Aasimar Paladin Tank Help


We are about to start a new campaign and I am playing paladin for the first time and would like some advice on feats, traits, etc for being a tank paladin. I am an Aasimar with Archon hound blood and I want to play the tank that aggros enemy's or just takes my allies damage for them. Any help would be appreciated.

Dark Archive

Which or what kind of campaign? Different campaigns might have different needs and themes.

Why Archon blooded? It boosts a tertiary stat and a dump stat for paladins. Why not Angel blooded, for +2 Str +2 Cha, the primary paladin stats?

Pathfinder doesn't really have an "aggro" mechanic, so the best ways to fill a tank role are to be a big enough threat that they can't ignore you, while still being able to take the punishment.

I'm personally a fan of archetypes like Virtuoso Bravo, the pseudo-swashbuckler, because it has good mobility, high defenses, and solid damage. I also like combining it with defensive style chains like Crane Style or Archon style, which can synergize nicely with Opportune Parry and Riposte and your ability to heal yourself as a swift action. Those feats also work well (and require less of a feat tax) for the Iroran Paladin, the pseudo-monk.

For a more traditional paladin sort, the Sacred Shield archetype makes for a decent tank, sharing defensive abilities with allies. It's a good idea to invest in Two-Weapon Fighting with it, to ensure you have that "enough of a threat" covered, though the loss of offensive smite bonuses makes that a bit harder to land.

The Archon blooded is back story related and the DM has deemed no archetypes for classes. I also wanna avoid dual classing if possible, but will if deemed necessary. So I'm trying to find help from the feats and such.

Dark Archive

Without archetypes, you don't really have a lot of room for customization. Just go sword and board with two-weapon fighting and shield bash feats, or if you need to be more damage-oriented you can grab Power Attack and a greatsword.

If you want to get fancy and have an ally-protection theme, you can look into Vanguard Style, though the full chain requires a whole lot of feats, something paladins are short on relative to fighters.

There's such thing as a loradin, or just Oradin, which is just a paladin who dips in oracle for life link, IIRC, which is supposed to take half of your teammates damage away from them and onto you. Even if you're too tank to be a threat, you're taking damage for the team and paladins have great self healing.

As for normal paladins, sword and board will add a negligible 2 ac at the the cost of damage, feats and lay on hands. Going with a twohander will you make you a threat to the enemy and you can still use lay on hands. You can always go light shield or buckler to get lay on hands with a sword and board build but that usually costs you your shield bashing.

without an archetype to customize, your next point of customization is feats.

For a 'tank', you might try feats that do things with shields, such as Vanguard Ward.

Or how about this, wielding a longspear to start (requires a Dex of at least 15)

1 Combat Reflexes
3 Stand Still
5 Shield Focus
7 Shield Brace
9 Two-Weapon Fighting
11 Shield Slam

something like that. Basically, you protect your allies by being hard to move around (with Stand Still), and then when someone gets too close, you can bash/slam them farther away.

So being offensive seems to bebthe better move then. I feel like just getting myself up into the combat faster is going to go farther then staying back and trying to protect people. So would like a charger/bull rusher with the stand still and such feats work out. Just get in there and stop them from leaving. Also the DM is letting us have a free +1 enchantment to either armor or weapon starting, any suggestions?

If your GM means a +1 weapon or +1 armor then you get a +1 weapon; it's better and twice as valuable. If they mean a +1-equivalent property then training can save you a feat, or vampiric can help keep you on your feet, or fortuitous can be useful for a character build based on attacks of opportunity.

While Pathfinder does not have many aggros mechanics, that does not mean you cannot draw people to attack you. One way to do this is to make sure the enemy can hurt you, and then use your lay on hands to heal yourself. This is referred to as the masochist paladin. Since you want the enemy to be able to hit you, you don’t want a really high AC, but if your AC is to low you can’t heal yourself fast enough. This can be a little tricky to pull off. You also want to be able to do enough damage that when the enemy does get close enough you can kill them quickly. The best way to do this is probably to use a two handed weapon and heavy armor. Don’t invest heavily in other AC boosting items, but don’t completely ignore them. The idea is to have an AC low enough they have a reasonable chance to hit you, but not to the point you are a sitting duck.

