A Paladin is a martial champion sworn to the service of a patron Arkati, serving both as the fighting arm to slay those who would oppose the patron deity and as the defender of the deity's faithful servants. In recognition of the service of the champion, the patron Arkati grants powerful spiritual abilities to enhance and protect the Paladin on the field of battle. Through close, physical combat, Paladins conquer their foes with force, supplemented by spells of the spiritual magic sphere. To aid with their constant fighting on behalf of their patrons, Paladins have learned to wear heavy armors and are skilled with all of the melee combat forms.
- 1 Professional Highlights
- 2 Combat Maneuvers
- 3 Shield Specializations
- 4 Armor Specializations
- 5 Paladin Statistic Growth Rates
- 6 General Training Suggestions
- 6.1 Physical Skills
- 6.2 Magical Skills
- 6.3 General Skills
- 7 Resources
- 8 Behind the Scenes
Paladins were the first new profession added to the original eight from GemStone III. As holy warriors, Paladins span the range of space between Warriors and Clerics; at the time, characters of these two professions were granted the ability to convert to Paladins.
They are a semi profession alongside Rangers and Bards, able to wield martial weapons and spiritual magic, though they should be considered the most melee-focused of the semis and may have a more difficult time hunting by ranged or solely magical means. Paladins can train up to three times per level in Armor Use and have a wide selection of Shield Specializations. Their spells are mostly focused on enhancing melee combat abilities and debilitating opponents, and they have the unique ability to cast effectively while wearing plate armor.
The aura system contains some of the Paladin's most powerful enhancement spells, where the effect extends to their entire group. Each Paladin may only cast one aura at a time, but the group can benefit from multiple Paladins using different auras.
High level Paladins can bond to a weapon with Holy Weapon (1625), beseech their patron to free themselves from constricting effects with Divine Intervention (1635), resurrect the dead with Divine Word (1640), and unleash a storm of spiritual power with Divine Incarnation (1650).
Paladins have the ability to train in the following combat maneuvers.
|Combat Maneuver (cman)||Type||Rank 1||Rank 2||Rank 3||Rank 4||Rank 5|
|Bull Rush (bullrush)||Area of Effect||2||4||6||8||10|
|Combat Focus (focus)||Passive||2||4||6||8||10|
|Combat Movement (cmovement)||Passive||2||3||4||5||6|
|Combat Toughness (toughness)||Passive||6||8||10||-||-|
|Cunning Defense (cdefense)||Passive||2||3||4||5||6|
|Disarm Weapon (disarm)||Setup||2||4||6||8||10|
|Groin Kick (gkick)||Setup||2||4||6||8||10|
|Side by Side (sidebyside)||Passive||2||4||6||8||10|
|Spell Cleave (spellcleave)||Setup||2||4||6||8||10|
|Spike Focus (spikefocus)||Passive||4||8||-||-||-|
|Spin Attack (sattack)||Attack||2||4||6||8||10|
|Staggering Blow (sblow)||Attack||2||4||6||8||10|
|Stance Perfection (stance)||Passive||4||8||-||-||-|
|Surge of Strength (surge)||Buff||2||4||6||8||10|
|Tainted Bond (tainted)||Passive||20||-||-||-||-|
|True Strike (truestrike)||Attack||2||4||6||8||10|
|Unarmed Specialist (unarmedspec)||Passive||6||-||-||-||-|
|Vault Kick (vaultkick)||Setup||2||4||6||8||10|
|Weapon Specialization (wspec)||Passive||2||4||6||8||10|
Paladins have the ability to train in the following shield specializations.
