A paladin is a holy crusader, crusading in the name of his or her deity, and a divine spellcaster. Though paladins are typically considered lawful good, evil paladins and those of non-lawful alignments can exist, though all paladins must be of the exact alignment of their patron deity. All paladins are expected to be a paragon of their alignment and a model for others of their faith.
Perhaps the best known paladin of Toril was Gareth Dragonsbane, who later went on to become the king of Damara, as well as the renowned Piergeiron Paladinson, an Open Lord of Waterdeep. Scyllua Darkhope and Aribeth de Tylmarande are infamous examples of fallen paladins, both formerly of Tyr, with Scyllua becoming a paladin of Bane instead.
Culture[edit | edit source]
Most paladins serve actual gods, though a few act as champions of a primordial, demon, or devil though in the latter two cases they must commit atrocities such as the sacrifice of sapients in order to retain their powers. All paladins, regardless of whom they serve and how they act, are expected to serve as sworn defenders of the faithful, smiting the unholy.
Lawful good gods most commonly call upon paladins, making most paladins of the alignment. As a result, most commoners view the paladin to be, by default, lawful good, though this is not necessarily true. Paladins who do worship good or lawful gods tend towards the worship of gods such as Chauntea or her aspect Yondalla, Ilmater, Kelemvor, Mystra, Jergal, Lathander, Moradin, Sune, or Torm. Azuth, Helm,and Tyr were also common choices before their deaths. All paladins adhere to a code of some sort, though, logically, this code would be looser for chaotic paladins than it would be for lawful ones. It is from this code that paladins derive their nature as the purist champions of whatever cause they serve.
Few, if any, paladins truly “choose” their career and becoming a paladin is more like answering a call to destiny. Is it generally said that becoming a paladin is something that is either within one's nature or not and though an individual may reject the divine call that beckons them, none can become a paladin who does not hear it. Most who do answer the call begin their training early in life, often as adolescents. Many become the squires or assistants to more experienced paladins, training for years before they come unto their own as champions of the divine. Others hear or answer the call only late in life, after having pursued a different career. But all paladins, regardless of origins, so long as they share the same alignment, see in one another a common brotherhood. Comparatively, paladins do not get along quite as well with other companions, with the exception of clerics of the same alignment, particularly when those companions are of opposing alignments.
Many paladins are human or half-elves, whose sense of ambition and purpose makes the two races excellent champions of an ideal or the divine. Dwarves are in some ways, due to their cultural tradition of discipline and religious devotion, well-suited for the life of a paladin, though it means putting ideals before family and clan, which can be hard on dwarves. However, shield dwarves make uncommonly good paladins in many cases. Dragonborn also make good paladins, but because few are truly religious, their numbers are small. Elven paladins are also relatively rare, partially due to the chaotic tendencies of both races. Among other races, paladins are far rarer still, with the exception of strongheart halflings. Paladins can also be found widely in the regions of Cormyr, the Dalelands, Damara, Impiltur, Silverymoon, and Waterdeep. Before the Spellplague many also came from Luiren and Mulhorand.
Abilities Overview[edit | edit source]
Paladins, like clerics, are granted their divine powers, known as prayers, through strength of faith and devotion to their divine patron, and like clerics can enhance these prayers with a holy symbol.
In battle paladins are exceptionally good combatants, equivalent in power to fighters trained in the use of all forms of armor and most melee weapons.
Paladins are also trained in healing, though to a lesser extent than clerics. In particular, all paladins know the lay on hands prayer, which instantly heals the wounds of a comrade and helps them get back on their feet.
Many paladins have other abilities to aid them in their journey. Many good paladins, for instance, have the capacity to detect evil within their presence. Many paladins also have immunity to all diseases, including magical diseases such as mummy rot or lycanthropy and several of these have the ability to remove diseases from others. Other paladins are incapable of fear and are capable of bestowing this immunity on allies. And while turn undead is a prayer most commonly used by clerics many paladins are also capable of it. It is also traditional for paladins to be trained in riding and several paladins own mounts, who are often gifted with sapience and supernatural strength as a boon by the paladin's divine patron.
