Chapter 1: Subclasses

The main figures in any D&D campaign are the characters created by the players. The heroics, folly, righteousness, and potential villainy of your characters are at the heart of the story. This chapter provides a variety of new options for them, focusing on additional subclasses for each of the classes in the Player’s Handbook.

Each class offers a character-defining choice at 1st, 2nd, or 3rd level that unlocks a series of special features, not available to the class as a whole. That choice is called a subclass. Each class has a collective term that describes its subclasses; in the fighter, for instance, the subclasses are called martial archetypes, and in the paladin, they’re sacred oaths. The table below identifies each of the subclasses in this book. In addition, the section for druids presents details on how the Wild Shape feature works, and the warlock receives a collection of new choices for the class’s Eldritch Invocations feature.

Each of the class presentations leads off with advice on how to add depth and detail to your character’s personality. You can use the tables in these sections as a source of inspiration, or roll a die to randomly determine a result if desired.

Following the subclasses, the section called “This Is Your Life” presents a series of tables for adding detail to your character’s backstory.

The chapter concludes with a selection of feats for the races in the Player’s Handbook, offering ways to delve deeper into a character’s racial identity.

Subclasses

ClassSubclassLevelDescription
BarbarianPath of the Ancestral Guardian3rdCalls on the spirits of honored ancestors to protect others
BarbarianPath of the Storm Herald3rdFilled with a rage that channels the primal magic of the storm
BarbarianPath of the Zealot3rdFueled by a religious zeal that visits destruction on foes
BardCollege of Glamour3rdWields the beguiling, glorious magic of the Feywild
BardCollege of Swords3rdEntertains and slays with daring feats of weapon prowess
BardCollege of Whispers3rdPlants fear and doubt in the minds of others
ClericForge Domain1stClad in heavy armor, serves a god of the forge or creation
ClericGrave Domain1stOpposes the blight of undeath
DruidCircle of Dreams2ndMends wounds, guards the weary, and strides through dreams
DruidCircle of the Shepherd2ndSummons nature spirits to bolster friends and harry foes
FighterArcane Archer3rdImbues arrows with spectacular magical effects
FighterCavalier3rdDefends allies and knocks down enemies, often on horseback
FighterSamurai3rdCombines resilience with courtly elegance and mighty strikes
MonkWay of the Drunken Master3rdConfounds foes through a martial arts tradition inspired by the swaying of a drunkard
MonkWay of the Kensei3rdChannels ki through a set of mastered weapons
MonkWay of the Sun Soul3rdTransforms ki into bursts of fire and searing bolts of light
PaladinOath of Conquest3rdStrikes terror in enemies and crushes the forces of chaos
PaladinOath of Redemption3rdOffers redemption to the worthy and destruction to those who refuse mercy or righteousness
RangerGloom Stalker3rdUnafraid of the dark, relentlessly stalks and ambushes foes
RangerHorizon Walker3rdFinds portals to other worlds and channels planar magic
RangerMonster Slayer3rdHunts down creatures of the night and wielders of grim magic
RogueInquisitive3rdRoots out secrets, akin to a masterful detective
RogueMastermind3rdA master tactician, manipulates others
RogueScout3rdCombines stealth with a knack for survival
RogueSwashbuckler3rdDelivers deadly strikes with speed and panache
SorcererDivine Soul1stHarnesses magic bestowed by a god or other divine source
SorcererShadow Magic1stWields the grim magic of the Shadowfell
SorcererStorm Sorcery1stCrackles with the power of the storm
WarlockThe Celestial1stForges a pact with a being from celestial realms
WarlockThe Hexblade1stServes a shadowy entity that bestows dread curses
WizardWar Magic2ndMixes evocation and abjuration magic to dominate the battlefield

Barbarian

I have witnessed the indomitable performance of barbarians on the field of battle, and it makes me wonder what force lies at the heart of their rage.

— Seret, archwizard

The anger felt by a normal person resembles the rage of a barbarian in the same way that a gentle breeze is akin to a furious thunderstorm. The barbarian’s driving force comes from a place that transcends mere emotion, making its manifestation all the more terrible. Whether the impetus for the fury comes entirely from within or from forging a link with a spirit animal, a raging barbarian becomes able to perform supernatural feats of strength and endurance. The outburst is temporary, but while it lasts, it takes over body and mind, driving the barbarian on despite peril and injury, until the last enemy falls.

It can be tempting to play a barbarian character that is a straightforward application of the classic archetype — a brute, and usually a dimwitted one at that, who rushes in where others fear to tread. But not all the barbarians in the world are cut from that cloth, so you can certainly put your own spin on things. Either way, consider adding some flourishes to make your barbarian stand out from all others; see the following sections for some ideas.

Rawr! I’m really angry! Funny, I don’t feel any stronger. Maybe because I’m always angry, I’m always in top condition. Stands to reason.

Personal Totems

Barbarians tend to travel light, carrying little in the way of personal effects or other unnecessary gear. The few possessions they do carry often include small items that have special significance. A personal totem is significant because it has a mystical origin or is tied to an important moment in the character’s life — perhaps a remembrance from the barbarian’s past or a harbinger of what lies ahead.

A personal totem of this sort might be associated with a barbarian’s spirit animal, or might actually be the totem object for the animal, but such a connection is not essential. One who has a bear totem spirit, for instance, could still carry an eagle’s feather as a personal totem.

Consider creating one or more personal totems for your character — objects that hold a special link to your character’s past or future. Think about how a totem might affect your character’s actions.

Personal Totems

d6Totem
1A tuft of fur from a solitary wolf that you befriended during a hunt
2Three eagle feathers given to you by a wise shaman, who told you they would play a role in determining your fate
3A necklace made from the claws of a young cave bear that you slew singlehandedly as a child
4A small leather pouch holding three stones that represent your ancestors
5A few small bones from the first beast you killed, tied together with colored wool
6An egg-sized stone in the shape of your spirit animal that appeared one day in your belt pouch

Tattoos

The members of many barbarian clans decorate their bodies with tattoos, each of which represents a significant moment in the life of the bearer or the bearer’s ancestors, or which symbolizes a feeling or an attitude. As with personal totems, a barbarian’s tattoos might or might not be related to an animal spirit.

Each tattoo a barbarian displays contributes to that individual’s identity. If your character wears tattoos, what do they look like, and what do they represent?

Tattoos

d6Tattoo
1The wings of an eagle are spread wide across your upper back.
2Etched on the backs of your hands are the paws of a cave bear.
3The symbols of your clan are displayed in viny patterns along your arms.
4The antlers of an elk are inked across your back.
5Images of your spirit animal are tattooed along your weapon arm and hand.
6The eyes of a wolf are marked on your back to help you see and ward off evil spirits.

Superstitions

Barbarians vary widely in how they understand life. Some follow gods and look for guidance from those deities in the cycles of nature and the animals they encounter. These barbarians believe that spirits inhabit the plants and animals of the world, and the barbarians look to them for omens and power.

Other barbarians trust only in the blood that runs in their veins and the steel they hold in their hands. They have no use for the invisible world, instead relying on their senses to hunt and survive like the wild beasts they emulate.

Both of these attitudes can give rise to superstitions. These beliefs are often passed down within a family or shared among the members of a clan or a hunting group.

If your barbarian character has any superstitions, were they ingrained in you by your family, or are they the result of personal experience?

Superstitions

d6Superstition
1If you disturb the bones of the dead, you inherit all the troubles that plagued them in life.
2Never trust a wizard. They’re all devils in disguise, especially the friendly ones.
3Dwarves have lost their spirits, and are almost like the undead. That’s why they live underground.
4Magical things bring trouble. Never sleep with a magic object within ten feet of you.
5When you walk through a graveyard, be sure to wear silver, or a ghost might jump into your body.
6If an elf looks you in the eyes, she’s trying to read your thoughts.

Primal Paths

At 3rd level, a barbarian gains the Primal Path feature. The following options are available to a barbarian, in addition to those offered in the Player’s Handbook: the Path of the Ancestral Guardian, the Path of the Storm Herald, and the Path of the Zealot.

Path of the Ancestral Guardian

Some barbarians hail from cultures that revere their ancestors. These tribes teach that the warriors of the past linger in the world as mighty spirits, who can guide and protect the living. When a barbarian who follows this path rages, the barbarian contacts the spirit world and calls on these guardian spirits for aid.

Barbarians who draw on their ancestral guardians can better fight to protect their tribes and their allies. In order to cement ties to their ancestral guardians, barbarians who follow this path cover themselves in elaborate tattoos that celebrate their ancestors’ deeds. These tattoos tell sagas of victories against terrible monsters and other fearsome rivals.

So ancestors are people who did the procreation thing to make more people before you were born? Like how many people?

That’s a lot of the procreation thing.

Ew. You’re disgusting.

Path of the Ancestral Guardian Features

Barbarian LevelFeature
3rdAncestral Protectors
6thSpirit Shield (2d6)
10thConsult the Spirits, Spirit Shield (3d6)
14thVengeful Ancestors, Spirit Shield (4d6)

Ancestral Protectors

Starting when you choose this path at 3rd level, spectral warriors appear when you enter your rage. While you’re raging, the first creature you hit with an attack on your turn becomes the target of the warriors, which hinder its attacks. Until the start of your next turn, that target has disadvantage on any attack roll that isn’t against you, and when the target hits a creature other than you with an attack, that creature has resistance to the damage dealt by the attack. The effect on the target ends early if your rage ends.

Spirit Shield

Beginning at 6th level, the guardian spirits that aid you can provide supernatural protection to those you defend. If you are raging and another creature you can see within 30 feet of you takes damage, you can use your reaction to reduce that damage by 2d6.

When you reach certain levels in this class, you can reduce the damage by more: by 3d6 at 10th level and by 4d6 at 14th level.

Consult the Spirits

At 10th level, you gain the ability to consult with your ancestral spirits. When you do so, you cast the augury or clairvoyance spell, without using a spell slot or material components. Rather than creating a spherical sensor, this use of clairvoyance invisibly summons one of your ancestral spirits to the chosen location. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

After you cast either spell in this way, you can’t use this feature again until you finish a short or long rest.

Vengeful Ancestors

At 14th level, your ancestral spirits grow powerful enough to retaliate. When you use your Spirit Shield to reduce the damage of an attack, the attacker takes an amount of force damage equal to the damage that your Spirit Shield prevents.

Path of the Storm Herald

All barbarians harbor a fury within. Their rage grants them superior strength, durability, and speed. Barbarians who follow the Path of the Storm Herald learn to transform that rage into a mantle of primal magic, which swirls around them. When in a fury, a barbarian of this path taps into the forces of nature to create powerful magical effects.

Storm heralds are typically elite champions who train alongside druids, rangers, and others sworn to protect nature. Other storm heralds hone their craft in lodges in regions wracked by storms, in the frozen reaches at the world’s end, or deep in the hottest deserts.

You know one of the great benefits of living underground? No weather. Don’t mess this up for me.

Path of the Storm Herald Features

Barbarian LevelFeature
3rdStorm Aura
6thStorm Soul
10thShielding Storm
14thRaging Storm

Storm Aura

Starting at 3rd level, you emanate a stormy, magical aura while you rage. The aura extends 10 feet from you in every direction, but not through total cover.

Your aura has an effect that activates when you enter your rage, and you can activate the effect again on each of your turns as a bonus action. Choose desert, sea, or tundra. Your aura’s effect depends on that chosen environment, as detailed below. You can change your environment choice whenever you gain a level in this class.

If your aura’s effects require a saving throw, the DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Constitution modifier.

Desert. When this effect is activated, all other creatures in your aura take 2 fire damage each. The damage increases when you reach certain levels in this class, increasing to 3 at 5th level, 4 at 10th level, 5 at 15th level, and 6 at 20th level.

Sea. When this effect is activated, you can choose one other creature you can see in your aura. The target must make a Dexterity saving throw. The target takes 1d6 lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The damage increases when you reach certain levels in this class, increasing to 2d6 at 10th level, 3d6 at 15th level, and 4d6 at 20th level.

Tundra. When this effect is activated, each creature of your choice in your aura gains 2 temporary hit points, as icy spirits inure it to suffering. The temporary hit points increase when you reach certain levels in this class, increasing to 3 at 5th level, 4 at 10th level, 5 at 15th level, and 6 at 20th level.

Storm Soul

At 6th level, the storm grants you benefits even when your aura isn’t active. The benefits are based on the environment you chose for your Storm Aura.

Desert. You gain resistance to fire damage, and you don’t suffer the effects of extreme heat, as described in the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Moreover, as an action, you can touch a flammable object that isn’t being worn or carried by anyone else and set it on fire.

Sea. You gain resistance to lightning damage, and you can breathe underwater. You also gain a swimming speed of 30 feet.

Tundra. You gain resistance to cold damage, and you don’t suffer the effects of extreme cold, as described in the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Moreover, as an action, you can touch water and turn a 5-foot cube of it into ice, which melts after 1 minute. This action fails if a creature is in the cube.

Shielding Storm

At 10th level, you learn to use your mastery of the storm to protect others. Each creature of your choice has the damage resistance you gained from the Storm Soul feature while the creature is in your Storm Aura.

Raging Storm

At 14th level, the power of the storm you channel grows mightier, lashing out at your foes. The effect is based on the environment you chose for your Storm Aura.

Desert. Immediately after a creature in your aura hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction to force that creature to make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes fire damage equal to half your barbarian level.

Sea. When you hit a creature in your aura with an attack, you can use your reaction to force that creature to make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is knocked prone, as if struck by a wave.

Tundra. Whenever the effect of your Storm Aura is activated, you can choose one creature you can see in the aura. That creature must succeed on a Strength saving throw, or its speed is reduced to 0 until the start of your next turn, as magical frost covers it.

Path of the Zealot

Some deities inspire their followers to pitch themselves into a ferocious battle fury. These barbarians are zealots — warriors who channel their rage into powerful displays of divine power.

A variety of gods across the worlds of D&D inspire their followers to embrace this path. Tempus from the Forgotten Realms and Hextor and Erythnul of Greyhawk are all prime examples. In general, the gods who inspire zealots are deities of combat, destruction, and violence. Not all are evil, but few are good.

Path of the Zealot Features

Barbarian LevelFeature
3rdDivine Fury, Warrior of the Gods
6thFanatical Focus
10thZealous Presence
14thRage beyond Death

Divine Fury

Starting when you choose this path at 3rd level, you can channel divine fury into your weapon strikes. While you’re raging, the first creature you hit on each of your turns with a weapon attack takes extra damage equal to 1d6 + half your barbarian level. The extra damage is necrotic or radiant; you choose the type of damage when you gain this feature.

Warrior of the Gods

At 3rd level, your soul is marked for endless battle. If a spell, such as raise dead, has the sole effect of restoring you to life (but not undeath), the caster doesn’t need material components to cast the spell on you.

Fanatical Focus

Starting at 6th level, the divine power that fuels your rage can protect you. If you fail a saving throw while you’re raging, you can reroll it, and you must use the new roll. You can use this ability only once per rage.

Zealous Presence

At 10th level, you learn to channel divine power to inspire zealotry in others. As a bonus action, you unleash a battle cry infused with divine energy. Up to ten other creatures of your choice within 60 feet of you that can hear you gain advantage on attack rolls and saving throws until the start of your next turn.

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

Rage Beyond Death

Beginning at 14th level, the divine power that fuels your rage allows you to shrug off fatal blows.

While you’re raging, having 0 hit points doesn’t knock you unconscious. You still must make death saving throws, and you suffer the normal effects of taking damage while at 0 hit points. However, if you would die due to failing death saving throws, you don’t die until your rage ends, and you die then only if you still have 0 hit points.

Bard

Music is the fruit of the divine tree that vibrates with the Words of Creation. But the question I ask you is, can a bard go to the root of this tree? Can one tap into the source of that power? Ah, then what manner of music they would bring to this world!

— Fletcher Danairia, master bard

Bards bring levity during grave times; they impart wisdom to offset ignorance; and they make the ridiculous seem sublime. Bards are preservers of ancient history, their songs and tales perpetuating the memory of great events down through time — knowledge so important that it is memorized and passed along as oral history, to survive even when no written record remains.

It is also the bard’s role to chronicle smaller and more contemporary events — the stories of today’s heroes, including their feats of valor as well as their less than impressive failures.

Of course, the world has many people who can carry a tune or tell a good story, and there’s much more to any adventuring bard than a glib tongue and a melodious voice. Yet what truly sets bards apart from others — and from one another — are the style and substance of their performances.

To grab and hold the attention of an audience, bards are typically flamboyant and outgoing when they perform. The most famous of them are essentially the D&D world’s equivalent of pop stars. If you’re playing a bard, consider using one of your favorite musicians as a role model for your character.

You can add some unique aspects to your bard character by considering the suggestions that follow.

Music is stupid. Wait. I changed my mind. Music is fun. Play more music. No, I was right the first time. Music is stupid. But I won’t maim you after all, in case I change my mind again.

Defining Work

Every successful bard is renowned for at least one piece of performance art, typically a song or a poem that is popular with everyone who hears it. These performances are spoken about for years by those who view them, and some spectators have had their lives forever changed because of the experience.

If your character is just starting out, your ultimate defining work is likely in the future. But in order to make any sort of living at your profession, chances are you already have a piece or two in your repertoire that have proven to be audience pleasers.

Defining Works

d6Defining Work
1“The Three Flambinis,” a ribald song concerning mistaken identities and unfettered desire
2“Waltz of the Myconids,” an upbeat tune that children in particular enjoy
3“Asmodeus’s Golden Arse,” a dramatic poem you claim was inspired by your personal visit to Avernus
4“The Pirates of Luskan,” your firsthand account of being kidnapped by sea reavers as a child
5“A Hoop, Two Pigeons, and a Hell Hound,” a subtle parody of an incompetent noble
6“A Fool in the Abyss,” a comedic poem about a jester’s travels among demons

Instrument

In a bard’s quest for the ultimate performance and the highest acclaim, one’s instrument is at least as important as one’s vocal ability. The instrument’s quality of manufacture is a critical factor, of course; the best ones make the best music, and some bards are continually on the lookout for an improvement. Perhaps just as important, though, is the instrument’s own entertainment value; those that are bizarrely constructed or made of exotic materials are likely to leave a lasting impression on an audience.

You might have an “off the rack” instrument, perhaps because it’s all you can afford right now. Or, if your first instrument was gifted to you, it might be of a more elaborate sort. Are you satisfied with the instrument you have, or do you aspire to replace it with something truly distinctive?

Instruments

d6Instruments
1A masterfully crafted halfling fiddle
2A mithral horn made by elves
3A zither made with drow spider silk
4An orcish drum
5A wooden bullywug croak box
6A tinker’s harp of gnomish design

Embarrassment

Almost every bard has suffered at least one bad experience in front of an audience, and chances are you’re no exception. No one becomes famous right away, after all; perhaps you had a few small difficulties early in your career, or maybe it took you a while to restore your reputation after one agonizing night when the fates conspired to bring about your theatrical ruin.

The ways that a performance can go wrong are as varied as the fish in the sea. No matter what sort of disaster might occur, however, a bard has the courage and the confidence to rebound from it — either pressing on with the show (if possible) or promising to come back tomorrow with a new performance that’s guaranteed to please.

