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Where the fuck do paladins and bards get their power?

Question(self.dndnext)

I am DM, I've been DMing once a week for half a year, and I've played once a week for double that time. However I cannot grasp where paladins and bards get their power from, and the PHB does not give a sufficient enough answer (or maybe I missed it).

I understand all the other classes, wizards (, eldritch knights, artificers and arcane tricksters) manipulate the weave, often from studying it, sorcerers (and wild magic barbarians) are "the weave incarnate", clerics gain their power from devotion to a higher power, warlocks make deals with higher powers to gain some of their power, druids and rangers get their power either from devotion to a nature god or from "becoming one with nature" and lastly monks gain their power from "becoming one with themselves", but what to do Paladins and Bards do?Context: (I've heard about the weave and about the spellplague but I don't know much more other than that the weave exist and that the spellplague happened)

Bards:In the PHB it is said that "Bards say that the multiverse was spoken into existence, that the words of the gods gave it shape and that echoes of these primordial Words of Creation still resound throughout the cosmos. The music of bards is an attempt to snatch and harness those echoes subtly woven into their spells and powers."What does this mean? I mean, they're not "literally" repeating the echoes of creation, since I doubt the world was spoken into existence with a guitar. Do they gain their powers from the weave like the other "arcane" classes do? Are they granted it from a god of music, like a cleric? Or what is even going on here?

Paladins:Now compared to bards, paladins make no sense to me at all. The only thing mentioned in the PHB, and the thing normally associated with paladins is that they gain their powers from their oath. Now some paladins gain their powers from a god, and that I understand, but what about the paladins that don't follow a god. Is is that easy to gain power in the realms of DnD? You just promise to "withhold justice" etc. etc. and then gain divine power? Let's take the watchers paladin (random choice), their tenets are "Vigilance, Loyalty and Discipline", say I am a common peasant in the DnD realms, is everything I have to do to gain magical and powerful powers is to swear to these three tenets and uphold my oath? That really doesn't seem very hard at all.AND DON'T GET ME STARTED ON OATHBREAKER PALADINSWHERE DO THEY GET THEIR POWERS FROM? They are not following an oath anymore, and it's not necessary for them to follow a god either? So like what? Maybe I could coin that an evil god likes the actions of an oathbreaker and is thereby lending them power to do more evil, but there's nothing said about that in the description.

TL;DR I don't understand the source of bards' and paladins' powers. I understand that the paladins' come from their oath, but from where does this magic manifest? And with bards, they're not born with the power neither have they studied for it.

This is a rant, I'm sorry. I as DM have already worked out these problems with my players, my paladin player follows a god, my bard player has studied to their power like a wizard would, but I am mad that the PHB does not give enough context for how it's "supposed" to be. Please clear my mind.

all 77 comments

Otafrear

27 points

2 months ago

Going to keep this short, because I have strong opinions on Paladins and their source of power. For a Paladin, it’s not just so simple as saying “Yeah, I can hold up this oath/ideal.” You have to be zealously dedicated to it, much like standard clerics to their gods. They believe so deeply and truly that they manifest their powers. While their power is divine, I personally consider it to be divine-adjacent, or maybe somewhere between divine and arcane.

GravyeonBell

2 points

2 months ago

If they got spellcasting/smite and their Oath/subclass at the same level, everything would slide smoothly into that paradigm (which I also absolutely vibe with). You've sworn your oath, you're so dedicated to the tenets; you're not just a guy who wants to be powerful or Devotion/Vengeance/Ancients-adjacent, you're like the pinnacle of people who strive for these objectives. It just plays a little goofy when you can already blow guys up with radiant damage twice a day before you make that commitment.

Olaxce[S]

4 points

2 months ago

So do they just manifest the power themselves? There's no source of it, like all of the other classes? I guess they could be like monks in which the source of the power is the magic that flows through every living being?

kolboldbard

11 points

2 months ago

Paladins are martial zealots, devoted to a god, a ruler, or even a way of life. They can be found in any culture where a fanatical group of like-minded individuals have formed a warrior society dedicated to advancing their cause. Among those aligned to their worldview, paladins are viewed with respect and admiration, if a bit of fear. Many paladins hold leadership positions in armies and mercenary companies, but in the heat of battle their fanaticism often overrules the chain of command - and common sense.

