Lest you think I am picking on poor old eldritch blast: I am not. D&D5e is missing a good old “I’m a monster” class. It has the sorcerer (“My blood is (distantly) the blood of dragons”), the warlock (“My (distant) boss is a fiend”), the cleric (“My (theoretical) boss is a god”). But not “I am personally of the blood of fiends” — the warlock has some of that space, but it’s not 1:1.
It also doesn’t have a good “I’m a vampire”, “I’m a werewolf”, “I’m half-elemental”, and so forth.
In short, monster races that still function as PCs. Servants of darkness (or the wild powers, or the strange powers) that function even-further-from-primary-casters than warlocks (okay fine I’m picking on warlocks 🙂 ).
Here’s the problem: Warlocks are primary casters. Level 9 spells at 17th level. High level spells in each encounter, chosen from a regular old spell list — and in such a way that their “spell points” bleed over into other casters. They’re not half-casters, they’re full casters, and that means they need to balance what non-casting features they get against the wizard’s panoply. They _can’t_ get a really good firebreath, because that would be on top of the top-tier spell they’re already casting frequently. They can’t get invisibility at will: that would be on top of their nearly-at-will other powers, and far too good with the powers of a spellcaster on tap.
The Way of 4 Elements monk is… not as good as it could be. But it points an interesting way forward! It has access to spells, but it’s definitely its own being, casting those spells on its own terms, using its own resources. It uses ki points for a variety of different purposes. The Moon Druid is in a similar position: When they’re using their beastform, they’re emphatically not using their spells until they’re high level; in fact, they’re cannibalizing them in order to tank. Their caster chassis is there so that when they’re not all shifted, they can still cast to solve spellcaster-y problems, if they haven’t already burned all of their slots. But the monk, the rogue; they don’t have these things.
So without further ado:
An outcast, an outlaw, a victim, a villain. The Cambion is, by birthright or curse, a character whose nature has been changed by a brush with a great power. Sometimes that great power is a fundamental force of the cosmos, a deity, a fey noble, or a dark curse. Other times it is a distant bloodline, or even a fluke. In any case, the Cambion is set apart from their kind by this change and must struggle to understand and control it.
The center of your power (and the division between subclasses) is the change which was awoken in your characters nature, called here a Twin Soul. The changes may manifest physically or spiritually; they may be transient or permanent, but the thing that makes a Cambion a Cambion is that secondary nature which they have access to. As varied as the sources which can produce a Cambion are the types thereof; here are presented the Fiend. I could imagine aberrations, fey and some others.
The Twin Soul produces changes in the Cambion along a sliding scale: the more power the Cambion draws from their second nature, the more overt the produced changes, but also the more dangerous and unpredictable the Cambion becomes to friend and foe alike.
Hit Dice: 1d8 per monk level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per monk level after 1st
Armor: Heavy armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Saving Throws: Constitution, Charisma
Skills: Choose two skills from Arcana, Deception, History, Intimidation, Investigation, Nature, and Religion
|2nd||+2||Discipline, Fighting Style|
|3rd||+2||Twin Soul feature|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement|
|5th||+3||Extra Attack, Manifestation Improvement|
|6th||+3||Twin Soul feature|
|7th||+3||Mettle, Stillness of Mind|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement|
|10th||+4||Twin Soul feature|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement|
|14th||+5||Twin Soul feature|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement|
|18th||+6||Twin Soul feature|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement|
At first level, select the nature of your twin soul. This document describes Fiend, but others are possible. That nature gives you several shared features:
- Manifestation. Each Twin Soul has an uncontrolled “manifestation” which arises in moments of stress. As your character grows in power, the effect of yielding to it has larger effects. For some it might be a physical transformation of your character, while for others it might be an unconscious effect on your environment, a mental transformation, or other supernatural effect.
- Favored Damage Type. Each Twin Soul has a favored damage type. Several features of the class key off of this type.
In addition, at 1st level, your Twin Soul grants you a feature
At 3rd, 6th, 10th, 14th and 18th level, you get a new feature from your specific Twin Soul.
At 2nd level when you gain this feature, you gain a pool of Discipline Points equal to your level in Cambion. Each point of discipline represents the struggle for magical control between the two souls of your character, which triggers your manifestation as you expend them.
