For Critique: Oath of the Far Knights - Myth-Weavers

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For Critique: Oath of the Far Knights

   
For Critique: Oath of the Far Knights

OOCThis is a new paladin oath proposed for December's update. Please critique it for balance.


Oath of the Far Knights
"I would fight and die to free those who suffer under the yoke of Sin."

The Far Knights are an order of paladins with a long and valiant history serving the Kingdom of Farland. In ages past, their focus was on honor and serving the Crown, but since the Dark Conquest, that has changed. Gone are the days when they rode forth in the train of the high king, their armor shining and resplendent, their banner proudly blowing in the breeze. Now hunted and harried, the Far Knights must run and hide, disguising their arms under dark cloaks and hiding their colors under drab peasant garb. But their singular purpose to serve the Kingdom has not changed. It is simply that their focus is now on doing all they can to free their beloved land-- and all the lands-- from the dreaded Lords of Sin.

The modern Oath of the Far Knights commits a paladin to the ideals of hope, liberation, and sacrifice, especially as it pertains to freeing the Kingdom of Farland from the rule of the evil Lord of Wrath. They swear to battle evil creatures, particularly those in service to the Lords of Sin and the Wintervale, wherever they find them. They are committing themselves to a life of hiding and fleeing, of fighting for a cause that seems all but lost... but their hearts bid them remember that hope springs eternal.

Tenets of the Far Knights
Though the exact words and strictures of the Oath of the Far Knights vary, paladins of this oath share these tenets.

Free the oppressed. Good creatures in bondage must have their freedom. Never fail to fight for this cause.
Give hope to the downtrodden. Those in thrall have little hope. Provide hope for those living in such darkness.
Unshackle the spirit. Slavery of spirit is worse than slavery of body. Lead the populace from the worship of the God of Evil to the reverence of the Gods of Goodness.

Oath of the Far Knights Spells
You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed.
Paladin Level Spells
3rd expeditious retreat, shield
5th invisibility, pass without trace
9th beacon of hope, nondetection
13th freedom of movement, private sanctum
17th legend lore, seeming

Channel Divinity
When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.
Shatter bonds. When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack as part of the Attack action, you can use your Channel Divinity to free those in bondage. Choose an ally you can see within 30 feet of you who is currently charmed, paralyzed, or restrained by an effect that a saving throw could have ended. That ally immediately get an additional saving throw, ending the effect on a success.

Inspiring strike. You can use your Channel Divinity to inspire those who are oppressed in spirit. When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, chose an ally you can see within 30 feet of you. That ally recovers a number of hit points equal to your paladin level + your Charisma modifier and gets advantage on its next attack or saving throw.

Aura of Liberation
Starting at 7th level, you emanate a liberating aura while you’re not incapacitated. The aura includes your space, extends 10 feet from you in every direction, and is blocked by total cover. Any ally in the aura has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects that cause forced movement, or cause the charmed or stunned effects.
At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Unfettered Knight
At 15th level, you refuse to be bound. You have advantage on saving throws against magical effects that would paralyze, petrify, or restrain you. If an enemy paralyzes, petrifies, or restrains you, you regain a use of Channel Divinity.

Champion of Freedom
At 20th level, as an action, you can magically become an avatar of freedom, gaining the following benefits for 1 minute:
• You and up to 5 allies of your choice within 30 feet of you gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls and are under the effects of a haste spell.
• You have advantage on saving throws against enchantment spells or effects.
• If you succeed on a saving throw against an enchantment spell or effect, you can use your reaction to make an immediate melee or ranged attack against the creature that caused you to make the saving throw.
Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Once you have become a Champion of Freedom at 20th level, once per year you can also unleash the Dogs of War to fight for freedom. If you are the direct commander of a force of at least 25 soldiers and are personally leading them into battle for a righteous cause, you may give them an inspiring speech and make a Charisma check. The DC of this check is set by your GM and is based on the size and abilities of your force versus the enemy force, as well as other factors that might play into your success in battle; the worse your odds, the higher the DC. If your check is successful, you gain a substantial advantage in the upcoming combat (the details of which are determined by your GM). If you roll a 20, your force wins the battle if there is any way it reasonably could. If you fail the check by 5 or less, you still gain a substantial advantage, but you lose a treasured magical item or suffer a lingering and debilitating injury. If you roll a 1, you are heroically slain in the battle.

  • Shatter Bonds 1 - What's the range on that? "I am on a sacred quest to rescue my enslaved brothers-in-arms, imprisoned by the allure of succubi in the distant and dreaded Wintervale. Let me find a few small goblins to clout".
  • Shatter Bonds 2 - You wouldn't even need an enemy for this, technically. Give your barbarian a quick whack whilst they are raging and ignoring half of your damage...ah, I'm quibbling. More seriously however, the general use of the word 'creature' does suggest this will not work if you are attacking sentient beings. Classic racist terminology or not, you know?
  • Aura of Liberation - Does this only affect allies within range, or are you included? Yes, it encompasses your space, but feels strange to call yourself your own ally. If you see what I mean. Still quibbling, I know.
  • Champion of Freedom - Aren't all 'Dominate' effects part of the mind-control family, and all of these just the Charmed condition? You should already have advantage vs Charmed through your Aura of Liberation. Upping it to a flat immunity, for a whole minute at 20th level, does not feel overpowered. Also, all paladins (and their allies within 10ft, or 30ft at 18th level) are naturally immune to the Frightened condition from 10th level thanks to the Aura of Courage {ah, that would also make the second new use of Channel Divinity a bit less useful}. Something else would be needed here, although already having Haste and Freedom of Movement applied to everyone is pretty damned good in and of itself.
  • Cry 'Havoc' And... - Letting slip the Dogs of War is a capstone ability, I take it, not merely acquired right out of the gate upon taking the Oath? More to the point, I feel as though the requirement must be 'any battle in which you are at a significant disadvantage', mechanically an encounter where every member of your side is facing a Deadly Encounter. The 5% chance either way to auto-win the engagement or be heroically slain in it would thus feel more weighty. Gaining 'a substantial advantage in the upcoming combat' might then just be balancing the scales somewhat. If the fight is already balanced between combatants, using a 1/year ability to possibly get killed attempting it seems...a little harsh. Heroically killed, yeah, but still. Unlike my fate for using that ability name pun.

