Sunday, September 25, 2016

Warduke, the baddest man in the whole damn town.

My first encounter with Warduke was his action figure, way back in 1983. He looked cool, even if his armor seemed impractical. He then appeared in Quest for the Heartstone as a pregenerated character, followed by The Shady Dragon Inn, with goals that were about as impractical as his armor. Somewhere in there he made an appearance in the Dungeons & Dragons animated series, where he captured Dungeon Master.

The last time I saw him was in Dungeon Magazine #105, where he was given stats updated to 3.5. Here, he was firmly placed in the World of Greyhawk, where he was a member of the Horned Society. After 591 CY, Warduke is a high ranking member of the Society, and a general menace to everyone. You can read about this here: Canonfire: The Horned Society

Here we have Warduke's Wikipedia page: Warduke

The Power Score Blog and Hack & Slash both have nice little retrospectives on the character.

Anyway, here is my 5e take on the character. I took the somewhat unusual step of giving him a full player character class, namely the Battle Master Fighter.

Art by Wayne Reynolds, of course.

Medium humanoid (human), lawful evil

Armor Class 18 (adamantine half plate, spellguard shield)
Hit Points 175 (18d10+72)
Speed 30 ft.

Str        Dex      Con      Int        Wis      Cha
20 (+5) 13 (+1) 18 (+4) 11 (+0) 13 (+1) 14 (+2)

Saving Throws Str +11, Con +10
Skills Athletics +11, History +6, Intimidation +8, Persuasion +8, Survival +7
Other Proficiencies Dragonchess, Smith’s tools
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Abyssal, Common, Infernal
Challenge 13 (10,000 XP)

Action Surge. On his turn, Warduke can take one additional action on top of his regular action and possible bonus action. Warduke may use this ability twice, then must finish a short or long rest before he can use this ability again.

Battle Master. Warduke has 6 superiority dice, which are d12s. Warduke knows the following maneuvers (save DC 19): disarming attack, lunging attack, maneuvering attack, menacing attack, parry, precision attack, riposte, sweeping attack, trip attack

Fighting Style. Warduke has the Dueling fighting style, granting a +2 bonus to damage rolls if he is wielding a weapon in one hand and isn’t wielding any other weapons.

Indomitable. Warduke can reroll a saving throw he fails. He must accept the new roll. He may use this ability three times between long rests.

Know Your Enemy. If Warduke spends at least 1 minute observing or interacting with another creature outside of combat, he can learn certain information about its capabilities compared to his own. See page 74 of the Player’s Handbook for specifics.

Relentless. When Warduke rolls initiative, if he has no superiority dice, he regains 1 die.

Second Wind. On Warduke’s turn, he can use a bonus action to regain 1d10+18 hit points. He must finish a short or long rest before he can use this ability again.

Multiattack. Warduke makes three attacks.

Flame Tongue Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (1d8+8) slashing damage plus 7 (2d6) fire damage if used with one hand, or 11 (1d10+6) slashing damage plus 7 (2d6) fire damage if used with two hands.

Dagger. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (1d4+8) piercing damage.

Adamantine Half Plate. Warduke’s adamantine half plate armor is made from, you guessed it, adamantine. While he is wearing it, any critical hits against him become normal hits.

Dagger of Venom. Warduke typically only uses this weapon for assassinations, rather than open combat. It has +1 to attack and damage rolls. Warduke may use an action to cause thick, black poison to coat the blade. The poison lasts for 1 minute or until an attack using this weapon hits a creature. The creature must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or take 11 (2d10) poison damage and become poisoned for 1 minute. The dagger can’t be used this way again until the next dawn.

Nightwind. Nightwind is Warduke’s Flametongue longsword. It has +1 to attack and damage rolls. Warduke may use a bonus action to speak Nightwind’s command word, causing flames to erupt from the blade. These flames shed bright light in a 40-foot radius and dim light for an additional 40 feet. When the sword is ablaze, it deals an extra 7 (2d6) fire damage to any target it hits. The flames last until Warduke uses a bonus action to speak the command word again or until he drops or sheathes the sword.

Spellguard Shield. While holding this shield, Warduke has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects, and spell attacks have disadvantage against him.

Warduke’s Helm
Wondrous item, very rare (requires attunement)

This bat-winged helm has three rubies mounted on the faceplate and shrouds the wearer’s face in shadow, making it all but impossible to see it.  The only thing that can be seen from within the helm is the wearer’s eyes, which glow a baleful red. Wearing the helm confers the following benefits:

·         Darkvision 60 ft.

·         Advantage on Charisma (Intimidate) checks.

·         The central ruby acts as a ring of spell storing, able to store up to 6 levels worth of spells at a time. It functions exactly the same as a ring of spell storing.

Warduke usually has a word of recall spell stored in the gem.

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