Accursed, Variant (5e Class)

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Introduction[edit]

This is a revision of an existing class, an attempt to balance, put all of the information on a single page, and clarify how some of the features work. Credit goes to the original creator for their work, and inspiration

The Accursed[edit]

In the darkness of a decrepit cell, a man writhes in agony. A hand clenched to the glowing mark upon his face. In an instant his body wraps in on itself, the glow of the mark consuming his flesh and replacing it with the form of an eldritch beast. The abomination lurches to its cloven-hooved feet and rams glimmering hellish horns into the rusted iron of the prison cell. A shout goes out from behind the monstrosity that now stands in the jailhouse hall, its face caving into its chest and out its spine the creature reassembles unnaturally and charges the terrified guardsman...

A Woman surrounded by accusers slams her claw-etched staff into the ground once, her eyes become as black as a shark's and her veins twist into a thick blackened form. She raises the staff and again slams it upon the cobblestone road, her fingers peel away to reveal rune-encased claws beneath, and her face takes the shape of a wolf's skull. She strikes the staff into the ground one last time and the creature's transformation is complete, her accusers though vindicated now driven to madness...

A child places a branded hand upon the forehead of the sleeping owner of an orphanage and spends the night beside them, watching as the man's dreams grow ever more painful and insane. Hours have passed and daylight is soon upon the room, the child slithers down the side of the bed, their hands and legs twisting into clawed bestial legs they use to crawl out the window and climb down the building's siding before dawn. When the man awakens he heads to the kitchen, grabs a butcher knife, and begins a bloody slaughter of the other children trapped inside...

The scarred mother gazes upon the Cult Leader that took the life of her child and disfigured her. "You did this to me, you made me this way-" Her lips twist into a bleeding maw and a new voice rang out across the amphitheater "You should be happy to know your creation survived, even if it means you will not." The Woman's skin slid to the ground, all that remained of her old form being the manacles across her writhing bestial wrists. With a pounding flash of light, she appeared beside the Cultist and wrenched his heart free from his ribcage...

The Priestess of Lolth snapped the chains that'd bound her to the bloodied statue of her Goddess and rose from the blood a new being. A sanguine flow outlying the figure with thick mandibles twisting out the back of its head and a malignant tongue that melted the very floor as it lashed out. "Madness has chosen me, and I will not tarry." Her exoskeletal legs press down hard, crushing the ground beneath, and the transformed Priestess leaps into the air...

These are the Accursed, beings corrupted by dark powers cursed forevermore to transform in part or in whole into the Eldritch Monstrosities of Nightmares. Most are shunned or make their way through life as part of a cult, but in times of war, or in Lands of Darkness they may not just be sought upon, but created in masse.

An Unforgiving Curse[edit]

Countless horrors enshroud the world in darkness, malignance, and insanity. You have been touched by an entity that deals in at least one of these things with all its being, and have been forever changed by it. You may have been good once, or worse are still, but you are now cursed with an internal evil that haunts your very mind corrupting your very soul seeking to be unleashed. A struggle for control of your very self is constant within you, and the memories of what you have done while transformed flash before your eyes with every step you take in the light, threatening to shift the horror beneath your flesh into dominance over your body and mind. Many Accursed try to pass themselves off as warlocks or other classes with roots in the arcane and eldritch, though any studied scholar or true arcane master would easily be able to see past this thin ruse.

A Tortured Upbringing[edit]

To become one of the accursed is to suffer the pain of transformation, not just in form, but first in the mind. To become like this you must be exposed to madness so overwhelming it takes you in an instant or be tortured until you've been broken into a hollow enough vessel for which to bare the eldritch horror that will stalk your body and soul from inside henceforth. Flagellation and cruel instruments of precise torment are structured into the flow of your every moment of life and your mind is washed, filled with terrors and dread beyond that which not even the strongest could survive. With the focus branded into or forced upon you, however, you did survive. Not only did you survive this arduous season of torment and terror, but you came out of it the kind of aberrous thing you once raked your own flesh away from just witnessing its shadow passing in your dreams...

Creating an Accursed[edit]

Quick Build

You can make an Accursed quickly by following these suggestions. First, Wisdom should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Second, choose the Cursed background. Third, choose an Easily Removed Robe, common clothes, Three Bandages, and take your Eldritch Focus as a Brand. The Accursed class functions somewhat like a Warlock created from a curse rather than a pact, so defer to the Warlock class for spells and spell slot information for each level.

