[RPG] Is the Saint, from Book of Exalted Deeds, broken


An answer to this question: Protecting NPC's from Emissary of Barachiel claims that the Saint, from Book of Exalted Deeds, is pretty broken.

Curious, I went and websearched for it. It looks like Saint is a +2 LA template. It grants a bunch of resistances and immunities, and it gives +1d6 holy damage against evil creatures.

Is this broken? It seems like the sort of thing where you're like "you can't hurt me, I have DR 10/evil!" so one of the monsters grapples you and the rest of them go kill your allies while you're trying to escape.

Best Answer

Saint is immensely powerful. You are missing a whole lot of what it offers. Its defenses are top-notch and then some. Some highlights:

  • Wisdom to AC, regardless of armor. Stacks with monk or monk’s belt or any number of other AC bonuses.

  • +2 to each and every save DC ever. Since DCs generally scale with half-level, that’s effectively an extra four levels of everything for the purposes of DC. That is very, very good. Also stacks with everything.

  • Bonus damage against evil-aligned creatures, more bonus damage against evil-subtype creatures and the undead, and it all stacks with everything else. It’s not a ton but it’s there.

  • Retribution damage based on the above damage bonus for evil-aligned creatures that attack the saint with a natural weapon.

  • Massive amounts of fast healing (up to 10 hp/round).

  • Tons of immunities.

  • Constant double-strength magic circle against evil, providing protection against mental control and possession regardless of alignment, and more protection against evil creatures, including simply not allowing summoned evil creatures anywhere near the saint.

  • Constant lesser globe of invulnerability, so a whole bunch of low-level effects just don’t reach the saint.

  • Useful ability score bonuses

On the other hand, LA +2 and requiring three Exalted feats (which you might find difficult because very few Exalted feats are worth anything) is quite a cost. On top of that, a saint is supposed to be, well, saintly. The exalted character requirements are kind of like the paladin’s code on steroids in a lot of ways.

Does that balance things out? No, not really, at least not if you’re building around it. There aren’t any two levels in the game that can get all of the above, excepting possibly two levels of full spellcasting progression, getting you to higher levels sooner. The existence of apostle of peace in the same book, however, provides a ready answer to disrupting that progression for saint.

Mostly, saint is just bad for the game. Book of Exalted Deeds is just bad for the game, really. It has poor grasp of game-design, and arguably a worse grasp of ethics or morality.

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