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Underterror

The foul gitwerc’s chthonic compact with the devils of Hel gave them extraordinary powers and abilities in exchange for a continual boon of souls. of all the many blessings granted by the infernal agreement, none are more horrifying than the gitwerc underterror.

These nightmarish creatures from the darkest, deepest subterranean caverns are absolutely terrifying combatants that strike fear into the hearts of their foes, changing form as they fight and using their unnatural, disturbing mutations to fatal effect.

Creating an Underterror

As you create your underterror character, spend some time thinking about your culture and race and how it views the admittedly horrific gifts that this class bestows upon you. How did your underterror powers manifest and were you capable of controlling your destructive powers from the get-go or did you hurt someone? Perhaps a member of your family or a friend? Did you elect to become an underterror, or did you inherit the dread power from your family’s bloodline? Do you consider it a boon or a hereditary curse or even a disease? What patron bestowed this power upon you? The forces of Hel or some other, stranger entity? If you bargained for it, how did you receive it? How does your culture and other beings react to the manifestations of your power?

Quick Build

You can make an underterror quickly by following these suggestions. First, Constitution should be your highest ability score, followed by Wisdom. Second, choose the acolyte, charlatan or criminal background.

Third, customize your weaponized evolutions according to your own preferences—one ranged and one melee weaponized evolution is the safe bet.

Hit Points

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

Proficiencies

Armor: Light armor
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Tools: Choose one type of artisan’s tools
Saving Throws: Constitution, Wisdom
Skills: Choose two from Arcana, Deception, Intimidation, Insight, Perception, Sleight of Hand, Stealth.

Equipment

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

  • Leather armor
  • (a) a light crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) any simple weapon
  • (a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
Table: The Underterror
Level Proficiency Bonus Features Weaponized Evolution Base Damage Evolution Pool
1st +2 Inconspicuous Form, Mutation, Weaponized Evolution 1d4 2
2nd +2 Darkvision, Mutated Movement 1d4 2
3rd +2 Underterror Archetype 1d4 2
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 1d4 3
5th +3 Extra Attack, Body Evolution 1d6 3
6th +3 Underterror Archetype Feature 1d6 3
7th +3 Improved Weaponized Evolution 1d6 4
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 1d6 4
9th +4 Evasion 1d6 4
10th +4 Lure of Hel 1d6 5
11th +4 Underterror Archetype Feature 1d8 5
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 1d8 5
13th +5 Favor of Hel 1d8 6
14th +5 Uncanny Dodge 1d8 6
15th +5 Mutation-sense 1d8 6
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 1d10 7
17th +6 Underterror Archetype feature 1d10 7
18th +6 Chaotic Form 1d10 7
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 1d10 8
20th +6 Extra Attack 1d10 8

Class Features

As an underterror, you gain the following class features.

Inconspicuous Form

Each underterror, from 1st level onwards, can assume the appearance of other creatures—a necessity to avoid being executed in most societies. After a long rest, you decide on decide what you look like, including height, weight, facial features, sound of your voice, hair length, coloration and distinguishing characteristics, if any—this is your inconspicuous form and you can change into it and back into your normal shape by using an action. You can make yourself appear as a member of another race, though none of your statistics change. You can’t appear as a creature of a different size than you, and your basic shape stays the same; if you’re bipedal, you can’t use this ability to become quadrupedal, for example. You may remain in your inconspicuous form indefinitely and it does not require concentration.

If you, for whatever reason, are identified in your inconspicuous form, you can use your action to change your appearance into another by following the above guidelines. However, since you did not have enough time to attune your body to this new form, the change is strenuous: You suffer disadvantage on all Strength, Dexterity and Constitution checks and have to concentrate on the change to maintain it.

Upon changing your shape into a form that is not your original form or inconspicuous form, you also incur one level of exhaustion. You gain an additional level of exhaustion for each full hour during which you maintain an alternate form you had to improvise thus, which is why most underterrors, once found out, try to lay low and rest. In most cultures and societies, underterrors can expect to be hunted down once exposed. At the very least, you suffer disadvantage on all Charisma checks when a creature from a less tolerant culture knows what you are. (Subject to GM’s discretion.)

