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The Witch-King
2008-12-28, 03:52 PM
Alien Warlord

http://pics.livejournal.com/tw1stedwh1spers/pic/0000btgt

"One moment, the sky was a peaceful azure blue and the next it was a turbulent sea, rent asunder by dark, coiling vorticies out of which poured the invaders' skyships. The fortifications of Silvermount had stood untouched and unbreached for generations, going all the way back to the Goblin Wars. The invaders didn't even try to take the city. One of their great skyships simply hovered over it and holes opened in the bottom. From them poured forth on to the ancient capitol a great shapeless thing, a mass of flesh and eyes and tentacles, like a gibbering mouther, only much, much bigger. Belediel was an elf who served with us in the City Guard; he had even fought with our forefathers during the Goblin Wars. We always turned to him when things got tough. But Belediel just stood there staring at the great roiling thing tearing its way randomly across the city, his eyes and mouth agape and his skin bone white. I ran. We all did."
- Caldur, Guardsman of Silvermount Keep

Alien Warlords are military leaders of nonhuman races, bent on conquest. They are bred and raised from the womb for the purposes of warfare and nothing else.


{table=head]Level | BAB | Fort | Ref | Will | Ability | Special
1st | +1 | +2 | +0 | +2 | Manhunter | +1 level existing spellcasting class
2nd | +2 | +3 | +0 | +3 | Trophy Hunter | -
3rd | +3 | +3 | +1 | +3 | Alien Warcraft | +1 level existing spellcasting class
4th | +4 | +4 | +1 | +4 | Bewildering Pathways of the Alien Mind | -
5th | +5 | +4 | +1 | +4 | - | +1 level existing spellcasting class
6th | +6 | +5 | +2 | +5 | Howl of the Warrior Brood, Lead Warband | -
7th | +7 | +5 | +2 | +5 | Alien Tactics | +1 level existing spellcasting class
8th | +8 | +6 | +2 | +6 | - | -
9th | +9 | +6 | +3 | +6 | Soul of the Race | +1 level existing spellcasting class
10th | +10 | +7 | +3 | +7 | Rally Warband, Alien Flanking Tactics | -
11th | +11 | +7 | +3 | +7 | - | +1 level existing spellcasting class
12th | +12 | +8 | +4 | +8 | Alien Battle Tactics | -
13th | +13 | +8 | +4 | +8 | Adaptable Alien Flanking Tactics, Alien Battle Standard | +1 level existing spellcasting class
14th | +14 | +9 | +4 | +9 | - | -
15th | +15 | +9 | +5 | +9 | That Which Cannot Die | +1 level existing spellcasting class
[/table]

HD: d8

Requirements

To qualify to become an alien warlord, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Race: The primary requirement is that the character should be of a race the DM truly feels as being alien to the main player character races of his/her game. This can be something as simple as a Locathah or Lizardfolk, a Formian or Thri-Kreen or something as exotic as an Illithid, Githyanki, or Yuan-Ti.

Base Attack Bonus: +3.

Alignment: Any non-good.

Skills: Intimidate 8 ranks, Knowledge (planes) 5 ranks, Survival 5 ranks.

Feats: Leadership, Favored Enemy. Character must also have a feat associated with the character's time of birth such as Born Under A Gibbous Moon or Born Under A Rising Sun (alien warlords are chosen at birth for training according to auspicious signs).

Weapon Proficiency: Must be proficient in all simple and martial weapons.

Spells: Must be able to cast 2nd level arcane spells.

Class Skills (4+Int modifier per level): The alien warlord’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (engineering) (Int), Knowledge (the planes), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Survival (Wis).

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: An Alien Warlord gains Heavy Armor Proficiency and an Exotic Weapon Proficiency.

Class Abilities: +2 Racial bonus on Intimidate checks vs. Animals (ordinary ones, not magical beasts) & Humanoids. -2 penalty on Handle Animal checks, -2 on Diplomacy, Perform & Sense Motive checks on Humanoids. +2 on Diplomacy, Perform, & Sense Motive checks on Aberrants and Outsiders.

