Templars, the servants of the sorcerer-monarchs, were introduced as a base class in the original Dark Sun boxed set. They were removed for the revised set, but made available as a download. Earth, Air, Fire, and Water gave us more details on the templars, showing how the templars of each city-state differed. In this blog, we’re providing kits for the templars of the city-states, including the “lost” cities of Kurn and Eldaarich, and the templars of the Dragon from Ur Draxa.
As always, a pdf with the blog content is available for download at the end of this article.
Templars are the civil authorities of a city-state. They administer the will of the sorcerer-monarch and enforce the laws of the city, acting as priest, civil servant, mediator, or administrator. They oversee a city’s most important civic functions, including law and order, resource management, water distribution, food production, etc. A templar owes allegiance to his immediate supervisors (usually higher-ranking templars) and his sorcerer-monarch, although most templars rarely see their monarchs, and only when there is an important matter to be discussed. Additionally, templars often sell influence and favours to interested nobles or tradesmen.
Below is information common to all templars, followed by details for the templars of the remaining city-states where a sorcerer-monarch still rules.
Recommended Weapons: None.
Recommended Non-weapon Proficiencies: Etiquette, Heraldry, Information Gathering, Intimidation, Knowledge (local history).
Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: None.
Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Bureaucracy, Literacy.
Wealth Options: Standard
All templars belongs to a rigidly hierarchical organisation and must obey the commands of any templar that outranks them.
Balic’s templars are much like their wise, cruel leader, Andropinis. He delights in forcing legal loopholes and manipulating logic to his own ends. Andropinis enjoys mental gymnastics, and has shown favour to the few who have challenged him and provided him with fresh, entertaining dilemmas. Of course, favour is often a quick death instead of a slow one once he wearies of the game.
Most of Andropinis’ templars imitate his behaviour. This is done to impress their lord and to gain promotions when they become available.
Dictator’s Aegis: At 5th level, a templar of Andropinis can emit a 30-foot aura of protection for one round per level per day. The templar and his allies within this aura gain a +1 bonus on Armour Class and all saving throws. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.
Legal Costs: Whenever a templar of Andropinis attempts to exert secular authority over a freeman or noble, he must make a successful Charisma check or be forced to pay 1d4 x 30 cp per level of the target in legal fees in order to have his instructions carried out. by that freeman or noble.
Tectuktitlay calls his templars “Moon Priests”, as he calls himself the “Father of Life and Master of the Twin Moons”. He claims that he is a god, that it was he who made the mud flats of Draj into a fertile haven for his cowering, worshipping creatures.
Tectuktitlay’s templars dress in blue robes with a yellow moon embroidered on the front and on the back. Armour and other accoutrements are also decorated in the moon motif, with backgrounds of blue, running to black.
Tectuktitlay’s templars are cruel and bloodthirsty individuals. They are especially fond of the king’s lavish rituals, such as when Tectuktitlay tears out the hearts of his captives.
Moon’s Madness: At 5th level, a templar of Tectuktitlay can touch a creature and fill them with lunacy. The templar chooses from attack rolls, saving throws, or proficiency checks. The target receives a bonus to the chosen rolls equal to the templar’s Will Bonus and a penalty to the other two types of rolls equal to the templar’s Will Bonus. This effect fades after five rounds and can affect three targets per day.
Each target may be affected once per day only. If the target is unwilling, the templar must make an attack roll to hit them.
Hearts for the Master: Each templar of Tectuktitlay must bring a live captive to Draj every month for sacrifice in the name of his sorcerer-king. Failure to do so means that the templar will be executed instead. If the templar is away from Draj for more than a month, he must bring one prisoner for each month he was absent on his return.
The templars of the mad sorcerer-king Daskinor live fraught lives. They have absolute power over the citizenry of Eldaarich but must always watch their backs for betrayal from within their own ranks. Paranoia is a constant companion in the life of a templar in Eldaarich.
