[RPG] Does an Oath of Vengeance Paladin have to pick a particular sworn foe


Of the Oath of Vengeance paladin's four tenets in the PHB, two mention the phrase "sworn foe/enemy":

  • "Faced with a choice of fighting my sworn foes or combating a lesser evil, I choose the greater evil."
  • "Ordinary foes might win my mercy, but my sworn enemies do not."

Does that imply that a player making a vengeance paladin has to pick a "sworn foe" in particular, like a kind of enemy (e.g., goblins or dragons) or is it any enemy that you are facing in battle right now?

Best Answer

Nowhere in the Oath of Vengeance (or any Oath, actually) does the character have to pick a sworn foe. Mechanically, there is no effect whatsoever. You can contrast this to the Ranger's Favored Enemy feature, which clearly states that the Ranger has to choose enemies.

However, for role-playing reasons, a character might swear an oath against an enemy (there is no restriction, one of my players even swore an oath of vengeance against Demogorgon) and base some in-game decisions on the oath. It's good role-play, and Inspiration-worthy.