All of these abilities are granted at the behest of the paladin's patron and paladins are bound to serve this patron. If a paladin violates the code of conduct laid down by his or her patron than they are typically deprived of their divine abilities. A paladin cannot regain these abilities without appealing to their patron and atoning for their “sins” in the appropriate manner.
Class Abilities[edit | edit source]
Class Skills: Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis) Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) × 4 Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Paladins are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor (heavy, medium, and light), and with shields (except tower shields).
- By Word or Example: Some Paladin’s are heroic figures who lead with impassioned speeches and great words, while others prefer to demonstrate their beliefs personally, hoping others will see them and take their example.
At 1st level, a Paladin chooses either Wisdom or Charisma to base their class abilities off of. This is referred to as their primary ability.
- Aura of Good (Ex): The power of a paladin’s aura of good (see the detect good spell) is equal to her paladin level.
- Detect Evil (Sp): At will, a paladin can use detect evil, as the spell.
- Smite Evil (Su): Once per day, a paladin may attempt to smite evil with one normal attack. She adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to her attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per paladin level. If the paladin accidentally smites a creature that is not evil, the smite has no effect, and is not used up for the day.
At 5th level, and at every five levels thereafter, the paladin may smite evil one additional time per day, as indicated on Table: The Paladin, to a maximum of five times per day at 20th level. In addition to the normal effect, beginning at 5th level, whenever a creature is struck by the paladin's smite evil, that creature finds it difficult to cast spells or use magical items. For one round, any attempt to complete one of these actions requires a sucessful concentration check against a DC of (10+paladin level+charisma modifier); Failure means that the action fails. If a spell was being cast, the spell or spell slot is lost. If a magic item was being activated, the attempt mearly fails. Multiple Smite Evil attempts on the same creature do not have cumulative effect. Lasting Smite: A Paladin of at least 8th level can infuse an entire barrage of attacks with divine energy. By expending two uses of their Smite ability, they may apply its effects to every attack they make in a round.
- Divine Grace (Su): At 2nd level, a paladin gains a bonus equal to her Charisma bonus (if any) on all saving throws.
- Lay on Hands (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, a paladin with a Charisma score of 12 or higher can heal wounds (her own or those of others) by touch. Each day she can heal a total number of hit points of damage equal to five times her paladin level × her Charisma bonus. A paladin may choose to divide her healing among multiple recipients, and she doesn’t have to use it all at once. Using lay on hands is a standard action.
Alternatively, a paladin can use any or all of this healing power to deal damage to undead creatures. Using lay on hands in this way requires a successful melee touch attack and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. The paladin decides how many of her daily allotment of points to use as damage after successfully touching an undead creature.
At 7th level, a paladin’s touch can cure many afflictions. He may spend 10 points from his Lay on Hands pool to remove one of the following conditions afflicting the touched target: dazzled, diseased, poisoned, fatigue, exhaustion, sickened or nauseated.. He may spend 5 points to use lesser restoration as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to his paladin level, 20 points to use restoration, 25 points to cure any condition that would be affected by Heal, and 50 points to use greater restoration.
Prudent Healing (Su): At 11th level, when using Lay on Hands to heal, a paladin may do so as a move action, rather than a standard action.
At the 9th class level Lay on Hands can remove ability damage, blindness, deafness and paralysis. Each point of ability damage costs 2 healing points to remove, the others still cost 10 points.
At the 12th class level Lay on Hands can remove the confused, cowering, frightened, dazed, fear, feebleminded, insanity, panicked, shakened and stunned conditions. Alternatively, the Paladin may invest 100 healing points to revive a fallen comrade as per the Raise Dead spell.
