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Warlock’s Apprentice: On the Hunt

Warlock’s Apprentice: On the Hunt

Bounty hunters are a diverse group, spanning a variety of personalities and skills. Some are brutes, choosing the life of the Champion (fighter) while other clever mercenary leaders prefer more tactical maneuvers. Many emulate the Hunter (ranger) and train tirelessly in order to track their quarries to the ends of the earth. Others still are wizards that study the School of Divination to scry upon their targets and strike from afar.

One such possibility is this new subclass, the Oath of Justice, which empowers paladins to overwhelm and incapacitate their foes in the name of the law.

New Subclass: Oath of Justice (Paladin)

The Oath of Justice is a commitment not the tenets of good or evil but a holy vow sworn to uphold the laws of a nation, a city, or even of a tiny village. When lawlessness threatens the peace, those who swear to uphold the Oath of Justice intervene to maintain order, for if order falls to lawlessness, it is only a matter of time before all of civilization collapses into anarchy.

While many young paladins take this oath to protect their country and the people close to them from criminals, some older adherents to this oath know that what is just is not necessarily what is right.

Tenets of Justice

All paladins of justice uphold the law in some capacity, but their oath differs depending on their station. A paladin that serves a queen upholds slightly different tenets than one that serves a small town.

Uphold the Law. The law represents the triumph of civilization versus savagery. It must be preserved at all costs.

Punishment Fits the Crime. The severity of justice acts in equal measure to the severity of a wrongdoer’s transgressions.

Oath Spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed.

Oath of Justice Spells
Paladin Level Spells
3rd color spray, guiding bolt
5th locate object, zone of truth
9th lightning bolt, slow
13th locate creature, locate object
17th arcane hand, hold monster


Channel Divinity

When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.

Tether of Righteousness. You can use your Channel Divinity to bind your target to you. As an action, you extend a line of crackling energy toward a creature you can see within 30 feet of you. That creature must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, it is tethered and cannot move more than 30 feet away from you. While tethered, the target takes lightning damage at the end of each of its turns equal to your Charisma modifier. You can use your action to make a Strength check opposed by the tethered creature’s Strength check; on a success, you can pull it up to 15 feet toward you in a straight line.

As an action, the tethered creature can attempt to make a Strength check against your spell save DC. On a success, it breaks the tether.

Justicar’s Celerity. You can use your Channel Divinity to respond to danger with lightning speed. When a creature that you can see is attacked, you can move up to your speed as a reaction. If you end your movement adjacent to the attacker, you can make a single melee attack against it as part of this reaction. If you end your movement adjacent to the target of the attack, you can become the target of the attack as part of this reaction. You can use this feature after you see the attacker’s attack roll, but before the GM says if it hits or misses.

Disciplined Pursuant

At 7th level, you have bent the laws of magic to parallel the laws of your civilization. When you reduce a creature to 0 hit points with a spell, you can knock the creature out instead of killing it. The creature falls unconscious and is stable.

Aura of Control

At 7th level, all creatures within 10 feet of you must spend 1 extra foot of movement for each foot they move. If a creature ends its turn in this area, it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or fall prone. Creatures that are immune to being frightened are immune to this aura.

At 18th level, the range of this aura extends to 30 feet.

Shackles of Light

Starting at 15th level, once per turn when you deal radiant damage to a creature, it must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failure, it is restrained until the end of its next turn.

Avatar of Perfect Order

At 20th level, you can take on the appearance of justice itself. As an action, you become wreathed in a garment of cold light. For 1 minute, you benefit from the following effects:

  • You are immune to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.
  • You can use your Justicar’s Celerity feature without expending a use of Channel Divinity.
  • When a creature you can see takes the Attack or Cast a Spell action, you can use your reaction to force it to make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, it must take a different action of your choice instead.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Read more on bounty hunters—and read other great articles—in Warlock, only on Patreon!


2 thoughts on “Warlock’s Apprentice: On the Hunt”

  1. Hey James, I’m regular Warlock subscriber over on Patreon.

    I’ve read through this one a few times and I really don’t like it.

    – The spells are too powerful (lightning bolt?).
    – The Tether should not have infinite range and duration.
    – The Celerity wording doesn’t indicate that you actually have to use Channel Divinity along with the reaction.
    – The Aura of control has no “off” switch and no selectivity. As the Paladin walks through town they basically emit an aura of molasses as their own friends are slowed down. Random peasants fall at their feat as they fail their saves.

    This is just too much weirdness for an Archetype.

  2. I think the Inquisitor class already fills the bill for “bounty hunter” for the religious sects characters.Just dont see paladins bothering with hunting guys down for money.

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