Role-Playing Games

Build-a-Blast:
Down-Never-Out

by Serban, Quartermaster @ The Guild Hall

June 6 2020

D&D is great, right? Right. But there is one thing that SUCKS about D&D, and that is dying. Whenever you are part of an intense encounter, the threat of death makes it, so you have to sometimes give up on your wildest dreams. But what if death wasn’t so final after all? What if you could make death be merely a setback? We present to you: Down-Never-Out

The Origin

With the release of D&D 5e’s newest book, Mythic Odysseys of Theros, Wizards of the Coast introduced a brand new mechanic: Supernatural Gifts. These are simple gifts given by gods or godly beings to enhance your adventurer. Sounds harmless, right? WRONG. One of them is called Heroic Destiny. And it gives you two things: advantage on death saving throws and the chance to drop to 1 hit point instead of 0 once per long rest. And this got me wondering.

The Theme

What if you paired this destiny with a little more survivability. The idea I came up with is: This gift, added to a half-orc, using a little bit of the Undying Warlock and a little bit of Barbarian. The theme of it is quite easy to sell anybody on: a half-orc discriminated hero whose destiny does not allow him to rest. Along with this, he’s made a pact with a being of undeath, ensuring that he will make it to his destiny. And so, you will never fail a death saving throw ever again.

 

The Gameplay

The plan is simple. Start with a few levels in Barbarian, then take 6 levels of Warlock, before returning to Barbarian. By the 11th Barbarian level, which is admittedly quite late, you’ll have access to at least four revives. Additionally, your death savings throws will be made at advantage (when you run out of revives). But wait, there’s more! Every successful death save will heal you up, making it so you will always be brought up. NO DYING! EVER!

Tips & Tricks

In order to ensure the success of this stalwart combination, here are some tips and tricks:

 

  • The Warlock’s Pact of the Chain can grant you access to a familiar, who you can toss into battle for advantage on attacks.
  • Using the same pact, you can take the “Gift of the Ever-Living Ones” Invocation, making it so you always heal for the maximum amount from your level 6 feature.
  • If you want to try more damage, go for the Pact of the Blade, giving you access to a magical weapon at all times.
  • Want to have a constant stream of heals? Take 1 level in the Grave Domain Cleric. This will make your Spare the Dying a bonus action and give it a 30 foot range. Your bonus action will be to heal, as long as an ally is on the ground (and they always are).
  • Your half-orc feature Savage Attacks works wonderfully with the Eldritch Smite Invocation, allowing for MASSIVE damage output.
  • Talk to your DM about how he rules healing upon death saving throws. Will he allow you to take your turn if you’ve gotten back up? If he does, it’s showtime!

Well, if your DM does not hate us by now, just take your time. He will soon enough! Out of fear he might come after us, we will be ending this article off here. We loved having you around. Have a blast while you’re out there, adventurer!

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