Paladin of Mystra questions
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  1. #1

    Paladin of Mystra questions

    Hello everyone. Long time no see.
    As I finally got the job, and since I became a father, my time became infinitely more stretched, resulting in less free time for both RPGs and CRPGs.
    Now, I finally managed to get everything work well together, and as a lucky coincidence, an opportunity presented itself for me to join a Forgotten Realms 3.5E game.
    My last play (a Drow Warlock/Hellfire Warlock I posted here about) was a strange and long term success, albeit the low CON score, as I managed to pull her deep into epic levels (was 29 when the campaign ended). Now, the same DM is starting a new game, and I was asked to participate, although with restrictions on what I could and couldn't choose to play. Since I was the last to join, party was already pretty much chosen, and I was stuck with paladin. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike the class - it is only that I haven't played one for a long time, because of my preferences being so set on caster classes.
    Before I jump to what I have in mind to do with this paladin of mine, I will need some advice and critique.

    I will lay down the house rules:
    -32 point buy
    -starting at level 6
    -all non-LA races are open
    -starting gold according to the table in DMG
    -low magic environment due to the story setting (resulting in many enchants being unavailable)
    -hitpoints gained per lvl are maximized hit die on every odd number lvl
    and half that every even numbered lvl
    -Leadership feat and other means to get powerful companions are out (excluding special mount, although DM tried to encourage me to take Charging Smite instead)
    -multiclassing (with xp penalties) is allowed
    -all material is available (and I mean all), though some "broken" stuff is out.

    Okay, that out of the way, I can present you with what I came up with.

    Sylthess, Lawful(Chaotic) Good Cloistered Cleric [1], Paladin(Paladin of Freedom) [5] (with Mystic Fire Knight substitutes at 4, 5 and 6) of Mystra
    Race: Hellbred (Spirit Aspect)
    Stats: STR 14, DEX 8, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 14, CHA 18(17+1 level 4)
    BAB 5, Grapple 7, INITIATIVE -1
    Saves: Fort 9, Ref 4, Will 9 (w/ Divine Grace)
    AC: unknown as I haven't decided on gear yet (any suggestion is more than welcome)
    HP: 44
    Skills (ranks only): Conc 9, Bluff 7, Dipl 4(one more cross class here), Intim 2(3 more cross class here), Kn(Rel) 5, Kn(N&R) 5, Kn(Arc) 5, Kn(Pla) 4, Spellcraft 9(intend to put one more here), Sense Motive 0. Once I finish those odd points, all the rest will go into Sense Motive. I might drop Kn(pla) and Sense Motive and take ride if I choose mount as class feature.
    Feats: 1. Spellcasting Prodigy, 3. Practiced Spellcaster (Paladin), 6. Battle Blessing. I plan on taking Sword of the Arcane Order on 9, Power Attack on 12, Divine Might on 15 and Awesome Smite on 18.

    After presenting the DM with Battle Blessing and Sword of the Arcane Order, he ruled that the spells granted with latter feat would become paladin spells, and as such mix well with the former feat, as well as ignore ASF. That, IMO opened up the door for some crazy things I can do, as my effective caster lvl will start lagging only after clvl 12.
    I plan on taking full 19 paladin levels and not dip into anything else, as that would cost me precious spell slots.

    Oki, that is it. I need some advice on gear, possibly feats. Also, would you take mount or charging smite (from my experience, DM will present opportunities to use both, but I do like the idea of getting an interesting mount more than being able to smite after a charge)? Which spells from Wizard/Sorc list would you choose (Wraitstrike, Displacement, Rhino Rush, Polymorph are no-brainers XD). Would you get plain Paladin with anti-fear aura or Robin Hood type with anti-compulsion?

    The party members I will travel with are Whisper Gnome rogue, Half-Orc barbarian and an Elf Fighter.

    Apologies for any grammar mistakes and thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Duke Arioch; Monday, 25th April, 2011 at 05:28 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    1. Why do you have a level of cloistered cleric?
    2. Charging Smite is better in my opinion because you can't drag a mount into a dungeon as easily as your own two feet.
    3. Given that the party consists of non-casters, maybe it would be a better idea to go for a dedicated spellcaster? If you have to be a paladin, a Paladin2/Sorcerer4/Spellsword1/Abjurant Champion5/Sacred Exorcist8 gets both martial abilities and spellcasting.

  3. #3
    In hurry, I forgot to mention that caster classes are out. Taking Sword of the Arcane order is closest I can get. Paladin is something I had to take, and I almost had to beg for that one level CC dip with promise that I won't take more levels in it. CC is taken for turn undead and skills, since with mystic fire knight sub takes turn undead away.
    On another note, I will be using a two-handed weapon. After looking through all the choices, I am down to two: a falchion or a scythe. First has higher crit range, second has higher crit multiplier. On 100 strike test, taking into account 5% failure (roll of 1), keen spell, and assuming all other attacks are true, both score same average damage - 625. Which is still miles behind greatsword which does 805. I realy don't want to go sword&board way.

    P.S. I am not kidding: sorc, wiz or anything with full spell progression is out. Which is lame. I would even take pure sorc any day over any other non-caster class, but almost full pally was enforced on me.
    Last edited by Duke Arioch; Monday, 25th April, 2011 at 08:17 PM. Reason: typos... again.

  4. #4
    Interesting... how is your party going to handle healing? I would suggest the Touch of Healing reserve feat from the Complete Champion to help avoid long rests between encounters.

    If I may ask, why are you playing in a game where you have so little control over your character?

