I'm thinking it might be interesting to play a character who started out in life wanting to be a paladin, trained enough to get there at level 1, but fell immediately, because they have a problem with rules. So 1 level of ex-paladin with probably a CG alignment, followed by subsequent levels of other classes.
A single level fighter dip is actually a popular option for some builds, for the armor and weapon proficiencies, along with a bonus combat feat. Paladins get the same armor and weapons, other than tower shields. Paladins don't get the bonus combat feat, but they do get +2 on will saves that fighters don't get, which is the equivalent of the Iron Will feat. So mechanically, a single level of ex-paladin is the same as a single level of fighter, with Iron Will as your bonus feat, no tower shields, and different class skills.
But what to do with the PC after level 1? What class would actually get something useful from that +1 BAB, and armor and weapon proficiencies they might not normally get, so this isn't just a wasted level?
I'm thinking stuff like rogues and ninjas, which could use the extra weapons, or a cleric benefiting from the heavy armor proficiency. But I've already got enough of those, so I'm looking at maybe some of the newer classes that I haven't played. Maybe the hybrids in ACG, or the occult classes. Maybe even vigilante, which I've barely looked at, and have no idea how it works.
There's an odd thought - vigilantes get two alignments, right? What if one of them is LG, and they're multi-classed as a paladin? I guess lying about your identity would violate any paladin code, so it would still be an ex-paladin.
Anyone have any suggestions?
This would be for Pathfinder Society, so Paizo sources only, PFS legal, etc.
I like bloodragers for this. I enjoy a celestial blooded bloodrager that "Smites" evil ie (rages and attacks). They also have similar stat requirements.
Going fighter makes sense. Continuing the martial training but leaving the godly life.
Caviliers are almost spell less palidins. Get the mount challange it would be a natural change for a fallen palidine.
Do fallen paladins still have access to wands and such?
That's an excellent question, which I hadn't even considered. Just looked it up in the Core Rulebook (bolding mine):
A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features (including the service of the paladin's mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She may not progress any further in levels as a paladin. She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (see the atonement spell description in Spell Lists), as appropriate.
Since the word "spells" is included there, I'm thinking they don't have the paladin spell list, so they'd have to treat all wands and scrolls as if they're not on their list.
- Rangers or Slayers can take Divine Combat styles. Perhaps this could tie up to the characters original deity?
Slayer studied target could also be kind of like a Smite. Access to Bluff as a class skill might even open up the idea of him trying to convince people he is a Paladin (Cavalier works here as well)
I am currently trying to play a Gilderoy Lockhart / Flashman / Jamie Lannister inspired character (Cockatrice Cavalier) whose thing is to try and claim he is a Paladin despite being very far from it.
- There is also an archetype for Gray Paladin where you have a weaker divine connection but less restrictive code (can be LG, LN and NG). Have you seen this?
I made another post where I was querying whether it was a little on the weak side (especially at Level 1). But the way you have pitched a level 1 ex-paladin as a fighter with iron will suggests I was potentially wrong.
- Cavalier would have to depend on the Code you follow. Some codes are quite similar to a Paladin's (Order of the Sword I think is about adhering to to an alignment
- Warpriest or Inquisitor would also be very very interesting pathways - especially if you stayed with the same deity as you were originally a paladin of. Will give you a very interesting relationship with the church.
- There are some archetypes that can fit - Sanctified Rogue, Divine Tacker (Ranger)
It is an interesting base idea for a character
I have realised that your actual brief was benefiting from the BAB and proficiencies. In which case you should ignore my full BAB suggestions and consider Inquisitor or Warpriest (probably the most characterful options anyway)
(My brother is currently playing and inquisitor with a fighter level to benefit from the armour, bab (and feat of course))