A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Oath of Courage (support-based Paladin subclass)

    The Oath of Courage bonds a Paladin to uphold valor amongst not only themselves, but also their compatriots. Inspiring their fellows with divine power much like a Bard does through music, they draw out greater force than nearly any other can. Known to some as Harmonious Knights, and to others as Champions of Valor, they make it far more difficult to truly defeat whatever side they stand on.

    Tenants of Courage:

    • Valor: In the face of danger, never back down unless failure is inevitable.
    • Leadership: Never be content with merely ordering, lead by example.


    Oath of Courage Spells:

    Paladin level Spells
    3rd Heroism, Healing Word
    5th Enhance Ability, Prayer of Healing
    9th Protection from Energy, Mass Healing Word
    13th Stoneskin, Death Ward
    17th Dispel Evil and Good, Mass Cure Wounds

    Channel Divinity:
    When you take this Oath at third level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options:

    • Inspire Courage: As a bonus action, you may select a friendly creature within 30 ft. of you. That creature gains one Inspiration die, a d8. This die may be used during a roll for an ability check, damage roll or saving throw within 10 minutes of gaining the die, adding the result of rolling this die to that roll. The inspiration die may be used after the initial roll, but only before the result is determined to have succeeded or failed, and only one die may be used on each roll.
    • Fervor: As a bonus action, you may restore health equal to your Charisma modifier to all friendly creatures in 30 ft. of you. They may also expend hit dice to heal, as if they had taken a rest, adding your Charisma modifier to their Constitution modifier for the health gained per hit die. If this is used as an action, you may also expend points from your Lay on Hands pool to heal creatures affected by Fervor.


    Inspiring Radiance: Starting at 7th level, whenever you could use Divine Smite, you may instead expend a spell slot to grant 2d8 Inspiration dice, as described in Inspire Courage, to a friendly creature within 10 ft. of you. For each spell level above 1st the expended slot is, an additional d8 Inspiration die is granted. At 18th level, the dice may be divided between friendly creatures up to 30 ft. away from you, with the number of creatures not exceeding your Charisma modifier.

    Inspire Heroism: Starting at 15th level, you gain an extra number of uses of Channel Divinity equal to your Charisma modifier each Long Rest. Additionally, creatures with more than one of your Inspiration dice within 20 ft. may use two of them on a single roll, instead of being limited to only one.

    Heroic Presence: Starting at 20th level, you and friendly creatures within 30 ft. of you gain temporary HP equal to your Charisma modifier at the start of each of your and their turns and you and they are immune to being frightened. The temporary HP only lasts a single round, and as such fades if a friendly creature begins their turn farther than 30 ft. from you.
    Last edited by Morphic tide; 2018-01-15 at 12:58 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Oath of Courage (support-based Paladin subclass)

    I like the theme of the subclass. At first read through Fervor seems rather strong. Limiting the number of HD that a character is allowed to spend might be wise.
    You surrender after you're dead. Lan Mandragoran

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Oath of Courage (support-based Paladin subclass)

    Quote Originally Posted by Calen View Post
    I like the theme of the subclass. At first read through Fervor seems rather strong. Limiting the number of HD that a character is allowed to spend might be wise.
    Well, it takes HD to spend from the same pool as Short Rests, restoring on a Long Rest as normal. It's limited by regular rules for expending HD to heal, just being triggered by an ability instead of a rest. And Fervor takes a Bonus Action, five points of Lay on Hands and a once-per-rest ability that only gets more uses at level 15, with those added uses being limited to Long Rests and capped by Charisma modifier. Overall, it's not a huge increase in healing output, especially because the bulk is drawing from stuff often used on Short Rests.

    In case you didn't notice, the Inspiration give the option to roll for damage rather than attack rolls, unlike Bards who can. This is because of the iffy numbers that come online at level 15, where using two of them means frequently having +2d6 to an attack roll that may well have +3d6 damage on it. It'd be too likely to break bounded accuracy in a legitimately-problematic way. The real reason it'd be a problem is because of being from Smite conversion, and Paladins eventually get an automatic die of Smite each round, ultimately resulting in having a sizable accuracy boost for every attack worth mentioning. Sure, Bards can generate +1d12 five times a day, but if this Oath had the option for attack roll boosts, then it'd be +2d6 every other round of combat, with an extra instance from any given 1st level spell slot. It's just too frequent to maintain proper balance.
    Last edited by Morphic tide; 2018-01-14 at 06:12 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Blackbando's Avatar

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    Default Re: Oath of Courage (support-based Paladin subclass)

    Oh boy. This one's... something.

