Oath of Cynicism – A Morally Grey Paladin Order for D&D 5th Edition


The stress of knighthood and justice can be too much upon many paladins.  Some crack under the pressure, some face worse.  For those unfortunate souls, they witness tragedy so great that they can no longer see value in “goodness”.  The “Cynics” were formed as a more grey-shaded alternative to the “Order of Goodness” that is the traditional paladin.  The Cynic believes that absolute order is the only method of achieving justice.  For them, protecting the minds of the innocent from things that would destroy them is for the best, even if that leaves them ignorant.  To the cynic, “Good and Evil” are a means of propaganda that distort and contort law and order to one’s ends.  Cynics hail from far and wide!  From the worshipers of Ilmater from the Forgotten Realms to the Bleak Cabal in Planescape’s Sigil; these dour knights reach the cosmos and beyond.

Tenets of The Cynic

Cynics have became jaded from countless vile atrocities, failures, and tragic events.  As a result, you are quick to judge everything around them with contempt and suspicion, due to traumatic past.  You are slow to trust others and only seem to admire maintaining order above all.  You are typically lawful neutral, but lawful good and lawful evil cynics are not unheard of either.

Mistrust – Never accept something at face value, don’t trust it either.  Only a fool would blindly accept the world without questioning it, lest they become a victim.  Without a bitter perspective on life, you could be used by false pretenses like morality and mercy.  Only law should be observed with respect, but it’s not above questioning.

Rationality – Your sense of passion and joy have long since been dashed, but you have no time to brood or sulk about it.  Instead, you are cold and pragmatic.  You try to observe things from a deeply thought driven perspective rather than through emotions.

Existentialism – We live in a world where conflicting viewpoints butt heads in the name of the absurd.  Your viewpoint is no different, just self-aware.  Do not fear death, for it shall one day unite us all.

Stoicism – Chaos runs rampant in the world.  Try as you may, you cannot defeat it.  At most, you can hope to spread balance.  In the end, the universe shall to do you as it pleases.

Conspiracy – Just as your order is a secret, there are things in the multiverse we aren’t meant to know!  We must keep this information away from the innocent and even destroy this information if need be.


Order of Cynicism Spells

Paladin Level                    Spells

3rd    Charm Person, Inflict Wounds

5th    Hold Person, Calm Emotions

9th    Clairvoyance, Dispel Magic

13th    Divination, Evard’s Black Tentacles,

17th    Hold Monster, Scrying

Channel Divinity –

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

  • Turn Disorder – You can try to turn any being that you feel is disorderly or going against law within 30 ft of you.They must make a wisdom saving throw.  If they fail, they are turned for 1 minute or until they are damaged.
  • Share Trauma – Woe to the enemy of the Cynic, for they shall force them to live with the despair and anxiety that troubles each member of the order.  As an action, you can use your Channel Divinity to touch a target.  They must make a Wisdom saving throw against your ability (8 + Proficiency Bonus + Charisma modifier).  If the target fails, they take 6d8 psychic damage and fall prone due to reeling in pain.

Might of the Mind

Beginning at level 7, you channel the ability to sense thoughts of others.  You gain telepathy out 30 feet and can communicate with others this way.  In addition, you can use Detect Thoughts as many times per day as your Charisma modifier.

Aura of Mental Fortitude

Beginning at level 15, you can protect the minds of others from absolute torment.  Through your life altering experience, you can shield others from experiencing severe mental anguish.  You are immune to all mind-affecting spells, abilities and effects.  You also gain resistance to psychic damage.  While allies are within  10 feet of you, they gain the same bonuses.

Increase the range of your aura to 30 ft upon reaching level 20.

Scion of Order

Upon reaching level 20, order empowers you to balance chaos wherever it threatens civilization.  By embracing the cold and calculating powers of true law, you become more autonomous and metallic in your look.  As an action, you can be granted the following benefits for 1 minute.

  • Aura of Absolute Order – Anyone with 30 ft. of you who goes against an idea or concept that you champion faces the effects of Share Trauma.
  • Your Telepathy extends to any point you can see or hear.
  • You gain resistance to all damage, except lightning and fire damage.

Created by Doctor Necrotic for Doctor Necrotic Media.


2 thoughts on “Oath of Cynicism – A Morally Grey Paladin Order for D&D 5th Edition

  1. Pingback: Oath of the Blasphemer – A Blackguard Oath for D&D 5th Edition | Daemons & Deathrays

  2. Pingback: Dusty Trails to Haunted Homes – Gothic Ficiton, Gaslamp Fantasy and more. | Daemons & Deathrays

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