Manhunter: This works like a Ranger’s favored enemy bonus, except that it applies against all mammalian humanoids (not limited to but specifically including humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings and goblinoids). The Alien Warlord gains a +1 bonus to Bluff, Intimidate, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against all humanoids. Likewise, he gets the same bonus to weapon damage rolls against creatures of this type. An Alien Warlord also gets the damage bonus with ranged weapons, but only against targets within 30 feet (the Alien Warlord cannot strike with deadly accuracy beyond that range). The bonus doesn’t apply to damage against creatures that are immune to critical hits.

Trophy Hunter: Choose one of your Favored Enemies and one type of Trophy (listed below). When you personally kill one of that type of creature, you may take the appropriate trophy and gain the listed benefit. Note that not all types of Trophies are available from some types of creatures (i.e., Plants have no hearts).

Trophy Bonus

Head By displaying the severed head, you may add your Favored Enemy bonus to any Intimidate checks against that type of creature. For every head after the first, gain a +1 Morale bonus on the Intimidate check (max +4). Without magical preservation, the head loses its usefulness after 7 days. This is a Supernatural, Mind-Affecting Effect.

Heart You must consume an enemy’s heart within 10 minutes of its death (this takes 1 minute) and make a Fortitude save vs. DC 10 + ˝ HD + enemy’s Constitution modifier). If successful, you gain a +2 Morale bonus on attack rolls made against that type of enemy for 10 minutes per HD of the creature. If you eat additional hearts while you still have a bonus, the duration is extended 5 minutes per HD (max 4 hours).

If you fail your Fortitude save, you take the following penalty:
Dragon - Sickened for 1 round per 2 HD
Outsider - 1 hp per HD of damage
Aberration, Magical Beast, Monstrous Humanoid - Nauseated for 1 round per 3 HD
all others - no negative effect

Token By forming crude jewelry out of the enemy’s bones, teeth, etc., you gain a +2 Morale bonus on Fortitude saves vs. the spell-like and supernatural abilities of the designated Favored Enemy. Making the token takes 1 hour and requires a Survival check vs. DC15. The token lasts for ((Survival check - 15) / 2) days (minimum 1 day) without magical preservation. The token takes up the necklace slot.

Pelt Taking the scalp or hide of a Favored Enemy grants you a +2 Morale bonus on attacks made again the same type of enemy in your next encounter with that type of enemy (up to 24 hours). It takes 5 minutes + 5 minutes per size category above Medium to take the pelt. You may take this feat multiple times, each time with a different Enemy / Trophy combination.

Alien Warcraft: An alien warlord can take 10 on Balance, Climb, Concentration, Jump, Perform, Profession, Survival, Tumble, and Use Magic Device checks while on board an alien ship, skyship, spelljammer, giant warbeast, alien siege engine or alien war machine even under stress.

Bewildering Pathways of the Alien Mind: Building on the unique nature of the alien mind and its exposure to vistas in the deep beyond, the alien warlord has received special meditative training from elite War Monks in how to shield his thoughts from intrusion. Attempts to read the Alien Warlord's mind, discern his location or determine his alignment through magic or psionics automatically fail and cause the attempting person to be stunned for 1d4 rounds.

Howl of the Warrior Brood: When your bestial howl rings across the battlefield, it lifts the spirits of your allies. This ability functions as the bard's inspire courage ability. It grants a +2 morale bonus to saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 morale bonus to attack and weapon damage rolls. This bonus lasts for 5 rounds plus your Charisma bonus. You can howl a battle cry once each day for every level of the Alien Warlord class you have attained.

Lead Warband: As a full-round action, you can give compelling directions. You can bestow a +2 competence bonus on either to hit rolls or skill checks to all allies within 30 feet who can hear you. This bonus lasts 5 rounds plus your Charisma Bonus.

Alien Tactics: Under your command, your allies can take advantage of every opening your enemies present.

As a move action, every ally within 30 ft of you is eligible to make additional Attacks of Opportunity, and even do so while being flatfooted. The total number of additional attacks of opportunity for the Alien Warlord to distribute amongst his minions is equal to his/her/its intelligence modifier. (To be absolutely clear, the minions' total extra attacks of opportunity combined equal the Alien Warlord's Int mod). Additional attacks of opportunity the minions themselves already qualify for (for example, if they should have the Combat Reflexes feat) would not count against this total.

