The compassion to pursue good, the will to uphold law, and the power to defeat evil - these are the three weapons of the paladin. Few have the purity and devotion that it takes to walk the paladin's path, but those few are rewarded with the power to protect, to heal, and to smite. In a land of scheming wizards, unholy priests, bloodthirsty dragons, and infernal fiends, the paladin is the final hope that cannot be extinguished.

Adventures: Paladins take their adventures seriously and have a penchant for referring to them as quests. Even a mundane mission is, in the heart of the paladin, a personal test - an opportunity to demonstrate bravery, to develop martial skills, to learn tactics, and to find ways to do good. Still, the paladin really comes into her own when leading a mighty campaign against evil, not when merely looting ruins.

Characteristics: Divine power protects the paladin and gives her special powers. It wards off harm, protects her from disease, lets her heal herself, and guards her heart against fear. The paladin can also direct this power to help others, healing their wounds or curing diseases. Finally, the paladin can use this power to destroy evil. Even the least experienced paladin can detect evil, and more experienced paladins can smite evil foes and turn away undead. In addition, this power draws a mighty steed to the paladin and imbues that mount with strength, intelligence, and magical protection.

Alignment: Paladins must be lawful good, and they lose their divine powers if they deviate from that alignment. Additionally, paladins swear to follow a code of conduct that is in line with lawfulness and goodness.

Religion: Paladins need not devote themselves to a single deity. Devotion to righteousness is enough for most. Those who align themselves with particular religions prefer Heironeous, god of valor, over all others, but some paladins follow Pelor, the sun god. Paladins devoted to a god are scrupulous in observing religious duties and are welcome in every associated temple.

Background: No one ever chooses to be a paladin. Becoming a paladin is answering a call, accepting one's destiny. No one, no matter how diligent, can become a paladin through practice. The nature is either within one or not, and it is not possible to gain the paladin's nature by any act of will. It is possible to fail to recognize one's own potential, or to deny one's destiny. Some who are called to be paladins deny the call and pursue some other life instead. Most paladins answer the call and begin training as adolescents. Typically they become squires or assistants to experienced paladins, train for years, and finally set off on their own to further the causes of good and law. Other paladins, however, find their calling only later in life, after having pursued some other career. All paladins, regardless of background, recognize in each other an eternal bond that transcends culture, race, and even religion. Any two paladins, even from opposite sides of the world, consider themselves comrades.

Races: Humans, with their ambitious souls, make great paladins. Half-elves, who often have human ambition, may also find themselves called into service as paladins. Dwarves are sometimes paladins, but becoming a paladin may be hard on a dwarf because it means putting the duties of the paladin's life before duties to family, clan, and king. Elven paladins are few, and those few tend to follow quests that take them far and wide because their lawful bent puts them out of synch with life among the elves. Members of the other common races rarely hear the call to become paladins.

Among the savage humanoids, paladins are all but unheard of.

Other Classes: Even though paladins are in some ways set apart from others, they eagerly team up with those whose skills and capabilities complement their own. They work well with good and lawful clerics, and they appreciate working with those who are brave, honest, and committed to good. While they cannot abide evil acts by their companions, they are otherwise willing to work with a variety of people quite different from themselves. Charismatic, trustworthy, and well respected, the paladin makes a fine leader for a team.

Role: The paladin's chief role is most groups is as a melee combatant, but she contributes other useful support as well. She makes a good secondary healer, and her high Charisma opens up fine leadership opportunities.

Game Rule Information

Paladins have the following game statistics.

Abilities: Charisma increases the paladin's healing, self-protective capabilities, and undead turning. Strength is important for a paladin because of its role in combat. A Wisdom score of 14 or higher is requited to get access to the most powerful paladin spells, and a score of 11 or higher is required to cast any paladin spells at all.

Alignment: Lawful good.

Class Skills

The paladin's class skills are Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Knowledge (religion), Profession, Ride, and Sense Motive.

Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4.

Skill Points at each additional level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the paladin.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Paladins are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor (heavy, medium, and light), and with shields (except tower shields).

Aura of Good: The power of a paladin's aura of good (see detect good) is equal to her paladin level, just like a aura of a cleric of a good deity.

