Paladin Champion Talents

Written by Martin K.

Adventurer Talents - Epic Talents


jason engle championThe following talents can be chosen when the Paladin reaches 5th level. For some of these talents, you don't gain everything in one package. Instead, each grants three abilities which are spread over the levels 5 to 7:

  • A daily power at level 5
  • A Smite Evil-related ability at level 6
  • A passive bonus at level 7

These talents have been designed with the player taking only one, as their 5th level talent slot. DMs are advised caution before they allow a player to take a second one at level 8. 

Champion of Death

(5) Become One With Death: After you have failed your third death save, you can choose to spend a recovery to heal, but this recovery is lost permanently. You can act normally on the next turn.

Each time you call on this power, a part of you dies. The dead part can be physical or metaphorical. Your hand becomes numb and turns a zombie-like lifeless grey. Your memories of your mother die. Your dream to free your homeland from the clutch of the Orc Lord dies. With each step, you are turning into what Death is, an emotionless, inevitable ender of life who cannot be swayed, bribed, intimidated or reasoned with.

Epic Feat: Make a hard save (16+) to avoid losing the recovery permanently.

(6) Executioner's Smite: When a target has less than five times your level in hit points left after you hit it with one of your Smite Evil attacks, it dies.

(7) Right Hand of Death: When you reduce a non-mook enemy below zero hp, increase your critical threat range by 1 until the end of combat. This effect is cumulative until you score a critical hit.

Champion feat: The increased critical threat range no longer ends when you score a critical hit.

Champion of Evil

(5) Sacrifice a Minion: Once per day, when you are hit by an attack, you can declare that the attack hits a nearby ally instead.

Champion feat: The ally takes half damage from the attack.

(6) Clutch of Evil: The extra damage of your Smite "Evil" attacks is ongoing damage.

(7) Evil Minion: When you roll a 6 on an icon relationship roll, you gain an evil minion. The minion stays with you as long as you keep it alive. Choose any standard minion monster from the monster list, up to a level lower than yours. You can have a maximum number of minions equal to your level. Your minions count as allies.

Epic feat: Also gain a minion on rolls of 5. Watch your back, minions gained on such rolls are more prone to betray you. 

Champion of Exorcism

(5) Banish Demon: Once per day, when you hit a staggered devil or demon with an attack that is a natural 16+, banish the creature back to the Abyss.

(6) Smite of Interdiction: When you hit a target with your Smite Evil, it is hampered until the end of your next turn.

Champion feat: Deal an extra 10 ongoing holy damage with your smite against devils and demons.

(7) Demonslayer: Increase your critical threat range against devils and demons by 2.

Epic feat: Gain a +1 bonus to all defenses against devils and demons. 

Champion of Fire

(5) Burning Retribution: Once per day, mark an enemy with burning retribution. The next time that enemy deals damage to an ally, it takes fire damage equal to the damage the ally took.

Champion feat: This power is now Recharge (11+).

(6) Burning Smite: Change the Smite Evil extra damage to 1d6 per level fire damage.

Epic feat: Increase the extra damage dice to d8.

(7) Firewalker: You gain resist fire 18+. 

Champion of Freedom

(5) The Call of Freedom: Once per day, grant yourself or an ally a +5 bonus to a save or skill check to break free from something that restricts the target's freedom, such as chains, a choke hold or a cage. Feel free to interpret this liberally. The ability could also target stifling old traditions, an illness that ties you to a bed, and even the cold grip of death.

Champion feat: Grant the same bonus to all nearby allies who suffer from the same condition.

(6) Smite of Freedom: Instead of smiting a foe, you can choose to smite an object. The target will break by supernatural force, even mundane might could not destroy it. Use this ability to break chains, locked doors, even prison walls. If your deity is powerful enough, or if you are wielding an artifact hammer, this power can even destroy Ancient Evil Artifacts of Doom.

(7) Walk unchained: You are immune to the stuck and hampered conditions.

Epic feat: Whenever you are hit by a stun effect, you are weakened instead.

Champion of Justice

(5) Eye for an Eye: Once per day, when a nearby enemy deals damage to a staggered ally, make a Smite Evil attack against that enemy as a free action. This Smite is not counted against your daily or per battle total.

Epic feat: Use this ability once per battle instead.

(6) Smite of Justice: Choose an Icon you have a negative relationship with. Once per battle, when fighting enemies and monsters associated with that icon, gain a second Smite Evil that does not count against your daily limit.

Champion feat: You gain this extra smite in any battle where you enforce justice.

(7) Incorruptible: You gain a +1 bonus to MD.

Champion of Knowledge

(5) Keeper of Secrets: Once per day, automatically succeed at a Knowledge-related skill check. However, if you share that knowledge with the wrong people, all icon relationships are flipped to negative until the end of the day.

(6) Smite the Ignorant: Against enemies with a lower MD that yours, your Smite Evil attacks deal +1d12 damage.

Champion feat: Against such enemies, increase the critical threat range of your Smite Evil attacks by 2.

(7) Defender of Learning: You gain a +1 bonus to all defenses when defending scholars, tomes of knowledge or places of learning.

Epic feat: Also gain a +1 bonus to attacks.