Class Features

As a Accursed you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per Accursed level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Accursed level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: Light Armor
Weapons: Simple Weapons
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Constitution
Skills: Survival, Intimidation, stealth or athletics, and your choice of Perception or Arcana

Equipment

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

  • (a) A Thick Cloak or (b) A Hooded Cape or (c) Easily Removed Robe
  • (a) Tattered Clothing or (b) common clothes
  • (a) Three Bandages or (b) A Week's Rations
  • (a) Eldritch Focus (Brand) or (b) Eldritch Focus (Weapon)

Table: The Accursed

Level Proficiency
Bonus
Warlock Cantrips known Warlock spells known Spell slots Spell Slot Level Features
1st +2 1 2 1 1st Eldritch Connection, Limb-Shift
2nd +2 1 2 1 1st Eldritch Form, Growing Curse Feature
3rd +2 1 3 2 1st Madness Collector, Eldritch Chains
4th +2 2 4 2 2nd Ability Score Improvement
5th +3 2 5 2 2nd Growing Curse Feature
6th +3 2 6 2 3rd Growing Curse Feature
7th +3 3 7 2 3rd Eldritch Chain/Madness Collector Improvement
8th +3 3 8 2 4th Ability Score Improvement
9th +4 3 9 2 4th
10th +4 3 9 2 5th Growing Curse Feature
11th +4 3 10 3 5th Accursed Arcanum (6th Level)
12th +4 3 10 3 5th Ability Score Improvement
13th +5 3 11 3 5th Accursed Arcanum (7th Level)
14th +5 4 11 3 5th Growing Curse Feature
15th +5 4 12 3 5th Absolute Control
16th +5 4 12 3 5th Ability Score Improvement
17th +6 4 13 4 5th Accursed Arcanum (8th Level)
18th +6 4 13 4 5th
19th +6 4 14 4 5th Ability Score Improvement
20th +6 4 14 4 5th Trial of the Accursed

Eldritch Connection[edit]

At level 1, eldritch Powers flow through you, granting innate magical properties and abilities that lead to spells outright.
Spell save DC = 8 + proficiency bonus + Wisdom modifier
Spell attack modifier = proficiency bonus + Wisdom modifier
Firstly, you learn minor but very useful spells you can use at any time. You learn the cantrips Eldritch Legerdemain, either Venomous Spit or Soul Drain and Detect Secrets. At 7th level, when you use your action to cast a cantrip you may make one halved movement action as a bonus action.
There is a price to pay for this, however. You receive the Eldritch Possession trait as detailed below.

Eldritch Possession[edit]

Starting as soon as the rituals that made you this way were completed the Eldritch Powers within adamantly vie for dominion over your entire being.
Saving Throws and Effects Whenever you do something that has an Eldritch Possession Risk you must roll a wisdom saving throw versus a DC equal to 8 + half of your Accursed level (rounded up), if saved you are stunned for 1 round and need not save again for 1d6 rounds after the stunned turn. If failed, however, you are overcome by the Eldritch Powers within whom utilize whatever transformative features and harmful spells you have left to attack the nearest living creatures for the next 1d6 rounds or until neutralized. A successful Wisdom Check versus your Spell Caster DC will end the possession.


Forsaken Whenever you are shunned or spurned from someone you care for you are at an Eldritch Possession Risk
Horrific Memoirs Whenever you try to recall your past, suffer the fear effect, or have a Nightmare you are at an Eldritch Possession Risk
Damnable Wounds Whenever you are Critically Hit or suffer the Bloodied Condition you are at an Eldritch Possession Risk
Accursed Mind Whenever something attempts to read your mind or magically take control over your mind you are at an Eldritch Possession Risk
Holy Aversion Whenever a holy person (cleric/paladin/priest) or deity tries to bless you you are at an Eldritch Possession Risk

Accursed Spell List[edit]

Use the warlock class's spell list for your character, and choose the type of being who cursed you similar to the way a Warlock chooses a Pact with an otherworldly being. Use this to determine which spells you gain from the Warlock spell list.
You gain a Warlock’s “Pact Magic” class feature


