Wizard Arcane Tradition of Bonding

Art Credit: Vedalken Humiliator. Jehan Choo. Wizards of the Coast (Magic the Gathering). 2018.

The last Subclass Sunday (for now)!

The Arcane Tradition of Bonding is a support subclass for that Wizard that encourages creative synergies between spells and tactics by adding additional benefits to your concentration spells.

Check back in this blog for a unique subclass for every core class- Artificers don’t, and never will, count. Follow me on Twitter @OctopusRPG for some quick-to-run free adventures and more D&D junk.

Wizard Arcane Tradition of Bonding

Bonders are a class of wizards that turn their study inwards, fostering their ability to read the natural energy that resonates in, and connects, all sapient beings. For a Bonder, these connections seem effortless, and even obvious. They view themselves and conduits for magical energies, able to recognize the patterns through which the Weave flows most naturally.

Over time, their learn to practice the art of linking souls to one another, using their understanding to enhance their friend’s natural strengths, and sap the resolve from their enemies.

Bonder’s Influence

When you take this Arcane Tradition at 2nd level, you learn to bolster those that you channel your magical energies into. 

When you cast a spell that targets a single creature and requires concentration, you may choose an ability score. As long as you maintain concentration, that creature gains a bonus equal to your Intelligence modifier to any skill checks made with that ability score.

You can use this feature three times. You regain all expended uses of it when you finish a long rest.

Deleterious Weave

Beginning at 6th level, you may target hostile creatures with Bonder’s Influence. When you do, you may instead subtract your Intelligence modifier from any skill checks the target makes with the ability score you designate.

Patient Concentration

At 10th level, the duration of any spells requiring your concentration is doubled.

Lead Skin

At 10th level, your skin hardens and your clockwork minion becomes more resilient. You and your Machine Familiar gain resistance to non-magical piercing, bludgeoning, and slashing damage.

Wax and Wane

Beginning at 14th level, when you use Arcane Amplification or Deleterious Weave, the bonus or penalty applied also effects saving throws made with the designated ability score.

Warlock Patron: The Ineffable Machine

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Warlock Patron: The Ineffable Machine

When you peel back the veil, sometimes you glimpse a vision of the calculations of the universe. This knowledge of absolute cause and effect are sometimes a blessing, but often a curse.

Great forces command the laws of the multiverse, overseeing the forward march of the universe’s progress. The One, the Prime, and others that wield absolute power over their subjects. These forces need subjects that can be trusted to follow their cause, their purpose, and their plan, completely and without question.

Expanded Spell List

The Ineffable Machine lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a warlock spell. The following spells are added to the warlock spell list for you.

2ndArcane LockHeat Metal
3rdLightning BoltProtection from Energy
4thGlyph of WardingFabricate
5thAntilife ShellAnimate Objects

Knowledge of the One and the Prime

At 1st level, the Ineffable Machine grants you a font of coded knowledge. You learn how to forge, construct, and maintain complex mechanisms. You gain proficiency in Smith’s Tools and Tinker’s Tools.

In addition, you are granted the insights and experience required to properly wielding the implements you create. You gain proficiency in Shields and Medium Armor.

Clockwork Minion

Also at 1st level, you learn how to construct an automaton companion, and imbue it with a measure of intelligence.

You can spend 10 minutes and use your Tinker’s Tools to create a clockwork minion. Your clockwork minion always obeys your commands. You can communicate telepathically with your minion while it is within 200 ft. of you.

Clockwork Minion Tiny Construct, Unaligned
Armor Class 14 (Natural Armor)
Hit Points 10 (4d4)
Speed 30 ft.
STR 6 (-2) DEX 12 (+1) CON 10 (+0) INT 10 (0) WIS 10 (0) CHA 6 (-2)
Skills Stealth +4
Senses passive Perception 10, Blindsight 10 ft
Languages None
Challenge 1/4
ShockMelee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: (1d6) lightning damage.