|Specialization||Type||Rank 1||Rank 2||Rank 3||Rank 4||Rank 5||Prerequisites|
|Block the Elements (blockelements)||Passive||6||12||18||-||-|
|Large Shield Focus (lfocus)||Passive||4||6||8||10||12|
|Prop Up (prop)||Passive||6||12||18||-||-||Large or Tower Shield Focus (at rank 3)|
|Protective Wall (pwall)||Passive||4||6||-||-||-||Tower Shield Focus (at rank 3)|
|Shield Bash (bash)||Setup||2||4||6||8||10|
|Shield Charge (charge)||Setup||2||4||6||8||10|
|Shield Forward (forward)||Passive||4||8||12||-||-|
|Shield Mind (mind)||Buff||6||12||18||-||-||Spell Block (at rank 1), ensorcelled or anti-magic shield|
|Shield Push (push)||Setup||2||4||6||8||10||Shield Bash (at rank 2)|
|Shield Spike Mastery (spikemastery)||Passive||8||12||-||-||-||Spike Focus (at rank 2)|
|Shield Strike (strike)||Attack||2||4||6||8||10||Shield Bash (at rank 2)|
|Shield Strike Mastery (strikemastery)||Passive||30||-||-||-||-||Shield Strike (at rank 3)|
|Shielded Brawler (brawler)||Passive||6||8||10||12||14|
|Spell Block (spellblock)||Passive||10||-||-||-||-||Any Shield Focus (at rank 3), ensorcelled or anti-magic shield|
|Steely Resolve (resolve)||Buff||4||8||12||-||-||Tower Shield Focus (at rank 3)|
|Tower Shield Focus (tfocus)||Passive||4||6||8||10||12|
Paladins can train in several Armor Specializations relevant for spell casting in heavy armor.
|Specialization||Rank 1||Rank 2||Rank 3||Rank 4||Rank 5||Prerequisites|
|Armor Spike Mastery||10||20||-||-||-||Spike Focus (at rank 2)|
Paladin Statistic Growth Rates
For more information see the page on statistic growth rates.
Note: The table above is the baseline statistic growth rates. These values are actually modified for every race in GemStone IV, including humans.
General Training Suggestions
As a primarily melee-oriented profession, Paladins should ensure they have enough physical skills to be robust hunters. A typical path will also include some magical skills and general skills to improve and supplement their combat prowess. A variety of training paths can be effective.
The core of any Paladin is their selection of and dedication to combat-oriented physical skills.
Paladins will normally specialize in at least one weapon style. Whatever the choice, the Paladin should train twice per level in at least one type of weapon.
The most popular options are:
- Edged Weapons and Shield Use
- Blunt Weapons and Shield Use
- Two-Handed Weapons
- Polearm Weapons (with or without Shield Use)
Many Paladin abilities enhance melee only or require a melee weapon, so Ranged Weapons are not as effective. Paladins do not have as many tools for Brawling as other martial professions, but it can be viable as either a primary or supplementary skill. Thrown Weapons are generally never trained by anyone as a primary skill.
The choice of a melee weapon is largely up to the player's taste. Each style has access to a distinct array of Weapon Techniques that are automatically learned and upgraded as one trains more ranks in the weapon style. One might also opt for one of the hybrid options such as the katar or katana, but as those require training in two styles simultaneously, it can be hard to allocate all the required training points, at least early on in the adventuring career.
As Paladins have the highest training cost for Two Weapon Combat among all the martial professions, they are not necessarily the best suited for the skill, though it can be viable since Paladins can increase damage through Arm of the Arkati and create multiple flares with Consecrate, Holy Weapon, and/or Fervor (if they are willing to go without the Zealot aura). Coupling this skill with edged or blunt weapons is most sensible, although brawling is also possible. The dedicated paladin would train twice every level, and also forego the benefits of a shield.
Access to Shield Specializations (detailed below) as well as the spell Divine Shield (1609) gives Paladins more reason than most to be efficient at using a shield. Consecrate (1604) can also be used on a shield for plasma flares. Furthermore, the Paladin Base circle is largely lacking in good defenses against bolt spells (although this is reasonably supplemented by the Minor Spiritual circle). That being said, many paladins choose to use primarily two-handed weapons or large polearms and forego the benefits of a shield. If using a shield, a paladin should single or double train the skill.
As the primary factor in evading and a contributor to maneuver defense, this is a staple defensive skill. Any paladin without a shield ought to at least single train in this skill. Because dodging is more difficult with a larger shield, a paladin heavily training in shield use with a large shield may find an unimpressive benefit to spending many points on dodge. Even so, more dodge ranks always make dodging easier, so this skill (in any amount, more always being better) fits well into any training path, but training twice per level becomes prohibitively expensive.
