Chapter 4: Classes

The twelve classes presented in the Player’s Handbook are all found in the Forgotten Realms. The material in this chapter describes the place of those classes in Faerûn, particularly on the Sword Coast and in the North. The chapter also includes new class-feature options for most of the classes, as well as some new spells.


Closest to the dark elves, Pwent lowered his head, with its long helmet spike, and impaled one elf through the chest, blasting through the fine mesh of drow armor easily and brutally. The second drow managed to deflect the next battlerager’s charge, turning the helmet spike aside with both his swords. But a mailed fist, the knuckles devilishly spiked with barbed points, caught the drow under the chin and tore a gaping hole in his throat. Fighting for breath, the drow managed to score two nasty hits on his opponent’s back, but those two strikes did little in the face of the flurry launched by the wild-eyed dwarf.

R.A. Salvatore, Siege of Darkness

Many of the lands of the Sword Coast and the North are savage, where day-to-day survival is a struggle. Such lands breed hardy tribes and fierce warriors, such as the Reghed and Uthgardt barbarians of the North and the seafaring Northlanders of the Moonshae Isles and the northernmost reaches of the Sword Coast.

Barbarians of these lands are most often humans or half-orcs, occasionally half-elves born of contact between savage human tribes and the elves of the North or Western Heartlands, or tieflings from tribes known to consort with fiends. Dwarf barbarians are famed and feared warriors among the fiercely proud clans that have reclaimed territories like Mithril Hall and Gautlgrym. Barbarians of most other races hail from warmer southern lands, rather than the Savage North, although southern foundlings are sometimes adopted in the North and raised by tribes there.

Primal Paths

Barbarians in the Forgotten Realms have the following Primal Path options, in addition to those in the Player’s Handbook. Reghed and Northlander barbarians tend to follow the Path of the Berserker, while Uthgardt barbarians are nearly always followers of the Path of the Totem Warrior.

Path of the Battlerager

Known as Kuldjargh (literally “axe idiot”) in Dwarvish, battleragers are dwarf followers of the gods of war and take the Path of the Battlerager. They specialize in wearing bulky, spiked armor and throwing themselves into combat, striking with their body itself and giving themselves over to the fury of battle.

Restriction: Dwarves Only

Only dwarves can follow the Path of the Battlerager. The battlerager fills a particular niche in dwarven society and culture.

Your DM can lift this restriction to better suit the campaign. The restriction exists for the Forgotten Realms. It might not apply to your DM’s setting or your DM’s version of the Realms.

Battlerager Armor

When you choose this path at 3rd level, you gain the ability to use spiked armor (see the “Spiked Armor” sidebar) as a weapon.

While you are wearing spiked armor and are raging, you can use a bonus action to make one melee weapon attack with your armor spikes against a target within 5 feet of you. If the attack hits, the spikes deal 1d4 piercing damage. You use your Strength modifier for the attack and damage rolls.

Additionally, when you use the Attack action to grapple a creature, the target takes 3 piercing damage if your grapple check succeeds.


Spiked armor is a rare type of medium armor made by dwarves. It consists of a leather coat and leggings covered with spikes that are usually made of metal.

Cost: 75 gp
AC: 14 + Dexterity modifier (max 2)
Stealth: Disadvantage
Weight: 45 lb.

Reckless Abandon

Beginning at 6th level, when you use Reckless Attack while raging, you also gain temporary hit points equal to your Constitution modifier (minimum of 1). They vanish if any of them are left when your rage ends.

Battlerager Charge

Beginning at 10th level, you can take the Dash action as a bonus action while you are raging.

Spiked Retribution

Starting at 14th level, when a creature within 5 feet of you hits you with a melee attack, the attacker takes 3 piercing damage if you are raging, aren’t incapacitated, and are wearing spiked armor.

Path of the Totem Warrior

If you follow the Path of the Totem Warrior from the Player’s Handbook, you have access to the options presented here.

Totem Spirit

These options are available to you when you choose a totem animal at 3rd level.

As with the spirits in the Player’s Handbook, the options here require a physical object incorporating some part of the totem beast, and you might acquire minor physical attributes associated with your totem spirit, such as a prominent nose if you have an elk totem spirit or catlike eyes if you have a tiger totem spirit.

Also, your totem spirit might be an animal similar to one listed here but more suitable to your homeland, such as a horse or stag, rather than an elk, or a lion, panther, or other big cat, rather than a tiger.

Elk. While you’re raging and aren’t wearing heavy armor, your walking speed increases by 15 feet. The spirit of the elk makes you extraordinarily swift.

Tiger. While raging, you can add 10 feet to your long jump distance and 3 feet to your high jump distance. The spirit of the tiger empowers your leaps.

Aspect of the Beast

These options are available to you when you choose a totem animal at 6th level.

Elk. Whether mounted or on foot, your travel pace is doubled, as is the travel pace of up to ten companions while they’re within 60 feet of you and you’re not incapacitated (see chapter 8 in the Player’s Handbook for more information about travel pace). The elk spirit helps you roam far and fast.

Tiger. You gain proficiency in two skills from the following list: Athletics, Acrobatics, Stealth, and Survival. The cat spirit hones your survival instincts.

Spirit Walker

At 10th level, you can cast the commune with nature spell, but only as a ritual. When you do so, a spiritual version of one of the animals you chose for Totem Spirit or Aspect of the Beast appears to you to convey the information you seek.

Totemic Attunement

These options are available to you when you choose a totem animal at 14th level.

Elk. While raging, you can use a bonus action during your move to pass through the space of a Large or smaller creature. That creature must succeed on a Strength saving throw (DC 8 + your Strength bonus + your proficiency bonus) or be knocked prone and take bludgeoning damage equal to 1d12 + your Strength modifier.

Tiger. While you’re raging, if you move at least 20 feet in a straight line toward a Large or smaller target right before making a melee weapon attack against it, you can use a bonus action to make an additional melee weapon attack against it.


The totems of the Uthgardt barbarians of the North (described in chapter 5) correspond to the spirits of the Path of the Totem Warrior as shown in the following table.

Black LionTiger
Black RavenEagle
Blue BearBear
Gray WolfWolf
Great WormWolf
Red TigerTiger
Sky PonyEagle, with the Elk Aspect of the Beast
ThunderbeastBear, with the Tiger Totemic Attunement
Tree GhostBear, with speak with plants in place of the normal rituals for the Spirit Seeker feature


Bards hold a special place of responsibility and respect in the Forgotten Realms. They are bearers of news, gossip, and messages in their travels from place to place, in addition to being living storehouses of history and folklore. Bards know a great deal, and they tend to be willing to share what they know, or at least barter for it.

The arrival of a renowned bard is a special occasion, akin to the visit of a dignitary. A bard can reasonably expect at least a hot supper and a clean place to sleep from a local landlord or inn in exchange for a few songs or stories. A noble might host a bard in fine style — while also being careful to guard any secrets the noble’s household doesn’t want retold or sung across Faerûn.

Not all wandering performers are true bards, nor are all bards inclined to sing for their supper, although most will, given the need. Bards literally have magic to them, and the powers they command through their performance and lore earns them additional respect.

In the Savage North, singers and storytellers called skalds are keepers of the history and great legends of the Northlanders and the Reghed. These warrior-poets are the singers of the songs and sagas that fire the blood of warriors in battle, and composers of the new songs and sagas relating the mighty deeds of heroes and villains. However, spellcasting is taboo among Reghed and Norhtlanders unless it is considered a gift of their gods. Characters with the bard class who rise to prominence among these folk must align themselves with their clan’s priests and shamans or risk being outcast. Most skalds are members of the College of Valor, as described in the Bard College class feature in the Player’s Handbook.

The Harpers

Bards in the North and the Dalelands benefit from the existence of the Harpers, that legendary society recruiting bards and other independent agents to struggle against the forces of evil. Even though most bards in the region aren’t Harpers (and many who are don’t advertise that fact), common folk in the North often behave as if all bards are legendary wandering heroes, and are as likely to ask a bard for the solution to a problem troubling their community as they are a wandering fighter or wizard. This reputation cuts both ways, however, as some enemies of the Harpers suspiciously assume any humble minstrel might secretly be a Harper agent.

Bardic Colleges

In addition to the tradition of apprenticing with a master bard, the Sword Coast has some bardic colleges where masters teach students the bardic arts. They hark back to the great bardic colleges of the distant past, particularly the seven elder colleges: Fochlucan, Mac-Fuirmidh, Doss, Canaith, Cli, Anstruth, and Ollamh. These seven are said to be the origin of the instrument of the bards, each of which is named after one of the colleges. See chapter 7 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide for the game statistics of these magic instruments.

Long ago, bards who sought the rank of master bard attended each of the elder colleges, seeking to learn its musical and magical secrets. Traditionally, the colleges were attended in the order given above, starting with Fochlucan. That tradition fell when the colleges went into decline, but some bards dream of restoring it.

