you can read the original version of Paladin here.

Paladin was originally written by Clinton R. Nixon <>
This document is based upon Version 1.1 which was made available in 2002.

Paladin is copyright 2002 Clinton R. Nixon. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

This version of Paladin was modified from the base text. The majority of the base text is presented as originally written; the major difference is in the presentation of game rule materials (which were modified to use Risus).


Paladin is a variable-setting role-playing game in which you play holy warriors: men and women given extraordinary gifts by a benevolent supernatural force, gifts that they use to fight back evil while trying to maintain their own purity. This archetype is found from myth to pseudo-history to modern movies: Knights Templar fighting the heathen hordes and their sorcerers, Shaolin Monks keeping back English invaders in the Boxer Rebellion, Buffy and pals kicking vampire ass, or Star Wars' Jedi against the Empire and the Dark Side of the Force. The mechanics and philosophical concepts presented are obviously heavily influenced by Star Wars' Jedi. Star Wars is one of my favorite phenomena because it does contain myth - a very modern sort of myth with liberal blending of a little Jung, a little Bible, and a lot of pop culture. This is not a Star Wars role-playing game, though - it is much, much more. The name "Paladin" is taken primarily from Dungeons and Dragons. I'm sure I've heard it elsewhere, but to be honest, that's certainly where I heard it first. When I hear the word "paladin," I usually think of a big, armored knight with glowing sword and white horse, but this game is meant to address more characters than that guy. It addresses any fictional character with the question, "Can I hold on to my ideals in the face of temptation and trials?"


Written by Clinton R. Nixon. The idea for Paladin comes from several May 2002 threads on The Forge forums, specifically "Characters falling into corruption and player choice" (found in RPG Theory) and "Star Wars Pre- and Post-game Report" (found in Actual Play). Ralph Mazza especially brought up some good points, and this system is influenced by a few of his ideas on the former thread. Additional development ideas came from Jared Sorensen, Blake Hutchins, Zak Arntson, and Ron Edwards. Extra special thanks go to Rafael Chandler who provided me with an incredible amount of feedback on this game. Playtesters, who I thank heartily, were: Adam Burke, Rafael Chandler, James Cunningham, Dan Root, and Jon Schweitzer.

Risus Modifications

Risus: The Anything RPG was created by S. John Ross and is Copyright ©1993-2013,2021 by Dave LeCompte - the modifications to Paladin were made at the Risusiverse.

The Risus Modifications are in no way play tested or approved. Hopefully others will be able to continue the work begun. You have been warned.

Other inspirations

The Riddle of Steel ( An excellent RPG, its system of Spiritual Attributes was a strong influence on Paladin character creation. Vincent Baker's Otherkind ( His Connection to Life mechanic was an influence on the use of Dark Animus in Paladin.


Creating the Setting
Notes on creating a Paladin campaign. There is a default setting and notes for others here.

The Paladin Born
Creating your Paladin character.

Paladin in Action
Specific rules used.

The Flow of Animus
The force behind the Paladin.

Running Paladin
Notes on running a Paladin campagin.