[House Rules] Bandit Class

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
BANDIT

Adventures: Bandits are raiders, ambushing unwary travelers and demanding payment for safe passage. A bandit’s life is a wild and free one, but often short and violent. Bandits recognize no authority other than that of their leader, and only then so long as he is the strongest and smartest among them and who provides them with rich plunder.

Characteristics: The bandit is, by necessity, a fast and agile fighter, adept at laying ambushes and bullying victims into surrendering their valuables. A bandit relies on a quick, frenzied strike to bring down the most powerful foes among his targets before they have a chance to counterattack. This is all the better to terrorize and demoralize any other resistance among his victims.

Religion: Bandits often swear by Bel, God of Thieves, while others hold to the gods of their homeland.

Background: Many bandits are deserters from shattered armies, down on their luck mercenaries, or criminals forced to flee into the wilderness. Bandits stick near established roadways likely to see rich caravan trade, and the Road of Kings is the most tempting of these targets, particularly the farther east one travels. The Zamoran forests and Eastern Desert near Turan are filled with bandits, as are rich nations suffering under civil war and rebellion, such as Corinthia, Koth and Ophir.

GAME RULE INFORMATION
Abilities:
A bandit’s quick-moving combat style relies on Dexterity in battle first and foremost, then on Strength and Constitution to help him win through tougher opponents, and finally on Charisma to avoid unnecessary fights altogether. A high Wisdom also benefits several of his skills.

Hit Die: d8

CLASS SKILLS
The bandit’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (any mundane) (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Geography or Local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Spot (Wis) Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Rope (Dex).

Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: A bandit is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, two weapon combat, light armour and shields. Note that armour check penalties for wearing medium or heavy armour apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Jump, Move Silently, Sleight-of-Hand, and Tumble. Also, Swim checks suffer a –1 penalty for every 5 pounds of armour and equipment carried.

Favoured Terrain: At 1st level a bandit gains a favoured terrain type from among the following: Desert, Forest, Hills, Mountains, Plains, Swamp or Tundra. At 7th, 13th and 19th level, he may choose an additional favoured terrain. All the benefits derived from favoured terrain are extraordinary abilities.

Any time a bandit is in one of his favoured terrains and wearing at most light armour, he gains certain benefits as follows:

+1 circumstance bonus to all Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Search, Spot and Survival checks.

+1 Dodge bonus to DV. The bandit is adept at using the natural features of the terrain to his advantage in combat.

At 4th level and every four levels thereafter, the bandit’s favoured terrain bonus increases by +1. His second favoured terrain bonus increases by +1 at 12th and 17th levels, and his third favoured terrain bonus increases by +1 at 19th level.

The bandit gains aditional benefits as his favoured terrain bonuses increase. If he has a favoured terrain bonus of at least +2 for the terrain he is in, he gains a +10 feet circumstance bonus to his movement.

If he has a favoured terrain bonus of at least +3 for the terrain he is in, he may use the Hide skill even if the terrain does not usually grant cover or concealment. If he has a favoured terrain of at least +4 for the terrain he is in, his movement bonus within that terrain is increased by +20 feet. If he has a favoured terrain bonus of at least +5 for the terrain he is in, he can use the Hide skill while being observed.

Ferocious Attack: The bandit’ ferocity tends to rapidly overwhelm almost any opponent. On the first round of any combat, he may declare a ferocious attack. He gains a +2 bonus to his Initiative check and all melee attack and damage rolls that round. However, he is unable to defend himself very effectively during the ferocious attack and has a -2 penalty to his Dodge and Parry Defence Value score during the first round of combat. Furthermore, he may not make any sneak attacks on the round in which he declares a ferocious attack. This is an extraordinary ability.
At 7th level, the bonuses to initiative, attack and damage rolls increase to +4, and the penalty to –4. Furthermore, the bandit gains an additional attack on the first round of combat, at his highest attack bonus.

At 13th level, the bonuses increase to +6, and the penalty to –6. Furthermore, any opponent struck and damaged by the bandit during the first round of combat must make a Will saving throw (DC = 10 + ½ bandit’s class level + bandit’s Charisma bonus) or be stunned for 1d4 rounds due to fear of the bandit. Note that if the bandit is also able to somehow perform a coup de grace on the first round of combat using his To Ride A Road of Blood And Slaughter class feature, any Will saving throws called for by the Ferocious Attack class feature have their DC increased by +2.

At 19th level, the bonuses increase to +8, and the penalty to –8. In addition, if the bandit strikes an opponent during the first round of combat, any of the opponent’s allies who observe the ferocious attack must make Will saving throws (DC = 10 + ½ bandit’s class level + bandit’s Charisma bonus) or be at –2 to attack rolls for 1d4 rounds.

Brigandry: At 2nd level, the bandit gains his choice of either Persuasive or Stealthy as a bonus feat. If he already has Persuasive, he may instead choose Negotiator. If he already has Stealthy, he may instead choose Alertness. Bandits often use threats and trickery to get loot from victims without entering combat. Bandits with codes of honor will usually keep their word not to harm those who surrender and cooperate, while those without honor will do as they please. Other bandits have no use for social skills and are more adept at sneaking than speaking.

