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Forsaken Hunter

The archetypal Forsaken Hunter follows a forbidden path according to many ranger communities. It involves hunting unearthly creatures of a destructive nature, adopting some of the elements that make them evil and unholy. As a ranger who walks this path, you may not be evil, but find it difficult to remain good-hearted as well, since the power of the sigils and the rituals that led you to this road originate from dark sources.

On the other hand, they may also hunt celestials, but these rangers become evil as they aim to vanquish the angelic creatures of goodness. They imbue themselves with the essence of their foe, which is the gift of their sacrifice: Forsaken Hunters are able to penetrate such abomination’s defenses, as well as become resilient against their abilities.

Detect Essence

When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you are imbued with the essence of unearthly creatures. This can happen through a ritual performed on you by a guild or organization, or you may see it in your dreams.

You can be imbued with two essences, chosen from the following: aberrations, celestials, dragons, fey, fiends, or undead. The essences you choose are of fundamental importance as they determine the abilities you gain later as your character progresses.

Some of the abilities granted by your features do not let creatures to make saving throws. This is because as you tie your essence to theirs, your abilities bypass their resistance.

Once per day, you can perform a 1-hour ritual to activate one of the essences you have chosen. If the type of creature the essence belongs to is your favored enemy, the ritual takes 30 minutes to complete instead.

At 3rd level, once per turn, you can link your attack with the essence, dealing an additional 1d4 damage of your weapon’s damage type on a hit. This additional amount of damage ignores resistance or immunity. The target’s hit point maximum is decreased by this additional amount of damage taken.

Side-Effects of Essences

When you are imbued with an essence, it has certain side effects according to the type of the essence:

Aberration. At the start of each day, after you wake up, you must succeed on a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw or suffer from a short-term madness for that day. The essence of aberrations is maddening.

Celestial. You find it hard to break a promise you make, an oath you take, and you find it hard to lie. Each time you try to lie, you must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or you cannot do so. Each time you try to break a promise or an oath, you must succeed on a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw or cannot do so. Even if you succeed, you can only act against your promise or oath for 1 minute.

Dragon. Scales of different colors appear on some of your body parts. You are counted as a dragon for spells and other magic effects that can target dragons or affect dragons more.

Fey. You appear as magical in the presence of a detect magic spell. You find it hard to alter your appearance through magical means, and you can’t magically protect yourself from scrying. You take a -2 penalty to the saving throws you make against such spells.

Fiend. You appear as evil-aligned even if you are not when you are targeted by the detect alignment* spell. You count as evil even if you are not when you are affected by a spell that targets evil creatures.

Undead. You can be affected by turn undead, but you have advantage on saving throws against this effect.

Lesser sigil

At 7th level, you mark the sigils of the chosen essences on your body. These sigils are magical tattoos that grant you certain gifts that enable you to defeat the foes you hunt. The sigils and the abilities they grant are as follows:

Aberration: Sigil of Chaos. You have advantage on Intelligence and Wisdom saving throws against effects caused by aberrations.

Celestials: Sigil of Disgrace. As a reaction, you can choose to take no damage from an attack of a celestial creature. Once you use this ability, you must finish a short or long rest to use it again.

Dragons: Sigil of Breath. You have advantage on saving throws against the breath attacks of dragons.

Fey: Sigil of the Nymph. You have advantage on saving throws against the mind-altering effects of fey.

Fiends: Sigil of Blasphemy. You have advantage on saving throws against being poisoned and against the spells or abilities of fiends that deal psychic damage.

Undead: Sigil of Tombs. You have advantage on saving throws against spells from the school of necromancy. You can also choose to have advantage on saving throws against an ability or spell of an undead creature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum once).

You regain any expended uses after you finish a long rest.

Enhanced Lesser Sigil

If you slay a creature with a challenge rating of 5 or higher (4 if it is your favored enemy) that is of the type relevant to your essence, you can enhance your lesser sigil relevant to that essence. When enhanced, lesser sigils grant you additional abilities as stated below. Once you use these abilities, you must finish a long rest to use them again.

Sigil of Chaos. Once, as a reaction, you can reflect the effect created by the aberration that targets you back to the creature. The creature makes its saving throw against your ranger spell save DC.

