PATH OF THE WHIRLWIND REAPER (5E)

A primal path for barbarians

WHIRLING FURY
Starting at 3rd level, when you rage, you can still use two-weapon fighting even if one of the weapons you hold is not a light weapon (but both weapons must still be one-handed). Also, while raging and wielding a melee weapon in each hand, any creature that ends its turn within your reach takes damage equal to your barbarian rage damage bonus.

This ability only functions as long as you’re not wearing heavy armor.

BLADECATCHER
At 6th level, when you are struck with a melee attack and you are wielding a melee weapon in each hand, you can use your reaction to make an attack roll and use the result in place of your Armor Class.

If you roll a natural 20, you can choose to disarm the attacking creature (if applicable), redirect the attack to another target within the attacking creature’s reach, or have the attacking creature grant Advantage to the next creature that attacks it.


REAPING ATTACK
At 10th level, when you use your reckless attack feature while wielding a melee weapon in each hand, you deal damage from both weapons on a hit.

EYE OF THE STORM
When you reach 14th level, you learn how to channel your rage into devastating spinning attack.

While raging and wielding a melee weapon in each hand, you choose to end your rage and make a single attack roll with Advantage. If the roll would overcome the AC of any creature within your reach, they take damage from both of your weapons. Additionally, if they are your size or smaller, they are also pushed back 5 feet and knocked prone.

HEART DOMAIN (5E)

Domain Spells
1st: charm person, heroism
3rd: detect thoughts, enthrall
5th: beacon of hope, fear
7th: compulsion, locate creature
9th: dream, telepathic bond

EMPATH: At 1st level, whenever you make an Insight skill check to determine a living creature’s true emotional state, you gain a bonus to the roll equal to your character level. You must be able to see the creature’s face or hear the creature speak to use this ability.

HEART OF IRON / HEART OF GOLD: Starting at 1st level, after completing a long rest, choose one of the following abilities:

Heart of Iron: You gain advantage on saving throws to resist fear-based and charm-based spells and effects. However, you incur disadvantage on all Charisma-based skill and ability checks.
Heart of Gold: You gain advantage on all Deception, Persuasion, and Insight skill checks. However, you gain disadvantage on saving throws to resist fear-based and charm-based spells and effects.

Once selected, you cannot change abilities until you have completed a long rest.

CHANNEL DIVINITY: EMPATHIC TRANSMISSION: At 2nd level, you can expend a use of your channel divinity to alter the emotional state of others. Living creatures that can see and hear you within 30 must succeed a Wisdom saving throw or experience the emotion of your choice for 1 minute. All affected targets feel the same emotion.

SEARCH YOUR FEELINGS: At 6th level, whenever you fail a Persuasion or Insight skill check, you can re-roll the check with bonus equal to your character level. After using this ability, you must complete a short rest or long rest before you can use it again.

STRUCK THROUGH THE HEART: Beginning at 8th level, you gain the ability to infuse your weapon strikes with divine energy. Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 psychic damage to the target. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.

SACRED HEART: At 17th level, while you have Heart of Iron active, you gain resistance to psychic and necrotic damage. While you have Heart of Gold active, allies within 30 feet of you gain advantage on death saving throws.

BLOOD DOMAIN (5E)

Domain spells:
1st – expeditious retreat, false life
3rd – enhance ability, ray of enfeeblement
5th – vampiric touch, haste
7th – aura of life, death ward
9th – hold monster, raise dead

Matters of Life and Death – At 1st level, you gain proficiency with Martial Weapons and Medicine. You have Advantage on all ability checks and skill checks related to determining causes of injury or time of death.

Sanguine Vitality: Also at 1st level, you become proficient in Constitution saving throws. You gain 1 additional hit point per character level.

Channel Divinity – Bound by Blood: Starting at 2nd level, you can forge a temporary link between the vital forces of you and your allies. As a standard action, you can brandish your holy symbol before a number of creatures of your choice that you can see equal to your character level. Whenever an affected ally would suffer damage from any source, they take half damage and you take the other half.