In addition, your clockwork minion has one of the following qualities:

  • Amphibian: Swim speed of 30 ft.
  • Digger: Burrow speed of 20 ft.
  • Thopter: Fly speed of 10 ft.

When you create a clockwork minion, any existing clockwork minions you have immediately break down and are destroyed. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Arcane Payload

At 6th level, you learn how to rig your companion with a destructive magical explosive device. When you create your clockwork minion, you can equip it with one of the following payloads:

  • Flashbang: Every creature within 30 ft that can see the clockwork minion must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 14. On a failed save, the creature is blinded and deafened for 1 minute and takes 2d6 thunder damage. That creature may repeat it’s save at the end of it’s turn, if it succeeds it is no longer blinded and deafened.
  • Choking Gas: The clockwork minion creates a 20-foot-radius sphere of suffocating gas centered on it’s location. The cloud lasts for 1 minute, spreads around corners, and its area is heavily obscured. Each creature within the cloud at the start of its turn must make a Constitution saving throw against poison with a DC of 14. On a failed save, the creature is stunned until the beginning of it’s next turn. 
  • Fragmentation: Each creature in a 10-foot-radius sphere must make a Dexterity saving throw with a DC of 14. A target takes 6d8 piercing damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

You may detonate your clockwork minion as a bonus action at any time it is within 200 ft. of you. When you do so, it is immediately destroyed.

Lead Skin

At 10th level, your skin hardens and your clockwork minion becomes more resilient. You and your Machine Familiar gain resistance to non-magical piercing, bludgeoning, and slashing damage.

Great Modron March

At 14th level, you gain the ability to call forth a league of modrons, giving them a temporary diversion in their march across the planes.

As an action, you create a line of marching modrons 30 feet long and 5 feet wide originating from your position that trample your enemies.

Each creature in the line must make a Dexterity saving throw against your spellcasting DC. A creature takes 12d8 force damage and is knocked prone on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Sorcerer Unstable Mutation Sorcerous Origin

Art Credit: The Fly (SLM Production Group)

The characters with this origin are going to be a little weird, no doubt about it. Have you ever wanted a character with wings and blubber and tentacles? You literally can.

Follow me on Twitter @OctopusRPG for some quick-to-run free adventures.

Sorcerer Unstable Mutation Sorcerous Origin

Some sorcerers are born with innate magical abilities. Others, although rare, develop these propensities later on, and sometimes the transition is less than comfortable. Whether the result of a magical experiment gone wrong, a freak alchemical accident, or exposure to unpredictable arcane energies, the unstable mutation sorcerous origin represents the havoc that results from powerful magic run amok in a mortal body. Stopping the mutation is impossible, and surely such a thing would be impossible to control.

Aether Reserves

At 1st level, your mutation manifests pockets of arcane energy somewhere in your body. When you gain this ability, choose one of the following damage types:  Lightning, Fire, Cold, or Acid. As a bonus action you may make a ranged spell attack against a target that you can see within 30 ft. On a hit, the attack deals damage of the chosen type equal to 1d10 + your Constitution Modifier.

This damage increases to 2d10 + Constitution Modifier at level 6 and 3d10 + Constitution Modifier at level 14.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Mutated Extremities

Also at 1st level, magical exposure causes your body begins to mutate in strange and unpredictable ways. Choose one of the following mutations:

  • Powerful Legs. Your legs becoming longer, more muscular, and more flexible. Your movement speed increases by 5 feet. You can jump up to 15 feet horizontally or vertically as a part of your move.
  • Sharp Protrusions. You grow razor-sharp claws on your arms and hands. You can roll a d6 in place of the normal damage for your unarmed strike. You gain a climb speed of 20ft.
  • Wriggling Tentacles. You have advantage on Athletics checks to initiate a grapple. Grappling does not occupy any of your hands.

