How to allow my player to play a ranged paladin-style character?

So, I saw this question here. The way the questioner wrote it (at the time I am writing this one) was quite broad. I have been through a similar issue, which ultimately led me to homebrew a new class, and I decided to share my problem and my solution.


I am running a new Curse of Strahd campaign with players that are more used to D&D than most groups I DM to. One of my players wants to play a ranged weapon-based character, but that, at the same time, has “holy” characteristics, similar to a Paladin or Cleric. Basically, the player wants to shoot arrows that deal radiant damage and deal some extra nice damage against Undeads and other evil creatures.

Additionally, the player feels like the holy aspect should provide some kind of support to the party, similar to what Paladins and Clerics do, not only be a damage dealer that deals radiant damage and extra against evil.

The Issue

Well, there is the first obvious issue: clerics don’t have much supporting ranged weapon-based playing style, nor do Paladins. But not only that, the Paladin class as a whole is quite melee-based, so, creating a new subclass to the Paladin that fits with ranged combat still seems hard – it is not just about changing Divine Smite to ranged and allowing Archery as a Fighting style. The channel divinities are melee based, the auras are mostly melee-tankish based. On the other hand, re-flavoring a Ranger to something more “sacred” also does not feel the same (especially since the player wants something to support the team).

The question

So, that said, how can I allow my player to play with the concept they have in mind and have a fun time? I should mention that I am totally okay with homebrew content, as long as it is fairly balanced, and I am also okay with build suggestions that make such a playstyle viable. Answers explaining why this is a bad idea are also welcome, if that is the case and I am unaware.