College of Fochlucan

The original College of Fochlucan once stood on the northeastern edge of Silverymoon. Many years after it closed its doors, the site was reopened as Ultrumm’s Music Conservatory. The conservatory later moved to Southbank, and the House of the Harp occupied the college’s original location under the guidance of Master Bard Forell “Flamebeard” Luekuan, who sought to revive the ancient traditions and teachings of Fochlucan. Years of cultivation and support from Silverymoon, as well as the Harpers, yielded a faculty able to revive the college, and the House of the Harp adopted the Fochlucan name once again. Most of its bards study and practice the methods of the College of Lore, as described in the Bard College class feature in the Player’s Handbook.

The College of Fochlucan is naturally allied with the Harpers, although its master bards are careful to stress that its mission is separate from that of the Harpers.

College of New Olamn

Housed in two Cliffride villas overlooking the sea near Waterdeep, the College of New Olamn is a prestigious bardic college established in the Year of the Staff (1366 DR) by wealthy Waterdhavian patrons and named for the old College of Ollamh. Students of the college undergo training in their chosen instruments, along with rigorous practice in memorization and the study of ancient songs, sagas, and history. Most bards of New Olamn belong to the College of Lore, as described in the Bard College class feature in the Player’s Handbook.

The Cliffride, a gravel path up Mount Waterdeep’s northern spur, is used to bring goods to the college, but most visitors and students use the Mount Melody Walk — a tunnel through the mountain itself — to reach it. The tunnel regularly resounds with music, thanks to the Neverending String of Pearls, an ongoing concert where bardic students perform in a small alcove in the tunnel, which carries and echoes their music.

College of the Herald

Based at the great lore-house of Herald’s Holdfast, northwest of Silverymoon, the College of the Herald is dedicated to the preservation of ancient history and legends. The Heralds are charged with collecting and organizing bodies of lore, which they make available to all of good and peaceful intent. Established by the Harper Aliost Oskrunnar in 922 DR, the Heralds are allies of the Harpers but remain neutral in most conflicts, dedicated to preserving knowledge above all else.

The College of the Herald is less concerned with musical performance (although it contains a considerable library of songs) and more with history, heraldry, and folklore, making it a key center of learning for bards of the College of Lore, as described in the Bard College class feature in the Player’s Handbook.

Musical Instruments

In addition to the common musical instruments listed in chapter 5, “Equipment,” of the Player’s Handbook, bards in the Realms play the following instruments:

Birdpipes: Pan pipes or satyr pipes, also known as the shalm, these are sacred to Lliira and popular with wood elf and wild elf bards.

Glaur: Short, curved horns like a cornucopia. Played with valves, glaur sound like trumpets, while those without valves, known as gloon, have a more mournful sound.

Hand Drum: A double-headed skin drum fitted with handles along its side.

Longhorn: A Faerûnian flute of sophisticated make, found only in areas with skilled artisans, as in great cities or elven enclaves.

Shawm: A double-reed instrument similar to an oboe or a bassoon, popular with gnomes, who have developed some bellows-powered versions.

Songhorn: A recorder, a simple type of flute, usually carved from wood.

Tantan: A tambourine, a popular instrument with halflings and humans south of the Dalelands.

Thelarr: Also known as a whistlecane, a simple and easy-to-make wind instrument cut from a reed. They are so simple, in fact, that skilled bards frequently make and give them away to children — to the parents’ delight or regret.

Tocken: A hanging set of carved oval bells, usually played with a pair of light wooden hammers (or open handed). They are most common in underground cultures, where the resonant tones can carry.

Wargong: A metal gong, traditionally made from a shield, particularly the shield of an enemy. Both goblins and dwarves make and play wargongs, their sound echoing through tunnels in the Underdark.

Yarting: A southern instrument from Amn and Calimshan that is a Faerûnian analog to the guitar. Numerous variations have spread across the continent.

Zulkoon: A complex pump organ that originated with the zulkirs of Thay, who use it in the casting of their spells. It is considered to have a dramatic, but sinister, sound.


Over a century ago, the Harpers endured a schism. Khelben “Blackstaff” Arunsun was denounced by other Harper leaders for empowering Fzoul Chembryl, then the evil leader of the Zhentarim, with a powerful artifact. That Khelben did so in order that Fzoul destroy a dangerous lich mattered little. Khelben and Laeral Silverhand, his wife, left the Harpers then, taking with them certain agents and folding them into to a different organization, which Khelben had been secretly working to create for some time due to an old prophecy of the elves of Cormanthor. This group was the Moonstars, called Tel’Teukiira in Elvish. Although the Moonstars worked in concert at times with the Harpers, they also worked at cross purposes, and the Moonstars membership included many whom the Harpers considered too evil, such as a vampire. The Moonstars performed many good deeds, but their methods were often more brutal and pragmatic than the Harpers’ lofty ideals allowed. When Khelben died, the Moonstars seemed to collapse, and for many years the organization was assumed defunct. Yet during the Sundering, Moonstar sleeper agents reactivated the organization on a surprisingly massive scale, with members active in Candlekeep, Waterdeep, and Myth Drannor. The organization has since gone underground again. Their relationship to the present-day Harpers, Laeral Silverhand, and the current Blackstaff of Waterdeep, Vajra, remains unclear.


The gods are most active through their chosen clerics, who carry out the gods’ work on the Material Plane. A typical cleric in Faerûn serves a single divine patron, but some individuals feel called to serve a group, such as the elemental gods Akadi, Grumbar, Kossuth, and Istishia, while others serve deities that are intertwined gods, such as the elves’ Angharradh.

Some clerics in Faerûn belong to an established religious hierarchy, but many do not. The gods choose whomever they will, and sometimes a devoted worshiper is blessed with all the abilities of a cleric, despite not being a priest of any kind. That cleric might be a contemplative hermit, a wandering prophet, or simply a devout peasant. Religious orders often try to recruit such clerics and bring them into the fold, but not all of those clerics wish to be bound to a hierarchy.

Conversely, not everyone who pursues a religious vocation is a true cleric. Some acolytes discover a different path for their lives than the path of the cleric. They serve their faiths in other roles, such as priests, scholars, or artisans, while some go on to vocations that have nothing to do with religion. A few souls who are denied the path of the cleric become embittered and seek favor with sinister or forbidden gods or forge pacts with other powerful entities. Religious scholars in the Realms debate whether divine rejection led such a person to embrace a dark path or whether the person was rejected because the gods foresaw the potential for darkness in the person’s future. The gods remain silent on the matter.

Some clerics are homebodies who serve a particular community of the faithful, but adventuring clerics tend to have a certain crusading zeal to do their deity’s work in the wider world. This work may include ministering to far-flung communities, as well as seeking out and defeating threats to the civilized world.

Divine Domains

Clerics in the Forgotten Realms have the following Divine Domain option, in addition to those in the Player’s Handbook.

Arcana Domain

Magic is an energy that suffuses the multiverse and that fuels both destruction and creation. Gods of the Arcana domain know the secrets and potential of magic intimately. For some of these gods, magical knowledge is a great responsibility that comes with a special understanding of the nature of reality. Other gods of Arcana see magic as pure power, to be used as its wielder sees fit.

The gods of this domain are often associated with knowledge, as learning and arcane power tend to go hand-in-hand. In the Realms, deities of this domain include Azuth and Mystra, as well as Corellon Larethian of the elven pantheon. In other worlds, this domain includes Hecate, Math Mathonwy, and Isis; the triple moon gods of Solinari, Lunitari, and Nuitari of Krynn; and Boccob, Vecna, and Wee Jas of Greyhawk.

Arcane Initiate

When you choose this domain at 1st level, you gain proficiency in the Arcana skill, and you gain two cantrips of your choice from the wizard spell list. For you, these cantrips count as cleric cantrips.

Channel Divinity: Arcane Abjuration

Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity to abjure otherworldly creatures.

As an action, you present your holy symbol, and one celestial, elemental, fey, or fiend of your choice that is within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw, provided that the creature can see or hear you. If the creature fails its saving throw, it is turned for 1 minute or until it takes any damage.

A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from you as it can, and it can’t willingly end its move in a space within 30 feet of you. It also can’t take reactions. For its action, it can only use the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there’s nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action.

After you reach 5th level, when a creature fails its saving throw against your Arcane Abjuration feature, the creature is banished for 1 minute (as in the banishment spell, no concentration required) if it isn’t on its plane of origin and its challenge rating is at or below a certain threshold, as shown on the Arcane Banishment table.

Arcane Banishment

Cleric LevelBanishes Creatures of CR …
5th1/2 or lower
8th1 or lower
11th2 or lower
14th3 or lower
17th4 or lower

Spell Breaker

Starting at 6th level, when you restore hit points to an ally with a spell of 1st level or higher, you can also end one spell of your choice on that creature. The level of the spell you end must be equal to or lower than the level of the spell slot you use to cast the healing spell.

