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Blood Hunter Class

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Blood Hunter Class

Between the martial pursuits of a warrior, and the long-forgotten secrets of blood magic, lies a sect of hunters that sacrifice their own vitality and humanity to protect the realms. Through the tutelage of hidden orders, Blood Hunters learn to give their essence to harness the elements within their weapon, manipulate the lifeblood of others through blood curses, and allow themselves to become a part of what they hunt.

Take the Order of the Ghostslayer, Blood Hunters honed to destroy the undead and all things that mock life. You could instead join the Order of the Profane Soul and make a pact with lesser evils to use wicked magic against the greater terrors that roam the land. You could even walk with the Order of the Mutant to harvest and imbibe the toxic remains of your quarry to mutate your body in powerful, yet dangerous, ways. This choice is yours while you traverse the path of the Blood Hunter.

Update: Changes! (probably the final update)

1) Added shield proficiency to the class. This wasn't included originally for flavor, but ultimately found it unnecessary and not "adding fun" by making one-handed weapon builds less viable.

2) Clarified that Amplifying a Blood Curse deals damage equal to a roll of your Crimson Rite die.

3) Some Blood Curses have had their range extended, so as not to punish longer range Blood Hunters, and add some minor utility that was missing to a few of the curses.

4) Blood Curse acquisition has been slightly accelerated to allow options a little sooner, and a 6-curse capstone.

5) Blood Curse of Binding can now affect a creature of any size on an amplify.

6) Blood Curse of the Eyeless got a little buff! With limited uses, this curse needed a little bump. The baseline curse now can affect an attack against any creature, and the amplified version gives disadvantage to the next attack the creature makes following the triggering attack.

7) Dark Velocity now grants a small 30 foot Darkvision, to give better use of the ability to non-darkvision races.

8) Sanguine Mastery got altered to remove the "no longer lose HP" elements, as that is a major flavor of the class I decided I didn't want to lose at the capstone. Instead, when you critically hit a creature, you regain a use of your Blood Maledict.

9) Order of the Ghostslayer: Hallowed Veins now forces an undead hit by a blood curse a chance to not be able to target you with an attack until the end of your next turn.

10) Order of the Ghostslayer: Supernal Surge got an overhaul. Instead of a single-burst, Wisdom-mod-duration ability, it has a number of uses equal to your Wisdom Modifier, and the spectral effect lasts until the end of your next turn. This gives the ability a little more control/utility.

11) Order of the Ghostslayer: Gravesight now grants 30 feet of vision through magical darkness.

12) Order of the Ghostslayer: Vengeful Spirit can now use all of your abilities.

13) Order of the Profane Soul: Added options for the Celestial and Hexblade patrons.

14) Order of the Profane Soul: Altered the Diabolic Channel to only allow spells that use Warlock or Profane Soul spell slots (which was the initial intent).

15) Clarified that Mutagen's with level requirements require Blood Hunter levels.

16) Order of the Mutant: Mutagen of Rapidity has been increased to 15 feet from 10, and 20 feet at 20th.

17) Clarified spellcasting ability score use when multiclassing with warlock.

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Reviews (33)
Discussions (164)
Customer avatar
Jordan G January 15, 2018 6:48 pm UTC
Wondering how you would rule natural weapons or unarmed strikes for crimson rite. Would a Tabaxi be able to activate their crimson rite on their claws, since the order of the Lycan can do so with theirs?
Customer avatar
miles W January 15, 2018 1:56 pm UTC
For the blood curse of purgation it doesn't say that the target can repeat its saving throw at the end of it's turn. I'm worried that might be a bit op.
Customer avatar
Manuel P January 13, 2018 9:27 pm UTC
Hi Matt!

I love this class, mix some concepts from different class very well rounded and I think my players will love it too. But we are Spanish and they are so lazy to read in English, so I will translate it for private use only if there is no problem with it. Also I could send it to you when it's finished if you want it.

Congratulations for all your hard work and success
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Travis B January 12, 2018 4:51 pm UTC
Out of curiosity, does Sanguine Mastery maximize damage taken from amplifying a curse as well? As written, I think, implies yes.

Also, a more minor grammatical correction. Sanguine Mastery has a comma when it should be a period.
- "...all of your crimson rite damage dice are maximized,"
Should be:
- "...all of your crimson rite damage dice are maximized."
Customer avatar
Chris W January 12, 2018 3:54 pm UTC
Just saw season 2 episode 1 last night and I’ve been trying to brainstorm where I thought everyone would take their subclasses next level and I got to wondering: do you have any plans to incorporate the 2 new official Warlock Patrons into the Profane Soul Blood Hunter? Thanks for everything you do! Can’t wait to test just about anything you’ve made.
Customer avatar
Travis B January 12, 2018 5:07 pm UTC
By 2 new Patrons, I assume you mean Hexblade & Celestial from Xanathar's? If so, you should check out the new version 2.0!
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Jeppe K January 04, 2018 7:01 pm UTC
I love the class design and it is something I'm looking forward to playing soon! My only issue is that the Order of the Ghostslayer doesn't add anything if you are not fighting undead up until 11th level. This means that you can potentially go through an entire campaign (far from every campaign reaches 11th level) without actually benefitting from your archetype a single time, if you don't face any undead creatures.

