August 22, 2015

Witch Hunter

Sacred Oath
Comments from the Finger: Try having one of these and a Witch in the same party, I dare 'ya.

Oath of Spellbreaking 

Paladins who swear an Oath of Spellbreaking are mortal enemies of sorcerers, warlocks, and all spellcasters of an arcane kind. Witch Hunters, as they are called, are often those who have been victimized by magic users and have dedicated their lives to eliminating their threat. Some Hunters are employed by their church to combat especially dangerous threats, like rogue necromancers or malicious warlocks, yet others operate alone, traveling far and wide, secretly meeting with other Witch Hunters to exchange information, and assassinating powerful spellcasters wherever they go.

Tenets of Spellbreaking 
The principles of Spellbreaking are often passed down in secret from master to apprentice before the oath is taken.
     Slay Arcanists. Spellcasters of the Arcane are not evil in and of themselves, but they toy with forces too powerful and dangerous for mortal hands. Those who embrace the Arcane or the Occult must be slain.
     Hide in Plain Sight. Unwise is the Witch Hunters that waits for his enemies to strike preemptively. Travel often, and go unseen while you observe your targets.
     Know your Enemy. In order to possess the power necessary to oppose your enemies, you must know their secrets and understand some arcane spells of your own.

Oath of Spellbreaking Spells
3rd  shield, thunderwave
5th  detect thoughts, scorching ray
9th  counterspell, dispel magic
13th  fire shield, locate creature
17th  cloudkill, scrying

Channel Divinity
When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.
Spell Turning. As a reaction when a spell is cast within 60 feet of you, you can expend your Channel Divinity to reflect that spell upon its caster. The caster must make a saving throw using its spellcasting ability. On a failed save, the spell is instead targeted at the caster, centered on the caster, or dispelled if neither of these apply.
Vicious Strike. When you hit a creature that is concentrating on a spell or other magical ability, you can expend your Channel Divinity to score a critical hit instead. 
At 7th level, you and all friendly creatures within 10 feet of you have the constant effect of detect magic. You can begin and end this effect as a bonus action.
     At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Mind Over Magic 
At 15th level, you have advantage on saving throws against magical effects.

Antimagic Knight 
By 20th level, as an action on your turn, you can warp the Weave around yourself to better slay mages. For 1 minute, the spell antimagic field is centered on yourself, requiring no concentration. During this time, you deal maximum damage on attacks against creatures which can cast arcane magic, such as bards, sorcerers, warlocks, wizards, and other sources the DM deems appropriate.

Changelog: 8/22/15: Auravision can be ended and begun as a bonus action.
Antimagic Knight has been reworded to be more inclusive of Warlocks and other non-typical spellcasters.
8/24/15: Antimagic Knight reworded again to be less inclusive of divine spellcasters.


  1. I'm really impressed with this. I think it is a great archetype. Coincidentally, one of my players has been working out a way to be an anti magic "fighter" of sorts for my campaign that starts in a few weeks so that worked out nicely.It will be interesting to see how a paladin of this variety gets along with the party spellcaster, so I think it has great roleplaying aspect built in.

  2. I found a major problem with the wording of this subclass: Antimagic Knight specifies that you deal maximum damage to targets with the Spellcasting feature or the Innate Spellcasting feature, but warlocks, which one would think would be the primary target of a witch hunter, have neither; they instead have a separate feature: Pact Magic. You should probably change the wording to include Pact Magic, or devise a wording that includes all spellcasters, regardless of whether they have a feature with a special name.

    1. "Any target with spell slots or the innate spellcasting feature"?

    2. That's a great note. I'll add it ASAP

    3. Wouldn't that make it an issue with paladins and Bards though too? Other paladins I mean?

    4. That's a good point. Edited again.

  3. I think it may be important to have Auravision able to be turned off. I remember an off-hand comment from a DM at one point mentioning that "...his clothes are lined with pockets of holding, he has so many magic items on his person that using detect magic around him can cause blindness..."
    I also imagine that there are times where it's just a pain.

    1. That's a good point. I feel like I've pulled that move as a DM one too...

  4. The mechanics work fine as far as I can tell, but the idea behind it is iffy and likely to cause interparty conflict often. Alienating the wizard is a great way to be struck down at a critical moment just as the in game aspect, and the problems at the table will be immense with player slaying. So maybe alter the mage hate.

    1. Well, the mage hate is a big part of the class, and works really well in a low magic campaign (just like the Heretic works really well in a campaign where the gods are somewhat ambiguous.) So, for my campaigns, anyway, the mage hate stays, but feel free to scratch it out in black ink for yours.

  5. One thing I've found to be an issue is the Antimagic field, since it effectively is counter-productive to the classes other features. You can't use your Detect Magic aura, can't cast your own spells, and your own items become useless. Can you still use Divine Smite with this, or lay on hands? What about Aura of Protection/Courage, Channel Divinity, Divine Health, Cleansing Touch or any other abilities from the Paladin core class or this archetype? Since the Targeted Effects portion of Antimagic Field expressly forbids 'other magical effects' would this not effectively strip the Paladin of -everything- except the Antimagic field?

    Additionally, how does the bonus damage interact with -races- that cast arcane magic, such as the drow/ high elf/ forest gnome / tiefling? Or those that pick up the Magic Initiate feat and choose an arcane classes list?

    Permanent detect magic is scary o.O

  6. Was just wondering, how does the channel divinity spell turning work? It says that whenever a spell is cast within 60 ft, you can use your reaction to turn it on the caster. A normal ring of spell turning specifies that it is only for single target spells that are aimed at you; does the channel divinity effect reflect spells that are area of effect such as a fireball, and if it is cast on someone else within the 60 ft, are you still able to deflect it? Was just wondering as we can't decide which way to take it with the wording, thanks.

    1. In this case, it is possible to turn an AoE spell on the caster. For the case of fireball, it centers the spell on the caster. (Note that this might not save everyone from the blast -- it just changes the point of origin.)

      If it's single target, it instead targets the caster. If it's AoE, the caster becomes the center of the effect. If it's neither, the spell is dispelled.