Dragon Heresy sneak peek: Oath of Yggdrasil (paladin oath)

One of the more challenging and enjoyable parts of writing Dragon Heresy is creating subclasses. Don’t get me wrong – the basic subclasses provided with the SRD5.1 are nice, and a good start.
But the defining of additional sub-classes isn’t just an exercise of “ooh, cool powers.” I have done more world-building in defining these than I have in trying to build the history of the setting. Who the adventurers can be needs to be a reflection of the world in which they live, and these subclasses are a gateway to that.
I teased +James Spahn the other day about a paladin ability I made with a tie in to his personal fondness for a particular animal. Here’s the completed draft, which has not yet been torn asunder by my playtesters. But I thought it would be fun to share.
Paladin Oath of Yggdrasil
The Oath of Yggdrasil places the paladin directly in the service
of the protection of the World Tree against those that would do it harm. This
includes all “outsiders” such as demons, devils, dragons, and other creatures
from beyond the universe that would seek to unmake the tree and remake the
world to their own image.
The paladin of Yggdrasil is of the world in a profound way, and
seeks both to protect and to know all that lies under its branches. They consider
themselves the personal servants and warriors of Woden, who sacrificed himself
upon the branches of Yggdrasil to gain the wisdom of runes. More aggressive
followers of the druidic gods may also be paladins of Yggdrasil.
Tenets of Yggdrasil
Though the path of the followers of Yggdrasil can be as varied as
the worlds that shelter under its branches, paladins hold generally to these
Fight the Dragons. Wherever
chromatic dragons are encountered, they are a threat to the world tree and must
be fought and slain. This is doubly true for fiends and outsiders, whom the
tree is said to exclude from the world.
Protect the Tree. Always
act to protect the tree from harm.
Serve Woden. Regardless
of your call to other Aesir, always remember the sacrifice of Woden, who hung
speared upon Yggdrasil to bring the light and wisdom of the runes to the world.
Travel. To serve the
tree you must know the tree. Wander far, learn much, and take pleasure and joy
in the many branches of the tree.
Oath Spells
You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed.
Oath of Yggdrasil Spells
Paladin Level
faerie fire, longstrider
misty step, moonbeam
call lightning, protection from energy
dimension door, freedom of movement
legend lore, teleportation circle
Channel Divinity
When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two
Channel Divinity options.

Ward of Yggdrasil. As
an action, you present your holy symbol and speak a prayer censuring aberrations,
dragons, or fiends using your Channel Divinity. Each affected creature that can
see or hear you within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw. If the
creature fails its saving throw, it is turned for 1 minute or until it takes
A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away
from you as it can, and it can’t willingly move to a space within 30 feet of
you. It also can’t take reactions. For its action, it can use only the Dash
action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there’s
nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action.

Branch of Yggdrasil. By
invoking your connection to the World Tree, you cause 20 contiguous square feet
(four 5’ squares, which must touch) to turn into difficult terrain. Any that
start in, or cross this area suffer 1d8 + your Charisma bonus as Control damage.
Use the paladin’s Spell Save DC as the target to overcome the difficult terrain
by attacking to break free.
Word of Ratatosk
Starting at 7th level, you gain the powers of the messenger being
Ratatosk, and the ability to use the sending spell at will. Dogs and wolves within
120’ must make a DC 15 Wisdom save or else they will stop whatever they are
doing and suddenly look towards the target of your communication, wherever it
may be, because SQUIRREL!
Woden’s Sacrifice
Beginning at 15th level, you may perform an echo of Woden’s
sacrifice of himself to gain power, knowledge, and foresight by voluntarily reducing
you vigor maximum by 15, you gain a
point of inspiration that you may use yourself, or bestow upon others, by
spending your reaction. When you take a long rest, the lost vigor is restored,
and any unused points of inspiration are lost.
Root of the World Tree

At 20th level, your connection to the World Tree increases to the
point where you never need to eat or drink, as you derive sustenance from
Yggdrasil itself. You may also invoke an Aura of Vigor that allows you, as a
bonus action, to bestow an additional 3d6 temporary vigor to another creature.
The aura lasts for one minute, while the vigor lasts for one hour. This power
will not affect aberrations, dragons or any creature with chromatic dragon
blood or bloodline, or fiends. Once you invoke the aura, you must take a long
rest before you do it again.

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