Time for an upgrade!
The art of the shootist has transcended beyond certain types of warriors and scoundrels, expanding to even holy warriors, devoted protectors of spiritual ways or even magic-users themselves!
Author’s Note: I meant to do this long ago! However, monsters took over much of my gaslamp/weird western thing. So, let’s not delay this any longer! Here are more ranged (guns) sub-class options for your games! Also, this time an homage to The Dark Tower. Also, special thanks to my friend, Ian. Your insight really helped shape things here, and your endurance allowed you to deal with my endless rambling. Trying to hammer sub-classses based off a meta concept like ranged weapon combat proved to be a challenge for me… especially in regards to classes that weren’t quite meant for them. As such, this might be a little more janky than some of my other creations. I’ll try to refine whatever I can here.
While not fallen knights, these are holy warriors who have fallen on hard times none the less. Certain orders of the paladin are not seen as the high and mighty crusaders of justice and good, but a necessity for dealing with evil… while preventing troubles members from falling themselves. Many of the more righteous minded are uncomfortable around such types, as they tend to be far more dour, jaded and even looking they have the life taken out of them.
For many their path is seen as one of ultimate damnation, getting too close to that which they fight… or at the very least, losing sight of what’s worth fighting for. Among their darker orders, they are the realists, the last line of defense, those who know too much about their enemy and the like. Only a fool would turn down the aid of a dark oath member. These crusaders are typically infiltrators, veterans, lore keepers and specialists against specific threats. This of course assumes that suspicion doesn’t lead to their banning or worse.
Author’s Note: While these sub-classes are meant to be neutral/anti-heroes, they could be twisted into alternative options for Fallen/Oath Breaker Paladins. All in all, I wanted these sub-classes to convey an almost gothic theme, alongside other inspirations. Furthermore, I really wanted to experiment with these sub-classes, totally overhauling my original ideas for the “Oath of Blasphemy” and the “Oath of the Cynic”. However, these sub-classes could easily fit vibes like Mythos Cultists, Instruments of Chaos and Trickery (i.e. Loki, Tzeentch, Cyric), Corrupt Clergymen, Fanatical Crusaders, agents of the Shadowfell or even servants of a less malicious God of Death (i.e. Wee Jas, The Raven Queen, Kelemvor, Anubis, etc).
For some, the antipaladin and the oathbreaker represents a fall from grace. These are the exiles and the heretics whom must be stopped at all costs! But, what happens when an entire oath is distorted by gradual influence of the darkness itself? The Order of the Blasphemer is one such atrocity that arises. These distorted paladins have lost their way much like the blackguard, but are convinced they serve a divine or holy cause. This could be from sheer madness or from a dark revelation that the order itself is corrupt.
While many devotees of dark forces are aware of how far from grace they have fallen, the blasphemer order is tragic and ironic in their ignorance. Driven mad by their past oaths and ideals, they have become delusional in the corruption they carry. Many mad blasphemers have reached a level of insanity typical in the most devout of abyssal followers as a result of their broken minds doing all they can to refute their wretched existence. Those who manage to break free of their mania typically become oathbreakers. Some try to atone and become cynics. The rest die from despair or failure to absolve themselves of their sins.
Author’s Note: Ah, deconstructing the Paladin… it’s always fun! As written above, I’ve done this before with the Cynic. Here, I have a new twist on the antipaladin/blackguard, a reluctant one who clings onto their old hopes and views while unwittingly (or perhaps willingly) committing great evil. Also, take note! This concept was an experimental idea I came up with to expand the oathbreaker archetype. Some of the ideas are volatile and will be patched up in the weeks following. Also, the original idea was far closer to Artorias from Dark Souls, but I figured it would have been too much of an homage. But enough from me, subscribe today and a faustian bargain can be yours!
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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.
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