The archetypes below can apply to the core of any character in Etheria. Whether a citizen of Et or a member of a far-removed tribe in The Expanse, the challenges present in Etheria promote the development of certain skills and abilities, though they may appear quite different across cultural groups.
For example, a cleric from an estranged tribe may well be a religious leader of their community, using the power of their deity to guide others through the harshness of life in The Expanse, whereas in the city of Et, the same cleric may act as an independent agent, taking on contracts or engagements pursuing their own ends under the banner of their chosen god.
The class options below include content from the Wizards of the Coast's Systems Reference Document (SRD). The new class archetypes specific to our setting have been added in blue; content in black text is pulled from the SRD.
Path of the Berserker
For some barbarians, rage is a means to an end—that end being violence. The Path of the Berserker is a path of untrammeled fury, slick with blood. As you enter the berserker’s rage, you thrill in the chaos of battle, heedless of your own health or well-being.
Frenzy. Starting when you choose this path at 3rd level, you can go into a frenzy when you rage. If you do so, for the duration of your rage you can make a single melee weapon attack as a bonus action on each of your turns after this one. When your rage ends, you suffer one level of exhaustion (as described in appendix PH-A).
Path of the Channeler
The Expanse is suffused with a primal power that flows through every stone, tree, and valley. Some use it to infuse their magic, while others have been deeply scarred by its influence; you have learned to channel that power into ferocity. The Path of the Channeler is an ongoing struggle to pull the power of The Expanse into your rage without losing yourself in the process.
Conduit. You have a pool of primal dice equal to your barbarian level, which are d6s. When you hit with an attack while raging, you can expend any number of your primal dice by rolling them and adding the result to the damage of your attack. All expended primal dice replenish when you take a long rest.
Any time you use this feature, make a Constitution saving throw. If the result is lower than the combined number on the primal dice rolled during your attack, you take the same damage from the primal dice and your rage ends immediately.
College of Lore
Bards of the College of Lore know something about most things, collecting bits of knowledge from sources as diverse as scholarly tomes and peasant tales. Whether singing folk ballads in taverns or elaborate compositions in royal courts, these bards use their gifts to hold audiences spellbound. When the applause dies down, the audience members might find themselves questioning everything they held to be true, from their faith in the priesthood of the local temple to their loyalty to the king.
The loyalty of these bards lies in the pursuit of beauty and truth, not in fealty to a monarch or following the tenets of a deity. A noble who keeps such a bard as a herald or advisor knows that the bard would rather be honest than politic.
The college’s members gather in libraries and sometimes in actual colleges, complete with classrooms and dormitories, to share their lore with one another. They also meet at festivals or affairs of state, where they can expose corruption, unravel lies, and poke fun at self-important figures of authority.
Bonus Proficiencies. When you join the College of Lore at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with three skills of your choice.
Cutting Words. Also at 3rd level, you learn how to use your wit to distract, confuse, and otherwise sap the confidence and competence of others. When a creature that you can see within 60 feet of you makes an attack roll, an ability check, or a damage roll, you can use your reaction to expend one of your uses of Bardic Inspiration, rolling a Bardic Inspiration die and subtracting the number rolled from the creature’s roll. You can choose to use this feature after the creature makes its roll, but before the GM determines whether the attack roll or ability check succeeds or fails, or before the creature deals its damage. The creature is immune if it can’t hear you or if it’s immune to being charmed.
College of Performance
Bards of the College of Performance are true entertainers. They soothe the minds and bodies of their audiences and help them forget the troubles of the day. Their performance is itself magical, and can influence the minds and magic of others.
Members of this college can create breathtaking performances regardless of locale; a tavern may find itself spellbound to the bard’s performance until the bard deems ready to cease, a royal court rendered unable to speak until the bard completes their performance, or a single noble enamored with the bard after a single, well-played song. These bards show the world that music is itself magic, and are coveted or feared by those who know of their performances.
Bonus Proficiencies. When you join the College of Performance at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in the Performance and Arcana skills. If you are already proficient in either, you can double your proficiency modifier for checks with these skills.
Magical Enhancement. Also at 3rd level, you can infuse your music into the magical effects around you. When a creature that you can see within 60 feet of you casts a spell, you can use your reaction to expend one of your uses of Bardic Inspiration, rolling a Bardic Inspiration die and adding the number rolled to the effect of the spell, be it damage, healing, or otherwise (but not attack rolls). You can choose to use this feature after the creature makes rolls for the effect, but before the GM reveals the outcome of the spell’s effect. This feature has no effect if the target of the triggering spell cannot hear you.