Limb-Shift[edit]

Starting at 1st level, you can use your action to magically transform a single limb or set of limbs of your body. You can use this feature twice, body parts stay transformed until dismissed. You regain expended uses when you finish a short or long rest. Attacks made with Limb-Shift are considered unarmed.
This ability can be used on One's Face to provide a Bite or Slam Attack, one's arm/s to provide a Claw attack, any part of the body to provide a tendril/tail/tongue with a Trip attack, or one's legs to increase movement speed and provide a Trample attack. Base Damage for these attacks are determined from the Limb-Shift Table below, however extra damage from these attacks are not based off strength or dexterity but rather from your proficiency and wisdom modifiers.
If the Character already has an attack of the sort, such as when transformed, then they only gain half, rounded-down, damage of what would be received from using this feature. (Ex: A level 1 Lizardfolk with a Pre-Built Bite Attack would only receive an additional 1d4 +proficiency +wis modifier of damage added on to their bite attack if using Limb-Shift in conjunction with their Bite Attack.)
Limb-Shift Table
Level Large Claw Claws/Hooves Bite/Slam Trip
1st 1d8 2d4 1d8 1d4-1
4th 1d10 2d6 2d8 1d6-1
8th 1d10+1d4 2d6+1d4 2d8+1d4 1d8-1

Growing Curse Features[edit]

At level 2, as an Accursed, your curse grows stronger as you grow stronger, granting your body new abilities and arcane prowess. You may pick a feature from the Patron features available to Warlocks (ignoring any prerequisites required involving the Warlock class) or from the feat list of 5e with a prerequisite level equal to or less than your Accursed level given that you have all prerequisites other than being that class. The feature you pick cannot increase the number of attacks you can do per turn by more than a total of two (level 5), three (level 11), or four (level 20) or increase any ability score above 20, or increase the number of spell slots you have available or how your spell works according to the Warlock spell list.


Eldritch Form[edit]

At level 2, as you continue to live with this loathsome curse, you feel its power settling within you. Starting at 2nd level, if you so choose, you can attempt to harness your eldritch beast form and use it as a weapon in combat. To begin this process you must perform a one-hour ritual to gain an understanding of your eldritch brand. Once this ritual is performed you can take an action during combat to channel your eldritch form. When you transform into your eldritch beast, you must make a Wisdom saving throw against your eldritch possession DC; a successful saving throw initiates a successful transformation while a failed saving throw gives control of your beast form to the beast itself. Every turn you may make another wisdom saving throw to attempt to regain control over your form. Once you have control over your beast form you must take a wisdom saving throw every minute. At 5th level, you only need to make one saving throw per combat session, and at 10th level you no longer need to make saving throws. While in the beast form you gain proficiency in the Intimidation skill but lose the ability to wear armor of any kind. Equipment not used by the form is absorbed into it, returning when you return to your normal form. The rest of your stats are determined by your eldritch archetype (discussed below)



Madness Collector or Eldritch Chains[edit]

Once you reach 3rd level, you can choose one of two class features.

The first is Madness Collector, this works better for characters with evil alignments. With this class feature, you can use the fear of others to heal yourself. When you are in your human form, you can use your brand to instill psychosis into the heart of an NPC of your choosing. Once this happens, the NPC must make a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC or be filled with madness. Once this happens, you may feed off of the chaos you have created, healing your self 1d4 per level of the NPC you have driven insane. You may do this while an NPC is sleeping to instead give them horrible nightmares, this will not drive them crazy but the fear you place in their hearts will fill you with demonic joy. While they are experiencing these nightmares you may heal yourself for 1d4 per their character level or you may speak to them through these nightmares, perhaps issuing a threat or a premonition. At 7th level you can heal yourself for 1d6 per NPC level.

The other option you have is Eldritch Chains, this may be more appealing to good or neutral characters depending on how strictly you adhere to your alignment. With the Eldritch Chains feature you can manifest a bonding agent in the form of a 100ft long chain or a pair of manacles. These bonding agents, when locked in your person, you have advantage on Wisdom saving throws when attempting to control your beast form. When these chains are used on another person they have the added effect of producing an anti-magic field that can only be broken by successfully casting "dispel magic" at disadvantage. At 7th level the chains become more effective, when you have the chains on your person you only need to make a Wisdom saving throw when you take more than 15 damage of any kind in a single attack.