Combat maneuvers is another staple skill for any melee-combat oriented character. It helps defend against opposing maneuvers, increases physical AS, and gains one CMAN point per rank for learning specific maneuvers (see below). A Paladin is expected to single train in this skill.
Every paladin should quickly find themselves in heavier armor; paladins have few reasons to stay in leather or scale armor. Heavier armor obviously protects the wearer better when fully trained (with the exception of some aspects of the evade system), typically considered as a trade-off for the ability to easily cast spells. However, paladins have many advantages when it comes to casting spells in armor. The Paladin Base circle has the lowest Spell hindrance of any circle (often by half or much more), and the Minor Spiritual circle has the second lowest hindrance. The 8th level spell Defense of the Faithful (1608) further enhances Armor Use by +20 ranks over the basic training, allowing heavier armors to be worn even earlier. With the 12th level spell Faith's Clarity (1612), spell hindrance is further reduced and Minor Spiritual spells become as easy to cast as Paladin Base spells. Finally, paladins have access to unique Armor Specializations, including the possibility of completely removing the chance of a failed cast. As the ability to easily cast spells in heavy armor is unique to paladins, one ought to take advantage of this fact with dedicated training in armor use.
Unlike the other physical skills, armor use should be trained in a tiered system rather than on a per-level basis, because a new armor should not be used until one is fully trained for at least the RT and maneuver penalties (which is usually similar to the requirements for the Paladin Base), and it isn't realistic to expect most paladins to change armors every few levels (unless they enjoy an extensive armor collection). On the whole, the paladin should have some goals set with their next armor set in their possession as they gain the ability to wear it. As an example, by triple-training armor use, a paladin can be in metal breastplate by level 24. The paladin could then skip training in armor use for many levels, picking up other skills, while eventually working towards the next goal, for instance, being triple trained again at level 50 to wear full plate. A simple reason to choose a type of armor may very well be having access to a particularly nice set of a given armor, but most paladins eventually are working towards full platemail. This system is feasible because of other threshold based skills (particularly magical skills, see below), as well as stat growth which increases the total training points available.
Useful tiers include:
- 35 - fully trained for Chainmail (torso-only), can have this by level 8 by training 2x level in Armor Use and learning Defense of the Faithful
- 70 - fully trained for Chain Hauberk (full coverage), trained for maneuvers in Metal Breastplate (torso-only)
- 90 - fully trained for Metal Breastplate (torso-only)
- 130 - trained in maneuvers for Full Plate (full coverage)
- 150 - fully trained for Full Plate (full coverage)
Generally a paladin is "trained in maneuvers" slightly earlier in that they can wear the armor without roundtime/maneuver penalties, but require some additional training for spell hindrance until they are considered fully trained.
Physical fitness increases hitpoints up to a character's maximum, plays the most important role in Redux, helps with some environmental checks, and is a major factor in defends against maneuvers. Training less than once per level in this skill is absolutely silly, and every paladin should have the eventual goal of reaching two times per level as their training path allows. In particular, training more than once per level may be used to achieve redux faster or gain full HPs.
Training in Multi-Opponent Combat helps both defend against swarms and attack multiple times at once. This is typically considered a threshold skill than something to train each level, and one should aim for a specific number of ranks. A paladin is well-advised to quickly get five ranks so two opponents can be attacked at once with MSTRIKE, and after that set their own goals for additional training as they can. Many of the advanced weapon techniques for each style also allow some version of multi-striking which can be improved with more training in this skill.
This skill helps aim attacks or successfully ambush from hiding, as well as with ranged and thrown weapons in general. However, this skill is costly for paladins and can only be trained once per level. This skill is not worthwhile for a normal paladin training path. It can be useful later on for aimed swings without hiding, for example to prevent creatures from casting spells, and so on.
