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View Full Version : The Varangian Spearman(PrC) [PEACH]



Ralasha
2010-05-17, 08:45 AM
A 3.x Resource.

Background:
Another sect of the Varangian Warriors were their spearmen. Known for being unreachable, and for being able to reach their enemies over distances normally considered impossible without a bow of some kind. In many cases, they would also use a shield, but I am not including that in this.
Thus: my inspiration.

Requirements:
BAB: +6
Skills: Jump: 8 Ranks
Weapon Focus (Spear or similar weapon), Weapon Specialization (Spear or similar weapon), Endurance, Diehard, Leap of the Heavens.
Races: Human, Elf, or Dwarf
Alignment: Any non-chaotic. A varangian is a sworn warrior, similar to a knight, though less exacting. A chaotic character is simply incapable of the dedication required to become one. If ever a varangian becomes chaotic, they retain the abilities of this class, but gain an experience penalty of 50% and cannot gain any further levels until they atone, and correct their alignment. Their oath is a sacred one.

The Varangian Spearman
{table]Level | BAB | FS | RS | WS | Special
1st| +1 | +2 | +2 | +0 | Long Haft, Short Haft
2nd| +2 | +3 | +3 | +0 | Dodge, Precision +1d6
3rd| +3 | +3 | +3 | +1 | Call Weapon, Evasion
4th| +4 | +4 | +4 | +1 | Mobility, Precision +2d6
5th| +5 | +4 | +4 | +1 | Whirlwind Attack
6th| +6 | +5 | +5 | +2 | Spring Attack, Precision +3d6
7th| +7 | +5 | +5 | +2 | Mortal Strike
8th| +8 | +6 | +6 | +2 | Leap Attack, Precision +4d6
9th| +9 | +6 | +6 | +3 | Improved Evasion
10th| +10 | +7 | +7 | +3 | Improved Whirlwind Attack, Precision +5d6
[/table]

Hit Dice: d10

Class Skills:
A Varangian Spearman's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.[/b]

Class Features:
All of the abilities in the above Table, and the following are Abilities of the varangian spearman. They loose the benefit of these abilities when wearing armor heavier than medium. The spearman may treat any spear-like weapon as a thrown weapon with a range increment of 30'.

Elite Warrior: The varangian's levels in this class stack with levels of fighter for the purposes of qualifying for fighter feats. See the Varangian Warrior (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=152751).
Longhaft: A varangian spearman has no maximum reach with any spearlike weapon, other than its length. Holding the weapon like this requires a movement action to change grip, and stance. While holding the weapon like this it follows the standard rules for reach weapons. This increases the reach of the weapon by 5 feet, without penalty.
Shorthaft: By holding their spear-like weapon near the head they are able to negate the penalty of using a reach weapon, meaning they can now use it in close melee. Holding the weapon like this requires a movement action to change grip and stance. While holding the weapon like this, it no longer counts as a reach weapon.
Dodge: The spearman gains a Dodge bonus equal to half of his hit dice, (Minimum 1) this bonus cannot be lost. It applies to all attackers.
Precision: The throwing range for any spear-like weapon increases by 10' each time this feature is gained. In addition, the spearman gains his class level as an attack bonus, and bonus damage according to the table. Unlike normal precision damage, this counts agains creatures normally immune to sneak attack or critical hits.
Call Weapon: The Spearman may at any time during his turn, as a free action, call his weapon back to his hand, this does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Armored Evasion (Ex): At 3nd level and higher, a spearman can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save (such as a red dragonís fiery breath or a fireball), he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the spearman is wearing medium, light or no armor. A helpless spearman (such as one who is unconscious or paralysed) does not gain the benefit of evasion.
Mobility (Ex): The Varangian Spearman gains a +4 dodge bonus to ac versus attacks of opportunity, this bonus does is not removed under any circumstances. This ability counts towards prerequisites for other feats and classes.
[Whirlwind Attack (Ex): As the feat, this does not stack. Apply the effects of cleave, or greatcleave as appropriate when an enemy is killed.
Improved Spring Attack (Ex): the varangian spearman may divide his attacks and movement into as many actions as he wishes, but may only move so long as he has movement left, and may only attack so long as he has attacks left. This otherwise functions as spring attack. This ability counts as the feat Spring attack for meeting prerequisites for feats and classes.
Mortal Strike (Ex): Once per day at 7th level, and twice per day at 10th the varangian spearman may make a single attack at his highest base attack bonus. If it hits, this attack automatically deals maximum damage, not including enchantments such as flaming burst. Critical threat is rolled normally. Apply the effects of cleave, or greatcleave normally.
Leap Attack: The varangian spearman sometimes needs to close distance quickly. This ability allows his to move into melee from a distance, bypassing any obstacles on the ground in his path. This counts as a charge attack, and provokes attacks of opportunity as appropriate. When he lands he must be within melee distance of his target, he then rolls his attack normally, and deals double strength damage. (1.5 is one handed, 2x if two handed.) The target must be within the varangian spearmans maximum movement distance, not including the weapons reach. Thus: a level 10 varangian warrior with 30' base movement and a 10' reach weapon could leap attack an enemy 40' away. Apply the effects of cleave, or greatcleave normally.
Improved Armored Evasion (Ex): This ability works like evasion, except that while the spearman still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks such as a dragonís breath weapon or a fireball, he henceforth takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless spearman (such as one who is unconscious or paralysed) does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.
Supreme Whirlwind Attack: The Varangian Spearman may make a whirlwind attack as a normal attack action. Thus he could if he has 5 attacks a round, make 5 whirlwind attacks. Apply the effects of cleave, or greatcleave normally when an enemy is killed.

