Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Warriors of Monvesia - Men-at-Arms

RETCON NOTE:  See also "Warriors of Monvesia - Mystics."
Martial traditions can be grouped into two basic categories:  a formal caste of men-at-arms, and ascetic mystics.  The first group share in common, among other things, a series of fighting styles.
Additional fighting style options for Fighters, Paladins, and Rangers can be found in Unearthed Arcana, including general and class-specific styles, as well as "underdark" styles.  The former link also includes enhancements for the class features of all three classes discussed below.


The majority of fighters are Champions and Battle Masters.  These can commonly be found as heroic soldiers and officers, but these martial archetypes are by no means bound to military service.

Among elves, the Eldritch Knight is as common as any Champion, and possibly more common than Battle Masters.  As highly magic beings, merging the martial and mystical arts is natural to them.  Any who wish to learn the ways of this archetype may study with the elves.

Brutes (Unearthed Arcana) are commonly found as street thugs and gladiators, and not among the military orders of Monvesia--though they may be conscripted into formal service.

Bannerets (Sword Coast) are mercenary and noble officers who are assisted by Battle Masters in leading troops of Champions.  While Champions and Battle Masters may exist outside the strict hierarchy of military service, the Banneret does not.

Cavaliers (Xanathar's Guide) often stand alongside Battle Masters and Bannerets as officers of a noble or mercenary forces. Some may also serve as knights errant, wandering the countryside and offering their services as their conscience (or purse) may dictate. 

Knights (Unearthed Arcana) share a similar role to Cavaliers--but are sworn to service to a House, Order, Noble, or the like.  Knights are of noble blood, and their training reflects that breeding.
A Cavalier's or Knight's mount is a key element of its life and training.  For humans, the beast of choice is the horse; for rakasta it is the sabre; while halflings, particularly in the Honderreich, have taken up the dog.
Scouts (Unearthed Arcana) and Sharpshooters (Unearthed Arcana) are rank-and-file warriors like the Champion, both serving more specialized purposes. Scouts can also be found assisting rangers, defending druids, or even exploring regions of the world lost to time.  Sharpshooters often act as snipers, nestled safely in trees or towers.

Blood Thralls (DMs Guild) are tied to the culture of blood magic, and are therefore most common in Voztok and Granitsa. Here are undead lords common enough for rebellion from them to have formed a martial tradition--though this option could be available anywhere. Even then, this remains a very rare tradition.

Arcane Archers (Xanathar's Guide) are an elvish tradition alongside the Arcane Archers (see below); older elfish custom identifies this path as "female," though this is not a requirement.

Samurai (Xanathar's Guide) are honor-bound, noble warriors.  In Monvesia, samurai originates simultaneously in both the dwarfish and rakasta traditions.  They are often thought to be Altruistic or Materialistic.

In Goliath Medicine, among the practices of the Martial Sciences, some fighters can train as Psi Knights (also known as Psychic Warriors) (Unearthed Arcana).  The archetype developed as a result of centuries of mental disciple with the intent of combating the Taint.  In the hopes of arming all peoples against the Taint, any may learn ways of the Psi Knight.   This is a psionic character option.


Paladins have emerged from the dwarven, rakasta, goliath, and human spiritual traditions.
Oathbreakers (Dungeon Master's Guide) may emerge from nearly any spiritual tradition.
Dwarven paladins are known for being harsh and severe--bound to the preservation of Law and Order.  Followers of the dwarven warrior paragon may take either the Oath of Vengeance or the Oath of Conquest (Xanathar's Guide).

Rakasta spiritualists may take the Oath of the Ancients; or, in extreme circumstances, the Oath of Vengeance.

Elves driven by an epic imperative--or members of any race that have been touched by the mythic grace of Faerie--may take the Oath of Heroism (Unearthed Arcana)

In their quest to master and eradicate the Taint, the goliaths have developed an Oath of Redemption (Xanathar's Guide) and an Oath of the Watchers (Unearthed Arcana).


Among humans, paladins comprise the Crusaders of the philosophical temperaments.
  • Altruist crusaders, called Hospitallers, take the Oath of Devotion.
  • Materialist crusaders, called Templars, take the Oath of the Crown (Sword Coast).
  • Dynamist crusaders, called Wardens, take the Oath of the Ancients.
  • Idealist crusaders, called Sentinels, take the Oath of the Watchers (Unearthed Arcana).
  • Vitalist crusaders, called Avengers, take the Oath of Vengeance.
  • Nihilist crusaders, called Ravagers, take the Oath of Treachery (Unearthed Arcana).
Crusaders belong to the same orders as their clerical counterparts.


Rangers are as ubiquitous among the cultures of Monvesia as fighters are.   Hunters and Beast Masters are equally common; though in particular parts of Monvesia, one archetype may seem more prevalent than the other--such as the higher frequency of Beast Masters among Galts (humans) and rakasta.

The Gloom Stalker (Zanathar's Guide) can most often be found among dwarves and gnomes, as well as humans of the Honderreich and Voztok.

The Monster Slayer (Zanathar's Guide) is as universally present as the Hunter or Beast Master, though they are far more rare.  It could be said that they are the Cuorrian and Veldi equivalent of the Deep Stalker.

The Horizon Walker (Zanathar's Guide) is common in Veldistan and Inheritance; it is an ancient tradition that began during the rebellions against the Great Old Ones in Desolation.

The Primeval Guardian (Unearthed Arcana) can most often be found among elves, rakasta, and even humans of Galtain.

The Fey Wanderer (Unearthed Arcana) is an elvish tradition connected with that race's mystic tradition.

Edited Nov 2, 2015; Nov 16, 2015; Feb 6, 2016; Jun 28, 2016; Jul 2, 2016; Jul 4, 2016; Aug 3, 2017; Aug 9, 2017; Mar 14, 2018; Mar 17, 2018; Jun 22, 2018; Oct 12, 2019; Apr 23, 2020.

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