Be a symbol of perfection

Be a legend, Be a cult

Take their praise, take their collection

As the multitudes exult

It’s Tough to be a God

Introduction

The Oath of Glory is as much a showman as it is a hardened warrior. Armed with the tools to turn combat into a spectacle of entertainment through a mixture of sword and sorcery, a Glory Paladin is able to stand on the front-lines and bring interesting self-support options like casting Haste.

A lot of Paladins can get on a horse (or rhino, or sabre-toothed tiger) and do that whole mounted combat thing, but none do it as flashily as the Oath of Glory. Between an aura that increases speed and the ability to share Haste with the mount, nobody is going to catch you or your flying horse. But maybe mounted combat isn’t your thing. Maybe you want to get right up into the fight and pull some guy to the ground like a real wrestler and with Channel Divinity on your side, you can be one of the better grapplers in the game. (Still not the best, but top five at least.)

Our example build strikes a balance between being ready to grapple and ready to mount up for combat, emulating the versatility one might need to survive the gladiatorial arenas found on the terrible sun-bleached hell world of Athas.

Table of Contents

Disclaimer

RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks, which is simple to understand and easy to read at a glance.

  • Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
  • Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
  • Green: Good options. Useful often.
  • Blue: Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.

We will not include 3rd-party content, including content from DMs Guild, in handbooks for official content because we can’t assume that your game will allow 3rd-party content or homebrew. We also won’t cover Unearthed Arcana content because it’s not finalized, and we can’t guarantee that it will be available to you in your games.

The advice offered below is based on the current State of the Character Optimization Meta as of when the article was last updated. Keep in mind that the state of the meta periodically changes as new source materials are released and this article will be updating accordingly as time allows.

RPGBOT is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.

Oath of Glory Features

  1. Oath Spells: Many of the spells on the list are fantastic, even allowing the Glory Paladin to shoulder the burden of Concentrating on some potent buffs, freeing up the party’s casters for area control or other spells. Keep in mind though, that, while Aura of Protection helps, the Paladin isn’t proficient in Constitution saving throws. If you plan to shoulder this burden regularly in combat, consider the Resilient feat or the War Caster feat to improve your success rate with Concentration saves.
    1. 3rd-Level: Guiding Bolt is hard because paladins generally can’t invest enough in Charisma to be good at spell attacks. You likely won’t cast it often, but it is still a decent ranged attack spell if you’re out of melee range. Heroism is a great defensive option. At the early levels where the fear immunity is helpful, your Charisma will be too low for good temp HP, and the high levels where the temp HP isn’t relevant, you’re immune to fear.
    2. 5th-Level: Enhance Ability is just an all-around great spell, useful both in and out of combat, though your most likely use case in combat is for Strength, and you can use Peerless Athlete for that, so save Enhance Ability for outside of combat when you need things like Advantage on Charisma checks in social situations. Magic Weapon is great if you don’t have a permanent magic weapon, but it requires Concentration so generally you’ll want to cast something else unless you absolutely need this.
    3. 9th-Level: Two fantastic buffs, but both require Concentration. That said, self-casting haste and freely sharing it with a Find (Greater) Steed as per the steed spell allows a mount to both Dash and Disengage on every round, which quadruples its total movement and ignores opportunity attacks while still giving the Glory Paladin an extra attack. Protection From Energy is a staple defensive buff at every level.
    4. 13th-Level: We’re unlikely to have the Charisma to make Compulsion reliable, and the effect is not that useful. Compelling targets to run away in a direction and using our Concentration just makes fights take longer than they need to. Freedom of Movement is great, but only situationally useful. Fortunately, it doesn’t require Concentration, and you can share it with your steed.
    5. 17th-Level: A divination which everyone else has been casting for 8 levels. Flame Strike is helpful for handling crowds, but the damage is unremarkable at this level and your save DC is likely poor compared to a full spellcaster.
  2. Channel Divinity:
    • Peerless Athlete: Strength (Athletics) includes checks to Grapple and to Shove, both of which are staple tactical options for front-line melee classes like the Paladin. The fact that you can activate this as a Bonus Action makes it easy to use this without cutting into your attacks, and the 10-minute duration can last through several encounters if you move quickly. Using the classic Grapple+Shove combo is an easy way to provide Advantage for yourself your other melee allies, and so Peerless Athlete can be a great way to make that combo easier.
    • Inspiring Smite: A decent number of temporary hit points, and while usually you’ll horde them for yourself, the ability to share them with allies offers a fantastic tactical option. Keep in mind that you need to use Divine Smite before you can activate this, so be sure to keep a spell slot ready so that you can smite something and trigger Inspiring Smite.
  3. Aura of Alacrity: 10 ft. of extra speed is nice for the paladin and their mount even if it’s unreliable for allies in the middle of combat. Other players will likely be able to move further with good positioning than by working to stay within the aura’s tiny radius, but because the aura takes effect at the beginning of an ally’s turn it’s our job to get the aura in position to push our team that extra 10 feet across the finish line.
  4. Glorious Defense: This is a fantastic defensive ability, combining the AC bonus of the spell Shield with a free counterattack. Be sure to grab a ranged weapon or a weapon with Reach to enjoy the effect to its fullest.
  5. Aura of Alacrity (improvement): The effect doesn’t improve, but the radius does. The tiny radius is the biggest problem with positioning the aura, but 10 feet gives us plenty of wiggle room to try to get more than one ally into the aura before we end our turn.
  6. Living Legend: The effects are all spectacular and broadly useful. Don’t be tempted to use this for Charisma checks in social situations; you can cast Enhance Ability for that.

