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D&D (2024) Spell-less Paladin variant, lay on hands as main resource for damage.

Horwath

Legend
Many people like the paladin and smites and lay on hands, but spellcasting seems too much for some people on paladin chassis so why not turn those slots into more Lay on hands and make Lay on hands power Smites.

We will go from starting point that all spell slots would be used for smites or Cure wounds.
Round up cure wounds die to 5 per die plus 5 for cha bonus.
That gives healing of 10 for 1st level slot and 5 extra for every slot above 1st.

Smite is 2d8 for 1st level slot and +d8 for every slot above.

Now we add healing value of every spell slot directly to Lay on hands pool.

Smite will now spend 5pts of LoH for every d8 of extra damage.
Limit is prof bonus of d8's as extra damage.

Level 2, max 10pts for 2d8
Level 5, max 15pts for 3d8
Level 9, max 20pts for 4d8
Level 13, max 25pts for 5d8
Level 17, max 30pts for 6d8

with this variant, you can spend only 5pts of LoH for only d8 extra damage and max of 30pts for extra 6d8.
Little more utility for not having any spells for utility.

Paladin's LoH table would be

Tasha's option for regaining spell slots via channel divinity would restore Lay on hands;
10pts at 3nd level,
15pts at 5th level,
20pts at 13th level,

Paladin levelLay on Hands amount
15
230
345
450
590
6100
7120
8125
9170
10175
11200
12205
13235
14240
15270
16275
17335
18340
19375
20380
 

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Mechanically this may work. But personally I would want something built in for critical hits. Also, personally I just like rolling dice, so replacing the LoH pool with a pool of d8s - i.e. going the opposite direction and making the healing also dice-based - would be my preference.

But I've played a paladin, and I actually used spells. So, personally I'd miss that possibility. Without the spells, this starts to feel a bit more like a weird fighter.
 

Stalker0

Legend
So my main issue with this is the core concept of trading healing for offense. While tradeoffs can be fun strategic choices, I find when you are having to trade off longevity for power, it leads to bad scenarios.

On the one extreme, a player blows all of their healing for offense, and then feels bad when they or a fellow party member dies due to lack of healing.

On the other, you get the paranoid players who hoard their healing "just in case", but then feel like they don't do anything in combat because their offense is tied into the expectation of using some of those heals for smites.


I think it's better to leave those things in separate pools
 

Horwath

Legend
Mechanically this may work. But personally I would want something built in for critical hits. Also, personally I just like rolling dice, so replacing the LoH pool with a pool of d8s - i.e. going the opposite direction and making the healing also dice-based - would be my preference.

But I've played a paladin, and I actually used spells. So, personally I'd miss that possibility. Without the spells, this starts to feel a bit more like a weird fighter.
damage is chaotic, I would like for healing to be reliable.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
I'd rather have LOH and Smite be different resource pools than a combined one.

Second, right now LOH is used in three modes in my experience. First, as a tiny one to get someone standing back up. Second, as a heal filling someone to full. Third, as a cure disease.

So let's get rid of the LOH pool and make it a number of LOH, whose size scales with the level of the Paladin.

LOH amount = 5+Paladin Level, +5 at level 5, 11 and 17.
(It could just be Paladin level *2, but the step function makes it more exciting).
LOH count = Proficiency bonus times/day

Then add some upgrades:
At level X, you can LOH as a bonus action.
At level Y, when you LOH the target gets an equal amount of temporary HP that lasts for 1 round.
At level Z, when you LOH someone else, you also heal yourself the same amount.

For Smite, I might be tempted to limited number of Smites per short rest. The size of these smites would grow, maybe 1d8 at level 2 up to 3d8?

Then a limited number of Super-Smites per long rest, being twice as big (2d8 to 6d8). And these super-smites having riders (like smite spells) that the Paladin can pick from. (Super-smite is a wrong word).

Short Rest smites and Long Rest Super-smites and LoH should (in my opinion) produce a nice balance.

Not making Smites fully fungible means you aren't going to feel like you have to save them all for a boss fight; the short-rest smites you can use more freely (except in 5 minute adventuring day situations). This also mimics standard paladins a bit, in that they have a pile of small smites and a handful of big smites; often a Paladin will save big smites for important situations.

...

We also need a few class-features-as-spells, like the Mount, Holy Weapon, etc, turned back into class features?

...

The point of this is that if we are stripping the spell slot resource counting, we can afford (attention wise) to have other resource counting.

And we can get rid of the frankly awful "100 point LoH pool at level 20", which is way too granular. If someone is tracking a resource pool, I'd prefer the min resource pool units be units that matter.
 

mellored

Legend
I wouldn't mind seeing some spells consolidated. Just to shrink the list a little bit.

I.e. hold person / hold monster can be put into a single block.
As well as dominate beast/ person/ monster.
Probably some others too.

Oh, and no conjure 8, or even 4 creatures. It just boggs down the game.

Edit: wrong thread.
 
Last edited:

Horwath

Legend
Oh, and no conjure 8, or even 4 creatures. It just boggs down the game.
agree 100%
Tasha's summons work great, only one creature, shares initiative.
If only the number of attacks were 1/2-round up so half-casters can utilize 5th level slots better and full casters can have incentive to burn 9th level slot on Summon and not on some game breaking spell.
 

Pauln6

Hero
Personally I think paladin mechanics are teetering on the edges of what is acceptable within bounded accuracy. Their damage spikes are too high to balance a short adventuring day, their healing is too effective compared to clerics, and their saving throw boost is too high in the bounded system.

Divine smite needs to take a bonus action and/or apply a flat +4 bonus to damage for higher level slots. There should be some obvious benefits for using spells. 0

Lay on hands should grant knowledge of the requisite spells and the ability to cast them a number of times per long rest without spending a spell slot. Maybe add paladin level to damage healed making it more akin to second wind.

Saving throw bonus should be half charisma bonus rounded up. Nothing should grant more than +3 in the bounded system.

I think a spelless paladin is just one who uses all spell slots to boost damage. Also known as a paladin. ;-p
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
This has been my experience. Smites are too good to give up a spell for
This is wild to me.

It’s 5 more damage than wrathful smite. You trade frightened which is a huge debuff for 5 damage. Thunderous does 2 less damage on average, and knocks a creature back and prone. In a melee heavy group, that enemy is probably dead by the time it’s turn comes around. The only reason to use divine smite over these is that you are already concentrating, which brings us to:

Bless. Bless is objectively more effective than smite. 2d8 extra damage once, or potentially a whole fight, but usually more like 2-3 rounds, of 3 PCs getting +2.5 average bonus on basically every check. Huge in a fight, even bigger in exploration or interaction challenges.

don’t like concentration?

Command. Incredibly good spell. Can turn a hard fight into an easy one, not to mention out of combat.

Aid. No concentration, 3 Allie’s get 5 max and current hp. Roughly equal to 3d8 damage once.

I’ve seen more battles swayed by Compelled duel than by 2d8 extra damage on a single attack.

Then we get to 3rd level slots, and it’s no contest. Unless it’s a clutch crit, any divine smite above 1st level is a waste of a spell slot IMO. Like almost every 3rd level spell is better than 4d8 extra damage on a single attack.

Clutch crit is actually almost the only time I actually see DS used in my group’s games, with occasional “this guy really needs to die right now” or RP moments where the character would hold nothing back. In actual play shows it’s maybe 50/50 usage of slots IME.
 

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