Paladin: How to Approach the Class


Advice


I've been thinking about playing a Paladin and approaching the class for the first time and not quite sure how to play one, even after reading through the class and reading a guide. I'd like to think the Paladin is a jack of all trades: he's a strong fighter, a secondary healer, a second-hand divine spellcaster and is the best against Evil every time. I really like the support they provide to the party and their own resiliency. However, I'm unsure on how to go. I think the best way is to give the guy a sword and shield and let the role play dictate his mechanics. What say you?

Shadow Lodge

Kyle Smith, Role Player wrote:
I've been thinking about playing a Paladin and approaching the class for the first time and not quite sure how to play one, even after reading through the class and reading a guide. I'd like to think the Paladin is a jack of all trades: he's a strong fighter, a secondary healer, a second-hand divine spellcaster and is the best against Evil every time. I really like the support they provide to the party and their own resiliency. However, I'm unsure on how to go. I think the best way is to give the guy a sword and shield and let the role play dictate his mechanics. What say you?

a paladin is one of the best characters in the game.... because its the hardest class to play. ONE non lawful good action in role playing and you lose your pally power. depending on your GM you may get dinged mid adventure turning you into a really bad fighter until you can spend < i think its 5k gold, for an atonement.

SO my suggestion to you is:

get a feat build you like, get your gear, understand how your dm feels about alignment infractions, then focus your character on YOUR ROLE PLAY AND CODE OF ETHICS, wright it down on your character sheet, and look at it every time you do anything and every time your party does something.

what really sucks about pallys is that if a rogue breaks the law and you find out... you have to do the lawful good thing. if your teammate does something immoral, or even worse evil, then you get a slap upside the head if you don't correct it.

all in all if your dm is cool, pallys are fun to play... if your GM is a RP junkie then you better be on your game or it will bite you in the ass.

to quote my GM " no one has ever made it to 10 as a pally in my games" not because hes a dick, but because people make mistakes and lose their alignment or have to atone every session.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

TheSideKick has some good suggestions.

I would add, having a good look at this;

A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. She combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. She tells the truth, keeps her word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go unpunished.

Good Versus Evil

Good characters and creatures protect innocent life. Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life, whether for fun or profit.

Good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.

Evil implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some evil deity or master.

People who are neutral with respect to good and evil have compunctions against killing the innocent, but may lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others. from the PRD

Yep there can be a lot there.

But the most issues I have had is with other people being happy to tell you[me] how to play my character. (in fact there are ton's of threads here that will give you lot's of advice).

It really boils down to being a good person and keeping your word - you will the person that people look up to. It can be hard but it's fun too.

Have a look at some of the faith books, some gods expect a little more from their followers. Some will expect you to challenge someone to a duel (even though they will possibly break their word). You will be the example that others can follow, the one others can rely on!

Have fun

Liberty's Edge

TheSideKick wrote:

a paladin is one of the best characters in the game.... because its the hardest class to play. ONE non lawful good action in role playing and you lose your pally power. depending on your GM you may get dinged mid adventure turning you into a really bad fighter until you can spend < i think its 5k gold, for an atonement.

SO my suggestion to you is:

get a feat build you like, get your gear, understand how your dm feels about alignment infractions, then focus your character on YOUR ROLE PLAY AND CODE OF ETHICS, wright it down on your character sheet, and look at it every time you do anything and every time your party does something.

what really sucks about pallys is that if a rogue breaks the law and you find out... you have to do the lawful good thing. if your teammate does something immoral, or even worse evil, then you get a slap upside the head if you don't correct it.

all in all if your dm is cool, pallys are fun to play... if your GM is a RP junkie then you better be on your game or it will bite you in the ass.

to quote my GM " no one has ever made it to 10 as a pally in my games" not because hes a dick, but because people make mistakes and lose their alignment or have to atone every session.

I would consider that extreme, nothing suggess that a single non Lawful Good act would cause you to become an ex-Paladin. It states that if you CEASE to be Lawful Good then you would become an Ex Paladin. So unless that single non Lawful Good act was extreme, you would not actually suffer for it. Continue to do it and just like with any other class and their alignment, it will shift, unlike other classes the Paladin suffers greatly.

A Rogue needs to be mindful of a Paladin in the group, the Paladin is not required to turn in a Rogue for stealing or breaking and entering as the Paladin can deal with this himself, however, should the authorities ask questions the Paladin will not lie for him.

