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5e Character Archetypes: Woe Bearer (Rogue)

Woe Bearer

The last leper

Life has always been a hardship. Dangers lurked around every corner, but you are a survivor. What did not kill you has twisted you. Woe Bearer’s go by many names, Rot Walker, Fortune’s Foe, Ruiner, Death’s Herald, but they all share the drive to outlast and to visit their harvested suffering upon others. A Woe Bearer’s tools are collected and honed from the muck and grime of the world, bringing to bear exotic curses and malignant diseases forth to infect any who stand against them. This archetype will allow you to survive even the deadliest poisons, and then turn them on your attackers. Their skills are not made through luck or talent. A Woe Bearer’s entire being is built of a stubborn refusal to fail.

Plague Bearer

Plague doctor

Starting at 3rd level, you are able to host diseases and poisons in your body, adapting to their presence and effects as you battle through their arduous trials. After overcoming a disease, you can choose to keep it coursing through you veins. Diseases you bear this way no longer inflict their penalties but still leave visible scars, marks, and symptoms. A Woe Bearer can keep one disease, addiction, or poison this way for every three rogue levels they have, minimum one. The rogue is immune to any diseases or poisons they carry in their body. Newly acquired diseases can replace existing diseases if the Woe Bearer chooses, as the old affliction is cleansed. The Woe Bearer must survive the disease unaided in order to absorb it.

Your blood carries the diseases and your wounds randomly inflict one of your born diseases on any attacker that gets your blood in its wound or body. The disease immediately triggers, its onset time reduced to 0.

Nimble Blood

When you take this archetype at 3rd level, you may use you may add your profiency bonus on saves against poisons, and diseases.

Discord in the Fabric

Woman picking up cursed skull

At 9th level, your body begins to develop an interesting defense against the magic inherent in the world: you may hold magical curses, hexes, and detrimental magic just as you absorb poisons and afflictions. A Woe Bearer can hold a number of hostile spells of a total spell level equal to half their rogue level. Those spells must have a single target and have a duration greater than instantaneous. Once each short or long rest, you can may inflict one held spell as a touch attack, as part of a melee attack, or as a reaction against a creature that struck you with a melee attack. All spell variables retain the original spellcaster’s numbers, such as DC, damage, or other special effects.

Virulent Physiology

Poisoned person chokes as rogue walks away

Upon reaching 13th level, your body has become too toxic for all but the strongest parasites and diseases to survive. You may now take magical diseases into your body. When you release a poison, disease, or curse as part of a sneak attack, the DC for the effect is increased by half the number of sneak attack dice you roll.

Fortune’s Pox

When you reach 17th level, the nexus of disease and ruin you have surrounded yourself with begin to bleed over into the fundamental workings of the universe. Your misfortune becomes a communicable disease you wield like all your others. After rolling a d20 in a situation in which you cannot take a ‘10’, you may choose to copy that result as an affliction of fortune. You may only do so once each short or long rest and you can only have one number stored at a time. As a reaction once per short or long rest, you can force a target to use your copied roll instead of its own. This must be done before seeing the result of the action. If that creature fails a save, DC 8+proficiency+CON, it must use your stored roll. Even on a success, it receives disadvantage on that roll.

Additionally, instead of gaining the benefit of the Stroke of Luck ability at 20th level, instead you gain the ability to store, hold, and inflict up to three numbers between each rest. Also, you gain a bonus reaction that you can use to inflict this pox of misfortune on a creature.

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