Prestige Classes


“You will yield to the might of Hextor—or you will yield to mine.”

—Salan Roka, ordained champion of Hextor

Steeped in a tradition older than most religions, the ordained champions stride through the chaotic fog of violence and bloodshed. Driven by a zealous devotion to Herald of Hell, and to war itself—these harbingers of death and destruction are schooled in techniques of divine magic that enhance their combat capabilities far beyond those of mere soldiers.

The ordained champion is an ancient creation of Hextor, so old that it predates the final schism between the Herald of Hell and his half-brother, Heironeous the Invincible. Although ordained champions are known primarily as servants of Hextor, some tiny fraction do indeed serve the Invincible One instead. Heironeous’s ordained champions are treated and act much like his paladins; thus, the details presented here for organization and attitude apply primarily to Hextor’s champions.


Clerics make the best and most effective ordained champions. Paladins and paladins of tyranny, as well as favored souls and shugenjas, occasionally follow this path as well. None but the cleric can receive the full benefit of the prestige class, however.


You are fanatically devoted to your deity, but of equal importance is your devotion to war itself, because only in the chaos of combat can your skill and faith truly shine. Only on the field of battle is your commitment truly tested, and only there can you prove your true worth to your church and deity. You need not be mindlessly or randomly violent (though some of Hextor’s neutral evil champions fit that description quite well), nor do you necessarily believe in fighting without just cause. You do firmly believe, however, that hesitation or regret in the face of necessary war is weakness, and that certain enemies are unworthy of either negotiation or compromise.

While you are considered a champion of the church of Hextor, you do not necessarily fight only on its behalf—in fact, you might be totally opposed to Hextor’s ways. Many ordained champions, particularly those of lawful neutral alignment, fight for various nations and factions, or even hire themselves out as mercenaries to causes of which they approve. As long as you wage war—any war—you honor your deity.


Although you might be a potent spellcaster, you see yourself first and foremost as a melee combatant. If you have sufficient time to prepare, you are the equal of any fighter or barbarian on the battlefield. Between your class abilities and the spells to which you have access, you can even exceed the combat prowess of those martial classes for a short time. You are far less potent if caught unawares, however, so be sure you have contingency plans in place. Your ability to cast spontaneously from the War domain means you can fill your spell slots with utilitarian magic without sacrificing your martial abilities.


You were a follower of Hextor (or Heironeous) before becoming an ordained champion. While you pursued your former career, the upper echelons of the church took note of your martial aptitude and approached you for special training and assignment.

You have now become one of the greatest of your deity’s warriors. You have been relieved of many of your duties as a cleric (or other holy servant) because as a champion, your entire responsibility consists of standing victorious on the field of battle. You might be a mercenary, an adventurer, or a crusader for your deity, but regardless, your life now consists only of war and training for war.

Now that you’re an ordained champion, you have some tough choices to make. Your spellcasting is based on Wisdom, and at high levels you can temporarily use your Wisdom modifier to gain melee bonuses, but you shouldn’t ignore Strength. And since you lack the hit points of other martial characters, keeping your Constitution high is vital. Because of the bonus feats you gained from the prestige class, you can devote your other feat slots to improving spellcasting or increasing the number of turn/rebuke attempts you can make per day, all of which enhance your battlefield effectiveness.


The church of Hextor expects you to acquire what you need on your own. You might purchase equipment from the church, or from your employer if you serve as a mercenary, but you are highly unlikely to gain it for free. If you are an ordained champion of Heironeous, you can expect the same sort of resources that his paladins have.


“Ordained champions are as disciplined and faithful as any cleric, and as potent as any paladin. If only their choice of patrons made them worthy of respect, rather than hatred and fear!”

—Jozan, cleric of Pelor

The ordained champions serve as both lone adventurers and military leaders, so you can introduce them to your campaign in almost any martial capacity. While the most obvious choice is to introduce an ordained champion as an active member of Hextor’s church, remember that such characters often participate in conflicts that have no direct bearing on their faith. An ordained champion serving as a mercenary captain, for example, need not even be an adversary for the PCs. Alternatively, you could introduce an ordained champion of Heironeous first, though doing so can dilute the notion that such champions are incredibly rare.


Ordained champions have no organization of their own. Most serve in the church of Hextor to some extent, but their positions vary greatly based on the needs and hierarchies of the individual sects. They usually serve as officers, though Hextor’s high priests still outrank them. In more secular groups, such as mercenary or adventuring companies, ordained champions normally seek positions of high authority or status, but again, their success in such endeavors depends on the circumstances.

The ordained champions of Heironeous are much more tightly tied to his church than the champions of Hextor are to theirs. Because of their low numbers, Heironeous’s champions cannot afford to be without staunch allies.

NPC Reactions

Most people don’t see an “ordained champion” when they look at one; they simply see a holy warrior of Hextor or Heironeous. Their reactions vary accordingly, based on how they view those deities and their churches. In most civilized lands, an NPC’s attitude is one step nearer helpful for followers of Heironeous and one step nearer hostile for followers of Hextor, but individual alignment and religious beliefs can alter this reaction.