The Life domain focuses on the vibrant positive energy—one of the fundamental forces of the universe—that sustains all life. The gods of life promote vitality and health through healing the sick and wounded, caring for those in need, and driving away the forces of death and undeath.
Life Domain Spells.
Cleric Level - Spells
1st - bless, cure wounds
3rd - lesser restoration, spiritual weapon
Bonus Proficiency. When you choose this domain at 1st level, you gain proficiency with heavy armor.
Disciple of Life. Also starting at 1st level, your healing spells are more effective. Whenever you use a spell of 1st level or higher to restore hit points to a creature, the creature regains additional hit points equal to 2 + the spell’s level.
- Preserve Life. Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity to heal the badly injured. As an action, you present your holy symbol and evoke healing energy that can restore a number of hit points equal to five times your cleric level. Choose any creatures within 30 feet of you, and divide those hit points among them. This feature can restore a creature to no more than half of its hit point maximum. You can’t use this feature on an undead or a construct.
The Fear domain recognizes the dangers of the world as foundational to how its inhabitants behave. Fear motivates the creation of deals, tribes, and cities and is a powerful force. Clerics of the Fear domain view fear as an uncomfortable but positive energy in the world.
Fear Domain Spells.
Cleric Level - Spells
1st - bane, sleep
3rd - ray of enfeeblement, silence
Know Fear. When you choose this domain at 1st level, you gain proficiency in the Intimidation or Insight skill and have advantage on saving throws against fear effects.
Divine Retribution. Also starting at 1st level, you can intimidate foes who have hurt you. When you are hit by a melee attack, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attacking creature's attack rolls until the end of its next turn.
- Destroy Hope. Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity to harm and frighten your enemies. As an action, you emit energy from your holy symbol. Choose any number of creatures within 30 feet of you to target, and each target must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 2d8 radiant damage and becomes frightened of you until it loses line of sight from you or takes damage from a source other than you. On a successful save, the target takes half damage and is not frightened.
Circle of the Land
The Circle of the Land is made up of mystics and sages who safeguard ancient knowledge and rites through a vast oral tradition. These druids meet within sacred circles of trees or standing stones to whisper primal secrets in Druidic. The circle’s wisest members preside as the chief priests of communities that hold to the Old Faith and serve as advisors to the rulers of those folk.
As a member of this circle, your magic is influenced by the land where you were initiated into the circle’s mysterious rites.
Bonus Cantrip. When you choose this circle at 2nd level, you learn one additional druid cantrip of your choice.
Natural Recovery. Starting at 2nd level, you can regain some of your magical energy by sitting in meditation and communing with nature. During a short rest, you choose expended spell slots to recover. The spell slots can have a combined level that is equal to or less than half your druid level (rounded up), and none of the slots can be 6th level or higher. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest. For example, when you are a 4th-level druid, you can recover up to two levels worth of spell slots. You can recover either a 2nd-level slot or two 1st-level slots.
Circle Spells. Your mystical connection to the land infuses you with the ability to cast certain spells. At 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th level you gain access to circle spells connected to the land where you became a druid. Choose that land—arctic, coast, desert, forest, grassland, mountain, or swamp—and consult the associated list of spells. Once you gain access to a circle spell, you always have it prepared, and it doesn’t count against the number of spells you can prepare each day. If you gain access to a spell that doesn’t appear on the druid spell list, the spell is nonetheless a druid spell for you.
Druid Level - Circle Spells
3rd - barkskin, spider climb
Circle of Balance
The Circle of Balance is an order that recognizes life as an infinite force that suffuses the world, moving through all living things. Druids who make up this circle seek to preserve the natural order of birth, life and death. They act as doulas, spiritual counselors, or morticians for their communities, and guide creatures in the world along their paths through life.
As a member of this circle, you are familiar with the raw energy of life that flows through all creatures and can manipulate it in yourself and others.
Restful Meditation. When you choose this circle at 2nd level, you can meditate during a short rest to regain more hit points. When spending Hit Dice during a short rest, you gain additional hit points equal to your druid level.
Reaper. Starting at 2nd level, you gain the ability to pull a creature’s life force into yourself. When one of your spells reduces a Small or larger creature to 0 hit points, you can regain an expended spell slot. That spell slot must be the same level as the triggering spell or lower.
The archetypal Champion focuses on the development of raw physical power honed to deadly perfection. Those who model themselves on this archetype combine rigorous training with physical excellence to deal devastating blows.