This effect lasts until you drop below 0 hit points or 1 minute, whichever comes first. 

Thirsty Blade: Beginning at 6th level, whenever you deal slashing or piercing damage to a living creature, you gain temporary hit points equal to your proficiency bonus

Crimson Strike: At 8th level, you can imbue your weapons with divine energy to increase the severity of wounds you inflict. Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can cause the attack to deal an extra 1d4 necrotic damage to the target, plus another 1d4 necrotic damage each round until they succeed a Constitution saving throw. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d4.

Undead creatures and creatures without circulatory systems are immune to this effect.

Reign of Blood: At 17th level, you gain Advantage on all Constitution ability checks and saving throws and you become immune to non-magical disease. When you use your Bound by Blood ability, you can telepathically communicate with the allies you affect as long as the effect lasts.

LIFE IS A HIGHWAY, I’M GOING MY WAY: The Vagabond

You’ve tried your hand at a lot of things, some more successful than others. You’ve lived in a lot of different places, some longer than others. But in your heart of hearts, you’re a nomad, a wanderer, and wherever you lay your head is home.

You have hit dice, saving throws, and XP progression as a thief.

CODE OF THE ROAD
You’re fluent in a system of marks and symbols that vagabonds use to pass on information amongst themselves.

PRIZED POSSESSION
You like to travel light, but you always keep this item around for sentimental reasons.

Roll 1d6:
1 – Antique Weapon: The blade has a few notches, but it keeps a fine edge. You gain a bonus to rolls to attack with this weapon equal to your vagabond level.
2 – Secondhand Musical Instrument: Playing a tune helps you unwind after a long day on the road. Anyone listening to your music while resting recovers as if they had rested under ideal conditions.
3 – Rugged Boots: Well worn footwear that fit just right. You have Advantage on all rolls to keep your balance.
4 – Lucky Charm: A shiny trinket that caught your eye from the side of the road. Once per day, you can make any one roll with Advantage or force another character or creature make a roll with Disadvantage.
5 – Cookware: A cast iron stew-pot or skillet. A character who eats a meal cooked in it gains Advantage on their next roll to resist poison, disease, or any other physically debilitating condition.
6 – Book: A journal of your travels and experiences. You can consult it to attempt any knowledge-based check with a bonus equal to your vagabond level.

If you are subject to an attack or effect that would kill you, you can sacrifice your prized possession to stay alive. You cannot acquire a new prized possession until you gain another experience level in vagabond.

ADVANCING AS A VAGABOND
At first level and whenever you gain a level, roll twice on the following table. If you have sacrificed your prized possession to save your life, only roll once.

