Hello, everyone! I apologize again for another unusual week for updates – it’s been a little difficult to find the time to sit down and get work done on my list of planned articles with course assignments piling up on me! To make up for it, today I’m releasing an article I was originally planning to remain exclusive to a future project. Backers on Patreon at the Playtester level may recognize this Prestige Class from the Playtest articles for the past two months. And of course, Playtesters on Patreon can look forward to an all-new article at the start of this coming month!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept, a Prestige Class is a form of advanced specialization for a character when they meet certain requirements. In order to become a member of a Prestige Class, a character takes levels in that class in the same way as they would to multiclass. However, a character cannot start in a Prestige Class, and cannot multiclass into multiple Prestige Classes.
The Unstoppable Martyr is a Prestige Class who turns in their long-term survivability for short-term momentum in the form of special attacks and maneuvers. At a glance, the ideal candidate for the Martyr is a Paladin, but a wide range of characters can make great use of its features, such as the Ranger, certain Clerics, certain Bards, and even the Circle of the Heavens Druid from July’s article.
The Unstoppable Martyr
“You will never threaten these woods again,” The elven archer whispers as he releases his arrow. It flies across the glade, pinning the orc’s arm to a nearby tree.
The dwarf swings her warhammer in a perfect arc, squarely into the drow’s chest. Her target flies backwards, collapsing into a crumpled heap.
“Be brave, my children,” The elderly paladin says, closing his eyes for the final time with a weak smile, “I have seen my last battle, but I suspect you have not.” His comrades wipe tears from their eyes before turning their wrath to the demon who slew their friend.
Few heroes will embark on the path of the Unstoppable Martyr, a hero with a strict devotion to a cause, but those who do find themselves to be indomitable champions. Emotions run deep with the Unstoppable Martyr, and their passion can often be mistaken for zealotry by those who do not share their conviction. Being a Martyr does not necessarily mean certain death – their heroism comes from being willing to stand in harm’s way and put their lives on the line in every fight for their cause.
Becoming an Unstoppable Martyr
To qualify for this prestige class you must first meet the following requirements:
- Constitution Score: 15
- Weapon Proficiency: Martial Weapons
- Proficiency Bonus: +4
Additionally, in order to become an Unstoppable Martyr, you must pledge yourself to a cause of your choosing. This can be any goal or cause you see fit, such as pledging your services to your church or country or vowing to avenge the unjust death of a loved one. Discuss what sort of cause your character may pledge to with your Storyteller. You may want to consider the Bond your character background provides, and how it might factor into your pledge.
As an Unstoppable Martyr, you gain the following class features
- Hit Dice: 1d12 per Unstoppable Martyr level
- Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d12 (or 7) + your Constitution modifier per Unstoppable Martyr level after 1st
- Armor: Light Armor, Medium Armor, Heavy Armor
- Weapons: Simple weapons, Martial weapons
- Tools: None
- Saving Throws: Constitution
- Skills: Choose one skill from Acrobatics, Athletics, History, Intimidation, Medicine, and Persuasion
An Unstoppable Martyr’s unwavering devotion to combat manifests in their willingness to sacrifice their own well-being in the heat of battle. This devotion is represented by Determination Points, which allow you to create a variety of effects in battle.
During a Short Rest, you may reduce your Hit Point Maximum by any amount to gain an equal number of Determination Points to the amount of Hit Points you used. You cannot reduce your Hit Point Maximum below 1 in this way.
During combat, as a Bonus Action on your turn, you may reduce your Hit Point Maximum by up to your Unstoppable Martyr level to gain an equal number of Determination Points. You cannot reduce your Hit Point Maximum below 1 in this way.
When you finish a Long Rest, your Maximum Hit Points are restored, and any unspent Determination Points are lost.
Restoring Spell Slots. If you are a member of a class with a Spellcasting feature, you can transform unexpended Determination Points into one Spell Slot as a Bonus Action on your turn. You can only create spell slots of a level which you can normally cast. You can create spell slots of up to 5th level. The Creating Spell Slots table shows the cost of creating a spell slot of a given level.
Creating Spell Slots
As you level up, you gain new Determination Moves as per the Class Table. To use a Determination Move, you must expend the requisite number of Determination Points. Once you use a Determination Move, you cannot use another until the start of your next turn. If a Determination Move requires a target to make a saving throw, the saving throw’s DC is equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Constitution modifier.
Angered Strike – 1 Determination Point
When you hit with a weapon attack, you may roll the damage dice from the weapon a second time and add it to the result.
Hamstring Move – 2 Determination Points
When you hit with a weapon attack which deals Slashing damage, your target must make a Constitution save. On a failed save, the target’s movement speed is reduced by 20 feet until the end of your next turn.
Concussive Move – 2 Determination Points
When you hit with a weapon attack which deals Bludgeoning damage, your opponent must make a Strength save. On a failed save, you push the target up to 25 feet away from you, and the target falls prone. On a successful save, you push the target up to 15 feet away from you.
Barbed Move – 2 Determination Points
When you hit with a weapon attack which deals Piercing damage, your opponent must make a Dexterity save. On a failed save, the next time the target moves, it receives your weapon attack damage. On a successful save, it takes half damage.
Martyr’s Influence – 1 Determination Point
When you are reduced to 0 Hit Points, you may choose to automatically fail a Death Saving Throw. If you do so, all allies who can see or hear you when you are reduced to 0 Hit Points each have Advantage on their Attack rolls until the end of their next turn.
Martyr’s Move – 2 Determination Points
As a Reaction, when an ally within your movement speed is hit by an attack, you may move up to your speed and must end the movement adjacent to the triggering ally. Your ally takes no damage, and instead, you receive the damage.
Invigorating Move – 3 Determination Points
As a Bonus Action, you may move up to your movement speed, and gain 3 Temporary Hit Points for each enemy adjacent to you at the end of your turn.
Spellbreaker – 5 Determination Points
As a Reaction, when an enemy within the range of your current weapon attempts to cast a spell, you may make a weapon attack against that enemy. If the attack hits, in addition to its damage, the target of the attack may not cast spells until the start of their next turn.
Linebreaker – 5 Determination Points
As an Action, you move up to your speed. This movement does not provoke any attacks of opportunity, and you may move through any enemies you wish, but this movement must end in an unoccupied space. At the end of this movement, make a weapon attack against any enemy you passed through.
At 2nd level, you have formed a powerful bond with your weapon of choice. Choose 1 weapon you own to become your Signature Weapon. In your hands, your Signature Weapon counts as a magical weapon for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage. You may create a new Signature Weapon during a Short Rest by expending 5 Determination Points. As a Bonus Action, you may call upon your Signature Weapon from anywhere up to 100 feet away.
At 3rd level, your sincere dedication to your cause has become evident through your words and can lend additional credibility to what you say. When you roll a Charisma(Persuasion) check, after rolling the die but before your Storyteller announces the result of your check, you may expend a number of Determination Points up to your Unstoppable Martyr level and add that number to your roll.
Ability Score Improvement
At 4th level, and again at 8th 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.
Starting at 6th level, your devotion to your cause cannot be swayed by distractions. You can use your Bonus Action to end one effect on yourself that is causing you to be charmed or frightened.
At 9th level, each brush with death drives you even further to defend those you love. Each time you fail a Death Saving Throw in combat, you gain 15 Determination Points. Additionally, at the end of a Short Rest, you may choose to automatically fail a Death Saving Throw to gain 10 Determination Points.
Heroes Never Die
At 10th level, your reputation and determination manifest in your bond with your Signature Weapon. If you die, your Signature Weapon counts as your body for the purpose of any spells which affect dead creatures. If a creature friendly to you wields your Legendary Weapon, they immediately gain access to all of your memories. They may use your attack bonus instead of their own when making a weapon attack with your Signature Weapon. After one month, if you have not returned to life, this effect ends and your Signature Weapon becomes a regular one.
If a creature friendly to you spends a week meditating over your Signature Weapon, they can choose to allow your soul to take their body, similarly to the Reincarnate spell. If they do so, you return to life in their body. You recall your former life and experiences, as well as their former life and experiences. You retain the capabilities you had in your original form except that you exchange your original race for theirs and change your racial traits accordingly.