Improved Critical. Beginning when you choose this archetype at 3rd level, your weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.
The archetypical defender shoulders the safety of everyone in the battle. The model defender is in the center of the fray, keeps the focus of their enemies, and emerges from the most challenging onslaughts ready to take on more.
Shield Bash. When a creature moves within 5ft of you, you can use your reaction to bash it with your shield. The target makes a Constitution saving throw against your save throw DC (8+STR mod+proficiency mod); if it fails, it is pushed back 5ft, and cannot use any more of its movement. On a natural 1, the target is stunned until the beginning of your next turn. On a success, the creature is unaffected.
Imposing Stature. As an action, you can declare your mastery of the battlefield. Choose 1 creature that can see or hear you, and it must make a Wisdom saving throw against your save throw DC. If it fails, the creature deems you the greatest threat on the battlefield, and has disadvantage on attack rolls against targets other than you until you are incapacitated or 1 minute goes by. This effect can target up to three creatures at one time, but each must be targeted with separate actions.
Way of the Open Hand
Monks of the Way of the Open Hand are the ultimate masters of martial arts combat, whether armed or unarmed. They learn techniques to push and trip their opponents, manipulate ki to heal damage to their bodies, and practice advanced meditation that can protect them from harm.
Open Hand Technique. Starting when you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you can manipulate your enemy’s ki when you harness your own. Whenever you hit a creature with one of the attacks granted by your Flurry of Blows, you can impose one of the following effects on that target:
- It must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or be knocked prone.
- It must make a Strength saving throw. If it fails, you can push it up to 15 feet away from you.
- It can’t take reactions until the end of your next turn.
Way of the Titan
Monks of the Way of the Titan manipulate their ki so that their bodies carry the weight and character of titans. As a monk grows with this path, their mind and body begin to change to match their discipline, shielding them from harm, strengthening their blows, and removing vulnerabilities of their natural forms.
Heavy Strikes. Your monk damage die goes up by one size, and will be one size larger than reflected in the Martial Arts column of the Monk table for all monk levels you take from now on.
Oath of Devotion
The Oath of Devotion binds a paladin to the loftiest ideals of justice, virtue, and order. Sometimes called cavaliers, white knights, or holy warriors, these paladins meet the ideal of the knight in shining armor, acting with honor in pursuit of justice and the greater good. They hold themselves to the highest standards of conduct, and some, for better or worse, hold the rest of the world to the same standards. Many who swear this oath are devoted to gods of law and good and use their gods’ tenets as the measure of their devotion. They hold angels—the perfect servants of good—as their ideals, and incorporate images of angelic wings into their helmets or coats of arms.
Tenets of Devotion. Though the exact words and strictures of the Oath of Devotion vary, paladins of this oath share these tenets.
- Honesty. Don’t lie or cheat. Let your word be your promise.
- Courage. Never fear to act, though caution is wise.
- Compassion. Aid others, protect the weak, and punish those who threaten them. Show mercy to your foes, but temper it with wisdom.
- Honor. Treat others with fairness, and let your honorable deeds be an example to them. Do as much good as possible while causing the least amount of harm.
- Duty. Be responsible for your actions and their consequences, protect those entrusted to your care, and obey those who have just authority over you.
Oath Spells. You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed.
Paladin Level - Spells
3rd - protection from evil and good, sanctuary
Channel Divinity. When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.
- Sacred Weapon. As an action, you can imbue one weapon that you are holding with positive energy, using your Channel Divinity. For 1 minute, you add your Charisma modifier to attack rolls made with that weapon (with a minimum bonus of +1). The weapon also emits bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light 20 feet beyond that. If the weapon is not already magical, it becomes magical for the duration. You can end this effect on your turn as part of any other action. If you are no longer holding or carrying this weapon, or if you fall unconscious, this effect ends.
- Turn the Unholy. As an action, you present your holy symbol and speak a prayer censuring fiends and undead, using your Channel Divinity. Each fiend or undead that can see or hear you within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw. If the creature fails its saving throw, it is turned for 1 minute or until it takes damage. A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from you as it can, and it can’t willingly move to a space within 30 feet of you. It also can’t take reactions. For its action, it can use only the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there’s nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action.
Oath of Truth
The Oath of Truth is a vow to see the world for what it is. Etheria holds many mysteries, from the secrets kept by corrupt merchants to the hidden mechanisms of The Expanse, and paladins of this oath are sworn to pursue answers in whatever form they take. Some paladins act as investigators, pursuing mysteries created by the secretive actions of people, while others seek answers lost to The Expanse and the ravages of time.
