The Other DM
“I once had strings but now I’m free. . ”
This is my first attempt at making a class for 5E. Let me know what you think of it.
Puppet Masters are talented, eccentric spellcasters who channel their magic through a puppet of their own creation. Their puppet is as real to them as a Warlock’s otherworldly being or a Cleric’s deity. As they grow in power, their puppet becomes more and more important to them and their own personalities fade into the background.
Some Puppeteer’s join the circus or theater, using their skills to delight the crowd, others hide in the shadows and use their puppets as familiars, seeing the world through the eyes of their creation. A puppet is humanoid in shape and can be anywhere between 1ft and 5ft in height. They can use any light or small weapons, same as a Gnome or Halfling. A puppets armor class is determined by AC11 + INT bonus + Proficiency Bonus.
STRINGS OF FATE: At 1st level, a Puppeteer can control his puppet up to 10ft away through invisible strings that stretch from the Puppeteer’s fingers to the puppet itself. The range increases by 5ft at level 6, 11, and 20. The strings can be visible or invisible, decided by the Puppeteer, and can appear as chains, ropes, or any other connecting material. A Dispel Magic spell or any kind of magic cancellation will break the connection and render the puppet useless until it can be taken out of range or area of effect. The connection allows the Puppeteer to transfer his DEX, CON and INT to his puppet. At 9th level, the Puppeteer can transfer all his stats to the puppet.
At first level, a Puppeteer starts with the Magic Initiate Feat. The Puppeteer does not cast these spells directly; they are cast through the puppet, from the puppet’s location. A Mystical Puppeteer gains magic levels exactly equal to a Bard, plus the initial Magic Initiate spells that are part of the puppet itself. A Puppeteer does not get any abilities from Bard Colleges and only uses the Bards spell selection and slots per level, starting at level 2. The Puppeteer does not gain new cantrips at second level, those spells chosen with the Magic Initiate feat count toward the total spells and cantrips. After third level, the puppets count as magical items.
If the Puppet is destroyed, the Puppeteer can only cast cantrips until the Puppet is remade. At level 10, the Puppeteer can cast one level one spell. At 20th level the Puppeteer can cast one level one and one level two spell.
A damaged puppet (no HP) can be repaired during a long rest, but a Puppet that is completely destroyed takes 1d8 days to rebuild and costs 50 GP in supplies. At 10th level, the time is reduced to 1d6 days, at 10th level it is further reduced to 1d4 days. At level 20, a new Puppet can be built in eight hours. The cost for supplies remains the same regardless of level. A War Golem costs twice as much and requires a forge to rebuild.
At 10th level a Puppeteer can give his puppet to another owner, who can control the puppet for one hour and cast the cantrips chosen at character creation. At level 20, the time becomes 2 hours.
At second level the Mystical Puppeteer can see and hear through the puppet itself, as if he/she had cast Animal Sense, except the connection lasts as long as the Puppeteer wishes it to, or until the puppet is destroyed. Starting at 3rd level, the destruction of the puppet physically hurts the Puppeteer, doing 1d4 damage at level 2, 2d4 damage at level 8, 2d6 damage at level 16 and 4d6 damage at level 20. After level 15 the Puppeteer can make a CON saving throw against DC 15 to take half damage.
A puppet is a substitute for a spell book and uses all the same rules.
At third level, the Mystical Puppeteer begins to customize his puppet and can choose a Puppeteer Archtype from the following list:
Haunted Dollmaker: When a Puppeteer becomes a Haunted Dollmaker, he draws on dark magic to create a puppet with a terrify visage. The puppet moves in silence, with a proficiency in Stealth and Intimidation. At 6th level the Haunted Doll gains Demon Sight, at 9th level the Puppeteer can cast Darkness once per long or short rest.
At level 20, the puppet gains Necromancy and can increase in size up to seven feet by five feet. Every hit point the puppet gains through necromancy, the Puppeteer also gains.
