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    Default [3.5; ToB II] New base class: Mercenary [PEACH]

    This is the third completed adept class from my attempt at a follow-on to ToB. Looking for any comments. It's designed to be the ToB-style replacement for the rogue/scout/factotum.

    HIT DIE : d8
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Maneuvers Known|Maneuvers Readied|Stances Known

    1st|+0|
    0
    |
    2
    |
    0
    |Informed Aim|
    5
    |
    4
    |
    1

    2nd|+1|
    0
    |
    3
    |
    0
    | |
    6
    |
    4
    |
    1

    3rd|+2|
    1
    |
    3
    |
    1
    |Precision damage +1d6 |
    7
    |
    5
    |
    1

    4th|+3|
    1
    |
    4
    |
    1
    |Deep Pain (half) |
    8
    |
    5
    |
    2

    5th|+3|
    1
    |
    4
    |
    1
    | |
    8
    |
    6
    |
    2

    6th|+4|
    2
    |
    5
    |
    2
    |Evasion |
    9
    |
    6
    |
    2

    7th|+5|
    2
    |
    5
    |
    2
    |Precision damage +1d6|
    10
    |
    7
    |
    2

    8th|+6/+1|
    2
    |
    6
    |
    2
    | |
    11
    |
    7
    |
    3

    9th|+6/+1|
    3
    |
    6
    |
    3
    |Mettle|
    11
    |
    8
    |
    3

    10th|+7/+2|
    3
    |
    7
    |
    3
    |Martial Mind (strikes)|
    12
    |
    8
    |
    3

    11th|+8/+3|
    3
    |
    7
    |
    3
    |Precision damage +1d6|
    13
    |
    9
    |
    4

    12th|+9/+4|
    4
    |
    8
    |
    4
    | |
    14
    |
    9
    |
    4

    13th|+9/+4|
    4
    |
    8
    |
    4
    | |
    14
    |
    10
    |
    4

    14th|+10/+5|
    4
    |
    9
    |
    4
    |Deep Pain (full)|
    15
    |
    10
    |
    4

    15th|+11/+6/+1|
    5
    |
    9
    |
    5
    |Precision damage +1d6|
    16
    |
    11
    |
    5

    16th|+12/+7/+2|
    5
    |
    10
    |
    5
    | |
    17
    |
    11
    |
    5

    17th|+12/+7/+2|
    5
    |
    10
    |
    5
    |Improved Evasion|
    17
    |
    12
    |
    5

    18th|+13/+8/+3|
    6
    |
    11
    |
    6
    | |
    18
    |
    12
    |
    6

    19th|+14/+9/+4|
    6
    |
    11
    |
    6
    |Precision damage +1d6|
    19
    |
    13
    |
    6

    20th|+15/+10/+5|
    6
    |
    12
    |
    6
    |Martial Mind (readied)|
    20
    |
    13
    |
    6

    [/table]
    Class Skills (8 + Int modifier per level, x4 at 1st level): All. A mercenary may need to call upon many skills.

