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

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 (13)
Discussions (74)
Customer avatar
Nick O February 19, 2020 3:20 am UTC
PURCHASER
I'm getting ready to go Mutant in a few sessions and wanted to get your opinions on Impermeable, Shielded, and Unbreakable. Anyone have an idea how often the different damage types come into play? Our last session we fought thugs that did piercing and bludgeoning and I know there are some creatures that have XXX and claw attacks for piercing and slashing. Was thinking maybe I'll take one of them just for fun and take it case by case
Customer avatar
Timo H February 18, 2020 2:54 pm UTC
PURCHASER
The spell level for brand of castigation needs a clarification how it works on uneven numbers. Always rounded up or down.

Order of the lycan and order of the mutant would benefit from something that allows the use of crimson rite when transforming. Otherwise, for many players it would translate to: first round of combat transformation / mutation, second round crimson rite and third round first viable bonus action attack.

Overall does the blood hunter rely heavily on their bonus actions. I'd like to see an upgrade to the crimson rite rather than order specific abilities. Probably as a level 10 feature, instead of the current - as is find it needlessly strong.
Customer avatar
February 19, 2020 5:06 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Unless otherwise stated the general rule in 5e is to always round down.
Customer avatar
Kieran A February 17, 2020 10:36 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Rule clarification needed here please!

The wording on some of the curses, such as Curse of the Eyeless states 'You apply this curse to all of the creature's attack rolls until the end of THE turn.'

Does it mean the target creature's turn? (in which case, why does it not say "its turn"?)
Does it mean the entire round? (normally that would say, "until the start/end of your next turn" or similar)

For example, if you used this type of curse as your reaction during an enemy turn, and they have multi-attack, amplifying the curse would apply to all attacks, right? But if that same enemy later makes an opportunity attack (its reaction, outside of its turn), does the curse still apply?

Or what if you used the curse during someone else's turn, as a reaction to that opportunity attack? If "THE turn" (the player's turn) ends immediately after, why would there ever be a reason to amplify?
Customer avatar
Nick O February 18, 2020 4:03 am UTC
PURCHASER
The "turn" refers to whoever's turn it is during that round of combat when you take the reaction to invoke the blood curse. In this case "the turn" and "it's turn" mean the same thing. The thing to keep in mind is Turns and Rounds are not the same thing.

So if a gnoll with multi-attack swings its axe at you and you invoke and amplify the blood curse of the eyeless, all of the attacks that it makes on its turn have disadvantage. If that gnoll later makes an opportunity attack during someone else's turn the curse has no effect because the triggering turn is over.

Likewise, if you use your reaction to invoke the blood curse when the gnoll is making the opportunity attack, there's no point in amplifying here because it only makes the 1 attack. It's a situational tool.
Customer avatar
jonathan M February 15, 2020 9:44 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I have a question. In Hunters Bane this is written. Also what abilities need the DC save curses, castigation, both, or others?

The Hunter’s Bane also empowers your body to control and shape hemocraft magic, using your own blood and life essence to fuel your abilities. Some of your features require your target to make a saving throw to resist the feature’s effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows:

Hemocraft save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier.
Customer avatar
Nick O February 15, 2020 10:38 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Each feature specifies whether or not a target is required to make a saving throw. If a feature does require a target to make a saving throw, it uses your hemocraft DC.

For example Brand of Castigation does not specify that a saving throw is required so no need for the DC. But Blood Curse of Binding says "The target just succeed on a Strength saving throw..." so it will use your DC.
Customer avatar
jonathan M February 16, 2020 12:17 am UTC
PURCHASER
thank you
Customer avatar
James A February 14, 2020 9:32 pm UTC
Why is dexterity the saving throw for the new version? Demons and undead rarely use skills that make you make a Dex save, so surely wisdom would be better. Or even Con just going with the fact that blood hunters use their health and stuff for their personal abilities. Somebody please explain why Dex was chosen
Customer avatar
Jordan V February 13, 2020 7:10 pm UTC
The Ethereal Step ability of the Ghostslayers is still a little vague. Are you visible? Can you attack creatures on the material plane? Can they attack you? Do you provoke opportunity attacks while in this form? Does it effect your AC? Does it effect non magical damage by giving either resistance or immunity to non magical damage?

I love all the changes, I just need a little clarification on this one ability.
Customer avatar
Nick O February 14, 2020 1:41 am UTC
PURCHASER
Since it doesn't say that your normal abilities are affected at all I would assume that you can still do all the things you could do before but now ALSO move through and affect objects and creatures both on the material and ethereal planes.

If you were invisible, couldn't attack creatures in the material plane, AC was affected, etc it would specify those changes.
Customer avatar
Jordan V February 14, 2020 1:45 am UTC
That's what I figured and makes the most sense. It was just a little hazy since technically a weapon could be considered a solid object.

