Most D&D characters are righteous heroes, fighting for what they believe in. The Oath of Redemption then, is perhaps one of the most heroic subclasses, because rather than fight, they make peace for what they believe in.
Paladins who take this oath do so because of the empathy that they feel for others. Since they believe that everyone can be saved, they do whatever they must to lead others to the light.
This guide is built to give you deeper insight into what kind of a role play experience the Oath of Redemption paladin can offer you, and how to build a character of this exciting subclass.
We’ll discuss the abilities they gain that make them such paragons of hope and peace, both on and off the battlefield.
Central to the identity of any paladin is the tenets which they uphold. The tenets that make this paladin subclass stand out are as follows:
- Peace – Violence should only ever be used as a last resort. Instead, these paladins seek to spread peace through diplomacy and understanding. They use their natural powers of empathy to diffuse situations before anyone gets hurt.
- Innocence – No one is born with malice in their heart. Trauma, loss, suffering, and other forces of darkness lead people down a path of evil. Given the opportunity to heal wounds, anyone can be brought back to the light within themselves and begin to walk a path of righteousness.
- Patience – While magic can fix physical wounds with ease, emotional wounds take time to heal. One must practice patience with those who have turned to wickedness. Like all new life, the people who seek redemption must be nurtured over time to truly blossom.
- Wisdom – One of the hardest things for an individual who cares so deeply for others is the understanding that not everyone will choose to be saved. They pray for the wisdom to know the difference in these situations, and seek guidance from their deities so that they may take the just action. As a final resort these paladins will release an evil being from their suffering, ending their life but knowing that they will be given a new chance.
Not every character needs to be built with the intention of ruthless slaughter. This paladin is built on the idea of hope, that things can change, people can be better, and one person can make the difference in a world so misguided and full of hatred.
The Oath of Redemption Paladin‘s Defining Abilities
Unlike most paladins, this subclass does not exert much martial prowess at all, instead providing support through various spells and abilities.
Redemption paladins are focused around maintaining peace at all costs and leading others to a path of righteousness. The following are the main ways they achieve these goals:
- Divine persuasiveness
- Protection of others
- Subduing enemies and stopping violence
As with all paladin subclasses, when you take this oath at third level you will get two-channel divinities to use at your convenience. The first option boosts your persuasion ability with a +5 bonus for ten minutes.
Combined with what should be a high charisma modifier and your proficiency bonus, because you will be proficient in persuasion, you should be looking at very least +10 on persuasion rolls while this effect is active.
Typically a “hard” persuasion DC (Dice Check) is a 20, and out of the four rolls I just did for fun, only one of those didn’t surpass that.
I mean, if you roll a natural 20 that boosts you up to 30, which is defined as a “NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE” DC. So just know that this class will allow you to make nearly impossible persuasions at a very low level.
As far as their role in combat, if it ever has to get that far, these paladins use defense as the greatest offense. More than just a tank, these paladins use the violence of others against themselves.
The other channel divinity, titled Rebuke the Violent, takes the damage a creature deals and sends it back towards them as radiant damage.
Violence must be stopped, it’s not enough to punish those who use it as a tool. The spells these paladins utilize are primarily focused on stopping the actions of others.
Sleep, Hold Person, Counterspell, and more spells granted by this oath are extremely effective at putting someone’s destructive goals to rest.
With the tenet of wisdom comes the understanding that their path to save the wicked will bring them into confrontations. The rest of their abilities all protect them or others from the cruel hand of malice that might seek to harm them.
In latin, compassion means co-suffering, or to share in the pain of others. The oath of redemption paladin is so dedicated to compassion that they can redirect damage dealt to another creature towards them, sacrificing their own health to shield others from harm.
Luckily, at 15th level they begin to be rewarded for their suffering, and holy energy heals them at the end of each turn if they have less than half of their hit point maximum.
This creates a cycling ability to take damage from others without worrying about biting the bullet, although an oath of redemption paladin would be rejoiced to die in selfless service of others.
As with all paladins, the capstone ability of this subclass is well worth the wait. Pacifism has served you well along your journey, and you are rewarded for your commitment to the tenets you have spread across the realms. You gain resistance from ALL DAMAGE dealt by other creatures.
Resistance to all damage dealt by other creatures.
