[CONAN] Soldier Class Q

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[CONAN] Soldier Class Q

Postby Cheomesh » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:38 am

Likely going to be DMing a Conan game sometime in the next two months. One guy mentioned he might like to be a soldier, while another is going to be a borderer (any others interested have not yet spoken). I expect someone to try and go Scholar of some kind, and I'll likely end up with another Borderer or Barbarian. That kind of leaves the Soldier guy a little washed up, since his class features seem to revolve around having another with an identical fighting style in the long run, and two others in the short. Will my soldier player be short changed if he doesn't get to use his Fighting Style feature and officer feature? Would it be best to grant him extra bonus feats instead, or will the rest of his bonus feats balance it out?

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Re: [CONAN] Soldier Class Q

Postby Ichabod » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:59 am

Cheomesh wrote:Likely going to be DMing a Conan game sometime in the next two months. One guy mentioned he might like to be a soldier, while another is going to be a borderer (any others interested have not yet spoken). I expect someone to try and go Scholar of some kind, and I'll likely end up with another Borderer or Barbarian. That kind of leaves the Soldier guy a little washed up, since his class features seem to revolve around having another with an identical fighting style in the long run, and two others in the short. Will my soldier player be short changed if he doesn't get to use his Fighting Style feature and officer feature? Would it be best to grant him extra bonus feats instead, or will the rest of his bonus feats balance it out?

M.
Making some assumptions*, he will be short changed just because soldier is a terrible class. You could just say that he gets the bonuses of his fighting styles without needing anyone else for something simple that mitigates the awfulness of the class. Alternatively, double the soldier's skill ranks (or triple them).

* For instance, that skills will matter in your campaign.
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Postby Cheomesh » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:40 pm

Skills will matter. I'm guessing it's a terrible class because feats != features? Much like the 3.5 Fighter - figured this was going to be the case.

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Postby Nyarly » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:57 pm

Nialldubh wrote:personally, I think the other Classes have flaws just as much as the Soldier, but why should they be perfect, kinda agree a little with the low skills, for the Borderer, think it should be 6 Skill pts/ lvl also.
The Soldier is probably the worst class, along with the Borderer. I had several houserule ideas to improve some of the classes:

Borderer: 6 skill points and 0,75 Dodge Defense progression

Noble: 6 skill points; Defense progressions and Armor Proficiencies depending on cultural background (e.g. a Kushite noble doesn't need Armor Proficiency (Heavy) or even (Medium) but and could have 0,75 Dodge Defense progression).

Nomad: 6 skill points or 0,75 Dodge progression (Nomad is a bit better than Borderer => Bonus Feat list instead of fixed Combat Style feats; plus the Mobility class feature).

Pirate: 6 skill points

Soldier: 4 skill points; add Listen and Spot to class skills; make the Formation Combat dependent on weapons used (instead of armor worn)
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Postby LucaCherstich » Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:38 am

I like the soldier as it is.
Soldiers are built to kill, not to follow Tracks, Craft objects or make Knowledge checks.
Bonus feats make him dangerous even at low levels, and formation bonus mimic what soldiers usually do in a army....
Do you want more skills?
Choose another class!
Soldiers main occupation should be fighting, everything else does not matter.
And if it matters to you, you can multiclass, a thing which is easier (and recomended) in Conan rpg!
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Postby Cheomesh » Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:10 am

Where can I find these Rural and Urban background skills? Your post is a bit hard to follow.

I think for our first shot I'm going to leave the classes and races as they are. If I start tampering with them now, I'll never know what's going on.

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Postby Cheomesh » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:46 pm

I know there's a second edition version of Kitai and Player's Guide to the Hyborian Age, but did the rest get a second edition treatment? Or are they forwards compatable?

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Postby Kev » Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:46 pm

Cheomesh wrote:I know there's a second edition version of Kitai and Player's Guide to the Hyborian Age, but did the rest get a second edition treatment? Or are they forwards compatable?