Can you move through the ground? Or a cave wall?
Customer avatar
Nick O February 14, 2020 1:49 am UTC
PURCHASER
DM would have the final say but I'd say yes. BUT moving through creatures and objects is difficult terrain and if you end your turn inside an object you take damage so you'd need to be sure you could pass all the way through or have enough remaining movement to get back
Customer avatar
Stijn V February 12, 2020 7:36 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I absolutly love this new version! But a new version just came out, is there a changelog?
Customer avatar
Nick O February 12, 2020 8:19 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Blood Hunter 2020 is still the latest version, it just went from being $8 (proceeds went to support fighting Australian brushfires) to pay-what-you-want. No content changes from the original release on 1/27/2020
Customer avatar
Stijn V February 12, 2020 8:51 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Okay, Thank you!
Customer avatar
David E February 13, 2020 3:11 am UTC
PURCHASER
The version that went up yesterday does have a few updates from the previous version, though I haven’t seen a change log. Here’s what I’ve noticed:
-Adjusted DC for the Lycan’s Bloodlust save from 8+1/3 of BH level to a flat 8
-Adjusted Blood Curse of the Anxious so you can now only amplify it once per day
-Added Blood Curse of Exposure (which is a cool addition!)
-Adjusted multiclassing proficiencies. You now also gain 1 skill, bringing it in line with all other classes that provide more than 2 skills

I may have missed something, but that’s what I saw. (I didn’t look as closely for updates regarding subclasses other than Lycan.)
Customer avatar
Nick O February 13, 2020 3:24 am UTC
PURCHASER
Oh dang thanks for pointing that out! That new Blood curse is cool!
Customer avatar
Curtis T February 14, 2020 5:03 am UTC
PURCHASER
-Exalted Mutation changed to use bonus action instead of reaction (might have been a typo before because no trigger was listed)
Customer avatar
Juan A February 12, 2020 2:13 am UTC
PURCHASER
...See more
Customer avatar
Nick O February 12, 2020 2:53 am UTC
PURCHASER
The Hemocraft die represents the use of blood magic and is not always harmful to you. Each feature specifies how the die is used. Crimson rite says when you activate the rite you take damage equal to 1 roll of the die and when you hit a creature with a weapon with an active rite you deal extra damage to the target equal to 1 roll of the die.

For blood curses, you only take damage when you amplify them. For Marked, every time you hit the target that is marked, you deal extra damage equal to 1 roll of the die.

Each feature specifies who takes the die damage.

Hope that's helpful and not just spiting the rules back at you
Customer avatar
Juan A February 12, 2020 6:50 am UTC
PURCHASER
That is hugely helpful. I didn't want to assume I wouldn't take damage, as it didn't explicitly state with the blood curses whether you do or don't.

Thanks again!
Customer avatar
Daniel L February 11, 2020 10:04 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Matthew Mercer,
Love the update to the Bloodhunter along with everything you and your colleagues are doing at Critical Role. I wanted to offer a suggestion as feedback, not as a criticism but simply as an alternative option to consider for if and/or when you do any future revisions to the Bloodhunter.
Perhaps given the focus on and use/mastery of ones blood/life essence, proficiency in Constitution saving throws may have more narrative synergy than Intelligence saving throws(though you are the best and only judge who can speak to your true narrative intent and I do not mean to presume to suggest otherwise). DEX and CON saving throws would be a unique(and potent) combination in a class, and in my humble opinion a really good narrative fit for your bloodhunter. I realize the hemo-craft save and other abilities use intelligence(which I love), but both the ranger and monk (with proficiency STR and DEX saves) are examples of saving throw proficiencies that differ from their casting or ki/"casting...See more
Customer avatar
Luke V February 12, 2020 5:34 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Granting both Dex and Con as saving throws goes against 5e design. All classes are given proficiency in one common saving throw (Dex, Con, or Wis) and one uncommon saving throw (Str, Int, or Cha). If anything, switching Dex to Con could make sense.
Customer avatar
Daniel L February 12, 2020 6:06 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thank you for adding to the discussion. I understand and appreciate your reasoning and indeed switching DEX to CON could be valid option to consider. While it may be somewhat less common than DEX or CON saves, I don't necessarily I agree that STR is an "uncommon" saving throw, as I believe there are many monster statblocks with abilities (as well as other in game situations) that require a strength save. That aside, I am also not sure 5e design requires that the pairing of a common and less common save need be a "hard rule" so long as it is considered when balancing the relative power of the rest of the classes design (and given the "drawbacks" of some of the bloodhunters abilities being fuelled by self damage and potentially requiring a wider range of ability scores to be "optimized", in my humble opinion this may not be outside the realm of balance).
Customer avatar
Nick O February 12, 2020 6:40 pm UTC
PURCHASER
@Luke V, I never knew that was the breakdown, thanks for the insight!
Customer avatar
Nick O February 12, 2020 6:58 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I like the flavor of a Con/Int class. Blood Hunters need to be tough of body to handle the loss of vitality for their blood magic and also have a keen mind to learn about and study their prey ahead of time since they're more focused on using their head (int) instead of their instincts (wis).

