BR:Warden

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A Dunmer warden and their companion prepares for an assault
Warden
Willpower | Endurance
Warden class symbol
Difficulty
Offense
Defense
Support
2 stars
2 stars
2 stars
3 stars
Delvebound Class | Full Spellcaster

Class Overview. The Warden is a spellcasting class specializing in drawing magic from nature and harnessing it for its defense.
Mark of Balance. Brand friendly or hostile creatures to heal or harm them.
Timeless Body. Reduces the toll time takes on you.

Holding his hand high, a Redguard whistles to the bear that stalks in front of him, calling the bear back to his side. Whispering instruction in Yoku, he points to the river troll he's been tracking and sends the bear to distract the troll while he readies a powerful spell.

Swinging a mace formed by pure ice, an Argonian charges into a mass of skeletal soldiers, sundering the unnatural magic that gives the foul creatures the mocking semblance of life.

Crouching out of sight on a high tree branch in the form of a leopard, a Bosmer peers out of the jungle at the strange construction of the daedric temple, keeping an eye on cultists' activities.

Whether calling on the elemental forces of nature or emulating the creatures of the animal world, Wardens are an embodiment of nature's resilience, cunning, and fury. They claim no mastery over nature. Instead, they see themselves as extensions of nature's indomitable will.

Guardians of Nature

Wardens are stalwart protectors who draw on the primal spirits of nature to defend the natural world. They revere nature above all, gaining their spells and other magical powers from the forces of nature or from their connection with Y'ffre, the deity of song and forest. Drawing upon the natural environment, wardens are able to shape and change reality itself.

Wardens are willing to shed blood to protect the wilds, attacking individuals, gangs, and entire outposts that have done harm to Y'ffre's realm. While warden spells are oriented towards nature and animals, how they choose to use this power is up to them. Some fight side by side with animal companions, overwhelming their enemies with the intensity of tooth and claw. Others call on the aspects of nature, harnessing the preservative and devastating powers of the seasons, or becoming like the forest itself. Some wardens even gain the ability to take on animal forms, even to the point where they prefer their animal form to their natural form.

Protecting the Balance

For wardens, nature exists in a precarious balance. They understand their role to protect the natural world can take many forms, many of which seem to contradict one another. Wardens consider anyone who seeks out to corrupt or destroy nature as enemies, yet they accept that which is cruel in nature.

Wardens are also concerned with the delicate ecological balance that sustains plant and animal life, and the need for civilized folk to live in harmony with nature, not in opposition to it. While they are guardians and protectors, they appreciate that conservation requires both the preservation of natures gifts, as well as the culling of its own kind to keep the balance intact. Sometimes protection includes stepping in when nature seeks to consume itself. Unlike the Bosmer followers of Y'ffre, wardens are willing to make full use of nature's bounty in order to survive.

Wardens are warriors on Nature's behalf and exist throughout Tamriel. They hate that which is unnatural, including fiends (such as the daedra) and the undead (such as zombies and vampires). Wardens are often found guarding sacred sites or watching over regions of unspoiled nature. But when a significant danger arises, threatening nature's balance or the lands they protect, wardens take on a more active role in combating the threat, as adventurers.

Creating a Warden

When making a warden, consider why your character has such a close bond with nature. Perhaps your character had a dramatic encounter with a tremendous seasonal storm, struck by lightning or nearly frozen by a blizzard, and survived the experience. Maybe your character was raised by nature – taken in by a bear and raised as though one of her cubs, or you character was abandoned in the depths of a forest to be nurtured by spriggans. Perhaps your character is a staunch defender of a barbarian tribe, chosen by the spirits of nature as part of your character's destiny to protect your people.

Have you always been an adventurer, or did you first spent time as a caretaker of a sacred grove or spring? Perhaps your homeland was befouled by evil, and you took up an adventuring life in hopes of protecting the homelands of others.