Roll 1d30:
1 – Ain’t Got Time to Bleed: Once per day, you can ‘defer’ one instance of hit point loss from any source for one minute. Every time you roll this again, you gain another use of this ability per day.
2 – Another Mouth to Feed: You’ve picked up a travelling companion equivalent to a 0-level hireling. Every time you roll this again, you can gain another companion or one already accompanying you gains a level in vagabond.
3 – Bloody Knuckles: Your two most reliable allies are your left and right hands. You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls with unarmed strikes.
4 – But It’s a Dry Heat: You gain a +2 bonus to rolls related to resisting the effects of non-magical adverse weather conditions.
5 – Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker: Every now and then, you’ve had to pick up and odd job to make ends meet. You gain a +2 bonus to rolls related to a craft or trade of your choice.
6 – By the Pricking of My Thumbs: You’ve learned that danger can lurk behind any curve in the road. Once per day, you can automatically detect an ambush or hidden trap. Every time you roll this again, you gain another use of this ability per day.
7 – Call Me What You Will: You brush aside petty insults and threatening looks. You gain a +2 bonus to rolls to resist intimidation and coercion.
8 – Conjuror of Cheap Tricks: Your hands are so quick, some might consider it magic. You gain a +2 bonus to rolls related to juggling, palming, and sleight of hand.
9 – Folk Medicine: You’ve cobbled together some rudimentary healing skills from home remedies and old wives’ tales. You gain a +2 bonus to rolls related to diagnosing and treating injuries and illnesses.
10 – Friends in Low Places: Name an inhabited area; you have a relatively loyal contact living there who provides you with information and advice. You can also call in a favor from them, after which they will no longer be your contact.
11 – Gotta Have Faith: Pick a religion; you know enough about its doctrine and traditions to convincingly pass as an adherent. Every time you roll this again, you can pick another religion or gain a +2 bonus to rolls related to one you already know of.
12 – Hardy: You gain an extra hit die’s worth of hit points.
13 – I Walk the Ley Line: You’ve developed a sensitivity to the web of magical power the envelopes the world. You can detect their presence with a successful Wisdom/Perception roll. Every time you roll this again, you gain a +2 bonus to the detection roll.
14 – In the Pale Moonlight: You know an occult ritual to summon an otherworldly being. The ritual can only be performed at a crossroads at night. Roll 2d6, modified by your Intelligence; on a result of 10 or more, the ritual succeeds. On a 7-9, you summon something, but not what you intended. A roll of 6 or less indicates failure. Every time you roll this result again, you gain a +2 bonus to rolls related to interacting with the being you summoned.
15 – Intestinal Fortitude: You gain a +2 bonus to rolls to resist poison, intoxication, and food- and water-born diseases.
16 – It’s All in the Reflexes: You gain a +1 bonus to your Armor Class when not wearing armor.
17 – King of the Road: You gain a +2 bonus to rolls related to wagons, carriages, and other wheeled vehicles.
18 – Know When to Hold ‘Em, Know When to Fold ‘Em: You gain a +2 bonus to rolls related to gambling and games of chance.
19 – Let’s Make a Deal: You gain a +2 bonus to rolls related to bargaining, haggling, and negotiating.
20 – Mysterious Ways: The first time you roll this, you no longer leave a trail or tracks unless you wish. The second time you roll this, you can move at full speed without incurring a penalty to rolls related moving stealthily. The third time you roll this result, you can attempt to hide while being observed. The fourth, and every subsequent, time you roll this, you gain a +2 bonus to rolls related to sneaking and stealthy movement.
21 – Polyglot: You become fluent in a language of your choice. (If you roll this result twice, you can elect to know one secret language – like thieves’ cant – instead of two common languages.)
22 – Sing for Your Supper: You gain a +2 bonus to rolls related to a visual or performing art of your choice.
23 – Stowaway: You are adept at getting into and hiding in cramped spaces. You can squeeze through openings as if your were one size category smaller. Every time you roll this again, you gain a +2 bonus to rolls related to hiding.
24 – Survival Instincts: You gain a +2 bonus to rolls related to finding food, water, and shelter in the wilderness.
25 – Sweat the Technique: You gain a +2 bonus to rolls related to a combat trick (strike to disarm, strike to stun, trip, etc.) of your choice. Every time you roll this, you can pick an additional trick or gain an additional +2 bonus to one you already chose.
26 – Tongue Twister: You have a talent for tying people into rhetorical knots. You gain a +2 bonus to rolls to deceive others.
27 – Traveling Without Moving: You know a ritual to induce an out-of-body experience. An Intelligence/Arcana roll determines how many minutes your consciousness can safely exist outside your body. While out of your body, you are intangible and invisible, and you can fly at twice your normal speed. During the experience, your body appears to be asleep and is completely helpless. Every time you roll this again, you gain a +2 bonus to the ritual roll.
28 – Unnerving Stare: As you action, you can stare down an adversary that meets your gaze. Make an opposed Charisma/Personality roll; if you succeed, you can make one demand of the creature you’ve unnerved. If you fail, the creature becomes hostile towards you. Every time you re-roll this result, you gain a +2 bonus to the opposed roll.
29 – Wild at Heart: You gain a +2 bonus to rolls related handling and interacting with animals.
30 – You Can Never Have Too Many Knives: No matter what you’re carrying or how thoroughly you’re searched, you can always reveal a hidden dagger. Every time you roll this again, you can produce another, different, mundane item of similar size – a candle, a length of wire, a deck of cards, etc.

