Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sacred Oath: Oath of Love [Second Draft]

Positive response! Always love getting that, though a negative response often tells me just as much about how to fix something and make it work.

Much was said, and it gave me sufficient material to turn this around and make a second version of it relatively quickly. As always, thanks to all those that helped, and to all those who enjoy this class option!

What I Changed:

  • The spell list nix'd color spray in favor of sanctuary. Less magical girl, more magical paladin - which is probably a positive change for the class option, but still makes me personally a little sad. =(
  • Sense Ardor has split off of Conquering Passion. I'm getting the idea that I should let fluff powers stand free rather than lump them in with Channel Divinities, even though I've pulled that off with the Free Commerce and Common Man oaths.
  • Passion's Kindness no longer refers to itself as a miasma, which I've come to learn means "bad air." Who knew.
  • Endless Devotion now actually takes an action to use (hurr) and allows you to pop a Channel Divinity as part of the same action, leading to intended synergy with Conquering Passion and your paladin playing smite wack-a-mole with the enemies near him or her. 
  • Still not 100% on the power level of Endless Devotion, seems like it could be stronger. Level 20's are hard to balance. 
  • That's about it. Not much else in the way of balance concerns, this seems fairly in line with other oath options. 


  1. This may be WAY too late, but something has been nagging at me about this oath since I first read it. I love it (of course), except for a couple of points.

    The core of this path is to support both love and life. You can see what a creature loves, and respond in a way that respects that love. But the way the powers are written, the strict application is to exploit that love and use it to harm or kill the creature. I'm particularly referring to the Charm Person and Dominate spells, as well as the ability to attack a charmed creature without breaking the charm.

    As 5e charms go, all charms cause the charmed to become hostile after the effect wears off, the only counter-example I can think of being the fey warlock ability. It seems odd to have charms from a love paladin cause you to hate him afterward, especially since this is a central part of the path. It also feels odd to have a love paladin force anyone's feelings (Domination being the worst case for this). If I were to edit the description, I would have the option of Charm be an enhancer of the target's internal feelings of love - for another person/creature (not the player), country, tribe, craft, art, etc. The effect would not be precisely predictable (love of tribe might actually make the target more hostile to the party, for example), but since the spell is only enhancing what is already there, the creature would only be overcome with a surge of love, which could fade back to normal without harm or conflict. Maybe this interpretation of the Charm spell could be in a sidebar option?

    As for killing a charmed creature, that seems pretty iffy. A love paladin would seek first the heart of any creature he or she met, and that would make killing difficult, more so because life is a sacred thing to them, at least the life of a creature capable of love (giant spiders and undead are fair game). I'm not arguing that a paladin would never decide to strike a fatal blow or do harm, but to destroy a creature that you had made a friend, whose heart you had touched, seems uncharacteristically cruel and callous. I'm not sure what would replace that option for the path, particularly since it's so powerful. But it feels wrong. I can certainly see maintaining a charm that would normally be disrupted, or being able to lock that charm in some way that removes the target from combat in a reliable way.

    I apologize for dredging this up nearly a year late, but I truly love this oath option, and was planning to use it in a game we're starting soon. What do you think? Am I off base? Maybe all that's needed is some fluffing of the existing abilities?

    1. So here's the thing:

      Subtly, without much in the way of fanfare or even notice, I've been going back and final-revising many of my options, updating their Photoshop and mechanics to be as high quality as I can muster. I recently updated the Common Man paladin, for example, and as of the time of my writing this, I'm about halfway through updating the Free Commerce paladin.

      I've had my eye on doing this one for a while, but I've been intentionally putting it off due to the magnitude of revision I have planned. While I initially stood by the charm mechanics (and I still don't think that a few light charm-type spells would be off-base), the fact that this paladin has spells like Dominate and is encouraged to use their charms to deal damage seems unthematic at best.

      A sidebar option would be nice, but I'd prefer not to have to cover my choices with fluff. Rather, I'm likely going to do a ground-up rebuild of this Oath, keeping most of the class options in place, but tweaking the spell list, the channel divinities, and abilities (such as Endless Devotion) reliant on them.

      TL;DR: I totally agree what what you said, you've got nothing but legitimate points, and a fix is in the pipeline whenever I get the time.

    2. Excellent! I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.