Detect Evil: At will, the paladin can detect evil as a spell-like ability. This ability duplicates the effects of the spell detect evil.

Smite Evil: Once per day, a paladin may attempt to smite evil with one normal melee attack. She adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to her attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per paladin level. For example, a 13th-level paladin armed with a longsword would deal 1d8+13 points of damage, plus any additional bonuses for high Strength or magical effects that normally apply. If the paladin accidentally smites a creature that is not evil, the smite has no effect but it is still used up for that day.

At 5th level, and at every five levels thereafter, the paladin may smite evil one additional time per day, as indicated on the table below, to a maximum of 5 times per day at 20th level.

Divine Grace: A paladin applies her Charisma modifier (if positive) as a bonus to all saving throws.

Lay on Hands: Beginning at 2nd level a paladin with a Charisma score of 12 or higher can heal wounds (her own or others) by touch. Each day she can cure a total number of hit points equal to her paladin level x Charisma bonus. For example, a 7th-level paladin with a 16 Charisma (+3 bonus) may cure up to 21 points of damage. She may choose to divide her curing among multiple recipients, and she doesn't have to use it all at once. Lay on bands is a spell-like ability whose use is a standard action.

Alternatively, the paladin can use any or all of these points to deal damage to undead creatures. Using lay on hands in this way requires a successful melee touch attack and does not provoke an attack of opportunity. The paladin decides how many of her daily allotment of points to use as damage after successfully touching the undead creature.

Aura of Courage: Beginning at 3rd level, a paladin is immune to fear (magical or otherwise). Allies within 10 feet of the paladin gain a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against fear effects. This ability functions while the paladin is conscious, but not if she is unconscious or dead.

Divine Health: At 3rd level, a paladin gains immunity to all diseases, including magical diseases such as mummy rot and lycanthropy

Turn Undead: When a paladin reaches 4th level, she gains the supernatural ability to turn undead. She may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier. She turns undead as a cleric of three levels lower would. (See Turn and Rebuke Undead)

Spells: Beginning at 4th level, a paladin gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells. To cast a spell, the paladin must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the spell's level, so a paladin with a Wisdom of 10 or lower cannot cast these spells. Paladin bonus spells are based on Wisdom, and saving throws against these spells have a Difficulty Class of 10 + spell level + Wisdom modifier. When the paladin gets 0 spells of a given level, such as 0 1st-level spells at 4th level, the paladin gets only bonus spells (as per Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells). A paladin without a bonus spell for that level cannot yet cast a spell of that level. The paladin's spell list. A paladin has access to any spell on the list and can freely choose which to prepare, just as a cleric can. A paladin prepares and casts spells just as a cleric does (though the paladin cannot use spontaneous casting to substitute a cure spell in place of a prepared spell).

Through 3rd level, a paladin has no caster level. Starting at 4th level, a paladin's caster level is one-half her class level.

Special Mount: Upon or after reaching 5th level, a paladin can call an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed to serve her in her crusade against evil (see The Paladin's Mount). This mount is usually a heavy warhorse (for a Medium-size paladin) or a warpony (for a Small paladin).

Should the paladin's mount die, she may call for another one after a year and a day. The new mount has all the accumulated abilities due a mount of the paladin's level. This ability is the equivalent of a spell of a level equal to one-third the paladin's class level.

Remove Disease: Beginning at 6th level, a paladin can remove disease, as per the spell remove disease, once per week. She can use this ability more often as she advances in levels (twice per week at 9th level, three times per week at 12th level, and so forth).

Code of Conduct: A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all special class abilities if she ever willingly commits an act of evil. Additionally a paladin's code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, etc.), help those who need help (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those that harm or threaten innocents.

Associates: While she may adventure with characters of any good or neutral alignment, a paladin will never knowingly associate with evil characters. A paladin will not continue an association with someone who consistently offends her moral code. A paladin may only hire henchmen or accept followers who are lawful good.

