Crusader (5e Class)

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Author: Ghostwheel (talk)
Date Created: January 16 2020
Status: Complete
Editing: Clarity edits only please
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Author's note: This is an extremely complex class, play it at your own risk; you've been warned.

Righteous Warriors[edit]

In times of need, when war is waged on the very foundations of a belief, crusaders are dispatched as the hand of their god to not only defend it, but bring the fight to the enemy. Rarely seen, these bastions of religious might combined with martial prowess often only appear to keep the torch of tradition lit. An ideology is like a language and must be passed from one mind to the next to truly live on, and a crusader ensures that the minds which contain their ideology are not snuffed out entirely.

Divine Indignation[edit]

When one is called to be a crusader, their very presence can be taken as proof of their deity's existence. If the belief that someone must still believe in a divine creature for it to go on existing is true, crusaders are a deity's form of indirect self-defense; a last resort before personally intervening. Crusaders are gifted with the talent and innate magic necessary to deliver a god's fury to the mortals that threaten their ideology - and therefore their very existence. The deity they serve may change, person to person, but the might of a crusader is always recognizable.

Creating a Crusader[edit]

When creating a crusader, considering which deity you serve is an integral part of deciding your direction. Do you serve a well-liked god, one of justice or mercy, which the masses may also revere? Do you serve a lesser-known deity, one which might have dubious motivations and practices? Or is the source of your divine strength one of selfishness or evil, which you defend as the source of your own power, with mutual benefit tying your god to their army of mortals? In knowing your god, you may better understand yourself, what you fight for, and what your end goal is - beyond the culling of infidel who seeks to end your worship, once and for all.

Quick Build[edit]

You can make a crusader easily by following these suggestions. First, Strength should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution or Charisma. Second, choose the acolyte background.

Class Features[edit]

As a Crusader, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points[edit]

Hit Dice: 1d10 per Crusader level
Hit Points at 1st Level: d10 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10


Armor: Light armor, medium armor, heavy armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Strength, Wisdom
Skills: Choose two from Athletics, History, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, Persuasion, Religion.


You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a martial weapon and a shield or (b) two martial weapons
  • (a) five javelins or (b) any simple weapon
  • (a) a priest's pack or (b) an explorer's pack
  • Chain mail and a holy symbol

The Crusader

Level Proficiency
Features Maneuvers
1st +2 Martial Initiate 5 5 (2)
2nd +2 Furious Counterstrike, Steely Resolve 10 6 5 (2) 2
3rd +2 Martial Devotion 6 5 (2) 2
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 7 5 (2) 2
5th +3 Martial Prowess 7 5 (2) 3
6th +3 Insightful Presence, Steely Resolve 20 8 5 (2) 3
7th +3 Furious Counterstrike improvement 8 5 (2) 3
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 9 5 (2) 3
9th +4 Devotion class feature 9 5 (2) 3
10th +4 Steely Resolve 30 10 5 (2) 3
11th +4 10 6 (3) 4
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 11 6 (3) 4
13th +5 Blessed Strikes 11 6 (3) 4
14th +5 Steely Resolve 40 12 6 (3) 4
15th +5 Devotion class feature 12 6 (3) 4
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 13 6 (3) 4
17th +6 13 7 (4) 5
18th +6 Steely Resolve 50 14 7 (4) 5
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 14 7 (4) 5
20th +6 Undying Revenant 15 7 (4) 5

Martial Initiate[edit]

Maneuvers Known[edit]

You begin your journey with knowledge of five martial maneuvers. The paths available to you are from the Devoted Spirit, Stone Dragon, and White Raven disciplines. Once you know a maneuver, you must ready it before you can use it (see Maneuvers Readied, below). You learn additional maneuvers at higher levels, as shown on the Maneuvers Known column of the Crusader table.