War Golem: A war golem is a thicker, tougher, puppet that is made to fight and is a foot taller than other puppets. A War Golem gains +2 to its damage and AC and gains one superiority dice which it can use for ONE maneuver chosen from the Battle Master Fighter domain. At 6th level a War Golem adds 2d6 to its HP. At 9th level the War Golem gains a second maneuver. The War Golem grows in size with each level,
Divine Action Figure: A Divine Action figure is a tiny version of a God or otherworldly being. The Puppeteer can cast Protection from Good or Evil once per long or short rest. At 6th level the Puppeteer can cast Lesser Restoration through the puppet. At 9th level the Divine Action Figure can cast Smite on itself twice per day, adding 3d8 to its damage.
Beautiful Distraction: A Beautiful Distraction is a magical doll made to impress and enchant a crowd. At 6th level the Puppeteer can use the puppet to cast Charm Person once per long or short rest and gains proficiency in Performance. At 9th level the Puppeteer can cast Hypnotic Pattern twice per long rest.
Childhood Friend: A Puppeteer who follows this path does not have strings attached to his puppet. Instead his puppet is a childhood toy that has become the focus of the puppeteer’s magical abilities. The Childhood Friend does not suffer from the Puppet Penalties on magical range. Destruction of a Childhood Friend does double damage and building a new one takes twice as long. The Puppeteer can choose the No Strings Attached option, which makes the Childhood Friend an inanimate object that cannot move and must be carried by the Puppeteer. The Puppeteer gains +4 HP per level and +2 to AC to a maximum of 20. All damage is scored against the Puppeteer, but they can transfer 2d6 damage to the Childhood Friend per five levels.
Arcane Control: At 5th level the Puppeteer has gained enough skill over his puppet to control it with only one hand (two strings per finger). This allows the Puppeteer to use his free hand to make an attack action, while using the extra attack to make an attack action with the puppet.
Puppet Empowerment: At 7th level a Puppeteer can transfer his Feats into his creation. This mystical process takes no longer than a short rest. If the puppet is destroyed, the Puppeteer regains the Feat the moment the puppet is destroyed and can transfer it once a new puppet is made. At 18th level the Puppeteer shares his Feats and Skills as he chooses with his puppet.
Strings of Health: When a Puppeteer reaches 11th level, he can transfer his hit dice to the puppet to heal it as a bonus action. The Puppeteer can use any number of hit dice up to his maximum, however the Puppeteer cannot use the hit dice to heal himself until 24 hours have passed.
Magical Secrets: By 14th leveI, you have plundered magical knowledge from a wide spectrum of disciplines. Choose two spells from any class, no higher than 10th level and add them to the permanent spells of the puppet.
Independence: By making a DC15 INT roll, a Puppeteer can cast a spell without his puppet, even if it has been destroyed.
At 16th level, the bond between the Puppeteer and his puppet is so strong that a magical shield forms between them. Add +2 AC at will. if the puppet is destroyed or taken more than 100ft away from the Puppeteer, the extra AC is lost.
Vicarious Living: Once a Puppeteer reaches 17th level, all Puppet Penalties are removed. All spells can be cast normally, although the spell still originates from the puppet, not the Puppeteer. Spells that are cast on self are shared with the Puppeteer. If a Puppeteer falls in combat, their essence can be transferred to the puppet for 1 minute. During this time the Puppeteer can cast all spells normally, and all stats and abilities are the exact same. After a minute, the essence of the Puppeteer fades and returns to the unconscious body. The Puppeteer does not make death saves until their essence has returned to their body.
1st: Strings of Fate, Magic Initiate
2nd: Animal Sense
3rd: Puppeteer Archtype
4th: Ability Score Improvement
5th: Extra Attack
6th: Puppet Archtype Feature
7th: Puppet Empowerment
8th: Ability Score Improvement
9th: STAT transferal, Puppet Archtype Feature
10th: Bardic Inspiration (d8), Arcane Control
11th: Strings of Health
12th: Ability Score Improvement
13th: Song of Rest (d8)
14th: Magical Secrets
16th: Arcane Armor
17th: Vicarious Living
18th: Puppet Empowerment
19th: New Cantrip
20th: Puppeteer Archtype
Until next time, may the dice be ever in your favor.