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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Warmonger [3.5 Melee/Spellcaster, a.k.a. "The More Useful Duskblade"]


    The Warmonger

    Creator's Notes:
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    As a precursor to unloading my various thought processes regarding this class and its playability, I should no doubt mention that I know in advance that there is probably no way to make this concept perfectly balanced for "general public" use. Frankly, the source from which I drew inspiration for this class (read: shamelessly ripped concepts ) is beyond super-broken from a mechanical perspective- Jackie Estacado is just a few steps shy of a tauric ogre-dragon Hulking Hurler in terms of "...You just beat Tiamat to death with her own spine" OP. As a DM who has witnessed a similar feat of brokenness (in the form of a Warlock/Fate Spinner), however, I actively strive to avoid using overpowered abilities in a potentially game-breaking manner.

    That said, the character in question is in the company of some fairly powerful characters, and as the plot-styled leader of the party, it just wouldn't do for him to fall behind in terms of capability, now would it?

    A number of the bonus feats provided are meant to reflect an individual character's backstory and grant additional survivability before he is able to access his more impressive array of powers. Consequently, those same feats become less useful in lieu of access to his more impressive class abilities (at least, from the player's perspective), creating what I perceive as an acceptable balance. By all means correct me if I'm wrong, as this is my first endeavor toward building a custom class.


    Class Concept
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    The Warmonger class is styled roughly to be a "more useful Duskblade" in terms of function: a competent melee combatant with access to magical abilities that increase his survivability and damage potential. Unlike other builds that strive to achieve this function, however, the Warmonger has a catch: in darkness, he is exceptionally powerful, while light robs him of his more exceptional abilities and leaves him a slightly less durable fighter.

    As may be evident from statements before, the Warmonger is my attempt at "porting" the comic series "The Darkness" and its leading character Jackie Estacado into a high-fantasy setting. As a result, many of the powers detailed herein are drawn from the comics (and game)- and many of those had no direct analog in the D&D system. Thus, I improvised!

    The game in which this class is meant to make its first appearance utilizes the mass-unit combat rules found in the book Fields of Blood: The Book of War, which is the only conceivable application for the ability known as "Summon the Horde." Anything else would be a logistical nightmare the likes of which no one would enjoy playing or DMing; I trust the wise folk here to neither abuse its power nor to think I would do so. Heh heh.


    Game Rule Information
    Warmongers have the following game statistics:
    Abilities: A high Dexterity is imperative to Warmongers, as their light armor and inability to carry a shield, as well as comparably delicate HD and focus on light weaponry all place emphasis on high mobility. Charisma is also of great importance, as it governs the effectiveness of a Warmonger's leadership abilities and the duration and intensity of his dark surge abilities. Strength and Constitution are of approximately equal importance, depending on whether the Warmonger intends to outlast his foes and tear them apart with dark surges, or to simply slice them to ribbons.
    Alignment: CG/CN/CE/NE/LE.
    Hit Die: d8.
    Starting Age: As Fighter.
    Starting Gold: As Fighter.

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

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    A Lord of War
    |0/0/0

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    Bonus Feat: Leadership
    |0/0/0

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    Bonus Feat: Natural Leader
    |0/0/0

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    Whirling Strike
    |0/0/0

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    Heart of Darkness
    |3/0/0

    6th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    Dark Armor +1
    |4/0/0

    7th|
    +7/+2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    ...On a Pale Horse
    |5/0/0

    8th|
    +8/+3
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    Dark Armor +2, Improved Whirling Strike
    |6/0/0

    9th|
    +9/+4
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    Monstrous Strike
    |7/1/0

    10th|
    +10/+5
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    Dark Armor +3
    |8/1/0

    11th|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    Dark Blade +1, Greater Summoning
    |8/2/0

    12th|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    Dark Armor +4
    |9/2/0

    13th|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    Dark Blade +2
    |9/3/0

    14th|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    Dark Armor +5
    |10/3/0

    15th|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    Black Hole, Dark Blade +3
    |10/4/1

    16th|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    Dark Armor +6, ...On the Wings of Death
    |11/4/1

    17th|
    +17/+12/+7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    Dark Blade +4, Greater Black Hole
    |11/5/1