See the maneuvers description for more information on maneuvers, which rank of maneuvers you are able to take, and the prerequisites for specific maneuvers. At 3rd level and every two levels afterwards (5th, 7th, 9th, and so on), you may replace one of your maneuvers with another maneuver, and at 4th, 10th, 16th, and 20th levels, you may choose to replace up to a number of maneuvers and stances equal to your proficiency bonus, in both cases losing access to chosen maneuvers or stances and instead learning others. You must be able to fulfill any prerequisites for maneuvers and stances you know after replacing in both cases, including previous maneuvers in a specific path, and so on.

Maneuvers Readied[edit]

You can ready all five maneuvers you know at 1st level, but as you advance in level and learn more maneuvers, you must choose which maneuvers to ready. You ready maneuvers by praying for 5 minutes. The maneuvers you choose remain readied until you decide to pray again and change them. You need not sleep or rest for any long period of time in order to ready your maneuvers; any time you spend 5 minutes in prayer, you can change your readied maneuvers. You begin an encounter with all your readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times you might have already used them since you chose them. When you initiate a maneuver, you expend it for the current encounter, so each of your readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter (unless you recover them, as described below).

Crusaders are unique among martial adepts, relying on flashes of divine inspiration to use their martial maneuvers. As such, you do not control access to your readied maneuvers. Before you take your first action in an encounter, two of your readied maneuvers of your choice are granted to you. The rest of your readied maneuvers are withheld, currently inaccessible. At the end of each turn on which you are not incapacitated, one previously withheld maneuver (randomly determined) is granted to you, and thus becomes accessible for your next turn and subsequent turns. You can freely choose to initiate any maneuver that is currently granted when your turn begins, but you cannot initiate a withheld maneuver. If you choose not to employ a maneuver in a given round, your currently granted maneuvers remain available, and a previously withheld maneuver is granted, as described above. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you use your maneuvers or not; at the end of each of your turns, one withheld maneuver from your selection of readied maneuvers is granted to you. Over the course of a few rounds, all your maneuvers will eventually be granted. If, at the end of your turn, you cannot be granted a maneuver because you have no withheld maneuvers remaining, you recover all expended maneuvers, and a new pair of readied maneuvers of your choice are granted to you. At the end of your next turn, a withheld maneuver is granted to you, and the whole process of divine inspiration begins again. You begin an encounter with an additional granted maneuver of your choice, and choose an additional maneuver when no maneuvers are available to you, at 11th level (bringing your total to three), and again at 17th level (bringing your total to four).

Stances Known[edit]

At 2nd level you begin play with knowledge of two stances from any discipline open to crusaders for which you meet the prerequisites. You learn additional stances as shown on the Stances Known column of the Crusader table. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended, and you do not have to ready them. All the stances you know are available to you at all times, and you can change the stance you are currently using as a bonus action. You are unable to concentrate on a spell while you are in a stance and are unable to maintain a stance while raging.

Saving Throws[edit]

Some of your martial maneuvers require your target to make a saving throw to resist the maneuver's effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows:

Martial Maneuver save DC = 8 + your proficiency modifier + your Strength or Charisma modifier (your choice)

Furious Counterstrike[edit]

Starting at 2nd level you can level divine wrath on those who have hurt you, adding your Charisma modifier (minimum 1) to the damage of melee weapon attacks when you have at least one point of damage in your Steely Resolve pool. This damage is increased by one point for every five points of damage you have in your Steely Resolve pool

At 7th level, the first melee weapon attack on your turn is also made at advantage if your Steely Resolve pool is full.