PaladinHit Die: d10Spells per day
1st+1+2+0+0Aura of good, Detect evil, smite evil 1/day----
2nd+2+3+0+0Divine grace, lay on hands----
3rd+3+3+1+1Aura of courage, divine health----
4th+4+4+1+1Turn undead0---
5th+5+4+1+1Smite evil 2/day, Special mount0---
6th+6/+1+5+2+2Remove disease 1/week1---
8th+8/+3+6+2+2-1 0--
9th+9/+4+6+3+3Remove disease 2/week10--
10th+10/+5+7+3+3Smite evil 3/day11--
12th+12/+7/+2+8+4+4Remove disease 3/week111-
15th+15/+10/+5+9+5+5Remove disease 4/week, smite evil 4/day2111
18th+18/+13/+8/+3+11+6+6Remove disease 5/week3221
20th+20/+15/+10/+5+12+6+6Smite evil 5/day3333

Paladin Spells


A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who grossly violates the code of conduct loses all special abilities and spells, including the service of the paladin's warhorse. She also may not progress in levels as a paladin. She regains her abilities if she atones for her violations (see the atonement spell), as appropriate.

Like a member of any other class, a paladin may be a multiclass character, but paladins face a special restriction. A paladin who gains a new class or (if already multiclass) raises another class by a level may never again raise her paladin level, though she retains all her paladin abilities. The path of the paladin requires a constant heart. Once you undertake the path, you must pursue it to the exclusion of all other careers. Once you have turned off the path, you may never return. One exception are those paladins dedicated to Torm. They may multi-class freely as one other class.

In the Realms

Piergeiron Paladinson, the Open Lord of Waterdeep, might be the most renowned paladin in Faerûn today. Although his adventuring days are behind him, he represents the Lords of Waterdeep with a just and compassionate demeanor and unshakable courage. Many younger paladins model themselves after him.

All paladins of Faerûn are devoted to a patron deity, chosen at the start of their career as paladins. Like paladins of other lands, the paladins of Faerûn must be both lawful and good. The paladin's deity must be lawful good, lawful neutral, or neutral good. For example, both Helm the Vigilant One (lawful neutral) and Chauntea the Earthmother (neutral good) have lawful good paladin worshipers. Sune, the goddess of beauty, love and passion, is an exception to the alignment rule, for her followers include paladins even though her alignment is chaotic good. Additional information on the paladins of some of Faerûn's religions appears in the Special Paladin Orders sidebar.

Preferred Character Regions: Paladins often come from Cormyr, the Dalelands, Damara, Luiren, Impiltur, Mulborand, Silverymoon, Tethyr, and Waterdeep.

Shield dwarves sometimes become paladins devoted to deities of the dwarven pantheon, and strongheart halflings often become paladins devoted to deities of the halfling pantheon.

Epic Paladin

The epic paladin stands at the forefront of the battle against and evil in the world, shining as a beacon of hope to all who fight the good fight.

Hit Die: d10.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Lay on Hands (Su): Each day the epic paladin can cure a total number of hit points equal to her Charisma bonus (if any) times her class level, as normal.

Smite Evil (Su): The epic paladin adds her class level to damage with any smite evil attack, as normal. She can smite one additional time per day for every five levels higher than 20th (6/day at 25th, 7/day at 30th, and so on)

Turn Undead (Su): The paladin turns undead as a cleric of two levels lower, as normal.

Spells: The paladin's caster level is equal to one-half her class level, as normal. The paladin's number of spells per day does not increase after 20th level.

Special Mount: The epic paladin's special mount continues to increase in power. Every five levels higher than 20th (25th, 30th, 35th, and so on), the special mount gains +2 bonus Hit Diced, its natural armor increases by +2, its Strength adjustment increases by +1, and its Intelligence increases by +1. The mount's spell resistance equals the paladin's class level + 5.

Remove Disease (Sp): The epic paladin can use remove disease one additional time per week for every three levels higher than 18th (7/week at 21st, 8/week at 24th, and so on).

Bonus Feats: The epic paladin gains a bonus feat every three levels higher than 20th (23rd, 26th, 29th, and so on).

