Bodhizen's Guide to the Optimal Paladin & Antipaladin


Advice

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TarkXT wrote:
Thunderforge wrote:


If the feeling is that INT is less important for the Castigator vs the Lancer wouldn't you rank Suli higher (or at least equal) for the Castigator in comparison to the Lancer?
Int is important to mounted characters so they can afford to put points into things like Ride and possibly Handle Animal. Considering that skill points are at a premium for a paladin this is generally a wise investment.

TarkXT, that was my point. If the lancer needs more skills the Suli's -2 INT would be more of a negative impact to the build than it would be on a Castigator, but the guide rates the Suli as green for the lancer and gold for the Castigator. I would think the ratings would be reversed.


For the fauchard paladin i do think a three level dip into fighter will ptobably set back your ability progression too much. You can make back you smite damage with a braclet but you would really miss the 1/2d6 extra lay on hands healing that your missing.

The hospitalier archtype is actually quite nice, however you are running two of them in a party. This has no bearing on you and your healing colleage but most healers are fondly known as "the waste of space", lay on hands or channel does't heal a single target for more than an appropriate level cure spell ie. 2d6 lay on hands is the equivalent of a 2d8+3 cure moderate and the spell cure moderate wounds is widely considered to be a sub-optimal action in combat. While the hospitalier may be a fun archtype and even effective in its own way it not an optimal choice for paladin or even for a focused healer.

The reason a paladin would use a light shield over a heavy shield is because a light shield doesn't inhibit his ability to use lay on hands or cast spells since his light shield hand is free for those purposes, using a heavy shield nets a damage increase of 2.5 damage per swing but cuts him off from that ability unless he uses a weapon cord or a main hand choice like a cestus or gauntlet.


stupid phone cut off my response bod, i think the changes you suggest probably work out well enough. however in tm's guide he suggests which spells are useful to keep memorised and rates them blue or green and even circumstantially useful spells he rates orange with a tag of useful but keep on a scroll.

as long as we don't have a stack of paladins asking for advice on how to use the much vaunted remove paralysis spell that they read about in a guide it should be fine.


Egoish wrote:


The reason a paladin would use a light shield over a heavy shield is because a light shield doesn't inhibit his ability to use lay on hands or cast spells since his light shield hand is free for those purposes, using a heavy shield nets a damage increase of 2.5 damage per swing but cuts him off from that ability unless he uses a weapon cord or a main hand choice like a cestus or gauntlet.

Right, but putting Bashing on a spiked light shield eats +1 of the enchantment, but ups the damage from 1d4 to 1d8. When you've got Double Slice, it's puts it more in line with the damage of your scimitar. Sure it doesn't have the incredible crit rate, but it is doing more damage on a noncrit.

Also, as an aside, how do you guys feel about the shield paladin/antipaladin using a Ring of Evasion? Divine Grace gives a pretty good reflex save (especially if you've got the dex required for the TWF feats), that having the Evasion ability just takes away another way the Aegis's opponents can do damage to him, especially when used as an NPC fighting against the party. Thoughts?

Liberty's Edge

Just a small note that I think you underestimate the poor Half Orc for the Castigator Paladin. As a 2h Paladin you are far less dependant on Feats than other builds, therefore you can afford to lose out on the bonus Feat.

In return, you get:
Dark vision
Intimidate bonus (handy if you are RPing the Vindicator)
Replace Ferocity with a Tatoo (+1 to all saves on top of your Cha bonus and high natural saves...yes please)
Trait to give you tusks (though admittedly you can technically do that with Human and the adopted trait)

Having tusks gives you the best of both worlds - all those talking about the pro's and cons of TWF...well, with tusks you now have that extra attack, it has no impact on your to hit with your primary attack and it requires no feats.

True, it's at -5 To Hit, but at lvl 1 that's already +0 to hit (18 Str, 1 BAB) you won't be hitting all that often initially, but you have nothing to lose for trying, and when you take into account Smiting and the bonus to hit it grants, you are now able to do some decent damage


Will Black wrote:
Egoish wrote:


The reason a paladin would use a light shield over a heavy shield is because a light shield doesn't inhibit his ability to use lay on hands or cast spells since his light shield hand is free for those purposes, using a heavy shield nets a damage increase of 2.5 damage per swing but cuts him off from that ability unless he uses a weapon cord or a main hand choice like a cestus or gauntlet.

