Unchained Paladin

by Aussifer

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Unchained Paladin

Paladin

Clad in plate armor that gleams in the sunlight despite the dust and grime of long travel, a human lays down her sword and shield and places her hands on a mortally wounded man. Divine radiance shines from her hands, the man's wounds knit closed, and his eyes open wide with amazement.

A dwarf crouches behind an outcrop, his black cloak making him nearly invisible in the night, and watches an orc war band celebrating its recent victory. Silently, he stalks into their midst and whispers an oath, and two orcs are dead before they even realize he is there.

Silver hair shining in a shaft of light that seems to illuminate only him, an elf laughs with exultation. His spear flashes like his eyes as he jabs again and again at a twisted giant, until at last his light overcomes its hideous darkness.

Whatever their origin and their mission, paladins are united by their oaths to stand against the forces of evil. Whether sworn before a god's altar and the witness of a priest, in a sacred glade before nature spirits and fey beings, or in a moment of desperation and grief with the dead as the only witness, a paladin's oath is a powerful bond. It is a source of power that turns a devout warrior into a blessed champion.

The Cause of Righteousness

A paladin swears to uphold justice and righteousness, to stand with the good things of the world against the encroaching darkness, and to hunt the forces of evil wherever they lurk. Different paladins focus on various aspects of the cause of righteousness, but all are bound by the oaths that grant them power to do their sacred work. Although many paladins are devoted to gods of good, a paladin's power comes as much from a commitment to justice itself as it does from a god.

Paladins train for years to learn the skills of combat, mastering a variety of weapons and armor. Even so, their martial skills are secondary to the magical power they wield: power to heal the sick and injured, to smite the wicked and the undead, and to protect the innocent and those who join them in the fight for justice.

Beyond the Mundane Life

Almost by definition, the life of a paladin is an adventuring life. Unless a lasting injury has taken him or her away from adventuring for a time, every paladin lives on the front lines of the cosmic struggle against evil. Fighters are rare enough among the ranks of the militias and armies of the world, but even fewer people can claim the true calling of a paladin. When they do receive the call, these warriors turn from their former occupations and take up arms to fight evil. Sometimes their oaths lead them into the service of the crown as leaders of elite groups of knights, but even then their loyalty is first to the cause of righteousness, not to crown and country.

Adventuring paladins take their work seriously. A delve into an ancient ruin or dusty crypt can be a quest driven by a higher purpose than the acquisition of treasure. Evil lurks in dungeons and primeval forests, and even the smallest victory against it can tilt the cosmic balance away from oblivion.

Creating a Paladin

The most important aspect of a paladin character is the nature of his or her holy quest. Although the class features related to your oath don't appear until you reach 3rd level, plan ahead for that choice by reading the oath descriptions at the end of the class. Are you a devoted servant of good, loyal to the gods of justice and honor, a holy knight in shining armor venturing forth to smite evil? Are you a glorious champion of the light, cherishing everything beautiful that stands against the shadow, a knight whose oath descends from traditions older than many of the gods? Or are you an embittered loner sworn to take vengeance on those who have done great evil, sent as an angel of death by the gods or driven by your need for revenge? Appendix B lists many deities worshiped by paladins throughout the multiverse, such as Torm, Tyr, Heironeous, Paladine, Kiri-Jolith, Dol Arrah, the Silver Flame, Bahamut, Athena, Re-Horakhty, and Heimdall.

How did you experience your call to serve as a paladin? Did you hear a whisper from an unseen god or angel while you were at prayer? Did another paladin sense the potential within you and decide to train you as a squire? Or did some terrible event — the destruction of your home, perhaps — drive you to your quests? Perhaps you stumbled into a sacred grove or a hidden elven enclave and found yourself called to protect all such refuges of goodness and beauty. Or you might have known from your earliest memories that the paladin's life was your calling, almost as if you had been sent into the world with that purpose stamped on your soul.

As guardians against the forces of wickedness, paladins are rarely of any evil alignment. Most of them walk the paths of charity and justice. Consider how your alignment colors the way you pursue your holy quest and the manner in which you conduct yourself before gods and mortals. Your oath and alignment might be in harmony, or your oath might represent standards of behavior not yet attained.

The Paladin
— Spell Slots per Spell Level —
Level Proficiency
Bonus
Features 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1st +2 Divine Sense, Sacred Touch
2nd +2 Spellcasting, Divine Font, Fighting Style 2
3rd +2 Divine Health, Sacred Oath 3
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 3
5th +3 Extra Attack, Cleansing Touch 4 2
6th +3 Aura of Protection 4 2
7th +3 Sacred Oath feature 4 3
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 4 3
9th +4 Cleansing Touch improvement 4 3 2
10th +4 Aura of Courage 4 3 2
11th +4 Divine Strikes 4 3 3
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3
13th +5 Cleansing Touch improvement 4 3 3 1
14th +5 Aura of Conviction 4 3 3 1
15th +5 Sacred Oath feature 4 3 3 2
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 2
17th +6 Cleansing Touch improvement 4 3 3 3 1
18th +6 Aura improvements 4 3 3 3 1
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 3 2
20th +6 Sacred Oath feature 4 3 3 3 2

Quick Build

You can make a paladin quickly by following these suggestions. First, Strength should be your highest ability score, or Dexterity if you plan on using finesse weapons. Your next-highest score should be Charisma. Second, choose the noble background.

Class Features

As a paladin, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d10
Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per Paladin level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: light armor, medium armor, heavy armor, shields
Weapons: simple weapons, martial weapons
Tools: none


Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
Skills: Choose two from Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Medicine, Persuasion, and Religion.

Starting Equipment

You start with the following items, plus anything provided by your background.

  • (a) a martial weapon and a shield or (b) two martial weapons
  • (a) five javelins or (b) any simple melee weapon
  • (a) a priest's pack or (b) an explorer's pack
  • Chain mail and a holy symbol

Alternatively, you may start with 5d4 × 10 gp to buy your own equipment.

Divine Sense

The presence of strong evil registers on your senses like a noxious odor, and powerful good rings like heavenly music in your ears. As an action, you can open your awareness to detect such forces. Until the end of your next turn, you know the location of any celestial, fiend, or undead within 60 feet of you that is not behind total cover. You know the type (celestial, fiend, or undead) of any being whose presence you sense, but not its identity (the vampire Count Strahd von Zarovich, for instance). Within the same radius, you also detect the presence of any place or object that has been consecrated or desecrated, as with the hallow spell.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier (a minimum of twice), and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Sacred Touch

Drawing strength from your divine power, you can heal or harm those you come in contact with. This power of yours is represented by a pool of d8s, and the number of dice in your pool equals 1 + half your paladin level (rounded up).

You can spend the dice in your pool to use the Lay on Hands and Divine Smite abilities listed below. The maximum number of dice you can spend at once on either ability equals your proficiency bonus. Your pool regains all expended dice when you finish a long rest.

Lay on Hands

As an action, you can touch a creature (which can be yourself) and spend dice from the pool in order to heal its injuries. Roll the dice you spend, add them together, and restore a number of hit points to the creature equal to the total + your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1 hit point). This ability has no effect on undead and constructs.

