Paladin, Tome (3.5e Class)
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|“||Good for the Good God!||”|
When darkness rises, when necromancers threaten to envelop the world in shadow, when demons walk the lands, sowing mayhem and destruction, or when evil arises in the hearts of mortals and leads them to the destruction of others, a few are called to defend the weak and innocent against them. These Paladins are the front-line warriors of the forces of Good, righting wrongs wherever they may be found. Paladins are imbued with phenomenal courage and heartiness, and given magic to heal and protect.
Paladins are always of Good alignment. Under Word is Bond ethics, Paladins must also be Lawful, although other ethical systems do not compel this of them. Under flag-based alignments, Paladins must be aligned with a plane that sponsors Paladins (Mount Celestia under the core cosmology).
Depending on the moral system of the setting, Paladins may or may not have a deific preference. Under flag-based morality, Paladins often have patrons from their sponsoring plane. On the other hand, if the planes of Good are Good because of what they do, rather than what they are, then Paladins are often not dedicated followers of any specific deity; their dedication to overall Good often interferes with their ability to maintain any other allegiance, even a deific one.
Making a Paladin
A Paladin fights in melee and casts protective spells, enhancing their own defenses and those of others, and diverting attacks onto themselves despite their fundamentally being a defensive character. They also have a reasonable supply of information-gathering divination spells.
Abilities: Wisdom and Charisma are the most important ability scores for the Paladin. The Paladin gains bonus spells per day for a high wisdom, and her spell save DCs are based on Wisdom. Additionally, her Insightful Strike bonus feat means that she can use it for her attacks. Charisma enhances a variety of abilities, such as Turn Undead, Smite Evil, and Holy Shield. Because of her divine gifts, she does not need as high of a Strength or Dexterity as other melee characters might need, although a high Constitution score is always beneficial, and a Paladin can gain benefit from not completely neglecting her Strength.
Starting Gold: 6d4×10 gp (150 gp).
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||Aura of Good, Healing Touch, Exorcism, Insightful Strike, Personal Warding, Turn Undead||5||3||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+0||Detect Evil, Divine Grace, Divine Heart, Holy Shield, Smite Evil||6||4||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+3||+3||+3||+1||Evasion, Expanded Prayers, Interrupting Spell 1/day||6||5||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+1||Divine Resilience, Guided Ward, Reactive Healing||6||6||4||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|6th||+6/+1||+5||+5||+2||Iron Will, Special Mount||6||6||5||3||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|7th||+7/+2||+5||+5||+2||Divine Reach, Expanded Prayers||6||6||6||4||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|8th||+8/+3||+6||+6||+2||Exorcising Smite, Interrupting Spell 2/day, Mortal Smite||6||6||6||5||3||—||—||—||—||—|
|9th||+9/+4||+6||+6||+3||Divine Chain, Hero's Heart, Prayers of the Faithful||6||6||6||6||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|13th||+13/+8/+8||+8||+8||+4||Interrupting Spell 3/day||6||6||6||6||6||6||4||—||—||—|
|18th||+18/+13/+13/+13||+11||+11||+6||Interrupting Spell 4/day||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||5||3|
|19th||+19/+14/+14/+14||+11||+11||+6||Expanded Prayers, Guardian Beyond Death||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||4|
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Paladin.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Paladins are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, all armor, and non-tower shields.
Spells: Paladins cast Divine spells. Their bonus spells and save DCs are based on Wisdom. Paladins automatically know every spell on their spell list. The somatic components of Paladin spells can be done even if both hands are occupied with a weapon and shield (but not two weapons). Paladins choose their spells from the following list:
1st — Atonement, Bless, Bless Water, Bless Weapon, Cure Light Wounds, Deathwatch (no [Evil] descriptor), Delay Poison, Detect Chaos, Detect Good, Detect Law, Detect Undead, Greater Dispel Magic, Divine Favor, Endure Elements, Enlarge Person, Entropic Shield, Magic Vestment, Greater Magic Weapon, Nondetection, Protection from Chaos/Evil/Law (opposed alignments only), Remove Fear, Searing Light, Shield of Faith
2nd — Aid, Align Weapon, Bull's Strength, Consecrate, Cure Moderate Wounds, Desecrate (desanctifying use only, no [Evil] descriptor), Eagle's Splendor, Heroism, Owl's Wisdom, Protection from Arrows, Remove Paralysis, Resist Energy, Lesser Restoration, See Invisibility, Shield Other, Status, Zone of Truth
3rd — Arcane Sight, Continual Flame, Create Food and Water, Cure Serious Wounds, Daylight, Holy Smite, Magic Circle against Chaos/Evil/Law (Opposed alignments only), Neutralize Poison, Prayer, Protection from Energy, Remove Blindness/Deafness, Remove Curse, Remove Disease, True Strike
5th — Break Enchantment, Commune, Mass Cure Light Wounds, Dispel Chaos (Lawful only), Dispel Evil, Dispel Law (Chaotic only), Disrupting Weapon, Hallow, Heal Mount, Holy Sword, Interposing Hand, Mark of Justice, Raise Dead, Righteous Might, Spell Resistance, True Seeing
Aura of Good: A Paladin registers under Detect Good as a Cleric of a Good Deity.
