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I have created a homebrew Paladin subclass, the Oath of Health, based off of the ideas of a Paladin completely devoted to healing and not combat. This was somewhat inspired by the brave doctors and nurses risking their lives against Covid-19 daily to help others. Theses Paladins are sworn to purge disease from the land. My intent is for this to be a party's devoted healer.

Tenets of Health

Cure: Help those who are weak from disease.

Destroy: Work to prevent diseases

Oath Spells

You gain Oath spells at the paladin levels listed:

3rd: Cure Wounds, Detect Poison and Disease

5th: Protection From Poison, Lesser Restoration

9th: Remove Curse, Revivify

13th: Aura of Life, Aura of Purity

17th: Greater Restoration, Raise Dead

Idea: Makes them more healing oriented. Allows them to do a lot of very useful utility spells, not to mention raise the dead and the two restoration spells.

Channel Divinity

When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two channel divinity options:

Life Transfer: You can use your channel divinity to transfer life from one person to another. As an action, you can make a melee weapon attack against a creature within 5 feet of you. If the creature is undead, you have advantage on the attack roll. If the attack hits, deal additional radiant damage equal to your paladin level + your charisma modifier, and one creature of your choice within 30 feet of you regains hit points equal to the damage dealt.

Idea: A really powerful life transference. It can heal up to 25 HP, which can get a fighter back on their feet after nearly dying. This could be really bad, as a missed attack still depletes channel divinity and wastes their action, though the other channel divinity picks of the slack.

Restore Health: You can use your channel divinity to cause allies to regain health. As an action, you can cause up to 5 creatures within 30 feet of you (including you) that you can see to each regain hit points equal to half your paladin level.

Idea: Another healing power. With this you can turn the tide of a battle or just energize the party. This should be the more powerful of the two channel divinities, but not by much.

Aura of Health

Beginning at 7th level, you and allies within 10 ft. of you have resistance to poison damage and are immune to the poisoned condition. At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 ft. You must be conscious for you and your allies to benefit from this aura.

Idea: A standard 7th level aura, this makes poison really weak. Meant to be used uncommonly, but is potent when used. It may be on the weaker side, as a few races gain this feature already and poison is somewhat uncommon.

Life Stand

Starting at 15th level, when you or an ally within 15 feet of you drops to 0 hit points and is not killed outright, you can choose they drop to 1 hit point instead. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Idea: Took from the Half-Orc's relentless endurance, this can keep a party alive for another round, potentially winning a fight before they long rest. I think this is balanced and may be a little more powerful, as Relentless Rage requires a saving throw and only applies to them.

Health Master

At 20th level, you are the master of Healing magic. As an action, you can take on a special healing form for 1 minute. While that form is active, you have the following benefits:

  • At the start of each of your turns, you and allies within 30 feet regain 5 hit points.

  • You and all allies you can see are immune to poison damage and resistant to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical attacks.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Idea: A 20th level capstone transformation gives the party very powerful features that can render them impossible to kill. This is one I am uncertain about, as I have not been able to playtest it. It could be overpowered or underpowered, depending on the campaign.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Please also include your own analysis of what you think is balanced or needs work and why. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 10 at 19:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Shouldn't Life Transfer say "one creature within 30 feet that you can see"? It's hardly a balance issue, it just seems like how such powers are usually worded in 5e. \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot May 10 at 23:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's fine to close out your account, but please do not try to wipe questions. We keep everything around for archival purposes, just in case it's useful to someone else in the future. If you wipe them, we're going to restore them via the edit history, as is already happening--so you might as well save your time and effort \$\endgroup\$ – guildsbounty May 14 at 16:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, something glitched. I tried to stick something in comments and instead i apparently edited it \$\endgroup\$ – user70687 May 14 at 16:17
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Oath Spells

While you've chosen spells that suit the theme, almost all of them are already on the Paladin spell list; rather than making the Paladin more effective at healing you simply avoided making them better at anything else. Every other Oath has several useful spells that aren't on the standard Paladin spell list. Greater Restoration is a reasonable addition, but having it as the only addition isn't. I recommend keeping Greater Restoration but replacing several of the other Oath Spells with ones not already on the Paladin spell list. Here are some options I think could work, grouped by spell level:

  1. Healing Word, Sanctuary
  2. Prayer of Healing, Calm Emotions
  3. Beacon of Hope, Mass Healing Word
  4. I couldn't find appropriate non-Paladin spells, but Death Ward is worth considering
  5. Mass Cure Wounds

I think having ALL of these as Oath Spells is probably too much, and there are probably other spells that would fit as well, but it's definitely good to pick out more than just Greater Restoration for your cross-class spells.