It's very important you talk to your GM to get things clear between you of what you consider acceptable behaviour. 'Acting with Honour' is very wide open, everyone has different views on Honour.

To some, the idea of killing an Evil guy whilst he has his pants down and taking a crap is dishonourable. As far as my Iomaedae Paladin is concerned it is a job done. Evil is evil for a reason, they don't get special favours, my code is to help me protect the innocent, not give people threatening the safety of others a 'fair chance'. Crapping, sleeping, having sex or standing waiting with an army of minions. It's all the same to me, I found him and I'll kill him.

On the other hand, a Paladin of Sarenrae believes in Redemption and it may be more reasonable to assume they would try to talk to the Evil guy, let him finish his crap and give him a chance to change.

Shadow Lodge

Asteldian Caliskan wrote:


I would consider that extreme, nothing suggess that a single non Lawful Good act would cause you to become an ex-Paladin. It states that if you CEASE to be Lawful Good then you would become an Ex Paladin. So unless that single non Lawful Good act was extreme, you would not actually suffer for it. Continue to do it and just like with any other class and their alignment, it will shift, unlike other classes the Paladin suffers greatly.

you misunderstood what i said. also that single act would require an atonement

Quote:
A Rogue needs to be mindful of a Paladin in the group, the Paladin is not required to turn in a Rogue for stealing or breaking and entering as the Paladin can deal with this himself, however, should the authorities ask questions the Paladin will not lie for him.

and this is where the thread would digress into a 50 page debate if it is lawful to aid and abed a known law breaker... lets not do that and agree its up to the GM

Quote:
It's very important you talk to your GM to get things clear...

yep

Liberty's Edge

Quite right, you did mention atone. My apologies.

Though like the rest, again this is very much dependant on your GM. I mean people can come up with a thousand arguements and counter arguements for all of it, all of which are legit. Ultimately it comes down to your GMs view, that tends to be the answer for many things in games, but the Paladin is the most important issue to discuss because if you and the GM don't see ee to eye, you will be miserable


Asteldian Caliskan wrote:

Quite right, you did mention atone. My apologies.

Though like the rest, again this is very much dependant on your GM. I mean people can come up with a thousand arguements and counter arguements for all of it, all of which are legit. Ultimately it comes down to your GMs view, that tends to be the answer for many things in games, but the Paladin is the most important issue to discuss because if you and the GM don't see ee to eye, you will be miserable

This is the biggest thing right here. Talk to your DM and figure out what s/he expects from you as a player and paladin. Ask what sort of standards are in place, and what things will cause you to fall. No surprises.

The only time I played a paladin was under a DM who later boasted "I love paladins! I've never had one in my group that didn't fall!" It wasn't a good experience. But he was also a real d-bag.


Is the OP's question more about a "build" or more about how the pally should be role played?

If its about the build, I've seen a billion and three sword-n-board paladins, and probably for good reason. They don't have the bonus feats to build a proper two-weapon fighter. Archery will take a while (probably level 3-5) to cover all the bases. Sword and board requires maybe three feats to be really productive, but I would probably go with a two handed weapon. Pally's are machines when it comes to tanking, but AC isn't as important as HP and lay on hands for them.

As for roleplaying, pally's need lots of decisions to make in a given campaign that could affect their alignment in order for them to be interesting characters. A hack-n-slash game isn't going to be as fun because it is usually assumed that everything being hacked and slashed is evil or chaotic. So, yes, the GM and the adventure itself (if modular) matter a great deal.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Derivous wrote:

Is the OP's question more about a "build" or more about how the pally should be role played?

If its about the build, I've seen a billion and three sword-n-board paladins, and probably for good reason. They don't have the bonus feats to build a proper two-weapon fighter. Archery will take a while (probably level 3-5) to cover all the bases. Sword and board requires maybe three feats to be really productive, but I would probably go with a two handed weapon. Pally's are machines when it comes to tanking, but AC isn't as important as HP and lay on hands for them.

I've just started playing a Paladin in Society play. I'm using a Greatsword and took Power Attack and Cleave (str 16, dex 12, con 14, int 10, wil 8, cha 16). Any suggestions as to where to go from here?

