Ruins of Adventure
While crusaders are often associated with war gods, they also represent powers of leadership or strong alignments that are in conflict with opposing forces. Crusaders often organize themselves into a military hierarchy and view their temples are fortifications as well as places of worship. In some cases, the power of the crusader orders can rival the strength of the kindgom that hosts them, a situation that sometimes provokes popular resentment or suspicion. However, no one questions their ability or resolve in times of war.
Base Class Statistics:
- Ability Requirements: Muscle 12, Intuition 9, Leadership 12
- Alignments: Non-Neutral (LG, LN, LE, CG, CN, CE)
- Experience Chart: Warrior
- Hit Dice: d8
- Maximum Hit Dice: 9d8
- Additional Hit Points: +2 per level beyond 9th
- Attack: Warrior
- Paralyzation/Poison/Death: as Priest
- Rods/Staves/Wands: as Priest
- Petrification/Polymorph: as Priest
- Breath Weapon: as Priest
- Spell: as Priest
- Allowed Weapons: Any
- Allowed Armor: Any
Crusaders may use any magical items normally usable by priests or by fighters. In addition, lawful good crusaders gain the same benefits when wielding a holy avenger as does a Paladin (the same holds true for chaotic evil crusaders wielding a dark reaver sword).
While crusaders are formidable soldiers, they also retain a good selection of spells that are particularly useful on the battlefield. Crusaders have major access to the spheres of All, Combat, Guardian, Healing, War, and Wards. They have minor access to the Necromantic, and Protection spheres. In addition, lawful crusaders have major access to the sphere of Law and chaotic crusaders have major access to the sphere of Chaos.
The crusader receives his spells as insight directly from his deity (the deity does not need to make a personal appearance to grant the spells the crusader prays for), as a sign of and reward for his faith, so he must take care not to abuse his power lest it be taken away as punishment (see Edicts and Anathema below). In addition to those spells gained by leveling (see the Table below), the crusader gains a number of bonus spells based on his Intuition score. Bonus spells of a given level are not gained until the crusader could cast at least 1 spell of that spell level normally.
Due to the direct duties performed for his deity, a crusader can cast augury once per week per level. At 5th level, the crusader can cast divination once per week for every five levels. At 7th level, a crusader can cast commune once a week. These are special gifts to keep them on the correct path intended by their gods.
At 3rd level, crusaders gain the granted power to cast lighten load once per day. This spell effectively halves the weight of equipment and gear for a day, reducing the party’s encumberance. At 7th level, the crusader may cast easy march once per week, which basically allows a small party to force march without accumulating fatigue penalties.
When a crusader reaches 8th level, he automatically attracts 20 to 200 fanatical followers. These followers are normal 1st-level fighters armed and equipped with weapons appropriate for a typical soldier in the campaign. Unlike clerics, crusaders do not need to establish a permanent place of worship to attract these followers. Since they are great battle leaders, the soldiers will serve them as free-roving companies if no stronghold is available. At 9th level, a crusader may receive official sanction to establish a religious stronghold or fortified temple.
Edicts and Anathema
Each God in the Realms her their own Edicts and defines certain actions that are Anathema for their Priests. A Priest who acts according to his god’s edicts earns one-and-a-half times the normal number of experience points (150%) from any action associated with enforcing the Edicts.
Contrarily, a Priest who goes against the edicts of his god and performs an action that is Anathema is punished. The gods are pragmatic however, and often allow all but the most corrupt repeat-offenders off with only a series of warnings. Lay followers, are not held to the same high standards as Priests, and are neither punished, nor rewarded, for upholding these tenants.
Each time a Priest performs an action that could be interpreted as Anathema, he immediately loses the highest level spell he has prepared. If he has multiple spells of the same level prepared, the DM will select one at random. Repeat offenses result in further loss of spells.
If the Priest performs an Anathema action when he has no spells prepared (having either cast them all or lost them), he becomes subject to a Ban. A priest under a Ban loses the ability to prepare or cast further spells and to use any of the granted powers of his Religion for the next day (24 hours). If he again performs an Anthema act during this time, the Ban is extended to 1 week. Further violations during the time of the Ban extend the period to 1 month, then 1 season, and finally 1 year.
Changing Religions: A priest who is in good standing with his god is also bound to that god—his soul is not his own, and even should his faith waiver, no other god will accept his service so long as his own god still claims him.
However, a Priest who has been subjected to a Ban due to repeated disobedience is free to seek a new patron. While the Ban is in place, he may seek out a Temple of another god and petition the deity and its clergy to accept him into the fold. This almost always requires some service on the Priest’s part, and proof of his desire to dedicate himself to the new god’s edicts. Once accepted by the new faith, he becomes in all respects as Priest of his new Religion, retaining his present level, but replacing all powers and abilities granted by his old Religion with the new.
If a fifth violation be performed during the Ban (after the ban has reached a year), the Priest is stripped of all powers by his god. He loses ALL experience and benefits of his Priest class (including hit dice, attack bonuses, saving throws, and even proficiencies). He is reduced to 0 experience points and must select a new Class.
A Priest who has been completely stripped of power by his god is shunned by all the gods. None will accept a Priest who has proven himself so absolutely faithless. All prior experience is lost and he must re-train in a new profession.
The sole exception is those gods who are truly antagonistic to each other (such as The Blessed Afflictor and Duvan’Ku). Such gods will accept the worship of those who so flagrantly insult their nemesis. In such cases, the ex-Priest may be accepted as a Priest by the new religion, but must still start his career anew as a 1st-level Priest with 0 experience.