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The 5e Paladin Class
Repolished

Holy warriors, local champions, or obsessed avengers. Paladins draw powerful magic by swearing a magical oath. They heal and deal devastating damage with radiant attacks.

 

The following is a revised version of the 5e paladin class. Our revisions support archery and dual wielding for paladins, as well as reworking ability progression, channel abilities, and a few of the class's features. Existing 5e subclasses will all work mechanically with this form of the paladin class. Click here for a summary of changes.

Navigation

Progression Table

Ability Scores

Hit Points

Proficiencies

Items

Multiclassing

Class Features by Level*

1: Divine Sense

1: Fighting Style

1: Lay on Hands

2: Paladin Spellcasting

2: Divine Smite

2: Smite Option

3: Divine Health

3: Sacred Oath

4: Ability Score Improvement

4: Feat

5: Extra Attack

5: Smite Option

6: Sacred Oath Feature

7: Aura of Protection

9: Aura of Courage

9: Smite Option

10: Sacred Oath Feature

11: Divine Strikes

13: Smite Option

14: Sacred Oath Feature

15: Cleansing Touch

18: Expanded Aura

19: Superior Ability

20: Sacred Oath Feature

*For abilities that appear at multiple levels, only the first case is listed. eg. Ability Score Improvement is only listed at level 4.

Spell Slots

Progression Chart
Ability Scores
Hit Points
Proficiencies
Items

Level 1 Paladins

When you create a level 1 paladin, follow these steps to add the following to your character:

Ability Scores

You can take one of these recommended ability score arrays, or you can roll or assign them yourself. You can switch any two ability scores, but you do not add any further bonuses (they're already included).

Strength: 16   Dexterity: 8   Constitution: 14   Intelligence: 8   Wisdom: 12   Charisma: 16 

Strength: 16   Dexterity: 10   Constitution: 14   Intelligence: 10  Wisdom: 12   Charisma: 14  

Hit Points

At First Level: 10 + Constitution Modifier

At Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 10) + Constitution Modifier

Hit Dice: 1d10 per paladin level

 

Proficiencies

Armor: Light Armor, Medium Armor, Heavy Armor
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma

Skills: two of: Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Medicine, Persuasion, and Religion

Items

longsword and a large shield -OR-a Martial Weapon and a large shield -OR- two Martial Weapons

Multiclass Characters

Instead of leveling up in your original class, you can take a paladin level when you level up. When you do, you gain only a portion of what first level paladins gain.

Hit Points

Per Level: 1d10 (or 10) + Constitution Modifier

Hit Dice: 1d10 per paladin level

 

Proficiencies

Armor: Light Armor, Medium Armor, Heavy Armor
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons

Multiclassing

Class Features

Class features here are sorted by level. When you reach a level as indicated by the icons on the left, you gain all feature or feature improvements listed between the red lines. For example, at first level paladins gain the Divine Sense and Lay on Hands abilities.

Class Features
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Divine Sense

You open your awareness to detect powerful supernatural creatures.

Bonus Action - 60 ft. - 3/Long Rest - 1 Round - Magical

You know the location of any aberration, celestial, elemental, fey, fiend, or undead within 60 feet of you that is not behind total cover. You know the type of any being whose presence you sense, but not its identity. For example, if the succubus queen Octavia was in disguise a mere 10 ft. away, you could use this ability to detect that she is a fiend, but you would not know her exact identity.

This ability counts as a 1st level divination spell, and can be blocked with spells like Nondetection.

Fighting Style

You adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can't take the same Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again. Click here for more information on our changes.

Archery

You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged and thrown weapons.

Defense

While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to Armor Class.

Protection

Reaction - 1 Ally (5 ft.)

When a creature hits one of your allies with an attack and that ally is within 5 ft. of you, you can force the attacker to reroll the attack, targeting you instead. You must be holding a shield or melee weapon to use this ability.

Single Weapon Fighting

When you are wielding a single one or two-handed melee weapon and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.​

Two-Weapon Fighting

When you make an attack with an off-hand weapon, you do not suffer disadvantage on the attack roll.

