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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Default Sacred Oath - Oath of the Shining Blade

    Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages! Fiends, celestials and eldritch abominations too!

    Because, you know, 5e no longer has Outsiders...

    Been a while (blame Dragonfall: Director's Cut and Baldur's Gate for that) since I've posted...well, any homebrew, and last time I did it wasn't really well received (or maybe it wasn't promoted that much - anyways, here it is), so that probably shunned me from posting, but response from 5e content made me react. This is another simple 5e subclass (they're really simple to make, guys!): another Sacred Oath for the Paladin.

    The difference this time? Well, it's based on a 3e PrC that didn't got much love: the Shining Blade. The PrC on its original incarnation gave you the ability to empower your blade with some properties a small number of times per day and eventually gave the Celestial template (not Half-Celestial; just plain Celestial template, the kind that everyone can qualify for)...and nothing else, save maybe half-casting. It was officially introduced in Complete Divine, got no change, except that the capstone was entirely removed.


    At one point in the forums, someone suggested to make 3e PrCs into 5e Subclasses, and I had the idea in mind, so I decided to run with it. Listening Holy Orders (Be Just or Be Dead) the whole time, I managed to make a good transition of the PrC into a solid gish build, combining a few combat spells and an awesome capstone into the original idea of the PrC and giving it a reason to be. IMO, it feels like a well-done job, though your mileage may vary.

    And, without further ado, I introduce to you...

    The Oath of the Shining Blade harkens to an ancient order of paladins that learned to harness the power of thunder and lightning to deliver swift judgment to their enemies. These paladins, known for their moniker of the "shining blades" but also as knights-errant, travel the world as the weapons of their faith. As the storm cloud, they suddenly emerge, strike as fast as lightning, and depart once the battle ends. Those who swear this oath often forsake titles of nobility and luxurious lifestyles, always traveling the open road for whenever duty calls.

    The tenets of the ancient order of Shining Blades is simple, closely related to the components of a thunderstorm. The zealous devotion to exterminating the enemy is a grim task, but one that must be accomplished. A paladin seeking to become a shining blade must follow a deity known for harnessing the thunder and the lightning: deities as distant* as the the mighty Thor and the wise Zeus all harbor shining blades. Some paladins swear the oath of the Shining Blade without following said deities, and are rather zealous in their adherence to the tenets of this oath.
    Radiant as Lightning. Strike the enemy without hesitation. On a dark and stormy night, lightning vanquishes the darkness and alerts everyone of the oncoming storm. A lightning bolt never strikes twice in the same place; once you fight, it is to the death.
    Loud as Thunder. Let your actions speak for yourself. Once lightning strikes, thunder roars afterwards. When fighting the enemy, let everyone know the results of crossing you, those you swore to protect, and those who defy your beliefs, your faith or your deity.
    Fleeting as the Wind. Never stay in one place for long. As the storm, divine judgment is always on the move, and it only remains if the conditions are prosper. Once your enemy is defeated, seek and depart.

    Spoiler: *
    And also the noble Heironeous and the destructive Talos. But those are Product Identity, so they're removed from the official content.

    You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed.
    Paladin Level Spells
    3rd Thunderwave, Witch Bolt
    5th Magic Weapon, Spiritual Weapon
    9th Call Lightning, Elemental Weapon
    13th Confusion, Dimension Door
    17th Destructive Wave, Telekinesis

    Spoiler: Commentary on Oath Spells
    As you'll notice, this Oath has a lot of attack spells. Your first spells are purely offensive, providing some decent variety. The second set involves a buff to boost weapon damage and Spiritual Weapon, which is pretty nice. The third set adds another damage spell and also another weapon buff. The fourth set of spells is what makes this a bit distinct, since they don't seem to fit, but a good concussion is enough to confuse anyone, and Dimension Door is one of the best movement spells around. The fifth adds the ever-worthwhile Destructive Wave as a free spell and mingles it with a very useful utility spell in Telekinesis.

    Aside from Magic Weapon, Elemental Weapons and Destructive Wave, all spells aren't on the Paladin spell list, and other than Destructive Wave (a Paladin exclusive), all are arcane spells. This adds a good casting punch to a class that otherwise lacks that power.

    When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following Channel Divinity options.
    Fulminant Radiance. You wield the power of lightning and light with unchecked ferocity. When you roll lightning, radiant or thunder damage, you can use your Channel Divinity to deal maximum damage, instead of rolling.
    Shock Blade. As an action, you can imbue a weapon you hold with divine electricity. For 1 minute, the weapon deals an extra 1d6 points of electricity damage with every attack. The weapon also emits bright light in a 20-ft. radius and dim light 20 feet beyond that. If the weapon is not already magical, it becomes magical for the duration. You can end this effect on your turn as part of any other action. If you are no longer holding or carrying this weapon, or if you fall unconscious, this effect ends.

    Spoiler: Commentary on Channel Divinity options.
    Fulminant Radiance is pretty similar to the effect of the Tempest Domain Cleric, but it adds radiant damage to the mix. To your fortune, you can deal all three forms of damage; thus, you can deal a pretty solid amount of damage if necessary. It also applies to your weapon damage and the power of your other Oath abilities, which makes it pretty nice.

    On the other hand, Shock Blade is a throwback to the 3e PrC ability. A retool I made to the class had Shock Blade rely on uses of Turn Undead, which in this edition was folded into Channel Divinity. It's based mostly on the Oath of Devotion's Sacred Weapon, except that it replaces the attack bonus for extra lightning damage, which makes it a sort of free Elemental Weapons effect (much like Sacred Weapon is a free Magic Weapon usable at short rest). Since it doesn't require concentration, you can have both at once and deal a respectable bit of damage.

