Avowed (Paladin/Antipaladin Archetype)
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Archetypes of Power 2
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Unshackled of the restrictive and rigid oaths that plague most divine warriors, the avowed still remains a valiant warrior for their god. The avowed is different to a normal paladin (or antipaladin) in that they can embody any strong force of morality or ethics, not just strictly good or evil. These avowed take a pledge to their god, granting them unique powers, including a divine font they may draw from to channel their own (or their gods) will.

Alignment and Code of Conduct: The avowed must be of her pledge alignment, and loses all class features except proficiencies if she ever willingly commits an act that would be adversely against her pledge alignment (an evil act if you are good, a chaotic act if you are lawful, etc.).

Additionally, her code depends on her pledge alignment and the pledge she has taken. For example, a chaotically-aligned avowed may require her to always question law and those in power, or to actively combat those attempting to restrict and oppress. The exact details of an avowed’s code should be discussed and detailed with the GM, and should be of a similar look to that of a paladin or antipaladin’s code of conduct.

Unusual Alignment/Pledge Combinations: A lot of the pledges one can choose from are thoroughly linked to an alignment; the pledge of cruelty embodies typically evil traits, the pledge of order represents law and order, etc. As much as a lawful avowed possessing a pledge of order or even courage would make the most 'sense', there could be potential issues (or opportunities) with less straightforward combinations.

A good-aligned avowed taking a pledge of cruelty, for example, may begin to stretch the confines of alignment or their chosen pledge. Ultimately, if a player wishes to play an avowed with an unusual alignment/pledge combination, the player should work with their GM to create a code of conduct that allows their character to flourish, in addition to potentially depict the intricacies of morality, empathy, and devotion to one's personal dogma.

Proficiencies: An avowed is proficient with simple weapons, as well as light armor and bucklers. In addition, if this is the character’s first level in any class, she may select a martial tradition of her choice.

This alters the paladin’s or antipaladin’s weapon and armor proficiencies.

Casting: At 1st level, the avowed may combine spheres and talents to create magical effects. The avowed is considered a Low-Caster. (Note: All casters gain 2 bonus talents and a casting tradition the first time they gain the casting class feature.) This replaces the spells class feature.

Spell Pool: An avowed gains a small reservoir of energy she can call on to create truly wondrous effects, called a spell pool. This pool contains a number of spell points equal to her level + her casting ability modifier (minimum 1). This pool replenishes once per day after roughly 8 hours of rest.

Blended Training: An avowed gains a combat or magic talent every time she gains a class level. An avowed uses her casting ability modifier as her practitioner ability modifier.

This replaces all mercies or cruelties

Pledge Alignment: At 1st level, the avowed must choose an alignment that she possesses (chaos, evil, good, or lawful; but not neutral); this alignment is considered her pledge alignment, which affects her class features and abilities. Once this choice is chosen, it cannot be changed.

Pledge: The avowed is dedicated wholly to her deity’s cause, serving them wholeheartedly. At 1st level, the avowed must select a pledge, which dictates her class features and abilities.

Once this choice is chosen, it cannot be changed. At 1st level, the avowed gains a bonus to a skill, in addition to treating that skill as a class skill. At 3rd, 6th and 8th level, the avowed gains a pledge ability from her pledge.

This replaces aura of courage and aura of resolve or aura of cowardice and aura of despair.

Divine Aura (Ex): The power of an avowed’s aura is equal to her avowed level, and is determined by her pledge alignment.

This replaces aura of good or aura of evil.

Detect Adversary (Sp): At will as a move action, the avowed may spend a spell point and concentrate on a single item or individual within 60 feet and determine if it is of an alignment opposite of her pledge alignment.

This replaces detect evil or detect good.

Smite (Su): Once per day, the avowed can call out to the powers of her deity to grant her strength. As a swift action, the avowed chooses one target within sight to smite. If the target has an alignment that is opposite to her pledge alignment, the smite is successful; otherwise, the ability is wasted with no effect.

The avowed may add her casting ability modifier to attack rolls against the target of her smite, and may add her class level to all damage rolls made against the target. Additionally, her attacks against the target are treated as being her oath’s alignment for the purposes of bypassing damage reduction.

If the target is an outsider or another creature with a strong inclination against her pledge alignment (up to GM discretion), the bonus to the first damage roll made each round increases to 2 points of damage per class level she possesses.

This ability remains until the target of the smite is dead or the next time the avowed rests and regains uses of this ability. At 4th level and every 3 levels thereafter, the avowed may smite 1 additional time per day.

This alters smite evil or smite good.