Planar Substitution Levels

Dedicated to upholding law promoting good, and serving an example for others in the name of their god, paladins seem to live heir lives as an effort to carry a tiny bit of their deity's plane wherever they go. If they have done their jobs well, spending time on the plane in question will be like coming home, and bringing that same sense of beneficial transformation to other planes will be a worthwhile challenge for a truly worthy champion. Better than members of any other class, paladins can be agents who embody the tenets of an entire plane of existence.


To take a paladin planar substitution level, a character must be about to take her 4th, 6th, or 10th level of paladin.

Class Skills

Paladin planar substitution levels have the class skills of the standard paladin class plus Knowledge (the planes) (Int). Skill Points at Each level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are features of the paladin's planar substitution levels.

Smite Evil Outsider (Su): A planar paladin of 4th level or higher can attempt to smite an evil outsider with one normal melee attack. She adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to the damage dealt by the attack. In addition, the attack is treated as good-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. If the paladin accidentally smites a creature that is not an evil outsider, the smite has no effect, but the ability is still used up. A paladin may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1 + her Cha modifier (minimum 1).

If the paladin is on a plane that is both good-aligned and lawful-aligned (such as the Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia), she also adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to the attack roll.

A planar paladin can use smite evil and smite evil outsider on the same attack, and the bonuses stack. This benefit replaces the ability to turn undead gained by a standard paladin at 4th level

Celestial Mount: A paladin who chooses this planar substitution benefit at 6th level may apply the celestial template (see Celestial template) to her special mount.

The mount gains darkvision out to 60 feet, spell resistance equal to its Hit Dice + 5 (maximum 25), and resistance to acid, cold, and electricity 5 (or resistance 10 if it has 8 or more Hit Dice). If the mount has 4 or more Hit Dice, it also gains damage reduction (5/magic for Hit Dice 4 to 11, or 10/magic for Hit Dice 12 or more), and its natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. It also gains a smite evil attack, allowing it to deal extra damage once per day equal to its Hit Dice (maximum +20) with a single melee attack against an evil foe.

This benefit replaces the remove disease class feature gained by a standard paladin at 6th level. From now on, whenever the paladin gains a standard paladin level that allows her to use remove disease more frequently, she gains the indicated number of uses per week minus 1 (1/week at 9th level, 2/ week at 12th level, and so on).

Alignment Purity (Ex): A 10th-level paladin who chooses this planar substitution benefit can ignore the penalty to Intelligence-, Wisdom-, and/or Charisma-based checks that she would normally take when on a plane that is chaotic- or evil-aligned. Her spirit and determination are so pure that she effectively brings her own planar alignment traits wherever she goes.

This ability only affects the paladin, not any other allies or foes in her vicinity.

This benefit replaces the ability to smite evil three times per day gained by a standard paladin at 10th level. From now on, whenever the paladin gains a standard paladin level that allows her to smite evil more frequently, she gains the indicated number of uses per day minus 1 (3/day at 15th level, 4/day at 20th level, and so on).

Paladin Planar Substitution Levels
4th+4+4+1+1Smite evil outsider
6th+6/+1+5+2+2Celestial mount
10th+10/+5+7+3+3Alignment purity

Aquatic Variation

Rivers and oceans don't seem at first to be typical environments for paladins. An armored knight just doesn't go to sea: Most mounts do not swim with a rider, nor do they tolerate the shipboard life well. However, a paladin might be in the service of a water deity's temple, and sea-dwelling races have their own champions of justice (the aventi in particular have a long, honorable paladin tradition). For example, the triton Order of the Crimson Shell is dedicated to eradicating the sahuagin and opposing the dreaded sahuagin cult known as the Jaws of Sekolah, which spreads terror and blood across the seas.

Special Mount (Sp): An aquatic paladin can choose to call a hippocampus as her special mount instead of a horse. Small paladins can call a porpoise instead of a pony.

Special Paladin Orders in the Realms

Some faiths allow paladins to gain levels in another class and still return to progression as a paladin, exactly as some orders of monks do. Special paladin orders include:

Azuth: Rather than gaining levels as paladins throughout their career, the rare paladins of the High One are more likely to spend some time progressing in that class and then learn wizardry full-time. Azuth's paladins cannot multiclass freely.

