September 23, 2016

Oath of the Chalice

Sacred Oath
Comments from the Finger: Woo! Kane0 brings us another one! 

Oath of the Chalice

The Oath of the Chalice is a blood oath sworn on a gate to our world from the farthest of planes. These paladins recognize the threat posed by the Lower Planes, and see the monstrous designs other outsiders have on our world. Their intentions are simple: defend the world at all costs, destroy any planar gate that is opened, and eviscerate any fiend foolish enough to come through.

Tenets of the Chalice
Paladins of this oath swear a blood oath against all denizens of the Lower Planes and all others that might infringe on the Material Plane, and promise to live by the following principles:
     Fight the Scourge. Demons threaten the world, and are infinite in number. There will always be more to kill.
     Defend the Realm. The material world is constantly threatened by denizens of other planes. Strive to help those who are not equipped to help themselves.
     Seek the Light. Celestials are powerful allies in the war against evil, and often walk the Material to combat the scourge. Seek out and assist them at any opportunity.

Oath of the Chalice Spells
Paladin Level     Spells
3rd detect magic, protection from evil and good
5th blur, see invisibility
9th protection from energy, slow
13th banishment, stoneskin
17th hallow, hold monster

Channel Divinity
When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.
     Censure Fiends. As an action, you present your holy symbol and speak a prayer censuring evil outsiders. Each fiend that can see or hear you within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw. If the creature fails its saving throw, it is turned for 1 minute or until it takes any damage.
     A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from you as it can, and it can’t willingly move to a space within 30 feet of you. It also can’t take reactions. For its action, it can use only the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there’s nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action.
     Expel Influence. You can use your Channel Divinity as an action to end all charm and possession effects within 30 feet of you.  For the next hour, no creature can be charmed or possessed in this area.

Starting at 7th level, you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you take no additional damage from critical hits.
     Additionally, once per turn when you deal radiant damage to a fiend, you can burn it with your holy light. It must make Constitution saving throw or be stunned until the beginning of your next turn.
     At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Consecrated Casting
At 15th level, you have advantage on concentration checks, and fiends are at disadvantage on saving throws against spells you cast.

Crush the Unholy
Starting at 20th level, you can use your action to wreath yourself in divine energy and trap your infernal foes. For the next hour, creatures can’t teleport into the area or use portals, such as those created by the gate spell, to enter the area within 1 mile of you. This area is proofed against planar travel, and therefore creatures cannot access it by way of the Astral Plane, Ethereal Plane, Feywild, Shadowfell, or the plane shift spell.
     You are also surrounded with an aura of divine retribution. When you are attacked by a creature within 5 feet, it takes 1d8 radiant damage. Additionally, when you take the Attack action on your turn you can make one additional attack. This additional attack has advantage if the target is a fiend.
     Once you use this ability, you must complete a long rest before using it again.

Changelog: 9/23/16: Fiendslayer: Changed from maximum radiant damage to Con save vs being stunned
Consecrated Casting: Resistances and +1d8 damage removed, Creatures that attack you take 1d8 radiant. You get another extra attack, which has advantage if your target is a fiend.


  1. Fiendslayer seems like it might be a little too good. No critical hits and Maximized radiant damage versus Fiends is ridiculously good.
    I'd say keep the Radiant damage boost (or replace it with additional 1d6 or 1d8 radiant damage versus fiends) but make it apply to you and allies within the aura.

    1. alternatively, you can make it a retribution aura (1d6 radiant damage to attackers, 1d8 if it's a fiend, doubled if the original attack was a critical)

    2. The no crit part is the ok part, since it does not reduce all the damage and does not work ofter, but the maximized radiant it completely off the charts. Holy smiting a fiend with a 1st level spell deals 3d8, which is already a lot- making it 24 (almost doubling the average of 13.5) is completely and entirely unfair. The smite's extra damage against fiends and undead is more than enough for a fiendslayer, and any additions should not be in damage.

    3. Fiendslayer does need work (largely because I made some math mistakes when sizing it up.

      Actually, a retribution aura would be cool. I could see it as a counterpart to hellish rebuke. I'll keep that in mind when I mess with that feature and the capstone.

  2. I expected this class to be focused about finding artifacts for use against evil (and a lot of Monty Python references), but this is ok too. I guess I'll have to write up the grail paladin myself ;)

    1. If you do, feel free to submit it! I can't speak for all the digits, but that sounds like something I'd love to have on here.

  3. The first tenet is not a tenet, it is a statement.

    None of the tenets contain the standard 'but don't be stupid' text, that is standard in all WOTC paladin tenets to prevent Lawful Stupid. As written, the Paladin MUST stop to help or request aid of any celestial he comes across, as an example.