Gimme That Ol’ Time Religion: The Atavist

photograph by Charles Fréger

The idea for this had been kicking around my head for awhile, but the format was inspired by Zedeck Siew’s recent player-character concepts for A Thousand Thousand Islands.

You have made a pact with the elemental forces of the world. Rejecting the trappings of progress and society, you draw strength from primordial sources.

You have hit dice, saving throws, and XP progression as a cleric.

You are a follower of the old ways. +2 to Wisdom.
Choose a source of power. You gain an ability for every taboo you possess.

Beast & Bough – +1 Dexterity
1 – Berserker: You can craft a ritual garment made from the hide (or other parts) of a particular animal. Once per day per taboo possessed, you can take the shape of the animal whose hide the garment is made of. You can remain in this form for a number of hours equal to your character level.
2 – Call of the Wild: You can flawlessly imitate the sounds of any animal.
3 – Cornucopia: Once per day, you can summon enough edible fruits and plants to feed one person per taboo possessed.
4 – Creeping Ivy: Once per day per taboo you possess, you can cause vegetation to animate and immobilize creatures within a 15-foot radius area around you.
5 – Foaming at the Mouth: Once per day per taboo you possess, your bite can instill a ferocious, near-mindless bloodlust in a living creature for one minute.
6 – Leaps and Bounds: Once per day per taboo possessed, you can move at double your normal speed or jump, from a standing start, a distance equal to your normal speed.
7 – Mossy Creche: Once per day, you can dig a shallow pit and consecrate it for 24 hours. A number of creatures equal to the taboos you possess can rest within the pit, healing damage at twice the normal rate.
8 – Spirit of the Beehive: Once per day, you can summon and control a swarm of insects for a number of rounds equal to the taboos you possess.
9 – The Tree Remembers: By touching a tree, you can review events that have taken place underneath its branches.
10 – Tooth and Nail: Your canines sharpen and your nails thicken. Your unarmed attacks deal 1d4+Strength damage. For every taboo gained after your first, the damage increases by one die size (1d4 -> 1d6 -> 1d8, and so on).

Blood & Bone – +1 Strength
1 – Bad Blood: Once per day per taboo, you can weaken a living creature you can see by curdling their blood.
2 – Blood Will Tell: By tasting blood, you know how and when it was spilled.
3 – Pierced Flesh: Your body is covered with apotropaic scars and tattoos. For every taboo you possess, you permanently lose one hit point, but gain a +1 bonus to your Armor Class and rolls to resist magic spells and effects.
4 – Red Right Hand: You gain a bonus to melee attack rolls equal to the number of taboos you possess.
5 – Roll the Bones: You possess a bag of old bone fragments inscribed with weird symbols. Once per day, you can perform an augury with them – roll a d20 a number of times equal to taboos you possess. At any point afterwards, you can substitute one those results for another d20 roll, yours or someone else’s.
6 – Seeing Red: By closing your eyes, you can detect living creatures by visualizing their circulatory systems.
7 – Skeleton Dance: Once per day per taboo, you can make a creature act against its will by moving its bones.
8 – Songs for the Dead: You’ve crafted a flute from a human femur. When you play it, you summon the spirit of someone who has died nearby. They will truthfully answer one question per taboo you possess.
9 – Thicker Than Water: Your touch can staunch bleeding and close wounds. Each day, you can heal 1d6 points of damage per taboo possessed, all at once or divided into increments of 1d6.
10 – Thoughts for Food: By eating a creature’s brain, you can access their memories. If you are looking for a specific memory, you have a 1-in-10 chance per taboo possessed to find it.

