[5e] Eagle Knights and Jaguar Knights

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Dragonhelm
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[5e] Eagle Knights and Jaguar Knights

Post by Dragonhelm » Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:15 am

My favorite archetypes from Maztica are the Eagle and Jaguar Knights. I was thinking what they might look like in 5e and thought I'd get some feedback.

The ability to shape-change into eagle or jaguar reminds me of the druid. However, I think they thematically fit the paladin better. So I could see them being represented by the Oath of Pluma and Oath of Hishna. Make them subclasses.

Thoughts?
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Re: [5e] Eagle Knights and Jaguar Knights

Post by dulsi » Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:13 am

I could see that. I think Seethyr's version is a ranger. I still haven't looked at the rules enough to be able to give much help either way. Only looked up enough to play my halfling wizard and half-orc (scro techinically) cleric.
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Re: [5e] Eagle Knights and Jaguar Knights

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:44 am

While I haven't put much work into adjusting the classes, I also see Eagle Knights and Jaguar Knights as paladins in 5e. With the various Oaths (including those in the upcoming Xanathar's Guide), paladins have become broader than the "Lawful Good paragons" of previous editions.
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Re: [5e] Eagle Knights and Jaguar Knights

Post by Dragonhelm » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:05 pm

So a question for Jürgen Hubert...

In Returned Maztica, will there be a way for players to play a heroic Jaguar Knight who isn't evil? That was always the biggest turn-off of them for me, the idea that they seemed evil.
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Re: [5e] Eagle Knights and Jaguar Knights

Post by Seethyr » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:25 pm

Jaguar Knights have never been evil. In the novels, Gultec, a remarkably powerful Jaguar Knight, was perhaps the most heroic of all the characters. I forget which edition listed them as “nongood,” which seems reasonable - but I really think that contradicted characters like Gultec.

Here’s the catch - the source of their powers is the magic known as hishna which can seem cruel (as it is the magic of claws and fangs), but I too don’t understand why it is inglherently evil. Zaltec gifted it to mankind - but I don’t get the impression that it stems directly from his power.

Like in the novels - both hishna and pluma (and the classes that use them)in my campaign are tools. It’s up to the user of those tools whether it is to be used for good or evil.

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Re: [5e] Eagle Knights and Jaguar Knights

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:10 am

Dragonhelm wrote:So a question for Jürgen Hubert...

In Returned Maztica, will there be a way for players to play a heroic Jaguar Knight who isn't evil? That was always the biggest turn-off of them for me, the idea that they seemed evil.
Definitely. I mean, even in the original Boxed Set there was no alignment restriction on Jaguar Knights (or on Eagle Knights, for that matter), though their kit does say

"They also fulfill the role of temple protectors and enforcers for the cult of Zaltec though not all Jaguar Knights are followers of the god of war, they must obey the commands of their masters when they are ordered to serve in the temples."

But for Returned Maztica, I am going to do away with alignment restrictions even on priests, for the following reasons:

- Questions of doctrine have become very much muddled over the 104 years of the Godless Time, and different temples even of the same god will have different interpretations. For example, the Brood of the Viperhand see the transformation of their ancestors into monstrous beings as a blessing by Zaltec... but the priests of Zaltec in Kultaka see that event as a curse on the Cult of the Viperhand because they were too weak to prevent the invasion. Some cult practices will continue to be evil (such as human sacrifice), but not all cults of the same god will practice them.

- The gods themselves are very much weakened after their long absence, and right now they will accept anyone who is sufficiently devout as a follower, with little regard for how they practice their faith. And while sacrifice remains a big part of Maztican religion, this doesn't necessarily mean ripping out the hearts of captured people - instead they could sacrifice their own blood, or see the blood of enemies they spill on the battlefield as a sacrifice to Zaltec.

- Finally, the gods of Maztica always had myriad aspects, even if it is only mentioned in passing in the Boxed Set. Thus, as far as I am concerned, if a player wants to make up a new aspect of an existing deity with a slightly different portfolio and rites for their character to worship, then that is perfectly legitimate!

To sum it up: If you play a devout Maztican character (and the majority of Maztican humans probably are), then you need to put some thought about what precisely they believe - but do not feel overly constrained about alignment, as long as the alignment you choose is consistent with those beliefs.
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Re: [5e] Eagle Knights and Jaguar Knights

Post by Zeromaru X » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:50 pm

Indeed, its good to see you here again, Seethyr. I also want to see your opinions abut this as well (and about some stuff I've made using your's and Jurgen's stuff as a basis).

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Re: [5e] Eagle Knights and Jaguar Knights

Post by Yaztromo » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:47 pm

The eagle and jaguar thingy is one of the closest to the real world Mayan culture, where these two animals are the two top cultural symbols (note that eagles did not live on Mayan countries, but were known only through cultural exchanges with other nations from more northern countries as a symbol of wisdom).
Behaviours, weapons and ways of fighting should be diametrically different between these knights, while still deeply respecting each other, as they were both considered the most noble animals and therefore the "easiest" to change into men and vice versa.
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Re: [5e] Eagle Knights and Jaguar Knights

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:09 am

The thing is, how can we differentiate their fighting styles, beyond "different spell selection"? If anyone knows of any good sources on their real world counterparts I'd appreciate - maybe they could tell us more.
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Re: [5e] Eagle Knights and Jaguar Knights

Post by Yaztromo » Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:57 pm

Well, let's start from Mayan culture:
http://www.ontheroadin.com/Mexico%20Arc ... aguars.htm
http://www.chichenitza.com/listingview.php?listingID=11
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaguars_i ... d_the_Maya
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_warrior
Eagle Knights dressed in battle with feathered costume, were the first into battle and attacked the enemy using bows and arrows. The Jaguar Knights fought ruthlessly hand to hand with clubs fitted with obsidian knives. They wore jaguar skins and jaguar head helmets and were charged with the responsibility of bringing the enemy back to the city for sacrifice to the Gods.
I think it is clear enough that (simplifying) Jaguar warriors (power) preferred ruthless melee fighting, heavy armour, face to face, straightforward confrontation and "outpowering" the enemy army (first world war! with trenches and bayonet assaults), while Eagle warriors (wisdom) preferred ranged weapons, light armour, fast maneuvering and "outwitting" the enemy army (second world war! with blitzes, surprise attacks and surroundings).
I hope this is enough for a start.
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Re: [5e] Eagle Knights and Jaguar Knights

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:04 am

Yes, you are definitely onto something there. And didn't Poshtli make his Big Dramatic Introduction in the novels by shooting a bunch of hell hounds?

This also fit in well with their association with pluma - after all, plumaweavers in the Boxed Set get a boost to shooting with bows and arrows because of their familiarity with feathers and the air.
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Re: [5e] Eagle Knights and Jaguar Knights

Post by Seethyr » Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:14 pm

Both were proficient with the macuahuitl I believe as well. That seems to be the go to weapon. There is also a spear (starts with a “t”, have to find my research to get exact name) which is imbedded with *plumastne along its edges.

*plumastone is an obsidian-like material which does not shatter and was introduced in the novels
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