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    Default How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 (or 5) easy house rules (peach)

    As DM, I was thinking about some quick ways to improved the paladin. I'm aware that the quickest one is to play a Crusader, but i still wanted to simply fix and enhancing the standard pally, using basically its well known class features and without adding anything too relevant to its core chassis.

    Initially, I was toying with the idea of changing it to a PrC while improving it, but it ended no good: even if I give him more goodies, all the effort would be wasted if you must spend levels to have access to the class, so I decided to simply upgrade the base class.
    We don't really need to improve the damage output or the survivability... those are not the problems of any martial class. As usual, we must work on versatility. Luckily for us, the paladin got spells... so, here we are.

    1st step: Spell progression.
    The paladin will maintain the actual spell progression, only, instead of having access to 1st lev. spells at 4th class level, it will begin since its first level. This way, a 11th lev. Pally will begin to casts spells of 4th lev, instead of having to wait 'til 14th lev.
    Benefit: the spell progression will be only a little worse than the bard's, thus meaning that the pally's level of casting power, will be nearer to the other not-full casters.

    2nd step: number of spells.
    The bonus spells and the DC will be based on Cha, instead of Wis.
    Benefit: more spells and little reduction of MAD.

    3rd step: again, spells.
    Similarly to a cleric, the paladin can choose ONE domain from among those belonging to his deity, or that represents his spiritual inclinations and abilities, thus gaining access to a domain spell at each spell level he can cast, as well as the relative granted power.
    Benefit: more spells and a little improvement in versatility.

    4th step: the mount.
    In addition to the paladin's mount abilities as listed, the mount will gain (as Su abilities) the special power listed by the phantom steed spell (from riding over swampy ground at 8th lev., 'til fly at 14th).
    Benefit: seems obvious...

    All in all, it seems to me a good improvement, with very few modifications to the base class. What do you think?


    EDIT:
    as suggested by many, it's possible to add:

    5th step: smite evil
    when the paladin uses Smite Evil on a creature, it will remain active 'til the target creature is dead
    Last edited by Killer Angel; 2012-03-07 at 06:42 AM.
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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    I like it, if one of my players ever makes a Paladin I'll probably use these rules. Particularly the domain thing makes them more flavorful...
    Do you have any idea on how to fix Smite Evil? Thematically, it's fine that you can only use it a few times per day (it's supposed to be some kind of epic finisher thing), but it's really too weak to warrant that.

    EDIT: PF Smite is somewhat better, but only really changes the duration and thus doesn't work as a finishing move quite as well.
    Last edited by SilverLeaf167; 2012-03-05 at 07:46 AM.
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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    I like the PF Smite Evil because it's actually worthwhile to use; it's not a Finishing Move, but it's a "The final confrontation!" booster. Works for me.

    If you want the Finishing Move,

    a) double or triple the damage it does
    b) give it a "Save or Die" feature, per the rules for coup de grace

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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverLeaf167 View Post
    Do you have any idea on how to fix Smite Evil? Thematically, it's fine that you can only use it a few times per day (it's supposed to be some kind of epic finisher thing), but it's really too weak to warrant that.

    EDIT: PF Smite is somewhat better, but only really changes the duration and thus doesn't work as a finishing move quite as well.
    I didn't focus on smite evil, firstly because it wasn't my issue... it deals damage (something that you can usually achieve with PA or mounted combat) and so it's easy to fix it, if you're only looking to "I hit harder". One solution is the Pathfinder's, but you can invent something else, such increasing the number of SE, and so on.
    If you're interested in the "finisher" thing, probably you can modify it in something different (examples: SE means that you bypass all DR, or that your next attack gains +20 sacred bonus to hit).
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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    Personally, I like the spell-ideas in the OP; normally, it takes forever for a paladin to be able to really *do* something with his spells.

    I wouldn't even be adverse to giving the paladin Battle Blessing at 4th or 6th level, to increase the efficiency in battle.

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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    Quote Originally Posted by Canarr View Post

    I wouldn't even be adverse to giving the paladin Battle Blessing at 4th or 6th level, to increase the efficiency in battle.
    This. Give it to him at say 6th level or so, and then CHA based casting like the OP was saying. Suddenly, the paladin becomes viable for something other than Divine Grace.
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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    Regarding Smite Evil i would have improve it by effectively giving it the same effects as the bless weapon spell for that attack.
    ie it counts as a good weapon and automatically confirms crits.
    If you wanted to boost it still further you could allow the crits to work on evil creatures not normally effected.
    For example undead and bebiliths

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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    I'm partial to OneWinged4ngel's Rebalanced Paladin. Smite on a per-encounter basis, improved spellcasting and spell list, some nifty class features and nerfed dippability.
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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    1) Use Crusader - good option

    2) Use Unearthed Arcana Prestige Paladin - better option for wanting to keep the paladinesque feel within 3E basics as opposed to Tome of Battle maneuver system. Does not take anything away from Crusader.

    3) Use Pathfinder Paladin - best option. Pathfinder gave Paladins a lot of love.

