents everything that is mean, low and despicable in the human race. No act of treachery is too base, no deed of violence too vile for him. Thoughtless cruelty, sheer depravity and senseless bloodshed are his hallmarks: Chaotic and Evil deeds are, in fact, his very lifeblood.

Obviously, through your many adventures and campaigns, you as the Castle Keeper have already acquired these traits. Now you can exploit your talents without restraint as you watch your players—especially those Paladins try to deal with this non-player character!

Recognizing an Anti-Paladin should be fairly easy for players. Perhaps it’s his preference for black: black horse, black armour, black sword; or his grim, skull-shaped keep-raised in black basalt or gleaming obsidian—looming ominously against a gray, brooding sky on some chilly, windswept mountaintop.

Maybe it’s the company he keeps: brigands, thieves and assassins if they’re human; orcs, ogres, hobgoblins and trolls if they’re not!

Where the paladin is the champion of all that is good and lawful, the anti-paladin is the stereotypical black knight, a defender of the powers of chaos and evil who is devoid of honour or remorse. By nature, therefore, his alignment is always chaotic evil, without exception!

Anti-paladins (also known as blackguards) usually lead undead or monstrous minions in their quest for destruction and domination. They sometimes serve powerful overlords or act as mercenaries of the darkest stripe.

Creating the NPC Anti-Paladin

To determine the characteristics of an Anti-Paladin, refer to Table 1 (below).

A base number appears following each of the first five characteristics - strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity and Constitution-shown on that table. To this base number should be added the sum rolled on the appropriate die for each characteristic, as shown.

Table 1

Anti-Paladin Characteristics
Strength - 12 + d6
Intelligence - 10 + d8
Wisdom - 12 + d6
Dexterity - 6 +d12
Constitution - 10 + d8
Charisma - 4*

*Charisma requires special treatment; true Evil will either reveal itself in all its hideous ugliness or disguise itself behind a pleasant exterior. For this reason, Anti-Paladins tend to be either sinfully ugly (4 or less Charisma) or devilishly handsome (17+). To determine Charisma, roll a four-sided die, with a roll of “2” resulting in Charisma three; “3” resulting in Charisma four; “4” resulting in Charisma 17 and “5” resulting in Charisma 18. On rolls of one or six, you may choose the anti-paladins Charisma score.

If his Charisma is exceptionally low, the Anti-Paladin will look as though he could break mirrors simply by glancing at them, and will automatically Cause Fear in men and animals whenever he reveals his face! An exceptionally high Charisma, on the other hand, will instantly Charm men and many monsters as the spell (animals and unintelligent creatures, however, are not affected).

In all cases, saving throws are applicable.

Low Charisma and SIEGE Engine Tests In the case of an Anti-Paladin with sinfully low Charisma, INVERT the Attribute Table for SEIGE Engine attribute tests.

HOWEVER in doing so you must remember such tests generally will evoke negative effects, changing the ‘pluses’ around merely represents the force of the Anti-Paladins personality (he’s still an ugly bugger Lol).

Charisma Score SIEGE Modifier
CHA 3 = +3
CHA 4 = +2

In game terms, a Charisma 3 Anti-Paladin would have a Base Difficulty of 12 (CHA=Prime) with a +3 on the Roll to illicit information from someone (for example). Whereas a CHA 18 Anti-Paladin would use charm and good looks, a CHA 1 Anti-Paladin would use fear and intimidation.  

ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Evil
ABILITIES: Anti-paladin training, immunity to disease, lay on hands, back attack, poisons, smite good, unholy aura, cause disease, command undead, fiendish mount, anti-paladin spells

Level/Hit Dice/To Hit/EPP
13+ = 225,000 EP per level

Anti-Paladin Abilities

Anti-Paladin Training
As champions of chaos and destruction, all anti-paladins gain the same knowledge of religion as any good cleric or paladin, accounting for their servitude to and worship of demons and evil deities and their eternal fight against the forces of good. If secondary skills are also used they also begin play with the Animal Trainer (WIS), Animal Lore (INT), and Riding (DEX) secondary skills. If secondary skills (or non-weapon proficiencies) are not used, then the anti-paladin always gets +3 to any SEIGE Engine rolls to any actions involving the handling or control of his mount.

Immunity to Disease
The anti-paladin is immune to all diseases, whatever their origin.

