Character Builds: The Dragonborn Paladin In 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons

- 3

Hello Nerdarchy reader, Nerdarchist Dave here to talk character builds. I got me a hankering to delve into a dragonborn paladin for 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons. Paladins are an iconic character class harkening back to the very beginning of the game.

Dragonborn on the other hand are a bit newer first appearing in 3.5 Dungeons and Dragons towards the end in a different incarnation then the current version. They really came into their own with 4th edition dungeons and dragons. To be honest it took me a little while to warm up to them as player character race.

Honestly it was the 4th edition art that killed them for me. Two words “dragon boobs”! The idea of such mammalian trait being slapped onto a reptilian race seemed ridiculous to me. But I’ve decided to grow as a person and get over with it. Not to long ago I wrote an article about dragonborn which kind of made me want to play one hence this article were we build a dragonborn paladin.

5th edtion dungeons and dragons

Let’s face it these guy are born to be paladins with their bonus strength and charisma. In addition to that their draconic heritage makes them a particularly interesting choice for any class really. Let’s face it when is an extra resistance to an element not going to be helpful. Eventually the Dungeon Master is going to want freeze, burn, melt, poison, or electrocute you at some point in the game. Also having AOE (area of effect) of said element at you disposal can be quite handy.

So first we need to decide our linage. I’d go with gold, red, green, or brass dragon heritage. That is resistance to either fire or poison. Those are the two types of damage you are most likely to encounter. On the downside those attacks are also most likely to be resisted by monsters, but I think I’ll stick with the paladin’s theme of defense over offense for this character build.

With that in mind I’ll pick green dragon as my draconic ancestry for the resistance to poison. The one thing I don’t like about the dragonborn is their rather water downed look. So I’m gonna go off the rails a little and say our dragonborn paladin is a throw back and looks very much like his ancestry. Perhaps having the head frill in addition to being bright green. These are our only choices for the race.

Next let’s pick our background. I’m starting to get some ideas for this character. For this class three backgrounds scream paladin to me- acolyte, noble, and soldier. The quick build suggests noble. Folk hero I think would make great choice as well. But I think I’m gonna go a little of the beaten path by looking at outlander and hermit. Hermit is where I’m gonna go, because of the oath I’m leaning towards and the hermit skill selection compliments the paladin nicely.

Skill Proficiencies- Medicine, Religion

Languages- Sylvan

Tool Proficiencies- Herbalist kit

Next let us look at the class. At first level we need to pick two skill proficiencies and start thinking about our oath. Now I think the oath devotion is the best choice, oath of vengeance sounds the coolest, and oath of the ancients is very thematic, but we can only pick one. For the idea I have I’m leaning toward the oath of the ancients.

Even before we take our sacred oath we’ll need to choose a fighting style at 2nd level. I’m going defensive for the bump to armor class. I think it’s one of the most important stats in 5th edition dungeons and dragons.

Skill Proficiencies- Athletics, Intimidate

Finally the stats. Clearly strength and charisma are our main concerns, but what next. Constitution is any warriors best friend. With a high enough charisma all of our saves will be pretty good eventually. Paladin gives us access to heavy armor proficiency so we will be able to forgo dexterity. I’m going to use point figure out the stats over a standard array.

Str 16  Dex 8  Con 12  Int 10  Wis 12  Chr 16

Although I could of increased the modifier by one more on our con I decided to forgo the min-maxing for a more rounded character build.

As far as character builds go the bare bones are done.

dragonborn paladin
Red dragon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now for the Story on our Dragonborn Paladin.

One of my favorite parts of character creation is the back story behind the character. 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons gives us some nice tools built right into the character creation process. Backgrounds has sections for helping flesh out the character- personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws. It isn’t huge only about four sentences, but that is more than any other edition of Dungeons and Dragons. I really think this helps new players think about their characters as more than a bunch of numbers on a page.

First thing is first our dragonborn paladin needs a name- Jarrisk Brash’In’ Thesk

So my concept for our paladin is in some ways he’s bit more of a throw back to his dragonborn ancestors in the fact that he looks very green dragonish in appearance. Not only that feels more connected to the land specifically woodlands where he keep finding himself drawn to. His appearance may even be a matter of ridicule amongst other of his kind.

The reason he knows the connection exist in the first place is, because during a venture into the wilds. Jarraisk fled to escape the harassment of his brethren where he realized the one place he felt most at peace was with nature.

There would be many more of these flights in his future. After a while he found himself running to the wilds instead from his people. It was during one of these jaunts into the wilderness that he discovered a glade connected to the feywild where fey creatures gather and frolic.

It was here he knew his spirit was calling him to.They indoctrinated Jarrisk into the ways of the ancients. He was shown how to use nature to heal and help others. Jarrisk was given a purpose he’d become the first Dragonborn Paladin sworn to nature and protecting the good into the world. It is here where he’ll take his oath when the time comes.

Personality Traits- I filled with awe by the beauty and magic I find in nature. I strive to be kind, merciful, and forgiving.

Ideal- I stand against wickedness and try to celebrate beauty, love, and good around me.

Bond- My isolation gave me greater insight into a great evil only I can destroy.

Flaw- I’d risk to much to uncover a bit of lost knowledge of the great evil.


While back we did a video on 5e paladins. Check it below. If you have any ideas for future character builds feel free to put them in the comments.

Until next time “Stay Nerdy”


Nerdarchy 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Paladin Video




Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2015 Nerdarchy LLC
5E D&D Character Class Builds- Lets Talk Multi-Class Character Builds
Selling Your Soul- 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Warlock Build
Follow Dave Friant:
My name is Dave Friant I've been gaming off and on for over 27 years. But here is the thing it's always been a part of my life I've kept secret and hidden away. I've always been ashamed of the stigma that gaming and my other nerdy and geeky pursuits summon forth. Recently I decided screw it! This is who I am the world be damned. From now on I'm gonna be a geek, nerd, or however folks want to judge me and just enjoy life. Currently one of my greatest joys is introducing my 13 yr old son to table top RPG's.

3 Responses

  1. Nemo Nunc
    | Reply

    I also liked the 5E Paladin and thought of making him a Dragonborn, but Black and choosing the Oath of Vengeance. Which may seem obvious but being possible it's a combo that I just can't resist.
    I also like your build but there's something that troubles me. Since he's a throw back to his race and often shunned, I can't see how he does to compensate that to justify his high charisma.

    • Eric W.
      | Reply

      “When manipulating other creatures, green dragons are honey-tongued, smooth, and sophisticated.” (per the 5e MM) To the best of my recollection, greens have historically been the most likely of the chromatic dragons to ‘parley’.

Leave a Reply