Embarrassments

d6Embarrassment
1The time when your comedic song, “Big Tom’s Hijinks” — which, by the way, you thought was brilliant — did not go over well with Big Tom
2The matinee performance when a circus’s owlbear got loose and terrorized the crowd
3When your opening song was your enthusiastic but universally hated rendition of “Song of the Froghemoth”
4The first and last public performance of “Mirt, Man about Town”
5The time on stage when your wig caught fire and you threw it down — which set fire to the stage
6When you sat on your lute by mistake during the final stanza of “Starlight Serenade”

A Bard’s Muse

Naturally, every bard has a repertoire of songs and stories. Some bards are generalists who can draw from a wide range of topics for each performance, and who take pride in their versatility. Others adopt a more personal approach to their art, driven by their attachment to a muse — a particular concept that inspires much of what those bards do in front of an audience.

A bard who follows a muse generally does so to gain a deeper understanding of what that muse represents and how to best convey that understanding to others through performance.

If your bard character has a muse, it could be one of the three described here, or one of your own devising.

Nature. You feel a kinship with the natural world, and its beauty and mystery inspire you. For you, a tree is deeply symbolic, its roots delving into the dark unknown to draw forth the power of the earth, while its branches reach toward the sun to nourish their flowers and fruit. Nature is the ancient witness who has seen every kingdom rise and fall, even those whose names have been forgotten and wait to be rediscovered. The gods of nature share their secrets with druids and sages, opening their hearts and minds to new ways of seeing, and as with those individuals, you find that your creativity blossoms while you wander in an open field of waving grass or walk in silent reverence through a grove of ancient oaks.

Love. You are on a quest to identify the essence of true love. Though you do not disdain the superficial love of flesh and form, the deeper form of love that can inspire thousands or bring joy to one’s every moment is what you are interested in. Love of this sort takes on many forms, and you can see its presence everywhere — from the sparkling of a beautiful gem to the song of a simple fisher thanking the sea for its bounty. You are on the trail of love, that most precious and mysterious of emotions, and your search fills your stories and your songs with vitality and passion.

Conflict. Drama embodies conflict, and the best stories have conflict as a key element. From the morning-after tale of a tavern brawl to the saga of an epic battle, from a lover’s spat to a rift between powerful dynasties, conflict is what inspires tale-tellers like you to create your best work. Conflict can bring out the best in some people, causing their heroic nature to shine forth and transform the world, but it can cause others to gravitate toward darkness and fall under the sway of evil. You strive to experience or witness all forms of conflict, great and small, so as to study this eternal aspect of life and immortalize it in your words and music.

Bard Colleges

At 3rd level, a bard gains the Bard College feature. The following options are available to a bard, in addition to those offered in the Player’s Handbook: the College of Glamour, the College of Swords, and the College of Whispers.

College of Glamour

The College of Glamour is the home of bards who mastered their craft in the vibrant realm of the Feywild or under the tutelage of someone who dwelled there. Tutored by satyrs, eladrin, and other fey, these bards learn to use their magic to delight and captivate others.

The bards of this college are regarded with a mixture of awe and fear. Their performances are the stuff of legend. These bards are so eloquent that a speech or song that one of them performs can cause captors to release the bard unharmed and can lull a furious dragon into complacency. The same magic that allows them to quell beasts can also bend minds. Villainous bards of this college can leech off a community for weeks, misusing their magic to turn their hosts into thralls. Heroic bards of this college instead use this power to gladden the downtrodden and undermine oppressors.

Illusions? How quaint. Before I destroy you, make one that looks like a really big goldfish — like as big as me! Hmm. That’s too big. Goodbye!

College of Glamour Features

Bard LevelFeature
3rdMantle of Inspiration, Enthralling Performance
6thMantle of Majesty
14thUnbreakable Majesty

Mantle of Inspiration

When you join the College of Glamour at 3rd level, you gain the ability to weave a song of fey magic that imbues your allies with vigor and speed.

As a bonus action, you can expend one use of your Bardic Inspiration to grant yourself a wondrous appearance. When you do so, choose a number of creatures you can see and that can see you within 60 feet of you, up to a number equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of one). Each of them gains 5 temporary hit points. When a creature gains these temporary hit points, it can immediately use its reaction to move up to its speed, without provoking opportunity attacks.

The number of temporary hit points increases when you reach certain levels in this class, increasing to 8 at 5th level, 11 at 10th level, and 14 at 15th level.

Enthralling Performance

Starting at 3rd level, you can charge your performance with seductive, fey magic.

If you perform for at least 1 minute, you can attempt to inspire wonder in your audience by singing, reciting a poem, or dancing. At the end of the performance, choose a number of humanoids within 60 feet of you who watched and listened to all of it, up to a number equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of one). Each target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC or be charmed by you. While charmed in this way, the target idolizes you, it speaks glowingly of you to anyone who talks to it, and it hinders anyone who opposes you, although it avoids violence unless it was already inclined to fight on your behalf. This effect ends on a target after 1 hour, if it takes any damage, if you attack it, or if it witnesses you attacking or damaging any of its allies.

If a target succeeds on its saving throw, the target has no hint that you tried to charm it.

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

Mantle of Majesty

At 6th level, you gain the ability to cloak yourself in a fey magic that makes others want to serve you. As a bonus action, you cast command, without expending a spell slot, and you take on an appearance of unearthly beauty for 1 minute or until your concentration ends (as if you were concentrating on a spell). During this time, you can cast command as a bonus action on each of your turns, without expending a spell slot.

Any creature charmed by you automatically fails its saving throw against the command you cast with this feature.

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

Unbreakable Majesty

At 14th level, your appearance permanently gains an otherworldly aspect that makes you look more lovely and fierce.

In addition, as a bonus action, you can assume a magically majestic presence for 1 minute or until you are incapacitated. For the duration, whenever any creature tries to attack you for the first time on a turn, the attacker must make a Charisma saving throw against your spell save DC. On a failed save, it can’t attack you on this turn, and it must choose a new target for its attack or the attack is wasted. On a successful save, it can attack you on this turn, but it has disadvantage on any saving throw it makes against your spells on your next turn.

Once you assume this majestic presence, you can’t do so again until you finish a short or long rest.

College of Swords

Bards of the College of Swords are called blades, and they entertain through daring feats of weapon prowess. Blades perform stunts such as sword swallowing, knife throwing and juggling, and mock combats. Though they use their weapons to entertain, they are also highly trained and skilled warriors in their own right.

Their talent with weapons inspires many blades to lead double lives. One blade might use a circus troupe as cover for nefarious deeds such as assassination, robbery, and blackmail. Other blades strike at the wicked, bringing justice to bear against the cruel and powerful. Most troupes are happy to accept a blade’s talent for the excitement it adds to a performance, but few entertainers fully trust a blade in their ranks.

Blades who abandon their lives as entertainers have often run into trouble that makes maintaining their secret activities impossible. A blade caught stealing or engaging in vigilante justice is too great a liability for most troupes. With their weapon skills and magic, these blades either take up work as enforcers for thieves’ guilds or strike out on their own as adventurers.

College of Swords Features

Bard LevelFeature
3rdBonus Proficiencies, Fighting Style, Blade Flourish
6thExtra Attack
14thMaster’s Flourish

Bonus Proficiencies

When you join the College of Swords at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with medium armor and the scimitar.

If you’re proficient with a simple or martial melee weapon, you can use it as a spellcasting focus for your bard spells.

Fighting Style

At 3rd level, you adopt a style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can’t take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if something in the game lets you choose again.

Dueling. When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.

Two-Weapon Fighting. When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.

Blade Flourish

At 3rd level, you learn to perform impressive displays of martial prowess and speed.

Whenever you take the Attack action on your turn, your walking speed increases by 10 feet until the end of the turn, and if a weapon attack that you make as part of this action hits a creature, you can use one of the following Blade Flourish options of your choice. You can use only one Blade Flourish option per turn.

Defensive Flourish. You can expend one use of your Bardic Inspiration to cause the weapon to deal extra damage to the target you hit. The damage equals the number you roll on the Bardic Inspiration die. You also add the number rolled to your AC until the start of your next turn.

Slashing Flourish. You can expend one use of your Bardic Inspiration to cause the weapon to deal extra damage to the target you hit and to any other creature of your choice that you can see within 5 feet of you. The damage equals the number you roll on the Bardic Inspiration die.

Mobile Flourish. You can expend one use of your Bardic Inspiration to cause the weapon to deal extra damage to the target you hit. The damage equals the number you roll on the Bardic Inspiration die. You can also push the target up to 5 feet away from you, plus a number of feet equal to the number you roll on that die. You can then immediately use your reaction to move up to your walking speed to an unoccupied space within 5 feet of the target.

Extra Attack

Starting at 6th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Master’s Flourish

Starting at 14th level, whenever you use a Blade Flourish option, you can roll a d6 and use it instead of expending a Bardic Inspiration die.

College of Whispers

Most folk are happy to welcome a bard into their midst. Bards of the College of Whispers use this to their advantage. They appear to be like other bards, sharing news, singing songs, and telling tales to the audiences they gather. In truth, the College of Whispers teaches its students that they are wolves among sheep. These bards use their knowledge and magic to uncover secrets and turn them against others through extortion and threats.

Many other bards hate the College of Whispers, viewing it as a parasite that uses a bard’s reputation to acquire wealth and power. For this reason, members of this college rarely reveal their true nature. They typically claim to follow some other college, or they keep their actual calling secret in order to infiltrate and exploit royal courts and other settings of power.

Speak up! It’s really hard to hear you over the screaming. Nope. It’s no use. I’ll have to stop the screaming. Disintegrations all around, then.

College of Whispers Features

Bard LevelFeature
3rdPsychic Blades, Words of Terror
6thMantle of Whispers
14thShadow Lore

Psychic Blades

When you join the College of Whispers at 3rd level, you gain the ability to make your weapon attacks magically toxic to a creature’s mind.

When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend one use of your Bardic Inspiration to deal an extra 2d6 psychic damage to that target. You can do so only once per round on your turn.

The psychic damage increases when you reach certain levels in this class, increasing to 3d6 at 5th level, 5d6 at 10th level, and 8d6 at 15th level.

Words of Terror

At 3rd level, you learn to infuse innocent-seeming words with an insidious magic that can inspire terror.

If you speak to a humanoid alone for at least 1 minute, you can attempt to seed paranoia in its mind. At the end of the conversation, the target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC or be frightened of you or another creature of your choice. The target is frightened in this way for 1 hour, until it is attacked or damaged, or until it witnesses its allies being attacked or damaged.

If the target succeeds on its saving throw, the target has no hint that you tried to frighten it.

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

Mantle of Whispers

At 6th level, you gain the ability to adopt a humanoid’s persona. When a humanoid dies within 30 feet of you, you can magically capture its shadow using your reaction. You retain this shadow until you use it or you finish a long rest.

You can use the shadow as an action. When you do so, it vanishes, magically transforming into a disguise that appears on you. You now look like the dead person, but healthy and alive. This disguise lasts for 1 hour or until you end it as a bonus action.

While you’re in the disguise, you gain access to all information that the humanoid would freely share with a casual acquaintance. Such information includes general details on its background and personal life, but doesn’t include secrets. The information is enough that you can pass yourself off as the person by drawing on its memories.

Another creature can see through this disguise by succeeding on a Wisdom (Insight) check contested by your Charisma (Deception) check. You gain a +5 bonus to your check.

Once you capture a shadow with this feature, you can’t capture another one with it until you finish a short or long rest.

Shadow Lore

At 14th level, you gain the ability to weave dark magic into your words and tap into a creature’s deepest fears.

As an action, you magically whisper a phrase that only one creature of your choice within 30 feet of you can hear. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC. It automatically succeeds if it doesn’t share a language with you or if it can’t hear you. On a successful saving throw, your whisper sounds like unintelligible mumbling and has no effect.

On a failed saving throw, the target is charmed by you for the next 8 hours or until you or your allies attack it, damage it, or force it to make a saving throw. It interprets the whispers as a description of its most mortifying secret. You gain no knowledge of this secret, but the target is convinced you know it.

The charmed creature obeys your commands for fear that you will reveal its secret. It won’t risk its life for you or fight for you, unless it was already inclined to do so. It grants you favors and gifts it would offer to a close friend.

When the effect ends, the creature has no understanding of why it held you in such fear.

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

Cleric

To become a cleric is to become a messenger of the gods. The power the divine offers is great, but it always comes with tremendous responsibility.

— Riggby the patriarch

Almost all the folk in the world who revere a deity live their lives without ever being directly touched by a divine being. As such, they can never know what it feels like to be a cleric — someone who is not only a devout worshiper, but who has also been invested with a measure of a deity’s power.

The question has long been debated: Does a mortal become a cleric as a consequence of deep devotion to one’s deity, thereby attracting the god’s favor? Or is it the deity who sees the potential in a person and calls that individual into service? Ultimately, perhaps, the answer doesn’t matter. However clerics come into being, the world needs clerics as much as clerics and deities need each other.

If you’re playing a cleric character, the following sections offer ways to add some detail to that character’s history and personality.

I don’t understand the attraction of gods. Why would anyone worship anything other than me?

Temple

Most clerics start their lives of service as priests in an order, then later realize that they have been blessed by their god with the qualities needed to become a cleric. To prepare for this new duty, candidates typically receive instruction from a cleric of a temple or another place of study devoted to their deity.

Some temples are cut off from the world so that their occupants can focus on devotions, while other temples open their doors to minister to and heal the masses. What is noteworthy about the temple you studied at?

Temples

d6Temples
1Your temple is said to be the oldest surviving structure built to honor your god.
2Acolytes of several like-minded deities all received instruction together in your temple.
3You come from a temple famed for the brewery it operates. Some say you smell like one of its ales.
4Your temple is a fortress and a proving ground that trains warrior-priests.
5Your temple is a peaceful, humble place, filled with vegetable gardens and simple priests.
6You served in a temple in the Outer Planes.

Keepsake

Many clerics have items among their personal gear that symbolize their faith, remind them of their vows, or otherwise help to keep them on their chosen paths. Even though such an item is not imbued with divine power, it is vitally important to its owner because of what it represents.

Keepsakes

d6Keepsake
1The finger bone of a saint
2A metal-bound book that tells how to hunt and destroy infernal creatures
3A pig’s whistle that reminds you of your humble and beloved mentor
4A braid of hair woven from the tail of a unicorn
5A scroll that describes how best to rid the world of necromancers
6A runestone said to be blessed by your god

Secret

No mortal soul is entirely free of second thoughts or doubt. Even a cleric must grapple with dark desires or the forbidden attraction of turning against the teachings of one’s deity.

If you haven’t considered this aspect of your character yet, see the table entries for some possibilities, or use them for inspiration. Your deep, dark secret might involve something you did (or are doing), or it could be rooted in the way you feel about the world and your role in it.

Secrets

d6Secret
1An imp offers you counsel. You try to ignore the creature, but sometimes its advice is helpful.
2You believe that, in the final analysis, the gods are nothing more than ultrapowerful mortal creatures.
3You acknowledge the power of the gods, but you think that most events are dictated by pure chance.
4Even though you can work divine magic, you have never truly felt the presence of a divine essence within yourself.
5You are plagued by nightmares that you believe are sent by your god as punishment for some unknown transgression.
6In times of despair, you feel that you are but a plaything of the gods, and you resent their remoteness.

SERVING A PANTHEON, PHILOSOPHY, OR FORCE

The typical cleric is an ordained servant of a particular god and chooses a Divine Domain associated with that deity. The cleric’s magic flows from the god or the god’s sacred realm, and often the cleric bears a holy symbol that represents that divinity.

Some clerics, especially in a world like Eberron, serve a whole pantheon, rather than a single deity. In certain campaigns, a cleric might instead serve a cosmic force, such as life or death, or a philosophy or concept, such as love, peace, or one of the nine alignments. Chapter 1 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide explores options like these, in the section “Gods of Your World.”

Talk with your DM about the divine options available in your campaign, whether they’re gods, pantheons, philosophies, or cosmic forces. Whatever being or thing your cleric ends up serving, choose a Divine Domain that is appropriate for it, and if it doesn’t have a holy symbol, work with your DM to design one.

The cleric’s class features often refer to your deity. If you are devoted to a pantheon, cosmic force, or philosophy, your cleric features still work for you as written. Think of the references to a god as references to the divine thing you serve that gives you your magic.

Divine Domains

At 1st level, a cleric gains the Divine Domain feature. The following domain options are available to a cleric, in addition to those offered in the Player’s Handbook: Forge and Grave.

Forge Domain

The gods of the forge are patrons of artisans who work with metal, from a humble blacksmith who keeps a village in horseshoes and plow blades to the mighty elf artisan whose diamond-tipped arrows of mithral have felled demon lords. The gods of the forge teach that, with patience and hard work, even the most intractable metal can be transformed from a lump of ore to a beautifully wrought object. Clerics of these deities search for objects lost to the forces of darkness, liberate mines overrun by orcs, and uncover rare and wondrous materials necessary to create potent magic items. Followers of these gods take great pride in their work, and they are willing to craft and use heavy armor and powerful weapons to protect them. Deities of this domain include Gond, Reorx, Onatar, Moradin, Hephaestus, and Goibhniu.

I’ve got a minion that forges things. An ink-stained little twerp with excellent penmanship.
So how do the hammers and fire help the process?
Wouldn’t the paper get burned? Oh, the fire must be for the wax seals!

Forge Domain Features

Cleric LevelFeature
1stDomain Spells, Bonus Proficiencies, Blessing of the Forge
2ndChannel Divinity: Artisan’s Blessing
6thSoul of the Forge
8thDivine Strike (1d8)
14thDivine Strike (2d8)
17thDivine Strike (2d8)

Domain Spells

You gain domain spells at the cleric levels listed in the Forge Domain Spells table. See the Divine Domain class feature for how domain spells work.

Cleric LevelSpells
1stidentify, searing smite
3rdheat metal, magic weapon  
5thelemental weaponprotection from energy  
7thfabricate, wall of fire  
9thanimate objects, creation

Bonus Proficiencies

When you choose this domain at 1st level, you gain proficiency with heavy armor and smith’s tools.

Blessing of the Forge

At 1st level, you gain the ability to imbue magic into a weapon or armor. At the end of a long rest, you can touch one nonmagical object that is a suit of armor or a simple or martial weapon. Until the end of your next long rest or until you die, the object becomes a magic item, granting a +1 bonus to AC if it’s armor or a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls if it’s a weapon.

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

Channel Divinity: Artisan’s Blessing

Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity to create simple items.

You conduct an hour-long ritual that crafts a nonmagical item that must include some metal: a simple or martial weapon, a suit of armor, ten pieces of ammunition, a set of tools, or another metal object (see chapter 5, “Equipment,” in the Player’s Handbook for examples of these items). The creation is completed at the end of the hour, coalescing in an unoccupied space of your choice on a surface within 5 feet of you.

The thing you create can be something that is worth no more than 100 gp. As part of this ritual, you must lay out metal, which can include coins, with a value equal to the creation. The metal irretrievably coalesces and transforms into the creation at the ritual’s end, magically forming even nonmetal parts of the creation.

The ritual can create a duplicate of a nonmagical item that contains metal, such as a key, if you possess the original during the ritual.

