Design a site like this with
Get started

5e Character Archetypes: Marionettist (Fighter)




Upon taking this archetype, you have focused your skills and energies into wielding a life-size puppet. Being in direct control of multiple combatants will give you great flexibility on and off the battlefield. Honing your craft will eventually allow you to further specialize and modify you puppets for any situation. You control your marionettes with invisibly-thin wires and limited telekinetic powers.

To craft a puppet, you must spend 50 gold worth of high quality wood, clay, and metal components over the course of a long rest using specialized woodworking tools. This puppet must then be infused with some of your life-energy. For each point of your own maximum hit point total you infuse the puppet with, it has three times that many maximum hit points. Infused puppets utilize your ability scores, feats, skills, and proficiencies.

A puppet is destroyed wPuppeteer in a graveyardhen it reaches 0 hit points, and the maximum hit points spent to infuse it return to the Marionettist at the end of their next long rest. Alternatively, an active puppet can be retired during a long rest to return the maximum hit points spent to infuse it immediately to the Marionettist. Each puppet has a base movement speed equal to yours and a base armor class of 12, which is modified by your Dexterity. It can wield armor, weapons, and items just as you can, with the exception that it lacks fine motor control; unable to perform actions such as lock picking or writing. It cannot cast spells or be affected by mind-affecting spells.

Controlling the puppet requires continuous concentration, without this the puppet collapses into a heap. Your concentration also fails if the puppet is farther than 60 feet away from you. By spending an action manipulating your puppet, you may have it take a single action and move. If you have multiple puppets, it takes a move action to switch your concentration to another infused puppet within range. You may drop concentration on any puppet as a free action.

Focused Craftsman

Upon taking this archetype, you become proficient in woodworking and concentration.

Long jacketed puppeteer

A Work of Art

Upon reaching 7th level, your craft has reached a new peak, and you can now customize your creations. During the creation or repair of a puppet, you may spend additional materials towards granting the puppet special abilities. At 7th level, you have one masterwork point to spend.

Steampunk Gepetto

At each level after, the Marionettist gains an additional point to spend on their dolls. All puppets share in this same pool, distributed however the Marionettist desires. They can implant any lesser innovation in a puppet. Puppets retain these innovations even when not infused but the puppet cannot be infused if the Marrionettist does not have enough remaining innovation to control it. Each point of innovation costs an additional 50 gp worth of fine oils, precise mechanical parts, clay, and wood during the creation of the puppet.

At 10th level, the Marionettist gains access to normal innovations. At 15th level, they may begin to use greater innovations. Finally, at 18th level, their puppets can now be built with master innovations.

High-Tension Psyche

The psychic bonds between you and your puppet have drawn as tight as steel. Upon reaching tenth level, you can feel every inch of you puppets’ movement, making them easier to maintain your control. Your proficiency bonus on concentration is doubled for concentration relating to your puppets. The taught telekinetic wires increase your response times, granting your puppet a reaction when you spend your action controlling it. Manipulating your puppets now only requires a move action, but only one puppet may benefit from your extra attacks in a round.

Arterial StringsReaper puppet

Upon reaching 15th level, your puppets have become you lifeblood, and are tied to your soul. You may expend your hit dice to heal a puppet as a free action. Once you use this ability you may not use it again until you take a short rest.


Ethereal Leash

A 15th level Marionettist can switch places with a marionette they are actively controlling as an action. The puppet’s exterior cracks away, exposing the Marionettist, while the puppet bursts forth from a false skin where the Marionettist stood. Once they have used this ability, they cannot use it again until they complete a long rest.

Soul Diffusion

Once you have reached 18th level, your obsession has torn down the last walls separating you from your creations. Your soul is tethered to all of your infused puppets and so long as a single puppet remains alive you do not die and do not fall unconscious if your body is knocked out or destroyed. When your host body is destroyed or unconscious,  you are shunted to the puppet or body with the highest maximum hit points. Only the puppet or body that holds your soul is susceptible to mind-affecting spells. Additionally, controlling a puppet now only costs you a free action. Only one puppet may benefit from each extra attack you have each round.


A disguised marionetteInnovation Table


D Grayman Vol 1

Kankuro from Naruto


2 thoughts on “5e Character Archetypes: Marionettist (Fighter)

  1. I’ll have to read your article. I saw the awesome image at the top of your article in my feed and it inspired me to write this:

    Just a quick glance through your article makes me glad I didn’t read your article, you have some great things and are talking about a class.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


more than one way to skin a cat

Hiverlord's Hijinks

Traveller RPG content, for the most part.

Tryep's Possibly Mythical Stories

Where Myths Are Maybe Real

Sandpaper Sunflowers

Eclectic Modern Farmhouse DIY and More


Tabletop gaming, terrain crafting, and other sundry nerdy hobbies.

The Grinning Skull

As soon as your born, your dying. tick tock... Everybody afterwards.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close