View Full Version : Ironborn [Base Class]

2007-09-27, 12:37 AM
-This class, as written, is fairly setting specific but can easily be adjusted to fit most settings.
-There are references to both Metal Elementals and the Metal subtype. Metal Elementals can be found in Mongoose Publishing's Slayer's Guide to Elementals. However, it is silly to think you'd go out and buy a book purely to fully enjoy a homebrewed class (I do recommend the book though). With that in mind, simply replace them with Earth Elementals and the Earth subtype, respectively
-This class may be overpowered, I haven't playtested it against other classes yet.
-Any suggestions for more Talents is always welcome.


“I am iron. I am steel. I am power.”
-Krusik Goremuzzle, Gnoll Ironborn

Some are born with an inherent tie to magic, Ironborn have a much more primal link, to that of natural, primal metal. Others may gain this link through evil or selfish rituals. The Ironborn use the elemental metal held in their body to produce a variety of effects, but each of those effects requires a certain talent and an amount of focus.

Making an Ironborn
As an Ironborn, your role in the party varies depending on the talents you choose. Most likely, you will be a secondary combatant. Your greatest asset is your resilience, between the ability to wear medium armour and the ability to gain natural armour, damage reduction or fast healing, you can survive most hits.
Abilities: Constitution is most likely going to be your most important score, due to the Ironborn’s focus on resilience. Either Strength or Dexterity, depending on your style of fighting, is important as well.
Races: Metal Genasi and Gnolls best represent the two different methods of becoming an Ironborn, the natural link to elemental iron and the bond created by profane rituals, respectively. Other races inclined to the path of Ironborn are Dwarves, Gnomes and Kobolds, mostly due to their inherent earthiness and craftsmanship. Humans and Halflings as a whole do not have a link to elemental metal, but certain individuals may. The same is true of Half-Elves and Half-Orcs. Elves are rarely Ironborn.
Alignment: Ironborn may be of any alignment. Good incarnates are either born as Ironborn or redeem themselves after gaining the link via ritual. Evil or Neutral Ironborn may have used a ritual or simply have been born with the talent. Ironborn, as a whole, lean towards the Law side of the law-chaos axis.
Starting Gold: 5d4x10 (125 gp).
Starting Age: As Fighter


Class Skills (2+int modifier per level, x4 at first level): Climb, Concentration, Jump, Listen, Search, Speak Language, Spot

Class Features
Your Primary skill as an Ironborn is your talents; however you also gain the ability to strike with more accurately or for more damage. Talents are mostly defensive in nature and should be chosen to complement your fighting style.

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: You are proficient with all simple weapons, with light and medium armour, and one martial weapon of choice.

Iron Affinity: An Ironborn’s primary ability is the manipulation of the elemental iron in its body. This manifests as talents (see Talents section). You know a certain number of Talents per level that is listed on the table above. Also, at 1st level you obtain a Focus pool, these are points you distribute among your talents to use them or improve their power. Focus points are constant and are not diminished by their use in Talents. You may redistribute Focus Points as a swift action, but only to Talents you have already activated. An Ironborn does not require rest or meditation like a spellcaster or meldshaper. However, Talents cannot be used if the Ironborn is wearing leather or similar organic armour.

Iron Strike: Once per day, when attacking with a talent or using a weapon with significant amounts of metal, an Ironborn may add its Ironborn levels to its attack or damage. This may be done once per day at 4th level, twice at 10th level, three times at 15th level and four times at 19th level.

Iron Focus: At 7th level the Ironborn gains a +2 to all will saves, this bonus increases to +4 at 14th level.

Perfect Strike: At 17th level, when using Iron Strike the Ironborn may add its class level to a single attack roll and that attack’s damage roll.

Paragon of Iron: At 20th level, the Ironborn becomes one with the iron in its body and transforms into a being of Elemental might. It gains the Elemental type and the Metal Subtype.

