View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Oath of Domination: For Paladin Players who hate being good (Balance Help Needed)

2016-06-09, 01:40 PM
Oath of Domination


While most Paladins would like to believe the law is just the sad truth is that many times, it is not. Often times the law is actually a tool of evil, used to shield a selfish and decadent ruling class from the repercussions of their sins against the common people. However, it is exceedingly rare for such societies to view themselves as wicked. Tyrants and their servants often delude themselves into thinking that the corrupt order from which they benefit is righteous and just. They see selfishness as the base humanoid condition, and in their warped minds absolute rule by an “enlightened” elite is the only thing that can maintain peace and prosperity in their lands.

In such societies, some individuals become so devoted to the corrupt status quo that they will do anything to defend it. In times of unrest or rebellion within these societies, such individuals often take up “sacred” oaths of domination. A twisted mockery of the more benevolent Paladin oaths, the Oath of Domination is a passionate and ruthless commitment to enforcing the rule of law, corrupt or otherwise, and obtaining great personal power to do that. Paladins who take the oath of domination are the forceful, driven defenders of a corrupt social order that sees the elite oppress the masses. While often lawful evil in alignment, Paladins who take up this oath are distinctly not oathbreakers; unlike their fallen peers who have abandoned righteousness for more sinister ends Paladins who take this oath instead view a corrupt social order as righteous and just.

Oath Tenants

Power is Everything

Power is the universal language and the key to fulfilling my duties and goals. I will have power, and I will do whatever I deem necessary to obtain it.

The Law is Paramount

The law is the only thing saving us from self-destruction. I will obey the laws of my land and respect the laws of lands I enter to the best of my ability. I will uphold the law even when others would deem it corrupt or flawed.

Respect for Authority

While I seek power, I do so in accordance with the social order. I will show those of higher status than myself proper respect, though I may still work against them if I do so within the bounds of the law.

Judge, Jury and Executioner

I may believe in the law, but sometimes I must act quickly to defend it. If the law is silent on a matter or would be prohibitive to protecting myself, my comrades, my land or its interests, I may take matters into my own hands and do whatever I deem necessary to succeed.

Oath of Domination Spells

3rd: Hunter's Mark, Wrathful Smite
5th: Hold Person, Misty Step
9th: Fear, Haste
13th: Dimension Door, Locate Creature
17th: Dominate Person, Modify Memory

Channel Divinity

When you take this oath at 3rd level. you gain the following 2 channel divinity options.

Enforce Order. As an action, you present your holy symbol and assert your divine authority over lawbreakers, using your channel divinity. Each chaotic-aligned creature that can see or hear you within 30ft must make a wisdom saving throw. If a creature fails it’s saving throw, it is turned for 1 minute or until it takes damage.

A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from you as it can, and can’t willingly move to a space within 30ft of you. It also can’t take reactions. For its action, it can use only the dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there is nowhere to move, the creature can use the dodge action.

Requisition. You can use your action to target one humanoid you can see within 30 feet. The target must make a wisdom saving throw vs. your Paladin spell save DC. On a failed save, the target must obey your commands for 1 minute or until you use this feature again. On a successful save that creature cannot be targeted by this feature again. Creatures with a challenge rating equal to or greater than your Paladin level are immune to this feature.

Aura of Oppression

Starting at 7th level you exude a powerful presence that shatters the will off creatures around you. Starting at 7th level, when a creature starts it's turn within 10ft of you it must make a Wisdom saving throw vs. your Paladin spell save DC. On a failed save, the next time the target makes an attack roll or saving throw, it rolls 1d4 and subtracts the result from it's roll.

At 18th level, the range of this aura extends to 30ft.

Absolute Rule

Starting at 15th level, you can force the yoak lasting servitude upon others. When a humanoid fails it's wisdom save against your Requisition Channel Divinity, it must obey your commands for 24 hours instead of 4 hours, though it is still free from this effect if you use your channel divinity again as-per it's normal rules.

Sovereign's Mercy

At 20th level you can show your enemies the form off your mercy, ending their life with a single blow. When you successfully hit an enemy with a melee weapon attack, you can use your bonus action to forgo dealing any damage with that attack. If you do, that creature suffers the effects of a Power Word Kill spell as if they had that spell cast on them. Once you use this ability, you cannot use it again until you complete a long rest.

Any help or suggestions for balancing this/making it less broken would be appreciated! General thoughts also welcome!

2016-06-11, 12:19 PM
Hey there,
at first, this oath seems a bit...displaced? A Paladin which devotes himself to a word by word law enforcement, this sounds a little bit like a devil's advocate, and is on contrast to a paladin, at least in the way I see it. A Paladin, who is not for the good side (or at least the greater good) is an oath breaker. This is how the book states it in my eyes, but ok anyways, this is a home-brew class, and I assume, that it does fit with this thoughts to give you an objective feedback.

I think your first CD is too unclear. What is a lawbreaker? How do you describe that? As a DM, I would always have to ask myself, if a certain character is turned or not, especially, when it is not a black vs. white story.

The second ability is a wrathful smite for free. As much as I do like smites, for me a CD does more than just giving you something for free, that you otherwise could reproduce by casting a simple spell. The wording 1 by 1 the same. I would try go make it more iconic, more outstanding for itself.

Your level abilities look a little bit displaced, usually an aura comes with LV 7 or never (eg. OaV). So switch these two, then it also makes a lot more sense. Also 1d4 minus your saving shows is a poor version of bane to all enemies. If you compare that to eg. an Ancient aura, which gives you straight resistance towards all spell damage...it looks even more poor. I may be wrong, but I somehow would rather prefer a bane effect on any enemy after he failed a WIS Save when he enters your aura area.

And your LV 20 Ability is pretty recidivous, forcing ANY CREATURE EVERY SHORT REST for 24 HOURS under your command...the only ability that comes close to that is one of an oathbreaker. This should be changed to every long rest and maybe a certain type of enemy.

I hope I did not destroy you :)

2016-06-11, 04:12 PM
It's alright to disagree. Thing is, a lot of the abilities are the result of excessive scalling down. The original versions where far too broken, so this is what happened as a result. The channel divinity in particular has been something of a constant struggle to pin down, also, just so you know, it's not word per word wrathful smite, it has two differences: A) does not require concentration and B) also makes the creature frightened of your allies. The original two channel divinities where a lot different. They where the oathbreaker's channel divinity but for humanoids instead of undead and a bonus action to add a pile of necrotic damage to a successful melee attack. I'm thinking for the turn effect I should just change it from lawbreakers to chaotic-aligned creatures, as that gives roughly the same fluff while not being a headache for the DM, the turn effect was actually something suggested by a friend.

As for moving the auras, that's a good idea and no, it's not too weak. In fact, the aura's current form was a direct result of people saying the older version was TOO powerful. It's conservative power-wise for a reason; effects that debuff saves are exceptionally rare in 5e and people complained constantly that the old version of the aura was too powerful.

As far as absolute rule is concerned, I have an idea to fix that which hits two birds with one stone. The first is to replace subjugating blade with a Channel Divinity that works as the oathbreaker undead command, but for humanoids instead of undead and only controls them for 1 minute instead of 24 or until second use. Then, the 15th level will be that the channel divinity lasts for 24 hours or until second use instead of 1 hour/until second use. Then they will get some new level 20 feature, most likely the ability to forgoe doing damage on a successful melee attack to cast "power word: kill" on the target of that attack instead 1/day.