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The paladin is a character class in Dungeons & Dragons.


Notable paladins

For a complete list, see Category:Paladins.

Publication history

Original D&D

The paladin was introduced in Greyhawk (Supplement 1) (1975) as a fighting-man sub-class.

AD&D 1st edition

Paladins appear as a fighter sub-class in the Players Handbook (1e) (1978).

In Unearthed Arcana (1e) (1985), paladins became a sub-class of cavalier.

AD&D 2nd edition

The paladin appears in the AD&D 2nd edition Player's Handbook (2e) (1989).

The PHBR12 The Complete Paladin's Handbook (1994) added new class options for the paladin.

D&D 3rd edition

Paladins are one of 11 character classes introduced in the Player's Handbook (3.0) (2000), and returning in the Player's Handbook (3.5) (2003).

Unearthed Arcana (3e) (2004) presented three paladin variants: the paladin of freedom, the paladin of slaughter, and the paladin of tyranny. Complete Warrior (2003) provided a variant paladin without spellcasting abilities.

D&D 4th edition

The paladin appears in the Player's Handbook (4e) (2008).

They returned in Player's Essentials: Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms{{UnknownBook}} with the Cavalier build.

D&D 5th edition

The paladin is one of 12 classes appearing in the Player's Handbook (5e) (2014).

At level 3, paladins select a sacred oath which customizes the class further. The sacred oaths detailed in the Player's Handbook are the Oath of Devotion, the Oath of the Ancients, and the Oath of Vengeance. The Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide (2015) adds another oath, the Oath of the Crown, while Xanathar's Guide to Everything (2017) adds two more, the Oath of Conquest and the Oath of Redemption.

Creative origins

The paladin was inspired by characters such as Holger Carlson from Poul Anderson's novel Three Hearts and Three Lions.