2012-11-15, 11:43 PM (ISO 8601)
Re: A Paladin Inquiry
Yes. Serenity is a good feat.
I believe DM only doesn't include it because DM's guides generally stick to WotC-published 3.5 materials. There are a few exceptions where first-party materials don't support something (like the Hexblade's curse feats) or where the forums speak especially loudly about a certain combination (like Iajitsu Focus on the Factotum), but 3.0 and Dragon magazine stuff is normally deliberately omitted.
On advancement routes, it depends pretty heavily on what you're in Paladin to get:
If you want all the Paladin's abilities to advance - mounts, casting, smiting, as well as its early-level class features, your best options are straight Paladin or Triadic Knight. The advantage of Paladin is full class casting and ACF advancement (Mystic Fire Knight, Harmonious Knight or anything you might have swapped your mount out for). The advantage of Triadic Knight is a bunch of immunities while maintaining mount and smite advancement and pretty good casting. Also a weak gimmicky capstone that's not worth losing another CL for.
EDIT: Also bone knight, for even more immunities and an unusually pro-undead scthick, but only Cleric BA. The big bonus is stacking with Paladin of Tyranny for a mount while advancing accelerated casting like the Ur-Priest's.
If you only want Paladin for its early-level abilities (Divine Grace, Aura of Courage, Turning, or whatever ACFs you want to replace them), your build should be able to make pretty good use of most martial classes based on Wisdom or Charisma - builds based on gishing with Suel Arcanamach, Knight of the Weave, Chameleon or Warmind and/or throwing some levels into straight martial classes like Hellreaver, Wildrunner, Witchslayer, Shiba Disciple or Singh Rager can all work well, as long as everything stays keyed off the same attribute.
And if you're only in it for one aspect of the Paladin:
For Smiting: Ordained Champion and Fist of Raziel both do it better than straight Paladin.
For Mount: Paladin 5/Beastmaster 1/Halfling Outrider 10 out-mounts the Paladin. An Ashworm Dragoon dip might also be worthwhile for mounted burrowing.
For Casting specifically: Paladin's so conspicuously worse than Cleric that it's probably not worth your time.
Last edited by eggs; 2012-11-16 at 01:26 AM.