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The Dour Destroyer (Paladin Variant)

Clad in ragged, time-worn armor, a single dvergr marches on through the lightless depths, with eyes as black and empty as the wasteland that is the ultimate fate of the world. Where he treads, things fall apart and the center truly cannot hold. Rough and bestial, he slouches onwards, weapon ablaze with power, as the works of mortals crumble before his inexorable stride towards a goal and fate unknown. Whatever their origin or mission, dour destroyers are united by their oaths to the forces of entropy. Whether sworn in the ruins of his erstwhile home amidst the bodies of friends and family or in the presence of his masterworks undone and ruined by catastrophe, the dour destroyer’s oath is a binding, powerful force as he takes up an implement that symbolizes the vanity of mortal striving and goes forth, bringing destruction.

The Vortex of Entropy

The dour destroyer swears to end the illusions of all creatures—just as his epiphany has robbed him of any sentiment pertaining hope, goodness or similar merits, the dour destroyer is an instrument of entropy: Decay and dissolution follow where he treads, and neither art nor hope is left in his wake, as all things uplifting, all joy, ultimately, is but a veil concealing eventual destruction. To the dour destroyer, all existence is akin to a man stranded in a maelstrom, clinging to a raft in futility. He has accepted the inevitable, and the suffering endured by those who resist it is what he seeks to alleviate, permanently.

It is said permanence is what makes dour destroyers work within the context of less scrupulous adventuring groups, for while they tend to have a sapping effect on morale, they are completely devoted to the ending of the revels of anything that is deemed immortal—whether it is fiends, angels, fey or the undead—it matters not to the dour destroyer, for said beings, resisting the vortex of time and entropy, are anathema and must be destroyed.

Creating a Dour Destroyer

The most important aspect of a dour destroyer is the moment of epiphany. Almost all dour destroyers are born in a moment of trauma, where all their work, effort and passion is snuffed out in a cruel twist of fate. Whether by pillaging rovers, unthinking creatures, or even adventurers—the dour destroyer has lost all and from the wreckage, he takes an implement of destruction… and it begins whispering the truths of futility to a mind already savaged.

Those that witnessed the birth of a dour destroyer often commented that they could see the light die within their tear-streaked faces. of course, there are those that arrived at the same conclusions via vastly different paths, be it philosophical rumination or just a feeling that existence is pointlessly cruel. How did you experience the awakening? What conclusions did you draw from it? How do you perceive your interaction with your implement of destruction? What aspects of your code of conduct are most important to you? How does your instrument of destruction communicate with you? Perhaps through visions, whispers, taste?

What personality does it have?

Quick Build

You can make a dour destroyer quickly by following these suggestions. First, Strength should be the highest ability score, followed by Charisma. Second, choose the outlander background.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d10 per dour destroyer level
Hit Points at 1st level: 10 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per dour destroyer level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: All armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Tools: Choose one type of artisan’s tools or one musical instrument
Saving Throws: Constitution, Charisma
Skills: Choose two from Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Persuasion, Religion and Survival

Equipment

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

  • (a) a martial weapon and a shield or (b) two martial weapons
  • (a) five javelins or (b) any simple melee weapon
  • (a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
  • Chain mail
Table: The Dour Destroyer
Level Proficiency Bonus Features Spell Slots per Spell Level
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1st +2 All is Dust, Entropy’s Sense, Instrument of Entropy, Touch of Entropy
2nd +2 Entropic Smite, Fighting Style 2
3rd +2 Plague Carrier, Oath of the Endtimes 3
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 3
5th +3 Extra Attack 4 2
6th +3 Aura of Decay 4 2
7th +3 Oath of the Endtimes feature 4 3
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 4 3
9th +4 Aura of Decay improvement 4 3 2
10th +4 Aura of Despair 4 3 2
11th +4 Improved Entropic Smite 4 3 3
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3
13th +5 Fighting Style 4 3 3 1
14th +5 Plague Carrier Improvement 4 3 3 1
15th +5 Oath of the Endtimes feature 4 3 3 2
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 2
17th +6 Superior Entropic Smite 4 3 3 3 1
18th +6 Aura improvements 4 3 3 3 1
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 3 2
20th +6 Oath of the Endtimes feature 4 3 3 3 2

Class Features

As a dour destroyer, you gain the following class features.

