Deathslinger (5e Class)
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In the Nimda campaing setting, deathslingers are servants of the god of death Noctem. They ensure that creatures don't defy the laws of death and that tyrants don't manipulate them in their favor. Unlike a paladin they are given their powers from a god but they do not directly serve him and unlike a warlock the agreement comes from a shared interest instead of both parties having something to gain.
A Unique Perspective
Not just anyone becomes a deathslinger, but the requirements to do so are not that outlandish. The first requirement is to look at the world like a neverending transaction of life and death. Life and death are two separate coins worth the same amount that are traded forever equally between houses, deities and even the planes themselves.
The second requirement is a lack of appreciation for the self. You still care about your day to day life and the day to day lives of others but understand that in grand scheme of things these day to day rituals are meaningless. Only life and death truly matter.
The last requirement is both a want for change and for things to stay the same. Deathslingers are like a non-Newtonian fluid changing when they need to be more rigid or more fluid as death commands. When someone exhibits these qualities they are approached by Noctem or some other neutral god of death in their dreams or some other vision. All the god asks is if they would like to help the world stay equal in its transactions and they stick out their hand if the person accepts they become a deathslinger.
Living for Death
Deathslingers are usually known as mercenaries for the grave. They are given contracts in their sleep to carry out for the primal energies of death but not all deathslingers pursue this life so actively. Some focus their energies and wait for much larger targets of the energies they serve.
Creating a Deathslinger
Before you create your deathslinger consider the following. What happened to make you have the perspective of a deathslinger? Did you join this cause to save lives or end them? Does your character believe that this a good way to bring about change or are you begrudgingly helping this cause because it is simply the most efficient way?
- Quick Build
You can make a deathslinger quickly by following these suggestions. First, Wisdom should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Second, choose the hermit background. Third, choose a martial melee weapon and a shield with the explorer's pack.
As a Deathslinger you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Hit Dice: 1d8 per Deathslinger level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Deathslinger level after 1st
Armor: Light armor and shields
Weapons: Simple weapons and martial weapons
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Intelligence
Skills: Choose 2 of the following: History, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, Persuasion, Religion, Stealth.
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) Any Martial Melee Weapon or (b) A Longbow and 20 Arrows
- (a) A Shield or (b) 2 Simple Melee Weapons
- (a) Explorer's Pack or (b) Dungeoneer's Pack
- If you are using starting wealth, you have 5d4x10gp in funds.
|Death Targets Allowed||Spells Known||Features||—Spell Slots per Spell Level—|
|1st||+2||0||0||Unarmored Defense, So Much To Do, The "Scythe"||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+2||1||2||Life Sense, Death Target, Spellcasting||2||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+2||1||3||Reaping Style, Visions and Dreams||3||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||1||4||Ability Score Improvement||3||—||—||—||—|
|6th||+3||1||4||From the Grave||4||2||—||—||—|
|7th||+3||1||5||Reaping Style Improvement||4||3||—||—||—|
|8th||+3||2||5||Ability Score Improvement||4||3||—||—||—|
|10th||+4||2||6||Eyes of the Haunted||4||3||2||—||—|
|11th||+4||2||7||Reaping Style Improvement||4||3||3||—||—|
|12th||+4||2||7||Ability Score Improvement||4||3||3||—||—|
|13th||+5||2||8||Extra Attack (2)||4||3||3||1||—|
|14th||+5||2||8||Life Sense Improvement||4||3||3||1||—|
|15th||+5||2||9||From the Grave Improvement||4||3||3||2||—|
|16th||+5||3||9||Ability Score Improvement||4||3||3||2||—|
|17th||+6||3||10||Reaping Style Improvement||4||3||3||3||1|
|18th||+6||3||10||Death Leech, Visions and Dreams Improvement||4||3||3||3||1|
|19th||+6||3||11||Ability Score Improvement||4||3||3||3||2|
|20th||+6||3||11||Visage of Death||4||3||3||3||2|
Beginning at 1st level, when not wearing armor, your AC equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Wisdom modifier. You can wield a shield and still use this benefit.