Steely Resolve[edit]

By 2nd level, your supreme dedication and intense focus allow you to temporarily set aside the pain and hindering effects of injuries. When an opponent strikes you, the injury does not immediately affect you. You have a delayed damage pool that allows you to forestall the effects of many injuries. This pool begins at 0 with each encounter. When you take damage, you may have any hit point damage the effect deals be added to your delayed damage pool. At the end of your next turn, you take damage equal to the total stored in your delayed damage pool, which then resets to 0. Any healing you receive can either increase your current hit point total as normal or reduce the total damage in your delayed damage pool. When you receive healing, you choose whether it affects your damage pool, your hit points, or both (you can split the amount of healing as you wish). Most crusaders opt to keep as much damage in their delayed damage pool as possible to maximize the benefit of their furious counterstrike ability (see above). Special effects tied to an attack, such as conditions, still affect you as normal, and their effects are not delayed by this ability. For example, if you are bitten by a venomous spider, you must still attempt a Constitution save against the poison immediately, even though the bite damage shifts into your delayed damage pool. In the same way, any other special attack that imposes a condition, such as a medusa’s petrifying gaze, takes immediate effect on you. At 2nd level, your delayed damage pool can hold up to 10 points of damage. Any damage beyond that comes off your hit points as normal. The maximum damage your pool holds increases according to the Steely Resolve in the Crusader table.

Damage taken from the Steely Resolve pool does not provoke a Constitution saving throws to maintain concentration on spells, but the DC when damage is taken is not reduced by damage entering your Steely Resolve pool. Furthermore, if you go unconscious due to dropping to 0 hit points, your steely resolve pool immediately drops to 0 without causing you additional harm.

Martial Devotion[edit]

Upon reaching 3rd level, you choose to devote yourself to a certain ideal. Choose either the Devotion of the Sentinel or the Devotion of the Vindicator, all detailed at the end of this class description. Your devotion grants you features at 3rd level, and again at 9th and 15th level.

Ability Score Improvement[edit]

When you reach 4th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Martial Prowess[edit]

Beginning at 5th level, whenever you use a technique that deals damage, or hit with a strike that deals additional damage on a successful hit, increase the damage dealt by 2d6.

This feature does not stack with itself, even if gained from multiple sources.

Insightful Presence[edit]

At 6th level your spiritual presence grows to the point where people accidentally let out information inadvertently in your presence. Add your Charisma modifier (minimum 0) to Insight (Wisdom) checks.

Blessed Strikes[edit]

At 13th level, you are blessed with divine might in battle. When a creature takes damage from one of your melee weapon attacks, you can also deal 1d8 radiant damage to that creature. Once you deal this damage, you can't use this feature again until the start of your next turn.

Undying Revenant[edit]

When you reach level 20, it is virtually impossible to put you down. As the start of each of your turns, you may regain 1 hit point if you have no more than half of your hit points left as long as you are not unconscious or incapacitated.

Additionally, whenever you would make a death saving throw at the start of your turn, you can instead choose to regain 1 hit point. You can use this up to three times, and regain all uses at the end of a long rest. You may also expend a use of this ability to prevent failed death throws upon taking damage.

Martial Devotion[edit]

In your service to the divine, you must discover how you will serve the grand purpose on your own. With a Devotion, you focus your efforts to better apply your skills and god-given abilities. Choose from the below systems to fully realize the extent of your supernatural strengths.

Devotion of the Sentinel[edit]

Crusaders who have chosen the Devotion of the Sentinel are consummate bodyguards and defenders of their allies. They learn to stand against a storm of attacks while remaining steadfast and forcing enemies to face them rather than walk past to attack their allies.

Aegis of the Sentinel[edit]

Starting at 3rd level, you learn to defend yourself against the attacks of multiple creatures and still stand tall. At the end of any turn on which you have taken damage from an enemy, you gain an aegis on yourself which lasts until the start of your next turn. The aegis has a number of hit points equal to half your crusader level, and whenever you take damage you may have the ward take damage instead. If the damage reduces the aegis to 0 hit points, you take any remaining damage and the aegis disappears.

You do not gain the aegis if you already have a previous aegis affecting you.

Sentinel's Mark[edit]

When you choose this devotion at 3rd level, you learn how to intercept enemy and force your foes to face you. When an enemy is within 5 feet of you and would move through your reach, away from you, or attack an ally, you may spend a reaction to make a melee weapon attack roll against that enemy. Deal no damage on a successful hit; instead, your target's speed is reduced to 0 and you mark them until the start of their next turn.

