Class – Sellsword 1.2.1

SELLSWORD

STUDENT OF THE WORLD


A young boy finishes the tenth repetition of his daily exercises, sheathing his sword and bowing to the wooden dummy with a prideful smile. But, the memory soon fades as the now grisled, scarred man stares out at the lonely expanse before him.

A lone warrior clad in heavy plates and tattered heraldry rakes the tip of his blade through the dirt , drawing a line between himself and the thousands of soldiers in front of him. He spreads his feet, and raises his sword perpendicular to the ground, daring the army to approach.

A fierce woman swipes her blade out at a mighty Orc, who reels back in shock as the single attack leaves not one, but four gashes across his torso. The woman smiles; she has only just begun her onslaught. 

Wherever their feet carry them, their blades rarely sheath. Battle and bloodshed follow these masters of martial combat, and few shy away from the shared destiny of crossing blades.

BUDDING MASTER


Sellswords are set apart from other combatants throughout the world due to their intense training, and their strength of will and dedication to their teachings. While many forgo the formal study and opt for a life of solitude and meditation with themselves and their blade, others dedicate decades to naught but the study of the many forms of combat.

Their studies give them an understanding of arms and of a battlefield unrivaled by any other. By a simple shift of footing, an attack against them is made harmless, and with a twist of their elbow, their own attacks are made lethal against even the most formidable opponents. 

Though the Sellswords, despite their name, are not all mercenaries, their mastery of combat makes them excellent choices for those seeking blades-for-hire. Many devote themselves to their home, captaining city guard or a kingdom’s armies; others seek their own path, defending those smaller than themselves that go largely ignored by greater nations.

A GREATER FOCUS


With a deep breath in a quiet place, the Sellsword finds their peace and strength of resolve. Those who follow the path of the warrior have found both tranquility and power in an inner focus called Chi. Many claim that drawing on this mysterious form of inward energy grants them supernatural ability, enhanced speed and reflexes, sharpened minds and sharper blades.

Though evidence of this Chi is dubious at best, some wandering swordsmen swear by its life-giving and life-taking strength, and cite their ability to draw on it for many of their greatest accomplishments. 

The Sellsword

Sellsword Level // Proficiency Bonus //       Class Features   // Signature Techniques Known

1st

+2

Form Fighting, Mindful Precision

2nd

+2

Fighting Style, Path of the Warrior

3rd

+2

Signature Techniques

3

4th

+2

Ability Score Improvement 

3

5th

+3

Extra Attack

3

6th

+3

Archetype Feature

3

7th

+3

Signature Technique Improvement

4

8th

+3

Ability Score Improvement 

4

9th

+4

Additional Fighting Style 

4

10th

+4

Archetype Feature

4

11th

+4

Sever Arcana

5

12th

+4

Ability Score Improvement

5

13th

+5

Signature Technique Improvement

5

14th

+5

Archetype Feature

5

15th

+5

Perfect Form

6

16th

+5

Ability Score Improvement 

6

17th

+6

Sever Arcana Improvement

6

18th

+6

Signature Technique Improvement

6

19th

+6

Ability Score Improvement 

7

20th

+6

Archetype Feature

7

CREATING A SELLSWORD


When creating a Sellsword, ask yourself what sets your character apart from more traditional martial classes like the Fighter or Rogue. Why did you pursue the level of formal training you did? If you are planning to take the Vagabond Archetype, ask yourself why you left the teachings behind. What greater purpose drives you in combat? What do you raise your bladee against? Who do you raise it for?

With these guiding principles and questions in mind, your Sellsword is bound to become a unique member of any adventuring party, capable of supporting a team, as well as holding their own.

QUICK BUILD.

To easily create a Sellsword, first, make Strength or Dexterity your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Finally, choose the soldier background. 

CLASS FEATURES

As a Sellsword, you gain the following class features.

HIT POINTS

Hit Dice: 1d10 per Sellsword level

Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + your Constitution modifier

Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per Sellsword level after the 1st.

