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Blood Hunter Class for D&D 5e (2020)
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Blood Hunter Class for D&D 5e (2020)

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Blood Hunter - A Martial Class for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

Often feared or misunderstood, and driven by an unending drive to destroy the wicked, blood hunters are clever, arcane warriors who have bound their essence to the dark creatures they hunt to better stalk and survive their prey. Armed with the rites of forbidden blood magic and a willingness to sacrifice their own vitality and humanity for the cause, they protect the realms from the shadows, ever vigilant to avoid becoming the same monsters they choose to hunt.

Harnessing the dark abilities granted by the use of hemocraft blood magic to enhance their combat prowess, these warriors hunt the wicked with blade and curse, sacrificing their own vitality to gain the upper hand and bring their quarry down.

This includes the Order of the Ghostslayer, Order of the Profane Soul, Order of the Mutant, and Order of the Lycan archetypes for the Blood Hunter class.


Author's Note:
This was my first homebrew class waaaaay back before DMs Guild first started, and I had a LOT to learn. Originally spawned as a handful of variant abilities I designed for Vin Diesel guesting on my D&Diesel one-shot to promote his film "The Last Witch Hunter" (in which I was given no context for his character other than the trailer), the internet was loudly requesting me to release what class he played. Needing to heavily expand upon those small features, I cobbled together my first attempt at this class with meager design experience and tossed it to the internet with a wince. A handful of years of iterations, and incredible amounts of very well-thought out feedback from the web later, I've learned so much more about fun design and balance... and I wanted to take a crack at redesigning this class from the ground up.

Deep consideration brought me to shift the secondary ability score focus from Wisdom to Intelligence, as the hemocraft magic was more arcane in nature, and there was little representation for an Intelligence-based martial class. Along with this came many changes to improve the ease of tracking abilities like the Crimson Rite, while adding some new features and utility to the class and its Orders (including the Brand of Castigation). Massive rebalancing has been applied throughout the class, and each Order eventually receives its own unique Blood Curse, as well as a unique modification to their Brand.

While the first release of any new design will have its problems, I feel much more confident about the direction of this class and its place in my games and world. I hope you enjoy this newly fashioned, improved release of the Blood Hunter! 

-Matthew Mercer


(P.S. If you would still prefer to use the older version, you are certainly welcome to do so! You can find it HERE)

 
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Reviews (24)
Discussions (103)
Customer avatar
john F February 24, 2022 5:15 pm UTC
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I am also wondering if there will be an update posted here for those of us that don't use DnDBeyond?
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Rick T February 20, 2022 12:46 am UTC
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will this be updated similar to the D&D beyond version?
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Matthew H February 18, 2022 8:34 pm UTC
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Why hasnt this been updated like dnd beyond?
Customer avatar
Maurice M February 19, 2022 5:15 am UTC
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I’m wondering that as well.
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Mark H February 19, 2022 9:15 pm UTC
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Correct me if I'm mistaken but isn't the version on D&D Beyond basically the newest updated version? A 3rd edition if you will.
Customer avatar
Ben C January 04, 2022 3:02 pm UTC
Hey folks,

Looking to play a Ghostslayer in Curse of Strahd - Eladrin, dex based, hand xbow (taking xbow master feat @ BH lvl 4) build. I am really tempted with an artificer dip to provide some magic and get more use out of my reaction (3 man party with Pally and druid/cleric).

Any thoughts on how to best work a 2 or 3 level dip into an otherwise straight BH build?
Customer avatar
Chris R October 15, 2021 9:33 pm UTC
If I wanted to include Blood Hunter in my own published Setting (not sure if it will be free or cost money yet), how do I seek permission to do that?
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Davide D September 11, 2021 7:13 am UTC
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I've had the chance to read reviews and thoughts, this is my idea around this amazing class.

1) The biggest issue I've got is INT replacing WIS to calculate DC and having INT as saving throws.
I'm a practical person. INT saves are absolutely situational and let's face it, be proficient does't mean automatic success. Hence the only few times an INT save comes up you might even fail it...
This is the way 5e has been designed, INT is useless unless you are a wizard plain and simple.

