Servant of the Grave – A Vampiric Roguish Archetype for D&D 5th Edition

Some rogues take up careers of skullduggery and subterfuge.  Some become warrior poets, chronicling epic battles and taking part in them as well.  Others take a darker path, in service for the legions of the undead.  The Servant of the Grave is one such roguish character.  All who embrace this title forsake their humanity in the name of power; improved stealth, near immortality, and near invulnerability!

The powers of the vampyr are indeed mighty, but those who obtain them usually fall to despair, madness, or succumbing to the tainted blood’s curse in general.  Many of those who receive these gifts are part of dark cults that revere vampires are divine beings, seeking to become like them as well.  These cultists are almost always evil, however many of their sacrifices and experiments are not.  Perhaps you are one of those victims of dark cult magicks, turning you into one of the living dead.

Born into Darkness –

At level 3, you gain resistance to necrotic damage and a vulnerability to radiant damage.  While eating and drinking is somewhat sustaining, you will starve if you don’t drink blood.

Taste for Blood –

Your fangs develop into a deadly weapon of darkness.  You gain a bite attack that deals 1d4 piercing damage; increasing damage as you gain levels (d6 at level 8, d8 at level 13, d10 at level 18).  You must use your bite ability once every 24 hours or take 1 level of exhaustion per day from starvation until you do.

When you use the bite attack, you can regain HP equal to damage from attack.  However, this special ability works once per long rest; becoming once per short rest at level 17.

Dread Forms –

At level 9, you can take one of many sinister shapes.  As an action, you can change shape to one of the following forms for up to 1/2 your character level; giant bat, wolf, green mist (see below.)  After using this twice ability, you must take a long rest to use it again.  As an option, you may spend both of your abilities to take the form of a humanoid-bat monster hybrid, similar to the hybrid form of the lycanthrope.  Stats for new forms detailed below:

Bat Hybrid Form:  You take the form of a bipedal bat-like creature.  You gain echolocation, keen hearing, and blindsight from the Bat (MM P. 318) as well as flight speed of 50 feet; your AC becomes 11 + Dexterity bonus as your armor melds into your new form (You can choose not to have your armor meld. However, you do not get the natural AC bonus. In addition, you can’t fly if either the armor isn’t altered for your wings or is heavier than the ‘light armor’ category.)

Green Mist Form: You become a fine green mist that’s hard to see through.  You cannot make any attacks of any kind; you have immunity to non-magic weapons, resistance to all other damage; you hover at 30 feet speed, but can’t fly in this form.

Shadow Stalker –

At level 13, you are adept at sneaking up on your enemies.  You gain advantage in Dexterity (Stealth) checks.  You may also climb on walls as per the Spider Climb ability of the vampire. However, you gain the Sunlight Sensitivity trait found in the drow sub-race and require means of getting around that (such as heavy clothing or magic items.)

Dark Embrace –

Upon reaching level 17, you gain full resistances and weaknesses of the vampire.  You are also resistant to bludgeoning/piercing/slashing damage from non-magical weapons. You no longer have to eat, drink, sleep or breath like a living creature; you are effectively undead.  However, you must sleep in an unholy space (like a coffin designated as yours) to gain benefits of a long rest.

However, you can be destroyed if brought to 0 HP by radiant damage or while in sunlight.  Also, your dependence on vampiric powers was warped you.  If you do not use your bite ability once every 24 hours, you gain disadvantage on any check not made to track and drink blood from a victim.  Any unfriendly creatures become hostile upon knowing your vampiric abilities.  However, you can use your Dread Form ability at-will.

Source: Kagehiisa (Deviantart); Lazarusreturns (Deviantart)


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