Though armed and armored, not all paladins seek out battle as the primary means of spreading their faith. For many, the sword and shield are tools of last resort, and a victory on the battlefield is bittersweet at best. Paladins who swear the Oath of Mercy dedicate themselves to using their divine gifts and physical strength to healing the wounded, tending to the sick, and defending those who cannot defend themselves. In many ways, these paladins follow a path much closer to the clerics of many orders, yet they still retain the ability to be a dangerous force in any battle. For the paladins who adhere to an Oath of Mercy, their offensive weapons are to be kept in reserve until there is no other option, and they use their inherent charm to defang arguments before their venom can spill over into physical conflict.
Tenets of Mercy
The tenets of the Oath of Mercy are similar in many ways to the doctrines adhered to by clerics of the Life domain. Paladins who swear an Oath of Mercy dedicate themselves to bringing peace and restoring the health and vitality those who suffer, and the tenets of that Oath guide them along a path of gentility and kindness.
- Seek Peace: Be ever the diplomat and peacemaker. When a conflict threatens to erupt in violence, be at the ready to defuse it with words and overtures. It is not enough to avoid conflict yourself; you must seek out those who would fight and do your best to placate them without violence.
- Give Succor: If you are not able to prevent the outbreak of violence, it is your sacred duty to tend to those who are its victims. You have been gifted with the ability to heal wounds, cure poisons, and lift diseases; such a gift is wasted if it is not used. Tend to the wounded, the weak, and the ill and put them before yourself.
- Protect Those Who Need It: Your strength is more than just a weapon; it is a shield. Interpose yourself between those bent on violence and those who cannot defend themselves. Put yourself in harm’s way to spare another the pain that violence brings.
- Choose Violence Last: Though you should always strive to leave your sword in its sheath, there might come a time when words fail, and you must meet violence with violence. Mercy is not pacifism, and from time to time a rabid dog must be put down for the safety of those around it.
You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed.
|3rd||healing word, sanctuary|
|5th||calm emotions, prayer of healing|
|9th||create food and water, mass healing word|
|13th||death ward, spell|
|17th||mass cure wounds, modify memory|
When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.
- Benevolent Sacrifice: When a creature that you can see that is within 30 feet of you would take damage, you can use your reaction to quickly form a bond between yourself and that creature, using your Channel Divinity. The creature takes no damage, and you take damage of the same amount and type as the creature would have taken.
- Warding Touch: When you use your Lay on Hands feature, you can also bestow upon the one you heal a blessing of true mercy, using your Channel Divinity. That creature gains temporary hit points equal to half of the amount of hit points you healed. These temporary hit points last until the creature finishes a long rest, or until you use this Channel Divinity option again.
Aura of Mercy
Beginning at 7th level, when another creature that is within 10 feet of you regains hit points as the result of a spell of 1st level or higher, that creature regains additional hit points equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum 1).
At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.
Starting at 15th level, you are always under the effects of a detect poison and disease spell, and you do not need to concentrate on it.
Avatar of Mercy
At 20th level, as an action, you become a vessel of pure divine mercy, radiating the gentle peace of your god outward from you. For 1 minute, you gain the following benefits
- Bright light shines from you in a 30-foot radius, and dim light shines 30 feet beyond that.
- All creatures within 60 feet of you have disadvantage on attack rolls and advantage on saving throws.
Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.
The Book of the Righteous, Copyright 2002, 2017, Aaron Loeb