D&D 5e: Gnome Paladin Guide
Paladins are incredibly durable, survivable, and self-sufficient holy warriors, serving a variety of melee-focused roles. These knights are charged with protecting the weak, defending the ideals of law and peace, and hunting down evil wherever it rears its ugly head and destroying it.
How to Make a Gnome Paladin
Gnome racial traits don’t have a lot of overlap with the Paladin class—your +2 to INT doesn’t have any synergies with your abilities. Gnome Cunning can help with some saving throws, but that’s about as far as it goes.
When rolling a Paladin, you’ll want to focus on CHA and STR depending on what role you want to fill for the party. CHA for casting and STR for melee-focused builds. CON is also important, as you’ll be spending most of your time on the frontlines of the battlefield.
Paladin subclasses change the type of character you’ll be playing and impacts the role that your character brings to the party.
The Oath of Vengeance creates an attack-focused style of play and will maximize the damage you deal while leaving healing and support primarily to the other party members. The Oath of the Crown is more defensively focused, giving you the ability to taunt foes and soak up incoming damage.
The Oath of Redemption has a lot of CHA-focused spells and abilities that aim to resolve conflicts nonviolently, allowing the party to resolve differences diplomatically. Consider this subclass for a different playstyle.
How to Play a Gnome Paladin
Paladins are primarily front-line warriors who can also use their powers to debuff enemies and heal allies when needed. Paladins know all of the spells on their spell list but can only prepare a certain number of them per day. You can change your prepared spells whenever you complete a long rest and can only prepare a number of spells equal to your CHA modifier plus your half your level in this class.
Be aware of the Oath Spells granted to you by your subclass starting at 3rd level. These spells are always prepared and can help round out your arsenal. If this list suggests that you prepare a spell that you already have as an Oath Spell, just pick another spell to prepare instead.
How to Roleplay as a Gnome Paladin
Paladins are typically good-aligned, which constrains your backstory somewhat. The Oathbreaker subclass flips this – Oathbreakers are paladins that have broken their sacred oaths to pursue a dark ambition or serve an evil power. While an Oathbreaker might be difficult to fit into the typical party from a story perspective, pulling it off will provide an interesting story for your sessions.
A Paladin’s backstory and motivations are typically driven by their choice of Sacred Oath, so be sure to keep your subclass in mind when roleplaying your Paladin.
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Gnomes aren’t typical paladins, but it’s not an impossible combination. Maybe your character was saved from a monster by a traveling Paladin at a young age, driving them to take a holy vow. Maybe your character’s village was raided by roving monsters, and you’ve taken up a crusade against evildoers throughout the world.
No matter how you decide to roleplay your Gnome Paladin, find an interesting backstory that plays on this unique race/class pairing.