    MERCENARY
    Men often have a desire to see a thing done that they themselves lack the skill to accomplish. Fortunately for me, many of them also have the gold to pay me to do it for them.
    -- Majonac, a mercenary
    MAKING A MERCENARY
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    A mercenary is a secondary melee combatant who exemplifies the concept of working smarter rather than harder, using his skills and precision damage to contribute offensively to an encounter. Defensively, his low hit dice and lack of heavy armor make him a relatively soft target, but are balanced with class features that help him resist other debilitating effects. His large number of skills also make him among the most effective martial adepts out of combat.
    Abilities: The most important ability score for a mercenary is his Intelligence as it powers his offensive class features. Dexterity is his next priority as it provides both his defense and, most likely, his attack rolls to take advantage of Informed Aim. Constitution is necessary for him as it is for all characters, moreso given his low hit dice. Strength is necessary only if he chooses to use weapons which do not benefit from Informaed Aim. Charisma and Wisdom mainly serve only to improve his skills based on those scores, with the latter also improving his Will save.
    Races: All races can be mercenaries, but the most common are elves and gnomes, who often favor the Steel Rain and Life's Blood disciplines. Human and halfling mercenaries prefer the covert nature of the Shadow Hand discipline while dwarves are more likely ro make use of Defanged Cobra. Half-orc mercenaries are somewhat uncommon, as they temperamentally inclined towards chaos and away from following the orders of others, but those who take levels in the class are almost universally among the most effective.
    Alignment: Any non-chaotic, as a mercenary who can not be relied upon to perform whatever task is assigned to him is all but useless. A mercenary who becomes chaotic retains all his mercenary abilities but can take no more mercenary levels. The most common alignment is Lawful Neutral; a mercenary who lives by their own code, unconcerned with the moral judgements of others, though the other five possible alignments are also well-represented.
    Starting Gold: 7d4x10 gp (175 gp)
    Starting Age: As rogue
    CLASS FEATURES
    Spoiler
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    Weapon and Armor Profiency: As a mercenary, you are proficient with all simple weapons, martial melee weapons, and one martial ranged weapon of your choice. and light and medium armor and with shields, but not tower shields.
    Maneuvers: You begin your career with knowledge of five martial maneuvers. The disciplines available to you are Defanged Cobra, Life's Blood, Shadow Hand, Steel Rain, and Wandering Eye. Upon reaching 4th level and every even-numbered mercenary level thereafter, you can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one you already know. You can swap only a single maneuver at any given level.
    Maneuvers Readied: You can ready four of your five maneuvers known at 1st level, and as you advance in level and learn more maneuvers, you are able to ready more, but you must still choose which maneuvers to ready. You may recover a single maneuver as a swift action which must be followed by a melee attack or a standard action to do nothing or all of them as a full round action.
    Stances Known: You begin play with knowledge of one 1st-level stance from any discipline open to you. At 4th, 8th, 11th, 15th, and 18th, you can choose additional stances.
    Informed Aim (Ex): A mercenary may had his Intelligence bonus to damage rolls made with finessable or ranged weapons in place of his Strength bonus, up to a maximum of his initiator level. however, this is precision damage and so creatures immune to sneak attack or critical hits do not take this damage.
    Precision damage (Ex): At 3rd level and every fourth level thereafter, a mercenary gains either an additional d6 of sneak attack damage or skirmish damage.
    Deep pain (Ex): As he progresses through his career, a mercenary learns the weak spots even of creatures believed not to have any.
    At 4th level, a mercenary still deals half his precision-based damage against creatures which are normally immune to it.
    At 14th level, he deals his full precision-based damage to all creatures, even those normally immune.
    Martial Mind (Ex): Your deeper understanding of the Sublime Way makes you a more cunning adversary.
    Strikes: Beginning at 10th level, when you initiate a strike that allows a saving throw, you may make the DC based on Intelligence instead of on its normal attribute. If you initiate a strike that requires a skill check, you may use your Intelligence modifier instead of the standard ability modifier for the skill.
    Readied: At 20th level, you may ready an additional number of maneuvers equal to your intelligence modifier.
    Evasion (Ex): At 6th level or higher if a mercenary makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a mercenary is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless mercenary does not gain the benefit of evasion.
    Mettle (Ex): At 9th level, a mercenary gains mettle as the Crusader class ability of the same name.
    Improved Evasion (Ex): At 17th level, a mercenary’s evasion ability improves. He still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth he takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless mercenary does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.
    MERCENARIES IN THE GAME
    Spoiler
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    Mercenaries make their living in the game world by any number of means, the single unifying attribute being their extreme skill in their chosen profession. Most mercenaries that players encounter will likely be serving as muscle for hire or have been successful enough to now run their own private army. mercenaries who have retired or chosen a calmer life can also be found as skilled craftsmen, particularly of weapons and armor. As such, mercenaries can be found in all tiers of life in a city, from High Protector down to a fleet-footed pickpocket. Though the rewards for each's labors may differ, all mercenaries' primary goal is the perfection of his trade, with the second priority of proving to both himself and others that he has not lost his edge.
    This drive to prove their excellence also serves as one of the two most common motivation for a mercenary to join an adventuring party, the other being financial compensation. Ideally, a mercenary will find himself in a party whose goal would be unattainable without his skills, while at the same time teaching him new techniques to improve his effectiveness. Those who accept an evil mercenary into their party must, of course, keep alert. Though even the most vile may hold to personal code that would prevent betrayal, the right combination of the act's difficulty and his promised compensation may entice him to it and mercenaries of all alignment may suffer from 'counting errors' when divying up treasure. A mercenary who takes up the life of an adventurer will continue it until either he dies, is defeated in such a way that he considers himself unfit to continue, or he has amassed enough treasure to comfortably retire.


    I considered an adaptation that traded precision damage and deep pain for a lesser version of the archivist's Dark Knowledge (only up to 6/day and only tactics and foe), but decided I didn't want to bring in too much from outside SRD and ToB.
    Last edited by playswithfire; 2010-09-26 at 07:54 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5; ToB II] New base class: Mercenary [PEACH]

    Ok, with over a hundred views and no comments, I'm going to assume that at least nothing about it is objectionable and it lands somewhere around the swordsage/rogue power level that I was shooting for.

    One more base class to finish and some ACFs to tweak and then the first 3 chapters of ToB II will be done and I can start on the prestige classes.