Stone & Sky – +1 Constitution
1 – Chip and Shatter: Once per day per taboo you possess, you can destroy a single manufactured object with a successful attack.
2 – Ear to the Ground: You can sense the location of creatures standing on the ground or beneath it out to a range of 30 feet, plus 30 feet per taboo possessed.
3 – Feather on the Wind: You take damage from falling as if the distance fell was 10 feet less, plus 10 feet for every taboo you possess.
4 – Like a Rock: Once per day per taboo possessed, you can harden your flesh as a reaction to being struck by an attack, reducing the damage suffered by an amount equal to your taboos.
5 – Listening Wind: You can ask the wind to carry messages for you to anyone within a range of 1 mile per taboo possessed.
6 – Parched Earth: Once per day, you can evaporate all the moisture from a 15-foot radius area, including from plants and living creatures, centered on you. For every taboo you possess, the radius of the area of effect increases by 15 feet.
7 – Reap the Wind: Once per day per taboo possessed, you can produce a blast of concentrated wind with a range of 60 feet. The gust can attempt to move creatures and objects as if it had Strength modifier equal to your taboos.
8 – Stonefinger: Once per day per taboo possessed, you can cause a 5-foot tall stalagmite to erupt out of the ground.
9 – Thunderstrike: Once per day per taboo you possess, you can generate a burst of sound powerful enough to knock down and deafen every creature in a 15-foot radius.
10 – Waterstrider: Each day, for up to one minute per taboo possessed, you can move across a body of water as if it were solid ground.

Taboos
In exchange for your gifts, the powers of the earth demand certain sacrifices from the atavist. At first level, third level, and then every three levels thereafter (6th, 9th, 12th, and so on), you gain a taboo – a sacred prohibition – as proof of their devotion.

Should an atavist break any of their taboos, they lose their class-related abilities and cannot advance any further as an atavist until they atone for their transgression.

1 – Must refrain from using metal armor, weapons, and tools. You don’t incur any penalties for using improvised tools and weapons and your non-metallic tools and weapons will never break.
2 – Must refrain from sleeping indoors. While sleeping, you remain fully aware of your surroundings. You don’t incur any penalties for sleeping rough.
3 – Must refrain from eating cooked food. You gain a bonus equal to the number of taboos you possess to rolls to resist poisons and diseases.
4 – Must refrain from using money in exchange for goods and services. You gain a bonus equal to the number of taboos you possess to all crafting rolls.
5 – Must refrain from wearing any kind of footwear. You gain a bonus equal to the number of taboos you possess to rolls to resist forced movement.
6 – Must refrain from wearing clothing made of woven fabrics. You gain a bonus equal to the number of taboos you possess to rolls to resist the effects of extreme temperatures and weather.
7 – Must refrain from owning animals. You understand the languages of animals and they understand you. You gain a bonus equal to the number of taboos you possess to rolls to ask them for favors.
8 – Must refrain from sexual activity. You gain a bonus equal to the number of taboos you possess to rolls to resist mind-affecting spells and effects.
9 – Must refrain from reading or writing. You gain a bonus equal to the number of taboos you possess to rolls to detect lies and deception.
10 – Must refrain from cutting or shaving any hair. You gain a bonus equal to the number of taboos you possess to melee damage rolls.

Tiger Lung, by Simon Roy

College of Clowns (5E)

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SLAPSTICK
Beginning at 3rd level, when making an attack with an unarmed strike or improvised weapon, you can elect to deal no damage and instead impose the deafened, grappled, poisoned, or prone condition until the start of your next turn.

When making a slapstick attack, you are considered proficient with whatever item you’re using and add your Charisma modifier to the attack roll instead of your Strength or Dexterity.

