Paladin: Bring Back Smite Evil


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This is an impassioned plea to Mark Siefer, and hopefully my other Paladin brethren will get on-board here as well.

I love the Paladin, even those on the boards who hate my guts don't doubt, for one second that I love the Paladin with all my heart. The Paladin was the first class I played in 2nd Edition AD&D back in the Summer of 1988. Through the grace of phenomenal first time luck rolling my stats, 3d6, down the row... The dice lords smiled and bestowed on me a character who was very strong, pretty dexterous, tough as nails, not too bright, wiser than the average person, and with a smile and natural charisma that could brighten a room.

The GM, an older teenager, Sean, saw my array and said, "Well, when the dice have spoken like that, they've made you a Paladin. Henry, do you have what it takes to answer the call?"

I. Was. Hooked.

Paladin from that day forth became my thing. I was the Paladin guy. If there was a Paladin in a game, I didn't care how crappy it was mechanically I played it.

Thing is 2nd Edition AD&D Paladins weren't that great mechanically, but the stats needed to play one usually made you great none-the-less because your stats put you above almost anyone else.

So I suffered through 2nd edition, in the rare case when I could play one. I played them in 3rd Edition and 3.5 even though they still weren't that good. When 4th came around I abandoned the game because they didn't feel right...

Then came Pathfinder...

This was the Paladin I had waited my whole life for. This Paladin was freaking awesome. Smite Evil was the ultimate "Light in the Darkness" ability. It was amazing. Saves were amazing. Though Divine Grace was by far the best ability, and Lay on Hands was actually the iconic power (which I am glad to see in PF2 even if it feels very limited) of the class it was Smite Evil that was the "Oh crap" button that let the Paladin turn the dial up to 11 and lay the smack down on evil without hesitation of peerage.

This was the power that put the Pathfinder Paladin on the Paladin Map.

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Now we have PF2...

Look Mark, Paizo Devs, I know you had to ratchet down the power level, but... Retributive Strike just isn't doing it for me, there are even a few other threads saying the same thing right now... Retributive Strike is just... Bad.

Let us look at what it does:

It instantly locks the Paladin into a defend your team mates role.

I don't like this because every other class has multiple roles they can fill, the Paladin really doesn't. That is it, their signature ability can't be used save for to make what is in effect an attack of opportunity against an opponent who strikes an ally in melee combat whom the Paladin is adjacent to.

What does this mean? Well it means as a Paladin you can't charge the evil monster in front of you, because doing so loses you access to your class's defining ability. Your job, because of Retributive Strike, is to sit next to your companions and hope the enemy swings at them... If they do you can make basically an attack of opportunity at a -2 penalty that imparts a very minor debuff in damage but can, in some situations, prevent the attack from landing.

This isn't a bad power, but doesn't feel like it should be the class defining power. It feels like this should be a feat. Something you select if it is your play style.

It hurts the available options for Paladins based on the various deities.

Are you a Paladin of Erastil? I hope not. That guy uses bows primarily. Not only are you, as a Paladin, not good with bows (as you are pushed to heavy armor) but you literally can't use your class's primary ability while using that deity's favored weapon.

It hurts the available options for Paladins using their own options.

This ties into the first point some, but if you are taking the divine mount, you're going to want to charge. You can't really do that unless you give up your class's defining ability.

It forces Paladin players to be reactive rather than proactive.

This is kind of a big one, an important one, Paladins were never reactive. They were crusaders against evil, even in Golarion's lore Paladins charged into the World Wound and fought the demon hordes. They didn't sit back and wait for the demons to come to them, they went in there, they were active, they were Paladins. The most famous Paladin in Pathfinder lore, Iomedae, wasn't all that protective. Her deeds were all about 1 on 1 solo'ing evil to save people, not using her retributive strike.

What do I suggest?

I actually think there is an easy fix for this one.

There is a level 6 Paladin Feat called:

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Blade of Justice
Prerequisites righteous ally (blade)

Your righteous weapon becomes a powerful tool against evildoers. Select one foe that you can see, calling that enemy to face judgment. Until the start of your next turn, your damage rolls with your righteous weapon against that foe gain a conditional bonus equal to the number of weapon damage dice. This damage applies only if the foe is evil. This bonus damage is good damage.

Just make the following changes to it:

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Blade of Justice
Prerequisites: Must be wielding your Deity's Favored Weapon

Your righteous weapon becomes a powerful tool against evildoers. Select one foe that you can see, calling that enemy to face judgment. Until the start of your next turn, your damage rolls with your righteous weapon against that foe gain a conditional bonus equal to the number of weapon damage dice. This damage applies only if the foe is evil. This bonus damage is good damage.