Playing an Ironborn
As an Ironborn, you, like your element, are resilient. Your reason for adventuring can run the gamut from wealth to revenge. The nature of metal is lawful and as such most Ironborn have great discipline and self control.
Religion: Most Ironborn worship the deities of the culture they are born in. Ironborn are particularly drawn to lawful deities or deities of strength. An Ironborn’s relationship to worshipers of other deities varies from person to person.
Other Classes: Ironborn get along best with Monks due to their martial skill and lawful nature and with metal focused Wu Jen, despite their chaotic nature, due to their shared link to elemental metal. Good Ironborn work well with Paladins.
Combat: Your style of combat varies depending on which talents you choose. Choosing talents such as Needle of Steel and Primal Iron are useful for a ranged combatant, whereas talents such as Macehand and Metallic Body are useful for melee combatants. Iron Strike is used in much the same way as a smite attack.
Advancement: Ironborn have either unlocked the elemental metal present in their very flesh, or used a ritual to bind the primal force to them. Like sorcery, being an ironborn is, for the most part, an inherent quality that can come out naturally, or through training. However your demi-elemental nature occurred, you are focused and devoted to exploring the limits of your power and training your mind and body to be more resilient.
Your talents are your primary asset and play a big part on which role your character plays in the party. You are a combat-oriented character, and as such, should choose feats that enhance your style of combat such as Power Attack and Combat Expertise. Since you gain proficiency with one type of martial weapon as a part of your class, it is often worth taking weapon focus in that particular weapon.

Human Ironborn
Starting Package
Armour: Scale Mail (+4 AC, armour check penalty -4, speed 20ft., 30lb.).
Heavy steel shield (+2 AC, armour check penalty -2, 15lb)
Weapons: Warhammer (1d8, crit x3, 5lb., one handed, bludgeoning)
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 2+ Int modifier.


Feat: Power Attack
Bonus Feat: Weapon Focus (Warhammer)
Gear: Backpack with waterskin, one day’s trail rations, bedroll, sack, flint and steel, 3 torches.
Gold: 1d8 gp.

Ironborn in the World
“Just a Gnoll? You don’t know how many recruits have said that about Goremuzzle, but she is more than some savage brute. She’s brilliant strategist and damn near unstoppable on the battlefield. We’ve lost more than a few recruits who thought Krusik was ‘just a Gnoll’” -Gareth Illon, Captain of the Gracehold Militia

Ironborn have no particular place in the world, aside from their link to the elemental. Those who gained their power through profane ritual are reviled by elementals, especially metal elementals. Ironborn who were born with their power are usually regarded as kin by metal elementals and most other elementals will be indifferent or distantly friendly towards them.
Daily Life: Ironborn spend most of their spare time in meditation, honing their skills and focus to a razors edge.
Notables: Ironborn have two major heroes (or villains, depending on who you ask). The first was a higher elemental whose name is lost to the ages. It forged the elemental court of metal and crusaded against those who would upset the balance of the elements.
The other major figure was a human farmer named Philoun. He is famous for leading a rebellion against his Gnoll captors after his Ironborn heritage awoke suddenly in the slave pits.
Organizations: Metal Genasi, and other elemental Ironborn are usually are part of the Elemental Court of Metal. Similarly, most Gnoll Ironborn are members of the Iron Mother’s clan. Other Ironborn are typically loners, gathering only in groups of two or three.

NPC Reactions
Among those who naturally have the Ironborn bond, only Gnolls have a particular enmity towards them. Natural Ironborn are also, if not liked, treated with the respect and kindness one gives to a distant relative, which is to say, not a lot. Those who stole their power through wicked rites will earn the hatred of the Elemental Courts and their allies.
The majority of people, especially those who are not well educated, have no interest or problem with Ironborn, unless the Ironborn is somehow opposing their goals or making their life difficult.

Ironborn Lore
Character with Knowledge (the planes) or (nature) can research Ironborn to learn more about them. Bardic Knowledge gleans the same results.
DC 10: Ironborn are those who have a portion of elemental metal bound inside their body. Despite their name, they may or may not have been born with this ability.
DC 15: Ironborn have different talents at shaping the elemental metal in their body, however, they need to enter a certain focused state of mind to do this. Some gain this ability through vile ceremonies.
DC 20: Ironborn can swiftly change their mental state to adjust how the elemental metal affects their environment by focusing on their talents to different degrees. Ironborn call this process of focusing on the metal ‘channelling’.
DC 30: Reveals information about notable Ironborn and major organizations, drawn from the section above. This level of information reveals the rituals on how to become an Ironborn.

-Talents to come

Kevka Palazzo
2007-09-27, 01:04 AM
Well, I am a big fan of metal things, especially hard-hitting, long-lasting metal things. That said, this class seems interesting, but I have no idea how to balance it without the talents.

If anything, Perfect Strike is a little underpowered because of the level you get it at and the rate at which you can use it.

Also, why is Speak Language a class skill? It doesn't seem to fit in with the flavor of the class.

