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Merlin (Myrddin Wyllt)

Merlin, Myrddin Wyllt
Gustave Dore (1832-1883), “Viviane et Merlin se reposant dans la forêt”

A Powerful magic user Merlin was the son of no human father, but of an Incubus,a male succubus. Merlin’s mother Shortly after his birth intrusted him to a powerful magic user who used a Holy symbol to save her unborn child from the clutches of evil, though brought up as human he retained many marks of his denomic origin.

Born at least three generations before Arthur, served several kings, including Arthur’s father, Uther, acting as an advisor, seer, and magician. He is a grizzled old with a long white beard and hair, though he is also surprisingly agile and hardy for his appearance. His supernatural heritage gives him the ability to regenerate 1 hp per round and is responsible for his unusually high Intelligence, which renders him immune to 1st level illusion spells.

Merlin is often credited with supernatural prophetic abilities, but this assumption is not exactly accurate. He has an intense interest in divination magic, which he often uses in attempt to foresee the future.

Though he has a good heart, people often regard Merlin surly and impatient. This is because he rarely tolerates fools and never tolerates selfish or evil people. Merlin’s one weak spot, however, is his love for a pretty face – more than one woman has made a fool of him.

Mythological Figures: Merlin Ambrosius (5E)


Mythological Figures: Merlin Ambrosius (5E) | EN World | Dungeons & Dragons | Tabletop Roleplaying Games

Merlin’s historical origins are a wee bit difficult to pin down. What I’m confident putting here is that he’s the amalgamation of more than one man—whether that’s the druidic fellow Tolstoy talks about and a very early advisor, or a third or fourth alternate, I’ll leave to scholars more invested into the sprawling story than myself. I’ve read through a few pages and watched a couple documentaries, and at this point have gotten more confused than anything else. There does seem to be general agreement that his father was a fiend however, and that’s included below. Most of my concerns lay in what Merlin’s statistics ought to be, and for that I fell back on to the OSR builds.

Design Notes: You can go look it up but other D&D designers decided to give Merlin a druid/wizard build and I’m continuing in that tradition. There aren’t RAW rules for above 20th characters however, and though I am wont to do so I’ve done gone and jumped the fence so he can get that full-blown wild shape and knowledge of 9th level spells (non-ritual spells anyway) instead of just spell slot access. The Ageless feature is also not RAW, but everything else (ability scores, proficiency bonus, many, many features) is straight out of the core (using the monster progression for proficiency, obviously). For the numbers-oriented among you that crunch out his CR it should be one lower but I reckoned that all those spell slots merited an extra little bump.

Merlin Ambrosius
Medium humanoid (tiefling), neutral good wizard (illusionist) 17/druid (herdmaster) 8

Armor Class 
18 (mage armor, ring of protection, staff of power)
Hit Points 120 (17d6+8d8+25)
Speed 30 ft.

10 (+0)​14 (+2)​12 (+1)​20 (+5)​18 (+4)​10 (+0)​

Saving Throws
 Str +3, Dex +5, Con +4, Int +16, Wis +15, Cha +3
Skills Arcana +13, History +13, Insight +12, Investigation +13
Damage Resistances fire
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Investigation 28, passive Perception 19
Languages Common, Druidic, Infernal, Sylvan
Challenge 20 (25,000 XP)

Background: Scholar. Acumen or fate gently nudges Douban toward the answers to his questions. When he fails to recollect or discover more about a subject of lore, he knows where or whom can give him that information (usually from an athenaeum, library, institute of higher learning, another scholar, or mystical creature). The lengths to which he must go to acquire this information and the feasibility of doing so is entirely at the GM’s discretion.

Ageless. Merlin does not age, cannot suffer from frailty of old age, die from old age, or be aged magically.

Arcane Recovery (1/day). When Merlin finishes a short rest, he can choose to recover expended spell slots of a combined level that is equal to or less than 9th-level (although no single recovered spell may be higher than 6th-level).

Augmented Summoning. When Merlin conjures a fey or beast, the creature gains 2 hit points per Hit Die, and damage from its natural weapons is considered magical for the purpose of overcoming immunity and resistance to nonmagical attacks and damage.

Feat: Brilliant. Merlin always knows how long it will be before the next sunset or sunrise, the northerly direction, and can perfectly remember anything he’s experienced within the last 31 days.

