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View Full Version : Pathfinder The Shield Thane, a Warlord Archetype for PoW.



RedOndjage
2015-04-04, 07:35 PM
So, one thing that I feel has been missing from the excellent PoW material by Dreamscarred Press is a lightly armored, shielded warrior that depends more on his shield than his armor for defense. I tried to combine that idea with a more barbaric take on the Warlord's leadership abilities by swapping them out for a limited Raging Song and rage powers in place of his teamwork feats and tactical presences. This class is supposed to feel like a viking raider. Please let me know what you think so I can make it better!

Shield Thane

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Shield Thane is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, and shields (except tower shields). This replaces the Warlord’s standard weapon and armor proficiency

Class Skills: The shield thane adds Perform (oratory) and Perform (wind) to his list of class skills.

Maneuvers: The shield thane gains access to Iron Tortoise and loses access to Solar Wind. Perception is no longer a class skill, Bluff is now a class skill.

Greater Shield Expertise: The shield thane gains the Improved Shield Bash feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. He also gains a +1 competence bonus to his existing shield AC bonus at 1st level, and every 5 levels thereafter as long as he is wearing light armor.

This ability replaces the bonus feat gained at 1st level, and bonus feats resume as normal at 6th level and on.

Raging Song: A shield thane can inspire his troops with a blow of his horn or a fierce speech. He gains Raging Song, as the Skald ability. His Skald level for the purpose of this ability is equal to his Warlord level. He may use Inspired Rage at 2nd level, Song of Marching at 3rd level, and song of Strength at 6th level. He does not gain any other raging songs. He may not learn bard masterpieces, but the raging song counts as the bard's bardic performance special ability for any effect that affects bardic performances. This ability is in all other ways identical to the skald ability of the same name.

This ability replaces Tactical Presence.

Rage Powers: At 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter, a shield thane learns a rage power that affects the Shield Thane and any allies under the influence of his inspired rage. This cannot be a rage power that requires the creature to spend a standard action or rounds of rage to activate it. For example, the skald cannot choose terrifying howl (which requires a standard action to activate), but can choose knockback (which is made in place of a melee attack).

Unless otherwise noted, a shield thane cannot select an individual rage power more than once.
When starting an inspired rage, the shield thane chooses which rage powers (if any) to add to the song, and all affected allies gain the benefit of these rage powers, using the shield thane’s level as their effective barbarian level. The shield thane uses his warlord level as his barbarian level for the purpose of selecting rage powers that require a minimum barbarian level. If the rage power's effects depend on the shield thane's ability modifier (such as lesser spirit totem), affected allies use the shield thane's ability modifier instead of their own for the purposes of this effect.

If a rage power requires another rage power (such as disruptive, which requires superstition), the shield thane cannot grant that rage power to allies unless he can also grant that power's prerequisite. He may add multiple rage powers to an inspired rage at the same time using this ability (such as granting superstition and disruptive simultaneously).

If a rage power can only be used a certain number of times per day or per rage (such as renewed vigor), each ally affected by the inspired rage song is subject to that limit (with once per rage abilities limited to once per inspired rage).

If the shield thane has rage powers from another class, he (but not his allies) can use those rage powers during an inspired rage. He cannot select a duplicate rage power, unless that rage power can be taken multiple times.
If the shield thane has the ability to rage from another class, he can use his skald rage powers during that rage as well.

The shield thane may choose a rage power in place of one of his bonus feats at 6th level, and every other level thereafter.

This ability replaces Warleader.

Thane’s Prowess: When the shield thane is in light armor and wielding a shield in his off hand, he counts his offhand as empty for the purposes of Scarlet Throne feats and maneuvers and adds 1.5x his strength rolls to damage with his main hand weapon.

This ability replaces Battle Prowess.

Keledrath
2015-04-04, 09:11 PM
Okay, let's go step by step.

First, skills. Just give them full Perform and Bluff. Don't take Perception away.

Greater Shield Expertise: So, the bonus feat replacement from Vanguard Commander, with a scaling bonus? Probably a bit much.

Raging Song: I see what you're trying to do, but no. Until level 10, this is effectively a full strength version of the Skald's main class feature. As a sideline. Not as clear cut stronger than the Tactical Presences, but I think it, at worst, comes out an even trade

Rage Powers: Again, you're literally lifting this from the Skald. Also, much stronger than what it replaces

Thane's Prowess: Absolutely not. This ability basically reads: Get all the best parts of THF and Sword and Board. WAY stronger than what it replaces

The goal of a class-crossing archetype isn't to Gestalt the classes, it's to make X class with a touch of Y. This is literally a Warlord (whose class features are balanced around having maneuvers and the chassis it has) and giving it the class features of a Skald (balanced around no maneuvers and a weaker chassis). This is just better than both of them.

