Monday, July 9, 2018

The Illrigger - a Lawful Evil Paladin variant for D&D 5e

When Dungeons and Dragons was still shiny and new TSR, the company founded by Gary Gygax that originally published D&D, started issuing a magazine called "The Strategic Review" to both market their new game and to allow them to publish new content for the burgeoning young game.

The Strategic Review was quickly replaced after only 7 issues by "Dragon" magazine, which quickly became a sensation among players, offering many rulings on long asked questions and vast amounts of new content for players of the young game.

Today we're going to be discussing one class variant from issue #106 of Dragon, the cover of which you can see below.

"Valshea" by Keith Parkinson

The beauty of it's cover art by Keith Parkinson aside(by the way, you can purchase prints of that art at Parkinson's own website, in addition to many other great pieces.) we're here to discuss the Illrigger class variant which was shown off only in Issue 106.

As you can tell by the magazine cover, this issue offered "Seven new 'Paladins'" among those new paladins were the Lawful Neutral "Lyan" and the Chaotic Neutral "Fantra" to name a couple. These paladins were all interesting in their own unique way but today we are going to focus on converting the Lawful Evil Illrigger to the Fifth Edition.

For starters, let me just say that much of the rules of AD&D 1st Edition don't exactly translate well into the Fifth Edition, but I did my best with this alpha test of the Illrigger class. If you have any feedback or ideas to make the class better, please let me know!

Table made using Homebrewery

The lawful evil Illrigger creates for his god a framework of evil on which to operate and subdue key proponents of good. He has crisply efficient assassination skills and maintains a functioning network of followers to precipitate his crimes upon the world. Should the Iillrigger ever commit a chaotic or carelessly disruptive act, his church will excommunicate him and he will become forevermore a normal fighter. Illriggers prefer armor and weapons of darkened metal. Plate mail and morning stars predominate. Illriggers wear great helmets bearing the symbols and war standards of their gods. Insignias of rank, each a subsymbol of the Illrigger's personal sigil, accompany every follower. Illriggers can use any magic item unless it has an intrinsic good alignment. An Illrigger with sufficient funds can build a stronghold at any time. The special abilities of an Illrigger are: 1. A continual emanation of a protection from good spell. 2. Immunity to all forms of disease. 3. The ability to attack on the Rogue's table for Sneak attack after surprising an opponent. The Illrigger follows no strictures other than the rigid rules necessary to maintain his church. Nearly all known Illriggers are devil worshippers.

Level Titles:
At 1st level, an Illrigger is known as an "Arch of Ruin".
At 2nd level, an Illrigger is known as a "Pillar of Sin".
At 3rd level, an Illrigger is known as a "Griefbringer".
At 4th level, an Illrigger is known as an "Evilforger".
From 5th level onwards, an Illrigger is known to the world as an "Illrigger".

Lay on Hands: 
Your blessed touch can heal wounds. You have a pool of healingpower that replenishes when you take a long rest. With that pool, you can restore a total number of hit points equal to your Illrigger level × 5.

As an action, you can touch a creature and draw power from the pool to restore a number of hit points to that creature, up to the maximum amount remaining in your pool.

Alternatively, you can expend 5 hit points from your pool of healing to cure the target of one disease or neutralize one poison affecting it. You can cure multiple diseases and neutralize multiple poisons with a single use of Lay on Hands, expending hit points separately for each one.

Protection from Good:
At 1st level, Illriggers permanently gain the effects of Protection from Evil and Good.

Disease Immunity: 
At 1st level, Illriggers gain immunity to all forms of disease.

Sneak attack:
At 1st level, Illriggers gain limited use of the Rogue's Sneak Attack damage table. Illriggers may only deal Sneak Attack damage when they have Advantage against a Surprised enemy.

Fighting Style:
At 2nd level, you may adopt any style of fighting as your specialty. You can’t take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.