Daskinor’s templars serve as administrators to the city, and act as the sorcerer-king’s eyes and ears, watching for signs of treachery. Eldaarich has become a police state, the templars its enforcers. They command the military. They oversee all records and the distribution of goods and services. They hold the power of life and death for the rest of the citizenry in their terrified hands.
Instil Fear: At 5th level, a templar of Daskinor can make dire pronouncements that play on the innate paranoia of the Eldaarish once per day. This has the effect of a fear spell, although the effect is non-magical. It cannot be dispelled but it can be countered by other magical effects that can counteract fear. The effect is otherwise identical to the 4th-level wizard spell.
Enemies Everywhere: Templars of Daskinor live in perpetual fear of betrayal. At the start of each day, the templar must save vs. paralysation. If he fails, the templar suffers a –2 penalty to either attack rolls, damage rolls, or saving throws (player’s choice), as he is gripped by doubt and misgiving. This lasts for the rest of the day.
The templars of Gulg are fanatically loyal to the sorcerer-queen, Lalali-Puy, and they believe she protects them from the city of Nibenay, with whom they are at war.
Lalali-Puy’s templars have two separate orders; judaga priests and champions. Champions are warrior priests who wear heavier armour, wield heavy weapons, and defy their enemies openly and with righteous convictions.
The judaga are a class of warriors and nobles who behave much like rangers in the forest city of Gulg. Some of Lalali-Puy’s priests have followed this path. They generally wear light leather armour, use thrusting weapons (good for ambushes from heavy foliage), and are surprisingly adept at moving quietly through the forests. For this reason, the judaga priests of Gulg almost always have a large repertoire of woodland spells.
All of Lalali-Puy’s templars wear necklaces to display their rank Those of first level wear one, while her closest advisor is said to wear at least ten.
Champion Warrior: At 5th level, a templar of Lalali-Puy who is a champion gains weapon specialisation in one weapon – specifically, a +1 bonus to hit, a +2 bonus to damage, and an extra attack every other round of combat.
Judaga Hunter: At 5th level a templar of Lalali-Puy who is a judaga gains a ranger’s ability to hide in shadows and move silently in natural terrain, doing so as a ranger of four levels lower.
Heat Exhaustion: Templars of Gulg are not used to the baking heat of the desert and take one additional point of Constitution damage when suffering heat stroke or dehydration.
The templars of Oronis occupy a unique position on Athas. Although they are the extension of their sorcerer-king’s authority, they wield it with care and responsibility. Their position is that of shepherds, not autocrats, and they are respected and admired for the status they hold.
Elected to their positions, the templars of Kurn are barred from holding any other public office. This means that the corruption which typifies the templarates of other city-states has not taken hold in Kurn. Templars serve out of altruism or a desire to make Kurn a better place in which to live, because they are unable to use their rank to garnish themselves with ill-gotten wealth and power.
Forest Guardian: Due to the amount of time that Oronis’ templars spend tending Kurn Forest, they have gained minor druidic abilities. From 5th level, a templar of Oronis can identify plants, animals, pure water, and pass through forest terrain without leaving a trail at his normal movement rate.
Civic Appeal: Templars of Oronis do not have as sweeping powers of secular authority as templars of other city-state. If a citizen of Kurn disagrees with a templar’s use of civic authority, the citizen may lodge a civic appeal. The templar must make a Charisma check, with a 1-point penalty or bonus for each level difference between himself and the citizen (a bonus if the templar is higher level and a penalty if the citizen is higher level). If he fails the Charisma check, the appeal is successful and the templar’s use of secular authority is negated. The DM may levy further penalties if the appeal was made on particularly serious grounds.
The templars of Dregoth, the Dread King of New Giustenal are all first generation dray, serving their mighty overlord in his subterranean realm, and only onto the surface world as Dregoth’s desires dictate.
Templars are ranked from the First Scale (3rd level) to the Fifteenth Scale (17th level). They are led by the High Templar Mon Adderath, who is the only templar of the Highest Scale (18th level). Dregoth’s templars are magically marked by a yellow scale on their spine; each advancement in level is marked by another scale.
