D&D 5E Companion thread to 5E Survivor - Subclasses (Part IX: Paladin)

Undrave

Hero
Find the survivor thread here: D&D 5E - 5E Survivor - Subclasses (Part IX: Paladin)

I felt it was necessary to do another companion thread. Would you guys be interested if I were to make a new one for every survivor thread going forward? Or at least until the end of the subclass series?

I think it's pretty cool that the Paladin only has two unreleased UA, it tells me they have a strong grasp of it and it's relatively well liked.
For the people who enjoy having Paladins worship a deity or directly swearing your oath to said deity, are there any deities you gravitate towards for your Paladins?

One of my favorite gods for my Paladins is actually Tiamat. In my tables D&D multiverse, she is still an evil goddess that tries to conquer everything but she will actually aid even the good gods having her followers fight threats from the Elemental Chaos, Abyss, and Far Realms and will stand against any who would see the mortal realm or the multiverse destroyed.
My favorite Paladin was my 4e Paladin of Erathis. Erathis was a Lawful Neutral Goddess of Civilisation. His Order worked for the Kingdom and was tasked with handling a lot of administrative taskes and usually to carry around tax money or pay money being sent to the army. One ‘issue’ for the King was that the Paladins were more loyal to the idea of a stable, prosperous, and peaceful Kingdom than they were to him. In fact, the moment my guy learned the King was doing shady stuff and going on a despotic bent, due to bad influences at court, he just decided the best course of action would be to replace the King with his daughter.

Another Paladin I enjoyed only shortly was an Oath of the Ancient Paladin of the Dagda. His order was all about feeding the poor and he got into trouble with powerful loan sharks in the past. I took the Magic Initiate Druid feat at level 1 to get Goodberry, but I completely forgot to grab Shillelagh for the thematic thing though… Instead of a club (fitting for Dagda) he had a flail where the head was a massive chunk of raw iron ore from a sacred mountain. I probably could have done better on that front, but his weapon was still a funny piece of nature. He had cooking utensils proficiency :p I’d like to try this one again.

Some of ya'll have a strong bias against Unearthed Arcana.
And ya know what? I get it. There are already over 120 subclasses in this game, way more than we will ever need, but they keep adding more for some reason. And nearly all of them start out as Unearthed Arcana playtests...so it's time to attack the source. Enough is enough!
It usually doesn't make it through UA for a pretty good reason and that's usually the same reason people vote against them. I don't expect a UA to win any of these.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
It usually doesn't make it through UA for a pretty good reason and that's usually the same reason people vote against them. I don't expect a UA to win any of these.
I don't agree with that. The early UAs needed a 70% approval rating which is ridiculously high. People who liked it, but didn't like it enough would vote against it, or maybe they liked the Mystic, but would rather have new paladins or whatever and vote against it.

I think a lot of very popular subclasses didn't make it through because of that 70% level and people weighing one thing they liked against another. I also think that is the reason that they abandoned the 70% requirement and we've seen almost every UA subclass in recent years make it into the new products. There's almost no chance that suddenly every subclass for years achieved the 70% mark when so many failed before.
 
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Undrave

Hero
I don't agree with that. The early UAs needed a 70% approval rating which is ridiculously high. People who liked it, but didn't like it enough would vote against it, or maybe they liked the Mystic, but would rather have new paladins or whatever and vote against it.

I think a lot of very popular subclassed didn't make it through because of that 70% level and people weighing one thing they liked against another. I also think that is the reason that they abandoned the 70% requirement and we've seen almost every UA subclass in recent years make it into the new products. There's almost no chance that suddenly every subclass for years achieved the 70% mark when so many failed before.
Except for the Wizard UAs tho :p
 





Undrave

Hero
hard to make another type of wizard as most wizards are now copies of dnd wizards.

Does anyone know why the oath of light & trees is doing so well?

Well, I can tell you why I'm upvoting it: the flavor is unique.

All of the other options are either "edgelord anti-hero" or "warpriest, but with This One Weird TrickTM."
Same!

