Herald (5e Class)

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Playtesting Necessary: This class is *extremely* experimental, and I unfortunately cannot guarantee that this class is "balanced" at the moment. If you feel that one or more of the features present in this class need to be adjusted and/or removed/replaced, please leave an info box regarding your suggested change. This class has been a large undertaking and I would like to keep changes to it manageable.

Herald[edit]

Every cause needs a champion, and to champion a cause is the calling of the herald. Singers of songs, tellers of tales, slayers of beasts; heralds are men and women who embody the notion of legend. These warriors inspire greatness by deed and word, showing their fellows that greatness is always within their grasp.

Champions of the Masses[edit]

The lot of the herald is to be a beacon of greatness. Their presence is a marvel to witness and their valor inspires heroism in their allies on the battlefield. Their presence on the battlefield is often the turning element of the battle.

Creating a Herald[edit]

Heralds are often inspired by a cause or person of great proportions. Who or what inspired you to take on the mantle of the herald? Do you seek fame and glory for yourself, or do you simply seek to spread the glory of your cause?

Quick Build

You can make a herald quickly by following these suggestions. First, Strength should be your highest ability score, followed by Charisma. Second, choose the Acolyte, Noble, Performer, or Soldier background. Third, choose Scale Mail, a martial melee weapon and a shield, 4 javelins, and the Diplomat's Pack for your starting equipment.

Class Features

As a Herald you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d10 per Herald level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + Constitution modifier per Herald level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: Light, Medium, Heavy, Shields
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons
Tools: One Musical Instrument of your choice
Saving Throws: Charisma, Constitution
Skills: Choose one from the following: Intimidation, Performance, and Persuasion. Choose two additional skills from the following: Athletics, History, Insight, Perception, and Religion.

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) Studded Leather Armor and a Heraldic Symbol or (b) Scale Mail and a Heraldic Symbol or (c) Chainmale and a Heraldic Symbol
  • (a) A martial melee weapon and a shield or (b) Two martial melee weapons
  • (a) A light crossbow and a case of 20 bolts or (b) 4 Javelins
  • (a) A Diplomat's Pack or (b) An Entertainer's Pack or (c) An Explorer's Pack and a pouch containing 20 GP
  • If you are using starting wealth, you have 5d4 * 10 in funds.

Table: The Herald

Level Proficiency
Bonus
Features Heroism Point Limit Heroic Aspects Known Valor Die Size —Spell Slots per Spell Level—
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1st +2 Heraldry, Valor 0 0 1d4
2nd +2 Fighting Style, Heroism, Spellcasting 1 1 1d4 2
3rd +2 Heraldic Calling (Archetype) 2 1 1d4 3
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 2 1 1d4 3
5th +3 Extra Attack 3 2 1d4 4 2
6th +3 One and All 3 2 1d6 4 2
7th +3 Heraldic Calling Feature, Valorous Resurgence 4 2 1d6 4 3
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 4 2 1d6 4 3
9th +4 5 3 1d6 4 3 2
10th +4 Avatar of Heroism 5 3 1d6 4 3 2
11th +4 Heraldry Improvement 6 3 1d8 4 3 3
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 6 3 1d8 4 3 3
13th +5 7 4 1d8 4 3 3 1
14th +5 Conscription 7 4 1d8 4 3 3 1
15th +5 Heraldic Calling Feature 8 4 1d8 4 3 3 2
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 8 4 1d10 4 3 3 2
17th +6 9 5 1d10 4 3 3 3 1
18th +6 Heraldry Improvement 9 5 1d10 4 3 3 3 1
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 10 5 1d10 4 3 3 3 2
20th +6 Heraldic Calling Feature 10 5 1d10 4 3 3 3 2

Heraldry[edit]

Beginning at 1st level, you claim a heraldic symbol or similar heraldic focus. Your heraldic symbol depicts a beast or icon that exemplifies an ideal of your choosing. Some, examples include courage, strength, stoicism, honor, wisdom and peace, though you are not limited to these examples. Additionally, you are versed in the unspoken language of courtly intrigue, and if you see a heraldic symbol, family crest, or the sigil of a faction or nation, you can determine the prime virtue of the faction represented by that symbol.

