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Dungeon Situational – Player Class

As promised a while back, it’s time to bring back Dungeon Situational; a weekly series where I present content designed for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, but broadly adaptable for other editions and systems.

This week, as promised in a previous article, I will be creating five levels of a new class that reflects a few minor grievances and absences I find in the D&D class system. None of the material is play-tested, so if you try out this class or any of the class features please do let me know how it goes. At the bottom of the article you can also vote on what you’d like me to create next week.

For now, introducing the first five levels of…

The Reaver

A Halfling weaves through a crowd of brutes, each treble her height. She leaves each one with a freshly bleeding wound.
Mid-duel, a Drow forces his opponent’s blade aside and looses a crossbow bolt over their shoulder, before resuming the swordplay.
As the boats come grinding ashore, a pair of human twins clash axes in a salute, before charging the invading force.

Fast moving dervishes, skirmishers, scoundrels, and scouts; Reavers are light on their feet and fight from the edges, moving from opponent to opponent quickly, or isolating and hampering the efforts of each enemy in turn. They might be pirates who learned how to improvise in a scrap; Military scouts who mastered combat outside of a regiment; Or lone swordsmen, more at home with beating unfavourable odds.

From a gameplay standpoint, the Reaver is designed to utilise and expand upon reaction options, so that time spent between turns in combat are peppered with more and more damage, combined with interference to the actions of your opponents.

As a reaver you have the following class traits:

Hit Points

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

Proficiencies

Armour: Light armour, medium armour, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Charisma
Skills: Choose three from Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Persuasion, Stealth, and Survival

Level Proficiency Bonus Features
1 +2 Fighting Style, Mobile Combatant (1d4)
2 +2 Vaulting Movement
3 +2 Adaptive
4 +2 Ability Score Improvement
5 +3 Reactive

Fighting Style

You choose a fighting style in a similar manner to the fighter, paladin, or ranger. You may choose Archery, Dueling, Protection, or Two Weapon Fighting, in addition to the following options:

Polearm: While you are wielding a glaive, halberd, or pike, you may make an opportunity attack against a creature that moves into a space within 5 ft. of you.*

Shoot and Stab: If you hit a creature with a melee attack, you can make a ranged attack as a bonus action without the disadvantage imposed by having a creature adjacent to you. If you choose a different creature than the one you hit, apply your ability modifier to the attack’s damage roll.

Mobile Combatant

If you move 15 ft. of your movement speed on your turn, your next attack will deal an additional 1d4 damage of a damage type dealt by the weapon. The damage increases to 2d4 when you reach level 7, and 3d4 when you reach level 14.

Vaulting Movement

Your movement cannot easily be impeded. Starting at 2nd level your movement is not impeded by difficult terrain so long as you do not start your movement within the terrain, and you ignore mundane obstacles 3 ft. tall or lower.

Adaptive

You are prepared for anything the chaos of the battlefield might bring. At 3rd level you may choose 2 more ways to use your reaction. You can choose another option at 7th, 10th, and 15th levels. Some of the options call for a saving throw. The DC for the saving throw is equal to 8 + your choice of your strength or dexterity modifiers + your proficiency modifier.

Close: When a creature you can see moves, you can move up to 10 ft. towards it. If you end this movement adjacent to that creature, you can make an attack against it, but you do not add your ability modifier to the attack’s damage unless that modifier is negative.

Cover: When a creature you can see makes an opportunity attack, you can make an attack against it, but you do not add your ability modifier to the attack’s damage unless that modifier is negative. If the attack hits, the creature makes its opportunity attack with disadvantage.

Deflect: When a creature makes an attack against you and you are wearing a melee weapon or shield, you can impose disadvantage on the attack.

Interfere: When a creature within 30 ft. of you attempts to cast a spell you can move 10 ft. If you end this movement adjacent to the spell caster it must succeed on a saving throw based on its spellcasting ability, or the spell fails.

Manoeuvre: When an creature you can see ends its turn, you can move up to half your speed.