Mutation

At 1st level, the dread powers infusing your body grant you the power to spontaneously mutate and generate a variety of dread appendages, from pseudopods to tentacles, terrible maws, sharp claws and powerful hooves, nothing is impossible. Your flesh is your sheathe and weapon and as such, you can instantly grow the appendages you wish to use to attack; you do not need to “draw” them as your flesh ripples and changes.

Sheathing more than two weaponized evolutions at once requires you to spend an action, though. You may only have a number of weaponized evolutions drawn at any given time equal to 2 or your Constitution modifier, whichever is higher. The first weaponized evolution you draw always forms from one of your arms (usually the weapon hand), the second from the other arm and thereafter, they grow from somewhere on your body, making the wielding of weapons and shields in conjunction with a fully deployed set of weaponized evolutions impossible. Armor tougher than leather armor interferes with your mutation—you suffer disadvantage on all attack and damage rolls while attacking with a weaponized evolution in armor heavier than leather armor. This does not include shields. You gain the following benefits:

  • You are automatically considered to be proficient in the respective weaponized evolution you exhibit. Unless otherwise specified, weaponized evolutions are treated as natural melee attacks.
  • You can use your Constitution modifier instead of your Strength for the attack and damage rolls of your melee attacks with weaponized evolutions.
  • Your weaponized evolution’s base damage changes as you gain underterror levels, as shown in the Weaponized Evolution Base Damage column on the Underterror table.
  • When you use the Attack action with a weaponized evolution on your turn, you can make one melee attack with a weaponized evolution as a bonus action. For example, you can hit a target with your clawed hands and then attack with a pseudopod growing from your brow, assuming you haven’t already taken a bonus action this turn. Unless ALL of your weaponized evolutions have the light property, you don’t add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus attack, unless that modifier is negative. If either weaponized evolution has the thrown customization, you can throw the weapon, instead of making a melee attack with it.

The precise nature and statistics of your weaponized evolution attack’s natures is determined by your weaponized evolutions chosen. (See below.)

The benefits of body evolutions and armor, whether magical or mundane, do not stack unless otherwise noted.

Saving Throws. Some of your mutations require your target to make a saving throw to resist the mutation’s effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows: Mutation save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Constitution modifier

Weaponized Evolution

The underterror, from 1st level on, is defined as a mutated, fiendish synthesis of the demonic and the base creature. You are a master of morphing your body, exhibiting deadly appendages with which you can rip your enemies apart—these mutations are known as weaponized evolutions. You gain an evolution pool containing evolution points, as shown in the Evolution Pool column on the Underterror table.

Attunement. After finishing a long rest, you attune your body to exhibit premade, weaponized evolutions. You can prepare a number of such evolutions equal to your proficiency bonus, and choose a damage type for each of them—either bludgeoning, slashing or piercing damage. Your attack with this weaponized evolution deals damage of this type until you complete a long rest and change it. For example, an 11th level underterror could exhibit spikes or stingers that deal 1d8 piercing damage with one weaponized evolution.

Customization. Each weaponized evolution can be customized by assigning evolution points. These points are not expended by assigning them and you are encouraged to be creative regarding the exact shape and form of your weaponized evolutions—whether they be stinger, tentacles or something more alien altogether! You may assign evolution points to change your weaponized evolutions. The cost of evolution points assigned to a given weaponized evolution customization is listed in brackets. Some such customizations can only be applied to certain weaponized evolutions.