PROFICIENCIES

Armor: Light Armor

Weapons: Simple Weapons, one Martial Weapon of your choice

Tools: One toolset of your choice, one gaming set of your choice, and one musical instrument of your choice.

Saving Throws: Strength, Wisdom

Skills: Choose three from Animal Handling, Athletics, Acrobatics, History, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, Perception, Performance, Religion

EQUIPMENT

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

  • (a) Leather Armor, (b) Hide Armor, or (c) Chain Mail

  • (a) One Martial Weapon and One Simple Weapon, or (b) Two Simple Weapons

  • (a) 10 Darts or (b) 20 pieces of ammunition

  • One Toolset with which you are proficient

  • A purse containing 25 gp

FORM FIGHTING


At 1st Level, your understanding of combat is refined to the point of understanding that there are more variables and factors in combat than the weapons you wield. The position of the hands and feet, the angle of one's torso, and the shifting of one's weight all serve to respond to an opponent, or force them to respond to you.

As a Bonus Action, you can assume a Mercenary Stance, detailed below. You remain in this Stance for as long as you maintain Concentration.

Stances are divided into 3 categories, Offensive, Defensive and Balanced. Certain Class Features will grant benefits depending on the category of Stance you are in.

  • Bull’s Horns. Offensive. Whenever you make a Weapon attack against a creature, you can choose to push that creature back 5 ft. If you attacked with a Melee Weapon, you can immediately fill the vacated space without provoking opportunity attacks.

  • Tortoise’s Shell. Defensive. You have +1 AC against Weapon Attacks. In addition, whenever a creature misses a Melee Weapon Attack against you, you can choose to push them 5 ft. away from you. This movement does not provoke opportunity attacks.

  • Eagle’s Wing. Balanced. You can move an additional 5 ft. as a part of an Attack Action you are taking. In addition, whenever a Medium Humanoid attacks you with a Melee Weapon, you can use your Reaction to move 5 ft. If you do, any further attacks made by the same attacker this round are made with disadvantage. 

MINDFUL PRECISION


At 1st Level, your teachings have given you the ability to strike swiftly and accurately. While in a Mercenary Stance, you have a bonus to damage rolls made with weapons you are proficient with equal to half your Proficiency Bonus, rounded up.

FIGHTING STYLE


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.

  • Archery. You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged weapons.

  • Blindfighting. You have blindsight with a range of 10 feet. Within that range, you can effectively see anything that isn't behind total cover, even if you're blinded or in darkness. Moreover, you can see an invisible creature within that range, unless the creature successfully hides from you.

  • Defense. While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC.

  • Dueling. 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.

  • Great Weapon Fighting. When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit.

  • Thrown Weapon Fighting. You can draw a weapon that has the thrown property as part of the attack you make with the weapon.

    • In addition, when you hit with a ranged attack using a thrown weapon, you gain a +2 bonus to the damage roll.

  • Two-Weapon Fighting. When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.

PATH OF THE WARRIOR


At 2nd Level, you have dedicated yourself to walking a certain path in life, whether by choice or fate. Your walk grants you features at 2nd Level, and again at 6th, 10th, 14th, and 20th Level.

SIGNATURE TECHNIQUES


When you reach 3rd Level, you have advanced in your teachings, or have developed your own signature techniques that you employ in combat to varying effect.

Signature Techniques. You learn three Signature Techniques of your choice, many of which enhance an attack roll in some way, and learn additional Techniques as shown in the Signature Techniques column of the Sellsword Table.

You can only apply one such Technique to any given attack. These Techniques are detailed at the end of the class description.

Saving Throws. Some of your Techniques require your target to make a saving throw to resist its effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows:

 

Signature Technique save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength or Dexterity modifier (your choice)

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.

ADDITIONAL FIGHTING STYLE


By the time you reach 9th Level, your journeys and experience in combat has developed into a second style of fighting you adopt as a specialty. You can choose an additional fighting style from the list detailed by your Fighting Style Class Feature.