 

Lay on Hands

Your touch can heal wounds.

Action - 1 Creature (5 ft.) - Magical

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.

This feature has no effect on constructs.

Divine Sense
Lay on Hands
Fighting Style
Spellcasting
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Paladin Spellcasting

Your devotion allows you to channel magical energies. While many paladins are granted their spells by the power of an oath they swear to a deity, there are other ways to become a paladin. Whether by the influence of supernatural creatures, prophecy, or sheer force of will, swearing yourself to a cause can grant paladins the ability to cast spells. Regardless, this power is considered divine.

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Spell Slots

The paladin table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your 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 spell slots when you finish a long rest. For example, if you know the 1st level spell Bless and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast Bless using either slot.

Spells Prepared of 1st Level and Higher
You prepare the list of paladin spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the paladin spell list. The spells prepared column of the Paladin Table shows how many spells you can prepare at a given paladin level. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For example, when you reach 5th level in this class, you can prepare one more spell of 1st or 2nd level. 

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Switching Spells

You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest, allowing you to switch any paladin spell you have prepared. Preparing a new list of paladin spells requires time spent in meditation, focusing on your convictions and the path before you.

 

Spellcasting Ability

Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your paladin spells, since your magic draws upon the power of your convictions.

 

You use your Charisma score whenever a paladin spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Charisma modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a paladin spell you cast 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​​

Holy Symbol

You can use a holy symbol for casting paladin spells. To do so, you can choose to hold your holy symbol during spellcasting or you can choose to display your holy symbol on your weapon, shield, or armor. Your holy symbol replaces the need for you to have specific material components to cast spells, unless that material component costs 1 gold or more, in which case you must use the specific component instead.

A holy symbol isn't always a symbol of a deity, but a paladin's holy symbol is always symbolic of the oath or path they are on. 

Divine Smite

As Part of a Weapon Attack - 1 Creature - 1st Level (Evocation)

When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend a spell slot to deal radiant damage to the target, in addition to the weapon's damage. This damage counts as part of your weapon's damage, and if you smite on a critical hit, you roll twice as many damage dice for the smite.

  • On Hit: Target takes 2d8 radiant damage.* The damage increases by another 1d8 if the target is a celestial, fiend, or undead.

*Using Higher Level Spell Slots: Damage increases by 1d8 for each spell level above 1st.

Divine Smite counts as a spell, and like with other spells, you are limited to expending one spell slot per turn. You also cannot use Divine Smite on an attack that is already getting extra damage from another spell or feature with 'smite' in its name.

Alternative Smite Options

Just like with Divine Smite, each of these smite options deal damage that counts as part of your weapon's damage, and they count as spells. 

Choose one of the following smite options. You gain another option at levels 5, 9, and 13.

Branding Smite

As Part of a Weapon Attack - 1 Creature - 1st Level (Evocation) - 1 Minute

When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend a spell slot to deal radiant damage to the target, in addition to the weapon's damage.

  • On Hit: Target takes 2d8 radiant damage.* The target becomes visible if it's invisible, has its silhouette illuminated to shed dim light in a 5-foot radius, and can't become invisible for 1 minute.

*Using Higher Level Spell Slots: Damage increases by 1d8 for each spell level above 1st.

Burdening Smite

As Part of a Weapon Attack - 1 Creature - 1st Level (Transmutation) - 1 Round

When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend a spell slot to deal force damage and attempt to burden the target, in addition to the weapon's damage.

Strength Save

  • Failure: Target takes 2d6 force damage* and the target's speeds are halved.

  • Success: Target takes 2d6 force damage.*

*Using Higher Level Spell Slots: Damage increases by 1d6 for each spell level above 1st.

Elemental Smite

As Part of a Weapon Attack - 1 Creature - 1st Level (Evocation)

When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend a spell slot to deal damage to the target, in addition to the weapon's damage.

  • On Hit: Target takes 2d8 damage.* This extra damage can be cold, fire, lightning, or sonic.

