I’m working on a new Paladin class. Not what I’d call a “Paladin To End All Paladins,” it’s actually another fairly conservative Paladin — inasmuch as a Paladin could be considered conservative. No radiant powers, no flashy self-sacrificing powers.

Let me show you the power that really got me started:

Righteous Smite [Divine]
No action * Encounter * Personal
Requirement: You must be bloodied.
Trigger: You make a basic attack against an adjacent enemy.
Effect: You gain a power bonus to the attack roll equal to your Charisma modifier, and the attack deals 1[W] extra damage.
Level 17: 2[W] extra damage.
Level 27: 3[W] extra damage.
Special: You can use this power only once per turn.

I actually wrote the basic version of this power ages ago, and I was waiting for the inclination to work on another Paladin class came around — now I can use it.

Righteous Smite, as described above, functions like a combination of the Slayer’s “Power Strike” and the Thief’s “Backstab.” It’s an encounter power that modifies an outgoing basic weapon attack — but here there are a few key differences.

Rather than requiring combat advantage like Backstab, Righteous Smite requires the Guardian be bloodied. This can happen easily if the player is doing his job and taking attacks for his allies. Righteous Smite also can’t be used with a fancy, extended-reach melee attack. The Guardian has to be looking his enemy in the eye.

Finally, the power allows the Guardian to add his Charisma modifier to the attack roll — which isn’t necessarily as accurate as the Thief’s Backstab, unless the player just happens to have a couple eighteens to sink into different ability scores.

I’m really trying to mix in both the Martial and Divine power sources, to really get just the right blend of features and powers. The class should feel like it can almost work without Divine intervention — and then it’s there to help the Guardian really shine.