Sigil of Disgrace. When you hit a celestial with an attack, the damage you deal ignores resistance and immunity. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum once).

Sigil of Breath. You are immune to Breath Weapon for your Wisdom modifier (minimum one) number of rounds.

Sigil of the Nymph. You are immune to the mind-altering effects of fey for 1 minute.

Sigil of Blasphemy. As an action, you can undo the effects of the Magic Resistance feature of a fiend that is within 60 feet of you for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum one). Once you use this benefit, you cannot do so again until you finish a long rest.

Sigil of Tombs. As an action, you can undo the effects of the Amorphous, Incorporeal Movement or Undead Fortitude feature of an undead creature within 60 feet of you for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum one).

Greater Sigil

At 11th level, you learn the greater sigils relevant to your prey to empower the essence to which you are bound.

Aberration: Sigil of Entropy. As a reaction, when an aberration deals damage to you, you can change the type of that damage to another one of your choice. Once you use this benefit, you must finish a short rest before using it again.

Celestials: Sigil of Radiance. You have resistance to radiant damage.

Dragons: Sigil of the Wings. A pair of dragon wings sprout from your back. You gain a fly speed of 40 feet.

Fey: Sigil of the Ancients. As a reaction, you can use your movement to teleport into an unoccupied space within 60 feet of you. Once you use this benefit, you must finish a short rest before you use it again.

Fiends: Sigil of Flames. Once per turn, you can deal an extra 2d8 force damage to fiends you hit with an attack.

Undead: Sigil of Unlife. You gain resistance to necrotic damage.

Enhanced Greater Sigil

If you slay a creature with a challenge rating of 9 or higher (8 if it is your favored enemy), and of the type relevant to your essence, you can enhance your greater sigil relevant to that essence. When enhanced, the sigil grants additional greater abilities as stated below. Once you use these abilities, you must finish a long rest to use them again.

Sigil of Entropy. Whenever an aberration hits you with an attack, it takes 1d6 psychic damage.

Sigil of Radiance. Once, as a bonus action, you can choose to be immune to radiant damage for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum one). Also once, as a reaction, you can choose to take no radiant damage from an attack that hits you and can heal yourself in the amount equal to half of the radiant damage that would have normally been dealt to you instead.

Sigil of the Wings. Once per turn, if your target is a dragon, you can imbue your weapon attack with your essence. On a successful hit, you hamper the dragon’s ability to fly, decreasing its fly speed by half. This effect can only decrease a dragon’s fly speed once at a time.

Sigil of the Ancients. When you teleport using your Sigil of the Ancients, you can immediately make a weapon attack. On a hit, the target creature has disadvantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws against creatures within 5 feet of it until the end of its next turn.

Sigil of Flames. You have resistance to fire damage.

Sigil of Unlife. You cannot be charmed, frightened, or paralyzed by the undead. Additionally, you cannot be affected by an undead’s ability that reduces hit point maximum, however, you still take the damage such an ability deals, if it deals any.

Essence Bond

At 15th level, you gain the ability to create a magical bond between you and a creature whose essence you were imbued with in the Detect Essence feature. To do so, the creature must be within 60 feet of you and you must use your action to concentrate on this bond. When you do so, you gain the following benefits for 1 minute:

  • When you take damage, as a reaction, you can cause the essence-bound creature to take half of the damage inflicted on you. Note that you still take the damage as it is.
  • You can use an additional action against the essence-bound creature. This action can only include the creature. For example, if you take the Dodge action, it only applies to the essence-bound creature.
  • Once within the duration, as an action, you can use one of the features of the creature. Or, as a bonus action, you can choose to possess one of the traits of the creature until the end of your next turn.

Once you use this feature, you cannot do so again until you finish a long rest.

Variant: Degeneration

If you are using the Degeneration rules, you can assign certain types of creatures to types of degeneration:

  • Aberration. Causes degeneration into Maddening essence.
  • Celestial. Causes degeneration into Desecrating essence.
  • Dragon. Causes degeneration into Desecrating essence.
  • Fey. Causes degeneration into Desecrating essence.
  • Fiend. Causes degeneration into Foul essence.
  • Undead. Causes degeneration into Rotten essence.
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