All is Dust

Being suffused by the very powers of entropy takes its toll on your equipment. For every total of 24 hours you carry a given item, you reduce its damage threshold permanently by 1. If an item’s damage threshold is reduced to 0, it instead begins losing hit points with a rate of 1 per day, up to a minimum of one. This is the reason most dour destroyers look like dilapidated vagabonds or beggars, but the fragility is deceptive—while in your possession, only specifically targeted attacks against objects reduced to 1 hit point via this ability will destroy them. When you for example fall on your potions, they are not crushed, in spite of their fragility.

Entropy’s Sense

The mere presence of immortal creatures, those who have cheated death and decay, are garish to your eyes, their smell an assault on your senses. As an action, you can open your awareness to detect such foes. Until the end of your next turn, you know the location of any celestial, fey, fiend, or undead within 30 feet of you that is not behind total cover. You know the type of any being whose presence you sense thus, but not its identity. Within the same radius, you also detect any place or object that has been magically repaired or reassembled. You can use this feature a number of times equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier. When you finish a long rest, you regain all expended uses.

Instrument of Entropy

You have one weapon that is the channeling tool and physical representation of your power, the fervent belief in entropy and destruction. Choose one of your starting weapons. You hear whispers and instructions from this weapon, sent to you in dreams of desolation or a pernicious whisper in your head. This is your instrument of entropy and it is, for all intents and purposes, indestructible for as long as you are alive and following the creed of the dour destroyer. The instrument of entropy is exempt from your all is dust feature. If you ever lose your instrument of entropy, you may gain a new one after a week of meditation on the nature of decay. Your instrument of entropy is a sentient magic item that can only communicate telepathically or whisper to you. This communication sounds like unintelligible gibberish to all but you.

The instrument’s Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores are equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus and it has normal hearing and vision out to 30 feet. The range of the instrument’s senses increase to 60 feet at 7th level, and again to 120 feet at 15th level.

Touch of Entropy

Your weary touch can hasten the inevitable end of all things. You have a pool of entropic power points that replenishes when you take a long rest. This pool has a size equal to your dour destroyer level x 5.

As a bonus action while attacking with your instrument of destruction, you can channel a pulse of your entropic power through it. You expend a number of entropic power points of up to your dour destroyer level and add an amount of necrotic damage to the damage of the attack equal to the entropic power points expended. Undead vulnerable to radiant damage treat this damage as radiant damage instead. When attacking an object of up to your size, you instead reduce its damage threshold permanently by an equal amount. An object receiving a whole day of repairs can regain its usual damage threshold. Additionally, when attacking a construct with touch of entropy, you add +1d6 to your damage roll for every 2 entropic power points you expend in addition to the usual benefits. If the construct has a vulnerability to a damage type, this damage is treated as said damage type. Otherwise, you treat this bonus damage as the same type as your instrument of entropy’s damage type. You can choose the alignment of the instrument freely, but it may not be good. Starting at 7th level, you gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with the instrument of destruction. This increases to +2 at 15th level and to +3 at 20th level.

Fighting Style

At 2nd level, you adopt a 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. You gain a second fighting style at 13th level.

Offense

While wearing armor reduced to 1 hit point via your All is Dust feature, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls.

Shielded

Shields you wield are exempt from the effects of your All is Dust class feature and you gain a +1 bonus to AC when wielding your instrument of destruction and a shield.

Great Weapon Fighting

When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee instrument of destruction you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll. The instrument of destruction must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit.

Inevitable

When you see a creature use a feature or spell as a reaction to negate, redirect, or impose disadvantage on an attack roll you make against the target, you may use your own reaction to ignore the effects of the feature or effect that would impede or redirect your attack or impose disadvantage on it.

Spellcasting

By 2nd level, you have learned to draw upon the divine magic inherent in the dissolution of all things to cast spells. You only can cast a very select number of spells, drawn from the dour destroyer spell list. To cast one of your dour destroyer spells of 1st level or higher, 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 dour destroyer spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the dour destroyer spell list. When you do so, choose a number of dour destroyer spells equal to your Charisma modifier + half your dour destroyer level, rounded down (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. Casting a spell does not remove it from your list of prepared spells.