At the 15th class level Lay on Hands can remove ability drain and negative levels, and can act as a Break Enchantment spell with no maximum caster level, with a caster level equal to the Paladin's class level. Each point of ability drain costs 8 points to restore, and each negative level costs 16 points to restore. Alternatively, the Paladin may invest 200 healing points to revive a fallen comrade as per the Resurrection spell.
At the 18th class level, Lay on Hands can restore permanently drained levels at the cost of 50 healing points per drained level, and regenerate lost and severed body members as per the Regenerate spell, each body part requiring 50 healing points to regenerate. Alternatively, the Paladin may invest 800 healing points to revive a fallen comrade as per the True Resurrection spell, though he must possess some fragment of remains of the deceased to touch, and must expend either 500 XP per HD of the target to be revived or a valuable diamond component as per the spell, or be in current and immediate possession of a powerful holy artifact of his patron deity.
- Bless Weapon (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, any weapon wielded by a paladin is affected as through by a bless weapon spell. It loses this bonus one round after leaving the Paladin's hands.
- Aura of Resolve (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, a paladin is immune to compulsion effects. Each ally within 10 feet of her gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against compulsion effects. This ability functions while the paladin is conscious, but not if she is unconscious or dead.
- Divine Health (Ex): At 3rd level, a paladin gains immunity to all diseases, including supernatural and magical diseases.
- Turn Undead (Su): When a paladin reaches 4th level, she gains the supernatural ability to turn undead. She may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier. She turns undead as a cleric of three levels lower would.
- Spells: Beginning at 4th level, a paladin gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells, which are drawn from the paladin spell list*. A paladin must choose and prepare her spells in advance.
To prepare or cast a spell, a paladin must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a paladin’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the paladin’s Strength modifier. Like other spellcasters, a paladin can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Strength score.
A paladin can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time, and a Paladin knows all spells on the Paladin Spell list.
Through 3rd level, a paladin has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, her caster level is three less then her paladin level.
Add the following spells to the paladin's spell list: 1st—protection from law; 3rd—magic circle against law; 4th—dispel law, freedom of movement.
- Armor Mastery (Ex): Starting at 4th level, the knight-paladin is able to wear his armor as a second skin and ignore the standard speed reduction for wearing medium armor. Starting at 9th level, he ignores the speed reduction imposed by heavy armor as well. At 13th level, he gains proficiency with the tower shield if he did not already have it, and he may ignore the -2 penalty to attack rolls associated with using a tower shield.
- Special Mount (Sp): Upon reaching 5th level, a paladin gains the service of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed to serve her in her crusade against evil (see below). This mount is usually a Griffon (for a Medium paladin) or a Medium Griffon (for a Small paladin).
Once per day, as a full-round action, a paladin may magically call her mount from the celestial realms in which it resides. This ability is the equivalent of a spell of a level equal to one-third the paladin’s level. The mount immediately appears adjacent to the paladin and remains for 2 hours per paladin level; it may be dismissed at any time as a free action. The mount is the same creature each time it is summoned, though the paladin may release a particular mount from service.
Each time the mount is called, it appears in full health, regardless of any damage it may have taken previously. The mount also appears wearing or carrying any gear it had when it was last dismissed. Calling a mount is a conjuration (calling) effect.
Should the paladin’s mount die, it immediately disappears, leaving behind any equipment it was carrying. The paladin may not summon another mount for thirty days or until she gains a paladin level, whichever comes first, even if the mount is somehow returned from the dead. During this thirty-day period, the paladin takes a –1 penalty on attack and weapon damage rolls.
Divine Aegis (Su):Starting at the 5th class level, the Paladin gains a bonus to his AC equal to the lesser of his Charisma modifier and class level. This AC bonus applies against incorporeal and touch attacks. Non-evil allies (excluding the Paladin) within 5 + 5 x the Paladin's Charisma modifier feet (minimum 5 feet) receive half of this bonus (rounded up).
