Spirit Beast (5e Subclass)
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Spirit Beast Ranger
(Made/recommended for the UA-Revised Ranger, as base ranger from PHB is somewhere on a scale of "less than good" to "tosh".)
The spirit beast by the rangers side is a remnant of a long dead companion, a bond so strong it could not be broken by death, a bond strong enough for the two to walk by each other's side for as long as the bond remains.
The Spirit beast is a slight toll on the ranger's life force, but they all carry that burden with joy. Choosing this path changes your Ranger's hit dice to D8s.
Summoning Your companion
At 3rd, you learn how to summon your Spirit Beast.
See Spirit Beast Creation below
The beast requires a summoning ritual similar to that of find familiar and find steed. The process uses the same material and has the following rules.
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S, M (10gp worth of charcoal, incense, and herbs that must be consumed by fire in a brass brazier)
You summon your trusty companion from beyond, to walk this earth once more in a form closely resembling a beast of your choice (it takes on the abilities of the form). (Check the table for available beasts, and/or granted forms.) It appears in an unoccupied space within range. The Spirit Beast's types are Beast and Undead. (Healing spells stating that they cannot heal undead, can still heal the Spirit Beast due to its bond with the ranger.) Your Spirit Beast always has the designated stats, unless it's currently in a form that is a creature size of small or smaller. If it is a size of small or smaller, it loses every ability and all stats from this archetype, and only has abilities and stats from the chosen beasts stat block. The Spirit Beast gains the ability to understand one language of your choice that you speak. While your Spirit Beast is within 1 mile of you, you can communicate with it telepathically. When the Spirit Beast hits 0 hit points it does not disappear like most other summoned creatures, its bond with the ranger keeps in its form for a day, foregoing the need for material components to "re-summon" the companion. albeit the cast time is increased to an hour. At the end of this ritual, the Spirit Beast's form can be changed as usual, and it returns to full health and ability.
You cannot have any other familiar, steed or similar creature, bound to you while your companion is summoned. Your companion cannot be dispelled as it is very tangible.
Spirit Beast Creation
Your Spirit Beast is beyond the common beasts found in the woods, its fierce loyalty to its bonded ranger makes it a powerful creature.
Roll stats for your Spirit Beast like you would for your character, note that it's important to keep the beast stronger than the ranger, and therefore trading stats may be optimal (note: Beasts makes attacks with strength primarily) Furthermore, both the ranger and the Beast gets the ability score increases at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, 19th. While bonuses from tomes and similar items, only work for the reader.
These stats will persist through all beast forms. (Excluding the small & smaller forms, as per the rule above.)
It has proficiency in all saving throws.
It has proficiency/expertise in the same skills you choose.
It has Darkvision.
Speed: 50 ft.
Hit dice: D12
The Spirit Beast cannot be "upgraded" like one would ones +2 weapon. Instead the Spirit Beast requires blessings of the wild. This can take any form (DM discretion), but typically being on the good side of a powerful natural being can earn a similar "+x" status to the beast, giving everything it has the "+x" to every applicable stat. (Look to how weapons, armour and jewelry works if in doubt).
Additionally, the Spirit Beast benefits from any spells you cast, or any spell effect that would only benefit you, if you chose so. choosing the Spirit Beast for casting range "self" is referred to as "the bond" for clarification purposes. Example: "Hunter's mark" will do the extra damage for the beast's attacks. "Cure wounds" can be cast on "yourself" (with "the bond" as a target), meaning the beast will be healed instead. You can also use a bonus action to expend one spell slot to have your Spirit Beast regain 1d8 + your wisdom modifier hit points per level of the spell slot expended.
The spirit Beast's attacks are magical for the purpose of bypassing magical resistance to non-magical attacks.
Whenever the Spirit Beast's attacks hits, the damage types always are:
- Bite: 1d12 Necrotic
- Claws: 2d6 Slashing
- Tail: 1d10 Slashing/bludgeoning or Piercing. (when available)
This can altered through spells and story-archs. (Work together with your DM, mostly try to inspire)
Any side effects from attacks from creatures described by its respective stat block, such as poisons, work the same. (It also keeps any ability &/or feature of the beast.) However, these effects use the DC and ability scores of the Spirit Beast. The DC for your Spirit Beast is Strength + Proficiency bonus + 8.
Spells with alternate effects on Spirit Beast (in addition to it making an attack)
- Any spell with range "self" can be cast with the Spirit Beast as the "self" target.
- As long as you're within telepathic range, you can cast any spell that can target you, target your Spirit Beast instead.
- Spells that has a component that includes effects akin to: "Enchant quiver, set of arrows, an arrow, a sword, a sheath etc.." count as "Enchant Paw/hoof etc.." (Not bite) (Ensaring strike, zephyr strike,)
- Flame Arrows/Flame Wreath - The Spirit Beasts Paws/hoofs etc.. Become wreathed in flame, gaining the effect for the full duration or till concentration is broken.
- Lightning Arrow/Rake of storm - The Spirit Beast's claws become charged with the electricity. The next attack becomes a 10ft 180° cone, doing its normal effect in that area, a target must still be chosen.
- Conjure Volley/Sundering Cry - 40ft radius explosion with the beast as it's center.
Spirit Beast Companion
At 3rd level, your Spirit Beast accompanies you on your adventures alongside you. Add your Wisdom bonus to the beast’s AC, and add proficiency to attack rolls. (It is encouraged to find ways for your beast to adapt and gain more features, and have a favorite form the beast itself likes)
The Spirit Beast takes its turn immediately after you on the initiative order, if no command is given it will act on its own accord (only attacking if an action is available for it). On your turn, you can command the beast where to move (no action required by you). The beast can use your bonus action to attack again (when it has attacked as part of an action), with the usual rules for 'off-hand' attacking. Bite cannot be an off-hand attack.
You and your beast have an inseparable bond and can work in unison very well. The Spirit Beast is a fairly intelligent being and can fend for itself, even if no command is given it will still protect and act. Due to this you can use your actions and bonus actions to cast supportive spells and still have the Spirit Beast attack. (Dashing, Disengaging, dodging, helping & hiding counts as actions, therefore the Spirit Beast cannot attack if these are taken, even if it's just the ranger doing them. DM may allow it, ask your DM) You can however not use your actions to attack, and then have the beast attack, the Beast's attack eat the ranger's action and bonus action (if it's also making an "off-hand" attack) to attack in the first place. Meaning if you for instance shoot a bow as your action, the Spirit Beast can do nothing but dodge, dash, disengage or help.
Your animal companion gains a variety of benefits while it is linked to you. The animal companion loses its Multiattack action, if it has one. The companion obeys your commands as best it can. If you are incapacitated or absent, your companion acts on its own. When using your Natural Explorer feature, you and your Spirit Beast can both move stealthily at a normal pace.
Extra Attack Feature addition
At 5th level, you gain the extra attack feature, you can yourself take a single attack action, and still have your beast attack with the other attack action(as part of your action) and still use its bonus action for an "offhand" attack. You can however also instead command your beast to take the entire action and attack twice as part of the extra attack feature and also use its bonus action to attack as an "offhand" attack.
On The Hunt
Beginning at 7th level, your commands carry more weight through the bond you share with your Spirit Beast.
You both gain resistance to necrotic damage.
Whenever the beast makes an attack as part of your command to make it do so, it gains the benefit of "Hunter's Mark" on the designated target. If you already have hunter's mark on the target from casting it yourself, the Spirit Beast gains the benefit of both "Hunter's Mark" spells.
Starting at 11th level you can, as a reaction, launch a sensory stimuli that send your Spirit Beast into a frenzy, giving it another attack as part of its attack action, this effect end after a minute or after nine successful attacks (hits).
This feature can be used once, and recharges after you've finished a short rest.
The attack from this feature is always counted as the last in the attack action. For instance, if you use two turns and hit with all eight attacks, the third turn will not have the extra attack from this feature, if you hit another time before it in the order. (The order generally speaking is "action" attack action, extra attack feature attack, frenzy attack, bonus action attack)
Additionally, you now add your proficiency bonus to damage rolls for the Spirit Beast.
At 13th level, your Spirit Beast gains Magic resistance, and resistance to damage from two magic types.