Illusory Duelist (5e Class)

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Mesmers are magical duelists who wield deception as a weapon. Using powerful illusions, clones, and phantasmal magic to confuse and distract their foes, mesmers make sure every fight is balanced in their favor and their opponents can’t believe their eyes.

Creating a Mesmer[edit]

Quick Build

You can make a Mesmer quickly by following these suggestions. First, Charisma should be your highest ability score, followed by Dexterity for ranged/finesse or Strength for melee. Second, choose either the Charlatan or Entertainer background. Third, choose a rapier, an entertainer’s pack, and a lyre, as well as the leather armour and dagger.

Class Features

As a Mesmer you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per Mesmer level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 1d8 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Mesmer level after 1st


Armor: Light Armour
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Shortswords, Rapiers, Longswords, Hand Crossbows
Tools: Disguise Kits, 1 Musical Instrument
Saving Throws: CHA, DEX
Skills: Choose three from Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, Arcana, Deception, Performance, Persuasion.


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

  • (a) a rapier or (b) a longsword or (c) two shortswords or (d) a hand crossbow
  • (a) an entertainer’s pack or (b) a burglar’s pack
  • a musical instrument
  • Leather armour and a dagger
  • If you are using starting wealth, you have 4d4 x 10gp in funds.

Table: The Mesmer

Level Proficiency
Features Cantrips Known
1st +2 Illusion, Natural Performer 2
2nd +2 Fighting Style 2
3rd +2 Performance Hall,Mesmer's Mask 2
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 2
5th +3 Extra Attack 2
6th +3 Performance Hall Feature 2
7th +3 Shatter 2
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 3
9th +4 Blink 3
10th +4 Performance Hall Feature 3
11th +4 Phantasm 3
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 3
13th +5 3
14th +5 Performance Hall Feature 3
15th +5 4
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 4
17th +6 Performance Hall Feature 4
18th +6 4
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 4
20th +6 Performance Hall Feature 4

Illusionist Magic[edit]

Whenever one of your class features require a saving throw, you calculate it as follows: Illusions save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier.

Illusory Self[edit]

At 1st level, as bonus action, you can create an illusory copy on an unoccupied space within 30 feet of yourself. The illusion is a imperfect copy of yourself, appearing a real humanoid, but with enough imperfections to be distinguishable from yourself, allowing any creature to make a Wisdom saving throw against your illusion save DC with advantage. The illusion has 1 hit point and a AC equal 8 + your proficiency bonus. It is immune to all conditions and if it has to make a saving throw, uses your proficiency bonus without modifiers.

In addition, whenever your illusory self is standing within 5 feet of you, it will make hard for your enemies to discern which one is the original. The attacks are made at disadvantage against you. A missed attack against you, however, automatically hits your illusory self, destroying the illusion.

Once in each of your turns, you can use your action to make a melee weapon attack from your or your illusion position, causing the same amount of damage on a hit. This attack doesn't add your modifiers to the damage roll, and deal psychic damage, instead of the normal damage.

As you gain levels in this class, you can create more illusions using your bonus action. Each additional illusion is more and more imperfect and translucent and have the same statistics of your illusory self, but are automatically distinguishable from you. You can make attacks with all of them using your action, and each one of those additional illusions deal psychic damage equal to half your proficiency bonus on a hit. You can use the same roll for all the attacks or make one attack for each opponent individually. Attacks made by your additional illusions are never made at advantage.

You can create one additional illusion at 2nd level, and again at 5th, 11th and 17th levels.

Natural Beguiler[edit]

At 1st level, your abilities with illusions have turned you into a master of deception and reality bending, as you acquired a plethora of abilities related to trickery and distraction. You add your Charisma modifier as a bonus to all checks you make with the following skills and tools: Deception, Disguise Kit, Sleight of Hand, Performance and Stealth.

