BR:Crusader

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Playtest Material

This class is currently being previewed for the next update of the Basic Rules.

A High Elf necromancer and their baleful summons
Crusader
Strength | Personality
Crusader class symbol
Difficulty
Offense
Defense
Support
1 star
3 stars
3 stars
3 stars
5e Base Class | Half Spellcaster

Class Overview. The Crusader is a half-spellcasting class specializing in combing martial prowess and infusing their strikes with magicka to smite their foes.
Divine Smite. Allows you to expend magicka points to increase weapon attack damage.
Lay on Hands. Adds a pool of points that can be used to cure diseases or heal.

Clad in plate armor that gleams in the sunlight despite the dust and grime of long travel, a Breton lays down her sword and shield and places her hands on a mortally wounded man. Divine radiance shines from her hands, the man’s wounds knit closed, and his eyes open wide with amazement.

A Dunmer crouches behind an outcrop, his black cloak making him nearly invisible in the night, and watches a goblin war band celebrating its recent victory. Silently, he stalks into their midst and whispers an oath, and two goblins are dead before they even realize he is there. Silver hair shining in a shaft of light that seems to illuminate only him, an Altmer laughs with exultation. His spear flashes like his eyes as he jabs again and again at a twisted giant, until at last his light overcomes its hideous darkness.

Whatever their origin and their mission, crusaders are united by their devotion to stand against the forces of evil. Whether sworn before a Divine’s altar and the witness of a priest, in a castle before a sovereign king, or in a moment of desperation and grief with the dead as the only witness, a crusader's devotion is a powerful bond. It is a source of power that turns a devout warrior into a blessed champion.

The Cause of Righteousness

A crusader swears to uphold justice and righteousness, to stand with the good things of the world against the encroaching darkness, and to hunt the forces of evil wherever they lurk. Different crusaders focus on various aspects of the cause of righteousness, but all are bound by the devotions that grant them power to do their sacred work. Although many crusaders are devoted to gods of good, a crusader’s power comes as much from a commitment to justice itself as it does from a god.

Crusaders train for years to learn the skills of combat, mastering a variety of weapons and armor. Even so, their martial skills are secondary to the magical power they wield: power to heal the sick and injured, to smite the wicked and the undead, and to protect the innocent and those who join them in the fight for justice.

Beyond the Mundane Life

Almost by definition, the life of a crusader is an adventuring life. Unless a lasting injury has taken them away from adventuring for a time, every crusader lives on the front lines of the cosmic struggle against evil. Warriors are rare enough among the ranks of the militias and armies of the world, but even fewer people can claim the true calling of a crusader. When they do receive the call, these champions turn from their former occupations and take up arms to fight evil. Sometimes their devotions lead them into the service of a sovereign as leaders of elite groups of knights, but even then their loyalty is first to the cause of righteousness, not to crown or province.

Adventuring crusaders take their work seriously. A delve into an ancient ruin or dusty crypt can be a quest driven by a higher purpose than the acquisition of treasure. Evil lurks in dungeons and primeval forests, and even the smallest victory against it can tilt the cosmic balance away from Oblivion.

Creating a Crusader

The most important aspect of a crusader character is the nature of their holy quest. Although the class features related to your devotion don't appear until you reach 3rd level, plan ahead for that choice by reading the devotion descriptions at the end of the class. Are you a devoted servant of good, loyal to the gods of justice and honor, a holy knight in shining armor venturing forth to smite evil? Are you a glorious champion of the light, cherishing everything beautiful that stands against the shadow, a knight whose devotion descends from traditions older than many of the gods? Or are you an embittered loner sworn to take vengeance on those who have done great evil, sent as an angel of death by the gods or driven by your need for revenge?

How did you experience your call to serve as a crusader? Did you hear a whisper from an unseen god while you were at prayer? Did another crusader sense the potential within you and decide to train you as a squire? Or did some terrible event—the destruction of your home, perhaps—drive you to your quests? Perhaps you stumbled into a sacred grove or a hidden enclave and found yourself called to protect all such refuges of goodness and beauty. Or you might have known from your earliest memories that the crusader’s life was your calling, almost as if you had been sent into the world with that purpose stamped on your soul.

As guardians against the forces of wickedness, crusaders are rarely of any evil alignment. Most of them walk the paths of charity and justice. Consider how your alignment colors the way you pursue your holy quest and the manner in which you conduct yourself before gods and mortals. Your devotion and alignment might be in harmony, or your devotion might represent standards of behavior you have not yet attained.