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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    Quote Originally Posted by Canarr View Post
    I wouldn't even be adverse to giving the paladin Battle Blessing at 4th or 6th level, to increase the efficiency in battle.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swooper View Post
    Battle Blessing certainly could be very helpful, and there are lots of rebalanced paladins that work fine, but it wasn't my objective.
    B.B. is a not-core feat and rebalanced paladins (as the one linked), while good, are also based on new class features, often invented.
    My adjustment was made having in mind "a paladin rewritten with Core material and minimal changes, but becoming more effective".
    Battle Blessing is good, but I was avoiding those kind of things.

    EDIT: I'm kinda sad, i was really hoping for more feedback...
    Last edited by Killer Angel; 2012-03-06 at 03:16 AM.
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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    PF Paladin is my favorite. If you really want to make the spell progression a little faster.

    Edit: As for feedback:
    Spell access faster is nice. I can't argue that and its not like Paladins have the craziest spells in the world.
    Charisma as the casting stat is obvious.
    I'd allow the paladin to pick from a list of Domain spells not from spells of any god that is 1 step away from what he is. I mean Paladin 2 / Sorc 5 picking Magic Domain is kind of amazing.
    I like the mount idea. Its cool.
    Last edited by Suddo; 2012-03-06 at 03:47 AM.
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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    While reformulating the Paladin portion for my [shameless plug]Trissociate[/shameless plug], I figured that one of the problems with Smite Evil was its action.

    Its a standard action that is limited to 1 attack. This is fine for about level 1-5. At level 6, the Paladin faces a choice between using smite for +6 damage, or doing a full attack for a 2nd attack that does more than +6 damage (not counting the attack roll bonus for now). And the equation gets worse once you add in haste, and get to the higher iteratives.

    So I made smite evil a free action, that could be added to any melee attack, but limited to once per round. (Besides making it sort-of-per-encounter, and giving the paladin 1 smite every odd level).
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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    Quote Originally Posted by Killer Angel View Post
    EDIT: I'm kinda sad, i was really hoping for more feedback...
    Personally, I like the changes you've suggested; I just think they could go a bit further still.

    Have you considered letting the paladin choose from several possible domains? Aside from those his god offers, maybe some that fit with the paladin theme - Law, Honor, Valor, Justice, that sort of thing?

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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    Putting aside for a moment the issues on smite evil...

    Quote Originally Posted by Suddo View Post
    I'd allow the paladin to pick from a list of Domain spells not from spells of any god that is 1 step away from what he is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Canarr View Post
    Have you considered letting the paladin choose from several possible domains?
    I suppose I could do something like this (as possible for a cleric not devoted to a particular deity):

    Quote Originally Posted by Killer Angel View Post
    3rd step:
    Similarly to a cleric, the paladin can choose ONE domain from among those belonging to his deity, or that represents his spiritual inclinations and abilities, thus gaining access to a domain spell at each spell level he can cast, as well as the relative granted power.
    mmm...
    I like it. The OP has been edited accordingly.
    Last edited by Killer Angel; 2012-03-06 at 06:50 AM.
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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    I think this would really improve the paladin to the point of using. My problem with it was always its spells. How slow they were, how you needed Wis to cast them, and how limited they were. I think that if I have a player using Paladin in the future I will direct them to this. Good job.
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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    I like your version, would only adjust a little. The paladins i have encountered so far have serious trouble with their mounts in the dungeons the explore, so to them it is a wasted feature.
    So i would just exchange the mount with the PF variant (charging your weapon instead) and be fine with it.

    Good job!
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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    Quote Originally Posted by JeminiZero View Post
    While reformulating the Paladin portion for my [shameless plug]Trissociate[/shameless plug], I figured that one of the problems with Smite Evil was its action.

    Its a standard action that is limited to 1 attack. This is fine for about level 1-5. At level 6, the Paladin faces a choice between using smite for +6 damage, or doing a full attack for a 2nd attack that does more than +6 damage (not counting the attack roll bonus for now). And the equation gets worse once you add in haste, and get to the higher iteratives.

    So I made smite evil a free action, that could be added to any melee attack, but limited to once per round. (Besides making it sort-of-per-encounter, and giving the paladin 1 smite every odd level).
    Uh, what? Smite evil isn't a standard action, you make it in place of any of your attacks. This can be a standard action or a full-round attack or (I'm fairly certain) even an AoO. In fact, that's one of the trouble with default Smite Evil, you're rewarded for stockpiling your daily uses for a single, tough enemy, and dropping 2-3 in a single full-round attack to try and take down your biggest enemy of the day as fast as possible. That's not fun, because limits the paladin's power to a round or two a day, and when it works right it's still not particularly satisfying because it's a foregone conclusion.
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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    I'd give them one caster level per class level, as well, rather than halves.
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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cwymbran-San View Post
    I like your version, would only adjust a little. The paladins i have encountered so far have serious trouble with their mounts in the dungeons the explore, so to them it is a wasted feature.
    Well, my mounted-combat characters are usually small, to use medium-sized beasts, so to me it's not an issue. But that's digressing... and mount needs some love too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cwymbran-San View Post
    So i would just exchange the mount with the PF variant (charging your weapon instead) and be fine with it.
    Having the access to bless weapon since first lev. helps a little.
    The point is that I like very much PF pally, but boosting the weapon, while useful, is merely a version of "I hit harder", while boosting the mount with utilities like water walk and fly, gives more options, so I went for the mount.
    I could think to upgrade the thing to "5 easy house rules", however...


