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Oath of the Chain

The Oath of the Chain binds a paladin to the letter of the law and cowing those who would seek to oppose order. They are implacable in pursuit of lawbreakers and their mere presence causes dread in those who would oppose them. Sometimes called justicars, these paladins are the bane of all who would deign to break the law. They are dour, moralistic and merciless. They tend to wear dark and intimidating clothing and armor and bear an obvious badge of office.

Tenets of Devotion

Though the exact words and strictures of the Oath of the Chain may vary, paladins of this oath share these tenets.

  • First the Law: You will follow laws to the letter.
  • Defender of Order: You will not abide breaking of the law.
  • Merciless: Mercy is for the law-abiding.
  • Know no Weakness: You will be indefatigable in your pursuit of the criminal.

Oath Spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed.

Channel Divinity

When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.

  • Dread Aspect. You can use your channel divinity to exude an aura of dread. As an action, you force each creature of your choice that you can see within 30 feet of you to make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, that creature is demoralized for 1 minute. The demoralized creature can repeat this saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
  • Demoralizing Blow. As a reaction, you may use your channel divinity to impose the demoralized condition on a creature you have successfully hit with a melee attack for 1 minute. The struck creature is not allowed a saving throw to oppose the condition though they may attempt a saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Aura of Dread

At 7th level, you constantly emanate a feeling that opposition to you is futile while you’re not incapacitated. The aura extends 10 feet from you in every direction, but not through total cover.

If a creature that has the demoralized condition enters or begins their turn in the area must make a Wisdom save or be stunned while in the radius of your aura. The save DC is equal to your channel divinity save DC. The creature can repeat this saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Crush the Defiant

At 15th level, when a creature strikes you in melee, you scoff at their audacity. You may use your reaction to deal psychic damage equal to your Charisma modifier and impose the demoralized condition upon them. If the attacker is already demoralized, the psychic damage is doubled.

Implacable Justicar

At 20th level, you are an unstoppable force of law.

You can use your action to gain the following benefits for 1 minute.

  • You have resistance to all damage.
  • When at 0 hit points, you may continue to act as if you were conscious. You must still make death saves while in this state and if you do a move and attack action in your turn, you get disadvantage on that turn’s death save.
  • You may mark a creature as a bonus action.

While under the effect of implacable justicar, you know the exact location of your mark as long as they are within 100 feet.

This effect ends early if you are incapacitated or die. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest or expend a 5th level spell slot to recharge it.

Oath of the Chain Spells
Paladin Level Spells
3rd Command, crush morale
5th Hold person, staggering melancholy
9th Crushing despair, fear
13th Despairing darkness, dominate beast
17th Hold monster, hopeless shadow
Section 15: Copyright Notice

GoodHope - Crushing Despair (5E), © 2022, Orphaned Bookworm Productions, LLC, Author: Connor Bates.

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