Starting at the 15th class level, the Paladin gains Spell Resistance equal to 10 + his class level, + his Charisma modifier. Non-evil allies (excluding the Paladin) within 5 + 5 x the Paladin's Charisma modifier feet (minimum 5 feet) receive half of this Spell Resistance (rounded up).
By expending a Turn Undead attempt as a Free Action, the Paladin may increase the SR provided to his non-evil allies by an amount equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1), or the AC provided to his allies by an amount equal to half his Charisma modifier (round up, minimum 1) for one round per class level. The SR and AC granted by Divine Aegis to the Paladin's allies cannot ever exceed the amount it provides to the Paladin.
Aura of Beneficence (Su):Starting at the 5th class level, the aura of the Paladin becomes as a shining beacon to all who would rally against evil, and emits a continuous Protection Against Evil effect. Further, he is surrounded by a brilliant silver light, which sheds bright light for up to half the Paladin's class level + his Charisma modifier x 5 feet, and dim light for up to an additional half the Paladin's class level + his Charisma modifier x 5 feet (round up in all cases, with each area of illumination having a minimum 5 foot radius). The Paladin may expand, contract or dismiss this light as a Free Action. This light may even persist in magical darkness if the Paladin succeeds at an opposed caster level check, using his class level as his caster level.
Starting at the 10th class level, he emits a continuous Circle of Protection Against Evil effect.
Starting at the 20th class level, he emits a continuous Holy Aura effect. The DC of this effect is Charisma based.
While these emanations may be dispelled, the Paladin can simply reactivate them as a Free Action. The effective caster level of these emanations is equal to the Paladin's class level.
- Detect Hostile Intent (Sp):At 6th level, you become aware of the presence of any creatures with hostile intent within 30 feet emanation of you, and their direction from you (but not their specific location). The power detects active aggression, as opposed to vigilance. In addition, while this power is active you cannot be surprised or caught flat-footed by creatures that are susceptible to mind-affecting powers.
While under the effect of this power, you can make Sense Motive checks as a free action against anyone within 30 feet of you.
This power is useable at will.
- Mettle (Su): At 7th level the Paladin's conviction is so strong, that she is able to shrug off magical effects that would harm her. If a Paladin makes a successful Will or Fortitude saving throw that would normally reduce the spell's effect, she suffers no effect from the spell at all. Only those spells with a Saving Throw entry of "Will partial," "Fortitude half," or similar entries can be negated through this ability.
- Bonus Feat: Beginning at 7th level, and every fourth level, a paladin gains a bonus feat. A paladin is treated as a Fighter of her level for feat Prerequisites.
- Celestial Mount (Ex): At 8th level the Paladin's mount becomes a mighty divine being and gains the Half Celestial template.
- Battle Blessing (Ex): A Paladin can cast most of her paladin spells faster than normal. If the spell normally requires a standard action, she can cast it as a swift action. If it normally requires a full round to cast, she can cast it as a standard action. Spells with longer or shorter casting times are not affected.
- Spellshatter (Su): Once per day, beginning at 9th level, a Paladin can choose to deliver a targeted Greater Dispel Magic with a Melee attack. The decision to use this ability must be made before the attack is rolled. If the attack misses, the ability is wasted.
if the attack hits, treat this as if the paladin had cast Greater Dispel Magic on the creature struck, using her paladin level as her caster level. A paladin may use this ability an additional time each day every third level afterwards.
- Holy Weapon (Su): At 9th level, any weapon a paladin wields is treated as though it had the Holy weapon enhancement property. It loses this bonus one round after leaving the paladin's hands. If it already had the Holy enchantment, it instead deals an extra d6 damage against evil creatures.
Favored of God (Sp): At 10th level, a paladin can use divination, as the spell, once per day.
