Path of the Mage Slayer (5e Subclass)

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Path of the Mage Slayer[edit]

Barbarian Primal Path

Your hatred for arcane trickery drives you.

Mage Slayer

At 3rd level, when a creature within your melee range casts a spell, you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against that creature. When you reach 10th level, you can use this ability to make a ranged attack on a creature you can see within range of a ranged weapon you are wielding. In either case, when you are raging and you make this reaction attack, you have resistance to damage from the spell that triggered it.

When you damage a creature that is concentrating on a spell, that creature has disadvantage on the saving throw it makes to maintain its concentration.

You have advantage on saving throws against spells cast by creatures within your melee range.

Finally, you must choose a mental ability score -- INT, WIS, or CHA -- as a base for your later features under this path.

Warning Shout

Starting at 6th level, whenever you and/or one or more friendly creatures within 30 feet you must make a saving throw against a spell or spell-like effect, you sense the danger in time to shout a warning as a reaction. Any creatures (friendly or unfriendly) who can hear the warning gain a bonus to the saving throw against that effect, equal to your chosen mental ability score modifier (with a minimum bonus of +1). Creatures with an intelligence under 2 cannot benefit from warnings.

You automatically get a saving throw against illusion effects when you first experience them; if the effect does not state what the ability and/or DC of this saving throw is, it should be an intelligence save and/or DC 17. If you succeed on this saving throw, you may use your warning shout to allow others who can hear you to make a saving throw with the bonus as stated above.

At 18th level, the range for sensing impending threats in order to make your warning shouts increases to 60 feet.

If you are currently carrying any magic items that can cast spells or that have a permanent effect equivalent to a wizard spell, roll a d6 whenever you use this ability. If the number you roll is equal to or less than the number of such items, this ability fails. Items you are attuned to count double. When you reach level 8/10/12/20, change the die you roll to the corresponding size.

Smell Arcane Stink

Starting at 10th level, you gain "olfactory blindsight" to 30 feet. This blindsight does not make you aware of non-spellcasters who are not invisible (for instance, if the only reason you cannot see a creature is darkness or blindness). Because it is smell-based, you can sense the location of creatures and may attack them or defend from their attacks as if you could see them, but cannot see their identities or non-attack actions.

Also, you may use a bonus action sniffing to gain all the benefits of the detect magic spell, a number of times per day equal to your chosen mental ability modifier. During the round you take this action, it also makes you aware of any spellcasters within 30 feet, including their rough spellcasting power level and the general source of their magic ("arcane", "divine", or "natural"). At 18th level, the range of this ability increases to 60 feet, and it is always on without needing a bonus action.

Using the above action, you might be able to smell magic that is not currently present, if it was recently or frequently used at this location.

If you are below 14th level, environmental effects affecting smell might interfere wholly or partially with either of these abilities.

("Might" means "at DM's discretion".)

If you are currently carrying any magic items that can cast spells or that have a permanent effect equivalent to a wizard spell, roll a d10 whenever you use this ability. If the number you roll is equal to or less than the number of such items, this ability fails and is unavailable for the next hour. Items you are attuned to count double. When you reach level 12/20, change the die you roll to the corresponding size.

Spellbreaker

Starting at 14th level, when you are raging and make a physical attack, you may also gain the effects of "dispel magic" or "counterspell" against the same target. (Of course, in order for "Counterspell" to apply, this must be an attack you make as a reaction to spellcasting.) These effects do not count as you casting a spell.

In either case, this is as if you cast the spell at 4th level, and any ability checks are made using your chosen mental ability.

For the purposes of this ability, a druid's wildshape may be dispelled, but not counterspelled, as if it were a spell effect cast at the highest spell level the druid has available. If you dispel a wildshape using this ability, the target may not wildshape again until the end of your next turn.

Whenever you dispel a wildshape (or, at DM's discresion, a similar magic-based shapeshifting ability) using an attack, half the attack damage rounded up applies to the form before dispelling, and half rounded down to the form after dispelling.

You may use this ability a number of times per long rest equal to your chosen mental ability modifier. Whenever you enter a rage, if you have no remaining uses, you regain one use.

If you are currently carrying any magic items that can cast spells or that have a permanent effect equivalent to a wizard spell, roll a d12 whenever you use this ability. If the number you roll is equal to or less than the number of such items, this ability fails. Items you are attuned to count double. When you reach level 20, change the die you roll to a d20.

Modified Primal Champion

At level 20, your "Primal Champion" ability increases your strength and constitution by only 3 each; but as long as you are not attuned to any magic items, you gain the following benefits:

  • You have advantage on all saving throws.
  • When raging, you are resistant to damage from all spells.
  • When you use your spellbreaker ability with a melee attack, you may add your melee ability modifier (strength or dexterity) to any ability check roll, in addition to your mental ability and proficiency modifiers.

Note[edit]

The original 1e Barbarian class in Unearthed Arcana, inspired by Conan the Barbarian, was typically opposed to magic in all its forms, and gained innate magic resistance at high levels. This primal path is intended to harken back to those roots. The flexibility to use any mental ability score for this path's abilities is intended to reflect Conan himself, who was not at all a "dumb barbarian"; though many underestimated him, he was in fact quite clever, perceptive, and comely.

This class is intended to be well-balanced. It can be used either for player characters, or to provide an interesting challenge for spellcaster-heavy parties. Note that the "Aggressive" trait of orcs synergizes well with these abilities.

With a flying steed, this class could even be a challenge for a level-20 moon druid to beat. Using smart tactics, the druid could probably still win; but if they played it wrong, they'd be toast.


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