Stygian Swordsman (5e Class)
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- 1 Stygian Swordsman
- 1.1 Descendants of Evil
- 1.2 Creating a Stygian Swordsman
- 1.3 Class Features
- 1.4 Fiend's Darkness
- 1.5 Dragon's Darkness
- 1.6 Aberration's Darkness
- 1.7 Fey's Darkness
- 1.8 Multiclassing
When a warrior taps into the dark power within their blood, a result of their pedigree containing some sort of evil being such as a demon, they ofttimes lose their sanity to this dark force. However, not all succumb to the power. Some are able to control this power, however, and wield it for their own beliefs. These swordsmen are forces to be reckoned with, adroitly exerting abyssal puissance against any who would stand against them.
Descendants of Evil
Stygian swordsmen harness tenebrosity granted to them by the cursed blood within. Their powers are fearsome, but controlling this dark strength is physically taxing, and defending yourself is likely as ineffective as the foe's own defenses.
Creating a Stygian Swordsman
When creating a Stygian Swordsman, consider how you obtained your powers, and why you have risked your mind and body to attempt control of the darkness within you. Did an ancient ancestor of yours make a pact with a powerful fiend, cursing your lineage with the shadow of a demon? Do you wield this power in retribution against those who wronged you? Or do you use this power in contrary to the original fiend's wishes, wielding it against those whose evil actions are reminiscent of the creature you channel the power from? The malicious being may be long dead, but its influence lingers still within you.
- Quick Build
You can make a Stygian Swordsman quickly by following these suggestions. First, Strength or Dexterity should be your highest ability score, followed by Charisma. Second, choose the haunted one background.
As a Stygian Swordsman you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Armor: Light armor
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Charisma
Skills: Choose two from Acrobatics, Arcana, Athletics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, and Stealth.
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) any martial melee weapon or (b) any martial ranged weapon and 20 pieces of ammunition
- any light armor
- (a) a dungeoneer's pack or (b) an explorer's pack
- a shortsword
- If you are using starting wealth, you have 5d4 × 10 gp. in funds.
|Features||Shadow Surges||Cantrips Known||Spells Known||—Spell Slots per Spell Level—|
|1st||+2||Dark Nascency, Spellcasting||-||2||2||2||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+2||Tenebrous Blade, Unholy Crepuscule||2||2||3||3||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+2||Eruption of Darkness||3||2||4||4||2||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement||4||3||5||4||3||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|6th||+3||Dark Nascency feature||6||3||7||4||3||3||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||8||3||9||4||3||3||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|9th||+4||Authority of the Abyss||9||4||10||4||3||3||3||1||—||—||—||—|
|10th||+4||Eruption of Darkness Improvement||10||4||10||4||3||3||3||2||—||—||—||—|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||12||4||11||4||3||3||3||2||1||—||—||—|
|14th||+5||Dark Nascency feature||14||4||12||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||—||—|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||16||4||13||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||1||—|
|18th||+6||Dark Nascency feature||18||4||14||4||3||3||3||3||1||1||1||1|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||19||4||15||4||3||3||3||3||2||1||1||1|
Select a dark nascency, which delineates the dark ancestor you draw power from, as detailed at the bottom of the page. Your choice grants you features when you choose it at 1st level, and again at 6th level, 14th level, and 18th level.
Through intense mental training, you have learned to harness the wellspring of dark magic within you. By accessing this wellspring, you can unleash an array of powerful spells.
At 1st level, you choose three cantrips from the warlock spell list. You learn additional cantrips at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Stygian Swordsman table.
- Spell Slots
The Stygian Swordsman table shows how many spell slots you have to cast 1st-level or higher. To cast one of these stygian swordsman spells, you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.
- Spells Known of 1st-level and Higher
You know two 1st-level spells from the warlock spell list.
The Spells Known column of the Stygian Swordsman table shows when you learn more wizard and warlock spells of your choice. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one warlock spell you know and replace it with a different one from the warlock spell list, provided it is of a level for which you have spell slots.
- Spellcasting Ability
Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your spells, since utilization of your magic requires a sufficient willpower to resist the darkness and control it properly. You use your Charisma whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Charisma modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
- Spell save DC = 8 + your Charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus
- Spell attack modifier = your Charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus
- Spellcasting Focus
You can use a arcane focus as your spellcasting focus.
