This one comes from not just a patron, but actually a member of the Bloody Bunch. Basically, it’s a subclass built off of the classic Valkyries from Norse Mythology. Seeing as how I’m currently in the middle of cooking up two different settings that can work it in–Omerian Echo and the forthcoming MARTIAL guidebook–I thought this fit pretty well for both.
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.
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Here are my notes for this build.
Before the Build
So what is a Valkyrie? Let’s see what the ol’ Wikipedia has to say first.
In Norse mythology, a Valkyrie (/vælˈkɪəri,
–ˈkaɪri, vɑːl-, ˈvælkəri/; from Old Norse valkyrja “chooser of the slain”) is one of a host of female figures who choose those who may die in battle and those who may live. Selecting among half of those who die in battle (the other half go to the goddess Freyja’s afterlife field Fólkvangr), the valkyries bring their chosen to the afterlife hall of the slain, Valhalla, ruled over by the god Odin. There, the deceased warriors become einherjar (Old Norse “single (or once) fighters”). When the einherjar are not preparing for the events of Ragnarök, the valkyries bear them mead. Valkyries also appear as lovers of heroes and other mortals, where they are sometimes described as the daughters of royalty, sometimes accompanied by ravens and sometimes connected to swans or horses.
Surprisingly, they’re not as cool as Marvel comics would have us believe. But of course, we want to invoke the rule of cool instead of mead-bearing assistants to Odin, so let’s see the Marvel comics definition.
The Valkyrior are warrior goddesses of Asgard who ride winged horses. Originally, under the leadership of Brunnhilde, they took mortally wounded human heroes from German and Scandinavian battlegrounds and brought them to Valhalla, an area of the Asgardian dimension where the astral forms of the dead Asgardians and human heroes eternally feast and compete in friendly battles. The Valkyries were no longer able to perform this task when Odin, ruler of Asgard, vowed to the Celestials a millennium ago that he would severely restrict Asgardian contact with Earth.
Great! So now we know some cool things about them. Here is what I need to try to accomplish with this build:
- Warrior Goddesses. Restrict to female only?
- They ride winged horses.
- Take mortally wounded heroes to Valhalla.
Otherwise, it would seem I’m fairly wide open.
After the Build
This one wasn’t too much trouble. I know that I wanted to put the steeds in there, but I had to really “bring it down a notch” in order to work. I used the Samurai as a comparison subclass. Then, I pulled part “find steed” and “find greater” steed and cut out the stuff that would have made it overpowered such as the telepathic connection and shared spells. The one major buff that I did give it, though, is that it gets ranger animal companion style hit points with 3x level. This will juice it up slightly at 7th and then earn it 3 hp per level thereafter. Also, I tossed in a Charisma bonus to its AC and saving throws. This might make it a little tougher than the usual steed, but it also makes the fighter way more MAD than it normally is, so it should be fine. That seems fair and keeps it from getting smooshed at later levels. Also, I didn’t want to overwrite any of the mounted combatant goodies for those who want to min-max the shit out of this class.
Note the female restriction. This isn’t to cause controversy, but hey… I wanted to give it a little more flavor.
Mounted Fury works just like the Samurai’s Fighting Spirit except flipped where it imposes disadvantage and gives a damage bonus.
The Valkyrie gets immunity to fear and Wis saves at 7th. That shouldn’t be a big deal.
Then the ol’ “if you’re outta gas, here’s a can” power at 10th which also throws in the telepathic horse power.
15th lets the valkyrie disrupt attacks with her reaction. So a slight boost to action economy and more defensive, tanky powers.
Finally, at 18th, her horse gets a fly speed. I wish I could have brought this one up sooner, but it would have just been too powerful at low levels. Even sorcerers have to wait until 14th or so before they can fly full time.
- 2/3/2019: Reduced the class’ need for its mount and fixed some poor wording.
At 3rd level, a fighter gains the Martial Archetype feature. The following Valkyrie option is available to a fighter, in addition to those normally offered.
You are of the Valkyrior, a host of warrior goddesses who ride upon the backs of winged horses into combat. Your mission is to seek out the mortally wounded of the world and bring them to the Outer Planes where they may eternally feast in the hall of fallen warriors.
