Crusader

Ability Requirements: 13 Strength, 12 Wisdom, 15 Charisma.
Prime Requisite: Strength.
Secondary Requisite: Wisdom.
Hit Die: d10 per level until 10th, +3 HP from 11th level on.
Alignment: Lawful Neutral.
Allowed Races: Murian, Amurian, New Elf, Half-Elf.
To-hit Progression (Thac0): As Warrior.
Experience Progression: XPro Chart 5.
Saving Throws: As Warrior.

Like a paladin, a crusader is a holy warrior but that is where their similarities end. Crusaders are a caste of professional, mounted warriors who serve the Holy Orders as military leaders on windswept battlefields of the crusades. In exchange for their services, the church provides them with the finest armor, horses and weaponry it can afford. But a crusader is a religious fanatic and will follow the orders of its superiors to the letter. Time and the practice of war forge crusaders into men of great bearing and powerful demeanor.

In times of peace after a crusade is declared at an end, crusaders do not lose their powers and abilities. Many crusaders are knights of an order and so return to them. Others might be noble knights or household knights and so return to their comfortable positions in service to their liege-lord. A group of crusaders might form a fraternity specializing in the protection of something (like an area, item, or group of people). Others might band together to seek knowledge, or protect knowledge from slipping into the wrong hands. Still others might form mercenary groups (though such groups must be lawful and non-evil in outlook). But most times, a non-noble crusader who held no other allegiance before a crusade will become knight errant and depending on the manner of a crusade’s end, might not feel it is time to retire.

A knight errant is a wanderer who is still constant and unyielding in upholding the codes of conduct and honor dictated by the church. He still maintains his purpose though the church’s crusade is over and it no longer provides for him. So, he provides for himself in the manner he has become accustomed. Thus though they are often mistaken for nobles, knights errant are not of noble birth. Instead they are mercenaries, scholars in the vocation of war whose library is a battlefield and whose dearest companion is death. They are virtually fearless men who prefer honorable deaths to cowardly lives.

To become a crusader, one must swear an oath to uphold the virtues and code of honor the Holy Orders expects from members of its crusade army. To maintain his honor, powers, rank and standing in a time of war or peace, crusaders must exemplify the values and maintain adherence to the code. These virtues and the code are what set crusaders apart from the basic warrior. The virtues are as follows: Bravery, Courtesy, Glory, Faith, Honor, Temperance, Pride, and Generosity. The code of honor fills many large dusty volumes but may be summed up as follows:

Noble service to the church, dutifully rendered
Fearless defense of any charge unto death
Courage in obedience to and faith in the church
Respect for all peers and equals
Honor and obedience to all above your station
Demand such from all beneath your station
Military prowess exercised in service to the church
Courtesy to all ladies (if the crusader is male)
War is the flowering of chivalry
Battle is a test of worthiness
Combat is glory
Honorable combat against honorable foes.
Personal glory above all else in battle
Scorn for those who do not revere the gods.
Death to heretics
Death before dishonor
Dishonor with vengeance

In enforcing this code, the GM may reduce or eliminate any XP gained, if in gaining it the crusader violated the spirit or letter of the code (even if this was done out of necessity). In this case the crusader might also lose their special abilities. A crusader whose alignment becomes non-lawful inadvertently also loses all his special powers. In a time of war a crusader can regain a proper alignment and atone for his alignment switch and/or violations of the code, and may regain the status and powers that were once theirs. But in times of peace such losses are normally permanent.

A crusader, who regularly forswears oaths, exhibits disloyalty, shows cowardice, or otherwise flaunts disregard for the code shows himself to be a knave (a fallen crusader). Similarly, a crusader is shown a knave if he purposefully changes to a non-lawful alignment. If a crusader should ever willingly (and knowingly) consort with or further the aims of heretics or a heretical religion, he loses his crusader status and abilities immediately. In these cases he has irrevocably lost the benefits, status, and abilities of the class and is ever after a Basic Warrior or applicable knight (and may lose the knight class as well).