If that wasn’t enough, engaging you in combat is a bad decision, and anyone who hits you with an attack takes half the damage you take right back at them.
The Oath of Redemption Paladin’s Limitations
Here’s the thing. The only limitations this class really has is not being a different class. As you’ve just read, and will continue to see as we get more in depth, this class excels at what it aims to achieve.
It would be a stretch to call what this class lacks limitations, but I’ll use that term for sake of ease.
This class is not an offensive class. The role of this class in and out of combat is to be a beacon of peace and hope. As such, the only offensive measures this subclass boasts are the smites and weapon proficiencies granted by the main class.
Where other paladins can go forward into battle, powered by a divine fury, you have a responsibility to maintain peace. For any players who want to charge into a fight headfirst this can and will be extremely limiting.
If you don’t want a healing tank who is focused on controlling the battlefield then this class is not for you. In the tenets you swear to uphold as a part of this oath, and in many of the abilities, especially the capstone, directly engaging in combat will produce consequences.
Black Citadel’s Ranking and Tier System
Color and Tier ranking is very helpful when you’re trying to digest a lot of information. In our ongoing series of 5e class guides, we use the following color rating scheme:
- Red – C Tier. Red options can sometimes be situationally useful, and might make for an interesting narrative choice, but are largely less effective than other tiers.
- Green – B Tier. Solid but nothing that is absolutely critical for a build, or Green can be very good but only in very specific situations.
- Blue – A Tier. An excellent choice. Widely regarded as powerful in some way, useful, highly effective.
- Purple – S Tier. The top of our rankings. Objectively powerful or transformative in some way. No choice in D&D is essential, but these options are worth strongly considering when you create your character.
Our goal here is to provide scannable, but comprehensive guides for you as you develop your character.
While we might sometimes make reference to unofficial or homebrew content to illustrate a point (or just because it’s too cool not to talk about) every option we suggest is legal in the official rules for D&D 5e as published by Wizards of the Coast.
Unlike most Paladins, the Oath of Redemption focuses on spellcasting far more than their Strength.
In fact, Strength isn’t even in your top 3. You’ll want to prioritize Charisma, and then follow it with Constitution. After that Wisdom will actually be an important ability for you.
The Insight skill, which uses wisdom as its modifier, will allow you to understand people’s motivations. Wisdom is also one of your tenets, so hopefully, this choice isn’t that surprising.
The following races are our best options that provide you bonuses in these areas. If you’re interested in learning more about these races, check out our race guides here.
Aasimar: +2 Charisma. The Healing Hands racial feature is very beneficial to any paladin. The fact that this race is guided by a Deva to strike out evil in the world gives you a built-in reason for seeking to spread peace.
Protector: +1 Wisdom. While wisdom isn’t necessarily high on a normal paladin’s build, gaining insight may be very important in your judgment of your chances to save someone’s soul.
This subrace also grants you a 1-minute transformation ability which allows you to fly and deal extra radiant damage when you do have to resort to violence. Being able to traverse the battlefield to help those in need with a flying speed can be hugely beneficial.
Scourge: +1 Constitution. I would choose scourge for their constitution bonus. This subrace is built more towards righteous violence, but that can be a powerful motivator for seeking redemption for others. Your transformative racial ability allows you to release a powerful divine light that deals radiant damage to anyone around you.
Tiefling: +2 Charisma
Bloodline of Fierna: +1 Wisdom. The racial spells you gain from this subrace fit perfectly into your arsenal. Friends, Charm Person, and Suggestion are all built towards peaceful battlefield control, and again, insight can be an excellent reason to pick up a higher than average wisdom.
Bloodline of Levistus: +1 Constitution. This defense-based subrace offers you the Ray of Frost, Armor of Agathys, and Darkness spells. Darkness is perhaps the oddest choice here, but being able to limit the sight of others is a great way to stop a confrontation.
Half-Elf: Charisma +2, +1 in two abilities of your choosing. You’ll want to take the constitution bonus and after that either wisdom or strength. This would also be a great source to gain other skill proficiencies.
If you don’t want extra skill proficiencies, take the variant path and gain a racial feature from your elven parentage. I would suggest either autumn or spring Eladrin, both of whom have fey step abilities that are great for diffusing a battle.
