Alignment: Lawful good.
Base Attack Bonus: +4.
Skills: Diplomacy 1 rank, Handle Animal 4 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 1 rank.
Feats: Mounted Combat.
Spellcasting: Ability to cast protection from evil.
Special: Bardic inspiration and/or ability to channel positive energy.
Table: The Prestige Paladin (Hit Dice: d10)
|Level||Base Attack||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spells|
|1st||+1||+1||+0||+1||Detect evil, smite evil 1/day, channel energy||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|2nd||+2||+1||+1||+1||Divine grace, lay on hands, divine bond||—|
|3rd||+3||+2||+1||+2||Aura of courage, divine health||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|4th||+4||+2||+1||+2||Channel smite, smite evil 2/day||—|
|5th||+5||+3||+2||+3||Mercy||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|6th||+6||+3||+2||+3||Aura of resolve||—|
|7th||+7||+4||+2||+4||Smite evil 3/day||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|8th||+8||+4||+3||+4||Mercy, practiced spellcaster||—|
|9th||+9||+5||+3||+5||Aura of justice||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|10th||+10||+5||+3||+5||Planar channeling, smite evil 4/day||—|
|11th||+11||+6||+4||+6||Mercy||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|12th||+12||+6||+4||+6||Aura of faith||—|
|13th||+13||+7||+4||+7||Smite evil 5/day||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|15th||+15||+8||+5||+8||Aura of righteousness||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
Class Skills: Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Endurance (Con), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (warfare) (Int), Profession (Wis). Prestige paladins with levels in bard also gain 1 rank per level in either Perform (music) or Linguistics, depending on the bardic tradition followed.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
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).
Spells: A prestige paladin’s training focuses on spellcasting. At every odd-numbered prestige paladin level reached, you gain new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in whatever spellcasting class you belonged to before you added the prestige class (typically either cleric or bard, although paladins with levels in sorcerer can choose to improve that casting progression instead). If you belonged to more than one such class, you must choose one class in which spellcasting is to continue to progress.
You also gain access to spells unique to the paladin’s spell list, at the same levels indicated for the standard paladin.
Detect Evil (Sp): At will, you can use detect evil, as the spell. You can, as a move action, concentrate on a single item or individual within 60 feet and determine if it is evil, learning the strength of its aura as if having studied it for 3 rounds. While focusing on one individual or object, you do not detect evil in any other object or individual within range.
Smite Evil (Su): Once per day, you can call out to the powers of good to aid you in your struggle against evil. As a swift action, choose one target within sight to smite. If this target is evil, you add your Charisma bonus (if any) to attack rolls against it, and add the sum of your charisma bonus and your prestige paladin level to all damage rolls made against the target of the 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 doubles to 2 x (class level + Cha modifier). Regardless of the target, smite evil attacks automatically bypass any DR the creature might possess.
In addition, while smite evil is in effect, you gain a deflection bonus equal to your Charisma modifier (if any) to your AC against attacks made by the target of the smite. If you target 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 you rest and regains your daily uses of this ability. At 4th level, and at every three levels thereafter, you may smite evil one additional time per day, as indicated on the table, to a maximum of five times per day at 13th level.
Divine Grace (Su): At 2nd level, you gains a sacred bonus equal to your prestige paladin level on all saving throws, to a maximum equal to your Charisma bonus (minimum +1).
Channel Energy (Su): For the purpose of determining your ability to channel positive energy, prestige paladin class levels stack with levels from all other classes from which you gained the ability to channel energy. For instance, a 4th level fighter/1st level cleric/2nd level prestige paladin would channel positive energy as a 3rd level cleric.
If you instead have the bardic inspiration ability, prestige paladin levels stack with bard levels for all purposes of bardic inspiration (rounds per day of use and types of inspiration known), but you do not otherwise gain the ability to channel positive energy unless you take the Devoted Performer feat (see below, under “The Knight-Troubadour”).
Lay on Hands (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, you can convert one use of channel energy into two uses of lay on hands. With one use of this ability, you apply the same amount of positive energy as when channeling energy, but the energy affects only the creature touched. Using this ability is a standard action, unless you target yourself, in which case it is a swift action. Despite the name of this ability, you need only one free hand to use this ability. Positive energy deals 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. Undead do not receive a saving throw against this damage.
If you do not have the ability to channel positive energy (as in the case of a bard/paladin), you gain a number of daily uses of Lay on Hands equal to half your prestige paladin level + your Charisma modifier, with each use healing 1d6 hit points for every two paladin levels you possess. You do not gain the ability to channel positive energy as a cleric does, however, unless you take the Devoted Performer feat (see below).