Liberty's Edge

First rule of paladins is: don't let your DM snow you into believing that you have to obey or uphold unjust laws. Paladins are great resistance leaders instigating rebellion to tyranny.

Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
I've just started playing a Paladin in Society play. I'm using a Greatsword and took Power Attack and Cleave (str 16, dex 12, con 14, int 10, wil 8, cha 16). Any suggestions as to where to go from here?

While nobody is looking, dump your WIS down to 7 and pump CHA 14+racial(16) stat to 15+racial(17). Take Dangerously Curious as a Trait (for Use Magic Device). Take Mounted Combat at 3rd (buy a heavy warhorse and take care of it). Max Ride permanently and Handle Animal (until you max the relevant DCs).

Shadow Lodge

Son of the Veterinarian wrote:

I've just started playing a Paladin in Society play. I'm using a Greatsword and took Power Attack and Cleave (str 16, dex 12, con 14, int 10, wil 8, cha 16). Any suggestions as to where to go from here?

do you want to be a solid pally? is multi classing an option?

if i were you, seeing as though you stop at 12 in PFS, i would take 4 levels of fighter with two handed fighter. very powerful build especially when you mix it with vital strike and smite evil. you can get one massive hit that can one hit ko many of the PFS cr encounters.

Liberty's Edge

TheSideKick wrote:
if i were you, seeing as though you stop at 12 in PFS, i would take 4 levels of fighter with...

Don't do it.

-- This forfeits the 9th and 12th level Mercy upgrades, a relative bump to REF and WIL, a Smite per day, 4pts of Smite damage, and Aura of Justice. (If you're going to dip-out multiclass a paladin, it should be for a skill-monkey class, not fighter.)

You do NOT need a crapload of feats to play a paladin. Power Attack, Quickdraw and Mounted Combat cover most of the bases; everything else is just icing.


When playing a paladin for the first time, it may be a good idea to have a code of ethics written down which serves as your inspiration. All Pallys are LG; but some emphasize defending the innocent, others upholding the law, and so forth.

Paizo has published a great supplement in Faiths of Purity; it has paladin ethos for followers of different Gods (Faiths of Balance adds one more, as well). Even if you're not using the Golarion pantheon, it may be worth a look - having such a code of conduct can help fine tune your paladin role-playing, and differentiate you from other champions of good.

Of course, re-reading your post, you're more interested in mechanics than the role-play. Still, the code of ethics can help dictate your approach there, perhaps adding an archetype such as hospitaler or sacred shield which helps you meet your code of ethics obligations.


Mike Schneider wrote:
You do NOT need a crapload of feats to play a paladin. Power Attack, Quickdraw and Mounted Combat cover most of the bases; everything else is just icing.

Why Quick Draw, if I might ask? Switching between a lance and a sword? As a full BAB class a Paladin can do it as part of a move or charge pretty early, so I don't really see it as necessary.

In my opinion, things should look like this:

You do NOT need a crapload of feats to play a melee class. Power Attack covers most of the bases; everything else is just icing.

If you want some more detailed advice, take Power Attack, and then consider where you want to go. Cleave and Sunder are nice for a 2h build. Shield fighting (unless you treat them as purely a defensive option) is pretty feat intensive, but the payoff is pretty good. The mounted feats? Spirited Charge is nice. Consider this supplemental to your main build though.

Consider your Divine Bond. Both options are really nice. I'm quite partial to the weapon bond, if only because I've seen one holy weapon in all four or five years of gaming, and think they're bloody amazing. If you're taking the mount, take a lance, they're quite nice. Consider squeezing spirited charge into the build, but it isnt as important as you'd think.

Ranged paladins are a very viable option, but I'm personally far too much a fan of the knight in shining armour to go down this road. In this case, your list of feats expands somewhat. Rapid Shot, Precise Shot and Deadly Aim become your staple feats. It's worth considering, at least.


JohnLocke wrote:

When playing a paladin for the first time, it may be a good idea to have a code of ethics written down which serves as your inspiration. All Pallys are LG; but some emphasize defending the innocent, others upholding the law, and so forth.

Paizo has published a great supplement in Faiths of Purity; it has paladin ethos for followers of different Gods (Faiths of Balance adds one more, as well). Even if you're not using the Golarion pantheon, it may be worth a look - having such a code of conduct can help fine tune your paladin role-playing, and differentiate you from other champions of good.