Alternatively, when you spend dice from your pool to use this ability, you can forgo rolling one of those dice to instead cure the target of one disease or neutralize one poison affecting it. You can cure multiple diseases and neutralize multiple poisons at once in this way, forgoing the roll of one spent die separately for each one.

Divine Smite

When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack or unarmed strike, you can spend dice from the pool to further wound the target. Roll the dice you spend as extra radiant damage to the target, in addition to the weapon's damage. If the target is a fiend or an undead, it takes an additional 1d8 damage.

Spellcasting

By 2nd level, you have learned to draw on divine magic through meditation and prayer to cast spells as a cleric does. See chapter 10 of the PHB for the general rules of spellcasting, and "Paladin Spells" at the end of the class description for the paladin spell list.

Preparing and Casting Spells

The Paladin table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your paladin spells. To cast one of your paladin spells of 1st level or higher, you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

You prepare the list of paladin spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the paladin spell list. When you do so, choose a number of paladin spells equal to your Charisma modifier + half your paladin level, rounded down (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

For example, if you are a 5th-level paladin, you have four 1st-level and two 2nd-level spell slots. With a Charisma of 14, your list of prepared spells can include four spells of 1st or 2nd-level, in any combination. If you prepare the 1st-level spell cure wounds, you can cast it using a 1st-level or a 2nd-level slot. Casting the spell doesn't remove it from your list of prepared spells.

You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of paladin spells requires time spent in prayer and meditation: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.

Spellcasting Ability

Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your paladin spells, since their power derives from the force of your convictions. You use your Charisma whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Charisma modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a paladin spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.


Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier


Spellcasting Focus

You can use a holy symbol as a spellcasting focus for your paladin spells.

Divine Font

Beginning at 2nd level, you can fuel your divine abilities with the magic of your spells. When you use Lay on Hands or Divine Smite, you can expend a spell slot to restore expended dice to the pool of your Sacred Touch feature. If you do so, the number of dice restored equals 1 + the level of the expended spell slot.

Fighting Style

At 2nd level, you adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can't take the same Fighting Style option more than once, even if you get to choose again.

Blessed Warrior

You learn two cantrips of your choice from the cleric spell list. They count as paladin spells for you, and Charisma is your spellcasting ability for them. Whenever you gain a level in this class, you can replace one of these cantrips with another cantrip from the cleric spell list.

Blind Fighting

You have blindsight with a range of 10 feet. Within that range, you can effectively see anything that isn't behind total cover, even if you're blinded or in darkness. Moreover, you can see an invisible creature within that range, unless the creature successfully hides from you.

Defense

While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC.

Dueling

When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.

Great Weapon Fighting

When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit.

Interception

When a creature you can see hits a target, other than you, within 5 feet of you with an attack, you can use your reaction to reduce the damage the target takes by 1d10 + your proficiency bonus (to a minimum of 0 damage). You must be wielding a shield or a simple or martial weapon to use this reaction.

Protection

When a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll. You must be wielding a shield.

Unarmed Fighting

Your unarmed strikes can deal bludgeoning damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier on a hit. If you aren't wielding any weapons or a shield when you make the attack roll, the d6 becomes a d8.

At the start of each of your turns, you can deal 1d4 bludgeoning damage to one creature grappled by you.

Divine Health

By 3rd level, the divine magic flowing through you makes you immune to disease.

Sacred Oath

When you reach 3rd level, you swear the oath that binds you as a paladin forever. Up to this time you have been in a preparatory stage, committed to the path but not yet sworn to it. Now you choose from the list of available oaths.

Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 7th, 15th, and 20th level. Those features include oath spells and the Channel Divinity feature.

Oath Spells

Each oath has a list of associated spells. You gain access to these spells at the levels specified in the oath description. Once you gain access to an oath spell, you always have it prepared. Oath spells don't count against the number of spells you can prepare each day.

If you gain an oath spell that doesn't appear on the paladin spell list, the spell is nonetheless a paladin spell for you.

Channel Divinity

Your oath allows you to channel divine energy to fuel magical effects. Each Channel Divinity option provided by your oath explains how to use it. Regardless of their oath, all paladins also have access to the Divine Blessing effect listed below.

When you use your Channel Divinity, you choose which option to use. You must then finish a short or long rest to use your Channel Divinity again.

Some Channel Divinity effects require saving throws. When you use such an effect from this class, the DC equals your paladin spell save DC.

Channel Divinity: Divine Blessing

You can expend a use of your Channel Divinity to fuel your spells. As a bonus action, you touch your holy symbol, utter a prayer, and regain one expended spell slot, the level of which can be no higher than half your proficiency bonus (rounded up).

 

The number of times you can use this effect is based on the level you've reached in this class: 3rd level, once; 7th level, twice; and 15th level, thrice. You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

If your DM allows the use of feats, you may instead take a feat.

Additionally, when you reach a level in this class that grants you this feature, you can replace one Fighting Style you know with another Fighting Style available to this class, as you shift the focus of your martial practice.

Extra Attack

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Cleansing Touch

Beginning at 5th level, you gain new ways to impart your divine power unto a creature. As an action on your turn, including when you use your Lay on Hands, you can touch a willing creature (which can include yourself) and end one effect on the creature causing it to be blinded or deafened.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (a minimum of once), and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

When you reach certain levels in this class, you gain additional ways to use this feature. Starting at 9th level, you can instead end an effect on the target causing it to be paralyzed or stunned; at 13th level, you can end one spell on the target; and at 17th level, you can reduce the target's exhaustion level by one.

Aura of Protection

Starting at 6th level, whenever you or a friendly creature within 10 feet of you must make a saving throw, the creature gains a bonus to the saving throw equal to your Charisma modifier (with a minimum bonus of +1). You must be conscious to grant this bonus.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Aura of Courage

Starting at 10th level, you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can't be frightened while you are conscious. If a friendly creature is frightened when it enters your aura, the effect is suspended while it remains within the aura.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Divine Strikes

By 11th level, you are so suffused with righteous might that all your melee weapon strikes carry divine power with them. Whenever you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack or an unarmed strike, the creature takes an extra 1d8 radiant damage.

Aura of Conviction

Starting at 14th level, you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can't be charmed while you are conscious. If a friendly creature is charmed when it enters your aura, the effect is suspended while it remains within the aura.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Sacred Oaths

Becoming a paladin involves undertaking vows and trials which commit the paladin to the cause of righteousness, an active path of fighting against the wicked. The final oath they swear, taken when they reach 3rd level, is the culmination of the paladin's spiritual training. Some characters with this class don't consider themselves fully-fledged paladins until they have reached this milestone and confirmed their oath. For others, the actual swearing of the oath is a formality, an official stamp on what has always been held true in the paladin's heart.

Your choice of oath reflects the code to which you hold your morals, actions, and motivations, and it serves as a cornerstone of your life as a sworn member of the paladin class. The options available for you to choose from are listed below.