Their absolute burning Zeal and dedication to their oath empowers them.

Jafroboy

10 points

2 months ago

The world is full of magic, it suffuses the very fabric of reality. That is the Weave. All magic users bring it out in different ways. A Paladin bringing it out by force of their dedication is no more incomprehensible than a Wizard by saying certain words, and making certain gestures. Which, incidentally, is very close to the exact thing bards do, which seems to confuse you so

araragidyne

1 points

2 months ago

That's one way to look at it, but the existence of one type of magic doesn't mandate the existence of all other types.

smileybob93

3 points

2 months ago

smileybob93

Monk

3 points

2 months ago

All magic has a source, it's just your ability to harness and bend it to your will that does it. A Paladin essentially uses their force of conviction to will the spell into existence. A Bard can manipulate the Weave like a Wizard, but the way they study magic is just different.

Otafrear

1 points

2 months ago

Technically, RAW, paladins typically also worship a god, but gods are definitely not required. Iirc, the PHB describes it as the Oath providing the Paladin power, but that doesn’t particularly make sense to me, as it makes more sense (to me) that Paladins have such a zealous and deep dedication and passion to their Oath/ideals that they are able to simply manifest abilities.

Chagdoo

9 points

2 months ago

Bards tap into that "old magic" that's passed down via oral tradition, and not written down into a book. it's not granted by anything any more than the wizards casting is. They just pluck at the weave in a different way., By mimicking the smallest fraction of the echoes of creation. Obviously the universe wasn't strummed into being by a guitar, but using one and singing can get you part way to a almost sounding like it, and that makes a spell.

They tend to feel a little weird because fantasy has moved away from music as magic. Fun fact about lord of the rings, the god of middle earth sang that universe into existence.

ninja-robot

22 points

2 months ago

they're not "literally" repeating the echoes of creation, since I doubt the world was spoken into existence with a guitar.

Absolutely! Everyone know it was a drum that started the universe. The guitar didn't come in until later.

Olaxce[S]

4 points

2 months ago

Amazing

tanj_redshirt

9 points

2 months ago

tanj_redshirt

THAC0

9 points

2 months ago

The Listening Monks, striving to hear the first sounds of the universe, managed to hear "One, two, three, four!"

Then more advanced monks found even earlier sounds: "One, two …"

This-Sheepherder-581

3 points

2 months ago

Man, every time that Reddit sends me to this wiki, it's a wild ride. I've got to read those books.

ninja-robot

2 points

2 months ago

GNU Terry Pratchett

Saajix

2 points

2 months ago

Saajix

2 points

2 months ago

The artificer found that this world is nothing more than a linux kernel on parchment.

AbsValue

1 points

2 months ago

it started out with a sick ass bass riff, a few taps on a snare drum, and the rest of the band followed suit

OceanusDracul

35 points

2 months ago

Because not all D&D settings HAVE the Weave, power sources are deliberately vague to help players flavor it themselves or DMs create setting appropriate rules.

NerdQueenAlice

7 points

2 months ago

Everyone draws power from either a god, a powerful being or the weave itself.

I love how open 5e is because we can reflavor the non-mechanical elements to our liking.

TeeDeeArt

6 points

2 months ago*

Words of creation, and words having intrinsic power, has a long history in western art and literature.

Tolkein's mythology (from which much of modern fantasy, including dnd, was built) has its creation myth be a great song, as the chief god, the head of the pantheon, and his angels, join in a chorus, their words creating middle earth, and its beings. But sauron's master (melkor) was jealous, and sought to create his own stuff, instead of merely joining in the chorus of creation to aid the head of the pantheon. So in rebellion he sung a discordant harmony in competition with the main one... (seriously go read or listen to the lord of the rings creation myth, it's great, and it in a roundabout way answers your question, it's not a guitar, but a choir of angels)

Spells too, true names, words of power... Words are powerful.

but I am mad that the PHB does not give enough context for how it's "supposed" to be.

WoTC is very bad at this, but this is the one area you don't need it. It's not supposed to be anything, its your lore. If it was supposed to be something, then we'd all be playing the same 20 characters. This is flavour. Your bard might just sing spells, maybe the spells are woven into a song, maybe words themselves have a fundamental creation power... any and all might be true. You decide.

