The typical image of a paladin is a proud knight of noble bearing, resplendent in armour brighct as sunlight and bearing a sword shining with the purity of his cause. This archetype, upheld by both idealistic knights and their enemies, has killed countless honourable warriors. Taking a cue from the enemies of their faith, many good-aligned religions have established secretive orders of the most dedicated and hardened soldiers. These gray guards are less restrained by their knightly vows, doing what must be done, no matter how unpleasant.
Hit Dice: d10
To qualify to become a gray guard, a character must fulfil all the following criteria.
Alignment: Lawful good
Skills: Knowledge (religion) 5 ranks, Sense Motive 1 rank
Special: Lay on hands class feature
Special: Must adhere to a code of conduct that prevents the character from performing evil acts
The gray guard’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (civilization) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
Table: Gray Guard
|Level||BAB||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spells Per Day|
|1st||+1||+1||+0||+1||Sacrament of trust, lay on hands, mercy, smite evil|
|2nd||+2||+1||+1||+1||Debilitating Touch||+1 level of existing class|
|4th||+4||+2||+1||+2||+1 level of existing class|
|5th||+5||+3||+2||+3||Detect chaos, justice blade (chaos)|
|6th||+6||+3||+2||+3||Cruelty||+1 level of existing class|
|8th||+8||+4||+3||+4||+1 level of existing class|
|10th||+10||+5||+3||+5||Justice blade (all alignments), sacrament of the true faith||+1 level of existing class|
All of the following are features of the gray guard prestige class.
Spellcasting: At the indicated levels, a gray guard gains new spells per day is if they had also gained a level in a divine spellcasting class they belonged to before adding the prestige class. They do not, however, gain other benefits a character of that class would have gained, except for additional spells per day, spells known (if they are a spontaneous caster), and an increased effective level of spellcasting. If a character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a gray guard, they must decide which class they add the new level for purposes of determining spells per day.
Sacrament of Trust: Upon entering this prestige class, a gray guard takes a vow of allegiance to their faith beyond that of any ordinary paladin. This vow grants them a measure of freedom to act on their cause’s behalf without fear of retribution should their duties require them to break their code of conduct. Dishonorable acts still cause them to lose both gray guard and paladin class features until they atone, but this infraction is considered much less severe than it would be for a paladin.
Whenever a gray guard seeks to atone for deeds willingly committed in the name of their faith but that break your code of conduct, the spell can be cast at no additional cost, without the 2,500 gp material component that would normally be necessary. This reprieve applies only to acts intended to further the cause of righteousness and the gray guard’s faith. No cost applies to a gray guard atoning after beating a confession from a heretic, for example, but the cost would have to be paid for one who started a bar brawl.
Lay on Hands (Su): This ability is identical to the paladin class feature of the same name. Levels of gray guard stack with other class levels that grant lay on hands to determine the ability’s uses per day and total healing capacity.
Mercy (Su): This ability is identical to the paladin class feature of the same name. Levels of gray guard stack with other class levels that grant mercies to determine how many mercies the gray guard possesses and which ones they have access to.
Smite Evil (Su): This ability is identical to the paladin class feature of the same name. Levels of gray guard stack with other class levels that grant smite evil to determine the number of uses per day and the additional damage dealt by the ability.
When a gray guard reaches 11 combined levels between paladin and gray guard, they gain the paladin Aura of Justice class feature. Aura of Justice can only be used to smite evil creatures, and cannot be combined with Justice Blade.
Debilitating Touch (Su): At 2nd level, a gray guard learns to channel their lay on hands ability into a painful touch attack. This functions as an antilpaladin’s touch of corruption, save that it cannot be used to heal undead creatures. Use of this ability consumes a use of the gray guard’s lay on hands ability.
Cruelty (Su): At 3rd level, and every three levels thereafter, a gray guard can select one cruelty. Each cruelty adds an effect to the gray guard’s debilitating touch, functioning the way an antipaladin’s cruelty would for their touch of corruption. A gray guard may additionally choose not to deal damage when using their debilitating touch and only impart the effects of their cruelties on a target.
Detect Chaos (Sp): At will, a gray guard can use detect chaos, as the spell. A gray guard can, as a move action, concentrate on a single item or individual within 60 feet and determine if it is chaotic, learning the strength of its aura as if having studied it for 3 rounds. While focusing on one individual or object, the gray guard does not detect chaos in any other object or individual within range.
Justice Blade (Su): By 5th level, a gray guard has learned that suffering and injustice are not the exclusive provinces of evil. They can use their smite evil ability to instead punish creatures of chaotic alignment. Using this ability expends one daily use of their smite evil class feature and works identically in all other ways, but its effort applies to chaotic targets instead. Whenever the gray guard chooses to smite an opponent, they must declare whether they are using this ability to smite evil or chaos.
At 10th level, they can use justice blade to smite creatures of any alignment and do not need to declare an alignment before making the smite.
Unbound Justice (Ex): At 7th level, unrestricted by their code of honour, a gray guard can employ unorthodox methods that are all the more effective because they’re unexpected. The gray guard adds half their gray guard level (rounded down) as a competence bonus on Bluff, Disguise, and Intimidate checks.
Sacrament of the True Faith: At 10th level, a gray guard gains their order’s full confidence. They are granted the freedom to act on behalf of their faith as they deem necessary. Thus, they never risk losing their class abilities in the pursuit of a just cause and never need to atone for violating their code of conduct.
This trust does not grant them the freedom to act as violently or immorally as they wish, however. Release from their code of conduct depends on their acting as an exemplar of their order’s ideals. If they violate this trust by habitually acting in an immoral or corrupt manner, the leaders or deity of their faith might revoke their blessing and banish the gray guard from the ranks of the faithful.