Mythological Figures: Sir Lancelot
  • Mythological Figures: Sir Lancelot (5E)


    Welcome to the second installment of Mythological Figures, a column for introducing icons from history to your Fifth Edition game. Last post featured Achilles but today we’re pushing the clock forward to the Arthurian age to design Camelot’s second greatest—and perhaps most beleaguered—knight: Lancelot du Lac!




    Raised by the Lady of the Lake, it’s no wonder that Sir Lancelot is so wrapped up in contradiction. Despite being a naturally talented knight and a genuine friend to King Arthur, ultimately his love for Queen Guinevere leads him to betrayal. Vanquisher of Méléagant, frequently masquerading tournament knight, battling away the affections of Morgan le Fay, pining over the queen until his death 6 weeks after hers, ending his later penitent years as a priest.

    As with the last post let us know who you want to see next!

    Lancelot
    Medium humanoid (human), neutral good fighter (champion) 7/paladin (oath of devotion) 6

    Armor Class
    20 (plate mail, shield)
    Hit Points 119 (14d10+42)
    Speed 30 ft.

    STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
    16 (+3) 11 (+0) 17 (+3) 13 (+1) 9 (-1) 14 (+2)

    Saving Throws
    Str +5, Dex +4 (with shield), Con +5, Int +3, Wis +6, Cha +9
    Skills Animal Handling +4, Athletics +8, Deception +7, Perception +4
    Condition Immunities disease
    Senses passive Perception 14
    Languages Common
    Challenge 12 (8,400 XP)

    Action Surge (1/short rest). Once on his turn, Lancelot can take an additional action on top of his regular action and a possible bonus action.

    Aura of Protection.
    Whenever Lancelot or a friendly creature within 10 feet of him must make a saving throw, the creature gains a +2 bonus to the saving throw as long as he is conscious (included above).

    Channel Divinity (1/short rest).
    Lancelot can channel his divinity through the two following features.
    Sacred Weapon. As an action, Lancelot imbues one weapon that he is holding with positive energy. For 1 minute, he adds +2 to attack rolls made with that weapon. The weapon also emits bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light 20 feet beyond that. If the weapon is not already magical, it becomes magical for the duration.
    Lancelot can end this effect on his turn as part of any other action. If he is no longer holding or carrying this weapon, or if he falls unconscious, this effect ends.
    Turn the Unholy. As an action, Lancelot presents his holy symbol and speaks a prayer censuring fiends and undead, using his Channel Divinity. Each fiend or undead that can see or hear him within 30 feet must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw. If the creature fails its saving throw, it is turned for 1 minute or until it takes damage.
    A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from Lancelot as it can, and it can’t willingly move to a space within 30 feet of him. It also can’t take reactions. For its action, it can use only the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there’s nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action.

    Divine Sense (5/long rest).
    As an action, until the end of his next turn Lancelot knows the location of any celestial, fiend, or undead within 60 feet of him that is not behind total cover. He knows the type (celestial, fiend, or undead) of any being whose presence he senses, but not its identity. Within the same radius, he also detects the presence of any place or object that has been consecrated or desecrated, as with the hallow spell.

    Divine Smite.
    When Lancelot hits a creature with a melee weapon attack, he can expend one spell slot to deal radiant damage to the target, in addition to the weapon’s damage. The extra damage is 2d8 for a 1st-level spell slot, plus 1d8 for each spell level higher than 1st, to a maximum of 3d8. The damage increases by 1d8 if the target is an undead or a fiend.

    Feat: Master of the Shield.
    While he has his shield, Lancelot adds +2 to Dexterity saving throws against spells or other harmful effects that only target him and he can use a bonus action to use it to shove a creature within 5 feet.

    Lay on Hands (30 points/long rest).
    As an action, Lancelot can touch a creature and restore a number of hit points to it, up to the maximum amount remaining in this pool. Alternatively, he can expend 5 hit points to cure the target of one disease or neutralize one poison affecting it.

    Remarkable Athlete.
    Lancelot adds +2 to any Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution check he makes that doesn’t already use his proficiency bonus. In addition, when he makes a running long jump, the distance he can cover increases by 3 feet.

    Second Wind (1/short rest).
    On his turn, Lancelot can use a bonus action to regain 1d10+7 hit points.

