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Tyonisius
2007-11-17, 05:39 PM
This is a PrC that I cooked up while watching some movies (300, Troy, etc). It started out solely as a Spartan Hoplite, but expanded into a more versatile character. Take a look, tell me what you think.... I apologize in advance for any typos. Thanks.

The Hoplitish fighter person thing

Requirements:
Alignment: Any lawful.
Jump: 8 Ranks
Base Attack Bonus: +5
Feats: Weapon Focus (Longspear, Glaive, Ranseur, Duom, or Greatspear), Weapon Specialization (Longspear, Glaive, Ranseur, Duom, or Greatspear), Skill Focus (jump). (Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization in another polearm-type weapon can be allowed at GM's discretion).
Special: The ability to use large weapons (in this case reach polearms) one handed. This can be through a feat such as Monkey Grip or through a racial ability (such as the Goliath's).

Hit Die: d10
Class Skills: Same as fighters, minus ride, plus intimidate, knowledge (warfare), profession (soldier), and wilderness lore.

Skill Point Gain: 4 + Int Modifier



Base
Attack Fort Ref Will
Level Bonus Save Save Save Special
1 +1 +2 +0 +0 Adaptive Polearm, Fearless Resolve
2 +2 +3 +0 +0 Impressive Leg Strength
3 +3 +3 +1 +1 Fleet of Foot, Gouge
4 +4 +4 +1 +1 Leaping Thrust, Phalanx Fighting
5 +5 +4 +1 +1 Fleet of Foot (+5 ft.), Soldier's Fortune
6 +6 +5 +2 +2 Spinning Polearm
7 +7 +5 +2 +2 Fleet of Foot (+10 ft.), Shield Ally
8 +8 +6 +2 +2 Improved Gouge
9 +9 +6 +3 +3 Fleet of Foot (+15 ft.)
10 +10 +7 +3 +3 Mighty Spinning Polearm




Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Hoplite gains no additional weapon, armor, or shield proficiencies. His offensive abilities do not function with any weapon other than a polearm-type weapon (chosen at the DMís discretion). None of the Hoplite's abilities work while wearing anything heavier than light armor (medium armor made of mithral still counts as light for this purpose).

Adaptive Polearm: Due to his extensive training in his polearm weapon, the Hoplite can use the polearm weapon he has weapon focus and weapon specialization in to attack enemies in adjacent squares.

Gouge: A Hoplite has the ability to bleed a creature damaged by her polearm weapon by twisting it once it has struck an opponent during an attack. The Hoplite can use this skillful attack once per round, but no more than once per level per day. The Hoplite must declare that she is using a gouge attack before making the attack roll (thus, a missed attack roll ruins the attempt). A foe struck by the Hoplite is forced to make a Fortitude saving throw (DC10 + the number of Hoplite levels + Strength modifier), in addition to receiving normal damage. If the saving throw fails, the opponent suffers damage equal to the Hopliteís Strength modifier for a number of rounds equal to her Hoplite levels. The effects of gouge do not stack; an additional gouge on an opponent already affected by gouge would only reset the amount of time that the gouge lasts for. A Hoplite can only gouge a living creature with a discernable anatomy--undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creature lack blood to loose. The blood loss can be stopped with a successful heal check (DC 15 + the number of Hoplite levels + strength modifier of the Hoplite). The blood loss can also be stopped by a heal spell that would heal, at itís max, damage equal to the gouge damage taken each round. This means that if the gouge damage was between 2 and 13 points of damage a Cure Light Wounds spell can stop the bleeding (1d8+5 makes the max 13).

Improved Gouge: This increases the damage of the gouge ability to 2x the Strength modifier.

Impressive Leg Strength: This ability allows the Hoplite to add double his strength modifier to his jump checks instead of the usual + Str Modifier that the skill uses.

Fearless Resolve: Beginning at level 3, the Hoplite is immune to fear (magical or otherwise).

Fleet of Foot: Due to the nature of the Hoplite, having to travel from battle to battle on foot, the speed of the Hoplite is increased. At level 3 this grants the Hoplite the Run Feat. Every 2 levels thereafter, it increases the Hoplites movement speed by +5 feet.