My suggestion is as follows: Rite of the dawn lets you add your wisdom modifier to your radiant damage once per turn. At 11th level this applies to all your attacks. This means that the damage is equally distributed without becoming too broken early game.

Another personal request is that gravesight hits earlier (thematically i'd love to play a shadow hunter, but I think waiting for 15th level to actually do that is a bit harsh). Warlock's devil sight can be obtained at 2nd level and I therefore don't think it would be too broken if it was added at say 7th level for instance?...See more
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Jeandré D January 03, 2018 12:59 pm UTC
If the Blood Curse of Binding is amplified, can the target make a Strength save on it's first turn after being successfully bound, unlike when unamplified?

(Asking because I'm really looking forward to playing a scourge aasimar committed to the Order of the Mutant/Fighter 2, and that 0' movement will be so much fun.)
Customer avatar
Brendan M December 31, 2017 6:39 am UTC
After experimenting with the class, and having recently started playing a Blood Hunter in a campaign, I've run into a question about the Order of the Mutant Blood Hunter that I haven't been able to figure out an answer to: Why does Potency debuff Dexterity, while Celerity debuffs Wisdom?

While the Wisdom loss limits effective curse choices while active, the Dexterity loss means a huge 2-3 point drop in AC, especially relative to a dex-based Hunter's 2-3 point AC gain with Celerity. The way I've been looking at it, by level 20 a dex Hunter using Celerity would be expected to have a 19 AC (studded leather 12, +7 dex), while a strength-based Hunter using Potency would likely have an AC of 14 (half-plate 15 , -1 dex, assuming a base dex of 14 for normal medium armor use). Given that Dexterity's impact on AC in addition to its use as a melee/ranged combat stat is a large part of why it's generally seen as relatively powerful, exacerbating the AC difference between Dexterity and Strength builds seems like...See more
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Rob H December 27, 2017 8:25 am UTC
Changes from 1.9 -> 2.0

Hunter's Bane
1.9: You can choose to suffer damage equal to your crimson rite damage die to gain advantage on a Wisdom (Insight) check or Charisma (Intimidation) check.
2.0: You can choose to suffer damage equal to a roll of your crimson rite damage die to gain advantage on a Wisdom (Insight) check or Charisma (Intimidation) check.

Sanguine Mastery
1.9: When you are below one fourth of your current maximum hit points and conscious, all of your crimson rite damage dice are maximized.
2.0: When you are below one fourth of your current maximum hit points, all of your crimson rite damage dice are maximized

1.9: In addition, when you critically hit with a weapon attack that bears your crimson rite, and have no uses of your Blood Maledict feature left, you regain one use.
2.0: In addition, when you critically hit with a weapon attack that bears your crimson rite, you regain a use of your blood maledict feature....See more
Customer avatar
Mitchell H December 27, 2017 2:07 am UTC
Hello Mr. Mercer!

first time playing D&D and I was lucky enough to discover this class when I was googling what is available. I am pretty much addicted now to both D&D and Critical Role and having a blast playing as a blood hunter even at level 2.

I have been looking at all the cool merch D&D and the stuff the cast of Critical Role have/use and promote, and while I know you are super super busy I was wondering if there were any plans to have some blood curse/spell and ability cards made up that we would be able to purchase. I would much prefer to support you and your products if there is a potential of this coming out in the not-to-terribly distant future rather then hatchet out a budget version for myself.

hope everyone reading had a merry critmas and has a happy new year.
Customer avatar
Darius V December 25, 2017 8:39 am UTC
Nice update Matt, though three inquiries. I'm surprised to see that there was no change to the Polearm clause for the Crimson Rite. I don't understand what this restriction is really doing besides making it harder for them to use Polearms more effectively as nothing in 5e has this terminology or restriction. The spells Elemental Weapon, Holy Weapon, even magic items that grant extra elemental damage do not have any type of restriction as to what side of the polearm you are using, you always get the bonus regardless of what side its used on. In addition to this as mentioned in my previous post, Crimson Rite can be used on a Hand Crossbow, which has the exact same comparable set up (Crossbow Expert vs Polearm Master, Great Weapon Master vs Sharpshooter) all is the same except Hand Crossbow users get a slight damage decrease (3~ on average) and way more range to do this at. Could you explain your reasoning for having it set up like this?

