A few month ago Dael Kingsmill published a video for a champion fix. It’s more of a fighter fix in my opinion. I like what she proposes and it reminded me of my project to improve martial classes. Talking about the fighter Dael says “I just keep hoping that this time, this time, maybe they’ll be what they’re meant to be”. This is something I felt for a long time, it’s true about fighters and other martial classes in my opinion: they are too monotonous in combat and they have less narrative power outside of combat. Obviously this is my opinion, if you disagree you may find all of this very uninteresting.

I want to get the some of the feeling of spells, choose amongst a wide variety of options, do something different gameplay-wise, do something amazing! But I don’t want it to feel like an other list of spells and using spell slots. And I want to especially improve out-of-combat game (exploration and social interaction), not combat, combat is fine.

So I started working on this and it was kind of lost in development hell. More recently there was some talk on reddit about martial power disparity and the fact that martials need their own resources similar to spell slots. The concept of heroic actions was already written so I thought I should push through! And here it is.

I asked myself: what are fighters meant to be? Heroes. And what do heroes do?

  • Ulysses deceives a Cyclop
  • Indiana Jones escapes a rolling boulder and punch Hitler
  • Aragorn fights a troll and inspire its troops at the gate of Mordor
  • Luke Skywalker shot amazingly into the exhaust vent which lead to the Death Star exploding
  • Maximus gains the love of the crowd

They do that and many other amazing feats. But they mostly do each feat once. And that is the idea. A list of Heroic Actions that can only be accomplished once by a character. When it’s done, it’s done and it will never happen again.

So let me introduce …

The Chapter of Heroes

Writers will blacken pages with your stories. Philosophers will analyze your actions. Bards will sing your adventures in taverns around the world. History will be studied through the prism of your fights and speeches. But doomed you will be since nobody remembers second times.

If you’re a fighter, barbarian or monk you get access to heroic actions. You heroic rank is equal to your level in the sum of those classes an determines how many heroic actions you have access to. If you gain one level in any other class you loose the ability to gain new heroic actions.

Most heroic action can be used whenever you want without consuming any action or bonus action, there is no limit to the number of heroic action you can use during your turn but be mindful because you can only use each heroic action once. Not once per day, not once per long rest, not once per short rest, once.

When you reach heroic rank one you choose your first 5 heroic actions and you gain all the tier 0 heroic actions. Every time your heroic rank increases you gain access to two more heroic actions.

If your heroic rank is less than 4 you only have access to tier 1 heroic actions. When you reach an heroic rank of 5 you gain access to tier 2 heroic actions. At heroic rank 11 you gain access to tier 3 heroic actions.

Every time you use an heroic action you loose it. People will chant about your exploits but you will never be able to use it again. The next time you gain a level you automatically learn the echoed version of this heroic action which can also be used once.

Some of your heroic actions require your target to make a saving throw to resist the effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows: 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier.

Heroic Actions (44)

Tier 0 (1)

Generic Heroic Actions (1)

  1. I know. You can learn any heroic action (that you never learned and never used).
    • Echoed: During a short rest, you can spend some time remembering your old adventures and learn any heroic action (that you never learned and never used).

Tier 1 (25)

Tactical Heroic Actions (11)

