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Alignment is everything to these seven NPCs
by Christopher Wood
taken from Dragon #106, TSR copywrited

Editor's introduction

This article was received and accepted prior to the publication of the Unearthed Arcana volume, in which paladins were made a subclass of the cavalier. Thus, the article presents these variant paladin "subclasses" as subclasses of the fighter. Of course, these classes may be treated as separate from true paladins, since the article makes "paladin" a term for any holy warrior who promotes the causes of his or her alignment.

Anti-paladins were dealt with in the article, "The Anti-Paladin," reprinted from DRAGON(r) issue #39 in the Best of DRAGON Magazine, Volume 2. Use of these classes as player characters is not recommended, as they have not been playtested for balance and tend to duplicate powers from existing classes.

Through breaks in the dense foliage overhead, Aan could see the moon, full and imposing, burned deep orange by the falling sun. Night covered him as he rode through the forest, and he shivered at the realization that darkness was the element of his enemy.

Aan felt his bold mount beneath him. The warhorse had served him well in his years of service to the church, hard years of the service that only a paladin can give. He rode now in that service, toward the stronghold of Gugazh the shadowed, the chaotic, the anti-paladin. Swords would be bloodied before the sun rose again. . . .

The struggle is as ancient as life itself. The two vastly diverging alignments, lawful good and chaotic evil, represent the truest of convictions. They are the extremes.

But extremes are always facets of a greater whole, and without the middle, the extremes represent nothing. Paladins and anti-paladins such as Aan and Gulgazh are the extremes of a spectrum of holy fighters. Until now, there was no greater whole.

This article offers the concept of the whole. Paladins -- holy fighters -- can be of any alignment. Players cannot use paladins other than the lawful good ones, but NPCs may be encountered who are of every other sort.

Seven new NPC character classes follow: the Myrikhan, the Garath, the Lyan, the Paramander, the Fantra, the Illrigger, and the Arrikhan. All are holy fighters of deep alignment convictions and should be played as such. Alignments, the entire basis of these paladin classes, must be played to the hilt. Punishment for deviations should be severe.

A distinction must be made here. Like the word "level" in the AD&D(r) game, "paladin" now takes on more than one meaning. The first denotes the lawful good human player character as described in the rules; the second denotes a holy fighter of any alignment (including those characters who might be called anti-paladins). All paladins (second meaning) are fighter subclasses and use the attack and saving-throw matrices for fighters. These paladin types are also exclusively human.

Character Classes Table I: Hit dice, spell ability, and class level limit

Class of Hit dice Maximum Spell Class
character (alignment) type hit dice ability level limit
Myrikhan (NG) d6 + 3 9 yes (6) none
Garath (CG) d8 9 yes (8) none
Lyan (LN) d12 15 yes (3) none
Paramander (N) d8 + 1 9 yes (8) none
Fantra (CN) d10 10 yes (1) none
Illrigger (LE) d10 11 yes (5) none
Arrikhan (NE) d8 + 1 9 yes (7) none

Note: The number in parentheses under "spell ability" shows the level at which spell ability is gained.

Character Classes Table II: Armor and weapons permitted

Class of
Character Armor Shield Weapons Oil Poison
Myrikhan C any any yes never
Garath any any any yes never
Lyan any any any yes never
Paramander any any any yes never
Fantra C wooden any yes never
Illrigger any any any yes yes
Arrikhan any any any yes yes

Note: An entry of C under "armor" indicates that the class may use any armor up to the quality of chainmail, but will use nothing heavier or bulkier.

Character Classes Table III: Character ability limits

Myrikhan 8/18(00) 12/pr 13/pr 9/18 8/18 10/18
Garath 9/18(00) 10/18 12/pr 8/18 8/18 13/pr
Lyan 12/pr 7/16 12/pr 9/16 12/pr 7/16
Paramander 10/18(00) 14/pr 10/16 9/18 8/18 8/18
Fantra 11/18(00) 9/18 13/pr 10/18 11/18 9/18
Illrigger 9/18(00) 13/pr 12/pr 9/18 10/18 7/18
Arrikhan 10/18(00) 9/18 13/pr 9/18 10/18 6/15

Note: Ability minimums are to the left of the slash, and maximums are to the right. An entry of "pr" indicates that the score is a prime requisite with a maximum that can be higher than 18.

Character Classes Table IV: Weapon proficiency table

Initial Non-
Character number of proficiency Added proficiency
class weapons penalty in weapons/level
Myrikhan 2* -3 1/4 levels
Garath 5 -1 1/2 levels
Lyan 4 -2 1/3 levels
Paramander 2 -3 1/3 levels
Fantra 3 -2 1/3 levels
Illrigger 3 -2 1/2 levels
Arrikhan 2 -3 1/2 levels

* -- One of the myrikhan's initial weapons is a "favorite weapon" (see the text for details).

Character Classes Table V: Attacks per melee round table

class 1/1 3/2 2/1 5/2 3/1
Myrikhan 1-6 7-12 13+ -- --
Garath 1-6 7-12 13+ -- --
Lyan 1-7 8-14 13+ -- --
Paramander 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21+
Fantra 1-7 8-14 15-21 22+ --
Illrigger 1-6 7-12 13+ -- --
Arrikhan 1-7 8-14 15+ -- --

. . . The forest thinned and became a sea of thorns. Beyond it, Aan saw the ominous towers of Castle Gulgazh, the last rays of the sun cleeding red around their edges.

Aan reined his horse up and stared silently at the sight before him. The drawbridge lay open. Hanging from chains in the entryway, the body of Gulgazh swayed in the evening breeze, his unhelmed head matted with blood. Deep knife gouges in the dark breastplate sent chills through Aan -- Gulgazh bore the crossed-gauntlet sigil of the paremandyr, Fein. With Gulgazh dead, on whom would Fein next prey?

Aan knew all too well. His right hand strayed to his sword hilt as he eyed the forest warily. Slowly he turned his mount around and forged back the way he came. The sun vanished soon after. Only the moon, massive and orange, remained...

1st Edition Paladins