Potent Spellcasting

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

Arcane Mastery

At 17th level, you choose four spells from the wizard spell list, one from each of the following levels: 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th. You add them to your list of domain spells. Like your other domain spells, they are always prepared and count as cleric spells for you.


The druids of the Realms venerate nature in all its forms, as well as the gods of the First Circle, those deities closest to the power and majesty of the natural world. That group of gods includes Chauntea, Eldath, Mielikki, Silvanus, as well as Auril, Malar, Talos, and Umberlee, for nature is many-sided and not always kind.

Unlike clerics, who typically serve a single deity, druids revere all the gods of the First Circle in their turn, and see them as embodiments of the natural world, which moves in cycles: creation and destruction, waxing and withering, life and death. Thus, Grumbar isn’t just god of the earth to a druid; he is the fertile soil and the rolling hills themselves. Malar isn’t just the Beastlord, but the hunger and the hunting instinct of a predatory beast.

Although they are most strongly associated with sylvan forests, druids care for all aspects of the land, including frozen mountains, burning deserts, rolling hills, and rough coasts.

Druid Circles

Druidic ways are ancient and largely practiced in secret, away from the eyes of the uninitiated. In many lands, the Old Ways of the First Circle have given way to new churches and temples, but druids and their followers still gather to honor the cycles of nature and to ensure the natural balance isn’t threatened. People who dwell in or near wild lands do well to learn if a druid circle operates nearby, seeking the circle’s blessing before hunting or farming on the lands they protect.

The druid habit of gathering in clearings, wooded groves, or around sacred pools gave rise to the tradition of circles. In a circle, all are equal, and while respect is given to age and accomplishment, the circle reaches decisions as a whole. Those who disagree are free to argue their point, or even to leave the circle, if they wish, but the circle acts as one for the good of all. Druid circles often include non-druid allies, such as rangers, wood elves, and the fey creatures of the land where the circle meets, all given equal voice.

Numerous circles are found across Faerûn, usually made up of no more than a dozen or so druids, plus their allies. They include the High Dance, guarding the Dancing Place in the high valleys of the Thunder Peaks, alongside their fey allies. The Watchers of Sevreld meet in Old Mushroom Grove in the High Forest, northeast of Secomber, and the Starwater Circle gathers around their namesake pool in the northern forest of Mir.

The Circle of Swords

Protectors of the Neverwinter Wood, the Circle of Swords drives destructive humanoids like hobgoblins, bugbears, and their kin from the wood, while also safeguarding it against exploitation at the hands of civilized folk and protecting the wood’s ancient ruins and sacred sites from looters.

In the Druid Circle class feature in the Player’s Handbook, the Circle of the Moon is common for Circle of Swords druids, although some belong to the Circle of the Land (Forest).

The Emerald Enclave

Less a druid circle and more a loose confederation of circles and their allies, the Emerald Enclave is devoted to protecting the redoubt of civilization in the North from destruction. Elsewhere in the world, the Emerald Enclave must pursue a more balanced path, but the vast wilderness of the North holds far more danger to people than they pose to it.

Founded in the Vilhon Reach over a thousand years ago, the Emerald Enclave has spread across much of Faerûn. Its members include druids, rangers, barbarians, and others who live in the wilderness and know and respect its ways. They wear an article of emerald green clothing as a symbol of their membership, often bearing the emblem of a stag’s head.

In the Druid Circle class feature in the Player’s Handbook, Emerald Enclave druids belong to the Circle of the Land and Circle of the Moon in equal measure.

The Moonshea Circles

The Ffolk of the Moonshea Isles venerate the land as the great goddess they call the Earthmother. Their circles gather around sacred pools known as moonwells, their link between the natural world and the goddess, ringed by standing stone circles, raised by their ancient ancestors.

In the Druid Circle class feature in the Player’s Handbook, Moonshea druids most often belong to the Circle of the Land (Coast, Forest, and Mountain).


The water of a moonwell, drunk directly from cupped hands, restores 1d8 hit points, plus the drinker’s Wisdom bonus, if any. If the drinker has threatened the balance of nature since the last full moon, the water instead deals 1d8 poison damage to the drinker. This damage is also dealt by a corrupted moonwell. Either effect occurs once only per day per drinker. On the nights of the full moon, drinking the water of a moonwell can, at the DM’s discretion, have additional effects, such as conferring the benefits of a lesser restoration spell.

Moonwell water placed in a container or taken more than 30 feet away from the well no longer has any of these properties; it is simply water.

On the three nights of the full moon, three or more druids gathered around a moonwell can cast commune and scrying once each without expending spell slots and without material components, provided that one of the druids is at least 9th level and the rest are at least 4th level. At the DM’s option, the druids can use a moonwell on such nights to cast different spells.


Druid circles in the North are often allied with the Harpers, as they have common purpose, with bards and rangers serving as go-betweens. Individual Harpers can usually expect a circle to at least grant them food and shelter, and an opportunity to attend a gathering and speak, if they wish.

Still, the Harpers aren’t a druidic organization and, despite what some common folk might believe, not every druid or druid circle is allied with, or even friendly toward, the Harpers and their cause. Indeed, some druids consider the Harpers busybodies who threaten the natural balance almost as much as the evils that they fight against.


“Slow to learn, aren’t they?” a white-haired old knight who’d lost his helm in the last fray drawled. “This is getting to be like a proper romp in the Dragonjaws, it is! I’ll have to get my minstrel to write a ballad about this …”

“I hope he sings swiftly,” a Purple Dragon armsman growled. “Here they are!”

The howling spilled over the bodies in another rushing tide of flapping leather, slashing swords, and beady goblin eyes. Men planted themselves — no running and leaping now — to hew steadily, like harvesters with scythes and many fields in front of them, in a rhythm of death.

Troy Denning, Death of the Dragon

Whether doughty warriors, idealistic young soldiers, or hard-bitten mercenaries, fighters are found everywhere in the Forgotten Realms. Even the most peaceful lands have militia for protection against their enemies, and many great rulers in the Realms’ past were fighters of some sort. There are always opportunities for those who know how to handle themselves in a fight.

Able-bodied folk in many parts of the Sword Coast and the North learn at least the rudiments of combat as part of a local militia, serving in times of need, while a few go on to become professional soldiers, guards, or the like. Officers tend to come from the nobility, although there are opportunities for capable leaders to demonstrate their skills and rise through the ranks.

Fighters who don’t make a career of soldiering find other ways to demonstrate their prowess. Mercenaries find employment with those who need skilled warriors but who lack the time or means to train them. Such employers include adventuring companies, which are almost always in need of a reliable fighter.

Merchants and guilds hire guards to protect caravans, ships, and their warehouses and guildhalls. Such work affords the opportunity for frequent travel and danger.

A good deal of danger comes from fighters who abandon legitimate employment to become bandits — raiding caravans, robbing travelers, and pillaging isolated homesteads, manors, and villages. Out-of-luck fighters might also take part in gladiatorial fights or similar blood sports to make a living off their skills, although such matches are virtually unknown on the Sword Coast and in the North, as compared to southern nations like Amn and Calimshan.

Martial Archetype

Fighters in the Forgotten Realms have the following Martial Archetype option, in addition to those in the Player’s Handbook.

Purple Dragon Knight

Purple Dragon knights are warriors who hail from the kingdom of Cormyr. Pledged to protect the crown, they take the fight against evil beyond their kingdom’s borders. They are tasked with wandering the land as knights errant, relying on their judgment, bravery, and fidelity to the code of chivalry to guide them in defeating evildoers.

A Purple Dragon knight inspires greatness in others by committing brave deeds in battle. The mere presence of a knight in a hamlet is enough to cause some orcs and bandits to seek easier prey. A lone knight is a skilled warrior, but a knight leading a band of allies can transform even the most poorly equipped militia into a ferocious war band.

A knight prefers to lead through deeds, not words. As a knight spearheads an attack, the knight’s actions can awaken reserves of courage and conviction in allies that they never suspected they had.

Restriction: Knighthood

Purple Dragon knights are tied to a specific order of Cormyrean knighthood.

Banneret serves as the generic name for this archetype if you use it in other campaign settings or to model warlords other than Purple Dragon knights.

Rallying Cry

When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you learn how to inspire your allies to fight on past their injuries.

When you use your Second Wind feature, you can choose up to three creatures within 60 feet of you that are allied with you. Each one regains hit points equal to your fighter level, provided that the creature can see or hear you.

Royal Envoy

A Purple Dragon knight serves as an envoy of the Cormyrean crown. Knights of high standing are expected to conduct themselves with grace.

At 7th level, you gain proficiency in the Persuasion skill. If you are already proficient in it, you gain proficiency in one of the following skills of your choice: Animal Handling, Insight, Intimidation, or Performance.

Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses Persuasion. You receive this benefit regardless of the skill proficiency you gain from this feature.

Inspiring Surge

Starting at 10th level, when you use your Action Surge feature, you can choose one creature within 60 feet of you that is allied with you. That creature can make one melee or ranged weapon attack with its reaction, provided that it can see or hear you.

