Bodhizen's Guide to the Optimal Paladin & Antipaladin


Advice

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Bodhizen's Guide to the Optimal Paladin wrote:
Healing Stats: (Assuming Level 20, Charisma 18/24, Greater Mercy, and Bracers of the Merciful Knight) 12d6 points of healing 19 times per day from Lay on Hands; 12-72 points of healing per use of Lay on Hands for a total of 228 to 1,368 points of healing per day. This excludes healing from healing spells.

Thanks for this, but while this is great information, Its not empirical information. I got some from Skaldi the Tallest.

Bodhizen wrote:
Now regarding Osyluth Guile, you're certainly welcome to your opinion, but I don't usually predicate any particular feat on how good its requirements are unless it's excessive in how much is required to take the feat. One prerequisite feat and 8 skill ranks in a skill you might invest in anyway is not what I would call excessive. Also, as Dodge bonuses are stackable, the Dodge feat is not anything even remotely resembling a "tax". As combat medic paladins are not intended to be front-liners (though they can sub in to take a hit), giving up offense is not an issue.

Thats all my comment was, my opinion. Just trying to be helpful. All the other blue entries felt like must have feats. While Osyluth Guile is nice if you can work it in, I dont feel its the same caliber as the other blue feats. Also in my defense, I never used the word excessive. My current PFS paladin feels feat and skill starved. So it was just another view on the feat.

And Thank you for the Guide. I know its alot of work.


You're welcome, and thank you for your commentary on the guide. I would just like to point out that just because you don't use a word doesn't mean that I can't (particularly when I'm not putting that word in your mouth).

Best wishes. :)


Can anyone else access the guide? Whenever I try it says that I need permission.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
rpdjoker wrote:
Can anyone else access the guide? Whenever I try it says that I need permission.

Same for me. Stupid Google Drive.


It's working just fine for me.

[url=https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B9vv1a7v3y5BSGpObWxScUs1YlU/edit]Link here.]/url]

Lantern Lodge

@ Chengar Qordath, your link works, but the link from a Guide to the guides don't. Faces same need permission.


Link here

Sorry Chengar it was just bugging me your link wasn't formatted correctly.

Silver Crusade

First, I'd like to thank you for the amazing work you've done there. I poured hours reading and re-reading this guide, it's absolutely fantastic.

As an avid tiefling fan, I'd like to point out a couple of things that might worth noting in the guide:
1. The tiefling favored class bonus is amazing, easily 10 times better than just taking 1hp per level.
2. The racial feat Ancestral Scorn combines really well with cornugon smash. For a castigator paladin who has feats to spare, that'd give free-action potentially debilitating debuff vs evil-outsiders that you can attempt multiple times per round. Worth 20% of the feasts of a castigator, and as a paladin you WANT to be the one confronting the evil outsiders..


Sebastian the third,

Thank you for your input. I appreciate your comments on the Tiefling favored class bonuses, which you are absolutely correct upon. I'm not sure that it's enough to change any rating advisement, but it is worth noting. I will likely include it in Version 4.0 (which has no current estimated due-date).

Ancestral Scorn is quite an interesting feat, but paladins (in general) do not have feats to spare, certainly not something that doesn't universally apply taking up 20% of their feat choices. However, it does warrant inclusion in other feats to consider. Thank you for pointing it out.

Right now, it's the only thing that is currently on my radar for inclusion that I can recall at the moment. If anyone has anything else that they think that I may have missed, I'd appreciate the kind reminder.

I'm considering a small section on niche builds, but if I do, I want to be perfectly explicit that it would be a limited section that would never include more than two or three builds to demonstrate that they are viable. I also want to be explicit that I strongly desire to avoid bloating the guide with niche builds.

Best wishes, all!

Grand Lodge

How exactly does Strike Back work? If I'm reading it correctly, any time a limb or weapon comes into reach to strike at you you get an attack back as if you had readied an attack against each individual hit. That sounds quite a bit better than Come and Get Me, held to be one of the best rage powers. Does it allow you to hit them regardless of distance for one attack as if you had readied? Do you get one attack against each foe who takes an attack or full attack action against you?

Sorry for the rules question, but I had to know why it got blue, as my first reading lends it to being a very powerful feat, and even the third is very strong. My paladin has taken the Greater Mercy and Ultimate Mercy feats on what is basically a Castigator, due to playing in PFS and not knowing party composition from game to game. At level 11 the feats I'm considering are the aforementioned Strike Back, Improved Vital Strike, and Critical Focus. Even following the guide, I'm not really sure which I should take at this point. I can retrain, and am thinking of taking a good look at my feats.


Kurthnaga wrote:

How exactly does Strike Back work? If I'm reading it correctly, any time a limb or weapon comes into reach to strike at you you get an attack back as if you had readied an attack against each individual hit. That sounds quite a bit better than Come and Get Me, held to be one of the best rage powers. Does it allow you to hit them regardless of distance for one attack as if you had readied? Do you get one attack against each foe who takes an attack or full attack action against you?

