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Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous – The Best Paladin Builds

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  • Posted on 24th Sep, 2022 20:25 PM
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Pathfinder fans looking to max out a Paladin build from the start of the anticipated sequel can find all they need to know in this guide.

p>Pathfinder: Kingmaker's character creation menu may have been one of the most comprehensive and detailed character creators that video game RPGs have ever seen, and this is no less the case in the highly anticipated sequel, Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. With so many classes (and then subclasses!) to choose from, it can be intimidating trying to create that first character just right.

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Players wishing to go down more of the righteous path rather than engaging with their wrath may find the Paladin class a worthy choice, but even then the player is met with seven different subclass options. Here is an approachable yet comprehensive guide to building the ultimate Paladin in Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous.

Character

Once the player starts a new game, they will eventually be met with the character creator. Just like in the first game, it contains every possible option for creating the most detailed RPG character straight out of the tabletop game.

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous offers a handful of pre-generated characters that the player can tweak, but there are none that are Paladins, so the player will need to create a custom character. While this may seem intimidating at first, the beginners of the game may find that half the fun of the game is simply creating the character!

Portrait

Once that has been selected, the player will then be presented with a myriad of options for the player portrait. If the player has played Kingmaker, they may be delighted to know that all the portraits from there also appear here, plus tons of others.

Depending on what the player chooses, it will affect how the player looks in-game (although this can be tweaked later), so keep that in mind.

Class

Of course, this is where the player will select the Paladin class. This will open the Paladin dropdown, revealing all the subclasses available. While this may seem intimidating at first, it can very well be boiled down to the player's playstyle.

Players looking to jump right in can simply select the default pre-made Paladin build. Paladins, of course, are lawful good "tanky" spell casters focused heavily on smiting evil and bolstering/healing their allies.

If the player is perhaps more familiar with cRPGs, they may find that the subclasses add a lot more nuance however, and much more control over a specific niche that may suit their particular play style better. We'll go over the specifics on each subclass below this section, however, those wanting to just stick with the good 'ol fashioned pre-generated may skip ahead to the Race section.

Paladin Subclass - Divine Guardian

The Divine Guardian subclass essentially boils down the duties and abilities of a regular Paladin to just one particular creature (per day of choice). This subclass has the Paladin forfeiting their usual divine spell casting abilities in favor of alternative versions that can only be applied to the creature of choice that day.

For a first time build, this may prove a challenging one, as the player is restricted to only buffing/healing one individual in the party per day. This makes for some fun roleplay potential, but it can make the game much more difficult without a healer that can provide for the entire group. This subclass is not particularly recommended as it is fairly limiting.

Paladin Subclass - Divine Hunter

If the player is stuck between choosing either a Paladin or a Ranger, look no further than the Divine Hunter subclass. This subclass allows for the generic Paladin role but from afar, where the player can effectively use a bow to attack, rather than melee.

The Paladin, in this case, is sacrificing its usual proficiencies in all armors and martial weapons.

Paladin Subclass - Divine Scion

Players looking for a more intelligent character may want to go with the Divine Scion subclass, as it adds skills related to Knowledge and Lore. This, much like the Divine Guardian, is more likely going to be for the heavier roleplay enthusiasts as it will allow the character more access to otherwise hidden information.

This subclass will sacrifice the ability to Smite Evil, replacing it with Studied Target, which allows the player bonuses to their attack and damage rolls. Players looking to stay in the back and pick off their targets (much like the Divine Hunter, but this time with magic) will find this subclass tasteful.

Paladin Subclass - Hospitaler

This is a very heavy roleplay subclass. This subclass will see the character healing and pretty much only healing. This subclass will essentially take the best parts of a cleric and tack them on to the Paladin, while delaying a lot of the Paladin's ability to Smite Evil more effectively as they level up.

This is probably the worst of the subclasses for the Paladin, as it very heavily blurs the line between Paladin and Cleric to the point that it may be better just going with a Cleric. If the player is looking to play a slightly more offensive Cleric, this may be a good option, but otherwise, it's a bit of a step backward for the Paladin.

Paladin Subclass - Martyr

The Martyr subclass is going to be the marriage between Paladin and Bard classes. This sees the Paladin forfeiting a lot of its single smiting ability in favor of increased bolstering effects on their allies.

This is the perfect subclass for those who enjoy buffing their party members while also getting into the fray themselves.

