Best Paladin Backgrounds in D&D

In the illustrious realm of Dungeons & Dragons, a player’s choices for their character’s background can significantly shape their role-playing experience and narrative trajectory. Among the myriad options available, few classes embody the ideals of righteousness and courage as wholly as the Paladin. However, past experiences and affiliations can influence and shape these noble warriors.

Faction Agent

The Faction Agent background offers a compelling foundation for a Paladin whose sense of duty intertwines with a higher calling or a sacred order. While initially designed to represent operatives of various secretive organizations, such as spies or informants, there’s no reason why a Paladin couldn’t have served as an agent of a church or knightly order. With proficiency in Insight, an additional mental skill of choice, and knowledge of two languages, a Paladin gains a unique insight into the workings of their faction and the world at large. The “Safe Haven” feature provides access to a network of supporters and operatives that can offer aid and information when needed, which aligns with the Paladin ethos of protection and justice.

City Watch

Those Paladins who find their calling in upholding the law and protecting the innocent within bustling cityscapes may find the City Watch background to be a perfect fit. Trained in Athletics and Insight and fluent in two languages, these Paladins have honed their skills in maintaining order and enforcing justice within their communities. The “Watcher’s Eye” feature gives them an intuitive understanding of local laws and criminal activity. It allows them to easily navigate urban environments and identify threats to the peace they strive to uphold.

Courtier

For Paladins who have trodden the halls of power and diplomacy, the Courtier background offers a glimpse into a life of intrigue and politics. Proficient in Insight and Persuasion and fluent in two languages, these Paladins navigate the intricate webs of nobility and bureaucracy with finesse. The “Court Functionary” feature grants them access to the inner workings of noble courts and governments, leveraging their knowledge and connections to further their goals of justice and righteousness.

Soldier

Paladins who have marched to the beat of drums and the call of battlefields may find their origins reflected in the Soldier background. With proficiency in Athletics and Intimidation and familiarity with one type of gaming set and land vehicles, these Paladins have honed their martial skills and leadership abilities through military service. The “Military Rank” feature bestows them a sense of authority and respect among fellow soldiers, allowing them to requisition resources and exert influence in military circles.

Urban Bounty Hunter

For Paladins who walk the line between lawkeeper and lawbreaker, the Urban Bounty Hunter background offers a compelling blend of danger and intrigue. With proficiency in two skills chosen from Deception, Insight, Persuasion, and Stealth, and expertise in two tools of the trade, such as thieves’ tools, these Paladins track down criminals and fugitives with relentless determination. The “Ear to the Ground” feature provides them with invaluable contacts within the criminal underworld, enabling them to gather information and pursue their quarry with unwavering resolve.

The best background for a Paladin in Dungeons & Dragons ultimately depends on the character’s history, values, and motivations. Whether they hail from the ranks of a holy order, the urban watch, the halls of nobility, the battlefield, or the shadowy world of bounty hunting, each background offers unique opportunities for role-playing and storytelling. By carefully considering the traits and features of each background, players can craft a Paladin character whose past experiences enrich their journey towards righteousness and courage in the face of darkness.

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