In this blog post, I will attempt to summarise the abilities of the D&D Next Paladin.
When I bought Baldur’s Gate back in 1998, the character class I most wanted to play was the paladin, probably only because of a certain overpowered magical sword that only paladins can use.
The character build wasn’t very effective, and I struggled in combat – though in fairness, I didn’t know anything about AD&D at the time.
Many paladins are called into service as champions of their god. The powers do not choose their servants lightly, for it takes a dedicated and unwavering heart to uphold the oath they swear in front of the altar.
With conviction in her beliefs, the paladin is unrelenting in her crusade against the enemies of her church. Armed with the holy power of her deity, she strikes down the enemies of her faith.
They are capable warriors who specialise in mounted combat and tactics. They are also inspiring leaders, steeling the hearts of those who fight alongside them.
Paladins of the gods of good are champions of the weak and downtrodden, serving as a beacon of hope for those who fight the good fight.
Those who serve the dark powers are scourges of the land, spreading misery and suffering wherever they tread.
As warriors, paladins are trained in the use of all types of weapon and armour. Like the fighter class, they generally focus on one style of combat over all others. Some seek to train their bodies well, but many paladins prefer to focus on the art of diplomacy, averting conflict before it happens and mediating disputes between two warring factions.
A paladin can ward off any disease and protect herself and her allies from harm. Once she becomes a seasoned veteran, she gains the ability to fight back her fears and those who become powerful enough to assume leadership of the order are protected from mental influences that tempt them away from their calling.
A paladin remains vigilant and is always aware of creatures from the outer planes. Once detected, she can bring her wrath to bear, smiting her enemies with the raw divine power of her patron deity. As she approaches her knighthood, she can focus this power better, resulting in strikes imbued with a divine might that only the greatest fiends can withstand.
The paladin must also be compassionate if she is good or seek to prolong her lackeys’ usefulness if she is evil. When a battle is over, a paladin can administer healing with her touch and cast out magical influences that have taken hold of her or her allies.
Paladins can also call upon the power of their gods as a cleric can, though less effectively. They are granted holy magic and the ability to channel the raw power of their god.
Paladins of Law and Good swear an Oath of Devotion. These holy knights are granted the authority to drive back the forces of undeath and infuse their weapons with radiant energy, allowing them to hurt creatures that are normally immune to mortal weapons, as well as providing a handy light source.
As the paladin becomes more devout, she can channel her god’s power to drive back or destroy fiends and she can literally smite a demon back to it’s plane of existence.
In time, the paladin will become the epitome of devotion, radiating a light that burns the flesh of those who seek to harm her and repel the powers of malevolent spirits.
Paladins that seek to judge evildoers for their crimes typically swear the Oath of Vengeance. Her magic revolves around locating and reaching her quarry quickly and she can channel her god’s power to strike fear in the hearts of her enemies.
Those who earn the enmity of the paladin can expect vengeance to be swift and devastating. Their tenacity is unmatched and there is usually no escape for the wrongdoer once marked for judgement. Eventually the paladin will become so aligned with the powers of law that she can take on the aspect of an angel to wreak havoc on villains.
So not all paladins are goody two shoes which is something I’ll have to adjust to, though I suppose evil paladins are essentially blackguards.
Strangely enough, there doesn’t seem to be an oath path for dark paladins. I imagine it will be added in the final print, but just for fun: what abilities would you suggest for evil paladins? Feel free to comment in the box below.