The Paladin is a holy warrior par excellence, dedicated to the service of one of the gods.
Paladins have specialized Leadership knowledge, and gain a bonus of half their Paladin level to relevant rolls.
Paladins are able to detect the presence of persons or creatures whose purposes stand in opposition to their god’s goals up to 60 feet away. They must be actively concentrating to use this power, but it is merely a standard action. In addition, Paladins radiate a zone of protection from them. Creatures opposed to the Paladin’s deity must roll over [20 – Creature Level + Paladin Level + Paladin Charisma Bonus] in order to engage the Paladin if they are not already in combat with him.
Paladins possess an immunity to all nonmagical diseases and poisons, and receive a +10 bonus to saving throws against magical effects of those natures. Against extraordinary poisons which do not receive any saving throws, Paladins may still apply their ordinary saving throw without penalties. Additionally, Paladins are able to cure any disease a number times equal to his Paladin level divided by five, rounded up (1 at level 1, 2 at level 6, etc.)
Paladins are able to directly heal themselves or others using their Lay on Hands ability. This power may be used once per day, and restores a number of hit points equal to twice the Paladin’s experience level.
Only Paladins are able to unleash the full potential of holy artifacts that are aligned to their deity. When employing holy artifacts, Paladins receive a +2 bonus to all rolls made with the artifact, above its other bonuses, including damage rolls. Certain artifacts may have other powers that are also restricted to appropriately-aligned Paladins.
At 4th level, Paladins are able to enter into a holy quest for their Bonded Mount. This creature is an enhanced version of an ordinary riding animal appropriate to the deity the Paladin serves. This creature will appear to the Paladin in a dream, after which point he will have one month to quest after and claim it. If this quest is unsuccessful, the Paladin will have to wait another year before another quest is offered to him.
At 11th level, Paladins are able to cast Paladin spells, as described in the D&D3.5 Player’s Handbook. They follow the spell progression rules as other character classes do.
Paladins begin the game with 3 weapon proficiencies and are able to learn a new weapon every 3 levels. Paladins may use any weapon, but prefer direct engagement to ranged weapons, and will typically have a lance for fighting from the back of a riding animal. The THAC0 of a Paladin, like that of Fighters and Rangers, decreases by 1 every level. Paladins use a d10 for hit dice.
Code of Honor
Paladins are required to follow a strict code of honor to counterbalance the significant powers they are afforded by their god. This code is modeled after the historical Bushido code of Japan. Failure to adhere to the code of honor results in the Paladin having to perform penance, and egregious violations can cause his deity to strip him of his powers.
Paladins are also required to pay a 10% tithe on all incomes received immediately upon coming into contact with a representative of their deity. If the Paladin is far from civilization, he is expected to offer sacrifices of equivalent value to his deity at least once per season.
In line with the tithing requirement, Paladins are expected to retain only the wealth which is necessary for their present duties and offer the rest of their income charitably. For this reason Paladins are also limited to only 10 magical items: 1 suit of armor, 1 shield, 4 weapons, and 4 other items.