Leaping Thrust: As part of a charge, the Hoplite can jump at the opponent and thrust his polearm at the end of the charge. This attack deals additional damage based upon the roll on the Jump Check and a -2 to AC of the Hoplite in addition to the normal benefits and disadvantages to charging (therefore the Hoplite would gain a +2 to attack bonus and a -4 to AC). If the Hoplite's jump check result is a 20 or less the Leaping Thrust is unsuccessful and the attack roll automatically misses but the Hoplite still suffers the minus to AC. A roll of 21-25 deals an additional 1d6 damage; 26-30 deals an addition 2d6 damage, etc. This damage occurs even if the creature is not normally affected by critical hits, sneak attack, etc. due to the fact that the extra damage is due to the momentum of the attack (forward and falling) and not due to hitting a critical area. This charge must be done in a straight line, despite any other feats the Hoplite may have that allows him to change direction. Should the Hoplite score a critical hit while performing this attack, the additional damage from Leaping Thrust is not multiplied. See the chart below for clarification.




Jump Skill
Check (DC) Bonus Damage
21-25 1d6
26-30 2d6
31-35 3d6
36-40 4d6
41-45 5d6
46-50 6d6
51-55 7d6
56-60 8d6


Soldier's Fortune: At level 5, a Hoplite applies her Charisma modifier (if positive) as a bonus to all saving throws. This bonus does not stack with the Divine Grace ability of the Paladin or similar abilities.

Twirling Polearm: This ability functions just as the whirlwind feat as long as the Hoplite is wielding a polearm even if the Hoplite does not meet the prerequisites for Whirlwind.

Mighty Twirling Polearm: Before I state what this skill does I want to put a picture in your mind. When I see a Hoplite performing a whirlwind attack with his polearm I see him grabbing it near the end of the shaft and twirling it, slightly above his head with the weapon angled downward, so the blade would bite at the enemies surrounding the Hoplite. This feat functions like a Whirlwind attack combined with a Bull Rush attempt in theory. Basically, he twirls the weapon above his head in a whirlwind attack, and those stuck by the weapon roll opposed strength checks to determine whether the enemy is pushed back one square (5 ft.) by the attack. If the weapon being wielded by the Hoplite is a reach weapon it can affect people up to 10 feet away. The exception to this is if the square in between the Hoplite and the enemy 10 feet away is blocked off, this can be by a wall, rock, or even another enemy/ally. If an enemy in an adjacent square is bull-rushed and there are no unoccupied squares he can be bull-rushed into, the enemy instead falls prone. Unlike in a normal bull rush attempt, the Hoplite does not move back 5 feet upon failing.

Phalanx Fighting: At level 4, the Hoplite gains the use of the Phalanx Fighting feat. The one exception to this is that the Hoplite can use this feat while wield his preferred weapon.

Shield Ally: As a standard action, the Hoplite can guard an adjacent ally with his shield. In effect the Hoplite would state that he is Shielding his ally during his turn. This grants the Hoplite's shield bonus to the ally's armor class, stacking with any shield the ally is carrying, until the Hoplite's next turn. The Hoplite loses his shield bonus to his AC until his next turn. Neither the Hoplite nor the ally can move or the affects of the Shield Ally ability are canceled (the Hoplite still does not regain his shield bonus until his next turn).


Edit: I've changed the name of the thread at the request of my two main contributors.

Matthew
2007-11-17, 06:06 PM
Have you taken a look at any of the previous attempts to model Spartans/Hoplites in D&D on this Forum? (I have some links somewhere, I'll post them for you if you're interested).

Honestly, I think that a Hoplite PrC is a bit odd. It should either be a base class or called Hoplite Champion or Hoplite Commander or Elite Hoplie, you get the idea...

Still, not a bad attempt. Have to go, will take a closer look later...

Tyonisius
2007-11-17, 06:17 PM
Have you taken a look at any of the previous attempts to model Spartans/Hoplites in D&D on this Forum? (I have some links somewhere, I'll post them for you if you're interested).