    Thanks to everyone who looked.
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    Default Re: [3.5; ToB II] New base class: Mercenary [PEACH]

    The alignment text needs correcting:

    Quote Originally Posted by playswithfire View Post
    Alignment: Any non-chaotic, as a mercenary who can not be relied upon to perform whatever task is assigned to him is all but useless. A mercenary who becomes lawful retains all his mercenary abilities but can take no more mercenary levels.
    Aside from that, it looks like a pretty interesting class.
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    Default Re: [3.5; ToB II] New base class: Mercenary [PEACH]

    Seems like a standard martial adept. I don't know the tables for them by memory, but the number of manuevers and stances doesn't look too high, so I figure you based it on the existing material and they'll be fine. It gets some sneak attack and int to damage instead of bonus feats and other features, k. Getting precision damage on immune creatures is nice and can be done with a few items so I don't mind it on a class. Not sure about having both evasion and mettle in the same class, they're a bit too awesome to get both of them that easily. It's entirely possible in the same build of course, but you'd usually have to jump through a couple PrC hoops and sacrifice some initiating to do it. The capstone is huge, but hey, it's a capstone so it should be. Aside from evasion+mettle, I'd only worry about the maneuvers themselves, since it's almost all homebrew. As long as the people working on those have them under control I'd say you're good to go.
    Last edited by Fizban; 2010-09-24 at 07:09 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Violet Octopus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    sheer awesomeness

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    Default Re: [3.5; ToB II] New base class: Mercenary [PEACH]

    I don't like Improved Mettle and Improved Evasion on the same base class. Mostly, Improved Mettle. It's one step away from spell immunity, and spell immunity doesn't seem like a Mercenary's schtick.

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    Default Re: [3.5; ToB II] New base class: Mercenary [PEACH]

    More skills than a swordmage.
    More maneuvers readied than a swordmage.
    A slower but (due to how it interacts with what levels you gain stances) ultimately better stance progression than a swordmage.
    Fewer maneuvers known than a swordmage.
    Better maneuver recovery than a swordmage.
    Informed Aim (comes into effect mostly at high levels where it is simply dump Str completely for Dex + Int with Shadow Blade).
    Precision Damage: Do they have to choose Sneak Attack or Skirmish when they gain the ability or is it on a round by round process? Still better than Discipline Focus.
    Deep Pain: Making their precision damage even better-er.
    Evasion earlier.
    Mettle/Improved Mettle (worth losing Quick to Act and then some).
    Extra readied maneuvers at 20th (if built for high level play then they will be able to ready more maneuvers than they know).

    Lose Wis to AC, Quick to Act, Discipline Focus and Dual Boost 3/day.
    Only one of these that compares at all is Dual Boost and I think you beat it out by a fair bit. Loss of Wis to AC is mitigated with Shield + Medium Armor.
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    Default Re: [3.5; ToB II] New base class: Mercenary [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post

    Lose Wis to AC, Quick to Act, Discipline Focus and Dual Boost 3/day.
    Only one of these that compares at all is Dual Boost and I think you beat it out by a fair bit. Loss of Wis to AC is mitigated with Shield + Medium Armor.
    Swordsage also has a good Will save.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Ring of Evasion means never playing a monk with monk levels again. There is just no reason to dip that stuff. I know we're all about using every part of the buffalo here, but can we just admit that it's inedible?

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    Default Re: [3.5; ToB II] New base class: Mercenary [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose87 View Post
    Swordsage also has a good Will save.
    D'oh how'd I forget that. I blame the mispelling on having just come from a 4e thread talking about defenders.

    In total, though, I'd say it comes out fairly close to swordsage, maybe a little better, but I also prefer Crusaders and Warblades to swordsages and think of them as better than swordsage (personal opinion only, I don't have enough experience to be sure).
    Last edited by Zaydos; 2010-09-24 at 02:15 PM.
    Half Peanut Dragon Pony by Emperor Ing.

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    Default Re: [3.5; ToB II] New base class: Mercenary [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    D'oh how'd I forget that. I blame the mispelling on having just come from a 4e thread talking about defenders.

    In total, though, I'd say it comes out fairly close to swordsage, maybe a little better, but I also prefer Crusaders and Warblades to swordsages and think of them as better than swordsage (personal opinion only, I don't have enough experience to be sure).
    IIRC, Crusader is considered the best of the TOB classes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Ring of Evasion means never playing a monk with monk levels again. There is just no reason to dip that stuff. I know we're all about using every part of the buffalo here, but can we just admit that it's inedible?

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    Default Re: [3.5; ToB II] New base class: Mercenary [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    The alignment text needs correcting:
    Done. Not sure how I reversed that one. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pechvarry View Post
    I don't like Improved Mettle and Improved Evasion on the same base class. Mostly, Improved Mettle. It's one step away from spell immunity, and spell immunity doesn't seem like a Mercenary's schtick.
    True; I was going for them being better at surviving things, but Improved Mettle may be a bit much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    Do they have to choose Sneak Attack or Skirmish when they gain the ability or is it on a round by round process? Still better than Discipline Focus.

    Lose Wis to AC, Quick to Act, Discipline Focus and Dual Boost 3/day.
    Only one of these that compares at all is Dual Boost and I think you beat it out by a fair bit. Loss of Wis to AC is mitigated with Shield + Medium Armor.
    I was thinking they could choose which type it was at each level that they gain an additional d6. I'll try to reword it to make that clear.

    Consensus seems to be against Improved Mettle. Would the class suffer too much if I just removed it with no replacement and just spread the other abilities out a bit (Mettle at 9th, full deep pain at 14 and improved evasion at 17 maybe)?

    Thanks all for the comments.
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