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Warlock’s Apprentice: The Butcher’s Bill

Warlock’s Apprentice: The Butcher’s Bill

No matter how sophisticated the civilized races of Midgard become nor how peaceful the times seem, the threat of war is never far off. Just in recent history, the vampires of Morgau and Doresh annexed the former Electoral Kingdom of Krakova whose ruling family in exile now wages an internecine war against their conquerors. In the Seven Cities, where war is a way of life with a specific season for waging it, the Mharoti Empire ceased to be merely a far-off threat when it seized the nearby Grand Duchy of Illyria. In the Wasted West, the scattered tribes of dust goblins are uniting under a single charismatic leader to bring death to the Seat of Mavros.

Wartime Careers

With the threat of battle never far off, the soldiers, officers, companies, and armies that hope to eke a profit from wartime are never hard to find. The following six specializations are particularly suited to different aspects of making war, though more traditional adventurers who hew to a strategic or warlike mindset will benefit from them just the same. Barbarians who choose the path of the herald learn to share their battle-lust among their companions. Bards from the College of Tactics learn how to inspire their troops to greater victories. Chaplains are fighters whose faith grants them the ability to spur their friends on in the face of adversity. Beast trainer rangers can create small armies out of even the meanest creatures. Legionnaires are rogues who will fight to win, no matter the cost. And sappers are the ditch-digging, bridge-building rogues who keep the army’s supply train moving.

PATH OF THE HERALD (Barbarian Primal Path)

In northern lands, the savage warriors charge into battle behind chanting warrior-poets. These wise men and women collect the histories, traditions, and accumulated knowledge of the people to preserve and pass on. Barbarians who follow the Path of the Herald, who are sometimes called skalds, lead their people into battle chanting the tribe’s sagas, spurring them on to new victories while honoring the glory of the past.


When you adopt this path at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in History and Performance. If you already have proficiency in one of these skills, your proficiency bonus is doubled for ability checks you make using that skill.


Starting when you choose this path at 3rd level, when you enter a rage as a bonus action, you can expend one additional daily use of rage to allow up to three willing creatures within 30 feet to enter a rage as well. The creatures must be able to see and hear you. Creatures affected by this feature gain the same benefits and restrictions you do when you enter a rage.

Battle fervor lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if you are knocked unconscious or if your turn ends and you either haven’t attacked a hostile creature since your last turn or have taken damage since then. You can also end battle fervor on your turn as a bonus action.


As a historian, you are well aware how much impact the past has on the present. At 6th level, you can enter a trance and explore your people’s sagas to cast the augury, comprehend languages, and identify spells but only as rituals.


At 10th level, when you end your rage as a bonus action, you regain a number of hit points equal to your barbarian level × 3. If you end your battle fervor as a bonus action, you restore a number of hit points equal to your barbarian level + your Charisma modifier to yourself and all creatures affected by it.


At 14th level, when you enter a rage, your attacks deal an extra 2d6 thunder damage. If you strike a critical hit, your target must succeed at a Strength saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier) or be pushed 10 feet away and knocked prone in addition to the extra damage. When you enter battle fervor, you and all the creatures affected by it deal an extra 1d6 thunder damage. If you or any of the affected creatures strikes a critical hit, the target must succeed on a Strength saving throw as calculated above or be pushed 10 feet away in addition to the extra damage.


Bards of the College of Tactics are calculating strategists who scour historical records of famous battles for tricks they can use to give their own troops, and those of their patrons, an edge on the battlefield. Members of this college travel from war zone to combat site and interview the veterans of those engagements, trying to discern how the victors won the day and leveraging that information for their personal glory.


When you join the College of Tactics at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with medium armor, shields, and one martial weapon of your choice.


Also at 3rd level, you can move your allies into more advantageous positions like moving the pieces on a game board. As a bonus action, you can roll a Bardic Inspiration die and multiply your result by 5 to determine how much distance in feet your allies can travel. You can then move any number of willing allies who can see or hear you the total amount of distance rolled in increments of 5 feet. For instance, rolling a 4 on your Bardic Inspiration die allows you to move one or more willing allies 20 feet. You could use that movement to move one willing ally 5 feet and another willing ally 15 feet or to move two willing allies 10 feet each.

The movement generated by this feature does not cause your allies to draw opportunity attacks.


Beginning at 6th level, when you choose a creature to benefit from your Bardic Inspiration, it also gains one of the strategies of your choice from the list below. The affected creature must use the strategy before the duration of the Bardic Inspiration die expires but can use it on the same turn it uses the Bardic Inspiration die.

Once a creature has used the selected strategy, it can’t be used by the same creature again until it receives a new Bardic Inspiration die.

Bait and Bleed. When the affected creature uses its action to Dodge, it can make one melee attack against a creature that is within 5 feet of it.

Blitzkrieg. When the affected creature uses its action to Dash, it can make one melee attack at the end of its movement. If the attack is a critical hit, the targeted creature is frightened until the beginning of your next turn.

Counter Offensive. When the affected creature takes damage from another creature, it can use its reaction to make an attack against the attacking creature. The creature using this strategy must be wielding a weapon that can reach its attacker.

Distraction. When the affected creature uses this strategy, it can Disengage as a bonus action.

Hold Steady. When the affected creature uses its action to take the Ready action and the trigger for the readied action doesn’t occur, it can make an attack or cast a spell after all other creatures have acted in the round.

Indirect Approach. When the affected creature uses its action to Help a friendly creature in attacking a creature within 5 feet of it, all other friendly creatures have advantage on their first attacks against the target creature.

Rest and Recovery. When the affected creature uses its Bardic Inspiration die, it can recover one use of one of its features that has a limited number of uses per day, such as a barbarian’s Rage. A creature can’t use this feature to recover a spell slot.


Starting at 14th level, when you take damage from a spell that affects an area, you can use your reaction to redirect and dissipate some of the spell’s power. If you succeed at the spell’s saving throw, all friendly creatures within 10 feet of you are also treated as though they succeeded at the saving throw. You expend one of your Bardic Inspiration dice when you use this feature…


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