Characters who have ranks in Knowledge (religion) can research the ordained champions to learn more about them. When a character succeeds on a skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from lower DCs.

DC 10: Ordained champions are unholy warriors of Hextor, combining the features of clerics and blackguards.

DC 15: These warriors seem filled with divine energy. They can cast spells of war or fill their attacks with unholy strength and power the way clerics can heal the injured or banish undead.

DC 20: Their ability to imbue their attacks with divine energy allows them to smite like a paladin, but with a much wider range of targets, or to ensure that every blow they land inflicts maximum injury. They’re rarer than hen’s teeth, and supposedly not all of them worship Hextor. Heironeous has a few among his flock as well.

The ordained champions are well known among Hextor’s clergy. Simply asking around in a church of the Herald of Hell produces directions to the nearest known member of the prestige class—assuming that the priests are convinced the character has good reason for looking.


As noted above, ordained champions can be potent adversaries, but they need not be enemies of the PCs. A member of this prestige class could serve as an officer or mercenary on the same side of a conflict as the PCs. A lawful neutral ordained champion might even share some goals with non-evil PCs, though he may have to fight an uphill battle to gain their trust.

In most instances, PC ordained champions should either be lawful neutral in alignment, or devoted to Heironeous rather than Hextor. The prestige class should appeal to players who like combining divine and martial skills but want an alternative to the paladin with out as much emphasis on spellcasting as the cleric.


Although the ordained champion is designed primarily as a follower of Hextor, it can easily be altered to fit into the church of any martial deity of any alignment. Simply adjust some of the flavor text and the alignment requirements accordingly. In the FORGOTTEN REALMS campaign setting, the Red Knight, Tempus, and Tyr are appropriate deities for the class; while Dol Arrah, Dol Dorn, and the Mockery serve the purpose well in the EBERRON campaign setting.

Hit Die: d8.


To qualify to become a ordained champion, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Alignment: Any lawful, neutral good, or neutral evil.

Skill: Knowledge (religion) 7 ranks.

Feat: Weapon Focus with deity’s favored weapon.

Spellcasting: Able to cast magic weapon as a divine spell.

Special: Must worship Hextor or Heironeous.

Class Skills

The ordained champion's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The Ordained Champion

Level Base
Special Spells per day
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Bonus domain, combat feats, continued advancement, modified spontaneous casting
2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Diehard, smite +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Channel spell, divine bulwark +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Fist of the gods, rapid spontaneous casting
5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Holy warrior, war caster +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the ordained champion prestige class.

Your entire being is devoted to war—war in the name of your deity, war in the name of your favored cause, even war in the name of war itself. Your focus on warfare has slowed your spellcasting advancement, but the wide variety of martial powers you have gained has more than made up for that lack.

Spellcasting: At 2nd, 3rd, and 5th level, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a divine spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one divine spellcasting class before becoming an ordained champion, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.

Bonus Domain: If you are a cleric, you gain the War domain as a third domain. If you already have the War domain, you can instead choose any other domain granted by your deity as your third domain. If you have no cleric levels, you can add the War domain spells to your class spell list, but you do not gain its domain ability or any extra spell slots for domain spells.

Combat Feats: You can permanently sacrifice one or two of your domain granted powers to acquire an equal number of feats from the list of fighter bonus feats, as long as you meet the prerequisites for them. You may not sacrifice your War domain ability for this purpose. You must choose whether or not to make this exchange when you first become an ordained champion, and you cannot later change your mind.

Continued Advancement: Levels in ordained champion stack with levels of other appropriate classes for the purpose of turning or rebuking undead, and for all level-dependent domain granted powers.

Modified Spontaneous Casting (Ex): If you have cleric levels, you lose the ability to spontaneously cast cure or inflict spells. Instead, you can swap out previously prepared cleric spells for any spells of equal or lower level from the War domain. This alteration applies even to levels you gain as a cleric after becoming an ordained champion.

If you are not a cleric, modified spontaneous casting does not apply to you, even if you can spontaneously cast some other kind of spell, such as summon nature’s ally.

Diehard: At 2nd level, you gain Diehard as a bonus feat, even if you lack the prerequisites. If you already have Diehard, you can select any other feat for which you meet the prerequisites as your bonus feat.

Smite (Su): At 2nd level, you can spend one daily use of your turn/rebuke undead ability as a swift action to turn your next melee attack into a smite. You gain a bonus equal to your Charisma modifier on attack rolls, and you deal extra damage equal to your total effective turning or rebuking level. Your smite attack is not limited by alignment or race; you can attempt to smite any foe. Except as noted here, this ability functions like the paladin’s smite evil ability.

Channel Spell (Sp): At 3rd level, you can channel any spell you have available to cast into your melee weapon. Doing so requires a move action and uses up a prepared spell or spell slot just as if you had cast the spell. The channeled spell affects the next target you successfully attack with that weapon, though saving throws and spell resistance still apply normally. Even if the spell normally affects an area or is a ray, it still affects only the target in this case. On a successful hit, the spell is discharged from the weapon, which can then hold another spell. You can channel your spells into only one weapon at a time. A spell channeled into a weapon is lost if not used within 8 hours.