I haven't seen them and I'd be grateful if you could link me to them,


Honestly, I think that a Hoplite PrC is a bit odd. It should either be a base class or called Hoplite Champion or Hoplite Commander or Elite Hoplie, you get the idea...

Well, the name was more specific, but I posted it on another forum and received too many complaints regarding the name, so I made it more generic.


Still, not a bad attempt. Have to go, will take a closer look later...

Thanks, I appreciate the time you've taken thus far. Also, please let me know your thoughts as to it's balance.

Neftren
2007-11-17, 06:22 PM
Well, Hoplites were more like Greek Footsoldiers. Prestige Classes signify that the PC has become greater than the average adventurer since they have access to other more advanced things. Death Attack and Imbue Arrow for example. Can any ordinary ranger make an arrow explode, or can any rogue assassinate a person fast and efficiently?

Hoplites I believe ought to be a base class. A Prestige Class would probably be called the Ahkaian Hero or something. For those that have read the Odyssey, you'll know what I mean.

commander43
2007-11-17, 06:24 PM
Honestly, I think that a Hoplite PrC is a bit odd. It should either be a base class or called Hoplite Champion or Hoplite Commander or Elite Hoplie, you get the idea...


Hoplite as a base class doesn't make any sense to me. It's just too specific to be a base class.

I like the class, but there are some bits that are a bit complicated. The healing spells effect on Gouge, for instance, is just annoying. I'd say that whether the healing spell works should be based on spell level or caster level, not how much damage the spell heals.

Tyonisius
2007-11-17, 06:45 PM
Being a Hoplite was actually a bit more difficult and "prestigeous" than you are making it out to be. There was actually a class of soldiers, usually just refered to a skirmishers, which consisted primarily of those who were not skilled enough or rich enough (Hoplites generally had to provide their own armor and weapons). When I originally made this class it was specific to Spartan's which are exteremly Specialized in Hoplite warefare, so it made (and still makes) a lot of sense to me as a PrC. What do you guys think about it's balance?

Commander43, could you give me some examples as to how you would suggest healing spells should work on the gouge ability?

Neftren
2007-11-17, 07:45 PM
From Wikipedia:
The hoplite was a heavy infantryman that was the central focus of warfare in Ancient Greece. The word hoplite (Greek ???????, hoplit?s) derives from hoplon (?????, plural hopla, ????) meaning an item of armour or equipment and consequently the entire equipment of the hoplite (but not specifically the circular shield, which is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a hoplon, since it was in fact called an aspis). These soldiers probably first appeared in the late seventh century BC. They were a citizen-militia, and so were armed as spearmen, and assumed a phalanx formation, which are relatively easy to equip and maintain; they were primarily drawn from the middle class, who could afford the cost of the armaments. Almost all the famous men of ancient Greece, even philosophers and playwrights, fought as hoplites at some point in their lives

Theoretically you are correct in the sense that they have to pay for the gear, but once again, PCs are supposed to be wealthier than commoners having been given a better chance at life. On the other hand, they are basically upper middle class militia. They're not exactly trained soldiers, and I do have to point out that 300 got a lot of facts wrong, as did the movie Troy and the even worse movie of The Odyssey. Money making motion pictures change some things to make a better plot or story quite a lot of times, as can be found in most book to movie types of films.

Matthew
2007-11-17, 09:13 PM
Previous Hoplite Discussion:

Spartan Base Class Discussion (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11846)
Long Spear and Shield Discussion (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10351)
NPC Soldiers Discussion (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36542)
Spartan Warrior (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37347)
Ancient Greece Campaign Setting (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38703)
Hoplite Phalanx Bulwark Prestige Class (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51645)
Spartans (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36296)

Also it might be worth downloading this Free PDF from RPGNow: The New Argonauts (http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=1557&it=1)

Now there's a few things that you have to address from the outset when creating a historically themed Class. The first, and perhaps most important, is what 'power level' you're aiming at. In default D&D, where the overwhelming majority of characters in the world are NPCs of Levels 1-5, conventional Hoplites are going to be represented by Aristocrats, Warriors and Fighters. If that is the case, then you are probably going to want to modify one or more of these Base Classes to represent the 'Hoplite' as you envision the.