  • The Oath of the Ancients, knights of fey inclination who fight to protect the life-giving things of the world.
  • The Oath of Conquest, which espouses the total and utter subjugation of one's enemies to achieve order.
  • The Oath of the Crown, a dedication to uphold the laws of civilization and guard against chaotic barbarism.
  • The Oath of Darkness, sworn by ambitious and evil hearts who seek to marshal the powers of darkness.
  • The Oath of Devotion, a holy path whose initiates hold themselves to the highest standards of truth and justice.
  • The Oath of Glory, a call to ceaseless personal training and improvement to fulfil one's glorious destiny.
  • The Oath of Redemption, a path of benevolence and pacifism which uses violence only as a last resort.
  • The Oath of the Tides, which uses the power of the sea to safeguard against threats.
  • The Oath of Vengeance, which seeks to set right the wrongs of the world and punish the sinful for their crimes.
  • The Oath of the Watchers, whose disciples maintain unceasing vigilance against extraplanar predators.

Oath of the Ancients

The Oath of the Ancients is as old as the race of elves and the rituals of the druids. Sometimes called fey knights, green knights, or horned knights, paladins who swear this oath cast their lot with the side of the light in the cosmic struggle against darkness because they love the beautiful and life-giving things of the world, not necessarily because they believe in principles of honor, courage, and justice.

Many paladins who follow the ancients' path are fierce guardians of nature, savagely repelling evil incursions that take root in the wilderness, while others stand for more civilized means of truth and beauty. They adorn their armor and clothing with images of growing things — leaves, antlers, or flowers — to reflect their commitment to preserving life and light in the world.

Tenets of the Ancients

The tenets of the Oath of the Ancients have been preserved for uncounted centuries. This oath emphasizes the principles of good above any concerns of law or chaos. Its four central principles are simple.

Kindle the Light. Through your acts of mercy, kindness, and forgiveness, you kindle the light of hope in the world, beating back despair.

Shelter the Light. Where there is good, beauty, love, and laughter in the world, you stand against the wickedness that would swallow it. Where life flourishes, you stand against the forces that would render it barren.

Preserve Your Own Light. Delight in song and laughter, in beauty and art. If you allow the light to die in your own heart, you can't preserve it in the world.

Be the Light. Be a glorious beacon for all who live in despair. Let the light of your joy and courage shine forth in all your deeds.

Oath Spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed in the Oath of the Ancients Spells table.

Oath of the Ancients Spells
Paladin
Level
Spells
3rd ensnaring strike, speak with animals
5th moonbeam, misty step
9th plant growth, summon feyTCE
13th guardian of natureXGE, stoneskin
17th commune with nature, tree stride

Channel Divinity: Nature's Wrath

You can use your Channel Divinity to invoke primeval forces to ensnare a foe. As an action, you can cause spectral vines to spring up and reach for a creature within 10 feet of you that you can see. The creature must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be restrained for 1 minute. A creature restrained by the vines can use its action to make a Strength check against your spell save DC, freeing itself on a success.

Channel Divinity: Turn the Faithless

You can use your Channel Divinity to utter ancient words that are painful for fey and fiends to hear. As an action, you present your holy symbol, and each fey or fiend within 30 feet of you that can hear you must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is turned for 1 minute or until it takes damage.

A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from you as it can, and it can't willingly move to a space within 30 feet of you. It also can't take reactions. For its action, it can use only the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there's nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action.

If the creature's true form is concealed by an illusion, shapeshifting, or other effect, that form is revealed while it is turned.

Aura of Warding

Beginning at 7th level, ancient magic lies so heavily upon you that it forms an eldritch ward. You and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you have resistance to damage from spells.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Undying Sentinel

Starting at 15th level, when you are reduced to 0 hit points and are not killed outright, you can choose to drop to 1 hit point instead. Once you use this ability, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.

Additionally, you suffer none of the drawbacks of old age, and you can't be aged magically.

Elder Champion

At 20th level, you can assume the form of an ancient force of nature, taking on an appearance you choose. For example, your skin might turn green or take on a bark-like texture, your hair might become leafy or moss-like, or you might sprout antlers or a lion-like mane.

Using your action, you undergo a transformation. For 1 minute, you gain the following benefits:

  • At the start of each of your turns, you regain 10 hit points.
  • Whenever you cast a paladin spell that has a casting time of 1 action, you can cast it using your bonus action instead.
  • Enemy creatures within 10 feet of you have disadvantage on saving throws against your paladin spells and Channel Divinity options.

Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.

Oath of Conquest

The Oath of Conquest calls to paladins who seek glory in battle and the subjugation of their enemies. It isn't enough for these paladins to establish order. They must crush the forces of chaos. Sometimes called knight tyrants or iron mongers, those who swear this oath gather into grim orders that serve gods or philosophies of war and well-ordered might.

Some of these paladins go so far as to consort with the powers of the Nine Hells, valuing the rule of law over the balm of mercy. The archdevil Bel, warlord of Avernus, counts many of these paladins — called hell knights — as his most ardent supporters. Hell knights cover their armor with trophies taken from fallen enemies, a grim warning to any who dare oppose them and the decrees of their lords. These knights are often most fiercely resisted by other paladins of this oath, who believe that the hell knights have wandered too far into darkness.

Tenets of Conquest

A paladin who takes this oath has the tenets of conquest seared in their mind. Some choose to brand themselves with these tenets on the upper arm, as a physical display of their conviction.

Douse the Flame of Hope. It is not enough to merely defeat an enemy in battle. Your victory must be so overwhelming that your enemies' will to fight is shattered forever. A blade can end a life. Fear can end an empire.

Rule with an Iron Fist. Once you have conquered, tolerate no dissent. Your word is law. Those who obey it shall be favored. Those who defy it shall be punished as an example to all who might follow.

Strength Above All. You shall rule until a stronger one arises. Then you must grow mightier and meet the challenge, or fall to your own ruin.

Oath Spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed in the Oath of Conquest Spells table.

Oath of Conquest Spells
Paladin
Level
Spells
3rd armor of Agathys, command
5th hold person, spiritual weapon
9th bestow curse, fear
13th dominate beast, stoneskin
17th cloudkill, dominate person

Channel Divinity: Conquering Presence

You can use your Channel Divinity to exude a terrifying presence. As an action, you force each creature of your choice that you can see within 30 feet of you to make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, a creature becomes frightened of you for 1 minute. The frightened creature can repeat this saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

 

Channel Divinity: Guided Strike

You can use your Channel Divinity to strike with supernatural accuracy. When you make an attack roll, you can use your Channel Divinity to gain a +10 bonus to the roll. You make this choice after you see the roll, but before the DM says whether the attack hits or misses.

Aura of Conquest

Starting at 7th level, you constantly emanate a menacing aura while you're not incapacitated. The aura extends 10 feet from you in every direction, but not through total cover.

If a creature is frightened of you, its speed is reduced to 0 while in the aura, and that creature takes psychic damage equal to half your paladin level if it starts its turn there.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Scornful Rebuke

Starting at 15th level, those who dare to strike you are psychically punished for their audacity. Whenever a creature hits you with an attack, that creature takes psychic damage equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1) if you're not incapacitated.