Triton: Charisma +1, Strength +1, Constitution +1. The racial spells you’ll be gaining are not available to you as a paladin, so you’ll be able to do plenty of exciting things normally inaccessible to paladins. Additionally, a swim speed is always fun to have.
We tend to choose these based on our highest stats, but choosing a different route based on how you want to roleplay isn’t a bad idea, especially since adding your proficiency bonus might compensate for a not-so-good ability modifier.
The paladin class is given the ability to choose two skills from Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Medicine, Persuasion, and Religion.
Athletics (STR): Since your strength isn’t as high as other paladins, it’s better to let another party member do the heavy lifting.
Insight (WIS): Insight allows you to determine someone’s true intentions. Use this skill to act on the tenet of Wisdom and decide the best course of action to show this person the error in their ways.
Intimidation (CHA): Since intimidation is inherently a violent method of persuasion, this skill should only be a last resort.
Medicine (WIS): While you already boast an impressive arsenal of healing capabilities, another isn’t a bad idea, even if it just means patching up someone at the end of a battle to show you really care.
Persuasion (CHA): Persuasion is the primary method you will use to uphold peace. If you don’t want the proficiency bonus here, don’t take this subclass.
Religion (INT): You don’t have to be devoutly religious for this class, but an understanding of religion would make sense.
When we look for a background we want to find some skills that synergize well with our ability scores, but that’s not all. For the Oath of Redemption paladin we might also find a reason that we have chosen to take this oath.
It’s a genuinely accepted truth that those who have been given the opportunity to redeem themselves try to give away what has been so freely given to them. Choosing a background that might better represent a troubled path is an excellent roleplay choice to make.
Acolyte: Proficiency in Insight and Religion. If you don’t want a troubled past, having grown up in service to a deity is a great reason to choose to seek redemption for others. “Hi, have you heard the word of our good Lord Pelor! He offers redemption and salvation for all.” The feature: Shelter of the Faithful, can also provide some lodging and assistance in your lifestyle in the terms of supplies and money.
Guild Artisan: Proficiency in Insight and Persuasion. Perhaps you were once a skeevy businessperson and you learned the error in your ways. No matter how you slice it, the skills are perfectly aligned, although you have to pay 5gp in dues each month for guild membership.
Criminal: Naturally the criminal background offers you proficiencies in Deception and Stealth. These might not make a whole lot of sense, but you can always choose to customize your background by changing out the skills for any other two skills.
The backgrounds listed in the PHB are just samples to make the building process easier. Taking Insight and Performance or Persuasion and this background becomes a perfect way to integrate your character into the world.
Oath of Redemption Paladin Progression
Features that you automatically obtain through the Paladin class will appear in Orange and features that you gain through the Oath of Redemption subclass will appear in Pink.
Filling out the Character Sheet (Level 0)
Hit Dice: 1d10 per paladin level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per paladin level after 1st
Armor: All armor, shields
You’re going to want to upgrade to Heavy Armor sooner rather than later. Having a higher AC means less concentration breaks, less damage you take from being attacked, and genuinely less people attacking you. It won’t take long for your DM to realize they’re going to need bigger monsters to take you down.
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
Skills: Choose two from Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Medicine, Persuasion, and Religion
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) a martial weapon and a shield or (b) two martial weapons
- (a) five javelins or (b) any simple melee weapon
- (a) a priest’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
- Chain mail and a holy symbol
This allows you to sense the location of celestials, fiends, or undead within 60 feet of you and to know what they are.
Lay on Hands:
A pool of 5 times your paladin level means a lot of healing from the beginning and a beautiful scaling system is at your disposal.
Choose from Defensive, Dueling, Great Weapon Fighting, and Protection. There is also Blessed Warrior, Blind Fighting and Interception from TCoE.
- Defensive: +1 bonus to AC while wearing armor.
- Dueling: +2 to damage rolls if you’re only using a single one handed weapon.
- Great Weapon Fighting: Two-handed and versatile weapons let you reroll 1’s and 2’s on damage dies.
- Protection: You can use a shield to impose disadvantage on an attack headed for a creature within 5 feet of you.
- Blessed Warrior: You learn two cleric cantrips, which you cast with your charisma like your paladin spells.
