How can I best convert an Oath of the Ancients paladin from D&D 5e to 3.5e?

I’m working on starting a D&D 3.5e campaign with a group of players with whom I’ve previously played a 5e campaign. One of these players plays a 5th-level Paladin with the Oath of the Ancients in our 5e campaign, and would like to play a similar style of character in the 3.5e campaign. My question is how to best convert the character over from 5e to 3.5e while preserving the character’s essence in play.

For context, this player plays the paladin as a lightly armored half-elf with a longsword and shield, emphasizing the ability to smite for lots of damage fast. The character has also made some use of the lay on hands ability, but otherwise has made fairly negligible use of spells due to everyone else in the party also having some spellcasting ability.

My first thought on how to convert the character was to use a Duskblade, since the arcane channeling ability provides a similar strong strike style effect as the Paladin’s smite ability in 5e. I preferred Duskblade channeling over Paladin smites because the smite in 3.5e is quite lackluster and nowhere near as repeatedly usable, especially at low levels. However, the Duskblade would not provide any healing ability, and lacks the divine flavor of the paladin. These aren’t insurmountable problems, but I am hoping for a better fit.

Is there an option that better fits the playstyle of a Good, lightly armored, sword-and-shield character with fast and highly damaging attacks and the ability to heal at 5th level?

Is the Oath of the Ancients Paladin’s Elder Champion feature intended to still work while unconscious?

The Paladin’s Oath of the Ancients Level 20 Elder Champion feature states:

Using your action, you undergo a transformation. For 1 minute, you gain the following benefits:

  • At the start of each of your turns, you regain 10 hit points.

  • Whenever you cast a paladin spell that has a casting time of 1 action, you can cast it using a bonus action instead.

  • Enemy creatures within 10 feet of you have disadvantage on saving throws against your paladin spells and Channel Divinity options.

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

What it does not state is that the transformation ends or you lose the benefits of the transformation when you are unconscious or incapacitated.

If the Paladin is knocked unconscious while it is transformed, does that mean the Paladin will be able to regain consciousness at the start of next turn?

To contrast, the Oath of the Crown’s Exalted Champion includes this statement:

This effect ends early if you are incapacitated or die. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Emphasis mine.

The Paladin’s Auras of Protection specifically state that:

Starting at 6th level, whenever you or a friendly creature within 10 feet of you must make a saving throw, the creature gains a bonus to the saving throw equal to your Charisma modifier (with a minimum bonus of +1). You must be conscious to grant this bonus.

Emphasis mine.

Aura of Courage states:

Starting at 10th level, you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can’t be frightened while you are conscious.

Emphasis mine.

This seems to imply most of the Paladin’s Level 20 features continue working even while unconscious. The Oath of Ancients Paladin would be able to regain consciousness at the start of the turn. Similarly, the Oath of Vengeance Paladin would still frighten their enemies despite being unconscious on the ground. The Oath of Devotion Paladin would still give off sunlight and damage enemies despite being unconscious.

Is this Rules as Written and/or Intended?

What “feat” should I pick as a Triton tank (Oath of Ancients Paladin)?

We are doing Princes of the Apocalypse (D&D 5th edition), and the DM is starting us off at level 1. Spells and classes will be kept strictly to PHB, but races outside of it are allowed. The DM, however, is allowing us to select a free feat at first level. I plan on taking the route of a sword and board oath of ancients paladin, but am currently torn at my choices. I also plan on picking up the protector/duelist fighting style, and will be playing the role of tank.

The DM is also giving us the choice of a custom made feat they created. In this case, my character would get a +2 to AC when around water (except in deserts and volcanos) and 2 temporary hitpoints on a windy day.

For a future Oath of Ancients tank, should I select this custom feat or a different feat (war caster, sentinel, resilient, etc.)?

Is Oath of the Ancients all about nature?

I’m finding it hard to DM for an Oath of the Ancients Paladin PC in my group. My concern is he’s not following his tenets as well as he could be, but I’m more curious about what standards I should be holding his role-playing at rather than how to punish/deal with him.

Kindle the Light- Through your acts of mercy, kindness, and forgiveness, kindle the light of hope in the world, beating back despair.

Shelter the Light- Where there is good, beauty, love, and laughter in the world, stand against the wickedness that would swallow it. Where life flourishes, stand against the forces that would render it barren.

Preserve Your Own Light- Delight in song and laughter, in beauty and art. If you allow the light to die in your own heart, you can’t preserve it in the world.

Be the Light- Be a glorious beacon for all who live in despair. Let the light of your joy and courage shine forth in all your deeds.

The main point that we disagree on is that his oath is all about nature and isn’t concerned with things that don’t directly affect it.

Example: He’s okay with overlooking corruption in a government that would result in the death of innocents, so long as a forest doesn’t get burned down in the process and no animals are harmed.

The Oath of the Ancients is as old as the race of elves and the rituals of the druids. Sometimes called fey knights, green knights, or horned knights, paladins who swear this oath cast their lot with the side of the light in the cosmic struggle against darkness because they love the beautiful and life-giving things of the world, not necessarily because they believe in principles of honor, courage, and justice. They adorn their armor and clothing with images of growing things—leaves, antlers, or flowers—to reflect their commitment to preserving life and light in the world.

While the description of the oath as well as some of their spells certainly imply a deep connection to nature, I feel as though the tenets are written to encompass more than just matters concerning the safety and preservation of nature.

I feel as though there is a certain level of contradiction between the tenets and the above text in bold, specifically their belief in honor, courage, and justice.

So long as it doesn’t affect nature, could this oath allow a paladin to:

  • Travel with evil aligned characters without any attempt at reforming them?
  • Forego forgiveness in favor of killing someone who betrayed him?
  • Overlook the evil and wrongdoings of man? (or any sentient race)
  • Inflict injury on someone for lying to him?

The question to be answered: Leaving character alignment out of the equation, how much separation should be allowed for this oath when it comes to the laws of nature vs the laws of man?