Thank you kindly. I'll be forwarding the Sarenrae entry to one of my players.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
TheSideKick wrote:
a paladin is one of the best characters in the game.... because its the hardest class to play. ONE non lawful good action in role playing and you lose your pally power. depending on your GM you may get dinged mid adventure turning you into a really bad fighter until you can spend < i think its 5k gold, for an atonement.

This is false. A single EVIL act means you lose your paladin powers, as does doing enough chaotic acts to make you not lawful in alignment. Also, breaking the paladin's code of conduct. Only in one of these cases do they need an atonement. Exactly how a paladin's code of conduct should be interpreted is a bit vague and open for debate, but there's many chaotic actions you can perform (for example, using UMD to cast protection from law to protect yourself from a devil) without falling.

Scarab Sages

Ever since the release of the Unsanctioned Knowledge feat, I've found it impossible to make a paladin without a 13 starting intelligence. The spell possibilities are just SO good that I can't see why the feat isn't worth taking, even with suboptimal stats.

That said, I haven't tried a dual-wielding pally in a long, long time. Heck, I haven't even done a sword-board pally in a while. Using a two-handed weapon is so much easier, plus it's less feat intensive. Your AC will still be through-the-roof while smiting with a decent Charisma, and you have more feats to spend on either the Power attack line for some cool skirmishing abilities (Cleave), or things like Unsanctioned Knowledge, or heck, even the awesome Eldritch Heritage feats, because there are some bloodline abilities that are just too useful (Fey, Abyssal, and Orc, to name my personal favorites) to pass up if you have the feats for it. Combine that with the Oath Against The Wyrm archetype (which basically does NOTHING to your paladin abilities, but adds Enlarge Person, Bear's Endurance, Fly, and Stoneskin to your spell list), and you've got a well-rounded powerhouse of a character with lots of tricks at his disposal that nobody ever thought a paladin would have.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Twigs wrote:
Ranged paladins are a very viable option,

Especially with the Divine Hunter archetype in Ultimate Combat.


Sidekick, yes, your suggestion is better if you're in a caster heavy party with lots of support casters and no other melee or half-melee.

That's not most parties though.


Kyle Smith, Role Player wrote:
I've been thinking about playing a Paladin and approaching the class for the first time and not quite sure how to play one, even after reading through the class and reading a guide. I'd like to think the Paladin is a jack of all trades: he's a strong fighter, a secondary healer, a second-hand divine spellcaster and is the best against Evil every time. I really like the support they provide to the party and their own resiliency. However, I'm unsure on how to go. I think the best way is to give the guy a sword and shield and let the role play dictate his mechanics. What say you?

Well , imo , the first thing you should do is read the pally code and figure out a way to make it work for your party instead of against it. I've seen way to many.....or all pallys try to use the pally code to screw their groups. Heres an example for you.

Rogue player - " Ok guys , We can sneak by these guys and climb the wall over here next to the building they have the hostages in and take them by surprise. "

Pally player - ( thinking to self and reads ) - " NO WAY! sneaking around isnting honorable! " Charges front gate

There is a reason no one likes a paladin and its the player above trying to find any excuse they can to use the paladin code against the group. I usually kill the pally in his sleep after the 2nd time hes done somethiing like the above.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Tagion wrote:
There is a reason no one likes a paladin and its the player above trying to find any excuse they can to use the paladin code against the group. I usually kill the pally in his sleep after the 2nd time hes done somethiing like the above.

Well, all paladins sure aren't like that. Sneaking is a valid combat tactic and not dishonorable (personally, I'd rather see that lying and poison use wasn't listed in the code of conduct either).

Grand Lodge

According to TheSideKick: I'm a paladin. I farted, in public, really loudly, and didn't apologize for it. I must atone for it.

Losing one's paladinhood should be an event in and of itself, or a series of events in which the paladin acts excessively brutal, doesn't protect the innocent, leaves his allies hanging in the middle of combat without good cause, refuses to heal innocents/allies who are injured, and generally acting like a complete jerk.

The biggest issue is that the character was tested, and found worthy, by his god of the responsibility of being a paladin, a living, physical representative of A GOD. The god isn't going to pick their representatives lightly.

This can also apply to paladins of ideals, but paladins of ideals should never fall, so long as they maintain those ideals, and their process for losing their paladinhood should be a long, drawn-out, and incredibly painful process, wherein the paladin's ideals are repeatedly shoved where the sun don't shine (no, I don't mean Jersey), to the point that the paladin's ideology is warped by it.

