[CONAN] A new class - "Weapon Man"

Cheomesh

Mongoose
I like sword swingers, and the core book gives me plenty of that. The barbarian has the ability to use any weapon at a reduced penalty from the start and can fly into a rage when he successfully doesn't wet himself in fear. The Pirate can sneak attack you (as can the thief). The Nomad can get some benefits for mounted combat, and the borderer can get real good in two weapon combat. The soldier also exists and can do the whole weapon focus tree with little problem.

The Barbarian revolves around his savage and unorthodox fighting prowess, the pirate revolves around his savage charge and sneak attacks, the nomad is made for the saddle, the thief has his sneak attack style to pick from and the borderer has a bow or two weapon fighting style to pick from and gain free feats in.

However, I idly started working on another class, which I call the Weapon Man or the Man at Arms. This is mostly tinkering, and not seriously an attempt at making a class I expect everyone to go and rush to use. I envision these as a counter to the soldier. While the Soldier's abilities are about his formation, this one is about individual prowess. He keeps the hit die, bab, saves, parry and dodge bonus and bonus feats of the Soldier.

He gains 4 + int in skills, and the class skills are Climb, intimidate, jump, knowledge local, knowledge warfare, profession, ride, search, spot and listen (probably forgot something, it's late).

Instead of the Soldier's formation-centric abilities (which always left me cold), this one is more about personal ability to excel in close combat, making him somewhat like the barbarian. Unlike the barbarian, he doesn't utilize "unorthodox" styles (which just give him a reduced penalty on using things that aren't known weapons to him) or rely on getting mad to succeed. This one is the more trained and drilled fighting type. You follow. I have not yet nailed anything down for certain, but I figured the earlier I started this discussion the better.

I figure there's a few approaches that can either be done alone or in cohort, with or without a smattering of other nifty abilities.

One approach is pretty simple: just give him the weapon focus tree for free and leave it at that. Probably the least sound.

Another approach: Give him a weapon focus tree tailored to the class (giving him all the stock bonus of the feat plus additional goodies). This would be handled by either having the class specialize in a single specific weapon (like broadsword, pionard, spear, quarterstaff), a weapon category (like martial, light, simple, two handed, exotic) or a certain "class" of weapons (like axes, swords, pole weapons, daggers/knives, blunt weapons). This feature gives the normal feat bonuses for weapon focus (etc) but at various appropriate levels they'll gain extra damage when using a weapon in their selection range. This would probably be +1d6, and could be granted either consistently (at which point +1d6 is probably way too much) with each successfully damaging blow, or when the opponent has been feinted or some other non-sneak-attack trigger is presented that I just haven't thought about. I think the Thief has something similar, in which he can tailor his sneak attack to a certain weapon.

Another idea: Let him specialize in strength of finesse styles and give him bonus damage and or to hit rolls when using it. That'll stack with the weapon focus tree and the like. Something like the borderer's fighting style.

A wholly different approach would be to let him use the feats to build up his weapon focuses if he wants and give him as class the ability to manipulate the combat mechanics themselves; particularly the special moves. Examples include extra Attacks of Opportunity, getting certain enhancements to maneuvers like getting extra damage on "Cat's Parry" or reducing the penalty of fighting defensively from -4/+2 to -2/+2. This would probably tie into a few free combat related feats that prevent AoO against him (things like improved grapple) or allow extra AoO (Combat Expertise IIRC).

Amongst that are lesser plusses like perhaps the "Fearless" will save bonus of the Barbarian, or uncanny dodge at 4th, favored armor types reducing certain penalties, noble regional features or the pirate's coup de gras.

An early idea was to give him early access to Leadership but that'd short the noble.

What do you guys think? I know "fighter reboots" come and go, but they fail in 3.5 due to the presence of high sorcery making sword-swinging hilarious, where as Conan seems to be centered around it.

Feel free to trash or suggest what you'd like - like I said, this isn't an attempt to make something that'll be published so much as to represent a "sword swinger" class that hails from a more formally trained background and doesn't center around sneaky blows or the unorthodox. I may be failing to communicate properly, but I'm sure you guys follow. The usual

Whichever is selected would be the main attribute of the class - being a master of melee combat. A real warrior type.

M.
 
I do not like what you are suggesting, and I think many fighter types can be mimicked in Conan rpg just using multiclassing and decent bonus feat selection (check Hyboria's Finest for suggestions).

Drilled warriors are soldiers and nobody else.
What you are trying to build is a kind of martial artist character type, somebody interested in single man-vs-man fight and nothing more.
Nothing bad in itself, but if you want to make it, you should find a background reason why he is not of the soldier type.
Soldiers are drilled fighters since they learned their ways in the army or warband of their nations.
That's the reason for formations.
Where did your weapon specialist learned its trade?
Some kind of Japanese-like bushi dojo?

There is also some balance issue.
Soldiers are the most customizable fighters you have in this game, consider their bonus feats.
But if you are going to substitute formations with some bonus for single man-vs-man fight, you should also take off some bonus feat.
Otherwises your "man-at-arms" will always be better than soldiers of the same level.
 