Divine Bond (Sp): Upon reaching 2nd level, you form a divine bond with the forces of Good. This bond can take one of three forms:
Divine Weapon. The first type of bond allows you to enhance your weapon as a standard action by calling upon the aid of a celestial spirit. When called, the spirit causes the weapon to shed light as a torch. At 2nd level, this spirit grants the weapon a +1 enhancement bonus. For every three levels beyond 2nd, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +5 at 14th 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, bane, brilliant energy, defending, disruption, flaming, flaming burst, holy, keen, merciful, speed, and vorpal. Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s cost. 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 you, but resumes giving bonuses if the weapon is returned to you. These bonuses apply to only one end of a double weapon. The celestial spirit remains in the weapon for 1 minute per prestige paladin level you possess.
You can use this ability once per day at 2nd level, and one additional time per day for every four levels beyond, to a total of four times per day at 14th level. If a weapon bonded with a celestial spirit is destroyed, you lose the use of this ability for 30 days, or until you gain a level, whichever comes first. During this 30-day period, you take a –1 penalty on all attack and weapon damage rolls.
Special Mount. The second bond allows you to gain the service of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed to serve you in your crusade against evil. This mount is usually a heavy warhorse (for a Medium paladin) or a war pony (for a Small paladin), although more exotic mounts, such as a boar, camel, or dog are also suitable. This mount functions as a druid’s animal companion, using your prestige paladin class level +3 as your effective druid level. Bonded mounts have an Intelligence of at least 6.
Once per day, as a full-round action, you may magically call your mount to your side. This ability is the equivalent of a spell of a level equal to half your caster level. The mount immediately appears adjacent to you. You can use this ability once per day at 2nd level, and one additional time per day for every 4 levels thereafter, for a total of four times per day at 14th level.
At 8th level, your mount gains the celestial template. At 12th level, the mount gains spell resistance equal to your prestige paladin class level +11.
Should your special mount die, you may not summon another mount for 30 days, or until you gain a paladin level, whichever comes first. During this 30-day period, you take a –1 penalty on all attack and weapon damage rolls.
War Domain: You gain access to the War domain, gaining granted powers as a cleric of level equal to your cleric level (if any) + your fighter level (if any) + your prestige paladin level. If you already gain domain spells, you can prepare War domain spells in those slots. If not, you gain one additional prepared spell per spell level, which must be filled with the appropriate War domain spell.
Aura of Courage (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, a prestige paladin is immune to fear (magical or otherwise). Each ally within 10 feet of you gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against fear effects. This bonus increases by an additional +1 for every 5 levels thereafter (i.e., +5 at 8th level, +6 at 13th). This ability functions while you are conscious, but not if you are unconscious or dead.
Divine Health (Ex): At 3rd level, you gain immunity to all diseases, including supernatural and magical diseases and disease-like curses such as lycanthrope and mummy rot.
Channel Smite: At 4th level, you gain Channel Smite as a bonus feat. This allows you to spend a swift action to add the effects of lay on hands to a melee weapon attack. If the attack misses, the rules for Holding the Charge apply, allowing you to discharge this energy upon the next successful hit.
Mercy (Su): At 5th level, and every three levels thereafter, you can select one mercy. Each mercy adds an effect to your lay on hands ability. Whenever you use lay on hands to heal damage to one target, the target also receives the additional effects from all of the mercies possessed by you.
At 5th level, you can select from the following conditions: fatigued, shaken, or sickened.
At 8th level, add the following mercies to the list of those that can be selected: dazed, diseased, and staggered (the target is no longer staggered, unless the target is at exactly 0 hit points).At 11th level, add the following mercies to the list of those that can be selected:
- Cursed: Lay on hands also acts as remove curse, using the paladin’s level as the caster level.
- Exhausted: The target is no longer exhausted. The paladin must have the fatigue mercy before selecting this mercy.
- Frightened: The target is no longer frightened. The paladin must have the shaken mercy before selecting this mercy.
- Nauseated: The target is no longer nauseated. The paladin must have the sickened mercy before selecting this mercy.
- Poisoned: The paladin’s lay on hands ability also acts as neutralize poison, using the paladin’s level as the caster level.
At 14th level, a paladin adds the following conditions to the list of those that can be removed by mercy: blinded, deafened, paralyzed, stunned.
