November 18, 2020

Fungal Fighter

Martial Archetype
Notes from the Nails: sometimes, an idea just comes to me and just works, you know? I'm really happy with how this one came out. It's so simple, but so effective.

Fungal Fighter

Whether by accident or by choice, a fungal fighter’s body is suffused with parasitic lifeforms: crusty shelf fungi, bulbous mushrooms, creeping molds, and colorful lichens. Although that might sound unpleasant, a fungal fighter actually has a symbiotic relationship with their fungi, which brings benefits to both parties. In exchange for a steady supply of high quality food, the parasites can make their host stronger and tougher, immune to poisons and diseases, and capable of releasing clouds of toxic spores as a defensive technique.

Fungal Resilience
Beginning at 3rd level, a colorful suit of living fungi clings to your body. When you are not wearing armor, your AC equals 17. While using this feature, you count as wearing armor for the purposes of the Defense fighting style.

Also at 3rd level, you can use a bonus action on your turn to secrete a dose of poison onto a melee weapon you are holding. This poison functions as per the basic poison.
     You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Constitution modifier. You regain all expended uses when you complete a long rest.

Symbiotic Immune System
From 7th level, you are immune to disease and to being poisoned.

Circle of Life
At 10th level, you gain the ability to absorb nutrients from creatures that you kill. When you reduce a hostile creature to 0 hit points with a melee attack, you gain temporary hit points equal to your Strength modifier + your fighter level.

Embodiment of Decay
By the time you reach 15th level, the fear within you is beyond anything a human soul can make and you cannot be killed in a way that matters. If you die and your body is buried in natural soil or left in a cold damp place, you return to life with 1 hit point after 24 hours. This ability has no effect if your body is dismembered or burned.

Spore Cloud
When you reach 18th level, you can use an action to spray toxic spores in a 30-foot radius around yourself. Each creature in the area other than you takes 5d8 poison damage, or half as much on a successful Constitution saving throw. The DC for this saving throw is equal to 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus.


  1. Currently running OotA, so this is perfect!

    Fungal Resilience- "Unless it would normally be higher"?

    Basic poison deals 1d4, with a save for none. I see no reason to limit this feature- just make the poison last until end of turn instead.

    Symbiotic Immune System probably needs to clarify you aren't immune to poison damage.

    Circle of life assumes STR fighter. What about Dexy ones?

    1. How would your unarmoured AC be higher than 17? The fungal reselience counts as armour, so the monk/bard unarmoured defence features actually aren't compatible with this subclass.

      I dunno. I feel happier with a limit. The overall aim of this subclass is to be more tanky, the extra damage is a secondary thing.

      The 'being poisoned' phrasing is a standard one used elsewhere by ourselves and WotC. I think it's clear that it only applies to the condition.

      This is aimed at Str builds; note that it also provides decent AC without needing high Dex. I guess we could tie Circle of Life to Con instead? Two of the other features already use Con...

    2. I also think that Symbiotic Immune System should at least be resistant to poison damage, if not immune completely. It isn't super strong and won't come up all that often, but it will feel really good when it does.

  2. Even though I'm pretty sure you can, I'll go ahead and ask anyway. Does Fungal Resilience work with shields and other AC boosting items?

  3. I noticed this is tagged as Fey. Is it likely to be in Into the Wilds?

    1. Yup! I'm plugging away in the background, writing new subclasses for Into the Wilds, and this is one of them. Mushroom people seem like a Feywild kind of thing, right?

  4. So a few ideas with it. I think it should just follow the example of the Tortle for Fungle Resilience. So something like this:

    Beginning at 3rd level, a colorful suit of living fungi clings to your body. Your suit provides ample protection, however; it gives you a base AC of 17 (your Dexterity modifier doesn't affect this number). You gain no benefit from wearing armor, but if you are using a shield, you can apply the shield's bonus as normal.

    This clears up any confusion and keeps a similar design language to something official. Though this is ultimately more of a ribbon ability, which leads me to my next point since it is only slightly better than the mundane equipment. I get that it allows you to not have to wear armor, but that is useful in certain contexts where a players gear might be temporarily unavailable.

    For the Mycotoxin ability, I feel like it is pretty weak as is, especially with the non-scaling DC. It feels like it could maybe follow a similar pattern to Hunter's Mark with its own flavor. My idea for it would be this:

    Also at 3rd level, you can use a bonus action on your turn to secrete a dose of poison onto your weapons. For the next minute,you deal an extra 1d4 poison damage to the target whenever you hit it with a weapon Attack. Additionally, you can use a reaction to force a creature who has been damaged by your poison this round to make a Constitution saving throw (DC= 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Constitution) or gain the poisoned condition for 1 minute. It can repeat this saving at the end of each of its turns.

    You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Constitution modifier. You regain all expended uses when you complete a long rest.  

    1. Another reason I would suggest changing Mycotoxin to what I suggested is just how annoying it would be to have the DM roll for *every* attack. It is one of my big beefs with poison in 5e in general, and I just think that 5e poison design is terrible and weak.

    2. I generally agree with the poison being weak as it is, but adding 1d4 to every attack is overcompensating for it (especially with multiple uses, each lasting 1 minute), and your suggestion still adds a save each round so it doesn't help mitigate the many-rolls issue.

      IMO bonus action to just add 1d4 poison when you hit is the simplest way to go (1d4/round is not nearly OP and wouldn't bog down the game with saving throws), but tbh it is quite a boring solution.

    3. Sometimes simplicity is a virtue, eh? Just adding poison damage is - I believe - fairly balanced and it doesn't require additional rolls which is already two steps forward.

    4. Sorry, I got busy with the holidays and forgot to respond.

      Adding 1d4 to every attack is on average the rough equivalent to Barbarian Rage, and considering that it is a commonly resisted/immune damage type it is not at all overcompensating.

      The same goes with it being something that you can do several times over a *long rest*. Assuming at least 2 Short Rests for the average adventuring day, this would be the rough equivalent to the usefulness of Superiority Dice. This is in no way overpowered, and much less versatile than the Battle Master.

      As for the rolls issue, did you even read what I said? As a *reaction* you force *a creature* who has been damaged by your poison this round to make a Constitution saving throw. I don't see how one saving throw a round is at all a big deal or the same as the current ability that has you rolling for every attack that the fighter makes.

      All in all, you are just objectively wrong Idan. My suggestions are perfectly fine and balanced barring extenuating circumstances, are not hard to understand, and are objectively faster than the current abilities. The current abilities are using one of the more poorly designed parts of 5e that is poisons, relatively weak, and very tedious.

      I love the concept of the class and I am usually all for a lot of The Nails designs, but this class has several weird problems with it that should be changed.

  5. "You cannot kill me in a way that matters". What a reference, mate XDD

  6. You could even flavor this as one of Davy Jones' pirates. Part of the ship, part of the crew.