D&D 5e: Oath of Redemption Paladin Guide

female human oath of redemption paladin casts a restoration spell on her ally.

D&D 5e: Oath of Redemption Paladin Guide

Role in the Party

The Oath of Redemption Paladin hopes that all of their foes can be redeemed and that anyone might someday walk the path of justice, and only uses violence as a last resort; then the campaign starts and they and their party members proceed to slaughter countless foes since even the Redemption Paladin knows that most of these monsters probably won’t be developing a sense of morality any time soon.

Just because slaughter is inevitable doesn’t mean the Redemption Paladin won’t try to redeem their foes: humanoids are particularly good targets for a moral lecture followed by a non-lethal crit smite. Your role in the party includes both lethal and nonlethal forms of stabbing, as well as providing healing and support while taking damage in place of allies, and you’ll be a particularly powerful social character as well.





Redemption Paladin Features

Oath Spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed.

3rd: Sanctuary is a good spell, and Sleep is great at levels 1 and 2 but less good at 3, and it’s very ineffective beyond that. It’s still a solid spell for knocking out low challenge rating guards without noise or violence.

5th: Calm Emotions is a useful spell that can end conditions on your allies and possibly give you a chance to talk down some very angry humanoids. Some dungeon masters are more willing to facilitate this than others. Hold Person is an okay spell, but it’s not as good on you as it is on your allies. Don’t expect to get a free crit smite out of it, just because by the time your second turn comes around, the enemy already got an initial save and a second save against the effect.

9th: Counterspell is amazingly devious; nobody expects the paladin to participate in the Counterspell Wars. Hypnotic Pattern is arguably the strongest 3rd level spell, but your save DC isn’t as good, and you give up attacks to use it.

13th: Otiluke’s Resilient Sphere lets you turn enemies into a giant hamster in a hamster ball, or you can use it to protect allies. Somewhat circumstantial spell and probably not the best solution to any problem. Stoneskin is expensive and terrible.

17th: Hold Monster is normally an okay spell, but everything worth using it on at this level has legendary resistance. Don’t expect to get much out of it. Wall of Force is a great spell against any appropriately sized enemies who can’t teleport.

Channel Divinity

When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.

Emissary of Peace: You can use your Channel Divinity to augment your presence with divine power. As a bonus action, you grant yourself a +5 bonus to Charisma (Persuasion) checks for the next 10 minutes.

Rebuke the Violent: You can use your Channel Divinity to rebuke those who use violence. Immediately after an attacker within 30 feet of you deals damage with an attack against a creature other than you, you can use your reaction to force the attacker to make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the attacker takes radiant damage equal to the damage it just dealt. On a successful save, it takes half as much damage.

Emissary of Peace is good utility; you already have a high Persuasion bonus, so why not make it even better? It’s unclear how NPCs will react to a paladin using this near them; it doesn’t mention any visible effect, so I assume you can use it without NPCs knowing.

Rebuke the Violent may not deliver a ton of damage; powerful creatures tend to make multiple attacks a round, and this only works on one of them, and it has a wisdom save. Still, you can use your reaction to deal some decent damage, and it’s especially potent against enemies with one big attack instead of a multiattack.

Aura of the Guardian

Starting at 7th level, you can shield your allies from harm at the cost of your own health. When a creature within 10 feet of you takes damage, you can use your reaction to magically take that damage, instead of that creature taking it. This feature doesn’t transfer any other effects that might accompany the damage, and this damage can’t be reduced in any way.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

This barely squeezes into Meh; it’s like the Oath of the Crown’s 7th level feature, but with a bigger radius that eventually becomes very big at 18th level. You only want to use this in an emergency, because letting enemies bypass your good armor class by hitting someone with less armor class is not something you want.

Protective Spirit

Starting at 15th level, a holy presence mends your wounds in combat. You regain hit points equal to 1d6 + half your paladin level if you end your turn in combat with fewer than half of your hit points remaining and you aren’t incapacitated.

It’s some decent healing; as long as you have one hit point, you will gain hit points every round that you’re under half hit points. This is effectively a few more hit points in combat and a decent out of combat healing feature as well.