Especially not ones they give -that- much power to, especially with -that- much autonomy. The power given to the paladin is basically in the form of a seed, so at first they don't have much, as they grow stronger, the seed becomes a tree, the first fruits being spells, in this metaphor.

The paladin is given a great deal of leeway in morally questionable situations, or at least they should be, because if they didn't, then no paladin would make it past baby armor, which that's just the GM being a jerk.

TL;DR: Falling as a paladin should never be as simple as falling off a log, just because you made one mistake, you shouldn't be stripped of all your powers.


TheSideKick wrote:
what really sucks about pallys is that if a rogue breaks the law and you find out... you have to do the lawful good thing. if your teammate does something immoral, or even worse evil, then you get a slap upside the head if you don't correct it.

I would disagree. A paladin does NOT have to be a self-righteous d*ck at all times. He has to be Lawful Good, yes, with special emphasis on the Good bit. Lawful does NOT mean he has to uphold the law, it means he recognises the advantages of concerted action, codified ethics, loyalty to friends and the Greater Good. He has to respect just laws, but that does not mean he has to hunt down every pickpocket and tax-dodger in the country. After all, what happens when the just laws are being twisted by a corrupt magistrate? The law may make the magistrates word law, the greater good demands he be dealt with, and this is the action a paladin must take.

However, TheSideKick is right in that paladins are very hard to play, because they do have to weigh up their actions very carefully. Paladins are ALWAYS going to be faced with decisions such as choosing the lesser of two evils, or choosing between being Lawful and being Good. The important thing is to make the decision you can justify as the most right one, not make the decision that is pristine white in outlook and that probably does not exist.

For example, my paladin in a party is well aware that the party rogue has a shady background but has also seen him act heroically, and views him as a 'work in progress'. He hasn't been seen to steal and rob, so she gives him the benefit of the doubt. If she did, she would first discuss with him the moral repercussions of his actions before taking any other action at all. The Lawful thing is not arrest them, the Lawful (in alignment terms) action is to ensure the greater good is being upheld first and foremost for the largest number of people.

If a DM demands that you arrest every lawbreaker and smite evil every time you detect it, then uses this requirement to distract you from taking the actions you need to do and makes you fall for dereliction, he's just being a d*ck himself.


If you're worried about the DM dropping a bridge on you out of the blue, this at least makes him tell you beforehand so you can stop.

Phylactery of Faithfulness

Spoiler:

Aura faint divination; CL 1st

Slot headband; Price 1,000 gp; Weight —

Description

This item is a tiny box containing religious scripture. The box is affixed to a leather cord and tied around the forehead, worn so that the box sits upon the wearer's brow. There is no mundane way to determine what function this religious item performs until it is worn. The wearer of a phylactery of faithfulness is aware of any action or item that could adversely affect his alignment and his standing with his deity, including magical effects. He acquires this information prior to performing such an action or becoming associated with such an item if he takes a moment to contemplate the act.

Construction

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, detect chaos, detect evil, detect good, detect law; Cost 500 gp


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mike Schneider wrote:
Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
I've just started playing a Paladin in Society play. I'm using a Greatsword and took Power Attack and Cleave (str 16, dex 12, con 14, int 10, wil 8, cha 16). Any suggestions as to where to go from here?
While nobody is looking, dump your WIS down to 7 and pump CHA 14+racial(16) stat to 15+racial(17). Take Dangerously Curious as a Trait (for Use Magic Device). Take Mounted Combat at 3rd (buy a heavy warhorse and take care of it). Max Ride permanently and Handle Animal (until you max the relevant DCs).

I'm reluctant to drop my Will save any more. I know I get the boost at lv 2, but that's still a few games away.

Dangerously Curious is one of my default traits anyway when I make a character that doesn't get UMD as a class skill. Also, since my current group has an overabundance of missile characters (Gunslingers mostly, three of them) and most of the games we've played are indoors, I likely won't take any mounted feats. My basic character concept is the manga character who runs forward and hits things with a huge sword.

TheSideKick wrote:


do you want to be a solid pally? is multi classing an option?
if i were you, seeing as though you stop at 12 in PFS, i would take 4 levels of fighter with two handed fighter. very powerful build especially when you mix it with vital strike and smite evil. you can get one massive hit that can one hit ko many of the PFS cr encounters.