Soul of the Forge

Starting at 6th level, your mastery of the forge grants you special abilities:

  • You gain resistance to fire damage.
  • While wearing heavy armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC.

Divine Strike

At 8th level, you gain the ability to infuse your weapon strikes with the fiery power of the forge. 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 fire damage to the target. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.

Saint of Forge and Fire

At 17th level, your blessed affinity with fire and metal becomes more powerful:

  • You gain immunity to fire damage.
  • While wearing heavy armor, you have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical attacks.

Grave Domain

Gods of the grave watch over the line between life and death. To these deities, death and the afterlife are a foundational part of the multiverse. To desecrate the peace of the dead is an abomination. Deities of the grave include Kelemvor, Wee Jas, the ancestral spirits of the Undying Court, Hades, Anubis, and Osiris. Followers of these deities seek to put wandering spirits to rest, destroy the undead, and ease the suffering of the dying. Their magic also allows them to stave off death for a time, particularly for a person who still has some great work to accomplish in the world. This is a delay of death, not a denial of it, for death will eventually get its due.

I guess if you can’t disintegrate them or eat them, burying dead bodies makes as much sense as anything else.

Grave Domain Features

Cleric LevelFeature
1stDomain Spells, Circle of Mortality, Eyes of the Grave
2ndChannel Divinity: Path to the Grave
6thSentinel at Death’s Door
8thPotent Spellcasting
17thKeeper of Souls

Domain Spells

You gain domain spells at the cleric levels listed in the Grave Domain Spells table. See the Divine Domain class feature for how domain spells work.

Cleric LevelSpells
1stbane, false life
3rdgentle reposeray of enfeeblement  
5threvivify, vampiric touch
7thblight, death ward  
9thantilife shell, raise dead

Circle of Mortality

At 1st level, you gain the ability to manipulate the line between life and death. When you would normally roll one or more dice to restore hit points with a spell to a creature at 0 hit points, you instead use the highest number possible for each die.

In addition, you learn the spare the dying cantrip, which doesn’t count against the number of cleric cantrips you know. For you, it has a range of 30 feet, and you can cast it as a bonus action.

Eyes of the Grave

At 1st level, you gain the ability to occasionally sense the presence of the undead, whose existence is an insult to the natural cycle of life. As an action, you can open your awareness to magically detect undead. Until the end of your next turn, you know the location of any undead within 60 feet of you that isn’t behind total cover and that isn’t protected from divination magic. This sense doesn’t tell you anything about a creature’s capabilities or identity.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Channel Divinity: Path to the Grave

Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity to mark another creature’s life force for termination.

As an action, you choose one creature you can see within 30 feet of you, cursing it until the end of your next turn. The next time you or an ally of yours hits the cursed creature with an attack, the creature has vulnerability to all of that attack’s damage, and then the curse ends.

Sentinel at Death’s Door

At 6th level, you gain the ability to impede death’s progress. As a reaction when you or a creature you can see within 30 feet of you suffers a critical hit, you can turn that hit into a normal hit. Any effects triggered by a critical hit are canceled.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Potent Spellcasting

Starting at 8th level, you add your Wisdom modifier to the damage you deal with any cleric cantrip.

Keeper of Souls

Starting at 17th level, you can seize a trace of vitality from a parting soul and use it to heal the living. When an enemy you can see dies within 60 feet of you, you or one creature of your choice that is within 60 feet of you regains hit points equal to the enemy’s number of Hit Dice. You can use this feature only if you aren’t incapacitated. Once you use it, you can’t do so again until the start of your next turn.

Druid

Even in death, each creature plays its part in maintaining the Great Balance. But now an imbalance grows, a force that seeks to hold sway over nature. This is the destructive behavior of the mortal races. The farther away from nature their actions take them, the more corrupting their influence becomes. As druids, we seek mainly to protect and educate, to preserve the Great Balance, but there are times when we must rise up against danger and eradicate it.

— Safhran, archdruid

Druids are the caretakers of the natural world, and it is said that in time a druid becomes the voice of nature, speaking the truth that is too subtle for the general populace to hear. Many who become druids find that they naturally gravitate toward nature; its forces, cycles, and movements fill their minds and spirits with wonder and insight. Many sages and wise folk have studied nature, writing volumes about its mystery and power, but druids are a special kind of being: at some point, they begin to embody these natural forces, producing magical phenomena that link them to the spirit of nature and the flow of life. Because of their strange and mysterious power, druids are often revered, shunned, or considered dangerous by the people around them.

Your druid character might be a true worshiper of nature, one who has always scorned civilization and found solace in the wild. Or your character could be a child of the city who now strives to bring the civilized world into harmony with the wilderness. You can use the sections that follow to flesh out your druid, regardless of how your character came to the profession.

I’ve always liked druids, because they are made of natural ingredients. And I believe that everyone should have such a healthy diet.

Treasured Item

Some druids carry one or more items that are sacred to them or have deep personal significance. Such items are not necessarily magical, but every one is an object whose meaning connects the druid’s mind and heart to a profound concept or spiritual outlook.

When you decide what your character’s treasured item is, think about giving it an origin story: how did you come by the item, and why is it important to you?

Treasured Items

d6Treasured Item
1A twig from the meeting tree that stands in the center of your village
2A vial of water from the source of a sacred river
3Special herbs tied together in a bundle
4A small bronze bowl engraved with animal images
5A rattle made from a dried gourd and holly berries
6A miniature golden sickle handed down to you by your mentor

Guiding Aspect

Many clerics have items among their personal gear that symbolize their faith, remind them of their vows, or otherwise help to keep them on their chosen paths. Even though such an item is not imbued with divine power, it is vitally important to its owner because of what it represents.

Guiding Aspects

d6Guiding Aspect
1Yew trees remind you of renewing your mind and spirit, letting the old die and the new spring forth.
2Oak trees represent strength and vitality. Meditating under an oak fills your body and mind with resolve and fortitude.
3The river’s endless flow reminds you of the great span of the world. You seek to act with the long-term interests of nature in mind.
4The sea is a constant, churning cauldron of power and chaos. It reminds you that accepting change is necessary to sustain yourself in the world.
5The birds in the sky are evidence that even the smallest creatures can survive if they remain above the fray.
6As demonstrated by the actions of the wolf, an individual’s strength is nothing compared to the power of the pack.

Mentor

It’s not unusual for would-be druids to seek out (or be sought out by) instructors or elders who teach them the basics of their magical arts. Most druids who learn from a mentor begin their training at a young age, and the mentor has a vital role in shaping a student’s attitudes and beliefs.

If your character received training from someone else, who or what was that individual, and what was the nature of your relationship? Did your mentor imbue you with a particular outlook or otherwise influence your approach to achieving the goals of your chosen path?

Mentors

d6Mentor
1Your mentor was a wise treant who taught you to think in terms of years and decades rather than days or months.
2You were tutored by a dryad who watched over a slumbering portal to the Abyss. During your training, you were tasked with watching for hidden threats to the world.
3Your tutor always interacted with you in the form of a falcon. You never saw the tutor’s humanoid form.
4You were one of several youngsters who were mentored by an old druid, until one of your fellow pupils betrayed your group and killed your master.
5Your mentor has appeared to you only in visions. You have yet to meet this person, and you are not sure such a person exists in mortal form.
6Your mentor was a werebear who taught you to treat all living things with equal regard.

Druid Circles

At 2nd level, a druid gains the Druid Circle feature. The following options are available to a druid, in addition to those offered in the Player’s Handbook: the Circle of Dreams and the Circle of the Shepherd.

Circle of Dreams

Druids who are members of the Circle of Dreams hail from regions that have strong ties to the Feywild and its dreamlike realms. The druids’ guardianship of the natural world makes for a natural alliance between them and good-aligned fey. These druids seek to fill the world with dreamy wonder. Their magic mends wounds and brings joy to downcast hearts, and the realms they protect are gleaming, fruitful places, where dream and reality blur together and where the weary can find rest.

#img class="u-alignright" src="https://media.draconic.io/images/dnd5e/source/xgte/xanathar-eye.png" width="50" height="50" /#I don’t dream because I don’t sleep. I’m always awake so no one can ever sneak up on me. If I dreamed, they would be bigger dreams than yours, though, because my head is bigger.

Circle of Dreams Features

Druid LevelFeature
2ndBalm of the Summer Court
6thHearth of Moonlight and Shadow
10thHidden Paths
14thWalker in Dreams

Balm of the Summer Court

At 2nd level, you become imbued with the blessings of the Summer Court. You are a font of energy that offers respite from injuries. You have a pool of fey energy represented by a number of d6s equal to your druid level.

As a bonus action, you can choose one creature you can see within 120 feet of you and spend a number of those dice equal to half your druid level or less. Roll the spent dice and add them together. The target regains a number of hit points equal to the total. The target also gains 1 temporary hit point per die spent.

You regain all expended dice when you finish a long rest.

Hearth of Moonlight and Shadow

At 6th level, home can be wherever you are. During a short or long rest, you can invoke the shadowy power of the Gloaming Court to help guard your respite. At the start of the rest, you touch a point in space, and an invisible, 30-foot-radius sphere of magic appears, centered on that point. Total cover blocks the sphere.

While within the sphere, you and your allies gain a +5 bonus to Dexterity (Stealth) and Wisdom (Perception) checks, and any light from open flames in the sphere (a campfire, torches, or the like) isn’t visible outside it.

The sphere vanishes at the end of the rest or when you leave the sphere.

Hidden Paths

Starting at 10th level, you can use the hidden, magical pathways that some fey use to traverse space in the blink of an eye. As a bonus action on your turn, you can teleport up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space you can see. Alternatively, you can use your action to teleport one willing creature you touch up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space you can see.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of once), and you regain all expended uses of it when you finish a long rest.

Walker in Dreams

At 14th level, the magic of the Feywild grants you the ability to travel mentally or physically through dreamlands.

When you finish a short rest, you can cast one of the following spells, without expending a spell slot or requiring material components: dream (with you as the messenger), scrying, or teleportation circle.

This use of teleportation circle is special. Rather than opening a portal to a permanent teleportation circle, it opens a portal to the last location where you finished a long rest on your current plane of existence. If you haven’t taken a long rest on your current plane, the spell fails but isn’t wasted.

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

Circle of the Shepherd

Druids of the Circle of the Shepherd commune with the spirits of nature, especially the spirits of beasts and the fey, and call to those spirits for aid. These druids recognize that all living things play a role in the natural world, yet they focus on protecting animals and fey creatures that have difficulty defending themselves. Shepherds, as they are known, see such creatures as their charges. They ward off monsters that threaten them, rebuke hunters who kill more prey than necessary, and prevent civilization from encroaching on rare animal habitats and on sites sacred to the fey. Many of these druids are happiest far from cities and towns, content to spend their days in the company of animals and the fey creatures of the wilds.

Members of this circle become adventurers to oppose forces that threaten their charges or to seek knowledge and power that will help them safeguard their charges better. Wherever these druids go, the spirits of the wilderness are with them.

Circle of the Shepherd Features

Druid LevelFeature
2ndSpeech of the Woods, Spirit Totem
6thMighty Summoner
10thGuardian Spirit
14thFaithful Summons

Speech of the Woods

At 2nd level, you gain the ability to converse with beasts and many fey.

You learn to speak, read, and write Sylvan. In addition, beasts can understand your speech, and you gain the ability to decipher their noises and motions. Most beasts lack the intelligence to convey or understand sophisticated concepts, but a friendly beast could relay what it has seen or heard in the recent past. This ability doesn’t grant you friendship with beasts, though you can combine this ability with gifts to curry favor with them as you would with any nonplayer character.

Spirit Totem

Starting at 2nd level, you can call forth nature spirits to influence the world around you. As a bonus action, you can magically summon an incorporeal spirit to a point you can see within 60 feet of you. The spirit creates an aura in a 30-foot radius around that point. It counts as neither a creature nor an object, though it has the spectral appearance of the creature it represents.

As a bonus action, you can move the spirit up to 60 feet to a point you can see.

The spirit persists for 1 minute or until you’re incapacitated. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

The effect of the spirit’s aura depends on the type of spirit you summon from the options below.

Bear Spirit. The bear spirit grants you and your allies its might and endurance. Each creature of your choice in the aura when the spirit appears gains temporary hit points equal to 5 + your druid level. In addition, you and your allies gain advantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws while in the aura.

Hawk Spirit. The hawk spirit is a consummate hunter, aiding you and your allies with its keen sight. When a creature makes an attack roll against a target in the spirit’s aura, you can use your reaction to grant advantage to that attack roll. In addition, you and your allies have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks while in the aura.

Unicorn Spirit. The unicorn spirit lends its protection to those nearby. You and your allies gain advantage on all ability checks made to detect creatures in the spirit’s aura. In addition, if you cast a spell using a spell slot that restores hit points to any creature inside or outside the aura, each creature of your choice in the aura also regains hit points equal to your druid level.

Mighty Summoner

Starting at 6th level, beasts and fey that you conjure are more resilient than normal. Any beast or fey summoned or created by a spell that you cast gains the following benefits:

  • The creature appears with more hit points than normal: 2 extra hit points per Hit Die it has.
  • The damage from its natural weapons is considered magical for the purpose of overcoming immunity and resistance to nonmagical attacks and damage.

Guardian Spirit

Beginning at 10th level, your Spirit Totem safeguards the beasts and fey that you call forth with your magic. When a beast or fey that you summoned or created with a spell ends its turn in your Spirit Totem aura, that creature regains a number of hit points equal to half your druid level.

Faithful Summons

Starting at 14th level, the nature spirits you commune with protect you when you are the most defenseless. If you are reduced to 0 hit points or are incapacitated against your will, you can immediately gain the benefits of conjure animals as if it were cast using a 9th-level spell slot. It summons four beasts of your choice that are challenge rating 2 or lower. The conjured beasts appear within 20 feet of you. If they receive no commands from you, they protect you from harm and attack your foes. The spell lasts for 1 hour, requiring no concentration, or until you dismiss it (no action required).

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

Learning Beast Shapes

The Wild Shape feature in the Player’s Handbook lets you transform into a beast that you’ve seen. That rule gives you a tremendous amount of flexibility, making it easy to amass an array of beast form options for yourself, but you must abide by the limitations in the Beast Shapes table in that book.

When you gain Wild Shape as a 2nd-level druid, you might wonder which beasts you’ve already seen. The following tables organize beasts from the Monster Manual according to the beasts’ most likely environments. Consider the environment your druid grew up in, then consult the appropriate table for a list of animals that your druid has probably seen by 2nd level.

If I could turn into something else, I wouldn’t. Because everything else is inferior to me.

These tables can also help you and your DM determine which animals you might see on your travels. In addition, the tables include each beast’s challenge rating and note whether a beast has a flying or swimming speed. This information will help you determine whether you qualify to assume that beast’s form.

The tables include all the individual beasts that are eligible for Wild Shape (up to a challenge rating of 1) or the Circle Forms feature of the Circle of the Moon (up to a challenge rating of 6).

Arctic

CRBeastFly/Swim
0OwlFly
1/8Blood hawkFly
1/4Giant owlFly
1Brown bear
2Polar bearSwim
2Saber-toothed tiger
6Mammoth

Coast

CRBeastFly/Swim
0CrabSwim
0EagleFly
1/8Blood hawkFly
1/8Giant crabSwim
1/8Poisonous snakeSwim
1/8StirgeFly
1/4Giant lizard
1/4Giant wolf spider
1/4PteranodonFly
1Giant eagleFly
1Giant toadSwim
2PlesiosaurusSwim

Grassland

CRBeastFly/Swim
0Cat
0Deer
0EagleFly
0Goat
0Hyena
0Jackal
0VultureFly
1/8Blood hawkFly
1/8Flying snakeFly
1/8Giant weasel
1/8Poisonous snakeSwim
1/8StirgeFly
1/4Axe beak
1/4Boar
1/4Elk
1/4Giant poisonous snakeSwim
1/4Giant wolf spider
1/4Panther (leopard)
1/4PteranodonFly
1/4Riding horse
1/4Wolf
1/2Giant goat
1/2Giant waspFly
1Giant eagleFly
1Giant hyena
1Giant vultureFly
1Lion
1Tiger
2Allosaurus
2Giant boar
2Giant elk
2Rhinoceros
3Ankylosaurus
4Elephant
5Triceratops

Hill

CRBeastFly/Swim
0Baboon
0EagleFly
0Goat
0Hyena
0RavenFly
0VultureFly
1/8Blood hawkFly
1/8Giant weasel
1/8Mastiff
1/8Mule
1/8Poisonous snakeSwim
1/8StirgeFly
1/4Axe beak
1/4Boar
1/4Elk
1/4Giant owlFly
1/4Giant wolf spider
1/4Panther (cougar)
1/4Wolf
1/2Giant goat
1Brown bear
1Dire wolf
1Giant eagleFly
1Giant hyena
1Lion
2Giant boar
2Giant elk

Mountain

CRBeastFly/Swim
0EagleFly
0Goat
1/8Blood hawkFly
1/8StirgeFly
1/4PteranodonFly
1/2Giant goat
1Giant eagleFly
1Lion
2Giant elk
2Saber-toothed tiger

Underdark

CRBeastFly/Swim
0Giant fire beetle
1/8Giant rat
1/8StirgeFly
1/4Giant batFly
1/4Giant centipede
1/4Giant lizard
1/4Giant poisonous snakeSwim
1Giant spider
1Giant toadSwim
2Giant constrictor snakeSwim
2Polar bear (cave bear)Swim

Fighter

Let me know when you’re all done talking.

— Tordek

Of all the adventurers in the worlds of D&D, the fighter is perhaps the greatest paradox. On the one hand, a singular feature of the class is that no two fighters ply their craft in quite the same way; their weapons, armor, and tactics differ across a vast spectrum. On the other hand, regardless of the tools and methods one uses, at the heart of every fighter’s motivation lies the same basic truth: it is better to wound than to be wounded.

Although some adventuring fighters risk their lives fighting for glory or treasure, others are primarily concerned with the welfare of others. They put more value on the well-being of the society, the village, or the group than on their own safety. Even if there’s gold in the offing, the true reward for most fighters comes from sending enemies to their doom.

The sections below offer ways to add a little depth and a few personal touches to your fighter character.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but swords will never hurt me — as long as I stay really high and shoot down at an angle.

Heraldic Sign

Fighters typically do battle for a cause. Some fight on behalf of kingdoms besieged by monsters, while others quest only for personal glory. In either case, a fighter often displays a heraldic sign that represents that cause, either adopting the symbol of a nation or a royal line, or creating a crest to represent one’s self-interest.

Your character could be affiliated with an organization or a cause, and thus might already travel under a banner of some sort. If that’s not the case, consider devising a heraldic sign that symbolizes an aspect of your nature or speaks to what you see as your purpose in the world.

Heraldic Signs

d6Heraldic Sign
1A rampant golden dragon on a green field, representing valor and a quest for wealth
2The fist of a storm giant clutching lightning before a storm cloud, symbolizing wrath and power
3Crossed greatswords in front of a castle gate, signifying the defense of a city or kingdom
4A skull with a dagger through it, representing the doom you bring to your enemies
5A phoenix in a ring of fire, an expression of an indomitable spirit
6Three drops of blood beneath a horizontal sword blade on a black background, symbolizing three foes you have sworn to kill

Instructor

Some fighters are natural-born combatants who have a talent for surviving in battle. Others learned the basics of their combat prowess in their formative years from spending time in a military or some other martial organization, when they were taught by the leaders of the group.

