Mythological Figures: Joan of Arc (5E)

The popular Mythological Figures series continues with another character for your 5E games! Born to a peasant family (although her father headed the local watch and collected taxes in addition to farming), Joan of Arc was raised inside of a territory loyal to the French but surrounded by pro-Burgundian forces (an alliance between some of the French aristocracy and England). Starting at the age of 13 she began to have visions of the saints beseeching her to drive out the English and see to the coronation of the Dauphin (Charles VII) to Reims as the rightful ruler of France.

There’s a fair bit of historical argument about exactly how involved or instrumental she proved to be in the Hundred Years War, but she definitely had a tangible effect. By the time Joan appeared the French were on a very long, brutal losing streak and many consider her treatment to be a reflection of how desperate things really were—which makes sense, because they really put a lot of faith into this crazy teenager. Good thing too because it paid off, leading to the coronation she was destined to make happen. You can read more about exactly how influential she was and the specifics over on Wikipedia, but after that things didn’t go so awesome for her (see the left side of the banner). In the end she became canonized as a saint and probably saved the French from an early defeat (although the Hundred Years War drags on for 22 years after her execution, her tactics were largely adopted by French forces).

As always the list of Mythological Figures on the docket grows so comment with who you want to make their way onto EN World! Next week, Aladdin will be making an appearance!

Joan of Arc
Medium humanoid (human), neutral good bard (valorous) 5/fighter (master of battle) 8/paladin 2

Armor Class
21 (platemail, shield, defensive fighting style)
Hit Points 107 (5d8+10d10+30)
Speed 30 ft.

16 (+3)12 (+1)14 (+2)14 (+2)10 (+0)16 (+3)

Saving Throws
Dex +6, Cha +9
Skills Animal Handling +5, Athletics +8, Insight +10, Medicine +5, Perception +5, Religion +12
Senses passive Perception 15
Languages Common
Challenge 12 (8,400 XP)

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

Background Feature: Divine Connection.
Joan devoutly believe she has a divine mandate to liberate France from the English.

Bardic Inspiration 1d8 (3/short rest).
As a bonus action on her turn, Joan can choose one other creature within 60 feet who can hear her. That creature gains one Bardic Inspiration die, a d8. Once within the next 10 minutes, the creature can roll the die and add the number rolled to one ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or weapon damage roll it makes. The creature can wait until after it rolls before deciding to use the Bardic Inspiration die, but must decide before the GM says whether a roll succeeds or fails. In addition, a creature can use its reaction when attacked to use the Bardic Inspiration die, adding the result to its AC and possibly causing the attack to miss.

Divine Sense (3/long rest).
As an action, until the end of her next turn Joan knows the location of any celestial, fiend, or undead within 60 feet of her that is not behind total cover. She knows the type (celestial, fiend, or undead) of any being whose presence she senses, but not its identity. Within the same radius, she also detects the presence of any place or object that has been consecrated or desecrated, as with the hallow spell.

Divine Smite.
When Joan hits a creature with a melee weapon attack, she 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: Inspirational.
When Joan spends 10 minutes speaking inspirationally, she can choose up to 6 friendly creatures (including herself if she likes) within 30 feet that can hear and understand her. Each creature gains 18 temporary hit points but cannot gain more temporary hit points from this feature until after they have completed a long rest.

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

Jack of All Trades.
Joan adds +2 to any ability check she makes that doesn’t already include her proficiency bonus.

Lay on Hands (10 points/long rest).
As an action, Joan can touch a creature and restore a number of hit points to it, up to the maximum amount remaining in this pool. Alternatively, she can expend 5 hit points to cure the target of one disease or neutralize one poison affecting it.

Maneuver Master (5d8 maneuver dice/short rest). Joan can expend a maneuver dice to perform a single maneuver with an attack.

  • Command. Joan uses her bonus action to forgo one of her attacks and direct a friendly creature who can see or hear her. The creature uses its reaction and makes a weapon attack, dealing 1d8 additional weapon damage on a successful hit.
  • Disarm. A creature Joan has hit with an attack takes 1d8 additional damage and makes a DC 16 Strength saving throw or drops one held item of her choice.
  • Precise. Joan adds 1d8 to a weapon attack roll.
  • Sweep. Joan chooses a creature adjacent to her target and within her reach and on a hit, the adjacent creature takes 1d8 damage (of the same type as the weapon attack).
  • Trip. Joan deals 1d8 additional damage and if the target is a creature of Large size or smaller, it makes a DC 16 Strength saving throw or is knocked prone.

Second Wind (1/short rest).
On her turn, Joan can use a bonus action to regain 1d10+8 hit points.

Spellcasting. Joan is a 6th level spellcaster that uses Charisma as her spellcasting ability (spell save DC 16; +8 to hit with spell attacks). She knows or has prepared the following spells:
Cantrips: mending, message, true strike
1st level (4 slots): bane, longstrider, healing word, heroism; bless, divine favor
2nd level (3 slots): enhance ability, zone of truth; aid
3rd level (3 slots): bestow curse, sending; revivify

Song of Rest.
After a short rest, if Joan or any friendly creatures who can hear her performance regain hit points by spending one or more Hit Dice, each of those creatures regains an extra 1d6 hit points.


Extra Attack. Joan attacks twice.

Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8+3) 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: +6 to hit, range 100/400 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d10+1) piercing damage.


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

Design Notes: It was really, really hard to decide on what sort of build Joan of Arc should have—she infamously preferred to wield her banner in battle (“forty times” better than a sword) but as an NPC it’s questionable if she’d be a lot of fun to encounter that way. Ultimately I settled on kicking her off with bard (all about inspiring others), fighter (to provide some oomph when engaged in combat), and then finally paladin (because while in this scenario she might have started out as sort of a crazy person, her faith is vindicated in the end).