If the target of your Blade of Justice within your reach, or within 30 feet if your deity's favored weapon is a ranged weapon, hits an ally or friendly creature. You may spend your reaction to make a melee Strike, called a Retributive Strike, against the target of your Blade of Justice at a –2 penalty before the opponent rolls the damage for the triggering hit.

If your attack hits, the target is enfeebled 1 for the remainder of its turn, or enfeebled 2 for the remainder of its turn if your Strike was a critical hit. The enfeebled condition ends immediately if the creature makes a Strike against you. If Retributive Strike incapacitates or kills the triggering creature, the triggering hit deals no damage.

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What would the above do?

1. It would give the Paladin a proactive ability that is more in line with Smite Evil from PF1.

2. It really isn't that big of a deal power-wise as, for a level 1 character, this is going to equal +1 damage.

3. It costs an action to "ready" each round, ala raising a shield.

4. It still allows the Paladin to play the defender role if the player chooses to.

5. It works with any deity's favored weapon, which also helps to push people away from what is quickly becoming the "go to" for optimizers of using a Bastard Sword due to the mechanical issues of shields interfering with Lay on Hands. (That should be looked at too, but that is for a different topic.)

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Thank you for reading this post, I put a lot of effort into making it as polite as I could.

Please like, comment, and maybe we can get a response from the Gods on high... IE the Paizo Devs.


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Side Note:

If this change were implemented what would happen to the level 6 ability?

Let us be honest, Blade of Justice was pretty lackluster. At level 6 you might have a +1 weapon, meaning it does a whole 2 damage. That is kind of poor for an ability that costs you an action.

I recommend making a change to the level 6 ability:

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Divine Judgement (level 6)

Prerequisites: Righteous Ally (Blade)

When you deal damage with your Divine Judgement, add an additional 1d6 bonus damage. This bonus damage is Good.

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This isn't super great, but is much more in-line with what a level 6 ability should be.

So if a Paladin had an 18 strength and was using a +1 Longsword, they would deal:

2d8+4 (Slashing) +1d6+2 (Good)


Dotting as pally is in my top three favorite classes.

Liberty's Edge

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I have similar feelings.
Personaly, I think Smite Evil could be a level 1 power feat. So you could do burst damage and you'd have a good reason to bump your CHA (for more spell points). This would also help with the fact that the paladin has actually very few champion powers.


I agree completely....


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I think the Paladin as it is should be weakened in the final product, to be honest.


Xenocrat wrote:
I think the Paladin as it is should be weakened in the final product, to be honest.

Not really the scope here, but why and how?

What do you think makes them powerful enough to warrant such?

How would you do so?

Sovereign Court

I like retributive strike a lot actually, but with its reactive nature, I don't think it's enough to make the Paladin an interesting class.


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My player gave up on trying to make one today, turns out there is not a reliable way to actually generate damage on this class. It takes 4 feats and isn't done until level 14. The payoff? 1d6 plus (n=number of dice) +5. To do this one must spend an action to activate Blade of Justice, another to spend a spell point and activate Litany of Righteousness, then with the other two feats that improve your good damage you get to add all this amazing damage to one single attack. I'm better off just attacking twice, by a lot.

This is really bad.

If you timed it right, you can add your cha to damage as persistent damage, and if you time your hit right you'll get the extra 5 damage from weakness. Once.

All this needs to be scrapped, give me a single action, designate target, add Cha as good damage till the end of the turn. Smite f***ing evil. That's a class feature. Retributive strike can be a feat.


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Scrap it, fold the few useful bits into cleric, fighter and an archetype.

Like cavalier, I don't think the class has enough utility or identity (beyond 'sacred cow') to be worth keeping.

Same with this version of the ranger and alchemist, really. All three run on a narrow gimmick, rather than having multiple styles and depth.

Silver Crusade

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I tried paladins a long time ago when there was only AD&D and they were difficult as well as fun. However they often came with a lot of unwritten restrictions (codes) about how they should act that varied by GM. Then Pathfinder came and defined a code to follow and made paladins the holy warrior riding out to destroy evil with abilities to make it possible.

Now the 2nd edition version shows up.

The power reduction makes sense and does seem to be in line with everyone else so I don't see a problem there. But while I like the retributive strike it is not a replacement or toned down version of smite evil. It is a direction change for the paladin.

So here is my suggestion. Retributive strike should be replaced with smite evil. And smite evil should only be allowed with the deity's weapon. A new base class, knight protector, should be created built around the concept of the retributive strike.