    Once again, the subclass is pretty okay (the maximize radiant is ridiculously bonkers and the 20th level invoke is really specialized and plot dependent; kind of a let fown) but these tenets are really disappointing.

    1. Fight the Scourge isn't a tenet? Sounds like a command if I've ever read one. I can revamp some of the tenets a little, but (as always) I think that we approach these a little differently -- I consider the tenets to be more of a fluff area of the class, whereas I think you approach them like they're mechanical in nature.

    2. I mean, if you read most of the CRB Tenets, they have an Do this, /but in this situation.../ All three Vengeance tenets, and 3/5 Devotion tenets follow this scheme.

      The reason I approach them 'mechanically' (ie, giving players outs in rare situations) is because Paladins do have something to lose by breaking tenets.

      But, that is just my personal viewpoint.

      P.S. - Will the Insect Glaivemaster be compatible with Ranger Revised or have a version for him?

  4. I might suggest changing the benefit to 'any creature damaged by you that is not native to this plane must make a constitution saving throw (either spell save dc or concentration dc) or be returned to its home plane and be unable to return to this plane for (either a year and a day or ten years; former is folklore, the latter is what has been canon for outsiders that are killed on non-native planes).

    Barring planar passage for 1h / 24 is so niche that it will almost never be useful.

    1. It's 1/long, so if it is 24 hours it's basically all the time, but yeah it seems odd. Maybe an aura of banishment (basically banishment to all fiends within 30 ft each turn)

    2. You know, I originally thought that forcing banishment was the way to go, but I imagined how amazingly dull that would make combat with fiends. *Smack* *Banish* 'Oh, the fight's over?'

      You would be more of a fiend taxi service than a fiend slayer.

  5. Crush the Unholy
    "... To enter the are within 1 mile feet of you..."
    Small correction. Looks fun (Haven't played a paladin before).

    1. Thanks, I'll fix that right away. And paladins are super fun -- try rolling one up sometime.

  6. This class has definite balance issues.

    Expel Influence can end all charm and possession effects on potentially an entire party with no roll necessary. It's, essentially, a dispel evil and good spell, but AoE, requires only one action, and affects charm/possession effects from creatures other than celestials, elementals, fey, fiends, and undead.

    The first effect of Fiendslayer is powerful, but probably fine. The second feature, however, is way too powerful. It effectively doubles the Paladin's damage against fiends; fiends who already take an extra 1d8 damage by default. On top of the first effect of Fiendslayer, it's much too much. Maybe just throw an extra d8 on, or upgrade the damage dice to d10s, or let the Paladin reroll a number of dice equal to their Charisma modifier.

    On the other hand, Crush the Unholy is a little underwhelming compared to other Paladin capstones. I'm not really sure what could be done to improve it. All the anti-teleportation stuff is nice, but doesn't have the same raw power that other Paladin capstones have, and "you deal an extra 1d8 damage" is a little boring.

    1. I'm finally back from work/school/other places, so I can respond to some of these!

      I disagree that Expel Influence is a problem. It requires a use of your Channel Divinity, and is only really useful in very niche circumstances.

      I've been mulling over the first part of fiendslayer, since I don't think it's that thematic, per-se, but I agree that the second part probably needs some reworking.

      I want fiendslayer to accomplish the goal that you murder fiends dead, since that's the point of the class. Fiends should be relatively rare enemies in most campaigns, so I'm fine with making this pretty devastating against them. The idea here was that you can blow a 4th level spell slot for a pretty solid 24 damage more than average. It's not going to stop a pit fiend, but it's still intended to be powerful. Admittedly, I forgot about Improved Divine Smite, which adds an extra 8 to the expected damage, which makes it a bonus of 32 damage. More than I would have liked.

      I can exchange this with another +1d8 or +2d8 radiant damage, when you deal radiant damage, or make it a flat +10. Or I can force a Con save against being stunned for 1 turn when you hit a fiend. Thoughts?

      Crush the Unholy could use a bit of an upgrade here. Another extra attack against fiends? Fiends save against being stunned?

    2. Changing the max damage to d10s or d12s would work nicely

      For the capstone that retributive damage idea might be good instead of the bonus damage. Maybe open it up to work on anything instead of just fiends if not strong enough.

    3. Do me a favor and give this another read: I already implemented some of these changes experimentally. Bonus damage is on the capstone, and applies to all enemies, and I changed up fiendslayer quite a bit.

    4. My problem with Expel Influence is that it can essentially make an entire party immune to charm (and possession, but whatever) effects for an entire encounter, maybe longer. There are similar effects, sure, like the Devotion Paladin's Aura of Devotion. But it both has a much smaller range and is at a much higher level. "Make the entire party immune to charm effects for an hour, and end any that are currently in effect" shouldn't be a 3rd-level ability.

