Monday, January 23, 2017

Sacred Oath: Oath of the Midnight Hour [Second Draft]

So, that took quite a bit to update!

Thematically, the rough draft Oath of the Midnight Hour was very strong. It also held some promising mechanics, but needed a great deal of polish, just as any rough draft does. Fortunately, I found the time to make this shadowy dark paladin a hopefully more balanced and viable shadowy dark paladin.

Variant paladins are one of my favorite things to make, as they have so much potential to be rich in flavor while keeping true to what makes a paladin a paladin. Making one is always a creative pleasure, and I truly enjoyed putting the extra detail into this particular Oath.


  • CD: Swarm of Shadows is now CD: Death Whisper! Swarm of Shadows was clunky and not as on-theme as it could be, while Death Whisper inherently scales better and lends itself well to the assassin-like kit of this Oath.
  • Nightcloak and Umbral Jaunt switched places, each of them being better suited to the position of the other. I changed up the wording and mechanics a bit, to help them accommodate their new positions.
  • Umbral Jaunt now functions in reverse, teleporting you to a damaged ally, rather than teleporting a damaged ally to you. This turn of mechanics allows Umbral Jaunt to feel all-in-all more paladin-y. 
  • Added a sidebar for Ebon Smite, explaining possible interpretations of the alternate Smite, and methods to better fold it over into play.
  • CD: Death Whisper allows a paladin to be extra-bursty. A paladin can theoretically drop their multi-attack, however many smites they'd like, and Death Whisper on the same turn. This isn't appreciably different from dropping multi-attack, smite(s), and a spell-based smite (such as blinding smite) though, so it's probably alright, and being bursty fits the feel of being a shadow assassin paladin just fine. 
  • People are more than happy to help with balance, no matter how long ago a piece of work was released. Thanks!


  1. Midnight Directive: I have no complaints here. Adding these extra flavor blocks to anything is never a bad idea.

    Oath Spells: I tried to look for spells that would more suit the oath, and the only one i can think of is Pass without Trace. However since is serves a similar purpose to nightcloak and midnights chose i would not change out darkness and silence that are really well fitting spells.

    Death Whispers: Giving the ability to do a minor power word kill works out. I don't know how balanced it would be without play testing it, but it seems ok.

    Midnights chosen: I don't know why this ability would need a 60 feet radius. I think reducing it to 30 feet would be better. I also don't think it would be overpowered to give the buff to a number of creatures equal to your charisma modifier if you are included in the chosen creatures. Your charisma is likely to not be much higher then 20 for a long time so giving it to yourself and 4 others is not that bad.

    Ebon Smith: Love it. I would have been mad if it was only necrotic or only psychic, but with both it works out. I also think the side bar was a good touch.

    Night Cloak: I think this ability is balanced, but i wonder if this ability might be better as a channel divinity and the midnights chosen is a better paladin aura. Nightcloak is already an ability you activate, and would work as a channel divinity. Midnights chosen would definetly works as a passive aura. Making your party not have to worry about how can see or not as everyone is likely to have the same vision, and not have to care about the heavily armorer character messing up for them. Personally as a DM i would love to have a character with a passive midnights chose.

    Umbral Jaunt: I would the old version not be valid as well. I don't know how easy it would be to write the difference, but i think having the option to teleport to your allies or them to you both work. And i don't think having both in one would be that powerful.

    Living Shadow: I love the idea behind this ability, but just make them grow to become large, and add the additional ability: "You can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing." I think about using this ability to come creeping from under a door frame into the room of my target. It makes for amazing flavor.

    1. Great ideas, here. Just released a new version with implementation of a lot of them, if you'd like to take a look: