Not sure how a 5th level paladin can swing a polar bear, they are a bit higher in HD than the standard stuff.
I predict ole Koschei will be falling from grace at some point, as his legendary acts are not those of a paladin.

Is it assumed polar bears are better at fighting in snow than other bears/animals?

Hmm. Let me look at the polar bear stats. We might get 'round some things here. I need to have swan stats on the books anyway.

I was thinking maybe dropping the +2 HD bonus for the 5-7 level paladin so that is is close to the other animals and then progress from there.

I don't mean to be that guy; but if you wanted to augment the sad case that is the paladin class I would not mind lol.
I have a fix I did; but it might be a bit much as I lean favorably towards them due to their code.

...Let me point start off by pointing out that the usual class balance complaints we've got are sailing out the window for this game. Wizards are usually top dog, but the spell list they've got now is missing an awful lot of red meat.

Tell me your "fix". I've been writing material like mad for a while now, so I'm in favor of small things. How about we drop Smite Evil for this:

Smite Foe(Ex): Once per day, a paladin may smite an opponent with all the strength of his convictions, landing a potentially devastating blow. She adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to her attack roll. If the attack succeeds, the target must make a DC 15 Fortitude save or immediately fall to -8 hp. For the purposes of qualifying for feats, treat this ability as the equivalent of the Smite Evil class feature.

And of course at 5th level, you'd get 2/day of these.

That might even be too butch, but I think with the variant system in play it's not out of line. Thoughts?

Paladin (LG):
Smite Evil: Once per day per paladin level
In place of current Smite Evil on chart, choose a domain of Deity. Gain domain power.
MUST have a Deity and not just a philosophy.

This allows the paladin to reflect his deity a bit more mechanically, rather than just role playing.

Changing topic a bit. I would imagine that bards cast druid spells too? Or are they just not encouraged at all?

@Blick: I'm more inclined to oomph the martial rather than caster aspects of the paladins. Which domain did you have in mind?

@tbonejc: Bards are fine, and their current spell list is fine too. The class is unchanged, go have fun.

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