Lifedrinker (5e Class)

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Beings of Mystique and Unholy Wonder[edit]

"The moon rises, as do our appetites. Let us feast - tonight, the Lifewell runs over with prosperity."

- Lyzic, Bloodbaron of the Shazodek Clan

Lifedrinkers have been called many things; vampires, nosferstus, even the Embraced, but they all share a similar nature, despite these name changes. They stalk the night for prey, and feed upon the living. Count Strahd von Zarovich is one of the most popular examples of a Lifedrinker in D&D. Vecna also has a few elements of a Lifedrinker, although Lichdom and Lifedrinkers have a fairly dichotic relationship, so to speak.

The Lifedrinker class is also not only designed with only traditional vampires in mind; it might represent a lich-like wizard with the power to draw life from their enemies, or the blessed servant of a god of life sent to punish evil-doers. Be creative, tweak the details listed below, and work with your DM - the sky is the limit.

Creating a Lifedrinker[edit]

Lifedrinkers depend on the specific setting you are playing them in. Are they looked down upon for their curse, or hailed as gods and higher beings by the population? Is the existence of Lifedrinkers known to the majority of people? What is the normal reaction of someone meeting a Lifedrinker?

Lifedrinkers also come about in many different ways. Were you sired by another Lifedrinker, or born one? What's your relationship like with the other Lifedrinkers you know, if any? Are you going to need to worry about any other rival Lifedrinkers over the course of the campaign, and why?

Quick Build

You can make a Lifedrinker quickly by following these suggestions. First, Charisma should be your highest ability score, followed by Dexterity. Second, choose the Noble background. Third, choose the equipment options a), b), b), b), and a), as described below.

Class Features

As a Lifedrinker you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

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


Armor: Light Armor, Medium Armor, Shields
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Longswords, Shortswords, Longbows, Shortbows, Rapiers, Hand Crossbows, Whips
Tools: Poisoner's Kit, Thieves Tools
Saving Throws: Dexterity and Charisma
Skills: Choose three from Athletics, Acrobatics, Deception, Persuasion, Perception, Insight, History, Religion, Stealth, or Sleight of Hand


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

  • (a) a rapier, a hand crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) two shortswords
  • (a) a shield or (b) two daggers
  • (a) leather armor, a longbow and 20 arrows or (b) a chain shirt
  • (a) a stake or (b) a silver mirror
  • (a) an explorer's pack or (b) a dungeoneer's pack
  • If you are using starting wealth, you have 5d4 x 10 gp in funds.

Table: The Lifedrinker

Level Proficiency
Features Constitution Drain Base Lifewell Max. Lifewell
1st +2 Life-Draining Attack, Minor Powers 1 - -
2nd +2 Lifewell 1 1 4
3rd +2 Major Powers 1 1 6
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement, Ferocious Life-Drain 1 2 8
5th +3 Minor Power Improvement, Specialty Life-Drain 1 2 10
6th +3 Major Power Improvement 1d2 3 12
7th +3 1d2 3 14
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 1d2 4 16
9th +4 Major Power Improvement, Minor Power Improvement 1d2 4 18
10th +4 Specialty Life-Drain 1d2 5 20
11th +4 1d3 5 22
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement, Major Power Improvement 1d3 6 24
13th +5 Minor Power Improvement 1d3 6 26
14th +5 Specialty 1d3 7 28
15th +5 Major Power Improvement 1d3 7 30
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 1d4 8 32
17th +6 Minor Power Improvement 1d4 8 34
18th +6 Major Power Improvement 1d4 9 36
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 1d4 9 38
20th +6 Lifevoid 1d6 - Unlimited

Life-Draining Attack[edit]

When you gain your first Lifedrinker level, you gain the ability to drain living creatures of their life force. You can make one of these attacks as a bonus action against a creature you are grappling, or against a creature within 5 feet of you that is incapacitated, restrained, or unaware of your presence. Your attack bonus to your Life-Draining attack is the same as your unarmed attacks bonus, but you can use your Dexterity in place of your Strength.

If this attack hits, the target takes necrotic damage equal to your Lifedrinker level, and they make a Charisma saving throw against your Life-Drain save DC (8 + your prof + your Charisma modifier). On a failure, their Constitution score is reduced by the amount listed on the Lifedrinker class table. At 1st level, the targets Constitution score is reduced by 1. If a creatures Constitution score is reduced to 0, they die. A creature is immune to this Constitution reduction of they are a Construct or Undead, or immune to necrotic damage/having their maximum hit points reduced. You can choose to not deal any necrotic damage, if the target of your Life-Draining attack is willing.

