[RPG] Are there rules for what happens if a paladin breaks his oath?


Are there rules for what happens if a paladin breaks their oath? I haven't found a single one. Am I missing something?

Best Answer

In the Player's Handbook, page 86, the following is said:

A paladin who has broken a vow typically seeks absolution from a cleric who shares his or her faith or from another paladin of the same order. ... If a paladin willfully violates his or her oath and shows no sign of repentance, the consequences can be more serious. At the DM's discretion, an impenitent paladin might be forced to abandon this class and adopt another, or perhaps to take the Oathbreaker paladin option that appears in the Dungeon Master's Guide.

The new class features for Oathbreaker paladins are on the page 97 of the Dungeon Master's Guide. Notably, they require the Paladin to be both evil and on their third level or greater.

The fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons is generally light on forcing conduct rules on characters, instead preferring a less constrained model more reliant on the GM making good calls. If a GM wants to "enforce" the oaths beyond letting the player follow them as they wish, they need to be careful so that the possible punishments won't come in the way of enjoying the game. Notably, the only two mechanical punishments outlined in the rules (changing the class and becoming an Oathbreaker) significantly alter a character's nature and I would recommend never using them unless the player of the Paladin is fully aware of the change they're about to trigger by choosing to transgress their oath without repentance.