The Crusader

Level Proficiency Bonus Class Features Magicka Points Spell Level
1 +2 Divine Sense, Lay on Hands - -
2 +2 Fighting Style, Spellcasting, Divine Smite 4 1st
3 +2 Divine Health, Devotion 6 1st
4 +2 Attribute Score Improvement 10 1st
5 +3 Extra Attack 14 2nd
6 +3 Aura of Protection 15 2nd
7 +3 Devotion Feature 17 2nd
8 +3 Attribute Score Improvement 19 2nd
9 +4 - 22 3rd
10 +4 Aura of Courage 27 3rd
11 +4 Improved Divine Smite 30 3rd
12 +4 Attribute Score Improvement 35 3rd
13 +5 - 38 4th
14 +5 Cleansing Touch 40 4th
15 +5 Devotion Feature 44 4th
16 +5 Attribute Score Improvement 50 4th
17 +6 - 57 5th
18 +6 Aura Improvements 60 5th
19 +6 Attribute Score Improvement 64 5th
20 +6 Devotion Feature 64 5th
If your group uses the optional rules on multiclassing in the 5e Core Rules and the Basic Rules, here’s what you need to know if you choose crusader as one of your classes.

Attribute Score Minimum. As a multiclass character, you must have at least Strength and Personality scores of 13 to take a level in this class, or to take a level in another class if you are already a crusader.

Proficiencies Gained. If crusader isn’t your initial class, here are the proficiencies you gain when you take your first level as a crusader: light armor, medium armor, shields, all weapons.

Magicka Points. Add half your levels (rounded down) in the crusader class to the appropriate levels from other classes to determine your available magicka.

Quick Build

You can make a crusader quickly by following these suggestions. First, Personality should be your highest attribute score, followed by Strength. Second, choose the noble background.

Class Features

Hit Points
Hit Dice 1d10 per Crusader level
HP at 1st Level 10 + your Endurance modifier
HP at Higher Levels 1d10 (or 6) + your Endurance modifier per Crusader level after 1st
Proficiencies
Armor All armor, shields
Weapons All weapons
Tools None
Saving Throws Willpower, Personality
Skills Choose two from Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Medicine, Persuasion, Religion.
Equipment
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
  • Chain mail and a holy symbol
  • (a) a blade or blunt weapon and a shield or (b) any two weapons
  • (a) five javelins or (b) any melee weapon
  • (a) a priest's pack or (b) an explorer's pack

As a crusader, you gain the following class features.

Divine Sense

1st-level crusader feature

The presence of strong evil registers on your senses like a noxious odor, and powerful good rings like heavenly music in your ears. As an action, you can open your awareness to detect such forces. Until the end of your next turn, you know the location of any celestial (aedra), fiend (daedra), or undead within 60 feet of you that is not behind total cover. You know the type of any being whose presence you sense, but not its identity. Within the same radius, you also detect the presence of any place or object that has been consecrated or desecrated, as with the hallow spell.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to 1 + your Personality modifier. When you finish a long rest, you regain all expended uses.

Lay on Hands

1st-level crusader feature

Your blessed touch can heal wounds. You have a pool of healing power that replenishes when you take a long rest. With that pool, you can restore a total number of hit points equal to your crusader level × 5.

As an action, you can touch a creature and draw power from the pool to restore a number of hit points to that creature, up to the maximum amount remaining in your pool.

Alternatively, you can expend 5 hit points from your pool of healing to cure the target of one disease or neutralize one poison affecting it. You can cure multiple diseases and neutralize multiple poisons with a single use of Lay on Hands, expending hit points separately for each one.

This feature has no effect on undead and constructs.

Fighting Style

2nd-level crusader feature

You adopt a style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can’t take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.

Defense. While you are wearing armor, your AC is increased by +1.

Divine Warrior. You learn two cantrips of your choice from the priest spell list. They count as crusader spells for you, and Personality is your spellcasting attribute for them. Whenever you gain a level in this class, you can replace one of these cantrips with another cantrip from the priest spell list.

Dueling. When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.

Great Weapon Fighting. When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit.

Protection. When a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll. You must be wielding a shield.

Spellcasting

2nd-level crusader feature

You have learned to draw magic through meditation and prayer to cast spells. See chapter 10 of the Basic Rules for the general rules of spellcasting and chapter 11 for the crusader spell list.