Special: Alien Tactics can be used in place of Combat Reflexes to qualify for a feat, prestige class, or other special ability. Alien Tactics stacks with Combat Reflexes.

Soul of the Race: "The crab-headed fish-lizard thing from beyond the stars withdrew the many tendrils that obscured its wide gaping maw and threw back its head--and sang. The drow had aligned themselves with the invaders at the beginning, this was before their forces and those of the Illithids were betrayed and hunted down by the invaders. From this blasphemous creature's maw came the most beautiful song I have ever heard, a sour-sweet ballad that spoke of anguish and long suffering. The whole battle seemed to stop for a moment. Even the drow themselves were astonished by it. Then the drow warriors took up the ancient elven war song among their number and hurled themselves at us with an unprecedented and an awesome fury." -- Alfmund Jermanson, Man-at-arms, sole survivor of the Battle of Ravensgate

By concentrating his efforts of command and adapting his methods and tactics to those of an allied race, an Alien Warlord can bestow an additional +2 competence bonus on either to hit rolls or skill checks to a specific race of allies within 30 feet who can hear him at the expense of his class abilities having no effect on his own racial troops for the duration.This bonus lasts up to 5 rounds plus your Charisma Bonus or until you choose to stop.Soul of the Race cannot be used on troops of the Alien Warlord's own race.

Rally Warband: Your presence is enough to grant any allies within 30 feet a second saving throw against fear and charm effects to which they have already succumbed. Even if they fail the second saving throw, any fear effects are less severe: panicked characters are only frightened, frightened characters are only shaken, and shaken characters are unaffected by the fear effect.

Alien Flanking Tactics: You receive a +4 bonus on attack rolls to hit a Flanked opponent (instead of the normal +2).

Alien Battle Training: Your knowledge of fighting lets you lend expertise. At the beginning of each encounter, choose a single feat you have that does not have another feat as a prerequisite. All of your allies gain the benefits of that feat for the duration of the encounter.

Adaptable Alien Flanking Tactics: Designate an opponent as a Swift Action. When adjacent to that opponent, your current hex and one other you threaten count as being occupied by you for purposes of determining whether you and your allies gain Flanking bonuses.

Alien Battle Standard: The mere sight of your banner or other heraldic display is enough to turn the tide of battle. Allies within sight of your personal standard gain the effects of both Howl of the Warrior Brood and Rally Warband (above) as long as the standard is within range and held by you or a member of your species within 10'. If your standard is captured in battle all allies within range aware of its loss suffer a -1 morale penalty to attacks and damage (in addition to the loss of its benefits) until it is recovered.

That Which Cannot Die: An Alien Warlord is not automatically disabled upon reaching 0 HP. When he/she/it reaches 0 HP or less, the Alien Warlord must make a DC 15 Fortitude save. If the save is failed, he/she/it is disabled. If the save succeeds, the Alien Warlord is at 0 HP and +2 to all attacks. Regardless of damage from this point on, the Alien Warlord is treated as being at 0 HP until he/she/it fails a DC 15 Fortitude save. He/she/it must make an additional such save for every 10 HP of damage the Alien Warlord takes from this point on. If he/she/it fails any one of these saves, the Alien Warlord is disabled. If he/she/it fails any two of them, the Alien Warlord is at -1 HP, losing 1 HP/round as per normal rules and dies at -10 HP.