    Quote Originally Posted by Cwymbran-San View Post
    Good job!
    Tnx.
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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    Quote Originally Posted by lsfreak View Post
    Uh, what? Smite evil isn't a standard action, you make it in place of any of your attacks. This can be a standard action or a full-round attack or (I'm fairly certain) even an AoO.
    Actually the text can be intepreted in 2 possible ways.

    Using a supernatural ability is a standard action unless noted otherwise.
    Smite Evil (Su): Once per day, a paladin may attempt to smite evil with one normal melee attack...
    This first is that smite is an SU ability which takes a standard action, and that standard action gives a normal melee attack (with smite bonus).

    The second is that "one normal melee attack" refers to the "noted otherwise" action.

    Either way, it is quite poorly worded.
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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    Definitely a bump up. I'd already committed to doing the spell progression and casting stat changes myself. Domain thing is fairly common and makes sense and not too powerful but is also good and can helpopen up some more options later onto the pally.

    Mount flight makes more exotic mount ACFs/feats/selections less necessary and is a minor but decenly ineresting change.
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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    Quote Originally Posted by Killer Angel View Post
    As DM, I was thinking about some quick ways to improved the paladin. I'm aware that the quickest one is to play a Crusader, but i still wanted to simply fix and enhancing the standard pally, using basically its well known class features and without adding anything too relevant to its core chassis.

    Initially, I was toying with the idea of changing it to a PrC while improving it, but it ended no good: even if I give him more goodies, all the effort would be wasted if you must spend levels to have access to the class, so I decided to simply upgrade the base class.
    We don't really need to improve the damage output or the survivability... those are not the problems of any martial class. As usual, we must work on versatility. Luckily for us, the paladin got spells... so, here we are.

    1st step: Spell progression.
    The paladin will maintain the actual spell progression, only, instead of having access to 1st lev. spells at 4th class level, it will begin since its first level. This way, a 11th lev. Pally will begin to casts spells of 4th lev, instead of having to wait 'til 14th lev.
    Benefit: the spell progression will be only a little worse than the bard's, thus meaning that the pally's level of casting power, will be nearer to the other not-full casters.

    2nd step: number of spells.
    The bonus spells and the DC will be based on Cha, instead of Wis.
    Benefit: more spells and little reduction of MAD.

    3rd step: again, spells.
    Similarly to a cleric, the paladin can choose ONE domain from among those belonging to his deity, or that represents his spiritual inclinations and abilities, thus gaining access to a domain spell at each spell level he can cast, as well as the relative granted power.
    Benefit: more spells and a little improvement in versatility.

    4th step: the mount.
    In addition to the paladin's mount abilities as listed, the mount will gain (as Su abilities) the special power listed by the phantom steed spell (from riding over swampy ground at 8th lev., 'til fly at 14th).
    Benefit: seems obvious...

    All in all, it seems to me a good improvement, with very few modifications to the base class. What do you think?
    All of these are reasonable. I would add in a 5th houserule to put Smite Evil on a d4 cooldown, and possibly bump up the damage to 2 or 3 times level, depending on optimization levels.
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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    Has anyone tried making Smite apply to every attack made in a turn? That would up its damage to the point where its useful.

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    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    Quote Originally Posted by Killer Angel View Post
    Putting aside for a moment the issues on smite evil...
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    All of these are reasonable. I would add in a 5th houserule to put Smite Evil on a d4 cooldown, and possibly bump up the damage to 2 or 3 times level, depending on optimization levels.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Has anyone tried making Smite apply to every attack made in a turn? That would up its damage to the point where its useful.
    Well, i could introduce something ala PF, with SE lasting 'til the target creature is dead.
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    Great analysis KA. I second all things you said
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeYounger View Post
    Great analysis KA, I second everything you said here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryu_Bonkosi View Post
    If I have a player using Paladin in the future I will direct them to this. Good job.
    Quote Originally Posted by grimbold View Post
    THIS is proof that KA is amazing
    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Killer Angel, you have an excellent taste in books

    Avatar removed, work in progress...

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Re: How to improve your 3.5 Paladin with 4 easy house rules (peach)

    I've never really seen how a paladin plays I'm kinda a newbie and my group tends to shy away from them (out of lack of interest as opposed to any class inefficiencies)

    That being said a thought occurred. As is, between Pathfinder and 3.5 as far as I recall any class that uses Cha as the casting stat is a spontaneous caster, any class that uses Wis or Int is prepared. Since in the OP you said paladin spell progression would still be less than bards, perhaps making them spontaneous casters.

    The Core spell list isn't too many spells so you might not even need to restrict spells known, but again this may be lack of experience talking so you could do something roughly Spells per day + 1 per level + domain spells = spells known?

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