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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3525 Posts

Posted - 06 Oct 2018 :  20:29:50  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Greetings Realms fans!

So in my ever continuing pursuit to tweak and change the 3.5 game system for the better, I realize that I never touched upon the Paladin class. It's one of my most, if not THE MOST, favorite class in D&D lore but one that is sorely lacking in anything resembling good mechanics in the 3.5 system. If you ascribe to the "Tier" system of classes a famous poster on ENworld did, the Paladin class sadly sits in the "tier 5" section. This means that not only does it have poor mechanics but it doesn't excel in the mechanics it's good at OR other classes can do the same stuff but better and are more versatile.

From earlier editions, the Paladin was a coveted class that you had to roll really good stats to enter (Cha 17 was particularly difficult to nab) and you had to be human. Lo and behold 3e came in and removed all the requirements.......and along with other aspects of editions prior, most of the difficulties of casting and other game balances. So the paladin who was a Fighter Plus extra in 1e and 2e AD&D became a pseudo-cleric/fighter mash that wasn't good at either things.

SO with that said, I decided to "Fix" it. I took game elements from 3.5 and thought "what's good, what's broken, what's bad" and hammered something together that retains a lot of what made the Paladin awesome in editions gone by, retained some of the good aspects of 3.5, and threw in some newer mechanics that help with giving this class a much needed boost in longevity.

PALADIN

Alignment: Lawful good
Starting Gold: 5d4x10


LvL   BAB  Fort | Ref | Will                      Special
1st   +1    +2    +0    +2          Aura of good, detect evil, smite (1d4)
2nd   +2    +3    +0    +3          Divine grace, lay on hands
3rd   +3    +3    +1    +3          Aura of courage, divine health
4th   +4    +4    +1    +4          Turn undead
5th   +5    +4    +1    +4          Divine bond, improved smite (d6)
6th   +6    +5    +2    +5          Remove malady 1/day 
7th   +7    +5    +2    +5          
8th   +8    +6    +2    +6          Aura of Resolve
9th   +9    +6    +3    +6          Remove malady 2/day
10th  +10   +7    +3    +7          Greater smite (d8)
11th  +11   +7    +7    +3          Fervor 1/day
12th  +12   +8    +4    +8          Remove malady 3/day
13th  +13   +8    +4    +8           
14th  +14   +9    +4    +9          Fervor 2/day
15th  +15   +9    +5    +9          Remove malady 4/day, supreme smite (d10)
16th  +16   +10   +5   +10          
17th  +17   +10   +5   +10          Fervor 3/day
18th  +18   +11   +5   +11          Remove malady 5/day
19th  +19   +11   +6   +11          
20th  +20   +12   +6   +12          Heavenly smite (overcomes DR), holy champion

Paladin Spell Progression

         0th     1st	2nd	3rd	4th	5th
1st       3	  2	 —	 —	 —       —
2nd       3	  2	 —	 —	 —	 —
3rd       4	  3	 —	 —	 —	 —
4th       4	  3	 —	 —	 —   	 —
5th       4	  4	 2	 —	 —	 —
6th       5	  4	 2	 — 	 —	 —
7th       5	  5	 3	 —	 —	 —
8th       5	  5	 3	 —	 —	 —
9th       6	  5	 4       2	 —	 —
10th      6	  5	 4	 2	 —	 — 
11th      6	  5	 5	 3	 — 	 —
12th      6	  5	 5	 3	 —	 —
13th      6	  5	 5	 4	 2	 —
14th      6	  5	 5	 4	 2	 —
15th      6	  5	 5     	 5	 3	 —
16th      6	  5	 5	 5	 3	 —
17th      6	  5 	 5	 5	 4	 2
18th      6	  5	 5	 5	 4	 3
19th      6	  5	 5	 5	 5	 4 
20th      6	  5	 5	 5	 5	 5

d10 Hit Die

Class Skills: 4 + Int per level (x4 at 1st level) -
The paladin’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), and Sense Motive (Wis).

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the paladin.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency
Paladins are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor (heavy, medium, and light), and with shields (except tower shields).

Aura of Good (Ex)
The power of a paladin’s aura of good (see the detect good spell) is equal to her paladin level.

Detect Evil (Sp)
At will, a paladin can use detect evil, as the spell.

Spells
Beginning at 1st level, a paladin gains the ability to cast divine spells, which are drawn from the paladin spell list. A paladin must choose and prepare her spells in advance.

To prepare or cast a spell, a paladin must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a paladin’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the paladin’s Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a paladin can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Paladin. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Charisma score.

A paladin prepares and casts spells the way a cleric does, though she cannot spontaneously convert spells into cure spells. A paladin may prepare and cast any spell on the paladin spell list, provided that she can cast spells of that level, but she must choose which spells to prepare during her daily meditation. When a spell is cast, only the spell slot is used. When the paladin prepares spells, choose a number of paladin spells equal to your Charisma modifier + half your paladin level, rounded down (minimum of one spell). These spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. All orisons (0-level spells) are always known and prepared.

A paladin’s caster level is equal to her paladin level.