--Side note--
Please expand paladins beyond lawful good. Any lawful or any good or how about just some deities get paladins (and not just lawful good ones). Pretty please.


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I'm not opposed to the smite evil idea but it would probably need to be altered rules wise. How about a straight +chr to damage against an evil target? It would stack with str. no to hit bonus or at most +1. no daily use limits. or maybe limited use but it would add more damage at later levels.


"...The Paladin is an extended gutter and that gutter is (now) full of mediocrity and when the drains finally scab over all the paladin-players will drown. The accumulated privilege of all their former power and smugness will foam up about their waists and all those players and fans will look up and shout "Save us!"... and I'll look down, and whisper "No."


Love the edit to allow for ranged AoO. Paladin would probably be the only one to make sense with it (but something should be done to assess the difference in power from melee to ranged at that point).

Would Blade of Justice make more sense as a stance, or "hunt target" style ability?


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I feel like the smite ability of paladins is best modeled by the Weapon Surge power.

A first level paladin of Iomedae can get this ability along with an extra spell point by taking Deity Domain as a 1st level feat. This gives the paladin an option to send an action to boost his weapon by +1 magic bonus (meaning an extra die of damage as well)

Unfortunately it is only available to paladins of Iomedae.

As far as the paladin Retributive Strike ability. I think it fits Paladins well. A paladin waiting for the enemy to clearly announce himself as hostile strikes me as a very honorable and Paladin-like thing to do.

The enemy struck first, and now the paladin can strike back with full assurance that the paladin was not the one who escalated the confrontation to violence.

I like retributive strike, and if there were a clarification to be made I would include that the paladin himself is included as his own friend and ally, so retributive strike could be used if anyone successfully strikes the paladin as well.

Further clarification of Loyal Warhorse(level 6 feat) needs to have an errata to change this sentence:

"Finally, you can make a Retributive Strike against anyone who hits your mount with a Strike, even if the attack was not a critical hit."

to

"Finally, you can make a Retributive Strike against anyone who attempts to hit your mount with a Strike, even if the attack is not a successful hit."


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I feel like there should be two different tracks for paladins, either you become a Holy Defender (current version) or a Holy Avenger. I think all classes should basically have 3 tracks to pick from.

So yeah, some version of smite would be OK, but it wouldn't be what you are looking for in PF1. Maybe you would get +2 damage like the Barbarian gets.

In PF1, Smite ruined a lot of climatic fights (in my opinion). It was feast or famine. I think the game is better without that.


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Xenocrat wrote:
I think the Paladin as it is should be weakened in the final product, to be honest.

While Paladin is one of the better classes, instead of bringing the paladin down, I want them to bring the other classes up.


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Ediwir wrote:
or "hunt target" style ability?

Hunt Target is bad, so I don't see this going over that well.


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HWalsh and I agree on almost nothing, but I strongly agree that PF2 Paladin should have the option of some kind of Smite ability from early levels.

I do not dislike the idea of defensive paladins, but Retributive Strike seems a bit lackluster for that too. And of course, I am all about non-cleric healing, and a hospitaler-style paladin is perhaps the least contraversial non-cleric healer (tied with a Life Oracle, when that finally shows up).

So I am thinking maybe Paladins should be Smite/Defend/Heal, pick any two.

_
glass.


Snickersnax wrote:

Further clarification of Loyal Warhorse(level 6 feat) needs to have an errata to change this sentence:

"Finally, you can make a Retributive Strike against anyone who hits your mount with a Strike, even if the attack was not a critical hit."

to

"Finally, you can make a Retributive Strike against anyone who attempts to hit your mount with a Strike, even if the attack is not a successful hit."

That bit is because of the different alignment paladins' abilities, some of which proc on crits rather than regular hits.

source... sherlocking.


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Hwalsh and I dont agree with mostly anything.

however there have been some things he's said that I agree with.

what he said in the locked thread some something is for everyone thread, I Agree with.

I also agree that Smite evil needs to return.
Ret strike is a joke as a main ability.

a lot of paladin players dont like to play baby sitter, which how your paladin is now in pf2pt is.

as I said else where, the paladin's auras were better at protecting both the paladin and the party members.

it is a shame to see the class as it is now....


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I say things as I see them.

If something is wrong, I'll say it is wrong. I dont care if it is unpopular. That has been, and always will be, my MO. Nobody can, or will, doubt my convictions.

I've run PF2 now for a whopping 17 sessions.