Lay on Hands
An anti-paladin can cure himself or undead creatures of up to 2 hit points per anti-paladin level once per day. If used on other living creature, this ability inflicts damage rather than heals it.

Back Attack
The Anti-Paladin receives a +4 bonus to hit, with double damage if he hits, whenever he attacks a victim from behind. Since he will only attack from a position of strength-usually above and behind, with dagger, sword or whatever is close at hand—backstabbing is the Anti-Paladin’s preferred method of attack!

Poisons (Intelligence)
An anti-paladin with this ability can identify and use poisons and antitoxins. An anti-paladin can identify a poison or antitoxin on a successful check. An anti-paladin’s training in the use of poison means that he never risks accidental poisoning when applying poison to a blade. Moreover, anti-paladins train with poisons of all types, and they slowly grow more resistant to their effects. This is reflected by a + 1 bonus to poison saving throws that is gained at 3rd level. This bonus increases by 1 point at levels 9 and 15. At 9th level, an anti-paladin gains the ability to make poisons and antitoxins. To make a poison or antitoxin, the anti-paladin needs some alchemical equipment and raw materials costing one half of the street value of the poison or antitoxin to be made.

Smite Good
Anti-paladins, as agents of corruption and evil, are charged with the destruction of paladins, as well as good aligned clerics, and extra planar creatures (such as devas and solars). At first level anti-paladins gain a +2 bonus to all damage rolls against such creatures. At levels 6, 11 and 16 this damage bonus increases by 1 (to +3 at level 6, +4 at level 11 and +5 at level 16). The paladin smite evil ability, in turn, is effective against anti-paladins.

Detect Good
Beginning at first level, paladins have the ability to detect evil in the same manner as the spell. However, this ability is innate and no spell casting is involved. A paladin simply concentrates for one round on an area or individual within 60 feet to use the ability. The paladin must face toward the area or individual being examined. The paladin can do this as often as desired, but must be able to concentrate for at least one round to do so.

Unholy Aura
Anti-paladins emanate a permanent unholy aura that wards against attacks from good, summoned, or conjured creatures. It creates a magical barrier around the anti-paladin that conveys a +2 bonus to armour class and a +2 bonus on all saving throws against good creatures. The divine aura also prevents bodily contact by summoned or conjured creatures. This causes the natural weapon attacks of such creatures to fail and the creatures to recoil if such attacks require touching the warded creature. Evil elementals and extra planar creatures are immune to this effect.

Cause Disease
At 3rd level the anti-paladin can cause disease, as the spell, once per week. This ability improves as the anti-paladin rises in levels. At 9th level, the anti-paladin can cause disease two times per week and, at 15th level, three times per week.

Command Undead (Wisdom)
At 3rd level, the anti-paladin gains the ability to effect undead as an evil cleric of 1st level. When making a wisdom check to command undead, an anti-paladin adds his “turning level” to the roll, not the characters actual level. This ability improves with each level, so a 5th level anti-paladin turns or commands undead like a 3rd level cleric. Anti-paladins may turn, but not destroy, paladins while paladins and good-aligned clerics may turn anti-paladins.

Fiendish Mount
At 4th level, the anti-paladin gains the ability to call a special warhorse to his service. An anti-paladin’s dark lords confer this boon upon the anti-paladin as a reward for his faithful service. The mount, usually an ill-tempered heavy warhorse (there should be a chance of it being a Nightmare), is unusually intelligent, strong, loyal, and ready to serve the anti-paladin in his crusade against good. Should this mount die, a year and a day must pass before another can be called. The Dungeon Master provides information about the mount that responds to the anti-paladin’s call.

Anti-Paladin Spells
An anti-paladin casts clerical spells much as an evil cleric does. The spells available are listed on the cleric spell list. An anti-paladin is limited to a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. The table below shows the number of spells per day a character of the class may cast. Anti-paladins prepare spells each day through prayer to their deity or deities. Through to the 8th level, an anti-paladin has no caster level. At 9th level and higher, his caster level is one-half his anti-paladin level.

Please Note – Anti-Paladins never gain additional spells for having high attribute scores.

Cleric Spells

Attacks per Round for Anti-Paladins

Please Note – These rules replace any rules for additional attacks from the C&C Players Handbook.

1-6/1 per round
7-12/3 per 2 rounds
13+/2 per round

Please Note – This is the Anti-Paladins base number of Attacks, not including any additional attacks for specialization.

Keep Rollin'

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