Frothing at the mouth, a dwarf slams his helmet into the face of his drow foe, then turns to drive his armored elbow into the gut of another.
A human in clanging plate armor holds her shield before her as she runs toward the massed goblins. An elf behind her, clad in leather armor, peppers the goblins with arrows loosed from his exquisite bow. The half-orc nearby shouts orders, helping the two combatants coordinate their assault to the best advantage.
An orc snarls at the latest challenger to her authority over their tribe, ready to break his neck with her bare hands as she did to the last six rivals.
Warriors are masters of battle. Questing knights, conquering overlords, royal champions, elite foot soldiers, hardened mercenaries, and bandit kings all share an unparalleled mastery with weapons and armor, and a thorough knowledge of the skills of combat. They are well acquainted with death, both meting it out and staring it defiantly in the face.
Warriors learn the basics of combat. Every warrior can swing an axe, fence with a rapier, wield a longsword or a greatsword, use a bow, and even trap foes in a net with some degree of skill. Likewise, a warrior is adept with shields and armor. Beyond that basic degree of familiarity, each warrior specializes in a certain style of combat. Some concentrate on archery, some on fighting with two weapons at once, and some on wielding a sword and shield. This combination of broad general ability and extensive specialization makes warriors superior combatants on battlefields and in dungeons alike.
Trained for Danger
Not every member of the city watch, the village militia, or the queen’s army is a warrior. Most of these troops are relatively untrained soldiers with only the most basic combat knowledge. Veteran soldiers, military officers, trained bodyguards, dedicated knights, and similar figures are warriors.
A warrior’s courage in the face of danger makes them perfectly suited for adventuring. The dungeon delving, monster slaying, and other dangerous work common among adventurers is second nature for a warrior, not all that different from the life they left behind. Warriors charge headlong into that danger so that their people don’t have to. There are greater risks, perhaps, but also much greater rewards—few warriors in the city watch have the opportunity to discover a magic flame tongue sword, for example.
Creating a Warrior
As you build your warrior, think about several related elements of your character’s background: Where did you come from, where did you get your combat training, and why are you an adventurer? Talk with your GM about an appropriate origin for your warrior. Did you come from a distant land, making you a stranger in the area of the campaign? Were you particularly ruthless? Did you get extra help from a mentor, perhaps because of your exceptional dedication? What drove you to this training in the first place? A threat to your homeland, a thirst for revenge, or a need to prove yourself might all have been factors.
Did you take up the sword as a way to escape the limits of life on a farm, or are you following a proud family tradition? Did you join forces with soldiers to face a shared threat? Did creatures or an invading horde threaten your homeland? Perhaps you were a prisoner of war, brought in chains and only now able to win your freedom. You might have been cast out from your people because of a crime you committed or a taboo you violated. You might have enjoyed formal training in a noble’s army, in a local militia, or from your tribe’s war leader. Perhaps you trained in a war academy, learning strategy, tactics, and military history. Or you might be self-taught-unpolished but well tested.
Choose an archetype, which grants you features.
Battlemasters employs martial techniques passed down through generations. To a battlemaster, combat is an academic field, sometimes including subjects beyond battle such as weaponsmithing and calligraphy. Not every warrior absorbs the lessons of history, theory, and artistry that are reflected in the battlemaster, but those who do are well-rounded warriors of great skill and knowledge.
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
(a) chain mail, (b) chain hauberk, (c) hide armor, or (d) leather armor
(a) a martial weapon and a shield or (b) two martial weapons
(a) a crossbow and 20 bolts, (b) two hatchets, (c) two daggers, or (d) any simple weapon
(a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
Different warriors choose different approaches to perfecting their fighting prowess. The martial specialization you choose to emulate reflects your approach. You choose a specialization that you strive to emulate in your combat styles and techniques.
Choose a Martial Specialization
Choose a martial specialization, which grants you features.
Some warriors hail from cultures that revere their ancestors. These tribes teach that the warriors of the past linger in the world as mighty spirits, who can guide and protect the living. Ancestral guardians contact the spirit world and calls on these guardian spirits for aid.
Warriors who draw on their ancestral guardians can better fight to protect their tribes and their allies. In order to cement ties to their ancestral guardians, warriors who follow this path cover themselves in elaborate tattoos that celebrate their ancestors’ deeds. These tattoos tell sagas of victories against terrible creatures and other fearsome rivals.
|Level||Proficiency Bonus||Features||Combat Abilities||Stamina Dice||Dice Limit|
|1st||+2||Fighting Styles, Martial Power, Second Wind||1||2||1|
|2nd||+2||Action Surge (1), Combat Superiority, Danger Sense, Feat (1)||2||5||1|
|3rd||+2||Abilities Increase (1), Fast Movement, Skilled (1)||3||7||1|
|5th||+3||Action Surge (2), Extra Action, Second Wind improvement, Skilled (2)||5||11||2|
|6th||+3||Feat (3), Resilient||6||14||2|
|7th||+3||Abilities Increase (2), Indomitable (1/rest), Skilled (3)||7||16||2|
|9th||+4||Combat Superiority improvement, Skilled (4)||9||20||3|
|10th||+4||Feat (5), Resilient||10||23||3|
|11th||+4||Abilities Increase (3), Skilled (5)||11||25||3|
|13th||+5||Action Surge (3), Indomitable (2/rest), Second Wind improvement, Skilled (6)||13||29||4|
|15th||+5||Abilities Increase (4), Skilled (7)||15||34||4|
|17th||+6||Champion, Skilled (8)||17||38||5|
|19th||+6||Abilities Increase (5), Skilled (9)||19||43||5|
You have trained and adopted styles of fighting as your specialties. For each theme you know that has fighting styles, you learn one of the fighting styles from that theme. You can learn additional fighting styles from themes you know with a Combat Ability.
