Make a Paladin character who is righteous (and not self-righteous)


In Dungeons & Dragons and all other role-playing games inspired by D&D, the Paladin character class is the epitome of the righteous, a sacred warrior who can heal wounds with one hand and strike evil with the other, whose strength of character and strong moral principles inspire others to greatness. .. when they are portrayed with nuance. The line between a PC Paladin who is aptly engaging and a PC Paladin who is hopelessly dogmatic can sometimes be very thin. With the following role-playing tips, however, D&D players can create a Paladin character that can be complicated, layered, fun for other PCs, and a true ally of justice.


The word “Paladin” originally referred to 12 mythical knights of the court of King Charlemagne – heroic horsemen such as Roland, bearer of the sword called Durandal and the war horn called Oliphant. Dungeons & Dragons’ fantasy Paladin was inspired by the heroic “Paladins” of medieval Carolingian romance, the Knights of the Round Table of Arthurian myth and legend, and the warrior monks of monastic orders such as the Templars, active from the 12th to the 14th centuries. Mechanically, Paladin at the start Dungeons & Dragons possessed the stamina and mastery of a fighter’s weapons coupled with the healing and protective powers of a cleric. They were also invariably bound by a rigid chivalrous oath of honor that prevented them from committing “chaotic” acts or associating with “chaotic” people lest they “fall” and lose access to them. their sacred powers.

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In the first editions of Dungeons & Dragons, Paladins could be a lightning rod for all kinds of petty behavior; the toxic players portrayed the Paladins as intolerant fanatics who attempted to control the actions of their fellow PCs, while the toxic DMs launched a wave of moral dilemmas at the PC Paladins in an attempt to “bring down” them. New editions of Dungeons & Dragons have since tweaked the rules and themes of the Paladin character class, giving players more freedom to create holy warriors who can work with people of different faiths and not lose their powers at the slightest deviation from their moral code staff. Overtime, D&D players also developed a new paradigm for the role-playing game of the Paladins, presenting them less as “fanatic crusaders” and more as “parent figures”.

D&D Paladin role-playing tips: chat with players and the DM about the stories they want to tell

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Lots of issues and tensions during a session can be avoided by simply chatting with the playgroup and figuring out how to make a Paladin PC play well in the game. D&D with other PC is no different. If the group of players as a whole is interested in a campaign about heroic heroes who heroically save the day, a classic Paladin “Oath of Devotion” or “Oath of the Ancients” will be perfect for them. If other players want to play morally ambiguous villains, on the other hand, a “Oath of Vengeance” or “Oath of Conquest” Paladin may work better. As a general rule, a creative dungeon master and a group of players acting in good faith should be able to deal with a situation in which a paladin does things Paladin-like, Roguish characters do Rogue-like things, and none of them do. ‘they do not oppose it.

D&D Paladin role-playing tips: take inspiration from fictional heroes who are also parent figures

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If a D&D The player wants to create a PR story / personality for their PC Paladin for their campaign, but doesn’t know where to start, they could do a lot worse than revisiting their favorite media works, drawing heavily on the protagonists playing the role of “parental figures”. The Transformers franchise has Optimus Prime, the Cybertronian Autobot leader who fought Megatron and the Decepticons was also a surrogate father for many kids watching cartoons in the 1980s, and even for those who encountered the character in later seasons. , thanks to his strong, sad and kind personality – a Paladin in spirit, if not in name. In general, any fictional hero who does their best to protect their allies, brightens the mood when they are discouraged, and gently encourages them to give their best is excellent fodder for building a PC Paladin than them. other players will genuinely respect.

D&D Paladin Roleplaying Tips: CP Paladin Can Be Smart To Pursue Their Goals And Keep Oaths

How to play the role of a Paladin in D&D

A Paladin obtains his divine powers by Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition through the Oaths They Swear to Keep, with the most iconic Paladin subclass swearing the classic “Oath of Devotion” to protect the innocent, not lie and make the world a better place through acts of compassion . A Paladin PC with an elaborate backstory may also have a longer-term ideal; liberate a conquered kingdom, hunt down the villain who injured their loved ones, recover a stolen artifact, etc. To live up to their oaths and ideals, a Paladin must be prepared to put his life in danger, challenge the will of powerful beings, and sacrifice their material wealth.

Related: Dungeons & Dragons Paladin Roleplay (& Differences Between The Clerics) Explained

But there is no reason why a Dungeons & Dragons Paladin cannot be smart AND practical in performing their noble deeds, whether using lightning attacks against powerful opponents, deceiving a guard with technically true statements, teaching villagers self-defense skills, or by accepting monetary rewards from people who can afford to pay them. A PC Paladin who considers the consequences of his actions, does not recklessly sacrifice himself, and does all he can to protect both the innocent and his party members is far more interesting than a Paladin with meaning. recklessly rigid of justice.

D&D Paladin Roleplaying Tips: Paladins Should Be Humble and Believe in Others

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A Paladin can leave a strong impression on both NPCs and players if they are truly humble in their behavior and actions. Paladins who boast and brag about their righteousness or complain about their sin appear as seekers of selfish attention. A Paladin character in a D&D campaign that really sees no difference between fighting a dragon that burns down a village and helping an old lady cross the street is a figure that other characters can admire, rather than resenting being “holier than you”.

In addition, a Dungeons & Dragons The PC Paladin who genuinely admires the abilities of other PCs, sympathizes with their problems, and believes they have the potential to be great heroes is much more sympathetic than a Paladin who thinks he is the main protagonist of the game. D&D campaign (Dale Carnegie’s self-help book How to win friends and influence people, although written for entrepreneurs and political leaders, has a lot of good advice in this direction for D&D players who want to create a cool Paladin PC).

Next: D&D Character Stories That Would Justify A Paladin / Wizard Build

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