Hello, everyone! This week’s subclass continues Villain Month with a Ranger Archetype. Like last week, if you’d like to win a copy of this subclass’s PDF, all you have to do is correctly guess which villain the subclass is based on. This week, I’ll be delivering a few more hints than last, though!
A construct built for war may adopt the Adaptive Soldier Archetype, utilizing not only their abilities to fire a large number of projectiles in battle with uncanny precision, but also the ability to emulate the magical abilities of their defeated foes. You may choose to wield this power in the service of your creator, but others may do so only to prove themselves the mightiest among their fellow constructs.
Adaptive Soldiers integrate a unique alloy into their bodies and armor known as crystal steel. Initially a translucent, milky-white metal, this alloy retains a memory of any magic to which it was exposed, which allows an Adaptive Soldier to wield magic known to creatures they have already defeated in battle, shifting its color with the school of magic utilized. Other applications of this rare metal include pressing it to a flat disc, which can then temporarily emulate an existing spell scroll or notes from a spellbook.
Restriction: Constructs Only
Most organic creatures are unable to wield crystal steel components with the same proficiency as a construct ranger who was specifically built to take on this archetype. This archetype is specifically designed imagining constructed races rather than organic, but you can easily work with your GM to create a compelling justification for any ranger to take this archetype.
Starting when you take this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in heavy armor. While wearing heavy armor, your speed is not reduced, even if your Strength score is less than the score listed for that armor.
Additionally, when you take any type of damage other than bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing, you may use your reaction to reduce the damage (after applying resistances, vulnerabilities, and immunities) by an amount equal to your Constitution modifier(minimum 1).
Variable Weapons System
Also beginning at 3rd level, you have integrated crystal steel components into your body to absorb the magical abilities of fallen foes. You can spend 1 minute absorbing residual magic from a creature who has been dead for no more than 10 minutes which could cast spells. For the next 8 hours, you can prepare a spell which the creature could cast. For this duration, the spell is considered a ranger spell for you, and you may expend your ranger spell slots to cast it.
You can absorb a total number of spells equal to your Proficiency Bonus. If you attempt to absorb an additional spell beyond this limit, you must forget a previously-absorbed spell of your choice.
Starting at 7th level, you can unleash a torrent of attacks at the expense of your mobility. If you have not yet moved on your turn, you can reduce your speed to 0 until the start of your next turn. If you do so, you may use your Bonus action to take the Attack action a second time on your turn.
Beginning at 11th level, you have integrated components which give you increased maneuverability even in heavy armor. You may take the Dash action as a Bonus action.
Additionally, while you are wearing heavy armor, your armor does not impose disadvantage on your stealth checks.
Starting at 15th level, you can target your foes with nearly-perfected accuracy. When you use your Rapid Shot feature, every ranged weapon attack you make on your turn is made with advantage.
New Magic Item
Though constructs are best-suited to integrate crystal steel, enterprising mages have found uses for the alloy, creating a means of emulating certain written forms of magic from scrolls and spellbooks.
Crystal Steel Disc
Wondrous item, very rare (requires attunement)
When this flat metal disc is pressed against a spell scroll or pages of a spellbook for 1 minute, you may copy the spell on those pages onto the crystal steel disc. The crystal steel disc becomes a spell scroll of the original spell, though while you are attuned to the disc, the scroll is always treated as a spell on your class’s spell list, though it cannot be copied from the disc. Once you cast the spell by reading it, the disc becomes blank once again. The disc cannot be used again for 8 hours unless you recharge it by expending a spell slot of 1st level or higher.