D&D 5e: Aarakocra Blood Hunter Guide

A flying male aarakocra bloodhunter with a long bow.

D&D 5e: Aarakocra Blood Hunter Guide

The Blood Hunter is a homebrew class that works as a grimdark monster hunter, and Aarakocra are flying bird people. Put those two together and you get a class that dispenses justice from the shadows and likes to perch on buildings. Yes, you’re literally Batman. Except you’re technically a bird. Does that make you Robin…? Whatever, let’s dig into the guide. 

How to Make an Aarakocra Blood Hunter

While the Blood Hunter class is mechanically complicated (it has several non-regenerating resources to keep track of, all of which do different things,) building one is surprisingly simple. 

To start, ability scores. Blood Hunters are proficient in Simple and Martial weapons and gain a Fighting Style, so can comfortably take on all combat options. Whichever you choose, it’s worth knowing that the class has no good reason to use a two-handed melee weapon, and you’re really going to want to use a bow anyway, for reasons we’ll touch on shortly, so it’s a good idea to max out your Dex first. The Aarakocra naturally comes with a bonus to this if you’re not using alternative ability scores, which makes things much simpler. 

Second, the Blood Hunter can use Int or Wis for their save DCs and abilities. Again, Aarakocra come with a boost to Wis, so unless you’re building some wild multiclass, boost your Wis when you can. 

So why Archery? Simple. The single biggest boost the Aarakocra have is their flight that’s only dependent on not wearing Medium or Heavy armor. This ability defines this class and race combination, and allows you to soar through the skies untouched, annihilating anything that raises its head above cover. 

A black feathered male aarakocra blood hunter.

How to Play an Aarakocra Blood Hunter

How your Blood Hunter plays is going to be based on choices you make in character generation, mostly weapon choices. 

But whether you choose melee or archery, the Blood Hunter class is aggressive and relentless, designed to pour on damage and slam status effects into key targets. As a flying race, you’re uniquely positioned to take advantage of this, picking the most vulnerable enemy and outright murdering them, with little recourse to stop you. 

Blood Curse is the first major ability of the class, offering a ton of disabling options, most of which only cost a Bonus Action or Reaction (again, driving you toward the use of bows.) 

The second is Blood Maledict, which offers a solid elemental increase to DPS, equivalent to Hex or Hunter’s Mark, only costs a trifling amount of HP, and lasts as long as you don’t let go of your weapon. Which you have no reason to do unless you’re dead.

These abilities both push the class towards being a flapping nightmare, soaring overhead and putting shaft after flaming shaft into their enemies while being basically untouchable to a solid portion of what the GM might roll out to stop you. 

In terms of subclasses, there are only four options. Order of the Mutant is weirdly underpowered, so avoid it unless you have something specific in mind. Order of the Lycan turns you into a frothing monster that really wants to land and punch enemies, so definitely avoid that. 

The Order of the Ghostslayer is decent, offering a nice general boost to power that’s especially useful against the undead. Finally, the Order of the Profane Soul gives the character a little bit of Warlock spellcasting, and casts using your chosen mental stat, plus adds a plethora of bonuses depending on your Patron choice. 

Outside of combat, the class is a hunter in more than name. It actually gains more skills than most martial characters, plus has the stats to run them. You could easily act as a budget Rogue, scouting out ancient ruins and dealing with traps, and we’d definitely recommend investing in Perception. Because, again, you can fly, so nobody has a better perspective to spot upcoming enemies than you do. 

How to Roleplay as an Aarakocra Blood Hunter

Blood Hunters willingly curse themselves for power, burning up their own life force so that they can better kill monsters. That takes a particular sort of madness and acts as a serious hook for RP potential. How did your character end up as a Blood Hunter, is the biggest question. 

Is this something they willingly volunteered for? Why? What sort of person would do that, and what driving motivation would it take? A destroyed village? Religious indoctrination? Something even more sinister? Or perhaps it wasn’t a choice, and they were turned into a living weapon.

Either way, you’re playing a character who is willing to give up everything, even their humanity (or whatever the equivalent is for a literal bird-person) to fight evil, turning their own soul into a flame to ward away the darkness. 

Then factor in your race. Aarakocra are known for their nomadic lifestyle, constantly moving from place to place, and don’t tend to interact with other races unless they have a deep and pressing need. Again, it’s worth asking why your character would break this tradition and why they’re suddenly interested in fighting alongside a party of ground dwellers. 

Finally, in terms of specifics, ask yourself what sort of bird your Aarakocra is based around, and pick up some mannerisms. Raptors like hawks and other hunting birds might be focused and predatory. An owl might be careful and insightful. Or just play a magpie and steal every shiny thing you find.

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