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The Paladin: Expanding the Boundaries of Faith, Part V

Sir Joseph Noel Paton - I Wonder Who Lived In ThereThrough this series, I’ve argued that paladins should not be relegated to a single alignment, and I’ve given rules and advice for playing paladins of other alignments. This installment will detail my rules on playing a paladin who worships a chaotic neutral deity. If you’ve been following thus far, I hope you’ve enjoyed everything up to this point, and I hope you enjoy this last presentation. Without further ado, I present the rules for playing a nihilist. You will need both the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook and the Advanced Player’s Guide.

The Nihilist

The nihilist seems a walking contradiction. They proclaim by their lives and actions that they believe in nothing, yet what they are proclaim that they do, in fact, believe in something. In truth, the only thing the nihilists truly believes in are themselves: Each is an instrument of his or her deity’s will, so therefore anything the nihilist chooses to do is his or her deity’s will; anything that does not affect this is irrelevant and unimportant. Nihilists typically follow deities of such fickle aspects as Luck, Destiny, and Chaos itself, though some few are found in the service of gods of Death, Decay, or War. They do as they please and further their deity’s plans because they truly believe that nothing else matters. Pleasure is fleeting, life is temporary, but the cause… the cause will always exist.

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The Paladin: Expanding the Boundaries of Faith

Gerson Krzyzacy, The Teutonic Knights in Poland (Captive)The Paladin. To many roleplaying groups, this character doesn’t even have a name; he, or she, is simply “The Paladin,” as if there is no point in further description or that word is enough to convey the entire personality of an individual. The character’s backstory is irrelevant, the paladin’s physical features are fluff, and the player playing the paladin is subconsciously pigeonholed by friends into the role of ruining the in-character fun of everyone at the table.

I aim to change that.

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The Troubadour

Troubadours. German anonymous., s. XIV. Archiv für Kunst und Geschichte. Berlin.Often confused with lay minstrels, fireside storytellers and scoundrels, the troubadour is a highly skilled chronicler of events, an orator, a counselor, and a musician. Relying on his or her ability to weave a convincing story, morality play, or sonnet, the troubadour is often seen among the upper crust of society. The adventuring or wandering troubadour has added many survival skills to an already formidable set of talents, making this character a much sought-after addition to any adventuring party.

The troubadour is compatible with either Swords & Wizardry or Labyrinth Lord core rules.

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Old Hat Monsters: Animal Companions, Familiars, and Mounts

Plate from "The Arabian Nights", 'The Roc which fed its young on elephants', "The Second Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor" (Hodder & Stoughton)“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.”
― William Shakespeare, Henry V

Fantasy novels love a good cavalry charge, or a hero who fights alongside a wolf, or a potent mage who spies from the eyes of a soaring bird. In Pathfinder, the only class feature that trumps the animal companion or familiar is spellcasting. Having another creature in a player’s control enhances tactical options and widens that character’s arrays of abilities.

A war-trained horse alone can greatly enhance character movement, carrying capacity, attack options, and defenses. A horse can be a better companion than some fighters since it begins with three attacks, scent, an outstanding carrying capacity, and an excellent move speed.

This may come as no surprise to Kobold Press regulars, but I must confess: I’m a bit addicted to monsters. As a player, I gravitate toward options that give me a familiar, animal companion, or mount since I find the game is missing something for me without that option. I feel that I’m in good company since eight of the eleven base classes either outright gives an animal companion, mount, or familiar, or have options that allow you to take one. So, join me after the jump as we discuss the best options available for animal companions, familiars, and mounts, and keep your eyes peeled for more topics around our fanged and clawed allies, including some alternate rules.

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