Feat: Perceptive. Merlin is able to read lips.

Feat: War Magic. Merlin has advantage when he is concentrating on a spell and has to make a Constitution saving throw from taking damage, he can wield weapons or a shield in both hands and still make somatic components for spellcasting, and can use his reaction to cast a spell (maximum casting time: 1 action) at a creature that provokes an opportunity attack from him.

Improved Figments. Merlin is able to simultaneously create a sound and image when he casts minor illusion.

Infernal Legacy. Merlin can cast hellish rebuke as a 2nd-level spell (DC 16), and he can cast darkness. These spells use Charisma for his spellcasting ability and once Merlin has cast one of them, he cannot cast it again until he finishes a long rest.

Instant Mirroring (1/short rest). Merlin can use his reaction when he is attacked by a creature to create an illusory duplicate of himself. The creature attacks this illusion, causing it to dissipate, and the attack misses Merlin.
Malleable Figments. Merlin can use an action to to alter his own illusion spells so long as the spell has a duration of at least 1 minute.

Owl Spirit (1/short rest). Merlin can use a bonus action to conjure an incorporeal owl at a point he can see within 60 feet. He can also use a bonus action to move the owl up to 60 feet to a point he can see. The owl remains for 1 minute or until Merlin is incapacitated. You and your companions have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks while within 30 feet of the owl, and when a creature within 30 feet of the owl makes an attack roll Merlin can use his reaction to grant advantage to the creature’s attack roll.

Spellcasting. Merlin is a 20th-level spellcaster that uses either Intelligence^ or Wisdom* as his spellcasting ability (spell save DC 21^ or DC 20*; +15^ or +14* to hit with spell attacks). Merlin has the following spells prepared from the wizard^ and druid* spell lists, although it is rumored that he’s gathered the formula for all arcane magic in his countless tomes:

  • Cantrips: acid splash^, fire bolt^, mage hand^, minor illusion^, prestidigitation^, ray of frost^; druidcraft*, guidance*, mending*; thaumaturgy
  • 1st-level (4 slots): detect magic^, mage armor^, magic missile^, shield^; cure wounds*, thunderwave*
  • 2nd-level (3 slots): arcane lock^, locate object^; animal messenger*, enhance ability*, pass without trace*, spike growth*
  • 3rd-level (3 slots): counterspell^, dispel magic^, fireball^, lightning bolt^, major image^, protection from energy^; conjure animals*, meld into stone*, speak with plants*
  • 4th-level (3 slots): confusion^, dimension door^, stoneskin^; freedom of movement*, hallucinatory terrain*, wall of fire*
  • 5th-level (3 slots): hold monster^, scrying^, telekinesis^
  • 6th-level (3 slots): true seeing^
  • 7th-level (3 slots): teleport^
  • 8th-level (3 slot): power word stun^
  • 9th-level (2 slot): foresight^

Wild Shape (2/short rest). Merlin can use his action to magically assume the shape of a beast that he has seen before that has a maximum CR of 1. He can stay in a beast shape for 4 hours. Merlin then reverts to his normal form unless he expends another use of this feature. He can revert to his normal form earlier by using a bonus action on his turn. Merlin automatically reverts if he falls unconscious, drop to 0 hit points, or dies. While Merlin is transformed, the following rules apply:

  • Merlin’s game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the beast, but he retains his alignment, personality, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. Merlin also retains all of his skill and saving throw proficiencies, in addition to gaining those of the creature. If the creature has the same proficiency as Merlin and the bonus in its stat block is higher than his, use the creature’s bonus instead of his. If the creature has any legendary or lair actions, Merlin can’t use them.
  • When Merlin transforms, he assumes the beast’s hit points and Hit Dice. When he reverts to his normal form, Merlin returns to the number of hit points he had before he transformed. However, if he reverts as a result of dropping to 0 hit points, any excess damage carries over to his normal form.
  • Merlin can’t cast spells, and his ability to speak or take any action that requires hands is limited to the capabilities of his beast form. Transforming doesn’t break Merlin’s concentration on a spell he’s already cast, however, or prevent him from taking actions that are part of a spell, such as call lightning, that he’s already cast.
  • Merlin retains the benefit of any features from his class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so. However, he can’t use any of his special senses, such as darkvision, unless the new form also has that sense.
  • Merlin chooses whether his equipment falls to the ground in his space, merges into his new form, or is worn by it. Worn equipment functions as normal, but the GM decides whether it is practical for the new form to wear a piece of equipment, based on the creature’s shape and size. Merlin’s equipment doesn’t change size or shape to match the new form, and any equipment that the new form can’t wear must either fall to the ground or merge with it. Equipment that merges with the form has no effect until he leaves the form.

Woodstongue. Merlin can be understood by beasts, and he is able to understand their grunts and pantomime.


Staff of Power (20 charges). Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8+2) magical bludgeoning damage. On a hit, Merlin can expend 1 charge to deal an extra 1d6 force damage to the target. Merlin can use an action to expend 1 or more of its charges to cast one of the following spells from it (spell save DC 19, +13 to hit with spell attacks): cone of cold (5 charges), fireball (5th-level version, 5 charges), globe of invulnerability (6 charges), hold monster (5 charges), levitate (2 charges), lightning bolt (5th-level version, 5 charges), magic missile (1 charge), ray of enfeeblement (1 charge), or wall of force (5 charges).

Retributive Strike. Merlin can use an action to break the staff of power, releasing its remaining magic in an explosion that fills a 30-foot-radius sphere centered on it. There’s a 50% chance Merlin instantly travels to a random plane (avoiding the explosion) otherwise he takes force damage equal to 16 × the number of charges in the staff.
Every other creature in the area must make a DC 17 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes an amount of force damage based on how far away it is from the point of origin (8 x charges if within 10 ft., 6 x charges if within 10 ft.-20 ft., 4 x charges if within 20 ft.-30 ft.). On a successful save, a creature takes half as much damage.

used with permissiom from Paolo

As seen in Paolo’s thread at Dicefreaks

Merlin Myrddyn, Merlinus

Arcane Hierophant 10/ Archmage 3/ druid 5/ Loremaster 10/ Warlock 7/Wizard 7
Medium outsider (augmented humanoid) (native)
Hit Dice20d4 + 5d8 + 17d6 + 210 (344 hp)
Initiative+2 (Dexterity)
Speed30 ft.
AC25 (+5 armor, +5 deflection, +2 luck, +2 Dexterity, +1 Dodge trick), touch 20, flat-footed 22
Base Attack/Grapple+21/+23
Attack+ 28 staff (1d6 +7, x2); or spell +23 melee touch or + 23 ranged touch, or eldritch blast +23 ranged touch.
Full Attack+28/+23 staff (1d6+7, x2); or spell + 23/+18 melee touch or +23/+18 ranged touch.
Space/Reach5 ft. x 5 ft./5 ft.
Special AttacksChannel animal 4/day, Channel plant 2/day, Darkness 3/day, Eldritch blast 4d6, High arcane, Magical Aptitude.
Special QualitiesCompanion familiar, Damage reduction 10/magic, Darkvision 60 feet, Detect Magic, Greater lore, Ignore arcane spell failure, Immunity to poison, Lore, Loremaster’s secrets, Nature sense, Prophecy, Resist acid 10, Resist 10 cold, Resist electricity 10, Resist fire 10, Resist nature’s lure, Spell Resistance 35, Trackless step, True lore, Wild empathy, Wild shape 5/day, Woodland stride
SavesFort +32, Ref +26, Will +43.
AbilitiesStrength 14, Dexterity 15, Constitution 20, Intelligence 32, Wisdom 24, Charisma 20
SkillsAppraise +20, Bluff +14, Concentration +35, Craft (alchemy) +51, Decipher Script +31, Diplomacy +15, Disguise +14, Gather Information +25, Handle Animal+ 15, Heal +27, Intimidate +14, Knowledge (arcane) +59, Knowledge (geography) +31, Knowledge (history) +41, Knowledge (nature) +56, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) + 41, Knowledge (religion) + 41, Knowledge (the planes) + 31, Listen +15, Perform (Musical instrument, harp) +15, Ride +7, Search +21, Sense Motive +17, Spellcraft+ 59, Spot +16, Survival +16, Swim +9, Use Magic Device +45,
FeatsBrew potion, Craft magic arms and armor, Craft rod, Craft wand, Craft wondrous item, Empower Spell, Extend spell, Enlarge Spell, Forge Ring, Heighten Spell, Natural spell, Scribe Scroll, Silent Spell, Skill Focus (knowledge, arcane), Skill Focus (Spellcraft)
Epic FeatsEpic Spellcasting, Improved Spell Capacity, Craft Epic Magic Arms And Armor, Craft Epic Staff
Climate/TerrainCamelot, or under Stonehenge, or pocket dimension.
OrganizationSolitary, or with (1-10) Arthurian knights, or with King Arthur
Challenge Rating39
Treasurestaff, and see below.
Alignmentneutral good

