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

I just...don't agree with that. Again, that's blander than unflavored oatmeal as far as I'm concerned. That's like saying "Mad Scientist, Unhinged and Brilliant" or "Shōnen Protagonist, Ridiculously Strong and Bizarrely Friendly."
Both of which are perfectly fine as long as you're in a mixed class party. A Shonen Protagonist in a noir film is inherently a fish out of water and doesn't need to twist or subvert their archetype to stand out from everyone else in the noir film. Likewise classic paladins are a strong archetype because it's at odds with most adventurers, while fighters are no differently motivated than most other characters. As I say if you find this tasteless take a COVID test.
Sure, not all Paladins will be Good (since I prefer the 4e style thereof.) But purity, in the terms of a Paladin...is purity of devotion. Like...that's literally what it is. “My good blade carves the casques of men,/My tough lance thrusteth sure,/and my strength is as the strength of ten/because my heart is pure.” (Tennyson, Sir Galahad.) The purity is the devotion; the devotion is the purity. They are one and the same, inseparable.
I would say emphatically that the Oath of Glory, Oath of Conquest, Oath of Vengeance, Oath of the Crown, and Oathbreaker paladins did not have purity in remotely the same way. They have a form of purity and are all determinators - but the Crown deliberately gets grubby and offers the obvious question about swearing to a monarch unworthy of the devotion, the Glory is self-interested, and the other three there are dark.

This more or less leaves Ancients, Watchers, and Redemption as the other three that do go for purity and goodness. And frankly none of them cover classic paladins. Ancients is too plant focussed. Redemption is where I would end up if I were trying to create a Lawful Good Paragon Warrior - but it's not where Gygax did and so not the rest of pre-4e D&D did. And frankly I'm not sure what Watchers is going for other than Oath of Devotion But More Niche And Less Good.
I never really said otherwise. I am arguing that its thematic niche is dull and insipid, and thus should not be the winner. Redemption, on the other hand, actually had flavor and texture to it, and represents a much more interesting and critical struggle: how long to press the "all life is sacred, every injury is a wrong, every soul is worth redeeming" doctrine, in the face of a world where you cannot always find the resources and effort and (most importantly) time to achieve that redemption, where one must sometimes accept that the perfect is the enemy of the good, and yet never fall prey to the cynicism that says "well if the perfect can be the enemy of the good, we should not seek the perfect in the first place."
We're in agreement about Redemption. But that doesn't somehow make Devotion (other than the name) worse than either Ancients or Watchers. Being able to play the archetype straight is a good thing. And, thanks to D&D history, the classic D&D Paladin is not the Redemption Paladin. And the Ancients Paladin is a wannabe warden encouraged to wear plate armour and otherwise only distinguishable from a Devotion Paladin by having a plant theme while giving up the effects that reinforce both the good and the lawful nature of the paladin.
The mechanics--or, perhaps I should say mehchanics--aren't particularly interesting. The fluff is worse, and the name is outright rank. Collectively, we have something that, yes, it serves a valid function. It's also one of the worst options on the list, and one that I dearly hope gets heavily reworked in "One D&D."
Again the mechanics are better than most of the paladins, especially those in the lawful good area of paladinry. Indeed I'd go so far as to say that mechanically the only place where Redemption is more thematic (although it is a big one) is the Aura of the Guardian's abilities to take hits in place of your ally. I'd put Ancients in more need of going over than Devotion - and Vengeance should have more "ragged" options the way the Avenger did rather than drive you to heavy armour.
 

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Having been working on my own homebrew things for a couple of years now (and specifically a proper homebrew class mostly over the course of this current year)....I significantly disagree with that assertion. It's not any easier than it was in 3e, and only easier in a very limited sense than it was in 4e (namely, that the balance is worse and you have theoretically fewer levels to work with.)
I'd disagree here on a semi-technicality. I'd say that classes aren't any easier to homebrew but subclasses are fairly easy because you need relatively few options and can push fairly far because of it. I mean the Echo Knight would have been a minor nightmare to turn into a class but works great as a subclass.
 