Playing the Class

"The only force our world had to truly oppose the invaders were the High Elves' fleet of leafships. In secret, following the portents of the High Elven Oracle Masters, the Court of the Eleven Suns had bred plants that served as flying warships for their defense. These living vessels were part animal and part plant, thriving on sunlight and water and capable of communicating their feelings to their elven masters and receiving sensations from the elves in kind. I had heard of the gnomes trying their hand at building flying machines but had never heard of any successes. The dwarves had managed to lift a wizard's tower and the better portion of the hill it was built on but it was too slow to serve as anything but a mobile fortification. The dwarves told us they were building a floating castle on the same principles as they had used to lift the wizard's tower but it wouldn't be complete for years. No, now all our hopes rested on the elves. The dawn broke in crimson and scarlet as the fleet of sleek verdant leafships slid silently and beautifully through the early morning air. As one, the elven host fell upon the invaders' skyships. Ballista quarrels and catapult boulders tore through the air alongside fireballs and lightning bolts as the two sky armadas engaged. In the end, it was the invaders who turned and fled, though theirs were the greater numbers and the fewest dead. Thousands of brave elven warriors had lost their lives and I could still hear the wailing cries of those leafships wounded in the battle. Those that could not be saved were put down. Scores of them had been lost in fire and ruin. Our last means of resisting the invaders was gone and our leaders called the battle a stalemate." -- Captain Aistan, human observer aboard the Light of the Unseen Gem

I gave the Alien Warlord a variety of skills to make the class useful for an NPC villian for the DM. The invaders might arrive from across the sea in ships or from another continent in flying vessels or from out of the distant stars aboard spelljamming skyships. They might even burrow up from under the earth in great warmachines or thunder across the plains riding great war beasts. The Alien Warlord is versatile enough to lead any of these groups of invaders.

The Class In the World

http://pics.livejournal.com/tw1stedwh1spers/pic/0000cww2

"You seek to know your enemy. That is wise. Unfortunately, there is little I can tell you. Your enemy is the one called Solaith, of the Brood of the Venomous Catacombs. Little is known about him. They say that in the breeding pits, he was a particularly aggressive spawnling and that he excelled both in hunting captives in the War Gardens and in his studies with his brood's warrior monks. All I can tell you for certain is that for as long as he can remember, Solaith has always looked up at the stars and known that there was other life among them and that one day he would lead his brood's warriors out amongst them, to conquer, and to feed." --Xenethexus, Outcast Drider Oracle

To be honest, I started this project as a prestige class that might be used for an NPC by the DM but the more I work on it, the more I'd love to see it actually played by someone in a game.

I originally envisioned this class as being one part Predator, one part General Grievous, one part Sarris (the bad guy from Galaxy Quest) and one part Lovecraftian alien menace from the Deep Beyond. I see the Alien Warlord as using elusive tactics like the Viet Cong or Grievous' separatists--fighting according to Sun Tzu's the Art of War. Even when they have the advantage, they never go for a stand up fight. They always seek to attack where the enemy is weakest, hence the flanking tactics. The invaders strike to cut off supply lines, ambush patrols and attack key isolated facilities, not to take or destroy them but to pull the defenders out into the open so that they can be ambushed or their home base, which is now vulnerable, can be destroyed. Enemy strongpoints they either bypass or utterly destroy with overwhelming force. The last thing they ever want is a fair fight.

This is one of my first attempts at a prestige class. Please let me know what you think.

Frog Dragon
2008-12-28, 04:21 PM
What you should first do is squeese it into less levels. Prestige classes don't have 20 levels. Or get rid of the prequisites, tweak it a little and turn it into a base class. Either way 20 level PRC is not cool. Also it seems rather overpowered on a quick look. What with full bab near full spellcasting and some spiffy abilities to boot.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2008-12-28, 04:34 PM
What you should first do is squeese it into less levels. Prestige classes don't have 20 levels. Or get rid of the prequisites, tweak it a little and turn it into a base class. Either way 20 level PRC is not cool. Also it seems rather overpowered on a quick look. What with full bab near full spellcasting and some spiffy abilities to boot.

Not to mention easy entry requirements, a d10 Hit Die, 2 good saving throws, (4+Int) skill points, and a huge list of class skills!

The Witch-King
2008-12-28, 08:08 PM
Okay gents--following your advice, I collapsed the prestige class down to ten levels, lowered the hit die from d10 to d8, reduced the class skills and added to the prerequisites. How does it look now?

Thanks again for taking the time to help me with this. I appreciate it.