Notes given his immediate baptism at birth, Merlin didn’t gained all the standard abilities and drawbacks of a normal half-fiend. His body was not corrupted, so he hasn’t bat wings, Improved Natural Armor, claw and bite attack, smite good special attack. As for spell-like abilities, he loosed all the ‘original’ evil-oriented ones (nearly all of them with the darkness 3/day exception).

He maintained however the special qualities of his fiendish origin (Darkvision 60 feet, immunity to poison, resistance 10 to acid, cold, electricity and fire, damage reduction 10/magic, Spell Resistance 35)

  • Channel animal 4/day four times per day, Merlin may establish a magical conduit between him and a single animal touched (including his familiar companion, if he has one), enabling the animal to cast the spell provided the spell range is touch or greater. Merlin must have line of sight or line of effect to the animal; the spell’s line of effect extending from the animal to the target is based on the animal’ senses. Merlin may use this power to deliver touch spells through the animal.
  • Channel plant 2/day: similar to the channel animal ability, except that the line of effect from tye plant to the target is based on Merlin’s senses. In case of touch spells, the spell is delivered to the first creature or object that can receive the spell when the subject touch the plant
  • Companion familiar: If Merlin calls a companion familiar, it has the powers of an animal companion of a 15 level druid and the abilities of a 17-level wizard
  • Darkness 3/day, Merlin may cast a Darkness spell as a spell-like ability at 42nd caster level
  • Darkvision Merlin sees in complete darkness up to a range of 60 feet
  • Detect Magic Merlin detects magic as the Detect Magic spell at will at 70th level
  • Greater lore Merlin understand magic items, as with the identify spell
  • High Arcana Arcane reach, Mastery of counterspelling, Mastery of shaping
  • Ignore arcane spell failure should he decide to wear it, Merlin ignores arcane spell failure chance for any non-metallic light or medium armor
  • Lore Merlin know legends and information as a bard can with bardic knowledge. He adds +21 to his lore check.
  • Loremaster’s secrets (of inner strength, of true stamina, of avoidance, dodge trick, applicable knowledge – bonus feat ),
  • Magical Aptitude Merlin has an exceptional talent for arcane magic. He’s considered to have Spell Focus in all magic schools
  • Prophecy Merlin is gifted, or cursed, with the power of prophecy. He has visions of the future, or the most possible futures, but has no control over his visions. This means that he can perceive a great danger over a world or a kingdom, or the birth of a character destined to fame and power in the future, but may be ignorant about a danger on himself or his close friends.
  • Resist nature’s lure Merlin has a +4 bonus on saving throws against the spell-like abilities of fey
  • Trackless step Merlin leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. He may choose to leave trails if he wants.
  • True lore once per day, Merlin may use his knowledge to gain the effect of a Legend Lore or analyze dweomer spell
  • Wild empathy Merlin can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person: he rolls 1d20 and adds +10 to determine the wild empathy check result. Merlin and the animal must be able to study each other, which
    means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time. Merlin can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but she takes a -4 penalty on the check.
  • Wild shape 5/day Merlin may turn himself into any animal or plant between tiny and huge and back again. The effect lasts for 15 hours, or until he changes back. Changing form (to animal or back) is a standard action and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity.
  • Woodland stride Merlin may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion still affect him.

Wizard spells/day (0-10) 4/7/7/7/6/6/5/4/5/5/2. Caster level 30. Save DC: 22 + spell level

Druid Spells/day (0-8) 6/7/7/7/5/5/4/3/1. Caster level 15. Save DC: 17 + spell level

Warlock invocations least Breath of the night, Eldritch spear, Entropic warding; lesser: Walk unseen

Epic spell slots/day 5. Spellcraft check taking 10: 69.


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