These abilities are cumulative. For example, an 11th level prestige paladin’s lay on hands ability heals 6d6 points of damage and might also cure fatigued and exhausted conditions as well as removing diseases. Once a condition or spell effect is chosen, it can’t be changed. A mercy can remove a condition caused by a curse, disease, or poison without curing the affliction. Such conditions return after 1 hour unless the mercy actually removes the affliction that causes the condition.
Aura of Resolve (Su): At 6th level, you become immune to charm spells and spell-like abilities. Each ally within 10 feet of you gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against charm effects. This bonus improves by an additional +1 per 4 levels thereafter (i.e., +5 at 10th level, +6 at 14th). This ability functions while you are conscious, but not if you are unconscious or dead.
Practiced Spellcaster (Su): Starting at 8th level, the prestige paladin’s effective caster level for spells is equal to his or her level in the base class granting the spellcasting ability + his or her prestige paladin class level –3. For example, a fighter 4/cleric 1/prestige paladin 7 prepares spells as a 5th level cleric, with an effective caster level of 5th. A fighter 4/cleric 1/prestige paladin 15 prepares spells as a 9th level cleric, with an effective caster level of 13th.
Aura of Justice (Su): At 9th level, when you activate your smite evil ability, you can expend an additional daily use as a free action to grant your smite evil bonuses to all allies within 10 feet (affected allies you move beyond that radius lose the bonuses, but unaffected allies who approach within 10 feet of you gain them).
Planar Channeling: At 10th level, you gain Planar Channeling as a bonus feat. Your channeled positive energy and/or lay on hands ability deal damage to evil outsiders as if they were undead.
Aura of Faith (Su): At 12th level, your weapons are always treated as blessed for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction and confirming criticals. Any other attack made against an enemy within 10 feet of you is treated as good-aligned for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction. This ability functions while you are conscious, but not if you are unconscious or dead.
Aura of Righteousness (Su): At 15th level, you gain DR 10/evil and immunity to compulsion spells and spell-like abilities. Each ally within 10 feet of you gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against compulsion effects. This ability functions while you are conscious, but not if you are unconscious or dead.
CODE OF CONDUCT AND ASSOCIATES
A prestige paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class abilities if he ever willingly commits an evil act. Additionally, a paladin’s code requires that he respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.
While he may adventure with good or neutral allies, a prestige paladin avoids working with evil characters or with anyone who consistently offends her moral code. Under exceptional circumstances, a paladin can ally with evil associates, but only to defeat what he believes to be a greater evil. A paladin should seek an atonement spell periodically during such an unusual alliance, and should end the alliance immediately should he feel it is doing more harm than good. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are lawful good.
Ex-Paladins: A prestige paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who grossly violates the code of conduct loses all prestige paladin class abilities. He may not progress any farther in levels as a prestige paladin. He regains his abilities and advancement potential if he atones for his violations (see the atonement spell description), as appropriate.
A 6th level bard can qualify for the Prestige Paladin prestige class, providing a wide range of spells, group support, and combat abilities. Although a skald’s martial focus makes it a more obvious starting tradition, a minstrel/paladin (a so-called “knight-troubadour”) gains excellent synergy from a high Charisma score. Also, because of the paladin’s reliance on heavy armor and shields, upon becoming a Prestige Paladin, a minstrel’s normal requirement to play an instrument to cast spells or inspire allies is relaxed, and he or she can perform these effects in combat by singing instead (which means that all spells and inspirations gain a verbal component, like the skald’s). Benefits from both singing and playing an instrument can still be obtained, if the troubadour chooses to play as well as sing.
A bard/prestige paladin also qualifies for the following special feat:
You have foregone the pursuit of frivolous musical talents, instead entering religious training in service of honor and justice.
Prerequisites: Bardic inspiration, smite evil.
Benefit: If you have levels in paladin and bard, those levels stack for the purpose of determining the bonus damage dealt by your smite evil ability and the AC bonus it bestows.
You gain the ability to channel positive energy as a cleric of level equal to your prestige paladin level, in addition to retaining the stacking of prestige paladin levels with bard levels for purposes of bardic inspiration.
If you belong to a Knightly Order (per the fighter talent) prior to becoming a paladin, you can choose to advance in your order at the expense of some of your paladin abilities. In lieu of gaining Aura of Resolve at 6th level, you can instead gain the Knight of Quality talent. In lieu of gaining Aura of Faith at 12th level, you can instead gain the Knightly Paragon advanced talent.