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Thread: Deathwalker (3.5 base class)

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    Default Deathwalker (3.5 base class)

    One of the problems with non-ToB martial classes is that they scale linearly. This is one attempt at a less-linear progression that provides a mechanic for a high-level fighter to really be a lot stronger and better than anyone else, and to have some situational abilities to stand and deliver when it counts. I'm shooting for somewhere in Tier 3 here. The actual power of the class will depend on the campaign environment, though. Deathwalkers do well when armies are clashing and battle is around every corner.

    Deathwalker
    Those who live by the sword, live a good long time! - Minsc of Rasheman
    That which does not kill me makes me stronger. - Conan of Cimmeria


    It is a fact of life on Faerun, Eberron, Sigil, and all the other planes that those who fight and win grow stronger, and that this often happens through the death of their enemies. Beyond the release of the soul, there is another sort of energy at work that enables this. Whether by study, discipline, luck, or the intervention of a deity, Deathwalkers have learned to draw on the power of the moment of death in a more direct way.

    Alignment: CG, TN, CN, any Evil
    Hit die: d10
    Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + intelligence modifier (x4 at first level)
    Class Skills: Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (dungeoneering), Listen, Ride, Search, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, Spot, Survival
    Starting Age: As fighter
    Starting Gold: As fighter


    Deathwalker
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Attuned Weapon, Mana Reserve, Mana Use

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Strength of My Enemy, Abilities

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Mana Reserve Duration increase

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Weak Vampiric Strike

    6th|
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |

    7th|
    +7
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Strength of My Enemy, Magic I

    8th|
    +8
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Mana Reserve Duration increase

    9th|
    +9
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |

    10th|
    +10
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Lesser Vampiric Strike

    11th|
    +11
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Strength of My Enemy, Magic II

    12th|
    +12
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Mana Reserve Duration increase

    13th|
    +13
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Fight the End

    14th|
    +14
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Strength of My Enemy, Magic III

    15th|
    +15
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Greater Vampiric Strike

    16th|
    +16
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Mana Reserve Duration increase

    17th|
    +17
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Cheat Death

    18th|
    +18
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |

    19th|
    +19
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Strength of my Enemy, Magic IV

    20th|
    +20
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |Vampiric Strike, Mana Reserve Duration increase[/table]

    Mana reserve:
    Spoiler
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    The Deathwalker draws power from opponents that he personally kills. Hereceives 1 point of mana for each point of CR rating for opponents his ECL and above. Opponents one level or more below the Deathwalker’s ECL give ½ their CR in mana, rounded up (minimum 1 point). Mana points are available for use immediately after the killing blow is landed by the Deathwalker. More powerful Deathwalkers can maintain a reserve of mana for a longer period of time, giving them the ability to walk into a battle with the energies of destruction already coursing through their bodies.

    Un-used mana dissipates from the Deathwalker’s reserve as below:
    Level 1: Un-used mana point total is reduced by 50% after 6 hours; remainder of un-used mana points are gone in 12 hours
    Level 4: Un-used mana point total is reduced by 50% after 8 hours; remainder of un-used mana points are gone in 16 hours
    Level 8: Un-used mana point total is reduced by 50% after 10 hours; remainder of un-used mana points are gone in 20 hours
    Level 12: Un-used mana point total is reduced by 50% after 12 hours; remainder of un-used mana points are gone in 24 hours
    Level 16: Un-used mana point total is reduced by 50% after 16 hours; remainder of un-used mana points are gone in 32 hours
    Level 20: Un-used mana point total is reduced by 50% after 24 hours; remainder of un-used mana points are gone in 48 hours

    “Older” mana points are assumed to be used first. To reduce bookkeeping, track the total # of mana points earned in each encounter separately, subtracting points from the oldest encounter when points are used.


    Mana use:
    Spoiler
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    A Deathbringer may not spend more than 2x his class levels in mp per round. This restriction does not apply to one-time mana expenditures related to feat acquisition. In all cases, MP is spent whether or not the roll it was spent on succeeds or fails.

