Here is my final version of my minority report on the Templar.
According to the fluff of the original boxed set, the Templars generally had some training other than being Templars. Most often martial training as a fighter, but also psion and other classes. In 2E there wasn’t really any way to implement this well, and there were no prestige classes. In athas org 3E, they went with a Templar base class.
What I have done is made the Templar a prestige class that can be entered into at the 6th character level. The entry requirements are forgiving, and virtually any base class will be able to fulfill the entry requirements. The Templar PrC has a interesting method of interrogation, and a unique “pseudo-domain” mechanic that makes the Templars serving under different sorcerer kings different from each other.
I’ve been thinking about templars a lot, lately. Mainly about Tithian and Kalak. And the debate on whether Kalak 1) was even a champion, and 2) could grant spells to his templars, and 3) was using Sacha and Wyan to grant spells to his templars.
Tithian, for example, is NEVER shown to utilize templar magic. Or even mention it as a possibility. In fact, the only instance of a Tyrian templar actually using magic was a dwarf in one of the short stories accompanying an adventure, I think.
tl;dr I think that templars shouldn’t all just be clerical spell casters or warlock pacts or whatever. I think a templar’s TRUE strength is/has been/always should be the secular power they wield in their city-state. Those class abilities they had in 2e? Those were BEASTLY in the context of the setting.
Templars work best as a fairly-easy-to-enter prestige class, granting secular power and maybe the option of advancing spell casting or psionic ability. That’s how I would do it, and how I eventually plan on doing it myself.
I can’t think of Tithian using Templar magic, but I can think of a number of instances in which Templars did in ‘the Verdant Passage’. In the Elven Market there is a magical battle with Templars using Templar magic. Templars also use magic when they are chasing Sadira and Agis under Tyr.
Lynn Abbey took a shot at that. I would say 1. Yes. 2. Yes. And 3. No, but Sacha and Wyan could have granted spells to Templars for Tithian (and even TO Tithian), but there was a risk that if they did that Tithian would become a lot less interested in looking for the Dark Lens.
I don’t think it is a Templar’s true strength, but rather the Sorcerer King’s true strength. By being the monopoly source of magic to an organization of bureaucrats, the SK becomes the center of power. This is why some form of immortality was simply insufficient for Tithian - he had to be a true SK or he would not have the political power that he wanted. Ironically, leveraging either Sacha or Wyan would have served for this purpose, but Tithian was unaware of the possibility.
The fact that Kalak wasn’t a true champion is only mentioned in Lynn Abbey’s works, and we know that their canonicity is debatable. Same for the fact that Borys wasn’t the original “Butcher of Dwarves”.