My PC was a Goldpact Paladin. Overall, I found the Paladin decently interesting to build and play. I liked the bonus to defenses from certain reputations. I felt that was a much nicer way to make Paladin's the "roleplay" class ala D&D without hamfisting it (like AD&D does with most things) and still allowing a wide representation of roleplaying Paladins that weren't all Lawful Good. However, I found the Paladin to be pretty boring in combat due to the low number of abilities, with a low number of uses, that were fairly niche as well and no distinguishing combat mechanics (other than a couple auras that overlap with Chanter anyway). By the end of the game, in particular, my PC Paladin had a laundry list of low-use abilities (many of which were per-rest) that I rarely used, and were frequently irrelevant anyway. (Some of that was because I would wear ability-granting equipment just because there was nothing else to wear in that slot, but that's another issue.) Even though I accidentally picked Lay on Hands at the beginning of the game, by the end of the game I was running out of abilities that I wanted to pick.
I've read somewhere that the Paladin was supposed to be like a D&D4 Warlord, but giving the Paladin single-target buffs doesn't really play like a Warlord at all--it plays like a Priest. Putting the Warlord into RTwP gameplay would probably be hard, but I think you could do a lot better than PoE. First step would be to make Coordinated Attacks an early, rather than a late, ability, so that the player can build around it. I'd remove the melee limitation of Flames of Devotion, because that bombos with Coordinated Attacks. I'd add an ability that let the Warlord swap places with an ally without triggering Engagement Attacks. Liberating Exhortation works okay for this paradigm, because it's a bit about controlling the battlefield by helping your allies. I'd let nearby allies use Flames of Devotion, Sworn Enemy, and any other attack ability that makes sense. Abilities that trigger on killing enemies are yucky because they are "win more" abilities and they encourage unrealistic and unfun gameplay where you stop attacking an enemy so that the relevant character will get the kill. Instead, I'd give the Warlord an ability that applies a limited duration debuff to defenses when the warlord attacks a full-health enemy. That way the Warlord is leading the charge. But honestly, I'd make the Warlord paradigm a set of talents that anyone can take because, why not let the Fighter or any class be the battlefield coordinator too?
To fix Paladins, first of all, I'd give the Paladin all the auras one by one, because they're not significant enough that it feels worth giving up an ability to get another aura that's mutually exclusive with the aura you already have.
Second, I'd make Lay on Hands and Reviving Exhortation into Priest spells (because that's what they really are), and then just let the Paladin pick a spell from a list determined by his Order but taken (thematically) from the spell lists of all other classes, and have that spell as a 1-per encounter ability. Let the Paladin do it again at 6th and 11th level, or something. This should allow the player to build the kind of Paladin he or she wants to play while ensuring that the Paladin has abilities that the player actually wants to use. In this concept, the Paladin becomes a knights that draws on supernatural powers to complement his traditional martial abilities instead of pursuing an alternative martial art like the Barbarian or Monk.
I felt that the Paladin didn't get enough tanking support in comparison to the Fighter. Some possible ways to improve that might be: Since Paladin's are known for wearing armor, give the Paladin a free small reduction to their armor penalty. I'd give them a Challenge ability that reduces the target's accuracy against other allies. Maybe give the Paladin an aura that slows enemy movement while the Paladin is standing still. Make the Paladin's single-enemy abilities allow the Paladin to engage that enemy for free.
Edited by Alweth, 18 April 2015 - 03:43 AM.