I love finding inspiration in previous editions; so many prestige classes in 3e were based around a single idea or gimmick, which makes them pretty suitable for class options fodder. This week, we’re going back to another old prestige class and adapting its features for a nature-themed Fighter option, though I’ve also borrowed a feature from a random Tome of Battle prestige class to fill it out.
New Fighter Archetype: The Cavelord
Brave defenders are needed in all places, and some take up the defense of worked tunnels and underground systems, specializing in fighting in cramped conditions. These cavelords may be less effective above ground, but in their natural terrain they provide a bulwark against invaders. Cavelords are especially common among mountain dwarves, where they frequently earn the name of “deepstone sentinels” or “dwarven defenders.”
Tunnelrunner: Beginning at 3rd level when you choose this archetype, you ignore the penalties for squeezing through small spaces. Additionally, you do not consider the spaces of nonhostile creatures as difficult terrain and can share a space with a Medium or Small creature if you both squeeze.
Cavesense: At 7th level, you become more attuned to your underground surroundings. You gain darkvision out to 60 feet or, if you already have darkvision, it improves by a distance of 30 feet. You also have advantage on Perception checks made while underground and can use your action to gain tremorsense out to 30 feet for 1 round.
Strength of Stones: At 10th level, you can pull power from the earth itself to make your attacks stronger. You can use this feature as a bonus action, gaining a bonus on the damage rolls of your weapon attacks equal to one-half your fighter level (rounded down) for 1 minute. You can gain this bonus damage only once per round. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
Stone Dragon’s Tooth: At 15th level, you can cause a pillar of stone to erupt from the earth within 60 feet of you as an action. The pillar occupies one square and is 5 or 10 feet tall (your choice). You can call forth a stone pillar only from natural, unworked earth or stone. A creature standing in the square must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Str modifier) or be knocked prone. You can dismiss a pillar you created as a bonus action, but otherwise the pillar remains where you called it forth. If you use this feature again, the first pillar you created is dismissed.
Bones of the World: At 18th level, the earth itself will reach out to save you from death. If you take damage that would reduce you to 0 hit points while in an underground environment, you may attempt a Constitution saving throw (DC equal to the damage dealt). If the save is successful, the cavelord instantly turns to stone, gaining the petrified condition but avoiding all damage from that effect. On your turn, you can use your action to transform back. This effect also ends after 1 minute has passed.
This feature also works if you fail a third death saving throw while in contact with the earth, your stone form becoming fixed in place as if it were a natural feature of the land. Twenty-four hours later, the earth looses its healing grip, and you become flesh again. In this case, you awaken with 1 hit point. Any significant damage done to his stony form (such as breaking off the head, or shattering the body) kills the cavelord. If you benefit from the feature in this way, you cannot be resurrected by this feature until 1 week has passed.
Like this archetype? Check out the newly updated Call of the Wild document on DM’s Guild.