Sorry for the rules question, but I had to know why it got blue, as my first reading lends it to being a very powerful feat, and even the third is very strong. My paladin has taken the Greater Mercy and Ultimate Mercy feats on what is basically a Castigator, due to playing in PFS and not knowing party composition from game to game. At level 11 the feats I'm considering are the aforementioned Strike Back, Improved Vital Strike, and Critical Focus. Even following the guide, I'm not really sure which I should take at this point. I can retrain, and am thinking of taking a good look at my feats.

Strike Back requires a readied action, which means you not only have to give up your turn to stand and wait, but you also only gain one additional attack from Strike Back, where Come and Get me is a free action and provokes additional Attacks of Opportunity which do not interfere with your own turn.


Depending on deity and domain choice, I think the Temple Guardian archetype from ACG could be an interesting boost to a couple of Paladin types. Been doing a bit of thinking about that recently. Yeah, you lose spellcasting along with the Divine Bond and Aura of Justice. But with just that archetype, I can use it for both Archer Paladins and Castigator Paladins.

A Paladin of Shelyn with the Air domain/blessing would actually make a fairly solid archer build. Mostly due to the minor blessing removing penalties for distance and no AoOs when shooting, though the ability to fly to a better vantage point can't be denied.

A Paladin of Abadar with the Travel domain/blessing does seem initially like a strange thing, especially since the domain power and minor blessing overlap. However, it's still the ability to ignore difficult terrain to get in good position. The Travel domain also means 10 feet of extra movement, which I don't think anyone would pass up. And the Major Blessing is a teleport. Very good. So I think that one could go either Castigator or Archer type.

A Paladin of Torag with the Artifice domain/blessing has a lot going for it. You get at least two ways of damaging constructs, and the power to swap around weapon/armor bonuses or weapon abilities is great for ensuring your party is useful. I'd use it more for the Castigator build, but I can see the use in buffing the archers.


I don't think there are any blessings that can match the benefits you get from spellcasting. It's very, very hard to beat tricks like eaglesoul and bloodsworn retribution, or even lower level spells like hero's defiance and litany of righteousness. Plus all the goodies you can poach with Unsanctioned Knowledge like divine power.


+1 Giving up spell casting is almost always a poor trade.


rpdjoker wrote:

Link here

Sorry Chengar it was just bugging me your link wasn't formatted correctly.

Having noticed it, it bugs me too.


I also believe that the domain powers and blessings you might gain in exchange for just your spellcasting are not an equivalent or more advantageous exchange. Given the fact that you have to give up your divine bond and your aura of justice on top of it... You might be able to find one or two items that are flavorful exchanges, but nothing that measures up.


Question, you mention that the Oath of Vengeance Paladin is fantastic for the castigator because the OoV can give his allies smite evil damage bonus. Why is this better than the vanilla Paladin's Aura of Justice, which gives the Paladin's allies all of the Smite Evil bonuses, charisma to attack, level to damage and DR bypass? Is it because the Powerful Justice ability only consumes 1 smite evil and the Aura of Justice ability consumes 2 smite evils?


Yes.


pretty sure oathstacking was also brought up here (vengeance+fiends is baller for folks who love LoH flexibility)


Bodhi,

On the whole I really like your guide. I can tell you've put a lot of work into it, and I can tell from this forum that you've been listening to the input of others. I want to stress that I appreciate what you've done with it. There are two things that bother me about it however.

The first is this whole business of avoiding being a "power turtle." You insist that if your AC gets too high, your GM will simply never attack you. If this is the case you have a poor GM. Though there are always going to be reasons that come up for monsters to attack other characters (racial animosity, whoever happens to be closest, or other circumstantial factors), generally speaking monsters are going to (or aught to) attack who, according to what intelligence they have, is the biggest threat. This does of course mean you need to be able to bring the pain. However, even if a monster *is* intelligent to realize it's better off trying to kill your allies first, it's a bad GM that metagames his knowledge of your AC and their attack values and ignores you from the get-go.

Your guide describes a pattern of attacking, "drawing aggro," taking hits, and then using lay on hands as a swift action to heal your wounds. My thought is, will it really make any difference to a monster whether or not he can hit you if you just can heal the damage he does anyways? Whether or not the monsters are intelligent enough to grasp it, the "smart move" is either overwhelming you first (which will be easier thanks to your deliberately lower AC) or taking out your allies, which is the very thing you were trying to avoid.

The other thing that bothered me, and I'm trying to put this as carefully as I can, was the roles to play section. Now, I really appreciate that you have that section. Most optimization guides don't focus on the roleplay aspects one bit. My concern is that there are other ways to play a paladin than the ones you listed. Where is the classic chivalrous knight, for instance? Where is the virtuous knight who leads such a pure life he motivates others by example, and can cause feelings of guilt with a glance. Where is the humble knight who serves the poor and protects the weak? You obviously can't cover every way to play a paladin, but I felt like the section could be expanded on.

I hope this post doesn't come off as too negative. I wanted to address these things, but I don't want it to seem like I think your guide is rubbish.


Sir Cirdan wrote:

Bodhi,

On the whole I really like your guide. I can tell you've put a lot of work into it, and I can tell from this forum that you've been listening to the input of others. I want to stress that I appreciate what you've done with it. There are two things that bother me about it however.