To Ride A Road of Blood and Slaughter: A bandit of 2nd level or higher may perform a coup de grace as a free action up to once per round. This coup de grace never provokes an attack of opportunity – the bandit is so used to dispatching helpless opponents that he can do so before an opponent can react. Furthermore, he gains a +4 bonus to Intimidate checks he may make for one round immediately following the performance of a coup de grace, if it was successful. This is an extraordinary ability.

Sneak Attack: From 3rd level onwards, any time a bandits target would be denied dodge or parry bonus to Defense Value (whether the target actually has a dodge bonus or not), or when the bandit flanks the target, the bandit’s attack deals extra damage. The extra damage is +1d6 at 3rd level and an additional 1d6 every three levels thereafter. Should the bandit score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.

Ranged attacks can only count as sneak attacks if the target is within 30 feet. The bandit cannot strike with deadly accuracy beyond that range.

With a sap or unarmed strike, the bandit can make a sneak attack that deals subdual damage instead of normal damage. The bandit cannot use a weapon that deals normal damage to deal subdual damage in a sneak attack, even with the usual –4 penalty (except see the Sneak Subdual class feature, below).

A bandit can only sneak attack a living crature with discernible anatomy. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is also not vulnerable to sneak attacks. The bandit must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach a vital spot. The bandit cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.

Sneak Subdual: At 3rd level, the bandit gains the Sneak Subdual feat for free. This is an extraordinary ability.

Uncanny Dodge: From 4th level and above, the pirate retains his dodge or parry bonus to Defence Value (if any) if caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. If the bandit already has Uncanny Dodge from some other source (such as from already being a 4th level barbarian) he instead gains Improved Uncanny Dodge (see below). This is an extraordinary ability.

Mobility: From 5th level onwards the bandit gets a +4 dodge bonus to Defence Value against attacks of opportunity caused when he moves out of or within a threatened area. If the bandit already has Mobility from some other source (such as from already being a 5th level nomad) he instead gains Improved Mobility (see below). Note that mobility does not apply if the bandit is mounted.

Improved Uncanny Dodge: At 8th level, the bandit can no longer be flanked, except that a thief or pirate at least four levels higher than him can still flank him. This is an extraordinary ability.

Improved Mobility: From 10th level onwards the bandit never provokes attacks of opportunity, whatever he does, so long as he moves at least 10 feet during that combat round. If the bandit somehow already has Improved Mobility (such as for already having had Mobility from another source before reaching 5th levek, and so gaining Improved Mobility at 5th level instead of Mobility) he instead gains Greater Mobility (see below). Note that Improved Mobility does not apply if the bandit is mounted. This is an extraordinary ability.

Greater Mobility: From 15th level onwards the bandit may move up to his speed as part of a full attack action, rather than merely taking a five-foot step. He may move and attack in any order, so he might for example move five feet, attack once, move fifteen feet, attack twice more, and then move again for the remaining ten feet of his movement. Note that Greater Mobility does not aply if the bandit is mounted or is wearing heavy armour. This is an extraordinary ability.

Human Compass: At 10th level, the bandit gains the ability to automatically know where he is on land, even in the middle of nowhere. He has a detailed mental map of all the lands he has visited and how to get there from where he is now. This is an extraordinary ability.


BASE ATTACK, BASE DODGE, BASE PARRY, MAGIC ATTACK and SAVING THROWS are all the same as shown on Table 3-9: The Pirate (p. 56) in CONAN The RPG.


NOTES
Differences between Bandit and Pirate: As land-based pirates, bandits share most of the class features of the pirate. Bandits must develop their bluff and intimidation skills moreso than their seagoing counterparts (it's a fight to the death on the high seas, whereas banditry is more about "This is my road. If you wish to pass in safety, you must pay the toll." Bandits must also adapt to their varied terrains. Bandits lose Bite Sword and Poison Resistance.

[EDIT] Removed medium armour and shield proficency.
[EDIT] Swapped Eyes of the Cat for Alertness, March 10th.
[EDIT] Completely wrote out and revised the class, March 11th.

NOTE: There is now an alternate version (based more on the borderer than the pirate) on page 2 of this thread. Please compare and post feedback!
 

Mayhem

Mongoose
Interesting, but why not use a borderer as the base? Very little difference between what a border does and what a bandit does, I would have thought - it just depends upon whose side you are...
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
Mayhem said:
Interesting, but why not use a borderer as the base? Very little difference between what a border does and what a bandit does, I would have thought - it just depends upon whose side you are...

LOL, I hadn't thought of that because Vincent Darlage suggested Pirate... I rarley think of Borderer, and regard it as the weakest "frontline" class when I do---perhaps wrongly. Gonna have to rethink this idea now... But first, my nap! I'm tired as hell. Been painting Vanir miniatures and thinking up House Rules all day.
 

Mayhem

Mongoose
I guess there is the argument that a Pirate is just a bandit who has a ship, but on the other hand, both the borderer and a bandit are people who practice stealth and violence in a wilderness setting in order to get what they want.

