Imperial Warden (5e Class)
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Imperial Wardens are warriors anointed by High-Imperial magic. The blessings of the imperial magic allows them to transcend what normal warriors can perform, as long as they hold true to their liege, and their gods. An aura of power radiates from wardens that make them recognizable when they bring their power to bare. The signs of their power vary from warden from warden, glowing eyes, runic marks, or radiant wings. All wardens however, bind themselves to a weapon that becomes a signature for them. Many wardens will take mundane weapons as theirs, but eventually the weapons become those that are spoken of in legends.
Creating an Imperial Warden
|High Imperial Warden. Art by Stephen Stark|
Imperial Wardens proficiencies and their combat focus vary from warden to warden. A warden can focus on the more martial aspects of their training and they could be a tremendous warrior at the cost of being less magically inclined. Otherwise a warden can focus on the spells of their classes and be a long distance power house. The warden above all should be an embodiment of the empire they serve, and thus will usually attune themselves as such.
- Quick Build
Put your highest stats in Strength (Or Dexterity if you wish to use finesse weapons) and Wisdom. Your next highest stat should be Constitution if you wish to be an Imperial Dreadnought, or put more points into Wisdom if you wish to be an Eldritch Devastator. A Living Weapon will benefit from either Strength or Dexterity.
As a Imperial Warden you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Armor: light armor, medium armor
Weapons: Simple ranged and melee weapons, Martial melee weapons
Tools: Artisan Tools
Saving Throws: Strength, Wisdom
Skills: Choose two from Acrobatics, Arcana, Deception, Insight, Investigation, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, and Survival.
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) dungeoneer's pack or (b) explorer's pack
- (a) scale mail or (b) leather armor and a longbow with 20 arrows
- (a) a martial weapon and a shield or (b) two martial weapons
|Features||Spells Known||—Spell Slots per Spell Level—|
|1st||+2||Weapon Bonding, Imperial Ward, Imperial Aura||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+2||Spellcasting, Imperial Magic, Fighting Style||2||2||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+2||Imperial Warden Archetype, Imperial Command||3||3||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement||3||3||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+3||Extra Attack, Weightless Grace||4||4||2||—||—||—|
|6th||+3||Imperial Shout, Imperial Command (Crown of Madness)||4||4||2||—||—||—|
|7th||+3||Imperial Warden Archetype Feature||5||4||3||—||—||—|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||5||4||3||—||—||—|
|10th||+4||Aura of Gravity||6||4||3||2||—||—|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||7||4||3||3||—||—|
|14th||+5||Bolster of the Empire||8||4||3||3||1||—|
|15th||+5||Imperial Warden Archetype Feature||9||4||3||3||2||—|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||9||4||3||3||2||—|
|18th||+6||Warden Incarnate, Imperial Command (Geas)||10||4||3||3||3||1|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||11||4||3||3||3||2|
|20th||+6||Imperial Warden Archetype Feature||11||4||3||3||3||2|
At 1st level you have bonded a weapon to yourself in the past or at start of your character gaining this class. Once you have bonded the weapon, you can’t be disarmed of that weapon unless you are incapacitated. If it is on the same plane of existence, you can summon that weapon as a bonus action on your turn, causing it to teleport instantly to your hand. When not in use you can dismiss the weapon to a pocket dimension.
At the 1st level, when you finish a long rest, you are able to inscribe an Imperial Rune on a number of creatures nearby equal to your Wisdom modifier. The mark lasts for the next 8 hours. The next time the creature takes damage within that time frame, the damage is reduced to 0.
At 1st level, arcane magic surrounds the Imperial Warden in 10 foot radius aura. Wisps of the magic flit through the air around you and embolden your allies as they strike. When a creature you can see within 10 feet makes an attack roll, you can use your reaction to empower the attack with this arcane power. On a hit, the attack causes additional damage equal to your proficiency bonus.
Starting at 2nd level, you adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can't take a Fighting Style more than once, even if you have the option to choose it from another class.
While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC.
When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.
- Great Weapon Fighting
When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit.
- Two-Weapon Fighting
When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.
- Tunnel Fighter
You excel at defending narrow passages, doorways, and other tight spaces. As a bonus action, you can enter a defensive stance that lasts until the start of your next turn. While in your defensive stance, you can make opportunity attacks without using your reaction, and you can use your reaction to make a melee attack against a creature that moves more than 5 feet while within your reach.
By 2nd level, you have learned to draw on divine magic through the power of your will, much like a paladin does.
- Spell Slots
The Imperial Warden table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells. To cast one of your Imperial Warden spells of 1st level or higher, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.
