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Corinth, Lovis Porträt des Rudolf Rittner als »Florian Geyer« (I. Fassung) Year 1906, Martyr
Corinth, Lovis Porträt des Rudolf Rittner als »Florian Geyer« (I. Fassung) Year 1906

The Quintessential Paladin

Author Alejandro Melchor

Series Quintessential Series

Publisher Mongoose Publishing

Publish date 2002

Paladins are loath to let other people suffer if there is anything in their power to prevent it. Some take this devotion to the extreme, shouldering the pain of others literally and placing themselves in mortal danger for the sake of their fellows. Martyrs are prepared to suffer, and many would assume they have a masochistic streak if it were not for the fact that martyrs are not suffering aimlessly, and do not put themselves in positions where their wounds will not help someone else. Martyrs without a cause are simply corpses waiting for the final blow. Martyrdom is not an easy road to take, and it usually ends with death, but while warriors think that falling in battle is the only honourable way to go, martyrs believe that dying for the sake of others gives their entire life meaning.

Paladins are inclined to surrender their life and well being to defend the innocent, and martyrdom is almost second-nature to them, but members of other classes with enough selflessness may follow the martyr’s path as well. Classes that focus on combat are very well served with the martyr’s abilities, but they must be prepared to surrender their lives in each combat.

Hit Die: d12.


Alignment: Lawful Good.
Skills: Heal 7+ ranks.
Feats: Endurance, Great Fortitude.

Class Skills

The martyr’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Strength), Concentration (Constitution), Craft (Intelligence), Diplomacy (Charisma), Heal (Wisdom), Intimidation (Charisma), Profession (Wisdom), Swim (Strength) and Ride (Dexterity)(Dexterity).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Intelligence modifier.

The Martyr
LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial
1+1+2+0+2Take the Pain
3+3+3+1+3Motivating Sacrifice
4+4+4+1+4Pain is My Strength
5+5+4+1+4Last Stand

Class Features

Armour and Weapon Proficiency: Martyrs are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armour nor with shields.

Take the Pain (Su): The martyr does not suffer for others in name only. At the beginning of his turn, he can designate a creature within a range of 5 feet plus another 5 feet per Wisdom modifier and he will take all hit point and subdual damage inflicted to that creature from melee or ranged weapon attacks (only) as if he were receiving the blow. The target creature suffers no damage from this. A martyr who shields another character in this manner must be able to move to the shielded character (being subject to attacks of opportunity as normal). The martyr may designate a different target each round.

Hardened (Ex): By exposing himself to damage continually, the martyr has grown tougher. He gains a damage reduction rating of 0 plus Wisdom modifier. This damage resistance works as per the class ability of the barbarian, each nonmagical attack, regardless of its enhancement bonus, is subject to the martyr’s damage resistance.

Motivating Sacrifice (Su): The martyr is ready to lay down his life if that means his companions will stand a better chance of defeating some evil. Once per month, he can stride forth into battle and make his sacrifice worth something. For every 10 hit points he loses in an encounter after activating this ability, every one of his companions receives a +1 morale bonus to initiative, attack and damage rolls. This effect lasts until all enemies have been killed, surrendered or fled and, if the martyr should fall in battle, his companions receive an additional +2 morale bonus as above.

Pain is My Strength (Ex): The more a martyr is wounded, the more he fights on. Whenever he takes hit point damage he may opt to convert it to temporary Constitution damage instead of subtracting it from his current hit points at the rate of 5 hit points for one Constitution point. His hit points are not lowered by the Constitution loss until after the encounter ends. For every two Constitution points he loses in this way, he gains a +1 morale bonus to attack and damage rolls, and to all saves. If this damage would cause his Constitution to drop to 0 or less, he dies. The martyr’s Constitution recovers at a rate of 1/day as with normal temporary ability score loss. The martyr may not divide the damage received between his hit points and his Constitution, either all damage received is converted to Constitution loss or none is.

Last Stand (Su): The martyr stands tall and surrenders his life in a final blaze of glory. Not only can he remain conscious and active after being reduced below 0 hit points, but for each point he is below 0, he gains a +2 morale bonus to attack and damage rolls, with a maximum of +20 and a +1 morale bonus to all saves, with a maximum of +10. For example, if he is reduced to -4, he gains a +8 bonus to hit and attack rolls, and +4 to all saves. Furthermore, his death threshold is equal to -10 minus his total martyr class level minus his Constitution or Wisdom modifier (whatever is greater). For example, a 10th level paladin / 5th level martyr with 16 (+3) Wisdom would not drop dead until reduced to -18. The martyr can choose not to use this ability if he is rendered unconscious by being reduced to below 0 hit points as, once he does, he will immediately die after the encounter ends or he is reduced below his enhanced death threshold. He will have achieved the maximum glory and ascends to the higher planes, with absolutely no chance to return from the dead by any means. Even divine intervention fails, for the deity wants to keep such a hero at his side.

Multiclass Note: paladins can gain levels in the martyr class and still be able to advance as paladins.

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