Invincible Conqueror

At 20th level, you gain the ability to harness extraordinary martial prowess. As an action, you can magically become an avatar of conquest, gaining the following benefits for 1 minute:

  • You have resistance to all damage.
  • When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can make one additional attack as part of that action.
  • Your melee weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20 on the d20.

Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest, unless you expend a 5th-level spell slot to use it again.

 

Oath of the Crown

The Oath of the Crown is sworn to the ideals of civilization, be it the spirit of a nation, fealty to a sovereign, or service to a deity of law and rulership. The paladins who swear this oath dedicate themselves to serving society and, in particular, the laws that hold society together. These paladins are the watchful guardians on the walls, standing against the chaotic tides of barbarism that threaten to tear down all that civilization has built, and are commonly known as guardians, exemplars, or sentinels. Often, paladins who swear this oath are members of an order of knighthood in service to a nation or sovereign, and undergo their oath as part of their admission to the order's ranks.

Tenets of the Crown

The tenets of the Oath of the Crown are often set by the sovereign to which their oath is sworn, but generally emphasize the following tenets.

Uphold the Law. The law is paramount. It is the mortar that holds the stones of civilization together, and it must be respected.

Treasure Loyalty. Your word is your bond. Without loyalty, oaths and laws are meaningless.

Inspire Courage. You must be willing to do what needs to be done for the sake of order, even in the face of overwhelming odds. If you don't act, then who will?

Embrace Responsibility. You must deal with the consequences of your actions, and you are responsible for fulfilling your duties and obligations.

Oath Spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed in the Oath of the Crown Spells table.

Oath of the Crown Spells
Paladin
Level
Spells
3rd command, compelled duel
5th warding bond, zone of truth
9th aura of vitality, spirit guardians
13th banishment, guardian of faith
17th circle of power, geas

Channel Divinity: Champion Challenge

As a bonus action, you issue a challenge that compels other creatures to do battle with you. Each creature of your choice that you can see within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, a creature can't willingly move more than 30 feet away from you. This effect ends on the creature if you are incapacitated or die or if the creature is more than 30 feet away from you at the end of your turn.

Channel Divinity: Turn the Tide

As a bonus action, you can bolster injured creatures with your Channel Divinity. Each creature of your choice that can hear you within 30 feet of you regains hit points equal to 2d6 + half your paladin level, provided the creature has fewer than half its hit points left.

Aura of Allegiance

Starting at 7th level, you can shield others from harm at the cost of your own health. When a creature within 10 feet of you takes damage, you can use your reaction to magically halve the damage against that target. You then take the same amount of damage, which can't be reduced or prevented in any way.

Starting at 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Unyielding Spirit

Starting at 15th level, you have advantage on saving throws to avoid becoming paralyzed or stunned.

Exalted Champion

At 20th level, your presence on the field of battle is an inspiration to those dedicated to your cause. You can use your action to gain the following benefits for 1 hour:

  • You have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons.
  • Your allies have advantage on death saving throws while within 30 feet of you.
  • You have advantage on Wisdom saving throws, as do your allies within 30 feet of you.

This effect ends early if you are incapacitated or die. Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest, unless you expend a 5th-level spell slot to use it again.

Oath of Darkness

The Oath of Darkness is an evil path that professes the eternal allure of vice and corruption, the limitless drive of selfish ambition, and a commitment to spread death and destruction wherever one treads. Whatever light may burn in other paladins' hearts, only darkness burns within those who take up the Oath of Darkness.

 

A paladin who breaks his or her sacred oaths, known as an oathbreaker, most commonly does so in order to pursue this dark path, seeking power to satisfy their cruel ambitions. Paladins of this oath are almost exclusively evil.

Tenets of Darkness

The tenets of the Oath of Darkness are ubiquitous, unchanging, and absolute.

Extinguish the Light. The light is my enemy, hindering my strength and eroding my path. I must allow no light to shine before me, so that I may triumph.

No Mercy for the Weak. Power is the measure of will and worth, and power alone is worthy of respect. Those who lack the power to stop me will be subjugated or purged.

Take Comfort in Vice. I accept and embrace the ambitions that drive my dark heart, no matter how much the innocent may revile me for my conviction.

Oath Spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed in the Oath of Darkness Spells table.

Oath of Darkness Spells
Paladin
Level
Spells
3rd cause fearXGE, hellish rebuke
5th crown of madness, darkness
9th animate dead, bestow curse
13th blight, confusion
17th dominate person, negative energy floodXGE

Channel Divinity: Control Undead

As an action, you focus your dark power upon one undead creature you can see within 30 feet of you. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the target must obey your commands for the next 24 hours, until you are incapacitated, or until you use this Channel Divinity option again. An undead is immune to this effect if its challenge rating is equal to or greater than half your paladin level (rounded down).

Channel Divinity: Dreadful Aspect

As an action, you channel grim emotions and focus them into a burst of magical menace. Each creature of your choice within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw if it can see or hear you. On a failed save, a target is frightened of you for 1 minute. If a creature frightened of you in this way ends its turn more than 30 feet away from you, it can repeat the Wisdom saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Profane Touch

At 3rd level, the power of darkness fundamentally alters the nature of your Sacred Touch in the following ways:

  • Your Lay on Hands ability can affect undead.
  • When you deal extra damage with your Divine Smite, it deals necrotic damage instead of radiant damage.
  • You deal the additional damage of your Divine Smite to celestials and fey, instead of fiends and undead.

Additionally, when you reach 11th level in this class, the extra damage of your Divine Strikes feature also changes to necrotic damage.

Aura of Hate

Starting at 7th level, you, and any fiends and undead of your choice within 10 feet of you, gain a bonus to melee weapon damage rolls equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of +1). A creature can benefit from this feature from only one paladin at a time.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Supernatural Resistance

At 15th level, you gain resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons.

Dread Lord

At 20th level, you can, as an action, surround yourself with an aura of gloom and shadow which extends from you in a 30-foot radius and lasts for 1 minute. The aura magically reduces dim light within its area into darkness, and bright light in the same area to dim light. While the aura lasts, you gain the following benefits:

  • You can see normally in the dim light and darkness created by the aura.
  • Whenever an enemy that is frightened of you starts its turn in the aura, it takes 20 psychic damage.
  • As a bonus action, you can cause shadows to lash out at a creature you can see within the aura. Make a melee spell attack against the target. On a hit, the target takes necrotic damage equal to 3d8 + your Charisma modifier.

Once you create this aura, you can't do so again until you finish a long rest.

Oath of Devotion

The Oath of Devotion binds a paladin to the loftiest ideals of justice, virtue, and order. Sometimes called cavaliers, white knights, or holy warriors, these paladins meet the ideal of the knight in shining armor, acting with honor in pursuit of justice and the greater good. They hold themselves to the highest standards of conduct, and some, for better or worse, hold the rest of the world to the same standards. Many who swear this oath are devoted to gods of law and good and use their gods' tenets as the measure of their devotion. They hold angels — the perfect servants of good — as their ideals, and incorporate images of angelic wings into their helmets or coats of arms.