This reduction to a creature's Constitution will also reduce their average current and maximum hit points if it changes their Constitution modifier. This reduction to their ability score disappears when the affected creature completes a long rest.

Minor Powers[edit]

You also begin to take on additional traits because of your transformation. Choose a number of Minor Powers that is equal to or less than your Proficiency bonus. You can choose more Minor Powers when your Proficiency bonus increases. You do not need to select any Minor Powers, if you do not wish to.

Cursed Diet.

You do not require food, drink, air, or sleep. It still takes you the normal amount of time to complete a long rest, but you can perform light activity the whole time.

However, if you do not use your Life-Draining attack to reduce a creatures Constitution score at least once per day, you suffer all the effects of starvation, as though you had not eaten.


Whenever you reduce a creatures Constitution score with your Life-Draining Attack, you can expend a number of hit dice equal to the number you reduced their ability score by. Roll these dice and add your Constitution and Charisma modifier to the result of each die. You regain hit points equal to the total.

However, you take 7 (2d6) extra necrotic damage from silvered weapons and ammunition. This extra damage cannot be reduced or prevented in any way. You can still handle silver items with minimal discomfort, however, and your reflection does not appear in silver mirrors.


If a spell, ability, feature, or trait would depend on your type, you can choose to force the spell, ability, feature, or trait to treat you as an Undead creature for its duration. You can use this ability once, and you regain an expended use when you complete a long rest.

However, if you would be subject to a spell, ability, feature, or trait that would detect your creature type, you must make a DC 15 Charisma saving throw. On a failure, it detects you as an Undead creature.

Creature of Night.

You can add your Charisma modifier to any Dexterity (Stealth) checks you make while in dim light or darkness. Additionally, you gain darkvision out to 60 feet. If you already had darkvision, increase its range by 30 feet, and you can see color in darkness.

However, whenever you make a Wisdom (Perception) check or make an attack roll, you have disadvantage if you or your target is in sunlight.

Unearthly Movement.

You gain a climbing speed equal to your base walking speed, and you can climb on impossible surfaces, like perfectly flat stone and upside down, as though it was difficult terrain. You do not need to have any free hands to use your climbing speed.

However, you cannot willingly enter a structure with a roof, and walls covering at least 75% of the space leading out from under the roof. If you receive a verbal invitation from a creature with at least 6 (-2) Intelligence that has slept in the structure for the last three nights, you can enter the structure freely for the next 24 hours. You do not need an invitation if there are no creatures that fit the above description that could grant you an invitation. If you enter a structure of this nature without an invitation for any reason, you must use your action, bonus action, movement, and reaction to attempt to leave the structure as quickly as possible, and you cannot use any of the above listed actions for anything other than attempting to leave the structure.

Creature of the Ages.

You become immune to the paralyzed condition (except when you are staked). You also stop aging, and cannot be aged magically. Age does not confer any negative effects to you.

However, a creature within 5 feet of you that is holding a stake can use their action to place the stake in your heart, if you are incapacitated or restrained. While this stake is in your heart, you are paralyzed. While paralyzed this way, you are completely unaware of your surroundings, and immune to exhaustion. A creature within 5 feet of you can remove this stake using their action, as long as they have a free hand.

Past Life.

You remember a bit of the things you could do from your past life. You gain one of the Magic Initiate, Martial Adept, or Skilled feats.

However, you are plagued with painful memories of your past life. Whenever you use one of these feats or roll a check in which your Proficiency was granted by one of these feats, you must make a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, you become stunned until the start of your next turn, as you slip into a vacant state and despondently reminisce.


At 2nd level, you gain access to your lifewell. This lifewell is a store of vitae inside your body that fuels your otherworldly abilities. The vitae stored in this lifewell is measured in lifewell points; you can never have more lifewell points than twice your Lifedrinker level, as shown on the table above. Whenever you finish a long rest, the number of lifewell points in your lifewell resets to half your Lifedrinker level, rounded down, as shown on the table above. Whenever you drain a creatures Constitution score with your Life-Draining attack, you gain a number lifewell points equal to three times the number you reduced their Constitution score by. You can spend lifewell points in the following ways; you can never spend more lifewell points than your Lifedrinker level on the same turn.

Unholy Speed

You can draw on your lifewell as part of the Dash action. Your speed increases by 5 feet for every point you spend this way, and you can jump a distance equal to this extra movement as part of your Dash. (This increase to your speed also increases the extra speed your Dash allows you to move, and your jump distance is calculated using both the extra movement from your speed and your Dash movement.)

Unholy Skill

Before you roll an attack roll, skill check, or ability check, you can expend lifewell points to gain supernatural assistance. You gain a bonus to the roll equal to the number of points you spent.

Unholy Strength

Before you roll to hit with a melee attack, you can draw on your lifewell as part of the attack. If the attack hits, it deals an extra 1d10 damage per lifewell points you spent. The extra damage is the same type as the original attack, as determined by the weapon (or lack of one) that you are weilding.

Unholy Stamina

As a bonus action, you call upon the stored life inside you to boost your own life force. Roll 1d10 for every point you expend; you gain temporary hit points equal to the total of all the dice rolled this way.

Unholy Spellcasting

If you have access to spellcasting, you can power your spells using your lifewell. As an action, you can spend up to 6 lifewell points, and you regain a number of expended spell slots with a total level that is equal to half the number of lifewell points you spent this way, rounded down. You can also use lifewell points as Sorcerer Points, if you have access to Sorcerer Points. You must provide twice as many lifewell points as the listed Sorcerer Points cost. (If you have the Magic Initiate feat, you can regain an expended use of the spell you can cast once per day by spending 2 lifewell points as an action.)

Major Powers[edit]

At 3rd level, you chose a Major Power. Choose between Spawn-Master, Mind-Shaper, Shape-Shifter, or Lair-Dweller, each detailed at the end of the class description. You gain the Tier 1 Power with the same name. Whenever you gain a Major Power Improvement, you can either select any Tier 1 Power, or a higher-Tier Major Power of which you have all lower-Tier Powers of the same name.

You gain Major Power Improvements at 6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th level.

Ability Score Improvement[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.

Ferocious Life-Drain[edit]

When you reach 4th level, you have become more sure in your Life-Draining, and no longer require the handicap of a still target. You can make a Life-Draining Attack against any creature within 5 feet of you as an action; they do not need to be grappled, restrained, or incapacitated. You can make only one Life-Draining Attack per turn, and you cannot make a Life-Draining attack as an attack of opportunity. If you make a Life-Draining attack against a target you have grappled or an incapacitated or restrained target, it automatically hits.

Specialty Life-Drain[edit]

At 5th level, you have reached a point in your Life-Draining that you can perform dangerous and impressive feats of skill. Choose one from the following list to gain the benefits of. You can make a second choice at 10th level.

Ripping Teeth

You can make any number of Life-Draining attacks on your turn. Additionally, when you hit a creature with a Life-Draining attack you made as your action, you can make another Life-Draining attack as a bonus action against them.

Extract Vitae

When you make a Life-Draining Attack with your action, you can choose any target within 30 feet of you. A creature can only be targeted if it is missing hit points. If the target is more than 5 feet away, use your Charisma modifier when calculating your attack bonus.

Reactive Drain

You can make Life-Draining Attacks as attacks of opportunity.

Bestow Weakness

Whenever you reduce a creatures Constitution score with a Life-Draining Attack, you can reduce their Strength or Dexterity score by the same amount. This may have some effect on their carry capacity or Strength requirement for heavy armor, if you chose Strength, or their Armor Class or initiative bonus, if you chose Dexterity.

Absorb Life

Whenever you hit a creature with your Life-Draining Attack and deal necrotic damage, you regain hit points equal to the necrotic damage you deal. You can remove one level of exhaustion for every 10 hit points regained this way in a single attack.


At 20th level, your lifewell has increased beyond bounds. There is no maximum on the number of lifewell points you can have at a time, and your lifewell points remain in your lifewell after you complete a long rest, unless you have less than 10; if you have less than 10, your lifewell gains points to bring it to 10.

Tier 1 Major Powers[edit]

Major Powers are the specific powers that your Lifedrinker character can call on.


When you kill a humanoid with your Life Drain attack, you gain a limited control over their body after they die. If you spend 1 lifepool point on this Power when you kill them, they rise at the beginning of your next turn as a creature called a husk-thrall. This creature has the stat block of a zombie, except it retains its size category from life, its Slam attack deals 1d4 damage, not 1d6, its Strength score is 8 (-1), and it has only two hit dice, not three, reducing its average hit point maximum to 15. You cannot create a husk-thrall if there are already a number of your husk-thralls in existence equal to your Charisma modifier. This creature obeys all your verbal commands, and you can command it as a free action, as long as it can hear you. If given no commands, the creature does not act. After one hour or when the husk-thrall is reduced to 0 hit points, it becomes an inanimate corpse once more.