Right, but putting Bashing on a spiked light shield eats +1 of the enchantment, but ups the damage from 1d4 to 1d8. When you've got Double Slice, it's puts it more in line with the damage of your scimitar. Sure it doesn't have the incredible crit rate, but it is doing more damage on a noncrit.

Also, as an aside, how do you guys feel about the shield paladin/antipaladin using a Ring of Evasion? Divine Grace gives a pretty good reflex save (especially if you've got the dex required for the TWF feats), that having the Evasion ability just takes away another way the Aegis's opponents can do damage to him, especially when used as an NPC fighting against the party. Thoughts?

yeah a bashing light shield is the way to go, i was just saying don't use a heavy shield since it kills your lay on hands.

we house rule that shield spikes and bashing don't stack though. ring of evasion could be handy, i put my trust in lay on hands to heal through any random aoe damage the aegis takes, i'd rather pump my saves higher for effects that really matter.


About the heavy shield and the light shield, it isn't only about lay on hands, it's also about spellcasting.


If I remember correctly, one of the designers had said that bashing does not stack with the spikes (not sure if that was RAW or RAI, though). It kind of makes sense that you would not let a shield deal the same damage as a two-hander


Thunderforge wrote:
I'm a little confused on your rating for the Suli race.

That was an error on my part in re-evaluating the Suli race for paladins and forgetting that I had listed it in multiple areas.


Bodhizen wrote:
Any constructive commentary is welcome.

I was curious about a Castigator reach weapon build but could not reference "fouchard" anywhere. I found by accident that it is spelt "fauchard" so minor correction for you there.

It's a pretty good weapon that gives 18-20/x2 crit but will cost you a feat as it's an exotic weapon choice. You might wish to mention bardiche as an alternative reach weapon choice for the Castigator reach build. It may only be 19-20/x2 but it won't cost you a feat as it's not exotic.


c873788 wrote:
I was curious about a Castigator reach weapon build but could not reference "fouchard" anywhere. I found by accident that it is spelt "fauchard" so minor correction for you there.

Corrected. Thank you.

c873788 wrote:
It's a pretty good weapon that gives 18-20/x2 crit but will cost you a feat as it's an exotic weapon choice. You might wish to mention bardiche as an alternative reach weapon choice for the Castigator reach build. It may only be 19-20/x2 but it won't cost you a feat as it's not exotic.

Thank you for the advice. :)

The Aegis antipaladin has been added. Four new roles for antipaladins have also been added.

Dark Archive

In the castigator's feat section you have rated the "step up" and "step up and strike", though you haven't rated "following step" which is a requirement for "step up and strike".

Besides this small oversight I think it is a great guide :)


Just a couple of things to note, dhampir is a terrible choice for a paladin because loh doesn't work en them but you have mentioned it in the archer section and rated it orange.

Rings of force shield provide a shield bonus so they don't stack with actual shields, this makes them no use for the aegis antipaladin.

Basic twf should be rated blue for the aegis specs since its a pre req for shield bash and necessary for the specs to work, improved and greater being green is probably about right but its worth noting at high levels smiting paladins have the best chance of landing their second and third iterative attacks. 30 cha means your smiting gtwf attack has the same to hit as your normal primary.


Egoish wrote:
Basic twf should be rated blue for the aegis specs since its a pre req for shield bash and necessary for the specs to work, improved and greater being green is probably about right but its worth noting at high levels smiting paladins have the best chance of landing their second and third iterative attacks. 30 cha means your smiting gtwf attack has the same to hit as your normal primary.

As I have mentioned before, the ratings are based upon the ability itself. They are not completely based upon actual need for the ability as a prerequisite to something else or the frequency with which it will likely be used (as the latter can vary from game to game). That's why prerequisites don't necessarily gain the same rating as better feats that require them, and why it's organized in tree format so that readers can see, "Oh, I need this feat before I can take that one, and while this one is blue, the prerequisite is orange." This is principally due to the fact that some prerequisites just aren't as good as the things that you get later on.