Rose Street 2 times.
Doomsday Dawn 1 time.
My own AP 13 times.

Anyone who met me at DragonCon this weekend saw me working my butt off making sure everyone had fun.

I met Compton and a number of others. It was fun.

I do *not* give my opinions based on theory crafting.

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I don't have a problem with PF2 Paladins being protectors as a primary. I like more aggressive Paladins, personally, but I'm fine with it.

What I don't like is what I call a null ability:

Retributive Strike is difficult for non-reach weapons to trigger. Much more difficult than AoO. Worse though is many people think Ret Strike works best when it isn't being used.

It is not interactive.

So here are my suggestions:

1. Make Ret Strike a level 1 Papadin Feat, then give Smite Evil to them. Smite Evil would be a reaction that adds Charisma Damage, as good damage, to any evil target struck by a Paladin.

2. Allow the Paladin to make a step before making the ret strike and increase the radius from threatened to "within 10 ft of the Paladin."

3. Allow a Paladin to interpose (swap places) with an adjacent ally after a hit lands (but before damage is rolled) and take the effects of the hit.

Those are all more reactive, interactive, and more fun.


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Id get rid of Divine Grace as a reaction and have it constant


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Steelfiredragon wrote:
Id get rid of Divine Grace as a reaction and have it constant

I felt that way at first too but when you run the math it is a HUGE advantage to the paladin. You'll practically never crit fail a save at your level.


Jason S wrote:

I feel like there should be two different tracks for paladins, either you become a Holy Defender (current version) or a Holy Avenger. I think all classes should basically have 3 tracks to pick from.

So yeah, some version of smite would be OK, but it wouldn't be what you are looking for in PF1. Maybe you would get +2 damage like the Barbarian gets.

In PF1, Smite ruined a lot of climatic fights (in my opinion). It was feast or famine. I think the game is better without that.

Actually it always irked me to have the word "avenger" on a paladin. Punishing evil is one thing, actively hunting for it is totally another, imo, Revenge can never be truly a LG thing, but I know that this is just me.

On the actual issue, I like Ret strike both as an effect and as a mentality.

But it's weak power wise. It needs to be a bit more reliable.

There's no need to trigger EVERY round, but it should reliably occur at least half the rounds.
A 5ft step I feel would be enough for that.

On to the general paladin balance and smite evil. Despite my preferences, the class does feel more like an archetype rather than a full class.

Since there's already a "choice of 3 paths" build in, I would modify that:

Ret strike would be given to the shield path, smite on the sword path.

Only, there's already a "smite-like" ability there (blade of justice). So I would just lower it's level to 1 (and maybe boost it a bit, like 2+#dices or something)

Or something along those lines


I wouldn't go so far as to say every other round.

I will say it should be usable as often as Attack of Opportunity or Sneak Attack.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Paladins to me are a deities wrath, they are holy enforcers... This current paladin really isn't, you can't stage the heroic charge against the enemies of tje faith, or of you do your ability doesn't work, holy meat shield is not what Paladin is to me, but currently only Iomadae offefs another path.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:
Id get rid of Divine Grace as a reaction and have it constant
I felt that way at first too but when you run the math it is a HUGE advantage to the paladin. You'll practically never crit fail a save at your level.

not really.

if its capped say at +3, you still have the chance to fail a throw.

also, if the dm's story says you fail your throw, you fail your thrown,

I just however dont care for reaction abilities.

if you have more than 1 enemy that can put you under their control, you get to only use it once and suffer the other, right? or does the reactionary power allow you to continue with it used,
if not constant would be better


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Paladibs without smite evil are pointless.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:
Id get rid of Divine Grace as a reaction and have it constant
I felt that way at first too but when you run the math it is a HUGE advantage to the paladin. You'll practically never crit fail a save at your level.

I don't think its a huge advantage. In a party of 4 my paladin had the worst saves. Two of the other members had save totals (adding the bonuses for all 3 saves together) that were 6 points higher than my paladin. That's the equivalent of +2 on each save all the time.


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Steelfiredragon wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:
Id get rid of Divine Grace as a reaction and have it constant
I felt that way at first too but when you run the math it is a HUGE advantage to the paladin. You'll practically never crit fail a save at your level.

not really.

if its capped say at +3, you still have the chance to fail a throw.

also, if the dm's story says you fail your throw, you fail your thrown,

I just however dont care for reaction abilities.

if you have more than 1 enemy that can put you under their control, you get to only use it once and suffer the other, right? or does the reactionary power allow you to continue with it used,
if not constant would be better

Well if your capping it at +3 then your not really adding your charisma to it might as well just give them a flat +2 or 3 instead.

