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Author Topic: Expert Class: Warlord  (Read 958 times)
Doublebond
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« on: December 28, 2010, 10:43:31 PM »

A while back I suggested the possibility of replacing the captain's PL abilities with one's centered around the coordinated feat chain. I confess I was so smitten with the idea I decided to try and work out a class which would have such abilities, and so I began to develop my first class for any game system, ever.

I think I've gotten it into a working format and it's ready for comments and criticism. Since this class is my first, I'm expecting there will be something horribly wrong with it at some point or another. Currently I suspect it's overpowered, and some of the abilities are too complicated/wordy to be practical, but I believe you all will be better judges than myself.

The concept I had was for a type of character that excelled in directing and leading men. A tactician; a Sun Tzu-like figure. Essentially, a non-combative captain. I still wanted it to be capable of being a combatant, however; just not specifically geared towards it.

Warlord Expert Class

Prerequisites
    Coordinated Attack feat
    Ambush Basics feat
    Tactics 6+ ranks

Skills/Vitality:
Class skills: 10; Skill points: 6 + Int mod ; Vitality: 9 + Con mod

Class Skills
Notice, Intimidate, Tactics, Impress, Resolve, Investigate, Sense Motive, Riding, Survival, Medicine*

*Possible alteration: replace medicine with athletics to help facilitate more combat-oriented implementations of the class.

Favored Attributes
Strength (Melee) or Dexterity (Ranged), Intelligence, Charisma

Progression
    BAB: Med (1)
    Fort: Low (0)
    Ref: Low (0)
    Will: Med (1)
    Def: High (2)
    Init: High (2)
    Lifestyle: Med (1)
    Legend: Med (1)

Here's the skeleton I used for the class abilities. IIRC it's only slightly different from that listed in the wiki.

     1. A1, Core
     2. B1
     3. C1
     4. D1, E
     5. C2
     6. F
     7. B2, C3
     8. D2, A2
     9. C4
   10. G ("gamebreaker")

Core Ability
You gain the Battlefield Trickery feat. Additionally, at level 1 and every class level thereafter, your tactics rank rises by 1. This may not raise your tactics score above your maximum possible rank.


Ability A: Full of Surprises
1. During combat you may choose to make a full-action tactics check opposing the tactics skill of a target whom you can see or hear. On success the target receives a penalty to defense, attacks, or skill checks (your choosing each time perform the action) equal to your intelligence modifier (minimum 1) until the next time he takes damage (in the case of a defense penalty) or makes a successful attack or skill check (in the case of attack or skill penalties respectively). If you fail the check, you become flat footed. A combatant cannot be affected by this ability more than once at a time, no matter how many warlords are present.

2. Your intelligence score rises by one, and targets affected by your Full of Surprises ability are susceptible to sneak attack damage.*

*Possible addition: make it a half action.


Ability B: Master and Commander
1. You gain a Melee, Ranged, or Unarmed Combat Feat, or two proficiencies. Also, at the beginning of an adventure you may select a number of your weapon proficiencies, tricks, or advanced actions equal to your charisma modifier (minimum 1) . Each of your party members gain those proficiencies, tricks, or advanced actions for the duration of the adventure. You may change the selected abilities or fortes in the middle of an adventure by spending at least a week of downtime.
   
Weapon proficiencies selected may give grant fortes to teammates who are already proficient in those weapons in those categories, but must be selected twice to give fortes to teammates who are not proficient to any extent in such weapon categories.
   
2. You gain another Melee, Ranged, or Unarmed Combat Feat, or two proficiencies. Also, at the beginning of an adventure you may  select a number of stances you know equal to your charisma modifier (minimum 1).  For the duration of the adventure, each of your party members may assume those stances. You may change the selected stances in the middle of an adventure by spending at least a week of downtime for each stance reselected, up to a maximum of a month.


