Fighter Armorer Martial Archetype | New Player Option for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition

Today, I started a series of subclass creations called 26 Days of Subclasses. This series is taking suggestions from Instagram followers and turning them into full-fledged subclasses.

First on the agenda is Armorer (naturally starting with ‘A’). A relatively simple idea, right? An Armorer makes Armor. But I thought I might take it a step further and make an “Iron Man” archetype. Basically, a fighter that can build a special suit of armor that allows him or her to build weapons directly into his/her armor.


Playtest Content

The material here is presented for playtesting and to spark your imagination. These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your campaign but not refined by final game design and editing. They aren’t officially part of the game.

Constructive feedback is welcome and appreciated in either comments or social media. If you can give me a valid reason with examples why something is off, 9/10 I’m likely to make changes to the content and credit you for doing so. Otherwise, feedback without anything to back it up gets ignored (or at most a smile emoji like this 🙂 ) Thanks!


Design Notes

The fighter naturally lends itself to a lot of stuff this class will need, namely, armor and weapon proficiencies. Now it’s just a matter of making that stuff better so long as its parallel with what already exists.

Since this fighter is going to have all sorts of nifty gadgets in its armor, I figure the best subclass to base the armorer off of will be the Eldritch Knight, specifically since it has evocation and abjuration powers. I don’t want the Armorer to “run out of power”, so I want to make sure that all of its spells are permanent or at least semi-permanent use.

Once I had that idea in place, it was simply a matter of tossing some spells its way (rewording them in a lot of places) and almost giving it a “warlocky” feel to the subclass.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

iron-man-dnd
Art by Dibujante-nocturno

Fighter Archetype

At 3rd level, a fighter gains the Martial Archetype feature. The following Armorer option is available to a fighter, in addition to those normally offered.

Armorer

As an armorer, you’re not just a master of martial combat, but you’re also a master crafter, using your talents to create amazing, high-powered heavy armor with built-in weaponry and multi-functional gadgets.

Armorer Features

Fighter Level Feature
3rd Bonus Proficiency, Iron Man, Armor Enhancements (4 options)
7th Life Support System, Armor Enhancements (6 options)
10th Targeting System, Armor Enhancements (8 options)
13th Armor Enhancements (10 options)
15th Backup System
16th Armor Enhancements (12 options)
18th War Machine
19th Armor Enhancements (14 options)

Bonus Proficiencies

Starting when you take this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in smith’s tools.


Iron Man

At 3rd level, you can build a powerful suit of armor that not only protects you but gives you extra advantages in combat as well.

You learn a ritual that creates a magical bond between yourself and a suit of heavy armor. You perform the ritual over the course of 1 hour, which can be done during a short rest. The armor must be within your reach throughout the ritual, at the conclusion of which you touch the armor and forge the bond.

Once you have bonded the armor to yourself, you can add enhancements to it as detailed below. If it is on the same plane of existence, you can summon the armor as a bonus action on your turn, causing it to instantly form on your body. Also, it only takes an action to doff or don the armor.

If you attempt to bond with another suit of heavy armor, you must break the bond with the first suit of armor.


Armor Enhancements

At 3rd level, you can build special weapons and gadgets into a suit of armor that you have built a bond through using your Iron Man feature called enhancements. Many of the weapons and gadgets are magical in nature and work similar to spells. See chapter 10 of the PHB for general rules of spellcasting and chapter 11 of the PHB for the wizard spell list. However, the spells do not require material components in order for you to cast them.

Your armor starts with four enhancements of your choice, which are detailed in the “Enhancements” section below. You add two additional enhancements when you reach 7th level, 10th level, 13th level, 16th level, and 19th level.

Whenever you gain a level in this class, you can replace one of your armor’s enhancements with another enhancement of your choice from the Enhancements list below.

Enhancement Ability. The potency of your armor, its weapons, and all of its gadgets depend on your Intelligence. You use your Intelligence whenever an enhancement refers to your Enhancement ability. In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC if an enhancement duplicates the effects of a wizard spell it casts and when making an attack roll with one.

