The Oathbreaker Paladin option in the DMG has the following ability

Starting at 7th level, the paladin, as well any fiends and undead within 10 feet of the paladin, gains a bonus to melee weapon damage rolls equal to the paladin's Charisma modifier (minimum of +1). A creature can benefit from this feature from only one paladin at a time. At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

There's nothing in here about only affecting friendly targets. So an Oathbreaker fighting some undead or fiends with the rest of his party will actually make them more powerful from his/her presence?

This is assuming the player has been granted permission to play as an Oathbreaker by his/her DM.

  • \$\begingroup\$ «assuming permission was granted» — note that would also apply to an NPC. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 22:55

1 Answer 1


You are correct.

The aura says that it affects any fiends or undead within the area so it affects any fiends or undead in the area.

If it was only meant to affect friendlies then it would specifically say so.

If the lead developer's commentary is on interest to you:

The Oathbreaker's Aura of Hate makes no mention of the fiends and undead being the paladin's allies. In other words, the aura benefits a fiend or an undead whether or not the creature is friendly toward the paladin. #DnD

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ This is why it was meant to be an NPC archetype, not a Player Character. This particular ability gives insight to that, as it was tailored for an Oathbreaker enemy that's accompanied by fiends or undead, not friendly fiends or undead...tough luck there :/ \$\endgroup\$
    – Airatome
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 21:44
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Jeremy Crawford has also confirmed this, if you want to add it to the answer: twitter.com/jeremyecrawford/status/952721702458335232 \$\endgroup\$
    – Sdjz
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 16:38

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