Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Killing the Barbarian and taking his stuff


This is yet another post provoked by the (eternal) discussion about “linear Fighters” and “quadratic Wizards”. While in my gaming experience that was never a problem, I do like very much of opportunities for house ruling – besides I wrote most of this Fighter variant in the airport, last Sunday, while I waited some 4 hours for my flight.

This isn’t strictly a Fighter variant, as it presupposes that you’re banishing the Barbarian form your games. Basically, I took various class features and traits from the later in merged it with the former. I did that based on three things:
  •  I also found the Barbarian class, as written, ‘weak’ and believed that a Berserker or a Swashbuckler class would be a more universal and appropriate concept for a warrior class; 
  • I hate Rage Powers; they remove the class original simplicity and are, most of the time, too weak to bother with;
  •  By removing the Barbarian I can strengthen the Fighter class niche and concept as most capable and resilient warrior in Pathfinder.
This Fighter variant can represent more easily (and without multiclass) themes that range from the classical fighting-man, to berserker, a light armored warrior (not as good as a Swashbuckler or maybe a Rogue, but able to stand combat better than these), an aristocratic man-at-arms etc.

Another important element is that, by removing a Barbarian class, you also remove the idea that a culture dictate whatever a fighting-man is a Fighter or a Barbarian (although this could be accomplished by reskinning the Barbarian as a Berserker).

This class variant uses material shameless stolen from great author Kolja Raven Liquette, besides friendly advice from my player and house ruling aficionado Leoz.

Hope you like it.



The Fighter (for ‘Barbarian-less’ Pathfinder)
 
Use the Fighter class as written in the Core Rulebook, except for the alterations below.
 
Hit Dice: d12

Class Skills: Add Acrobatics, Heal and Perception. Change ‘Knowledge (Dungeoneering) and Knowledge (Engineering)’ to ‘Knowledge (Dungeoneering, Geography, Local, Nature or Nobility; choose one) and Knowledge (Engineering)’.
 
Skill Points/Level: 4 + Int modifier.
 
Class Features:

Fast Movement: Fighters gain this class feature at 1st level. It works like the Barbarian class feature of the same name.

Armor Training: instead of Armor Training you can choose one of the options below.

o   Uncanny Dodge: as the 2nd level Barbarian class feature (replaces Armor Training 1 or higher).
o   Improved Uncanny Dodge: as the 5th level Barbarian class feature (replaces Armor Training 2 or higher).
o   Damage Reduction: only when using no armor, light armor or medium armor and not carrying a heavy load. Gains DR 2/-, choosing this a second time grants DR 4/-, a third time grants DR 6/-. You can’t buy it a fourth time (replaces one Armor Training class feature each time).
o   Combat Reaction: once per round, as an immediate action, you can sacrifice one of your (unspent) attack of opportunity to add half your BAB (rounded down) as a dodge bonus to your AC against one melee attack. You must announce this ability after the attack is rolled but before its result is announced (replaces Armor Training 1).
o   Improved Combat Reactions: you can execute a Combat Reaction more than once per round, by spending additional attacks of opportunities. You can’t react twice against the same attack. If using a shield, add half your Str modifier to the dodge bonus (replaces Armor Training 2 or higher and requires the Combat Reflexes feat).
o   Unfettered: you gain a +1 bonus on Initiative and Reflexes saves when wearing no armor, light armor, medium armor and not carrying a heavy load. Each time you choose this option, your bonus increases by +1 (replaces one Armor Training class feature each time).
  
Fighter Talents: a Fighter Talent is a class feature that you can choose instead of a Fighter Bonus Feat.

o   Berserker Talent Tree
Rage: as per the 1st level Barbarian class feature, but only for 2 + Con modifier rounds per day, plus 1 round per Fighter level.
Rage Power: choose on Barbarian Rage Power, treating your Fighter levels as Barbarian levels for prerequisite terms (requires Rage).
Greater Rage: as the 11th level Barbarian class feature (you must be a Fighter of 12th level) (requires Rage).
Indomitable Will: as the 14th level Barbarian class feature (you must be a Fighter of 15th level) (requires Rage).
Tireless Rage: as the 17th level Barbarian class feature (you must be a Fighter of 18th level) (requires Greater Rage).
Mighty Rage: as the 20th level Barbarian class feature (you must be a Fighter of 20th level) (requires Tireless Rage).

o   Predator’s Instincts Talent Tree
Trap Sense: as per the 3rd level Barbarian class feature, but the bonus is fixed at +2 (you must be a Fighter of 3rd level) (requires Uncanny Dodge).
Hunter’s Sight: you gain low-light vision. If you already possess low-light vision, you gain darkvision 60 ft.
Dragon’s Sleep: you can make Perception checks even while sleeping and without any penalty. You can wake and act instantly, without delay (however, you still require normal move actions for things li9ke getting up).
Bloodhound: you gain all the benefits of the Scent ability, limited to 10 ft. (requires Hunter’s Sight and Dragon’s Sleep).
Sixth Sense: you gain, as a free action, a Perception check against an hidden enemy attacking you in melee range. You gain a +2 bonus on this check. If you succeed, you can roll Initiative against the attacker, also with a +2 bonus (you must be a Fighter of 3rd level) (requires Trap Sense and Uncanny Dodge).

o   Frenetic Reflexes Talent Tree
No Retreat: you can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent using the Withdraw action to leave your threatened area.
Bloody Step: you can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent leaving your threatened area with a 5-foot step (you must be a Fighter of 5th level) (requires No Easy Retreat).
Wall of Blades: you can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent moving through your threatened area with a 5-foot step (you must be a Fighter of 7th level) (requires Bloody Step).
Steel Salute: you can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent entering your threatened area (you must be a Fighter of 11th level) (requires Wall of Blades).

o   Tactician Talent Tree
Strategist: as a standard action, roll d20 + your Fighter level + your Int modifier. Your DC is 11 + half your adversary’s HD + his Int modifier. If successful, your Int modifier to one attack, combat maneuver or opposed skill check against that enemy until the end of your next turn.
Tactical Opportunist: add your Int modifier to all your attacks of opportunity.
Maneuver Opportunist: when an enemy provokes an attack of opportunity you can make a combat maneuver instead of a basic melee attack, but you must be able to execute the chosen maneuver without provoking an attack of opportunity (requires Tactical Opportunist).
Read Adversary: when you use Strategist, you may add your Int modifier to your AC, CMD or Reflexes save, as an immediate action, against one attack from the analyzed adversary. You must use the benefit granted by Read Adversary until the end of your next turn after using Strategist (you must be a Fighter of 5th level) (requires Strategist).
Captain’s Call: you can use Aid Another as a move action to help any ally in line of sight who can hear you (requires Strategist).
Warlord: when an adversary provokes an attack of opportunity, you can, as an immediate action, grant one of your (unspent) attack of opportunities to any ally in line of sight that can hear you. This ally adds your Int modifier to his attack roll (requires Captain’s Call).
Fight as One: when rolling Initiative, any ally within 30 ft. can choose, after rolling, to use your Initiative value instead of his (requires Warlord).