By 2nd level, you have learned to draw on divine magic through meditation and prayer to cast spells as a Cleric does.

The Paladin table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells. To cast one of your Paladin spells of 1st level or higher, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

You prepare the list of Paladin spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the Paladin spell list. When you do so, choose a number of Paladin spells equal to your Intelligence modifier + half your Paladin level, rounded down (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

For example, if you are a 5th-level Paladin, you have four 1st-level and two 2nd-level spell slots. With an Intelligence of 14, your list of prepared spells can include four spells of 1st or 2nd level, in any combination. If you prepare the 1st-level spell cure wounds, you can cast it using a 1st-level or a 2nd- level slot. Casting the spell doesn’t remove it from your list of prepared spells.

You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of Paladin spells requires time spent in prayer and meditation: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.

Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your Paladin spells, since their power derives from the strength of your convictions. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a paladin spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Ability Score Improvement:
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Extra Attack:
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Aura of Protection:
Starting at 6th level, whenever you or a friendly creature within 10 feet of you must make a saving throw, the creature gains a bonus to the saving throw equal to your Intellignce modifier (with a minimum bonus of +1). You must be conscious to grant this bonus.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Extra Feat:
At 7th and 11th levels, Illriggers can take a new Combat feat of their choosing.

At 15th and 20th levels, Illriggers can take any feat of their choosing.

Aura of Courage:
Starting at 10th level, you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can’t be frightened while you are conscious.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Cleansing Touch:
Beginning at 14th level, you can use your action to end one spell on yourself or on one willing creature that you touch.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier (a minimum of once). You regain expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Table 1: Illrigger Followers:

Dice roll Type of follower

01-08    1d10 1st level Rogues
09-14    1d8 1st-2nd level Rogues
15-19    1d6 1st-4th level Rogues
20-23    1d4 2nd-5th level Rogues
24-26    2 3rd-6th level Rogues
27-28    1 4th-7th level Rogue
29-31    1d4 1st-2nd level Barbarians
32         1 3rd-6th level Barbarian
33-35    1d6 1st level Wizards
36-37    1d4 1st-2nd level Wizards
38         2 2nd-5th level Wizards
39-40    2 1st-2nd level Sorcerers
41         1 2nd-4th level Sorcerer
42-46    1d6 1st-4th level Clerics
47-49    1d4 2nd-5th level Clerics
50-51    2 4th-7th level Clerics
52         1 5th-8th level Cleric
53         2 1st-4th level Bards
54-61    4d10 Men-at-Arms
62-67    1d10 1st level Fighters
68-72    1d8 1st-4th level Fighters
73-76    1d6 2nd-5th level Fighters
77-79    1d4 3rd-6th level Fighters
80-81    2 4th-7th level Fighters
82         1 8th level Fighter
83-84    1 Hellcat or Hell Hound
85         6d4 Kobolds plus females and young
86        1 Bheur Hag
87        20d10 Duergar plus females and young
88        20d10 Orcs plus females and young
89        30d10 Goblins plus females and young
90        10d10 Hobgoblins plus females and young
91        1 Blue Dragon
92        1 Ghost
93        1 Spectre
94        1 Wight
95        1 Wraith
96        2 Manticore
97        1d8 Fire Giants plus females and young
98        1d4 NPCs of any lawful evil class or subclass
99        1 Pit Fiend
100      DM's choice

I hope you can get some fun out of this class variant. Feel free to leave any feedback, advice, or criticisms as a comment here. I'm glad to learn and happy to respond to your comments.

William Cord,
Lord of the Stronghold

1 comment:

  1. Why not make this as a Paladin archetype? I first noticed this when you gave them immunity to disease at 1st level while all other paladins do not get that until 3rd.

    It also would make your creation of the Oath much easier, since a bulk of the heavy lifting is done already with the Paladin class. That being done, I appreciate your work and hope you consider making a Paladin Oath for each of the Paladins in the article!