Paladin 5e – DnD Class Guide

Learn all about the devoted warriors known as paladins

Paladins are powerful warriors that have made a sacred oath. A paladin follows a strict code of discipline and devotion. While the archetypal paladin is lawful good, protecting the innocent and the weak, paladins in 5e can be much more varied than this (though certainly do steer towards being protectors). They are usually tough, well-armoured, damage dealers that can enhance their abilities with a solid number of spells.

How to play as a paladin

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Paladins are widely considered one of the stronger classes. They are tough with lots of HP, access to all armour types for high AC (and spells that can enhance this too), deal lots of damage (especially when paired with smites) and can heal. Some of their abilities allow you the ability to protect those around you too so you’ll usually want your paladin in the heat of battle. On top of the paladin’s battle prowess is the fact that they can also act as a support healer when your cleric isn’t available. This makes paladins very useful and versatile characters. Paladins use Charisma as their spellcasting ability so you’ll want to prioritise this ability to maximise on your spellcasting, this also makes the paladin a great option for out of combat interactions. Strength will also be important to get your paladin maximising their damage output.

Paladin Strengths

High damage output, high defence, spells to cast, healing abilities and the ability to defend others gives paladins a lot of strengths. Unlike some of the other more versatile classes, paladins still manage to perform near the top for damage and defence while also having their uses outside of combat with some of their spells and their high charisma.

Paladin Weaknesses

There’s not much here really, though they are found lacking when it comes to ranged combat and don’t really deal area of effect damage like some other spellcasters. They also come undone when it comes to stealth due to their usual relience on heavy armour but in reality, paladins are one of the more powerful classes available.

Paladin class features

Party RoleTank, Melee Damage Dealer, Support Caster, Healer
Main AbilityStrength and Charisma
Saving ThrowsWisdom, Charisma
Hit Dice1d10 + Consitution modifier per level
HP at 1st Level10 + Constitution Modifier
Spell Casting AbilityCharisma
Armour ProficiencyAll Armour, shields
Weapon ProficiencySimple weapons, martial weapons

Paladin Abilities

LevelProficiency BonusFeatures1st2nd3rd4th5th
1st+2Divine Sense, Lay on Hands
2nd+2Fighting Style, Spellcasting, Divine Smite2
3rd+2Divine Health, Sacred Oath3
4th+2Ability Score Improvement3
5th+3Extra Attack42
6th+3Aura of Protection42
7th+3Sacred Oath Feature43
8th+3Ability Score Improvement43
10th+4Aura of Courage432
11th+4Improved Divine Smite433
12th+4Ability Score Improvement433
14th+5Cleansing Touch4331
15th+5Sacred Oath Feature4332
16th+5Ability Score Improvement4332
18th+6Aura Improvements43331
19th+6Ability Score Improvement43332
20th+6Sacred Oath Feature43332

Paladin subclasses in D&D 5e

Rogue SubclassSubclass FeaturesSource BookDescription
Oath of DevotionTenets of Devotion, Channel Divinity, Aura of Devotion, Purity of SPirit, Holy NimbusPlayer’s HandbookHoly warriors, devoted to their cause.
Oath of the AncientsTenets of the Ancients, Channel Divinity, Aura of Warding, Undying Sentinel, Elder ChampionPlayer’s HandbookPaladins that seek to wage war against darkness for a love of light and life.
Oath of VengeanceTenets of Vengeance, Channel Divinity, Relentless Avenger, Soul of Vengeance, Avenging AngelPlayer’s HandbookA paladin that has dedicated themself to punishing the crimes of others.
OathbreakerChannel Divinity, Aura of Hate, Supernatural Resistance, Dread LordDungeon Master’s GuideA paladin that broke an oath long ago and that is cursed for this choice.
Oath of the CrownTenets of the Crown, Channel Divinity, Divine Allegiance, Unyielding Saint, Exalted ChampionSword Coast Adventurer’s GuideA paladin sworn to protect the crown and its lands.
Oath of ConquestTenets of Conquest, Channel Divinity, Aura of Conquest, Scornful Rebuke, Invincible ConquerorXanathar’s Guide to EverythingA paladin sworn to conquer and bring about victory.
Oath of RedemptionTenets of Redemption, Channel Divinity, Aura of the Guardian, Protective Spirit, Emissary of RedemptionXanathar’s Guide to EverythingPaladins that believe anyone can be redeemed and will inflict death only as a last resort.
Oath of GloryTenets of Glory, Channel Divinity, Aura of Alacrity, Glorious Defense, Living LegendTasha’s Cauldron of EverythingA paladin that has made an oath to win at all costs and have their name etched into legends.
Oath of the WatchersTenets of the Watchers, Channel Divinity, Aura of the Sentinel, Vigilant Rebuke, Mortal BulwarkTasha’s Cauldron of EverythingA paladin that watches for and protects from the unnatural and alien forces of the universe.

Published by DM Ben

Ben is an experienced dungeon master and player who's been immersed in the D&D universe since he was a teenager over 20 years ago. When he's not writing for Dungeon Mister, Ben loves creating fiendish puzzles and devious dungeons for his players. He's an especially big fan of the Ravenloft and Dragonlance settings.

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