Menace (5e Class)

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What is fear but the greatest overcoming of all defenses? Watch as its enemies tremble and their courage break and falter. While spirit is a powerful force, it is inconsistent, unreliable. Your spunk will run out. But fear will always be. Harness this ancient primordial instinct for your own and show everyone what it means to be a real menace.

How To Be Menacing[edit]

Have you ever seen a person in a game or show who simply oozes power, even if they might not really have it? Their mere existence is terrifying, even if you know objectively that there is some way to defeat them. Your mind messes with you because that person is just staring, deep into you. You can't overcome that primal fear in everything. Those who can manipulate this fear in opponents gain overwhelming advantages, possibly intimidating an entire army into submission without so much as a finger.

This is that kind of person. A menace isn't that powerful, objectively. Barbarians are tankier and have more effective damage potential. Wizards have better range and utility. But there's just something about being something to beholden one's fear and raise it as a power. It is not material like a sword or magic like a spell. But it is something incredibly powerful all the same, because fear is very possibly the most basic of all innate feelings in everything.

Creating a Menace[edit]

What scares you and how do you deal with it yourself? What kind of things do you think represent power or strength? These questions are very subjective, and this class was designed to be loose despite its very intimidation-focused role. The biggest question really boils down to this: what does something scary truly look like? Your character should embody that concept.

Quick Build

You can make a Menace quickly by following these suggestions. First, Charisma should be your highest ability score, followed by Strength. Second, choose either the Criminal or Outlander background. Your equipment choices largely don't matter for this class, but it is important to note that you will pretty much have to be on the front lines to be effective in this class.

Class Features

As a Menace you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

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


Armor: Light and Medium
Weapons: Martial weapons
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Charisma and Constitution
Skills: Choose two from Intimidation, Athletics, Perception, insight, Arcana, Stealth or animal handling


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

  • (a) a shortsword and dagger or (b) a longsword
  • Thieves' tools
  • one musical instrument
  • a worn emblem, amulet or badge carrying your personal insignia
  • If you are using starting wealth, you have 4d6x8 gp in funds.

Table: The Menace

Level Proficiency
Features Cantrips Known
1st +2 Sense of Presence, Cantrip Caster 1
2nd +2 The Eyes 2
3rd +2 Manifestation 2
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 2
5th +3 The Shadow 2
6th +3 Portent 3
7th +3 The Eyes Improvement 3
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 3
9th +4 Manifestation Feature 3
10th +4 False Expanse 4
11th +4 Fear Constriction 4
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 4
13th +5 The Eyes Improvement 4
14th +5 Manifestation Feature 4
15th +5 Omen 4
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 5
17th +6 Strike Fear 5
18th +6 The Only Thing To Fear 5
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 5
20th +6 The Eyes Improvement, Manifestation feature 6

Sense of Presence[edit]

Your large presence can absolutely terrify an opponent into faltering submission. Starting 1st level, you gain the following features at your disposal to frighten people with:


You extend your menacing aura to a creature and assert your position in battle. You may expend an action and designate one creature within 60 feet of you that can see you and force them to attempt a Charisma saving throw with a DC equal to 8 + your Charisma modifier. Upon failure, they become frightened until the end of their next turn. On success, nothing happens and they are immune to this feature for the next 24 hours. You can use this feature once, regaining use upon finishing a short or long rest.


When you are successfully attacked by a creature you can see that can see you, you may expend your reaction and force them to attempt a Wisdom saving throw with a DC equal to 8 + your Charisma modifier. Upon failure, they become frightened until the end of their next turn and end their current turn immediately. On success, nothing happens and they are immune to this feature for the next 24 hours. You can use this feature once, regaining use upon finishing a long rest.

Cantrip Caster[edit]

From the fear you inspire comes a power which feeds you. You gain the ability to manipulate this power, but not so much to channel it as a true spellcaster. No matter. Starting 1st level, you may choose one cantrip from the wizard or warlock spell list. You learn additional cantrips of your choice as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the menace table.

The Eyes[edit]

The eyes refer to the paranoia one feels when they look at you. It's even worse when they make eye contact with you. As you grow more as a menace, people feel utterly unsettled by laying their eyes on you. Your eyes reflect the eyes of enemies, friends, loved ones... all of the world and more judgment from beyond lies within. Starting at level 2, you gain proficiency in Intimidation. If you already have proficiency in this skill, you may double the proficiency.

Starting level 7, who said fear interrogation doesn't work. If you would make a Wisdom (Insight) check against a creature, you may choose to roll with advantage. You regain use of this feature after a short or long rest.

Starting level 13, you are the master of scaring, and so nothing scares you really. Your eyes are only able to give, not receive fear. You become immune to being frightened

At level 20, your unsettling powerful aura disrupts the attacks of inferior creatures. Creatures with a Charisma score below 12 have a penalty on weapon attacks against you equal to half your Charisma modifier, rounded down.


You manifest as the material of fear itself, taking on a new identity of a menace to society. Starting 3rd level, choose one from The Misunderstood, The Villain and The Harbinger subclasses, all detailed at the end of the class description. You gain a feature from the subclass you choose at 3rd level, and further at levels 9, 14 and 20.

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.

The Shadow[edit]

The shadow cast by your body is long. Your corporeal physical self imprints on and empowers your general menacing ability in the metaphysical perception. Starting 5th level, when you make a Charisma check or set a DC with your Charisma modifier, you may also add your Strength modifier to the checks and saving throw DCs. You may use this feature equal times your Strength modifier.