Smite (Su)
At 1st level when a paladin hits a creature with a melee attack, she can expend one paladin spell slot per turn of 1st level or higher to deal divine damage to the target, in addition to the weapon’s damage. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to the spell’s level. Additional spell slots used when smite is in effect simply add additional damage die to the damage, not the Charisma bonus. Use the highest level spell slot spent to determine the number of rounds smite is active. The extra damage is 1d4 for a 1st level spell slot, plus one additional die for each spell level higher than 1st, to a maximum of 5 extra die. She adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to this damage roll. If the paladin accidentally smites a creature that is not chaotic or evil, the smite deals no extra damage and the effect ends instantly, but the spell slot is still used up for that day. This extra damage is treated as good- and lawful-aligned for overcoming the purposes of damage reduction.

At 5th, 10th, and 15th level the size of the smites damage die increases by 1 to a maximum of d10 as indicated on Table: The Paladin. At 20th level, the damage from smite overcomes any DR besides DR/Epic.

Divine Grace (Su)
At 2nd level, a paladin gains a bonus equal to her Charisma bonus (if any) on all saving throws.

Lay on Hands (Su)
Beginning at 2nd level, a paladin can heal wounds (her own or those of others) by touch. Each day she can use this ability a number of times equal to 1/2 her paladin level plus her Charisma modifier. With one use of this ability, a paladin can heal 1d6 hit points of damage for every two paladin levels she possesses. Using this ability is a standard action, unless the paladin targets herself, in which case it is a swift action. Despite the name of this ability, a paladin only needs one free hand to use this ability.

Alternatively, a paladin can use this healing power to deal damage to undead creatures, dealing 1d6 points of damage for every two levels the paladin possesses. Using lay on hands in this way requires a successful melee touch attack and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. Undead do not receive a saving throw against this damage.

Aura of Courage (Su)
Beginning at 3rd level, a paladin is immune to fear (magical or otherwise). Each ally within 10 feet of her gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against fear effects.

This ability functions while the paladin is conscious, but not if she is unconscious or dead.

Divine Health (Ex)
At 3rd level, a paladin gains immunity to all diseases, including supernatural and magical diseases.

Turn Undead (Su)
When a paladin reaches 4th level, she gains the supernatural ability to turn undead. She may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier. She turns undead as a cleric of three levels lower would.

Divine Bond (Sp)
Upon reaching 5th level, a paladin forms a divine bond with her god. This bond can take one of two forms. Each day at dawn, the paladin prays and decides which bond to form for the next 24 hours.

The first type of bond allows the paladin to enhance her weapon as a standard action by calling upon the aid of a celestial spirit for 1 minute per paladin level. When called, the spirit causes the weapon to shed light as a torch. At 5th level, this spirit grants the weapon a +1 enhancement bonus. For every three levels beyond 5th, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +6 at 20th level. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon bonuses to a maximum of +5, or they can be used to add any of the following weapon properties: axiomatic, brilliant energy, defending, disruption, flaming, flaming burst, holy, keen, merciful, and speed. Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s cost (see Table: Melee Weapon Special Abilities). These bonuses are added to any properties the weapon already has, but duplicate abilities do not stack. If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other properties can be added. The bonus and properties granted by the spirit are determined when the spirit is called and cannot be changed until the spirit is called again. The celestial spirit imparts no bonuses if the weapon is held by anyone other than the paladin but resumes giving bonuses if returned to the paladin. These bonuses apply to only one end of a double weapon. A paladin can use this ability once per day at 5th level, and one additional time per day for every four levels beyond 5th, to a total of four times per day at 17th level.

If a weapon bonded with a celestial spirit is destroyed, the paladin loses the use of this ability for 5 days, or until she gains a level, whichever comes first.

The second type of bond allows a paladin to gain the service of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed to serve her in her crusade against evil. This mount is usually a heavy horse (for a Medium paladin) or a pony (for a Small paladin), although more exotic mounts, such as a boar, camel, or dog are also suitable. This mount functions as a druid’s animal companion, using the paladin’s level as her effective druid level. Bonded mounts have an Intelligence of at least 6.

Once per day, as a full-round action, a paladin may magically call her mount to her side. This ability is the equivalent of a spell of a level equal to half the paladin’s level. The mount immediately appears adjacent to the paladin. A paladin can use this ability once per day at 5th level, and one additional time per day for every 4 levels thereafter, for a total of four times per day at 17th level.

At 11th level, the mount gains the celestial creature simple template and becomes a magical beast for the purposes of determining which spells affect it.

At 15th level, a paladin’s mount gains spell resistance equal to the paladin’s level + 11.

Should the paladin’s mount die, the paladin may not summon another mount for 5 days or until she gains a paladin level, whichever comes first.

Remove Malady (Sp)
At 6th level, a paladin can produce the spell-like effects remove blindness/deafness, remove disease, or remove paralysis, as the spell, once per day. She can use this ability one additional time per day for every three levels after 6th (twice per day at 9th, three times at 12th, and so forth).

Aura of Resolve (Su)
At 8th level, a paladin is immune to charm spells and spell-like abilities. Each ally within 10 feet of her gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against charm effects.

This ability functions only while the paladin is conscious, not if she is unconscious or dead.

Fervor
Beginning at 11th level, you can cast one spell each day as a swift action, so long as the casting time of the spell is 1 standard action or less.

You can use this ability twice per day at 14th level, and three times per day at 17th level.