The first is this whole business of avoiding being a "power turtle." You insist that if your AC gets too high, your GM will simply never attack you. If this is the case you have a poor GM. Though there are always going to be reasons that come up for monsters to attack other characters (racial animosity, whoever happens to be closest, or other circumstantial factors), generally speaking monsters are going to (or aught to) attack who, according to what intelligence they have, is the biggest threat. This does of course mean you need to be able to bring the pain. However, even if a monster *is* intelligent to realize it's better off trying to kill your allies first, it's a bad GM that metagames his knowledge of your AC and their attack values and ignores you from the get-go.

Sir Cirdan,

First off, thank you for your input on my guide.

To answer this question... To be quite honest, it has nothing to do with your GM metagaming. It has everything to do with the fact that when your enemies pound away on your armour and don't slow you down or break through your defenses, if they're played stupidly enough, they'll continue to bang away at you uselessly while you decapitate them. If your foes are Intelligence 3 or less, this probably makes sense. They're too stupid to realize that you're too tough to hit or hurt. However, if they're not cognitively impaired, they'll recognize that you're too tough of a nut to crack and go after easier prey.

I'm sure that if your life was at risk, you wouldn't repeatedly attack the being that's putting your life at risk when you can't hit or hurt them, unless you had no other choice. So, when you and your party face off against 15 goblins, three of them will go after you, and the other twelve will go after your four allies. When the remaining twelve realize that you're bad news, they're going to avoid you and try to "hit the squishies". As your legendary prowess grows, the orcish tribe that stands in your way next time will know that you're dangerous and do one of two things; either throw everything they've got at you, or avoid you like the plague until they have no other choice. Your legend grows further and word eventually spreads far and wide that your badassery is not to be matched. So, you expend your movement chasing after foes that you want to come to you.

Sir Cirdan wrote:
Your guide describes a pattern of attacking, "drawing aggro," taking hits, and then using lay on hands as a swift action to heal your wounds. My thought is, will it really make any difference to a monster whether or not he can hit you if you just can heal the damage he does anyways? Whether or not the monsters are intelligent enough to grasp it, the "smart move" is either overwhelming you first (which will be easier thanks to your deliberately lower AC) or taking out your allies, which is the very thing you were trying to avoid.

Well, it would be metagaming if monsters see that they can make you bleed, see that you heal yourself, and determine that you're invincible, certainly above and beyond the concept that they either cannot hit you, or cannot penetrate your armour. You want to strike a careful balance between making yourself an attractive target that your opponents want to go after and a party member that can overwhelm your foes anyway.

The whole point of avoiding power-turtling is to ensure that you're still an attractive target. It's going to matter in the small fights, and it's going to matter later on against the principal villains.

Sir Cirdan wrote:
The other thing that bothered me, and I'm trying to put this as carefully as I can, was the roles to play section. Now, I really appreciate that you have that section. Most optimization guides don't focus on the roleplay aspects one bit. My concern is that there are other ways to play a paladin than the ones you listed. Where is the classic chivalrous knight, for instance? Where is the virtuous knight who leads such a pure life he motivates others by example, and can cause feelings of guilt with a glance. Where is the humble knight who serves the poor and protects the weak? You obviously can't cover every way to play a paladin, but I felt like the section could be expanded on.

The classic chivalrous knight, virtuous knight or humble knight likely fall into the category of the harmoniser, depending on how you wish to play your character. The point of the roles to play isn't to show you how to make a chivalrous, virtuous or humble knight, but to show you how any sort of knight you choose to play could be presented. Your categories are largely the same, to be honest. If one is chivalrous, they possess the qualities of courage, courtesy and loyalty. If one is valiant, they possess the qualities of courage, bravery or heroism. If one is humble, they possess the qualities of modesty and courtesy.

What you choose to do as a paladin is up to you. If you wish to lead by example, you can do so and still be a harmoniser or eternal optimist, or even a holy pain (but that generally works out poorly). If you wish to serve the poor and protect the weak, both the harmoniser and eternal optimist will also likely work out for you.

The roles to play are more "dispositions" than adjective + noun. Some people are happy-go-lucky types that are always cheerful. Your chivalrous, virtuous, or humble knights can all be cheerful. Some people are grumpy or taciturn, even if they're not jerks about it. Your chivalrous knight could act that way, as could your virtuous knight. The humble knight might be more taciturn than grumpy. If you have any other solid suggestions for dispositions that paladins can adopt, I'm certainly willing to consider them for integration into the guide.

I hope that this helps you to understand where I've gone with the guide.

Sir Cirdan wrote:
I hope this post doesn't come off as too negative. I wanted to address these things, but I don't want it to seem like I think your guide is rubbish.

Healthy criticism makes the guide better. I welcome healthy criticism.

Best wishes!


Half-Orc needs to be a blue option for the Castigator Paladin. It has optimal feat economy with orc ferocity, avoids darkness miss-chance with dark-vision, and access to great combat feats such as furious focus.


Emmanuel Nouvellon-Pugh wrote:
Half-Orc needs to be a blue option for the Castigator Paladin. It has optimal feat economy with orc ferocity, avoids darkness miss-chance with dark-vision, and access to great combat feats such as furious focus.

