Back in the day, a D&D Paladin really didn't give players a whole lot of flexibility when it came to playstyle. Basically, your character was a walking boy scout in plate armor, and Strength was king when it came to your abilities. With Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition though, players have more options when it comes to roleplay. Paladins are no longer pigeonholed into a Lawful Good alignment, and Dexterity (as opposed to Strength) can now be the preferred ability on your character sheet.
Strength Or Dexterity?
Despite all the improvements 5e brings to the game, Paladins are still tank-like fighters that depend on weapon-based attacks. As such, either Strength or Dexterity is the most important ability you need. Both Strength and Dexterity Paladins are completely viable in D&D though, so which one should you go with? Here's a quick breakdown of the advantages of each:
Strength Paladin Advantages:
- Better Armor Class (can wear heavy plate)
- Optimal damage dealer (heavy weapons do more damage than a DEX Paladin's finesse weapons)
Dexterity Paladin Advantages:
- Higher Initiative
- Cheaper armor
- Saving Throws that are tested more (usually more Dexterity Saving Throws as opposed to Strength in real game situations).
- Ability to play stealthy
- Better ranged weapon options
In the end, the advantages of one really don't outweigh the other, so it really comes down to personal preference. If you imagine your Paladin being a prototypical sword-and-board heavy hitter (or two-handed weapon damage dealer), you'll want to go with Strength. On the other hand, if you'd like the ability to go into stealth mode, and imagine your Paladin being quick, agile, and proficient with finesse weapons you'll want to go with Dexterity.
Is it Sir Galahad of King Arthur's Court or d'Artagnan of the Three Musketeers? The choice is yours, and thankfully D&D 5e gives us the ability to choose! The most important thing is that you roleplay the character you want to play, and have fun.
Do you play a Paladin in D&D 5e? If so, do you play Strength or Dexterity? Share your thoughts and opinions with your fellow gamers in the comment section below. And if you're looking for Paladin miniatures to represent your character on the game table, be sure to browse our store here for a great selection.
Until next time fellow travelers! Like all good Paladins remember to be awesome, and live each and every day to its fullest.