    Spells
    They fit the theme pretty well. I like 'em.

    Channel Divinity
    Inspire Courage
    Please, don't bring alignment restriction into 5e. The feature is fine (albeit weak) without alignment restriction.

    Fervor
    Aside from the point made by Calen (which I agree with), the hit points restored seem pretty low. I don't think you should have it expend any of your Lay on Hands, really.

    Inspiring Radiance
    This is a terrible idea. Like, I don't want to be rude, but this is a really terrible idea. You now have an insanely large pool of inspiration dice, for such a low cost. I don't even wanna imagine critting with this.

    Inspire Heroism
    The Channel Divinities are actually weak enough that this is balanced. It can make some multiclasses a bit terrifying (war domain comes to mind), but it's not that bad.

    Heroic Presence
    Weird that it's not a 1-minute super saiyan mode like most paladin subclasses, but probably balanced.

    Overall, this subclass weirdly fluctuates between either being insanely weak, or insanely broken. The 7th level feature should be changed entirely, Fervor given a slight buff in how it heals, and the alignment restrictions need to die, but aside from that it's fine.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Oath of Courage (support-based Paladin subclass)

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbando View Post
    Oh boy. This one's... something.

    Spells
    They fit the theme pretty well. I like 'em.
    While I didn't mention this in the OP, I actually just reposted a contest entry of mine. Here's the post going over the train of thought behind it.

    Channel Divinity
    Inspire Courage
    Please, don't bring alignment restriction into 5e. The feature is fine (albeit weak) without alignment restriction.
    It only kicks in for full opposites, like LG and CE. It should come up extremely rarely, particularly with the party being cognizant of eachother's decisions.

    Fervor
    Aside from the point made by Calen (which I agree with), the hit points restored seem pretty low. I don't think you should have it expend any of your Lay on Hands, really.
    Even as a Bonus Action, it really does manage to be outclassed easily, doesn't it? Given that it is a resource,

    Inspiring Radiance
    This is a terrible idea. Like, I don't want to be rude, but this is a really terrible idea. You now have an insanely large pool of inspiration dice, for such a low cost. I don't even wanna imagine critting with this.
    You actually only get to use one die for each roll, with the level 15 addition giving the ability to use two each round. Still nasty because you can hand it off to a Barbarian for larger crits, but it's never going to let you output more damage per-attack than a 1st level slot.

    Inspire Heroism
    The Channel Divinities are actually weak enough that this is balanced. It can make some multiclasses a bit terrifying (war domain comes to mind), but it's not that bad.
    ...Kind of forgot that Clerics use the same thing. I imagine the primary thing to keep it grounded is that it will always be a Paladin dipping Cleric for some added abilities and spell slot progression. MAD is probably the largest grounding factor for such things, all things considered. *actually checks War Domain* ...+10 to an attack roll? On a Paladin? That's... Crazy.

    Heroic Presence
    Weird that it's not a 1-minute super saiyan mode like most paladin subclasses, but probably balanced.
    Well, I only had d20SRD to go with, which only lists one subclass for some reason, so I wasn't aware of that tendency. I was mostly thinking in terms of another level of improved Aura and recognized the problems with having it be Inspiration dice, particularly arguments regarding downtime buildup.

    Overall, this subclass weirdly fluctuates between either being insanely weak, or insanely broken. The 7th level feature should be changed entirely, Fervor given a slight buff in how it heals, and the alignment restrictions need to die, but aside from that it's fine.
    Well, you appear to have misread the 7th level feature given that the per-roll use limit keeps it fairly grounded in output limits, while Fervor could stand to have less restriction on use. Maybe cut the Lay on Hands pool use for the baseline effect, then have the pool use as a way to increase the output and rework the scaling. Could just remove the replacement clause so that it's dX+Con+Cha. And again, the Alignment restrictions should almost never come up in regular play. Although I perfectly understand the bias against them.