  1. I see you. You can throw any weapon as if it had the thrown property with a range of 200 ft/600 ft.
    • Echoed: You can throw a weapon with the thrown property as if it had the thrown property with a range of 200 ft/600 ft.
  2. I can’t Hear You. You smash your head and ears, you are immune to any effect that would sense your emotions or read your thoughts and the charmed condition for the next minute.
    • Echoed: As an action you smash your head and ears, you take 2d4 bludgeoning damages and make a constitution saving throw. On a success you are immune to any effect that would sense your emotions or read your thoughts and the charmed condition for the next minute.
  3. Gotta go fast. You can move up to 100 ft.
    • Echoed: You can move up to 30 ft.
  4. Not on my watch. You are no longer surprised.
    • Echoed: If you would be surprised make a initiative check, you are no longer surprised if you get more than the best initiative in the group that surprised you.
  5. My turn. When you would roll for initiative you can choose to get an initiative of 100 instead.
    • Echoed: After you rolled for initiative you can roll an additional d20, you choose which one of the d20 is used.
  6. My Head is Bloody, but Unbowed. After failing a weapon attack roll you can choose to succeed instead.
    • Echoed: After failing a weapon attack roll you can roll an additional d20, you choose which one of the d20 is used.
  7. Hit Good. For the next minute you can add 1d12 to all your weapon attack rolls.
    • Echoed: For the next minute you can add 1d4 to all your weapon attack rolls.
  8. Hit Strong. For the next minute you can add 1d12 to all your weapon damage.
    • Echoed: For the next minute you can add 1d4 to all your weapon damage.
  9. Protection. As a reaction you can move up to 30 ft and take the place of an other willing character. You push this other character 20 ft in any direction.
    • Echoed: As a reaction you can move up to 10 ft and take the place of an other willing character. You push this other character 10 ft in any direction.
  10. Swimming whirlwind. You are so strong that you can create current in the water that can pull enemies toward you or unbalance them if they within 30 ft of you waist down in the same body of water. They must succeed an athletics check DC 10 + your Athletics bonus or be either pull towards you 20 ft and/or knocked prone, your choice.
    • Echoed: You are so strong that you can create current in the water that can pull enemies toward you or unbalance them if they within 10 ft of you waist down in the same body of water. They must succeed an athletics check DC 10 + your Athletics bonus or be either pull towards you 10 ft and/or knocked prone, your choice.
  11. I have the high ground. You gain a climbing speed of 40 ft for the next 1 minute.
    • Echoed: You gain a climbing speed of 20 ft for the next 1 minute.

Non-tactical Heroic Actions (14)

  1. Fear me. You intimidate target creature. They faint.
    • Echoed: When you make a successful Charisma (Intimidation) check one of the target faint.
  2. Breathe. You can concentrate for 10 seconds, oxygenating your blood. You can then hold your breath for 10 additional minutes.
    • Echoed: You can concentrate for 1 minute, oxygenating your blood. You can then hold your breath for 1 additional minutes.
  3. Who Needs a Ladder?” Add 8 ft to your next high jump.
    • Echoed: Make an athletics check DC 15, if you succeed add 8 ft to your next high jump.
  4. See You on the Other Side. Add 29 ft to your next long jump.
    • Echoed: Make an athletics check DC 15, if you succeed add 29 ft to your next long jump.
  5. Beast of Burden. For the next 10 minutes your carrying capacity is increased by 476 lb. (216 kg)
    • Echoed: For the next minute your carrying capacity is increased by 476 lb. (216 kg)
  6. Know Your Enemy. You instantly know any two information of your choice about a target within 30 ft amongst: one ability score, level, CR, armor class, current hit point.
    • Echoed: After you spent one minute looking at a target you know any two information of your choice about a target within 30 ft amongst: one ability score, level, CR, armor class, current hit point.
  7. I. Don’t. Fail. If you would fail at a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check you can choose to succeed instead.
    • Echoed: If you would fail at a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check you can roll an additional d20, you choose which one of the d20 is used.
    • This heroic action has several version: one per existing skill, you gain access to each of them separately.
  8. Resist. If you would fail at a Strength saving throw you can choose to succeed instead.
    • Echoed: If you would fail at a Strength saving throw you can roll an additional d20, you choose which one of the d20 is used.
    • This heroic action has several version: one per saving ability, you gain access to each of them separately.
  9. Skill Good. For the next minute you can add 1d12 to all your ability checks.
    • Echoed: For the next minute you can add 1d4 to all your ability checks.
  10. War is its Own Language. By spending one minute interacting peacefully with a creature with at least one language you can then use sounds and gestures to talk to it as if you had proficiency in that creature language.
    • Echoed: By spending one minute interacting peacefully with a creature with at least one language you can then use sounds and gestures to talk to it as if you had proficiency in that creature language. It works as long as what you’re saying is not too complex (at the DM discretion).
  11. Grift with Confidence. (inspired by Thirteen Expanded Feats/) If you succeed on a Charisma (Deception) check against a creature, the next Charisma (Deception) check you make receives a 1d8 bonus if it is made within 10 minutes of the previous check.
    • Echoed: If you succeed on a Charisma (Deception) check against a creature, the next Charisma (Deception) check you make receives a 1d4 bonus if it is made within 10 minutes of the previous check.
  12. You can run… By focusing your senses you gain blindsight (15 ft) for 10 minutes.
    • Echoed: By focusing your senses you gain blindsight (15 ft) for 1 minutes.
  13. Martial Command. (inspired by Player’s Handbook/Command spell) You speak a one-word command to a creature you can see within 60 ft. The target must follow the command on its next turn. This command has no effect if the target doesn’t understand your language, or if your command is directly harmful to it.
    • Echoed: You speak a one-word command to a creature you can see within 60 ft. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or follow the command on its next turn. This command has no effect if the target doesn’t understand your language, or if your command is directly harmful to it.
  14. Choose Your Battles. You attempt to calm a group of people. Choose one of the following two effects. You can remove any effect causing a target to be frightened or charmed. Alternatively, you can make a target indifferent about any creatures of your choice. The effect of this feature last while you maintain a conversation with the targets with a maximum of one hour.
    • Echoed: You attempt to calm a group of people. Each creature that can hear and understand you must make a Charisma saving throw; a creature can choose to fail this saving throw if it wishes. If a creature fails its saving throw, choose one of the following two effects. You can remove any effect causing a target to be frightened or charmed. Alternatively, you can make a target indifferent about any creatures of your choice. The effect of this feature last while you maintain a conversation with the targets with a maximum of one minute.

