Arcanists and divine sages know that life is brought forth by an intricate form of magic that ignites the organs and mind. Certain organs can be extracted of their essential alchemical properties for rituals or even spell components, not just from creatures or beasts but from humanoids as well. Dragon blood for example is magically potent, unicorn blood provides a semblance of longevity and immortality. While most humanoid races might not share a dragon’s potency in their blood, there is still an essence of the raw, dormant energy that can be extracted to fuel spells, magic items, and even potions.

The art of blood magic has an uncertain history of when it was first implemented or how the practice started but it was most certainly developed by foul cultists and refined by vile creatures like vampires and demons.

Blood as a Component

Blood can be implemented as a component for spells and even for potions. Blood, sometimes flesh, have medicinal properties that be combined into an elixir to relieve ailments and even some diseases (no seriously check out “Corpse Medicine”, it’s pretty awesome stuff).

Blood as a Spell Material Component: To use as a spell material component, the spellcaster may expend one of their hit dice, roll the die and take necrotic damage equal to the result. This damage ignores resistance and immunity. The blood component can replaced up to 5 gp worth of spell components for a spell. The caster can expend additional hit die to raise the spell components worth to 10 gp, and an additional 10 gp for every hit die expended after the 2nd.

Blood as Potion Component: A caster can craft a potion and add blood as a component to the item instead of expending spell slots. The caster must expend a number of hit dice, roll them and take necrotic damage equal to their results. This damage ignores resistance and immunity. The amount of hit dice required is based on the rarity of the potion.

 

Blood Component for Potions

# of Hit Dice Rarity
1 Common
2 Uncommon
3 Rare
4 Very Rare
5 Legendary

Blood Magic – a pathway to gore and power

There are spellcasters and practitioners who not only learn of the power of blood but how to exploit its potential for greater gains. A path few dare to learn, but those who master these techniques and skills become masters of an art that none can compare.

Blood Mage

Blood Mage, Image by Wizards of the Coast
Blood Mage, Image by Wizards of the Coast

Prerequisites:

  • Constitution 13. Blood mages need to be sturdy and possess fortitude to handle pain.
  • Proficiency in the Arcana Skill. Blood magic requires an understanding of the fundamentals of spells.
  • Proficiency in the Medicine Skill. Blood magic requires some rudimentary understand of blood and other bodily functions.
  • Character level 7th. Blood magic awakens in individuals who possess a strong life force.
  • Near-Death Experience. The blood mage must delve to the cusp of death’s embrace, the blood mage just have been reduced to 0 hit points and made Death saving throws. Whether or not the mage succeeded in their Death saving throws is irrelevant, the purpose is for the mage to hear the call of the lifeforce latent within their blood.

Class Features

Hit Dice: 1d8 per blood mage level
Hit Points per Level: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per blood mage level.

Proficiencies: None.
Saving Throws: You gain proficiency with Constitution saving throws.
Skills: None.

Blood Mage

Level Features Spellcasting
1 Blood Magic, Durable Casting +1 existing spellcasting class
2 Crimson Gaze +1 existing spellcasting class
3 Unnatural Endurance +1 existing spellcasting class
4 Bloodwalk +1 existing spellcasting class
5 Avatar of Blood, Ichor Empowerment +1 existing spellcasting class

Blood Magic: Starting at 1st level, you can expend your blood to gain temporary spell slots to cast your spells. You can transform a number of hit dice into one spell slot as a bonus action, roll the hit dice expended and you take necrotic damage equal to the total result. You can only create spell slots no higher in level than 5th. This damage ignores resistances and immunity.

Durable Casting: At 1st level, you become mentally capable of withstanding pain while concentrating on your spells. You have advantage on Constitution saving throws that you make to maintain concentration on a spell when you take damage.

Crimson Gaze: Starting at 2nd level, you gain the ability to detect blood from a distance and cause blood to bubble and boil within living foes. You can determine the condition of creatures near death within a 30-foot radius centered from you. You know whether each creature within range that you can see are dead, bloodied (alive but below 50% of their maximum hit points), fighting off death (above 50% their maximum hit points), healthy, undead, or neither alive or dead (such as a construct). This ability sees through any spell or ability that allows a creature to feign death.

As an action, you make a number of creatures you see within range have their blood boil. For 1 minute, the affected creature when you use this ability and at the start of its turn, it must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 1d8 acid damage and 1d8 fire damage. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage. At 5th level, this ability deals an additional 1d8 acid and 1d8 fire damage. This feature does not affect creatures that lack blood such as constructs, plants, oozes, elementals, and some undead.

Unnatural Endurance: When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 hit point instead. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

Bloodwalk: At 4th level, you become attuned to the song of blood and gain the supernatural ability to transport yourself great distances via the blood of living creatures. As an action, you make a melee spell attack roll to seamlessly enter any living creature of equal size or larger adjacent to you to pass any distance to another living creature within the same plane. You merely designate a direction and distance, this feature will transport you to a destination to as close as possible to the desired location. He can’t specify a named individual as the endpoint unless he has previously obtained a sample of that creature’s blood and has it preserved in a vial that he carries. The entry and exiting creatures need not be familiar to you. A missed melee spell attack does not expend this feature. When exiting a creature, you choose an adjacent spot to appear, entering and exiting a creature are painless unless you specify otherwise.

