Lighthouse for the Blind
“Against the law? The law is a convenience, a tool for us
to use as we will, not a yoke bound to our necks. Laws are
guidelines, not rules cast in iron. Stretching them is not the
same as breaking them, my young apprentice. Take that to
heart, for if you accuse me again, I will have your heart
―Zelgado De’Draigee, human templar
Templars are civil servants within a city‐state’s
government organization commonly referred to as a
“temple,” “bureau,” or “order.” Each templar swears
obedience to his temple, and absolute fealty to his
sorcerer‐king. In return, the sorcerer‐king grants them
spell power stolen from the elemental planes.
In most city‐states, templars are the ultimate
authority—judge, jury, and executioner. Templars police
and administer the city‐states, and serve other civil roles
ranging from general to jailor and from tax collector to
Making a Templar
Templars can cast a number of divine spells each day,
as granted by their lord. If necessary they can be a
destructive fighting force, but they serve much better as
officers of slave‐soldiers, mercenaries, or undead. Their
wide array of available skills reflects the equally wide
array of roles that Templars fill as servants of the sorcererkings
Abilities: If you want to make good use of your
templar spells and you secular aptitude, you’ll need a
high Charisma. As with any melee‐oriented class,
Strength is a key ability for templars and Constitution
provides you with increased ht points as usual.
Races: While the need for religion and divine magic is
nearly universal on Athas, the need for specialized
militant priest–bureaucrats is peculiar to large city‐states
dominated by sorcerer‐kings. While in theory, no sentient
race is precluded from the templar class, in practice, a
sorcerer‐king grant spells only to those who he wants to
represent him. Humans dominate the templar priesthoods
of all city‐states except for New Giustenal. Dwarves,
muls, and half‐elves commonly become templars in many
cities, while elves are less commonly accepted. Templars
of other races are rare or unheard–of in most cities.
Alignment: A templar’s alignment must be within one
step of his sorcerer‐king’s (that is, it may be one step away
on either the lawful–chaotic axis or the good–evil axis, but
not both). Because of that, templars are almost never
good. The laws they uphold are corrupt; the monarchs
they serve are arguably the vilest creatures on the face of
Athas, and often the templars are cruel and unjust
themselves. However, many templars take considerable
pride in the prosperity and magnificence of their citystate,
and in the well–oiled machine of their order.
Templars are most commonly lawful neutral or lawful
Starting Ceramic: 5d4 x 10 (125 Cp).
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Templars are
proficient in all simple weapons. Since templar training
involves some education in warfare, templars receive two
martial weapons proficiencies. Templars are proficient in
light and medium armor and shields (except tower
Spellcasting: You cast divine spells, which are drawn
from the templar spell list on page 138. When you gain
access to a new level of spells, you automatically know all
the spells for that level on the templar’s spell list. You can
cast any spell you know without preparing it ahead of
time. Essentially, your spell list is the same as your spells
To cast a templar spell, you must have a Charisma
score of 10 + the spell’s level. The Difficulty Class for a
saving throw against a templar’s spell is 10 + the spell’s
level + the templar’s Cha modifier. Like other spellcasters,
a templar can cast only a certain number of spells of each
level per day. The base daily allotment is given on Table
2–5. In addition, you receive bonus spells for a high
Charisma score (PH 8).
You can also cast one domain spell of each spell level
per day, as a cleric does. The domain spell is chosen at the
time of casting from the spells associated with your
assumed domains (see below), as you cast spells
spontaneously and need not prepare spells ahead of time.
A templar need not prepare spells in advance. You can
cast any spell you know at any time, assuming you have
not yet used up your spells per day for that spell level.
You use your sorcerer‐king’s sigil as divine focus.
Secular Aptitude (Ex): At 1st level, you gain Secular
Authority as a bonus feat. In addition, you receive a
competence bonus to Secular Authority checks equal to
half your class level.
Assume Domain: You are assigned two domains
based on your sorcerer‐monarch. Each domain gives you
access to a domain spell at each spell level you can cast,
from 1st on up, as well as a granted power. You get the
granted powers of both the assumed domains. With
access to two domain spells at a given spell level, you add
only one of those spells to your spells known list.
Abalach-Re Chaos, Charm
Andropinis Law, Nobility
Borys Destruction, Protection
Daskinor Chaos, Madness
Dregoth Death, Destruction
Hamanu Strength, War
Kalak Magic, Trickery
Lalali-Puy Animal, Plant
Nibenay Magic, Mind
Oronis Knowledge, Protection
Tectuktitlay Glory, Strength
Hamanu’s favored weapon is the longsword.
