Paladins are indomitable warriors who’ve pledged their prowess to something greater than themselves. Paladins smite enemies with divine authority, bolster the courage of nearby companions, and radiate as if a beacon of inextinguishable hope. Paladins are transfigured on the field of battle, exemplars of divine ethos in action.

To you is given the responsibility to unflinchingly stand before an enemy’s charge, smiting them with your sword while protecting your allies with your sacrifice. Where others waver and wonder, your motivation is pure and simple, and your devotion is your strength. Where others scheme and steal, you take the high road, refusing to allow the illusions of temptation to dissuade you from your obligations.

Take up your blessed sword and sanctified shield brave warrior, and charge forward to hallowed glory!

Class Traits

Role: Defender. You are extremely durable, with high hit points and the ability to wear the heaviest armor. You can issue bold challenges to foes and compel them to fight you rather than your allies.
Power Source: Divine. You are a divine warrior, a crusader and protector of your faith.
Key Abilities: Strength, Charisma, Wisdom

Armor Proficiencies: Leather, hide, chainmail, scale, plate, light shields, heavy shields, cloth.
Weapon Proficiencies: Simple melee, military melee, simple ranged.
Implement: Holy Symbol
Bonus to Defense: +1 Fortitude, +1 Reflex, +1 Will.

Hit Points at 1st Level: 15 + Constitution Score.
Hit Points per Level Gained: 6
Healing Surges per Day: 10 + Constitution Modifier.

Trained Skills: Religion. From the class skills list below, choose 3 more trained skills at 1st level.
Class Skills: Diplomacy (Cha), Endurance (Con), Heal (Wis), History (Int), Insight (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Religion (Int).

Build Options: Avenging Paladin, Protecting Paladin.
Class Features: Channel Divinity, Divine Challenge, Lay on Hands.

Creating a Paladin

Paladins rely on Strength, Charisma, and Wisdom for most of their key abilities and powers. Constitution is useful as well, although no paladin powers are specifically based on Constitution. Paladins start with two common builds: the avenging paladin and the protecting paladin.

Avenging Paladin

You burn with the desire to punish the wicked and smite the unbelievers. In your view, the best way to safeguard your allies is to destroy your enemies with divine power and overwhelming attacks. Choose Strength as your highest ability score, since your most damaging attacks are based on Strength. Charisma should be your second-best ability score, and Wisdom your third. Consider wielding a big two-handed weapon such as a greatsword or greataxe, and choose powers that deliver the highest amount of damage.

Feat: Power Attack (Human Feat: Human Perseverance)
Skills: Endurance, Heal, Intimidate, Religion
At-Will Powers: holy strike, valiant strike
Encounter Power: radiant smite
Daily Power: paladin’s judgment

Protecting Paladin

You emphasize defense, guarding your allies, and healing and bolstering them with a few of your powers. You do not deal as much damage as the avenging paladin, but you are better at dealing with a wider array of situations. Your best ability score should be Charisma. Choose Strength for your second-best score (you’ll want a few Strength-based attacks), and Wisdom as your third-best score. The protecting paladin works best as a shield-carrying warrior, so you should probably use a heavy shield and a one-handed weapon such as a longsword or a warhammer. Select powers that help your allies, along with a few damage-dealing powers for when the need arises.

Feat: Healing Hands (Human feat: Action Surge)
Skills: Diplomacy, Heal, Insight, Religion
At-Will Powers: bolstering strike, enfeebling strike
Encounter Power: shielding smite
Daily Power: radiant delirium

Paladin Class Features

Your armor, your shield, and your weapon are the most important tools of your trade. In addition, you have the following class features.

Channel Divinity

Once per encounter you can invoke divine power, filling yourself with the might of your patron deity. With the divine might you invoke you can wield special powers. You can also learn other uses for this feature; for instance, the divinity feats in Chapter 6 grant characters with access to the Channel Divinity class feature the ability to use additional special powers.

Regardless of how many different uses for Channel Divinity you know, you can use only one such ability per encounter. The special ability or power you invoke works just like your other powers.

Divine Challenge

The challenge of a paladin is filled with divine menace. You can use the divine challenge power to mark an enemy of your choice.

Lay on Hands

Using the lay on hands power, paladins can grant their comrades additional resilience with a touch of their hands and a short prayer, though they must give of their own strength to do so.

Paladins and Deities

As fervent crusaders in their chosen cause, paladins must choose a deity. Paladins choose a specific faith to serve, as well as an alignment. You must choose an alignment identical to the alignment of your patron deity; a paladin of a good deity must be good, a paladin of a lawful good deity must be lawful good, and a paladin of an unaligned deity must be unaligned. Evil and chaotic evil paladins do exist in the world, but they are almost always villains, not player characters.

Paladins are not granted their powers directly by their deity, but instead through various rites performed when they first become paladins. Most of these rites involve days of prayer, vigils, tests and trials, and ritual purification followed by a knighting ceremony, but each faith has its own methods. This ceremony of investiture gives a paladin the ability to wield divine powers. Once initiated, the paladin is a paladin forevermore. How justly, honorably, or compassionately the paladin wields those powers from that day forward is up to him, and paladins who stray too far from the tenets of their faith are punished by other members of the faithful.


Paladins make use of holy symbols to help channel and direct their divine powers. A paladin wearing or holding a magic holy symbol can add its enhancement bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls to powers that have the implement keyword. Without a holy symbol, a paladin can still use these powers, but he or she doesn’t gain the bonus provided by the magic implement.

A holy avenger, a special magic weapon, can also be used as an implement for paladin powers, as well as paladin paragon path powers. These weapons are highly sought after by paladins.

Character Classes
Player's Handbook ClericFighterPaladinRangerRogueWarlockWarlordWizard
Player's Handbook 2 AvengerBarbarianBardDruidInvokerShamanSorcererWarden
Player's Handbook 3 ArdentBattlemindMonkPsionRunepriestSeeker
Setting-Specific Artificer (Eberron Player's Guide) ✦ Swordmage (Forgotten Realms Player's Guide)
Character Classes

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.