Wednesday, January 13, 2016


David Shepheard, a fellow member of one of the forums I frequent (The Piazza), recently posted a link to an interesting article, "Gravedigger: A Fifth Edition Background." I was immediately reminded of a character that I created for my friend Mike Pureka's homebrewed fantasy system several years ago. Taphos was a peasant gravedigger, a burly, taciturn young man whose limited education consisted largely of funeral customs and fragments of other religious lore. He would have been content to stay in his home village, laboring to uphold its simple traditions, if the outside world hadn't intruded and spurred him and some of his fellow townsfolk to take up the adventuring life. Once he did so, he devoted himself to learning how to protect himself and others, and how to mystically combat the undead.

I've converted Taphos to D&D Fifth Edition as a cleric. He's still a relatively low level character, having only been away from home for a year or so, and he is far from mastering his new turning abilities and curing spells. He shows a great deal of determination and potential, however, and seems destined to become a great hero despite his lowly birth and profession. He practices the religion of Ail, his homeland, which reveres light and the heavenly bodies as inspiration for a moral life, the preservation of tradition and order, and the seeking of truth. (He would be a cleric of Pholtus in a Greyhawk campaign, or of Selune in the Forgotten Realms. See Appendix B in the Player's Handbook to determine the options for other settings.)

In addition to the equipment listed below, Taphos always carries writing materials and a personal journal. He has also accumulated a small library of books about the religions and history of the lands he has visited, as well as reference works on herbalism and the undead.

Human Cleric 3
Medium humanoid (human), Life domain, lawful good

Armor Class 16 (18 with shield)
Hit Points 24 (Hit Dice 3d8)
Speed 30 ft.

STR 14 (+2), DEX 10 (0), CON 14 (+2), INT 10 (0), WIS 16 (+3), CHA 10 (0)

Proficiencies (+2 proficiency bonus)

  • Saving Throws Wis +5, Cha +2.
  • Skills History +2, Medicine +5, Religion +2, Stealth +2 [at disadvantage in armor].
  • Armor All, shields.
  • Weapons Simple, martial, improvised, unarmed strike.
  • Tools Mason's tools, vehicles (land).

Senses Passive Perception 15.
Languages Common, Sylvan.

Attack. You can attack when you take this action, using the following.
  • PickMelee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d8+2 piercing damage.
  • Shovel. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d6+2 slashing damage.
  • Unarmed StrikeMelee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d4+2 bludgeoning damage.
  • Light  CrossbowRanged Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, range 80/320 ft., one target. Hit: 1d8 piercing damage.
Ritual Casting. Cleric feature.

Spellcasting. Cleric feature.
  • Spell Save DC: 13
  • Spell Attack Modifier: +5
  • Spell Slots: 1st-level (4), 2nd-level (2)
Channel Divinity. Cleric feature: turn undead or preserve life.

Disciple of Life. Cleric feature: Whenever you cast a healing spell, you heals additional hit points equal to the spell level +2.

"I've Smelled That Smell Before." Gravedigger background feature: You roll with advantage when making checks to detect, track, or identify the undead.

Tavern Brawler. When you hit a creature with an unarmed strike or improvised weapon, you can use a bonus action to attempt to grapple the target.

Cantrips: guidance, light, spare the dying
1st-level spells: bless, cure wounds, detect magic,  protection from evil and good, shield of faith
2nd-level spells: gentle repose, hold person, lesser restoration, prayer of healing, spiritual weapon

Shovel, pick, light corssbow, 20 bolts, dagger, chain mail, shield, holy symbol (silver star amulet), priest's pack, mason's tools, hemp rope (50 ft.)

No comments:

Post a Comment