Avatar 5e Conversion

by stuntmantan

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The World of Avatar

The World of Avatar

What's in this Book?

Ever since watching the original Avatar: the Last Airbender back in college, I knew this world was going to be something special. The story was heartfelt and incredible, but what really drew me into the show was the immersive universe the creators had developed. A world where magic and martial arts were one, where kung fu and superpowers blended seamlessly into something entirely new. Since getting into tabletop role-playing games, I have searched fruitlessly for a game or mod that suitably replicates the feeling of the universe they brought to Nickelodeon all those years ago. I'm not so arrogant as to think this humble conversion will perfectly bring what I'm looking for, but it is my hope that this will be a simple and straightforward way to come close using the most popular RPG system.

Within these digital pages, you will find primarily a guide to quickly and easily adding the elemental bending magic system into a Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition game. This conversion is a living document, and will continue to be refined and developed over time through playtesting and discussion with my players and the role-playing community at large. Feel free to borrow, break, or kit-bash your way through this conversion at your leisure. Any feedback you have on ways to make it more thorough, balanced, or fun are always appreciated, so please don't hesitate to send me your thoughts and suggestions. - TT

Table of Contents

Basics and Removed Player Options 3
New Variant Human Race: Benders 4
- Earth Bender 5
- Fire Bender 6
- Air Bender 7
- Water Bender 8
New Feats for Benders 9

Version History

  • 2020 JUN 02, v0.1: Basic guidelines, added and removed character options, bender human variant race and sub-races, bending spell lists, new spells, and feats.

Art Credits

Cover Lucas Parolin, Avatar Roku
page 2 fncombo, Korra Waterbending Vector
page 4 Marcel Perez, Avatar Charas
page 6 MyCKs, Zuko with calligraphy
page 8 MyCKs, Katara with calligraphy Goodness

Basics and Player Options

The Avatar Universe

Despite its very broad appeal to children, adults, and everyone in-between, the world of Avatar: the Last Airbender is still very much a kid's show. The Legend of Korra was aimed at a slightly older teen audience, but remained on Nickelodeon and was therefore subject to the same Standards and Practices department as its predecessor. While this isn't to say that a more dark and gritty version of the universe wouldn't be interesting, those interested in maintaining the feel and flavor of the original cartoons would do best to keep things in a "G" or slightly "PG" rating. Most, if not all, character deaths happen off-screen, assuming they even happen (see all the parachutes deliberately shown escaping from every aircraft defeat).

The level of technology in the world of Avatar varies greatly depending on what part of history you want to play in, and geographic location also can be quite a factor. The original series takes place in a primarily late medieval time period, with the exception of ironclad steamships used by the Fire Nation. Only 70 years later, the world has developed everything from electricity to radio to even automobiles. Discuss with the rest of your group what era feels most interesting to the table, then make adjustments or complete changes as necessary. Remember that none of this is canon; it's your parallel version of reality, after all.

Added Player Options

Fighting Style Options

1st-level fighter feature (enhances Fighting Style)

When you choose a fighting style, the following styles are added to the list of options.

Blind Fighting. Being unable to see a creature doesn’t impose disadvantage on your attack rolls against it, provided the creature isn’t hidden from you.

Interception. When a creature you can see hits a target that is within 5 feet of you with an attack, you can use your reaction to reduce the damage the target takes by 1d10 + your proficiency bonus (to a minimum of 0 damage). You must be wielding a shield or a simple or martial weapon to use this reaction.

Thrown Weapon Fighting. You can draw a weapon that has the thrown property as part of the attack you make with the weapon.

In addition, when you hit with a ranged attack using a thrown weapon, you gain a +1 bonus to the damage roll.

Unarmed Fighting. Your unarmed strikes can deal bludgeoning damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier. If you strike with two free hands, the d6 becomes a d8.

When you successfully start a grapple, you can deal 1d4 bludgeoning damage to the grappled creature. Until the grapple ends, you can also deal this damage to the creature whenever you hit it with a melee attack.

Note: Unarmed strikes use Strength as their ability score for attack and damage bonuses, unless you have a feature that allows you to use something different.

Martial Versatility

1st-level fighter feature (enhances Fighting Style)

Whenever you gain a level in a class that has the Fighting Style feature, you can replace a fighting style you know with another style available to your class. This change represents a shift of focus in your martial training and practice, causing you to lose the benefits of one style and gain the benefits of another style.

Monk Weapons

1st-level monk feature (enhances Martial Arts)

You can use this feature to define your monk weapons, rather than using the definition in Martial Arts.