Holy Champion (Su)
At 20th level, a paladin becomes a conduit for the power of her god. She gains DR 10/evil. Whenever she uses smite the damage is maximized against undead and evil outsiders, and the outsider is also subject to banishment, using her paladin level as the caster level (her weapon and holy symbol automatically count as objects that the subject hates). In addition, whenever she uses lay on hands to heal a creature, she can choose to instead also fully heal ability score damage and drain to one score of her choice. Each use of lay on hands in this manner uses up one of her uses for the day.

Code of Conduct
A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class abilities if she ever willingly commits an evil act.
Additionally, a paladin’s code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.

Associates
While she may adventure with characters of any good or neutral alignment, a paladin will never knowingly associate with evil characters, nor will she continue an association with someone who consistently offends her moral code. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are lawful good.

Paladin Spells
0-Level Paladin Spells (Orisons)
• Cure Minor Wounds: Cures 1 point of damage.
• Guidance: +1 on one attack roll, saving throw, or skill check.
• Light: Object shines like a torch.
• Mending: Makes minor repairs on an object.
• Resistance: Subject gains +1 on saving throws.
• Virtue: Subject gains 1 temporary hp.

1st-Level Paladin Spells
• Bless: Allies gain +1 on attack rolls and +1 on saves against fear.
• Bless Water: Makes holy water.
• Bless Weapon: Weapon strikes true against evil foes.
• Cure Light Wounds: Cures 1d8 damage +1/level (max +5).
• Detect Poison: Detects poison in one creature or small object.
• Detect Undead: Reveals undead within 60 ft.
• Divine Favor: You gain +1 per three levels on attack and damage rolls.
• Endure Elements: Exist comfortably in hot or cold environments.
• Magic Weapon: Weapon gains +1 bonus.
• Protection from Chaos/Evil: +2 to AC and saves, counter mind control, hedge out elementals and outsiders.
• Read Magic: Read scrolls and spellbooks.
• Restoration, Lesser: Dispels magical ability penalty or repairs 1d4 ability damage.

2nd-Level Paladin Spells
• Bull’s Strength: Subject gains +4 to Str for 1 min./level.
• Delay Poison: Stops poison from harming subject for 1 hour/level.
• Eagle’s Splendor: Subject gains +4 to Cha for 1 min./level.
• Owl’s Wisdom: Subject gains +4 to Wis for 1 min./level.
• Remove Paralysis: Frees one or more creatures from paralysis or slow effect.
• Resist Energy: Ignores 10 (or more) points of damage/attack from specified energy type.
• Shield Other F: You take half of subject’s damage.
• Spiritual Weapon: Magic weapon attacks on its own.
• Undetectable Alignment: Conceals alignment for 24 hours.
• Zone of Truth: Subjects within range cannot lie.

3rd-Level Paladin Spells
• Cure Moderate Wounds: Cures 2d8 damage +1/level (max +10).
• Daylight: 60-ft. radius of bright light.
• Discern Lies: Reveals deliberate falsehoods.
• Dispel Magic: Cancels spells and magical effects.
• Heal Mount: As heal on warhorse or other special mount.
• Magic Circle against Chaos: As protection from chaos, but 10-ft. radius and 10 min./level.
• Magic Circle against Evil: As protection from evil, but 10-ft. radius and 10 min./level.
• Magic Weapon, Greater: +1 bonus/four levels (max +5).
• Prayer: Allies +1 bonus on most rolls, enemies -1 penalty.
• Remove Blindness/Deafness: Cures normal or magical conditions.
• Remove Curse: Frees object or person from curse.

4th-Level Paladin Spells
• Break Enchantment: Frees subjects from enchantments, alterations, curses, and petrification.
• Cure Serious Wounds: Cures 3d8 damage +1/level (max +15).
• Death Ward: Grants immunity to death spells and negative energy effects.
• Dispel Chaos: +4 bonus against attacks by chaotic creatures.
• Dispel Evil: +4 bonus against attacks by evil creatures.
• Holy Sword: Weapon becomes +5, deals +2d6 damage against evil.
• Mark of Justice: Designates action that will trigger curse on subject.
• Neutralize Poison: Immunizes subject against poison, detoxifies venom in or on subject.
• Restoration M: Restores level and ability score drains.

5th-Level Paladin Spells
• Blistering Radiance (SC): Light dazzles creatures, deals 2d6 fire damage in 50-ft. radius spread.
• Crown of Flame (BoED): Aura burns evil outsiders, undead, and fey for 2d6 points of damage/round.
• Dawn Shroud (CoV): As daylight, harmful to oozes and undead.
• Divine Agility (SC): Subject gainst +10 to Dexterity for 1 round/level
• Flame Strike: Smites foes with divine fire (1d6/level damage).
• Hallow: Designates location as holy.
• Radiance (PH2): Creates daylight that dazzles undead.
• Righteous Wrath of the Faithful (SC): Your allies gain extra attack, +3 on attack rolls and damage rolls
• Spiritual Cavalry (HoB): Creates spiritual cavalry that attack and trample foes.
• True Seeing: Lets you see all things as they really are.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."