Enhancement save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Enhancement attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier


Enhancements

The enhancements are presented in alphabetical order. Each enhancement requires you to be wearing the suit of armor that you bonded with using your Iron Man feature in order to gain its benefits. If an enhancement requires a level, you must be that level in this class to add the enhancement.

Advanced Protection (19th Level Required). You gain a +2 bonus to your AC and you gain resistance to nonmagical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage. The benefits of Advanced Protection and Fortified do not stack.

Arm Blades. As a bonus action, two built-in blades emerge from your wrists which you can use to attack with as if they were both light weapons. You are proficient with these blades and they count as short swords. When you reach 7th level in this class, these blades are considered magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage. You must use your action or bonus action to retract the blades.

Bunker Buster (13th Level Required). As an action, choose a point that you can see within 150 feet of you. A large bomb ejects from your armor and lands at that point; each creature in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on that point must make a Dexterity saving throw. A target takes 8d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The fire spreads around corners. It ignites flammable objects in the area that aren’t being worn or carried. Once you use this enhancement, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Cloaking Device (7th Level Required). You can cast invisibility targeting yourself. While using this effect, you must maintain concentration (as if concentrating on a spell) or the effect ends. Once you use this enhancement, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Communication Systems. You learn the message cantrip.

Eldritch Sensors. You can cast detect magic at will.

Electrified Gauntlets. As an action, you create crackling energy around your armor’s gauntlets. While in effect, your unarmed strikes deal 1d8 lightning damage plus your Strength modifier on a hit, and the target can’t take reactions until the start of its next turn. In addition, you have advantage on the attack roll if the target is wearing armor made of metal. To end the effect, you must dismiss it as an action. The damage that your electrified gauntlets deals increases by 1d8 when you reach 13th level (2d8).

Enhanced Combat Mode (13th Level Required). You can cast haste targeting yourself. While using this effect, you must maintain concentration (as if concentrating on a spell) or the effect ends. Once you use this enhancement, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Environmental Adaptation System (13th Level Required). When you are targeted by a spell or effect that deals acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder damage, you can use your reaction to give yourself resistance to the same damage type until the end of your next turn.

Flame Thrower. As an action, you create a 15-foot cone of flame that extends from your wrists. Each creature in the area must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 3d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 7th level (4d6), 13th level (5d6), and 19th level (6d6). The fire ignites any flammable objects in the area that aren’t being worn or carried. Once you use this enhancement, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Force Missiles. You know the eldritch blast cantrip.

Force Ray (7th Level Required). As an action, you create a blast of force from your armor. Choose one target within 120 feet of you. Make a ranged attack using your Enhancement attack modifier. On a hit, the target takes 6d6 force damage. The damage increases by 2d6 when you reach 13th level (8d6), and 19th level (10d6). Once you use this effect, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Force Sword (10th Level Required). As an action, you emit a three-foot length of force energy from your fist that acts like a sword made of light. On a hit, the weapon deals 1d10 radiant damage plus your Strength or Dexterity modifier (your choice) or 1d12 radiant damage plus your Strength or Dexterity modifier when wielded with two hands. This weapon is considered magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage. In addition, the sword is much deadlier than a normal sword; you gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls while you wield it. When you reach 19th level in this class, this bonus increases to +2. You must use your action or bonus action to dismiss your force sword.

Fortified. You gain a +1 bonus to your AC. In addition, you can use your action to have your armor create extra defenses; until the end of your next turn, you have resistance against bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage dealt by weapon attacks.

Giant Buster Mode (7th Level Required). As an action, your armor expands and fortifies to help better equip you again larger targets. For up to 1 minute, you gain the following benefits:

  • Your size doubles in all dimensions and your weight is multiplied by eight. You increase to Large size. If there isn’t enough room for you to grow to this size, the effect automatically ends.
  • You have advantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws.
  • Your weapon attacks deal an extra 1d4 damage.

To end the effect early, you must dismiss it as an action. Once you use this enhancement, you can’t use it again until you complete a long rest.

Haze. You can cast blur. Once you use this effect, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Hologram Projector. You can cast silent image at will.

