D&D 5E Mythological Figures: Achilles (5E)


Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?
D&D is itself an extension of mythology and sometimes it’s a good move for the GM to bring a proper legend into their game. Whether to have an epic NPC make an impact on the plot, slack a few jaws in awe, or just as a lark, this Mythological Figures column is bringing you the greatest figures of mythology with statistics for Fifth Edition!

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What better place to begin this series than the protagonist of the Illiad, slayer of Hector—that son of a nymph Achilles! Most people remember the legendary soldier from the Trojan War as an invincible warrior, made so by his mother Thetis dipping him into the River of Styx in his infancy. While this is definitely entertaining, it’s debatable if that’s the original story; some sources have his mother covering him with ambrosia then burning the mortal bits off, and in other parts of the epic poems he gets wounded elsewhere than his left heel. That’s the one players are most likely to expect though and we’ve got a feature to include to that effect.

Achilles
Medium humanoid (human), lawful neutral fighter (champion) 18

Armor Class
19 (breastplate, shield, fighting style)
Hit Points 135 (18d10+36)
Speed 40 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWIS CHA
16 (+3)14 (+2)14 (+2)12 (+1)15 (+2)13 (+1)

Saving Throws
Str +9, Con +8
Skills Athletics +9, Insight +8, Perception +8, Religion +7
Senses passive Perception 18
Languages Common
Challenge 12 (8,400 XP)

Bestowed Invulnerability. Achilles mother Thetis dipped him into the River Styx in his infancy, turning his skin nigh-invulnerable. He is immune to sneak attack damage, ignores extra damage from critical hits, and has resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage. A creature targeting Achilles' singular point of vulnerability (his left heel) has a -10 penalty on its attack roll, but on a hit the attack deals normal damage (ignoring the immunities and resistances of this feature).

Action Surge (2/short rest). Once on his turn, Achilles can take an additional action on top of his regular action and a possible bonus action.

Feat: Fortune Points (3/long rest). Achilles can spend one fortune point to reroll an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, or to force an attacker to reroll an attack made against him.

Feat: Leader's Words. Achilles can inspire up to six creatures friendly to him (or up to five creatures and himself) that are within 30 feet of him and can see him, or hear him and understand him. Any that listen to Achilles' inspiring speech for 10 minutes gain 19 hit points. Temporary hit points can only be gained from this feature once per short rest.

Feat: Mobile. Achilles can Dash through difficult terrain without requiring additional movement. Whenever he makes an attack against a creature, he doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks from that creature until the end of his turn.

Feat: Soldier Tactics. A creature hit by Achilles’ opportunity attack reduces its speed to 0 until the beginning of the next round and disengaging from Achilles still provokes opportunity attacks. In addition, Achilles can use his reaction to make a melee weapon attack against a creature within 5 feet when it makes an attack against a target other than Achilles.

Indomitable (3/long rest). Achilles can reroll a saving throw that he fails but must use the new roll.

Remarkable Athlete. Achilles adds +3 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 4 feet.

Second Wind (1/short rest). On his turn, Achilles can use a bonus action to regain 1d10+18 hit points.

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

Survivor. At the start of each of his turns, Achilles regains 7 hit points if he has no more than half of his hit points left. He doesn’t gain this benefit if he has 0 hit points.

ACTIONS

Multiattack. Achilles attacks three times.

Shortsword.
Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d6+5) piercing damage.

Spear.
Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d6+5) piercing damage, or 7 (1d8+3) piercing damage when thrown.

Longbow.
Ranged Weapon Attack:
+8 to hit, range 150/600 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8+2) piercing damage.

Lancelot, Robin Hood, Daedalus, and Sun Wukong are on the docket but post below with who you want to see next!
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I feel like what would work best for Achillies is that he can't take any damage. Unless it's a disadvantaged crit. Which kills him on the spot hitting his heel.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I feel like what would work best for Achillies is that he can't take any damage. Unless it's a disadvantaged crit. Which kills him on the spot hitting his heel.

I guess it depends how you want to interpret the legend. IIRC doesnt hesuffer minor injuries in the Iliad, so he’s not actually completely invulnerable? But that would be a totally valid version. Would increase the CR a bit.

And in that version, it’s not that his heel is super sensitive or anything. I’m trying to remember, but he doesn’t just drop dead when Paris shoots him, does he? It’s just that his heel isn’t invulnerable. It’s the same as the whole of everybody else.
 

Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?

Surely we can #DoBetterThanDrow! Also Drizzt isn't a mythological figure I don't think, he's a literary figure (which is to say he's a creation still owned by an entity). If the character isn't in the public domain, chances are good they are not mythological. Beowulf and Grendel? Different story. :)

I feel like what would work best for Achillies is that he can't take any damage. Unless it's a disadvantaged crit. Which kills him on the spot hitting his heel.

I guess it depends how you want to interpret the legend. IIRC doesnt hesuffer minor injuries in the Iliad, so he’s not actually completely invulnerable? But that would be a totally valid version. Would increase the CR a bit.

And in that version, it’s not that his heel is super sensitive or anything. I’m trying to remember, but he doesn’t just drop dead when Paris shoots him, does he? It’s just that his heel isn’t invulnerable. It’s the same as the whole of everybody else.

So basically what happens if you say "double crit on disadvantage" (which was the initial plan btw) is that somebody negates the disadvantage with true strike or something, which makes it a 1/20 chance (rather than 1/400) chance. As its written above (-10), that still leaves room for Achilles to be fun to use/fight (because disadvantage/advantage will still have weight) while discouraging the use of the power feats (Great Weapon Master for example).

I did make one small cut that you'd enjoy I reckon:
For near-complete invincibility, increase Achilles’ challenge rating by +1, give him immunity to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage, and change the penalty to attack his left heel to -5.

If you really want to go Unus the Untouchable with Achilles, leave it at -10 (and only increase CR by +2 if the party has no primary spellcasters.)
 
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Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
Ulysses / Odysseus
Sir Percival (or some other "mere mortal" member of the Round Table)
Merlin
King Richard the Lion-Hearted - and of course Saladin
Jason (and the Argonauts?)
Somebody from 1001 Arabian Nights, if there are any recurring characters
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Lancelot. Merlin. Odysseus. Rasputin. Conan. Blackbeard. Miyamoto Musashi. Hercules. Thor. Loki. Dracula. Frankenstein’s Monster. Santa. Robin Hood. Sheriff of Nottingham. Puck. Spring-heeled Jack. The Black Knight. The Green Knight. Julius Caesar. The Fisher King. Gawain.
 
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Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
Confucius (as a benevolent power behind the throne)
Baba Yaga
Imhotep (I think: Ancient Egypt, said to have invented bureaucracy and built the first pyramid)

I don't know enough American Indian - or Subcontinent India - mythology, but there has to be somebody with a neat story to tell, from both places.
 

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