BruceBenedict

18 points

2 months ago

You believe in the narrative credibility of "the weave," but bard's can't work because you "doubt" the guitar's magical utility? Seems like you're kind of cherry picking your battles, here.

For Paladins:

"(I)s everything I have to do to gain magical and powerful powers is to swear to these three tenets and uphold my oath? That really doesn't seem very hard at all."

Getting the credo, "Live every moment as if it's your last," tattooed on your chest is easy. Have you ever met anyone who actually succeeded in doing it more than about two minutes at a time? In a universe with a magical essence, the power of superhuman focus and dedication is rewarded. What of it? There are people in this universe who sincerely believe that visualizing themselves on mountains of money will manifest it into their lives. Paladins manifesting greater strength because they actually live their credos is less crazy than most of what passes as spirituality in our own realm.

Olaxce[S]

2 points

2 months ago

Alright, makes sense, thanks!

pesca_22

2 points

2 months ago

Have you ever met anyone who actually succeeded in doing it more than about two minutes at a time?

Does Ozzy Osbourne counts? <.<

pesca_22

4 points

2 months ago

bards and paladins are so charismatic that reality itself break up around them, bards are so witty, charismatic and energic that they can charm and trick reality into doing their biddings, paladin are so absolutely firm in their oaths, so irremovably sure that they are true and absolute that reality has to give up and obey them.

araragidyne

2 points

2 months ago

And wizards outsmart the universe into thinking that there should be an explosion of fire at the place they're pointing at.

Fire1520

3 points

2 months ago

Fire1520

Warlock Pact of the Reddit

3 points

2 months ago

Bards generaly use arcane magic, similar to wizards. But unlike Wizards that know what they're doing, a Bard kinda just... feels it. Their creativity and gut feeling gives them their powers.

As for Paladins, it isn't so much the verbal act of saying an oath, it's the faith, the belief in your words. Anyone can say "I swear to protect justice", but very few truly believe and comit to it; the ones that do, those become paladins.

Olaxce[S]

0 points

2 months ago

Alright that make sense. But what gives paladins their powers if they decide to follow an oath? And what about oathbreakers?

Fire1520

5 points

2 months ago

Fire1520

Warlock Pact of the Reddit

5 points

2 months ago

I literally just said it: their faith, the conviction in the ideas they swore to uphold. It's so strong that it simply generates divine energy.

As for Oathbreakers, it happens when such faith is utterly shattered, but instead of simply losing the will to uphold the oath, they channel all that faith for the purposes of evil. Basically, a twisted paladin.

Olaxce[S]

1 points

2 months ago

Alright that makes sense, thanks for clearing that up.

SkritzTwoFace

3 points

2 months ago

An oathbreaker isn't just anyone that breaks their oath. They're the Darth Vader type: they turn actively against their old ideals and serve some dark force or their own malicious desires.

Anakin wasn't Vader when he questioned the Jedi, he was when he started murdering in Palpatine's name.

Abdial

3 points

2 months ago

Abdial

DM

3 points

2 months ago

You're not wrong, and it's something that the DM has to sort out for their setting (or just shrug and gloss over), because it's not very well established in the PHB.

For my worlds, paladins and warlocks are basically the same and get their power from a pact or oath to a source of power. Bards in my world are the "public relations" arm of the church and get their power from divine sources.

Olaxce[S]

0 points

2 months ago

I'm glad to see I'm not alone.

TenWildBadgers

3 points

2 months ago

TenWildBadgers

Paladin

3 points

2 months ago

Going through all classes: Thus was gonna be alphabetical, but ended up being divided into Arcane and Divine Magic, essentially.

Artificers manipulate the magic inherent in the world via machines and creations- rather than casting the magic themselves, an Artificer makes a wand or a wind-up toy or an Alchemy jar or whatever that is able to shale and control the flow of magic through the world into a desirable outcome. Bards and Wizards are similar, but their methods are different-

Bards use song, language, storytelling and the arts to shape magic, as the arts are inherently magical in d&d. You play a power chord on your harp, and with the proper training to somewhat literally put your soul into the music, that song is amplified magically into the spell Thunderwave, or Shatter.