*Using Higher Level Spell Slots: Damage increases by 1d8 for each spell level above 1st.

Sapping Smite

As Part of a Weapon Attack - 1 Creature - 1st Level (Necromancy)

When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend a spell slot to deal necrotic damage to the target, in addition to the weapon's damage.

  • On Hit: Target takes 2d8 necrotic damage.* The target is drained a number of hit points equal to the necrotic damage taken. The drained effect lasts until the target takes a long rest.

*Using Higher Level Spell Slots: Damage increases by 1d8 for each spell level above 1st.

Divine Smite
Extra Smite Option
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Divine Health

The magic flowing through you makes you immune to disease.

Sacred Oath

You formally swear a binding oath, which you can then draw power from. Your choice of sacred oath represents you choosing the values and ideals you will embody. Your oath grants you features at this level and again at 6th, 10th, 14th, and 20th level, also listed below.

Sacred Oaths published elsewhere are compatible with this version of the paladin class.

Channel Conviction

Your oath will have two Channel Conviction options.

Divine Health
Sacred Oath
Channel Conviction

Oath of Devotion

When you swear an oath of devotion, you begin a life in service to your chosen ideals or virtues. Many paladins who swear an oath of devotion choose to live their lives as virtuously as possible. Some paladins choose a specific virtue or code of honor, and they often hold themselves to almost impossibly high standards. Paladins who swear an oath of devotion are more resistant to mental influence than other paladins, and can stand as literal beacons of light against their foes.

Devotion: Channel Conviction

Choose one of the following features. You gain the other feature at level 10.

Inspiring Light

A burst of light shines from you, empowering your allies.

Bonus Action - 6 Creatures (60 ft.) - 1/Short Rest - Magical

  • Targets gain 2d8 temporary hit points, which last you or they finish a short or long rest.

  • Targets have advantage on the first saving throw they make before the end of your next turn.

  • You shed bright light in a 60 ft. radius until the end of this turn.

Sacred Weapon

You imbue the weapons you are holding with radiant energy.

Bonus Action - Self - 1 Minute - 1/Short Rest  Magical

Buff

  • You add your charisma modifier to your attack rolls with weapons, and deal extra radiant damage equal to your charisma modifier.

  • Any weapon you are wielding glows, shedding dim light in a 40 ft. radius and bright light in a 20 ft. radius.

Devotion Extra Prepared Spells

When you reach certain levels as a paladin, you gain the ability to cast higher level spells. When you do, you learn these additional spells. They do not count against the number of paladin spells have prepared.

Other Oath: Level 3 Feature

Choose this option if you'd like to use a Sacred Oath that comes from a source that isn't Elkan 5e. Your chosen oath grants you one or more features at this level. 

Channel Conviction: If you choose an oath that's not from Elkan 5e, these will be labeled as 'Channel Divinity'. At this level, you choose one of them, which you can use once between every short or long rest. This replaces the Channel Divinity feature. The other you then gain at level 10, also listed there.

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Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, and 16th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Feat

At this level and every level you gain an ability score improvement, you also gain a feat of your choice. You are eligible for general feats, paladin feats, and combat maneuver feats by default.

Ability Score Improvement
Feat
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Extra Attack

You can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn. If you are dual-wielding, your off-hand attack brings you to a total of three attacks.

Alternative Smite Options

Just like with Divine Smite, each of these smite options deal damage that counts as part of your weapon's damage, and they count as spells.

Choose one of the following smite options or one of the smite options available at earlier levels. You gain another option at levels 9 and 13.

Staggering Smite

As Part of a Weapon Attack - 1 Creature - 2nd Level (Evocation)

When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend a spell slot to deal force damage and attempt to set your opponent off balance, in addition to the weapon's damage.

Strength Save

  • Failure: Target takes 3d6 force damage* and the next attack against your target has advantage.

  • Success: Target takes 3d6 force damage.*

*Using Higher Level Spell Slots: Damage increases by 1d6 for each spell level above 2nd.