SEVER ARCANA


Beginning at 11th Level, even the power of the Arcane pales in comparison to your connection with your Chi. 

Whenever a creature you can see targets you with a Spell Attack or you are forced to make a Dexterity saving throw to avoid a spell’s effects, you can use your Reaction to make an attack roll using a weapon you are wielding in at least one hand. If your attack roll meets the save DC, or exceeds the Spell Attack’s roll, the spell’s effects against you are negated.

Once you reach 17th Level, if you negate the spell effects, on your next turn, you can use your action to make a Special Weapon Attack targeting the spell’s caster. On a hit, they suffer the effect of the spell you negated.

PERFECT FORM


When you reach 15th Level, your practice and time spent in combat have honed your skills to a razor’s edge. Choose one Mercenary Stance you have learned. As long as you are conscious, you are considered to be in that Stance.

WARRIORS’ PATHS

No matter what a Sellsword's first steps may have been, all walk the path of the warrior, by choice or by fate. Those who have dedicated themselves to the teachings of a master, and those who have either never had or have lost that privilege, often find themselves walking distinct paths, but all lead to the end of a blade.

VAGABOND


Those who have found themselves on a lone path, often lightened by little more than pale moonlight, would often call themselves a Vagabond. These are those who have had some of the formal training of a Vanguard, but have since abandoned the code and the teachings of their master to venture in solitude, unshackled from the bonds of others.

FORGED PATH

When you choose this Archetype at 2nd Level, you gain proficiency in medium armor and one Martial Weapon of your choice.

In addition, over the course of a long rest, you complete your training in private, mastering the use of a weapon with which you share a deep connection with, both mentally and spiritually. The weapon takes the form of any Martial Weapon you have proficiency with, and is added to your inventory. 

VAGABOND STANCES

Also at 2nd Level, you learn one of the following Mercenary Stances as per your Form Fighting Class Feature. You learn an additional Mercenary Stance at 10th Level, and again at 18th Level.

  • Sharpened Wind. Offensive. Whenever you successfully land a Weapon Attack against a target creature, you can use your Reaction to make an additional attack using the same weapon against that same target. This attack is made with Advantage.

  • Crossing Paths. Defensive. Whenever a creature you can see targets you with a Weapon Attack, you can use your Reaction to attempt to parry the attack. You add your weapon’s damage die to your AC for the attack. If the attack misses, you can immediately make an attack against the attacking target with your weapon.

  • Tumbling Stones. Offensive. Whenever you land a Weapon Attack, the target receives a Wound. As an Action, you can cause all Wounds on one target to hemorrhage, dealing (1d10) slashing damage per wound consumed. If you lose Concentration on this Stance, all Wounds are harmlessly consumed. 

  • Dancing Grass. Balanced. Whenever you take the Dodge Action, you can use your Reaction to make a Weapon Attack against a creature within range. This attack is made with Advantage. 

WANDERING SPIRIT

By the time you reach 6th Level, your separation from most others paired with your connection to the Chi within and around you has led you to form deeper bonds with the natural world.

Over the course of 1 minute, you can call to you a creature native to your current environment, and forge a temporary connection with it. Your DM determines what creature, if any appear.

The creature follows your commands to the best of its ability, and can be used as a mount in combat. As a Bonus Action, you can whistle, and it travels to your side from up to 1 mile away. 

The creature returns to its natural habitat if you dismiss it, summon a new one, or after 24 hours, unless you use this feature to reforge the bond. If you use this feature to summon a different creature, the first one is dismissed.

Once you use this feature, you cannot do so again until you complete a short or long rest.

FLOW OF THE TIDES

When you reach 10th Level, your skill with your weapon of choice lends to the freedom and fluidity of the seas themselves. Whenever you make a Weapon Attack, you can immediately change your Stance without using a Bonus Action. You can do this before or after the attack is resolved.

CALMING MEDITATION

When you reach 14th Level, you can still your mind to improve your cognition and heighten your senses.

By spending 10 minutes perfectly still, you gain advantage on Wisdom (perception), Wisdom (insight), and Intelligence (investigation) checks for the next hour. 

Alternatively, you can meditate in place of a short rest. If you do, you gain the normal benefits of your meditation, and your Intelligence and Wisdom scores are increased by 4 for the next hour. 

Once you use this feature, you cannot do so again until you finish a long rest. 

CRASHING OF WAVES

When you reach 20th Level, your skill at striking foes within a blink of an eye reaches new heights. As an Action, you can double your movement speed, and your movement does not provoke opportunity attacks until the end of your turn.

Until the end of your turn, you can make a Weapon Attack against any creature you come within range of at no additional cost. The last attack you make using this feature is an automatic critical hit.

Once you use this feature, you cannot do so again until you finish a short or long rest.

VANGUARD


Devoted to the teachings of those who came before them, the Vanguard are endlessly improving, seeking to master the craft of combat in all ways contrived by the gods of war themselves. 

FRUITS OF TRAINING

When you choose this archetype at 2nd Level, you gain proficiency in Medium and Heavy Armor. In addition, you can spend 10 minutes practicing forms with any Martial Weapon, and gain proficiency with that weapon.

You can have proficiency with up to three weapons in this manner. If you attempt to gain proficiency with a fourth, choose one weapon to lose proficiency in as a replacement. 

VANGUARD STANCES

Also at 2nd Level, you learn one of the following Mercenary Stances as per your Form Fighting Class Feature. You learn an additional Mercenary Stance at 10th Level, and again at 18th Level.

  • Heavy Siege. Offensive. You can use your Action to make a special Weapon Attack targeting one creature within your weapon’s range. The attack is made with advantage, deals an additional damage die of damage, and is considered a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.

  • Obstructed Path. Defensive. Whenever you are hit by a Weapon Attack, you can use your Reaction to reduce the damage taken by an amount equal to your Sellsword Level + your Proficiency Bonus.

  • Stalwart Tower. Defensive. You can use your Action to assume a defensive position, gaining a +3 to your AC. If this increase causes a Melee Weapon Attack to miss, the attacker is knocked by 5 ft. and prone.

  • Retreating Viper. Balanced. Your movement speed is increased by 10 ft., and opportunity attacks made against you are made at disadvantage. Additionally, you can make an opportunity attack against any creature that leaves your weapon’s reach due to your own movement. 

IMPARTING OF KNOWLEDGE

When you reach 6th Level, your understanding of the teachings that led you to where you are now deepen the point of passing them on to those around you.

Over the course of a short rest, you grant a number of creatures you can see up to your Wisdom modifier a bonus to your choice of either their attack or damage rolls equal to half your Attack Bonus, rounded down. The bonus ends once they complete a short rest, or after 24 hours. 

MASTER OF ARMS

Beginning at 10th Level, your mastery of a variety of weapons have led to you developing potent and personal styles of combat. Weapons with certain properties now have additional effects when in certain stances.

  • Heavy. Weapons with the Heavy property have the following effects when wielded in the stances described below.

    • Offensive. Whenever you make an attack with a Heavy weapon against a medium or smaller creature, the target must succeed on a Strength saving throw against your Signature Technique saving throw or be knocked prone.

    • Balanced. After making an attack with a Heavy Weapon, while in a Balanced Stance, your movement does not provoke opportunity attacks until the end of your turn. 

  • Versatile. Weapons with the Versatile property have the following effects when wielded in the stances described below.

    • Offensive. While in an Offensive Stance, you can use Two-Weapon Fighting even if both weapons you are wielding are not Light, so long as one of them is.

    • Offensive. While in an Offensive Stance, you can use your Bonus Action to make an attack with a Versatile weapon you are wielding in both hands.

  • Finesse. Weapons with the Finesse property have the following effects when wielded in the stances described below.

