View Full Version : Axiomarch (Grammaton Cleric)

2007-09-17, 11:28 AM

(Loosely based on the Grammaton Clerics from Equilibrium, with help from the playgrounders)


Since there have been laws, there have been those who would uphold them, and Axiomarchs are those men. No common city guard, Axiomarchs are rightly feared by all- innocent and wrongdoer alike- for they seek a perfect world. One free of hurt, and chaos- one in which all is conformity and individuality is nonexistent. Despite this, Axiomarchs are hard on themselves, training rigorously night and day, living harsh, Spartan existences, until the time they are ready to bring the law to the chaotic.
Adventures: Axiomarchs are often found of quests to uphold the fundamental laws of the universe, as well as those laws that would create, in their eyes, the model civilisation. Destroying undead and aberrations, as well as cells of anarchists and freedom-fighters would all be in a day's work for the Axiomarch. Despite a high wisdom, the Axiomarch can often be reckless and headstrong in his pursuit of offenders.
Characteristics: An Axiomarch practices many specific combinations of moves until he can perform them flawlessly from memory. Such a combat tactic is called Kata, and allows him greater defensive and offensive ability. He also keens his senses to better defend against traps and gains the ability to instil in his weapons the pure power of Law.
Alignment: Axiomarchs must be lawful- the power of law infuses and saturates their very core. Evil Axiomarchs are rare, as evil actions often go against the absolute laws of the universe. Good Axiomarch are more common, but still a small number of all Axiomarchs, and restrict their aversion to emotion and creativity to themselves, in an attempt to perfect their own goodness through asceticism. Lawful neutral Axiomarchs are by far the most common, those who aim for the absolute law, with little thought for the bondage of good deeds.
Background: Axiomarchs are neither born nor made. No-one chooses to become an Axiomarch- it is an instinctive calling, much like the calling of a Paladin to his duty. But neither does this calling result in instant power- the potential Axiomarch must train rigorously for years before his skills take form.
Races: Humans, with their ability to be driven by a specific ideal, account for almost all of the Axiomarchs. The remaining are made up by Elves who have forsaken their race's natural impulsiveness for the intuition of law, and their natural grace makes them great Axiomarchs. Dwarves, despite their lawful bent, are too emotionally bound to their family, friends and kin to follow the path of the Axiomarch. Other races have almost no Axiomarchs, and Axiomarchs among the monstrous humanoids are unknown.
Other Classes: The only two classes that the Axiomarch respects are Monks and Clerics. The Axiomarch looks upon Monks as brothers, both attempting to achieve perfection and enlightenment. The Axiomarch looks upon lawful Clerics, however, as a link to the absolute power that they fight for. To an Axiomarch, a lawful Cleric, even one of a deity of a different alignment to his own, is a figure of respect- never an equal. Axiomarchs have little time for most other classes, looking upon fighters lacking his subtlety, Druids as slaves to a poor ideal, and arcanists as dangerously chaotic (regardless of actual alignment). The Axiomarch has utter disdain for rogues, bards and barbarians, seeing them as dangerous, wilful- and everything he stands against.

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

+2|Kata 1/day, Fast Movement, AC Bonus, Stricture

+3|Uncanny Dodge, Bonus Feat

+3|Trap Sense +1, Intuitive Attack

+4|Kata 2/day

+4|Improved Uncanny Dodge, AC +1, Stricture

+5|Trap Sense +2

+5|Imbue Weapon (Lawful)

+6|Kata 3/day

+6|Trap Sense +3

+7|Imbue Weapon (Axiomatic +d6), AC +2, Stricture

+7|Greater Kata

+8|Kata 4/day, Trap Sense +4

+8|Imbue Weapon (Axiomatic +2d6)

+9|Indomitable Will

+9|Trap Sense +5, AC +3, Stricture

+10|Kata 5/day

+10|Tireless Kata

+11|Trap Sense +6


+12|Perfect Kata, Kata 6/day, AC +4, Stricture


Alignment: Any Lawful
Hit Die: d8
Class Skills:
Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha) Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis) and Tumble (Dex)

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

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: An Axiomarch is proficient with all simple weapons, as well as the kukri*, sap*, longsword*, shortbow, trident, Hand crossbow*, Repeating crossbow* and bastard sword*. If your campaign includes them, he is also proficient with the truncheon*, katana* and blackpowder weapons* (as well as any other campaign-specific weapons the DM sees fit to include). Weapons marked with a (*) are Special Axiomarch weapons, with which he gains certain abilities.

