Thy heart ist pure, thy sword ist sharp, thy faith ist strong. So thou thinkest that thou art off to a good start down the arduous road of the defender of faith, but thou stillst haveth a long way to go before thou art ready to rescueth fair damsels, protecteth the innocent, and passeth judgment through steel and light on the most vile of creatures such as demons and the ever-infamous red dragons. Dost thou still believeth thou haveth what it taketh to measureth up to the standards of champions past? Then followeth along. But I do believeth that expecting thee to follow along in the language style of the champions of old ist a bit much to asketh at this point.
... So now I speak in words that you raw recruits to the divine order can understand. Now let's go.
So why play a Paladin?
So you know about the inescapability of the Fighter, the mobility of the Swordmage and the sturdiness of the Warden. What do Paladins have to offer?
* Hurt or heal. Within this class has the potential for builds that can do anything from hit close to Striker-level damage to pick up a Leader's slack healing and buffing. You'll definitely find a way to make yourself useful.
* You can punish multiple foes like few others. Between your Divine Challenge and powers and abilities that inflict Divine Sanction, your wrath in any given round is not limited to just one enemy. All enemies can suffer extra damage for violating your marks. Besides you, only the Knight and your offshoot, the Cavalier, have anything near your level of multiple-foe punishment.
* You're not tied to your immediate actions. Other Defenders must use their immediate actions to punish those who violate a challenge. You don't. That's important for three big reasons: (1) You can still defend when dazed. (2) You are free to select and use immediate action powers and abilities as you please without sacrificing your ability to punish enemies. (3) This opens up punishment stacking, a case in which you use immediate action attacks to pile on extra retaliatory damage and status effects on top of what your divine marks were already doing.
Red: A trap, obsoleted by something else, or just plain crap.
Purple: Situational at best. Substandard in most cases.
Black: Not bad. You could do worse.
Blue: Definitely consider it, at least.
Sky Blue: A gift from the Astral Sea itself. Cherish it.
Gold: Mandatory. Not just the best. Mandatory. A very rare rating.
This Handbook covers the following sources:
PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB2 - Player's Handbook 2
PHB3 - Player's Handbook 3
DP - Divine Power
E:HFL - Essentials: Heroes of the Fallen Lands
E:HFK - Essentials: Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
MM - Monster Manual
MM2 - Monster Manual 2
AV - Adventurer's Vault
AV2 - Adventurer's Vault 2
D XXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
DA XX - Dragon Annual, year XX
MOTP - Manual of the Planes
PHBH - Player's Handbook Heroes
MP - Martial Power
MP2 - Martial Power 2
AP - Arcane Power
PP - Primal Power
EPG - Eberron Player's Guide
DSCS - Dark Sun Campaign Setting
PHR:D - Player's Handbook Races: Dragonborn
PHR:T - Player's Handbook Races: Tieflings
HoS - Heroes of Shadow
HotF - Heroes of the Feywild
MME - Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium
NWCS - Neverwinter Campaign Setting
AoE - Area of effect, often denotes a burst or blast attack.
AP - Action Point
BBEG - Big Bad Evil Guy (typically a Solo or an Elite)
DC - Divine Challenge
DPR - Damage per round
DS - Divine Sanction. A special type of mark, introduced in Divine Power, that's attached to many of the Paladin's more recently drafted feats and powers. It works like Divine Challenge in that it automatically and unavoidably deals radiant damage (3/6/9 + CHA modifier, like DC) when the enemy doesn't include you in an attack, again at no action cost, but it doesn't have DC's engagement stipulations. DS marks last as long and affect as many enemies as the associated power or feat prescribes. There's also no limit to how many enemies suffer the damage if they violate DS, making mass-DS powers very good for defense against a crowd. Like DC, DS punishment costs no action, works perfectly when you're dazed, and is open to punishment stacking. DS complements DC, and it often covers for the situations in which DC fails.
ED - Epic destiny
MAD - Multiple-attribute dependency. Otherwise known as stretching your ability scores too thin. Typically a designator for a build needing three or more ability scores to function.
MBA - Melee basic attack
NAD - Non-AC Defense (Fortitude, Reflex or Will).
OA - Opportunity attack
PP - Paragon path
Punishment stacking - Using multiple action types for punishment against the same triggering attack. While some other Defenders can do this on special occasions, Paladins take it to a whole other level. They can make it a large part of their gameplan, thanks to their default mark/punishment mechanics not taking up an action with the punishment part. Abilities and powers that Paladins can use for punishment stacking (many of which are immediate actions) will be referred to as punishment stackers.
Radiant Mafioso (or Radiant Soldier) - A character built around creating vulnerability to Radiant damage, greatly increasing not only his own damage, but in many cases his allies' as well. All Divine characters, Paladins included, have a capacity to become this type of character, thanks to things like at-will powers with the Radiant keyword, Radiant weapons, the Power of the Sun domain feat and the Morninglord paragon path. A full party of this type of character makes up the Radiant Mafia (or Radiant Army).
THP - Temporary hit points.
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