    18th|
    +18/+13/+8/+3
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    Dark Armor +8, Summon the Horde
    |12/5/2

    19th|
    +19/+14/+9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    Dark Blade +5, The Creeping Dark
    |12/6/2

    20th|
    +20/+15/+10/+5
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |
    Dark Armor +8, One with the Darkness
    |12/6/2[/table]

    Class Features
    Proficiencies: Warmongers begin play with simple weapon proficiency for both melee and ranged weapons, and select one Martial or Exotic melee or ranged weapon for additional proficiency. You receive this weapon for no GP cost at creation, as well as a set of bone armor.

    A Lord of War
    Instead of gaining a feat of their choosing at first level, a Warmonger gains the Noble Born and Two-Weapon Fighting feats.

    Whirling Strike
    Warmongers may, as a full-round attack, make a single melee attack against all adjacent enemies. The Warmonger is treated as Flat-Footed until the start of their next turn.

    Heart of Darkness
    The Utterdark has come to this Warmonger, bestowing both a great power and a terrible curse in the form of the following abilities:
    -They gain only half a foe's EXP worth unless the Utterdark spends one full round consuming its heart, but this heals 1d8 HP per the target's number of full HD.
    -Fifth-level Warmongers lose all supernatural abilities while in sunlight or what the DM would describe as “strong light,” but also gain perfect low-light and dark vision.
    -They may also cast the spells Darkness or Deeper Darkness, treating them as 0th-level surges, or may use their daily 0th-level dark surges to summon Dettani.
    -Warmongers are treated as having Fast Healing III +CHA modifier while immersed in natural darkness, and regain the use of three dark surges per hour spent in the dark.
    -Any spells with the [light] subtype capable of dealing damage inflict an additional d6 per the caster's level, to a maximum of +6d6.
    -From level 5 onward, Warmongers do not die when reaching -10 HP unless they suffer such damage in sacred ground (areas affected by the Consecrate spell meet this requirement). If they fall below -10 HP otherwise, they must spend 1d3 weeks in total darkness to regenerate, while the Warmonger's consciousness is transported to the Otherworld. Doing so imparts no further penalty, but if the Warmonger's consciousness is killed in the Otherworld, he is considered permanently dead.
    -The Utterdark symbiote itself is treated as a separate consciousness under the DM's control, with intentions and machinations of its own. It can, and in many instances does overpower the bearer, forcing them to function as something of a “flesh puppet” in the interest of its will.

    Dark Armor
    The Utterdark itself provides a measure of protection, bolstering the bearer's magical AC.

    ...On a Pale Horse
    As a 0th-level dark surge, the Warmonger may summon a mount from the Plane of Shadows. It advances in HD with the Warmonger's class level, from seventh onward, and gains abilities as a paladin's (or, more appropriately, an Anti-Paladin's) Special Mount would.

    Improved Whirling Strike
    As Whirling Strike, but the attack no longer leaves the Warmonger flat-footed.

    Monstrous Strike
    As a 1st-level dark surge, the Warmonger may make a full-round attack against a single target, adding two tentacle lashes (1d6 each, treated as dealing Negative Energy and Evil damage to overcome DR) and two bite attacks (1d8+2 each, treated as dealing Negative Energy and Evil damage to overcome DR) at the Warmonger's highest BAB -2. If at least two of these additional attacks strike their target, they are suspended five feet above the ground and considered grappled.

    Dark Blade
    The Utterdark imbues the Warmonger's blades with a measure of its own power. Any weapons wielded by the Warmonger are considered to deal Negative Energy and Evil damage for the purpose of overcoming DR.
    Greater Summoning: The Warmonger now summons 1d4 Dettani per 0th-level surge, rather than one.

    Black Hole
    Fifteenth-level Warmongers gain the ability to summon a black hole, 20 feet in diameter, at a point of their choosing as a second-level surge. It pulls all loose items and creatures of Huge or smaller size within 120 feet from its epicenter toward it at a rate of 60' per round, and persists for five rounds. Creatures within the black hole's radius suffer 10d6 crushing damage per round. At the end of its duration, the black hole releases everything held within it. Creatures capable of taking a move or double move action to escape its pull may make a Reflex save, DC 17+[Warmonger's CHA modifier], to do so; others make a Fortitude save of equal value to take half damage and remain on the ground, enabling them to attempt to escape next turn.

