Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition Wiki
Ability Requirements: Strength 12
Constitution 9
Wisdom 13
Charisma 17
Prime Requisites: Strength, Charisma
Races Allowed: Human

The paladin is a noble and heroic warrior, the symbol of all that is right and true in the world. As such, he has high ideals that he must maintain at all times. Throughout legend and history there are many heroes who could be called paladins: Roland and the 12 Peers of Charlemagne, Sir Lancelot, Sir Gawain, and Sir Galahad are all examples of the class. However, many brave and heroic soldiers have tried and failed to live up to the ideals of the paladin. It is not an easy task!

Only a human may become a paladin. He must have minimum ability scores of Strength 12, Constitution 9, Wisdom 13, and Charisma 17. Strength and Charisma are the prime requisites of the paladin. A paladin must be lawful good in alignment and must always remain lawful good. A paladin who changes alignment, either deliberately or inadvertently, loses all his special powers -- sometimes only temporarily and sometimes forever. He can use any weapon and wear any type of armor.

A paladin who has Strength and Charisma scores of 16 or more gains a 10% bonus to the experience points he earns.

Lawfulness and good deeds are the meat and drink of a paladin. If a paladin ever knowingly performs a chaotic act, he must seek a high-level (7th or more) cleric of lawful good alignment, confess his sin, and do penance as prescribed by the cleric. If a paladin should ever knowingly and willingly perform an evil act, he loses the status of paladinhood immediately and irrevocably. All benefits are then lost and no deed or magic can restore the character to paladinhood: He is ever after a fighter. The character's level remains unchanged when this occurs and experience points are adjusted accordingly. Thereafter the character is bound by the rules for fighters. He does not gain the benefits of weapon specialization (if this is used) since he did not select this for his character at the start.

If the paladin commits an evil act while enchanted or controlled by magic, he loses his paladin status until he can atone for the deed. This loss of status means the character loses all his special abilities and essentially functions as a fighter (without weapon specialization) of the same level. Regaining his status undoubtedly requires completion of some dangerous quest or important mission to once again prove his worth and assuage his own guilt. He gains no experience prior to or during the course of this mission, and regains his standing as a paladin only upon completing the quest.

A paladin has the following special benefits:

A paladin can detect the presence of evil intent up to 60 feet away by concentrating on locating evil in a particular direction. He can do this as often as desired, but each attempt takes one round. This ability detects evil monsters and characters.

A paladin receives a +2 bonus to all saving throws.

A paladin is immune to all forms of disease. (Note that certain magical afflictions --lycanthropy and mummy rot --are curses and not diseases.)

A paladin can heal by laying on hands. The paladin restores 2 hit points per experience level. He can heal himself or someone else, but only once per day.

A paladin can cure diseases of all sorts (though not cursed afflictions such as lycanthropy). This can be done only once per week for each five levels of experience (once per week at levels 1 through 5, twice per week at levels 6 through 10, etc.).

A paladin is surrounded by an aura of protection with a 10-foot radius. Within this radius, all summoned and specifically evil creatures suffer a -1 penalty to their attack rolls, regardless of whom they attack. Creatures affected by this aura can spot its source easily, even if the paladin is disguised.

A paladin using a holy sword projects a circle of power 10 feet in diameter when the sword is unsheathed and held. This power dispels hostile magic of a level up to the paladin's experience level. (A holy sword is a very special weapon; if your paladin acquires one, the DM will explain its other powers.) See Sword, +5 Holy Avenger

A paladin gains the power to turn undead and fiends when he reaches 3rd level. He affects these monsters the same as does a cleric two levels lower--for example, at 3rd level he has the turning power of a 1st-level cleric. See the section on priests for more details on this ability.

A paladin may call for his war horse upon reaching 4th level, or anytime thereafter. This faithful steed need not be a horse; it may be whatever sort of creature is appropriate to the character (as decided by the DM). A paladin's war horse is a very special animal, bonded by fate to the warrior. The paladin does not really “call” the animal, nor does the horse instantly appear in front of him. Rather, the character must find his war horse in some memorable way, most frequently by a specific quest.

A paladin can cast priest spells once he reaches 9th level. He can cast only spells of the combat, divination, healing, and protective spheres. (Spheres are explained in the Priest section.) The acquisition and casting of these spells abide by the rules given for priests.

The spell progression and casting level are listed in Table 17. Unlike a priest, the paladin does not gain extra spells for a high Wisdom score. The paladin cannot cast spells from clerical or druidical scrolls nor can he use priest items unless they are allowed to the warrior group.

A paladin may not possess more than 10 magical items. Furthermore, these may not exceed one suit of armor, one shield, four weapons (arrows and bolts are not counted), and four other magical items.

A paladin never retains wealth. He may keep only enough treasure to support himself in a modest manner, pay his henchmen, men-at-arms, and servitors a reasonable rate, and to construct or maintain a small castle or keep (funds can be set aside for this purpose). All excess must be donated to the church or another worthy cause. This money can never be given to another player character or NPC controlled by a player.

A paladin must tithe to whatever charitable, religious institution of lawful good alignment he serves. A tithe is 10% of the paladin's income, whether coins, jewels, magical items, wages, rewards, or taxes. It must be paid immediately.

A paladin does not attract a body of followers upon reaching 9th level or building a castle. However, he can still hire soldiers and specialists, although these men must be lawful good in comportment.

A paladin may employ only lawful good henchmen (or those who act in such a manner when alignment is unknown). A paladin will cooperate with characters of other alignments only as long as they behave themselves. He will try to show them the proper way to live through both word and deed. The paladin realizes that most people simply cannot maintain his high standards. Even thieves can be tolerated, provided they are not evil and are sincerely trying to reform. He will not abide the company of those who commit evil or unrighteous acts. Stealth in the cause of good is acceptable, though only as a last resort.