Starting at 18th level, you can choose two allies within 60 feet of you, rather than one.


Beginning at 15th level, you can extend the benefit of your Indomitable feature to an ally. When you decide to use Indomitable to reroll an Intelligence, a Wisdom, or a Charisma saving throw and you aren’t incapacitated, you can choose one ally within 60 feet of you that also failed its saving throw against the same effect. If that creature can see or hear you, it can reroll its saving throw and must use the new roll.


The fat man straightened his black-and-gold vest, lowered his round head, and charged.

Danica waited until he was right in front of her, and to the onlookers it appeared as if the woman would be buried beneath mounds of flesh. At the last moment, she dipped her head under the fat man’s lunging arm, caught his hand, and casually stepped behind him as he lumbered past. A subtle twist of her wrist stopped him dead in his tracks, and before he even realized what was happening, Danica kicked the back of both his knees, dropping him to a kneel.

R.A. Salvatore, Canticle

Some of the earliest monastic orders in Faerûn arose in the southern lands of Amn and Calimshan, their practices migrating north and east at the same time similar practices filtered westward from distant Kara-Tur.

The oldest orders have branched or fractured into smaller offshoots over time, such that there are now dozens of them. Most are no more than a few dozen members living in an isolated community in the wilderness. Some monastic communities have members numbering in the hundreds, with a presence closer to civilization, and often with correspondingly greater influence, for those orders concern themselves with worldly affairs.

As most monastic orders in Faerûn arose from human nations, the majority of monks in those communities tend to be human. Monasteries have long been sanctuaries for foundlings and outcasts of various sorts, so nonhuman monks are not unheard of.

Monastic Orders

The following orders can be found in various parts of the Forgotten Realms.

The Dark Moon

A monastic order devoted to Shar, the Dark Moon works openly in lands where her worship is accepted and in secret wilderness and underground hideaways where it isn’t. Its followers seek “knowledge and conversation with the shadow,” believing true wisdom is found in darkness and loss, both literally and spiritually. Its adherents most often follow the Way of Shadow, as described in the Monastic Tradition class feature in the Player’s Handbook.

The Hin Fist

A halfling monastic order from Luiren, adherents of the Hin Fist turn their people’s natural confidence into a spiritual path for mastering themselves and their potential. A few Hin Fist masters have established monasteries in lands outside Luiren, where the teachings available only to halflings have been opened to students of other races who are willing to follow the path laid out by Yondalla. Hin Fist monks generally follow the Way of the Open Hand, as described in the Monastic Tradition class feature in the Player’s Handbook.

Order of the Yellow Rose

Also known as the Disciples of Saint Sollars the Twice-Martyred, the Order of the Yellow Rose is a solitary monastery of Ilmater worshipers in the Earthspur Mountains of Damara. It is known for loyalty to its allies and destruction to its enemies. Greatly respected on matters of truth and diplomacy, the monks work hard to survive in their remote sanctuary. The monks of the Monastery of the Yellow Rose use the remorhaz to test their disciples. Young monks must prove the power of their mind to overcome fear and pain by riding the beasts.

The faith of Ilmater fosters far more orders of monks that other gods. Other llmatari monastic orders include the Followers of the Unhindered Path, the Disciples of St. Morgan the Taciturn, and the Sisters of St. Jasper of the Rocks.

Monks of Ilmater often travel as wanderers, begging for alms, seeking enlightenment, and relieving the suffering of others. They tend to follow the Way of the Open Hand, as described in the Monastic Tradition class feature in the Player’s Handbook.

The Sun Souls

The Sun Soul monks follow a monastic tradition that they believe has its roots in the ancient empire of Netheril. In their philosophy, living things harbor a fragment of the sun’s mystic essence within them. Just as the body has a shadow, so too does the spirit have a light. That light is called the sun soul. Brothers and sisters of the Order of the Sun Soul train to tap into the “spiritual light within” and manifest it as supernatural feats of prowess and endurance. Members of this order follow the Way of the Sun Soul, which is described in the “Monastic Traditions” section below.

To get in touch with their internal light, Sun Soul monks follow a strict code of ascetic conduct called the Precepts of Incandescence. It emphasizes three pillars:

Seek physical perfection. To open the way for the sun soul to manifest, one should strive to make the body beautiful. Fitness, cleanliness, and well-honed physicality create a clearer window through which the light can shine.

Seek spiritual virtue. Recognize the light in others, not just the darkness. Grant and take each new chance to be virtuous.

Shine light into darkness. Share the soul’s light with the world. Light up dark places with your presence and banish shadow.

Due to the precepts’ similarity to the teachings of some faiths, the Order of the Sun Soul has long had associations with temples and the faithful of three particular deities: Sune, Selûne, and Lathander. The dictate to seek physical perfection and recognize hidden virtue has similarity to Sune’s teachings about physical and spiritual beauty. Followers of Selûne recognize their goddess’s exhortation to battle darkness and seek virtue. And of course, Lathander’s association with the sun links to the Sun Soul philosophy, but more critically for worshipers of Lathander, they see the idea of granting and taking new chances as similar to Lathander’s emphasis on new beginnings.

Long Death Monks

Followers of the Way of the Long Death worship the principle of death more so than any deity of death. These monks seek the secrets of life by studying death itself. It is the condition of being dead that concerns them most, and not what lies beyond; the afterlife holds little interest for them. Their monasteries are full of decaying, dying, and dead animal and plant specimens, which they study with detached interest. They frequently purchase rare specimens from adventurers and merchants that they can’t obtain easily themselves. But such studies are only part of the monks’ daily life: They seek to understand death as it pertains especially to intelligent living beings, and to this end they eagerly welcome the diseased and the dying so that they might watch and record their deaths. If such unfortunates seek release from pain through death, the monks provide it. They view death as a gift that they bestow on those who are ready for it. Their means of determining readiness vary from one sect (or even one monk) to another.

The monks suffer no moral qualms about these deeds, for death is the most natural thing in the world, from their perspective, and to expire in service to its principle is one of the most profoundly holy experiences a living being can hope to enjoy. It is for this reason that the monks themselves do not fear death.

Most of the order’s members are either scholars who share mutual fascination with death and dying or clergy who worship one of the deities concerned with death. Some of the monks consider themselves to be nothing less than visionaries whose work will pave the way for a better future for all Faerûn. When death is truly understood, it can be harnessed and used as a tool for the betterment of all, or so they rationalize to themselves.

Monks of this tradition follow the Way of the Long Death, which is described in the “Monastic Traditions” section below.

The Yielding Way

The monastic order of Eldath is the Disciples of the Yielding Way, sometimes known as the Brothers and Sisters of the Open Palm. These monks guard sacred sites where many priests dwell, and they travel the countryside gathering information for isolated groves and fastnesses. They don’t ever seek to provoke violence, but are quite deadly when defending themselves, their charges, and their holy sites.

Monastic Traditions

Monks in the Forgotten Realms have the following Monastic Tradition options, in addition to those in the Player’s Handbook.

Way of the Long Death

Monks of the Way of the Long Death are obsessed with the meaning and mechanics of dying. They capture creatures and prepare elaborate experiments to capture, record, and understand the moments of their demise. They then use this knowledge to guide their understanding of martial arts, yielding a deadly fighting style.

Touch of Death

Starting when you choose this tradition at 3rd level, your study of death allows you to extract vitality from another creature as it nears its demise. When you reduce a creature within 5 feet of you to 0 hit points, you gain temporary hit points equal to your Wisdom modifier + your monk level (minimum of 1 temporary hit point).

Hour of Reaping

At 6th level, you gain the ability to unsettle or terrify those around you as an action, for your soul has been touched by the shadow of death. When you take this action, each creature within 30 feet of you that can see you must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be frightened of you until the end of your next turn.

Mastery of Death

Beginning at 11th level, you use your familiarity with death to escape its grasp. When you are reduced to 0 hit points, you can expend 1 ki point (no action required) to have 1 hit point instead.

Touch of the Long Death

Starting at 17th level, your touch can channel the energy of death into a creature. As an action, you touch one creature within 5 feet of you, and you expend 1 to 10 ki points. The target must make a Constitution saving throw, and it takes 2d10 necrotic damage per ki point spent on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Way of the Sun Soul

Monks of the Way of the Sun Soul learn to channel their own 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.

Radiant Sun Bolt

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

You gain a ranged spell attack that you can use with the Attack action. The attack has 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 use the Attack action on your turn to use this special attack, you can spend 1 ki point to make two additional attacks with it as a bonus 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 1st-level spell burning hands 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 (round down).

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, up to a maximum of 3, increases the damage by 2d6.

Sun Shield

At 17th level, you become wreathed in a magical, luminous 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.


Some people are warriors of superior virtue. They exemplify a host of traits that folk consider honorable, just, and good. These warriors aspire to be the best people they can. When such a warrior also has great devotion to a particular deity, that god can reward the faithful with a measure of divine power, making that person a paladin.