Tenets of Devotion

Though the exact words and strictures of the Oath of Devotion vary, paladins of this oath share these tenets.

Show the Virtue of Honesty. Don't lie or cheat. Let your word be your promise. Never feat to act on truth, but temper it with wisdom.

Instill Compassion. Aid others, protect the weak, and reject those who threaten them. Do what is good while causing the least amount of harm. Show mercy to your foes, but punish those who spurn it.

Honor your Duties. Be fair unto others and let your deeds be your example to them. Show responsibility for your actions and their consequences, and obey the words of a just authority.

Oath Spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed in the Oath of Devotion Spells table.

Oath of Devotion Spells
Paladin
Level
Spells
3rd protection from evil and good, sanctuary
5th lesser restoration, zone of truth
9th beacon of hope, dispel magic
13th freedom of movement, guardian of faith
17th commune, flame strike

Channel Divinity: Sacred Weapon

As a bonus action, you can use your Channel Divinity to imbue one weapon that you are holding with positive energy. For 1 minute, you add your Charisma modifier to attack rolls made with that weapon (a minimum bonus of +1). The weapon also emits bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light 20 feet beyond that. If the weapon is not already magical, it becomes magical for the duration.

You can end this effect on your turn as part of any other action. If you are no longer holding or carrying this weapon, or if you fall unconscious, this effect ends.

Channel Divinity: Turn the Unholy

As an action, you present your holy symbol and speak a prayer censuring fiends and undead, using your Channel Divinity. Each fiend or undead that can see or hear you within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw. If the creature fails its saving throw, it is turned for 1 minute or until it takes damage.

A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from you as it can, and it can't willingly move to a space within 30 feet of you. It also can't take reactions. For its action, it can use only the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there's nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action.

Aura of Devotion

Starting at 7th level, you emanate an aura of divine benediction. When you use your Lay on Hands to restore hit points to a creature, every other creature of your choice within 10 feet of you also regains hit points equal to 1d8 + your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1 hit point). A creature must be conscious to gain this benefit.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Purity of Spirit

Beginning at 15th level, you are always under the effects of the protection from evil and good spell.

Holy Nimbus

At 20th level, as an action, you can emanate an aura of sunlight. For 1 minute, bright light shines from you in a 30-foot radius, and dim light shines 30 feet beyond that. While the aura lasts, you gain the following benefits:

  • You have resistance to radiant and necrotic damage.
  • You have advantage on saving throws against the spells and magical effects of fiends and undead.
  • Whenever an enemy creature starts its turn in the bright light, the creature takes 10 radiant damage.

Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest, unless you expend a 5th-level spell slot to use it again.

Oath of Glory

Paladins who take the Oath of Glory believe they and their companions are destined to achieve glory through deeds of heroism, walking a path laid out for them by divine hands. They train diligently and encourage their companions so that when destiny calls, they are ready to answer and overcome the challenges ahead.

Tenets of Glory

The tenets of the Oath of Glory drive a paladin to attempt heroics that might one day shine in legend.

Actions over Words. Strive to be known by glorious deeds, not words.

Challenges Are but Tests. Face hardships with courage, and encourage your allies to face them with you.

Hone the Body. Like raw stone, your body must be worked so its potential can be realized.

Discipline the Soul. You must marshal the discipline to overcome failings within yourself that threaten to dim the glory of you and your friends.

Oath Spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed in the Oath of Glory Spells table.

Oath of Glory Spells
Paladin
Level
Spells
3rd guiding bolt, heroism
5th enhance ability, magic weapon
9th haste, protection from energy
13th compulsion, freedom of movement
17th flame strike, skill empowermentXGE

Channel Divinity: Peerless Athlete

As a bonus action, you can use your Channel Divinity to augment your athleticism. For the next 10 minutes, you have advantage on Strength (Athletics) and Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks; you can carry, push, drag, and lift twice as much weight as normal; and the distance of your long and high jumps increases by 10 feet (this extra distance costs movement as normal).

Channel Divinity: Inspiring Smite

Immediately after you deal damage to a creature with your Divine Smite ability, you can use your Channel Divinity as a bonus action and distribute temporary hit points to creatures of your choice within 30 feet of you, which can include you. The total number of temporary hit points equals 2d8 + your paladin level, divided among the chosen creatures however you like.

Aura of Alacrity

Starting at 7th level, you emanate an aura that fills you and your companions with supernatural speed, allowing you to race across a battlefield in formation. Your walking speed increases by 10 feet.

In addition, while you are conscious, the walking speed of any friendly creature that starts its turn within 10 feet of you increases by 10 feet until the end of that turn.

When you reach 18th level in this class, the range of the aura increases to 30 feet.

Glorious Defense

At 15th level, you learn how to turn defense into a sudden strike. When you or another creature you can see within 10 feet of you is hit by an attack roll, you can use your reaction to grant a bonus to the target's AC against that attack, potentially causing it to miss. The bonus equals your Charisma modifier (minimum of +1). If the attack misses, you can make one weapon attack against the attacker as part of this reaction, provided the attacker is within your weapon's range.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Living Legend

At 20th level, you can empower yourself with the legends — whether true or exaggerated — of your great deeds. As a bonus action, you gain the following benefits for 1 minute:

  • Whenever you spend dice from the pool of your Sacred Touch feature, you regain hit points equal to 2d8 + your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1 hit point).
  • You are blessed with an otherworldly presence, gaining advantage on all Charisma checks.
  • If you miss with a weapon attack or fail a saving throw, you can use your reaction to cause the roll to automatically succeed instead.

Once you use this bonus action, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest, unless you expend a 5th-level spell slot to use it again.

Oath of Redemption

The Oath of Redemption sets a paladin on a difficult path, one that requires a holy warrior to use violence only as a last resort. Paladins who dedicate themselves to this oath believe that any person can be redeemed and that the path of benevolence and justice is one that anyone can walk. These paladins face evil creatures in the hope of turning their foes to the light, and they slay their enemies only when such a deed will clearly save other lives. Paladins who follow this path are known as redeemers.

 

While redeemers are idealists, they are no fools. Redeemers know that undead, demons, devils, and other supernatural threats can be inherently evil. Against such foes, paladins who swear this oath bring the full wrath of their weapons and spells to bear. Yet the redeemers still pray that, one day, even creatures of wickedness will invite their own redemption.

Tenets of Redemption

The tenets of the Oath of Redemption hold a paladin to a high standard of peace and justice.

Promote Peace. Violence is a weapon of last resort. Diplomacy and understanding are the paths to long-lasting peace.

Believe in Innocence. All people begin life in an innocent state, and it is their environment or the influence of dark forces that drives them to evil. By setting the proper example, and working to heal the wounds of a deeply flawed world, you can set anyone on a righteous path.

Embody Patience. Change takes time. Those who have walked the path of the wicked must be given reminders to keep them honest and true. Once you have planted the seed of righteousness in a creature, you must work day after day to allow that seed to survive and flourish.