On your second point I don't think they should factor in GM fiat into the equation for the rules.

Also I don't have enough details to evaluate your example.

And for the other person who doesn't think its a huge advantage you could easily have an additional +6 to you saves so if your target number is 11 then now you save on anything above a 5. without adding anything else. With the new system adding 2 different attributes to the same total is a huge advantage.

Liberty's Edge

Snickersnax wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:
Id get rid of Divine Grace as a reaction and have it constant
I felt that way at first too but when you run the math it is a HUGE advantage to the paladin. You'll practically never crit fail a save at your level.
I don't think its a huge advantage. In a party of 4 my paladin had the worst saves. Two of the other members had save totals (adding the bonuses for all 3 saves together) that were 6 points higher than my paladin. That's the equivalent of +2 on each save all the time.

This is part of the problem with how the math works out in PF2. Since the math is so tight, they don't really want to give out even moderate bonuses that apply to most situations, since they can be really powerful. On the other hand, there can be pretty drastic differences in saves, based on what your key ability scores are. A Paladin, with the Strength key ability score, and a Charisma fueled power set has 2 non save related ability scores they want/need to increase. Any class that can focus on the 3 save related ability scores plus one non save related score will be doing much better in the saves department. Especially if they use Dex or Wis for their accuracy, or spell DC. It evens out a little after they hit 18s in their save stats, but a paladin will likely start out quite a bit behind, and only catch up somewhere in the late game.


They could probably let their reflex save suffer. its usually only damage you take from that. They can compensate with healing and hp. now if we had something that let them substitute a save for charisma instead of add to it that I feel would be a bit more in line.


Deighton Thrane wrote:
Snickersnax wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:
Id get rid of Divine Grace as a reaction and have it constant
I felt that way at first too but when you run the math it is a HUGE advantage to the paladin. You'll practically never crit fail a save at your level.
I don't think its a huge advantage. In a party of 4 my paladin had the worst saves. Two of the other members had save totals (adding the bonuses for all 3 saves together) that were 6 points higher than my paladin. That's the equivalent of +2 on each save all the time.
This is part of the problem with how the math works out in PF2. Since the math is so tight, they don't really want to give out even moderate bonuses that apply to most situations, since they can be really powerful. On the other hand, there can be pretty drastic differences in saves, based on what your key ability scores are. A Paladin, with the Strength key ability score, and a Charisma fueled power set has 2 non save related ability scores they want/need to increase. Any class that can focus on the 3 save related ability scores plus one non save related score will be doing much better in the saves department. Especially if they use Dex or Wis for their accuracy, or spell DC. It evens out a little after they hit 18s in their save stats, but a paladin will likely start out quite a bit behind, and only catch up somewhere in the late game.

You'll probably not raise Dex either way since the only benefit it has for most paladins is Ref save, and Ref are the least threatening saves.

On the other hand, double stats on Fort/Will is amazing. Moreso now that there are fort/will that you want crit successes to have 0 effects on you on many spells.

Plus, Wis has much better skill checks than dex now (for paladins), as well as Initiative tacked in.

So, str/con/wis/Cha is probably the best stats to raise either way.


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If the Paladin remains a class, I agree with not nerfing it but instead fixing it, and in general with bringing every class up to the level of the cleric.

Move the Righteous Ally ability to first level. For the weapon version, strip out the critical specialization bonus as a default ability and make it a feat upgrade. For the shield version, specify either that you choose a new shield each day (like the weapon version has text for) or that a busted shield ally reforms each morning. For the companion version, no changes, this just lets them get a companion at 1st like the druid and Ranger.

You get a spell point power based on which Ally you chose. Paladins who chose the other two allies can still pick up this power with their 1st level feat, gaining more spell points in the process. Weapon ally grants Smite, which maybe can spend a spell point to increase weapon potency by +1 but the extra damage is good and positive. Shield ally can grant a better Retributitive Strike, which because it will now cost a spell point can be beefed up so it grants a free Step (making it easier to actually use) and doesn't take an attack penalty. Companion ally can grant Lay on Hands.

Like bard and druid, pallies who feat into another "path's" first level power can keep taking more feats later based on that power. This is obvious, it increases customization generally.

Paladins have a ton of reaction-based abilities and need some way to get extra reactions. Maybe it's a static +1 reaction/turn, maybe it's baked into the feat trees for each reaction-using ability as a bonus benefit, maybe it's a spell point power that lets you spend 1 spell point to use an extra Paladin reaction. However it happens, there needs to be some way to do this.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:

If the Paladin remains a class, I agree with not nerfing it but instead fixing it, and in general with bringing every class up to the level of the cleric.