- Blind Fighting: You gain 10ft of blindsight, the ability to see anything regardless of darkness or anything that could impede your vision.
- Interception: You can block 1d10 + your proficiency bonus worth of damage being dealt to a creature within 5 ft of you so long as you are wielding a weapon or a shield.
Your fighting style depends on how you want to play, and each of these can be equally beneficial to the subclass.
Paladins use charisma as their spellcasting ability, so your spell save DC is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier and your spell attack modifier is your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier.
Paladins can prepare their spells from their list of available paladin spells when they finish a long rest. Their list of prepared spells is equal to their Charisma modifier + half their paladin level, rounded down.
Spellcasting will be the majority of your interaction in battle, so be sure to prepare the right spells for each situation. I highly suggest keeping a list of all available paladin spells for your level ready to go for each session. Having that list laminated so that you can use a sharpie to denote which spells are prepared is a protip.
DEUS VULT! You have the ability to expend a spell slot to deal radiant damage whenever you land a hit with a melee attack. Since this does expend a spell slot, you likely won’t be using this anywhere near as much as a typical paladin would.
You lean much more heavily on your control or buff spells to be effective on the battlefield.
This is when you take your Oath. From this level on you are committed to upholding the principles of peace, innocence, patience, and wisdom.
Remember that if you don’t abide by these tenets your DM may consider you to have broken your oath. Unless you want to become an Oathbreaker, you should be very conscious of your actions.
The first oath spells you gain are Sanctuary and Sleep.
Sanctuary is a warding spell that protects a person of your choice from being the target of an attack. Attacking creatures must succeed on a wisdom saving throw or choose a new attack.
Sleep does exactly what it says, but the cool thing is that you can target 5d8 hit points worth of creatures when cast with a 1st level spell slot. Assuming a perfect roll, that’s eight kobolds!
Emissary of Peace. This is the channel divinity option that grants you a +5 to persuasion checks. This effect lasts for 10 minutes.
Rebuke the Violent. Turn a foe’s violence against them. When an attacker within 30 ft of you deals damage to anyone other than you, you can choose to send that damage back. On a failed wisdom saving throw they take the full damage, and on a successful save they take half damage.
You can either increase one ability by 2 points or two abilities by 1. Alternatively, you can choose a feature, if you already have great stats this is a great choice.
You can now attack twice in your Attack action. Keep in mind that spell attacks still use the Cast a Spell action, so you may not be taking as much advantage of this as other paladin subclasses would be.
Calm Emotions and Hold Person. Both of these are excellent control spells.
Calm Emotions allows you to stop creatures within 20 ft of you from being charmed or frightened. It also allows you to stop a creature from being hostile towards another party.
Hold Person allows you to paralyze a humanoid target.
Aura of Protection:
Friendly creatures get a bonus on saving throws equal to your Charisma modifier while they are within 10 ft of you and you are conscious. Your massive charisma will help everyone around you.
Remember that this also works on you, don’t forget to add that charisma modifier whenever you’re making a saving throw to hold concentration on a spell.
Aura of the Guardian:
You can take the damage that a creature within 10 feet of you would receive. This damage can’t be reduced, and you won’t take any effects like being poisoned or being knocked prone from the creature.
You can use it to save your allies or show your enemy you really care about their redemption, either way, it’s an excellent ability to have.
Counterspell and Hypnotic Pattern. You’ll gain the ability to counterspells, and hypnotize creatures into a soft paralysis. Hypnotized creatures are charmed, have a movement speed of 0, and are incapacitated.
Aura of Courage:
You protect yourself and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you from being frightened while you are conscious. This really boosters your role as a support class very well.
Improved Divine Smite:
All of your melee attacks deal an extra 1d8 of radiant damage now. Your commitment to the divine has gifted you with an endless supply of holy energy to cast upon the wicked.
When you do need to resort to violence you will be able to swiftly eliminate threats.
At this level you’ll gain access to Otiluke’s Resilient Sphere and Stoneskin. Stoneskin is the more straightforward ability here; it grants a willing creature resistance to non-magical damage types (slashing, bludgeoning, and piercing).
Otiluke’s Resilient Sphere is an incredible spell which creates a protective sphere around a creature or object of size Large or smaller. This sphere can only be destroyed by a disintegration spell, as it is immune to all damage, and it stops anything from entering or exiting.
