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 General Training Suggestions
- 2.1 Physical Skills
- 2.2 Magical Skills
- 2.3 General Skills
- 3 Combat Maneuvers
- 4 Shield Specializations
- 5 Armor Specializations
- 6 Paladin Statistic Growth Rates
- 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).
General Training Suggestions
As square-leaning semis, 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. Naturally, the information below is merely a guide, particularly for those unfamiliar with the class, and 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 a melee weapon: Edged Weapons, Blunt Weapons, Polearm Weapons, or Two-Handed Weapons. As far as the remaining options, it can be said that Thrown Weapons are unpopular in general, Paladins are somewhat lacking in access to abundant and cheap skills to be effective at Ranged Weapons, and they would not be as effective at Brawling as Warriors or Monks (although it may be a useful supplementary skill). Paladins also have access to specific spells which increase the power of melee and thrown weapons: Arm of the Arkati (1605), Zealot (1617) and Sanctify (1625). The choice of the particular melee weapon is largely up to the player's taste. Two-Handed Weapons will prohibit the effective use of a shield, whereas the damage factors for these and polearms are generally higher than for edged or blunt weapons. A more flexible hunting style is possible coupling weapons that can be used one or two handed (katana, bastard swords, or various approaches with polearms) with a shield. Whatever the choice, the paladin should train twice per level in at least one type of weapon.
As Paladins have the highest training cost for Two Weapon Combat among all the other squares and semis, they are not necessarily the best suited for the skill. However, the effectiveness of Arm of the Arkati (1605) and Zealot (1617) is certainly improved when using two weapons. 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, taking advantage of Zealot (1617) instead for stronger attacks. If using a shield, a paladin should single or double train the skill.
As the primary factor in evading, this is a staple defensive skill. Any paladin without a shield ought to at least single train in this skill, and as a paladin wears heavier armor, the skill becomes more important. 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 (combat or creature), increases physical AS, and gains one CMAN point per rank for learning specific maneuvers (see below). However, it should be said that paladins have Patron's Blessing (1611) to increase their AS in a similar manner, and Sanctify (1625) for better CM defenses. Even so, a paladin should be expected to single train in this skill.
Every paladin should quickly find themselves in heavier armor; paladins have few reasons to stay in soft or even hard leather. 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 three unique Armor Specializations (see below); not only does each rank of armor use give one point towards learning either of these skills, but they decrease the penalties for casting spells when well-armored. 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.
Physical fitness increases hitpoints up to a character's maximum, plays the most important role in Redux, helps with some environmental checks, defends against some combat maneuvers, and is the strongest factor in defending against creature 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. As paladins do not have access to Berserk, this is as good as it gets (besides of course, Judgment (1630)). However, a normal training path would already allocate most of a paladin's training points without including this skill, and similar to armor use, it is better viewed as a threshold skill than something to train each level. Although the defensive benefits increase with each rank, the offensive benefits are strictly tiered. A paladin is well-advised to quickly get five ranks so two opponents can be attacked at once, and after that set their own goals for additional training as they can. The benefits of this skill will be self-evident after a short time playing a paladin, and each player can choose how quickly or slowly to progress beyond the first five ranks. This is in part because the incurred roundtime is effected by Dexterity and Agility bonuses as well as the base roundtime of the weapon; for example, a halfling swinging three times with a dagger will be much faster than a giantman with a claidhmore.
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. Coupled with the same situation for Stalking and Hiding, this skill is not worthwhile for a normal paladin training path. It can be useful later on for open aimed swings, 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, often to Divine Word (1640); there are also benefits for continuing to train in the Paladin base, such as higher DS, CS, HPs, etc.
- Faith Shield (1619): A natural stopping point since it is the first time a paladin would not learn a new spell with one more rank.
- Sanctify (1625): Not a very good stopping point, since only the first bonding rank can be unlocked with 25 spells. 29 spells are required to fully bond to a weapon.
- Divine Intervention (1635): Unlocking BESEECH is critical for combat, and a reasonable stopping point for any paladin not interested in raising the dead.
- Divine Incarnation (1650): The last paladin spell at present. Further paladin base ranks provide benefits to known spells, but no new spells can be learned.
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 (1620) 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 mutant magical paladin build, but likely necessary in that case owing to the high cost of Repentance (1615).
Mana control influences multi-casting, the ability to SEND or receive spiritual mana, unlocks some MANA (verb) skills, increases the mana gained at each pulse, and most importantly allows one to successfully cast Divine Word (1640) to raise the dead. A skill of 102, or 24 ranks, is required 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. However, even for those not interested in raising the dead, sending spiritual mana is an easier way to access to defensive spells known by others who typically train spiritual mana control (clerics, empaths, sorcerers, and to a lesser extent rangers and monks).
Mana control training also improves the evoked version of Repentance (1615), so it is an option for further training for more magically inclined paladins.