Environmental Adaptation

At 6th level, your physiology takes on bestial adaptations to specific environmental conditions. Choose one of the following physical adaptations:

  • Alpine Adaptation. Your body develops a thick furry pelt and a layer of insulating blubber that protects from arctic temperatures. You gain resistance to cold damage and you count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.
  • Amphibious Adaptation. Your physiology mutates to accommodate life both in and out of water. You develop gills, fins and webbed flippers. You gain a swim speed equal to your walking speed and you can breathe underwater.
  • Desert Adaptation. Your body develops sophisticated biological strategies to retain energy and survive harsh conditions. You gain resistance to fire damage and you require double the levels of exhaustion to suffer any negative effects.

Physiological Aspect

At 14th level, the magical flux grants you another beneficial peculiarity. Your intimate familiarity with the energies warping your flesh gives you limited access to specific innate magical abilities:

  • Aspect of the Arachnid. You develop complex compound eyes and chitinous camouflage. You gain +5 to your initiative checks. You also gain proficiency in stealth checks. You may cast Invisibility once as though it was cast using the highest level spell slot you have available. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.
  • Aspect of the Avian. You sprout wings, granting a Fly speed of 60 ft. You may cast Flight once as though it was cast using the highest level spell slot you have available. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.
  • Aspect of the Parasite. Your body adopts systems of transforming the energy of others into your own. Whenever you become the target of a spell, you gain temporary HP equal to the level of the spell slot used to cast it. You may cast Vampiric Touch once as though it was cast using the highest level spell slot you have available. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Wild Mutation

At 18th level, you become able to exert control over your body’s mutation. Whenever you finish a short or long rest, you may swap any abilities granted by your Unstable Mutation background for others available at the same level. Spells granted by your Physiological Aspect share a single use.

5 Adventures in 10 Pages

Hey dudes, my second product is up on DriveThruRPG:

5 Adventures in 10 Pages: Local Heroics

It’s 5 easy-to-prep adventures for levels 1-5 , each including maps and a one-page writeup. It is precisely two dollars, and there’s a lot of content to run or simply to mine for ideas. Also, if you want to support me and see what I’ve been working on this is a great way to do so.

  • Lady Bouchard’s Hedgerow (Level 1): Noble estate seeking experienced gardeners/adventurers.
  • The Boiling Well (Level  2): The village well has been belching sulphureous gas for days.
  • Waypoint Abbey (Level  3): I’m starting to think this abbot is a real jerk.
  • Jueyuan Canopy Village (Level 4): A new type of demon is engaged in a classic kidnapping.
  • Icespring Precipice (Level 5): We’re rich! Too bad the treasure’s at the bottom of the lake.

If $2 is too pricy or too spicy, you can also Follow @OctopusRPG on Twitter, where I am posting most of these as I complete them! Check the pinned tweet and check a few out.

Rogue Delver Archtype

Art Credit: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (Lucasfilm Ltd.)

You know what element of the rogue is strangely underdeveloped in the 5e rogue archtypes? The actual dungeon-delving, magic-item using, trap-finding, tomb-raiding scamp that, to me, characterized the 3.x rogue more than anything else.

The Delver archtype is a little bit of a throwback to some of the older mechanics from the rogue of yore that 5e left behind, and a little bit of a loveletter to the rogue archeologist.

Follow me on Twitter @OctopusRPG for some quick-to-run free adventures.

Rogue Delver Archtype

Not all rogues are content to lift their fortunes from the pockets of others. The truly enterprising seek out objects of great value that hide in the darkest corners, beyond the furthest reaches, and belong to no one. No one alive, anyway. Delvers are a curious breed of archeologists, tomb raiders, and treasure hunters that exceed in outsmarting the traps and puzzles left behind by those that sought to safeguard their fortunes against the future.


When you take this archetype at 3rd level, gain Proficiency in one of each of the following:

  • History or Religion.
  • Navigators Tools or Cartographers Tools.

Deathtrap Tourist

Also at 3rd level, you become especially adept at finding and disarming traps. You have a +5 bonus to your passive Wisdom (Perception) and Intelligence (Investigation) scores for discovering traps.  You gain advantage on Wisdom or Intelligence checks to find, understand or disarm traps.