Move the Righteous Ally ability to first level. For the weapon version, strip out the critical specialization bonus as a default ability and make it a feat upgrade. For the shield version, specify either that you choose a new shield each day (like the weapon version has text for) or that a busted shield ally reforms each morning. For the companion version, no changes, this just lets them get a companion at 1st like the druid and Ranger.

You get a spell point power based on which Ally you chose. Paladins who chose the other two allies can still pick up this power with their 1st level feat, gaining more spell points in the process. Weapon ally grants Smite, which maybe can spend a spell point to increase weapon potency by +1 but the extra damage is good and positive. Shield ally can grant a better Retributitive Strike, which because it will now cost a spell point can be beefed up so it grants a free Step (making it easier to actually use) and doesn't take an attack penalty. Companion ally can grant Lay on Hands.

Like bard and druid, pallies who feat into another "path's" first level power can keep taking more feats later based on that power. This is obvious, it increases customization generally.

Paladins have a ton of reaction-based abilities and need some way to get extra reactions. Maybe it's a static +1 reaction/turn, maybe it's baked into the feat trees for each reaction-using ability as a bonus benefit, maybe it's a spell point power that lets you spend 1 spell point to use an extra Paladin reaction. However it happens, there needs to be some way to do this.

Well...

A. Smite shouldn't be disarmable. That leads to a villain just being able to flick away divine wrath.
B. Warded Touch needs merged with the base ability. Much of the feedback seems to point to this.
C. Give Aura of Courage as a base class ability--as a means to then offer future class feats that build on the initial paladinic aura concept. Auras have always been popular.

And well, at this point I'd rather have the paladin in a later book. Put Zealot/Alignment Champion in core so that folks stop fighting, each side gets their options, and the flavor of the class gets maintained.


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MuddyVolcano wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

If the Paladin remains a class, I agree with not nerfing it but instead fixing it, and in general with bringing every class up to the level of the cleric.

Move the Righteous Ally ability to first level. For the weapon version, strip out the critical specialization bonus as a default ability and make it a feat upgrade. For the shield version, specify either that you choose a new shield each day (like the weapon version has text for) or that a busted shield ally reforms each morning. For the companion version, no changes, this just lets them get a companion at 1st like the druid and Ranger.

You get a spell point power based on which Ally you chose. Paladins who chose the other two allies can still pick up this power with their 1st level feat, gaining more spell points in the process. Weapon ally grants Smite, which maybe can spend a spell point to increase weapon potency by +1 but the extra damage is good and positive. Shield ally can grant a better Retributitive Strike, which because it will now cost a spell point can be beefed up so it grants a free Step (making it easier to actually use) and doesn't take an attack penalty. Companion ally can grant Lay on Hands.

Like bard and druid, pallies who feat into another "path's" first level power can keep taking more feats later based on that power. This is obvious, it increases customization generally.

Paladins have a ton of reaction-based abilities and need some way to get extra reactions. Maybe it's a static +1 reaction/turn, maybe it's baked into the feat trees for each reaction-using ability as a bonus benefit, maybe it's a spell point power that lets you spend 1 spell point to use an extra Paladin reaction. However it happens, there needs to be some way to do this.

Well...

A. Smite shouldn't be disarmable. That leads to a villain just being able to flick away divine wrath.
B. Warded Touch needs merged with the base ability. Much of the feedback seems to point to this.
C. Give Aura of Courage as a base class ability--as a means to then offer future class feats that build on the initial paladinic aura concept. Auras have always been popular.

And well, at this point I'd rather have the paladin in a later book. Put Zealot/Alignment Champion in core so that folks stop fighting, each side gets their options, and the flavor of the class gets maintained.

A. Smite is always going to be delivered by whatever weapon you're using, it's no more disarmable than 1E. :p Was thinking of it as a power you triggered as you attacked.

B. Yes, definitely.

C. Auras are good. I'd rather have more auras than the weird situational hunter feats.

D. I agree of course as I said elsewhere. I'm just making propositions in case the class sticks, because I'd rather all the classes be good.


I saw 2 paladins in the playtest so far, one at level 1 and a halfling (which isn't too great of a combo) he chose desna and fought with star knives. The other was on level 7 with a glaive and shelyn as the goddess of choice.

The halfling wasn't too effective but also rolled terrible, still felt fine.
The other was a beast. Of course the scenario was fitting for him but he was nearly invincible, dealt by far the most damage, some encounters he essentially mopped up by himself.