Though I can see that the sneak-attack is very bandit-esque. In truth, I would probably simply take a multi-classed theif/borderer.
 

Johannixx

Mongoose
Strangely enough, I came up with a Highwayman class that's pretty much identical to your Bandit, Iron_Chef. I too used the Pirate as a base, because the Ferocious Attack and Sneak Attack fit so well with the idea of an ambushing highwayman, and the Sneak Subdual ability could be used for a Robin Hood-style character. I also substituted Eyes of the Cat for Pirate Code, but I didn't give them medium armor or shield proficiency. Highwaymen, after all, often have to run far and fast to escape pursuit and stealth is vital to their efforts. Medium armor and shields hinder these components, so I didn't give them proficiency.
 

Mayhem

Mongoose
Johannixx said:
Medium armor and shields hinder these components, so I didn't give them proficiency.

Not to mention that if they could afford medium armour, they probably wouldn't be bandits...
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
Mayhem said:
Johannixx said:
Medium armor and shields hinder these components, so I didn't give them proficiency.

Not to mention that if they could afford medium armour, they probably wouldn't be bandits...

Revised my original post to remove medium armor and shields.
 

Johannixx

Mongoose
I'd also switch the Favored Terrain to at most Light armor, instead of Medium, to keep it in line with the other classes that get FT.
 

Yuan-Ti

Mongoose
My main concern is that it is slightly more powerful than a pirate. At 2nd level, Eyes of the Cat, which is better than Pirate Code. Seamanship and Favoured Terrain offer identical benefits just in different terrains. Human Compass is the dry land equivalent of the Navigation feat.

I had thought to give them a secret bandit code (such as animal noises) at 2nd level instead of Eyes of the Cat, but that bandits often attack at night, so eyes of the cat seemed a better fit. Thoughts?

Actually, I do think Eyes of the Cat is inappropriate. (I have a bias that if too many classes have Eyes of the Cat at 2nd level, it becomes significantly less special as an ability.) But who said bandits often attack at night? Who are they attacking at night and why? I would say bandits are far more likely to attack in daylight, just like Pirates. After all, bandits almost by definition ambush people. There is very little traffic on roads at night.

So, we need some ideas for a 2nd level ability that is more bandit-esque but does not make the class more powerful than the Pirate.

:arrow: A highly circumstantial idea would be: AMBUSH - At 2nd level the Bandit becomes more proficient in ambushing his prey, important as ambiush is the favored tactic of all bandits. When attacking during a surprise round of combat in his favored terrain, a Bandit gains +1 to his attack rolls.

:arrow: Something flavorful but not combat-related: SIZE UP THE TARGET - At 2nd level, the Bandit becomes adept at sizing up his target, important so he does not take on more than he can handle. From a distance of 30 ft or less, the Bandit can make a Spot check (DC 15) to determine the number of hit dice of a single character. If he fails the check, he believes the intended target is either 1d6 HD lower or 1d6 HD higher than actual, (GM's discretion).

Just some ideas.
 

Johannixx

Mongoose
I like the "Sizing up the Target" idea, Yuan-ti. It would also work well for the other obvious use of this class, i.e. a guerilla fighter (I'm thinking of using this class to help flesh out my borderer). That seems like a keen idea indeed.
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
The Eyes of the Cat class feature was intended as a means for bandits to take out encamped travelers/caravans, as well as to escape law enforcement (or angry victims from a failed ambush), something that happens in several Conan stories. However, I'm not married to the idea, but I don't see the Sizing Up The Target feature as particularly useful (and essentially worthless for NPC bandits attacking PCs). I prefer Ambush. It's more useful and flavorful, and lacks the power of Eyes of the Cat.
 

Yuan-Ti

Mongoose
Iron_Chef said:
The Eyes of the Cat class feature was intended as a means for bandits to take out encamped travelers/caravans, as well as to escape law enforcement (or angry victims from a failed ambush), something that happens in several Conan stories. However, I'm not married to the idea, but I don't see the Sizing Up The Target feature as particularly useful (and essentially worthless for NPC bandits attacking PCs). I prefer Ambush. It's more useful and flavorful, and lacks the power of Eyes of the Cat.

The SIzing Up the Target was drawn from the Nomad's "useless" ability to size up horseflesh. :D You're right, if you see this as an NPC class only, then Ambush makes more sense.
 

Johannixx

Mongoose
Eh, the Bandit, being based on the Pirate, already gets the Furious Attack bonus, which is pretty much akin to your Ambush ability.
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
Edited my original post. The bandit class is now completely rewritten and revised. Check it out and let me know what you think!
 

Johannixx

Mongoose
I knew i should have posted my idea before I went to sleep last night, Chef ;)

Anyway, I was thinking that, since Pirate Code was sort of a mini-feat (compared to Pirate Code Expert), that it should be replaced by a mini-feat. I was initially thinking of replacing it with either Armored Stealth or Fleet-Footed, but since those were actual feats, I thought that a flat-out 5' increase in movement would be a good idea, since bandits have to be able to run like hell if things go badly. However, with Favored Terrain, this isn't as necessary. Persuasive is a good replacement, methinks.
 
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