LAUGH TO KEEP FROM CRYING
Starting at 6th level, you can use comedy to help allies stave off adverse conditions.4wli
Whenever a creature that can see and hear you fails a saving throw, you can use your reaction to expend a use of Bardic Inspiration, rolling an Inspiration die and adding the number rolled to the creature’s saving throw result.

EXPANDED SHTICK
Also at 6th level, you can now inflict the charmed, blinded, or restrained condition with a successful slapstick attack.

KILLING JOKE
At 14th level, you have learned a comedy routine so funny that a creature experiencing it will laugh itself to death.

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As an action, you expend a use of Bardic Inspiration, roll an Inspiration die and add the number rolled to a Performance skill check. The target of the killing joke must make a Wisdom saving throw; if it doesn’t meet or beat your Performance roll, the target begins laughing so hard that it becomes paralyzed and takes 1dX Constitution damage, where X is equal to your Bardic Inspiration die. At the start of its next turn, the target can attempt another Wisdom saving throw to end the effect.

A creature that succeeds the Wisdom saving throw is stunned for a number of rounds equal to result of the Inspiration die roll and cannot be targeted by another killing joke for 24 hours.

THE VOID (WARLOCK PATRON (5E))

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When you tell others you serve Nothing, they regard you with incomprehension. It is difficult for a mortal mind to grasp the absence of existence. Nevertheless, you contemplate nullity and perhaps – beyond sensation, beyond thought – you will find something, or perhaps, something has already found you…

Patron Spells
1st: false life, sleep
2nd: blur, rope trick
3rd: blink, sending
4th: confusion, greater invisibility
5th: modify memory, passwall

Seeking Emptiness: Starting at 1st level, you can enter a state of suspended animation for up to 1 minute. While in this state, you do not need to eat, drink, or breathe, you do not age, and the progress of any disease or poison is halted. You remain aware of your immediate surroundings but cannot interact or communicate in any way. At any time before the duration expires, you can return to full consciousness instantly as a bonus action.

Every time you gain a level, the duration of this ability doubles.

Empty Mind: Starting at 6th level, you can use your reaction to automatically succeed a saving throw against a spell or ability that would detect your emotions or thoughts, or bestow the charmed condition. You must complete a short or long rest before you can use this ability again.

Ego Destruction: Beginning at 10th level, you gain resistance to psychic damage and have Advantage on Charisma based saving throws. Additionally, you can grant these benefits to another being with an Intelligence score of at least 3 by spending a round talking to them. A creature affected in this way has Disadvantage on Intelligence-based skill and ability checks. The effects last until the creature takes a short or long rest.

Total Annihilation: At 14th level, you can cast disintegrate once without expending a spell slot. You must complete a long rest before you can use this ability again.

WARLOCK PATRON (5E): The Great Machine

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You have entered into a pact with a vast, mechanistic intelligence. It has transcended beyond material existence and uses warlocks to pursue its inscrutable goals.

Expanded Spells
1st – floating disk, shield
2nd – acid arrow, levitation
3rd – lightning bolt, protection from energy
4th – arcane eye, fabrication
5th – animate objects, creation

Mecha-Empathy
At 1st level, the warlock is able to communicate with machines; by questioning a device, they can learn who last used it or where it has been in the last 24 hours. The more complex the device, the more detailed answers it provides. 

Calculating Infinity
At 6th level, the warlock can draw upon the computational power of their patron to temporarily rewire their brain.

As a bonus action, the warlock can use this ability to gain proficiency with a skill, tool set, vehicle, or weapon they do not possess, or double their proficiency bonus for a skill, tool set, vehicle, or weapon they do have.

This increased aptitude lasts until the next time they use this ability, and the warlock cannot use this ability again until they complete a short or long rest.

Utility Sprite
At 10th level, the warlock gains a special familiar, an infinitesimal fraction of their patron’s essence.