M.
The 1st/Atlantean edition Conan supplements are almost 100% compatible with 2nd edition rules, as far as I'm aware.

There were a couple that were substantially revised/rewritten for 2nd edtion but they received a title change so they're easy to tell apart. Example: Scrolls of Skelos for 1st/Atlantean edition vs. Secrets of Skelos for 2nd edition; Road of Kings vs. Return to the Road of Kings; etc.
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Postby Supplement Four » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:24 pm

Kev wrote:The 1st/Atlantean edition Conan supplements are almost 100% compatible with 2nd edition rules, as far as I'm aware.
Yes, I bought the entire line, both 1st and 2nd edition. I haven't run into a problem yet.
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Postby Cheomesh » Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:06 am

Oh cool. Don't think I'll use upgrade books for the first run, but maybe after a few levels we'll work them in. Thanks!

M.

EDIT: Oh, would it be a terrible detrement if I replaced the Officer/Fighting style features with more feats if I end up with just one soldier?
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Postby LucaCherstich » Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:04 am

I think you should not replace those "formation" abilities for 2 reasons:
- They make sense for soldier background (the army!)
- Too many fighting feats will make them unbalanced if compared to barbarians and borderers.
Even with the actual feats, if you select those feats wisely, a soldier can kill at ease any equivalent level barbarian, even if many people still say that barbarians are stronger than soldiers.
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Postby LucaCherstich » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:04 pm

Not so sure this is a good solution.
Conan rpg is wonderfully fit for multiclassing.
So many of the above military functions can be done multiclassing soldiers with nobles, borderers, etc... (See Free Companies & Hyboria's Finest).
I like the soldier as it is.
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Postby Nyarlathotep5150 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:13 am

LucaCherstich wrote:Not so sure this is a good solution.
Conan rpg is wonderfully fit for multiclassing.
So many of the above military functions can be done multiclassing soldiers with nobles, borderers, etc.
The opposite is also true. There's no reason why the other players couldn't or shouldn't take a couple levels in soldier, so that they and the soldier can benefit from the formation bonus.
It makes logical sense that they would. If you fight alongside someone for an extended period of time, you learn to compliment their tactics (you learn the formation).
If none of the other PC's are willing to give up a level or two to SIGNIFICANTLY strengthen the group, you could think about adding in a feat that the other players can take to illustrate their familiarity with the soldiers tactics. Something like,

Brothers in Arms
Prerequisites:BAB+5
Effect: Each time you take this feat, choose one Soldier formation combat ability. Other, allied soldiers can now count you as possessing this formation ability for the purposes of determining whether its bonus applies.
Note:This feat does not give this character that formation ability, so he doesn't receive the bonus. It simply shows that this character is familiar enough with their allies tactics, that their allies can receive formation bonuses from them.
This feat may be taken multiple times, choosing a different formation each time.
(I came up with this off the top of my head, so it probably needs some finetuning, but I think you get the point I'm going for)


If your group doesn't have two characters that are willing to even give up ONE feat in the name of the group dynamic, I'd start considering finding new players.
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Postby LucaCherstich » Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:21 am

Nyarlathotep, your idea is GREAT!!
I like your feat, and I like making new feats (as I've posted many here in this forums, during the last few months)!
Feats are one of the best features of 3.5 games, they make you fix your PCs as you like!
A Few comments:
- BENEFIT: since you need BAB+5 and you SPEND one feat slot (and I still think that Feats slots are precious), I recomend you to give all of the benefits of formation, not just "counting as a soldier". Actually this feat could mimic Soldier's Formation as much as "Noble Blood" mimic the Noble's Title!
- This feat could be even taken by Soldiers to augment their repertoire of formations or get the "Improved" version of their formation before they should have done! I recomend to add a "SPECIAL" line saying "This feat can be taken by as a Soldier as one of his bonus feats," and you could add something for Nomads & Borderers as bonus feats at specific levels.
- Please, update it and post it also to other Conan Forums (Nialdubh'Thurian forum and the Age Undreamed of forum)
- With your permit, I think I'll borrow your feat if I ever manage to finish my big pdf on new Conan manoeuvres, feats, weapons and translating Codex Martialis to Conan.
Here is my proposal for a new version of your Feat:

Brothers in Arms (VERSION 0.2)
Prerequisites:BAB+5
Effect: Each time you take this feat you get a Soldier formation combat ability.
This feat may be taken multiple times, choosing a different formation each time.
For getting the "Improved" version of each formation you first need to have the basic formation.
Special: This feat can be taken by Soldiers as a Bonus feat to get more formations.
Nomads can take this feat as a bonus feat only if the formation regards Light or Heavy Cavalry and they use the Bonus Feat slot at 7th level or more (not at 2nd level).
10th level Borderers can take the Skirmish formation as their bonus feat.
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Postby Nyarlathotep5150 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:40 am

Well, I originally had it as BAB+2, but then I realized that Soldiers don't even get Formation Combat till 3rd level. So I upped it to 5 to say that you had to fight alongside him, while he was using the tactic, for awhile to learn the feat.
As far as giving all the benefits, I wouldn't run it that way personally. Just because I don't like the idea of feats giving class abilities, and since formation Combat is the only thing soldiers get as a class feature, I think if anyone can take a feat to get it, it kinda makes the class obsolete.
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Postby Nyarlathotep5150 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:23 am

As I read it, thats exactly correct (I've never had anyone play a soldier so I'm not sure how they work). Plus, the number you can effect goes up with levels.
So, The OP should just advise the Soldier to take a 14+ INT, or raise it to 14 by 5th level.
Just as an aside, why does everyone hate on Soldiers? They seem pretty decent from the writeup. Sure the Barbarian class is the flashiest for sheer badassitude, but the others still seem awesome.
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Postby LucaCherstich » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:01 am

Nyarlathotep5150 wrote:Well, I originally had it as BAB+2, but then I realized that Soldiers don't even get Formation Combat till 3rd level. So I upped it to 5 to say that you had to fight alongside him, while he was using the tactic, for awhile to learn the feat.
As far as giving all the benefits, I wouldn't run it that way personally. Just because I don't like the idea of feats giving class abilities, and since formation Combat is the only thing soldiers get as a class feature, I think if anyone can take a feat to get it, it kinda makes the class obsolete.
Well, that class is no obsolet at all!
No other class give you all those many Bonus combat feats, without considering:
- the good Parry
- the good Fort bonuses.
- The profinciency on Heavy armour
- Soldiers Have Good Parry and Medium Dodge, while Barbarians have Good Dodge but only very poor Parry. And I cannot over-estimate the value of Parry if you want to exploit shields of special maneuvers like Riposte.
I would definitvely not consider this class obsolete, even without the monopoly on formations!

And regarding Soldiers VS Barbarians:
WHo is that dumb to say that Bbns are more powerful?
They are just easier to create, while soldiers give you a wider range of options in creating them.
I still think that a 5th level Soldier will always kill a 5th level Barbarian BUT ONLY IF the soldier chose widely his own bonus feats.
I always suggest true-warrior-type Barbarians to get a few soldier levels if they really want to stand up among the rest of their barbaric hordes and take combat to a professional level.
WHich is also what is suggesting V.Darlage in Hyboria's Fiercest descriptions of soldiers coming from Barbaric countries like Cimmeria, Vanaheim or the Black Kingdoms.
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Postby LucaCherstich » Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:20 pm

Nialldubh wrote:
Not everyone want to multi-Class, how could someone get to 20th lvl Soldier, Barbarian if they Multi-Classed?

So to some, Multi-Classing in not an option, this is a variant, not a change!
Well, it is not compulsory to get to 20th level with just one class!!
The setting is VERY MUCH thought for multiclassing.
See Conan's life, or the life of many desperate free companions of this Age.
Many of those desperate men enlisted as soldiers into free companies have backgrounds as thieves, bandits or raiders in barbaric hordes.
Nialldubh wrote: how many Formations would a normal Soldier have, he have Duties, Guard Duties, 89% of his life, stand guard on a fort wall or at a gate, not battling eternally!
Guard duties can be easily mimicked with Multiclass, Feats, Background Skills, Skill points (especially from Int bonus).
Furthermore having 1 or 2 ranks in Perform (Guard Mount) (From Across THunder River/Hyboria's Finest) or Profession (Soldier/MercenarY) should be common skills among those who have more than 1 soldier level and have passed a substantial time of theri life in an army.
Each soldier can take very basic survelliance & survey guards, but every decent army will have his own scouts, those who do it professionally since they have borderers, barbarian or nomad levels.