Although most of a paladin's skills will be physical, being a semi would be pointless if one does not take some advantage of the magical skills available. At the very least, every paladin should learn a number of spells and get enough mana to cast them. As mental points are tight for paladins, one will likely be sparse in training magical skills or be forced to convert physical points.
Easily the most important magical skill for a paladin, this skill should be trained once per level early in a paladin's career, often for life, but some may drop the training after some essential spells are achieved to focus on other training. At least early on, the only real leeway to singling is that a paladin could go slightly over this value to more quickly reach a given goal, or do slightly less to squeeze in a tight training path.
At first, a Paladin should focus on the Paladin Base up to some point of their own choosing. It is highly recommended to train once per level up to at least 35 ranks for Divine Intervention (1635) to unlock the BESEECH ability. After that one may continue on to Divine Word (1640) for resurrections or Divine Incarnation (1650). Any training after that will not unlock new spells at present, but will continue to improve spell duration and effectiveness. Paladins who want to use offensive spells should continue increasing their Casting Strength, but be aware that damage redux will diminish with spell training.
Most paladins will train slightly in the Minor Spiritual circle early on, at least to get Spirit Warding I (101) right away, and potentially up to Spirit Defense (103) to delay their Paladin base knowledge by one level. The next most generally important spells for a paladin are:
- Spirit Warding II (107): The paladin base does not have much warding or bolt defenses.
- Locate Person (116): Important for those dedicated to rescuing.
- Spirit Strike (117): With a general abundance of mana and focusing on melee combat, this spell is a perpetual mana sink for any paladin.
- Lesser Shroud (120): A very respectable self-cast defensive spell.
- Spirit Guide (130): Important to those dedicated to rescuing and raising the dead. Aid The Fallen (1613) can be learned more easily, but is much more limited in application. Symbol of Return could be learned much sooner, but only for those who join the Order of Voln.
- Wall of Force (140): The best defensive magic in Elanthia. Paladins also have fewer uses for mana than most other classes, and can keep this up much more easily.
Overall, a common approach is a quick rank in Minor Spiritual to get light blues, then all the way up to Divine Word to be able to raise the dead, and then back to the Minor Spiritual until Lesser Shroud or Wall of Force. After that, further training the Paladin Base is most beneficial. It's worth noting that before about the 15th rank in Minor Spiritual, most Minor Spiritual spells are not limited to self-casting, and furthermore that the MnS circle is known by the most professions; if a paladin has lots of friends or is good at begging for spells, training in this circle can be put off until such a time that the paladin is likely to want Spirit Strike and/or Lesser Shroud.
This skill is required to get more mana, which is needed to make use of the above spells. Harness Power starts by giving 6 mana points per rank, but has diminishing returns and after 40 ranks it will only grant 2 extra mana points per rank up to character level, and only 1 extra mana per rank beyond character level. Training up to once per level is probably normal, but a paladin with a tight training path could variously delay or occasionally skip this skill, since the class is largely physical in nature. Training more than once per level is a path for a magical paladin build, but likely necessary in that case owing to the high cost of Repentance (1615).
Mana Control has a multitude of uses. A skill of 102, or 24 ranks, is required to successfully cast Divine Word (1640) to raise the dead without chance of failure. This is also the same amount of skill to achieve the best mana sharing possible with another fully trained character. As the first multi-cast is unlocked at 25 ranks, a typical goal would be 25 ranks by the time Divine Word is learned.
This also increases the mana that can be stored in a bonded Holy Weapon (1625), and making the evoked version of Repentance (1615) more powerful up to 1x rank per level, so more magically inclined Paladins may wish to continue training in this every level.
Spiritual Lores are entirely optional to train in. Paladins are not expected to train in lores every level, but they give some perks to various spells even with slight dabbling.
- Spiritual Lore, Blessings: Perks include defensive benefits to Mantle of Faith (1601), the Guiding Light double flare chance of Consecrate (1604) and Holy Weapon (1625), block chance for Divine Shield, and damage weighting for Fervor. All of these use summation charts so there is no particular threshold value to stop at, but training will have diminishing returns.