You have taken the first step to allowing the darkness to manifest, harnessing it within your blade. Beginning at 2nd level, you can attune to a melee weapon that not have the heavy or two-handed property that you touch, for 1 hour during a long rest.
When the process ends, the weapon becomes a tenebrous blade, gaining the following benefits:
- Its damage die increase in one size (a d6 becomes a d8, for example).
- You can use the tenebrous blade as a spellcasting focus for your stygian swordmaster spells.
- Your tenebrous blade is considered magical for the purposes of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.
Beginning at 2nd level, you have learned to unleash a special type of darkness hidden deep within you. This darkness is represented by shadow surges, culminations of darkness cultivated over generations that allow you to create a variety of effects.
- Shadow Surges
You have 2 shadow surges, and you gain more as you reach higher levels, as shown in the Shadow Surges column of the Stygian Swordsman table. You can never have more shadow surges than shown on the table for your level. You regain spent shadow surges after finishing a long rest.
- Pernicious Warrior
You can expend shadow surges to activate additional effects when taking certain actions. You gain two pernicious warrior techniques at 2nd level, gaining one more at 5th, 9th, 13th and 17th levels. When you gain a new level in the Stygian Swordsman, you can choose to replace one technique you know for a new one.
- Shadow Dash
When you take the Dash action, you can expend 1 shadow surge to further increase your speed by an amount equal to your walk speed. Additionally, you can spend another shadow surge to prevent attacks of opportunity from being taken against you until the start of your next turn.
- Dark Evasion
When you take the Dodge action, you can expend 1 shadow surge. Until the start of your next turn, when you are forced to make a Dexterity saving throw to avoid damage, you take only half damage on a failed save, and no damage on a successful save. Additionally, you can spend another shadow surge to force foes who attack you with disadvantage to roll a third die and take the lowest roll of the three.
- Gloaming Maneuvers
When you take the Disengage action, you can expend 1 shadow surge. During your movement, when you leave the range of a hostile creature, you can make one melee weapon attack against them if they are still within your reach, no action required. You cannot make use of this feature multiple times on the same target during that turn.
- Somber Focus
When you cast a spell that requires concentration, you can expend a number of shadow surges equal to twice the spell level to remove that requirement. You cannot use this feature on more than one spell at a time, and still can't cast two spells that require concentration at the same time.
- Wicked Influence
When you take the Help action, you can expend 1 shadow surge to allow the ally you are helping can re-roll one of the dice once. Additionally, if they are making an ability check in which they are proficient, you can spend another shadow surge to grant them a bonus to their roll equal to their proficiency bonus.
- Lugubrious Forbearance
When you take the Ready action, you can expend 1 shadow surge to gain advantage on the readied action if applicable, and your readied action does not consume your reaction. Alternatively, you can expend 1 shadow surge to ready two actions.
- Unholy Prescience
When you take the Search action, you can expend 1 shadow surge to gain advantage on the ability check. Additionally, you can spend another shadow surge to gain a bonus to your roll equal to your proficiency bonus.
- Sable Swiftness
When you take the Use an Object action, you can expend 1 shadow surge to take another action immediately after. If this action induces an ability check, saving throw, or attack roll, you have advantage on that roll. You can only use this feature once per round. You cannot expend shadow surges on that action.
- Caliginous Force
When you take the Attack action and hit, you can expend any amount of shadow surges and increase the damage dice by an amount equal to the shadow surges spent. Additionally, you can expend 1 shadow surge to make an additional attack as part of the same action. You cannot expend shadow surges on the additional attack.
- Shroud of the Night
When you take the Hide action, you can expend 1 shadow surge to become invisible until the start of your next turn. Additionally, you can expend another shadow surge to become unnoticeable to creatures with Blindsight and Tremorsense as well.
Eruption of Darkness
Starting at 3rd level, you unleash an explosion of dark energy that devastates any who would dare to oppose you or your allies. When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can expend one spell slot to deal necrotic damage to the target, in addition to the weapon's damage. Creatures other than you within 5 feet of that enemy must make a Constitution saving throw against your spell save DC or take damage equivalent to the spell slot spent and are blinded by shadows, until the end of your next turn. A 1st-level spell slot deals 2d8, plus 2d8 for each spell level higher than 1st, up to a max of 18d8. The creatures in the area take half damage on a successful save and no additional effect.
Starting at 10th level, the radius increases to 10 feet, and creatures who fail the saving throw are blinded for 1 minute. The creatures affected by this blindness can try another saving throw on the beginning of each of its turns to end the effect.