Fast Movement (Ex): An Axiomarch’s land speed is faster than the norm for his race by +10 feet. This benefit applies only when he is wearing no armour. Apply this bonus before modifying the Axiomarch’s speed because of any load carried.

AC Bonus (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, the Axiomarch adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC. In addition, an Axiomarch gains a +1 bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every five monk levels thereafter (+2 at 10th, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th level).

These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the Axiomarch is flat-footed. He loses these bonuses when he is immobilized or helpless, when he wears any armour, when he carries a shield, or when he carries a medium or heavy load.

Kata (Ex): An Axiomarch can enter the mental state of Kata a certain number of times per day. In a Kata, an Axiomarch temporarily gains a +4 bonus to Dexterity, a +4 bonus to Wisdom, and a +2 bonus on Disarm, Sunder and Trip attacks. The increase in Wisdom will also increase the Axiomarch's AC bonus. A Kata lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character’s Constitution modifier. An Axiomarch may prematurely end his Kata. At the end of the Kata, the Axiomarch loses the Kata modifiers and restrictions and becomes fatigued (–2 penalty to Strength, –2 penalty to Dexterity, can’t charge or run) for the duration of the current encounter (unless he is a 17th-level Axiomarch, at which point this limitation no longer applies; see below).
An Axiomarch can go into a Kata only once per encounter. At 1st level he can use his Kata ability once per day. At 4th level and every four levels thereafter, he can use it one additional time per day (to a maximum of six times per day at 20th level). Entering a Kata takes no time itself, but a Axiomarch can do it only during his action, not in response to someone else’s action.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 2nd level, an Axiomarch retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If an Axiomarch already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.

Bonus Feat: At 2nd level, the Axiomarch gains the use of one bonus feat. When taking this feat, he does not need any of the prerequisites. The feats he may choose are: Blind-Fight, Improved Disarm, Improved Sunder, Improved Trip, Imporved Unarmed Strike, Combat Reflexes

Trap Sense (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a Axiomarch gains a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps. These bonuses rise by +1 every three Axiomarch levels thereafter (6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th level). Trap sense bonuses gained from multiple classes stack.

Intuitive Attack (Ex): At 3rd level, the Axiomarch gains the ability to intuitively know where best to put his attacks against a foe. He may add his Wisdom modifier instead of his Strength modifier on attacks made with special Axiomarch weapons.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 5th level and higher, an Axiomarch can no longer be flanked. This defence denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the Axiomarch by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has Axiomarch levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank the character.

Imbue Weapon (Su): At 7th level, any special Axiomarch weapon that the Axiomarch wields is treated as a Lawful weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage resistance. At 10th level, the weapon also does an additional +d6 points of Axiomatic damage against chaotic opponents, which increases to +2d6 at 13th level. This damage stacks with damage from all sources including if the weapon wielded by the Axiomarch is already Axiomatic.

Greater Kata (Ex): At 11th level, an Axiomarch’s bonuses to Dexterity and Wisdom during his Kata each increase to +6, and his bonuses to Disarm, Sunder and Trip attacks to +3.

Indomitable Will (Ex): While in a Kata, an Axiomarch of 14th level or higher gains a +4 bonus on Will saves to resist enchantment spells. This bonus stacks with all other modifiers, including the morale bonus on Will saves he also receives during his Kata.

Tireless Kata (Ex): At 17th level and higher, an Axiomarch no longer becomes fatigued at the end of his Kata.

Flatline (Ex): At 19th level, the Axiomarch may use one use of his Kata ability per day to go "flatline"- a state of zero emotion and feeling. In the Flatline state, the Axiomarch is immune to all mind-affecting spells and effects and all enchantments. He gains a +5 bonus on all Will saves against Illusion effects. He is immune to being demoralised by Intimidate and gains a +5 bonus to Sense Motive checks against feinting opponents. His Wisdom bonus to armour class and attack rolls (via Intuitive Attack) is temporarily doubled. The Flatline lasts for as long as a Kata would.

