Leaf and Land
"Beren now, he never thought he was going to get that Silmaril from the Iron Crown in Thangorodrim, and yet he did, and that was a worse place and a blacker danger than ours. But that's a long tale, of course, and goes on past the happiness and into grief and beyond it – and the Silmaril went on and came to Eärendil. And why, sir, I never thought of that before! We've got – you've got some of the light of it in that star-glass that the Lady gave you! Why, to think of it, we're in the same tale still! It's going on. Don't the great tales never end?"
In this age of the world where shadows grow deeper with every passing year, you have sworn to defend all who cannot defend themselves. Sometimes, your choice forces you to forsake civilized areas, to better guard their inhabitants from what lurks right outside their fences. This has made you a stranger in the eyes of the common folk, a figure as threatening as those you are protecting them from.
Other Wardens fulfill their oath by kindling the spirits of the defeated and the fearful. They tell stories of past deeds and elder days, to inspire a new generation of heroes to take up arms against the Enemy. Wardens guard all that is worth fighting for in this age of the world, even if they do not know it. Many Hobbit-heroes, for example, are Wardens (when they are not Treasure Hunters!)
When creating a Warden, consider your relationship with your home culture, with your kith and kin. Do you fight to protect them in particular, or are you a friend and ally to all? Do you lift spirits with a cheery smile, or intimidate your foes with your grim stare?
Play a Warden if you want to…
- Defend the Free Peoples against the Shadow.
- Inspire your allies to yet greater deeds.
- Bring hope when all hope is lost.
As a Warden, you gain the following class features.
Hit Dice: 1d8 per Warden level.
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier.
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per Warden level after 1st.
Armor: Light armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, broadswords, long swords, short swords.
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Charisma
Skills: Traditions, choose any other two.
You start with the following extra equipment, in addition to equipment granted by your Standard of Living.
Poor or Frugal: Any simple weapon, a short bow with a quiver of 20 arrows, a leather jerkin.
Martial or Prosperous: A broad-, long-, or short sword, a short bow or a great bow with a quiver of 20 arrows, a leather corslet, a shield.
Rich: A broad-, long-, or short sword, a short bow or a great bow with a quiver of 20 arrows, a leather corslet, a shield or a great shield.
Lure of Power
You can inspire others through stirring words, through music, or by your presence alone. To do so, use a bonus action on your turn. Choose one creature other than yourself that is within 60 feet of you and who can hear you. That creature gains one Gift die, a d6.
Once within the next 10 minutes, the creature can roll the Gift die and add the number rolled to one ability check, attack roll, or saving throw it attempts. The creature can wait until after it rolls the d20 before deciding to use the Gift die, but must decide before the Loremaster says whether the roll succeeds or fails. Once the Gift die is rolled, it is lost. A creature may have only one Gift die at a time.
You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (a minimum of once). You regain any expended uses after a long rest.
Your Gift die increases in size when you reach certain levels in this class. The die becomes a d8 at 5th level, a d10 at 11th level, and a d12 at 15th level.
Wardens make a point of keeping up with the latest news, both local and from afar, as well as making an effort to know the wise and powerful. If you can freely travel about an area talking with locals and passing travellers for a few hours, you can make a DC 12 Intelligence (Investigation) ability check with advantage.
Success indicates that you hear all the latest useful rumors, including news of trouble. Failure means you hear all the latest rumors and news, but cannot discern the true from the false. On a success, you can also glean the names, whereabouts, and general appearances of all local influential individuals, households, and faction, as well as what livery, colors, and heraldry they typically bear, if any.
Jack of All Trades
Wardens tend to know a little bit about everything. Starting at 2nd level, you can add half your proficiency bonus, rounded down, to any ability check you make that doesn't already include your proficiency bonus.
Beginning at 2nd level, you can help revitalize your wounded allies during a short rest. If you tell tales during a short rest, then you and nearby friendly creatures listening to your tales gain an additional 1d6 hit points per Hit Die spent.