Sigil (Sp): Every templar receives a sigil that is the
sign of their rank and station as a templar within their
city’s templarate. The form of the sigil is unique to each
city‐state, but is always unmistakable for what it is. The
sigil serves as your divine focus, and also allows you to
use the spell‐like powers arcane mark, purify food and drink,
and slave scent a combined total of times equal to 3 + your
Cha modifier. These spell‐like powers do not count
against your total of spells per day.
Turn or Rebuke Undead (Su): Any templar,
regardless of alignment, has the power to affect undead
creatures by channeling the power of his sorcerer‐king
through his sigil (PH 33).
A good templar (or a neutral templar who worships a
good sorcerer‐king) can turn or destroy undead creatures.
An evil templar (or a neutral templar who worships an
evil sorcerer‐king) instead rebukes or commands such
creatures. A neutral templar of a neutral sorcerer‐king
must choose whether his turning ability functions as that
of a good templar or an evil templar. Once this choice is
made, it cannot be reversed.
You may attempt to turn undead a number of times
per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier. A templar
with 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (religion) gets a +2
bonus on turning checks against undead. You turn
undead as a cleric of three levels lower would (PH 159).
Playing a Templar
A templar can take the fighter’s place in the front
ranks of a party or ensorcel his foes from a distance like a
cleric. While you aren’t quite as good as either a dedicated
fighter or a dedicated cleric or psion in those roles, you’re
reasonably effective in either, and you can change roles on
a round‐by‐round basis as needed.
As a templar, you believe the acquisition of power and
influence is a worthy end in itself. By having power, you
can effect your will in the world, be it good or bad. Those
who have or seek power deserve your respect, while
those who have power but fail to use it deserve your
You adventure out of a desire to gain more power and
influence in every quest. Drawn by your power, others
follow your lead, and you are happy to command them.
The reverence of templars and their respective
sorcerer‐monarch varies greatly with the city‐state. Some
rulers, like Hamanu or Lalali‐Puy, claim they are gods
and demand their citizen and templars to worship them
as such. Other, like Nibenay and Andropinis, only require
service, not worship, from their templars.
Table 2–5: The Templar
———Spells per Day———
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1st 1 — — — — — — — —
2nd 1 — — — — — — — —
3rd 1 — — — — — — — —
4th 1 3+1 — — — — — — —
5th 1 4+1 — — — — — — —
6th 1 5+1 3+1 — — — — — —
7th 1 6+1 4+1 — — — — — —
8th 1 1 6+1 5+1 3+1 — — — — —
9th 1 1 6+1 6+1 4+1 — — — — —
10th 2 1 6+1 6+1 5+1 3+1 — — — —
11th 3 1 6+1 6+1 6+1 4+1 — — — —
12th 4 1 6+1 6+1 6+1 5+1 3+1 — — —
13th 4 1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 4+1 — — —
14th 5 1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 5+1 3+1 — —
15th 6/1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 4+1 — —
16th 7/1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 5+1 3+1 —
17th 7/1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 4+1 —
18th 8/1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 5+1 3+1
19th 9/1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 4+1
20th 10/1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 6+1 5+1
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, x4 at 1st level): Appraise, Bluff, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Forgery, Gather
Information, Heal, Intimidate, Knowledge (all skills individually), Literacy, Profession, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, Spot.
Templars sometimes clash with druids and elemental
clerics, who represent an older, more primal relationship
between mortal, nature, and the elements. Templars tend
to tolerate these “primitive priests,” as long as the druids
and clerics do not share their opinions that sorcerer‐kings
are usurpers of profane divine elemental power. Templars
get along with most other classes very well, provided of
course that a templar is in charge.
Most of a templar’s spells target a single target or have
a range of touch, so you are most effective when you
single out and focus upon defeating a single opponent.
Your spells that affect areas are limited mostly to cones,
which means you need to be on or near the front lines to
get the greatest effect from them. Even if you come close
to being effective as a fighter or cleric in his chosen field,
you’re certainly not as effective as a fighter and a cleric.
Outside combat, use your secular authority to its
greatest advantage, securing troops and resources for
when it happens. If you have a cleric or other healer in the
group, save your cures for emergency healing, since a
cleric can spontaneously convert their spells into healing
ones. If no other healer is present, save it to heal yourself
and your allies after combat.
You don’t necessarily profit most from remaining a
templar throughout your advancement, since you will
lose all your spellcasting abilities in case you displease
your sorcerer‐king, or in the remote possibility your
sorcerer‐king dies. If you do multiclass, picking an arcane
or psionic class is an excellent choice, especially one that
has Charisma as a key ability. Alternatively, you might
consider beginning your career as either a wizard or as a
wilder, then multiclassing into a templar.
