Smites Without Spell Slots


Let’s hack smites to reinvigorate Paladin spellcasting, discourage multiclassing for the sake of powergaming, and promote more dynamic play styles.

The Mechanic

The 5e Paladin’s Divine Smite feature keys off of spell slots. When you hit, you can burn a spell slot to deal extra radiant damage, with bigger damage rolls for higher spell slots.

The Problem

The primary problem this produces is that Paladins often skip casting spells so they can preserve their spell slots for smites. Why give Paladins spells if they’re not going to use them? When players get a new feature that keys off a resource they already have, they don’t feel like they’re getting as much. While this is not fatal design, it can be improved.

The secondary problem this produces is that it encourages players to multiclass into Sorcerer. The driving function of the multiclass is as a spell slot engine, fueled by the…

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