For many critters, Critical Role was their first foray into Dungeons & Dragons. With the new campaign, we wanted to present a primer on the classes that we’re seeing on Critical Role for the first time as main player characters.
Thanks to @cabeeese for this art piece!
We received an episode and a quarter introduction to Blood Hunters with Tova’s brief jaunt with Vox Machina in Dis. However, since we’ll be seeing a lot of the class’ abilities, we figure it couldn’t hurt to have a proper introduction to this class of Matt Mercer’s creation.
Blood Hunters are so obsessively bent on the destruction of evil that they make sacrifices using blood magics to form bonds with their weapons and become more dangerous. Sometimes, they mingle their own essence with that of the monstrous or fiendish enemies they hunt. Some opt to make pacts with evils in pursuit of greater evils. Blood Hunters are often mistrusted and unwelcome because of these circumstances.
At level 2, Molly has not yet committed to a blood hunter order, which he will do at level 3. He cannot switch orders once chosen. His blood hunter abilities currently are:
- Hunter’s Bane- Advantage on Intelligence checks about and Survival checks for tracking Fey, Fiends, and Undead.
- Crimson Rite- Rite of the Frozen
- This was seen when he drew his scimitar across his chest. He dealt 2 damage (his level) to himself, but was then able to deal an additional 1d4 cold damage to his strikes with that weapon.
- Fighting Style
- Yet unnamed, but wiedling two scimitars is a pretty good indication he took Two-Weapon Fighting
- Blood Maledict- Blood Curse of the Eyeless
- Can impose disadvantage on an attack roll on a creature within 60 feet that is not immune to blindness.
- If he chooses to Amplify this in the future, he’ll take 1d4 damage, and the target will also have disadvantage on their next attack roll.
Thanks to @GhoulHeist for this art piece!
The most notable monk Vox Machina crossed with was Earthbreaker Groon, the head of the church of the Stormlord in Vasselheim.
Monks are trained in utilizing unarmed strikes or monk weapons as their most powerful attacks. Because of their training, they get a special unarmored bonus for forgoing armor, like barbarians. Monks can channel their training to do special maneuvers, which expend energy called Ki points. A monk gets more Ki points as they level, and can regain their spent Ki after a short or long rest.
Like Blood Hunters, monks choose a path at level 3 and do not switch. At level 2, Beauregard’s abilities are:
- 2 Ki points, and can spend 1 point to do one of the following:
- Flurry of Blows: 2 unarmed strikes as a bonus action
- Patient Defense: Dodge as a bonus action
- Step of the Wind: Disengage or Dash as a bonus action, jump distance is doubled
- Unarmored Defense
- Martial Arts
- Can use Dex instead of Strength for attack/damage
- Unarmed strike/monk weapon damage die starts as d4, increases with level
- Can make unarmed strike as bonus action after attacking with a monk weapon or unarmed strike
- Unarmored Movement
- When not wearing armor or using a shield, speed increases by +10 feet, increases with level
Thanks to @iorverth for this art piece!
Zahra was the most notable warlock (Great Old One) in the Vox Machina story.
Warlocks are spellcasters whose abilities come through a pact with another being. The circumstances through which an individual makes their pact with an entity, and the nature of that relationship, can vary wildly from person to person. Warlocks have very few leveled spell slots, but they receive special buffs to their cantrips to make up for it. They also are given abilities through the pacts they make to do special things, or cast additional spells.
Fjord’s pact is with a mysterious being that manifests as powerful, sentient swords. There are some other lore bits of information in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, but given that Exandria’s lore doesn’t always match the lore from the core books, we’re going to hold off on mentioning it here. D&D Beyond has a video with Mike Mearls discussing some of the details and flavor of the subclass here.
As a level 2 Hexblade Warlock, Fjord’s abilities are:
- 2 known cantrips
- 3 known spells
- 2 1st-level spell slots (all leveled spells are cast at first level. This will come into play more when he learns more spells and his slot level increases.)
- Eldritch Invocations
- 2 invocations (currently unknown)
- Expanded spell list (Shield, Wrathful Smite)
- To be clear, Fjord can learn either of those spells, but can choose not to.
- Hexblade’s Curse (recharge on short or long rest)
- As a bonus action, can curse a creature you can see within 30 feet
- Add proficiency bonus to damage rolls
- Attacks against the creature are critical on a natural 19 or 20 roll
- When the target dies, he regains Warlock level + Charisma modifier hit points
- As a bonus action, can curse a creature you can see within 30 feet
- Hex Warrior
- Proficiency with medium armor, shields, and martial weapons
- When he finishes a long rest, he can touch a weapon he is proficient with that lacks the two-handed property, and attack/damage using his charisma modifier instead of strength or dexterity.
- If he later takes Pact of the Blade, this extends to every weapon he conjures, regardless of weapon type.
Thanks to @dejasquietplace for this art piece!
Some of the notable wizards in the Vox Machina story were Gern Blanston (School of Necromancy), Allura Vysoren (School of Abjuration), and Delilah Briarwood (School of Necromancy).
While warlocks gain their power through deals with other beings, wizards get their abilities through focused study and practice. Caleb, as he mentioned, studied magic when he was younger, gave up for a while, and has recently picked it back up. The wizard’s spellbook is the key to their incredible list of spells. Caleb carries his under his coat. Wizards can learn a certain number of spells, which increases as they level. They cannot, however, cast all of those spells in one day. They can prepare a certain number of spells, and of that, they can cast based on the amount of spell slots they have available.
Here are Caleb’s 2nd level wizard abilities:
- Spell Slots
- 3 known cantrips
- 3 1st-level spell slots
- Eight 1st-level spells learned, will increase with level or if he finds additional spells (from spell scrolls or books) and spends time and money to copy them into his book (2 hours and 50 gp per spell level)
- Prepared Spells
- Can prepare 6 (INT mod + Wizard level) 1st level spells per long rest
- Ritual Casting
- If a spell has a ritual tag on it, he can cast it without preparing it by taking 10 minutes beyond the listed casting time
- Arcane Recovery
- Once per day on short rest, can recover 1 spell level slot, will increase with level
- Transmutation Savant: Time and gold to copy a transmutation spell into spellbook is halved
- Minor Alchemy: Can perform alchemical procedure on one object of wood, stone, iron, copper, or silver. This transforms it into a different one of those materials. This takes ten minutes per 1 cubic foot of material. Reverts after 1 hour or loss of concentration.