Edited by - Diffan on 11 Oct 2018 15:25:08

Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3525 Posts

Posted - 06 Oct 2018 :  20:58:13  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Designer Notes

So why bother changing a class for an edition that's out of date, out of print, and where a new edition is taking off seeming well? Well, for one, I really got into D&D with 3e and it remains one of the most malleable systems D&D has ever had. Class design changed SOOO drastically from the moment 3.0 hit the shelves in 2000 to they stopped making supplements for 3.5 sometime in 2007. That's 7 years worth of innovation, change, and better ideas.

Conceptually the game D&D has changed drastically, and because of that change a lot of class ideas, features, spells, and mechanics really didn't pan out well into the new system. The paladin, specifically, suffered a LOT from rose-tinted glasses of their older versions. The way Hit Points scale, the way attack, saves, damage, etc. all scale with monsters in 3e/3.5 the paladin mechanics never really kept up. Their features weren't very impressive compared to other classes. Clerics, by far, out strip the class in almost every conceivable way, especially with later supplements that help make use of their Turn Undead in more impressive ways.

So here's what I did:

Base Attack remains the same, they're good up-front melee guys because they have the skill at arms and armor.

Saves: they get good Will saves. Why? 1. because clerics do too and 2. paladins are supposed to be exceptionally strong willed in their conviction of righteousness.

Skills: Get bumped to 4 + Int. Since intelligence is almost universally their "dump" stat (A term I both hate and yet, completely understand) they need some help in the skills divison.

Smite: Well this was a big one, and one that comes from some help of both 5e and Pathfinder. I really hate the whole "must declare" part of almost any action, especially one that's so limited and at the same time, so paltry. One, if it misses you pretty much don't have a schtick anymore and two, it's really a sad boost even at later levels. By making it a trigger off of a successful melee attack, it becomes a staple point in the class's design. Then I decided that it should work similar to 5e's sacrificing spell slots. One, I think it's thematic to the concept of divine power and two, I think it makes a player think before just smiting EVERYTHING! The fact that it lasts X-rounds also allowed me to drop the number of spell slots the paladin gets by about half, furthering the balance.

Spells. Yes, this paladin gets spells at 1st level *GASP* *SHOCK*. Why? Because spells coming on-line at almost a quarter into your character AND having like 1 or 2 is frankly too limited. Remember the cleric already does what you can do but better and for longer at this point. So why not give them some spiritual boosting early on. They get a few more but aren't nearly as diverse with their list and they're looking to trade some of that power for raw divine damage anyways. Plus it's another think a Paladin player can look forward to when they level and prepare for the day.

Lay on Hands: This gets a solid, but not broken boost, but ultimately falls off later down the road. When normal 3.5 paladins are sporting Charisma scores of 25, 26, 30 at 20th level their Lay On Hands is pretty ridiculous but getting there is the really difficult part. Having a nice solid pool of healing that supplements their spells, on the other hand, seems more simple and elegant.

Divine Bond: Basically I just grabbed this from Pathfinder entirely. I like the idea of magical weapon or steed, but I tweaked a few things. For starters, I found it FAR too restricting that once chosen you could NEVER change it. Why? It serves no thematic point and really, only penalizes you in the long run. By making it a 24-hr thing, it means better planning for the day, especially when travel is likely. Honestly I was this to simply making it a spell Find Steed and calling it a day. Also the whole 30-day period is ridiculous. No other class is so heavily penalized, let along the additional penalties of attacks and saves for that time. Nope.

Remove Malady: Ah, good ol' remove disease. Yeah disease is a really big pain and paladins can cure it easily enough, 1 a week. Why a week? What basis what that decision made on? Because a cleric can do multiple ones every day so it's not exactly world shattering here. I dropped it to 1/day like almost every other mechanic features by classes in 3.5 and I made it a little more universal, applying it to blindness/deafness and paralysis. Because these are the types of conditions that are most commonly used by the undead.

Fervor: So I initially was just going to reword the feat Battle Blessing to function a few times per day based on Hit Die/Paladin level when a friend just said that it sounds like a few tax (like Natural Spell for Druids) so I incorporated it into the class design just like the Duskblade, though they get an additional use and way earlier too.

Holy Champion: Again, one taken from Pathfinder as a sort of awesome cap-stone for a class at the end of the road. I think it's fitting of someone who's gone through their life as a devoted paladin and should be rewarded as such.

Spell List: Pretty much standard from the normal 3.5 one but I added a 5th level section, took spells from various sources that seemed "Paladin-y" smite stuff.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

652 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2018 :  10:03:29  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some comments in no particular order of importance:
- better Will saves, another aura, remove malady are all changes I find perfectly fine;
- divine bond: I'm not completely sure on this because the idea of the mount is iconic to D&D paladins and they already got some spells to get better weapons. I'm pondering if giving paladins free access to +5 holy swords of speed at 17th level through the combination of spell and class feature is broken or not. I think it boils down to the power creep of each campaign, but I see problems if the rest of the party fighting types are stuck with +3 weapons when this comes online;
- lay on hands: while I get the reasoning behind this, I would not decouple it from Charisma and tie it only on the level. Maybe make it 3 times the sum of Cha and lvl? This would leave some space for build diversity between paladins with high Cha and paladins focusing on Str/Con/whatever;
- spells and fervor: I don't see any problems with these changes, maybe fervor will piss off some pure casters but whatever, is there a reason Spiritual Cavalry is there and Spiritual Weapon is not?
- smite: this is the biggest change of all, I still need to decide how broken this might get since, lasting rounds, it applies to all attacks. I would probably make it maximized at 20th level only against undeads and evil outsiders and not against any run-of-the-mill evil bandit or orc, to keep the paladin from over-DPSing everyone else on most targets. Even then, in the aforementioned case of a +5 holy sword of speed wielding paladin at 17th level s/he would get +2d6+5d10+Cha on 5 attacks for 5 rnds against anything evil ... pretty powerful. Again, I'm not too concerned about it being too powerful per se but I think it would probably make purebreed paladins the go-to build discouraging multiclassing into some interesting PrCs (and makes some PrCs dedicated to battling specific evil foes worst than pure paladins in raw damage dealing power even against said foes);

