DROW HANDMAIDEN (class)
class”A small, slender form flits through the shadows of the underdark. Hefting a dagger dripping from poison. She snakes forward, slitting the drow commander’s throat for daring to plot against his Matron.”
The handmaidens are a traditionally female drow class. Anyone else would require a teacher to learn the secrets.
Handmaidens are defined by their blood lust and frenzy. Unbridled, unquenchable and unstoppable frenzy. From their frenzy springs a communion with something darker, something on the Abyssal plane. No one truly knows the source of it, although many lay it at Lolth’s feet. This bloodlust and frenzy is not unthinking, it is also results in uncanny reflexes, resilience and feats of dexterity.
The Handmaiden path mimics that of a barbarian, replacing strength with dexterity bonuses. Replacing strength based weapons with finesse based weapons. Rage and frenzy are almost interchangeable barring setting and flavor. Covered in arcane tattoos they are generally a female only class (but there are no rules in stone, find a teacher, maybe a young boy can do this). Any changes are listed below the handmaiden table.
A LIFE OF SERVICE AND BLOOD
A handmaiden’s life is about service to her matron. She plays the role of guardian, assassin, hunter and confidant. Not a general leading army, she is responsible for solo missions, when a blade in the dark, or the lash in the dungeon is necessary. When something juicy presents itself, they will sometimes be group together and a handmaiden of renown will be in charge of a group of other handmaidens, this is very feared by the surface races near drow cities.
At a young age, these drow women are brought into a cult where they learn to worship darker things in the Abyss. They are said to commune directly with Lolth, given commands by her that no one else can hear. While they are the property of their matron, they do make Matrons uncomfortable because sometimes a handmaiden is whispered the name of their next victim, and that name turns out to be the same name as the Matron.
Even with this danger, they are well respected by the other ruling drow and all wish to utilize them as tools of espionage, assassination and destruction. This results in a dangerous life for the handmaiden and most never make it above the 10th rank, those that do become even more feared and admired by those drow families in charge. These handmaidens often undergo the Ritual of the River of Blood, a ritual that takes their hearts away and leaves them more powerful yet more vulnerable to the Matron who performed the ritual.
No matter what a Matron or Lolth demands, a handmaiden will deliver the results wanted, or will perish doing so. Covered in magical tattoos enhancing themselves, they know rituals learned from the blackness of the Abyss. Blessed by Lolth they seek only blood and violence. Not concerned with their own safety their downtime usually consists of debauchery of all types, trying to enjoy every last moment of their generally brief lives.
As a handmaiden, you gain the following class features.
Hit Dice: 1d12 per handmaiden level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 12 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d12 (or 7) + your Constitution modifier per handmaiden level after 1st
Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Constitution
Skills: Choose two from Acrobatics, Athletics, Intimidation, Perception, Stealth, and Survival
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) a rapier and crossbow or (b) any martial melee weapon
- (a) two shortswords or (b) any simple weapon
- An explorer’s pack and either four javelins, or shortbow
In battle, you fight with primal ferocity. On your turn, you can enter a rage/frenzy as a bonus action.
While raging/frenzying, you gain the following benefits if you aren’t wearing heavy armor:
- You have advantage on Dexterity checks and Dexterity saving throws.
- When you make a melee weapon attack using Dexterity, you gain a bonus to the damage roll that increases as you gain levels as a handmaiden, as shown in the Frenzy Damage column of the Handmaiden table.
- You have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.
- If you are able to cast spells, you can’t cast them or concentrate on them while raging.
Your rage/frenzy lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if you are knocked unconscious or if your turn ends and you haven’t attacked a hostile creature since your last turn or taken damage since then. You can also end your rage/frenzy on your turn as a bonus action.
Once you have raged the number of times shown for your handmaiden level in the Frenzies column of the Handmaiden table, you must finish a long rest before you can rage again.
The Handmaiden Table (changes to features listed below)
|1st||+2||Rage, Unarmored Defense||2||+2|
|2nd||+2||Reckless Attack, Danger Sense||2||+2|
|3rd||+2||Divine Fury, Warrior of the Gods, Heart of Darkness||3||+2|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement||3||+2|
|5th||+3||Extra Attack, Fast Movement||3||+2|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||4||+2|
|9th||+4||Brutal Critical (1 die)||4||+3|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||5||+3|
|13th||+5||Brutal Critical (2 dice)||5||+3|
|14th||+5||Rage beyond Death||5||+3|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||5||+4|
|17th||+6||Brutal Critical (3 dice)||6||+4|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||6||+4|
Divine Fury Starting at 3rd level, you can channel divine fury into your weapon strikes. While you’re raging/frenzying, the first creature you hit on each of your turns with a weapon attack takes extra damage equal to 1d6 + half your handmaiden level. The extra damage is necrotic or radiant; you choose the type of damage when you gain this feature.
- Necrotic The extra damage you deal with Divine Fury is necrotic.
- Radiant The extra damage you deal with Divine Fury is radiant.
Warrior of the Gods At 3rd level, your soul is marked for endless battle. If a spell, such as raise dead, has the sole effect of restoring you to life (but not undeath), the caster doesn’t need material components to cast the spell on you.
Fanatical Focus Starting at 6th level, the divine power that fuels your rage can protect you. If you fail a saving throw while you’re raging/frenzying, you can reroll it, and you must use the new roll. You can use this ability only once per rage/frenzy.
Zealous Presence At 10th level, you learn to channel divine power to inspire zealotry in others. As a bonus action, you unleash a battle cry infused with divine energy. Up to ten other creatures of your choice within 60 feet of you that can hear you gain advantage on attack rolls and saving throws until the start of your next turn. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.
Rage beyond Death Beginning at 14th level, the divine power that fuels your rage allows you to shrug off fatal blows. While you’re raging/frenzying, having 0 hit points doesn’t knock you unconscious. You still must make death saving throws, and you suffer the normal effects of taking damage while at 0 hit points. However, if you would die due to failing death saving throws, you don’t die until your rage ends, and you die then only if you still have 0 hit points.
Beginning at 18th level, if your total for a Dexterity check is less than your Dexterity score, you can use that score in place of the total.
Primal Champion At 20th level, you embody the power of the Abyss. Your Dexterity and Constitution scores increase by 4. Your maximum for those scores is now 24.