A third type of fighter comes from the ranks of those who received one-on-one instruction from an accomplished veteran of the craft. That instructor was, or perhaps still is, well versed in a certain aspect of combat that relates to the student’s background.

If you decide that your character had an individual instructor, what is that person’s specialty? Do you emulate your instructor in how you fight, or did you take the instructor’s teachings and adapt them to your own purposes?

Instructors

d6Instructor
1Gladiator. Your instructor was a slave who fought for freedom in the arena, or one who willingly chose the gladiator’s life to earn money and fame.
2Military. Your trainer served with a group of soldiers and knows much about working as a team.
3City Watch. Crowd control and peacekeeping are your instructor’s specialties.
4Tribal Warrior. Your instructor grew up in a tribe, where fighting for one’s life was practically an every­day occurrence.
5Street Fighter. Your trainer excels at urban combat, combining close-quarters work with silence and efficiency.
6Weapon Master. Your mentor helped you to become one with your chosen weapon, by imparting highly specialized knowledge of how to wield it most effectively.

Signature Style

Many fighters distinguish themselves from their peers by adopting and perfecting a particular style or method of waging combat. Although this style might be a natural outgrowth of a fighter’s personality, that’s not always the case — someone’s approach to the world in general does not necessarily dictate how that person operates when lives are on the line.

Do you have a combat style that mirrors your outlook on life, or is something else inside you unleashed when weapons are drawn?

Signature Styles

d6Signature Style
1Elegant. You move with precise grace and total control, never using more energy than you need.
2Brutal. Your attacks rain down like hammer blows, meant to splinter bone or send blood flying.
3Cunning. You dart in to attack at just the right moment and use small-scale tactics to tilt the odds in your favor.
4Effortless. You rarely perspire or display anything other than a stoic expression in battle.
5Energetic. You sing and laugh during combat as your spirit soars. You are happiest when you have a foe in front of you and a weapon in hand.
6Sinister. You scowl and sneer while fighting, and you enjoy mocking your foes as you defeat them.

Martial Archetypes

At 3rd level, a fighter gains the Martial Archetype feature. The following options are available to a fighter, in addition to those offered in the Player’s Handbook: the Arcane Archer, the Cavalier, and the Samurai.

Arcane Archer

An Arcane Archer studies a unique elven method of archery that weaves magic into attacks to produce supernatural effects. Arcane Archers are some of the most elite warriors among the elves. They stand watch over the fringes of elven domains, keeping a keen eye out for trespassers and using magic-infused arrows to defeat monsters and invaders before they can reach elven settlements. Over the centuries, the methods of these elf archers have been learned by members of other races who can also balance arcane aptitude with archery.

#img class="u-alignright" src="https://media.draconic.io/images/dnd5e/source/xgte/xanathar-eye.png" width="50" height="50" /#Arrows are the worst. They go much farther than eye rays. That’s why I stay indoors all the time. Besides, the sky is totally overrated.

Arcane Archer Features

Fighter LevelFeature
3rdArcane Archer Lore, Arcane Shot (2 options)
7thCurving Shot, Magic Arrow, Arcane Shot (3 options)
10thArcane Shot (4 options)
15thEver-Ready Shot, Arcane Shot (5 options)
18thArcane Shot (6 options, improved shots)

Arcane Archer Lore

At 3rd level, you learn magical theory or some of the secrets of nature — typical for practitioners of this elven martial tradition. You choose to gain proficiency in either the Arcana or the Nature skill, and you choose to learn either the prestidigitation or the druidcraft cantrip.

Arcane Shot

At 3rd level, you learn to unleash special magical effects with some of your shots. When you gain this feature, you learn two Arcane Shot options of your choice (see “Arcane Shot Options” below).

Once per turn when you fire an arrow from a shortbow or longbow as part of the Attack action, you can apply one of your Arcane Shot options to that arrow. You decide to use the option when the arrow hits a creature, unless the option doesn’t involve an attack roll. You have two uses of this ability, and you regain all expended uses of it when you finish a short or long rest.

You gain an additional Arcane Shot option of your choice when you reach certain levels in this class: 7th, 10th, 15th, and 18th level. Each option also improves when you become an 18th-level fighter.

Magic Arrow

At 7th level, you gain the ability to infuse arrows with magic. Whenever you fire a nonmagical arrow from a shortbow or longbow, you can make it magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage. The magic fades from the arrow immediately after it hits or misses its target.

Curving Shot

At 7th level, you learn how to direct an errant arrow toward a new target. When you make an attack roll with a magic arrow and miss, you can use a bonus action to reroll the attack roll against a different target within 60 feet of the original target.

Ever-Ready Shot

Starting at 15th level, your magical archery is available whenever battle starts. If you roll initiative and have no uses of Arcane Shot remaining, you regain one use of it.

Arcane Shot Options

The Arcane Shot feature lets you choose options for it at certain levels. The options are presented here in alphabetical order. They are all magical effects, and each one is associated with one of the schools of magic.

If an option requires a saving throw, your Arcane Shot save DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier.

Banishing Arrow. You use abjuration magic to try to temporarily banish your target to a harmless location in the Feywild. The creature hit by the arrow must also succeed on a Charisma saving throw or be banished. While banished in this way, the target’s speed is 0, and it is incapacitated. At the end of its next turn, the target reappears in the space it vacated or in the nearest unoccupied space if that space is occupied.

After you reach 18th level in this class, a target also takes 2d6 force damage when the arrow hits it.

Beguiling Arrow. Your enchantment magic causes this arrow to temporarily beguile its target. The creature hit by the arrow takes an extra 2d6 psychic damage, and choose one of your allies within 30 feet of the target. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw, or it is charmed by the chosen ally until the start of your next turn. This effect ends early if the chosen ally attacks the charmed target, deals damage to it, or forces it to make a saving throw.

The psychic damage increases to 4d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.

Bursting Arrow. You imbue your arrow with force energy drawn from the school of evocation. The energy detonates after your attack. Immediately after the arrow hits the creature, the target and all other creatures within 10 feet of it take 2d6 force damage each.

The force damage increases to 4d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.

Enfeebling Arrow. You weave necromantic magic into your arrow. The creature hit by the arrow takes an extra 2d6 necrotic damage. The target must also succeed on a Constitution saving throw, or the damage dealt by its weapon attacks is halved until the start of your next turn.

The necrotic damage increases to 4d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.

Grasping Arrow. When this arrow strikes its target, conjuration magic creates grasping, poisonous brambles, which wrap around the target. The creature hit by the arrow takes an extra 2d6 poison damage, its speed is reduced by 10 feet, and it takes 2d6 slashing damage the first time on each turn it moves 1 foot or more without teleporting. The target or any creature that can reach it can use its action to remove the brambles with a successful Strength (Athletics) check against your Arcane Shot save DC. Otherwise, the brambles last for 1 minute or until you use this option again.

The poison damage and slashing damage both increase to 4d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.

Piercing Arrow. You use transmutation magic to give your arrow an ethereal quality. When you use this option, you don’t make an attack roll for the attack. Instead, the arrow shoots forward in a line, which is 1 foot wide and 30 feet long, before disappearing. The arrow passes harmlessly through objects, ignoring cover. Each creature in that line must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes damage as if it were hit by the arrow, plus an extra 1d6 piercing damage. On a successful save, a target takes half as much damage.

The piercing damage increases to 2d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.

Seeking Arrow. Using divination magic, you grant your arrow the ability to seek out a target. When you use this option, you don’t make an attack roll for the attack. Instead, choose one creature you have seen in the past minute. The arrow flies toward that creature, moving around corners if necessary and ignoring three-quarters cover and half cover. If the target is within the weapon’s range and there is a path large enough for the arrow to travel to the target, the target must make a Dexterity saving throw. Otherwise, the arrow disappears after traveling as far as it can. On a failed save, the target takes damage as if it were hit by the arrow, plus an extra 1d6 force damage, and you learn the target’s current location. On a successful save, the target takes half as much damage, and you don’t learn its location.

The force damage increases to 2d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.

Shadow Arrow. You weave illusion magic into your arrow, causing it to occlude your foe’s vision with shadows. The creature hit by the arrow takes an extra 2d6 psychic damage, and it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be unable to see anything farther than 5 feet away until the start of your next turn.

The psychic damage increases to 4d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.

#img class="u-alignright" src="https://media.draconic.io/images/dnd5e/source/xgte/xanathar-eye.png" width="50" height="50" /#So there are different names for different sorts of people who swing swords? Why? Let me try: big sword swinger and tiny sword swinger. No, that sounds like it’s the size of the sword that matters. How about: big meat bag with a sword and little meat bag with a sword!

Cavalier

The archetypal Cavalier excels at mounted combat. Usually born among the nobility and raised at court, a Cavalier is equally at home leading a cavalry charge or exchanging repartee at a state dinner. Cavaliers also learn how to guard those in their charge from harm, often serving as the protectors of their superiors and of the weak. Compelled to right wrongs or earn prestige, many of these fighters leave their lives of comfort to embark on glorious adventure.

Cavalier Features

Fighter LevelFeature
3rdBonus Proficiency, Born to the Saddle, Unwavering Mark
7thWarding Maneuver
10thHold the Line
15thFerocious Charger
18thVigilant Defender

Bonus Proficiency

When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in one of the following skills of your choice: Animal Handling, History, Insight, Performance, or Persuasion. Alternatively, you learn one language of your choice.

Born to the Saddle

Starting at 3rd level, your mastery as a rider becomes apparent. You have advantage on saving throws made to avoid falling off your mount. If you fall off your mount and descend no more than 10 feet, you can land on your feet if you’re not incapacitated.

Finally, mounting or dismounting a creature costs you only 5 feet of movement, rather than half your speed.

Unwavering Mark

Starting at 3rd level, you can menace your foes, foiling their attacks and punishing them for harming others. When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can mark the creature until the end of your next turn. This effect ends early if you are incapacitated or you die, or if someone else marks the creature.

While it is within 5 feet of you, a creature marked by you has disadvantage on any attack roll that doesn’t target you.

In addition, if a creature marked by you deals damage to anyone other than you, you can make a special melee weapon attack against the marked creature as a bonus action on your next turn. You have advantage on the attack roll, and if it hits, the attack’s weapon deals extra damage to the target equal to half your fighter level.

Regardless of the number of creatures you mark, you can make this special attack a number of times equal to your Strength modifier (minimum of once), and you regain all expended uses of it when you finish a long rest.

Warding Maneuver

At 7th level, you learn to fend off strikes directed at you, your mount, or other creatures nearby. If you or a creature you can see within 5 feet of you is hit by an attack, you can roll 1d8 as a reaction if you’re wielding a melee weapon or a shield. Roll the die, and add the number rolled to the target’s AC against that attack. If the attack still hits, the target has resistance against the attack’s damage.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Constitution modifier (minimum of once), and you regain all expended uses of it when you finish a long rest.

Hold the Line

At 10th level, you become a master of locking down your enemies. Creatures provoke an opportunity attack from you when they move 5 feet or more while within your reach, and if you hit a creature with an opportunity attack, the target’s speed is reduced to 0 until the end of the current turn.

Ferocious Charger

Starting at 15th level, you can run down your foes, whether you’re mounted or not. If you move at least 10 feet in a straight line right before attacking a creature and you hit it with the attack, that target must succeed on a Strength saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier) or be knocked prone. You can use this feature only once on each of your turns.

Vigilant Defender

Starting at 18th level, you respond to danger with extraordinary vigilance. In combat, you get a special reaction that you can take once on every creature’s turn, except your turn. You can use this special reaction only to make an opportunity attack, and you can’t use it on the same turn that you take your normal reaction.

CAVALIERS, SAMURAI, AND HISTORY

While both cavaliers and samurai existed in the real world, our inspirations for both fighter archetypes are taken from popular culture (folk tales, movies, and comic books), not from history. Our intent is to capture the cinematic, heroic element of both archetypes in the game, rather than create an accurate historical representation of either one.

Samurai

The Samurai is a fighter who draws on an implacable fighting spirit to overcome enemies. A Samurai’s resolve is nearly unbreakable, and the enemies in a Samurai’s path have two choices: yield or die fighting.

Samurai Features

Fighter LevelFeature
3rdBonus Proficiency, Fighting Spirit (5 temp. hp)
7thElegant Courtier
10thTireless Spirit, Fighting Spirit (10 temp. hp)
15thRapid Strike, Fighting Spirit (15 temp. hp)
18thStrength before Death

Bonus Proficiency

When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in one of the following skills of your choice: History, Insight, Performance, or Persuasion. Alternatively, you learn one language of your choice.

Fighting Spirit

Starting at 3rd level, your intensity in battle can shield you and help you strike true. As a bonus action on your turn, you can give yourself advantage on weapon attack rolls until the end of the current turn. When you do so, you also gain 5 temporary hit points. The number of temporary hit points increases when you reach certain levels in this class, increasing to 10 at 10th level and 15 at 15th level.

You can use this feature three times, and you regain all expended uses of it when you finish a long rest.

Elegant Courtier

Starting at 7th level, your discipline and attention to detail allow you to excel in social situations. Whenever you make a Charisma (Persuasion) check, you gain a bonus to the check equal to your Wisdom modifier.

Your self-control also causes you to gain proficiency in Wisdom saving throws. If you already have this proficiency, you instead gain proficiency in Intelligence or Charisma saving throws (your choice).

Tireless Spirit

Starting at 10th level, when you roll initiative and have no uses of Fighting Spirit remaining, you regain one use.

Rapid Strike

Starting at 15th level, you learn to trade accuracy for swift strikes. If you take the Attack action on your turn and have advantage on an attack roll against one of the targets, you can forgo the advantage for that roll to make an additional weapon attack against that target, as part of the same action. You can do so no more than once per turn.

Strength Before Death

Starting at 18th level, your fighting spirit can delay the grasp of death. If you take damage that reduces you to 0 hit points and doesn’t kill you outright, you can use your reaction to delay falling unconscious, and you can immediately take an extra turn, interrupting the current turn. While you have 0 hit points during that extra turn, taking damage causes death saving throw failures as normal, and three death saving throw failures can still kill you. When the extra turn ends, you fall unconscious if you still have 0 hit points.

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

Monk

Do not mistake my silence for acceptance of your villainy. While you blustered and threatened, I’ve planned four different ways to snap your neck with my bare hands.

— Ember, grand master of flowers

Monks walk a path of contradiction. They study their art as a wizard does, and like a wizard, they wear no armor and typically eschew weapons. Yet they are deadly combatants, their abilities on a par with those of a raging barbarian or a superbly trained fighter. Monks embrace this seeming contradiction, for it speaks to the core of all monastic study. By coming to know oneself completely, one learns much of the wider world.

A monk’s focus on inner mastery leads many such individuals to become detached from society, more concerned with their personal experience than with happenings elsewhere. Adventuring monks are a rare breed of an already rare type of character, taking their quest for perfection beyond the walls of the monastery into the world at large.

Playing a monk character offers many intriguing opportunities to try something different. To distinguish your monk character even further, consider the options in the sections that follow.

I bet I could be a monk if I wanted.

What? Why are you laughing?

Monastery

A monk studies in a monastery in preparation for a life of asceticism. Most of those who enter a monastery make it their home for the rest of their lives, with the exception of adventurers and others who have reason to leave. For those individuals, a monastery might serve as a refuge between excursions to the world or as a source of support in times of need.

What sort of place was your monastery, and where is it located? Did attending it contribute to your experience in an unusual or distinctive way?

Monasteries

d6Monastery
1Your monastery is carved out of a mountainside, where it looms over a treacherous pass.
2Your monastery is high in the branches of an immense tree in the Feywild.
3Your monastery was founded long ago by a cloud giant and is inside a cloud castle that can be reached only by flying.
4Your monastery is built beside a volcanic system of hot springs, geysers, and sulfur pools. You regularly received visits from azer traders.
5Your monastery was founded by gnomes and is an underground labyrinth of tunnels and rooms.
6Your monastery was carved from an iceberg in the frozen reaches of the world.

Monastic Icon

Even in the monastic lifestyle, which eschews materialism and personal possessions, symbolism plays an important part in defining the identity of an order. Some monastic orders treat certain creatures with special regard, either because the creature is tied to the order’s history or because it serves as an example of a quality the monks seek to emulate.

If your character’s monastery had a special icon, you might wear a crude image of the creature somewhere inconspicuous on your clothing to serve as an identifying mark. Or perhaps your order’s icon does not have a physical form but is expressed through a gesture or a posture that you adopt, and which other monks might know how to interpret.

Monastic Icons

d6Monastic Icon
1Monkey. Quick reflexes and the ability to travel through the treetops are two of the reasons why your order admires the monkey.
2Dragon Turtle. The monks of your seaside monastery venerate the dragon turtle, reciting ancient prayers and offering garlands of flowers to honor this living spirit of the sea.
3Ki-rin. Your monastery sees its main purpose as watching over and protecting the land in the manner of the ki-rin.
4Owlbear. The monks of your monastery revere a family of owlbears and have coexisted with them for generations.
5Hydra. Your order singles out the hydra for its ability to unleash several attacks simultaneously.
6Dragon. A dragon once laired within your monastery. Its influence remains long after its departure.

Master

During your studies, you were likely under the tutelage of a master who imparted to you the precepts of the order. Your master was the one most responsible for shaping your understanding of the martial arts and your attitude toward the world. What sort of person was your master, and how did your relationship with your master affect you?

Masters

d6Master
1Your master was a tyrant whom you had to defeat in single combat to complete your instruction.
2Your master was kindly and taught you to pursue the cause of peace.
3Your master was merciless in pushing you to your limits. You nearly lost an eye during one especially brutal practice session.
4Your master seemed goodhearted while tutoring you, but betrayed your monastery in the end.
5Your master was cold and distant. You suspect that the two of you might be related.
6Your master was kind and generous, never critical of your progress. Nevertheless, you feel you never fully lived up to the expectations placed on you.

Monastic Traditions

At 3rd level, a monk gains the Monastic Tradition feature. The following options are available to a monk, in addition to those offered in the Player’s Handbook: the Way of the Drunken Master, the Way of the Kensei, and the Way of the Sun Soul.

Way of the Drunken Master

The Way of the Drunken Master teaches its students to move with the jerky, unpredictable movements of a drunkard. A drunken master sways, tottering on unsteady feet, to present what seems like an incompetent combatant who proves frustrating to engage. The drunken master’s erratic stumbles conceal a carefully executed dance of blocks, parries, advances, attacks, and retreats.

A drunken master often enjoys playing the fool to bring gladness to the despondent or to demonstrate humility to the arrogant, but when battle is joined, the drunken master can be a maddening, masterful foe.

Way of the Drunken Master Features

Monk LevelFeature
3rdBonus Proficiencies, Drunken Technique
6thTipsy Sway
11thDrunkard’s Luck
17thIntoxicated Frenzy

Bonus Proficiencies

When you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in the Performance skill if you don’t already have it. Your martial arts technique mixes combat training with the precision of a dancer and the antics of a jester. You also gain proficiency with brewer’s supplies if you don’t already have it.

