What's a Paladin?

Clad in plate armor that gleams in the sunlight despite the dust and grime of long travel, a human lays down her sword and shield and places her hands on a mortally wounded mano Divine radiance shines from her hands, the man's wounds knit closed, and his eyes open widewith amazement.

A dwarf crouches behind an outcrop, his black cloak making him nearly invisible in the night, and watches an orc war band celebrating its recent victory. Silently, he stalks into their midst and whispers an oath, and two orcs are dead before they even realize he is there.
Silver hair shining in a shaft of !ight that seems to illuminate only him, an elf laughs with exultation. His spear flashes like his eyes as he jabs again and again at a twisted giant, until at last his light overcomes its hideous darkness.

Whatever their origin and their mission, paladins are united by their oaths to stand against the forces of evil. Whether sworn before a god's altar and the witness of a priest, in a sacred glade before nature spirits and fey beings, or in a moment of desperation and grief with the
dead as the only witness, a paladin's oath is a powerful bond. lt is a source of power that turns a devout warrior into a blessed champion.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d10 per level
Hit Points at 1st level: 10 + Con mod
Hit Points at Higher levels: 1d10 + Con mod per level above 1st.


Armor: All armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
Skills: Choose two: Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Medicine, Persuasion, Religion.


  • Choose: a martial weapon and a shield; or two martial weapons
  • Choose: five javelins; or any simple melee weapon
  • Choose: a priest's pack; or an explorer's pack
  • Chain mail and a holy symbol

Quick Build

You can make a paladin quickly by following these suggestions. First, Strength should be your highest ability score, followed by Charisma. Second, choose the noble background.

Lvl Proficiency Bonus Features 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1st +2 Divine Sense, Lay on Hands
2nd +2 Fighting Style, Spellcasting, Divine Smite 2
3rd +2 Divine Health, Sacred Oath 3
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 3
5th +3 Extra Attack 4 2
6th +3 Aura of Protection 4 2
7th +3 Sacred Oath feature 4 3
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 4 3
9th +4 4 3 2
10th +4 Aura of Courage 4 3 2
11th +4 Improved Divine Smite 4 3 3
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3
13th +5 4 3 3 1
14th +5 Cleansing Touch 4 3 3 1
15th +5 Sacred Oath feature 4 3 3 2
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 2
17th +6 4 3 3 3 1
18th +6 Aura improvements 4 3 3 3 1
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 3 2
20th +6 Sacred Oath feature 4 3 3 3 2

Divine Sense

The presence of strong evil registers on your senses like a noxious odor, and powerful good rings like heavenly music in your ears. As an action, you can open your awareness to detect such forces. Until the end of your next turn, you know the location of any celestial, fiend, or undead within 60 feet of you that is not behind total cover. Vou know the type (celestial, fiend, or undead) of any being whose presence you sense, but not its identity (the vampire Count Strahd von Zarovich, for instance). Within the same radius, you also detect the presence of any place or object that has been consecrated or desecrated, as with the hallow spell.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier. When you finish a long rest, you regain all expended uses.

Lay on Hands

Your blessed touch can heal wounds. You have a pool of healing power that replenishes when you take a long rest. With that pool, you can restore a total number of hit points equal to your paladin level x 5.

As an action, you can touch a creature and draw power from the pool to restore a number of hit points to that creature, up to the maximum amount remaining in your pool.

Alternatively, you can expend 5 hit points from your pool of healing to cure the target of one disease or neutralize one poison affecting it. You can cure multiple diseases and neutralize multiple poisons with a single use of Lay on Hands, expending hit points separately for each one.

This feature has no effect on undead and constructs.

Fighting Styles

At 2nd level, choose one of the following options. You can't choose the same style twice, even if you later get to choose again.

  • Defender: When wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC. When you are wielding a shield, you may use your reaction to impose disadvantage on an attack roll targeting another ally within 5 feet of you.
  • Dueling: When wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.
  • Great Weapon Fighting: When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a weapon held in two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if it a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit
  • Mariner: As long as you not wearing heavy armor or wearing a shield, you have a swimming speed and a climbing speed equal to your normal speed, and you gain a +1 bonus to AC.


Preparing and Casting Spells: The table above shows how many spell slots you have to cast spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended slots when you finish a long rest.

You prepare the list of paladin spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the Paladin spell list. When you do so, choose a number of spells equal to your Charisma modifier + your paladin level (min. 1 spell). These must be of a level for which you have spell slots. You may change your list of prepared spells whenever you finish a long rest; doing so requires 1 minute of prayer or meditation per spell level of the chosen the spells.

Spellcasting Ability: Charisma is your casting ability for paladin spells. Your magic comes from the strength of your convictions. When a spell refers to your spellcasting ability, you use Charisma . In addition, you use your Charisma to determine the save DC of any paladin spell which requires one, and when making an attack roll with one.

  • Spell save DC= 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
  • Spell attack modifier= your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier

Spellcasting Focus: You may use a holy symbol as a spellcasting focus for your spells. Every deity or religion has at least one holy symbol, and you may use any associated with your religion. They are traditionally amulets or pendants, but can also be signet rings, insignias on a shield, or even a held banner. Whatever form they take, you must be able to take hold of the object and present it towards the target(s) of your spell.

Divine Smite

Starting at 2nd level, when you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can expend one paladin spell slot to deal radiant damage to the target, in addition to the weapon's damage. The extra damage is 2d8 for a 1st-levei spell slot, plus 1d8 for each spell level higher than 1st, to a maximum of 5d8. The damage increases by 1d8 if the target is an undead or a fiend.

Divine Health

By 3rd level, the divine magic flowing through you makes you immune to disease.

Sacred Oath

When you reach 3rd level, you swear the oath that binds you as a paladin forever. Up to this time you have been in a preparatory stage, committed to the path but not yet sworn to it. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 7th, 15th, and 20th level Those features include oath spells and the Channel Divinity feature.

Oath Spells

Each oath has a list of associated spells. You gain access to these spells at the levels specified in the oath description. Once you gain access to an oath spell, you always have it prepared. Oath spells don't count against the number of spells you can prepare each day.

If you gain an oath spell that doesn't appear on the paladin spell list, the spell is nonetheless a paladin spell for you.

Channel Divinity

Your oath allows you to channel divine energy to fuel magical effects. Each Channel Divinity option provided by your oath explains how to use it. When you use your Channel Divinity, you choose which option to use. You must then finish a short or long rest to use your Channel Divinity again.

Some Channel Divinity effects require saving throws. When you use such an effect from this class, the DC equals your paladin spell save DC.

Ability Score Improvement

At 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or increase two ability scores by 1 each. As usual, you cannot increase an ability score above 20 using this ability.

Alternatively, you can choose to gain a single feat of your choice. You may choose from this list, and potentially more depending on the individual campaign; ask the DM for more details.

Extra Attack

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Aura of Protection

Starting at 6th level, whenever you or a friendly creature within 10 feet of you must make a saving throw, the creature gains a bonus to the saving throw equal to your Charisma modifier (with a minimum bonus of +1). You must be conscious to grant this bonus.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Aura of Courage

Starting at 10th level you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can't be frightened while you are conscious.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Improved Divine Smite

By 11th level, you are so suffused with righteous might that all your melee weapon strikes carry divine power with them. Whenever you hit a creature with a melee weapon, the creature takes an extra 1d8 radiant damage. If you also use your Divine Smite with an attack, you add this damage to the extra damage of your Divine Smite.

Cleansing Touch

Beginning at 14th level, you can use your action to end one spell on yourself or on one willing creature that you touch.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (a minimum of once). You regain expended uses when you finish a long rest.

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