Challenger's Aura[edit]

At 9th level, enemies treat the area within 10 feet of you as difficult terrain while you are not incapacitated, unless they are moving towards you. The area of this feature increases to 20 feet at 15th level.

Sentinel's Swiftness[edit]

Beginning at 15th level, your zealousness in protecting your allies allows you to respond with surprising alacrity and move swiftly around the battlefield with great swiftness to keep them safe. In combat, you get a special reaction that you can take once on every creature's turn, except your turn. You can use this special reaction only to make an attack using Sentinel's Mark, and you can't use it on the same turn that you take your normal reaction. In addition, before making an attack using the Sentinel's Mark feature or initiating a counter from the Defender's Grip path, you may move to up to half your speed. This movement provokes Opportunity Attacks as normal.

Devotion of the Vindicator[edit]

Combining divine magic and their holy might, devotees of the Vindicator gain the ability to weave holy energies of many sorts. While not purely priests, these are not purely martial warrior either.

Armored Stealth[edit]

When you choose this devotion at 3rd level, you learn how to hide your movements even in the heaviest suits of steel and metal. Armor no longer imposes disadvantage on your stealth checks, and does not reduce your speed if it would normally do so.


By 3rd level, you have learned to draw on divine magic through your flashes of insight to cast spells as a cleric does.

Preparing and Casting Spells. The Devotion of the Vindicator Spellcasting table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells. To cast one of your spells of 1st level or higher, you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

You prepare the list of crusader spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the paladin spell list. When you do so, choose a number of paladin spells equal to your Charisma modifier + one-third your crusader level, rounded down (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

For example, if you are a 7th-level crusader, you have four 1st-level and two 2nd-level spell slots. With a Charisma of 14, your list of prepared spells can include four spells of 1st or 2nd-level, in any combination. If you prepare the 1st-level spell cure wounds, you can cast it using a 1st-level or a 2nd-level slot. Casting the spell doesn't remove it from your list of prepared spells.

You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of crusader spells requires time spent in prayer and meditation: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.

Spellcasting Ability. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your crusader spells, since their power derives from your devotion to your cause. You use your Charisma whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Charisma modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a crusader spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier

Devotion of the Vindicator Spellcasting

Spell Slots per Spell Level
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
3rd 2
4th 3
5th 3
6th 3
7th 4 2
8th 4 2
9th 4 2
10th 4 3
11th 4 3
12th 4 3
13th 4 3 2
14th 4 3 2
15th 4 3 2
16th 4 3 3
17th 4 3 3
18th 4 3 3
19th 4 3 3 1
20th 4 3 3 1

Vindicator's Focus[edit]

Starting at 9th level, your concentration deepens to the point where you can maintain a stance and maintain concentration on a spell at the same time.

In addition, you can consume some of the divine power granted to you in order to ensure you withstand the assault of your enemies. You may use your bonus action to spend a spell in order to gain a number of temporary hit points equal to five times the spell's slot level. These temporary hit points last for one minute, and increase to ten times the spell's slot level at 15th level.

Divine Recovery[edit]

At 15th level, you learn how to channel your divine power to cause one of your martial maneuvers to become immediately available. By spending a bonus action, you may recover a spent martial maneuver, or immediately cause a maneuver to be granted to you if it is still withheld. You have three uses of this ability, and regain expended uses at the end of a long rest.

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Ghostwheel's Homebrew (394 Articles)
Facts about "Crusader (5e Class)"
AuthorGhostwheel +
Hit Die1dd10 +
Identifier5e Class +
Length20 +
RatingUndiscussed +
SaveStrength + and Wisdom +
SkillAthletics +, History +, Insight +, Intimidation +, Perception +, Persuasion + and Religion +
SummaryA martial adept who uses flashes of divine insight to stand strong against the darkness. +
TitleCrusader +