Assign as many skill points as possible to Bluff,
Diplomacy, and Sense Motive, since these will be helpful
in politics even if you are stripped out of your spells. For
feats, take the Negotiator feat and also consider
metamagic feats, such as Silent Spell and Empower Spell.
Templars on Athas
“Power does not corrupt men. Fools, however, if they get
into a position of power, corrupt power.”
―Gorg the mad
Templar duties typically prevent them from
adventuring in the standard sense. They often serve
missions for their superiors, typically to recover an
important item, assassinate a troublemaker, force the
hand of a merchant house or barter with an elf tribe. But
that is not to say that templars cannot pursue their own
While all templars are technically bound to their civil
service positions on a daily basis, a sufficient bribe can
buy them a few days of freedom and adventure, as long
as they do not get caught going against the interests of
their temple or sorcerer‐king. Most templars who do
adventure, do so for personal power, seeking to acquire
items of great power, or for money or fame to impress
their lord or superiors.
A templar remains ever ready to face the challenges of
the Athasian life. Without the need to rest, study or pray
for their powers, templars can leap up in pursuit of
whatever their templarate requires them to do.
Templars often possess the charisma and take‐charge
attitude required of great leaders, but many suffer from
an inability to empathize with those they lead. Templars
respect the pursuit of might and its use, and they often
minimize the value of those who adhere to other
philosophies. Even among themselves, templars tend to
be contentious, battling for power over the cost of another
Living in the shadow of their sorcerer‐king, templars
who develop too much power and influence are usually
executed without a second thought. Nonetheless, there
are a few who manage to hide their powers and postpone
this unavoidable fate. The most famous templar of the Tyr
Region managed to do what was thought to be
impossible: succeed the throne of a sorcerer‐king. Tithian
of Mericles helped in the assassination plot to kill King
Kalak of Tyr and in return was put into the throne by
Agis of Asticles and his allies.
While not all templars are members of the same
bureau or even the same city‐state, they all have the same
basic organization. These organizations vary dramatically
from one place to the other, however. The city‐state of
Kurn, for instance, only employs those who genuinely
wish to protect and serve the people, whereas the
members from Eldaarich are chosen only from the most
brutal, cruel, and vicious members from the templar’s
Regardless, a templarʹs daily life allows little free time.
Waking hours not spent in direct service to the
templarate, on patrol, or on the field of battle are filled
with martial training, divine study, and bureaucratic
Templars who do not show affiliation with their citystate’s
templarate rarely elicit an unusual reaction from
others. To most they might seem as a fighter or perhaps a
cleric. Those who know or their connection or see
evidence of it, such as their sigil or typical clothing react
depending on their attitude toward the templar’s
sorcerer‐king (or bureau). This reaction is one step closer
to hostile if the sorcerer‐monarch is feared or hated by
that individual (which is the most likely scenario). The
reaction is one step closer to friendly if that individual is
directly associated with that sorcerer‐monarch. Clerics,
druids, and others who are deeply entrenched with a
moral outlook view the templar’s choice with great
suspicion, and their reaction is one step closer to hostile
regardless of the templar’s sorcerer‐monarch.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (local) can
research templars to learn more about them. When a
character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the
following, including the information from lower DCs.
DC 10: Templars are the minions of the sorcerer‐kings
and can draw mystical energies from them.
DC 15: A templar dedicates himself to a particular
sorcerer‐monarch and gains powers based on the
sorcerer‐monarch chosen. They can control undead, cast
divine spells and have control over the city’s resources.
DC 20: In addition to the details above, the result
allows the PC to know that a templar has a similar
connection to their sorcerer‐monarch like a cleric and his
element, and if that particular sorcerer‐monarch dies, the
connection is lost and the templar loses all his powers.
Behind the Veil: Dealing With Templar PCs
Some of the secular authority features may appear to allow templars to be quite arbitrary in the execution of their
powers. This is because they are quite arbitrary in the use of their authority. For player characters, this may be
problematic if the DM does not keep in mind that these authorities are designed to play out amongst a highly charged
political environment. Remember that the templar’s powers do not extend beyond his city‐state. Remember that
templar’s have the authority to contest one another’s rulings. Remember to apply situational modifiers: A well
connected nobleman is going to be much harder to imprison than a pottery slave. The organizations of the templars are
highly competitive and fraught with infighting and backstabbing. This can be used to keep templar characters from
running amok in their city, and can provide the motivation for numerous adventure hooks.
A templar who displeases or abandons his sorcerermonarch,
or one whose sorcerer‐monarch dies, loses all
templar spellcasting abilities. An ex‐templar is treated as a
member of an NPC class (commoner, expert, etc) for
purposes of determining CR. If the templar later becomes
the templar of another sorcerer‐monarch, he immediately
regains his full templar spellcasting abilities.