Mythological Figures: King Arthur

Mike Myler

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Today's entry in Mythological Figures is none other than Arthur Pendragon, King of Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table. I’ve been avoiding this character for some time for a simple reason—he is easily one of the most enduring popular mythological figures in human history.


What we do know is that there likely was some fellow named Arthur going about fighting Saxons in the late 400s and early 500s but there is a tremendous amount of folklore that’s come in his wake in the millennium and a half since then. Whether or not he made as big of an impact as some schools of thought claim (killing 960 men by his own in the Battle of Badon, for instance) is still a matter of academic debate.

Design Notes:
For our purposes here I decided to gauge him against the other Knight of the Round Table but with a focus on the royalty aspect—what I consider to be the best known part what with him being a king and all—and that he’s the center of the Arthurian legend. With that in mind I opened the throttle up and put him near 20th level, with a nod towards fighter battlefield tactics (taken from Mike Mearls’ warlord class work) and a heavy shoulder into divine sovereignty of rule via paladin.

King Arthur
Medium humanoid (human), neutral good fighter (warmaster) 4/paladin (oath of royalty;)) 15
Armor Class 19 (scale mail, shield, defense fighting style)
Hit Points 142 (19d10+38)
Speed 30 ft.
16 (+3)​
14 (+2)​
14 (+2)​
12 (+1)​
12 (+1)​
18 (+4)​
Saving Throws Str +13, Dex +6, Con +12, Int +5, Wis +5, Cha +8
Skills Athletics +9, History +7, Insight +7, Persuasion +10
Condition Immunities disease
Senses passive Perception 11
Languages Common (Anglo-Saxon)
Challenge 12 (8,400 XP)

Background: Noble - Lordship. Due to his lordship King Arthur receives a measure of respect wherever he goes. He is treated as royalty (or as closely as possible) by most peasants and traders, and as an equal when meeting other authority figures (who make time in their schedule to see him if requested to do so).

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

Aura of Courage. King Arthur and friendly creatures within 10 feet of him can’t be frightened while he is conscious.

Aura of Protection. Whenever King Arthur or a friendly creature within 10 feet of him must make a saving throw, the creature gains a +4 bonus to the saving throw as long as the King Arthur is conscious (included in his statistics).

Channel Divinity (1/short rest). King Arthur can channel his divinity through the two following features.
Royal Challenge. King Arthur calls out a provocation to creatures he selects that are able to see him and with 30 feet. A challenged creature makes a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw or can’t choose to move further than 30 feet away from King Arthur until he dies, is incapacitated, or a creature is moved more than 30 feet away from him by another effect.
Warrior Rally. King Arthur can use a bonus action to call out a rallying cry to creatures he selects that are able to see him and within 30 feet. If a selected creature has no more than half of its hit points, it regains 1d6+4 hit points.​

Cleansing Touch (4/long rest). King Arthur can use his action to end one spell on himself or on one willing creature that he touches.

Divine Sense (5/long rest). As the paladin class feature.

Divine Smite. When King Arthur 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 5d8. The damage increases by 1d8 if the target is an undead or a fiend.

Lay on Hands (75 points). As an action, King Arthur 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.

Royal Fortitude. King Arthur has advantage on saving throws made to resist the paralyzed and stunned conditions.

Second Wind (1/short rest). On his turn, King Arthur can use a bonus action to regain 1d10+4 hit points.

Spellcasting. King Arthur is a 15th-level spellcaster that uses Charisma as his spellcasting ability (spell save DC 18; +10 to hit with spell attacks). He has the following spells prepared from the paladin’s spell list:
1st-level (4 slots): bless, command, compelled duel, detect evil and good, detect magic, divine favor, shield of faith
2nd-level (3 slots): aid, find steed, lesser restoration, warding bond, zone of truth
3rd-level (3 slots): aura of vitality, magic circle, remove curse, spirit guardians
4th-level (2 slots): banishment, death ward, guardian of faith

Tactical Focal Point.
King Arthur selects a 10-foot square to be his tactical focal point as a bonus action or as part of the attack action, choosing one of the following benefits to apply to it. This lasts until he cannot take actions or uses this feature again. Each time King Arthur completes a long rest, he can swap one of these benefits for a different one.

  • Area Clear. When an ally inside King Arthur’s focal point hits a creature with an attack, the ally can move that creature 5 feet.
  • Cover the Flank. As many as three target creatures of King Arthur’s choice can use a reaction to move up to their speed when an enemy that he can see enters his focal point, so long as that movement does not end in the focal point. If a target creature is ending their movement adjacent to the enemy that triggered this feature, they do not have to use their reaction.
  • Run Away! When an ally inside of King Arthur’s focal point is forced to make a Dexterity saving throw, they moves up to their speed by using their reaction and are no longer subjected to the triggering effect if their movement takes them outside of the area or range.

Tactical Mastery (3/long rest).
King Arthur uses part of his Attack action or a bonus action to take mastery of the battlefield, granting it to himself and allies within his focal point by expending uses of this feature. A creature that is granted a use of King Arthur’s Tactical Mastery can either regain 2d10 hit points when it is granted (any hit points greater than its maximum are temporary hit points) or use it to deal an extra 2d10 damage with an attack.

Extra Attack. King Arthur attacks twice whenever he takes the Attack action on his turn.

Enchanted Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (1d8+6) magical slashing damage plus 4 (1d8) radiant damage.

Heavy Crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, range 100/400 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d10+2) piercing damage.

Loyalty to the Crown. King Arthur can use his reaction to take the damage from an attack that would otherwise damage a creature within 5 feet of him. He is unable to reduce or prevent the damage he takes from this attack.
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