When a crusader reverts to a basic warrior (or knight class) his level remains unchanged and his experience point totals are adjusted accordingly. To atone a crusader must seek a high-level (at least 7th level or at least 2 levels higher than the crusader, whichever is higher) Holy Orders Priest of lawful neutral (or lawful good) alignment, confess his sins, and do penance as prescribed by the cleric. This penance will undoubtedly require completion of some dangerous quest or important mission to once again prove his worth and assuage his own guilt. He gains no experience prior to or during the course of this mission, and regains his standing as a crusader only upon completing the quest.

During a crusade any crusader can expect hospitality from any other crusader, noble and those they are charged to defend. This includes lodging for the crusader and his entourage, and stabling for his horse or horses. As guests they must be given accommodations and sustenance without expectation of monetary recompense or material redress. The crusader, however, is expected to return such courtesy and hospitality in kind, even to an enemy. When in their own lands and allied territories crusaders are never expected to relinquish their weapons, except under terms of peace, surrender or disgrace, and may not be detained or delayed in carrying out their duties. Crusaders, while in their homeland, have the right to settle accusations against them and defend their reputation through duels of honor. Any and all of these privileges may be revoked if the crusader has acted in an unseemly manner or has abused the rules of hospitality. If a crusader is in an allied land (rather than his homeland) he has to make a persuasion (charisma) check to claim this right and, if in neutral lands, the check will have a negative moderator. Additionally, in times of peace a crusader will have to make a check to claim the right of hospitality form anyone other than a fellow crusader.

The crusader’s Prime Requisite is Strength and every crusader must have a minimum score of 11. High Strength also gives the fighter a better chance to hit an opponent and enables him to cause more damage making him a true expert with weapons. A crusader who has both Strength and Wisdom scores (his prime requisites) of 16 or more gains a 10% bonus to the experience points he earns.
The benefits of the crusader class are as follows:

Crusader Hit Dice: Due to a hard life of training and weapon drills crusaders roll 10 sided dice (d10) for hit points until level 10. At level 11 and above crusaders gain 3 hit points per level.

Allowed Weapons: Crusaders can use any weapon but they prefer the use of certain weapons above all others. A crusader’s favorite weapon is always a sword which can be either a bastard sword, long sword or broad sword. They must gain proficiency in one of these swords before any other weapon. In addition they prefer the following weapons; battleaxe, flail (any), mace (any), Lance (any), pick (any), long spear, warhammer and the remaining two swords. They must gain proficiency in all of these weapons before they may learn any other. A new elf crusader may add long or short bow to his list of preferred weapons. Excepting elves, Crusaders do not usually employ bows. Normally bows are used only for hunting or during sieges.

Armor and Shields: To a crusader, armor is a much as badge of honor as it is a means of protection. So while they may wear any armor, they will always seek to possess the very best and finest-quality armor they can afford to own. Engraving, inlaying, and decoration of the armor will always be sought when it can be afforded. Plate armor is the crusader’s first choice; other preferences ranking beneath that are (in order of desirability) plate mail, banded or splint mail, chain mail, scale mail, and ring mail. Crusaders feel that leather, studded leather, and padded armor are the dress of thieves and peasants and will not wear these armor types if superior armor is available, though it is common practice for them to hunt in these lesser armors. The list of preferences applies even in the case of magical armor, so that chain mail +2 will not be worn if banded or splint mail of normal sort is available. Crusaders may only learn to use shields that they can employ while mounted and thus may only use shields up to the large shield (not full body or tower shields).

Regardless of the armor they wear, they will always wear a tabard over their armor. This tabard must be made of the finest material they can afford (after the cost of their armor) and must prominently display the sigil of the Chronis religion (though it may also display sigils of any knightly order or great house they serve). Their shield must also display the religious sigil.

Proficiencies: When being created crusaders gain; 4 Weapon Proficiencies and 3 Non-weapon Proficiencies. Additionally, they gain 1 Weapon Proficiency every 3 levels and 1 Non-Weapon Proficiency every 4 levels.

Crusaders may take proficiencies from the warrior, priest and general lists with having to pay a pay a penalty for taking cross class abilities. There are a few Tactics proficiencies listed on the Weapon Proficiencies LP. Crusaders may use their weapon proficiencies to acquire these abilities.

