July 4, 2016

Sin Eater

Sacred Oath
Comments from the Finger: This one's from Pathfinder, and was actually a huge challenge to write up.

Oath of Sin Eating 

Paladins who swear an Oath of Sin Eating believe it is not enough to destroy enemies of the church, they must eat their sins. Normally, the souls of sinners go to the Lower Planes upon death, which in turn, empowers the dark forces that originate there. But when a sin is consumed, the dead is absolved of it, and its soul is denied to the Lower Planes. The sin eater, in turn, must take on the darkness of this sin, and can even channel its infernal energy for a time.
     Of course, this is not without cost. When a sin eater takes some of that sin upon himself, he must work to absolve it and to reverse the wrongs caused by the consumed sin. If absolution is not met, the sin eater himself might be condemned to the Lower Planes, undoing all the good he sought after.

Sin Eating Spells
Paladin Level  Spells
3rd false life, hellish rebuke
5thgentle repose, hold person
9thfeign death, speak with dead
13thdeath ward, locate creature
17thgeas, hallow

Tenets of Sin Eating
While there are quite malignant versions of sin eating, which harm the dead and attempt to harm the gods, the most benign versions of this practice tend to believe in the following doctrines.
     Pursue. Those who sin against the gods must not be allowed to continue unreprimanded. There is no safe haven from the sin eaters, for the gods have dominion over all the world.
     Purify. The ways of the wicked must be undone. All suffering caused by their sins must be annulled.
     Consume. Consume the sins of the dead, that they might continue blameless into the afterlife.

Channel Divinity
When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.
     Eat Sin. Once per day, you can consume the sins of the recently dead, purifying the corpse for the gods. This corpse must have been dead for no longer than 1 hour, and must have a maximum number of hit points greater than four times your paladin level. Performing this ritual requires 1 minute of concentration and uses your Channel Divinity while you eat a small ritual meal atop the dead. Your Lay on Hands healing pool then replenishes completely, and, until you take a short or long rest, you gain a bonus to melee weapon damage rolls equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of +1).
     Interrogate Dead. You can wrest answers from your enemies, even after their deaths. By expending your Channel Divinity, can cast the spell speak with dead without using a spell slot. The corpse you target is compelled to answer your first question truthfully, though its answer can be as short as one word. After using this ability, you must complete a short or long rest before using it again.

Burden of Sin
Starting at 7th level, you can use your action to transfer a negative effect from a willing creature to yourself. You can transfer any of the following effects of your choice affecting the target:
  • One level of exhaustion
  • One disease or poison
  • One effect that charmed or petrified the target
  • One curse, including the target’s attunement to a cursed magic item
  • Any reduction to one of the target’s ability scores
  • One effect reducing the target’s hit point maximum
  • The blinded, deafened, paralyzed, or poisoned condition
The effect targets you as if you were the original target, continuing the duration (if any) and preventing any further effect on the original bearer. After transferring an effect from a creature, you cannot transfer another from that creature for 24 hours.

Vice Shield
At 15th level, you can cast the spell hellish rebuke without expending a spell slot.

Sin Seeker
Starting at 20th level, as an action, you can unleash the tide of writhing sin within you, and become a bulwark of infernal energy. Your Lay On Hands healing pool replenishes completely. For the next minute, you are immune to necrotic damage, and, when you make a Divine Smite, you can expend a number of healing points from your Lay On Hands healing pool instead of a spell slot. These points are treated of a spell of a level equal to the number of points expended, divided by 5, to a maximum level of 4.

Changelog: 7/5/16: Eat Sin: Once per day. HP limit increased to 4x paladin level
Sin Seeker: Maximum Divine Smite level of 4


  1. Oooohhhhhhh this is fun. The flavor is rich... and the mechanics are cool!

  2. Should vice shield specify at what level you can cast hellish rebuke without expending a spell slot?

    1. If not specified, you cast a spell at its lowest possible level. That's true here and elsewhere.

  3. There is one issue with the capstone - Divine Smite has a cap on its damage that maxes out with a 4th level spell slot. So, a Paladin who spends 25 or 30 points from LoH gains no benefit as 5th and 6th level slots do the same damage as 4th.

    1. Ah, my intent here was to supersede this limit and grant Divine Smite at a higher level. I'll have to add some wording here to clarify this point.

  4. I don't think the limitation of the Eat Sin is high enough imo.
    Even considering a lvl 20 character anything that poses a threat to a character of that level will easilly have 40 max-HP.
    The limitation should be at least 3 or 4 times the paladin level otherwise it's too easy to use and very powerfull considering you get it at level 3 since it could allow a group to prep without has much has a short rest right after a battle.

    1. Agreed, refilling the Lay on Hands healing pool alone is quite powerful. Should probably be harder to do, or the bonus decreased.

    2. Fair enough. Originally, the hp limit was only there to keep you from using it on mice and birds and somesuch, and I associated the cost of it with the Channel Divinity usage, but that's a valid point. 4X paladin level?

    3. But that would make it nearly impossible to use when fighting minions or low hp enemies. A swarm could destroy them, but a lich can't? Seems odd to me. Why not make it require a challenge rating equal to your level/4 and only replenish twice your paladin level in Health to the pool?

    4. Or make it require a target of at least CR1 but only replenish your level in hit points to the pool? In other words, lower requirements, but less health added

    5. Well, you can only use Eat Sin with your Channel Divinity, which basically makes it short rest limited. With this type of limitation, if I made it dependant on the target creature's health, people are only going to conserve it for a high hp guy anyway, nullifying the change in practice.

    6. As long as it no longer allows you to use your full Lay on Hands pool ~3x per day. As an example, level 5 paladin gets 25 pts of healing from their pool, which is quite strong, especially when blown all at once. Comparable to a 5th level Cure Wounds. Allowing access to that extra times for 75pts of daily healing seems insane.
      Maybe it should reload 20% or at most 40% of the pool?

    7. Huh, I thought it also said 'once per day' but on further inspection, it totally doesn't. I'll add that detail as well.

  5. Wasn't there already also order of Knights in the Forgotten Realms called the Sin Eaters?