So Much To Do
Beginning at 1st level, your new connection to death ensures you will have plenty of time to get things done. Your maximum age is now double what it normally is.
When you take this class at 1st level you must choose one weapon to be your Scythe. This can be any weapon in your possession and requires you to take a long rest meditating with the weapon. Your Scythe cannot be broken by normal means and you cannot be disarmed of it while you are conscious.
Starting at 2nd level you can detect the life force of living creatures around you. As an action you can sense the presence of any creature that is not a Construct, Elemental or Undead within 60ft of you for 1 minute. You do not discern their location or type, you simply sense that there are creatures within this range. You may designate as many creatures as you wish to be ignored by your Life Sense ability meaning it does not detect these creatures even if they meet the prerequisites for detection. You may use this ability as many times as you have charisma modifier regaining expended uses at the end of your next long rest.
At 14th level, you can now detect how many creature have been detected by the Life Sense ability and you learn what type of creatures are in its radius
At 2nd level your unconscious mind awaken to the ability to designate creatures for death. As a bonus action on your turn you may designate one creature within 50 feet of you that you can see as your Death Target. While the creature is designated, and as long as it is within 100 feet of you, you do 1 additional damage of your weapons type to the creature and can sacrifice a spell slot of any level to grant yourself advantage on any attack against this creature sacrificing a spell slot each time you attack and wish to do this. You may have as many Death Targets as are specified in the Death Targets Allowed column. The Death Target is designated for 1 minute and it cannot be designated again for 24 hours.
By the time you reach 2nd level, you have learned to use the essence of life and death to cast spells.
- Spell Slots
The Deathslinger table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.
- Spells Known of 1st Level and Higher
You know two 1st-level spells of your choice from the deathslinger Spell List.
The Spells Known column of the deathslinger table shows when you learn more deathslinger spells of your choice. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For instance, when you reach 5th level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level.
Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the deathslinger spells you know and replace it with another spell from the deathslinger Spell List, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
- Spellcasting Ability
Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your deathslinger spells, since your magic draws on your cosmic understanding of life and death. You use your Wisdom whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Wisdom modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a deathslinger spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
As you reach 3rd level you begin to specialize how you go about serving the essence of death. You choose one of these specializations: The Black Cloak and The White Cloak, which grants you abilities at 3rd level and also at levels 7th, 11th, and 17th.
Visions and Dreams
Also at 3rd level you can tap into your more fluid side and allow your mind to wander while you sleep allowing your body to recover more than normal. During a short rest if you choose to recover hit points by expending hit dice you recover 1d4 more hit points.
At 18th level, this bonus increases to 1d8.
Ability Score Increase
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
Once you reach 5th level you can now make two attacks when you take the attack action instead of one. This increases to three attacks at level 13.
From the Grave
At 6th level your connection with death makes you continuously harder to dispatch. Whenever you pass death saving throws or receive healing from any magical source you gain 1d4+ your wisdom modifier in temporary hit points.
At 15th level, you can bolster teammates with your knowledge of the beyond. When you receive the temporary hit points from From the Grave, you can also grant a teammate the same amount of temporary hit points if they are within 30ft of you and you can see them.
At 9th level, your knowledge and understanding of life and death makes your thoughts and actions hard for outside sources to manipulate. You can now reroll a failed wisdom saving throw and take the second result. You must take the second result. You may use this feature twice regaining spent uses after a long rest.
Eyes of the Haunted
At 10th level, you can expose creatures to horrors that await those who defy death. As an action you can designate a target within 30ft of you that can see you to make a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC. If they fail the creatures mind is bombarded with violent visions of its own death and is stunned until the end of your next turn. A creature that fails the saving throw for this ability is immune to this ability for the next 24 hours. You may use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (a minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
At 18th level, you can absorb the essence of dead beings to fuel your powers. When you reduce a creature of no less than a CR of 2 to 0 hit points and are within 30ft of it, you regain one 1st level spell slot.