If you feel these Classes are too weak, then you have a number of options. One is to increase average levels (very bad idea, as it affects everything in the game world), another is to grant Regional or Training derived Bonus Feats or otherwise power up the Classes (where the problem becomes that Level 1 is more powerful) and the last is to use the 'Sub Classes' idea introduced by Alea Publishing. In the latter case you basically impose a 5%+ Experience Point Penalty in exchange for better abilities.

Dungeons & Dragons models both Spears and Shields badly. In the former case it is relatively easy to solve. Either by way of a House Rule or as Class Feature, Characters can use the Spear and Long Spear as One Handed Weapons. Alternatively, create a new item, the Hoplite Spear. The Shield issue is more difficult. Some people make the mistake of equating the Hoplite Shield with a Tower Shield, which they aren't. The aim is to increase the AC Bonus of a Shiel, but that's just silly. There are loads of ways to increase AC, Shields need to be able to do something 'else'. The Feat Arrow Block probably sends us in the right direction - Shields should Block. As an Immediate Action make it so that a Shield either uses an opposed roll or automatically blocks an attack. The Large/Heavy Shield does a fine job of modelling the Hoplite shield, butyou could always create a 'Hoplite Shield' if you wanted to tweak them.

This Prestige Class definitely needs some work. Damage Dealing is not exactly difficult via Leap Attack and various other skills. What you need are more unusual powers, like your Fearless Resolve, Fleet of Foot, Soldier's Fortune and Shield Ally.

Power Level is the big question, though. I can think of easy ways to make this Prestige Class awesome, but that might be unsuitable for what you're looking for.

Anyway, just some stuff to think about.

[Edit]

Shield Feats

Good Shield Feats (Highly recommended)

Block Arrow (Heroes of Battle, BAB 0+, Dexterity 13+) [Negates a Ranged Attack]
Shield Wall (Heroes of Battle, BAB 0+, Shield Proficiency) [+2 AC when in formation]
Shield Specialisation (Players' Handbook II, BAB 0+, Shield Proficiency) [+1 AC with Shield)

Average Shield Feats (High level or specialised stuff)

Shield Charge (Complete Warrior, BAB 3+, Improved Shield Bash)
Shield Slam (Complete Warrior, BAB 6+, Shield Charge)
Shield Snare (Dragon #309, BAB 0+, Improved Shield Bash) [Disarm with Shield],
Shield Ward (Players' Handbook II, BAB 0+ Shield Specialisation) [Add Shield AC against Touch Attacks],

Bad Shield Feats (Basically useless)

Shield Mate (Miniatures Handbook, BAB 1+) [An AC boost for non Shielded allies when in formation].

Other Feats

These Feats are frankly not as good as Block Arrow and Shield Wall.

Phalanx Fighting (Complete Warrior, BAB 1+, Heavy Shield Proficiency) [The problem with this Feat is that it relies on Heavy Shields and Light Weapons, so it cannot be used in conjunction with the better weapons]
Formation Expert (Complete Warrior, BAB 6+) [Similarly, this Feat is very specific and requires a high level]

Lord Tataraus
2007-11-17, 09:18 PM
At least Dragon attempted to fix the problem with Shield and Pike style. A feat that allows one to wield a shield with a polearm.

Matthew
2007-11-17, 09:36 PM
Yeah, just a pity it was no heavier than a Light Shield.