- Courtly and Divine Knowledge (Ex): At 10th level, the paladin has either become a mighty lord in his own right, has devoted himself to the study of the politics and rulers to better serve his own lord or has devoted himself to the sududy of his religion. He develops a well-deserved reputation as an honorable mediator and keen adviser. He gains a competence bonus on all Diplomacy, Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Knowledge(Religion) and Sense Motive checks equal to half his class level.
- Divine Persistance (Su): Beginning at level 11, a paladin may weave positive energy into her spellcasting. Whenever a paladin casts a spell with a duration other then instant that targets herself, she may expend two uses of Turn undead for the day. If she does, treat the spell as though it was affected by Metamagic: Persist.
Banishing Smite (Su): At 13th level, any evil outsider struck by a paladin’s smite must make a will save (DC equals damage dealt) or be forced to return to its home plane. If already on its home plane, it instead takes 1d6 damage per paladin level on a failed save. This damage is pure divine energy, and it is not subject to spell resistance or damage reduction. The extra damage replaces the normal extra damage dealt by a smite attempt. Even if it succeeds on its save, it is still affected by the smite as normal.
A Hero Never Dies(Ex): At 13th level, a paladin becomes immune to all death spells, magical death effects, energy drain, and any negative energy effects, as though he were continually affected by a death ward spell.
Powered by Heroism (Su): At 14th level, a paladin gains fast healing equal to one-half his Charisma modifier (minimum 1).
- Improved Mettle (Su):At 14th level, as with Mettle, but the paladin also receives half damage on a failed Fortitude save, or partial damage on a failed Will save.
Hero’s Shield (Ex): At 15th level, as long as he doesn’t move more than 5 feet, a paladin no longer provokes attacks of opportunity when using his Hero’s Sacrifice. The recharge time decreases to (10- Charisma modifier) rounds. In addition, he may use the ability without incurring the recharge time, or during the recharge period, as long as he moves no more than 5 feet.
Bulwark of Faith (Ex): At 16th level, a paladin blocks the line of effect for all spells, breath weapons, and other such effects. For example, if a dragon uses its breath weapon, anyone standing behind the paladin is not affected. In addition, he may shelter any one adjacent creature from all effects of an area spell.
Faith in the Fallen (Sp): At 17th level, a paladin’s faith can transcend the bonds of death. Once per day, as a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, he may pay 200 experience and expend a refill of his Lay on Hands pool to bring a creature back from the dead, as long as they have been dead for no more than (Charisma Modifier) rounds. In all other respects, this ability functions as the revivify spell from the Spell Compendium, with a caster level equal to his paladin level.
Alternately, he may pay 1,000 experience and all uses of lay on hands to use True Resurrection as a spell-like ability, with a caster level equal to his paladin level.
Celestial Smite (Su): At 18th level, a paladin’s smite is lethal. Evil outsiders and undead affected by a smite must make a Fortitude save (DC equal to 10 + one half paladin level + Charisma modifier) or be slain instantly. Even on a successful save, they take double the normal smite bonus damage.
Perfection on Earth (Su): At 19th level, a paladin has transcended the limits of his human form. His type changes to Outsider (native), he gains damage reduction 10/evil, immunity to acid, cold, and electricity, spell resistance equal to his class level +10, and 60ft darkvison. (Unlike other types of spell resistance, he can allow any spell he chooses to bypass his resistance).
Alternately, if the Book of Exalted Deeds is available, he can acquire the benefits of the Saint template instead of the above benefits. However, unlike the normal template, he only loses the benefits if he loses his paladin abilities (see Ex-Paladins, below). He regains the template when he atones.
Death Before Dishonor (Ex): At 20th level, not even death can stop a paladin. If an effect would kill him, whether through hit point damage (in this case only, death is defined as negative hit points), ability damage, level drain, or anything else, he may delay the effect for 1d6 rounds. The DM rolls this check behind the screen- neither the paladin nor his player knows how long he has left to act. During this time, he gains a morale bonus on attack, damage, saving throws and skill checks equal to his Charisma modifier, and may make unlimited Smite attempts. Furthermore, he is considered invulnerable to all effects during this state- he takes no damage from attacks, isn’t affected by spells, and is unaffected by difficult or damaging terrain. This invulnerability does extend to effects used by allies or the paladin himself-- he cannot be healed, cannot be buffed, and cannot be stopped.