Misleading Step[edit]

At 2nd level, you become able to use your illusions in conceal yourself to greater extent. As an action, you can distort the light around you, making you invisible until the start of your next turn, or until you make an attack, cast a spell or use one of your class features. At the same time you create a illusory copy of you in the same space, that lasts until you become visible again or until it suffers damage. This illusion has the same statistics of your illusory self, but it is unable to move. You can move 10 feet as part of the same action.

Performance Hall[edit]

At 3rd level, as a Mesmer, you have progressed to the point where you may pick a Performance Hall to further hone your skills. Each specialization provides a different path for the Mesmer, choose from either the Hall of the Dancer, Hall of the Magician, or Hall of the Thespian

Mesmer's Mask[edit]

A Mesmer's Mask hides their true identity from the world. At 3rd level you gain your own mask, the appearance of which depends on your Performance Hall. This mask can be summoned and banished from your face with a wave of the hand, however serves no practical purpose at this level.

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.

Aura of Invisibility[edit]

At 5th level, you can warp the reality around you and all creatures of your choice within 60 feet of you, turning all creatures in the area invisible, with the same properties as the spell invisibility for 1 minute. Using this ability does not require concentration. When you use this ability, you can't use it again until you finish a short or a long rest.

Army of One[edit]

Starting at 9th level, you can cast the spell mirror image, using your bonus action, a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier. You regain all uses of this feature after finishing a short or a long rest.


At 17th level, you become able to create a perfect copy of yourself. During a long rest, you can create a simulacrum, with the same characteristics of the simulacrum spell. You can only copy yourself with this feature, and this doesn't spend any material components. When you use your hit die to regain hit points during a short rest to regain hit points, your simulacrum regain a number of hit points equal to your level in this class + your Charisma modifier. You simulacrum regain all its hit points during a long rest.

You can't have more than one simulacrum at the same time, and creating another when you already have one, make the first one vanishes from existence.

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Hall of the Dancer[edit]

You use your dexterity and skill as a performer to enhance your ability as a duelist. Focussing on your abilities with a sword you use your powers of illusion to dodge your assailant’s attacks while inflicting deadly strikes of your own, catching your opponent off guard. This archetype will primarily improve your martial ability and pairs best with the duelist and great weapon fighting styles.


The first creature to attack you when you enter combat roles disadvantage on that attack roll.

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Hall of the Magician[edit]

Prancing about with a sword has never been your ultimate aim as a performer, instead you choose to focus your attention on the power of illusion, misdirection and spectacle. Using your prowess as a magician you amaze your friend and foe alike, blinding them to what is happening in front of their very eyes. Do not be fooled however, the magician may appear to be the conjurer of cheap tricks but this is, I assure you, all part of the act. While still competent with a weapon, this archetype makes the Mesmer primarily a Spellcaster, and transforms their weapon of choice into an arcane focus.

A Magician wears a phantom's mask, shielding half their face from the crowd so, much like their performance, the audience is only half aware of what is really going on.


Space filler

Spatial Surge

At 3rd level, as part of the Hall of the Magician, gain the cantrip: Spatial Surge.

Spatial Surge

Illusion Cantrip

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 120 feet

Components: V, S, M.

Requires the caster to be wielding a weapon.

Duration: Instantaneous

As your weapon floats in front of you, a beam of psionic energy fires from it at your targeted creature, if the spell succeeds the creature’s mind burns with your illusory magic dealing 1d10 psychic damage. This cantrip is only available to those in the Hall of the Magician.

This spell intensifies as you reach higher levels: at 9th level increase to 2d10 psychic damage, and 3d10 at level 15.

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Hall of the Thespian[edit]

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Spell List[edit]

You know all of the spells on the basic spell list and additional spells based on your subclass.

1st Level

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2nd Level

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3rd Level

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4th Level

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5th Level

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Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the <!-class name-> class, you must meet these prerequisites:

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the <!-class name-> class, you gain the following proficiencies:

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