Thundering Smite

As Part of a Weapon Attack - 1 Creature - 2nd Level (Evocation)

When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend a spell slot to deal sonic damage and attempt to throw the target, in addition to the weapon's damage.

Strength Save

  • Failure: Target takes 3d6 sonic damage* and is knocked prone and pushed 5 ft. in a direction of your choice.

  • Success: Target takes 3d6 sonic damage.*

*Using Higher Level Spell Slots: Damage increases by 1d6 for each spell level above 2nd.

Extra Attack
Smites 5
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Sacred Oath Feature

Your chosen Sacred Oath grants you a new feature. If using an oath not from Elkan 5e, your ability for this level may be listed under level 7.

Oath Featue 6

Devotion: Aura of Devotion

You and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can't be affected by the charmed (or therefore dominated) conditions. If a creature who is already charmed comes within 10 ft. of you, this does not end the charmed condition, but does grant the creature advantage on saves to end the condition. This ability does not function when you are petrified or unconscious.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet (also listed below).

Other Oath: Level 6 Feature

Your chosen Sacred Oath grants you one or more features at this level. If using an oath not from Elkan 5e, your oath's feature is likely listed at level 7.

Aura of Protection
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Aura of Protection

Your presence helps shield allies from harm. 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). This ability does not function when you are petrified or unconscious.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet (also listed below).

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Ability Score Improvement

You increase one ability score of your choice by 2 or increase two ability scores of your choice by 1, to a maximum of  20.

Feat

You gain a feat of your choice.

Aura of Courage
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Aura of Courage

You and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can't be affected by the frightened condition. If a creature who is already frightened comes within 10 ft. of you, this does not end the frightened condition, but does grant the creature advantage on saves to end the condition. This ability does not function when you are petrified or unconscious.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet (also listed below).

Alternative Smite Options

Just like with Divine Smite, each of these smite options deal damage that counts as part of your weapon's damage, and they count as spells.

Choose one of the following smite options or one of the smite options available at earlier levels. You gain another option at level 13.

Blinding Smite

As Part of a Weapon Attack - 1 Creature - 3rd Level (Evocation) - 1 Round

When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend a spell slot to deal radiant damage and attempt to blind the target, in addition to the weapon's damage.

Constitution Save

  • Failure: Target takes 4d6 radiant damage* and is blinded

  • Success: Target takes 4d6 radiant damage.*

*Using Higher Level Spell Slots: Damage increases by 1d6 for each spell level above 3rd.

Menacing Smite

As Part of a Weapon Attack - 1 Creature - 3rd Level (Enchantment) - 1 Round

When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend a spell slot to deal psychic damage and attempt to frighten the target, in addition to the weapon's damage.

Wisdom Save

  • Failure: Target takes 4d6 psychic damage* and is frightened.

  • Success: Target takes 4d6 psychic damage.*

*Using Higher Level Spell Slots: Damage increases by 1d6 for each spell level above 3rd.

Smites 9
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Sacred Oath Feature

Your oath gives you a second Channel Conviction ability.

Oath Feature10

Devotion: Channel Conviction

Your chosen Sacred Oath grants you whichever Channel Conviction option you didn't choose at level 3, which you can use once between each short or long rest, separately from the other option. As before, this replaces the Channel Divinity feature.

Devotion: Channel Conviction

You now gain the feature you did not choose at level 3.

Inspiring Light

A burst of light shines from you, empowering your allies.

Bonus Action - 6 Creatures (60 ft.) - 1 Round - 1/Short Rest

Buff

  • Targets gain 2d8 temporary hit points and have advantage on their next saving throw.

  • You shed bright light in a 60 ft. radius until the end of this turn.

Sacred Weapon

You imbue the weapons you are holding with radiant energy.

Bonus Action - Self - 1 Minute - 1/Short Rest

Buff

  • You add your charisma modifier to your attack rolls with weapons, and deal extra radiant damage equal to your charisma modifier.

  • Any weapon you are wielding glows, shedding dim light in a 40 ft. radius and bright light in a 20 ft. radius.