Of course, much of that is part of the myth that surrounds you. In truth, you are a powerful warrior, whose mettle has never been truly tested. You are also an accomplished rider and mounted combatant. As you become more experienced, you grow a bond with your steed.
Restriction: Females Only
Only female humanoids can join the ranks of Valkyrion. Due to societal constraints, only females are chosen to become valkyries.
Your GM can lift this restriction to better suit the campaign.
The Valkyrie’s Steed
When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you can perform a 10-minute ritual in order to summon a spirit that assumes the form of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal warhorse, creating a long-lasting bond with it. The horse has the same stats as the warhorse presented in Appendix D of the PHB however, with the following changes:
- Its type is celestial.
- Its hit points equal those in its stat block or 3 times your levels in this class, whichever is higher.
- Its Intelligence is 6 and it gains the ability to understand one language of your choice that you speak.
- It gains a bonus to its AC and saving throws equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of 0).
When your horse drops to 0 hit points, it disappears, leaving behind no physical form. You can also dismiss your steed at any time as an action, causing it to disappear. In either case, using this feature again summons the same horse, restored to its hit point maximum.
You can’t have more than one horse bonded by this feature at one time. As an action, you can release your warhorse from its bond at any time, causing it to disappear.
Once you use this feature to summon your steed, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest even if your steed disappears or you willingly dismiss it.
Fury of the Valkyrie
Starting at 3rd level, you are excellent at avoiding your opponent’s attacks while dealing additional damage. As a bonus action on your turn, you can impose a disadvantage on attack rolls against you and your mount until the start of your next turn. When you do so, you also gain a +2 bonus to the damage you deal with melee weapon attacks.
This damage bonus increases when you reach certain levels in this class, increasing to +3 at 10th level and +4 at 15th level.
You can use this feature three times, and you regain all expended uses of it when you finish a long rest.
Starting at 7th level, you are unflappable in the face of danger. You are immune to being frightened.
In addition, you gain proficiency in Wisdom saving throws. You have outstanding self-control and rarely deter from a mission. If you already have this proficiency, you instead gain proficiency in Intelligence or Charisma saving throws (your choice).
Improved Valkyrie’s Steed
Starting at 10th level, when you roll initiative and have no uses of Fury of the Valkyrie remaining, you regain one use. Also, while your Valkyrie’s Steed is within 1 mile of you, you can communicate with it telepathically.
Starting at 15th level, you are a master at turning your opponent’s strikes against them. If a creature within reach of your melee weapon targets you or your mount with a melee weapon attack while it has disadvantage on an attack roll, you can use your reaction to immediately make an attack against the creature. If you hit, the creature automatically misses its attack.
Flight of the Valkyrie
Starting at 18th level, your Valkyrie’s Steed grows feathery wings. It gains a flight speed of 60 ft.
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3 thoughts on “Fighter Valkyrie Martial Archetype | New Player Option for Fifth Edition”
Could you imagine the shitfits that would be thrown if there were a male only class?
This is interesting! Similar to the Purple Dragon Knight, I might recommend a sidebar renaming the class for settings where it might make sense for men to be in this role. A strong example, this archetype would be a great fit for a Hercules type god’s chosen champion given a divine steed character.
My major reservation is I do really wish the mount got its wings earlier. It seems like that’s a major reason to play this class, and by level 18 a fly speed of 60 ft isn’t really that big a deal. I’d love to see a valhalla style glorius resurrection feature at 18 instead, just because a little more valkyrie flavor would be nice.
Hey Charlotte! Great feedback. Yeah, that’s a good idea with the sidebar. I’ll include that in the pub.
I wish I could give wings earlier, too. The trouble is, the martial classes rarely, if ever, get flying, and when they do it’s very, very high levels. Modern Fifth Edition design makes flying a pretty rare feature until higher levels. Take, for example, the EK. The EK can’t even start casting 3rd level spells ’til it hits 13th level, at which point it could get fly (although, EKs are limited only to evocation and abjuration spells).
The earliest any of the classes gets full-time flying powers is sorcerers who get it at 14th level.
So my options are as follows: give it a “cheap” flying ability at low level (basically, a big ‘hop’), or make it for epic level only. LOL
Such is the burden of good design. 🙂