RedOndjage
2015-04-04, 11:19 PM
Okay, let's go step by step.

First, skills. Just give them full Perform and Bluff. Don't take Perception away.

Greater Shield Expertise: So, the bonus feat replacement from Vanguard Commander, with a scaling bonus? Probably a bit much.

Raging Song: I see what you're trying to do, but no. Until level 10, this is effectively a full strength version of the Skald's main class feature. As a sideline. Not as clear cut stronger than the Tactical Presences, but I think it, at worst, comes out an even trade

Rage Powers: Again, you're literally lifting this from the Skald. Also, much stronger than what it replaces

Thane's Prowess: Absolutely not. This ability basically reads: Get all the best parts of THF and Sword and Board. WAY stronger than what it replaces

The goal of a class-crossing archetype isn't to Gestalt the classes, it's to make X class with a touch of Y. This is literally a Warlord (whose class features are balanced around having maneuvers and the chassis it has) and giving it the class features of a Skald (balanced around no maneuvers and a weaker chassis). This is just better than both of them.

Skills: I agree! I think that edit works well.

Greater Shield Expertise: It's more powerful than the Vanguard Commander's version because this archetype only gets light armor. The scaling bonus also only functions when the Vanguard Commander is wearing light armor. Essentially, it moves the defensive abilities of the archetype more towards the shield than his armor.

Raging Song: I'm going to cut out Song of Strength. Thus, he only gets a small boost to his companions, and the tools to make them cover ground faster. Pretty thematically appropriate for a raider, no? Do you still think it would be too much?

Rage Powers: I added these because Raging Song feels rather incomplete without them. Maybe just gaining a rage power when he gains Warleader, Imp. Warleader, and Master Warleader, and only off a short list of powers?

Thane's Prowess: I think this might work better as the base Battle Prowess ability, with an extra clause about counting his offhand as empty when he's using a weapon and shield for the purpose of Scarlet Throne feats and Maneuvers. It's still stronger than the base ability, but not much.

Lastly, I take pains to be very polite with people on this board. I'd appreciate the same courtesy back. I'm very new to homebrewing, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't talk down to me like I'm an idiot. I'm sure you didn't mean to do so, but your tone was unnecessarily harsh. Thanks.

RedOndjage
2015-04-04, 11:34 PM
Here's a revised archetype, incorporating some of Keledrath's suggestions.



Shield Thane

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Shield Thane is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, and shields (except tower shields). This replaces the Warlord’s standard weapon and armor proficiency

Class Skills: The shield thane adds Perform (oratory), Perform (wind) and Bluff to his list of class skills.

Maneuvers: The shield thane gains access to Iron Tortoise and loses access to Solar Wind.

Greater Shield Expertise: The shield thane gains the Improved Shield Bash feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. He also gains a +1 competence bonus to his existing shield AC bonus at 1st level, and every 5 levels thereafter as long as he is wearing light armor.

This ability replaces the bonus feat gained at 1st level, and bonus feats resume as normal at 6th level and on.

Raging Song: A shield thane can inspire his troops with a blow of his horn or a fierce speech. He gains Raging Song, as the Skald ability. His Skald level for the purpose of this ability is equal to his Warlord level. He may use Inspired Rage at 2nd level and Song of Marching at 3rd level. He does not gain any other raging songs. He may not learn bard masterpieces, but the raging song counts as the bard's bardic performance special ability for any effect that affects bardic performances. This ability is in all other ways identical to the skald ability of the same name.

This ability replaces Tactical Presence.

Rage Powers: At 3rd level and every 5 levels thereafter, a shield thane learns a rage power that affects the Shield Thane and any allies under the influence of his inspired rage. This cannot be a rage power that requires the creature to spend a standard action or rounds of rage to activate it. For example, the skald cannot choose terrifying howl (which requires a standard action to activate), but can choose knockback (which is made in place of a melee attack).

Unless otherwise noted, a shield thane cannot select an individual rage power more than once.
When starting an inspired rage, the shield thane chooses which rage powers (if any) to add to the song, and all affected allies gain the benefit of these rage powers, using the shield thane’s level as their effective barbarian level. The shield thane uses his warlord level as his barbarian level for the purpose of selecting rage powers that require a minimum barbarian level. If the rage power's effects depend on the shield thane's ability modifier (such as lesser spirit totem), affected allies use the shield thane's ability modifier instead of their own for the purposes of this effect.

If a rage power requires another rage power (such as disruptive, which requires superstition), the shield thane cannot grant that rage power to allies unless he can also grant that power's prerequisite. He may add multiple rage powers to an inspired rage at the same time using this ability (such as granting superstition and disruptive simultaneously).