Different paladin orders in the Forgotten Realms emphasize different elements of righteous behavior, but all paladins are expected to hold true to a common set of virtues:

Liberality. Be generous and tolerant.

Good faith. Be honest and keep promises.

Courtesy. Treat others with respect despite how they treat you. Give honor to those above your station. Earn the respect of those below your station.

Lawfulness. Laws exist to bring prosperity to those under them. Unjust laws must be overturned or changed in a reasonable fashion.

Bravery. Gain glory through battle. Defend any charge unto death.

Pride in one’s actions. Lead by example. Let your deeds speak your intentions.

Humility in one’s deeds. Do not boast or accept rewards undue to you.

Unselfishness. Share resources, especially with those who have the most need.

Good-temperedness. Render service cheerfully and without disdain.

Wisdom. Cause the most good through the least harm.

Piety. Be faithful to the precepts of your god.

Kindness. Protect the weak. Grant mercy to those who seek redemption.

Honor. Hold true to the code. Death before dishonor.

Every paladin grades and emphasizes these virtues based on his or her own personal ethos and religious background. A paladin of Sune would emphasize aspects of courtly love and courtesy, whereas a paladin of Tyr would be more concerned with justice and fair treatment of foes.

Most paladins in the Forgotten Realms, like clerics, are devoted to a particular deity. The most common paladin deities are those that embody action, decision, watchfulness, and wisdom. Torm and Tyr are both popular deities for paladins, as is Ilmater, who stresses self-sacrifice and the alleviation of suffering. Although less common, there are paladins of the following deities: Helm, Hoar, Lathander, Sune, Corellon Larethian, the Red Knight, Clangeddin Silverbeard, Arvoreen, and Mystra.

Their devotion to a higher ideal makes paladins popular folk heroes in the Realms. Many tales are woven about noble knights and oath-sworn champions, although pragmatists note that the tales often end with a tremendous sacrifice on the part of said champions.

The most common patrons of paladins of the Oath of Devotion and the Oath of the Crown (which is described below) are Helm, Torm, and Tyr — protection, courage, and justice — although Ilmater has his share of devoted champions. Those green knights sworn to the Oath of the Ancients might honor Arvoreen or Corellon, while avengers of the Oath of Vengeance follow patrons like Hoar, although there are also avengers of Helm and Tyr, meting out harsh justice.

Paladin Orders

The following orders can be found in various parts of the Forgotten Realms.

Order of the Companion

Based in Elturgard in the Western Heartlands, the Order of the Companion is sworn to guard that nation. It formed in the wake of the Spellplague and helped to create Elturgard, centered on the city of Elturel, overlooking the River Chionthar. The Companions safeguard civilization against dangerous and wild forces, particularly unnatural creatures. Of the options in the Sacred Oath class feature, the Oath of the Crown (described below) and the Oath of Devotion (described in the Player’s Handbook) are equally represented among their ranks.

Order of the Gilded Eye

The monastery and cathedral of Helm’s Hold stands on the edge of the Neverwinter Wood in the North as a safe haven for travelers. The Order of the Gilded Eye safeguards the hold and serves the surrounding community, but their mission has a much broader focus: to guard the world from dangers originating on other planes of existence, especially on the Lower Planes. Many paladins and non-paladins have joined the order in response to its call to cast fiendish incursions out of the world. In recent years, many have ventured forth from Helm’s Hold to do the order’s work in the wider world.

Of the options in the Sacred Oath class feature in the Player’s Handbook, paladins of the Gilded Eye most often follow the Oath of Devotion, although a few zealots are followers of the Oath of Vengeance.

Order of Samular

The Holy Order of Samular, also known as the Knights of Samular, is made up of warriors in the service of Tyr. The order is based at Summit Hall, while also maintaining a chapter house in Waterdeep. Legendary paladin Samular Caradoon founded the order in 952 DR after the Second Troll War and the deaths of his brothers Renwick “Snowcloak” and Amphail the Just during the war. When Tyr fell silent and the paladins in his service lost their powers, many turned to other gods such as Torm, but the Kights of Samular stayed true to Tyr. Their patience was recently rewarded when, upon Tyr’s return to the world, many of their dwindling number were invested with the powers of a paladin. Known for their support of the law, many paladins of the order follow the Oath of the Crown, which is described below.

Sacred Oath

Paladins in the Forgotten Realms have the following Sacred Oath option, in addition to those in the Player’s Handbook.

Oath of the Crown

The Oath of the Crown is sworn to the ideals of civilization, be it the spirit of a nation, fealty to a sovereign, or service to a deity of law and rulership. The paladins who swear this oath dedicate themselves to serving society and, in particular, the just laws that hold society together. These paladins are the watchful guardians on the walls, standing against the chaotic tides of barbarism that threaten to tear down all that civilization has built, and are commonly known as guardians, exemplars, or sentinels. Often, paladins who swear this oath are members of an order of knighthood in service to a nation or a sovereign, and undergo their oath as part of their admission to the order’s ranks.

Tenets of the Crown

The tenets of the Oath of the Crown are often set by the sovereign to which their oath is sworn, but generally emphasize the following tenets.

Law. The law is paramount. It is the mortar that holds the stones of civilization together, and it must be respected.

Loyalty. Your word is your bond. Without loyalty, oaths and laws are meaningless.

Courage. You must be willing to do what needs to be done for the sake of order, even in the face of overwhelming odds. If you don’t act, then who will?

Responsibility. You must deal with the consequences of your actions, and you are responsible for fulfilling your duties and obligations.

Oath Spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed.

Oath of the Crown Spells

Paladin LevelSpells
3rdcommand, compelled duel
5thwarding bond, zone of truth
9thaura of vitality, spirit guardians
13thbanishment, guardian of faith
17thcircle of power, geas

Channel Divinity

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

Champion Challenge. As a bonus action, you issue a challenge that compels other creatures to do battle with you. Each creature of your choice that you can see within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, a creature can’t willingly move more than 30 feet away from you. This effect ends on the creature if you are incapacitated or die or if the creature is more than 30 feet away from you.

Turn the Tide. As a bonus action, you can bolster injured creatures with your Channel Divinity. Each creature of your choice that can hear you within 30 feet of you regains hit points equal to 1d6 + your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1) if it has no more than half of its hit points.

Divine Allegiance

Starting at 7th level, when a creature within 5 feet of you takes damage, you can use your reaction to magically substitute your own health for that of the target creature, causing that creature not to take the damage. Instead, you take the damage. This damage to you can’t be reduced or prevented in any way.

Unyielding Spirit

Starting at 15th level, you have advantage on saving throws to avoid becoming paralyzed or stunned.

Exalted Champion

At 20th level, your presence on the field of battle is an inspiration to those dedicated to your cause. You can use your action to gain the following benefits for 1 hour:

  • You have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons.
  • Your allies have advantage on death saving throws while within 30 feet of you.
  • You have advantage on Wisdom saving throws, as do your allies within 30 feet of you.

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


Montolio held out his arm, and the great owl promptly hopped onto it, carefully finding its footing on the man’s heavy leather sleeve.

“You have seen the drow?” Montolio asked.

The owl responded with a whoo, then went off into a complicated series of chattering hoots and whoos. Montolio took it all in, weighing every detail. With the help of his friends, particularly this rather talkative owl, the ranger had monitored the drow for several days, curious as to why a dark elf had wandered into the valley. At first, Montolio had assumed that the drow was somehow connected to Graul, the chief orc of the region, but as time went on, the ranger began to suspect differently.

R.A. Salvatore, Sojourn

Long have rangers walked the wilds of the Sword Coast and the Savage Frontier. Like druids, their practices date back to the earliest days of humanity. And long before humans set foot in the North, elf rangers strode through its forests and climbed its mountains. The traditions and outlook of these people are now shared by members of many races. In particular, lightfoot halflings frequently hear the call of the wild and become rangers, often acting as guides and protectors of roving halfling bands, and shield dwarves forced to wander far from old clanholds sometimes follow the ranger’s path.

Not every prospector wandering far hills or trapper hunting through uninhabited lands becomes a ranger. True rangers go out into nature and find it holy, and like paladins, they are touched by something divine. Their gods and creeds might differ, but rangers share similar values about the sanctity of nature. While by no means always aligned with one another, rangers are bound into a loose community of sorts — one that often connects with circles of druids.

In the North and throughout much of the Heartlands, rangers use special marks to indicate campsites, dangerous areas, evil creatures, foul magic, goblinoid activity, hidden caches of supplies, safe passage, shelter, and graves or tombs. Many of these symbols were derived from elven lore or borrowed from groups like the Harpers. While by no means a secret language, these trail marks are often obtuse to non-rangers, and even druids might not understand them.

As a whole, rangers serve to help societies survive and thrive in the wilderness. Much of the Sword Coast and the North are unsettled. Rangers are driven to explore these lands, searching for fertile soil in which the seeds of civilization might grow, seeking resources (such as metals) that will benefit settled lands, or rooting out evil before it can spread. Other rangers spy on enemy troops or hunt down dangerous beasts or criminals. Given that so much of the North is frontier, rangers play a critical role in keeping communities safe and are often admired within them.