If you’re looking for a more historically accurate version of Joan (not this glitzy-Hollywood-show iteration) take away the fighter and paladin levels:
  • drop her hit points by 75
  • reduce Saving Throws/Skills/spell save DC/Attack bonuses by -2 (Insight and Religion by -4)
  • Strength reduction of 2 (further lowering some skills and melee attack/damage by -1)
  • remove the defensive fighting style, Action Surge, Divine Sense, Divine Smite, Feat: Master of the Shield, Lay on Hands, Maneuver Master, Second Wind, and Extra Attack features
  • Inspirational only provides 8 temporary HP and Jack of All Trades goes down to a +1 bonus
  • for spells drop anything after semicolons along with one of her 3rd-level spell slots
  • put her in half plate (so AC of 18)
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Mike Myler

Mike Myler

Mike Myler

Have you been to yet?
If anything would justify a warlord build it would be Joan but I have one question, why does she have darkvision?

! That was a holdover from the little statblock tree I start building anything with (darkvision) and I've removed it (Joan does not have darkvision, or if she should, I didn't read about it). Sorry about that!

What book/Unearthed Arcana article does the Warlord appear in?


! ....
What book/Unearthed Arcana article does the Warlord appear in?
None that I know of, ;) I think Mike Mearls may have a stab at it on one of his twich design streams. But that said, massive inspiration, suicidal bravery and keeping the Fleur de Lys flying was Joan's sthick, get others to do the actual head bashing. If anyone ought to have a warlord build it should be Joan.

Mike Myler

Have you been to yet?
None that I know of, ;) I think Mike Mearls may have a stab at it on one of his twich design streams. But that said, massive inspiration, suicidal bravery and keeping the Fleur de Lys flying was Joan's sthick, get others to do the actual head bashing. If anyone ought to have a warlord build it should be Joan.

Ahhhh. Did some digging around and found someone compiled the info from his stream over yonder. To make Joan here a fighter (warlord), remove all her battle maneuvers and add the following:

Tactical Focus. As a bonus action or as part of the attack action, Joan can select an area on the ground that measures 10 feet on each side. This area is her tactical focus. It remains her tactical focus until she uses this feature again or she is unable to take actions. When Joan selects an area as her tactical focus, she chooses one of her Tactics to apply to that area. Each time she completes a long rest, she can swap one of her tactics for a different one.
  • Clear the Area. If an ally hits a creature in Joan's tactical focus with an attack, the ally can move that creature 5 feet in addition to the attack’s other effects.
  • Cover that Flank. When a hostile creature that Joan can see enters her tactical focus, up to three target creatures of her choice that can see the creature can use a reaction to move up to their speed. The targets cannot willingly end their movement in the tactical focus. A target creature that ends this movement adjacent to the triggering creature regains its reaction.
  • Get Down. If an allied creature in Joan's tactical focus must make a Dexterity saving throw, it can use its reaction to move up to its speed. If this movement takes it out of the range or area of the effect that caused the saving throw, it is no longer subjected to the effect.
  • Form Shield Wall. Allies in Joan's tactical focus gain a +2 bonus to AC while they are adjacent to an ally using a shield.

Tactical Gambits (3/long rest). Joan can use a gambit as an action. Each time she completes a long rest, she can swap one of her gambits for a different one.
  • Pile On. Joan selects a creature in her tactical focus that she can see. At the start of her next turn, that creature must make a DC 16 Constitution saving throw if Joan or an ally has hit it with an attack since she used this feature. It suffers disadvantage on the saving throw if it has been hit by three or more attacks. On a failed saving throw, the creature is stunned until the end of Joan's next turn. As part of this gambit, she may take the Attack action.
  • Pincers Movement. Up to two allies that can see or hear Joan can use their reactions to move up to their speed. Any creature adjacent to both of her allies or to Joan and one of the chosen allies at the end of their movement must make a Strength saving throw or become restrained until the end of her next turn. As part of this gambit, Joan may take the Attack action.

Tactician’s Insight (7/long rest). As a bonus action or as part of an attack action, Joan grants insight to herself or allies in her tactical focus. She can grant this benefit to herself and as many allies as she wishes in her focus, but she cannot expend more uses than she currently has.
A creature that gains Joan's insight can use it in two ways. It can regain 2d10 hit points immediately upon receiving it (if the creature would gain hit points that place it above its maximum, it gains the difference as temporary hit points). Alternatively, a creature can save the insight to use when it hits with an attack to increase the attack’s damage by 2d10.​

If anything would justify a warlord build it would be Joan
Most historical/mythological figures D&D has ever advanced as 'fighters' would probably work better as warlords, simply because fighter has always been that bad a class (yes, even in 3.5, when I loved the fighter class design, and 4e when it was a solid defender and better supported than any other class but wizard, it's just been bad at modeling martial characters from genre, let alone history).

But, yes, Historical Joan would be best modeled as a Warlord. Mythological Joan (actually empowered by God, with attendant overt supernatural powers), then Paladin for concept, or a write-up like this, with Bard (questionably, though the mechanics should be fine) standing in for divine inspiration.

What book/Unearthed Arcana article does the Warlord appear in?
It doesn't, that's why we need one. ;P

Von Ether

That pic looks so much like the actress Alexia Ioannides on Into the Badlands right now. There's a show that's got post-apoc D&D written all over it (just add monsters.)

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