On A 5th Edition Paladin Variant, Paramander, Oath of the Burning Balance

Way back in February of 1986, Dragon Magazine made some paladin variants. Fortunately 5th Edition already has a system in place to handle such things. Let's take a look, shall we?

Sacred Oath

When you reach 3rd level, you swear the oath that binds you as a Paladin forever. up to this time you have been in a preparatory stage, committed to the path but not yet sworn to it. Now you choose the Oath of Devotion, The Oath of the Ancients, Oath of the Godsworn, or Oath of the Burning balance, all are detailed at the end of the class description.
Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 7th, 15th, and 20th level. Those features include oath spells and the Channel Divinity feature.

Oath Spells

Each oath has a list of assoicated spells. You gain access to these spells at the levels specified in the oath description. Once you gain access to an oath spell, you always have it prepared. oath spells don't count against the number of spells you can prepare each day.
If you gain an oath spell that doesn't appear on the paladin spell list, the spell is nonetheless a paladin spell for you.

Channel Divinity

Your oath allows you to channel divine energy to fuel magical effects. Each Channel Divinity option provided by your oath explains how to use it.
When you use your Channel Divinity, you choose which option to use. You must then finish a short or long rest to use your Channel Divinity again.
Some Channel Divinity effects require saving throws. When you use such an effect from this class, the DC equals your paladin spell save DC.

Sacred Oaths

Become a paladin involves taking vows that commit the paladin to the cause of righteousness, an active path of fighting wickedness. The final oath, taken when he or she reaches 3rd level is the culmination of all the Paladin's training. Some characters with this class don't consider themselves true paladins until they have reached 3rd level and made this oath. For others, the actual swearing of the oath is a formality, an official stamp on what has always been true in the paladin's heart.

Oath of Burning Balance

The Oath of the Burning Balance binds a paladin to the ideals of a purifying balance. Called Paramanders, They strive to manipulate or destroy powerful beings of extreme natures, or aid the opponents or enemies of such creatures. Some do this by attempting to manipulate the balance of power to remain in balance. Others know as Paramandyers, desire only to drive the world into oblivion, believing that is the only true balance. They are often viewed as unpredictable and powerful, but always the enemy of those who would draw the world too strongly one way, or the other.

Tenants of the Burning Balance

The tenets of the Oath of Burning balance vary by paladin, but all the share the following traits.

Rejection of Material Wealth. Other than what they need to survive, paramanders despise materialism. They may not own or possess anything more than they can carry. They may not own more than one melee and one missile weapon (and ammunition). They may only own one suit of armor. They may not own more than one type of magic item (only one ring, one wand, etc.). They may own wealth for their own survival, but anything beyond meeting their immediate lifestyle needs must be donated or toothed.  They may not support a lifestyle greater than comfortable. They never take more than they need.
Preserve the Balance. Creatures and beings who attempt to influence the world are anthema to Paramanders. They stand against all those who would impose an order or chaos upon the the plane they exist in. They depose despotic rules and holy kings. They war against the agents of gods and devils. They desire balance above all else, even freedom or goodness.
SubtlyParamanders seek to support their conviction by a subdued presence, not drawing attention to themselves or their abilities. They seek no reward or recognition for their actions.
Respect. Another characteristic of the oath is a deep and abiding respect for life. They value the organization of a city as strongly as the wildness of the forest. Whatever actions they take must benefit the diversity, value, and power of life. 

Oath Spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed
1st Burning Hands, Guiding Bolt
5th Invisibility, Flaming Sphere 
9th Fireball, Cache (New Spell)
13th Loyalty (New Spell), Spelltrap (New Spell)
17th Azure Flame (New Spell), Conjure Elemental

New Spells

(Spells reprinted and updated to 5th edition from Dragon Magazine without permission from the original article written by Christopher Wood.)

3rd level Conjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 day
The casting of this spell upon an item transfers that item to the Astral Plane for the duration of the spell. Wherever the spell caster goes, the item will follow on the Astral Plane. When the spell dissipates, the item will fall into the caster’s hands (if possible) or reappear in front of him if not. Nothing can detect the item while it is on the Astral Plane, except items meant to see into astral space. The caster can recall the object at any time. The Item must weigh less than 20 pounds. The spell malfunctions if cast on living things.