Also, since achieving higher levels does not automatically grant you a Charisma score of 30 (or any specific Charisma score, for that matter), I cannot base my recommendations upon the assumption that characters will have that score; unless I'm micromanaging character building to the point of saying, "At this level, you get this, and you badger your DM into giving you that, or pester your DM into allowing you to buy this other thing." As game mileage varies from game to game, style to style, and DM to DM, I cannot automatically assume that you'll achieve it, nor should I be encouraging players into believing that if they do not have certain scores or items that they have failed to follow the build guide.

It's a guide, not a step-by-step blueprint, if that makes any sense.

And by the by, gents... Thank you for helping me find some errors and omissions. I don't always catch them when I'm writing late at night.


Thank you for your hard work! It is an excellent guide!!


Bodhizen wrote:
Egoish wrote:
Basic twf should be rated blue for the aegis specs since its a pre req for shield bash and necessary for the specs to work, improved and greater being green is probably about right but its worth noting at high levels smiting paladins have the best chance of landing their second and third iterative attacks. 30 cha means your smiting gtwf attack has the same to hit as your normal primary.

As I have mentioned before, the ratings are based upon the ability itself. They are not completely based upon actual need for the ability as a prerequisite to something else or the frequency with which it will likely be used (as the latter can vary from game to game). That's why prerequisites don't necessarily gain the same rating as better feats that require them, and why it's organized in tree format so that readers can see, "Oh, I need this feat before I can take that one, and while this one is blue, the prerequisite is orange." This is principally due to the fact that some prerequisites just aren't as good as the things that you get later on.

Also, since achieving higher levels does not automatically grant you a Charisma score of 30 (or any specific Charisma score, for that matter), I cannot base my recommendations upon the assumption that characters will have that score; unless I'm micromanaging character building to the point of saying, "At this level, you get this, and you badger your DM into giving you that, or pester your DM into allowing you to buy this other thing." As game mileage varies from game to game, style to style, and DM to DM, I cannot automatically assume that you'll achieve it, nor should I be encouraging players into believing that if they do not have certain scores or items that they have failed to follow the build guide.

It's a guide, not a step-by-step blueprint, if that makes any sense.

And by the by, gents... Thank you for helping me find some errors and omissions. I don't always catch them when I'm writing late at night.

just fyi, the 30 cha is just a ball park, its not like i'm saying every single level 14 paladin should have 30 cha, or even every level 20 paladin should have 30 cha. however cha 30 is an easily achievable target for a level 17-18 paladin, not all will have it but most will have something in that region (between 26 and 34 i would guess) depending on their build.

since cha is an optimal stat for paladins in that it adds to their saves and their smite ability it is one of their priority stats, probably their second, so they should have a high bonus in it. my point wasn't that every level 17 paladin will have +10 to hit while smiting.

my point was that generally greater two weapon fighting is looked down upon as its a third iterative attack and these attacks rarely land, however one of the classes that can make it work are paladins as they have an ability which gives them a large bonus to hit and on top of that the same ability gives them a huge static damage boost which makes it advantages to make as many attacks as possible. you have reflected that in your rating it green but your notes of "hefty penalty" for improved and "crushing penalty" for greater makes them sound a lot less viable than they actually are.

the only classes that should even consider greater twf are the 5 full martial characters, of those the only ones who can really make it work well are fighters due to their built in to hit advantage, paladins when they are smiting, barbarians when they are raging and rangers when they are fighting their favoured enemy. cavaliers don't get a high enough to hit bonus fro their challange ability to make it worth while, and even monks who get it for free but it will still rarely land a hit.

of those classes paladin are in a unique possition to take advantage of gtwf as their cha bonus is normally higher than an equal level fighters built in advantage (figher at level 20 would have +8 to hit and damage, paladin would have +8 at least to hit and up to +24 damage), barbarians rarely twf, and rangers could make use of it but only against their favoured enemy (max of +10 to hit and +10 damage) which is good but still not as advantageous as a paladin.

just noticed as well that you've put needs twf next to shield slam insted of improved shield bash btw.


Egoish wrote:
A quote too long...

Sorry, it wouldn't let me quote you 'cause it's too long...

