D&D 5E Paladins: what alignments do you think are most appropriate/common for each oath?

Minsc

Explorer
What do you think is the most likely/common/acceptable alignment(s) for each oath?

Oath of Devotion?

Oath of Ancients?

Oath of Vengeance?
 

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Voort

Explorer
Oath of Devotion - LG. Boy Scouts & Saints.

Oath of Ancients - NG. Falstaff.

Oath of Vengeance - LN. Batman.
 

Oath of Devotion?
Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral, Neutral Good are the best
True Neutral, Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil could be possibilities, depending on your style.
Chaotic Neutral, Neutral Evil, and Chaotic Evil are very unlikely
Oath of Ancients?
Any Good and Lawful Neutral are the best
True Neutral and Chaotic Neutral could be possibilities
All Evils are very unlikely
Oath of Vengeance?
Chaotic Good, Neutral Good, Chaotic Neutral and True Neutral are the best
Any Lawful,could be possibilities
Neutral Evil and Chaotic Evil are very unlikely
 

pukunui

Legend
For me, the most common alignments for each oath would be:

Devotion: Lawful Good (Obi-Wan Kenobi)
Ancients: Neutral Good (Qui-Gon Jinn)
Vengeance: Lawful Neutral (Mace Windu)
Oathbreaker: Any Evil (Anakin Skywalker)
 
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Paraxis

Explorer
I think it doesn't make a difference much anyway, alignment has only the slightest mechanical effect in the game and only then it is when interacting with a few magic items.

Paladins like most characters in my games don't even write an alignment down.

I could totally see a LE paladin like the Operative from the movie Serenity.

tumblr_mqrxlxyhsg1sdtjb9o1_500.jpg

I'm not going to live there. There's no place for me there... any more than there is for you. Malcolm... I'm a monster.What I do is evil. I have no illusions about it, but it must be done.
-The Operative
 


Riley37

First Post
Ancients could be Lawful if the paladin were a member of a society which had rules consistent with the principles of the Ancients. For example, if the paladin were a member of the Seelie Court. The paladin would be doing the right thing according to the expectations of their society.

Vengeance might have to non-lawful, in any society which disapproves of vigilantes, unless the paladin has societal permission (or endorsement) to choose their own targets, or the paladin accepts targets assigned by a proper authority.

The description of the class seems largely written under the assumption that ALL paladins fit the 1E stereotype. This comes into conflict with the 5E separation of classes from alignments. Paladins "hunt the forces of evil wherever they lurk". If a paladin is evil, does she suffer from a sort of mystical auto-immune disease, in which she hunts herself?

Seriously, look how often the terms "good" and "evil" appear in the class description, in ways which don't make sense for evil paladins.
 

Herobizkit

Adventurer
Id like to chime in. Traditionally, Paladins were always LG and when Monks were a thing, they had to be Lawful. In that same vein, I believe 5e is saying that Paladins also tend to Lawful since the very concept of an Oath is by design a set of rules of conduct.

To that end:
Oath of Devotion = Lawful Good. Your shiny, heroic slayer-of-evil.
Oath of Ancients = Lawful Neutral. Neutral is commonly associated with Nature deities.
Oath of Vengeance = Lawful Evil. Vengeance comes in many forms; while she has her own code, this Paladin will do whatever it takes to mete out said Vengeance (not Justice - violent revenge).
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Going by how alignments are defined in my campaign setting/world...and they are defined and used and an important part of your character. Alignment -and the forces of Good, Evil, Order and Chaos- does [conceivably] have consequences in your character's life...your paladinhood is defined by your oath. You have to take that oath seriously. Take it/make it as part of yourself. Your word, your promise, your OATH is to this cause. If you are not capable of the discipline needed to maintain and enforce your word/promise/oath to your cause of choice...then how are you expecting to be -or continue to be- a paladin?

Paladinhood, at its core, demands Lawfulness.

A paladin, not just needs but, holds at the core of his/her being a conviction toward Order. There must be the discipline to maintain your convictions and follow your chosen path [when it will, presumably, not be so easy a lot of the time]. There is an eye toward civilization and, well, law, and the furthering/maintaining of it (the devotion to that Oath you hold so highly hold: be that through individual power, the forces of "Good", "the light", the king, the nation, the order, Truth, justice, etc...)...regardless of whatever other concerns create their particular cause/order/deity/other focus of their abilities.

That in mind. I can see, in 5e, a breakdown like this:
Devotion: obviously intended as the Lawful Good option. Lawful Neutral and Lawful Evil are easily doable with minor refluffing.

Ancients: obviously intended to be the "nature=neutral" option. I would submit that this is, primarily, the "Good" Oath. You are not so concerned about the "Law" as the "Light". Put another way, the Spirit of "Law"[of the multiverse] vs. the Letter of a Devotion Oath. You are still doing good, making things better, making things enjoyable. Yes. Protecting the good/innocent. Yes. Defending and building up the weak. Helping others and, thusly, maintaining/creating the beauty of life through that assistance.