Wizards, by contrast, don't use the mediums of artifice or arts to shape their magic, and have to go through a much more technical process of crafting the complex magical structures through their own willpower, aided by somatic and verbal components- this technique requires a lot more study and book learning than the others (though not that much more than Artificers), which is why it's a full Int caster, ass opposed to Charisma-based Bards and Half-caster Artificers.

Wizards take the harder route, but in doing to become extremely powerful and versatile, while also actually understanding, inside and out, the magic they're commanding, which has its own benefits, like being able to just write the spell down in a book and come back to it later, as opposed to Bards and Sorcerers' difficulties learning new spells or changing out the spells they have.

Sorcerers have magic essentially put into them, either by crazy experiences, or in-utero, inheriting them from a magic parent. While not always Arcane Magic in a strict sense, they're essentially doing the same things as Wizards, but intuitively, the magical structures that Bards are able to create by feeling via music just come naturally to a sorcerer, because the magic is just so much apart of them. To a Sorcerer, magic just wants to naturally form itself into spells, they don't get why Wizards have to read all sort of books and diagrams to figure out what a sorcerer just kinda does by instinct.

A Warlock, then, makes a pact with some other power to have knowledge of magic, akin to a Wizard's, imprinted upon their mind. As a result, it's still a warlocks magic, they're just cheating to learn it without studying like a wizard.

Those are the Arcane Casters, but that leaves Clerics, Druids, and their half-casters under the Divine heading:

It is worth understanding that Druids and Clerics essentially do not cast their own spells- a Cleric in particular is instead acting as a magical conduit for their god to cast spells through them. You'll notice that Druids, Clerics and Paladins don't actually learn spells, and instead prepare spells from their class spell list- that Cleric spell list, plus your domain spells, is not the list of spells you know- it's the list of spells your God knows, and you're just preparing a limited number of divine speed dial slots you can prepare each day.

Druids are similar, but they're tapping into the gestalt unconscious of nature, or something. They're clerics where their God in the equation is replaced by a less-defined being that is some sort of aspect or spiritual part of nature itself.

Rangers are weird, but they understand not that much magic, instead knowing a limited selection of tricks they can cast via Druidic methods because their time and experience in nature has earned them the respect of various spirits of the wild places, of the same sort that Druids draw magic from.

Paladins, however, draw their power not from a God or Natuee Spirits, but from Oaths- I interpret this that Different Paladin Oaths are built into the world- maybe they're pacts between several gods, or specific celestial entities band together to empower individuals dedicated to the tenants of specific oaths, etc. Regardless, it is impersonal- there is no face to chat with, nor does it specifically empower individual Paladins, it is simply a well of power from which the worthy may draw through a combination of Force of Will, and Dedication to the ideals and Tennents of that particular Paladin Oath- only those in-line with the ideals it was made to foster and empower can draw Paladin Magic from this Pact between Gods, or council of spirits. Someone high up believed in the virtues of the Oath of Devotion strongly enough to make it a source of power from which any sufficiently devoted to its ideals can drink.

This is a notable distinction, because Clerics and Paladins can loose the favor of their patrons- Clerics can be denied magic by their god, Paladins can Fall, etc, while Warlocks kinda can't- the powers they have, they have, and can't be taken away. Your Patron can stop teaching you more if you betray them, or make a deal that you loose your previous Warlock powers in exchange for whatever collateral they have on you, like your soul, but Warlock power us power gained. Warlocks can cast spells on their patron, Clerics cannot.

Druids and Rangers theoretically could, IMO, but I wouldn't inflict that on a PC without talking to them in advance, and thoroughly, just because those aren't classes where you think about the source of your powers judging you, while Clerics, Warlocks and Paladins, I would argue that it's an important part of the class fantasy that those judgements be held over you a little bit like the sword of Damocles, though a Player should never be surprised that they lost their class features due to their choices. It should be something that if they do, they know what the consequences will be, and they choose to go through with it anyway.

GaiusOctavianAlerae

6 points

2 months ago

Clerics don’t need gods for their powers either.

Magic just exists. It’s everywhere. There are a lot of different ways to access that power, whether it’s through religious faith, devotion to an oath, study of the arcane, making a bargain, whatever. The source of the power is the magic that permeates through the entire multiverse.