Homing Missile. As an action, you launch a small, explosive missile of force energy from your armor. Choose a target that you can see within 120 feet of you. The missile automatically hits unless blocked by a shield spell or any other effect or condition that can counter a magic missile spell. The missile deals 3d6 force damage to its target. The damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 7th level (4d6), 13th level (5d6), and 19th level (6d6). Once you use this enhancement, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Illumination. As an action, you can make part of your armor shed bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light for an additional 20 feet. The light can be colored as you like. To end the effect, you must dismiss it as an action.

Impenetrable Force Field (19th Level Required). You can cast Otiluke’s resilient sphere targeting yourself and it cannot be picked up and moved by other creatures. Once you use this enhancement, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Invisibility Sensors (7th Level Required). You can cast see invisibility at will.

Kinetic Burst (7th Level Required). Whenever you are hit by a melee weapon attack, as a reaction, you can create a wave of thunderous force that sweeps out from you. Each creature in a 15-foot cube originating from you must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 2d8 thunder damage and is pushed 10 feet away from you. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage and isn’t pushed. In addition, unsecured objects that are completely within the area of effect are automatically pushed 10 feet away from you by the enhancement’s effect, and the burst emits a thunderous boom audible out to 300 feet. The damage increases by 1d8 when you reach 7th level (3d8), 13th level (4d8), and 19th level (5d8). Once you use this enhancement, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Laser Web (19th Level Required). As an action, dozens of rays of force energy fire from your armor, hitting all Small or larger creatures that are not prone within 20 feet of you. Each creature in the area must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 7d6 force damage on a failed saving throw or half as much on a successful one. Once you use this effect, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Lightning Launcher (13th Level Required). A stroke of lightning forming a line 100 feet long and 5 feed wide blasts out from you in a direction you choose. Each creature in the line must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 8d6 lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Medical Systems (19th Level Required). At the start of each of your turns, you regain hit points equal to 5 + your Constitution modifier if you have no more than half of your hit points left. You don’t gain this benefit if you have 0 hit points. However, you make all death saving throws with advantage.

Remote Sensor. You can cast arcane eye. Once you use this enhancement, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Rocket Boosters (13th Level Required). Your jump distance is tripled. In addition, you can use your action to grant yourself a flying speed of 60 feet that lasts for up to 10 minutes. You must concentrate on this effect to maintain it (as if concentrating on a spell). When the effect ends, you fall if you are still aloft, unless you can stop the fall. Once you use this effect to give yourself a flying speed, you can’t grant yourself a flying speed again until you finish a long rest.

Translator. You can cast comprehend languages at will.

Universal Lockpick (10th Level Required). You can spend one minute focusing your targeting system and tools focusing on one object of your choice that can be a door, box, chest, set of manacles, padlock, or another object that contains a mundane locking mechanism. At the end of 1 minute, the target becomes unlocked. If the object has multiple locks, only one of them is unlocked. In addition, if you choose a target that is held shut with arcane lock, your sensors detect this immediately.

Web Launcher (7th Level Required). You can cast the web spell. Once you use this enhancement, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.


Life Support System

Beginning at 7th level, while wearing the armor you bonded to using your Iron Man feature, you do not need to breathe air. You gain a swimming speed equal to your walking speed. And you are immune to the effects of extreme cold and extreme heat.


Targeting System

At 10th level, as a bonus action, you can target a creature that you can see within 60 feet of you. The creature must make an Intelligence saving throw against your Enhancement save DC. On a failed saving throw, the creature has disadvantage on the next saving throw it makes against one of your enhancement’s effects before the end of your next turn.


Backup System

At 15th level, when you use your Action Surge you regain one use of one of your enhancements as if you had completed a long rest.


War Machine

Beginning at 18th level, when you use your action to use one of your enhancements, you can make one weapon attack as a bonus action.

 

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Main image by Dibujante-nocturno.

3 thoughts on “Fighter Armorer Martial Archetype | New Player Option for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition

  1. I like the class a great deal, lots of cool features. I feel like dealing 16d8+20 (4 attacks at 4d8+5) damage at level 20 with electrified gauntlets is perhaps a bit much though :D. (Could be wrong, I’m not incredibly well versed in high-level balance)

  2. I assume the Lightning Launcher enhancement is also supposed to have “Once you use this effect, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.”

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