Sacred Guardian (5e Subclass)

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Sacred Guardian[edit]

Sacred Guardians are oath-bound warriors, much like paladins, sworn to protect the faithful of their religious doctrine. Unlike paladins, Sacred Guardians draw their power from a font of divine power rather than an oath, often artificially granted power through a ritual bond to a celestial being or its remains. Often times, these warriors have a piece of their celestial forebear grafted into their body by a cleric of their faith. This divine font could take the form of powdered unicorn horn introduced into the fighter's bloodstream, the ashes of a planetar's feather used to tattoo a holy symbol onto them, or a couatl's scale grafted beneath their skin. (or any similar holy being's essence introduced into the fighter's body)

As they grow in strength, these holy warriors are known to exhibit the traits of their forebear. For example, a Sacred Guardian that draws their power from a couatl might begin to grow iridescent and fine multicolored scales along their neck, shoulders and back; or if their forebear were a unicorn, their hair might become white and radiant or they might grow a small unicorn horn.

Sacred Guardian Spellcasting
—Spell Slots per Spell Level—
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
3rd 2 3 2
4th 2 4 3
5th 2 4 3
6th 2 4 3
7th 2 5 4 2
8th 2 6 4 2
9th 2 6 4 2
10th 3 7 4 3
11th 3 8 4 3
12th 3 8 4 3
13th 3 9 4 3 2
14th 3 10 4 3 2
15th 3 10 4 3 2
16th 3 11 4 3 3
17th 3 11 4 3 3
18th 3 11 4 3 3
19th 3 12 4 3 3 1
20th 3 13 4 3 3 1

Beginning at 3rd level, your sacred bond to a celestial forebear grants you minor divine spellcasting.

  • Cantrips. You learn two cantrips of your choice from the sacred guardian spell list. You learn an additional sacred guardian cantrip of your choice at 10th level. The sacred guardian spell list is detailed at the end of the class description
  • Spell Slots. The sacred guardian spellcasting 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 shield of faith and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast shield of faith using either slot.
  • Spells Known of 1st-Level and Higher. You know three 1st-level sacred guardian spells of your choice.
The Spells Known column of the sacred guardian spellcasting table shows when you learn more sacred guardian spells of 1st level or higher. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For instance, when you reach 7th level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level.
Whenever you gain a level in this class, you can replace one of the sacred guardian spells you know with another spell of your choice from the sacred guardian spell list. The new spell must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
  • Spellcasting Ability. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your sacred guardian spells, as it is through a spiritual bond with your divine forebear that you conjure your magic power. 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 sacred guardian 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
  • Spellcasting Focus. You may use a holy symbol or a bonded weapon as your spellcasting focus.
Divine Bond

Beginning at 3rd level, you gain the ability to create a divine bond with your weapon. As a 1 hour ritual, you may bond a weapon to yourself. If this is a nonmagical weapon, when wielded by you, it is treated as a magical weapon and you may choose to use your Wisdom modifier as your attack/damage modifier with this weapon. So long as you and this weapon reside on the same plane of existence, you may conjure your weapon as a bonus action into your hand. Additionally, you may not be unwillingly disarmed of your bonded weapon or bonded shield. You may have up to two weapons or a weapon and a shield bonded to yourself at any time, and should you perform your weapon bonding ritual while you already have two bonded weapons, you must select one of your bonded weapons to break this bond and replace it with the new weapon. You may bond yourself to any weapon or shield, even magical weapons and shields, so long as they are not eldritch, infernal or abyssal in origin.

Any weapon or shield that you bond to yourself changes in appearance in a way that you decide, so long as your deity's symbol appears somewhere on the weapon or shield. This is only an aesthetic change and does not alter its functionality as a weapon. It is recommended however, that you make that alteration in appearance relate to your forebear, such as a unicorn horn hilt on a longsword or a shield that resembles a planetar's wing.

When you reach 7th level, you add 1d4 to attack rolls with your bonded weapons and may add 1d4 radiant damage to damage rolls with your bonded weapons. Additionally, any bonded shields you wield increase your AC by an additional +1 while you hold them.

Sacred Shield

Beginning at 7th level, the power of your divine forebear extends to protect you further. When you complete a long or short rest, you gain temporary hit points equal to 3 times your fighter level. These temporary hit points are replenished upon completion of another long or short rest.