The Warden

Level Proficiency Bonus Class Features Cantrips Known Magicka Points Spell Level
1 +2 Spellcasting 2 4 1st
2 +2 Mark of Balance, Warden Conclave 2 6 1st
3 +2 - 2 14 2nd
4 +2 Attribute Score Improvement 3 17 2nd
5 +3 - 3 27 3rd
6 +3 Warden Conclave Feature 3 32 3rd
7 +3 - 3 38 4th
8 +3 Attribute Score Improvement 3 44 4th
9 +4 - 3 57 5th
10 +4 Warden Conclave Feature 4 64 5th
11 +4 - 4 73 6th
12 +4 Attribute Score Improvement 4 73 6th
13 +5 - 4 83 7th
14 +5 Warden Conclave Feature 4 83 7th
15 +5 - 4 94 8th
16 +5 Attribute Score Improvement 4 94 8th
17 +6 - 4 107 9th
18 +6 Timeless Body, Mark of Harmony 4 114 9th
19 +6 Attribute Score Improvement 4 123 9th
20 +6 Archwarden 4 133 9th

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 warden as one of your classes.

Attribute Score Minimum. As a multiclass character, you must have at least a Willpower score of 13 to take a level in this class, or to take a level in another class if you are already a warden.

Proficiencies Gained. If warden isn’t your initial class, here are the proficiencies you gain when you take your first level as a warden: light and medium armor, shields, blunt, marksman, polearms, short blades, and Herbalism kit.

Magicka Points. Add all your levels in the warden class to the appropriate levels from other classes to determine your available magicka.

Quick Build

You can make a warden quickly by following these suggestions. First, Willpower should be your highest attribute score, followed by Endurance. Second, choose the hermit background.

Class Features

Hit Points
Hit Dice 1d8 per Warden level
HP at 1st Level 8 + your Endurance modifier
HP at Higher Levels 1d8 (or 5) + your Endurance modifier per Warden level after 1st
Proficiencies
Armor Light armor, Medium armor, shields
Weapons blunt, marksman, polearms, and short blades
Tools Herbalism kit
Saving Throws Intelligence, Willpower
Skills Choose two from Arcana, Animal Handling, Insight, Medicine, Nature, Perception, Religion, and Survival.
Equipment
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
  • Leather armor and an explorer's pack
  • (a) a shield or (b) a marksman weapon
  • (a) a pole-arm weapon or (b) two shortswords

As a warden, you gain the following class features.

Spellcasting

1st-level warden feature

Drawing on the divine essence of nature itself, you can cast spells to shape that essence to your will. See chapter 10 of the Basic Rules for the general rules of spellcasting and chapter 11 for the warden spell list.

Cantrips (0-Level Spells)

You know two cantrips of your choice from the warden spell list. You learn additional warden cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Warden table.

Magicka

The Warden table shows how much magicka you have to cast your warden spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend magicka, 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 when you finish a long rest. For example, if you know the 1st-level spell goodberry and have a spell level of 2nd, you can use magicka to cast goodberry at either level.

Preparing and Casting Spells

You prepare the list of warden spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the warden spell list. When you do so, choose a number of warden spells equal to your Willpower modifier + your warden level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you can cast.

For example, if you are a 3rd-level warden, you have 17 magicka and can cast 2nd level spells. With a Willpower of 16, your list of prepared spells can include six spells of 1st or 2nd level, in any combination. If you prepare the 1st level spell cure wounds, you can cast it at 1st-level or 2nd-level. Casting the spell doesn't remove it from your list of prepared spells.

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

Spellcasting Attribute

Willpower is your spellcasting attribute for your warden spells, since your magic draws upon your devotion and attunement to nature. You use your Willpower whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting attribute. In addition, you use your Willpower modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a warden spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

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

Ritual Casting

You can cast a warden spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell prepared.

Spellcasting Focus

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

Mark of Balance

2nd-level warden feature

You gain a supernatural connection with the circle of nature, which requires a balance between life and death. As a bonus action you can mark a creature as either an Ally or an Enemy. A marked creature gains certain benefits. Your mark may gain additional effects determined by your conclave.

You can use this feature twice. You regain expended uses when you finish a short or long rest.

The mark lasts for 1 hour, unless you use a bonus action to end it, or if you fall unconscious. As a bonus action, you can move the Mark of Balance to another creature and choose to mark them as an Ally or Enemy.