Paladin Subclass - Stonelord

Keep in mind that, for this subclass, the player must be a dwarf. This is probably the best in terms of roleplay as it adds a ton of "stone" related features. This subclass is heavily in favor of tanking damage, so if the player finds that the game difficulty may be too much, and they are dying often, starting as a Stonelord may see them walk off those bruises a bit easier.

If the player is looking for a dwarf-heavy playthrough, this subclass will allow for a lot more options with dwarves met in the world along with the players own independent interactions.

Paladin Subclass - Warrior of the Holy Light

Warrior of the Holy Light is essentially the same as a standard Paladin, however, this subclass will add a powerful beacon of light that will emanate from the player character that lasts for one minute. This beacon of light will add more and more benefits as the character levels up. If the player intends to guide a holy crusade against the demons, this may just be the ticket, along with the Angel Mythic Path.

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Race

With subclasses out of the way, the player is now greeted with all the racial options they can choose. If the player is looking to maximize the Paladin build potential, they are going to want to focus heavily into Charisma, as this is the primary method of spell casting for the Paladin. However, keep in mind that the player must be a dwarf if the "Stonelord" subclass is chosen.

Otherwise, the best races for Charisma are going to be Humans, Gnomes, Halflings, Half-Elves, and Half-Orcs. Gnomes and Halfings have an inherent +2 Constitution or +2 Dexterity, respectively inherent, and an additional +2 Charisma modifier each. This does come at the drawback of having a -2 modifier on Strength.

Humans, Half-Elves, and Half-Orcs have the ability to choose one ability to add +2 to, so if the player is to go as one of these, they should put those into Charisma.

Racial Heritage

Every race in the game also comes with a plethora of racial heritages, and they are unique and plentiful for each. The Human race will have the most options if the player wants to build a bit wide and include some other improved modifiers or skills. That said, the Half-Elf does have a racial heritage called "Kindred Raised," which will add an additional +2 modifier to Charisma. So, if the player chooses the Half-Elf race, they would have +4 Charisma already out the gate.

Background Selection

Again, this is fairly preferential to whatever the player wants out of their character roleplay-wise, as this game is very heavy on the roleplaying! That said, players looking toward more of the spell casting side may want to choose the Scholar or Oblate options, while players looking more toward combat may find the Warrior, Urchin, or Wanderer more enticing.

Generally speaking, spellcasters are more brain than brawn, and the inverse is more appropriate for combat orientation. Paladins are generally highly religious in nature, so leaning into that when choosing the background is advised for a more maximum build.

Ability Points

Generally speaking, Paladins are tanks and healers. Pathfinder is great in that it points out the recommended abilities that work best with the chosen class. For a Paladin, those are going to be Strength, Constitution, and Charisma, with Charisma being the most important for spell casting. It is highly advised to put as much into Charisma as possible. If using a Half-Elf with the Kindred Raised racial heritage, it is possible to come out the gate with a +5 modifier to Charisma, which is huge.

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With some clever allocation, the player can build a solid spell caster Paladin without sacrificing the Strength or Constitution — or pulling too much from the weaker abilities. After Charisma, Constitution is going to be the next most important, as it directly affects the characters hit points! The higher the Constitution, the harder it is going to be to kill, which is exactly what a Paladin needs.

Skill Points

Next, the player can allocate a skill point. For the most part, this will be already pre-built. Players may tweak this if it feels necessary, but it is not really recommended, as the game will pick good skills considering the previous choices and class skill. This is where the player may want to place a point to pick up on the slack created by the Ability Points, such as balancing out a negative modifier. It is usually recommended, however, to max out in whatever the player is specializing in.

In this case, the player may want a higher Persuasion skill or Use Magic Device. Given the spell casting nature of the Paladin, it is recommended to go with a higher Persuasion, as an innate spell caster is much less likely to use scrolls or wands.

Feats

There are a ridiculous number of feats in this game. These feats will be gained as the player journeys through the campaign. The game does a good job recommending feats that will fit with the player character, and also ones that will not fit well.

It is advised to go with the computer on this one for the first playthrough. Weapon focus is usually a good safe bet going in as the player's spells are only so powerful at first.

Deity and Beyond

Everything from here on in the character menu is going to be entirely preferential and roleplay-based. Of course, keep in mind that, with a Paladin, they may only choose a lawful good deity and alignment. The game will not let them choose otherwise, anyway.

Finally, after all of this, the player is finished creating their character, and they can go forth on their righteous (or wrathful) quest. Using the tips provided, the player should be able to enter the gates of Kenabres already a fairly powerful spell casting Paladin for dangers now, and yet to come.

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is available now on PC, with console release set for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S in Autumn 2022.

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