Oath of Glory Ability Scores

Paladins want three stats, Strength, Constitution, and Charisma, and Glory doesn’t deviate in that department.

Str: We need this to wear our heavy armor and hit with melee attacks to deliver Divine Smites.

Dex: A common save that we might have to deal with.

Con: This is our hit points, and our Concentration saves. We need those.

Int: I miss when Intelligence had a generic use for all classes.

Wis: Similar to Dexterity, this is the other common save but we’re proficient in it to start.

Cha: Our spell DCs and also Aura of Protection.

Point BuyStandard Array
Str1515
Dex812
Con1513
Int88
Wis810
Cha1514

Oath of Glory Races

For anything not mentioned here also check with the Paladin Races Breakdown.

  • CentaurMMoM: Wanna go really fast? Well Glory Centaurs get up to 50 feet when they have Aura of Alacrity.
  • Custom LineageTCoE: Because our Oath grants lots of Concentration spells, being able to take Resilient Constitution at first level gives us a great leg up to having good Concentration saves.
  • LoxodonGGtR: Peerless Athlete is just asking us to try grappling, and Loxodon can grapple with their trunk.
  • Variant HumanPHB: For the same reason as Custom Lineage above, being able to get a Constitution proficiency helps with those Constitution saves.
  • Flying/Climbing/Swimming Races: Aura of Alacrity only increases Walking Speed. For (especially older) races with set speeds on alternate movement types, it doesn’t mean they’re bad options, it just means they won’t go faster. Everything in the MMoM, however, gets these based on walking speed which means they will increase.

Oath of Glory Fighting Styles

  • Blind Fighting: Can’t go wrong with 10 feet blindsight.
  • Defense: You really can’t go wrong with +1 to AC.
  • Dueling: Usually, one-handed weapons fall behind two-handers, but Peerless Athlete is tailor made for a grappler build. Grab a spear and Polearm Master to add this +2 to the bonus bonk.
  • Unarmed Fighting: Rules as Written, Paladins cannot choose this, but I think it would be very appropriate for the Oath of Glory to wrestle ferocious legendary beasts bare-handed, just like Hercules. It doesn’t break anything so maybe your DM will allow this as an exception.

Oath of Glory Feats

As always, be sure to check the Paladin Handbook as well.

  • Metamagic AdeptTCoE: We have a limited number of spell slots so taking this and then choosing both Extended and Twinned will give us just that little extra we might need.
  • Polearm MasterPHB: With a spear in one hand and nothing in the other, we can grapple, stab with the spear and still use the bonus bonk.
  • ResilientPHB: Our Oath spells are overloaded with Concentration options so we’ll need this more than other Paladins.
  • Skill ExpertTCoE: Expertise in Athletics on top of Advantage from our Channel Divinity might be overkill, but it’s still a great plan.