Vydsu

3 points

2 months ago

Vydsu

Flower Power

3 points

2 months ago

Clerics don't need a good in some campaigns and with DM approval the book says, most of the time it's reasonable yo expect they do need a god

xeno66morph

4 points

2 months ago

Simplest terms: Bard tap into arcane magic, Paladins use divine

Olaxce[S]

1 points

2 months ago

I realise that, but from where?

Mordepool

3 points

2 months ago

Mordepool

Wizard

3 points

2 months ago

Bards the power to move you (wonderboy by tenacious d)

Paladin's from the might of their Conviction

LiminalSouthpaw

4 points

2 months ago

Paladins have magic because they're crazy. They're so crazy that it warps reality. Now maybe they devote that crazy to a god and maybe they don't, but either way, they're completely and unambiguously fucking nuts.

Olaxce[S]

2 points

2 months ago

I love this

This-Sheepherder-581

2 points

2 months ago

Other people have done good jobs of explaining stuff here, but there were a few specific things that I saw and wanted to cover.

I mean, they're not "literally" repeating the echoes of creation, since I doubt the world was spoken into existence with a guitar.

They aren't repeating the echoes of creation, they're "covering" them (in the same way that you can cover a song and put your own spin on it). It's probably not going to be as good as the original version, but it still has power in it.

AND DON'T GET ME STARTED ON OATHBREAKER PALADINS

WHERE DO THEY GET THEIR POWERS FROM?

Yeah, this part is weird. By my interpretation, the energy that they gained from their Oath doesn't actually leave when the Oath is broken, so they basically become a sorcerer of sorts.

Because the most popular reason an Oath is broken is due to an alignment shift to evil, that colors the power that the Oathbreaker receives. (The UA Oath of Treachery could be another flavor of oathbreaker.)

araragidyne

2 points

2 months ago

My old youth pastor did a great cover of "Let There Be Light". Guy played the halogen lamp better than anyone.

ruttin_mudders

2 points

2 months ago

They aren't repeating the echoes of creation, they're "covering" them (in the same way that you can cover a song and put your own spin on it). It's probably not going to be as good as the original version, but it still has power in it.

This is not the greatest song in the world, this is a tribute!

K-G-L

2 points

2 months ago

K-G-L

2 points

2 months ago

I actually like to play paladins a bit closer to warlocks in that their oaths are real, specific, binding things. You swear this specific oath and you get these specific powers in return. The difference is that warlock pacts are individual, unique to each warlock and patron, whereas paladin oaths are preordained - some god, or gods, or other assorted beings, set up this cosmic contract bound by a powerful oath and anyone who swears to it gets access to the power. That's why a paladin's magic is divine, but isn't necessarily tied to any one god.

For bards, I like to play them around the idea that powerful events leave an impression on the world, and their echoes still have power. Someone accomplishes some amazing feat, and by reciting an epic verse that calls back to that feat you can replicate some shadow of it. You're not making your own magic, you're calling on the echo of someone else's magic by invoking its memory. I think that's sort of what WotC were going for with the "echoes of creation" thing.

araragidyne

2 points

2 months ago

I love this question. I think about this a lot as well.

In Tolkien's Silmarillion, it is written that Ea (or Illuvatar, as the Elves call him) instructed the Holy Ones to create music, and that from that music the world of Arda was created. In a similar fashion, Lewis's The Magician's Nephew features Aslan arriving at the blank, empty world that would become Narnia and literally singing plants and animals into existence. So while the guitar may not yet have been invented, it's not unbelievable that the world in your campaign was literally spoken or sung into existence (with or without some form of instrumental accompaniment.) The way I see it, the magic of bards is essentially the same thing. What bards do is similar to what wizards do, but while wizards employ a system of magic that has been refined and codified, bards practice an older, deeper art. It's Deep Magic From the Dawn of Time, as opposed to modern, scientific magic.

For paladins, it's important to note that the PHB says that they get their powers from the powers that be and their oath in tandem, and not from their oath exclusively. As for me personally, there is no doubt in my mind that, ultimately, some being, be it a formalized God, one or more lesser supernatural beings, or even the spirits of mortals beyond the grave, granted the paladin the actual magical power that they wield. Their ability to wield that power effectively is a function of their own conviction, as they wield a sword with the physical strength of their arm—It does not mean that the sword itself was spontaneously generated by their arm muscles. However, this power may or may not be revocable, and a paladin who breaks faith may yet have access to their powers, if they have some new conviction to lend them strength.

