Paladins need to be a lot less like clerics and a lot more like holy weapons


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The original introduction of paladin made it a sub-class of fighter with all of the fighter abilities with trade offs being a limit on magic items and alignment restrictions. Then it was made a sub-class of cavalier, which was probably the best match up to the folklore paladin. Paladins in history and folklore were supposed to be the best of the best knights and cavaliers. The PF2 paladin is how someone might create a cleric if they started from scratch with the possible exception of getting a horse that's harder for classes without animal companions to get. The class isn't an offensive knight or cavalier and isn't really able to wield a weapon with the same skill at all, which is far from it's role in literature. In probably the most famous work involving paladins, The Song of Roland, Archbishop Turpin joins them in largely the role that clerics do. Most of the PF2 abilities would be far more appropriate to someone like the Archbishop, with the paladins, instead, serving the role of the weapons to carve through their foes. The PF2 paladin's abilities are more that of a prophet or traveling tent faith healing preacher than the divine weapon that the paladin is in it's place in history and literature. In a game where clerics are already very present, that's a large disservice to what the basis of the paladin is.

If people want options to have characters like the PF2 paladins, that's swell, but there really needs to more at the core be true paladins that are a better match for historical, folklore, and other paladins in literature. The options for a mount are good, as are the abilities to enhance weapons. The class really needs some of the more offensive smite abilities from the past to show that the characters are divine weapons. More importantly, it needs some serious offensive combat skills that show their ability to wield weapons themselves and that they are worthy to be made divine champions and be granted divine enhancement.

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