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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Paladin Oath of the Undying - Please Critique



superninja109
2018-11-17, 11:20 AM
Here is my first homebrew for D&D. Please critique as much as possible. I want to make this good.


Oath of the Undying

The Oath of the Undying binds a paladin to a service of unending duty. A paladin choosing this oath draw power from the line between life and death. They excel at both preserving life and quickening death, preserving the balance between the two. They let the cycle of life and death flow as it must and destroy undead, which represent corruptions of the process. As guardians of the line between life and death, Undying paladins excel at avoiding crossing said line. As such, Undying paladins are the stuff of legends, eternal warriors who, even after death, it is rumored, can come back.

Tenets of the Undying
Paladins who follow this oath observe the following tenets.

• Balance of the Line. The forces of life and death must always be in balance. No death-mongering scourge can stand for long, and neither can those who cheat death for too long. It is fine to return to life so long as you go through true death in the process.
• Defense of the Line. The line must be guarded against those who seek to desecrate the line and process of life and death by creating undead and other facsimiles of life, like constructs.

Oath Spells
You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed below.

• 3rd level: sanctuary, healing word
• 5th level: warding bond, gentle repose
• 9th level: feign death, beacon of hope
• 13th level: death ward, stoneskin
• 17th level: raise dead, wall of force


Channel Divinity
When you take this oath at 3rd level you gain the following Channel Divinity options:
Banish the Unholy. As an action, present your holy symbol and speak a prayed banning undead and constructs. Any undead or constructs that are in a 30 foot cube centered on you are pushed to the closest unoccupied space outside of the cube. For 1 minute, all undead and constructs that enter this cube or start their turn there must make a Charisma saving throw or be instantly destroyed that try to enter this cube must make a Charisma saving throw or be unable to enter the cube for the rest of the creature's turn.
Holy Shield. As an action, you imbue yourself with vitality. You gain temporary hit points equal to 4 times your paladin level for 1 minute. During this time, as a bonus action, you may transfer all of these temporary hit points to a friendly creature you can see within 30 feet.

Aura of Life
Beginning at 7th level, you and all friendly creatures within 10 feet of you gain temporary hit points equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1) at the beginning of your turn if you are not incapacitated.
At 18th level, the range of this aura extends to 30 feet.

Lend Life
Starting at 15th level, you can, as a bonus action, transfer any number of hit points from a willing creature within 30 feet of you to another willing creature within 30 feet. Either of these creatures may be you.

Undying Guardian
Starting at 20th level, you become a master of the line. If you die, you remain dead for 7 days. After 7 days pass, you return to life as if by a reincarnate true resurrection spell. This feature does not function if you died or dropped to 0 hit points because of taking psychic damage, if you were killed by some effect that kills your mind or soul such as magic jar, or if you were killed by a wish spell. Also, when you are alive, as an action, you can choose one creature within 10 feet of you. If this creature has 75 or less hit points remaining and less hit points than you do, it drops to 0 hit points and you die. You can use this feature once per long rest. transform into a true master of the line for 1 minute. While in this form, you gain the following benefits:
Constructs and undead have disadvantage on attack rolls against you.
When a hostile creature starts its turn within 30 feet of you, it takes 5 radiant damage and you gain temporary 5 hit points.
When you reduce a hostile creature to 0 hit points, you regain 20 hit points.
Whenever a creature within 10 feet of you makes a death saving throw, you can cause the save to either automatically succeed or automatically fail.

JNAProductions
2018-11-17, 12:12 PM
Banish The Unholy should have a set time (probably one minute), require Concentration, and allow a new save every round. For reference, look at Banishment. This is WAY THE HECK BETTER.

Holy Shield looks fine.

Aura Of Protection is a duplicate name. Effects seem okay, I think. I'd want playtesting, though.

Eternal Shield... I guess it's okay.

Undying Guardian is okay, except I just noticed it only ends if you take psychic damage.