    Spellcasting.
    Lancelot is a 6th-level spellcaster that uses Charisma as his spellcasting ability (spell save DC 15; +7 to hit with spell attacks). Lancelot has the following spells prepared from the paladin’s spell list:
    1st level (4 slots): bless, divine favor, heroism, protection from evil and good, sanctuary
    2nd level (2 slots): aid, lesser restoration, magic weapon, zone of truth

    Superior Critical.
    Lancelot’s weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 18–20.

    ACTIONS

    Extra Attacks.
    Lancelot attacks twice.

    Longsword.
    Melee Weapon Attack:
    +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d8+5) slashing damage if wielded in one hand or 8 (1d10+3) slashing damage if wielded in two hands.

    Dagger.
    Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack:
    +8 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/40 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4+3) piercing damage.

    Heavy Crossbow.
    Ranged Weapon Attack:
    +5 to hit, range 100/400 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d10) piercing damage.

    REACTIONS

    Feat: Master of the Shield.
    Lancelot can reflexively protect his body with his shield. When he is subjected to an effect that allows him to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, Lancelot can use his reaction to take no damage if he succeeds on the saving throw.

    Feat: Master of the Sword.
    Lancelot can use his reaction when wielding a sword to gain a +1 bonus to his AC until the start of his next turn or until he is disarmed. In addition, Lancelot has advantage on opportunity attacks.
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    Comments 63 Comments
    1. henry marin's Avatar
      henry marin -
      Supposedly the greatest swordsman of the round table has 11 dexterity?
    1. Kobold Boots -
      I guess in reply I'd state that -

      Being the best swordsman out of 13 or so folks could very well just mean that he took a feat. AND
      I'm sorry that you chose to register, linger for 9 months, and have your first post on the site be a possibly negative one.

      Be well
      KB
    1. Tony Vargas -
      Why MC fighter? Isn't Lancelot the archetypal Paladin?

      Quote Originally Posted by henry marin View Post
      Supposedly the greatest swordsman of the round table has 11 dexterity?
      If you want to be great with a longsword while wearing full plate, yeah, not much call for DEX in 5e.
    1. Kobold Boots -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
      Why MC fighter? Isn't Lancelot the archetypal Paladin?
      Fallen paladin maybe. Can't go schtuping other people's wives.
      IMHO - Gawain for the win.
    1. dave2008's Avatar
      dave2008 -
      Thank you again!
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Galahad is the archetypical paladin; he’s the purest of the knights. Lancelot, on the other hands, may be the strongest at arms, but he’s a failure as a paladin.
    1. RobertBrus's Avatar
      RobertBrus -
      "How dare you sir, how dare you!" suggesting that Sir Lancelot was a mythical figure. He was real, and could not be defeated, except by love.
    1. Dragonhelm's Avatar
      Dragonhelm -
      Legends and Lore from 2nd edition has Lancelot's stats as such:

      Fighter 18

      Str 18/00
      Dex 18
      Con 18
      Int 14
      Wis 13
      Cha 18

      AC-3
      MR 10%
      MV12
      HP 159
      AL LG
      THACO 0
      #AT2
      Dmg 1d8/1d8
      (sword) +6

      Don't know if that helps or not, but thought it worth mentioning.
    1. Mike Myler's Avatar
      Mike Myler -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kobold Boots View Post
      Fallen paladin maybe. Can't go schtuping other people's wives.
      IMHO - Gawain for the win.
      This zeroes in on something I figured the thread would get into--exactly what kind of paladin Lancelot is. Is he a proper paladin? Should he be broken oath? I obviously am not of the opinion he's in the latter (dude is atoning all the time) but Claudio Pozas (who is an awesome guy all around and appearing on Dragon Talk today at 5PM EST) had a great suggestion for this.
      Quote Originally Posted by Claudio Pozas View Post
      I'd say Paladin until he does the tango with Guinevere (forsakibg his wife). Then I'd create a new "Broken Oath" archetype.
      Oath of Penitence would grant benefits when the paladin is under half hp, as he is strengthened by his sacrifice. If he fails a death save while defending an innocent, I'd have him heal and stand up (for example).
      It would be awesome to hear suggestions on what else to give him (both crunch and fluff), but I say we start with Claudio's suggestion. When this is all done I'll add it into the original post (along with a penitent oath straight-paladin version of Lancelot) and credit folks.

