In the previous guide to classes we explained briefly what kind of role the Paladin has in the D&D realms.
A Paladin is the epitome of the just, morally correct hero: he acts in a good way because he either wants to please his chosen deity, or simply in order to aid people. He is not after treasures; he doesn’t embark on an adventure to gain coins or loot, and is particularly interested in bettering himself and correcting his character-flaws. However everyone needs coin, even in the realms, and he usually finds ‘sponsorship’ in temples or town guards; you might get lucky and side with a rich character that needs your help, although it is arguable whether the Paladin would accept such monetary offers.
When playing this class, especially in Role-Play, you must have a particular state of mind, abandoning all need for material wealth and possessions (i.e. grabbing dead character’s coin) and seeking to help the needy. Of course this doesn’t mean the Paladin is perfect in every way. He has his defects but, differing from other characters, he does his best to overcome them or correct them.
The main Paladin abilities are balanced. He is a mix of monk, cleric and fighter, and has the chance to develop equally in all three areas (divine spellcasting, fighting and discipline).
- Focus on the Strength ability for fighting
- The Wisdom ability to be able to cast divine spells, although only up to level 4.
- Charisma is important not only for diplomacy but also to use important skills, such as Lay on hands, Turn Undead or Smite Evil.
The best two races suited to playing the Paladin are the Human race and the Half-elves.
The Human race offers no positive or negative modifiers but has an extra feat at character level. Moreover the extra skills points available can help adjust the Paladin’s deficiencies.
The Half-elf isn’t particularly suited to the Paladin class, apart from the racial strength such as immunity to some spells. However he has no penalties so could be a possible choice for this class of character.
As mentioned, you need to distribute your points in a balanced way when playing this class. Baring in mind that you only get an extra point when levelling, and you have four different abilities to worry about, you need to be wise about what ability you boost. It normally acceptable to leave something like divine magic out, although abilities such as heal are important, and focus on combat skills.
Strength – As a frontline fighter, this is important. The fact that the Paladin wears heavy armour, similarly to a knight, also makes this ability important.
Dexterity – Not really important as you can wear all types of armours including heavy ones.
Constitution – You need to be sturdy fighting hand-to-hand, therefore allocate some points here.
Intelligence – The least important ability. You could leave this out, although less than 9 points isn’t recommended.
Wisdom – You only get divine spells up to level 4. Wisdom is important but only at the beginning.
Charisma – Not so much for Persuade or Taunt skills, but important for Paladin abilities such as healing abilities, divine shield and others.
These are abilities you can use in combat, or which are automatically used.
Armor Proficiency: You can wear all types of armour and use all types of shields.
Weapon Proficiency: All simple and martial weapons. No exotic weapons such as katanas, kukri or two-bladed swords. You can take the ‘Weapons: exotic’ feat if you really need it.
Divine Grace – Charisma modifier is added when making a saving throw.
Divine Health – Immunity to all forms of disease, a bit like a monk.
Lay on Hands – You can heal yourself once a day. How much you can heal increases with your level.
Aura of Courage – Immunity to mind spells such as fear
Smite Evil - Charisma modifier + Hit Die + Character Level are added to your damage.
Turn Undead – Banish or rebuke the undead, such as zombies, three times a day.
Remove Disease – You can cure your friends of disease once a day.
And that’s most of what’s needed when playing the righteous Paladin.