Tenets of Truth. Paladins of the Oath of Truth may vary widely, they all carry a singular dedication to finding the truth. Their tenets reject falsehoods and embrace the pursuit of discovery.
- Seek the Unknown. The world is full of mysteries; so many you will never know them all. Never cease your search to know and understand.
- Destroy Falsehood. Do not tolerate inaccurate information. Intentionally harmful or mistaken, falsehoods bring ruin to those who accept them.
- Aid the Hurt. Pain leads to misunderstanding. Be an ally to those who are hurt; they will need help to remain steadfast with the truth.
- Embrace the Truth. Truth is not always easy to accept, but you must. Never shield yourself from the world as it exists; knowledge is power.
Oath Spells. You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed.
Paladin Level - Spells
3rd - identify, faerie fire
Channel Divinity. When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.
- Divine Knowledge. As a bonus action, you gain an instinctual knowledge of a creature. For one minute, you have advantage on Insight checks and attack rolls against the creature.
- Declare Truth. As an action, you can speak a prayer that booms with divine power in the minds of fey creatures. Each fey creature that can hear your prayer within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, the creature becomes frightened of you for one minute or until it takes damage.
Emulating the Hunter archetype means accepting your place as a bulwark between civilization and the terrors of the wilderness. As you walk the Hunter’s path, you learn specialized techniques for fighting the threats you face, from rampaging ogres and hordes of orcs to towering giants and terrifying dragons.
Hunter’s Prey. At 3rd level, you gain one of the following features of your choice.
- Colossus Slayer. Your tenacity can wear down the most potent foes. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, the creature takes an extra 1d8 damage if it’s below its hit point maximum. You can deal this extra damage only once per turn.
- Giant Killer. When a Large or larger creature within 5 feet of you hits or misses you with an attack, you can use your reaction to attack that creature immediately after its attack, provided that you can see the creature.
- Horde Breaker. Once on each of your turns when you make a weapon attack, you can make another attack with the same weapon against a different creature that is within 5 feet of the original target and within range of your weapon.
The lore-seeker archetype is poised to defend civilization against the mysteries of the wilderness. While the hunter combats the beasts, terrors, and other pressing dangers of the wilds, the lore-seeker searches for better understanding of The Expanse. The lore-seeker aims to arm civilization with knowledge to better face the dangers of tomorrow. Together with the hunter, they vouchsafe the long- and short-term safety of the civilized world.
Afflict Foe. In combat, you can interject into an enemy's natural rhythm to disrupt their attack. When an enemy makes an attack roll within 30ft of you, you can use your reaction to magically impose disadvantage on the attack roll. If it is one of your favored enemies, it must make a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC. On a failure, the attack automatically misses.
You hone your skills in the larcenous arts. Burglars, bandits, cutpurses, and other criminals typically follow this archetype, but so do rogues who prefer to think of themselves as professional treasure seekers, explorers, delvers, and investigators. In addition to improving your agility and stealth, you learn skills useful for delving into ancient ruins, reading unfamiliar languages, and using magic items you normally couldn’t employ.
Fast Hands. Starting at 3rd level, you can use the bonus action granted by your Cunning Action to make a Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check, use your thieves’ tools to disarm a trap or open a lock, or take the Use an Object action.
Second-Story Work. When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain the ability to climb faster than normal; climbing no longer costs you extra movement. In addition, when you make a running jump, the distance you cover increases by a number of feet equal to your Dexterity modifier.
You’ve dedicated your skills towards the manipulation of others, either through raw force or subtler methods. Whether your goal is to establish authority or actually assert your dominance in combat, your abilities tend to put you at an advantage. Brutes throughout Etheria may find this to their advantage, but so too do negotiators, mercenary leaders, and explorers of The Expanse.
Plausible Deniability. You have advantage on Charisma (Deception) checks against non-hostile creatures.
Push the Advantage. When you hit an enemy with an attack, you can make a bonus action to perform a Shove attack to knock them prone, using either your Dexterity (Acrobatics) or Strength (Athletics) skill for the attack.
Your innate magic comes from draconic magic that was mingled with your blood or that of your ancestors. Most often, sorcerers with this origin trace their descent back to a mighty sorcerer of ancient times who made a bargain with a dragon or who might even have claimed a dragon parent. Some of these bloodlines are well established in the world, but most are obscure. Any given sorcerer could be the first of a new bloodline, as a result of a pact or some other exceptional circumstance.