Oath of Glory Weapons

  • Spear: Combined with Polearm Master, this is the go-to for grapple-bonking. If you’re not going for Polearm master, your weapon options are no different from other paladins.

Oath of Glory Armor

Nothing really different from a standard Paladin.

Example Oath of Glory Build – Athasian Gladiators

“Hercules” is just a stage name, and all that stuff about divine parents is equally made up for the fans.

-Anonymous Athasian Gladiator

I don’t know if this is becoming a trend in my handbooks or if being good for grappling is just common to a lot of subclasses. At least they all go about it differently.

This build is about being a flexible gladiator, equally capable in either hand to hand combat on foot, mounted skirmishing, or even charioteering.

Abilities

We’re going to be prioritizing Strength and Charisma with our ASIs while Constitution will remain at 16 our entire career. This means that Dexterity, Intelligence, and Wisdom are all dumped. We’re using Custom Lineage so we put our +2 into Strength. Our first level feat is hybrid, Resilient (Constitution), and will be reflected in the following chart.

Point BuyRacial Adjustment
Str1517
Dex88
Con1516
Int88
Wis88
Cha1515

Race

We’re going Custom Lineage because we want that bonus feat to have Constitution save proficiency and we’d rather have Darkvision than an extra skill. Variant Human would also work and even allow us to have 16s across the board, giving Charisma an early bump (valuable if you’re the party’s Face), but since the main thing we need Charisma for is at sixth level we are just going to split our fourth level ASI between Strength and Charisma making that a wash.

Background

We’re taking the Athlete background. It works better for us than the Gladiator Background because we’d rather have Land Vehicle proficiency than Disguise Kit. As for skills, we’ll be taking Athletics from Paladin which allows us to switch out the Athletics from Athlete for Animal Handling. Additionally, Athlete gives us Acrobatics which we can make some use of even with an 8 in Dexterity thanks to Peerless Athlete.

Skills and Tools

From Paladin, we’re taking Athletics and Intimidation. From Athlete we’re taking Acrobatics, Animal Handling and Vehicles (Land). Together this rounds us out as an Arena Gladiator who knows how to take care of the animals as well as the chariots.

Feats

We’ll need too many ASIs to really gather lots of feats.

First Level: Custom lineage allows us a feat and we’re taking Resilient Constitution to shore up that Concentration save and put our Constitution to 16.

Fourth Level: We’ll take an ASI here for +1 Strength and +1 Charisma, putting them to 18 and 16 respectively. If we had chosen Variant Human instead of CLineage, we could choose to instead take Polearm Master here instead of Eighth level since the important part of this ASI is getting the Charisma to 16 for Aura of Protection. Polearm Master’s bonus action bonk adds more DPR than a +1 to our Strength modifier.

Eighth Level: Polearm Master is taken at this level. If you took the alternative Variant Human build, this is just +2 Strength for 18 Strength.

Our scores here should be STR 18 CON 16 CHA 16 and we should have Polearm Master.

Twelfth Level: Another ASI for +2 Strength to cap it at 20.

Sixteenth Level: ASI for +2 Charisma to 18.

Nineteenth Level: ASI for +2 Charisma capping at 20.

Levels

LevelsFeats and FeaturesNotes and Tactics
1Divine Sense
Lay on Hands
Martial Weapons
Heavy Armor

Skills
-Acrobatics
-Animal handling
-Athletics
-Intimidation

Feat: Resilient (+1 Constitution)
We can walk out with Chainmail, a Warhammer or Longsword, a Shield, and a Spear.

We can either sword and board or leave our shield stowed so we have a free hand to grab people.

Our AC will be 16 or 18 with the Shield.
21st-Level Spells

Divine Smite

Fighting Style
-Dueling
We have access to our first level of spells now as well as the power to spend spell slots to Smite. Because we’re a prepared Divine caster and can change our spells on a daily basis, refer to the Paladin Spell List Breakdown for general spells in addition to the list above for our Oath spells.

We choose Dueling as our fighting style so we can stab people harder while grappling.

We could also go with Unarmed, provided your DM is ok with you taking that as a Paladin. It would add a little extra damage while grappling a target, but we would still want to stab the target repeatedly with a spear because Divine Smite and Polearm Master don’t work with fists.
3Divine Health

Sacred Oath
-Oath of Glory

Channel Divinity
-Peerless Athlete
-Inspiring Smite
Being Immune to Disease is nice.