Spiritual Lores are entirely unnecessary, particularly at lower levels, but give perks to spells paladins cast, even with slight dabbling in the skills. It is interesting to note that paladins have the cheapest in-sphere lore cost of any semi, but that Paladin Base spells are affected by all three different spiritual lores. Because most lores use a Summation Chart, it usually makes the most sense for paladins to get a small number of ranks (five or fewer) in many lores before dedicating themselves to a single one; here, the term 'dedication' loosely means more than five to ten ranks of a single lore. However, significant dedication to lores is not without benefits. Although there are minor benefits for the Minor Spiritual circle, the benefits are much more relevant for the Paladin Base circle.
- Spiritual Lore, Blessings: Most notable is the DS and TD increases to Mantle of Faith (1601), the only spells paladins can trade with others. Consecrate (1604) also becomes much more potent even for a small number of ranks. Many of the benefits here are for helping others, and gaining more defensive prowess for the Paladin and his/her group.
- Spiritual Lore, Religion: Arguably the most important lore for paladins from a roleplaying perspective, it gives great benefits to Zealot (1617) and allows more raises per day with Divine Word (1640) with dedicated training, two of the professional-specific abilities of paladins. This also unlocks a popular title at 40 ranks: 'Paladin of Deity' (where 'Paladin' is any of the Paladin professional titles).
- Spiritual Lore, Summoning: Perhaps the least versatile, but notably increases the DF for Arm of the Arkati (1605), the level of spells which can be infused with Sanctify (1625) and dedicated training allows more targets with Judgment (1630). Getting up to 10 ranks allows Repentance (1615) to be infused to a fully bonded weapon and hit an additional target with Judgement, making this a reasonable goal for early lore training. 20 ranks can also allow the Paladin to self-cast Aid the Fallen (1613).
As a vast majority of Paladin base spells have lore benefits, it is worth carefully studying the Lore Chart to make an informed decision to suit the character's style.
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 Sanctify (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 prohibitively high and the maximum number of ranks low. It should be noted that Guardians of Sunfist gives abilities to help swimming, climbing, and eating herbs, and if one plans to join that society, the advice below may be less applicable.
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.
Arguably one of the most useful skills in general, paladins will have a hard time fitting dedication to this skill into their training path. Paladins hardly need to work on added maneuver defense, and most other benefits are irrelevant except for its minor boon to foraging. Basically a paladin should get some ranks of this skill early on to be able to travel around, similar with climbing and swimming above. 10 ranks is a good value to aim for by level 20.
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 helps for foraging, which a paladin may like to pursue. If training in First Aid, this can certainly help increase skin quality, as well. Survival is useful enough to train, but not useful enough to be a staple skill.
Paladins have the ability to train in the following combat maneuvers.
|Combat Maneuver (cman)||Rank 1||Rank 2||Rank 3||Rank 4||Rank 5|
|Armor Spike Focus (spikefocus)||7||15||-||-||-|
|Bull Rush (bullrush)||3||6||9||12||15|
|Combat Focus (focus)||3||6||9||12||15|
|Combat Movement (cmovement)||3||4||6||7||9|
|Combat Mastery (cmastery)||3||6||-||-||-|
|Combat Toughness (toughness)||9||12||15||-||-|
|Crowd Press (cpress)||3||6||9||12||15|
|Cunning Defense (cdefense)||3||4||6||7||9|
|Disarm Weapon (disarm)||3||6||9||12||15|
|Shield Bash (sbash)||3||6||9||12||15|
|Shield Charge (scharge)||3||6||9||12||15|
|Side by Side (sidebyside)||3||6||9||12||15|
|Subdual Strike (sstrike)||3||4||6||7||9|
|Surge of Strength (surge)||3||6||9||12||15|
|Tainted Bond (tainted)||30||-||-||-||-|
|True Strike (truestrike)||3||6||9||12||15|
|Unarmed Specialist (unarmedspec)||9||-||-||-||-|
Paladins have the ability to train in the following shield specializations.
|Specialization||Rank 1||Rank 2||Rank 3||Rank 4||Rank 5||Prerequisites|
|Block the Elements||6||12||18||-||-|
|Large Shield Focus||4||6||8||10||12|
|Prop Up||6||12||18||-||-||Large or Tower Shield Focus (at rank 3)|
|Protective Wall||4||6||-||-||-||Tower Shield Focus (at rank 3)|
|Shield Charge||2||4||6||8||10||Shield Bash (at rank 2)|
|Shield Mind||6||12||18||-||-||Spell Block (at rank 2)|
|Shield Push||2||4||6||8||10||Shield Bash (at rank 2)|
|Shield Spike Focus||8||12||-||-||-|
|Shield Spike Mastery||8||12||-||-||-||Shield Spike Focus (at rank 2)|
|Shield Strike||2||4||6||8||10||Shield Bash (at rank 2)|
|Shield Strike Mastery||30||-||-||-||-||Shield Strike (at rank 3)|
|Spell Block||6||12||18||-||-||Any Shield Focus (at rank 3)|
|Steely Resolve||6||12||18||-||-||Tower Shield Focus (at rank 3)|
|Tower Shield Focus||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|
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.
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|