In a 5e game I would run...I would insist Oath of Ancients Paladins be "Good". I would probably prefer, most commonly, Lawful Good and would certainly allow/see Neutral Good...and, in rare cases, a Chaotic Good (for the player that insists) who is kind of clinging to their paladinhood by a thread...and the player would be aware of it. [I would further suppose that a "fallen" Chaotic Good Ancients Paladin of any significant level would almost CERTAINLY be noticed/picked up by some Archfey and transition from the loss of their paladin abilities into a Fey Blade-pacted Warlock.]

True Neutral doesn't really work here, to my mind/game/world anyway. The True Neutral is no more concerned by the Light as they are by the Shadow. The BALANCE of the two is what's important. That is not to say a True Neutral character can not be as convicted/devout as a Lawful character (see below), far from it. I still insist, in my games/setting, that Druids are [and can only be] True Neutral. But that does not work for a class whose Oath is all about bettering, protecting, fighting for life and beauty.

Vengeance: This is obviously meant to be the Batman figure. The guys who create and plays by their own rules...but they are still rules! And those rules are very important. There is still that word/promise/oath and so a closeness/appreciation for the law/order/discipline that maintains such ideals. There is still the conviction to the cause [of vengeance]. The individual [selfish?] nature of such a cause, I would submit this is intended to be the subclass for the Lawful Evil character. I can also see Lawful Neutral, doling/seeking out vengeance for others, as well as themselves...like Nemesis of Greek mythology or other "Furies" type characters who roam around looking to carry out "justice", as they see it. Lawful Good is a tough sell here. I might be inclined to go as far as True Neutral or Chaotic Good...again, for a PC/player who asked/insisted. I could see it.

The leaves the Oathbreaker [which I would never permit in a game, actually] for what they are...Oath breakers. Their "Lawfulness" is shot to hell. They are the "Anti-Paladin" who, unlike the original class of this name, are the opponents of LAW...not only [or necessarily] good. They are champions of Chaos. They did not have "what it takes", by purposeful decision or personal failing, to maintain their word/promise. They did not value Order and Law enough (if not actively oppose it) to keep their original status. So, it is obvious to me, this is your option for Chaotic characters...Evil probable/most common...but I could conceivably see a Chaotic Good Oathbreaker. Perhaps even a remorseful Neutral, who lost their faith/way on the path of Law/Order from some dire/no-win situation, but still does not wish/follow/promote evil. Both CG or N would take some refluffing of Oathbreaker features, be that as it may... Chaotic Neutral is just...a step too far. Not a paladin. No matter how you slice it [in my definitions of alignment], there is no good way to justify a Chaotic Neutral Paladin.

SO, in summary, ordered for commonality/intentions [for me game], it goes like this:
Devotions: Lawful Good. Lawful Neutral. Lawful Evil.

Ancients: Lawful Good. Neutral Good. Chaotic Good. [maybe Lawful Neutral].

Vengence: Lawful Evil. Lawful Neutral. Chaotic Good. [maybe True Neutral].

Oathbreaker: Chaotic Evil. [maybe Chaotic Good or True Neutral.]

So...you can't be ANY alignment and be a paladin in my games. But most of them are an option. I prefer/try to insist they consider being some flavor of Lawful first...but if a character concept ["I wanna be Batman!"] doesn't allow for that...that's up to the player.
 

Mephista

Adventurer
Classic Devotion Paladin - Mostly LG, with some variation.
Avengers - Any Lawful
Wardens - Any Good
Oathbreaker - Mainly CE

I consider LE to be playable, while CN to be not playable, so my "Good versus Evil" alignment chart is more of a diamond, with LG at the top, LE, N, and CG on par at the middle, and CE at the end. The Devout Paladin occupies the top, the Avenger one side of the top of the diamond, the Warden the other side. None really quite touches Neutral. Oathbreaker fills in the bottom set of non-playable alignments.
 


Rocksome

Explorer
I always consider them to be representative of the 4 non-neutral corners of the alignment chart I.e.


LG NG CG
LN N CN
LE NE CE

With Devotion as LG, Ancients as CG, Vengeance as LE and Oathbreaker as CE.
 

Mephista

Adventurer
I always consider them to be representative of the 4 non-neutral corners of the alignment chart I.e.


LG NG CG
LN N CN
LE NE CE

With Devotion as LG, Ancients as CG, Vengeance as LE and Oathbreaker as CE.
I like that. I'm now officially tempted to work on a fifth True Neutral Paladin. Anyone have any ideas for what that would comprise?
 

Voort

Explorer
I'm now officially tempted to work on a fifth True Neutral Paladin. Anyone have any ideas for what that would comprise?

Well, 5E lists 'ignores moral questions' as the only version of True Neutral, so no balancing good & evil option. First thing that comes to mind would be a paladin of a neutral craft/knowledge focused faith. Their code would be something like: to protect knowledge, foster education and training, and be true teachers & inventors. Not sure how well that fits on the basic paladin, though.
 



DMCF

First Post
No restrictions IMO

Clue in Tron could be considered lawful evil and path of devotion and a Paladin dedicated to an evil god of trickery would work just as well but be chaotic. Ancients could be titans, gods and elemental forces so anything works. Vengeance? Same.

The power of 5e is cultivating these for good RP.
 