Divine Touch (Su): At 2nd level, an avowed gains the ability to use the powers of her pledge through touch. Each day she can use this ability a number of times equal to 1/2 her avowed level + her casting ability modifier. This ability counts as the lay on hands and touch of corruption class feature for the purposes of meeting the prerequisites of feats. The ability gained depends on the avowed’s pledge alignment:

  • Liberating Touch (Chaos): The avowed can unfetter others (or herself) with a touch. As a standard action (or as a swift action if she targets herself), she may touch a creature to grant them a 10-foot enhancement bonus to all speeds, a +2 dodge bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity, and a +2 circumstance bonus to Acrobatics and Escape Artist checks for a number of rounds equal to her casting ability modifier. The bonuses to AC and skill checks increase by 1 for every 3 class levels she possesses; in addition to increasing the bonus to all speeds by 5 feet for every 10 class levels she possesses.
  • Lay on Hands (Good): This functions as the paladin ability of the same name.
  • Touch of Corruption (Evil): This functions as the antipaladin ability of the same name.
  • Vitalizing Grasp (Lawful): The avowed can invigorate others (or herself) with a touch. As a standard action (or as a swift action if she targets herself), she may touch a creature to grant them 1d6 temporary hit points, plus an additional 1d6 for every two class levels she possesses. These temporary hit points last for 1 minute.

This replaces lay on hands or touch of corruption.

Channel Divinity (Su): At 4th level, an avowed’s ability to channel the powers of her faith increases, allowing her to release it in greater bursts. This ability is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity, and requires her to present her holy symbol to use. Using this ability consumes two uses of her divine touch ability. If a channel divinity option would require a saving throw, the DC of the save is equal to 10 + 1/2 her class level + her casting ability modifier. This ability counts as the channel energy class feature for the purposes of meeting the prerequisites of feats.

  • Channel Discordant Energy (Chaos): The avowed releases a burst of pure entropy. All enemies within a 30-foot radius centered on the avowed must succeed at a Will save or become confused and entangled for 1 round, plus 1 round for every 3 levels beyond 1st. A creature may attempt to break free as a free action at the end of their turn, allowing them a new saving throw against the effect. If a creature successfully breaks free (or loses the entangled condition in another way), the creature is also no longer confused. If an enemy possesses the casting or spells class features, they also increase their wild magic chance by 100% wild surge chance for as long as they are entangled.
  • Channel Positive Energy (Good): This functions as the paladin ability of the same name.
  • Channel Negative Energy (Evil): This functions as the antipaladin ability of the same name.
  • Channel Concordant Energy (Lawful): The avowed releases a controlled burst of pure order. All allies within a 30-foot radius centered on the avowed form an empathetic unity for 1 round, plus 1 round per 3 class levels she possesses. All affected allies gain DR 5/—, plus 1 per 5 class levels she possesses. This stacks with similar forms of damage reduction. Additionally, whenever an affected ally would suffer damage, any other affected ally that is aware of the attack may choose to transfer up to half of that damage to themselves. Damage transferred this way may not be resisted or redirected further, and only one ally can transfer this damage.

This replaces channel positive energy or channel negative energy.

Divine Bond (Sp): Upon reaching 5th level, the avowed’s connection to her deity intensifies. This bond can take one of two forms. Once this form is chosen, it cannot be changed.

Spiritual Armament: When she gains this divine bond, the avowed gains her choice of a spiritual weapon, armor, or shield. Once chosen, this cannot be changed. Once per day as a standard action, she may enhance the chosen equipment by calling upon the aid of a celestial spirit for 1 minute per level.

While enhanced, the object sheds light as a torch, and grants it a +1 enhancement bonus, +1 per 3 levels beyond 5th. These bonuses stack with existing bonuses to a maximum of +5, or can be used to add any of the following weapon special abilities, as long as it can be added to the type of chosen equipment:

  • +1 bonus: bashing, blinding, champion, defending, distance, flaming, ghost touch, keen, light fortification, merciful
  • +2 bonus: anarchic (chaotic only), arrow deflection, axiomatic (lawful only), disruption, flaming burst, holy (good only), unholy (evil only)
  • +3 bonus: invulnerability, medium fortification, speed
  • +4 bonus: brilliant energy
  • +5 bonus: heavy fortification, reflecting, vorpal

When adding these special abilities to a spiritual armament, the special ability consumes an amount of bonus equal to the special ability’s cost. If they are not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other special abilities can be added. The bonus and special abilities granted are determined when used and cannot be changed until called again. The spiritual equipment impart no bonuses if used by another creature.

These bonuses apply to only one end of a double weapon. The avowed can use this ability an additional time per day for every 4 levels beyond 5th. If a spiritual armament is destroyed, she loses this ability for 1 week.

Spiritual Ally: The avowed gains the service of an unusually intelligent and loyal creature to serve her in her battles. This creature is usually a heavy horse, although more exotic mounts are also suitable. This spiritual ally functions as a druid’s animal companion, using her avowed level as her effective druid level. Spiritual allies have an Intelligence of at least 6.

