View Full Version : 4e: Comment on my paladin (lvl1)

2008-06-12, 06:48 AM
Hi everyone!

You may or may not have my other thread about motivations of unaligned paladins. However, having worked out the fluff, it is time to get to the crunch.

I am the only defender in the group, so my task is to keep attackers away from the squishies, using my divine challenge and a few bits and pieces to restrict opponent movement. I need to be able to sustain some heavy damage, while dishing out enough for my foes not to ignore me. We have a cleric, so my standard healing abilities need not be enhanced. Due to my high charisma, I may end up being the party face. We start at level one.

Meet Yonn, my human paladin of the Raven Queen:
Abilities are taken from method 2 table: 16/14/14/12/11/8
Str 16
Con 12
Dex 11
Int 8
Wis 14
Cha 16 (including the human +2 bonus)

At-will powers are: Bolstering, Enfeebling and Holy Strike, Encounter is piercing Smite (more marks ftw) and the daily prayer is On Pain of death.

Starting feats: Human Perseverance and Defensive Mobility (better defenses is always good for a defender and mobility allows me to move closer to a friend in hazard with less risk).

Trained Skills: Religion, Heal, Insight, Diplomacy, Endurance.

Equipment: Plate Armour, Long Sword, Heavy Shield, Implement, Holy Symbol, Tent, which should add up to exactly 100 coins.

That takes me to AC 20, Defenses (F/R/W): 16/13/16, which I think is quite good.

About development: Abilities raised will be WIS and DEX, WIS because a number of powers, esp. Lay on Hands depend on it and DEX, because a number of nifty feats require DEX 13.

Feats I will end up picking (in no particular order): Ranger multi-class (more damage and Trained Perception will never go wrong), Alertness (more Perception and no surprise CA), Astral Fire (better marking damage), Blade Opportunist (noone moves past me unpunished), Durable (need to keep standing longer), Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Raven Queens Blessing, Ritual Caster (Raise Dead the stoopid Cleric), Quick Draw (fancy, but probably not ), Weapon Focus.

I know, I cannot take all of them, but that rather is the pool of feats, which I consider wothwhile.

Also, I am pondering a few options: I was thinking about exchanging first level feat DefMObility with WeaponProf: Bastard Sword, also upgrading my longsword in the process to a bastard sword, taking DefMob later. That however means, my budget is blown. So, IŽd lose the tent (boohoo, me likes snuggly and warm) and down-grade plate to scale armor. This loses one point of AC, but also loses ACP. Plus, at paragon levels, I might even lose the movement restriction (however, I need to seriously improve DEX for that).

So, that would mean a more offensive build. Is it any good? Thoughts? Opinions? Will the original build be ok? Have I stupidly overlooked somthing horrendously obvious? Is there a fundamental flaw in my thinking? I have just started to get into 4e, so I am sure, there still is a few things I missed.

Any input willbe appreciated.

Totally Guy
2008-06-12, 07:03 AM
Just a note on the ranger multiclassing you want to do.

Taking the Ranger feat will not allow you onto ranger paragon paths as they require either Ranger TWF or Ranger Ranged fighting styles. To progress with ranger you'd need to use up a few of those feats to allow you into ranger powers rather than any paragon paths.

Sounds like you're just planning on taking a dip into the class though. Which is fine as you can hop onto a paladin paragon later when you get that far. I'm sure you aready knew all that.

2008-06-12, 07:12 AM
Yeah, thanks, but it really just is a dip for some extra damage and perception training. No intention on going any further down the ranger path. Actually, I was previously contemplating the skill training feat for perception, when it dawned on me, that ranger multi-class would grant the same plus some more damage - so, why not? :smallredface:

2008-06-12, 07:13 AM
Hmm. Your con looks suspiciously low... especially if you're going to be wading through a sea of bad guys. Maybe its just me, but I think that should be increased a bit... perhaps lower wisdom slightly?

Extra Healing Surges means the Cleric/Warlord can help more... and your lay on hands uses your healing surges no matter who you use it on... so more is good.

Instead of Def. Mobility... what do you think of either toughness or... i think its called Durable (+2 healing surges)... make you a bit beefier. Mmm. Beefy.

2008-06-12, 07:20 AM
Yeah, CON isnt really great. However, I cannot afford lowering WIS anymore, as its directly related to my per-day uses of lay on hands. Generally, my abilities just don`t seem to work out at any end. I need CHA for a bunch of my abilities, just as well as STR and WIS. I need DEX, too, but CON is vital for my survivability. The only stat I really do not need is INT. Which is at the minimum already. So ... well. :smallconfused:

BTW: Durtable is in my list of wanted feats. I just thought, I`d not start with it. :)

2008-06-12, 07:21 AM
I'd stay stick defensive; an AC 20 is just nice to have (and don't forget that extra +1 to Reflex!) and since shooting-into-melee penalties are gone, you're not going to have to worry about doing all the damage.

It'd be tempted to swap out Defensive Mobility with Improved Initiative to make sure you are the first to the brawl. Heck, Fast Runner (yeah, needs Con 13) might be nice too, since it turns you 5 movement to 7 when charging - and what Paladin doesn't want to charge? :smallbiggrin:

Aside from that, it's looking pretty good. Feat-wise, I'd probably take Alertness early on (CA from surprise when you're out in front is no fun) and I guess Ranger next (if you already have Improved Initiative/Fast Runner) even though you're not going to be wanting to spend your minor on your 1-round-Quarry when you could be challenging instead.

I'd save Astral Fire until you actually take a power that does Radiant damage (aside from marking), since it's more important for you to be up in someone's grill than just doing +1 damage if the guy you mark decides to attack someone else.