As an action on your turn, you use one of the fighting styles you know. You can only have one style active at a time and it remains active until you finish a short or long rest or until you use another style.
You are deadly on the battlefield.
You gain one combat ability as shown on the Combat Abilities column of the Battlemaster table. A combat ability grants one of the following options:
- Learn a new theme and a fighting style from it.
- Learn a new maneuver from a theme you know. The maneuver must cost equal to, or less than, your dice limit. If the maneuvers costs 2 or more stamina dice, you must know a number of feats, fighting styles, or maneuvers from the maneuver’s theme equal to the maneuver’s stamina dice cost minus 1.
- Learn a new fighting style from a theme you know.
When you gain a level, you gain one additional combat ability and you can choose a maneuver you know and replace it with another maneuver from a theme you know, following the restrictions above.
If a player does not want to worry about maneuvers, you can allow them to use the following option as many times as they could use stamina dice and with the same dice limit limitations:
When you hit with a weapon attack, add the stamina die to the attack’s damage.
You know four maneuvers of your choice from the themes you know.
The Battlemaster table shows how many stamina dice you have to use maneuvers. Your stamina die are d8s. To use a maneuver, you must expend a number of stamina dice based on the maneuver’s dice cost.
You regain half your total stamina dice (rounded up) when you finish a short rest and all expended stamina dice when you finish a long rest.
There is a limit on the amount of stamina dice you can spend to use a maneuver. The limit is based on your level, as shown on the Dice Limit column of the Battlemaster table.
Strength is your maneuver ability for your maneuvers. You use your Strength whenever a maneuver refers to your maneuver ability. If your weapon is a finesse weapon, you can use your Dexterity instead of your Strength. The [Weapons](/rules/skills#weapons) skill describes how to use a maneuver.
You have a limited well of energy that you can draw on to protect yourself from harm. As an action, you can spend up to half your Health Dice. For each Health Die spent in this way, roll the die and add your Constitution. You can decide to spend an additional Health Die after each roll. You regain health equal to the total.
Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.
At 5th level you can use this without using an action and you regain an additional 1d10 + your level.
At 13th level you regain an additional 2d10 + your level.
You can push yourself beyond your normal limits for a moment. Once on your turn, you can use an additional action. This action can only be used to make an Acrobatics, Athletics, or Brawn check or use the Attack, Dash, Disengage, or Use an Object action.
Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.
You can use this feature twice between rests starting at 5th level and three times between rests starting at 13th level, but only if you did not use it last turn.
You are trained for battle. You learn one additional fighting style or maneuver of your choice and your stamina dice are d10s instead of d8s. At 9th level, your stamina dice are d12s instead of d10s.
You gain an uncanny sense of when things nearby aren’t as they should be, giving you an edge when you dodge away from danger. You have advantage on Reflex saving throws against effects that you can see, such as traps and spells. To gain this benefit, you can’t be blinded, deafened, or incapacitated.
A feat represents an area of expertise that gives a character special capabilities. It embodies training, experience, and abilities beyond what a class provides.
You gain a feat of your choice from the general feats or from a theme you know.
You gain additional feats at 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 18th, and 20th level.
When you gain a level, you can choose one of the feats you know and replace it with another feat that you could have learned when the replaced feat was chosen.
Increase two abilities of your choice by 1 and one of your lowest two abilities by 1. If multiple abilities are tied for one of your lowest abilities, you can choose any of them. As normal, you can’t increase an ability above 5 using this feature.
Increase your abilities again at 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th level.
Your walking speed increases by 1 meter.
Choose any skill to improve your proficiency with. If you are untrained, you become capable. If you are capable, you become proficient. At 3rd, 5th, and 7th level you improve your capability with a weapon group. If you are untrained, you become capable. If you are capable, you become proficient.
You can use two actions on your turn instead of one.
Choose another saving throw at 10th level.
You can reroll a saving throw that you fail.
Once you use this feature, you must finish a long rest before you can use it again. You can use this feature when you finish a short or long rest starting at 13th level.
Your battle expertise is indisputable. At the start of each of your turns, you gain temporary health equal to 5 + your Constitution if you have no more than half of your health left. You don’t gain this benefit if you have 0 health.
Additionally, choose Strength or Dexterity. The chosen ability and your Constitution both increase by 2. Your maximum for those abilities is now 7.