When you create a character with this class, choose one of these two archetypes to determine your beast form's stats, appearance, and powers

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. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.


Accursed Arcanum[edit]

At 11th level, your curse bestows upon you a magical secret called an arcanum. Choose one 6th-level spell from the warlock spell list as this arcanum.

You can cast your arcanum spell once without expending a spell slot. You must finish a long rest before you can do so again.

At higher levels, you gain more warlock spells of your choice that can be cast in this way: one 7th-level spell at 13th level, and one 8th-level spell at 17th level. You regain all uses of your Accursed Arcanum when you finish a long rest.



Trial of the Accursed[edit]

At level 20, you gain Trial of the Accursed. Once per long rest, you can make an Eldritch Possession saving roll at-will. If you succeed, you can voluntarily shift your form partially into that of the eldritch horror that shares your body. Add the stats of your beast form to your human form and partially transform for the full day until you lose consciousness or drop to 0 hp. Your size and weight only increase 1/4 of what they would during a full transformation. You gain advantage on intimidation checks and all creatures within sight radius of you must make a perception check. If it succeeds, they must make a saving throw versus a fear effect if they are unaware of your true nature. You also gain advantage on all Eldritch Possession checks until the end of the next long rest. If you use this ability for more than three days in a row or during the night of a Full or Blood Moon, you automatically take the effects of this ability as if you failed the check.

If you fail, the curse spreads and gains tighter control of your body temporarily. You take the normal effect of a failed Eldritch Possession check, but you also gain a -5 to Eldritch Possession checks until the end of the next long rest. The curse also begins to affect your human appearance, causing your form to become increasingly grotesque with each failed Trial of the Accursed. These effects are irreversible, and after three failed checks you lose 1 Charisma due to your horrifying features. After seven failed checks, you are stuck in a partially transformed state and lose an additional two Charisma, but gain the effects of a partial transformation permanently. You must also make the Trial of the Accursed check at random as dictated by the DM. After ten failed checks, you are consumed by the curse and lose your human form. Your stats become that of your beast form and your personality becomes fractured and broken. Your memories begin to fade, and short of divine intervention or the removal of your curse you are doomed.

Brawler Beast Archetype[edit]

Your beast is focused on overpowering enemies with its size and strength. Your beast takes a more feral appearance, large and muscular with many features that promote violence and show its status as an apex predator. Your beast may resemble a gorilla, pounding on the ground and showing its large tusks that protrude from its jaw. Your beast may resemble a wolf, bounding along the forest floor with great speed, pouncing on enemies and spearing them with ram-like horns. Talk to your DM about the exact appearance of your character, but keep in mind that no matter what you want it to resemble...horns and tusks are a GREAT CHOICE!

Stats

Strength: character's strength + 3 + character's constitution modifier, Dexterity: character's dexterity + 2 + character's constitution modifier, Constitution: character's constitution + 2 + character's constitution modifier,

No single ability score can go above 22

At every level where you gain an Ability Score increase, add +1 to each of the modifiers to your beast form ability score modifiers.

You also gain 2d8 + CON temporary hit points after transforming. These hit points disappear if you are forced back into your true form.

Attacks

Rend (2d6 slashing damage), Slam (2d6 bludgeoning damage and the target must make a Constitution saving throw or be knocked prone), Bite (2d4 piercing damage), Pounce *begin attack with the target making a Dexterity saving throw, if failed the target is grappled, if its a success the target takes half damage and is not grappled* (2d4 bludgeoning damage) MUST BE BETWEEN 5-20 FEET FROM TARGET FOR THIS ATTACK TO BE INITIATED AND THIS DOES REQUIRE A DASH. You can choose to either take a breath weapon for your beast (any element including poison) or a natural resistance (any element including poison). Roar (every enemy within a 10ft radius must make a wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 30 seconds, this roar also awakens the eldritch beast inside any other accursed being in the 10ft radius. When the other accursed hears this, he/she must make a Wisdom saving throw or transform into their beast form)

Each time you increase an ability score (at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 20th level), increase the number of damage die for each attack by one (Ex. Rend would deal 2d6 at level 1, 3d6 at level 4, 4d6 at level 8, 5d6 at level 12, 6d6 at level 16, and 7d6 at level 20).

