Demon Killing Brothers - The Winchester Hunter Subclass for the Fighter
So this fighter subclass should have been a no-brainer. I’m a little disappointed in myself that it took me so long to think up a subclass for Sam and Dean Winchester. Supernatural has been one of my favorite shows over the past decade, and it’s about time someone made a homebrew for them. That someone is me.
Supernatural has been around for 14 seasons, and this upcoming 15th season will be its last. The Winchester brothers, along with an assortment of supporting characters throughout the show, have been fighting demons, devils, undead, gods, and anything else you can think of that is from earth, heaven, hell, purgatory, etc. Unfortunately for the Winchester’s friends, none have survived very long. Sure, Castiel is still around, but he is an angel after all, which is not to say a countless number of angels haven’t died. Castiel is the Winchesters best friend, source of reason, and guiding light (Unless he’s God or filled with Leviathans). They also had to fight some pretty evil people through the series, but a majority of the abilities listed below focus on fiends and the undead.
The biggest issue in making this subclass was, after 14 seasons, there were so many directions you could go and so many abilities you could give the subclass. I gave some thought to adding additional fighter attack/damage bonuses since they spend so much time fighting. I also thought about a taunt like ability, since Dean can piss off even the most calm and serene of people. A resurrection ability was on the table too, because we all know how many times the brothers have come back from the dead. In the end, the following abilities are where I landed, and I tried to make sure that the traits of both brothers were included throughout the progression of levels.
For those that don’t want my thought process behind the Winchester Hunter:
For best results in GM Binder, use a Chrome Browser
At 3rd level, you gain the ability to use your divine knowledge to use a limited set of spells from the Cleric spell list. I had to make a couple tweaks to what would normally be viewed as the Eldritch Knight subclass. First, only being able to learn Abjuration and Divination to start spells fits into the flavor what I was trying to accomplish. Conjuration was originally on the starting list, since the Winchesters summon everyone from minor demons to Death himself (or herself after they kill death), but it just didn’t feel right. Once the characters reach higher levels, they do gain the ability to pick from all the schools of magic. Experience does come with its benefits after all. There was some discussion about using Paladin spells instead of Cleric spells, but the Winchesters weren’t exactly Holy Warriors, and the only oath they took was to each other.
The other adjustment made was that their spell casting ability is based on Intelligence and not Wisdom. I fought long hard hard with Stephen about this. He believes that their magic powers came from a divine power, hence wisdom. I see how in the last 4-5 season that can be argued. I went more old school, (season 1-6) and said that their “spell casting” ability came from study, much like a wizard. How many times did we see the boys spend hours and hours of study, usually by Sam, while Dean ate crappy food and looked at Asian porn? Oh, and since it’s my subclass, I got final say. So if you think it should be wisdom, put that in the comments below. It will make Stephen feel superior and lord it over me. (Joking aside, a quick thank you to Stephen for helping me with this, as he does with all my articles)
Speak with the Devil
This one is pretty straight forward. In the show, the boys could talk to every single fiend they came across. I’m pretty sure that not all of them spoke English, but who wants subtitles on your favorite show? Being able to speak Abyssal and Infernal makes it easier for those players, who are playing the role of Dean, to insult the fiends until they fly into a rage.
I See You
At 7th Level, as a bonus action, you can get advantage to all saving throws as long as you can see the creature. Once the creature disappears from you sight, or you hit a different creature, you can say goodbye to your advantage.
Looking back at some of the older episodes, the Winchesters got their asses kicked when they couldn’t get a line of sight on the creature they were fighting. Sure, they got their asses kick almost every week, but they really struggled with those beings that could pop in and our of their view. They always figured out a way to negate this effect by keeping the creature visible, trapped on the material plane, or limiting the creature’s ability to teleport. Once they were able to do that, victory was theirs. So being able to see the creature equals good things for the Winchesters, which in turn equals good things for you.
Well Sam, I think I Know What We Are Dealing With Here (It’s not the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man)
At 10th level you have spent so much time fighting fiends and undead, that you gain an innate sense to tell when they are nearby. As an action, you can learn the location of any fiend or undead within 60 feet of you, unless they have total cover.
You can use this feature a number of times equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier. When you finish a long rest, you regain all expended uses.
Hell/Heaven Wants You Back
At 15th level, The Hunter has the tools at his disposal to return all fiends and celestials whose Challenge Rating is equal to or less than one fourth your Fighter level (rounded up). This means that at 16th level, you can target a CR 4 celestial or fiend.
As an action, one fiend or celestial that can see or hear you must make a Charisma saving throw against your spell save DC. On a fail, they are returned to their home plane, and cannot return for 24 hours. You may use this ability once per long rest.
After the first couple of seasons, when it became blasé for the Winchester to just fight the traditional creatures that go bump in the night, the boys started to fight demons and deal with a host of assbutt celestials. So what did they do? They learned how to banish them, whether by casting out the demons from their host bodies, or zapping them back to where the came from. Problem was, those same creatures usually came back in a later episode really annoyed. How many times did they banish Crowley back to Hell, only for him to show up next episode?
The Arrival of Castiel
Starting at 18th level, you can summon a celestial of CR 5 or lower. This being will be friendly towards you and your friends, and will remain with you for 24 hours. The celestial being will not take commands or sacrifice itself for the party, but will fight along side the party to the best of its abilities. Once you have used this ability, roll a 1d6 to determine how many days it takes before you can use it again.
Castiel was introduced in the 1st episode of season 4, bringing Dean back from Hell after he was shredded by a bunch of hellhounds. Since then, he was been a fan favorite and permanent fixture in Supernatural. Sure, he goes to the dark side every so often, but he always comes back to save Sam and Dean. So, I wanted the Hunter to be able to summon a best friend like the Winchesters have in Castiel, hence the ability.
So there it is, the Winchester Hunter subclass. I know there are a ton of passionate Supernatural fans out there and not all will agree with how this was built. I look forward to constructive criticism, as it can only make our products better in the future!