Wizard Tradition: War Caster

Some old friends and I are going to be starting up a D&D game shortly. I’m pretty excited about it! Anyhow, I’ve got the hat of being the Dungeon Master this time around.

So, one of my players came to the group saying that he wanted to play a human, maul-wielding, war wizard. Sounds intriguing. He then presented a few ways he could go about doing it.

  1. Eldritch Knight – though, he wanted to remain a full caster, so this didn’t really suit his character.
  2. Wizard with the war caster feat – but this was a bit lacking and still forced an arcane tradition that didn’t suit his character.
  3. The Bladesinger arcane tradition from Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide – again, this basically forced him to be an elf, and was really around being dexterity based fighter/wizard combo.

So, what’s a DM to do?

I’m of the philosophy that D&D is about playing the type of character you want to play. I thought the concept was good, so I decided to come up with a new arcane tradition.

The primary things I liked about this tradition:

  1. It kept the fighter/wizard combo and the Eldritch Knight significantly better at combat, especially combat with multiple enemies.
  2. It kept the Bladesinger better at dexterous combat and also at multiple enemy combat.
  3. Provide my player with an opportunity to play something that fit his character without any big compromises.

Our campaign is using the spell points rule variant, so that is listed in the table for easier reference for my players.


Warchanters are wizards that understand that the realm of the world is more than just scholarly pursuits and fancy endeavors of intricate magical incantations. In order to survive, it is often better to blend in with the more common folk around you. To do that, one must also be able to take a punch and not retaliate with a chilling touch or a fireball to the face. If one isn’t careful, one might end up and the end of an angry mob of townsfolk.

Foregoing the more in-depth studies that typical wizards undergo, the Warchanter instead devotes oneself to the studies of martial combat.

Training in War and Chant

When you adopt this tradition at 2nd level, you gain proficiency with light armor, and you gain proficiency with one type of melee weapon of your choice.

You also gain proficiency in either the Athletics or Acrobatics skill if you don’t already have it.

War Chant

Starting at 2nd level, you can invoke a secret magical incantation called the War Chant. It graces you with supernatural combat abilities and focus.

You can use a bonus action to start the War Chant, which lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if you are incapacitated or your concentration is broken. You can also end your War Chant on your turn as a bonus action.

Once you have used your War Chant the number of times shown for War Caster Wizard level in the War Chant table, you must finish a long rest before you can perform the incantation again.

While your War Chant is active, you gain the following benefits:

  • You gain a bonus to your attack strikes equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of +1).
  • You gain a bonus to your AC equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of +1).
  • You gain advantage to any Constitution saving throw you make to maintain your concentration on a spell.
  • You can perform the somatic components of spells even when you have weapons or a shield in one or both hands.

At level 20, you have become infused with your War Chant ability such that it is always active so long as you are conscious.

Improved Chanter’s Armor

Starting at 6th level, you gain the medium armor proficiency.

War Strike

Starting at 6th level, while performing your War Chant, your weapon becomes infused with arcane magic. Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can cause the attack roll to deal an extra 1d8 damage of the same type dealt by the weapon to the target.

When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.

Greater Chanter’s Armor

Starting at 10th level, you gain the heavy armor proficiency.

Chant of Victory

Starting at 14th level, you add your Intelligence modifier (minimum of +1) to the damage of your melee weapon attacks while your War Chant is active.

Table 1: Warchanter
Class Level Proficiency Bonus Features Cantrips Known War Chants Spell Points Max Spell Level
1st +2 Spellcasting, Arcane Recovery 3 4 1st
2nd +2 War Chant Training 3 2 6 1st
3rd +2 3 3 14 2nd
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 17 2nd
5th +3 4 3 27 3rd
6th +3 War Strike, Improved Chanter’s Armor 4 4 32 3rd
7th +3 4 4 38 4th
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 4 4 44 4th
9th +4 4 4 57 5th
10th +4 Greater Chanter’s Armor 5 4 64 5th
11th +4 5 4 73 6th
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 5 5 73 6th
13th +5 5 5 83 7th
14th +5 Improved War Strike, Chant of Victory 5 5 83 7th
15th +5 5 5 94 8th
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 5 5 94 8th
17th +6 5 6 107 9th
18th +6 Spell Mastery 5 6 114 9th
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 5 6 123 9th
20th +6 Signature Spell 5 Unlimited 133 9th
Wizard Tradition: War Caster