Critical Role’s Oath of the Open Sea and Way of the Cobalt Soul Available Free
Critters watching the most recent episode of Critical Role on Oct. 15 witnessed a wonderful surprise when Fjord chose his paladin Sacred Oath. Dungeon Master Matt Mercer wove this critical character choice into the adventure narrative during a very cool scene that ended with the Mighty Nein’s warlock-turned-paladin taking his Sacred Oath of the Open Sea. I can only imagine how many other people beside myself immediately started searching around online to find out more details. Thankfully it wasn’t long before Mercer shared the information that this new paladin Sacred Oath for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons is available for all to see over at D&D Beyond. As an extra special bonus another custom subclass appeared as well and 5E D&D players can now follow the Way of the Cobalt Soul for their monk characters too.
New character options for 5E D&D
Beauregard Lionett and Fjord Stone are both members of the Mighty Nein, the adventuring group in Critical Role’s second campaign. Beau and Fjord, seen in the fantastic illustration of official character art created by Ariana Orner up above, each follow a custom character subclass created my DM Mercer. Now both of those options are publicly available for players to see and play in their own 5E D&D games. You can find both of them along with all the other subclasses given with the monk and paladin. To use them for character creation make sure to turn on Critical Role Content on the Home tab.
One critically important aspect to this Sacred Oath to keep in mind is it was created as homebrew specifically for Travis Willingham’s character. This means you may feel like it’s unbalanced in your own games but the design intent is for the player to have fun with their character in their campaign.
“The Oath of the Open Sea calls to sea-faring warriors, swashbuckling sailors, and journeying guardians who seek the thrill of an endless horizon. Driven to seek the adventure and mystery across and beneath every endless oceanic expanse, paladins who swear this oath stand against those who would deny the liberties afforded to likeminded travelers, rooting out the tyrannical and corrupt that claim any shore. Such guardians believe in the natural beauty of the sea, often making offerings and prayers to entities or deities like the Wild Mother or Storm Lord that influence safe passage, while often feeling called to hunt those monstrosities that seek to terrorize and spoil the waters with wanton violence and ill intent.”
These paladins receive a terrific mix of utility spells like expeditious retreat and freedom of movement along with some destructive elemental magic.
Raising a sea mist to obscure an area and drawing on the power of the tide to push creatures away make for two great options for this paladin’s Channel Divinity.
Aura of Liberation
A paladin who takes the Oath of the Open Sea projects an aura that keeps themselves and allies slippery to the grasp of enemies, protecting those in the area from being grappled or restrained.
With this feature the paladin gains an alternative to attacks of opportunity by summoning crashing waves to bludgeon enemies who attempt to get away and knock them prone. Even better it can be used when creatures enter your melee range as well as when they exit!
These mighty paladins evoke the spirit of bold high seas adventure with a variety of benefits to movement and defenses.
This clever twist on a Monastic Tradition first appeared several years ago now. It’s undergone a few revisions over time and Mercer shared this openly with the 5E D&D community. The current and more than likely final version now exists through D&D Beyond.
Driven by the pursuit of knowledge and their worship of the Knowing Mentor, the archives of the Cobalt Soul stand as some of the most well-respected and most heavily guarded repositories of tomes, history, and information across Exandria. Here, young people seeking the clarity of truth and the strength of knowledge pledge to learn the arts of seeking enlightenment by understanding the world around them, and mastering the techniques to defend it. To become a Cobalt Soul is to give one’s self to the quest for unveiling life’s mysteries, bringing light to the secrets of the dark, and guarding the most powerful and dangerous of truths from those who would seek to perverse the sanctity of civilization.
Keyed to a monk’s Flurry of Blows this analytical combat strike provides insights into a creature’s attributes and marks them as analyzed, giving these monks a special reaction they can use to attack such creatures whenever the analyzed creature misses the monk with an attack.
A special nerve strike prevents a creature from speaking a deliberate lie and makes them more susceptible to Charisma checks.
Cobalt Soul monks balance rigorous mental training along with boasting impressive physical features and this one grants you an additional language and skill proficiency. At later levels you gain these benefits again and you can instead double your proficiency bonus in the same skill if you desire.
Mind of Mercury
Using ki to take an additional reaction is phenomenal. ‘Nuff said!
Another feature keyed to Flurry of Blows, this time you can spend ki to give a creature vulnerability to a damage type of your choice.