Is there a certain person in your life who makes you feel better just by standing near them? All you have to do is just get close, and suddenly, the rest of the world doesn’t seem so bad.
Guess what? That person is either a paladin or a succubus. Either way, you should probably get a second opinion. If, however, they are a paladin, then you understand what it means to be under the effects of a paladin’s aura.
Auras are one of the unique paladin abilities granted at 6th, 7th, 10th, and 18th levels. They are generally specific to enemies or to allies, but if either one of those is standing within 10 feet (30 feet at 18th level), that creature gains either some kind of bonus or penalty.
In this post, we will break down the universal paladin auras and the subclass-specific auras and sort them according to which party roles they suit the most — because paladins are just unique enough to cover multiple bases.
What Is a Paladin Aura?
An aura is a type of ability paladins get according to level and subclass. While within a certain range of the paladin, enemies and/or allies will be subjected to certain effects ranging from buffs, debuffs, damage, and healing.
Auras for All Paladins
All paladins receive the following two auras. These auras are generic enough to apply to all paladin types and all fall firmly into the support category.
This is great! Paladins serve the unique function of being able to be anywhere on the battlefield provided they are next to an ally to offer support both moral and physical.
These auras are only effective within 10 feet for most of the paladin’s career, so unless you are the type of paladin who likes to hang back with the spellcasters, expect to share these benefits with the rangers, fighters, monks, and barbarians of the party.
Aura of Protection
At 6th level, you gain the Aura of Protection. This aura grants all nearby allies a bonus to their saving throws equal to your Charisma modifier. Literally anyone can benefit from this aura.
If you tend to find yourself at the front of the line, then the other front-line fighters will be more protected as they try to break enemy ranks. If you stay really close to the rogue as they are disabling traps, you can keep your party’s mechanic safe while they do the dangerous work.
If you are a paladin who specializes in ranged combat (It can happen! Seriously, try a paladin/sorcerer build with shield and wand), then your spellcasting allies will stay safe-ish while being targeted by enemy spellcasters.
Aura of Courage
At 10th level, all paladins gain the Aura of Courage. This aura does the very simple job of making you and all allies within it immune to being frightened. While this obviously works on the battlefield, it will also work in tense social interactions where intimidation can come into play.
That means this ability will frustrate any fiends, fey, aberrations, necromancers, and police who want to force you to kneel and give way in the face of threats.
These auras, when combined with the other mainline paladin abilities, cement your primary role as a supportive combatant.
But what other type of combatant are you? Check out our main post on party roles to go more in depth on this topic.
But until then, check out the box below to see where exactly you want to fit. By maximizing your usefulness in multiple places in the game, you can make a well-rounded character capable of surviving multiple challenges thrown at you in an immersive world RPG like D&D.
The rest of this post will then break down each subclass’s aura by how it will best fulfill that role.
Party Roles for Paladins
Paladins are uniquely supportive combatants, and they are great to have in the party, but they are more than just front-line healers who can dish it out as well as shore it up. Paladins can also serve very effectively as tanks, nukers, utilitarians, and faces.
Tanks provide primary defense for the party by forcing the threat to come to them. While they are engaging the main threat, it is up to the rest of the party to either support them or achieve primary objectives. The spell-compelled duel is probably the tankiest thing in D&D’s existence. If you love that spell, you, my friend, are a big orl teddy-bear tank.
Nukers can be of any class. As the name suggests, they enjoy dropping bombs on their enemies. That is to say, they want to deal out THE BIG DAMAGE that brings the monster down. For paladins, the smite ability is the big draw for those players who wish to drop said bombs.
Utilitarians are those players who like to move around the battlefield and take advantage of environmental benefits to either change the paradigm of the battle or to achieve some type of secondary objective. Most paladins are not utilitarians, but their ability to change the nature of the enemy’s and ally’s group cohesion by means of their various warding and aura abilities does give them that option for more strategic players.
Faces are exactly that: the face of the group. If someone needs to talk, it will be them. They will use that high Charisma and that tendency to be upstanding citizens of the world in order to smooth over social situations that would otherwise end in denial or bloodshed. Like prom.
Best Auras and How To Use Them by your Party Role
As a paladin, you are primarily a combatant. Your aura will determine what your secondary role is.
The Best Abilities To Pair With Paladin Auras
The following is a list of all of the paladin auras described above and the best spells, abilities, or feats to pair with them in order to maximize their effectiveness.
Make the most of your paladin by taking advantage of their auras. While some players might get weird about your character constantly invading their personal space, they will get used to it and see the benefits after the first encounter.
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I played the game a lot as a kid, back in first edition. Over the past few years since 5e was released, I’ve really started getting back into it. Currently, I run a campaign online for some friends and my brothers, and we also play a side-sesh just to mix things up.