Sacred Vows (Paladin Class Feature)

The idea of taking holy vows and oaths is an iconic trope for paladins that allows a paladin to exchange ordinary character options for benefits that fit the themes of those oaths. This opens up a much greater variety of paladin archetypes to being able to swear their devotion or allegiance to a principle, as it does not require them to swap out specific class features that might already be swapped out by other options in this book.

Benefits of Taking Vows: The vows described here require a specific code of conduct. In return, you become a more powerful healer and can restore a number of hit points equal to your level x 8. For example, if you take a vow of celibacy at level 1, you would be able to heal 8 hit points with lay on hands rather than 5.

Vow of Austerity

A paladin taking this vow eschews over-reliance on magic items and are limited to keeping no more than one suit of armor, one shield, and one magic weapon per 5 paladin levels (rounding up; a ranged weapon may include up to 20 pieces of ammunition for this purpose), and up to one other item per 5 paladin levels (rounding up). Magic items used by others do not violate this vow, even if they benefit you. You may not knowingly carry magical items for others, but placing an item on your person without your knowledge or consent does not violate your vow. You gain no benefit from such items and must discard them at your earliest opportunity once you become aware of them.

Vow of Charity

A paladin taking a vow of charity must tithe at least 10% of all income, giving it away to fund charitable causes, and you may not amass great monetary wealth. Excess funds beyond what is necessary to maintain yourself and any cohorts or followers in modest style must be given away to NPCs in need, including civil and religious organizations that serve them. If you take this vow, you must spend at least one-half of your time performing charitable labor in service of those in need, including using your skills in the service of others. At the GM’s option, adventuring activity that is in service of a specific group of the poor and needy may satisfy this obligation, though general adventuring for fame and glory would not, even if it incidentally thwarts the designs of evil and results in a benefit to the needy.

Vow of Poverty

A paladin taking the vow of poverty may own up to 10 possessions, which must include a holy symbol, a set of clothes, a pair of sandals or shoes, a bowl, a sack, and a blanket. The other five items may include a suit of armor, shield, one or more weapons (a ranged weapon may include a container of ammunition (up to 20 shots), and any one item of value, often an heirloom or other item of personal significance. Aside from this single item, you may not keep gems, works or art, or magical items.

Vow of Warding

A paladin taking a vow of warding must promise to protect and serve another. This is typically a person in a position of authority, but it can be another PC. The target of your vow must acknowledge your vow and agree to accept your protection. You are capable of casting spells with this vow, and you add the following spells to your spell list at the same level they appear on the cleric spell list: calm emotions, feign death, guiding bolt, sanctuary, and sending. In addition, any noninstantaneous spell you cast upon the target of your vow has its duration doubled. The duration of non-instantaneous spells you cast is halved when you cast them on any other creature besides yourself or the target of your vow.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Dragon’s Hoard #36 © 2023, Legendary Games; Authors Jason Nelson, Darrin Drader, RJ Grady, Thilo Graf, Matt Kimmel, Mike Myler, Margherita Tramontano, Scott D. Young, Drew Zambrotta.

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