Also, thank you for clarifying the ability score mishap with the...See more
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Darius V December 25, 2017 9:13 am UTC
Same as the other things I mentioned I'm very interested in your intentions and reasonings for Diabolic Channel as well.

As I earlier I have been trying to get a feature like this to work, but it teeters on the overpowered line for the low-mid game. So far whenever I have made a feature similar to it (With inspiration from Pathfinder's Magus' Spellstrike or 3.5 Duskblade's Arcane Channeling) its always been on a Sorcerer and used the Sorcery points as a limiter to show how often they could do it. The recommended example feature above, for example, was originally a homebrew origin for the sorcerer with a bounded weapon and cost 4 Sorcerery points and is obtained at level 18. So it took time to get that bonding process just right to full-on channel magic through your weapons. Even then I limited it to just melee weapons, Diabolic Channel works with ranged ones as well (Fireball Arrows, Ranged Revivify's, Scorching Ray Arrows, etc.).
I'm not trying to knock Diabolic Channel, by the way, I love...See more
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Matthew M December 25, 2017 11:18 pm UTC
Thanks, and let me see what I can say to these elements:

1) This was added after a LARGE number of community balance enthusiasts were complaining about the abuse of the Polearm Mastery with a single Rite. It could go either way, but this restriction was there to ensure a level of balance was introduced that allowed you to still use the "two-weapon fighting"-esque off-hand attack at the cost of an additional rite. The hand crossbow element is true, but at a slightly smaller damage value, and using ammunition. Overall, it may not be perfect, but its what it is. If you really disagree with the limitation, your DM is welcome to remove that little note.

2) The Cantrip progression is based on the cantrip progression of the Eldritch Knight, which is the wizard sub-class equivalent. I don't see any difference, so please do inform me if I've somehow missed something.

3) It's been a challenge, certainly. The idea is generally a risky All-in or All-out ability, where a miss...See more
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Darius V December 26, 2017 5:44 am UTC
Thank you for responding!

1) True a DM could remove the restriction and I don't see anything breaking balance wise as you can still do this at a range before the restriction was lifted (Even with the slightly lowered damage and Ammo), now you can do it in melee with a Glaive, keep some extra hit points so your not taking an even greater risk of doing this in close quarters, and save up a bonus action so you can Polearm Master. Personally, I really don't see the need for this restriction as nothing in 5e has ever done this or felt the need to do so, so I would probably remove it or make it a choice! They could choose to use their Crinsom Rite on the Polearm as a whole or choose one end and on another turn do it again if they want multiple elemental typings for their attacks.

2) So as it is currently worded with the Profane Soul/Warlock Multiclass it states "Consult the Warlock Progression table for total Spell Slots, **Cantrips known**, and Spell Slot Level." Normally when you...See more
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Matthew M December 27, 2017 5:05 am UTC
2) OH! Gotcha! I was very confused on the specific occurrence, so thank you for detailing that. Appreciate it!
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Nathaniel A December 24, 2017 5:33 am UTC
Love the update, though I'm surprised that you changed the damage part of the lvl 20 capstone. I always interpreted that as you take the damage for using a Rite, but that it simply doesn't lower your maximum hit points. I would have thought that if you were going to remove that minor boon, you may have instead given an additional use of the blood maledict and/or another increase to the Crimson Rite Damage Die? Neither of which are a huge problem and they're already good enough as is. Just that, as far as capstone's go, the level 20 ability as is doesn't really give itself much accessibility. 1/4 hit points is a terribly risky place to be, critical hits aren't *that* frequent, and needing to have no more uses of the blood rite to be able to regain uses almost encourages you to blow your load early rather than be strategic. Maybe alter the critical hit requirement so that you simply regain a spent use on a critical hit, no longer requiring that you be empty but simply that you have at least used one use? Similar...See more
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Travis V December 24, 2017 8:24 pm UTC
Agreed at this, it makes the 20th level ability feel a LOT more 'situational' than a true capstone. My party very rarely sits below 1/4 if we can help it since the chance of dying is so high, and crits are rare enough that only regaining one if you're empty seems to be exceptionally rare (if you're managing your uses).

I think just regaining a blood maledict on crit, period, would feel more epic and worth it.
Customer avatar
Matthew M December 24, 2017 9:13 pm UTC
The 1/4 HP element was previously there, and is situational but powerful when it does kick in. I do see your point on the critical element, and I’ll think on that.

As for the lower comment, that’s been a thing I’ve read often and disagree with. Making it based on BH level makes it a too-powerful auto-dip for 1 level for every melee class (+1d4 damage for 1 max hp) and throws off the intended balance of investing in the class for a number of levels.
Customer avatar
earl S December 25, 2017 4:10 am UTC
Just wanted to say thanks for your contributions and content Matt. Congratulations to you and Marisha as well!
Customer avatar
Nathaniel A December 25, 2017 8:16 am UTC
regarding the point about BH levels versus character level, I 100% respect that and can appreciate that entirely. That was more a secondary consideration than it was the premise of my comment. All in all, at higher levels you have so many hit points that dropping 20 hit points at level 20 really isn't all that bad.

