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Need help building my Paladin


Hi, everyone.

OK, I need some advice. First I apologize for not writing a good English, it's not my native language. I'll try to be as clear as I can. I need your help to create both the most helpful and the most optimized character, given the imperatives we have.
We're going to play a campaign, but most likely we'll be only 2 players.
Maybe 2 more will join but not sure.

The GM (my hubby) will gm to give us a chance: he's not out there to kill us. But let's face it, we're both rather new to Pathfinder rules (but not to RPGs).
It'll be an epic adventure, maybe in LOTR style.

I'll play a paladin, and the other player probably a Swashbuckler. We'll both be Aasimar (imperative of the campaign). We'll start at level 0 for 1 adventure aged 10, then will follow up years later with our created adventurer.

Knowing all that,
I created that paladin, probably not optimized but I thought when playing with only a warrior, skills could come in handy to allow us more diversity in our travels.

Paladin lvl 1 Oath of Vengeance archetype. 20 points build.
Aasimar (mandatory) Angel blooded, Scion of Humanity (mandatory), Truespeaker instead of Skilled

Str: 14 (+2) = 16
Dex: 10
Con: 14
Int: 14
Wis: 10
Cha: 14 (+2) = 16

Adopted > elf > warrior of old (+2 init)
Equivalent Valashmai Veteran (perception as class skill)

1 Fey Foundling
3 Power Attack
5 Furious Focus
8 Improved Critical
9 Critical Focus
11 Strike Back
13 Improved Initiative
15 Blind-Fight
17 Bleeding Critical
19 ??

2 Handed Falchion (hesitate with 2H Greatsword)
(and as second set Morningstar + Heavy shield)

Favored class bonus:
skill x5, then hit points x15

lvl 1: perception, linguistic (x2 bc of Truespeaker), Knowledge (Religion), Knowledge (Arcana), Handle Animal
lvl 2 to 20: max perception & knowledge (religion) & use magic device, + gather a max of small skills

Did I forget to mention some things?
I'll happily answer any questions you may have.

Does that seem viable to you? What would you change (stats, skills, feats...) (knowing the background and players)

I'll any advice you could give me.


are you playing a lawful good paladin if so bleeding critical isn't very lawful good as your inflicting suffering onto your target and if your using point buy i would drop int to 12 and boost wis to 11 and dex to 12 will help your ac a little bit.

you should also take reactionary instead of adopted elf warrior of old and get probably umberal unmasking drawback with the no shadow part as opposed to the monstrous shadow part to get carefully hidden trait for +1 to will saves and +2 vs divination. i would also suggest sticking to one style of melee fighting either sword and board or two handed but carry a reach and a ranged weapon with you

In a two person party with a swashbuckler you may want to invest in more healing feats, extra lay on hands for example. For a straight fighting paladin you have a decent plan, but don't feel obligated to follow it if the particulars of the game push you in a different direction as it progresses.

Are you palnning to take the mount or weapon option for divine bond? If mount you will want some ride skill.

Silver Crusade

On a paladin, you can safely dump wisdom, and it won't hurt at all. You get your charisma added to your saving throws and smite bonuses, along with quantity of lay on hands per day, so pump up that charisma as high as you can.

If you have the Familiar Folio book, take a look at the Chosen One paladin archetype. You get a familiar instead of a mount or bonded weapon, and it can "lay on paws". This uses two of your uses of lay on hands, so you won't use it much, but it lets you heal your ally and attack the enemies in the same round, if things get rough. Again, you'll need high charisma and possibly the Extra Lay on Hands feat for enough uses to pull it off, but it's a really nice archetype. And the familiar gets Guidance at will, which can help with skills and stuff, too.

Thank you.

I intended to take Weapon Bond. I don't think we'll have a huge use of horses, (I'm also uncomfortable using charge and horse rules) and I think weapon bond gives me more range of action to be effective against all types of enemies we'll encounter. I'll probably take 1 point or so in ride anyway.

I also really like the oath of vengeance archetype for the extra smites it gives, even at level 4. And it's not compatible with the Chosen One.

Also I probably can drop to 8 in wisdom (-1) but probably not less, and I'd prefer not: perception (with the trait) will be a class skill, and maxed (with 14 int it's not a problem). Also the GM tends to dislike total dumping of stats, and may well use the weakness (I know him! He totally would).

But 8 in wisdom could make STR or CHA go up to 17, which could definitely help, and make it a 18 at lvl 4, which would be great, you're right.