Thank you for your interest in the Guide!

I've talked to a fair degree about such features in this discussion thread, and while I see the value in what you're saying, I don't see it as compelling to alter the colour-coded assessment as assigned, unless you have something more to add.

Thank you, though!


What are your opinions on the Hands of Valor feat? It seems like a good method for going nova on really important encounters once a day, and it's easy on your action economy since you activate it as part of Lay on Hands.


That feat seems quite nice although its only 1/day. I think it stacks with Smite Evil and Divine Favour and can be used on your allies too.

I can see a castigator paladin maybe taking this but probably not archer paladins (archery is very feat intensive).


Aratrok,

Thanks for your question!

I believe that the Hands of Valor feat has some merit in its use. While it's not something that you might use all the time, and it doesn't appear to be something that you can use on yourself (since it specifies that it works on an ally), it can give a pretty potent boost, even at low levels. It's not a must-have, but it's got merit. I'd rate it orange - the big drawback is that you only get to use it once per day. If it were once per day per ally, then I'd feel a lot more confident about a solid green rating.


Bodhizen wrote:

Aratrok,

Thanks for your question!

I believe that the Hands of Valor feat has some merit in its use. While it's not something that you might use all the time, and it doesn't appear to be something that you can use on yourself (since it specifies that it works on an ally), it can give a pretty potent boost, even at low levels. It's not a must-have, but it's got merit. I'd rate it orange - the big drawback is that you only get to use it once per day. If it were once per day per ally, then I'd feel a lot more confident about a solid green rating.

You count as your own ally.

Double dip Charisma on attack rolls with Smite Evil and Hands of Valor.

Dark Archive

FangDragon wrote:

That feat seems quite nice although its only 1/day. I think it stacks with Smite Evil and Divine Favour and can be used on your allies too.

I can see a castigator paladin maybe taking this but probably not archer paladins (archery is very feat intensive).

I actually see it as more of an Archery or TWF Paladin feat, your generic castigator with his two hander probably doesn't need the extra bonus to Hit things, but the additional penalties that can be stacked up by Archers and TWFers might actually make the added bonus useful enough if it helps ensure all those extra attacks actually hit. Although the rather brutal 1/day does severely impact just how useful it is going to be ultimately.


Tels wrote:
Bodhizen wrote:

Aratrok,

Thanks for your question!

I believe that the Hands of Valor feat has some merit in its use. While it's not something that you might use all the time, and it doesn't appear to be something that you can use on yourself (since it specifies that it works on an ally), it can give a pretty potent boost, even at low levels. It's not a must-have, but it's got merit. I'd rate it orange - the big drawback is that you only get to use it once per day. If it were once per day per ally, then I'd feel a lot more confident about a solid green rating.

You count as your own ally.

Double dip Charisma on attack rolls with Smite Evil and Hands of Valor.

Thank you for pointing that out. Even though you can use it on yourself, I wouldn't consider it green due to the once a day restriction. I do think it's got potential, though.

Best wishes!


Thank you for responding to my comments.

I see where you are going with the paladin roles now.

Let me approach my first comment from a different angle...

I still think though that your guide, by just flat out saying you should never get your AC too high because of power turtleing, is not taking into account the differences in play styles of GMs. I have GM'd and played under different GMs enough to know that the GM you have (and the gameplay decisions he makes, both in style and in tactics) makes a bigger difference than any other single consideration at the table.

I play with two guys who, when either is GMing, see it as an adversarial position and will actually try to kill your character (problems there I realize). To further complicate things that group is mixed of optimizers and non-optimizers, making relying on the party to pull it's pull it's weight a gamble. I use this as just one example of when not having as high an ac as possible is a bad move.

My point is your guide pretty much says there are no circumstances in which a paladin should make an aegis build, due to the high AC, yet you give no strictly mechanical reasons why a low ac is superior. Instead you base your assessment solely on how a GM *may* act, presumably based either on your experiences, how you would act, or both. I'm not discounted your reasoning either. Yet there may be players for whom having the highest AC possible *is* the best choice, because their GMs don't act in accordance to the philosophy you lay out. I'm not saying that what you say doesn't make sense, I'm just saying not every GM is going to be like that, and that can make what is *optimal* a very different thing.

You don't make a lancer if the terrain in your GM's campaign won't be conducive to making repeated charge attacks (which is the case in many campaigns, though obviously small riders have it easier). How is that very necessary disclaimer different from what you say about the aegis paladin?

I realize you probably aren't going to yield the point, especially since your guide has not included an aegis paladin ever to my knowledge, but I wanted you understand that the advice you're offering may not be applicable to every player in every circumstance, not that it's bad advice.

I hope everything I said made sense.


Sir Cirdan wrote:

Thank you for responding to my comments.

I see where you are going with the paladin roles now.

I'm very glad to have been helpful, good sir.

Sir Cirdan wrote:

Let me approach my first comment from a different angle...

I still think though that your guide, by just flat out saying you should never get your AC too high because of power turtleing, is not taking into account the differences in play styles of GMs. I have GM'd and played under different GMs enough to know that the GM you have (and the gameplay decisions he makes, both in style and in tactics) makes a bigger difference than any other single consideration at the table.