Also the closest we have to a Warden.
 


RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph
So, homebrew paladin subclasses I like.

Walrock Homebrew has done a few of them. Two of them are pretty well-playtested and pretty fun: the Oath of the Common Man (a collectivist paladin -- I like the Worker's Harmony Channel Divinity feature which lets you give tool proficiency to an ally) and the Oath of Free Commerce (a business-first paladin, for followers of gods of Trade). He's also got a few others in various stages of playtesting: the Oath of Knavery (for your Robin Hood paladins), the Oath of Love (finally a Romance Knight option) the Oath of the Hellsworn (a paladin offering service to a Power of Hell -- looks like a good option for a "fallen paladin"), and the Oath of the Midnight Hour (a stealth-oriented paladin -- looks like something's up with the Google Drive link).

I also really like Brandes Stoddard's Oath of Hospitality paladin, which works well with the Community Domain I homebrewed and has really cool synergy with my home game fairy-tale setting -- the Channel Divinity feature allowing you to ward doors and windows is chef's kiss.
 
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DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
IMO the paladin class is so strong it doesn't even need subclass features, so just flavor it however you want and remove subclasses from it. :)
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
IMO the paladin class is so strong it doesn't even need subclass features, so just flavor it however you want and remove subclasses from it. :)
I don't agree with that. It's strong, yes, but it only really overshines if you have too few encounters during the adventuring day. A paladin going nova is a scary thing and if he can go nova reliably, then...
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I don't agree with that
That's fine, but I also feel that way about Monks and Rogues as well. They have so many features, subclass features aren't really needed.

While Paladins don't have as many core features, they get spells and their core features are so strong, subclasses aren't necessary--which is why many of their subclass features are fairly weak IMO.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
That's fine, but I also feel that way about Monks and Rogues as well. They have so many features, subclass features aren't really needed.

While Paladins don't have as many core features, they get spells and their core features are so strong, subclasses aren't necessary--which is why many of their subclass features are fairly weak IMO.
I've never seen a paladin get spells. I mean, on paper they do, but in combat they seem to use all the slots on smites. :p
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Yeah, that's a pity IME, but I understand it. Paladin's (especially at higher levels) have some really good spells.
I agree. When I made my Oath of Ancients Paladin I was really excited to try out the spells. It didn't take long for me to realize that the smite spells were mostly junk. Why cast a spell before you hit and then hope you haven't lost concentration by the time it is used, just to do less damage than a normal smite and get a small effect? Once I realized how good smite was, the only spell I ever cast was the occasional Misty Step to get up on someone fast or get to someone who was at the top of a 20 foot cliff or something. It was a shame, really.

What they should have done is give paladins smite dice based on level and limited the number you could spend also based on level. So a 3rd level paladin might have 8 smite dice and be able to use a max of 2 of them on any given hit.
 

FireLance

Legend
My preferred approach to cutting down on smites is to allow paladins to only smite once per short rest. This also has the side benefit (to me) of encouraging the players to take more short rests.
 

Same!

Also the closest we have to a Warden.
Whereas for me I think the theme is completely out of left field*, and it--like the Oath of Vengeance being "Avengers"--feels like a slap in the face to people who actually liked the 4e Warden.

Like, if someone told you you could play a Warlock, and it turned out Warlock was just a Wizard subclass that had spooky fluff and one "talk to your patron" feature, but no Hex, no eldritch blast, no invocations, literally nothing like either the 3e or 4e Warlock....would you think "hey, awesome, they gave us something kinda-sorta-vaguely Warlock-like"? Or would you think, "Wow, this was the best they could do, huh? And they're still calling it 'Warlock.' Just wow"?

I'm definitely in the latter camp. It's a similar stance to my rather significant frustration with the "no no no never EVER add more classes, in fact we should have fewer classes and condense everything down as much as possible." That is, trying to shoehorn too many distinct ideas into a single framework very frequently results in one of three things: (a) diluting those distinct ideas until they're barely there (as is the case with Paladin), (b) diluting the base so far that it ceases to have enough stuff in it to be compelling on its own (e.g. I would say Wizard and Fighter are in this camp), or (c) a power-creep spiral (Twilight Cleric being a good example here.)

The purpose of making an actually new class, if a new class is warranted, is to carve out a solid thematic-mechanical package and give it the solidity and support it needs. Subclasses then offer the opportunity to specialize, diversify, or present interesting contrast.

*The Green Knight already exists. It's called the Ranger. The fact that many folks, such as @CleverNickName, see a better Ranger in the Oath of the Ancients Paladin is a condemnation of both things IMO, not a positive about either.
 

Whereas for me I think the theme is completely out of left field*, and it--like the Oath of Vengeance being "Avengers"--feels like a slap in the face to people who actually liked the 4e Warden.

Like, if someone told you you could play a Warlock, and it turned out Warlock was just a Wizard subclass that had spooky fluff and one "talk to your patron" feature, but no Hex, no eldritch blast, no invocations, literally nothing like either the 3e or 4e Warlock....would you think "hey, awesome, they gave us something kinda-sorta-vaguely Warlock-like"? Or would you think, "Wow, this was the best they could do, huh? And they're still calling it 'Warlock.' Just wow"?

I'm definitely in the latter camp. It's a similar stance to my rather significant frustration with the "no no no never EVER add more classes, in fact we should have fewer classes and condense everything down as much as possible." That is, trying to shoehorn too many distinct ideas into a single framework very frequently results in one of three things: (a) diluting those distinct ideas until they're barely there (as is the case with Paladin), (b) diluting the base so far that it ceases to have enough stuff in it to be compelling on its own (e.g. I would say Wizard and Fighter are in this camp), or (c) a power-creep spiral (Twilight Cleric being a good example here.)

The purpose of making an actually new class, if a new class is warranted, is to carve out a solid thematic-mechanical package and give it the solidity and support it needs. Subclasses then offer the opportunity to specialize, diversify, or present interesting contrast.

*The Green Knight already exists. It's called the Ranger. The fact that many folks, such as @CleverNickName, see a better Ranger in the Oath of the Ancients Paladin is a condemnation of both things IMO, not a positive about either.
I can see why they did it as paladin much like druid is a fairly small class concept and is hard to make different flavours off that sound cool.
 

Argyle King

Legend
Oath of Ancients is one of my favorite things in 5E.

There are a lot of different ways to approach the concept of a divine warrior dedicated to more primal religions.

The most fun I've had playing a character was as a lizardfolk Oath of Ancients paladin. Navigating what was "good" from his perception and lizardfolk culture when among a humanoid party was a very rewarding rp experience. It was like playing a more violent and "survival of the fittest" type Druid, but he wasn't evil; he had a code and a dedication to a cause.

In particular, I remember the character had no qualms about killing. However, he was upset about the party rogue/warlock killing someone "and only taking stupid rocks" (money) but not preserving any of the meat or using parts from the kill to make things.

Edit: I also remember spending a lot of time figuring out how to balance lizardfolk culture against the tenets of the class. That was likewise a very rewarding rp experience.

Kindling the light meant not engaging in unnecessary killing. There was no challenge nor honor in killing something defenseless and/or something which didn't need culled. If a kill were deemed necessary, he felt that you should not be wasteful -and use as much of the kill as possible. Against other predators and dangerous combatants, he was more willing to engage in violence because sometimes, in nature, two alpha predators come into conflict.

Sheltering the light and protecting against things which would make life barren includes culling over-populated animals so that the cycle of life (and the natural balance of hunter/prey) is maintained.

Preserving his own light meant enjoying a good hunt or sharing a good meal with friends, family, and tribe members. He was also very generous with gifts to valued friends and enjoyed crafting artwork (often in the form of a weapon or shield) out of bone, antlers, and etc.

Being light came from being strong and protecting friends, family, and tribe members who were weak. Though this was also balanced against an expectation that one would seek to become stronger -or at least useful to the tribe/group in some way. Laziness and a lack of desire to better self is something he looked down upon.
 
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