Ability C: Command and Conquer
1. You gain the coordinated move feat, and may use coordinated attack as a half action once per round.
2. You gain the coordinated strike feat, and may use coordinated move as a half action once per round.  
3. Once per combat, during your initiative count, you may utilize the either the coordinated attack or coordinated move feat as a free action.
4. Once per round, you may use coordinated strike as a half action. When you use it as a half action, only one teammate may make a standard attack.


Ability D: Battle Planing
As captain ability.


Ability E
Once per adventure, as a free action, you may gain any 2 temporary Terrain feats that last until the end of the adventure.


Ability F
At the beginning of a combat in which you are a participant, but before initiative is rolled, you may make an opposed tactics check against the enemy combatant with the highest tactics bonus. The minimum result your enemy can have is 20. If you succeed, you and your teammates all gain a bonus to their initiative rolls equal to your intelligence modifier.  This ability does not stack, however many Warlords are present. If more than one warlords are present the enemy combatant makes a separate tactics check for each warlord. If more than one warlords succeed in this skill check the highest intelligence modifier amongst them is used for the bonus.


Ability G (Gamebreaker): The Plan Comes Together*
Once per combat, as a full action, you may initiate an immediate surprise round, during which all your teammates (yourself excluded) can take actions as per the rules for surprise rounds. No enemies can participate in this surprise round regardless of character options. This entire surprise round is considered to take place during your formal initiative count, which is consequently considered to have ended only after the surprise round ends. This ability may not be utilized during surprise rounds.

*I owe someone thanks for this name. I forget who, but he's quite deserving of it...

I feel I've procrastinated too much in putting this up on here. It's time to just throw it up and see what people have to say.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2010, 10:59:31 PM by Doublebond » Logged
Doublebond
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2010, 11:07:12 PM »

After discovering Morgenstern's incredibly informative posts in this thread literally minutes after posting this, I expect this class will be undergoing major revisions one way or another.

Current concern is that the C line is too powerful for its use as the baseline ability for the class. I feel the concept intrinsic to the class, a real "backbone," but it seems too powerful for its slot...
« Last Edit: December 28, 2010, 11:25:16 PM by Doublebond » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2010, 03:22:23 AM »

It looks like B and C slots are both double-strength abilities, and I think you should probably pick one or the other. Also, I think there is some risk with going in this direction and ending up with "the class that does only one thing."
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Mister Andersen
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2010, 11:50:42 AM »

Warlord Commander

Class Features
Requirements: Tactics 4+ ranks, Ambush Basics, Basic Skill Mastery (Officer)
Favoured Attributes: Charisma, Intelligence
Class Skills: Bluff, Impress, Intimidate, Investigate, Notice, Resolve, Riding, Sense Motive, Survival, Tactics
Skill points: 6 + Int mod
Vitality: 9 + Con mod

     1. Drill Sergeant, In Step
     2. Battle Planning
     3. In Step
     4. Best of the Best, No-one Left Behind
     5. In Step
     6. Master & Commander I
     7. Battle Planning, In Step
     8. Best of the Best, Saint Crispin's Day
     9. In Step
   10. The Plan Comes Together

Core Ability
     Drill Sergeant: At level 1 and every class level thereafter, you gain a bonus skill point that may only be used to increase your Tactics ranks. Additionally, once per combat you may automatically cast Command I with a caster level equal to your Charisma score.