At 9th level, you become a quick study when it comes to identifying weak-points in strange and alien creatures. Your Sneak Attack deals an additional 1d6 damage against non-humanoid targets. This damage increases to 2d6 at 13th level and 3d6 at 17th level.

Hasty Defusal

At 13th level, you are so comfortable with the basic mechanisms of traps that you can disarm them in the blink of an eye. If you trigger a trap that prompts a Dexterity Saving throw and you succeed, you can disarm the trap before it triggers, preventing it from going off.

Use Magic Device

Starting 17th level, your experience seeking out and using magical artifacts has become legendary. You may cast spells from any spell list using scrolls without penalty. When doing so, use Intelligence as your spellcasting stat. Whenever you use a magic item with charges, you have a 25% chance to instantly regain any charges expended that turn.

Ranger Warden Conclave

Art Credit: Dark Souls (FromSoftware Inc., & Bandai Namco Games)

This week we have a defensively-minded ranger, the Warden. While most rangers want to help people survive in the wilderness, the Warden is quite the opposite. They want people to GTFO, or die.

Follow me on Twitter @OctopusRPG for some quick-to-run free adventures.

Ranger Warden Conclave

The Wardens are the warriors of the woods. Their mandate is to protect the wild lands from interlopers, to preserve the power and eminence of sites of natural import. If their preservation comes at the price of violence, the Wardens are prepared to pay. Wardens are fearless defenders, whose protective magics and techniques serve as a deterrent to all who wander where they don’t belong.

Warden Magic

Starting at 3rd level, you learn an additional spell when you reach certain levels in this class, as shown in the Warden Spells table. The spell counts as a ranger spell for you, but it doesn’t count against the number of ranger spells you know.

5thWarding Bond
9thElemental Weapon
17thInsect Plague

Wardens’ Fangs

When you take this Conclave at 3rd level, you gain the ability to coat your weapons with supernatural poison. You can spend an action to run your fingers along the blade or point of your weapon. This must be a melee weapon or piece of ammunition and it must deal Piercing or Slashing damage. That weapon or ammunition gains one of the following effects when the it deals damage with an attack:

  • Maggot Root Poison. The target must also make a Constitution Saving Throw against your Spellcasting DC. On a failure, they take 3d6 Poison damage and are Poisoned until the end of their next turn. On a success, they take half damage and are not Poisoned.
  • Mindmist Poison: The target must also make a Wisdom Saving Throw against your Spellcasting DC. On a failure, they are Stunned until the end of their next turn.

The poison remains active for 1 minute or until you hit with an attack using that weapon or ammunition. You can use this ability a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of once), and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Extra Attack

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Concerted Defense

Beginning at 7th level, you become a master of coordinating with your teammates in combat. When you end your turn, you may give 1 other creature within 5 ft +2 AC until the start of your next turn. The creature only benefits from this bonus as long as it remains within 5 ft of you.

Empowered Fangs

At 11th level, you may imbue 3 pieces of ammunition with poison when you use Wardens’ Fangs. Additionally, when you use Wardens’ Fangs on a melee weapon, it lasts for 3 hits instead of 1.

No Quarter

At 15th level, you become particularly adept at making brutal strikes whenever your opponents present the smallest opportunity. You may use your reaction to make an attack of opportunity whenever a creature within range makes a weapon attack against a target other than yourself. If you hit with this attack, it deals an extra 2d10 force damage.

Paladin Oath of Beauty

Art Credit: Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

This is a call to action! Follow me on Twitter @OctopusRPG. Work in progress gets posted there and I’m in the middle of a cool 2-page-dungeon project! I’m trying to expand my reach and every single follow is a big deal to me.

This week we have a Paladin subclass based on the 20 CHA beautiful beast of a character that was part of the last big campaign I ran.

Paladin Oath of Beauty

The tenets of beauty foster an appreciation for the world informed by details that others may overlook.