When you make any Charisma skill checks, you can spend 2 lifewell points to make the check with advantage or impose disadvantage on the opposed roll. You must make this choice before the check is rolled. Additionally, when you spend lifewell points to add a bonus to any Charisma ability or skill checks, the bonus equals twice the number of lifewell points you spent.


You can transform into a rat as an action. All your equipment melds into your new form, and you lose your mental ability scores; your statblock is replaced with the statblock of a rat. However, you retain your personality and alignment, and can remember a single-sentance goal that you work to achieve while in the form of a rat. You can also improvise, although you are limited by a rat's Intelligence level. You transform back after an hour has passed, if you are reduced to 0 hit points, or when your goal is complete. You can use this ability a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier, and regain all expended uses when you complete a long rest.


Whenever you complete a long rest, you can designate a 20 foot cube centered on the rough location that you finished the long rest to be your Lair. Your DM might slightly alter the dimensions of this cube so that it better fits the room or building that you completed the long rest in, but no part of your Lair can be more than 25 feet away from the origin point. This entire area is protected as though it was under the nondetection spell. Whenever you complete a short or long rest inside your Lair, you regain twice as many hit points and hit dice as you would normally. Additionally, you immediately know if a creature enters your Lair if you are on the same plane as your Lair, as per the alarm spell. Lastly, you gain 1 extra lifewell point whenever you finish a long rest in your Lair or a creature fails their Constitution saving throw against your Life-Drain attack while they are inside your Lair. Whenever you finish a long rest outside of your Lair, you can change the location of your Lair to the new location where you completed your long rest. You do not gain the benefits of completing that long rest in your Lair.

Tier 2 Major Powers[edit]


When you kill a humanoid with your Life Drain attack, you can spend 3 lifewell points on this Power. If you do, their body becomes an undead creature called a thrall one hour after their death. You cannot spend points this way if there are a number of your thralls or bodies that will become thralls in existence equal to your Charisma modifier. This creature has the stat block of a zombie, except it retains its size category from life, it has a base walking speed of 30 feet, a Dexterity and Intelligence score of 10 {0}, and can speak any languages it can understand. This creature loses all but the most prominent aspects of its personality, but it can recall a single piece of information from its life if it first succeeds on a DC 15 Intelligence (History) check it can make as an action. It can only make one of these checks every 24 hours. It otherwise becomes a perfectly loyal servant of yours. You can verbally command it as a free action, and it follows any command you give it if it can hear you. If given no commands, it only attempts to protect itself and you. Its body turns to ash if it is reduced to 0 hit points. Your thrall falls to 0 hit points 24 hours after it is created. You can expend 3 lifewell points as an action to increase this duration by 24 hours. When you increase the duration this way, it applies to all the thralls you have under your control.


As an action, you can force a humanoid who is aware of you within 10 feet of you to make a Charisma saving throw against your Life-Drain save DC. They make this save with advantage if they are openly hostile and violent towards you. They are not aware of being forced to make this saving throw unless they succeed on the initial saving throw. If a creature succeeds, they are immune to being charmed this way for 24 hours. On a failure, they become charmed by you for 24 hours. While charmed this way, they also follow any reasonable or semi-reasonable command you give them. They can re-roll this saving throw whenever they take damage or when you make an unreasonable request of them, and they automatically succeed on this saving throw if you attack them or cast a harmful spell on them. You can have a number of creatures under this effect equal to your Charisma modifier. If you use this ability and you already have the maximum number of creatures charmed, the charmed condition ends on the least recent creature you charmed.


As an action, you can expend 3 lifewell points and assume the stat block and appearance of a rat, wolf, raven, poisonous snake, or bat. You retain your mental ability scores, any proficiencies you have, and class levels, but you cannot cast any spell that would require verbal or somatic components. You retain your Life Drain attack while in your alternate shape. This ability is identical to a druid's Wild Shape ability, except for the above changes, and the fact that you can use it a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier and you regain all expended uses when you complete a long rest. You transform back after one hour, unless you expend another usage and pay the lifewell cost.


Whenever you finish a short or long rest inside your Lair, you can choose up to 6 other creatures that you can see that also finished a short or long rest inside your Lair. They also regain twice as many hit points and hit dice as normal. Additionally, whenever you complete a second long rest in your Lair (the one after the one in which you decide to move or create your Lair), your Lair becomes a 30 foot cube, instead of a 20 foot cube. Additionally, whenever a creature enters your Lair, you get a mental ping as per the alarm spell, and you can immediately use your reaction to force them to take 7 (2d6) psychic damage. You also receive a sudden mental ping if you see that creature within 24 hours of when they entered your Lair, which allows you to recognize them if you saw them.

