Homebrew dnd class by Sagmire
A human wrapped in ceremonial clothes controls a swarm of scarabs, swallowing a goblin whole for daring to disturb his sleep.
A Dwarf sends parasitic roots to leech the life out of a giant, growing roots and grass to limit its movements.
A lone kobold stumbles out of an ancient temple, trying to mourn the loss of his fallen comrades but the buzzing that sounds, no feels, like it's coming from deep inside him will not cease.
People can become infested for all manor of reasons, but one thing stays common for all. They are seen as wretched beings, and those who know the true nature of their power often grow fearful.
Not just a curse
Although becoming an infested may seem like a curse to some, there are many boons to be found once they accept their new lives. Some infested harvest the natural byproducts of their swarms, while others utilise their swarm to aid their combat capabilities, some even harvesting the residual curse magic to cast spells. Some Infested aren’t even cursed. Their abilities can be gifted to them by gods or other powerful beings.
Creating an Infested
When creating an Infested, one of the most important things to ask is why are you infested. Did a wicked hag fill your body with ants? Did a bee goddess bless you with a hive? Or did you disturb the tomb of an ancient empress and become bound to her soul? Work with your dm to find a backstory compatible with your campaign and the setting.
It is also important to ask why you are adventuring. Being an infested comes with lots of possible motivations, such as wanting to learn more about the curse, wanting to remove the curse, or even learning to master it. Either way, many Infested are forced to leave home as their new powers may lead to prejudice and judgement in their hometowns.
You can quickly create an Infected by following these steps. First, make wisdom, strength, or dexterity as your highest stat depending on whether you want to be an exceptional caster or fighter, followed by constitution. Next, any background pertaining to your backstory will do, but you can use soldier as an example.
As an Infested you gain the following features.
Hit Dice: 1d8 per Infested level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your constitution modifier per Infested level over 1st
Armour: Light Armour, Medium Armour, Shields
Weapons: Simple Weapons, short sword, scimitar
Tools: any 1 tool of your choice
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Strength
Skills: Choose two from Arcana, Animal Handling, Athletics, Intimidation, Nature, and Survival
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background
(a) a quarterstaff or (b) any simple weapon
(a) a shield or (b) a shortbow and 20 arrows
(a) Leather armour or (b) a chain shirt
an explorer's pack, and a knife
At level 1, your senses and reflexes are enhanced by the swarm living inside you. You gain proficiency in perception checks if you don’t already, and when you make perception checks you can add 1d4 to the check. You also get to add 1d4 to your initiative rolls as the swarm hones your reflexes in combat.
You can do this a number of times equal to 1 + Wisdom (minimum 1). You need to complete a long rest before you can use this ability again.
At 1st level you must choose the origin of your swarm. Your choice grants you features at 1st level, and again at 6th, 10th, and 14th level.
The abilities will be detailed at the bottom of the page, but you can choose from
These two Infested subclasses are very broad. Rather than focus on specific themes, they focus on how one USES their swarm. This allows you much more freedom in defining how your swarm manifests.
These subclasses on the other hand are based on a certain theme, such as being bound by strong arcane forces (arcane swarm), or to one powerful creature (Beetle Keeper)
Champion of Lolth:
Swarm of Lies:
At 2nd level, as a reaction, when you are hit with a melee attack, you can send your swarm to drive away the attacker as long as they are large or smaller. The target must make a constitution saving throw, DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your wisdom modifier or take 1d8 + your wisdom modifier piercing damage, and must also move 10 ft backwards from you, on a success taking half damage and not moving backwards.
At 2nd level, whatever magic that has bound you and your infestation has granted you mystical abilities
Preparing and Casting Spells
The Infested table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these infested 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 infested spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the infested spell list. When you do so, choose a number of infested spells equal to half your Wisdom modifier + half your infested level rounded up (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
For example, if you are a 3rd-level infested, you have two1st level spell slots. With a Wisdom of 16, your list of prepared spells can include four spells of 1st level. Casting the spell doesn't remove it from your list of prepared spells.
You can also change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of infested spells requires time spent in meditation: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.
Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your infested spells, since your magic draws upon your ability to control and draw upon the power that has bound you and your hive. You use your Wisdom whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Wisdom modifier when setting the saving throw DC for an infested spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
You can cast an infested spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell prepared.
At third level, as the infestation inhabiting your body starts to link with your mind, you begin to share information between each other. You can mentally link, giving you expertise in one of the proficiencies you gained from the Infested list for the next minute. You must finish a short or long rest before using this ability again.
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.
At 4th level your physiology begins to adapt further to the swarms living inside your body. You can pick 2 features from the first list in the link below
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the attack action on your turn.
Improved Retributive Bite
At level 7 your retributive bite deals 2d8 piercing damage, and move 15 ft away from you. You also cause one of these unique effects when you use your Improved Retributive Bite ability.