    Vim: Add temporary with a 10-round duration: 1 mp per temporary HP
    Burst of Speed: Move 10’ extra in a round. 2 mp
    Heal Self: The Deathwalker may use his mana to heal his body. 4 mp per HP
    Unnatural Swing: Add AB to one attack. 1 mp per AB.
    Fuel Damage: Add damage to melee one attack. 1 mp per 2 points of damage
    Spell Resistance: As an immediate action, add Spell Resistance for 1 round. 1 mp per point of SR
    Indomitable Power: As an immediate action, add a bonus to one saving throw. 3 MP per +1
    Strike Now: As an immediate action, gain 1 additional Attack of Opportunity. 8 MP
    Break Free: A Deathwalker may attempt to dispel a single spell effect on him (not the entire spell if area of effect, just the effect on him). 1 mp per point on dispel check


    Special Abilities:
    Attune Weapon: At Level 1, the Deathwalker chooses a particular masterwork (or greater) melee weapon as his weapon of choice. In a ritual requiring 12 hours of unbroken concentration, he makes the weapon an extension of his own body. This does not come without a cost, however. Attuning a weapon reduces one of the Deathwalker’s physical scores (Str, Dex, or Con, at his choice) by 2 points. This can be overcome by 1000gp of components being used up in the ritual. If the Deathwalker does not have the components available, the ritual can be repeated later to remove the penalty. If the weapon is replaced or lost, the ritual must be repeated to attune a new weapon. Due to the focus required, Deathwalker can only have one attuned weapon at a time. An attuned weapon allows the rest of the Deathwalker’s class abilities to function at full power. Wielding an un-attuned weapon reduces all mana & ability point reserves gained by ½.

    Strength of My Enemy, Abilities
    Beginning at level 2, the Deathwalker draws strength specifically from those he kills. For every enemy slain, tally their two highest ability modifies (str, int, etc). When the Deathwalker has accumulated enough of a particular ability point, his base statistic in that ability goes up by 1. The Deathwalker cannot gain more points in any one statistic than he has class levels.

    Totals required for ability point increase: 60, 140, 240, 360, 500, 660, etc.
    *this may need to be adjusted depending on the campaign, combat/rp focus, leveling speed, etc.

    Strength of My Enemy, Magic
    An experience Deathwalker can attempt to draw the magic from a slain spellcaster. Instead of an ability point increase, he may attempt to acquire a single spell from the caster’s prepared or available spells. He may only attempt to gain a general type of spell (for example, “a transportation spell” or “an area of effect damage spell”). If no such spell is available (as adjudicated by the DM), he instead draws a randomly rolled spell from the caster. The Deathwalker may hold no more than 1 spell in memory, and he must cast the spell within 1 hour or lose it. A Deathwalker may not discard a spell; he must cast it or wait for it to expire from memory before attempting to draw another one from a defeated enemy. SME, Magic 1, the Deathwalker can draw out spells or psionic powers of levels 1-3; at II, his spell/power cap is increased to level 6, and at III, he can draw out up to a single level 9 spell.
    At level 19, the Deathwalker gains the ability to draw out a single Epic spell per day, but he must cast the spell within 10 rounds.
    All spells are cast using the original caster’s CL-4, and the original caster’s DC.


    Vampiric Strike:
    A Deathwalker learns to draw power from his enemies even before they die.
    At level 5, each successful melee attack a Deathwalker lands heals him by 1 hp
    At level 10, each successful melee attack a Deathwalker lands heals him by 2 hp
    At level 15, each successful melee attack a Deathwalker lands heals him by 4 hp
    At level 20, each successful melee attack a Deathwalker lands heals him by the base damage of his weapon (ie 1d8, 1d12, 2d6, etc).

    Fight the End:
    At level 13, a Deathwalker gains +4 to saves against death effects and poison.
    Cheat Death: At level 17, a Deathwalker can expend 100 points from his mana reserve (ignoring the 2x level cap) to reduce his physical age by 1 year, removing any age-related ability penalties or delaying their onset. Mental ability bonuses from age are not affected. This ability cannot be used more than once per week.

    Adventures: Without strife and death, a Deathwalker does not grow stronger. Deathwalkers are often drawn to conflict, both to help causes they believe in or to serve as mercenaries. Even good-aligned kingdoms can benefit from a Deathwalker’s presence in repelling an invasion or permanently solving a bandit problem. In times of peace, a few Deathwalkers have been known to serve as executioners… although ignoble, it’s a way to serve and bring death.

    Deathwalkers typically do not advertise the nature of their abilities, but they do seek out powerful opponents to defeat. As a result, a Deathwalker will often be visible in battle as a towering armored figure advancing into the enemy lines with a trail of broken bodies behind him.

    In society: Deathwalkers are often intimidating, and most peaceful good-aligned societies are not comfortable having them around for long. Death and the departure of the soul is normally the province of the religious orders; clerics of some deities and most orders of paladins view the path of the Deathwalker as sacreligious. Bandits and enemy soldiers mostly just view them as dangerous and scary.
    Last edited by J-H; 2012-10-29 at 08:35 PM.