Most likely I'll go solid Paladin, if I do any level dipping it will be into Rogue or Ninja. This is my first time as a Paladin and (coming from wizards mostly) the lack of skill points has been my biggest headache.

JohnLocke wrote:

When playing a paladin for the first time, it may be a good idea to have a code of ethics written down which serves as your inspiration. All Pallys are LG; but some emphasize defending the innocent, others upholding the law, and so forth.

Paizo has published a great supplement in Faiths of Purity; it has paladin ethos for followers of different Gods (Faiths of Balance adds one more, as well). Even if you're not using the Golarion pantheon, it may be worth a look - having such a code of conduct can help fine tune your paladin role-playing, and differentiate you from other champions of good.

Of course, re-reading your post, you're more interested in mechanics than the role-play. Still, the code of ethics can help dictate your approach there, perhaps adding an archetype such as hospitaler or sacred shield which helps you meet your code of ethics obligations.

Haven't done anything like this yet. Actually, not only is this my first time playing a Paladin, no one in any of my previous groups has ever played one either, so I'm going into this a bit blind.

It hasn't come up yet in any case.

Thanks for the advice!

Liberty's Edge

Twigs wrote:
Mike Schneider wrote:
You do NOT need a crapload of feats to play a paladin. Power Attack, Quickdraw and Mounted Combat cover most of the bases; everything else is just icing.
Why Quick Draw, if I might ask? Switching between a lance and a sword?
No. Switching between different weapons to keep a full-attack going with needing a move action. Example: you drop your melee opponent with one hit, Quickdraw your bow and fire at distant targets -- this is a huge benefit to anyone capable of dishing out massive damage with single attacks.
Quote:
The mounted feats? Spirited Charge is nice.
I honestly think Spirited Charge is a trap feat for paladins, except for halflings and gnomes on dogs -- otherwise the opportunities just don't come often enough; and Mounted/Ride By/Spirited would represent three of your seven only feats as a human pally before 13th. Mounted is worth having under such constraints; the other two arguably aren't.
Quote:
Ranged paladins are a very viable option, but I'm personally far too much a fan of the knight in shining armour to go down this road. In this case, your list of feats expands somewhat. Rapid Shot, Precise Shot and Deadly Aim become your staple feats.

And Piranha Strike with Agile weapons.


Davor wrote:
Ever since the release of the Unsanctioned Knowledge feat, I've found it impossible to make a paladin without a 13 starting intelligence. The spell possibilities are just SO good that I can't see why the feat isn't worth taking, even with suboptimal stats.

Oh man, this feat is fantastic. Especially the bard spells.

What spell options can we come up with, here? Haste, Timely/Gallant Inspiration and/or Good Hope from Bards? Divine Power or Blessing of Fervour from Clerics?

With a game that's pushing 10th level and a high character mortality rate I've pretty good reason to get excited. Anybody have any other ideas?

Mike Schnieder wrote:
No. Switching between different weapons to keep a full-attack going with needing a move action. Example: you drop your melee opponent with one hit, Quickdraw your bow and fire at distant targets -- this is a huge benefit to anyone capable of dishing out massive damage with single attacks.

Yeah, we might have to agree to disagree on this one. If you're going to burn a feat slot on your ranged game take Deadly Aim.

I hadn't noticed that Spirited Charge needed Ride By Attack as well. That kind of robs it of some of it's luster, I'll concede. I'd say it's a non-option for anybody bar a two-handed fighter, who has the feats to spare. I'm not usually one to take a mounted character.

I've never been a fan of the notion that medium sized mounted characters are any better off. Between a str penalty and a damage hit, the fact that staying mounted all the time isn't particularly sensible nor flavourful, and the fact that a large sized mount can squeeze if necessary (and in those kind of quarters you aren't getting any benefit out of your mount anyway aside from +1 to hit, too cramped to manuever or charge).

Besides, the image of a fully armored halfling riding even on the most imposing of bulldogs... I can't help but chuckle.


If you are playing in Golarion then the paladin oaths of faiths of purity (or faiths of balance for paladins of Abadar) would really help you.
Now on the build, i think that a non-human paladin would have it very difficult playing sword and board and that's because the sword and board style requires several feats and the paladin doesn't have any bonus.
If are set on a non-human sword and board paladin i think that we can help you to get as much as you can out of it.