-They take 3d4 poison damage and suffer the poison condition
-They fall prone
Improved Adaptive Physiology
At 15th level your adaptive physiology improves. You can either upgrade two of your previous Adaptive Physiology abilities, choose two new ones, or upgrade one ability and choose a new one. The options are as follows
At level 18 you now live in perfect harmony with your infestation, allowing both your magical and combat skills to increase to a great extent. You now gain a +2 to all weapon attacks and damage rolls, with weapons you are proficient with, and gain a +2 to spell attack rolls and your spell save DC increases by 2.
At 20th level, you can gather your infestation and direct it to completely swarm one Large or smaller target. The target must make an acrobatics or athletics check against your spell save DC, and on a failure are completely consumed by the swarm. They take 5d10 piercing +10 damage, as well as 5d10 poison +10 damage. At the end of its turn the target can make another acrobatics or athletics check, until either they succeed, you dismiss the swarm, or they die. While they are consumed by the swarm, you can command your swarm to move up to 15 feet in any direction with your bonus action.
You must complete a long rest before using this ability again.
To keep this document clean and uncluttered the first two subclasses are below, but each and every subclass can be viewed via the links under the Swarm Origins section.
Swarm Masters develop and eventually master the control over their infestation, able to produce large swarms which have the capability to control large areas of space.
At level 1, you learn the Infestation cantrip.
You can also force your infestation to swarm in a 10ft radius, centred on you.
The radius is considered difficult terrain, for everyone except for you. The area is also considered lightly obscured. You are not affected by the obscurity. Creatures that enter the aura, or start their turn in the aura must make a constitution saving throw against your spell save DC or take 1d4 piercing damage. On a success, they take half damage.
(for clarification, the swarm is static once created, and does not move)
You can activate your aura a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus.
Eyes of the Swarm
At 6th level you can take 1 minute to perform a short ritual and push your consciousness out of your body into your swarm. As a swarm, you have a fly speed of 30ft, a burrowing speed of 10ft, and a swim speed of 20ft. You have health equal to your Wisdom Modifier plus your Proficiency Bonus. You can attempt to disperse into a 20ft radius, so as to not raise suspicion, but in this state you cannot move. While your mind controls the swarm, your body becomes inert, and is under the effects of being unconscious.
You can do this a number of times equal to your wisdom modifier per short rest.
Also, your Swarm Aura Damage increases to 2d4
At 10th level your swarm aura increases to a 20ft radius, your swarm damage increases to 6d4.
Also, now that you have more control over your swarm, you can allow allies to enter your swarm, and not take damage, be affected by the obscurity, or be affected by the difficult terrain.
At 14th level you have perfected your control over your swarm. Your swarm damage increased to 8d4, and the aura has increased to 30ft. The area is also heavily obscured.
Finally, you are able to move anywhere within the aura using only 5ft of movement, as your body is transported by the swarm.
Hive Lords use their infestation to increase their martial prowess, mixing their infestation's offensive abilities with their fighting abilities. Hive Lords are often adventurers, bandits, or prospecting treasure hunters who stuck their head somewhere it should not have been and suffered the price.
At 1st level you have extensive ability with weapons. You gain proficiency with martial weapons, heavy armour, and your speed increases by 10 ft.
At 1st level, you can use your hive to infest and empower the weapon you use. During a long rest you can infest a weapon with your hive. This can manifest with your infestation swarming around your fighting arm and weapon, or even as a hive being built upon the blade or handle. When you use your Hive Weapon you can add half your wisdom modifier rounded down (min of 1) to your attack and damage rolls with your hive weapon.
You can only have one Hive Weapon at a time, and infesting a new weapon lifts the infestation from the old one.
At 6th level you can use the the creatures infesting your Hive Weapon to create a distinct and powerful effect
As you strike your target, your infestation swarms the creature, biting and stinging with venomous strikes.
The attack deals 1d6 extra piercing damage and the target must make a constitution saving throw against your spell save DC or take an extra 3d6 poison damage.
You lash out with your hive weapon at a creature within 15ft of you, and a swarm of your infestation strikes the target. The swarm deals whatever the normal weapon damage would be, before dispersing.
After striking your target, a swarm is left biting and stinging at your target. The swarm deals 2d6 piercing damage at the start of your turn for 4 turns before dispersing. This effect requires concentration.
You can use these abilities a number of times equal to your wisdom modifier per long rest.
At 10th level, on a bonus action, you can summon a Hive Shield, even if you are already wearing a shield. The Hive Shield increases your AC by 3, and if a creature makes an attack roll and fails, the Hive Shield will attempt to disarm your opponent. They must make a strength saving throw against your spell save DC, or they are disarmed, and their weapon will be thrown 10 ft away, in a random direction. Your hive shield disperses at the end of your next turn.
You can use this ability a number of times equal to your wisdom modifier.
Improved Hive Weapon
At 14th level, your relationship with your Hive develops, your Hive Weapon becomes more powerful. You can add your full Wisdom Modifier to your attack rolls and damage rolls. Also your martial prowess allows you to dash, disengage, or dodge as a bonus action
1st level Infested Spells:
2nd level Infested Spells:
3rd level Infested Spells:
4th level Infested Spells:
5th level Infested Spells:
6th level Infested Spells:
7th level Infested Spells: