Paladins are one of the most rewarding role-playing classes in Baldur’s Gate 3 because they’re forced to choose an Oath during character creation. Whichever of the three Oaths you choose — Ancients, Devotion, or Vengeance — you’ll be forced to follow its rules and keep in sync with its moral compass unless you want to become an Oathbreaker. An Oathbreaker Paladin isn’t necessarily an evil one, but you’ll lose access to whatever actions your chosen Oath provided you and adopt Oathbreaker as your new subclass. Here’s everything you need to know about Paladin Oaths in Baldur’s Gate 3.
All Paladin Subclasses in Baldur’s Gate 3 Explained
Each of the three base Paladin Oaths has a unique set of ideals that you must follow if you wish to maintain them. There’s a little bit of wiggle room with some of them, but there are some times when you’ll have to do something you wouldn’t otherwise want to in order to maintain your Oath.
If you maintain your Oath, you’ll be able to channel Oath Charges to use certain class-specific actions. You’ll also be able to cast Lay on Hands and Divine Sense, the former of which heals allies and the latter grants Advantage against certain types of foes.
Oath of the Ancients
The official description of the Oath of the Ancients reads “You fight on the side of light in the cosmic struggle against darkness to preserve the sanctity of life and the beauty of nature.” This Oath requires you to take the moral high ground in every situation, basically following the Good alignment from tabletop Dungeons & Dragons. The tenets of this Oath are to Kindle the Light, Shelter the Light, and Preserve Your Own Light.
Some things, like killing innocents or allowing unnecessary deaths on your watch, will break this Oath. If you manage to stay on the path of light, however, you’ll get access to great utility spells like Healing Radiance and Speak With Animals as you level up.
Oath of Devotion
An Oath of Devotion requires you to be a stereotypical Paladin, defending the weak and preventing unnecessary harm to innocents. According to the in-game character creator, “Following the ideal of the knight in shining armour, you act with honour and virtue to protect the weak and pursue the greater good.” The tenets of this Oath are Courage, Compassion, and Duty.
It’s less strict than the Oath of the Ancients, however, letting you perform certain actions like freeing prisoners without becoming an Oahtbreaker. Paladins that take an Oath of Devotion will get access to stereotypical Paladin skills like Sacred Weapon, Protection from Evil and Good, and Holy Rebuke.
Oath of Vengeance
The Oath of Vengeance is the edgiest of the three, with the official description stating “You have set aside even your own purity to right wrongs and deliver justice to those who have committed the most grievous sins.” The tenets of this Oath are to Fight the Greater Evil and offer No Mercy for the Wicked.
Basically, you’re compelled to smite evildoers and punish those who deserve it, even if that requires violence. This is the easiest Oath to keep since its rules are so loose, but freeing prisoners and letting anyone off the hook for their crimes is a one-way ticket to becoming an Oathbreaker. This Oath’s skills — which include Bane, Hold Person, and Hunter’s Mark to name a few — are excellent support spells that supplement an aggressive playstyle.
If you break your chosen Oath, you’ll be visited by the Oathbreaker Knight who will then appear at your camp. He’ll let you pay a penance to keep your chosen Oath or you can choose to become an Oathbreaker instead, gaining new abilities but forfeiting the ones that came with your previous Oath.
Oathbreakers can learn powerful spells like Control Undead, Inflict Wounds, and Crown of Madness. Remember, an Oathbreaker Paladin isn’t necessarily evil. Becoming an Oathbreaker just means that you’ve forsaken your chosen Oath, whether that be for roleplaying or gameplay purposes.
- This article was updated on August 7th, 2023