Undrave

Hero
think the Paladin and Ranger both really should have ritual casting even if you take out the regular spellcasting, but I'm otherwise on board with Paladins not being spellcasters.
Hmm... Yah I can see that. I'm convinced. (Personally, the only default Spellcasting a Ranger should get is Ritual for utility)
Personally I don't see the Oath of Ancients as an attempt to incorporate Wardens into 5e. I see them as an attempt to make what they say they are - Green Knights or Fey Knights. It is about protecting the Light and Beauty in the world, not about being guardians of nature.
The way I see it, the Oath of the Ancient protects the World from interplanar interlopers, something that was very important to the Primal Spirits of 4e, hence why the two feel connected in my mind. They're the "Get the Hell out of my Material Plane!" Paladins.
Having been working on my own homebrew things for a couple of years now (and specifically a proper homebrew class mostly over the course of this current year)....I significantly disagree with that assertion. It's not any easier than it was in 3e, and only easier in a very limited sense than it was in 4e (namely, that the balance is worse and you have theoretically fewer levels to work with.)
Tell me about it... Trying to make a Warlord as resulted in me constantly running head first into the issue of Spellcasters being special and needed to ALWAYS think about how to make them involved with the Warlord. I miss when you could just say 'That allies gets +2 to their next attack'. You can't do that in 5e because Casters HAD to be different so they get friggin' Save Spell DC.
 

The way I see it, the Oath of the Ancient protects the World from interplanar interlopers, something that was very important to the Primal Spirits of 4e, hence why the two feel connected in my mind. They're the "Get the Hell out of my Material Plane!" Paladins.
I see where some of this interpretation comes from based on some of the mechanics, but it's nowhere in their Oath, the specific thing that should tell you what a Paladin is about. Their Oath reads as "the good times Paladin". Tbh, the anti-fiend/fey stuff is only tenuously tied to the actual subclass flavor.

Whereas the Watchers Paladin bakes in your interplanar policing identity right into the Oaths.

To me it reads more like the designers already had the "turning" mechanic worked out, so they slapped some different creature types on the OotA Paladin and went back to their day job creating Elf subraces.
 

Tell me about it... Trying to make a Warlord as resulted in me constantly running head first into the issue of Spellcasters being special and needed to ALWAYS think about how to make them involved with the Warlord. I miss when you could just say 'That allies gets +2 to their next attack'. You can't do that in 5e because Casters HAD to be different so they get friggin' Save Spell DC.
I know I've got my warlord as a fighter (battlemaster) sorted out.

Fighting Style: Direct the Strike. Give up your attack so an ally gets to make a basic attack

Maneuvers:
  • Back on your feet! (bonus action): Target ally may spend a hit dice. If they do they recover hp equal to the roll of your superiority dice plus their hit dice. If not they recover 1hp
  • Duck! (inspire by Powerful Warning): When an enemy hits one of your allies within 25ft then as a reaction spend a superiority dice and add it to your ally's AC. If this would cause the attack to miss your ally can make a free attack
  • Lead from the front: When you move at least 20ft in a straight line and make a melee attack you may spend a superiority dice. If you do this your movement ends but one ally may, as a reaction, move up to 20ft in a straight line and make a melee attack
And to me really that's all it takes - the ability to freely hand away attacks in exchange for not being as good at one on one combat, and some supportive maneuvers that must include an Inspiring Word version

(I have more maneuvers squirrelled away)
 

To me it reads more like the designers already had the "turning" mechanic worked out, so they slapped some different creature types on the OotA Paladin and went back to their day job creating Elf subraces.
Hmm.. another way of looking at it
...
You can use your Channel Divinity to utter ancient words that are painful for fey and fiends to hear. As an action, you present your holy symbol...
...
Ancient words = “Hey bud, let’s party.." or..“All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine.”..or..“Let’s go bowling!”..maybe "Kwantsu dudes"..

