Warcaster, Variant (5e Class)
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Warcasters are spellcasters that choose to use weapons to aid in their causes, whatever they may be.
Creating a Warcaster
What made you combine spells and martial prowess? Did you join an army to hone your skills? Did you teach yourself? Did you spend years training, honing your skills until you had the power to cast spells and use weapons?
- Quick Build
You can make a warcaster quickly by following these suggestions. First, Intelligence should be your highest ability score, followed by Dexterity and Strength. Second, choose the Arcane Dominion background.
As a Warcaster you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Armor: Light Armor, Medium Armor, Shields
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons
Saving Throws: Strength, Intelligence
Skills: Choose three from Acrobatics, Arcana, Athletics, History, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception and Survival
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) A longsword or (b) Any simple weapon
- (a) A shield or (b) A longbow and a quiver with 20 arrows
- (a) An explorer's pack or (b) A scholar's pack
- Leather armor and a spellbook
- If you are using starting wealth, you have 4d4 x 10 gp in funds.
|Cantrips Known||Features||—Spell Slots per Spell Level—|
|1st||+2||2||Spellcasting, Anti-Component Caster||2||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||3||Ability Score Improvement||4||3||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+3||3||Anti-Component Caster Feature, Extra Attack||4||3||2||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|8th||+3||3||Ability Score Improvement||4||3||3||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|9th||+4||4||Anti-Component Caster Feature||4||3||3||3||1||—||—||—||—|
|11th||+4||4||Warcaster Archetype Feature||4||3||3||3||2||1||—||—||—|
|12th||+4||4||Ability Score Improvement||4||3||3||3||2||1||—||—||—|
|14th||+5||4||Anti-Component Caster Feature, War Strike feature||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||—||—|
|15th||+5||4||Warcaster Archetype Feature||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||1||—|
|16th||+5||4||Ability Score Improvement||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||1||—|
|17th||+6||4||Anti-Component Caster Feature, Extra Attack||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||1||1|
|19th||+6||4||Ability Score Improvement||4||3||3||3||3||2||1||1||1|
Starting at 1st level, you have learned to use the magical essence of the arcane to cast spells, much as a wizard does. See chapter 10 of the PHB for the general rules of spellcasting and chapter 11 for the wizard spell list.
At 1st level, you know three cantrips of your choice from the wizard spell list. You learn additional wizard cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Warcaster table.
At 1st level, you have a spellbook containing six 1st-level wizard spells of your choice. Your spellbook is the repository of the warcaster spells you know, except your cantrips, which are fixed in your mind.
- Preparing and Casting Spells
The Warcaster 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.
You prepare the list of warcaster spells that are available for you to cast. To do so, choose a number of warcaster spells from your spellbook equal to your Intelligence modifier + your warcaster level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of warcaster spells requires time spent studying your spellbook and memorizing the incantations and gestures you must make to cast the spell: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.
- Spellcasting Ability
Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your warcaster spells, since you learn your spells through dedicated study and memorization. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a warcaster spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier
- Ritual Casting
You can cast a warcaster spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell in your spellbook. You don’t need to have the spell prepared.
- Spellcasting Focus
You can use your weapon as a spellcasting focus for your warcaster spells.
- Learning Spells of 1st Level and Higher
Each time you gain a warcaster level, you can add two wizard spells of your choice to your spellbook for free. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots, as shown on the Warcaster table. On your adventures, you might find other spells that you can add to your spellbook.
Your knowledge of the arcane has taught you how to cast spells without the need of components. Starting at 1st level, your spells can be cast without somatic components.
As you progress in levels, so does this feature. At 5th level, you do not need material components if they are worth less than 25 gp. At 9th level, you no longer need material components if they are worth less than 500 gp. At 14th level, you no longer need verbal components. Finally, at 17th level, you no longer need components of any kind.
At 2nd level, you adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can’t take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.
You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged weapons.
While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC.
When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.
- Two-Weapon Fighting
When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.
At 3rd level, you choose an archetype that you strive to emulate: Warlord, Battlemage or Spell Warrior, all detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 7th, 11th and 15th level.
Ability Score Increase
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.
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
Beginning at 6th level, after a long rest you may choose a spell that you know, up to the highest spell slot you can cast it at, to store in your weapon. If you hit an opponent with your weapon you deal your damage normally. You can then release the spell as a bonus action, causing the creature to be the center of the spell’s effect, expending the spell stored.
At 14th level, you can store 2 spells in your weapon. On a successful hit, choose which spell you release. You must take a long rest to regain these used spell slots.
You have learned how to harness your magic in a defensive manner. Starting at 13th level, while you are wearing light or medium armor, you add a bonus of +2 to your AC and your Constitution and Dexterity saving throws.
Your magic has increased in potency. Beginning at 18th level, when you cast a spell that has a range greater than self, the range is doubled. Additionally, the area and reach of your spells are doubled (a 15 foot cone increases to 30 feet, a 20 foot radius increases to 40 feet, etc.).
You have honed your magic and fighting abilities to near perfection. At 20th level, you can summon a weapon of elemental energy. Your weapon attacks deal the damage of the weapon summoned plus 2 dice bonus damage of an element of your choice, and you add your Intelligence modifier to the attacks and damage dealt (maximum 3), plus your Strength modifier. For example, a longsword (versatile) does 1d8 (1d10) + Strength modifier slashing damage. If you have an Intelligence score of 18 and a Strength of 18 and you summon a fire longsword using this feature, it would deal 3d8 (3d10) + 8 (4 from Intelligence and 4 from Strength) fire slashing damage, a greatsword would deal 4d6 + 8, etc. You cannot use the War Strike feature with your summoned weapon. The weapon or element (or both) can be changed after a long rest.
Alternatively, you can use a mundane weapon (nonmagical) using the same modifiers, except you add the 2 bonus dice of elemental damage to the weapon base damage.
Arcane Marksmen are Warcasters who focus on using their magic to enhance their ranged weapons.
When arrows are mentioned in feature descriptions, it refers to any ammunition for a weapon with which you are proficient.
- Sniper’s Sting
Starting at 3rd level, you can imbue up to 10 arrows with the effects of a cantrip or 1st level spell that you know up to the highest spell slot you can cast it. The spell remains in the arrows until they are fired. Using this feature uses a spell slot. You regain the spell slot after a long rest.
At level 7, you can imbue up to 20 arrows.
- Sniper’s Wrath
Starting at 7th level, whenever you fire an arrow that has been imbued by Sniper’s Sting, that spell gains a radius of 10 feet. Creatures other than the target must make a save using your Spell Save DC. You can choose not to hit your allies. Using this feature consumes a spell slot. You regain the spell slot after a long rest.
- Sniper’s Sight
Starting at 11th level, you add your Intelligence modifier to attacks using your ranged weapons. Additionally, you remove the penalty for precise shots (head, shoulder, leg, etc.).
- Sniper’s Strike
Your shots have reached the pinnacle of accuracy, enabling you to hit the most vital spots of your opponents. Starting at 15th level, your ranged weapons score a critical hit on a roll of 18-20.
Additionally, you gain one more attack when you take the Attack action while using ranged weapons, for a total of three.
Battle Magi focus on their spells, using their weapons to enhance them.
- Mage Skill
Starting at 3rd level, you learn one bonus cantrip. This cantrip does not count against the number of cantrips known.
- Mage Endurance
Starting at 7th level, you have advantage on your Constitution saves to maintain concentration on spells.
- Mage Power
Starting at 11th level, you may combine a weapon attack with the effects of a damaging spell that you know. You cannot use War Strike in the same turn you use this feature.
- Mage Speed
Starting at 15th level, you may cast a damaging spell you know up to 3rd level immediately after casting a spell or cantrip as your action. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier per long rest.
Some Warcasters use their spells and their weapons in more equal measure. These Spell Warriors are forces to be reckoned with, using blade and spell with equal force.
- Warrior’s Bite
Starting at 3rd level, you add your Intelligence modifier to damage dealt with your weapons.
- Warrior’s Glare
Starting at 7th level, you may force a single creature to make a Wisdom save against your Spell Save DC. If it fails the save, it is frightened of you for 5 minutes. The creature may attempt the save again at the end of each of its turns. If it succeeds on the save or the effect ends, it is immune to further uses of your Warrior’s Glare for 24 hours.
- Warrior’s Defense
Starting at 11th level, if you take damage, your AC increases by 2 until the end of your next turn. The effect is cumulative each time you take damage.
- Warrior’s Strike
Starting at 15th level, you may combine a weapon attack with the effects of a damaging spell that you know. This can be used with Warrior’s Bite. You cannot use War Strike in the same turn you use this feature.
Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Warcaster class, you gain the following proficiencies: Simple Weapons, Light Armor, Shields.