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The smite evil ability on the Half-Celestial template is worded this way:

Once per day, as a swift action, the half-celestial can smite evil as a paladin of the same level as its Hit Dice. The smite persists until target is dead or the half-celestial rests.

The smite evil ability on the Simple Celestial template is worded this way:

The creature may smite evil 1/day as a swift action (it adds its Cha bonus to attack rolls, and a damage bonus equal to its HD against evil foes; smite persists until the target is dead or the celestial creature rests).

The Simple Celestial ability does not say "as a Paladin". Is the Simple Celestial smite evil is a different ability from the Half-Celestial and Paladin smite evil, not gaining the HD/Level bonuses and the ability to bypass DR as in the Paladin ability?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

As written, yes, they are different

More than likely, this is just an oversight (and if not, poor choice to call it Smite Evil if it isn’t actually Smite Evil!), but as written a Celestial creature’s ability to Smite Evil is not the same as a paladin’s.

Actually, as written, the ability is very strange! It says that you add +Cha to attack and +HD to damage against evil foes. Not a single, chosen evil foe as with the paladin, but to any and all evil foes, apparently. But then it says that it lasts until the target is dead, even though it did not previously say anything about targeting anyone. What that even means, I can’t say for sure; is it the first evil foe slain by the Celestial creature after activating the ability? Or does the Celestial creature just pick some “target,” the only relevance of which is that the ability lasts until that target dies? Doesn’t even say it has to be an evil creature, or an enemy for that matter; “target” your ally, and provided you don’t let him die, get +Cha to attack and +HD to damage against all evil foes until the next time you rest?

More than likely, they meant that you only get +Cha to attack and +HD to damage against one specific evil target of your choice, rather than against all evil foes, but that’s not at all what it actually says. Moreover, that still makes very little sense, as it’s called Smite Evil so it should work like Smite Evil. I think it makes vastly more sense to just use the paladin’s version and be done with this silliness.

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