Shot: When another creature you can see ends its turn and you are wielding a ranged weapon, you can make a ranged attack, but you do not add your ability modifier to the attack’s damage unless that modifier is negative.

Withdraw: When a creature moves within 5 ft. of you, you can move 10 ft. This movement provokes opportunity attacks.

Ability Score Improvement

This works the same as every other class. At 4th level, pick a feat or up your stats.

Reactive

Your reflexes hone ever further. Starting at 5th level you can take two reactions per turn.

Future Advancement For The Reaver

The class may further develop abilities that prevent its movement from being inhibited, such as advantage to saving throws like dexterity, checks to escape restraints and grapples, and powers that further their skirmishing capabilities and run circles around its opponents. Already you can see some of the advancement options listed that increase damage and reaction abilities.


I added more options for future Dungeon Situational articles during the hiatus, and now you get to choose next week’s title.

Legendary actions that can turn a bog standard creature into something unique and terrifying; spells with a twist that make them uniquely yours; and a shop, including content, owner, and secrets.


*Note that this is distinct from the wording of the Polearm Master feat, making it less potent. Aside from the fact that it still makes the feat worth taking, it still increases the potency of your opportunity attacks, which specifically target creatures leaving your reach, rather than entering it.

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7 responses

  1. Quite an interesting idea, I’m too much of a noob to tell how good it is though lol. I voted for Legendary Actions, its fun upgrading basic creatures to be something more. For example all it takes to turn a group of Kobold’s into advantage abusing glass cannons is a 2nd dagger and sneak attack (which I call Kobold Assassins).

    Liked by 1 person

    August 23, 2018 at 8:08 am

    • Adding a class feature as simple as that can make some pretty brutal new creatures. I for one like turning creatures into warlocks to give them a bit of flair

      Like

      August 23, 2018 at 8:19 am

  2. I have a class theme to look into, just for you, a fighting style revolving around thrown weapons. WE have archers, swordsmen and everything, but where’s the bottle, or dagger more likely, thrower?

    I have a few ideas on how to handle this circus performer, but I’d like to see your point of view.

    As for the Reaver, perhaps an economy of reactions would do it good, especially as it develops the ability to perform more reactive actions. For example, the ability to use a reaction to potentially disrupt a spell being cast is extremely powerful and perhaps not one that could be used more than once per round, even if they have their 2 reactions, especially since the reaction includes a 10ft movement for free. it could be that such an action consumes both of their reactions for a turn.

    Personally, the way I would handle it instead is that for the Reaver, anyone casting a spell within his threat area gets an attack of opportunity from them, similar to how it used to be in 3.5 if I remember correctly. This damage would then force the spellcaster to perform a concentration check to spit out the spell despite the bleeding gash in their gut. Perhaps with an improvement down the line that, similar to the Occult Slayer from 3.5, the damage dealt by the opportunity attack counts as doubled for the purposes of this check.

    When I read vaulting movement, I thought it would mean the character could vault over enemies, essentially move across their “squares” without provoking attacks of opportunity. Maybe somewhere down the line.

    Favourite reaction though, definitely Cover.

    Like

    August 23, 2018 at 8:18 am

    • RE: Vaulting Movement. It’s important to an extent that the Reaver can still provoke opportunity attacks, the d10 HD accounts for their ability to take the gamble and keep moving without too much concern. I considered adjusting the spell save by deducting the spell’s level, making spells easier to counter at lower levels and harder for the worse ones, but I also thought “How much maths is too much maths”

      Liked by 1 person

      August 23, 2018 at 5:48 pm

      • Yeah there is a limit on how much math you want to deal with turn to turn.

        Like

        August 23, 2018 at 6:01 pm

  3. Interesting. I like mobility based combat options.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 3, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    • My main drive was to utilise the reaction mechanic to greater degrees, allowing a player to keep acting in between turns. The mobility elements were a necessity from then on. Glad you enjoyed it, and if you use any of the elements here, let me know

      Like

      September 5, 2018 at 9:29 am

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