Chauntea: Paladins of the Grain Goddess are rare. They value compassion as much as courage, and spend much time helping common folk in rural areas. They may multiclass freely as clerics, divine champions, and divine disciple.

Helm: Paladins of the Watcher to guard against evil or slay it outright rather than work to heal its damages. They seem rigid and uninterested in helping others. They may multiclass freely as fighters, clerics, divine champions, arcane devotees, and Purple Dragon knights.

Ilmater: Paladins of the Broken God guard the weak and use their healing powers on any who need them. They are not shy about fighting evil; but they would rather pause to heal someone who is about to die than sacrifice that life in order to pursue fleeing evildoers. They may multiclass freely as clerics, divine champions, divine disciples, and hierophants.

Kelemvor: Paladins of the Lord of the Dead devote themselves to hunting and killing undead. Some develop as paladins for their entire career, others begin as paladins but leave that path, to progress as rangers and clerics. They cannot multiclass freely.

Lathander: Paladins of the Morninglord are among the best-loved heroes of Faerûn. They are loosely organized (along with other fighters devoted to the god) into a holy order called the Order of the Aster. Within their own church the paladins are frequently more conservative and concerned with the way things should be done than the clerics, who are often neutral rather than lawful. Paladins may multiclass freely as clerics, divine champions, divine disciples, hierophants, and Purple Dragon knights.

Moradin: The Soul Forger has few paladins, but the dwarves who choose this path often act as champions of the entire dwarven pantheon, blending the virtues of all the dwarven gods. They may multiclass freely as clerics, fighters, divine champions, dwarven defenders, and runecasters.

Sune: Paladins of the Firehair defend things of beauty. They seek out and destroy creatures that are particularly hideous in their evil. They tend to be incredibly self-confident and are particularly effective at destroying undead. They may multiclass freely as divine champions. Paladins may choose Sune as a patron deity despite the fact that she is a chaotic good deity. This is an exception to the normal requirement to select a patron deity whose alignment is no more than one step different from yours.

Torm: Paladins of the True God defend the weak, defeat evil, and uphold the high moral standards required for servants of a god who serves bright and righteous Tyr. They may multiclass freely as one other class.

Tyr: Paladins of the Just God are front-line warriors in the battle against evil and untruth, and often lead military and adventuring groups to further their cause. They may multiclass freely as clerics, fighters, and divine champions.

Yondalla: Paladins of the Protector and Provider are rare, but in halfling-run lands such as Luiren, they serve their fellow citizens with sword and shield. They may multiclass freely as monks.

Paladin's Mount

The paladin's mount is different from a standard animal of its type in many ways. The standard mount for a Medium-size paladin is a warhorse, and the standard mount for a Small paladin is a warpony (see warhorse and warpony for basic statistics). Your DM may work with you to select another kind of mount, such as a riding dog. A paladin's mount is a magical beast, not an animal. It is superior to a normal mount of its kind and has special powers, as shown below:

5-7+24+16Improved evasion, share spells, empathic link, share saving throws
11-14+68+38Command creatures of its kind
15-20+810+49Spell resistance

Paladin Level: The level of the paladin. If the mount suffers a level drain, treat it as a mount of a lower-level paladin.

Bonus HD: These are extra eight-sided (d8) Hit Dice, each of which gains a Constitution modifier, as normal. Remember that extra Hit Dice improve the mount's base attack and base save bonuses.

Natural Armor: The number listed here is an improvement to the mount's AC. It represents the preternatural toughness of a paladin's mount.

Str Adj.: Add this figure to the mount's Strength score.

Int: The mount's Intelligence score.

Improved Evasion: If the mount is subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, it takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage even if the saving throw fails, Improved evasion is an extraordinary ability.

Share Spells: At the paladin's option, she may have any spell she casts on herself also affect her mount. The mount must be within 5 feet. If the spell has a duration other than instantaneous, the spell stops affecting the mount if it moves farther than 5 feet away and will not affect the mount again even if the mount returns to the paladin before the duration expires. Additionally, the paladin may cast a spell with a target of "You" on her mount (as a touch range spell) instead of on herself. The paladin and the mount can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the mount's type (magical beast).

