Gnome Paladin Build


Advice


I ran across the Sacred Servant archetype and the Unsanctioned Knowledge feat and I thought it would be fun to make a gnome paladin. A more magic focused one. I want him to be good but he doesn't have to be optimal. (I mean, he is a gnome paladin) I've come up with the following but I feel like there is just something missing.

Sir Bixi Smiggles - LVL 11 Sacred Servant Gnome Paladin
STR: 21(+4 Belt, +2 LVL) DEX: 12 Con: 14 INT: 13 WIS: 8 CHA: 16(+2 Headband)
HP: 120 AC: 27 (31 w/ Shield wand) Fort: 15 Ref: 10 Will: 12
Diplomacy +17, Sense Motive +13, Use Magic Device +18

Feats:
1)Fey Foundling
3)Power Attack
5)Furious Focus
7)Unsanctioned Knowledge
9)Vital Strike
11)Improved Vital Strike

Traits:
1)Magical Knack
2)Dangerously Curious

Travel Domain, Gnome Magic
Unsanctioned Knowledge
1) Weaponwand
2) Mirror Image
3) Good Hope
4) Dimension Door?

Wand of Shield, Wand of Lead Blades, Boots of Speed, Cloak of Resistance +3, Amulet of Natural Armor +2, Ring of Protection +2, +2 Fullplate, +3 Greatsword, Belt of Giant's Strength +4, Headband of Alluring Charisma +2, Scolls/Wands?

Other:
Immune to Disease/Fear, +2 vs Illusions, +4 vs Poison, +2 vs Death, Darkvision

I just feel like there is something missing. I've messed around with somehow adding Dimensional Dervish feats but that is hard. I'm also looking for ways to make him more magical, maybe adding illusion spells or something (although I'm not sure how'd that work being a paladin and all) but I don't know how I'd use them if I got them. I'm also taking a look at critical feats but I'm not sure. Thoughts/help?

I'm maaaaybe willing to change races but I want to keep with a 'magical' theme. The only feat I'm not changing is Unsanctioned Knowledge and I'm not 100% sold on the Travel domain. Would a dip anywhere help anything?


I think one of the things going on here is that you are building as though you were a potent frontline brawler, but you've given up on several uses of Smite Evil and your Divine Bond. I'd say this build in particular would stand to benefit from a strategy other than "Fey Foundling to sustain Power Attacks", since you'll likely have a harder time punching through the opposition.

Another Unsanctioned Knowledge jewel is access to Haste, which I wouldn't miss out on if possible.

As for general recommendations... Why not lean more heavily into support?
You could take an archetype like Martyr or Oath of the People's Council, get a supportive Variant Divine Bond (Agathion for healing? Angelic for buffs? Archon for debuffs?).
Then, you could have access to special bard spells like Allegro, since Martyr and Oath of the PC gives you full bardic performance.

I'd consider a shield bash route for this build though, since, rather than banking on your lower damage, you could carve a roll as a damage sponge that can cast and buff.


Secret Wizard wrote:

I think one of the things going on here is that you are building as though you were a potent frontline brawler, but you've given up on several uses of Smite Evil and your Divine Bond. I'd say this build in particular would stand to benefit from a strategy other than "Fey Foundling to sustain Power Attacks", since you'll likely have a harder time punching through the opposition.

Another Unsanctioned Knowledge jewel is access to Haste, which I wouldn't miss out on if possible.

As for general recommendations... Why not lean more heavily into support?
You could take an archetype like Martyr or Oath of the People's Council, get a supportive Variant Divine Bond (Agathion for healing? Angelic for buffs? Archon for debuffs?).
Then, you could have access to special bard spells like Allegro, since Martyr and Oath of the PC gives you full bardic performance.

I'd consider a shield bash route for this build though, since, rather than banking on your lower damage, you could carve a roll as a damage sponge that can cast and buff.

Yeah I considered Haste but I was hoping someone else might grab that. I just like that Good Hope can be cast before battle so I can be swinging during initiative and using my buff time for Divine Favor.

Unbuffed I'd be hitting for +20/+12/+7 1d10+19 with +20 3d10+19 vital strikes. Buffed with Lead Blades / Boots of Speed / Good Hope / and Divine Favor I'd hit for +26/+23/+18/+13 2d6+24 with +26 6d6+24 vital strikes. Even more with (limited) Smite Evil. Is that not good enough for lvl 11?

What would a shield bash build look like here? That might sound fun.

Martyr is cool but I hate the idea of the bleed effect both mechanically and visually. Oath of the People's Council is actually not bad. Do the Oaths stack with the Sacred Servant archetype? Oath of Vengeance would be another option for more smites.


Elykscorch wrote:
I ran across the Sacred Servant archetype and the Unsanctioned Knowledge feat and I thought it would be fun to make a gnome paladin. A more magic focused one. I want him to be good but he doesn't have to be optimal.
Gnomes get a charisma bump, which is always good for paladins, and have some little-used racial abilities that dovetail off charisma as well. As a small race with short legs, mobility can be a problem, however, which is why I'm less enthused about forfeiting the paladin's mount with the archetype choice.
Quote:

STR: 21(+4 Belt, +2 LVL) DEX: 12 Con: 14 INT: 13 WIS: 8 CHA: 16(+2 Headband)

1)Fey Foundling, 3)Power Attack, 5)Furious Focus, 7)Unsanctioned Knowledge, 9)Vital Strike, 11)Improved Vital Strike ...SNIP

So you're taking Lead Blades, Power Attack, Vital Strike, and enormously overpaying for strength while shirking con in a small-sized gnome package whose racial pumps and dumps are in inverse to your build emphasis.