Accept the Greater Good. Your heart and mind must stay clear, for eventually you will be forced to admit defeat. While every creature can be redeemed, some are so far along the path of evil that you have no choice but to end their lives for the greater good. Any such action must be carefully weighed and the consequences fully understood, but once you have made the decision, follow through with it knowing your path is just.

Oath Spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed in the Oath of Redemption Spells table.

Oath of Redemption Spells
Paladin
Level
Spells
3rd sanctuary, sleep
5th calm emotions, hold person
9th counterspell, hypnotic pattern
13th Otiluke's resilient sphere, stoneskin
17th hold monster, wall of force

Channel Divinity: Emissary of Peace

You can use your Channel Divinity to augment your presence with divine power. As a bonus action, you grant yourself a +5 bonus to Charisma (Persuasion) checks for the next 10 minutes.

Channel Divinity: Rebuke the Violent

You can use your Channel Divinity to rebuke those who use violence. Immediately after an attacker within 30 feet of you deals damage with an attack against a creature other than you, you can use your reaction to force the attacker to make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the attacker takes radiant damage equal to the damage it just dealt. On a successful save, it takes half as much damage.

Aura of the Guardian

Starting at 7th level, you can shield others from harm at the cost of your own health. When a creature within 10 feet of you takes damage, you can use your reaction to magically take that damage, instead of that creature taking it. This feature doesn't transfer any other effects that might accompany the damage, and this damage can't be reduced or prevented in any way.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Protective Spirit

Starting at 15th level, a holy presence mends your wounds in battle. You regain hit points equal to 1d6 + half your paladin level if you end your turn in combat with fewer than half of your hit points left and you aren't incapacitated.

Emissary of Redemption

At 20th level, you become an avatar of peace, which gives you two benefits:

  • You have resistance to all damage dealt by other creatures (their attacks, spells, and other effects).
  • Whenever a creature hits you with an attack, it takes radiant damage equal to half the damage you take from the attack.

If you attack a creature, cast a spell on it, or deal damage to it by any means other than this feature, neither benefit works against that creature until you finish a long rest.

Oath of the Tides

The Oath of the Tides calls to seafaring warriors, and to journeymen who seek to serve upon the endless waves. Also known as blue knights or storm knights, paladins who swear this oath strike out upon the seas, braving storms and lurking dangers in search of a greatness that lies beyond the horizon. Many a joyful tale is spoken of such a warrior who brought forth the power of a tempest to shelter sailors from predatory corsairs, or who struck down a terrifying monster that attacked from beneath the waves. These paladins bear oceanic motifs on their armor and clothing — glittering shells and coral, garlands of seaweed, or nautical carvings of wind and water — and are called upon to protect coastal settlements and maritime travelers from storms and deep-sea threats.

Tenets of the Tides

The tenets of the Oath of the Tides espouse a life enjoyed upon the waves, devoted to the natural beauty of the sea and ever cognizant of the awesome, hidden powers of nature.

Adapt Like the Seas. Water can flow around any obstacle or become an impassable wall itself. Wind can lift a bird's wings or grind a rocky shore to sand. I accept and embrace that I, too, must be fluid like the elements so that I am ready for any challenge.

Explore the Uncharted. The world is filled with mysteries. Uncovering such mysteries is a noble pursuit, whether beyond a stormy sky or within a turbulent heart, for discovery is the surest path to greatness.

Live a Life of Freedom. I aim to live according to my own path, just as a ship charts its own course through the waters. Those who would exert their power to deny this freedom to others will be defeated.

Trust the Skies. The whisper of a breeze can grow into the rumblings of a great storm, and those keen to its change are best served when the lightning falls. Nature is a constant source of guidance, and I heed its counsel.

Oath Spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed on the Oath of the Tides Spells table.

Oath of the Tides Spells
Paladin
Level
Spells
3rd create or destroy water, expeditious retreat
5th gust of wind, misty step
9th call lightning, tidal waveXGE
13th control water, freedom of movement
17th control windsXGE, maelstromXGE

Channel Divinity: Seasmoke Shroud

As an action, you can use your Channel Divinity to conjure a thick cloud of magical fog that surrounds you and spreads to a radius of 20 feet. The cloud moves with you and is centered on you, it spreads around corners, and it heavily obscures its area. You and any creature within 5 feet of you can see through the fog, instead perceiving it as a faint mist.

The cloud lasts for 1 minute or until you dismiss it (no action required). A moderate wind (at least 10 miles an hour) disperses the cloud after 4 rounds, and a strong wind (at least 20 miles an hour) disperses it after 1 round.

Channel Divinity: Riptide Weapon

As a bonus action, you can use your Channel Divinity to imbue one weapon that you are holding with the might of a breaking wave. For 1 minute, each time on your turn that you hit a creature with an attack roll made with that weapon, you can push the creature up to 10 feet in any direction horizontally. If the weapon is not already magical, it becomes magical for the duration, and if it has the thrown property, it returns to your hand immediately after it is used to make a ranged attack.

You can end this effect on your turn as part of any other action. If you are not holding or carrying this weapon at the end of your turn, or if you fall unconscious, this effect ends.

Aura of Liberation

Starting at 7th level, you emanate an aura that evokes the freedom of the open sea. While you are conscious, you have a swimming speed equal to your walking speed, and you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can't be grappled or restrained. Creatures that are already grappled or restrained when they enter your aura can spend 5 feet of movement to automatically escape nonmagical restraints.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Tidal Lock

At 15th level, you learn to strike like the ebb and flow of the tides to impede the movement of nearby enemies. When a creature you can see moves at least 1 foot while within range of a melee weapon you're wielding, you can use your reaction to make an attack against the creature with that weapon. If the attack hits, the target can't willingly move away from you for the rest of the turn.

Storm Warden

At 20th level, you can, as an action, summon the power of a raging tempest, which appears above you in the form of black thunderclouds and spreads to a radius of 30 feet. The storm moves with you and is centered above you, and it lasts for 1 minute, during which time lightning flashes in the area, thunder booms, and strong winds roar. Ranged weapon attacks beneath the storm's area are impossible, and while the storm lasts, you gain the following benefits:

  • You have a flying speed of 60 feet, and you can hover.
  • Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can knock that creature prone if it is Large or smaller.
  • As a bonus action, you can call a bolt of lightning from the cloud to strike at a point you choose beneath the cloud, and each creature within 5 feet of that point must make a Dexterity saving throw against your spell save DC. A creature takes 3d8 lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Once you summon this storm, you can't do so again until you finish a long rest.

Oath of Vengeance

The Oath of Vengeance is a solemn commitment to punish those who have committed a grievous sin. When evil forces slaughter helpless villagers, when an entire people turns against the will of the gods, when a thieves' guild grows too violent and powerful, when a dragon rampages through the countryside - at times like these, paladins arise and swear an Oath of Vengeance to set right that which has gone wrong. To these paladins — sometimes called avengers or dark knights — their own purity is not as important as delivering justice.

Tenets of Vengeance

The tenets of the Oath of Vengeance vary by paladin, but all the tenets revolve around punishing wrongdoers by any means necessary. Paladins who uphold these tenets are willing to sacrifice even their own righteousness to mete out justice upon those who do evil, so the paladins are often neutral or lawful neutral in alignment. The core principles of the tenets are brutally simple.

