Dungeons & Dragons 5e: 10 Things You Need To Know About The Blood Hunter Class (2023)

Wizards of the Coast's 5th edition is starting the new year with expanded content andadditional classes, including the extremely cool updated Blood Hunter class. Blood Hunters are dark, troubled monster hunters who have taken on forbidden magic to help better understand and track down their enemies.


Blood Hunters sacrifice some of their own health to perform rituals that empower them against the beasts, devils, and aberrations that they hunt. If you're interested in building a Blood Hunter in your next campaign, you may find the following facts helpful in creating your new Witcher-inspired character.

10 Blood Hunter Was Created By Critical Role's Matt Mercer...

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Critical Role Dungeon Master and Overwatch voice actor Matthew Mercer is responsible for creating this new D&D class. Mercer has before, and he said the Blood Hunter was the first homebrew class that he made in 2015.

He recently updated the class for a charity auction, and it is now available on DMs Guild for "Pay What You Want" pricing. Mercer has now created several well-known official and homebrew concoctions, include the Echo Knight class and the Totem of the Duck Barbarian path.

9 ...For Vin Diesel's D&D Obsession

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Mercer explains that his first iteration of the class was "originally spawned as a handful of variant abilities [he] designed for Vin Diesel guesting on [the] D&Diesel one-shot to promote his film 'The Last Witch Hunter.'" Mercer says he was given no context for Diesel's character other than the movie trailer, and the internet was "loudly requesting" that Mercer release Diesel's character class.


Mercer felt that the design of Diesel's Witch Hunter class was ", [and] as I learned more and more over time, I found it necessary to rebuild from the ground up." The new Blood Hunter class, released in January 2020, reflects more balanced and elegant tweaks in design.

8 You Use The Power Of Blood Magic

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The core flavor of the Blood Hunter is the arcane magic of "Hemocraft," using blood rituals and rites to perform magical spells that make the Blood Hunter effective at doing their job. Hemocraft allows blood hunters to empower their weapons, sear arcane brands or make blood curses on their enemies, and sacrifice some of their own hit points to amplify their damage.

Hemocraft-related abilities sometimes require Intelligence-based saves to resist the blood magic effects and their damage is determined by a Hemocraft die that improves as you level.

7 You Get Ranger & Warlock Vibes With Martial Class Features

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The Blood Hunter definitely appears to be an edgier version of the somewhat maligned Ranger 5e class, but it also combines some Warlock class flavor with the martial Fighter class. The new 2020 version of the Blood Hunter class now favors Dexterity and Intelligence over Strength and Wisdom from Mercer's old homebrew version.

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The Blood Hunter has less HP than the average fighter and needs to use their HP to amplify blood curses, so they are not as good at being the front liner in the party.They do have the classic Fighter extra attack at level 5 and a fighting style choice at level 2 (you can choose from archery, duelist, two-weapon fighting, great weapon fighting), so they fit nicely as a flexible physical damagedealerfor your team.

6 You Get Crimson Rites

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Crimson Rites allow you as a Blood Hunter to activate some form of elemental energy to add to your weapon attack, at the cost of a little HP. You start off at level 2 with the option to choose fire, lightning, or cold damage.

Later on, at higher levels, you can start dealing necrotic, psychic, and thunder damage. At level 6, you can also brand a creature for free with your Crimson Rite, letting you track the target creature and force it to take psychic damage whenever it attacks you or your friends.

5 You Also Get Blood Curses

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Blood Hunters can choose certain Blood Maledicts based on level and subclass that curse their enemies. Some of the coolest, most horrific blood curses include: Curse of Bloated Agony, Curse of the Anxious, and Curse of the Fallen Puppet. Bloated Agony lets you make a creature painfully swell until the end of your turn, giving it a disadvantage on Strength and Dexterity checks and dealing necrotic damage every time it attacks.

Curse of the Anxious allows your friends to have an advantage on Intimidation checks on the cursed target. And Fallen Puppet allows you to possess a recently fallen creature and make it attack a nearby target with its final blow.

4 You Can Fight Ghosts

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The Order of the Ghostslayer is the first of four subclass choices for Blood Hunter. You might be wondering, do ghosts even have blood to slay? Turns out, the Ghostslayer uses their own blood to perform rituals against otherworldly beings. Like the protagonist of Bloodborne or Demon Slayer, Ghostslayers go around hunting the dead, the undead, and the abominations that plague the fantasy world.


Ghostslayers can deal radiant damage, move through enemies, and at highest levels, turn into a ghostly fighter upon death. They use Hemocraft to harness power from the ethereal and can exorcise fellow allies from charm, fright, and possession effects with their 15th level blood curse.

3 You Can Be A Werewolf

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Want to play a werewolf? Then the Order of the Lycan is just for you. These Blood Hunters seem to have inherited the vibes of the Gangrel and Brujah classes from the Vampire: The Masquerade RPG system. They believe the best way to beat your enemies is to become them.

As a Lycan Blood Hunter, you have heightened senses and can transform into a wolf-like creature as a bonus action (similar to some druids). In lycanthrope form, you have Barbarian-like resistance to damage, a chance to accidentally frenzy attack a neighbor, and stronger unarmed melee attacks. At higher levels, you can also regain HP thanks to your super healing powers.

2 You Can Be A Witcher

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This order is the self-experimenting, bioengineering breed of hunter,inspired by the likes ofFull Metal Alchemist and the Witcher. According to the Mercer's Players Guide, "over generations of experimentation, a splinter order of blood hunters began to emerge, one that focused on brewing toxic elixirs to modify their capabilities in battle, altering their blood and, over time, become something beyond what they once were."


As a mutant blood hunter, you are immune to poison and consume potions called "mutagens" that give you temporary special power but with bad side effects. Some of the coolest mutagens include becoming able to fly, gaining dark vision, getting increased critical hit range, and gaining a whole additional use of your Blood Maledict.

1 You Can Just Be A Warlock

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The Order of the Profane Soul subclassis basically a warlock but as a half-caster. When you choose to become a Profane Soul, you make a deal with some extra-worldly creature and can now follow a Warlock patron like the Archfey, the Hexblade, or the Great Old One (for maximum Cthulhu fun).

You gain Pact magic and warlock spells based on your chosen patron. You might see some similarities of this class to the Eldritch Knight fighter class, which draws from a limited wizard spell list for its magic. Profane Souls are another way to have fun with the Warlock spell list.


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