For example, if you are a 5th-level Imperial Warden, you have four 1st-level and two 2nd-level spell slots. With a Wisdom of 14, your list of prepared spells can include four 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 a 2nd-level slot. Casting the spell doesn't remove it from your list of prepared spells.
- Spells Known of 1st Level and Higher
You know two 1st-level spells of your choice from the paladin spell list.
The Spells Known column of the Imperial Warden table shows when you learn more paladin spells of your choice. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For instance, when you reach 5th level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level.
Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the paladin spells you know and replace it with another spell from the paladin spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
- Spellcasting Ability
Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your Imperial Warden spells, since your magic draws on your imperial wisdom. You use your Wisdom whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Wisdom modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a paladin spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Starting at 2nd level, you can tap into the essence of the empire and call forth unique magics that will allow you to conquer your foes, or undermine your enemies. You learn additional spells when you reach certain levels in this class if you don't already know them, as shown in the Imperial Magic Spells table. These spells don't count against the number of Imperial Warden spells you know.
|Imperial Warden Level||Spells|
|3rd||imperial bolt, will charge|
|5th||eldritch armor, warden's step|
|9th||imperial blight, chains of justice|
|13th||warden's volley, gilded wave|
|17th||divine judgement, righteous storm|
Beginning at 3rd level, an Imperial Warden has learned to turn even a furious enemy into an ally, albeit even for a brief few moments. The Imperial Warden has advantage on Charisma checks with a guard, nobleman, or anyone else of a high station.
In addition, you can cast charm person, command spending your spell slots. These spells don't count against your maximum number of known spells. Spells you can cast using this feature require a bonus action, rather than an action.
Imperial Warden Archetype
At 3rd level, you choose an archetype that specializes in the playstyle you want: Dreadnought, Living Weapon, or Eldritch Devastator, all detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 3rd and again at 7th, 15th, and 18th levels.
Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of you 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.
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the attack action on your turn.
Starting at 5th level, the armor your wearing starts to feel like a second skin and your movement in it seems to be effortless. You do not suffer disadvantage on Dexterity(Stealth) checks if wearing medium or heavy armor.
Bonded weapons also become easier to carry, allowing them to become an extension to your body. Bonded weapons with the heavy tag no longer impose disadvantage on attack rolls when wielded by a small creature and bonded weapons with the two-handed property no longer need to be used with both hands.
At 6th level an Imperial Warden's voice carries like a horn across the battlefields. As an action, the Imperial Warden can release a magic filled shout. All allies within 60 feet of the Imperial Warden are bolstered by the reassurance of the Imperial Warden, and gain temporary hit points equal to the Imperial Warden's class level plus their proficiency bonus.
Alternatively, the Imperial Warden can choose to attempt to intimidate enemies with their shout. All enemies within 60 feet must make a Wisdom saving throw equal to the Imperial Warden's saving throw, or be feared until the end of their next turn. While an enemy is feared like this their speed is reduced to 0. On a successful save there is no effect.
An Imperial Warden can use this ability a number of times a day equal to their Wisdom Modifier.
At 9th level, a rune of power empowers your eyes. You gain darkvision up to a range of 60 feet. If you already have darkvision, yours increase 60 feet. In addition, you can spend a spell slot of any level as a bonus action to gain the ability to see invisible creatures and to see through normal and magical darkness for the same distance of your darkvision. The duration of this depends on the level of the slot: 1 minute (1st-level), 10 minutes (2nd-level), 1 hour (3rd-level), 8 hours (4th-level) or 24 hours (5th-level).
Aura of Gravity
At 10th level, an Imperial Warden's presence is a weight to their enemies, but keeps their allies grounded. Enemies within 10 feet treat your radius as difficult terrain, while allies have advantage on Dexterity saving throws, and effects that would displace them or knock them prone.
At 11th level, you learn a ritual that can enhance your bonded weapon. Over the course of one hour you infuse your weapon with yet more magic. You must stay within physical contact of the weapon to infuse the weapon. At the end of the hour you now add bonus damage to your attacks with the weapon equal to your proficiency bonus.
Bolster of the Empire
Starting at 14th level, the Imperial Warden carries the will of the entire empire behind them. As a bonus action they can embolden themselves or an ally they can touch. The creature affected with this ability has a bonus to all saving throws equal to the Imperial Warden's proficiency, and they gain temporary hit points equal to the Imperial Warden's class level. These benefits last until the end of your next turn, or until you use this feature again.
At 18th level, you become the embodiment and will of both the empire and your gods. As an action, you can activate the ability, and gain two from the benefits below for 1 minute. Once you do it, you can't do it again until you finish a long rest:
- Wardens Protection
- Arcane Weapons
- Imperial Magic
All spells and attacks with a bound weapon ignore damage resistance.
