D&D 5E Spell-less paladin variant:

Horwath

Hero
Right now I am playing(and testing TBH) homebrew variant of spell-less paladin.
I made it similar to spell-less ranger variant from UA from long time ago.

I wanted paladin without spells, but to still keep it's signature Lay on hands and Smite evil features.

So, instead of spells, paladin gains:

1.
Martial maneuvers from battlemasters options:
2 known at 2nd level, 3 at 5th, 4 at 9th, 5 at 13th and 6 at 17th level.
Number of dice is 4 at 2nd level, 5 at 9th and 17th.
You regain one dice at 17th level when you roll for initiative if you have none.
Dice are d8 and stay d8.

2.
Lay on hands:
10 HP per level instead of 5 HP per level

3.
Divine smite,
you can spend 5 HP worth of healing from lay on hands pool to deal extra d8 points of radiant damage on successful melee attack.
damage limit is number of d8's equal to your proficiency modifier. I.E. at 9th level you can spend 15 point from Lay on hands to deal extra 3d8 radiant damage.


Is this enough to balance out missing on versatility with spells?
 

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Don't think of it as Paladin without spells, think of it as "Fighter with some Paladin powers". Compare it to other types of Fighters and see if it seems balanced with them. This seems strictly better than a Battlemaster Fighter, for instance.
 

I second the strictly better as battlemaster part.

Spellcasting is only a few times per day and those are going mostly into smites...

So you probably have to cut down the battlemaster maneuvers by half or so.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Right now I am playing(and testing TBH) homebrew variant of spell-less paladin.
I made it similar to spell-less ranger variant from UA from long time ago.

I wanted paladin without spells, but to still keep it's signature Lay on hands and Smite evil features.

So, instead of spells, paladin gains:

1.
Martial maneuvers from battlemasters options:
2 known at 2nd level, 3 at 5th, 4 at 9th, 5 at 13th and 6 at 17th level.
Number of dice is 4 at 2nd level, 5 at 9th and 17th.
You regain one dice at 17th level when you roll for initiative if you have none.
Dice are d8 and stay d8.

2.
Lay on hands:
10 HP per level instead of 5 HP per level

3.
Divine smite,
you can spend 5 HP worth of healing from lay on hands pool to deal extra d8 points of radiant damage on successful melee attack.
damage limit is number of d8's equal to your proficiency modifier. I.E. at 9th level you can spend 15 point from Lay on hands to deal extra 3d8 radiant damage.


Is this enough to balance out missing on versatility with spells?

That's a nice idea. I'd just make Divine Smite a feature that let's the paladin change the damage type of the extra damage die from maneuvers to Radiant or Necrotic, and deals another extra die to Undead/Fiend.

Maybe add a few ''special maneuvers'' like Dispel Evil (dispel an effect on a hit) or Sacred Shield (Reduce damage on an ally and deal the same amount as Radiant/Necrotic damage), maybe a few Mount related maneuvers (the Cavalier UA had some nice ones).
 

Horwath

Hero
Don't think of it as Paladin without spells, think of it as "Fighter with some Paladin powers". Compare it to other types of Fighters and see if it seems balanced with them. This seems strictly better than a Battlemaster Fighter, for instance.
So is PHB paladin...

Now, We'll see, maybe I'll slow down number of maneuver dice from 4 plus 1 at 9th and 1 at 17th to, 2 and then +1 at 5th, +1 at 9th, +1 at 13th and +1 at 17th level.
Ii will still get to 6 total and would add +1 at every level that paladin would get new level of spells normally.
IF it would look like too much power.

But, if I remove spells and just add 10 instead of 5 HP of Lay on hands it would be horrible comparing to standard. Without martial maneuvers OFC.

Just by using all spell slots on cure spells, 20th level paladin would average out to 13 HP per level(yes, there are spikes in growth of total healing done at certain levels).
With base 5 HP of lay on hands, that is 18 HP per level for healing. Lets say 20 for ease of counting and almost complete removal of versatility.

That looks great at low levels, not so useful at high levels.

Also, 20th level paladin can burn all slots and come up with 54d8 of smite damage.
In this variant, it can only do 40 dice and have 0 healing for lay on hands. That is where combat maneuvers come to help out.
 

