Volatile (5e Class)

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The Volatile[edit]

A large cloaked figure hunches under a door frame, bringing the chatter of the tavern down to a eerie silence as people turn their eyes upon it. An unsettling hum emanates from the figure, and an keen-eyed rogue notices the faint, dark glow in distorted lines underneath the cloth attire. The barkeep has their full attention on this being, and meekly awaits for it to say something.

A man opens his eyes and feels an emptiness coming from within. He sits up on the cool, flat surface and touches his bare chest, shocked at the cracks in his skin, cracks through which he could see the hollow cavern inside of himself, all organs removed but a strange crystal, jagged and sharp, lay where his heart should be. The room around him seemed devastated, as if one had lost control of a fireball. Necromancers lay dead on the ground, one holding a ragged book on forsaken rituals, shunned by most who saw them. All to suddenly, he hears a soft humming sound and loses consciousness.

The bugbears rejoiced in their victory over the strange intruder who had almost laid waste to their small tribe in the caves. They planned to eat the flesh of this invader, and set upon separating his limbs, and fighting over the foreboding battleaxe the burglar cut down their brothers with. The bugbears found his limbs were heavy as stone, and when skin was cracked open, revealed there to be no meat or bone, only empty space. A bugbear notices a large, craggy gem laying on the floor begin to glow, bringing with it a feeble hum.

Dead beyond death[edit]

For most beings, death is the end of it all, and whether they find peace in it or not, it will happen. Yet, some are much less fortunate to be the unwilling prey of a necromancer or demonic host, bound to service that erodes their sense of self beyond recognition. Hard as it is to believe, there are some who will be lost completely, augmented and transmuted into distorted, shambling husks of themselves, which they can see and feel, yet not control. Evil magic imbues the crystals that fill the cavity of their old bodies, replacing the weak and rotten flesh and organs with an eternal binding that turns their skin to rock and their will to steel. This binding keeps their old self intact and able to shrug off painful injuries and even draw lost limbs back to the crystal core.

Yet even with this power, the crystals are unstable and often flood in energy. The only way to discharge this energy is in expulsion, whether it be a spell or death. This release is powerful magic that emanates from the crystals within. The massive surges draws limbs and pieces together once more, crystals already beginning to swell in energy and yearn for another release. This is a cruel and never-ending cycle, one that the previous host must witness and feel, never resting, yet waiting for a final release to end it's own eternal death.

Creating a Volatile[edit]

Quick Build

You can make a Volatile quickly by following these suggestions. First, strength should be your highest ability score, followed by constitution. Second, choose the Greataxe and Chainmail.

Class Features

As a Volatile you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d10 per Volatile level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 1d10 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + Constitution modifier per Volatile level after 1st


Armor: Light, Medium
Weapons: Simple, Martial Melee Weapons
Tools: none
Saving Throws: Strength and Constitution
Skills: Athletics, Intimidation, and Survival


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

  • (a) Greataxe or (b) Warhammer
  • (a) Scale Mail or (b) Half Plate
  • (a) Explorer's Pack or (b) Dungeoneer's Pack
  • If you are using starting wealth, you have 0gp in funds.

Table: The Volatile

Level Proficiency
Features Calamity Charges
1st +2 Immortal, Eternal Binds, Strength of Stone -
2nd +2 Calamity Surge, Unfeeling 2
3rd +2 Archetype, Reanimate 3
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement, Ominous Humming 3
5th +3 Shatterfall 4
6th +3 Archetype Feature 4
7th +3 Necromantic Might 4
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 5
9th +4 Crushing Grip 5
10th +4 Crystal Infusion 5
11th +4 Strength of Steel 5
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 6
13th +5 Power Siphon 6
14th +5 Archetype Feature 6
15th +5 Undead Apathy 6
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 7
17th +6 Archetype Feature 7
18th +6 To the Brink 8
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement, Strength of Crystal 8
20th +6 Undying 9


Due to the nature of your body, you do not need sleep, food, or drink to live and your body does not age.

Eternal Binds[edit]

Your crystals are intertwined with the limbs and extensions of your body, pulling the parts back to your body and securing them there after one round of combat. This also affects any one weapon of choice.

Strength of Stone[edit]

Due to the crystal's powers, your skin and flesh have become as hard as stone. Without armor, you have an AC of 12+DEX and resistance to slashing and piercing damage.

Calamity Surge[edit]

Your crystal has ancient sorcery that you can tap into to perform devastating maneuvers. Doing such maneuvers will drain some of the surging power of the crystal, but this power regains purchase fully when you take a long rest, or regain two of the maximum charges over a short rest. At level 2, you can expel one charge of Calamity Charge to fire a ball of the energies compressed within your body, dealing 1d6 necrotic damage and 1d8 force damage to the target at a max range of 150 ft. This damage increases as you level up, adding another die for each damage roll at levels 6, 10, 14, 17, and 20.


Due to your crystal's unrelenting will, you can't be frightened or charmed, and you have resistance to psychic damage.


Your crystalline curse demands your life unended, and will release a massive energy surge to ensure it. At level 3, when you die, you can spend 3 Calamity Charges to wait up to 3 turns to begin releasing a large, magical pulse that instantly pulls your body back to full health, and rids it of any conditions. This pulse takes a turn to charge, and will create an expulsion of energy in an spherical area of 15 ft, dealing 1d10 necrotic and 2d10 force damage to anything inside of the pulse. Any equipped armor or unprotected items will be destroyed by this process. This damage will increase as you level up, adding another hit die at levels 5, 8, 11, 14, 18, and 20.

Ominous Humming[edit]

Your crystals generate a droning humming sound, and make people around you unsettled by your presence. At level 4 you now have double the modifier and advantage on intimidation rolls.

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.


At level 5, if you have a heavy two-handed weapon equipped, you can spend two Calamity Charges to leap ten feet high and fifteen feet forward, landing weapon first, releasing a thunderous shockwave. Any enemy hit by the weapon will take the normal amount of damage, and roll a DC equal to the strength of the Volatile, or be stunned. Any enemy within ten feet of the weapon takes 1d8 thunder damage, and this thunder damage will increase to 2d8 at level 10, 3d8 at level 15, and 4d8 at level 20.

Necromantic Might[edit]

Your undeath benefits you in the way of power. At level 7, when attacking with a heavy two-handed weapon, you can add your strength modifier to the damage roll.

Crushing Grip[edit]

Just as you cannot escape the crystal's grasp on your body and soul, you transmit that power to your grip, pulling all hope of escape away from your victim. At level 9, after successfully grappling an enemy, they have disadvantage on breaking free and take 1d6 necrotic and 1d6 bludgeoning damage every turn they end being grappled.

Crystalline infusion[edit]

The crystals demand the spread of their power to others, so that they may absorb the spirit of their new hosts and become stronger. At level 10, when grappling an enemy, you can spend one Calamity Charge to channel the crystal's curse through your arms to the victim. They must roll a DC the 10 CON save to resist the curse. This curse deals 1d6 necrotic damage to the host at the end of each of their turns, and can be broken with a remove curse spell. If the host dies from the curse directly, you heal for 1d12.

Strength of Steel[edit]

Due to the crystal's powers, your skin and flesh have been hardened to Steel. At level 11, without armor, you have an AC of 15+DEX.

Power Siphon[edit]

Your crystals can absorb the energies and matter of projectiles fired at you. At level 13 you gain the ability to spend 1 Calamity Charges to project a 5 foot cone of energy as a reaction, absorbing the powers in the projectile and for every 30 damage absorbed by Power Siphon, you regain one Calamity Charge. It costs 1 charge to sustain this effect through each turn you have it up.

Undead Apathy[edit]

The soulless don't recognize you as mortal, and care not of your presence. At level 15, you will not be attacked by undead creatures or constructs unless you attack them first.

To the Brink[edit]

At level 18, you can spend two Calamity Charges to drop your health to 0.

Strength of Crystal[edit]

Due to the crystal's powers, your skin and flesh have been hardened to the same unbreaking crystalline durability that imbues your body. At level 19, without armor, you have an AC of 17+DEX.


At level 20, your crystals become the ultimate form of undeath, never granting you the death you will always hope for. They surge eternally, never stopping or slowing. Reanimation no longer costs Calamity Charges or has a delay, and cannot be overridden by spells, bindings, and even personal choice.


Made to be controlled, the crystals within charge their calamitous energies charge faster and faster to better serve their lost masters, creating more need to release these forces.


Your crystals seem to have no limit to their power, and can charge beyond dangerous levels. Every time you would gain a Calamity Charge but already have the maximum amount allowed, you gain as many as you would have without raising the maximum. For instance, if you do a long rest with full Calamity Charges, you would gain the normal amount of them on top of the max. If you have over the max amount, when you roll for anything that costs Calamity Charges (besides Reanimate), extra charges add a chance to die. For every charge a margin of 3 is added, so an example would be 1 charge is 3, 2 charges is 6, etc. on the d20. Rolling within these margins kills you, and after reanimating, you lose all extra charges.

Soul Stealer

Your crystals thrive on souls and willpower, and can be fed that of others. Killing an enemy adds one Calamity Charge.

Death's Pull

Your reanimation demands the sacrifice of others, holding them in place for their demise. When charging Reanimate, you create a singularity centered on you spanning a spherical length of 25 feet. Within this space, everyone is pulled towards you and must roll a DC 15 to escape the pull. Failures will be pulled 10 feet towards the pulse, and unable to move out of the way on their turns.

Exterminatus Ultimatum

Your death is simply the omen to the deaths of others. When you use Reanimate, anything that dies from it will instantly create death explosions, dealing the amount of health left before they died as force damage to everything within 10 feet. These explosions can chain, causing more and more deathsplosions as more and more things die.


The crystal's power disfigures and distorts the appearance and natural abilities of it's host, driving others around it to shudder and cringe at the sight of it.

Hulking Monstrosity

The power of the crystal within manifests in your strength, allowing you to perform task requiring great strength with ease. At level 3, add the remaining number of Calamity Charges to your strength. Also gain advantage on strength checks (as long as there is at least one Calamity Charge).

It Follows

You are always a step ahead of your enemy, and they can't be prepared for your attacks. On your turn, you can use a bonus action to mark one enemy. That enemy is unable to use reactions against you for two rounds. This ability is free, and can be used once every two rounds.


Your weapon is a harbinger, and can bring any to the realization of their imminent death. When you hit someone with a heavy two-handed weapon, they must roll a DC 5 charisma check or become frightened.

Beyond Death

The crystals power not only your body but also your spirit. It drives you to take action before you reanimate. When you die, you can attempt to possess another body within 50 feet, which will have to roll a DC 20 constitution check to resist. If the target has no soul, IE undead or construct, they roll with disadvantage. If successful, the reanimation will begin charging on the turn the target was possessed, and will be centered on the possessed, using their life forces as energy and converting their new corpse into a compressed crystal form, bringing the terrible infusions from the crystals to the newly made ones.

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