The training of a Crusader brings with it years of religious study. As champions of their faith, Crusaders gain the Religion non-weapon proficiency for free when they are being created. They also spend years learning the art of mounted combat and so begin play with the Animal Handling: Horses and Land-based Riding non-weapon proficiencies.

Magic Item Use: While crusaders cannot cast magical spells, they can use many magical items, including potions, protection scrolls, most rings, most miscellaneous items, and all forms of enchanted armor, weapons, and shields. They can use any magic item allowed for fighters and priests (unless the item trigger on the ability to cast priest spells, because they cannot).

Weapon Style Proficiency and Specialization: When being created, crusaders are Proficient in only the following Basic Fighting Styles (two handed weapon, weapon and shield, single hand single weapon, thrown missile/sling, and bow missile). They may also use Weapon Proficiencies to specialize in any of those Weapon Styles.

Unarmed Fighting Styles: When being created, all crusaders are Proficient in the basic unarmed fighting styles: Boxing and Wrestling. They are allowed to use their Weapon Proficiencies to specialize in Unarmed Fighting Styles. There are several specialized unarmed fighting styles that are only available to starting heroes from only certain geographical areas. Crusaders can later become Proficient and Specialize in these styles if they can locate a proper tutor.

Weapon Specialization: Weapon specialization enables the crusader to use a particular weapon with exceptional skill, improving his chances to hit and cause damage with that weapon (note* crusader characters are not required to specialize in a weapon; the choice is up to the player). In addition to gaining attack and damage bonuses with specialized weapons, a crusader using his specialized weapon gains additional attacks per round.

If your crusader is going to specialize in a weapon you must simply choose a weapon with which to specialize. The crusader must first be proficient in the use of the weapon (you must spend 1 weapon proficiency slot) and must then spend another slot (a total of 2) to become specialized. This weapon, once chosen, cannot be changed. A crusader may not specialize in an additional weapon at 11th level like a basic warrior.

Multiple Attacks: Crusaders gain the ability to make additional attacks per round. At levels 1-6 Crusaders are limited to making 1 attack each round with weapons they are proficient in (or 3 every 2 rounds with a specialized weapon). At levels 7-12 proficient crusaders may make 3 attacks every 2 rounds (or 2 attacks every round when specialized). At level 13-18 proficient crusaders may make 2 attacks per round (or 5 every 2 rounds if specialized). Finally, at level 19 and beyond, crusaders are able to make 5 attacks every 2 rounds (or 3 attacks per round if specialized) These figures are compounded with any additional attacks gained Mastery.

A partial additional attack (e.g. 3/2 attacks) means that an extra attack is taken on even-numbered rounds in the combat sequence (i.e. one attack on the first round, two on the second, one on the third, two on the fourth and so on).

Level Attacks/Round Level Attacks/Round
1-6 1/round 13-18 2/round
7-12 3/2 rounds 19+ 5/2 rounds

Anti-Magic: A crusader receives a plus 2 bonus to all of his Saving Throws vs. any spell or psionic ability. At levels 6, 11 and 16 this bonus increases by 1 (+3 at level 6, +4 at level 11 and +5 at level 20).

Laying On Hands: A crusader can heal by laying on hands. The crusader restores 2 hit points per experience level. He can heal himself or someone else, but only once per day. The target of such healing must be a follower of the Chronis religion of this ability will not work on them.

Smite Heretics: Crusaders are charged with the destruction of heretics and non-believers. At 1st level crusaders gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls against such creatures. At levels 6, 11 and 16 this bonus increases by 1 (to +2 at level 6, +3 at level 11 and +4 at level 20).

Crusade Mount: A crusader begins play with a light warhorse in addition to their starting funds. This mount will have 50% of its maximum hit points. The crusader’s mount will be friendly to the crusader and will accept him as its rider as long as it is properly treated. Any additional or replacement mount selected by a crusader must have at least 50% of its maximum hit points.

Righteous Charge: In addition to the normal bonus for charging, when charging on foot a crusader gains an additional +1 to hit. If this is a mounted charge, his bonus is +2.