After the duration of this ability expires, he takes the full effect of whatever attack or spell provoked this state. However, if his efforts directly saved the life of another sentient being, he drops to -9 hit points instead. Simply defeating threatening foes isn’t enough to qualify- he must stop an attack that would have killed an ally, healed an friend back to consciousness from negative HP, carried a fallen comrade to safety, and so on.
- Code of Conduct: A paladin must be of a good alignment. A paladin should act with honor and respect, help those in need, and to punish those who threaten or harm the innocent. A paladin who is not of good alignment looses all Supernatural abilities until she atones.
- Paladin Afterlife: In death, a Paladin does not travel to the celestial plane of her alignment, but instead arrives at the Demiplane known as the Bastion of Righteous Hope. Here, paladins tend to their mounts, dine in magnificent mead halls, debate the best ways to fight evil, and prepare for raids on the infernal and Abyssal realms.
Paladin's Mount[edit | edit source]
Paladin’s Mount Basics: Use the base statistics for a creature of the mount’s kind, but make changes to take into account the attributes and characteristics summarized on the table and described below.
Bonus HD: Extra eight-sided (d8) Hit Dice, each of which gains a Consitution modifier, as normal. Extra Hit Dice improve the mount’s base attack and base save bonuses. A special mount’s base attack bonus is equal to that of a cleric of a level equal to the mount’s HD. A mount has good Fortitude and Reflex saves (treat it as a character whose level equals the animal’s HD). The mount gains additional skill points or feats for bonus HD as normal for advancing a monster’s Hit Dice.
Natural Armor Adj.: The number on the table is an improvement to the mount’s existing natural armor bonus. Str Adj.: Add this figure to the mount’s Strength score. Int: The mount’s Intelligence score.
Empathic Link (Su): The paladin has an empathic link with her mount out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The paladin cannot see through the mount’s eyes, but they can communicate empathically. Note that even intelligent mounts see the world differently from humans, so misunderstandings are always possible. Because of this empathic link, the paladin has the same connection to an item or place that her mount does, just as with a master and his familiar (see Familiars).
Improved Evasion (Ex): When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, a mount takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage if the saving throw fails.
Share Spells: At the paladin’s option, she may have any spell (but not any spell-like ability) she casts on herself also affect her mount. The mount must be within 5 feet at the time of casting to receive the benefit. If the spell or effect has a duration other than instantaneous, it stops affecting the mount if it moves farther than 5 feet away and will not affect the mount again even if it returns to the paladin before the duration expires. Additionally, the paladin may cast a spell with a target of “You” on her mount (as a touch range spell) instead of on herself. A paladin and her mount can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the mount’s type (magical beast).
Share Saving Throws: For each of its saving throws, the mount uses its own base save bonus or the paladin’s, whichever is higher. The mount applies its own ability modifiers to saves, and it doesn’t share any other bonuses on saves that the master might have. Improved Speed (Ex): The mount’s speed increases by 10 feet.
Command (Sp): Once per day per two paladin levels of its master, a mount can use this ability to command other any normal animal of approximately the same kind as itself (for warhorses and warponies, this category includes donkeys, mules, and ponies), as long as the target creature has fewer Hit Dice than the mount. This ability functions like the command spell, but the mount must make a DC 21 Concentration check to succeed if it’s being ridden at the time. If the check fails, the ability does not work that time, but it still counts against the mount’s daily uses. Each target may attempt a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 paladin’s level + paladin’s Cha modifier) to negate the effect.
Spell Resistance (Ex): A mount’s spell resistance equals its master’s paladin level + 5. To affect the mount with a spell, a spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the mount’s spell resistance.