Paladin Oath – Oath of Conscription

Hello, everyone! Today’s article is a new Paladin Oath, originally suggested by a Twitter follower (@CurseOfSebs) an embarrassingly long time ago. Paladins swearing the Oath of Conscription are bound to infernal powers rather than their own gods, trying to either redeem evildoers or at least utilize them for the greater good. However, this treacherous path may lead a paladin to greater temptations than those would wield divine powers, and whether this road leads to salvation or damnation has yet to be seen.

Paladin Oath

Oath of Conscription

“It is no blessing I confer upon you, but rather a plea,” the priest said, beginning to apply ceremonial markings to Evelyn’s arm. The brown dyes smelled of tea, but the scent drifted away as her focus tightened on the priest’s words.

“I plea that you deliver light to a world where often it bleeds out,” He began just below her shoulder.

“I plea that those whom you offer help will see this light in both you and themselves,” The design began to coil around her arm.

“And I plea that the sacrifices you’ll make in the name of good will not diminish your own light.” The priest somberly concluded. He lifted the brush from Evelyn’s arm, revealing the ornate chain which now marked her skin. She closed her eyes, and instead of the temple she’d always known, she stood atop a precipice, seeing above her rusty skies and legions of the damned below.

Paladins swearing the Oath of Conscription, sometimes known as Chained Knights for the ceremonial chains painted on their bodies, walk a dangerous path compared to other holy warriors. Charged by the gods with either the redemption or exploitation of the forces of evil, they wield infernal powers drawn from an often unwilling demonic host rather than from their patron deity. Unfettered by the structure of a conventional paladin’s oath, these holy warriors may find their path laden with temptation – after all, the road to the Hells is paved with good intentions.

Tenets of Conscription

Conviction. Often the choice to do good is the simplest. Once you commit to a course of action, follow through until your task is complete or new information comes to light.

Guidance. Others may need to be led by example to do what is right. Your role is to show this to them, through words or by force when necessary.

Redemption. Even after dalliances with evil, a creature can find the light once more. When possible, you strive to free the good in others.

Utilitarianism. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. If some, including yourself, must suffer so that more will flourish, so be it.

Oath spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed.

Paladin Level Spells
3rd charm person, command
5th hold person, zone of truth
9th magic circle, slow
13th compulsion, wall of fire
17th contact other plane, dispel evil and good

Channel Divinity

When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity Options.

Hellfire Crown. You can use your Channel Divinity to draw further strength from demonkind to you. As a bonus action, your body takes on demonic characteristics, such as horns, red skin, or other monstrous traits for 1 minute. During this time, you gain resistance to fire and necrotic damage. Your Divine Smites deal an additional d6 of fire damage.

Reveal the Doubtful. You may use your Channel Divinity to reveal the true resolve of those around you. As an action, you present your holy symbol, and each creature that has not made an attack in the last minute within 30 feet that can see or hear you must make a Charisma saving throw. On a failed save, the creature cannot make any attacks or cast any spells which require a target to make a saving throw. This effect ends if the creature takes damage or after 1 minute passes.

Any effect causing the creature to be charmed or frightened immediately ends.

Aura of Conviction

Beginning at 7th level, the demonic influences which are bound to you begin to ward you from external influences. You and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you cannot be charmed or frightened, and creatures which enter this area may immediately make a saving throw against any effects causing them to be charmed or frightened.

Slip the Chain

Starting at 15th level, you have learned to harness the oath which binds you to demonkind, allowing you to let loose an irate denizen of the Abyss in battle. As an action, you may summon a fiend whose Challenge Rating is equal to your Paladin level or lower in a space you can see within 50 feet of you. This fiend acts in initiative order immediately after you, using its movement to move towards the nearest creature and its actions to attack that creature.

At the end of each of its turns, this fiend makes a Charisma saving throw against your spell save DC. On a success, the fiend returns to its native plane of existence.

You cannot use this feature again until you complete a long rest.

Grand Redemption

At 20th level, your mastery of the nature of evil has reached incomparable heights, giving you fundamental insights into the true nature of good and evil, and the ability to cleanse a soul of evil entirely using your Lay on Hands ability.

The amount of hit points you can restore with your Lay on Hands ability increases by 50.

When you expend a number of hit points greater than or equal to an Evil creature’s current hit points with your Lay on Hands ability, its alignment becomes Good.

If you use this ability on a fiend, it must roll a Charisma saving throw against your spell save DC. On a success, it regains half of the hit points used by your Lay on Hands ability and does not change its alignment. On a failure, it is permanently transformed into a Good celestial of the Game Master’s choice of an equal Challenge Rating.

A Darker Path

As you approach 20th level, you have likely crossed several lines that you may not have foreseen in the name of the greater good. Particularly deceptive evil entities may find a means of entrapment for these paladins, exerting a greater influence over them than expected. If you and your Game Master agree that the path you walk on the Oath of Conscription is a darker one, instead of taking the Grand Redemption feature, take the Demonic Descent feature.

Demonic Descent

At 20th level, the forces of darkness have gradually twisted your cause to be less than righteous, and coopted your abilities as a paladin to their own nefarious ends, branding you as a traitor to the heavens. When you use your Divine Smite ability, you may reroll any die which rolls a 1.

Regardless of what it was before, your creature type becomes a fiend. When a celestial hits you with an attack, it is always considered to be a critical hit.

Some artwork © 2015 Dean Spencer, used with permission. All rights reserved.

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