4th level Enchantment
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, Up to 1 minute
All creatures of up a CR equal to 1/4th the Paladin's level in a 10 foot radius immediately
become charmed on a failed Wisdom saving throw for the duration of the spell. 

4th level Alteration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Special
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute, then indefinite
Spelltrap creates a special environment capable of accepting another spell and delaying its effects. When the caster casts a spelltrap on a small immobile object such as a book or a weapon, a magic receptacle saturates the item. The caster can then place another spell within that receptacle. When the item is moved or probed (by detect magic, etc.), the spelltrap disappears and the second spell takes effect, just as if the item on which the spelltrap was placed had cast the spell.
The spelltrap will fade in 5 rounds if another spell is not placed in it. If someone casts dispel magic on the spelltrap, it is 75% likely that the second spell will be eliminated, leaving the spelltrap empty (and fading) and ready to receive another spell; otherwise, dispel magic will eliminate the spelltrap, releasing the effects of the second spell and exploding the item on which it was placed, causing 2-12 points of damage to all within a 20’ foot radius. Only the following spells can be placed in a spelltrap (others will have no effect, as if they had not been cast at all): light (on the same item as the spelltrap), message*, audible glamer, magic mouth, scare, fireball*, gust of wind*, lightning bolt*, confusion, fear, polymorph other*, conjure elemental, azure flame. If the spelltrap is moved or probed in any way before a second spell is placed inside, it vanishes. Only the use of a gem of seeing can detect a spelltrap.

Azure Flame
5th level Alteration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S, M (a small piece of azurite)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
The azure flame spell causes all creatures within a 10 foot radius to burst into blue flame. A successful saving throw vs. Constitution negates the effect. Protection from fire grants advantage on the saving throw. Azure flame burns until extinguished by dispel magic or the duration ends and spreads to any living thing touched. Lifeless items (including undead) do not burn with blue flames. Burning creatures take 2d6 points of fire damage per round until the flame is dispelled and are considered to be under the effects of a fear spell while the azure flame burns. Creatures reduced to 0 hit points by azure flame crumble into a pile of bluish ashes from which they cannot be resurrected. The material component of the spell is a small piece of azurite rubbed between the fingers of one hand while the other hand performs the complicated somatic gestures. 

Channel Divinity

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

Affect Normal Fires. As an action, you can grant yourself mastery over fire. For 1 minute you can manipulate and control fires as a bonus action. Any fire within 100 feet can be affected with your bonus action in the following ways.

  • Any fire can be increased or decreased by 1 size category. A torch (a tiny fire) could become a small fire. A campfire could become a bonfire. 
  • Any medium sized or smaller fire can be extinguished.
  • You can increase or decrease the volume of light produced by a fire, either by doubling its range, or cutting it in half.
  • You can causes a flame to lash out and attack any opponent adjacent to a flame. Your to hit roll uses your proficiency bonus and your intelligence modifier. A small or smaller fire does 1 point of fire damage. A medium fire does 1d4 points of fire damage. A large fire does 1d6 points of fire damage, and each size category larger can do an additional 1d6 points of fire damage.

Turn the Elements..As an action, you can present yourself to elementals, using your Channel Divinity. Each elemental creature that can see or hear you within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw. If the creature fails its saving throw, it is charmed for 1 minute or until it takes damage from you.

Heart of the Hidden

At 7th level, Paramanders gain proficiency in Stealth, Slight of Hand, and Perception. At 18th level, Paramanders may choose expertise in one of these skills.

Magical Resistance

At 17th level, you gain advantage on all saving throws versus magic and spells.

Mutating Touch

At 20th level, the paramander may curse an opponent to transform into a new form, unless he or she abides by the conditions the Paramander sets. The Paramander selects a specific creature or monster. Then the paramander touches a specific creature, who receives a Charisma saving throw to avoid the effect. The parmander states a condition for the effect to function (e.g. contact with substance, a certain behavior, going to a certain place, performing a certain action, not performing a certain action, etc.) When this condition is met or not met as the Paramander wishes, the subject begins to slwoly change into the form selected by the Paramander.
Only a remove curse spell will remove the effect, allowing a wish or other appropriate spell to return the subject to their natural form. This effect can be used once per long rest.

Hack & Slash 
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  1. Oh this is very cool. I enjoyed the old Dragon article on the variant paladins and it is nice to see one of them reworked in the new D&D5 framework.

  2. Always loved that issue! Had a long term Lyan in an old campaign. Lots of fun!


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