You practice your martial arts with specially chosen weapons, which become monk weapons for you. You can choose a number of weapons to be your monk weapons equal to 5+ your Wisdom modifier (minimum of five weapons). The chosen weapons must each meet the following criteria:

  • The weapon must be a simple or martial weapon.
  • You must be proficient with the weapon.
  • The weapon must lack these properties: heavy, special, or two-handed.
Cunning Action: Aim

2nd-level rogue feature (enhances Cunning Action)

You gain an additional way to use your Cunning Action: carefully aiming your next attack. As a bonus action, you give yourself advantage on your next attack roll on the current turn. You can use this bonus action only if you haven’t moved during this turn, and after you use the bonus action, your speed is 0 until the end of the current turn.

Removed Player Options

  • All non-human races removed
  • All spellcasting classes removed: Bard, Cleric, Druid, Paladin, Ranger, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard
  • All spellcasting and spell-like subclasses removed (Arcane Trickers, Eldritch Knight, Way of Shadow, etc.)
  • The Artificer class might be an exception, since technology is shown to be on pace with much of the magic displayed in the show. Decide if this class is right for your game at your table.

But what if I don't wanna?

Like all things in role-playing games, everything here is just a suggestion. If you want to have elves and gnomes and dragonborn in your Avatar world, go for it! If you want benders to mingle with wizards and warlocks, that sounds awesome! I present options and suggestions here as just those; things to take or not take at your leisure. Talk things over with your Game Master and develop a version of the Avatar universe that works for you and the rest of your table.

Just remember, the only way to lose at D&D is to not have fun while playing it.

New Human Variant Race

Elemental Bender

Some humans are born with an innate physical ability to manipulate one of the four primal elements: earth, fire, air, or water. These abilities are present since birth, and can be trained and developed much like any other physical attribute. Though benders are far outnumbered by non-benders, benders have experienced many privileges and improved social status thanks to their gifts.

Bender Traits

When selecting this variant human race, take these traits instead of those listed in the Player's Handbook.

Ability Score Increase. One ability score of your choice increases by 1.

Age. Like other humans, benders reach adulthood in their late teens and generally live less than a century. There are a few notable exceptions, such as Avatar Kyoshi, who lived to the age of 230.

Alignment. Benders are as varied as other humans, with no particular trend towards a specific alignment. There are stereotypes that people of the Earth Kingdom are rigid and lawful, or that Air Nomads are nothing but free spirits, but these are more assumptions than anything else.

Size. Benders and non-benders are physically indistinguishable, and vary greatly in size and stature. Most humans generally grow to between 5 and 6 feet tall, though exceptions exist.

Speed. You have a base walking speed of 30 feet.

Skill Versatility. You gain proficiency in one skill of your choice.

Elemental Spellcasting. You have the ability to cast spells based on your elemental subrace. The Bending Spells Table shows how many spell slots you have. The table also shows what the level of those slots is; all of your spell slots are the same level. To cast one of your bending spells of 1st level or higher, you must expend a spell slot. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a short or long rest.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common.

Subrace. There are four subraces of elemental benders, one for each of the primal elements: earth, fire, air, and water. Choose one of these subraces.

Bending Spells
Character Level Cantrips Known Spells Known Spell Slots Spell Level
1 2 2 1 1st
2 2 3 2 1st
3 2 4 2 2nd
4 3 5 2 2nd
5 3 6 2 3rd
6 3 7 2 3rd
7 3 8 2 4th
8 3 9 2 4th
9 3 10 2 5th
10 4 10 2 5th
11 4 11 3 5th
12 4 11 3 5th
13 4 12 3 5th
14 4 12 3 5th
15 4 13 3 5th
16 4 13 3 5th
17 4 14 4 5th
18 4 14 4 5th
19 4 15 4 5th
20 4 15 4 5th

Earth Benders

"Earth is the element of substance. The people of the Earth Kingdom are diverse and strong. They are persistent and enduring."

Earth Bending. You gain access to the Earth Bender spell list. Your spellcasting ability is Strength. The components for these spells become Somatic and Material: an appropriate amount of earth.

Hands of Stone. As a bonus action, you can encase your hands in stone, using them to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal bludgeoning damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier.

Seismic Sense. Starting at 5th level, if you are barefoot and standing on solid earth, you gain tremorsense to a range of 30 feet.

Earth Bender Spells

Cantrips (0 Level)

Footsink*
Footsweep*
Magic Stone
Mold Earth

1st Level

Catapult (earth and mineral objects only)
Earth Tremor
Ensaring Strike (earth and mineral objects instead of plants)
Entangle (earth and mineral objects instead of plants)
Jump (targets self only, on earthen ground only)
Longstrider (targets self only, on earthen ground only)

2nd Level

Barkskin (earth and mineral objects instead of plants)
Dust Devil
Flame Blade (earth and mineral objects instead of fire)
Maximilian's Earthen Grasp
Shield of Stone*
Spike Growth (earth and mineral objects instead of plants)

3rd Level

Erupting Earth
Meld into Stone
Melf's Minute Meteors (bludgeoning damage instead of fire)
Tidal Wave (earth and mineral objects instead of water)
Wall of Sand

4th Level

Evard's Black Tentacles (earth and mineral objects instead of tentacles)
Fabricate (earth and mineral objects only)
Grasping Vine (earth and mineral objects instead of plants)
Stone Shape
Stoneskin (targets self only)

5th Level

Conjure Volley (earth and mineral objects only)
Maelstrom (only on earthen ground)
Transmute Rock
Wall of Stone
Wrath of Nature (earth and mineral objects instead of plants)



*New Earth Bending Spells

Footsink

Transmutation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: S, M (an appropriate amount of earth)
Duration: Instantaneous

Choose a 5-foot square of earth with a creature standing on it. That creature must make a Strength or Dexterity saving throw or become grappled. The creature can use its action to make an Athletics or Acrobatics check against your spell save DC, freeing itself on a success.

Footsweep

Transmutation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: S, M (an appropriate amount of earth)
Duration: Instantaneous

You quickly shift the ground beneath a creature's feet, knocking them off balance. Choose one Medium or smaller sized creature standing on earthen ground that you can see within range. The target must make a Dexterity saving throw or be knocked prone. The target makes this save at disadvantage if it cannot see you.

The size of creature this spell can affect increases when you reach 5th level (Large), 11th level (Huge), and 17th level (Gargantuan).

Shield of Stone

2nd-level transmutation
Casting Time: 1 reaction
Range: 5 feet
Components: S, M (an appropriate amount of earth)
Duration: 1 hour

When targeted by a ranged attack, you may use your reaction to create a stone or earthen wall from the ground between you and the attacker. The wall is up to 5 feet high and wide, and is 1 foot thick. It grants you 3/4 cover against the incoming attack, potentially causing it to miss.

The wall has an AC of 15 and has a number of hit points equal to 5 times your spellcasting modifier. The wall crumbles back into earth and gravel after 1 hour.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, you can create 1 additional wall adjacent to another wall for each level above 2nd.


But what about Toph?

There are, of course, exceptions to all things. If you wish to play as an alternate bender, one who taps into their innate sense of the element instead of their martial prowess, you might find it more fitting to use Wisdom as your spellcasting ability instead.

Fire Benders

"Fire is the element of power. The people of the Fire Nation have desire and will and the energy and drive to achieve what they want."

Fire Bending. You gain access to the Fire Bender spell list. Your spellcasting ability is Dexterity. The components for these spells become Somatic and Material: your breath.

Flame Daggers. As a bonus action, you can create flaming daggers in your hands. You are proficient with these daggers, which deal fire damage instead of piercing.

Inner Fire. Starting at 5th level, you may use your reaction to gain resistance to cold damage for one hour. Once you use this feature, it cannot be used again until the next dawn.

Fire Bender Spells

Cantrips (0 Level)

Control Flames
Create Bonfire
Firebolt
Produce Flame

1st Level

Burning Hands
Chromatic Orb (fire damage only)
Hellish Rebuke
Jump (targets self only)
Searing Smite

2nd Level

Aganazzar's Scorcher
Dragon's Breath (fire damage only, targets self only)
Flame Blade
Flaming Sphere
Pyrotechnics
Scorching Ray

3rd Level

Elemental Weapon (fire damage only)
Melf's Minute Meteors
Redirect Lightning*

4th Level

Fire Shield (fire damage only)
Wall of Fire

5th Level

Flame Strike



*New Fire Bending Spell

Redirect Lightning

3rd-level transmutation
Casting Time: 1 reaction
Range: Self
Components: S, M (your breath)
Duration: Instantaneous

When targeted or forced to make a saving throw against a spell that deals lightning damage, you may use your reaction to reduce that damage to zero. Additionally, as part of the same reaction, you may make a ranged spell attack against one target that you can see within 100 feet of you. That attack deals 3d10 lightning damage.

The lightning ignites flammable objects in the area that aren't being worn or carried.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d10 for each slot level above 3rd.

Air Benders

"Air is the element of freedom. The Air Nomads detached themselves from worldly concerns and found peace and freedom. Also, they apparently had pretty good senses of humor."