If a rage power can only be used a certain number of times per day or per rage (such as renewed vigor), each ally affected by the inspired rage song is subject to that limit (with once per rage abilities limited to once per inspired rage).

If the shield thane has rage powers from another class, he (but not his allies) can use those rage powers during an inspired rage. He cannot select a duplicate rage power, unless that rage power can be taken multiple times.
If the shield thane has the ability to rage from another class, he can use his skald rage powers during that rage as well.

The shield thane may only select a rage power from the following list, and does not qualify for the Extra Rage Powers feat: (INSERT LIST HERE! Taking suggestions!)

This ability replaces Warleader.

Thane’s Prowess: When the shield thane is in light armor and wielding a shield in his off hand, he counts his offhand as empty for the purposes of Scarlet Throne feats and maneuvers at 1st level and gains a +1 competence bonus to attack and damage rolls, CMB, and CMD at 5th, 12th, and 19th levels.

This ability replaces Battle Prowess.

Keledrath
2015-04-05, 07:49 AM
Lastly, I take pains to be very polite with people on this board. I'd appreciate the same courtesy back. I'm very new to homebrewing, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't talk down to me like I'm an idiot. I'm sure you didn't mean to do so, but your tone was unnecessarily harsh. Thanks.

Sorry,I didn't mean it to come across like that. I was coming off of a long day and didn't pay as much attention to how I wrote it as I should have.

As far as the Shield thing, Medium armor is hideously overrated (imo). The AC bonus over light armor is, in my experience, pretty much never worth the loss of movement speed. Further, a light armor character is incentivized to pump Dex over Str.

Raging Song still seems like it's a bit strong, but it is replacing one of the stronger team buffs Warlord gets.

The Rage Powers are better balanced now. Wish I could help with the allowance list, but I'm not overly familiar with Rage Powers.

Thane's Prowess: This is much better. It's much more consistent with Battle Prowess now. Though the clause about the empty off hand is unnecessary. That bit was removed from Throne, so the only place it would come up is Scarlet Einhander (and the shield bonus from that wouldn't stack)

RedOndjage
2015-04-05, 10:39 AM
Sorry,I didn't mean it to come across like that. I was coming off of a long day and didn't pay as much attention to how I wrote it as I should have.

As far as the Shield thing, Medium armor is hideously overrated (imo). The AC bonus over light armor is, in my experience, pretty much never worth the loss of movement speed. Further, a light armor character is incentivized to pump Dex over Str.

Raging Song still seems like it's a bit strong, but it is replacing one of the stronger team buffs Warlord gets.

The Rage Powers are better balanced now. Wish I could help with the allowance list, but I'm not overly familiar with Rage Powers.

Thane's Prowess: This is much better. It's much more consistent with Battle Prowess now. Though the clause about the empty off hand is unnecessary. That bit was removed from Throne, so the only place it would come up is Scarlet Einhander (and the shield bonus from that wouldn't stack)

I figured something was up, since your response was very out of character compared to how you usually are in threads! No hard feelings man.

Yeah, I know medium armor isn't great, but I really want to keep this guy Str focused, lightly armored, and focused defensively on his shield. Got any ideas how I can reinforce this with class features?

The Raging Song is now trading defensive buffs for offensive buffs. I don't think it's much stronger than the tactical presences it's replacing.

I'm trying to figure out a good selection of rage powers for him to choose from, then clean up the wording of that whole section now.

As far as Thane's Prowess is concerned, it still allows the Shield Thane to use Scarlet Throne Style and get the 1 for 3 trade on power attacks with his main hand weapon.

Right now I'm trying to figure out a way to either modify the current class features, or incorporate another one that solidifies him as a sword and board, lightly armored, strength based archetype.

Thealtruistorc
2015-04-05, 12:00 PM
This was the type of character I first thought about when introduced to the warlord class, and I am so glad that another person has decided to build this. For limiting rage powers, I would just say that you can't take rage powers with the (Su) descriptor. You're a viking, after all, not a mystic.

Also, I now have the urge to build Victarion Greyjoy as a character.

Keledrath
2015-04-05, 03:45 PM
Honestly, the access to Tortoise is enough, backed by Thane's Prowess.

The thing that's bugging me with the shield bonus is that it actually progresses faster than Steelfist's Dodge Bonus, and Steelfist not only drops to light armor but drops shield proficiency.

