Monday, October 24, 2022

Two Blood Brothers Out For Each Other - Observances of Hawk The Slayer & Anti Paladin From The Best of Dragon Magazine issue #2

 Four A.M. in the morning this morning I found myself reading through The Best of Dragon Magazine issue #2. And once again I found myself crusing through 'The Anti Paladin' article by George Laking & Tim Mesford. Why because early in the evening I'd settled down with my Dad & wife to watch 'Hawk The Slayer'. 

I threw Hawk The Slayer onto the Bluray & it's been a long while since this cultclassic was on. The fact is that in my humble opinion this the Dungeins & Dragons movie some of us grew up with. Jack Palance's Voltan is essentially an anti paladin duped by the powers of darkness. Everytime Palance is on screen he chews up the scenary gloriously. 

Both Hawk & Voltan have renounced the throne for their minor kingdom. The only thing that's out on the table for rulership is revenge. According to a 2015 article on the anti paladin on  Otherside blog Timothy Brannan covers two options; "the better Anti-Paladins comes from the ACKS Player's Companion book.  It captures the feel of the Dragon article quite well I think.  It is also given enough reason to exist without being grossly overpowered.   There is also the Barrel Rider Games Player's Companion that presents a number of new class features and, appropriately enough on page 13, the Anti-Paladin." The original Best of Dragon magazine issue #2 covers the anti paladin's evil quite nicely. 

And according to the original Dragon Magazine article; "Thus, half-ores wil l commonly be found serving in the capacity of assassins, half-ogres—if that variant is employed—will perform as fighters (brigands), while an occaional renegade dwarf or depraved half ling might be numbered as thieves in the Anti-Paladin's service. On the other hand, no self "respecting elf — not even a thief —would ever serve such an evit master (although, under certain conditions as determined by the DM, a solitary Drow might be found acting in the role of "advisor"). Brigands, thieves and assassins are the Anti-Paladin's usual human companions. Occasionally, he might have on hand a defrocked cleric to act as his chaplain, an outlawed alchemist to brew up his poisons or a demented wizard to keep him well supplied with potions, scrolls and other magic items (see Table 3b for details on these "special" human servants)." In otherwords the Anti paladin is the sink of evil for many criminals & scum within his purview. And this fits right in line with Voltan's band of thieves & scum who serve him
But as the years roll on & the Anti paladin's levels increase his 'charisma of evil' decreases; "At higher levels of experience, the Anti-Paladin's infamous reputation for self-serving treachery, senseless violence and unswerving devotion to the cause of evil wil l actually deter all but the most vicious or psychotic human types from entering his service. For this reason, both the probability and the number of human retainers decreases with each additional experience level the Anti-Paladin gains." Again this fits Voltan to a tee. Evil has it's own rewards but they are few & far between. 

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