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The utility is a Tiny, intangible magical construct that floats around the warlock. The sprite can move up to 30 feet in any direction, but can never be more than 100 feet from the warlock. It will only verbally acknowledge the warlock (in the most literal way possible) and can only answer “Yes” or “No.”

Glitchcraft
At 14th level, the warlock can harness the power of the great machine to tamper with the fabric of physical reality. As a bonus action, the warlock could, for example:

  1. Undo their last set of actions and perform the turn over again, or
  2. Move through a barrier, whether material (like a wall) or intangible (like an energy field) as if it wasn’t there, or
  3. Cause a magic spell or spell-like effect to end, or
  4. Cause a target to lose a known resistance or immunity.

Every time the warlock uses this ability, their Wisdom score decreases by 1d4+1.

 

 

SHADOW DOMAIN (5E)

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photograph by Simon Leipelt

Domain Spells
1 – feather fall, sleep
3 – darkness, silence
5 – gaseous form, nondetection
7 – arcane eye, greater invisibility
9 – mislead, modify memory

Level 1: Nocturnal Proficiency
A cleric of the shadow domain gains proficiency with all weapons that have the ‘finesse’ property; additionally, they can use their Wisdom modifier instead of their Dexterity or Strength modifier for attack and damage rolls with such weapons.

Level 2: Channel Divinity – Fade to Black
A shadow cleric can expend a use of channel divinity to suffuse their body with darkness.

For a number of rounds equal to their cleric level, the character takes on a dim, translucent aspect. They gain advantage on Stealth checks to hide and have resistance to non-magical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage. In low-light conditions, the cleric becomes fully intangible

Level 6: Speed of Dark
As a move action, the cleric can walk into a shadow and teleport 5 feet per character level to another shadow they can see. 

Level 8: Sight-stealing Strike
Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, instead of dealing damage you can strike the target blind for one round per character level. Alternatively, the cleric can establish a link with the target through which they can access everything the target sees and hears

Level 17: Living Shadow
The cleric can expend a use of channel divinity to transmute their body into pure shadow. As a two-dimensional being, they can slide through openings of any size and attackers have disadvantage on rolls to hit the cleric. While in this form, the cleric is immune to cold, necrotic, and psychic damage, but vulnerable to fire, lightning, and radiant damage.

This ability has no duration, but the cleric must make a death saving throw at the end of each round. If they roll three failures while in this form, the cleric dissipates into wisps of darkness, irrecoverably lost to the Plane of Shadow.

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The Damned

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photo by Rina Dragunova

Also known as the cursed, the devil-blooded, and maledictors.

The damned are individuals who, through an accident of birth or through deliberate congress, have acquired a portion of the powers of a fiendish being.

Hit Die: d6
Saves: as a Magic-User

Regardless of their professed alignment, a damned counts as an evil (and/or chaotic, depending on the world’s alignment scheme) creature for the purposes of spells and effects that relate to good and evil (and/or law and chaos).

The damned gains supernatural abilities, called diableries, based on their demonic aspect. Each diablerie has a physical deformity, a mark of the beast, associated with it that becomes more pronounced as the character gains levels.

Demonic Aspects:

  • Brimstone
    • Mark of the Beast: Horns
    • Burning Inside: At 1st level, the damned can ignite flammable materials (dry kindling, lamp oil, paper, etc.) by touch. Also, hit point loss from fire and heat is reduced by 1 point per character level.
    • Witch-fire: At 4th level, the damned can generate bolts of hellish flame. These projectiles have a range of 10 feet per level and deal 1d4 points of damage with a successful ranged attack roll. Targets that suffer damage are also set on fire and suffer another 1d4 points of damage per round until they extinguish the flames. A damned can use this ability once per turn.
    • Boiling Blood: At 7th level, the damned can kindle a violent rage in themselves or another creature they can see. For 1 minute, the enraged creature has advantage on melee attacks and gains a bonus to melee damage rolls equal to the damned’s level. The damned can use this ability once for every two levels they possess.
    • Inferno: At 10th level, the damned can raise a curtain of fire 10 feet tall and up to 5 feet long for every level they possess. The flames last for a total number of rounds per day equal to the damned’s level. Only one instance of this ability can be active and the damned can use their turn to reposition it.
  • Darkness
    • Mark of the Beast: Eyes
    • Sight Beyond Sight: At 1st level, the damned can see perfectly in even total or magical darkness. By concentrating (not taking any other actions), the damned can see invisible objects and beings or see through illusions.
    • Shadowplay: At 4th level, the damned can manipulate and animate a number of shadows equal to their level. At night and in areas of low light, these shadows are semi-tangible (treat as illusions).
    • Cloak of Night: At 7th level, the damned can turn invisible for a number of minutes per 24-hour period equal to their level.
    • The Evil Eye:  At 10th level, the damned can attempt to dominate (as the spell) a creature that meets their gaze (a successful save versus paralysis negates). If the damned possesses a piece of the creature (like a lock of hair or vial of blood), they can make the attempt by merely observing the target from a distance (10 feet per level). The domination effect lasts for 1 round per level
  • Pestilence
    • Mark of the Beast: Claws
    • Guttertalk: At 1st level, the damned has the ability to understand and communicate with rats and other vermin (nothing bigger than say, a dog).
    • Call of the Vile: A 4th-level damned can summon a number of vermin-type creatures with total hit dice equal to their level.
    • Miasma: A 7th-level damned can exhale a cloud of noxious vapors that fills a volume of 5 cubic-feet per level. The cloud blocks line of sight and any living creature that enters it suffers 1d6 points of damage every round it remains within it. The damned is immune to this effect.
    • Creeping Doom: At 10th level, the damned can transform into a swarm of flying or crawling vermin for a number of rounds per day equal to their level.
  • Rebellion
    • Mark of the Beast: Hooves
    • Defiance: At 1st level, the damned can continue to act normally at 0 HP for 1 round per level.
    • Rebel Yell: A 4th level damned can emit a thunderous shout that affects a conical area 15 feet wide and has a range of 5 feet per level. Every creature in the area of effect is deafened for 1d10 rounds and must succeed a saving throw vs. paralysis or be knocked prone. Glass and crystalline materials in the area of effect are destroyed by the shout. This ability can be used once per day per character level.
    • Blades Turned Blunt: Starting at 7th level, the damned can make their body impervious to non-magical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage for a number of rounds per day equal to their level. This ability does not require any action to use and the rounds do not have to be consecutive. However, the damned must be conscious to activate it.
    • Shake the Pillars of Heaven: At 10th level, the damned can unleash a tremendous roar that starts the ground quaking. For a number of total rounds per day equal to their level, the damned can create localized tremors in an area around them with a radius equal to 10 feet per level. The damned must be standing on earth to use this ability.
  • Temptation
    • Mark of the Beast: Tail
    • Forked Tongue: Starting at first level, other beings have disadvantage on ability checks to determine if the damned is telling the truth or not. The damned has advantage on ability checks to detect falsehoods.
    • Poisonous Words: Starting at 4th level, the damned can issue commands (as the spell) of up to four words in length. For each additional level, the damned can add another word. The total number of words of command that can be spoken in a 24-hour period cannot exceed the damned’s character level. (For example, a 4th-level damned could issue 4 one-word commands, 2 two-word commands, 1 three-word and 1 one-word, or 1 4-word command.)
    • Unearthly Delight: A 7th-level damned can alter their appearance (as the spell change self) for 1 minute per level.
    • Kiss of Death: Starting at 10th level, the damned can steal the life force from another creature. For every round of intimate physical contact, the damned drains 1 HD from the target; once it reaches 0 HD, the target is dead, reduced to an emaciated husk. For every hit die drained from the target, the damned can restore 1d6 lost hit points (if any). Alternatively, the damned can replace one meal with one complete draining.