Drunken Technique

At 3rd level, you learn how to twist and turn quickly as part of your Flurry of Blows. Whenever you use Flurry of Blows, you gain the benefit of the Disengage action, and your walking speed increases by 10 feet until the end of the current turn.

Tipsy Sway

Starting at 6th level, you can move in sudden, swaying ways. You gain the following benefits.

Leap to Your Feet. When you’re prone, you can stand up by spending 5 feet of movement, rather than half your speed.

Redirect Attack. When a creature misses you with a melee attack roll, you can spend 1 ki point as a reaction to cause that attack to hit one creature of your choice, other than the attacker, that you can see within 5 feet of you.

Drunkard’s Luck

Starting at 11th level, you always seem to get a lucky bounce at the right moment. When you make an ability check, an attack roll, or a saving throw and have disadvantage on the roll, you can spend 2 ki points to cancel the disadvantage for that roll.

Intoxicated Frenzy

At 17th level, you gain the ability to make an overwhelming number of attacks against a group of enemies. When you use your Flurry of Blows, you can make up to three additional attacks with it (up to a total of five Flurry of Blows attacks), provided that each Flurry of Blows attack targets a different creature this turn.

Way of the Kensei

Monks of the Way of the Kensei train relentlessly with their weapons, to the point where the weapon becomes an extension of the body. Founded on a mastery of sword fighting, the tradition has expanded to include many different weapons.

A kensei sees a weapon in much the same way a calligrapher or painter regards a pen or brush. Whatever the weapon, the kensei views it as a tool used to express the beauty and precision of the martial arts. That such mastery makes a kensei a peerless warrior is but a side effect of intense devotion, practice, and study.

Why did the samurai cross the road? … Now you say “Why?” … Okay, here’s the joke part: I kensei. Get it? What? Why aren’t you laughing? The joke is solid gold, and my delivery was perfect. Maybe you didn’t get it because you’re stupid.

Way of the Kensei Features

Monk LevelFeature
3rdPath of the Kensei (2 weapons)
6thOne with the Blade, Path of the Kensei (3 weapons)
11thSharpen the Blade, Path of the Kensei (4 weapons)
17thUnerring Accuracy, Path of the Kensei (5 weapons)

Path of the Kensei

When you choose this tradition at 3rd level, your special martial arts training leads you to master the use of certain weapons. This path also includes instruction in the deft strokes of calligraphy or painting. You gain the following benefits.

Kensei Weapons. Choose two types of weapons to be your kensei weapons: one melee weapon and one ranged weapon. Each of these weapons can be any simple or martial weapon that lacks the heavy and special properties. The longbow is also a valid choice. You gain proficiency with these weapons if you don’t already have it. Weapons of the chosen types are monk weapons for you. Many of this tradition’s features work only with your kensei weapons. When you reach 6th, 11th, and 17th level in this class, you can choose another type of weapon — either melee or ranged — to be a kensei weapon for you, following the criteria above.

Agile Parry. If you make an unarmed strike as part of the Attack action on your turn and are holding a kensei weapon, you can use it to defend yourself if it is a melee weapon. You gain a +2 bonus to AC until the start of your next turn, while the weapon is in your hand and you aren’t incapacitated.

Kensei’s Shot. You can use a bonus action on your turn to make your ranged attacks with a kensei weapon more deadly. When you do so, any target you hit with a ranged attack using a kensei weapon takes an extra 1d4 damage of the weapon’s type. You retain this benefit until the end of the current turn.

Way of the Brush. You gain proficiency with your choice of calligrapher’s supplies or painter’s supplies.

One with the Blade

At 6th level, you extend your ki into your kensei weapons, granting you the following benefits.

Magic Kensei Weapons. Your attacks with your kensei weapons count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.

Deft Strike. When you hit a target with a kensei weapon, you can spend 1 ki point to cause the weapon to deal extra damage to the target equal to your Martial Arts die. You can use this feature only once on each of your turns.

Sharpen the Blade

At 11th level, you gain the ability to augment your weapons further with your ki. As a bonus action, you can expend up to 3 ki points to grant one kensei weapon you touch a bonus to attack and damage rolls when you attack with it. The bonus equals the number of ki points you spent. This bonus lasts for 1 minute or until you use this feature again. This feature has no effect on a magic weapon that already has a bonus to attack and damage rolls.

Unerring Accuracy

At 17th level, your mastery of weapons grants you extraordinary accuracy. If you miss with an attack roll using a monk weapon on your turn, you can reroll it. You can use this feature only once on each of your turns.

Way of the Sun Soul

Monks of the Way of the Sun Soul learn to channel their life energy into searing bolts of light. They teach that meditation can unlock the ability to unleash the indomitable light shed by the soul of every living creature.

So you have this soul, but you can’t see it or touch it. And when you die, this invisible thing leaves your body and goes to a place you can’t see. And you people think I’m crazy?

Way of the Sun Soul Features

Monk LevelFeature
3rdRadiant Sun Bolt
6thSearing Arc Strike
11thSearing Sunburst
17thSun Shield

Radiant Sun Bolt

Starting when you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you can hurl searing bolts of magical radiance.

You gain a new attack option that you can use with the Attack action. This special attack is a ranged spell attack with a range of 30 feet. You are proficient with it, and you add your Dexterity modifier to its attack and damage rolls. Its damage is radiant, and its damage die is a d4. This die changes as you gain monk levels, as shown in the Martial Arts column of the Monk table.

When you take the Attack action on your turn and use this special attack as part of it, you can spend 1 ki point to make the special attack twice as a bonus action.

When you gain the Extra Attack feature, this special attack can be used for any of the attacks you make as part of the Attack action.

Searing Arc Strike

At 6th level, you gain the ability to channel your ki into searing waves of energy. Immediately after you take the Attack action on your turn, you can spend 2 ki points to cast the burning hands spell as a bonus action.

You can spend additional ki points to cast burning hands as a higher-level spell. Each additional ki point you spend increases the spell’s level by 1. The maximum number of ki points (2 plus any additional points) that you can spend on the spell equals half your monk level.

Searing Sunburst

At 11th level, you gain the ability to create an orb of light that erupts into a devastating explosion. As an action, you magically create an orb and hurl it at a point you choose within 150 feet, where it erupts into a sphere of radiant light for a brief but deadly instant.

Each creature in that 20-foot-radius sphere must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or take 2d6 radiant damage. A creature doesn’t need to make the save if the creature is behind total cover that is opaque.

You can increase the sphere’s damage by spending ki points. Each point you spend, to a maximum of 3, increases the damage by 2d6.

Sun Shield

At 17th level, you become wreathed in a luminous, magical aura. You shed bright light in a 30-foot radius and dim light for an additional 30 feet. You can extinguish or restore the light as a bonus action.

If a creature hits you with a melee attack while this light shines, you can use your reaction to deal radiant damage to the creature. The radiant damage equals 5 + your Wisdom modifier.

Paladin

The true worth of a paladin is measured not in foes defeated or dungeons plundered. It is measured in lives saved and hearts turned to the causes of mercy and justice.

— Isteval

A paladin is a living embodiment of an oath — a promise or a vow made manifest in the person of a holy warrior who has the skill and the determination to see the cause through to the end. Some paladins devote themselves expressly to protecting the innocent and spreading justice in the world, while others resolve to attain that goal by conquering those who stand defiant and bringing them under the rule of law.

Although no paladin in the world could be described as typical, a number of them are narrow-minded do-gooders who refuse to tolerate even the smallest deviation from their own outlook. Paladins who take up the adventuring life, however, rarely remain so rigid in their attitudes — if only to keep from alienating their companions.

You can flesh out your paladin character by using the suggestions below. It’s important to keep in mind that most paladins aren’t robots. They have doubts and prejudices and harbor contradictory thoughts just as any other character does. Some are compelled by an internal motivation that might sometimes be at odds with the principles of their oaths.

Living up to an oath? That sounds ridiculous. Why would anyone ever do that? There’s nothing wrong with making promises, but only suckers keep them.

Personal Goal

The precepts of a paladin’s oath provide purpose to the character and dictate an ultimate goal or an overall intent that the paladin abides by and advances. Aside from that, some paladins are driven by a personal goal that either complements or transcends the dictates of their oaths. Paladins who swear different oaths might have the same personal goal, differing only in how they apply that goal to their actions when upholding their oaths.

If your paladin character has a personal goal, it might be drawn from some life event and thus not directly tied to the oath.

Personal Goals

d6Personal Goal
1Peace. You fight so that future generations will not have to.
2Revenge. Your oath is the vehicle through which you will right an ancient wrong.
3Duty. You will live up to what you have sworn to do, or die trying.
4Leadership. You will win a great battle that bards will sing about, and in so doing, you will become an example to inspire others.
5Faith. You know your path is righteous, or else the gods would not have set you upon it.
6Glory. You will lead the world into a grand new era, one that will be branded with your name.

Symbol

Paladins are mindful of the influence of symbols, and many of them adopt or design an artistic device that bears a distinctive image. Your symbol exemplifies the oath you have taken and communicates that message to those around you, friend and foe alike.

Your symbol might be displayed on a banner, a flag, or your clothing for all to see. Or it could be less obvious, such as a trinket or a token that you carry concealed on your person.

Symbols

d6Symbol
1A dragon, emblematic of your nobility in peace and your ferocity in combat
2A clenched fist, because you are always ready to fight for your beliefs
3An upraised open hand, indicating your preference for diplomacy over combat
4A red heart, showing the world your commitment to justice
5A black heart, signifying that emotions such as pity do not sway your dedication to your oath
6An unblinking eye, meaning that you are ever alert to all threats against your cause

Nemesis

Their adherence to a sacred oath demands that paladins take an active stance in carrying their beliefs into the world. This activity naturally leads to conflict with creatures or entities that oppose those beliefs. Among those opponents, one often stands out as a paladin’s most persistent or most formidable foe — a nemesis whose presence or influence is a constant factor in a paladin’s life.

Your paladin character might have an enemy that dates from the days before you took up your path. Or you could be a target because when you became a paladin, you immediately attracted the attention of those that would do you in. If you have a nemesis, who or what is it? Whom among your enemies do you consider to be the biggest threat to achieving your goals?

Nemeses

d6Nemesis
1A mighty orc war chief who threatens to overrun and destroy everything you hold sacred
2A fiend or a celestial, the agent of a power of the Outer Planes, who has been charged with corrupting or redeeming you, as appropriate
3A dragon whose servants dog your steps
4A high priest who sees you as a misguided fool and wants you to abandon your religion
5A rival paladin who trained with you but became an oath-breaker and holds you responsible
6A vampire who has sworn revenge against all paladins after being defeated by one

Temptation

Although paladins are dedicated to their oaths, they are mortals, and thus they are flawed. Many of them exhibit a type of behavior or hold to an attitude that is not in keeping with the highest ideals of their calling.

What is the temptation that your character succumbs to or finds it difficult to resist?

Temptations

d6Temptation
1Fury. When your anger is roused, you have trouble thinking straight, and you fear you might do something you’ll regret.
2Pride. Your deeds are noteworthy, and no one takes note of them more often than you.
3Lust. You can’t resist an attractive face and a pleasant smile.
4Envy. You are mindful of what some famous folk have accomplished, and you feel inadequate when your deeds don’t compare to theirs.
5Despair. You consider the great strength of the enemies you must defeat, and at times you see no way to achieve final victory.
6Greed. Regardless of how much glory and treasure you amass, it’s never enough for you.

Sacred Oaths

At 3rd level, a paladin gains the Sacred Oath feature. The following options are available to a paladin, in addition to those offered in the Player’s Handbook: the Oath of Conquest and the Oath of Redemption.

Oath of Conquest

The Oath of Conquest calls to paladins who seek glory in battle and the subjugation of their enemies. It isn’t enough for these paladins to establish order. They must crush the forces of chaos. Sometimes called knight tyrants or iron mongers, those who swear this oath gather into grim orders that serve gods or philosophies of war and well-ordered might.

Some of these paladins go so far as to consort with the powers of the Nine Hells, valuing the rule of law over the balm of mercy. The archdevil Bel, warlord of Avernus, counts many of these paladins — called hell knights — as his most ardent supporters. Hell knights cover their armor with trophies taken from fallen enemies, a grim warning to any who dare oppose them and the decrees of their lords. These knights are often most fiercely resisted by other paladins of this oath, who believe that the hell knights have wandered too far into darkness.

Tenets of Conquest

A paladin who takes this oath has the tenets of conquest seared on the upper arm.

Douse the Flame of Hope. It is not enough to merely defeat an enemy in battle. Your victory must be so overwhelming that your enemies’ will to fight is shattered forever. A blade can end a life. Fear can end an empire.

Rule with an Iron Fist. Once you have conquered, tolerate no dissent. Your word is law. Those who obey it shall be favored. Those who defy it shall be punished as an example to all who might follow.

Strength Above All. You shall rule until a stronger one arises. Then you must grow mightier and meet the challenge, or fall to your own ruin.

Conquest sounds cool.
Do you have to leave your house for that? Because I’ve got a fish named Sylgar, and I can’t be away for too long or he gets sad.

Oath of Conquest Features

Paladin LevelFeature
3rdOath Spells, Channel Divinity
7thAura of Conquest (10 ft.)
15thScornful Rebuke
18thAura of Conquest (30 ft.)
20thInvincible Conqueror

Oath Spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed in the Oath of Conquest Spells table. See the Sacred Oath class feature for how oath spells work.

Oath of Conquest Spells

Paladin LevelSpells
3rdarmor of Agathys, command
5thhold personspiritual weapon
9thbestow cursefear
13thdominate beaststoneskin
17thcloudkill, dominate person

Channel Divinity

When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options. See the Sacred Oath class feature for how Channel Divinity works.

Conquering Presence. You can use your Channel Divinity to exude a terrifying presence. As an action, you force each creature of your choice that you can see within 30 feet of you to make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, a creature becomes frightened of you for 1 minute. The frightened creature can repeat this saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Guided Strike. You can use your Channel Divinity to strike with supernatural accuracy. When you make an attack roll, you can use your Channel Divinity to gain a +10 bonus to the roll. You make this choice after you see the roll, but before the DM says whether the attack hits or misses.

Aura of Conquest

Starting at 7th level, you constantly emanate a menacing aura while you’re not incapacitated. The aura extends 10 feet from you in every direction, but not through total cover.

If a creature is frightened of you, its speed is reduced to 0 while in the aura, and that creature takes psychic damage equal to half your paladin level if it starts its turn there.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Scornful Rebuke

Starting at 15th level, those who dare to strike you are psychically punished for their audacity. Whenever a creature hits you with an attack, that creature takes psychic damage equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1) if you’re not incapacitated.

Invincible Conqueror

At 20th level, you gain the ability to harness extraordinary martial prowess. As an action, you can magically become an avatar of conquest, gaining the following benefits for 1 minute:

  • You have resistance to all damage.
  • When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can make one additional attack as part of that action.
  • Your melee weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20 on the d20.

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

Oath of Redemption

The Oath of Redemption sets a paladin on a difficult path, one that requires a holy warrior to use violence only as a last resort. Paladins who dedicate themselves to this oath believe that any person can be redeemed and that the path of benevolence and justice is one that anyone can walk. These paladins face evil creatures in the hope of turning their foes to the light, and they slay their enemies only when such a deed will clearly save other lives. Paladins who follow this path are known as redeemers.

While redeemers are idealists, they are no fools. Redeemers know that undead, demons, devils, and other supernatural threats can be inherently evil. Against such foes, paladins who swear this oath bring the full wrath of their weapons and spells to bear. Yet the redeemers still pray that, one day, even creatures of wickedness will invite their own redemption.

Tenets of Redemption

The tenets of the Oath of Redemption hold a paladin to a high standard of peace and justice.

Peace. Violence is a weapon of last resort. Diplomacy and understanding are the paths to long-lasting peace.

Innocence. All people begin life in an innocent state, and it is their environment or the influence of dark forces that drives them to evil. By setting the proper example, and working to heal the wounds of a deeply flawed world, you can set anyone on a righteous path.

Patience. Change takes time. Those who have walked the path of the wicked must be given reminders to keep them honest and true. Once you have planted the seed of righteousness in a creature, you must work day after day to allow that seed to survive and flourish.

Wisdom. Your heart and mind must stay clear, for eventually you will be forced to admit defeat. While every creature can be redeemed, some are so far along the path of evil that you have no choice but to end their lives for the greater good. Any such action must be carefully weighed and the consequences fully understood, but once you have made the decision, follow through with it knowing your path is just.

Redemption. So you feel bad about having done something, and then you have to do something to feel better? Why don’t you just kill and eat someone? That always makes me feel better.

Oath of Redemption Features

Paladin LevelFeature
3rdOath Spells, Channel Divinity
7thAura of the Guardian (10 ft.)
15thProtective Spirit
18thAura of the Guardian (30 ft.)
20thEmissary of Redemption

Oath Spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed in the Oath of Redemption Spells table. See the Sacred Oath class feature for how oath spells work.

Oath of Redemption Spells

Paladin LevelSpells
3rdsanctuary, sleep
5thcalm emotionshold person
9thcounterspell, hypnotic pattern
13thOtiluke’s resilient sphere, stoneskin
17thhold monster, wall of force

Channel Divinity

When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.

Emissary of Peace. You can use your Channel Divinity to augment your presence with divine power. As a bonus action, you grant yourself a +5 bonus to Charisma (Persuasion) checks for the next 10 minutes.

Rebuke the Violent. You can use your Channel Divinity to rebuke those who use violence. Immediately after an attacker within 30 feet of you deals damage with an attack against a creature other than you, you can use your reaction to force the attacker to make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the attacker takes radiant damage equal to the damage it just dealt. On a successful save, it takes half as much damage.

Aura of the Guardian

Starting at 7th level, you can shield others from harm at the cost of your own health. When a creature within 10 feet of you takes damage, you can use your reaction to magically take that damage, instead of that creature taking it. This feature doesn’t transfer any other effects that might accompany the damage, and this damage can’t be reduced in any way.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Protective Spirit

Starting at 15th level, a holy presence mends your wounds in battle. You regain hit points equal to 1d6 + half your paladin level if you end your turn in combat with fewer than half of your hit points remaining and you aren’t incapacitated.

Emissary of Redemption

At 20th level, you become an avatar of peace, which gives you two benefits:

  • You have resistance to all damage dealt by other creatures (their attacks, spells, and other effects).
  • Whenever a creature hits you with an attack, it takes radiant damage equal to half the damage you take from the attack.

If you attack a creature, cast a spell on it, or deal damage to it by any means but this feature, neither benefit works against that creature until you finish a long rest.

Ranger

I spend a lot of my life away from civilization, keeping to its fringes to protect it. Don’t assume that because I don’t bend the knee to your king that I haven’t done more to protect him than all his knights put together.

— Soveliss

Rangers are free-minded wanderers and seekers who patrol the edges of civilized territory, turning back the denizens of the wild lands beyond. It is a thankless job, since their efforts are rarely understood and almost never rewarded. Yet rangers persist in their duties, never doubting that their work makes the world a safer place.