  • Alternate damage type (1 point). You grow a stinger that has also a sharp edge, a trunk that also has spikes, or a similarly grotesque appendage. Choose one additional base damage type (piercing, slashing, bludgeoning)— whenever you attack with the weaponized evolution, you may choose which of the two damage types you want to inflict—the default or the additional damage type granted by this weaponized evolution.
  • Finesse (1 point). Your weaponized evolution is treated as though it had the finesse property. This customization can only be applied to melee weaponized evolutions.
  • Firmly Attached (1 point). Whenever an attack, spell or effect would prompt you to “drop” your weaponized evolution, sever it or otherwise affect it negatively, you gain advantage on the saving throw to resist the effect.
  • Heavy (2 points). Your weaponized evolution is cumbersome, but also more powerful. You increase its mutation base damage die by one step. (d4 becomes d6, d6 becomes d8, d8 becomes d10, d10 becomes d12.) However, you may not use this weaponized evolution to make an attack as a bonus action via your mutation class feature. This customization can only be applied to melee weaponized evolutions.
  • Light (1 point). Your weaponized evolution is treated as though it had the light property. This customization can only be applied to melee weaponized evolutions that do not have the heavy customization.
  • Reach (1 point). Your weaponized evolution is disgustingly amorphous and can extend like rubber. You add 5 feet to your reach when you attack with this weaponized evolution. This customization can only be applied to melee weaponized evolutions.
  • Ranged & Loading (2 points). Your weaponized evolution is treated as a ranged mutation attack that has a range equal to a light crossbow (80/320) and can fire up to 20 pieces of ammunition that you generate from your body—whether they are bolt-like shards of bone, lumps of hard, bludgeoning tissue or something stranger still. Once you run out of ammunition, you can replenish it only by completing a short or long rest. Ammunition fired with this evolution cannot be salvaged and is destroyed upon being used, leaving behind strange, organic viscera. Your weaponized evolution is considered to have the loading property.
  • Shield (2 or 4 points). Your weaponized evolution actually is not only a weapon, but also acts as a shield that confers a +2 bonus to AC while it is “drawn. ” If you assign only 2 points, it needs to grow from your shield arm and cannot be drawn from any other place on your body. If you assign 4 points, you can draw the organic shield from another part of your body, potentially allowing you to use it in conjunction with another shield. However, you may benefit from a maximum of two shields at a given time, at least one of which must be gained from this customization, and suffer disadvantage on attack rolls while protected by more than one shield.
  • Thrown (2 points). Your weaponized evolution is a hefty growth of bone, chitin or a similar substance that you can throw. Use your Constitution modifier for the attack roll and damage roll. However, until you collect and reabsorb your thrown weaponized evolution or complete a long rest, you cannot draw this specific weaponized evolution. Thrown weaponized evolutions cannot be sold and turn into a useless goo after 1 hour if not collected and reabsorbed. If your thrown weaponized evolution is destroyed (or you fail to collect it), you regenerate it after your next completed long rest and may draw it again.
  • Hit Points and Damage Threshold. For the purpose of attacks directed specifically at your weaponized evolutions, treat them as though they had hit points equal to your level + twice your Constitution modifier and a damage threshold equal to twice your proficiency bonus. If a weaponized evolution is destroyed, you cannot draw it again until you have completed a long rest, at which point it regenerates and can be drawn again. Weaponized evolutions severed from your body turn into disgusting, noxious goo after 1 hour.

Darkvision

At 2nd level, your sight increases as your eyes mutate. You can see in dim light within 60 ft. of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray. If you already had darkvision, you instead increase its range to 120 ft.

Mutated Movement

Starting at 2nd level, you can grow small additional legs or arms or a particularly frictionless slime to increase your speed by 10 feet while not wearing any boots. At 9th level, you gain the ability to move along vertical surfaces and across liquids on your turn without falling during the move.

Underterror Archetype

Not all underterrors are alike—there are some that focus on gaining more control over their strange, twitching forms, while others prefer dabbling in the powers granted to them by the forces of Hel.

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 to attack with a weaponized evolution. This number of attacks increases to 3 at 20th level.

Body Evolution

The underterror, from 5th level on not only is capable of exhibiting powerful, deadly natural weapons. You learn to affect your body with unusual changes that allow you to adapt to your environments. Your evolution pool now also applies to your very own body Attunement. After finishing a long rest, you attune your body to exhibit a premade underterror form that differs greatly from your inconspicuous form. You can only prepare one such form at any given time.

Customization. Each body evolution can be customized by assigning evolution points. These points are not expended by assigning them and you are encouraged to be creative regarding the exact shape and form of your body evolutions—whether they be feathered wings, exhausts that propel you via gas bladders, additional centipede-legs or something more alien altogether! You may assign evolution points to change your body evolution. The cost of evolution points assigned to a given body evolution customization is listed in brackets. Body evolutions do not increase your weight, since they represent a transformation of your own organic material. Some such customizations can only be applied to certain weaponized evolutions.

