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View Full Version : Commissar, Shoot that Man! [3.5 Template]



Xefas
2008-12-20, 05:35 AM
Commissar

"When the most vile and terrifying adversaries are advancing on your troops from the front, the only thing that will prevent their fleeing is an even more vile and terrifying entity at their back."

Commissars are leaders of men, but not through any sort of inspiration or tactical ingenuity. They lead by intimidation and violence, giving those under their command a simple choice- die valiantly in battle or die by the Commissar's own blade.

Creating a Commissar

"Commissar" is an acquired template that can be applied to any intelligent creature, though it is most common among evil humanoids and monstrous humanoids.

Special Attacks
A Commissar gains all of the following Special Attacks.

Execution (Ex): Any time one of the Commissar's attacks or abilities strikes an ally, the ally is considered flat-footed, and the attack is automatically treated as a Coup de Grace. If the target is killed by this attack, all other allies within 50 feet become immune to fear and gain a +2 morale bonus on all attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, and checks to resist a bull rush, trip, disarm, or overrun for 5 rounds. An ally that was adjacent to the killed creature can move into the space that they occupied as an immediate action.

Bully (Ex): As a standard action, one ally that can hear the Commissar becomes Hasted, as the spell, for 5 rounds. At the end of this duration, the target takes 15 damage and is fatigued for 1 minute. If this damage kills the target, an adjacent ally can move into the space that they occupied as an immediate action.

Scapegoat (Ex): When the Commissar is targeted by a ranged attack (including spells that require a ranged attack roll), he may use an immediate action to move an adjacent ally into his space and then move up to 10ft in any direction. Neither of these movements provoke attacks of opportunity. Any attacks targeting the Commissar until the beginning of his next turn (including the one that triggered this ability) must instead be directed at the ally chosen. A Commissar with at least 10 hit dice (including from character levels) can extend this redirection effect to any single-target spell, even if they do not require an attack roll.

Abilities
Increase from the base creature: +4 Charisma; A Commissar is, by their very nature, an evocative person.

Skills
A Commissar has a +8 insight bonus on all Intimidate checks.

Challenge Rating
As base creature +2

Level Adjustment
Hells No

Sample Commissar

Kobold Fodderherd, 4th level Blue Dragon Shaman Commissar
Small Humanoid (Reptilian)
HD 4d10+8 (30hp)
Speed 20 ft. (4 squares)
Init: +3
AC 20; touch 13; flat-footed 17
(+3 Dex, +1 Natural, +6 Armor)
BAB +3; Grp -1
Attack Masterwork Light Crossbow +7 (1d8, 19-20/x2)
Full-Attack Masterwork Light Crossbow +7 (1d8, 19-20/x2)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks Execution, Bully, Scapegoat, Breath Weapon
Special Qualities Darkvision 60ft, light sensitivity, Draconic Adapation, Draconic Resolve, Draconic Auras
Saves Fort +6 Ref +4 Will +2
Abilities Str 11, Dex 16, Con 15, Int 12, Wis 6, Cha 12
Skills Intimidate +16, Hide +7, Tumble +7
Feats Point-Blank Shot, Ability Focus (Breath Weapon), Skill Focus (Hide)B
Challenge Rating 6
Treasure Standard (including +1 Breastplate and Masterwork Light Crossbow)
Alignment Lawful Evil
Advancement By character class
Level Adjustment -

Breath Weapon (Su): A Kobold Fodderherd can breathe forth a 30ft line of lightning every 1d4 rounds that deals 2d6 electricity damage (DC 16 reflex save for half). They often use this to activate their Execution ability while simultaneously striking an opponent.

Draconic Adapation (Sp): The Fodderherd can produce an effect identical to a Ventriloquism spell at will with a caster level of 4 (DC 12 will save to disbelieve). They often use this to Bully their allies from afar.

Draconic Resolve (Ex): The Fodderherd is immune to sleep, paralysis, and the Frightful Presence of Dragons.

Draconic Aura (Su): A Kobold Fodderherd can project or change a projected aura as a swift action. An active aura effects all allies within 30 feet. The auras available to it are:

Energy Shield: Any enemies striking an effected ally with a melee attack takes 2 electricity damage.
Power: Allies deal +1 damage.
Toughness: Allies gain DR 1/magic
Vigor: Allies gain Fast Healing 1 when their hit points are lower than 1/2 maximum.

Execution (Ex): Any time one of the Fodderherd's attacks or abilities strikes an ally, the ally is considered flat-footed, and the attack is automatically treated as a Coup de Grace. If the target is killed by this attack, all other allies within 50 feet become immune to fear and gain a +2 morale bonus on all attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, and checks to resist a bull rush, trip, disarm, or overrun for 5 rounds. An ally that was adjacent to the killed creature can move into the space that they occupied as an immediate action.