    • Defensive. Whenever a creature makes an attack against you, while you are in a Defensive Stance, you can use your Reaction to add your Proficiency Bonus to your AC until the beginning of your next turn. 

    • Balanced. Whenever a creature you can see makes a Melee Weapon Attack against you while you are in a Balanced Stance, you can make a contested Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check against that creature. On a success, you disarm the creature, forcing them to drop their weapon and knocking it 10 ft. away.

TOOL FOR BATTLE AND BEYOND

At 14th Level, your mastery of weapons extends to practical uses outside of combat. The tip of a dagger becomes the tip of a pen; its pommel, the hammer that drives a nail. 

You gain proficiency in 3 sets of tools. In addition, you can use a weapon you are proficient with in place of a set of tools with which you have proficiency. 

UNPASSABLE BASTION

When you reach 20th Level, the stories told of you and the sight of your face are enough to stop armies in their tracks. 

As an Action, you draw a line in any direction in front of you with the tip of your weapon. The line extends, invisibly, up to 600 ft. long.

Creatures that attempt to cross the line must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against your Signature Technique DC. Creatures that can see you make the saving throw with disadvantage.  A Creature that successfully crosses the line becomes Frightened of you for 1 minute.

Once you use this feature, you cannot do so again until you complete a long rest.

SIGNATURE TECHNIQUES


  • Steel Tongue. While you are in an Offensive Stance, your Melee Weapon attacks have their reach increased by 5 ft. 

  • Sellsword’s Parry. Whenever a creature makes a Melee Weapon Attack targeting you, you can use your Reaction to add your Proficiency Bonus to your AC for that attack, potentially causing it to miss.

  • Sellsword’s Riposte. Whenever a creature misses a Melee Weapon Attack against you, you can use your Reaction to make a Melee Weapon Attack against that creature. If you are in a Defensive stance, this attack is made with Advantage.

  • Two Birds. Whenever you make a Thrown Weapon Attack, you instead throw two pieces of ammunition. These can target two different targets, but use the same attack roll. 

  • Cloud Walker. You can Dash as a Bonus Action on your turn.

  • Cloud Jumper. You can Disengage as a Bonus Action on your turn. . 

  • Cloud Dancer. You can Dodge as a Bonus Action on your turn.

  • Wall Skimmer. You can move along walls as if they were floors. If you end your turn while moving along a wall, you fall to the floor.

  • Stilled Meadow. You cannot be surprised. In addition, whenever you roll initiative, you can immediately move up to your movement speed toward a creature you can see.

  • Stone Foundation. You cannot be knocked prone, and you have advantage on Ability Checks and saving throws to avoid being forced to move.

  • Lightning Strike. Whenever you move into melee range with another creature, you can use your Reaction to make a Melee Weapon attack against that creature. 

The following options cannot be taken 

until you have reached 7th Level

  • Heavy Hitter. Whenever you hit a creature with a Weapon Attack using a weapon you are holding in two hands, you can push that creature back 5 ft. If that weapon has the Heavy property, you can push them back 10 ft. instead. If you are also in an Offensive Stance, the target must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

  • Point Blank. While you are in a Mercenary Stance, you no longer have disadvantage on Ranged Weapon Attacks against prone targets.

  • Falling Hat. You can no longer be knocked prone against your will, and whenever you fall from a height greater than 10 ft., you can use your Reaction to halve any fall damage you would take.

  • Steeled Resolve. When in a Defensive Stance, you gain 5 temporary hit points at the beginning of your turn in combat. The hit points vanish if you lose concentration on the Stance.

  • Lion’s Leap. When in a Balanced Stance, you can forego your movement to teleport to an unoccupied space you can see within 15 ft. of you.

  • Smoke Bomb. As an Action, you can drop a pellet that rapidly fills a 20 ft. radius sphere with a thick smoke, heavily obscuring the area. You can use this Technique a number of times equal to your Proficiency Bonus and regain all uses after a short or long rest.

