why paladins (smite) are powerful: action economy efficiency
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    why paladins (smite) are powerful: action economy efficiency

    So

    I *think* most people will agree that the Paladin is a very powerful class in 5e - perhaps one of the few that are probably a little bit OP (esp in a game with few combats per long rests).

    A big part of that is the power to smite - to "burn" spell slots to do more damage when hitting a foe with a weapon. At first glance, this seems like an inefficient use of spell slots. For example, a paladin could cast bless and give +1d4 to hit to 3 people (including herself). If *two* more attacks land in a fight that would have missed without the bless spell (a reasonable number), those 2 attacks will probably do more damage than the 2d8 that spell slots would have done if, instead of being cast as bless, was used to power a smite.

    Yet, despite this, both from personal experience as a GM running a game with a paladin, or from reading the boards here, a paladin smiting away is a thing to behold. WHY?

    Because while it's not very "efficient" to use your spell slots as smite, it's very efficient *action wise*. Casting a spell takes an action usually. An action you could use to attack instead. Smiting allows you to use your spell slots and attack at the same time.

    It's one of the reasons I'm becoming a bit hesitant about the hexblade after using it for a while in a pbp game - every round you cast is a round you are not attacking (or vice versa)*. That is what the "gish" in pathfinder was (the magus) - a class that could cast and attack in the same round, and why it was very powerful indeed.

    So that's why the Paladin is good

    * the hexblade *can* take an invocation that allows him to smite like a paladin, but he only has 2 spell slots for 90% of most campaigns, so it's not so great - and it's an invocation he can't use on something else.
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    One reason I rated the Paladin so high.

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    Nova-ing is always very powerful because by front loading damage you end fights early, you take out the most powerful monsters early, the party takes less damage and is stronger for the next fight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by S'mon View Post
    Nova-ing is always very powerful because by front loading damage you end fights early, you take out the most powerful monsters early, the party takes less damage and is stronger for the next fight.
    Exactly this. And on top of that, Paladins are a killer support class, so even if one is excelling more in the party than everyone else, few people are ever going to resent them for it because they're also helping to keep everyone alive.

    I can somewhat forgive this though, given that Paladins have the most roleplaying restrictions of any class, besides maybe Warlock. The party needs some reason to keep that stubborn bastard around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Autumn Bask View Post
    ...given that Paladins have the most roleplaying restrictions of any class, besides maybe Warlock.
    /popcorn
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    It is rumored if you say Paladin three times, you can summon certain forum members, similar to the situations like Bloody Mary or Candyman....
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Autumn Bask View Post
    I can somewhat forgive this though, given that Paladins have the most roleplaying restrictions of any class, besides maybe Warlock. The party needs some reason to keep that stubborn bastard around.
    I find the Ranger is pretty high up on the butt kick scale. The one in my party at 5th level fired 36 point cruise missiles fairly regularly. Two of those a round and some big things go bye bye pretty fast.

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    On top of all that, the interaction of smite with the crit rules means a paladin wanting to be a little more conservative in their use of spell slots can wait till they score a 20, then turn the smite into a double-damage blast.

    And, on top of that, there is no per-turn limit to the use of smite, unlike most such features. So a paladin needing to pull out all the stops can use a smite on every hit; up to twice per round with Extra Attack, or even three times if you can arrange a bonus action attack (e.g., with Polearm Master).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ancalagon View Post
    Because while it's not very "efficient" to use your spell slots as smite, it's very efficient *action wise*. Casting a spell takes an action usually. An action you could use to attack instead. Smiting allows you to use your spell slots and attack at the same time.
    Absolutely this. I've looked over the smite spells that the paladin has, and they generally pale in comparison to the damage the simple smite has without using a bonus action. I think that the simple smite should have been the same as the smite spells, using a Bonus Action to cast and triggering on the next hit. Not only would this limit smite to once per round, but it would remove the option of using the bonus action for things like Great Weapon Master's or Polearm Master's bonus action attack. This also would remove the tactic of saving smites for critical hits.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Dausuul View Post
    On top of all that, the interaction of smite with the crit rules means a paladin wanting to be a little more conservative in their use of spell slots can wait till they score a 20, then turn the smite into a double-damage blast.

    And, on top of that, there is no per-turn limit to the use of smite, unlike most such features. So a paladin needing to pull out all the stops can use a smite on every hit; up to twice per round with Extra Attack, or even three times if you can arrange a bonus action attack (e.g., with Polearm Master).
    That's why the Black Dragon I had them fight didn't last long... The Paladin is very creative at using his Persuasion ability to piss off the big bad-guys to come after him. I made the black dragon the father of the Black Dragonkin they killed coming for revenge. So the paladin waves the sword in the air and says "Hey, does this sword look familiar? Yeah, after a took it from him I stabbed it through your son's cowardly heart!" Then he rolled a 17 for a net 23 on the persuasion roll to get the dragon to attack him. He hit the dragon twice in a row, once with a crit, both adding his 2nd level smites. Kapow! The dragon then took a cruise missile from the Ranger and boy oh boy did that hurt the beast. I think it lost half it's points in the first round.
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