If you choose to attempt a bloody exit from the creature you exit. The exiting creature must make a Constitution saving throw against your spell save DC. On a failed save, the creature takes 2d6 necrotic damage per every blood mage level (up to 10d6 necrotic damage at 5th level). On a successful save, the creature takes half damage. Additionally, you must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be stunned for 1 round from the shock of the expulsion.

Once you use this feature (regardless if you choose a bloody exit or not) again until you finish a long rest.

Ichor Empowerment: Starting at 5th level, whenever you reduce a hostile creature to 0 hit points, you gain temporary hit points equal to your Charisma modifier + twice your blood mage level (minimum of 1).

Avatar of Blood: At 5th level, you master a forbidden technique to become a conduit of blood and power. By using an action, you activate a potent aura that extends within a 30-foot radius centered on you that lasts for 1 minute. While this aura is active, blood seemingly rushes to you from dying (reduced to 0 hit points and unconscious) or recently dead creatures, effectively healing your wounds and reinvigorating you. At the start the start of your turns, you regain a number of hit dice for every creature within range of the aura that are dead or dying (up to a maximum of 5). You also heal 2 hit points for every hit dice you gain through this feature. You cannot use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

Additionally, you only receive half the amount of hit points from magical healing effects or features due to the physical and spiritual strain the body has suffered. Natural healing from rests and blood mage class features function as normal.


New Blood Spells

A vampire mage using blood spells, Image by Wizards of the Coast
A vampire mage using blood spells, Image by Wizards of the Coast

Along with some new rulesets and prestige class, in a previous article on Spells from Azuroth, I introduced spells with inherit blood cost components in their spell descriptions. We will introduce some more unique custom spells that utilize the built-in blood component.

Black Claw Ripper
1st-level evocation

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V,S
Duration: Instantaneous

A black claw made of energy emerges from your shadow and strikes a foe within range. Make a ranged spell attack roll against the target. If the attack hits, the creature takes 2d6 necrotic damage.

At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot 2nd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for each slot above 1st.

Blood Magic: You expend one hit dice, roll the die and take necrotic damage equal to the result. The damage ignores resistances and immunities. If the attack is a critical hit, you have the target bleed from its wounds, taking an additional 1d4 necrotic damage at the start of its turns until it is magically healed.

***

Caustic Ichor 
4th-level conjuration
Casting Time: 1 reaction
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Instantaneous
Your blood sprays and turns acidic and the creature that damaged you is momentarily covered in burning blood. The creature must make a Dexterity saving throw. It takes 4d8 acid damage and blinded on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one and not blinded.
Blood Magic: You expend 4 hit dice, roll the dice and take necrotic damage equal to the result. The damage ignores resistances and immunities. The spell deals an additional 4d8 fire damage.

***

Blood Crystal Curse
7th-level necromancy

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S, M (garnet or red quartz)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

You focus on a living creature, forcing their blood to turn in hard crystal until their entire body is a solid piece of crystal. If the targets body is made of flesh, the creature must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, it takes 6d6 piercing damage and is restrained as blood vessels crystalize and extrude from the creature’s skin to harden. On a successful save, the creature is unaffected.

A creature restrained by this spell must make another Constitution saving throw at the end of each of its turns. If it successfully saves against this spell three times, the spell ends. If it fails three times, it turns into a large red quartz crystal and subjected to the petrified condition for the duration. The success and failures don’t need to be consecutive, keep track of both until the target collects three of a kind. Additionally, if the creature is reduced to 0 hit points, it becomes a crystal and subjected to the petrified condition for the duration.

If the creature is physically broken while petrified, it suffers from similar deformities if it reverts to its original state.

If you maintain your concentration on this spell for the entire possible duration, the creature is turned to crystal until the effect is removed.

Blood Magic: You expend up to4 hit dice, roll the dice and take damage equal to the result. The damage ignores resistances and immunities. For each hit dice expended, increase the piercing damage by 1d6. You can expend 8 hit dice to give the target disadvantage on its next Constitution saving throw against this spell.

***

Sanguine Claws
2nd-level transmutation

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 minute

Blood encase your hands, arming them with sharp jagged ichor claws that lasts for the duration. When you cast the spell, you can make a melee spell attack against a creature within 5 feet of you. On a hit, the target takes slashing damage equal to 2d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier.

As an action, you can repeat the attack against a creature within 5 feet of you.

For the duration of the spell, you cannot perform spells that require somatic components as you are treated as holding weapons in both hands.

At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot 3rd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for every two slot levels above the 2nd.

Blood Magic: You can expend 2 hit dice, roll the dice and take damage equal to the total result. The damage ignores resistances and immunities. The attacks with the claws now deal necrotic damage. You can expend 1 hit dice during the duration of the spell to increase the range of your attacks to a creature within 10 feet from you until the end of your turn.


Thank you so much for reading. It was a lot of material to cover, I plan to create something for the DMsGuild for some of these rules and mechanics later on and will update this article accordingly. Please like, comment, and share. If you want to stay updated with me, please follow our Facebook and Twitter. We have an Instagram for behind the scenes Team BAJA D&D campaign pics and boardgaming fun. We have a donate button, if you wish to help us run the site please click on the link. If you have any questions or inquiries, please email me at: archmage@deathbymage.com. Thanks again and we’ll see you all soon. 

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