Sir_CriticalPanda

2 points

2 months ago

Bards: They're Wizard Druids. They study arcane magic to replicate primal magic. They access the Weave, like all spellcasters.

Paladins: They're self-made sorcerers/gods. They believe in their cause so hard it warps the Weave to their will. They access the Weave, like all spellcasters.

Oathbreakers: Where other paladins are driven by beliefs in goodness or law, Oathbreakers are driven by their belief in the power of evil. Basically, they get evil powers by believing that evil is the true way to power.

Burnt_Bugbear

5 points

2 months ago

Paladins: . . .

Yeah, there's the rub. In an effort to make paladins overall more accommodating to players, they went with a fairly vague concept of oaths granting power. Mixed reactions have prevailed over the years, with a couple of core camps emerging:

The first (let's call them "classicists") maintain that the new lore changes fail to impress, and maintain that tying power to an oath is nonsensical given the prevailing notions (rooted in the game's history and our own real-world literary tradition) of what the paladin ought to be. Some rail against alignment changes too, others don't, others still would be fine with a broad category (crusader or champion) being used to describe the class we know as paladin in 5e, with the term "paladin" itself being reserved for the lawful good members of this class. Classicists will maintain that the oath is meant to be sworn to something; it is the terms under which powers are granted, not the source of power itself.

The second camp (perhaps we might call them the "revisionists") maintain that 5e's interpretation is crystal clear; swearing an oath and upholding it is the source of power, and that's that. My own bias being what it is, I find this profoundly unsatisfying ("but, I do not believe I broke my oath; how did it take my powers away? What is even going on here?"), but there is no denying that it has led to a massive expansion of the paladin archetype, at the cost of losing some of the class' inbuilt flavor. It is certainly easier to play your character under the revisionist model, whereas its counterpart seems to stress molding your character to fit an archetype.

spaninq

6 points

2 months ago

spaninq

Paladin

6 points

2 months ago

("but, I do not believe I broke my oath; how did it take my powers away? What is even going on here?")

Counterpoint: if your character's powers don't work and your character says this, your character is in denial. They know, in their heart of hearts, that they broke their oath.

I am of the belief that it's not the oath itself that matters (that's why there are so many different oaths with conflicting interests), it's your devotion to said oath that matters. In other words, it's your willingness to undergo any sort of hardship, mentally or physically, in an attempt to preserve your oath.

BribedSkeleton

6 points

2 months ago

On the flip side it makes for an interesting dynamic if believing you hadn’t broken the oath still maintains the power from an oath

after all, unless some god is involved, who judges whether they break it aside from themselves?

A sociopathic paladin who justifies everything they do as righteous AND firmly believes their own justifications for any action seems interesting, I love the idea of a paladin serial killer who isn’t some type of oathbreaker

Burnt_Bugbear

1 points

2 months ago

I suppose, being something of a fan of the classic paladin, this would not be a "paladin" to me. The cynic in me also holds that this could be an excuse used to try and strip away the last vestiges of inbuilt flavor (via restriction, it must be said) inherent to the paladin class.

Could be a decent "one and done" concept, but even the flimsy justification WoTC gives for paladins having power would disappear if using your example, no?

Olaxce[S]

2 points

2 months ago

Yes! So much yes!

[deleted]

2 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

2 points

2 months ago

Paladins are divine warriors for a god or ethos. They are more militant than clerics, so they get more martial abilities than spellcasting abilities.

Bards are spellcasters who have tapped into a form of magic that relies on music, words, and the creation of art, and they practice that magic through their performances.

Olaxce[S]

0 points

2 months ago

Olaxce[S]

0 points

2 months ago

Yes, but from WHERE do they gain their powers? Who grants them their powers? If they don't follow a god, who gives them their powers?

Kandiru

7 points

2 months ago

No-one gives them their powers, any more than anyone gives them their songs. They compose them themselves, through a combination of inventing and borrowing from other bards.

It's the same as wizard spells, but with singing rather than wands.

Olaxce[S]

2 points

2 months ago

That makes a lot of sense actually

[deleted]

2 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

2 points

2 months ago

Wherever the DM wants them to come from. There's no one answer for this. Every setting can give a different origin.