Sword and Board and TWF paladins need a fighter or ranger dip to get the bonus feats they need, but it's actually worth it to do so given the extra damage you can crank out.

Scarab Sages

Twigs wrote:
Davor wrote:
Ever since the release of the Unsanctioned Knowledge feat, I've found it impossible to make a paladin without a 13 starting intelligence. The spell possibilities are just SO good that I can't see why the feat isn't worth taking, even with suboptimal stats.

Oh man, this feat is fantastic. Especially the bard spells.

What spell options can we come up with, here? Haste, Timely/Gallant Inspiration and/or Good Hope from Bards? Divine Power or Blessing of Fervour from Clerics?

With a game that's pushing 10th level and a high character mortality rate I've pretty good reason to get excited. Anybody have any other ideas?

Tip of the iceberg. In addition to the AMAZINGLY good group buffs, you also unlock spells like Mirror Image, Displacement, Invisibility, Vanish (I would argue Vanish is the best 1st level spell you could take from the list, but that's just personal preference), and several more spells from the Cleric spell list that'd be well worth your while. The hard part is choosing just 4 spells, one of each level, because you can only take the feat once. XD


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Dabbler wrote:
Sword and Board and TWF paladins need a fighter or ranger dip to get the bonus feats they need, but it's actually worth it to do so given the extra damage you can crank out.

Not really.

Human Paladin, 20-point buy
14 Str, 16 Dex (+2 race), 14 Con, 8 Int, 10 Wis, 15 Cha
1st- Improved Shield Bash, Two-Weapon Fighting
3rd- Power Attack
4th- +1 Cha
5th- Double Slice
7th- Shield Slam
8th- +1 Dex
9th- Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
11th- Two-Weapon Rend

Granted, you pretty much have to focus all of your feats on it. If you're OK without Two-Weapon Rend, then you can also drop Double Slice, freeing up two feats for other things. With a 12 Con, 13 Int, and 8 Wis, you could take Unsanctioned Knowledge at 5th level for the (minor) trade-off of one less hp/level and Will saves being slightly lower.


I am playing a paladin for two or three years now, currently 13th level. He's absolutely not a build to recommend, because he just grew nearly all the way (starting at level 5). He's sword & board, but without any two-weapon-fighting abilities. Even build sub-optimal, he's still a powerhouse (at least that's what the gamemaster thinks).

If your PC is a pally, the real difficulty is in playing him the "right" way, not in building optimus prime. IMHO.

Today I would build him differently, but I am still happy with him.

Feats are:

1Skill Focus: Sense Motive (Half-Elf)
1Weapon Focus Longsword
3Shield Focus
5Power Attack
7Extra Channel (we did not have a cleric in the group back then)
9Improved Critical
11Leadership (we had a cleric in the group then)
13Critical Focus

Actually you can just click my username to see that and the gear.


Dragonchess Player wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
Sword and Board and TWF paladins need a fighter or ranger dip to get the bonus feats they need, but it's actually worth it to do so given the extra damage you can crank out.

Not really.

Human Paladin, 20-point buy
14 Str, 16 Dex (+2 race), 14 Con, 8 Int, 10 Wis, 15 Cha
1st- Improved Shield Bash, Two-Weapon Fighting
3rd- Power Attack
4th- +1 Cha
5th- Double Slice
7th- Shield Slam
8th- +1 Dex
9th- Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
11th- Two-Weapon Rend

Granted, you pretty much have to focus all of your feats on it. If you're OK without Two-Weapon Rend, then you can also drop Double Slice, freeing up two feats for other things. With a 12 Con, 13 Int, and 8 Wis, you could take Unsanctioned Knowledge at 5th level for the (minor) trade-off of one less hp/level and Will saves being slightly lower.

I didn't say it couldn't be done, it's just that it's easier with a dip that involves a few bonus feats. For example, there's no room there for Weapon Focus, which is always very useful. A +1 to hit is worth +2 to damage when calculating DPR, which pays for your loss of smite damage there and then.


Dragonchess Player wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
Sword and Board and TWF paladins need a fighter or ranger dip to get the bonus feats they need, but it's actually worth it to do so given the extra damage you can crank out.

Not really.