Although, now that you don't get Wis ST proficiency I can see a lot of people getting upset since I'm sure they'd want this mostly martial class to at least have Dex ST proficiency.

I wouldn't have a problem with Con/Int because it's pretty cool flavor and also I don't have many strong class design preferences lol
Customer avatar
Travis V February 11, 2020 6:08 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Is the intent with the curse of agony that you take 1d8 damage ONCE no matter how many attacks you make, or once per attack? IE: If a creature makes 3 attacks during its turn, does it take 1d8 damage or 2d8? I'm assuming its a once/turn thing, no matter how many attacks you make as long as it is >1.
Customer avatar
Nick O February 11, 2020 6:25 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Since it doesn't specify "for each additional attack" then I would assume it's once/turn if the target makes 2 or more attacks on their turn. Ex: 3 attacks = 1d8 extra necrotic damage
Customer avatar
Matthew M February 13, 2020 5:54 pm UTC
CREATOR
Aye, it is intended to only deal the damage once on a turn no matter how many attacks, so long as the target made more than one attack. :)
Customer avatar
Elijah B February 10, 2020 5:29 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Customer avatar
Michael H February 10, 2020 8:24 am UTC
PURCHASER
When will these changes come to d&d beyond?
Customer avatar
Nick O February 10, 2020 3:28 pm UTC
PURCHASER
DnDBeyond will be updated once the charity drive is completed and that supposedly was going to run for 2 weeks which ends today. So I would assume it'll be updated any day now
Customer avatar
Bruno C February 04, 2020 8:13 pm UTC
How can I have permission to build this class for Fantasy Grounds?
Customer avatar
Vis S February 10, 2020 8:41 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I'm not an expert in these things, but are you asking about creating it for private use or for sharing with others? I assume you could create it for private use without needing permission. Sharing publicly would probably be a different story.
Customer avatar
Jaden R February 03, 2020 11:58 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Question regarding Profane Soul spellcasting. Their table suggests they do not gain 3rd level spells until level 13, but their spellcasting description states: "When you reach 11th level, for example, you gain a new Warlock spell, which can be 1st, 2nd, or 3rd level." This is true of the original document as well. But at 11th level, you can't learn a 3rd level spell, because according to the table, your slot level is still 2nd, correct? Is the intention for it to be 3rd? Or am I grossly misreading this? Thanks!
Customer avatar
Nick O February 04, 2020 6:09 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I see it too, Matt will have to clarify that
Customer avatar
Kieran A February 02, 2020 9:08 pm UTC
PURCHASER
With the Order of the Lycan, am I right in thinking you can/should still be using melee weapons up until around the 7th level mark and after that essentially stick to unarmed? I'm really digging the sounds of the subclass but I'm a relatively new player and don't want to hamstring myself by misinterpreting anything. Certainly not out to try and min/max but just hoping for more clarification on the general feel of the sub at later levels.

Ps. Proceeds all going to charity? Matt you are amazing, hope to catch you at MCM London!
Customer avatar
Nick O February 03, 2020 6:09 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Here's what I came up with for optimizing damage:
- Dex-based Two Weapon Fighting style (d6 weapons)
- Levels 3-6 claws and weapons have same attack bonus and damage
- Levels 7-10 claws have higher attack bonus but same damage as weapons
- Levels 11+ claws have higher attack bonus and damage

The BIIIIIIIG factor here is your claws count as 1 weapon for your crimson rite so you only take damage once vs twice for 2 different weapons
Customer avatar
Kevin H February 01, 2020 7:18 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Here is an exploit for all you guys out there, though Ill avoid using the features names for reasons.

If you use lv 18 skill of mutant, and flush out a mutation for vermillion, you will instantly gain 1 use of Maledict. This means, u can flush out vermillion on your next turn, and then reapply it the turn afterwards, allowing you to gain multiple uses of Maledict for free. Now to further add to this, Sagacity increases your maximum, giving you more uses of the lv 18 feature because this features uses are dependent on your modifier. Now if you keep applying sagacity and replacing it with vermillion, you can use Maledict and the lv 18 skill, infinitely as it loops itself. For the author who reads this here is a good line to fix this: "Youcan only gain this mutations benefits once per rest". This prevents looping.
Customer avatar
Nick O February 04, 2020 4:29 pm UTC
PURCHASER
The problem is this will take several rounds to come online and several more to repeat so I'm not sure how useful it would be in combat.

Also I would assume that for Vermillion, RAI is if you use the extra blood maledict the mutagen effect ends so there wouldn't be anything to flush. You're right though, maybe could use a slight clarification
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on January 27, 2020.