Air Bending. You gain access to the Air Bender spell list. Your spellcasting ability is Dexterity. The components for these spells become Somatic and Material: an appropriate amount of air.

Parry. As a reaction to being hit by an attack, you can add your Proficiency modifier to your AC, potentially causing the attack to miss. You can use this ability a number of times equal to your Dexterity modifier before needing a short or long rest.

Lightfooted. Starting at 5th level, you may take the Dash or Disengage action as a bonus action.

Air Bender Spells

Cantrips (0 Level)

Air Thrust*
Gust
Mage Hand (the hand is invisible)
Thunderclap (Strength save instead of Constitution)

1st Level

Catapult
Chromatic Orb (thunder damage only)
Feather Fall
Jump (targets self only)
Longstrider (targets self only)
Shield
Thunderous Smite
Thunderwave
Zephyr Strike

2nd Level

Dust Devil
Gust of Wind
Levitate
Warding Wind

3rd Level

Air Scooter*
Suffocate*
Wind Wall

4th Level

Freedom of Movement (above water only)

5th Level

Control Winds



*New Air Bending Spells

Air Scooter

3rd-level transmutation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: S, M (an appropriate amount of air)
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

You create a Small bubble of air capable of carrying you at high speed. The scooter has a speed of 60 feet, can climb vertical surfaces, and can jump 60 feet. You can mount or dismount it using 5 feet of your movement. The scooter vanishes if it is more than 10 feet away from you.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level, the size of the bubble increases to Medium and can carry up to 4 Medium sized creatures. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level, the size of the bubble increases to Large and can carry up to 10 Medium sized creatures.

Air Thrust

Transmutation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: S, M (an appropriate amount of air)
Duration: Instantaneous

One Medium or smaller creature of your choice you can see within range must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be pushed up to 5 feet in any direction. This distance is halved going upwards, and doubled pushing an airborne target downwards. Pushing a target down while it is standing on a solid surface knocks it prone instead.

This spell’s distance increases by an additional 5 feet when you reach 5th level (10 feet), 11th level (15 feet), and 17th level (20 feet).

Suffocate

3rd-level transmutation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: S, M (an appropriate amount of air)
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

One Medium or smaller creature that you can see within range must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, the air surrounding the target's head is removed, and the creature cannot breathe for the duration.

Water Benders

"Water is the element of change. The people of the Water Tribes are capable of adapting to many things. They have a sense of community and love that holds them together through anything."

Water Bending. You gain access to the Water Bender spell list. Your spellcasting ability is Dexterity. The components for these spells become Somatic and Material: an appropriate amount of water.

Waterborne. You have swim speed equal to your walking speed.

Air Bubble. Starting at 5th level, you may use your action to create an air bubble for traveling underwater. Each bubble lasts for 1 hour, and you can use this ability a number of times equal to your Dexterity modifier before needing a short or long rest.



Water Bender Spells

Cantrips (0 Level)

Frostbite
Ray of Frost
Shape Water
Thorn Whip (water instead of plants)

1st Level

Armor of Agathys
Arms of Hadar (bludgeoning damage instead of necrotic)
Chromatic Orb (cold damage only)
Cure Wounds
Ensaring Strike (ice instead of plants)
Entangle (ice instead of plants)
Fog Cloud
Grease (ice instead of grease)
Ice Knife
Longstrider (targets self only, in water only)

2nd Level

Dragon's Breath (targets self only, cold damage only)
Maximilian's Earthen Grasp (ice instead of earth)
Protection from Poison
Snilloc's Snowball Swarm
Spike Growth (ice instead of plants)

3rd Level

Elemental Weapon (cold damage only)
Sleet Storm
Tidal Wave
Wall of Water
Water Walk

4th Level

Evard's Black Tentacles (water instead of tentacles)
Blight
Control Water
Freedom of Movement (in water only)
Grasping Vine (water instead of plants)
Ice Storm
Watery Sphere

5th Level

Cone of Cold
Conjure Volley (ice only)
Maelstrom (in water only)

New Feats for Benders


Accelerated Learning

Prerequisites: any Bender subrace

You learn 1 additional cantrip from your bending spell list.

Blood Bending

Prerequisites: Water Bender subrace

On the night of a full moon, you gain the ability to cast the spell Bend Blood.

Bend Blood

3rd-level necromancy
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

Your gesture forces one Medium-sized or smaller living creature you can see within range to make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the target is paralyzed. When you cast the spell, and on each of your turns for the duration, you can use your action to force the creature to move up to 20 feet and make a single melee attack using your spell attack bonus, or drop an item it is holding. The spell ends if you use your action to do anything else. The spell also ends if the target is ever outside the spell’s range or if it has total cover from you.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you may target one additional creature for each level higher than 4th. You can control multiple creatures using the same action.

