Paladin Improvements

  • First of all, paladins should be smiting. A LOT.

    My main suggestion is to improvise a way to do smites via cooldown. Maybe similarly to how Animal Companions work on .commands, but have a cooldown for summoning. Every 20 seconds or so the paladin can smite again. Or 30, or 45. This makes the paladin's primary signature ability relevant throughout an entire quest or major DM event. It also doesn't allow them to spam their powerful ability constantly (remember, this is still weaker than animal companions and wizards with hide/move silently!).

    Alternatively, give paladins one smite per two levels. Make the feat Extra Smite fill in the even numbered paladin levels (thus granting 1 smite per level).

    Onto the flavor. Let's say that there are a grand total of 20 Smite Powers, and we call these powers Bellows and Rallies. Each paladin has a book (textured appropriately and flavored to their alignment corner), and that book has an Use ability. You use the Use ability on items you find. The items you find are heroic tales and deeds (basically the same as crafting recipes), and using the book onto them, adds them to your prayer book, or tome of heroes/villains. Once added to your tome, you have the ability to use the powers.

    Presume that all smites grant the Attack Bonus as normal, but not the damage.

    Ky'ran's Sacrifice - This Smite, upon successfully hitting, causes the paladin to suffer 25% of his health in magic damage, while healing that same amount to all characters within 30 feet from the paladin. (This is dangerous, hurts the paladin but obviously provides a big net-heal for the party, and pays homage to one of our most famous paladins, whom I understand, his player passed some years ago.)

    Oliver's Wisdom - This Smite, upon successfully hitting, prompts a Fortitude Saving throw vs. Chaotic Creatures. Failing the saving throw causes the target to be paralyzed for 1d4 rounds. The Saving throw DC is based on the combined Persuade and Lore of the paladin, every 3 points increases the DC by 1 above 10. Therefor, 9 Persuade and 7 Lore makes the DC 15. (Oliver was another old player, whose long term paladin was a very famed paladin of Tyr who was known for being thoughtful and studious and just).

    Straub's Betrayal - This Smite, upon successfully hitting, casts Confusion or Fear on hit (randomly). The DC is determined the same as Oliver's Wisdom, although with Bluff and Intimidate as the skills in question.

    Can come up with more. You can drop the Book of Prayers entirely, and just have them be items you activate just like Bard Songs, but I think the books work better, similar to current alterations. Also I like the idea of a paladin having a book of famous heroes/villains. A book of legends. Like?

  • I'd love to see smite evil be given the same treatment as barbarian rages were. 1/day is pretty underwhelming and most paladins are outclassed by fighter builds or cleric s at the moment.

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