Dregoth’s lowest-level templars tend to be a miserable lot. Until they ascend to the Fifth Scale or higher, they are forced to perform menial jobs, like the city watch. As a consequence, Dregoth’s templars welcome any opportunity to venture into the surface world. Not only does this alleviate the tedium of life in New Giustenal, but it also offers them the chance to acquire new experiences and win favour in the eyes of their lord.
Ravager’s Prowess: At 5th level, a templar of Dregoth gains the use of any one weapon proficiency or one round per level. This can grant specialisation in armour, shield, or a weapon, or in a fighting style – or anything else that can be bought with a weapon proficiency slot.
Feared: Dregoth’s templars are feared by other dray and suffer a +2 reaction penalty in dealings with dray. Reactions to them can never improve beyond Indifferent.
The templars of the Shadow King are the most feared and terrible of all. They wield terrible barbed spears made of agafari wood from the Crescent Forest and their armour is typically formed from the black carapaces of giant insects, ridged with hideous rows of spines and other natural, and deadly, decorations.
Most of the templars of Nibenay are women. Some have said that they actually serve as the king’s wives as well as his warriors. When not armoured for combat, they dress in simple saramis – the higher the templar’s rank, the less they wear. Nibenay’s most senior templars wear nothing at all.
The templar warriors of Nibenay frequently have to fight the judaga and champions of Gulg. They prefer to stand in formation, forcing opponents to do open battle. This tactic rarely gives them a victory, but neither does it bring defeat The open battle tactic is one of the reasons why the war between Nibenay and Gulg has lasted for so many centuries. Perhaps the Shadow King and Lalali-Puy like it this way. It has been said that there is no ally like a common enemy
Formation Combat: Templars of Nibenay gain a +1 to hit, damage, and Armour Class when fighting alongside their fellow templars in close formation.
Slow Advance: Templars of Nibenay reduce their movement rate by 50% (to a minimum of 3) when fighting alongside their fellow templars in close formation.
The templars who serve Abalach-Re are the most timid of the lot, but also some of the most dangerous. Templars only operate in large groups in Raam because of open defiance to the Grand Vizier, usually forming cliques or teams that are loyal to each other, but not necessarily loyal to other groups, or even to their sorcerer-queen.
The paranoid templars feel constantly besieged by the nobles’ never ending raids and double-cross plans, so they frequently carry a large number of divinatory and defensive spells (of Air and Earth Spheres).
They dress in white robes, often covered by armour, with the symbol of Badna, the false god worshipped by the Grand Vizier, emblazoned in the centre.
Badna’s Blessing: At 5th level, a templar of Abalach-Re can emit a 30-foot aura of fortune for one round per level per day. Any time the templar and allies within this aura roll to hit, they may roll twice and pick the best result. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.
Open Mockery: If a templar of Abalach-Re is in Raam and is not in the company of other templars or well-guarded, there is a 3 in 10 chance per hour that he will be confronted by citizens of Raam. Depending on their reactions, they may only seek to humiliate the templar but, at worst, they will try to kill him.
Although standard templars have spellcasting abilities granted through their affiliation with a sorcerer-king. Tyrian templars have irrevocably lost that ability with the passing of Kalak. They still possess their other class-related abilities and perks, however, excepting dominion over slaves. Tyr no longer permits slavery.
Since Kalak’s death, many templars left to serve other sorcerer-kings (or died trying), while others were killed by enemies or ambitious underlings. Tyr’s templars have begun recruiting others from within the city-state to fill their ranks. Tyr’s templars are overseen by the Council of Advisers, and King Tithian. They are as open to corruption as the templars of any other city-state.
Contacts: Since Kalak’s fall, Tyr’s templars have been forced to cultivate contacts among the populace. A Tyrian templar has 1d3+1 contacts. These may be merchants, other templars, tavern keepers, agents of the Veiled Alliance, even beggars or slaves. The DM should develop each one. The contacts are resources the templar may use to dig up information or get things done.