- Spiritual Lore, Religion: Improves the defensive benefits to Higher Vision (1610), the flare chance on Fervor (1618), the potency of non-Paladin spells infused from a scroll into Holy Weapon, the chance to force kneeling on Judgment (1630), and grants additional resurrection uses per day on Divine Word. The Judgment benefit caps at 25 ranks against same-level opponents. This also unlocks a popular title at 40 ranks: 'Paladin of Deity' (where 'Paladin' is any of the Paladin professional titles).
- Spiritual Lore, Summoning: Improves the slow effect of Pious Trial (1602), the critical rank of Guiding Light double flares when they occur, the damage factor increase of Arm of the Arkati (1605), and the ability to infuse spells with Holy Weapon (1625). At 20 ranks this also unlocks a self-transport ability with Aid the Fallen (1613) (once the Paladin can BESEECH at 35 Paladin circle spell ranks). The Holy Weapon benefit caps at 25 ranks.
Training in these skills not only allows paladins to use magic items or scrolls they otherwise might not, it can also extend the duration of that magic. 20 ranks should allow the use of most items, and 40 ranks would enable use of practically all items; the duration gained beyond these number of ranks would be generally not worth the investment of training points. For the helpful paladin, using an oaken wand before learning Stun Relief (108) might be suitable either for raising clerics or during group hunts. Arcane Symbols, in particular, is relevant for infusing spells outside the paladin's knowledge to their weapon bonded with Holy Weapon (1625), which opens up a new array of combat utility. Some arcane symbols are also needed for access to certain areas, in particular reading the runes in the Misty Chamber. Overall, these skills are threshold skills a paladin can pick up later in their career.
Other Magical Skills
Paladins will not generally acquire a lot of general skills, since the training costs are already high for core skills.
A base amount of these skills are needed simply to get around Elanthia. 10 to 15 ranks of climbing should be acquired early on, as well as 5 to 10 ranks of swimming, depending what area of the world the paladin prefers. The best rule of thumb to increase the ranks is to save some extra training points when going to a new hunting area with such skill checks. If the paladin significantly fails a skill check, immediately type GOALS to add 5 ranks in the relevant skill, and try again. Then the paladin will not have to spend unneeded training points on these skills. 35 ranks of climbing and 20-35 ranks of swimming is more than enough for the pre-cap areas.
Perception is mainly useful for maneuver defense, and there are a few places where being able to spot hidden paths is necessary (notably the Wehnimer's Landing to Elven Nations trail). Paladins may have a hard time fitting it into their training, but it is worth at least picking up 10 to 20 ranks when points are available.
The only cheap general skill for paladins, this helps a paladin eat herbs faster, tend wounds, and skin better. Paladins will often get beat up while hunting, so eating herbs faster is a definite benefit. Skinning creatures is easy supplemental income, but it's worth noting that a certain amount of combined ranks in First Aid and Survival toggles the Adventurer's Guild into assigning skinning tasks, which the paladin may have a positive or negative feeling towards; these tasks are assigned when the total ranks equal or exceed 0.5 times per level (see skinning bounties). All in all, at such a cheap cost, training in this skill once per level is practically free and easily worthwhile for most, or just under 0.5x to avoid skinning tasks.
Like climbing, swimming, and first aid, a threshold of this skill may be necessary for travelling around, especially in cold climates. 10 ranks of this skill may be useful if one plans to hunt around Icemule Trace, for instance. This skill also helps for foraging and skinning. Survival is useful enough to train, but not useful enough to be a staple skill.
- A beginner's guide to playing a paladin (work-in-progress)
- Comprehensive Paladin Guide
- Nairdin's paladin guide (saved post)
Behind the Scenes
Paladins were released in GemStone IV during the Really Spectacular November (RSN) event of 2004.
|Paladin Profession - edit|
|Spell Circles:||Paladin Base Spells | Minor Spiritual Spells|
|Professional Highlights:||Combat & Shield Maneuvers | Bonded Weapon | Combat Resurrection|
|Profession - edit|
|Squares: Rogue | Warrior | Monk|
|Semis: Bard | Paladin | Ranger|
|Pures: Cleric | Empath | Sorcerer | Wizard|