You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of dour destroyer spells requires time spent in communion with your instrument of destruction; at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.

Spellcasting Ability

Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your dour destroyer spells, since their power is derived directly from the strength of your nihilist convictions and personality. You use Charisma whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Charisma modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a dour destroyer spell you can cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell Save DC: = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier

Spell attack modifier: = your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier

Spellcasting Focus

Your instrument of entropy is your spellcasting focus for your dour destroyer spells.

Entropic Smite

Starting at 2nd level, when you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can expend one dour destroyer spell slot to deal necrotic damage to the target, in addition to the weapon’s damage. The extra damage is 2d8 for a 1st-level spell slot, plus 1d8 for each spell level higher than 1st, to a maximum of 5d8.

If a target of the smite has resistance or immunity to necrotic damage or radiance vulnerability, you deal radiant damage instead.

Plague Carrier

Starting at 3rd level, you become immune to the detrimental effects of diseases you have contracted.

You still show signs of the diseases you incubate and exposure to you may cause other creatures to contract the diseases you incubate. Starting at 14th level, the saving throw for any disease contracted from you suffers from disadvantage.

Oath of the Endtimes

When you reach 3rd level, you swear the oath that forever marks you as a chosen of entropy. Up until now you have committed to the path, but have not yet sworn heart and soul to it. Now you choose the Oath of Destruction, the Oath of Elimination or the Oath of Despair. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level, and again at 7th, 15th and 20th level.

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.

Aura of Decay

Starting at 6th level, whenever a hostile creature within 10 feet of you must make a saving throw, the creature takes a penalty to the saving throw equal to your Charisma modifier (with a minimum penalty of –1). You must be conscious to inflict this penalty. At 9th level, the range of this aura increases to 20 feet. At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Aura of Despair

Starting at 10th level, hostile creatures within 10 feet of you suffer from disadvantage when making a saving throw to negate the frightened condition. You must be conscious for the aura to be in effect. At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Improved Entropic Smite

By 11th level, you are so suffused with the forces of entropy, that all your weapon strikes with your instrument of entropy carry the power of decay with them. Whenever you hit a creature with your instrument of entropy, the creature takes an extra 1d8 necrotic damage. If a target of the smite has resistance or immunity to necrotic damage or radiance vulnerability, you deal radiant damage instead. If you also use your Divine Smite with an attack, you add this damage to the extra damage of your Divine Smite.

Superior Entropic Smite

At 17th level, when you elect to expend a dour destroyer spell slot to use your smite feature, you may elect to inflict extra force or psychic damage instead of the regular damage type.

Dour Destroyer Spells

1st level charm person, command, detect dwarves*, detect magic, detect poison and disease, divine favor, longstrider, poison spray, protection from evil and good, shield of faith, thunderwave, true strike

2nd level branding smite, detect thoughts, find steed, locate object, magic weapon, ray of enfeeblement, see invisibility, shatter, silence, zone of truth

3rd level bestow curse, clairvoyance, dispel magic, fear, magic circle, nondetection, protection from energy, sending, slow, stinking cloud, wind wall

4th level banishment, black tentacles, blight, compulsion, dominate beast, freedom of movement, locate creature, phantasmal killer

5th level commune, contagion, cloudkill, dispel evil and good, dominate person, geas, hold monster, mislead, passwall, telekinesis

Oaths of the Endtimes

Becoming a dour destroyer requires a mindset characterized by an absence of hope, a belief in the finality of all things and a commitment to tearing the comforting illusions and distractions of other creatures away to make them realize the truth of your vision. The final oath, taken when a dour destroyer reaches 3rd level, is the culmination of the trauma and indoctrination received.

Oath of Destruction

The Oath of Destruction binds a dour destroyer wholly to the process of destroying what mortals and gods have wrought. Many who swear this oath have lost fortunes, masterpieces and items of utmost importance, realizing the futility of even the most magical of items.

Tenets of Destruction

Though the exact words and strictures of the oath vary, dour destroyers of this oath share these tenets:

I shall not create, for all shall be dust. Dour destroyers are agents of dissolution and destruction and creation, whether of items, houses or anything else, is anathema to them.