As I said, anything I've suggested isn't necessarily paramount to the balance of the class, so I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. I think it's a great class, the adjustments make a lot of sense in general and I could see why you made them. The Bloodhunter I'm currently playing is a really fun experience and I'm overjoyed that you've taken the time to refine it as much as you have.
Customer avatar
Matthew M December 25, 2017 10:13 pm UTC
Not a worry at all! Feedback is always welcome, and these conversations only help all of us become better at our own designs. :)
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Travis V December 28, 2017 4:19 am UTC
Just wanted to echo the thanks here - it's awesome to see a creator replying to feedback on their content and it's a great feeling to see content grow from community feedback. I really love this class and can't wait to play my Order of the Lycan character again after the updates.
Customer avatar
Rosie C December 24, 2017 12:45 am UTC
what about multiclassing, it doesnt seem very balanced or worth it due to the crimson rite, as if you only take 4 levels in bloodhunter, do you still take 20 hp at level 20 from crimson rite even tho you only have a d4 damage dice
Customer avatar
Eric W December 24, 2017 4:35 am UTC
Yeah its not great. I recently played a Bloodhunter/warlock and asked the DM if the rite damage could be tied to class level and he agreed. Works pretty well that way.
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Matthew M December 24, 2017 9:16 pm UTC
Not all classes benefit from investing a small number of levels in multiclassing. If it were tied to character level, the balance would be thrown entirely (making this an easy 1-level dip for +1d4 damage on every attack for 1 max hp). It may not scale in the most effective way, but that’s also incentive to invest more in blood hunter, and if multiclassing perhaps being careful with the rite usage. ;)

All games can be changed/altered at the table, but the balance of this feature is as intended.
Customer avatar
Eric W December 25, 2017 1:17 am UTC
I see what you're saying, in my case i was a true multiclass, warlock 4/BH 4. It just wasn't worth it for me to take 8 hp damage for a 1d4 especially because i was relying on booming blade/green flame for damage progression. 1 level dips can certainly be abusive and as a DM i wouldn't allow them really unless it narratively made sense. I don't think however that the BH is very front loaded [at least at levels 1-2], especially compared to warlock, ranger [revised], cleric and fighter.

Also 1d4 doesn't seem like that much damage in the scheme of things [especially at later levels] and to delay your asi progression and main class features seems very suboptimal to me. Maybe as a middle ground it could be your BH level or 1/2 of your highest class level that isn't BH, whichever is higher?

Of course I bow down to your superior wisdom, just my 2 CP on the matter and I want to say thank you for this awesome class and all you do for the tabletop community!
Customer avatar
Matthew M December 25, 2017 10:12 pm UTC
Ha, no superior wisdom at all! Just having to find a middle ground on the design balance, and this was the best solution after much toil. Aye, it's not a powerful multiclass at lower levels alongside less martial classes with HP to burn, but that's the class. ;)
Customer avatar
Truls L December 21, 2017 2:21 pm UTC
I was testing the class with the Order of the Lycan archetype. Been playing all the way to level 10 and it has been really fun. It is a fairly powerful class when it comes to combat, and it has some cool out of combat features aswell, it really feels like its own class. Up until level 10, the class seems fairly balanced as far as I can tell, but there is only one thing that strikes me as kind of odd. You gain an ability Dark Velocity, that increases your movement and "dodge" while in darkness or dim light, but the class never grants darkvision. Was this intentional? It seems a bit wasted if your character does not already have darkvision.
Perhaps 60'feet darkvision (or a +30feet increase if you already have darkvision) could be put in as a class ability somewhere, and sacrifice something else for it, for instance the level 11 blood maledict?
Customer avatar
Theof N December 17, 2017 4:45 pm UTC
The creator of the "Epic Characters" Homebrew has done some fantastic work, and created a progression system for going past 20th level. As such, I will be allowing his content to be used in my campaigns moving forward. Your hombrew classes are so popular that many of my players have requested to use them, but without Epic Progression, I feel I would be doing a disservice. Have you considered working with the Epic Character authors, or developing your own for, of Epic Progression for your Homebrew?
Customer avatar
Patrick W December 01, 2017 7:36 pm UTC
Mister Mercer is there any chance you would allow us to have character sheets of Vox Machina that we could use in our Tal'Dorei Campaign Book unless missed the section that has such info
Customer avatar
Ryan P December 06, 2017 2:34 pm UTC
Look on critrolestats website. They have most of the character sheets besides prestream and lvl 20
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This title was added to our catalog on January 12, 2016.