Visage of Death
At 20th level you have become a true agent of death and its power and you are now one. Whenever you are subject to a critical hit you may spend your reaction to have the critical miss altogether. Additionally, when you score a critical hit your target must roll a constitution save or be stunned until the end of your next turn. You may only use each of these abilities once regaining the use of both of them after a long rest.
The Black Cloak
Deathslingers of the black cloak reaping style are powerful and ruthless in their missions. They are aggressive and will stop at nothing to cut down their designated foes. These deathslingers are truly considered mercenaries and thugs by other deathslingers and most are given a pretty wide birth.
- Fueled by the Fight
Black cloak deathslingers are all about the long arduous fight to bring down their targets and are always first in line to tackle these foes. After you take this archetype at 3rd level, you have advantage on initiative checks and your movement speed increases by 5ft.
- The Hunt
No target escapes a black cloak once the black cloak decides they must die. After 7th level, as a reaction to one of your Death Targets moving you may move 10ft towards them.
- Death Infused Strikes
A black cloak is always ready to break down any defenses that could impede them from destroying their targets. After 11th level all attacks made with your "scythe" are considered magical and whenever you score a hit with your "scythe" you may expend a spell slot of any level gaining 1d10 necrotic damage per level of the spell slot. This damage can never exceed 4d10 damage.
- Break Them Down
You are a master of weakening your enemies defenses in a barrage of strikes. After 17th level whenever you successfully attack a creature you may make an attack as a bonus action against the same creature. In addition, your "Scythe" now also does an additional 1d4 damage of your weapons type to your Death Targets.
The White Cloak
Deathslinger of the white cloak reaping style focus more on their magic and on their own longevity. These deathslingers are strategic and thoughtful calculating moves over a much longer time frame. They are precise in their actions making sure not to waste energy or cause unneeded havoc.
You have chosen to lean on the life a little more than the death of your kind meaning you are that much harder to kill. At 3rd level, If you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright you may drop to 1 hit point instead. This ability also triggers your From the Grave ability. You can use this ability once regaining use of it after a long rest.
- Soul of Resistance
You know that survival is what will ultimately determine how successful you are as a deathslinger and have taken measures to ensure that survival. After 7th level, at the end of each long rest choose one type of damage excluding slashing, bludgeoning or piercing. You are now resistant to that damage type until you finish another long rest to the end of the feature.
- Magical Recycling
As a white cloak, you are the pinnacle of efficiency. Especially when it comes to a resource as valuable as your magic. After 11th level you gain the opportunity to recycle spell slots back into your repertoire. Whenever you use a spell slot to cast a deathslinger spell you may roll 1d6. If you roll 5 you regain a 1st level spell slot and if you roll a 6 you gain a 2nd level spell slot. You cannot use this ability if you expend a 1st level spell slot and if you use this ability with a 2nd level spell slot you may only recover a 1st level spell slot regardless of what you roll.
- A Lasting Legacy
You are the pinnacle of survival and time seems to loosen its grip on you. After 17th level, your maximum age is multiplied 10 times and you no longer require food, water, air or sleep.
You know all of the spells on the basic deathslinger spell list.
- 1st Level
bane, command, comprehend languages, detect evil and good, detect magic, disguise self, death blossom1, false life, hunter's mark, identify, inflict wounds, protection from evil and good, ray of sickness, sleep and witch bolt,
- 2nd Level
cloud of daggers, darkvision, misty step, detect thoughts, gentle repose, hold person, invisibility, knock, locate object, phantasmal force, and shatter
- 3rd Level
animate dead, bestow curse, dispel magic, fear, feign death, gaseous form, lightning bolt, protection from energy, remove curse, and speak with dead
- 4th Level
blight, banishment, confusion, dimension door, locate creature, and phantasmal killer,
- 5th Level
cloudkill, dispel evil and good, dream, scrying, and raise dead
1 homebrew spell
Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the deathslinger class, you must meet these prerequisites: Wisdom of 13.
Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the deathslinger class, you gain the following proficiencies: Light armor, shields, simple and martial weapons.
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