Card Trader (5e Class)

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Card Trader[edit]

The Card Trader has learned to capture and harness the essence of other beings in small, handheld cards, from transforming into them for a short time, or accessing their abilities directly without changing. They are said to be the masterminds of the card market, allowing it to thrive.

“The cards tell all. There cannot be any escape for what the card knows. We just learned to channel it.” - Kitaro Desari

Cards and their impact[edit]


Cards come in several rarities and foil versions, can one stronger than the last, here are the basic ones, but your DM can change this up. Rarities: Common > Uncommon > Rare > Epic > Legendary > Mythic > ??? Foils: None > Semi > Full > Holo > Prismatic Power Levels In general, cards are stronger or more useful as their ratites increase, the following is generally what each CR/level of rarity gets made:

  • Common: CR 0-1 / Level 1-2
  • Uncommon: CR 2-4 / Level 3-5
  • Rare:CR 5-11 / Level 6-10
  • Epic: CR 12-19 / Level 11-14
  • Legendary: CR 21-28 / Level 15-19
  • Mythic: CR 29+ / Level 20

For future reference, any list that mentions card rarities will use ">" to show progression from Common on. i.e.: C > UC > R > E > L > M

Outsider Trading

One question your DM should answer, is: Do others in the world(s) trade or deal in these cards as well? If so that can be an alternative way to obtain or sell cards without having to fight. Consider asking them when choosing this class. On a d100, the packs will come as follows per card:

Common: 1-60 Uncommon: 61 - 80 Rare: 81 - 90 Epic: 91 - 96 Legendary: 97 - 99 Mythic: 100

Optional- Special powers

Some DMs may prefer to have cards above or below the recommended CR/Level, but add on extra effects that influence how the card works. I.E.: Say you have a kobold that was very lucky with crits before you captured it. That normally Common card could become an Uncommon with a special: Lucky (crit range includes 19-20) or something similar. Conversely, foes you capture that were ill, or just awful at their jobs can be reduced a tier and have an added negative effect.

Optional- Renown Rarities

For those DMs that want to reward players for progressing through the world in a meaningful way, they can be granted better cards as they gain more fame/notoriety for themselves. Which in turn can let the Card Trader get a copy of one of these and basically become another party member for a time. If you choose to do this, a good way to get the new cards to others can be the Card Dealer.

What is a Card Trader?[edit]

Card Traders are people whom were given magical cards from a realm unknown. They bend the rules and laws to their whim based around the cards they have. They tend to be strategic and overthink a ton of things. Good strategists, but the biggest flaw comes into close combat, not excelling well in hand to hand combat. They rely around the cards to do their work other then themselves.

Creating a Card Trader[edit]

Quick Build

You can make a Card Trader quickly by following these suggestions. First, Dexterity should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Second, choose the Noble background. Third, choose a Bow with Light Armor.

Class Features

As a Card Trader you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d6 per Card Trader level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 1d6 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d6 (or 4) + Constitution modifier per Card Trader level after 1st


Armor: Light Armor, Shields
Weapons: One of your choice
Tools: Deck of Cards
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Wisdom
Skills: Choose three from the following list: Sleight of Hand, Perception, Arcana, History, Persuasion, And Survival


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

  • The weapon you chose to be proficient in.
  • Deck holster and 5 protective sleeves
  • (a) Explorer's Pack or (b) Scholar's Pack
  • (a) Leather Armor or (b) Shield