Tyonisius
2007-11-17, 11:33 PM
Previous Hoplite Discussion:

Spartan Base Class Discussion (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11846)
Long Spear and Shield Discussion (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10351)
NPC Soldiers Discussion (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36542)
Spartan Warrior (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37347)
Ancient Greece Campaign Setting (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38703)
Hoplite Phalanx Bulwark Prestige Class (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51645)
Spartans (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36296)

Also it might be worth downloading this Free PDF from RPGNow: The New Argonauts (http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=1557&it=1)

Now there's a few things that you have to address from the outset when creating a historically themed Class. The first, and perhaps most important, is what 'power level' you're aiming at. In default D&D, where the overwhelming majority of characters in the world are NPCs of Levels 1-5, conventional Hoplites are going to be represented by Aristocrats, Warriors and Fighters. If that is the case, then you are probably going to want to modify one or more of these Base Classes to represent the 'Hoplite' as you envision the.

If you feel these Classes are too weak, then you have a number of options. One is to increase average levels (very bad idea, as it affects everything in the game world), another is to grant Regional or Training derived Bonus Feats or otherwise power up the Classes (where the problem becomes that Level 1 is more powerful) and the last is to use the 'Sub Classes' idea introduced by Alea Publishing. In the latter case you basically impose a 5%+ Experience Point Penalty in exchange for better abilities.

Dungeons & Dragons models both Spears and Shields badly. In the former case it is relatively easy to solve. Either by way of a House Rule or as Class Feature, Characters can use the Spear and Long Spear as One Handed Weapons. Alternatively, create a new item, the Hoplite Spear. The Shield issue is more difficult. Some people make the mistake of equating the Hoplite Shield with a Tower Shield, which they aren't. The aim is to increase the AC Bonus of a Shiel, but that's just silly. There are loads of ways to increase AC, Shields need to be able to do something 'else'. The Feat Arrow Block probably sends us in the right direction - Shields should Block. As an Immediate Action make it so that a Shield either uses an opposed roll or automatically blocks an attack. The Large/Heavy Shield does a fine job of modelling the Hoplite shield, butyou could always create a 'Hoplite Shield' if you wanted to tweak them.

This Prestige Class definitely needs some work. Damage Dealing is not exactly difficult via Leap Attack and various other skills. What you need are more unusual powers, like your Fearless Resolve, Fleet of Foot, Soldier's Fortune and Shield Ally.

Power Level is the big question, though. I can think of easy ways to make this Prestige Class awesome, but that might be unsuitable for what you're looking for.

Anyway, just some stuff to think about.

[Edit]

Shield Feats

Good Shield Feats (Highly recommended)

Block Arrow (Heroes of Battle, BAB 0+, Dexterity 13+) [Negates a Ranged Attack]
Shield Wall (Heroes of Battle, BAB 0+, Shield Proficiency) [+2 AC when in formation]
Shield Specialisation (Players' Handbook II, BAB 0+, Shield Proficiency) [+1 AC with Shield)

Average Shield Feats (High level or specialised stuff)

Shield Charge (Complete Warrior, BAB 3+, Improved Shield Bash)
Shield Slam (Complete Warrior, BAB 6+, Shield Charge)
Shield Snare (Dragon #309, BAB 0+, Improved Shield Bash) [Disarm with Shield],
Shield Ward (Players' Handbook II, BAB 0+ Shield Specialisation) [Add Shield AC against Touch Attacks],

Bad Shield Feats (Basically useless)

Shield Mate (Miniatures Handbook, BAB 1+) [An AC boost for non Shielded allies when in formation].

Other Feats

These Feats are frankly not as good as Block Arrow and Shield Wall.

Phalanx Fighting (Complete Warrior, BAB 1+, Heavy Shield Proficiency) [The problem with this Feat is that it relies on Heavy Shields and Light Weapons, so it cannot be used in conjunction with the better weapons]
Formation Expert (Complete Warrior, BAB 6+) [Similarly, this Feat is very specific and requires a high level]


Please suggest any specific changes you think should be made to this PrC? I was looking at the shield ability and was thinking about making a list of feats that use the shield (your list is great for this because I hadn't come up with too many yet), and then giving the hoplite 3-4 bonus feats that they can use to pick from this list to customize their Hoplite.

Edit: What about an ability that allows them to spend a standard action to rub oil all over themselves? It gives them a bonus to grapple and escape artist checks and maybe a small bonus to AC. At higher levels the bonuses increase? FTW!!!