I place no value on baubles and fleeting flesh, for all is dust. Dour destroyers are expected to lead a minimalist lifestyle; while gorging oneself on the spoils of war is perfectly acceptable, the constant disintegration of finery, jewels etc. just shows the ephemeral nature of being and vices should never be the focus of their quests.

There is no beauty, only dust. Dour destroyers are expected to destroy art and means of creating art when they encounter it; anything that lifts the spirits of others is a hindrance towards the eventual transition to dust.

Devouring Instrument

Upon taking this oath, you may take a magic weapon and ritualistically destroy it in a 1-hour ceremony.

Upon destroying the weapon, you add all special features of the weapon apart from its bonuses to attack and damage rolls permanently to your instrument of entropy. Upon destroying a flame tongue, for example, your instrument of entropy would begin shedding light and, when activated, it would deal an extra 2d6 fire damage to any target you hit with it. The number of such abilities an instrument of entropy may hold at any given time depends on your dour destroyer level and the scarcity of the magic weapon destroyed. At 3rd level, your instrument of entropy can hold the abilities of up to two uncommon magical weapons at a given time.

Improved Devouring Instrument

Starting at 7th level, your instrument can hold the abilities of an additional two uncommon magic weapons for a total of the abilities of four uncommon magical weapons held. Alternatively, the instrument may hold the abilities of one rare magic weapon instead of the abilities of two uncommon magic weapon. Your instrument of entropy could, for example, hold the abilities of one rare and two uncommon magic weapons or hold the abilities of two rare magic weapons.

Greater Devouring Instrument

Starting at 15th level, your instrument can hold the abilities of an additional four uncommon magic weapons for a total of the abilities of eight uncommon magical weapons held. Alternatively, the instrument may hold the abilities of one very rare magic weapon instead of the abilities of three uncommon magic weapon. Your instrument of entropy could, for example, hold the abilities of one very rare, two rare and one uncommon magic weapon.

Legendary Devouring Instrument

Starting at 20th level, your instrument can be used to assimilate, but not destroy, legendary magic weapons and even artifacts. Your instrument can hold the abilities of an additional four uncommon magic weapons for a total of the abilities of sixteen uncommon magical weapons held. Alternatively, the instrument may hold the abilities of one legendary magic weapon instead of the abilities of five uncommon magic weapons. The instrument may also hold the abilities of one artifact instead of the abilities of twelve uncommon magic weapons. Legendary weapons or artifacts are not destroyed in the ceremony, though— instead, they dematerialize and cease to exist for as long as the dour destroyer lives. Subject to GM approval, a dour destroyer of this level who managed to absorb an artifact may commit ritual suicide with his instrument of entropy while an artifact is absorbed in it, destroying both in the process.

Oath of Elimination

The Oath of Elimination binds a dour destroyer wholly to the service of entropy, focusing on the destruction of immortal adversaries that seek to cheat entropy.

Tenets of Devotion

Though the exact words and strictures of the oath vary, dour destroyers of this oath share these tenets:

All shall be dust. Dour destroyers are expected to hunt down and eliminate all creatures that seek to cheat death, rendering them a foe to undead and the mirthful dødelig in particular as well as certain outsiders and similar immortal creatures.

I shall not let my passions guide me. While all shall be dust in the end, dour destroyers seek to be as passionless as possible, working together even with loathed adversaries to bring down liches and similar creatures that seek to cheat death.

I shall not prolong my life, for I welcome becoming dust. Dour destroyers may accept healing and heal themselves, but they may not engage in any practice that prolongs their lifespan, nor may they return from the dead without losing access to all class abilities until they make atonement for the violation of their oath.

To Bleed but Dust

Starting at 3rd level, your blood and flesh become unpalatable to all creatures known. Creatures with an Intelligence score of 5 or less never willingly attack you with bite attacks. Your flesh turns to ash and dust in the mouth of any creature that tries to eat you. Additionally, all creatures that drain life force or blood from you with their abilities or features gain no sustenance from you, nor do they gain any benefits.

Intelligent creatures sense this and must make a Charisma saving throw against your spell save DC to attack you with bite attacks.

