Manipulator (5e Class)

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There are a select few among us whom you might be aware of. These people have a way with words, have a silver tongue, could sell snow to an Eskimo you know the sayings. They are talented with their voice and typically attractive people. They know just the right things to say every time to get the reaction they want. While talk is cheap, the words of manipulators are worth listening to. Unlike necromancers they prefer living puppets to dead ones, they are sly and cunning masters of the spoken word. Perhaps they wish to assist others with the persuasion of their pretty words. Perhaps they wish their deceptions to become the reality of their enemies. No matter what the reason however, each enemy to a manipulator becomes a new friend and each friend a new toy. Why waste the power that is held within many of us? The power of voice.

Creating a Manipulator[edit]

A manipulator is a curious magic user whose voice is laced with magic. They harness the energies of other people in order to use their powers, bending these energies. They are similar to bards in that they are very charismatic beings but they have no need for music. They are stronger voice users. They use their abilities to get, do, see, and hear whatever they want. In the minds of manipulators, the best way to do this is to alter the emotions, thoughts, and perceptions of others; a skill that is not matched by anyone else. Manipulators are also effective at preforming and charming others to gain followers that absolutely adore them. They are excellent at persuasion and deception, while they can intimidate well most manipulators do not take this approach.

Manipulator's strengths are in that of using their deceptions and persuasions to get the effect they want, they are strong spell casters but it is best not to throw them into battle. They can do very well with their abilities both inside and out of battle, however. They are versatile but require careful planning and tactics to do well in a fight, most prefer to observe. Depending on the manipulator they are best left to crowd control.

Quick Build

You can make a manipulator quickly by following these suggestions. First, Charisma should be your highest ability score, followed by Wisdom, and Intelligence. Second, choose the Entertainer or Charlatan background.

Class Features

As a Manipulator you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per Manipulator level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Manipulator level after 1st


Armor: Light
Weapons: Simple weapons, Whip, Rapier.
Tools: Disguise Kit, and one instrument of your choice.
Saving Throws: Charisma, Wisdom
Skills: Arcana, Deception, Intimidation, Persuasion, Performance, Sleight of Hand


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

  • (a) a whip or (b) a rapier
  • (a) leather armor or (b) padded armor
  • (a) a diplomat's pack or (b) an explorer's pack
  • a dagger
  • If you are using starting wealth, you have 5d4 x 10 in funds.

Table: The Manipulator

Level Proficiency
Features Cantrips Known Spells Known —Spell Slots per Spell Level—
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +2 Spellcasting, Snap 2 4 2
2nd +2 Attention Seeker 2 5 3
3rd +2 Manipulator Voice 2 6 4 2
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 3 7 4 3
5th +3 Insensitive 3 8 4 3 2
6th +3 Voice Feature 3 9 4 3 3
7th +3 Silver Tongue 3 10 4 3 3 1
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 3 11 4 3 3 2
9th +4 Manipulative Inspiration 3 12 4 3 3 3 1
10th +4 Voice Feature 4 14 4 3 3 3 2
11th +4 Psychic Scream 4 15 4 3 3 3 2 1
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 4 15 4 3 3 3 2 1
13th +5 Star Gaze 4 16 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
14th +5 Voice Feature, Cult of Personality 4 18 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
15th +5 Charismatic Ace 4 19 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 4 20 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
17th +6 Unbreakable Personality 4 22 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 1
18th +6 Devil's Deception 4 22 4 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 1
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 4 22 4 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
20th +6 Irresistible 4 22 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1


You draw on the social and emotional (negative or positive) energy of others to fuel your spells.


At first level you know 2 cantrips of your choice from the bard spell list You learn additional cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Manipulator table.

Spell Slots

The Manipulator 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.

For example, if you know the 1st-level spell Bane and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast Bane using either slot.

Spells Known of 1st Level and Higher

You know two 1st-level spells of your choice from the bard spell list.

The Spells Known column of the Manipulator table shows when you learn more manipulator spells of your choice. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For instance, when you reach 3rd 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 manipulator spells you know and replace it with another spell from the bard spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

Spellcasting Ability

Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your manipulator spells, since the power of your magic relies on your ability to project your will into the world. You use your Charisma whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Charisma modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a manipulator spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
Ritual Casting

You can cast a manipulator spell as a ritual if it is a spell you know and that spell has the ritual tag.

Spellcasting Focus

Manipulators use their hands, voices, and thoughts as a focus for their manipulator spells.