For feats you want to focus on two things. First is boosting your healing so you can soak up the damage. It may be overused, but the feat Fey Foundling is probably the best feat for a paladin to boost his lay on hands. Greater Mercy and Extra Lay on Hands are also good feats for this build. The other essential feat for the build is Power Attack. Since Fey Foundling can only be taken at first level your build does not fully come online until 3rd level.

Choose mercies that will remove conditions you are likely to be affected by during the combat. Things like fatigued sickened or nauseated are what you want to concentrate on. Avoid things like diseased, shaken or frightened that will not affect you anyways. Also don’t use your lay on hands on other unless absolutely necessary. They are what is going to keep you alive and running out of them is going to put you at a severe disadvantage. Use wands of cure light wounds or even your spells if someone needs healing. This may seem counter to what a paladin should do, but your job is to kill evil. If you are dead you can’t kill anything.

There is one feat that will allow you to use an aggros like mechanic and that is the feat Antagonize. The Intimidate option allows you to force someone to attack you. Intimidate is not a class skill for a paladin but the trait bully will not only make it a class skill, but give you a +1 bonus. The only problem with this is paladins don’t get many skill points and to make this work you will probably need to max out intimidate. That leaves you with very few skill points for other things. If you do go this route ,look into picking up Cornugon Smash to allow you to attempt to demoralize your opponents as a free action.

Thunderlord wrote:
As for normal paladins, sword and board will add a negligible 2 ac at the the cost of damage, feats and lay on hands. Going with a twohander will you make you a threat to the enemy and you can still use lay on hands. You can always go light shield or buckler to get lay on hands with a sword and board build but that usually costs you your shield bashing.

I'm not nessessarily saying that sword and boarding is worth, but you are seriously underselling it.

A heavy shield doesn't give you +2 AC. It gives you a scaling bonus to AC, up to +7. You'll also note that a +2 set of armor is more expensive then both a +1 suit and a +1 shield, this pattern continues all the way to +5 armor being more expensive then +4 shield and +4 armor. By always buying armor, shield, amulet, ring, or ioun stone, whichever is least expensive to upgrade, you wind up with vastly better AC at all levels them a two-handed weapon user.

As far as sacrificing damage goes, it's old news that two weapon fighting gives you better damage per round them greatswording. The fighting style has it's flaws, in that it eats all of your feats and then you have to stand still to use it, but in pure damage comparisons, adding smite to every attack is unmatchable. (Unless you're adding smite to every arrow. It's matched by that.)

To the original poster, if you do want to use a shield for thematic reasons, it's quite strong, if uncostomizable. I'd recommend using a light shield, since one of your weapons has to be light anyway, and something with a decent crit range in the other. Of course, you want to be an aasimar, so you won't be able to shield bash until third ... anyhow, it's an option if you want it.

So I think I'm gonna go intimidate and two handed fighting but I am also looking at rhe holy vindecator because of the blood thing since my blood can hurt demons and such. Also can I still level up paladin after a prestige class or no?

You take levels in a prestige class just like any other class, every time you level up you choose any base class or prestige class you qualify for. So, for instance, say you're level five and you qualify for Holy Vindicator, though you don't have any levels in it yet.

You level up, you're now level 6. You can take another level of Paladin, or you could level in Rogue or Wizard or any of the base classes. Or, you could take a level of Holy Vindicator. Then you level up again, now you're level seven. You can take a level of any class you qualify for, including Paladin or Holy Vindicator.

My advice, though, would be to stick to Paladin, or take a different prestige class. Holy Vindicator is a better prestige class for clerics, since they have less class features to lose.

Oath and Vengeance and Tortured Crusader paladins are popular for their ability to turn Lay on Hands into extra smites.

Maybe a reach polearm build? Dip a level or two in fighter for extra feats?

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