Fighter Archetype: The Gladiator

Master of adaptive fighting

(Although I have a couple new classes rolling around in my mind I have had this in my head for a few days, and it was quick to make. Before Fifth Edition came out I was using 13th Age as my system of choice, largely because it has similar ideals to what Fifth did though they took it in a much different direction. Although the system didn’t hold up for me they have a lot of neat mechanics and this is a translation of their take on the Fighter. As with anything I post of course using this archetype is at the discretion of DM Tim, and is subject to change after playtesting.)


The gladiator is an exceptionally adaptive fighter, able to change tactics and technique in the fractions of seconds they have to analyze an ongoing battle. Their specialty is in using special flexible maneuvers to change the nature of an attack even as they are making it. Additionally gladiators are very tough, and able to prevent their enemies from easily escaping them.

Extra Tough: When you choose this archetype at level 3 your Second Wind now heals you for 1d10 + double your level.

Intimidating: At level 3 you are much harder to disengage from. Before taking the Disengage action your enemy has to pass a Dex saving throw (DC 8 + proficiency bonus + Str modifier). Failing means they cannot disengage this round, though they may still use a regular move action to move away if they so chose.

Flexible Maneuver: At level 3 you select 3 abilities from the list below. Whenever you make an attack roll you may, after seeing the result of your roll, add a maneuver to it instead of making a basic attack. Maneuvers have a die roll requirement, so depending on your roll different maneuvers will be applicable. You can only apply maneuvers to attacks made using a standard attack action, so bonus attacks and attacks that don’t occur on your turn can’t be maneuvers (unless the maneuver specifies otherwise). Additionally, each attack action can have only one maneuver applied to it. This means when you are able to make extra attacks with the attack action only one of them can be a maneuver, though you get to choose which. Once a maneuver is selected for the round there is no changing it.

Maneuver List

Comeback Strike
Trigger: Any miss
Special: This maneuver can only be used once per combat.
Effect: Make an extra attack at disadvantage as a bonus action.

Carve an Opening
Trigger: Any odd attack roll
Effect: Your crit range expands by 1, and can continue to expand with this maneuver as the battle progresses. Once you have scored a critical hit your crit range resets to its default.

Deadly Assault:
Trigger: Any even roll
Effect: Until the end of your turn reroll any damage dice results of 1. You must accept the second roll.

Heavy Blows
Trigger: Any odd miss
Effect: Deal damage to your target equal to Str mod + proficiency bonus.

Precision Attack
Trigger: Any hit of 16+
Effect: Add bonus damage to the attack equal to your Dex mod + proficiency bonus.

Advanced Maneuvers: At level 7 you add the following maneuvers to the list you can select from, and you may reselect any or all of the 3 maneuvers you know.

Hack & Slash
Trigger: Any even roll
Effect: Use your bonus action to make an extra attack against a different target then you used this maneuver on.

Steady Now
Trigger: Any even miss
Effect: Gain temporary HP equal to your Con modifier + your proficiency bonus.

Strong Guard
Trigger: Any miss
Effect: Allies adjacent to you get +2 to AC until the start of your text turn.

Heroic Maneuvers: At level 10 you add the following maneuvers to the list you can select from, and you may reselect any or all of the 3 maneuvers you know.

A Dozen Cuts
Trigger: Any even hit
Effect: The target takes damage at the beginning of its turn equal to your Dex modifier + proficiency bonus unless it can pass a Con saving throw. This effect can stack up to three times, but only requires a single saving throw to end all instances of the effect. Alternatively, the effect can be ended by another creature passing a Heal check at the same DC, and is also removed by any magical healing.

Punish Them
Trigger: Any hit of 16+
Special: This maneuver can only be applied to opportunity attacks. If you use this maneuver it counts as your maneuver for your next turn.
Effect: The target is stunned, as per the condition.

Heroic Skill
Trigger: Any even miss
Effect: Reroll the attack, but on a hit deal only half damage.

Legendary Maneuvers: At level 15 you add the following maneuvers to the list you can select from, and you may reselect any or all of the 3 maneuvers you know.

Spinning Charge
Trigger: Any even hit
Special: You must have moved this round to use this maneuver.
Effect: After resolving the attack you may use your bonus action to disengage, then move up to your speed so long as it is to engage a new enemy, and make an attack against that enemy. On a hit the attack only deals half damage.

Sword of Destiny
Trigger: Natural 20
Effect: In lieu of resolving your attack you may instead forego your critical to expend hit die to heal yourself as if you were taking a short rest. You do not gain any of the other benefits of a short rest from using this maneuver.

Set ‘em Up
Trigger: Any hit of 16+
Effect: Your crit range against the target expands by 3. This effect ends at the end of combat or if you take the disengage action, and you may only have your crit range expanded against a single enemy at a time.

A Legend for the Ages: At level 17 you have completely mastered the art of flexible attacks. You are no longer limited to the 1 maneuver per round rule, though you still can only apply 1 maneuver to any given attack and only attacks made with a standard attack action are eligible to be maneuvers. Additionally, whenever you finish a long rest you may reselect any or all of your 3 maneuvers.


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