We take our Oath of Glory, which gives us access to a list of spells and two Channel Divinity powers.

Peerless Athlete gives us Advantage on skills and a few other benefits that would make us a Peerless Athlete.

Inspiring Smite hands out some Temporary Hit Points right after we use Divine Smite. Using this does take our bonus action, but the nice thing is that we can divide the pool of temp HP how we want to all the targets.

Using the whole thing on yourself is certainly an option, but if you think an ally might be in for a bit of hurt don’t hesitate to discourage your foes by dropping the whole pile on your ally.
4ASI
-Strength +1 (17=>18)
-Charisma +1 (15=>16)
We grab an ASI to push up Strength and Charisma to increase both bonuses by 1.

This is important as Aura of Protection will be active soon and we want that 16 Charisma for the +3 to all Saves.
5Extra Attack
2nd-Level Spells
Now, if we grab someone, we can stab them in the same turn. Or shove them to the ground.

We also have 2nd-level spells now so we should cast Find Steed at some point to get a mount.
6Aura of ProtectionOur Charisma modifier is added to all saves now. This is great because we rely on some nice Concentration spells that we don’t want to break, and between this and Resilient (Constitution) we have a +9 modifier to Constitution saves at this level.
7Aura of AlacrityOur walking speed increases. This is very specific: walking. Not swimming or climbing or flying. This means that while this will apply to any mount we ride and any animal driven chariot, later flying mounts from Find Greater Steed will not have their flying speed increased. Creatures which gain a flying speed equal to their walking speed (all of the flying races in Monsters of the Multiverse) will still have their flying speeds increased as a result.
8Feat: Polearm MasterNow we can get an extra swing in on a bonus action if we’re using a spear. More importantly we can do things like shove or grab and stab then bonus action to stab again. The off-hand bonk also applies the +2 damage from Dueling if we’re using a one-handed weapon like a spear.
93rd-Level SpellsIt’s time to self-cast Haste so that it can automatically be shared on our Find Steed mount, doubling the steed’s movement speed and granting it a second action.

Now the steed can use both Dash and Disengage every turn, which combined with the double speed of haste means the steed moves at four times speed and never provokes opportunity attacks. Or if you don’t care, your mount can move 6 times its speed.

Oh and I guess we can attack an extra time.
10Aura of CourageYou, your horse, and all the friends within 10 feet of you are immune to fear. Because of your glorious golden abs.
11Improved Divine SmiteMore damage on every attack. Both of our attacks with Extra Attack, our Bonus bonk, and if we’re Hasted one more swing.
12ASI: +2 Strength (18=>20)Be glory, do muscles.
134th-Level SpellsTime to Find Greater Steed. It’s like Find Steed, but with wings (or bigger teeth, but you definitely want wings).

But hold your pegasi before you get the idea to grab someone and fly off into the sky like my fellow authors did. By the rules, if we start a grapple while mounted, the grapple will break if the mount’s movement moves us.

But maybe talk to your DM about this. I suggest that a Strength (Handle Animal) check might allow you to drag someone along while riding.

No, you didn’t read that wrong, we’re making this check about how well you can stay in the saddle with just your legs while your hands are busy grappling. Failure would just dismount you without moving or breaking the grapple.
14Cleansing TouchJust flex away the bad magic.
15Glorious DefenseParry and Riposte. Look at all these attacks.

It’s kinda like casting Shield, but doesn’t last the whole round.
16ASI: +2 Charisma (16=>18)Improve our Aura of Protection, our Spell DCs, and our Glorious Defense.

Like some kind of God Stat.
175th-Level SpellsSome nice options here. If we can’t be mounted, Holy Weapon is better DPR than having the extra attack from Haste.
18Aura ImprovementsOur Auras all increase in size.
19ASI: +2 Charisma (18=>20)Capping this out to 20 caps our Save DCs, adds +5 to all allied saves within 30 feet, and makes Glorious Defense +5 to AC.
20Living LegendKinda ridiculous. For a minute we get Advantage to Charisma checks, reroll failed saves as a reaction, and once on each of our turns we just turn a miss into a hit because we’re too cool to miss.