Overall I think is a nice and interesting revamp of the paladin class but I still need to think a bit more about smite and divine bond.
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3525 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2018 :  15:26:10  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the response Demzer!

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

Some comments in no particular order of importance:
- better Will saves, another aura, remove malady are all changes I find perfectly fine;


Most of these came from Pathfinder and remove malady seemed applicable to add a tad more versatility to the class.

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

- divine bond: I'm not completely sure on this because the idea of the mount is iconic to D&D paladins and they already got some spells to get better weapons. I'm pondering if giving paladins free access to +5 holy swords of speed at 17th level through the combination of spell and class feature is broken or not. I think it boils down to the power creep of each campaign, but I see problems if the rest of the party fighting types are stuck with +3 weapons when this comes online;


Divine Bond does allow for an intelligent mount option that fulfills the whole "mounted knight in shining armour" concept, it's just not a forced option 100% of the time. The fluidity of the option allows for paladins to adapt to their surroundings and quests. As for the power balance, it comes from Pathfinder so I feel their designers would have a better overall feel for the balance of the feature than I would. How it holds up at later levels, I honestly couldn't say. Most campaigns end before 16th level and I don't think I've ever gotten a PF game to that particular point. I'm assuming that in comparison to 7th thru 9th level spells, the feature is.....adequate at best.

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

- lay on hands: while I get the reasoning behind this, I would not decouple it from Charisma and tie it only on the level. Maybe make it 3 times the sum of Cha and lvl? This would leave some space for build diversity between paladins with high Cha and paladins focusing on Str/Con/whatever;


This was a concept from 5th Edition. At later levels LoH is pretty potent (Paladin at 12th level with Cha 24 is boosting a LoH pool of 84 points vs. the new version of 60), it's just that at low levels the pool doesn't hold up well. I'll look into some different formulas that keep Charisma in mind.

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

- spells and fervor: I don't see any problems with these changes, maybe fervor will piss off some pure casters but whatever, is there a reason Spiritual Cavalry is there and Spiritual Weapon is not?


Haha, well then the feat Battle Blessing (all paladin spells are cast as swift actions) will really make them mad. Fervor simply gives them a similar action to what the Duskblade can do (a chassis that I build the new Paladin off of). As for the spells, I simply used the original spell list of the 3.5 Paladin and then added 5th level spells that I felt were appropriate but didn't step on the Cleric's toes too much. Adding Spiritual Weapon would definitely be a nifty spell to have though.

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

- smite: this is the biggest change of all, I still need to decide how broken this might get since, lasting rounds, it applies to all attacks. I would probably make it maximized at 20th level only against undeads and evil outsiders and not against any run-of-the-mill evil bandit or orc, to keep the paladin from over-DPSing everyone else on most targets. Even then, in the aforementioned case of a +5 holy sword of speed wielding paladin at 17th level s/he would get +2d6+5d10+Cha on 5 attacks for 5 rnds against anything evil ... pretty powerful. Again, I'm not too concerned about it being too powerful per se but I think it would probably make purebreed paladins the go-to build discouraging multiclassing into some interesting PrCs (and makes some PrCs dedicated to battling specific evil foes worst than pure paladins in raw damage dealing power even against said foes);


Maximizing it only against evil outsiders and undead is a really excellent idea! As for pure-paladins, I think the original concept of the paladin in 3.0/3.5 was to discourage multiclassing and Prestige Classing since they have those restrictions on going back to being a Paladin (some PrCs and Knight organizations lift this restriction). Honestly there's only a few PrCs that really give the Paladin more diversity in the first place, which I feel is sort of sad.

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

Overall I think is a nice and interesting revamp of the paladin class but I still need to think a bit more about smite and divine bond.



Thank you for your input it's greatly appreciated! I did a quick shot with this paladin at only level 4 and he seemed to have to make tough decisions regarding his smite usage and spells. And when taking a poisoned javelin from a Forest Troll, he got significantly weaker, lol. Having had prepared lesser Restoration, it helped getting him back into the battle.

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Demzer
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Posted - 08 Oct 2018 :  20:12:03  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm all for adding versatility and making tactical choices count for characters so I quite like the idea of the paladin having to choose between mount and weapon powers and then between smiting everything or keeping some utility through spells.

Regarding LoH, I always found it a nice addition to the class, giving the paladin the ability to fight longer or rescue someone in a pinch and, especially at lower levels, putting extra value in those points in Charisma. At later levels it's still nice but then clerics/druids/favored souls start getting heals and mass cures, paladins themselves gets the possibility to cure through spells and LoH loses some ground.

