Grim Reaper (5e Class)

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Grim Reaper[edit]

The limp body of a child floats along the reeds of a marsh. A dark hooded figure in flowing black robes descends on the tiny body and reveals a wicked curved scythe. With a single slice, the body yields a small soul. The hooded figure can be heard inhaling deeply, and the soul is sucked beneath the hood, into darkness. As silent as it came, the reaper is gone.

On a local village lit ablaze, a small unit of several hooded reapers, armed with scythes descend to collect their bounty...

Death's Representative[edit]

People think it's so simple. There's just one Death right? Wrong. That'd be your boss. You are one among many who are either blessed or cursed to become a grim reaper and collect the souls of those who die in turn. Death selected you to be one to bear the scythe in his name, to go forth and seek ripe souls for the taking.

Creating a Grim Reaper[edit]

The wings of a reaper show, unrobed, by Andrea Christen

When you were granted this power, what was the reason? Sometimes, this job is a punishment, especially onto those who want peaceful lives. How do you plan to wield this power? How has this power changed your life? What have you lost as a result but gained with power? Do you relish swinging with savage abandon, or are you simply doing your job? Do you loathe yourself for your job, or do you do so with honor and a just way?

Quick Build

You can make a grim reaper quickly by following these suggestions. First, Strength should be your highest ability score, followed by Wisdom. Second, for background, go for something that boosts either your game-playing capabilities or an artisanal job in which you can make a living. Third, choose Insight and Perception for skills and the Explorer's Pack for equipment.

Class Features

As a Grim Reaper you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d10 per Grim Reaper level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + Constitution modifier per Grim Reaper level after 1st


Armor: none
Weapons: Scythes, martial weapons, simple ranged weapons
Tools: A game set of your choice AND one of your choice from Artisan's tools or Musical instruments
Saving Throws: Strength and Wisdom
Skills: Choose two from Arcana, Insight, Perception, Religion, Intimidation, and Athletics


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

  • (a) Scythe or (b) light crossbow and a case with 20 bolts
  • A spellcasting focus
  • (a) Dungeoneer's Pack or (b) Explorer's Pack
  • If you are using starting wealth, you have 2d4x10 gp in funds.

Table: The Grim Reaper

Level Proficiency
Cantrips Known Spells Known Features —Spell Slots per Spell Level—
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1st +2 0 0 Grim Feast, Grim Reaver, Death's Raiment, Ageless Death
2nd +2 1 1 Spellcasting 2
3rd +2 1 1 Language of the Dead, Grim Reaver Improvement 3
4th +2 1 1 Ability Score Improvement 3
5th +3 2 2 Dark Harvest 4 2
6th +3 2 2 On a Pale Horse 4 2
7th +3 2 2 Grim Reaver Improvement, Death's Raiment Improvement 4 3
8th +3 2 2 Ability Score Improvement 4 3
9th +4 2 3 4 3 2
10th +4 3 3 Grim Reaver Improvement, Death's Raiment Improvement 4 3 2
11th +4 3 3 Death's Raiment Improvement 4 3 3
12th +4 3 3 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3
13th +5 3 4 4 3 3 1
14th +5 3 4 Grim Reaver Improvement 4 3 3 1
15th +5 4 4 Death's Raiment Improvement 4 3 3 2
16th +5 4 4 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 2
17th +6 4 5 4 3 3 3 1
18th +6 4 5 Death's Raiment Improvement, Grim Reaver Improvement 4 3 3 3 1
19th +6 4 5 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 3 2
20th +6 5 6 Death's Raiment Improvement, Grim Reaver Improvement 4 3 3 3 2

Design Note: This class does not have archetypes, and was not created with archetypes in mind.

Grim Feast[edit]

Death comes to all, inevitably, no creature is truly immune to death. Starting from 1st level, you can consume souls of the recently departed for your benefit. Types of creatures that can be eaten are as per DM's discretion. The only beings that cannot be devoured under any circumstances are undead beings of any kind, and constructs; they are filled with an essence that mocks life and are not "truly alive." You can use a bonus action to eat the life essences of the recently deceased. The creature must have died in the past hour for the essence to be consumed, and the you must be within 10 feet of the creature whose soul is to be consumed. When the soul is consumed, you gain hitpoints equal to the CR of the soul consumed (minimum of 1). If at maximum hitpoints, you receive temporary hitpoints equal to the creature's CR instead. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier, regaining use after you finish a long rest. Since you eat the life essence, it makes the soul consumed unable to be revived in any way other than the Wish spell.

Grim Reaver[edit]

Beginning at 1st Level, you are able to amplify the weapon you are using. As an action, you have your weapon burst with a flame from death's energy. Your next attack with your weapon inflicts an extra Xd10 necrotic damage, where X equals half your reaper level (rounded down, with a minimum of 1), on a hit. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier, regaining all use when you finish a long rest.

A reaper must spend one hour to bond in ritual to the weapon in order to empower it. You may only have one such weapon at a time. If you bond with another weapon, then the original bond is lost. If it manages to be destroyed, it will reappear in your hands after you conduct a ritual as part of a short rest, for a price of 100 gp.

As you mature as a reaper, your powers change to match your style. While there may be many reapers, their individual powers can differ. At 3rd, 7th, 10th, 14th, 18th, and 20th level, you can choose an upgrade from the Grim Reaver Improvements, listed at the bottom of the page. Some of these improvements have prerequisites that must be fulfilled before you can take them to enhance your reaver.

Death's Raiment[edit]

Your clothes may have been considered many things: emo, unfashionable, and uncomfortable under strong heat. But that all stops now. Beginning at 1st level, an ethereal robe of Death has been bestowed upon you. It materializes as a regular black frayed cloak draped around your person with flowing sleeves and coattails. Your AC becomes equal to 10 + your Constitution modifier + your Wisdom modifier. You can take off this raiment like normal clothing.

Like your reaver, this raiment grows in potency as you do in your profession as a grim reaper. At 7th, 10th, 11th, 15th, 18th, and 20th level, you can choose an upgrade from the Grim Raiment Improvements, listed at the bottom of the page. Some of these improvements have prerequisites that must be fulfilled before you can take them to enhance your raiment.

Ageless Death[edit]

Death will call you home when he is ready to and not before. After being imbued with Death’s power at 1st level you become ageless. You no longer can be aged by natural, magical or any other means.


Beginning at 2nd level, Death sees it fit to equip you with the power to utilize magic in your endeavors.

Spellcasting Ability

Starting at 2nd Level, you know a number of cantrips equal to the Cantrips known on the table above, as well as spells equal to the Spells Known list on the same table. These and further spells are chosen from the Grim Reaper Spell List. At each level you may change out spells from the list to spells known, but you never know more spells than allowed under the Spells known column. You cast spells using your arcane focus.

Wisdom is your Spellcasting Ability for casting Soul Reaper spells.

Spell Attack Modifier: Your Proficiency Bonus + Your Wisdom Modifier

Spell Save DC: 8 + Your Proficiency Bonus + Your Wisdom Modifier

Language of the Dead[edit]

The dead speak a tongue understood by all. At 3rd level, you learn a language of your choice.

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.

Dark Harvest[edit]

Starting at 5th level, whenever you successfully deal necrotic damage to a creature, you may gain half the amount of damage dealt as temporary hit points. These hit points expire at the end of your next turn.

On a Pale Horse[edit]

Beginning at 6th level you take on the image of a true Horseman of the Apocalypse. You can conduct a 1 hour ritual to summon a Pale Horse. This creature is totally obedient to you and your allies. It acts on its own turn in battle but will not take any actions unless you use a bonus action to command it. When it is reduced to 0 hit points, it disappears in a blue and fiery death.

Grim Reaver Improvements[edit]

You can choose from the following options to augment your weapon of choice as a reaper. These options serve as substitutions for archetypes in this class.

  • Deathly Edge: Your reaver now counts as magical for overcoming immunity/resistance.
  • Eternal Weapon: Your reaver can never be lost or permanently destroyed for any reason. Should it go more than 30 feet from your person, it will appear back in your hands unless taken to another plane.
  • Keen Edge: Your reaver gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls. This has no effect if the weapon bound is already of +1 or greater.
  • Brutality: Reaver now inflicts one additional die of weapon damage on a critical hit.
  • Opportunity Striker: (Prerequisite: 9th-level grim reaper)
Attacks made with your reaver now score a critical hit on a roll of 19-20.
  • Necrotic Siphon: (Prerequisite: 7th-level grim reaper)
Even if you can't eat the soul of an undead, you can still gain something. When you successfully attack an undead type with your reaver, you regain hit points equal to the amount of damage dealt.
  • The Bell Tolls: Death to those who think they can deny the inevitable. Your reaver has advantage in attack rolls against undead type creatures, and hits on them deal an additional damage die.
  • Life Seeker: (Prerequisite: 5th-level grim reaper)
While holding your reaver, as an action, you dowse the area around you for life. You become aware of all creatures within 60 feet of you and their locations and state of health so long as they are not undead or construct type.
  • Death's Magic: (Prerequisite: 7th-level grim reaper)
You can use your reaver as your arcane focus. When you cast a spell which deals damage using your reaver, you may change the spell's damage to necrotic without an action.
  • Merciless Scything: (Prerequisite: 11th-level grim reaper)
Once per turn, when you make an attack with your reaver, you may cast inflict wounds at its lowest level, without using an action or expending a slot.
  • Endless Deathburst: (Prerequisite: 11th-level grim reaper)
You no longer need to expend an action to activate the extra necrotic damage from your Grim Reaver feature.

Death's Raiment Improvements[edit]

You can choose from the following options to augment your reaper's robes. These options serve as substitutions for archetypes in this class.