Tier 3 Major Powers[edit]


When you create a new thrall, use the stat block of a ghoul as the base, and it has the following changes. They otherwise follow all the same rules as listed above.

- They have an Intelligence score of 10 {0}, and a Constitution and Charisma score of 14 {+2}. Because of their Con increase, their average current and max hit points increase by 10, to 32.

- Their Claws do not have any special attributes on a hit apart from their damage.

- They gain Natural Armor equal to your Charisma modifier (at the moment when they were raised. This Natural Armor does not increase if your Charisma modifier later increases).

- Their attacks count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance.

- They regain hit points equal to your Charisma modifier at the beginning of each of their turns. This does not function at the start of their next turn if they take radiant, fire or acid damage. They die immediately if they are reduced to 0 hit points. (Again, your Charisma modifier at the moment when they are created.)


The number of humanoids you can charm increases to twice your Charisma modifier, and when you use your action to charm a humanoid, you can choose a number of humanoids up to your Charisma modifier as targets. Each must be within range. Additionally, you can cast the spell detect thoughts at will without needing to provide components, except it only affects humanoids that are charmed by you.


It does not cost you lifewell points to transform using your Shape-Shifter Powers. Additionally, you can expend one usage of your Shape-Shifter Powers to cast the spell gaseous form targeting yourself, without needing to provide any components.


Your Lair becomes a 50 foot cube when you complete your third long rest in it. When you deal psychic damage to a creature that entered your Lair, the damage increases to 14 (4d6). Additionally, your Lair is becoming more and more intertwined with your mind. As an action if you are on the same Plane as your Lair, you can go blind to your own senses, and view everything inside your Lair as though you were viewing it with truesight and blindsight. You can end this viewing state as a bonus action.

Tier 4 Major Powers[edit]


Your thralls gain a +2 to all ability scores, and can recall anything from their life as though they were remembering it normally. Additionally, if any of the humanoid's ability scores were higher in life than they would be with the ghoul's statblock, you may use the humanoid's ability score instead. (This increase to Constitution raises their average current and maximum hit points to 37.)


The range of your Mind-Shaper power increases to 120 feet, and the subject does not need to be aware of your presence. Additionally, you can make any request of the charmed creature, and they follow it out to the best of their ability.


You can transform into the Giant version of any animal you could transform into before. You can stay in this form for an indefinite amount of time, unless it is reduced to 0 hit points.


Your Lair becomes a 60 foot cube when you complete your fourth long rest in it. Additionally, if you allow another creature to regain twice the hit points or hit dice from a long rest in your Lair, they also do not need to procure any material components for spells that they cast while inside your Lair for the next 24 hours. If the material component would be vital to the functioning of the spell, a spectral version of the required material appears at the casting of the spell, and disappears after the spell ends.

Tier 5 Major Powers[edit]


When you raise a new thrall, they retain half of the class levels they had in life, rounded down. Any hit dice granted by these class levels are added onto the hit dice granted by the ghoul statblock. If they didn't have any class levels, they can instead retain up to two special traits from the middle section of their statblock. They otherwise follow all the same rules as above.


You can have any number of creatures charmed with your Mind-Shaper Power.


There is no limit on the number of times you can use your Shape-Shifter ability.


At the beginning of every turn a creature spends inside your Lair, they must make a DC (8 + your prof bonus + your Charisma modifier) Charisma saving throw. If they fail three of these saving throws consecutively, they become incapacitated until they leave your Lair. You can designate any number of creatures you can see to be immune to this ability as a free action.


Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into or out of the Lifedrinker class, you must have a Charisma score of at least 13. Your DM may stipulate that there are additional requirements for becoming a Lifedrinker, such as contact with another Lifedrinker.

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Lifedrinker class, you gain the following proficiencies: Light and medium armor, Rapiers, hand crossbows, and shortswords.

(one vote)

Back to Main Page5e HomebrewClasses<!-lacks any major form of fighting or spellcasting ability-><!-has features from many, MANY other class bases-><!- melee and/or ranged fighters with magic less than or equal to an eldritch knight. Fighter variants and mashups are the most common homebrew classes-><!-focuses on unarmed attacks and mobility-><!-has features relating to death and necromancy-><!-stealthy, often with low hit points-><!-transforms into something completely different-><!-gets ability from a separate source, often doesn't have spellcasting-><!-keep this category if the class uses multiple tags->

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