View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Sacred Oath: Domain Variant (PEACH)

2016-05-19, 12:04 AM
EDIT: Essentially the following variant could be seen as a hybrid between paladin and cleric, both of which are already very similar in theme. (although, admittedly this has more focus on paladin mechanics).

What I would like to hear is most of all: Would you guys use anything like this and do you think it's balanced, compared to what it replaces. I would honestly think so.

You trade one channel divinity option for another. Pretty balanced in my honest opinion. In the end, one could acquire all of the same channel divinity options via multi-classing, so it shouldn't be that bad?

And you trade two spells of each level, up to 5th level, for an equal amount of spells for equal levels. Again, I find it really balanced. A first level spell is still a first level spell, no matter how you spin it around.

Sacred Oath: Domain Variant

In some campaigns divine classes must choose a deity to follow, and being a Paladin is no different in that case.
By using this variant (house)rule, your chosen deity determines which Sacred Oaths are available to you (see the list below; any changes are subject to DM's approval).

Dawn War Deities by Sacred Oath

Oath of Devotion:
Avandra, Bahamut, Corellon, Erathis, Moradin, Pelor, Sehanine
Oath of the Ancients:
Avandra, Corellon, Kord, Melora, Pelor, Sehanine
Oath of the Crown:
Asmodeus, Bahamut, Bane, Corellon, Lolth, Moradin, Tiamat
Oath of Vengeance:
Asmodeus, Avandra, Bane, Kord, Lolth, Melora, Raven Queen, Sehanine, Tiamat, Torog
Asmodeus, Bane, Gruumsh, Lolth, Tharizdun, Tiamat, Torog, Vecna, Zehir

Asmodeus LE Trickery
Avandra CG Trickery
Bahamut LG Life, War
Bane LE War
Corellon CG Arcana, Light
Erathis LN Knowledge
Gruumsh CE Tempest, War
Ioun N Knowledge
Kord CN Tempest
Lolth CE Trickery
Melora N Nature, Tempest
Moradin LG Knowledge, War
Pelor NG Life, Light
Raven Queen LN Life, Death
Sehanine CG Trickery
Tharizdun CE Trickery
Tiamat LE Trickery, War
Torog NE Death
Vecna NE Death, Knowledge
Zehir CE Trickery, Death

Additionally, you may choose to devote yourself to your Deity much like a cleric does. If you do, follow the rules presented below.

Sacred Domain: At 3rd level, when you choose your Sacred Oath you must also select a domain associated with your deity (subject to DM discretion). Once you have chosen the Domain, you can't change it.
Each Oath remains as they are except that you replace one of the Oath's Channel Divinity options with the option from the chosen Domain, as seen in a list below. Your Domain also replaces the Oath Spells with the Domain Spells at appropriate levels.
You substitute your Paladin level for any Cleric levels if a Domain feature refers to your Cleric level. You use your Charisma in place of Wisdom when a Domain feature refers to your spellcasting ability.
If you have levels in cleric in addition to your Paladin levels, they stack for the purpose of these variants. As normal, you must still have high enough cleric level to gain additional uses of Channel Divinity. You can gain each Channel Divinity option only once.

Channel Divinity:
Below are listed Channel Divinity Options which replace those of the Sacred Oaths:
Arcana: Arcane Abjuration
Death: Touch of Death
Knowledge: Knowledge of the Ages
Life: Preserve Life
Light: Radiance of the Dawn
Nature: Charm Animals and Plants
Tempest: Destructive Wrath
Trickery: Invoke Duplicity
War: Guided Strike

Below are listed the Channel Divinity Options from Sacred Oaths which are replaced by the Domains:
Oath of Devotion: Sacred Weapon
Oath of the Ancients: Nature's Wrath
Oath of the Crown: Turn the Tide
Oath of Vengeance: Vow of Enmity
Oathbreaker: Dreadful Aspect

Domains affect Improved Divine Smite in various ways, as seen below. At your DM's discretion, this effect could affect Divine Smites from the 3rd level forward as well.
Arcana: The additional damage is Force damage instead.
Death: The additional damage is Necrotic damage instead.
Knowledge: No change
Life: No change
Light: The additional damage is either Fire or Radiant damage (your choice), but the type must be same for each attack until the start of your next turn.
Nature: The additional damage is either Acid, Cold, Fire, or Lightning damage instead (your choice), but the type must be same for each attack until the start of your next turn.
Tempest: The additional damage is Thunder damage instead.
Trickery: The additional damage is Poison damage instead.
War: The additional damage is of the same type as your weapon, and it is considered magical if the weapon isn't already.

A Half-Elf Paladin, with the Sacred Oath of the Ancients, devoted to Corellon could take the Arcana Domain. His Channel Divinity option Nature's Wrath from the Oath of the Ancients would be then replaced by Arcane Abjuration from Arcana Domain and as his Oath Spells he would have the ones from Arcana Domain; at 3rd level he would have Detect Magic and Magic Missile always prepared instead of Ensnaring Strike and Speak with Animals.

An Elf Paladin, with the Sacred Oath of Vengeance, devoted to Sehanine could take the Trickery Domain. Her Channel Divinity option Vow of Enmity from the Oath of Vengeance would be then replaced by Invoke Duplicity from Trickery Domain and as her Oath Spells she would have the ones from Trickery Domain; at 3rd level she would have Charm Person and Disguise Self always prepared instead of Bane and Hunter's Mark.

A Dwarf Paladin, with the Sacred Oath of Devotion, devoted to Moradin could take the Knowledge Domain. His Channel Divinity Sacred Weapon from the Oath of Devotion would be then replaced by Knowledge of the Ages from Knowledge Domain and as his Oath Spells he would have the ones from Knowledge Domain; at 3rd level he would have Command and Identify always prepared instead of Protection from Evil and Good and Sanctuary.

A Half-Orc Oathbreaker Paladin, devoted to Gruumsh could take the Tempest Domain. Her Channel Divinity option Dreadful Aspect from Oathbreaker would be then replaced by Destructive Wrath from Tempest Domain and as her Oath Spells he would have the ones from Tempest Domain; at 3rd level she would have Fog Cloud and Thunderwave always prepared instead of Hellish Rebuke and Inflict Wounds.

2016-05-24, 09:19 PM
I like the idea. Reminds me a lot of the hybrid class option from 4e, which allowed for creative thinking and unique builds.

Certainly we could do with more oaths, and generally with more options in regard to building characters, at least imo. There are many more paladin concepts that could use their own oath. Your whole idea, could be easily summarised into a new oath, pretty similar in nature to the favoured sould origin for sorcerers. Meaning that this ''new oath'' would be about a paladin who devotes themselves to serving a specific deity. And finally becoming that deity's chosen upon reaching level 20, signified by the benefits of the lvl 20 capstone which could even take an obvious name like chosen of [insert name of deity] and would act perhaps like a form of divine intervention among other potential benefits. Anyway, the theme already exists for sorcerers, and paladins certainly fit that theme. The way to structure such an oath is pretty much obvious (allowing access to certain cleric domains, even exchanging CD's too as you have presented here would do). And it would certainly allow some players to play a version of the paladin that is closer to prior editions that what 5e has made them to be, regarding how they gain their powers and their connection with a deity, essentially replacing oath ideals with deity ideals (thinking of 3e paladins, dont have much knowledge about editions prior to 3rd). Such an oath would also allow for many different approaches, concepts and alignments, without having to deal with too much controversy, and without having to squeeze all (or at least most) of pure evil paladin builds into an oathbreaker.Sometimes the mechanical aspect of an oath is not interesting enough to some players. For example, I was thrilled with the oath of the crown concept, but I dislike the mechanics of it, and it is not that the mechanics are always too indicative of the oath's nature Now the guy who wants to play a mentally unstable paladin of Grumsh, can do so from level 1, without having to start as a vengeance paly that would later become an oathbreaker inevitably, raising undead and all that. He could just take up the war domain and just be a savage champion of his cruel deity.

Regarding balance (as far as what you have presented here goes), I dont think it is broken, though I reserve this from being sth I am 100% sure, as there might be something op I cannot see at first glance.

My suggestion, would be to turn this (or start a new thread) to a new oath option. One that is similar in nature to the favoured soul origin for sorcerers. Why? Because it makes sense both mechanicaly and conceptualy.

Mechanicaly it is a very interesting choice that opens many possibilities and adds a lot of versatility. And conceptualy, it allows for an iterration of the paladin that is more in line to what a paladin was in previous editions, and that is something that a lot of people would be happy with (I am sure many people have paladins gain their powers from deities in their campaigns). Not regarding alignment, but the divine nature of the class (champion of a deity, as opposed to an individual who gains his powers from his sheer will - not that I dont like the whole new approach that 5e took with paladins, I like it quite a lot, but it would be good to leave some room for a more traditional approach, for nostalgia's sake if not for anything else.

ps: I like your idea that the damage from divine smite changes according to what domain you picked.
ps2: I hope you like the idea of turning this into a new oath option, rather than an oath variant, hope you see my reasoning. If so, our next move is to find a proper name for it. Ideas?

2016-05-24, 11:14 PM
I certainly did notice as well that this could be an opportunity to create something similar to Favored Soul, if not a complete overhaul of Favored Soul.
A slight problem with a pure Favored Soul based of Paladin is that they used to be full casters, more alike to Sorcerers in this.

However, another Oath entirely, which would grant Domain abilities, could be doable.
A few issues come to mind though:
First, each paladin oath has a Channel Divinity with crowd control focus. While the other Channel Divinity could easily be taken from Domain, what direction should we take with the other? Would Destroy Undead be too strong for a Paladin 3rd level forward. Obviously increasing in power at later levels.

For the Oath's name, how about "the Oath of the Scion"?

7th and 15th level Oath Features could be borrowed from cleric, more or less directly, but 20th level feature could be a bit trickier.

Seeing that a Paladin already gets clerical feature Channel Divinity at one level later than a Cleric does (3rd level vs. 2nd level), at 7th level the Scion could perhaps receive 2nd use of Channel Divinity per rest (7th level vs. Cleric's 6th level). It's a pretty big benefit, but so are the immunities or resistances other Oaths have, so I would say it's fine.
As the 15th level feature Oath of the Scion could gain Divine Intervention.

One possibility for 20th level Oath Feature could be permanent wings. A non-magical flight is a big boon on its own, and 3.5 Favored Souls gained those too. Though, it might not be enough.

I might start a new thread for the Oath of the Scion, but let's use this thread for now.