Healing Touch (Su): A Paladin has a pool of Healing Touch points equal to her class level × her Charisma modifier, which refreshes when her spell slots do. As a swift action, the Paladin may heal herself or an ally within reach of her touch by any number of hit points up to the current value of their Healing Touch pool, removing that many points from the pool. If the Paladin recieves healing in excess of her current damage taken, she may replenish her Healing Touch pool, but to no more than its usual maximum.
Exorcism (Su): As an attack no more than once per round, a Paladin may deliver a melee touch attack to any undead creature, [evil] outsider, or any creature under the influence of a possessing spirit, such as a Ghost's Malevolence ability. On a successful hit, deduct a number of points from the Paladin's Healing Touch pool equal to her class level, and inflict 1d6 damage per point taken. This damage comes from pure divine power. An exorcism on a possessed creature bypasses the possessed creature entirely and does damage directly to the possessor. Exorcisms cannot make critical hits. An exorcism, even one channeled through a weapon, does not do damage from any other source, such as weapon or unarmed strike damage.
Personal Warding: As long as she makes a melee attack on the same round, a Paladin may cast any Paladin spell with a casting time of one round or less on herself as a swift action. She must attack before she can cast the spell.
Divine Grace (Ex): A Paladin of 2nd level or higher adds her Charisma bonus to all saving throws.
Divine Heart (Ex): A Paladin of at least 2nd level is immune to all Fear effects, including the conditions Shaken, Frightened, and Panicked, and all nonmagical diseases, including the Sickened condition, even when it has a magical source.
Holy Shield (Ex):A Paladin of 2nd level or higher can substitute her Charisma modifier for her Dexterity modifier to armor class as long as she is using a shield in her hand (not an Animated Shield). She gains the full benefit of her shield against touch attacks. This bonus applies even when her Dexterity bonus would normally be denied, but she is still considered to have lost her dexterity bonus to AC for purposes of special abilities such as Sneak Attack under the normal circumstances.
Smite Evil (Su): A Paladin of 2nd level or higher can attempt to smite a target as part of making a melee attack. The attempt does not work (at no cost to her other than the attack) unless the target is evil. If the target is evil, she adds her Charisma modifier to hit, and, if successful, she adds her Charisma modifier to hit and her level to damage. She also gains supernatural strength, causing her to not take strength penalties to damage (bonuses still apply).
If, after the attack's damage is applied and the target has 4 hit points less than level of the Smiting paladin, it is instantly destroyed as though they are hit point damage. A single target may only be smote once per Paladin per day, and the Paladin cannot smite another target after successfully smiting one until either the first target is defeated or five rounds pass since the last Smite. If the attack misses or is attempted on an invalid target, the Paladin may try again immediately against the same or a different target as soon as she can make another attack.
Evasion (Ex): At 3rd level or higher if a paladin makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. A helpless paladin does not gain the benefit of evasion.
Expanded Prayers: At 3rd, 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th levels, the Paladin adds one Abjuration, Divination, or Necromancy (Healing) spell of any level up to the highest level she can cast from any 9-level pre-Tome caster's spell list to her own. The spell may not already be on her spell list at a different level.
Interrupting Spell: A Paladin of 3rd level may, once per day, cast any Paladin spell with a casting time of one round or less as an immediate action. This increases to twice per day at 8th level, three times at 13th level, and four times per day at 18th level.
Snap Judgement (Su): As a swift action, a Paladin of fourth level or higher can focus on a target and gain information about them as if she had spent three rounds focusing on them with Detect Evil.
