Protector, Variant (5e Class)

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Charging through the battle, an armored dragonborn shoves her companion to the side, narrowly avoiding the arrow herself as she pushes deeper into the fray, shrugging off blows from every direction as she charges left and right to protect the unguarded flanks of her fellow soldiers. Staring down the dragon fearlessly, a half-orc bellows a defiant cry as the dragon mercilessly rends into his flesh, ignoring the pain as his comrades surround the distracted creature, knowing the blood he spills now can end this foul creature's rein of terror. Furiously attacking left and right, a muscled goliath bulldozes through the swarm of goblins, the few escaping his wide hammer swipes instead getting lacerated by the spiked rivets on his leather armor as he laughs mercilessly before smashing the terrified goblin sorcerer, its spells having no effect on him.

Protectors are the most formidable of all warriors, able to shrug off all forms of offense even as they make their own attacks. Masters of defense, they specialize in the protection of themselves and others, either by directly intervening to protect their allies or by simply being a very dangerous foe to contend with and therefore taking the attention away from their friends.

Stubborn in Every Way[edit]

A protector's strength comes from their ability and devotion to never giving up, even when everything seems lost. Even when their bodies are battered and broken, their spirit will still be strong, urging them to either fight on or to escape so as to continue the fight another day. Through sheer will they will stop at nothing at nothing to defend those in need, and even magic doesn't seem to effect them. Like your typical fighter, a protector is well trained in most any form of combat, but unlike fighters they are most at home with melee weapons, and their training is mostly around the use of armor to protect themselves rather than ways to more quickly or efficiently attack their enemies.

Creating a Protector[edit]

As you create your protector character, think about some of the things that make you unique. What made you decide to specialize in the use of armor rather than weapons? Where did you get your training? Were you part of some large army, or did you train yourself for several years before finally setting out on adventure? Not all protectors are valiant protectors of the weak. The thing they might be protecting is their own life, or the life of a specific person. Or it could be a ancient secret guarded by your family for generations.

Quick Build[edit]

You can make a Protector quickly by following these suggestions. First, Strength or Dexterity should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution or Wisdom. Second, choose the soldier background.

Class Features

As a Protector you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

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


Armor: All armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial melee weapons
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Constitution, Wisdom
Skills: Choose two skills from Acrobatics, Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, and Survival


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

Table: The Protector

Level Proficiency
1st +2 Durable Will
2nd +2 Resilient Body
3rd +2 Valiant Ideology
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement
5th +3 Extra Attack
6th +3 Improved Defense
7th +3 Valiant Ideology Feature
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement
9th +4 Limited Spell Resistance
10th +4 Skillful Defense
11th +4 Unstoppable Force
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement
13th +5 Valiant Ideology Feature
14th +5 Unyielding
15th +5 Expert Defense
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement
17th +6 Magic Resistance
18th +6 Valiant Ideology Feature
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement
20th +6 Protector's Fortitude

Durable Will[edit]

Intent on the protection of others, you never go down or give up, even when battered to a pulp. Starting at 1st level, your willpower empowers your ability to stay in the the thick of combat. Your hit point maximum increases by your Wisdom modifier (minimum of 1), and again each time you gain a level in this class.

Resilient Body[edit]

You become sturdier than the average person, sturdy enough to protect those around you and absorb the damage you take. At 2nd level, as a reaction to taking damage that would reduce you to half your maximum hit points or less, you gain temporary hit points equal to half your maximum hit points. The damage is dealt to the temporary hit points first, and they are lost at the end of your next turn. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Constitution modifier, regaining all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Valiant Ideology[edit]

Protectors come with wildly different views on how to best safeguard the lives of those who depend on them. Choose from the Ideology of the Brute, the Ideology of the Defender, and the Ideology of the Vengeful. You choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 7th, 13th, and 18th 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.

Extra Attack[edit]

Starting at 5th level, you attack twice, instead of once, when you take the Attack during your turn.