A relationship with civilization informs every ranger’s personality and history. Some rangers see themselves as enforcers of the law and bringers of justice on civilization’s frontier, answering to no sovereign power. Others are survivalists who eschew civilization altogether. They vanquish monsters to keep themselves safe while they live in and travel through the perilous wild areas of the world. If their efforts also benefit the kingdoms and other civilized realms that they avoid, so be it.

If you’re creating or playing a ranger character, the following sections offer ideas for embellishing the character and enhancing your roleplaying experience.

I’m a monster. Are you going to try to kill me? Didn’t think so. Go kill some goblins or something. On second thought, goblins aren’t monsters — they’re people. So maybe you should call yourself a people killer.

View of the World

A ranger’s view of the world begins (and sometimes ends) with that character’s outlook toward civilized folk and the places they occupy. Some rangers have an attitude toward civilization that’s deeply rooted in disdain, while others pity the people they have sworn to protect — though on the battlefield, it’s impossible to tell the difference between one ranger and another. Indeed, to those who have seen them operate and been the beneficiaries of their prowess, it scarcely matters why rangers do what they do. That said, no two rangers are likely to express their opinions on any matter in the same way.

If you haven’t yet thought about the details of your character’s worldview, consider putting a finer point on things by summarizing that viewpoint in a short statement (such as the entries on the following table). How might that feeling affect the way you conduct yourself?

Views of the World

d6View of the World
1Towns and cities are the best places for those who can’t survive on their own.
2The advancement of civilization is the best way to thwart chaos, but its reach must be monitored.
3Towns and cities are a necessary evil, but once the wilderness is purged of supernatural threats, we will need them no more.
4Walls are for cowards, who huddle behind them while others do the work of making the world safe.
5Visiting a town is not unpleasant, but after a few days I feel the irresistible call to return to the wild.
6Cities breed weakness by isolating folk from the harsh lessons of the wild.

Homeland

All rangers, regardless of how they came to take up the profession, have a strong connection to the natural world and its various terrains. For some rangers, the wilderness is where they grew up, either as a result of being born there or moving there at a young age. For other rangers, civilization was originally home, but the wilderness became a second homeland.

Think of your character’s backstory and decide what terrain feels most like home, whether or not you were born there. What does that terrain say about your personality? Does it influence which spells you choose to learn? Have your experiences there shaped who your favored enemies are?

Homelands

d6Homeland
1You patrolled an ancient forest, darkened and corrupted by several crossings to the Shadowfell.
2As part of a group of nomads, you acquired the skills for surviving in the desert.
3Your early life in the Underdark prepared you for the challenges of combating its denizens.
4You dwelled on the edge of a swamp, in an area imperiled by land creatures as well as aquatic ones.
5Because you grew up among the peaks, finding the best path through the mountains is second nature to you.
6You wandered the far north, learning how to protect yourself and prosper in a realm overrun by ice.

Sworn Enemy

Every ranger begins with a favored enemy (or two). The determination of a favored enemy might be tied to a specific event in the character’s early life, or it might be entirely a matter of choice.

What spurred your character to select a particular enemy? Was the choice made because of tradition or curiosity, or do you have a grudge to settle?

Sworn Enemies

d6Sworn Enemy
1You seek revenge on nature’s behalf for the great transgressions your foe has committed.
2Your forebears or predecessors fought these creatures, and so shall you.
3You bear no enmity toward your foe. You stalk such creatures as a hunter tracks down a wild animal.
4You find your foe fascinating, and you collect books of tales and history concerning it.
5You collect tokens of your fallen enemies to remind you of each kill.
6You respect your chosen enemy, and you see your battles as a test of respective skills.

Ranger Archetypes

At 3rd level, a ranger gains the Ranger Archetype feature. The following options are available to a ranger, in addition to those offered in the Player’s Handbook: the Gloom Stalker, the Horizon Walker, and the Monster Slayer.

Gloom Stalker

Gloom Stalkers are at home in the darkest places: deep under the earth, in gloomy alleyways, in primeval forests, and wherever else the light dims. Most folk enter such places with trepidation, but a Gloom Stalker ventures boldly into the darkness, seeking to ambush threats before they can reach the broader world. Such rangers are often found in the Underdark, but they will go any place where evil lurks in the shadows.

So you sneak around in the dark? You know most everything but humans can see in the dark, right? We all see you. Tiptoeing doesn’t turn you invisible.

Gloom Stalker Features

Ranger LevelFeature
3rdGloom Stalker Magic, Dread Ambusher, Umbral Sight
7thIron Mind
11thStalker’s Flurry
15thShadowy Dodge

Gloom Stalker Magic

Starting at 3rd level, you learn an additional spell when you reach certain levels in this class, as shown in the Gloom Stalker Spells table. The spell counts as a ranger spell for you, but it doesn’t count against the number of ranger spells you know.

Gloom Stalker Spells

Ranger LevelSpells
3rddisguise self
5thrope trick
9thfear
13thgreater invisibility
17thseeming

Dread Ambusher

At 3rd level, you master the art of the ambush. You can give yourself a bonus to your initiative rolls equal to your Wisdom modifier.

At the start of your first turn of each combat, your walking speed increases by 10 feet, which lasts until the end of that turn. If you take the Attack action on that turn, you can make one additional weapon attack as part of that action. If that attack hits, the target takes an extra 1d8 damage of the weapon’s damage type.

Umbral Sight

At 3rd level, you gain darkvision out to a range of 60 feet. If you already have darkvision from your race, its range increases by 30 feet.

You are also adept at evading creatures that rely on darkvision. While in darkness, you are invisible to any creature that relies on darkvision to see you in that darkness.

Iron Mind

By 7th level, you have honed your ability to resist the mind-altering powers of your prey. You gain proficiency in Wisdom saving throws. If you already have this proficiency, you instead gain proficiency in Intelligence or Charisma saving throws (your choice).

Stalker’s Flurry

At 11th level, you learn to attack with such unexpected speed that you can turn a miss into another strike. Once on each of your turns when you miss with a weapon attack, you can make another weapon attack as part of the same action.

Shadowy Dodge

Starting at 15th level, you can dodge in unforeseen ways, with wisps of supernatural shadow around you. Whenever a creature makes an attack roll against you and doesn’t have advantage on the roll, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on it. You must use this feature before you know the outcome of the attack roll.

Horizon Walker

Horizon Walkers guard the world against threats that originate from other planes or that seek to ravage the mortal realm with otherworldly magic. They seek out planar portals and keep watch over them, venturing to the Inner Planes and the Outer Planes as needed to pursue their foes. These rangers are also friends to any forces in the multiverse — especially benevolent dragons, fey, and elementals — that work to preserve life and the order of the planes.

You can’t walk to the horizon, because it keeps on getting farther away. Boom! Did I just blow your mind?
I did, didn’t I?

Horizon Walker Features

Ranger LevelFeature
3rdHorizon Walker Magic, Detect Portal, Planar Warrior (1d8)
7thEthereal Step
11thDistant Strike, Planar Warrior (2d8)
15thSpectral Defense

Horizon Walker Magic

Starting at 3rd level, you learn an additional spell when you reach certain levels in this class, as shown in the Horizon Walker Spells table. The spell counts as a ranger spell for you, but it doesn’t count against the number of ranger spells you know.

Horizon Walker Spells

Ranger LevelSpells
3rdprotection from evil and good
5thmisty step
9thhaste
13thbanishment
17thteleportation circle

Detect Portal

At 3rd level, you gain the ability to magically sense the presence of a planar portal. As an action, you detect the distance and direction to the closest planar portal within 1 mile of you.

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

See the “Planar Travel” section in chapter 2 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide for examples of planar portals.

Planar Warrior

At 3rd level, you learn to draw on the energy of the multiverse to augment your attacks.

As a bonus action, choose one creature you can see within 30 feet of you. The next time you hit that creature on this turn with a weapon attack, all damage dealt by the attack becomes force damage, and the creature takes an extra 1d8 force damage from the attack. When you reach 11th level in this class, the extra damage increases to 2d8.

Ethereal Step

At 7th level, you learn to step through the Ethereal Plane. As a bonus action, you can cast the etherealness spell with this feature, without expending a spell slot, but the spell ends at the end of the current turn.

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

Distant Strike

At 11th level, you gain the ability to pass between the planes in the blink of an eye. When you take the Attack action, you can teleport up to 10 feet before each attack to an unoccupied space you can see.

If you attack at least two different creatures with the action, you can make one additional attack with it against a third creature.

Spectral Defense

At 15th level, your ability to move between planes enables you to slip through the planar boundaries to lessen the harm done to you during battle. When you take damage from an attack, you can use your reaction to give yourself resistance to all of that attack’s damage on this turn.

Monster Slayer

You have dedicated yourself to hunting down creatures of the night and wielders of grim magic. A Monster Slayer seeks out vampires, dragons, evil fey, fiends, and other magical threats. Trained in supernatural techniques to overcome such monsters, slayers are experts at unearthing and defeating mighty, mystical foes.

Monster Slayer Features

Ranger LevelFeature
3rdMonster Slayer Magic, Hunter’s Sense, Slayer’s Prey
7thSupernatural Defense
11thMagic-User’s Nemesis
15thSlayer’s Counter

Monster Slayer Magic

Starting at 3rd level, you learn an additional spell when you reach certain levels in this class, as shown in the Monster Slayer Spells table. The spell counts as a ranger spell for you, but it doesn’t count against the number of ranger spells you know.

Monster Slayer Spells

Ranger LevelSpells
3rdprotection from evil and good
5thzone of truth
9thmagic circle
13thbanishment
17thhold monster

Hunter’s Sense

At 3rd level, you gain the ability to peer at a creature and magically discern how best to hurt it. As an action, choose one creature you can see within 60 feet of you. You immediately learn whether the creature has any damage immunities, resistances, or vulnerabilities and what they are. If the creature is hidden from divination magic, you sense that it has no damage immunities, resistances, or vulnerabilities.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of once). You regain all expended uses of it when you finish a long rest.

Slayer’s Prey

Starting at 3rd level, you can focus your ire on one foe, increasing the harm you inflict on it. As a bonus action, you designate one creature you can see within 60 feet of you as the target of this feature. The first time each turn that you hit that target with a weapon attack, it takes an extra 1d6 damage from the weapon.

This benefit lasts until you finish a short or long rest. It ends early if you designate a different creature.

Supernatural Defense

At 7th level, you gain extra resilience against your prey’s assaults on your mind and body. Whenever the target of your Slayer’s Prey forces you to make a saving throw and whenever you make an ability check to escape that target’s grapple, add 1d6 to your roll.

Magic-User’s Nemesis

At 11th level, you gain the ability to thwart someone else’s magic. When you see a creature casting a spell or teleporting within 60 feet of you, you can use your reaction to try to magically foil it. The creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC, or its spell or teleport fails and is wasted.

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

Slayer’s Counter

At 15th level, you gain the ability to counterattack when your prey tries to sabotage you. If the target of your Slayer’s Prey forces you to make a saving throw, you can use your reaction to make one weapon attack against the quarry. You make this attack immediately before making the saving throw. If your attack hits, your save automatically succeeds, in addition to the attack’s normal effects.

Rogue

People forget that the entire point of venturing down into a dusty tomb is to bring back the prizes hidden away there. Fighting is for fools. Dead men can’t spend their fortunes.

— Barnabas Bladecutter

When brute force won’t get the job done, or when magic isn’t available or appropriate, the rogue rises to the fore. With skills tied to stealth, subterfuge, and trickery, rogues can get into and out of trouble in ways that few other characters can emulate.

Some rogues who turn to adventuring are former criminals who have decided that dodging monsters is preferable to remaining one step ahead of the law. Others are professional killers in search of a profitable application of their talents between contracts. Some simply love the thrill of overcoming any challenge that stands in their way.

On adventures, a rogue is likely to mix an outwardly cautious approach — few rogues enjoy combat — with a ravenous hunger for loot. Most of the time, in a rogue’s mind, taking up arms against a creature is not about killing the creature but about becoming the new owner of its treasure.

The following sections explore certain facets of what it means to be a rogue, which you can use to add depth to your character.

Thieves are the worst. I hate anyone that handles my stuff when I’m not looking, especially if they don’t put it back where they found it.

Guilty Pleasure

Most of what rogues do revolves around obtaining treasure and preventing others from doing the same. Little gets in the way of attaining those goals, except that many rogues are enticed away from that path by a compulsion that clouds their thinking — an irresistible need that must be satisfied, even if doing so is risky.

A rogue’s guilty pleasure could be the acquisition of a physical item, something to be experienced, or a way of conducting oneself at certain times. One rogue might not be able to pass up any loot made of silver, for instance, even if said loot is hanging around the neck of a castle guard. Another one can’t go through a day in the city without lifting a purse or two, just to keep in practice.

What’s the one form of temptation that your rogue character can’t resist when the opportunity presents itself, even if giving into it might mean trouble for you and your companions?

Guilty Pleasures

d6Pleasure
1Large gems
2A smile from a pretty face
3A new ring for your finger
4The chance to deflate someone’s ego
5The finest food and drink
6Adding to your collection of exotic coins

Adversary

Naturally, those who enforce the law are bound to come up against those who break it, and it’s the rare rogue who isn’t featured on at least one wanted poster. Beyond that, it’s in the nature of their profession that rogues often come into contact with criminal elements, whether out of choice or necessity. Some of those people can be adversaries too, and they’re likely to be harder to deal with than the average member of the city watch.

If your character’s backstory doesn’t already include a personage of this sort, you could work with your DM to come up with a reason why an adversary has appeared in your life. Perhaps you’ve been the subject of scrutiny for a while from someone who wants to use you for nefarious purposes and has just now become known to you. Such an incident could be the basis for an upcoming adventure.

Does your rogue character have an adversary who also happens to be a criminal? If so, how is this relationship affecting your life?

Adversaries

d6Adversary
1The pirate captain on whose ship you once served; what you call moving on, the captain calls mutiny
2A master spy to whom you unwittingly fed bad information, which led to the assassination of the wrong target
3The master of the local thieves’ guild, who wants you to join the organization or leave town
4An art collector who uses illegal means to acquire masterpieces
5A fence who uses you as a messenger to set up illicit meetings
6The proprietor of an illegal pit fighting arena where you once took bets

Benefactor

Few rogues make it far in life before needing someone’s help, which means thereafter owing that benefactor a significant debt.

If your character’s backstory doesn’t already include a personage of this sort, you could work with your DM to determine why a benefactor has appeared in your life. Perhaps you benefited from something your benefactor did for you without realizing who was responsible, and that person has now just become known to you. Who helped you in the past, whether or not you knew it at the time, and what do you owe that person as recompense?

Benefactors

d6Benefactor
1A smuggler kept you from getting caught but lost a valuable shipment in doing so. Now you owe that person an equally valuable favor.
2The Beggar King has hidden you from your pursuers many times, in return for future considerations.
3A magistrate once kept you out of jail in return for information on a powerful crime lord.
4Your parents used their savings to bail you out of trouble in your younger days and are now destitute.
5A dragon didn’t eat you when it had a chance, and in return you promised to set aside choice pieces of treasure for it.
6A druid once helped you out of a tight spot; now any random animal you see could be that benefactor, perhaps come to claim a return favor.

Roguish Archetypes

At 3rd level, a rogue gains the Roguish Archetype feature. The following options are available to a rogue, in addition to those offered in the Player’s Handbook: the Inquisitive, the Mastermind, the Scout, and the Swashbuckler.

Inquisitive

As an archetypal Inquisitive, you excel at rooting out secrets and unraveling mysteries. You rely on your sharp eye for detail, but also on your finely honed ability to read the words and deeds of other creatures to determine their true intent. You excel at defeating creatures that hide among and prey upon ordinary folk, and your mastery of lore and your keen deductions make you well equipped to expose and end hidden evils.

Inquisitive Features

Rogue LevelFeature
3rdEar for Deceit, Eye for Detail, Insightful Fighting
9thSteady Eye
13thUnerring Eye
17thEye for Weakness

Ear for Deceit

When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you develop a talent for picking out lies. Whenever you make a Wisdom (Insight) check to determine whether a creature is lying, treat a roll of 7 or lower on the d20 as an 8.

Eye for Detail

Starting at 3rd level, you can use a bonus action to make a Wisdom (Perception) check to spot a hidden creature or object or to make an Intelligence (Investigation) check to uncover or decipher clues.

Insightful Fighting

At 3rd level, you gain the ability to decipher an opponent’s tactics and develop a counter to them. As a bonus action, you can make a Wisdom (Insight) check against a creature you can see that isn’t incapacitated, contested by the target’s Charisma (Deception) check. If you succeed, you can use your Sneak Attack against that target even if you don’t have advantage on the attack roll, but not if you have disadvantage on it.

This benefit lasts for 1 minute or until you successfully use this feature against a different target.

Steady Eye

Starting at 9th level, you have advantage on any Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check if you move no more than half your speed on the same turn.

Unerring Eye

Beginning at 13th level, your senses are almost impossible to foil. As an action, you sense the presence of illusions, shapechangers not in their original form, and other magic designed to deceive the senses within 30 feet of you, provided you aren’t blinded or deafened. You sense that an effect is attempting to trick you, but you gain no insight into what is hidden or into its true nature.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of once), and you regain all expended uses of it when you finish a long rest.

Eye for Weakness

At 17th level, you learn to exploit a creature’s weaknesses by carefully studying its tactics and movement. While your Insightful Fighting feature applies to a creature, your Sneak Attack damage against that creature increases by 3d6.

Mastermind

Your focus is on people and on the influence and secrets they have. Many spies, courtiers, and schemers follow this archetype, leading lives of intrigue. Words are your weapons as often as knives or poison, and secrets and favors are some of your favorite treasures.

Oh, please. If anyone is a mastermind around here, it’s me. You’re like a master doofus or a master dummy. No, you are!

Mastermind Features

Rogue LevelFeature
3rdMaster of Intrigue, Master of Tactics
9thInsightful Manipulator
13thMisdirection
17thSoul of Deceit

Master of Intrigue

When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with the disguise kit, the forgery kit, and one gaming set of your choice. You also learn two languages of your choice.

Additionally, you can unerringly mimic the speech patterns and accent of a creature that you hear speak for at least 1 minute, enabling you to pass yourself off as a native speaker of a particular land, provided that you know the language.

Master of Tactics

Starting at 3rd level, you can use the Help action as a bonus action. Additionally, when you use the Help action to aid an ally in attacking a creature, the target of that attack can be within 30 feet of you, rather than within 5 feet of you, if the target can see or hear you.

Insightful Manipulator

Starting at 9th level, if you spend at least 1 minute observing or interacting with another creature outside combat, you can learn certain information about its capabilities compared to your own. The DM tells you if the creature is your equal, superior, or inferior in regard to two of the following characteristics of your choice:

  • Intelligence score
  • Wisdom score
  • Charisma score
  • Class levels (if any)

At the DM’s option, you might also realize you know a piece of the creature’s history or one of its personality traits, if it has any.

Misdirection

Beginning at 13th level, you can sometimes cause another creature to suffer an attack meant for you. When you are targeted by an attack while a creature within 5 feet of you is granting you cover against that attack, you can use your reaction to have the attack target that creature instead of you.

Soul of Deceit

Starting at 17th level, your thoughts can’t be read by telepathy or other means, unless you allow it. You can present false thoughts by succeeding on a Charisma (Deception) check contested by the mind reader’s Wisdom (Insight) check.