Bully (Ex): As a standard action, one ally that can hear the Fodderherd becomes Hasted, as the spell, for 5 rounds. At the end of this duration, the target takes 15 damage and is fatigued for 1 minute. If this damage kills the target, an adjacent ally can move into the space that they occupied as an immediate action.

Scapegoat (Ex): When the Fodderherd is targeted by a ranged attack (including spells that require a ranged attack roll), he may use an immediate action to move an adjacent ally into his space and then move up to 10ft in any direction. Neither of these movements provoke attacks of opportunity. Any attacks targeting the Fodderherd until the beginning of his next turn (including the one that triggered this ability) must instead be directed at the ally chosen. A Fodderherd with at least 10 hit dice (including from character levels) can extend this redirection effect to any single-target spell, even if they do not require an attack roll.

Fizban
2008-12-20, 06:02 AM
You'll have to define what is considered an ally for Execution, because I'm pretty sure you normally define allies as whoever you want, which would just let the commissar designate everyone as allies and execute them. I would suggest that the target has to consider the commissar an ally, which is still iffy considering that his troops will despise him, but at least means he doesn't coup de gras everything.

Bully seems a little odd to me, 15 damage exactly but not until the end of the hasting. I don't have any suggestions though.

Xefas
2008-12-20, 06:17 AM
You'll have to define what is considered an ally for Execution, because I'm pretty sure you normally define allies as whoever you want, which would just let the commissar designate everyone as allies and execute them. I would suggest that the target has to consider the commissar an ally, which is still iffy considering that his troops will despise him, but at least means he doesn't coup de gras everything.

If my 'intention' for the ability is clear, I don't think there will be a problem. Since the template is only available to the DM, and I doubt the DM would conclude "+2 CR? This must mean I can Coup de Grace all the PCs in one shot", then I don't think there will be a problem.

However if my intent for the ability is not clear, then shall we say that an 'Ally' is any creature who is fighting on the same side as the Commissar, as designated by the Dungeon Master in the best interest of the plot and the fun of all participants in the game (not in that order).


Bully seems a little odd to me, 15 damage exactly but not until the end of the hasting. I don't have any suggestions though.

I wasn't quite sure on this either. I figured that it would be enough to kill low level creatures, balancing out the fact that its a free at-will 3rd level spell (which is big in the lower tier of play), a serious inconvenience for medium level things, balancing that the availability of the spell itself isn't a big issue anymore, but that mid-level things will get more use out of the additional attack, and a minor annoyance for higher level things, since a 3rd level spell with a CL of 5 is a pittance once you get up there.

Oslecamo
2008-12-21, 07:55 AM
Heerrr, so why exactly does this template increases CR but doesn't give LA?

Actually, whitout LA, what's stoping the whole party from taking the template, even if it's just for the charisma bonus? Paladins, bards, sorcerors and all charisma based classes will be drooling all over it.

DracoDei
2008-12-21, 09:21 AM
Just from a quick skim this makes more sense as a PrC (even with exceptionally low entry level) or even a base class with only a few levels, rather than a template. Templates are things you are born as or are turned into purely by outside forces (whether or not you are directing those forces, as is the case with a lich ritual, or not). Sorcerer blurs the line in the other direction, but I still think this would make a better class than a template from a internal consistancy POV...

On the other hand if this is just something to put on one of the mooks attacking the party occasionally, then I guess it might be quicker for the GM in this format.

Something to think about.

Frog Dragon
2008-12-21, 10:11 AM
Yup I'd say you should make it a five level PRC. Take those abilities and put them into the prgoression and try figure out a couple more. Maybe some spells to the mix and there we go.

Aergoth
2008-12-21, 10:58 AM
Try giving it weapon finesse with any whip or whip-like weapon or attack as a bonus. if you want a slave driver of a sergeant, or an actual slave driver.
Spells, not really. The Comissar is usually a mook of the brain-dead variety give them a bonus to strength checks, or let the use strength for intimidate. Big brain-dead mooks don't need charisma if they've got muscles.

Heliomance
2008-12-21, 12:00 PM
Heerrr, so why exactly does this template increases CR but doesn't give LA?

Actually, whitout LA, what's stoping the whole party from taking the template, even if it's just for the charisma bonus? Paladins, bards, sorcerors and all charisma based classes will be drooling all over it.

It's not LA: 0, it's LA: -, which means not available to PCs.

Spiryt
2008-12-21, 12:14 PM
I agree that this would be much better as a low level, low power PrC. Good idea for stereotypical evil hobgoblin chief though.

