Level 16 vanilla pally from the Alazander campaign (Siege of Shadowdale => Crimson Tides of Tethyr => Tyrants of the Moonsea)
Stats: STR 14, DEX 10, CON 10, INT 14, WIS 14, CHA 19.
Stats from items bring CHA to 26, STR to 20 and INT to 19. Also have lesser Ioun stones for STR (2 stones), DEX, INT, WIS and CHA. I have an Amulet of Natural Armour +5 that I could swap in for a Periapt of Wisdom +4.
Skills: max Persuade, Discipline, Lore and Heal.
Feats: WF: Longsword, IC: Longsword, Extra Smiting, Extra Turning, DM, DS, Blindfight.
He's now in Elventree with the elves, a second such major defining point in his life after saving Suldanesselar. I'm probably going to reflect this by buying him a nice bow from the elves, but I've been thinking about something more.
Another possible angle is that he's pretty much a Harper by now. Not official but working with them and having his own pin in case he needs to prove the links to make some people talk.
I could use Search & Disable Trap (traps on doors for solo parts tend to be a problem and require reloads), but HS doesn't offer these as class skills, so I'd need Rogue levels and Rogue + HS would be a bit much.
Ranger would probably be taking it a bit too far, though dual-wielding two holy avengers obviously isn't bad.
Which is not to say it's better than a Tower Shield +5 with additional effects, not to mention more paladin levels.
CToT maybe then?
I do want to take paladin levels up to 20, because that's where most of the spellcasting ability lies, and I've already invested in it by staying vanilla. However, I could still delay them and just go ahead and pick up some feats, saves and Divine Wrath (though DW is not overly useful at this stage and given the similar duration of DM and DS, which I also need to cast). Or Great Smites when epic.
I think I can probably live without a bunch of additional feats, though KD/IKD is nice to have against non-evil casters and creatures with nasty special abilities, Toughness is useful, Expertise also could be (I kinda regret taking DS). And Cleave + perhaps Great Cleave would have great roleplaying value in group situations — mowing mobs faster means you can save more of your weaker allies and faster. This has been a concern to me for quite some time due to the low HPs of allied soldiers in group battles.
More importantly, though, CoT would be nice to have on epic levels due to getting a bonus epic feat every 2 levels. The usefulness of epic feats is not overwhelming when you don't have access to the DevCrit chain (not enough STR by far) or the Dodge chain (not enough DEX) and are not a caster, but you can always simply get Epic Weapon Focus and Epic Prowess for a combined +3 to hit, which almost offsets a permanent Power Attack and goes some way toward making permanent Improved Power Attack viable. And Great Smites are more than good enough on their own.
So, paladin up to level 19, then CoT on 20, to get CoT(2) on 21 and grab two epic feats, then get epic feats at 23, 24, 25, 27(x2), 29, 30, etc.?
Presuming that I would play modules with NPCs, Purple Dragon Knight wouldn't be too bad, of course, but roleplaying CoT as a normal Divine Champion is one thing, whereas PDK roleplayed as a Tethyrian knight or some kind of unrelated warlord would be taking it a bit too far in my book.
Fighter would be good for WS+EWS, since I'm already committed to longswords, but 4 levels is a bit steep, and the alternatives may be better (CoT bonus feats to increase AB, then turn PA/IPA on).
Rogue would be good for Disable Trap, Search, Tumble and Open Lock (in this order), but hardly mandatory if I could just improve my saves instead. (But it feels good to not have to reload because of dying to traps when travelling without a rogue companion.)
RDD is not my cuppa.
So, options I see are essentially limited to vanilla paladin (though perhaps with an unusual twist — any ideas?) or multiclassing with CoT, HS, Rogue or Fighter, where HS or Rogue makes additional sense after character level 20 due to not making a difference in your Attack Bonus.
I suppose CoT will vastly out-advantage vanilla epic paladin, or is there something I'm not aware of?