Combustion Bending

Prerequisites: Fire Bender subrace

You can cast the spell Fireball using a spell slot as normal, but using Wisdom as your spellcasting ability for this spell instead of your normal spellcasting ability.

Flight

Prerequisites: Air Bender or Fire Bender subrace

You gain a flying speed equal to your walking speed.

Healing Specialist

Prerequisites: Water Bender subrace

You add Lesser Restoration and Prayer of Healing to your spell list.


Lava Bending

Prerequisites: Earth Bender subrace

You add Create Lava and Hurl Lava to your spell list.

Create Lava

2nd-level transmutation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: S, M (an appropriate amount of earth)
Duration: 1 hour

You transform a patch of earth into burning lava. You choose a 5-foot square of earth or stone that you can see within 30 feet, transforming it into a pit of lava up to 1 foot deep. A creature takes 3d10 fire damage when it enters lava for the first time on a turn or when it ends its turn there. The lava is considered difficult terrain, and solidifies back into solid earth after 1 hour.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, you can transform 1 additional 5-foot square of earth adjacent to another square of lava for each level above 2nd.

Hurl Lava

Transmutation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: S, M (an appropriate amount of lava)
Duration: Instantaneous

One creature you can see within range that is also within 10 feet of lava must make a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d10 fire damage.

This spell's damage increases by 1d10 when you reach 5th level (2d10), 11th level (3d10), and 17th level (4d10).

Lightning Bending

Prerequisites: Fire Bender subrace

You add Lightning Bolt, Shocking Grasp, and Witch Bolt to your spell list.

Metal Bending

Prerequisites: Earth Bender subrace

You may substitute the material components for your spells of earth using an appropriate amount of metal.

Additionally, you add Encase in Metal, Shape Metal, and Shuriken to your spell list.

Encase in Metal

3rd-level transmutation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: S, M (an appropriate amount of metal)
Duration: Instantaneous

You encase yourself or another creature in metal plating, either as armor or imprisonment. You or another Medium or smaller sized creature within range must make a Dexterity saving throw or become encased. A target can choose to fail the save if they are willing.

Armor. The target's AC becomes 13 + its Dexterity modifier, unless its AC is already higher. The armor remains until it is removed with magic.

Imprisonment. The target is restrained by the metal and its AC becomes 15. The target can use its action to make DC 20 Strength check to break the armor, freeing itself on a success.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you can target a creature one size category larger for each level higher than 3rd.

Shape Metal

Transmutation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: S, M (an appropriate amount of metal)
Duration: Instantaneous

You choose a piece of non-precious metal that you can see within range and that fits within a 5-foot cube. You manipulate it in one of the following ways:

  • You can make a melee spell attack using that piece of metal against a target within 5 feet of it. This attack deals 1d6 bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage (your choice). This damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 5th level (2d6), 11th level (3d6), and 17th level (4d6).
  • You can attempt to ensare and hold a target. One Medium or smaller sized creature within 5 feet of the metal must make a Dexterity saving throw or become grappled. A grappled target can use its action to make an Athletics or Acrobatics check against your spell save DC, freeing itself on a success.
  • You can form the metal into a tool, weapon, or other object weighing no more than 10 pounds.
  • You can bend, twist, or otherwise force the metal into standing structures and sculptures. The section of metal becomes difficult terrain for any creatures passing through the space.

Shuriken

1st-level transmutation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: S, M (an appropriate amount of metal)
Duration: Instantaneous

You launch three flying blades at your enemies. Make a ranged spell attack for each blade. On a hit, the target takes 2d4 slashing damage.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you create one additional blade for each slot level above 1st.

Spirit Projection

Prerequisites: Air Bender subrace

You can cast the spell Project Spirit using a spell slot as normal, but using Wisdom as your spellcasting ability for this spell instead of your normal spellcasting ability.

Project Spirit

3rd-level necromancy
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: Self
Components: S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

By meditating deeply and focusing on the spiritual breath of the world, you are able to project an incorporeal manifestation of your spirit into the physical space around you. Your physical body is unconscious during the duration in a state of prolonged meditation.

Your projected spirit appears as a translucent version of yourself and has a fly speed of 10 feet. It can travel through creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. Your spirit has darkvision to a range of 30 feet, and you are able to see, hear, and speak from your spirit as if you were there.

If you are reduced to 0 hit points, the spell ends and your consciousness returns to your body. You can also choose to end the effect at any time using a bonus action.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you may extend the duration by 1 additional hour for every level above 3rd.

 

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