The number of extra hit points gained increases as you gain Warden levels: to 1d8 at 9th level, to 1d10 at 13th level, and to 1d12 at 17th level.
At 3rd level, choose two of your skill proficiencies. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability checks you make that uses either of the chosen proficiencies.
At 10th level, you can choose another two skill proficiencies to gain this benefit.
Also at 3rd level, you choose the way in which your Warden talents will express themselves. Choose Counsellor, Herald, or Bounder (all three are detailed below).
Your choice of expression grants you features at 3rd level, and then again at 7th, 11th, and 15th level.
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase on ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1, or you can take a Cultural or Open Virtue. As normal, you cannot increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
Beginning at 5th level, you regain all of your expended uses of Warden't Gift when you finish a short or long rest.
At 6th level, you can use your sharp wit and knowledge of the terrain to distract, confuse, and otherwise sap the confidence and competence of others.
When a creature that you can see within 60 feet of you makes an attack roll, an ability check, or a damage roll, you can use your reaction to expend one of your uses of Warden't Gift, rolling a Gift die and subtracting the number rolled from the creature's roll.
You can choose to use this feature after the creature makes its roll, but before the Loremaster determines whether the attack roll or ability check succeeds or fails, or before the creature deals its damage. The creature is immune if it cannot hear you or it is immune to being charmed.
Nor Weariness, Nor Endless Barren Miles
Starting at 14th level, when you make an ability check, you can expend one use of Warden't Gift. Roll a Gift die and add the number rolled to your ability check. You can choose to do so after you roll the die for the ability check, but before the Loremaster tells you whether you succeed or fail.
Spirit of Fire
At 18th level, you are amongst the greatest Wardens in the world. You may replace any Charisma check you make with a 15 (before adding modifiers). You may do this a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier. You regain any expended uses when you finish a long rest.
A Light When All Other Lights Go Out
At 20th level, when you roll initiative and have no uses of Warden't Gift left, you regain one use.
Wardens in Middle-earth eventually cleave to one of these three categories: Counsellor, Herald, or Bounder. These three expressions of the Warden class are each quite different, but all involve inspiring and protecting those who need your aid.
Your voice is your weapon. You have the ear of heroes and lords, and can accomplish more with a whispered word than with a drawn sword.
When you choose this expression at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in a single Charisma or Wisdom skill or your choice.
Also starting at 3rd level, through carefully chosen words and the force of your personality, you have an uncanny ability to lower the guard of potential enemies and sway them towards parley instead of violence. Choose one creature within earshot and make a Charisma check with advantage. Your opponent may make a Wisdom saving throw. If you succeed, then that creature is considered friendly towards you.
The skill you use for this Charisma check depends on the type of discourse that you wish to engage in: if you are trying to trick your opponent then you use Deception; if you are using your strength of arms to make your enemy stand down then you use Intimidation; if you are trying to convince a neutral party to join you then you use Persuasion; and if you simply wish to occupy your opponent's attention for a while then you use Performance. In short, any Charisma-based skill can be used as long as there is reasonable basis.
A friendly creature actively tries to help you so long as it or its allies aren't threatened; any attack against a friendly creature or its allies obviously end the discourse! If you ask a friendly creature to commit a Misdeed, do something that would force it to defy its orders, or otherwise upset someone above it, then at the Loremaster's discretion it is allowed to make another Wisdom saving throw.
It takes a lot out of you to think quickly and find the best words to lower your opponent's guard. Once this feature is used, it cannot be used again until you have taken a short rest.
By 7th level, you are particularly good at giving advice. When you grant a creature a Gift die, if they use it to make an ability check following your guidance, they also have advantage on the roll. Alternatively, you can give bad counsel, and give them disadvantage on the roll, but only if the creature already trusts you and accepts your advice at face value.
At 11th level, your knowledge and experience almost give you a sixth sense when it comes to anticipating things that might go wrong. Once per long rest, if you have spent at least half an hour pondering a course of action, the Loremaster gives you some insight on one or more likely problems with your complicated course of action. This could be a particularly stubborn diplomat, an insufficient number of troops to accomplish a goal, or even the lack of an ally's resolve to see a plan through.
This feature does not give you access to any information that you would not reasonably know beforehand.
For example, if your enemy secretly bolstered his troops with Black Númenórian mercenaries, then you would not have access to that knowledge; however, the Loremaster may inform you that your enemy would never make a move against you at his current strength, so the fact that he is moving against you must mean that something has changed, something that is likely to impact your own forces…
At 15th level, you are widely respected. No matter how hostile an enemy, your summons will bring that enemy to the negotiating table to hear your pleas and proposals. This is done under a flag of truce and there will be no deception on the part of those whom you have summoned. During this period of negotiation (usually about an hour) you have advantage on any ability checks made against your enemy.
While this may not result in the enemy agreeing to your demands, you may have at least bought some time to get better prepared or learn more about your foe. Note that even the forces of the Dark Lord of Mordor will heed such a summons. Though they may choose to spend the hour mocking you, you can still glean much between their threats and insults.
You can only enforce an audience with an enemy once during any particular Adventuring phase, although the Loremaster may waive this limitation for particularly complex plots or long wars.
Heralds are warriors as well as scholars, advocating for a cause that can motivate other and fighting for their beliefs. Heralds seek to witness great deeds of valor first hand and sing of what they have seen to others, to inspire them in turn.
When you choose this expression at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in medium armor, shields, and martial weapons.
Songs of Slaying
The songs of battle resound where Heralds are present. Also starting at 3rd level, you may expend one of your Warden's Gift dice to give all of your allies within 30 feet an additional d4 on their next attack roll. Alternatively, any creature that has one of your Warden's Gift dice may roll the die and add the number rolled to a weapon damage roll that they just made.
Starting at 7th level, you can attack twice instead of once whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
At 11th level, your steely gaze causes lesser foes to falter before you. As an action, you may attempt to instill fear in one creature within 30 feet of you that can see you by making a DC 15 Charisma (Intimidation) check. The affected creature must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC equals the result of your Charisma check) or gain the Frightened condition. You may use this ability only once, regaining it after a short rest.
An End Worthy of Song
At 15th level, your stirring words help your allies stand against any challenge, even if it is to be their last stand. As an action, you can speak words of hope and valor that move you and all your allies within 30 feet, granting each of you a + 2 bonus on all attack rolls, a pool of temporary hit points equal to your Warden level, and immunity to being Frightened. This effect lasts a number of rounds equal to your Charisma modifier + 1 (minimum of 1). When this ability ends, all those affected lose any remaining temporary hit points they gained from this ability and suffer one level of exhaustion. You must take a long rest in a Sanctuary before you can use this ability again.
Bounders protect the simple folk so they can go about their lives untroubled by the dangers of the untamed wilderness. To walk the path of the Bounders is to be forever on the edge of the Wild, patrolling where the tilled green fields meet the edge of dark forests. Bounders are resilient and near tireless guardians who stay in the darkness, that others might thrive in the light.
Starting at 3rd level when you choose this expression, when a creature you can see attacks a target within 5 feet of you (other than yourself), you can use your reaction to impose a disadvantage on the attack roll.
At 7th level, you can use your reaction in order to interpose yourself in front of an attack meant for another. You make a Dexterity saving throw with a DC equal to the enemy's attack roll. If you succeed, the attack is automatically directed at you. If the ally you're trying to protect has one of your Warden's Gift dice, you may roll that die and add it to your AC against this attack only.
Starting at 15th level, your skill at protecting yourself and others reaches its zenith. You can use your action to utterly thwart your enemies. Choose any number of opponents within 10 feet of you whose total Hit Dice are equal to or less than your own number of Hit Dice. For the following round, these opponents do not roll their attack dice – all of their attacks automatically miss. You cannot use this ability again until you've taken a short or long rest.