The Paladin Class, Part Seven

To be honest, when I started this series I never would have guessed that I would need seven articles to talk about one class. On the other hand, D&D has a long and nuanced history, including a lot of offshoots, clones, retroclones, demi-clones… so today I’m tackling three of those not-quite-mainline iterations: the Rules Cyclopedia (OD&D), Pathfinder (3.x, but honestly if you read gaming websites you don’t need me to tell you this), and 13th Age (4e…ish).

(Part Eins, Zwei, Drei, Vier, Fünf, Sechs)

The Paladin Class, Part Six

In last week’s article, I talked about the 4e Paladin, where magical power takes center stage in the class and distances Paladins from the strictly chivalric-warrior-on-horseback roots. I also covered the 4e Blackguard, a Paladin build for tormented anti-heroes, tragically flawed heroes, and outright villains. In 5e, we see theme take center stage over mechanical differentiation, and this extends to the Paladin; we also see a meaningful exploration of a new Paladin theme for the first time since… ever. I’ll also be contrasting the Paladin to a 5e multi-class Fighter/Cleric of various level ratios.


(Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five)

The Paladin Class, Part Five

Welcome back! Last time in History of the Classes, I talked about the Paladin and Blackguard classes of 3.0 and 3.5. This time, we’re diving into the 4e and 4e Essentials, though my text reference for 4e Essentials is a wiki and I’m a lot less clear on how it all comes together. Someone with a copy of Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms could really do me a solid, I’m just sayin’.

Also, I know it greaves you, but paladin puns are srs bidness. Which is to say, really hard to come up with.

(Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four)

The Paladin Class, Part Four

My general sense of the Paladin class is that it really took root in the imaginations of gamers during the eleven years of 2e’s publication (1989 to 2000), but as soon as the 3.0 Paladin came along, its one meaningful addition to the class’s mechanics propagated all but instantly throughout gaming. The thematic shift of 3.x also “bred true,” leaning Paladins away from high and courtly knighthood. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

(Part One, Part Two, Part Three)

The Paladin Class, Part Three

Last time on “History of the Classes,” we looked at the various Paladin iterations and conceptual cousins found in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (First Edition). Unearthed Arcana and Dragon Magazine meandered away from the class’s roots, in some ways, so Second Edition takes up the task of returning to those roots, both thematically and mechanically. In short, 2e’s Paladin is almost enough like the 1e Player’s Handbook Paladin to make that the whole of the conversation.

(Part One, Part Two)

The Paladin Class, Part Two

In last week’s article, we saw the origins of the Paladin class in OD&D; as we move into AD&D 1e, the class changes extremely little. The 1e Player’s Handbook cleans up the information presentation substantially and gives Paladins a different experience table, and little else. Yet within the span of 1e, Unearthed Arcana makes one big change to the class, reassigning it from a subclass of Fighter to a subclass of Cavalier. The Cavalier and the Anti-Paladin are close cousins of the Paladin, and I’ll be discussing them in this article as well. Buckle up, folks!

(Part One)

The Paladin Class, Part One

At the time I started this post, the Paladin class was tied for the top spot in the Future History of the Classes post. Since then, Warlock edged ahead, but since I didn’t set an end date to the polling, it is anybody’s ballgame… until they turn off the internet for good. Anyway, I’m writing about the Paladin. Much like when I discussed the Ranger over in my personal blog, Harbinger of Doom, there’s a common question that comes up when discussing the Paladin: does this class justify its existence, or would it be better for the class to be the result of multi-classing? To give this question due consideration, I’ll begin at the beginning.

Holy Waters: Oath of the Waves Paladin for 5th edition

Aquatic Paladins

The fight against corruption and evil doesn’t stop at the shoreline. Paladins who follow gods of the ocean, such as Poseidon, or who are born among marine races, often follow the Oath of the Waves. As with other marine classes, aquatic paladins focus on training with piercing weapons such as spears, tridents, and short swords, as well as crossbows. Their armor is rarely made of metals, unless they are enchanted. Instead, their armors are composed of unique species of leathery seaweed, scales, chitinous plates, and shields made of turtle shells. Those few aquatic paladins that rely on mounts choose large predators such as sharks and killer whales, or rarer beasts such as giant sea horses and hippocampi.