Channel Divinities

Channel Divinity rarely deals damage or restores health, so these are hard to compare. Life Transfer seems like it would be awkward to use, taking up your whole action on a single attack and just wasting the Channel and your action if you miss it. On the other hand, the bonus damage seems pretty likely to outpace two attacks if you do hit (unless you smite on both), and it's a solid amount of healing on top of that.

Restore Health seems fine on power level, just really uninteresting. That's probably subjective, but "everybody gets 2 HP" as your big level 3 ability seems disappointing.

Aura

This is probably within the range of official classes. It grants immunity to a condition and resistance to a damage type in the normal 10/30 area. Oath of Devotion has:

you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can’t be charmed

Poisoned is a harsher condition than Charmed, by my judgement, but being immune to Charmed also protects from some effects that don't involve the actual condition, such as Suggestion. Considering the other ways a Paladin has to deal with Poisons, I think that Charm immunity is probably a little stronger than Poison immunity.

Oath of the Ancients has:

You and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you have resistance to damage from spells.

I would say that resistance to poison damage is weaker than resistance to damage from spells. I don't know where I would find statistics, but in my experience spellcasters are more common than poison damage, and when they do appear spellcasters are also more dangerous than monsters with poison damage.

Your aura combines features comparable to two other auras, but in each case it's weaker than the official aura. I would say combining two effects that are comparable but weaker is fine; in fact I would expect your whole aura to still be weaker than the Oath of the Ancients aura.

Level 15

This is probably similar in strength to Oath of Glory's Glorious Defense:

When you or another creature you can see within 10 feet of you is hit by an attack roll, you can use your reaction to grant a bonus to the target’s AC against that attack, potentially causing it to miss. The bonus equals your Charisma modifier (minimum of +1). If the attack misses, you can make one weapon attack against the attacker as part of this reaction, provided the attacker is within your weapon’s range.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of once), and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Oath of Glory is less reliable about saving someone since it's just a bonus to AC, plus it does nothing for damage that doesn't come from an attack and has shorter range; however it also involves a counter attack.

Another related feature at this level is Undying Sentinel from Oath of the Ancients:

Starting at 15th level, when you are reduced to 0 hit points and are not killed outright, you can choose to drop to 1 hit point instead. Once you use this ability, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Additionally, you suffer none of the drawbacks of old age, and you can’t be aged magically.

While it has the additional age-related effect, the Relentless Endurance effect seems to be the main focus and your Life Stand seems much stronger. With those two points of comparison, I would suggest following changes to Life Stand:

  • It should only be used on other creatures, so it doesn't tread on Undying Sentinel as much
  • It should probably use a reaction, so there's at least a minor opportunity cost to using the feature

Level 20

A 1 minute transformation is standard, and most of them take an action to start. That said, I think this one is underpowered. 5 HP of healing is pretty small, but since it's on many characters I think it compares about evenly with Oath of the Ancients' 10 HP for just themself. On the other hand, "immune to poison damage and resistant to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical attacks" seems really minor especially when your passive aura already gives resistance to poison, and even in an area it doesn't compare well to Oath of Conquest getting resistance to all damage. Given the flavor, I would recommend something like "All diseases are cured, all poisons are neutralized, and all curses are lifted in the area".

An extra note

The rules of Stack Exchange in general don't have a very good place for partial answers. The only part of this I felt particularly strongly about was the oath spells: having Greater Restoration as the only non-Paladin spell seems like a big mistake to me. Everything else I did my best for, but I don't have a lot of confidence that I'm right about any of it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for your insight. I will edit the subclass to your suggestions \$\endgroup\$ – user70687 May 11 at 15:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Would adding your charisma modifier to Channel Divinity (Restore Health) improve it? \$\endgroup\$ – user70687 May 11 at 15:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user68fd I think a good change might be having it be a larger amount of healing, but "divided as you choose" rather than "everybody gets the same". Something like Paladin level + Cha modifier in that case. It's less healing overall, but could be a larger and more reliable burst of healing than regular spells, while still being decent for AoE heals. It would tread on the Life Transfer a bit more then, but you could switch that to a non-combat option like adding Cha to Medicine checks for a minute so the skill could be used without committing a lot into Wis. \$\endgroup\$ – Kamil Drakari May 11 at 16:13

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