Owrtho
2008-12-28, 08:23 PM
Just a thought,but based on how you say they're trained from birth, you could probably make it a base class and just say something about it requiring you level 1 feat goes to being born under some notable sign. Then it could be 20 levels. I've also heard that there are some 15 level PRCs. Otherwise the class seems interesting though I have yet to finish reading through it. I like the idea of taking trophies though.

Owrtho

Arcane_Snowman
2008-12-28, 10:00 PM
I've also heard that there are some 15 level PRCs. Otherwise the class seems interesting though I have yet to finish reading through it. I like the idea of taking trophies though. Prestige Ranger and Paladin are the 15 level prestige classes in question, which does seem like a good idea for this particular prestige class: bump it down to 2nd level arcane spells, BaB +3, and leave the skill requirements as they are, then you're set.

Additionally, just a nitpick but you only write the first plus something in the BAB entry, seeing as a character could enter at different times, thus making the second plus become a rather confusing rule.

Edit: That Which Cannot Die is a terrible ability, without Diehard you're still disabled after going below 0, so the +2 to attack is really not going to do anything, and the ability effectively only grants an additional 10hp, at around 15th level, Improved Toughness can do better than that.

Edit 2: Adaptable Alien Flanking Tactics: Unless you specify the feats as part of the prestige class' entry, they should never be required by an ability that you get, if you made a whole list of "Alien Maneuvers" where one could be allowed to chose what one wanted, then it would be fine to have some more specific requirements... Edit 3: what the heck? You need Bab +4 for the ability, while the PRC needs +5 to be entered in the first place, it requires two previous class features or two unrelated feats. Remove the prerequisites at once, they are redundant!

Edit 4: Same goes for the other abilities.

Edit 5: Trophy Hunter requires Favored Enemy, unless you specify favored enemy in the prestige class prerequisite, you should not allow the Trophy Hunter feature to give any other bonuses than against a certain type of humanoid.

Arcane_Snowman
2008-12-28, 10:28 PM
Alien Tactics: Under your command, your allies can take advantage of every opening your enemies present.
Benefit: Whenever an enemy provokes an attack of opportunity from you, you may choose to forgo that attack. Doing so still counts as your attack of opportunity for that round. If you do, then you may choose a single ally within 30 ft. of you. Until the end of your next turn, that ally can make an additional number of attacks of opportunity equal to your Intelligence modifier, and can make attacks of opportunity while flatfooted.
Special: Alien Tactics can be used in place of Combat Reflexes to qualify for a feat, prestige class, or other special ability. You can take both this feat and Combat Reflexes. Firstly, this ability makes little sense, while I would understand that the Alien Warlord could use his tactical knowledge to guide his minions. I think it needs a bit of change, because as is it is actually rather powerful.
Something like: As a move/standard (not entirely certain which yet) action, every ally within 30 ft of you, can make additional Attacks of Opportunity, and even do so while being flatfooted, they can however only make a total amount of attacks of opportunity equal to your intelligence modifier (reword it if it isn't clear enough that it isn't every individual minion that gains attacks of opportunity, but every minion's extra attacks of opportunity combined can equal to Int mod). If they already have the Combat Reflexes feat, their attacks of opportunity only counts towards this ability when they have made all attacks of opportunity that combat reflexes allows.

Since Alien Tactics isn't a feat, it will naturally stack with combat reflexes.


Alien Battle Training:Your knowledge of fighting lets you lend expertise.
Benefit: At the beginning of each encounter, choose a single feat you have. All of your allies gain the benefits of that feat for the duration of the encounter. The "Benefit" line is completely unnecessary and should be removed to streamline the text, and should be rephrased to become a full sentence. Also, change it to: Any fighter feat that does not have a previous feat prerequisites, otherwise you could give everyone in your army say, Weapon Supremacy or some other feat with quite a lot of prerequisites.

The Witch-King
2008-12-31, 08:32 PM
Just a thought,but based on how you say they're trained from birth, you could probably make it a base class and just say something about it requiring you level 1 feat goes to being born under some notable sign. Then it could be 20 levels. I've also heard that there are some 15 level PRCs. Otherwise the class seems interesting though I have yet to finish reading through it. I like the idea of taking trophies though.