Dragon Ancestor. At 1st level, you choose one type of dragon as your ancestor. The damage type associated with each dragon is used by features you gain later.
Dragon - Damage Type
Black - Acid
Blue - Lightning
Brass - Fire
Bronze - Lightning
Copper - Acid
Gold - Fire
Green - Poison
Red - Fire
Silver - Cold
White - Cold
You can speak, read, and write Draconic. Additionally, whenever you make a Charisma check when interacting with dragons, your proficiency bonus is doubled if it applies to the check.
Draconic Resilience. As magic flows through your body, it causes physical traits of your dragon ancestors to emerge. At 1st level, your hit point maximum increases by 1 and increases by 1 again whenever you gain a level in this class. Additionally, parts of your skin are covered by a thin sheen of dragon-like scales. When you aren’t wearing armor, your AC equals 13 + your Dexterity modifier.
Through tribal ritual, accident, or plain chance, you were exposed to the magical power of The Expanse during your birth. Sorcerers born this way retain a sensitivity to and awareness of magic throughout their lives. This innate magical power gives them the ability to alter and react to magic around them, but can also endanger them if not used properly.
Reactive. When you make a saving throw against a magical effect, you are considered proficient with that saving throw. If you are already proficient, you can add double your proficiency bonus to the save instead of your normal proficiency bonus.
Arcane Awareness. Whenever you use a sorcery point, you become aware of any sources of magical energy within 30ft of you. You are able to pinpoint the location of the magic, but not the type or strength. This awareness lasts until the end of your turn.
You have made a pact with a fiend from the lower planes of existence, a being whose aims are evil, even if you strive against those aims. Such beings desire the corruption or destruction of all things, ultimately including you.
Expanded Spell List. The Fiend 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.
Spell Level - Spells
1st - burning hands, command
2nd - blindness/deafness, scorching ray
3rd - fireball, stinking cloud
Dark One’s Blessing. Starting at 1st level, when you reduce a hostile creature to 0 hit points, you gain temporary hit points equal to your Charisma modifier + your warlock level (minimum of 1).
The Great Chaos
Your patron is an entity that has dedicated its existence to the rejection of fate. Beings in this category desire nothing more or less than the corruption or destruction of the natural order of the world and the gods. Your feelings may not echo your patron, but your magic seems to hold your patron’s desires within it.
Expanded Spell List. The Great Chaos 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.
Spell Level - Spells
1st - bane, false life
2nd - gentle repose, suggestion
3rd - bestow curse, nondetection
Chaotic Casting. When you cast a spell of first level or higher, roll a d10 and add the corresponding effect below to your spell.
- 10 - You can target one additional creature with your spell, with the same restrictions and effects as listed as if it were a new casting of the spell.
- 6-9 - Gain 1d4 temporary hit points (these do not stack).
- 2-5 - Nothing happens.
- 1 - Deal 1d6 psychic damage to the target of the spell.
School of Evocation
You focus your study on magic that creates powerful elemental effects such as bitter cold, searing flame, rolling thunder, crackling lightning, and burning acid. Some evokers find employment in military forces, serving as artillery to blast enemy armies from afar. Others use their spectacular power to protect the weak, while some seek their own gain as bandits, adventurers, or aspiring tyrants.
Evocation Savant. Beginning when you select this school at 2nd level, the gold and time you must spend to copy an evocation spell into your spellbook is halved.
Sculpt Spells. Beginning at 2nd level, you can create pockets of relative safety within the effects of your evocation spells. When you cast an evocation spell that affects other creatures that you can see, you can choose a number of them equal to 1 + the spell’s level. The chosen creatures automatically succeed on their saving throws against the spell, and they take no damage if they would normally take half damage on a successful save.
School of Thought
As a student of the School of Thought, you have trained your mind to exert more control over the spells you cast. You can use your honed mind to pull the utmost out of your prepared spells and empower your concentration on them. Wizards of this school frequently find themselves in occupations as strategists or researchers.
Held Effect. Beginning at 2nd level, you gain the ability to cast a spell and hold its effect. When you cast a spell, you can choose to define a trigger for the spell’s activation, and upon the occurrence of the defined trigger, the spell’s effect begins. The spell effect occurs as though cast from where you were when you cast the spell, even if you have since moved away.
While holding a spell in this fashion, you must concentrate to maintain your hold on it. You can concentrate on the held spell for up to one minute, and if your concentration is broken, the spell’s effect is immediately triggered.
Adaptable. When you finish a short rest, you can replace one prepared spell with another from your spellbook.