The following options cannot be taken 

until you have reached 13th Level

  • Mercenary Sense. While you are in a Mercenary Stance, you can use an additional Reaction each round. When you reach 17th Level, you can use 2 additional Reactions each round instead.

  • Falling Leaves. Whenever you take the Attack Action, your Extra Attack feature grants you 2 additional attacks, instead of one.

  • Unshakable Form. You have advantage on Constitution saving throws to maintain concentration on your Mercenary Stances.

  • Go for the Eyes. When in an Offensive Stance, you can target a creature’s eyes with a Weapon Attack. The target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be blinded until the end of their next turn.

  • Horde Breaker. When in an Offensive Stance, you can use your Action to make a special Weapon Attack that target’s all creatures within your weapon’s range. 

  • Mercenary's Volley. Whenever you are in an Offensive Stance and wielding a ranged weapon, you can use your Action to make a special Weapon Attack against a creature within your weapon’s range, and all other creatures within 5 ft. of that creature. This attack ignores half  and three-fourths cover.

  • Giant Killer. When in a Defensive Stance, you can use your Action to make a special Weapon Attack against a creature of larger size than you. You deal an additional damage die of damage to that creature for each size step above you the target is.

  • Fearful legacy. As an Action, you can force a creature you can see to make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, the target is Frightened of you for up to one minute. An affected creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of their subsequent turns.

  • Diamond Cutter. While you are in a Mercenary Stance, when you land a Weapon Attack, you can deal additional damage to the target equal to half  your Sellsword level, rounded up.

The following options cannot be taken 

until you have reached 18th Level

  • Finality. While in a Balanced Stance, as an Action, you can attempt to finish off an enemy you’ve worn down. A creature with fewer hit points than your Sellsword Level x5 must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be knocked unconscious for (1d4) minutes. On a critical failure, they are knocked unconscious for (1d4) hours.

  • Mercenary’s Haste. While you are in a Mercenary Stance, you can use your Action to gain the effects of the Haste spell. Once you use this feature, you cannot do so again until you complete a short or long rest. You do not suffer the effects of exhaustion after the spell wears off.

  • Reflexive Defense. When you enter a Defensive Stance, you can choose to gain three Block Charges. When another creature makes a Weapon Attack against you, their critical fail range is increased by 2 for each Block Charge you have remaining. If the attacker critically fails, one Block Charge is consumed. Once you use this ability, you cannot do so again until you complete a short or long rest.

  • Mail Breaker. While you are in an Offensive Stance, whenever you land a Weapon Attack against an armored target, you can cause that target’s AC to be lowered by 1 for the next minute. This effect can be stacked up to five times.

  • Sword Breaker. While you are in a Defensive Stance, whenever a creature misses a Weapon attack against you, you can choose to reduce that creature’s attack rolls by 1 for the next minute. This effect can be stacked up to five times. 

CHANGELOG:

Removed Archetype Features

    Falling of Leaves

    Unshakable Form

New Class Features

    Sever Arcana – 11th Level

    Perfect Form – 15th Level

New Signature Techniques

    Falling Leaves

    Unshakable Form

    Stone Foundation

    Stilled Meadow

Changes to Features

    Vagabond Additional Proficiencies -> Forged Path

    Vanguard Additional Proficiencies -> Fruits of Training 

    Tool for Battle and Beyond -> 14th Level

    Calming Meditation -> 14th Level

    Mindful Precision -> damage reduced

    Wandering Spirit -> reworked

    Imparting Knowledge -> reworked

    Calming Meditation -> reworked

    Form Fighting -> Eagle’s Wing reworked

    Signature Techniques -> Wall Skimmer reworked; increased 15th Level prerequisites to 18th Level, reworked them to be in line with pseudo-capstone abilities. 

    Fighting Styles: added Dueling

Removed Mercenary Stances 

    Stone Foundation 

    Stilled Meadow

Various Grammar and Style fixes

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