Where would any King or Queen be without their loyal knights? As an Oath of the Crown Paladin, that means you.
You have sworn yourself to protect your sovereign, your nation, and the laws that hold it all together.
No matter what barbarians assault your city’s walls or what chaos may take hold within them, the defense of civilized society begins with you.
Are you prepared to swear your Sacred Oath and be a defender of your people?
This is the full guide to the Oath of the Crown Paladin in D&D 5e!
What is the Oath of The Crown Paladin in D&D 5e?
The Oath of the Crown is tucked away in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide as a subclass option for Paladins.
Paladins who swear this Sacred Oath are an elite few noble knights dedicated to the protection of their people. They are sentinels, guardians, and exemplars in service to King/Queen and country.
These Paladins are commonly members of specific orders of knights. Marked apart from the rank-and-file guards of the city, Oath of the Crown Paladins are the elite guardians.
Tenets of the Oath of The Crown
For your honorable service, you have been invited to an elite order of knights. Tasked with upholding the law and protecting all that it represents, you have sworn the Sacred Oath of the Crown.
Law: The law is paramount. It is the mortar that holds the stones of civilizations together and it must be respected.
Loyalty: Your word is your bond. Without loyalty, oaths and laws are meaningless.
Courage: You must be willing to do what needs to be done for the sake of order, even in the face of overwhelming odds. If you don’t act, then who will?
Responsibility: You must deal with the consequences of your actions, and you are responsible for fulfilling your duties and obligations.
Role in the Party
The Oath of the Crown is a very defense-focused subclass available to Paladins.
These Paladins can make strong supporting tanks for their party thanks to their features and spell list. Whether zoning enemies to control the battlefield, taking damage instead of their allies, or rallying their forces back from the jaws of defeat, Oath of the Crown Paladins serve as their party’s shield.
Whether from their features or character background, Oath of the Crown Paladins tend to also make for great shot-callers for a party. Many of their features work best if the party has clear tactics and positioning.
Oath of The Crown Paladin Abilities
So, let’s look over the Oath of the Crown Paladin’s features.
Most of these features really carve out your role as a type of support tank for the party.
Perhaps more than most other subclasses, you will want to really consider the mechanics of each of these features.
Every battle is different and each of these features will be more or less effective depending on your positioning and party formation.
Oath of The Crown Spells
Your Sacred Oath grants you bonus spells meant to help you build on your subclass’s theme.
At each of the levels that you see on the table, you gain bonus spells. These spells are always prepared and don’t count against the number of spells you can prepare each day.
If a spell isn’t from the Paladin spell list, it still counts as a Paladin spell for you.
Charisma is your spellcasting modifier and any spells requiring enemies to make saving throws will be against your Spell Save DC.
|Paladin Level||Oath Spells|
|3||Command, Compelled Duel|
|5||Warding Bond, Zone of Truth|
|9||Aura of Vitality, Spirit Guardians|
|13||Banishment, Guardian of Faith|
|17||Circle of Power, Geas|
Thoughts on the Oath of the Crown Spell List
Compelled Duel is an incredibly powerful spell for you. You will be using this A LOT as an Oath of the Crown Paladin. Command can be useful as well, but it’s a bit more situational.
If you’re interrogating someone, Zone of Truth can be useful but hopefully you’ve got a full spellcaster who can cast it. Warding Bond plays similarly to your level 7 feature by letting you reduce the damage an ally takes by taking some of it on yourself.
Aura of Vitality offers some good healing, but you’ll be taking a lot of damage in combat which makes it risky because of its concentration requirement. Plus, it’s going to eat all of your bonus actions. If you can’t take a rest and spend some hit dice, this is best left for out of combat.
Spirit Guardians is always amazing by any measure.
If you’re focusing on your Charisma, Banishment can be solid (especially against beings from other planes.) Guardian of Faith is very situational and usually won’t be worth the spell slot.
If you’re up against a spellcaster, Circle of Power is a brilliant buff that plays well with your Aura of Protection. Geas is largely forgettable at this point except for very specific situations and even then it’s dicey.
All in all, this is a decent spell list. The gems (like Compelled Duel and Spirit Guardians) more than make up for the less impressive ones.
Related: The Best Paladin Spells By Level in D&D 5e!
Channel Divinity (Level 3)
You gain two options for how to use your Channel Divinity. This can be used once per short or long rest.
Champion Challenge: As a bonus action, each creature of your choice that you can see within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, a creature can’t willingly move more than 30 feet away from you.
This effect ends on the creature if you are incapacitated or die or if the creature is more than 30 feet away from you.
This is a key feature of the Oath of the Crown Paladin. You will want to get very good at your positioning and general party tactics.
Champion Challenge can be used to protect your allies by preventing enemies from going near them. They’ll be sitting ducks while your party destroys them with ranged attacks and spells.
It can also be handy for preventing enemies from running away or regrouping.
Funny enough, you’ll notice that there’s no maximum duration to this feature. If you just really want to ruin some creature’s day, you could potentially keep them under this effect forever as long as you don’t move more than 30 feet away from them.
Turn the Tide: As a bonus action, each creature of your choice that can hear you within 30 feet of you regains hit points equal to 1d6 + your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1) if it has no more than half of its hit points.
Especially if you have multiple party members that have been dropped to 0 hit points, this can be a powerful feature that does exactly what the name says! (Remember: unconscious does not mean that a creature has been deafened.)
Hopefully, you won’t need this, but it’s great for those do-or-die moments!
