Base Requirements

  • Races: Any
  • Sub-Classes: Paladin
  • Ability Requirements: None
  • Alignments: Lawful Good
  • Starting Cash: By class

Weapon Proficiencies

  • Weapon Slots: By class
  • Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: none
  • Required Weapon Proficiencies: none
  • Allowed Weapons: By class
  • Allowed Armors: By class

Non-Weapon Proficiencies:

  • Non-weapon Slots: By class
  • Available Categories: By class
  • Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Religion, Zeal
  • Required Proficiencies: none
  • Recommended Proficiencies: Alms, Ancient History, Ancient Languages, Artistic Ability, Burial Customs, Ceremony, Endurance, Etiquette, Fasting, Foraging, Healing, Inquisitor, Land-based Riding, Literacy, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Poetry, Prayer, Sacred Legends, Tracking.
  • Forbidden Proficiencies: Bargain, Brewing, Cooking, Dancing, Drinking, Eating, Epicure, Etiquette, Gaming, Grooming, Haggling, Jousting, Looting, Musical Instrument, Pottery, Singing, Winemaking.

Overview: Devoutly religious, Votaries serve as the military branch of their church and consider themselves soldiers of their gods. Their religious discipline imbues them with a clear sense of purpose; promoting the principles of their faith is not only morally correct, but a sacred duty.

A Votary must be a member of an organized religion. Usually, the church elders raise and train the Votary from childhood. Votaries consider devotees of “false” religions as the epitome of evil. Additionally, Votaries follow an unusually strict ethos that includes vows of poverty and chastity.

Description: The Votary maintains an ascetic, ordered life. She owns few personal possessions, avoids strong drink, and even declines to eat heavily seasoned food. She disapproves of gaming, dancing, and other entertainment as childish distractions. Concern for personal grooming is a distasteful affectation. Some votaries leave their hair uncombed and beards shaggy “as the deity intended,” devoting only as much effort to personal hygiene as necessary for good health and minimal courtesy. Whereas a Votary is as susceptible to courtly love as any other paladin, she would never consider approaching the person she desires; her passion would likely manifest as guilt and shame.

A Votary displays the holy symbol of her church only on her shield. She never carries a flag or banner except on official business, nor will she attach her symbol to her armor, mount barding, or other possessions; she considers such displays gaudy and vulgar.

Role-Playing: Votaries were originally responsible for accompanying disciples of the church on religious pilgrimages, fighting off bandits and monsters that lay in wait. In time, church elders decided that all evils were potential threats to their disciples, and sent Votaries into the world to eliminate them. To a Votary, evil is an affront to his faith; destroying an agent of evil is a holy act.

The typical Votary is grim, self-obsessed, and quick to judge. She believes her church is the only true one and is suspicious of all other religions. She behaves with stony civility to priests of other lawful faiths and open skepticism to priests of neutral faiths. Followers of evil faiths, she believes fervently, deserve nothing less than death.

Though the Votary becomes a raging avenger when confronting evil, he is otherwise thoughtful and compassionate. He sees himself as an advocate of the common man, a source of solace to the downtrodden and disadvantaged. A Votary may insist that the party share its treasure with destitute families and impoverished communities. He may offer temporary employment to a pauper too proud to accept charity. He conducts impromptu prayer services in makeshift chapels, and officiates at the christenings and burials of peasants. Many commoners admire the Votary for her dedication and discipline, but some see her as an intimidating, even frightening, fanatic. Her humorless outlook and self-righteousness attitude tend to discourage close friendships.

Special Abilities:

  • Because of their more focused religious training, a Votary gains some powers normally reserved for Clerics of their chosen Religion. Each Votary may choose any one special ability normally granted to Clerics of their faith, save for the ability to Turn or Command undead.
  • Unlike other Paladins, the Votary’s vow of non-violence is not absolute. When faced with a priest or agent of an Enemy Faith (as defined by his choice of Religion), the Votary is free to use lethal force, without the normal repercussions. In addition, because of his vociferous hatred of these enemy religions, the Votary earn a +4 bonus to her attack rolls when fighting such enemies.
    The Votary must recognize and accurately identify the priests and agents of the hated faith(s) in order to receive the bonus, identifying them by symbols, gestures, garb, or rituals. This usually requires a successful Religion check. Only vested agents of the faith (including any Clerics, Crusaders, Druids, Monks, Mystics, Paladins, Rangers, or Shamans), or Divine Minions or Avatars of the enemy god may be targeted in this way, regardless of the target’s alignment. Lay worshipers must still be spared from violence in hopes that they may be reeducated and redeemed.
  • If a Votary chooses to build a stronghold, it must be a monastery or other religious edifice. At 12th level, if the Votary has faithfully served his church and has never committed a serious ethos violation, the Votary receives official sanction from the church to build such a stronghold. The church contributes resources and labor to reduce construction costs to half the normal price.
  • In addition to the Divination, Healing, Law and Protective spheres, a Votary may also learn spells from one of the following spheres: Charm, Guardian, Sun, or Wards. He chooses this sphere at 1st level; once chosen, the extra sphere never changes. The extra sphere has no effect on the number or level of spells he can learn.
  • Because of her intense devotion to his deity, the Votary has more spells than other paladins and learns them when she reaches 4th level. He can also cast spells of up to 5th level, according to the Table below.
Votary Priest Spells
Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
4 1
5 2
6 2 1
7 3 1
8 3 2
9 4 2 1
10 4 3 1
11 4 3 2
12 4 4 2 1
13 4 4 3 1
14 4 4 3 2
15 4 4 4 2 1
16 4 4 4 3 1
17 4 4 4 3 2
18 4 4 4 4 2
19 4 4 4 4 3
20 4 4 4 4 3

Special Disadvantages:

  • A Votary must donate 20% of all income to his church. Additionally, his church requires a minimum monthly contribution, usually 1 gp per level (as determined by the DM). Therefore, every month he must donate either 20% of his income or his minimum contribution, whichever is greater. Failure to do so is considered an ethos violation of his tithing stricture.
  • A Votary must meditate for one full hour every day to cleanse his spirit, preferably when he rises or just before he goes to sleep. If he is interrupted or distracted for more than two consecutive rounds, he must start over. A Votary who neglects to meditate cannot cast spells the following day.
  • A Votary displays obvious enmity toward priests of other faiths. Lawful or Good priests of faiths other than the Votary’s suffer a –2 penalty to their reaction rolls; their reaction can be no better than Indifferent. Neutral priests suffer a –4 penalty; their reaction can be no better than Cautious. Evil priests are always hostile.
  • In addition to the normal strictures a Paladin obeys, the Votary must incorporate a vow of celibacy into her ethos.

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