Idea for Avenger

I have already heard a lot about how the Avenger (the 4E class that was all about killing and being a religious zealot) might probably appear in DnD Next as an option for the Paladin. While I think that makes sense, I have an idea that might be better and I just wanted to toss it in here to see how well recieved it is. I came to this idea precisely because I was thinking of ways of making the Avenger class's concept more solid and I was purposefully trying to make it different from the Paladin, while adding a bunch of out-of-combat abilities that I felt the 4E version was lacking.

So in short, my idea is this: the Avengers are the people the God's use to do the things no one should know they abide. They are the divine spies, saboteurs and assassins. The key points to my view on Avengers is this:

-Out of Divine Sight: Avengers of the lowest level are protected from the eyes of Gods other than their own patrons. Lolth might witness some stranger whose face she can't see kill all her high priests. When the stranger leaves, she loses sight of her as you would of a mosquito in a jungle. As they level up, this protection against divination extends to other, closer, forms of magic. They gain a bunch of divine abilities to cover their tracks, their identity, their actions and their patron. This may include classics like undetectable alignment or mindblank plus a lot of other neat stuff, like a divine mask they can wear so that people who see them will forget their characteristics.
-This is not official: Avengers work outside the hierarchy of most religions. They recieve their assingments "directly" from their patron in dreams or in omens, and this are very often the kind of things that the Gods don't want other people (or other gods) to know they are availing. A good god might ask for the murder of a good aligned priest of another religion for some Greater Good reason or the goddess of love might want love to triumph for some drow couple, even if Lolth is watching and has forbidden it and the intervention of other gods in her domain. Because they see this darker reality of the Gods (whom, to me, can't be that different from very powerful people pushing their agenda) the Avengers don't have to match their God's alignment and may instead be neutral.
-Oaths of Power: Because of the way things work in the Material/Prime/Natural plane, Gods can't directly force people to do their biddings. This extends even to Avengers, who have the greatest risk of going rogue. For this reason, Gods grant Avengers their powers mostly in the form of Oaths. The Avenger pledges to kill someone or maintain some secret, and the Oath's power facilitates him doing so (gaining bonus to Bluff to deny it or to Attack rolls against the target). Failing to acomplish this task would have bad consecuences of course. Some of the first Oaths an Avenger would make is to censure some kind of act that her patron considers a sin. An avenger of Bahamut, for instance, might pledge to see dead any person they see or sense summoning demons within a year of the first encounter, and in exchange Bahamut provides her with defenses against demonic power as well as the ability to sense demonic summonings in a half mile radius. It is very worth mentioning that avengers are much more likely to stick to the letter of the contract but not the spirit than a Paladin is with regards to his code of conduct. 
Given the nature of their relationship, Gods are very likely to bring their A game when it comes to manipulating Avengers into doing what they want, using guilt and sometimes even love (I had an Avenger of Sehanine who was completely in love with the goddess of love, and she used that to manipulate the crap of the poor eladrin, which the eladrin hated) or greed (think Tiamat) or hate or... well, you got the point.

So what do you think?

I think you've put a lot of thought into what sounds like a very interesting take on the 4E version. I wouldn't be disappointed to see something like that appear in 5E. :-)


I do want to add though that there is historical precedent for the Avenger being a Paladin variant. In 1E, Fighters of a certain level (9th IIRC) were granted lands, peons and a stronghold. If they chose to forgo these perks then they could instead become a Paladin (if they were Lawful), a Knight (of any alignment), or an Avenger (if they were Chaotic). Avengers and Paladins were largely similar in abilities and both had what would later be called divine powers. Avengers were essentially the precursor to what we now know as Blackguards, although being pure evil wasn't part of the job description in those days.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/12.jpg)


I think you've put a lot of thought into what sounds like a very interesting take on the 4E version. I wouldn't be disappointed to see something like that appear in 5E. :-)




You sir just made my day. Well, not really, it is been a really **** day, but if it was a regular one, you would have made it a good one. 

I do want to add though that there is historical precedent for the Avenger being a Paladin variant. In 1E, Fighters of a certain level (9th IIRC) were granted lands, peons and a stronghold. If they chose to forgo these perks then they could instead become a Paladin (if they were Lawful), a Knight (of any alignment), or an Avenger (if they were Chaotic). Avengers and Paladins were largely similar in abilities and both had what would later be called divine powers. Avengers were essentially the precursor to what we now know as Blackguards, although being pure evil wasn't part of the job description in those days.


Interesting. Well, blackguards are pretty much their own thing now and Avengers were one of the most popular new classes in 4E, probably second after Warlord (just my perception). So I think Wizards will make it more like the 4E version, which was so much like.... well, it looked promising, but lacked a lot of definition. 
I love this. I'd also add some type of remote viewing. Not tracking (ranger schtick in my mind), but the ability to see their target. It could also play into an interesting avenger vs. avenger game.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
^ Great idea and thank you very much.
I am thinking that the Oath of Enmity could be one of the key oaths used by the avenger and that higher levels could use some Oath of Stalking or something like that. It could be an advanced version of their ability to sense a given sin. Hmm...