Tier 2 (12)

Tactical Heroic Actions (6)

  1. I will not yield. Instead of rolling a death saving throw you regain 1HP. You can then act normally.
    • Echoed: If you succeeded at a death saving throw you regain 1HP. You can then act normally.
  2. Again. And again! On your turn, you can take two additional actions on top of your regular action and two possible bonus action.
    • Echoed, Again: On your turn, you can take one additional actions on top of your regular action and one possible bonus action.
  3. Aware. For the next hour you can’t be surprised and have advantage on weapon attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. Additionally, other creatures have disadvantage on weapon attack rolls against you for the duration.
    • Echoed: For the next minute you can’t be surprised and have advantage on weapon attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. Additionally, other creatures have disadvantage on weapon attack rolls against you for the duration.
  4. No. Counter a spell if the caster is within your weapon reach.
    • Echoed: Counter a spell if the caster is within your weapon reach and if the caster fails a constitution saving throw against your weapon DC.
  5. In The Face. Your next attack is a critical hit.
    • Echoed: Your next attack is a critical hit on a 12 or above.
  6. Look me in the Eyes. Each creature in a 30-foot cone drop whatever it is holding and become frightened for 3 rounds. While frightened by this effect, a creature must take the Dash action and try to move away from you on each of its turns.
    • Echoed: Each creature in a 30-foot cone must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or drop whatever it is holding and become frightened for 3 rounds. While frightened by this effect, a creature must take the Dash action and try to move away from you on each of its turns. At the end of its turn if the creature doesn't have line of sight to you it can make a Wisdom saving throw which ends the effect on a success.

Non-tactical Heroic Actions (6)

  1. Working Paragon. Something that would take up to 1 week to do with tools you are proficient with can be done 7 times as fast.
    • Echoed: Something that would take up to 1 day to do with tools you are proficient with can be done 3 times as fast.
  2. I am the Master of my fate. After failing a ability check you can choose to succeed instead.
    • Echoed: After failing a ability check you can roll an additional d20, you choose which one of the d20 is used.
  3. I am the Captain of my Soul. After failing a saving throw you can choose to succeed instead.
    • Echoed: After failing a saving throw you can roll an additional d20, you choose which one of the d20 is used.
  4. Jump. You gain a flying speed equal to twice your walking speed for 2 round. After these 2 rounds you lose your vertical momentum and can't go up, you can still go straight or go down for one round. Then you fall.
    • Echoed: You gain a flying speed equal to your walking speed for 1 round.
  5. Sword to Plowshare. In a impossible feat of strength and endurance you spend 8 hours working in the fields around you doing as much as dozen of other people. You enrich the land in a half-mile radius for 1 year. The plants yield twice the normal amount of food when harvested.
    • Echoed: In a impossible feat of strength and endurance you spend a week working in the fields around you doing as much as dozen of other people. You enrich the land in a half-mile radius for 1 year. The plants yield twice the normal amount of food when harvested.
  6. Sage Advice (inspired by The Scholar/Sage Advice and Theoretical Advice) You may spread your knowledge and experience to those around you. You spend 1 minute advising your companions. When you do so, choose a skill or tool and a number of friendly creatures up to your Intelligence modifier who can understand, hear, and see you. Twice within the next hour, the next time each creature would make a check of the chosen skill or tool, they may add their proficiency modifier to the roll, or double their proficiency if they are already proficient.
    • Echoed: You may spread your knowledge and experience to those around you. You spend 1 minute advising your companions. When you do so, choose a skill or tool you are proficient with and a number of friendly creatures up to your Intelligence modifier who can understand, hear, and see you. Once within the next hour, the next time each creature would make a check of the chosen skill or tool, they may add their proficiency modifier to the roll, or double their proficiency if they are already proficient.

Tier 3 (6)

Non-tactical Heroic Actions (3)

  1. Never Tell me the Odds. (inspired by Balsar’s Guide to Exploration/Foretell the Odds) Whenever a creature within range of your weapon makes an attack roll, ability check or saving throw, you may expend expand your reaction to have their roll become 2 or 18 (before any modifiers are applied). You can choose to do this after the roll, but before the dice outcome is deemed to be a success or failure.
    • Echoed: Whenever a creature within range of your weapon makes an attack roll, ability check or saving throw, you may expend expand your reaction to have their roll become 10 (before any modifiers are applied). You can choose to do this after the roll, but before the dice outcome is deemed to be a success or failure.
  2. I’m on a Roll. You have advantage at all you ability checks for the next hours or until you fail one, whichever comes first.
    • Echoed: You have advantage at all you ability checks for the next minute or until you fail one, whichever comes first.
  3. You Will Listen. If you were not behaving in an aggressive way any person within 30 ft that can see you is now paralyzed as long as you do not attack or for one minute, whichever comes first. You get advantage on any Charisma throw you could make during this time.
    • Echoed: If you were not behaving in an aggressive way any person within 30 ft that can see you is now stunned as long as you do not attack or for 10 seconds, whichever comes first.

Tactical Heroic Actions (3)

  1. You’re going down. For the duration of this round all your attacks are critical hits.
    • Echoed: For the duration of this round all your attacks hit (you can still roll the dice in case of a critical hit).
  2. 'Tis But a Scratch. You regain all your HP.
    • Echoed: You regain half your HP.
  3. Won’t Go Down. As a reaction you can reduce to zero all the damage you would take during the next round.
    • Echoed: As a reaction you can halve all the damage you would take during the next round.

Optional Rules

Rogue Can do it Too

Normally Rogues don’t get access to heroic actions. With this optional rule they do.

Average Heroic Rank

If you decide to use this optional rule your heroic rank is determined by your level and your class instead of the standard way. Classes are divided in 4 categories:

  • Full-casters (wizards, druids, bards, clerics, sorcerers) that have a 9th level spell slot as their higher level spell slot
  • Half-casters (paladins, rangers, artificers, and for the purpose of this module, warlocks) that have a 5th level spell slot as their higher level spell slot
  • Third-casters (fighters/eldritch knights, rogue/arcane trickster) that have a 4th level spell slot as their higher level spell slot
  • Non-casters (fighters, barbarian, monk, rogue) that have no spell slots

You heroic rank is equal to (1/2 × the sum of your levels in half-caster classes rounded up) + (2/3 × the sum of you levels in third-caster classes rounded up) + the sum of your levels in non-caster classes.

Magic Spoils Everything

If you decide to use this optional rule your heroic rank is determined by your level and your class with the highest magic. If you only have levels in non-caster classes or third-caster classes you heroic rank is determined normally. If you have at least one level in a half-caster class then your heroic rank is halved. If you have at least one level in a full-caster class you have no heroic rank (and hence no heroic actions).

Closing Remarks

I’m not so sure about many things here. Why only 5 heroic action at the beginning and two more at each rank? I don’t know maybe it’s too much? Maybe not?

I like that the player is encouraged to use the action because otherwise the echoed is kind of “lost” but at the same time she is encouraged to keep it for when it really matters.

I’m not so sure about the division in tier. Maybe I should put everything in the same tier? Maybe tier 2 actions are better than tier 3?

Also maybe echoed actions should be stronger than heroic actions? That would give more incentive to use it.

There might be typos also, feel free to leave a comment about hat and I’ll fix them.

Anyway, I might update this article or add new actions in the future.