-- While it's hard to make a truly awful paladin, this is nevertheless an exercise in almost pure gimp-building. Avoid this, especially in point-buy. (You did dump wisdom, and avoided wasting skill points in Perception, which I approve of for paladins who aren't halfling rogue multiclasses. That stat-penalized Sense Motive won't be very useful versus any NPC with more than rudimentary bluffing capabilities; they are better places for your meager skill point allotment,)

The thing you sacrificed Mount for, Divine Bond, requires a standard-action to activate and only lasts a minute per level.... <TetraNinja>"Lame!"</TetraNinja> ...on a mount, you could be enjoying a move of 50 or more all day, the sidekick acquires the celestial template, is smarter than possibly some people in your party, makes Perception checks for you, has its own attacks, and you have the ability to dismiss and summon it past barriers. Are you sure you want to give up all that flexibility? Sacred Servant does provide a few more spells, but they're going to be low-powered and mainly out-of-combat utilitarian buffs of those sort than can be duplicated with money spent on cheap wands. Money, otoh, cannot buy you an automatically leveling celestial mount. If your GM (or PFS cert) starts handing out cool mounts, you won't scramble fast enough to retrain away the archetype back to core.

Lastly, you're putting a 13 in Int as prerequisite for Unsanctioned Knowledge. While I personally don't normally build unintelligent paladins, Int is a common dump stat for the class, as they have little in-class use for it aside from skill points / level. Unsanctioned Knowledge as a feat is arguably poorer than having Use Magic Device as a class skill obtained either via the Dangerously Curious trait, or multiclassing.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

STR- 8
DEX: 16
CON+ 14 (gnome, 20pt-buy 16,15,14,12,10,7 array)
INT: 14
WIS: 7
CHA+ 17

01 Paladin1 (core) Fey Foundling
02 Cavalier1 [Gendarme:Mounted Combat][Mount]
03 Paladin2 [divine grace], Boon Companion
04 Ninja1 [SA+1d6], CHA>18
05 Ninja2 [Cha-based Ki], Bewildering Koan
06 Fighter1 [Weapon Finesse]
07 Paladin3 Greater Mercy
08 Paladin4
09 Paladin5 [Mount]*, Indomitable Mount

...at 9th, retrain the cavalier and fighter levels to:
= fighter1 [Dragoon: Mounted Combat, Skill Focus:Ride]
= fighter2 [Weapon Finesse]

10 Paladin6, etc.

Goody list:
* Use Magic Device is class
* Bewildering Koan swift-action economy in a charisma build
* More charisma abilities with Ninja ki deployable as swifts
* Better saves and Smiting (due to, again, charisma emphasis)
* Mithral breastplate vs full-plate for better mobility (also, a mount)

Bewildering Koan is one of the most flavorful feats in the game, and it has hard-coded combat applicability. Take it, and GMs will love you for permitting them to roleplay their mooks being befuddled and useless (i.e., rather than just uselessly dead). Smiting only works versus evil, but talking works versus anything with ears and sentience. (And don't forget your innate gnome magic.)

Gear: mithral breastplate, mount stuff, bucket of Meditation Crystals

Skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, Ride, Use Magic Device


Thanks for taking the time to come up with a build. It looks like it could work but it is just too far from what I'm going for. I'm keeping Sacred Servant and Unsanctioned Knowledge so those are must keep for me in this character. I also don't want to dip nearly that much. Maybe 1-2 levels top.

I also understood mobility would be a problem which is why the Travel domain really stood out. 10ft speed increase right off the bat and access to Longstrider quickly as well. Plus I'll be teleporting around in no time. Not the same as a mount but workable.

Bewildering Koan is pretty good but I just don't see a Paladin using Bluff. I know it can work but I think I'm going to avoid it. I wasn't sure where to put the last of my skill points so they went into Sense Motive for lack of a better choice.

Mithral Breastplate would be super nice for the much lower AC penalty and tiny bit of speed but the max dex doesn't help me any and the AC is lower. The +2 Fullplate seems better and cheaper.


Your move will be 15' as gnome infantry in heavy armor. Your Travel-domain Sacred Savant gains the domain's spells, but neither the domain's base power (an untyped +10 to speed) nor its Agile Feet domain power (granting another +10 to speed as well as ignoring difficult terrain). You'll have access to Longstrider...at 4th level, when you have *one* daily slot for it, and can cast it as a 1st-level cleric. Even with your Longstrider up, you're only half the move of a mounted character (and less than a third that of one with Horseshoes of Speed for their animal).

Your armor-check penalty in full-plate will be -6 (not counting any additional from a shield), and you're (I'm guessing) not sparing a skill point for Climb or Swim or Acrobatics. You also can't sleep in your armor and avoid being fatigued without incurring additional expense.

Going dex-based and mounted avoids a TON of problems that will otherwise make enjoyment of your character a tedious struggle. What you've built was designed exclusively for damage...except less of it (because you're small, non-raging, and easily avoided by many opponents), and, if that is your build goal, you'll be continually annoyed when it doesn't manifest.

Quote:
I just don't see a Paladin using Bluff.

Bluffing to befuddle a ne'er-do-well is not more dishonorable than planting a sword in their face, and most good deities (possibly yours!) would frown on the latter as one's first resort.

~ ~ ~

Try a charisma paladin; you might come to like it.

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