Preparing and Casting Spells

The Crusader table shows how many magicka points you have to cast your crusader spells. To cast one of your crusader spells of 1st level and higher, you must expend magicka points, as noted in the spell's description and the Magicka Cost table found in chapter 10 of the Basic Rules. You regain all expended magicka points when you finish a long rest.

You prepare the list of crusader spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the crusader spell list. When you do so, choose a number of crusader spells equal to your Personality modifier + half your crusader level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you can cast, as shown on the Spell Level column of the Crusader table.

For example, if you are a 5th-level crusader, you can cast a prepared spell at either 1st or 2nd level. With a Personality of 14, your list of prepared spells can include four spells of 1st or 2nd level, in any combination. If you prepare the 1st-level spell cure wounds, you can cast it at either 1st or 2nd level. Casting the spell doesn’t remove it from your list of prepared spells.

You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of crusader spells requires time spent in prayer and meditation: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.

Spellcasting Attribute

Personality is your spellcasting ability for your crusader spells, since their power derives from the strength of your convictions. You use your Personality whenever a crusader spell refers to your spellcasting attribute. In addition, you use your Personality modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a crusader spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Personality modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Personality modifier

Spellcasting Focus

You can use an holy symbol (see chapter 5, “Equipment” of the 5e Core Rules) as a spellcasting focus for your crusader spells.

Divine Smite

2nd-level crusader feature

When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can expend magicka points to deal radiant damage to the target, in addition to the weapon’s damage. The extra damage is 2d8 for a 1st level spell, plus 1d8 for each spell level higher than 1st, to a maximum of 5d8. The damage increases by 1d8 if the target is an undead or a fiend.

Divine Health

3rd-level crusader feature

The divine magic flowing through you makes you immune to disease.

Devotion

3rd-level crusader feature

You devote yourself by following a way of life that defines you as a crusader. Up to this time, you have been in a preparatory stage, committed to a path, but not sworn to it. Now you choose a devotion: Knight, Templar, or Witchhunter.

Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 7th, 15th, and 20th level. Those features include devotion spells and a Channel Divinity feature.

Devotion Source
Herald Legionnaire's Guide to Cyrodiil
Knight Basic Rules
Templar Basic Rules
Zealot Legionnaire's Guide to Cyrodiil
Witch Hunter Basic Rules
Blackguard Playtest

Devotion Spells

Each devotion has a list of associated spells. You gain access to these spells at the levels specified in the devotion description. Once you gain access to a devotion spell, you always have it prepared. Devotion spells don't count against the number of spells you can prepare each day.

If you gain a devotion spell that doesn't appear on the crusader spell list, the spell is nonetheless a crusader spell for you.

Channel Divinity

Your devotion allows you to channel divine energy to fuel magical effects. Each Channel Divinity option provided by your devotion explains how to use it.

When you use your Channel Divinity, you choose which option to use. You must then finish a short or long rest to use your Channel Divinity again.

Some Channel Divinity effects require saving throws. When you use such an effect from this class, the DC equals your crusader spell save DC.

Attribute Score Improvement

4th-level crusader feature

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one attribute score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two attribute scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an attribute score above 20 using this feature.

Extra Attack

5th-level crusader feature

You can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Aura of Protection

6th-level crusader feature

Whenever you or a friendly creature within 10 feet of you must make a saving throw, the creature gains a bonus to the saving throw equal to your Personality modifier (with a minimum bonus of +1). You must be conscious to grant this bonus.

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

Aura of Courage

10th-level crusader feature

You and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can’t be frightened while you are conscious.

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

Improved Divine Smite

11th-level crusader feature

You are so suffused with righteous might that all your melee weapon strikes carry divine power with them. Whenever you hit a creature with a melee weapon, the creature takes an extra 1d8 radiant damage. If you also use your Divine Smite with an attack, you add this damage to the extra damage of your Divine Smite.

Cleansing Touch

14th-level crusader feature

You can use your action to end one spell on yourself or on one willing creature that you touch.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Personality modifier (a minimum of once). You regain expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Crusader Devotions

Becoming a crusader involves taking vows that commit the crusader to the cause of righteousness, an active path of fighting wickedness. Their devotion is the culmination of all the crusader's training. Some characters with this class don’t consider themselves to be true crusaders until they’ve reached 3rd level and made this devotion. For others, their devotion is a formality, an official stamp on what has always been true in the crusader’s heart.