Starting at 1st level, you command attention by snapping. When you snap, an echo reverberates up to 20 ft. away, cutting through all noise. All creatures within 20 ft. must succeed a wisdom saving throw or stop what they are doing to pay attention to you. An affected creature cannot act during its next turn. A creature has disadvantage on this saving throw if they could be attracted to you. You may use this ability a number of times a day equal to your Charisma Modifier (Min. 1). If a creature is immune to being charmed, they are not affected by this ability.

At 7th level, the range of Snap increases to 40 ft. and can dispel any silence effect cast by a creature of equal level or lower.

At 15th level, the range of Snap increases to 80 ft.

Attention Seeker[edit]

At 2nd level, your need of attention is easily quenched. Your appearance takes on an otherworldly beauty that makes you look more lovely and fierce. Any creature that fails a saving throw against your Snap will use it's movement on it's next turn to move as close to you as possible. Additionally, creatures must succeed a Wisdom saving throw to resist talking to you. They do not have to tell you the truth or even be nice while speaking, but if they fail the saving throw, they must speak to you for as long as you want to carry on the conversation. Any violent action taken against the effected creature will nullify this effect.

Manipulator Voice[edit]

At 3rd level, you choose a voice that you will be using to manipulate others. Choose between Emotion Lord or Reality Bender, both are detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at the 6th, 10th, and 14th levels.

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.


Starting at 5th level, you are no longer open to manipulation. You are immune to being Charmed, and anyone trying to persuade, deceive, or intimidate you must do so with disadvantage.

Silver Tongue[edit]

At 7th level, you gain advantage and expertise in all charisma based skills. (Deception, Intimidation, Performance, and Persuasion)

Manipulative Inspiration[edit]

Starting at 9th level, you can inspire others with the cunning use of reverse psychology. To do so, you use a Bonus Action on Your Turn to choose one creature other than yourself within 60 feet of you who can hear you. That creature gains one Manipulative Inspiration die, a d8.

Once within the next 10 minutes, the creature can roll the die and add the number rolled to one ability check, Attack roll, or saving throw it makes. The creature can wait until after it rolls The D20 before deciding to use the Manipulative Inspiration die, but must decide before the DM says whether the roll succeeds or fails. Once the Bardic Inspiration die is rolled, it is lost. A creature can have only one Manipulative Inspiration die at a time.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (a minimum of once). You regain any expended uses when you finish a Long Rest.

Psychic Scream[edit]

Beginning at 11th level, you gain the ability to release a deadly psychic scream. You may choose to use your attack action to target a number of creatures equal to your Charisma modifier. A deadly sonic screech emanates from deep within. Each of the targeted creatures needs to make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed saving throw, the creature takes psychic damage equal to 8d4 + Charisma modifier, and are stunned for 1 round. On a successful saving throw, the creature takes half as much damage and is not stunned. You may use this ability once per long rest. This ability may be used an additional time at 15th level, and a third time at 18th level before needing to rest.

Star Gaze[edit]

At 13th level, your eyes become more beautiful then the night sky, and it is almost impossible to look away from them! As an action, you may lock eyes with a creature you can see and that can see you. That creature must make a Charisma saving throw. On a failed save, the creature follows your every command for 1 minute. The creature must be able to understand you to follow the commands, otherwise it will only seek to protect itself for the duration. A creature that is blind or is immune to being charmed is immune to this effect. At 15th level, the duration increases to 10 minutes. At 17th, it increases to 1 hour, and at 20th, the duration increases to 8 hours.

Cult of Personality[edit]

At 14th level, your charismatic presence and the way you carry yourself has caused people to think of you as a great leader. Any creature that rolls a natural 1 while performing a Snap, Attention Seeker, Star Gaze, or Irresistible Saving Throw becomes a Follower with a level equal to 1/2 it's CR (Min. Level 1/ Max. Your Level - 5). You can have a maximum number of followers to level equal to your Charisma Modifier and a Follower may not exceed levels equal to your level - 5. (To level your Followers, refer to the Unearthed Arcana - Sidekicks) If you would gain a follower after reaching your limit, you may choose to release one of your followers in place of the new one, otherwise this ability does not take effect.

Charismatic Ace[edit]

At 15th level, you learn how to use your wit to distract, confuse, and otherwise sap the confidence and competence of others. When a creature that you can see within 60 feet of you makes an Attack roll, an ability check, or a damage roll, you can use your Reaction to expend one of your uses of Manipulative Inspiration, rolling a Manipulative Inspiration die and subtracting the number rolled from the creature’s roll. You can choose to use this feature after the creature makes its roll, but before the GM determines whether the Attack roll or ability check succeeds or fails, or before the creature deals its damage. The creature is immune if it can’t hear you or if it’s immune to being Charmed.