      Oath of Penitence
      You may take this oath at any time after you have already broken your original paladin oath twice. You must seek absolution each time. Upon the third breaking of your paladin oath, you may select the Oath of Penitence. You lose the benefits of your previous oath and replace them with features from the Oath of Penitence.

      Table: Oath of Penitence Spells
      Level Spell
      3rd searing smite, wrathful smite
      5th warding bond, zone of truth
      8th glyph of warding, remove curse
      13th death ward, divination
      17th commune, hallow

      Channel Divinity
      When you take this oath, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.
      Martyr. When you are reduced to 0 hit points while defending an innocent, you can use your reaction to regain hit points equal to 2d10 + double your paladin level.
      Sacred Weapon. As an action, you can imbue one weapon that you are holding with positive energy, using your Channel Divinity. For 1 minute, you add your Charisma modifier to attack rolls made with that weapon (with a minimum bonus of +1). The weapon also emits bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light 20 feet beyond that. If the weapon is not already magical, it becomes magical for the duration.
      You can end this effect on your turn as part of any other action. If you are no longer holding or carrying this weapon, or if you fall unconscious, this effect ends.

      Aura of Penitence
      Starting at 7th level, you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you have advantage on Charisma (Deception) and Charisma (Persuasion) checks made while apologizing or asking for forgiveness.
      At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

      Hedonist Zealot
      Also at 7th level, you recognize that an element of your soul is forever embroiled, learning to respect and even benefit from this inherent, primal flaw. You have disadvantage on ability checks and saving throws to resist a source that has caused you to break your previous paladin oath. Otherwise the turmoil that encompasses your thoughts lights a fire in your heart, granting you 1 additional hit point per paladin level and advantage on saving throws to resist the charmed condition.

      Sentinel
      Beginning at 15th level, you become a master of melee. You gain the following benefits:
      • A creature hit by your opportunity attack reduces its speed to 0 until the beginning of the next round.
      • Disengaging from you still provokes opportunity attacks.
      • You can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against a creature within 5 feet when it makes an attack against a target other than you.

      If you already possess a feat with the same name as this class feature, you may select a different feat instead.

      Remorseful Avenger
      At 20th level, as an action, you can draw out the turmoil within to shroud yourself in power. For 1 minute, you gain the following benefits:
      • You gain 150 temporary hit points.
      • Your reach increases by 10 feet.
      • You gain the Protection fighting style. Unlike normal, you may use the Protection feature on creatures within 15 feet of you and do not require a shield. If you already know this fighting style, you may choose another fighting style to benefit from.



      Post with your ideas on what a penitent paladin should have!
    1. Ed Laprade's Avatar
      Ed Laprade -
      Sir Prancealot was invented by the French to try to steal the thunder from the English King Arthur stories. (Well, they stole them from the Welsh, so I guess fair's fair.)
    1. Tony Vargas -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kobold Boots View Post
      Fallen paladin maybe. Can't go schtuping other people's wives.
      IMHO - Gawain for the win.
      Gawain had very little Paladiny going for him - Galahad/Parsifal is probably who you're thinking of, and, yes, he's a classic Paladin, too...

      But, since the original Paladin has rules for what happens when you fall (you become a mere fighter), I think that makes Lancelot /the/ archetype.
    1. Kobold Boots -
      So since we're talking about zeroing in on Lancelot post Guinevere and coming up with cool stuff, it might be helpful for me to go high level on what the lore says happened to them. This may impact abilities for the post-schtuping.

      1. 12 knights burst in on Lance and Guin doing the nasty.
      2. Lance ended his life a peasant
      3. Guin ended up in a nunnery

      Now that's really high level but it didn't end well. How they got there is something I'd figure out before assigning post-fall stats because regardless of what happened in between (which should be specific to a specific campaign) if you're interested in keeping to some canon there you go.

      Lancelot did not exist pre-romance/pre-Catholicism* so if you're not down with that canon make your own.

      *if you have a reference that refutes this, send it to me via PM.

      Thanks
      KB
    1. Kobold Boots -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
      Gawain had very little Paladiny going for him - Galahad/Parsifal is probably who you're thinking of, and, yes, he's a classic Paladin, too...

