Martyr, Variant (5e Class)

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"A woman riddled with arrows steps out onto a crowded battlefield. Her white robes are stained with blossoms of deep red, with large rips and gashes in the thin fabric. She uses loosely tied bandages to hold herself together as she passes through the chaos like a ghost. She stops at the collapsed figure of a young, wounded soldier, who stares up at her in awe. He holds in his guts with a gloved hand, breathing in shallow whispers. He wants to ask if she's an angel, sent by the Gods to take him away, but is unable to find his voice. She crouches down to be closer to him and places her hand over his. There's a dim light hidden in her palms and a warming feeling in the young soldier's stomach. He feels air fill his lungs and his heartbeat quicken, the sound of battle returns like a ringing in his ears with adrenaline rushing through his body like a hurricane. 'Thank you!' He shouts over the noise, watching her pull away from him, her head bowed. She quickly places her hands over her own abdomen, having to bite her tongue as her middle splits. She doesn't fall to the ground as he had, she instead struggles to make her way to the next fallen victim, supported only by her need to serve. To save."

A Martyr is a self-sacrificing saint, who would rather take the sins of the people they love as their own, if it meant they'd be the ones suffering the consequences instead. They are willing to forgive wrongdoings and silence pain. To take on the world and all of its many problems to save just one person. Lives are incredibly important to these divine healers. Pain is difficult for anyone to handle, they are to be strong for the weak and weak for the strong. Whatever it takes. Even if they cannot end all pain in the world, they strive to end as much of it as they can, before the pain they take catches up to them. Many divine beings see the deeds of the Martyrs, their unwavering willingness to put their fellow man above themselves, and the approval of these beings is what grant Martyrs their powers. Without the Gods, the Martyrs would only be harming themselves, but with the radiant might bestowed upon them, their sacrifices manifest into powerful restorative magic. This magic may also be used as a means to harm those who seek to harm their allies or innocents as Martyr's grow stronger in either the powers blessed to them or with their personal connections to the Gods. Martyrs can also be led down the wrong paths, which may tear them away from the radiant magic they were gifted and towards a much darker path of magic. Necromancy. These healers may raise the dead, not only as a means for restoration, but as humanoid shields and fighters of their own. Ones they can bring back again and again to serve their purpose. Even the greatest saints can fall victim to the sin they take on from others. One can only handle so much.

Creating a Martyr[edit]

What made you a servant to the Gods? What drove you to be the ultimate masochist, your only purpose being to save others? Why don't you care about yourself? What makes you worthy of being a Martyr? Are you a saint that wields weapons or have you chosen the path of a pacificist? When creating a Martyr character, you are willingly hurting yourself to help other people. This is a very give-and-take class, with high risk specifically for you, but great reward for NPCs and other party members. This class will have plenty of resources to aid your character, even when critically wounded, but there are plenty of ways to flavor-text and creatively individualize your character within this class. A Martyr works best if their backstory is heavily tied into what has become of them. A good background could be the "Cursed" background. Celestial races work well alongside this class, as if being a Martyr is some type of celestial purpose. Just some things to keep in mind!
Quick Build

You can make a Martyr quickly by following these suggestions. First, Wisdom should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Second, choose a background with religious or holy undertones, one where you perhaps even serve a God or many Gods. This background choice will make a cleaner and smoother flow for your character and perhaps even their backstory. Third, decide whether or not you want to be a fighter. Martyrs can be angels of battle just as easily as they can be the intense healers. Some refuse to pick up weapons, as doing harm is against all of their principles, or even against the will of their Gods. You can make a choice now, have it be something to consider as a character and even change your mind later. Finally, take a priest's pack and if you do decide to take a weapon with you, take a quarterstaff or a javelin.

Class Features

As a Martyr you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d12 per Martyr level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 12 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d12 (or 7) + Constitution modifier per Martyr level after 1st


Armor: Light, medium and heavy armor.
Weapons: Simple weapons.
Tools: Two of your choice.
Saving Throws: Dexterity and Wisdom.
Skills: Choose three from Arcana, History, Insight, Medicine, Persuasion, Religion, Perception and Investigation.


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

  • (a) two toolkits of your choice or (b) two toolkits of your choice.
  • (a) a simple weapon and / or (b) a holy symbol.
  • (a) a diplomat's pack or (b) a priest's pack.
  • If you are using starting wealth, you have 2d4 x10gp in funds.

Table: The Martyr

Level Proficiency
Features Sacrifice Charges Martyr Die
1st +2 Unarmored Defense, Sacrifice, Blood of the Martyr 2 1d8
2nd +2 Judgement, Blood of Faith 2 1d8
3rd +2 Crucified Chains, Scapegoat 2 1d8
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 2 1d8
5th +3 Improved Judgement 3 2d8
6th +3 3 2d8
7th +3 Devotion 3 2d8
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 4 2d8
9th +4 True Radiance 4 3d8
10th +4 4 3d8
11th +4 Blessing From Beyond 5 3d8
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 5 3d8
13th +5 Improved Blood of Faith 5 4d8
14th +5 6 4d8
15th +5 Rapture 6 4d8
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 6 4d8
17th +6 Restore Life 7 5d8
18th +6 Blessed Protector 7 5d8
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 7 5d8
20th +6 Eternal Rebirth 8 5d8

Unarmored Defense[edit]

While you are wearing no armor and not wielding a shield, your AC equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Wisdom modifier.


The blood you bleed for your allies allows you to heal them, cleansing them from their sins. As an action, you can expend one Sacrifice Charge to heal a creature within 30 feet of yourself an amount equal to your Martyr Die plus your Wisdom modifier, and take irreducible radiant damage equal to your martyr level. You regain all Sacrifice Charges after a short or long rest.

Blood of the Martyr[edit]

Your body's toils through pain has enabled you to hang on to your life easier than most. You gain 1 more maximum hit point, and gain another +1 maximum hit point for each level you take in the martyr class.


Beginning at 2nd level, your radiant powers enable you to smite those who commit wrongdoings, to cleanse them. As an action, you can make a ranged spell attack that uses your Wisdom as your spellcasting ability on a creature within 60 feet of yourself, dealing radiant damage equal to your Martyr Die plus your Wisdom modifier.

Blood of Faith[edit]

Also at 2nd level, the pain of your allies can be channeled through them, to you, to lessen it. As a bonus action, you can select a creature within 30 feet of yourself. Until the start of your next turn, when that creature takes damage, it takes half the damage it normally would, and you take the other half.

Crucified Chains[edit]

By 3rd level, your self-sacrifice has enabled you to empower that of which you sacrifice, to aid your allies further. Choose from the Chains of Blood, Chains of Bone, and the Chains of Mind, all of which are at the bottom of this page. Your choice grants you features at 3rd, 6th, 10th, 14th and 19th levels.


Also at 3rd level, you are able to reflect the failures of others onto yourself. As a reaction to a creature within 15 feet of yourself fails an ability check, you treat it as though you had failed the ability check, instead.

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.

Improved Judgement[edit]

Starting at 5th level, your smiting abilities have improved themselves. When you deal damage with your Judgement feature, you deal additional damage equal to your Wisdom modifier (min +0).


Beginning at 7th level, you are able to make yourself burn when your allies would be. As a reaction to a creature within 30 feet of yourself failing a saving throw, you can make them succeed on their saving throw, but you are treated as failing the saving throw. You face the consequences of failing the saving throw, even if you were not targeted and/or are out of range of the effect causing the saving throw.