The green is still a recommendation to players to pick up the feat. Also, I believe we have already discussed the "counting on Smite Evil" when calculating the value of other things. It's not something that I am comfortable doing in a guide. In a blueprint, it would be another matter.

Also, according to the core rulebook, Improved Shield Bash requires Shield Proficiency only, while Shield Slam requires Improved Shield Bash, Two-Weapon Fighting and a base attack bonus of +6. It is in the correct place.


My apologies, it is right. Not sure why but i thought imp shield bash needed twf, my mistake.


Egoish wrote:
My apologies, it is right. Not sure why but i thought imp shield bash needed twf, my mistake.

That's all right. I would have thought that it would have needed it too, since it only makes sense.


Added in some missing spells.

Sovereign Court

First off, pretty good guide. Thank you.

One thing I didn't see mentioned was in regards to the Castigator build. Someone already mentioned wielding a one-handed weapon two-handed so you can have the ability to use a shield as a backup.

A Paladin I built for PFS further expands on that idea: use a one-handed weapon with a Quickdraw Light Shield and the Quick Draw feat. If I'm reading the Quickdraw Light Shield text correctly, you can start your turn with a Scimitar and Shield, spend a free action to put away your shield, free action to wield the Scimitar two-handed and Power Attack. Then, use the free action to wield a Scimitar one-handed again and another free action to put on the Shield again.

It does take a lot of free actions, which your GM may limit. But if you're allowed, you get a good AC while still dishing out damage (and can still Lay on Hands yourself if needed).


Entilzha wrote:

First off, pretty good guide. Thank you.

One thing I didn't see mentioned was in regards to the Castigator build. Someone already mentioned wielding a one-handed weapon two-handed so you can have the ability to use a shield as a backup.

A Paladin I built for PFS further expands on that idea: use a one-handed weapon with a Quickdraw Light Shield and the Quick Draw feat. If I'm reading the Quickdraw Light Shield text correctly, you can start your turn with a Scimitar and Shield, spend a free action to put away your shield, free action to wield the Scimitar two-handed and Power Attack. Then, use the free action to wield a Scimitar one-handed again and another free action to put on the Shield again.

It does take a lot of free actions, which your GM may limit. But if you're allowed, you get a good AC while still dishing out damage (and can still Lay on Hands yourself if needed).

I address the sword-and-board type in the Antipaladin section, where it is a much better build option than for the Paladin given the nature of what you're likely to be doing as an Antipaladin. This is not to say, of course, that it is an impossible build option for the paladin, merely suboptimal for a player character given the fact that such heroes are typically not one-dimensional.

However, as noted in the guide, if you "power turtle" (that is, possess an armor class making you nigh-invulnerable to foes), an intelligent foe (and by extension, a clever DM) will avoid wasting energy on the power-turtle of the sword-and-board paladin and go after their allies first, saving the paladin for last when your foes can use pack-tactics to bring you down. It's the same tactics that you, as a player, would use on your opponents - go after the weaker allies and then take down the boss. Since as a castigator paladin, you actually want to be saving your allies from hits, the power-turtle actively discourages that from happening. It's great for solo-tactics, but against intelligent foes, you'll soon find that they've realized that you're too tough a nut to crack and they'll move on to easier prey, like your party wizard. Don't spend your time chasing after them; encourage them to come to you. Be willing to take a few hits for the team.


Haven't read the whole thread so sorry if this already came up but I think you rated the Half-Orc too low for the Castigator. or at least you should mention he following:

Half-Orcs can get a bite attack from a trait, by giving up Ferocity (probably not a good idea) or even by picking a feat. Castigators aren't that feat-starved, so getting Razortusk should be totally possible.

Sure, the Bite does only minimal damage and won't be able to pierce through any kind of DR. And that's where Smite Evil shines.

The Bite doesn't weaken your weapon attacks in the slightest and is an additional attack made at -5. Won't connect reliably but often enough to grant some serious extra damage when you add a high strength score, Power Attack and Smite Evil (and maybe Divine Favor). Come to think of it, with smite evil and divine favor, the bite should actually be pretty reliable.


Great thread.
Dotting for my 16 year old who is playing a paladin in my Carrion Crown game.