  • Beauty in all Things: Appreciate beauty in all it’s forms, whether occurring in nature, or a product of art and culture.
  • Patron of the Arts: Protect works of art and provide those that create them the circumstances to succeed.
  • Heart and Soul: Endeavor to share emotional truths through art.
  • Beauty Starts Within: Through the pursuit of beauty, one’s body becomes an object of beauty itself.

Oath Spells

3rdDisguise SelfColor Spray
5thEnthrallMirror Image
9thHypnotic PatternDaylight
13thHallucinatory TerrainStone Shape

Channel Divinity

When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.

  • Truth in Art: As an action, present your holy symbol and speak a prayer of beauty. For 1 minute, creatures you designate within 10 feet of you gain advantage on all Insight and Investigation checks and resistance to all psychic damage.
  • Sublime Motion: You can use your Channel Divinity to amplify the beauty and efficiency of your body’s movements. As a bonus action, you may make a single melee weapon attack against a target in range when you activate this channel divinity. For 1 minute, when you take the attack action on your turn you can also make a single melee weapon attack as a bonus action.

Captivating Aura

Starting at 7th level, the effortless and profound emotional weight of your  presence commands attention at all times. When a spell targets a friendly creature within 10 feet of you, you may use your reaction to redirect the spell and force it to target yourself. You gain advantage on any saving throw you make to resist the effects of the spell.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Clarity of Self

At 15th level, your ability scores and HP maximum cannot be reduced by any means. You gain advantage on all Investigation checks to discern illusions.

Resplendent Form

At 20th level, you can tap a well of sublime and indescribable beauty. Your body becomes humbling expression of emotion and power. As a bonus action, you gain the following effects:

  • When you activate this ability any hostile creature within 60 ft that can see you must make a Constitution saving throw against your spellcasting DC. On a failure, they are blinded by your beauty for 1 minute. They can repeat this saving throw at the end of each of their turns.
  • For the next 10 minutes, you can add your Strength modifier to any Charisma check you make, and you can add your Charisma modifier to any Strength check you make. When you make a melee weapon attack, you can add your Charisma modifier to the damage dealt.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest, unless you expend a 5th-level spell slot to use it again.

Monk Way of Duality

Art Credit: Venerable Monk. D. Alexander Gregory. Wizards of the Coast (Magic the Gathering). 1993.

Subclass Sunday! A monk based on (the modern western pop-culture understanding of) Taoist principles. Also, follow me on Twitter @OctopusRPG! I’m throwing some cool stuff exclusively on there for now.

Monk Way of Duality

Good and evil, chaos and law, fortune and misfortune. What is the universe but a constant turmoil between dichotomous forces? The way of duality recognizes and, in fact, embraces the balance of these forces in conflict. Seeing no side as superior, members of this tradition are liminal bastions of neutrality, ensuring that these conflicts endure and thrive, believing that without them, the universe would be consumed by absolute entropy.

Equality of Force

When you take this tradition at 3rd level you gain the ability to redirect the force of certain attacks back onto the attacker. When a melee weapon attack deals non-magical damage to you, you can spend 2 ki points and use your reaction to deflect half the damage back onto the attacker. Reduce the damage you receive by half, and deal that amount of damage to the attacker.

Ritual of Ebb and Flow

Also at 3rd level, you can meditate to gauge the fortunes of certain actions. You can spend 1 minute and 2 ki points to cast Augury without providing material components.

Grasp of Life and Death

Starting at 6th level, you can influence the balance of vital energy in the body. As an action, you can spend 2 ki points to cast Vampiric Touch at 3rd level. Additionally, you gain the Chill Touch cantrip if you don’t already know it. These spells use Wisdom as your spellcasting modifier.

Body of Heaven and Earth

At 11th level, you become closely attuned to the natural balance of positive and negative energy in the universe. Whenever you finish a long rest, choose Necrotic or Radiant damage. You have resistance to this type of damage until you finish your next long rest.

Supreme Equivalency

Starting at 17th level, Equality of Force can be used to redirect any damage including ranged attacks and spells.