There is a disclaimer about the differing play-styles of different GMs in the Guide, and how the Guide cannot possibly account for every occurrence that may come up at your gaming table. Additionally, I've provided all of the resources one might need (at least up to the point of the last publication of the Guide) in order to power-turtle if one wishes.

Sir Cirdan wrote:
I play with two guys who, when either is GMing, see it as an adversarial position and will actually try to kill your character (problems there I realize). To further complicate things that group is mixed of optimizers and non-optimizers, making relying on the party to pull it's pull it's weight a gamble. I use this as just one example of when not having as high an ac as possible is a bad move.

If you're playing in a party of mixed optimisers and non-optimisers, the problem does not inherently lie in a lack of power-turtling (while your GMs pick off the weaker characters). However, in such a game, having an AC that is significantly higher than your opponents can defeat will actively encourage GMs like the ones you describe to make a meal of "softer targets", saving you and your ultra-high AC for dessert. Your paladin, on the other hand, has a much better chance of survival if he or she is consistently "drawing fire".

Sir Cirdan wrote:
My point is your guide pretty much says there are no circumstances in which a paladin should make an aegis build, due to the high AC, yet you give no strictly mechanical reasons why a low ac is superior. Instead you base your assessment solely on how a GM *may* act, presumably based either on your experiences, how you would act, or both. I'm not discounted your reasoning either. Yet there may be players for whom having the highest AC possible *is* the best choice, because their GMs don't act in accordance to the philosophy you lay out. I'm not saying that what you say doesn't make sense, I'm just saying not every GM is going to be like that, and that can make what is *optimal* a very different thing.

I'm going to respectfully disagree on two points, here. First off, I do not say that there are no circumstances under which a paladin should not make an aegis build (and interestingly enough, you're not likely to find mention of an "aegis build" with regard to paladins prior to my use of it in my Guide; I prefer that term to "sword and board"). I specifically rate the aegis build for a paladin as orange and state, "but they’re challenging to balance and feat-intensive. You’re going to be sacrificing a lot to get them to work properly."

Secondly, there are few wholly mechanical reasons for playing anything other than the single most effective build you can find, regardless of class, but there are thematic ones for playing specific builds that are not strictly optimal. Why would one play a healer build over an archer build? Mechanically, there's no specific reason beyond "it's optimal for the type of role I want to play". Not everyone is going to want to play an Archer build, but I could certainly slim down the Guide if I only presented the one ("true") build.

But here's the mechanical reason. You're going to take hits. You're going to want to take hits, because while you're taking hits, your allies aren't. Looking at this from a "What would a reasonable person do?" perspective, because we assume (by default) that your GM is a reasonable person, if you're fighting against an antagonist that you can't land a hit upon (or your hits don't hurt that opponent), but the antagonist's allies are beating up your party members, the reasonable person is going to switch focus mid-combat and wipe out the "softer targets" so that they can concentrate on the bigger baddie.

The same holds true for reasonable antagonists. Instead of pounding on you in impotent rage, they're also going to switch to "softer targets" mid-combat. This likely allows you to mop up with gleeful abandon, but you have a limited reach, limited move and limited number of attacks. Your usefulness as a tank doesn't lie in your ability to not take damage. Your usefulness as a tank lies in your ability to remain a target that your opponents think they can kill. If the Goblins of the Golden Horde keep bouncing their spears off of your shield and armor, they're going to know they can't hurt you. Continuing to stab away at you while you make use of their conveniently-provided experience-point-smorgasbord is insane, by definition.

So, mechanically, what is more advantageous? Letting the sorcerer die because you can't mow the goblins all down before their spears find his or her tender flesh, losing the sorcerer's spells and effectiveness in combat, or taking a couple of hits and keeping those goblins focused upon you? You have more hit points, the ability to self-heal as a swift action, and are probably under the influence of party buffs (which, by the by, won't show up in a urine test).

Lastly, in order to provide suitable challenges to you and your party, your GM has to "up their game" in order to hit and damage you. While there's nothing that stops your GM from overwhelming your party, if you raise the bar, you raise the challenge level for your party, not the GM. If other members of your party cannot take the same hits that you can, a stray sword stroke, arrow or spell that's capable of hitting you is likely capable of hitting your allies with greater ease. In searching for the pinnacle of armour class, you've put your allies at a disadvantage for not being able to keep up.

Effectively, mechanical advantage is not completely about your character alone.

Sir Cirdan wrote:
You don't make a lancer if the terrain in your GM's campaign won't be conducive to making repeated charge attacks (which is the case in many campaigns, though obviously small riders have it easier). How is that very necessary disclaimer different from what you say about the aegis paladin?

The lancer paladin's combat effectiveness is not solely based upon the charge attack, nor is it predicated upon the single largest advantage also being its single greatest weakness.

Sir Cirdan wrote:
I realize you probably aren't going to yield the point, especially since your guide has not included an aegis paladin ever to my knowledge, but I wanted you understand that the advice you're offering may not be applicable to every player in every circumstance, not that it's bad advice.