Your guide is absolutely fantastic :) the best part IMO is the rp advices on paladin and anti-paladin, it has really clarified well the way to play a paladin. Because of this I want to try and play a paladin (I've always hated paladins for the holy pain idea of gameplay) inspired by your RP advices on how to play one.

Might you be adding any RP advices etc. about the fall of a paladin to become an antipaladin or vice versa like antipaladin redeeming himself or becoming good.

Thank you for the fantastic guide again :)


One thing I'm surprised didn't come up for equipment suggestions for the anti-paladin is getting a weapon with the conductive quality. Being able to smack an enemy with your sword and add in the Touch of Corruption damage and a Cruelty seems like a very good option to me.

Also, a couple of little corrections:

1. You state that the Eldritch Heritage feats will only get you a +2 Strength. The Abyssal and Orc Bloodlines both actually go all the way up to +6 strength.

2. The entry on Improved Devastating Strike seems either badly worded or confused. It states that the feat gives a bonus to confirming critical hits. So far so good, but then the rest of the entry says that the expands your weapon's crit range (resulting in weapons with a 8-20 crit range). That's ... not how a bonus on confirming critical hits works.


Sir Dante, thank you for your praise of the Guide. I felt it was very, very important to work on ways to role-play your paladin other than what people think of as the standard paladin portrayal (which is boring). I may yet add role-playing advice about the fall of the paladin into an antipaladin, but I must admit that it's not really relevant to an optimisation guide; that's something that you'd role-play through with your GM.

Chengar Qordath, while I did add in your suggestions about the Conductive weapon ability and clarified the entry on Improved Devastating Strike (thank you very much for pointing those out), I feel that it's important to note that you require at least the Improved Eldritch Heritage feat to gain access to the 9th level powers that grant up to +6 Strength for the Abyssal and Orc bloodlines. If you could get it with only the Eldritch Heritage feat, it would be worth it. Expending two feat picks on +6 Strength is suboptimal. However, that does point out that taking the Eldritch Heritage feat is a poor choice in general, which I will correct immediately.

Thanks for the feedback!

Contributor

Personally, I would bump the halfling down from Blue to Green on the Archer Paladin. Even though the paladin benefits from having a non-size dependent source of damage (aka Smite Evil), it is also among the most situationally applied abilities of its ilk. The Strength penalty (which affects your ability to use Composite Bows) and the fact that your weapons are 1 damage die smaller than a Medium creature puts the halfling below a human in my opinion.

Also, under Antipaladin, you advise that the turtle-style is not a good option for paladins. That is completely, entirely, utterly false, if only because of the Antagonize feat. That particular paladin build is based around using your impressive Charisma and attack bonus to control the battlefield and its definitely one that deserves a mention in your guide.


The guide has no love for Unsanctioned Knowledge?

Yes, it requires a 13 in what is normally your dump stats, but learning spells off the Bard, Cleric or Inquisitor list has lots of potential.


Bodhizen wrote:
Expending two feat picks on +6 Strength is suboptimal. However, that does point out that taking the Eldritch Heritage feat is a poor choice in general, which I will correct immediately.

Not sure I agree there; +6 strength is a +3 to hit and damage, which plenty of characters would love to get for two feats. Not to mention that the base Eldritch Heritage feats can be useful as well.


There are some uses for EH, I just wouldn't pick that one.

Deep Earth for instance has lots of utility (ranged trip based on your charisma, Stonecutting+Tremorsense+X-ray vision and Earth Glide, something that even with 3.5 material is hard for a PC to get. Deep Rock replaces the questionable 9th level ability with swift action for DR 10/Adamantite which is workable).

Verdant gives the same trip power, the 3rd power removes the need to eat and reduces the need to sleep (It's a cheep ring, but possibly useful in some campaigns)

Sylvan, if you are allowed to take it (Sage FAQ implies yes), supercharges your mount (In PF, animal companions stack, so you have Paladin-4+Character level -5)), and is pretty handy


Alexander Augunas wrote:


Also, under Antipaladin, you advise that the turtle-style is not a good option for paladins. That is completely, entirely, utterly false, if only because of the Antagonize feat. That particular paladin build is based around using your impressive Charisma and attack bonus to control the battlefield and its definitely one that deserves a mention in your guide.