Empathic Link: The paladin has an empathic link with the mount out to a distance of up to one mile. The paladin cannot see through the mount's eyes, but they can communicate telepathically. Even intelligent mounts see the world differently from humans, so misunderstandings are always possible. This is a supernatural ability.

Because of the empathic link between the mount and the paladin, the paladin has the same connection to an item or place that the mount does, just as a master and his familiar (see Familiars).

Share Saving Throws: The mount uses its own base save or the paladin's, whichever is higher.

Command: The mount's command ability is a spell-like ability that it can use at will against other creatures of its kind (for warhorses and warponies, this includes donkeys, mules, and ponies) with fewer Hit Dice than it has itself. The mount can use this ability once per day per two levels of its paladin, and the ability functions just like the spell command (for purposes of this spell, the mount can make itself be understood by any normal animal of its kind). Since this is a spell-like ability, the mount must make a Concentration check (DC 21) if it's being ridden at the time (as in combat). If the check fails, the ability does not work that time, but it still counts against the mount's daily uses.

Spell Resistance: The mount's spell resistance equals the paladin's level + 5. To affect the mount with a spoil, a spellcaster must make a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) at least equal to the mount's spell resistance.

Dragons As Special Mounts

Some paladins want more from a mount than loyalty. Some desire an intelligent companion who can share their adventures, a mighty ally against the forces of evil whose power can grow with the paladin's. For these paladins, only one choice exists: the dragon special mount.

Clearly, a dragon is a far more powerful special mount than any other a paladin could obtain. If a paladin can simply summon a dragon mount, a class feature designed primarily as flavor and secondarily as an actual power boost to the paladin becomes significant more useful to the character. Such a special mount threatens to become more special than the paladin herself.

Furthermore, most true dragons large enough to bear a rider have little interest in being at the beck and call of anyone, even a character as devoted to law and good as a paladin must be.

That said, few sights are more breathtaking than a paladin astride a mighty dragon, its scales glistening in the sunlight as it soars through the sky in search of evil to smite. If you (and your friends) are willing to put up with the headaches, this option might suit you.

Only a lawful good dragon should be allowed to serve as a paladin's special mount. The dragonnel is a special exception to this guideline.

A paladin who wishes to be able to summon a dragon special mount must select the Dragon Steed feat. She then selects an appropriate dragon from Dragon Special Mount Availability based on her paladin level. She may select any dragon indicated as available at her level or lower. For instance, a 9th-level paladin could select only a dragonnel as her dragon special mount, while a 12th-level paladin could choose either a wyrmling gold dragon or a dragonnel. The paladin must choose a dragon capable of bearing her as a rider (which limits a Medium rider's selections (see Dragon Mounts).

Dragon Special Mount Availability
Paladin LevelDragon (Maximum Rider Size)
9thDragonnel (M)
11thSpiked felldrake (M)
12thGold, wyrmling (S)
13thBronze, very young (S)
14thSilver, very young (S)
16thGold, very young (M)
18thBronze, young (S)
19thSilver, young (5)
20thGold, young (M)

A paladin must provide her special mount with a suitable lair; even a loyal silver dragon mount won't live in the stable with the other mounts. The Monster Manual describes what type of lair each kind of dragon prefers; any dragon denied the ability to build and reside in an appropriate lair will certainly rebel against its paladin.

The dragon must also be provided treasure to keep in its lair. A minimum hoard of 1,000 gp per Hit Die of the dragon is typical, with the exact makeup depending on the type and likes of the dragon. Bronze dragons, for instance, prefer pearls. (The dragon isn't just keeping the treasure safe for you, it belongs to the dragon, and it won't part with this treasure kindly).

Finally (and perhaps most important), the dragon must be treated with the respect that a creature of its intelligence, power, and stature commands. It is not a dumb beast to order around, nor is it merely a minion to command. Even lawful good dragons are willful creatures with their own desires and needs.

A dragon special mount gains abilities much as a typical special mount, though at a rate based on the level at which the mount first becomes available. This means that the most powerful special dragon mounts don't get all the typical abilities of a special mount. Special Dragon Mount Abilities (below) summarizes the details.

Bonus HD: Treat the same as bonus HD for a regular paladin's mount, except that these are extra twelve-sided (d12) Hit Dice.

Int: The "Intelligence" column only applies to those dragons whose Intelligence score is lower than that value (that is, a dragon special mount with an Intelligence higher than the given value retains its normal Intelligence).

Improved Speed: This ability applies to all of the dragon's modes of movement, including land speed, fly speed, and even burrow speed or swim speed (if the dragon possesses one or both).

Share Spells: This ability applies only to spells that the paladin casts. The dragon can't elect for spells that it casts on itself to also affect the paladin.

Spell Resistance: The spell resistance gained by a dragon special mount doesn't stack with any natural spell resistance it might have. Only the higher value applies.

Special Dragon Mount Abilities
Paladin Level (by Mount's Availability)* 
9th10th-13th14th-17th18th-20thBon. HDNat. Armor Adj.Str. Adj.IntSpecial
9th-10th10th-14th14th-18th18th-20th+2+4+16Improved evasion, shares empathic link, share saving throws
11th-14th15th-18th19th-20th-+4+6+27Improved speed
15th-18th19th-20th--+6+8+38Command creatures of its kind
19th-20th---+810+49Spell resistance
*The boldface column headers (9th, 10th-13th, etc.) represent the paladin level (or range of levels) at which a mount becomes available. The number ranges below the header in each column are the paladin levels at which the special dragon mount has the characteristics indicated on the right-hand side of the table.

Source: Player's Handbook

Alternative Class Feature: Divine Spirit (Dungeonscape)

Most paladins form a special relationship with a celestial mount that aids them in battle. You, however, spend most of your time fighting below the ground or in enclosed spaces, where a mount is of little use. Instead, you have forged a bond with celestial spirits whose aid you can call upon when needed.

Level: 5th.

Replaces: If you select this alternative class feature, you do not gain the special mount ability.

Benefit: Upon reaching 5th level, you can call upon your deity for aid in the form of a celestial spirit. Using this ability is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. See below for detailed spirit descriptions and rules.

Your paladin level determines which kinds of celestial spirits answer your summons. You can summon the spirit available at your current level as well as any that became available at lower levels.

Paladin LevelSpirit Summoned
5th-10thSpirit of healing
11th—15thSpirit of combat
16th-19thSpirit of heroism
20th+Spirit of the fallen

The following entries describe how each of the different spirits function. Unless otherwise specified, all spirits share some characteristics, as set out below.

Spirit of Healing: This spirit increases your ability to heal damage dealt to you or your allies. When summoned, it can heal an amount of damage equal to twice the amount you can heal using your lay on hands ability.

To use its healing ability, you or an ally must begin or end your turn in the same square as the spirit. That character can then use a standard action to transfer some or all of the hit points from the spirit to herself. Once the spirit has used all its healing ability, it dissipates.

Spirit of Combat: This spirit enhances combat ability. Whenever an ally (including yourself) is adjacent to the spirit of combat or occupying its space, that character gains holy fervor. Holy fervor grants a +1 sacred bonus on attacks and damage rolls for every four paladin levels you possess (up to a maximum of +5 at 20th level). In addition, affected characters' weapons are treated as good-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Spirit of Heroism: This spirit automatically occupies your space and does not leave until dismissed or dispelled, or the duration of the summoning ends. You gain DR 10/-. In addition, you gain the benefit of the Diehard feat (even if you do not meet the prerequisite) and can use your lay on hands ability as a free action once per round instead of as a standard action.

Spirit of the Fallen: While you or any of your allies are adjacent to this spirit, it grants fast healing 10 to those characters. If an affected character's hit points drop to 0 or fewer while within 30 feet of this spirit, it revives that character at the start of his next turn, allowing him to take his action as normal. The character heals an amount of damage equal to twice your paladin level, though if his hit points are still at -10 or below, he still dies. The spirit can use its revive ability once per round.

A spirit of the fallen cannot revive creatures whose bodies have been destroyed (such as by a disintegrate spell), nor can it reverse the effects of bodily changes, such as from flesh to stone or baleful polymorph, or other effects that slay a character without dealing damage.