    Greater Black Hole
    As Black Hole, but it now deals 10d10 damage per round and can affect any size of creature, though Gargantuan and Colossal creatures are not moved by it. It persists for 1d4-1 (minimum of one) rounds.

    Summon the Horde
    As a full-round action, the Warmonger may expend all their 0th-level surges (N), as well as a 2nd-level surge, to summon (Nd4)x2 Dettani. These Dettani are summoned in concentric circles surrounding the Warmonger, beginning immediately in front of him and circling clockwise.

    The Creeping Dark
    As a 1st-level surge, a Warmonger may move anywhere within natural or magical darkness they are in as though teleporting. This is a spell-like ability.

    One with the Darkness
    As a 2nd-level surge, a Warmonger may shape-change to their dark form until affected by a strong light (or damaging spell of the [light] type) or voluntarily changing back.

    Summoned Creatures, the Darkness, Et Cetera
    A certain measure of Jackie's power does indeed come from his ability to control hosts of Darklings in the comics- and as a result, the ability to summon Dettani is meant to grant a Warmonger substantial combat-control as well.


    Dettani

    Dettani are impish creatures summoned from the Otherworld, drawn to the Material Plane to fight for the bearer of the Utterdark. Savage and ravenous, they take great pleasure in their lot in life, throwing themselves with reckless abandon into combat. Indeed, Dettani show no particularly strong signs of self-preservation instincts, but where most would see this as a weakness, a cunning overlord can use their ferocity to rip into an enemy flank or distract more powerful foes while he lines up a devastating attack.

    Atrributes
    -14 STR
    -16 DEX
    -8 CON
    -5 INT
    -10 WIS
    -12 CHA

    Dettani advance with a d6 HD and start with a base-rate 25 HP.
    Their BAB advances as a rogue's.
    Their "good save" is Reflex, while Fortitude and Will are poor saves for Dettani.
    They are considered Small creatures, with the bonuses to AC that such a size implies.

    Four variants of Dettani can be summoned:
    -Berserkers, which wield a Small-sized greatsword (game stats: 1d10 sword, which gains +1 to hit and to damage for every two levels of Warmonger that the summoner possesses, starting with +2 at level 5);
    -Gunners, which wield a repeating light crossbow (game stats: 1d8 crossbow, which gains +1 to hit and to damage for every two levels of Warmonger that the summoner possesses, starting with +2 at level 5);
    -Saboteurs, which deal catastrophic explosive damage on their death (game stats: 1d12 explosion in a 10-foot radius, which adds an additional d12 per four levels of Warmonger that the summoner possesses, starting at +1d12 at level 5);
    -Lightkillers, which can cast Darkness at will and attack with dark energy (game stats: 2d8 ray attack, with an additional ray cast per four levels of Warmonger that the summoner possesses, starting with 2 rays at level 5)

    Potential, Foreseen Issues
    -I had no idea what would make for an acceptable saving throw for the Black Hole ability, and consequently just looked at comparable spellcasters' abilities. Since most sorcerers and wizards appear to have access to seventh-level spells at level 15, I thought it would be reasonable to treat it as having an equivalent save.
    -Balancing the summoned Dettani could be difficult. Very difficult. They need to be powerful enough to be worth summoning at early levels, but not so powerful that they overwhelm the resistance altogether- but also capable of being worth summoning at high levels as well.
    -This sort of character obviously takes the best of several worlds- a high BAB, decent saves, a respectable HD, and potent magical abilities that mimic evocation and summoning abilities, as well as several fancy melee combat tricks. He's meant to be the jack of all trades in the current party (consisting of a Necromancer, an Aberrant Sorcerer, and a Barbarian), but I'm worried that he may be less the jack and more the master.

    Any input is gladly welcomed.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Elfstone's Avatar

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    Default Re: Warmonger [3.5 Melee/Spellcaster, a.k.a. "The More Useful Duskblade"]

    Hrrmmmm...