Those are my first thoughts. And some of my more useful second ones too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosHarbinger View Post
[list][*]Shatter Bonds 1 - What's the range on that? "I am on a sacred quest to rescue my enslaved brothers-in-arms, imprisoned by the allure of succubi in the distant and dreaded Wintervale. Let me find a few small goblins to clout".
Haha good catch!

Quote:
[*]Shatter Bonds 2 - You wouldn't even need an enemy for this, technically. Give your barbarian a quick whack whilst they are raging and ignoring half of your damage...ah, I'm quibbling. More seriously however, the general use of the word 'creature' does suggest this will not work if you are attacking sentient beings. Classic racist terminology or not, you know?
I think creature is standard 5e terminology and covers things like constructs etc by definition. And yeah, you could smack an ally but that is okay I think. You would still deal full damage.

Quote:
[*]Aura of Liberation - Does this only affect allies within range, or are you included? Yes, it encompasses your space, but feels strange to call yourself your own ally. If you see what I mean. Still quibbling, I know.
Nope, def does not include yourself, by design.

Quote:
[*] Also, all paladins (and their allies within 10ft, or 30ft at 18th level) are naturally immune to the Frightened condition from 10th level thanks to the Aura of Courage {ah, that would also make the second new use of Channel Divinity a bit less useful}. Something else would be needed here, although already having Haste and Freedom of Movement applied to everyone is pretty damned good in and of itself.
Good catch on the fear thing. My concern with this subclass is the powers seem a bit repetitive. I need to change some of them up.

Quote:
[*]Cry 'Havoc' And... - Letting slip the Dogs of War is a capstone ability, I take it, not merely acquired right out of the gate upon taking the Oath?
Yeah, only at 20th level. I will adjust the wording.

Quote:
More to the point, I feel as though the requirement must be 'any battle in which you are at a significant disadvantage', mechanically an encounter where every member of your side is facing a Deadly Encounter. The 5% chance either way to auto-win the engagement or be heroically slain in it would thus feel more weighty. Gaining 'a substantial advantage in the upcoming combat' might then just be balancing the scales somewhat. If the fight is already balanced between combatants, using a 1/year ability to possibly get killed attempting it seems...a little harsh. Heroically killed, yeah, but still. Unlike my fate for using that ability name pun.
I think if a paladin wants to waste the ability on a battle s/he isn't at a disadvantage in, that's just a bad decision, but it's possible.

Thanks for the advice!

Okay, I made some changes to the original entry.

I think the channel divinities are very strong and at minimum I would add a "within 60 feet" clause to them.

Aura of liberation- I presume this would apply to affects that create difficult terrain? It certainly can neuter some spell casters but is probably ok.

Unfettered Knight- Immunity against the most powerful effects in the game? Yeah your entire career will turn into hunting down Medusas etc. Combined with gaining advantage and thus doubling the chance of a critical smite? I think I would recommend just having it as advantage on such saves, when combined with the increased saves from your auras it is almost guaranteed but not 100%. If you want to keep the advantage when striking I would list it as "When you make a successful save your next attack against said creature has advantage."

Champion of Freedom- Mass haste for up to 144 soldiers? That is a lot of arrows raining down on folks. Compared to 10 radiant damage etc it seems really strong. I think I would limit it to 25 allies, or perhaps 5/Charisma modifier so +3=15 etc. I think you could also just get rid of the dominate immunity. You have so many bonuses (I think most dominates are also enchantments) that odds are you are going to be ok but it takes out the excitement of possible failing.

Dogs of War- I think this is fine as there is a lot of GM discretion in what the benefit is. Everything from just having foggy weather so you get a surprise round to defending a hill rather than assaulting one, having the riders of Rohan show up last minute etc.

Overall I like the idea of a freedom fighter and paladin dedicating his life to it makes a lot of sense but it definitely needs some weakening if you want it balanced to current classes. That said if it is going to be a character that is often fighting overwhelming odds there are a lot of story options that can be used to lessen the impact of the paladins abilities.

I absolutely want this class to be balanced, and personally I would rather err on the side of slightly weak than too strong. I made changes to the first post. Please check it now.

Unfettered Knight: I like the regain Channel Divinity and seems a good compromise.

Champion of Freedom: I think the reaction is a good change and overall it seems much more balanced. If you want I could see adding "or gain advantage on your next attack against the target" The reason being paladins are often melee focused and spells are at range so there are few times that you will have a ranged weapon out after succeeding on save. One other possibility would be "Use your reaction to cast Wrathful Smite (or another 1st level smite spell) without using a spell slot" That would give you a benefit on your next attack but give you more flexibility.

Thanks!








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