Human Rangers

Human rangers of the Moonshaes are devoted to the Earthmother, and those that work closely with druid circles on the mainland often honor the gods of the First Circle, but most rangers among humans favor the goddess Mielikki. However, they consider the goddess too wild and primal for them to pray to directly. Instead, they pray to Gwaeron Windstrom to bring their words to the goddess. Gwaeron is said to sleep in a grove of trees west of the town of Triboar, and most of his followers travel to that place at least once in their lives as a holy pilgrimage. Evil human rangers usually honor Malar for his ferocity and hunting skill.

Elf Rangers

Elf rangers are usually associated with a particular community such as Evereska or the tribes in the Misty Forest. Rather than being wandering explorers, elf rangers typically act as scouts and guardians of elven realms. Such elves usually devote themselves to Rillifane Rallathil or Solonor Thelandria. Elf rangers driven to roam might instead favor Fenmarel Mestarine, god of lone wanderers, or Shevarash, elven god of vengeance.

Halfling Rangers

Most halflings who revere nature and its raw beauty come from lightfoot stock. Their bands spend at least as much time on the road and river as in village and town, and the role of a ranger is a natural fit with the lifestyle of most lightfoots. Lightfoot rangers tend to favor the god Brandobaris in his aspect as patron of exploration. Halflings more inclined toward nature itself typically prefer Sheela Peryroyl. Those who devote themselves more to the protection of settlements or travelers honor Arvoreen. The few strongheart halflings who become rangers tend to favor those latter two deities.

Dwarf Rangers

Most dwarves prefer to hunker down under a mountain, rather than roam the wilderness of the surface or the Underdark. Most often, a dwarf ranger is either a shield dwarf cast out of a clanhold or a clanless dwarf seeking a place in the world. Sometimes dwarf rangers are prospectors who explore the world seeking new veins of ore. In any case, there are two deities who appeal to such dwarves: Marthammor Duin and Dumathoin.


There are those whose abilities lie not with sword or the Art, but with quiet motion, dexterous action, and stealth. Such talents often lead to illegal endeavors, which plague most major cities, but can be placed to good use in dealing with dangerous monsters and lost treasure.

Most large cities in the Realms have a number of thieves’ dens that compete with one another. A few places, such as Baldur’s Gate, have an organized group of rogues that controls all such activity. Most thieves’ dens are secret gathering spots, often beneath the city, and move after they’re discovered.

The city of Waterdeep had once been home to the most powerful guild of thieves in the North: the Shadow Thieves. The Lords of Waterdeep smashed that guild, forcing its leaders to flee the city (the group still operates out of Amn). There are still thieves and even assassins in Waterdeep, but they are broken into innumerable small groups or operate alone.

The most common respite for such robbers is what they call the Honest Trade — adventuring, where roguish abilities may be used without censure and are later lionized in song and legend. Many thieves take to this life, adhering to a code that keeps them out of trouble in civilized areas but still keeps them rich; they vow to burglarize ancient tombs and monstrous lairs instead of the homes and businesses of the wealthy in civilized lands.

Some rogues have learned it is easier to pick someone’s pocket when you have a royal writ, which is to say many rogues are diplomats, courtiers, influence-peddlers, and information-brokers, in addition to the better-known thieves and assassins. Such rogues blend more easily into civilized society, more often acting as grease in the wheels than a wrench in the works.

Roguish Archetypes

Rogues in the Forgotten Realms have the following Roguish Archetype options, in addition to those in the Player’s Handbook.


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.

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, allowing 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 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.


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 making 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.


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.

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.


The Swashbuckler relies on a good understanding of the D&D rules to realize its potential, specifically when it comes to fighting with two weapons. Other characters must use an action to Disengage if they want to escape a melee, but the Fancy Footwork feature of the Swashbuckler bundles a more limited version of Disengage within your attack. This allows you to use your bonus action to fight with two weapons, and then safely evade each foe you attacked.

Rakish Audacity

Starting at 3rd level, your unmistakable confidence propels you into battle. You can add your Charisma modifier to your initiative rolls.

In addition, you don’t need advantage on your attack roll to use your Sneak Attack if no creature other than your target is within 5 feet of you. All the other rules for the Sneak Attack class feature still apply to you.


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.


The Weave of magic infuses every part of the Realms, and some people have the natural ability to perceive, touch, and shape the Weave. Some inherit this ability from a magical ancestor such as a dragon or an angel, others gain it by accident from exposure to wild magical power, and others manifest this power by chance or the hand of fate, perhaps portended by events at their conception or birth.

Due to their varied origins and delayed manifestation of powers, sorcerers can be found almost anywhere and among almost any people. Larger cities on the Sword Coast — including Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter, and Waterdeep — all have a few sorcerers, since people with magic gravitate to places where their abilities are valued. Sorcerers are slightly more common among cultures steeped in magic, such as among the elves of Evermeet and the humans of Halruua. The witches of Rashemen are sorcerers who lead that country’s society, but their Thayan neighbors often persecute the sorcerers who appear in Thay, seeing sorcery as a threat to the nation’s power structure, which is based on the study of wizardry. Magic-hating cultures, such as the Northlanders and Uthgardt, exile or kill the sorcerers who manifest among them.


The common folk of Faerûn often make little distinction between sorcerers, warlocks, and wizards. Most mages see little point in kindling rivalries with other types of arcane spellcasters — magic is magic, regardless of the means — and for the most part, sorcerers, wizards, and warlocks respect each other as fellow practitioners of the Art, understanding the power it represents.

Wild Magic

The Forgotten Realms has a long history of magical disasters and uncontrolled surges of power that alter creatures or the land itself. Whether caused by a Netherese wizard trying to become god of magic, deities being forced to walk the earth during the Time of Troubles, or the chaos of the Spellplague, the magical chaos unleashed by such events has created a legacy of wild magic sorcerers. This legacy often lies dormant for generations, then suddenly manifests under the right (or wrong) circumstances. These wild mages are more common recently in lands directly affected by the Spellplague, including Halruaa, Mulhorand, and pockets of Cormyr and the Sword Coast.

Draconic Magic

Dragons are known to take humanoid form and live among lesser creatures for decades. Some of these dragons have liaisons with humanoids, or invest their allies or minions with dragon magic. These invested creatures might become draconic bloodline sorcerers, or pass their abilities on to their descendants. Draconic bloodline sorcerers have appeared in most parts of the world due to the actions of individual dragons or experimentation by dragon cults, but they are significantly more common around Chessenta, which was once ruled by a dragon, and the land of Murghôm near Thay, where dragon princes have ruled for the last eighty years.

Magic of the Storm

During the Sundering, a constant storm called the Great Rain covered the Sea of Fallen Stars, darkening the skies and causing massive floods. Thousands of people died from drowning, lightning strikes, or bursts of wind that hit like fists and capsized ships. A few survivors of these events found themselves blessed or cursed with innate magic — storm sorcerers able to bend lightning, thunder, and wind to their will. Most of these new mages appeared near the Inner Sea, but clouds from the Great Rain sometimes traveled much farther away. Although not all storm sorcerers gained their powers from the Great Rain, most common folk associate them with its destructive weather and treat them with caution.

Sorcerous Origin

Sorcerers in the Forgotten Realms have the following Sorcerous Origin option, in addition to those in the Player’s Handbook.

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 vaati or 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.

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.


Given their dealings with often sinister otherworldly patrons in exchange for power, warlocks don’t have a sterling reputation in the Realms. Even well-meaning warlocks are viewed with suspicion and justifiable caution. Some wizards feel the very existence of warlocks taints the view of their noble Art and causes the common folk to view all practitioners of magic with doubt.

Some warlocks, particularly those of fey or fiendish bloodlines, are born with a propensity for their power, drawing the attention of potential patrons even from childhood. Others seek out a pact, sometimes because they can’t find the power they desire elsewhere. Some warlocks forge multiple pacts, although they must eventually come to favor one over the others, as their patrons are jealous and possessive beings.

Patrons in the Realms

The gods are far from the only forces at work in the Realms, and ambitious warlocks have many potential patrons able to offer them arcane power.

The Archfey

In the vast wilderness of the Realms one can still find connections to the Feywild. These are fey crossings, places of mysterious natural beauty in the world that have a near-perfect mirror in the Feywild. You can pass through a fey crossing by entering a clearing, passing through the surface of a pool, stepping into a circle of mushrooms, or crawling under the trunk of a tree. A few warlocks seek out such places to bargain with the Archfey of that realm for power. Noteworthy Archfey patrons include the following:

Titania, the Summer Queen, is perhaps the mightiest of the archfey. With a smile, she can ripen a crop, and with a frown, summon wildfires. She rules the seelie of the Summer Court.

