Death Magus (5e Class)

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Death Magus[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: Light
Weapons: Quarterstaves, Scythes, Sickle
Tools: Poisoners kits, Herbalists kit
Saving Throws: Charisma, Wisdom
Skills: Medicine, and two from Arcana, Religion, Stealth, Intimidation, Deception, and Persuasion


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

  • Leather Armor and 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 Deathly Focus 4 2
4th +2 4 Ability Score Improvement 4 3
5th +3 4 Animate Dead, Bestial Undead, Improved Animate Dead I, Soul Separator I 4 3 2
6th +3 4 Improved Animate Dead II, Large Undead I 4 3 3
7th +3 4 Improved Animate Dead III, Soul Separator II 4 3 3 1
8th +3 5 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 2
9th +4 5 Soul Separator III 4 3 3 3 1
10th +4 5 Soul Separator IV 4 3 3 3 2
11th +4 5 Sanguine Bond, Shadow of death 4 3 3 3 2 1
12th +4 6 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 3 2 1
13th +5 6 Large Undead II 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
14th +5 6 Life of the Grave 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
15th +5 6 Improved Animate Dead IV 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 Improved Animate Dead V 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 1
18th +6 6 Shadow of Death 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 draw their power from the Death God they serve, allowing them to cast Cleric spells. However, Charisma is your modifier for these spells. Also any spells that would deal radiant damage instead do necrotic damage and healing spells are half as effective. Your spell attack modifier is: your Charisma modifier plus your Proficiency bonus. Your Spell Save DC equals eight plus your Charisma modifier plus your Proficiency bonus.


At 1st level you know 3 cantrips from the Cleric 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 cleric Spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the cleric spell list. In addition, you may prepare any spell with the necromancy tag. When you do so, choose a number of cleric 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 Cure Wounds, 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 cleric 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. Any number of creatures within 30ft of you must make a Constitution saving throw against your spell save DC. On a failed save, the creatures shadow departs and rises again as a shadow at your side. These Shadows are under your control as if under the Animated Dead spell. The shadows return to their owners after 1 min per Death Magus Level, if they drop to 0 Hit Points, or if you dismiss them as a bonus action. You can use this feature once per long rest. You will gain another use of this feature at levels 11 and 18.

Deathly Focus[edit]

Starting at level 3, you may use your Staff of the Death Magus as an arcane focus. While holding the staff, you do not need material components for your spells (up to 25 gold cost). You count as both a Wizard and a Cleric for the purpose of attunement.

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. 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 or when the duration of the spell ends. In both cases the animated body will fall into the Earth and disappear permanently, unable to be reanimated again.

Improved Animate Dead[edit]

Beginning at 5th Level when you cast the Animate dead spell, you may raise a Ghoul instead. At level 6 you may instead raise a Ghast with this feature. At level 7 you may instead raise a Wight with this feature. At level 15 you may instead raise a Death Knights with this feature. At level 17 you may instead raise a Demiliches with this feature.

Soul Separator[edit]

Starting at level 5, when you cast Animate Dead on a creature that has been dead for no longer than a minute, you may raise a Specter instead. These undead are under your control as if they were under the Animate dead spell. At level 7 you may instead raise a Ghost with this feature. At level 9 you may instead raise a Flaming Skull with this feature. At level 10 you may instead raise a Banshee if the dead was a woman or Wraith if the dead was a man with this feature.

Large Undead[edit]

Beginning at 6th Level when you cast the Animate dead spell, you may raise humanoids with the size category of large or smaller. These creatures gain the Skeleton or Zombie template and are under your control as if they were under the Animate dead spell. At level 13 , when you use Animate Dead on a large humanoid you may create a Death Tyrant instead of a Skeleton or Zombie. You may only have 3 Death Tyrants at a time.

Sanguine Bond[edit]

At level 11 you have learned to empower your newly created legions to even greater capabilities. While wielding your staff you can sacrifice 1D4 hit points when you cast the Animate Dead spell. If you do, your creations will be able to use your spell casting modifiers and proficiency bonus for their attacks and spell save DC. Furthermore your undead will be granted the Unarmored Defense feature granting them a calculated AC of 10+your spellcasting modifier+your proficiency. Your servants hit points are increased to (10+proficiency bonus) times your Death Magus level if they are not at that amount already.

Life of the Grave[edit]

At level 14 when you use a healing spell on one or more of your servants you can heal them for the full amount of the spell instead of half.

Revenant’s Curse[edit]

Beginning at level 20, you become cursed as a Revenant until you can achieve Lichdom or Arch Lichdom.

Ability Score Increase
Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Relentless Nature

Your goal is to achieve Lichdom or Arch Lichdom. • If you are below half your hit point maximum at the start of your turn, you regain 1 hit point. • If you die, you return to life 24 hours after death. If your body is destroyed, you reform within 1 mile of the place of your death at a spot determined by the DM. If your equipment was also destroyed, you do not regain it, except your Staff of the Death Magus. • You know the direction between you and a source of knowledge on becoming a Lich or Arch Lich, such as any creature or books. This awareness fails if the creature is on another plane of existence.

Death Magus Spell List[edit]

You know all of the spells on the basic Cleric spell list.


Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Death Magus class, you must meet these prerequisites: Charisma of 15.

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Death Magus class, you gain the following proficiencies: Poisoners Kit, Alchemy kit.

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