You yourself can read the winds of fear. When it comes to attacks from those whose eyes waver and feet tremble in your presence, you can read them like an open book, and so ready yourself accordingly. Starting 6th level, when you are targeted by an attack, you may automatically dodge it and take no damage. If it is a saving throw effect, you automatically succeed it. You may use this feature once, regaining use after finishing a long rest.

False Expanse[edit]

You can make those who are already scared even more crippled by toying with their senses. Starting 10th level, you can expend an action to select one creature within 120 of you that can see you and is frightened. You force them to make a Charisma saving throw equal to 8 + your Charisma modifier and proficiency bonus. Upon failure, the imagery freaks them out into falling prone and curling up, becoming catatonic. They are considered incapacitated. At the end of each of its turns, and each time it takes damage, the target can make another Charisma save. The target has advantage if it's triggered by damage. On a success, the spell ends. Upon success, they are unaffected and their frightened condition ends.

Fear Constriction[edit]

Starting 11th level, you can manifest fear to the point that enemies can no longer move, giving you the power like a medusa to freeze others on sight. By expending an action, you may look at a creature within 120 feet of you and use your menacing power to dredge up their fears and insecurities. The creature must make a Charisma saving throw of DC 8 + your Charisma modifier. On success, they are unaffected. If the creature is frightened, it automatically fails the save. Upon failure, the creature becomes paralyzed by fear. At the end of each of its turns, and each time it takes damage, the target can make another Charisma save, ending their paralysis on a success. You may use this feature a number of times equal to half your Charisma modifier, regaining use after you finish a long rest.


Your menacing aura projects around you, unseen. Beasts, however, can perceive this and are wary of the omen which you bring into their vicinity. Starting 15th level, all beasts with a Wisdom score below 12 are uneasy around and are prone to avoid you.

Strike Fear[edit]

Starting 17th level, you make yourself seem inescapable, as fear often is. Creatures with the frightened condition cannot benefit from half or three-quarters cover when you target them with attacks.

The Only Thing To Fear[edit]

Starting 18th level, your adaption and manipulation with fear lets you shield your own mind from pervading influences and even things like illusions can't scare you anymore. You are immune to effects that would charm you and you can see through all illusions and magical transformations.

Menace Archetypes[edit]

A menace can spread irrational fear, but through different advents, and with differing effects. The misunderstood are scary purely through their inability to be defined, remaining something like a nebulous monster that may not necessarily be dangerous, but people fear nonetheless. The villain derives great power from intentional fear and an identity or persona they create to strike fear. Lastly, the harbinger is a prophet of sorts, telling of tides of change to come which none can grasp, eliciting both fear and hope.

The Misunderstood[edit]

Sometimes pariahs and menaces to society never truly are as claimed. Their imagery may be depicted as horrid, but that is all their greatest power is.

Looks Can Lie

Starting 3rd level, you seem to be able to disguise your intentions no matter what. You can use a passive Deception check (10 + your Deception skill) whenever you make a Charisma check.


At 9th level, you can extend your menacing power to make others fudge their actions. When you subject a creature to a saving throw, you may force them to roll with disadvantage. You must finish a short or long rest before using this feature again.

Outcast Sympathy

Your eyes show a bit of who you are: someone riddled with spite due to the misunderstandings against them. At 14th level, you gain proficiency in Persuasion. If you already have proficiency in that skill, you instead gain expertise. Additionally, when you use False Expanse, you may instead render them charmed by showing them a deceptively convincing image of your puppy eyes. They must expend all their movement to move towards you on their turns.


At 20th level, you have no need anymore to be accepted or understood by anyone. That is something people can forget about altogether, actually. You may expend a bonus action to detect all the creatures within 60 feet of you who are concentrating. Using an action, you may interrupt up to three creatures holding concentration.

The Villain[edit]

Sometimes pariahs and menaces to society never truly are as claimed. That's not the case here. You utilize the chaos you sow with infamy to take advantage of exposed weak points.

Eye for Trouble

Starting 3rd level, you can use your infamously trained sight to seek for the weak points of a creature's spells and avoid heavy damage. As an action, you may ascertain if a creature is frightened. If the creature is frightened and uses an effect requiring a saving throw on you, you take half damage upon a failed save, and no damage on success.


Starting 9th level, you have a knack for being fluid like fear, able to appear where not expected and such. You may add your Charisma modifier to any ability rolls using Dexterity.

Sneaky Fear

Starting 14th level, you can become that force that everyone feels, yet no one quite sees. Such is masterful fear. You can now Hide as a bonus action. You can attempt to hide when only in dim light or lightly obscured.


Starting 20th level, you take advantage of not only frightened, but surprised targets now, with your villainous infamy. When you attack and successfully hit a creature that is surprised and frightened, double the damage of your attack against the creature.

The Harbinger[edit]

Prophets and soothsayers have uncanny powers to incite fear with the wrath of the divine in them.


You speak of words that play directly to ones desires and insecurities to tap into their fear. Starting 3rd level, if you would impose a saving throw against being frightened on another creature, you can have them roll with disadvantage.

Incite Fear

Starting 9th level, you can have others join in on the riling of the fear of masses. As part of a short rest, you may grant a willing creature use of your Sense of Presence feature. This effect ends upon completion of a long rest.


Starting 14th level, you can spread the paralysis that is fear. When you use your Fear Constriction feature, you may affect additional creatures equal to half your Charisma modifier, rounded down, minimum 1.

Witch Hunt

People are charmed by your words due to your control of their fear. Starting 20th level, when you would frighten a creature, you may instead render them charmed.


Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Menace class, you must meet these prerequisites: 15 Charisma, 12 Strength

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Menace class, you gain the following proficiencies: Intimidation

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