Perfect Kata (Ex): At 20th level, an Axiomarch’s bonuses to Dexterity and Wisdom during his Kata each increase to +8, and his bonuses to Disarm, Sunder and Trip attacks to +4.

Stricture: At 1st level, 5th level and every five levels thereafter, the Axiomarch must choose a stricture embodying his lawful and ascetic nature. If the Axiomarch breaks one of his strictures, he loses the ability to perform Kata and all the supernatural abilities of the Axiomarch class for the rest of the day. Possible Strictures include:

The Axiomarch can only dress in Black, White or shades of Grey
The Axiomarch cannot own any 'Art objects'
The Axiomarch must train for an hour each day (at whichever time his deity, if he has one, requires Clerics to pray)
The Axiomarch cannot eat anything other than common-quality food
The Axiomarch cannot partake of any drugs, including "normal" substances such as alcohol or caffeine
The Axiomarch cannot have a pet or animal companion unless it has an intelligence of 3 or greater

An Axiomarch ceases to be lawful loses the ability to Kata and cannot gain more levels as an Axiomarch. He retains all the other Extraordinary benefits of the class (AC bonus, fast movement, trap sense, and uncanny dodge) but not the Supernatural bonuses.

2007-09-17, 11:56 AM
Ya know, I think this is actually a fairly balanced, D&D'd version of the Clerics of Equilibrium (AWESOME MOVIE, btw!). I say, "Well done!" with one caveat: maybe d8 HD instead of d10?

The Neoclassic
2007-09-17, 12:16 PM
Comparing them with a monk, I'd say to decrease skill points to 2+Int and use a d8. Their highest base attack bonus is extremely powerful and a bit unbalancing as the class stands at the moment. Otherwise, they look pretty cool. I'm not familiar with the Grammaton Clerics you based them on, but their special abilities are awesome.

2007-09-17, 12:33 PM
Yeah, the HD should be reduced to a d8 but I don't really want to decrease the skill points as both Monks and Barbarians (whom I based the class off of) both get 4+Int skill points.

Oh, Queenfange, you might want to check out this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bGqnK0mFq4), this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rCA5Ed1390) and/or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Tz7x8wjb7E&mode=related&search=) for my inspiration... :smallbiggrin:

2007-09-17, 02:02 PM
True but from the movie point of view (great movie by the way), Grammaton Clerics didn't do much other than burn stuff and... well they don't need the skill points from a realistic standpoint. Except to shoot stuff up with.

2007-09-17, 02:20 PM
I agree; leave the skillpoints and drop to a d8. With that many skills on the class list, 4+INT is about the least you can do. Since a Barbarian already has that many skills as well as a full BAB, the arguement that this would somehow overpower the class doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

Heck, you could even get away with the d10 hit dice - someone like this is likely to be in melee more often than not.

A clarification on alignment: Do you mean "Any Lawful" or just LN?

2007-09-17, 02:32 PM
looks great.

personally I would trade shortbow for hand crossbow, cause you can fire it like a pistol and in many campeigns there will be no blackpowder weapons

2007-09-18, 03:35 AM
@Mandiblebones: Yeah, "Lawful" means "Any Lawful", I'll change that

@Krelon: I'll add the Hand-Crossbow as a Special Weapon.

I'm leaving the skill points at 4+Int because a) Barbarians have 4 skill points and full BAB, and that is what this class most represents, and b) the Clerics should have fairly good ranks in Jump, Tumble, Concentration and Gather Information in order for them to fulfil their role.

2007-09-18, 09:52 AM
I suddenly want to play one; maybe a LG Undead-Hunter. Definitely more of a Superman type than anything else. Vow of Poverty would fit well with this class (as with most monk/barbar classes), though it would take some coordination between player and DM to make effective strictures (no "poverty" as a stricture if you take VoP - that's just twinkery and cheese.)