Horwath

Hero
That's a nice idea. I'd just make Divine Smite a feature that let's the paladin change the damage type of the extra damage die from maneuvers to Radiant or Necrotic, and deals another extra die to Undead/Fiend.

Maybe add a few ''special maneuvers'' like Dispel Evil (dispel an effect on a hit) or Sacred Shield (Reduce damage on an ally and deal the same amount as Radiant/Necrotic damage), maybe a few Mount related maneuvers (the Cavalier UA had some nice ones).
I would add that it's normal weapon damage on normal attack and it turns into radiant damage if you add Divine smite into that maneuver dice damage.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
1. You stripped out all non-combat (damage/healing/debuffing) utility. I'd say that is a design minus. (except for maybe non-combat BM maneuvers?)

2. You stepped on the toes of the BM heavily. "Anything you can do I can basically match and I can do other things" is bad design. If you have no BM, this matters less.

A baseline level 11 paladin has 55 HP/day of LOH and 4*2d8+3*3d8+3*4d8 smite dice, or 25d8 of smite dice.

Your level 11 paladin has 22d8 smite dice, or 110 HP of LOH.

You also granted 5d8 BM dice, so 5-15d8 of BM dice depending on how many rests.

Your rewrite is significantly better than the baseline Paladin at dealing damage. At level 11, they can smite 4d8 and BM die 1d8 for a 5d8 smite (plus 1d8 improved smite) and can keep this up for 5 rounds in a row.

The baseline paladin does 4d8 per round for 3 rounds, then 3d8 for 2 rounds (plus the 1d8 improved smite).

Together the BM dice and your smite dice are better at crit-fishing than the baseline Paladin; more max dice. So if you manage to get an extended crit range and advantage, you can lay down an even more ridiculous burst than a baseline paladin.

Trading almost all Paladin utility for a (roughly) 50% boost in smite power seems like a bad balance point to me.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
So, if you are going to make a spell less paladin, I'd not "steal features from another subclass" and "make the non-spell features more out of balance" as the approach.

Find something mechanically and thematically interesting to hang the replaced utility/power with.

Like, imagine if the Paladin has a Wrath state. Each time you hit a creature or take damage, you roll your Wrath die, and can keep the old Wrath state or replace it.

You can expend your Wrath to do something different for each side of the die. This may also require another resource, like Grace.

Grace: A Paladin has 2 Grace per level. They regain Grace at the end of a long rest.

Lay on Hands: As an action, you can touch an adjacent creature and expend up to 1 Grace per Paladin level. The creature heals 5 HP for every Grace expended.

Wrath: A Paladin can enter a state of Wrath when they hit a creature with a weapon attack or take damage or as an action. Roll your 1d8 Wrath die. If you are already in a state of Wrath, you can stay in the old state of Wrath or enter the new state. When your Wrath State ability is triggered, you leave your Wrath state.

You can enter a state of Wrath up to your proficiency bonus times before taking a short rest. Changing your Wrath state does not count towards this limit.

State 1: When you Lay on Hands, you gain temporary HP equal to the amount it heals that last for 1 minute. The next time you take damage while you have these temporary HP, the creature who dealt that damage takes radiant damage equal to your remaining temporary HP, and those temporary HP are lost.

State 2: Your next attack score a critical hit on a 19-20 and has advantage. If your attack hits, you deal an extra 2d8+proficiency bonus radiant damage.

State 3: The next time you hit with an attack, or as an action, up to the nearest proficiency bonus creatures must make a wisdom save (DC 8+charisma+proficiency bonus) or become frightened of you. At the end of each of their turns they can repeat this save, but they have disadvantage if you are proficient in intimidation and can see you. Creatures who succeed at such a save are immune to this effect for 24 hours.

State 4: As a bonus action you can gain an insight into a foes sins and weaknesses. They must make a charisma save (DC 8+proficiency bonus+your charisma bonus). If they fail, you have advantage on attacks, and ability checks and saving throws against them until you fail an attack, ability check or saving throw.

etc

Maybe these are too spell like. But, ya know, something mechanical and thematic to hang stuff on.

You can also start off with 1d4 and level up to 1d6/1d8/1d10/1d12 at higher levels, with more powerful Wrath states at higher rolls.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
You could also gives Divine Smite as a Channel Divinity instead. Just give the Paladin more uses of Channel Divinity per rest. I think this is how the playtest paladin worked anyway.
 

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