Last time I laid out the argument that in a Pathfinder game, a paladin should not be limited to only the lawful good alignment (or, in the case of the antipaladin, chaotic evil). Following that line of logic, I present to you the first of my paladin archetypes: the justicar, paladin of order. To use these rules you will need the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, and it would help to also have the Advanced Player’s Guide.
The justicar is the most trusted warrior of those gods who hold themselves to higher purposes than mere morality, usually gods of such lofty aspects such as fate, death, and law itself. Such paladins view the world not in a contrast of good and evil but of law versus anarchy, of order versus chaos. The paladins that follow this course do not care any more than the average person about morals—only what is the lawful course and what their deity commands of them.
The justicar is a class that serves well in a party where the characters act within the law but may take actions that are not exactly good; where a standard paladin would likely prohibit the barbarian from collecting ears of fallen foes as trophies or insist that the ranger use abilities for altruistic purposes instead of charging a fee. tThe justicar cares only for order and stability and would have no problem as long as both obeyed the laws of the land.
As an NPC, the justicar is perfect for use as an antagonist that provides a moral quandary to the PCs; he is not evil in and of himself, though the authority he serves may be, and good PCs may find it hard to justify killing him or be drawn into debate with him over his service.
Role: A justicar is a paragon of order and law, impartial and fair. While they are willing to travel with most any other adventurer, their goal is to uphold and enforce order, and it is rare for them to travel with those who oppose such actions unless there is a greater goal to be served by doing so.
The justicar uses the following changes to the standard paladin rules:
Alignment: Lawful neutral
Aura of Law (Ex): The power of the justicar’s aura of law (see the detect law spell in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook) is equal to his paladin level. This replaces the aura of good ability.
Detect Chaos (Sp): As the paladin’s detect evil ability, except that the justicar detects chaos instead of evil; see the detect chaos spell.
Smite Chaos (Su): As the paladin’s smite evil ability, except that the justicar’s ability only functions against those of chaotic alignment and chaotic outsiders.
Order’s Hand (Su): As lay on hands except that it may be used to heal lawful creatures or to harm chaotic creatures with a touch attack. When the justicar gains this ability, he or she may also choose to heal or harm neutral creatures; after this choice is made it cannot be changed, and the target takes or heals only half the amount rolled.
This ability is modified by any feat, spell, or effect that specifically works with the lay on hands paladin class feature. For example, Extra Lay on Hands grants a justicar two additional uses of the order’s hand class feature.
Mandate (Su): This ability functions as either the mercy class feature of the paladin (affecting only lawful creatures) or the cruelty class feature of the antipaladin (affecting only chaotic creatures). Once selected at 3rd level, this cannot be changed.
Channel Lawful Energy (Su): As channel positive energy, except that the justicar may choose to either heal lawful creatures in the burst or harm chaotic creatures in the burst.
Spells: As the paladin class feature, except that the justicar may choose to cast either cure or cause spells at the time he gains spells; the justicar may choose only one, and this cannot be changed once selected. At the GM’s discretion, the justicar may not have a choice as his or her deity may grant only one or the other to such servants.
Duty’s Bond (Sp): As divine bond. The vicious weapon property replaces the holy weapon property on the list of available properties for the weapon bond. For the mount, at 11th level the justicar’s mount becomes an outsider with the lawful and native subtypes instead of a magical beast with the celestial template, and it gains immunity to mind-affecting spells and effects.
Order’s Judgement (Su): As the aura of justice class feature, with the justicar sharing his or her smite chaos ability with allies; chaotic creatures gain no benefit from this ability.
Implacable Aura (Su): As aura of faith, except that weapons are treated as lawful for overcoming damage reduction.
Aura of Honor (Su): As aura of righteousness, except that the justicar gains DR 5/chaotic.
Instrument of Order (Su): As the holy champion class feature, applying all bonuses to the relevant alternate class abilities and rules given for the justicar.
Code of Conduct: A justicar must be of lawful neutral alignment and loses all class abilities except proficiencies if he or she ever willingly breaks a law or disobeys the order of a rightful authority, the only exceptions being if such laws or orders would violate the tenets of his or her faith. In areas where there is no established law or rightful authority, the paladin follows his or her own judgment and the tenets of faith, but must maintain discipline and composure as far as is possible.
Associates: Any lawful or neutral characters are considered acceptable companions, but a justicar will not travel long with anyone who offends his or her code of ethics. A justicar may travel with anyone he or she wishes, as long as they are not wanted for crimes or act against the rightful authority of the land to the justicar’s knowledge; the exception is if a justicar is transporting a prisoner back to stand trial. A justicar may travel with chaotic characters if doing so will combat a greater threat to the greater order or if he or she is attempting to reform such a character; in such cases the justicar will end the association as soon as he or she feels there is no benefit to the order of the world to be gained. A justicar may only accept cohorts who are of lawful neutral alignment, but may accept henchment and followers of any lawful alignment.
Ex-Justicars: The same rules apply for a justicar as for other paladins. If he or she violates the justicar’s code of conduct or ceases to be lawful neutral, the justicar loses all class abilities except for proficiencies and cannot take more levels in justicar until he or she atones as per the atonement spell.
These rules, of course, should not be set in stone. I present them for your use as you see fit, to alter as you need to fit your campaign, and/or leave to up to your GM to decide how they may be used. For more options, check back for my next installment of this series and the rules for the despot: the lawful evil paladin.