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Blackbando's Avatar

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    Default Re: Oath of Courage (support-based Paladin subclass)

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    Well, you appear to have misread the 7th level feature given that the per-roll use limit keeps it fairly grounded in output limits,
    No, no, I didn't at all. The thing is, due to how many Divine Smite can grant (for a 1st level slot it's 2 dice, assuming you don't hit a fiend or undead, and assuming you don't crit) it means that you consistently have the bonuses. For example, since you have Aura of Protection + this, all your allies will have both your charisma AND an extra d8 to all their saving throws, assuming you're consistently smiting. It's not the bonus being insanely excessive (though once it allows 2 dice it is pretty scary in that sense), but it's just that you have so many. You're granting a better bless for less cost, and you're being a slightly worse Bardic Inspiration but with far more uses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    Maybe cut the Lay on Hands pool use for the baseline effect, then have the pool use as a way to increase the output and rework the scaling. Could just remove the replacement clause so that it's dX+Con+Cha.
    Sounds much better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    And again, the Alignment restrictions should almost never come up in regular play. Although I perfectly understand the bias against them.
    Exactly. They rarely come up. So, why even bother with them? You're just screwing over players the few times that it does happen, without really adding any flavor, depth, or reason for doing so. This oath does not strike me as the "ultimate do-gooder" or even a "zealot that opposes all foes", or anything where this would thematically make sense. Sure, they have valor, but even with valor they still benefit far more to be allied with those willing, compared to just everyone except for the two guys who are of completely opposite alignment.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Oath of Courage (support-based Paladin subclass)

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbando View Post
    No, no, I didn't at all. The thing is, due to how many Divine Smite can grant (for a 1st level slot it's 2 dice, assuming you don't hit a fiend or undead, and assuming you don't crit) it means that you consistently have the bonuses. For example, since you have Aura of Protection + this, all your allies will have both your charisma AND an extra d8 to all their saving throws, assuming you're consistently smiting. It's not the bonus being insanely excessive (though once it allows 2 dice it is pretty scary in that sense), but it's just that you have so many. You're granting a better bless for less cost, and you're being a slightly worse Bardic Inspiration but with far more uses.
    ...The damage bonus is, mechanically, identical to just sharing Smite damage. Each die can only be used once, so it's not a better Bless as Bless gives +1d4 to every saving throw and Attack roll for 10 turns to up to three targets out of a 1st level spell slot. You'd be sacrificing all that Smite damage and those spell slots for maybe applying a bonus to an ally's saving throw, provided they don't use it on improving their damage (side note: Nothing stopping spellcasters from boosting AoE spells with these dice) or an ability check. And if they use it on damage, they're just applying your Smite remotely.

    Crits don't provide more dice, nor do hitting Undead or Fiends. You produce the Inspiration dice instead of Smite damage, and because they aren't damage dice, crits on the Smite don't multiply them. It's SL+1 d8, no exceptions. It is not actually problematic, because it's burning Long Rest resources for bonuses that are rate-capped quite severely. And instead of burning up so much on saving throws, you can be using that Prayer of Healing Oath spell after the fight, or just Smite down the target that's tossing saving throw abilities out.

    In light of how badly you seem to be misreading it, I've altered the wording of Inspiring Radiance to cut off the arguments involving crits and Fiend/Undead targets. And I restate that Bless is better overall, it's far more efficient a bonus provider, as it works for ten rounds on three targets (for 1st level slots) and applies to every applicable roll, and the saving throw bonus is considerably worse than just finishing the fight and using Prayer of Healing between fights the majority of the time. d8 can break bounded accuracy, yes, but it's not exactly frequent.

    Sounds much better.
    Mechanically, it's not a lot better, especially given that a comparable ability on Life Cleric gets 5x level HP. Per Channel, of which there are three per rest, short or long. There's a tiny niche mechanical space where it actually heals less, but that is exclusively when the healed targets have negative Constitution modifiers.

    Exactly. They rarely come up. So, why even bother with them? You're just screwing over players the few times that it does happen, without really adding any flavor, depth, or reason for doing so. This oath does not strike me as the "ultimate do-gooder" or even a "zealot that opposes all foes", or anything where this would thematically make sense. Sure, they have valor, but even with valor they still benefit far more to be allied with those willing, compared to just everyone except for the two guys who are of completely opposite alignment.
    ...Because the class still has a rather significant amount of innate bias against Evil (like the anti-Undead-and-Fiend clause) and still has quite a bit of stick-up-ass behavior attached(the entire Oath situation), so opposite alignment restrictions aren't exactly thematically invalid. Though I do admit that it doesn't fit this subclass's flavor, so I'll remove that clause.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Oath of Courage (support-based Paladin subclass)

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    Crits don't provide more dice, nor do hitting Undead or Fiends. You produce the Inspiration dice instead of Smite damage
    (emphasis mine)
    ...OH.
    Then, yes, I did misread it.
    Nevermind, then. This is actually a lot more fine than I had thought. The wording just wasn't the best, before.
    This is probably fine, then.

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