Once per day, as a full-round action, the avowed may magically call her mount to her side, appearing in an adjacent square to her, even if the avowed is on another plane. She can use this ability once per day at 5th level, and one additional time per day every 4 levels thereafter. At 9th level, she may use this ability as a standard action. At 11th level, the mount gains a template depending on her pledge alignment (celestial, entropic, fiendish or resolute) and becomes a magical beast for the purposes of determining which spells affect it. At 15th level, her mount gains spell resistance equal to her level + 11.

If a spiritual ally dies, she may not summon another ally for 1 week.

This replaces divine bond or fiendish boon.

Flexible Champion (Su): Any abilities the avowed possesses that reference alignment (such as aura of justice/vengeance, aura of faith/sin, etc.) instead use her pledge alignment for instances of ‘good’ (for paladins) or ‘evil’ (for antipaladins), and opposite her pledge alignment for instances of ‘evil’ (for paladins), or ‘good’ (for antipaladins).

(For example, an avowed with a pledge alignment of lawful would treat her weapons as lawful-aligned for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction with her aura of faith/sin ability, and would gain DR 5/chaotic with the aura of righteousness/ depravity class feature).


Avowed Pledges

Pledge of Cruelty

Typically established as being simply ‘evil’, those under a pledge of cruelty do not always fall into these simple categories. Victims of great misdoings, or simply a differing perspective on the world, those under this pledge can often be jaded or steadfast in their somewhat aggressive or downright cruel measures. At their core, these individuals cannot stand injustices against their own ethics or morals, and take matters into their own hands, even if they may be extreme.

Cruel Hand (Ex): At 1st level, the avowed gains Intimidate as a class skill and a bonus on Intimidate checks equal to half her avowed level.

Aura of Cowardice: At 3rd level, the avowed gains the aura of cowardice antipaladin class feature.

Brutal Smite (Su): At 6th level, whenever the avowed would smite a creature, that creature immediately suffers an amount of damage equal to 1/2 her class level + her casting ability modifier. The avowed may expend her martial focus when she smites a creature to increase the damage dealt to an amount equal to her class level + her casting ability modifier.

Aura of Despair (Su): At 8th level, the avowed gains the aura of despair antipaladin class feature.

Unholy Champion (Su): At 20th level, whenever the avowed would use a spell, spell-like ability, or sphere effect that deals negative energy damage, the damage dealt is maximized.

Pledge of Discretion

Secretive and careful, those under a pledge of discretion tend towards a more subtle, sometimes deceptive approach. Much less conspicuous than most avowed, those under this pledge understand the importance of ambushes, infiltration, and deception to ensure that justice is carried out.

Walker of Shadows (Ex): At 1st level, the avowed gains Stealth as a class skill and a bonus on Stealth checks equal to half her avowed level.

Aura of Shadow (Su): At 3rd level, the avowed radiates an essence of pure darkness and subtlety, granting all allies within 10 feet of her a +4 morale bonus to Bluff, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth checks.

At 8th level, this aura benefits all Dexterity-based skill checks, in addition to Bluff checks.

Umbral Smite (Su): At 6th level, the avowed gains concealment (20% miss chance) against the target of her smite ability.

Aura of Discretion (Su): At 8th level, the avowed radiates an aura of alleviation and weightlessness, allowing all allies within 10 feet of the avowed to reduce their armor check penalties by 4 when attempting Dexterity-based skill checks.

Shadowed Champion (Su): At 20th level, the avowed cannot be caught unaware by the target of her smite, making her unable to be feinted, flanked, or otherwise caught flat-footed by the target.

Pledge of Freedom

A fighter for liberty and freedom, those under a pledge of freedom typically shirk a strict creed of rules, or at least, do not have them at the forefront of their ethics and morals. Usually fighters for equality or freedom (sometimes to an extreme degree), these individuals’ perception of ‘justice’ can be flexible at best, or completely chaotic at the worst of times. At their core, those under this pledge fight against restriction, enslavement, and control.

Freedom Ringer (Ex): At 1st level, the avowed gains Acrobatics as a class skill and a bonus on Acrobatics checks equal to half her avowed level.

Aura of Relief: At 3rd level, the avowed radiates a constantly shifting aura that grants all allies within 10 feet a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and compulsion effects. This ability functions only while she is conscious, not if she is unconscious or dead.

Liberating Smite (Su): At 6th level, whenever the avowed would smite a creature, that creature immediately releases any grapple they may have on a creature. Additionally, the smote creature suffers a penalty to the save DC to any ability that would restrict movement they possess (this includes paralysis, slow effects, entanglement, etc.) equal to her casting ability modifier.