Valor[edit]

Beginning at 1st level, you learn to inspire greatness in yourself and others. This is represented by a pool of dice equal to your Charisma modifier. (Minimum 1 Valor Die) These dice are d4s and increase in size as you gain levels in this class, shown in the Herald table as Valor Die Size. As a bonus action, you may expend one of your Valor Dice and grant it to yourself or a friendly creature within 10 feet of you that can see and/or hear you. The Valor Die may be applied as a bonus to a weapon attack roll or a weapon damage roll. If used for a weapon attack roll, it may be used after seeing the roll on the d20, but before the results of the roll are declared.

Fighting Style[edit]

When you reach 2nd level, you gain a fighting style to define your combat talents.

  • Champion Stance: You increase the value of your melee weapon attack rolls by 1, and every friendly creature within 5 feet of you also increases the value of their melee weapon attack rolls by 1.
  • Defender Stance: You increase the value of all of your saving throws by 1 so long as you are holding a weapon and/or a shield.

Heroism[edit]

When you reach 2nd level, you gain the ability to channel your heroic might into temporary boons. This is represented by a pool of points known as Heroism Points. You gain Heroism Points when you cast a herald spell of 1st level or higher, and the points gained are equal to the level of the expended spell slot. For example, if you were to cast enhance ability as a 2nd level spell, you would gain 2 Heroism Points, not exceeding your Heroism Point limit. You may not have more Heroism Points than what is represented by your Herald level, as is shown on the Herald class table. For example, a 7th level Herald can have access to no more than 4 Heroism Points at any one point. When you complete a long or short rest, any Heroism Points that you have not spent are wasted and your available Heroism Points are reduced to 0 until you cast another herald spell.

These Heroism Points are used to fuel your Heroic Aspects, which are listed at the end of the class description. Upon reaching 2nd level, you learn a single Heroic Aspect. You learn additional Heroic Aspects as you gain levels in this class, as is shown on the Herald class table. You may not learn any Heroic Aspects for which you do not meet the prerequisites. When you gain a level in this class, you may choose to replace a single known Heroic Aspect for another Heroic Aspect for which you meet the prerequisites.

Heroic Aspects remain in effect for 1 minute after you activate them as an action.

Note that no more than 1 Heroic Aspect may be in effect for you at once. If you use another Heroic Aspect while you already benefit from a Heroic Aspect, the benefits of the first are removed and replaced by those the second Heroic Aspect.

Spellcasting[edit]

By the power of your raw force of personality, you have learned to manipulate the latent magic of the world around you.

Spell Slots

The Herald 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.

For example, if you know the 1st-level spell command and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast command using either slot.

Spells Known of 1st Level and Higher

The Herald table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells. To cast one of your herald spells of 1st level or higher, you must expend a spell slot of equal or greater value to the spell. Upon completion of a long rest, you regain all expended spell slots.

You prepare the list of your herald spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the list provided at the end of the class description. When preparing your spell list, choose a number of herald spells equal to your Charisma modifier + half of your Herald level, rounded down (Minimum of one spell). You may only learn spells of a level for which you have spell slots available.

As a herald, you may trade out your prepared spells upon completion of a long rest. For every spell that you trade, at least 1 minute must be spent in self-reflection during the long rest.

Spellcasting Ability

Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your herald spells, as your force of personality presses upon the world around you and creates powerful effects. You use your Charisma whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Charisma modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a herald spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

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

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier

Spellcasting Focus

You use your Heraldic Focus as your spellcasting focus.

Heraldic Calling[edit]

When you reach 3rd level, your devotion to greatness manifests as a newfound drive and fervor for your cause. This is your Heraldic Calling. You gain features from your Heraldic Calling at 3rd level and again at levels 7, 15, and 20. You may select one of the following options: Berserker, Chevalier, or Courtier. These options are detailed later in the class description.

Ability Score Increase[edit]

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.

Extra Attack[edit]

Upon reaching 5th level, when you use your action to make a weapon attack, you may attack twice rather than once.

One and All[edit]

When you reach 6th level, you begin to project a magical aura of unifying might. You and every friendly creature that begins their turn within 10 feet of you gains temporary hit points equal to your Charisma modifier. These temporary hit points are replenished at the beginning of each turn that a friendly creature remains in the aura, and are lost if they begin their turn outside of this aura.

Valorous Resurgence[edit]

When you reach 7th level, you regain 1 expended Valor Die whenever you land a critical hit or killing blow with a weapon attack.

Avatar of Heroism[edit]

When you reach 10th level, when you are reduced to or below half of your hit point maximum, you gain 5 Heroism Points, not exceeding your Heroism Point Limit. This feature may only be used once before requiring a long rest to do so again.