RedOndjage
2015-04-07, 10:39 PM
Alright, I incorporated Keledrath's suggestion about keeping the scaling shield bonus to AC in line with the Steelfist Commando's dodge bonus. I also tweaked Thane's Prowess and added Berserker's Shield to let it synergize better with Thrashing Dragon and Primal Fury, which I feel are more thematically appropriate disciplines for this class. I also incorporated Thealtruisticorc's suggestion about limiting rage powers to (Ex) powers. Thank you guys so much for your help. It's been very useful. What do you guys think? Do we have a winner here?




Shield Thane

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Shield Thane is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, and shields (except tower shields). This replaces the Warlord’s standard weapon and armor proficiency

Class Skills: The shield thane adds Perform (oratory), Perform (wind) and Bluff to his list of class skills.

Maneuvers: The shield thane gains access to Iron Tortoise and loses access to Solar Wind.

Greater Shield Expertise: The shield thane gains the Improved Shield Bash feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. He also gains a +1 competence bonus to his existing shield AC bonus when wearing light armor at 2nd level, and every 4 levels thereafter to a maximum of +5 at 18th level.

This ability replaces the bonus feat gained at 1st level, and bonus feats resume as normal at 6th level and on.

Raging Song: A shield thane can inspire his troops with a blow of his horn or a fierce speech. He gains Raging Song, as the Skald ability. His Skald level for the purpose of this ability is equal to his Warlord level. He may use Inspired Rage at 2nd level and Song of Marching at 3rd level. He does not gain any other raging songs. He may not learn bard masterpieces, but the raging song counts as the bard's bardic performance special ability for any effect that affects bardic performances. This ability is in all other ways identical to the skald ability of the same name.

This ability replaces Tactical Presence.

Rage Powers: At 3rd level and every 5 levels thereafter, a shield thane learns a rage power that affects the Shield Thane and any allies under the influence of his inspired rage. This cannot be a rage power that requires the creature to spend a standard action or rounds of rage to activate it. For example, the skald cannot choose terrifying howl (which requires a standard action to activate), but can choose knockback (which is made in place of a melee attack).

Unless otherwise noted, a shield thane cannot select an individual rage power more than once.
When starting an inspired rage, the shield thane chooses which rage powers (if any) to add to the song, and all affected allies gain the benefit of these rage powers, using the shield thane’s level as their effective barbarian level. The shield thane uses his warlord level as his barbarian level for the purpose of selecting rage powers that require a minimum barbarian level. If the rage power's effects depend on the shield thane's ability modifier (such as lesser spirit totem), affected allies use the shield thane's ability modifier instead of their own for the purposes of this effect.

If a rage power requires another rage power (such as disruptive, which requires superstition), the shield thane cannot grant that rage power to allies unless he can also grant that power's prerequisite. He may add multiple rage powers to an inspired rage at the same time using this ability (such as granting superstition and disruptive simultaneously).

If a rage power can only be used a certain number of times per day or per rage (such as renewed vigor), each ally affected by the inspired rage song is subject to that limit (with once per rage abilities limited to once per inspired rage).

If the shield thane has rage powers from another class, he (but not his allies) can use those rage powers during an inspired rage. He cannot select a duplicate rage power, unless that rage power can be taken multiple times.
If the shield thane has the ability to rage from another class, he can use his skald rage powers during that rage as well.

The shield thane may not select rage powers marked (Su), and does not qualify for the Extra Rage Powers feat unless he gains a rage ability from another class.

This ability replaces Warleader.

Shield Wall: When adjacent to an ally equipped with a shield, the shield thane increases his shield bonus to AC by +1. This bonus increases by +1 for each adjacent ally up to +2 AC.

This ability replaces Tactical Flanker

Thane’s Prowess: When the shield thane is in light armor and wielding a shield in his off hand, he gains a +1 competence bonus to attack and damage rolls, CMB, and CMD at 5th, 12th, and 19th levels. He also treats his off-hand shield bash attacks as main hand attacks for the purposes of the Power Attack feat.

This ability replaces Battle Prowess.

Berserker's Shield: Once per round, when making a charge attack or initiating a martial strike, the shield thane may make a shield bash attempt using his full base attack bonus as a free action.

This ability replaces Tactical Assistance

Thealtruistorc
2015-04-08, 04:23 PM
I'd say we have a winner with this build, but I would alter the wording to say "The Shielded Thane cannot select Rage Powers with the (Su) descriptor" (Paizo forgets sometimes).

RedOndjage
2015-04-08, 04:49 PM
Good call on that! I just checked the SRD and you're right. Certain powers aren't marked at all. I'll make the change in the next draft for sure. Do you think this archetype is balanced against the other archetypes and the base class? Keledrath was a little concerned that it's too powerful, and in it's initial incarnation I'd say he was right. It's been toned down a lot, so I think it's in a good place overall. I need to sound the PoW dev-conch to get one of them to take a look at this thing at some point.