Divine Allegiance (Level 7)
As an Oath of the Crown Paladin, you are your party’s noble shield. When armor and positioning fail, your Divine Allegiance allows you to take others’ pain on yourself instead.
When a creature within 5 feet of you takes damage, you can use your reaction to magically substitute your own health for that of the target creature, causing that creature not to take the damage. Instead, you take the damage.
This damage to you can’t be reduced or prevented in any way.
This is another key feature to the Oath of the Crown Paladin. Keeping your friends close is more than just sound advice now!
Keep in mind that this uses your reaction which means you can only do this once per round. It’s best used if an enemy lands a single very strong hit on one of your squishier allies, but even eating one of the attacks from an enemy’s multiattack can keep your ally in the fight.
A critical hit from an enemy can potentially one-shot a Wizard or Sorcerer. You’ve got more hit points and armor so you should be fine once you get some healing!
Additionally, this works no matter what the damage source is as long as you’re within 5 feet of the ally.
Used well, this can actually be an excellent feature. You’re likely much tougher than most of your party, so this can be good for takin the pressure off of your squishier teammates.
The most awkward thing about it really is that the Oath of Redemption Paladin basically took this same feature but made it better.
Unyielding Spirit (Level 15)
Few conditions spell disaster like being paralyzed or stunned. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about that so much anymore!
You have advantage on saving throws to avoid becoming paralyzed or stunned.
Advantage on saves to resist paralyzing or stunning effects is great. Mixing this with your Aura of Protection from the Paladin class (which gives you a bonus on saves) means it’s very unlikely that you’ll fail one of these saving throws.
The only downside here is that those effects tend to be rare so don’t forget you have this! Rare as these effects might be, they’re virtually a death sentence for those who fail to make their saves!
Exalted Champion (Level 20)
Rallying those around you who are committed to your cause, the Oath of the Crown Paladin stands on the battlefield as an Exalted Champion.
Once per long rest, you can use your action to gain several benefits for 1 hour.
You have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons.
Allies within 30 feet of you have advantage on death saving throws.
You and allies within 30 feet of you have advantage on Wisdom saving throws.
This is a solid spread of bonuses but the real kicker is the 1-hour duration. You’ll be able to get a very good amount of use from this feature across several combats in a typical adventuring day.
How useful this feature is really comes down to what kind of campaign you’re in. If magic weapons aren’t especially common even at this level, you’ll be resisting a ton of damage.
Hopefully, your party isn’t getting knocked unconscious with any regularity, but having advantage on death saving throws is obviously great when characters’ lives depend on a roll of the dice.
Last but not least, granting advantage to your party’s Wisdom saves is great. Especially when it comes to resisting enchantment spells, this isn’t a small bonus!
It’s a bit of a toss-up between whether the Oath of the Crown or Oath of Devotion is the best example of the “noble knight” type character.
Fitting with the name, Oath of the Crown Paladins have sworn themselves in service to a ruler, the law of the land, and the ideals of their nation. They uphold the law and all that it represents.
It’s almost guaranteed that your character has military experience. Through honor, commitment, and service to king and country, they have found themselves among a distinguished few.
In an adventuring party, these Paladins heavily lean towards the type of character that is “by the book” in most things they do. They value the law and firmly believe that there are right and wrong ways to do things.
Parties that routinely break laws and cause trouble will probably experience some friction with an Oath of the Crown Paladin. You don’t necessarily have to be preachy or insufferable, but the law is also the law.
An adventure that prompts an Oath of the Crown Paladin is one with plenty of opportunities for them to answer the call of duty. If it is by order of or in service to their sovereign and nation, the Oath of the Crown Paladin is proud to fulfill their duty.
Is the Oath of The Crown Paladin Good?
The Oath of the Crown Paladin is good as a subclass but it relies on a playstyle that is different than most Paladins.
Most Paladins will focus on their Strength (or Dexterity if they’re doing a Dex build), but Oath of the Crown Paladins rely on enemies failing their saving throws to function well.
It’s better to focus on your Charisma score above all else as an Oath of the Crown Paladin so that your Champion Challenge and spells like Compelled Duel and Spirit Guardians will be more effective. Follow that up with Strength (or Dexterity if that’s the build you’re going for) then Constitution.
(Grabbing the Tough feat for the extra hit points is a great idea as well for Divine Allegiance.)
While these characters are still capable of doing some impressive burst damage with Divine Smite, they’re at their best when they can use their positioning to take control of the battlefield.
You will want to isolate key threats with Champion Challenge or Compelled Duel while still sticking close enough to your allies to provide passive support with Divine Allegiance and Exalted Champion.
Taking the Blessed Warrior fighting style from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything is highly recommended for the Oath of the Crown Paladin. The cantrips you gain from the Cleric’s spell list with this will be very useful!
Related: Ranking Every Paladin Subclass in 5e!
Conclusion – Oath of The Crown Paladin in D&D 5e
Well, that concludes the guide to the Oath of the Crown Paladin in D&D 5e. I hope you’ve found this article helpful!
I think this is an interesting subclass for Paladins that I’m surprised hasn’t been republished like others from the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide.
Despite being that classic idea of what a defender knight is, I think there’s still a lot of potential with this subclass. Depending on your party and group’s playstyle, the defensive features offered by the Oath of the Crown can do a lot to bolster a party!
It seems like opinions on the Oath of the Crown tend to be pretty split. Some love it and others hate it.
What do you think? Let’s chat in the comments!
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