      But, since the original Paladin has rules for what happens when you fall (you become a mere fighter), I think that makes Lancelot /the/ archetype.
      Frigging autotype (don't ask)

      Yes, Galahad. Good catch. Grail knight.

      Edit - However, looking back at the source material relative to Lancelot's inclusion in the legends.. Gawain took an oath of abstinence. It was one of the moral juxtapositions that put them at odds. I will agree that I initially was thinking Galahad when writing Gawain and Gawain was an autotype error due to my recent writing, but there was a good reason why the brain didn't fix it before hitting post.
    1. Mike Myler's Avatar
      Mike Myler -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kobold Boots View Post
      So since we're talking about zeroing in on Lancelot post Guinevere and coming up with cool stuff, it might be helpful for me to go high level on what the lore says happened to them. This may impact abilities for the post-schtuping.

      1. 12 knights burst in on Lance and Guin doing the nasty.
      2. Lance ended his life a peasant
      3. Guin ended up in a nunnery

      Now that's really high level but it didn't end well. How they got there is something I'd figure out before assigning post-fall stats because regardless of what happened in between (which should be specific to a specific campaign) if you're interested in keeping to some canon there you go.

      Lancelot did not exist pre-romance/pre-Catholicism* so if you're not down with that canon make your own.

      *if you have a reference that refutes this, send it to me via PM.

      Thanks
      KB
      A solid point! I don't anticipate the full-paladin rebuild to take him up to 15th level, so don't feel bound to Lancelot-cannon for the latter features but when suggesting something inside of his level range include any resources that make sense for it.
    1. dave2008's Avatar
      dave2008 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dragonhelm View Post
      Legends and Lore from 2nd edition has Lancelot's stats as such:

      Fighter 18

      Str 18/00
      Dex 18
      Con 18
      Int 14
      Wis 13
      Cha 18

      AC-3
      MR 10%
      MV12
      HP 159
      AL LG
      THACO 0
      #AT2
      Dmg 1d8/1d8
      (sword) +6

      Don't know if that helps or not, but thought it worth mentioning.
      Interesting, that differs from is 1e Deities and Demigod stats:

      Paladin 20

      Str 19
      Dex 18
      Con 18
      Int 14
      Wis 13
      Cha 18

      AC-3
      MR standatd
      MV12 (6 in armor)
      HP 141
      AL LG

      #AT 2
      by weapon +3/+7
    1. Mike Myler's Avatar
      Mike Myler -
      1E Lancelot was keeping it in his pants, then 2E happened and he fell, and now we're in 5E where we can have both
    1. BookBarbarian's Avatar
      BookBarbarian -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      Galahad is the archetypical paladin; he’s the purest of the knights. Lancelot, on the other hands, may be the strongest at arms, but he’s a failure as a paladin.
      It's true. Galahad is the most pure. Just look at him in Castle Anthrax:

      Name: Monty-Python-and-The-Holy-Grail-monty-python-18764142-500-277.jpg ► Views: 811 ► Size: 40.9 KB
    1. Mike Myler's Avatar
      Mike Myler -
      Quote Originally Posted by BookBarbarian View Post
      It's true. Galahad is the most pure. Just look at him in Castle Anthrax:

      Name: Monty-Python-and-The-Holy-Grail-monty-python-18764142-500-277.jpg ► Views: 811 ► Size: 40.9 KB
      Name: arthur-5e.jpg ► Views: 847 ► Size: 640.5 KB
    1. Jacob Lewis's Avatar
      Jacob Lewis -


      Clearly, he has Dex 12! Or he's ignoring the rules with all those attacks of opportunities...
    1. Dragonhelm's Avatar
      Dragonhelm -
      Quote Originally Posted by dave2008 View Post
      Interesting, that differs from is 1e Deities and Demigod stats:

      Paladin 20

      Str 19
      Dex 18
      Con 18
      Int 14
      Wis 13
      Cha 18

      AC-3
      MR standatd
      MV12 (6 in armor)
      HP 141
      AL LG

      #AT 2
      by weapon +3/+7
      It's only slightly different. That's pretty darn close!

      I think I would go with the fighter class and maybe the cavalier subclass. I could see several different ways of going, though.
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