Oathbound Paladin Class Description
The Oathbound Paladin in the Neverwinter MMORPG is a character class focused on being the center of every fight. This class is also known in MMO terms as a “tank”. Oathbound Paladins have a mix of powers and abilities. Some of these powers affect multiple creatures, and some focus on a single enemy. Oathbound Paladins can withstand a huge amount of punishment from enemies as it is their main purpose in a battle. Oathbound Paladins make ideal characters for players who want to be in the middle of battle and the focus of combat.
Oathbound Paladin Class Role Specifics
The Dungeons and Dragons 4e role that an Oathbound Paladin fits into is the Defender. Defenders get the attention of enemies and are able to withstand the punishment this attention gets them. They favor defense over offense, using powers that taunt foes to attack them, deal damage to one enemy at a time (usually the toughest enemy), as well as subtler powers that stun and slow their foes.
This means that your primary way to deal with enemies is by getting their attention and defeating the toughest ones first, then moving on to the easier and less deadly minions. Each of these also has a damage component, but Oathbound Paladins primarily stop foes from attacking the less durable allies around them while damaging them.
Creating a Oathbound Paladin
When you create a Oathbound Paladin in Neverwinter, keep in mind the primary abilities that make a good Oathbound Paladin:
- Constitution – I consider Constitution a must for any Oathbound Paladin. Constitution increases Hit Points and Damage Resistance. Your Hit Points determine how much punishment you can take and that is an Oathbound Paladin’s main purpose.
Then choose one of the following depending on the type of Oathbound Paladin you would like to play.
- Charisma– If you are going to go the more offensive path, choose Charisma. This will help the Oathbound Paladin do a little more damage in Combat Advantage. It will also increase Action Point Gain which will allow you to use the Daily Powers more often. The amount of damage you do also determines if a monster will stay focused on you.
- Wisdom – If you are going to go on the more defensive path, choose Wisdom. This will help bolster your healing and protective abilities and powers.
To take a look at the most current abilities and features of the Oathbound Paladin check out the official wiki here.
Picking a Race for your Great Oathbound Paladin
Next, you will need to select the race of the character you want to play. A couple of good choices for the Oathbound Paladin in Neverwinter are Dwarf, Half-elf, or Half-orc. These races may give you a slight advantage just starting out with their stat boosts. However, as you level, you can easily mitigate any advantage you may have had through assigning leveling points, feat points, and magic items. So don’t worry too much about what stats the race gives you.
Instead, choose a race that makes you happy, then look at the racial abilities they may offer, and lastly look to the ability bonuses the race may offer.
Rolling Dice for Ability Scores
You will roll virtual dice to determine starting ability scores. When you roll up your character, you can roll as many times as you’d like. So make sure you keep rolling until you get the best stats possible for your Oathbound Paladin. Constitution should be close to the maximum possible, and Strength or Wisdom should also be very high depending on the type of Oathbound Paladin you want to create. Your other ability points will affect your character some, but not much, and not as importantly as your two primary abilities.
When you level up these abilities throughout your career as an Oathbound Paladin, you should put your points into your chosen stats every time.
Items and Gear for a Oathbound Paladin
The items and gear in the game definitely help fine tune your Oathbound Paladin character in Neverwinter. As an Oathbound Paladin you wear heavy plate defensive armor to protect you from all the damage you will be taking. This should definitely be your focus when making gear choices. Consider defensive gear before offensive gear.
When looking at the exact effects the item gives you look for Defense and Deflection. Those will be the best ones for the Oathbound Paladin. There is not much need for Life Steal or Regeneration because the Oathbound Paladins “Shift Key” circle of protection heals quickly. So there is no need to really depend on gear for that.
Offensive items should have Power and Critical bonuses to allow the Oathbound Paladin to generate more hate through doing more damage.
You can also get short term buffs through collectibles you will gather in each of the public areas. Make sure to use these collectibles and turn them into the Bounty Boards to get items to use for short term bonuses. These will always relate to the area you are in so use them while you are in the area.
Also try to stockpile any potions you run across for the boss fights. Taking a few potions for a fight can mean the difference between a miserable drawn out failure and a quick resounding success!
Playing an Oathbound Paladin
When you are playing an Oathbound Paladin in Neverwinter, you will want to lead the charge. The quickest and easiest way to get agro and keep it is to be the first one your enemies see, whether you are with your companion or with multiple party members. Be careful as you move through dangerous areas and do not take any erroneous damage that can be avoided such as traps and burning areas. However, you do want to be the one that ambles into a group of enemies before anyone else.
The best strategy I found when playing an Oathbound Paladin was to rush the toughest member of an enemy group. This way you are the first to get their attention and your immediate focus in on the most dangerous enemy. Let their minions bash on you while you use powers to keep the attention of the toughest enemy. Once they are defeated, you can clean up whatever enemies remain.
This strategy takes out the meanest enemy that can do real damage to you while leaving the minions to peck away at your Oathbound Paladin. This way you take out the threat that can really hurt you, leaving those weaker enemies to do their thing. Once the mean enemy is defeated, you can easily heal if you need to or just move on to finishing the group.