I think he already has very flavourful pathways to go and I personally never was a fan of the detect evil/smite it paladin. And this version feels way more like I expected it to be. So I for one am very happy with the class, outside of some tweaks that are normal for a playtest.


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Smite evil and Dive Grace, and auras should be base class features and not reactionary...

unless you can get say Hwalsh's version to force a free reactionary move...

but I hate having to many reactionary abilities.

whether or not DG is restored to CHA to saves or not is irrelevent


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
MuddyVolcano wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

If the Paladin remains a class, I agree with not nerfing it but instead fixing it, and in general with bringing every class up to the level of the cleric.

Move the Righteous Ally ability to first level. For the weapon version, strip out the critical specialization bonus as a default ability and make it a feat upgrade. For the shield version, specify either that you choose a new shield each day (like the weapon version has text for) or that a busted shield ally reforms each morning. For the companion version, no changes, this just lets them get a companion at 1st like the druid and Ranger.

You get a spell point power based on which Ally you chose. Paladins who chose the other two allies can still pick up this power with their 1st level feat, gaining more spell points in the process. Weapon ally grants Smite, which maybe can spend a spell point to increase weapon potency by +1 but the extra damage is good and positive. Shield ally can grant a better Retributitive Strike, which because it will now cost a spell point can be beefed up so it grants a free Step (making it easier to actually use) and doesn't take an attack penalty. Companion ally can grant Lay on Hands.

Like bard and druid, pallies who feat into another "path's" first level power can keep taking more feats later based on that power. This is obvious, it increases customization generally.

Paladins have a ton of reaction-based abilities and need some way to get extra reactions. Maybe it's a static +1 reaction/turn, maybe it's baked into the feat trees for each reaction-using ability as a bonus benefit, maybe it's a spell point power that lets you spend 1 spell point to use an extra Paladin reaction. However it happens, there needs to be some way to do this.

Well...

A. Smite shouldn't be disarmable. That leads to a villain just being able to flick away divine wrath.
B. Warded Touch needs merged with the base ability. Much of the feedback seems to

...

In PF1e, smite was an effect on the paladin. If the villain flicked away a sword, the paladin was far from defenseless. It switched just as easily to a table leg.


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Smite evil and Dive Grace, and auras should be base class features and not reactionary...

unless you can get say Hwalsh's version to force a free reactionary move...

but I hate having to many reactionary abilities.

whether or not DG is restored to CHA to saves or not is irrelevent. I'd like it to be, but if it has to be stopped at +3 or +4 so be it


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Reactionary abilities are ok for the most part unless your being attack by numbers. Like if your fighting a caster then you know to save the save bonus reaction as opposed to say getting hit by an ogre club.

The fighters reaction are a bit more clear. If you have an opponent that is going to run away from you then you AOO if they are going to attack you you raise shield.

It adds to strategy.

Now as far as smite evil goes I think I would have it use the same pool of points as lay on hands and maybe add some bonus dice of damage vrs evil targets.

(If not my charisma to damage vrs evil target idea)

I don't think their is a solid way to just flat add charisma to saves in addition to other things without unbalancing things. Now replacing an attribute with charisma as say a pally feat to improve divine grace could possibly work.


Vidmaster7 wrote:

Reactionary abilities are ok for the most part unless your being attack by numbers. Like if your fighting a caster then you know to save the save bonus reaction as opposed to say getting hit by an ogre club.

The fighters reaction are a bit more clear. If you have an opponent that is going to run away from you then you AOO if they are going to attack you you raise shield.

It adds to strategy.

Now as far as smite evil goes I think I would have it use the same pool of points as lay on hands and maybe add some bonus dice of damage vrs evil targets.

(If not my charisma to damage vrs evil target idea)

I don't think their is a solid way to just flat add charisma to saves in addition to other things without unbalancing things. Now replacing an attribute with charisma as say a pally feat to improve divine grace could possibly work.

Oh yeah. I had AoO also.


If retributive strike absorbed the antipaladin's vengeful strike and they functioned as the same ability, and you got an expanded pool of reactions to use them like a fighter does then I'll be happy.

It's still no smite though, that's the clerics bit now.

Our clerics had more healing and more smites than the paladins in my playtest games and it was sad. Paladins serve very little function in combat that fighters can't get. Often worse.

It's almost worth rogue dedication just to build for intimidate to actually have something to do like intimidate to get the FF condition which is a better option than blade of justice.

