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HD : d10
BaB Progression : Good
Saves :Fort Good (See Divine Grace)
Skills : 2+INT
Class skills : Concentration, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty, Religion), Profession, Ride, Sense Motive.

Special : Lawful Good. A paladin that stops being Lawful or Good loses all special class abilities but keeps his BaB and Save Progression. A paladin that multiclasses can't progress anymore in the Paladin class but retain all special abilities as long as he remains Lawful Good.

Stats priorization : STR > CHA > CON > WIS > DEX > INT

The Paladin is a melee fighter and a good STR score is vital. A good CHA improve several of his major class features (namely Divine Grace and Smite Evil). As most characters, a good CON score is never wasted.


Class Features Edit

When you think of the paladin class, you are most of the time thinking to these abilities. These are the most important and powerful paladin class features.

Smite Evil : Starting at L1 and every 5 levels therafter, a paladin can attempt to smite evil. He adds his charisma bonus to hit and his paladin level to damage.

Divine Grace : A paladin add his Charisma bonus (if any) to his saves.

Turn Undead : A paladin of level 4 gain the ability to turn undead as a cleric of CL-3. As paladin turn undead are generally considered underpowered and paladins tend to have a solid CHA. Divine Feat are a solid option (see Feat section)

Special Mount : At level 5 a paladin gains a special mount. Much more solid than a regular mount, it make the paladin a prenium choice for a mounted character.


Paladin Breakpoints

Level 2 : Gain Smite 1/day and Divine Grace. Good option for a CHA-based gish
Level 4 : Gain Turn Undead to fuel some divine feats
Level 5 : Gain Special Mount that scale with Paladin level. A good choice for a mounted character
Chances that if you went for more than Paladin 5, you will stick to it till 20. Few PrC will improve all your abilities as much as Paladin 20 will do. See the PrC section for more information about Multiclassing your paladin

RaceEdit

Humans : As always, the bonus feats and the extra skill points are a solid choice for a paladin
Asimaar/Lesser Asimaar : The Bonus to CHA and WIS help a lot in low point buy games. Mind the +1 LA of the Asimaar, if you got the choice Lesser Asimaar is an awsome choice.
Stronghearth Halfling : Of course the STR hit hurts, but the bonus feat and being able to enter Halfling Outrider is plain awsome.
Hellbred : Lot of flavor a decent bonus. I strongly suggest taking Body as Infernal Aspect, you will need your CON bonus more than Darkvision.
Dragonborn of Bahamut : CON bonus and penality to a dump stat (DEX). Hearth is nice for a breath weapon, Mind can help but Blindsense isnt close to have your very own pair of wings (Wings). If you go for wing be sure you get that Mithril Fullplate (as you can't fly in Heavy Armor)
Dwarf : Not necessary the best choice as they got a CHA hit but Stability and CON bonus are a fair tradeoff. Draconic : Not a race per say, but a +1 LA template that adds +2 to three of your main stats (STR, CON and CHA) along with some other minor special abilities. Excellent template for a paladin.

Paladin Role Edit

As a paladin you are essentially a melee class. While lacking of the feats and maneovers of the Fighter/Warblade your smite ability, coupled with Divine Feats can turn you into a serious damage dealer. If you choose to specialize into Damage Dealing, the paladin Class has very few use after L4 (or L5 if you take Charging Smite ACF). Pious Templar, Grey Guard and Crusader are, among other, solid choices for a Damaging Paladin. Feat wise, a damage Paladin will rely on Power Attack, Divine Might and at least one Tactical Feat Chain (Shock Trooper, Combat Brute). Some Smiting Power is also pretty nice.

The paladin is also a very good candidate for a strong defensive character. His Divine Grace ability and some Divine Feats can pump his AC and saves a lot. Some Knight levels are a very good idea to help with Defensive Abilities as well as a nice Charisma Synergy and so is the Pious Templar PrC for some DR/- and Mettle (as well as a nice Smiting Progression). A defensive paladin will want Divine Shield and at least something that help him to control the enemies actions on the battlefield (Trip, Goad, Disarm)

Last but not Least, the paladin makes a fearsome charger. His Special Mount ability provide him a solid steed that can will scale with your Paladin levels. Cavalier, Halfling Outrider and Champion of Corellon are valid choices for a mounted Cavalier. Mounted Combat feat chain is of course a must, Divine Might is also a good choice. Alternatively, a paladin could make a good non-mounted character sacrificing his special mount for a more powerfull smiting ability when charging. For both Chargers, Shock Trooper is a must-have.

Couple of thing you must not forget :
- The paladin gains some spellcasting. While its far from the best spells in the game, he still has some goodies (like Lesser Resto as a L1 spell). The paladin spell list isnt totally crappy use it to maximum adventage.
- Lay on Hands can save somebody life easily. A decent Cha with a steady LoH advencement can make it much more than Out of combat healing.
- As a Paladin, you probably have some great Charisma, you can make a great party face and spokeman. While you probably have dumped you INT, try to get some Ranks in social skills that will probably help you a lot.

Multiclassing Edit

Remember that when a Paladin multiclass he can't gain level in paladin anymore altough he doesnt loose his class features for doing so as long as he remain Lawful Good. However, Dragon Born paladins actually can leave the paladin class, and return to it later with no penalty.
Base Classes

  • Knight(PHB II) : the Charisma synergy and Bulwark of Defense class ability make a paladin a solid defensive/control character (Build needed)
  • Sorcerer : For a Charisma based gish. (Build needed)
  • Marshal (MH) : Good support character and excellant Charisma synergy. A simple 2-3 level dip will greatly enchance your party.

Prestige Class

  • Fist of Raziel (BoED) : Exalted Paladin with enhanced Smiting Power -- Build
  • Shadowbane Inquisitor (CAd) : Paladin/rogue hybrid, lack of overall power to make up for the lost of many abilities
  • Shadowstriker (CC) : 3 level PrC that allow you to enchant your weapon with power of the Light. There is better choices
  • Divine Crusader (CD) : Sacrifice some BAB to get great 9 level spells with a very small spell list (one of your deity domain). It also give you few other thing like Weapon Spec, Energy resistance and Darkvision. Spell are CHA based. -- Build
  • Holy Liberator (CD) : Loose paladinhood for Chaotic based paladin. Use UA variant Paladin of Freedom instead...
  • Hospitalier (CD) : Loose 3 caster level to get 3 bonus fighter feats. Not worth a PrC at all. Stay away
  • Pious Templar (CD) : Solid PrC that grand you Mettle (Fort and Will save evasion like ability), Smite progression, DR, and figther feat at the expense of 2 worthless feats (True Beliver and WF (Deity favored Weapon)). Also have spellcasting on his own.
  • Shining Blade of Heironeous (CD) : Stay away, nothing to see here.
  • Gray Guard (CS) : Enhanced smite ability (from Smite Evil to Smite anything) as well as a protection against loosing your paladin-hood
  • Cavalier (CW) : A classic Mounted Charger PrC, Deadly charge is really nice. A solid choice for a Charger
  • Halfling Outrider (CW) : Supermount. Need I say more ?
  • Knight of the Chalice (CW) : Anti-Fiend specialist, good for what it do but use it carefully and only if your DM is a Devil/Demon maniac
  • Knight Protector (CW) : Supreme Cleave is the only class abilities but it can be good if you are fighting with a decent reach. Most of the time its not worth it.
  • Champion of Corellon Larethian (RoW) : Decent if you are an elf as it let you use that good agility score to something :)

