Oath Of Shackles

The Oath of Shackles is the promise of an execution. Liches, demons, and other foul beings are notoriously hard to kill. To combat this relentless threat, some paladins make the ultimate sacrifice, binding themselves to a lesser evil to destroy a greater one. The knowledge and power you gain is invaluable in pursuit of your goal, but can you resist the temptation lurking in your soul? No paladin of the Oath of Shackles has ever died of old age.

Paladins who take this oath pay a high price for their power. You must learn to live with a dark entity that shares your mind, body, and soul. In exchange, you gain instant access to information and powerful defenses, and you project an aura that forces foes to remain in striking distance. Eventually you learn to surmount even the sturdiest armor, cutting through all defenses between you and your prey.

Tenets of Shackles

The Oath of the Shackles has one tenet: seek and destroy your target. When this oath is chosen the paladin selects a nigh-unkillable creature and swears to end it. The paladin is granted the power to slay this extremely resilient enemy through binding a lesser evil to the paladin's soul. From this entity comes knowledge and strength.

  • Bind Evil. You must bind a minor evil being to your soul, tying its existence to your own. The ritual is arduous, painful, and permanent. The entity is an evil fey, fiend, or undead of considerable knowledge and experience. The exact details should be determined through conversations with your DM. Being bound to this entity changes you. When you select this oath, roll for a dark influence using the table of the same name. You may receive a different quirk or one of your own design at the DM’s discretion.
  • Sworn Enemy. You know your target, a legendarily powerful undead, fiend, or fey that is deserving of destruction. You need no laws or morals to back up your conviction. The truth is self-evident. It must die.

d6 Dark Influence
1 I constantly argue with my entity. To others it appears as if I’m arguing with someone who is not there.
2 Sometimes, when I’m not paying attention, my entity seizes control of my left hand and uses it to offend everyone around me or begin choking me.
3 I have difficulty hearing those around me, as my entity decides, at random, to scream in my mind for hours at a time. Why won’t it stop?
4 Every time I eat good food, my entity narrates the most disgusting acts of evil imaginable, causing me to lose my appetite.
5 The entity seizes control of my voice while I sleep, making sleeping close to me a disturbing experience.
6 Sometimes I state the name of my entity instead of my own when asked who I am.

Paladin Level Feature
3rd Channel Divinity: Dark Tutelage, Channel Divinity: Unholy Power, Oath Spells
7th Aura of Caging
15th Unerring Strike
20th Final Judgement

Channel Divinity

When you take this oath, at 3rd level you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.

Dark Tutelage. You can use your Channel Divinity to consult your entity. You need five minutes to receive any benefit from this consultation, and any distractions, such as attacking or taking damage, interrupt the consultation immediately. The effect functions identically to the augury spell, without the need for any components or expending a spell slot.

At 15th level, you can use this feature to gain the effects of the commune spell instead.

Unholy Power. As a bonus action you can use your Channel Divinity to call upon your entity as a ward against bodily harm. You gain resistance to fire, necrotic, and psychic damage for one minute.

Oath Spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed.
Paladin Level Feature
3rd hellish rebuke, hex
5th darkness, ray of enfeeblement
9th bestow curse, vampiric touch
13th confusion, fire shield
17th antilife shell, planar binding

Aura of Caging

Beginning at 7th level, whenever a hostile creature within 10 ft. of you attempts to move or magically transport itself more than 10 ft. away from you, that creature must succeed on a Charisma saving throw versus your spell save DC or it cannot move or teleport until the start of its next turn.

At 18th level, fey, fiends, and undead have disadvantage on their saving throws against this ability.

Unerring Strike

At 15th level, you trade power for precision. When you make an attack against a creature, you can expend a spell slot of 2nd level or higher to treat your target’s AC as 10 for that attack only. When you hit with an attack using this feature, you may not use your Divine Smite feature on this attack.

Final Judgement

At 20th level, your power merges with the evil soul inside you, turning you into a new and fearsome being. Your form takes on characteristics according to the type of entity bound to your soul. (For example, if you are bound a fiend, your teeth may become black and sharp, while you sprout small spines all over your body.)

Using your action, you can unleash the fell power within you for one minute, granting you the following benefits:

  • When you deal radiant damage with your Divine Smite, you may choose to instead deal either fire, necrotic, or psychic damage.
  • You may maintain concentration on up to two spells at once. You must attempt a single Constitution saving throw to maintain concentration on both spells when you take damage, losing both spells on a failure.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.


Ref: T&H p391-393