The Tundra Guard

I have heard it expressed that it is difficult to design in the fighter class space without delving into other class concepts. This includes making “non-magical” versions of them, or mixing and matching magic with core components of fighter in different ways. I certainly understand the somewhat limited nature of combinations, but there is more to the fighter than just swinging a sword. Looking at the champion, the concept is a martial paragon that – hit hard, get hit hard, jump and flip around, and so forth. The battle master is more of a student of battle by way of The Art of War. I like the tactician approach, and it’s definitely an officer/military/leader theme. Eldritch Knight is actually the weakest thematically. Knight is in the name, but there isn’t anything there to convey rank or station. It’s mechanics are likewise oatmeal – but I’m a hater in this regard. Still, the theme is lacking, which is a wasted opportunity.

None of these concepts are bound up in specific weapons, either. Fighter concepts should be weapon agnostic, allowing for a variety of builds within the archetypes. Instead, fighter archetypes should be about the expression of different concepts of being skilled with weapons and the manner in which the fighter pursues martial activities. In short, if a water sorcerer is intrinsically different than a fire sorcerer, then why isn’t a fighter in the desert different than a fighter that lives in a tropical clime with a wealth of vegetation? A lady fighting giant creatures is going to be different than a lady fighting a million little creatures (affectionately referred to as “shitlings” around these parts). You get the gist. With all that said, l present to you the first of (hopefully) many fighter archetypes in the next few days/weeks – the Tundra Guard.

Tundra Guard

To survive in the harsh conditions of the tundras, one has to be tough. To protect those unyielding lands from the terrifying creatures and aggressive inhabitants – be they outlaws, troll tribes, or frozen horrors from the Black Citadel – seeking to raid and pillage those weaker than themselves, those that patrol the borders of civilization – known as the Tundra Guard – must be even tougher.  Those that choose the Tundra Guard know their lives will be full of hardship and danger. Those sentenced to the Tundra Guard know it is their only option to escape certain death.

Edge of the World

Beginning when you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you have advantage on saving throws against becoming exhausted from extreme cold. If you are wearing appropriate cold weather gear, you automatically succeed on these saving throws, instead.

Additionally, you have advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks made while in the tundra. If you are making this check in extreme weather – such as a blizzard or high winds – you may double your proficiency bonus. Once you have doubled your proficiency bonus, you may not do so again until you take a short or long rest.

Tenacious

Starting when you choose this archetype at 3rd level, whenever you suffer damage you may choose to reduce the incoming damage or allow the pain to fuel your next attack.

You may spend your reaction to reduce one non-fire source of damage you take by 1d6. If you do not spend your reaction to do this when you take damage, on your next turn you may spend your bonus action to increase the damage of your next successful attack made before the end of your next turn by 1d6. Each option increases to 2d6 at 10th level, and 3d6 at 18th level.

Killing Time

Upon reaching 7th level, you have grown accustomed to filling your free hours talking with your comrades-in-arms and telling old lies to pass the time. You may choose to learn a language (your choice), gain proficiency with tools: gaming set (your choice), gain proficiency with tools: musical instrument (your choice), gain proficiency in deception, gain proficiency in performance, or gain proficiency in persuasion. You may learn any two items from this list, including selecting two languages or two different tools choices.

When making a check with any of the skills or tools selected from this feature, you may choose to gain expertise with the skill or tool. Once you have done so, you may not do so again until you take a long or short rest.

Veteran Guardsmen

Beginning at 10th level, you gain resistance to cold damage.

In addition, whenever you would reduce damage with your tenacious feature, you may choose to resist the damage. When you do so, you may double your Dexterity or Strength modifier (your choice) whenever you deal damage before the end of your next turn. You may use this combined portion of the feature a number of times equal to 1+Your Constitution Modifier. You must take a long rest before being able to use this combined portion of the feature again.

Not Done Yet

Starting at 15th level, you have learned to lead others around you.

When you use your Second Wind, you may choose to have one ally within 10 feet of you benefit from it, as well. The ally immediately regains the same amount of hit points you regain from your Second Wind.

When you use your Action Surge, you may choose to have one ally within 10 feet of you become bolstered by your deeds. That ally may make an additional melee or ranged attack as part of their Attack action before the end of their next turn.

Once you have used both portions of this feature, you may not do so again until you completed a short or long rest.

Above My Paygrade

When you reach 18th level, you have become experienced in fighting horrible creatures and those wielding incredible power. So much so, you have become blasé about the whole thing.

You have advantage against the charmed and frightened conditions. Additionally, whenever you use your Indomitable feature, you may choose to automatically succeed at the saving throw. If you do so, you gain one level of exhaustion.

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