Abilities: Strength and Constitution are most important to a varangian, with dexterity being only slightly less so with their restrictions on armor. Intelligence is also important as it gives them additional skills.

Sir_Chivalry
2010-05-19, 12:03 PM
A 3.x Resource.

Background:
Another sect of the Varangian Warriors were their spearmen. Known for being unreachable, and for being able to reach their enemies over distances normally considered impossible without a bow of some kind. In many cases, they would also use a shield, but I am not including that in this.
Thus: my inspiration.

Requirements:
BAB: +6
Weapon Focus (Spear or similar weapon), Weapon Specialization (Spear or similar weapon), Endurance, Diehard, Power Attack, Cleave, and Great Cleave.
Race: Human.
Alignment: Any non-chaotic. A varangian is a sworn warrior, similar to a knight, though less exacting. A chaotic character is simply incapable of the dedication required to become one. If ever a varangian becomes chaotic, they retain the abilities of this class, but gain an experience penalty of 50% and cannot gain any further levels until they atone, and correct their alignment. Their oath is a sacred one.

The Varangian Spearman
{table]Level | BAB | FS | RS | WS | Special
1st| +1 | +2 | +2 | +0 | Long Haft, Short Haft
2nd| +2 | +3 | +3 | +0 | Dodge, Precision +1d6
3rd| +3 | +3 | +3 | +1 | Call Weapon, Evasion
4th| +4 | +4 | +4 | +1 | Mobility, Precision +2d6
5th| +5 | +4 | +4 | +1 | Whirlwind Attack
6th| +6 | +5 | +5 | +2 | Spring Attack, Precision +3d6
7th| +7 | +5 | +5 | +2 | Mortal Strike
8th| +8 | +6 | +6 | +2 | Leap Attack, Precision +4d6
9th| +9 | +6 | +6 | +3 | Improved Evasion
10th| +10 | +7 | +7 | +3 | Improved Whirlwind Attack, Precision +5d6
[/table]

Hit Dice: d10

Class Skills:
A Varangian Spearman's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) ◊ 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features:
All of the abilities in the above Table, and the following are Abilities of the varangian spearman. They loose the benefit of these abilities when wearing armor heavier than medium. The spearman may treat any spear-like weapon as a thrown weapon with a range increment of 30'.

Elite Warrior: The varangian's base attack bonus stacks with his highest base attack bonus from other classes when determining base attacks per round. See the Varangian Warrior (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=152751).

Base attack bonus already works like this.


Longhaft: A varangian spearman has no maximum reach with any spearlike weapon, other than its length. Holding the weapon like this requires a movement action to change grip, and stance. While holding the weapon like this it follows the standard rules for reach weapons.

What does this do? How do I determine the length of a weapon? Why does it matter? Would a six foot spear (not longspear), provide me with reach therefore as it is longer than five feet? Would holding it like this cause any sort of penalty to attack due to lack of proper grip, or has the Spearman invented a grip that makes it possible? (the last option is probably a good one, but you need to explain class features to avoid confusion)


Shorthaft: By holding their spear-like weapon near the head they are able to negate the penalty of using a reach weapon, meaning they can now use it in close melee. holding the weapon like this requires a movement action to change grip and stance. While holding the weapon like this, it no longer counts as a reach weapon.