- True Imperial Aura
All auras that bolster allies gain a range of 60 feet.
- Will of the Empire
Your will is nigh unconquerable. You automatically succeed on any Wisdom saving throw and have advantage on all other saving throws. In addition all allies within 30 feet of you have a bonus to their saving throws equal to your proficiency bonus.
Imperial Warden Archetypes
Dreadnoughts are living embodiment of resilience and endurance, and can take such a punishment that some even wonder if they're any longer mortal. Striding the battlefield outfitted with armor fit for a god the Dreadnought is truly the epitome of physical endurance.
- Archetype Spells
You gain archetype spells at the imperial warden levels listed.
|Imperial Warden Level||Spells|
|9th||aura of vitality|
Starting at 3rd level, as an Action, you can choose to defend one of your allies within 5 feet. Attacks against the target of your defense have disadvantage. An attack at disadvantage made against the target of your defend provokes opportunity attacks from you.
The benefits of defend ends when your target is no longer within 5 feet, or at the end of your next turn.
- Bound Arsenal
When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you can now bind weapons, armor, shields, and even siege weapons to you, instead of just regular weapons. When you take this archetype, you may bind two of the listed items to you, for example one weapon and one shield, or a shield and a suit of armor. For the purposes of this your armor counts as one object.
- Thick Skinned
At 3rd level, your hit point maximum increases in 3, plus 1 for each additional level you gain in this class. When you spend hit dice to regain hit points during a short rest, you regain 1 additional hit point per dice spent, up to your maximum.
At 7th level, you have defended against countless sieges and countless more enemies. If an effect would move you against your will, you can choose to not be moved. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Constitution modifier, and regain your uses after finishing a long rest.
At 15th level,you have learned to use your magic to push past your physical limits. You can add double their proficiency bonus to any Strength checks, or they can choose to double their proficiency bonus for one round on their attacks. This can be used a number of times equal to their Wisdom modifier per long rest.
- Overwhelming Defense
At 20th level, a you can make yourself unbreakable like a mountain. When you use this feature, you gain resistance to all damage for 1 minute. For the duration, you also gain an imposing aura, and gains advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks against creatures that can see you. You can't use this feature again until you finish a long rest.
In addition, and your Constitution score increases by 2, to a maximum of 22.
|Eldritch Devastator by Daarken|
These warden's have changed their focus of combat towards a spell casting focus with such a degree of intensity that even longtime wizards and scholars are stunned. Nothing is forbidden knowledge to an Eldritch Devastator, and no magic is outside of their reach. Such Eldritch Devastator's have the blessing and power of even their gods.
- Spell Mastery
Starting at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with the Arcana skill. You add twice your proficiency bonus if you are already proficient with it.
In addition, you can use your bound weapon as a spellcasting focus for your Imperial Warden spells.
- War Magic
Starting at 3rd level, you study the divine magic of the gods, and the magics of wizards. You can choose one 1st-level spell from the wizard's spell list. This spell doesn't count against your maximum number of known spells, and you can cast it using your spell slots. When you reach certain levels in this class, you increase the number of spells you know. You can learn an additional 2nd-level wizard spell at 5th level, an additional 3rd-level wizard spell at 9th level, an additional 4th-level wizard spell at 13th level, and an additional 5th-level wizard spell at 17th level. These prepared spells don’t count against the number of artificer spells you prepare.
When you cast a spell you’ve prepared using this feature, it’s considered to be an imperial warden spell for you, and Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for it. Whenever you gain a new wizard spell, you can replace one of your known spells (wizard's or imperial warden spells) for a wizard spell of a level in which you have spell slots.
- Arcane Cannon
Also at 3rd level, You can cast Imperial Bolt without expending a spell slot. You can do so a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
In addition, you can spend multiple uses of this feature at once to cast it at a higher level. The Imperial Bolt is cast at a level equal to the amount of uses of this feature you spent at the same time.
- Eldritch Tome
At 7th level the manifestation of an Eldritch Devastator's god-given power transforms into a tome of power. The tome grants one learned spell upon a successful Arcana check and one week of study, after which the tome becomes blank for one week afterwards. Text returns to the tome at midnight of the seventh day, and the Eldritch Devastator can attempt to learn a new spell. The DC to learn each spell is higher than the last as their powers are even greater.
- Mystic Explosion
- DC 17 Arcana Check to learn. An 2nd Level Evocation spell. The user builds up their magical reserves and unleashes them all at once in a personal explosion of power around them. The explosion is the color of the Warden's personal magic signature. 60ft range, 10ft explosion. 4d10 force damage. As a action to cast it. Dexterity saving throw against the user's spell save. On fail they take the full damage, on save only half.
