Class Feature Friday: Redeemer Cause (PF2 Champion Cause)
(Art by Anne Stokes)
We’re back again with another champion cause, which makes this the first one that doesn’t have an immediate parallel from First Edition. (Even the evil ones have an equivalent in the antipaladin and it’s archetypes)
In any case, I present the neutral good equivalent to the paladin, the redeemer!
While paladins devote themselves to tenets to uphold good and just law by default, a redeemer must swear that, no matter what, mercy and redemption are still on the table, even though they are warriors. Certainly they will fight to defend the innocent when need be, but a good redeemer seeks to understand foes that are not wholly irredeemable, and with luck and earnest diplomacy, prevent further bloodshed by coming to a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Some might oversimplify this into a “join or die” mindset, but nothing could be further from the truth. Fighting against a foe is not a punishment for them failing to acquiesce, but rather a regrettable ending to a conflict that no reconciliation could be met on.
In this way, being a redeemer can be a difficult path. One wishes to offer diplomacy to those they meet, but even the most charming champion will fail occasionally, or come across groups that cannot accept a compromise or offer of peace for one reason or another, or perhaps most agonizingly, find themselves in situations where there is no clear best solution in which good has been done without suffering. They press on, however, doing their best not to succumb to despair.
The iconic reaction of this cause will flood the mind of a nearby attacking enemy with visions of a potential future of mercy and redemption, one where evil acts are cast aside and friendship is embraced earnestly. If the foe turns aside their weapon, there is no other effect beyond causing no weapon, but those who persist in their convictions and strike still hesitate, their blow blunted by a pulled swing, and their minds haunted by what they saw, slowing their future strikes.
This improves further with the smite ability, wracking the body and mind of those who spurned these visions with guilt that robs them of vitality.
The exalted form allows the redeemer to protect multiple allies at once, not just the ally getting attacked, warding them against oncoming damage as their foes hesitate.
In addition to these abilities, redeemers also have access to a handful of feats tied to their cause, such as Weight of Guilt, which lets them cloud the minds of those afflicted by their visions of redemption, rather than stay their hands, which is useful against spellcasting foes; and Lasting Doubt, which causes traces of the enemy’s doubt to linger.
While the redeemer might not have as many feats that are tied specifically to their cause, they also do well with other goodly champion feats, including Dragonslayer Oath, Fiendsbane Oath, Shining Oath, Aura of Courage, Divine Health, Mercy and all it’s upgrades, Litany Against Wrath, Shield Warden, Sense Evil, Litany Against Sloth, Shield of Reckoning, Aura of Faith, Champion’s Sacrifice, Aura of Righteousness, Litany of Righteousness, Instrument of Zeal, Celestial Form, Aura of Unbreakable Virture, and Celestial Mount, among others.
With all these abilities, the redeemer champion shapes up to reward players that wish to go a more diplomatic route, but also provides the tools to protect and support allies when facing foes that will not hear their message. The fact that their core reaction ability debuffs foes and provides the fluff to potentially get them to stand down and even find redemption, as opposed to simply smiting them for their wrongs, really speaks to their role as a more social sort of champion. Their combat abilities will nevertheless mostly remain melee-focused, so keep that in mind.
Its important to note that while paladins are obligated to take the law-upholding part of their oath, that does not exclude them from taking compatible tenets from other causes, namely the redeemer’s oath to offer peace and redemption, as well as protecting the innocent. Conversely, while not as obligated, many redeemers may protect the rule of law when it suits their beliefs to do so.
The ratfolk redeemer Liria has gone missing after heading to the ruins of Galva Manor to investigate reports of apparitions. Those who go after her may be shocked to find a lifelike portrait of her in the manor, a magical trap that she ran afoul of.
In order to become a redeemer of the Star Huntress, one must be judged by one of her unicorns. However, the last few hopefuls to go in seeking the unicorns have not even glimpsed such a beast. Have they all proven unworthy, or is something else afoot?
The nation of Nirsina, despite being a goodly nation, has banned the champions known as redeemers for about half a century, on account of the actions of one who was deceived by a great evil that they believed they could redeem. Without their guidance, however, old prejudices are beginning to rear their ugly heads.
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