What feat would you dump to make room for a healing feat in my build?
I took fey foundling because on a RP point of view I think it's awesome, and it stays good through all levels. And at level 4 Power attack seems like a must take?

Also with Greatsword (maybe changing it lvl 10+ to falchion), are the combat feats chosen all right?
I chose to ignore vital strike line (devastating, improved...) because I'm so short in feats as Aasimar, and to concentrate on the critical ones. Did I make the right choice? Or at least a reasonably good one?

Silverymist wrote:
But 8 in wisdom could make STR or CHA go up to 17, which could definitely help, and make it a 18 at lvl 4, which would be great, you're right.

I really think you should focus on strength over charisma. Charisma is very useful for a Paladin, no doubt, but you can't smite every foe and not every foe forces you to make saving throws. When you face your first dire bear or golem, you'll be glad to have higher strength

What feat would you dump to make room for a healing feat in my build?

Furious Focus. Even power attacking, you really shouldn't have any problems hitting with your first attack per round with a full BAB class. The feat is way more useful for 3/4 BAB classes like clerics.

Some more thoughts on feats: Drop Stike Back. It's mostly useless, especially with the BAB +11 requirement. At that level, you lose at least two attacks (by using a readied standard action instead of a full attack), maybe even your whole turn (if the enemy simply choses not to attack you). If you're worried about reach, get lunge.

Bleeding Critical is not bad, but extra damage is far worse than debuffing critical feats like Staggering Critical. With a high Crit weapon, I'd get staggering ASAP, always. A successful crit means the enemy doesn't get a full attack for at least one turn. That's a HUGE advantage.

Grand Lodge

I'd also drop Improved Critical since you can always add Keen with your Divine bond feature and replace it for Toughness (for more HP) or Extra Lay on Hands (For more smite). Blind fight is also a very situational feat I'd swap out as well, maybe you could look at Greater Mercy, when you Lay on Hands if your target doesn't need any of the mercies you heal an extra d6. All in all it's a solid build.

I also see you have the Int for Unsanctioned Knowledge which is a very nice feat that adds to your spell list. I would also suggest a Dip at some point into a another class, the cap stone for Paladins is horrendous and not worth taking a full 20 levels in. My suggestion is a fighter with the Lore Warden Arch type, you gain a feat, all Int baased skills as class skills and an extra two skill points.

As an Aasmiar you could also look at the racial feats.

Following advice from other posters here's what I would recommend your feat progression look like.

1-Fey Foundling
3-Power Attack
5-Greater Mercy
7-Angelic Blood
9-Critical Focus
11-Angelic Wings
13-Staggering Critical
15-Unsanctioned Knowledge
17-Ultimate Mercy
19-Stunning Critical


Thank you again. I have to check all that and see what will be best. I'll definitely take 17 str. Staggering seems cool.

I'm more reserved about angelic blood > angel wings because poor maneuvarability and 20 speed is not that good at level 11. But it could be fun, even in a RP POV, I'll definitely think about it.

About Unsanctioned Knowledge what spells at each level would be worth it (that the paladin doesn't have)?

Grand Lodge

Well if you're using a 2 hander these are some good picks
1-Hide from Undead I personally love this spell, it's got a good duration and will save your ass from hordes of zombies. A+

2- Bladed Dash Be anime as F, 30ft move and CHA to hit. Another great spell.

3- Invisibility Purge See all the things! Shortish range but it negates Mind Blank/Greater Invisibility combos.

4- Divine Power This spell gets you the elusive luck bonus and will stack with everything as a result, gets you an extra attakc (won't stack with haste, but that's fine) and gives you temp HP equal to your caster level so it's just gravy.

Also if your not sold on the racial feats, take them out and pick up Unsanctioned Knowledge at level 7, that'll free up two slots for you to use for what ever you want. Looking at it now I would suggest that, the extra spells on your list are just so good to have as soon as possible.

In fact with those extra slots you could be the rare paladin who picks up scribe scroll and break the clerical monopoly on scrolls of Lesser Restoration.

I would also recommend investing into Use Magic Device and picking up some wands.

Edit:Alot of these spells rely on Caster Level, I would recommend you drop the Adopted Trait and grab Magical Knack-Link to boost your caster level to -1 instead of -3. This means that when you hit 4th level instead of getting a caster level of 1 you have a caster level of 3. This also makes your buffs harder to dispel and makes you better at dispelling.

