[Review] Divine Favor: The Paladin
The Divine Favor series, by Stefen Styrsky, introduces new options for the divine Pathfinder classes. Divine Favor: The Paladin takes a closer look at the paladin class, including new class abilities (divine aspects, stigmata and vows), archetypes and feats.
DF:tP begins with a discussion of the paladin class and its abilities. I’ve grown rather fond of Styrsky’s class analyses, often referring to them to newer players looking to explore new classes. I have to note that my view and Styrsky’s view on the paladin differ (unlike past class discussions), especially when it comes to skill distribution and multiclassing. I appreciate Styrsky’s analysis, but I feel that he may have missed a few good discussion points in this section.
That said, the rest of DF:tP is crammed with some amazing work and good ideas:
Stigmata offers GMs a new mechanic for punishing a paladin that strays from her code, but (and this is important) without removing all of her spells and class abilities.
DF:tP introduces 5 new paladin archetypes, including the Heavenly Beacon (borrows a few bard abilities), the Holy Sword (gains weapon training as a fighter), the Metropolitan (an urban paladin, ideal for city-based campaigns), the Questing Knight (an archetype focused on travel and divine guidance) and the Templar (a defensive archetype).
Codes of Conduct provides a selection of vows that a paladin may select. Each vow has several restrictions attached, but (and this I like), also expand the paladin’s spell list, without attempting to muck about with other overly complicated rules looking to ‘balance’ out the vows.
DF:tP also introduces new feats for the paladin. I especially appreciate feats that require strength (rather than charisma), since that makes my dwarven paladin more viable.
This brings me to my favourite part of DF:tP – divine aspects. Divine aspects, which replace the paladin’s Divine Bond, allow the paladin to manifest one of her god’s domains. Divine aspects are similar to the domain powers granted to clerics, but on a far grander, paladin-esque scale. Styrsky covered nearly all of the core domains (excluding the obvious chaos and evil domains) allowing for a large variety of interesting paladin builds.
DF:tP is filled with great ideas. Overall, I really enjoyed reading through it and look forward to showing of my dwarven paladin in the near future.