Improved Defense[edit]

At 6th level, you wear heavy armor with incredible skill, using its durable defenses to great effect. You gain a +1 bonus to AC while wearing heavy armor.

Limited Spell Resistance[edit]

At 9th level, you have advantage on saving throws against spells of 1/3 your level or lower.

Skilled Defense[edit]

At 10th level, your training with certain protective gear allows greater protection. You gain a +1 bonus to AC while wearing medium armor or if you are holding a shield.

Unstoppable Force[edit]

At 11th level, your become incredibly difficult to stop, or even slow down. You are unaffected by nonmagical difficult terrain, and you have advantage on ability checks and saving throws against spells and effects that would reduce your speed, and against the grappled, restrained, or paralyzed conditions. If an effect would reduce your speed by a specified amount, such as the spell ray of frost, the speed reduction is halved.


Starting at 14th level, your mind and body become resistant to even the most despicable and devious of enemy tactics. You gain a +3 bonus to all saving throws except death saving throws. In addition, when a creature scores a critical hit against you, you may turn it into a normal hit, even if you are unconscious. Alternatively, you can prevent one death saving throw failure that you would gain at the start of your turn. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Constitution modifier, and regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Expert Defense[edit]

At 15th level, extensive and flawless practice with your equipment have made you increasingly difficult to harm. You gain a +1 bonus to AC if you are wearing light armor or if you are holding either a finesse or versatile weapon in one hand and no other weapons.

Magic Resistance[edit]

Starting at 17th level, your ability to protect yourself so as to never allow harm to your allies has made you nigh impervious to magic. You have resistance to the damage of spells and other magical effects.

Master Defense[edit]

Starting at 20th level, you respond to danger with extraordinary vigilance. You have a special reaction that you can take once on every creature's turn except your own turn, which can only be used to make an opportunity attack. Each time you hit a creature with an opportunity attack, you gain a +1 bonus to AC until the start of your turn.

Valiant Ideologies[edit]

The valiant protector of the innocent in shining gold armor; the blood-crazed berserker raging across the battlefield; the scarred and leathery-skinned warrior steeling himself for another painful fight. All three are different approaches at being a protector, and your choice of ideology determines which general path you go down. Whether that instead makes you the silent and brooding knight in dark grey armor, the leather-clad soldier striking back with every hit they take, or the pain-numb sage ignoring the constant blows to their body, or something else, is up to you.

Ideology of the Brute[edit]

Those who follow this ideology don't rely on tactics or strategies to protect others: they take the hits and they hit hard. Often confused for barbarians, brutes often use the same methods to accomplish their goals. Not all who take this ideology fit into this stereotype, though. Despite their brash and simple means to their ends, they can be some of the kindest, most compassionate, and caring protectors out there, even if it's mostly by becoming the main focus of attention for whatever foes you encounter via extremely powerful attacks.

Extra Hardy

When you choose this ideology at 3rd level, your simplistic and often painful means of combat has toughened you to the pain you must endure. Once per turn as a bonus action, you may choose any one damage type. The next time you take any damage before the start of your next turn, all damage of the chosen type is reduced by half and the effect ends. Additionally, you may add your Constitution modifier instead of Dexterity to the AC of light and medium armor you wear, and when you aren't wearing armor. You still can't add more than 2 of your ability modifier to the AC of medium armor unless another effect says otherwise.

Necessary Force

At 7th level, you stop holding back, the lives of your friends more important than those who threaten them. Whenever you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, the weapon deals an additional die of damage.

Deadly Critical

Starting at 13th level, your weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20. In addition, whenever you score a critical hit with a melee weapon attack, reroll one of the weapon's damage dice after adding up the damage and add the roll to the damage of the crit.

Toughest Around

By 18th level, you have learned to endure any and all pain inflicted on you. Whenever you use your Extra Hardy feature, you may select two damage types instead of one. In addition, you gain a +1 bonus to AC, and another +1 while not wearing armor or holding a shield.

Ideology of the Defender[edit]

The Ideology of the Defender is for those who value the protection of their allies above all else, even before putting down their foes. They also realize that the best way to protect others is to make sure they themselves are sufficiently protected.

Get Behind Me

When you choose this ideology at 3rd level, your devotion to the defense of others makes you skilled at protecting them. When a creature within 5 feet of you is attacked by a creature you can see, you may use your reaction to impose disadvantage on that attack roll. If the attack still hits, you can choose to take the damage instead. In addition, you gain a +1 bonus to AC while wearing heavy armor or holding a shield.

Safety Tackle

At 7th level, you can dive at you allies to push them out of harm's way. Whenever you end your turn with movement left over, you gain a Tackle range equal to the remaining movement. Whenever a willing creature of your size or smaller that is within your Tackle range becomes the target of one or more attacks or effects from one source you can see, you can use your reaction to move into that creature's space, pushing the creature 5 feet away from you and forcing the attack to target you instead. Alternatively, you can use this reaction when a creature within your Tackle range is put into the area of effect for a damaging spell or effect, giving them advantage on their saving throws against it for the turn.

Hold the Line

At 13th level, you become a master of locking down your enemies, keeping near you so that they may never approach those under your protection. You may make an opportunity attack against a creature that enters your weapon's reach, and if you hit a creature with an opportunity attack made in this way, the creature's speed is reduced to 0 until the end of the current turn.

Improvised Shield Technique

Starting at 18th level, you can benefit from wearing two or more shields at the same time, but no more than one shield for each arm capable of holding a shield. In addition, shields count as maces with the light property when you wear them, with any applicable magic effects intact (such as a +2 shield being used as a +2 mace). If you would push a creature at least 5 feet while wearing at least one shield, you can choose to push the creature an additional 5 feet for each shield you are wearing.

Ideology of the Vengeful[edit]

Though the primary purpose in life for most protectors is to use their training to put the well-being of others before their own, not all of them have an easy time doing so. Those who struggle to protect the weak and instead face off against foes relentlessly are part of this ideology, that of the Vengeful. More concerned with taking down their foes than anything else, protecting others is merely a bonus to a Vengeful's terrible devotion to meeting every action with an opposite and equal reaction, deserved or not. Despite this, many of them still try to do good in their lives and are generally nice people.


When you choose this ideology at 3rd level, you never let anyone get away with hurting you. When a creature deals damage to you with a melee attack, you may use your reaction to make one melee weapon attack against that creature, provided it is within your weapon's reach.

Never Escape

At 7th level, whenever a creature leaves your reach, you may make an opportunity attack against it regardless of if it took the Disengage action. In addition, when you do so, that creature's speed is reduced by 15 feet until the end of the current turn and you may move up to half your speed when that creature's turn ends.

Sharp Defenses

Starting at 13th level, the equipment you use to protect yourself has been sharpened and angled to harm anything that dares to harm you. Whenever a creature within 5 feet of you misses you with a melee attack while you are wearing armor or a shield, that creature takes 1d6 slashing damage.

Enraged Strikes

Starting at 18th level, the anger you feel towards those who hurt you fuels your attacks. Whenever a creature deals damage to you, that creature gains 1 rage marker. The next time you hit that creature with a melee weapon attack, you increase the roll of the die by 1 for each rage marker on it before applying other modifiers. If this would increase the die roll to a 20 or higher, you score a critical hit, and the creature loses all rage markers. If the attack hits without scoring a critical hit, the creature loses half of its rage markers. The creature's rage markers are unaffected if the attack missed. Regardless of the number of rage markers on a creature, rolling a 1 on the attack roll against that creature is still an automatic miss.


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

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into a protector, you gain proficiency with light armor, medium armor, shields, simple melee weapons, longswords, rapiers, and warhammers.

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