Edit Edit: Lookign at it now I would take Unsanctioned Knowledge at Level 5, it's honestly a really good feat.

I would keep improved critical if you are goimg to go critical focus and critical feats after it. Bless weapon is a glorious spell, but keen weapons don't work with it, improved critical does. Auto confirmed crits on 15+ with added debuffs are juicy,

Grand Lodge

Good catch, with all the new information here's my revised feat list
1-Fey Foundling
3-Power Attack
5- Unsanctioned Knowledge
7-Greater Mercy
9-Improved Cirtical
11-Critical Focus
13-Staggering Critical
15-Ultimate Mercy
17-Stunning Critical
19-??? Leadership, beacuse by this point why not??

Fighter Dip-Toughness

Thanks again. I absoluterly am very grateful for all the help and ideas. It's amazing to see so many possibilities in characters.

That could be fun. Not a fan of scribing spells (I tend to like to fight more than casting scrolls) but after the fight, or when you have time to prepare, it's useful.
About 3rd level, wouldn't haste be worth it too? (bard spell)
About scrolls, is less restoration often useful? Is there a legend about Clerical monopoly?

Since I'm a noob in Pathfinder (so is the other player and the GM) (we played AD&D 2.5 though, so the system is not completely alien to us), does Unsanctioned Knowledge just add 1 spell to your list of spells you can cast (for example, with 16 cha, at level 7: 2 lvl 1 spells, 1 lvl 2 spell) , or does it add that spell to the number you can cast per day? Sorry my question really must dumb to you. I imagine it just add it to your list. If that's it, is it worth taking that so soon? I mean at level 5, I'll only be able to cast 2 level 1 spells.

I intended to max Use Magic Device. Wasn't sure it was necessary, but if you tell me it's worth it, I'll gladly follow your advice. I'll try to fully understand how the skill works too (I get the basics, but it seems rather complicated when you go further)

@Java thanks. Right, and there is also the fact that keen on bonded weapon will only be twice a day at level 9.

Silverymist wrote:
... does Unsanctioned Knowledge just add 1 spell to your list of spells you can cast (for example, with 16 cha, at level 7: 2 lvl 1 spells, 1 lvl 2 spell) , or does it add that spell to the number you can cast per day?

Just adds them to your spell list. That means you can prepare and cast them as spells in place of any normal Paladin spells. It also means you can use any wands/scrolls/staves etc with those spells without having to roll a skill check (use magic device) since they become class spells for you. That can be as useful as actually casting them.


Silverymist wrote:
I intended to max Use Magic Device. Wasn't sure it was necessary, but if you tell me it's worth it, I'll gladly follow your advice. I'll try to fully understand how the skill works too (I get the basics, but it seems rather complicated when you go further)

UMD is arguably the best skill. With a high UMD and a bunch of staves/scrolls you can cast 9th level spells. That's crazy good. As a Paladin your CHA should be pretty high so even without UMD as a class skill you'd have a better than average UMD roll.

Silverymist wrote:
@Java thanks. Right, and there is also the fact that keen on bonded weapon will only be twice a day at level 9.

Yeah Improved Critical is so good for Paladins because of Bless Weapon. If you don't end up taking it though, your Divine Bond is "only" twice a day for 9 minutes at a time. 18 minutes is enough to cover your average adventuring day. Does a Paladin need Improved Critical? They're a full BAB class with a weapon buff that adds keen ... but with Improved Critical they have have a 15-20 crit-range that auto-confirms. That means even on their 3rd iterative they probably have a 30% chance of scoring a crit (and remember, crits double Smite damage too). They don't need it, but it's SOOO good.

(Sory it's late and I'm just waffling now =P I'll come back when I'm less tired)

Goodluck =D

Grand Lodge

Haste is a great spell but Invisibility purge gives you a guaranteed way of revealing invisible creatures. It's a personal choice and both options are amazing, go with what ever you want.

The Scribe Scroll thing is the joke that a scroll of lesser restoration normally costs 150 gp but paladins have it as a 1 level spell which costs 25 gp. With your limited spells per day and given that the paladin has a bunch really nice situational spells that don't rely on caster level it effectively increases your spells per day for a minor gp cost. You will need to invest in Spellcraft though.

I find that Lesser restoration is a spell that you don't need often but when you do, you really need alot of it. Having four scrolls of it is always nice. Just to do the math for you, that's 600gp to buy normally, it would cost you 50 GP to craft.

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