  • Adrenalin Boost (1 point). You develop a gland that enhances your Dexterity, but makes you irritable. You increase your Dexterity score by 2 for as long as this evolution persists, but also makes you more twitchy. You suffer from disadvantage on all Intelligence and Wisdom checks for as long as it persists.
  • Anti-Toxin (3 points). You develop a gland that allows you to resist all manners of toxins. You gain advantage on saving throws against poisons while this evolution persists and may choose to have your body produce anti-toxins to immediately end the effects of ongoing poison damage as a reaction to being poisoned- if you do, however, you immediately incur one level of exhaustion.
  • Aquatic Adaptation (1 or 2 points). You grow gills and fins and your hands and feet become webbed. You no longer risk suffocation in water and can breathe water as though it was air. Additionally, if you assign 1 point, you gain 1/2 your speed as a swimming speed. If you assign 2 points, you gain your full speed as swimming speed while this evolution persists
  • Arachnid Adaptation (1 or 2 points). You grow tiny, sticky hairs that allow you to cling to walls with ease. You ignore any movement restrictions caused by webbing and, while in contact with a web, you know the exact location of any other creature in contact with the same web. Additionally, if you assign 1 point, you gain 1/2 your speed as a climbing speed. If you assign 2 points, you gain your full speed as climbing speed while this evolution persists.
  • Armor (1—8 points). Whether via plates of bone or chitin, rubbery flesh or similar means, your body has learned to protect itself from the rigors of the adventuring life. If you assign only 1 point, your armored body behaves as though you were wearing leather armor. For each additional point you assign, up to a maximum equal to your Wisdom modifier, your body evolution instead increases your AC by an additional +1, mimicking the respective armor. You do not suffer disadvantage to Dexterity (Stealth) checks due to this body evolution but the maximum bonus to AC for your Dexterity modifier still applies. If, for example, you assigned 5 points, your armor body evolution would mimic a half-plate in protective capability, granting you an AC of 15 + Dexterity modifier (maximum 2). However, unlike when wearing a real half plate, you would not suffer from disadvantage on Stealth checks.
  • Aerial Adaptation (3 or 4 points). You grow wings that allow you to soar through the air. If you assign 3 point, you gain 1/2 your speed as a flying speed. If you assign 4 points, you gain your full speed as flying speed while this evolution persists.
  • Hormonal Boosters (3 points). You develop a gland that allows you to resist control exerted upon your mind. You gain advantage on saving throws against spells and effects that inflict the charmed condition while this evolution persists and may choose to have your body produce a powerful downer to immediately end the effects of ongoing charm effects as a reaction to being charmed—if you do, however, the overload of depressants makes you immediately incur one level of exhaustion.
  • Energy Dampening (2, 4, 6 or 8 points). Your body adapts to one damage type. When you assign evolution points, choose one damage type from the following for each two evolution points you assigned: Acid, Cold, Fire, Lightning, Thunder. You gain resistance to the chosen damage type(s) while this evolution persists. Alternatively, if you suffer from vulnerability to one of these damage types, instead of its regular benefits, you lose the vulnerability to this damage type for as long as this evolution persists. You may also instead assign 6 evolution points to a single damage type. If you do, you become immune to this damage type for as long as the evolution persists. If are vulnerable to a damage type and want to become immune, you need to assign 8 evolution points.
  • Nictitating membrane (2 or 4 points). Like a reptile, you grow a nictitating membrane over your eyes that helps you resist gaze attacks like that of the dreaded medusa. You gain advantage on all saving throws made against gaze attacks. If you assign 4 points, your nictitating membrane becomes particularly powerful, rendering you immune against gaze attacks for as long as this evolution persists.
  • Steroid Boost (1 point). You develop a gland that enhances your Strength, but makes you irritable and less bright. You increase your Strength score by 2 for as long as this evolution persists, but also are more irritable. You suffer from disadvantage on all Intelligence and Charisma checks for as long as it persists.
  • Immune System-Boosters (2 point). You develop a gland that makes your body less susceptible to diseases and the rigors of physical exertion. You gain advantage on saving throws against diseases while this evolution persists and may choose to have your body produce fatigue-suppressants and ignore the effects of one level of exhaustion for a number of hours equal to your Constitution modifier—if you do, however, you incur two levels of exhaustion after the suppressant ceases to function.
  • Tremorsense (2 or 4 points). You develop an organ that allows you to pin-point the exact location of creatures when standing still. If you’re playing with the rules for Vestraadi Sonar, you gain vestraadi sonar for as long as the evolution persists. If you don’t you instead gain tremorsense (30 ft.). If you assign 2 points, you can only use this ability while standing still—if you move and try to navigate, you are blinded to all changed conditions until your next turn if you only rely on your tremorsense. If you instead assign 4 points, you can move
  • Upper World Adaptation (1, 2 or 4 points). You have been born and raised in the lightless depths, but you can resist the biting glare of the sun. If you have the sunlight sensitivity or light blindness or sunlight sensitivity drawback, you may ignore one of them for as long as this evolution persists per evolution point assigned. If you suffer from sunlight hypersensitivity, you may assign 4 evolution points to lose this drawback for as long as this evolution persists.
  • Unspeakable Feedback (4 points). You change something within your brain, which renders making mental contact with you a dire proposal. For as long as this evolution persists, any attempts to contact you via telepathy, discern your thoughts or similarly read your mind become dangerous for the subject. The creature must immediately make a Wisdom saving throw or take your Wisdom modifier times 1d6 psychic damage. You may not suppress this evolution while it persists—even potentially friendly creatures are affected and what they see is nightmare-inducing enough to initiate hostilities. Additionally, you gain resistance to psychic damage while this evolution persists.