Other Oath: Level 10 Feature

Your chosen Sacred Oath grants you whichever Channel Conviction option you didn't choose at level 3, which you can use once between each short or long rest, separately from the other option. As before, this replaces the Channel Divinity feature.

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Divine Strikes

You are so suffused with zealous might that all your melee weapon strikes carry radiant power with them. You deal an extra 1d8 radiant damage with all of your weapon attacks.

Divine Strikes
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Ability Score Improvement

You increase one ability score of your choice by 2 or increase two ability scores of your choice by 1, to a maximum of  20.

Feat

You gain a feat of your choice.

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Alternative Smite Options

Just like with Divine Smite, each of these smite options deal damage that counts as part of your weapon's damage, and they count as spells.

Choose one of the following smite options or one of the smite options available at earlier levels.

Blazing Smite

As Part of a Weapon Attack - 1 Creature - 4th Level (Evocation)

When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend a spell slot to deal fire damage, in addition to the weapon's damage.

  • On Hit: Target takes 5d10 fire damage.*

*Using Higher Level Spell Slots: Damage increases by 1d10 for each spell level above 4th.

Vampiric Smite

As Part of a Weapon Attack - 1 Creature - 4th Level (Necromancy)

When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend a spell slot to deal necrotic damage and regain hit points, in addition to the weapon's damage.

  • On Hit: Target takes 5d6 necrotic damage* and you regain hit points equal to half the necrotic damage dealt.

*Using Higher Level Spell Slots: Damage increases by 1d6 for each spell level above 4th.

Smites 13
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Sacred Oath Feature

Your chosen Sacred Oath grants you a new feature. If using an oath not from Elkan 5e, your ability for this level may be listed under level 15.

Oath Feature 14

Devotion: Purity of Body or Soul

Choose to strengthen either your body or soul against attack.

Purity of Body

You have advantage on strength and constitution saving throws.

Purity of Soul

You have advantage on wisdom and charisma saving throws.

Other Oath: Level 14 Feature

Your chosen Sacred Oath grants you one or more features at this level. If using an oath not from Elkan 5e, your oath's feature is likely listed at level 15.

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Cleansing Touch

Your touch can cure people of lasting illness.

Action - 5 ft. Creature - Magical

You can expend 5 hit points from your Lay on Hands pool of healing to cure one disease or remove the poisoned condition on one creature. You can cure multiple poisons or neutralize multiple poisons (or both) with a single use of Lay on Hands, expending hit points separately for each one. 

Additionally, when you expend at least 10 hit points as part of Lay on Hands, whether to restore hit points or cure poisons or diseases, you also end the drained condition on the target.

Cleansing Touch
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Ability Score Improvement

You increase one ability score of your choice by 2 or increase two ability scores of your choice by 1, to a maximum of  20.

Feat

You gain a feat of your choice.

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You gain no new class features at this level. As always, see the Paladin Table to see new spell slots and spells known. 

Expanded Auras
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Expanded Auras

Your Aura of Protection and your Aura of Courage now have a 30 ft. radius. Most auras granted by various Sacred Oaths also expand to 30 ft. at this level.

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Superior Ability

You increase one ability score of your choice by 2, to a maximum of 22.

Superior
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Sacred Oath Feature

Your chosen Sacred Oath grants you a new feature.

Oath Feature 20

Devotion: Nimbus of Light

You emit powerful radiant energy from your body, channeling the power of the sun to burn your enemies.

Bonus Action - Enemies in a 60 ft. Radius - 1 Minute - 1/Long Rest - Magical

When you use this ability, you begin emitting bright light in a 30 ft. radius and dim light in a 60 ft. radius, which counts as sunlight. When you use this ability, and again on each of your turns as a bonus action, you can deal damage to your enemies.

Constitution Saving Throw

Failure: 20 radiant damage.

Success: 10 radiant damage.

Other Oath: Level 20 Feature

Your chosen Sacred Oath grants you one or more features at this level.

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