If you come up with a suitably convincing argument, I will gratefully concede the point. I would, however, like to point out that the Guide has always included the aegis antipaladin, which is mechanically similar and suitable for the purpose. It does, of course, carry the disclaimer about how it doesn't play particularly well with groups. So, I hope that you acknowledge that I have provided what you've asked for, even though I discourage it for paladins and encourage it for antipaladins.

Sir Cirdan wrote:
I hope everything I said made sense.

It did, and I thank you for taking the time to go over it with me.

Best wishes!

Dark Archive

So, I adore your guide, and I've read through it many times while making Paladins, from my goofy Forrest Gump Archer Paladin to my always-grinning Sarenrae Castigator Paladin.

I'm just curious, compared to the bog-standard Paladin, where do you think the Stonelord and Redeemer archetypes would fall on the Blue to Red scale? I think both are super flavorful and would be totally fun to play, but I'd like to hear your opinion on the matter. :)


Seranov,

Thank you very much for your praise of the Guide. It's something that I've worked hard on, and that still needs more work.

The Stonelord and Redeemer paladin archetypes make quite a few changes, and so they don't necessarily fit the builds in my Guide quite as well as the standard-issue paladin does. No matter their ratings, they're quite fun to play.

So, I'll start with the Stonelord first. They sacrifice many of the standard paladin abilities for a suite of defensive powers that make the paladin little more than a meat shield. It's great for solo play, because you're likely to withstand just about anything the GM can throw at you that isn't specifically keyed toward bypassing your defenses. Unfortunately, I can't answer how the Stonelord archetype would fall on the blue-to-red scale because it's essentially a brand new class, far more so than an archetype. It would require entirely new builds to take best advantage of the Stonelord's abilities. An aegis build would certainly be suitable, since that's what the Stonelord naturally lends itself to.

The [b]Redeemer[/i] archetype, on the other hand, is a rather weakened version of a paladin that is more for variety than for mechanical advantage. The abilities that it replaces are quite strong, and the powers that the Redeemer is granted are weak by comparison. It is not an archetype that I would recommend unless that specifically appeals to the role you've chosen to play.

I hope that's helpful to you.

Best wishes!


Have you thought about writing a Stonelord guide since by your own admission you consider it a separate class?

Dark Archive

Bodhizen wrote:

Seranov,

Thank you very much for your praise of the Guide. It's something that I've worked hard on, and that still needs more work.

The Stonelord and Redeemer paladin archetypes make quite a few changes, and so they don't necessarily fit the builds in my Guide quite as well as the standard-issue paladin does. No matter their ratings, they're quite fun to play.

So, I'll start with the Stonelord first. They sacrifice many of the standard paladin abilities for a suite of defensive powers that make the paladin little more than a meat shield. It's great for solo play, because you're likely to withstand just about anything the GM can throw at you that isn't specifically keyed toward bypassing your defenses. Unfortunately, I can't answer how the Stonelord archetype would fall on the blue-to-red scale because it's essentially a brand new class, far more so than an archetype. It would require entirely new builds to take best advantage of the Stonelord's abilities. An aegis build would certainly be suitable, since that's what the Stonelord naturally lends itself to.

The [b]Redeemer[/i] archetype, on the other hand, is a rather weakened version of a paladin that is more for variety than for mechanical advantage. The abilities that it replaces are quite strong, and the powers that the Redeemer is granted are weak by comparison. It is not an archetype that I would recommend unless that specifically appeals to the role you've chosen to play.

I hope that's helpful to you.

Best wishes!

I figured that was the general idea, but it's nice to hear it from you. :)

And I absolutely agree that Stonelord is pretty much a seperate class of its own. I actually am going to run one in a Way of the Wicked game (the DM gave me the okay to use it on an LE Antipaladin base) and I feel like it's going to be a lot of fun. It's pretty much a full-20 level Stalwart Defender with some neat toys, and that's something that is really intriguing to me.

Additionally, I know you're already maintaining this and the Inquisitor guide, but do you have any intentions of making a guild for any of the ACG classes? I really do love your format and generally hold your opinion in high regard, so I'd be psyched to see another guide by you!


Bodhizen wrote:

The Guide is a work in progress, and it's based upon some advice that I've taken to heart in playing Paladins, but it's my crack at a guide. Any constructive commentary is welcome. You can find the guide located here, and you are free to comment on the comment stream on Google Documents as well.

Thank you for your time.

any suggestions for a pally to only do nonlethal damage on those he deems a "redeemable" ? I know there are feats (or traits, not sure) to do nonlethal damage with bludgeoning weapons without penalty, and I think there's an option with swords as well. I also know there's a feat to intimidate the target when you deal nonlethal damage.


Grond wrote:
Have you thought about writing a Stonelord guide since by your own admission you consider it a separate class?

Grond,

I have considered it, but it's a lot of work to put together a Guide. I'm not really sure that I have the time to really devote to it right now. I suppose that if I had some folks working on it with me, I might give it a go.

Seranov wrote:

I figured that was the general idea, but it's nice to hear it from you. :)

And I absolutely agree that Stonelord is pretty much a seperate class of its own. I actually am going to run one in a Way of the Wicked game (the DM gave me the okay to use it on an LE Antipaladin base) and I feel like it's going to be a lot of fun. It's pretty much a full-20 level Stalwart Defender with some neat toys, and that's something that is really intriguing to me.

