Creature Feature (5e): Blooded Samurai

In many ways, samurai are not unlike the knights of western lands. In their idealized form, they are honorable, dutiful, powerful warriors. Like knights, they are of noble blood except in the most extraordinary of cases, and tend to be comparatively wealthy (although are not exclusively such) when placed next to the common citizen. Certainly, there are major differences between samurai and knightly tradition but many of the ideas behind such traditions would not be alien to either party.  Like knights, then, it should be of no surprise that samurai have proven prone to corruption. As their daimyo masters slowly engaged in decadence and hedonism, many samurai fell to dark ways. Some merely brought dishonor with drunkenness and rampant gambling but the worst have become little more than murderers who are almost totally immune to justice. 

Then the Emperor’s blooded samurai began to appear, bringing order and restoring honor wherever they went. Some say they are humans infused with the Emperor’s very blood. Some say they are merely his most favored warriors. Still, others insist they are his biological children (but such rumors are never whispered openly). Whatever the case, it is their duty to cleanse the shame nobles bring to the Empire. By whatever means necessary. 

Blooded Samurai

Medium human, lawful neutral

Armor Class 18
Hit Points 94 (13d10 + 26)
Speed 30 ft.

20 (+5) 16 (+3) 14 (+2) 12 (+1) 15 (+2) 18 (+4)

Saving Throws Strength +10, Constitution +7, Wisdom +7
Skills Athletics +10, Insight +7, Perception +7. Religion +6
Condition Immunities frightened
Languages Common, Draconic
Senses darkvision 30 ft.; passive Perception 9
Challenge 15 (13000 XP)

Special Traits

  • Oath in thy Blood. The first time a blooded samurai is brought to 0 HP, they are instead brought to 1 hit points and gain 10 temporary hit points. If a blooded samurai would be instantly killed due to a spell effect (such as with power word: kill), they are treated as having been brought to 0 HP for the purposes of this effect. 
  • Fighting Spirit. Three times per day, as a bonus action, a blooded samurai may gain advantage on all attacks made in the round. If a blooded samurai uses this ability, they also gain 10 temporary hit points


  • Multiattack. The blooded samurai makes three melee attacks.
  • KatanaMelee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (1d10 + 5) slashing damage and 3 (1d6) fire damage. 
  • Wakizashi.  Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d6 +5) piercing damage and 3 (1d6) fire damage.
  • Dragon Emperor’s Rage (Recharge 6). The blooded samurai exhales blistering flames in a 60-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 19 Dexterity saving throw, taking 54 (12d8) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Legendary Actions

The blooded samurai can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The blooded samurai regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn. 

  • His Will. The blooded samurai may immediately end the charmed, frightened, or paralyzed condition. 
  • His Body. The blooded samurai heals 2d8 HP.
  • His Rage (Costs 2 Actions). The blooded samurai immediately recharges his Dragon’s Emperor’s rage ability. 
  • His Order (Costs 3 Actions). One target within five feet must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. Failure indicates the target takes 50 slashing damage. This damage ignores resistances but does not ignore immunities.


Blooded samurai do not fear combat or even death, although avoid both if given a choice. Often the targets of their judgments surrender peacefully (as few can hope to best a blooded samurai) and, of those who do not surrender, many find themselves betrayed by their own masters (who often are desperate to make amends for necessitating a blooded samurai enter their midst).

Blooded samurai are always ready for combat. They will never retreat unless ordered to do so or it is deemed necessary to succeed in a mission. They almost always will open with their ability to breathe flame, as it even those who survive almost always surrender after such a display. If an enemy, or group of enemies, poses a true threat, the blooded samurai will then attempt to defeat the leader of such a group or the most magically attuned if there is no clear leader (or the leader has already been defeated). 

These samurai are an extension of the Emperor’s will and tend to be judge, jury, and executioner. With few exceptions, any who engage in combat with a blooded samurai will be executed shortly after they are victorious (and hunted to the ends of the earth if they escape). 

Role in Society

Blooded samurai is a legendary unit, said to number around twenty. They are the enforcers of the Emperor, used primarily to cleanse the ranks of the nobility of corruption and insubordination. However, on occasion, they are also used to defeat major external threats. In one instance, they were called upon to slay an ancient wyrm who was demanding tribute and wreaking havoc upon the Empire’s western coast. Many say the blooded samurai are the most public way one can peer into the mind of the elusive Emperor. They are his most aggressive and direct tool of control. Wherever they are being applied, the Emperor has either been angered (as much as that is possible, anyway) or deemed the situation of great importance. 

A Rumor The Emperor and his nobility intend to hold a grand set of wargames soon. Some of these events are open to the public, including a swordsmanship contest. While the entry fee is steep at 100 gold coins, any who can afford the price many enter. The prizes offered are great but it should be noted that some say blooded samurai will secretly be entering as well. Perhaps the Emperor merely wishes to test his elites…or is seeking to find new blood to mix into his ranks. 

About Quin Callahan

Quin Callahan is a freelance writer and college level English and economics tutor of over four years experience. He has written for a variety of gaming, technology, and economics publications. His favorite animal might be the squid but he is rarely certain.

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