June 17, 2016

Brother of Sunlight

Sacred Oath
Notes from the Palm: It struck me that wandering around a desert in full plate made none of the sense, so heres a paladin oath that takes that into account!
     Addendum: Any similarities to warriors of any other sun-worshiping tradition are purely coincidental. Praise the Sun. 

Oath of the Sun

In the wastes, the sun is a double-edged sword: though it brings light, warmth, and nourishment to the little greenery there is in the desert, it also burns, blinds, and can destroy those who do not respect it. Paladins who take the Oath of the Sun understand the sun's dual nature, and strive to both bring its light to the darkest reaches of the world and to protect those who fall prey to the sun's rays out of happenstance or misfortune.
   Unlike other paladins, most brothers who take the Oath of the Sun belong to a clergy of a sun god of some sort, be it Amaterasu, Apollo, Ra, or any other. They most often serve as templars, protecting their temples from raiders, bandits, and more supernatural threats. They are uniformly good, though their adherence to laws other than that of their faith is sometimes shaky.

Tenets of the Sun
The Oath of the Solar Brotherhood is always taken in public at the height of noon, among the congregation of the paladin's church.
     The Sun Rises. The sun rises over the horizon each day, without fail, spreading light over the whole of the world. So should you never fail in your task to spread your faith and knowledge every day.
     The Sun Blazes. Under the noonday sun, only the pure may survive for long. Those that fear the sun must see its light, so as to burn away their impurity.
     The Sun Sets. The sun must rest each night, and give the world a chance to sleep. So too should you give rest to your fury and righteousness in the service of mercy, though only to those who deserve it.

Oath of the Sun Spells
3rd  absorb elements, burning hands
5th  darkvision, scorching ray
9th  daylight, spirit guardians
13th  fire shield, wall of fire
17th  hallow, immolation

Channel Divinity
When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.
Glorious Radiance. As an action, you can begin radiating bright sunlight. While this effect is active, you shed bright light out to a radius of 30 feet. Additionally, you gain a number of temporary hit points equal to your paladin level + your Charisma modifier. If a creature hits you with a melee attack while you have these hit points, you can use your reaction to deal 5 points of radiant damage to it. This effect lasts for 1 hour, until the hit points are expended, or until you dismiss it. When you reach 9th level, the effect deals 10 points of radiant damage, and at 17th level, it deals 15 points of radiant damage.  
Solar Flare. As an action, you can emit a blinding flash of light. When you do so, all creatures you choose within 20 feet of you must make a Dexterity saving throw or be blinded for 1 minute. An affected creature may make a Constitution saving throw at the end of each of its turns to end the effect.
Sun's Warmth 
At 7th level, you and all friendly creatures within 10 feet of you have resistance to fire and cold damage, and can tolerate temperatures as low as -50 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, when you deal fire damage, you can choose to deal radiant damage instead, or vice versa.
     At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Incandescent Fury
At 15th level, the damage die for your Improved Divine Smite becomes a d10.

At 20th level, as an action on your turn, you can fill yourself with the sun's brilliant wrath. You may cast the spell sunbeam without using a spell slot. Additionally, at the start of each of your turns during this spell's duration, you regain hit points equal to your Charisma modifier if you have no more than half your hit points left. Once you use this ability, you must take a long rest before you can do so again.

6/17/16: Glorious Radiance: changed from an AC ability to a Temp HP ability.
6/30/16: Glorious Radiance: Duration no longer scales and extra damage requires a reaction


  1. I definitely like the idea of a sun-serving Paladin Archetype! It's similar thematically to the Light Domain Cleric and the Undying Light Patron Warlock, but a Paladin is just that much better at wading into the fray.

    The Glorious Radiance CD option doesn't seem to fit the class however - when is a paladin without their armor?! Very rarely! It just doesn't fit with almost any paladin that I'm used to. The other CD option is excellent though.

    The other question I have is, do you think that the 7th level aura is too situational? It's amazing when it's needed, but that's could be extremely rarely depending on the campaign. I would love to see you add access to the Sacred Flame cantrip somewhere because it epitomizes this class. Maybe 7th level is the place?

    1. Both options make much more sense when taken in context: this is the paladin subclass that will be included in the upcoming Desert update, and a paladin in the desert is certainly likely to not have armor.

    2. Aha! Yes, I was not considering that the archetype was expected to spend most of his time in the desert. That makes much better sense now.

      (Still want Sacred Flame though)

    3. @The Palm: Real life "paladins" (Crusader knights and Arab Mamluks) in the desert certainly did wear armor.

    4. You're almost certainly correct on that front, but it's expected that a lot of people will utilize the Waste Update to convert campaigns from Dark Sun, where it would be pretty unusual to see someone in plate mail.

      Regardless, this feature no longer prohibits armor, so the point is moot -- your paladin can wear all the armor he wants!

  2. Do I smell a perfect opportunity for a gloriously incandescent thri-keen paladin?

    1. Indeed. And thri-keen are perfect, as hive-mind races are already well versed in cooperation, jolly or otherwise.

  3. Glorious Radiance makes me want to build the ultimate Holier Than Thou Paladin who doesn't know he's annoying. Love it.

  4. Made a change to glorious radiance, since it was pointed out to me that Sun's Warmth should remove essentially all of the penalties that would normally be applied while wearing full plate in the blazing sun.

  5. [Insert obligatory "Do you even praise the sun?" here]

    1. Something something Grossly incandescent something something.

  6. This was /perfectly/ timed with me deciding to redesign my old 3.5e Paladin, almost eerily so 0.0
    Just a quick question, because I'm still not clear on how the wording of this ability works:
    Does the 15th level feature turn all the d8s of your smites into d10s, or just the free one you get on all your attacks?

  7. On the issue of armor, you could have an unarmored bonus.
    AC= 10 + CON mod + CHA mod

    1. That is actually what the original Glorious Incandescence ability gave you (well, it was 10+dex+cha), but we changed it when it was pointed out that Sun's Warmth removes all the penalites normally associated with heavy armor in a desert setting.

  8. So can you cast Sunbeam at will or once per long rest? I'm just not sure about that wording.

    1. Once per long. You gain additional benefits while the spell is active.

  9. If glorious radiance gives you sunlight at level 3, that seems really OP

    1. It in no way does. Where are you getting that from?

    2. It says you emit "bright sunlight". It could be argued this means it affects vampires and such.

    3. I was wodering the same thing. The other abilities are sunlight-themed, but don't explicitly say it. The level three ability as written is:

      Glorious Radiance. As an action, you can begin radiating bright sunlight.

      That's not as powerful in 5e as it used to be, but still very useful against vampires, Drow and certain other dark-aligned creatures.

  10. Hi,
    I was wondering if this is also placed on DnD beyond in the homebrew section? And if not, am I allowed to publish it (ofc referring to you as the creator)? Just wondering as my players like to try it, and are using DnD beyond.