Dust is Eternal, Impeccable

Beginning at 7th level, whenever you suffer from attribute drain due to the attack of an undead or a similar, immortal creature, you may use your reaction to expend entropic power points from your Touch of Entropy class feature to reduce this amount by an equal amount. You may also expend entropic power points in this manner to mitigate a reduction of your maximum hit points you incur (such as from a vampire’s bite).

For each entropic power point used, you decrease the reduction by 2. You only mitigate the reduction of the maximum hit points, not the damage you suffer You may use this feature again after completing a short rest. Additionally, you have advantage on saving throws against spells and effects that inflict the charmed and frightened conditions. Finally, you have advantage on all skill checks made to track immortal creatures.

Unstoppable Advance

Starting at 15th level, you become immune against the charmed and frightened conditions. Additionally, you gain advantage on saving throws against all spells and effects that reduce your speed.

Inevitable Demise

Starting at 20th level, you automatically succeed all skill checks made to track immortal creatures.

Creatures you slay cannot be raised from the dead, resurrected or otherwise be brought back from the dead. Creatures with means to return from total destruction like liches and similar beings are destroyed utterly unless they succeed on a Constitution saving throw with a DC equal to 20 + your Charisma modifier.

Oath of Despair

The Oath of Despair focuses on the disintegration of the illusions that provide solace and comfort to the creatures of the mortal planes. You spread despair and your dread world-view, eroding the will of the unfortunates that cross your path.

Tenets of Devotion

Though the exact words and strictures of the oath vary, dour destroyers of this oath share these tenets:

I do not believe in hope and shall make others see the futility of their resistance. Dour destroyers genuinely believe that ceasing to struggle and embracing extinction is the noble thing to do—hope is considered an anathema to them.

I place no value on baubles and fleeting flesh, for all is dust. Dour destroyers are expected to lead a minimalist lifestyle; while gorging oneself on the spoils of war is perfectly acceptable, the constant disintegration of finery, jewels etc. just shows the ephemeral nature of being and vices should never be the focus of their quests.

There is no beauty, only dust. Dour destroyers are expected to destroy art and means of creating art when they encounter it; anything that lifts the spirits of others is a hindrance towards the eventual transition to dust.

Accelerated Decay

Beginning at 3rd level, you gain an additional number of entropic power points equal to your proficiency bonus x 5. At any given time, you may expend 5 entropic power points as a bonus action to accelerate and extend the potency of your All is Dust class feature for a number of rounds equal to your Charisma modifier. Whenever a hostile creature within 20 feet of you while this is activated, it must succeed a Constitution saving throw against your spell save DC or be subjected to the effects of an enhanced version of your All is Dust feature, immediately lowering the damage threshold of all of its items by 5. If an item’s damage threshold is reduced to 0, it is subjected to the usual reduction of maximum hit points. Additionally, all creatures within the aura are suffer from disadvantage on saving throws versus spells and effects that inflict the frightened condition.

Nimbus of Decay

At 7th level, you extend the radius of your accelerated decay class feature to 40 feet. Additionally, you may expend more than 5 entropic power points. For each additional 5 entropic power points you expend, you reduce the AC of all hostile creatures that failed their saving throw by –1, as your aura starts eroding the armors, be they manufactured or natural. The reduction is permanent, but manufactured armor may be repaired in a workday. If a manufactured armor’s bonus to AC is completely negated by this ability, it falls apart and is destroyed. Natural armor can be regenerated naturally over the course of a week or by being subject to a lesser restoration spell or similar magic.

Sticks and Stones

At 15th level, a lifetime of decay and disillusion has rendered you immune to the taunts of others. You are treated as though you were deaf and blind for the purpose of spells and class features when being deaf or blind would be beneficial to you. You can as though you have averted your eyes from, for example, a basilisk’s eyes, even when directly staring at it. Additionally, creatures that fail their saving throw against your Accelerated Decay class feature immediately incur one level of exhaustion.

End of all Hope

At 20th level, all creatures within the aura granted by your Accelerated Decay class feature lose any immunity to the charmed, frightened and poisoned conditions. If a target creature’s armor is completely destroyed by Accelerated Decay, it is immediately incapacitated for 1d4 rounds.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Underworld Races and Classes © 2017 AAW Games LLC; Designers: Thilo Graf and Mike Myler