Table: The Card Trader

Level Proficiency
Deck/Hand Size Blank Cards Polymorph Time Feat/Trap Uses Features
1st +2 3/2 3 1 min. > 5 rnds. > 1 rnd. > N/A -- Toss Card, Mana, Refresh Deck, Restock, “Spellcasting”, Use Card
2nd +2 4/2 3 1 min. > 1 min. > 1 rnd. > N/A -- Prime Opportunity, Stack the Deck
3rd +2 5/3 4 2 min. > 1 min. > 2 rnds. > N/A 1 Trap, Master Soul
4th +2 6/3 4 4 min. > 2 min. > 3 rnds. > N/A 1 Ability Score Improvement, Personal Flair, Ability Score Increase
5th +3 8/4 5 6 min. > 4 min. > 5 rnds. > 1 rnd. > N/A 2 Soul Strengthen, Additional Deck, Trap
6th +3 10/4 5 9 min. > 6 min. > 1 min. > 1 rnd. > N/A 2 Feature Casting
7th +3 12/4 6 13 min. > 9 min. > 1 min. > 3 rnds. > N/A 3 Trap, Efficient Usage
8th +3 15/5 6 20 min. > 13 min. > 2 min. > 5 rnds. > 1 rnd. > N/A 3 Ability Score Improvement, Chain Forms, Ability Score Increase
9th +4 18/5 7 30 min. > 20 min. > 4 min. > 1 min. > 1 rnd. > N/A 4 Trap
10th +4 20/5 7 1 hr. > 30 min. > 6 min. > 1 min. > 3 rnds. > N/A 4 Soul Strengthen, Personal Flair, Chaos Draw, Faster Replenish
11th +4 22/5 8 No Limit > 1 hr. > 9 min. > 2 min. > 5 rnds. > 1 rnd. 5 Trap
12th +4 24/5 8 No Limit > No Limit > 13 min. > 4 min. > 1 min. > 1 rnd. 5 Ability Score Improvement, Ability Score Increase
13th +5 26/5 9 No Limit > No Limit > 20 min. > 6 min. > 1 min. > 3 rnds. 6 Trap
14th +5 28/5 9 No Limit > No Limit > 30 min. > 9 min. > 2 min. > 5 rnds. 6 Efficient Usage
15th +5 30/5 10 No Limit > No Limit > 1 hr. > 13 min. > 4 min. > 1 min. 7 Soul Strengthen, Trap
16th +5 32/5 10 No Limit > No Limit > No Limit > 20 min. > 6 min. > 1 min. 7 Ability Score Improvement, Ability Score Increase
17th +6 33/5 11 No Limit > No Limit > No Limit > 30 min. > 9 min. > 2 min. 8 Trap
18th +6 34/5 11 No Limit > No Limit > No Limit > 1 hr. > 13 min. > 4 min. 8 Faster Replenish
19th +6 35/5 12 No Limit > No Limit > No Limit > No Limit > 20 min. > 6 min. 9 Ability Score Improvement, Ability Score Increase, Trap
20th +6 36/5 12 No Limit > No Limit > No Limit > No Limit > 30 min. > 9 min. 9 True Master Soul

(NOTE: For playing this class above level 20, level up like normal and add a trap every other level starting at the 21st level. The Polymorph times increase at 1.5x up to two hours, which at that point is considered a limitless timer. The blank cards increase every other level and have the deck increase by one per level after the 20th)

Toss Card[edit]

As an action, you toss a blank card at a foe with less than 50 hit points to attempt to capture their essence on the card. If the target fails both saves, then they are dropped to 0 HP and their essence is etched into the card, adding it to your deck. If the target succeeds on the save by 7 or more, your blank is ruined/destroyed. Also, if the target succeeds on the CON save, they automatically succeed on all CON saves regarding this ability until they take a long rest. You cannot capture enemies above CR 20

  • First, make a ranged spell attack to set the DC for the target to make a DEX save to avoid your card.
  • 30% ½ Spell Save DC Vs. CON save
  • 20% Spell Save DC Vs. CON save
  • 10% 1 ½ Spell Save DC Vs. CON save
  • 5% only the Dex Save will help.