It can even roll! An amazing spell to halt an enemy from further chaos, or to protect an ally.
You can end spells with a touch on an action. This is available to you a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier.
When you are below half of your hit point maximum you heal 1d6 + half your paladin level at the end of your turn. You are rewarded for seeking the redemption of others and in no small fashion.
This ability will keep you in the fight far longer than almost any other healing ability might.
The final spells granted to you from your oath are the Hold Monster and Wall of Force spells.
Hold Monster is a more powerful version of Hold Person. It eliminates the humanoid restriction, instead allowing you to subdue any creature.
Wall of Force is an incredible spell. You create a barrier, either a dome with a 10-foot radius or ten 10’ by 10’ panels that all touch at least one other panel.
The barrier is impenetrable and can be made on solid ground or floating in the air. You can use this spell in so many creative ways, have fun.
All of your auras are increased to 30 feet.
Emissary of Redemption
You have resistance to ALL damage from other creatures so long as you don’t deal damage to them, attack them, or cast a spell on them. If a creature that you gain these resistances from attacks you, they take half the damage you take.
This is an excellent capstone. The abilities are hard to beat, and it accentuates your commitment to pacifism so well.
Inspiring Leader – This will give your party members a temporary hit point boost equal to your charisma modifier + your level. With your charisma you’d be hard-pressed to not take this feat.
Resilient – You get a +1 to an ability score of your choice, along with proficiency in saving throws of that ability. We would want to use this on constitution so we are better capable of holding our concentration whenever we take damage.
Tough – More hit points is always going to be great for a tank role such as yourself.
War Caster – This is a different way to get proficiency in constitution saving throws, but you only gain this proficiency to hold concentration. The bonus here is that this also allows you to hold shields or weapons while performing the somatic elements of spells.
AND, this will allow you to cast a spell in place of opportunity attacks. Being nonviolent, it would make more sense to Hold Person when you’re given the opportunity to stop their movement rather than attack them.
Honorable mention here goes to Telepathic. This is just a really cool feat, and while I can’t justify its use in most martial classes, this paladin could incorporate these abilities in exciting ways.
Listening to the thoughts of others to see what they have planned is super beneficial. And putting thoughts into their head, pretending to be their conscience, absolutely priceless.
Example Oath of Redemption Paladin Build
For the following example build we’ve used the standard set of scores provided in the PHB (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8) when deciding ability scores.
The only levels mentioned for the purpose of these builds are those when you will have the opportunity to make a decision on how your adventurer grows.
Race: Bloodline of Fierna Tiefling
Background: Guild Artisan
Ability Scores: STR 12 , DEX 10, CON 14, INT 8, WIS 14, CHA 17
Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Intimidation, Persuasion, Medicine
Language Proficiencies: Common, Infernal, Draconic
Tool Proficiencies: Alchemist’s Tools
Equipment: A battleaxe, a longsword, five javelins, an explorer’s pack, chain mail, a holy symbol, a set of alchemist’s tools, a letter of introduction from your guild, a set of traveler’s clothes, and a pouch containing 15gp.
At this point it’s just important to note that you do not yet have spellcasting, so you will have to utilize your weapons in battle. It’s a great idea to use your time in first and second levels to set up the reason for choosing which oath to take at third level.
You can prepare 4 spells at this time (Charisma modifier of +3, half of your paladin level rounded down is +1)
You gain access to 1st level spell slots. Good spells of this level to prepare are as follows:
- Bless – This will give three creatures a d4 bonus to attack and saving throw rolls. A great little buff to dish out at early levels.
- Ceremony – This was made for this subclass. This ritual spell allows you to hold one of the following ceremonies:
- Atonement. Restore a willing creature to their original alignment.
- Bless Water. Make holy water.
- Coming of Age. You give young adults a d4 bonus to ability checks? Oddly specific, you can probably mostly ignore this option.
- Dedication. Give a willing target who devotes themself to your deity a d4 bonus on ability checks… and this can be any age!
- Funeral Rites. Hold a funeral! You protect a corpse from being turned into an undead for 7 days.
- Wedding. Officiate a wedding! If you join two willing participants in marriage they gain a +2 bonus to AC for the next 7 days.