DEX on the other hand is very useful. However "IN MY OPINION" Having saving throws WIS and CON would be more appropriate both thematically and mechanically.

2) This idea that low INT means stupid characters is absolutely wrong!
INT= Book smart, good memory, high amount of knowledge;
WIS=Wise, Street smart, Calm and collected, emotions under control (which could be argued that to be charisma, as strong will)
CHA= Emotionally smart, silver tongue, able to...See more
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Michael W September 11, 2021 10:05 pm UTC
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1) Int isn't useless if you want to be a skill monkey as 5/17 skills are Int based (the same number as Wis based skills); it's also useful if you're playing an Artificer and is somewhat useful if you're playing an Arcane Trickster or Eldritch Knight.

Additionally part of the reason you now have Dex saves is due to all the classes being designed to have one "common" save proficiency (Dex/Con/Wis) and one "uncommon" save proficiency (Str/Int/Cha), which is why giving this class Wis + Con is a bad idea as it breaks the balance (more than this already does). Given there's 65 spells that require Dex saves and 11 that require Int saves it's a stronger combo (76) to have than the older Str (21 saves)/Wis (52 saves) combo (73).

2) According to the PHB Intelligence measures "mental acuity, information recall, analytical skill" and Wisdom measures "awareness, intuition, insight" so a low Int character might be very aware and able to read people (high Wis)...See more
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Helen K February 19, 2022 10:52 pm UTC
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The new D&D Beyond update lets you choose Int or Wis for your abilities, which is cool.
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Richard M May 29, 2021 8:56 pm UTC
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So I've having some trouble with a player with Brand of Castigation. It seems hideously overpowered: once you hit (no action required) you can choose to brand a target, then you "always know its direction"..."lasting until you dismiss it or brand another".

So if you choose: it never expires? Not even after a long rest? Short rest? Incapacitated? 1000 years pass? You die?!

You can't brand another until you finish a rest, but it doesn't specify if the old brand still lasts. I think it should expire when you start a long rest, but as written, the only way to rid it is to dispel it, and it's not necessarily clear if Detect Magic would even detect it?
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Michael W May 30, 2021 4:02 am UTC
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This is something I highlighted in my review from last year; it also has no range limit either so since you can apply Crimson Rite to a ranged weapon you can activate the brand from up to 600ft away and the lack of a range limit means even if they hop to another plane you still know where they are.

Considering what gets stacked on top of this at later levels, such as the Brand of Tethering feature that deals damage the target can't save against as well as prevents teleporting/plane-shifting/dashing/etc and the subclass-specific brand improvement, the Brand of Castigation is one of the big balance issues for this class.
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David E August 26, 2021 3:46 pm UTC
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"Your brand lasts until you dismiss it, or you apply a brand to another creature." So if you use it again it goes away on the previous target. You could keep it on one target for a long time to know their direction, but that would mean sacrificing the combat damage (and later the mobility limitations you impose when you get the Brand of Tethering) for all combats you are currently facing. That seems like a fair tradeoff to me. Plus, if you're worried about the implications for your BBEG, Dispel Magic is absolutely a reasonable solution for any intelligent creature. And as for Detect Magic, I suppose that would be up to the DM, but I would rule that if Dispel Magic works, Detect Magic definitely works.
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Michael W August 26, 2021 9:38 pm UTC
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The brand can be used on one target as an infinite range, infinite duration (including across planes) version of Hunter's Mark and Locate Creature (a spell not gained until a level after the brand is); one that only gets better as you level (the aforementioned damage-before-save effect and movement penalties) and recharges on a short rest meaning you'll always have it ready unless you're using it.

Not every BBEG is capable of casting magic, or if they are they're not always capable of casting Dispel Magic (especially because this eventually becomes equivalent to a 9th level spell); additionally because it's not stated that Detect Magic will detect it the target isn't aware it's branded, it also doesn't get suppressed by an Antimagic Field either even though Dispel Magic works on it since that's not stated either.

Plus against unintelligent creatures that rely on melee attacks the brand is a nightmare they can't remove and it kills them to attack the front line of the party since they...See more
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Nicholas L February 24, 2021 10:25 am UTC
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Are there plans to update profane soul with stuff for the new patrons from Tasha's?
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Reinhardt F February 12, 2021 1:45 am UTC
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Are there any plans to introduce new archetypes?
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Eli N December 30, 2020 11:46 am UTC
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For Order of the Profane Soul, do you get just the spells from the warlock spell list, or do you also get the pact spells for whichever you make your pact with?
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January 16, 2021 3:52 am UTC
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You only gain access to spells from the warlock spell list.
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December 18, 2020 7:01 am UTC
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Are there any plans to incorporate the new warlock patrons and fighting styles from Tasha's Cauldron of Everything into the Blood Hunter?
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Brian K November 13, 2020 8:05 pm UTC
I've got a question regarding the usage of ranged weapons on a bloodhunter.
How does this work in combination with the crimson rites?
Does the rite transfer to ammunition?

One of my players wants to play a ranged bloodhunter and even after reading the documentation multiple times, we're still not sure how this works.
Could someone please explain this concept?
Customer avatar
Nick O November 13, 2020 8:17 pm UTC
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Short answer, the ammunition does the rite damage.

Here's a thread with more detail
https://www.dndbeyond.com/forums/dungeons-dragons-discussion/rules-game-mechanics/16571-does-crimson-rites-apply-to-ranged-weapon
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Michael W November 13, 2020 10:17 pm UTC
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The Crimson Rite is applied to the weapon, in a similar fashion to an enchanted bow the ammunition deals the usual damage for the weapon plus the Rite damage. This also means when they get to 6th level they can use their Brand feature at the full range of their weapon (up to 600 feet!).

Be wary on what subclass they pick, if they go Ghostslayer you'll encounter the same head-scratching with their 7th level feature where they can occupy two planes simultaneously!
Customer avatar
Brian K November 17, 2020 9:00 pm UTC
Thanks guys! Both answers helped very much! :D
In this case it was going to be for an order of the mutant subclass, but was still struggling.
Thanks for the enlightenment!
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Aleksa A November 05, 2020 2:32 am UTC
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I have to say after finally revisiting Order of the Lycanthrope, I find that it's a lot worse than it used to be. Not because it's weaker, but because it removes the debuffs. I know it doesn't make sense, but the whole fun of Blood Hunter was how you would gain power at a cost, and removing the silver vulnerability and dropping the Wisdom Saves for holding back your inner beast to such a low number honestly removes the fun of playing that class.
Of course, I know I can always go back to the earlier editions, but I say this because I would really love to see this class as a whole further explored for the risk/reward class that it is in future updates.
I'm a big fan of the Mutagen upgrades, though. It's a lot simpler to play, but I think it lends itself to 5e a lot better than previously, and the drawbacks and strengths are considerably improved. Makes it a LOT more fun to juggle.
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Michael W November 05, 2020 7:06 pm UTC
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Here's where I might get in trouble, but if you're looking for something like the Order of the Lycan but with that power at a cost element still there, have a look at this: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/304790/Lycanthrope-Class-for-DD-5e-2020
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Paul A October 19, 2020 2:58 am UTC
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I made a Blood Hunter (Order of the Lycan) that's a Malarite. I'm very excited!!
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Nathan Z September 28, 2020 7:23 pm UTC
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I really need the new Warlock patrons added to the profane soul subclass
Customer avatar
Thomas W July 06, 2020 2:21 pm UTC
I just want to know why Blood Curse Mutual Suffering was removed, that was the best one.
Customer avatar
David E July 17, 2020 1:37 pm UTC
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I agree. It was definitely my favorite. I think overall the Blood Maledicts are a lot better (stronger, more thematically appropriate) now than they were, but I miss Mutual Suffering. I believe Matt indicated that he does have plans for it, though, so hopefully we'll get a version of it back in a future update.
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File Last Updated:
February 11, 2020
This title was added to our catalog on January 27, 2020.