Winterthorn

Monster Manager
Oath of Devotion: I think LG fits best. LN and NG are possible. Devotion implies loyalty and commitment and I don't see chaotic personalities sticking to their promises.

Oath of (the) Ancients: begs the question who the Ancients are - deities or entities of all alignments? A full pantheon? Does it beg a balanced view? Perhaps LN fits best, then TN, followed by LG or LE at the extremes...

Oath of Vengeance: I find this difficult, because I don't see mercy in such an oath, and mercy is really a quality unique to goodness. In fact vengeance seems rooted in something very emotional and personal at the risk of throwing away any sense of objective fairness or justice. So LN and LE fit well, and NE fits too.

I've avoided the chaotics because I don't see oath/pledge/vow making as something a chaotic personality would stick to, let alone respect if they were evil.

Ultimately I think its best to follow our intuition when it comes to alignments for these Oaths; "best fit" is somewhat subjective.
 
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Devotion: LG, though LN and NG should be common as well.

Ancients: CG, though NG should be common as well, and CN wouldn't be met with confusion.

Vengeance: LN, though LE should also be common, and TN would not be considered unusual.

All of these should be taken with the caveat that they *can*--if you very carefully construct the motives--work for essentially any alignment. The Oath of Vengeance could easily be Chaotic Evil; consider Yuthura Ban from Knights of the Old Republic II. She starts off as a Jedi, but chafes under their rules and regulations; she's a freed slave, and wants to set other slaves free too. Eventually she gets so angry, she leaves, and joins the Sith Academy, where she quickly becomes a powerful figure (second-in-command, actually). But her concern for others is, by and large, replaced with a hunger for power and a pitiless streak. (The PC can precipitate a crisis of faith through the right dialogue choices, in fact.) Still, Yuthura is a good template for a Chaotic Evil Paladin of Vengeance: someone who has been legitimately wronged, and who will go to (nearly) any lengths to see justice served. The tricky part is the whole aiding other people who are victims thing, but that could be swung in a sufficiently "Evil" direction if the player handles it right, e.g. "You know the merchant who killed your parents, just for their land? I can teach you how to exact the revenge you deserve." Either helping others to be more evil themselves/to seek evil ends, or (on a different tack) helping others and using that help to control them.

Perhaps a different way of putting it: I think some oaths are very difficult to sell for certain alignments. Evil in general is difficult for both Devotion and Ancients. Chaos is difficult for Devotion and Vengeance. Depending on how you interpret the Vengeance stuff, you might even say that Law is difficult for Vengeance and Ancients. (I wouldn't--as my stuff shows above--but you *could.*)
 

Mephista

Adventurer
Well, 5E lists 'ignores moral questions' as the only version of True Neutral, so no balancing good & evil option. First thing that comes to mind would be a paladin of a neutral craft/knowledge focused faith. Their code would be something like: to protect knowledge, foster education and training, and be true teachers & inventors. Not sure how well that fits on the basic paladin, though.
Don't see why a knowledge focused 'din couldn't work out. In the Brimstone Angels series, there's a former paladin of Ogma. Some of the stuff from that could work as a basis for an oath. As for abilities, it could be tied to ritual magic or extra skills in some ways. Have to remember to keep it distinct from anything a Knowledge cleric can do - I'm a firm disbeliever in overlap.

Hmmmm...... so.... I guess I'll post some ideas I have below.


People think Vengeance paladins are evil?

Yikes.

That's why alignment is a terrible game idea.
I think that Lawful Evil is actually far less "real world evil" than Chaotic Neutral. But, yes, the Avenger subclass has a strong bounty-hunter/assassin vibe. They're called dark knights for a reason, after all. The description says that "Paladins who uphold these tenets are willing to sacrifice even their own righteousness to mete out justice upon those who do evil."

One of the curious things about the Avenger is that, when I was reading the writeup, I immediately thought about the Pact Primeval. The ancient pact that Asmodeus made with the gods of light, where he promised to punish the forces of evil in exchange for divine power. The arch-demon pretty much embodies the idea of the LE Avenger.

Now, while we may end up in disagreement over if that should constitute Lawful Evil, I really can't see them as Good as core describes the Alignment. Most PC avengers would likely end up as LN, given that most people shy away from LE, but I see most LE paladins as Avengers before Oathbreaker.

Oath of (the) Ancients: begs the question who the Ancients are - deities or entities of all alignments? A full pantheon? Does it beg a balanced view? Perhaps LN fits best, then TN, followed by LG or LE at the extremes...
Generally speaking, the write up suggests that we're talking about druidic dieties. Also, remember that this subclass is based, in part, on the Primal Defender Warden class from 4e. So "Nature" as a god, a nature goddess, fey gods, primal spirits.

While 3e and earlier put druids/nature as Neutral only stuff, there was always an odd counterpoint with the Outer Planes, where the Beastlands and Arborea were Chaotic Good "idealized nature" realms. Given the discussion of light, beauty, and love in the Warden's oath (and the fact they're called fey knights as well as the prevalence as gods of love/beauty as CG beings) I tend to assuming that this Oath follows the ideals of the outer planes instead of the whole neutral thing.
 

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