Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Paladin Problem

I'm starting Wrath of the Righteous at some point in the near future, and I'm planning out my character, a Half-Orc Paladin. I'm basically agonizing over my build path, and this post is to throw it out there and let the idea bounce around. The only non-negotiable fluff is that she is a Warrior of the Holy Light and that she has the Chain Fighter racial trait, and wields a spiked chain. This is personally imposed for roleplay things, which I'll go over in another post. Her combat role will be to get up close to the biggest baddie and stay in their face to allow the rest of the party to do their thing. Out of combat, I'll be a skilled tracker, generally good at most physical tasks and a decent speaker.

My current thought is that I will go straight Paladin, using the Variant Multiclassing rules to also gain a set of Barbarian abilities. Instead of five feats at 3rd, 7th, 11th, 15th and 19th, I gain Rage, Uncanny Dodge, a single Rage Power, DR 3/- and Greater Rage. With my remaining feats, I would take Fey Foundling, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Survival) and Eldritch Heritage (Orc) with my final feat as a wild card. The Warrior of the Holy Light replaces spellcasting for additional uses of Lay on Hands and the ability to release your inner light, granting a variety of combat bonuses. Finally, for mythic powers, I will be taking the Guardian path. Mythic Path Powers on the table are Supreme Tracker, Armored Might, Legendary Item, Retributive Reach, Cage Enemy, Invincible Stand and Take the Hit. Mythic Feats will be for sure Eldritch Heritage, possibly Power Attack and another wild card feat or two. 

So what do all these powers actually do for me? The Orc bloodline, granted from Eldritch Heritage, fits thematically for the character, while the powers it grants are very useful for a front line tank. Touch of Rage to bolster and ally, Fearless for the natural armor bonuses, Strength of the Beast grants large Strength bonuses, and Power of Giants is a personal and more powerful enlarge person. Mythic Eldritch Heritage allows me to gain all of the bloodline powers without taking additional feats, a huge boon for an already feat-starved build. In the early levels, Fey Foundling (which adds +2 for each die of a healing effect), Lay on Hands and Smite Evil makes for a solid core set of abilities to pick a fight with the biggest baddie. A higher survival skill and detect evil at will (along with the Supreme Tracker from Mythic power, later on) allows me to hunt down any evil that escapes me. As I level up into and beyond 4th, the powers from Warrior of the Holy Light begin to come online: A bless effect, curing ability point damage, daylight effect and energy resistance, and critical hit protection. Around 11th level, I begin to gain my Strength bonuses and the rage power Celestial Totem, Lesser. When I'm raging, all healing effects healing for +1 point per caster level of the effect. Coupled with Fey Foundling, I have an amazing capability to heal. At 19th level, Rage and the Orc bloodline powers combine for a massive +18 to Strength from class abilities alone. On top of all this, the large array of Paladin abilities are still at my disposal as well. It all looks lovely on paper, but something in my brain is bothering me.

My questions are as follows: Is Power Attack even worth it? It's a lot of damage, to be sure, and I do have a full base attack progression, but can I make better use of two empty feat slots? Is the combination of Fey Foundling and Lesser Celestial Totem overkill? Is the combination of Rage and the Orc bloodline powers also too much? Should I the Barbarian powers in favor of more feats? Or should I forget the bloodline powers in favor of saving the few feats I gain for better specializaion? Is there something I missed, or doesn't stack how I think it does? If you have any thoughts, share them on Twitter or post in the comments.

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