Holy symbol = recently poured alcoholic beverage or other recreational chemical apparatus.

And then fey and fiends become your in-universe buzzkills.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Hmm... Yah I can see that. I'm convinced. (Personally, the only default Spellcasting a Ranger should get is Ritual for utility)
I do like the UA idea of ritual casting being a top level rule. If you can cast it, and it’s a ritual, you can ritual cast it. Simplifies the whole thing. There is still value in a “ritual only” caster, especially if they get a small list of spells they can cast as rituals that normally aren’t ritual spells, like summon beast for a more magical beast master.
The way I see it, the Oath of the Ancient protects the World from interplanar interlopers, something that was very important to the Primal Spirits of 4e, hence why the two feel connected in my mind. They're the "Get the Hell out of my Material Plane!" Paladins.

Tell me about it... Trying to make a Warlord as resulted in me constantly running head first into the issue of Spellcasters being special and needed to ALWAYS think about how to make them involved with the Warlord. I miss when you could just say 'That allies gets +2 to their next attack'. You can't do that in 5e because Casters HAD to be different so they get friggin' Save Spell DC.
Sure you can. Casters have plenty of attack spells, and if a character doesn’t, that’s fine. You buff someone else.

I do wish that all PC defenses were saves and all PC offense was attacks, though.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I see where some of this interpretation comes from based on some of the mechanics, but it's nowhere in their Oath, the specific thing that should tell you what a Paladin is about. Their Oath reads as "the good times Paladin". Tbh, the anti-fiend/fey stuff is only tenuously tied to the actual subclass flavor.
Being the light of hope isn’t “good times”. And since all Paladins Turn, it fits that the creatures that most often bring despair or mind control are targets, and the aura gives spell damage resistence.
 

Being the light of hope isn’t “good times”. And since all Paladins Turn, it fits that the creatures that most often bring despair or mind control are targets, and the aura gives spell damage resistence.
Delighting in beauty, dance, laughter and song, and shining the light of your joy for all to see = "good times" to me.

Any evil creature is a reasonable target for turning. Bringing despair and/or having access to mind control, is hardly exclusive to fey and fiends. Hell, every bard would meet those qualifications.

I'm not saying the targets chosen for turning are bad. I'm saying their selection is flavor stapled onto the subclass rather than woven into its fabric.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Delighting in beauty, dance, laughter and song, and shining the light of your joy for all to see = "good times" to me.
The ideal Ancients Paladin is Sentry on High Rollers. Hopeful, optimistic, always ready to lift another’s spirits. The kind of person whose eyes light up when you tell them about what is important to you, and who lifts you up in the process.

That person can just as easily be a quiet “mom-friend” as a partier.
Any evil creature is a reasonable target for turning.
Okay, but the subclasses are more specific, suggesting a focus on pushing back against a particular kind of being.
Bringing despair and/or having access to mind control, is hardly exclusive to fey and fiends. Hell, every bard would meet those qualifications.

I'm not saying the targets chosen for turning are bad. I'm saying their selection is flavor stapled onto the subclass rather than woven into its fabric.
And I disagree. There’s no misunderstanding here.
 

The ideal Ancients Paladin is Sentry on High Rollers. Hopeful, optimistic, always ready to lift another’s spirits. The kind of person whose eyes light up when you tell them about what is important to you, and who lifts you up in the process.

That person can just as easily be a quiet “mom-friend” as a partier.

Okay, but the subclasses are more specific, suggesting a focus on pushing back against a particular kind of being.

And I disagree. There’s no misunderstanding here.
Sure, partying is not the only way to conspicuously express and share one's joy at the wonders and delights of life.

But if you tasked me with finding a "glorious beacon" who "delights in song and laughter, in beauty and art", I would expect to find that person having a "good time" somewhere with other people around, likely trying to help those people have a good time too. I don't think this is unreasonable?