Ability Score Improvement
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.
The darkness has seeped into your bones, granting you astonishing strength and speed. Beginning at 5th level, when using your Tenebrous Blade you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action.
Authority of the Abyss
Beginning at 9th level, your control over the darkness within you is beginning to show signs of mastery, but the overexposure to negative energy is beginning to tax your body. Once a day, when you finish a short or a long rest, you can reduce your maximum number of hit points in 1/3. When you do so, you regain 4 shadow surges and any necrotic damage you deal ignores resistance and treats immunity as resistance.
Additionally, as a bonus action, you can increase the damage dealt by your weapon attacks by an amount equal to your AC until the end of your next turn. However, your AC is reduced to 0 for the duration.
The darkness imbues you with the persistence of enraged fiends and the vindictiveness of evil dragons. Starting at 13th level, when you are hit by another creature, you can use your reaction to place a curse on them. If the damage suffered would reduce you to 0 hit points, you are instead reduced to 1 hit point. The foe must make a Wisdom saving throw or suffer the following effects of your curse:
- The foe suffers disadvantage on ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws.
- The foe must make a Wisdom saving throw at the start of each of their turns. On a failed save, it wastes its turn doing nothing.
- The foe takes an additional 2d10 necrotic damage from all attacks and spells.
The curse's DC equals 8 plus the damage dealt. The curse lasts for 1 minute. You must finish a long rest before you can use this feature again.
You have mastered control of the darkness within you; no longer does it belong to the original creature, but rather, to you. Beginning at 20th level, when you roll a critical hit with your Tenebrous Blade, your damage is maximized. Additionally, when you make an attack with advantage, you can re-roll one of the dice once.
Furthermore, your attacks and damaging spells gain an additional damage die.
The darkness within your blood belongs to an inhabitant of the Abyss or the Nine Hells, perhaps caused by an ancestor's pact with a devil, or fornication with a demon. Whatever the situation may have been, what resulted was the shadow within you.
- Fiendish Beguilement
You have honed your silver tongue and laced it with dark magic. Beginning at 1st level, Charisma (Deception) checks you make are made with advantage. In addition, you can use your action to allure one humanoid within 30 feet of you. Make a Charisma (Deception) check contested by the target's Wisdom (Insight) check. If your check succeeds, the target is charmed by you, believing you be a trustworthy individual for 1 minute.
- Blazing Abhorrence
You bear a fiery hatred for those who have wronged you. Starting at 1st level, you remember every affront against you with perfect accuracy, and when you are disserviced or injured, you never forget the moment and exactly who did it to you, even if your memories are erased, as the grudge is burned into your blood.
Additionally, if you are hit by another creature, you deal additional damage dice against them equal to half of your proficiency bonus, rounded down, with a minimum of one additional die, while they are above 0 hit points.
Furthermore, when you are reduced to 0 hit points, you can instead be reduced to 1 hit point. Upon using this feature, you deal two additional damage dice for 1 minute. You can use this feature twice, regaining all uses upon finishing a long rest.
- Material Soul
Your soul becomes tied to the Material Plane, just as the soul of an outsider is to their home plane. Beginning at 6th level, when you die in a plane other than the Material Plane, your body and soul return to that plane, and your hit points are fully regenerated. You regain any missing body parts, even your own head. If you die in the Material Plane, you die as normal.
Additionally, fiends, celestials, fey and elementals you reduce to 0 hit points die, and are not transported back to their home plane.
- Foundation of Corpses
You are most powerful when surrounded by fresh corpses. Starting at 14th level, when you reduce a creature to 0 hit points, your weapons and spells gain an additional damage die for 1 minute.
Additionally, when you successfully attack an unconscious creature, you deal maximum damage, and you double your total damage.
- Blood Will Rain
You are an expert at massacring groups of powerful enemies. Beginning at 18th level, you can spend 1 shadow surge to make an attack formed from darkness. This attack's range equals your weapon's reach + your walk speed. Make a melee weapon attack against any number of foes within your reach. This attack counts as magical, and you add your proficiency bonus to the attack roll, even if you are already proficient. You make a seperate attack roll for each creature. This attack deals an additional 5d10 necrotic damage, and foes reduced to 0 hit points by this feature die instantly. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier.
The darkness within your blood belongs to an ancient evil dragon, perhaps due to a scandal in a polymorphed form, or a reward of transfusion for an exceptionally useful minion. Whatever matter may have taken place, you benefit from supreme might granted by this draconic shadow.
- Unending Desire
The draconic darkness in your blood has imbued you with a lust for gold and blood. Beginning at 1st level, you suffer disadvantage on Wisdom checks while you can see gold that you do not own, as your focus is centered on the possible wealth you could accumulate. While you can see gold that you do own, you gain advantage on Wisdom checks, as the pride you feel when with your hoard steels you for any challenge.
Additionally, choose one of the following damage types: acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison. You can subsitute the necrotic damage type with this damage type whenever one of your class features calls for it.
- Draconic Fury
Your rage is reminiscent of a true dragon; truly fearsome. Starting at 1st level, while you are below your hit point maximum, you deal an additional damage die, and attacks made by and against you have advantage. While you are below half of your hit point maximum, you deal two additional damage dice. While at 1 hit point, you deal three additional damage dice.
- Tempest of Shadow
The darkness within you has forged new bones within you, manifesting outside as a pair of dragon wings with a shadowy appearance. Beginning at 6th level, you gain a fly speed of 40 feet. You cannot benefit from this while you are wearing heavy armor.
Additionally, when targeted by a missile such as an arrow, you can use your reaction to create a strong draft with your wings, negating the attack.
Furthermore, as an action, you can use your wings to blow out fires, channeling dark force into the gust to put it out completely, as the darkness rapidly spreads through the blaze and reduces it to mere embers.
- Wyrm's Vision
The darkness seeps into your eyes, honing them to the same echelon as a dragon. Starting at 14th level, you gain truesight up to 10 feet, and you become immune to the blinded condition.
Additionally, you can dispel an illusion that you can see with your truesight. Make an Intelligence (Arcana) check against the caster's spell save DC. On a success, you dispel the illusion completely, along with all traces of magic tied to it.
- Dragon's Defense
The power of the dragon flows through you, and you have mastered control of it. Beginning at 18th level, when you fail a saving throw, you can choose to succeed instead. Once you use this feature, you cannot use it until you finish a long rest.
Additionally, when a creature within 30 feet of you fails a saving throw, you can expend a use of this feature as a reaction to make them automatically pass the save.
The darkness within your blood belongs to an aberration, a curious result of what was possibly the magical impregnation of one of your ancestors by a beholder or mind flayer. However this may have happened, the result is an eldritch darkness within you that enables more powerful magic.
- Otherworldly Acumen
The strange shadow within you has granted you supernatural perception. Beginning at 1st level, you had advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks. Additionally, you can detect illusions and automatically succeed on saving throws against them.
Furthermore, you can perceive the contents of any telepathic communication within 60 feet of you, and you cannot be surprised by creatures with any form of telepathy.
- Aberrant Bequest
The dwellers of the Underdark have granted you their powers as your birthright. Starting at 1st level, the ground in a 5-foot radius around you is doughlike difficult terrain. Creatures who start their turn in this radius must make a Strength saving throw. The DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus. On a failed save, their speed is reduced to 0 until the start of their next turn.
Additionally, you gain resistance to psychic damage, and you have advantage on Wisdom saving throws.
- Exceeding Dominion
Your grasp of magic is exceptional, and you can shape the perceived reality of your spells. Beginning at 6th level, when casting a spell, you can expend 1 shadow surge to make it both invisible and silent. A creature that can see through illusions perceives it as normal. You can use this feature three times, and you regain all uses upon finishing a long rest.
- Force of the Occult
The darkness has seeped into every part of you, even your breathing. Starting at 14th level, you can breathe in air and water. Additionally, you gain telepathy up to 60 feet, and creatures who cannot speak or do not understand any languages can still understand your telepathy.
Furthermore, while using telepathy, you can attempt to seize control of the mind you are communicating with. As an action, you can impose a Wisdom saving throw on a creature you are communicating with telepathically. The DC equals 8 + your Charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus. On a failed save, that creature is magically charmed by you for 1 minute. They are under your control and cannot take reactions. Whenever that creature takes damage, they can repeat the saving throw. When the duration ends, the creature is fully aware that they were being controlled. A creature prone to violence might attack you. Other creatures may seek retribution in different ways (at the DM's discretion).
- Limitless Control
You have tapped into the power of all aberrations, wielding their powers in unison with efficiency matching their own. Beginning at 18th level, you can spend 5 shadow surges to emit a 150-foot antimagic cone in front of you for 1 minute. Additionally, you can spend 3 shadow surges to duplicate the effect of certain eye rays, each with a range of 120 feet. The ray's DC equals 8 + your charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus. Choose a target and roll a d10. The ray's type is determined by the table below. This feature may only be used once per long rest.
|1||Charm Ray||The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be charmed for 1 minute, or until you harm the creature.|
|2||Paralyzing Ray||The target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be paralyzed for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of their turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.|
|3||Fear Ray||The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be frightened for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of their turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.|
|4||Slowing Ray||The target must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the target's speed is halved for 1 minute. In addition, the creature can't take reactions, and it can take either an action or a bonus action on its turn, not both. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.|
|5||Enervation Ray||The target must make a Constitution saving throw, taking 8d8 necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.|
|6||Telekinetic Ray||If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be moved by you up to 30 feet in any direction. It is restrained by the ray's telekinetic grip until the start of your next turn or until you are incapacitated.
If the target is an object weighing 300 pounds or less that isn't being worn or carried, it is moved up to 30 ft. in any direction. You can also exert fine control on objects with this ray, such as manipulating a simple tool or opening a door or a container.
|7||Sleep Ray||The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or fall asleep and remain unconscious for 1 minute. The target awakens if it takes damage or another creature takes an action to wake it. This ray has no effect on constructs and undead.|
|8||Petrification Ray||The target must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature begins to turn to stone and is restrained. It must repeat the saving throw at the end of its next turn. On a success, the effect ends. On a failure, the creature is petrified until freed by the greater restoration spell or other magic.|
|9||Disintegration Ray||If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 10d8 force damage. If this damage reduces the creature to 0 hit points, its body becomes a pile of fine gray dust.
If the target is a Large or smaller nonmagical object or creation of magical force, it is disintegrated without a saving throw. If the target is a Huge or larger object or creation of magical force, this ray disintegrates a 10-foot cube of it.
|10||Death Ray||The target must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 12d12 necrotic damage. The target dies if the ray reduces it to 0 hit points.|
The darkness within your blood belongs to an inhabitant of the Feywild, potentially caused by a powerful eladrin's lust for one of your pregenitors, or the boredom of an evil archfey leading them to seek carnal pleasure with a mortal. However the situation played out, the result is a foul darkness within you, fueled by sin.
- Dark Ennui
The darkness in your blood desires fulfillment and satisfaction, growing restless when idle and calming after activity. Beginning at 1st level, you can choose to gain the benefits of a short rest when you reduce a creature to 0 hit points. You must finish a long rest before you can use this feature again.
Additionally, you gain disadvantage on ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws after 4 hours spent doing no activity, which is removed upon spending 4 hours performing light activity. You gain one level of exhaustion after 48 hours without battle or debauchery. This exhaustion can only be cured by reducing a creature to 0 hit points or committing debauchery.
- Vile Allurement
Your blood seeks to lead others astray from the path of virtue. Starting at 1st level, you add double your proficiency bonus to Charisma checks made to entice others to commit a sin or crime.
Additionally, you gain advantage on attack rolls against the Good-aligned.
- Veil of Deception
The fey's shadow gravitates towards dishonesty, and infuses you with unhindered lying. Beginning at 6th level, magical effects that would force you to tell the truth no longer apply. When a creature detects whether or not you are lying, it appears to them as the truth.
Additionally, you gain proficiency in Deception. If you are already proficient, you may add double your proficiency bonus to Deception checks.
- Fey's Freedom
Chaos and freedom flow through you, and you become a truly liberated force. Starting at 14th level, you are always under the effects of the Freedom of Movement spell.
Additionally, you can use all magical items, regardless of their requirements.
- Chaos Sleight
You wield the unbridled chaos of the Feywild as though it were a tool, and the darkness within you flows through every inch of your body. Beginning at 18th level, when you are required to make a saving throw, you can subsitute it with a Dexterity saving throw.
Additionally, you add half of your Dexterity modifier, rounded up, to all skills you are not proficient in.
Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Stygian Swordsman class, you must meet these prerequisites: Strength or Dexterity 16, Charisma 16, some sort of powerful evil member of your genealogy whose creature type is fiend, dragon, aberration, or fey.
Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Stygian Swordsman class, you gain the following proficiencies: All weapons.