Additionally, I know you're already maintaining this and the Inquisitor guide, but do you have any intentions of making a guild for any of the ACG classes? I really do love your format and generally hold your opinion in high regard, so I'd be psyched to see another guide by you!

Well, I'm not really finished with the Inquisitor Guide, but work has really eaten up a ton of my time, so I haven't been able to get to the deities like I've wanted to.

I was also interested in writing a Guide for Warpriests, but I can see that someone has already beaten me to it.

I have given some thought to putting together a nicer Guide format for other peoples' Guides, but that isn't something that I'd do for free. No one's ever asked me to spruce up their Guide before.

As for my opinions, I'll admit that I'm a tough sell when it comes to new ideas for my Guides, but I'm not intractable. My Paladin Guide never used to include information for a Healer Paladin build, and I'd be willing to entertain more information on a Warpath Paladin (raging paladin) build, if someone wanted to show me some more data.

You never know what the future holds.

Thank you both for your interest and input on the Guide!

Dark Archive

Speaking of a Raging Paladin, I had the concept of a Sacred Servant/Oath of Vengeance Paladin of Ragathiel with the Rage subdomain. Would be super neat, but it takes quite a while to come online.

Axelthegreat wrote:
any suggestions for a pally to only do nonlethal damage on those he deems a "redeemable" ? I know there are feats (or traits, not sure) to do nonlethal damage with bludgeoning weapons without penalty, and I think there's an option with swords as well. I also know there's a feat to intimidate the target when you deal nonlethal damage.

I'm not nearly as well-read on the subject, but I did throw together a Redeemer Paladin a while back that was just this kind of concept. If you worship Sarenrae, you can use the Blade of Mercy trait that allows you to do nonlethal damage with slashing weapons (and get +1 nonlethal damage on top of that!) and combine it with Enforcer to make Intimidate checks whenever you hit stuff with those weapons. From level 1. It's a pretty awesome thing, and mixes super well with the Redeemer archetype (though you'd probably still want Power Attack at first level, and wait for level 3 for Enforcer).


Seranov wrote:

Speaking of a Raging Paladin, I had the concept of a Sacred Servant/Oath of Vengeance Paladin of Ragathiel with the Rage subdomain. Would be super neat, but it takes quite a while to come online.

Axelthegreat wrote:
any suggestions for a pally to only do nonlethal damage on those he deems a "redeemable" ? I know there are feats (or traits, not sure) to do nonlethal damage with bludgeoning weapons without penalty, and I think there's an option with swords as well. I also know there's a feat to intimidate the target when you deal nonlethal damage.
I'm not nearly as well-read on the subject, but I did throw together a Redeemer Paladin a while back that was just this kind of concept. If you worship Sarenrae, you can use the Blade of Mercy trait that allows you to do nonlethal damage with slashing weapons (and get +1 nonlethal damage on top of that!) and combine it with Enforcer to make Intimidate checks whenever you hit stuff with those weapons. From level 1. It's a pretty awesome thing, and mixes super well with the Redeemer archetype (though you'd probably still want Power Attack at first level, and wait for level 3 for Enforcer).

Oddly enough, I started a rough character build just after posting that, and I basically got the build you suggested. Aasimar paladin worshiping Iomedae (agreeing with her in all ways except favored weapon, greatsword FTW!)did end up getting the blade of mercy trait as well as the chosen child one (+900gp at the start) and starts off with a masterwork greatsword, masterwork half-plate, and power attack. So far, I like the build. (coming from someone who usually doesn't like paladins.)


Seranov wrote:
Speaking of a Raging Paladin, I had the concept of a Sacred Servant/Oath of Vengeance Paladin of Ragathiel with the Rage subdomain. Would be super neat, but it takes quite a while to come online.

It would also require a lot of cookies for your DM because unfortunately, as written, Sacred Servant cannot be applied at the same time as Oathbound because they both affect the Spells class feature indirectly. Neither outright says this though, so for enough cookies you could get away with it.

When it comes to the Sacred Servant though, I very much prefer the Travel Domain (available via Abadar) for speed advantages with the Domain Granted Power and Longstrider, as well as access to Fly and Dimension Door being added to the spell list, which opens up the Dimensional Dervish feat chain which is very strong because pounce.


+1 there marshmallow, though smite+vital strike line+furious finish with swift action fatigue removal puts you close to (a normal person's) pounce territory anyway.


It's time to update the Guide once again. Is there anything that any of you feel that the guide is sorely lacking?

Noted requests so far:

  • Warpath Paladin: It's still under consideration, but I'm still on the fence about it. (I am referring to a rage-powered paladin.)
  • Natural Attacker Paladin: It's under consideration, thanks to N. Jolly. (I must give credit where credit is due.)
  • A mention regarding Augment Summoning.
  • A mention regarding the Tiefling Favored Class Bonus.
  • A mention regarding Ancestral Scorn.
  • A mention regarding Hands of Valor.