Holy Sword: A crusader using a holy sword projects a circle of power 10 feet in diameter when the sword is unsheathed and held. This power allows the crusader to share is anti-magic aura with all friendly creatures within the area of effect. (A holy sword is a very special weapon; if your Crusader acquires one, the DM will explain its other powers.) Additionally, this aura imparts a -2 bonus to AC vs. heretics and prevents them from making bodily contact with those protected.

Inspire the Faithful: A crusader has the ability to inspire the faithful. Once a day starting at 1st level he may give an inspirational speech before combat begins which has the same effect as a Bless spell (which has all the same characteristics as the spell). Starting at 3rd level his speech has the additional ability of bestowing the same effects as a Prayer spell on one of the listeners of the Crusader’s choice (which has all the same characteristics as the spell). At 6th level he may now give the speech during combat. Also, the ability now imparts the effects of an Aid spell (instead of Bless) as well as the Prayer spell (and carried all of the same effects of both spells). The Bless and Aid abilities will work on anyone who considers the crusader their leader. Failing that, only those within the within the area of effect who are followers of the Chronis religion gain the benefits. Additionally, the target of any Prayer spell must a follower for the ability to work on them.

Draw upon Holy Might: When a crusader reaches 3rd level he gains the ability to call upon the might of the gods. When he uses this ability his body shudders and glows with a shimmering aura as it becomes a vessel for their power. As a result, he may choose to increase one ability score (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, or Charisma only) by plus 1 per three levels of his experience (+1 at 3rd level, +2 at 6th, etc.). Only one attribute may be increased. The effect lasts for the one round per level of the Crusader. Attributes may be increased above the normal restrictions due to race and class, to a maximum of +6. All benefits for exceptional attributes listed in the Player’s Handbook apply; however, the divine abilities found in the Legends & Lore book cannot be gained by use of this spell. (For example, an 18th-level Crusader with Strength 15 could increase his Strength to 21 for 18 rounds, granting him a +4 attack bonus, a +9 damage adjustment, etc.)

When the ability’s effects end, the energy abruptly leaves the crusader’s body, leaving him physically and mentally drained. He is nearly comatose and can do nothing but rest for the next 4d6 turns. A successful Constitution check (at the crusader’s normal attribute score) reduces this time by 50%. A crusader may use this ability only 3 times a week.

Knighthood: When a crusader attains 9th level he is granted the title of “Holy Knight” from the church. His reputation will automatically attract men-at-arms. These soldiers, having heard of the crusader, come for the chance to gain fame, adventure, and cash. They are loyal as long as they are well-treated, successful, and paid well. Abusive treatment or a disastrous campaign can lead to grumbling, desertion, and possibly mutiny.

To attract the men, the crusader must first have a castle or stronghold and sizeable manor lands around it. As he claims and rules this land, soldiers journey to his domain, thereby increasing his power. Furthermore, the crusader can tax and develop these lands, gaining a steady income from them. Your GM has information about gaining and running a barony.

In addition to regular men-at-arms, the 9th-level crusader also attracts an elite bodyguard (his “household guards”). Although these soldiers are still mercenaries, they have greater loyalty to their Lord than do common soldiers. In return, they expect better treatment and more pay than the common soldier receives. Although the elite unit can be chosen randomly, it is better to ask your GM what unit your fighter attracts. This allows him to choose a troop consistent with the campaign.

But a crusader may only employ henchmen who are lawful and followers of the Chronis religion (or those who act in such a manner when alignment and faith is unknown). A crusader will cooperate with characters of other alignments and faiths only as long as they behave themselves and are not followers of a heretical religion. He will try to show them the proper way to live through both word and deed. The crusader realizes that most people simply cannot maintain his high standards. Even thieves can be tolerated, provided they are not evil and are sincerely trying to reform. He will not abide the company of those who commit evil or unrighteous acts or follow a heretical religion. Stealth in the cause of good is acceptable, though only as a last resort.

Tithe: A crusader must tithe to his church. A tithe is 10% of his income, whether coins, jewels, magical items, wages, rewards, or taxes. It must be paid immediately. Similarly he must turn over to the church, any artifacts of a heretical nature he gains ownership of.

Crusader

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