This article adds new rules, subclasses, prestige classes, magic items, and more for players interested in expanding archer characters in Fifth Edition.
Here is a summary of what’s included in this article:
- Part 1. Archer Subclasses
- Barbarian Warden
- Monk Way of the Curved Arrow
- Rogue Trickshot
- Part 2. Prestige Class: The Blind Archer
- Part 3. Optional Rules
- Special Shots
- Archery Competitions
- Archer Feats
- Part 4. New Magic Items
- Part 5. New Weapon of Legacy: The Crimson Bow
- Part 6. Archer Units
Part 5. New Weapon of Legacy
Weapons of Legacy are special weapons (or items) that have the capacity to grow in power as its wielder advances in level. In addition, it confers increasingly powerful special abilities on its wielder. That character might carry and treasure the same item over her entire career as a hero (or villain).
To learn more about how Weapons of Legacy work in Fifth Edition, be sure to read this article: Items of Legacy (DMDave).
The Crimson Bow
Weapon (shortbow), legacy (requires attunement)
The Crimson Bow is a sturdy, hickory bow seemingly painted a deep red color, yet its design is simple, lacking flourishes. The bowstring is made of enchanted silk. At 5th level and before its true nature is discovered, it counts as a +1 shortbow. As you unlock its legacy abilities, its attack and damage bonuses increase by +1 at 11th level (+2), and again at 17th level (+3).
Originally, the Crimson Bow was owned by the Huntress Iriel. It was given to her as a gift from her two fathers on her 100th nameday. Iriel used the bow to hunt the displacer beasts that prowled the woods surrounding her people’s camp. Her greatest achievement came when she slew the beasts’ pack leader, Merthrex (First piece of lore, The Lord of Beasts).
On her 300th nameday, Iriel became terminally ill. Having no children of her own, she bequeathed the bow to a human farmgirl named Beatra Fawngiver. Beatra took up the Iriel’s mantle of Huntress of the Wood, defending not only her own farmstead from harm but Iriel’s elvenkind as well (Second piece of lore, The Line of Huntresses).
For over 1,000 years The Crimson Bow was passed down to women who served as the Huntress of the Wood. With each life the bow took to protect its owner’s home, the bow turned a deeper shade of red. Nearly 1,500 years after the bow was crafted, it is now a deep red color, nearly black. Despite its dark shade, it is not evil and prefers to only be wielded by those of good alignment. The blood red hickory is a constant reminder to those who challenge the Huntress: “Tread carefully in her lands.” (Third piece of lore, Deep Crimson).
Three rituals are required to unlock all the abilities of The Crimson Bow.
The Lord of Beasts. You must acquire proficiency in Intelligence (Nature). Cost: 350 gp; Feat Granted: Least Legacy (The Crimson Bow).
The Line of Huntresses. You must single-handedly defeat a beast or monstrosity whose challenge rating is equal to your current level. If any creature assists you in the combat, the ritual is negated and you must start anew. Cost: 11,000 gp. Feat Granted: Lesser Legacy (The Crimson Bow).
Deep Crimson. You must spend one day per character level in a trance-like state, staining The Crimson Bow with the blood of a fallen enemy, all the while chanting the names of each creature the bow has killed (the names come to you in a vision). At least 8 hours of each day must be spent performing this ritual, and you cannot engage in any strenuous activity or spellcasting during this period. Cost: 35,000 gp. Feat Granted: Greater Legacy (The Crimson Bow).
The optimal user of Spidersilk is an elf ranger, although any creature with strong ties to nature might use it such as druids, nature domain clerics, and barbarians.
The Crimson Bow Wielder Requirements
- Wisdom saving throw proficiency
- Good alignment
- Proficiency with longbow
The Crimson Bow
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Legacy Item Features
All the following are legacy item features of The Crimson Bow.
Hunter’s Mark. Beginning at 6th level, you can cast hunter’s mark once with this feature and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest.
Crimson Aura. At 7th level, the bow radiates a menacing aura. While wielding the bow, you have advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks, unless the target of your check is immune to being frightened.
Conjure Barrage. At 8th level, you can cast conjure barrage once with this feature and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest.
Unseen Hunter. At 10th level, after you make a ranged weapon attack using The Crimson Bow, you can immediately use your bonus action to cast blur. You can use this feature three times, and regain expended uses after you finish a long rest.
The Hunter. At 12th level, choose a terrain type: arctic, coast, desert, forest, grassland, mountain, swamp, or the Underdark. While you are in that terrain, you make Dexterity (Stealth) checks and Wisdom (Perception) checks with advantage.
Kill Shot. At 13th level, when you hit a target with a ranged weapon attack using The Crimson Bow, you can add an amount of bonus damage to the damage roll equal to your Wisdom modifier. Once you use this feature, you can’t do so against until you finish a long rest.
Blood for Blood. At 15th level, whenever you hit a target with a ranged weapon attack using The Crimson Bow, you can choose to have the shot deal maximum damage. The first time you use this feature before you finish a long rest, you take 2d10 necrotic damage immediately after you fire the arrow, and your hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken. Each time you use this feature before finishing a long rest, the necrotic damage increases by 1d10. This damage ignores resistance and immunity. Your hit point maximum returns to normal after you complete a long rest.
Deathless Hunter. At 18th level, while you are in the terrain you chose for The Hunter feature, you gain resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage, and you cannot become magically charmed or frightened.
Ghostwalker. At 19th level, while you are in the terrain you chose for The Hunter feature, you can cast greater invisibility targeting yourself. If you leave your chosen terrain type before the duration, the spell automatically ends. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.
Unerring Shot. At 20th level, when you make a ranged weapon attack using The Crimson Bow and miss, you can reroll the attack with advantage. You must keep the new die result, even if it’s lower. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier, and you regain all expended uses after you finish a long rest.