While Formation still remain important: that's something which differentiate the rough barbarian horde from the disciplined professional legion.
The soldier are adept at fighting together orderly, and that's something more special than making guards!

REGARDING THE FEATS
Here are my proposals:

Brothers in Arms (Version 0.4)
Prerequisites:BAB+5, having served in an army or, at least, having done some practice with fellow soldiers.
Effect: Each time you take this feat you get a Soldier formation combat ability. This feat may be taken multiple times, choosing a different formation each time. For getting the "Improved" version of each formation you first need to have the basic formation.
Special: This feat can be taken by Soldiers as a Bonus feat to get more formations.
Nomads can take this feat as a bonus feat only if the formation regards Light or Heavy Cavalry and they use the Bonus Feat slot at 7th level or more (not at 2nd level).
10th level Borderers can take the Skirmish formation as their bonus feat.

Turn the scum into soldiers! (Version 0.1)
Prerequisites:Officer Special ability
Effect: Your Officer ability can be used for 3 times the number of people you should normally influence.
If your Int bonus is of 0 (but not negative) you can influence 2 persons.
Special: This feat can be taken by Soldiers as a Bonus feat.

NOTE: I SAY 3 TIMES because spending a Feat for this looks to me a very big investment for something which benefits others more than you (and benefit you in a not-direct way).
Furthermore it can be useful even to officers with normal Int scores (bonus 0), but not to officers with low Intelligence (Int penalty).
I like this last feat since it reminds me of that scene from the "Gladiator" where the ex-General/Gladiator turn his pack of desperate slaves into a disciplined shield-wall.
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Postby Nyarlathotep5150 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:57 pm

Well, now that I know about the Officer ability, I really think that having a feat anyone can take to get Formation strikes is a bad idea. That one feat takes away 2 of the soldiers abilities. And yes, soldier gives more bonus feats than most classes, but that was true for D&D fighters too, and nobody is going to take more than 2 levels or so in that class in the name of feats alone.
Classes can give specific feats as a class ability, but a feat should never give a class ability. Especially when that ability is the ONLY ability that is unique to that class.
LucaCherstich wrote: And regarding Soldiers VS Barbarians:
WHo is that dumb to say that Bbns are more powerful?
They are just easier to create, while soldiers give you a wider range of options in creating them.
I still think that a 5th level Soldier will always kill a 5th level Barbarian BUT ONLY IF the soldier chose widely his own bonus feats.
I always suggest true-warrior-type Barbarians to get a few soldier levels if they really want to stand up among the rest of their barbaric hordes and take combat to a professional level.
WHich is also what is suggesting V.Darlage in Hyboria's Fiercest descriptions of soldiers coming from Barbaric countries like Cimmeria, Vanaheim or the Black Kingdoms.
I never said Barbarians were more powerful. I said they were flashier. With greater Mobility, Crimson Mist, Versatility, Die Hard, etc. EVERY level of the Barbarian class gets some awesome, over the top ability. The only other classes that even come close to being that flashy are the Pirate and the Temptress. The rest just have a couple of recurring abilities, and bonus feats. That doesn't make them less powerful, but those other three class writeups stand out more.
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Postby LucaCherstich » Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:30 pm

I've said that feats MUST be wisely chosen.
Barbarians are all the same.
Soldiers need a bit more wise choosing but, consider the following example.

A second level Soldier with Str 15 and whose Favoured class is also Soldier (e.g. an Hyborian or Zingaran) can have 4 feats.
If we want to focus on "Charging" for example, our soldier will have:
- Power attack
- Improved Bull Rush
- Drive you enemy before you (Hyboria's Fiercest)
- Reckless Attack or Power Bull Rush (Hyboria's Finest)

Do you consider the Charge of this enemy less lethal than the charge of a 2nd level barbarian which has jus 1 feat or 2 feats IF Barbarian is also a favoured class?
I feel that the 2nd level soldier will poorly perfom in front of such a soldier.
Do not believe it?
Make a playtest!

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