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Warder

Don’t let them touch you. Even slight contact with the Dead might pass on some disease or curse. Not all of them possess this ability, though many Dead carry the ordinary plagues 63 that killed them and claws caked with infectious filth from wherever their corpses were left. Then there are the Dead which shed madness-inducing ichor from their gums, or rot living flesh with a touch. These circumstances aside, it’s a good idea to keep one’s distance for no other reason than the Dead’s propensity for traveling in packs and concentrating their numbers on single targets. All it takes is one grab or trip, and a warrior might fall beneath a hill of them.

Warders use long weapons and agility to keep the Dead at bay—training that functions effectively against living enemies as well. They slip from wrestlers and knock enemies off walls with staves and spears. Foresters take advantage of this training, and so do those who favor reach weapons.

Elementary Wards

When you select this archetype at 3rd level, you gain a maneuver called a Ward. A Ward uses a bonus action or reaction to counter and respond to close-contact combat threats. Warding requires awareness of distance and timing as well as sensitivity to an attack’s pressure. Thus, a Ward roll is a Wisdom check to which you always add your proficiency bonus.

You learn the following Wards: Divert. You redirect a moving enemy’s momentum. When a Large or smaller creature moves into your reach for the first time on a turn, you may use a reaction to make a Ward roll contested by the target’s choice of either a Strength (Athletics) or a Dexterity (Acrobatics) roll.

If you succeed, you may move that enemy 5 feet in any direction. If it then continues its movement and leaves one of your allies’ reach in the process, it provokes opportunity attacks as normal.

Escape. Struck by an attack, you ride the momentum of the blow to avoid further danger. The attack still hits, but you may use a reaction to make a Ward roll, contested by the successful attack roll. If you succeed, you move 10 feet in the direction of your choice, so long as the path isn’t occupied by an object or creature. This movement does not provoke opportunity attacks.

Intermediate Wards

At 7th level, you learn the following new applications of the Ward action: Evade. You turn with your enemy’s force and slip out of contact. You may use a reaction to potentially escape a grapple, an unarmed strike, or an attack with natural weapons from a creature of Large size or smaller. Make a contested Ward roll against the attack roll or grapple attempt. If you succeed, the attack or grapple misses and you move 5 feet away from the attacker. If you have nowhere to move, you cannot employ this Ward.

Pass. Ducking, weaving, and sliding, you may use a bonus action at the start of your movement to pass through one or more hostile creatures’ spaces as if they were difficult terrain. Attempt a Ward roll with a DC equal to 10 + the highest Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) score among the enemy group. If you succeed, this action does not provoke opportunity attacks. You must still end your movement in an unoccupied space. If you fail the roll, you end your movement adjacent to the first creature you were trying to get by and provoke an opportunity attack from it.

Advanced Wards

At 10th level you learn the most sophisticated Wards this martial archetype teaches.

Redirect. You expertly turn and shift your weight to move your enemy. When you strike a Large or smaller creature with a melee attack, you may use a bonus action to make a Ward roll, contested by your target’s choice of either a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) roll. If you succeed, you move your opponent to a location of your choice within your weapon’s reach and knock them prone. If the location you move your opponent to is hazardous (such as a pit or open flame), they suffer the effects of that hazard.

Yield. You twist out of the way of a blow’s full force.

When a creature hits you with a melee attack, you may use your reaction to make a Ward roll contested by that successful attack roll. If you succeed, the attack inflicts half damage, and you have advantage on all saving throws against the attack’s secondary effects, if any.

Ward Mastery

At 15th level you gain advantage on either Divert or Escape Ward rolls. Choose which Ward has advantage when you gain this ability.

Warder’s Awareness

At 17th level you may use a second Ward per round as an additional bonus action or reaction. This is an exception to the normal limit of only one bonus action or reaction per round.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Lost Citadel Ropleplaying, Copyright 2020, Green Ronin Publishing, LLC; Authors Keith Baker, Natania Barron, Jaym Gates, Jesse Heinig, Rhiannon Louve, Ari Marmell, Malcolm Sheppard, and C.A. Suleiman.