First off, why psychic? And second of all, that makes you WAY TOO HARD to kill. You need to take three failed death saves BEFORE YOUR TURN or take psychic damage, which very few monsters do.

I'd rather you make it one of the Paladin Super Saiyan things... Maybe something like this:


Undying Guardian

As an action, you steel yourself against all that might harm you. For the next minute, you regain 10 Hit Points at the start of each of your turns, may cast Healing Word at its lowest level without expending a spell slot, gain resistance to all damage, and immunity to non-magical damage.

In addition, all the time, you no longer suffer the infirmities of age, and can live to be as old as ten times your normal lifespan, as well as not requiring food or water to survive.

superninja109
2018-11-17, 01:12 PM
Thanks for the feedback!


Banish The Unholy should have a set time (probably one minute), require Concentration, and allow a new save every round. For reference, look at Banishment. This is WAY THE HECK BETTER.

I didn't really like this ability in the first place. Do you think it would be better to do something like: As an action present your holy symbol and choose a 30 ft cube centered on you. For 1 minute, fiends and elementals that enter this cube take radiant damage equal to 4 times you paladin level or something like this (numbers may vary.)


Holy Shield looks fine.

Thanks!


Aura Of Protection is a duplicate name. Effects seem okay, I think. I'd want playtesting, though.

Thanks for pointing that out. Would Aura of Shielding work? The intent is that it creates basically a quasi-DR for everybody close without actually being able to heal everyone up in resting ("Ok, everyone, huddle around me until you're at full HP...")


Eternal Shield... I guess it's okay.

I'm guessing that this is kinda boring. Would it be better if it was something like: "You may cast shield without expending a spell slot a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1). You regain all expended uses after taking a long rest."


Undying Guardian is okay, except I just noticed it only ends if you take psychic damage.

First off, why psychic? And second of all, that makes you WAY TOO HARD to kill. You need to take three failed death saves BEFORE YOUR TURN or take psychic damage, which very few monsters do.

I'd rather you make it one of the Paladin Super Saiyan things... Maybe something like this:

The reason I did psychic damage was because I was thinking along the lines of "Oh, his/her body is super protected and strong so one of the only ways to kill them is by messing with his/her mind. I want to keep the being almost immortal though, in a less game-breaking way. Would it work better if it was "You are almost impossible to kill. If you drop to 0 hit points from anything other than psychic damage or effects that displace your mind, you do not take death saving throws but rather remain unconscious for 1 minute, after which time you regain 1 hit point. You no longer suffer from the frailty of old age. You no longer require food or water to live. You can live for 10 time your normal lifespan. You can spend 24 hours completing a ritual that binds you to a location of your choosing. You are now bound to protect this place forever. If you ever are farther than a half a mile away from this location, you instantly die. While inside this place you are protecting, you cannot die of old age."

stoutstien
2018-11-17, 02:50 PM
Expanded spell list is a tad weak. It doesn't add a lot of depth.

superninja109
2018-11-17, 03:33 PM
Expanded spell list is a tad weak. It doesn't add a lot of depth.

Thank you for the critique! I'm not sure I entirely understand what you mean. Are you saying tghat the spells are all too similar and could use more versatility in function, that they don't expand on the standard spell list enough, or that it doesn't really add anything to the class. I'm sorry that I am confused by such a simple statement, but could you please clarify/paraphrase?

jiriku
2018-11-17, 06:39 PM
Expanded spell list is a tad weak. It doesn't add a lot of depth.


Thank you for the critique! I'm not sure I entirely understand what you mean. Are you saying tghat the spells are all too similar and could use more versatility in function, that they don't expand on the standard spell list enough, or that it doesn't really add anything to the class. I'm sorry that I am confused by such a simple statement, but could you please clarify/paraphrase?

Most of the spells are on the paladin list, so they don't add new capabilities. If more spells were taken from non-paladin spell lists, it would add more depth to the subclass.
This is especially true because most of your features are enhancing defense and durability on a class that is already the #1 most defensive and durable class in the game. There comes a time when that particular horse has been killed and there's no need to keep on beating it.

Tenet / Oath Spells
This is thematic, interesting, and internally consistent. But you are kind of living in the shadow of the Oath of Devotion. There is already a paladin oath that emphasizes duty, caution, and protection of the weak, turns fiends, and is hard to kill. I am not sold on why there is a compelling case to introduce this homebrew into campaigns when the Devotion paladin is already published and is so similar. I think you should reconsider how the Undying paladin is different from the Devotion paladin, and then fine-tune the writeup to emphasize those differences and really sell the reader on why the Undying paladin brings something new and valuable to the game.

Banish the Unholy
There's no obvious reason why your paladin should have special powers against fiends and elementals. What's the motivation behind this power? I'd like to know more about the connection between those who swear the Oath of the Undying and fiends from the lower planes.

Aura of Protection
At a very rough estimate, I am guessing that this ability represents about 30 - 50 points of healing for a typical encounter for a party of five 7th level PCs, scaling up as high as about 100 points of healing for a hard encounter with a group of five PCs of level 16+. That seems like a lot. Were you aiming for that much?

Eternal Shield
A couple of concerns here. First, this is permanent shield of faith on a class that already receives shield of faith as a bonus spell. So a later feature is obsoleting an earlier one. Class features should not poach from one another in such a fashion. Second, this is +2 AC for a class that has proficiency with heavy armor, shield proficiency, access to the Defense Fighting Style, and a bunch of spells that improve AC. I don't think you really need more AC at this point. Why not use this level to introduce something more compelling than just more of what paladin is already good at?

Undying Guardian
Too unkillable.

superninja109
2018-11-18, 10:51 AM
Thanks for the feedback, guys! I have edited the subclass extensively. I am especially wondering if the 20th level ability is too good. Would it be better if you were resurrected like it was a raise dead spell, so if your body is destroyed, you cannot return to life? I am also trying to get better at homebrew in general, so if I am falling in to the same sort of pitfalls, please tell me. Thank you!

JNAProductions
2018-11-18, 11:59 AM
I'd still prefer a more typical Paladin super-mode. This pseudo PWK is... Probably not good. At all.

A 7 day resurrection is completely fine. It could even be True Resurrection and I don't think it'd break anything, since whatever you were trying to do has an entire week to stew and get worse if you fail and die.

jiriku
2018-11-18, 01:44 PM
Your revised version is much more distinctive, and really stands on its own as a different type of paladin than the other oaths. Good work.

JNAProductions
2018-11-18, 01:46 PM
Banish the Unholy is far too good.

A single failed save can kill an undead or construct of any CR.

superninja109
2018-11-18, 03:43 PM
Your revised version is much more distinctive, and really stands on its own as a different type of paladin than the other oaths. Good work.

Thanks!


Banish the Unholy is far too good.

A single failed save can kill an undead or construct of any CR.

I just realized that the ability as written allows you to activate it and then have your allies try to drag undead and constructs into the cube. Instead, I am going to change it so that undead and constructs simply cannot enter the cube of their own volition. Is this better?

JNAProductions
2018-11-18, 03:47 PM
It should allow a save to enter.

superninja109
2018-11-18, 04:13 PM
It should allow a save to enter.


I'd still prefer a more typical Paladin super-mode. This pseudo PWK is... Probably not good. At all.

A 7 day resurrection is completely fine. It could even be True Resurrection and I don't think it'd break anything, since whatever you were trying to do has an entire week to stew and get worse if you fail and die.

Done, done, and done. How does the super-form look?

JNAProductions
2018-11-18, 04:15 PM
Grant 5 THP, not real HP. That way it can’t stack. As it is now, if you have 5 people in range, you regain 25 HP.

And maybe add something minor else.