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Paladin's Divine Bond special ability has the following text under the first option:

These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon bonuses to a maximum of +5, or they can be used to add any of the following weapon properties: axiomatic, brilliant energy, defending, disruption, flaming, flaming burst, holy, keen, merciful, and speed.

The flaming weapon special ability has the following text:

Upon command, a flaming weapon is sheathed in fire that deals an extra 1d6 points of fire damage on a successful hit. The fire does not harm the wielder. The effect remains until another command is given.

Flaming burst weapons also act according to the above text. What additional type of action does the Paladin need to spend to activate the flaming or flaming burst weapon special property, or is it included in the Swift action to activate the ability?

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Generally speaking, activating any weapon Special Ability is a Standard Action.

Nothing in the class feature indicates that the Special Ability is activated, so RAW you must then spend Standard Action(s) to activate each Special Ability such as Flaming as per Command Activation.

Every game I've ever played homerules that Paladin Sacred Weapon and similar abilities (ie Magus Arcane Pool, Warpriest Sacred Weapon) come activated.

If this was not the case, these class features (some of which last rounds per level already) are essentially or nearly useless. The action economy related to using the ability would simply make that selection a terrible idea. It makes sense from a game balance perspective and an ability use perspective to hand-wave this particular oversight.

If someone really wants further justification, you can activate Sacred Bond with Flaming one day, turn the Flaming on, and in the future assume that you are activating the "same Flaming" Special Ability.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, both Paladin Sacred Weapon last for minutes per level, not rounds. Warpriest is rounds per level, though. \$\endgroup\$ – YogoZuno Jul 14 at 23:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah I don't have much experience with Paladin's actually picking to Bond their weapon and didn't bother to double-check my assumption. Fixed! \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Jul 15 at 15:36

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