Anyhoo, there's some thoughts. Seems very well thought out, to be honest.

So, I'm not worried about the guy's HP because of Bolstering Strike. Every hit with that gives him +2 temporary HP. He could try half-elf for +2 CON *and* +2 CHA, and still take Human Defense. It only drops his AC by 1, and the he could probably drop one of his other attacks (I'd say Holy Strike) without much harm.

2008-06-12, 07:32 AM
Thanks for the catch with the extra REF defense, I totally missed that one. :)

And I thought about half-elf, but IŽd rather have +1 to all defenses plus Holy Strike and Skill training instead of +2 CON and one odd encounter power (though I have to admit, I havent much thought about what things might possibly emerge from that cross-class power :redface:).

2008-06-12, 07:47 AM
Thanks for the catch with the extra REF defense, I totally missed that one. :)

And I thought about half-elf, but IŽd rather have +1 to all defenses plus Holy Strike and Skill training instead of +2 CON and one odd encounter power (though I have to admit, I havent much thought about what things might possibly emerge from that cross-class power :redface:).

So, neat cross-class powers:
- Eyebite (CHA attack, makes you invisible to the target until the start of your next turn); very nice for moving into the thick of things without OA
- Cleave; for odd Minion encounters
- Wolf Pack Tactics; when you want to let an ally get a free shift out while you're saving their bacon

Not a whole lot for Paladins, to be sure, but depending on how you're playing, those +2 Con might be free points you can shift to your Dex if you'd like. Or your Wisdom, as the case may be.

I see your point though - humans are still pretty sweet.

2008-06-12, 08:57 AM
Now, having let all that (plus some advice from the wotc boards) sink in, I have changed my build in the following way:

Abilities changed to:

STR 14
CON 10
DEX 13
WIS 16
CHA 16

Reasoning: Basically, I have exchanged STR and WIS and lowered CON by two, while raising DEX by the same amount. I have come to the conclusion, that STR is less important than WIS. I just have less powers for STR than CHA and one additional use of Lay on Hands just seems to good to pass.

While lowering CON seems not really intuitive for a tank, I feel I still need DEX more, for several reasons. a) DEX helps my Initiative, b) I need to have DEX 15 by level 11 for the Sacle Armor Spec, Heavy Blade Opportunist and Heavy Shield Spec.

To make up for lost hitpoints by lowered con, I have exchanged Human Perseverance for Toughness, giving me 5 additional hitpoints and better healing surges (which I also have one more of, since raising WIS modifier to +3). So, I may have more damage incoming, but I also can replenish my HP pool better. This is only temporary though. As the value of Toughness decreases as my HP pool grows with level advancement and since Human Perseverance is just way too sexy to ignore, I am gonna exchange them, when I hit level three or four. Defensive Mobility also has been exchanged with Weapon Proficiency: Bastard Sword. D10 damage dice just feel better.

To sum things up: Yes, I have slightly deviated from the "pure defender" philsophy. But I believe, this allows for more flexibility and better feats later on. With improved scale armor specialization and shield specialization (both requiring DEX 15) I will get boosts to AC and reflex defense. Evasion and Mettle become available for further damage mitigation.

I think, this is better long-term without screwing too much with short-term survivability (AC and all defense are lowered by one, however more hitpoints/better surges are available).

EDIT: Haviong thought about that: If I pick both Scale Armor Specialization and Shield Specialization: Will the boni to AC stack? T&hey are both +1 feat bonus to AC, so I think, they don't, do they? In that case, I'd probably rather take lightning reflexes instead of shield spec, since that gives a +2 to my reflex defense. ... Which, in turn, shouldn't stack with human perseverance, right? Argh!

2008-06-12, 10:06 AM
I feel like Shield Specialization and Armor Specialization have to stack. One is from getting more out of your armor , and one is from getting more out of your shield... but you're right, as written it doesn't look like they do.

Quick, send an FAQ to WotC, ASAP! :smallbiggrin:

2008-06-12, 11:07 AM
Swap Wis and Cha. Most of Paladin's defensive powers depend on Cha, and you will be using these constantly. That's worth more than one additional use of Lay on Hands per day, unless your group is very short on healing.

2008-06-12, 01:35 PM
Seeing, that WIS and CHA in my second build both are 16, I am not sure, what you are trying to say. I could shift the human +2 bonus from WIS to Cha to get WIS 14 and Cha 18. Is that, what you want to advise?

2008-06-12, 01:42 PM
Since I was thinking of playing character with similar concept I'll throw in my 2cp here (feel free to disagree with anything I say, since I haven't seen how this performs in actual play):

Stats I came up with are (using point buy):

STR 13
CON 14
INT 10
WIS 14
CHA 16

Now it would be probably better to swap int and dex, it's just that I don't like playing "dumb" characters, plus dex is now only useful for initiative. There is no need str, above 11, as your standard gear weights 95lbs + holy symbol, so you might want to reduce that in favor of something else and if you are going to focus on defense, most of your abilities are going to be keyed to strength. If you take half-elf it would raise your con by 2 more points (though you can live without this one).
As for multi-class feats: if you leave str at 13+, warlord would be nice for Furious Smash, though you won't get perception as skill. This is a bit offensive option, but it will help your groups striker. If you decide to go go with half-elf, Group Insight would be solid choice IMO.

EDIT: That Human's extra at-will is waste IMO, as you have only 2 at-wills keyed to CHA, and pumping your cha as high as possible is the way to go.

2008-06-12, 01:50 PM
Seeing, that WIS and CHA in my second build both are 16, I am not sure, what you are trying to say. I could shift the human +2 bonus from WIS to Cha to get WIS 14 and Cha 18. Is that, what you want to advise?

That's what I indeed mean.