Divine Resilience (Su): A Paladin of 5th level or higher may expend a Turn Undead attempt as a free action on her turn to gain Energy Resistance equal to twice her class level to any two energy types, selected when she uses this ability. This is shared with all allies within 20'. This lasts for a number of rounds equal to her Charisma bonus + 1, minimum 1. Allies that leave the area of this ability lose its effect, and allies that enter it gain the benefit. If the Paladin activates this ability again, the first one automatically expires even if its duration had not ended.
Guided Ward (Ex): A Paladin of 5th level or higher may focus on an enemy as a free action, impeding it from attacking her allies. This ability, and its targeting, are obvious to any observer. If the enemy attacks any of her allies before her next turn, she may cast any Paladin spell with a casting time of one round or less on any ally that creature attacked as a swift action. The ally must still be within range and a valid target for the spell.
Reactive Healing: A Paladin of 5th level or higher can use Healing Touch as an immediate action.
Iron Will: At 6th level, a Paladin gains Iron Will as a bonus feat. If she already has the Iron Will feat, she may pick any [Combat] feat.
Special Mount: At 6th level, a Paladin gains a special mount. This is a creature of either the same alignment as the Paladin or 4 or lower intelligence (including mindless) and non-evil alignment, and a CR three lower than the Paladin's, taking [Awesome] subtypes into account. If she really wants to, she may instead use the SRD Paladin's Mount rules instead. Regardless, the creature must be willing and able to serve as a mount (no Troll, Tendriculous, or Rat mounts, with an exception on the last for small values of Paladin and large values of Rat). If necessary, the creature may be advanced to keep pace with the Paladin.
Divine Reach: A Paladin of 7th level or higher may expend a Turn Undead attempt to change any of her Touch-range Paladin spells to Close range, as part of casting the spell. Such a modified spell can only affect willing targets. She may also extend a Personal spell to Close range, but such a spell may only be cast on targets allowed by Guided Ward.
Exorcising Smite (Su): A Paladin of 8th level or higher may make an Exorcising Smite. As part of making the smite, she channels Exorcism through her weapon using the same attack roll; the Exorcism only lands on a successful hit, not just a touch hit unless the whole attack is a touch attack. The Exorcism takes effect before weapon damage (including the Smite additions) are applied. She may make no more than one attack in a round in which she makes an Exorcising Smite. All costs of the Exorcism and the Smite are paid normally.
Divine Chain: A Paladin of 9th level or higher may apply the Chain Spell metamagic feat to any of her Paladin spells when casting it without increasing the spell level, causing it to affect a number of additional targets equal to her caster level for half damage, or -4 to the save DC of nondamaging spells. All secondary targets must be valid. Using this ability costs two uses of her Turn Undead ability.
Hero's Heart (Ex): A Hero's heart cannot be easily stopped by magic. A Paladin of 9th level becomes immune to [Death] effects and petrification.
Prayers of the Faithful (Su): A Paladin of 9th level or higher may pray for healing. Praying is a full-round action that precludes taking a 5-foot step. She is considered flat-footed while praying, but gains Fast Healing 10. Up to one ally per level within 30' with line of sight to her may join her in prayer, taking the same action and gaining the same benefits.
Radiant Healing (Su): A Paladin of 12th level or higher may use her Healing Touch ability at Close range instead of Touch. By halving the healing done, she may have it affect all allies in range instead of just one target.
Double Smite (Su): A Paladin of 14th level or higher gains a second Smite, which can be used just like the first and is recovered independently but in the same way. So she can smite a target twice, or smite a second target before the first is neutralized, but not both at once.
Divine Reaction (Su): A Paladin of 17th level or higher may expend a Turn Undead attempt as a free action to gain an extra swift action to use immediately. She may do this when it is not her turn to gain an extra swift action on her next turn that must be spent immediately (i.e., an immediate action). Each of her turns may only benefit from this ability once.
Guardian Beyond Death (Su): A Paladin of 19th level is revived as if by a True Ressurection spell where she fell at what would be the end of her next turn after she is slain. She may use this ability once per day. She also regains three uses of Turn Undead and her entire Healing Touch pool, as well as both Smites when this happens. All of her equipment is teleported to its proper place when she returns. If this ability is suppressed when she dies or when it would activate, it delays until it is not suppressed.