Cheomesh

Mongoose
LucaCherstich said:
I do not like what you are suggesting, and I think many fighter types can be mimicked in Conan rpg just using multiclassing and decent bonus feat selection (check Hyboria's Finest for suggestions).

I'll check Finest out for sure; there's bound to be something in there.

LucaCherstich said:
Drilled warriors are soldiers and nobody else.
Duelists, I think, would be drilled warriors of some type.

LucaCherstich said:
What you are trying to build is a kind of martial artist character type, somebody interested in single man-vs-man fight and nothing more.

Yep. Well, kind of. Pretty much all the character types use some kind of martial arts, but I follow you. Closer to the traditional d20 Fighter type - basically the soldier with something -other- than formations for class features.

LucaCherstich said:
Nothing bad in itself, but if you want to make it, you should find a background reason why he is not of the soldier type.

As above, duelist comes to mind, as do personal body guards and people in general trying to focus on individual combat. Someone trained to fight in general, but not as part of some kind of formation.

LucaCherstich said:
Soldiers are drilled fighters since they learned their ways in the army or warband of their nations.
That's the reason for formations.

Completely correct - but this guy is not representing someone trained in formation combat.

LucaCherstich said:
Where did your weapon specialist learned its trade?
Some kind of Japanese-like bushi dojo?

Sure, why not? Though we're in Western Thuria, so it would be closer to the Zingaran style schools. Were there other schools mentioned in other splat books?

LucaCherstich said:
There is also some balance issue.
Soldiers are the most customizable fighters you have in this game, consider their bonus feats.

Ah, but my time as a 3.5 DM over at the WotC forum has taught me that Feats Are Not Class Abilities (though spells are feats...I never "got" those guys).

LucaCherstich said:
But if you are going to substitute formations with some bonus for single man-vs-man fight, you should also take off some bonus feat.

Probably correct, especially if I was to turn the weapon specialization tree into a class ability tied in with something like enhanced damage.

LucaCherstich said:
Otherwises your "man-at-arms" will always be better than soldiers of the same level.

Yep, but what I've read here has lead me to conclude that Soldier is bested by pretty much everyone else.

M.
 
Cheomesh said:
LucaCherstich said:
Otherwises your "man-at-arms" will always be better than soldiers of the same level.

Yep, but what I've read here has lead me to conclude that Soldier is bested by pretty much everyone else.

M.

I think this is an old miscoconception, variously times discussed in these forums.
The point is that your soldier will be as deadly as the Bonus Feats you will choose.
Read carefully through Core book, Hyboria's F series and Players Guide and you'll get a whole series of wonderfull, dangerous feats.
But it's all a matter of how you choose them.

For example, I've always liked the "Bull Rush" Chain.
Consider a 3rd level soldier (6 feats if he also has favored race Class) with these feats:
Power Attack
Improved Bull Rush
Drive Your enemy before you (Hyboria's Fiercest)
Improved Initiative
Reckelss Attack (Hyboria's Finest)
Power Bull Rush (Hyboria's Finest)

If this man will charge most Barbarians and Borderers of 5th or 6th level, and he will have very good possibilities of:
- Acting first
- put them on the ground,
- confuse a couple of enemies putting at least 1 prone (if he can push an enemy in another's enemy's square)
- and even get a free attack in the same round.
- Deal a lot of damage if he is wielding his weapon 2- handed (Power attack bonus doubles + Reckless Attack can be added).

I would also suggest "Explosive Power" from Players Guide, but a lot of people think here that it is an unbalanced feat (I think not, since it is a permutation of Power Attack, and it suffers the maximum penalties of Power Attack).

Cheomesh said:
LucaCherstich said:
Drilled warriors are soldiers and nobody else.
Duelists, I think, would be drilled warriors of some type.

It depends on your idea of duelist.
Thus far duelists & fencer are reproduced in the following way:
- Skill Knowledge (Fencing: Zingaran School) in Argos & Zingara
- Skill Knowledge (Fencing: Aquilonian School) in Players Guide
- Prestige Class Duellist (Warrior's Companion)
- Prestige Class Honor Duellist (The Barbaric Warrior by Misfit Studio...a kind of masked unofficial Conan rpg book)

This means that Duelist are basically something else (usually Nobles, Soldiers, Pirates or Scholars) but cultivate their fencing skills.

I like this way, sicne it remind me of medieval and post-medieval fencing schools, made for soldiers and nobles who wanted to survive duels, not for "sportive professional duelists" which di not exist at the time.

My idea of a Zingaran duelist is more like a Soldier with ranks in Knowledge (Zingaran Fencing), since it reminds me more of Spaniard heroes like Captain Alatriste, which was basically a soldier and rogue, but with some swordmanship skill (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_Alatriste).

But maybe your idea is different, and you want to do a separate, purer class.

If so, I suggest you to use something like substitution levels, but keep the soldier class.
Your duellist soldier could use his free feats for fencing like feats (e.g. Master Fencer) and instead of formations you should come up with something not directly useful.
Formations are useful, but not directly useful, unless you use them with other soldiers.
You should come up with some kind of very situational bonus for very specific fighting style (e.g. only to be used ine one-to-one duels and without armours or with light weapons...or whatever you like).
 
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