Matthew
2007-11-18, 01:54 PM
Okay... first of all a name change, something like Hoplite Champion, Hoplite Commander or whatever, but that's just cosmetic.

I wouldn't bother with the 'Jump' theme. Characters are either going to take 'Leap Attack' or they're not. A Base Attack Bonus of +5 is probably enough of a requirement. If you want to make it tougher to get into, you can require Feats that aren't popular, such as Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialisation, Endurance, Run or Shield Specialisation.

Feats: Add Martial Weapons Proficiency (All)

Skills: Don't drop Ride. Contrary to popular belief, the Ancient Greeks admired Horsemanship, especially the Aristocracy. Ownership of a horse and skill at riding were signs of status. I would just add a bunch of Skills, such as the ones you have. You could even go further. 4 Skill Points per Level is fine with me, though it may rankle others.

Hit Dice are fine, as is the Base Attack Progression. However, I would consider giving this Class better Saves. If there is one weakness of the Martial Classes, it's their Saves and there is really no reason a Hoplite shouldn't have great Fortitude, Reflexes and Willpower.

So, we're looking a 10 Level Prestige Class.

Let's take a look at a typical candidate


Theseus (Human, Fighter 5) AB 5(8), DB 1D8+4, AC 20, HP 40,
Attributes: Strength 15, Dexterity 14, Constitution 14, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 10, Charisma 11
Feats: Power Attack, Cleave, Weapon Focus (Long Spear), Shield Specialisation (Large Shield), Weapon Specialisation (Long Spear), [One Remaining],
Skills: Climb 8(10), Jump 8(10), Ride 8(10), Swim 8(10),
Saving Throws: Fortitude 4(2), Reflex 1(3), Willpower 1(1),
Equipment: Breastplate Armour, Long Spear, Large Shield, Short Sword, Dagger,



HOPLITE CHAMPION

Prerequisites
Base Attack Bonus: +5
Proficiencies: All Martial and Simple Weapons, All Armour, All Shields,
Feats: Power Attack, Weapon Focus (Long Spear), Shield Specialisation (Large Shield), Arrow Block, Weapon Specialisation (Long Spear),

Class Features
Hit Dice: 1D10
Skill Points: 4 per Level
Class Skills: Climb (Str), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex), Swim (Str), Intimidate (Cha), [Some Others]
Special: Hoplite Levels are considered to be Martial Adept Levels.

{table=head]Level|Base Attack|Fortitude|Reflexes|Willpower|Special

1st|
+1|
+2|
+2|
+2|Hoplite Feat

2nd|
+2|
+3|
+3|
+3|Hoplite Feat

3rd|
+3|
+3|
+3|
+3|Hoplite Feat

4th|
+4|
+4|
+4|
+4|Hoplite Feat

5th|
+5|
+4|
+4|
+4|Hoplite Feat

6th|
+6|
+5|
+5|
+5|Hoplite Feat

7th|
+7|
+5|
+5|
+5|Hoplite Feat

8th|
+8|
+6|
+6|
+6|Hoplite Feat

9th|
+9|
+6|
+6|
+6|Hoplite Feat

10th|
+10|
+7|
+7|
+7|Hoplite Feat
[/table]

Hoplite Feats

Skilful Offence: The Hoplite may trade up to 5 points of AC for 5 points of AB

Skilful Defence: The Hoplite may trade up to 5 points of AB for 5 points of AC

Shield Focus (Large): Armour Check Penalties for a Large Shield are reduced by 2 to a minimum of 0.

Armour Focus (Medium): Armour Check Penalties in Medium Armour are reduced by 2 to a minimum of 0 and Dexterity Limits are increased by 1.

Armour Specialisation (Medium): No longer suffers a Speed Penalty for wearing Medium Armour

Rapid Strike: As Rapid Shot, but with Melee Weapons

Block: A Hoplite with a Shield may cancel an enemy attack he is aware of by expending an Immediate Action.

