View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Death Knight Class Update

2018-01-24, 04:34 PM
I have created a class inspired by the Death Knight class from World of Warcraft here is what I've got so far, this is my first attempt and it is unlikely to be balanced so any advice on changes would be helpful. This is the second version see the changelog at the bottom. Post any changes below.

Class Features
As a Death Knight, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points
Hit Dice: 1d10 per Death Knight level
Hit Points at 1st level: 10 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per Death Knight level after 1st

Armor: All Armour and Shields
Weapons: All simple and Martial Weapons
Saving Throws: Strength and one based on your specialisation (Constitution if you choose Blood, Dexterity if you choose Frost or Wisdom if you choose Unholy)
Skills: Choose 2 from Acrobatics, Arcana, Athletics, Deception, Intimidation, Survival.

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
(a) chain mail or (b) studded leather
(a) a longsword or (b) 2 shortswords
(a) a light crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) 2 handaxes
(a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack

You are classed as undead with respect to spells and features such as turn undead. You also faintly smell of a rotting corpse.

You can apply a single rune to any single weapon (unless specified otherwise). The runes only have effect when you are wielding the weapons. Applying a rune takes a short rest, if you already have a rune on another weapon then you immediately lose the rune on that weapon.
Rune of Razorice
When you hit with this weapon or features you get from this class deal cold damage, you can add half your proficiency modifier (round up) cold damage to the roll. Your features can only gain the bonus damage from this rune (even if you have 2 Runes of razorice active).
Empower. The extra damage becomes your proficiency modifier.
Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle
You gain +1 to your AC whilst you wield a weapon with this rune. This rune only has an effect when the weapon is wielded with both your hands.
Empower. You gain +2 to AC.
Rune of the Fallen Crusader
This weapon has +1 to attack. If you wield a weapon with this rune on with 2 hands it also has +1 to attack rolls.
Empower. Your weapon has +2 to attack rolls but not damage rolls.

Choose a specialisation which you focus on: Blood, Frost or Unholy. Your choice grants you features at 1st level and again at 6th, 10th, 14th and 17th levels.

At 2nd level, you have a number runes equal to your proficiency modifier which can be spent on many class features. You regain all runes when you finish a short rest.

Death and Decay
At 2nd level, you learn how to use your death magic to create an area of decay. You can use your bonus action to expend a rune and create a circle of death which is 10 feet in radius. All creatures within the circle which you choose take 1d4 necrotic damage on your turn or when they enter the circle. The circle lasts for 5 rounds.
The damage increases to 2d4 at 3rd level, 3d4 at 9th level, 4d4 at 13th level and 5d4 at 17th level.

Death Strike
At 3rd level, when you attack you can heal the amount of damage you deal with that one weapon attack. You can only do this once per long rest.

Ability Score Improvement
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.

Extra Attack
Beginning at 5th level, you can Attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Anti-Magic Shell
Starting from 7th level, you can forgo one attack and expend a rune to gain the following effect:
The next time a spell which requires a spell attack is cast on you it has disadvantage.

Empower Rune Weapon
At 9th level, you can empower your rune weapons making the runes empowered and dealing an additional 1d6 necrotic damage for 1 minute.

Veil of life
You have learnt how to feign life. Starting from 11th level, you can expend a rune to cast false life at 2nd level without expending a spell slot or any material components. Whilst you have these temporary hit points any spell or inspection doesn’t reveal you to be undead, spells treat you as a humanoid and you are immune to turn undead and other similar effects that don’t affect undead, instead you are revealed as a humanoid.

Tightening Grasp
Starting from 13th level, your Death and Decay reaches hands out to anyone walking through it causing them to move through it at half speed.

Death Grip
Starting from 13th level, you can forgo one of your attacks to make a contested Strength Check against creature within 60 feet that is no more than one size larger than you, if you succeed then the creature is pulled to an unoccupied space within 5 feet of you. If the other creature succeeds then they stay where they are.

Improved Anti-Magic Shell
When you reach 15th level, when you use your Anti-Magic Shell you can choose to instead gain advantage on the next saving throw you make against a spell.

Overpowered Rune Weapon
Beginning from 18th level, when you use your Empower Rune Weapon you additionally regain all your runes.

Your Study of death magic allows you to replenish your body and power. At 20th level, when you are reduced to 0 HP you can expend any number of hit dice to regain health or to regain a rune.


A death knight which studies blood magic, they specialise is prolonging there undeath with there magic.

Dark Command
Beginning at 6th level, you can cast the spell Compelled Duel without expending any material components, you instead expend one rune. The target has disadvantage on the save. Your spellcasting ability for this spell is strength.
The DC for your spells equals: 8 + your proficiency + your Strength modifier

Blood Boil
You learn how to use your death magic to boil the blood inside someone's body. Beginning at 10th level, you can expend a rune and point at a creature, they must make a constitution saving throw. If they fail they take 2d6 necrotic damage and you heal that much, the creature must then use its action on its next turn being sick.

Dancing Rune Weapon
Once you reach 14th level, you can animate a copy of your rune weapon by expending a rune. You can use your bonus action to allow this weapon to make a single weapon attack as though you were wielding it. On your turn the weapon can move up to your movement, independent of you. The weapon can make opportunity attacks using your reaction.

Vampiric Blood
Your study of blood magic has allowed you to empower your blood. When you reach 17th level you can use your bonus action to strengthen your blood. You gain temporary HP equal to a quarter your health. Whilst you have these temporary hit points, you have advantage on all constitution saving throw and you recover the maximum number of HP possible from healing effects. You can only use this feature once before requiring a long rest.

A Frost death knight studies ice magic freezing the blood of their opponents, they attack impossibly fast with rune weapons.

When you choose this specialisation at 1st level, you can apply a rune to 2 different weapons, providing both weapons have the light property and can be wielded with one hand.

Remorseless Winter
Once you reach 6th level, you can use your action to cause a whirling cloud of ice to form 10 feet around you. Any creature that starts its turn within the cloud or enters the cloud, takes 2d4 cold damage and must expend 15 feet of movement to move 5 feet inside the cloud if it is large or smaller.

Chains of Ice
Starting from 10th level, you have learnt to freeze the air around your enemies, point at one creature within 30 feet, the creature makes a dexterity saving throw. If they fail, then they take 2d10 cold damage and is restrained by the ice. The creature can use its action to try and break free of the ice making a strength saving throw. If the succeed, they take half damage and are not restrained. If the creature takes fire damage then they gain advantage on their next saving throw.
The DC for your spells equals: 8 + your proficiency + your Dexterity modifier

Mind Freeze
Your study of frost powers allow you to affect the mind of any creature. Beginning from 14th level, you can expend a rune and make a ranged Dexterity attack against a creature. If you hit the creature takes 3d6 cold damage and the target has disadvantage on all concentration checks until they lose concentration.

Starting from 17th level, when you engage in two-weapon fighting, you may attack twice with your bonus action instead.

An unholy Death Knight raises legions of undead to cover its back, they study necromancy and empower there minions with death magic.

Raise Undead
Starting from 6th level, you can expend a rune and target a pile of bones to animate an undead of CR ½ or lower. You can mentally control the undead and it takes its turn on your turn. You can only control one undead at a time.

Control Undead
Once you reach 10th level, you have learnt to impose your will on undead. When you use your raise undead you can raise an undead up to CR 4 or lower or you can choose to make an undead of CR 6 or lower to make a wisdom saving throw.
The DC equals: 8 + your proficiency + your Wisdom modifier

Army of the dead
Starting from 14th level, you can raise or control up to 2 undead which each have CR 6 or lower (except vampire spawn).

Dark Transformation
When you reach 17th level, you can expend two runes to empower one of you undead giving them the following effects until the end of your turn in 2 rounds:
-The undead has advantage on attack rolls.
-Attacks against the undead have disadvantage.
-The undead has advantage on saving throws.
-After this effect expires the undead is destroyed.

Saving throw proficiencies are no longer gained if you multi-class.
Mind Freeze ability changed.
Runecrafting wording changed - “apply a rune to a single weapon” to “apply a single rune to a single weapon”.
Removed Extra Attack(2).
Removed Extra Attack(3).
Added Undeath.
Added Veil of Life.
Added Purgatory.