Champion of Love

(5) Words of Ambrosia: Once per day, automatically succeed at a Charisma-based skill check. If you abuse this power to spread hate, all your icon relationships turn negative until the end of the day.

Champion feat: Gain a 3 point background in poetry, rhetoric or a similar art.

(6) Lovestruck: When you announce to use Smite Evil, you can decide for the attack to deal no damage. If you hit, the target will cease all hostilities unless it is attacked.

Epic feat: If the attack is a critical hit, it will permanently change the disposition of the target.

(7) Aura of Love: Permanently increase your Charisma score by 1.

Champion of Pain

(5) Endure: Once per day, while you are staggered, rally as a quick action and spend a free recovery.

Champion feat: Gain two bonus recovery dice on the above roll.

(6) Smite of Suffering: When using Smite Evil, you can choose to deal 10 damage to yourself to deal 10 ongoing damage to the target. You deal the ongoing damage on hit or miss.

Epic feat: Increase the damage to the target to 25 ongoing.

(7) Driven by Pain: When you rally during battle, increase your critical threat range by 1. This effect is cumulative. Add the escalation die to saves for rallying multiple times in one battle.

Champion of Perfection

(5) Act of Perfection: Once per day, pay a recovery to declare any d20 roll a natural 20 before you roll.

(6) Perfect Aim: You attack PD with your Smite Evil attacks.

Champion feat: When making a Smite Evil attack, replace the lowest damage die result with the maximum.

(7) Indomitable: You gain a +1 bonus to all saves, including disengage rolls and death saves.

Epic feat: Increase the bonus to +2.

Champion of Strength

(5) Herculean Stunt: Once per day, at the start of battle, roll a d6. Any time after the escalation die reaches that number, you'll be able to use a quick action to execute a herculean stunt. Herculean stunts are improvisational effects based on your demigodlike strength. Kick a pillar to bring down the ceiling above your enemies, smash a stone portal to open an escape route, wrestle your way out of the dracolich's maw...

Champion feat: Use this ability once per battle instead.

(6) Knockout Smite: When your Smite Evil attack is a natural 18+, you stun your opponent until the end of its next turn.

Epic feat: Increase to 16+.

(7) Not Compensating for Something: You can wield oversized two-handed weapons with a d12 damage die at no penalty.

Champion of the Sun

(5) Invocation of the Sun: You gain the Cleric's Sphere of Radiance spell at your class level.

(6) Burning Sun: Your Smite attacks deal fire damage and gain a +2 bonus to their critical threat range.

Champion feat: Increase to +4 against undead enemies.

(7) Cloak of the Sun: When hit by an undead, immediately make a hard save (16+). If the save is successful, the attack deals half damage.

Epic feat: You are also immune to any effect of that attack that is not damage.

Champion of Trickery

(5) The Oldest in the Book: You gain a daily utility spell slot, as the Wizard.

Champion feat: Like a Wizard, you can cast any utility spell in that slot instead of preparing a specific spell.

(6) Hypnotizing Smite: You attack MD with Smite Evil.

Epic feat: Your Smite Evil dazes the opponents on a natural roll of 18+.

(7) Do I look like I know what I am doing: When making a skill check without adding any background, roll twice and take the better result.

Champion of War

(5) Hold the Line: Once per day, when an enemy misses you with an attack, grant all nearby allies a +4 bonus to AC until the end of your next turn.

Champion feat: Grant the bonus to all defenses.

(6) Leader Smite: When you hit an opponent with your Smite Evil, that enemy is vulnerable to your allies' attacks until the start of your next turn.

Epic feat: The vulnerability lasts until the end of combat.

(7) Boost Morale: All nearby allies roll one extra recovery die.

Champion of Winter

(5) Brace yourselves: Once per day, when rolling initiative, give all enemies a -4 penalty to their roll.

Epic feat: In the battle where you use this ability, at the start of your first turn, deal 1d6 cold damage per level to all enemies that have not acted yet.

(6) Breath of Winter: Replace the smite extra damage with 1d6 cold damage per level.

Champion feat: Increase the extra damage die to d8.

(7) Winter Skin: You gain resist cold 18+.

Eye of Justice

You gain true sight, which allows you to see past illusions and disguises to see the true form of any creature. With this ability, you can identify rakshasa and dopplegangers, mimics and dragons in humanoid form. You can see through illusions and invisibility effects.

Champion feat: Since creatures that can disguise their true appearance can't use their tricks against you, you gain a +2 bonus to hit against them.

DM Note: While this talent should usually grant a success without a roll, there are situations where it's a major plot point that, say, the king has been replaced with a Rakshasa and you don't want to spoil the surprise too early. There are some options. (1) Give the Rakshasa the protection of an even more powerful being, or a major artifact, to strengthen the disguise. (2) Limit the ability to vague hints. You know something is wrong with the king, just not what. (3) A clue doesn't equal solution. Yes, you know the king is a Rakshasa, but can you really accuse him in his court, without evidence?


When the escalation die is 3+, you can make a melee basic attack as a quick action once per round.

Champion feat: You can use this talent when the escalation die is 2+.

Epic feat: You can use this talent when the escalation die is 1+.


- Notes - 

Version 1.01, 12 Feb, 2017

Art credit: Jason Engle - Champion

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