While all paladins have their own codes of conduct, either taught by an order, handed down from the gods, or inspired by personal conviction, an oathbound paladin devotes herself to a singular cause, which grants her additional powers but also gives further edicts she must follow. An oathbound paladin swears an oath to eradicate a certain kind of evil. This powerful oath gives her access to new spells and adds to or alters typical paladin abilities.
An oathbound paladin can take multiple oaths, but none of the other oaths can replace or alter the same class feature from the paladin class as another alternate class feature. For example, a paladin cannot take the Oath against Corruption and the Oath against the Wyrm because they both replace the aura of courage class feature.
Paladins who take up an oath may make a sacred promise to their god or temple to perform some specific and grand action associated with the oath. For example, an oathbound paladin who takes the Oath of Vengeance may be tasked with killing the orc warlord who razed her home city, while a paladin with the Oath against the Wyrm may be asked to secure a nonaggression pact with a family of dragons. When a paladin completes the sacred promise, the oath is fulfilled, and she may abandon the oath if she so chooses; she may then select another oath or become a standard paladin or a different paladin archetype.
If a paladin violates the code of her oath, she loses the class abilities associated with that oath until she atones. If she violates her paladin’s code, she loses her oath abilities as well as her other paladin abilities.
An oathbound paladin has the following class features:
Some oaths are especially compatible with the faiths of certain deities; these deities are listed here. Other deities may allow these oaths as well, though only rarely do deities allow oaths conflicting with their teachings.
The oathbound paladin must abide by the listed tenets of her oath in addition to the specifics of her god’s code of conduct. In some cases, a deity’s or paladin order’s code may conflict with the oath’s tenets; in most cases, these conflicts mean the oath is unsuitable for a paladin of that deity or order (such as the Oath against the Wyrm with respect to a good dragon deity or a dragon-riding order of paladins) and cannot be selected by the paladin.
A paladin’s oath influences what magic she can perform. An oathbound paladin adds one spell to the paladin spell list at each paladin spell level she can cast (including spell levels for which she would only gain spells per day if her Charisma were high enough to grant bonus spells of that level). Her oath determines what spell is added to the spell list. If the paladin has multiple oaths, the spells from each oath are added to her spell list.
If an oathbound paladin has more than one oath, she may prepare any one of her oath’s spells in that slot (similar to a cleric choosing one of her two domain spells to prepare in a domain spell slot).
Oaths: The following are a selection of oaths for the oathbound paladin archetype. Other oaths may exist, particularly in regard to specific campaign enemies or events (such as elimination of an assassin’s guild or the destruction of an evil temple).
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Ultimate Magic. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Jason Bulmahn, Tim Hitchcock, Colin McComb, Rob McCreary, Jason Nelson, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Sean K Reynolds, Owen K.C. Stephens, and Russ Taylor.