I just really miss getting bonuses to hit, they matter a lot more now, and having them actually makes the game playable, we learned this by having a 12th level bard spamming Inspire Heroics. With the way boni stack now (i.e. not at all) it really doesn't make sense to me that I can't spend an action to get CHA to hit/damage. The damage isn't what matters, and it scales less than a die on almost every single weapon out there anyway.

And the weapons it doesn't scale lower than aren;t even worth using in the first place.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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I also don't like retributive strike. It feels very against tone for Paladins - you can even use it on good creatures. It not only locks paladins into being defensive, but they can't go solo charge into the fray and use their main ability if their allies hold back and used ranged attacks, spells, etc. Plus, paladins shouldn't be about vengeance and retribution - that way leads to the dark side.

It also leads to situations like:
"Across the room you the the horrible demon you've been hunting, it doesn't seem to have spotted you yet."
"Great - time to end his baby sacrificing ways now - I charge in and smite it"
"Sorry, no more smite - you can wait for him to go first and hope to retributive strike him though. Too bad you got the jump on him, and also beat him in initiative."

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Then, with Holy Smite, the target of a successful retributive strike takes persistent good damage - shouldn’t that be only if it’s evil?

That seems neither holy nor paladin like. Can good damage even hurt non-evil creatures, most examples of it specify it can't, but not here for Paladin's - they're so holy their good damage can hurt neutral or even good creatures - including angels.

Also, what kind of action aids with lowering the check to remove persistent good damage? Thinking evil thoughts? Maiming someone? Kicking a puppy?


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JoelF847 wrote:

I also don't like retributive strike. It feels very against tone for Paladins - you can even use it on good creatures. It not only locks paladins into being defensive, but they can't go solo charge into the fray and use their main ability if their allies hold back and used ranged attacks, spells, etc. Plus, paladins shouldn't be about vengeance and retribution - that way leads to the dark side.

It also leads to situations like:
"Across the room you the the horrible demon you've been hunting, it doesn't seem to have spotted you yet."
"Great - time to end his baby sacrificing ways now - I charge in and smite it"
"Sorry, no more smite - you can wait for him to go first and hope to retributive strike him though. Too bad you got the jump on him, and also beat him in initiative."

Yes you can do it on anybody who tries to hurt your allies.

Why can they not charge into the fray? With retributive strike he can convince his allies that true glory lies in the fray and that they should follow him granting them protection while doing so. Being a leader and a true force for good.

If paladins should not be about preemptive vengeance, in the sense of protecting their allies, should they instead be about preemptive violence? Based on nothing but a magic ability to see evil that will then be smited based on no other grounds? I would say killing something on purpose based on the assumption that a low level ability revealed the true nature leads to the dark side in a blink.

Considering that the paladin fights for the right side, the good side, anyone who opposes that is a baddie right?

For the horrible demon he can still call for blade of justice, I know many people dislike it I used it against undead with plenty of hitpoints and a disrupting +1 item, there the baseline bonus is +3, if you hit twice + retributive strike it is +9 damage a turn that explodes when you crit. Add the domain power of zeal and you have +4. Adding bonus dice is a paladin thing (especially for Iomedae crusaders) using deadly or fatal weapons is pretty good too. Which increases by a lot against demons and devils as it is good damage.

It can also be used every turn, compared to smite with 1+/daily uses. The burst is smaller the overall damage output certainly higher.

I would say nothing aids against good persistent damage. Maybe repentance for your sins or bathing in holy water well nothing a real evil entity would do.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I have to agree here. I've always loved the paladin. It's one of my favorite classes in Pathfinder. But this version is completely uninspiring.


I actually read the blade of justice slightly differently: it's the "offensive stance".

Given the -10 to hit on the 3rd action you are not likely to have more than 2 successful hits.

So you are either going to "Raise Shield" or "Blade of Justice" depending if you charge in to help finish off the final boss; or hold back defending your party.

Its not fantastic by any means; but you always have to balance the fact it is a martial class... who can cast spells and heals.


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So in part three I played a cleric of Iomedae / fighter archetype to see how it would perform compared to the paladin.

I had two critical hit true strike, channeled smites. One for 98 points and one for 102 points.

I really wish the second level Oath feats just let you add a LoH smite to the Oath creatures.

Also LoH is so weak compared to cleric channel energy. LoH takes two feats to become equivalent to cleric channel energy and channel energy gets its own pool.

Right now cleric with fighter archetype does almost everything a paladin does only a lot better.

1) channel energy
2) channel smite
3) holy castigation
4) reactive shield
5) true strike
6) heroism
...

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