It's an imporved Shorthaft feat, I approve.


Dodge: As a class feature, this stacks with the feat.

Which feat? The feat Dodge? Just give the class a dodge bonus +1 at this level, they stack anyways.


Precision: The throwing range for any spear-like weapon increases by 10' each time this feature is gained. In addition, the spearman may choose to increase either their attack roll, or their damage with a roll equal to the bonus listed on the chart. This benefit may be divided between multiple uses, to a maximum number of times per day equal to the number of bonus dice, or used all at once. Thus a level 10 character could use his full 5d6 bonus all at once, 1d6 five times, or anything between.

Nothing wrong here, as long as you mean you're increasing the attack bonus or the damage by xd6 at a given point. Just change the language to polearm (an actual in-game term for spears, javelins, ranseurs and the like.) instead of spear-like weapon.


Call Weapon: The Spearman may at any time during his turn, as a free action, call his weapon back to his hand.

Absolutely nothing wrong there, makes the investment in a spear worth it by this point, otherwise you'd have to chase after it.


Evasion: As the rogue feature. At level 9 this improves to Improved Evasion.

You might want to copy-paste the wording of Evasion and Improved evasion from the d20srd into this class. Just replace rogue with varangian spearman.


Mobility: As a class feature, this stacks with the feat, and other similar effects.

Again, just say the spearman gets a +4 dodge bonus to AC when moving out of or into a threatened square. And it disappears when lose your Dex to AC.


Whirlwind Attack: As the feat, this does not stack. Apply the effects of cleave, or greatcleave normally.

Just say the spearman gains the Whirlwind Attack feat as a bonus feat, and then add on a note that fallen enemies trigger cleave and great cleave.


Spring Attack: As the Feat, this does not stack.

Just say the spearman get Spring Attack as a bonus feat.


Mortal Strike: Once per day at 7th level, and twice per day at 10th the varangian spearman may make a single attack at his highest base attack bonus. If it hits, this attack automatically deals maximum damage, not including enchantments such as flaming burst. Critical threat is rolled normally. Apply the effects of cleave, or greatcleave normally.

Nice ability there.


Leap Attack: The varangian spearman sometimes needs to close distance quickly. This ability allows his to move into melee from a distance, bypassing any obstacles on the ground in his path. This counts as a charge attack, and provokes attacks of opportunity as appropriate. When he lands he must be within melee distance of his target, he then rolls his attack normally, and deals double strength damage. (1.5 is one handed, 2x if two handed.) The target must be within the varangian spearmans maximum movement distance, not including the weapons reach. Thus: a level 10 varangian warrior with 30' base movement and a 10' reach weapon could leap attack an enemy 40' away. Apply the effects of cleave, or greatcleave normally.

Perhaps, since this is the Leap Attack feat from Complete Adventurer, the class should require Jump ranks? and maybe this ability should be earlier in the class?


At level 9 the varangian spearman gains improved evasion as a class feature. This is the same as the rogue's feature of the same name.

See my evasion suggestion.


Improved Whirlwind Attack: The Varangian Spearman may make a whirlwind attack as a normal attack action. Thus he could if he has 5 attacks a round, make 5 whirlwind attacks. Apply the effects of cleave, or greatcleave normally.

Call this Supreme Whirlwind Attack, as Improved already exists as a feat, allowing a full attack after whirlwind attack.


Abilities: Strength and Constitution are most important to a varangian, with dexterity being only slightly less so with their restrictions on armor. Intelligence is also important as it gives them additional skills.

Iferus
2010-05-19, 05:34 PM
The base attack bonus thing is still flawed, as base attack bonus doesn't stack the way you imply.

I don't really like the way precision works. I'd change the uses from x times per day to x times per encounter, or do a makeover altogether.

Also, the feat requirement is quite heavy.

Flickerdart
2010-05-19, 05:38 PM
Agreed. The feat requirement is much too strict for an insignificant bonus and some poorly worded abilities. It wouldn't be so bad if they weren't awful feats, but taking bad feats so you can get into a PrC that gives you more bad feats is counterproductive.

Tavar
2010-05-19, 05:47 PM
You should probably put that they can throw spears/polearms as a separate ability, and Evasion should probably be changed to work in Medium armor.

Precision is...odd. The Damage from the ability is very weak since it's limited. The Attack bonus can either be okay or amazing, depending on rolls, but it also suffers from the limit. It'd be cleaner to just give them +X attack, +Xd6 damage when throwing.