With respect to this subclass, it is not any more specific until the mention of fey and fiends in the specific mechanic. Like if you gave someone the Oaths and had them guess what the Channel Divinity might be, their chances of guessing would be waaaaay smaller than if they were guessing for say Watchers, Vengeance, Conquest or even Glory.

Basically my response to the class feature is "Sure, why not." rather than "Oh, of course."

Thus the disagreement.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Sure, partying is not the only way to conspicuously express and share one's joy at the wonders and delights of life.

But if you tasked me with finding a "glorious beacon" who "delights in song and laughter, in beauty and art", I would expect to find that person having a "good time" somewhere with other people around, likely trying to help those people have a good time too. I don't think this is unreasonable?

With respect to this subclass, it is not any more specific until the mention of fey and fiends in the specific mechanic. Like if you gave someone the Oaths and had them guess what the Channel Divinity might be, their chances of guessing would be waaaaay smaller than if they were guessing for say Watchers, Vengeance, Conquest or even Glory.

Basically my response to the class feature is "Sure, why not." rather than "Oh, of course."

Thus the disagreement.
I mean, is there a pair of monster types that would be more appropriate?

I’d love it if the Oath talked about nature, though it does allude to it, but I don’t think it’s any worse than most of the Paladin Oaths, overall, and the total package is great.
 

I mean, is there a pair of monster types that would be more appropriate?

I’d love it if the Oath talked about nature, though it does allude to it, but I don’t think it’s any worse than most of the Paladin Oaths, overall, and the total package is great.
Tbh, my main issue is that I don't really see any thematic thrust for a turning ability for the OotA paladin. If there has to be one, fey, fiends, undead, and aberrations all make about equal sense to me.

I'd have rather it have leaned more fey, maybe take some pages out of the glamour bard handbook, with some kind of enthrall effect or something. Some kind of ability that demonstrates the value of the OotA lifestyle and how it could have an effect o adversaries.

All that said. I really like the Ancients Paladin package, and I kind of love the Oath as is. I'm 100% on board for this kind of enlightened hedonistic warrior, work hard play hard type.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Tbh, my main issue is that I don't really see any thematic thrust for a turning ability for the OotA paladin. If there has to be one, fey, fiends, undead, and aberrations all make about equal sense to me.

I'd have rather it have leaned more fey, maybe take some pages out of the glamour bard handbook, with some kind of enthrall effect or something. Some kind of ability that demonstrates the value of the OotA lifestyle and how it could have an effect o adversaries.

All that said. I really like the Ancients Paladin package, and I kind of love the Oath as is. I'm 100% on board for this kind of enlightened hedonistic warrior, work hard play hard type.
Fair enough. Reading the oath again, you and I read it very differently, but I do kinda love the idea of an Ancients Paladin that is a sort of old Irish/Welsh warrior-bard. Lyre and all. I’ve been listening to the Chronicles of Prydain, and remembering how deeply in love I am with Welsh myths. And Fflewddur Fflam would make a wonderful Ancients Paladin.
 

Undrave

Hero
All that said. I really like the Ancients Paladin package, and I kind of love the Oath as is. I'm 100% on board for this kind of enlightened hedonistic warrior, work hard play hard type.

Fair enough. Reading the oath again, you and I read it very differently, but I do kinda love the idea of an Ancients Paladin that is a sort of old Irish/Welsh warrior-bard. Lyre and all. I’ve been listening to the Chronicles of Prydain, and remembering how deeply in love I am with Welsh myths. And Fflewddur Fflam would make a wonderful Ancients Paladin.
This is why I liked the Dagda for my Ancient Paladin. Dagda had two famous artifacts: a magic club that could just as well end life as preserve it with healing power, and an ever-flowing cauldron of plenty! Good food with good friends in good health!

But it's true the Oath could be more nature-like.
 

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