Fight the Greater Evil. Faced with a choice of fighting my sworn foes or combating a lesser evil, I choose the greater evil.

No Mercy for the Wicked. Ordinary foes might win my mercy, but my sworn enemies do not.

By Any Means Necessary. My qualms can't get in the way of exterminating my foes.

Restitution. If my foes wreak ruin on the world, it is because I failed to stop them. I must help those harmed by their misdeeds.

Oath Spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed in the Oath of Vengeance Spells table.

Oath of Vengeance Spells
Paladin
Level
Spells
3rd bane, hunter's mark
5th hold person, misty step
9th haste, protection from energy
13th banishment, dimension door
17th hold monster, scrying

Channel Divinity: Abjure Enemy

As an action, you present your holy symbol and speak a prayer of denunciation, using your Channel Divinity. Choose one creature within 60 feet of you that you can see. That creature must make a Wisdom saving throw, unless it is immune to being frightened. Fiends and undead have disadvantage on this saving throw.

On a failed save, the creature is frightened of you for 1 minute or until it takes any damage. While frightened of you, the creature's speed is 0, and it can't benefit from any bonus to its speed.

On a successful save, the creature's speed is halved for 1 minute or until the creature takes any damage.

Channel Divinity: Vow of Enmity

As a bonus action, you can utter a vow of enmity against a creature you can see within 10 feet of you, using your Channel Divinity. You gain advantage on attack rolls against the creature for 1 minute or until it drops to 0 hit points or falls unconscious.

Relentless Avenger

By 7th level, your supernatural focus helps you close off a foe's retreat. When you hit a creature with an opportunity attack, you can move up to half your speed immediately after the attack and as part of the same reaction. This movement doesn't provoke opportunity attacks.

Soul of Vengeance

Starting at 15th level, the authority with which you speak your Vow of Enmity gives you greater power over your foe. When a creature under the effect of your Vow of Enmity makes an attack, you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against that creature if it is within range.

Avenging Angel

At 20th level, you can assume the form of an angelic avenger. Using your action, you undergo a transformation. For 1 hour, you gain the following benefits:

  • Wings sprout from your back and grant you a flying speed of 60 feet.
  • You emanate an aura of menace in a 30-foot radius. The first time during combat that any enemy creature enters the aura or starts its turn there, that creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or become frightened of you for 1 minute or until it takes any damage.
  • You have advantage on attack rolls against creatures frightened of you.

Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest, unless you expend a 5th-level spell slot to use it again.

Oath of the Watchers

The Oath of the Watchers binds paladins to protect mortal realms from the predations of extraplanar creatures, many of which can lay waste to mortal soldiers. Thus, the Watchers hone their minds, spirits, and bodies to be the ultimate weapons against such threats.

Paladins who follow the Watchers' oath are ever vigilant in spotting the influence of extraplanar forces, often establishing a network of spies and informants to gather information on suspected cults. To a Watcher, keeping a healthy suspicion and awareness about one's surroundings is as natural as wearing armor in battle.

Tenets of the Watchers

A paladin who assumes the Oath of the Watchers swears to safeguard mortal realms from otherworldly threats.

Vigilance. The threats I face are cunning, powerful, and subversive. I am ever alert for their corruption.

Loyalty. I must never accept gifts or favors from fiends or those who truck with them. I will stay true to mu order, my comrades, and my duty.

Discipline. I am the shield against the endless terrors that lie beyond the stars. My blade must be forever sharp and my mind keen to survive what lies beyond.

Oath Spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed in the Oath of the Watchers table.

Oath of the Watchers Spells
Paladin
Level
Spells
3rd alarm, detect magic
5th moonbeam, see invisibility
9th counterspell, nondetection
13th aura of purity, banishment
17th hold monster, scrying

Channel Divinity: Watcher's Will

You can use your Channel Divinity to invest your presence with the warding power of your faith. As an action, you can choose a number of other creatures you can see within 30 feet of you, up to a number equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of one creature). For 1 minute, you and the chosen creatures have advantage on Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws.

Channel Divinity: Planar Interdiction

You can use your Channel Divinity to castigate unworldly beings. As an action, you present your holy symbol and each aberration, celestial, elemental, fey, or fiend within 30 feet of you that can hear you must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is turned for 1 minute or until it takes damage.

A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from you as it can, and it can't willingly end its move in a space within 30 feet of you. For its action, it can use only the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there's nowhere to move, the creature can take the Dodge action.

Aura of the Sentinel

Starting at 7th level, you emit an aura of alertness while you aren't incapacitated. When you and any creatures of your choice within 10 feet of you roll initiative, you all gain a bonus to initiative equal to your proficiency bonus.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Vigilant Rebuke

By 15th level, you've learned how to chastise anyone who dares wield beguilements against you and your wards. Whenever you or an ally you can see within 30 feet of you succeeds on an Intelligence, a Wisdom, or a Charisma saving throw, you can use your reaction to deal 2d8 + your Charisma modifier force damage to the creature that forced the saving throw.

Mortal Bulwark

At 20th level, you manifest a spark of divine power in defense of the mortal realms. As a bonus action, you gain the following benefits for 1 minute:

  • You gain truesight with a range of 120 feet.
  • You have advantage on attack rolls against aberrations, celestials, elementals, fey, and fiends.
  • When you hit a creature with an attack roll and deal damage to it, you can also force it to make a Charisma saving throw against your spell save DC. On a failed save, the creature is magically banished to its native plane of existence if it's currently not there. On a successful save, the creature can't be banished by this feature for 24 hours.

Once you use this bonus action, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest, unless you expend a 5th-level spell slot to use it again.

Paladin Spells

The list of paladin spells below is presented in alphabetical order, sorted by spell level. Spells which were not originally included in the paladin spell list are written in bolded italics.

Each spell is in the Player's Handbook, unless it has one asterisk (a spell in Xanathar's Guide to Everything) or two asterisks (a spell in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything).

List of Spells

1st Level
  • Bless
  • Ceremony *
  • Command
  • Compelled Duel
  • Cure Wounds
  • Detect Evil and Good
  • Detect Magic
  • Detect Poison and Disease
  • Divine Favor
  • Guiding Bolt
  • Heroism
  • Protection from Evil and Good
  • Purify Food and Drink
  • Searing Smite
  • Shield of Faith
  • Thunderous Smite
  • Wrathful Smite
2nd Level
  • Aid
  • Branding Smite
  • Continual Flame
  • Find Steed
  • Gentle Repose
  • Lesser Restoration
  • Locate Object
  • Magic Weapon
  • Prayer of Healing
  • Protection from Poison
  • Warding Bond
  • Zone of Truth
3rd Level
  • Aura of Vitality
  • Blinding Smite
  • Create Food and Water
  • Crusader's Mantle
  • Daylight
  • Dispel Magic
  • Elemental Weapon
  • Magic Circle
  • Remove Curse
  • Revivify
  • Spirit Shroud **
4th Level
  • Aura of Life
  • Aura of Purity
  • Banishment
  • Death Ward
  • Find Greater Steed *
  • Locate Creature
  • Staggering Smite
5th Level
  • Banishing Smite
  • Circle of Power
  • Destructive Wave
  • Dispel Evil and Good
  • Flame Strike
  • Geas
  • Hallow
  • Holy Weapon *
  • Mass Cure Wounds
  • Raise Dead
  • Summon Celestial **

Class Changes

Unlike other martially-inclined classes, the paladin's access to Spellcasting gives it a great amount of flexibility in its party role, and the class's other iconic features provide a strong foundation that leaves little need for an overhaul with regards to rebalancing. Therefore, the most substantive changes made to the class's feature progression in this handbook were made with the intention of bringing some of the paladin's abilities more in line with other features of a similar nature, in order to avoid confusion on gamerule interactions while still preserving the function of the class's definitive playstyle.