Actually one of my biggest problems with paladin's (and sometimes ranger's and all the Harper related stuff) PrCs is that instead of just augmenting pre-existing casting abilities (+1 level) and maybe adding some specific spells to spell-lists, they actually forced another spell progression on the character, which I always found pretty ... uninspired.
I always house-ruled that multiclassed paladins (say a paladin/pious templar) continued to advance with the paladin spell progression and whatever extra spell added to their spell list instead of stunting the already poor spellcasting abilities of paladin and tacking along another bag of low level stuff.

I went quickly through the paladin PrC that I could remember and pretty much all except those with lots of side abilities get the smite so I would suggest decoupling the "maximized smite" thing from smite and adding it as a separate class feature at level 20. The reason for this is that if you multiclass in a PrC that has smite you keep progressing (and get your d10) but then you get other goodies, if you want flat 50 unblockable damage you have to stay pure paladin. It's not that great of a difference that everyone would absolutely want to stay pure but it makes thinking about multiclassing a bit more complex (otherwise I don't really see why a paladin should avoid getting at least mettle from the Pious Templar to be immune to an awful lot of effects through high Fort and Will saves).

The bad news is for the knight of the chalice that's completely left in the dust by the raw damage potential of the maximized smite as compared to a meager +4d6 against evil outsiders (and that's the case where a "specialized" paladin is outclassed by a basic pure build that I was thinking about earlier).
The good news is that if you let a triadic knight (from Champions of Valor) do a threefold smite ... well ... I wouldn't want to be at the receiving end of that!

But anyway most of this concerns rise in later levels (15+) where balance can be already out of the window so probably they're not that important.

Edited by - Demzer on 08 Oct 2018 20:17:19
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Diffan
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Posted - 11 Oct 2018 :  03:06:31  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

I'm all for adding versatility and making tactical choices count for characters so I quite like the idea of the paladin having to choose between mount and weapon powers and then between smiting everything or keeping some utility through spells.


Cool! I think having choices during combat is something that a lot of non- and half-spellcasters really don't get nearly enough in 3e. Most of the time it's To Full-Attack or not Full-Attack.

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

Regarding LoH, I always found it a nice addition to the class, giving the paladin the ability to fight longer or rescue someone in a pinch and, especially at lower levels, putting extra value in those points in Charisma. At later levels it's still nice but then clerics/druids/favored souls start getting heals and mass cures, paladins themselves gets the possibility to cure through spells and LoH loses some ground.


It does, which is why I'm sort of torn on how to go about it. The level x 5 is basically "MAX" if we're looking at 5e because ability scores don't progress past 20 barring significantly powerful magic items so at CHA 20, it's always going to be +5. It also decouples Charisma from levels.

In 3.5 at later points with Scores hitting mid- 20's to low 30's, you're looking at level 16 - 17 x 11 (which is substantial). So where's the balance at? Low level play seems to be where HP is far more often needed, which is why I like level x 5 but it maxes out at 100 hit points at level 20 (meh).

OR maybe a pool like Pathfinder where it's a specific number of uses (1/2 level + Cha modifier) and you heal 1d6/2 lv. That sorta of helps low-level Hit Points (healing 1d6 4/day isn't bad) and keeps Charisma involved.

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

Actually one of my biggest problems with paladin's (and sometimes ranger's and all the Harper related stuff) PrCs is that instead of just augmenting pre-existing casting abilities (+1 level) and maybe adding some specific spells to spell-lists, they actually forced another spell progression on the character, which I always found pretty ... uninspired.
I always house-ruled that multiclassed paladins (say a paladin/pious templar) continued to advance with the paladin spell progression and whatever extra spell added to their spell list instead of stunting the already poor spellcasting abilities of paladin and tacking along another bag of low level stuff.


Same here. I always felt Paladins, Rangers, etc. sort of got hosed on their spell-casting progression from PrCs and it's really no wonder most of the good PrC ones for them to take advance that feature along with others (Fist of Raziel is 9/10 casting and Full-BAB!!). Unless the character is going into the PrC with almost zero spell access, I allow continued advancement of their former abilities. For example my one buddy was playing the "Good" Assassin class (it's a WotC web-enhancement...can't remember the name) but he wanted to just continue to advance his Stances and Maneuvers from Tome of Battle instead of a whole new set of spells, which I felt was better thematically anyways.

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

I went quickly through the paladin PrC that I could remember and pretty much all except those with lots of side abilities get the smite so I would suggest decoupling the "maximized smite" thing from smite and adding it as a separate class feature at level 20. The reason for this is that if you multiclass in a PrC that has smite you keep progressing (and get your d10) but then you get other goodies, if you want flat 50 unblockable damage you have to stay pure paladin. It's not that great of a difference that everyone would absolutely want to stay pure but it makes thinking about multiclassing a bit more complex (otherwise I don't really see why a paladin should avoid getting at least mettle from the Pious Templar to be immune to an awful lot of effects through high Fort and Will saves).


That's a good point. I could fold that little aspect into the Holy Champion feature, which only Paladins get at level 20.

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

The bad news is for the knight of the chalice that's completely left in the dust by the raw damage potential of the maximized smite as compared to a meager +4d6 against evil outsiders (and that's the case where a "specialized" paladin is outclassed by a basic pure build that I was thinking about earlier).
The good news is that if you let a triadic knight (from Champions of Valor) do a threefold smite ... well ... I wouldn't want to be at the receiving end of that!


