Oath of The Sworn Sword

In a dead world. many regions will fall under the control of powerful and charismatic warlords, who impose their rule through might and cunning. Some of these despots rule benevolently, while others show themselves as truly selfish tyrants – and many fall somewhere in between, once-noble intentions caught up and strangled in the fight for survival. Regardless, they all know that their power can be held only through complete and utter control.

It is perhaps inevitable, then, that the most powerful of these warlords begin to be worshiped as divine beings. The most devoted warriors swear the Oath of the Sworn Sword, calling upon their warlord for favor in battle, and in the warriors’ final moments, invoking that favor so that the warrior might find the ultimate glory in a violent death, inflicting as much pain upon their foes as they are able before their bodies finally give out. Such is the drive and loyalty of a powerful sworn sword that their mere presence next to their oathkeeper on the battlefield is enough to urge allied troops greater violence or to break the spirits of oathkeeper’s foes.

Some paladins manage to outlive the warlord to whom they first swore their oath. These lost souls often fall in with groups of mercenaries or wanderers, and may end up rededicating their oath to their new comrades. In this case, a sworn sword will fight with fanatical zeal to protect their new allies and accomplish their aims.

Tenets of The Sworn Sword

The tenets of the Oath of the Sworn Sword vary according the values of the warlord to which they are sworn as well as the warrior who swears them.

Collectively, however, the tenets all concern undying loyalty to a powerful figure, and a willingness to die to further that figure’s goals.

  • Loyalty. You swear your Oath to a single person or group, and their desires are your desires. You will die to protect them and advance their aims.
  • Courage. Be willing to stare death in the face, and laugh defiantly even as its dark clutches dim your vision. Death is nothing in the face of your eternal reward.
  • Duty. Complete your oathkeeper’s orders as if they were a magical compulsion. Any task they demand of you is a righteous one. Any injury that befalls them is a personal failing of yours.
  • No Mercy. The foes you face have defied the will of your oathkeeper. Such heresy is a death sentence, and one that you will gladly carry out.

Oath Spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed.

Oath of The Sworn Sword Spells
Paladin Level Spells
3rd Bane, shield of faith
5th Hold person, warding bond
9th Fear, haste
13th Death ward, fire shield
17th Hold monster, raise dead

Channel Divinity

When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.

Witness My Glory. When a hostile creature that you can see reduces you or your Oathkeeper to O hit points but you are not killed outright, you can charge forward with a surge of fanatical adrenaline, using your Channel Divinity to move up to your speed and make a melee weapon attack as a reaction against the creature that reduced you to O hit points. You do not provoke opportunity attacks with this movement. You gain a +10 bonus to this attack, and if it hits, it is a critical hit.

If, after taking this reaction, you still have O hit points, you fall unconscious and begin dying as normal.

Vow of Sacrifice. As a bonus action, you can use your Channel Divinity to utter a vow of sacrifice to a creature you can see. For one minute, when that creature would take damage, you can choose to take that damage instead if you are within 5 feet of that creature. Also, while your Vow of Sacrifice is active, if a creature within 5 feet of you makes an attack against the target of your vow, you can use your reaction to make one melee weapon attack against that creature with advantage.

Aura of Zealotry

Starting at 7th level, you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can’t be stunned while you are conscious.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Undying Sentinel

Starting at 15th level, when you are reduced to O hit points and are not killed outright, you can choose to drop to 1 hit point instead. Once you use this ability, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest. If you use your Witness My Glory option for your Channel Divinity, you may use this feature at the end of your reaction.

Fanatical Fury

At 20th level, as an action, you allow yourself to become consumed with zealous rage, lashing out at all who dare oppose your oathkeeper. For 1 minute, whenever an enemy creature starts its turn within 10 feet of you and you are able to take actions, it takes 15 slashing damage. Additionally, at the end of each of your turns during this time, you may choose an ally within 5 feet of you. Attack rolls to hit this ally have disadvantage until the end of your next turn.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Deadworlds: A Post-Apocalyptic Expansion for the World's Greatest Roleplaying Game Copyright 2017 PondStrider Games. Author George Sutherland Howard

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