Duelist, Variant (5e Subclass)

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The Duelist[edit]

Fighter Subclass

A Duelist understands that the mastery of the sword is a matter of patience and agility. You must become more than just a man with a weapon in the mind of your opponent.

The archetypal Duelist focuses on the development of their dueling skills with a sword, striking with elegance and poise. To a Duelist, a sword is an extension of their own self, learning to use the weapon with a smooth flow and deadly grace.

Any feature that requires a saving throw uses the following to calculate your DC: 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength or Dexterity modifier.

Swords: Greatsword, longsword, rapier, scimitar, shortsword.

Sword Styles

At 3rd level, you gain one of the following features of your choice.

  • En Guarde: Upon choosing this archetype at 3rd level, you gain a +2 to your AC as long as you are holding any type of sword and nothing else.
  • Swordsman: You gain a +2 to attack rolls with any type of sword.
  • Footwork: While you are wielding a sword, you gain +10ft to your walking speed.

Combat Tactics

At 7th level, you gain one of the following features of your choice.

  • Lethality: Whenever you achieve a critical hit with a sword, you may roll one additional damage die to the determine the damage for the critical hit. For greatswords, this is an additional d6.
  • Vicious Strike: You can add 1d4 to the damage roll of any sword. The added damage increases to 1d6 at 15th level and 1d8 at 18th level.

Expert Strikes

At 10th level, you gain one of the following features of your choice.

  • Alpha Strike: You may attempt to disarm an enemy. On a successful hit, the target must make a Strength saving throw. On a failed saving throw, the target drops the weapon they are holding to their feet. Additionally, on a failed saving throw, you may add 1d4 weapon damage to the damage roll. The added damage increases to 1d6 at 15th level. On a successful saving throw, the target does not drop their weapon and doesn't take the extra damage.
  • Defensive Strike: When a creature successfully hits you with a melee attack, you may use your reaction to strike the attacker once, adding 1d4 to the damage roll. The added damage increases to 1d6 at 15th level. If the creature attacks you with a melee weapon but misses, you have advantage on the defensive strike.
  • Moderate Swordsman: You may add a +1 to attack rolls with a sword.

Supreme Skills

At 15th level, you gain one of the following features of your choice.

  • Expose Weakness: Upon hitting a creature, you may force the creature must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed saving throw, the creature's AC minuses by 2 (cannot be used more than once on the same creature). The creature's AC is restored after they finish a short or long rest.
  • Relentless Lethality: You may add an additional damage die to one attack you make. You may do this once per turn.
  • Brave, but Foolish: As long as you are wielding a sword, attacks of opportunity towards you when leaving a creature's melee zone are done with disadvantage.

Masterful Skills

At 18th level, you gain one of the following features of your choice.

  • Telling the Odds: When you roll a natural 19 or 20 with a sword, it counts as a critical hit.
  • Master Swordsman: You naturally have advantage on attack rolls with swords.
  • Unforgiving Blow: While a creature is below 25% health, your damage with a sword has another die roll.


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