Additionally, no matter what you say, magic that would determine if you are telling the truth indicates you are being truthful if you so choose, and you can’t be compelled to tell the truth by magic.

Scout

You are skilled in stealth and surviving far from the streets of a city, allowing you to scout ahead of your companions during expeditions. Rogues who embrace this archetype are at home in the wilderness and among barbarians and rangers, and many Scouts serve as the eyes and ears of war bands. Ambusher, spy, bounty hunter — these are just a few of the roles that Scouts assume as they range the world.

Scout Features

Rogue LevelFeature
3rdSkirmisher, Survivalist
9thSuperior Mobility
13thAmbush Master
17thSudden Strike

Skirmisher

Starting at 3rd level, you are difficult to pin down during a fight. You can move up to half your speed as a reaction when an enemy ends its turn within 5 feet of you. This movement doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks.

Survivalist

When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in the Nature and Survival skills if you don’t already have it. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses either of those proficiencies.

Superior Mobility

At 9th level, your walking speed increases by 10 feet. If you have a climbing or swimming speed, this increase applies to that speed as well.

Ambush Master

Starting at 13th level, you excel at leading ambushes and acting first in a fight.

You have advantage on initiative rolls. In addition, the first creature you hit during the first round of a combat becomes easier for you and others to strike; attack rolls against that target have advantage until the start of your next turn.

Sudden Strike

Starting at 17th level, you can strike with deadly speed. If you take the Attack action on your turn, you can make one additional attack as a bonus action. This attack can benefit from your Sneak Attack even if you have already used it this turn, but you can’t use your Sneak Attack against the same target more than once in a turn.

Swashbuckler

You focus your training on the art of the blade, relying on speed, elegance, and charm in equal parts. While some warriors are brutes clad in heavy armor, your method of fighting looks almost like a performance. Duelists and pirates typically belong to this archetype.

A Swashbuckler excels in single combat, and can fight with two weapons while safely darting away from an opponent.

What’s a swashbuckler? Do you swash buckles or buckle swashes? You can’t tell me you don’t think that word is funny.

Swashbuckler Features

Rogue LevelFeature
3rdFancy Footwork, Rakish Audacity
9thPanache
13thElegant Maneuver
17thMaster Duelist

Fancy Footwork

When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you learn how to land a strike and then slip away without reprisal. During your turn, if you make a melee attack against a creature, that creature can’t make opportunity attacks against you for the rest of your turn.

Rakish Audacity

Starting at 3rd level, your confidence propels you into battle. You can give yourself a bonus to your initiative rolls equal to your Charisma modifier.

You also gain an additional way to use your Sneak Attack; you don’t need advantage on the attack roll to use your Sneak Attack against a creature if you are within 5 feet of it, no other creatures are within 5 feet of you, and you don’t have disadvantage on the attack roll. All the other rules for Sneak Attack still apply to you.

Panache

At 9th level, your charm becomes extraordinarily beguiling. As an action, you can make a Charisma (Persuasion) check contested by a creature’s Wisdom (Insight) check. The creature must be able to hear you, and the two of you must share a language.

If you succeed on the check and the creature is hostile to you, it has disadvantage on attack rolls against targets other than you and can’t make opportunity attacks against targets other than you. This effect lasts for 1 minute, until one of your companions attacks the target or affects it with a spell, or until you and the target are more than 60 feet apart.

If you succeed on the check and the creature isn’t hostile to you, it is charmed by you for 1 minute. While charmed, it regards you as a friendly acquaintance. This effect ends immediately if you or your companions do anything harmful to it.

Elegant Maneuver

Starting at 13th level, you can use a bonus action on your turn to gain advantage on the next Dexterity (Acrobatics) or Strength (Athletics) check you make during the same turn.

Master Duelist

Beginning at 17th level, your mastery of the blade lets you turn failure into success in combat. If you miss with an attack roll, you can roll it again with advantage. Once you do so, you can’t use this feature again until you finish a short or long rest.

Sorcerer

Practice and study are for amateurs. True power is a birthright.

— Hennet, scion of Tiamat

When it comes to drawing forth their abilities in times of need, sorcerers have it easy compared to other characters. Their power not only rests within them, but it likely takes some effort to keep it at bay. Every sorcerer is born to the role, or stumbles into it through cosmic chance. Unlike other characters, who must actively learn, embrace, and pursue their talents, sorcerers have their power thrust upon them.

Because the idea of an innately magical being traveling among them does not sit well with many folk, sorcerers tend to breed mistrust and suspicion in others they come across. Nonetheless, many sorcerers succeed in overcoming that prejudice through deeds that benefit their less magically gifted contemporaries.

Sorcerers are often defined by the events surrounding the manifestation of their power. For those who receive it as an expected birthright, its appearance is a cause for celebration. Other sorcerers are treated as outcasts, banished from their homes after the sudden, terrifying arrival of their abilities.

Playing a sorcerer character can be as rewarding as it is challenging. The sections below offer suggestions on how to flesh out and personalize your persona.

Divine? Arcane? What difference does it make where magic comes from? You’ve got it or you don’t. Fortunately, I’ve got loads of the stuff.

Arcane Origin

Some sorcerers understand where their power came from, based on how their abilities manifested. Others can only speculate, since their powers came to them in a way that suggests no particular cause.

Does your character know the source of your magical power? Does it tie back to some distant relative, a cosmic event, or blind chance? If your sorcerer doesn’t know where their power arose from, your DM can use this table (or select an origin) and reveal it to you when the information plays a role in the campaign.

Arcane Origins

d6Origin
1Your power arises from your family’s bloodline. You are related to some powerful creature, or you inherited a blessing or a curse.
2You are the reincarnation of a being from another plane of existence.
3A powerful entity entered the world. Its magic changed you.
4Your birth was prophesied in an ancient text, and you are foretold to use your power for terrible ends.
5You are the product of generations of careful, selective breeding.
6You were made in a vat by an alchemist.

Reaction

When a new sorcerer enters the world, either at birth or later when one’s power becomes evident, the consequences of that event depend greatly on how its witnesses react to what they have seen.

When your sorcerer’s powers appeared, how did the world around you respond? Were other people supportive, fearful, or somewhere in between?

Reactions

d6Reaction
1Your powers are seen as a great blessing by those around you, and you are expected to use them in service to your community.
2Your powers caused destruction and even a death when they became evident, and you were treated as a criminal.
3Your neighbors hate and fear your power, causing them to shun you.
4You came to the attention of a sinister cult that plans on exploiting your abilities.
5People around you believe that your powers are a curse levied on your family for a past transgression.
6Your powers are believed to be tied to an ancient line of mad kings that supposedly ended in a bloody revolt over a century ago.

Supernatural Mark

A sorcerer at rest is almost indistinguishable from a normal person; it’s only when their magic flies forth that sorcerers reveal their true nature. Even so, many sorcerers have a subtle but telling physical trait that sets them apart from other folk.

If your sorcerer has a supernatural mark, it might be one that’s easily concealed, or it could be a source of pride that you keep on constant display.

Supernatural Marks

d6Mark
1Your eyes are an unusual color, such as red.
2You have an extra toe on one foot.
3One of your ears is noticeably larger than the other.
4Your hair grows at a prodigious rate.
5You wrinkle your nose repeatedly while you are chewing.
6A red splotch appears on your neck once a day, then vanishes after an hour.

Sign of Sorcery

As the world well knows, some sorcerers are better than others at controlling their spellcasting. Sometimes a wild display of magic gone awry emanates from a sorcerer who casts a spell. But even when one’s magic goes off as planned, the act of casting is often accompanied by a telltale sign that makes it clear where that magical energy came from.

When your sorcerer character casts a spell, does the effort reveal itself in a sign of sorcery? Is this sign tied to your origin or some other aspect of who you are, or is it a seemingly random phenomenon?

Signs of Sorcery

d6Sign
1You deliver the verbal components of your spells in the booming voice of a titan.
2For a moment after you cast a spell, the area around you grows dark and gloomy.
3You sweat profusely while casting a spell and for a few seconds thereafter.
4Your hair and garments are briefly buffeted about, as if by a breeze, whenever you call forth a spell.
5If you are standing when you cast a spell, you rise six inches into the air and gently float back down.
6Illusory blue flames wreathe your head as you begin your casting, then abruptly disappear.

Sorcerous Origins

At 1st level, a sorcerer gains the Sorcerous Origin feature. The following options are available to a sorcerer, in addition to those offered in the Player’s Handbook: Divine Soul, Shadow Magic, and Storm Sorcery.

Divine Soul

Sometimes the spark of magic that fuels a sorcerer comes from a divine source that glimmers within the soul. Having such a blessed soul is a sign that your innate magic might come from a distant but powerful familial connection to a divine being. Perhaps your ancestor was an angel, transformed into a mortal and sent to fight in a god’s name. Or your birth might align with an ancient prophecy, marking you as a servant of the gods or a chosen vessel of divine magic.

A Divine Soul, with a natural magnetism, is seen as a threat by some religious hierarchies. As an outsider who commands sacred power, a Divine Soul can undermine an existing order by claiming a direct tie to the divine.

In some cultures, only those who can claim the power of a Divine Soul may command religious power. In these lands, ecclesiastical positions are dominated by a few bloodlines and preserved over generations.

Why do so many celestial things have bird wings and infernal things have bat wings? It seems arbitrary. There should be a bat angel!

Divine Soul Features

Sorcerer LevelFeature
1stDivine Magic, Favored by the Gods
6thEmpowered Healing
14thOtherworldly Wings
18thUnearthly Recovery

Divine Magic

Your link to the divine allows you to learn spells from the cleric class. When your Spellcasting feature lets you learn or replace a sorcerer cantrip or a sorcerer spell of 1st level or higher, you can choose the new spell from the cleric spell list or the sorcerer spell list. You must otherwise obey all the restrictions for selecting the spell, and it becomes a sorcerer spell for you.

In addition, choose an affinity for the source of your divine power: good, evil, law, chaos, or neutrality. You learn an additional spell based on that affinity, as shown below. It is a sorcerer spell for you, but it doesn’t count against your number of sorcerer spells known. If you later replace this spell, you must replace it with a spell from the cleric spell list.

AffinitySpell
Goodcure wounds
Evilinflict wounds
Lawbless
Chaosbane
Neutralityprotection from evil and good

Favored by the Gods

Starting at 1st level, divine power guards your destiny. If you fail a saving throw or miss with an attack roll, you can roll 2d4 and add it to the total, possibly changing the outcome. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Empowered Healing

Starting at 6th level, the divine energy coursing through you can empower healing spells. Whenever you or an ally within 5 feet of you rolls dice to determine the number of hit points a spell restores, you can spend 1 sorcery point to reroll any number of those dice once, provided you aren’t incapacitated. You can use this feature only once per turn.

Otherworldly Wings

Starting at 14th level, you can use a bonus action to manifest a pair of spectral wings from your back. While the wings are present, you have a flying speed of 30 feet. The wings last until you’re incapacitated, you die, or you dismiss them as a bonus action.

The affinity you chose for your Divine Magic feature determines the appearance of the spectral wings: eagle wings for good or law, bat wings for evil or chaos, and dragonfly wings for neutrality.

Unearthly Recovery

At 18th level, you gain the ability to overcome grievous injuries. As a bonus action when you have fewer than half of your hit points remaining, you can regain a number of hit points equal to half your hit point maximum.

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

Shadow Magic

You are a creature of shadow, for your innate magic comes from the Shadowfell itself. You might trace your lineage to an entity from that place, or perhaps you were exposed to its fell energy and transformed by it.

The power of shadow magic casts a strange pall over your physical presence. The spark of life that sustains you is muffled, as if it struggles to remain viable against the dark energy that imbues your soul. At your option, you can pick from or roll on the Shadow Sorcerer Quirks table to create a quirk for your character.

Sometimes I disintegrate my shadow when I see it, because I think it’s a different beholder.

Shadow Sorcerer Quirks

d6Quirk
1You are always icy cold to the touch.
2When you are asleep, you don’t appear to breathe (though you must still breathe to survive).
3You barely bleed, even when badly injured.
4Your heart beats once per minute. This event sometimes surprises you.
5You have trouble remembering that living creatures and corpses should be treated differently.
6You blinked. Once. Last week.

Shadow Magic Features

Sorcerer LevelFeature
1stEyes of the Dark, Strength of the Grave
3rdEyes of the Dark (darkness)
6thHound of Ill Omen
14thShadow Walk
18thUmbral Form

Eyes of the Dark

Starting at 1st level, you have darkvision with a range of 120 feet.

When you reach 3rd level in this class, you learn the darkness spell, which doesn’t count against your number of sorcerer spells known. In addition, you can cast it by spending 2 sorcery points or by expending a spell slot. If you cast it with sorcery points, you can see through the darkness created by the spell.

Strength of the Grave

Starting at 1st level, your existence in a twilight state between life and death makes you difficult to defeat. When damage reduces you to 0 hit points, you can make a Charisma saving throw (DC 5 + the damage taken). On a success, you instead drop to 1 hit point. You can’t use this feature if you are reduced to 0 hit points by radiant damage or by a critical hit.

After the saving throw succeeds, you can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

Hound of Ill Omen

At 6th level, you gain the ability to call forth a howling creature of darkness to harass your foes. As a bonus action, you can spend 3 sorcery points to magically summon a hound of ill omen to target one creature you can see within 120 feet of you. The hound uses the dire wolf’s statistics (see the Monster Manual or appendix C in the Player’s Handbook), with the following changes:

  • The hound is size Medium, not Large, and it counts as a monstrosity, not a beast.
  • It appears with a number of temporary hit points equal to half your sorcerer level.
  • It can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. The hound takes 5 force damage if it ends its turn inside an object.
  • At the start of its turn, the hound automatically knows its target’s location. If the target was hidden, it is no longer hidden from the hound.

The hound appears in an unoccupied space of your choice within 30 feet of the target. Roll initiative for the hound. On its turn, it can move only toward its target by the most direct route, and it can use its action only to attack its target. The hound can make opportunity attacks, but only against its target. Additionally, while the hound is within 5 feet of the target, the target has disadvantage on saving throws against any spell you cast. The hound disappears if it is reduced to 0 hit points, if its target is reduced to 0 hit points, or after 5 minutes.

Shadow Walk

At 14th level, you gain the ability to step from one shadow into another. When you are in dim light or darkness, as a bonus action, you can magically teleport up to 120 feet to an unoccupied space you can see that is also in dim light or darkness.

Umbral Form

Starting at 18th level, you can spend 6 sorcery points as a bonus action to magically transform yourself into a shadowy form. In this form, you have resistance to all damage except force and radiant damage, and you can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. You take 5 force damage if you end your turn inside an object.

You remain in this form for 1 minute. It ends early if you are incapacitated, if you die, or if you dismiss it as a bonus action.

Storm Sorcery

Your innate magic comes from the power of elemental air. Many with this power can trace their magic back to a near-death experience caused by the Great Rain, but perhaps you were born during a howling gale so powerful that folk still tell stories of it, or your lineage might include the influence of potent air creatures such as djinn. Whatever the case, the magic of the storm permeates your being.

Storm sorcerers are invaluable members of a ship’s crew. Their magic allows them to exert control over wind and weather in their immediate area. Their abilities also prove useful in repelling attacks by sahuagin, pirates, and other waterborne threats.

What is it with people and the weather?
It’s just the sky weeping and shouting because it’s so far away from me.

Storm Sorcery Features

Sorcerer LevelFeature
1stWind Speaker, Tempestuous Magic
6thHeart of the Storm, Storm Guide
14thStorm’s Fury
18thWind Soul

Wind Speaker

The arcane magic you command is infused with elemental air. You can speak, read, and write Primordial. Knowing this language allows you to understand and be understood by those who speak its dialects: Aquan, Auran, Ignan, and Terran.

Tempestuous Magic

Starting at 1st level, you can use a bonus action on your turn to cause whirling gusts of elemental air to briefly surround you, immediately before or after you cast a spell of 1st level or higher. Doing so allows you to fly up to 10 feet without provoking opportunity attacks.

Heart of the Storm

At 6th level, you gain resistance to lightning and thunder damage. In addition, whenever you start casting a spell of 1st level or higher that deals lightning or thunder damage, stormy magic erupts from you. This eruption causes creatures of your choice that you can see within 10 feet of you to take lightning or thunder damage (choose each time this ability activates) equal to half your sorcerer level.

Storm Guide

At 6th level, you gain the ability to subtly control the weather around you.

If it is raining, you can use an action to cause the rain to stop falling in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on you. You can end this effect as a bonus action.

If it is windy, you can use a bonus action each round to choose the direction that the wind blows in a 100-foot-radius sphere centered on you. The wind blows in that direction until the end of your next turn. This feature doesn’t alter the speed of the wind.

Storm’s Fury

Starting at 14th level, when you are hit by a melee attack, you can use your reaction to deal lightning damage to the attacker. The damage equals your sorcerer level. The attacker must also make a Strength saving throw against your sorcerer spell save DC. On a failed save, the attacker is pushed in a straight line up to 20 feet away from you.

Wind Soul

At 18th level, you gain immunity to lightning and thunder damage.

You also gain a magical flying speed of 60 feet. As an action, you can reduce your flying speed to 30 feet for 1 hour and choose a number of creatures within 30 feet of you equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier. The chosen creatures gain a magical flying speed of 30 feet for 1 hour. Once you reduce your flying speed in this way, you can’t do so again until you finish a short or long rest.

Warlock

You think me mad? I think true insanity is being content to live a life of mortal drudgery when knowledge and power is there for the taking in the realm beyond.

— Xarren, herald of Acamar

Warlocks are finders and keepers of secrets. They push at the edge of our understanding of the world, always seeking to expand their expertise. Where sages or wizards might heed a clear sign of danger and end their research, a warlock plunges ahead, heedless of the cost. Thus, it takes a peculiar mixture of intelligence, curiosity, and recklessness to produce a warlock. Many folk would describe that combination as evidence of madness. Warlocks see it as a demonstration of bravery.

Warlocks are defined by two elements that work in concert to forge their path into this class. The first element is the event or circumstances that led to a warlock’s entering into a pact with a planar entity. The second one is the nature of the entity a warlock is bound to. Unlike clerics, who typically embrace a deity and that god’s ethos, a warlock might have no love for a patron, or vice versa.

The sections that follow provide ways to embellish a warlock character that could generate some intriguing story and roleplaying opportunities.

So you got your powers by making a contract with something? Is it in writing, perchance? Well, never mind. Just tell me this: Can I get your powers by eating you?

Patron’s Attitude

Every relationship is a two-way street, but in the case of warlocks and their patrons it’s not necessarily true that both sides of the street are the same width or made of the same stuff. The feeling that a warlock holds for their patron, whether positive or negative, might be reciprocated by the patron, or the two participants in the pact might view one another with opposing emotions.

When you determine the attitude your warlock character holds toward your patron, also consider how things look from the patron’s perspective. How does your patron behave toward you? Is your patron a friend and ally, or an enemy that grants you power only because you forced a pact upon it?