    What else can dark surges do? Only the abilities listed? Its not like invocations or other spell type abilities?

    I love the class, just curious.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Warmonger [3.5 Melee/Spellcaster, a.k.a. "The More Useful Duskblade"]

    Quote Originally Posted by Elfstone View Post
    Hrrmmmm...

    What else can dark surges do? Only the abilities listed? Its not like invocations or other spell type abilities?

    I love the class, just curious.
    I've been deliberating about adding other abilities for the dark surges, including using them for bursts of more intense healing, more significant damage (whether by improving an attack's base damage or critical range or multiplier, I've entertained both ideas), a briefly raised AC, improved saves- the works, basically- but I was worried that including such things would be either OP at early levels, or not worth expending higher-tiered surges to attain- or both! I also considered making the spell Darkbolt available as a 0th-level surge, and increasing its potency from from 1d8 at fifth class level to 2d8 at ninth and 3d8 at fifteenth... which doesn't seem too broken, I'd like to think, but failed to include it as it wasn't definitive yet.

    Any thoughts?

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Warmonger [3.5 Melee/Spellcaster, a.k.a. "The More Useful Duskblade"]

    I hate to reanimate threads and whatnot, but I was still wondering whether anyone had any input governing balance issues they could see, or suggestions for alternate or additional uses for the dark surges.
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    Neutral Good Human Ranger/Bard (2nd/1st Level)

    Ability Scores:
    Strength- 14
    Dexterity- 18
    Constitution- 16
    Intelligence- 15
    Wisdom- 13
    Charisma- 16

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Warmonger [3.5 Melee/Spellcaster, a.k.a. "The More Useful Duskblade"]

    Well what stares me in the face is leadership, half the DM's i know won't allow this feat let alone a prc that grants it for free and ignores it's requirements.
    I'm not even sure how a level 2 leadership is supposed to work, do you not have a cohort or what? It doesn't seem to be explained or exceptioned.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Warmonger [3.5 Melee/Spellcaster, a.k.a. "The More Useful Duskblade"]

    I should probably adjust and explain, then.

    All of the Leadership abilities for the Warmonger do not allow for the taking of a cohort (after all, there can only be one bearer of the curse alive at a time, as per Darkness canon, and since cohorts can generally only be the PC's same class, that precludes the ability of a Warmonger ever taking a cohort), though they do allow for the recruitment of larger groups of lower-leveled troops. It's meant to supplement the character's abilities in mass combat and realm management, though I can definitely see the potential for abuse by players who would be more inclined to make their cohorts do all the adventuring "heavy lifting."
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    Neutral Good Human Ranger/Bard (2nd/1st Level)

    Ability Scores:
    Strength- 14
    Dexterity- 18
    Constitution- 16
    Intelligence- 15
    Wisdom- 13
    Charisma- 16

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Hazzardevil's Avatar

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    Default Re: Warmonger [3.5 Melee/Spellcaster, a.k.a. "The More Useful Duskblade"]

    You gain a lot of bonus feats in the class, so could you either explain what they do or give page numbers and sourcebooks? Also, you don't really explain the point system OR say which abilities are supernatural.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Warmonger [3.5 Melee/Spellcaster, a.k.a. "The More Useful Duskblade"]

    Sure.

    Noble Born grants Diplomacy and Knowledge (nobility & royalty) as class skills, and grants a +2 bonus to one's Leadership score if the player in question takes the Leadership feat.

    Two-Weapon Fighting, everyone knows :P

    Leadership, everyone probably knows too.

    Natural Leader grants an additional +2 to one's Leadership score.

    First-tier dark surges are treated as equivalent to a second-level spell for purposes of overcoming spell resistance (if applicable) or to avoid being dispelled. Second-tier dark surges are treated as fifth-level spells for the same purposes, and third-tier dark surges are treated as equivalent to seventh-level spells. I'll explain more fully about what can or cannot be dispelled later.
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    Neutral Good Human Ranger/Bard (2nd/1st Level)

    Ability Scores:
    Strength- 14
    Dexterity- 18
    Constitution- 16
    Intelligence- 15
    Wisdom- 13
    Charisma- 16

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