Also, PrC's can't be taken at first level, and thus don't grant the X4 skill point bonus.

Overall, it's kinda all over the place, though it's a bit more focused than the last one. Still, the cost is way to high for the eventual payoff.

Ralasha
2010-05-19, 06:44 PM
Here how about you give me better wording than I have, rather than just an obscure recommendation. Other things will be added.
Thank you. http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/8924/onegaie.gif

Feat requirements lowered, wording rephrased, jump skill added to requirements. Evasion is now Armored Evasion.

Altair_the_Vexed
2010-05-20, 06:10 AM
All I can suggest about this class is that some of the class ability names might be better named, so as to avoid confusion with feats and class abilities with the same names.
For example, this class has a Dodge bonus that is never lost, unlike the feat and certain other dodge bonuses. Perhaps this ability could be renamed Varangian Vigilance, or something like that?
This issue of naming also comes up for Mobility. Perhaps that could be called Varangian Advance, or Vigilant Movement, or something.

Lastly, a quick question to the OP: How do you think Base Attack Bonuses work?

We're all about the Homebrew here, so if there's an interesting way of interpreting the BAB rules, the fact that it isn't the convention shouldn't stop us from looking into it.

Ralasha
2010-05-21, 12:11 AM
I know how BAB is supposed to work. I've already said WHY I have it like this, if you can't read, don't ask.

Hyooz
2010-05-21, 12:30 AM
You didn't explain it in this thread... you really can't expect people to have read every thread you have posted on the off-chance you've explained something.

Ralasha
2010-05-21, 02:17 AM
True enough, I'll post my reasons here:
The explanation of BAB in the class description is for those players whos' DM's choose to interpret the BAB as stacking for purposes of total, but not for purpose of number of attacks. I have had some that go let us say you have fighter 6, and paladin 10: you get two attacks, rather than three at :+16/+6
+10/+5 from paladin, and +6/+1 from fighter, whereas by normal rules this would be +16/+6/+1, or +16/+11/+6/+1. due to total BAB.

Thrice Dead Cat
2010-05-21, 02:52 AM
True enough, I'll post my reasons here:
The explanation of BAB in the class description is for those players whos' DM's choose to interpret the BAB as stacking for purposes of total, but not for purpose of number of attacks. I have had some that go let us say you have fighter 6, and paladin 10: you get two attacks, rather than three at :+16/+6
+10/+5 from paladin, and +6/+1 from fighter, whereas by normal rules this would be +16/+6/+1, or +16/+11/+6/+1. due to total BAB.

If such is the case, then either spoiler it as a houserule or show said DMs the SRD or PHB to set them straight, as this has been the first instance I have ever seen of something like this. Not saying it doesn't happen, just saying that it's a more personal issue.

Altair_the_Vexed
2010-05-21, 03:50 AM
True enough, I'll post my reasons here:
The explanation of BAB in the class description is for those players whos' DM's choose to interpret the BAB as stacking for purposes of total, but not for purpose of number of attacks. I have had some that go let us say you have fighter 6, and paladin 10: you get two attacks, rather than three at :+16/+6
+10/+5 from paladin, and +6/+1 from fighter, whereas by normal rules this would be +16/+6/+1, or +16/+11/+6/+1. due to total BAB.

Interesting - this would seriously encourage players of fighting characters to stick with one class all the way, cause losing out on your multi-attacks by taking other classes is a pretty big punishment... but it sort of stands up to realism, in that you're diluting your training.

I'll admit I did wonder for a few minutes when I first picked up D&D 3rd Ed what the BAB tables meant - specifically I couldn't tell if I was supposed to add +1 for first level, then +2 for 2nd, making +3 total, and so on: I doubtred it, cause it seemed way over powered, but then I hadn't read the new AC rules yet - but the explanatory text made it fairly clear.
I think, if you have any issue with the lose of multiple attacks that this system enforces, then you should just point your DM to this text from the SRD:

Base Attack Bonus: Add the base attack bonuses acquired for each class to get the characterís base attack bonus. A resulting value of +6 or higher provides the character with multiple attacks.
Or, if you think it's fine, don't bother. I've played in plenty of games that used house rules that went directly against the RAW.

Ralasha
2010-05-21, 05:49 AM
Just giving the reason for my explanation in the class descriptor.

Fortuna
2010-05-21, 08:09 AM
Just as a personal thing, could I ask that you bold your ability names in the descriptions? I find that it improves readibility greatly.

Ralasha
2010-05-23, 07:14 AM
Bolding: Done.