When you make a spell attack using discipline, it is based on wisdom. When you force a saving throw, the DC is 8 + proficiency + wisdom modifier.
There is also a limit to the amount of discipline you are able to expend per round, and a declaration of spell slot equivalencies (which may be used by certain features)
- 1-4: 2, creating a 1st level spell slot
- 5-8: 3, creating a 2nd level spell slot
- 9-11: 5, creating a 3rd level spell slot
- 12-15: 6, creating a 4th level spell slot
- 16-20: 7, creating a 5th level spell slot
When you gain this ability at 2nd level, you also gain 3 techniques which require its expenditure; you may gain more over time.
- Vengeful Riposte: When you are missed by an attack and the attacker is within your melee range, you may use your reaction and expend 1 point of discipline to make a melee attack against that creature.
- Resist Weapons: As a bonus action on your turn, you can suffuse your flesh with supernatural defense. Until the end of your next round, when you are damaged by a nonmagical (and non-silver) weapon attack, you may reduce the damage by 1d10 + your wisdom modifier + your cambion level. If this reduces the damage to 0, the attack misses.
- Second Nature: As an action, expend a point of discipline. Add 1d4 to the next intelligence, wisdom or charisma check you make that you are proficient in before the end of your next round. The die size increases at 5th (d6), 9th (d8), 13th (d10) and 17th (d12) level.
At second level, choose a fighting style (per the fighter feature).
At 5th, 9th, 13th level, and 17th level, you gain a new manifestation feature determined by Twin Soul.
At 7th level, when you are subject to damage that allows you to make a Constitution or Wisdom saving throw to take only half damage, you instead take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, and only half damage if you fail.
Stillness of Mind
At 7th level, you can use your action to end one effect on yourself that is causing you to be charmed or frightened.
At 11th level, your secondary nature bleeds through on all of your strikes; you deal an additional d8 in damage of your favored damage type with all melee weapon attacks.
In addition, when you take the Attack action on your turn, you may extend a point of discipline to make an additional attack as a bonus action.
At 15th level, your discipline grants you proficiency in all saving throws.
Additionally, whenever you make a saving throw and fail, you can spend 1 discipline point to reroll it and take the second result.
At 20th level, when you roll for initiative with less than 4 discipline, you have 4 discipline.
Twin Soul: Fiend
Your favored damage type is fire and poison; you can change your selection at the end of a short rest.
- 1st: Devil’s Sight. 60 darkvision & pierce magical darkness; cast charm person or command for 2 discipline.
- 3rd: As a free action you can create a Fire Whip. Using it is a melee spell attack, reach 15′, 1d6 slashing, 1d6 fire and pull 15 feet (unless strength save). You can expend 1 discipline on a hit to increase the damage by 2d6 fire.
- 6th: Devil’s Tongue: cast scorching ray or suggestion for 3 discipline.
- 10th: Telepathy 120′; cast fireball for 5 discipline
- 14th: Truesight 120; cast dimension door or hold monster for 6 discipline
- 18th: Cast dispel evil and good or wall of fire for 7 discipline
When your discipline is below half, you trigger a minor manifestation, the manifestation of the level below yours. When it is at 0, you trigger a major manifestation. Your manifestation is to transform into a fiendish beast; each level includes the level before. Your minor manifestation is the line before your level; your major manifestation is the one at your level.
- 0th: Grow a bite and claws (1d4 slashing); you may attack with them as a minor action when you take the Attack action.
- 1st: Add your charisma bonus to your armor class.
- 5th: Grow wings (fly 60); resist fire and poison
- 9th: Grow to size large (double damage dice), resist cold and lightning, immune poisoned condition
- 13th: Aura of fear or fire: if your damage type is fire, creatures starting within 10′ make a dexterity save or take 3d6 fire damage. If it is poison, creatures starting within 10′ make a wisdom save or become frightened of you for 1 minute save each round; a successful save grants immunity for 24 hrs.
- 17th: Scales (AC 19); grow to size huge (triple damage dice), immune fire and poison; resist cold and lightning
Edit: I should probably write some fixes wrt personality: Being a devil should definitely have some effect on your behavior.
WHOO. That was a lot of work.