Mike Mearls sits down to talk with you, the internet, about designing Paladins. He begins his latest project with a bit of under-the-hood tinkering and a look at the engine that drives D&D’s various classes and power level balance.
Subclasses are a tricky thing–they can be full of flavor, and when done right they can touch the core mechanics of a class and nudge them into a different direction. But actually figuring out what makes a class tick is another matter entirely. And today, Mike Mearls dives into what makes Paladins tick and some of D&D’s design philosophy.
All of which makes for an interesting video. Even if we don’t actually start in on the new Paladin Subclass, it’s very enlightening to see what makes a new class work. Mearls spends a lot of time looking at what Subclasses are meant to tell–and how the Paladin came to be the way it is.
One of the biggest things you might have noticed if you’ve played multiple editions of D&D–is the slow shift away from alignment as the mechanic that drives the class. Instead Paladins are driven by their oath and their ability to combat supernatural threats. It’s why Detect Evil has become Divine Sense and why Smite Evil has since become Divine Smite. This means greater flexibility for everyone’s favorite smiting friends who are fun to be with.
But it also means that the core of the class is about how you use your spells. Now Mearls has a breakdown of damage and how the resources of your class track across the day of an encounter–which is what sets us off on the journey to finally see a new Paladin subclass. And this one looks like it’ll be a doozy folks. Taking inspiration from the Arcana domain cleric, we’re going to see a Paladin with an Arcane-Themed Oath. With access to things like Detect Magic and other arcane nonsense, it’ll be interesting to see how this Cleric develops. Stay tuned for more Paladin goodness later this week, on Mike Mearls’ Happy Fun Hour.
What’s your favorite Paladin Oath? What makes is the best?