The templar should be careful of her contacts; once killed or alienated, they are gone forever. The quality of information provided by a contact depends on how the PC treats the character. As a general rule, contacts must be paid 1d6 x 10 ceramic pieces per level of the contact to produce a specific piece of information or to perform a small favour. If treated well, contacts may be also be able to loan the PC money or equipment, hide her if she’s on the run, or track down illegal supplies for her. Once again, the quality of these services depends on how well the templar treats her associates.
Secular Authority: The character retains the templar class abilities (apart from spellcasting). Their level in their main class is used in place of templar level if they change class.
Enemies: Many Tyrians despise and fear templars and may attack a vulnerable character without provocation. The underhanded corruption that rules a templar’s daily life gains her many enemies, both within and outside of the organisation. A templar must always watch her back.
A Tyrian templar has 1d2 enemies of low level. As time goes by, she will probably make new ones all by herself. Old enemies may grow stronger as the templar gains levels. Good choices might include other templars, nobles, merchants, criminals, and elves. The DM should judge when and where enemies show up. Their actions may range from simply spreading nasty rumours about the templar to deadly attempts on her life.
The templars of Ur Draxa serve the Dragon and see themselves as the most elevated beings in a society that is already noted for its arrogance. Draxan templars otherwise function like templars anywhere in the Tablelands. They are the city’s administrators and supervisors, directing the distribution of goods, managing the properties reserved for the Dragon, and maintaining law and order within the city. Schooled in doctrine and martial philosophy, they ensure that Draxan citizens maintain the shai, or Draxan martial spirit.
Draxan templars play a close role in the preservation of their culture’s art and lore but frequently suppress that which they disapprove of. Many are attached to Draxan military units, functioning as political officers.
Based in the immense Hall of Administration within Ur Draxa, where some 1,000 templars work assiduously, Draxan templars enforce the ancient and simple Draxan code of laws. They are specifically named in this code, which enshrines their powers to seek out and punish those who violate Ur Draxa’s few laws.
Draxan templars usually wear black, chitinous hide armor and carry short swords and spears on duty. Otherwise, they wear studded leather armor. They do not wear robes of office – like all Draxans, a templar is a warrior first and foremost.
Shai Exhortation: At 5th level, a templar of Ur Draxa can exhort other Draxans to greater martial spirit, granting them increased endurance and fortitude in the face of adversity. All Draxans within 30 feet of the templar receive +1 hit point per two levels of the templar for one round per level. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.
Cultural Stagnation: Draxan templars suffer a –5 penalty on all craft, expression, and knowledge non-weapon proficiency checks. Draxan templars have become accustomed to well-schooled slaves performing such tasks and their own cultural knowledge and abilities have atrophied as a result.
The dread King Hamanu is the most warlike, ruthless, and arguably the most powerful of the sorcerer-kings. His armies have never met defeat when he led them, and his generals make war with a fanaticism born of knowing the price of failure.
To be a templar under Hamanu is to train for war constantly. Every man spends at least four hours every day in weapons training, and knows only too well the harsh lessons the veteran masters will teach them if their guard is down, even for a second.
Hamanu’s templars dress in yellow robes and bear arms made of obsidian from the Black Crown Mountains. Those of higher rank may even wear metal breastplates and helms, and carry weapons with metal blades.
The templars of Hamanu are utterly ruthless and without pity. Urik does not allow weak emotions to surface. Templars who hesitate in the face of adversity will quickly find themselves spitted on one of the obsidian spikes that line Hamanu’s grisly arena.
Lion’s Strength: At 5th level, a templar of Hamanu can add his Will Bonus to his Strength score for one round per level per day. The templar’s modified Strength score cannot exceed 22. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.
Brutal Regime: Templars of Hamanu are the products of an extremely harsh regime and find it hard to shake off the learned behaviours that arise because of this. A templar of Hamanu’s Charisma score is treated as being three points lower for the purpose of Loyalty adjustments and the maximum number of retainers he can have. Reactions and Charisma checks are unaffected by this modifier.