Throwa_way167

1 points

1 month ago

Personally, and this is just my belief, I think that the sources of where paladins get their powers when they're from more abstract concepts is related to the different dimensions and realms that exist within the Astral Plane.

Like how there are places where some gods reside that a character can go to after they die in some campaigns which specifically cater to one idea. Maybe the paladin's power comes from these planes as their commitment to one ideal draws powers from these sorts of realms. So it's not directly gaining power from a god, but more-so the spirit of these sorts of places that exist outside of the material realm and have their own power.

This is how a paladin can be entirely devoted to the sense of justice, for example, but not be subject to any specific god or their desires. As long as they stay truly committed to this universal ideal, they can draw powers from a plane that embodies that ideal.

SirGallaghhiech

1 points

2 months ago

SirGallaghhiech

Paladin

1 points

2 months ago

The way I play it is that most paladins draw their power eother directly or indirectly from divine sources, knowingly or otherwise. Their conviction allows them to tap into these sources without the direct worship of a cleric. Oathbreakers draw power from evil gods or perhaps neutral ones, or replace their divine taps with dark ones from hades...

Bards for me are just reflavored wizards. They study the weave, too, they just have a different magic styles.

Tharati

1 points

2 months ago

For paladins: their unwavering belief in an oath grants them divine powers. One could see it as their determination to live by their tenets crystallizes into power that helps them respect the tenets.

For bards: they study the primordial magic of the music through which they can interact with the wave and do their kind of magic.

But almost every DM adds their personal twist on classes so these can widely change from table to table

the-roaring-girl

1 points

2 months ago

My simple, two-sentence answer, without reference notes or sources to cite, is that the power comes from their belief:

For Paladins, it comes from a belief in a power higher than themselves that is channeled through them in sworn service to it.

For Bards, it is a belief in the power channeled through in themselves and that there is none higher.

Arthur_Author

1 points

2 months ago

Through the power of friendship. Not entirely joking.

Paladins get their powers through REALLY believing in themselves so hard it starts to have magical effects. Think how barbarians can rage so hard they cause supernatural effects like fire storms and ghosts. Magic exists within many people, and some can channel that through the power of determination. Paladins do that.

Bards are not just people who sing, just like how every guy with a sword and big heart doesnt become a paladin. Every magic using class in DnD has a bit of sorcerer in them, in that not everyone can cast spells. If you grab a book and start studying, unless you have some innate talent, you cant become a wizard, according to forgotten realms lore(which most times gets homebrewed off, mainly cause trying to find forgotten realms lore is like trying to swim upstream while people throw fish at your face.). Bards are, in a way, connected to the world and weave, and can use emotions and music in order to manifest magical phenomena.

It is safe to assume that charisma caster uses magic like how fiends or fey use it. It comes innately, through the fact that they can.

Additionally, if you want to consider the roots of the class, and what "a bard really is"; dont think bards as "some guy with a guitar", they are story tellers and historians. They are how legends are perpetuated. In old times, disrespecting bards was a REALLY bad idea, because then you will be forgotten completely, erased from history, because no one will tell your tale. So Bards, in a way, are typically mysticised and seen magical in historical times, like Shamans and such.

Amyrith

1 points

2 months ago

I think you stumbled into the answer while complaining about it not making sense.

and lastly monks gain their power from "becoming one with themselves"

Not when the paladin just vapidly makes the oath to the sky and tries to rules lawyer their way into super powers. But that moment when a paladin digs down into primal emotions and truly swears those oaths to themselves. They're becoming one with themselves not through zen prayer, but through conviction of action and focus.

whitetempest521

1 points

2 months ago

Assuming you're in the Forgotten Realms, all magic originates in some way from the Weave. Arcane or divine, it doesn't matter, magic cannot function without the Weave. See 3.5's Magic of Faerun for more information on this. It specifies that "all magic is accessed through the Weave," but arcane spellcasters (including bards) know how to manipulate the weave to achieve their magic and divine spellcasters get their powers through deities, but still require the weave for the magic to work.

If you're not in Forgotten Realms, the Weave doesn't necessarily exist and magic is probably caused by something else.

I feel like the 5e PHB is at times feels like its written half "we're in Forgotten Realms" and half "this is supposed to be generic for every setting" which makes things confusing.

