Throughout history, there have always been conflicts that tend to turn boys into men through battle. However, for those that see constant struggle, death, and destruction, these conflicts will give the soldiers who take part in them a level of experience only obtainable during wartime.
Soldiers in Dungeons and Dragons are no different, as the subject for this article, the Veteran, can be a survivor of a long-standing war with more than enough experience to cause a party a great deal of pain.
What are: attributes and description
- Challenge Rating: 3 (700 XP)
- Armor Class: 17 (Splint Armor)
- Average Hit Points: 58 Hp (9d8+18)
- Movement Speed: 30 ft
- Skills: Athletics +5, Perception +2
- Senses: Passive Perception 12
- Languages: Any one language (Usually Common)
- Proficiency Bonus: +2
Veteran 5e description
Veterans are professional fighters that take up arms for pay or to protect something they believe in or value. Their ranks include soldiers retired from long service and warriors who never served anyone but themselves.
Multiattack: The veteran makes two Longsword Attacks. If it has a Shortsword drawn, it can also make a Shortsword Attack.
Longsword: Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) slashing damage, or 8 (1d10 + 3) slashing damage if used with two hands.
Shortsword: Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) piercing damage.
Heavy Crossbow: Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, range 100/400 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d10 + 1) piercing damage.
Advantages and drawbacks
- Incredibly High AC
The Armor Class for the Veteran is 17, making it the second-strongest creature in their Challenge Rating Class, with the Knight being the only thing with a higher AC. This makes it incredibly difficult for a player character to be able to hit them during combat.
The High AC also makes them a bigger target during combat, which could take the eyes off smaller, weaker enemies, such as Guards, who could attack the party members while focused elsewhere.
With the several different Melee weapons at the Veteran’s disposal, the monster can attack several times with their longsword during a combat encounter. To be able to do this gives the Veteran the option to multiattack; it allows the monster to hit a single target several times during their turn.
Not only does it give them a chance to deal more damage if both attacks connect to the target, but if one attack misses, then another one can have the chance to connect as well. As a bonus, if their shortsword is drawn, they can also make an extra attack with it for even more damage and hit chances.
- Ranged and Melee attack capabilities
The Veteran, given their experience, can utilize Melee and Ranged combat during a battle. This gives them a good amount of use in battle, charging into the fray to fight within the melee range of their targets and holding back to attack them from afar. This capability also makes them more usable in mixed groups of enemies and groups consisting solely of Veterans.
- High level of customizability
Similarly to the Guard, the Veteran can be customized to be more dangerous through various means of homebrewing. This can vary from being given different abilities in combat, different stats for their attributes, or a higher health pool, All of which can be used to make them stronger than the base stat block.
- Average Ability Score
Excluding the +3 to Strength, the Veteran has a set of Average Ability Score Modifiers. This means the Veteran will have a harder time succeeding on Saving throws involving the other ability scores when under the effect of a player’s spells.
Therefore, these rolls will mostly be made with either a +1 modifier or a flat die with no modifier to be able to try and succeed in the saving throw required.
Best uses for a Veteran in a Campaign
A small band of enemies
Thanks to their combat capabilities and experience, the Veterans can hold their own against a party at around level 10 or slightly lower. With some charging into battle and fighting the party at melee range and others attacking from range, they can give the party a run for their money in a fight with them.
A part of a mixed combat group
In a combined hostile group with Guards and Knights, the Veterans can mostly act as the ranged combatants, shooting at any targets not being attacked by the Knights or surrounded by the Guards. They can also do this to deal damage to the party while the Melee-focused enemies are currently closing the gap between themselves and the party.
The Veterans can be used to continue the story of the campaign in a similar manner to the Guards but through a different method. They could tell old war stories to the party to build up the lore of the world in which the campaign is taking place. Veterans could also tell the party hostile movements through interrogation methods after being spared from death in exchange for information.
Advice and final thoughts
The Veteran can be quite dangerous in a battle and can be used for many uses for whatever the Dungeon Master requires of them. They can be modified to become even stronger than they are, but the base stat block can be just as dangerous as a homebrewed Veteran.
These are impressive monsters to be used in a battle and are surprisingly strong for a CR 3 Monster. Overall, I recommend adding this monster into one’s campaign, specifically in an urban city center or as part of a bandit group.
Veteran 5e DnD FAQ
Do Veterans 5e get three attacks from their multi-attack if both swords are drawn?
They absolutely can, as the multi-attack states that they gain an attack with the shortsword drawn.
If Veterans are professional fighters, how do they lack the special features of that class, such as Second Wind and Action Surge?
Although there isn’t a proper answer for this, a Dungeon Master can modify them to have these special features, so they can utilize them in combat.
Can someone make a Veteran a Werewolf, making them stronger than normal?
A Dungeon Master can do so, though there are a couple of ways they can do this. One way is simply swapping between the two stat blocks when the Veteran transforms into a werewolf. Another method is simply to combine the two into a Veteran Werewolf Stat Block, or at least balance the power between the Veteran and the Werewolf stat blocks to make sure that this is not too overpowered of an enemy for a party to fight.