Heraldry Improvement[edit]

When you reach 11th level, your Heraldic Symbol has become a beacon of greatness. Every friendly creature within 10 feet of you that can see and/or hear you increases the value of their weapon attack rolls by +1. This bonus increases to +2 once you reach 18th level. Note that you do not benefit from this increase to attack rolls.

Conscription[edit]

When you reach 14th level, you learn to conscript others into your righteous cause. When you use one of your Heroic Aspects, you may choose to select a single creature within 10 feet of yourself to be treated as your conscript. Your conscript also benefits from the features of your active Heroic Aspect for its duration. You may use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier and regain all expended uses upon completion of a long rest. (Minimum 1 use)

Berserker[edit]

Warriors of the cause, Berserkers are known for their furious might and undying loyalty. These champions are whirlwinds of destruction and unparalleled in their zealotry.

Berserker's Pelt

Upon selecting this calling at 3rd level, you craft a mantle or similar adornment from the pelt of a great beast that inspires bestial might in your charges. As an action, you may enter a state of bestial zeal known as a Berserk for 1 minute. While in a state of Berserk, you increase the value of your weapon damage rolls by a value equal to your Charisma modifier and may subtract your Charisma modifier from damage from any source. (Minimum 1) You may use this feature only once before requiring a long rest to do so again.

Undying Beast

When you reach 7th level, you learn to shrug off deadly blows. When you take damage from any source that would reduce you to or below 0 hit points, but not kill you outright, you are instead reduced to 1 hit point. This feature may be used once before requiring completion of a long rest to do so again.

Bearing Fangs

When you reach 15th level, while in a state of Berserk, you increase the value of your weapon attack rolls by +1 for every hostile creature within 10 feet of you. (to a maximum of +3) Additionally, you regain use of your Berserk upon completion of a long or short rest.

Lead the Pack

Upon reaching 20th level, you have reached the apex of your power. Your Berserk now remains in effect for 10 minutes and you gain resistance to all nonmagical damage while Berserking. In addition every creature of your choice within 10 feet of you adds your Charisma modifier to weapon damage rolls and subtracts your Charisma modifier from all instances of damage that they take while you are in a state of Berserk.

Chevalier[edit]

Chivalry given form, Chevaliers are the archetypal dashing knight, using their martial prowess and charms to influence courts and battlefields alike.

Chivalrous Resolve

Upon selecting this calling at 3rd level, you craft a fine adorning cloak to wear over your armor or attire bearing the mark of your Heraldic Symbol, exuding a regal and noble presence. You and every friendly creature within 10 feet of you that can hear and/or see you increase the value of any ability check or saving throw against the Charmed or Frightened condition by a value equal to your Charisma modifier. (Minimum +1)

Heroic Orator

When you reach 7th level, your presence on the battlefield is a sign that victory draws near. As an action, you may begin a heroic speech. For one minute, you continue to give your speech, and you and every creature of your choice within 10 feet of you that can hear and/or see you gains temporary hit points equal to 2* your Herald level. These temporary hit points are only granted to those who are within the aura when you begin your speech, and these creatures needn't remain in the area of effect to retain these temporary hit points. Any temporary hit points that are still in effect once 1 minute has passed are removed as your speech ends. You may only give one such heroic speech before requiring a long or short rest to do so again.

Mantle of Nobility

When you reach 15th level, creatures within 10 feet of you suffer disadvantage on insight checks made against any Charisma check that you make. Creatures immune to the Charmed condition are unaffected by this feature.

Legendary Aspect

Upon reaching 20th level, your noble manner becomes a source of true power. When you use a Heroic Aspect, you may choose to maintain the effects of that Heroic Aspect for up to 1 hour. You may only use this feature once before requiring a long rest to do so again. Note that this does not affect the duration of your Aspect when granted to a Conscript.

Courtier[edit]

The court is a battlefield just as any other. These knights specialize in the field of courtly intrigue.

Court Jockey

Upon selecting this calling at 3rd level, you craft a set of finery bearing the image of your Heraldic Symbol that portrays an air of regality. To get a leg-up in court, you have studied to exceed in skill and talent. You select one Charisma skill with which you are proficient and may apply twice your proficiency bonus to it from this point on. You may select any other single skill with which you are proficient and apply twice your proficiency bonus to any check pertaining to it.

