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In the history of D&D and Pathfinder, has there ever been any class with the ability to smite neutral?

We know about the smite evil of the paladin, the smite good of the blackguard, and I can imagine some expanded classes that might have smite infidel, but what, if any thing, has had or could have smite neutral?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you looking specifically for neutral on the alignment axis? 5e smiting is alignment agnostic, but that seems a bit different than what you are asking for here. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 22, 2022 at 14:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ By neutral, I do indeed mean on the alignment axis. It's more of a historical question since smiting was done to alignment more in the past. \$\endgroup\$
    – Hagel
    Aug 22, 2022 at 15:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ I’m going to roll this back to asking about only smite, since that is already a pretty big question, and we really do prefer one question per Question. Feel free to ask about detection in a separate question. You should probably also be clearer about whether things that detect alignments in general (and thus might indicate if a creature is neutral) count for that. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Aug 22, 2022 at 15:37
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    – V2Blast
    Aug 22, 2022 at 16:03

1 Answer 1

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In D&D 4e and 5e, paladin’s don’t have any kind of “smite alignment” abilities—they just have unaligned smiting attacks (e.g. blinding smite), that work equally-well on anyone. The 5e paladin’s Divine Smite (which is a core class feature rather than a spell) does deal extra damage against fiends and the undead, but that’s the closest it gets to being “smite evil.” So in these editions, you can “smite neutral,” but it’s not especially focused on neutrality, it just applies to everyone.

In D&D 3e (and the “v.3.5 revised edition”), there were many different “smite alignment” type features, but none that targeted neutral alignments:

  • There was a true-neutral paladin variant, the “incarnate” from Dragon vol. 310 (not to be confused by the incarnate from Magic of Incarnum), who got kind of the opposite ability in “smite extremist”—that targeted LG, CG, LE, and CE creatures. (No, this didn’t really make any sense; LG isn’t “more out of balance” than LN or NG. It was clearly limited to these alignments to keep it “balanced” against smite evil’s three target alignments, LE, NE, and CE.)

    • The same article, by the way, had variant paladins for every alignment, so many copies of smite evil, smite good, smite law, and smite chaos to be found here. The TN incarnate was the only one to do something different.
  • Speaking of Magic of Incarnum, the soulborn class (basically a paladin but with incarnum instead of spells) got “smite opposition,” which targeted creatures opposing at least one component of your alignment (soulborns were required to be LG, CG, LE, or CE). No soulborn would be able to smite a TN foe, though.

  • The Tome of Battle crusader (widely regarded as WotC’s stealth “fix” for the paladin) also got a simple “smite,” that like the smites of 4e and 5e, didn’t care about alignment at all, but was otherwise identical to the paladin’s smite evil.

  • Various other smiting effects targeted specific creature types, rather than alignments, for example the killoren’s aspect of the destroyer from Races of the Wild got a smite attack that only worked against “the foes of nature.” (Which the ability defined as aberrations, constructs, oozes, outsiders, and the undead; nevermind that several creatures of several of these types were quite “natural.”)

But I have searched a large number of databases and the like, as well as made various web searches, and turned up no smite neutral ability.

Prior to 3e, I am less familiar with what was available, but I’d be surprised if there was anything—earlier editions tended to be a lot stricter about alignments. Web searches certainly don’t turn anything up beyond fan suggestions for such things.

The only thing I turned up is holy devotee’s wrath, a +3 longsword that allows the wielder to use smite evil on non-good neutral opponents as if they were evil, from Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. But there are a couple of serious problems with this: 1. Pathfinder is not D&D, and 2. this isn’t the Pathfinder tabletop game, either—it’s the computer game based on the tabletop module. Holy devotee’s wrath does not appear in the tabletop version.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In D&D 3.5 terms, LG is more out of balance than LN or NG. After all, a LG character typically has more in common with a LN character, where at least they can agree on the importance of rules and organization for a society without the latter outright opposing people's well-being, or with NG character, where at least they can agree on the importance of seeking people's well-being without the latter outright opposing an ordered society, than with a LE character or a CN character, who outright oppose some aspect of the LG character's beliefs. \$\endgroup\$
    – Obie 2.0
    Aug 23, 2022 at 15:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ So naturally, a character who is somewhere between the various alignments could see a NG or LN character as less extreme than a LG or CE character. From their perspective, a NG character at least gets that both order and freedom are equally important (or unimportant) in the grand scheme of things. A LN character at least understands that helping and harming others are both acceptable in moderation. \$\endgroup\$
    – Obie 2.0
    Aug 23, 2022 at 15:20

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