Fearless Resolve: Immunity to Fear

Fleet of Foot: +10 Base Speed (Does not stack)

Beloved of the Gods: +2 to all Saving Throws

Shield Ally: Can use Block on behalf of an adjacent character

[Some Others]


Just some thoughts, I hope that they help you.

Neftren
2007-11-18, 07:06 PM
Wow, finally someone who agrees with me that these classes ought to be based on historical fact, not on some movie's interpretation that makes it cooler or better looking.

1. This thread definitely needs a name change to something else. I suggested Ahkaian Hero or something, since that's essentially what the Greeks at Troy were called. Read Homer's Odyssey. The Iliad is good too.

2. On a historical basis, 300 got it all wrong. Hoplites don't jump. They had so many jumping guys in that movie, that they failed to emphasise the fact that they fought in formation. Yes, think Romans. They did put in the phalanx part, but they utterly failed to show that.

Anyway, Matthew, for Skillful Defense, is it off BAB or total AB? I'd think of a cheap way to abuse Skillful Offense/Defence with Power Attack. Does Skillful Offense stack with Power Attack? Does it improve the damage ratio or weaken it?

Armor Specialization needs to say that it only applies to Medium Armor, although nobody really uses medium armor anymore...

Also, Ride ought to be dropped, since Hoplites were from the upper middle class yes, but they didn't routinely fight on horseback.


I'll post again when I think of more things to fix this thread. But please change the thread name to something other than [PrC] the Hoplite. Really.

Matthew
2007-11-18, 08:09 PM
Wow, finally someone who agrees with me that these classes ought to be based on historical fact, not on some movie's interpretation that makes it cooler or better looking.

Well, I don't feel quite that strongly, as it isn't my Prestige Class and 3e Dungeons & Dragons has a hard time modelling reality. As noted at the outset of discussion a lot depends on what 'power level' the Original Poster is aiming at, but, yeah, I do think we should try and keep as much historical authenticity as possible, given the constraints and aims of the Class.


1. This thread definitely needs a name change to something else. I suggested Ahkaian Hero or something, since that's essentially what the Greeks at Troy were called. Read Homer's Odyssey. The Iliad is good too.

True, but then the Illiad and the Odyssey aren't about Hoplites. It is desirable to retain some relation to the original concept.


2. On a historical basis, 300 got it all wrong. Hoplites don't jump. They had so many jumping guys in that movie, that they failed to emphasise the fact that they fought in formation. Yes, think Romans. They did put in the phalanx part, but they utterly failed to show that.

Heh, it was a movie based on a comic book by a man with some questionable perceptions. That said, there's always Leap Attack if people want to model that sort of thing. :smallwink:


Anyway, Matthew, for Skillful Defense, is it off BAB or total AB? I'd think of a cheap way to abuse Skillful Offense/Defence with Power Attack. Does Skillful Offense stack with Power Attack? Does it improve the damage ratio or weaken it?

I shouldn't think it would matter since there's a five point cap and you need 5 points of BAB to get into the Class. A Level 10 Fighter can sacrifice 20 points of BAB to get +10 Damage and +10 AC by the RAW, there's no limit on expending BAB. Skilful Defence probably shouldn't stack with Combat Expertise, but it probably doesn't matter, as Improved Combat Expertise releases the caps anyway.
You'll have a hard time abusing Skilful Offense in combination with Power Attack, as the damage still only goes in one direction and BAB caps it. The best you could do is trade 5 points of AC for +10 Damage using a combination of Skilful Defense and Skilful Offense, and that's really what it's for [i.e. AB to AC trade off].


Armor Specialization needs to say that it only applies to Medium Armor, although nobody really uses medium armor anymore...

Yes, true.


Also, Ride ought to be dropped, since Hoplites were from the upper middle class yes, but they didn't routinely fight on horseback.

Nah, don't forget it's optional whether you put Skill Points into a Class Skill. The point is to keep the Hoplite Champion's options open [i.e. it's the none routine Hoplite I would be concerned with]. Swim, Jump and Climb aren't exactly conventional Hoplite activities either, though I do take your point..