Celestial Champion

Beginning at 10th level, you are permanently under the effects of the spell protection from evil and good.

Additionally, you gain the ability to conjure a celestial being whose CR is equal or lesser to 1/4 your fighter level (rounded down) as a bonus action. This celestial will follow your commands to the tee so long as they do not go against the ideals or demands of your god, and in combat, your celestial companion will act on your initiative and will follow your commands at no action cost on your part. Should you be knocked unconscious while your celestial companion is under your command, it will do everything in its power to protect your unconscious body or bring you back to consciousness. Your celestial companion remains in your command for 1 hour or until it is reduced to or below 0 hit points, at which point it disappears and returns to its native plane. This part of this feature may be used once before requiring a long rest to do so again.

Divine Surge

Beginning at 15th level, your sacred power grows even greater and can be unleashed in conjunction with your natural martial prowess. When you perform an action surge, you and every creature of your choice within 10 feet of you regain hit points equal to your fighter level.

Additionally, when you are reduced to or below 0 hit points but not killed outright, you are instead reduced to 1 hit point and may use your reaction to make a weapon attack, cast a sacred guardian cantrip, or move up to your movement speed without provoking attacks of opportunity. You may only use this part of the feature once before requiring a long rest to do so again.

Savior's Resurgence

Beginning at 18th level, upon dying, the spell revivify is immediately cast on you by your divine forebear. Once used, you regain the benefits of this feature after 10d4 days' time. Alternatively, if a creature within 30 feet of you dies and the benefits of this feature are still available to you, you may use your reaction to expend your use of this feature to revive that creature instead.

Optional Traits/Dungeon Master Notes[edit]

(Note that all of these rules are absolutely optional, and should only be employed if they are desired to increase immersion in this subclass.)

The Sacred Guardian poses a unique challenge for Dungeon Masters and might hold their own place in a setting, and as such could have the following rules/benefits/conditions:

Magic Item Attunement

A Sacred Guardian might be considered a "Cleric" for the purposes of magic item attunement.

Oathbound Guardian

A Sacred Guardian might be bound to a person, place or ideal. They might be forced to protect a person by divine magical means or incapable of leaving the holy grounds which they've sworn to protect. If they do harm to that which they've sworn to protect, they might be required to make a Wisdom saving throw (recommended DC of 20 - 25) or take 3d8 radiant damage that ignores resistance and immunity, or half damage on a successful save. The damage from this trait should increase by 1d8 for each subsequent transgression of the oath. If a Sacred Guardian is bound to a virtue - honor, for example - they might similarly be required to uphold that virtue. Should they stray from that virtue or actively act in opposition to it, they might lose their power until they repent or forever lose their power if they remain unrepentant, forcing the fighter to select a new archetype. Examples of virtues a Sacred Guardian might be sworn to are as follows: Balance, Celibacy, Charity, Honor, Mercy, or Valor. Note that this list is far from exhaustive.

The Forebear

A Sacred Guardian's power comes from a celestial being that may or may not still be alive. This forebear might be similar in nature to a Warlock's patron, and might make demands of the Sacred Guardian in order to maintain their ability to draw power from them. This could be as simple as giving food and coin to a beggar or as arduous as recovering an artifact of the Sacred Guardian's god. Use discretion in these demands, however, as no player should be punished for a class/subclass choice, but it can be used to enhance the experience intended by this archetype. It is also wise to employ a sort of reward system for undergoing these tasks such as magical blessings or charms (DMG 227-228) or magic items. Rewards offered by the forebear should be comparable to the difficulty of their demanded task, as a "Rod of Resurrection" would be too grand a reward for slaying a single Night Hag, for instance.

Spell List[edit]

Cantrips: guidance, light, mending, sacred flame, spare the dying, thaumaturgy

1st: bane, bless, command, cure wounds, detect evil and good, detect magic, divine favor, guiding bolt, heroism, inflict wounds, protection from evil and good, sanctuary, shield of faith
2nd: aid, enhance ability, gentle repose, hold person, lesser restoration, prayer of healing, spiritual weapon, warding bond
3rd: beacon of hope, bestow curse, crusader's mantle, daylight, dispel magic, magic circle, mass healing word, remove curse, revivify, spirit guardians
4th: aura of life, banishment, death ward, guardian of faith

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