For the knight of the chalice, I'd probably just houserule their version of smite to mirror the Level 20's champion ability, but only for Evil Outsiders. Full Paladins still get the same bonus vs. Undead.

Ah yea, the Triadic Knight PrC. I had totally forgotten about that one, lol. Yeah Three-fold Smite would be pretty damn devastating! But that's also sacrificing multiple spell slots in the process. I'd have to houserule in that particular Prestige Class that regardless of how many slots are used, only the highest one is counted for the number of rounds you continue to smite at and extra damage die added. You're not getting the total combination for X rounds, lol.

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

But anyway most of this concerns rise in later levels (15+) where balance can be already out of the window so probably they're not that important.



That's fair, usually the campaign does break down into chaos post level 14, at least from my observations. I think our highest 3.5 campaign we did hit 17th level and by then the Cleric 5/ Morninglord 10/ Radiant Servant of Lathander 2 and Sorcerer 8/ Hathran 9 were toying with ECL 23 encounters and wasting a total of 4 - 6 spells before all the monsters were dead.

It usually turns out
- Sorceress casts invisibility (x2) and fly.
- Cleric casts Footsteps of the Divine (Lathander grants fly) & lands in middle of enemy encampment with radiance sphere prepared as a readied action (fly is his move action).
- The invisibility is turned off (free action) and he taunts the monsters.
- Monsters all charge him.
- He springs Prismatic Sphere, capturing them all around him (8 total monsters)
- Sorceress casts Reverse Gravity using a shaping Metamagic feat that negates the square he's in.
- Monsters flung through the sphere.....those who don't die are dropped back down into the sphere....usually they die.

Ugh...

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"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Diffan
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Posted - 11 Oct 2018 :  03:53:24  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Paladin 3.5 revision 2.0

• Changed Smite slightly, adding that multiple uses of Smite on the same turn (either because of Haste or having a higher Base Attack Bonus, you use the highest level slot to determine extra damage and rounds going forward. So a 6th level Paladin attacks twice with a +6 and a +1 BAB, he hits and smites using up a 2nd and 1st level spell slot. The attacks with do an additional 2d6 + Cha with the first attack and 1d6 + Cha on the second attack. The next two rounds he'll hit with an additional 2d6 + Cha damage due to a 2nd level slot being spent.

• Lay on Hands is now like Pathfinder's version. At 2nd level you get 1d6 points to heal and can do so a number of times per day equal to 1/2 your paladin level + Charisma modifier (at least once). This keeps CHA relevant with lay on Hands and a bigger pool at later levels, though you lose some versatility on exactly how many points you want to spend.

• Maximized Smite isn't a Smite feature anymore (so Clerics with Destruction domain aren't maxing out smite..) and it's now a Holy Champion feature that works on both Undead and Evil Outsiders (including possible Banishment). One it allows other specialty classes (like Knight of the Chalice) to still shine and not have to delve 20 levels into one singular class and I'd recommend allowing Chalice Knights the ability to just maximize smite vs. evil outsides if this Paladin variant is in your games. Fair is fair.

• Took Resistance off the 1st level spell list, it's still an Orison

• Added Spiritual Weapon to the Paladin's 2nd level spell list.

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Demzer
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Posted - 11 Oct 2018 :  09:04:45  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
These last changes sound good to me, overall a very nice revision of this iconic class.
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 11 Oct 2018 :  10:28:32  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm glad to see someone still using the most excellent 3.5 rules.

I recall going through this same process collating all the class abilities from various sources and then trying to build up the classes to make them more interesting and more balanced (fighting classes always suffering for a lack of flashiness and a repetitive mechanic.

One thing I noted when doing this process is that some levels for some classes are empty. A character has little reward for advancing to level 7, 13, and 17 (they only get a +1 to BAB), they might feel resentful at other players getting a better reward for the same amount of effort.

Eventually I got it to the point that every level in a class granted an ability. I figure if the players are going to put in the time to advance a character they want a reward for it.

That fix further exacerbated the problem of balance, some classes got better abilities than other (paladins better than fighters), and spells are better than most class abilities. Furthermore some classes were so limited by weak saves or weak BAB that they became impossible to play at later levels (often sitting out combat as they were completely ineffectual).


I'd be interested to see how you progress in attempting to fix the 3.5 mechanics as you seem to be starting down a similar path (revitalizing stale and weak classes) as I did some years ago and I wonder whether you will reach similar conclusions and resolutions.

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Diffan
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Posted - 11 Oct 2018 :  15:07:23  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well I wouldn't call 3.5 the most excellent, but I have a fondness for it that compels me to continue to tinker and mess with the system even when we're only playing it every once in a while. Re-doing the classes now, with a better sense of balance and level-expectations, really helps the process as a whole not to mention pilfering ideas from other games/editions. I did one with the Fighter and the 3.5 Knight class too.