It is quite effective to start a challenging encounter by using the most damaging Encounter or Daily power you have. This softens up your enemies and may even kill some. Once the combat is going, don’t use your Daily Powers as soon as they are charged unless you need them. It is more important for Oathbound Paladins to use their Daily Powers at the right time versus as often as possible.
Companions of your Oathbound Paladin
As you learn to play your Oathbound Paladin in Neverwinter you will learn what you like and what you don’t. You will get a feel for your character and what may be a good complement to your style. This is where your companion choices will come into play.
Companions are the last thing these basic or Heroic guides will talk about. Heroic is level considered 1-30 in Neverwinter. Somewhere in your mid to late teens you will be able to afford a companion. There are many different ones to choose from but only a few real roles that they will serve.
I found that the best one for my Oathbound Paladin in Neverwinter was a Striker. They worked well to continually do damage to enemies, especially bosses. Since the Oathbound Paladin has great defense but lackluster damage, the Striker companion type ends up working out great.
The other choice would be a Leader companion such as a dog. Having a companion that will heal you as you go can be quite helpful. Some Leaders even have a few decent damaging attacks or control powers that can be a welcome addition in quests.
It will really depend on your style of playing with your Oathbound Paladin. If you like to take your time, a Leader might suit you well. When it comes down to what companions are best suited for an Oathbound Paladin, the first would be a Striker, and the second should fit your play style.
Grouping as an Oathbound Paladin
When you are playing an Oathbound Paladin in Neverwinter, you will want to group with others for a lot of different reasons. Play your Oathbound Paladin well and you’ll be vital to the group’s success. All classes can be played poorly but a well-played Oathbound Paladin will really help to make a group dominate the quest they are in.
When a Oathbound Paladin is in a group they will want to lead the group and engage the enemies first, for a few reasons:
- The party’s enemies will initially agro on you, making it easier for you to keep them there.
- It’s an Oathbound Paladin’s job to take damage and herd enemies. This includes traps, fire, acid, and any other nasty things that might be there. Take it so your other group members don’t have to.
It’s important to know that a well-played Oathbound Paladin in Neverwinter should always keep the attention of the party’s enemies, at least the most powerful ones. This is called getting agro. If the Oathbound Paladin has trouble, ask your party to handle things a little differently. An Oathbound Paladin is the battle manager so be sure to manage it if the group is confused about their roles or tactics. An Oathbound Paladin is not really doing their job unless all the enemies are attacking them.
Remember to keep an eye out on your other party members, especially the healers. They still may be attacked, so try to pull these enemies off them with your abilities. This way they can get back to keeping you, the Oathbound Paladin, healed!
Player Versus Player as an Oathbound Paladin
Disclaimer of Bias:
First off let me say that Dungeons and Dragons has never been, nor never should be, a game based on single player versus player battles. The whole point of Dungeons and Dragons is to bring players together in a group, not have them fight each other. To this end, each role in Dungeons and Dragons is meant to be part of a whole cohesive unit and when you break that up, each piece cannot be balanced due to the role they fill. Being able to kill something is a very narrow view of what makes a character. That is just one thing in a long list of things that makes any Dungeons and Dragons game and group successful. Player versus player is a bit blasphemous, in my opinion, and goes against the true spirit of Dungeons and Dragons. However, group versus group battles are more reasonable and have a better chance of succeeding in balance. I will talk a little about both below.
Oathbound Paladins in player versus player combat are very frustrating. Having low damage makes it very important to time your powers and their uses perfectly. Being able to take a beating may seem like a good thing at first until you realize that all of the other classes’ mobility will just taunt you as they dart around, blasting the tar out of you, staying just out of your range. If you happen across another melee character, you may stand a chance, just be sure to block their more powerful attacks. Then sneak in your powerful stunning and damaging powers at just the right time.
However, in group based player versus player combat, an Oathbound Paladin can be absolutely effective as long as the party is working together. Otherwise, Oathbound Paladins tend to just be the bait for the trap. But if your party is working well together and attacking the targets you pick out while bolstering your defenses, an Oathbound Paladin can play a decent role. Unfortunately, an Oathbound Paladin’s taunting and agro management abilities are largely lost in player versus player combat so you will have to use your guile and wits to lure your opponents into striking distance. Having offense and healing bolstered by your party, the durability of an Oathbound Paladin can be utilized to dominate in PVP.
Overview of a Oathbound Paladin
All in all, Oathbound Paladin characters in Neverwinter can be a lot of fun to play. They stand up well solo and are a definite boon to a group. If you like to charge in like Leroy Jenkins, right into the middle of the fray, an Oathbound Paladin may be just what you want to play. They definitely take a licking and keep on ticking.
They don’t have the biggest damage in the game, but they charge their enemies head on. They are the center of battle and often lead groups and dictate how battles are won and lost. Through the use of feats and Paragon abilities, you will be able to tune your Oathbound Paladin into the specific kind of character you want for Neverwinter.