    At 7th level, you withstand the destructive power of lightning, thunder and light. You and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you have resistance to lightning, radiant and thunder damage.
    At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

    Spoiler: Commentary on One with Thunder and Light
    You might be asking: isn't this what the Oath of Ancients gives? Well, the answer is "of course not!", but since most of the elemental damage comes from spells, might as well. This aura applies to ALL forms of lightning, radiant and thunder damage, making it more useful. It also applies to all allies, making it a very nice boost to your defensive capabilities as a party.

    Starting at 15th level, the weapon under the effect of your Shock Blade deals an additional 2d6 points of lightning damage, for a total of 2d6 lightningdamage. Furthermore, the weapon's radius of bright and dim light triple to 60 ft.; if any of the weapon's radius of bright and/or dim light overlaps with an area of darkness created by a spell of 3rd level or lower, the spell that created the darkness is dispelled.

    Spoiler: Commentary on Brilliant Blade
    Waiting to get 3d6 worth of damage for 1 minute may seem like a lot, but it's the restraints of the Oath ability progression. This takes a cue from the Oath of Vengeance, which makes its 15th level ability improve one of the two Channel Divinity options, and is another throwback to the 3e PrC, specifically its "capstone" as per the Complete Divine version.

    At 20th level, you infuse your body with the power of divine lightning, roaring thunder and brilliant radiance. Your skin shines with a bluish-white light, which pulsates as bolts of lightning course through you. Your voice booms like thunder when you usher your battle cry.
    Using your action, you undergo a transformation. For 1 minute, you gain the following benefits:
    • You form a cloud under your feet, granting you a flying speed of 60 ft.
    • As a bonus action, you can unleash a bolt of divine lightning upon a creature within 60 ft. of you. Make a ranged spell attack against the target. If the attack hits, the target takes 2d10 lightning damage and 2d10 radiant damage.
    • As an action, you can utter a fierce shout that affects everyone in a 30-ft. cone. Each creature inside the cone must make a Constitution saving throw. A creature takes 3d10 thunder damage and is knocked prone on a failed save, or half as much damage on a succesful one. Airborne creatures are insted pushed back 10 feet. The shout's thunderous boom is audible out to 300 feet.

    Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.

    Spoiler: Commentary on Lord of Thunder and Lightning
    And finally, the capstone. Trying to beat the Oath capstones of the Ancients and Vengeance can be hard, but not impossible. Take this, for example - this is based on a 3.5e spell, specifically the Lord of Lightning spell (the capstone makes reference to the spell), which granted flight and the ability to shoot Lightning Bolts. This does something similar, except it allows you to use either Call Lightning (with half damage becoming radiant damage) as a Bonus Action or a triple-range Thunderwave as an action, freely, for 1 minute. The flight ability is always a nice touch.

    Most likely, the added damage from the bonus action (heavenly) lightning bolt should be enough to convince you of its power, particularly since by that level you should have enough Charisma to make a successful roll. Or, you can definitely go nova with the BA Lightning Bolt, the Brilliant Blade effect mixing with Improved Divine Smite on every hit, and blowing up Divine Smites on top. Definitely feels like a capstone, no?

    So: questions? Comments? Too OP? Fluff makes no sense, you filthy munchkin!? OMGisthatsumKyonmy5egamethankyouverymuch? The 3e PrC was better than this load of sod? Best Sacred Oath ever? Where is my 3e homebrew, you!? Well, that one can be answered - there's still a lot of content to work with, but it all depends on how much support (or critique) does the newer content gets. If I get more critique, chances are I might get inspired to pot more; otherwise, it'll keep on the heater until I feel like it. This one is done post-DMG, and thus it has a source of comparison, though it's mostly "balance it with your eye, not with complex rules and stuff", so it's mostly dependent on your keen sense of 5e balance.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Sacred Oath - Oath of the Shining Blade

    I love what you did with Shining Blade, it's realy great subclass and I plan to use it in my campaign as one of the Big Heroes. My only concern if capstone isn't too powerfull, I mean it gets flying, 2nd level spell as a bonus action, and upgraded thunderwave as an action. Compare this to oath of venegence gets only flying and chance to fright opponents. Little nerf and you got perfect and balanced capstone.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    Oct 2017

    Default Re: Sacred Oath - Oath of the Shining Blade

    Cool! I am using this!

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    Oct 2017

    Default Re: Sacred Oath - Oath of the Shining Blade

    i think this is really cool, but for the 1st level spells, you should replace witch bolt with guiding bolt

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground

    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Sacred Oath - Oath of the Shining Blade

    Giving them the Tempest Cleric Channel Divinity but better is...I dunno. Are the Paladin CDs all better than the cleric ones? If so, itís alright, I guess.
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    Quote Originally Posted by digiman619 View Post
    Spoiler: True Facts

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Davrix's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2017

    Default Re: Sacred Oath - Oath of the Shining Blade

    I like the idea but i think it could use some tweaks maybe.

    Seriously I think it should get lighting bolt instead of call lighting but that's me.

    I dunno the CD and lv 15 perk just... it feels... like its good mechanically but doesn't sell the fantasy for me that well. I feel like the CD should have a blind effect for one of its uses. I mean the title just screams for a 30ft blind effect once per combat or something. then go with doing say 1or2D6 lighting damage every time you hit at lv 15

    Another thing that would be useful but not sure where you would stick it right now is having lighting and thunder damage count as radiant for you at a certain level.

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