Looking at some of the changes, at first I was like "This is waaay too powerful....but then again these have to be competing with 9th level spells and world-altering effects like Miracle and Wish, not to mention other class's features that do similar things. Take the Rogue's Sneak Attack for example, at 20th level a human Rogue 15/ Swashbuckler 3/ Swordsage 2 (3 base classes and no multiclass restrictions) gets 9d6 sneak attack die if they have the Daring Outlaw feat (not to mention possibly more from an Assassinating weapon or the Assassin's Stance) per attack! No usage of resources, no other special gimmicks, just be flanking or have the island of blades stance active. Then you add on things like Shadow Blade and this character adds Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence to EACH weapon roll...it's pretty crazy with a Full Attack action. So a Paladin who drops a 5th level spell on a full-attack turn at later levels gets an additional 5d10 per attack (assuming all 5th level spells) + Charisma and Strength. I don't think that's too bad by comparison.

As for the dead levels, that's bound to happen. Look at the cleric, he has 19 dead levels, but we also count spell access as features. So by that measure, really the only *dead* level this paladin has is 16th (only +1 to BAB, additional skills and hit points, and a buff to Fortitude and Willpower saving throws. 7th gets them additional spells at 1st and 2nd level. 13th level grants them access to 4th level spells, and 19th grants them additional 4th and 5th level spells. And from looking at the previous 3.5 version, that's a whole lot better lol.

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Diffan
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Posted - 11 Oct 2018 :  15:16:35  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Paladin 3.5 revision 2.5

• Smite still seems off, worded weirdly, or not working exactly as intended. My first thought was spending multiple slots a turn (each per successful attack) for more damage but I didn't factor in the notion that the smite lasts for the remainder of the round(s). So when a Paladin hits with their first attack (spends a 2nd level slot) and deals an additional 2d6 + Cha damage, the next successful attack in that round where a smite is used (say 1st level) for an additional 1d6 + Cha, those would stack unintentionally for Weapon die + Str + 3d6 + Cha mod (x2) - yeah that's a bit too much IMO.

Going to change it so that you can only spend one slot per turn on smite, thus preventing crazing stacking of effects and Charisma mod ridiculousness. Besides you're still getting the full effect of the smite to each attack regardless and possibly for multiple rounds.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."

Edited by - Diffan on 11 Oct 2018 15:16:55
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Diffan
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Posted - 11 Oct 2018 :  15:38:14  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal


I'd be interested to see how you progress in attempting to fix the 3.5 mechanics as you seem to be starting down a similar path (revitalizing stale and weak classes) as I did some years ago and I wonder whether you will reach similar conclusions and resolutions.



I have some thoughts on full-casters, knocking them down a peg or 6. For example, I like Wizards schools and think that any wizard character should have to pick a School, and get maybe a secondary school at 10th level. This grants extra spells/day, spells known like Specialty wizards get now. The drawback is that they still pick 2 schools they prohibit themselves from and every other school that's not their specialty only gets 1/2 caster level to effects. So if your 7th level wizard pick Abjuration as their school and prohibit themsleves from Necromancy and Enchantment, you can't cast spells from those schools (like it is now) BUT when you cast a Fireball from Evocation, you're only casting it as a 3rd level caster (1/2 of 7 = 3.5 [3 rounded down]).

For wizards who want to be "General wizardry", they don't pick any school. They still get 1 bonus spell per day and 1 additional spell known per spell level but it has to be a different school each spell level 1-9 AND they only cast these spells at 1/2 level. You're basically sacrificing potency and focus for overall total knowledge. The 1/2 caster level is only for spell effects, everything related to Spell Resistance you still use your normal Caster Level.


For Clerics, I'm thinking about removing some of the broken feats like Persistant Spell and Divine Metamagic entirely. As a fan of clerics these are my go-to feats for augmenting spellcasting - who doesn't want 24-hr Divine Favor on at 1st level??

They also only get access to Medium armor and light shields. If they get the War Domain, they can get access to their deity's weapon or one marital weapon of their choice + Weapon Focus and proficiency with heavy armor and shields.

I'd also wouldn't allow things like Extra Turning to stack and other effects that give them 20 turn attempts per day.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."

Edited by - Diffan on 11 Oct 2018 15:40:56
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 11 Oct 2018 :  16:17:17  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Have you got to the later levels problem where a caster cannot effect monsters with a strong save unless they devote all their feats and other bonuses into improving their DC.

At that point I realised to make 3.5 fair and balanced I had to completely rewrite how spells worked.

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Diffan
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Posted - 11 Oct 2018 :  19:02:55  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Have you got to the later levels problem where a caster cannot effect monsters with a strong save unless they devote all their feats and other bonuses into improving their DC.

At that point I realised to make 3.5 fair and balanced I had to completely rewrite how spells worked.



Not really. Most of the Monster Manual ones don't have incredible saves, and if you're going wealth-by-level, then the casters shouldn't have too much trouble with them. For example a human wiz 13 with 25 point-buy stats is going to most likely have INT 18 and a headband of Int +6 by 13th level for a 24 (+7 modifier). He casts 7th level spells. So that's a DC of 24. Say he grabs Spell Focus and Grtr Spell Focus (evocation) he's throwing 13d6 delayed fireball blasts with DC 26. A Nightshade (CR 16) has SR 29 and Ref 11. The mage makes spell penetration checks at 1d20 + 13 (most likely 15 or 17 depending on feats) so that's a 40% chance of success and likely if it passes the Nightshade has a 75% chance to fail its Reflex save. To me that seems about right, odds favoring the mage over undead.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

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