Your Manipulative Inspiration die increased to d12 and you now regain all uses after a short or long rest.

Unbreakable Personality[edit]

At 17th level, as a bonus action, you can assume a magically majestic presence for 1 minute or until you are incapacitated. For the duration, whenever any creature tries to attack you, the attacker must make a Charisma saving throw against your spell save DC. On a failed save, it can't attack you on this turn, and it must choose a new target for its attack or the attack is wasted. On a successful save, it can attack you on this turn, but at disadvantage. Furthermore, it gains disadvantage on any saving throw it makes against your spells or abilities on your next turn.

Once you assume Unbreakable Personality, you can't do so again until you finish a long rest.

Devil's Deception[edit]

At 18th level in the eyes of everyone else, you can do no wrong. Your character is perceived as Good regardless of Alignment. Additionally, whenever you would make a deception or disguise kit check, you may choose to automatically succeed instead of rolling or if your roll fails, you may have it succeed instead. You may use this ability a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier and regain all uses after a long rest.


The gods themselves bow before your beauty and splendor. At 20th level, you gain the ability to passively charm people. The first time a person interacts with you, they must roll a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC. If they fail, they act as if under the effects of the Charm spell. This causes them to become friendly toward you, but just like the spell, they will not act out against their nature nor will they attempt to harm themselves at your request. This does not retroactively effect any person that has already met you nor will it effect any person that meets you again. This effect lasts for 1 day or until you perform a hostile action against the person. Once this effect ends, the person does not know that it was under this effect and will continue to act friendly toward you as long as the effect was not ended due to hostile actions.

A person that cannot see you or is immune to being Charmed is immune to this ability.


Emotion Lord[edit]

A child listens from the other room to his parents argument, even from his hiding place he can feel the raw, powerful energy in the air like gusts of wind. As each word is spat out in anger the child can almost touch the energy. He grows up with this energy surrounding him, engulfing him. He's sensitive to each social and emotional alteration of the energy particles in the air. Now a man he has learned to push and pull these energies to his whim, he's attuned himself to the emotions of others.

Manipulators using this voice tend to be very in tune with their emotions as well as the emotions of others. Their voice is comforting and persuasive, they always give off an air of kindness and trustworthiness. They are helpful, giving you or the enemy the perfect emotion for the occasion. They can encourage you and give you the strength you need to overcome hardship or they can make an enemy docile. Pulling on the strings of emotions like puppeteers, Emotion Lords are masters of emotional manipulation.

Calm Emotions

At 3rd level, you can cast Calm Emotions as a Cantrip.

Ebb and Sway

At 3rd level you can feel the emotional energy of others. This energy gives you strength and renews your vigor. When you use this ability, for each person within 10 ft. of you, choose 1 of the following actions:

  • Regain 2 HP (Max = your level)
  • Gain a +1 bonus to Dam until the end of your turn (Max = 1/2 your level)
  • Gain a +1 bonus to AC until the end of your turn (Max = 1/2 your level)

You may use this ability a number of times equal to your Proficiency bonus and regain all uses after a long rest.

Unnatural Bravado

At 6th level, you are able to bolster your allies to alleviate their fears and strengthen their attacks. Choose an ally that you can see and who can hear you. That ally gains immunity to being frightened and all fear effects until the end of combat. Additionally, they receive a +1 bonus to attack and damage for each enemy on the battlefield. You may use this ability once per short rest.

Wheel of Emotions

At 10th level, you are able to feed into the emotional instability of your enemies. You initially have 1 use of this ability and regain only 1 use per short rest. When you use this ability Roll a d8 and consult the list below for the effect. If a target is immune to one of the emotions, nothing happens and the ability is wasted. For effects that effect more then one target, only if all targets are immune do you waste the ability and nothing happens.