Things that must be included:


  • Materials from Inner Sea Combat.
  • Materials from Inner Sea Gods.
  • Materials from Champions of Corruption.
  • Materials from People of the River.
  • Materials from People of the Stars.
  • Materials from Blood of the Elements.
  • Materials from Blood of the Moon.
  • Materials from the Demon Hunter's Handbook.

Care and consideration given to:

  • The Monster Codex and whether or not to include anything in specific from it.

If there's anything that I've missed, please feel free to offer a helping hand. I want to make the guide as complete as possible to help you and your games. Also, please note that I'm politely asking that you refrain from adding to any chorus of "Yes, this too, please." with regard to anything that I may be considering for inclusion in the Guide, unless you have some new material or perspectives that you can offer. I'm more than willing to listen and consider what you have to say.

As always, thank you for your interest in the Guide.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Well something that could be interesting but not really necessary, choosing the right kind of paladin/antipaladin npc to oppose party of pcs for GM.

With the monster codex, you could talk about the various options that are presented in the book and what you would suggest for monster combos with antipaladin/paladin including various archetypes.


On Monster's Codex:

There's the Fearmonger archetype in the Monster Codex, but it's pretty bugged (trades out Touch of Corruption but has special Cruelties??).

The book also has some pretty fair feats: Hurtful and Visceral Threat can be pretty good to Pallies/Antipallies.


Eltacolibre wrote:

Well something that could be interesting but not really necessary, choosing the right kind of paladin/antipaladin npc to oppose party of pcs for GM.

With the monster codex, you could talk about the various options that are presented in the book and what you would suggest for monster combos with antipaladin/paladin including various archetypes.

Eltacolibre,

Thank you for your interest in the Guide. I am concerned that your first point about choosing the right kind of paladin/antipaladin NPC to oppose parties of PCs for a GM is too open-ended for the Guide. I can see such a treatise covering several pages and, in the end, probably being far less helpful than the GM using their best judgment anyway.

With regard to the Monster Codex, it is not the intention of the Guide to cover the Monster Codex in its entirety, or even to give a synopsis of what's in it. If there are particular combinations that you feel would work out particularly well with paladins, or more likely antipaladins, that's certainly something worthy of consideration for inclusion. Do you have any specific suggestions that I might look into?

Best wishes!

Secret Wizard wrote:

On Monster's Codex:

There's the Fearmonger archetype in the Monster Codex, but it's pretty bugged (trades out Touch of Corruption but has special Cruelties??).

The book also has some pretty fair feats: Hurtful and Visceral Threat can be pretty good to Pallies/Antipallies.

I'd been eyeballing the Fearmonger archetype, and it's something I want to look over in greater detail before fully weighing in. Having said that, the Feed on Fear ability is pretty appealing at first glance, particularly when you figure in the fact that your Aura of Cowardice kicks in at 4th level. The real downside is its situational use - it only triggers when certain conditions apply to your own opponent, though you get a pretty good number of uses of it per day. I think if it triggered on any target within 30 feet (or so) that failed a save versus a fear-effect, it would be stellar, as your allies could induce fear in your foes to trigger its effects as well. I'm not so sure that it's worth the cost of your touch of corruption - you get more bang for your buck on damage than healing. The Frightening Cruelty ability looks worthwhile, though. By the time you can pull it off, you might be able to use it to nerf a powerful foe.

Thanks for drawing my attention to specific feats. I'll be sure to examine them carefully.

Best wishes!


I feel like... there is some feat or ability I recently came across that bears mention, but I can't recall what it is...

This is going to bother me all day. :(


How do you even apply Frightening Cruelty without Touch of Corruption btw


Secret Wizard wrote:
How do you even apply Frightening Cruelty without Touch of Corruption btw

An excellent question. Clearly, they're going to want to address that in errata, and I expect that they will. However as you point out, it's rather useless at present. The Fearmonger archetype is decidedly unworthy in its current state.


Bodhizen,

Why do you mark Channeled Revival as orange yet Ultimate Mercy as blue? Ultimate Mercy requires the material component where Channeled Revival does not and Channeled Revival translates to 6 uses of Lay on Hands rather than Ultimate Mercy's 10. Ultimate Mercy is also a 2 feat chain compared to just taking Channeled Revival directly. The only advantage of Ultimate Mercy is it can be grabbed earlier than Channeled Revival.

Thanks for the guide.


Uwotm8 wrote:

Bodhizen,

Why do you mark Channeled Revival as orange yet Ultimate Mercy as blue? Ultimate Mercy requires the material component where Channeled Revival does not and Channeled Revival translates to 6 uses of Lay on Hands rather than Ultimate Mercy's 10. Ultimate Mercy is also a 2 feat chain compared to just taking Channeled Revival directly. The only advantage of Ultimate Mercy is it can be grabbed earlier than Channeled Revival.

Thanks for the guide.

Ultimate Mercy acts as Raise Dead and doesn't require a material component if you choose to accept 1 negative level. Since it acts as Raise Dead, you have quite some time before you need to cast it.

Channeled Revival acts as Breathe of Life, and comes later. Breathe of Life has that requirement of needing to be cast within 1 round in order to revive a fallen comrade.

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