Ally. Whenever you cast a spell of 1st level or higher on a creature marked as an ally, they gain hit points equal to your Willpower modifier. If the marked creature is a plant this healing is doubled.

Enemy. Whenever you cast a spell of 1st level or higher on a creature marked as an enemy, you deal additional necrotic damage equal to your Willpower modifier. If the marked creature is a plant the additional damage is doubled.

Warden Conclave

2nd-level warden feature

You choose to identify with a conclave of wardens, each detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 2nd level and again at 6th, 10th, and 14th level.

Conclave Source
Conclave of Companions Basic Rules
Conclave of Nature's Embrace Basic Rules
Conclave of the Wild Basic Rules
Conclave of the Elements Legionnaire's Guide to Cyrodiil
Conclave of Spinners Legionnaire's Guide to Cyrodiil
Conclave of Vermin Legionnaire's Guide to Cyrodiil
Conclave of Balance Community Creations
Conclave of Battle Community Creations

Attribute Score Improvement

4th-level warden 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.

Timeless Body

18th-level warden feature

The primal magic that you wield causes you to age more slowly. For every 10 years that pass, your body ages only 1 year.

Mark of Harmony

18th-level warden feature

When you use your Mark of Balance feature, you can also choose any number of creatures that you can see within 60 feet of you and mark them as either an Ally or an Enemy. Creatures marked in this way remain marked for 1 minute, or until you are knocked unconscious.

Once you use this feature, you must finish a long rest before you can do so again.

Archwarden

20th-level warden feature

You can use your Mark of Balance an unlimited number of times.

Warden Conclaves

Even though it would appear that wardens are outsiders and individuals to most others, they are united by their connection to the wilds. Wardens recognize each other as brothers and sisters. Like creatures of the wilderness, however, wardens sometimes compete with or even prey on each other.

Although beholden to no one, wardens can be found in throughout Tamriel, offering their unique skills to organizations like the Fighters Guild or Mages Guild.

Those who join the Conclave of Companions have spent their lives building strong connections with the beasts of the wilds. These wardens have created a unique bond with a specific beast companion while also embodying a resolute, undying accord with animals throughout Tamriel.
Harnessing the primal forces of the Mundas, the wardens of the Conclave of the Elements are exponents of the raw power of Nirn. Seeking elemental attunement, these wardens strive to embody the essence of their elements in both body and spirit. Some seek ever changing currents and excitement like that of electricity. Some ground themselves in solace and solitude like that of the stone. Others seek new birth, renewal and to bring about change like that of the flame. Others find the calm within the inner raging winds of their being like that of the cold. Whatever elemental attunement they strive for, members of the Conclave of the Elements are forces of great power.
Wardens from the Conclave of Nature's Embrace carry the dynamic intensity of fury and tranquility that of the seasons. Channeling terrifying storms and verdant growth, these wardens are known for their limitless talents and tremendous power over the environment.
The Conclave of Spinners is reserved for Bosmeri priests of Y'ffre. The spinners emulate “the Storyteller” by preserving Bosmeri history, culture, and laws through stories and metaphors.

Spinners often live their lives as though they are narrating a story, and speak in much the same way. Spinners weave tales about future events, divining and prophesying, the same way others might remember the past. The more powerful a spinner becomes, the more powerful their prescience seems to be.

It is rare for a spinner to take up a life of adventuring, but those that do seek to protect and preserve Y'ffre's gifts, collect stories of their adventuring to be recorded for future historians.
Surrounding themselves with arachnids, rodents, and

other pests, wardens of the Conclave of Vermin— sometimes known as Vermincallers—find comfort in being part of a swarm. They are masters of breeding and keeping an array of tiny, dangerous creatures, which they use to enact their will.

Perhaps influenced by the work of the Altmer mage Kornalus Frey, or Servos and Merilar Rendas, Vermincallers infuse these tiny critters with alchemical serums and enchantments to transform them into dangerous companions or volatile weapons.

Y'ffre, the god of forest and song, infuses wardens of the Conclave of the Wild with the uncontrollable call of the natural world. These wardens can change their shape to take on the ferocious form of a wild creature.

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.