EvilDMMk3
2008-12-21, 05:34 PM
The Comissar is usually a mook of the brain-dead variety give them a bonus to strength checks, or let the use strength for intimidate. Big brain-dead mooks don't need charisma if they've got muscles.If this is based on the Warhammer 40K commissar then you are very wrong. Warhammer 40K commissars are vindictive, sadistic and brutal yes, but they are rarely stupid. They are well educated, well spoken and well trained, if only because those that can't detect a man about to shoot them in the back of the head get weeded out quite quickly. If it where not for a small diet problem Hannibal Lector would be an ideal commissar type.

But this is not a template. This is a 3 or 5 level low entry PrC and really needs some level of fear resistance.

Xefas
2008-12-28, 08:21 AM
I really really think this works better in most ways as a template, but I like homebrewing, so I'm not against writing up a class as well.

Should I make a PC-friendly prestige class in the same vein? Maybe a 10 level one?

Requirements
Hit Dice: Must have at least 2 hit dice.
Skills: Intimidate 3 ranks.
Special: Not suitable for Player Characters

Commissar
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spells

1st|
+0|
+0|
+0|
+2|Dominating Demeanor, Execution +1|+1 level of existing class feature

2nd|
+1|
+0|
+0|
+3|Scapegoat|+1 level of existing class feature

3rd|
+2|
+1|
+1|
+3|Execution +2|+1 level of existing class feature

4th|
+3|
+1|
+1|
+4|Bully|+1 level of existing class feature

5th|
+3|
+1|
+1|
+4|Execution +3, Improved Scapegoat|+1 level of existing class feature[/table]

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Commissar gains proficiency with the longsword, whip, hand crossbow, and scourge (see Complete Warrior).

Improved Class Features: At each level, a Commissar chooses one class feature from a class he had before taking that level of Commissar. He is treated as having 1 additional level in that class for the purposes of that class feature only. (Ex. A Rogue 2/Commissar 1 could have 2d6 Sneak Attack damage). He cannot choose the Commissar class.

Dominating Demeanor (Ex): Commissars are trained to inspire terror within all who see them, and to be the sole pillar of undeterrable conviction amongst the cowardly rabble they oversee. They add their class level as a competence bonus on all Intimidate checks and on all saving throws against fear effects.

Execution (Ex): A man who will not stand and die against the Commissar's foes will serve as an example to the rest. When a Commissar's attack attempts to strike an ally, the attack is considered a Coup de Grace. If the ally is killed by this attack, all allies within 50ft gain immunity to fear and the listed morale bonus on all attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, and checks to resist a bull rush, trip, disarm, or overrun for 5 rounds. As an immediate action, an ally who was adjacent to the Executed ally can move into that ally's (now empty) space without provoking attacks of opportunity.

Scapegoat (Ex) When a 2nd level Commissar is targeted by a ranged attack (including spells that require a ranged attack roll), he may use an immediate action to move an adjacent ally into his space and then move up to 10ft in any direction. Neither of these movements provoke attacks of opportunity. Any attacks targeting the Commissar until the beginning of his next turn (including the one that triggered this ability) must instead be directed at the ally chosen.
At 5th level, the Commissar can extend this redirection effect to all single-target spells, even if they do not require an attack roll.

Bully (Ex) A 3rd level Commissar can whip one of his allies into an inspired frenzy, most of the time quite literally, as a standard action. When using this ability, he chooses 1 of the following:

Inspire Greatness: The target gains a +4 morale bonus to Strength and takes 1 damage. At the beginning of their turn, they take an additional 1 damage if they are still under this effect.
Inspire Urgency: The target is hasted, as the spell, and takes 2 damage. At the beginning of their turn, they take an additional 2 damage if they are still under this effect.
Inspire Survival: The target gains a 50% miss chance that does not stack with concealment and takes 3 damage. At the beginning of their turn, they take an additional 3 damage if they are still under this effect.

An ally can only be under one inspirtation at a time, and the Commissar cannot effect himself. This inspiration usually lasts a single round, but as a swift action, the Commissar can maintain one effect for an additional round. If an ally moves more than 50 feet away from the Commissar, they lose their inspiration.

Eldan
2008-12-28, 08:42 AM
Perhaps just make it an NPC base class like the adept?

Prak
2009-01-09, 08:55 AM
I agree that this would be much better as a low level, low power PrC. Good idea for stereotypical evil hobgoblin chief though.

No, it's better as a template. As a PrC there's the implication that a PC could, conceivably, take it, for one thing. For another thing, it's a lot easier on the dm to just plug it in as a template.


If it where not for a small diet problem Hannibal Lector would be an ideal commissar type
...a small diet problem? The emperor eats 100 psychics a day, does he not!? how would Hannibal'spredelictions be considered a problem!?