Ascendancy (Ex): A Paladin of 20th level may be considered as her original type or a Native Outsider, whichever is most advantageous at the moment. She gains Damage Reduction 10/evil, is no longer subject to aging penalties or death by old age, and may use Plane Shift three times per day as a spell-like ability, but may only shift between a chosen Good-aligned plane (under flag morality, her sponsoring plane) or her home plane. Once she chooses her upper plane, it cannot be changed except for through an alignment change. Her powers also can no longer be withdrawn by her planar sponsors; she may change alignment freely.
A Paladin who ceases to remain Good or grossly violates her code loses all Supernatural and Spell-like Paladin abilities, and her Paladin spellcasting, until she atones.
Aasimar Paladin Starting Package
Weapons: Scimitar, Shortbow, Club.
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 2 + Int modifier.
Feat: Elusive Target.
Bonus Feats: Insightful Strike.
Gold: 3d4 gp.
Playing a Paladin
Religion: Paladins' religious views depend on the moral system of the setting. Paladins in settings where alignment is determined by allegiance are often highly devout followers of deities who share their alignment. Paladins in settings where alignment is an effect of actions must always strive for good in a way that even deities need not, and so are often not entirely religious; they must place their code and their conscience above any divine commands.
Other Classes: Paladins either get along well Clerics or don't depending on their own religious views. Shadier types, such as Rogues and Beguilers, may feel shamed by the Paladin's ability to uphold Good while still accomplishing the same things as they are. Wizards and Sorcerers are always glad to have a Paladin to keep their enemies' attention off of them. Other warriors are glad for the Paladin's healing and protective abilities. Paladins do not usually get along well with Conduits of the Lower Planes, Fiendish Brutes, and True Fiends, due to the latter group's evil nature.
Combat: A Paladin is a defensive fighter, who prolongs battles by making herself invincible and wearing down enemies. She also preserves her allies in combat by casting healing and defensive spells, allowing her to share the invincibility around.
Advancement: Paladins often advance into prestige classes that improve spellcasting, or multiclass with other combat classes, such as Knight or Barbarian to improve their fighting. Of course, remaining a Paladin is also a fully viable career choice.
Paladins in the World
Paladins are Paladins.
Daily Life: Get up, train, pray or meditate, eat, rescue innocents, meditate, meeting with the Duke, fight off a demonic invasion, eat, train, fight the hordes of undead, redeem the necromancer, slay the dragon, rescue the Prince.
Notables: Most Paladins, because of their inability to keep a low profile, are notable in some way.
Organizations: Paladins occasionally form into orders with similar interpretations of their code. However, there aren't really enough to have many large orders. They will join other organizations dedicated to the cause of good.
NPC Reactions: Common NPCs generally like Paladins, as they are trustworthy, fair, and treat commoners' lives like lives worth saving.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Religion) can research Paladins to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||Paladins are great heroes who fight the forces of evil.|
|10||Paladins also have the ability to heal and restore the damage done by an attack by using their magic.|
|15||Paladins are immune or resistant to most forms of physical or magical attacks.|
|20||Paladins can not only fight, but they are also capable diplomats able to redeem villains to the cause of good.|
Paladins in the Game
Paladins are ever the Knight-Errant when on their own, going on adventures to right wrongs and fight for those who cannot defend themselves. In groups, Paladins are natural leaders and front-liners, who use their magic to draw attention onto themselves as combatants.
Adaptation: Changing the alignment flags makes an easy, if cheap, Blackguard class. Note that the Paladin's defensive abilities may not be entirely appropriate for an evil class, though.
|Allowed Alignments||Lawful Good +, Neutral Good + and Chaotic Good +|
|Article Balance||Very High +|
|Base Attack Bonus Progression||Good +|
|Class Ability||Divine Spellcasting + and Spontaneous Spellcasting +|
|Class Ability Progression||Full +|
|Fortitude Save Progression||Good +|
|Identifier||3.5e Class +|
|Minimum Level||1 +|
|Reflex Save Progression||Good +|
|Skill||Climb +, Concentration +, Craft +, Diplomacy +, Handle Animal +, Heal +, Knowledge +, Profession +, Ride +, Sense Motive +, Spellcraft + and Swim +|
|Skill Points||2 +|
|Summary||A warrior of the forces of good, a strong defensive bastion and caster of defensive and healing spells. +|
|Title||Paladin, Tome +|
|Will Save Progression||Poor +|