Patron Attitudes

d6Attitude
1Your patron has guided and helped your family for generations and is kindly toward you.
2Each interaction with your capricious patron is a surprise, whether pleasant or painful.
3Your patron is the spirit of a long-dead hero who sees your pact as a way for it to continue to influence the world.
4Your patron is a strict disciplinarian but treats you with a measure of respect.
5Your patron tricked you into a pact and treats you as a slave.
6You are mostly left to your own devices with no interference from your patron. Sometimes you dread the demands it will make when it does appear.

Special Terms of the Pact

A pact can range from a loose agreement to a formal contract with lengthy, detailed clauses and lists of requirements. The terms of a pact — what a warlock must do to receive a patron’s favor — are always dictated by the patron. On occasion, those terms include a special proviso that might seem odd or whimsical, but warlocks take these dictates as seriously as they do the other requirements of their pacts.

Does your character have a pact that requires you to change your behavior in an unusual or seemingly frivolous way? Even if your patron hasn’t imposed such a duty on you already, that’s not to say it couldn’t still happen.

Special Terms

d6Term
1When directed, you must take immediate action against a specific enemy of your patron.
2Your pact tests your willpower; you are required to abstain from alcohol and other intoxicants.
3At least once a day, you must inscribe or carve your patron’s name or symbol on the wall of a building.
4You must occasionally conduct bizarre rituals to maintain your pact.
5You can never wear the same outfit twice, since your patron finds such predictability to be boring.
6When you use an eldritch invocation, you must speak your patron’s name aloud or risk incurring its displeasure.

Binding Mark

Some patrons make a habit of, and often enjoy, marking the warlocks under their sway in some fashion. A binding mark makes it clear — to those who know about such things — that the individual in question is bound to the patron’s service. A warlock might take advantage of such a mark, claiming it as proof of one’s pact, or might want to keep it under wraps (if possible) to avoid the difficulties it might bring.

If your warlock’s pact comes with a binding mark, how you feel about displaying it probably depends on the nature of your relationship with the one who gave it to you. Is the mark a source of pride or something you are secretly ashamed of?

Binding Marks

d6Mark
1One of your eyes looks the same as one of your patron’s eyes.
2Each time you wake up, the small blemish on your face appears in a different place.
3You display outward symptoms of a disease but suffer no ill effects from it.
4Your tongue is an unnatural color.
5You have a vestigial tail.
6Your nose glows in the dark.

Otherworldly Patrons

At 1st level, a warlock gains the Otherworldly Patron feature. The following options are available to a warlock, in addition to those offered in the Player’s Handbook: the Celestial and the Hexblade.

The Celestial

Your patron is a powerful being of the Upper Planes. You have bound yourself to an ancient empyrean, solar, ki-rin, unicorn, or other entity that resides in the planes of everlasting bliss. Your pact with that being allows you to experience the barest touch of the holy light that illuminates the multiverse.

Being connected to such power can cause changes in your behavior and beliefs. You might find yourself driven to annihilate the undead, to defeat fiends, and to protect the innocent. At times, your heart might also be filled with a longing for the celestial realm of your patron, and a desire to wander that paradise for the rest of your days. But you know that your mission is among mortals for now, and that your pact binds you to bring light to the dark places of the world.

Celestial Features

Warlock LevelFeature
1stExpanded Spell List, Bonus Cantrips, Healing Light
6thRadiant Soul
10thCelestial Resilience
14thSearing Vengeance

Expanded Spell List

The Celestial lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a warlock spell. The following spells are added to the warlock spell list for you.

Celestial Expanded Spells

Spell LevelSpells
1stcure wounds, guiding bolt
2ndflaming sphere, lesser restoration
3rddaylight, revivify
4thguardian of faith, wall of fire
5thflame strike, greater restoration

Bonus Cantrips

At 1st level, you learn the light and sacred flame cantrips. They count as warlock cantrips for you, but they don’t count against your number of cantrips known.

Healing Light

At 1st level, you gain the ability to channel celestial energy to heal wounds. You have a pool of d6s that you spend to fuel this healing. The number of dice in the pool equals 1 + your warlock level.

As a bonus action, you can heal one creature you can see within 60 feet of you, spending dice from the pool. The maximum number of dice you can spend at once equals your Charisma modifier (minimum of one die). Roll the dice you spend, add them together, and restore a number of hit points equal to the total.

Your pool regains all expended dice when you finish a long rest.

Radiant Soul

Starting at 6th level, your link to the Celestial allows you to serve as a conduit for radiant energy. You have resistance to radiant damage, and when you cast a spell that deals radiant or fire damage, you can add your Charisma modifier to one radiant or fire damage roll of that spell against one of its targets.

Celestial Resilience

Starting at 10th level, you gain temporary hit points whenever you finish a short or long rest. These temporary hit points equal your warlock level + your Charisma modifier. Additionally, choose up to five creatures you can see at the end of the rest. Those creatures each gain temporary hit points equal to half your warlock level + your Charisma modifier.

Searing Vengeance

Starting at 14th level, the radiant energy you channel allows you to resist death. When you have to make a death saving throw at the start of your turn, you can instead spring back to your feet with a burst of radiant energy. You regain hit points equal to half your hit point maximum, and then you stand up if you so choose. Each creature of your choice that is within 30 feet of you takes radiant damage equal to 2d8 + your Charisma modifier, and it is blinded until the end of the current turn.

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

The Hexblade

You have made your pact with a mysterious entity from the Shadowfell — a force that manifests in sentient magic weapons carved from the stuff of shadow. The mighty sword Blackrazor is the most notable of these weapons, which have been spread across the multiverse over the ages. The shadowy force behind these weapons can offer power to warlocks who form pacts with it. Many hexblade warlocks create weapons that emulate those formed in the Shadowfell. Others forgo such arms, content to weave the dark magic of that plane into their spellcasting.

Because the Raven Queen is known to have forged the first of these weapons, many sages speculate that she and the force are one and that the weapons, along with hexblade warlocks, are tools she uses to manipulate events on the Material Plane to her inscrutable ends.

Hexblade. What a cool name! So is your sword evil or cursed or something? But you’re evil, right? … Okay, now I don’t like the name. Names aren’t cool if they don’t make sense. Like mine: The Xanathar. See? It’s cool, and it makes sense!

Hexblade Features

Warlock LevelFeature
1stExpanded Spell List, Hexblade’s Curse, Hex Warrior
6thAccursed Specter
10thArmor of Hexes
14thMaster of Hexes

Expanded Spell List

The Hexblade lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a warlock spell. The following spells are added to the warlock spell list for you.

Hexblade Expanded Spells

Spell LevelSpells
1stshield, wrathful smite
2ndblur, branding smite
3rdblink, elemental weapon
4thphantasmal killer, staggering smite
5thbanishing smite, cone of cold

Hexblade’s Curse

Starting at 1st level, you gain the ability to place a baleful curse on someone. As a bonus action, choose one creature you can see within 30 feet of you. The target is cursed for 1 minute. The curse ends early if the target dies, you die, or you are incapacitated. Until the curse ends, you gain the following benefits:

  • You gain a bonus to damage rolls against the cursed target. The bonus equals your proficiency bonus.
  • Any attack roll you make against the cursed target is a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20 on the d20.
  • If the cursed target dies, you regain hit points equal to your warlock level + your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1 hit point).

You can’t use this feature again until you finish a short or long rest.

Hex Warrior

At 1st level, you acquire the training necessary to effectively arm yourself for battle. You gain proficiency with medium armor, shields, and martial weapons.

The influence of your patron also allows you to mystically channel your will through a particular weapon. Whenever you finish a long rest, you can touch one weapon that you are proficient with and that lacks the two-handed property. When you attack with that weapon, you can use your Charisma modifier, instead of Strength or Dexterity, for the attack and damage rolls. This benefit lasts until you finish a long rest. If you later gain the Pact of the Blade feature, this benefit extends to every pact weapon you conjure with that feature, no matter the weapon’s type.

Accursed Specter

Starting at 6th level, you can curse the soul of a person you slay, temporarily binding it to your service. When you slay a humanoid, you can cause its spirit to rise from its corpse as a specter, the statistics for which are in the Monster Manual. When the specter appears, it gains temporary hit points equal to half your warlock level. Roll initiative for the specter, which has its own turns. It obeys your verbal commands, and it gains a special bonus to its attack rolls equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of +0).

The specter remains in your service until the end of your next long rest, at which point it vanishes to the afterlife.

Once you bind a specter with this feature, you can’t use the feature again until you finish a long rest.

Armor of Hexes

At 10th level, your hex grows more powerful. If the target cursed by your Hexblade’s Curse hits you with an attack roll, you can use your reaction to roll a d6. On a 4 or higher, the attack instead misses you, regardless of its roll.

Master of Hexes

Starting at 14th level, you can spread your Hexblade’s Curse from a slain creature to another creature. When the creature cursed by your Hexblade’s Curse dies, you can apply the curse to a different creature you can see within 30 feet of you, provided you aren’t incapacitated. When you apply the curse in this way, you don’t regain hit points from the death of the previously cursed creature.

Eldritch Invocations

At 2nd level, a warlock gains the Eldritch Invocations feature. Here are new options for that feature, in addition to the options in the Player’s Handbook.

If an eldritch invocation has a prerequisite, you must meet it to learn the invocation. You can learn the invocation at the same time that you meet its prerequisite. A level prerequisite refers to your level in this class.

Aspect of the Moon

Prerequisite: Pact of the Tome feature

You no longer need to sleep and can’t be forced to sleep by any means. To gain the benefits of a long rest, you can spend all 8 hours doing light activity, such as reading your Book of Shadows and keeping watch.

Cloak of Flies

Prerequisite: 5th level

As a bonus action, you can surround yourself with a magical aura that looks like buzzing flies. The aura extends 5 feet from you in every direction, but not through total cover. It lasts until you’re incapacitated or you dismiss it as a bonus action.

The aura grants you advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks but disadvantage on all other Charisma checks. Any other creature that starts its turn in the aura takes poison damage equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of 0 damage).

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

Eldritch Smite

Prerequisite: 5th level, Pact of the Blade feature

Once per turn when you hit a creature with your pact weapon, you can expend a warlock spell slot to deal an extra 1d8 force damage to the target, plus another 1d8 per level of the spell slot, and you can knock the target prone if it is Huge or smaller.

Ghostly Gaze

Prerequisite: 7th level

As an action, you gain the ability to see through solid objects to a range of 30 feet. Within that range, you have darkvision if you don’t already have it. This special sight lasts for 1 minute or until your concentration ends (as if you were concentrating on a spell). During that time, you perceive objects as ghostly, transparent images.

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

Gift of the Depths

Prerequisite: 5th level

You can breathe underwater, and you gain a swimming speed equal to your walking speed.

You can also cast water breathing once without expending a spell slot. You regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest.

Gift of the Ever-Living Ones

Prerequisite: Pact of the Chain feature

Whenever you regain hit points while your familiar is within 100 feet of you, treat any dice rolled to determine the hit points you regain as having rolled their maximum value for you.

Grasp of Hadar

Prerequisite: eldritch blast cantrip

Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with your eldritch blast, you can move that creature in a straight line 10 feet closer to you.

Improved Pact Weapon

Prerequisite: Pact of the Blade feature

You can use any weapon you summon with your Pact of the Blade feature as a spellcasting focus for your warlock spells.

In addition, the weapon gains a +1 bonus to its attack and damage rolls, unless it is a magic weapon that already has a bonus to those rolls.

Finally, the weapon you conjure can be a shortbow, longbow, light crossbow, or heavy crossbow.

Lance of Lethargy

Prerequisite: eldritch blast cantrip

Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with your eldritch blast, you can reduce that creature’s speed by 10 feet until the end of your next turn.

Maddening Hex

Prerequisite: 5th level, hex spell or a warlock feature that curses

As a bonus action, you cause a psychic disturbance around the target cursed by your hex spell or by a warlock feature of yours, such as Hexblade’s Curse or Sign of Ill Omen. When you do so, you deal psychic damage to the cursed target and each creature of your choice that you can see within 5 feet of it. The psychic damage equals your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1 damage). To use this invocation, you must be able to see the cursed target, and it must be within 30 feet of you.

Relentless Hex

Prerequisite: 7th level, hex spell or a warlock feature that curses

Your curse creates a temporary bond between you and your target. As a bonus action, you can magically teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space you can see within 5 feet of the target cursed by your hex spell or by a warlock feature of yours, such as Hexblade’s Curse or Sign of Ill Omen. To teleport in this way, you must be able to see the cursed target.

Shroud of Shadow

Prerequisite: 15th level

You can cast invisibility at will, without expending a spell slot.

Tomb of Levistus

Prerequisite: 5th level

As a reaction when you take damage, you can entomb yourself in ice, which melts away at the end of your next turn. You gain 10 temporary hit points per warlock level, which take as much of the triggering damage as possible. Immediately after you take the damage, you gain vulnerability to fire damage, your speed is reduced to 0, and you are incapacitated. These effects, including any remaining temporary hit points, all end when the ice melts.

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

Trickster’s Escape

Prerequisite: 7th level

You can cast freedom of movement once on yourself without expending a spell slot. You regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest.

Wizard

Wizardry requires understanding. The knowledge of how and why magic works, and our efforts to broaden that understanding, have brought about the key advances in civilization over the centuries.

— Gimble the illusionist

Only a select few people in the world are wielders of magic. Of all those, wizards stand at the pinnacle of the craft. Even the least of them can manipulate forces that flout the laws of nature, and the most accomplished among them can cast spells with world-shaking effects.

The price that wizards pay for their mastery is that most valuable of commodities: time. It takes years of study, instruction, and experimentation to learn how to harness magical energy and carry spells around in one’s own mind. For adventuring wizards and other spellcasters who aspire to the highest echelons of the profession, the studying never ends, nor does the quest for knowledge and power.

If you’re playing a wizard, take advantage of the opportunity to make your character more than just a stereotypical spell-slinger. Use the advice that follows to add some intriguing details to how your wizard interacts with the world.

Watch. I love this trick.

Hey, wizard! You can’t do magic.
Oops, now you can.
Oops, now you can’t anymore. Ha ha ha!

Spellbook

Your wizard character’s most prized possession — your spellbook — might be an innocuous-looking volume whose covers show no hint of what’s inside. Or you might display some flair, as many wizards do, by carrying a spellbook of an unusual sort. If you don’t own such an item already, one of your goals might be to find a spellbook that sets you apart by its appearance or its means of manufacture.

Spellbooks

d6Spellbook
1A tome with pages that are thin sheets of metal, spells etched into them with acid
2Long straps of leather on which spells are written, wrapped around a staff for ease of transport
3A battered tome filled with pictographs that only you can understand
4Small stones inscribed with spells and kept in a cloth bag
5A scorched book, ravaged by dragon fire, with the script of your spells barely visible on its pages
6A tome full of black pages whose writing is visible only in dim light or darkness

Ambition

Few aspiring wizards undertake the study of magic without some personal goal in mind. Many wizards use their spells as a tool to produce a tangible benefit, in material goods or in status, for themselves or their companions. For others, the theoretical aspect of magic might have a strong appeal, pushing those wizards to seek out knowledge that supports new theories of the arcane or confirms old ones.

Beyond the obvious, why does your wizard character study magic, and what do you want to achieve? If you haven’t given these questions much thought, you can do so now, and the answers you come up with will likely affect how your future unfolds.

Ambitions

d6Ambition
1You will prove that the gods aren’t as powerful as folk believe.
2Immortality is the end goal of your studies.
3If you can fully understand magic, you can unlock its use for all and usher in an era of equality.
4Magic is a dangerous tool. You use it to protect what you treasure.
5Arcane power must be taken away from those who would abuse it.
6You will become the greatest wizard the world has seen in generations.

Eccentricity

Endless hours of solitary study and research can have a negative effect on anyone’s social skills. Wizards, who are a breed apart to begin with, are no exception. An odd mannerism or two is not necessarily a drawback, though; an eccentricity of this sort is usually harmless and could provide a source of amusement or serve as a calling card of sorts.

If your character has an eccentricity, is it a physical tic or a mental one? Are you well known in some circles because of it? Do you fight to overcome it, or do you embrace this minor claim to fame of yours?

Eccentricities

d6Eccentricity
1You have the habit of tapping your foot incessantly, which often annoys those around you.
2Your memory is quite good, but you have no trouble pretending to be absentminded when it suits your purposes.
3You never enter a room without looking to see what’s hanging from the ceiling.
4Your most prized possession is a dead worm that you keep inside a potion vial.
5When you want people to leave you alone, you start talking to yourself. That usually does the trick.
6Your fashion sense and grooming, or more accurately lack thereof, sometimes cause others to assume you are a beggar.

Arcane Tradition

At 2nd level, a wizard gains the Arcane Tradition feature. The following War Magic option is available to a wizard, in addition to the options offered in the Player’s Handbook.

War Magic

A variety of arcane colleges specialize in training wizards for war. The tradition of War Magic blends principles of evocation and abjuration, rather than specializing in either of those schools. It teaches techniques that empower a caster’s spells, while also providing methods for wizards to bolster their own defenses.

Followers of this tradition are known as war mages. They see their magic as both a weapon and armor, a resource superior to any piece of steel. War mages act fast in battle, using their spells to seize tactical control of a situation. Their spells strike hard, while their defensive skills foil their opponents’ attempts to counterattack. War mages are also adept at turning other spellcasters’ magical energy against them.

In great battles, a war mage often works with evokers, abjurers, and other types of wizards. Evokers, in particular, sometimes tease war mages for splitting their attention between offense and defense. A war mage’s typical response: “What good is being able to throw a mighty fireball if I die before I can cast it?”

War magic? Does that make you a War Wizard? I’ve heard about them. They dress in purple, I think. But you’re not dressed in purple. That’s disappointing. Go change.

War Magic Features

Wizard LevelFeature
2ndArcane Deflection, Tactical Wit
6thPower Surge
10thDurable Magic
14thDeflecting Shroud

Arcane Deflection

At 2nd level, you have learned to weave your magic to fortify yourself against harm. When you are hit by an attack or you fail a saving throw, you can use your reaction to gain a +2 bonus to your AC against that attack or a +4 bonus to that saving throw.

When you use this feature, you can’t cast spells other than cantrips until the end of your next turn.

Tactical Wit

Starting at 2nd level, your keen ability to assess tactical situations allows you to act quickly in battle. You can give yourself a bonus to your initiative rolls equal to your Intelligence modifier.

Power Surge

Starting at 6th level, you can store magical energy within yourself to later empower your damaging spells. In its stored form, this energy is called a power surge.

You can store a maximum number of power surges equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of one). Whenever you finish a long rest, your number of power surges resets to one. Whenever you successfully end a spell with dispel magic or counterspell, you gain one power surge, as you steal magic from the spell you foiled. If you end a short rest with no power surges, you gain one power surge.

Once per turn when you deal damage to a creature or object with a wizard spell, you can spend one power surge to deal extra force damage to that target. The extra damage equals half your wizard level.

Durable Magic

Beginning at 10th level, the magic you channel helps ward off harm. While you maintain concentration on a spell, you have a +2 bonus to AC and all saving throws.

Deflecting Shroud

At 14th level, your Arcane Deflection becomes infused with deadly magic. When you use your Arcane Deflection feature, you can cause magical energy to arc from you. Up to three creatures of your choice that you can see within 60 feet of you each take force damage equal to half your wizard level.