Volatile (5e Class)

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The Volatile[edit]

A large cloaked figure hunches under a door frame, bringing the chatter of the tavern down to a eerie silence as people turn their eyes upon it. An unsettling hum emanates from the figure, and an keen-eyed rogue notices the faint, dark glow in distorted lines underneath the cloth attire. The barkeep has their full attention on this being, and meekly awaits for it to say something.

A man opens his eyes and feels an emptiness coming from within. He sits up on the cool, flat surface and touches his bare chest, shocked at the cracks in his skin, cracks through which he could see the hollow cavern inside of himself, all organs removed but a strange crystal, jagged and sharp, lay where his heart should be. The room around him seemed devastated, as if one had lost control of a fireball. Necromancers lay dead on the ground, one holding a ragged book on forsaken rituals, shunned by most who saw them. All to suddenly, he hears a soft humming sound and loses consciousness.

The bugbears rejoiced in their victory over the strange intruder who had almost laid waste to their small tribe in the caves. They planned to eat the flesh of this invader, and set upon separating his limbs, and fighting over the foreboding battleaxe the burglar cut down their brothers with. The bugbears found his limbs were heavy as stone, and when skin was cracked open, revealed there to be no meat or bone, only empty space. A bugbear notices a large, craggy gem laying on the floor begin to glow, bringing with it a feeble hum.

Dead beyond death[edit]

For most beings, death is the end of it all, and whether they find peace in it or not, it will happen. Yet, some are much less fortunate to be the unwilling prey of a necromancer or demonic host, bound to service that erodes their sense of self beyond recognition. Hard as it is to believe, there are some who will be lost completely, augmented and transmuted into distorted, shambling husks of themselves, which they can see and feel, yet not control. Evil magic imbues the crystals that fill the cavity of their old bodies, replacing the weak and rotten flesh and organs with an eternal binding that turns their skin to rock and their will to steel. This binding keeps their old self intact and able to shrug off painful injuries and even draw lost limbs back to the crystal core.

Yet even with this power, the crystals are unstable and often flood in energy. The only way to discharge this energy is in expulsion, whether it be a spell or death. This release is powerful magic that emanates from the crystals within. The massive surges draws limbs and pieces together once more, crystals already beginning to swell in energy and yearn for another release. This is a cruel and never-ending cycle, one that the previous host must witness and feel, never resting, yet waiting for a final release to end it's own eternal death.

Creating a Volatile[edit]

Quick Build

You can make a Volatile quickly by following these suggestions. First, strength should be your highest ability score, followed by constitution. Second, choose the Greataxe and Chainmail.

Class Features

As a Volatile you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d10 per Volatile level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 1d10 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + Constitution modifier per Volatile level after 1st


Armor: Light armor, medium armor
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial melee weapons
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Strength, Constitution
Skills: Athletics, Intimidation, and Survival


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

  • (a) a greataxe or (b) a warhammer
  • a scale mail
  • (a) an explorer's pack or (b) a dungeoneer's pack
  • If you are using starting wealth, you have 0gp in funds.

Table: The Volatile

Level Proficiency
Features Calamity Charges
1st +2 Immortal, Eternal Binds, Strength of Stone -
2nd +2 Calamity Surge, Unfeeling 2
3rd +2 Archetype, Reanimate 3
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement, Ominous Humming 3
5th +3 Shatterfall 4
6th +3 Archetype Feature 4
7th +3 Necromantic Might 4
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 5
9th +4 Crushing Grip 5
10th +4 Crystal Infusion 5
11th +4 Strength of Steel 5
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 6
13th +5 Power Siphon 6
14th +5 Archetype Feature 6
15th +5 Undead Apathy 6
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 7
17th +6 Archetype Feature 7
18th +6 To the Brink 8
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement, Strength of Crystal 8
20th +6 Undying 9


At 1st level, due to the nature of your body, you do not need sleep, food, or drink to live and your body does not age.