Fighter: The Dragoon

Yes, I’m sure it’s been done before, but I love Final Fantasy as a series and I love the Dragoon’s design specifically. They’re iconic and just kind of…weird. They wield lances but they don’t ride horses or even chocobo’s. They rode Wyverns once but that’s not their thing? They have this spikey-dragon-plate-armor motif and they jump like, really high? No joke, really, really high. And they drain energy for some reason also. It’s a, uh, diverse powerset but after a while you take it for granted. Yeah, you know, that’s a Dragoon. They’re doing Dragoon things, jumping around, whatever.

Fighter: The Dragoon

Of all the things that are symbolic of the nation of Ishgard, few are more recognized than the dragoon. Born amidst the timeless conflict between men and dragons, these lance-wielding knights have developed an aerial style of combat, that they might better pierce the scaled hides of their mortal foes.

Taking to the firmament as though it were an extension of the land, they descend upon the enemy with every onze of their bodies behind the blow. It is this penetrative power that characterizes the dragoon. (source: https://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/jobguide/dragoon/ )

Lance Master

At 3rd level you become versed in techniques to mitigate the downsides of wielding a lance. When using a lance, you no longer suffer disadvantage while attacking targets within 5 ft. In addition, you can use a lance 1-handed, even when you are not mounted.


At 7th level, you can prepare a life-draining strike as a Bonus Action. Your next melee attack this turn gains advantage, and if it hits you gain Temporary HP equal to half the weapon damage dealt.  You can use this ability a number of times equal to your Strength modifier (minimum of once), and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Dragon Dive

Starting at 10th level, your jump vertical jump height is tripled. In addition, you may jump 15 horizontal ft once per turn as part of your movement. Any target within 5 ft of where you land that is size Large or smaller must make a Strength saving throw against 8 + Your Proficiency Bonus + Your Strength Modifier. On a failure, the target is knocked prone.

Elusive Jump

Starting at 15th level, your Dragon Jump does not trigger attacks of opportunity.

White Draw

Starting at 18th level, your body gains the ability to disrupt magical energy before it can be used against you. If you are a target of a spell or in the area of effect of a spell and you can see the creature casting it, you can use your reaction make a Strength check. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a success, the creature’s spell fails and has no effect. When this ability is successful, you recover 1d6 hp for each level of the spell. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short rest.

Druid Circle of the Depths

Something I like about the modular nature of D&D 5e subclasses is their ability to explore niche or situational archetypes. The great thing about subclasses is, nothing is lost by having them available! Nobody is forcing you to play one if it’s a bad fit for your game.

As the library of official subclasses gets larger and larger, I think there’s more room to explore and embrace these niche characters types. An aquatic-focused Druid, for instance, is a poor choice for most campaigns, but in an adventure where it can really shine, it can be a ton of fun to play.

Druid Circle of the Depths

The Circle of the Depths is made up of Druids that share a greater affinity to the sea than the land. These druids protect the oceans, rivers and lakes in the same manner than another Circle may safeguard a forest. Swift and sure, members of the Circle of the Depths are at their strongest near a water source. It is from these natural waters that they draw the power to give life, protect, and defend, and their most powerful bestial forms are those that inhabit the deep waters of the world.

Strong Swimmer

Starting at 2nd level, you gain a Swim Speed equal to your base speed.

Mantle of Waves

Also at 2nd Level, you can protect yourself by producing a roiling current of water around your body. As a bonus action, you can adopt a Mantle of Waves for 1 minute. While this effect is active, if you are not wearing armor, your armor class equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Wisdom modifier. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short rest.

Child of the Sea

Starting at 6th level, you can breathe underwater. In addition, when you use Wild Shape you can transform into a beast with a challenge rating as high as your druid level divided by 3, rounded down, as long as that creature has a swim speed and no other movement speed listed.

Water Shaper

At 10th level, you can cast Water Breathing, Water Walk, or Control Water once without expending a Spell Slot. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short rest.

Font of Life

At 14th level, your swim speed is increased to double your base speed. In addition, you heal 1 HP every round when submerged in water.