Emissary of Redemption

At 20th level, you become an avatar of peace, which gives you the following benefits.

You have resistance to all damage dealt by other creatures (their attacks, spells, and other effects).

Whenever a creature damages you, it takes radiant damage equal to half the amount it dealt to you.

If you attack a creature, cast a spell on it, or deal damage to it by any means but this feature, neither benefit works against that creature until you finish a long rest.

This is a massive defensive benefit… against any creature you aren’t actively attacking at the moment. You can expect to get a lot out of this if an ancient dragon wins initiative and unleashes its breath weapon on you, or if you’re surrounded by enemies and only want to damage one at a time.


You have the strong core paladin features, and you don’t rely on unreliable circumstances to use your abilities like most paladins. Your oath spells are also solid, and at high levels, you can punish ignorant enemies for daring to unleash massive damage effects on you.


Your level 7 aura kind of sucks. Other paladins are getting speed boosts and initiative bonuses and other wonderful things, but you’re one of the unfortunate paladins that’s stuck with a mediocre aura. Enemies are also strongly disincentivized from hitting you, so they might try attacking other party members instead of you, which isn’t what you want as a beefy melee character.

Best Race Options

If you want to use your level 7 aura more often, consider the Tabaxi. This lets you quickly move around the battlefield and end your turn near allies you want to protect.

Githzerai gets the Shield spell, so if you want to avoid being hit, combining it with your already great armor class will make you extremely resilient.

Stout Halflings are happy little fellas, so they’re great choices for an optimistic paladin. Lucky is also a fun and useful racial feature.

Choosing the Right Skills

Perception and Persuasion are your two almost mandatory proficiencies. One of these is the most used skill in the game, and the other is the skill that you need to have if you want to redeem people.

Athletics lets you grapple enemies if you want to keep them from hurting your allies.

Most paladins are religious, so Religion proficiency is handy. Arcana proficiency will tell you which creatures are innately evil and which ones aren’t, so you can avoid wasting your time trying to redeem them or avoid accidentally killing a monster you could have redeemed.

Fitting Feats

Sentinel is a fitting feat that lets you protect your allies, but remember that it competes with your level 7 feature for your reaction. Especially potent when paired with Polearm Master and Great Weapon Master.

Paladins can’t normally teleport, and Fey Touched lets you teleport and is a half feat you can use to boost charisma.

A paladin with a weapon and a shield will need War Caster to cast most spells. Remember to actually cast spells instead of blowing them all on smites.

Optimal Backgrounds

Acolyte is a standard pick for any religious character; perhaps while redeeming people, you might try to convert them to your religion; what could go wrong?

The Wildspacer background gives you the Tough feat for free. You need more hit points if you’re going to be taking damage instead of allies.

Not everyone likes a “realistic” knight, but the Knight background combined with Redemption Paladin lets you be a joyful cartoon knight that everybody loves.

Multiclassing Options

Yep. Hexblade is the best one level dip. Shield spell, charisma weapon attacks, Hexblade’s Curse. All the standard things a paladin would usually want from Hexblade are still good on the Redemption Paladin. Hexblade has some weird flavor, but maybe your paladin wants peace so much that they’re willing to make pacts with spooky Shadowfell entities?

One level of Divine Soul Sorcerer grants you the Shield spell and a 2d4 you can roll and add to an attack or save once per rest, as well as a few other minor spell-related benefits.

Peace Cleric doesn’t have any features that promote peace, but the name is a good excuse to pillage its powerful 1st level subclass feature for your use; it’s particularly potent at high levels since it scales with your proficiency bonus.

Would I recommend playing an Oath of Redemption Paladin?

I would recommend playing Oath of Redemption Paladin if you want solid oath spells and suspect you will get to redeem enemies; the moment when you can redeem someone instead of cutting them in half will be extremely satisfying. Your non-oath spell features are less impressive, but nothing you have is awful, and you’re excellent in a roleplay heavy campaign due to your persuasion-based Channel Divinity. Even though there are stronger paladins out there, you still likely won’t regret picking the Oath of Redemption.

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