Feats Edit

General

Combat

  • Combat Expertise (PHB) : This is a great feat, but if you take it you will have effectively 5 attributes you won't be able to dump.
  • Improved Disarm/Feint (PHB) : As above.
  • Combat Reflexes (PHB) : This is also bad.
    Not only you need some dump stats, you can't take advantage of it due to your heavy armor proficiency.
  • Dodge (PHB) : Ditto.
    Dexterity 13 can be a real pain.
  • Mobility/Spring Attack (PHB) : As above.
  • Diehard (PHB) : You can heal yourself, so this gives you some more hit points to use.
    Not the best feat you can get, but has its uses.
  • Exotic Weapon Proficiency (PHB) : You don't really need it.
    You already have many weapons available and you don't need weird tripping disarming reach weapons.
    Also your number of feats is extremely limited.
  • Improved Initiative (PHB) : Your dexterity will be low and playing early is important.
    This can offset your initiative problems a little.
  • Mounted Combat (PHB) : You have after all a special mount as class feature.
    Negating hits on your companion is important.
  • Mounted Archery (PHB) : Sure, nice benefits, but why would you want to attack with ranged weapons?
  • Ride-By Attack (PHB) : You can move after charging a character while mounted, so this can get you into position for another charge.
    Required for spirited charge.
  • Spirited Charge (PHB) : Deal double damage on a mounted charge and triple damage if you are wielding a lance.
    This combined with smite evil and the such, can result in a serious damage output.
  • Trample (PHB) : Overrun an opponent and have your mount attack every opponent you knock down.
    Nice feat for a mounted character.
  • Power Attack (PHB) : Trade attack bonus for extra damage.
    Nice feat.
  • Cleave (PHB) : It is ok to have some feats for optimizing your damage output, but don't fool yourself.
    You haven't the fighter's feat versatility or barbarian's attack power, you are more of a defensive character.
    With that in mind, don't spend your valuable feat slots on feats like this.
  • Improved Sunder (PHB) : This is nice for several reasons.
    First it is a prerequisite feat for lots of other feats and prestige classes.
    Second its main use isn't only sundering weapons.
    Clever use of sunder such as on the spellcaster's spell component pouch or the archer's quiver can turn the tide of a battle.
  • Tower Shield Proficiency (PHB) : Personally i wouldn't spend a feat on tower shields.
    However it does flavor with paladins so it is worth just to mention them.
  • Two Weapon Fighting (PHB) : Unless you know what you are doing, this is very bad.
    Even the first feat of this chain requires 15 dexterity.
  • Zen Archery (CW) : If you want to play a ranged character, this is important so that you reduce MAD.
  • Leap Attack (CV) : This is a way to optimize further power attack and charging.
  • Martial Study/Stance (ToB) : There are some great maneuvers you can benefit from.
    Also you get new class skills, the most important of which, i consider to be intimidate from devoted spirit.
  • Stone Power (ToB) : If you happen to possess stone dragon maneuvers, this boosts your defensive capabilities even more.
  • Brutal Strike (PHB II) : Nice if you are going to optimize your power attack damage.
  • Combat Focus (PHB II) : Bonus to will saves and opens up other useful combat form feats.
  • Combat Stability (PHB II) : Enhances your tanking abilities by making you really difficult to trip, disarm, grapple, bull rush or overrun you.
  • Combat Defense (PHB II) : It requires dodge and combat focus.
    So the requirements are too tough for you.
  • Combat Vigor (PHB II) : Fast healing as long as you maintain your focus.
  • Combat Awareness (PHB II) : It requires blind-fight but it gives you blindsight.
    It's worth the trade to my opinion.
  • Combat Strike (PHB II) : I'd skip this.
    You already have smites for this job.

