I'm considering putting together a dwarf paladin for 4e. Any thoughts on what sort works best? Dwarves have their bonuses in Wis and Con, so it's not obvious whether I should go Str or Cha based. What's a good ability array to use?
From my personal experience of playing around with builds, you've got two major options, as far as your ability array is concerned.
The first is to play to your strengths and make a Wisdom/Con-based paladin. As a dwarf, this is the better option if you want to play to the defender aspect of the class. You'll get extra hit points, a better healing surge, and a little more mileage out of lay on hands.
The second option is to focus your ability array onto Strength and Charisma, and allow your racial abilities to boost your Con and Wisdom up to a decent level. This is a little better for the Avenging Paladin, I believe, but I can see either build could benefit from it.
These are the two extremes of course. You could always meet them half way, and play a Charisma/Wisdom based paladin, or a Wisdom/Strength, or some other combo.
Between the two I've posted, though, the first one allows you to really excel in a couple stats, with an average rating in most of your others, while the later allows you to be a little more general, but overall you're abilities are above average.
While focusing on Wis and Con sounds good for a dwarf, I don't see how you can use Str and Cha as dump stats, since all the paladin powers use one or the other as the to-hit. If you actually want to successfully attack anyone, I think you'd need to have at least one of them high.
Yeah, WIS and CON are the support stats for a Paladin, but STR or CHA is still easily more important. Hitting with an attack is the most important function in this game. I'm not saying go for a natural 18 in your attack stat, but it should definitely be at least a 16.
D&DN Paladin: Half-Fighter, half-Cleric, all useless. D&DN Ranger: Third-Fighter, third-Rogue, third-Druid, all useless. With one interesting concept that has its execution botched.
I could do a pretty balanced advancement with Str/Wis first, then Con/Cha, then Str/Wis, Con/Cha again. That's not quite as many points in the primaries as I could get with hitting Cha or Str each time, but it's not far behind and it keeps them balanced, while also keeping Con and Wisdom pretty strong. Select demigod to advance Str and Cha for epic, then Str/Cha, Wis/Cha to finish up. So it'd look like this:
1: Str 15, Con 15, Dex 8, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 16 4: Str 16, Con 15, Dex 8, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 16 8: Str 16, Con 16, Dex 8, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 17 11: Str 17, Con 17, Dex 9, Int 11, Wis 17, Cha 18 14: Str 18, Con 17, Dex 9, Int 11, Wis 18, Cha 18 18: Str 18, Con 18, Dex 9, Int 11, Wis 18, Cha 19 21: Str 21, Con 19, Dex 10, Int 12, Wis 19, Cha 22 24: Str 22, Con 19, Dex 10, Int 12, Wis 19, Cha 23 28: Str 22, Con 19, Dex 10, Int 12, Wis 20, Cha 24
Not that I'm ever likely to get him to epic level, but I think it's a reasonable advancement. Charisma's short of its absolute maximum (relative to its start) by 2 points, which means I'm missing a +1, but in return I get Strength just +1 short of Charisma, and good Wisdom and Con.
I'm not quite sure what feats I'd want. Probably Dwarven Weapon Training, and Healing Hands for the first couple of levels. Improved Initiative might be a good idea. Maybe Durable. I was considering multiclassing with Warlord, but since I'm not pushing intelligence, that may not work out very well, and it'll take a lot of feats to do well. Still, I like the idea of giving my comrades extra attacks.
At paragon tier, Dwarven Durability is a no brainer. Lightning Reflexes might be useful to shore up my weakest defense. Armor Specialization (plate), Shield Specialization, and Deadly Axe are all good.
At Epic, there's Axe Mastery, and Epic Resurgence, and Font of Radiance. This is also a good time to trade in Dwarven Weapon Training for Weapon Focus. (The two don't stack, and at epic levels, you get more damage from Weapon Focus.)
I'll go through powers later.
EDIT: After looking at the next post, I decided to exchange some Int for Con. This way, each time I gain an attribute score bump, something goes up. It does leave Con odd (I wish I could see a way to put one more point into it), but it's more useful than leaving Int odd, as it qualifies me for the Bludgeon Mastery Feat.
This is my build although now I am wondering if I should have put the 15 to Str and bumped it to 16 at level 4... hit/dmg seems more important than working up my Con so far (level 2 character). As for feats I am thrilled that I took Toughness at level one. I am the only member of my group to not have been bloodied yet, between the temp hp At-Will and the extra 5pts from Toughness. Level 2 I took Healing Hands to boost the LH, and plan on Dwarven Weapon Proficiency next to get the +2 dmg. Somewhere along the line I also plan to take Avandra's Rescue, Giant Dodge and Ritual Casting.
Side note: LOVING the paladin.... last night my warlord companion got herself attacked by 8 creatures and took a beating. I went next and move 5 squares to her, Minor Action Lay Hands, Standard Action Paladin's Judgement to do dmg and give her another healing surge. She felt all better! I was thrilled to be able to move, attack and heal twice all in one round! Now to teach the Ranger not to charge....
Well, I was just looking over the feats again, and realized that the bonuses added by Shield Specialization, Armor Specialization, and Lightning Reflexes are all feat bonuses--they don't stack. Guess there's not much point in taking Shield Specialization, except perhaps as a stopgap until you reach a level where you can easily trade it in for Armor Specialization and get Lightning Reflexes. This is all moot for my character, since it requires Dex 15 anyway. I've got to stop posting at 3 am...
Anyway, I'm liking the warlord multiclass more as I look at it. The dependence on Int isn't as big for the powers I might be interested in. I probably wouldn't take the multiclass alternative to a paragon path, but the Knight Commander warlord paragon path is interesting, and it doesn't require as many feats to get to it. Its powers aren't particularly impressive, but giving +2 attack to every adjacent ally all the time seems like one of the best class features out there. I can imagine having the fighter and rogue flanking an enemy and coming up on him from the side, granting them both +2 to hit in addition to the +2 flanking bonus, combine with Divine challenge to make it hard for him to attack either of them, and still be able to use Hammer and Anvil (or similar) power to both attack and give the rogue a free attack (with sneak attack goodness).
Incidentally, I like that you put 15 in Con... and I see that it's not that hard. Int doesn't do me much good at 11, but Con at 15 does--I'll probably make that change.