Faking a paladin-- extra tips / advice / tricks?


Advice

Liberty's Edge

I'm going about making a character that is posing as a Paladin. The basic idea is that he forsook his vows and lost his Paladin abilities but is trying to stay true to his former church/cause. So what I need is help making a non-Paladin as good a fake as I can.

Some restrictions:
Cannot have levels as a cleric, oracle, or inquisitor. The idea is that his church, god, etc. have abandoned him so I don't want his character to have that kind of direct divine help.

What I've got so far:
I bounced around lots of ideas for how to best mimic the paladin abilities (e.g. Monk of the Healing hand for lay on hands, or some type of rogue with UMD to mimic divine spells with wands/scrolls). What I eventually settled on was a Cavalier, Order of the Tome. Aside from fitting pretty well flavor-wise this gives some very rough equivalences that I can roleplay to make look like some of the Paladin's more outwardly obvious abilities--
Smite Evil = Challenge
Divine Bond (Mount) = Cavalier Mount
Divine Spells = Powerful Knowledge ability
Lay on Hands = Cure Light wounds scrolls in a spring-loaded wrist sheath
Ally Buffing special abilities = Tactician

What can you add? Best ways to mask my fake divine spells? Any cool way to mimic channel positive energy (if not, I can always pretend I took the Oath of Vengeance)? Particular feats I should consider? I'll take anything that will make this guy more convincing.


You don't need rogue for UMD you can take the dangerously curious trait to get it as a class skill. The cosmopolitan feat works as well. Skill focus: UMD is another option.

Also it may or may interest you but you might check out the low templar prestige class: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/prestige-classes/other-paizo/i-m/low-templa r


Bard,he can do everything. Have his performance be an oratory sermon.

Scarab Sages

Though it's not optimized, you could take levels as Ranger to get divine spells without actually receiving them from a diety. That way, the people would see you casting actual spells, and you could limit your choices to those that a Paladin would have. Since you may not want to take many Ranger levels, you can claim to have a low Charisma and therefore are limited on your spell levels. Or you could just claim to be multi-classed, which everyone knows would lower the available spell levels so you aren't questioned on it much. Ranger would also give you more skill points to throw into UMD. Other than that, I'd just claim an arcetype that doesn't allow the abilities you can't get. Bard and Witch also allow for casting healing spells, though neither is going to solve the ASF problem for someone wearing heavy armor.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Ranger sounds like a better fit.

Silver Crusade

Ranger going into the good version of the Low Templar Prestige class seems the best to me

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The Adept Channel feat could help.


The Shining Wayfinder is a wayfinder that can have the needle point to the nearest evil thing.

Sczarni

I think I like the bard and the cavalier ideas the best. The cavalier gives you the mount, the "smite evil", and the tactician ability, while the bard levels would give you Charisma-casting, cure spells, and some illusion spells to further help you appear to be a Paladin (and Bluff and UMD as class skills). You would also qualify for Arcane Strike, which would help you create the impression of Smite Evil.

Plus, then you apply for the Battle Herald prestige class, which seems like something a Paladin could do.

Liberty's Edge

Thanks for the tips. At this point, I'm still leaning toward Cavalier for the Powerful Knowledge ability. This will let me cast around the same level spells as a Paladin and also goes with the flavor of getting the same (divine) spells without actually having any innate casting ability. Having a fancy mount makes it even more convincing. I thought about bard earlier too and my main concerns are arcane spell failure and the fact that he won't have the offensive moxy that a Cavalier/fake paladin should have. Still, I might splash in a level or few for the bardic performance.


Think about going into Chevalier

It is a 3 level pathfinder prestige class:

http://www.pathfindersrd.com/classes/prestige-classes/other-paizo/c-d/cheva lier

You can be any good. Need Diplo +1 Know local +1
And a Base Attack +6

You get Aura of Courage as paladin
recklessness (Better in first round of combat)
a Charge ability
A Will save ability
Poison Immune
AND Smite Evil 1/Day

This smite is not based on class level but on overall character level.