Aura of Freedom (Su): At 8th level, allies within 10 feet of the avowed gain a +2 morale bonus on Reflex saving throws. As a swift action, the avowed may expend her martial focus to allow all allies within 10 feet of her to not provoke attacks of opportunity from enemies for moving through her aura until the beginning of her next turn. This ability functions only while the avowed is conscious, not if she is unconscious or dead.

Chaos Champion (Su): At 20th level, whenever the avowed would have an active smite on a creature, she gains the benefits of the Freedom (word) Fate talent for as long as the creature is under the effects of her smite.

Pledge of Justice

“Oh thank Asarius you’re alive! One minute he was raising his hands and -”

“Get off! Did you get him? Where is he?”

“He.…He got away, I thought I’d check on y-”

“Okay.… First tip: If you’ve got to choose between seeing if I need a little bit of healing, and catching the criminal we’ve been chasing… for almost a YEAR now, go catching the GODSBLASTED criminal!” - A Yaledian guard providing some harsh truths to a rookie.

A standard for most avowed, those under a pledge of justice typically strive for good in the world; or at least, their personal idea of ‘good’. Those under this pledge are often bastions of hope and warmth, but at the same time, fierce enforcers of justice and order.

Hand of Law (Ex): At 1st level, the avowed gains Diplomacy as a class skill and a bonus on Diplomacy checks equal to half her avowed level.

Aura of Courage: At 3rd level, the avowed gains the aura of courage paladin class feature.

Justiciar’s Smite (Su): At 6th level, the avowed gains a deflection bonus to AC equal to her casting ability modifier against the target of her smite.

Aura of Resolve (Su): At 8th level, the avowed gains the aura of resolve paladin class feature.

Holy Champion (Su): At 20th level, whenever the avowed would use a spell, spell-like ability, or sphere effect that would heal hit point or ability damage, the amount healed is maximized.

Pledge of Order

“You are under arrest for breaching the Yaledian code of conduct, please raise your hands in the air and refrain from any unneeded spell casting or movement.” - A typical request made by Yaledian law enforcement, usually met with hostility.

Seen to be strict and steadfast, those under a pledge of order have a strict creed of law that they enforce, with either a kind word or a swift blade. Those under this pledge are often viewed to be stern and immovable in their beliefs, yet some simply find comfort in the structured nature of law and order, and sometimes let those ethics get in the way of their own morals.

Dutiful Executor (Ex): At 1st level, the avowed gains a bonus on Sense Motive checks equal to half her avowed level.

Aura of Cooperation (Su): At 3rd level, the avowed radiates a rigid, confining aura that causes all enemies within 10 feet of her to take a -4 penalty on saving throws against charm and compulsion effects. This ability functions only while she is conscious, not if she is unconscious or dead.

Interrogating Smite (Su): At 6th level, whenever the avowed would smite a creature, she gains the knowledge of two of the following statistics from the creature: a resistance, a vulnerability, an immunity, a saving throw bonus, their AC, or their touch AC. The avowed may spend a spell point when she smites a creature to learn all the above statistics.

Aura of Unity (Su): At 8th level, all allies within 10 feet of the avowed are immune to the confused condition, in addition to being immune to the effects of spell, spell-like, sphere, or supernatural abilities that originate from other allies (even if they are outside this aura), as long as the effect are subject to spell resistance and cover an area.

Axiomatic Champion (Su): At 20th level, as a special attack action, the avowed may spend a spell point and make a single attack against a creature under the effects of her smite. If the attack hits, the creature must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw or fall unconscious for 1 minute. On a successful save, the creature is still staggered for 1d4 rounds. Regardless of the result, the creature becomes immune to this ability for 24 hours.

Pledge of Purity

Zealous and true, those under a pledge of purity are purely against everything undead and impure. Less broad than most other pledges, these avowed despise necromancy and the twisting of life and death.

Chivalrous Knight (Ex): At 1st level, the avowed gains Heal as a class skill and a bonus on Heal checks equal to half her avowed level.

Aura of Purification (Su): At 3rd level, the avowed radiates a purifying aura, granting all allies within 10 feet of her a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against death and negative energy effects.

Smite Undead (Su): At 6th level, the avowed may always smite undead creatures, regardless of their alignment. Additionally, her attacks bypass all damage reduction that a smote undead creature may possess.

Aura of Life (Su): At 8th level, the avowed radiates an aura of pure positive energy, causing all hostile undead creatures within 10 feet of her to take a -4 penalty on Will saves made to resist positive energy, in addition to regaining half as many hit points when healed by negative energy.

Pure Champion (Su): At 20th level, as a special attack action, the avowed may make a single attack against an undead creature under the effects of her smite. If the attack hits, the creature must succeed at a Will saving throw or be destroyed. On a successful save, the creature is still staggered for 1d4 rounds. Regardless of the result, the creature becomes immune to this ability for 24 hours.


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