2007-09-27, 08:17 PM

Mind of Iron- As a swift action, an Ironborn may gain a +4 bonus to their Will save per Focus point channelled, if all Focus Points channelled into this talent any mind-affecting effects are removed.

Needle of Steel- As a standard action, an Ironborn can channel 1 Focus Point to launch a dart of iron as a ranged attack with a range increment of 40ft. The dart does 1d6 damage plus 1d6 per Focus Point. Alternatively, you can increase the number of darts created, each dart costs 1 additional focus point. You can create a number of darts equal to the number of attacks you receive. The Focus Points channelled to increase the damage apply to all darts.

Skin of Nails- As a swift action an Ironborn can channel 1 Focus Point to increase your grapple modifier by +2 and deals 1d4 piercing damage to anyone grappling you. The grapple bonus increases by +2 for every additional Focus Point channelled and the damage die increases by 1 (to a maximum of 1d8). After the damage die has reached 1d8, treat every focus point after that point as adding a +1 enhancement bonus.

Metallic Body- As a full round action, an Ironborn can channel 1 Focus point to gain +2 to their natural armour (if the Ironborn doesn’t already have natural armour, assume the value is +0). For every additional Focus Point channelled, the value increases by +1.

Macehand- As a move action, an Ironborn can channel 1 Focus Point to gain a slam attack that deals 1d6 bludgeoning damage. For one additional Focus Point, the attack may gain the qualities of a metallic special material (eg. Adamantine, cold iron). For an additional 2 Focus points, on attack per round may be granted a 10ft reach. Also, an enhancement bonus may be granted at the rate of a +1 bonus per point channelled to this end.

Heart of Iron- As a full round action, an Ironborn can channel 4 Focus Points to gain fast healing 1. This may be increased at the rate of 1 point of fast healing per 2 Focus Points channelled.

Resilience of the Forge- As a swift action, an Ironborn can channel 3 Focus points to gain DR 2/-. Every 2 additional Focus Points channelled increases the DR by 1.

Mithril Wind- As a full round action, an Ironborn may channel 6 Focus Points to transform its body into a cloud of metal shards. The Ironborn gains the effect of the spell Gaseous form with the following changes. The Ironborn gains a fly speed of 20ft with perfect manoeuvrability and any damage reduction (aside from the DR granted by the effect), fast healing or regeneration is negated for the duration of the effect. No talent may be used, aside from, Mithril Wind, while it is in effect. Any corporeal creature in the Ironborn’s space at the end of its turn takes 1d8 slashing and piercing damage (+1d8 per Focus point channelled) After a number of round equal to half its class level (rounding down) an Ironborn is forced to return to its regular form or suffer 1 point of cumulative damage that is not effected by the Ironborn’s damage reduction. The time limit may be extended by 1 round per Focus Point channelled. After use, this talent cannot be used for a number of rounds equal to twice the time spent in Mithril Wind form.

Golemflesh- As a move action, an Ironborn can channel 2 Focus Points to gain construct immunities. However, they are still vulnerable to critical hits. While this is in effect the Ironborn can be targeted by spells that only affect constructs. Additionally the Ironborn cannot be targeted by cure or other healing spells, only repair spells or fast healing and such will affect them. For every 2 additional Focus points, the Ironborn gains 25% cumulative fortification.

Elemental Might- As a swift action, an Ironborn may channel 1 Focus Point to gain a +1 to strength. For every additional Focus Point channelled the bonus to strength increases by 1.

Primal Iron- As a full round action, an Ironborn may expel an amount of Elemental Iron from its body. The iron settles on the ground and on the Ironborn’s next turn, animates as a metal elemental under the Ironborn’s control. The Elemental acts on the Ironborn’s initiative. The cost in Focus Points is equal to the CR of the metal elemental.

Iron Stance: As a swift action, an Ironborn with this talent may channel 1 focus point to gain immunity to bull rushes, trip attacks and being knocked prone. Every Focus point channelled after that gives a +4 bonus to grapple checks.

Fury of the Forge: As a swift action, an Ironborn may channel 8 focus points to gain damage reduction 10/adamantine, +4 Strength and a slam attack that deals 1d4 damage. Additionally, the Ironborn’s body is under the effect of a heat metal spell that it, and its equipment are immune to. The period of time in which the effect does full damage may be extended by channelling 1 focus point per round. After the heat metal effect ends, the talent may not be used for a number of round equal to the time spent using this talent.