Play Your Next 5E D&D Game as a Holy Paragon
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel the community never lets Nerdarchists Dave and Ted down, sharing suggestions and requests for all sorts of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons characters and for this one a player digs the idea of the holiest character around. Divine power permeates 5E D&D so the options are many but our prayers are answered. The Holy Paragon character combines divine lineage and personal conviction, eager to learn more about divinity and strengthen their faith through study and devoted practice. Let’s get into it.
Behind the CBG — Holy Paragon
Every CBG we create considers the journey as much as the final outcome. We aim to present a guide suitable for any level of 5E D&D play whether you’re pursuing an epic campaign from start to finish, starting beyond 1st level or choosing a character for a one shot. Then we take those concepts and develop an NPC or creature version of the character build for DMs to incorporate into their games. All of this gets packaged up and laid out in a PDF you can find over at Dungeon Master’s Guild. We’ve got dozens of pay what you want products at DMG, many of them best sellers so if you want to check those out start with the Holy Paragon here.
All about the character story
Each CBG starts with a character concept sticking to a particular schtick, from the Mind Breaker’s psyche crushing smites to how the Holy Paragon’s lifelong devotion to divine relationships and power. Sometimes puns and pop culture references instigate the creation of a CBG too. Getting fun and cool community requests never gets old and the concept of a bastion of virtue holds definite appeal.
For us it’s important to consider who these characters are as individuals and why they follow these particular paths. One special thing to note with this CBG is while we always aim to make the journey to 20th level as practical as possible — none of these characters “come online” after an awkward slog through many levels — the Holy Paragon’s holiness is pretty gosh darned solid by 9th level.
Aasimar also get an Angelic Guide as a celestial advisor, which is a fantastic window into holiness for player and Dungeon Master alike. This Holy Paragon character devotes their entire being to the concept from their heritage to their personal ambitions and focus of earlier years to continuous development. Character peculiarities, quirks, unusual traits and the like make awesome roleplaying opportunities. You can be sure the Holy Paragon does not let their Angelic Guide go to waste.
Holy Paragon NPC for 5E D&D
Full disclosure — the NPCs and creatures we make in CBGs are some of my favorite bits of 5E D&D content to create. We step back and look at the character build to find the standout features that feel like signature abilities. The juice! From there we consider what sort of person or people would possess or gain these abilities and build a stat block around them. More often than not the section of a CBG For Dungeon Masters presents a generic creature.
The challenge to come up with an NPC or creature version is one shared by any other presumably good aligned entity and presumably heroic adventurers — how to create ingredients for drama, tension or conflict? In this case we wondered how holy is too holy? The holiest person around might be a bastion of purity…and that might rub some people the wrong way. An angry mob accosting this single individual puts them in peril especially since they have no desire to harm misguided folk. The protector may need protecting and doing so without hurting anyway earns their trust.
Evil Everywhere! A terrible curse afflicts this holy paragon causing them to see evil creatures everywhere in need of smiting. Subduing them without killing enables adventurers to learn of the greater threat and this grateful champion certainly pledges themselves to the party’s quest, if they’ll have them.
“Censure (Recharge 6). As an action, the holy paragon can censure nearby creatures. Each hostile creature that can see or hear the holy paragon within 30 ft. must make a CHA saving throw (DC 16). On failure, it is knocked prone and frightened by the holy paragon until the end of its next turn.”
If your next 5E D&D game needs a character who friends can rely on for virtuous power — whether you’re the DM or a player — check out the Holy Paragon Character Build Guide here.
*Featured image — I don’t know if the Magic: The Gathering Core Set 2020’s Twinblade Paladin is a bastion of virtue but she sure looks cool as hell. [Art by Jana Schirmer]