This spell is a bit funny, but amazing at the same time. Take it for the ability to atone others to their original alignment and use the other ones for fun.
- Heroism – A bravery buff. Prevent a willing creature from being frightened and give them some extra hit points.
- Shield of Faith – Give a willing creature a +2 bonus to AC.
- Cure Wounds – The classic healing spell.
- Thunderous Smite – Because of this smite’s added ability to knock a creature prone this feels like the best option for a damaging spell. Subduing an enemy that you are forced to attack is an excellent action to take.
Start out with taking a +2 to Charisma for 19 Charisma.
You gain access to 2nd level spell slots. Good spells of this level to prepare are as follows:
- Zone of Truth – Make people tell the truth and maybe they’ll see why they aren’t so attached to their convictions.
- Aid – Dishes out 5 temporary hit points to three creatures, you can cast this at higher levels for an additional 5 per spell slot level after 2nd.
- Protection from Poison – Neutralize poison and grant resistance to poison damage.
- Lesser Restoration – End a disease or condition of a creature. Fun-fact: Lycanthropy is a disease!
Let’s pick up Inspiring Leader now, since battles have really started to pick up, your allies could use some speeches.
You gain access to 3rd level spell slots. Good spells of this level to prepare are as follows:
- Aura of Vitality – This spell creates a healing aura of 30 feet around you. You can use your bonus action to have a creature heal 2d6 while this aura is active.
- Dispel Magic – Being able to stop magical effects can make this a great utility spell, but it can also allow you to undue some magical effect that is causing a creature to act evil.
- Remove Curse – Very similar to Dispel Magic, but you don’t have to make an ability check to complete this task, and it only works on curses.
- Magic Cylinder – You create a barrier to keep a specific type of creature out (or in). Keep in mind this requires holy water to cast (which you can make with Ceremony).
Pick up War Caster for the intense spellcasting to come.
You gain access to 4th level spell slots. Good spells of this level to prepare are as follows:
- Aura of Life – Essential if you’re going to be going up against necrotic damage. This spell keeps hit point maximums from dropping, grants necrotic resistance, and restores a hit point to creatures who start their turn with 0 while inside of the aura. As with the rest of the auras, these effects only function for non hostile creatures.
- Aura of Purity – Non hostile creatures within 30 feet of you are protected from a litany of conditions and diseases. Great spell to have.
- Death Ward – Keeping someone from dying is an amazing ability for any paladin.
Get a +1 to Charisma and a +1 to Constitution. Congratulations on 20 Charisma!
You gain access to 5th level spell slots. Good spells of this level to prepare are as follows:
- Circle of Power – Grant friendly creatures advantage on magical or spell effect saving throws. This Aura also allows creatures to take no damage instead of half damage on a success that would do such a thing.
- Dispel Evil and Good – Celestials, elementals, fey, fiends, and undead have disadvantage on attack rolls against you. Then you can end this spell by breaking an enchantment brought on by one of these creatures. OR. You can just banish them back to their home plane.
- Summon Celestial – Do it. Please.
Either get a +2 bonus to Constitution or Wisdom… or pick up Telepathy.
Synergies and Multiclassing
Like a healing potion, this class can be put to great use in any party. Whether you find yourself in an evil party trying to redeem their souls, or in a lawful good party full of a bunch of righteous individuals, you’ll do well.
Don’t multiclass out of this class. It does what it does well and doesn’t need any help achieving its goals from other class features.
If you really want to make this subclass your own, pick up Magical Initiate or some ‘Adept’ feat to get a bit of spellcasting from another class.
Beginner’s Guide to Oath of Redemption Paladin
People lead complicated lives. In fantasy settings, we often choose to look at things from a very absolute perspective.
Good and evil exist, and in-betweens are hard to find. In D&D specifically, we have a 3×3 alignment system that tells your character how to act.
This subclass of Paladin asks us to look deeper. As a devout believer of a merciful deity, these holy knights seek to save the souls of those who would spread evil and violence throughout the world. This class seeks redemption for all.
Devoted to Peace, Innocence, Wisdom, and Patience
The first tenet of this class is peace. They are sworn to uphold peace, and seek it out by whatever means necessary. When you take this oath at third level you will begin to see just how effectively this class achieves their goal.