  • Returning Garb: Should your raiment go more than 30 feet from your person, it will appear back around your shoulders. If it manages to be destroyed, it will reappear around your shoulders after a short or long rest
  • Dark Hood: Your raiment gains a hood, which grants your 60 feet of darkvision. If you already have darkvision, you instead gain superior darkvision.
  • Deathly Visage: You have advantage on all Intimidation rolls against any creature that can see your face.
  • Scarce Presence: The cloak now seems more well-kept. You gain advantage in Dexterity (Stealth) checks while wearing your raiment.
  • World Traverse: From now on while the raiment is worn, you are able to comfortably tolerate Extreme Cold and Extreme Heat environments as per the DMG. This confers complete protection in these environments, meaning you do not have to make the usual Constitution save to resist their effects.
  • Ethereal Armor: (Prerequisite: 15th-level grim reaper)
Your raiment now provides resistance to one of the following types of damage: slashing, piercing, or bludgeoning.
  • Dark Piercer: (Prerequisite: Dark Hood improvement)
Your darkvision becomes devilsight, allowing you to see through magical darkness.
  • Death's Eyes: (Prerequisite: 17th-level grim reaper, Dark Piercer improvement)
The hood now grants you 30 feet of truesight.
  • Necro Bar: You gain resistance to necrotic damage.
  • Necro Steer: (Prerequisite: Necro Bar improvement)
By expending your reaction, if any ally within 30 feet of you is targeted with any attack or spell that deals necrotic damage, you can choose to direct the flow of the attack's energies at yourself instead. You may also utilize the energy and direct it at another target within 30 feet of you.
  • Necrotic Healing: (Prerequisite: 20th-level grim reaper, Necro Steer improvement)
Any necrotic attack that successfully hits you instead heals you by the amount of damage it would have dealt fully.
  • Protection By Thanatos: Death is undeterred by conditions of the flesh. You gain advantage on saving throws against being poisoned, petrified, and blinded. You also no longer need to eat, sleep, breathe or drink to survive.
  • Silent Death: (Prerequisite: Scarce Presence improvement)
Death moves in and out quickly, doing work unnoticed. You are now considered to be under the effects of nondetection spell at all times.
  • Wings of Death: (Prerequisite: 5th-level grim reaper)
Most people don't know that reapers can fly. You gain the ability to summon and dismiss black feathered wings as a bonus action, gaining a flight speed of 30 feet. If you already had flight speed, your flying speed is instead increased by 10 feet when this feature is activated. You cannot use this feature if you are wearing anything clothing or armor other than Death's Raiment.
  • Funeral Bells: (Prerequisite: 17th-level grim reaper)
You cannot be surprised and no attack roll has advantage against you while you aren’t incapacitated. Whenever an attack is attempted by a creature, you hear what seems to be a deep-toned church bell.
  • Stench of Death: (Prerequisite: 18th-level grim reaper)
This whole reaper business comes with natural repellent. You may spend an action to cause creatures of your choice within a 30 foot radius of you to make a Wisdom saving throw with a DC of 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier. The creatures that fail their saving throws are all frightened by you for 1 minute. They may repeat this saving throw at the end of each of their turns, ending the effect on a success. Once you use this feature, you can not use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Grim Reaper Spell List[edit]

Death gives you only what you need to get the job done, and does not bestow any further. You know all of the spells on the basic Grim Reaper spell list below:


Chill Touch, Guidance, Light, Mage Hand, Message, Resistance, Spare the Dying, Thaumaturgy, True Strike, Spectral Scythe

1st Level

Alarm, Armor of Agathys, Arms of Hadar, Bane, Bless, Command, Comprehend Languages, Cure Wounds, Detect Evil and Good, Detect Poison and Disease, Disguise Self, False Life, Healing Word, Hellish Rebuke, Hex, Inflict Wounds, Protection from Evil and Good, Ray of Sickness, Silent Image, Sleep, Unseen Servant

2nd Level

Aid, Blindness/Deafness, Blur, Calm Emotions, Crown of Madness, Darkness, Detect Thoughts, Enhance Ability, Gentle Repose, Hold Person, Invisibility, Lesser Restoration, Misty Step, Pass without Trace, Phantasmal Force, Prayer of Healing, Protection from Poison, Ray of Enfeeblement, See Invisibility, Silence, Suggestion, Zone of Truth

3rd Level

Animate Dead, Aura of Vitality, Beacon of Hope, Bestow Curse, Blink, Clairvoyance, Fear, Gaseous Form, Haste, Hunger of Hadar, Mass Healing Word, Nondetection, Protection from Energy, Remove Curse, Revivify, Speak with Dead, Tongues, Vampiric Touch

4th Level

Aura of Life, Aura of Purity, Banishment, Blight, Compulsion, confusion, Death Ward, Dimension Door, Freedom of Movement, Greater Invisibility, Guardian of Faith, Phantasmal Killer

5th Level

Antilife Shell, Commune, Contact Other Plane, Contagion, Dispel Evil and Good, Dominate Person, Dream, Geas, Greater Restoration, Hallow, Mass Cure Wounds, Raise Dead, Reincarnate


Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Grim Reaper class, you must meet these prerequisites: Strength 15, Wisdom 15

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Grim Reaper class, you gain the following proficiencies: Scythe, one gaming set of your choice, one skill of your choice from the class list

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