- Eldritch Ballista
- DC 19 Arcana check to learn. An 3rd Level Evocation spell. Concentrating their magical power into an single large ballista like projectile, the user launches it with impressive force across the battlefield, tearing about buildings and foes alike. As a action to cast, 120ft ranged spell attack. 7d12 force damage. Enemies within 5ft of attacking area need to make dex save against user's spell save or take half damage. On save, no damage is taken.
- Palm of Arcane God
- DC 21 Arcana Check to learn. An 4th Level Evocation spell. Gathering magical energy into their palm, the user throws his palm out towards an area. As a action a 40ft area within eyesight is pressed upon by the full Arcane might of the Eldritch Devastator Warden, the area is left with the impression of a giant palm pressed down upon it. 10d12 force damage, all creatures caught need to make a Dexterity saving throw against user's spell save. On a fail, they take the full damage and are knocked prone. On a success, they take half damage.
- Arcane Decay
At 7th level, as a action you summon a rain of arcane flecks of energy and they begin eroding against the enemies armor. An enemy within eyesight must make Wisdom save against user's spell save DC. On a fail their AC is reduced by 5 for one minute, on a success it is reduced by 5 for just your turn.
- Spell Mastery
At 15th level, you can unleash a flurry of devastation upon your enemies as a action. Your knowledge of the arcane arts is vast enough that you know how to add that special twist on most spells to get the most damage out of them. You are the ultimate incarnation of imperial war magic. If you roll an attack for a spell (like arcane blast) you now score a critical hit if you roll an 18 - 20 with all spells.
At 20th level, you can craft a phylactery. To craft a phylactery, you need the following components: Tears of a Griffin, Flowers grown on top of a warrior's grave, Blood of a Undead, Holy Water, Powder crushed Gems, Gold Coin dipped in Warden's Blood. The ritual to craft a phylactery requires drawing a runic circle and place all of the items within it. You must then channel your magic into the circle for seven days and nights, at the end of which the phylactery is made, but your hit point maximum is reduced by 1/5 of your maximum. If the Phylactery is ever broken, your hit point maximum is restored.
Thanks to the phylactery, you can no longer permanently die. If you die, you return to life in 1d10 days, regaining all your hit points. Your body appears within 5 feet of the phylactery, if both are in the same plane of existence. You no longer needs to sleep, eat or drink water. You no longer age and can't be magically aged.
The only way to kill you is by destroying the phylactery. It has AC 18 and 100 hit points. It is immune to all conditions, it is resistant to cold, lighting and necrotic damage and it is immune to poison, bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from nonmagical attacks. When the phylactery is damaged, you receive the same amount of damage.
These wardens focus purely on destroying their opponent with any weapon, be it from the simplest knife or cudgel to a masterwork blade. Such wardens are known far and across the empire for being an unstoppable warrior.
- Archetype Spells
You gain archetype spells at the imperial warden levels listed.
|Imperial Warden Level||Spells|
|13th||freedom of movement|
|17th||steel wind strike|
- Martial Master
Starting at 3rd level, due to your relentless physical training, you are extremely adaptable, and you are never really unarmed. You gain the following benefits:
- While not wearing armor, your AC equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Wisdom modifier.
- When you make an unarmed strike, attack with a simple or improvised weapon, or attack with a bound weapon, you can use your Dexterity, rather than Strength, for attacks and damage rolls.
- You roll a d8 for the damage of your unarmed strikes. If you are not wielding a weapon, shield or magical focus in any of your hands, you roll a d10 instead.
- Extension of Your Body
Starting at 3rd level, your bound weapon becomes an extension of your own body. Once in each of your turns, when you roll damage for it, you can reroll it, choosing the highest result.
- Superior Training
At 7th level, your unarmed strikes are considered magical for the purposes of overcoming resistances and immunities to non-magical damage. In addition, you also treat your unarmed strikes as bound weapons for any feature were this is relevant.
Also at 7th level, when you are subjected to an effect, such as a red dragon’s fiery breath or a lightning bolt spell, that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you instead take no damage if you succeed on a saving throw, and only half damage if you fail
- Fierce Duelist
At 15th level, you gain the ability to counterattack when your prey tries to sabotage you. If an enemy within 5 feet makes a melee weapon attack against you, you can use your reaction to make one weapon attack or unarmed strike against it. You make this attack immediately before your opponent make theirs. If the attack hits, your opponent attack automatically misses, in addition to your attack’s normal effects.
- Corporal Mastery
At 20th level, your body achieves true perfection. Your Dexterity and Constitution scores increase by 4, up to a maximum of 24.
Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Imperial Warden class, you must meet these prerequisites: Cannot be True Neutral Must have at least 13 Str or Dex, and at least 13 Wisdom.