Divine Sense. This feature has a minimum of two uses.

Sacred Touch. This feature combines the Lay on Hands (1st-level) and Divine Smite (2nd-level) abilities and consolidates them into a single feature with a shared pool of resources, which is now represented by d8s instead of a discrete number of points (as was previously the case for Lay on Hands). This provides the paladin with the ability to use Divine Smite without expending spell slots, but at the cost of depleting their ability to use Lay on Hands, which now can't be used in 1-point increments. In exchange, Lay on Hands provides additional healing when used, and Divine Smite now works with unarmed strikes.

Divine Font. This is a new feature, which is intended to replace the spell slot expenditure effect of Divine Smite by providing a means to gain additional uses of Sacred Touch at the cost of spell slots. Overall, this feature and Sacred Touch are designed to allow the paladin to retain most, if not all, of its damage scaling potential, while giving a degree of flexibility to the balance of their healing and damage-dealing abilities.

Fighting Style. The paladin now gains access to the Unarmed Fighting style option.

Sacred Oath. The Harness Divine Power Channel Divinity option has been renamed to Divine Blessing, and the Oathbreaker subclass to Oath of Darkness.

Cleansing Touch. The paladin gains this feature at 5th level, instead of 14th level. The feature now provides incremental benefits for the paladin as they gain class levels; the feature's original benefit is now gained at 13th level to accommodate Aura of Conviction (see below).

Divine Strikes. Renamed from Improved Divine Smite, the paladin now also gains the benefit of this feature when using unarmed strikes.

Aura of Conviction. The paladin gains this feature, formerly the 7th-level Oath of Devotion feature known as Aura of Devotion (see below), at 14th level, regardless of the oath they choose.

Oath of the Ancients

The changes to the Oath of the Ancients are listed below.

Oath Spells. At 9th level, the paladin gains access to the spell summon fey, instead of protection from energy. At 13th level, they gain access to guardian of nature, instead of ice storm.

Channel Divinity: Nature's Wrath. A creature restrained by the vines must use its action to repeat the saving throw, instead of making one automatically at the end of its turn.

Oath of the Crown

The changes to the Oath of the Crown are listed below.

Channel Divinity: Champion Challenge. This ability's effect ends on a creature if the paladin ends their turn more than 30 feet away from the creature; previously, it ended if the paladin was more than 30 feet away from the creature at any time.

Channel Divinity: Turn the Tide. The hit points restored by this feature equal 2d6 + half the paladin's level, instead of 1d6 + the paladin's Charisma modifier (minimum of 1 hit point).

Aura of Allegiance. Renamed from Divine Allegiance, this feature now functions as an aura, the effect of which can be activated as a reaction to have the paladin take half the incoming damage.

Exalted Champion. The paladin can use this feature again by expending a 5th-level spell slot.

Oath of Darkness

Previously known as the Oathbreaker, the changes to the Oath of Darkness are listed below.

Oath Spells. At 3rd level, the paladin gains access to the spell cause fear, instead of inflict wounds. At 17th level, they gain access to negative energy flood, instead of contagion.

Channel Divinity: Control Undead. The CR limit of this feature now equals half the paladin's class level, instead of being equal to their paladin level, since this oath is intended to be available to all paladins at 3rd level.

Profane Touch. This is a new feature, which alters the nature of the paladin's Sacred Touch in order to reflect their dark nature.

Dread Lord. This feature has been modified to better suit a player's paladin progression: the aura created by the feature reduces dim light in its radius to darkness, which the paladin can see through, while the sight-based benefit of the aura's shadow has been removed; the aura deals 20 psychic damage instead of 4d10 psychic damage; and the bonus action's damage dice are 3d8, rather than 3d10.

Oath of Devotion

The changes to the Oath of Devotion are listed below.

Aura of Devotion. This feature now grants additional benefits when the paladin uses Lay on Hands instead of its previous effect, which has been moved to the base class at 14th level as Aura of Conviction (see above).

Holy Nimbus. This feature now also grants resistance to radiant and necrotic damage, and advantage on saving throws against the non-spell magical effects of fiends and undead. Additionally, the paladin can use the feature again by expending a 5th-level spell slot.

Oath of Glory

The changes to the Oath of Glory are listed below.

Oath Spells. At 17th level, the paladin gains access to the skill skill empowerment, instead of commune.

Aura of Alacrity. The aura lasts while you are conscious (instead of not being incapacitated), and its range is 10 feet, extending to 30 feet at 18th level (previously 5 feet, extending to 10 feet).

Glorious Defense. The paladin can use this feature a number of times equal to their proficiency bonus, instead of their Charisma modifier (a minimum of once).

Living Legend. This feature now grants a benefit when the paladin uses their Sacred Touch, and the second and third benefits of the feature have been merged together, now requiring the paladin's reaction to use.

Oath of Vengeance

The changes to the Oath of Vengeance are listed below.

Avenging Angel. The paladin can use this feature again by expending a 5th-level spell slot.

Oath of the Watchers

The changes to the Oath of the Watchers are listed below.

Vigilant Rebuke. This feature's triggering effect is limited to the paladin and their allies, instead of any creatures, within the feature's range.

Art Credits

The artists below are credited in alphabetical order. Where possible, an art credit includes the website where the artist's work can be found, and the pages on which their illustrations appear.

  • Aaron Miller (ArtStation; pg 17)
  • Alcd (Pixiv; pg 10)
  • Blizzard Entertainment (© Blizzard; pg 8)
  • Li Qian (ArtStation; cover)
  • Russell Dongjun Lu (ArtStation; pg 12)
  • Thomas Randby (ArtStation; pg 16)
  • Wizards of the Coast (© Wizards; pg 2, 6, 15)

Thank You

... for taking the time to read this reimagining of the Monk class! If you have any feedback or suggestions, please contact the author ─ /u/Ozzifer on Reddit ─ or consider joining their Patreon.

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    System Reference Document 5.1 Copyright 2016, Wizards of the Coast, LLC.; Authors Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Chris Perkins, Rodney Thompson, Peter Lee, James Wyatt, Robert J. Schwalb, Bruce R. Cordell, Chris Sims, and Steve Townshend, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

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