Heraldic Wiles

When you reach 7th level, when you cast a herald spell from the Enchantment or Illusion schools of magic, you increase your spell save DC by 1. In addition, you learn two spells that you can select from the Bard and Warlock spell lists. These spells needn't be from the same list, but must be of a level for which you have spell slots. These spells are always prepared for you and count as herald spells when you cast them. These spells may not be cantrips, however.

Regal Defense

When you reach 15th level, your AC is increased by +1 for every friendly creature within 10 feet of you. (To a maximum of +3) Additionally, every friendly creature that begins their turn within 10 feet of you increases their AC and saving throws by +1 until the beginning of their next turn.

Court Veteran

Upon reaching 20th level, you become a master of courtly intrigue. You become immune to the effects of any Enchantment or Illusion spell of 3rd level or lower.

Heroic Aspects[edit]

  • Aspect of Bravery: Cost: 1 Heroism Point

For the duration of this Aspect, you become immune to the effects of the Frightened condition. If you activate this Aspect while Frightened, the condition is ended for you.

  • Aspect of Carnage: Cost: 6 Heroism Points (Can only be used by a Berserker Herald)

For the duration of this Aspect, when you land a weapon attack, you regain hit points equal to 1/2 the weapon's damage roll.

  • Aspect of Chivalry: Cost: 4 Heroism Points (Can only be used by a Chevalier Herald)

For the duration of this Aspect, when a creature within 10 feet of you takes damage from any source, you may use your reaction to grant them resistance to that instance of damage, taking damage equal to what they took, not being able to reduce this damage in any way.

  • Aspect of Dread: Cost: 8 Heroism Points

For the duration of this Aspect, all ground within 10 feet of you is difficult terrain for all creatures of your choice and for every 5 feet that they move across this difficult terrain they take psychic damage equal to your Charisma modifier.

  • Aspect of Fleet Stride: Cost: 2 Heroism Points

For the duration of this Aspect, your walk speed is increased by 10 feet.

  • Aspect of Grace: Cost: 5 Heroism Points

For the duration of this Aspect, you gain advantage on Dexterity saving throws and Dexterity-based skill checks.

  • Aspect of Martial Excellence: Cost: 4 Heroism Points

For the duration of this Aspect, whenever you expend a Valor Die, the creature that uses it may apply its bonus to both weapon attack rolls and weapon damage rolls.

  • Aspect of Might: Cost: 3 Heroism Points

For the duration of this Aspect, when you land a weapon attack, you roll an additional d4 and apply that to the damage of the attack.

  • Aspect of Purity: Cost: 5 Heroism Points

For the duration of this Aspect, you become immune to poison damage and the poisoned condition.

  • Aspect of The Eagle: Cost: 5 Heroism Points

For the duration of this Aspect, you gain a flying speed equal to your walk speed.

  • Aspect of The Lion: Cost: 6 Heroism Points (Can only be used by a Courtier Herald)

For the duration of this Aspect, when you make a Charisma ability check that doesn't pertain to a spell, you may treat any roll of 9 or lower as if you had rolled a 10.

  • Aspect of The Master: Cost: 9 Heroism Points

For the duration of this Aspect, you are considered to be proficient with all skills. This Aspect may only be used once before requiring a long rest to do so again.

  • Aspect of The Viceroy: Cost: 10 Heroism Points

For the duration of this Aspect, you and every creature of your choice within 10 feet of you regain hit points equal to your Charisma modifier at the beginning of each of their turns. (minimum 1) In addition, you become resistant to all forms of damage for this Aspect's duration. This Aspect may only be used once before requiring a long rest to do so again.

Spell List[edit]

You know all of the spells on the basic spell list.

1st Level

bane, charm person, command, compelled duel, comprehend languages, cure wounds, disguise self, dissonant whispers, false life, silent image

2nd Level

aid, enhance ability, enlarge/reduce, enthrall, find steed, hold person, phantasmal force, suggestion

3rd Level

fear, hypnotic pattern, major image, mass healing word, nondetection, tongues

4th Level

confusion, death ward, dominate beast, hallucinatory terrain, stoneskin

5th Level

dominate person, geas, hold monster, legend lore, wall of force

Multiclassing[edit]

Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Herald class, you must meet these prerequisites: 13 Charisma, 13 Strength

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Herald class, you gain the following proficiencies: Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons, Light Armor, Medium armor, Shields and a single skill from the Herald's skill list.



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