  5. #5
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    You are going to be a Paladin of the Magic Godess in a low magic Forgotten Realms game? That's like a paradox within a paradox.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dandu View Post
    Interesting... how is your party going to handle healing? I would suggest the Touch of Healing reserve feat from the Complete Champion to help avoid long rests between encounters.
    Excellent suggestion, IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dandu View Post
    If I may ask, why are you playing in a game where you have so little control over your character?
    I will go on a bit of a tanegnt here, so forgive me. This should be a thread. On the one hand, D&D is theoretically a give & take where the DM & players agree on something that everyone likes, or they go to another game to find something they do like. This makes sense.

    However, in reality I have found that:
    1) people are much more comfortable with gaming with their friends
    2) people rarely know more D&D players than one good game's worth
    3) people are not that confortable finding a game through the internet
    4) people are busy and DMs are hard to find
    5) when a friend volunteers to DM a game, you bend over backward to make sure they are happy and don't quit, including acceding to any demands or even requests regarding the game world or character restrictions as long as there is still enough room to enjoy the game.

    If my DM told me I had to play a paladin, I would play a paladin. If he told me my exact feat & skill progression, I would not play. It's a personal matter of how badly do you want in the game and how far are you willing to go to find another game.

  7. #7
    I would seriously suggest you change your feat progression thus:

    Feats: 1. Power Attack, 3. Serenity, 6. Practiced Spellcaster (Paladin) 9. Sword of the Arcane Order, 12. Battle Blessing, 15. Extra Smiting, 18. Awesome Smite.

    Serenity is from Dragon and would switch all your charisma dependent abilities to Wisdom. This would be better than Spellcasting Prodigy if you had an 18 in Wis. If that's not an option:

    Feats: 1. Power Attack, 3. Divine Might, 6. Practiced Spellcaster (Paladin) 9. Sword of the Arcane Order, 12. Battle Blessing, 15. Extra Smiting, 18. Awesome Smite.

    One of the issues I see with this build is that you get so few Smite Evil attempts per day, yet chose Awesome Smite. A feat had better be useful more than 3 times per day if it's going to take up one of your 7 precious feat slots. Extra Smiting helps, but it may be better to pick more consistently useful feats. Combat Expertise and Improved Trip come to mind.

    If you can get devotion feats by trading in domains, try to do so. She is Lawful Neutral, and the Law devotion feat is good iirc. Gives you a much better use of your turning attempts than Divine Might. Divine Might adds to damage, but doesn't help you hit things. Obviously, you have to hit things in order to deal damage... and hitting with one less BAB and STR 14 is going to be problematic.

    Law Devotion, however, grants a +5 to either attack or AC, which you can switch between the two.

    If Mystra's NG, take Good Devotion. In either case, maybe you should swap Str and Cha.

    Also, change your racial option. To quote from the Paladin Handbook,

    Hellbred
    (FCII): Very nice flavor and bonuses. They get an Evil Exception so you can use evil items without taking negative levels. They also receive several bonus devil touched feats, some of which have nice charisma related uses. Alternatively you can choose the aspect that grants bonus to charisma, but I wouldn't recommend it as it hurts your constitution and darkvision/telepathy aren't that important to paladins.
    Unless you did take the better aspect.
    Last edited by Dandu; Monday, 25th April, 2011 at 11:41 PM.

  8. #8
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    Armor - Mechanus Armor - +10 AC (Base), -8 ACP, +0 Max Dex
    Weapon - Kaorti Resin Jovar - 2d6, 18-20/x4, Slashing
    Both can be found in the Planar Handbook.
    Also, might I suggest zero levels of the Aasimar Racial Class? Savage Progressions: Level-Adjusted Races

  9. #9
    I would suggest the Touch of Healing reserve feat from the Complete Champion to help avoid long rests between encounters.
    Interesting. I will give it a thought. Seems to me it would be helpful. On the other hand, I know how this particular DM handles his games, and so if he is fine with our party, we probably won't need much healing - if any.

    You are going to be a Paladin of the Magic Godess in a low magic Forgotten Realms game? That's like a paradox within a paradox.
    The setting is peculiar - Shar has gained some power and allies, and had all but severed Mystra's ties to the weave and the world itself. Users of the weave are hunted, and all things created using weave are sought for to be destroyed. The story is to be set around my character (as her champion), hence so little flexibility. Which brings me to:

    If I may ask, why are you playing in a game where you have so little control over your character?
    Kithik was right in all observations. DM is my RL friend, and this game is played IRL, not via internet. He came to me and kindly asked me if I would play the character which is almost premade and would hold the story on it's shoulders. Since it has been a while since I actually played anything, and after some consideration, I accepted; DM is a good one, has great ideas story and play wise and I only have good memories from playing with him.
    Also, Dandu, some great suggestions with feat choices... Serenity escaped me since I don't have any of Dungeon or Dragon magazines.
    Pergentile, although I have Planar Handbook, I wouldn't have remembered it in ages. Now I will have to go through it. TY.
    In fact, thank you all on quick responces.

  10. #10
    I suppose it is a matter of choice, but when a DM gives me a premade character who is supposed to hold the story on his shoulders in a low magic setting which will clearly revolve around his actions, I hear warning bells in my head.

    However, if you think it's going to be fun, feel free to ignore me. Just be prepared to run away at a brisk pace if there is a long and copious backstory that involves an artifact of doom and requires Cliffnotes to understand.
    Last edited by Dandu; Tuesday, 26th April, 2011 at 08:56 AM.

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