Of noble birth, or distinguished in battle or tourney, Knights are civilized warriors that are schooled in letters and courtesy, and are governed by the codes of chivalry. In addition to the arts of war, Knights study the lore of healing and enchantment. Knights are warriors who pledge service to rulers, religious orders, and noble causes. They are known for their moralistic nature and principled behavior, pledging their honor to those who share their righteous endeavors.
Templars are resolute devotees of the light who have sworn to help the sick and protect the weak. These traveling knights call upon the powers of light and the burning sun to smite their enemies, defend their allies, and heal the sick.

Those that follow Stendarr are priests that clothe themselves in his righteous aura of blessed light. They are worshipers who renounce all forms of violence and freely spread knowledge of cleansing and healing rituals. Following the word of Stendarr, they seek out abominations and unnatural profanities that are abhorrent in their eyes. Purging daedra, undead, Hircine's man-beasts, and Molag Bal's vampires from the Mundus.

Templars in accord with Meridia have similar goals. They relentlessly pursue the undead, cleansing risen corpses whose rotting bodies persist with a loathsome and unnatural vigor, and the vampires that feast upon honest citizens.
Witchhunters are dedicated to rooting out and destroying the perverted practices of dark cults and profane sorcery. They train for martial, magical, and stealthy war against vampires, witches, warlocks, and necromancers.
Declarers of the word, crusaders of the Herald devotion are symbols of righteousness and of the pronouncement of the glad tiding of good news. Heralds are often seen as the pinnacle of a religious order or faith and their presence is often one of inspiration. Sent forth to uplift and ease the burdens of others, heralds often see themselves as servants to the common folk and are highly regarded for their selfless acts of kindness and mercy. Even the most hopeless soul is not beyond the reach of a Herald.
Whether a radical or a true believer, a Zealot is an ardent follower of their faith. Inspired by the actions and life of saints, demi-gods, or inspiring leaders, a Zealot devotes their life in the service of their temple or shrine under the direction of their deity Missionaries of the Imperial Cult seek to spread the word of the Divines throughout all corners of Nirn, adherents of the Tribunal Temple serve as guardians and Ordinators, and supplicants of the Daedric Princes embody the sphere their lord represents. A Zealot will follow without thought of themselves, whatever their cause may be.

Optional: Community Subclasses

For those that seek to expand upon the available possibilities for this class, there exist several options among the community subclasses. The existing community creations may surprise you and can add a new perspective to your adventures in Tamriel. The community subclasses have yet to be playtested and will require permission to use from your GM.

Breaking Your Devotion

A crusader tries to hold to the highest standards of conduct, but even the most virtuous crusader is fallible. Sometimes the right path proves too demanding, sometimes a situation calls for the lesser of two evils, and sometimes the heat of emotion causes a crusader to transgress his or her devotion. A crusader who has broken a vow typically seeks absolution from a priest who shares his or her faith or from another crusader of the same order. The crusader might spend an all-night vigil in prayer as a sign of penitence, or undertake a fast or similar act of self-denial. After a rite of confession and forgiveness, the crusader starts fresh. If a crusader willfully violates his or her devotion and shows no sign of repentance, the consequences can be more serious. At the GM’s discretion, an impenitent crusader might be forced to abandon this class and adopt another, or perhaps to take the Blackguard crusader option.

Blackguards are crusaders who care only for their own power and survival. These profane knights are faithful only to themselves. Anyone desperate enough to follow one of these crusaders does so because, while deceitful, these crusaders command great power. Those whom follow them without falling prey to their treachery hope to indulge in wonton violence and accumulate great treasure. Many of these crusaders pay homage to the Daedra, especially Boethia and Mephala. Although the Daedric Princes are reluctant to ally with these champions of chaos, they can find a kindred spirit in a Blackguard's penchant for double dealing and treachery.

Optional Class Features

You gain class features when you reach certain levels in your class. This section offers additional features that you can gain as a crusader. Unlike the other features, you don’t gain these features automatically. Consulting with your GM, you decide whether to gain a feature in this section if you meet the level requirement noted in the feature’s description. These features can be selected separately from one another, you can use some, all, or none of them.

Channel Divinity: Harness Divine Magicka

3rd-level crusader feature

You can expend a use of your Channel Divinity to fuel your spells. As a bonus action, you touch your holy symbol, utter a prayer, and regain a number of magicka points equal to your proficiency bonus.