Improved Weaponized Evolution

Starting at 7th level, your weaponized evolutions become ever more deadly. You add the following weaponized evolutions to your options:

  • Energy Mutation (2 points). You grow a claw of ice, shoot acid from your eyes or develop a similarly grotesque form of attack. Choose one damage type upon assigning evolution points to this weaponized evolution (Acid, Cold, Fire, Lightning, Thunder)— whenever you attack with the weaponized evolution, you inflict this type of damage.
  • Internal Quiver (1, 2 or 3 points). Your body hold additional pieces of ammunition for use with your ranged weaponized evolutions. You can produce and fire an additional 60 pieces of ammunition per evolution point assigned to this improved weaponized evolution. Ammunition fired with this evolution cannot be salvaged and is destroyed upon being used, leaving behind strange, organic viscera.
  • Ranged (4 points). Your weaponized evolution is treated as a ranged mutation attack that has a range equal to a light crossbow (80/320) and can fire up to 20 pieces of ammunition that you generate from your body—whether they are bolt-like shards of bone, lumps of hard, bludgeoning tissue or something stranger still. Once you run out of ammunition, you can replenish it only by completing a short or long rest. Ammunition fired with this evolution cannot be salvaged and is destroyed upon being used, leaving behind strange, organic viscera.

Evasion

Beginning at 9th level, you can nimbly dodge out of the way of certain area effects, such as a red dragon’s fiery breath or devastating spells due to your mutationenhanced reflexes. When you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity 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.

Lure of Hel

Starting at 10th level, when a creature tries to charm you and fails to do so, you can use your reaction to attempt to turn the charm back on that creature. The creature must succeed a Wisdom saving throw against your mutation save DC or be charmed by you for 1 minute or until the creature takes any damage.

Favor of Hel

At 12th level, you can call upon the forces of Hel to alter fate. When you make an ability check or a saving throw, you can use this feature to add a d10 to your roll. You can do so after seeing the initial roll, but before the roll’s effects occur. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Uncanny Dodge

Starting at 14th level, when an attacker hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction to negate the attack’s damage.

Mutation Sense

At 15th level, you can see the true form of any shapechanger or creature concealed by illusion or transmutation magic while the creature is within 30 feet of you and within your line of sight.

Chaotic Form

Beginning at 18th level, your form is in constant flux, as you half sheathe and draw your arsenal of dread mutated weaponry. No attack roll has advantage against you while you aren’t incapacitated.

Lethal Mutation

At 19th level, your mutations can potentially tear asunder even the hardiest foes. When you roll damage for a mutation attack and roll the highest number possible on your damage die, roll it again and add that roll to the damage. You can use this feature only once per turn.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

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