Oberon, the Green Lord, an unrivaled hunter and woodland warrior, is Titania’s lover and frequently her foe. Oberon is attuned to every bough of each tree and each branch of every stream in the forests of the Feywild. If Oberon has a weakness, it is the wild nature of his heart. His mood swings like a weather vane in a wind storm.

Hyrsam, the Prince of Fools, is thought to be the first satyr. He can sing the shine off gold, and his jokes and antics can cause stones to cry with laughter. Yet Hyrsam is also the soul of savagery and the wild. Hyrsam the Fool is a prankster and prone to mischief, but when such jokes turn vicious and deadly, Hyrsam the Savage is at play.

The Queen of Air and Darkness rules the unseelie of the Gloaming Court from an onyx throne that sits empty except for the hovering Night Diamond, a black gem the size of a human head that dully glimmers with captured stars. The Queen of Air and Darkness is an invisible presence around it, her voice thundering from the Night Diamond or whispering secrets directly in the ears of her courtiers, and sometimes both at once.

The Prince of Frost was once known as the Sun Prince, but his heart grew cold when his betrothed betrayed him and escaped, her soul becoming one of the stars. Ever since, the wrathful prince has sought to reunite with his betrothed whenever she is reincarnated in mortal form.

The Fiend

Numerous fiends forge pacts with mortal warlocks in the Realms — so many that warlocks are almost synonymous with infernal power in Faerûn. These fiends include the Archdevils of the Nine Hells and their most powerful dukes, the Demon Lords of the Abyss, and the ultroloths who rule over yugoloth armies. Such deals need not be struck directly with the power in question, however. Often a weaker fiend serves as an intermediary, and the warlock might not know whom he or she serves. Notable fiendish patrons peculiar to the Forgotten Realms include the following:

Baazka is the pit fiend behind the most recent incursion of infernal forces from Dragonspear Castle. Its plans for the Sword Coast were thwarted along with those of allied Red Wizards, but its ambitions in the region remain.

Belaphoss is a demon that serves Demogorgon. It considers itself the greatest servitor of the Prince of Demons and thus a rival for Demogorgon’s power.

Eltab was once bound beneath the city of Eltabbar in Thay, caged even by the layout of the city’s streets and canals, which formed a glyph of imprisonment. The demon is now loose in the world, seeking revenge.

Errtu the balor has plagued Drizzt Do’Urden for more than a century, largely over possession of an artifact called the Crenshinibon. Having lost the last battle and been banished from the world, the balor now seeks indirect means of revenge.

Gargauth is a mysterious infernal power who seeks godhood while trapped in the world within a magical shield.

Lorcan is a cambion who collects warlocks like one might collect butterflies. His favorite collection, the Troil Thirteen, includes warlocks of blood descent from the thirteen who first made a pact with Asmodeus.

Malkizid is a solar who fell from grace when he betrayed the Seldarine. Ever since then, Malkizid has delighted in every wrong he can do to elves, but he gains the greatest pleasure when he manipulates the elves into harming each other.

Wendonai is the balor lord who first tempted the dark elves to summon demons in the ancient wars between the elf peoples. It also turned them to the worship of Lolth and continued to advise and tutor them for long after the Descent.

The Great Old One

Beyond the planes known to great wizards and sages lies the Far Realm of the Great Old Ones, beings outside time, space, and sanity. That realm is reachable by profane rituals and in the dreams of some of those drawn to those entities’ power. Some of the blasphemous names associated with that place and its madness include the following:

Dendar the Night Serpent, Eater of the World, is said to be the spawn of the first nightmare, devourer of foul visions, and harbinger of the end of the world. Her warlocks frequently dream of Dendar’s hiss and the dry rasp of her scales when they first realize their potential.

Ghaunadaur, That Which Lurks, Underdark god of aberrations, also known as the Elder Eye. It is worshiped (if such a word can be used) by slimes, oozes, and similar creatures.

Kezef the Chaos Hound is a black, skeletal mastiff covered in swarming maggots, its blood a black acid. The gods imprisoned Kezef in an unbreakable leash forged by Gond and a glowing ward conjured by Mystra, for which the Chaos Hound bit off Tyr’s hand.

Moander is a dark power of corruption and decay. Those touched by its influence first receive a dream, the “seed of Moander,” wherein the following words are heard: “Question not the words of Moander, lest you be stricken by the Eating From Within. Go forth and possess beings of power and influence for me. Slay, and let the rot cover all. Fear me, and obey.”

Tyranthraxus, also called the Possessing Spirit and the Flamed One, seeks to rule the world through the bodies of others. Similar to the Earthmother, it uses magical pools as windows into the world to spread its influence.

Zargon, the Returner, also called the Invincible Tyrant, is said to be an undying and unkillable evil. Some stories claim Zargon was the original master of the Nine Hells. Others claim him to be a powerful Demon Prince exiled from the Abyss. Perhaps neither of these stories are true, but it can surely be said that Zargon is a power that inspires madness and terror.

Otherworldly Patron

Warlocks in the Forgotten Realms have the following Otherworldly Patron option, in addition to those in the Player’s Handbook.

The Undying

Death holds no sway over your patron, who has unlocked the secrets of everlasting life, although such a prize — like all power — comes at a price. Once mortal, the Undying has seen mortal lifetimes pass like the seasons, like the flicker of endless days and nights. It has the secrets of the ages to share, secrets of life and death. Beings of this sort include Vecna, Lord of the Hand and the Eye; the dread Iuz; the lich-queen Vol; the Undying Court of Aerenal; Vlaakith, lich-queen of the githyanki; and the deathless wizard Fistandantalus.

In the Realms, Undying patrons include Larloch the Shadow King, legendary master of Warlock’s Crypt, and Gilgeam, the God-King of Unther.

Expanded Spell List

The Undying 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.

Undying Expanded Spells

Spell LevelSpells
1stfalse life, ray of sickness
2ndblindness/deafness, silence
3rdfeign death, speak with dead
4thaura of life, death ward
5thcontagion, legend lore

Among the Dead

Starting at 1st level, you learn the spare the dying cantrip, which counts as a warlock cantrip for you. You also have advantage on saving throws against any disease.

Additionally, undead have difficulty harming you. If an undead targets you directly with an attack or a harmful spell, that creature must make a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC (an undead needn’t make the save when it includes you in an area effect, such as the explosion of fireball). On a failed save, the creature must choose a new target or forfeit targeting someone instead of you, potentially wasting the attack or spell. On a successful save, the creature is immune to this effect for 24 hours. An undead is also immune to this effect for 24 hours if you target it with an attack or a harmful spell.

Defy Death

Starting at 6th level, you can give yourself vitality when you cheat death or when you help someone else cheat it. You can regain hit points equal to 1d8 + your Constitution modifier (minimum of 1 hit point) when you succeed on a death saving throw or when you stabilize a creature with spare the dying.

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

Undying Nature

Beginning at 10th level, you can hold your breath indefinitely, and you don’t require food, water, or sleep, although you still require rest to reduce exhaustion and still benefit from finishing short and long rests.

In addition, you age at a slower rate. For every 10 years that pass, your body ages only 1 year, and you are immune to being magically aged.

Indestructible Life

When you reach 14th level, you partake of some of the true secrets of the Undying. On your turn, you can use a bonus action to regain hit points equal to 1d8 + your warlock level. Additionally, if you put a severed body part of yours back in place when you use this feature, the part reattaches.

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


The First Hilt parried a clumsy axe swing and caught the rhythm of the wizard’s spell. It was one with which he was well familiar. Using his free hand, the bladesinger mirrored his opponent’s casting then sent his considerable power out to surround the overmatched wizard, binding it to himself. Argent energy flew from the human’s outstretched hand only to fizzle into nothingness as the bladesinger quenched the spell.

Keith Francis Strohm, Bladesinger

Scholars and practitioners of what they call “the Art” (see chapter 1 for details), wizards are the most disciplined spellcasters in the Forgotten Realms. They need to be, as their powers come from years of careful study and practice. Some wizards apprentice and study with an experienced master, while others attend formal academies or universities of wizardry, such as those in Evermeet or Halruaa, or in the great cities of the North like Waterdeep or Silverymoon.

With the intensity of their study and practice, wizards tend to become increasingly solitary as they advance in their Art, having fewer peers with whom they can share their insights, if they choose to share them with anyone at all. Thus great wizards often take up residence in isolated towers or strongholds, exhibiting ever more eccentric behavior as time goes on. Some say this is a mark of madness brought on by delving too deeply into arcane lore, but they never say it too loudly anywhere a wizard might overhear.

The greatest wizards of the Realms find means of extending their lives far beyond the span of any race except the elves. Archwizards may be centuries old, having seen civilizations rise and fall across Faerûn. Other wizards seeking this longevity turn to lichdom, dwelling in isolated tombs and strongholds as they withdraw from the world in body as well as mind.

Wizardly Groups

Many wizardly groups exist in the Forgotten Realms, but two, in particular, stand out.

The Red Wizards

The most infamous group of wizards in the Realms are the Red Wizards of Thay. Garbed in their distinctive red robes, the Red Wizards have sought to expand their power and to extend Thay’s influence across the Realms, particularly in lands in the East. They shave their heads and wear complex tattoos reflecting their ambitions and achievements and their favored school of magic.

In Thay, the Red Wizards have ultimate power, although they give governance of day-to-day affairs to those without skill in the Art. Every Red Wizard devotes study to one of the eight schools of magic and serves that school’s zulkir, the leader and ultimate master of that style of magic. The zulkirs and their underlings constantly vie with one another for power and influence, and this competition frequently sends Red Wizards far from Thay to seek new spells, recover lost artifacts, and create wealth that can flow back to Thay. The power the Red Wizards hold in Thay gives them a measure of diplomatic legitimacy in the lands of the Sword Coast and the North, but their presence is rarely welcome and is universally viewed with suspicion.

War Wizards

The potential for wizards to influence the outcome of battle is something no ruler in Faerûn can afford to ignore, and most great armies seek to recruit and include wizards among their ranks. Evokers are the most common, simply for the potential their spells have of inflicting the most damage to the greatest number of enemies. Still, all schools of magic find their applications in warfare.

The War Wizards of Cormyr are perhaps the best known application of the Art to the field of battle. As much soldiers as they are scholars, many of them were members of the Purple Dragons before they began their training in the Art. In addition to field duty in times of war, the War Wizards also protect the royalty of Cormyr, and each one swears a magic oath of service to the Crown. In this role, War Wizards serve as bodyguards, advisors, and even spies. Members of the royal family, Purple Dragon Knights, and officers of the Purple Dragons frequently wear magic rings that allow a War Wizards to know where they’ve gone and to scry upon them. Removing such a ring, even for innocent reasons, can call a cadre of battle-ready War Wizards to teleport nearby with attack spells already in the midst of being cast.


Wizards and many other arcane spellcasters develop a signature rune, which they use to identify their belongings, sign as their name, and warn others. As a mage gains in power, more individuals recognize the sigil and connect it with a mighty spellcaster, not to be trifled with. Some mage sigils are used in conjunction with spells such as glyph of warding, which enforces the tendency of ordinary people to shy away from items marked by such sigils. There are folktales, in fact, about the gods themselves punishing a person who misuse’s a wizard’s sigil — preposterous tales that were most likely started by wizards themselves. There is no set penalty for violating another mage’s signature sigil or using it without permission. Powerful mages tend to punish such activity themselves to discourage further use.

Apprentice wizards in Faerûn are reminded of the dangers of misusing another spellcaster’s sigil by a rhyme: “Whenever magic one doth weave / ‘Tis never, ever, wise to deceive.”

Arcane Tradition

Wizards in the Forgotten Realms have the following Arcane Tradition option, in addition to those in the Player’s Handbook.


Bladesingers are elves who bravely defend their people and lands. They are elf wizards who master a school of sword fighting grounded in a tradition of arcane magic. In combat, a bladesinger uses a series of intricate, elegant maneuvers that fend off harm and allow the bladesinger to channel magic into devastating attacks and a cunning defense.

Restriction: Elves Only

Only elves and half-elves can choose the bladesinger arcane tradition. In the world of Faerûn, elves closely guard the secrets of bladesinging.

Your DM can lift this restriction to better suit the campaign. The restriction reflects the story of bladesingers in the Forgotten Realms, but it might not apply to your DM’s setting or your DM’s version of the Realms.

Training in War and Song

When you adopt this tradition at 2nd level, you gain proficiency with light armor, and you gain proficiency with one type of one-handed melee weapon of your choice.

You also gain proficiency in the Performance skill if you don’t already have it.


Starting at 2nd level, you can invoke a secret elven magic called the Bladesong, provided that you aren’t wearing medium or heavy armor or using a shield. It graces you with supernatural speed, agility, and focus.

You can use a bonus action to start the Bladesong, which lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if you are incapacitated, if you don medium or heavy armor or a shield, or if you use two hands to make an attack with a weapon. You can also dismiss the Bladesong at any time you choose (no action required).

While your Bladesong is active, you gain the following benefits:

  • You gain a bonus to your AC equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of +1).
  • Your walking speed increases by 10 feet.
  • You have advantage on Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks.
  • You gain a bonus to any Constitution saving throw you make to maintain your concentration on a spell. The bonus equals your Intelligence modifier (minimum of +1).

You can use this feature twice. You regain all expended uses of it when you finish a short or long rest.

Extra Attack

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

Song of Defense

Beginning at 10th level, you can direct your magic to absorb damage while your Bladesong is active. When you take damage, you can use your reaction to expend one spell slot and reduce that damage to you by an amount equal to five times the spell slot’s level.

Song of Victory

Starting at 14th level, you add your Intelligence modifier (minimum of +1) to the damage of your melee weapon attacks while your Bladesong is active.


From its inception as a martial and magical art, Bladesinging has been tied to the sword, more specifically the longsword. Yet many generations of study gave rise to various styles of Bladesinging based on the melee weapon employed. The techniques of these styles are passed from master to students in small schools, some of which have a building dedicated to instruction. Even the newest styles are hundreds of years old, but are still taught by their original creators due to the long lives of elves. Most schools of Bladesinging are in Evermeet or Evereska. One was started in Myth Drannor, but the city’s destruction has scattered those students who survived.

Styles of Bladesinging are broadly categorized based on the type of weapon employed, and each is associated with a category of animal. Within that style are specializations named after specific animal types, based on the types of spells employed, the techniques of the master, and the particular weapon used. Bladesingers who apprentice to a master typically get a tattoo of their chosen style’s animal. Some bladesingers learn multiple styles and bear many tattoos, wearing a warning on their skin of their deadly skills.

Cat. Styles that employ a sword belong to this family. The lion style, the eldest, trains practitioners in the use of the longsword and doesn’t favor any particular type of spells. Leopard style focuses on the shortsword and spells of illusion and stealth. Red tiger, a style just three centuries old, has its bladesingers using the scimitar in a whirling dance of defense from which they launch into sudden leaps and attacks.

Bird. Styles that focus on the use of a hafted weapon, such as an axe or hammer, have been grouped together as bird styles, yet they vary wildly. All relatively new styles, they use weapons not typically favored by elves. Eagle-style bladesingers use small handaxes, and many maneuvers in the style focus on fluid ways to throw the weapon and draw a new one. Raven style uses a war pick, and spells associated with it grant the bladesinger more agility in combat.

Snake. Practitioners of these styles use a flail, chain, or whip. Viper style uses a whip, despite its inelegance as a weapon, and has almost as long a history as the lion style. Its masters punctuate their bladesong with a stunningly rapid rhythm of whip cracks, which can keep many foes at bay and allow the bladesinger space to cast the cruel spells of poison and disease favored by the style.

Cantrips for Sorcerers, Warlocks, and Wizards

Practitioners of the Art have developed the following cantrips for those who favor casting spells in melee. War Wizards of Cormyr, bladesingers, and warlocks of the Pact of the Blade are especially fond of these spells.

These cantrips are on the sorcerer, warlock, and wizard spell lists.

Booming Blade

Evocation cantrip

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 5 feet

Components: V, M (a weapon)

Duration: 1 round

As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell’s range, otherwise the spell fails. On a hit, the target suffers the attack’s normal effects, and it becomes sheathed in booming energy until the start of your next turn. If the target willingly moves before then, it immediately takes 1d8 thunder damage, and the spell ends.

This spell’s damage increases when you reach higher levels. At 5th level, the melee attack deals an extra 1d8 thunder damage to the target, and the damage the target takes for moving increases to 2d8. Both damage rolls increase by 1d8 at 11th level and 17th level.

Green-Flame Blade

Evocation cantrip

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 5 feet

Components: V, M (a weapon)

Duration: Instantaneous

As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell’s range, otherwise the spell fails. On a hit, the target suffers the attack’s normal effects, and green fire leaps from the target to a different creature of your choice that you can see within 5 feet of it. The second creature takes fire damage equal to your spellcasting ability modifier.

This spell’s damage increases when you reach higher levels. At 5th level, the melee attack deals an extra 1d8 fire damage to the target, and the fire damage to the second creature increases to 1d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier. Both damage rolls increase by 1d8 at 11th level and 17th level.

Lightning Lure

Evocation cantrip

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 15 feet

Components: V

Duration: Instantaneous

You create a lash of lightning energy that strikes at one creature of your choice that you can see within range. The target must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be pulled up to 10 feet in a straight line toward you and then take 1d8 lightning damage if it is within 5 feet of you.

This spell’s damage increases by 1d8 when you reach 5th level (2d8), 11th level (3d8), and 17th level (4d8).

Sword Burst

Conjuration cantrip

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 5 feet

Components: V

Duration: Instantaneous

You create a momentary circle of spectral blades that sweep around you. Each creature within range, other than you, must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6 force damage.

This spell’s damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 5th level (2d6), 11th level (3d6), and 17th level (4d6).