Paladin: Cursed Warrior D&D 5E Sub-class

by Charles Holzler

Great evil has touched your mind, body and soul. Seeing the darkness first hand, you have sworn to protect the light from the evil below; in so doing you seek to overcome the darkness that has tainted your soul. The Cursed Warrior swears to uphold justice and righteousness, to stand with the good things of the world against the encroaching darkness, and to hunt the forces of evil wherever they lurk.  They are bound by the oaths that grant them power to do their sacred work. The Cursed Warrior’s power comes as much from a commitment to justice itself as it does from their hatred of the darkness that once corrupted their soul.

Sacred Oath
When you reach 3rd level, you swear the oath that binds you as a paladin forever. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 5th, 7th, 9th, 13th, 15th, 17th, and 20th level.

Oath of the Ancients
Kindle the Light: Through your acts of mercy, kindness, and forgiveness, kindle the light of hope in the world, beating back despair.

Shelter the Light: Where there is good, beauty, love, and laughter in the world, stand against the wickedness that would swallow it. Where life flourishes, stand against the forces that would render it barren.

Preserve Your Own Light: Delight in song and laughter, in beauty and art. If you allow the light to die in your own heart, you can’t preserve it in the world.

Be the Light: Be a glorious beacon for all who live in despair. Let the light of your joy and courage shine forth in all your deeds.

Channel Divinity

At 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options. When you use your Channel Divinity, you choose which option to use. You must then finish a short or long rest to use your Channel Divinity again.

Wrath of the Cursed: As an action, you can cause spectral arms to spring up and reach for a creature within 10 feet of you that you can see. The creature must succeed on a Strength or Dexterity saving throw (its choice) or be restrained. While restrained by the arms, the creature repeats the saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a success, it frees itself and the arms vanish.

Wail of the Cursed: As an action, you can make each enemy within 30 feet of you that can hear you must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is turned for 1 minute or until it takes damage. A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move far away from you as it can, and it can’t willingly move to a space within 30 feet of you. It also can’t take reactions. For its action, it can use only the Dash action try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there’s nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action. If the creature’s true form is concealed by an illusion, shape-shifting, or other effect, that form is revealed while it is turned.

Undying Warriors’ Wrath:

Starting at 3rd level, when you are reduced to 0 hit points or less, your spirit arises to defend your body. The spirit has half of your full hit points and has an attack equal to your melee weapon attack. The spirt remains until it is reduced to 0 hit points, your body dies due to damage or you fail 3 death saving throws.

Vow of Enmity
As a bonus action, you can utter a vow of enmity against a creature you can see within 10 feet of you, using your Channel Divinity. You gain advantage on attack rolls against the creature for 1 minute or until it drops to 0 hit points or falls unconscious.

Aura of Warding
Beginning at 6th level, you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you have resistance to damage from spells. At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Aura of Courage
Starting at 10th level, you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can’t be Frightened while you are conscious.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Soul of Vengeance
Starting at 15th level, the authority with which you speak your Vow of Enmity gives you greater power over your foe. When a creature under the effect of your Vow pf Enmity makes an attack, you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against that creature if it is within range.

Elder Champion
At 20th level, you can assume the form of an ancient force of nature, taking on an appearance you choose. Using your action, you undergo a transformation.

For 1 minute, you gain the following benefits:

  • At the start of each of your turns, you regain 10 hit points.
  • Whenever you cast a paladin spell that has a casting time of 1 action, you can cast it using a bonus action instead.
  • Enemy creatures within 10 feet of you have disadvantage on saving throws against your paladin spells and Channel Divinity options.

 Level

Proficiency Bonus

Features

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

1st

+2

Divine SenseLay on Hands

2nd

+2

Fighting StyleSpellcastingDivine Smite

2

3rd

+2

Divine Health Ensnaring Strike, Speak with Dead

3

4th

+2

Ability Score Improvement

3

5th

+3

Extra Attack, Moonbeam, Misty Step

4

2

6th

+3

Aura of Warding

4

2

7th

+3

Sacred Oath feature

4

3

8th

+3

Ability Score Improvement

4

3

9th

+4

Spirit Guardians, Protection from Energy

4

3

2

10th

+4

Aura of Courage

4

3

2

11th

+4

Improved Divine Smite

4

3

3

12th

+4

Ability Score Improvement

4

3

3

13th

+5

Ice Storm, Stoneskin

4

3

3

1

14th

+5

Cleansing Touch

4

3

3

1

15th

+5

Sacred Oath feature

4

3

3

2

16th

+5

Ability Score Improvement

4

3

3

2

17th

+6

Raise Dead, Greater Restoration

4

3

3

3

1

18th

+6

Aura improvements

4

3

3

3

1

19th

+6

Ability Score Improvement

4

3

3

3

2

20th

+6

Commune with Nature, Tree Stride

4

3

3

3

2

Class features:

Hit Points

  • Hit Dice: 1d10 per paladin level.
  • Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + your Constitution modifier.
  • Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per paladin level after 1st.

Proficiencies

  • Armor: All armor, shields.
  • Weapons: Simple and martial weapons.
  • Tools:
  • Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
  • Skills: Choose two from Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Medicine, Persuasion, and Religion.

 

Equipment

  • a martial weapon and a shield or (b) two martial weapons
  • five javelins or (b) any simple melee weapon
  • a Priest’s Pack or (b) an Explorer’s Pack
  • Chain mail and a holy symbol

Alternatively, you may ignore the equipment from your class and background and start with 5d4 x 10 gp.

Divine Sense
As an action, until the end of your next turn, you know the location of any celestial, fiend, or undead within 60 feet of you that is not behind total cover. You know the type of any being whose presence you sense, but not its identity. Within the same radius, you also detect the presence of any place or object that has been consecrated or desecrated. You can use this feature a number of times equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier. When you finish a long rest, you regain all expended uses.

 

Lay on Hands
You have a pool of healing power that replenishes when you take a long rest. With that pool, you can restore a total number of hit points equal to your paladin level x 5. As an action, you can touch a creature and draw power from the pool to restore a number of hit points to that creature, up to the maximum amount remaining in your pool.

Alternatively, you can expend 5 hit points from your pool of healing to cure the target of one disease or neutralize one poison affecting it. You can cure multiple diseases and neutralize multiple poisons with a single use of Lay on Hands, expending hit points separately for each one.

This feature has no effect on undead and constructs.

Fighting Style
At 2nd level, you adopt a style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can’t take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.

Defense:  While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC.

Dueling: When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.

 Great Weapon Fighting: When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit.

Protection: When a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll. You must be wielding a shield.

Close Quarters Shooter (Unearthed Arcana): When making a ranged attack while you are within 5 feet of a hostile creature, you do not have disadvantage on the attack roll. Your ranged attacks ignore half cover and three-quarters cover against targets within 30 feet of you. Finally, you have a +1 bonus to attack rolls on ranged attacks.

Tunnel Fighter (Unearthed Arcana): As a bonus action, you can enter a defensive stance that lasts until the start of your next turn. While in your defensive stance, you can make opportunity attacks without using your reaction, and you can use your reaction to make a melee attack against a creature that moves more than 5 feet while within your reach.

Mariner (Unearthed Arcana): As long as you are not wearing heavy armor or using a shield, you have a swimming speed and a climbing speed equal to your normal speed, and you gain a +1 bonus to AC.

Spellcasting
At 2nd level, you can cast paladin spells.

Preparing and Casting Spells
The Paladin table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your paladin spells. To cast one of your paladin spells of 1st level or higher, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

You prepare the list of paladin spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the paladin spell-list. When you do so, choose a number of paladin spells equal to your Charisma modifier + half your paladin level, rounded down (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

Casting the spell doesn’t remove it from your list of prepared spells. You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of paladin spells requires time spent in prayer and meditation: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.

Spellcasting Ability
Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your paladin spells. 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 paladin spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your charisma modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your charisma modifier

 

Spellcasting Focus
You can use a holy symbol or a memento as a spellcasting focus for your paladin spells. The Memento is an item that was present with the character when they encountered the great evil that set them upon this path (i.e. a locket of hair or a stone.

Divine Smite
Starting at 2nd level, when you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can expend one spell slot to deal radiant damage to the target, in addition to the weapon’s damage. The extra damage is 2d8 for a 1st-level spell slot, plus 1d8 for each spell-level higher than 1st, to a maximum of 5d8. The damage increases by 1d8 if the target is an undead or a fiend, to a maximum of 6d8.

Divine Health
By 3rd level, the divine magic flowing through you makes you immune to disease.

Oath Spells

Level        Spells
3rd           Ensnaring Strike, Speak with Dead
5th           Moonbeam, Misty Step
9th           Spirit Guardians, Protection from Energy
13th         Ice Storm, Stoneskin
17th         Raise Dead, Greater Restoration

Ensnaring Strike
Duration  Conc. Up to 1 minute

The next time you hit a creature with a weapon attack, the target must succeed on a Strength save or be restrained until the spell ends. A Large or bigger creature has an advantage on this save.

While restrained by this spell, the target takes 1d6 piercing damage at the start of each of its turns. The creature restrained or one that can touch the creature can use its action to make a Strength check against your spell save DC. On a success, the target is freed.

At Higher Levels: The damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 1st.

Speak with Dead
Duration 10 minutes

You grant the semblance of life and Intelligence to a corpse of your choice within range, allowing it to answer the questions you pose. The corpse must still have a mouth and can’t be Undead. The spell fails if the corpse was the target of this spell within the last 10 days.

Until the spell ends, you can ask the corpse up to five questions. The corpse knows only what it knew in life, including the Languages it knew. Answers are usually brief, cryptic, or repetitive, and the corpse is under no Compulsion to offer a truthful answer if you are hostile to it or it recognizes you as an enemy. This spell doesn’t return the creature’s soul to its body, only its animating spirit. Thus, the corpse can’t learn new information, doesn’t comprehend anything that has happened since it died, and can’t speculate about future events.

Moonbeam
Duration 1 minute

A silvery beam of pale light shines down in a 5-foot radius, 40-foot-high Cylinder centered on a point within range. Until the spell ends, dim light fills the Cylinder.

When a creature enters the spell’s area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, it is engulfed in ghostly flames that cause searing pain, and it must make a Constitution saving throw. It takes 2d10 radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

A Shapechanger makes its saving throw with disadvantage. If it fails, it also instantly reverts to its original form and can’t assume a different form until it leaves the spell’s light.

On each of your turns after you cast this spell, you can use an action to move the beam 60 feet in any direction.

At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d10 for each slot level above 2nd.

Misty Step
Casting Time 1 bonus action
Duration: Instantaneous

Briefly surrounded by silvery mist, you Teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space that you can see.

Spirit Guardians
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self (15-foot radius)
Components: V, S, M (a holy symbol)
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

You call forth spirits to protect you. They flit around you to a distance of 15 feet for the duration. If you are good or neutral, their spectral form appears angelic or fey (your choice). If you are evil, they appear fiendish.

When you cast this spell, you can designate any number of creatures you can see to be unaffected by it. An affected creature’s speed is halved in the area, and when the creature enters the area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, it must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 3d8 radiant damage (if you are good or neutral) or 3d8 necrotic damage (if you are evil). On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 3rd.

Protection from Energy
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

For the duration, the willing creature you touch has resistance to one damage type of your choice: acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder.

Ice Storm
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 300 feet
Components: V S M (A pinch of dust and a few drops of water)
Duration: Instantaneous

A hail of rock-hard ice pounds to the ground in a 20-foot-radius, 40-foot-high Cylinder centered on a point within range. Each creature in the Cylinder must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 2d8 bludgeoning damage and 4d6 cold damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Hailstones turn the storm’s area of effect into difficult terrain until the end of your next turn.

At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher, the bludgeoning damage increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 4th.

Stoneskin
Casting Time: 1 action

This spell turns the flesh of a willing creature you touch as hard as stone. Until the spell ends, the target has Resistance to nonmagical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.

Raise Dead
Casting Time: 1 hour
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (a diamond worth at least 500 gp, which the spell consumes)
Duration: Instantaneous

You return a dead creature you touch to life, provided that it has been dead no longer than 10 days. If the creature’s soul is both willing and at liberty to rejoin the body, the creature returns to life with 1 hit point.

This spell also neutralizes any poisons and cures nonmagical diseases that affected the creature at the time it died. This spell doesn’t, however, remove magical diseases, curses, or similar effects; if these aren’t first removed prior to casting the spell, they take effect when the creature returns to life. The spell can’t return an undead creature to life.

This spell closes all mortal wounds, but it doesn’t restore missing body parts. If the creature is lacking body parts or organs integral for its survival–its head, for instance–the spell automatically fails.

Coming back from the dead is an ordeal. The target takes a −4 penalty to all attack rolls, saving throws, and ability checks. Every time the target finishes a long rest, the penalty is reduced by 1 until it disappears.

Greater Restoration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (diamond dust worth at least 100 gp, which the spell consumes)
Duration: Instantaneous

You imbue a creature you touch with positive energy to undo a debilitating effect. You can reduce the target’s exhaustion level by one, or end one of the following effects on the target:

  • One effect that charmed or petrified the target
  • One curse, including the target’s attunement to a cursed magic item
  • Any reduction to one of the target’s ability scores
  • One effect reducing the target’s hit point maximum
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