More love for Holy Warriors! (image source)

Almost all of the classic Paladin abilities from D&D have a clear analogue in the list of powers available to Holy Warriors in either version of Dungeon Fantasy.

With one exception.

Smite Evil (5 points/level)

Pre-Requisite: Holy Might or Power Investiture (Holy) 1+.

You can empower your blows with the very wrath of the heavens! Channeling raw Holy Might in this way can be tiring, but it can also be just the thing to bring down a powerful servant of Evil.

You can buy as many levels in Smite Evil as you have levels in Holy Might. You can declare you’re using it before you attack an enemy with your fists or with a weapon. For each FP you pay (up to your level in this ability) your attack will cause an extra 1d of follow-up burning damage to the enemy if it hits!

This damage is effective against insubstantial targets, even if your normal weapon attacks aren’t. On the other hand, it only affects Truly Evil foes. Smiting anyone else just wastes the FP, but at least you’ll know immediately why it didn’t work. Detect Evil is a very useful companion to this ability!

Statistics Each level is Burning Attack 1d (Follow-Up, Universal +50%; Affects Insubstantial +20%; Variable +5%; Only against Truly Evil targets -50%, Costs Fatigue, Variable, 1 FP/die, -15%, PM: Holy, -10%) {5}.

Design Notes

Smite Evil is the most popular ability of D&D Paladins. It’s present in all editions of the game, though its implementation differs substantially from one to the other.

The ability as presented above is somewhere between the 3.5 and Fifth Edition versions. Like the one in 3.5, it enhances a single attack and its use is a waste if the target is not evil or if the attack misses. Like the one in 5th edition, its use is limited by the same resource you would use to cast spells. As a Holy Warrior, you have to put some thought on when you use Smite Evil, but the cost of a missed attack can be recovered with a few minutes’ rest.

The “Only against Truly Evil targets” limitation is inspired by a similar limitation in the Smite power found on GURPS Monster Hunters 1: Champions. It includes a bunch of undead and demons, as well as a few other monsters, but also excludes a lot of common opponents, so I feel that’s a fair value. Damage from Smite Evil counts as holy, so if you have a Truly Evil monster who is also extra-vulnerable to holy attacks, this will make them dead very fast.

The variable fatigue cost limitation was calculated according to the guidelines in GURPS Power-Ups 8: Limitations, and Universal Follow-Up is from its sister volume on Enhancements.

If you want your holy warriors to smite evil at will, removing the variable FP cost would bring the ability’s cost to something like 6 points/level and make it a lot more devastating against evil monsters, particularly at higher levels. Allowing it to affect anyone would make it cost around 8 points/level, but would potentially step on the Knight’s toes. Doing both would bring the cost up to around 9 points/level.

Alternate Smites

Higher Purpose works as a lower-intensity at-will smite in the vein of some D&D 4 powers, since it gives bonuses to attack and damage against demons and/or undead. Heroic Feats is a bit like Pathfinder’s version, giving you bonuses for a limited amount of time instead of affecting one attack.

By the way, the Smite power from Monster Hunters would itself be a nice Holy Might power for those characters who rely more on their strenght of will than on their muscles. In Dungeon Fantasy it would cost 10 points/level and be similarly limited by your level of Holy Might or Power investiture, and only affect Truly Evil monsters.

All of these abilities can coexist peacefully in the same campaign, or even in the same character with enough points. Smite Evil stacks with both Higher Purpose and Heroic Feats, but not with Smite from Monster Hunters due to the way Universal Follow-Up works.