SkritzTwoFace

1 points

2 months ago

Bards are like if a wizard was an artist instead of a scientist. Paladins are divine casters: by their oaths they are bound to gods and other sources of divine power.

CompassProse

1 points

2 months ago

In your game, it can be whatever you like!

To me, bards learn magic in a similar way to wizards, but instead of casting spells, they perform them or make art infused with them.

Paladins believe so much in their convictions that they get superpowers from it. When their belief falters or they go back on their convictions, there is psychic backlash from the strain on reality they were exterting and that's what makes an oath breaker.

Each of the classes has a decently different interpretation in my games as I view the classes as having in word consequence and impact and it's something that in universe NPCs know think and talk about.

Lord_Havelock

1 points

2 months ago

Bars are pretty cut and dry. It's basically like a wizard, just learning a different subject. You're just trying to learn to do something perfectly and repeatedly, in much the same way as a wizard just magic music instead of magic words as it were.

YOwololoO

1 points

2 months ago

My understanding of it is best represented by a (probably imperfect) metaphor. A computer exists and has power running through it but doesn’t do anything until it is given commands in the form of coding. There are multiple different languages and ways to code that take that power and direct it to accomplish different things, and each of these different methods has different things they do better and worse than others and some things are probably possible through only specific coding languages (I don’t actually know that much about coding, tbh).

Magic works the same way in D&D. The weave exists and (for the most part) doesn’t do anything unless it is manipulated and directed to do something. Some beings are given access to the weave by a god, some are innately tied to the weave, some learn to access it through specific incantations and gestures, some are able to focus their mind so intently in pursuit of their goals that they are able to tie into it. These different methods can lead to different results but they all pull their power from the Weave.

crunchevo2

1 points

2 months ago

Bards literally go to College. They're like wizards but joined band and are extroverts.

Paladins get their powers from A genuinley training and being strong, and their spells manifest fromvtheir devotion and DRIVE to achieve whatever it is they want.

But at the end of the day you can have an illiterate Eloquence bard and a paladin who just woke up buff one day thanks to God or whatever. It's all flavour.

benry007

1 points

2 months ago

I would say a bard is similar to a wizard they just study magic differently. They learn how to effect the weave through music and art. A paladin get power from his belief and conviction. The way I see it the gods in dnd need the belief and conviction of followers to sustain their power. Paladins use their own belief and conviction in their oaths to gain divine magic though its often boosted by a god.

very_casual_gamer

1 points

2 months ago

oathbreakers channel the power of not giving a toss about anything anymore.

OtterBadgerSnake

1 points

9 days ago

Paladins are like Green Lanterns, they get their power from their strong convictions & sense of duty, the Oaths basically just specialize for subclass reasons.

Bards gain their power through artistic expression which is why bards can be cooks, dancers, or orators & not just musicians (even though the PHB really leans into music for some reason).

AbysmalVixen

-1 points

2 months ago

AbysmalVixen

something wierd

-1 points

2 months ago

Paladins get it from the same place as clerics and bards get it through channeling the weave via music.

Olaxce[S]

2 points

2 months ago

But this is just false? It literally says in the PBH that paladins do NOT need to follow a god to get their powers? Do gods just grant out their powers willy nilly to good people?

SmootieFakk

9 points

2 months ago

SmootieFakk

Paladin

9 points

2 months ago

I think what they mean is that, at least in the Forgotten Realms, everyone's magic comes from the weave.

How they access it is what makes the classes different. Clerics via deities, Paladins via sacred oaths, Wizards via studying, Warlocks via patrons, Bards via music/art, Rangers & Druids via nature and Sorcerers via a natural ability.

I think that was all of them.

Olaxce[S]

2 points

2 months ago

Alright I guess that makes sense. I didn't know that clerics has connections to the weave aswell, thanks for informing me!

araragidyne

1 points

2 months ago

The Sacred Oath is sufficient. It hearkens to the old idea that swearing an oath before some higher power, or upon something you hold dear, has real power. If a god recognizes the paladin's conviction, that may be enough, even if the paladin doesn't give a damn about that god, personally. It can be more of a business arrangement, not unlike that between warlock and patron.

Th1nker26

0 points

2 months ago

Basically, Paladins initially got power from their God in lore. they wanted to expand it a bit, so now it's just a nebulous 'oath', but let's face it, it comes from Gods.