Eternal Binds[edit]

Also at 1st level, your crystals are intertwined with the limbs and extensions of your body, pulling the parts back to your body and securing them. Your limbs can never be severed and you cannot be disarmed.

Strength of Stone[edit]

At 1st level, due to the crystal's powers, your skin and flesh have become as hard as stone. While not wearing armor, you gain the following benefits:

  • Your AC equals 12 + your Dexterity modifier.
  • You have resistance against slashing or piercing damage from non-magical weapons.

Calamity Surge[edit]

At 2nd level, your crystal has ancient sorcery that you can tap into to perform devastating maneuvers. Doing such maneuvers will drain some of the surging power of the crystal. You have an amount of calamity charges equal to 2, and you gain more calamity charges as you gain levels in this class. You regain all calamity charges after completing a long rest, or regain 2 charges after a short rest.

As an action, you can spend 1 calamity charge to fire a ball of the energies compressed within your body. Choose a creature within 150 feet, and that creature must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Constitution modifier) or take 1d6 necrotic damage and 1d8 force damage.

This damage increases as you gain levels in this class, adding another die for each damage roll at 6th level (2d6 and 2d8), 10th level (3d6 and 3d8), 14th level (4d6 and 4d8), 17th level (5d6 and 5d8), and 20th level (6d6 and 6d8).


At 2nd level, due to your crystal's unrelenting will, you can't be frightened or charmed.

In addition, you have resistance to psychic damage.


At 3rd level, your crystalline curse demands your life unended, and will release a massive energy surge to ensure it. When you die, you can spend 3 calamity charges to reanimate. When you do, you return to life after 3 rounds, with your maximum amount of hit points.

In addition, you release a large, magical pulse in an spherical area of 15 feet around you, forcing all creatures in the area to make a Constitution saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Constitution modifier) or take 1d10 necrotic and 2d10 force damage to anything inside of the pulse. Any non-magical equipped armor or unprotected objects in the area will be destroyed by this process.

This damage increases in one die at 5th level (2d10 and 3d10), 8th level (3d10 and 4d10), 11th level (4d10 and 5d10), 14th level (5d10 and 6d10), 18th level (6d10 and 7d10), and 20th level (7d10 and 8d10).

Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.

Ominous Humming[edit]

At 4th level, your crystals generate a droning humming sound, and make people around you unsettled by your presence. You now have add twice your proficiency bonus on Charisma (Intimidation) checks.

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.


At 5th level, you can use your action leap to a place you can see within 15 feet and make an attack roll with a melee weapon that has the heavy property. On a hit, the target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Constitution modifier), or take additional 1d8 thunder damage and is stunned until the start of your next turn.

In addition, on a hit, each creature other than you within 5 feet of the target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Constitution modifier), or take 1d8 thunder damage. You can spend calamity charges to increase the additional thunder damage in 1d8 per charge spent.

The thunder damage increase to 2d8 at 11th level, 3d8 at 17th level, and 4d8 at 20th level. The area of effect increases to 10 feet at 11th level.

Necromantic Might[edit]

At 7th level, your undeath benefits you in the way of power. When attacking with a heavy two-handed weapon, you can add a bonus equal to your Strength modifier to the damage roll.

Crushing Grip[edit]

Just as you cannot escape the crystal's grasp on your body and soul, you transmit that power to your grip, pulling all hope of escape away from your victim. At level 9, after successfully grappling an enemy, they have disadvantage on breaking free and take 1d6 necrotic and 1d6 bludgeoning damage every turn they end being grappled.

Crystalline infusion[edit]

The crystals demand the spread of their power to others, so that they may absorb the spirit of their new hosts and become stronger. At level 10, when grappling an enemy, you can spend one Calamity Charge to channel the crystal's curse through your arms to the victim. They must roll a DC the 10 CON save to resist the curse. This curse deals 1d6 necrotic damage to the host at the end of each of their turns, and can be broken with a remove curse spell. If the host dies from the curse directly, you heal for 1d12.