Antogonize have been nerfed, now is more like a joke.


Alexander Augunas: Thank you for your input. I still rate Halflings as a great choice due to increased saving throws and skill bonuses, but it's really that increase in saving throws that helps to keep them a fantastic choice, even with diminished damage dice.

Also, the Antagonize feat is going to eat up a standard action to force foes to attack you via an Intimidate check. That's going to seriously impact your ability to deal damage to your foes and you can only pull the attacks of a single creature onto you as per the wording of the feat. It's got some merit when used against the Big Bad Evil Guy, but for crowd control purposes, it's sub-par since . While I recognize that you probably realise this, paladins in Pathfinder don't "hold threat" like paladins in World of Warcraft, and that does bear repeating. Also, once it attacks you once, it's not forced to do so again and you can't make it attack you again until tomorrow. You're better off making yourself a juicier target and keep on healing yourself (or get your party healer to do it).

deuxhero: Thank you for your input as well. Since it requires you to bump up your dump stat in order to acquire it, that's going to seriously impact your other attributes, which will seriously impact what you're getting out of your other skills and feats. For four spells, this is a dubious proposition at best unless you're focusing on being a paladin who relies upon spells, which is not the best use of your paladin.

Chengar Qordath: +3 to hit and damage is great. Really, it is. But the two feat choices that you're sacrificing could quite potentially do much more in damage than +3 on a hit. It's the +3 to hit that's the great part about it. With all of the items you could get to increase your chance to hit (and yes, I am aware that this would stack with any of them), I don't see it as worth using two feats to get claws (which aren't that great) or the ability to grant a morale bonus to someone else in order to then select the second feat to get a +3 to hit (and damage, yes) at 17th level... What you give up in exchange for that is not an optimal choice. Examining it on its own, it looks attractive, but I do have to consider (as has been rightfully pointed out in this thread) how that's going to affect other choices. There are better ways to increase your chances to hit both before and after 11th level.

However, I'll mention it, if for no other reason than to point out the potential bear-trap that it is.


It isn't THAT heavy a hit, and there are useful utility spells (Share spells Feather Step is nice for a charger for instance)


deuxhero wrote:

There are some uses for EH, I just wouldn't pick that one.

Deep Earth for instance has lots of utility (ranged trip based on your charisma, Stonecutting+Tremorsense+X-ray vision and Earth Glide, something that even with 3.5 material is hard for a PC to get. Deep Rock replaces the questionable 9th level ability with swift action for DR 10/Adamantite which is workable).

Verdant gives the same trip power, the 3rd power removes the need to eat and reduces the need to sleep (It's a cheep ring, but possibly useful in some campaigns)

Sylvan, if you are allowed to take it (Sage FAQ implies yes), supercharges your mount (In PF, animal companions stack, so you have Paladin-4+Character level -5)), and is pretty handy

Very true. The strength boosting bloodlines tend to be the ones that most melee classes get really excited over (since it improves their ability to hit and hurt things), but there's a lot to be said for the utility and versatility boosts other bloodlines give. They let you do a whole lot of things that martial classes normally don't get to do.


The guide underates Abadar’s Truthtelling. It's will negates yes, but you, and everyone else, know that it has been negated because it also negates the "Abadar's mark" part of the spell (unlike the actually inferior Zone of Truth, which as an area spell, you don't know if it worked or not and the subject can lie freely) and remember that someone can intentionally fail a save (If you use it while questioning a suspect, the consequences of refusing absolute perfect lie detection that only requires a touch are obvious).

Additionally, sense motive CAN fail, and requires other people believing "I have a hunch he is telling the truth" (yes you can't lie, but 1:Others can pretend to be a Paladin 2:It isn't perfect) vs. one of the oldest known gods that is law incarnate.

I'm not saying you should worship Abadar just to get it, but the spell works when it is supposed to.


deuxhero: Actually, if you Will-save against Abadar's Truthtelling when it's cast upon you, the symbol never appears above you, so you can't tell if they're telling the truth or not, so no one will know if it's been negated or if the spell failed. While there is a mechanical difference between failing your concentration check and the Will save negating the spell, from a story perspective, the spell just fails to work.

