Plague (5e Class)

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Through a cult leader's invocations, a swamp beast's spore-scattering attacks, or a mushroom you could have sworn was edible, your body has become permanently infected with a disease known as the Plague. The Plague has no one form, it may be a rash, a collection of mushrooms, hardening, cracked skin or a colony of moss. No matter what, the infection covers your skin and is sensitive to contact with armor, leaving you a weakened wanderer, destined to one day decay into nothing but a husk.

Creating a Plague[edit]

Do you fear your infection, or use it to your advantage? Do you search desperately for a cure, or have you accepted that the infection will consume you? Will you be sad, scared and isolated, will you be stoic and resolute, or do you believe the infection is a blessing, and treat yourself superior to your companions? Most Plagues are evil or chaotic.

Note - The entirety of this document is written as though the infection is mushroomoid, with spores fired from the infection. This is simply for consistency. The infection could fire hair, blood, leaves, spit, magical laser eyes or discharged magic, it is up to the player. The Plague class itself can be played any way the DM sees fit. It could be an infection of a spirit around the user, or water that is magical, or it could be an infection of madness, that simply makes the user physically powerful. Do not be limited by what is written.

Quick Build

You can make a Plague quickly by following these suggestions. First, Constitution should be your highest ability score, followed by Intelligence. Second, choose the Hermit background. Third, choose a spear, a pair of daggers, a dungeoneer's pack and hide armour

Class Features

As a Plague you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per Plague level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Plague level after 1st


Weapons: Simple weapons
Tools: Disguise kit, Poisoner's kit
Saving Throws: Constitution, Intelligence
Skills: Choose two from Animal handling, Nature, Stealth, Survival


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

  • (a) a handaxe or (b) a mace or (c) a spear
  • (a) a pair of daggers or (b) a pair of sickles
  • (a) a dungeoneer's pack or (b) an explorer's pack
  • (a) a set of torn clothes that show the infection and a set of common clothes or (b) hide armour

A week's worth of 'Plague-less' potions that hide the infection. Each potion lasts 1 day and costs (1 gp).

Table: The Plague

Level Proficiency
1st +2 Reactive, Festering
2nd +2 Natural
3rd +2 Elemental inclination, Explosive shot
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement, Reactive improvement
5th +3 Impulse movement
6th +3 Festering improvement, Vile being
7th +3 Explosive shot improvement, Reactive improvement
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement, Painless manipulator, Natural feature
9th +4 Elemental inclination feature
10th +4 Infective, Cure, Style
11th +4 Reactive improvement
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement, Festering improvement
13th +5 Explosive shot improvement
14th +5 Reactive improvement
15th +5
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement, Natural improvement
17th +6
18th +6 Elemental inclination feature
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement
20th +6


When attacked, the infection defends itself with a spray of spores. Every character within 5ft makes a CON save (INT + 10), taking 1d8 poison damage on a fail. This happens every time you are damaged. The range and damage increases at level 4, 7, 11 and 14, by 5ft and 1d8 respectively. At level 11, the targets take half as much damage on a successful save.

If you are under one quarter of your maximum Hit points, this feature stops functioning. This does not count Temporary hit points.

In addition, your infection is poisonous. You, or your allies, can make a potion out of it by spending 2 hours with a poisoner's kit. The potion counts as an injury potion and deals damage equal to the damage of your "Reactive" feature. If you attempt to make multiple potions in one day, you take 1d12 damage for each potion made after the first.

At 4th level, you may freely disable this feature outside combat, but must roll a CON check (DC equal to the damage taken) whenever you take damage, re-activating this feature on a fail.


The infection on your body cannot stand direct contact. Any clothing that hides the infection causes it to burn restlessly. You have disadvantage on INT and WIS throws and saves while your body is covered with clothing, or armor. Clothing and armor can be specially made to go around the infection, for additional cost of -1 AC for light armor and -2 AC on medium/heavy armor. Anytime you are grappled, or grappling, the opponent takes 1d6 acid damage from contact with the infection at the start of your turn and an additional 1d6 damage if they attack you. Any bonds restraining you will slowly decay. Each hour roll 1d6 and reduce the bonds' hit points by that amount. The Festering feature does not function when you cover your infection with 'Plague-less' potions.

At 6th level, you deal 1d12 damage instead. At 12th level you can melt through magical bonds as well, and deal double damage when breaking free from bonds.


At 2nd level, due to the nature of your infection, the untrained eye may mistake you for a beast or a bush at first glance. You gain a bonus to stealth checks involving sight, and can roll a nature check once per long rest, in place of a failed stealth check. In addition, you may disguise during combat, as long as you are behind at half cover or greater. While disguised, you are treated as having stealth until you attack, or are attacked. You may also attempt an Animal handling check to pass yourself off as an animal.

At 8th level you regain per short rest instead, and gain an additional use of this feature. You may deliberately break free of the disguise as a bonus action, and if you do, you may make a free opportunity attack against all nearby opponents. You cannot use the Natural feature twice in one battle.

At 16th level you gain an additional 3 uses of this feature. Additionally, you automatically pass Animal handling checks to pass yourself off as a creature, and you may attack with a 6d4 piercing bite attack without breaking your disguise. No Plague effects are applied to this attack. In addition, you can use the Natural feature twice in one battle.

Elemental inclination[edit]

At 3rd level, you get to choose an elemental inclination. This is a form of magic that the infection reacts to positively, and actively desires. You gain additional features at level 9 and 18. You gain resistance to that kind of damage, and if damaged by it, you gain 1d6 to add to damage and attack rolls until the end of the turn. You also gain advantage on breaking free of magical effects or illusions while taking a form of damage you are inclined to. You have a number of slots equal to double your WIS score (Minimum 2) to spend on your elemental inclination. Elemental inclination attacks have a modifier equal to your Wisdom, unless otherwise specified, and gain +2 to hit at 9th and 18th level.

When you activate one of these abilities your body summons the element, you do not require the element to use these powers. For 1 slot, you can summon a 1ft/1ft sphere of the element, which appears in your hand until you fall unconscious, or until you use it. At 9th level, if your target is vulnerable to your elemental inclination, whenever you roll to attack them, on a 15 on higher, you regain a slot. At 18th level, if a target has resistance to your element, they lose it, and if they have immunity, they instead have resistance.

Fire inclination

You may deal 1d8 fire damage as a reaction, or add 2d6 fire damage to an attack, for 1 slot. As an action, you may force all opponents in a 15ft cone to make a Dexterity save (DC 10), taking 2d8 damage on a successful save, or half as much on a failed save, for 3 slots.

At 9th level, whenever you are set on fire, you take no damage, and gain advantage on all attacks for as many turns as you are alight. When an ally within 30ft takes fire damage, or when you are within 20ft of extreme heat (Such as a bonfire, a forge or magma), you gain a 10ft bonus to movement speed, and an additional attack action. You also deal an extra 1d8/2d6/1d8 fire damage, and the dexterity save becomes DC 13.

At 18th level, you gain immunity to fire, and any fire attack not made against you has disadvantage if you are within 15ft of the target. When you are hit with a fire attack, your ability checks, attacks and saving throws all have advantage until the end of the turn, and the first attack each turn deals double damage. In addition, you gain the ability to explode fire in a 30ft sphere around yourself as an action, dealing 6d8 damage to all targets inside, and half damage on a DEX saving throw (DC 16), for 5 slots. You also deal an extra 2d8/4d6/2d8 fire damage. Your summon sphere casts bright light for 10ft and dim light for 10ft. It can set ablaze flammable material when held nearby for 12 seconds, and can be thrown, dealing 2d6 fire damage to the target. The fire is non-magical and extinguishes if if it is immersed in water, or if it is thrown.

Ice inclination

You may fire 2d6 cold damage at a target within 10ft as a bonus action, for 1 slot. As a bonus action, you may paralyze a target you are grappling for 1 slot, the target makes a CON save (DC 10), and repeats that save at the start of their turn, becoming unparalyzed on a success, and taking 1d8 cold damage on a fail.

At 9th level, extreme cold causes no negative effects, and you have advantage when attempting to see in a blizzard. Whenever you would take bludgeoning damage from a snow or ice based attack (Such as an avalanche) you may spend 1 slot to reduce the damage by a 1d12. You may spend 3 slots and an action to gain a blizzard of hail around yourself. The blizzard lasts 6 turns, until you are knocked unconscious, up to a minute, or until end of combat, whichever happens first. The blizzard is constantly 10ft around you in all directions for duration, and either pulls in or pushes away targets in range, which moves them 5ft whenever they enter the radius, or start their turn there, and can be resisted with a DC 14 Strength check. All targets in range also take 1d6 cold damage whenever they enter or start their turn in range, although they can make a Constitution save to halve damage (DC 11). While within the blizzard, all other characters also have disadvantage on hearing and perception checks, and disadvantage on ranged attacks made against you. They also can only fly by magical means. A creature that is partially inside the blizzard is unaffected. You may also use the winds of the blizzard to push objects. You may re-roll a Strength check that involves pushing an object in range, or a Dexterity check to move yourself. If you do this, the blizzard immediately ends. You deal an extra 2d6/1d8 cold damage and gain 10ft on your basic ice attack. The Constitution save to escape being frozen becomes DC 15

At 18th level, you become immune to cold damage. Immediately after leaving a blizzard, or being attacked with over 30 damage of cold magic, you may activate your own blizzard ability for only 1 slot. You deal an extra 2d6/1d8 cold damage, you gain 10ft on your basic ice attack, the Constitution save to avoid being frozen or avoid blizzard damage becomes DC 18, and the blizzard deals 2d6 damage to enemies in range. In addition, you may spend 5 slots and an action to activate the following ability. All targets in a 60ft line in front of you must make a Dexterity saving throw, DC 20. On a failure, they become paralyzed and take 3d10 cold damage, as well as taking additional damage whenever they fail a Constitution save to unparalyze. Targets frozen by this ability take an extra 1d6 cold damage whenever they are attacked this combat, and have their maximum movement speed reduced by 10ft. You may add 1d6 to attack rolls made against the target that would deal ice damage, and whenever the target rolls a check or saving throw to resist cold damage, they reduce the check by 1d6. This effect lasts until end of combat, or until you are knocked unconscious. Your summon sphere is a snowball. It can be melted into fresh water, thrown to attempt to blind an opponent, or be equipped to a weapon to make it deal ice damage in place of normal damage.

Water inclination

Instead of resistance to a damage type, you instead gain a swim speed equal to your movement speed. Being in water provides 1d4 to damage and attack rolls. When attacked with bludgeoning damage from a water effect (Such as a water weird), you take half the damage. You may fire a bolt of water at will for 1d8 bludgeoning damage up to 30ft for 1 slot.

At 9th level, you cannot drown, as your infection can function like rudimentary gills and filter out oxygen into your bloodstream. You may blind an opponent as a reaction by forcefully firing water into their eyes, for 1 slot, and as an action may summon a wave of water in a 20ft cube ahead of yourself, dealing 4d6 bludgeoning damage and knocking all affected enemies away from you 10ft, for 3 slots. Your water bolt deals an extra 1d8 damage and gains 10ft of distance.

At 18th level, water that is within 10ft of you cannot be affected by magic unless you allow it, and you can detect when an opponent tries. Attacks made against you while you are underwater have disadvantage. For 5 slots, you may manipulate a ball of water in a 15ft sphere around yourself. While in this ball you are treated as though you are underwater. You may fire this ball at will, or force it to form around an opponent, for 1 slot. While around an opponent, they will begin to drown, and take 2d8 bludgeoning each turn from the rushing water. When fired, the ball travels 20ft in an arch and then knocks down and deals 5d10 bludgeoning damage to any opponents hit by it. The ball can last up to 5 turns, and any attacks made with it deal 1d4 less damage for each turn since it was summoned. Your water bolt deals an extra 2d8 damage and gains 20ft of distance. Your summon sphere makes a bubble of water appear in your hand. It is drinkable, can extinguish non magical fires, and magically cleans any items it touches, resulting in rust and age rapidly disappearing for an object up to 5ft by 5ft. The water can only do each of these things once, and will disappear afterwards.

Explosive shot[edit]

At 3th level, as an attack, you can throw a chunk of your infection at a nearby target. Range 20/60ft. On a hit, the target takes 1d8 + DEX modifier damage, and all creatures within 5ft of the target also take half damage. Once per day, you may instead fire the chunk from your body, at the cost of some Hp. A fired chunk has double range (40/120ft), deals 2d8 + DEX modifier damage, and deals 1d4 slashing damage to you, which cannot be reduced and triggers your Reactive feature. The explosive shot deals either acid damage, or damage of your elemental inclination, and is treated as a magical attack.

At level 7, your shot deals 3d6 + 1 + DEX damage instead (6d6 + 1 + DEX for fired), and you may use a fired shot twice per day. All creatures within 10ft take half damage. In addition, your range increases by 10ft/30ft for each point of your dexterity modifier. (+1 - 10ft, +4 - 40ft, etc.) This does not affect your fired shot.

At level 13, your shot deals 6d6 + 1 + DEX damage (12d6 + 1 + DEX for fired). You may use fired shot three times per day. All creatures within 15ft take half damage. Your Dexterity bonus also affects your fired shot.

Impulse movement[edit]

At 5th level, as a reaction, when attacked, you may immediately move up to half your movement. This activates before the Reactive feature.

Vile being[edit]

At 6th level, your negative abilities attract beings of evil, and disgust creatures of good. You also have a knack for understanding what people fear. You have disadvantage on Persuasion checks, and advantage on intimidation checks and Wisdom saves to resist being frightened. You have advantage on Insight, investigation or perception checks when trying to tell if someone is/was frightened.

As an action, all enemies within 15ft must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 8 + INT modifier + WIS modifier), being frightened on a fail. They cannot attack you and must spend their movement traveling away from you. They retake this check at the start of their turns, on a success, they become immune to this effect permanently.

You have an increased chance of encountering evil beings when leading the party. Creatures of extreme good may be disgusted by your presence, and will avoid talking to you if possible. You may attempt to Persuade evil beings with your Intimidation before combat, and use intimidation checks in place of Persuasion when convincing evil creatures.

Painless manipulator[edit]

At 8th level, you have particular skill with the infected parts of your body, and can move them about more effectively than the non-infected. You gain proficiency/Expertise in your choice of: Athletics, Acrobatics or Sleight of hand. If you chose Athletics, you gain a bonus 5ft of movement. If you chose Acrobatics, you have a bonus 10ft of movement to climb. If you chose Sleight of hand, you can attempt to disarm opponents mid-combat with a contested strength check as a bonus action.

You also have advantage on Medicine checks to re-attach dislocated limbs or reduce physical pain. You may use a reaction when an ally within 10ft of you takes damage from you or your abilities, reducing the damage they take by 2d8.


At 10th level, your infection has redoubled and is a more serious threat. Whenever you make physical contact with an ally, they must make a DEX save or take 1d10 poison damage. An non-undead enemy killed by you makes a CON save (DC 10), on a failure, resurrecting as an undead with 1d10 + 3 health and dealing poison damage in place of normal damage(It remains your enemy). You have a chance of summoning a spore servant whenever you complete a rest. Roll a d10 every rest, on a 10 summon the servant. The servant has 10 hp, the reactive feature at level 1, and a slam attack (1d6 + STR damage, poison damage). Its stats are equal to yours -5, and it has 9 AC. It will follow your orders and can hear and understand you at any distance. If you are knocked unconscious, sleeping, or sent to a different plane, it will attack indiscriminately. Enemies killed by it are counted as though you killed them, and can resurrect. Every day it loses 1 hp from its maximum, and it disperses into spores upon death. It has immunity to poison damage, and there is no limit on the number you can summon.

Finally, the infection begins to make choices for you, and you feel yourself loosing control of your body. You gain one form of long-term madness every day at dawn, and you also gain an indefinite madness which lasts until you cure the infection (Roll on the madness table). Alternatively, you gain 10 temporary hit points every day, and upon losing those hitpoints, your DM controls you for one turn, with you being treated as an enemy.


At 10th level you have the strength to overcome your infection once and for all. If you haven't already heard rumors of a cure, you suddenly remember overhearing/reading/being magically messaged about one of the following objects. This memory was being held back by the infection. Your DM may choose for you, depending on the difficulty/theme/setting of your campaign, and may require you to complete multiple quests to finally cure the infection once and for all.

-A spellbook of cleansing, guarded by a crystalline town

-A selfless enchanter, who takes magical curses upon themselves to ease the pain of others

-A dragon whose blood can burn away all evil

-A neo-plastic cure syringe accidentally placed inside an automaton

-An alternative dimension that can rebuild a living body

-A mysterious creature called a skitterling bat that eats plague to survive

-A small kingdom where sickness is forbidden, with powerful cleaning magic to enforce it

-A monastery of life magic whose techniques might remove the infection

-Denpoten, an exiled bard, whose words were said to cure any injury

-A secret technique of soul-strength

-A serum that makes anyone who drinks it small enough to enter the bloodstream and fight the infection at a cellular level

-An ancient wizard, master of all magic, sealed in a tower of traps and enchantments

-An island with ancient words carved into its stone cliffs, with the spring of life said to be hidden inside

-An unassuming village with magical animals, and ancient traditions as old as the plague itself

-A secret pathway to the domain of a god

-A cleric soon to die, who longs to do one last healing spell

-A demon of poxes and poison, who loves adding to their collection

-A tribe of orcs with a sacred rite of purification, and a hatred of humankind

-Humanoid-fish who will trade one curse for another

-Fairy thieves who stole a vial of life-blood saturation, and are eager to get money for a mysterious purpose

Once the infection is cured, you either lose the Plague class entirely, and choose a new class to put your levels in, or you lose the "Infective" trait and permanently do half damage to your allies, being non-contagious but keeping your infection as a useful weapon. You will also become famous among the other Plagues. Kinder ones will come to you asking for your path to the cure, while more sinister plagues may attempt to assassinate you and take your secrets for themselves. If any of your allies receives a permanent infection, or becomes cursed with the plague, you have advantage on all checks to heal them. You become immune to infections and the plague, and have permanent immunity to poison damage. Good job!


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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.

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

-CON 15 or higher

-No other class-based curses.


If you were cursed into becoming the Plague class, or killed and resurrected by a Plague you gain the following disadvantages:

-Your CON and CHA score decrease by 2.

-You lose one level of your previous class, and gain one level of Plague. You may attempt to use abilities from your previous class with a DC 13 intelligence save. On a success, you use the ability as normal, on a failure, you take 1d6 acid damage and cannot use this effect for 1 minute.

-You gain the features "Explosive shot", "Vile being", "Infective" and "Cure", as well as normal level 1 abilities.

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Plague class, you gain the following proficiencies:

-Choose two from Animal handling, Nature, Stealth, Survival

-Chose either Poisoner's kit or Disguise kit

-Simple weapons

-Gain 1 "Plauge-less" potion

(one vote)


Should I have named this Class differently? Plague seems like a word that comes up too often. Maybe Pox, or Toxmaster or Huskborn or something. What do you think?

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