From the jump you’re going to put your best stat into Charisma to ensure you can persuade others. An Oath of Redemption paladin would do all that they can to stop a fight from breaking out.
Up until you hear your DM ask for that ol’ initiative roll you should be talking to your foes and trying to show them the way of the light. One of your Channel Divinities will even grant you an additional +5 to your persuasion checks for 10 minutes, and before battle is a great time to do that.
A devotion to peace does not mean they are cowards though. These are still knights and will focus on diffusing a battle once it starts. Instead of lopping heads you’ll make clever use of charm spells and various shielding abilities to bring a fight to a halt before anyone has to suffer.
An oath of redemption paladin believes in innocence. They believe that all people are born good. Redemption means to save from sin, error, or evil. It is these things that can corrupt a soul and lead them astray from the righteous path.
Your goal is to show those who have been corrupted a better way. Using your persuasive abilities, and your own experience, to teach wrongdoers how to live a spiritual and principled life is the main purpose of this character.
It won’t be easy of course, those drawn to evil are often twisted and deformed by the forces that have controlled their lives.
That’s where wisdom comes in. You could be someone’s only chance for salvation, but there are those who are beyond saving. Undead, fiends, devils, and other creatures of this type may not have any light left in them to brighten.
This tenet of your oath requires you to recognize if someone is too far corrupted by their actions, or by actions done against them. You use your abilities to stop evil but if you have to use them to put out the flame all together you will do that.
Some entities are just too far gone to be saved, and it’s up to you to save the rest of the world from them, for the greater good.
The last tenet we’ll focus on is patience. Just as many campaigns may go on for years, many people take time to atone for their sins. An oath of redemption paladin acknowledges this and will take the time necessary to nurture someone who truly wishes to be a good person.
Idealists, Not Fools
While these knights will do whatever they can to avoid a violent confrontation, they will make quick work of one shall it become necessary.
The abilities this subclass offers you make you a wildly impressive support/tank class. You heal others, cast spells that bolster your ally’s abilities, and grind hostile creatures’ actions to a halt. Your pacifism in many ways becomes one of the greatest weapons if no course other than violence can be taken.
The other Channel Divinity option you gain is called Rebuke the Violent, and it does just that. If someone chooses the path of violence you can send the damage they deal right back at them. Teach them that striking out has consequences.
Your capstone has a similar ability to it and will allow you to be resistant to any damage from any attacker you aren’t engaging with. So long as you don’t attack them, cast spells on them, or deal damage to them in any way, they will take damage for attacking you.
On the protective side of things, the paladin already has a large cast of support spells to heal, give advantages, resistances, or create barriers of some manner, and this subclass furthers that theme.
You can take damage for others starting at level seven, and shortly after that you will heal whenever you have less than half of your health.
More than half of your oath spells stop foes in their place. Used properly you could stop a battle in no more than two turns. If necessary, you could end a turn in the same amount of time.
By the nature of the paladin’s prepared spells, you could equip yourself with smites if you know you are headed into a battle that can not be won with diplomacy.
So long as you continue to make wise decisions you will see no penalty for using destruction as a means to an end.
This class is a great role play experience for all. With the amount of persuasion your character will be doing, you’ll certainly be having a lot of heart to hearts.
Each person you come into contact with in need of saving will require a different approach, and for those who love to get into their characters, this can be an amazing opportunity.
While you can certainly just tell people that they don’t have to be bad anymore, it’s much more effective (and makes for much better storytelling) when you can relate to the other characters and show them a better way of life.
Check out this video of Brennan Lee Mulligan from Dimension 20 describing how his character attempted to redeem others.
In the video, he talks about how his character used to be a thief and was shown a new way of life by priests. He relates to the other characters by saying that he has “been where (they’ve) been” and uses this connection to convince them that change is possible.
You don’t need to play a reformed thief to strike up this same sort of character development. Everyone has been through something. Hell, it’s a cliche at this point that most D&D characters grew up in orphanages, or on the streets.
Put some thought into why your character wants to help others see the light, and I’m sure you’ll find the bit of darkness in their past to use as a tool.
If you’re looking to get into Dungeons & Dragons and want to try out a character who isn’t just another murder hobo, this is the subclass for you. Oath of redemption will take you on a journey and will allow your character to truly stand for something that matters.