The spell is not a good pick. It's too easy to resist. Even Caleb T. Gordon's Spell Guide rates Zone of Truth as "Bad", and Abadar's Truthtelling is no better of a spell.

I like to cross reference for other peoples' opinions, just to make sure I'm not completely off base. :)


One point of correction from the Archer Paladin section:

Quote:
Vishkanya: They have the right combination of stat bonuses and penalties, and a fair assortment of other useful racial traits, including some skill bonuses, but the poison resistance is quite useful, as is the ability to envenom your own arrows. This is a solid, if unconventional choice.

Envenoming arrows would be great for most characters. Not so for a Paladin who specifically is forbidden from using poison in the code of conduct. Antipaladin yes, but unless a GM has a god that allows hir paladins to use poison, then this particular option is not usable. (Poison resistance, of course, is certainly useful.)


Bodhizen wrote:

deuxhero: Actually, if you Will-save against Abadar's Truthtelling when it's cast upon you, the symbol never appears above you, so you can't tell if they're telling the truth or not, so no one will know if it's been negated or if the spell failed. While there is a mechanical difference between failing your concentration check and the Will save negating the spell, from a story perspective, the spell just fails to work.

The spell is not a good pick. It's too easy to resist. Even Caleb T. Gordon's Spell Guide rates Zone of Truth as "Bad", and Abadar's Truthtelling is no better of a spell.

I like to cross reference for other peoples' opinions, just to make sure I'm not completely off base. :)

Uh, reread my post, that's exactly why I said it was better than it is rated.

Zone of truth is useless because it is an area spell (specifically stated in the save rules to be the one kind of spell that you don't know if someone saved against or not) and has no visual feedback on if they saved and the low DC makes it easy for even a commoner to resist, so you have no solid proof someone isn't ling.

None of that is a problem with Abadar's truthtelling. If you make the save to negate the "can't lie" effect (or are immune to [mind-effecting] for whatever reason), you also negate the "Abadar's Symbol appears above your head" effect, so you can't pretend to be effected (and as a touch spell, the person casting it knows directly per the save rules). You can just tell an NPC to fail their save against it and if they don't comply (which you can tell), that is ALSO very useful information for an investigation quest ("Old Man Jenkins refuses to answer questions under Abadar's Truthtelling. He is hiding something.").

If you are using it outside of civilized space and play that kind of Paladin, just whack the golbin/kobold/whatever around someone if they refuse to fail the save.


Paladin of Baha-who?, thank you for pointing that out. I will update accordingly.

deuxhero,

I don't think you're understanding. None of the rest matters. If the spell fails to work, it fails to work, and the save to resist it isn't very high, so the spell's not all that likely to work anyway. If the spell fails, it doesn't give you any reason as to why it failed. I see nothing in the rules that explicitly states that you know your target resisted (you're inferring that since you do not sense when creatures succeed on saves against effect and area spells, you do sense when they succeed on saves against touch spells; not that Abadar's Truthtelling isn't an "effect" spell anyway). Using your example, why would Old Man Jenkins just allow you to cast some random spell upon him anyway?

Since the spell is so easy to resist (DC 15), the spell is just not that effective, and therefore, not great. You'll likely gain no absolute truths with its casting. I understand you like the spell, but just because you like it doesn't make it any better at doing what it's intended to do.


Under "Succeeding on a Saving Throw". "Likewise, if a creature's saving throw succeeds against a targeted spell, you sense that the spell has failed. You do not sense when creatures succeed on saves against effect and area spells.".

Under the helpfully titled "Voluntarily Giving up a Saving Throw". "A creature can voluntarily forgo a saving throw and willingly accept a spell's result. Even a character with a special resistance to magic can suppress this quality".

You aren't sneaking up on old man Jenkins and tagging him, you are telling him "Answer a few of your questions under great Abadar's gaze and we can remove you as a suspect".


Yes, I am aware of the relevant text; it explicitly states that you sense that the spell has failed, but says nothing about you sensing that the spell was resisted. Sensing that the spell has failed tells you nothing. You sense that the spell has failed if you fail your concentration check. There's no thematic differentiation to your character, only to you as a player.

Should Old Man Jenkins not want to be the subject of your spell, for whatever reason, simply making his save against your spell does not make him anything more than a suspect; not evil, not guilty, and likely not any friendlier to you for forcing him to submit to your magic under duress.

But all of that is irrelevant. Old Man Jenkins can resist your spell on a DC 15, keeping it a waste of your time and spell picks.


i would definitly add the Tieflings descended from Demons, the Pitborn, as a race for melee antipaladins. +2 to Strength and Charisma against -2 to Intelligence and the connection to the Abyss would fit very good. Same probably goes for the Div-descendant Spitespawn (minor NE, but penalty to Wisdom instead of Intelligence).
They can be found in The Bastards of Erebus (first book of Council of Thieves) or as a table at d20srd on their entry in "Monsters as PCs". and than there is of course Blood of Fiends.


Irbis wrote:
i would definitly add the Tieflings descended from Demons, the Pitborn, as a race for melee antipaladins. +2 to Strength and Charisma against -2 to Intelligence and the connection to the Abyss would fit very good. Same probably goes for the Div-descendant Spitespawn (minor NE, but penalty to Wisdom instead of Intelligence).

They don't make shabby melee Paladins either (and I always enjoy the irony of a Tiefling Paladin).


Irbis: Thanks for your input. I'm currently in the process of converting this guide into a nicely formatted .pdf file. I'd add in the Tiefling variant if I wasn't converting the guide already, but I am putting in Tiefling variants in my initial Inquisitor guide I'm working on. Good call! You'll see them in the .pdf file.


Your guide is very well written, Bodhizen. It gave me an insight in the "new" paladin - coming from 3.5. Even tough one can't do much wrong with the Castigator.
I appreciate your roleplay guide. I would like to see more guides having some section about roleplay archetypes. More people should think about that first before building a char. Good work.


Thank you very much, Dudemeister. I'm also working on something similar for my Inquisitor Guide.

Here, enjoy a preview...

A Roleplay Preview from Bodhi's upcoming Guide to the Optimal Inquisitor:
Just because you’re the inquisitor doesn’t mean that you must bring about your own version of the “Spanish Inquisition” to the table, which could not only get tedious, but could get you and your companions into far more trouble than it’s worth. There are a multitude of roles that you can serve, and we’ll examine just a few of them.

The Cult Leader: This type of Inquisitor requires a group of followers to do his or her bidding and stamp out their opposition. Maybe you’re a subsect of your god’s religion and it’s your goal to bring the flock back to a purity that is no longer present among the “faithful”. You’re possibly a rogue agent, actively working against the clerical hierarchy of your chosen religion, though with good reason (at least in your own mind).

Quote:

“Heresy is like a tree, its roots lie in the darkness whilst its leaves wave in the sun and to those who suspect nought it has an attractive and pleasing appearance. Truly, you can prune away its branches, or even cut the tree to the ground, but it will grow up again ever the stronger and ever more comely. Yet all awhile the root grows thick and black, gnawing at the bitter soil, drawing its nourishment from the darkness, and growing even greater and more deeply entrenched.”

- The Chronicles of Horus Heresy

You probably don’t do all your own “dirty work”, either. You’ve got flunkies (or you will later on) who will take care of more basic tasks so that you can concentrate on truly punishing those who have “strayed from the path”. Watch out, though, ‘cause this role might just make you a target (and perhaps even unpopular with your adventuring companions, too)!

Useful Skills: Performance (Oratory), Knowledge (Religion), Sense Motive, Intimidate and Bluff or Diplomacy will be the primary skills for you, and when you reach 7th level, you’re going to want to pick up Leadership for sure. Directing your cult is going to take a lot of work, but you’re up to the task!


A friend of mine thought about building a kind-of-paladin-inquisitor. A holy warrior of a chaotic good deity would works nice. There are many archetypes to refine that concept.


If I'm not mistaken, your deity has to be within one step of your alignment. A chaotic good deity would not serve; you'd need either a lawful good, lawful neutral or neutral good deity.


you might want to look at the fey foundling feat from the inner sea world guide. It will give you +2 hit points for each die rolled from lay on hands or other healing.

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