Oh yes. Forget Paladin.

2007-09-18, 11:21 AM
I suddenly want to play one; maybe a LG Undead-Hunter. Definitely more of a Superman type than anything else.

:smallbiggrin: Then I have done my job! I might see if I can persuade one of my DMs to let me play one, to see how well it plays. If you do get to play one, please PM me with any feedback just so I can tweak it if it needs tweaking. Time to siggy my creation, methinks.

2007-09-18, 01:11 PM
I'm guessing you niether know nor care what 'kata' actually means, right?

2007-09-18, 01:23 PM
Enlighten us, please, but know he's using the term as it is used in Equilibrium.

2007-09-18, 01:30 PM
It's a series of movements designed to be practiced to such a degree that reacting to an attack or a certain prevokation becomes second nature, used in martial arts.

Specifically, the Gun Kata in Equilibrium is a series of firing angles most likely to hit a group of opponents while minimizing vulnerability to return fired, designed to be practiced to such a degree that the weapons become an extension of one's self.

Further Info: Kata on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kata), Gun Kata on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_Kata).

2007-09-18, 01:37 PM
Enlighten us, please, but know he's using the term as it is used in Equilibrium.

Kata is a Japanese word meaning 'form' used in martial arts (prominately karate).

Basically kata are training exercises based on idealised battles. They're meant to give you an idea of how to fight in certain situations as well as just be general practice in executing certain moves. Some martial arts schools are criticised for relying on them since they can be a bit limiting.

If you see a martial artist doing apparently random attacks against no opponents in a 'show off' kind of manner he's probably running through a kata.

In equilibrium, it's called Gunkata to make to imply that it's taught like Karate is taught and is a formalised martial art rather than just being really acurate.

I don't do martial arts or anything, I just know what the word means.

ninja'd... by someone who made it sound cooler than I did, but at least I was asked

2007-09-18, 02:04 PM
I think the name 'Kata' fits well what it os supposed to do. The Axiomarch goes into a trance and solves fights with combinations of perfectly studied series of moves.

well, back to power level.

I was thinking maybe the 'imbue weapon' ability should work on all non-lawful opponents.

Also, after reading the fluff, I guess Axiomarchs are a lot like clerics, but they lack spells. You could allow them very limited spells, like:

An Axiomarch has to pick a domain of a lawful god (he/she worships), must match the alignment of the god. Alternatively can pick the Law domain. The Axiomarch can cast spells from this domain (only). Gains the domain power. Must prepare spells.
caster level equals half his axiomarch level
L1 spell on level 1, L2 spell on level 3, L3 spell on level 5 (and so on like a cleric who can cast domain spells)
spells per day:
Level 1: 0+bonus from WIS spell level 1 spells
Level 2: 1+bonus from WIS spell level 1 spells (never gets more than 1+)
on Level 3/4 like above but with spell level 2 spells
and so on

at level 9 gain access to a second domain of the god (or Law domain or trade his domain for either: baator, must be LE; or:celestia, must be LG; or: mechanus, must be LN)
at level 17 access to a third domain (or as above)

too much? doesn't fit?

2007-09-18, 02:07 PM
I don't know that it fits, honestly. I could be wrong, but spells just don't seem to go with the "perfectly prepared warrior" motif that I'm getting here.

2007-09-18, 02:20 PM
I agree with MandibleBones. I just don't feel like spells fit for these guys at all. Now, maybe...maybe they could get something like the Monk's Wholeness of Body ability, based on Wis, but I have no idea where it'd fit in that progression of abilities.

2007-09-18, 02:43 PM
yeah, not sure about the spells.

I'd love to see him with two pistols or two handcrossbows, it would be like in the movie (which was really great, btw).
what I am really missing is something like "in Kata the Axiomarch does not provoke attacks of opportunity when using one handed ranged weapons, he threatens nearby squares and delivers attacks of opportunity as if he was armed with a melee weapon" and "An Axiomarch armed with one handed ranged weaopons is treated as having the Quick Draw(to draw them) and Rapid Reload(to shoot multiple times per round) feats"

Maybe even some Axiomarch-only feat could be added like "Equilibrium" (works only with one handed ranged wepons: trade up to 5 attack bonus for more damage, like power attack does OR trade up to 5 for more AC, like combat expertise does)

As the class stands now, it is very effective to go for power attack and use bastard sword with both hands. Kata gives you a nice AT+ that can be traded for a lot of damage. Very deadly but not really like in the movie.