Add this to cavalier abilities and it fits very nicely. I am not sure of the challenge and smite stack. Anyone know? If they did you could have a smite evil/challenge that added Your cavalier level to damage and your overall character level to damage. Thus a Cavalier 6th and Chevalier 3rd would do an attack that had your charisma to attack and +15 to damage.

Also why not a bLue Rose order? That seems like the best options for a paladin-esque character.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

If I were going with this character concept, I'd go the "quixotic knight" route. Instead of deliberately faking it by knowingly taking powers and odd class abilities that mimic paladin abilities, I would play it that he just really believes that he's a paladin, and role-play it. In other words, I'd try to pull off being a paladin through "fluff" instead of "crunch."

Just by presenting as a paladin with confidence, he'd convince most common folk that he was what he claimed to be. NPCs of sufficient experience would know, of course, but if the PC was sincere in his beliefs, then they'd encourage, humor, and/or take advantage of the character as you see fit.

I'd go with a basic fighter "sword and board" build, but not use Charisma as a dump stat. (If you need to dump a stat, use Wisdom. That would play off the "delusional" angle.) Pick feats that have a similar feel to paladin abilities, even if they don't duplicate them outright. Like Skill Focus: Heal for lay on hands; or Iron Will for of Aura of Courage; or Power Attack in lieu of Smite Evil. As for detecting evil-- Hey-- you just know that guy's evil! Smite him! [Power attack!]

This would not be an optimized character by any account: you'd be deliberately creating an ersatz quixotic paladin, so you'd need to make up for it by role-playing it to the hilt. You could really have a lot of fun with such a character. Think Don Quixote, the archetype of this concept.

I actually played a quixotic knight like that once, many years ago (AD&D 2nd ed). I had wanted to play a paladin very much, but I rolled poorly at character generation, and didn't meet the stat requirements for the class. So, I made "Sir Lioncourt" a fighter instead, who sincerely thought he was a paladin. He would declare that he was "detecting evil," and he honestly thought that he could smell it. He would "smite evil" by shouting, "Evil! I smite thee!" and would charge in swinging his sword. He would "lay on hands" by using the Heal secondary skill and handing out potions of healing. I played it so well for so long that the DM gave me a bonus on saving throws against fear, just because of his personality. And he did have a heavy warhorse, but it wasn't a special mount. At the same time, he really believed in the cause of Lawful Goodness, and was righteous, virtuous, and noble without being a jerk about it. It was a really fun character to play.


From an RP perspective, Here's an idea, learn an obscure language that's very uncommon, then "pray" to your god, or issue religious advice in this obscure tongue no one understands then nod knowingly when someone asks what you just said, tap your nose, and mutter something about understanding when the time is right. Could be some nice flavour :)

Fake Paladin: "Om hig, tar uk ta sazu mehajan"
Party Member 1: Huh?
FP: I was communing with celestial beings, you wouldn't understand.
Party Member 2: "Was it anything useful?"
FP: "Torag blesses us, we will persever"
**use prestidigitation or minor image to make some lights shimmer around you**
FP: "Onward to victory!"


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the OP is looking for another class that can do the exact same thing, I think what he's looking for are things that aren't exactly the same, but can be used to convince people they are. For example, he's not looking for another class that would give him Detect Evil, he's looking for things like:

BigNorseWolf wrote:
The Shining Wayfinder is a wayfinder that can have the needle point to the nearest evil thing.

That he could use to convince people he has Detect Evil. I think part of the flavor of this character is the possibility of being exposed. If you have Detect Evil exactly like a Paladin, there's no way for anyone to know it's not a Paladin ability... Or I've completely misread the character, in which case, carry on.


the sorcerer bloodline feats can help too.

namely the celestial bloodline feat. it allows for an ability that can mimick smite evil and lay on hands.