True Radiance[edit]

At 9th level, your soul burns with a celestial force, chanting in your mind and your heart. You've been collecting pain through other people your entire life, it's built up an energy, surrounding you in an aura of brilliance, but also an aura of deep sadness. On an action, you may release energy waves of this celestial force in a 30-foot sphere. Creatures within this sphere must roll a Constitution saving throw with a DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier. On a failure, the creatures within this sphere take 3d8 radiant damage and grant any allies within this sphere a number of hit points equal to the total damage taken. On a success, the creatures in your sphere take half damage and you and grant your allies hit points equal to half of the total damage taken. You may use this ability once before taking a long rest.

Blessing From Beyond[edit]

Starting at 11th level, even in death you are able to cure the ailments of your allies. When you are reduced to 0 hit points and are knocked unconscious, you may choose a number of creatures that does not include yourself within 60 feet of yourself equal to your Wisdom modifier (min 1). Those creatures heal a number of hit points equal to your martyr level. Additionally, when you die, this feature activates again, but they heal hit points equal to twice your martyr level.

Improved Blood of Faith[edit]

At 13th level, when you select a creature from your Blood of Faith feature, you may choose for the creature to instead take no damage at all, but you receive all damage they would.


By 15th level, the sacrifices you have made can be unleashed, to purge the sins of mortals. As an action, you can choose to cause radiant blasts to rain from the sky. A number of creatures equal to your Wisdom modifier (min 1) within 120 feet of yourself must make a Dexterity saving throw, with a DC = 8 + your Wisdom modifier + your proficiency bonus, taking 8d8 radiant damage on a failed saving throw, or half on a success. If a creature is reduced to 0 hit points by this, its soul is sent to a peaceful afterlife, and it cannot be resurrected. After using this feature, you must take a long rest before doing so again.

Restore Life[edit]

Starting at 17th level, your touch can bring back the dead, rarely. As an action, you can cast resurrection without a spell slot. You can use this ability an equal number of times to your proficiency modifier, then, you must wait a full week before doing so again.

Blessed Protector[edit]

At 18th level, your presence alone protects your allies from death. As a reaction to a creature within 30 feet of yourself fails a death saving throw, you can choose to take irreducible radiant damage equal to twice your martyr level, and heal them for the same amount.

Eternal Rebirth[edit]

By 20th level, your mortality has changed, making you more akin to a demigod than a mortal. You gain the following benefits.

  • You are immune to necrotic damage.
  • You no longer need to eat or drink.
  • When you die, roll a d20. On a roll of 10 or higher, your body disappears, and three days later, you resurrect at the point your body was at.

Chains of Blood[edit]

Every sacrifice you've made has cost your sweat, your tears, your blood. You've devoted yourself to divinity and the Gods have blessed you with the celestial force coursing through your veins, the very will that keeps you alive. A wave of pain washes over you, bathing your body in radiance. You feel as though you're burning alive. The scars you've collected over time slowly dissipate from your skin. You are given a fresh start, a new start. As this aura leaves you, you are left with golden shackles around your wrists and your ankles, attached to long, shimmering chains that connect them. More than ever, you are bounded to our duty to serve. May the Gods reward you for your philanthropy.


At 3rd level, you have been blessed by the very Gods who have been following your sainted journey, wishing you well all along the way. You are bound by golden shackles on your wrists and ankles, connected by glimmering chains that almost seem unreal on the material plane. These chains connect your ability to heal and your ability to hurt, creating the perfect balance. For all intents and purposes, these chains are considered a celestial weapon and deal 2d6 radiant damage when used as chain whips. You are proficient with them. Rather than using Strength for your attack bonus you'll use your Wisdom modifier. You also gain advantage when attempting to grapple a creature using these chains. You cannot be unarmed, as they are attached to you by shackles and they cannot be broken, melted or destroyed by any non-magical means. (Please discuss this weapon with your Dungeon Master on any additional ways you would like to wield or use this weapon and/or tool. It's uses and demise are up to the DMs discretion).


At 6th level, there's a tingling in your spine that turns into fiery hot pain. From your back sprouts golden wings (if your race already has wings, they are wrapped in a beautiful, brilliant gold), sharp as knives and as powerful as navy sails. You gain a flying speed equal to your walking speed, this speed will increase by 5ft at 10th, 14th and 19th level. Each wing does 2d6 radiant damage and counts as magical for all intents and purposes. If you use your wings to attack, you may use your bonus action as a second wing-attack action. These wings are incredibly strong, allowing you to carry the brave men and women you wish to save out of peril and to a much safer location, while they hang from your arms like dead weight. You count as one size category larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.


The blood pumping through your very veins has turned to liquid gold. Whether you cry or bleed, you leave a trail of gold in your wake. Flowers bloom, grass grows, wounds heal and disease is cured. Just never your own. At 10th level, you may harm yourself, dealing a total of 2d8 slashing or piercing damage, and use your blood to either remove an ailment or a condition from a creature, or to heal a creature an equal amount of hit points to the total damage you've taken. You may use this ability an equal amount of times to your proficiency bonus.


You've once again been blessed by the Gods you worship with supernatural healing abilities. Using your Martyr die at 14th level, you may create a health pool equal to the total you rolled, allowing you to give temporary hit points to both yourself and your allies. These temporary hit points last a number of hours equal to your proficiency bonus + your wisdom modifier. Once time is up, all temporary hit points graced to you and your allies that have been taken in combat (i.e. if you give an ally a temporary hit point shield that's worth 20 temporary hp and they only take 7 damage, you would also only take that 7 damage, not the full 20) is irreducible radiant damage you take as sacrifice.


At 19th level, you've been toughened by the extraneous sources of damage you've sustained, the Gods have granted you a holy shield, bathed in radiant light, the color of gold. You gain resistance to bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage from any source (magical and non-magical). Additionally, your head is adorned with a golden halo, giving you the mark of a celestial. You gain;

  • truesight: a creature with truesight can see 120ft in normal and magical darkness, see invisible creatures and objects, automatically detect visual illusions and succeed on saving throws against them, and perceives the original form of a shapechanger or a creature that is transformed by magic. furthermore, the creature can see into the ethereal plane.
  • and a blessed celestial weapon that you are proficient in (any simple or martial weapon of your choosing, up to your DMs discretion) that deals 4d6 radiant damage that cannot be reduced by any magical or non-magical means. Your attack bonus is your wisdom modifier.

Chains of Bone[edit]

You've given up your life, your love, your blood, and your soul to protect others. Every day was spent battling to defend the weak from death. Every night was spent hearing the screaming cries of the ones you failed to protect and the ones you slaughtered. For every grateful mother holding her saved child, there is one who stares daggers at you across an empty, tiny grave. Damned if you do, damned if you fail. There is no more glory, there is no more divinity. Your gods are too pure, too forgiving. You are beyond saving. Your hands are and have always been soaked in blood. But it's not your blood anymore.


At 3rd level, you've decided that self-sacrifice is for the weak and ill-bearing. The Gods have failed you in forcing you to risk your own life for another, even if that life isn't worth saving. You're done. Instead, you drain the life force from your enemies. If a creature is within 30 feet of you, you may use your bonus action to drain a portion of their life equal to your Martyr die plus your Wisdom modifier, healing your own wounds or the wounds of your allies with the dice total. You may use this feature an equal number of times to your proficiency bonus before regaining its uses after a long rest.


There is no greater sacrifice than death, as long as it's not your own. At 6th level, using an action, you can drain the soul from a recently deceased creature, causing it to wither to dust instantly and healing you anywhere from 1d4 to 5d8 hit points based on the size and strength of the creature (up to your Dungeon Master). You may use this ability twice before regaining its uses after a long or short rest. Additionally, you've learned that you can project your spirit into the afterlife and communicate with the long deceased. As long as you are not within combat, you may project yourself into the afterlife for 1d4 hours. Here, you walk the material plane, unable to interact with anyone or anything, but also unable to take damage in your spirit form. During this time, your body falls limp and you are left in a vegetative state until you return to your vessel. You may stop the projection before the hour(s) is up or be sent back to your body when you reach the end of your time limit. You may speak with any of the afterlife that's stuck around after death, as long as they speak one of the languages you know (any flavor text and limits on this ability are also up to your DM). You may use this additional ability once and regain it's use after a long or short rest.