Apperance

Height: character's height plus 1d12 + constitution modifier, Weight: character's weight plus (1d12 + constitution modifier)x3, Speed: character's speed x2

Shadow Stalker Archetype[edit]

Your beast takes on a more stealthy and sly form, putting emphasis on speed and dexterity. Your beast is skilled in dodging attacks and keeping out of sight long enough for you to sneak up behind them and silently execute them. Your beast may resemble an insect, with four spider-like legs and pincers that can rip throats out with ease. Your beast may resemble a snake, a long and smooth body that entangles its victims and slowly suffocates them. Talk to your DM about the appearance of your beast form but keep in mind that, in keeping with the archetype, emphasis should be put on speed and stealth...poisonous fangs are always a plus

Stats

Strength: character's strength + 1 + character's constitution modifier Dexterity: character's dexterity + 3 + character's constitution modifier Constitution: character's constitution + 2 + character's constitution modifier Intelligence: character's intelligence + 2 + character's constitution modifier Wisdom: character's wisdom, no change Charisma: character's charisma + 1 + character's constitution modifier

No single ability score can go above 22 At every level where you gain an Ability Score increase, add +1 to each of the modifiers to your beast form ability score modifiers.

You also gain 1d8 + CON temporary hit points after transforming. These hit points disappear if you are forced back into your true form.

Attacks

Spear (2d6 piercing damage), Sideswipe (2d6 bludgeoning damage and the target must make a Constitution saving throw or be moved 10ft in the direction of the attack), Bite (1d4 piercing damage and you can take a bonus action to add 1d4 necrotic or poison damage), Dodge (use a reaction to make an opposed Dexterity check against the aggressor, if you win the check you successfully evade the attack and remove 1d4 damage for every level that aggressor has reached, you can take another reaction to attempt a counter-attack. This means roll another attack but use a dexterity check instead of an attack roll, if you would succeed on an attack using that dexterity check, take the attack), Disengage (make an opposed Dexterity check and a stealth check, if both of these rolls are higher than the aggressor's, you successfully disengage combat and immediately go into stealth.) Abduct (the target must make a Constitution saving throw or be grappled, deal 2d4 bludgeoning damage and you can either deal another attack or if you can move more than 30ft in any direction you can take that enemy out of combat) You can choose between climbing abilities (scale any surface, even on ceilings) or natural camouflage(advantage on stealth checks)

Each time you increase an ability score (at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 20th level), increase the number of damage die for each attack by one (Ex. Spear would deal 2d6 at level 1, 3d6 at level 4, 4d6 at level 8, 5d6 at level 12, 6d6 at level 16, and 7d6 at level 20).

Apperance

Height: character's height plus 1d12 + constitution modifier inches, Weight: character's weight plus 1d8 + constitution modifier pounds, Speed: character's speed x3

Multiclassing[edit]

Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Accursed class, you must meet these prerequisites: Be victim to an Abyssal Curse or be somehow overtaken by an Eldritch power (talk to your DM about the exact details regarding your curse), Wisdom 13: it takes a great amount of mental prowess to not lose one's mind once an eldritch beast is introduced, Constitution 11: a moderate amount of health is needed to not perish once two souls are put in the same body, Be of a Living Race: no undead race can be host to a soul, Be Curse-Free: Beings that already have curses attributed to them (such as Lycanthropes and Tieflings, whose blood is considered cursed) cannot introduce another curse into their body. If an already cursed being wishes to gain the powers of an Eldritch Beast, they must construct a phylactery to hold their Eldritch power (the materials required can vary but if you want a pre-made list look at the Litch prestige class)

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Accursed class, you gain the following proficiencies: Intimidation, Religion, and choose between Arcana or Acrobatics (if you have any of these, pick another proficiency in its place)

Recommended Backgrounds[edit]

As the Accursed are a very particular breed of creature, choosing one as a Player Character in a game primarily intended for Good-Aligned Characters tends to evoke a certain kind of somber, atoning, or vengeful persona. The following background recommendations help fulfill such a role.

Cursed

Exiled

Experiment

Feral Child

Hellborn

Redeemed Cultist

Monster

Slayer

Urban Vigilante


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