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  • Building a Warforged in 5E

    May 03, 2024 5 min read

    Author: Chris Katrev

     

    Warforged have become a beloved choice among players in 5th Edition Dungeons &Dragons since their debut in "Eberron: Rising From The Last War." The concept of magical constructs imbued with sentience has captivated imaginations, offering a fresh and thrilling take on the fantasy genre.

    Exploring Warforged Traits

    Despite having only three primary decision points in their racial traits—namely, ability score increases, a tool proficiency, and a skill proficiency—Warforged are remarkably flexible and straightforward to play.

    Ability Score Increase

    Your Constitution score increases by 2, and one other ability score of your choice increases by 1. The implementation of the custom origin rules in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything had minimal impact on the Warforged. The primary change introduced was the flexibility to allocate the +2 Constitution increase to a different ability score. While this alteration may seem subtle, it offers players the opportunity to optimize their builds further.

    Constructed Resilience

    Forged for the rigors of battle, Warforged exhibit unparalleled resilience and endurance. Their bodies are imbued with innate defenses, granting them advantages against poison and resistance to its harmful effects. They require no sustenance, air, or rest in the traditional sense, rendering them immune to disease and the need for sleep. Magic, too, fails to subdue them with slumber, underscoring their unwavering vigilance.

    Sentry’s Rest

    During periods of rest, Warforged enter an inactive state akin to meditation, rather than succumbing to sleep. While motionless, they maintain awareness of their surroundings, remaining vigilant against potential threats. This state of sentry's rest ensures their readiness for any unforeseen dangers.

    Integrated Protection

    Warforged defensive structure is fortified with built-in layers, which can be augmented by additional armor. You gain a +1 bonus to your Armor Class. You are proficient only with armor that you have been trained to use. To incorporate armor other than a shield, you must meld it into your body over the course of 1 hour, maintaining physical contact throughout. Removing the armor requires a similar duration of 1 hour. However, you can rest during the process of donning or doffing armor. As long as you are alive, the armor fused with your body cannot be forcibly removed against your will.

    Specialized Design

    Each Warforged gain proficiency in a skill and a tool of their choosing, reflecting their diverse backgrounds and aptitudes.

    Languages

    Warforged possess the ability to communicate in Common as well as one additional language of their choosing.

     

    Exploring Warforged Class Options

    Warforged are renowned for their adaptability, ranking second only to Variant Humans in versatility within Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition. Let's delve into the myriad possibilities that Warforged offer across various classes:

    Artificer

    Warforged are a natural fit for the Artificer class, boasting increased Constitution and a bonus to Armor Class. With a focus primarily on Intelligence, the single flexible ability increase complements the class perfectly. For those opting for the Battlesmith subclass, envision being a robotic duo—master and pet—on the battlefield, an experience sure to delight.

    Barbarian

    Channel the raw power of the Barbarian class with a Warforged, enhancing their Strength and donning medium armor for unstoppable resilience. Their innate resistance to poison and immunity to disease and sleep augment the Barbarian's already incredible durability. In fact, the Warforged might even surpass the Mountain Dwarf as the sturdiest Barbarian option available.

    Bard

    With a Warforged Bard, the bonus to Armor Class enhances options like the College of Valor and College of Swords, ideal for spellcasters engaging in melee combat. While spellcasting remains the primary focus, the added defense from a shield and one-handed instrument ensures survivability even amidst the fray.

    Cleric

    Elevate your Cleric to new heights by boosting Wisdom and achieving the highest Armor Class among Clerics. Utilize the free skill proficiency in Perception to capitalize on your heightened awareness and resilience during long rests.

    Druid

    Despite the usual poor Armor Class of Druids, Warforged excel, particularly with Circle of Spores thanks to their Constitution increase and bonus armor. Embrace your connection to nature while maintaining heightened awareness.

    Fighter

    The marriage of Warforged and Fighter simplifies character customization, guaranteeing durability and effectiveness. Regardless of preferred play style, confidence in durability remains unwavering.

    Monk

    Warforged Monk builds benefit from the bonus Armor Class and Constitution increase, mitigating the low hit dice. Though some traits may become redundant at higher levels, custom origin rules offer the option to redistribute increases to Dexterity and Wisdom, resulting in unmatched Armor Class potential.

    Paladin

    Unleash the full potential of the Paladin class with a Warforged, ensuring unparalleled durability and survivability. Choose between a two-handed weapon or a shield for impenetrable defense on the battlefield.

    Ranger

    Enhance your Ranger's durability and skills with a Warforged, bridging the gap between Ranger and Rogue while mastering the wilderness.

    Rogue

    Though bonus Armor Class may seem less crucial for Rogues, the added durability serves as valuable insurance for a class often embroiled in perilous situations.

    Sorcerer

    While the concept of bloodlines may seem peculiar for a race without blood, Warforged Sorcerers find their niche. Opt for a Draconic bloodline for exceptional Armor Class potential, coupled with defensive spells like Shield for unparalleled durability.

    Warlock

    The Warforged Hexblade offers increased durability, offsetting their d8 hit dice and enabling extended periods in melee combat with enhanced survivability.

    Wizard
    While Wizards typically avoid combat scenarios that challenge the durability of Warforged, their Constitution and Intelligence bonuses ensure resilience and effectiveness.

     

    Exploring Warforged Feat Options

    Here are some feats that can complement the unique traits and abilities
    of Warforged:

    Heavy Armor Master

    For Warforged proficient in heavy armor, taking this feat is a natural choice. It provides damage reduction against non-magical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage, enhancing their already formidable durability in combat.

    Medium Armor Master
    Warforged proficient in medium armor don’t get disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks and increase their Armor Class bonus, making them great Dexterity based tanks.

    Tough
    With their increased Constitution score and innate resilience, Warforged make excellent candidates for the Tough feat. It increases their hit point maximum, making them even more difficult to take down in battle.

    Resilient

    Warforged characters can further enhance their already impressive saving throw proficiency with the Resilient feat. Choosing Constitution as the ability score, this feat grants proficiency in Constitution saving throws, increasing their resilience against spells and other effects.

    Alert
    With their Sentry's Rest trait, Warforged already have heightened awareness during rest periods. The Alert feat further enhances their vigilance by granting a bonus to initiative rolls and preventing them from being surprised.

     

    Exploring Warforged Background Options

    Warforged can fit into a variety of backgrounds depending on their past experiences, training, and purpose. Here are some backgrounds that can be particularly suitable for Warforged characters:

    Guild Artisan

    Warforged artisans or craftsmen who were created to serve a specific guild or organization may find this background fitting. It provides proficiency in a relevant artisan's tool and insight into the workings of trade and commerce.

    Soldier

    Warforged created for combat or military purposes are often well-suited for the Soldier background. It provides proficiency in Athletics and Intimidation, reflecting their training and experience on the battlefield.

    Far Traveler

    Warforged who have ventured far from their place of creation, seeking to understand the world and their place in it, may resonate with the Far Traveler background. It provides insight into the customs and languages of distant lands, reflecting their experiences as explorers.

    Haunted One

    Warforged who have endured traumatic experiences or have mysterious origins may find this background compelling. It offers unique role-playing opportunities and provides proficiency in additional skills such as Arcana or Religion.

    Urban Bounty Hunter

    Warforged who operate as mercenaries, trackers, or bounty hunters in urban environments may find this background suitable. It grants proficiency in relevant skills such as Stealth and Investigation and access to underworld contacts.

    In conclusion, Warforged stand as resilient and adaptable beings in the world of Dungeons & Dragons. With their unique blend of mechanical prowess and sentient consciousness, they offer players a captivating avenue for exploration and role-play.