  • 1-Balanced: Cancel any ongoing effects from Wheel of Emotions.
  • 2-Depression: Each enemy within sight must roll a Constitution saving throw.On a successful roll, nothing happens. On a failed roll, the enemy attacks itself during it's next turn. Gain 1 use of this ability.
  • 3-Rage: Choose a target you can see. That target becomes rage incarnate for a number of rounds equal to your Charisma modifier. In their extreme state of anger, they will attack whoever or whatever they are closest to for maximum damage. The effected enemy can only perform melee attacks. Gain 1 use of this ability.
  • 4-Fear: Each enemy within sight must roll a Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 round. Gain 1 use of this ability
  • 5-Disgust: Choose a target you can see. That target becomes violently ill and falls prone vomiting. At the beginning of each of the target's turns, they must make a Constitution Saving throw. On a success, they stop vomiting and may use their turn to stand back up. On a failed saving throw, they continue vomiting and you gain 1 use of this ability.
  • 6-Lust: Similar to charmed, except the target is completely infatuated with you or whomever you choose. They will attack anyone who tries to hurt their target of affection. If they or their target is knocked unconscious, this effect ends. At the beginning of each of the target's turns, they must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a success, the effect ends. On a failed save, they continue to protect and you gain 1 use of this ability.
  • 7-Anxious: Anxiety courses through the body of each enemy you can see. For the remainder of combat, all enemies gain a -2 to their AC. This effect stacks up to a max of three times. Gain 1 use of this ability for each stack of Anxious.
  • 8-Harmonious Negativity: Roll twice and apply both results. Any 8's rolled during this effect allow you to choose the emotion from the wheel.

Waves of Happiness

At 14th level, you are able to relieve your allies of their tensions on the battlefield by reminding them of happier times. For one minute, you and all of your allies gain Protection from Evil, become resistant to nonmagical damage, gain immunity to Fear, and gain a +2 to their AC. At the beginning of each of your turns Your allies also heal a number of HP equal to your Charisma Modifier.

Reality Bender[edit]

Imagine for a moment, a child playing with their imaginary friends in their imaginary world with imaginary rules and roles. Now take that idea and think it real. The gurgling of a creek, the smell of the flowers, the stark contrast of the bright blue sky against the pale greenery, grass between your toes, the taste of sweet honey. If you can imagine it, it can become reality for you or whoever else. All you need is a really convincing and deceptive voice. Make the world yours to fix, bend and break to your whim. Reality is an illusion anyway.

Manipulators that speak with this voice like to take manipulation to a more physical and tangible level. They attune their voices to a deceptively sweet sound in order to lull victims into a prison of their own creation. They can keep people from attacking them by sticking them inside their heads. The headspace of a person is where they feel safest, and yet it is where they are most vulnerable. Reality Benders know this and use this knowledge to their advantage to weaken their victims with a false sense of security.

Plane Shift

At 3rd level, you are able to create a temporary Plane of existence and send 1 person there. When you use this ability, the target must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a successful save, nothing happens and the target stays in reality. On a failed save, the target is thrust into a crumbling plane of your imagination. The plane exists for 1d6 rounds. For the duration, the target is stuck in your imaginary plane and can take no actions in the real world. When the plane finally disintegrates, the target must make a Constitution Saving throw. On a failed saving throw, the target takes 1d8 psychic damage per three manipulator levels, rounded down (Max. 6d8 at level 18), or half as much on a successful saving throw. Only one Plane can be in existence at a time.

My World, My Rules

At 6th level, you can control the laws within your created plane of existence. On your turn, while a temporary Plane of your creation exists, you may choose to either exist in the real world or Plane Shift to your created Plane. While in your Plane, you may move around freely, however you see fit. If another person was Plane shifted here, you may attack that person. Your attacks ignore armor and deal psychic damage. While in your created Plane, you do not exist in the real world and cannot be effected by anything that happens. If you are still in your Plane when it disintegrates, you will take the same damage the enemy takes.

Reality Bubble

At 10th level, your imagination becomes reality as the Plane you have created gets thrust into the real world. When you use this ability, you force the real world to accept your artificial creation for a short time as the area within 150 ft. of you becomes your temporary plane of existence. All creatures within 150 ft. are automatically inside your reality for 1d6 rounds. The laws within this place are of your own design, but the strain it takes to manifest your reality takes its toll at the end of the duration and you take 2d12 psychic damage for each round the Plane stays in existence. You may use this ability once per long rest.

Planer Integration

At 14th level, you can cause small changes in reality. Choose one object you can see and make a Charisma check (DC at DM's discretion). On a successful check the object becomes any other object of your choice. The objects do not have to be similar in size, however, the larger the difference, the higher the DC.


Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Manipulator class, you must meet these prerequisites: Charisma 15, Wisdom 13

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Manipulator class, you gain the following proficiencies: Light Armor, Whip or Rapier

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