Liberty's Edge

Jodokai wrote:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the OP is looking for another class that can do the exact same thing, I think what he's looking for are things that aren't exactly the same, but can be used to convince people they are. For example, he's not looking for another class that would give him Detect Evil, he's looking for things like:

BigNorseWolf wrote:
The Shining Wayfinder is a wayfinder that can have the needle point to the nearest evil thing.
That he could use to convince people he has Detect Evil. I think part of the flavor of this character is the possibility of being exposed. If you have Detect Evil exactly like a Paladin, there's no way for anyone to know it's not a Paladin ability... Or I've completely misread the character, in which case, carry on.

Precisely! Thanks. Though there have been some good suggestions so far.

But yes, you hit the nail on the head with your assessment of the character. That's one reason i'm really drawn to the Cavalier-- with the Powerful Knowledge ability, he'd be using scrolls to cast divine "paladin" spells, but he'd have to do it on the sly; with the Cavalier mount, he'd have a "divine bond" mount that was really just a very well trained horse; etc.


feat: Godless Healing

Liberty's Edge

Glutton wrote:
feat: Godless Healing

ooh, good call. I even knew about that one already-- don't know why i didn't think of it for this character. It'd be nicer if I could use it on other people, but the flavor fits perfectly.

Liberty's Edge

My fantastic GM just pointed out False Casting from the ISWG to me, and it's darn perfect for this. Would be a win for my cavalier scroll-faker. (hmm, new archetype anyone? The Scroll-Faker. hehe.)

False Casting:
When using a magic item, you can trick onlookers into thinking you used spellcasting instead.
Prerequisites: Magical Aptitude, Bluff 1 rank, Sleight of Hand 1 rank.
Benefit: When you use a magic item or a spelllike ability to create a magical effect, you may add additional magic-seeming words and hand gestures to trick onlookers into believing you cast the spell yourself. If using an item that is recognizable as a magical implement (such as a wand or ring), you can trick viewers into thinking you are just using the item as a focus component. Onlookers who have no ranks in Spellcraft have no knowledge of what is genuine spellcasting, and automatically believe you are casting a spell. If an onlooker attempts a Spellcraft check to identify your “casting,” his check is opposed by your Bluff check. If he succeeds, he realizes the deception. If he fails, he believes you cast the spell. Regardless of the result of that opposed check, he uses the result of that Spellcraft check to identify the “spell” you cast, except the DC is 20 + the spell’s level instead of 15 + the spell’s level.

Liberty's Edge

was also just notified that monster races are allowed. If anything can make a convincing fake paladin, an Aasimar can.


If you plan to get False Casting and Godless Healing, that is 3 feats already (you need magical aptitude with False Casting). If you are not starting at a higher level, I doubt you can make it work with anything but human.

Liberty's Edge

Gignere wrote:
If you plan to get False Casting and Godless Healing, that is 3 feats already (you need magical aptitude with False Casting). If you are not starting at a higher level, I doubt you can make it work with anything but human.

Since this is just a one-shot to build backstory for a different campaign, we're starting at level 13. Still, I'm probably going to skip Godless Healing. Awesome for the flavor, but ultimately might not be worth a whole feat. I'll see how many I have left when I get the other stuff I need plugged in.


Consider eldritch heritage for the Celestrial bloodline Heavenly Fire ability. Heals good, harms evil. There is your 'Lay on Hands' ability.

Liberty's Edge

Hey, how much does a Shining Wayfinder cost? I couldn't find it anywhere.

Liberty's Edge

Hawktitan wrote:
Consider eldritch heritage for the Celestrial bloodline Heavenly Fire ability. Heals good, harms evil. There is your 'Lay on Hands' ability.

That's perfect. Before I was going to have to use scrolls while trying to keep them hidden, but this works better since Heavenly Fire isn't a spell, so I can make it look just like a Lay on Hands. Good call.

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