      For the first effect of Fiendslayer, you could take inspiration from Oath of the Ancients and grant resistance to damage from fiends. It's powerful, but it has precedence, and fiends are usually rarer opponents than spellcasters in any case.

      The new second effect of Fiendslayer appears much better. You also needed to consider the effect of critical hits on expected damage; that 32 extra damage suddenly becomes 64 extra damage, on top of what is likely already a pretty neat crit with a greatsword smite with a possible thunderous smite on top of it.

      Most of my hesitation comes from some math I did on the /r/DnD sub a while back - even an 11th-level Paladin is quite able to kill a Balor in a single round with a couple crits and some good rolls (not great rolls, mind you, just good rolls. Back then, it seemed highly statistically unlikely. If you're maximizing all radiant damage, it becomes dangerously close to being plausible (maybe even more likely than not), especially with a lucky Diviner in the party.

  7. Fiendslayer seems really ok now. A powerful effect, but only versus fiends, gives them a save and requires you to use a spell slot.
    The crit part is great as it prevents the class from being too offensive.

    Crush the unholy seems to have a fine power level, and meshes well with the stunning while being very much usable against all enemies.

    Question: the Fiendslayer stun is 1/TURN, not 1/ROUND. does that mean it can be used on your turn, then again on the same round when a fiend hits you and takes radiant damage? If it does, it would make the features more supporting of each other, which is great, But it also makes the 20th level aura significantly stronger on top of already being a very solid feature on a (situationally) very powerful class.

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  9. Name: James, FluffyCactus

    Oath of the Chalice should have some sort of ritual involved with it, like the Eucharist for Catholicism, since that's what it reminds me of, or like the Shadowhunters in that shitty City of Bones book. Drinking the blood of celestials from a chalice?

    Thematically, you should change it to the Legion. Legion is a word that has an immediate association with demons, whereas the only real-world "scourge" is Attila the Hun, which feels weird when there's a better word.

    The archetype reminds me of a sword-and-board exorcist (by the way, great new TV show on Fox). With this, and the name of the Oath, I think you should focus in on some form of ritualism and sacrament, within the Tenets perhaps, to differentiate this more significantly from a Fiend-focuesed Vengeance Paladin.

    For the Harrowing of Hell.
    Fight the Scourge/Legion. Demons threaten the world, and are infinite in number. There will always be more to kill. Fight against the Legions of Hell wherever possible, but do so with cunning and wisdom. [The idea is that this be worded as a long-term on-going fight, in combination with the other Tenets. That way, the Paladin doesn't have to be stupid about it, and rush headlong into Hell.]

    For the Life of the World.
    Defend the Realm. The material world is constantly threatened by denizens of other planes. Close the doorways to the Nine Hells, and strive to help those who are not equipped to help themselves.

    For the Institution of the Light.
    Seek the Light. Celestials are powerful allies in the war against evil, and often walk the Material to combat the scourge. Prudently seek these out, and mortals of good will, to enlist their aid in the building of an Order. [Re-word it, but basically, the idea is for the Paladin to institute or join and spread an Order of like-minded crusaders against the Legions of Hell, some sort of pan-religious guild dedicated to the eradication of demonic threats. Here, the enlisting of aid from celestiels, then, becomes less of a "right-now" thing, and more of an "on-going" thing; seek out different angels and gods to bless your cause and swell the order's numbers and resources.]

    For the Forgiveness of Sins.
    [Something about Ritualism, and forgiving the sins of repentant evil-doers; even if you have to mete out justice and end their lives. And just generally forgiving people; the idea might be that they are victims of the demons that plague them, so they deserve forgiveness, or something. The focus, here, would be on the ritualistic connotations of "the Chalice," the nature of which would change depending on the Paladin's general religious or spiritual ethos. It allows the player to be creative and add some flavor to the character by fabricating rituals.]

    For the Salvation of Souls.
    [This one would focus on exorcisms, and alleviating those who have plagued by demonic influence. Deliver their souls from the hands of Legion. Furthermore, perhaps it might be a call to speak truth to power, and name sins as they are: identify the greed of a shopkeeper, or especially a provincial ruler, and berate him, lest demons take his soul. That could be a separate tenet For the Exhortation of the Truth, or some shit.]

    But I don't know.. Seems cool so far. Just seems like it needs something more than being expressly "anti-demon," and "Chalice" evoked the ideas of sacrament/ritual and communion/organization quite nicely, and demons evoked exorcism. What do you think?