Human Paladin, 20-point buy
14 Str, 16 Dex (+2 race), 14 Con, 8 Int, 10 Wis, 15 Cha
1st- Improved Shield Bash, Two-Weapon Fighting
3rd- Power Attack
4th- +1 Cha
5th- Double Slice
7th- Shield Slam
8th- +1 Dex
9th- Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
11th- Two-Weapon Rend

Granted, you pretty much have to focus all of your feats on it. If you're OK without Two-Weapon Rend, then you can also drop Double Slice, freeing up two feats for other things. With a 12 Con, 13 Int, and 8 Wis, you could take Unsanctioned Knowledge at 5th level for the (minor) trade-off of one less hp/level and Will saves being slightly lower.

I would swap power attack and double slice and put shield master at 11th level instead of two weapon rend.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Dabbler wrote:
Sword and Board and TWF paladins need a fighter or ranger dip to get the bonus feats they need

(emphasis mine)

Dabbler wrote:
I didn't say it couldn't be done

You sure about that?

Dabbler wrote:
there's no room there for Weapon Focus, which is always very useful. A +1 to hit is worth +2 to damage when calculating DPR, which pays for your loss of smite damage there and then.

Then take Weapon Focus at 5th and Shield Master at 11th.

Liberty's Edge

Twigs wrote:
Mike Schnieder wrote:
No. Switching between different weapons to keep a full-attack going with needing a move action. Example: you drop your melee opponent with one hit, Quickdraw your bow and fire at distant targets -- this is a huge benefit to anyone capable of dishing out massive damage with single attacks.
Yeah, we might have to agree to disagree on this one. If you're going to burn a feat slot on your ranged game take Deadly Aim.

If you don't have Quick Draw, and you drop your melee opponent with your first attack -- then you would not be able to attack at range with your iteratives anyway because you do not have a readied ranged weapon (well, not unless you throw your sword as an improvised weapon).

Extra attacks >>>better than>>> extra damage.

This is particularly the case for paladins, who could Quick Draw a bow as a free action, Smite as a swift, and continue a full-attack sequence with massive bonuses. (This set-up is common in first rounds in which the party is surprised and rushed by mooks; the paladin has to beat one down with his first attack, and is then otherwise left with nothing to do except move.)

Quote:
I've never been a fan of the notion that medium sized mounted characters are any better off. Between a str penalty and a damage hit, the fact that staying mounted all the time isn't particularly sensible nor flavourful, and the fact that a large sized mount can squeeze if necessary (and in those kind of quarters you aren't getting any benefit out of your mount anyway aside from +1 to hit, too cramped to manuever or charge).

My latest PFS character is a DEX-based samurai. He's horribly weak at low level (aside from the horse-of-doom), but he'll spin up into a Cuisinart of destruction at 6th or so, and UMD wands of Reduce Person and Reduce Animal as necessary (these will increase finesse attack bonus by +2, reduce damage by 1, and improve AC and ride checks).


Mike Schneider wrote:
Things.

You make a fair point on the surprise round, but feat starved as paladins are, I dont think that one extra iterative attack (maybe two later on) is worth the investment. You can draw your weapon as part of both a charge and a move action. Ideally, that's the surprise round, where you arent getting one anyway. If not? Paladins know how to make a charge hurt.

Acting under the assumption that the paladin will, at least 50% of the time, be either mounted (and thus the lance should make up the difference) or underground/in close quarters, it really doesn't do anything to excite me. These're the feats I'd be burning on power attack, deadly aim and rapid and precise shot to pull off this "switch-hitter" build.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I removed some posts and the replies to them.

Don't be a jerk. Flag it and move on. And don't escalate.

Liberty's Edge

Ross Byers wrote:

I removed some posts and the replies to them.

Don't be a jerk. Flag it and move on. And don't escalate.

<<Looks around nervously, steps off escalator>>


Dragonchess Player wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
Sword and Board and TWF paladins need a fighter or ranger dip to get the bonus feats they need

(emphasis mine)

Dabbler wrote:
I didn't say it couldn't be done
You sure about that?

OK, you got me, I did say that, but to quote Confucius, "what I said is not what I meant." My point was that to do TWF as effectively as a fighter or ranger of the same level (which I omitted to say), a paladin needs bonus feats that are otherwise lacking, but taking a dip to get those feats is not as counter-productive as you might think.

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