Tyonisius
2007-11-18, 09:04 PM
First, I'd like to point out that at the beginning of this thread, I stated that I was basing it off of movies and not history. That aside, I do see the need to follow some line of historic accuracy, but not to the extent that it makes this class almost unplayable. What I mean by this, is that if, in order to make the character a viable front line fighter, it has two have multiple people of his/her same class, then it's not likely to be someone's choice to play. I do want to include some abilities (like the Phalanx Fighting, etc) to make it more powerful with others of it's own class but I don't want it fail as a frontline fighter without them. I'm making changes to the class, which I have not updated the original post to show any of them yet, based upon your suggestions. I'm not going for a 100% historic Hoplite, and thats not going to change, but following some guidelines is definitely a good idea.

Right now, as far as what I should remove, I have the leaping attack ability (I really like the idea behind this, though I will gladly admit it's not historically accurate). What about the gouge ability?

Are any of the other abilities especially unflavorful for the class?

I like some of the special abilities that you listed for the class and may apply some of them in place of others.

Thanks for all of your help, Matthew and Neftren.

Matthew
2007-11-18, 09:31 PM
Indeed, and I can fully appreciate that point of view, D&D is a flexible system capable of supporting both comic book and movie types (not to mention mythological types), as well as more historical combatants.

Gouge, from a mechanical standpoint, is cumbersome. There's a lot to remember there in terms of special rules and it somewhat forces the DM to admit that a 'hit is a hit', where many consider Hit Points to be mainly luck.

Essentially what 'Gouge' is intended to do is cause more damage. Rather than worry about it, just have an Ability that allows the Hoplite to expend an Immediate Action to add his BAB to Damage on one successful attack.

Tyonisius
2007-11-18, 09:51 PM
Indeed, and I can fully appreciate that point of view, D&D is a flexible system capable of supporting both comic book and movie types (not to mention mythological types), as well as more historical combatants.

Gouge, from a mechanical standpoint, is cumbersome. There's a lot to remember there in terms of special rules and it somewhat forces the DM to admit that a 'hit is a hit', where many consider Hit Points to be mainly luck.

Essentially what 'Gouge' is intended to do is cause more damage. Rather than worry about it, just have an Ability that allows the Hoplite to expend an Immediate Action to add his BAB to Damage on one successful attack.
Would this be a one time per encounter thing, a one time per day thing, a one time per level per day thing, etc?

Matthew
2007-11-18, 10:01 PM
Heh, more like once per Round, but actually whenever he has an Immediate Action. We're only talking +1-20 Damage and he can't use his Immediate Action to do anything else (such as use the Block Ability).

To be clear, I am describing relatively powerful abilities here, but you could always go with half BAB or cap it at 5 or whatever.

Tyonisius
2007-11-18, 11:00 PM
Ok, here are the abilities I am thinking about adding/editing to the class.

Increase all saves to as Monk.

Gouge: By expending his immediate action, when a <insert class name> confirms a hit against a target, he can twist his spear, causing extra damage equal to his BAB.

Block: By expending his immediate action, when a <insert class name> is hit by an attacker, he can block the attack with his shield. This immediate action takes place after the hit has been confirmed but before damage is determined.

Shield Ally: The <insert class name> can use Block on behalf of an adjacent ally.

Shield Ward: Not 100% sure how this works as I do not have access to all my books, but an increased touch attack is always a good idea.

Soldier's Fortune: +2 to all saves (if I decide to run a Greek specific campaign, that PDF you pointed out ot me is awesome, I'd change the name of the ability to Beloved of the Gods).

I may remove the following abilities:

Leaping Thrust
Impressive Leg Strength

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

So, what about the changes after that?

Matthew
2007-11-18, 11:29 PM
They all sound like good changes to me. From a mechanical point of view the names are all fairly irrelevant, it's just a matter of creating the 'mood' of the Class. I'll be able to judge better once you have integrated the changes.

I just recalled a low powered Feat I came up with a long while ago: Spear Charge (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31249). If I was to redo it now, I would probably follow Raum's advice and turn it into a Tactical Feat.