My party is playing through the wrath of the righteous campaign, and it has come to the point where I have to choose which divine bond I would like to go with. Ether I can bond with my weapon (The Holy sword Radiance) or I can bond with a mount (I have named him Strider). I have thought about both options and run the numbers but I can't decide what to do. We just finished the Worldwound Incursion, and are heading into the Sword of Valor. Any help?
I recommend Weapon Bond 110%.
One problem with using an artifact is that you cannot enhance it yourself. That leaves you at the mercy of the weapon's normal special properties and enhancement. I don't have my books in front of me, so I cannot recall what all Radiance eventually gets, but with a Paladin weapon bond you can add up to a +6 worth of enhancements and special abilities, including Keen, Speed, Brilliant Energy, and Axiomatic.
On the other hand, a mount requires magic items to have better survival, you need a couple feats to really take advantage of it, and you are using a sword, not a lance anyway. And all that is even ignoring if you ever have trouble charging.
If you do decide to go with a mount, you will want to make friends with a Cleric with a Karma prayer bead and Greater Magic Weapon to get a higher enhancement bonus - and that doesn't even stack with Radiance's normal bonuses, Weapon Bond does.
My advice, I really recommend the Weapon Bond.
Personally, unless you wanted to make a mounted paladin I usually go for the weapon bond.
Being able to increase your enhancement bonus on your weapon is great. As are being able to add holy, speed, or brilliant energy enhancements to your weapon on the fly without having to spend the money. More than anything this can save you a lot of money on your weapon. And don't forget that Holy gives you 2d6 extra damage against all evil creatures and counts as good aligned for bypassing DR. Playing wrath of the righteous that is probably incredibly valuable.
In my opinion, unless you had planned on being a mounted warrior in the first place, I would just stick with the weapon bond.
The only disadvantage to the weapon bond is that it's capped at a +10 effective bonus. Radiance eventually ends up being a +7 equivalent on it's own, so by the end game you'll only have +3 you can add to it.
For the paladin I'm playing, I went with a two-weapon fighting build wielding the longsword and a shield. I use Dual Enhancement to put the leftover bonuses on the shield.
Yeah, but smite evil gets around DR/good anyway, and as a Paladin you'll do plenty of damage. I don't know how dungeony the campaign you're playing is, but if it's outdoors pretty regularly, the horse lets you move 50' in full plate and still attack. Not as much straight damage, certainly, but a horse has good perks. It's also an all day effect, and you can summon him to your side whenever you need to, making him much more available than a Cavalier's mount.
Yes, but you may not want to use up a Smite on a simple enemy since you have pretty limited use (only 4 enemies per day at level 10). But you have a divine weapon bond for 1 minute per paladin level. That's 10 minutes, or about 10 combats. And you can get through the DR of those evil creatures with holy in those combats, not just 1.
It certainly lasts longer than smite, but the divine bond can't be broken up into 1 minute increments, so unless your fights are back to back (which they may very well be) it's really only 2x a day at level 10, not 10x. It's still a good option, don't get me wrong, but it's not necessarily an all day thing.
Weapon bond with Radiance
At 20th level you could easily be swinging a weapon with no equal.
The fact it is a legendary artifact makes it near impossible to break. So you never have to worry about your bonded weapon breaking and loosing that ability of your class.
Mounts are cool and I play Mounted characters...but unless that is your main focus your not going to be using your mount for much more than Travel. Thus it is not worth the bond.
Honestly as a paladin your going to be getting lots of Juicy drops. Next book will drop very good armors for you and you already have radiance. Your going to feel spoiled lol.
As the game progresses I was going to take Oath against fiends. This opens me up to charm spells but creates a no tp zone around my character. At 9th level It also allows me to split up my Divine bond.
Great Plan. Radiance wont need too much Bond Boosting unless you just want to overkill stuff. Giving your Armor/Shield a small Boost would be a good thing. Fortification is not a cheap ability but is a very good one.