On Doughty Woodsmen and Knights in Shining Armor

This post continues the look at the hybrid character classes I used in my last campaign, featuring the ranger and paladin. What follows is open game content.

The Paladin Sub-Class
The paladin is a sub-class of fighting-man. Paladins are chivalrous champions of Law and Goodness. They might resemble the “knights in shining armor” of fairy tales or perhaps the rigid, honorable samurai of Japan. The point of paladins is purity. They do their best to remain mentally, spiritually and physically pure. From this dedication and the iron will required to maintain it, they derive a number of blessings to aid them in their struggle against Chaos and Evil.

  • Prime Attributes: Strength & Charisma, 13+ (+5% experience)
  • Hit Dice: 1d10/level (Gains 4 hp/level after 10th.)
  • Armor/Shield Permitted: Any.
  • Weapons Permitted: Any.

Paladins can detect evil (as the cleric spell) by concentrating. They emanate a permanent aura that protects them as per the spell protection from evil.

Paladins are immune to all diseases, including mummy rot and lycanthropy. Their touch can cure disease (as the cleric spell) once per week at level 1, twice per week at level 6 and three times per week at level 12.

A paladin can cure 2 hp per level by laying on of hands. This can be used on the paladin or on others, and the healing can be divided among recipients as the paladin chooses.

At level 3, a paladin gains the ability to banish undead as a cleric two levels lower.

At level 4, the paladin gains the service of a divine warhorse (or other mount) if he successfully completes a quest to locate the animal. The divine mount is unusually strong, loyal, and ready to serve the paladin in her crusade against evil. Should the paladin’s mount die, a year and a day must pass before another can be called. When riding their divine mount, a paladin gains the mounted combat ability (see Boons).

  • Divine Warhorse: HD 5; AC 6 [13]; Atk 1 bite (1d3), 2 hooves (1d4); Move 18; Save 12; Special: None.

Upon reaching level 6, a paladin becomes immune to fear, natural or supernatural. Allies within 10 feet of the paladin gain a +2 bonus on saving throws against fear effects.

Once per day, a paladin of level 9 or higher may attempt to smite evil with one normal melee attack. Smite evil gives the paladin a +2 bonus to hit, and a bonus to damage equal to the paladin’s level. This ability can only be used on supernatural creature of darkness an evil, such as anti-paladins, demons or the undead. The paladin can attempt to smite evil once per day.

At level 12, a paladin’s touch is capable of removing all ailments from a creature, including disease, poison, ability score damage, level drain, hit point damage, confusion, curses and insanity. The paladin can apply this healing touch but once per day.

.nobrtable br { display: none }

Level Experience Hit Dice Attack Save Title
1 0 1 +0 18 Squire
2 2,700 2 +1 17 Scutifer
3 5,500 3 +2 16 Banneret
4 12,000 4 +3 15 Gallant
5 24,000 5 +4 14 Companion
6 48,000 6 +5 13 Knight
7 95,000 7 +6 12 Paragon
8 180,000 8 +7 11 Peer
9 360,000 9 +8 10 Paladin
10 700,000 10 +9 9 Paladin
11 1,000,000 +4 hp
+10 8 Paladin
12 1,300,000 +8 hp
+11 7 Paladin

S&W Format
.nobrtable br { display: none }Hit Dice: 1d6+2 per level, +3 hit points per level after level 9

Level Experience Hit Dice Attack Save Title
1 0 1 +0 16 Squire
2 2,500 2 +0 15 Scutifer
3 5,000 3 +1 14 Banneret
4 10,000 4 +2 13 Gallant
5 20,000 5 +2 12 Companion
6 40,000 6 +3 11 Knight
7 80,000 7 +4 10 Paragon
8 160,000 8 +5 9 Peer
9 320,000 9 +6 8 Paladin
10 440,000 +3 hp
+7 7 Paladin
11 560,000 +6 hp
+7 6 Paladin
12 680,000 +9 hp
+8 5 Paladin

The Ranger Sub-Class
The ranger is a sub-class of fighting-man. Rangers are warriors trained to operate in the wilderness. They are self-sufficient, cunning and well trained at fighting the barbarian tribes (human, humanoid and otherwise) that lurk on the fringes of civilization.

  • Prime Attributes: Strength & Wisdom, 13+ (+5% experience)
  • Hit Dice: 1d10/level (Gains 4 hp/level after 10th.)
  • Armor/Shield Permitted: Chainmail, leather, padded, ring and shield.
  • Weapons Permitted: Any.

Rangers have a +1 bonus to surprise (i.e. surprise on a roll of 1-2 on 1d6) and a +1 bonus to avoid being surprised (i.e. surprised on a roll of 1 on 1d8).

When fighting tribal humanoids (bugbears, gnolls, goblins, hobgoblins, kobolds, orcs, and the like) or giants (giants, ogres, and the like), a ranger inflicts extra damage equal to their level.

With a successful saving throw, a ranger can find and follow a creature’s trail for 5 hours. When tracking humanoids or giants, the ranger does so at a +2 bonus. The ranger can also determine the approximate number of creatures and their type. Rangers can also use this ability to hide tracks.

Rangers have a 2 in 6 chance to notice traps and concealed openings in a natural surrounding merely by passing within 30 feet of them. They are also capable of disarming and building simple snares and pit traps (1d4 damage).

A ranger’s training includes learning how to survive in the wild, climb cliffs and trees, conceal themselves in natural environments, move silently in natural environments and concoct and counteract natural poisons. When a ranger’s success with one of these skills is in doubt, the player should roll a saving throw to avoid failure.

At level 6, a ranger chooses one specific type of creature (i.e. goblin, gnoll, or hill giant) as his favored enemy. The ranger gets a +2 bonus to hit his favored enemy and a +2 AC when fighting his favored enemy. Further, when tracking his favored enemy, a ranger receives a +2 bonus to the tracking save. The ranger is always able to neutralize poisons of the favored enemy, whether manufactured or natural.

.nobrtable br { display: none }

Level Experience Hit Dice Attack Save Title
1 0 1 +0 18 Woodsman
2 2,250 2 +1 17 Scout
3 4,500 3 +2 16 Guide
4 9,000 4 +3 15 Wanderer
5 18,000 5 +4 14 Voyager
6 40,000 6 +5 13 Pathfinder
7 75,000 7 +6 12 Warden
8 150,000 8 +7 11 Hawkeye
9 250,000 9 +8 10 Ranger
10 500,000 10 +9 9 Ranger
11 725,000 +4 hp
+10 8 Ranger
12 950,000 +8 hp
+11 7 Ranger

S&W Format
Hit Dice: 1d6+2 per level, +3 hit points per level after level 9
Armor Permitted: Chainmail, leather, ring and shield.
Spellcasting: If you do not use a druid class, replace druid spells with cleric spells.

Level Experience Hit Dice Attack Save Title
1 0 1 +0 16 Woodsman
2 2,500 2 +0 15 Scout
3 5,000 3 +1 14 Guide
4 10,000 4 +2 13 Wanderer
5 20,000 5 +2 12 Voyager
6 40,000 6 +3 11 Pathfinder
7 80,000 7 +4 10 Warden
8 160,000 8 +5 9 Hawkeye
9 320,000 9 +6 8 Ranger
10 440,000 +3 hp
+7 7 Ranger
11 560,000 +6 hp
+7 6 Ranger
12 680,000 +9 hp
+8 5 Ranger

Art by N. C. Wyeth via Golden Age Comic Book Stories