2007-09-18, 03:11 PM
I don't know, dual-wielding kukri seems flavoriffic, if not terribly optimized.

2007-09-18, 04:24 PM
The class is only loosely based on the Grammaton Clerics (Hazkali's words). BTW, maybe the repeating crossbows should be added and included as special Axiomarch weapons.

2007-09-18, 04:50 PM
I don't even normally like lawful characters, but I think I'll roll one of these up with the Spellshot Pistols. Simply because I love that movie, and you nailed the techniques.
Especially love the "Special Axiomarch weapons". Very nice touch.

2007-09-18, 09:02 PM
Perhaps you should just turn this into a d20 Modern class since Grammaton Clerics are set in the future...and well, yeah Kata with crossbows sounds nice but I'd still take a pair of 9mm Pistols over a pair of Hand Crossbows that need to be reloaded.

2007-09-19, 04:08 AM
Wow! I go away for an evening and find my class is flavour of the month!

Okay, to the points raised...

Okay, I don't do martial arts, but I did read the Wiktionary and Wikipedia articles on Kata before I posted. Ok, so I'm not using the word properly- it's just a word!

As for the spells, they don't really fit in terms of fluff or crunch, and it would probably break the class to have spellcasting and 4 skill points and full BAB and all of the abilities on top. I quite like the way that they're different from Clerics and Paladins, whilst being quite close to both classes flavourwise.

Okay, Wholeness of Body...hmmm....I like the idea, but I don't think there's really room for it in the progression, unless perhaps they could gain wholeness of body at 10th level, instead of Imbue Weapon (Axiomatic +d6), instead getting that at 13th level. I would say that's definitely an option for anyone who wants to try it.

One thing I noticed was that there are a wealth of feats that could help the Axiomarch perform kewl moves (Improved Trip, Improved Sunder, etc), plus things like Blind-fight, Rapid Reload etc that make him more "as seen" in the films, so I'm replacing "Intuitive Hunter" with "Bonus Feat" from a list.

As for the firing into combat thing, I'm sure there's a feat that lets you do that...if someone could tell me what it is, I'll add it to the list of Bonus Feats. In my mind's eye though, I see them using katanas (or another long bladed weapon) like the scene at the end of Equilibrium, and also a bit like the Kolyarut Inevitable (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/MM35_gallery/MM35_PG158.jpg).

If I turned it into a d20 Modern class, a) I'd never get to play it (my groups play exclusively D+D) and b) I know next to nothing about the Modern rules, so I'd make a bad job of it. I'll stick to D+Difying things!

So, again, thanks for the comments! You're really helpful and encouraging.

2007-09-19, 08:41 AM
I think Wholeness at 10th and waiting on Imbue Axiomatic to 13th would work.

Also, what about the repeating crossbow proficiencies? :smallbiggrin:

2007-09-19, 02:35 PM
As for the firing into combat thing, I'm sure there's a feat that lets you do that...if someone could tell me what it is, I'll add it to the list of Bonus Feats.

"Precise Shot" is the feat you're looking for.

2007-09-19, 02:53 PM
hmm.. although I like this class, a point of criticism:
This guy is much better with melee weapons than with ranged weapons!

shouldn't that be the other way round?

2007-09-20, 04:01 AM
Thanks, Mandiblebones! I knew there was one somewhere. Plus, I can't get the idea of a dual-Kukri-wielding Axiomarch out of my head...I think that might be my next character!

As for Krelon's point, yes, this class is probably more powerful in a melee than at range (although they do get a bonus to Dex, which doesn't hurt). That is (semi) intentional. Personally, I can't imagine someone with a crossbow doing the same things Preston did with a pistol. It just...jars. However, I can imagine a D+D character using the same sort of style of fighting to good effect with melee weapons, much as Preston did at the end of the film.