Strength of Steel[edit]

Due to the crystal's powers, your skin and flesh have been hardened to Steel. At level 11, without armor, you have an AC of 15+DEX.

Power Siphon[edit]

Your crystals can absorb the energies and matter of projectiles fired at you. At level 13 you gain the ability to spend 1 Calamity Charges to project a 5 foot cone of energy as a reaction, absorbing the powers in the projectile and for every 30 damage absorbed by Power Siphon, you regain one Calamity Charge. It costs 1 charge to sustain this effect through each turn you have it up.

Undead Apathy[edit]

The soulless don't recognize you as mortal, and care not of your presence. At level 15, you will not be attacked by undead creatures or constructs unless you attack them first.

To the Brink[edit]

At level 18, you can spend two Calamity Charges to drop your health to 0.

Strength of Crystal[edit]

Due to the crystal's powers, your skin and flesh have been hardened to the same unbreaking crystalline durability that imbues your body. At level 19, without armor, you have an AC of 17+DEX.


At level 20, your crystals become the ultimate form of undeath, never granting you the death you will always hope for. They surge eternally, never stopping or slowing. Reanimation no longer costs Calamity Charges or has a delay, and cannot be overridden by spells, bindings, and even personal choice.


Made to be controlled, the crystals within charge their calamitous energies charge faster and faster to better serve their lost masters, creating more need to release these forces.


Your crystals seem to have no limit to their power, and can charge beyond dangerous levels. Every time you would gain a Calamity Charge but already have the maximum amount allowed, you gain as many as you would have without raising the maximum. For instance, if you do a long rest with full Calamity Charges, you would gain the normal amount of them on top of the max. If you have over the max amount, when you roll for anything that costs Calamity Charges (besides Reanimate), extra charges add a chance to die. For every charge a margin of 3 is added, so an example would be 1 charge is 3, 2 charges is 6, etc. on the d20. Rolling within these margins kills you, and after reanimating, you lose all extra charges.

Soul Stealer

Your crystals thrive on souls and willpower, and can be fed that of others. Killing an enemy adds one Calamity Charge.

Death's Pull

Your reanimation demands the sacrifice of others, holding them in place for their demise. When charging Reanimate, you create a singularity centered on you spanning a spherical length of 25 feet. Within this space, everyone is pulled towards you and must roll a DC 15 to escape the pull. Failures will be pulled 10 feet towards the pulse, and unable to move out of the way on their turns.

Exterminatus Ultimatum

Your death is simply the omen to the deaths of others. When you use Reanimate, anything that dies from it will instantly create death explosions, dealing the amount of health left before they died as force damage to everything within 10 feet. These explosions can chain, causing more and more deathsplosions as more and more things die.


The crystal's power disfigures and distorts the appearance and natural abilities of it's host, driving others around it to shudder and cringe at the sight of it.

Hulking Monstrosity

The power of the crystal within manifests in your strength, allowing you to perform task requiring great strength with ease. At level 3, add the remaining number of Calamity Charges to your strength. Also gain advantage on strength checks (as long as there is at least one Calamity Charge).

It Follows

You are always a step ahead of your enemy, and they can't be prepared for your attacks. On your turn, you can use a bonus action to mark one enemy. That enemy is unable to use reactions against you for two rounds. This ability is free, and can be used once every two rounds.


Your weapon is a harbinger, and can bring any to the realization of their imminent death. When you hit someone with a heavy two-handed weapon, they must roll a DC 5 charisma check or become frightened.

Beyond Death

The crystals power not only your body but also your spirit. It drives you to take action before you reanimate. When you die, you can attempt to possess another body within 50 feet, which will have to roll a DC 20 constitution check to resist. If the target has no soul, IE undead or construct, they roll with disadvantage. If successful, the reanimation will begin charging on the turn the target was possessed, and will be centered on the possessed, using their life forces as energy and converting their new corpse into a compressed crystal form, bringing the terrible infusions from the crystals to the newly made ones.

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