Divine Bulwark (Sp): At 3rd level, you can sacrifice a prepared spell or spell slot as a swift action to gain damage reduction. The value of the damage reduction equals 1 + spell level sacrificed, and it can be overcome by a chaoticaligned strike. Thus, a 3rd-level ordained champion who sacrificed a flame strike spell would gain damage reduction 6/chaotic for 3 rounds. The damage reduction gained from multiple uses of this ability does not stack. This protection lasts for a number of rounds equal to your ordained champion level.

Fist of the Gods (Sp): At 4th level, you can sacrifice a prepared spell or spell slot as a swift action to deal extra damage. Doing so grants you a bonus equal to 1 + spell level sacrificed on your damage rolls for melee attacks. This benefit lasts for a number of rounds equal to your ordained champion level.

Rapid Spontaneous Casting (Ex): When you attain 4th level, any spell from the War domain that you spontaneously cast requires only a swift action if its normal casting time is no more than 1 standard action, or a standard action if its normal casting time is 1 full-round action. A spontaneous spell that you modify with a metamagic feat requires only its normal casting time rather than the extra time such a spell normally requires.

Holy Warrior (Sp): At 5th level, you can spend one daily use of your turn/rebuke undead ability as a swift action to bring your Wisdom into play in combat. For 5 rounds after you activate this ability, you can use your Wisdom modifier in place of your Strength modifier on attack rolls and damage rolls.

War Caster (Ex): At 5th level, you gain a +2 bonus to your effective caster level when casting spells that appear on the War domain spell list.


The following affiliation details are designed for ordained champions of Hextor. If you are instead playing one of the rare ordained champions of Heironeous, use what follows as a model, but change the specifics where appropriate.

Criterion Affiliation Score Modifier
Character level 1/2 levels
Has actively battled any other church (except that of Heironeous) +2
Has actively battled the church of Heironeous +4
Holds officer rank in a military unit or organization in addition to the Church of Hextor +1
Holds priestly rank in the Church of Hextor in addition to position and duties as an ordained champion +2
Lawful evil +1
Nonlawful –1

Multiple Use
Is instrumental in a great military victory +4
Is instrumental in a great military defeat –6
Rank Affiliation Score Titles: Benefits and Duties
0 3 or lower None.
1 4–10 Soldier of Hextor: Entitled to living quarters, healing, and training. You must obey the orders of any higherranked member of Hextor’s church and spend at least 50% of your time acting on the church’s behalf.
2 11–20 Master of War: Maintains contacts and spies. You must obey the orders of any higher-ranked member of Hextor’s church and spend at least 40% of your time acting on the church’s behalf.
3 21–29 Blooded Officer: Entitled to supplies and equipment. You must obey the orders of any higher-ranked member of Hextor’s church and spend at least 30% of your time acting on the church’s behalf.
4 30 or higher General of Hell: Can call together a cadre of loyal soldiers. You must obey the orders of any higher-ranked member of Hextor’s church and spend at least 20% of your time acting on the church’s behalf.

Typically, an ordained champion represents a specific branch of Hextor’s church. As a member of that church, he has certain duties to perform in exchange for benefits. Higher-ranked ordained champions are granted more leeway to choose their own tasks and trusted to ensure that their actions advance the cause of war; those of lower rank must spend much more of their time on quests or in battles assigned by the church.

Soldier of Hextor: At this rank, you might choose to dwell in the barracks of Hextor’s various institutions. The accommodations are truly spartan and not especially comfortable, but they are secure and free to members. You also have access to trainers and practice grounds, and Hextor’s priests are willing to heal any injuries you incur in the service of the Herald of Hell.

Master of War: By the time you attain this rank, you have begun to gain the trust of your superiors. You have access to the church’s network of information, which helps you to choose military targets and enemies ripe for conquest. This benefit manifests as a +4 circumstance bonus on all Gather Information and Knowledge checks made to determine the relative military strength of a faction, group, or nation, as well as its martial interests and any particular weaknesses in its defenses.

Blooded Officer: While Hextor expects his soldiers to be self-sufficient, you have access to a certain amount of aid upon attaining this level of prestige in the church. You can buy military equipment—including magic weapons and mundane but rare items such as siege engines—for 75% of the list price. In addition, the circumstance bonus on Gather Information and Knowledge checks that you gained at the previous rank increases to +8.

General of Hell: Once per year, you can gather other soldiers of Hextor under your command for any military operation or activity. You gain the benefits of the Leadership feat, except that the followers you acquire are all soldiers in Hextor’s church, and they remain with you only for the duration of a single endeavor (up to 2 months at most). These soldiers are in addition to any followers you might have from the Leadership feat and are tracked separately in all ways. In addition, the circumstance bonus on Gather Information and Knowledge checks that you gained as a master of war increases to +12.