Any new cards captured are automatically added into your deck if there are slots available, if not you can turn them into either a Semi or Full foil tier card you can put in your normal inventory. When creating a foil this way, there is a 5% chance each that the card will either become a foil tier higher or lower than what you intend. (Nat 1 or 20, respectively)


Card Traders specialize in a different pool where they can draw out the usage of their cards. This pool of magical energy is key in management and usage equal to your max HP. This does not replenish on healing, and can be fully restored via long rest or restore 1d6 + Card Trader level mana on a short rest. Your total number of mana is equal to your Card Trader level + your Charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus.

Use Card[edit]

At first level, you have learned how to take the shape of a chosen card in your hand. For an action, you may “use” one of the cards, casting a special Polymorph on yourself to become what the card shows. If the form is the same general shape as your base form, all the gear you have on supersedes the card’s form’s gear. You may drop the form as an action. However, on cast of the form, you use the amount of mana equal to the CR level of the creature. Any creature below a CR 1 is free to cast.


Once all the cards have expired, you can spend an action to reshuffle your deck.

Refresh Deck[edit]

During a long rest, you may organize your deck in the given ways, and restore ¼ of your blank cards (rounded up) to your stock.

Remove Cards
You may forcefully remove a card from your deck, tainting it with full foil or greater, following the extra card rules in Toss Card feature, except that a natural 1 will burn the card from existence.
Add Cards
You may add any card below Full Foil tier into your deck after focusing on it for a number of consecutive rests determined by the card’s rarity. If you fail to remember to focus on the card during the rest, you must start over from the beginning.
  • Common: Immediately
  • Uncommon: 1 short rest
  • Rare: 1 long rests
  • Epic: 2 long rests
  • Legendary: 3 long rests
  • Mythic: 5 long rests
During a rest, you may remove all cards from your Hand and Discard and shuffle them back into the deck, allowing for a fresh hand after the rest ends.


You are keen in using the cards to capture the essence of the creature. The way of successfully capturing the essence is an odd art, and requires a quick hand rather than a learned mind. You can get two cantrips from your spell list at first level. Your spell save DC is equal to 8 + Dex + proficiency bonus Your spell attack bonus is Dex + proficiency bonus


Guidance, Light, Mage Hand, Mending, Message, Prestidigitation

Prime Opportunity[edit]

After some practice, at second level, you now can now gauge a foe’s heath much easier, giving you advantage on Perception/Medicine checks on telling a being’s hit point percentage once bloodied.

Stack the Deck[edit]

With some fancy fingerwork, at second level, you have found a way to be able to shuffle your Hand and Deck back together and redraw half your max hand as an action. This cannot be used again until a short rest.


You can set a card face down up to 10 feet in front of you. The card is the size of the creature contained within, and starts plainly visible on the ground. The card will trigger once an enemy enters within 5 feet of the card, upon activation, the creature essence stored in the card makes an opportunity attack against the triggering target. You can only set one card at a time, and they only stay set for 4 times your polymorph time per tier. Once they trigger or their duration passes, they are sent to the Discard. Your total amount of available traps increased by 1 every other level after the third.

Master Soul[edit]

At third level, you are visited by the souls of past and future Card Trader masters, them granting you specific abilities to help you rise through the trials ahead of you. Choose one of the following subclasses to adopt.

Become more skilled in your different forms, pulling out even more potential from your card’s forms.
Gain access to Feature Casting early and improve it farther than you could before, even increasing the potency of such casting.
Control the battlefield with sneaky traps and eventually go farther and summon your cards for a short time as well.
Overwhelm the battlefield with creatures and minions, using numbers to your advantage.

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.

Personal Flair[edit]

At fourth level, you can add one cosmetic styling, be it natural, worn or imagined, to the visual appearance of any card forms you take. This cosmetic can serve no combat purpose until level 10, where it may add one buff, attack, or spell, given it be based off a physical reference on you. The exact buff, attack, or spell is determined by the DM.

Additional Deck[edit]

At fifth level, you get an added deck that you can exchange in a short rest. The cards must not be in your current deck. You gain another deck at 9th, 13th, 15th, 17th, and 20th level.

Feature Casting[edit]

At the 6th level, as an alternate way of using a card, as an action, you may play one straight from your Hand to your Discard to do one of the many features that the card provides. Each card (with proper features to draw off of) will have one, possibly two of these features for you to cast, decided by the DM at the point of obtaining said card. Any feature cast that relies on level requirements to determine dice rolls are determined by your current form’s level (or if you are a CR based creature, your Card Trader level). Any unused features that lasts for a minute do not refund your card if you fail to use them before then.

Magic user cards tend to leave behind the last attempted spell imbued into their card, or their favorite spell, which you may cast, using the card as an arcane focus and your own spell modifier/ spell save DC
Racial Casting
Some of the more interesting races, like dragonborn or tieflings, have something about their bodies that can provide an interesting cast. If it is not an active feature that you can use right away, it lasts for a minute or until something triggers its use, whichever comes first.
Ever wanted to sneak attack like a rouge? Go berserk like a barbarian? Any feature that seems interesting from another class? This version of casting allows you to do just that. Any that are not instant uses or have their own duration requirements last for one minute.

Additional Deck You get an added deck that you can exchange in a short rest. The cards must not be in your current deck.

Efficient Usage[edit]

At 7th level, you learned how to save mana, now able to reduce the casting by 1. And at the 14th level, you now save 2 mana. On top of this, you gain the ability to restock your deck as a bonus action instead of an action.

Chain Forms[edit]

At level 8, you have become skilled enough to use cards, even when you are in a different form. If your current form has a hand free, you may access and use your Hand normally.

Chaos Draw[edit]

At tenth level, you learn how to quickly infuse any cards you have to use. You can use a card from your collection of cards as a temporary card, which is then unable to be used more then once. You can do this once per long rest.

Faster Replenish[edit]

At level 10, you figure out how to make the blank cards recover even faster, upping the die recovered to a 2d4. At level 18, the cards replenish even faster, going to a 3d4.

True Master Soul[edit]

At Twentieth level, you channel from beyond, the powers of the prior masters giving you another subclass to choose from and all of its benefits.


“The forms I take is only a fake, a phony. The real me is yet to show.”

Shapechangers rely on their polymorphing abilities to get the job done. They tend to be able to last in forms longer, making them really reliable utility allies while able to fend for their own as well. They want to do what they want and get their hands dirty.

Inner Strength

At third level, the Shapechanger is able to keep their original form’s proficiency bonus and either their hit points or one attribute value when changing into a card form, significantly increasing the usefulness of even the lowest rarity of cards. You also can keep up the form changes for twice as long, given you keep your hit points up.

Absorbing form

At third level, when you have taken the shape of another creature and you are at less than a quarter of total hit points of this creature, you may choose as an action to drop the form and regain the hit points remaining on this form as your own health. This doesnt happen if your form drops due to the time running out.

Give Strength

At fifth level, the Shapechanger uses the card to transform allies and enemies to their will. A willing creature within 20 feet instantly becomes that form, while an unwilling creature must make a Dex saving throw of your spellcasting save.

Enduring Polymorph

If your Polymorph is brought down to 0 hp, you may choose to instead allow it to survive with 1 hp until the end of your next turn, at which point you must break the Polymorph and remain without one until you can use another card.

Everlasting Body

At Fifteenth level, you realize the power of shifting forms and optimize your body to do it without much punishment. You now take half damage for each form that is dispelled, and you have advantage on Constitution saving throws.


“I have a few more tricks up my sleeve.”

Spellcasters rely on abilities from other creatures to get the job done. They prefer to stay in the back and keep their tricks hidden, making them extremely unpredictable and wild. They are rather unreliable for a constant usage of a single ability.

Early Feature Casting

At third level, you gain the Feature Casting class feature early, as well as gaining two more cantrips that you learn in addition to your previous two. You can learn the following Cantrips:

Guidance, Light, Mage Hand, Mending, Message, Prestidigitation, Thaumaturgy, Control Flames, Acid Splash, Frostbolt, Magic Stone

Action Cards

At fifth level, you have found you can try and capture the essence of attacks themselves, giving you the ability to call back upon them once they are added to your Hand later. To capture an attack, you must allow a Blank Card to take the brunt of the attack. When an attack would hit anyone in a 20 foot radius, you can make a ranged spell attack to toss the card in the way. If you roll higher than the attacker’s attack roll, then the damage is reduced by your Trader level, and the card captures the attack for you to use only as a Feature Cast type. For DC save attacks, your ranged spell attack must beat the DC by 5 or more to capture the attack. A crit failure on your end will destroy the Blank Card.

Advanced Feature Casting

At tenth level, you may cast any feature spell at an even greater level than was captured on the card, at spell level equal to half your Trader level up to 8.

Preparing Spell Cards

At Fifteenth Level, you learned how to make the most of allies, now allowing them to grab a blank card and infuse it with the magic of their choice. You no longer need to roll as a check to add spells into the cards if the cards are targeted by allies.


“Foolish, to think I didn’t have anything prepared for you.” (alt: “You just activated my trap card!”)

Trapmasters, as in the name, rely on having things ready ahead of time. They prepare traps on the field to guard both themselves and other allies with creatures. They know how to read an opponent, making them deadly and tricky.

Hidden Danger

At third level, your trapped cards are now ethereal as your Hand, requiring a Perception check against your spell save DC to spot them. Any beings that you allow to see your cards normally can see them like normal. Any triggered attacks done by cards unseen by the targets get a rogue's sneak attack damage, set at rouge level equal to half your Card Trader level, rounded down.

Lie in Wait

At fifth level, you may use a Blank Card and hide yourself as a trapped card, granting 15 foot blindsight while in this mode. You gain the same sneak attack bonus if undetected, and may use any of your polymorph cards during the hiding.

Extended Reach

At tenth level, you may set your trap cards up to 40 feet away from you, as well as set specific triggers for their activation, allowing you to make trapped ranged attacks as well.

Hidden Shuffle

At Fifteenth Level, you can now shuffle yourself among the trap cards. The enemy automatically fails any perception checks to find out where you are due to the shuffling. You end up in the location of one of your trap cards of your choice.


"I am never alone. I always have friends in other places."

The Summoner conquers the battlefield using summons, bending them to their very whim. They are extremely dangerous if left alone, specializing in constant pressure in numbers rather than strength. They tend to see life in a different way, and use cards the way nobody would expect.


You become proficient in creating creatures from cards for a short amount of time. The summon time is half of your Polymorph time up to four hours. Summoning a creature, will take as much mana as the CR of the creature, starting at 1. Anything below a CR 1 is free to cast.

Ritualistic Summoning

At fifth level, you can spend an extended amount of time to spend materials and gold to summon a creature from a card to your aid as a permanent ally. The rarer the card, the more gold and materials are required to complete the summon.

The Ritualistic Summoning will take the following amount in plat: (20 > 40 > 100 > 200 > 500 > 1000) and a full day dedicated into summoning.

Enlongated Summons

At fifth level, you figure out how to work the summons economically. You now can have summons as long as your normal Polymorph times, up to 8 hours.

Reduced Cast

At level 10, you require less to summon the beast to your aid, cutting it by half rounded up.

Empowered Summons

At tenth level, you provide your magic into a single summoned creature. As a action, you use your channeling of the cards to make a connection to the creature, giving it a boosted 1d6 in attack rolls and saves for one turn. You can use this as much as your Trader Level + Dexterity Modifier a day.

Lasting Summons

You figured out how to make the summons almost last a full day. At level 15, you can now make summons go double the normal polymorph time, up to 16 hours.


Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Card Trader class, you must meet these prerequisites: 16 Dex

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the <!-class name-> class, you gain the following proficiencies: Slight of Hand

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