Dread Fighter (5e Class)

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Prestige Class: Dread Fighter[edit]

A dread fighter is a warrior who has learned to tap into and manipulate the power of the ambient magic that permeates the multiverse. They use this ambient magic as both a shield to protect themselves, and as a way to augment their martial abilities, occasionally making use of traditional spellcasting. They are formidable foes for their combination of combat prowess and resistance to magic.

Design Note: This prestige class was created using Unearthed Arcana: Prestige Classes and Rune Magic as a guide.


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To qualify for multiclassing into the dread fighter prestige class, you must meet these prerequisites:

  • Strength 13 or Dexterity 13. Dread fighters need to be able combatants.
  • Intelligence 13 or Wisdom 13. Dread fighters must be able to assess the situation on the battlefield and analyze their available options.
  • Proficiency with one type of artisan's tools. The way of the dread fighter is not only a fighting style; it is a lifestyle that encompasses more than simply combat.
  • Character level 5th. One needs moderate battlefield experience to learn the way of the dread fighter; there are some things that can only be learned on the battlefield.
  • Complete a special task. To learn the way of the dread fighter, you must seek out a mentor, and this mentor must deem you worthy of their tutelage. To earn their respect, you might need to slay a powerful monster, or face in combat your teacher or one of their other apprentices.

Additionally, a prospective dread fighter will probably wish to purchase a spellbook and an arcane focus if they do not already own them.

Class Features[edit]

As a dread fighter you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per dread fighter level
Hit Points per Level: 1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per dread fighter level


Armor: Light armor, medium armor
Weapons: Simple weapons, battleaxes, longswords, scimitars, shortswords, and warhammers
Tools: One type of artisan's tools

Level Proficiency
Features —Spell Slots per Spell Level—
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1st Even Keel, Know Thine Enemy
2nd Apotrope, Spellcasting 2
3rd Aggressor, Armsthrift 3
4th Ability Score Improvement 3
5th 4 2
6th Improved Extra Attack 4 2
7th Iron Will 4 3
8th Ability Score Improvement 4 3
9th Aggressor improvement 4 3 2
10th Limit Break 4 3 2

Even Keel[edit]

Your ambient magic forms a protective barrier around you, shielding you from magic. When you make a saving throw against a spell or other magical effect, you may roll a d4 and add the number rolled to your saving throw.

Know Thine Enemy[edit]

If you spend at least 1 minute observing or interacting with another creature outside of 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:


Starting at 2nd level, your protective shield of ambient magic strengthens, granting you resistance to damage from spells.


By the time you reach 2nd level, you have learned to manipulate the weave of reality to cast spells, much like a wizard does. Your spellbook contains only a few spells compared to a wizard's, because you use spells to augment your martial abilities, rather than relying solely on magic.

Your Spellbook

At 2nd level, you have a spellbook containing four 1st-level spells of your choice, choosing from the wizard spell list. Your spellbook is the repository of the dread fighter spells you know. (A wizard/dread fighter can use the same spellbook for both spell lists.)

Preparing and Casting Spells

The Dread Fighter 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.

You prepare the list of dread fighter spells that are available for you to cast. To do so, choose a number of dread fighter spells from your spellbook equal to your Intelligence modifier + half your dread fighter level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

For example, if you're a 5th-level dread fighter, you have four 1st-level and two 2nd-level spell slots. With an Intelligence of 14, your list of prepared spells can include four spells of 1st or 2nd level, in any combination, chosen from your spellbook. If you prepare the 1st-level spell magic missile, you can cast it using a 1st-level or a 2nd-level slot. Casting the spell doesn't remove it from your list of prepared spells.

You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of dread fighter spells requires time spent studying your spellbook and memorizing the incantations and gestures you must make to cast the spell: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.

Spellcasting Ability

Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your dread fighter spells, since you learn your spells through dedicated study and memorization. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a dread fighter spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Spellcasting Focus

You can use an arcane focus as a spellcasting focus for your dread fighter spells.

Learning Spells of 1st Level and Higher

Each time you gain a dread fighter level, you can add one dread fighter spell of your choice to your spellbook for free. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots, as shown on the Dread Fighter table. On your adventures, you might find other spells that you can add to your spellbook (see "Your Spellbook.").


At 3rd level, you have gained the ability to craft items more efficiently, producing less waste product. The cost for you to craft nonmagical items is reduced by 15%, and it reduces by a further 5% (additive) every time you gain a level in this class, capping at a 50% reduction at 10th level.


Also starting at 3rd level, you gain the ability to strike more forcefully with your weapon. On your turn, when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can cause the attack to deal an additional 1d8 damage of the same type dealt by the weapon to the target. You can do this only once per turn. Starting at 9th level, you can deal this extra damage twice per turn, instead of once, but only once per attack.

Ability Score Improvement[edit]

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th 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.

Improved Extra Attack[edit]

Starting at 6th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, when you take the Attack action on your turn. If you already have the Extra Attack feature from another class, you can attack three times, instead of twice, when you take the Attack action on your turn.

Iron Will[edit]

Starting at 7th level, regular mental training has made it easier for you to resist the effects of spells. You have advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Limit Break[edit]

At 10th level, as a bonus action, you can flood your body with ambient magic, allowing you to surpass your normal physical limitations, but at a cost. While under the effect of Limit Break, you gain the following benefits:

  • You have advantage on Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution ability checks and saving throws.
  • Your movement speed and jump distance are doubled.
  • You have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.
  • You can't be charmed or frightened. If you are charmed or frightened when you activate Limit Break, the effect is suspended for the duration of Limit Break.
  • Your Aggressor class feature has no limit on the number of times it can be used in one turn.
  • As a bonus action, you may make one melee attack on each of your turns.

Limit Break lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if you are knocked unconscious, if your turn ends and you haven't attacked a hostile creature or taken damage since your last turn, or if you end it willingly as a bonus action on your turn. After Limit Break ends, you receive the following effects:

  • You suffer one level of exhaustion.
  • You cannot cast any spells until after you finish a long rest.

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


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