Class Abilities
     In Step: At 1st level, you gain the Co-ordinated Attack feat. Additionally when using feats gained through this ability you may direct the person(s) under your command to perform Distract actions.
     At 3rd level, you gain the Co-ordinated Move feat.
     At 5th level, you gain the Co-ordinated Strike feat. Additionally when using feats gained through this ability you may direct the person(s) under your command to perform Pummel actions.
     At 7th level, when using your Co-ordinated feat chain, anyone acting under your direction may use any trick or advanced action you know while doing so.
     At 9th level, the number of people who may act under your command when you use one of your Co-ordinated chain feats increases by the higher of your Intelligence and Charisma modifiers (minimum 1).
     Battle Planing: At 2nd & 7th level, you gain an iteration of the Captain ability of this name.
     Best Of The Best: At 4th & 8th level, you gain an iteration of the Sage ability of this name.
     No-one Left Behind: At 4th level, you gain the Extra Mile feat, and may apply its benefit to additional allies at the cost of an action die each.
     Master & Commander I: At 6th level, you gain the Captain ability of this name.
     Saint Crispin's Day: At 8th level, once ber session you may as a full action automatically cast Mass Brawn I with a caster level equal to your Charisma score.
     The Plan Comes Together: At 10th level, once per combat on your initiative count you may sacrifice your action and become flatfooted to grant a surprise round at the beginning of the next initiative count to all allies that can see or hear you. Any ability that permits an opponent to act during a surprise round may only be used at the cost of an action die per individual attempting to do so. This ability may not be used during a surprise round.

Progression
   BAB: Med (1)
   Fort: Low (0)
   Ref: Low (0)
   Will: Med (1)
   Def: High (2)
   Init: High (2)
   Lifestyle: Med (1)
   Legend: Med (1)



There were some good ideas there, but on the whole they tended to be over powered and too narrow in their focus.

  • Expert classes have a 5 point cost for their entry requirement, so with feats at 2 a piece, the number of ranks needed can be scaled back to 4. You'll notice that I swapped out the first co-ord feat for BSM (Officer) here, which rounds things out a little and has the advantage of boosting the threat range and total bonus of Tactics checks.
  • Warlord wasn't a really good fit as a class name, even for your original build, so I suggest Commander, which feels more apt for where I think you were wanting this class to go.
  • Medicine was dropped in favour of the far more appropriate Bluff
  • In Step makes use of the A slot to really solidify the spine of the class, as well as give it a little bit of extra butch to make it worthwhile staying in the class to pick up those feats
  • You'll notice that the 2 iterations of Battle Planning kick in at roughly the same point Career Level-wise as they would in the base class they came from. The same holds true for Master & Commander.
  • You need to watch out when naming abilities: as noted above, M&C was already bagged by the Captain and is significantly different to what was essentially an overpowered version of the Soldier's Fight On ability. You'll find the intent there has found a place in the latter iterations of In Step.
  • Best of the Best is incredibly useful for a class like this: it's no good directing someone to perform an action they suck at or are incapable of. It also thematically meshes with the higher levels of In Step, and is a solid team support ability outside of combat.
  • Which brings us to Noone Left Behind, a solid ability to lets you emerge from what could be a total disaster bloody but unbowed. Especially useful for rescuing valuable NPCs from otherwise certain doom.
  • St Crispin's Day is a Shakespeare reference, but along with the core ability a good example of how to work in mechanical effects you might not have considered
  • The game breaker has been tweaked for the sake of balance, but consider how easily this could eat up a GC's action dice while managing not to just blanket-nerf his NPCs.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2010, 12:26:01 PM by Mister Andersen » Logged

snake
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2010, 02:26:10 PM »

Crom !! Very Nice, Doublebond et al.

Yes, I too considered such an expert class but lack the skill to construct it. I prefer the Warlord title though.

I'd think of using such a class in a Hyborian campaign (eg King Conan in Conan the Conqueror/Hour of the Dragon novel, smashing the armies of Nemedia), in planetary romance (eg John Carter the Warlord of Mars, uniting the races of Mars under his banner) or in Post Apoc Fantasy (A mutant Warlord crushing the unworthy beneath his heels).

Good Stuff.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2010, 02:28:27 PM by snake » Logged

Lo, there do I see my father. Lo, there do I see my mother.
And my sister and my brother
Lo, there do I see the line of my people Back to the beginning.
Lo, they do call to me.They bid me take my place among them
In the halls of Valhalla Where the brave may live forever !!!
Mister Andersen
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2010, 02:36:34 PM »

A warlord is at the pinacle of their career. That says Master Class to me.
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veector
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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2010, 05:26:36 PM »

You've got me salivating for an entry to the Fantasy Craft Database!
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