Owrtho

I thought about making it a base class but the reason I made it a prestige class was because I wanted characters to be able to enter the Alien Warlord class from different paths, as either a melee specialist being a past fighter or ranger or a magic specialist being a past sorcerer or wizard.

I really like the idea of taking trophies too. It gives the class a real "Predator-esque" feel to it.

The Witch-King
2008-12-31, 08:47 PM
Edit 2: Adaptable Alien Flanking Tactics: Unless you specify the feats as part of the prestige class' entry, they should never be required by an ability that you get, if you made a whole list of "Alien Maneuvers" where one could be allowed to chose what one wanted, then it would be fine to have some more specific requirements... Edit 3: what the heck? You need Bab +4 for the ability, while the PRC needs +5 to be entered in the first place, it requires two previous class features or two unrelated feats. Remove the prerequisites at once, they are redundant!

I based some of these abilities off of others I saw in various places: books, other people's work-ups online, etc. That's where the prerequisites come from. While they don't apply to this class, I had given some thought to later building an Alien War Monk class (sort of a hybrid between Monk and Assassin) that might use some of these abilities and I wanted to remind myself of the prereqs.

I'll be adopting many of your suggestions in my next edit of the prestige class, especially expanding it to 15 levels.

Thanks again to everyone who's taken the time to help me with this project!

The Witch-King
2009-01-01, 01:48 PM
Update: I expanded the class to 15 levels. I reduced the prerequisites down to 2nd level arcane spells and +3 BaB but added Favored Enemy as a prereq.

I changed Alien Tactics and Alien Battle Training along the lines Arcane Snowball suggested and likewise completely revamped That Which Cannot Die (thanks Snowball!).

Again, I'd like to express my appreciation to everyone who's commented and assisted with this project! Thanks so much!

Draken
2009-01-01, 01:55 PM
So... You have to be a ranger 1/Wizard (Sorcerer, Wu Jen, Warmage, Beguiler, whatever) 4 to enter the class?

That's an odd multiclassing right there.

The Witch-King
2009-01-03, 08:45 PM
So... You have to be a ranger 1/Wizard (Sorcerer, Wu Jen, Warmage, Beguiler, whatever) 4 to enter the class?

That's an odd multiclassing right there.

Okay--yes--it is a bit odd. So is an Alien Warlord prestige class for D&D. I guess I'm wondering if you're saying you think it's a problem or not.

Arcane_Snowman
2009-01-04, 08:49 AM
I forgot to mention, you need to remove Leadership as a Prerequisite if you want the prestige class to be 15 levels.

Edit: I think the following might be a better way to do the That which cannot die, because as anyone with Steadfast Determination (cannot fail fortitude saves on a natural 1) and a save of 14 (+9 From Alien Warlord, +2 from Range, +1 from Wizard/Sorcerer suchlike, which equates to +12 to Fortitude, and this is simply from classes.) would be able to live indefinitely, because he wouldn't be able to fail the fortitude save. Consider this:

That Which Cannot Die: An Alien Warlord is not disabled or unconcious upon reaching 0 HP and does not die at -10. Instead whenever the Alien Warlord takes damage that either puts him on or below 0, he must make a Fortitude save DC equal to 15 + 2 for every 10 points of damage he has taken below zero (for example, a Alien Warlord on -36 would make a DC 21 save). If he fails the save, he is disabled or dead, as per normal rules. As long as a Alien Warlord is below 0 HP, he gains a bonus on attack and damage rolls equal to his Intelligence Modifier.
That Which Cannot Die does not affect spells that kill or disable the user on a failed save, it simply prevents the user from being disabled when being below 0 and dying when below -10 HP.

Howl of the Warrior Brood: you need to specify which action that this requires to be activated, consider increasing it as the Alien Warlord gains more levels, many of these abilities should, otherwise they become mostly small uninteresting abilities that one wouldn't even bother recording.

On the subject of improving abilities with increasing levels.
Trophy Hunter: wouldn't it be somewhat useful if you gave more than 1 additional Favored Enemy ability if you're going to have an ability that works off of it.

Yet another Edit: Who are you calling a snowball? Me obviously, but why :smallconfused: