Death Magus, variant (5e Class)

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Death Magus (5E Class)[edit]

A Lich lounges on an ivory throne, mentally ordering his undead slaves to bring him the last of the prisoners. A few minutes later, a shambling line of humans is escorted into the chamber. "Kneel." Terrified of the undead horror they do his will. In a series of bright flashes they all fall dead at his feet. As the last falls, darkness descends on the hall. When light finally returns, the human corpses have vanished. In their places stand gruesome skeletons and terrible specters, the newest recruits into the undead army.

Undead General[edit]

A Death Magus uses the animated remains of humanoids and beasts to accomplish his goals. If you get in his way, he'll be happy to add your skull to his collection. Death Magus are great necromancers and glorious commanders of undead armies. A ruthless enemy and an unwavering companion, he will stop at nothing to accomplish his ends. He will not stop, no matter his losses. After all, all he needs to do is go to the nearest graveyard to replenish his forces.

Creating a Death Magus[edit]

As a Death Magus, you should ask yourself these questions and more to develop your character. Who trained you? How did you become a Death Magus? How do you practice your art? Do you vacate graveyards or specially kill your servants? Are your servants spirits or physical undead?

Quick Build

You can make a Death Magus quickly by following these suggestions. First, Charisma should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Second, choose the Soldier background.

Class Features

As a Death Magus you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d6 per Death Magus level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 6 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d6 (or 4) + Constitution modifier per Death Magus level after 1st


Armor: None
Weapons: Quarterstaves, Scythes, Sickle
Tools: Poisoners kits, Herbalists kit
Saving Throws: Charisma, Wisdom
Skills: Medicine, and one from Arcana, Deception, Intimidation, Persuasion, Religion, and Stealth


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

  • Your Death Magus Staff
  • (a) Herbalist's Kit or (b) Poisoner's Kit
  • (a) Priest's Pack or (b) Explorer's Pack

Table: The Death Magus

Level Proficiency
Cantrips Known Features —Spell Slots per Spell Level—
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +2 3 Spellcasting, Staff of the Death Magus 2
2nd +2 3 Shadow of Death 3
3rd +2 3 Death's Intent 4 2
4th +2 4 Ability Score Improvement 4 3
5th +3 4 Conjure Dead 4 3 2
6th +3 4 4 3 3
7th +3 4 Improved Conjure Dead 4 3 3 1
8th +3 5 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 2
9th +4 5 4 3 3 3 1
10th +4 5 Shroud of the Reaper 4 3 3 3 2
11th +4 5 Undertaker 4 3 3 3 2 1
12th +4 6 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 3 2 1
13th +5 6 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
14th +5 6 Unbound Necromancy 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
15th +5 6 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
16th +5 6 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
17th +6 6 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 1
18th +6 6 Death's Service 4 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 1
19th +6 6 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
20th +6 6 Revenant’s Curse 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1


All Death Magus are born with an innate connection to Death and through studying they learn to use this power, allowing them to cast and prepare Sorcerer spells. Charisma is your spellcasting ability.


At 1st level you know 3 cantrips from the Sorcerer spell list. See the table above for cantrips at higher levels.

Spells known

The Death Magus table shows how many Spell Slots you have to cast your Spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these Spells, 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 sorcerer Spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the sorcerer spell list. In addition, you may prepare any spell from any classes spell list with the necromancy tag. When you do so, choose a number of sorcerer Spells equal to your charisma modifier + your Death Magus level (minimum of one spell). The Spells must be of a level for which you have Spell Slots.

For example, if you are a 3rd-level Death Magus, you have four 1st-level and two 2nd-level Spell Slots. With a charisma of 16, your list of prepared Spells can include six Spells of 1st or 2nd level, in any combination. If you prepare the 1st-level spell Ray of Sickness, you can cast it using a 1st-level or 2nd-level slot. 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 sorcerer Spells requires time spent in meditation: at least 1 minute per Spell Level for each spell on your list.

Staff of the Death Magus[edit]

Starting at level 1, You carry a staff that denotes your occupation, this staff follows the same traits as a quarterstaff but can appear however you like (DM's discretion). This staff is bound to you and you may spend a bonus action to teleport it to your hand as long as you are both on the same plane of existence. Your Death Magus staff gains the following benefits while bound to you:

- You cannot be disarmed of your Death Magus staff.

- You can perform a melee spell attack with your staff dealing a number of d6 equal to your proficiency bonus in necrotic damage.

- You can perform a 1 hour ritual over a different staff/quarterstaff to bind it to you as your Death Magus staff gaining it's qualities and features. You must attune to the item if required and follow the item's rules for attunement. You can only have one Death Magus staff at a time, any further attempts to bind more than one will release the previously bound item and be replaced with the new one.

Shadow of Death[edit]

Starting at level 2, once per long rest you may steal the shadows of nearby humanoids. As an action, target a creature within 30ft of you. It must make a Constitution saving throw against your spell save DC. On a failed save, the creatures shadow departs causing the target to take necrotic damage equal to your Death Magus level and form a Shadow at your side (see Monster Manual). This Shadow is under your control as if under the Animate Dead spell. The shadow returns to it's owner after 1 min per Death Magus Level, if it or it's owner drops to 0 Hit Points, or if you dismiss it as a bonus action. On a successful save the target takes half damage and is otherwise unaffected. You can use this feature once per long rest. You will gain another use of this feature at levels 11 and 18.

Death's Intent[edit]

Starting at level 3, you may use your Staff of the Death Magus as an arcane focus. While holding the staff, you gain a bonus to damage rolls of your Necromancy spells equal to your Charisma modifer. Also, you now count as both a Wizard and a Cleric for the purpose of attunement to magical items.

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.

Conjure Dead[edit]

Starting at level 5, you learn the Animate Dead spell and always have it prepared. This does not count against your number of prepared spells. You may cast Animate Dead at 3rd level a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus without using material components and with out using a spell slot. The range of this is 100 feet. You regain all uses of this feature upon completing a long rest. Any undead summoned in this way are under your control until they drop to 0 Hit Points. In which case the animated body will fall into the Earth and disappear permanently, unable to be reanimated again.

Improved Conjure Dead[edit]

Beginning at 7th Level when you use your Conjure Dead feature you can cast Animate Dead at your highest available spell slot without requiring material components and your conjured dead have an increase to their damage rolls, attack rolls, saving throws, and AC equal to your Charisma modifier halved (rounded down)

Shroud of the Reaper[edit]

At 10th level you gain a misty, black, incorporeal robe that falls around your shoulders and drapes to your feet. This shroud grants you the following benefits:

• You have advantage on stealth checks made while in dim light or darkness

• You gain an increase to your AC equal to your Charisma modifier

• You can evoke the mists within the shroud to cast Speak with Dead without requiring material components or expending spell slots. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier per long rest.


At 11th level, you can now substitute the Create Undead spell for the Animate Dead spell when using your Conjure Dead feature expending two uses of Conjure Dead instead of one. This feature benefits from the Improved Conjure Dead feature.

Unbound Necromancy[edit]

At level 14, when you use your Conjure Dead feature you no longer need to expend spell slots to do so. Additionally, your undead gain Hit Points equal to your Death Magus level.

Death's Service[edit]

At 18th level you can now take control of other Undead you encounter. As an action, you attempt to take control over a target Undead within 60 feet of you. The target must succeed a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC. Undead with an intelligence of 15 or higher have advantage on the saving throw and Undead with an intelligence of 18 or higher are immune to Death's Service. On a successful saving throw the Undead is unaffected and immune to Death's Service for 24 hours. On a failure the target is dominated by you and regards you as it's master, obeying your commands loyally and defending you. It rolls it's own initiatives in combat and follows your commands taking the Dodge, Help, Attack, Dash, or Cast a Spell action if applicable. If it is not commanded it will do it's best to defend you. The creature is bound to you until you use an action to release it or it falls to 0 Hit Points. You may only control one Undead in this way.

Revenant’s Curse[edit]

Beginning at level 20, you become cursed as a Revenant until you can achieve Lichdom granting you the following traits:

• If you are below half your hit point maximum at the start of your turn, you regain 1d6 hit points.

• You know the direction and distance between you and any source of knowledge on becoming a Lich such as any creature, book, etc. This awareness fails if the target source of knowledge is on another plane of existence.

• Upon becoming a lich you gain the traits of the Lich Template (shown below)


Upon becoming a lich you gain the following:

• Your creature type becomes Undead for all intents and purposes (spells, items, effects, etc)

• You gain resistance to necrotic, cold, and slashing, piercing, bludgeoning from all nonmagical weapons

• You gain immunity to the charmed, poisoned, paralyzed, and frightened conditions as well as poison damage

• You gain Truesight out to 60 ft

• You no longer need to eat, drink, sleep, or breath.

You also gain the following detriments:

• You have vulnerability to radiant damage

• Your overall appearance becomes more deathly and hollowed. Your eyes are sunken in and glow a low green color. Your skin becomes barely thin enough to cover your skeleton and turns either a pale white or pitch black. You have disadvantage on Persuasion checks towards any non-undead creatures.


You cannot multiclass into a Death Magus

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