The Black Butler anime series centers around a bodyguard / butler with, shall we say, a demonic flair. I would love to play a similar class in our upcoming Avernus campaign (say a subclass of fighter or monk, or maybe even a hybrid). I've found a couple of homebrew options, such as this Way of the Demon Fist monk subclass.

However, I was wondering if there is a subclass in the official source materials that matches what I'm looking. Homebrew is okay (though not preferred) - so if there are well-used homebrew options that you know of, that would be useful as well.

Relevant abilities:

  • Unarmed strike capabilities (a la monks)
  • Perhaps some sort of eldritch or hellfire-type magic ability
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Could you elaborate on what you mean by "demonic flare"? Does he have to derive abilities from an actual demon? Be able to use fire spells? Something else? \$\endgroup\$
    – Szega
    Jun 14, 2020 at 0:25
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ It would help to spell out what specific aspects of Sebastian's character you would want the subclass to have; in other words, things you want to be able to do and your expectations \$\endgroup\$ Jun 14, 2020 at 0:41

3 Answers 3


Way of the Sun, err, Dark Soul

Note: I'm unfamiliar with that character, so I'm going based only on the question

The Way of the Sun Soul is available in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide and Xanathar's Guide to Everything. It is a Monk tradition available from level 3.

Unarmed strike capabilies (ala-monk)

As such, it comes with all of the unarmed strikes you would expect from a monk, which covers your first requirement.

Perhaps some sort of eldritch or hellfire type magic ability

It also comes with Radiant Sun Bolt, which is "searing bolts of magical radiance", which I argue covers your second. It deals radiant damage, which doesn't strictly match a demonic flavor. This is where your DM gets involved. The simplest thing to do is suggest that your bolts are red/purple/green/whatever, and targets are damaged by the bright intensity of your "hellfire". I can't see a DM having much of a problem with this. Another thing you could request is to change the damage type. How beneficial or detrimental this is to you depends entirely on what you're fighting. Some DMs may balk at this, but if it's important to you then it's worth asking about.

Other, later abilities can be similarly reflavored.


Be a Tiefling

Tieflings are one of the race options for players characters found in the Player's Handbook. They are humanoids of fiendish lineage. Their Infernal Legacy feature allows them to cast thaumaturgy, hellish rebuke and darkness (with stronger spells unlocked at higher character levels), which should satisfy your hellish magic requirement.

If you want a bit of further customisation and you have Xanathar's Guide to Everything, you can consider some of the racial feats for tieflings (if your DM allows the Feat optional rules). Flames of Phlegethos provides a buff to any fire spells you have (such as hellish rebuke, although you'd probably want to be able to cast more spells to make the best use of this feat). Infernal Constitution gives you a few extra resistances.

One potential downside is that, unlike Sebastian, tieflings don't have any innate way to look just like a regular human. This is usually not too important unless your setting has some hatred against tieflings. There is sufficient variance in the appearance of tieflings that you could look similar to a human, but not identical. If the appearance is important, you should either invest in a disguise kit and proficiency in it, or find a way to cast disguise self.

You can then take whatever class you like. If you want to be good at unarmed attacks you should go monk. If you don't go monk, you can consider the Tavern Brawler feat to make your unarmed strikes more effective (although you can't get your first feat until 4th level). Way of the Four Elements is a good subclass if you want to double-down on the magical aspects of your concept. Way of Shadow offers darkness-themed magic and is good for being sneaky. Way of the Open Hand is good if you just want to hit people harder.


I am just one Hell of a Buttler

Seeing what you are looking for I would suggest the way of the Open Hand Monk or the Long Death and be a Tiefling as your race.

The Open Hand allows you the better monk abilities, your Fury of Blows gain the prone property and the Quivering Palm at 17th level is deadly and shows the lethality of your hands.

The Long Death gives you the more "devilish" aspect, allowing you to never die, as long as you have ki points. To give others around you the frightening condition, and your touch of death will keep you standing for a longer time.

Your "eldritch or hellfire" ability can come from the Tiefling innate spell casting, of which you could take the magic initiate for a few extra spells for the flavour.

But in my opinion, it would be better by being a College of Whispers bard, and if you want multiclass into Warlock.

The College of Whispers gives you Psychic Blades (Use of your bardic inspiration to deal extra damage.)

When you join the College of Whispers at 3rd level, you gain the ability to make your weapon attacks magically toxic to a creature's mind.

The use of Words of Terror reminds of how Sebastian can spread fear with his words.

Being a bard also give you proficiency, it fits well for a Buttler of the Phantomhive household, he excels in all his task. The Bard is a spell caster so you can get your demonic powers from those spells.

If you wish you could Multiclass the Long Death and College of Whispers to get the best of both.


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