Where there is life, there is death. Where you have the ability to save someone from the brink of death, you also have the ability to bring someone back from death--just not as themselves. You can create slaves of the creatures you've slain in battle, even if they are your fallen allies. Using an action, you may resurrect the recently deceased as an undead slave, regaining half of their original hit points and all of their original stats, weapons and items that they have on their reanimated corpse. They act as a temporary companion and can take their turn before or after yours in combat. Every undead you raise expends one Sacrifice Charge and will follow you as a friendly creature until you either put them to rest, you drop to 0 hit points or they drop to 0 hit points. You gain back all of your sacrifice charges after a long rest.


At 14th level, you realize how tired you are of taking hits, even for yourself. You've practiced your fair share of magic and have gained the ability of illusion during your practices. At the beginning of combat you will designate a number between 1 through 4 to yourself and if any creature attempts to attack you, they will have to roll a 1d4 to match the number. If they don't get the same number as you, they attack an illusion of you and that illusion takes the hit for you and disappears (removing the number from the roll if the creature tries to attack you again). Additionally, if your number is rolled by the enemy attacking you, that creature will be attacked by any remaining illusions other than you, dealing separate damage per illusion (min 0, max 3). You may use this ability twice before regaining it's uses after a long rest.


You've fallen from grace, but not against your will. You've stepped off the edge of heaven's gates because you wanted to. This is who you are. Not some perfect, self-sacrificing saint. You are a beaten and broken person, who has refused to allow that to rule them. You will be the ruler of yourself, your life, every life. You cared so much for everything, now nothing matters. Unless, it's about giving and not taking from you. You deserve it all. You've worked and slaved and died for this. Once you reach 19th level, you are immune to radiant damage, including the damage taken by your healing features. Your healing abilities now solely work on you as you steal the life from the creatures around you, enemies or allies. You gain a pair of spectral wings that carry you from battle to battle, allowing you to pick up armies of corpses as you go. Your flying speed is equal to your walking speed + 10 feet. Your "Broken" feature is amplified, allowing you to add your proficiency bonus to your Sacrifice Charge for the amount of dead you may raise to follow you. Rather than gaining half of their original hit points, they gain full, and you may heal them as you would your allies (the damage will be dealt to / sapped from enemies, not you). You won't ever be bound by pain and suffering ever again.

Chains of Mind[edit]

You've always been thinking. In the seminary, in the back alley, in the bathroom, it doesn't matter, you're always scheming. Prayer doesn't stop your mind, faith is just the basis upon which you build your plans. You cannot stop or you will fall. When to talk down the angry sycophant and when to walk away. When to sling your fireball and when to swing your knife. Who to spare and who to remove. You always consider every possibility to keep your mind sharp and your body ready. You won't be like the tragic saints of old. You may have given yourself to the gods, but what good is a broken instrument?


You've gained a certain resistance to people and their "habits." Sin, pain, all of it doesn't matter much to you at this point. At the beginning of 3rd level, when you're about to take damage from any enemy (this can not be used to reduce the damage of one of your abilities), you may reduce said damage equal to the number rolled on your Martyr die. This ability can be used an equal number of times to your proficiency bonus.


At 6th level, you've learned how to form much closer bonds with your allies. You're no longer just their savior, but also their friend. At the beginning of a turn of combat, you and a willing creature can swap initiative orders. If this willing creature is within 60 feet of you, you may also swap places with this creature during the course of combat an equal amount of times to your Wisdom modifier. Once a combat sequence has ended, you gain all uses to this feature back without the need of a long or short rest.


At 10th level, as a bonus action you can speak with subtle enchantments at a targeted number of creatures equal to your proficiency bonus, forcing them to make a wisdom saving throw. On a failed save they're subjected to 2d6 psychic damage and have disadvantage on all attacks against allied creatures that are not you for an amount of turns equal to your Martyr level and on a successful save, they only take half damage. You may use this ability an equal amount of times to your proficiency bonus before regaining its uses back after a long rest.


The Gods favor you, even if you don't always follow their direct orders. You're the chosen one, to serve, whether or not they like every single one of your choices. At 14th level, they've given you the ability to peer through the looking glass. You gain proficiency in insight, if you are already proficient then you gain expertise. In combat, when using this feature, you may grant either yourself or your ally the ability to see the future and predict your enemy's next move. Either you or that ally has advantage on all attacks against that enemy, and said enemy as disadvantage on all attacks against either you or the gifted ally. You may use this feature once and regain its use after a long rest. Additionally, you may use gaze outside of combat to take a peek at someone else's future (this ability cannot be used on yourself, even in a mirror). If this creature is unwilling, they must roll a wisdom saving through to avoid your gaze. However, the future isn't always telling, sometimes it can be in riddles, other times it's images and broken pictures. You may have to piece together what limited information you have to understand it, and that doesn't mean it's set in stone to happen. All of these determining factors will be up to your DMs discretion. This out-of-combat ability may be used an equal amount of times to your Wisdom modifier before a long rest.


Just as you've hardened the walls around your mind to resistant the temptation of others, you've also harnessed the power of being able to seek your answers in the intricate brains of others. Beginning at level 19, you are immune to psychic damage. You can focus your psionic energy to;

  • gain proficiency (or expertise if you are already proficient) in the perception skill.
  • telepathically communicate with a number of creatures equal to your proficiency bonus + your wisdom modifier.
  • use your walking speed to "float" an inch to a foot off the ground instead of walk.

You may also learn an ability known as "gravitation." After one minute of concertation, you open your eyes, which have become a heavenly tone of light blue, sparkling with celestial radiance, and create a 60ft sphere of energy, causing all of those inside (including yourself) to float (since you already have the floating ability, within this sphere, you may move 30ft in any direction, even when you are upside down, without suffering any penalties). All of your allies within this sphere are shielded and gain 10ft of movement to float around and do not suffer from any other penalties within this sphere. Enemy creatures are considered prone and will struggle to move as if under water. Any damage taken within this sphere is considered psychic. To leave the sphere, a creature must roll a Dexterity saving throw at disadvantage, but may continue trying on each one of their turns until the ability ends. This sphere requires an action to cast, but only requires a bonus action to end. All enemy creatures still inside the sphere when it ends will immediately fall to the ground and take psychic damage equal to 3d8 + whatever falling damage taken from the height they were prone at. Allies who were shielded will split the total enemy damage taken as temporary hit points. Gravitation also ends if you are knocked to 0 hp, or would otherwise lose your concentration. While concentrating, you may move creatures within this 60ft sphere as you please, but cannot attack or use any other actions or bonus actions. You may use this ability once and gain use of it back after a long rest.


Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Martyr class, you must meet these prerequisites: Wisdom 13.

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Martyr class, you gain the following proficiencies: a toolkit of your choice, simple weapons.

(one vote)

Back to Main Page5e HomebrewClasses<!-religion/patron-based caster-fighter-><!-low damage output with a primary focus on being able to restore hit points, remove conditions, and add buffs to other creatures-><!-has features relating to death and necromancy-><!-greatly religious and/or heroic class primarily using weapons with a hint of spellcasting or similar features-><!-keep this category if the class uses multiple tags-><!-class is designed as a variant to a first party core class->-->Martyr

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