Smiting

Domain

  • Animal Devotion : (CC)]] : Get scaling sacred bonuses to your strength , to your land speed or gain wings and bonuses to fly speed.
    Last but not least, a constitution damage bite attack that is keyed off charisma (weird for a poison effect).
    Also you can use it more times per day if you spend turn attempts.
    Great.
  • Death Devotion (CC) : Infuse a weapon with negative energy and bestow negative levels.
    The save is charisma based.
  • Destruction Devotion (CC) : Well, you maybe won't hit as much, but a little debuffing is ok to have.
    Also it only requires one extra attempt to use this again, making it a divine feat pre turn undead acquisition.
  • Earth Devotion (CC) : Another divine-like feat, this makes you able to ignore difficult terrain and gain some bonuses to skills that you'll completely dump for one way or another.
    Not first priority, but nice and flavors with dwarfs.
  • Evil Devotion (CC) : A damage reduction aura.
    Great.
  • Good Devotion (CC) : As above.
  • Healing Devotion (CC) : Sacred Healing has a duration of 1 + charisma modifier and grants fast healing 3 to all living creatures.
    This gives a scaling fast healing bonus, but lasts for 1 minute and on one creature only.
    I'd go with sacred healing.
  • Plant Devotion (CC) : Great defensive properties.
    Bonus to natural armor and a scaling fortification effect.
    Also it is an immediate action, so it can be activated even on your opponent's turns.
  • Protection Devotion (CC) : An armor aura.
    It is nice and fits thematically with the paladin.
  • Sun Devotion (CC) : Nice for undead hunters.

Tactical

  • Cavalry Charger (CW) : Has some nice mounted options.
  • Combat Brute (CW) : Interesting feat with great maneuvers.
    Especially momentum swing can be used to optimize power attack damage.
  • Elusive Target (CW) : Great feat and abilities for defensive characters.
    It's too bad though it requires two very difficult feats to acquire as a paladin.
  • Shock Trooper (CW) : Gain a trip maneuver without improved trip as a requirement, headless charge to optimize your damage output.
  • Awesome Smite (CC) : Ignore some damage reduction points, trip opponents or ignore miss chances against opponents you smite.
    Great maneuvers.

Turning

  • Improved Turning (PHB) : You are better off taking 5 ranks in knowledge(religion).
  • Extra Turning (PHB) : If nightsticks are open for purchase, skip this.
    If they are not i would consider it very carefully.
    Charisma is an important stat for paladins, so you will have a lot of turn attempts to spend.
  • Empower Turning (CD) : This helps on turning damage output, but you should actually try to affect more hid dice of creatures.
  • Quicken Turning (CD) : Sure you have more stuff to do in a given round than just to turn, but why would you want to turn anyway?
  • Disciple of the Sun (CD) : May be more important if you actually going to be turning, as you skip the damage part of the turn attempt.
  • Exalted Turning (BoED) : Deal bonus damage to undead creatures you turn.
    Again it's not the damage part that is a problem to paladin turning.
  • Heighten Turning (Libris Mortis) : This is the best feat you can use if you want to turn undead.
    Combined with exalted turning, your turning power will be comparable to that of a cleric.

