Dungeons & Delvers: Red Book Paladin Preview

The current iteration of the Red Book paladin has been added to Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book (check the red book class previews zip file)!

As with the monk, the paladin was initially conceptually based on the Dungeon World paladin: you chose a Virtue, which were based on the seven heavenly virtues, and they gave you a thematic ability.

For example, Virtue of Charity let you transfer health to another creature (or, depending on how you look at it, take their wounds away from them), while Virtue of Humility made you immune to fear and granted allies a bonus against fear effects so long as they could see you.

But while trying to create small trees for every Virtue (at least 2-3 talents for each), I realized a few things that might be useful for anyone else with an interest in homebrewing and game design.

The first is that since classes don't always get talents at the same rate, or end up with the same number overall, they don't need to be "balanced" against each other.

Paladins, as well as barbarians and fighters, only get seven over a 20-level spread, unless they are willing to swap out passive Damage Bonuses), so theirs should have a bit more oomph than rogue talents, which they get almost every level.

Second, I don't see a lot of players bothering with most of the Virtues as they were because they can be really, really situational. Immunity to fear sounds great and all, but what are the odds of it actually running into a monster that can impose the Frightened condition? Even then, what are your odds of failing the save in the first place?

Now weigh that against choosing a talent that can gives you a passive bonus to damage, make you tougher (against most if not all forms of attack), or special maneuvers that can be triggered against most anything you fight. So what we ended up doing is mashing some of the talents together, and in a lot of cases souping them up.

Case in point, Virtue of Humility got changed to Unflinching Courage, which grants you immunity to fear, allies roll twice and take the higher result when resisting fear, each time you attack a creature that causes fear they can save again, and when you Charge evil creatures in general allies gain a +1 bonus to attack it.

So even though the fear thing might not come up very often, when it does it'll be more than an all-or-nothing for your allies. But even then, they also get a bonus anytime you Charge anything that's evil, whether or not it causes fear. So, more useful, and a better contender for talents that give you damage bonuses and the like.

Besides a pretty extensive overhaul we also added some new stuff to the paladin's repertoire, including a pair of talents for paladins that want a mount: one nets you the mount, and the other grants it angelic qualities (as well as access to a number of paladin talents if you also have them).

You can now get a physical copy of Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book in whatever format you want (the PDF is also on sale on DriveThru)! We've also released the first big supplement for it, Appendix D, so pick that up if you want more of everything.

The first issue of The Delver, a magazine featuring fungal-themed content for both players and GMs (including an adventure in which myconids find religion), is available!

Our latest Dungeon World class, The Ranger, is now available.

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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