In D&D, in-combat healing is often a tricky proposition, burning valuable actions on the part of a spellcaster. This can sometimes lead to a player feeling like they are nothing but a healing dispensary for the rest of the party. This can be fine for some people, but other players want to combine their healing with dishing out punishment to the enemy. For inspiration, we can look at modern video games that were themselves inspired by D&D. In a lot of video games, particularly MMORPGs, the healing role is not restricted to a single class, and sometimes melee fighters get to jump in on the fun of sustaining the group through a long fight.
In that spirit, we present a new paladin oath, the Hospitaller. It is designed to fill a healing and support role while still being a capable combatant. The tenets of the oath are loosely based on the historical order of knights with the same name, who escorted pilgrims during the crusades, as well as the general idea of a wandering knight who heals and protects other travellers. Hospitallers are compassionate, diplomatic, and less eager for combat than other paladins, but are nonetheless fearsome when they take up arms in the defense of others.
Oath of the Hospitaller
Tenants of the Hospitaller
Defend the Defenseless: Help those who are unable to help themselves. Protect the poor, the elderly, and children.
Heal the Body: Tend to the sick and injured whenever the opportunity presents itself. Aid communities in curing plagues and famine.
Mend the Spirit: Council those suffering from grief or anger. Drive out possessing fiends and corruption of the soul.
Make Safe the Roads: Travel frequently to bring your skills to new lands, and escort fellow pilgrims and travelers so they may complete their own journeys in safety.
Oath of the Hospitaller Spells
3rd: Longstrider, Sanctuary
5th: Calm Emotions, Warding Bond
9th: Beacon of Hope, Leomund’s Tiny Hut
13th: Death Ward, Freedom of Movement
17th: Greater Restoration, Mass Cure Wounds
When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following channel divinity options.
Crusader’s Strikes: As an action, you can imbue your strikes with positive energy that heals you and your allies, using your Channel Divinity. For one minute, your melee attacks are considered to be magical, and whenever you hit an enemy with a melee attack, you or an ally you can perceive regains hit points equal to 1d4+your Charisma modifier. At 9th level, this improves to 1d6+your Charisma modifier. At 15th level, this improves to 1d8+your Charisma modifier.
Shelter the Weak: As an action, you can swear a magical vow to protect an injured ally, using your Channel Divinity. Choose a creature other than yourself that has half or fewer of its maximum hit point total remaining. For one minute, any hostile creature within 60 feet that can see or hear you has disadvantage on all attack rolls against that target, and the target has advantage on all saving throws against spells and abilities originating from those creatures. This effect ends if the target is restored to full hit points or if you can no longer perceive any creatures that are hostile to the target.
Aura of Endurance
Starting at 7th level, you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you gain resistance to poison and necrotic damage, and treat any effects of exhaustion as 1 lower (a 7th level still causes death). At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.
Beginning at 15th level, if an ally you can perceive falls to 0 hit points or below, you can use your Divine Smite class feature against the creature who last caused damage to that ally without expending a spell slot on your next turn. The Smite does extra damage as if you had expended a Paladin spell of the highest level you can cast. If you hit that creature with a Divine Smite attack, the ally immediately stabilizes and regain hit points equal to the amount rolled on your Divine Smite damage dice (including the extra die from Improved Divine Smite). Once you use this ability, you may not use it again until you finish a short rest.
Improved Lay on Hands
At 15th level, you add 25 points to your Lay on Hands pool, and add an additional 5 points for every paladin level you gain from now on. You can expend 10 points from your pool of healing to remove one level of exhaustion from the target in addition to the other uses of the ability.
At 20th level, you can emanate an aura that protects your allies from harm and spurs them on to victory. When you use your action to activate this feature, for 1 minute, a soft glow emanates from you, shedding bright light from you in a 10-foot radius and dim light for 20 feet beyond that. While the light shines, you gain the following benefits:
You and allies within 30 feet of you cannot be blinded, charmed, deafened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, or stunned. Any of these conditions on you or your allies immediately end when you activate the ability.
You and allies within 30 feet of you gain 10 temporary hit points at the start of each of your turns.
Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.