Divine

  • Divine Cleansing (CW) : The bonus is limited to +2 and it's only for fortitude saving throws.
    Unless your party is consistently making fortitude saves against hazards, better stay away.
  • Divine Might (CW) : Add your charisma to damage for 1 full round.
    This provides even more charisma synergy.
    Great feat.
  • Divine Resistance (CW) : All allies in a 60ft burst gain resistance 5 to cold, fire and electricity.
    Unfortunately requires divine cleansing and isn't that powerful, so you better skip it.
  • Divine Shield (CW) : Close relative to divine might, this feat makes you a walking fortress and has a pretty nice duration.
  • Divine Vigor (CW) : If you are wearing heavy armor, your speed will be greatly reduced.
    This not only pumps your speed, but also provides you with 2 temporary hit points/level.
    The effect has a duration of minutes/level.
    Great feat.
  • Sacred Vengeance (CW) : If you want to hurt undead more, you can purchase an undead bane weapon for the same effect 24/7.
  • Divine Metamagic (CD) : Probably not useful to you as to clerics, you are better off with metamagic rods.
  • Divine Spell Power (CD) : This requires a special turning roll with a +3 bonus to the roll.
    If you optimize the roll a bit you can easily get 1-2 bonus to your caster level.
    Mediocre.
  • Glorious Weapons (CD) : Align melee weapons of your allies in a large area to good/evil.
    Average feat.
  • Sacred Boost (CD) : This maximizes the next healing spell cast on the subjects affected.
    Average.
  • Sacred Healing (CD) : This is a very good ability.
    You effectively provide your allies healing 3*[[(1 + your charisma modifier).
    Be careful as this feat affects all living creatures, which includes enemy living creatures.
  • Dragonfire Channeling (Dragon Magic) : Not good since your effective cleric level is low.
  • Divine Accuracy (Libris Mortis) : You and allies can reroll the miss chance with melee attacks for incorporeal undead.
    It is too specific to be good, and in any major incorporeal undead campaign you are better off with ghost touch weapons or truedeath crystals.
  • Profane Lifeleech (Libris Mortis) : Spend two turn attempts to deal 1d6 points of damage to all living creatures in a 30ft burst and heal the total amount of damage you dealt.
    This isn't an offensive feat but more of a healing one.
    Also it might work if you have tomb-tainted soul as it doesn't state that the healing energy is positive.
  • Profane Vigor (Libris Mortis) : Heal an undead ally 2 hit points per cleric level.
    Even assuming that you can use your paladin level instead of a cleric level, this feat is bad.
    Just use your deadly touch ability.
  • Sacred Vitality (Libris Mortis) : Use a turn attempt to gain immunity to ability damage, ability drain and energy drain? And for 1 minute duration? This is probably a must have.
  • Spurn Death's Touch (Libris Mortis) : Heal ability damage, remove paralysis effects or negative levels by spending turn attempts.
    Nice if you are going to be fighting undead, otherwise skip it.
    It doesn't have the versatility of sacred vitality.
  • Blackwater Invocation (Stormwrack) : Deal some non important damage with a pesky difficulty class, while giving concealment to the creatures in the area you affect.
    Worthless.
  • Sanctify Water (Stormwrack) : Unless you have a plan to trap undead in bodies of water and using this afterwards, don't take it.
  • Divine Spirit (ToB) : If you are in a devoted spirit stance, you can expend a turn attempt to heal yourself for 3+ charisma modifier damage.
    Average.
  • Divine Armor (PHB II) : Give your armor damage reduction 5/- for 1 round.
    I don't think it's worth it.
  • Divine Fortune (PHB II) : On the other hand, this can help in early levels when your saves and charisma won't be too big.
    It's an immediate action.
    Later you can retrain it.
  • Divine Justice (PHB II) : This is interesting if you are a purely defensive character without large damage outputs.
    Targeting rogues or melee skirmishers can give you large amounts of damage easily.
    Also there are effects that diminish damage after it is dealt (fortification armor negates critical hits, damage reduction, fast healing, general healing).
  • Divine Ward (PHB II) : This is more important to clerics than you.
  • Profane Aura (PHB II) : Nice ability to battlefield control a bit, but a two-bladed knife.
  • Sacred Healing (PHB II) : This again, is best used by clerics.
  • Sacred Purification (PHB II) : This requires sacred healing.
    There is a sacred healing feat in complete divine by the same name.
    It is strictly better (in regards to long term healing) to both this and the previous feat.
  • Sacred Radiance (PHB II) : Nice feat with bonuses to allies and penalties to foes, but you must have caster level 9 to grab it.
  • Divine Censure (FCII) : Spend a turn attempt to shaken all evil outsiders within 30ft.
    The ability lasts for charisma modifier rounds and has a charisma based difficulty class.
  • Divine Defiance (FCII) : This isn't useful to you.
    It screams cleric.
  • Divine Justice (FCII) : This is actually nice.
    "Evil outsiders" covers a lot of creatures and you get to shaken them, too.
  • Persistent Refusal (FCII) : Your saves are already very high.
    Taking this can guarantee that you won't be disabled for a lot rounds.
  • Pious Defiance (FCII) : I prefer divine fortune that covers all your saving throws.
  • Retrieve Spell (CC) : This is nice especially with things like sword of the arcane order and the like.
  • Spiritual Counter (CC) : Too many turn attempts needed.

Class Stacking: .

  • Ascetic Knight (CV) : Monk and paladin levels stack for unarmed strike and smite evil damage.
  • Devoted Inquisitor (CV) : Smite evil and sneak attack to potentially daze a foe.
    Mediocre.
  • Devoted Performer (CV) : Paladin and bard levels stack for determining smite evil damage and number of bardic music/day.
  • Devoted Tracker (CV) : Paladin and ranger levels stack for determining your wild empathy bonus and smite evil bonus damage.
    Also you can designate your special mount as your animal companion and gain both benefits.

Exalted

  • Gift of Grace (BoED) : Share with your companions some of your divine grace.
    Not particularly useful.
  • Hands of a Healer (BoED) : Not exactly worth a feat.
    You can buy a wondrous item to the same effect.
  • Holy Radiance (BoED) : Shed light and deal damage to undead.
    Average.
  • Nimbus of Light (BoED) : Gain bonuses when interacting with good creatures and shed a bright light.
  • Nymph's Kiss (BoED) : You gain bonuses to charisma related checks, +1 bonus on saving throws for spells and spell-like abilities.
    Also 1 bonus skill point per level.
  • Quell the Profane (BoED) : Requires resounding blow.
    If the creature fails the fortitude charisma based saving throw, it takes 1d4+1 strength damage.
  • Resounding Blow (BoED) : If you hit deal a critical hit with a weapon you are proficient, he must succeed on a charisma based saving throw.
    If he fails he cowers for 1 round.
    Great, but you need 7 ranks in intimidate.
  • Sanctify Martial Strike (BoED) : Deal more damage to evil creatures, evil undead and evil outsiders.
    Also good aligned for overcoming damage reduction.
    Unfortunately it requires weapon focus.
  • Sanctify Weapon (BoED) : When you cast sanctify weapon, it also becomes sanctified.
    It deals more damage to evil beings.
    Corrupted creatures cannot recover lost hit points from a sanctified weapon with normal healing.

Special Mount

Abyssal Heritor

Devil-Touched : Note : A character with devil-touched feats can't acquire exalted feats.

Regional : Note : These feats are campaign specific to the Faerun setting.
They are usually better than the average feat and that's because they can only be gained at 1st level.
You can only have one regional feat.

  • Arcane Schooling (PGtF) : Choose an arcane spellcasting class.
    You can now activate spell trigger magic items as if you had 1 level in them.
    Great for all those arcane wands.
    Also the class you'll choose becomes favored class for you.
  • Dreadful Wrath (PGtF) : This is a very good feat for every charismatic character.
    Create a fear aura every time you attack, charge or target an enemy with a spell.
  • Fleet of Foot (PGtF) : Useful if wearing heavy armor, so your speed becomes better.
  • Foe Hunter (PGtF) : In case you hail from Impiltur, you can gain Demons as favored enemies.
    It has other choices too, but that's what fits most thematically with the paladin.
  • Furious Charge (PGtF) : Along with charging smite and power attack and the attack penalty you can take, this provides serious damage output.
  • Magical Artisan (PGtF) : As with arcane schooling, this can be used to gain some spells and the ability to use eternal wands.
  • Otherworldly (PGtF) : Nice bonuses.
    Darkvision, unnamed bonus to diplomacy and native outsider.
  • Saddleback (PGtF) : If you are going for a mount build, this is useful.
  • Smooth Talk (PGtF) : Only -5 penalty when rushing diplomacy rolls.

Initiate

BuildsEdit

Smiting Divine Crusader

Other LinksEdit

--Rendar 03:01, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

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